Gluten free dogs

28 September 11

We have two dogs – a maltipoo (Maltese poodle mix), and a cockachon (cocker spaniel, bichon frise mix) – and they are terrifically adorable. Zoe and Wash have been part of our family for over a year now. Wash had all sorts of problems when we first got him. He had parasites and bronchitis and a high susceptibility to fleas. We took care of everything, except that he was really itchy. He scratched so much that he broke skin a few times. It was horrible. We didn’t know what to do, but we decided to change food. They were on Science Diet, and first we tried Avoderm, but they didn’t like it too much, so we settled on Blue Buffalo, which is a high quality, grain free food. His skin got a lot better, but he was still scratching. We had him on an antihistamine, and if he didn’t get it for a day, he would start scratching a lot. We finally decided to cut out all grains, including from treats, thinking that maybe it was more than just going to a higher quality food that had helped him. And it has been great! Wash no longer scratches, and we haven’t given him a pill in over a week. Blue Buffalo makes some grain free treats, and so do some other brands. We also discovered that Wash (but not Zoe) LOVES raw carrots cut into thin slices. Crazy, right? Both of the dogs also love duck jerky. So now everyone in our house is gluten free, except that I keep a loaf of bread and some crackers around. I will need to make GF dog treats now, beyond raw carrots. Liver treats, perhaps?

If you have pets, and if you are feeding them Science Diet, do some research. I think we went to dogfoodadvisor.com.com when we were looking for a new food. We were surprised at what goes into dog food.

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Amaretto cake recipe

27 September 11

As promised in my prior post, here is the recipe for the gluten free amaretto cake I made last weekend.

1 box devil’s food cake mix (Betty Crocker makes a gluten free one)
1 3.9 oz pkg instant chocolate pudding
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c water
3/4 c amaretto (Hiram Walker’s is gluten free)
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
Crushed almonds to coat Bundt cake pan

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix wet ingredients together in a big bowl. Add cake and pudding mixes. Sprinkle crushed almonds into greased cake pan. Pour mix into pan. Bake 1 hour. Invert onto plate and poke lots of holes into cake. (LOTS of holes)

For the glaze:
3/4 c brown sugar
12 T butter
1 c amaretto

Bring sugar and butter to a low boil, stir to make it creamy. Remove from heat and add amaretto.

Pour glaze slowly over the cake, allowing it to seep in between pours. Let cool 1 hour before serving.

I had a lot of glaze that didn’t seep in, so I cut the cake into slices, let each side sit in the glaze for about a minute, and then arranged the slices nicely on a plate… Mmm, cake soaked in amaretto.

Gluten free amaretto cake

26 September 11

A few weeks ago, some friends and I participated in a trivia night fundraiser for Metro Lutheran Ministry. Part of the evening was a dessert auction, and one of the desserts was a “boozy amaretto cake.” We didn’t win – the trivia or the cake – but on Friday, MLM emailed out the recipe for that cake. It called for a cake mix, and luckily enough, Betty Crocker makes GF devils food cake mix. That was the only non-GF item in the recipe (certain brands of amaretto are GF, so that wasn’t difficult), and voila, we had the amaretto cake on Saturday. It was delicious. There is a LOT of amaretto in it, and less than half of it has any heat applied, so the alcohol is all there. I will post the recipe tomorrow, but I wanted to write about it tonight. I think it is a good example of how easy it can be to make something gluten free. Frequently, you can just do a straight substitute, and really, even when you can’t, adding in four other flours to get the right consistency is just not a big deal. The real problem comes from contamination, in my opinion. That seems like a good post for later this week. Carl thinks I should write more about cake, but I will let you discover its deliciousness for yourself. Tomorrow.

… I’m back. Pretty sure no one has noticed my absence, and that’s fine by me. I’ve spent the last year fully embracing the domestic life. I took up sewing, I’ve dived deep into gluten-free cooking, and we spent a good portion of the year doing yard and garden work. I plan to update my blog more frequently from here on out and write about more substantive things, contrary to the whining that I too frequently fall into. Here’s to another beginning!