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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Taste Testing Party

I am pretty tired right now, but it was worth it! I spent this weekend baking for a tasting party. The Celiac group in Seattle was kind enough to let me host a taste testing party at my house. Everyone was a really great sport about filling out review cars, and I can't wait to do a little light data entry and get a better idea about the success (or not) of each recipe. It was a fantastic crowd of people as well - there were a lot of great conversations!

Yesterday I started decluttering a little in our house. I have a long ways to go. Most of our rooms look pretty good, but we've got two rooms that are absolutely out of control. Fortunately, one of the people from the Celiac group is a professional organizer, so I am looking forward to getting some help! In the afternoon, we took my car to my family's - it had a leaky trunk so we had it in the garage with a dehumidifier. While we were at my family's house, Annie got into the compost container on the floor in half a second and wolfed down a 4" chicken bone, after cracking it enough to splinter it. We found that 3% hydrogen peroxide can be administered at 1 tsp per 10 pounds to induce vomiting (up to 2 doses), so we gave it to Annie and made her run around the yard a lot to shake it all up. She was playing and running and happy, but no vomiting. We packed her up to an emergency clinic and sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes when "HOORRRFFFF"...all over my lap. She saved us $160 in vet bills, so I suppose it all evens out.

Who? Me??

When we got home, my mom helped finish cleaning up the house while I baked. I made chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, boysenberry thumbprints, lemon bars, apricot bars, apricot thumbprints, and ginger cookies.

From left to right: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (3 plates), Boysenberry Thumbprints,
Apricot Thumbprints

Today I got up early and started on blueberry upside down cake, chocolate cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, lucuma banana cupcakes, and donuts.

From left to right: sweet potato cupcakes with "cream cheese" frosting,
"snickerdoodles", chocolate chip cookies, and ginger cookies

I knew a few of the recipes weren't going to pan out, but I figured since I made them, I might as well put them out. The Snickerdoodles were a disaster. I keep trying to sub out palm oil with coconut oil, and the mixture just isn't working. I'm going to have to rip up the recipes I've scribbled down so far. The apricot bars were an OK start, but I think I'm going to rough chop the apricots next time instead of blending everything. A jelly like substance is OK for lemon bars, but it is just is odd with apricot. There are other recipes I'm going to put aside as complete/approved, others I will continue to work on, and a couple I am going to throw out all together.

Clockwise starting at the top: donuts, lemon bars, lucuma banana cupcakes,
chocolate cupcakes, blueberry upside down cake, apricot bars, and lemon cupcakes

Another interesting observation - the chocolate chip cookies were by and large a huge success. People really enjoy how they melt in your mouth, and the flavor is pleasant. Unless you are my mom or a smoker. When pressed, people noticed a slightly earthy taste. Mom thinks they taste like dirt. Smokers think they taste like grass. I could tell we didn't have any smokers in the crowd. This is an extreme example, but it seemed as though each recipe had fans and people who weren't fans. I could tell from the handwriting styles that peoples' opinions varied from recipe to recipe, so it's as though people had different palates.

Annie really loved having all those people over. She got plenty of attention, and now she is pooped. Passed out on her little bed. I'm right there with her. I have my feet up and am looking forward to taking off a couple days later this week.

I was pretty good about restricting the number of sweets I scarfed (not perfect, but restraint is not my strong suit so I'll take it!), and was happy to have tea and miso soup shortly after the tasting party. I was really craving greens and savory garlic, so I had sauteed kale with garlic and lemon juice and flat bread with avocado, garlic sauce, and lettuce. It was A LOT of garlic, but my body seemed to be craving it after all that sugar.

My version of a TV dinner: sauteed kale with garlic, lemon juice,
and olive oil; quinoa flatbread with avocado, lettuce, and garlic sauce


  1. Such a treat to be a part of this! Glad you got some good feedback.

    I wish my mom lived nearby so she could clean while I baked or unbake as the case may be. How sweet of her.

  2. Yes, Moms can be very helpful when getting parties together. I think I call my mom about 3 hours before every party I throw for my kids, "Mom, I NEEEEED you!!!"

    The desserts look so great, and you worked so hard! I would love to go to a taste testing party!