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Wordless Wednesday: Making Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Making Lemon Meringue

Lemon Cupcakes

Making Meringue

Filling Cupcakes

Lemon Curd Filling

Adding the Meringue

Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

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Review: Let Us All Eat Cake by Catherine Ruehle

Let Us All Eat CakeSpecial thanks to the publisher for providing a sample copy of the book to test out in my kitchen.

One of the things that many people miss when they go gluten free is all of the baked goods they used to eat prior to going gluten free. Special occasions can be a little difficult when you can’t eat with everyone else. If you’re able to come up with good alternatives that are great for gluten free and non-gluten free people alike, then you have a win-win situation for everyone.

In Let Us All Eat Cake: Gluten-free Recipes for everyone’s favorite cakes (affiliate link), Catherine Ruehle and Sarah Scheffel tackle the task of creating great cakes that everyone will be able to enjoy. The recipes are gluten free and many (if not all) provide a dairy free alternative. While she does provide an egg replacement, it won’t work on the egg heavy recipes.

What I liked about the book.

Let Us All Eat Cake is a beautiful book filled with gorgeous pictures. The pictures make you want to try to make the cakes. While not all recipes have pictures (bummer), many of them do.

The book is broken down into 7 sections:

  • Breakfast, Snack, and Coffee Cakes
  • Layer Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Plated Slices and Little Cakes
  • Decorated Special Occasion Cakes
  • Essential Frostings, Fillings, and Glazes
  • Tips, Tricks, and Decorating Techniques

It’s easy to locate whatever type of cake you may want to create.

The ingredient list is shown on the side, but it’s not necessarily the entire ingredient list for the recipe. (See what I don’t like below.)

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

What I didn’t like about the book.

I hate it when I have to flip all over the book to create one recipe. My teen daughter made the lemon meringue cupcakes.  The lemon curd ingredients were featured on page 92 with the directions for the entire cupcake recipe. The cake batter ingredients as well as instructions for the cake batter are featured on page 38. The cake batter recipe called for the flour mixture featured on page 191. The swiss meringue icing recipe (ingredients and directions) was featured on page 165. So basically, the only new thing about the recipe was how things were assembled. It was highly annoying to have to go all over the book to locate the needed ingredients and directions for the components. In fact, it was so annoying to my daughter that she ended up typing up her own recipe that put everything all on two pages for her to easily complete the recipe. The results were good – especially after the cupcakes had been refrigerated over night. (The cupcake texture was odd without refrigeration.)

I’m not a huge fan of flour mixtures that are simply tapioca starch, potato starch, and white flour. The “whole grain” version was not much different as it was just sorghum flour, white rice flour, and potato starch.

The recipe above called for three cups of the first flour mixture which meant I had 1 cup of the blend left over. (Yes, we could have figured out how much of each ingredient we needed by dividing it all out, but my daughter was already a little overwhelmed by the complexity of the lemon meringue cupcakes. We just took the easy way out.)

Overall thoughts on the book.

I’m slowly transitioning to the measuring by weight as I’ve found it can be much more accurate for gluten free baking, so I missed seeing the weight equivalents in the recipe. I’m not deducting anything for this as most American cookbooks do not have this, but it would be nice to see in the future as it’s more likely that everyone’s recipe will turn out the same. We had a few issues because of being high altitude, so the addition of instructions for high altitude would have been nice as well. (Once again, not deducting anything for this as most cookbooks don’t feature this either, and it’s not something I would have thought about prior to living in a high altitude area.)

This is a nice recipe book for gluten free cakes. It features a wide variety of cakes from easy to complex. It has a little something for everyone’s taste buds. I’m not a huge fan of the layout of the recipes or flour mixtures. The photographs are beautiful, the pages are sturdy, and the book is well put together. In other words, I’m a bit torn on how I feel about the book as it has both pluses and minuses.

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own based upon my personal experiences in my home. A positive review in neither expected nor guaranteed.

Book Details:

A delightful collection of gluten-free takes on your favorite cake recipes, from everyday coffee cakes, layered cakes, and cupcakes to show-stopping special occasion masterpieces.

Celebrate your favorite holidays and special occasions from birthdays to bake sales, Halloween to Christmas—and even the everyday—with delectable gluten-free cakes. In this delightful collection, Catherine Ruehle, a pastry chef and cake artist turned wellness foods chef, shares sixty classic cake recipes that are every bit as indulgent as the gluten-heavy ones we adore, but gluten-free, all-natural, and with alternatives given for vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free renditions. A few of the luscious cakes that await: Pink Velvet Strawberry Cake made electrifyingly pink with strawberries instead of food dye, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes that children of all ages will be thrilled to find in their lunchboxes, and a dramatic White and Dark Chocolate Checkerboard Cake that’s a cinch to prepare in advance. With positivity and careful guidance, Ruehle provides basic and advanced decorating, piping, and plating techniques to take your cakes from pretty to breathtaking. So go ahead: lick the frosting off the beaters, cut yourself a nice big slice, and let us all eat cake!

About the Author:

Catherine “Cat” Ruehle is a renowned pastry chef, television personality, cake decorating teacher, and holistic health coach who has made it her mission to give everyone’s favorite foods a healthy (and delicious!) makeover.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607746298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607746294
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Retail Price: $24.99
  • Digital Edition also available
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History Notebooking and Lapbooking Sets

In an effort to make it easier to find my history/government notebooking and lapbooking sets, I’m putting all the links on one page. Just click on the images to be taken to the sets.

Notebooking Pages Sets

United States Presidents Notebooking Pages Vice Presidents Notebooking Pages Set Passport United States Notebooking Pages   56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Notebooking PagesChristopher Columbus Notebooking Pages

Lapbooking Sets

 Presidents Lapbook States Lapbook christopher columbus lapbook cover

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Review: before amen by Max Lucado

Before Amen by Max Lucado

Special thanks to the publisher and Family Christian Bookstore for providing a sample copy of this book.

Can I make a confession? I’m one of those people who is known to fall asleep when they are praying at night. If I say that I’ll pray for you, I will. I pray right then and there as I know that I’m not good about remembering to pray later. I’ll pray for you when I think of you throughout the day. If I need to pray for a specific thing as a specific time, I put it on my calendar or set an alarm on my phone. I know the power of prayer, but I wouldn’t consider myself a natural prayer warrior.

The idea that someone like Max Lucado considers himself a recovering prayer wimp and not a prayer warrior caught my attention. It means that he’s writing before amen (affiliate link) from a place of knowledge that comes with a struggle with praying like we think we’re supposed to pray. I like how he talks about the Prayer 101 class where even Jesus’ disciples needed guidance with how to pray.

You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.

The book discusses why we pray and how we pray as it sets the foundation for beginning a better, deeper, stronger prayer life. It’s a very personal, down-to-earth approach to prayer which I appreciated. You won’t find a holier-than-thou attitude in the book. It’s not complicated. There aren’t difficult details and schedules to follow. It’s just about taking the simple steps and praying simple prayers. It’s about communicating with our Heavenly Father.

After covering the basics, the book starts to go into different types of prayers. It discusses asking for help for ourselves, asking for healing for ourselves, asking for forgiveness for ourselves, asking for help for others, and giving thanks. I particularly liked the chapter on giving thanks as it’s been a bit of a rough week here. We have so many changes going on and choices to be made with a bunch of not-so-great stuff thrown in. I needed that reminder that we have so much to be thankful for day in and day out. I don’t want to be an annoying, ungrateful, spoiled brat. In saying thanks to the Lord for what we have, I found that some of the other pray focuses fell in place more easily.

Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.

The book concludes with 2 different study guides. The first study guide is by Max Lucado and is meant for personal growth as it digs deeper into the different chapters and topics covered in the book. The second study guide was prepared by David Drury and focuses on personal prayer strengths as it goes through each chapter in the book.

Before Amen by Max LucadoBook Description:

We all pray . . . some.

We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.

But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?

Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.

We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.

And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same?

In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.

About the Author:

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849948487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849948480
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 9 inches
  • Retail Price: $19.99

Disclosure: I received a sample of this book from the publisher as a member of Family Christian Bloggers. My opinions are my own based upon my personal thoughts on the book. A positive review is never expected nor guaranteed.

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Wordless Wednesday: Munchkin in the Snow

Munchkin with Snow Backdrop

Munchkin with Snow Backdrop

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