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I have been really thinking about food, health, diet, and other related topics for some months now. Yeah, I know, you thought I always think about food, and that is true, but I am talking about on a more cerebral level. I go through these stages every so often and since I have been really concerned with fitness and making my body the best body it can be, I have had to really think a lot lately.

I believe that you are what you eat, that different people have different dietary needs based on a variety of factors, and it is best for individuals to evaluate what works best for them. Once in a while you have to re-evaluate things, and make sure everything is still working to your standards.

I am always looking to improve myself, and I listen to my body, and take its advice on what may need to be tweaked and changed.

Lately I have been feeling like I need to take a bit of a break from wheat. I know this really flies in the face of my bread making endeavors , and the fact that Roberto could eat pasta and bread until the end of time. But for me, and looking over the back pages of my life and my relationship to wheat, things have been kind of shoddy between us on many levels. Therefore, I have decided to do a gluten free experiment…and when I say experiment, I mean, experiment. I get everyone in on it – like my mom (helping me make this cake). Oh and speaking of my mom, she is starting to help me with my other blog – Travel Closeup. She has written several posts and is now listed on the about page as well. Go check it out! :)

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Anyway, back from family promotion and onto the food…I am not a person that tends to be into grains very much anyway, unless it is fresh baked breads or cakes and pastries. I don’t eat cakes and pastries very often, but I do eat bread. So it is time to see if gluten free is the way to go for me. So I have been experimenting with grains like quinoa, and buckwheat (which I already love) and eating more corn and rice based things – and trying to find non GMO versions of the corn based.

However, this weekend was the Summer Solstice, and as I mentioned last year, it is an event that we like to celebrate. I always bake for special occasions, and so I decided to challenge myself by making a GF cake. I just did a google search on gluten free lemon cakes from blogs, and happened across Joy, The Baker‘s Blog where she blogged this delicious, crumbly cake recipe . She had made it in a bundt shape, but said it crumbled too easy. So I decided to bake mine in a bread baking dish.

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This cake makes A LOT of batter, and so I made a bread loaf, a round cake and 6 cupcakes! None of them fell apart! The only change I made was doing 4 ½ cups of nuts and 1 ½ cup of rice flour (because I ran out of nuts!).

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For the solstice I halved the bread loaf lengthwise and filled it with the delicious Summer Solstice Preserves and topped it with whipped cream! It was a delicious cake – VERY buttery and dense, but also so good.

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We sang Happy Birthday to summer, and feasted on this cake! I will write a post next week about what we ate besides this wonderful cake!

On a personal note, I may not be around visiting blogs as much in the next little while. Rest assured it is nothing personal. Roberto’s daughters are visiting us from Connecticut until the end of July (YAY!), and then we have family visiting from Italy during August, and so I will be spending more time with our guests than sitting at the computer! I hope everyone has a wonderful summer! Look forward to catching up with you later!

Gluten Free Lemon, Almond and Polenta Cake

from Joy The Baker,  from Breakfast Lunch Tea, Rose Bakery

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INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing pans

2 1/4 cups sugar

grated zest of four lemons

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 eggs

5 1/2 cups ground almonds

2 cups polenta

1/2 cup rice or corn flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

powdered sugar for dusting

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Butter eight mini bread tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper, or line 3 cupcake pans with foil cupcake liners.

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Measure out the sugar and lemon zest.  With the back of a spoon or a plastic bench knife, rub the lemon zest into the sugar, creating a lemony and fragrant sugar.  Beat the butter and sugar until very light and creamy.  Add the lemon juice and the vanilla extract.  Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.

Mix together the flour, ground almonds, polenta, rice or corn flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the butter mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for cupcakes) or until a knife inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool the cakes in their tins before taking them out.

Sift some powdered sugar over the cooled cakes for decoration.