Our Anniversary and Cupcakes Squared

This past weekend was my husband and I’s second anniversary. But it was extra special because we celebrated it as if it was our first anniversary. (Last year he was at sea so we were unable to be together.) Packing for an eight day vacation on Coronado Island, San Diego, we waved good-bye to our place. We had a great list of boating, hiking, swimming, bon-firing, picking up my in-laws,  and making a stop at Cupcake Squared! What better way to celebrate our anniversary then with cupcakes!

While searching for G-free bakeries online I came across Cupcake Squared, in Point Loma. I don’t know how many times I have hung around Point Loma and have never come across this super cute bakery. This being our first trip to Cupcake Squared my husband and I were filled with excitement.

Robin, owner of Cupcakes Squared

Robin, owner of Cupcakes Squared

We found it to the left of a market in a little shopping center. Walking up we noticed a doggie bowl, filled with water, with Cupcake Squared engraved on it. We commented on how sweet it was for them to leave water out for doggies. Walking into the bakery we were welcomed by Robin herself (owner). I was taken by how cute the little squared cupcakes look. Speaking with Robin she told me a little bit about Cupcake Squared. They open 4 year ago and after having many customers inquiring about G-free cupcakes she decided to give it a try. After trying different mixes she ended up working with rice flour, that bakes a dense moist cake. She has a verity of different flavors to choose from and can make everything on her list but smores and cheesecake. They bake fresh every morning and the gluten-free cakes are displayed on their own tray. No, this bakery is not 100% G-free but they go to great measures to keep their products gluten-free. They use a separate mixer and cook the gluten-free products separately.

Another super great quality about this bakery is that if you call and request a gluten-free flavor, off their list of flavors, she can put it on a list to be made during the week! How awesome is that! Robin was super sweet and it was truly a pleasure speaking with her. She had made the G-free Lilikoi, vanilla cupcake with lilikoi (passionfruit) buttercream, and vanilla, hawaiian vanilla with vanilla buttercream, Almond Apricot Squares, and Cranberry White Chocolate Squares that day. She gave us a taste of the Lilikoi and Vanilla cupcakes and we quickly feel in love with the Lilikoi! The taste of the cakes were very moist and, as she said, was more of a dense consistency. The frosting was light and delicious without having an overpowering sweet flavor. These cupcakes have a lovely light flavor that keeps you going back for more bites.

They don’t just make gluten-free cupcakes but also a yummy treat called squares. To me they remind me of a thicker cookie. They would be great with coffee in the evening or warned up with ice cream on top!

It looks like Cupcake Squared has everyone’s well-being in mind. From the gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, and even doggie customers, Cupcake Squared has something for everyone!

Cupcakes and Squares

Cupcakes and Squares

Saying good-bye to Cupcake Squared my husband and I were off to celebrate our anniversary. After spending a wonderful day of boating we set up our bonfire. Cooking hot dogs (Nathans are G-free) and sharing, Cupcake Squared, Lilikoi cupcake was a great way to finish off our day.

Thank you Cupcake Squared for playing a special part in our anniversary!

Sending a happy anniversary to my wonderful husband! Thanks for supporting me through my gluten-free trail and errors. For picking me up when I am feeling down or frustrated. And for never making me ever feel silly when crying over pizza. I love you! Cheers to another year together. 

Living with a Non-Gluten Free Family?

My G-free kitchen island. With foil covering the top for extra safety.

Sometimes I stay with my parents or sister while my husband is at sea. Every time I go over I find it more difficult to keep a gluten-free space. This made me wonder how mixed gluten and gluten-free families do it.

During a recent stay at my moms we started talking over what we can do to keep the kitchen safe for my use. And we came up with the idea of buying a kitchen island. My mom always wanted to buy one but never got around to doing it. I told her that I would buy the island if she would let me use it for my G-free items. She thought the idea was great and mentioned how handy my own cutting board space would be. And to keep it covered with foil or plastic wrap, while not in use, to prevent accidental gluten exposure. I would have a space for all my own pans, dishes, bowl, utensils, and any other goods.

I immediately jumped on the internet and started looking into kitchen islands. They can run from a hundred to thousands depending on what you are looking for. I was able to purchase one from Target for $224. It was originally around $300 but was on sale and matched her kitchen perfectly!

Now when I stay at my parent’s house I will have my own gluten-free spot. I am really lucky to have an amazingly supportive family. Thanks Mom.

Celiac and Me

After waiting months (due to a busy schedule) I finally went in for my test results. And it turns out I don’t just have a gluten allergy but (drum roll please) Celiac Disease.  After reviewing different sites, checking into symptoms, and what my body has been going through, I had a pretty good idea I would be joining the percentage of people with Celiac. So this was not a shock for me. When having a gluten allergy or Celiac Disease the treatment is similar. NO GLUTEN. The difference between the allergy and disease is that Celiac is an autoimmune disease. The problem is my body is attacking itself. So, here I am with Celiac Disease and still gluten-free.

My doc prescribed me a variety of vitamins, a probiotic, and a gluten-free diet. EPA, DHA, malabsorption, deficiency, nutrients, autoantibodies, villa, intestines, vitamins, and gut were some of the words being crammed into my head. After reviewing everything I had clear idea of what was going on in my gut. What a mess! But on the bright side… I am still here alive and kicking! I have to go back in six months for more test to see if my vitamin’s have improved.

I walked out of the doc’s office singing, lyrics to a Puff Daddy song, “Can’t nobody hold me down… ohh no, I got to keep on movin” in my head. And moving I went… to the health food store.

Lesson learned: Don’t wait forever to get test results back! I will not be making this mistake again… EVER!

2GOOD2B Bakery & Cafe

Photo taken at 2GOOD2B Bakery & Cafe in Encinitas, California

Searching the internet for gluten-free restaurants 2GOOD2B Bakery & Cafe popped up. Clicking on the link to see what G-free baked goods they offered I was unknowingly in for a real treat!

This special bakery is “always 100% gluten, corn, soy and peanut free”. Reading the bios about Mike Barbanti, Diana Mourato Benedek, and the conception of the bakery I knew I had to make a visit. Viewing their gallery and drooling over images of pizza, french toast, and cupcakes I couldn’t wait to visit. The weekend was fast approaching, my husband and I were looking forward to our upcoming visit to Encinitas where 2GOOD2B Bakery & Cafe is located.

Finally making our way up for breakfast on Saturday morning we pulled into the shopping center, parked, and jumped out with excitement.Walking into the bakery and looking right there was a display case full of cupcakes! Had I reached the G-free pride-lands? Maybe, but first a taste test. Their menu had plenty to offer including the french toast from the gallery. My husband ordered the breakfast panini and I the french toast. Both of us are fans of cinnamon rolls, so we added one to our selection.

We paid the cashier and took seat by the window. My husband and I had our eyes fixed on the cupcake display case. Feeling a little greedy we decided to pick out some mini cupcakes for home. The helpful cashier told us that if we check-in on facebook we could get a discounted price. After choosing red velvet, chocolate, white chocolate raspberry, and carrot cake our order was ready.

Having the memory of how good french toast use to taste I was ready to give this gluten-free one a try. After tasting my first bite (with my husband eagerly awaiting my reaction) I couldn’t help but smile. It was just like how I remember it… maybe even better! I happily took another bite and offered my husband a taste. After seeing how pleased I was he dove right into his breakfast panini.

Taking bites of each others meal has always been something we love doing. Each ordering a different item on the menu allowing us to taste different flavors. Since being diagnosed with gluten intolerance we have not been able to share. But not here, it was safe to share and not be afraid of my husbands fork contaminating my food. He did stop himself a few time out of habit.

Photo taken at 2GOOD2B Bakery & Cafe in Encinitas, California

Finishing most of our meal we moved on and tasted the cinnamon roll. I stuck my fork right in middle for a taste; it was so moist and delicious. Normally I expect the outside of the roll to be dry. That was not the case here, it was moist all the way through, my husband said it just might be the best cinnamon roll he had. Feeling stuffed we took the rest of our food, mini cupcakes, and half our cinnamon roll to go. Fully satisfied and with treats to go we got into the car and head back home.

After breakfast we meet up with my sister; I let my nephew and niece have the mini cupcakes. They ate them up enjoying each bite. On my next visit I will have to buy some for them and me too. Along with about a dozen of their delicious cinnamon rolls.

Visiting 2GOOG2B gave me a new outlook on eating gluten-free. I don’t have to sacrifice flavor to be gluten-free and healthy. I am lucky to have such a great bakery and cafe so close to me. I look forward to stopping by for their dinner menu!