Gluten Free Bride- Bridal shower bliss!

Favors from my shower!

Favors from my shower!

Now, the part that all girls look forward to- the bridal shower!  My mom was wonderful with making sure that I would be able to enjoy lunch with my friends and family without getting sick or just starving. Thank goodness for my mom!  She managed to run through the menu with the restaurant and came up with some delicious substitutions for me! If you haven’t noticed a theme with me just yet- I do not expect to live in a gluten free world. I don’t expect to live in a gluten free household either (unless I’m living alone but given that my fiance and I just bought a house together, that ship has sailed!). Some have voiced their opinion about this and brought up fears of cross contamination and extra “work” involved, but it works for me.  I did not expect, nor want, a completely gluten free shower.   Here was how everything was broken down:

Appetizers:

  • Caprese salad- super easy! Sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar!
  • Pizza- totally not gluten free, but it is a family favorite at this restaurant and wanted everyone to enjoy their day out as well!

Dinner:

  • Salad- no croutons, gluten free dressing!
  • Sausage & Peppers: I passed because I didn’t know if the sausage was safe
  • Chicken vesuvio with roasted red peppers: They did not use flour to brown the chicken so it was 100% safe for me!
  • Mostaccioli- not gluten free for everyone else but they did have a gluten free pasta they prepared for just me with a marinara sauce! Delicious!

Dessert:   An amazing dessert table prepared by my mom and my Aunt Mary (thanks guys!)

  • Gluten free cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery!additional non-gluten free cupcakes but everything CLEARLY LABELED
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Chocolate covered pretzels (not gluten free but could be if you used GF pretzels!)
  • Cannoli cake- not gluten free but one of my fiancé’s favorite cakes
Nutella and Tiramisu cupcake jars!

Nutella and Tiramisu cupcake jars!

And of course- the gluten free cupcakes in a jar that were sent home with each guest. I prepared the cupcakes myself and they turned out to be AMAZING! I would make these in a heartbeat for the next shower/birthday/whatever I’m hosting!

Hope this helps you get started on your gluten free wedding preparation! My biggest tip though is to try to stay calm and just have fun with it! If you’re looking for 100% gluten free you may be making things too difficult for yourself, especially if you are hosting a big wedding or other event!

Oh- and while we are on the topic of bridal showers, I hope you all remember to have fun with your registry!  Now, if you’ve read my gluten free kitchen blog, you would know that not EVERYTHING needs to be gluten free. However, since it was our shower and a time to indulge a bit, we registered for duplicates of certain items. We are fortunate to have a large kitchen so we did register for duplicate items- one to be gluten free and one for gluten containing foods. Yeah, I know- my crock pot doesn’t need to be gluten free. He can make his chili and I can clean it out and use it to make my gluten free version. However, what happens when we are hosting a party (which we do frequently)? With two crock pots we can have gluten free versions available as well! All you need are gluten free labels and you are good to go! Trust me; it makes things so much easier when you’re cooking for large groups! We did make sure to register for two colanders as those should be kept gluten free since they can be difficult to clean. Come on, spoil yourself. This is the only time in your life that you get to tell people what you need!

xoxo

Gluten Free Bride- Having my cake & eating it too!

Okay, so I’ve been MIA lately, but for good reason! My wedding is coming up in just a few weeks and all of the festivities have finally started to come together. Now, I don’t know how many of you are married or engaged, but for those singles out there- take this as a warning- Wedding planning is INSANE! Not only do you have to figure out guest lists, dress shopping, registries, etc., but being a gluten free bride has also come along with some interesting challenges!

Now, I’m not going to get too far into all of the wedding planning craziness in one blog. However, I do want to talk about one huge gluten free obstacle we had to overcome! As anyone with food allergies can imagine, one of the most stressful hurdles to tackle was my gluten free wedding cake. I love my fiancé (if that wasn’t already obvious by his title), but he is not a huge fan of all things gluten free. We wanted the cheesy shot of us cutting our cake together and I didn’t want to “miss out” on this at all (so long as there is no smashing cake in my face). We agreed on a sweets table long ago- so our compromise was a gluten free wedding cake along with additional sheet cakes to be served at the sweets table. The sheet cakes would be all his decision, gluten free or not- hey it’s his wedding too!  Trying to get him to agree on a gluten free cake though was surprisingly easy thanks to finding a gluten free bakery.

So yummy! I would get engaged all over just to do this again!

So yummy! I would get engaged all over just to do this again!

I’m fortunate to live in Chicago where there are plenty of gluten free bakeries around and we found an OUTSTANDING one not too far from our home. Elysia Root Cakes was wonderful to work with. Elysia Root Cakes does not have a retail store and work entirely on specialty cakes. When trying to locate their bakery we may have missed it had it not been for the brightly painted door!. However, when you walk in you are greeted with an incredible display of cakes, pictures of cakes, and aromas to make any diabetic nervous.  For our tasting we were able to request various flavors of cake and frostings which we were then allowed to pair together to “mix and match” to come up with our favorite combination. (In case you are curious, we chose almond, vanilla and chocolate cake along with Bailey’s, Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, and Nutella Buttercream as well as a Chocolate Ganache). Let’s just say my fiance did not want to leave until he ate EVERY bite she had offered us and, trust me, there was plenty!. Surprisingly, we agreed on the same combination and we are super excited (I’ll let you know which combination we chose AFTER our wedding! Don’t want to give too much away just yet!).  I would definitely recommend Elysia Root Cakes to anyone- gluten free or not. She is wonderful and the cakes are delicious. We will definitely be back for our next big party!

Here are some recommendations I have for gluten free wedding cakes and/or alternatives!

  1. Check with your local bakery! You would be surprised to see how many may be able to accommodate gluten free diets!
  2. If a gluten free cake is out of budget (unfortunately they can sometimes be an extra expense on top of an already expensive cake!) check out some gluten free cupcakes.
  3. Compromise! My fiancé loves me and would do just about anything for me. However, I do not expect him to be 100% gluten free and while I would LOVE a gluten free wedding, I have to remember that it is his wedding too. Sweets tables are a great compromise! For ours, we are incorporating a gluten free cake along with his favorite cake (not gluten free!) as well as other sweet treats! Chocolate covered strawberries are always a perfect solution!
  4. Remember it’s not your entire meal! How many gluten free options do you need?!?! Let’s be practical here and not break your budget on sweets! Throw in some yummy candy in decorative bowls and make sure to include your favorite gluten free treats! If you have them wrapped (think mini bars, etc) you don’t have to worry about cross contamination!

xoxo

PS- Ill let you know if anyone notices that it is gluten free!