Of Birthdays and Baking

Good morning!  It’s supposed to be another gorgeous day here in DC, so my temptation to call in with scurvy is at an all-time high. 😉

Weather aside though, am I ever dragging today!  After we got back from dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday, I stayed up late last night with my latest baking project: a gluten-free carrot cake.

I have a mixed track record with GF baking, since I’d never baked anything from scratch (even in my pre-Celiac days) until this year.  It’s been a steep learning curve for me, and there have been some epic fails — but I’m determined to conquer healthy GF baking, even if it takes a loooong time!

I tried to healthify it a bit by using ground flax instead of eggs and applesauce instead of oil, so if there ever was a nutrient-dense dessert, this is it.  I mixed the batter, popped it in the oven, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best…

40 minutes later, it looked and smelled fabulous.  When I stuck a toothpick in the middle it came out clean, but then when I tried to cut a piece, I found that it was barely cooked. Noooooooooo!  The edges were starting to turn brown, so I didn’t want to bake it much longer.  This, of course, begged the question of how on earth I was going to get it fully cooked.  Suddenly, inspiration struck: I wonder if the microwave would work?  It sounds crazy, I know, but I figured it was worth a try — after all, a nuked cake is better than a woefully undercooked cake.

I put it in the microwave for 10 minutes, and lo, it worked!  I think it might’ve lost a lot of moisture, though, so we’ll see how it goes when I try to serve it up this evening.  That’ll be the real test!  (*Wrings hands in anticipation*)  I think I might try this recipe again but make muffins intead of a full cake — the smaller they are, the more thoroughly they’ll bake.

I was up until 11 or so with my baking experiment, and even though I was tired when I went to bed, my mind was racing and I couldn’t fall asleep.  So, when the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, it was a monumental struggle to get out of bed and go to the gym.  

I always find that working out when I’m tired really helps me stay energized and alert all day, even if I was totally dragging when I hit the gym.  Today I did 30 minutes on the ellptical and then 10 minutes of high-intensity interval training (1 minute at 3% incline and 9.0 pace, followed by 1 minute at 3% incline and 3.7 pace, repeated 5 times).  And, despite being a sweaty mess from the cardio, I also set a new personal record on my plank-a-day: 1 minute solid!  Wahoo!

Today is also a big day (well, sort of ) on the home front: Brandon and I started dating exactly three years ago today.  I’m not a fan of big anniversary celebrations, but I do get all nostalgic when I think about our various milestones — our wedding anniversary (July 30) , obviously, but also the day we got engaged (August 23) and the day we started dating (October 17).  His birthday actually played a key role in us getting together: we’d been spending a lot of time together and we both knew that we liked each other, but a first move had not yet been made.  When I found out that his birthday was coming up, I arranged a small party/happy hour for our friends to celebrate his birthday — and the next day when he emailed to thank me for setting it up, he asked me out on our first official date…which was that afternoon.  The rest is history!

The rest of my day will involve lots of green tea and veggies to keep me going through the “tonight I really must get more sleep” haze, followed by a post tonight for What I Ate Wednesday!  

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