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01 May 2008

celebrating with lemon-poppyseed cake

gluten-free lemon poppyseed cake

There have been plenty of reasons to celebrate around here.

It’s the first of May, and the world seems to have awoken. This afternoon, pulling into our driveway, I saw a few purple buds of wisteria draped over the patio trellis. Right now, a single bird is chirping out its rhythmic call, a little warble after all those regular beats. In the mornings, the sun comes in our windows earlier than I remembered. The magnolia tree in the front yard is dropping its pale pink petals onto green grass.

May, it seems, is when spring truly begins this year.

The end of April wasn’t bad, however. Yesterday marked the third anniversary of the first day I started eating gluten-free. Three years ago yesterday, I finally had my blood drawn for the celiac panel. After months of struggling with recalcitrant doctors who speculated that I had ovarian cancer, but never asked me about the food I ate, I found someone who listened. Anemic and withered with little energy, I still found the presence of mind to fight for myself. After the blood draw, I drove to the grocery store, bought fresh produce and meats, rice and cheese. The next day, I sautéed a small pile of spinach. The green gleamed off the white saucer, and I had to take a photograph — it was that beautiful. How would I know I’d be taking photographs of food for the next three years? By the time the blood results came back, ten days later, I already knew my fate. And I embraced it.

In the last three years, I have never deliberately eaten anything with gluten. There have been a few accidents, places I never suspected. They have all taught me. But it has never occurred to me to reach for a croissant, or grab a bagel on the run. Why would I make myself sick? Instead, my life has bloomed open since I stopped eating gluten, and I started saying yes. Everything has changed, and for the better. I am constantly in amazement. And I am so grateful.

So April 30th always feels like my second birthday. That’s what finding out I have celiac sprue and going gluten-free has meant for me: I was reborn.

And April 26th will always be our anniversary.

Two years ago this week, I met the Chef. A cup of coffee in the late morning, a slap on the arm, a friendly conversation about food and family, and a hug that felt like enveloping love — that’s all it took to start this life we have been laughing through together for two entire years. Can it really be that little time? So much has happened between us. What I have been able to write here has been like the fingernail-crescent light of the moon, early in its cycle. So much lies behind these words.

I adore him. But you know that already. More, he is my closest friend, my true companion, and the one who makes me laugh so hard I nearly stop breathing. Intertwined, our lives have grown into something we never expected. I could write for an entire day and never place the words on the page in the right formation to say it. We are a team. With him, I feel safe in the world.

And for us, the biggest celebration is nearly three months away now: Little Bean will be born into the world.

Talk about having no words.

And so, even though I was momentarily overwhelmed last week, by exhaustion and pregnancy hormones, I quickly remembered how blessed I am. And how much living there is to do.

And now, how much writing.

We have this good news to share, but we have been a little silent for awhile. We are both so humbled and honored that we decided to sit on this momentous news, our hands in our laps, instead of waving them wildly in the air. Really, we still can’t believe it. And we were more than happy to do the work, and dive into the process, and make announcements later. But official publications have mentioned the news, and some of you have been asking pointed questions. It feels like time to tell.

The Chef and I? We just signed a two-book book deal with Wiley, the publishers of my first book.

DANCING IN THE KITCHEN will come first. DANCING is a cookbook, a lavish beautiful cookbook, with 100 recipes, all of them gluten-free. But it’s more than a book with headnotes, recipes, and photographs. This is the story of love and food, and how they intersect. Blessedly for some of you, our personal story will only be a part of the book. (You know the gist of it if you read this site anyway.) Instead, the story I want to tell is what life is like if you dance in the kitchen as a chef.

Chefs work hard. They have scars and burns on their hands. They are frequently exhausted. They are working-class heroes, with jobs entailing searing foie gras and mopping the floors, all in one shift. They aren’t paid well, certainly not well enough to eat the meals their companions make in other high-end restaurants. Chefs are a band of brothers (men and women both) who have a work ethic, and a code of ethics, most people never have to approach. Most of us eat in restaurants as a means of escape. But for chefs (as well as servers and dishwashers), the restaurant is not theater. The restaurant is home, a grungy labor-of-love home, never completed, always capable of more. Chefs love food. Chefs are artists. But they’re not the people you see on television, in clean white coats and a cocky grin. Chefs are far more complex than that.

And my Chef? He is one of hundreds of thousands in this country, all across the world. But his story is the one I have been watching, and the story I want to share.

So DANCING IN THE KITCHEN will be a cookbook with narrative, pithy essays about feeding each other, shopping at farmer’s markets, and waking up early to make it to the seafood purveyor for the freshest fish. It will be a book about food, and how it can inspire us to live more awake some days. It will be a book about what inspires us, and how we eat late at night, after the last of the shift has finished. It will be funny (oh goodness, that’s the intention), sometimes moving, and also practical.

For every four or five recipes, there will be a chef technique, tricks of the trade that chefs know but us home cooks don’t. When you chop an onion five hundred times, you know how to do it, precisely. When do you salt food? How do you create a fish special? What’s the trick to cooking gluten-free pasta so it doesn’t fall apart? The Chef will attempt to share (with photographs and my words) the most fundamental techniques of cooking food well, so you can feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

And it will all be gluten-free. But gluten-free won’t be the first focus of the book. Food will.

When we had known each other for about four months, I looked up from typing the latest menu for the first of the month. Astonished, I said to him, “Sweetie, I can eat everything on this menu.”
“I know,” he said.
“Well, that’s fantastic, but how did that happen?”
He looked at me kindly, and said, quite plainly, “I just realized that if I make something with gluten in it, I can’t share it with you. And so, I’m just not going to cook with gluten again.”
(I married him.)

At the Chef’s restaurant (and in the rest of our lives), the first focus is on great food. Meals that ring out with seasonal ingredients and flavors that are clear, not competing. This is food that tastes like itself. That it is all gluten-free is fantastic. But neither one of us has been interested in eating food just because it’s gluten-free. It has to be good. Sometimes, that’s a pan-roasted rib-eye chop with potatoes gratin, broccoli, & white cheddar. Sometimes, it’s a plate of nachos at midnight, shared in bed while watching South Park. But we want every bite to be memorable.

That’s what DANCING IN THE KITCHEN will be. (Hopefully.)

Every recipe in the book will be new, never published on this site. Nearly every essay will be too. (There might be a couple of passages that feel familiar, but no more.) There will be recipes for curried red-lentil puree with cucumber and lemon-yogurt dip, tagliatelle with duck confit, sun-dried tomatoes, and a cabernet sauce, seared lamb chops, and a blue cheese cheesecake with a fig crust. All with enticing photographs to make you hungry.

We are writing this book together, and we love creating it, side by side. The recipes are all his. But without me, he would never be able to put them down on paper in a way that makes sense to those of us who aren’t chefs. We want food to feel accessible. We want everyone to eat well. And we love writing recipes, and stories, and talking about food. We’d like to share that with you.

The manuscript for this book is due at the end of the year. December 31st, 2008. Those of you paying attention may remember that we’re having a baby in the middle of the process. How are we going to do that? We’ll find out.

But with our love of food and writing, and for each other, and both of us with powerful work ethics, I think we’ll be okay.

DANCING IN THE KITCHEN will be published in the early spring of 2010. (Perhaps even on Valentine’s Day.)

And after that?


As early as my 8th week of pregnancy, I knew I wanted to write about it. My relationship with food changed dramatically, seemingly overnight. And I don’t just mean the fact that I spent three months being nauseous, all day long. Instead, I felt for the first time that food was immediate and visceral. My body knows what I want to eat, right now. When I don’t eat — letting the day run faster than my chance to sit down and savor — Little Bean is the one who suffers. Every bite of food I eats helps to grow a human being. How is that possible?

FEEDING US will be a funny, touching community memoir. My essays will be the backbone of the book, but throughout will be a plethora of quotes and stories from other pregnant women, doctors, nutritionists, doulas, mamas, papas-to-be, etc. I’m amazed by how most pregnancy books leave the father out, other than a small section devoted to the dad, and how to calm his oafish nerves. The Chef will be throughout the story. This is a team effort.

Most pregnancy cookbooks, and standard lists given out by doctor’s offices, list foods forbidden to the pregnant woman. This book will explore the science behind those guidelines, and why most of them are worth questioning. (We have a team of doctors standing by.) Instead of avoiding certain foods, perhaps we can learn more about our food, where it comes from, and the people who make it for us. Most pregnancy books seem to suggest that the pregnant woman will suddenly develop a fondness for pastels and eat only pickles. But what if you love beef tenderloin done rare, arugula salads with caramelized pears, and warmed Luques olives with lemon zest and garlic before you decide to bring a baby into the world? What if you decide that, after a lifetime of eating junk food on the run, this time is the chance to finally learn how to eat well? Is it possible to be pregnant, aware that every bite helps to develop a baby, and still eat with relish and joy?

So of course, FEEDING US will be about food. But really, it will be about so much more.

FEEDING US will be not only filled with tips on what to eat and how to approach food, but also recipes for easy-to-make, healthy, appealing food. We will give guidelines for how to make your own baby food. How to cook together even when your stomach is so big you can barely reach the stove! FEEDING US will be funny, informative, and welcoming. And of course, the book will be entirely gluten-free, with certain essays dedicated to the joys of negotiating morning sickness with restricted foods. And how do you know if your baby can tolerate gluten? (Or another food to which you are allergic?)

And as is true for the cookbook, all the material in FEEDING US will be new. No repeated recipes or essays from this site. This one will be published in 2011. (And for those of you might ask, it is slightly terrifying to be working on a book for which I haven’t lived the ending yet. But exhilarating too.)

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. And we are grateful and singing.

Reasons for celebrating around here? You bet.

gluten-free lemon poppyseed cake II

LEMON-POPPYSEED CAKE, adapted from a recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Celebrations sometimes require cakes. When you're gluten-free, you might think your options are limited to boxed mixes that don't taste that good. Not true.

The Chef is unafraid to play with gluten-free cakes. He had so much baking experience before he encountered gluten-free flours that he throws his hands into the work, fearlessly. Last month at the restaurant, he served a lemon poppyseed cake, to much approval. The last week of the month, he switched to this recipe based on one by the amazing woman who created The Cake Bible. What's not to trust?

The esteemed Ms. Beranbaum suggested that this cake be made with a loaf pan (to be precise, a 8-inch by 4-inch by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan). I'm sure she's right, because the tight squeeze of the loaf pan would encourage this pound cake to rise higher. I used a round cake pan, because I baked it at the restaurant, and that's all the Chef had. As you can see, it's quite lovely, but also quite flat. No harm in that. Better for toasting the next day.

The cake itself is only faintly lemony, a little tingle at the back of the throat. If you wanted the cake to simply dazzle with lemon, add more zest and a bit of juice to the mix. We covered this cake with a tart lemon syrup (you can see the proportions for that here, in the original recipe), and it added a slithering puckery bite to the cake, which I quite liked. You could also try creme fraiche, whipped cream, or a fresh berry sauce.

You decide what best suits your celebration.

3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
13 tablespoons softened butter.

Preheating and preparing. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while mixing the batter. Butter the bottom of your cake pan and put down parchment paper to keep the bottom of the cake from sticking.

Mixing the liquids. Whisk the cream, eggs, and vanilla together, briskly. Set aside.

Blending the dry ingredients. Put all the dry ingredients into a Kitchen-Aid (or a bowl waiting for a hand mixer), including the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Make sure you blend them well.

Making the batter. Add the softened butter and half the cream-egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Let them blend together well for at least one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add one-half of the remaining mixture and blend. Scrape. Add the rest of the cream-egg mixture. Turn off the Kitchen-Aid.

Baking the cake. Slowly pour the cake batter into the cake pan. Smooth the top with the rubber spatula. Slide the cake pan into the oven. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, depending on your oven. You'll know the cake is done when a toothpick (or butter knife) comes out clean.

Feeds 10. (if they take dainty pieces)


At 10:25 PM, Blogger House of Jules said...

Shauna: I am SO happy for you two (three!)!!! It's kind of an odd sensation, being this excited for people I don't know other than besides the internet connection, but even if I did know you in "real" life, I could not be more ecstatic for you. Hope you guys come to Chicago on a book tour, if that's something you'd do after LB comes into the world.
House of Jules

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Kelsea said...

HOORAY!!!! Oh my goodness! I'm so excited! These books sound fantastic!

And thank you thank you thank you for the very large nod to Chefs. I am only 23 but have now been the chef at my own restaurant for 4 years and it's the hardest I've ever worked in my life. Hooray for chefs who scrub their own floors!!!

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Anita said...

hip-hip-HOORAY! congrats to you both.

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous beastmomma said...

Congratulations to you! I posted things to celebrate as well:

What a time to be alive!!!

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Alison said...

Shauna and Dan,
You are going to be busy (happy) people! I love the idea of learning the tricks of chefs... I don't know how many times I have thought to myself, "I wish I knew the the right way to cut an onion..."
So we'll see you at the Book Tour 2009 (or 2011)?
- Alison in SF

At 12:36 AM, Blogger Allison the Meep said...

Wheeeee! I'm so happy for both of you! You're awesomesauce and I am looking forward to reading both of your books.

And the lemon cake is definitely going to be whipped up in this house soon.

At 1:10 AM, Blogger Caitlin said...

Oh yes, oh *yes*, oh YES!!!

Your joy is so palpable. I savor it. I savor the life that you are creating, through this 2 dimensional window. Thank you for blessing the world in all these ways. (Oh my~ maybe, by the time FEEDING US is published, I'll be pregnant or on my way there!!! What joys are yet to unfold...)

At 2:12 AM, Anonymous emma said...

Happy anniversary Shauna! I just celebrated my first gluten free month (with my first gluten free cake), can't imagine what I'll feel like after three years!

At 3:29 AM, Anonymous carol said...

CONGRATULATIONS SHAUNA!!! this is great news and leaves us with much to look forward to in threes: little bean's arrival, dancing in the kitchen, and feeding us...and plenty of time to make room in the bookshelves to accommodate two to-eat-for books!! yippee!!


At 3:44 AM, Blogger Larc said...

And I so know about the 3 months of all-day sickness (it's not just in the morning!). Isn't it utter joy when that ends and you can just enjoy the pregnancy? Although, I was so happy to be preggers that I didn't even mind leaving my classroom every few minutes to visit the bathroom, and I have a feeling you are the same way.

Congrats again!

At 3:53 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

Gluten Free in Minnesota reporting for duty! I hope there are recpies to test, techniques to test, ingredients to try and track down, any kind of research and data you two might need. I am ready to deliver! I simply love the idea of both the books. Even this childless lesbian knows men are so left out of the whole baby business! Your book will surely give some long over due attention to the men. I am big fan of Rose Levy Beranbaums and have three of her books which I have not picked up since going GF. This post will get those books out in my kitchen.

At 4:11 AM, Anonymous Sarah said...

Congratulations, that is great news. What an amazing, wonderful thing for you to work together on something so special (or should I say somethings).

Perhaps someday, you might share more of your experience going from sick to gluten free and healthy to blogger to author. It's been an amazing journey to watch.

At 4:32 AM, Blogger Leigh said...

How fabulous!

I can't wait to read them! Do you guys ever make it to the midwest or east coast on the book tours?

Congratulations all around.


At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Bug's mama said...

Congratulations on your exciting news! I adore your book ( i just finished it) and I'm not even sure I can wait until 2010 for the new one! Your writing is so beautiful and i cannot wait to read more. thank you for sharing this, so we have something to look forward to.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger ~Kat~ said...

what beautiful news for you both! I have never in my gluten free life been able to see so far beyond the "substitute" foods than I have after reading your blog and your book.
I am happy to continue the journey with you .... and Chef now.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Julana said...

Congratulations on the book deals.
I just read your first book. My doctor advised me to go gluten-free last September. I did it for four months and felt great.
I've fallen off the wagon, partly because gluten-free was about cutting out familiar food, with few new additions--just more of the old rice and potatoes.
It is tough in this culture, to go gluten-free, if you don't have support. I need to invest in a few gluten-free cookbooks. I like the hard page. Cooking off a screen just isn't the same.

Looking forward to your books.

At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Your books sound wonderful! How exciting! Congrats on all the good stuff going on in your life. I'll def be checking out your pregnancy book.


At 5:59 AM, Blogger Lynn Barry said...

Good luck with the new books and the baby. HUGS

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Bruno said...

Oh my goodness! Congratulations! That post was so full of good news and general sunshiney happiness I just teared up at my desk.

At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Jen said...

Oh how fabulous! I'm one of your ( I assume many) readers that *can* eat gluten, but am drawn to your site on a near-daily basis by the fabulous foods, beautiful photos and warm stories about food, the Chef and the new surprise on the way. All the best to you!

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Sally said...

Congratulations on the book deals!
Will there be a good selection of vegetarian recipes? I happily don't eat meat for religious reasons, but I'm always looking for new things to cook.

At 6:53 AM, Anonymous Sho said...

Congratulations Shauna!!

TWO BOOKS, that is awesome. I see where this is going, you know. Can't you?

You are going to write wonderful gluten-free children's cookbooks/recipes one day. My children do not have to eat gluten-free (yet,) but I have to cook gluten-free at home. What some people don't understand is that the steam from the pasta will get me sick if it is from wheat pasta. Baking with wheat flour will also get me sick because it always manages to fly up in the air. So I have to cook gluten free at home, although my kitchen is not entirely gluten free.

I tell all my relatives that eating gluten free at my age is not so hard. As we get older, there are more foods we have to cut out of our diets. I am in my forties, and now is the time that a lot of people start eating low-salt or low-fat, etc. A lot of my friends have altered their diets as well, but not with gluten-free restrictions.

I think eating gluten free is hardest on the children. Most children have no dietary restrictions. Yes, more children are being diagnosed with food allergies, but it is still harder on the kids. Just imagine how hard it is on the kids who also follow a casein (milk protein) free diet as well as a GF diet...

At 7:10 AM, OpenID ginaperry said...

Congratulations!!! I love that these are great cookbook ideas first, and gluten-free second (or just silently perhaps). I think it's what I love best about your blog (and book) - that you shadow the occasional awkwardness of being gluten-free with the overall joy of eating well. I can't wait for both books, but of course, I will. Chef-tips for the average home cook - bring it on!

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Kitchen Vixen said...

I wondered what you were saving the blue cheese cheesecake for...!
You have no idea how inspiring you are.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Yummy - one of my favorite GF indulgences is a Lemon Poppyseed Muffin from Mariposa Gluten-free Bakery in Oakland!! It is delicious. I'll definitely try to make this cake one day. What exactly do you mean about toasting it the next day? Are you toasting slices? Can you toast slices from a pound cake or from a round cake pan?

At 7:41 AM, Blogger jbeach said...

Oh my goodness, I am so excited for you and for all of us who get to love and cherish these books! They both sound amazing. Congratulations!!

P.S. I'm extra super excited because I work at Wiley (Senior Production Editor in the culinary dept.) and I would be absolutely ecstatic to work on your book!!! I've been head over heels for your blog (and your first book!) for a while now and am almost through reading the archives. My friends all know your story through me. I have a GF friend who just commented to me the other day that she's so happy that I've taken such an interest in GF living. The truth is, I love feeding my friends and I want her to eat well.
I'm hoping if I can relay some of this enthusiasm to my manager, I'll be able to snag the project when it hits production...

Congratulations, again, to you and the Chef and LB! :)

At 8:02 AM, Blogger JessiferSeabs said...

I am crying reading this, becaue...

...never before have I read somebody write, so eloquently, exactly how I feel about food (Dancing In The Kitchen'esque)
...when I ended my 4 year, live-in relationship, it was after reading this blog and knowing that THIS kind of love was what i wanted... and I didn't have it.
... I think I just met the guy that makes me feel the way the chef makes you feel, and I can't stop smiling.

Thank you for sharing.

CONGRATULATIONS! I can't wait to read both books

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Katya said...

You know I just said to someone yesterday, I've been gluten free for 3 mos and what a difference. I never had the a-ha moment with the doctors. After countless visits and procedures and many negative test results, doctors still don't know what ails me. But I don't need a diagnosis. Going gluten free has dramatically changed my life. I don't feel sick after eating and I don't have any more of those embarassing and unexpected GI moments (which made for great dates!). Thank you for your website and to all the other gluten free bloggers who helped me to stick to my diet and to eat better than I've ever eaten before. I am truly thankful. Oh and I can't wait for your book Feeding Us to come out. My sister in law just had a baby and I'm sure, there are more babies in the works. You are already a great mama!

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Zoomie said...

I couldn't be more pleased for you three and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your titles! I read Gluten Free Girl for the joyous attitude you bring to your life rather than the food (although I love the food, too!) so I can say that your publishers just knew a great thing when they saw it!

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats. I'm so excited for you, and really looking forward to seeing the books! But I'm also gnashing my teeth. I can't wait until 2011 to have a baby! Darn those publishers and their long lead times. :)

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous meg said...

Oh dear. I can hardly wait to get my greedy little mitts on both of these books! Congratulations to you both, and continued success. :)

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Erin Elizabeth said...

Dancing in the Kitchen is now at the top of my To Buy list. Every time I come to this site, I feel so happy!

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous alison said...

congratulations! can't wait for the book to be the meantime, will just have to be content with your wonderful blog!

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous EB said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Oh I cannot wait till 2010! You will slip us a few previews yeah?

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Moriah said...

Shauna, congratulations on your momentous week. For your commitment to life and the living, your openness to your world and readers, you truly deserve all the good you get back. Thank you, and I wish you all the best in the coming months.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous melissa said...

Your exchange about the first gluten-free menu has me sniffling happy tears into my coffee, it's so sweet. What a powerful, loving moment where the unsaid (till you noticed) intentions and care speak volumes.

And congratulations on the book deals!

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous courtney said...

Isn't it so great when you get to mix the each of your special gifts, to do something together, that would be less than half of what it is if you tried to do it by yourself?

So exciting.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Shauna! Amazing news. I love the idea of the food & pregnancy book. (And the first book sounds great too.)


At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Dolores said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Dancing in the kitchen!! what a wonderful tittle!! I can't wait to see those books.. and as Sho said then a book of GF recipies for children!!!
WOW!! great news!! thanks!

At 10:42 AM, Blogger katie stone said...

this the best news i've heard in awhile. congrats to you--the universe always takes care of those who believe in the good!

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful, heartfelt writing in both the blog and the book(s).


At 10:50 AM, Blogger Anna Lee said...

I love Lemon Poppy Seed cakes. Thank you for the new recipe. I am so very excited to see your next two books. I love cooking for family, and for health, and also understanding the reasoning behind why. I do have a passion for food. I was wondering if there is a problem with the recipe index for the recipe of ravioli. I tried to click on it as I am trying to figure out how to do fresh pasta gluten free, but it comes back as not found. Thank you for your posts and your sharing. Can't wait to see how the next few years unfold. :)

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Dahlia said...

This post made me smile and made my eyes mist over. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your joys so exuberantly and abundantly. It makes me glad that you're in the world.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger LizKnits said...

Big congrats on the book! It sounds like it will be fabulous. I love the idea of food as inspired that you present.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger nicole said...

Congratulations! What marvelous news! However ... could anyone take 'dainty' pieces of that cake? It looks too good for that :)

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Yeaahhh!! Congrats to you both!

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Lauren said...

I can't wait! I want to own both of those book and I am not even dating let alone pregnant, nor am I a diagnosed celiac. Something is wrong with me but I don't know what it is. I have alot of mucus that will not move when I want it to. It constricts my breathing, one would think I was eternally allergic to something but I can't figure out what it is. so it affects my singing. That discourages me. singing is like eating ie breathing air...anyway, mynaturopathist tells me that I need to avoid gluten for now and I have not been perfect doing so, but it is almost fun for me to discover new gluten free wonders in the world of food. I read your book and enjoyed thoroughly watching you become born again into this joyous life. I live life very unhappy these days and quite discontent. my body hates me and I have to learn to love it out of shape and all so that I can really take care of it. I can never seem to be consistent. it drives me nuts. anyway, thank you for sharing your stories which only inspire me and many others to keep moving forward and open our eyes to the whole world of food. lauren

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Courtney said...

Congratulations! And so funny you posted this cake today. Not 5 minutes ago I pulled out my beloved Cake Bible and thought I may adapt my old favorite, the almond cake, to be GF. I'm using almond flour already. Can't wait to try it, and yours as well.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Bengali Chick said...

Congratulations sweetie!! I'm so happy for you and your little bean and of course the Chef!!!

P.S. I'm finally pregnant with my own little one:)

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I am so excited that you are writing a book about food and pregnancy. I came to your site because I am a dedicated food lover (with a soft spot for romantic stories). As an academic (just finishing up my Masters degree in Sociology) I have studied pregnancy and particularly pregnancy advice books (focusing on the inclusion of fathers) so I am very interested in your take on food in relation to pregnancy and on food restrictions. I can't wait until 2011!

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Congratulations to you both! I agree that there is a lot to celebrate - my husband just arrived home safely from Iraq last night, and I am so excited to try out this recipe for our own little celebration!

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous snowdancer said...

I'm 61 yr old woman who had her tubes tied years ago.Probably won't be pg when your new book comes out. I'll still buy it though because I enjoy trying your receipes and love what I am learning about love.I started reading this blog about Christmas. I thought it was for "me." A journey of closeness later, I discovered it was for my husband and I. Somewhere in the last 31 years, I had slipped into the I'm in a hurry "get it on the table" mode. I had forgotten (or never considered?) what I was preparing was a labor of love, a pay back of sorts to this man that has devoted his very life to me as I stuggled with poor health. I'm so much better after I learned to cook w/o gluten. (I really like learning about using fresh spices.) I can hardly wait to buy BOTH your books. Sign me up for the pre-sales! I'm excited for you!!!!

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am beyond joyful reading this! Dreams really do come true. Your journey towards loving life and food, and meeting the love of your life is so heartwarming..and inspiring! Congratulations to you and your family!

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Liz said...

Phew, congratulations doll! It sounds like tremendous work, but you both seem to approach life with such joy. I can't wait to buy your book and cook your food. I may not be gluten-free, but I like to think that your demographic is all-inclusive. :)

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous amanda said...

so very much to celebrate, my friend. Such joy and life and beautiful writing to come! Yay! xoxo

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Ruth Ruddock said...

Note from Wisconsin: 5/2/08
Oh, what a delight you are! I went to the library recently and discovered your book quite by accident...I am not gluten-free, but the book said "pick me up!!!!"
and I listened to it...I read it in bed all last weekend, and I devoured every word of it...and now I find that same sweet spirit in your writing on the blog!! What a joy to know that the story continues!!!! I will look forward to reading your new books, as well.
I have two grown children and a couple of grands wisdom tells me that those months of pregnancy were a miracle to be enjoyed, each day, until the big event finally arrives....and so I hope you will, too. Each day is a gift! You have so much joy ahead, and to think that you will share it with all of us...terrific!!!
I love the sound of the food, as you describe it...and the photos (I take photos of flowers)...thanks for helping me to appreciate and love the good things in life a little more.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Brooke (or Whimsy or HP) said...

congratulations to both of you!!! i can't wait to have not one, not two, but three of your books on our shelves!!

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

blessings and love for all your new projects! Looking forward to the receiAQpies z
ahh, baby at the key board. typing is dangerous with a 10 month old about

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mazel tov on the soon to be birth of 2 new books :-). For those of us with loved ones with diabetes, will the nutritional information per serving be provided? Many of our loved ones take insulin according to the grams of carbohydrates per serving, and often we factor in how much fat or protein there is as well.

I love your website. You are a treasure.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger DrB said...

How exciting!! So, so elated for the two of you... and for the rest of us who can share in your joy. :) Thank you, and, oh, how I look forward to those books!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

You mean I have to wait two years to eat blue cheese cheesecake with a fig crust???! 2 fricking years?! That's just mean!!!

Throw me a bone and publish that one early!!!!

(Oh, and congrats on all of your abundance and joy!!)

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Alisha said...

Congratulations on the new books! I've spent about 13 hours on trains over the past day and a half and right before I left I grabbed your book. And I was so glad -- I read the entire thing in two sittings.

At 6:00 AM, Blogger IslandBaby said...

What exciting times! I can hardly wait for the release of your two books...but especially Dancing in the Kitchen! Congratulations :)

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Congrats!! Can't wait to read your new books!! You two are so blessed to have each other!!

I made your lemon poppyseed cake!! WOW!! My family loved it, and requested me to make it into muffins, even before the cake was gone!!!

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news for the two of you.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Congratulations Shauna! I was diagnosed with Celiac disease this past October 1, 4 days before my 28th birthday. This weekend I had the energy to run my first (gluten-free) half-marathon (Indy 500 Mini). It was fabulous! I can't WAIT for the books - and of course to meet LB on your blog! Congrats!

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Samantha said...

Aw, congrats to you both! I am delighted to hear your big news, and look forward to hearing about the works in progress. :)

Also, that lemon cake makes me want to leave work early and go home and bake!

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could something be substituted for the dairy products and have the cake still be good? I can't eat gluten or dairy.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, that is so exciting! I am looking forward to them both, so much so that I am trying to figure out if when the husband and I hope to be pregnant by might coincide with when Feeding Us comes out!

-water sign

At 5:13 PM, Blogger sweetpea said...

I just took my cake out of the oven - OH I CAN'T WAIT for a bite. I am going to poke and pour the lemon syrup on the cake and then cover it with a glaze of lemon juice and powderd sugar. I love the pucker of lemon.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

How exciting! You do indeed have much to celebrate.

There is such a void in the area of nutrition in pregnancy. I have 4 children and each time devoured pregnancy books, trying to glean some sense and reasoning from them. Go, Shauna!

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Shauna - Yay! So much wonderful news! I cannot wait to read both these books.

If you haven't already, I think you'd probably love getting in contact with Nina Planck - her next book is on real food for babies. The way you wrote about Feeding Us reminds me quite a lot of how she talks about food. She's got contact info on her website (

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Tea said...

Congrats, my dear! I've known the good news for a while--of course--but just had to chime in. As long as the cheesecake recipe is included, then I'm happy. I still crave it.

It's wonderful to see your life and adventures continue to unfurl so beautifully. I'm thrilled for you, truly.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Sheltie Girl said...

Shauna - Congratulations! I can't wait to read your books.

Lovely recipe for lemon poppyseed cake too.

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten a Go Go

At 12:49 PM, Blogger anastasia said...

Hello! This is the first cake I've made gluten free. While cooking it rose like a souffle, and only needed 30 minutes. When it came out it fell and although tasting good, it was somewhat dense. Do you know what could have gone wrong? Thanks!

At 9:36 PM, Blogger terry said...

first of all, i can't believe it's already been two years since you met the chef. that's amazing to me.

and how exciting, the new books! my goodness, the thrills just don't stop for you two, do they?


At 1:37 AM, Blogger Geo said...

Oh, how excellent. More joy to the world! Hurrah! and congratulations to us all.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TWO books! Good for you! Better for us! I look forward to reading them, and am very glad ‘Feeding Us’ will be a team effort, since the pregnancy that’s inspiring it was too! I’m not pregnant and don’t plan on having children, but I love sharing in the experience of your pregnancy through your warm, lovely words and recipes.

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous bakerina said...

Oh, oh, oh. Gloriousness. :)

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Sanne said...

So I'll wait for 2011 before getting pregnant?! ;) Congrats on the book deals. I'm looking forward to publication.

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Sammee said...

That's great!
Congratulations...and what a perfect idea!

At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Longtime reader! Love the recipes. Just found one I'm hoping to try tonight.

Gluten free brownies <3

Keep up the good work!

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

I simply cannot wait! Your cookbooks are fantastic. You and the chef are a great inspiration. Thank you.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 15M old son that has struggled with digestive problems since he was 3 months old. We were sent to run tests...etc. We finally took him to a DO that was able to look at him nutrionally and suggest that he had a yeast/gluten problem. Within one week of changing his diet, which isn't easy to follow for a toddler, he was a different child!!! My husband owns an organic delivery service so we are already aware and passionate about good nutrition. It's so encouraging to hear others stories and life changes! Do you know of any good yeast-free sites/blogs? It has been difficult to find good resources. My e-mail is and my blog is


At 10:04 PM, Blogger Indian Summer said...

I know this is an older entry of yours, but I wanted to tell you I made this recipe tonight. It was sooooo good!! It's a definite keeper.

My 8 year old daughter had been suffering her whole life from digestive problems, but we were always blown off by the pediatrician. When she entered Kindergarten she started to have severe tummy aches. In first grade she missed 2 weeks of school total because of them. She fell asleep in class, was moody all the time, and then she broke her humerus (upper arm) simply by falling on it while running on the playground. The doctor we saw for the broken bone was concerned about calcium problems, even though my daughter loved her milk. The pediatrician had just been saying she was constipated all the time and it can cause tummy aches-- add some Miralax to her water. And that she was suffering anxiety from school (but she was happy at school).

Finally last May I took her to see my younger daughter's GI doctor. My younger daughter has a severe digestive condition not at all related to Celiac Disease (she needs a feeding tube, etc). We had focused more on her and less on my child with the tummy aches. The first thing the GI said after looking at her was that we needed to get her tested for Celiac Disease. Sure enough, the bloodwork came back positive, followed by a positive biopsy. The GI then tested my husband and I, and it turns out my husband has it, too! His symptoms are milder.

Well, I was never a confident cook and dinner for us used to be Hamburger Helper and frozen lasagna, so going GF was hard at first. Lately though, after getting bored with the packaged GF products I have started to cook from scratch! I have never cooked from scratch before, and I feel that in a way this Celiac diagnosis has shown me that I'm a much better cook than I ever dreamt I'd be, and I feel so good about that. Now I bring GF dishes to potlucks (so my family has something to eat) and people are like, wow, this is good!

I will be making this cake again on diagnosis day in May. Thanks for sharing not only your recipes but your life with us.


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