Graduation!

Guess who’s high school’s newest graduate? This girl!

graduation

I’m so happy to finally be done! I am free. I made it. It doesn’t quite feel real yet; it’s still sinking in that I am now a college student, not a high school student. I have New Student Orientation at UDel in less than a week. I keep having to stop and remind myself that this is actually happening and I’m not dreaming!

Anyway, after the graduation ceremony, which was very nice, I was faced with the difficult decision of where we would go for our celebratory dinner. Actually, it wasn’t that difficult—kind of a no-brainer really—Earth Pizza! I got the Four Cheese Sundried pizza, which had their special cheese blend, goat cheese, parmesan, sundried tomatoes, and (extra) roasted garlic. And let me just say, pizza is the best celebration. It was delicious! I also mixed it up and got the Chicken Tenders as an appetizer and those were awesome. But since I’ve already reviewed Earth Pizza and shared my dear love for it, we’re gonna talk about the delicious food we had at my graduation party.

So on Sunday, my family and I had a little party to celebrate with everyone. And obviously the ever important part of having a party is what food to serve. Since we all know I have a  slightly obsessive love for pasta, that is obviously what we had to make! We made penne vodka, which consisted of the two very difficult steps of cooking a bag of Tinkyada penne, and pouring Victoria Vodka Sauce over it. A lot of work, I know. My mom also grilled up some chicken and made a nice little salad to have with it. It all was wonderful!

And now, even more important, dessert! My mom made one of my favorite cakes, Strawberry Shortcake. Strawberry Shortcake always feels so summery and fresh and light to me. And it’s always delicious! For the cake, we used Wegman’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix. All you need is 4 tablespoons softened butter, a large egg, and 2/3 cups of milk. Then just cream your butter and 1/2 a cup of the cake mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, then add the rest of the cake mix, egg, and milk, and combine it all together.  Then pour it up in the pan of your choosing (we used a big 9×11 pan since we were serving a bunch of people) and bake it for 35-38 minutes in a 350° oven. After the cake is totally cooled, it’s time for the topping! We whipped up our own fresh whipped cream to put on the cake (which is seriously a hundred times better than the stuff in the can). All you have to do is use about 8-10 ounces of heavy cream, about a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and powdered sugar to taste and whip it with an electric mixer. I could literally just eat this all day straight out of the bowl. It’s just heavenly. So after you’ve resisted eating it all before it even hits the surface of the cake, spread it all over the top evenly. Then slice some strawberries and lay them all over on top of the whipped cream!

gluten free strawberry shortcake

Another option for this cake assembly would be to make two smaller round cakes and put them on top of each other with whipped cream and strawberries in between and on top. No matter how you put it together, it’s going to be amazing. I am crazy for this cake. I’m literally eating a leftover slice as I write this. It somehow feels like a healthy version of cake, probably because it’s a little lighter with the whipped cream and fresh strawberries instead of a sweet, heavy frosting.

Overall, I celebrated my graduation with some pretty awesome food. And what better way to celebrate is there than with that? I can’t wait for this next chapter of my life at the University of Delaware. It’s going to be so exciting and new and fantastic! And I am so ready for it. I will now leave you with a picture of my decorated graduation cap that I love. 🙂

graduation cap

Just to let you guys know, next week I will be heading off to Europe for my cruise (YAY), and I’m not sure if I will be able to post anything in that time, so it may be a while til you hear from me next, but I can’t wait to share my stories from the trip!!

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Nothing Bundt Cakes

nothing bundt cakes gluten free

My birthday was about two weeks ago, and one of my best friends got me a mini gluten free bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes! That’s the kind of friends you need—the ones that buy you gluten free cakes. I’d heard that this bakery makes gluten free cakes, but I never tried them before. Which is why I was so happy when she handed me the brown paper bag with a big “Nothing Bundt Cakes” sticker on it! She got me the chocolate chip cookie flavor, which was a perfect choice. I’m not sure what other flavors they have; according to their website, you have to contact your local bakery to find out what gluten free products are offered. Unfortunately, because they also make gluten-filled bundt cakes, they are not prepared in a gluten free environment, and this is clearly stated on the packaging. So there is a chance of cross contamination, but I didn’t have any problems.

nothing bundt cakes gluten free

This was the cutest little cake I’ve ever seen. I mean come on, a mini bundt cake? Adorable. The cake itself was amazing! It was soft and moist and the flavor was wonderful. My only complaint is the icing. While delicious (it was cream cheese icing), it was just a little too sweet for my taste, but that’s just because I’m not that into really sweet things. I imagine this wouldn’t be a problem for most people, or anyone with a big sweet tooth. Overall, this was probably one of the best gluten free cakes I’ve had. The consistency was just awesome. The chocolate chips were a little crunchy inside, so they gave it a little different texture. This bundt cake was pretty close to perfection.

nothing bundt cakes gluten free

Hopefully some time soon I can go to my local Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery to check it out for myself! I’m curious about any other flavors they may have. They also make a couple different sizes (which you can see here), so it would be cool if they made a full size gluten free bundt cake that a bunch of people could share at a party or event. There are so many Nothing Bundt Cakes locations; I would definitely recommend heading to one closest to you! 🙂

(Find your local Nothing Bundt Cakes)