Quarantine, Gluten-Free Cooking, and Keeping the Kids Happy.

Well, what a whirlwind these past couple weeks have been, huh? Covid-19 has really flipped life upside down. One day the whole world just stopped and now we are all stuck at home trying to online shop for everything including our food. I haven’t had much luck getting a time slot for grocery delivery, so, unfortunately, I’ve had to brave the stores. I choose to do my shopping at Whole Foods because they seem to be the best stocked in my area, and also because they have decided to pay their employees more during this time. I think that’s cool and commendable, so that’s where I meander. They also have a really great system to only let a certain number of people into the store at a time, and as with many other stores, allow seniors to shop an hour before the store opens.


Being a gluten-free family during a crisis like this has been a challenge. Everything in the gluten-free section at Aldi and Target was totally wiped out when I attempted to shop in the mayhem before this started. I understand that other families need to eat gluten-free as well, and are afraid to be without gluten-free products as it can cause health issues, however, hoarding these products has given my family the problems they were afraid to face. Hoarding is not the answer, folks. It only hurts everyone else who is also in need.

The good news is that Whole Foods had plenty of gluten-free pasta, loaves of bread, and frozen pizza (items my daughters go bonkers for) this past week, so I grabbed a few. I also picked up some gluten-free flour (cup for cup) to make my own tasty treats.


I usually take cookbooks out from the library to try out their recipes and review them here. Unfortunately, all of the local libraries are closed (as they should be!). So that means I have to take what I have learned and create my own recipes.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 12.59.53 PMOne of my favorite cookbooks to date that I’ve learned to cook with was The Italian Country Table. The flavors and the stories in the book were amazing. (I never knew sausage and peppers was once deemed a wedding meal!) I also come from a large, extended Italian family that I am very proud of. So when I had some leftover ricotta and lemons, I knew exactly what to make: a gluten-free lemon ricotta cake!

If you’ve never experienced the warm fluffy goodness of a lemon ricotta cake, you are definitely missing out, and this gluten-free version does not disappoint. The kids gobbled it up and I might have had three pieces too many myself. Imagine if cheesecake and pound cake had a baby, that would be ricotta cake. It is dense yet fluffy, light and moist. It’s just the perfect dessert and if lemons aren’t your thing, so many different flavors can be used in the basic recipe (just omit the lemon and replace it with blueberry, raspberry, cocoa powder and/or espresso powder… whatever you want!)

Here’s my killer recipe:

Lemon Ricotta Cake: Serves 12

Nutrition facts per slice: Calories: 351, Total fat: 14.3g, Saturated fat: 9g, Cholesterol 41.6 mg, Sodium: 188mg, Total carbs: 50.9, Dietary fiber: 1.9g, Sugars: 26g, Protein: 5.5g

¾ cup salted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
12 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1/8 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups cup for cup gluten-free flour
powdered sugar for dusting top of the cake (optional)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan using butter and powdered sugar; set aside.
-In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the ricotta cheese and blend until light and fluffy, (about 4 minutes.)
-Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Then mix in the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking soda. Lastly, add in the flour and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to mix thoroughly.
-Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
-Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing the collar and base of the pan. Cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Slice and enjoy!

I’m not sure how much longer we will need to be hunkered down like this, but I know my family is starting to get a little stir crazy. We usually keep to a strict routine in our home regardless of quarantine or not, and that is something that works in our favor. Homeschooling has surprisingly been a breeze. But my poor daughter has already read through her entire bookcase of books (multiple times) and the past few days have been rainy, so going outside wasn’t high on their priority list. I decided to scroll through good old Google to find crafts we could do in the house, and I came across marker watercolor painting. Easy, virtually no mess, and it’s super fun!

Here is the “painting” my daughter and I did together.


Happy eating and crafting! Drop me a comment and let me know how the cake turned out!

Stay sane, America. 🙂


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