It was a beautiful day… The End.

Let me back up a bit

The morning after the last wedding post, I get a message:

“Where’s the end of the story?” “You’re not going to leave us there in sub-zero temps and gale force winds, are you?”“What about the cake? The desserts? The Midnight Breakfast…..”

Actually, I fully intended to come back and do the last who ha on the wedding.
Only, my fridge was awash in wedding food… and I’d kinda crispy crittered myself on the marathon cooking jag… and Jane was already tired of eating things she really didn’t want.

… so I waited a week before I even started to think about this last trip to the beach. And then I got involved in fifteen other things.


But before I get to my own contributions, I’m all for paying it forward.
I want to acknowledge some of the other people and things that came together in just a great big ball of good karma to make this event such a success.

Photos –

The above non-food photos are the work of Diane Douglass, who did such a fab job of juggling Matron of Honor duties while snapping some great shots. Please visit her site and give her a little love.

The Cake – 

The Wedding Cake (no, I didn’t do it – I know my limitations) was a three layer / three flavor masterpiece. A base of Carrot Cake, A Chocolate Center Layer and a Vanilla Topper. And yes – it was special diet friendly. Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Vegan… and utterly delicious!

This was the work of Mark Fitchpatrick Designs, who worked wonders in creating a cake that could be enjoyed by all the guests, and making it so it could be transported the 400 miles in a car to the wedding.

Check him out and give him some business.

The Help –
A humongous thank-you to Jim – Lorie McNeil and Torie Greer at the Indian Pass Raw Bar for all their help with the rehearsal dinner  – and –  for supplying the extra server hands we needed at the last minute. You guys rock! If you’re ever down in Port St Joe, Fl – go eat some oysters with them!
And another nod to all the guests, bridesmaids, and passerbys that pitched in and got the tent, flooring, and tables ready in such short notice due to the previous night’s horrendous weather conditions
And the biggest thank-you to Josh, my helper. 6 – 18 hour workdays in a cramped apartment kitchen hunched over a counter prepping all the food (even though I hooked you into it by telling you it was only a couple of hours work… )  I couldn’t have done it without you.

The People of Kinard, Florida –
and this is why. This is a reprint of a post I did just after we got in to Cape San Blas back in October of 2011, it bears retelling:

24 hours later and I’m still reeling. Last night on the way to the beach with a Car Load of perishables … We broke down in the middle of nowhere, just out of reach from any cell tower…it was grim. Out of the car stops to help.. Then 2..3 In all, 9 people stop to see if we needed help. The last car was the Kinard Fire Chief and his wife on their way to church for Sunday night service. They, like all the rest, asked if they could help… My alternator had blown so I asked if he knew a mechanic and if he possibly knew of one in the area. As it turned out, we were in the front yard of one and another lived across the road. They jump started my car to get it limping, carried it to their garage, took Tracy, the Bride and my travel partner, 30 miles away to get a new alternator, and replaced the damaged part. All of them refused to take any money for their time and efforts. In an hour, they had us completely repaired, checked the rest of the car out and had us on our way! GOD bless the wonderful people of Kinard and bless the unbelievable kindness of strangers. This is an event I will never forget.. And may good will and love shower the wonderful people of that small community.

Okay, back to the story…
As good luck would have it, the bone-chilling high winds began to subside just before noon, which made an early set of of the event difficult at best. Whipping tent flaps, blowing sand, and portable tables that morphed into 50 pound kites sending people running for cover was just the ticket for the start of a very long day.
But, as I said, things did die down, the clear Florida autumn skies cleared and warmed the day up beautifully.
And, by five o-clock, things couldn’t have been more perfect.
The wedding was picturesque The dinner went on schedule. And then it was time for dessert…

Desserts for a crowd are tricky. Desserts for a diverse diet crowd – trickierier. Since I needed to make something everyone could eat – other than a fruit bowl – took a little research.
I came up with:

Gluten Free / Lactose Free “Cream Cheese” Brownies
Makes 12 Brownies
6 Ounces Gluten Free Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (Get themHERE)
1/2 Cup Non Dairy margarine, Use Smart Balance (You can use Fleishman’s Unsalted, but be aware, it does contain corn… if you’re sensitive to it)

2 Extra Large Eggs (or 2 large Eggs + 1 yolk)
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar – Packed
1/2 Cup Fine Almond Meal
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste – or 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 8 Ounce Tub of Tofutti Tofu Sour Cream
1 8 Ounce Tub of Tofutti Tofu Cream Cheese
1 – 12 Bin Muffin Tin
1 Large Mixing Bowl
1 Small Micro safe Bowl
Stand Mixer
Cooking Spray
9 x 12 x 2 Baking Pan
1/2 Cup Rough Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Gluten Free Chocolate Chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease the pan with cooking spray – set aside
  • Melt the 1st chips and the “butter” in the microwave on high… check every 30 seconds until the chips are completely melted – stir well and set aside
  • In the mixer, beat the eggs until light and airy, add the sugar and beat again until they are well combined.
  • Add in the cocoa, almond meal and the rice flour a little at a time until all are combined
  • Add in the vanilla, xanthum gum and baking soda and mix well
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add in the chocolate mixture and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and shiny
  • Beat the cream cheese and sour cream together
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan
  • Pour the cream cheese mixture zig-zag across the top and run a knife though it a couple of times to drag it through the brownie mix
  • Top each cup with a little of the chopped walnuts and a couple of chocolate chips
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 28 to 30 minutes or until the top is glossy and crackly
  • Cool in the pan on wire racks
  • Cut into 12 squares
  • These can be packed into large freezer bags and stored for up to a month

Gluten Free Lactose Free
 Friands (Financiers)
Makes 6 Large or 12 “muffin” sized Friands

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Almond Meal
4 egg whites
5 Ounces Butter Substitute
1/4 Cup Blueberries
Powdered Sugar for Dusting
6 Small Baking Tins
Large Mixing Bowl

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F. 
  • Grease mini tins. Set aside
  • Combine sugar, rice flour and almond meal in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Add the egg whites and stir well with a spatula. 
  • Melt the “butter” and add it to the mix, stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Pour the batter in the tins to 3/4 full
  • Press 4 to 5 blueberries into each cake tin.
  • Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. 
  • Test the cake by skewering a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean the cake is ready.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and cool in tins for about 4 minutes. 
  • Gently turn the cakes out of the tins and cool on a wire rack.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.
  • To store, keep friands in a air-tight container for up to a week.

Gluten Free / Lactose Free
Serves 8
4 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Amaretto
16 Ounces Tofutti Cream Cheese (Better Grocer’s Health Food Case will have it)
2 Cups Brewed Espresso Coffee (+ 3 Tablespoons of sugar dissolved in it)
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
40 Gluten Free Lady Fingers (if you can’t find Lady Fingers – Substitute 1 store bought GF Cake cake cut into 40 – 1″ x 2″ x 4″ pieces)
1 Heat-proof Bowl
1 Medium Bowl
1 Large Saucepan
1 Whisk
A Couple of spatulas
1 – 9″ x 4″ Pyrex Loaf Pan

  • In the heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until light and fluffy
  • Add the sugar and whisk to combine
  • Set the large sauce pan on medium high heat with 4 cups of water – Bring to a boil
  • Lower the heat to medium
  • Set the egg bowl over the boiling water and lightly whisk until the custard begins to thicken
  • Remove from the heat and set aside
  • By hand, whip the cream cheese and coconut milk until it’s smooth and creamy
  • Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and beat until smooth and creamy


  • Add the amaretto to the the espresso, and transfer to a shallow bowl so that its easy to work with
  • Divide the lady fingers in half – half for each layer
  • Quickly dip each of the lady fingers for the first layer into the espresso and arrange into a single layer across the bottom of the Pyrex dish – Work quickly, you don’t want the lady fingers to soak up too much of the espresso, or they will be impossible to work with.
  • With a spatula,spread half the custard mixture over the layer of soaked cake
  • Repeat the soak and layering with the second half of the lady fingers
  • Spread the rest of the custard on the top of the layer
  • Sift cocoa powder over the top of the  assembled dish
  • Cover and Chill in the Fridge for at least one hour.

And then there was breakfast.
When we first started planning the wedding, one of the things Tracy was adamant about was a late-night breakfast for any of the few hanger-on-ers that may have had a bit too much celebration. so, at 1:00 am, Josh and I set of a french toast station and cooked bacon, scrambled eggs and gluten free french toast for around 40 people. (Something I wasn’t expecting… I was thinking 12… mayby 20)
The glorious thing… french toast pulls together quick.. so I could have second , third, tenth batches ready while the others were cooking.
I wont do pictures here… french toast is french toast – and this was pretty much a no-frills meal.

Gluten Free French Toast
Serves 6 to 8
1 Loaf Udi’s GF Loaf Bread
(I used Udi’s because it’s incredibly dense and holds up well to a lot of wet soaking)
6 Large Eggs
3 Cups Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tub Smart Balance Light
Maple Syrup
Large Mixing Bowl
Large Pyrex Baking Dish

  • Beat together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  • Lay the bread in the dish in 2 layers
  • Pour the batter over the bread and allow to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Melt a teaspoon of “butter” on the griddle for each slice and griddle-cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. (you want the egg batter to create a crispy brown lace crust on each side)
  • Serve with Pure Maple syrup, fluffy scrambled eggs and rashers of bacon…. Guaranteed to soak up any of that left over wine.