Farewell Pam & Happy Birthday Kristin!

At the end of May, my good friend Pam moved back to Wisconsin. Pam and I started working at the same school in 2009. Both of us had moved from out of state and were completely new to Georgia. She became a great friend and a great exercise partner.. We would meet for walks, talk the whole time, and 9 miles later realize how far we had gone. When I was training for my marathon, she met me at mile 8 on my 18 mile run and ran the last 10 with me. That's a true friend!
Before she moved, Brian and I made a farewell dinner/birthday dinner for Kristin. It was so yummy. The highlight was definitely the gluten free strawberry cake. SO GOOD. In case you're interested, here's the recipe!

Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cake
free of gluten and soy (and easily dairy-free)
adapted from Gingerlemongirl.com

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or tapioca starch/flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup - 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan. Brush with coconut oil and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix together sugar and fresh strawberries until they are fully coated in the sugar (this will help keep the strawberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Add the egg whites, almond milk (or coconut milk), coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk wet ingredients together thoroughly. Slowly stir in dry mixture a little at a time, until it's thoroughly mixed into the wet ingredients. Pour cake batter evenly between the two greased cake pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce package) cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

*This could easily be made dairy free if you substitute coconut whipped cream for the frosting.

Top cake with additional fresh strawberries if desired.

**Cake is best when refrigerated for several hours before serving. Store cake in the refrigerator as it is quite moist and will not keep well on the counter. 

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