Tag Archives: fructose intolerance

Cupcake Confession

5 Jan

Disclaimer: Things are about to get personal.  And a little off topic.  I just need a moment to think (type?) out loud, and, in the process, explain my recent blogging inactivity.  Big ol’ venting session heading your way!  We will return to our usual cupcake reviewing program momentarily…I think.

Words to live by?

Cupcake Crusade is my happy place.  In a world full of stressors and pressures, this blog became my little bubble.  My little sugar bubble.  And when my full-time job situation found itself on shaky ground, arming myself with the mission to find THE best cupcake in the country gave me a renewed sense of purpose.  It was all in good fun, but I was passionate about it.  And, isn’t that what we always hear? – do what you love/makes you happy.  This was it!  I LOVE sugar!  I LOVE cupcakes!  I love roaming, wandering, exploring, and discovering a new cupcakery.  I love checking out out their decor, flavor combinations, packaging products, their mission statements and learning how they got their start.  And that first bite…so.much.fun!  Once Cupcake Crusade was up and running, pipe dreams of turning this into something more than a blog surfaced.  After years and years of uncertainty, maybe, just maybe, THIS could be what I was meant to do.  I just needed to stick with it, keep pouring my heart into it, enjoy the ride and see where it takes me!  Yet, here’s the kicker – I’m fructose intolerant.  (Oh, how it pains me to even type that.)

After a long year of illness, losing weight, no appetite, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and many many many tests, a wise doctor ordered a breath test that deemed me  fructose intolerant.  That was five years ago, and I gotta be honest, I’ve been floating down the river of denial ever since.  I just couldn’t accept it, I love sugar too much and could not (in any way, shape, or form) imagine removing sugar from my diet.  From my life?!  Just not possible!  Like telling a fish it’s allergic to water.  Maybe that’s all little extreme, but it’s kinda how I felt.  Especially since fructose is in a lot of stuff!  Now, I didn’t ignore this diagnosis completely.  I made some changes to my diet, ones that didn’t make me cry at night.  I cut out sodas and everything that had high-fructose corn syrup (sometimes I really do miss a cold Coke though).  I reduced my daily sugar intake, and would try to eat any sugary treat on a full stomach.  I switched from regular milk to almond milk.  I cut out fruit juices and some fruits (this is when things started getting harder), like apples, grapes, pears, and OJ. (I still miss fruit leather!)  Some fruits can be tolerated like bananas and some berries, but it’s all trial-and-error.  I still have so much to learn.  I don’t feel like a completely different person, but I do feel better.  Much better.  I’m not getting sick nearly as much, I gained weight and my appetite.  But as this blog will reveal, I still eat mucho sugar.  And my body is still fighting me over it.

Like many, I rang in the new year with hopes of restoring health.  I reeeeeally want to get my diet on track.  Because, even though I feel better than I did five years ago, I’m still struggling with lack of energy, mood swings, and even moodier skin (ugh!).  Since I feel like I’ve tried everything else, searched high and low for ANY other solution, I’m now (slowly, reluctantly, and a little sadly) ready to sit down with this fructose intolerance thing and look it in the eyes.  So this is where my inner struggle lies ~ I LOVE sugar.  But my body does not.  I LOVE my quest to find the perfect cupcake and blogging about the journey makes my heart happy.  But my body pushes back.   And that makes me sad.  What’s a sugar sensitive, cupcake-lover to do?

My dad suggested a spittoon.  Any other ideas?

Thanks so much for hearing me out!

Starting the New Year on Cloud 9

7 Jan

Something about ringing in the new year brings out the little girl in me.  No matter how old I am these days, I still hope that my celebration will involve at least one of the following:

-confetti

-a sparkly dress

-festive finger foods

This year, my husband and I were invited to feast and count down to 2011 with our cool neighbors.  When I got the invite I was running errands in Roswell and drove past Cloud 9 Frozen Yogurt & Cupcakes.  Ah Ha!  Cupcakes = festive finger food WITH confetti on it!  I went in and purchased four cupcakes…and then counted down to the count down.  I’m not sure people realize how challenging it is for me to 1) to be left alone with cupcakes and 2) to be patient, especially when it comes to eating 🙂  But I did it and the evening turned out to be most enjoyable.  After all was said and done, I was crawling into bed at 1 am, smelling like campfire and frosting – 2011 was off to a great start!

Back to the cupcakes!  We ended up splitting the cupcake in fours, so that we all got to sample each flavor.  Here’s what we thought:

-Birthday Cake (funfetti cake, vanilla buttercream, confetti-like sprinkles): good cupcake, not too sweet and fresh cake.

-Black & White (chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream, more confetti-like sprinkles): same as above

-Strawberry (strawberry cake, strawberry cream cheese frosting): Tasty, fresh cake.  Not overly strawberry-flavored.   But do note, it’s a strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I personally prefer strawberry buttercream, but hey, that’s just me.

-Cookies & Cream (chocolate chip cake, Oreo cream cheese frosting)*:  The unanimous favorite!  The cake was insanely soft and spongy, and the chocolate chips on the bottom were appreciated.  Good stuff here!

*Some readers may remember my post a few months back about my fructose-intolerance.  Well, after I had these cupcakes I had a sneaking suspicion that fructose may have been an ingredient.  Turns out Oreo cookies, in the Cookies & Cream cupcake frosting, have high-fructose corn syrup in them.  Just a heads-up for other fellow fructose-intolerant comrades out there.

Let’s break it down now!

Cloud 9 Frozen Yogurt & Cupcakes / 1195 Woodstock Road (Super Target Shopping Center) / Roswell, GA / www.cloud9roswell.com  

1. Price: $2.75 each / $30 dozen

2. Room temperature:  Yes, these treats are ready to rock n’ roll.

3.  Size:  Standard, a generously sized standard.  Generously frosted too – score! 

4. Vegan or gluten-free options: You can special order gluten-free, but have to get them by the dozen ($30 per dozen).

5. To-go packaging:  Cardboard box with dividers inside and logo on top.

6. Milk for sale?:  It’s not on the menu, but if you ask they might be able to get you a cupful.  On the menu – coffee, hot chocolate, sodas, and water.  They did have the water pitcher and cups out for self-serve water, which I always appreciate.  It’s the little things, you know?

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:   Frozen yogurt -lots of flavors and toppings to choose from.  Plus, they had this “yogurt cake bottom” thing to put at the bottom of your yogurt cup -to get the get the best of both worlds (I’m guessing).  Cloud 9 is really like two shops in one, catering to two hot trends right.

8.  Ambiance:  Airy and fun.  Calming periwinkle blue walls, sleek blue and white seating, modern, cloud-like light fixtures…On one wall, they displayed entries from a cupcake coloring contest, which added charm and a sense of community.

9. Service:  The word dedication pops into my mind.  I first encountered their dedication when I was leaving the art store (in the same shopping center as Cloud 9).  A Cloud 9 employee was coming in with a tray full of mini cupcake samples, and he let me have one!  Then, once inside Cloud 9 the other employee seemed genuinely happy to see and help me.  Plus, the place was spotless.  You can tell that Cloud 9 takes pride in what they do.

*Nice feature – you can order cupcakes on their website (1 dozen minimum) and they can custom create yogurt and cupcake flavors to “enhance any themed event”.

So, to sum it all up I’d say I truly enjoyed my trip to Cloud 9.  Cool decor and excellent customer service.  The cupcakes, although quite tasty, didn’t make the cut for Top 10.  The Cookies & Cream did come pretty darn close to placing though.  It’s still worth a visit; I think kids especially will get a kick out of all the sugary options to choose from!

*Thank you L & L for the fun night, your wonderful hospitality, and the delicious food!

UPDATE (2/2/2010):  So I went back to Cloud 9 after suggestions to try their Red Velvet cupcakes, hearing that it was better than Georgetown Cupcake’s version.  My friend, Beatrix, joined me on this mission to revisit Cloud 9 and we had a grand time sampling new flavors.  While the Red Velvet was good (the cakes was very fresh with a nice flavor, and wasn’t the scary shade of red), I’m afraid that (at this time) Georgetown Cupcake is still my favorite red velvet cupcake maker.   I WILL say, though, the Snowball cupcake we had a Cloud 9 was AWESOME!  A (fresh!) vanilla cake with soft coconut buttercream (just the right amount), topped with shredded coconut.  I want another one…right now…maybe one every day.  With this kind of reaction, I’m thinking this lovely cupcake deserves a spot on the TOP 10!   Beatrix had the Salted Caramel and really enjoyed it, too.  She was licking the wrapper, which I never see her do! 

Cloud 9 Frozen Yogurt and Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Amazing Costco Cupcake, Part II

24 Jul

Well, when I got home from work yesterday I was secretly hoping that Steve was able to sneak out an extra cupcake for me.  So when I walked into the kitchen and saw this GINORMOUS cupcake (waiting patiently for me) on a napkin, I was elated and gave him a ginormous hug!  See, as I traveled home with the Costco cupcake on my mind, I realized that obtaining a sample would prove a bit more taxing than I had energy for.  We’d have to get in the car and drive to Pentagon City.  And, did we have a current membership to Costco?  Then the big question…could I just buy one, or, what seems to be my current standard of four?  Or was I going to be coming home with a pack of 36 cupcakes Costco-style?   So having that one cupcake already in my possession and ready for the eatin’ – cue the elation!

As I said, this puppy was huge!  But should I have expected anything less from Costco?  Bulk is their claim to fame, right?  So I’d say this cupcake was bulky!  No complaints from me though, the more cupcake there is to eat the better!

 

When I first learned about Steve’s cupcake encounter, I had asked a few questions about it like what type of cake (his reply: “yellow”) and what type of frosting (his response: “the good kind”).  So, post-consumption, here’s what I have to say about it…

-It took me a good 10 minutes to eat this thing.

-Colorful and cute sprinkles. 

-It was indeed yellow cake and good frosting.  It tasted just like sheet cake.  Spongy cake, but no serious vanilla punctuations.  And sweet, sweet white icing. 

I used to be a huge fan of store-bought sheet cake, I mean I could make a serious dent in one of those things.  So I was scratching my head why I wasn’t as enamored with this cupcake as Steve was.  Despite the mega sugar coma I was now swimming in, I think I figured it out!   About two years ago, I found out that I was fructose intolerant.  This was quite disappointing news considering how much I LOVED sugar and fruit.  But changes had to be made in my diet, and I had to eliminate all things with fructose (obviously), high fructose corn syrup, and anything with a high sugar content.  Even though it was a great challenge for me, I eventually realized there was a silver lining to it all.  I was eating more natural and less processed foods.  And over time, I suppose my palette changed.  Hence, the lost love for store-bought sheet cake.   Admitting that just now, is kind of  bittersweet.  I have such fond, fond memories of sheet cake.  I’m likening this moment to when you’ve realized you’ve outgrown Saturday morning cartoons or trick-or-treating.   *sigh*

Anyways, back to the cupcake crusade mission!  If you like sheet cake, you’ll love this cupcake.  It’s really two cupcakes (maybe even three) in one!  I’m afraid I can’t apply the breakdown here because I didn’t buy it.  It was room temp. though, and I’m assuming you could get like a 5-gallon jug of milk to wash it down.  That’s the beauty of Costco!  For me, my search for the most wonderful, fall-to-your-knees cupcake confection continues!