gluten-free Mexican hot chocolate cakes for Valentine’s Day

You all blow me away.

This past week has been extraordinary, for a number of small reasons. However, mostly it’s because my life has been imbued with your love stories.

Every day, I have been coming here to publish comments and ended up in tears. Happy tears, mind you. Your vulnerability, generosity, and humor has lifted me — and all the countless others who have been reading — out of these bleak mid-winter grey days.

(The sight above helped too. One of our neighbors down the road put a small red heart up on the grass so everyone could see it on the way into town. Valentine’s Day may be sold as a hokey holiday, but it’s really just a day to talk about love, unabashedly. This small gesture made my day.)

What I love most about all those stories you left in the comments is how quirky, individual, and unexpected every single love story is. Anyone who falls for the Hollywood-swoony version of romance is set up for disappointment. (“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” — William Shakespeare) When we open ourselves to something stumbly and imperfect, we’re changed.

Thank you to everyone who shared, so openly, your stories of love. I have heard from many people that you made their week brighter too.

If you have not gone over to the post and read all the love stories, make some time and sit down. Every single one of them is a gift.

I’ll be honest. When we first thought of asking for your love stories, we thought of it as a way to promote our cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. After all, it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, right? We gathered other cookbooks, baking supplies, and books with great love stories. All to remind you that you should buy our cookbook.

You know what? We couldn’t do it. After reading the first day’s comments, Danny and I both agreed that choosing some at random and awarding prizes cheapened the whole thing. Your generosity was so astonishing that it would have felt tacky to give away stuff on top of this. We’ll find ways soon to share some good stuff.

For now, we want to just keep spreading this love. Here are some of the incredible blog posts people wrote in response to our call for love stories:

Our fabulous friend Irvin at Eat the Love told the story about he and AJ met, along with a recipe for Bourbon Caramel Rice Crispy Treats with Dark Chocolate

Diane at The Whole Gang wrote about meeting her terrific husband

Krystle at Krystle’s Karma tells the story of her imperfect love

Kylie of Thin Crust, Deep Dish tells the exhilarating story of her engagement

Gwen of Tea and Vino tells her hurricane love story

My dear friend Tamiko of Kiku Girl shares her love story with Josh, for babygirl C on the eve of kindergarten, and for babygirl M

Monique in Texas wanted to share this love story from No Greater Joy Mom

Elizabeth from Retinal Perspectives shares her love for her puppy

Not Ibid reminds us to cherish the person who appreciates us the most

Diana from No Rhyme or Reason writes about how they met, the wedding (part 1), and the wedding (part 2)

Diana Banana shares the joy of being with someone who pushes you to be as healthy as you can

My dear friend Brooke shares her kitchen love letters to her husband

Robyn from Pre-Sifted shares the beauty of someone making her grits

Allison of Your Every Color shares the details of her love

Niki of Life in Recipes writes about the calm contentment of true love

Emily of Revolving Mama writes about landing in love

Erin of Mysteries Internal writes about a simple act that reveals so much caring

Wonderful Jenn of The Whole Kitchen writes a love story in letters

Emily of Nomnivorous wrote a love letter to New York City

Lovely Allison of Sushi Day shares her love story with Son

The wonderful Smith Bites writes about her love, along with beer and quinoa pancakes

Thank you, all of you. Your generosity amazes me.

(And if you wrote a post, and I didn’t include it here, please let me know. I’ll add it in.)

Clearly, there are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

When I was younger and single, I could never have imagined that my favorite Valentine’s Day would involve making a mess in the kitchen with my daughter and eating cheese and crackers in the dark with my husband.

We had a power outage last night. The winds whipped around the house, howling, after torrential rain. Lu was asleep in her bed and I was sautéing onions on the stove for the oxtail potpie I was making Danny for dinner as a surprise. Without warning, the house went dark. I looked up, then went to the junk drawer to pull out the flashlight. I kept cooking, the flashlight tucked under my chin and aimed at the stove. The electric heater stayed on, fueled by battery at that point. All around us was darkness.

After I had sautéd the onions and garlic, I realized the oven wouldn’t work. No baking a pie without power. I set them aside, hoping for the lights to come on. Danny was at work, feeding a full house for the big romantic restaurant day. I couldn’t work on this blog post, which I intended to publish before Danny returned home. Without power, I could do no work.

I sat down to read, instead. It was my Valentine’s Day present to myself — time to read without worrying I should get up and do something else. I stretched out on the couch and read by the light of the fake fire in the corner. I miss this most of the time.

Danny came home. He had been working all day, hard, and he was hungry. I had nothing to feed him, at least nothing that I had planned. But we hugged and talked and kissed and laughed about how dark it was outside. And then I went to the refrigerator with the flashlight and found soft goat cheese, pepperoni, French feta. I pulled open the cupboards and found by memory the rice crackers, the almonds, the pears. I tumbled them all onto the coffee table. We shared one knife and had a picnic in the semi darkness, our legs touching, our hands both reaching.

We talked as we ate. And then we talked as we lay on the couch, my head on his chest. Our days are so full that we rarely have time to meander and wander through our memories. We talked about the first time we met, the easy comfortable coffee date in the middle of the day. We talked about those heady first dates, the both of us so grateful for the way we fell into each other’s lives. We talked about the myriad ways our days are different than those, how much we have helped each other grow, how grateful we are.

We ate little Mexican hot chocolate cakes for dessert.

And we talked about Lu. We laughed about that morning, when we were making muffins for her pre-school that day. (It’s our week to make snacks.) When I pulled out the scale and the flours, Lu looked at me and said, “How many grams flours, Mama?”

I started at her for a moment, amazed, then said, “350, my love. Let’s measure them together.”

She helped with everything: the tipping of flours into the bowl, the pouring of soy milk, the stirring with the spatula, the tasting. And when it came time to scoop muffin batter into the prepared tins, she grabbed the cookie scoop, put her hand on my arm, and carefully filled each hole with blueberry muffin batter. We cleaned up the mess later. That didn’t matter. We were together, the three of us (Danny taking photographs), baking in the morning.

That was the best Valentine’s Day present I’ve ever received.

GLUTEN-FREE MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE CAKES, adapted from the McCormick Gourmet recipe

The inspiration for making these came from the fact I couldn’t eat them. This happens often.

When I was at the McCormick spice weekend, the good folks there worked to make everything on the menu gluten-free. I so appreciate this. However, dessert the last meal involved these little Mexican hot chocolate cakes. Damn, they looked good. I didn’t suffer. They brought me Saigon cinnamon ice cream instead. I was happy.

And then, when I returned home, I converted this recipe.

They have a lovely taste: chocolate with just a bit of heat, enough to wake up your senses but not enough to make you sweat. (That’s really not so appealing on Valentine’s Day, right?) The texture? Danny took his first spoonful and said, “They’re marshmallowy.” Even if that’s not a word, it’s the right word.

Here’s the better news: these are not only gluten-free, but they are also egg free and can be dairy-free. Everyone should be able to celebrate love with something sweet.

110 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder (we used the McCormick Gourmet one)
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon (again, we used the McCormick Gourmet one)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk (you can sub in soy or another alternative milk here. We used soy)
¼ cup oil (we used olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
boiling-hot water

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour 6 ramekins. (We use sweet rice flour for this, since it’s already in the recipe.)

Combining the dry ingredients. Mix the sweet rice flour, teff flour, and sorghum flour. Whisk them together to incorporate and aerate. Add 2/3 cup of the sugar, 4 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, baking powder, ancho chile powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk them together.

Finishing the cake batter. Pour in the milk, oil, and vanilla. (Don’t worry if the batter feels a little stiff.) Spoon the batter into the ramekins, filling them about 2/3 full.

Combine the remaining sugar and cocoa powder and sprinkle it evenly over the tops of the ramekins. (You might have a little left over. We did. Save it for some oatmeal the next morning.) Spoon 2 tablespoons of boiling-hot water into each ramekin. Do not stir.

Baking the cakes. Slide the ramekins into the oven. Bake until the water is fully absorbed and the tops are dry to the touch, about 20 to 30 minutes. (Keep checking. Each oven is different.) Pull the ramekins from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Top with whipped cream or ice cream. (We used Coconut Bliss chocolate here.)

Serves 6.

As an aside, the original recipe said this makes 8 ramekins. We found it only made 6. I don’t think we have particularly large ramekins! It might make more in your kitchen, so be aware.


87 comments on “gluten-free Mexican hot chocolate cakes for Valentine’s Day

  1. AmandaonMaui

    Oh Shauna, your post is so touching. I teared up at the part where you recounted your evening together on the couch simply touching each other’s legs and hands, curling up together and simply enjoying the presence of one another. So few couples take the time to do this, myself and my love included. I’m so glad you two had that extremely precious time together.

    Although I’ve never wanted children, your post shows me that there are for sure people in the world who deserve to be parents. You two are it. You two, plus Lu equals one of the most beautiful families I’ve ever seen. All families are unique, but your family takes the gluten-free cake my dear.

    You all know the meaning of aloha.

  2. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    I’m going to take time and really savour these stories. What would make reader them even more enjoyable would be a portion of those hot chocolate cakes! They sounds just incredible, I will have to try them out 🙂 Thank you Shauna, for sharing!

  3. Irvin

    I love this post. More than words can say. I love it. The last post and this post. Totally amazing. I can’t wait for you to find your son. He’s out there. Looking for you as well. It will be an amazing love story, just waiting to be written.

    Also. Those mexican hot chocolate cakes. In the words of Danny. Shut up!

  4. Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids)

    If anyone has enough love in their hearts to adopt, it’s the two of you. We adopted our son, Ari, from Guatemala just over 8 years ago, and life has never been the same since… I’d love to share more with you (privately) – but wanted to wrap my arms around you here first. Because this post made me want to. xo Mich

  5. Tiferet

    NOW, I’m reminded that I used to make chocolate mousse with cinnamon, chile and coffee.

    And put it in a pie crust 🙂 I’m not normally a dark chocolate fan (I like dutch process and white chocolate best) but Mexican chocolate is awesome and usually better with dark.

    I am really looking forward to having the energy to cook again!

    I am adopted and will be thinking good thoughts for you, Danny and Lu as you search for your son.

  6. Christine

    I’ve always loved your stories. But this one is definitely my favorite. Hopefully you find your son soon. You guys are such great parents, he will be so happy to be in your family.Perhaps Lu can teach him to bake? 🙂 She’ll be an awesome sister!

  7. Brenda

    Can’t wait to meet him! Everything we want is already out there for us, we just have to be brave enough to grab it! Congratulations guys. All the best!

  8. Ehm

    Currently walking through the process of finding an adoptive family for my unborn daughter, I’ve been nothing but unsettled and terrified about the whole process. How can I possibly choose the right strangers to love this baby that I already cherish so much? Reading your words gave me a sense of peace that there are amazing and wonderful families out there. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you for continuing to bless us with your wonderful recipes. All my love to you, Lu, Danny, and your son, wherever/whenever he may be 🙂

      1. Ehm

        I’m not sure how to reply to you without posting a comment in response, but yes if you want to drop me a note at I’d be happy to talk to you. I use that addy for public posting and misc forms so it gets checked regularly.

  9. Niki

    As much as I love my husband, the love I have for my children is like no other. Reading what you’ve written about Lu, and knowing that you and Danny already love the son you’re just beginning to look for, touches me deeply. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your love story round up, and thank you for sharing your own story every day.

  10. Linda

    My ex and I wanted to adopt a girl after having two boys. We went to a lawyer who specialized in adoptions and put our names on a list. Two days later a friend called and said she knew of a teenage girl who had decided to put her baby up for adoption-she was three months old and the teenager realized she couldn’t cope. To make a long story short, three days later we had our daughter. She just sort of fell in our laps. I have a feeling that will happen for you two as well since you have put your intention out there in the world. My daughter is now married with a son and is a wonderful mother. She says she feels very blessed to have become part of our family.

  11. Jenn Sutherland

    Here I am, wiping tears from my eyes at 6:45 in the morning. Thank you for this beautiful post, and for sharing your next adventure with us. Scott Simon’s book is an amazing testament to parenthood and adoption – I was blessed to see him at his Chicago book stop, at the adoption agency I worked at for seven years. I know you will be successful in your adoption process, and your acceptance of the twists and turns in life, and remembering simply to breathe will carry you through. If I can answer any questions, or offer support on your journey, let me know. Your son is waiting for you.

  12. Katherine

    Dammit, I read this while eating my lunch and now I need to go and re-do my eye makeup. When will I learn?

    You have built an amazing community around amazing stories. I know the next book is a cookbook, but how about collecting some of the poetry from the community? It’s a continual source of inspiration and joy, very rare.

    And I’ll be making these. Especially as even Lu has converted to weight measurements….:)

  13. Glutenista Gluten-Free

    Congratulations Shauna & Danny! I had a feeling that one of your upcoming “big projects” was child related :-). Best of luck to you in your adoption journey, I have no doubt the perfect child is out there waiting for you. Stay strong as you go through the bumps in the adoption road & be sure to lean on this community for support as needed. Hope many blessings come your way!

    xoxo, glutenista

  14. jeannette

    What amazing news, and I am so happy for you both!! I teared up more times than I care to mention, but they are happy tears which makes it all worth the while.

    Here’s to your son, for the love he will become a part of and the love that he already has from you, good luck and much love!

  15. Jenny

    Shauna, your post has been an inspiration. As I plan my daughter’s 2nd birthday party (also called Lu, short for Lucy), I’m also preparing for the arrival of our 2nd child in a few short weeks. I’ve been struggling with the thought of having enough love for two children, although I know when he/she arrives my worries will be over and it will happen naturally. I admire your fearlessness—you know you have the love and you’re ready to give it away. I’m stuck in fear. I love Lucy so much that I can’t fathom how much more my heart can produce to accommodate a second child. Your post was so comforting to me, I had to let you know. Thank you.

  16. Rosy

    I’ve been waiting for the perfect excuse to need to buy ramekins… these are it!
    (Best wishes on the adoption journey!)

  17. Nicole L.

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post. I can’t wait to read about the journey you travel to find your son. Best of luck to all of you, and thank you so much for sharing your sweet Valentine’s Day story!

  18. Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free

    Love is…so much more than I ever imagined at first. At every stage of my life, I’ve discovered it’s more. You describe it well. Plans and celebrations have their places, but a night without power can bring us back to what really matters. Best wishes on finding your son…at the right time.

  19. Lauren @

    Shauna, I am in tears. It’s been such an incredible journey reading about you and Danny and your adventures with Lu. I can’t think of anyone that would be a better parent than you two. Your love for Lu spills in to everything you do, and I can only think how lucky a beautiful boy would be to have you two as his parents. Best of luck and I can’t wait to keep reading about this new exciting journey for your family.

    (And the cakes look incredible.)

  20. Margaret Wright

    You’ve hit the trifecta with this one — heartwarming stories of love from many people, a truly wonderful piece of your hearts, and a wonderfully seductive recipe. Congratulations! As I struggle with issues relating to an aging parent it brings home to me how important the love and relationship between parent and child is, no matter how old or at what stage of life you each are. You continue to be an inspiration — good luck on the new journey in parenthood.

  21. Hannah

    Oh Shauna, how exciting! Adoption is a wonderful thing. My mom was adopted, and our family worked towards adoption several years ago (although it didn’t work out for us, the biological mother changed her mind at the last second (sorry, you probably don’t want to hear about that part!))

    Adoption is part of my family, and I’m so grateful for it. Without it, my life would probably be completely different. Best of luck with your journey!

  22. Kylie

    Oh, Shauna! I’m so happy for you, and Danny, and Lu. And the new member of your family who’s out there in the world somewhere. You people are such a gift to us.

  23. Jamie

    You have such an amazing, loving heart! I’m constantly amazed by the words that flow from your fingertips. Have you looked into adoption through the foster system? There are so many children out there… Waiting for a loving forever home. Check out The cost of adoption can be a terrible stumbling block which can be avoided through the foster adoption system… Just a thought…

    Can’t wait to hear the stories along your journey.

    May God Bless you!

  24. Nicola

    I think I’ve only commented once before, when Lucy was in hospital following her birth and we were all willing her to breathe with you. I love coming here to read your words, try your recipes. You never fail to move me, be it through the joy you find in a colourful plate of salad or the excitement at improving a baked goods recipe, but of course it is the way you talk about life, real life, that moves me the most. I am 38, married to a wonderful man who I met when I thought life held no love for me, and am facing the possibility of not being able to have children of my own. Your post today quickly brought tears; I am so, so happy for you and your family, strangers to me but so dear to me all the same. Thank you for sharing here with us.
    Nicola in England

  25. Amanda

    My husband and I haven’t decided if we are going to have kids one day, but one thing is for certain, if we do, we’re going to adopt. This may sound a little strange, but the way I see it, there are so many “ready-made” kids waiting in the shadows for someone to love them, why do I need to make another? Do I really need a genetic copy of myself? With gluten and dairy intolerance, high cholesterol despite a healthy BMI, its not the best of genetics in any event. 😛

    Good luck in finding your son. Living in South Africa, “where to adopt from” isn’t an issue. By law, we are not allowed to adopt from outside the country.

  26. Caneel

    What a beautiful post! I am so happy for you in this new chapter of your life!

    I know all too well this ache of wanting another but knowing it can’t happen. I shared my love story in your comments section on your last post and also blogged it at I share a little of my complications in that story, but I don’t go on to say that we’ve wanted another (we’d love to have a son but would be just as happy with another daughter) but it isn’t happening. We know it’s best now, and are so truly blessed with the two daughters we have.

    I’m excited to hear more about your new journey, and will keep you all (including that son!) in my prayers as you make it. Best wishes to you!

  27. Tara

    I just had time to sit and read your new post. What great news to hear that you and Danny are beginning to search for your son. Wow. I cannot wait until the days where we will hear the love for your son drip from your twitter msgs and post, just as they do now for Lu. You are a daily inspiration for me’ and I simply wanted to take a short moment to tell you so. Please never stop being true to yourself b/c you are an amazing woman. Also, thank you for the reminder to breathe. It’s funny how we can forget. I have a crazy hectic life and I don’t resent it b/c I am working toward a better life… With fervor and push I will reach my goal. Oh yes, and much more easily when I remember to breathe. Thank you for all that you are.

  28. nicole

    Congratulations — what a wonderful Valentine’s gift for all of you. I have no doubt the little one is out there — at least in spirit — and can’t wait to meet you. Best of luck – you’re an inspiration!

  29. Elizabeth

    What a touching story. Here’s to you, Danny, and Lu – and I hope that your journey to your son is full of ease.

    The love stories are each so wonderful and unique. Thank you so much for including my story in your list (Retinal Perspectives). (just fyi, the link doesn’t work, it looks like it appends your blog name/post title on the front of the URL.)

  30. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    I hear of the people that somehow hold Hallmark accountable for Valentine’s Day which is slightly humorous as I’ve never purchased a Valentine card. Ever. When my children were young we always made holiday cards…that was and still is a part of the ‘love’ in that message. And though it’s true we don’t need a special day to send a message of love to those we do love…I say why not; it’s let’s us send that message to many others that have touched our lives.

    I did not write a Valentine’s post; love in my life has always been too measured, too needy, too demanding…from parents to husband and now to children. I’m taking a break and redefining my boundaries and sharing the love I have with my dog…I know my unconditional love will be returned!

    But I wish you my best in your search for your son. I love the idea of thinking he’s out there waiting to hear about his new Mom and Dad and sister Lu. What a lucky boy he will be.

  31. Jen

    Oh my – this is so lovely. It gives me such joy to think that another special person is going to be given the gift of you two as parents & Lucy as a sister (and I would have thought that even before my own gift of meeting you two and Lu). My aunt has worked in children’s services for decades and you are her dream – loving people who will open their home and heart to a child. It’s something we hope to do in our own future.

    What a gift you are to all of us who treat ourselves with a few lovely moments reading your newest post – we can sit here, thousands of miles away, and feel such hope and love for our world. People feel such love for, and because of you. Thank you, always.

  32. Heather

    we are the proud parents of our sweet son whom we adopted from Russia in 2008 and are currently in the process of finalizing the adoption of our daughter (from the U.S.). check out our story(archives) at (my more updated blog is now at are definitely many little boys in both Russia and the U.S. (as well as other countries) who are need of loving parents (for some reason there always seem to be more boys available in programs we researched). We love talking to families about adoption and you are always welcome to contact us. May God bless your journey to your son!

  33. Cathy/ShowFoodChef

    I was reading along, thinking…ahhh, I love this post, then WHAM! What amazing news, chill bumps all over, tears in my eyes, smile so big on my face my cheeks are cramping. Nothing like LOVE bringing more LOVE – the world thanks you for what you will bring to this little boy’s life! I can already imagine what he will bring to your’s. 😀

  34. Heather

    Hi there: Just wanted to say that our daughter is adopted from China and is about Lucy’s age (she just turned 3). It is an amazing journey. You all have shared so much with me (not the least of which are giving me back the ability to bake cookies with my daughter and teaching me patience while I do it); please contact me if you want to talk more.

  35. annalea

    Shauna: I happened to wake up around 2am last night and read this story after seeing your tweet mentioning it. What a perfect middle of the night read. Your writing is simply moving and the story about your family’s decision to adopt was so touching. I’m often touched by your words here and even via twitter. I just wanted to tell you. I can tell from here that you’re one of those people that just get it – that you are in such alignment with your truth and yourself that you shine. thank you for sharing with me (and obviously beyond me). I appreciate your stories and words!

    best wishes,

  36. Al_Pal

    This post made me almost tear up, from the sweetness and love in it. I’ve bookmarked it, because the description of parenting is so poetic. [My fiance and I are unsure if we’ll have kids.]
    As the first commenter said, this shows for sure that there are people who deserve to be parents.
    Congrats on having a lovely Valentine’s Day memory to share with your loved ones, and best wishes in finding your son.

  37. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

    Congrats on your wonderful decision to adopt! There are so many children out there that need loving parents, just like you and your husband. 🙂

    Your cakes look absolutely delicious. Thanks for spreading the love in more ways the one. The best of luck to you and your family on your journey!!

  38. Jenny Eliuk @ Stay on Path

    Wow. These look freakin good. I think some really good vanilla gelato would be the perfect addition for me. Saved the recipe, probably won’t have the chance to make these for a couple of weeks because I’m doing a bunch of recipe testing for a cookbook. Maybe I’ll have a dinner party and do these for dessert because they simply MUST be shared ; )

  39. fat lazy celiac

    Like many, I’m so touched by this and I wish you all the best in completing your family.

    The highlight of our Valentine’s Day dinner is that we decided that adoption was the choice for us (just farther in the future). My heart was so happy when my partner told me “I’ve never seen the need to have to have a child with my genetic code.”

  40. Britt

    Wow, Shauna, what a big and beautiful decision! I wish you three all the best in your quest to find the fourth member of your family. Some very lucky boy is going to be very well-loved…and particularly well-fed. 🙂

  41. Dee

    I read your post with my 14 year old daughter nearby on the couch. I adopted her in China 13 and a half years ago. Congratulations on your future adoption! What a lucky child that will be to have you and Lu for a family.

  42. Maggie

    You’ve got such a gift Shauna. Thanks for another great story and another great recipe. I can’t wait to see how your little boy changes your lives. I love your new way of baking too – the best thing I’ve learned is I don’t have to rush over to turn off my mixer 🙂 Beat away dear mixer!

  43. JenCat

    I recently gave a beautiful baby boy up for adoption. It ended up being a private adoption to a lovely woman whom I always imagined as the mother for the baby even before she realized that he was meant for her. Ours was a bit different than most adoptions but I know you will find a baby boy meant for your family, probably when you least expect it. Love the recipes and stories. You make my life better with all of it. Thank you.

  44. Sarah

    “We cannot wait to meet him. We cannot wait to love more.”

    I love this. This sentence pricked my eyes with tears. It’s funny, this is the way it should be. So so many of us never had that. I was just saying today, “I think ***** shits rainbows. You’re supposed to think your kid shits rainbows. Maybe not all the time, but if you *never* think this, then you are in trouble.” Sounds like you guys are on the right track.

  45. Robyn

    Thanks for the mention in this post, I’m still fairly new to blogging and my blog has never gotten so much traffic! It’s pretty exciting for me 🙂

    Good luck with finding your son, I’m sure he’s out there somewhere! From what I’ve seen on your blog, it seems he’ll be very lucky to be joining such a genuinly caring family.

    Take care,

  46. Odetta MacLeish-White

    I have dear friends who recently brought a little boy into their lives through an open adoption and it has been such a joy to watch them become a family. Good luck with this new journey! It’s going to be amazing!

  47. Brooke

    Every one of your words pack a wollop of beauty. I’m so happy to read so many great love stories and even happier to get the inside scoop on your adoption plans. The love the three of you have is so deep and over flowing, I can see why you want to share it with your soon-to-be-found son. Prayers to you on this journey. Xoxoxo,

  48. Jenny

    Beautiful – just beautiful. Simply put I just cried. Such a touching story and a loving family. Your son is going to be one lucky little boy to have you as his mum, Danny as his dad and precious little Lu as his amazing sister. Your family is a blessing to so many out there. Your love, kindness, generosity, honesty and beautifully positive attitudes bring joy all you come in contact with (even if it is just over twitter or facebook etc.) Wishing you all the best and praying for a healthy son. Best wishes to you all!

  49. Jen

    My heart just leapt when I read your plan of adoption. So very happy for you, and I wish you great ease in finding your boy. Boys are awesome. 🙂

  50. Brady

    Thank you so much for sharing this. What a touching post and great love stories. I read a few of them and they simply made me happy. Amazing how love can do that.

  51. Laura

    Congratulations!!!! And thank you for sharing so much with the world….. I am grateful to have this glimpse into your family’s life and to see such beautiful people creating such a loving family…..

  52. Abigail

    Way to go choosing to adopt. My brother and sister-in-law recently adopted at 3 year old boy who was in foster care here in the states. The day that my sister-in-law met this little boy she fell in love with him and knew that they were meant to be a family. It didn’t matter that he was birthed by someone else; he is their son. It was such a hard process to go through but it was totally worth it. I don’t know what yours will be like but if the road does get rough remember to never give up hope. 🙂

  53. Heather

    My best friend since 3rd grade and her husband recently adopted an infant boy. She has MS, and is unable to have biological children because of her medication. They have waited so long and gone through so many classes, meetings, seminars, etc. 3 days before Thanskgiving, they got the call. “Your son is waiting for you in Pennsylvania. Come pick him up.” They drove all night and ended up in the parking lot of a Toys R Us somewhere in PA because they realized they didn’t have a car seat to bring him home. He is a beautiful, healthy, African-American baby boy. They are terrified, excited, exhausted and hopelessly in love with him. I am over-the-moon happy for my friend; she’s gonna be a great mom. Best of luck to you and Danny, and bless you for opening your hearts and home to a child in need.

  54. annie

    a serious high five to adoption. our family knows that adoption is something we will do and as someone who works in the foster care system i couldn’t agree more; the word adoption can change an entire child’s life around in countless ways. beautiful post. beautiful cakes.
    thank you

  55. Karla

    One of the many gifts I’ve found through celiac is reading your writing. Years ago when I started following your blog, I anticipated only being inspired in the kitchen. You and your family’s energy and enthusiasm for life is contagious and utterly inspiring. Sounds strange to say this to someone I’ve never before met face-to-face, but thank you for being a part of our lives. You have enriched me and our family. Wishing you all of the goodness and more, that you give out. Thank you, Shauna.

  56. Ruth

    Just wanted to say how much you touched my heart with your story. I have an adopted brother who my parents adopted after having two girls, both with difficult labours (My mom really expected a boy both times and only had a boy name in mind the first time so my sister did not have a name for almost a week!) The process was not without pain and tears (the teenage girl decided at the last minute to keep him and then later decided she could not cope and gave him up again) but many happy times too. Now we laugh about how he got all the good genes (he is very good looking, athletic and tall very unlike me and my sister!!) but are completely serious about how much a part of our family he is. Some have said that he is not “really” my brother, which always makes me get angry and sad. He is my brother by heart more than by birth.

  57. Amy

    Congratulations! I am so excited for your beautiful family. I just got around to buying GFG&TC and it is so wonderful, the pictures, stories and recipes are the greatest!

  58. Teresa

    Dear Shauna
    Reading your first book introduce me to this website. This website introduce me to a better way of eating/living/caring/loving and now hoping. Your stories about your life inspired me to help me be more healthy, not just physically but spiritually too and now I’m in the process of making my body be more healthy. I’m eating better, I’m listening to my body and I’m taking care of myself and this post today gives me greatest hope that someday I’ll be bless with a child too. God bless you, Danny and Lu and before you know it, you’ll show us a picture of your son.
    Oh and I love Mexican chocolate, specially when it is very dark. I’m so making these cakes this weekend!

  59. Melodie

    I love your blog and even more so now that I hear your adoption news. Our first two children came to us biolgically. Our youngest is our sweet, sweet baby girl from Ethiopia. She has been such a JOY to our family. Pure and utter love and JOY. Many blessings on your journey ahead!

  60. Molly Stoltz

    What a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift to yourselves and to your son, wherever he may be. He’s a lucky guy to have your love already : )

    And, those cakes are making me hungry…

  61. Connie

    There is a Chinese proverb that states when a child is born there is a red thread
    that binds them to every person that they are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance; the thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.

    Lucy Kaplansky has a love song to her mother and daughter about the Red Thread. She talks about it in an interview with npr:

    May the red thread help guide you to your son.

  62. ~Mrs. R

    Hello Danny, Shauna & Lu,
    I find it funny that now I don’t even know what some of the “new” food (or fake food) is in the center of the grocery store! Why would anyone want to eat a “BRIGHT” blue jello? The colors of these supposed foods are downright ugly. I shop mainly along the periphery. You know, where all the real food is!! Every once in awhile when I have to venture into the store interior I find it can be daunting. I like the real stuff so much better! Sometimes I feel as though I am becoming my grandmother. In her day there was little to no processed foods and she made everything from scratch, just as I do. Though she would have benefited from a gluten free diet. She had many of the signs, well as least I can look back and see them!! I find I am not too fond of iceberg lettuce anymore. I make a b-i-g salad every week for our weekly church fellowship meal. The huge variety of vegetables I can (and do) use makes salad a fun food! I am becoming “locally famous” for my homemade salad dressings and salads!!

    Children are such a sweet blessing from the Lord. The only regret I have is not being able to have had children with my wonderful husband. One monumental and not very well thought out decision at 21 and that blessing was cut off for us – forever. Miracle of miracles we were providentially provided with another child to raise about 6 years ago. He has been such a precious gift. We cherish every moment with him.

    I will be praying for your adoption process! It can be trying…
    ~Mrs. R

  63. Linda

    I just made these Mexican hot chocolate cakes. They are fabulous. My ramekins must be large as I only filled 4. But the recipe works still. I couldn’t find the McCormicks ancho chile powder but found some pasilla molido powder in the Hispanic food section that was perfect. Just the right heat and spice. I will make these again for company. No topping required, perfect just as they are.

  64. Annelies

    Sounds like a marvelous Valentine’s Day. One of the myriad things that helped me see Beck was the man for me before we married last year was his desire to adopt. It carries on the tradition of adoption his parents set into place a long time ago.

  65. Dana

    As an adoptee myself and the parent of adopted children I wish you all the best of luck on your journey. My oldest twins were through an agency, we brought them home at 3 days old. After a surprise daughter soon after, time passed and we decided we wanted to add to our family. Our youngest twins, we found them through foster to adopt and have had them in our home since they were a week old. (now 2 yrs old) It is a complete roller coaster ride, one that I would do again in heartbeat… But my husband says the house is full with 5. 🙂

  66. Diane C

    I have no idea how I happened upon a blog that is all about gluten-free. I have no diseases which cause me to need gluten-free recipes, however, now that I have found you I will become a regular as the photos and recipes make me want to eat gluten -free food! Oh, and I have realized this is all about so much more than just gluten-free food! Thank you..

  67. Campbell Masters

    I think I missed this post first time around due to being out of NZ visiting friends in Melbourne, Australia. Two of those, Mark and Lynne have very recently adopted a family, three Indian children from an orphanage in Norther India. Not babies at all, the oldest is about 11 maybe 12, they aren’t sure, they were put on a train by (they think, their parents) and just went to where they got off and eventually finished up at this orphanage. Mark and Lynne are in their forties, and have gone from being childless to having three amazing energetic children, learning English, technology and life in a completely different context than that they started their lives inside of. More strength to you and Danny, Lu is a very lucky child as will be her brother.

  68. Julia

    Having not looked up “ancho chili” to learn that it’s a fairly mild pepper, I used two teaspoons of my usual chili powder. Beware, users of hot chili! My batch is edible only in very small quantities or with the help of lots of ice cream.

  69. Diane


    My husband and I returned from China with our adopted son in June of 2010. It was, by far, the best and most amazing thing we have done. He is the joy of our lives and we are considering adopting again. Best of luck to you and your family on your journey.


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