In June of 2011 my husband and then 5 year old son were diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Their diagnosis has been life altering for our family of 5. This blog is dedicated to raising awareness and education about Celiac Disease. I also aim to provide information for families and educators, gluten-free product reviews, helpful hints, gluten-free family friendly recipes and personal stories from our gluten-free life.
If you're looking for a way to simplify your gluten-free baking, The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free by best-selling baking author, Anne Byrn is perfect for you. With over 50 recipes from layer cakes to wedding cakes, bundts to bars, cupcakes to cookies, Byrn provides a variety of ways to "doctor" boxed gluten-free cake mix.
The cookbook provides basic information regarding gluten, baking equipment and accessories, helpful tips for gf baking, recommendations for substituting ingredients, and even information on high altitude baking. The recipes are simple and easy to follow, but some are extremely sugary and high in fat. Many recipes call for the addition of instant pudding mix, sugar, brown sugar and sticks of butter to a boxed gluten-free cake mix. However, many recipes also call for the addition of naturally gluten-free ingredients such as fresh berries, shredded coconut, almonds, lime zest, and cocoa powder. They are desserts after all and as an occasional treat, you can enjoy guilt free. I like the format of the book, the advice sprinkled throughout, the space for notes included as a side-bar for each recipe, the reminders and the dairy free options.
"Mom, I love that book!" exclaimed my little guy as we finished Barrett's Unusual Ice Cream Party by Michelle L. King. "Can you get one for me?" It was a copy our local library purchased at my request. "Of course!", I replied. "Can we make the ice cream recipe at the back? It sounds so good!" My little guy continued. I can't begin to tell you the joy I felt to see him smiling with such enthusiasm for this story.
The story is about Barrett, a first grade boy with Celiac Disease and a milk allergy. Barrett is felling left out at school, a little embarrassed, and a little jealous as he gets teased by his classmates. Until, he gets a new classmate, Regan, who has a milk allergy and a positive attitude. Reagan serves as a wonderful role model for Barrett and Barrett learns to think differently about what makes him special. As my little guy and I were discussing the book he declared, "I'm so lucky I just have Celiac! I'm so glad I'm not allergic to milk too!" Imagine that - lucky to have Celiac. I asked him, "If there's one thing you would want everyone to know about having a food allergy or Celiac, what would that one thing be?" His reply, "Not to be embarrassed about it."
Over the last 18 months, our family of 5 has tested an awful lot of gluten-free pasta. The first several tastings failed to please anyone. So, we gave up pasta for several months, but then the cravings for spaghetti and meatballs, pasta primavera, pasta with pesto, ziti... were too difficult to ignore. After a few more failed attempts we discovered bionaturae and haven't looked back. We can all agree, without a doubt, it's our absolute favorite.
Bionaturae, roughly translating to mean organic nature, is produced in Italy in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Find some bionaturae and enjoy the ziti, lasagna, pesto, garlic and olive oil, white wine sauce...
Progresso Recipe Starters cooking sauce: Fire Roasted Tomato
As a busy mom of 3, working part-time teaching 8 kids yoga classes per week, and traveling roughly 25 miles to do our grocery shopping - I'm usually pressed for time. During my last visit to our "local" grocery store, I quickly picked up a can of Progresso Recipe Starters: fire roasted Tomato. The label was appealing and I thought it would be useful adding flavor to one of my sauces. Imagine my surprise when I when to use it and checked the back of the can label to find CONTAINS MILK AND WHEAT. Ugh! Why, why, why is it necessary to put wheat in fire roasted tomato sauce? I'm thankful I checked the ingredient list before ruining a perfectly tasty meal - without any unnecessary wheat!
Lundberg Organic Jubilee Rice is nutty, hearty, wholesome and satisfying.
The Jubilee blend is nice change from either plain white or brown rice with a variety of delectable rice grains. I also love that Lundberg rice is organic, vegan, whole grain and Non GMO. Their packaging is bpa free and the Jubilee Rice has a surprisingly cool Velcro closure! Lundberg Organic Rices test at 95 ppb of in-organic arsenic and their website is full of information relating to arsenic levels in food, testing for arsenic and product facts regarding arsenic.
I just received my first issue(Fall 2012) of Gluten-Free Living Magazine. This issue features a newly re-designed, reinvigorated Magazine. Gluten-Free Living features departments such as: Quick and Easy - highlighting a simple recipe; Family Matters - a series covering children's issue; Savings - offering both money and time saving tips and more; and Beyond Gluten Free - featuring other dietary concerns and restrictions. A yearly six issue subscription costs $34 a year. As helpful as the articles and recipes are, I always like the advertisements because I'm always on the lookout for new gluten-free products! If you don't want yet another magazine cluttering your coffee table, Gluten-Free Living is also available as a newsstand app for your iPad or iPhone.
Coffee infused Pearl Organic Soymilk by Kikkoman is a rich, creamy delicious way to satisfy your coffee craving. Pearl Organic Soymilk is certified organic, lactose free, preservative free, cholesterol free and is as high in calcium, and vitamin A & D as whole milk. One serving provides 6 grams of soy protein. Better yet, Pearl is made from Non GMO soybeans so you can enjoy worry free. My teenage daughter and I have a slight obsession with this coffee infused soy delight. Pour over ice or heat it up as an after dinner treat.
2 TBSP Grapeola Oil or Olive Oil
1 TBSP butter - diced
1 TBSP light Agave Nectar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t nutmet
1/4 t ginger
fresh ground salt & pepper as desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Lightly butter a casserole dish
Better yet - line your casserole dish with foil lined parchment paper! I love the stuff!
Peel, remove the seeds and dice a butternut squash.
Place squash in a large bowl and toss with all ingredients.
Pour squash into your casserole dish.
Bake for 1 hour. Stir every 20 minutes to ensure even roasting.
You'll love the aroma this creates in your kitchen almost as much as tasting this savory dish!
a pinch of salt, crushed black pepper, thyme, dried rosemary, dried ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Serves 6
Measure 2 TBSP EVOO into the bottom of a casserole dish to coat.
Peel, cut and mix all veggies and spices with remaining EVOO.
Place chicken top side down in casserole dish to coat with oil and then turn right side up.
Pour veggies and spices over chicken
Bake for 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
I had guests for dinner when I served this dish and never got a photo of the finished product:( It's a wonderful casserole to make for a casual dinner party as you can prepare and refrigerate the dish several hours ahead. That way you can enjoy your guest. We enjoyed this casserole with baked butternut squash, roasted mushrooms and steamed haricot-vert on the side(and several bottles of wine too)
Everyone enjoyed the meal and there weren't any leftovers!
These cookies are seriously the BEST gluten-free cookies I have tasted in over a year! Don't be overwhelmed by the 3 different flours - order them on-line or find them in your favorite market. You'll be happy you did - I promise!
1 cup(2 sticks) butter softened 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar 2 t gluten-free vanilla extract 1 t sea salt 2 large brown eggs 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Sorghum Flour 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Garbanzo & Fava Bean Flour 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour 1 t xanthan gum 1 t baking powder 1 t baking soda 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
*Please note - this batter must be refrigerated for 1 hour before baking Beat the butter, sugars, vanilla and salt until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and baking soda.
Beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Blend in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, or for up to 2 days. Preheat the oven to 350degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto your prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Makes approximately 3 dozen amazingly delicious cookies
My kids and I absolutely love these puddings - even my toughest food critic! Not only that, my food critic has a bit of a panda bear obsession - so the panda bear images make these pudding cups irresistible. I have to completely agree with the ZenSoy company statement "deliciously indulgent". These little pudding cups satisfy my chocolate cravings without all the fat, calories, cholesterol, guilt, etc... AND, ALL ZenSoy products are Gluten-Free, Certified Organic, Certified Vegan, Kosher, Nut Free, Dairy Free and have NO GMO's! Seriously, what's not to love?! The ZenSoy website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and is full of information about their company and causes. Through their Pandas Against Pesticides program, ZenSoy pledges 5% of all profits to international wildlife organizations and to promote organic farming. A healthy snack to fill hungry bellies!
Anyone looking for a deeper, more thorough understanding of Celiac Disease will appreciate this book. Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free by Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN and Daniel Leffler, MD, MS explore the causes and presentation of CD; information regarding diagnostic and genetic testing; gluten intolerance and dermatitis herpetiformis in great clinical detail. Next comes an in-depth look at gluten free life: a healthy diet; supplements; the g-free vegetarian; inadvertent exposure; labeling; medications; Celiac Disease with Diabetes; nutrition for children and depression and anxiety with CD. Each and every section provides exceptional clinical medical and nutritional detail. The third section of Real Life pertains to the obstacles: non responsive CD; mal-absorption; colitis; probiotics; refractory CD; cancer risks and realities; anemia; fertility and neurologic manifestations. Although Real Life is written in great clinical detail, it is well organized, comprehensive and easy to comprehend. It is an invaluable resource for anyone living with CD and for anyone who loves someone with Celiac Disease.
WOW! I'm not sure I have words. The picture above is a block from my house! Thankfully our power has just been restored after 4 days. We managed well using a lantern for light and our gas grill for cooking. Luckily we had a house full of fruit, plenty of veggies, and were able to secure enough gas to run a generator on and off to keep the food in fridge relatively fresh. When life returns to "normal" I will begin blogging regularly once again.