Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gluten Free in France, Part II (Alsace)

A day or two after arriving in Paris, my friend and I took a trip out to Alsace for a couple days.  I went to France to visit this friend from college, and she is also originally from the Midwest, like me.  I mention that to explain how we came up with the idea of going to Alsace.  We both have ancestral lines that originate in Alsace-Lorriane.  She had never visited Alsace, and we thought it might be fun.  And of course, it was.

Alsace is on the eastern edge of France, bordering Germany.  In fact, Alsace-Lorraine has historically been both part of Germany and France.  Lots of war, fighting for territory, in this area, for thousands of years.  My aunt told me that our ancestors, the Voniers, would be at the dinner table and hear fighting, they'd gather up all the food in the tablecloth and go hide out until it was over.  A young lady in a bar that we talked to said that her Alsatian grandfather had been forced to fight for the Nazis in World War II.  Hard times for these people.  You can start to see the allure of an Ohio farm life...

When we got into Strasbourg, we went out to find dinner.  After a little walking around the square, we found a restaurant.  I got something that is a traditional Alsatian meal, called "Choucroute Alsacienne."  You don't see any resemblance to German food, do you?

I was glad to find something without bread, flour, you know.  But I sort of thought to myself, "where are the vegetables?"

That was the first evening.  The next day we were off to the Route du Vin (Wine Route--it's a country drive through the small winery towns of the region, and it's beautiful!).  But not until we had a big breakfast of an omelette.  You can find omelets most everywhere.  This one was pretty good, if not a little bit salty.

So we picked up our rental car and got going to the Wine Route.  We saw villages, wineries, churches, cathedrals, castles, vineyards, and it was breathtaking.  We stopped in the little village of Barr, and found a home cooking restaurant.  Just one young lady was waiting on the whole restaurant.  It was very popular!  We said our usual, "Mon amie a une allergie au blé" (or, "j'ai une allergie au blé") and we asked if the fish was made without blé.  The kind lady came back and said, it had wheat in the sauce, but they would make sauce without wheat just for me.

Oh my god!  How nice!

Here's a pic of my meal.  I think it might have been my favorite meal of the trip:
After we left the restaurant, delighting in the niceness of the people we were meeting, we stopped at a bakery and I got a big bag of meringues, which I proceeded to eat in the rental car, leaving a white powdery dust all over!  Meringues are made with egg whites and sugar, so there are no gluten ingredients.  It might be possible to be cross-contaminated because they are made at a bakery.  But I am VERY sensitive, and I never had a problem with them.

So, I could find restaurant meals, bakery goods--what more could a hungry celiac want, anyway?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gluten Free in France, Part I (Bon Appétit!)

I got back from France about a week ago.  It was WONDERFUL!  I had a terrific time.

I said I would let you know about eating gluten free while there, and here's the first installment.  On my first day, I met my friend Sarah at the airport.  Because my suitcase did not arrive with me, we decided to go into the city, rather than go straight home to her place (in a suburb).  My first gluten free meal in Paris was at a cafe across the Seine from Notre Dame.  Here it is:

At the time, I was a little jet-lagged, so it didn't really occur to me that I should eat something substantial.  But that was some good sorbet and wine.

After walking around a bit, we asked some people if they knew where the closest "Bio" (Bee-O) was.  That's what the French call their health food stores.  The people we asked directed us to a regular grocery store (they said it had bio kinds of foods).

I found a small gluten-free section that contained items of the name brand "Gerblé."  I purchased boxes containing Baguettes, Bread, Strawberry Cakes, and some pasta.  I do believe that the French word "Gerblé" translates into English as "Awful."  Sorry, I didn't really like any of these.  The strawberry cakes were somewhat tolerable, the pasta cooked up alright.  But the Baguettes and Bread were horrible.  They made the entire apartment smell funny when I warmed them up in the microwave.  They were pretty hard and bland on their own.

I did finish the baguettes, and half the box of bread.  If you slather anything with goat cheese, it will be edible, which is how I did it.

So that was the first day of gluten free adventures.  Not so hot.  But there are always things, not specifically labeled gluten-free, to eat that are OK, anyway.  (Fruits, Vegetables, Rice, etc).

Sarah has family from the U.S. who have Celiac Disease.  This was so nice, because she knew how to talk to people at restaurants, for me.  My French is OK, but she knew the right words, and that was a pretty big relief for this weary traveler.  She would say, "Mon ami a une allergie au blé" and she would say that "C'est très sèrieux, elle ne peux rien manger la farine de blé."  It was nice that she had been through this before.  She could also advise me on some important details, such as most restaurants mix their own vinaigrettes, so I felt comfortable trusting most salads (because they usually come with the dressing already mixed in).

And for all you purists out there, my friend is also aware that Celiac Disease is not an allergy.  She said, though, that it is so uncommon for people to be diagnosed in France that people normally react like, "Ça n'est pas possible," (it's not possible) that someone can be allergic/intolerant to wheat.  So she simplifies by saying "allergie" rather than going into all that about what Celiac is (which would be a lot harder for those of us not fluent in the language).  You do what you have to do, I think.  And I don't think I was ever glutened on the whole trip, hooray!

Here's a wonderful French salad that I enjoyed (a few days later):

Did I mention that wine is gluten-free?!?  If you go to France, I assure you, you will be able to eat.  That's a start to my story.  I'll post more as I am able.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Going Underground, Sans Gluten, in France

In the near future, I'll be taking my first trip to France.

I am excited for so many reasons.  Paris will be great, I'll start and end there, but it sounds like I'll be getting to go to a few off-the-beaten-path kinds of places as well.

I have begun to snoop around online for info/help about eating gluten free in France.  I am so glad people have shared information and resources about this.  I promise I will share my gluten free stories as well, up on return.

Has anyone else been?  Has anyone else tried using gluten-free restaurant cards, the ones that list what you can and can't have?  I know French (un peu) but it seems like those may still be a good idea.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gluten Free...and Dairy Free?

My mom is intolerant to dairy, and I've wondered myself about it.  But cutting out gluten is a big deal, and to cut out something else would be even harder.

Because who doesn't think a yogurt cup, a snack cheese, or a bottle of kefir isn't a quick, great snack?  Especially for people on the road.

But after reconnecting with an old friend who is gluten free AND dairy free (and a few other things too), I became inspired that maybe I could become healthier.

For example, I hired a trainer and for about 4 months all I could lose was 6 pounds.  She was like, "what are you eating??"  Like I was sneaking 52 cupcakes every week and leaving it off the food journal.

I was eating greek yogurt all day!  Because it is a really good thing to eat.  I like dairy.  I like cheese, milk, etc. etc.

But this past sunday I quit.  I've been eating other things, using coconut milk creamer in my coffee, and had a little almond cheese.  Yes, I said almond cheese.

The thing that's been really different, is that I have energy all day and all evening.  I can work all day, eat dinner, and then practice the 3 or 4 hours that I really need.  I'm not too tired anymore.

And I weighed myself at the gym.  Since Saturday, I have lost 2.6 pounds.

Coincidence?  Possibly.

But I'm going to go on like this for a while and see.  Then inevitably I'll have some dairy somehow, and then I'll really see.

What I don't like about this change is that it puts me one step further out from "regular" food.  But I know I can deal with the hassle of telling everyone about being gluten free, and so what's dairy too?

I like the idea of making a positive change for better health.  In itself a reward.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Are you GF and dairy free?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Duinkerken Bread

I can't tell you how amazing this bread is.  While I was in NYC, we made this mix at my friend's house, and it was better than any eating out we'd done. 

What I mean to say, is that my friend made it.  I provided some moral support, of course.  And an appetite.  At first, it seemed like a bother to me that the directions require you to beat 2 egg whites.  I mean, who beats egg whites in recipes anymore? 

I'll tell you who.  The people who work hard because they want to eat some super-awesome gluten free bread, that's who!

Check this out:

Looks like bread to me.  Tastes like bread to me.  In fact, the best gluten free bread I've ever had.

Actually, I think the beaten egg whites make all the difference.  The ingredients do not contain any dairy, nor do the directions advise adding any.  Therefore, I have decided to take the leap of also going dairy-free.  (I have been holding out on this because my previous favorite, the Gluten Free Pantry Bread Mix, contains dry milk).

So I ordered a whole case of the stuff (that's 6).  It's not on Amazon, but my friend Jen found it on buy the case:

So yesterday I tried it in the bread machine.  I put the warm water in the machine with the yeast, then beat the egg whites, then added all the ingredients and mixed.  It went pretty well.  I also put the 2nd (not used in the recipe) egg yolk on top for a crusty top.

So here's what it looked like out of the bread machine:
Success!  Guys, you have to try this one!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Oh, Babycakes. Why.

I had the opportunity to spend this past weekend in New York City, and I had a wonderful time.

I stayed with an old friend from Ohio who lives in the city, who also eats gluten-free, so we had a lot to talk about and compare notes on.

We tried to go to as many places with gluten free offerings as possible, however we weren't able to get everywhere.  On my next trip, I really look forward to finding some Everybody Eats products to try, because I was disappointed to have missed them on this trip, having heard so many good things about them.

One of the places I was able to go to was Babycakes Bakery.  We arrived later in the day, and I was a little surprised that it is such a small storefront, but of course that doesn't matter.  Great things can come from small places!

Anyway, the location was extremely small, I would guess the storefront was about 12 feet wide, with the main counter just a few feet away from the door.  It was quite cramped, with a couple stools against the wall on the right, and two or three stools in front of the counter in the few feet between the counter and the front window.

When we arrived, there were two people sitting and talking on the stools to the right, which were directly in front of the main cooler with the baked goods.  About two or three people were ahead of us and so we were not able to look at the selections until after they had all checked out with their orders, due to the space.

When it was our turn to step up to the glass, I began to look at the selections when a young lady carrying two large trash bags (I mean large, they were about 5 feet tall each) came out of the kitchen area and asked us to move so she could take the trash out of the front door.  We walked all the way up to the front of the store and got out of the way.

After she had passed by, we returned to the counter, and because the written item descriptions were not all matched up with the trays of cupcakes, etc., I asked the man behind the counter which gluten-free (non-spelt) selections were still available.  He looked at me like I was stupid and said, "what it says on the glass."  Then he seemed to be obviously annoyed that I was not selecting a baked good soon enough for his taste, because he said, "Can I help anybody who knows what they want?"

That comment, I felt, was pretty rude.  I really didn't appreciate someone talking to me like that, someone who is asking for my business and my money.

So anyway, I went ahead asked if I could please have a red velvet cupcake.  He said Ok, I also selected a vanilla, chocolate and carrot.  Then my friend ordered a "Healthy-Ho" which is something like a sandwich of two brownies with cream filling inside.  He brought the order to the front, with a total of only three cupcakes and the fake Ho-Ho.  I said, "that's only three cupcakes," to which he replied, "Oh, did you want the carrot?"

To which I replied, "Um, no."  Which was my best decision all day.  The total price for these items was 16.60.

We took our selections to go, which he packed in boxes and put into an "I heart NY" plastic bag.

We then walked briefly around the Chinatown and Little Italy neighborhood, returned to the car, and drove up to Lincoln Center and sat down to enjoy them while watching the fountain.

The man at the counter had packed the three cupcakes in a box with a plastic window that was not glued to the top of the box, so the piece of cellophane had fallen onto the cupcakes under the weight of the box containing the Healthy Ho.  So when I opened the box, it looked like this:

But it's not what it looks like, it's how it tastes, right?

So I picked up the red velvet to taste what I expected to be a great cupcake.  But it was heavy.

So I pulled back the paper and took a bite.  I'm sorry to say, it was quite dry, and rather dense.  And the icing was very oily.  The texture was kind of inconsistent, with a moist spot here or there, a harder spot here or there, and the rest just, well, um...dry.

And the taste?  Well, I must admit I grew up in the midwest at a time when most every woman baked and many were masters.  So for better or for worse, my background dictates certain expectations for baked goods, and I am sorry to say that the taste fell far below my expectations.  It had more of a taste of fruit ingredients than that famous taste of red velvet cocoa with creamy frosting.

And so I did what my grandmother, who taught me how to bake, would probably have done.  I put it back in the box.

But I don't think it's fair to judge an entire bakery based on two bites of one cupcake.  Fortunately, I had two more chances to be delighted.

I moved to the vanilla cupcake with the green frosting.  Again, as I picked it up, it felt a little heavy.  I took one bite--and how was it, you ask?  Dry, yet again.  And it tasted more like orange or citrus than vanilla.  I commented to my friend that I must have been given the wrong flavor, and she thought it might have been "flavored" with lemon extract, or there may be lemon juice in the icing.

Well, the last time I baked anything "vanilla" flavored, I used vanilla.  And the last time I baked anything "lemon" flavored, I used lemon juice.  And so on.

So to me, this was not a pleasing flavor when I expected "vanilla."

After my first bite, I also returned it to its box.

When we made it back home, this is how the box looked (Uh, yum?):

I would just say, that in terms of an overall experience, I am going to have to give Babycakes a thumbs down.  

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, I'd give them a 1 for customer service, a 1 for price/value, and a minus 2 for taste.  (Maybe that's a little harsh.  How about just a minus 1.)

When we got home, my friend made a batch of homemade gluten free chocolate donuts, which were awesome.  That cheered me up!  But the ironic thing, is that when I was leaving Raleigh to come to NYC, I stopped by our awesome local dedicated gluten free specialty store, Rosie's Plate, to pick up some pita bread, they asked if I wanted to buy some cupcakes to also take to my gluten free friend.  I declined.  But next time, that is exactly what I am going to do.

(Also a shout out to other triangle bakeries like Moonlight Bakery, The Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse, and Meepcakes in Winston-Salem.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Food in our lives, what changes and what doesn't

I read a great post this week from Wendy at her Celiacs in the House blog.  She talks about the complicated relationship with food, and how that can change when we find out we are celiacs, and it is then necessary to make diet changes.

It has me thinking about the bigger picture of food in our lives.  What culture in the world doesn't have its food playing a major role?  Having meals together, "breaking bread" together (if you will), is a part of life, everywhere in the world.  We all must have food, clothing and shelter to live.  Whatever else we have culturally (arts, entertainment, etc.) is just details.

Everyone remembers our mother's cooking.  She was the first to care for us and make sure we were fed.  Similarly, many of us remember our grandma's cooking, and her bringing infinite wisdom to the kitchen that would sparkle, often brighter than our own mother's prowess.

So we have these memories, these tastes.   But sometimes we didn't like everything.  Who here likes brussel sprouts, for example?  We don't always make the foods our grandmothers made and integrate them into our lives.  We don't always have the same non-food traditions that our grandparents and those before them had.   I mean, I sure don't.

But I do know that I am who I am because of their care and values.  I know there are many kinds of dishes that I love, that were made by my grandmother, like Beef and Noodles, every kind of home grown vegetable, jello, custard pie, pumpkin pie, all other kinds of pie, sugar cookies, Turkey and homemade stuffing, baked ham, baked chicken, sweet yams, scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet Easter bread, scrambled eggs, bacon, etc. etc.  You know, Ohio german farm food.

What traditions have I not continued?  I don't cook up a pan of bacon.  I don't work on the farm 8 hours a day, and will not work that fat off while sitting at my desk at work.  So I am discarding this tradition, one which would be unhealthy for me.  I think my grandmother would agree that's a good idea.  Also, I don't make sweet Easter bread (yet).  That would take something like 2 days to do, if I could even figure out how to make it gluten free (which I probably could).  Instead, I am spending those 2 days working and networking, or practicing, all things that are leading me to greater opportunities in my life.  And I feel like that is alright as well.

And what new traditions do I have?  My mother started a tradition of making soft sugar cut-out cookies as a family around Christmastime.  We would bake them together--she, my 2 brothers and me--and then we would frost and decorate them.  We would give them to all our teachers, friends and neighbors, etc.  This wasn't an old tradition, but now that I've successfully adapted this recipe to gluten free, I do the same in my life.  I share cookies with work contacts, local friends, etc.  It's inexpensive, and so I can give more to people, can take a plate to share with everyone at work, and something homemade means so much more than store-bought anything.  And I think it's a fun thing to do.


I have always maintained that Celiac Disease doesn't change your life.  It might change a few details about how you have to plan ahead your meals, a little bit, but it doesn't change who you are, your dreams, and what you can do, one bit.  However, I do see that it is becoming part of my story.  Just from the way I live, and how planning my eating has changed.  But I'm really OK with that, and I think the fact that I do approach eating and food a little differently is just an extension of taking care of myself.  Something I know my ancestry would smile upon and support.

Whenever someone is asking me, "isn't that hard?  That would be so difficult.  Don't you miss eating things?"

My response is always, "Anything you can have that's made with wheat or gluten, can be made without.  I don't feel deprived of anything.  If I want something bad enough, I know I can have it, although I just might have to make it myself."  I've found it to be true.  And I'll share with you if and when I ever get that Easter Bread converted to gluten free, because I'm sure it can be done.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Read this if you're a celiac tempted to eat gluten

Last fall, several of us in my area were duped, I am sad to say, by a guy who was selling bread that he claimed was gluten free, baked in his own bakery.  Turns out, it was wheat bread he was repackaging that he'd purchased wholesale and passed off on us.  It was lie after lie after lie.  You can read about it on Zach's blog here.

I do not know of any studies that have looked into the long-term effects of "glutening" over a period of time.  In any case, here are photos of me, before and after being glutened, so you can see what it looked like on me.

The first photo is me in November 2009 (before):

The second is me at Christmas, Dec. 25, 2009.  I ate wheat bread at almost every meal for approximately 2-3 weeks, starting November 25 and finishing probably around Dec. 11th-13th, somewhere in there.  So this 2nd picture is from AFTER I was glutened, and I think it's pretty obvious that I had still not recovered by Christmas.

I felt horribly tired and could barely do anything outside the bare minimum for work, which was excruciatingly difficult itself.  All I felt like doing was staying in bed.  All day.

Check out the bloating of my face and hands.  Not to mention my coloring.

Thank goodness I am feeling better.  I've been working to lose the weight I gained over the winter (that I really believe was in a large part secondary to the glutening), and I feel much better overall now.  Here I am yesterday with my gluten-free little brother (a little sweaty after an outdoor concert--but looking and feeling much, much recovered!).
So you might be thinking, gee, one little wheat cookie (or two, or three)/piece of bread/cake, etc. might be OK.  If you want to kill yourself and feel horrible, go right ahead.  Don't say I didn't warn ya.

(and what I really mean, is--please don't.  It's not worth it.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Three Kinds of Celiacs

I originally started to write this entry, titled "The Two Kinds of Celiacs," and then had a Monty Python Spanish Inquisition sketch moment, if you know what I mean.

It seems like I largely meet diagnosed Celiacs who roughly fall into one of the two categories:  1) learned about the disease on their own through research, collecting information from family members, and presented this to their healthcare provider begging for the test, and for answers about why they feel sick all the time, or 2) after prolonged illness, misdiagnosis, and having to almost die in the hospital, as a last resort, some doctor, as a last ditch effort, gives a celiac test, which turns out to be positive.

In the first category, most of us who did this met were dismissed as crazy by doctors, were refused the test, or in some lucky cases like mine, were listened to and given the test.  I've heard stories that relatives of diagnosed people would save all their money to go in and see a doctor to ask for the test and be refused, being told that Celiac Disease is a rare thing (1 in 133 is rare???????).

The second case is far more tragic, I think.  My heart goes out to those people.

In both cases, doctors have failed.

For people like me, the doctors over the years who just told me I was tired because I didn't exercise enough or that I needed to take iron pills, or the dentists who told me I should just stop eating candy and drinking sodas--all failed.  Failed to see the real thing that was going on, that I had a very common condition called Celiac Disease, and for me, the very staple of our diet, wheat, was killing me slowly.  I felt horrible all the time but people just thought I was lazy, because I was so tired and lethargic.

In both cases, the two groups have been failed by the US Medical system, because people are not routinely tested to rule out Celiac.  And if we were tested, many of us could avoid our related conditions altogether, like autoimmune disorders of the thyroid, neuropathies and ataxia, etc.  The conditions that once acquired, cannot be reversed.  I think that's a tragedy, and a crime by doctors.

The third type of Celiac is the undiagnosed.  Especially I am thinking of the people who are related to us, the already diagnosed.  Those undiagnosed people who refuse to be tested, despite the fact that there is a genetic link.  Doctors especially fail these people when they do not insist they be tested.  It seems like all of us have them in our families.

When someone says, "I have cancer," no one says, "No you don't.  That's not a real illness."

I hope that someday there is only one kind of American Celiac.  The one who is diagnosed early by way of routine screening, as a child, who successfully eats a gluten free diet and lives a long and healthy life.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wraps!! Go Get 'Em! (in Raleigh)

Hey everyone!  I was over at Fresh Market today, one of the few places where I can find Wick Fowler's Taco Seasoning (Gluten Free), and look what I found:

I found the pot of gold!

That's right, here in Raleigh you can have a wrap that doesn't break when bent, La Tortilla Factory's Smart and Delicious Gluten Free Teff Wraps!  As I mentioned in this earlier post

And they were on sale for only 3.99.  If we keep buying them, they will keep stocking them, I hope.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chebe Pizza Crust Mix

This is an awesome mix.  I ordered a whole case on Amazon, and couldn't be happier!

Tomato Bread (crust, tomatoes, and mozzarella):

That took one package.

Then I made another, for breadsticks, knots, and a calzone/stromboli (isn't that the same thing?)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Living Underground

Hi everyone!

I'll bet you've been wondering where I went.  I've been juggling multiple jobs, travel, and responsibilities lately.  While I've been busy, I've also been thinking of you.

I've created and revised some recipes, and will be sharing those things with you soon.  Also, with travel I've been to some new places and tried some new things.

I sort of got away from this blog last fall, and when we got to Nov/Dec., I wound up be glutened in a big way that I was unaware of...which made me really too sick and tired to keep up with everything.  That story is all coming out in the wash.  At the same time, I began a new job and that's been keeping me busy.

It is important for me to keep up on here and share with you all.  In the past couple weeks, one of my best friend's husband was diagnosed Celiac after years of illness.  I almost jumped for joy, because he has an answer, and we all know it is not rocket science to eat gluten free.  And so much better than drugs, and eventually we become healthier and happier than we ever were!  So he will be more well, and that delights me.

And so I sent him a box of homemade cookies.  It's the least I can do.

I had the chance to try the beef tacos off the Chili's gluten free menu last week, and they were good, but a little ho-hum.  I mean, nothing on the whole plate is green!  But I thank them for making gluten free options available and making the effort.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yesterday's Smoothie

This fine sunny afternoon, I had this thought:

"Yesterday's smoothie is today's road trip treat!"

Yep, smoothie season is here.  Time to stock up on frozen fruits, flaxseed meal and frozen spinach!  Don't forget the cranberry, pomegranate and acai juice.

While I love to share all the foods I make, (while living alone) I still wind up making much more than I can consume at one time.  So a side benefit of this is enjoying the food again, later.  For example, right now I've got a freezer full of beans and rice, vegetable stew with dumplings, etc. MMM.  Lots of healthy lunches for the office.

Whenever I make a blender-full of fruit smoothie, I get another one and a half frozen in my fridge.  I enjoyed a very nice mango, peach, cherry smoothie for about 37 miles on I-40 this afternoon.  A great treat for myself.  Love it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


This morning, I tried the recipe for scones on the Gluten Free Gourmand's blog.  I haven't ever made scones before, and rarely eat them.  But life is about learning and trying new things, so I thought I'd try these out.

I made them with my favorite flour blend, which is 2 parts rice four, 1 part potato starch, and 1 part tapioca flour/starch (so, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup potato, 1/2 cup tapioca).  With a little xantham gum.  I used 1/4 tsp. as she indicated in the recipe.

I used half and half instead of real cream.  I can't believe how fattening cream is (or half and half).  I will definitely look into using an alternative in the future, like perhaps the coconut cream?  Or maybe almond milk or something?

As for the added ingredients, I used what I had around, dried cranberries and chocolate chips.  If I make them again, I will use cranberries, but not the chocolate chips.  I think the chocolate made the scones too sweet.  So they are scones, trying to be a cookie, it seems.  They should make up their mind, these scones, to either be a cookie or a scone.  By taking out the chocolate, I believe I will help them secure a true identity of being a scone.

Anyway, my batch of these came out a little stickier than probably the recipe author's.  The idea of cutting the dough apart and separate them on the baking sheet did not work well.  Check it out:

But they baked up nicely, and I drizzled a little icing on them.  They're a good dessert scone, and I'll enjoy passing them out to friends and coworkers.  They are a good consistency.  It's a good recipe.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Before and after Celiac diagnosis photos

Ok everyone.  This took a lot of guts for me, so please be kind.

I was in bad health, and I feel that you could see it.  Check out the photos.  Please read the captions.  It was an amazing and wonderful transformation for me to become gluten free.

Emily's before and after gluten free pics

(I fixed the settings, it should work now.  Please tell me if it doesn't)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gluten Free With Love Cookbook

A while back, I was given a review copy of Gluten Free With Love: Hypo-allergenic Recipes for the Sensitive Family from Lee Fecteau, the husband of the author Tricia Fecteau.  There are many things I think this cookbook has to offer, and I'd like to tell you a little more about it.  You can see and order the cookbook online here.

The cookbook is set up with an introduction that tells the background of the Fecteau household's gluten free lifestyle and some of the things they have learned through trial and error in their diet.  I really think this approach--being sensitive to reactions and learning more about what one's body can handle through experience--is very intelligent, though often pooh-poohed by established medicine.  Doing this is, in fact, research.  I applaud them for working hard to learn what foods make their family well and what foods make their family sick.  If we all had the patience and dedication to do this, we'd be a much healthier species.

The book is divided into the following categories:
  • Appetizers
  • Breads, Muffins, etc.
  • Breakfast Entrees
  • Desserts
  • Dinner Entrees
  • Drinks
  • Salad and Dressings
  • Sauces and Gravies
  • Sides
  • Soups
It's a pretty no-frills book, with clip art photos on most pages (so unfortunately no photos of completed recipes).  I think it's got a kind of down-home charm.  And that's really a compliment, from a small-town Ohio girl like me.

The recipes are easy to read, in a large enough font, one per page.  Some recipes are very short and quick, others more involved.  I think dividing the directions for the longer recipes into more paragraphs would have made them easier to read while cooking.  Some of the recipes were so easy, at first glance they seemed a little boring.  But who says simple can't taste great?

What did I try, you ask?  Well!  My favorite recipe in the entire book was "Vermont Maple Pie" with a "Mock Graham Crust."  Check it out:

The book has many gluten free/dairy free recipes.  The above Maple Pie is totally gluten free and dairy free.  It was amazing.

I really appreciated that the recipes are tested and reliable.  These people really know how to cook things that are safe, in both large and small quantities.  All the recipes have nutrition information and say if they are "quick" and/or "lowcal." 

Definitely a worthwhile cookbook.  Definitely a great cookbook for families.  It's so inspiring when people share their experience and help everyone by doing so!

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Rachel Ray Cookie Sheet GIVEAWAY!

    Please check this out, contest open til midnight tonight!

    Wendy has a great gluten-free blog and has this fantastic giveaway contest going on today! 

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    Logging Gluten Reactions?

    Does anyone do this?  Write down when you were glutened, how you think, how much it was, and then track how long the reaction lasts?