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Is Rugelach Gluten Free?

0 Comments 05 January 2012

I tried my first rugelach during the recent holiday season. About all I knew about it was that it came in a container labeled ‘gluten free’ . I enjoyed it very much. I found out later that rugelach is an important part of Jewish cuisine, particularly during Hannukah, and that it is somewhat like a cinnamon roll, a puff pastry and/or a croissant.

This article that will give you a a better description of rugelach, photographs, and a recipe for gluten free rugalach. Here is a similar article that produces vegan gluten free rugelach. Prepared rugelach is available from Katz Gluten Free (dot com). The site includes a list of stores that make it available.

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Supporting Newly Diagnosed Celiacs

1 Comment 04 January 2012

I recently received this letter from a newcomer to the gluten free diet.:

“…have been on the gluten free diet for only three weeks and am starting to feel much better. My problem is to figure out which products are gluten free and which are not. Products that are labelled “gluten free” [are not a problem] but what about products such as mayonnaise, peanut butter, etc. etc. Are there key words to look for? I find it a very confusing world.”

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More Gluten Free Supermarket Choices

0 Comments 03 January 2012

Today I added the ShopRite and the Wegman’s supermarket chains to our “Gluten Free Supermarket Shopping” power page. I also added an independent supermarket in California and fixed two items on the page that were not working properly.

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Happy New Year

0 Comments 31 December 2011

This is a time for fresh starts. I began this website in 2002 and the gluten free world has changed so much during that time. In 2002, we were desperately looking for scraps of useful information that would nourish us without causing too much discomfort. Now we have a huge variety of products (that very different in quality and price) and a wealth of information, some of it contradictory and confusing. My task is to help you choose the best possible products and services and make the best possible decisions.

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Battling Gluten Free Food Costs

4 Comments 30 December 2011

“I am very baffled at how everyone complains of the higher cost of gluten free foods. The only gluten free foods that will cost you more money are the pre- packaged processed ones like these flours, cookies, cakes, tv dinners etc.. Most foods are automatically gluten free and thus do not cost us more money than anyone else such as lettuce, tomatoes, meat, potatoes, fruits, veggies etc… So if you are not relying on … pre- packaged foods (mixes and flours etc.) then there is not higher cost.” I recently received this comment from one member of our gluten free community.

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Gluten Free Flour Mixes

1 Comment 29 December 2011

Many gluten free flour mixes claim to replace traditional wheat flour in recipes for bread and baked goods. What is our best possible option? This survey will help you decide. The survey lists 18 brands and asks you to state your preferences and to enter comments that will help others make their decision.

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Gluten Free Resolutions…Part 3

1 Comment 28 December 2011

My third and final rule for making New Years Resolutions is “Keep track of your progress. Make changes as necessary.” I strongly suggest that you do this on paper. You probably know if you have or have not been totally faithful to your resolution but not — but that is not the entire point! Are you doing better than you did last week? Did you react to your failure by giving up completely or did you get back on track the following day? Are there certain days of the week that are harder than others? Continue Reading

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Gluten Free Resolutions … Part 2

0 Comments 27 December 2011

Yesterday we began talking about New Years’ resolutions for people who live gluten free. Yesterday’s rule was

Today we’ll talk about Rule #2: “Focus on the positives”. An example: suppose that you are concerned about the high cost of gluten free food. You have three family members who need to carry a brown bag lunch to school or work each day. If you pack sandwiches every day you’ll spend a small fortune on gluten free bread and your family will end up hating the bread.

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Gluten Free New Year’s Resolutions I

0 Comments 26 December 2011

New Years resolutions often turn out to be nothing but to-do lists for the first two weeks of the new year. Here are three rules to help you avoid what often turns out to be nothing but a futile gesture, a to-do list for the first few weeks of the new year. Her are three rules that will help you improve the situation. Continue Reading

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Merry Gluten Free Christmas

5 Comments 25 December 2011

Here is my family Christmas card. (Sorry, you’ll have to press the ‘read more button to see it clearly”. The fellow in the lower left corner is my son who is the professional computer guru who encouraged me to begin the site in 2002 and is responsible for the technical improvements. My other son is a Baptist minister and a part-time computer guru. I am the gentleman with the receding hairline in the middle of the picture and my wife is in the bottom row. It is a joy and an honor to be celebrating Christmas with them today.

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A Gluten Free Santa Claus

0 Comments 24 December 2011

Believing that the gluten free life style can be fun and fulfilling is a lot like believing in Santa Claus. Some days are harder than others.

santa claus

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful and ‘safe’ holiday season

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Overwhelmed by the Options

1 Comment 21 December 2011

“I’m overwhelmed with the number of options [available to persons looking for a flour mix for making gluten free bread] and since they’re all pretty expensive, I hesitate to try them all.” I got this note in response to the article I posted yesterday promising a survey to determine the best gluten free all-purpose flour mix. We now have 13 contenders for the title of “best gluten free all-purpose flour mix and I am sure we will add to that number before I actually begin the survey.

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Gluten Free Flour Mixes

8 Comments 20 December 2011

The ‘taste and feel’ of baked products depends in large measure by the flour(s) used to prepare them. American’s are accustomed to baked foods made from wheat flour. Most recipes are written on the assumption that wheat flour will be used. No single flour mimics the ‘taste and feel’ of wheat flour and recipes may or may not work if any other type of flour is used.

Manufacturers and cookbook authors have attempted to prepare mixtures that will solve (or at least lessen) this problem. People who live gluten free must make an individual decision about which mixtures to use. In January, I plan a survey to determine which mix is most popular.

Of course, this survey is less useful if I omit any brands. Here are the ones I am currently aware of. If there are others, please let me know at gfceliac@gmail.com. (As you have probably noticed, I listed these in alphabetical order.)

  • Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix
  • Authentic Foods Gluten Free Classical Blend
  • Beth’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • Eagle Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Multigrain Flour Blend
  • Gluten Free Pantry  All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • Hodgson Mills All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix
  • Jules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
  • King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour
  • Meister’s All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • Mina’s Purely Divine All-Purpose Baking Mix
  • Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend

Thanks for your help in building this list. To make this even more complicated, many experts have created recipes for cooks who wish to prepare their own by mix by combining several types of flour. I will attempt  to rate these recipes in a separate survey. This survey of the commercial products will be complicated enough.

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Hosting a Gluten Free New Year’s Eve Party

0 Comments 19 December 2011

Host your own New Year’s Eve party. Making everything gluten free is the surest way to keep everyone on their gluten free diet. Serve dishes that are delicious by anyone’s standards.

I feel awkward publishing this article during the week before Christmas when all of attention is focused elsewhere, but — let’s face it — well-planned parties are the best parties and it is best to do some thinking ahead of time.

This article suggests that you host your own New Years Eve party so that if will be ‘safe’ for your gluten free friends and a wonderful evening for everyone involve. Here is a collection of appropriate recipes. The article recommends that make things simpler and therefore more relaxed by making everything gluten free. Here is another collection of recipes. The beautiful photos will certainly help you make great choices.

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Gluten Free Kwanzaa Recipes

0 Comments 17 December 2011

Try these “Five Easy Gluten Free Kwanzaa Recipes”. If you need more ideas, here are five more recipes provided by Triumph Dining.

When I began researching this article, I had heard of this celebration but really knew almost nothing about it. I discovered that it is one of the few holidays young enough to have an official web site and that its frequently-asked-questions section contained lots of interesting information.

This recipe for “Steakhouse Potato Salad” really looked great to me. Finally, watch this video in which ‘Grandma Martha‘ prepares candied yams while discussing Kuanzaa with her grandson.

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Gluten Free Pizza Restaurants

2 Comments 14 December 2011

Today I added new material to our “Gluten Free Pizza Restaurants” power page. We now list nine national pizzeria chains plus at least 55 individually owned restaurants in at least 24 states. Eventually, we will enable everyone in the nation to enjoy a gluten free pizza in a ‘safe restaurant’.

When I was writing this article, my mind wandered back to 2007 when I wrote an article stating that my dream that gluten free pizza would be readily available. A short time before that, I reported to you that it was impossible to find a gluten free pizza in Portland, Oregon. I couldn’t find that article. I assume that I deleted it in a moment of despair. Life is getting easier for the people who live gluten free!

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Gluten Free Bakeries

2 Comments 13 December 2011

Gluten free bakeries are wonderful places and the joy of eating a bakery product still warm from an expert baker’s oven is a pleasure that people who live gluten free can enjoy. We do need to know where to look — most bakeries are small independently owned establishments. Today I added five new names to our “Gluten Free Bakeries” power page.

My goal for December is to add to that page, check all the links and add more so that more people can enjoy a great experience at a gluten free bakery.

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Last Minute Gluten Free Christmas Ideas

0 Comments 12 December 2011

“Christmas time is here by golly…disapproval would be folly.” So would wasting any more of your valuable time as Christmas descends upon us. I too used the internet to deal with several issues that I need to resolve before I hang up my stocking. I’d like to share a few of the things I discovered today:

♦ If you need last minute recipes, download this “survival guide” published by the California almond board. (I hate to think that Christmas is something we have to ‘survive’, but I realize that life is not that simple.)  The guide contains several well photographed and well described recipes, all containing almonds and being gluten free.

♦ This website also contains a section called “Life on the Go” which talks about using a stash of almonds to keep you going as you ‘shop till you drop’, using almonds as ‘airplane food’ and using them as an emergency meal when necessary.

Are you prepared for a blizzard?” Every home should be , especially when special needs food is a necessity and the weather is unpredictable. My wife and I have been snowed in during two Christmases since we moved to Oregon. Fortunately, our son has access to a four-wheel drive truck and lives at a much lower attitude. We still need to be ready for whatever happens.

♦ Here’s an article about last-minute Christmas gifts that can be made by children with adult assistance. This can help solve two ’emergencies’ — gifts that need to be prepared and children who need something to keep their mind off Santa Claus.

♦ “The ‘gift therapist‘  is a video maker who can help you solve two ‘holiday hassles’. Most of her raw materials come from Good Will or The Dollar Store. The food used in some of her gifts does not have to be home made. Her method is to present her very inexpensive gifts in an exciting way. What a combination — gifts that look great, cost very little, and can be prepared at the last minute! Click here to see her in action again.

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Is Dried Fruit Gluten Free?

1 Comment 09 December 2011

Dried fruit is almost certainly OK on the gluten free diet. I found nothing to suggest a problem. Of course, dried food is a food that has been processed at unsafe ingredients may have cross-contaminated the fruit. Fortunately, the dried fruit probably comes in a container with an ingredients list. Read that list, and — as the saying goes — “when in doubt leave it out”.

Here are links to recipes for gluten free fruitcake and gluten free trail mix bars. This writer recommends dried fruit as a “snack to keep in the car“. None of these experts suggest any reason for concern.

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Christmas Notes…for People Living Gluten Free

0 Comments 08 December 2011

Be prepared for a challenge this Christmas, particularly if this is your first gluten free holiday season. You’ll be surrounded by family and friends that you have not seen since prior to your decision to go gluten free. Here are a few ideas that may help:

Feel free to use the term ‘allergy’, even though it is not technically correct. I usually say that I have a reaction to wheat, barley, and rye. That covers the matter without scaring people with the word ‘disease’. Besides, I don’t feel diseased. I just feel a guy who is on a rather strict diet but has absolutely no bad effects if I am faithful to my commitment to it. Even during the Christmas season!!!!

People sometimes ask me about my symptoms. I tell them what it does to my mental processes but seldom mention what it does to my gut and particularly my bowels. Rehearse your answer carefully. You’ll need it.

People will ask me whether they should try the gluten free diet. Answer: that’s a task for a physician or a dietician and in case this is not the time or place to talk about it. I do say that the gluten free diet has made a wonderfully positive difference in my life.

You may need to mention that the gluten free diet is one of the few diets where the goal  is total elimination. Most diets have a more modest goal: no one would endeavor to eliminates all calories from their diet — that would be extremely difficult and probably fatal.

Always carry “emergency rations” for use in cases where I can’t get a ‘safe’ meal. I don’t eat when I am too hungry. That is a temptation to relax your standards and eat questionable foods.

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Christmas Notes…for People Hosting Gluten Free Guests

0 Comments 07 December 2011

Here’s some ideas about how to show hospitality to your gluten free guests this holiday season:

  • If you are using computer search engines to plan your meal, use the terms ‘holiday’, ‘Christmas’, and ‘Thanksgiving’. As far as meal planning is concerned, you will get more relevant information but most of that information will apply to all holidays.
  • Don’t cook the stuffing inside the turkey. That way, you don’t have to prepare dressing in a way that makes it gluten free.
  • Use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken the gravy. Your gluten free guests will appreciate the gesture and your other guests will not know the difference.
  • If you are cooking gluten free, don’t try to imitate wheat-based dishes. Find something  ‘different’. People like what they are used to eating. It is almost impossible to make wheat based food that tastes exactly like gluten free food. Don’t try. Focus on foods that provide little opportunity for comparison.
  • Your gluten free guest will probably need reassurance. Keep in mind that your guest is not questioning your judgment or your level of concern.
  • If you are serving gluten free snacks or appetizers, make them finger-food wherever possible. This lessens the chance that snacks will be contaminated by implements that have been used with wheat based food.
  • Your gluten free guests will probably bring ’emergency rations’ for use in situations where ‘safe’ food may be inaccessible. We all do that.
  • Your gluten free guest may not eat a great deal. We have all been conditioned to avoid temptation by not coming to the dinner table excruciatingly hungry.
  • Be assured that being ‘glutened’ is very uncomfortable but is not dangerous unless it happens repeatedly. We’ve all been there.

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Rising Sun Farms…a Product Review

0 Comments 06 December 2011

Rising Sun Farms produces gluten free cheese snacks and spreads that taste great and are packaged well enough so that they can be displayed on any gluten free table. I particularly enjoyed their pesto and cream cheese torta and their artichoke cheese torta. There are lots of spreads and dips that would look fantastic on any holiday table. Everything produced by Rising Sun Farms is gluten free and all products come from a 100% gluten free facility. There are sales outlets coast-to-coast. I found mine at Costco.

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Gluten Free in a Jar…a Holiday Gift Idea

0 Comments 05 December 2011

Christmas mixes in a jar make unique gifts in that they are relatively inexpensive, help gluten free children decide which of their favorite foods are worth sharing with friends, and are a joyful experience for gift makers young and old. Young gift makers can learn more about how to identify a recipe that is gluten free.

There are three basic steps involved

designing the gift jar. Here is a video that should be watched by every adult who will be assisting a child in preparing the gift. Older children would probably get good ideas from it. Try this article on designing the gift jars.

choosing the recipe. Here are recipes of various sorts that the gluten free gift makers may wish to transform into a gift. Think about the recipes to decide which ones are worth passing on to friends (you might have to try them to find out for sure).  Bear in mind that all of the recipes are not gluten free. Perhaps the young gift makers will attempt how to modify the recipe to make it ‘safe’. Take advantage of the fact that most of the recipes have been photographed inside a gift jar. These pictures will provide more creative ideas.

Here are two collections of appropriate recipes. Click here or here. Try this recipe for oatmeal, peanut butter, and raisin cookies (be sure to use certified gluten free oats), and these recipes for Christmas cookies.

providing instructions. The recipients need to know what to do with the gift and what it will look like when it is finished. My system for doing this is to provide a two or three word description of the product and web address where detailed directions and a photograph are available.

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Gluten Free Gag Gifts

0 Comments 01 December 2011

Cafe Press is a fun place to shop. People who live gluten free, and everyone else for that matter, can see thousands of different artwork and slogans embossed on thousands of different products.  Since there are six million plus options available, let me walk you through the steps of how to get started.

→ Use the link in the first paragraph to go the site.

→ Type the words “gluten free” in the search box. (You could type Obama, anti-Obama, religious humor, hemorrhoids, Presbyterians, vegetarians, democrats, southern girls, or almost anything else in the box. Let’s start with a simple and useful term like “gluten free”.

→ Look in the left sidebar and choose the type of gift you are trying to produce. This can make everything from bumper stickers to teddy bears to I-Pad cases to clocks to thermos bottles and beyond. Use your imagination.

→ Have fun.

This  not specifically a gluten free website, so you can do much of your Christmas shopping here. The site says “most orders shipped in 24 hours orders or less” so it is not too late. Currently, all T-shirts are on-sale for up to 30% off.

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Your First Gluten Free Christmas

0 Comments 01 December 2011

If this is your first gluten free holiday season, I wish you well. You will face challenges! Hopefully these ideas will help you meet them successfully.

🙂 Remember that many of the people at your holiday meal will be hearing about celiac disease and the gluten free diet for the first time. I like to stress that my celiac disease has absolutely no symptoms if I stay on the diet. Most people can “suspend” their diet for one meal. I have no intention of doing so.

🙂 Don’t swallow the myth that there is some magic bullet that will make this Christmas dinner exactly like last year’s dinner with all the gluten removed. The taste and texture of many foods is affected by the ingredients used. Eating gluten free food “takes some getting used to” but it is certainly possible. (FYI, this was not true when I was diagnosed 12 years ago.)

🙂 Emphasize that celiac disease is serious but not that serious. I’m thinking about my youngest granddaughter who has a severe allergy to peanuts. She always carries medication that will keep her alive until we get her to an Emergency Room.

🙂 Don’t surprise your host or hostess. They are already under enough stress.

🙂 Bring a dish to share. Some people will be curious enough to try it. Bring something unique and unusual. Don’t try to imitate gluten-containing food. People will make comparisons. The gluten based food will inevitably ‘win’ because it is what most people are used to. Incidentally, I did not say to bring something for yourself. That just increases the sense of isolation.

🙂 Don’t use the word ‘cross contamination’. It is really offensive to a fastidious host and does not really describe what you are talking about. ‘Cross contact’ is a much more useful term.

🙂 Don’t cheat. You will spoil or at least damage your holiday experience. Your relatives and friends will make assumptions about how to deal with you at the next family gathering. They need to see that Celiac Disease is an issue but not an unsolvable problem.

Everything I have just said is personal opinion based on twelve years experience. You may wish to check out these three articles based on the experiences of others. Click here and/or here and/or here.

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Gift Baskets for the Gluten Free

0 Comments 30 November 2011

Amazon (dot com) offers a tremendous variety of gluten free gift basket. This article shows you 19 baskets that I would love to give or receive. If you want to do some more electronic window shopping before you decide, try The Gluten Free Palace or The Royal Basket Company This firm is currently offering a 15% discount plus free shipping.

This gingerbread house kit which includes all the ‘safe’ gingerbread and all the gluten and allergen free plus allergen free frosting and candies.

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Gluten Free Gift Cards

0 Comments 30 November 2011

A night at a gluten free restaurant is a wonderful present, and it is even better if you are able to pay for your meal with a gift card bearing a picture of your grandchildren. The Outback Steakhouse, The Bonefish Grill, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill (members of the same family of restaurants) offer cards of this sort, I have dropped a hint to my family that I expect a gift certificate in my Christmas stocking.

Gift certificates are available from P.F. Chang’s. You might want to combine this with a ‘Warrior Card‘ which entitles the bearer to a 10% discount on every meal.

The Melting Pot is a very special place for a gluten free celebration.

This article could go on forever. Many restaurants offer gift cards.

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Kitchen Tools for the Gluten Free

0 Comments 29 November 2011

A kitchen makeover (or partial makeover) is a wonderful Christmas gift and a very practical one in homes that have recently gone gluten free. Here are four articles that may give you ideas:
🙂Seven Helpful Tools for Gluten Free Cooks
🙂 Frugal Gluten Free Cooking Tools that Stretch Your Budget
🙂 Does Your Kitchen Need a Gluten Free Makeover?
🙂 A Blogger’s Kitchen Tour

Reading these articles will generate literally hundreds of ideas for Christmas shopping. Many of them will be available at Amazon (dot com). While you are at that megasite, you might want to do more more Christmas shopping. (The best way to move around the Amazon site is to type the name of the item you are looking for in the search box at the top of the page. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to return here from the Amazon site.)

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Gluten Free Angelfood Cake

1 Comment 28 November 2011

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake was one of the biggest hits at our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Even a few of my gluten-wary friends (the relatives who eat gluten free food only to placate me) seemed to be enjoying it. To the best of my memory it is the first angel food cake I’ve had since my diagnosis in 1999, but I loved it.

The cake came from a mix produced by Kinnickinik foods and was nut and dairy free. It was made in a dedicated facility. My only concern was that it required 12 egg whites (which adds to the cost and preparation time) and the mix needed to be sifted before preparation began.

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Books and The Gluten Free Lifestyle

0 Comments 28 November 2011

The information and inspiration in these five books will enable people to thrive gluten free. I recommend that you read these five very brief reviews and then make your choices by clicking one of the buttons that follow the article. The color that follows each title will make your choice even easier.

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Cookbooks for the Gluten Free

0 Comments 27 November 2011

Cookbooks are welcome gifts for people who cook gluten free food. Click on the title of each book to read my thoughts on each book. If you decide to order the book for Amazon (dot com), click on the graphic at the top of  the article containing the review.

♦ The Gluten Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults

♦ Wheat-Free Gluten-Free Dessert Cookbook

Gluten Free Cooking for Dummies

The Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Reduced-Calorie Cookbook

The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free

The Gluten Free Gourmet (sorry, no review available)

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Gluten Free Flammkuchen

0 Comments 24 November 2011

Your first question is probably “what’s flammkucken?” It’s a German delicacy, a bit like pizza but made with cheeses, bacon, and many other ingredients but not involving tomato paste. The term flammkuchen translates “made in flames”.

Here are three recipes for flammkuchen. Each recipe includes photos for the benefit of those have not yet had the chance to learn what this food tastes like or look like. Each recipe includes directions for preparing the topping as well as directions for making the crust. Personally, I would ignore the directions for the crust. In my humble opinion, flammkucken is the best way to top a gluten free pizza crust. I use the Kinnickanick brand, but I have a hunch that this is not important either. Experiment! FYI: My family and I lived in Germany for 22 years and I fell in love with flammkucken during that time. My wife and I were overjoyed when our son included it in our Thanksgiving feast.

To check out the recipes I have recommended, click here and/or here and/or here. Enjoy your creation.

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Gluten Free Small Business Saturday

0 Comments 23 November 2011

Saturday November 26 has been declared “small business Saturday”, and many gluten free food related enterprises are small — sometimes very small — businesses.

There are so many of them that listing them would be absolutely impossible but are a few ideas:
most of the places mentioned on our ‘Gluten Free Pizza Restaurants‘ and ‘Gluten Free Bakeries‘ power pages definitely fit in that category. The independently owned stores on our ‘Gluten Free Supermarket Shopping‘ page also qualify.

Many gluten free support groups list area restaurants and stores that are small businesses. Here are listings from the groups from Indianapolis, western New York state, Portland (Oregon), and Denver. These are only examples.

Blogs and websites like this one small businesses. (FYI, this site is a one-man operation) Many of them are supported by advertising. Supporting these advertisers does not change your costs in any way — the firms involved have chosen to pay for advertising on our web sites rather than elsewhere. One word of caution: many of the ads are placed by computers rather than by human beings, so you need to shop defensively even when you are on a gluten free website.

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FTI: Since Thursday is a holiday, I will be publishing the weekly newsletter on Friday. Enjoy your holiday!

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Gluten Free Desserts

0 Comments 22 November 2011

Recipes for gluten free desserts are available on the internet. You’re only problem will be TMI (Too Much Information). Have a look at these three sets of recipes and you will find a total of 30 choices. (There may be some duplicates.) Click here and/or here and/or here to explore.

I’ve posted at least seven articles about gluten free desserts. You can find them by scrolling down to the bottom of the article and click on the tag (it’s probably red) that says ‘gluten free recipes’. Your computer will create a special page containing excerpts from each of the articles. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article. Topics cover biscotti, cheesecake, baklava, tiramisu, brandy balls, rum balls, fruitcake, and eggnog.

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Since Thursday is a holiday, I will be publishing the regular weekly newsletter on Friday. Happy Thanksgiving

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Gluten Free Leftovers

0 Comments 21 November 2011

Holiday dinners inevitably have leftovers. Here are a number of ideas that may be useful. After all, we don’t want to waste food, spend any more money on food than we have to, and enjoy relaxed post-holiday meals. Browse through these suggestions. Click here and/or here to find ideas that I added recently.

I have written several articles about handling gluten free holiday leftovers. To browse through them, scroll down to the bottom of this page and find the tag that says “gluten free leftovers”. Your computer will create a special page including excepts from each of the articles that have a similar tag. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article.

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Since Thursday is a holiday, I will publish the regular weekly newsletter on Friday.

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Gluten Free Biscotti, Cheesecake, and Baklava

0 Comments 21 November 2011

Serving gluten free biscotti, cheesecake, and baklava will give your holiday celebration an international flavor.Here are three recipes for gluten free biscotti .This site includes both a biscotti and a cheese cake recipe. (Click here for more cheesecake recipes.) Try this recipe for walnut orange biscotti. Here’s another recipe that you might find helpful. If you prefer to watch a You-Tube demonstration, click here.

Baklava can be prepared gluten free and will surely add an international touch to your holiday feast. Try this recipe. This recipe is vegetarian as well as gluten free. If you prefer a You-Tube demonstration, click here.

I’ve posted at least seven articles about gluten free desserts. You can find them by scrolling down to the bottom of the article and click on the tag (it’s probably red) that says ‘gluten free recipes’. Your computer will create a special page containing excerpts from each of the articles. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article. Topics cover biscotti, cheesecake, baklava, tiramisu, brandy balls, rum balls, fruitcake, and eggnog.

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Gluten Free Tiramisu

0 Comments 20 November 2011

Tiramisu is a traditionally popular Italian dessert. Here is Betty Crocker’s recipe, which can be served as a parfait, as cupcakes, as tiramisu bars, or in the familiar cakes using lady fingers as a base.

Gluten free lady fingers are available from Dr Schar or from the Gluten Free Pantry. They are probably avail where you purchase gluten free cookies.

This recipe
includes both the tiramisu itself and the lady fingers you’ll need.

I’ve posted at least seven articles about gluten free desserts. You can find them by scrolling down to the bottom of the article and click on the tag (it’s probably red) that says ‘gluten free recipes’. Your computer will create a special page containing excerpts from each of the articles. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article. Topics cover biscotti, cheesecake, baklava, tiramisu, brandy balls, rum balls, fruitcake, and eggnog.

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Gluten Free Brandy or Rum Balls

0 Comments 20 November 2011

Are rum balls cookies or candies? They are both, although the person who is enjoying one won’t bother to think about the difference. Are they gluten free? They certainly can be. The only questionable ingredient is finally ground up cookies, usually vanilla wafers, and wheat eaters in the group will not know or care what type of cookie was used. All distilled alcoholic beverages are ‘safe’ for us.

Click here for a video demonstration of brandy or rum ball creation. In addition to preparing them, the narrator shows us how to give them a great taste and a visual appeal that will add ‘class’ to any party and be a welcome Christmas gift for anyone.

 

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Gluten Free Fruit Cake

0 Comments 19 November 2011

In all the recipes that I examined, most suggest using alcoholic beverages of some sort but specify that this is optional. Also, all the recipes require flour but I see no reason why gluten free flour mixes could not be used.

Here are three more recipes for gluten free fruit cake. In all three of these, the writers slip in comments to the effect that fruit cake baked at home is superior to anything purchased commercially. I hope they are right! Since the three titles almost exactly the same, I will simply suggest that you click here and/or here.

My last suggestion is not a recipe but a musical tribute to the the fruit cake. Enjoy “Grandma’s Killer Fruit Cake


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Holiday Snacks and Treats

0 Comments 18 November 2011

Rice Krispie Treats and snack mixes made with Chex cereals are wonderful holiday snacks. However. this year they present challenges for people who live gluten free.

There are now two types of Rice Krispies, regular and gluten free. I enjoy Rice Krispie treats, but I won’t be able to eat them unless they are clearly labeled to tell me which version of that cereal was used. The two types of Rice Krispies look exactly alike.

I love Chex cereals and party mixes made from them. However, some Chex cereals are ‘safe’ and some are not. Click here for recipes. Since since I can’t always remember which versions of Chex cereals are gluten free, please label your creation.

I appreciate that generosity and the holiday spirit of the folks who prepare these snacks but I urge them to one step further — label them so that there can be no confusion.

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Eggnog for Everyone

1 Comment 16 November 2011

Eggnog is available to everyone, including those who live gluten free and those who must avoid casein and/or dairy free foods. Even people who cannot tolerate eggs can join in this holiday tradition. Liquor is listed in many recipes, but always with the statement that these ingredients are optional.

Gluten free eggnog will probably in the dairy case at your local supermarket. It is difficult to list specific brands since there are very few dairies that sell nation-wide. I did discover Upstate Farms and Organic Valley. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to read the package labels. Wheat must be listed since it is an official allergen, I can’t imagine eggnog flavored with rye, and I found no mention of barley or rye in the dozens of recipes that I read while preparing this article.

I found literally hundreds of recipes on the internet. This recipe is labeled “traditional eggnog“. I was curious about this recipe because of the simple fact that with so many recipes listed on the web, how could one be sorted out as ‘traditional’.? My hunch, I think this was one person’s opinion about the best way to get his article ‘noticed’ on You-Tube.

Here’s a You-Tube demonstration of “Eggnog for One“. The narrator indicates that soy milk may be used. This recipe specifies that coconut milk (one of my favorite beverages) may be used. I assume that any kind of milk could be used in most of these recipes. Experiment!

Is egg-less eggnog a possibility? Sure! This recipe uses vanilla ice cream instead of eggs. These two recipes that use pudding mix instead of eggs to produce mock eggnog. Click here and/or here to have a look at them.

An updated version of this article was published on December 4, 2013.

 

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Holiday Pies

0 Comments 16 November 2011

There are two different approaches preparing gluten free pies for the holiday season of any other occasion:

🙂 We can “go crustless”. There is no law that states that every pie must have a crust. This article is a general introduction to the subject and includes three recipes. Here are You-Tube demonstrations of crustless sweet potato pie and crustless pecan pie.

🙂 We can make a traditional pie. (This may be a practical necessity if you do not wish to call attention to the fact that your pie is gluten free.) This You-Tube demonstration of how to prepare the crust is excellent because it is photographed very well and explained very thoroughly. It’s great for relatively inexperienced bakers like myself. Here is another demonstration of preparing a crust using a food processor.

This link will take you to You-Tube demonstration on making a pumpkin pie filling.

These websites provide recipes for apple pie filling, and pumpkin pie filling. Both articles tell you to use all-purpose flour. Keep in mind that — in this situation —the flour is a thickening agent and not a pie crust ingredient. Gluten free all-purpose flour is OK and there are other thickening agents available to you. I will probably try corn starch.

I’ve posted at least seven articles about gluten free desserts. You can find them by scrolling down to the bottom of the article and click on the tag (it’s probably red) that says ‘gluten free recipes’. Your computer will create a special page containing excerpts from each of the articles. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article. Topics cover biscotti, cheesecake, baklava, tiramisu, brandy balls, rum balls, fruitcake, and eggnog.

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Is Cranberry Sauce Gluten Free?

0 Comments 15 November 2011

Cranberry sauce is almost certainly gluten free. Ocean Spray assures us in the FAQ section of its website that cranberry sauce is ‘safe’ or at least that all its suppliers claim that their cranberry sauce is gluten free.

Fortunately, cranberry sauce is very easy to prepare at home and virtually anything that is homemade tastes better than something that comes out of a can. This article contains ten recipes for cranberry sauce. There are at least twenty You-Tube demonstrations available. Try this one — if you need another demonstration, click here. By the way, does anyone know the difference between “Christmas cranberry sauce” and regular cranberry sauce?

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Gluten Free Cheesecake

2 Comments 15 November 2011

Gluten free cheesecake is easy to prepare. Your biggest problem may be choosing among the hundreds of recipes that appear on-line.

Try this recipe for cheesecake with cherry topping or this Betty Crocker recipe for chocolate chip cookie cheesecake. You’ll find at least a dozen more if you do a web search using the terms “gluten free” “cheesecake”.

I can’t wait to try this recipe for “Five Minute Cheese Cake“. The writer suggests that we top the cheesecake with fresh fruit or homemade jam. The author describes this as “every day cheesecake”. Wow!!! Can I really enjoy this treat every day?

Here is a video demonstration of how to prepare gluten free pumpkin cheesecake. The narrator looks like she would prefer to be doing almost anything else, but she knows how to make great cheesecake! One detail that I really appreciate was that she uses the gluten free Chex cereal to prepare the crust.

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Holiday Dinners…Ham, Duck, or Goose

0 Comments 14 November 2011

Turkey is the most popular choice for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but ham, duck, or goose are also possibilities. Here are links to several You-Tube demonstrations that may interest you:

♦ Ham. Watch this honey baked ham demonstration or this video explaining how to create a brown sugar and honey crusted ham.

♦ Duck. Here is all you need to know to roast a duck. This gourmet salad made with grilled Peking duck.

♦ Goose. This roast goose recipe is seasoned with salt, pepper, and vegetable oil only. What could be simpler? You might prefer this recipe for orange honey-glazed goose.

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Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults

0 Comments 14 November 2011

This looks like a great book. One detail that really impressed me is that Ms. Sorros numbered all the steps in the recipe and accented each number to emphasize the need to cook one-step-at-a-time. I am pleased that she included a complete nutritional breakdown at the end of each recipe. The kids probably won’t notice but eventually they will get the idea that those numbers are important.

I loved the last chapter, “Kitchen Projects”. The kids who will be using this book and their parents have had some pretty negative experiences with food. It’s good to have fun.

The “Busy Adults” mentioned in the title will probably enjoy the book. They can pick it up and use it with little or no preparation thanks to the numbered steps and the fact that the author has listed brand names beside each ingredient that might result in ‘gluten issues’.

I’d suggest that the people of all ages who use this book develop the habit of beginning each cooking session by making sure that all the necessary utensils are on-hand and that every food item is ‘safe’ for everyone who will be consuming it. This will make it possible for an adult who does not live gluten free to supervise the cooking sessions. Books make great gifts for the holidays. Click here for answers to many of your questions about Christmas and all the winter holidays.

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Gluten Free Beer Batter

0 Comments 13 November 2011

Gluten free beer can be used prepare a ‘safe’ batter for almost anything that is deep fried. The writers of these articles don’t recommend a specific brand, so I guess it is up to you.

Here is the recipe for (gluten free) battered fish fry and this recipe will allow you to enjoy gluten free beer-battered fish and chips.

You can also indulge in beer-battered onion rings or beer-battered coconut shrimp.

I learn lots of things while researching these articles. I never realized the squash have blossoms and that these taste great fried in gluten free beer batter. Watch this You-Tube video to watch this cooking demonstration.

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Showing Hospitality to Friends Who Live Gluten Free

0 Comments 13 November 2011

Yesterday I recommended several books and videos to celiac or gluten intolerant people to assist them with thriving during the holiday season. There are two sides to this coin, of course, so here are three articles recommended for persons who entertaining or hosting people who live gluten free:

Showing Hospitality to a Gluten Free Guest“. This article includes a short and easy-to-understand explanation of celiac disease and its implications for the affected person.

♦ “Dinner Guests with Dietary Issues” is another useful guide.

Please Don’t Pass the Bread: a Dinner Host’s Guide to Gluten Free” gives lots of essential information about the gluten free diet.

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Gluten Free Pizza from Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza

0 Comments 12 November 2011

This frozen pizza is made from tapioca starch, milk, whole eggs, tomato paste, citric acid, and non-GMO canola oil. Thus, it has the only pizza crust that can described as ‘naturally gluten free’. The pizza is also yeast, corn, soy, rice, and sugar free. The facility is dedicated gluten free — employees are not even permitted to bring in wheat, barley, or rye products in their lunches.

With all these limitation, you may be a surprised to learn that the pizza tastes great and the crust has a marvelous texture and taste! My only concern is that the 12″ size is your only option. That’s a bit big if only one person in a group eats gluten free.

This company also produces pizza shells for those who prefer to add their own toppings. I’m a member of that group but that is strictly a matter of personal taste.

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Ready for the Gluten Free Holiday Season?

0 Comments 12 November 2011

Eat, drink, and be merry — without compromising your gluten free diet, alienating your wheat eating friends and relatives, and without spoiling the joy of the holiday season.

Every celiac or gluten intolerant person should read these articles annually:

Surviving the Holidays Gluten Free

♦ How to Survive Your Family Christmas Party

♦ Socializing with Celiac Disease

You may be surprised to see the word ‘survive’ in the first two titles. Are things really that bad during the holiday season? Short answer: yes. Let’s face it, the holidays can be stressful and gluten issues may add to the hassles.

There are two books that should be in every celiac’s library. Put them on your Christmas wish list if you don’t already own them:

The Gluten Free Bible is one of the few books in the world that deserves to be called a bible. Jax Peters Lowell lays it all on the line on page 283: “Family holidays are the most stressful times for an celiac…” and then gives information about how to reduce or eliminate the stressers that have to do with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Chapter 9 of “Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free: the First Year” is devoted to the issue of handling the holidays.

I also have some “recommended reading” for the wheat-eaters that we’ll be celebrating with. I’ll publish them in a separate article tomorrow. Actually, I think it would be great if everyone in the family read all the articles and talk about them. (FYI: this link will not be active before noon tomorrow, November 13).

I’m painting a pretty grim picture of the upcoming season. Fortunately, these grim pictures are erased by joy and happiness. So, let’s lighten up for a few minutes. Did you know that celiacs have their own Christmas carol? Click on the graphic below to hear it being sung by its composer. I suspect that he lives with celiac disease.

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