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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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Clara’s Kitchen…Gluten Free on a Budget

0 Comments 10 November 2011

Clara learned to cook during the great depression, learned the art of cooking while living in a home without electricity, and was in her 90′s when she wrote down her recipes and made a series of video demonstrations of her cooking. Obviously, cooking during the depression was ‘cooking on a budget’. Clara did not set out to write a book of ‘safe’ recipes and prepare a series of ‘gluten free food’ videos. She prepared these meals because they were inexpensive.

A CAUTION: I would not normally recommend a cook book that contained some gluten toxic-recipes. But there are many ‘safe’ recipes in the book and videos, and we all need to be reminded that people like Clara really existed and met the challenges of the depression with strength and good humor. Click on the graphic at the top of this article if this book intrigues you.

Many of Clara’s videos are posted on You-Tube. Go to You-Tube (dot com) and search using the term “gluten free depression.) Three of the videos that I particularly enjoyed were eggplant parmesan, baked apples, and and a ‘poor man’s feast‘ that actually included very-thinly-sliced steak.

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Wise Bread…a Gluten Friendly Blog

0 Comments 09 November 2011

First of all, this is not a food blog, It’s a personal finance blog devoted to “large living on a small budget“. However, at least one of the bloggers has a gluten free spouse and there are a number of articles that meet our needs. “I am a very frugal person. So when my husband discovered that his digestive tract could not handle gluten, I had to figure out how to stay within the budget while keeping my sanity.” Her efforts resulted in an excellent plan that I wrote about yesterday.

Search this blog using the terms “gluten free living” and “gluten free recipes” to find other useful and practical ideas.

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Tools for the Gluten Free Kitchen

0 Comments 08 November 2011

Here’s how to equip a gluten free kitchen. The article was written by a person who takes care of a gluten spouse and also writes a blog on frugal living.

What a combination!! :-) !! The article is titled “Frugal Gluten Free Living: Kitchen Tools that Stretch Your Budget and Your Time“. Obviously, gluten free cooking can be done in almost any kitchen, but every gluten free cook should consider these ideas. Also obvious is the fact that this article should be published in November, when people are developing their gluten free Christmas shopping lists.

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Gluten Free Oreo Look-Alikes

1 Comment 08 November 2011

I recently tried Kinnikinnick’s attempt to make the Oreo cookie available to the gluten free world. I enjoyed them. They are gluten, dairy, and nut free product made in a dedicated gluten free facility. They are my favorite among the three types of ‘fudge sandwich creme cookies’ that I have tried. I also tried the sandwich cookies from Mi-DEL as well as Glutino’s version of the same product.

Watch this video of a taste-test comparing Kinnikinnick oreo look-alikes with the cookies from Glatino. There were three testers. I was a bit confused by the moderator’s questions. I suspect that the taste-testers were also befuddled. At some times, they were asked to identify the ‘best tasting’ sample and at other times they were to find the one that was most like the original Oreo cookie. Despite what some people think, those two questions do not always have the same answer. My desire is to find the best-tasting product that I am able to digest.

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Gluten Free Coffee-Creamers

0 Comments 07 November 2011

Here are four links to coffee creamers that indicate that their products are gluten free. The FAQ sections of these manufacturers indicate that their products are safe for us: Coffee Mate, International Delight Coffee Creamers, Rich’s Coffee Creamers, and Bailey’s Coffee Creamers. I looked at several more sites and got no indication that coffee creamers are an issue for people who live gluten free.

Writing this article reminded me to look back at an article I had written about coffee flavoring syrup. DaVinci seems to be the brand-of-choice here, since only one of its syrups are off-limits to us.

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Gluten Free Coupons and Bargains…11/07/11

0 Comments 07 November 2011

In researching this article, I discovered that advertisers are already using the terms ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber-Monday’ to apply to gluten free food. In case you are not familiar with these terms, ‘Black Friday’ refers to the day after Thanksgiving when stores have special sales that hopefully will get them ‘out of the red’ and ‘into the black’. Cyber Monday refers to the following Monday when shoppers go on-line using their employer’s computers to complete their shopping.

I tried to write an article on this subject but quickly got so confused that I decided to postpone it for a week or two. For example, I found on the Amazon (dot com) site a countdown clock that indicated that ‘Black Friday’ had been rescheduled for November 20 (the Sunday before Thanksgiving) and would continue to be ‘celebrated’ for an entire week. In the meantime, we were invited to “stop by each day for early Black Friday deals”. I’ll write more about this topic next week. This ‘development’ is going to have a great impact on whether we get through this month with a little money left in our pockets. Of course, this ‘development’ will probably effect every aspect of the season, not just our lives as people who live gluten free.

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Two Personal Comments

0 Comments 06 November 2011

:-) As some of you know, my wife Patty suffered a heart attack in March and required double-bypass surgery. Her recovery has been miraculous. She has more energy and enthusiasm (and quite probably a longer life expectancy) than during the past year when the heart problem was festering. Hallelujah.

:-) Thanks so much for all the wonderful compliments you have submitted to this website. I love what I am doing and am honored to have earned your support and your trust. One small problem is that you have attached your compliments to articles that have nothing directly to do with the subject. Let’s try this: if you have compliments or criticisms, attach them to this article. That way, we can all enjoy the compliments and deal with the criticisms as quickly as possible. Thanks.

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A Bread Machine for Gluten Free Baking

0 Comments 06 November 2011

People who bake gluten free bread need a bread machine designed to deal with the special characteristics of gluten free batter. The Gluten Free Pantry the Zojirushi Model 959067. Perhaps this item belongs on your Christmas list. Click here for more information.

bread machine

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Is Horseradish Gluten Free?

0 Comments 05 November 2011

Horseradish is the root of a plant and therefore is gluten free but subject to cross-contamination during the processing that transforms it into an edible condiment, sauce, or dressing. We need to be concerned about the other ingredients involved. Very few commercially prepared horseradish sauces are labeled ‘gluten free’, but that could because the manufacturers assume that we assume that the sauces are ‘safe’.

FYI, horseradish is the root of a plant that is not part of the radish family and obviously has nothing to do with horses. Click here for more information.

People who live gluten free have three options: We can abstain from consuming horseradish, we can assume that there is no problem, or we can prepare our own horseradishes. Click here and/or here to read several recipes for horseradish sauce.

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Seed and Fruit Mix by Enjoy Life Foods

0 Comments 05 November 2011

3d_NN_BeachBash

I enjoyed these ‘seed and fruit mixes’. The website categorizes them as ‘trail mixes’. I’m not much of a hiker, but I suspect that the mixes would a great energy-building snack for nature lovers. Actually, these products don’t fit into any category. They are definitely not granola — the nuts and fruit pieces are separate, not in clusters. There are two types of these mixes available — ‘Mountain Mambo’ and ‘Beach Bash’.

I’ll be adding these fruits and nuts to yogurt or other breakfast cereals (hot or cold). These mix-ins taste great and the combination results in an easy-to-prepare breakfast that actually carries me through to lunch time.I’m always please when I have the opportunity to review products from Enjoy Life Foods. Their products taste great — they have mastered the challenge of producing excellent food while avoiding all the major allergens, as well as being gluten free and kosher.

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Celiac Bites…a Blog Review

0 Comments 04 November 2011

I like this gluten free blogger’s sense of humor. He states his point-of-view in bold print at the top of the first page: “You have celiac disease. Me too. That bites. So get over it. One bite at a time”. The writer was diagnosed six year and certainly realizes that people don’t ‘get over’ celiac disease. He’s controlling the one thing that we all can control — ATTITUDE.

My only criticism is that I am not always sure when he is joking and when he is totally serious and when his statements are combination of both truth and sarcasm. When that happens, I need to recall the advice that all got when we were first diagnosed — “when in doubt, leave it out”.

Click here to visit this unconventional but useful site “Gluten Free Bites“. When you check out the site, don’t ignore the small button in the upper right corner of the page that says ABOUT. The blogger talks about his struggle to get a diagnosis “…I nos know 3,712 nasty and terrible conditions that I don’t have…” I feel the same way about my diagnosis and my gluten free lifestyle.

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The Celiac Saga

0 Comments 04 November 2011

“My vote for the most important scientific revolution of all times would trace back 10,000 years to the Middle East, when people first noticed that new plants arise from seeds falling to ground from other plants….Once humans discovered the secret of seeds. the quickly learned to domesticate crops ultimately crossbreeding different plants to produce…wheat, rye, and barley…this advancement…came at a dear price: the emergence of an illness now known as celiac disease….” These are the opening sentences of an article from the Scientific American written by Dr. Alessio Fasano. It’s a fascinating article that covers the past, present, and future of our disease.

Celiac disease was described by Greek physicians in the 1st century A.D. They had no idea of the cause. It was not until 19th century before a British physician published his observations.

In 1888, Dr. Samuel Gee made the connection between diet and celiac disease but had no idea what dietary restrictions were needed.

In the 1920′s, Dr. Sydney Hass started treating celiac disease with a diet of bananas and rice. Click here to watch a video of an actual ‘banana baby speaking to a group of medical students. FYI, when I watched this video I vowed never to complain about the 2011 version of the gluten free diet.

Dr. Wilem Karle Dickey is credited with pinning down the connection between celiac disease and the consumption of wheat protein. His observations were later confirmed by the fact that symptoms of celiac disease practically disappeared during World War II when wheat was extremely rare in the Netherlands. The symptoms reappeared after the end of the war.

In the 1960′s, doctors began using biopsies to diagnose celiac disease. Fortunately, they discovered in the 80′s that the disease could be diagnosed with a single biopsy. Before that, three biopsies were required. There is another reason for rejoicing. Since I apparently must have celiac disease, it is good to be experiencing it in the 21st century.

Click here and/or here to read two more articles about the history of celiac disease. In researching this article, I discovered that celiac disease has a fascinating past, present, and future.

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Wheat-Free Gluten-Free Dessert Cookbook

0 Comments 03 November 2011

This is a wonderfully useful cookbook. Connie Sarros writes clearly and simply without ‘talking down’ to expert cooks or overwhelming people with less experience. Her recipes include a “complete nutritional breakdown” so that it is appropriate for cooks who must prepare gluten free meals but who intend to serve meals that are healthy in all respects.

I was impressed by her chapters on low-calorie gluten free desserts, ice cream desserts (gluten free of course), and puddings. This book has something for everyone, even those who can’t or won’t bake or consume gluten free foods.

This my fourth opportunity to salute Connie Sarros and her works. Her dvd called “All You Wanted to Know about Gluten Free Cooking” shows her awesome talents as a public speaker as well as a gluten free cooking expert. Click here to read my review. I learned from this video that she is not a diagnosed celiac and voluntarily lives gluten free. She got involved with gluten free cooking after her father was diagnosed. Her love for gluten free cooking really shines through in this video.

I’ve also reviewed her books “Gluten Free Cooking for Dummies“, which she co-authored with Dana Korn, and “The Wheat-Free Gluten-Free Reduced Calorie Cookbook

The dvd and all three books may be purchased at the author’s website. The books are also available at Amazon (dot com) in both regular and kindle editions. Click on the graphics if you are interested. 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 Pretzels

1 Comment 02 November 2011

Gluten free pretzels are a taste treat. Try them flavored with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, covered with yogurt or chocolate, in any of the traditional sizes and shapes. Use this recipe to create your own gluten free pretzel treat or this one created by Carol Fenster and provided by Bob’s Red Mill.

I recently loved the pretzel twists produced by Glutino. They tasted great and were free of gluten, casein, lactose, and eggs. If they are not available locally, click here to order them from The Gluten Free Pantry.

I have written about many different types of gluten ‘safe’ pretzels. Rather than list all the links here, I suggest that your scroll down to the bottom of this article (past the ads) and click on the tag that reads ‘gluten free pretzels’. (The tag is red at least on most computers.) Click on the tag and your computer will create a special page giving the title and the first few lines of all the pretzel-related articles that I have written. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article.

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My Favorite Gluten Free Blogs

0 Comments 01 November 2011

I’ve begun a list of my favorite gluten free blogs in the right sidebar of this page. The people who write these blogs are people who see living gluten free as an opportunity for creativity and service to America’s gluten free community. I am proud to be a member of that group.

What is the difference between a blog and a website? I had to look that up before I could write this article. A blog is updated and expanded daily (or at least frequently) and is usually the work of an individual or a small number of people. Websites are expanded periodically, but that is not their major characteristic. A blog is never finished. A website always gives the impression that it is complete.

Click on one of the blogs listed in the right sidebar. You will be taken to my comments about that blog. Somewhere in my article, you will find a link to the blog itself.

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Gluten Free Oats for Breakfast

0 Comments 01 November 2011

Bakery on Main is now offering gluten free oatmeal. I recently had the opportunity to try all three varieties — apple pie, strawberry shortcake, and maple multigrain — and enjoyed them all. The products are certified gluten free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, and are manufactured in a wheat-free facility. Bakery on Main produces a few items using non-certified oats, but that is the only possible source of cross-contamination.

The Bakery on Main website lists these items in full-sized packages. I hope this is only temporary. I prefer breakfast foods in single-serving packets so that I can prepare them when I am not fully awake and so that I can use them while I am traveling.

Gluten free oatmeal in single-serving packets are also available from Gluten Freeda and from Eco-Planet Cereals. Click here to read my impressions of these products.

Virtually all experts agree that oats are OK if they are free of cross-contamination with wheat or other grains. The term to look for on the label is ‘certified oats’. Personally, I distrust the terms’ pure oats’ or ‘gluten free oats’. Click here to read more about this issue. Since oats are not mentioned in this article, just read the information following the second and third :-) faces.

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Gluten Free Coupons and Bargains 10/31/11

0 Comments 31 October 2011

This bargain roundup focuses on cutting shipping costs when you order on-line.

:-) The Gluten Free Pantry provides free shipping on orders exceeding $100. That requirement is easy to meet if you work with a gluten free friend. After, all the merchant is interested in is that the entire order be paid with the same credit card and shipped to the same address. To order, click on the graphic at the end of the article.

:-) Katz Gluten Free (dot com) does not add a shipping charge to order over $30. During the hot summer months, a $6 surcharge is levied on shipments that could not reach their destination in two days. Click here for details.

:-) Dad’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts offers free shipping to introduce customers to its products. Enter the code TRYONE and they will give you the opportunity to try one without a shipping charge. Shipping is always free on orders of then or more crusts.

:-) Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour includes free shipping in its listed price. That, of course, does not automatically make it a bargain, but since the product is manufactured in Arizona it is probably a good bet for a person who orders it from Maine or Alaska.

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Gluten Free on a Shoestring…a Blog Review

0 Comments 31 October 2011

This blogger’s goal is “making living gluten free enjoyable and affordable“. She does well on both objectives. I like her attitude.

For example, she currently posts an article called “Gluten Free Burger Buns so I Don’t Cry“. We’ve all been in this situation before. We are attending a barbecue and are faced with two unpleasant options:

:-( Pay a small fortune for a package of gluten buns that will probably be totally stale by the time we finally eat the last bun several picnics later.

:-( Bravely pretend that we prefer our burgers bunless.

This blog gives us a third option:

:-) “Declare independence from the bunless burger”. She shares a recipe for gluten free burger buns. There are many articles containing recipes for gluten free burger buns but have never one introduced so artfully.

This site also features “shoestring savings”, a page devoted to coupons and other money saving devices.

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Holiday Gluten Free e-Cookbooks

0 Comments 30 October 2011

E-cookbooks are collections of recipes posted on-line giving you the opportunity to download groups of recipes rather than searching for and downloading individual pieces. Some e-Book publishers charge a relatively small fee, but the ones listed below are complimentary:

:-) Thanksgiving Your Way. Includes a count-down checklist, dinner and dessert recipes, Thanksgiving traditions, and decorating ideas. All the recipes are not gluten free, but the substitutions will be obvious.

:-) Hassle Free Holidays. Again, all recipes are not gluten free, but there are lots of great ideas.

:-) Unbelievably Good Gluten-Free Recipes. This is not specifically a holiday cookbook, but everything is gluten free and the suggestion are useful all year. The recipes were submitted to Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery during a recent nationwide contest.

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Is Guar Gum Gluten Free? What about Xanthan Gum?

0 Comments 29 October 2011

Yes in both cases. Actually, Xanthan gum is processed from Guar gum. They are both thickening agents whose function is as a binder to replace the glutens that we must avoid. Despite the uncommon names, these are definitely not exotic over-processed ingredients.

Continue Reading

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My Last Gluten Accident

1 Comment 29 October 2011

I’ve been glutened before — haven’t we all — but this accident was unusual because it happened during a gluten free vendors faire. I’d had a busy morning and when I finally got to the event I made the all-to-common mistake of believing that gluten free food was good for me in any quantity. I forgot that each piece of food I ate contained trace amounts of gluten. This would not have mattered if I had been eating food in normal quantities. But I was trying to make up for having had a very small breakfast and not having the chance to eat again until dinner time. Those normally harmless parts-per-million added up to a major gluten reaction. I had to cancel the appointment I had made for the afternoon. Mistakes happen — the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes and from the misadventures that others share with us.

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Celiac Diet…the Banana Babies

2 Comments 28 October 2011

Ancient Greeks suffered from Celiac disease, but researchers did not connect the problem to wheat gluten until the early the last years of World War 2. Before that, a number of different strategies were tried. Here is a video report by one of the “banana babies“, the celiacs who diagnosed in the early 1930′s. (FYI: This is part of a long and technical video about many aspects of celiac disease. You will only need the watch the first 15 minutes here a short speech by a ‘banama baby’.

If you want to learn more about the banana babies, read this account about a person who was diagnosed in the early thirties.

Next Friday, I’ll write about the first celiac disease patients who were diagnosed gluten free in ancient Greece more that 2500 years ago. The following week, I’ll write about the modern approach to celiac disease and what came to be known as ‘the gluten free diet’.

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The Savvy Celiac…a Blog Review

0 Comments 27 October 2011

As soon as I decided to post a series of blog reviews, I decided to begin with The Savvy Celiac. This site’s purpose is to “…help people become savvy celiacs” and it has certainly helped me. The writer is the mother of a celiac child and has a brother who is a recently-diagnosed celiac.

One of the many articles that has shaped my celiac experience is called “The Top Five Questions to Ask When Ordering a Gluten Free Pizza” . This blogger asks questions after carefully doing her homework and choosing her words carefully. For example, having a gluten free pizza crust is no-big-deal these days. On the other hand, asking “which of your toppings are gluten? What makes you thinks so? What do you do to avoid them becoming cross-contaminated? She would certainly choose her words more carefully but that’s the idea.

To get another example of what this blog has to offer, read The List of Ingredients that People Think Have Gluten but Really Don’t“. New discoveries occur daily. Blogs like this help us keep up-to-date. The myths debunked in this article were truths when I was diagnosed in 1999. We need trustworthy blogs like this one to keep us up-to-date.

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Gluten Free Jargon…an Editorial

0 Comments 26 October 2011

If I was a restaurant manager, I would refuse to make a legally-binding written-commitment that it was absolutely impossible to contract salmonella poison in my establishment. Mistakes happen. My goal is to convince my customers by what they see, smell, and taste that my restaurant is a safe place.
The same is true in the gluten free community. Mistakes happen. A restaurant that serves absolutely no wheat-based food might be the exception — but even that is not an absolute guarantee that cross-contamination has not and never will occur.

We need to do a lot of “reading between the lines”. A warning about cross-contamination at least indicates that the restaurant management is aware of the potential problem. On the other hand, a statement about a ‘gluten free pizza crust’ suggests to me that the personnel of this restaurant might not realize that it takes more than an appropriate pizza crust to keep us safe.

Words like this are a problem for me as I protect my own gluten free diet. It is also an issue for me as a writer.

I deal with the professional problem by linking you to the actual website so that so you can make your own decision. Personally, I tend to be very ‘charitable’ when I am reading a website and rather ‘critical’ when I am ordering an actually ordering a meal. I rely on what I ‘sense’ while I am in the restaurant and what my food server says and does.

When I am thinking about this whole problem, I am reminded that Starbuck’s seems to feel obligated to give me a printed reminder on every coffee cup that I am drinking a hot beverage.

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A Gluten Free Halloween Bargain

0 Comments 25 October 2011


Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Banner 180x90

Restaurant (dot com) offers restaurant gift cards at discounted prices and is ‘treating’ us by offering extra savings during this week. The only trick involved is that few of the featured restaurants have gluten free options. Since different customers get different lists depending on their ZIP codes, I can only make recommendations for my own personal use.

Another possible ‘trick’ is that the ad does not make it clear whether the discount merely requires that the gift card be purchased this weekend or if the the card must be purchased AND used before the end of the month.

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Gluten Free Coupons & Bargains 10/24/11

0 Comments 24 October 2011

These sites both print coupons honors by many different stores. I recommend these sites because they do not demand that you put your name on a mailing list before you receive any useful information. Keep in mind that the vast majority of the coupons provided at these sites have nothing to do with gluten free food. These sites respect your privacy and offer useful coupons. Happy hunting.

:-) What’s your Deal (dot com)

:-) Coupon Network (dot com)

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Gluten Free Diet vs. Healthy Diet

0 Comments 23 October 2011

This example will clarify the difference between the gluten free diet and the healthy diet. MSG is gluten free. That is probably the only positive thing that can be said about it. No one (celiac or otherwise) should consume MSG. When I was diagnosed twelve years ago, we did not have the luxury of thinking thoughts like that. Everything that did not contain wheat, barley, or rye was prized,

Now, fortunately, we have more choices. We require a diet that is gluten free and we seek a gluten free diet that is healthy in every respect. I am not qualified to write about the healthy diet. I can relay information to you, but all the decisions about the healthy diet rest with you, the dieter. That’s nothing new, really, but I think it deserves emphasis at this time. Thanks for understanding.

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Our Gluten Free Restaurant Meals Page

0 Comments 22 October 2011

Our “Gluten Free Restaurant Meals” power page now lists 60 restaurant chains that have committed — in writing on their website — to serve America’s gluten free community. Yesterday I finished the task of proofreading that list and making sure that you will be able to access to information about the restaurants’ locations and their gluten free options.

The fact that a restaurant chain has made a public written commitment to celiac-friendly service is not a promise, of course, but it is a good indication that these places are “worth trying”.

The next step in this project is to make a state-by-state listing indicating which restaurant chains serve which states. That will be a great asset for travelers.

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Recommended Gluten Free Blogs

0 Comments 20 October 2011

I recently looked at several listings of “best gluten free blogs”. I thought some of you might appreciate this information despite the fact my site is not featured on any of those lists. Since the titles of these lists are almost identical, I’ll simply suggest that you click here, here, here, here, or (if you want even more) here. In case you’re interested, the dictionary definition of a blog is “a web site on which an individual or a group of users record opinions, information. etc. on a regular basis.”

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A Second Career Gluten Free

0 Comments 19 October 2011

Many people are starting second careers utilizing the skills they learned living gluten free. Opening a gluten free bakery seems to be a very popular choice. I didn’t actually count this, but I’m sure that at least three fourths of the articles I looked at this afternoon involve people who — for one reason or another — left their first career to start a gluten free bakery.

Actually, it all makes perfect sense. Gluten free food is one of the few areas of growth in today’s economy. The gluten free baker is definitely his or her own boss. A gluten free bakery is certainly “small business”. Website writers like myself always want to encourage people with first hand experience in gluten free living. Personally, I would much rather purchase items baked by an artisan who lives gluten free.

I looked at dozens of articles this articles this afternoon. These attracted my attention: “A Satisfying Second Career: Starting a Gluten Free Bakery“, “Looking for Plan B? Make it Gluten Free“, “Gluten Free Cracker Prompts Couple’s Second Act” this couple’s second act was to start the company “Mary’s Gone Crackers”, and “Goodie Goodie Gluten Free“.

The website you’re looking at right now started as a project to keep my newly-retired mind nimble and perhaps generated a few dollars. It is now paying my mortgage.

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Gluten Free Coupons and Bargains 10/17/11

0 Comments 17 October 2011

Here’s a list of gluten free restaurants, supermarkets, and food manufacturers that offer coupons or other money saving strategies. I will be publishing a list like this one every Monday, checking the information quarterly, and posting up-dates as appropriate.

:-) Whole Foods publishes a bi-monthly magazine called “The Whole Deal” which includes many coupons. Many (but certainly not all) of the bargains offered are gluten free. This is a wonderful link because it updates itself automatically and will always connect you to the most updated coupons and bargains.

:-) P.F. Chang’s has a great program called “The Warriors Club” that gives you a 10% discount on all meals.

:-) Earth Fare Markets offers a great collection of coupons on their website. These are good in their store in NC, SC, GA, AL, TN, OH, and TN.

:-) Erohwan Cereals offers a $1 off coupon.

:-) Click for a $1 off coupon on products from French Meadow Bakery.

I’m republishing the information because discount and coupon information becomes out-of-date so quickly. I will be publishing a list like this one every Monday, checking the information at least once a quarter, and posting up-dates as appropriate. See you next Monday if not before.

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Gluten Free Cereal…the Barley Malt Issue

0 Comments 15 October 2011

Many breakfast cereals would be “gluten free” if they did not contain the ingredient ‘barley malt’. I recently searched the net and learned that barley malt is an alternative to refined sugar. ‘Alternatives to refined sugar’ are in great demand these days except, of course, in America’s gluten free community. Our best course-of-action is to focus on the cereals that are devoid of barley malt and are gluten free.

Click here for information about General Mills (Chex cereals), Post Foods, and Glutino brand cereals. These cereals are part of the Envirokids series manufactured by Nature’s Path. Finally use this link to learn more about cereals from Kay’s Naturals.

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Reading a Gluten Free Ingredients List

2 Comments 13 October 2011

People who live gluten free are cautioned to “read every ingredient label on every package that you purchase”. I wish I had a gluten free doughnut for every time I have dispensed this information. Of course, this caution is meaningless when the ingredient list is written in jargon that is meaningless to anyone with the possible exception a professional food scientist. Perhaps these suggestions will help:

:-) Wheat is considered one of the eight major allergens. Products containing wheat must be labeled appropriately. Looking for the word ‘wheat’ in the ingredients list will help us reject most products that are unacceptable on the gluten free diet. All we need to be concerned with is barley and rye. This short cut will not work perfectly if the product is produced outside the United States or if there is reason to believe that the product is mislabeled.

:-) Read this article from Gluten Free Living magazine’s website  titled “Top Ten Ingredients That you Really Don’t Need to Worry About“. Keep in mind that there are some gluten free experts would disagree with this information. FYI, I agree completely with what is said in  the article.

PLEASE NOTE: When I first wrote this article, I made a mistake that totally changed the meaning of the last paragraph. What you have just read is the correct version.

:-) Here is another article on the same subject. Times change. New discoveries lead about all subjects — including our gluten free diet.

:-) You may find one or more of these terms on an ingredients list. Click on one of the words and you will be taken to an article that I have written about that ingredient.

annatto | caramel coloring | chocolate | emulsifiers | hydolized protein

maltodextrin | modified food starch |

MSG | sprouted grains | vinegar |

Like much of the content of this website, this is a work in progress. I will be adding more material. In the meantime, I have linked this article to our power page “The Gluten Free Diet”.

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Gluten Free Diet and Life Style

0 Comments 12 October 2011

Gluten free living is both a diet and a lifestyle. Most of our actions are somehow related to our need to live gluten free. With this in mind, my time this week has been spent preparing a new power page “The Gluten Free Diet“.

Please check it out by using the tab at the top of the page or clicking on the link. You will be taken to what computer geeks call a ‘hub page’ and almost everyone else would call an ‘outline’ or ‘index’. There is so much information about our diet that it would be impossible to consolidate everything into a single article.

You’ll notice that some of the items in the outline are links to articles that may interest you. I am not attempting to write the articles in order and I am certainly not promising not to change the outline. What I am trying to do is make a power page that gives my visitors access to all the gluten free diet information that is available.

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