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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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Gluten Free Lists from Manufacturers

0 Comments 08 October 2011

Here is information from eight manufacturers of gluten free foods. This information may be useful to you as you shop for gluten free food.

:-) Arrowhead Mills / study their display of gluten free products.

:-) Campbell’s Soup / take their printable list with you when you shop / to print, use the button in the right sidebar.

:-) Dr. Pepper / all products are gluten free.

:-) Hormel Foods / take their printable list with you when you shop.

:-) Snyders of Hanover / has a long list of ‘safe’ products; unfortunately the list is not printable.

:-) Wolfgang Puck soup / their list is printable / to print, use the link in the right sidebar.

This article is part of this website’s summary of the gluten free diet. Click here for more information.

Published 10/08/11

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Shipping Costs from Amazon

0 Comments 06 October 2011

Lower shipping costs is an important way to save money while shopping gluten free. Amazon is a major source of gluten free cookbooks and gluten free foods. They offer two shipping plans. I’ll link you pages describing the two plans so that you can make up your own mind.

Amazon Prime. This provides two-day delivery for a flat yearly fee of $79. To make this offer more attractive, you are also able to download movies and television programs without charge.

Standard Shipping. With a few exceptions, shipping is free on orders of more than $25. (Reminder: Amazon sells groceries by the case and books are not inexpensive. It is not difficult to make the total exceed $25 particularly if you combining orders with another person.)

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More Gluten Free Restaurant Meals

0 Comments 05 October 2011

I have just added seven more restaurant chains to our “Gluten Free Restaurant Meals” power page. Fifty one restaurant groups are now listed. I would guess that we now have access to at least 5oo individual restaurants. Restaurant chains have legal departments who are tasked with making sure that member restaurants do not make promises they can’t keep. These restaurant websites have made a commitment to provide ‘safe’ service.

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Celiac Disease v. Gluten Intolerance v. Gluten Sensitivity v. Wheat Allergy

0 Comments 04 October 2011

What’s the differences among Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Gluten Sensitivity, and Wheat Allergy? I began reading on this subject because — as a gluten free writer — I felt obligated to use the terms correctly. I think I know, but my attempts to write definitions of these terms failed miserably so I decided to link you to the information. If I had medical training in this field, I might attempt written definitions. Perhaps your physician can provide a concise definition.

Here are four links. The titles I am giving you are not the same ones used in the articles. I wanted to give you the main ideas of each article

→→Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

→→Celiac Disease vs. Wheat Allergy vs. Gluten Intolerance

→→Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

→→Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity (a video)

Even though it is almost never technically correct, I use the term ‘gluten allergy’ frequently. When I am not working on this site, I teach English as a Second Language. Many of my students are food service employees. Terms like ‘autoimmune disease’ are difficult for most Americans, particularly those whose first language is not English. On the other hand, ‘allergy to wheat, barley, and rye’ conveys a very specific message — “Don’t feed me gluten”.

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Gluten Free Crackers

1 Comment 01 October 2011

A tremendous variety of gluten free crackers are available. My latest ‘find’ was “Exotic Rice Toast” manufactured by Edward and Sons in gluten free environment. First of all, they are certainly crackers rather than what we normally think of as toast. The good news is that they are relatively inexpensive and that each box contains two foil-wrapped packets each which is about right for complementing a dinner salad. They are a bit salty for my taste, but that is a minor criticism.

All products from this firm are tested to contain less than 5 parts-per-million gluten. The Edward and Son’s website includes a long and impressive list of gluten free products, a collection of recipes, and locations where the products are sold. It is also possible to order on-line.

I’ve reviewed at least six types of gluten free crackers on this site. To read the other reviews, scroll down past the ads to the end of this article and read the tag ‘gluten free crackers’. It’s in red at least on my computer. Click on the tag and your computer will create a special page giving excerpts from each of my six reviews. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article.

Reviewing gluten free food is not easy. In fixing that list of tags. Everything tastes better than the &%$#~ that I was consuming ten years. Every product on-line must appeal to someone. I was reminded of this fact when I prepared the list of tags. I have reviewed six different crackers and in each case I was experimenting with a different format each time. Maybe we’ll find the answer some day.

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The Search for the Gluten Free Label

1 Comment 28 September 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has requested input before define what foods can be labelled gluten free in the United States. Some of you have shared your thoughts with me to assist me in preparing a letter to the F.D.A. Here is a summary of what I believe you are saying. I’ll translate this into ‘legalese’ and submit everything before the October 2 deadline.

In reading your comments. I was most surprised by something that you did NOT say. The FDA seems to be determined to find a single number of parts-per-million of gluten that would determine what products would be allowed to be labeled ‘gluten free’. I disagree. We already have two national organizations that certify gluten free food. The Celiac Sprue Association requires < 5 parts per million and The Gluten Intolerance Group requires <10 ppm. I will recommend that these organizations be encouraged to continue their work and that the FDA set up a procedure for certifying foods containing <20 ppm. Thus, individuals have a choice.

Your comments to me suggested great concern over the problem of cross-contamination. The tests mentioned above can determine whether or not a specific sample is contaminated but can’t guarantee that the product is always safe. I will recommend to the FDA that they establish specific criteria for choosing which samples to test and how many samples must be tested.

Many of you were concerned about information (other than the labels mentioned above) should be included on a food package to make our choices easier and more accurate. This does not seem to be a major concern of the FDA, so I suggest that we approach this problem in a different way.

Many manufacturers are trying to recruit gluten free customers. Please e-mail me telling what you hope to see on packages. What information would make you more likely to purchase a gluten free product? I will organize your ideas into a survey, conduct that survey, and distribute it to manufacturers. Since I want to get this survey out as soon as possible, please send me your ideas before Thursday, October 6.

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Beginning The Gluten Free Diet

0 Comments 26 September 2011

Summaries to help begin the gluten free diet appear in both Living Without magazine and Gluten Free Living magazines. Both magazines posts the quick-start guides on-line. FYI, these magazines should be in the library of every family that includes a person who lives gluten free. The celiac support group of New Haven, Connecticut, also posts a very useful guide on-line.

Click here for information from The Mayo Clinic. This startup guide is provided by The Gluten Free Goddess(dot com) one of the most useful blogs serving gluten free America.

To learn more about the gluten free diet, please visit our power page “The Gluten Free Diet” by clicking here or by using the tab at the top of this page.

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The Labeling Survey

0 Comments 23 September 2011

As I mentioned in Thursday’s newsletter, the F.D.A. has requested our input on the best definition of ‘gluten free’. I have drafted a letter, asking for your thoughts on what I had written, posted the survey on-line, and linked you to it.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I neglected to post the survey on my site. Anyway, I am posting my letter here and also in the place where I promised it on Thursday.

Thanks to the alert reader who noticed my error and alerted me to it. I depend on you, my friends. I promise to be more careful in what I do and more punctual about reading your letters and comments.
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