7 Links—Reflections on Past Posts

It’s tradition for many bloggers to look back at a year and share their Top 10 Posts. Sometimes they choose their Top 10 for that year. Sometimes they highlight the Top 10 favorites of their readers. Sometimes they choose their Top 10 in a specific category. Well, of course, it’s September, not December or January (although some folks do use September as a new starting point). And today I’m actually focusing on not 10 posts, but 7. That’s because the lovely and talented Jenn of Jenn Cuisine nominated me for “7 Links.” For the 7 Links event, bloggers must choose their posts that best fit the following categories: Most Beautiful Post, Most Popular Post, Most Controversial Post, Most Helpful Post, Post Whose Success Surprised Me, Post That Didn’t Get Attention It Deserved, and Post I Am Most Proud of. You’ll definitely want to check out Jenn’s 7 Links.

Now without further ado, here are my 7 Links

Most Beautiful Post ~ It’s hard to call one of one’s own posts beautiful. Humbleness kicks in. And then there’s the debate over the interpretation of “beautiful.” Are we talking visually beautiful? Or are we talking posts that strike a chord and the reader immediately pauses and thinks, “that’s a beautiful piece.” If it’s the first definition, I’m not really a photog so saying that one of my posts is beautiful due to the photography is difficult for me, but sometimes the subject matter helps to transcend one’s photography talents. Such is the case with this post, October Beauty in the Mountains. Our mountain/river property is always beautiful (yes, even in the dead of winter; the river becomes crystal clear and takes on a surprising turquoise hue in parts).  But if you are talking about the posts that mean the most to me … certainly my tributes to Mom and Dad are dear to my heart. But of course those posts still fall short when it comes to my feelings for my parents. How can one properly honor and thank one’s parents in a blog post?

Most Popular Post ~ For this category, thankfully, I have WordPress statistics to help me out (and you’ll see them reflected in the gfe’s most popular posts listing on my sidebar, too). The most popular gfe post of all time is Flourless Oatmeal Cookies. This post includes a simple recipe for oatmeal cookies and a discussion on the need for those of us who are gluten free to eat ONLY gluten-free oats, plus the reminder that not everyone can tolerate gluten-free oats. After that post was published, a study showed that some varieties of gluten-free oats are tolerated better than others (PDF file). I hope you’ll read my post, as well as the new study, and if you enjoy gluten-free oats, go ahead and make these delightful oatmeal cookies—chewy, caramelized, oat goodness in my favorite dessert form. Note that my original recipe calls for butter and refined sugar, but readers have substituted non-dairy alternatives and non-refined sugars, so if you’re looking for those options, please be sure to read the comments.

Most Controversial Post ~ My very first “discussion” post, Stop the Madness, really explains my gfe approach and why I am so driven to teach people to eat this way. Yet, often when I share my approach, some folks tend to think I’m going over the deep end by not promoting gluten-free products, that I am depriving folks of taste, convenience, etc. Or they don’t “get” that I really mean that I only use a handful of gluten-free specialty products. It’s only when they ask, “what do you think about Product X?” or say, “don’t you love Product Y?” and I reiterate that I can offer no opinion as I rarely use gluten-free specialty products that they begin to understand what the gfe approach is all about. Doesn’t everbody want to get off the “merry-go-round” after a while? Please read the post plus the numerous comments and share your opinion there.

Most Helpful Post ~ While one would think that a recipe post or an instructive post would fit this category best, it was actually a recent gfe discussion post that seemed to help folks more than any of my previous posts  … Grieving Gluten: Five Stages of Gluten Loss Plus One.  (Special thanks to Heather of Gluten-Free Cat for the “Plus One” part!) Finding out that one has celiac/gluten intolerance/non-celiac gluten sensitivity can really throw one for a loop to say the least. For many, the diagnosis evokes a multitude of emotions, very much like grieving the loss of a loved one. There are stages to any serious loss that most folks seem to go through. Some get stuck at different stages. Some who have been ill for a long time skip stages just because they are so happy to find out a cause for their health issues. Others experience delayed grieving when they find out they can’t eat out without getting “glutened.” Read my post and reader comments to see where you fit into the mix of those who grieve the loss of gluten and if you’re aspiring to or have reached the end goal—that newly identified, sixth stage.

Flickr canonsnapper

Post Whose Success Surprised Me ~ My Granola Bars. My Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Chewy Granola Bars, to be exact. I know that my family and I love these granola bars, but I didn’t expect folks to “take to them” like they did. Several readers and bloggers (Kay at Georgia Girl with an English Heart, Megan at Maid in Alaska, and more) immediately made my recipe, adapting for additional preferences/intolerances as needed. (You can see several of their versions in comments on the post.) The most flattering adaptation was an egg-free (and vegan) version by Maggie (She Let Them Eat Cake). Maggie even brought some of her granola bars with her to the Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo. She waited anxiously for me to take a bite and see what I thought. Of course, I loved her version as Maggie is a wonderful cook and recipe creator (as I shared here when I adopted her for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger). Then she got a photo of us both enjoying these goodies and included it in her adoption post of me (that’s the flattering factor!) for that month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event. Very cool. Be sure to check out Maggie’s post and read comments for my post to see all the variations.

Post That Didn’t Get Attention It Deserved ~ Of course, there’s probably more than one.  So much with attention to blog posts has to do with timing (what else is going on in the world, what day of the week one posted, if the topic has been overdone, etc.), but the guest post from Cindy Winther on Teaching Children to Accept, Understand, and Support Others with Food Intolerances/Allergies is my most recent favorite.  Cindy runs a preschool inMichigan and teaches children every single day to understand those with food intolerances/allergies and to look out for them and support them. Many readers told me that if Cindy’s preschool were near them that they’d enroll their little ones right away! Cindy and her school should be a model for all teachers and schools, respectively, and other individuals as well. Her commitment to teaching tolerance, understanding, and support of others who are “different” moves and inspires me every time I think of it. The lessons we learn at a young age come more easily so it’s ideal that her young pupils are seeing this message in action daily, but we are never too old to learn that being different doesn’t mean being “less.”

Post I Am Most Proud Of ~ I am proud of all the posts I write in the discussion category and any post that shares a recipe that demonstrates the gfe approach. Some have called me “the queen of crustless and flourless” and I’m happy to wear that “crown,” because cooking and baking that way really makes life so much easier, but no less tasty. So with that in mind and not to repeat any of the posts I’ve mentioned so far, I’ll say that my Crustless Pumpkin Pie makes me pretty proud. Then there’s its dairy-free counterpart, Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie, which I proclaimed to be the Best Pumpkin Pie Ever. The looks of satisfaction and pleasure on the faces of family members and friends after they’ve enjoyed a piece of either of these scrumptious pies would make any baker proud.  Of course, it’s only after they’ve praised my crustless pies that I point out that there’s no crust … and guess what … all respond that they never noticed! The goodness of the ingredients—in this case, beloved pumpkin—eclipses the absence of a crust. With crustless pies, there’s no muss, no fuss, and again a lot more emphasis on the filling ingredients. Oh, and by the way, the dairy-free version is the one that I made in my cooking demonstration at the Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo in the spring. (FYI: The next Expo is taking place in Dallas the first weekend of October!) Even non-pumpkin pie eaters (like Debi’s husband) praised their pumpkin pie samples! We’re headed to our mountain property this weekend and the overnight temps there this week will be in the 40s and 50s, so my thoughts are definitely turning to fall and all things pumpkin!  

Many thanks to Jenn for nominating me for the 7 Links event and giving me a chance to reflect on gfe! Now it’s my turn to nominate five other bloggers to choose their 7 links. I’m selecting these blogger friends because I haven’t read all of their blog posts and I want to see specifically what they’ll choose in these categories. It’s not an easy task although the instructions say don’t stress, just choose what first comes to mind! So I’m passing the 7 Links baton to:

Deanna (The Mommy Bowl) (See Deanna’s 7 Links.)

Gigi (Gluten-Free Gigi)

Heather (Gluten-Free Cat) (Check out Heather’s 7 Links – Reflecting and Remembering.)

Hallie (Daily Bites) (pssst … Hallie’s new gluten-free, dairy-free cookbook, The Pure Kitchen, was just released today!)

Jeanette (Jeanette’s Healthy Living)

I can’t wait to see which 7 Links you bloggers choose to share with us all!

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


42 Responses to “7 Links—Reflections on Past Posts”

  1. Gigi on September 12th, 2011 10:39 pm


    Thank you, thank you! Your post is delightful, and it led me to new blogs I had yet to discover! :)

    I can’t wait to put my 7 Links together and share my post! Not to mention to see the others from the talented company you’ve put me in!!!

    Gigi ;)

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 10:47 pm

      Hi Gigi–I’m always tickled pink when my posts introduce bloggers to each other! :-) Thanks for the sweet words, dear. I can always count on you for those! ;-) I’m looking forward to your 7 Links post. You’ve been doing so many fun videos lately, I’m wondering if you’ll somehow do a 7 Links video routine … tap dancing with a tap hat, perhaps? And one of your awesome cocktails? Or perhaps a calm discussion while sipping one of your tea creations? :-)


  2. Jeanette on September 12th, 2011 10:46 pm

    Shirley, what a great way to get to know a blogger. I’m enjoying reading all these posts you wrote (some that I missed)! Thanks for the tag, looking forward to looking back and putting these links together.

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 10:49 pm

      Hi Jeanette–Thanks so much! I admit that I enjoy reading these meme posts more than I enjoy doing them. It’s sooo hard to choose! ;-) I’m looking forward to your post. You have shared so many wonderful posts and I haven’t “known” you that long so I have a lot of catching up to do! :-)


  3. Lexie on September 12th, 2011 10:57 pm

    What a great concept … you keep encouraging me to revisit some of my old posts … this is such a great way to do it. Maybe that baton will make it round my way :). Thanks to this post I have read ones I have missed in the past. Always love what you have to say Shirley. You make me think.


    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 10:50 pm

      Hi Lexie–I will be sure to pass the baton your way next time. If I’d known your “hand was up” I would have certainly done so already! ;-) Thanks for the wonderfully sweet words, Lexie! You’re the best. :-)


  4. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat on September 12th, 2011 11:35 pm

    What a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for passing the baton to me!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your 7. Now I need to think about mine! Hugs to you!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 10:52 pm

      Heather–Thank you! Passing the baton to you is my way of making up for not visiting your blog enough lately! I hope I’m back in your favor. ;-)


  5. Debi on September 13th, 2011 12:19 am

    Awesome, Shirley! You definitely did pick the rights posts for your 7 links. :D BTW, when I make that crustless pumpkin pie of yours for the holidays, I’ll be sure to take a pic of Chaz actually eating pumpkin pie…more than once! :D

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 10:55 pm

      Awww, thanks, Debi! :-) It’s really hard to choose. I wonder how hard it will be when I get more posts under my belt! Great idea on taking the photo of Chaz … can’t wait. You know what though? He’s not the first person who has never liked pumpkin pie to really like the crustless version. Seems there is either something about the filling and crust combo that folks don’t like or for some folks, the little bit of flour making the filling less “wet” and more palatable. Whatever reason, I’m glad it’s a winner for him!


  6. Kay Guest on September 13th, 2011 3:43 am

    Hey Shirley!
    Oh, I am thrilled that you mentioned me on your post today! Doggone it, those granola bars ARE good, I don’t lie!
    I would say as a loyal follower of yours that your posts for the Garlic cheese biscuits and the Perfect Pound Cake, would be my husband’s favorites. (It’s hard for me, because I like them all!) Also, I really loved “The Sun, Chocolate chip cookies & My Dad”. It was one of my favorites (I hope that is the right title…having computer issues, can’t look it up quickly or will lose this). Oh, and the one where you talk about bee-keeping with the photo of the beautiful big bush with the large white flowers… I really love that one!
    Oh, sorry this is so long… but you know I love your approach to gluten free cooking and I believe that your encouragement and support is so
    helpful and so very much needed. (It is to me!)
    Thanks again, Shirley!
    Kay :-)

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:05 pm

      Hi Kay–I just shared your blog on my gfe Facebook page, too. Your post on your husband’s experience at the hospital recently is a good reminder to us all to be vigilant! Love that you mention my biscuits and pound cake here–thank you! I’ve added some new info to my sidebar and you’ll see the biscuits there, but I forgot the pound cake. Better fix that, huh? ;-) You are right about the post about my dad. So glad you enjoy that one. The beekeeping one is a good one, too. That tree is a locust tree. The blooms are incredible and the bees love them! :-)

      Never apologize for going long here, dear! I truly appreciate your support, and I’m happy to know my gfe approach has helped so much.


  7. Ricki on September 13th, 2011 9:14 am

    Loved this post, Shirley! And even though I’d seen all but one of these before, it was a great reminder about how much I enjoy reading your posts. I love, love the photos of your property (though I’m quite sure I wouldn’t feel that way in winter!). ;) Thanks for sharing these seven lovely posts. :)

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:07 pm

      Ricki–That’s such a lovely thing to say–thanks so much, dear! :-) Well, I think our property is not as chilly in winter as it is in your neck of the woods, but I believe that you’ve said that once the temp drops below a certain temp, it’s all relative and somewhat negligible if you know what I mean. ;-)


  8. Alisa Fleming on September 13th, 2011 12:50 pm

    Really fun to read this Shirley, I remember all of these posts! I’m enjoying this MEME that is going around.

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:08 pm

      Alisa–You do remember them all? Now that’s the sign of a true fan! I’m honored. :-) Memes can make for such fun reads. I always learn something when I read them.


  9. Maggie on September 13th, 2011 1:39 pm

    Ahhh, I’m so honored to be part of your 7 links reflection. I loved what you wrote – it worked out so well that I could bring some to you :) I loved Cindy’s post too, especially as the Mommy of young kiddies. Lastly, I love that you’re known as the crustless queen! You rock Shirley! xo

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:11 pm

      Maggie–I still love that you jumped right in and made that recipe vegan! Your version tasted so good! You and Cindy are folks who are setting amazing examples in empowering and enlightening children. :-)

      Grateful to be a crustless queen and happy to have you as such a fan; everyone needs a Maggie in their lives! ;-)

  10. Linda on September 13th, 2011 1:50 pm

    All great posts, Shirley. This is a nice round up, and I like the variety of the topics.

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:12 pm

      Linda–Thanks so much! I did try to mix it up. ;-)


  11. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on September 13th, 2011 2:57 pm

    What a wonderful thing and they were al great posts. I know you didn’t ask but just in case you are wondering what I think – I think you need to add one more category for most genius recipe and add your pizza crust!!! I love that recipe :)

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:14 pm

      Carol–LOL I’ll recommend that category to the Meme gods! I actually was very, very tempted to share that one as my favorite post, but it’s on my sidebar under Most Popular so I thought it was getting adequate coverage, but maybe not? We should have a party and share my version and your upscale version. What fun that would be, huh? ;-)

      Thanks so much, dear! :-)

  12. Jenn on September 13th, 2011 4:48 pm

    Lovely reflections, Shirley, I enjoyed them all – and those flourless oatmeal cookies are awesome!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:16 pm

      Hi Jenn–Thanks! And thanks again for nominating me. It was fun! :-) Have you actually made the flourless oatmeal cookies? I know you received some certified gf oats a while back. This recipe is reason alone to keep those in stock whenever possible. ;-)


  13. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on September 13th, 2011 5:49 pm

    I love this! I was trying to think of which of my posts I would choose for each of those categories. How fun! It makes us think about all of those poor neglected posts. I love the choices you made! ;)

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:21 pm

      Hi Kim–Thank you! It’s fun to look back and ponder these categories, isn’t it? Yes, I love the category on the post that didn’t get the attention it deserved. Hope that baton gets passed to you. I want to see what you choose, but I didn’t want to add to your workload right now. I know you are adding all those recipes to your awesome Cook IT Allergy Free app. How wonderful that Tia is giving away two “copies” of your app to two lucky readers!


  14. Cindy on September 13th, 2011 8:18 pm

    Thank you for including my guest post in your 7 choices, Shirley. My feeling is if we touched even one person with the post – mission accomplished.(: And from the responses, I think we did.

    I really appreciate all the information you share with us!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:23 pm

      Hi Cindy–It was my pleasure! I agree that the responses were great and even one “connection” is enough, but I think even more will see your wonderful approach now. :-)

      Thanks for the kind words, Cindy. I’m always happy to share worthwhile info.

  15. cheryl on September 13th, 2011 11:31 pm

    I missed many of those the first time around. thanks for the rerun so I can go give them some love!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:24 pm

      Hi Cheryl–A gfe rerun … I like it! ;-) You are a sweethear to read older posts and share the love. :-)


  16. Alta on September 13th, 2011 11:50 pm

    What a fun post! Like this 7 Links thing. I am glad to see some of your wonderful posts re-highlighted. (is that a word?) Hugs!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:27 pm

      Hi Alta–I’ll take “re-highlighted”! The way it works now, a word only has to be repeated a million times and suddenly it’s added to the dictionary! ;-)

      Thanks so much,

  17. InTolerantChef on September 14th, 2011 6:41 am

    What a lovely selection of past posts! Great job!

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:27 pm

      Hi InTolerant Chef–Thank you!!


  18. Megan @ MAID in AK on September 14th, 2011 9:09 pm

    Excellent post(s), Shirley! Thank you for the link love. :)

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:29 pm

      Hi Megan–Thanks! Happy to link back as I appreciate you sharing your version and experience! :-)


  19. Amber on September 14th, 2011 9:43 pm

    Hi There Shirley~

    It was such a pleasure reading through this post. I don’t have the time to peruse each blog in the detail I would like so how nice to have all this put together. Awesome! Be Well, –Amber

    • Shirley on September 14th, 2011 11:31 pm

      Hi Amber–It’s nice to welcome you to gfe officially after our email correspondence! :-) Thanks so much for the kind words, and no worries on not being able to check out all the posts right now.


  20. Tall Clover Farm on September 16th, 2011 12:42 pm

    What a fun exercise in discovering and revisiting the best of the best. Thanks for posting these.

    • Shirley on September 18th, 2011 10:58 am

      Hey Tom–Thanks! I should have chosen you to pass the baton to … it would have been so much fun to read your choices! ;-)


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