GFE by the Numbers … Three Years in Review, Looking Ahead, and P.F. Chang’s Giveaway

birthday cake, birthday candles, three-years old, celebration, anniversary

photo source

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. The winners and their comments are shown below. They have all been contacted via email. Congrats to all, and thanks to everyone for participating! Plus I am so very appreciative of all the sweet comments you all have left congratulating me on my three-year anniversary, as well as your input on The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting. Thank you so much! You make gfe something special every single day! Stay tuned for much more here at gfe as we go into Year 4!

kim ledford“i follow GFE on twitter as kledford65.”

Kassia ~ “Congratulations on three years!!!”

Stephanie ~ “Hi Shirley, I’d love to win the PF Changs gift card, but I really just want to take an opportunity to congratulate you on your 3 yr blogging anniversary and tell you that I think you’re great! I’ve been thrilled with every recipe of yours that I’ve tried. We had friends over this past weekend and the appetizer that I served was your pizza dip. I didn’t even get a taste because it was devoured by our guests and my boys. And my friend just sent a text and asked that I please send her the recipe. Thanks Shirley!”

On New Year’s Eve I celebrated my third anniversary of blogging. I should have posted to commemorate the day, but I was off playing with Mr. GFE. We took in an early movie (War Horse … we enjoyed it!) and ate dinner before the New Year’s crowds were out in full force.  We ate at Longhorn Steakhouse courtesy of a Christmas gift card from our nephew and his wife. I’m happy to say that I ate a great meal from the gluten-free menu (link to PDF file) with no issues. (But remember, as the saying goes, your experience may vary.) On New Year’s Day, I was still feeling lazy and quite enjoying my little blogging break. Then came Son’s birthday the next day, and a turn of car fate brought him home for repairs the following day. That meant a brief re-activation of the “Mom Taxi,” and Mom’s Kitchen with a day of feeding him (Blackened Black Bean Burgers, Elana’s Marble Cupcakes, and Paleo Parents’ Dark Chocolate Banana Bites) and just hanging out together (when he wasn’t snoozing or being shuttled). Then other things kept getting in the way of this post; nothing bad, just life and Murphy’s Law kind of stuff, plus some contemplation. But finally here I am with it.

In the past two years to end the year and kickoff the new year, I’ve done Top 10 posts (all lumped together for my 2009 recap or two separate posts—Top 10 Recipes and Top 10 Discussions to summarize 2010). But I wanted to do something a little different this year, I thought it would be a fun exercise to take a quick look at the gfe numbers for the last 3 years, so I did and when I wrote it up, it bored even me to death. We’ll look back just a tiny bit and then we’ll look forward. Okay?

Number of Posts? 428 to date. Most are recipe posts. Some are discussion posts. And some of those discussion posts are guest posts from various individuals sharing their personal stories. I think those are truly the most powerful posts of all here at gfe, well except for two other posts from this past year that garnered so much valuable reader input that each is its own compendium of personal stories. Those posts are Grieving Gluten: The Five Stage of Loss of Gluten Plus One and HONOR Your Body:  How to Recover After Being “Glutened.”

Number of Comments? 17,691 Comments

Number of Blogging Events Participated In?  Oh, I’m not even going to try to capture that stat. Suffice it to say that it’s a large number. I’m a big fan of any event that helps support and reinforce the gluten-free community. This month, for example, I’m participating in Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger (the longstanding event created by Sea of Book of Yum). Then there’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, created by Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried, and hosted this month by Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake. Maggie’s theme is Foods that Heal—love that focus!

There’s also the New Year, New You event co-hosted by Hallie (Daily Bites) and Lexie (Lexie’s Kitchen) with multiple posts on different topics each week (this past week was Eat More Produce with how-to posts). You’ve also probably seen news on the big launch of the new website, The Balanced Platter—a collaborative effort on gluten-free living from Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free and the aforementioned Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake. For the launch—actually a month-long event called Balanced, Healthy, and Gluten-Free in 2012—there are daily posts by different bloggers and some posts on the brand new The Balanced Platter blog itself. Of course, I also participate as much as possible in weekly gluten-free roundups, like Gluten-Free Wednesdays (follow link for themes for 2012) which is hosted by Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. The recipes, ideas, and support in the gluten-free community are abundant; I love being a part of it all!


Number of Events Hosted? Well, most of you know that I hosted Home for the Holidays … Gluten-Free Style this year. What an awesome event that turned out to be! There were 24 bloggers who joined me in the event that lasted 26 days. Each of us shared a recipe that means home and holidays to us, often sharing our own favorite holiday memories, too. With me opening and closing the event, there were 26 recipes shared in all. Readers also joined in by sharing their favorite holiday dishes and treats, and even better, their special holiday memories and plans. Many commented that those were as wonderful to read as the recipes. Plus, there were many, many prizes from a host of generous sponsors—individuals and companies who support the gluten-free community day in and day out. I’m still ensuring that all the prizes have been delivered—there were close to 100 of them. So there were many, many happy winners! But as I’ve shared before, many who did not win any prizes took the time to comment and say that they felt they’d still been given a gift with the series posts each day–that was so heartwarming to read!

Oh, there’s one other thing I want to share related to that event. I’ll be creating some recipes made using a Vitamix (or other high-speed blender) this year, because my dear blogging friends who participated in our holiday event all chipped in and bought me the same Vitamix that was given away as the grand prize—the Vitamix 5200 Super Healthy Lifestyle Package. They did it as a way to thank for me hosting the event. Beyond fabulous, huh? Most definitely. They shocked me and I got all mushy. With every single post that I wrote for our Home for the Holidays … Gluten-Free Style event, I showed you that they are a very special group of people. They really are and I am grateful to them all! My Vitamix is just like the one shown below and the one that Amy Whitehurst—our grand prize winner—won (along with the Eat Fresh and D-Tox Your Life e-book), except mine is red. I don’t have it perfectly assembled yet in its own star spot on my kitchen counter, but it’s a pretty, vibrant red. It goes well with my kitchen that has lots of wood and is complemented by reds and greens (which is actually lovely, not nearly as weird as it sounds).

What do the numbers mean for gfe? They mean I have a lot to say and share (recipes, info, thoughts), you have a lot to say (your success with and/or adaptations to gfe recipes; it really helps others when you comment), and certainly more folks are learning about and following the gfe approach than when I started out at the very end of 2008. This past year alone, there were almost half a million visits to gfe and nearly as many “unique visitors.” In contrast, the very first time I looked to see how many folks I had subscribed, there were 28. There were 1122 visits and 746 unique visitors that first month. I was beyond excited, and honestly I still would be with any of those early numbers today. Reaching even one person and making his/her life easier with the gfe approach is huge to me. After all, that one person could be YOU! But it’s also wonderful to know that more are reading and benefitting from living gfe. What numbers can’t tell, never tell, is what my blog and you all mean to me. Every day I get comments and emails like the following that thank me for sharing my gfe approach.

“I appreciate everything you do on your blog. You have helped me so much this year … and you didn’t even know. :)”

There’s no better feeling for a blogger than to get that kind of feedback. Thank you all for letting me know that gfe is helpful in all the ways you do … by commenting on my blog, my commenting on Facebook, sending tweets, sending emails, and more! Please spread the word about gfe. Again, appreciative words from gfe readers who have been helped by my approach mean the world to me and tell me to keep going with gfe.

 As I continue on with gfe, basically, I plan to share the same type of recipes that I’ve been sharing here for the last three years, ones that focus on real food and are, therefore, naturally gluten free; others that use some mainstream processed foods that are gluten free; and last, still others that may use a gluten-free specialty item here and there. That is the gluten free easily approach in a nutshell! Of course, all my recipes are easy to make and taste great to all your family and friends, not just to the gluten-free folks. Incidentally, if you’re new to gfe, I recommend that you read the Top 10 Reasons to Live GFE, as well as my gfe “tip sheets” under the Getting Started with GFE tab beneath my header. There’s much more info on the sidebar, like gfe’s essential posts (discussion, recipes, and personal stories) and gfe’s most popular posts (see what folks are reading today or this month, or the posts that rank highest for all 3 years).

What else do I have planned for this year at gfe?

Whenever I mention my support group meetings online, readers leave comments here and on Facebook and Twitter that they so wish they could attend. I always reply that I wish the same and I sincerely do. But as we are all very geographically dispersed, until we’re in the sci-fi age of Star Trek and transporters, that’s unlikely to happen. So I’m going to host a new blogging event, The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting. This event will follow the model of the meetings of the actual support group that I lead—the King George Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Support Group.

All of our meetings begin with our shared meal and the focus is on real food, just like with the gfe approach. All dishes served are gluten free and many are grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo, vegan, etc. We label our dishes (or share the recipe) to show exactly what’s in them to keep all members safe. We sometimes choose a theme for our meals, but sometimes we don’t, and all gluten-free dishes are welcome, whether they fit the theme or not. For example, a good nutritious salad is just as appreciated at a group meeting when the theme is Breakfast Foods as it is when the theme is Salads. For The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting, we’ll have a linky for bloggers to share recipes that they’d take to the support group meeting. (Posts must be from within the last month.) Other readers are asked to share their recipe ideas in comments. Whatever presentation or topic of discussion we’ll be having at my actual support group meeting, I’ll also share with The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting.

documentary, food, GMO, genetically modified, Michael Pollan, Monsanto This month, my group will be watching the documentary, The Future of Food, so our theme is Movie Food. As you might expect while there will be popcorn and treats, there will also be other fare that might be served at movie theatres or perhaps food that we wish we could enjoy while watching a movie. At our meetings, we gather and socialize as we heat and set up our meal, then we dine, then we have our presentation, and finally we pick a date for our next meeting and head home, all full and happy from food and fellowship! Hopefully, all those meeting characteristics will come through for the virtual version here on gfe.

I also expect to host a giveaway with The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting. The giveaway item could be tied to the meeting presentation or our fare for the meeting. Because we’re watching The Future of Food, I’ll be giving away a copy of that for our first event. Another time, I could be giving away one of the foods that sponsors have donated for our support group meeting and also our virtual event; e.g., a case of HALFPOPS. In The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting post, I’d also like to share some information that we actually gleaned from the presentation. That’s why I’m thinking that The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting will be held shortly after my actual support group meeting (next one is set for Tuesday, January 17th). That way I can share some of the information that we learned at our meeting, dishes that our members brought, and more. Alternatively, we’d have The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting before my actual support group and I’d share a little wrap-up after the event, announcing any giveaway winners at the same time. But as I said before, I haven’t quite figured out all the details yet, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting. Oh, and FYI, the fantastic Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen is designing the badge for the event. Will have that soon to share!

Last, how about a little giveaway right now to celebrate my gfe anniversary? One restaurant that I have enjoyed on travel and personally have had good experiences with has been P.F. Chang’s. Last year, some girlfriends and I had an amazing meal at P.F. Chang’s. We were famished from cross-country travel and P.F. Chang’s was one of the few restaurants open in the late evening. We didn’t want to imbibe and we didn’t want to have any leftovers, so we shared a pot of tea, two entrees, and an appetizer, each spending $11 including a generous tip if I recall. It was a delicious meal and quite a deal.

As with any “mainstream” restaurant with a gluten-free menu, I know that not everyone’s experience has been the same. Dining out safely gluten free is really dependent upon the individual establishment’s management, including their knowledge and adequate training of personnel. When those of us who are gluten free do eat out, I feel like it’s our responsibility to do “due diligence” by asking the right questions and educate restaurant personnel if needed (to a certain degree). However, I do believe that restaurants with gluten-free menus who actively promote their establishments as gluten free have a much higher responsibility to feed us safely. Furthermore, I’ll be honest and tell you that on any given day, I feel like eating out is a “crapshoot.” I’ve had far more bad experiences the last two months than good; i.e., I’ve been “glutened” more times than not. Most of the time it was from restaurants in which I ordered off the gluten-free menu. The only place I feel completely comfortable dining out is a restaurant with 100% gluten-free food, and the only restaurant I’ve experienced like that so far is Posana Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina. Not only is this entire restaurant gluten free (exception is some bottled beer served for gluten-full patrons) and I love eating there, but it’s also the favorite Asheville restaurant of my gluten-full friends, too. But back to the giveaway …


I’m giving away three P.F. Chang’s $25 gift cards. There will be three winners—one gift card to each. Two of these I actually purchased for Son for Christmas, but he’s eating gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and refined sugar free these days. When I casually inquired as mothers and gift givers do to see if I’d made the right purchase, Son told me that P.F. Chang’s has prepared him a meal that met those requirements, but he said it was pretty plain and boring. Plus, the only P.F. Chang’s near him is on the other side of town. The closest P.F. Chang’s to me is 44 miles away in the other direction (in the extremely “slow direction” I might add), so I decided to give these away to my readers, and added one more gift card to make an appropriate number of prizes for my three-year anniversary giveaway. Hope you agree!

This giveaway will end on Friday at midnight EST. To enter the giveaway:

~ Please leave a comment of any kind. You can give me input on The GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting event (good idea? bad idea? should I host it before or after my actual support group meeting? would you like to see it monthly? quarterly?). Or you can offer input on the gluten-free (and perhaps dairy-free) options at P.F. Chang’s or your experiences and advice on dining out safely. You can tell me and others about your favorite gfe post. Or really anything you want to share with us would be great. (Required entry)

~ Get gfe recipes and discussion posts by mail or reader, by subscribing to gfe. Leave a comment saying you did. (Optional entry)

~ Follow gfe on Twitter. Leave a comment saying you did. (Optional entry; if you already follow me on Twitter, just leave a comment saying so.)

~ “Like” gfe on Facebook. Leave a comment saying you did. (Optional entry; if you already like gfe on Facebook, just leave a comment saying so.)

~ Share the giveaway via social media (e.g., blog, Facebook, and Twitter). Leave a comment saying you did. (Optional entry.)

Okay, finally, this “surprisingly-difficult-to-write” post is out of the way—whew! Happy New Year, and let’s have a fun and tasty 2012 together! As always, stay tuned to gfe.

Shirley
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.

Comments

168 Responses to “GFE by the Numbers … Three Years in Review, Looking Ahead, and P.F. Chang’s Giveaway”

  1. Kristina on January 9th, 2012 9:37 pm

    congrats on three years! I am so happy to know you and this fantastic resource. since I was backpacking around Mexico most of December I missed so much, including Home for the Holidays! I am so excited for you and your new Vitamix – wow, what a nice gift! :)

    I used to LOVE PF Changs when traveling – they recently came to Portland and I need to go!

  2. Jessica on January 9th, 2012 9:42 pm

    I think you just posted the picture of the Vitamix to make me jealous. :D LOVE me some GFE!

  3. Jessica on January 9th, 2012 9:42 pm

    I subscribe to GFE via email!

  4. Jessica on January 9th, 2012 9:43 pm

    I follow GFE on Twitter!

  5. Jessica on January 9th, 2012 9:43 pm

    I “like” GFE on Facebook…but only because they won’t let you LOVE it!

  6. Jill on January 9th, 2012 9:45 pm

    We love PF Changs because it is GIG certified! We have eaten there several times and feel totally comfortable eating gluten free there. We are pretty careful about where we eat…so careful that we hardly ever go out and only eat at resturants that are GIG certified.

  7. heather on January 9th, 2012 9:50 pm

    I not only “like” you on FB, but I “love” you, too!

  8. heather on January 9th, 2012 9:52 pm

    I am so happy to see the variety of your posts (and the contests aren’t too bad either). Thank you for all you do- and the time you put in. We GF’s appreciate having a lot of guesswork taken out of things!!

  9. julie on January 9th, 2012 9:57 pm

    congratulations, it’s been so great having this blog to go to for all things gf!
    And I love pfchangs, especially the beef and brocolli

  10. julie on January 9th, 2012 9:59 pm

    email subscriber

  11. julie on January 9th, 2012 10:00 pm

    I follow on twitter

  12. julie on January 9th, 2012 10:00 pm

    I follow on facebook

  13. Rachel Blom on January 9th, 2012 10:02 pm

    Would love to win a gc to P.F. Chang’s. I’ve never gone so this woud be a great excuse.

  14. Rachel Blom on January 9th, 2012 10:03 pm

    I like gfe on FB.

  15. Heather on January 9th, 2012 10:04 pm

    I already “like” you on FB. I love the idea of the Virtual Group Support meeting. I, too, have had success at P.F Changs, their mongolian beef is yummy. Happy 3rd Anniversary.

  16. Shelly on January 9th, 2012 10:04 pm

    Congratulations on three years! I have been here for one and have enjoyed every minute of it! Love the heart of the GF community and Home for the Holidays was just amazing! I think my favorite event ever. How awesome they bought you a Vitamix… And the red one! :) The red one is on my wishlist, my kitchen is all wood with red and blue accents!

    I am excited about the GFE Virtual Support Group Meeting… I was just telling hubby today that I wanted to go on his next business trip to DC, but he would have to plan it around your support group meeting dates, so I could visit! ;)

  17. Paula on January 9th, 2012 10:14 pm

    Congrats on three years! I love the GF blogger community, there is such support!

  18. Paula on January 9th, 2012 10:15 pm

    I subscribe to your blog.

  19. Paula on January 9th, 2012 10:15 pm

    I like you on facebook.

  20. Debi on January 9th, 2012 10:15 pm

    I love the virtual support group idea! I know we all discussed having a community of support in the last year. For many of us, it is each other on the blogosphere rather than the face-to-face groups that others participate in. Since the local support group for me doesn’t feel so supportive, I would relish the idea of a virtual support group and be able to connect with more people like me. :D

    Happy 3rd Blogoversary, Shirley! I’m so glad you are here blogging and sharing your knowledge. My life has been truly blessed by you!

  21. katrina on January 9th, 2012 10:26 pm

    Congratulations Shirley! Thank you for sharing your experiences, opinions, and recipes with all of us!

  22. Kathy P on January 9th, 2012 10:31 pm

    We have a PF Changs near here, but I’ve not tried it. I heard very good things about them providing allergy friendly foods.

  23. Kathy P on January 9th, 2012 10:31 pm

    Already like you on FB!

  24. Starbright on January 9th, 2012 10:31 pm

    I look forward to your fb posts daily. I have a short amount of time yet am so inspired by the recipes and the little notes. Thanks for making this transition easier!

  25. Ricki on January 9th, 2012 10:36 pm

    Hi Shirely–Happy Anniversary!! (please don’t enter me in the giveaway–I don’t even think we have PF Chang’s here, anyway!). So much to celebrate! Loved the “anniversary by the numbers” approach. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying the VitaMix (I love mine!). I’m looking forward to the new things planned for 2012, more recipes, and anything else you share on GFE. :D

  26. Dana on January 9th, 2012 11:02 pm

    Congrats on your blogiversary!! I absolutely love PF Changs-nearest one is 30 miles away and we usually only go once a year for my birthday. I always order the gf singapore street noodles. I also like the idea of a virtual support group meetings.

  27. Zoe on January 9th, 2012 11:04 pm

    Congrats on three years, Shirley! I love the idea of your virtual support group and everything else you have that’s in store for Gluten Free Easily this year. This was a wonderfully inspirational post to read, I am especially touched by your words about receiving the Vitamix. Can’t wait to see it in action here!

  28. Dana on January 9th, 2012 11:05 pm

    subscribed by email

  29. Dana on January 9th, 2012 11:07 pm

    following on twitter

  30. Dana on January 9th, 2012 11:07 pm

    following on facebook

  31. Dana on January 9th, 2012 11:08 pm

    shared on fb

  32. Jessica E. on January 9th, 2012 11:08 pm

    What an informative post. I have not been to PF Changs since going GF. I’ve heard such great thing though, that I really need to try it!

  33. ALicia on January 9th, 2012 11:32 pm

    I like you on Facebook. Thank you for all you do on your blog. I have learned a lot.

  34. Venessa on January 9th, 2012 11:34 pm

    Congratulations!! on your 3 year anniversary. I love all your tips and recipes. This is a fabulous giveaway! P.F. Chang is my favorite restaurant with a gluten free menu. They are the only one I’ve been to that serves the gluten free meals on special plates, so there’s not a mix up. I order the Singapore street noodles without the meat and the gluten free chocolate desert. Yum! Thank you again for all your hard work blogging. :-)

  35. Venessa on January 9th, 2012 11:35 pm

    I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.

  36. Venessa on January 9th, 2012 11:36 pm

    I “follow” you on Twitter.

  37. Venessa on January 9th, 2012 11:36 pm

    I “like” you on Facebook.

  38. Amber on January 10th, 2012 12:00 am

    Dear Shirley,

    It’s obvious you put a great deal of time and thought into this great post! Wow. I enjoyed reading every word. The gluten-free world is a better place because of you, not only for GFE, but YOU!

    You create a very warm, inviting and comfortable space here on GFE with practical recipes, informative posts, thoughtful responses and feedback. You make people feel special. You set an excellent example for other bloggers with your dedication to networking. Your passion and purpose is clear and unwavering.

    Thank you Shirley! And here’s to many more wonderful years of health, happiness, and GFE.

    Hugs to you,
    –Amber :-)

  39. Katrina (GF Gidget) on January 10th, 2012 6:46 am

    That is AWESOME about your VitaMix!!!! Blogger friends are the best! Now on to the giveaway…
    - Once a month, after your own meeting would be most beneficial.
    - My favorite GF/DF option at PFChangs is kind of plan jane, but I love it: Egg Drop Soup and Buddha’s Feast w/ Brown Rice

  40. Cara on January 10th, 2012 8:37 am

    Wow! Has it already been three years! The time flys! I went to PF Changs before Christmas and I noticed the GF chicken is back on the menu! It pays to let them know that it is a favorite among gluten free. I love it when companies listen. :)

  41. Cara on January 10th, 2012 8:37 am

    I subscribe via google reader.

  42. Cara on January 10th, 2012 8:38 am

    I “like” you on FB.

  43. Shannon Brown on January 10th, 2012 9:14 am

    I now follow you on Twitter. (Already get your emails and like on FB.) I would definitely enjoy your virtual group. On PF Chang’s: When I interviewed Mrs. United States for my blog, she mentioned PF Chang’s as a restaurant she enjoys and she doesn’t eat out much. I haven’t been since I was diagnosed. I’ve wondered if no soy would be a problem in an Asian restaurant? Anyone?

  44. Ina Gawne on January 10th, 2012 9:25 am

    Congratulations Shirley on your 3rd blogging Anniversary! I love all of your informative posts and recipes that you share! Wow, a VitaMix? Lucky you! :)

  45. Elizabeth on January 10th, 2012 9:36 am

    Congrats! Great giveaway!

  46. kelly on January 10th, 2012 10:54 am

    Happy 3rd year of blogging Shirley. So many of us are in a much better place because of you so thank you for your tireless energy, wonderful recipes and all the sharing you do via facebook. You have introduced me to so many bloggers that I would never have known about otherwise. If there was anyone on the planet who deserved that Vitamix it is you! Congrats!

  47. kelly on January 10th, 2012 10:54 am

    I’ve been an avid follower on twitter and love your tweets:)

  48. kelly on January 10th, 2012 10:55 am

    I “like” you on facebook but I actually “love” you and all that you do!

  49. Julie on January 10th, 2012 11:03 am

    We love PF Chang’s and have several safe GF meals there.

  50. Denise Morse on January 10th, 2012 11:44 am

    i like the PF Changs gluten free menu, especially love that they put the gluten free food on different color plates to not get them confused.

  51. Nance on January 10th, 2012 12:03 pm

    Just stopping by to say “Congrats” on three years with your blog and helping so many. What a terrifically comforting, practical, and user-friendly resource you are! Please don’t consider me for the drawing–I just wanted to give you an ‘attagirl’ for your Blogaversary.

  52. Karen on January 10th, 2012 12:16 pm

    just plain old thanks for all you do. this blog makes me so happy.

  53. Stephanie on January 10th, 2012 12:42 pm

    Hi Shirley, I’d love to win the PF Changs gift card, but I really just want to take an opportunity to congratulate you on your 3 yr blogging anniversary and tell you that I think you’re great! I’ve been thrilled with every recipe of yours that I’ve tried. We had friends over this past weekend and the appetizer that I served was your pizza dip. I didn’t even get a taste because it was devoured by our guests and my boys. And my friend just sent a text and asked that I please send her the recipe. Thanks Shirley!

  54. fat lazy celiac on January 10th, 2012 1:36 pm

    I love your blog so much – congrats on 3 years!

  55. fat lazy celiac on January 10th, 2012 1:37 pm

    Also, I already follow you on twitter (and frequently request that others do the same)!

  56. Suzanne on January 10th, 2012 2:29 pm

    I’ve eaten at PF Chang’s several times without problems. In fact, they are the only “Chinese” restaurant that I’ll go to. I love their food & would really love to win one of the gift cards. Thanks for this & all you do for us.

  57. Valerie on January 10th, 2012 2:29 pm

    I know a family that would love this gift certificate and we would gladly take them there! Thank you!

  58. Alta on January 10th, 2012 2:40 pm

    Shirley, please don’t enter me in the giveaway, but I did want to say congrats on 3 years, and I too appreciate what you do more than you know! You are a wealth of information and support. Much love to you!

  59. Kathleen on January 10th, 2012 3:23 pm

    I subscribe to gfe by email. Love your website! Love P.F. Chang’s! I have never had a gluten reaction from eating there. Thanks.

  60. SherriS. on January 10th, 2012 3:30 pm

    Congratulations Shirley on a wonderful milestone! I think the amount of comments you receive says so much about how inspirational (great recipes;>) and educational your blog is to our GF community.

  61. Sharon Baridon on January 10th, 2012 3:31 pm

    Shirley, I am SO IN on THe GFE Support Group Vitual Meeting!!!! And it will work so well with our traveling!! Thank you and Bless you for all you give to the us GF babies!!! XOXO Oops…PS CONGRATULATIONS on 3 Years!!!!

  62. Brenda on January 10th, 2012 3:35 pm

    We like PF Changs but have not eaten there lately. Would
    love to go again. I have had a Vitamix for 25 years and
    it is still going strong. Hope you enjoy it.

  63. Sharon on January 10th, 2012 3:37 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary! Your blog has been so helpful too me on so many occasions and every recipe that I have tried has gotten rave reviews! You are doing so much to help the gluten free community!! Keep up the great work!!! So jealous you have a VitaMix!!!

  64. Sharon on January 10th, 2012 3:38 pm

    I subscribe to your emails.

  65. Sharon on January 10th, 2012 3:38 pm

    I follow you on twitter.

  66. Sharon on January 10th, 2012 3:39 pm

    I like gfe on facebook

  67. Sharon on January 10th, 2012 3:39 pm

    I tweeted ts post.

  68. Melissa C. on January 10th, 2012 3:41 pm

    Congratulations on your three year anniversary and on getting a Vitamix! You are going to love your Vitamix! The GFE Support Group Virtula Meeting sounds great, count me in!

  69. Michelle Crooker on January 10th, 2012 4:10 pm

    Love, Love PF Changs

  70. Michelle Crooker on January 10th, 2012 4:15 pm

    Have been liking you on fb

  71. Catherine on January 10th, 2012 4:49 pm

    Your blog was one of the first GF blogs I started reading last year after cutting gluten from my diet. Thanks for everything you do for the GF community!!

  72. Catherine on January 10th, 2012 4:50 pm

    I subscribe to GFE emails.

  73. Larisa on January 10th, 2012 4:53 pm

    I have had great GF meals at PF Changs, and have found them to be very careful and helpful (Once when a server set down a plate, another server came right behind and snatched it back up; she said that it was gluten free ingredients but that a new cook-in-training hadn’t used separate utensils to stir, so she was returning it)

    congratulations on 3 years! I’ve enjoyed the blog, all the great recipes, links, and support!

  74. Larisa on January 10th, 2012 4:53 pm

    I subscribe to your blog posts via email

  75. Larisa on January 10th, 2012 4:54 pm

    I’m following you on twitter!

  76. Larisa on January 10th, 2012 4:54 pm

    I follow/like you on Facebook :-)

  77. Denise Fedor on January 10th, 2012 4:59 pm

    Grand Rapids, MI just got a P F Changs a few months ago. They have been constantly busy. Would love to try them. Also congrats for 3 years. Thanks, Dee

  78. Denise Fedor on January 10th, 2012 5:00 pm

    I follow your blog by email. LOVE IT. Thanks, Dee

  79. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy on January 10th, 2012 5:01 pm

    I think the GF Support Group Virtual Meetings sounds like a great idea! I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. I also plan to check that movie out, thanks!

  80. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy on January 10th, 2012 5:02 pm

    I am an email subscriber, thanks!

  81. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy on January 10th, 2012 5:03 pm

    I am a twitter follower, thanks!

  82. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy on January 10th, 2012 5:04 pm

    I am a facebook follower as well, thanks!

  83. Denise Fedor on January 10th, 2012 5:05 pm

    I also follow you on Twitter. Thanks again for home for the holidays, Dee

  84. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy on January 10th, 2012 5:07 pm

    I tweeted, thanks!

  85. Sharon M. on January 10th, 2012 5:59 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    Just wanted to say Happy New Year! Although I haven’t had the opportunity to attend many meetings you have been and remain such an inspiration for me. Your gfe approach has been the key for me in reaching a better overall feeling of well being. I’ll be swithing up my work week in the coming months so that I can attend some meetings. Hugs! XOXO Sharon

  86. InTolerant Chef on January 10th, 2012 6:07 pm

    Congratulations on three great years of blogging! Here’s to many more :)

  87. Stacy on January 10th, 2012 6:15 pm

    I love to eat at PF Changs. Their GF Chang’s Spicy Chicken is delish!

  88. Stacy on January 10th, 2012 6:16 pm

    I subscribe to gfe via email

  89. Brittany on January 10th, 2012 7:02 pm

    I love PF Changs and would love to win!
    Congrats on three years!

  90. Cindy W. on January 10th, 2012 7:22 pm

    Congratulations on your 3 years of blogging, Shirley. You are touching so many lives with the information, recipes and wise wisdom you share. There are many of us out here with no one who truly understands the challenges a gf life can pose. I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE your idea for a virtual meeting. What an amazing gift your blogging friends gave you. Well deserved!

  91. Cindy W. on January 10th, 2012 7:22 pm

    I subscribe to your blog via email.

  92. Kalyn on January 10th, 2012 7:42 pm

    Congratulations on three years, and many more!

  93. Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free on January 10th, 2012 8:44 pm

    Shirley, I think your virtual support group is an inspired concept! Please do it monthly.

    And congratulations on your 3rd anniversary — best wishes for the next 3 years to go even better.

  94. Maggie on January 10th, 2012 8:45 pm

    Oh how I wish we had PF Changs! I’ve heard so much about it over the blogosphere :) Congrats on a fabulous and successful 3 years Shirley. You do so much for the gf community. I love your new Virtual Support Group idea. It’s a great concept! Thanks so much for the link love for my GAHIGF post and for The Balanced Platter. Can’t wait to see your post.

  95. Jenny on January 10th, 2012 8:47 pm

    Congratulations on 3 incredible years! Thank you for being such an amazing woman who is always willing to help, lend an encouraging word, and being an amazing mentor.
    I love that you are going to host a virtual support group – I defiantly want to be apart of that. Sounds like a great idea for those, like myself that don’t have a local support group or can’t make it to one.

  96. Jenny on January 10th, 2012 8:48 pm

    I subscribe to your e-mail

  97. Jenny on January 10th, 2012 8:49 pm

    I subscribe to your e-mails.

  98. Jenny on January 10th, 2012 8:50 pm

    I follow you on twitter.

  99. Jenny on January 10th, 2012 8:51 pm

    I like you on Facebook.

  100. Jenny on January 10th, 2012 9:20 pm

    Shared on twitter, my facebook page and pinned it. Congratulations again. Looking forward to what you have in store for us.

  101. Kassia on January 10th, 2012 9:26 pm

    Congratulations on three years!!!

  102. Kassia on January 10th, 2012 9:27 pm

    I “like” you on Facebook!

  103. Kassia on January 10th, 2012 9:27 pm

    I already subscribe via email.

  104. Ashlea on January 10th, 2012 9:40 pm

    I liked you on FB, and I really love PF Changs!

  105. LILA on January 10th, 2012 10:16 pm

    P F Chang’s GF menu is great… even have desserts!

  106. Jen A on January 10th, 2012 10:27 pm

    We just got a PF Chang about 40 mins away, thankfully it is right by the kids school so I go by often. Haven’t made it in yet, dining out with 6 is special occasion only :). I think the virtual support group idea is great, trying hard to get my daughter to embrace gf, but at 13 it isn’t an easy task. Would love to be able to ask for tips and tricks. I don’t know how hard it is, but having a window of time for chatting in real time would be awesome to. That would allow the social support to kick in :). Good luck can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  107. Daisy on January 10th, 2012 10:33 pm

    Would love to see more gluten and sugar free recipes! Love your posts.

  108. kim ledford on January 10th, 2012 10:51 pm

    i like the idea ofa virtual blog because I live so rurally and there are not many options to meet with or talk with fellow celiac people….I would enjoy this opportunity to share with

  109. kim ledford on January 10th, 2012 10:51 pm

    i subscribe to your blog….

  110. kim ledford on January 10th, 2012 10:51 pm

    i like you on facebook

  111. kim ledford on January 10th, 2012 10:53 pm

    i follow oGFE on twitter as kledford65

  112. kim ledford on January 10th, 2012 10:53 pm

    i retweeted this giveaway on twitter

  113. Kimberly Focht on January 10th, 2012 11:04 pm

    Thank you so much for your post. I enjoy reading your blog and the helpful tips for making gluten free eating easy.

  114. Kimberly Focht on January 10th, 2012 11:05 pm

    I have already subscribed to your newsletters

  115. Michelle on January 10th, 2012 11:06 pm

    Happy 3 year anniversary! Thank you for all your hard work and effort, it is much appreciated to find out new and interesting things right from an awesome blog!

  116. Michelle on January 10th, 2012 11:07 pm

    I subscribe via email!

  117. Michelle on January 10th, 2012 11:10 pm

    GFE has been “liked” on fb for a while!

  118. Jessie C. on January 11th, 2012 12:08 am

    Congrats on the milestone!
    We love P.F. Chang’s

  119. Jessie C. on January 11th, 2012 12:08 am

    I’m a subscriber

  120. Jessie C. on January 11th, 2012 12:09 am

    Follow gfe on Twitter.@tcarolinep

  121. Jessie C. on January 11th, 2012 12:09 am

    “Like” gfe on Facebook.
    Jessie c.

  122. Jessie C. on January 11th, 2012 12:10 am
  123. Shelby on January 11th, 2012 12:30 am

    Happy Anniversary! Thank you for being a great resource! I wanted to tell you that I loved your Home for the Holidays- Gluten Free Style . I got so many ideas and new recipes to try. I looked forward to the new posts that came out each day.

    I also have to say that I love PF Changs! My husband is half Chinese, so we of course love Chinese food. When we went gluten free, it was so hard to think of giving up many of the dishes that we enjoy so much. The first time we went to PF Changs, we were so excited and ordered way too much food. It was so good! We also appreciated how careful the wait staff and kitchen seemed to be in preparing and serving our meal. It is great to go out to eat and feel at ease. :)

  124. joan harrington on January 11th, 2012 1:06 am

    I read your emails avidly and enjoy your simple approach to eating safely! I love PF Changs, hope to win!

  125. Nicole on January 11th, 2012 1:30 am

    PF Chang’s is probably the only restaurant in Summerlin that my husband and I have yet to try. I’ve heard great things about their gluten-free menu. The gift cards would give us a great excuse to try it.

  126. Nicole on January 11th, 2012 1:30 am

    I subscribe to gfe via email.

  127. Nicole on January 11th, 2012 1:31 am

    I follow gfe on Twitter as @Nicoles_SDC

  128. Nicole on January 11th, 2012 1:31 am

    I like gfe on Facebook.

  129. Rachelle Ludwig on January 11th, 2012 1:55 am

    Wow! Three years, Congratulations!

  130. Rachelle Ludwig on January 11th, 2012 1:56 am

    I follow on Facebook

  131. Rachelle Ludwig on January 11th, 2012 1:56 am

    Follow on twitter as well as; Twerpcicle

  132. Rachelle Ludwig on January 11th, 2012 1:59 am

    I am already subscribed to the newsletter via my e-mail. : )

  133. Donna on January 11th, 2012 11:06 am

    I don’t eat out often but PF Chang’s is one I frequent safely. My favorite is the beef and broccoli rice bowl. I find it similar to Mongolian Beef and not bland at all. In fact, they give you a whole set of GF sauces on a little tray to add flavor. Your meal is also served on a special plate for GF only. My husband, who is not GF, orders off the GF menu and likes the chicken moo goo gai pan rice bowl and finds no flavor missing either. It is served with egg drop soup. They have a chocolate dome dessert to die for. We have found very professional staff working there in our area.

  134. Lee Barrilleaux on January 11th, 2012 11:44 am

    Congrats on three years!!!!! I love your site and all of your recipes. Keep up the great work.

  135. Angie on January 11th, 2012 1:11 pm

    Congratulations on three great years! Love your blog and PF Changs! They have the best GF menu by far, I crave those chicken lettuce wraps!

  136. Angie on January 11th, 2012 1:11 pm

    I “like” you on Facebook :)

  137. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on January 11th, 2012 1:18 pm

    Oh my gosh! Those are some uber impressive numbers, my dear! Wow!! Happy belated 3 year blogaversary!! I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for you. I have a really really great feeling that it is going to knock the last three out of the park!
    Huge huge hugs to you!!!!!! And congrats on what you have accomplished over the last few years!
    xoxo
    k

  138. Tina on January 11th, 2012 2:44 pm

    I enjoy your posts and would love to try P.F. Chang’s gluten-free assortment.

  139. Tina on January 11th, 2012 2:44 pm

    I like you on Facebook!

  140. Jennifer on January 11th, 2012 9:58 pm

    I subscribe, and we love Chang’s Spicy Chicken (gf). Yum!

  141. Carrie Miller on January 12th, 2012 7:36 pm

    Congrats on your 3 year blogging anniversary. I just found your blog thru Elana’s Pantry link. I will definitely be visiting again. As for PFChang’s, it’s a wonderful place to eat out. Still waiting for the rumor of GF PF Chang freezer dinners to hit the freezer section at the stores.

  142. Alisa on January 12th, 2012 8:05 pm

    Wow, what a great wrap-up Shirley! So glad you are enjoying the Vitamix, as intimidating as it might be!

    I still remember that P.F. Chang’s dinner, it was definitely enjoyed :)

  143. Laura Jacobson on January 13th, 2012 12:54 am

    First…congrats! I am so glad I found your website tonight. :) We actually have a P.F. Chang’s not far from me, but I didnt know they had a gluten free menu. :) I am sooo excited! Its so hard to find a place you can eat out that has gluten free food. I am going to have to give them a try! So glad I read your blog. :)
    landfjacobson @ charter.net

  144. Laura Jacobson on January 13th, 2012 12:55 am

    I followed you on twitter
    ilovemybeagle2

  145. Laura Jacobson on January 13th, 2012 12:56 am

    I liked you on facebook

  146. Laura Jacobson on January 13th, 2012 12:57 am
  147. Laura Jacobson on January 13th, 2012 12:58 am

    I subscribed to your emails and recipes

  148. T. Earp on January 13th, 2012 7:21 pm

    Hi,

    This was my first visit to your website. I liked your FB page on the FB game page. Then, a little while ago, saw your FB post about a giveaway. Well, of course, that got me to come check it out.

    I really like your blog’s title. I am a little strange, in that I like sequences in letters and numbers. I thought the going a different direction take was creative! :)

    (Like on FB: see above.) I also shared on my FB page about the giveaway.

  149. Cheri Henderson on January 13th, 2012 7:55 pm

    PF Chang’s is one of my favorite restaurants. Though the restaurant recently expanded its GF menu, I still order Singapore Street Noodles every time. I could live on them. All I do is add a tiny bit of uncontaminated chili paste, and I’m in heaven.

  150. Kecia Schultz on January 13th, 2012 8:18 pm

    Love P.F. Changs! I’m waiting (not so patiently) for the day they start using gluten free flour to bread up sweet and sour chicken and shrimp. That’s what I miss the most – I can make it at home, but it just isn’t the same! I will offer a tip I found recently in breading chicken- baking powder. Haven’t tried it yet for deep frying, but I’m looking forward to it. (Note: I would still put the gift cards for P.F. Changs to great use as they still have plenty of gf options on the menu!)

  151. Erin on January 13th, 2012 8:19 pm

    I have seen PF Chang’s GF menu, and I was impressed! Have not eaten there since going GF, so I’d love to! I already like your FB page and will post a link to this on my page Gluten Free Simply Good.

  152. Temeni Roy on January 13th, 2012 9:35 pm

    Thank you for all the research you do and the time you invest! I’ve been making my own sushi and stir-fry with gluten free soy sauce, so far those have been my favorite gf meals. P.s. I’m in love with P.F. Chang’s!!

  153. Tara on January 14th, 2012 1:13 am

    Love PF Changs for eating out gluten free! So far I’ve never had an issue there. I’ve learned to keep gluten enzymes in my purse and always take them when I eat out, just in case.

  154. Tara on January 14th, 2012 1:14 am

    Follow you on Facebook.

  155. Tara on January 14th, 2012 1:14 am

    Added you on Twitter.

  156. Tara on January 14th, 2012 1:15 am

    Signed up for you email updates.

  157. Tara on January 14th, 2012 1:15 am

    Shared on Facebook.

  158. Susan Halloran on January 14th, 2012 8:17 am

    Shirley, your idea for a virtual support group is wonderful!! Now… if I can only become more knowledgable about this computer, and be able to “attend”! My 11 y.o. son can help me, I’m sure. He’s the most computer-savvy person in our home! And, yes, P.F. Changs is great! We get there once or twice a year, and what a teat it is!
    Happy Blogiversary, and Happy New Year!
    Susan

  159. Melissa @ glutenfreeforgood on January 14th, 2012 4:26 pm

    All I have to say is WOW. You are amazing! And — late congratulations on your blogiversary!

  160. Kim ledford on January 17th, 2012 6:56 am

    I’m so excited to be 1 of the winners of the P F Changs gift card! thank you for an awesome give away, I can’t wait to use my gift card!

    • Shirley on January 18th, 2012 7:48 pm

      Congrats again, Kim! Dinners at least partially paid for by someone else always seem to taste better IMHO. ;-)

      Shirley

  161. Stephanie on January 17th, 2012 10:23 am

    Early this morning, I saw the email that I’d won and I couldn’t wait for my DH to wake up so I could share the news…I was so excited. Thanks again for everything you do for the GF community and thank you for the gift card!

    • Shirley on January 18th, 2012 7:49 pm

      Hi Stephanie–You are welcome! Thank you for the kind words. Hope you and your DH have a wonderful time at PF Chang’s! :-)

      Shirley

  162. Sara on January 17th, 2012 11:43 pm

    I love PF Chang’s! Last time I was there they were able to change one of their dishes and make it allergen free for me. Also doesn’t hurt that their food is so yummy!

  163. Kassia on January 18th, 2012 9:45 am

    I’m so excited I won one of these gift cards! Thanks again for the great giveaway! I can’t wait to use the gift card on a date night with my husband! :)

    • Shirley on January 18th, 2012 7:50 pm

      Hi Kassia–All of you winners have mentioned dates out with your husband … I’m happy to support that! :-) Enjoy!

      Shirley

  164. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat on January 21st, 2012 11:24 am

    Shirley, happy belated anniversary!! This has been a wonderful year, and I’m so thankful for you! You’ve blessed so many people with your experience, stories, recipes, encouragement, and sweet spirit. Big hugs!!!

  165. Jeanette on January 22nd, 2012 6:36 pm

    Happy belated anniversary Shirley! Wow, you have accomplished so much and I thank you for helping so many people, including myself. Can’t wait to hear more about your virtual GFE support group – you are truly a community builder who cares about others in need of support and help. I know this will be another bang up year for you!

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