Review of Three Terrific E-Books … and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

So I mentioned the other day that I’d be posting a trifecta review and giveaway some time this weekend. Well, the weekend passed a few days ago … sigh. Can you say birthday? I played and celebrated longer than I expected and it’s been great. Plus, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of your birthday wishes! But, let’s get to these gfe-style giveaways now, shall we? Oh, and there are muffins … Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins! (UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.)

My good friend, Diane Eblin, over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang recently published her first e-book, The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook. If you follow Diane’s blog, including her ongoing 30 Days to a Food Revolution event, you know she believes in eating real food and “making good food no matter what”—her trademarked motto. (She shared her personal story here at gfe earlier.) Creating a diner cookbook was a plan that Diane mentioned to me months ago, so I was so excited to see her e-book published several weeks ago. She kept watching the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with host Guy Fieri and decided there needed to be a solution for all the folks who needed to eat gluten free (and dairy free). Her Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook was born. The recipes will delight everyone, not just those with food restrictions. For example, take the Boeuf Bourguignon Burger that I made the other night. The burgers included come grated carrots, garlic, and onions, with ground bay leaf and other seasonings. Doesn’t that already sound like a really good burger?  Well, while the burgers were cooking, I made the sauce as Diane directed. The sauce perfectly completes the boeuf bourguignon effect with its bacon, mushrooms, beef stock, red wine, tomato paste, and thickener.  And, the moment the sauce actually becomes sauce, well you’ll want to bathe in it! I’m not kidding. It’s easy to make, but yet a knockout with its rich flavoring, intoxicating smell (red wine does that every time!), and thick, mahogany appearance. Mr. GFE was as pleased as I was and he can’t even say boeuf bourguignon. Lucky for you, this recipe is also on Diane’s blog. You can check it out here. I made a few minor changes, adding some tapioca flour versus arrowroot to the burger and using cornstarch with cold water for the sauce. I also used ground venison, which is what we almost always use in place of beef. (It’s equivalent to lean ground beef in its low fat profile and is very similar to organic meat in many respects.) I had no tomato paste on hand, but had a tiny bit of chili sauce, so I used that. I think it’s a very adaptable recipe that won’t disappoint. (The photo below shows two Boeuf Bourguignon Burgers.)

I made one other recipe of Diane’s from her cookbook, Bacon-Wrapped Avocado. This recipe is pure decadence. It would make a great appetizer for serving with cocktails. You cut the avocado into eight slices and wrap each with a piece of bacon and then fry just like that. This appetizer was so amazing and filling that I could only eat half of one of the slices—one of those morsels in the forefront of the photo. Since Mr. GFE is not an avocado fan, I only prepared three slices. Then I ate them over the next two days. They were just as good cold as they were hot in my opinion.

Diane’s e-book contains 48 recipes. Every single one looks and sounds delicious.  The next one on my “to make” list is Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup. I had all the ingredients, but ran out of time to make it before our weekend outing. However, this soup was one of Diane’s recipes that Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) made and sampled over at her site. Check out her review and giveaway here. Amy’s (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) giveaway of Diane’s e-book is also over, but you can read her review of Diane’s ebook and see her adaptation of Diane’s Chorizo and Potato Frittata here. Now, for the really good part … I’m giving away a copy of Diane’s e-book to two gfe readers!

I mentioned Erin Elberson’s new e-book, 7 Quick Start Tips for a Gluten-Free Fit Life recently. Do you know Erin? She’s the author of the blog, Gluten-Free Fitness. We met on Twitter and haven’t stopped talking since! We’re either cheering each other, thanking each other, educating each other, or challenging each other’s ideas. All that says good friend and great resource to me! But, Erin and her e-book can be a wonderful resource for you, too. She has impressive credentials: Master’s degree in Physical Therapy and a Bachelor’s in Health Science, as well as 100% completion of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness GREAT testing (Gluten Free Resource, Awareness and Education Training) for Allied Health Professionals. However, Erin has much more to offer than her education credentials. She is so personable and down to earth when she’s sharing such great information on transitioning to eating gluten free and healthy, and staying fit. Erin covers celiac and gluten-free topics on her blog with knowledge and ease, so I was extremely honored when she asked me to do an early review of her e-book. I love the way I felt like she was talking directly to me when I read it. Truth be told, I wish I’d had her book when I first went gluten free. It’s a workbook of sorts … with lists and tips. It even includes some recipes, or as Erin calls so many of them, “not really recipes.” By that, she means dishes where you just use a concept and go from there, adapting as you like. For example, she shared my Special Turkey Breast recipe as “not really a recipe,” and made it even better by using balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar and using some different seasonings. (You can see her recipe here.) Erin’s motto is “Eat well and be well.” She has graciously donated a copy of 7 Quick Start Tips to one lucky gfe reader. If you’re one who doesn’t enter giveaways (or if later you find out that you didn’t win the giveaway, but still want Erin’s book), you can click on the link here or on the sidebar and enter coupon “gfe” at checkout to get 20% off. (Note that this coupon expires 8/31/10.)

Last, I’m also a fan of Ricki Heller’s. Ricki blogs at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. And, yes, her blog is as creative and fun as her name. Heck, I even like her own name. It’s got spunk, and so does Ricki. She’s been trying fervently for some time to get on The Ellen Show to share her e-book, Sweet Freedom. (Note: Ricki’s book is also available on her blog or on Amazon as a paperback.) As the title states, it’s a cookbook about living refined sugar free. But, Ricki’s book and blog are about more than that. She also lives vegan. Ellen DeGeneres also is vegan and sugar free, so that’s a large reason for Ricki campaigning to appear on Ellen. See the YouTube video she sent to Ellen here. (Believe me, it’s totally worth watching!) I think Ricki would be absolutely hysterical on Ellen and a promotion of healthy eating is always welcome.

Now, big caveat … Sweet Freedom is not a gluten-free cookbook, although Ricki points out that about a third of the recipes are naturally gluten free (some not requiring flour at all) and two are designed to be gluten free—gluten-free brownies and coconut mini-loaves (or cupcakes). Ricki has been gluten free since she began following the anti-candida diet, but when writing Sweet Freedom, she was not. Ricki used a lot of spelt and barley in these recipes. I’ve written about spelt before. Spelt is not safe for anyone who has celiac, gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or even a wheat allergy. This is not just my personal opinion;  you can read more here. Many who eat spelt cite no reaction, but remember that lack of a recognizable reaction to a food or ingredients does not mean that a food is safe. One can actually have a reaction, but one that is different from a typical gluten reaction—different enough, in fact, that it is not recognized as such (as in Allison’s story). Or, one can truly not have a visible reaction for a long time, but then develop a very serious illness. The fact is that spelt is a species of wheat. According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, foods that contain spelt or kamut cannot carry “wheat-free” or “wheat-alternative” labels. Finally, my friend, Alison (Sure Foods Living), also tackled the spelt topic a while back.

But, all that said, Sweet Freedom is a cookbook that one can easily use for gluten-free recipes and one lucky reader will get the e-book version! Replacing the flour with gluten-free flours (and possibly adding xanthan gum, if needed) is an easy thing to do. That’s what I did. When I found a recipe that sounded good, I made it by simply replacing the spelt flour with gluten-free flours. I scrolled through Ricki’s entire ebook, but it was her first recipe that appealed to me most at the time—Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. These muffins, as I made them, are somewhat heartier with mostly millet and almond flours, but yet are still tender. I used honey instead of agave as that’s what we always have the largest supply of at our house, and I like the taste of honey in recipes made with nut flours. With the banana and the honey, even a little nibble with no chocolate chips is sufficiently sweet. Of course, a full bite yields the wonderful melding of banana and chocolate. Remember I told you that Ricki’s recipes are vegan. So, there are no eggs in these delicious muffins, but who can tell? I couldn’t, because the flax meal and water added to the recipe take the place of the eggs beautifully. I like these muffins far better than my usual banana muffin recipe. Son also gave them a big thumbs up. In fact, he grabbed two thirds of the batch as he was heading out the door to our mountain property for camping. The plan was to have them for breakfast the next morning, but honestly, I doubt that they lasted the night … or even the 2-hour trip to get there. They are that good!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)

1 cup mashed, ripe banana (about three bananas)
1/3 cup honey (use another sweetener for vegan option; e.g., agave nectar)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tin for 10 muffins.

In large bowl, mix bananas, honey, oil, ground flax seed, water, and vanilla extract. Let sit for 2 minutes.

Then add flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix a bit (without overmixing). Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness.

Adapted from Ricki Heller, Sweet Freedom

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me which of these e-books you would be interested in. Other ways to enter: Post a message on Facebook. Share the giveaway on your blog. Or, tweet. For all of these, leave a separate comment. That’s a potential of four entries, but only one entry is needed to win. I’m so thankful to Diane, Erin, and Ricki for sharing their awesome e-books and look forward to announcing the winners after the giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 28, at midnight (Eastern)!

There are two winners of Diane Eblin’s (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook. They are Tricia and Audrey. Tricia said: “I would love love love the Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook. For some reason, everyone sends me dessert recipes, but I’ve gotten into a rut with my daily meals. Everything there looks so delicious!” And, Audrey said: “The saddest part of becoming gluten free was giving up all my unusable cookbooks! More Cookbooks!”

Lisa Greer is the winner of Erin Elberson’s (Gluten-Free Fitness) 7 Quick Start Tips for a Gluten-Free Fit Life. Her comment was: “I’d love any of the books.  thanks…”

Roda is the winner of Ricki Heller’s (Diet, Dessert, and Dogs) Sweet Freedom. Her comment was: “I just started the first phase of the candida diet and I stumbled across Ricki Heller’s blog yesterday and I’m so excited to try so many of those recipes! I’m also excited to try your adaptation of those Banana Chocolate Chip muffins (eventually, when I’m allowed to eat again)! I’d really love to win a copy of Sweet Freedom!”

Congrats to all! Thanks to all who took the time to enter the giveaway and especially to Diane, Erin, and Ricki for sponsoring the giveaway of their great e-books.

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Food on Fridays.

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

90 Responses to “Review of Three Terrific E-Books … and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins”

  1. Kimberly Focht on July 20th, 2010 11:30 pm

    I would love to win the Gluten-free diner cookbook. I am always looking for more meal type recipes. Desserts seem to be easier to adjust and find things that work. Thanks for all that you do!!! Kimberly

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:15 am

      Hi Kimberly–Looks like you are new to gfe–welcome! :-) I think meals can be easier if you focus on the ones that are naturally gluten free. For example, our dinner last night was grilled barbecue pork chops, grilled veggies, and baked potatoes (microwave). So simple, yet so good. :-) I think most folks struggle with gf desserts, so you are ahead of the game! In any regard, Diane’s book would be a great one for you.

      Thanks for the kind words and best of luck to you in the giveaway!

      Shirley

  2. Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free on July 20th, 2010 11:33 pm

    Those muffins look amazing! And I absolutely love how healthy they are! Yum!
    And I know two boys who could devour an entire plate of those baon wrapped avocados! Holy cow do those look decadent! I think I may make a few up in the morning. How much easier could they be?
    Great Birthday Giveaway Post!!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:35 am

      Hey Kim–Thanks re: muffins … they are like the ultimate health muffin, but incredibly delicious. Ricki is so clever that way. ;-) Adapting to gfe was easy. :-)

      I’ll be interested on the feedback on the bacon-wrapped avocados … I love both ingredients, but was amazed at how rich they were. This is one case where I think a little can go a long way. ;-)

      Have a great weekend! xo,

      Shirley

  3. Ricki on July 20th, 2010 11:33 pm

    Shirley,
    Thanks so much for this amazing review! Love the muffins as you made them (and such gorgeous photos in this post!). I should mention that about one third of the recipes in Sweet Freedom are naturally gluten free, as many are made without flours at all, and there are two intentionally GF recipes, for gluten free brownies and gluten free coconut cupcakes. :)

    • Shirley on July 20th, 2010 11:37 pm

      Hi Ricki–Glad you liked it! The muffins were the bomb … can’t wait to make them again. I swear with every one I ate, they got more delicious! (Son really saved me from myself. LOL) Thank you for mentioning that info about how many of your recipes are gluten free, naturally and intentionally. I know you’d told me that before … I’ll update my post immediately. :-)

      Hugs,
      Shirley

  4. Sue Mitchell on July 21st, 2010 2:05 am

    Hi,
    I am always looking for tips as to how to make gluten free cooking easier and more tasty so would love to win a copy of the 7 Quick start tips book.Sounds really interesting. Thanks for your site too!

    Sue.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:27 am

      Hi Sue–Looks like you are new here–welcome to gfe! Erin’s book is a great resource and an easy read. I’m a big fan of her not really recipes. ;-) Thanks for the kind words and best of luck in the giveaway! :-)

      Shirley

  5. Sharon on July 21st, 2010 5:45 am

    I’d take either book really. They both look amazing! Think I’ll make those muffins today. I have a few ripe bananas that need to be used asap!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:45 am

      Hi Sharon–Actually there are three e-books being given away … two e-cookbooks and one e-book that is a resource book that also includes recipe information. So let me know about your choice.

      I’d love to hear back if you made the muffins, too. ;-) I’m avoiding the oven with our record high temps right now. :-(

      Shirley

  6. Shari on July 21st, 2010 8:19 am

    Diane Eblin’s The Gluten Diner Cookbook would be awesome.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:48 am

      Hi Shari–Good to see you again! :-) Thanks for entering and best of luck! ;-)

      Shirley

  7. Erin Elberson on July 21st, 2010 8:39 am

    Shirley,
    Thank you so much for the your review, and reflections on our communications together. I always look forward to sharing our opinions and thoughts.
    And thank you so much for saying you wish you’d had my book when you first went gluten free. To me, that is a compliment of the highest order :)
    Good luck to all, and thanks to Shirley for hosting the giveaway!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:55 am

      Erin–It’s truly my pleasure to feature your great new e-book in this giveaway! Thanks to you for graciously offering it to my readers. :-) The older I get the more I realize that I don’t learn or grow by talking to folks who agree with every single thing I say and believe. Spirited discussion is good! ;-)

      Hugs,
      Shirley

  8. Leah on July 21st, 2010 8:56 am

    This comment isn’t a giveaway entry, but I just wanted to say that Sweet Freedom is a great book. I actually won it in a giveaway on a different website. The pictures are so pretty, and the recipes are great too. I modify them to make them gluten free and sweetener free and they still work!

    If you don’t win, you should go buy it from Ricki…it’s only $5!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:02 am

      Hi Leah–Thanks for adding your review of Sweet Freedom! I love that you shared how adapatable they are. :-) That’s so helpful, and congrats on winning a copy for yourself already–very cool. ;-)

      I actually believe that it’s Ricki’s Anti-Candida Feast book that’s only $5. Her Sweet Freedom e-book is $14.95. But, they are both an excellent, excellent value … so you’re right … anyone who doesn’t win, should definitely purchase them anyway.

      Thanks again for taking the time to add your great input!

      Shirley

  9. nina on July 21st, 2010 9:26 am

    I’d love to have Sweet Freedom! Or either of the other two actually.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:05 am

      Hey nina–You’re easy to please ;-) … you’re in! Good luck to you! :-)

      Shirley

  10. Neva on July 21st, 2010 1:20 pm

    As always, all the books you review or recommend look like ones I need to have. Being GF is easier with the information you share. Should I be luck enough to win I would prefer the Gluten Free Diner Cookbook.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:06 am

      Neva–Thank you so much! It always makes my day to know that the info I share is appreciated and that I am making living gf easier. :-)

      Thanks for entering … good luck to you!

      Shirley

  11. Karen on July 21st, 2010 1:26 pm

    I love cookbooks so I’d enjoy either one!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:07 am

      Hi Karen–Nice to see you! :-) Best of luck in the giveaway! ;-)

      Shirley

  12. Marla Y on July 21st, 2010 4:08 pm

    I would really like the 7 Quick Start Tips for a Gluten-Free Fit Life as I’m just getting started on eating gluten-free. This would probably be a great resource for me as a newbie. Thank you for the chance to win.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:10 am

      Hi Marla Y–Welcome to gfe! :-) You’re right … Erin’s e-book would be a great resource for you being new to gf. Good luck to you! ;-)

      Just FYI, you don’t have to leave your email address in your comment to enter giveaways here at gfe. I can see it in your comment info; it’s just not accessible to others. I’ve removed it so you won’t be inundated by spam.

      Best,
      Shirley

  13. Sue on July 21st, 2010 7:31 pm

    The Gluten Free Diner cookbook looks to be a great match for my kitchen, and my tastes. I would love to have a copy. Please? and Thanks!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:12 am

      Hi Sue–LOL on the “please” … better talk to the Random Number Generator, not me. ;-) Just teasin’. Seriously, I’m sure you’d find Diane’s e-book to be a wonderful addition to your kitchen. Best of luck!

      Shirley

  14. Kassia on July 21st, 2010 8:57 pm

    I would love to win the Gluten Free Diner cookbook!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 10:50 am

      Hi Kassia–Nice to see you again! :-) Good luck to you in the giveaway!

      Shirley

  15. Jennifer on July 21st, 2010 9:49 pm

    I love watching Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and always try to figure out a way to make the recipes gluten free. And, bacon wrapped avocado, can’t wait to try it!!!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:14 am

      Hi Jennifer–So good to see you, my dear friend. Miss you! :-) You are always a natural at adapting recipes, but Diane’s e-book would make it super easy to cook diner food. I know you’d love the recipes. I’ll look forward to your bacon-wrapped avocado review. ;-)

      xoxo,
      Shirley

  16. Casey on July 22nd, 2010 2:18 am

    The Diner cookbook definitely sounds family friendly – I would love that one!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:16 am

      Hey Casey–I agree … family friendly for sure. Best of luck to you in the giveaway! :-)

      Shirley

  17. Marsha on July 22nd, 2010 1:09 pm

    Wow….avacado and bacon sounds yummy, those musffins look great cant wait to try them.
    The diner cookbook is the one I would love to win.
    Thanks

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:17 am

      Hi Marsha–Welcome to gfe! :-) Hope you try both of those recipes … not to be eaten at the same time, but perhaps the same day. ;-)

      Good luck to you!
      Shirley

  18. Linda on July 23rd, 2010 12:03 am

    All three books sounds great and the food all looks delicious. Thanks for the reviews.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:20 am

      Hi Linda–My pleasure and thanks for the feedback on my photos! Delicious recipes make it easy. :-) Happy to participate in Gluten-Free Wednesdays, as always. ;-)

      Shirley

  19. Gluten FREE foods ROCK on July 23rd, 2010 9:59 am

    Everything looks yummy

    I’d enjoy either one

    7 Quick Start Tips for a Gluten-Free Fit Life

    The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:21 am

      Hi April–Nice to see you at gfe again. :-) Thanks, and good luck to you!

      Shirley

  20. Pat on July 23rd, 2010 3:08 pm

    You make each of them sound so fascinating, it’s hard to choose between them, but I think Diane Eblin’s would be a good place to start. Her Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook sounds tantalizing, especially if there are more goodies like the Bacon-Wrapped Avocados you show! Please enter me in the contest for that!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:24 am

      Hi Pat!–Looks like you are new to gfe–welcome! Thanks for the kind words and entering the giveaway—you’re in! Good luck to you. :-)

      Shirley

  21. cheryl on July 23rd, 2010 6:29 pm

    I was a reviewer/taster for Sweet freedom and I liberated the recipes of gluten when necessary…it was quite an easy switch, and I don’t remember using xantham, either. It’s a great book!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:30 am

      Hi cheryl–Thanks so much for your additional input! :-) Reviewer/taster for Sweet Freedom … now that’s definitely one of those jobs where you say, “It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!” (with a wink and/or sarcasm added, of course) I love your feedback, especially the part about not needing xanthan gum. As you can see, I didn’t add any to the muffins I adapted, but I wasn’t sure if that would be true for all. So glad to hear it is! I did note that you said, “I don’t remember,” though, so I won’t hold you to it. ;-)

      Shirley

  22. Nicole on July 23rd, 2010 8:55 pm

    I would love a copy of Sweet Freedom!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:50 am

      Hi Nicole–Welcome to gfe! Best of luck to you in the giveaway! :-)

      Shirley

  23. Krista on July 23rd, 2010 9:17 pm

    I would love the Sweet Freedom book :).

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:51 am

      Hi Krista–Thanks for entering the giveaway … good luck! ;-) And, welcome to gfe, too!

      Shirley

  24. liz on July 24th, 2010 6:42 am

    Would love a copy of Ricki’s Sweet Freedom!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:53 am

      Hi liz–Nice to have another Ricki fan here at gfe! Welcome and good luck to you! :-)

      Shirley

  25. liz on July 24th, 2010 6:57 am

    Tweeted the giveaway via @seasideliz

  26. Susannah on July 24th, 2010 8:52 am

    I’d want the “Gluten Free Dinner” e-book because I am looking for new gluten free dinners that I can have.

    ~Susannah

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 11:57 am

      Hi Susannah–Welcome to gfe! :-) Diane’s is a good choice. Her recipes are inspired by diner meals that we all enjoy—just gluten-free. ;-)

      Best of luck to you,
      Shirley

  27. glutenfreeforgood on July 24th, 2010 9:40 am

    Shirley,

    Seriously, I can’t keep up with you! Do you ever sleep? =)

    Knowing most of these authors, I can only imagine that all of these e-books are excellent. And those muffins look delicious. One question (off subject as I have a tendency to wander) — where did you take the last photo? The one of the muffins? With the “woods” in the background? That looks beautiful. We just returned from a week of camping and I wish I was still out in the backcountry. Guess your photo yanked me back outdoors.

    Melissa
    xo

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 12:06 pm

      Hi Melissa–LOL … I got 8 1/2 hours of sleep last night! And, I’m feeling behind on everything, so whenever you tell me that you can’t keep up with me, I confess that it sort of makes me feel good. ;-) But, we’re home this weekend and I’m hoping to catch up even more. It’s not like we can do a lot outside (although Mr. GFE is washing cars as we speak) with a heat index of 110+. Too hot to even go to our beloved mtns … can you believe it? So glad you had that time camping in the backcountry. Hard to come back to real life though, I know. Anyway, be forewarned that more posts are coming. I think you’ll love the one on my birthday celebration (well, the one on my actual BD anyway, I’m not done yet!).

      Both photos were taken on our screened porch. Those are our woods, so thank you very much! We live in a subdivision, but it’s a wooded one and we own three lots so we have woods and our property is on a small lake. Both offer lots of resident critters and all types of beauty. When we eat dinner on the screened porch, we are looking at those woods and the lake, and all the entertainment that the animals give us. Just too darned hot to sit out there at the moment, even with our porch ceiling fan.

      xoxo,
      Shirley

  28. Roda on July 24th, 2010 2:09 pm

    I just started the first phase of the candida diet and I stumbled across Ricki Heller’s blog yesterday and I’m so excited to try so many of those recipes! I’m also excited to try your adaptation of those Banana Chocolate Chip muffins (eventually, when I’m allowed to eat again)! I’d really love to win a copy of Sweet Freedom!

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 2:19 pm

      Hi Roda–How cool that you found Ricki’s great blog and gfe–welcome! :-) Ricki will help you make lots of delicious anti-candida treats for now, and maybe you can go a little “wilder” with the goodies later. ;-) Best of luck in the giveaway!

      Shirley

  29. CHARLENE on July 24th, 2010 4:55 pm

    The Melting Pot in Central Park if fabulous. They do have a gluten free menu and the servers are very knowledgable and cooperative. Hope I win one of the books they look yummy.

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 5:21 pm

      Hi Charlene–Here’s an official welcome to gfe! So glad I finally connected with you through our support group emails a while back. I’ll definitely share your review of our local Melting Pot with the other members. I had another member share her positive experience with me, too.

      Yes, all great books. :-) Best of luck in the giveaway!

      Shirley

  30. glutenfreeforgood on July 24th, 2010 5:42 pm

    Shirley (continued),

    I hate to even tell you this, but I will anyway. =) The temperature here was in the high 50s when I got up this morning and it’s topping out at about 79 right now. I love it! It got a touch nippy camping in Idaho, although I’m not complaining as I like that (30s at night). And speaking of wildlife, we had a bear incident one night.

    Just checking back to see where that photo was taken. Your lot(s) look beautiful. Great view from your porch. And the muffins look good, too!

    Can’t wait to chat (blah, blah, blah) over a glass of wine and some GF food in Seattle.

    xo

    • Shirley on July 24th, 2010 6:08 pm

      Melissa–Oh, you’re so, so cruel! What perfect temps. Nippiness during camping in Idaho sounds amazing right now! LOL It’s still 99 here at 6:00 pm and per the weather gurus, it feels like 107. Yikes! In our house, we’re keeping it 78. (That means that the AC does turn off for a few minutes now and then.) Thank goodness for ceiling fans and living in the woods!

      Bear incident … Mr. GFE is wondering if we haven’t had a bear around lately. They do visit our area occasionally. There are some big pieces of wood from a tree that he cut up some time ago down by the lake and something has been turning them over. He is anti-bear (LOL), so he suggested it might be Super Ninja Raccoons! Of course, it was “raccoons” that broke into our cooler and ate our eggs and bacon once while camping in the Adirondacks, too. LOL

      Oh, yes, IFBC is only a month away now! Hard to believe, but so exciting! :-)

      Shirley

  31. Ari @ The Frugally Rich Life on July 24th, 2010 9:18 pm

    I would love Sweet Freedom!

    • Shirley on July 25th, 2010 9:41 am

      Hi Ari–Woohoo for all your entries! Best of luck, dear. :-)

      Shirley

  32. Ari @ The Frugally Rich Life on July 24th, 2010 9:56 pm

    Posted it on Facebook!

  33. Ari @ The Frugally Rich Life on July 24th, 2010 9:58 pm

    I tweeted! :)

  34. Emily on July 25th, 2010 1:58 am

    I have a friend that is struggling eating a gluten free diet. She misses and craves some of her favorite foods that now she knows cause her body distress. Can I enter to pass the book along to her? Diane’s Diner cookbook looks mouth watering.

    Emily

    • Shirley on July 25th, 2010 9:47 am

      Hi Emily–Welcome to gfe! :-) Of course, you can enter and pass along Diane’s wonderful Diner cookbook to your friend if you win.

      It troubles me to hear that your friend is struggling so. I’d love to help her more if I can. I hope you or she will send me an email to chat more. Sometimes all one needs is some early hand holding to figure out how to satisfy one’s particular food needs. I’m truly happy to help and look forward to hearing from either or both of you. :-)

      All the best and good luck in the giveaway,
      Shirley

  35. Libby on July 25th, 2010 9:09 pm

    Sweet Freedom has been on my wish list for quite a while now. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I’m giving away a cookbook over on my own blog, as well. Not gf, but egg/dairy/nut free.

    • Shirley on July 27th, 2010 10:18 pm

      Hi Libby–Welcome to gfe! :-) Off to check out your giveaway … best of luck to you on this one. ;-)

      Shirley

  36. Jennifer R. on July 25th, 2010 9:20 pm

    Hi Shirley,
    Well, I would love to win all 3 of the e-books, but if I had to pick my first choice, it would be Diane’s (but I would be thrilled to win any!!). Thanks for offering yet another fantastic giveaway!!

    • Shirley on July 27th, 2010 10:34 pm

      Hi Jennifer!–Thanks so much for entering the giveaway! It’s my pleasure to host this giveaway in conjunction with these three great blogger/authors. :-) Good luck! ;-)

      Shirley

  37. Lisa Greer on July 26th, 2010 4:24 pm

    I’d love any of the books. :) thanks…

    • Shirley on July 27th, 2010 10:58 pm

      Hi Lisa–Looks like you are new here … welcome to gfe! :-) And, best of luck in the giveaway! ;-)

      Shirley

  38. Tracy Mc on July 27th, 2010 4:59 pm

    Hi, I just came across your site today. I’m looking for food for my 4-year son who is GFCFSF, it is hard to cook for him…but he’s doing great about it.

    I would love any cookbooks I can get my hands on, I have gone through all the books at our library. I am spending time on the internet looking for recipes but with a 4 year old and his sister and being summer…well time just doesn’t allow for all my researching needed. He will be heading off to school this September which on it’s own will be a challenging time, but adding on his food requirements just add to that.

    Thank you

    • Shirley on July 27th, 2010 11:11 pm

      Hi Tracy–I’m so glad you found gfe! :-) I hope you will take a look around my blog, especially the recipes. There’s so much that can be done easily with gfcfsf. It just takes a little different approach and some getting used to. Please let me know if you have specific concerns that I can help with. Email “button” is on my header.

      Best of luck in the giveaway!

      Shirley

  39. Audrey on July 28th, 2010 8:05 am

    The saddest part of becoming gluten free was giving up all my unusable cookbooks!

    More Cookbooks!

    Audrey

    • Shirley on July 28th, 2010 7:35 pm

      Hi Audrey–I almost did the same thing with my cookbooks, but found I could still use them. I just adapted the recipes or used recipes that were naturally gf. If I remember correctly, you are on the paleo diet though, so that’s a bit harder. Anyway, best of luck in the giveaway! :-)

      Shirley

  40. Tricia on July 28th, 2010 8:05 pm

    I would love love love the Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook. For some reason, everyone sends me dessert recipes, but I’ve gotten into a rut with my daily meals. Everything there looks so delicious!

    • Shirley on July 28th, 2010 8:14 pm

      Hi Tricia–Welcome to gfe! It seems like lots of folks fall into the daily meal rut from time to time, including me. ;-) Diane’s Diner Cookbook would definitely help you bring some new energy to your kitchen. :-)

      Best of luck!

      Shirley

  41. Tricia on July 31st, 2010 11:27 pm

    Just found out I won the Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook! I’m so excited! Thank you Shirley and Diane! I can’t wait to get spice up my day to day life with some new recipes!

    • Shirley on August 1st, 2010 9:57 am

      Hi Tricia–You’re quite welcome! I know you’ll have fun with Diane’s cookbook. She’s very inventive in the kitchen and makes gluten free and dairy free taste sooo good. :-)

      Shirley

  42. Audrey on August 1st, 2010 9:48 am

    Thank you! I am on vacation this week and can use the ebook for my meal prep as I watch the whales our my living room window!

    Audrey

    • Shirley on August 1st, 2010 10:01 am

      You’re very welcome, Audrey. Oh, you could make some wonderful meals while on vacation with Diane’s e-book! :-) I’m sending you an email with further instructions.

      Whales? Are you in Maine? We were in Bar Harbor last summer, but didn’t take a whale watching tour. Please tell me where I can vacation and watch whales from my living room window. ;-)

      Thanks!

      Shirley

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