This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.
Who’s in the news of late? Well, for starters, me, and my support group! I admit I’m thrilled about that first news tidbit. It’s an exciting time to be gluten free … especially the gfe way. Please read on.
~ Yes, my support group and I recently made the front page of our local newspaper, award-winning The Free Lance-Star! I still can’t believe it. The article was published two days before the government almost shut down, so I’m still surprised this story got top billing and with color photos no less! I am humbled and grateful, and frankly, blown away by the response to the article to date. I’ve been happily inundated with visits to my blog and personal emails and calls, from folks who discovered the article themselves and others from far and wide who had the article sent to them by more local family members and friends. Support group members are reporting that their family members and friends are looking at them in a different light now. Suddenly, they are no longer the object of frowns and suspicion—woohoo! Other folks are wondering if their histories of ongoing issues have been caused by celiac/gluten sensitivity. Newly diagnosed individuals are contacting me to learn about the gfe approach. It’s all good! Read the article here and see the photos here. I want to extend my thanks not only to The Free Lance-Star staff members, Cathy Dyson and Reza Marvashti, but also to all those in the gluten-free community who shared their input with Ms. Dyson and/or have shared this article online and sent their congratulations. Also, in response to an earlier interview with Emily Battle of the FLS on her blog, The Front Burner, some of these same folks took the time to leave lovely, supportive comments. You know who you are, and I appreciate your kind and generous words more than you can possibly imagine. Let’s all keep working together to get the growing number of folks with celiac and non-celiac gluten issues diagnosed and eating well and healthy!
Photo by Reza Marvashti reprinted courtesy of The Free Lance-Star
~ Have you been visiting the new gluten-free blog over at the Mother Earth News site? My dear friend and fellow blogger, Wendy Gregory Kaho (Celiacs in the House), is the author and host of Gluten-Free Foods and Recipes Blog. All the posts to date have offered so much of value … from cookbook reviews to terrific recipes to helpful tips on pressure cooking to gardening news. The topics have really been such a great mix! For example, did you know you can grow your own gluten-free grains? Read Linda Simon’s (Kitchen Therapy) post there to learn more. Recently, Wendy put the spotlight on my Easy Pot Pie (Chicken, Turkey, or Vegan). (Admittedly, I’m a bit biased, but you can read testimonials in comments on my original post here.) And here’s a recipe for Beef Pot Pie, which uses Jeanne’s (Art of Gluten-Free Baking) crust and Wendy’s filling. It got rave reviews from Wendy and her family. Have you made a gluten-free pot pie yet? Now’s the time … before the heat of summer is here and you wouldn’t dream of turning on your oven!
~ At o’dark thirty most mornings, I make a green smoothie. (Hence the lighting, but I wanted to show how I wake up with a green smoothie!) A few days ago, I made a dairy-free version of Lynn’s (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures) Pineapple Orange Smoothie, substituting coconut milk for vanilla yogurt. I also added some of Ricki’s (Diet, Dessert & Dogs) Sweet Almond Sauce and three dates (shades of Maggie’s Almond Dream Shake) to tone down the tartness of the pineapple (I added more than Lynn advised!). Finally, I threw in a handful of mixed greens. The combination made for a great smoothie! I drank part of it after my yoga and then drank the rest on the way to work. Use a great “base” recipe and get creative with your smoothies!
~ Now you’re asking, “Hey, where’s the link for Ricki’s Sweet Almond Sauce?” Well, there is no link because that recipe is in her new cookbook, Good Morning! Breakfasts Without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs, or Dairy. I’ve used that recipe three different ways … so far! I’ll have a review of Ricki’s cookbook soon, but here’s a tantalizing photo of one way I used her Sweet Almond Sauce below. I should add that my inspiration came from Alta (Tasty Eats at Home) who shared the suggested combination on Facebook. (If you’re ever short of food ideas, just hang out with your buddies on Facebook or Twitter. Seriously.)
~ When someone is called a goddess, there is usually a reason, and a very good one at that. It’s not a title that is bestowed lightly. Karina Allrich has earned the title Gluten-Free Goddess. She has been dispensing delightful gluten-free recipes and sage gluten-free musings for several years now. (Even posts in the latter category always include a scrumptious recipe.) Be sure to check out her post on baking well gluten free and another on some of the more unbelievable challenges of being gluten free. Karina’s baking recipes always thrill me and save many who are gluten free, but it was her Asparagus with Maple Tahini Dressing that made my family happy last week. Sweet and tart and lingering on the tongue just enough, it made a lovely, flavorful topping for asparagus. Later, the leftover dressing made a wonderful “real food” dressing for Son’s midnight tuna and green salad this past weekend. I used the last of Karina’s dressing to make a Spicy Sugar Snap Peas stir fry, a bit of inspiration and deliciousness from Kalyn (Kalyn’s Kitchen). (Karina’s dressing and some hot sauce subbed nicely for soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, and a few more ingredients that I did not have on hand.)
~ Oh, wait … back up the car! … speaking of asparagus, that’s the ingredient for the April SOS Kitchen Challenge, the monthly event hosted by Ricki and Kim (Affairs of Living). Make an asparagus recipe that fits the rules and share it! Read more on event specifics here.
~ Elana’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour, which will be released next week, is getting early rave reviews on the interwebs. I shared Marble Cupcakes with a Vegan Chocolate Frosting option—recipes included—here. I’m not confessing how many I ate, but Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) did, when she shared Elana’s Lime Cupcake and Vegan Coconut Frosting recipes here. Ellen made marble cupcakes, too, but she also shared the recipe for Elana’s Strawberry Cupcakes—a recipe she feels is fit for a bride. Look at the photo and I think you’ll agree!
~ Do you know Gluten-Free Gigi? Gigi’s a warm, friendly, and passionate soul who is out in the community helping others as well as blogging gluten free, of course. Currently, Gigi’s sharing a full month of dinner recipes and ideas on her blog. Her series, Now Gigi Serves Dinner, shows folks how to come up with their own gluten-free meals. All her posts in this series (and she’s posting others during this time, too!) have been great, so be sure to head over to Gigi’s to see her recent British Twist and Southern Slander dinner and check out all her posts for this event.
~ Carol Kicinski’s (Simply … Gluten-Free) new cookbook, Simply … Gluten-Free Desserts, is now officially out! Woohoo for Carol, and for us! You can see the video of Carol with her cookbook and so many of her desserts on QVC here. I have Carol’s book and I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s wonderful, but I’ll also be sharing a review in the future. Read about the “birthing process” and see several of Carol’s gorgeous photos here (she took all the photographs in her book!).
~ I just shared my entry for the April in the Raw event, Frozen Orange Kiss Desserts. April in the Raw is the event being hosted by Brittany of Real Sustenance. It’s a month of raw food recipes. Now for some of you, that may seem too alternative, but I think you’ll be surprised by the posts to date and wouldn’t turn any of the recipes down if offered. Take Debi’s (Hunter’s Lyoness) Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake, for example, or Bean’s (Without Adornment) Tropical Carrot Cake with Cheesecake Icing.Heidi just made Raw Sweet Potato Chips—gorgeous and good for you. There are just so many wonderful recipes begin share for this event. But it was Maggie’s Chocolate fRAWstie (or Fudgesicle) that got made immediately in my house. I split the recipe so I could enjoy the fRAWstie and Son could enjoy the fudgesicle version. We were both very, very happy with these raw creations of Maggie’s.
~ By the way, Brittany is now presenting a cooking demo at the Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo in Lisle, IL at the end of this month. Yep, now that’s NEXT week! If you recall, I’m also presenting and will be demonstrating how to make two gfe recipes. Of course, since they are gfe, they barely need a demonstration so I’ll be sharing my gfe approach during and after I do a little mixing and baking. The Expo event just keeps growing and growing, and the important news for you to know is that there are still tickets available. If you’re new to gluten free, this event is an especially good way to “get your feet wet.” The cost and time for a weekend in Lisle, IL (one flies into Chicago and stays in discounted room at the Wyndham) is a small price to pay to learn how to live gluten free well and avoid a few months of cooking challenges. So many gluten-free experts will be there sharing their knowledge, best recipes, tips, and of course signing and selling their cookbooks. You can read more on who they are in this post, but I’m also excited that gfe readers and Facebook friends like Summar Evans and Carol Stapleton will be attending. Summar will actually be one of the volunteers for the event. Can’t wait to see everyone there!
~ Hallie Klecker (Daily Bites) is another gluten-free blogger who will be at the Expo! She’s hosting an event this month called Build a Better Breakfast. Coming up with gluten-free breakfasts is often a challenge to the “newbies” I counsel as a support group leader, so I think the roundup from this event will be a much needed resource. I’ll be contributing a clean-out-the-fridge recipe, so please stay tuned to gfe. I like being able to accomplish two tasks at once and my contribution for Build a Better Breakfast will also work for Maggie’s theme of Springtime Brunches for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free event. (Follow those links for deadlines!)
~ So many who have gone gluten free have found the unexpected blessing of actually learning what’s in their food and, in the end, shifting their focus to real food, whole foods, if you will. That’s the gfe approach and it’s also the focus of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. The second season just started this past Tuesday. Two of the eye-opening demonstrations that Jamie shared were on the pink “stuff” (and that’s my euphemism) that’s allowed in ground beef and sugar in milk. Diane did a nice summary of the show here on her Changing My Life Journal and Melissa addressed the nutritional concerns of the “food” that Jamie highlighted in his opening show. I think you might agree with the sentiments she shared at the end of her post.
~ Jamie Oliver is looking at milk from the perspective that it should be consumed “as is,” with no chocolate flavoring added. I won’t disagree with the chocolate flavoring aspect, but I do wonder if cow’s milk should be consumed at all. Its effects on me and my son are obvious. And what does “as is” really mean? One of my area’s family care physicians made the case for looking at milk more closely in this article. It’s a very worthwhile read. Did you know there’s a correlation between the presence of milk antibodies and diabetes? That’s one of the facts shared that Alison (Sure Foods Living) commented on when she read the article after I posted the link on Facebook.
~ Incidentally, Alison just shared a very compelling post: Can Your Food Allergic Child Be Trusted? Check it out and be sure to read comments. Many of Alison’s readers shared stories of experiences with their own children. Handling food allergies, particularly life threatening ones, can be a very emotional topic and, of course, a challenge for both parents and kids.
~ Spurred on by her own frustration, Katie Chalmers, author of the acclaimed Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?, recently took on the task of deciphering the various terms that apply to those who follow the gluten-free diet: celiac, gluten intolerance, and gluten sensitivity. What do they all mean? Read Katie’s comprehensive post and her conclusions here. Incidentally, Katie also has a free 12-page ebook on her site in which she shares her family’s favorite gluten-free recipes. I could go for one of her corn tortilla pizzas right about now!
~ Two gorgeous, jaw-dropping blog carnival roundups were just posted. Whether you need “every day” or “sure to impress” recipes for Easter or Passover, take a few minutes to check out Sea’s latest Adopt-a-Gluten-Free Blogger roundup and Kelly’s The Spunky Holiday roundup. Do you love your crockpot? Steph O’Dea (A Year of Slow Cooking) has got you covered for Easter with her slow cooker recipe listing—even desserts! Elana gives you options for both Easter and Passover (and even explains how it’s determined when Passover is observed). I’m hosting Easter dinner for my family. Mom is bringing the ham (I ignored her suggestion on cooking a turkey–sorry, Mom!) and her Deviled Eggs, I’m waffling on other main fare, maybe Susie’s Crab Casserole, but I’ll probably make Great Salad, Classic Corn Pudding, Popovers, one of my crustless pies (most likely Coconut), Lemon Sponge Cake, and my Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies (folks are not happy if I don’t make the latter, and one birthday “boy” will get his own special tin of them). I’m always up for last-minute inspiration and changes, so I won’t know everything that I’m serving until we’re all sitting down at the table together!
~Last, please don’t forget about the Gluten-Free Labeling Summit 2011 being held in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, May 4. Event “instigators” (and I mean that in the best possible way in this case!), Jules Shepard and John Forberger, have brought in the foremost supporters of those who are gluten free to help in the effort to get Congress and the FDA to finally pass the law for “gluten free” labeling. “It’s a Big Deal” and to prove that point, the tallest gluten-free cake ever is being built. The public is welcome, but if you can’t attend in person, be sure to follow the cake-building event on the website. Head over to the site—1in133.org—to send those in Congress your request for action and to also send a letter to Secretary Kathryn Sebelius (Secretary of Health and Human Services, who oversees the FDA), requesting that this much overdue need be met. If you can give a donation to the cause, that’s even better. Organizers are asking for amounts that fit the event title (e.g., $11.33, $133), but any amounts are welcome. Should any money be left over after the event, it will go to the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA). The ACDA was a major driver behind the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act that went into effect in January 2006 and ensures that the eight major allergens—including wheat—are shown on the label of most food products (I say most because there are some foods that are not covered by FALCPA, like meats; they fall under the USDA’s purview). They and everyone else in the gluten-free community want to see a gluten-free labeling law passed. Check out all the organizations who are supporting the 1in133 event here and show your support here. Remember to share the latter link with friends and family (yes, phone a friend!). Everyone can show their support for this gluten-free labeling law!