Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oogie's popcorn- gourmet and gluten free

I've been enjoying this scrumptious treat for a while and just realized I'd never blogged about it.  Oogie's popcorn is incredibly tasty and gluten free.  You should be able to get it at a variety of local stores or from their website.  The flavors are complex and adult, not your normal movie popcorn!  Check out this glowing review for more details.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Chocolate Squares are Gluten Free

After heedlessly popping one of these scrumptious candies - bad me for not checking first - I decided to look it up.  Like most of Ghiradelli's products, the Peppermint Bark Chocolate Squares turned out to be gluten free.  Of course, always check the ingredients yourself, but it looks OK to me!  
If you come across some, you're lucky because it looks like in general they're sold out for the year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rough Creek Lodge - A great GF option

After perusing Rough Creek Lodge's website, I determined it would be safe to go there and throw myself on the mercy of the chef.  I was right!  There was nothing I wanted that was GF on the menu.  So I told the server what I wanted - No gluten and either chicken or beef and she said "No problem."  Can you imagine!  

The chef reconfigured a dish featuring mahi mahi (I'm a weirdo and I don't like fish) and recreated it with grilled chicken.  It was delicious.  They also found a GF appetizer for me - Potato onion soup. They seemed to take the Gluten-Free restriction very seriously and I felt perfectly safe eating their food.  I didn't even feel a twinge in my stomach!

For great, safe food, it's worth the drive to Glen Rose.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite Gluten-Free Potato Latke Recipe

The recipe my family traditionally uses calls for a small amount of flour, but this one, which I found on is delicious and doesn't use any flour at all.  Do not skip the step of getting the water out of the grated potato.  I did this time and was sorry.  It was still tasty, but not as phenomenal as the last time I made them.  Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hints for surviving holiday parties

This is a collection of hints I've read in a variety of sources and ideas I've come up with myself.
  • Never show up to a party - even a dinner party hungry.  Eat something small, but filling before you go.  Then, you're just supplementing from the party food.  I've had horrible experiences when I show up and everything has been contaminated - dips with cracker crumbs, etc.
  • At a potluck, plan on only being able to eat your dish and consider it a happy bonus if you can eat some of the others.  Also, make sure you take what you want from your dish before adding it to the table.  Once, I put a lovely pumpkin risotto down only to see a man dip a cracker in it two seconds later.  If possible, get another friend attending the same potluck to also bring a dish the two of you can eat.
  • Keep emergency food in the car - a couple of bars or something more substantial.  Unexpected traffic delays, long trips to the mall, etc. can leave you stranded in unfriendly GF territory.
  • When attending a party, always bring something you can eat that other people won't notice is GF.  Either a naturally GF dish or a GF one that tastes really good - verify this by having non-GF friends who are painfully honest do a taste test.  This way you get to share your food and not feel weird by only eating "different" food.
  • If you're headed to a casual party where beer is the beverage of choice, bring a bottle of wine or a pitcher of fun mixed drinks to share.  That way, you're not left out.  Hard cider is also a good alternative.  It looks a lot like beer and other people might like it too for a change.
  • Don't panic.  You're really, really, not going to starve to death.  One of my worst food party moments was arriving starving at a house where they were serving pizza and birthday cake.  I simply slipped out the back, went to a nearby store and bought a couple of apples and some peanut butter.  
  • Remember, if all else fails, most gas stations carry the simple necessities for a GF meal.  Fruit, milk,  peanuts and cracker jacks.  OK, it's not perfect, but it will get you through the day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gluten-free gingerbread house completed!

Normally my posts are fairly brief.  So, for people wanting to make their own GF Gingerbread house here are the highlights.  People interested in my saga can read the bottom part.

  • Here is the gingerbread recipe I used.
  • Here is the book where I got my design.
  • My royal icing recipe, rolled fondant recipe and pre-made gum paste were either Wilton products or recipes.
  • The shingles are made from slivered almonds and held in place by royal icing.
  • I used M&Ms as my cobblestone walkway.
  • I built the fence and anything else pink or purple out of fondant and royal icing.
  • The shrubs and tree toppers came from a store-bought pack of holiday marshmallows.
  • I used GF ice cream cones as a base for the Christmas trees.
  • The snowman is made out of gum paste, but could easily have been made from fondant. His hat is a Rollo and royal icing.
The main thing is be creative and use what you have on hand.

The gingerbread saga:

Oh, I thought, this will be fun, I'll make a gingerbread house.  I'd worked with gingerbread in my pre-gluten days.  How hard could it be?  My astute boyfriend, Cliff, pointed out that I'd had trouble with the structural integrity of rolled-out GF cookies in the past.  What would keep the gingerbread house from crumbling.  "Ha!" I scoffed "I've learned from the sugar cookies in the past.  This will be a walk in the park."

Wrong.  The first night, I worked on the dough, I realized my dream of a gingerbread picket fence was dying.  The dough was tricky to roll out and even trickier to get onto the pan.  I was rolling it out onto wax paper.  Parchment paper might have worked better, but I was out of it.  After I'd roll it out and cut out the pattern, I'd place the cookie pan over the wax paper with the gingerbread on it, slide my hand under it and flip all of it so the gingerbread landed more or less in the pan.  Smaller sections could be moved without this procedure, but once I cut out windows, the big sections were very fragile.

I gave up for the night after making a front of the house that looked more like a dilapidated version of the Alamo than a gingerbread house.  I went at it again the next night and came up with some better results.  I then cut gingerbread men from the remaining dough.  It might have been smart to make a couple of duplicate sides, roofs, etc. in case of later accidents.  But I didn't.

Realizing that my fence was not going to happen out of gingerbread, I thought of alternative materials.  It's possible to find GF pretzel sticks, but they are kind of crumbly, too.  So, I decided to make it out of fondant.  I made up a bunch of the stuff with Cliff's help, rolled it out and followed the fence-making instructions in the book.  Fondant is sort of like clay and needs time to air dry.  I made a few extra pieces in case of breakage and set it aside to dry overnight.  It takes fondant about 1-2 weeks to fully dry.  I also made the shutters and decorations for the gate and arbor.  The book suggested using gum for the shutters, but whenever I can, I like to make the food myself so I know what's in it.  Also, I cut the candy canes to size.

The next day, I started with the assembly.  I made a double batch of royal icing.  Over a week ago, a friend cut a piece of plywood to size for me and Cliff drilled holes for the candy canes to go in.  Also, I found a $5 string of lights at home depot and glued them onto the board so the house can light up. 

As per directions from the book, I piped royal icing onto the board and got ready to set up the first three walls.  I thought I had it, but somehow the two sides fell onto the board and broke into a few sections.  Trying not to panic, I got out my royal icing and went for it again.  I was able to repair the sections and salvage the house.  I got the three sides up and added the back.  I looked a the roof and realized one section had split completely in half.  I royal icinged it back together.

I added the roof and miraculously it held.  I finished the rest of it off according to the book - adding shingles made of slivered almonds row by row and making a snowman from gum paste.  The book called for a black jellybean for the top hat, but I couldn't find any GF ones so I went with a Rollo.

Two more batches of royal icing later, I'd put the snow on the ground and managed to erect the fondant fence.  It is very fragile, but looks the part.  Exhausted, last night at 10 PM one of my friends absolved me of making gum paste cobblestones and I cheated and went with M&Ms.

This morning, I plugged it in and miracle of miracles, it lit up.  It's not perfect, but as Cliff and I keep saying - that just means you can eat it and try again next year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Apex brand supplements mainly gluten free

I workout at 24-hour fitness and a trainer recommended I take some supplements to help with my workouts.  Naturally suspicious of hidden gluten, I contacted the company that makes their supplements, Apex.  Turns out most of their bars have gluten, but all but one of their supplements are safe.  Their Max Creatine pills have gluten in them.  Here is the reply  I got from my email.

Since the cookies, bars and powders may contain the following;
cocoa, oat fiber, wheat, konjac flour, cocoa butter, wheat flour, barley malt, and Gluten is associated with these ingredients, the cookies, bars and powders may not be well tolerated by those with Celiac Sprue or Gluten Intolerance.

Maltodextrin may also be another ingredient not well suited for those who have Celiac Sprue or Gluten Intolerance as well.

Those who have Celiac Sprue or Gluten Intolerance should have a list of foods and/or ingredients that they should not consume.

The only pills that contain Gluten is the Max Creatine....

We hope that this information has been helpful.

Yours in health,

Technical Support Specialist

Apex Fitness


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Sunflower Shoppe is blooming in Colleyville

The Healthy Approach market at Glade and 121 in Colleyville has been remodeled and is now a Sunflower Shoppe.  The shelves in the gluten-free section are full to bursting with favorites like the Ktoos - the most oreo-like GF cookie I've found - and a huge variety of hard-to-find GF cooking ingredients.  I couldn't stop myself from buying GF ice cream cones, granola bars and ricecrispie treats.  If you haven't been by in a while, check it out!

5100 Hwy 121 Suite A
Colleyville, Texas 76034
(817) 399-9100

Making Gluten-Free Gingerbread

I promised I'd have a full report on this by Monday morning, but I was delayed in my gingerbread experiment.  You can see my previous post on this and get the recipe here.

Having been party to some spectacular gluten-free culinary disasters in the past - chocolate chip cookies that dissolved into puddles of goo when I tried to cook them, cream puffs that failed to puff and baked onto the cookie sheet, again in a puddle of goo - I would not say this was a complete fiasco.

I did succeed in getting most of the pieces shaped and baked for my gingerbread house.  However, it took 2 and 1/2 hours and I didn't even finish rolling out all of the dough.  In my previous glutinous life, I have worked with gingerbread dough, which can be challenging.  Tonight, however, I had to use all of my cunning.  

I expect that much of my trouble could be attributed to the fact that I started baking at 11 PM and that it's very dry in Texas.  But, the dough was quite crumbly.  I was able to roll it out and the suggestion in the directions that  you roll it onto wax paper and then use that to flip it onto the pan was invaluable.  I would not suggest an overambitious house design and that you do cutouts for windows, doors, etc. sparingly.

I think this recipe is definitely usable, but bring your patience and make sure time is on your side.  Allow at least twice as long as you think this will take. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wow holiday guests with creme brulee

I've mentioned before that I feel passionate about keeping my home as gluten free as possible.  However, we all must admit that some gluten-free cakes, cookies, etc. aren't always as palatable as one might hope.  One sure way to wow your guests and keep yourself free from anxiety that glutinous crumbs are contaminating your kitchen is to cook fabulous desserts that are naturally gluten free.  

My friends seem split on weather or not jello is an appropriate dessert, but I intend to get better comments on creme brulee.  A friend of mine just sent be a delightful little book packed full of gluten-free dessert recipes from  It's called Elegantly easy Creme Brulee & Other Custard Desserts by Debbie Puente.  The recipes are inspired from the classic french creme brulee to the inclusion of the mexican cajeta and a variety of fruits including mangos and pineapple.  One amazing recipe shows a creme brulee served in an ice bowl with edible flowers frozen inside of it. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Preparing for making the GF Gingerbread house

This book, Gingerbread for All Seasons by Teresa Layman, which is not Gluten-Free specific, still has lots of great ideas.  I'm using it to plan my Gluten-Free gingerbread house which I will start on this weekend!  You can get it on Amazon or click here.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank goodness for popcorn

I was bemoaning my lack of satifying, low-calorie, gluten-free snack options when my mother said, "Just be happy you can have popcorn."  Which is true.  Nearly every day around 4 PM I have an Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop mini bag.  They're 100 calories and seem to be gluten free. Here's some more information on them on the Orville Redenbacher website.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gluten-Free Food Scare

Here's a little more information on the food that was marked gluten free, but wasn't. Scary stuff.  This is from Gluten-Free Living. 

The recent Chicago Tribune stories about gluten in products labeled "gluten free" probably left you wondering how safe the food in your pantry really is.

It was unnerving to read in one story that Wellshire Farms chicken bites, and chicken and beef corn dogs that were labeled "gluten free" were independently tested and found to contain anywhere from 200 to 2,200 parts per million of gluten.

Click here to read the whole article.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tazo Tea not always gluten free

A reader commented recently that not all of Tazo's teas are gluten free.  Which would mean that you need to watch out, even at Starbucks.  Previously, I'd written that most of the Starbucks beverages are safe. I found this note on a website called Club Celiac.

All of our teas are gluten-free except for the following:
Green Ginger filterbags
Tazo Honeybush filterbags
Lemon Ginger juiced tea
Tea Lemonade juiced tea

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gluten contamination alert

This has been making the rounds, but I wanted to make sure everyone sees it!

December 1, 2008
John Soules Foods, Inc., is recalling “Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Strips With Rib Meat, Italian Style, Gluten Free” and “Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Strips With Rib Meat, Rotisserie Style, Gluten Free” due to undeclared wheat.

The product was distributed through retail establishments in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma,Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The products are in 24-oz. bags with “use by” dates of Dec 27, 08 or Jan 2, 09 and the establishment number P-2128 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The Italian Style product has UPC 034695 123973. The Rotisserie Style product has UPC 034695 123980.

Consumers with questions may call (903) 245-3208.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gluten-Free Gingerbread house

I'm not sure what compels me to try these things, but this year I want to attempt a gluten-free gingerbread house. I came across some simple sounding directions complete with recipe at in their GF food section. I'd love to hear about it if any of you guys have ever tried this.  Are there any GF pitfalls to watch out for?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chébé - Slightly unusual. Unusually good.

My mom generously hosted Thanksgiving this year, but the rest of my family eat gluten.  So, if I wanted special dishes, it was best to make them myself to take some of the baking load off my mom.  I packed a packet of Chébé's Basic Bread mix and whipped up some dinner rolls with it when I arrived for the holiday.
I've used their pizza crust and roll mix several times and I happen to like it. Some people claim that it doesn't taste like traditional wheat bread and that it's chewy, both of which are true. However, don't let that discourage you.  The company's slogan is "Slightly unusual. Unusually good." and it's true.  Plus, it was quick, easy and tasty. Those are three qualities not generally found together when describing Gluten-Free bread.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Key Lime Pie in Gluten-Free Whole Foods Crust is delicious

I thought it would be fun to make key lime pie for Thanksgiving while visiting my parents in Florida.  We bought a pre-made crust from Whole Foods and filled it with the following recipe from GourmetSleuth.  It was delicious and I would definitely make it again!

Key Lime Pie by GourmetSleuth
This is a recipe for "real" Key Lime pie. Real Key lime pie is not green and it does not have a soft "pudding" texture. The pie gets its true pale yellow color from the egg yolks that predominate the ingredient list. And the texture is a "firm custard".

Be careful that you don't over-bake the pie or it will be "rubbery". For best results use fresh Key Limes, not bottled juice. The traditional preparation does not put any meringue on the top of the pie. This is a very simple recipe and only takes a few minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to bake.

Servings: 5 - 6
16 graham crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cube (1/4 lb) margarine or butter

4 large or extra large egg yolks
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (approximately 12 Key limes)
2 teaspoons grated lime peel, green portion only

Whipping Cream For Garnish (Optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the ingredients and press them into a 9" pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 - 12 minutes until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool.

Pie Filling
Use an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow, don't over mix. Turn the mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk. Turn speed to low and mix in half of the lime juice. Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and the zest, continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds). Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350F for 12 minutes to set the yolks and kill any salmonella in the eggs.

If you are using the whipping cream garnish, prepare the cream. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Seasons 52 a healthy, gluten-free option

I ate last night at Seasons 52 in Boca Raton.  The staff was very accommodating and they had a gluten free menu.  All of the wait staff carry a PDA that has all of the allergen information in it for every dish on the menu.  Also, all of the entrees are 475 calories or less!

This is a chain, so check out their site and see if there's one near you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gluten-Free dining cards on your iPod

Having been a fan of the traditional printed version of a gluten-free dining card by Triumph  I was intrigued to learn there is now an electronic version available for free on iTunes. 
 Just go to iTunes and search the store for Gluten-Free.  The cards are available as a free application. On a side note - the search also pulled up some music - curious.  I did see some negative reviews online saying the text on the card can be hard to read, but its' an interesting thought.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gluten Free and Low Glycemic Index - is this possible?

I've been interested in cooking Low GI for a while, but it felt overwhelming.  A friend gave me this book:  The New Glucose Revolution Low GI Gluten-Free Eating Made Easy: The Essential Guide to the Glycemic Index and Gluten-Free Living available here on  
It still seems hard to handle, but I intend to keep chipping away at it.  One thing that has been bothering me for the past couple of years is how much of our food ends up being high in fat or sugar to compensate taste-wise for the no gluten.  So, I'm intrigued with some of the recipes in this book - including one for brownies.  I intend to try some of them out after Thanksgiving.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gluten Free Cookie Bar by Arico is quite tasty

At our local North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group, I was given a sample of Arico Natural Foods Company's Almond Cranberry Gluten Free Cookie Bar.  There were so many other treats at the time it took me a while to get to it.  However, I finally ate it last night and boy was I glad.  It has almost a biscotti-like texture.  I would consider it moderately healthy - it has some fiber, some protein and not a ridiculous amount of carbs.  More importantly, it was quite filling and kept me going though a weight training workout.  Also, it's only 140 calories - which for many GF bars that size, you'd expect closer to 200 calories.  I will definitely be trying to find this on local shelves. For now, it's available online for sure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

DFW Gluten-Free christmas cookie swap

The North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group will be holding a cookie swap Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 at 10 AM at the Richland Hills Church of Christ.  They are asking everyone who is confident that they can bake safely gluten free to bring 4 dozen homemade gluten-free cookies to share.  They will provide large size ZipLock baggies for you to bring your cookies home in.  This way, everyone should leave with at least 3 dozen different kinds of cookies to take home!  It sounds like a blast!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread is delicious

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread mix is easy to use and hits the spot.  I made it with baked acorn squash, grapes and rice crackers with goat cheese.  The cornbread was more like cake than a rougher corn texture and was quite tasty.  I ate it for snack for the past week.  Non-Gluten-Freers like it too as evidenced by my boyfriend's disappointment that I'd eaten the last piece yesterday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

International Celiacs

There is a blog called Wheatless Bay, which has great recipes and photography from an English Celiac.  It's definitely worth a look at a world without wheat across the pond!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Toasted pumpkin seeds

You can actually do this with any type of squash with large seeds, but I usually think of doing it with pumpkin seeds.  I wash the seeds off in a colander.  
Then, I pour about 1-2 tbps of olive oil on a cookie sheet.  Next, pour the seeds onto the cookie sheet, toss them in the oil and then pat them down into a single layer.  
I like to sprinkle some kosher salt on top. Use two cookie sheets if necessary.  
Place the cookie sheets into a 375 degree, pre-heated oven.  Set a timer and toss the seeds with a spatula every 3-5 minutes.  
The seeds are done when they are lightly browned - usually 30 - 45 minutes.  They should feel light and if you taste one it should be crunchy, not chewy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gluten-free pasta served hot at Central Market

It took me a few tries and an achy belly to get this right.  However, I think I've got it all figured out.  At Central Market's pasta/pizza bar they have rice noodles and mung-bean noodles.  You can get them to make the curry dish or spaghetti with marinara sauce using these noodles, but the key is to ask them to warm the noodles in a separate pan.  Normally, the noodles are warmed in water cross-contaminated with wheat pasta.  Today, I figured out to ask for them to be heated separately and had a delicious spaghetti with baby bellas for about $8.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grace - a new allergy and food sensitivity-friendly restaurant in Fort Worth

Grace at 777 Main Street in Fort Worth is a new, modern version of a steakhouse.  All of the food - salads, appetizers, main courses, dessert is ordered a la carte so you can mix and match easily. The chef aims to make his food friendly for people with allergies and food sensitivites.  I hope to have more details soon.  The grand opening is Nov. 17, 2008.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kinnikinnick - Smorable Graham Crackers

I bought a box of Kinnikinnick's Smorable Graham Crackers and finally tried some. To be fair, the box does call these graham-style crackers not graham crackers.  They're not terrible to eat on their own, but they don't have that little kick that glutinous graham crackers have.  I used them this weekend for s'mores and they were quite adequate.  I plan to use the rest of the box to make a cheesecake crust.  The bottom line is - is it better to buy these vs. spending 4 hours making graham crackers by hand that might not taste that much better?  Of course.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gluten-free pancakes over the campfire

In my experience, cooking over a campfire is a challenge any way you slice it, but when you throw gluten-free products into the mix, watch out. Anyway, a dear new friend of mine wanted to try it.  So, she pre-mixed Pamela's gluten-free pancake mix and brought it camping with us in a cooler.  Then, she tried using a dutch oven to cook the pancakes.  The mix needed a little thinning and the finished product was more biscuity than pancakey.  It was definitely edible, though.  I guess the point of this is that with a little pre-planning and generous friends you can do just about anything you used to before going GF.  
I still prefer an easy morning of GF cereal and a banana when I'm camping, but that's mainly out of laziness.  If someone else wants to do the cooking.... I'm all for it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Genghis Grill can be Gluten Free, Soy Free

I wouldn't have believed it, but you can eat fairly safely at Genghis Grill.  My friend with a soy allergy showed me the ropes.  The biggest deal is that you have to get them to clean the portion of the grill they will be using to make your food.  The next important part is that you don't poison yourself.  You pick your own spices, sauces and ingredients.  There are two sauces that ought to be safe - see the nutrition PDF - but they look spicy, which is not my cup of tea.  I suspect that you could bring your own sauce, however, which is what I plan to try next time!  Also, when you choose a starch, choose something without gluten, like rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A&W root beer confirmed Gluten-Free

I'm not a huge root beer fan, so it had never occurred to me to look into its gluten-freeness.  I had always heard that if it was carbonated, it was safe.  But, one of my co-workers educated me that we needed to watch out for the caramel coloring and other ingredients.  
She went the extra mile to contact A&W root beer about their diet soda.  Here's what they wrote back:

November 3, 2008
Dear Ms. Uecker,

Thank you for contacting us about the presence of gluten in our products. Consumer inquiries such as this are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.

Gluten is a mixture of complex proteins found in the grain of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, and other grains. Many soft drinks, including those produced by our Company contain high fructose corn syrup which is derived from corn and which may contain very small amounts of corn gluten, but no other type of gluten. According to the Celiac Sprue Association, corn gluten
is not of concern to people who have Celiac Sprue disease.

All A&W products (and all of our carbonated drinks in general) are therefore considered gluten free.

We encourage consumers with more specific questions about Celiac Sprue to contact the Celiac Sprue Association at 402-558-0600 or your health care provider.

We appreciate your inquiry and hope you will continue to enjoy our soft drink brands.

Consumer Relations

Thanks Karla!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flour made from Cabernet grapes has vitamins and antioxidants

I recently learned about grape flour from Gluten-Free Baking cookbook author Rebecca Reilly, who also writes articles for Living Without magazine.  She was telling us about powdered grape skins and seeds that are made into a fine flour.  Supposedly, you can get all of the health benefits of dark-skinned grapes and add it to your baked goods.  So far, your best bet is to buy it online at sites like this one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gluten-Free baking mixes available in Arlington, Texas

I went to my first North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group meeting and was overwhelmed by the wealth of information and free, gluten-free treats available for sampling.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming that I felt right at home.  
One woman I met, Dacia Lehman, often brings Gluten-Free baking mixes to sell at the meetings.  She has basic flour mixes, chocolate chip cookie mix, cream soup and many more.  She said she would be willing to ship her mixes, but that the shipping costs were high due to the weight of the products.  
For more information, contact Dacia: (817) 479-4608 or email her

Friday, October 31, 2008

Last chance for Gluten-Free Halloween recipes

A friend sent me this list of creative and gluten-free recipes from's gluten-free cooking section.  They're a lot of fun.  If you haven't settled on your Halloween feast yet, here's your last chance!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Halloween party

This is third GF Halloween and I've learned a few tricks for Gluten-Free entertaining.  These are pictures of the sugar cookies I mentioned a couple of posts ago -you can see how they turned out!  Also, the cupcakes and brownies are from Pamela's mixes.  
I think Pamela's products are the most consistently good GF baked goods and mixes I've found.  They taste the most like the "real" thing.  My friends, who are not shy about telling me if I've missed the mark, all thought these cupcakes were an improvement over previous mixes I've tried.  Also, they said these sugar cookies tasted like plain old normal sugar cookies (not like potatoes like last time.)  There were high-fives all around.
Of course, I own 20 gluten-free cookbooks, but if I want to save time for things like decorating sugar cookies, then a good-quality mix helps me get there with less stress and more fun.
Sometimes people ask why I don't just buy stuff with gluten in it and serve it alongside my food. Although, I don't expect the world to change for me, my house is a "safe" place for me to eat.  
Trying to police dips, cheese or other spread that could become cross-contaminated would take the fun out of it for me.  One time I brought a risotto to a potluck. I stepped away from the table and out of the corner of my eye saw someone dipping crackers into it. 
If I have the choice, I'd like to avoid even the possibility of cross-contamination.  So, sometimes it means going the extra mile food-wise to make sure that everyone can enjoy the party.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't forget Rebecca Reilly!

Gluten-free-cookbook-goddess Rebecca Reilly will be in town Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, to speak at the North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group meeting.  The meeting is free.
Rebecca Reilly is the author of Gluten-Free Baking.  I just used her quiche crust recipe this past weekend.  Divine!  You can read more about her on the North Texas GIG site.

Date: Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Celiac 101 (newly diagnosed)
           10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Support Group Meeting
Place: Richland Hills Church of Christ

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tasty tweak of Gluten-Free Pantry cake mix

My co-worker, friend and fellow soldier in the war against wheat, Karla,  shared this idea with me.  In attempting to recreate a favorite family recipe, she recently bought a box of Gluten-Free Pantry white cake mix and tweaked it this way:

  • buttermilk in place of the liquid
  • real butter as the fat
  • and added a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar 
  • and two heaping tablespoons of cocoa.  She adds more cocoa might be better
  • Karla used a small cake ban of 9x9 or 8x8
This reminds me of a book which I had chucked as not gluten-free friendly - The Cake Mix Doctor.  Now I wonder if I should look for another copy and give it another try?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gluten-Free roll-out sugar cookies - my defeated foe!

I love making sugar cookies, cutting them out and decorating them with icing for Halloween.  However, last year, was an epic event involving lots of broken cookies and friends who complained the cookies tasted like potatoes.  
The recipe I used, from Bette Hagman's Gluten-Free Gourmet for Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies, recommends using potato flour to roll them out.  
This year, went a lot more smoothly.  I only rolled the dough out to about 1/4" thickness and I used tapioca starch to keep the cookies from sticking to the rolling pin.  Last year, I was determined to try and get them down to 1/8" which lead to a lot of sticking and cookies that couldn't be transferred to a cookie sheet.
I'm going to try using a Wilton glaze icing to reduce cookie breakage even more.  Spreading icing on with a knife was a tricky proposition last year.  I'll post a photo and let you know how it goes!  Good luck in your own cookie endeavors.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Be Free For Me - Gluten-Free Coupon Site

I saw on's Celiac page - it's a site where you can get free samples, coupons and recipes based on your food intolerances.  They let you pick Gluten Free, nut free, soy free, etc.  Also, you can mix or match allergies.  Fun, huh?  Anyway, it sounds pretty cool and they have a newsletter as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is Blue Cheese Gluten Free?

This is one of those questions that keeps me up at night.  Does mold, started on bread, retain evil Gluten?  Or is it like if a cow eats wheat grass and we eat the cow, it's still all cow and it's safe?  Or, like my good friend asked, "Why do you want to eat moldy cheese anyway?  Doesn't mold mean it's bad?"
Luckily, someone with more research than thought experiments has come up with some answers.  I got this from local Gluten-Intolerant-Guru Betty Barfield who got it from cookbook and newsletter author Connie Sarros. (That's a lot of explanation, but this is how you know I didn't make it up myself out of wishful thinking.)

Click here to order and learn about blue cheese.

Once again the question has been asked, "Is blue cheese gluten-free?" Blue cheese is made from penicillin roquforti which, in today's modernized world, most often produces spores in sterile fermenters (not on stale bread). According to Wikipedia, "Blue cheese is a general classification of cow's milk, sheep's milk and/or goat's milk cheeses that has had Penicilliun cultures added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue or blue-green mold. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds have been formed and others have spores mixed in with the curds before they are formed. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cave.

The brand names that come to mind when you say 'blue cheese' are Roquefort (made in the south of France), Gorgonzola (Italy), Stilton (England), Danablu (Denmark), and America's entry, Maytag Blue Cheese. Keep in mind that, while NOT ALL blue cheeses are gluten-free, most are.

Most brands of blue cheese ARE gluten-free (but be sure to read the label each time before purchasing) A few brands that are GF:
  • Cabot
  • Athenos
  • Clemson
  • Rosenborg
  • Boar's Head
  • King's Choice
  • Smoked Shropshire
  • Les Fromages D'Ann Marie
  • Whole Creamery Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Lighthouse Idaho Blue Cheese Crumbles
The following brands of blue cheese are NOT gluten-free:
  • Sargento Blue Cheese
  • Organic Valley Blue Cheese Crumbles
-Connie Sarros

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Candy Corn Kisses look Gluten Free

There was a new scrumptious candy in the office Halloween candy bucket.  Hershey's seasonal Candy Corn Kisses.  I ID'd them and their ingredients, which appear to be gluten free on Candyblog.  If you're up for indulging your sweet tooth, give these a try!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chipotle - A gluten-free oasis

The best thing about Chipotle is that everything there except for the flour tortillas is pretty much gluten free.  So, if you go and get any of the bowls, you're good to go.  Once, I got worried about cross contamination and the server was happy enough to change gloves before making my food, but I've never had a problem eating there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Innocent Chocolate - Gluten and Sugar Free!

Innocent Chocolate has been out for a while, but I was eating some last night and meditating on its rich buttery goodness as well as the fact that only a small square leaves me feeling quite sated.  If you haven't sampled this treat, you can buy it in the freezer section of Central Market or on the Innocent Chocolate website.  As well as being Gluten-Free, it is sweetened with Agave Nectar which has a low Glycemic Index and is safer for diabetics.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brazilian cheese bread Gluten-Free mix

My friend recently came back from a trip to Brazil and brought me three packages of a marvelous delicacy called Pao de Quejio by Yoki.  It actually says gluten free on the top of the bag.  It cooked up a full cookie sheet of slightly-larger-than-golf-ball-sized rolls.  It tasted sort of like if cheese nips were biscuits.  Luckily, I hadn't eaten any dinner before I made them as it soon became apparent that these would be my dinner.  I recommend making them for a dinner party unless you have really strong will power.  You can buy them online here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes: Possibly my dream book

I recently purchased a copy of Carol Fenster, Ph.D.'s book 1,000 Gluten-Free recipes.  It promises everything from Gluten-Free Tiramisu to soft pretzels and ethnic specialties like Naan.  I made the soft pretzel recipe last night.  It delivered on taste, but the look is a little questionable.  I am excited, though to try even more recipes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Momentary carelessness led to hours of discomfort

This weekend, I went to a Greek Food Festival and ordered dolmas - something I normally think of as safe and delicious.  It's grape leaves wrapped around rice and sometimes meat.  I did not double check the ingredients since there was cafeteria-style serving.  It was a big mistake.  I gobbled four of them and a greek salad, which I still think was safe, and about 20 minutes later felt some ominous rumblings in my stomach.  I felt achy and sick for the rest of the day.  
So, just a reminder to not get careless.  I still plan to go to food festivals and try new things, but it's always important to ask questions. If it's a situation where you can't be sure, better to be safe than sorry (for 8 hours) and not eat the food.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finding Gluten-Free food at the fair

I was headed for a day at the Texas State Fair when my boyfriend asked, "what can you eat there?"  What, indeed, in the land of chicken-fried-bacon could I possibly find to eat?  At lunch time, we went to the food court and I was trapped in a sea of gluten.  However, I went from booth to booth picking foods I thought likely to be Gluten Free and asking if they were.  I struck out several times, but landed in Gluten-Free paradise at a stand selling caribbean-style food.  I have to say, my tasty bowl of black beans and rice accompanied by scrumptious baked plantains looked a lot better than my boyfriend's turkey leg.  

Some commonly* Gluten-Free festival foods are:
  • caramel apples
  • cotton candy
  • kettle corn
  • pop corn
  • grilled sweet corn
  • ice cream in a bowl
  • ribbon fries (Where they take a whole potato, slice it real thin and fry it.  Make sure they don't fry the funnel cakes in the same oil!)
  • taffy
  • peanut brittle
*Always double check.  You never know where some modified food starch or a dusting of flour might creep in.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Seasons Snacks - Lower fat, gluten-free cheese puffs

I recently brought these along on a road trip.  I did - don't tell anyone - share a few bites with my chihuahua, but other than that, I snarfed the whole thing.  I couldn't help myself.  This is one of several Seasons Snacks products that is labelled wheat free and gluten free.  They were soooo scrumptious.  I found them at my Kroger in Bedford at Central and Harwood, but if you can't find them locally, you can order them online.