Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How to make your own gluten-free yogurt

Recently, a friend pointed out an old episode of Good Eats on youtube with Alton Brown that shows step by step how to make your own yogurt, yogurt cheese and finally frozen yogurt.

I had to try it! The idea of controlling all of the ingredients and knowing where it all came from was fabulous. I used my normal low fat plain Stonyfield yogurt for the starter cultures.

After 3 days of fun, I managed to produce the yogurt cheese and the lemon, ginger frozen yogurt. All of it was as delicious as promised and gluten free. However, I found out that the plain yogurt has twice the calories of my normal yogurt. So, I will have to eat it sparingly.

Still it was a fun experiment and I may repeat it with 1% or skim milk and see how it all tastes then. To keep my yogurt at a stable temperature, I got a large cooler, lined it with electric blankets and then had lids for both the yogurt container and the cooler. This way, I could fine tune the temperature of the yogurt.

This was a highly entertaining process with a tasty result. People with kids who eat gluten-free might want to try this as well.

Fresh yogurt:

Ingredients

  • 1 quart 2-percent milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 to 2 tablepoons honey
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, room temperature

Directions

Pour milk into small saucepan and whisk in powdered milk and honey. Place over medium heat and bring to 120 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Once milk has reached 120 degrees F, pour into a cylindrical plastic container, reserving 1/2 cup. Whisk in the reserved 1/2 cup into the yogurt and add back to the milk mixture.

Place container into a narrow wine bucket, lined with a heating pad. Set the heating pad to medium. Let the mixture ferment for 3 to 12 hours making sure the temperature stays as close to 115 degrees F as possible.

After fermentation is complete place into the refrigerator overnight.

Yogurt Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts plain yogurt

Directions

Place 4 layers of cheesecloth in colander set over a bowl. Add the yogurt and let drain overnight in the refrigerator. The desired consistency is that of soft cream cheese.


Lemon-Ginger Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 8 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup sliced crystallized ginger

Directions

Place yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. At end of 12 hours, discard the liquid and cheesecloth.

In a bowl combine the drained yogurt, corn syrup, sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and fresh ginger. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and process per manufacturer's instructions, about 25 minutes. Transfer frozen yogurt to an airtight container, fold in crystallized ginger and freeze for 2 hours.




Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Celiac for the holidays

Here are some survival tips for the holidays:
  • Carry food with you in case you get trapped at the mall or elsewhere. Everyone else can eat at the food court, but you might be stuck.
  • If you are going to a friend's for a party, call ahead and ask if there will be food there you can eat. Either way, offer to bring a dish or two to share with everyone that is safe for you. Make sure you get your portion early so there's no danger of cross-contamination. I once watched someone dip crackers into my gluten-free pumpkin risotto.
  • Keep gluten-free crackers in the car to be whipped out at cocktail parties. I don't know how many times I've gotten overly tipsy from having wine on an empty stomach while everyone else is munching on canapes perfectly sober and not saying ridiculous things loudly.
  • Try to think ahead to the holiday favorites you're really going to miss this year and make your own gluten-free version. Even if the "normal" people don't think it's that great it might make you feel not so left out.
  • Watch out for turkeys! They often have modified food starch in them. Get a fresh turkey if possible.
  • It's not about the food. Even though food is often a focus at the holidays what really matters are the friends and the family. Plan to bring your own food to gatherings and then it will be a pleasant surprise if you can join in on some of the offered grub.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tastings - Gluten-Free Friendly



I went to the Grapevine, Texas location of Tastings on Main Street this past week and had a phenomenal time. Of course, all wine is gluten free and they had several gluten-free items on the menu. They have a range of cheeses, salads and aged meats. Also, they were very accommodating and made sure that my salad was safe from croutons or crusts of bread.

I would suggest brining your own crackers if you would like some to go with your cheese.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tandoor Chef - Tikka Masala


I came across this tasty frozen dinner at Whole Foods - a Chicken Tikka Masala by Tandoor Chef. While it doesn't have any ingredients listed as containing gluten it is made in a facility where wheat is processed. This was delicious, but it doesn't have any rice in it to soak up the sauce.

So, after you eat the chicken chunks out you basically have tomato yogurt soup. Which was good, but could've used something to sop it up like some tasty brown rice. They recommend eating it with Naan, which, of course, is not an option for us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Martha Stewart pumpkin tart - de-glutened


Recently, I made the pumpkin tart on a chocolate crust from Martha Stewart's Oct. 2009 magazine. I simply subbed the cup of all purpose flour for a cup of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour and everything else stayed the same. It came out beautifully!

I didn't take my own pics, but this blog entry has the recipe and pics that look very similar to what I made.

The tart was a big hit with my guests and there were several surprised remarks of "This is gluten free?"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Genral Mills Fruit Snacks are gluten-free


I recently received a very generous package of Genral Mills Fruit Snacks to try. They were just as I remembered as a kid, quite sweet and tangy. While my tastes have changed, it's good to know these kid-friendly, grab-and-go treats are still available to the gluten intolerant.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Easy, delicious gluten-free biscuit mix


This past weekend I whipped up a batch of these 1 2 3 Southern Glory Biscuits. They are delicious. At first, I was concerned because the dough was really wet, but I rolled it out carefully one biscuit at a time and used corn starch to keep the dough from sticking. They looked like little hockey pucks after I chilled them, but in the oven they baked up light and flaky. Well, as light and flaky as possible considering they are gluten-free.

Still, two gluten-eating friends sampled them and also found them quite yummy. I froze most of them and have eaten one thawed biscuit and it was good as well! This is a very exciting resource to have in the pantry. I got mine at the Bedford Kroger.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wild Grape Bistro in Salt Lake City


This past weekend I feasted at the Wild Grape Bistro in Salt Lake City. I had found it listed as gluten-free friendly on Urbanspoon.com so I went to check it out. The food was fantastic and my server really worked with me to make sure everything was safe.

They have a good variety of dishes, all of them very flavorful. The gluten-eaters at the table enjoyed their food as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aunt Gussie's Gluten-Free Cookies


These cookies are good enough to write home about, hence the post. I picked up a box of the chocolate spritz cookies in a local market in Durango, CO. I shared them with some gluten eaters and they agreed they were quite tasty. In addition to being gluten free, they are all natural with no trans fat. You get a whopping 3 cookies for 140 calories and they were very satisfying.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Perhaps that whole "made in a facility that also processes wheat" should be taken more seriously

I saw this video by Kinnikinnick foods mentioned on about.com - it shows what it takes to properly de-gluten-ize a piece of equipment that has been used to process wheat-based products. Take a look!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The miracle at the AMC Grapevine Mills

Due to yet another overscheduled weekend, I showed up starving to a movie - never a good idea. I had a bag of Crackerjacks with me, but that wasn't going to cut it.

Hungrily, I eyed the slowly cooking hotdogs on the counter at the AMC theater at Grapevine Mills.

I asked the girl at the checkout if I could see the ingredients for the hot dogs.
"Nope." she said without batting an eye.
I explained that I had serious food allergies and asked why I couldn't see them.
"Don't have them." she replied.
"Someone must have them somewhere." I said.
"Sorry, no." she said and looked behind me at the line.

I paid for my drink, slunk around the corner and asked a girl stocking candy to get me a manager. When she told him what I wanted, he immediately grabbed the box the hot dogs came in and let me read the ingredients himself.

I was then able to get a fresh hotdog - not one that had been on a bun - in a plastic container to eat. It was just as good as it smelled and I didn't get sick.

I guess there are a couple things to be learned from this - for me, persistence paid off and I didn't have to sit through a movie with a grumbling stomach.

For them, help a Celiac sistah out! I was willing to pay an exorbitant $4 for a single hotdog minus the bun. I just needed a little information.

P.S. Don't tell my mom I ate a hot dog and crackerjacks for dinner.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lucy's miracle cookies



OK, seriously, these cookies should come with a warning label - open the box of Dr. Lucy's cookies and expect to want to eat all of them. Except, it's not such a crisis if you do because the serving size is 4 cookies for 120 calories!

I tried the sugar cookies - seriously excellent. I didn't even realize they are also made without butter or eggs. I found them in an endcap display at the Kroger in Bedford. These are worth hunting down.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

USA Today article about Gluten-Free beer

My friend sent me this interesting article about GF beer being able to be labelled as beer even if it doesn't contain the traditional beer ingredients. It also has some links to other intriguing GF and Celiac info.

Friday, August 14, 2009

NYT article highlights the difficulties of eating cheap and gluten-free

Most of this won't be new information to a lot of you, but it includes some links to some good resources and the newly diagnosed can learn a lot!


Recently, I have been cutting back on costs and calories effectively by not buying much gluten-free-specific food. Except for the occasional treat, I have just been eating naturally gluten-free foods and primarily sticking to the outer-ring of the supermarket.

I have almost returned to my pre-diagnosis weight! A lot of people gain weight after being diagnosed with Celiac disease because of the following (some of this I've read, some are my own observations):

  • Your body no longer has to fight off a constant inflammation in your small intestine so you don't burn as many calories on a daily basis.
  • You can now get more calories as well as vitamins and nutrients from your food.
  • You don't have constant stomach pains so it's more tempting to eat. I remember starting on snacky foods like pizza and beer and stopping after a slice or a glass because of stomach aches.
  • Many of the low-calorie snack foods or lite varieties of high-calorie foods contain modified food starch. Many of the tasty safe foods are high in calories like ice cream, cheese, chocolate, etc.
  • I found it hard mentally to further restrict my diet. I kept thinking, "There's so much I can't eat, surely I deserve brie." In retrospect, I deserve to be healthy and happy - which, for me, means maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Most low-calorie, gluten-free food at restaurants is not very tasty. There are some great dishes out there that are relatively safe, but a lot of them have a lot of fat or sugar. I have restricted my eating out to about once a week.
  • Many grab-and-go gluten-free bars are very high in calories because they are packed with fruit and nuts instead of wheat filler. This sounds great because fruit and nuts are good for you, right? However, I find they don't fill me up very well and I end up eating more. Also, dried fruit and nuts contain large amounts of sugar and fat. I now eat half of a protein bar before my workouts.

Friday, August 7, 2009

We have a winner!

One of my co-workers drew a name for me and he chose Becky Revell of Frisco, Texas. Thanks to all of you who entered!

Becky, if you don't hear from the Betty Crocker people soon, let me know.

Top 10 gluten-free eating at restaurant mistakes

I've made most of these, it's how I know about them. Remember, you are the one who is responsible for not getting sick, not the restaurant.

  1. Assuming sushi is safe - ask about malt vinegar in the rice and any and all soy sauce involved.
  2. Assuming a normally-safe food like french fries never shared oil with fried chicken or other breaded items.
  3. Not asking if there restaurant uses margarine - which could be on anything (like grilled chicken) and may not be gluten free.
  4. Eating any salad dressing or marinade or spice rub and not asking for an ingredient list. Soy sauce and modified food starch like to sneak in to the darndest places.
  5. If you send a salad back because it had croutons on it, look through the lettuce when it comes back and make sure they didn't just take off the croutons and send it back - this totally happened to me.
  6. Not being nice to your waiter - they hold your fate (or your fate for the next few hours) in their hands.
  7. Not asking about everything - I even found a place that put flour in their mashed potatoes.
  8. Not thanking a manager and your waiter for going out of their way for you. You always want a wait staff to have a good impression of you. You never know when you or another Celiac will eat there in the future.
  9. Not having a back-up plan. Whenever I go out to eat, I pick two or three things on the menu I would be happy enough to eat and then ask the waiter to ask the chef to recommend the safest item. I don't always get my first choice, but I don't get sick, either.
  10. Eating at restaurants too frequently. I was still feeling somewhat ill and cut back to eating out to about once a week. Unless they only serve gluten free food, even the most well-meaning restaurant staff can't avoid cross-contamination 100% of the time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

I am going out tomorrow to the Five Guys in Southlake for an assignment for the paper, so I thought I'd check their gluten-freeness. On their website, it says they are completely gluten-free except for the buns. So, that should be good news to area Celiacs. Unfortunately, I don't think the calories involved will allow me to eat a burger anyway.

Still, a good option to have around. Let me know if any of you guys go there if it's good!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Betty Crocker gluten-free prize pack


The Betty Crocker folks told me I could have a drawing and they would send the winner a prize pack with all the items in the above photo!

Email me at jfriedberg@star-telegram.com if you would like to be entered. Please, include your name and mailing address! I'll collect names until Friday at 10 AM and then I'll find someone at the Star-Telegram to draw one for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visual Confirmation- Betty Crocker Gluten-Free mixes at the Bedford Kroger

Out of curiosity, I went and looked at my neighborhood Kroger at Central and Harwood in Bedford and they did, indeed, carry the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free mixes. They were in with the rest of the Betty Crocker products on the baking aisle, not in the special natural foods area.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Product locator for Gluten-Free Betty Crocker mixes

If you're wondering if there is a store near you that carries the Gluten-Free Betty Crocker mixes, look at their product locator.

Tested two more of the Betty Crocker mixes



This weekend, I tried out the Betty Crocker gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix and the chocolate cake mix. They were both delicious and I fed them to people who can eat gluten for a true test. I brought them to a party and was hard-pressed to rescue a couple of the cookies to take with me.
Everyone there said they would eat them again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lemur Peanut Choco Drizzle Crispy Rice Bars are awesome!

Nature's Path generously sent me a sample pack of several cereals and treats to review. I have to say the Lemur bars rock my world. They're delicious and 120 calories each, so they fit the afternoon snack spot perfectly.

Nature's Path has a lot of on-the-go products and they make my favorite cereal in the world - Mesa Sunrise, which I know I've talked about before.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Plain yogurt is tasty?

Well, it can be good with a few add-ins. In my ever widening search for a before-bed snack that's GF, not too high calorie, somewhat healthy, satisfying and tasty, I've been eating plain Stonyfield Organic Low-Fat Yogurt and putting stuff in it.

I eat about a cup of it and I've been mixing in about a tablespoon of raw honey, which is supposed to have all kinds of happy things in it for your digestive system. I figure after the years of gluten-abuse, my digestive system needs all the help it can get. Between the cultures in the yogurt and the benefits of whatever is in the honey - I'm still not clear on how it's helpful, but it's delicious, I figure this is a good treat!

Friday, July 17, 2009

KVIL has gift certificates for half-off at Laura's Bistro

Click here to buy gift certificates.

There are only 6 left, so click fast! The gift certificates sell for $25, but you get $50 worth of food. Quite a deal.

Laura's Bistro is at 2301 N. Central Expressway #155, Plano, Texas 75075, 972-599-1018

LSD does not contain gluten!

Um, OK, not that I do LSD, but I was surprised when a friend told me yesterday that he thought LSD was grown on rye bread mold. Turns out modern-day LSD is completely synthetic, but the chemical compound was discovered when a scientist was researching ergot.

Ergot was a mold that used to poison people famously in the middle ages when they would eat grain that had been stored too long. Some people think that ergot was responsible for egging on mob violence and other types of civil unrest.

So, just say no to ergot!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix is a hit





I received sample boxes of Betty Crocker's four new gluten-free mixes and I've decided to cook them one by one when I can serve them to Celiacs and gluten-eaters alike. Today, a going-away party was the perfect testing ground.

I cooked them last night and iced them this morning. They were a big hit all around. I found them comparable to my favorite - Pamela's yellow cake mix. Although the gluten-eaters were told they were eating gluten-free cupcakes, I asked them to be honest for the purposes of reviewing.

Some of them said they did notice a slightly different texture and flavor, but they found them quite tasty all the same.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Gluten-Free cooking classes

These are from NTGIG's Betty Barfield:

Gluten-Free Cooking at Central Market in Southlake

When:Tuesday, July 14, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Where: Central Market Southlake 1425 E. Southlake Blvd, Southlake, TX 76092

Claudia Pillow, Chef, Ph.D.,Speaker on Gluten Intolerance

Join us for this gluten-free cooking and baking class that includes a discussion and demonstration of gluten-free flour mixes and gluten-free flour, low carbohydrate alternatives (for diabetics). The class will conclude with smart tips for healthy gluten-free eating. Menu includes: Teff Rustic Pizza with Pesto & Brie Cheese; Flour Tortillas; Macaroni & Cheese; and Summer Roasted Vegetable Medley.



Cost $50

To enroll: (817) 310-5665



Hands-On Semi Private Gluten-Free Baking Classes



NEW!! Healthy Summer Vegetables

When: Thursday July16th 6-8pm.

Menu: Four different cooking techniques to fill up your summer plate with low-calorie, nutritious, fresh, seasonal produce: salad, roast, grill, and sauté. We will prepare Arugula, Avocado and Shaved Parmesan Salad with Walnut Oil, Roasted Ratatouille, Grilled Greens with Sesame Oil, and a Farm Market Fresh Sauté.



Semi Private Classes of 4 adults in the chef’s home in Southlake. Everyone participates in making the vegetable dishes, which will be packaged to take home. Bring your apron and have some fun.



Cost: $50 per person per class



Contact: Claudia Pillow at foodphilosopher@verizon.net or www.foodphilosopher.com





Claudia Pillow Bio:

Dr. Claudia Pillow has been studying and working with food for her entire life. A classically trained chef, her food philosophy is grounded by the life sciences, nutrition, and health. She believes a gluten-free diet is best for immune defense. In 2007, Claudia received her PhD in Health Studies from Texas Women's University. As part of her dissertation, she developed and tested a celiac disease school screening tool and is currently in the process of making the program available nationally. Prior to earning her doctorate, Claudia was a 1982 graduate of the New York Restaurant School and worked as a chef for Elizabeth Arden Inc., and a caterer in Princeton, New Jersey. A science degree and MBA from Rutgers University offered her the opportunity to jump to the corporate side of the food industry, where she was a product manager for Dorman Roth Foods (now Sargento Cheese), and the new product development manager at the 1990’s new age beverage trend setter, Soho Natural Beverages. Earlier in her business career, Dr. Pillow marketed first aid kits for Johnson & Johnson, a Fortune 100 Company.

Currently, Claudia has just completed The Immune Defense Diet Cookbook: The Gluten-Free Way to Eat Smart, Neutralize Inflammation, and Balance Your Health, (Agate Publishing) which she co-wrote with Annalise Roberts, and is set for release in January 2010. Her first book was The Food Philosopher’s® Guide to Epicurean Delights, (also co-written with Annalise Roberts), which led to the creation of their website, www.foodphilosopher.com. She lectures about gluten intolerance and teaches gluten-free cooking and baking classes in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Dr. Pillow lives in Texas with her husband and two daughters, and serves on the Board of the Gluten Intolerant Group of North America, in Auburn, Washington.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nature's Path - Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola - NOT Gluten Free

***Update***
I was contacted today by a very concerned account executive from Nature's Path who says NONE of their granola is gluten-free. They do have many fabulous cereals which I've talked about in the past, the granola is neither wheat nor gluten free. I apologize to anyone I might have misdirected with this.

I have been delighted to be sent samples of new gluten-free products, but yesterday I had already shoveled several handfuls of Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola into my mouth before I thought to myself those fatal words "This is so good, I can't believe it's gluten-free."

While none of the ingredients contain wheat, one of the main ingredients is rolled oats and under the section where they say "This product may contain..." wheat was listed as an ingredient.




Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gluten-Free dessert at Bonefish Grill


I have eaten at Bonefish Grill a handful of times and have never been disappointed. This trend continued last week when I ate there with my family and tried their warm brownie with ice cream and whipped cream on top. Yes, it was gluten-free. It tasted sort of like a chocolate souffle. I would definitely have it again!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Eating Gluten-Free in Sperryville, Virginia



Every middle of nowhere is somebody's somewhere I always remind myself. I found out how NOT the middle of nowhere Sperryville is at least as far as gluten-free food goes.

I had been tipped off about the Thornton River Grille by the lovely owner of Apple Cottage Gourmet Health Foods in Luray, Virginia. I was in Luray to see the caverns. The town is on the outskirts of Shenandoah National Park - where I was staying.

The lodges in the park can definitely fix you up with a gluten-free meal that far surpasses my expectations, but I knew we'd be spending the afternoon outside of the park.

So, I found Apple Cottage and a restaurant that I thought would work. Just to be sure, I asked the owner of Apple Cottage who said that many of the restaurants in town were just too crowded on the 4th of July weekend to cater to special needs, so she suggested Thornton River Grille, which does require a reservation.

When we got there, we decided we wanted to sit on the deck, which has a more limited menu but a fabulous view. They had no problem adapting the salad I was interested in to a GF version. It was delicious - freshly-grilled chicken breast on top of mixed-greens with pecans, dried cranberries and goat cheese crumbles.

It was so flavorful, I only used a smidgeon of the delicious salad dressing that came with it. These guys didn't even bat an eye when I asked about gluten-free food. They just said, tell us what you want and we'll figure out a way to make it work. I wish I heard that everywhere!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Eating gluten-free in Shenandoah National Forest

I set off this morning with a cooler full of lunch fixin's, but tonight I braved the restaurant at Skyland Lodge. It was sooo fabulous. I asked our waiter if he knew what gluten was and he scoffed, "Of course, I do!" I was so excited I think I clapped my hands.

Next thing you know, he was checking with the chef and modifying my menu choice - Pan seared chicken with a Riesling cream sauce, green beans, a baked potato and a side salad with blackberry vinaigrette. For dessert, my dad and I split one scoop of blackberry ice cream after swearing we wouldn't do dessert every night.

It was so delectable that I didn't even put anything on the baked potato, I just sopped up the rest of the sauce from the chicken. So, there you have it, national parks rocking the gluten-free world! Tomorrow night, I think I'll try the turkey plate!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Organic Prairie chicken hot dogs are soooo good


A few months ago, I was going camping and a friend suggested we roast hot dogs over the fire. I scoffed. Hot dogs?! Not only are they generally not gluten free, but they are completely unhealthy and disgusting.
Au contraire... I went shopping to prove my point and discovered these Organic Prairie Uncured chicken hotdogs. They are ridiculously tasty and from what I can tell, gluten free and not that bad for you.
I actually bought them for another camping trip and then, last week, just for fun to have at home!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Schlitterbahn-ing Gluten-Free


I went to Schlitterbahn for the first time this weekend in New Braunfels. Since I knew it would be an all-day affair, I looked up food options on their website. The bad news is that almost everything they sell at the park has gluten in it (except for ices, slushees, ice cream and cotton candy.) The good news is you can bring one of those giant wheeled coolers.

So, I talked with my friends ahead of time and that's what we did. We brought our own drinks, snacks and lunch and picnicked. Afterwards, however, I had to throw myself on the mercy of Omas Haus Restaurant a couple of miles away. I did have some backup sliced turkey and cheese, but I was hoping for a real meal.

Despite the waiter's trepidation - he had never heard of gluten - he checked for me and I was able to eat the lemon, dill grilled chicken, corn and German potato salad. Just about everything else on the menu was glutinous, though. They even had used flour in their coconut haystacks and fudge on sale in the lobby (which probably saved me from an unwanted 1,000 calories.)

Still, I didn't get sick and the food was very tasty. I was able to feel like part of the group instead of eating my turkey and cheese while they sampled local specialties.

Since I couldn't get dessert there, we all went for ice cream afterwards at Austin-favorite Amy's Ice Cream. When I asked if their ice cream had gluten in it, the server said, "Well, it has eggs, milk and sugar, I would think so."

Normally, I would expect something like this, but not in Austin, which is usually such a well-informed place. I asked to see an ingredients list, made sure it was OK and then just ordered Mexican Vanilla to be safe. It was fine, but this makes me so angry. I'm sure the Amy's owners would be appalled, too. They could be missing out on lots of potential sales.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sprouts has Gluten-Free sale


Sprouts, which has several locations in the DFW area is having a Gluten-Free Jubilee 25% off tagged Gluten-Free products June 24 - July 1. I'm passing this on from NTGIG President Betty Barfield.

This is awesome because GF specific foods are quite pricey and sales like this don't come along every day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quaker Quakes Rice Snacks are quite tasty


A friend just shared his chocolate Quaker Quakes Rice Snacks. They are incredibly snackable! I'm not sure if the whole product line is safe or not, so always read the labels.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dietary Specials has gluten-free recipe videos


This charming website from the UK offers a variety of info including recipe videos - starting tomorrow (June 24, 2009.) Go on now to see a trailer for the vids.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Boston's Gourmet Pizza - Gluten-free crust




I finally got around to trying Boston's version of the gluten-free pizza. As compared to Uno's it's got its plusses and minuses.
  • Boston's is in Grapevine and possibly may be closer or more convenient to you.
  • Boston's does deliver - I'm not sure how far.
  • Boston's will put any toppings you ask for on the GF crust, but I didn't ask what precautions they take to make sure they are gluten-free. I ordered the hawaiian pizza and the pinapple appeared canned.
  • Uno's cheese and sauce were far more flavorful and their pineapple was fresh. (I'm a pineapple fiend.)
  • Boston's crust was much thinner and crisper, which was quite nice.
  • Uno's was tastier overall, but the toppings were more limited.
  • Both restaurants only offer the pizza in one size for about the same price.

Friday, June 19, 2009

NPR story about Celiac Disease

This was sent to me by my ever-thoughtful co-worker and fellow Celiac, Karla. 

Celiac Disease Radio Segment featuring Dr. Peter Green

There was a live celiac disease radio segment on The People’s Pharmacy on Saturday, June 13.

Live Interview:
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2009/06/12/727-celiac-dise/

Extended Interview:
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2009/06/15/extended-interv-31/

Also, this will be aired on many NPR stations over the next few weeks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pepper Corer



















I just bought what looks to be an amazing pepper corer from Williams-Sonoma.  A few posts back I wrote about the joy of grilled jalapenos.  Anyway, I'm very excited to try this guy out.  Looks vicious and efficient!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Most delicious black seedless grapes from Central Market

Recently I was in Central Market in Fort Worth and I bought some black, seedless grapes.  They were very, well, grapey.  They had much more of a taste than the standard red and green seedless grapes I get at most stores.  If you get a chance, grab a bunch before they're gone!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Haagen-Dazs Sorbets - mainly gluten-free


Check every flavor, but the majority of Haagen-Dazs' sorbets are gluten free, delicious and slightly less evil than ice cream.  Definitely a worthwhile summer treat!

Recently, I was starving at a food court at a mall and hit upon Haagen-Dazs' lemon sorbet.  I know, I know, it's not the perfect food, but it totally hit the spot.  Something to keep in mind for sure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gluten-Free lentil soup recipe

My friend recommended this as tasty, healthy, possibly vegetarian, high in protein and gluten free.  I plan to try it ASAP! Let me know if any of you guys try this.

Combine ingredients into a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours:

* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 3 carrots, chopped
* 1 onion, diced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 bay leaves
* 8 cups water or GF vegetable broth or GF chicken broth
* 1 3/4 cups green lentils
* 2 potatoes, chopped
* 1 bunch spinach, chopped

I didn't but you can add these after the soup finishes cooking (I thought it was tasty enough without them):

* 1 tsp salt
* 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dogs are gluten-free - not that we eat them


Forgive this non-food-related post, but I wanted to highlight a cool organization called Smiling Dog Farms.  They provide sanctuary for dogs that are considered un-adoptable. video

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gluten-Free beer good enough to drink?


Here's an article touting some new gluten-free beers that hopefully will be drink-worthy.  I have tasted several of these in the past and the only one I would vouch for is theGreen's Quest Tripel Ale.  I'm looking forward to trying the new versions of some of the others.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Girl reviews the G-Free Diet and Babycakes


Check out this well-thought-out review of the current best sellers the G-Free Diet and Babycakes by trusted Gluten-Free Girl Shauna James Ahern.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reduced sugar Ketchup by Heinz - still tasty


In my deepening search for cutting calories while preserving taste and staying gluten free, I have come across Heinz's reduced sugar ketchup.  It is 5 calories per tbsp. vs. 25 calories for the regular stuff.  I didn't notice a significant difference in taste.  It does contain sucralose for anyone avoiding that.  Otherwise, seems like a great condiment to add to the fridge!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gluten-Free swim party for kids through NTGIG

NTGIG Kid's Swimming Party

When: Sunday, June 28th from 3:30-5:15pm

Where: AquaKids-Keller, 4212 Heritage Trace Parkway, Keller, TX 76248

Who: Kids ages 2-11

Trained lifeguards will be on duty

Gluten-free snacks will be provided

RSVP to Holly Kline at blondeshopper1@juno.com asap

or call 817-596-8491

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sprouts has Gluten-Free guide

A friend brought me a cop of Sprouts Farmers Market's Gluten-Free & Wheat-Free Guide today. This cool pamphlet has a quick primer for first-time GFers in the front and then goes on to list what is GF in the store by category.  What a cool idea and a great resource! 

I like going to Sprouts because they have a different variety of GF products than I find at my other usual haunts.  Also, it seems that their prices are more reasonable on many items.  Also, they carry a wide variety of Lucky Layla yogurt, a great GF drinkable yogurt.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grilled gluten-free peppers

This weekend, I experimented with a new pepper griller I got from Amazon.com . It did not come with its corer as promised, however.  Be warned!

I had a bunch of cored, seeded jalapeno peppers and also some sweet italian peppers that fit in the holes as well.  I chopped up equal parts cilantro, parsley and dill and used a pastry cutter to mash it all into some mild plain goat cheese.  Then, I stuffed the herbed cheese into the peppers and put them in the rack to roast.

This was the first time I'd done it myself - they were quite delicious and even the gluten-eaters were eager to divvy up the last of them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gluten-Free cupcakes at Central Market




After everyone had reported back on the cupcakes at Central Market, I had to see and taste for myself!  Indeed, there are vanilla and chocolate cupcakes by French Meadow Bakery for sale in the frozen dessert section of Central Market in Fort Worth - and probably in the other stores as well.  I haven't checked.

They also have single slices of cake as well as an entire cake for sale.  You might want to call ahead, they had sold out of the whole cake tonight. 

The cupcakes come in a package of four and sell for $5.99.  The taste was above average and the convenience factor beyond compare.  I have to confess that I ate two tonight.  One frozen and one defrosted.  The other two are in my freezer.  The defrosting is definitely worth the wait.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Emergency gluten-free rations - Valley Fresh chicken
















I have been looking for gluten-free chicken in a pouch.  I have a friend who always has tuna or salmon in a pouch, but I just don't like eating anything that ever lived under water.  I recognized that that is very odd, but it is also true.

Anyway, I have been wishing for something similarly portable, gluten-free and versatile.  Valley Fresh's chicken actually says gluten free on it.  Several other brands contain modified food starch.

So, I plan to take this on road trips where I might have to dine at unexpected places.  I can always throw half a pouch on a salad with oil and vinegar and call it dinner.  If I have a cooler, I can save the rest for later.  Or do what my friend does and eat it along with fresh veggies and fruit that I bring with me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pamela's new cornbread mix is a hit!



Pamela's, which has long been one of my favorite companies because of their consistently good products, has done it again with a brilliant cornbread mix.  At first, I was worried because the mix looked very soupy, but it baked up into a marvelous cake-like cornbread.  I used their basic recipe and substituted agave syrup for sugar.

I served it to gluten-eaters and they liked it too.  In fact, we ended up using it as cake under some panna cotta that my friend had made with a strawberry syrup.  If you want a more savory version, there are suggestions on the package for adding jalapenos or cheese.  

This is another must-have for the pantry. I can't wait until it's available in stores.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't forget - Moving feet without wheat this weekend

COME JOIN NTGIG’S FAMILY FUN DAY!!

“Moving Feet Without Wheat”

Celiac Disease Awareness Walk

Saturday, May 16, 2009, 10:00AM



Our awareness walk is in TWO DAYS! Please join us at Legacy Park in Arlington to celebrate May as Celiac Awareness Month and to attend our walk. Here’s your chance to raise some money for a great cause, have a fun-filled day at a great park, and eat as much gluten free food as you want! Bring your friends and relatives for this family-friendly day at the park. Registration will start at 10AM. Volunteers will be there around 8AM so come early and beat the crowd. If you would like to come early and help set up, we won’t turn you away!



River Legacy Park is located at 701 NW Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington, TX 76006. http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Arlington&state=TX&address=701+Nw+Green+Oaks+Blvd. Directions from north, east, south and west are attached also, so no matter where you live, you have specific directions.



We have put together 156 baskets full of Gluten Free food, coupons, kitchen utensils and more for the auction which will be held at the park. We also have other items for the auction besides the baskets of food such as two American Airlines tickets, a free night's stay at two different B&B’s in Texas who cater to the GF diet, free dinners at various restaurants, free admission to places like tickets to the Fort Worth and Dallas Zoos, Ranger Baseball tickets, NRH20, two professional portrait sessions, spa treatments and Avon gift baskets for you ladies, gift cards to area grocery stores, and much, much more! You will also have a chance to bid on a diet/nutrition session with one of two of the very best dieticians in the DFW area.



We’ll have a picnic lunch at the park after the walk. NTGIG is providing the meat for the sandwiches and will be providing the bread also. We need YOU to bring side dishes and desserts for your family and to share with others, buffet style. Make sure everything is gluten free. NTGIG is providing the condiments, paper goods, water and ice. Bring your own soft drinks if you want something other than water. We will have water. PLEASE email Shelly Carpenter at shellymcarpenter@msn.com and let her know what your side dishes will be. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Shelly needs to know as soon as possible what you’re bringing. I’ve cc’d Shelly, who is coordinating the picnic foods, in this email so you can save her email address. We want to make sure we don’t have 200 potato salads and nothing else! Besides potato salad, some suggestions might be baked beans (we will have electrical outlets but bring an extension cord), fruit salad, pasta salads, veggie tray, deviled eggs, cheese tray w/GF crackers or pretzels, chips/dips, vegetable dish (either hot or cold), etc. And don’t forget a dessert if you’re comfortable baking GF.



Bring the kids and their friends! We’ll have a calk walk, pillow-case races, spoon/egg races, face painting and LOTS OF PRIZES for all the kids. Load up the car and bring the whole neighborhood!





Betty Barfield

President, North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group

Www.northtexasgig.com

817-929-9227

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cupcake Confirmation - and a good GF outing

This is from the comments on the last cupcake post:

Lauren Melissari said...
French Meadow GF Yellow and Chocolate Cupcakes are sold at Central Market for $5.99!
I'll have to try one!

Also, I got this awesome post from blog reader Diane Shaw about a Gluten-Free Mother's day that went well.  I'm really impressed by their resourcefulness of calling ahead and warning the pizza place that they were bringing their own food.  I have shown up at restaurants with part or all of a meal, ordered a soda and a salad and tipped as if I have eaten a full meal and no one has ever been rude, but this sounds really nice.

My husband wanted to take us all out for Mother's Day, but we have the challenges of me being
a Celiac, 2 gluten intolerant daughters, one gluten intolerant grandchild and the rest can eat whatever they want. 

The other problem was everyone wanted to go to Grimaldis' Pizza at Watter's Creek in Allen for the atmosphere and the delectable pizza. 

We did the unthinkable and called and asked if our party of 10 came for dinner could we bring our homemade GF pizza for those who cannot eat their pizza. After a few minutes on hold
they said "Sure." 

We arrived 30 minutes later, they had our table ready and they were so gracious and kind to us. I think it is rare for a restaurant to allow you to bring food in and to be so kind about it. We will visit there again for sure.

Also, Cru wine bar at Watter's Creek was very aware of gluten issues as was PF Chang's. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unconfirmed rumor of Gluten-Free Cupcakes

There is a rumor that Central Market has been carrying fresh gluten-free cupcakes in their bakery section.  If anyone finds out if this is the case, let me know!

Friday, May 8, 2009

California GF girls are lucky - awesome GF/Vegan Cake decorator

A friend just sent me this link about Bewitching Elegance Wedding Cakes by a woman in Burlingame, California.  They specialize in gluten-free and vegan cakes.  Dy's cakes look like unique works of art.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Raw food pie crust is gluten free

Most raw food recipes end up being gluten free.  I asked a friend for a reliable pie crust recipe and he sent me the following:

1 1/2 cups Raw Almonds
2 cups pitted dates

- Blend almonds until powder.
- Blend dates until buttery consistency.
- Combine dates and almonds in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Press evenly in to a parchment-paper lined pie plate.

*It helps after preparing the recipe and whatever filling you are going to use if you refrigerate the pie for a few hours or freezer for about 45 minutes.*
I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds really good. I'll update when I've given it a go!  Let me know if any of you guys try it and tell me how it goes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last Restaurant Standing used Gluten-Free as a challenge

A friend told me that BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing used gluten-free customers to challenge their chefs in episode #13. This is very exciting to me because it raises awareness and gets it into the public eye.  Similarly, there was a House episode, with a tricky diagnosis that turned out to be Celiac disease - my mom reports.

This is definitely the way we will slowly infiltrate the subconscious mind of everyday America!  It can only lead to more options and better information for all of us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Starbucks has Gluten-Free Valencia Orange Cake




A wonderful co-worker brought me one of Starbucks' new gluten-free Valencia Orange Cakes to sample today.  It is a light-tasting spongy cake with a definite citrus taste and slivered almonds sprinkled across the top.

At 290 calories for a treat the diameter of a tennis ball, I won't be getting it all the time.  But it's a fabulous option to have.  I had half of it today and will save the rest for later in the week.  Now we can feel like "normal" people and have *breakfast at Starbucks with our friends.

*A side note - I routinely bring gluten-free cereal to Starbucks when I meet my friends there for a meal and they have no problem selling me a cup of milk and a banana to eat with it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

TGI Fridays in downtown Austin - very accommodating for gluten-free eating

Saturday night I was eating with friends at the TGI Fridays in downtown Austin.  I tried to pick something off of the menu and told the waiter I had Celiac disease.  Minutes later, a manager appeared and let me know that if I wanted to be really careful, I probably shouldn't eat there since they use the same oil for breaded and non-breaded items and have no segregation of grilling surfaces, etc.  

I told her I would risk eating something off of the grill and she suggested a plain burger with a side of steamed broccoli and fruit.  I thought that sounded fabulous and was amazed and pleased that she had immediately warned me about possible contamination issues.  Also, she admitted that they had no idea what ingredients were in their salad dressing.

Of course, it wasn't my favorite meal ever, but I was full and felt fine for the rest of the night.  The fact that the manager was so well-informed made me feel comfortable enough to eat there.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More scrumptiousness at Wildwood Art Cafe in Austin




Wildwood Art Cafe in Austin lived up to its reputation again this afternoon.  I brought a gluten-eating friend with me and she loved it, too.  I had one of their ding-dongs, which was quite tasty and I plan to eat a cream puff tomorrow.  I had my fav, the turkey and provolone sandwich and it was just as good as I remembered.  I sampled my friend's order of herbed focaccia and it was worth the nibble.  I'll order it next time!