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November 29, 2011

It's Hard to Be "That Girl"

This morning I came across the below video on The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness's website and become so excited to share with all of you!
Cecilia Bonaduce created this short film for one of her classes while attending the University of California, Berkeley in her senior year. Cecilia, a Celiac herself aimed to portray the negative stigma many battling gluten intolerances face on daily basis.

I can vouch for feeling like “That Girl” numerous times. This is a powerful video that makes me feel I am not alone and that there is so much more to Celiac disease than just eliminating gluten from one's diet.

"That Girl" features the lesser known social implications of adhering to the gluten free life style

This video couldn’t come at a more opportune time. Being a Celiac during the holidays can be a stressful time. Everyday there are different baked items sitting in the kitchen at our offices, holidays parties book the weekends and Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are filled with gluten.

I take this time of year as a chance to educate those around me on the simple substitutions and changes which can be made in order to accommodate a gluten free diet. Many are surprised with how basic some of the changes are and are determined to include me in every course of their delicious holiday feast.

I truly believe if we share our knowledge, and educate those around us our community will continue to better understand Celiac disease and gluten intolerances.

Bravo Cecilia! 

November 27, 2011

Fall Favorite- Grandma Chooch's Caramel Corn

Another yummy recipe from Grandma Chooch! Love munching on this while watching the Charger game!

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
3 bags Orville Redenbacher Popcorn

Pop each bag of popcorn separately. Keep popcorn warm in a roasting pan in the oven at 300 degrees while you prepare the sauce so the syrup will stick to the popcorn. Melt butter, stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil (stirring constantly). Boil (without stirring) for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, stir in baking soda, and gluten-free vanilla extract. Remove popcorn from oven and pour syrup mixture evenly over popcorn. Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon. Once you remove from oven stir popcorn and remove from roasting pan to serving dish or container. Makes one container- as seen in below pictures.

Happy sticky fingers!

November 23, 2011

Fall Favorite- Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

2 things I LOVE- anything pumpkin & anything with cream cheese so when I came across this recipe online I knew I HAD to make them for Thanksgiving. I made a test batch on Saturday and my family LOVED them so much that I am making a DOUBLE batch for tomorrow.... ENJOY!


1 box Hodgson Gluten Free yellow cake mix
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, stir together cake mix and walnuts. With pastry blender or fork cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of mixture for topping. In ungreased 13x9 inch pan press remaining mixture. Bake for 10 minutes.

2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixture on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour over warm crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping.

3. Bake about 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. Store covered in refrigerator.


 A time with family, friends and of course delicious gluten free food!

November 22, 2011

3 Tips for a Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

2 days away...

When I was first diagnosed I was a little overwhelmed with the holidays and all the food that I thought would be off limits. Luckily the below products have transitioned our family's gluten filled feast to gluten less, nutritious and full of flavor!

Below is my recommended list of products to pick up in preparation for Thanksgiving. As you may notice it isn't a long list, concluding there are only a few dishes to alter and the rest can be prepared from 100% gluten free ingredients without picking up speciality items.

Turkey Gravy from Trader Joe's- 17.6 oz. carton = $1.49!!!!

Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse Stuffing Cubes. Click HERE for the Whole Foods Gluten Free Bread Stuffing Recipe- its SOOOOO good!

Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse Pie Crusts- so yummy! My family prefers these over wheat flour based crusts- what does that tell you? They are the BEST!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Looking forward to pumpkin pie, surprise, surprise :)

November 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Chebe Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

I am always inspired on Sunday morning to experiment in the kitchen. With the holidays right around the corner, I am anxious to try new products and add to my ever growing collection of gluten free recipes. This past week I spotted Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix at Whole Foods. Over the past 4 years I have NEVER seen a mix for cinnamon rolls. I am happy to report that the cinnamon rolls turned out just as delicious as they appeared on the box! The consistency of the dough was similar to working with regular wheat flours.

Additional Ingredients:

2 tips in preparing the Cinnamon Roll Mix:

  • I rolled the dough out on a cutting board covered with wax paper. I didn’t have to use additional flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface. When baking I always try to limit the amount of flour I use; excessive flour contributes to a denser, tougher, less flavorful finished product.
  • After rolling dough tightly I used a knife that was coated with butter so the dough would pull apart easier.

First bite a crunchy surface followed by fluffy sweet, cinnamon bread with no funky aftertaste and sticky golden brown syrup- YUM!

November 14, 2011

My Gluten Free Finds @ the SD GF Food Expo 2011

Saturday November 12th, was a great day for many San Diegans’ battling gluten intolerances. Many were able to try firsthand what the gluten free community is producing and developing on a daily basis. I was so happy to see how many individuals took advantage of this event. We expected between 800 and 1,000 attendees but almost 1,500 glutenistas showed up!  
A successful event is an understatement, the overwhelming response we have received from the expo goers and the vendors who participated were tremendously positive.  I can’t tell you how incredible it was to be a part of such an amazing event!
I want to thank everyone for spreading the word and raising awareness for Celiac Disease. San Diego is a great community and the gluten free consumers are definitely growing in our area. These types of events make it possible for our community to become more educated and learn the importance of providing gluten free options at local restaurants and grocery stores. They also allow newly diagnosed celiacs a chance to realize there is life with food even if you're on a gluten free diet. 
I managed to make my way around the event later in the afternoon and was excited to try table after table of cookies, pizza, cupcakes, and breads. Below is a few of my highlights/favorites from the event, I am curious to hear what were yours!
Naked Pizza- Thin crust piled with nutritious & gluten free toppings. Click HERE to find a location nearest you. 

So Good Gluten Free Foods- English Muffins! A breakfast item I haven't had in ages! Click HERE to visit their website. Order Online: 6 for $4.99!

Sauce GoddessMoroccan Twist Spice Rub- a delicious addition to pork or salmon OR as a dip with rice crackers Click HERE for more information. 

Kettle Cuisine- My favorite- Clam Chowder! A creamy soup perfect for the winter months! Click HERE to visit their website

2good2B Gluten Free- Basically- I LOVED everything at their table- breads, cookies all were soft and full of flavor! Click HERE to visit their website.

A Couple Smart Cookies- 3 great flavors! Pumpkin, Chocolate Fudge, and Peanut Butter. Click HERE to order online.

Pamela's Whenever Bars- finally a bar I LOVE! I can stick it in my purse for back up, have a few handy at my desk at work or just as a snack around the house! Perfect for traveling too!  They come in 4 great flavors- my favorite: Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut!

Canyon Bakehouse- San Juan 7- Grain bread, fresh and light in texture. Click HERE to visit their website.  

Amy’s- Moist chocolate cake...do I have to say anything else? :) Click HERE to find a location nearest you.

Check out all my goodies! A bunch of coupons, fliers and informational handouts filled with gluten free news, products and diet tips! SCORE! 

Hope you all had a wonderful expo outing!

November 11, 2011

Gluten Free Turkey Cookies- Gobble Gobble!

I found this adorable recipe on OurBestBites, click HERE for the recipe but made a few changes to make them gluten-free! I took them to work; I am making a set for a game night and Thanksgiving Day!


Glutino Gluten Free Dream Cookies- Chocolate Vanilla Crème (Click HERE for website) OR
Kinnikinnick KinniTOOS Chocolate Sandwich Crème Cookies (Click HERE for website)
Candy Corn
Chocolate covered Almonds
Peanut Butter cups
Chocolate frosting
Yellow frosting- small tube
Red frosting- small tube
Optional: yellow oval sprinkles, blue ball sprinkles for the eyes

Take a cookie and fill in one side will chocolate frosting. Cut the white tips off of 5 candy corns (you will use those later for the beaks) and stick in the cookie, using the chocolate frosting to help stick.

On the opposite end of the candy corn place a dab of chocolate frosting to stick to another chocolate cookie (base cookie). Next we will add the body- take a peanut butter cup and cut ¼ of a sliver off of one end. It helps to cut in a sawing motion so you don’t break the peanut butter cup. 

Place a dab of chocolate frosting on the newly exposed side and the top of the peanut butter cup.

Place peanut butter cup with the newly exposed side on the base of the cookie with the top side against the other cookie. I found that it was easier to attach both cookies and peanut butter cup at the same time.

Next cut ¼ of the chocolate covered almond off so the head will appear more rounded not oval. Using the yellow frosting dab 2 spots for the eyes and place 2 yellow oval sprinkles over the frosting. Dab yellow frosting over the oval sprinkles and attach the blue ball sprinkles for the eyes. *Attach all eyes before adhering chocolate covered almond to the body.

Once chocolate covered almond has 2 eyes take the white tip of the candy corn and adhere to chocolate covered almond using a dab of the yellow frosting. Next place a dab of chocolate frosting on the back side of the chocolate covered almond and stick to cookie right above the peanut butter cup.

Once beak is adhered, take the red frosting and create a little gobble gobble right under the chocolate covered almond. Finally on the base of the cookie draw feet using the yellow frosting.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 10, 2011

Fall Favorite- Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

One of the things I miss the most is fresh, moist, and fluffy bread! When the holidays roll around the 2nd thing I miss is PUMPKIN bread! This year I decided to take my Grandma Dorothy’s classic pumpkin bread recipe and turn it gluten free! SUCCESS! The bread was fluffy, not as hard as a rock, which you find with most store bought gluten free breads, and the texture was similar to a fresh pastry right out of the oven.  I spiced it up a bit and put a dab of honey butter one it! What a treat!

2 words: PUMPKIN BREAD- need I say more?

2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 ½ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup sugar
½ cup milk
2 eggs
¼ cup soft butter

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Combine pumpkin, sugar, milk, and eggs in separate mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and butter, mix till well blended. Spread into greased 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serves 8 to 10


November 7, 2011

An Event Worth Attending for SO Many Reasons...

Over the years I have been a program gluten free shopper, picking up anything that states "gluten free" on the packaging, willing to try anything new in the hopes of finding products that were new and contained tastes that I have been deprived of for so many years.

After spending hundreds of dollars on products some which knocked my socks off and others that, well lets just say I wish I never took a bite, I was able to cut my costs and taste hundreds of products at the 2011 Celiac Disease Foundation Conference before dishing out the mula. Not only was I able to taste on the spot, I also was able to ask the vendors specific questions regarding their product lines, their plans of expanding and where I can find their products in grocery stores surrounding my home. Below is a picture of all my gluten free goodies I collected at the event, can you believe it? I didn't have to go grocery shopping for a month!
This Saturday, November 12th, the 2011 San Diego Gluten Free Food Expo is taking place at the Scottish Rite Event Center from 12 to 4pm. I encourage new and veteran gluten free consumers to attend. This event is a perfect opportunity to meet numerous vendors in the gluten free community and try all their products first hand. Click HERE to view all vendors which are attending the event. Attendees will also receive "gluten free goodie bags" filled with products, coupons, and a gluten free guide book featuring local support group information, a San Diego restaurant guide focused on gluten free friendly menus, and information regarding Celiac Disease.

All proceeds raised at the Expo will go to the Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease to support educational and awareness programs.

Click HERE to view the Expo's website.

Do something for YOU! its an event you don't want to miss!
See YOU there!

Look out next week for event highlights and new product reviews!

November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Drop Cookies- Gluten Free Cookie Swap

My yummy fall creation entered in the 2011 Gluten Free Cookie Swap! To vote and check out all of the other amazing gluten free recipes click HERE!

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit and Baking Mix flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Optional- They are tasty with or without the frosting!
Cream cheese frosting
Pumpkin patch sprinkles

Grease a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl beat butter for 30 seconds; add brown sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla extract; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating till well combined. (Dough will be soft). Drop from a teaspoon 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting and add fall sprinkles. Makes 24

Happy Fall!

Gluten Free Cookie Swap- GIVE a recipe, GET a recipe!

I was stoked when I found this awesome group on facebook. What a great idea, page after page of cookie recipes that we all can enjoy! This project was founded by Jules Shepard, a baker, speaker and advocate in support of the gluten free diet. A celiac herself she has been inspired to write three gluten free cookbooks and created her own line of gluten free all-purpose flour and numerous gluten free baking mixes.

Gluten free cookie lovers are encouraged to share their gluten free cookie recipe via “Gluten Free Cookie Swap” facebook page. Winners are awarded based on the number of “likes” to their post generated before December 31st 2011.

The Grand Prize winner receives a Kitchen Aid 7-Quart mixer, bakeware from Chicago Metallic, cookies from Jules Gluten Free, a year’s supply of Earth Balance products, and product from Enjoy Life Foods!  

4 Runner ups will receive numerous products from Jules Gluten Free, 6 products from Earth Balance, a $20 gift card for Chicago Metallic bakeware, a personalized engraved hand mixer from Beater Blade’s Mixer Mate, and chocolate cookies from Enjoy Life Foods!

I encourage all of you to get in the kitchen and start baking; it’s that time of year, turn the oven on, and start rolling out your gluten free dough!

Click HERE to learn more about this contest.

Check out my submission- Pumpkin Patch Drop Cookies! I made them this past weekend and can't stop eating them :)

Happy Baking!