Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And now a word from Grace

There is a lot of food with gluten in it. If I have gluten, I get bad stomach aches. It happens mostly at night. When I was a baby girl, I was breathing fast and and the docters thought I had a bad disease. I actually wasn't bad sick. 8 years later, I started having the bad stomach aches. I went to my docter and she did not know what it was. I went to see a gastroenterologist. The docters say that I had celiac, I thought it was an allergy. My mom printed a paper and it said: CELIAC DISEASE. I said to my mom, mom, is it a disease? She said, yes! That is what it is! A disease. Not an allergy! So I heard that it was a disease and a disorder. I went gluten free! I did a really good job. I always ask if it is gluten free. I told my mom, Sandra, to do the same cake recipes with gluten in it, but replace the flour and use either cornstarch, or sugar. THE ENd


Peppermint Bark - a lovely thing.

Grace's third grade class was talking about their Christmas Family traditions. Grace wrote about our Christmas Eve open house and Christmas Crackers (little wrapped tubes that you pull apart with a "pop" - out falls a joke, a gift and a tissue paper crown - something Uncle Noel from England brought to our family.)

One little girl talked about making Peppermint bark and passed out baggies of samples. Grace came running down the hall towards me with the bag in the air and said "Can I have this??" I had to tell her no because I didn't know what kind of peppermint they used. She was so very disappointed. I told her we could make some at home.

Peppermint bark is SO easy to make and really good.

Peppermint Bark

One package of Almond Bark (check your package - most are gluten free)

6 Peppermint Candy Canes - we used Spangler

Melt the almond bark in your microwave according to the directions on the package. Break up the peppermint into small pieces - some will be powder and others chunks - you want a little of both. Mix the peppermint and almond bark together and poor onto a parchment lined pan. Let cool then break apart like peanut brittle.

This stuff lasts a long time and is really refreshing - not heavy. This would also be good for Valentines Day with strawberry flavored hard candy or left over strawberry candy canes from Christmas.

Enjoy our NEW Christmas tradition!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The BEST brownies EVER!!

I am sorry it took Celiac to make us discover these brownies - they are WONDERFUL! I would have no problem serving these anytime to anyone. The Gluten-Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix is the best brownies I have had - from scratch or mix. It is the oil - mixed with chocolate - lots and lots of oil.

Ok - I didn't say they were healthy - just that they were good. When Grace first started eating gluten free I wanted to make sure she knew there were still yummy things out there for her to eat - REALLY yummy things. We tried these and it was all we could do to keep from eating the whole pan. We hate half and I quickly froze the rest - cut into individual brownies and wrapped in wax paper. Grace enjoyed these in her lunch bag - a really special treat for her.

This is another one of those "normal people" foods that anyone can enjoy - especially good because they are a gluten free baked good - a rare find.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ode to Rice Chex

When we got the call that the blood test came back positive for Celiac Disease I was on my way out the door. On the way home I stopped at our local IGA and walked around. Imagine my delight when I realized one of Grace's favorite cereals was gluten free!! Not only is it gluten free it is embraced by the Celiac Disease Foundation. Cereal was on Grace's "will eat" list - thankfully it can stay.

What I love about it is it is basic, mainstream cereal we can find in any grocery store and it is reasonably priced. On the web site there are several recipes - our favorite being Muddy Buddies. Muddy Buddies is a common party food in our area therefore it isn't "Celiac food" - it is everyday kid food most kids enjoy. We made a batch an it has been great for snacking, school lunches and just for fun.

Check out the Rice Chex recipes by clicking on the link to on the right of this page.

Why I am blogging

About a month ago we fell down the Celiac rabbit hole when my darling 9 year old daughter was diagnosed. My first thought was "what about birthday parties!!" This was quickly followed by "what about... pizza parties, awesome hamburgers on toasted buns, fast food, Lunchables and on an on."

There was much relief in finally knowing what was causing Grace's horrible tummy aches! What a relief it was "only" Celiac - that is manageable - right?? RIGHT???

We started googling like crazy and soon became both overwhelmed AND comforted by all of the information out there. I came across some fantastic web sites and blogs with many great ideas, recipes and "been there, done that" in real life experiences - THAT was comforting.

That said Grace is a very picky eater and there were only a very few things she could / would currently eat - bread, crackers, noodles and cookies being mainstays. Celery root, Mango Guava smoothies and sushi were not on her list. Dinner was pretty easy since we often ate grilled or baked meat, veggies and a starch - pretty simple stuff - what I needed was was what can she take to lunch? What snacks can I keep on hand? What can she eat at parties? Out to eat? At this point I started pulling pieces of information from each of these sites and gathering them for my family. I also started emailing companies, checking their web sites and calling grocery stores. I needed to know how to incorporate Celiac to OUR lifestyle - it was already running the show - we needed to take some power back. I am hoping to organize my own thoughts, information and ideas and possible help someone in a similar situation along the way.

Welcome to Gluten Free Grace.