Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I know this is a day late but I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas! I hope the new year brings you much happiness and peace and I pray for a symptom free year.


The Bagwells

Friday, December 11, 2009

Now for the Udi's Blueberry Muffins...


Grace says "these are great - but I like the Lemon better." They are good - really good - and I like the blueberry better! Troy said "blueberries are made for muffins" and these prove it. I think the blueberries made it moister and gave it a nice texture.


We have solved the "crumbly" problem. When we first tried the Udi's Lemon Strusel Muffins we tried them straight from the box. The Udi's Blueberry Muffins were put in the freezer then heated at 50% power in the microwave for 1 minute. The microwave provided the moist heat these needed - they tasted moist, fresh and delicious.

As with the Lemon Muffins the Blueberry Muffins had a nice texture - not grainy. That is so important since it seems EVERYTHING we have tried that is gluten free (other than the cheese bread) has been grainy.

We really do love the muffins! The quality and flavor is FANTASTIC!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins


When Gracie was first diagnosed we found the Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins at our local health food store. We got the plain almond ones and she didn't like them. I tried them - they were ok but I didn't love them.


Fast forward to this past weekend. We had a babysitter over - my friend Melissa's daughter and she sent along some Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins Cheddar Flavor. The powdered cheese dusted on the crackers made ALL the difference! They were flavorful, crunchy and satisfying. She ate a whole box.

They have several different flavors to choose from - we haven't tried the others but look forward to doing so. They were right around $3 a box - not bad for GF crackers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tortilla Soup - Yummmmmm

I made Tortilla Soup tonight - it is one of my favorites. A spicy chicken soup made better with the addition of crushed up corn chips, cheese and/or avocados - perfect for a winter day.


I have made Tortilla Soup for years and it just dawned on me tonight that it is gluten free! Not that Gracie would touch it with a 10 foot pole - but it still is gluten free :)

I have made it so many times over the years that I no longer have a recipe - you can look up one online if you want more specifics or "wing it" with my recipe - it is really forgiving. It calls for chicken but I used left over turkey for mine tonight.

Tortilla Soup

6 cups of chicken stock (I had homemade turkey stock on hand that I used.)
2-3 cups of cubed or shredded cooked chicken.
One can of Rotel Tomatoes and green chilies
one can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh -to taste)
1 tsp onion powder (or fresh -to taste)
1 can sliced carrots (or fresh sliced)

Throw it all in a pot and simmer. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and/or crushed tortilla chips and/or sliced avocado.

Add more or less stock, more or less chicken, corn or other veggies (left over roasted veggies work really well.)

I have made this for family and company - it freezes REALLY well and can be easily doubled or tripled.

Enjoy.

Udi's Gluten Free Muffins


Last week I reviewed the Udi's Sandwich bread (which Grace devoured and we had to buy more!) A day or two later I got an email from Heather who is the Marketing Coordinator for Udi's Gluten Free Foods. She had seen my previous post and offered to send me some more of their baked goods to try. I was cautious at first because I think one of the things that makes this blog work is I go to the store to try something - post if I like it or not and go about my business. Would free muffins make me a cheater? I decided they would not - mainly because I am cheap and I love free stuff! So with full disclosure I will give an honest review of the Udi's Gluten Free (and dairy and soy free) Lemon Streusel Muffins.


They were REALLY good! I mean honestly really good. A bit crumbly but not too sweet and a light lemon flavor. Grace decided she wanted it with milk since it was a bit dry - I was thinking it would go well with coffee. Troy's comment was they were not "over done" as in many gluten free baked goods try to over flavor their stuff to mask the fact they really taste like crap. The texture was also very good - not grainy or sandy as other things we have tried.

Even though they were a bit on the dry side they were not "too" dry - they just were not sticky like muffins often are. They were big with a satisfying "muffin top" which Gracie loved. She ate 3/4th of the large muffin with a glass of milk she immediately wanted another. I convinced her it would be best to wait until morning. This however is the golden "thumbs up" from Gracie - if she doesn't love it she doesn't eat it willingly.

These run about $6 for a box of 4. This comes to about $1.50 a muffin. Not bad for bakery muffins but more of a treat in my house than a staple. That said - we will be buying them again.

As we try our goodies (muffins and bread) I will report back and let you know what we think. Thanks to Udi's for the goodies! We do appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gluten Free Jello Cake

I was looking at "Gluten Free Steve's" blog and the question was asked "How else have you used the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix. This is what I posted:


I recently made this cake using "regular" cake mix for work however it would work REALLY well with the BC Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix. This was popular in the 80's but it needs a comeback! :)

In a 9x13 pan bake the cake according to the mix directions. Let cool.

Mix up a large package of Jello (any flavor) according to the directions. I prefer strawberry but whatever flavor or color you want would be good.

Using the back of a wooden spoon poke holes in the cake - I like to do a pattern so every piece has the same design. Pour the hot Jello over the cake and refrigerate. Once the Jello has set "ice" with Cool Whip (which is gluten free!) and serve.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Udi's Gluten Free Sandwich Bread - Oh My Word!


My friend Jennifer has Celiac and recommended Udi's Sandwich Bread. She said it was great for sandwiches, grilled cheese etc. with out having to be toasted. We were at Central Market yesterday and they had some in the freezer department. We got up this morning and made a grilled cheese sandwich for Grace and she LOVED it! Troy and I tried a bite and it tasted like real bread - REAL BREAD!!! It was good - and not just "good for gluten free."

Grace wanted to add:

"I just had a grilled cheese that tasted so much like REAL grilled cheese, that my mom had to check AGAIN to see if it was gluten free!!!!!!!!!! CENTRAL MARKET ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Grace is right - after Troy and I had a bite I have a momentary panic attack that I had gotten the wrong bread - I didn't - it was gluten free! It wasn't brick heavy - it was airy and spongy - like a good home made bread.

You can find it in the freezer section where better gluten free breads are sold. It was just under $6 a loaf - about average for GF bread. I found it at Central Market - but Jennifer said she has gotten it at bigger health food stores in the North Texas area. You can also buy it online.

Oh - and Grace had another grilled cheese for lunch :)

2000!!

Thank you to everyone who have helped me get to 2000 posts in less than a year! I am honored and hope you have come away with something you can use.


Thank you especially to those who have added comments. They have been very helpful and I get giddy when I get a comment :)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Pie!!!

Grace LOVES pumpkin pie - LOVES it! We all do. Troy's late Mother made a great pie and I make her recipe every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Several weeks ago Grace said she was going to miss pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving - I suggested we try to make it with out a crust - like a custard. I am sorry we waited too long.


It is AWESOME! Really, really awesome - and so very easy.

Unless you have your own family recipe I would suggest the Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe - gluten free and very easy to make. Instead of pouring it into a crust - pour it into a baking dish or custard cups. I did both - Grace devoured both custard cups in a matter of minutes. Place in a larger dish with about an inch of water and bake as directed on the can. Make sure it sets - it may need a tad bit longer than suggested - depending on how deep the dish is etc.

Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip (Which his GLUTEN FREE!) and enjoy. Since I only made two custard cups I couldn't try it but I would assume bruleeing it would be FANTASTIC also. Of course I am always looking for ways to use my brulee torch :)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and have your pie and eat it too!!




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What we are thankful for

A year ago this week Grace got her diagnosis of Celiac. What a year we have had! We went from being freaked out and "What do we do now??" to handling it - pretty well.


We have learned where we can safely go out to eat. We have learned what is good in school lunches, we have learned about CHEESE BREAD!! Yummy, yummy cheese bread. We have kissed a few frogs that were toads (baking mixes) and kissed a few frogs that were princes - brownie mix! - and cheese bread! We have learned A LOT about hidden gluten, read tons of labels and had to explain ourselves over and over and over again - but it has been ok. Really - it has.

We have had a few - very few - hiccups but for the most part have a good handle on this gluten free lifestyle for Grace.

We did have a conversation with her this weekend about her having a responsibility for her health and eating and needing to not only try - but willingly eat - things she hadn't been eating. She got an egg for breakfast at the hotel the other day and ate baked chicken last night - a good start. Protein is hard for her to get enough of.

I am thankful in this time of Thanksgiving that we have found the key to making Grace feel better. She is growing and thriving and - tall and beautiful.

Thanks to all of my blog visitors - I appreciate your comments and support.

Happy Thanksgiving!




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gluten Free Eggs??

This just goes to show you that you can find gluten in the strangest places. We went to iHop last night for a fundraiser - knowing full well that what Grace could (or would) eat would be limited. She ended up having a plate full of bacon and hot chocolate - the dinner of champions!


I got an omelette - spinach and mushroom - it was yummy. In the description it stated (paraphrase) "We add a little pancake batter to make our omelettes fluffy." ??? Who would have thunk it? Honestly it wouldn't have phased me a year ago but now I wondered why it didn't state it more promptly. I did a little google search and it appears iHop isn't really forthcoming with their nutrition information - for any allergens and needless to say - gluten. Troy said "It is a restaurant based on batter - what do you expect??" I have to agree - but that said - many restaurants are accommodating their customers with allergy info or special menus - it would be nice if a company as big as iHop did the same - or at least made an attempt.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To scope or not to scope - That is the question.

Disclaimer - This is simply me "thinking out loud." It also bounces around so stay with me. I am not advocating one position or another - however I am advocating speaking to your doctor and asking questions while deciding the best thing to do for you and/or your child.


When Grace was experiencing her HORRIBLE stomach aches we were willing to do anything to help her feel better. One night while she was terribly sick she said (pitifully) "I HATE this! I wish there was a medicine to make me feel better - even if it was made of turtle guts I would take it because I HATE this."

Fast forward to seeing the gastro doctor. He recommended doing blood tests to check for allergies and Celiac. I wasn't familiar with Celiac - actually I had seen the word but thought it was Celtic Disease - who knew?? The blood test came back positive for Celiac Disease. I was told we needed to schedule an upper and lower scope (AKA endoscopy and colonoscopy) to get a true diagnosis. I asked if it was necessary and I was assured it was - because it was the only way to truly tell if damage from scaring on the intestines had been done.

During this time I spoke to a friend of ours who also had a daughter with Celiac Disease. She had told me Celiac runs in her family so when her daughter started having problems the first thing they did was put her on a gluten free diet. She immediately felt better. When she spoke to her daughter's doctor he said to put her back on gluten for 3 months so they could do a scope to check for scaring. She decided she couldn't put her daughter through this, self diagnosed her with Celiac Disease, kept her gluten free and years later she is perfectly fine.

WE scheduled the scopes. WE wanted to know. When we told Grace she sobbed. SOBBED!! Then we all cried together. We told her this was her "turtle guts" and we needed to know to make her feel better. She was a real trooper. The scopes showed scaring and the official diagnosis was Celiac.

This past weekend Troy and I were listening to a podcast about medical procedures and how we often do things that are medically unnecessary because they are "common" or expected. This got us talking about Grace's scopes. Last November we really wondered if they were "necessary." We had a positive blood test, we could test it with diet and (elephant in the room) it was EXPENSIVE - not to mention terribly invasive - especially for such a young girl. Being freaked out parents we did as we were instructed, frightened and worried all along. We wanted what was best for our daughter and we were not going to let our fears about procedures or finances stand in the way. A year later we are still making about 4 checks out to 4 different offices to pay for all of this. A year later our lovely daughter is THRIVING!

Are we glad - you bet we are. We are so happy Grace is not only well - she is terrific! But the question remains - were the scopes NECESSARY?

I could see it for an adult who has suffered with undiagnosed Celiac for years and you need to see how much damage has been done. My question is how necessary is it for a child who has only had symptoms for a couple of months? What did we gain by the scope? A firm diagnosis of Celiac. That is a good thing. What could we have done without the firm diagnosis? Accepted the blood test as "good enough?" Tried a gluten free diet to see if it worked before going further? These are the questions we wonder about now.

I think my point is I wish we had more information. I wish we had asked better questions. We very well may have done the exact same things - however we would have felt more confident in our decision.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tried a new Cheese Bread tonight


I was at our local, small town IGA and was stopped short - Gluten Free Cheese Rolls?? In the IGA??!!! I HAD to try them.


They are Pandebono "Artisan Bread Cheese Rolls." There were 8 rolls that were ready to bake and turned out SO GREAT! Grace loved them - and so did we.

The down side - they were $6 plus change per box - that is about .75 cents per roll. Expensive - you bet. Handy - sure. Will I make them again - probably will - quick, convenient and something everyone loves. Will I make them often - no. I am too cheap to keep them on hand. I do hope they continue to carry them.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

I committed the cardinal sin of gluten free parenting

I DIDN'T READ THE LABEL!


Grace went to her well child check this week and is up to 60 lbs!! Yea! We all were so pleased. We talked about her eating and since Grace doesn't eat much meat she suggested a multi vitamin with iron in it.

I go to the store and look around - it is hard to find a kids vitamin with iron in it! None of the gummies have it and many of the regular ones don't either. I finally found some Sponge Bob ones that had iron and grabbed them.

Yesterday the kids wanted to try them so I opened them up and handed them out. Sam liked his, Grace ran in and wanted to spit them out - they tasted sandy (I tried one - not good.) Thankfully it tasted bad to her so she spit it out - RIGHT THEN I thought "read the label." Right on the label it said "Contains wheat." DAD GUM IT!!! Who would have thought a vitamin would have wheat in it?? Obviously not me. I made her spit as much as she could then we washed her mouth out w/o swallowing then brush her teeth.

Thankfully she was fine, we dodged a bullet but will be more careful from now on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gluten Free Birthday Cake!

Sam's 8th birthday was last Monday and he (very maturely) said he wanted a gluten free cake. I tried the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate cake mix - it was successful.


What I liked about it - it tasted good, was very easy to make, cut well and was easy to get the mix.
What I didn't like - it was pretty dry (we ate it with a glass of milk) It was flat (two tiers were the size of a normal one) and did I mention it was dry?

It was helped a lot by the icing. I think next time I will put icing in the middle or something moist like cherry pie filling or pudding.

That said - the kids LOVED it and ate it until it was gone! It kept for days, went in lunches and all in all was a hit with the kids - especially Grace. I think it comes down to "love the one your with." She loved the cake she could eat.


Peanut Butter Cookies

I made these for Grace right after she was diagnosed - she hated them because they tasted like peanut butter cookies (Duh!) I had to make some cookies for a meeting tomorrow night and looked for something I had the ingredients for on hand - that is when I remembered the cookies!


It is an old recipe - flour less and basic - and really good!

Gluten Fee Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Cream peanut butter and sugar together, add the eggs and hand mix well. Make small balls (I use the small Pampered Chef Scoop) and put the traditional fork marks on the top. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until golden and set. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a rack to cool.

I have seen other recipes that have baking soda or chocolate chips etc. but the basic recipe is the same - simple and easy.


Souper Salads!

When my sister Eileen was visiting this summer she went to Souper Salads and said it was great. She also said they had a gluten free menu!!


I myself have never been a fan of "All you can stand" buffets because I consider it to be a personal challenge (I have zero self control :) However I thought everyone could probably find something they liked. THEY DID!

Troy liked the soups, I liked the chicken salads and baked sweet potatoes, Sam (who is dairy free) found plenty to eat and Grace loved the fruit, puddings and sunflower seeds. The kids had an odd but balanced meal and everyone got to eat exactly what they wanted. For kids 10 and under it was less than $4.

Here is a link to the Gluten Free menu:

http://www.soupersalad.com/documents/GlutenFree_Menu.pdf

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My favorite recipe site

I LOVE allrecipes.com! It is my favorite go to site for any or all recipes. Got a bucket full of squash - put squash in the search bar and you will have a ton of recipes pop up. Got squash and cheese and crackers - put the ingredients in "ingredient search" and it will pull up several choices.


Allrecipes.com also has MANY gluten free recipes - pancakes, cookies, pie crust, cakes etc. Another nice thing is the reviews - you can read the reviews and often they have helpful tips - you can also leave a review.

Here is one I tried recently that was really good:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Crustless-Spinach-Quiche-2/Detail.aspx

Check it out! You may find something you love.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cheese Bread Mix!


I had previously posted how I made the "Brazilian pao de queijo" recipe and it was so very good. While out I found a package mix of Chebe Bread Products Cheese Bread Mix and decided to try it. It was SO EASY!!! and so very good. I mixed it up in a matter of minutes in my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook then scooped it out with my Pampered Chef Small Scoop and put it on parchment paper over a cookie sheet to bake. (Did I mention I sold Pampered Chef?? (shameless plug - lol))


Grace tried it and LOVED it and we all thought it was as good - if not better - than the home made version. I used a good shredded parmasan cheese which I think made a big difference.

This is one of those "for anyone" recipes that would be great for parties, company or just a Tuesday nights dinner.

French Meadow Bakery White Sandwich Bread


On our visit to Central Market today we found French Meadow Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread. I was able to feel the bread and it had a soft texture so we decide to spend $6 on a loaf of bread!!


As soon as we got home Grace wanted to try some drizzled with honey - her response? "It taste like it is full of wheat!!" and she had two pieces. This bread is made with a mix of corn and tapioca starches. "I" could taste the obvious difference between this bread and "regular" bread but I think Grace is far enough removed to start enjoying GF bread. We didn't even have to toast it - it was good straight from the bag - however I would think toasting would be helpful.

This gets a thumbs up at our house.

Gluten Free Cupcakes!


Central Market now has cupcakes in their bakery! They had yellow cake with white icing and chocolate cake with chocolate icing. They also had 4 inch mini iced cakes in the same flavors and are made by "French Meadow Bakery."


On Friday someone brought cupcakes to school - thankfully I thought to send snacks right away because it was just the first week of school! Since these cupcakes freeze well (per the bakery) my plan is to put a couple of these in the "Cup a Cake" cupcake holders, place in a freezer bag then put in the teacher's lounge freezer (it helps that I work there :) I will probably bake cupcakes for her when I am able but it is terribly handy to be able to pick these up now and then - or on our way to a family birthday etc.

We took one of the cupcakes to try tonight - everyone got a taste and we ALL agreed it was a darn good cupcake! The icing was buttery tasting and the cake had a nice texture. I also added sprinkles before freezing to make them fancier - because everyone loves fancy! LOL


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mourning the loss

The last couple of times we had pizza Grace cried. It was pitiful. Even with a good GF pizza just for her or even with the pizza from the place she always hated she still mourns the loss of "regular" pizza.


It makes me sad for her. I know it is "just a dietary change" but it is also a knowledge of something so close but unattainable.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Glistening, ruby goodness

Last week I had hand surgery and my friend made us a great dinner! She really put a lot of thought into what everyone in the house could eat - Grace and GF, Sam and no dairy. She made grilled chicken, fresh corn, salad and "Jello Salad." It all was fantastic - the Jello Salad was outstanding!


It is what your elderly Aunt might bring to the church potluck - something we all have had at some point but it got lost along the way to more glamorous fare such as stuff with capers or kiwi. Yes - it is void of any "nutritional value" other than the fruit - but honestly - who cares. It warms your soul and makes you smile.

Grace was THRILLED that something so "fancy" would be gluten free! I was thrilled to find something so easy and nostalgic to make for her - AND me.

Teela's Jello Salad

1 large box Strawberry Jello - with water as directed.
1-2 bananas - sliced
1 small carton of sweetened, sliced strawberries
mini marshmallows

Add the hot water to the jello as directed.

Add the strawberries to the hot jello - mash them up to melt the frozen strawberries - the coolness will help set the jello quicker so no need to thaw before hand.

Add the cold water to the Jello as directed then add the bananas.

Let set it in the fridge for about 90 minutes or until slightly thick - stir to mix the bananas and strawberries throughout the Jello - otherwise they will sink to the bottom. Once it is a thicker consistency top with the marshmallows and chill to set.

It is a perfect potluck dish, summer dessert or party treat that everyone should enjoy. I hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies

I made this the other day - they were GREAT! Crisp, buttery, chocolate chippy :) They were very good, very easy and tasted "almost" just like "regular" chocolate chip cookies. If you put them out for a party my guess is no one would know the difference - however since I knew it was GF I did notice some texture differences. Of course - it didn't stop me from grabbing a mug of milk!


Once mixed it was crumbly. I used my Pampered Chef small scoop to scoop out cookies - thankfully I placed them apart because they flattened and spread out by a lot.

I would really recommend these - they were great, easy and best of all GLUTEN FREE!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1019!!!

I go out of town and missed 1000! :)


Thanks to those of you who visit and those of you who have commented. I hope you have come away with something you can use.

When Grace was diagnosed in November of 2008 we were blindsided! How in the world would we do this??!!! A few months later we have surprisingly figured it out and honestly - it just isn't "that" hard.

We went to the Sprouts sale and stocked up on Grace's favorite snacks. The lady checking us out asked "Are both of them gluten free?" "Nope - She is gluten free and he is dairy free. It is a big pain when we eat out." We both chuckled. It is a pain when we eat out - not only is she limited by what she CAN eat but she is limited by what she WILL eat. If it were not for cheese and cereal she would waste away. That said she is a good sport about trying new things (usually) and is a good sport when she is in a position where her choices REALLY are limited - like a pizza party, a restaurant w/limited choices, surprise cupcakes at school etc. Thankfully w/a "little" pre-planning (snacks at school, brown bags when we go out etc.) it is very doable.

Thanks again! Please keep your comments coming - I would love to learn from you guys.





Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brownies, ummmm brownies

We tried the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies today. VERY easy to make (eggs and butter)and really good. The batter was REALLY thick - I mushed it flat with my hands. They are very rich and super sweet - that said... they tasted like BROWNIES! Real honest to goodness brownies. Brownies you can take to a pot luck or birthday party. There was none of the grit or raw flour taste with some mixed baked goods.


I will keep a package of these on hand for parties or a rainy day for Grace. The nice thing is these should freeze well - I wrap them in waxed paper and keep in the freezer - she can take them out and have one whenever she wants one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Score!

I was in Keller (Tx) tonight and stopped by the Kroger's there. They had the Betty Crocker Cake, Cookie and the Brownie mix!!! Grace was so excited.


I looked for the mix by the other brownie mixes but it wasn't there. It was in the cake mix area but the mixes were together (instead of the GF cake mix by the cake mixes, GF brownie mixes w/the other brownie mixes etc.) The boxes were yellow - different than the other Betty Crocker mix boxes. They were about $4.50 per box.

Grace is looking forward to trying them - I will let you know how we (she) likes them.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gluten Free on sale at Sprouts!

We go here pretty often since it is right by my parent's house. This is where we get the take and bake GF pizzas, chocolate crispy rice bars and crackers. What I love about Sprouts is they have little tags (green - I think) in their aisles stating "Gluten Free." It makes GF things - such as cereal, cookies, crackers etc. - MUCH easier to find. They also have an excellent selection of fresh chicken sausage (various flavors) which are all gluten free! We had the Brats last night and they were excellent!


The fine print says "all tagged gluten-free grocery and frozen grocery products, plus select items in other departments, limited to quantities on hand."

Needless to say we will be heading there this week!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Celiac Joke

What do you call a gluten free joke?


Corny!

It made us giggle. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gluten Free Betty Crocker Baking Mixes!





I am SO excited!!  Betty Crocker has come out with some gluten free baking mixes!!  Yellow Cake, Devil's Food, Chocolate Chip cookie mix and Brownies.    

These should be in mainstream grocery stores this month.  They are made in a gluten free processing facility, their canned icing will also be labeled gluten free in a couple of months.  I am so EXCITED!

It does state that they will be a little more expensive than the regular mixes - but less expensive than traditional GF mixes.  My friend read a review where they did a blind taste test (not telling that one was regular and one was GF) and the GF products did really well - in some cases better.  

Thank you Betty Crocker for doing this.  We now have an easy and affordable option for school parties etc. without having to make a special trip to a specialty store.  YEA!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gluten Free Cupcake from Starbucks


Starbucks has started carrying a Gluten free cupcake -  Valencia Orange Cake.   It is really good.  A moist orange cake topped w/almonds - sweet and tender.   It is individually wrapped to prevent cross contamination.


I surprised Grace with this at school during lunch one day - she was very excited.  Of course she didn't like it.

sigh.

I think she would have liked it if it didn't have the almonds on it - she doesn't like nuts in her food.  She took them off the top but said it still tasted like almonds.  

I thought it was good - especially with coffee (go figure.)  It is exciting to have another mainstream option avaliable to people with Celiac.  

  

 

PIZZA!!!!!


Sprouts has started carrying a "take and bake" Gluten Free Cheese Pizza.  It is DELISH!!!  It is an 8 inch pizza with a gluten free crust, good cheese that bakes perfectly in about 7 minutes and taste like a "real" pizza.


I asked Grace what she wanted to say about the pizza and she said "Tell them I don't like it.  I LOVE it!!!"

Skinny Minnie eats the whole thing.  THE WHOLE THING!  This kid never eats the whole thing of ANYTHING. 

This can be found in the "prepared foods" area of Sprouts and is under $3.  I have had the best luck by placing it directly on the rack (w/a cookie sheet on the rack below it to catch dripping cheese.)  Let it sit for a minute or two before cutting and enjoy.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grace's First Holy Communion



What a BEAUTIFUL day!! The weather was perfect and is was simply lovely.


Grace had her first Holy Communion this morning. Granny, Grandpa, Aunt Renee, Uncle Mark and cousin Austin came to support her and we had a lovely time.

Aunt Renee got a lovely Pix for Grace to put her low gluten host in. Before Mass I placed the pix on the alter and unhinged the top for easier opening. Grace respectfully went up to communion with Father hands clasped then proceeded to question him if he had the gluten free host in his hands :) A little gutsy but I was proud that she practiced our "always ask" policy - of course it was. She was also proud that she didn't make a face while drinking the wine. Aunt Renee said she saw her take a healthy gulp!

Back to our house for a family lunch. Oh - the discussion about what to serve. Something easy to make, keep warm for a couple of hours while at church with out drying out and something that Grace could have that was gluten free, Sam could have that was dairy free and Aunt Renee could have that was beef free - brussel sprouts maybe?? Troy and I went to Central Market yesterday to look at options. Shortly after arriving a helpful "Foodie" told us of their Rotisserie Chicken sale (buy a chicken and get a free pound of cole slaw and a pound of potato salad - easy and inexpensive!) Perfect.

We had chicken (which I quartered an put in the fridge the night before then put on low heat before leaving for church), the salads, asparagus, a variety of fruits and some breads for the gluten lovers in the family. Everyone loved it.

Dessert - oh the dessert! The Victorian Flourless Cake from Central Market - yummy goodness coated in ganache. Devine. I placed rock candy around the base of the cake to "fancy it up" and everyone loved it.

She was beautiful, everything went off without a hitch and all and all a perfect day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"The G Free Diet"

Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on The View yesterday talking about her book "The G Free Diet."  I know nothing about the diet - however Grace was excited to hear them talk about Celiac on TV and talk about all of the good foods you can eat. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gluten Corn Chex are here!


Gluten Free Corn Chex have hit our local Walmart!  I just found them at the store today.  We currently have Rice Chex and Corn Chex that are gluten free.  I am still waiting on the other flavors to come in. 


I have said it before but will say it again - I LOVE that General Mills has taken Celiac Disease and other gluten issues seriously and has provided us with a mainstream cereal that is also certified gluten free.  

Yea! 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another lovely use for Rice Bread

About a year ago Troy and I realized our kids had never had Twinkies - what neglect!  They tried them, liked them then never asked for them so that was that.  


Last week Troy realized our kids had never eaten cinnamon toast!  That was one of the first things I learned how to "cook" and I remember it fondly from childhood. 

Rice bread smeared with butter and topped with cinnamon and sugar - broiled in the oven.  Lovely.  The butter added moistness to counteract the dryness of the bread and who doesn't love a good butter and sugar combination.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Celiac and the young Catholic

Grace is having her First Communion in a few weeks.  This should be simply a very special time for everyone.  It has turned into a very stressful one.


Troy and I disagree with what Grace should do - we do both agree that it should be her choice. 

As Catholics we believe that Christ is fully present in both the bread and wine.  Thus Grace would be fully participating in the Eucharist by just taking the wine.   Should be simple - right?

Troy and I view this differently for several reasons.  As much as it pains me to say so - we both have equally valid points.  Troy is a Convert  and remembers being denied communion as a non Catholic.  I am a "Cradle Catholic" therefore in our situation I feel the wine only is a sensible compromise.  Troy feels she will always regret not taking "full Communion" (bread and wine) if she doesn't do it on her First Communion (but refrain from then on.)  I feel what should be a joyful time could turn into a sick and painful time by taking the bread.  I also feel it is hard to ask others to take her Celiac seriously if we decide "just this once."

Grace - knowing and accepting all of the risks - wants to take the bread just this once. I am torn. 

Several months ago Troy did a bunch of research and we learned that for Catholics there must be wheat in the host. For other denominations rice hosts are acceptable.  While typing this I remembered Troy came across some information about a low gluten Host.  I researched it and found this!!!  


Needless to say I will be contacting our Priest!  I pray he is open to this.  He is a kind man - but he - like many - don't understand Celiac and think it is not that big of a deal.  It is a big deal - especially to Grace.  I will also be making a purchase to have on hand.     

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rice Crispy Treats - ugh.

If Grace has asked me once she has asked me 100 times "Are Rice Krispy Treats gluten free?"  We have the Crispy Rice treats that I wrote about but she really wants the REAL Rice Crispy treats like Sam eats.  


The problem is the Malt flavoring.  I guess it makes it taste good but for a kid w/Celiac it is a problem - needless to say.  


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pizza night!


Last night Grace wanted to make Pizza.  Um - Grace - we don't have crust...  She figured it all out - here is Grace's Friday night pizza.  


Rice bread, a thin smear of tomato paste topped with twisty cheese stick (mozzarella and cheddar) pulled apart and broiled until toasted.

She loved it so much she had a second topped w/shredded cheddar cheese.  

Simple, easy and she loved it!  

She said (after most of it was eaten) "Take a picture for your blog!!!"

Who knew that the nasty rice bread we all hated would make something so yummy for a Friday night.  Toothpaste tube tomato paste made this SO easy - no bottle or can to open and waste - just squeeze out as much as you want - since Grace only likes very light sauce it is perfect.  

This will be a keeper!


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some wonderful things that are gluten free!

It is so easy to get wrapped up in what is or isn't gluten free - what is this made of and how is it made, cross contamination??  MSG - yes or no w/gluten?  The list of questions go on and on.   Granted - Grace will only eat a few things on this list but when I think of gluten free I think of pre packaged foods - fact is there are many WONDERFUL things that are naturally gluten free.



A Steak dinner with a loaded baked potato and fresh asparagus and butter.

Strawberries and whipped cream.

Really good cheese served with Granny Smith apples. 

Wine.

Creme Brule.

Fresh from the tree cherries.

Watermelon.

Blueberries.

Sweet Potatoes - baked and topped with butter.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

500 Posts!

I am pretty excited about this  - this blog either is gathering steam or I have a lot of kind friends.


Thank you to all who visit.  It is nice to know I am not just talking to myself.

Sandra

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jiminy Crickets - did I just say that??

Yesterday I was talking to my dear friend Allison.  She was telling me her 7 year old daughter is convinced she has Celiac after hearing her Mom talk about Grace with friends etc. - why not want what someone else has?  We chuckled.  Then Allison said "You know - she does often have tummy troubles - we have chalked it up to stress.  She doesn't have any other symptoms of Celiac.  I have thought about it before."  I suggested she try an elimination diet - wheat and dairy are a good start.  Her response "I could never do that - wheat is in EVERYTHING!"


Here is where it gets freaky - my response?  "It really isn't that hard."

There I said it.  

I remember in the beginning being SO VERY overwhelmed - wheat IS in everything - isn't it??  Four short months and lots of research later it really isn't that hard.  Not that it isn't a pain, not that it can't be hard "sometimes" and not that we don't have to be diligent about it - just that now that we got the hang of it - it really isn't that hard.

I do think "one" of the reasons it isn't that hard is Grace has taken charge of her own diet - we don't have to fight about her wanting things she can not have.  She knows if it has gluten in it it will make her sick - she choses not to eat it.  For this I am thankful.  

So with a pocketful of knowledge, an agreeable Celiac and the willingness to "just do it" living gluten free isn't really that hard. 


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread


So yummy.  So easy.  


I recently found out that the cheese bread from Texas de Brazil (TdB) and Fogo de Chao etc. (Brazilian steak houses) is naturally gluten free!  It has been a few years since I last went to TdB but I remember the cheese bread fondly.  

It is made of tapioca flour - not wheat flour.  It is soft, chewy and really good. When I say chewy I mean chewy!  Sort of like fried cheese sticks - chewy in the middle, and crisp on the outside.  

Here is the recipe I used - I modified it from another recipe.  

Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil or butter 
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups tapioca flour
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs - beaten

Directions

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Heat butter/oil, water, milk and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Immediately when it comes to a boil remove and stir in flour until smooth.  
-Stir in cheese and egg.  It may be lumpy.  Let rest for 15 minutes.  
-Drop rounded tablespoons sized balls onto ungreased baking sheet. 
-Baked until the tops are lightly browned - about 20-25 minutes.  

Things that worked for me:  I used a mix of butter and olive oil.  

I had a hard time mixing the batter by hand so I stuck it in my Kitchen Aid mixer w/the dough hook - worked like a charm.  

I used my Pampered Chef scoop sprayed with non stick spray to make the balls - it was a perfect tool and made for quick work - you could also use two spoons. 

The original recipe called for much bigger balls/rolls - since I had bite sized rolls at TdB I wanted to recreate that - you could try it bigger if you wanted to - just adjust the cooking time.  

These are great with dinner or would be a nice appetizer alone or w/with a dipping sauce (marinara?)   Also - a purist may disagree - but I would think garlic or herbs would go well with it for something new.

Years ago I tried the frozen ones in a bag but when I checked the package they were made in Brazil and they had Maltodextrin in them - not safe enough for me now. 





 

Cake Wrecks - Gluten full fun!

I love this site - it cracks me up every time I see it.  


It may make some of you thankful you can't have gluten.


http://www.cakewrecks.blogspot.com

NEWS FLASH! All Chex Cereal is now Gluten Free!

Except for Wheat Chex for obvious reasons  :)


I had heard on the interweb that someone found Corn Chex that was gluten free - but my store didn't have it.  I checked the Chex website and there was no mention of it - so I called them.  I was "let in on a little secret" that supposedly just came out today (really??) that ALL Chex Cereal (minus wheat) has been reformulated to be gluten free!  This includes their Chocolate, Strawberry, Honey Nut, Corn, Rice etc.  That said - their "Multi Bran" does state wheat bran on the label - always wise to check before eating. 

She said that by June of 2009 all of the cereal will be changed out - start looking for it in your grocery store.  It should have "Gluten free" right on the front of the box.  

While on the phone Grace walked into the room.  I asked the lady to hold for a second while I told her the news.  She heard a big clap, then a YEA!  

How nice to have wider choices at the grocery store with "regular food." 

Yea!!  Thank you General Mills.  A small formulation change on your part means SO MUCH to those with Celiac!   

Uno Chicago Grill - aka Pizzeria Uno


In one word - AWESOME!!


We went to Uno and asked for a GF menu. When the waitress came we said "She has Celiac - we need to be VERY careful everything is gluten free." We were told no problem. A bit later the Manager came by and assured us everything would be taken care of. He also told me about a local "Chef to Table" that the local Celiac group was putting on (and they were going to be a part of.)

On the menu were two choices - cheese and pepperoni. The manager also stated most of the toppings were GF - except for the sausage. Needless to say Grace wanted plain cheese with light sauce.

It came out on its own - not sharing a tray. She tried a bite, then another and said "This tastes like PIZZA!!" Not sort of like pizza or OK for gluten free but like REAL pizza! I had a bite and had to agree - it was delicious. She had 3 pieces of pizza - THREE PIECES!!

They have a whole GF menu and are very accommodating. Sam can't have dairy so they made him a cheese free pizza but said if we wanted to bring our own soy cheese next time we could. Everyone in my family left happy.

I would highly recommend Uno Chicago Grill - we will be going back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Traveling with Celiac

I started writing a blow by blow of our trip to our niece's wedding but decided it came down to just a few points:

- All I have to say is if it were not for cheese sticks I don't know what we would do.   We took a cooler and kept them in the hotel fridge.  It was the staple of her weekend.  

- Cereal from home in individual size baggies was really helpful at the hotel.  Milk from their breakfast along with fruit made a fine breakfast. 

- We went to two buffets for dinner - the only thing she could eat was the salad.  One I got ahead and pulled the salad before it could be contaminated by the bowl of croutons next to it.  At the wedding I spoke to the waiter and they said the only thing they could guarantee was gluten free was a salad - when dinner was ready they brought out a beautiful salad and brought it to the table.  

- I learned it doesn't hurt to ask - most people are really accommodating.

- A "snack bag" filled with wrapped snacks (crackers, cookies, chips) is really helpful - it can pull together a quick lunch or just a snack on the road.  

- I spoke before about the shortbread cookies decorated with icing - I did this in the hotel room before the wedding and we brought our own dessert for Grace - she was really happy with this because it was "special" and different than a wrapped cookie.  

Don't be afraid to travel!  With limited supplies, a little planning and asking a few questions at restaurants you can go anywhere.

Sandra

Monday, March 16, 2009

400!!!


We have had 400 visitors to this blog - how exciting!


Thanks to everyone who has visited. I hope you came away with something you can use - or at least a chuckle or two. I also want to thank those of you who have posted comments. I get giddy when I get comments - being new to the blog thing and all. I especially love getting helpful tips we can use - and share.

Now a word from Grace:

Since I found out that I could not have gluten, I have been eating cheese because there are lots of healthy food that have gluten in it. Cheese is the best food to eat if you can't have gluten!!!!!!!

Thank you for visiting my blog!!!!!
Grace

FWIW Grace is OBSESSED with cheese. She makes up songs and stories and draws pictures of Cheeseland. I thought "I" loved cheese. Grace loves it more :)

Thanks again.

Sandra

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Uno Pizza - Gluten free menu!

Someone recently told me that Uno Chicago Grill (forever known to me as Pizzeria Uno) has a gluten free menu! I was excited and checked it out online - here is the link:


http://www.unos.com/kiosk/nutritionUnos.html

I called the Ft Worth restaurant and spoke to a manager - he said the crust was made out of rice flour and they take care to prevent cross contamination using different shelves, tray's and paddles to pull the pizza out of the oven.

There were several toppings that were gluten free for the pizza - mostly veggies but they also have pepperoni. The pizza is about $11 - more than I really want to spend for pizza for one small person but would be nice for a sometimes treat and we can take home the leftovers.

I wish I had gotten the guys name - he was really helpful. He said he had tried it and it was pretty good - didn't taste off. I would love it if anyone has tried it "in real life" and can give their review.


A Taco Bueno mistake.

We recently went to Taco Bueno thinking we remembered the chips and cheese "nachos" to be gluten free. They are not. Grace had a bad stomach ache shortly after eating them and looked at me pitifully and said "Celiac."


UGH!

Apparently their chips are fried w/other stuff - including flour tortillas. Lesson learned - the HARD way.


Grace's current favorite snack - EnviroKidz Organic Chocolate Crispy Rice Bar

Grace LOVES these! They taste like a cross between Rice Krispy bars and Coco Pebbles. I have found them at Sprouts and at a Target in San Antonio (but not at all Targets.)


They are just a little more expensive than the Rice Krispy bars but not by much - I got them on sale for $2.99 for a box of 6 - I think they are $3.20 regular price. They also have fruit and peanut butter flavors - but she likes chocolate best.

Grace has them w/a glass of milk in the mornings or for an after school treat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A (semi) local find!

T0night we went to Go Go Gumbo in Boyd TX. Boyd is a very small town so we were very surprised to find such WONDERFUL food! I called ahead and spoke w/the Chef/Owner Craig and he was familiar with Celiac and we discussed several choices.


We got there and it was VERY casual and very family friendly. There were games for the kids to play (board and video) as well as a basic kids menu. I was presenting the options to Grace and since they don't have flounder she didn't want fish. sigh. She decided on a plain salad - no dressing. What impressed me was their willingness to be accommodating and we received excellent service.

For those who can eat gluten I recommend the TV dinner - a type of sample plate - perfect amounts of perfect food. It really is some of the best food in Wise County. For those who can't eat gluten they have salmon always on the menu as well as shrimp and a fish of the day and some great salads.

Added bonus - the FANTASTIC Vanilla bean creme brulee was gluten free. Heaven.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chili's

Tonight was was "School night" at Chili's.  I knew they had a gluten free menu but we hadn't been there since Grace was diagnosed so we were not sure how helpful they would be - we were VERY pleased with their service and attention to detail.  We brought our print out of the gluten free menu and I asked for a manager when I got there.  We found out they have the menus there for you - I wouldn't print it out because when you do you get tons of pages - soy, peanut, dairy... free as well as gluten. 


The manager was not familiar w/Celiac but was very open to making sure there was no cross contamination and said he would be back there when her meal was made.   He said they made everything fresh and didn't take it from a "batch."  He did come out and asked about toppings/seasonings (Grace only wanted corn on the cob, broccoli and oranges.)  We declined the cheese and season salt and he brought us individual packaged "real" butter and they delivered her meal on its own tray.  

I know it is always a risk when we eat out at a restaurant and it is still to be seen how it went tonight - but I was pleased that they took the extra steps we requested.  

www.chilis.com/menu/default.asp   

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I scream, you scream we all scream for...

Ice cream cones!!  I had heard about gluten free ice cream cones but never saw them at the store. We were in Sprouts in Southlake and saw them and grabbed a box of "Let's Do Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones."


We grabbed some Bluebell (and rice cream for Sam) and scooped up some treats for everyone after dinner - they were YUMMY!  As Grace said "They taste like they are full of gluten!!"  

Am added bonus -  they are only 10 calories per cone - not important when covered by a big scoop of full fat ice cream but would also be good filled with fruit or other treats.  I like to put dry cereal in them and send the kids outside to play in the summer - they eat the cereal out of them then eat the cone -  no trash in the yard!

I love to find great gluten free things that taste like "real people food."  It is unanimous in our family that these are a hit!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Who doesn't love a Cheeto??

Thank goodness for Frito Lay! Not only do they have a wide range of products that are gluten free but they also have them in lunch size bags and in all grocery stores. The website does say the chips are made on the same line as gluten containing foods however the lines are washed between batches but a slight residue may remain on the lines. People who are extremely sensitive may be affected. Thankfully my daughter has not been.


We love the Fritos with cheese sauce and the Lay's with turkey and cheese.

Here is a link to their website - it lists all of their gluten free products:

www.fritolay.com/your-health/products-not-containing-gluten.html

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentines angst!

So Grace's lovely 3rd grade teacher signed us up for cupcakes! She did this as a kindness so I could take care of Grace.


I am all about driving to Walmart and getting two dozen cupcakes for $5 - all baked and decorated so I did just that - then... came home and at 9 pm baked a box of Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix to make a batch of gluten free cupcakes that looked just like the store bought ones. I had WM make chocolate cupcakes with white icing and got some sprinkles to decorate both kinds so they would look alike.

The Cherrybrook Kitchen cupcakes were horrible - smelled great but tasted terrible - something Grace and I could both agree on. There was a bitterness to it and the texture was "wrong." It was also a little gritty. I am a believer that anything w/the right amount of oil and sugar must be edible but I could only eat one bite of the cupcake - same with Grace. I asked her if she thought icing would help and she said no. sigh.

Grace's Godmother Allison sent Grace a care package and in it were Pamela's Butter Shortbread cookies - simple round cookies topped with nothing. I took the tub of Pillsbury Classic White Frosting, placed a large 4 B star tip in the corner of a snipped baggie and went to town. About an inch of icing on top, had Grace put sprinkles on top and they looked GREAT!! Honestly - you can get past almost any cookie w/an inch of frosting and sprinkles on top. Of course my graduation from classes 1 and 2 from Wilton Cake Decorating Class didn't hurt either :)

I think these may be our "go to" treats for parties from now on. They were substantial enough to "feel" special but were very simple to pull together. I will probably make sure to have a package of these on hand.

If anyone has suggestions for boxed mixes or has some great recipes for cakes or cupcakes I would love to hear them.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lloyd's Barbeque Pork - YUM!

I had to run to the store last night and Troy asked me to get something quick for dinner we could just heat up. I picked up some Lloyd's Barbeque Seasoned and Shredded Pork and some hamburger buns - knowing Grace wouldn't like the meat. When I got home I was looking at the back of the package when I saw the lovely words - GLUTEN FREE! Yea! The meat was in a tub like margarine would be in and was in the refrigerated section by the prepared meals (meatloaf, roast beef etc.)


I heated it up in 7 minutes and we all tried it - Grace w/crackers and us on a bun. It was lowbrow but really good - sort of like Sloppy Joes w/a different texture. Needless to say Ms. Pickypants didn't like it (but she tried it w/an open mind.) Sam on the other hand had 3 - yes I said THREE sandwiches!

I have heard there are good gluten free hamburger buns out there - it would be worth a try with this. You could also make tacos out of this, put it on a baked potato or on top of rice. I give it a thumbs up!

FYI - for you purists the spelling of Barbeque is theirs with the company being from Minnesota and all. Being from Texas I know better :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fun family omelets!

My friend sent this to me yesterday - I had forgotten all about it. My family made these several times a couple of years ago and really liked it. You can either use left overs or have an omelet bar when you have a sleep over. The nice thing - you can EASILY make it gluten free!

Of course the eggs are more poached instead of "traditional omelets" but still fun. This would also work while camping if you could get the water hot enough.

"ZIPLOC OMELETS

This works great ! Best feature is that no one has to wait for their special omelet ! Have guests write their name on a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag with permanent marker.

- Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the quart size Ziploc bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them.

- Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc.

- Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shake.

- Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up.

- Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water.

- Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily. Be prepared for everyone to be amazed.

- Nice to serve with fresh fruit and coffee cake; everyone gets involved in the process and a great conversation piece.

Imagine having these ready the night before, and putting the bag in boiling water while you get ready, and in 13 minutes, you have a nice omelet for a quick breakfast!!!"

There are several "recipes" online as well as video demonstrations on youtube and the like.

Enjoy.

Sandra

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm making waffles!

I picked up some Gluten Free Pantry brown rice pancake and waffle mix a while ago.  I made pancakes one day and they were sort of gritty - Sam liked them but Grace - you know the reason we got gluten free pancake mix in the first place - did not.  We had been trapped in the house for a couple of days so I decided to try again - this time making waffles thinking the crispy texture would marry better w/the gritty texture.  


I mixed it up, made a waffle and tasted it.  It had a "raw rice" taste to it - not appealing.  I added 1/4th cup sugar and tried again - success!  They were really good.  So good in fact that both kids ate two!  Of course the syrup helped as well but the taste and texture were on target.  You could add a little more or less sugar to your taste - the sugar adds to the tenderness as well as masking the "raw" taste.  

I can recommend the Gluten-Free Pantry brown rice pancake & waffle mix when used for waffles.  For pancakes - not so much.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Out of school - fun baking!

We had an ice day today so I decided to let the kids have some fun. I looked in the freezer and found left over Cherrybrook Kitchens Sugar Cookie Dough that I had mixed up right before Christmas, rolled into a log and froze in butcher paper. Slice and bake! What could be easier?


The cookies by themselves are a bit grainy - but top them with a can of gluten free icing and sprinkles or chocolate chips and you have a winner.

The kids decorated them (actually over decorated them :) and had a blast. I left enough dough to make about 4 more cookies - for a "cookie emergency" - aka birthday cupcakes at school or other party.

Find a cookie recipe that works for you and make extra to freeze for slice and bake. In 10 minutes we had fresh, hot cookies and a fun activity.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Info from Heinz

Right after getting the Celiac diagnosis I contacted Heinz regarding gluten free products - I was especially interested in the Delimex Taquitos since Grace has always loved those. I was really glad to hear they are gluten free!

Here is the prompt response I got.

"November 24, 2008

Dear Sandra,

Thank you for your interest in Heinz Products. We certainly understand how difficult it can be to find foods that meet the requirements of a restricted diet.

As you requested, the following is a listing of all of our products that do NOT have gluten containing ingredients. If the product you asked about is not on this list, then it may contain gluten containing ingredients. Also, please note that recipes can change without notice. Therefore, we recommend you always check the ingredient statement on the label.

HEINZ PRODUCTS:
Heinz BBQ Sauces (Original, Chicken & Rib, Garlic, Honey Garlic Only)
Heinz Chili Sauce
Heinz Cocktail Sauce
Heinz Horseradish Sauce
Heinz Ketchup
Heinz Organic Ketchup
Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup
Heinz One-Carb Ketchup
Heinz No-Sodium Added Ketchup
Heinz Hot and Spicy Ketchup Kick'rs
Heinz Mustard (All Varieties)
Heinz Pickles (All Varieties)
Heinz Peppers (All Varieties)
Heinz Relish (All Varieties)
Heinz Sloppy Joe Sauce
Heinz Tartar Sauce
Heinz Traditional Steak Sauce
Heinz Vegetarian Beans
Heinz Distilled White Vinegar
Heinz Red Wine Vinegar
Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar
Heinz Apple Cider Flavored Vinegar
Heinz Red Wine Vinegar
Heinz Garlic Wine Vinegar






Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauces (Original #7, Honey Smokehouse, Hickory Brown Sugar, Spicy BBQ Only)
Jack Daniel's EZ Marinader -- Teriyaki Variety
Jack Daniel's EZ Marinader -- Garlic & Herb Variety
Jack Daniel's Steak Sauce (Both Varieties)
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
Lea & Perrins Traditional Steak Sauce
TGI Fridays Salsa (All Varieties)

CLASSICO PRODUCTS:
Classico Red Sauces (All Varieties)
Classico Alfredo Sauces (All Varieties)
Classico Pesto Sauces (All Varieties)
Classico Bruschetta (All Varieties)

DELIMEX PRODUCTS:
UPC CODE: PRODUCT NAME:
1769600012 Taquitos, 36 ct. Delimex Chicken
1769600018 Tamales, 12 ct. Delimex Beef
1769600019 Tamales, 12 ct. Delimex Chicken & Cheese
1769600024 Tamales, 6 ct. Delimex Beef
1769600028 Taquitos, 25 ct. Delimex Beef
1769600029 Taquitos, 25 ct. Delimex Chicken
1769600048 Taquitos, 36 ct. Delimex Beef
1769600095 Taquitos, 12 ct. Delimex Beef
1769600096 Taquitos, 12 ct. Delimex Chicken
1769600155 Tamales, 15 ct. Costco Beef
1769600159 Tamales, 20 ct. Delimex Beef, Costco
1769600180 Taquitos, 60 ct. Delimex Beef
1769600186 Taquitos, 60 ct. Sam's Club Beef
1769600214 Taquitos, 25 ct. Delimex 3-Cheese
1769600565 Tamales, 20 ct. Beef, Sam's Club
1769600684 Taquitos, 66 ct. Costco Beef
1769600685 Taquitos, 66 ct. Costco Chicken

ORE-IDA PRODUCTS:
UPC CODE: PRODUCT NAME:
13120XXXXX- ALL VARIETIES of Ore-Ida® Tater Tots®
1312001879 Ore-Ida® ABC Tater Tots®
1312000080 Ore-Ida Golden Patties® (9 ct.)
1312000258 Ore-Ida® Golden Fries® (32 oz.)
1312000278 Ore-Ida® Golden Fries® (5 lb.)
1312000286 Ore-Ida® Golden Crinkles® (32 oz.)
1312000291 Ore-Ida® Golden Crinkles® (5 lb.)
1312000296 Ore-Ida® Pixie Crinkles (26 oz.)
1312000377 Ore-Ida® Cottage Fries (32 oz.)
1312000392 Ore-Ida® Southern Style Hash Browns (32 oz.)
1312000428 Ore-Ida® Country Style Steak Fries (28 oz.)
1312000455 Ore-Ida® Zesty Twirls (28 oz.)






1312000469 Ore-Ida® Potatoes O'Brien (28 oz.)
1312000647 Ore-Ida® French Fries (8 lb.)
1312000654 Ore-Ida® Country Style Hashbrowns (6 lb.)
1312000784 Ore-Ida® Steam N' Mash Cut Russets®
1312000785 Ore-Ida® Steam N' Mash Cut Sweet Potatoes®
1312000786 Ore-Ida® Steam N' Mash Three Cheese Potatoes®
1312000787 Ore-Ida® Steam N' Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes®
1312000483 Ore-Ida® Golden Twirls® (28 oz.)
1312000484 Ore-Ida® Zesties® (2 lb.)
1312000800 Ore-Ida® Steak Fries® (28 oz.)
1312000801 Ore-Ida® Shoestrings® (5 lb)
1312000828 Ore-Ida® Shoestrings® (28 oz.)
1312000829 Ore-Ida® Shoestrings® (40 oz.)
1312000833 Ore-Ida® Country Style Hashbrowns (30 oz.)
1312000854 Ore-Ida® Hash Browns (5 lb.)
1312000862 Ore-Ida® Country Style Hashbrowns (6 lb.)
1312001012 Ore-Ida® Potato Wedges with Skins (24 oz.)
1312001036 Ore-Ida® Crispers® (20 oz.)
1312001176 Ore-Ida® Waffle Fries® (22 oz.)
1312001190 Ore-Ida® Steak Fries® (3.75 lb.)
1312001260 Ore-Ida® Extra Crispy Crinkle Cut (26 oz.)
1312001280 Ore-Ida® Extra Crispy Seasoned Crinkle Cut® (26 oz.)
1312001417 Ore-Ida® Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries (26 oz.)
1312001461 Ore-Ida® Country Fries (30 oz.)
1312001492 Ore-Ida® Fast Food Fries (4 lb.)
1312008564 Ore-Ida® Golden Crinkles® (8 lb.)
1312008572 Ore-Ida® Golden Crinkles® (8 lb.) CLUB

SMART ONES PRODUCTS:
UPC CODE: PRODUCT NAME:
2580002011 Smart Ones Broccoli & Cheddar Potatoes
2580002247 Smart Ones Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata
2580002254 Smart Ones Fiesta Chicken
2580002360 Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans
2580002904 Smart Ones Creamy Tuscan Chicken
2580002907 Smart Ones Grilled Chicken in Garlic Herb Sauce
2580002915 Smart Ones Home-Style Chicken
2580002918 Smart Ones Chicken Santa Fe

Again, we appreciate you taking the time to contact us. If you need further information, feel free to call us at this toll-free number (1-800-255-5750). Our offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 6:00 PM, Eastern Time.

Heinz Consumer Resource Center
Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com







When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 002927498A

HEINZ/JNEEL

P.S. - For your convenience, here's a recipe for a barbecue sauce without gluten-containing ingredients:

Heinz Ketchup Basic Barbecue Sauce

½ cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In saucepan, combine all ingredients.
Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Brush ribs or chicken with sauce during last 10 minutes of grilling or broiling.

Makes about ¾ cup of sauce."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby got back

It has been two months since Grace's diagnosis and she has gained 3 pounds!! For me that is a weekend - for her it is a REALLY big deal. She hasn't gained 3 lbs in the past two years. What it tells me is she is now absorbing nutrients and healing.


It is interesting that it has all gone to her backside. It is amazing what three pounds will do. The last time she gained any weight she shot up a couple of inches over the summer. I look forward to seeing how her body changes with proper nutrition and "gluten free."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pei Wei - another Good Thing.

We went to "town" tonight and found ourselves at dinner time - many places to choose from but which would be gluten free? We went to Rosa's Tortilla Factory thinking the Mexican would be good - they fry their chips and taco shells w/the flour tortillas so we decided to pass. We went to Fresco's - which has a gluten free menu - however since we didn't give 48 hours notice Grace couldn't have the chips - which is what she would want - plus there was a long wait. We then saw Pei Wei - I remembered they had a gluten free menu.


We went in and I asked for a manager. After asking about their gluten free menu he immediatly pulled out a card with some choices - it looked like this : www.peiwei.com/pdfs/glutenFree.pdf He said they take care to prevent cross contamination and it states "gluten" free in the kitchen.

I was unsure if Grace would like any of the choices but decided to get her the Sweet and Sour Chicken. I asked if we could get it as a kids meal and they said yes ($3.75 instead of about $7 - still more than she could eat.) I decided to get the Pei Wei Spicy Chicken so Grace could try that as well. They made it "mild" and it was really good - fresh and light.

Grace liked both but liked the orange better. She ate every bite of chicken! This from a kid who doesn't eat much meat.

Needless to say we will be going to Pei Wei more often. Thank you Pei Wei!