Sunday, December 27, 2009

QUICK Glee (Gfree) Coffee Cake

- Follow directions for GLUTEN-FREE BETTY CROCKER Vanilla Cake Mix and spread in greased 9" sq pan (or 13 x 9 for thinner cake)

- Mix together until crumbly: 1/4 cup soft butter (or marg), 1/3 cup gluten-free baking flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 t cinnamon

-Crumble mixture over vanilla cake batter. Take a knife and swirl it into the batter.

-Bake according to cake mix directions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Use Your Microwave Often?

This is the best and easiest way to clean your microwave!

Place 2 cups of water in a microwavable bowl.

Nuke it for 5 mins on regular setting.

After 5 mins are up, leave the bowl in the microwave for another 2 mins or so to let it steam.

Take out bowl (will still be HOT!) and wipe down the oven....everything slips off so easily, no cleaner needed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scrumptious GLEE (gfree) Stuffing

I made this gluten-free stuffing at Thanksgiving and it was everyone's favorite (even the wheat-eaters')!! The key is good gluten-free bread.

Melt in pan:
-1/3 c butter or marg

Add and saute until tender:
-1 c chopped celery
-1 c sliced mushrooms
-1/4 c diced onion

Remove from heat and add:
-seasonings such as sage or tarragon or basil or rosemary (or whatever you like)

In bowl combine:
-6 c cubed gluten-free bread (I use one Against the Grain Gourmet gf baguette)
-1/2 chopped pecans
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-the sauteed veggies & butter above
-3/4 c chick broth or water

Bake stuffing inside roast turkey or chicken or cook separately at 325F for 25 mins covered with foil, then remove foil and bake another 15 mins until slightly crispy.

Even better the next day!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

GF Sour Cream Choco Chip CAKE

I adapted this by substituting the flour and it's better than the wheat version! Absolutely delicious and moist and doesn't crumble, plus it lasts several days!

1/2 c butter or marg
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 c gluten-free baking flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (12oz) mini choc chips

(Preheat @ 350F)

BEAT marg and sugar.
ADD eggs and beat.
COMBINE dry ingredients.
MIX with egg mixture.
STIR in sour cream, vanilla, choc chips (minus 1/3 c chips).
SPREAD in greased 13 x 9 pan.
BAKE 22 - 25 mins, until golden brown.
REMOVE from oven.
SPRINKLE with a mixture of:
(1/4 c white sugar, 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/3 c mini choc chips).
CUT when cool.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 GFree INTERVIEW

Original Format:


INTERVIEW with Elizabeth Atkinson, author of:

GLEE: An Easy Guide to Gluten Free Independence

Q: What is your background? How did you get involved in developing a book about living with celiac disease?

A: I write novels for tweens, but have a background in freelance writing. My daughter was diagnosed with CD at the end of her junior year. She was very worried about leaving for college in the coming year and surviving on her own, so I wrote a concise survival guide for her. It turned out to be a great book for anyone newly diagnosed.

Q: How did you come up with the concept for GLEE?

A: When I searched around for a very basic, user-friendly GF survival guide for someone newly diagnosed, I only came up with "Gluten-Free for Dummies" by Danna Korn. It's an excellent resource, but still pretty lengthy. I wanted something much more concise and pocket-size.

Q: How did you decide on the title GLEE for your book?

A: Since I'm a writer I'm always creating and redesigning words and concepts. The first thing that came to mind with the "gluten-free" diagnosis was "What an unappealing word!" To me it sounded like food had glue it in! Anyway, I immediately shortened it to GLEE (GL for "Gl"uten and EE for Fr"ee"). so in our house we call gluten-free food "Glee" food. It's also a hopeful word, describing her new energy, health, and outlook on life!

Q: What is the most useful advice you have for people new to the gluten free lifestyle?

A: Besides reading my guide which has everything you need to know when newly diagnosed including food advice, food lists, travel, online resources? : ) I would say don't panic and take it one day at a time. The first most drastic thing you have to do immediately is cut out those wheat-filled carbs, so make a big pot of brown rice. You can add anything fresh to rice like veggies, cheese, fresh meats, nuts, tomato sauce, etc and have a meal. Then you must get a basic list of what you cannot eat either from a book or online. Then give yourself lots of time to do that first grocery shopping! And luckily today, almost all mainstream grocery stores carry gluten-free food - just ask at the desk. (And get used to asking a lot!)

Q: What are some of your family's favorite gluten free foods?

A: My daughter loves baked treats like cookies, brownies and muffins. I pretty much follow the usual recipe substituting store-bought GF flour for regular flour. The rest of the ingredients (like cocoa, chocolate chips, butter, etc) are usually GF. As far as packaged foods we love Against the Grain Gourmet Rolls, Bagels and Baguettes. Amy's Rice Crust pizza is our favorite GF frozen pizza, but there are many good ones. These days we rarely buy the packaged GF foods and cook fresh as often as we can making the correct GF substitutes when necessary.

Q: Can you share something about what you are currently working on?

A: I am going through the editing process with my editor right now for my next tween novel, "I, EMMA FREKE," which will be in bookstores Sept 2010! You can learn more about Elizabeth Atkinson by visiting her website and blog here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Did you know? Drywall has Gluten!

I recently spoke at the PORTLAND (Maine) CELIAC DISEASE SUPPORT GROUP where an audience member told the story of her daughter arriving home from college and getting gluten attacks.

Now the daughter had been diagnosed years before and her mom kept at GF kitchen, so they couldn't figure it out. But the daughter was getting sicker every day over her break.

Finally her mom wondered about the renovations that were being done on the house. She researched the drywall that was being installed and found it contained wheat starch! In addition, the joint compound also contained a wheat derivative...and this stuff (as you can imagine) was floating all through their house. In fact, the mom was sweeping the floors daily.

Clearly gluten was coating everything!

Does anyone know of any other unsuspecting household substances that might contain gluten??

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fun GF Talk/Discussion in Portland, Maine

Please join me and the PORTLAND CELIAC SUPPORT GROUP for a fun informative GF evening/potluck dinner!!

WHEN: Tuesday November 10th (6 - 8pm)

WHERE: Maine Health Learning Resource Center

Falmouth Family Health Care Center

5 Bucknam Road, Suite 1A

Falmouth, ME

For driving directions, go to:

POTLUCK INFO: Our potluck theme will be Thanksgiving Recipes!!

Please bring a gluten-free item based on your last name. If your name begins with:
A—E Bring a dessert

F—J Bring a side dish

K—O Bring sweet or savory bread or rolls

P—S Bring Fruit, Appetizer, or Salad

T—Z Bring a main dish

FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Sue Gefvert at 207-602-3543 or Paula Raleigh at 207-787-2279.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fun GF Discussion! November 1st in North Conway, NH

Celiac Disease Informational Session
Best of New Hampshire 2009!!

Celiac Disease Informational Session at:

RAFFERTY'S Restaurant in North Conway, NH

Date: Sunday, November 1, 2009 (2 - 4 pm)

Guest speaker will be Elizabeth Atkinson, author of GLEE! speaking about her book, "An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence."

GLEE! An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence was published by Clan Thompson, April 2009. It focuses on helping the newly diagnosed and young adults living on their own for the first time with staying healthy on a gluten free diet. Elizabeth will be giving a fun talk concerning this subject, including a GF grocery store discussion and the gluten-free diet fad!

*A quote from Dana Korn:

"From its name to the information it offers, GLEE! is overflowing with "gleeful" advice for young adults. Leaving the house can be a tough time for ANYONE but toss on top of that the added stress of maintaining a strict gluten-free lifestyle, and it can be downright overwhelming. GLEE! is an upbeat, optimistic guide that helps young adults live a glutenfree lifestyle in a manner that they will revel, not rebel. Knowledge is power, and this book arms young adults with everything they need to be strong and confident in their gluten-free lifestyle."

-DANNA KORN (author of Living Gluten-Free for Dummies, Kids with Celiac Disease, and founder of R.O.C.K.-Raising our Celiac Kids)

As always, we will have gluten-free samples and giveaways!

* Rafferty's full menu is gluten-free

* For questions, feel free to call Linda, John, or Joe at 603-356-6460

(Copyright © 2009 [Rafferty's Restaurant & Pub]. All rights reserved. Revised: September 15, 2009 )

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sept 2009 GLEE! Talks

Please join me for a fun talk & discussion about the gluten-free lifestyle in the upcoming locations!

Thursday, Sept 17: The Seacoast Celiac Sprue Support Group in Portsmouth, NH
(Meets monthly at the Great Bay Services Building on Woodbury Ave in Newington across the street from the Fox Run Mall).

Monday, Sept 21: Langley Adams Library, 185 Main St. Groveland MA (7pm)

(Sept Meeting TBA): Celiac Support Group of North Conway, NH at Rafferty's Restaurant & Pub

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

excellent evening

Thanks to everyone at Charlotte Hobbs for a really fun night!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More GLEE! Chit-Chat

(Lovell, Maine)

Library Annual Meeting
Tuesday, July 21 at 7 pm
Elizabeth Atkinson
on Gluten-Free Living

Elizabeth Atkinson is the author of
Glee! An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence
(Clan Thompson LLC, c2009).

After Elizabeth’s seventeen year-old daughter was diagnosed with "celiac disease," or the chronic inability to digest gluten, Elizabeth discovered the need for an easy survival guide to gluten-free living. She felt compelled to write a book that would guide young adults and newly diagnosed adults through the basics in an approachable format. Glee! An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence is the result.

Signed copies will be available for purchase.

Elizabeth Atkinson divides her time between Massachusetts and Lovell, Maine.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The evening will conclude with conversation and refreshments. A gluten-free option will be included!

This program will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

GLEE GUM Gluten-Free Giveaway!!


Our friends who manufacture all-natural, gluten-free GLEE GUM want you to try a pack!

So the next FIVE (5) PEOPLE to purchase GLEE! An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence" (by Elizabeth Atkinson) from Clan Thompson LLC will each receive three 18-piece packs of gluten-free GLEE GUM as well as a coupon for more gum fun!

FOR MORE INFORMATION on gluten-free GLEE gum, please visit:

To order GLEE! An Easy Guide to Gluten Free Independence:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chewy Chocolate GF Cookies

This base GF dough for a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cookie is adapted from the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chip recipe. You can add any GF extra yummies like dark or semi-sweet chips, white chocolate, peanut butter chips (shown in photo), coconut, chopped nuts, raisins or stuff them all in there - enjoy!

2 cups gluten-free baking flour
3/4 cup cocoa (most is GF)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (most is now GF)
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) extra GF yummies like (choc, PB) chips, chopped nuts or dried fruit

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together GF flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add GF flour mixture, beating well. Stir in extra yummies.

3. Drop by small rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. (GF cookies fall apart more easily so keep these cookies small/bite-size)

4. Bake approx 8-9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
About 5 dozen cookies.

(Note: Freeze dough or cookies up to a couple weeks)

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Adams Black Jack Gum

Altoids Mints

Beemans Gum

BreathSavers Mints

Dentyne Gum (peppermint, spearmint, arctic chill, spicy cinnamon)

Dentyne Fire Mints Dentyne Ice Mints

Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum

Trident Gum (original, spearmint, bubblegum, cinnamon)

Wrigley's Big Red Gum Wrigley's Freedent Gum

Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Gum Wrigley's Orbit Gum

Wrigley's Spearmint Gum

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gluten-Free for 55 Years!

The best part of book signings is gathering people’s stories. As a fiction writer I can’t get enough of it. As a non-fiction writer, it helps me to understand what my readers need to know.

Over the weekend I had a book signing for GLEE! in Bridgton, Maine – about an hour west of Portland. Almost every person who showed up to buy a copy of GLEE! had been newly diagnosed and was feeling overwhelmed. They were pleased to find a simple guide to help them understand the basics.

However, my favorite customer was a woman I’ll call Ida (pictured here), who had first heard of celiac disease 55 years ago when she put her son on a gluten-free diet. It turns out Ida’s husband had been a pediatrician. When their young 2 year-old boy was failing to thrive (as “everything he ate ran thru him”), doctor dad researched all the possibilities. The first thing they tried was a gluten-free diet and, like magic, it all cleared up.

“Of course, back then it was a nightmare trying to figure it all out,” explained Ida. “No one had heard of it. And the diet also included special milk instructions. We had to boil the milk down and add something, can’t remember what it was – and cheese was completely off limits.”

As a mom who struggled to deal with the gluten-free challenge just 3 years ago, my hats off to Ida – who did it completely alone and undoubtedly, against the tide.

Monday, May 18, 2009

All Tea Gluten-Free???


Ever get a gluten attack (glattack) from a cup of tea?
Believe it or not, some herbal teas contain barley.
One fellow tweep (i.e., twitterer) recently informed me that Yogi "tummy" tea contains barley with the barley info listed in tiny type separate from the ingredient list. Another tweep warned of some Teavana teas.

“In general, pure black, green, and herbal teas will be gluten free,” says Lani Thompson, founder of Clan Thompson ( and gluten-free SmartLists. “All Bigelow teas except chamomile mango, cinnamon spice and blueberry harvest are gluten free. When gluten is present, it seems to be barley that's added to some teas (for instance Celestial Seasoning Almond Sunset or Canadian Vanilla Maple or English Toffee After Dinner or Ginseng Energy teas).”

So keep an eye out for the tiny type!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

GLEE! Updates

* Book signing (above) in Newburyport went well - the Book Rack sold all copies but 3!
* Next book signing in Bridgton, Maine May 24th (1pm) at Morning Dew Natural Foods
* Invited to speak soon at Over 55 Community Center and two libraries!
* GLEE! now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and distributed to bookstores/libraries by Ingram Books
* Article:
* Find me tweeting at

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Delicious-Nutritious Beef & Bean Stew

2 Tbl olive oil
½ - 1 lb chopped stew meat
1 Tbl GF baking flour
4 medium yams, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
4 med white potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
3 large carrots, chopped
3 large celery sticks, chopped
2 jars tomato sauce
½ lb black turtle beans soaked overnight, drain
To Do:

Fill large saucepan with water, bring to a boil, and add soaked beans. Simmer 60 - 90 mins, according to directions, and drain.

Boil a large pot of water and add yams, potatoes, simmer for 3 mins. Toss in carrots and celery, simmer another 3 mins and drain.

Heat olive oil in same large pot. Add stew meat and brown quickly. Add GF flour and stir. Add both jars of tomato sauce, all the par boiled veggies, and cooked beans. Simmer one hour and serve.

Optional: Serve over pre-cooked brown rice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

of Newburyport
invites you to the release of

An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence

by local author: ELIZABETH ATKINSON
Saturday May 2nd at 7:00 PM

"From its name to the information it offers, GLEE! is overflowing with "gleeful" advice!”
—DANNA KORN (Living Gluten-Free for Dummies, Kids with Celiac Disease, and founder of R.O.C.K. - Raising our Celiac Kids)

"Easy-to-read straight forward guide complete with personal anecdotes from the author.”
—TRICIA THOMPSON, MS, RD (The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide and co-author of CIG to Gluten-Free Eating)

Complimentary Gluten-Free Refreshments!
52 State Street Newburyport, MA 978.462.8615
ORDER TODAY thru publisher
DISTRIBUTED to bookstores by Ingram
Available online from AMAZON/B&N June 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

QUINOA Madeleine

This is my daughter’s favorite cold meal (so I named it after her). I left the measurements open depending on your taste preferences. Start with the amount of quinoa you want and adjust the ingredients accordingly – you can add as little or as much as you like.

- 4 cups cooked & cooled red quinoa (follow easy directions on box, just like rice)
- ½ c – 1 c chopped firm goat cheese or feta
- ½ c – 1 c chopped tomatoes (prefer the cherry variety as they are more firm)
- ½ c – 1 c chopped cucumber (peel and slice into long quarters first and carve out seeds)
- ½ c toasted & cooled pine nuts (spread in cookie sheet , toast at 300°F until slightly tan)
- ½ c – 1 c chopped parsley (optional)

SHAKE or BEAT until well combined:
- 1/3 cup olive oil (can use a lighter oil like canola or safflower)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons cider vinegar (any vinegar except malt)
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon sharp mustard (most is GF but check)
- s/p to taste

Pour desired amount of dressing over quinoa salad, toss, and serve. This salad lasts many days in the fridge. If you aren’t using it right away do not add dressing until just before you eat.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: The GF BLUES

One of the most common symptoms of Celiac Disease is mild depression, which should be obvious…most people are depressed when they feel yucky all the time. However I’m referring to a different kind of blues. Once a person is diagnosed with CD a sort of mourning period often follows. A lot of emotion and affection is tied to food, so it is totally normal to feel really bummed out when you can no longer eat the stuff you literally love.

Lauren Komack, a board member of the Healthy Villi in Boston, is a psychologist who specializes in treating individuals with Celiac Disease. She knows (first-hand) that it can be extremely difficult to adjust to a gluten-free lifestyle on many levels including the social and psychological aspects. While it is perfectly normal to be upset and angry with a CD diagnosis, it is important to remember that it is just food and that many people have food restrictions due to allergies, religious observances, and illness. Relearning what you can eat takes time and patience, but the health benefits are worth celebrating!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: EASTER!

I had just started researching gluten-free options for Easter when I came across THE SAVVY CELIAC's wonderful blog on GF Easter ideas, dated March 24, 2009.

From coloring the eggs to a list of GF basket candy to brunch, it's all here. I've listed a couple other online sources with Easter options/recipes as well.

Happy Bunny Day!!




Monday, March 30, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Bulk up on FOLATE

In my ongoing research of Celiac Disease I often come across one of the most common nutritional CD deficiencies: FOLATE, a B vitamin also known as Folacin and Folic Acid.

According to the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet on Nutrition, we need “Folate, a water-soluble vitamin, to help the body form red blood cells and aid in the formation of genetic material within every body cell.”

Below is a list of good gluten-free sources of FOLATE:

1)Chicken liver
3.5 oz
(193% daily value)

2) Braised beef liver
3.5 oz
(54% daily value)

3) Lentils, cooked
1/2 cup
(45% daily value)

4) Chickpeas
1/2 cup
(35% daily value)

5) Asparagus
1/2 cup
(33% daily value)

6) Spinach, cooked
1/2 cup
(33% daily value)

7) Black beans
1/2 cup
(32% daily value)

8)GF Burrito with beans
(30% daily value)

9) Kidney beans
1/2 cup
(29% daily value)

10) Lima beans
1/2 cup
(20% daily value)

11) Tomato juice
1 cup
(12% daily value)

12)Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup
(12% daily value)

13) Orange
1 medium
(12% daily value)

14) Broccoli, cooked
1/2 cup
(10% dialy value)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: What’s your favorite GF CCC Mix??

I usually make GF Chocolate Chip Cookies from scratch for my GF daughter because she loves oatmeal (can tolerate it), pecans, cinnamon, and extra chips added in. But for those times when I’m in a hurry or when we’re traveling (we always rent a place with a kitchen) I use a mix.

After a few years of trying almost everything offered in our local stores, by far our favorite GF Chocolate Chip Cookie boxed mix is made by Cherrybrook Kitchen:

Not only are their mixes gluten free, but they are also dairy, egg, nut & peanut free as well! Ironically it took us a lot of time to try their CCC mix because the box doesn’t have that chocolaty-chewy-sweet-and-gooey appeal. (In fact a lot of GF packaging is not very inviting, but that’s another blog for another time.) But trust us, these cookies will melt in your mouth. Even my gluten-glutton son will choose these GF cookies over anything else in the kitchen cupboard.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: GF Summer Camp w/scholarships!

Another Gluten-Free Summer Camp opportunity!


"Camp Dates: August 16 (Sunday) - August 21 (Friday)

-Camp Manitou-Lin is graciously hosting our second year of Gluten Free camp. We will be able to cater to those with a gluten free and dairy free allergy and or intolerance. All other conditions will be decided on a case by case basis and will need to see Nicole VanZwoll for further information. ph 517-886-5025 or

Gluten Free Camp ESSAY SCHOLARSHIPS for 2009:
"If you are looking for a scholarship, we are currently working with the CDF (Celiac Disease Foundation) in California. Your child must write or email a one-page essay about why they want to attend Camp Manitou-Lin in Middleville Michigan, a gluten free camp, and what they will expect to get out of it, or if you have attended before, what you have gotten from it and why you would like to be a returning camper. Deadline is MARCH 31st, 2009."

Mail to:
Attn: Maryrose Hopke (essay contest)
Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd. #1
Studio City, Ca. 91604
Phone: (818)990-2354
Fax: (818)990-2379


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: GF MENU SWAP

I just discovered a great concept through Nancy Lapid’s Guide to Celiac Disease web column. Nancy recently featured the Gluten-Free MENU SWAP site ( on Natalie Naramor’s Gluten Free Mommy blog.

“The idea is to create a resource for all of us asking the question, 'What’s for dinner this week?' Since this can be a challenge when you are gluten-free, I think it will be fun to look at everyone’s menu to see what everyone is cooking (and just think of all those recipes!) and perhaps even find out which restaurants we eat gluten-free.” (N. Naramor)

Natalie gives clear directions on how it all works, how you can participate, and how to qualify as a host. Visit her site and join up --such a great idea!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: Super quick GLEE dinner for 1!

This is my GF daughter’s favorite quick meal, especially combined with Al Fresco’s Sweet Apple chicken sausage* (which is labeled GF). Of course we call it:

GLEE Pasta
1) Place a ¼ - ½ cup diced tomatoes in a bowl
2) Mix in 1 – 2 tblsp olive oil
3) (Microwave 20 seconds)
4) Stir in 1 cup pre-cooked GF pasta and 2 – 4 tblsp good parmesan
5) (Microwave another 20 seconds or to desired heat -- longer if pasta has been refrigerated)
6) Add salt/pepper and eat with a salad!

*(Optional Additions: pre-cooked and diced GF sausage, bacon, spinach, zucchini AND/OR sprinkle on toasted pine nuts, roasted garlic, chopped basil … be creative!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gluten-Free TIP: Online GF Cooking Class, the online cooking magazine, has always been one of my favorite "Glee" sites. It's upbeat, inviting, and the photos are beautiful. A few months ago I discovered Glutenfreeda provides very easy to follow, step-by-step online cooking classes: This is particularly helpful to individuals with CD as the aforementioned individuals often resent food and sometimes avoid learning how to cook altogether. This month, the feature recipe (pictured above) is Lemon and Blackberry Bread Pudding, yum. If you seach the online gluten-free cooking class archives you'll find a huge variety of desserts and entrees from cranberry cheesecake to Italian gnocchi. So drag that laptop over to the kitchen, pour yourself a delicious drink, turn on the jazz, and cook up something wonderful for yourself tonight!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: E-Z ChocoChip GLEE! Bars

Easy & Delicious!

½ cup butter (or margarine), softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp GF vanilla
½ cup GF flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup GF oats (if tolerated), uncooked*
6oz. bag of GF chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease 9” square pan
In large bowl, combine soft butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Blend in flour, salt, then gently stir in oats, chocolate chips and walnuts. Spread evenly in greased pan. Bake 30 minutes. Cool and cut.

*May experiment substituting oats for GF cereal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: MEDIC ALERT Bracelet

Some experts and doctors differ on emergency situations, so it is up to you to decide if you should wear a medic alert bracelet or necklace.

Our nurse practitioner thinks it is unnecessary (and possibly dangerous) to wear one as celiac disease does not present an immediate life-threatening reaction. If an emergency worker hesitates or becomes confused about what to do, life-saving measures might be withheld.

However, our nurse practitioner does recommend carrying a note in your wallet which identifies your celiac disease and explains you cannot ingest gluten. And make sure your doctor confirms on the front of your chart that you have CD and that you require a gluten-free diet.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Book Reviews for GLEE!

Reviews are coming in for GLEE! An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence:
(Release Date: March 21, 2009 from Clan Thompson LLC

“From its name to the information it offers, GLEE is overflowing with “gleeful” advice for young adults. Leaving the house can be a tough time for ANYONE – but toss on top of that the added stress of maintaining a strict gluten-free lifestyle, and it can be downright overwhelming. GLEE is an upbeat, optimistic guide that helps young adults live a gluten-free lifestyle in a manner that they will revel, not rebel. Knowledge is power, and this book arms young adults with everything they need to be strong and confident in the gluten-free lifestyle.”
(author of Living Gluten-Free for Dummies, Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies, Kids with Celiac Disease, Wheat-Free, Worry-Free, and Founder of R.O.C.K. Raising Our Celiac Kids)

"An easy-to-read straight forward guide complete with personal anecdotes from the author. Just what your gluten-free child needs as they leave the nest. Consider two copies—one to send off with your child and the other to keep at home when he or she calls with questions."
(author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide and co-author of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Eating)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: GLattack

It's practically impossible to completely avoid gluten attacks all the time. My daughter refers to them as the much dreaded glattacks. For some people it can last for hours; for others it can last a couple of days. Symptoms vary including extreme runs or constipation, bloating, cramps, generalized body ache, and the list goes on. No matter how well you stick to your gluten-free diet, more than likely you will accidentally ingest gluten from time to time. Of course, you should steer away from gluten at all costs, but it isn’t the end of the world if you inadvertently eat it. And as you get more accustomed to a GF diet, you will recognize suspicious red flags more easily.

It is difficult to find remedies for accidental gluten ingestion because no one condones eating gluten ever. However, here is what some people I know with CD suggest for an occasional glattack:

1)Drink tons of hot tea and apply heating pad
2)Take a very hot bath and drink boiled water
3)Grab the Imodium AD (caplets are GF and halt the runs/bloating)
4)And this from (1/03/09)

“Ultimately, gluten sensitive individuals should recover from one accidental “gluten slip” here and there, and keeping some digestive enzymes handy to help cope with such an accident is not a bad idea. But do keep in mind that repeated offenses, even the most minute, will damage your body and prevent it from healing. Enzymes help treat the symptoms, but only complete avoidance of gluten can treat the disease.”


How do you handle a glattack?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Try New GRAINS/FLOURS

Most people on a GF diet stick to rice and corn as their main source of grain and flour. But did you know there are many wonderful, tasty, highly nutritious grains/flours available? In fact, wheat-eaters should be diversifying their grains/flours as well. Many of the GF foods listed below have ancient origins amongst indigenous people throughout the world. Of course for the past 40 years food mega-corporations and lobbyists have influenced what we eat and what is available on a mass market level. But these alternative grains can be found at (or ordered through) most independent health food stores:

buckwheat (in pure form, not a wheat plant)
fava bean
gram flour (not to be confused with graham)
lentil flour
nut flour
potato flour
quinoa (plant shown in photo)
rice bran
soya flour
tapioca flour
wild rice
yam flour

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Add BEANS

Beans are a wonderful food – high in nutrition, antioxidants, and fiber, low in fat, and very filling. A member of the Legume family, beans are considered to be a “super food” and should be eaten on a regular basis. Pre-cooked (or bought canned) they can be added to so many meals. The most common beans are black, kidney, lima, and navy varieties.

My favorite are the tiny black turtle beans which I pre-cook and toss into almost any dish like stew, lasagne, meatloaf, rice, and even cold in salads. Most beans are pre-cooked the same way. Soak them in lots of water over night. Drain. Simmer 60 – 90 minutes in approx 3 parts water to 1 part beans (follow directions on bag). You can leave a bowl of cooked beans in the fridge for several days, ready to add to daily meals.

FYI: Lentils, peanuts, soy nuts, chickpeas, and peas –also members of the Legume family – contain similar nutritional benefits!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Why bother?

It’s a pain to ask.

It’s easier to stick to what you know and never push the boundaries of your safe, small GF world.
But when you ask . . . wonderful things sometimes happen!

For example, FOWLES GOURMET MARKET ( on High Street in Newburyport, MA was recently sold to new owners. The old owners had sold gluten-free sausages and meat marinades which were well-known to GF consumers in the area.

When the new owners took over, they were surprised by the number of people requesting they continue to sell the GF meat products. In fact, the new owners were so impressed by so many people asking . . . that THEY asked GF customers for recommendations for other GF items they should carry. Before long, FOWLES began to stock popular GF pastas, breads, frozen meals, sauces, bars, sweets, and more. Now they keep a running gluten-free wish list! And at least a quarter of their store is currently dedicated to GF products.

So never hesitate to politely ask, even if it’s a bother.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: Join Facebook!

I joined Facebook to network with other writers and discovered a wonderful gluten-free world filled with GF people, blogs, groups, and creative companies throughout the world. If you want to connect with lots of GF types and learn about some of their innovative GF lives and careers then join Facebook (and be sure to friend me)! Here are some of the independent gluten-free businesses on FB I’ve recently discovered:

I’m Gluten Free Baby
Gluten Free Mama
The Totally Gluten Free Bakery
Cooqi Gluten-Free Delights
Gluten Free Goods
Babycakes NYC

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: NYC Shout Outs!

Just returned from NYC and had two amazing GF dining experiences…both worth a weekend trip to Manhattan!

Between 61st and 62nd at Lexington is LILLI AND LOO ( who serve Asian cuisine including fantastic sushi. Best of all they have an extensive (yes, much more than the usual 5 choices) GF menu which includes mouthwatering GF pork dumplings! Very reasonably priced as well.

The other fabulous experience was Risotteria ( in the West Village located at 270 Bleecker St. Of course, this is one of the most well-known GF restaurants in the country (appearing on most GF blogs), but I had never had the opportunity to visit until this past Sunday. Wow. Delicious, salty homemade breadsticks, excellent GF dressings for fresh salads, authentic Italian thin crisp pizzas with pureed olives or pesto, and they have GF Panini sandwiches! Purely Italian and wonderful ambiance. Desserts (including yummy cupcakes) too! And what a location to take a stroll after dinner and work off all those courses.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: IRON

One of the most common symptoms of Celiac Disease is low iron or even anemia (dangerously low iron deficiency). This is caused by the mal-absorption of nutrients in the lower digestive tract of those with CD. And even once you are diagnosed and healthy again, you still may not be getting adequate levels of iron. This is partially due to the fact that the general public often receives daily doses of iron through wheat-based prepared foods (cereals, breads, pastas) that are enhanced with vitamins and minerals. Most gluten-free products are not enriched with vitamins and minerals.

So make sure your iron levels are tested, especially women who are even more susceptible to low iron. If you do have borderline low iron, you may choose to take iron supplements (if anemic you almost certainly have to take manufactured iron). But if you find iron capsules rough on your system (as many people do) bulk up on iron-rich foods:

"Iron is not automatically absorbed by the body and its availability depends on whether the iron is found in the form of HEME or NON-HEME iron. HEME iron is found only in meat, fish and poultry and is absorbed much more easily than NON-HEME iron, which is found mostly in fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts and grain products.

HEME FOODS include: Liver, Beef, Chicken, Shrimp, Cod, Flounder, Pork, Salmon, Tuna, and Turkey

NON-HEME FOODS include: Almonds, apricots, baked beans, broccoli, dates, kidney beans, lima beans, chick peas, seaweed, peas, prune juice, raisins, rice, and cooked spinach

Increase iron absorption from non-heme foods:
1. Eat a good source of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) such as oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, broccoli, and strawberries with a Non-Heme food.
2. Eat a Heme Food with a Non-Heme food.
3. Cook Non-Heme foods in iron pots, such as a cast iron skillet. "

(Source: “Anemic? Increase Your Intake of Iron-Rich Foods” by Paula Upton, May 31, 2007)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: BEST Restaurant Guide

Many excellent gluten-free restaurant guides exist online, but I recently discovered a web source I like in particular:
Not only do they thoroughly cover the US but this website also offers an international list of dining venues. In fact, their entire website is very current with Upcoming GF Events as well as a well-stocked GF Bookstore. The format is basic but well thought-out and they are more than willing to answer your questions!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: GF Food on iTunes!

Clan Thompson - an excellent online CD resource - has a new 2009 gluten-free food SmartList available to download to your iPhone through iTunes! If you own an iPhone it's such a handy way to access a full, current, accurate GF list whenever you're out grocery shopping or eating at a restaurant. Go to the iTunes store and search "Celiac SmartList," or you can access the link directly from Clan Thompson's website ( under "software". According to Clan Thompson, "The new SmartList contains verified gluten info on approximately 18,983 products, including products for celiac vegetarians." Many other downloads also available!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: KISSING

If you’re dating someone who eats gluten, think before you kiss. While it is generally okay to receive a peck on the cheek from wheat-eaters (except from my slobbery great-aunt in France), mouth-to-mouth contact is a different story. Ask your partner to rinse out his/her mouth after eating anything with gluten before kissing you (brushing teeth is preferable).

What about being spontaneous with someone you just met? It’s not a bad idea to somehow encourage (lure?) that person to drink some water or non-gluten liquid (i.e. most sodas, pure juice, etc.) before making-out. Order or offer drinks and sip frequently to subliminally get the point across. However, if the person you’re flirting with is munching away on restaurant/party appetizers you should bring up your gluten-intolerance. It will break the ice before you get any more intimate.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: CANDY BARS

Many mainstream candy bars (and popular candies) are gluten-free. While most GF candy bars are not produced in dedicated facilities, the manufacturers do follow regulated standards for cleaning the equipment between products. Below are a few of the popular candy bars (and candies)* that do not contain gluten:

3 Musketeers
Almond Joy
Clark Bar
Heath Bar
Junior Mints
M&Ms (plain and peanut)
Nestles Milk Chocolate
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Snickers (plain)

*For a complete candy list, see Clan Thompson Gluten-Free Food “SmartList 2008” (CANDY):

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: TAKE A CRUISE

If you want to travel but worry about the gluten-free issues, consider taking a cruise. All the major cruise lines – Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean – all claim to accommodate the GF diet. However, you must notify them in writing up to four weeks in advance of the cruise (contact individual cruise lines for their specific guidelines). It is also recommended that you bring your own GF snacks on board for between meals (as the on-going buffets will most likely not accommodate the GF diner). And lastly, introduce yourself to the dining room hostess or maitre d at your first meal to make sure everything goes smoothly. From quick weekend getaway specials to luxurious excursions, many online GF bloggers boast of wonderful stress-free experiences on cruises (including homemade GF breads, pastries, and desserts). One last tip – in case of some mix-up, don’t forget to bring copies aboard of your pre-boarding correspondence with the cruise line office, as well as a letter from your doctor verifying your gluten-free requirement. Bon Voyage!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Tip: CORNSTARCH

Cornstarch can almost always replace wheat flour in a recipe that uses flour to thicken. For example, if you’re making homemade mac and cheese (with GF pasta), substitute cornstarch for flour in the cheese sauce. Same thing for white sauces, roux or gravies. However, a cornstarch mixture will thicken much more quickly than a flour-based mixture so keep the temperature low and keep a close eye on the stove.

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch = 2 Tablespoons Wheat Flour

Thursday, January 1, 2009


As you know, people constantly want to know what CD is or what gluten is or what your problem is . . . You may even find people challenging you, as if the condition is in your head. This is especially true for young adults who eat socially everyday in high school or college cafeterias (where you usually require special meals or must brown bag your own food). It can be difficult to be patient, but think of it as a chance to educate others. Develop a quick answer or explanation that works for you - keep your answer short and simple, then change the subject!

EX: What is Celiac Disease? It’s a condition that makes me unable to digest gluten.
EX: Is it a food allergy? No, my body literally can’t digest gluten which is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and hidden in lots of food.
EX: What happens if you eat it? It makes me physically sick for at least a day, but it also damages my intestine every time I eat it.
HAPPY 2009!!