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Gluten Free Foodies

Celebrate the foods that you can eat!

Gluten Free Pear Fig Muffins

October 2nd, 2010 at 2:45 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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This posting originally posted on the Bob's Red Mill website on September 29, 2010.  I was thrilled to be a guest blogger for them and love using their certified Gluten Free products! I thought I would repost and share it with you just in case you missed it! Namaste, Lisa

This morning I was thinking about the autumn leaves as I was practicing my yoga in Tree pose. While I was standing tall and rooting down, I began to think about all the things that I do to nourish my mind, body and soul to get ready for winter. I try to practice yoga on a daily basis to help me manage my health. I have Celiac Disease and chronic pain. In the winter time, it is especially hard for me to get moving in the morning. The more that I can do to simplify my breakfast, making it tasty and healthy, the better I feel.

I created this Gluten Free Pear Fig Muffin recipe because I want something hearty like a warm bowl of oatmeal but I just can’t eat oats - certified Gluten Free or not. My body just can’t digest oats but I love oatmeal. So I thought about the autumn flavors that I like and how I could re-create them into a hearty, not too sweet muffin. This Gluten Free Pear Fig Muffin has high protein and fiber. The flavors of the pears, figs, honey, cinnamon and vanilla satisfy your hunger and sweet tooth to get your day started naturally well. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Almond Meal/ Flour and Hazelnut Meal /Flour because I like the combination of the flavors and textures together.

I make the muffins first thing in the morning so that I can get moving and warm up. While the muffins are baking, I practice my yoga. It is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. The aroma is amazing and will motivate you to get through your practice.

Gluten Free Pear Fig Muffins
Makes approximately 18 muffins

Dry Ingredients

2 ½ C Bob’s Red Mill finely ground Almond meal/flour
½ C Bob’s Red Mill finely ground Hazelnut meal/flour
½ tsp Sea salt
½ tsp Baking soda
½ tsp Cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

¼ C Grape seed oil
¼ C Honey
½ C Dried figs, chopped small chunks
1 ½ C (2) Pears, peeled & pureed in food processor
½ tsp Lemon juice
2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp Pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with 18 paper cups.

• Combine almond meal/flour, hazelnut meal/flour, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

• Whisk to sift ingredients and break up any lumps.

• Peel 2 medium size pears and cut them into pieces.

• Use a food processor to finely chop the pears. Add the lemon juice while chopping.

• In a separate medium bowl, combine grape seed oil, honey, eggs, vanilla, figs, and finely chopped pears with lemon juice.

• Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.

• Spoon the batter to just below the top of the paper cup.

• Bake for 30-40 minutes until tops are brown and cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

• Remove from pan and cool on rack.


• Measure the honey after the grape seed oil and it will completely flow out of the cup.
• Store nut meal/flours in refrigerator - measure amount needed and let come to room temperature. Use the whisk in a metal bowl to help break up the chunks and make the nut flour loose.
• When processing the pears, add the lemon juice to the pears to keep their color.
• Cinnamon is a great warming herb and is low on the glycemic index to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Some of my other loves besides Yoga and Gluten Free food are cooking, baking and blogging. I have been creating recipes since I was a young girl and tall enough to see over the counter. The only difference is that now my recipes are all Gluten Free. I prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill, certified Gluten Free products because it is one less thing for me to worry about. I also love the fact that they are an “employee owned company”! How great is that? If you are ever in the Portland, Oregon area it is worth the trip to the Bob’s Red Mill factory to see … start the angelic choir… the Mecca for Gluten Free baking!

I have been writing the Gluten Free Foodies blog - for a little over a year and a half. I started the blog because I found myself talking to so many people about living Gluten Free when I was out at the grocery store or at various random places. I like to research information to make me healthy and to share the information that I have learned. The blog was a perfect place for me to provide the information such as recipes, experiences, reviews of products and restaurants. I also started a support group at the same time because I wanted to have something a bit more social to look forward to each month. Both the blog and the support group are great therapy for me. I love meeting all the people and hearing everyone’s stories. I love the feeling when we can get together and enjoy really great Gluten Free food together; after all we are Foodies even without Gluten! I like to say, Gluten Free Foodies - Celebrate the foods that you can eat! ©
©2010 Lisa Garza Gluten Free Foodies

Must Have – "Cooking Gluten-Free!" by Karen Robertson

September 29th, 2010 at 6:17 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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What a great thing for the modern kitchen to be able to look up healthy Gluten Free recipes on a CD that you put into your computer - "Cooking Gluten-Free!" by Karen Robertson.  This is a delightful and beautiful cookbook, which includes Amaranth, Buckwheat, Teff and Quinoa flours, now in its 3rd edition.  The watercolor illustrations, are by Diane Robertson, (Karen's mother-in-law)  and alone a worth so much.  This cookbook is a compilation of chef and family recipes that are Gluten Free and is a Benjamin Franklin Award Winner for Editing & Design.

This is just like the hardcover book, which is now out of print, but now you can easily look up a recipe on your computer and print a page.  Find your favorite recipes from Karen's family, according to season, or by your favorite featured chef such as: Charlie Trotter, Tom Douglas, Christopher Kimball and many more.

Some of my favorite weekend recipes include: Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Old Fashioned Cake Donuts, Cinnamon Rolls or my absolute favorite ... Flour Tortillas!

Did someone say ... Gluten Free Flour Tortillas?
I just had to make them for you because they were so easy and a delicious treat.  They are made with Teff and taste like real flour tortillas that I grew up with in Texas.

Karen Robertson lives in Seattle with her family and started the cookbook in 2002 for daughter, Carmen and son, Sam who have Celiac Disease.  She continues to spread awareness by teaching gluten free cooking classes in the Seattle area.  This weekend she will be the guest speaker for the Bellingham Gluten Intolerance Group - Annual Community Awareness Event - October 1 & 2.  She also writes a blog and recipes for Living Without Magazine.  Busy lady! 

We recently had a chance to enjoy coffee and a chat.  I must say there wasn't enough time in the day or coffee to chat as much as we could have about living Gluten Free.  I have a feeling we will be longtime friends.

The Cooking Gluten-Free Cookbook on CD-Rom is $14.99 and can only be purchase via her site at Celiac Publishing - Cooking Gluten-Free. You can see samples of the book and learn more about Karen Robertson. Please tell her that you saw this review on Gluten Free Foodies and she will give you a signed illustrated card.  It makes a great gift so put it on your wish list and buy it for your family and friends this holiday season.  Use the code - GFF (all caps) for the signed illustrated card and for your name to be entered into a drawing on October 31, 2010 for a complimentary copy of the cookbook CD to be used as a gift...perfect just in time for the holidays, don't you think?


Success for Gluten Free Foodies Gluten Free Food Drive!

September 28th, 2010 at 12:48 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Another successful event for the Gluten Free Foodies - Gluten Free Food Drive! We met at Stella's around  noon in our private room and had a great time talking to new Gluten Free Foodies about the best finds in products, restaurants and local happenings.  I was thrilled to see so many new people, some of the "Original GF Foodies or regulars" and the generous Gluten Free food donations for the Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition.

Stella's Pizza and Pasta went all out for us making Gluten Free lasagna, rigatoni, cheesecake, gluten free beer and pizzas.  In fact the first bite taken of the homemade Gluten Free lasagna comment was ... "Oh! Wow! this tastes like authentic Chicago Italian lasagna!" and then there was the rigatoni ... just like mama used to make! 

Let's just say everyone went home with happy tummies and warm hearts after spending the afternoon together.
If you are on your way home and hungry for some great Gluten Free Italian food stop by or call ahead at 360 697 4992 to order yours to go! Don't forget to tell them that you saw it on Gluten Free Foodies!

Look at all the wonderful Gluten Free products that I will be delivering this week to KCFBC.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event, especially Stella's and the staff.
Bravo to a job well done!

Gluten Free Food Drive and Pizza Party – Who’s In?

September 22nd, 2010 at 9:15 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Just a quick reminder to let you know
that there is still time to
Lisa at
to meet some fellow Gluten Free Foodies at Stella's Pizza and Pasta this Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010 at noon.

Please bring your non-perishable,
current (not out of date)
Gluten Free Food to be donated to the
Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition. 

Suggested Gluten Free Food donations -
baking mixes, Gluten Free broth, crackers,
pastas and quinoa, cereals, healthy GF snack bars such as Larabars, Enjoy Life bars, Kind bars

Stella's is located at 19980 10th Ave NE next to Central Market and in the same building as Poulsbo Running.

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Each guest will pay for their own meal. Gluten Free 10"  Pizza's  $10 - $14 and the Gluten Free Foodies special $2 off pizza runs through September 30, 2010! Gluten Free pasta, salad and dessert will be available on the menu as well.  Bring you friends and family!

For planning purposes, please RSVP to this event, we have a private room and space is limited. thank you!

Looking forward to seeing everyone enjoying some awesome Gluten Free ... PIZZA and PASTA at Stella's!


Mike Irwin – Gluten Free Runner and Foodie

September 21st, 2010 at 5:40 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Mike Irwin - Just before Celiac Disease diagnosis  - 6'4" 125 lbs.
I am constantly amazed at the stories I hear about people.  I am fascinated to hear how their health and strive to find a diagnosis starts at one point and sometimes takes forever to figure out.  I have met so many people in person and online and each story is inspiring to me.  I wanted to share this story with you so that you too will find something in it to motivate you to take care of your health. I find it so interesting to hear the threads of similarity in all of our stories that tie us together and to think something could make us very sick - Gluten.  I recently met Mike Irwin online and began to chat with him on Skype where he told me his story.  Mike was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about a year ago and lives in Fort Nelson, British Columbia Canada.  I asked him how he has been feeling and he said, "I have more better days than bad.  The beast is in the cave!" The beast he is referring to is the result of digesting Gluten. In 2008, after a Spring vacation to Cuba, Mike began to have stomach issues and was very rapidly losing weight.   He went to the doctor for some blood tests, one of which was for Celiac.  He couldn't eat because he was too sick to his stomach (vomiting).   The blood test came back inconclusive for Celiac.  In Canada you need a referral to go to a specialist and it takes time to get on the schedule to get in to see the doctor.  The closest to him is 10 hours away in Edmonton.  As time went on without a clue as to what was making him so sick he continued to lose weight.  Mike is 6 feet 4 inches at the worst and lowest weight was 125 lbs! He was so thin you could see the bones in his cheeks sticking out, his ribs and bones all over his skeleton. By this time it was spring of 2009, he had an Endoscopy and the results were inconclusive because they were done by a general practitioner not by a specialist.  As you can imagine that was upsetting because all he wanted was a diagnosis to begin to do what he needed to do to feel better.  He did more homework and took his medical file to another doctor at the University of Calgary, School of Gastrointestinal Medicine.  This doctor suggested another Endoscopy.  Once it was over the doctor stayed to wake him up to tell him that it was conclusive that he had Celiac.  Even though the doctor could tell during the procedure that he had flattened villi they had to wait for the pathology to confirm.  Both turned out postive for Celiac Disease. Now looking back Mike says he can trace Celiac Disease back to his childhood.  He was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD when he was very young.  He was always very thin, anorexic.  He has had a multitude of symptoms including bad teeth, gas, GERD, bile in his mouth at night, major respiratory problems, joint pain, back pain, chronic anemia, malnutrition (swollen belly from not eating).  I asked him about his family and if anyone else had Celiac Disease or what their health was like?  He said that his dad, 80 yrs old,  has had Type 1 Diabetes since 1936, but had a negative blood tests for Celiac.  A second cousin on his dad's side is positive with Celiac.  On his mom's side of the family, 2 cousins are positive with Celiac.
Mike decided to face the diagnosis of Celiac disease head on and started to learn everything he possibly could.  Fortunately for him, he loves to cook, so he began to learn about all the new flours, products cookbooks and blogs.  I asked him what his favorite meal is today and he said, "Brown rice pasta with olive oil, fresh herbs from his garden and broccoli."  He buys everything organic, if he can't grow it and does not eat out except when he travels.  He makes his own crackers from a recipe he found and uses Namaste flour blend for just about everything.  He says that bread is still the hardest thing to replace but does what he can to make his own. He also likes Mac and Cheese that he makes on his own, not from a box, with the brown rice pasta, Earth Balance butter and grated European cheese.  One of the most important things that he does daily is consume olive oil, which helps him with the inflammation and digestion.  He also takes daily supplements. I asked him about resources in Canada and he said that the Canadian Celiac site is very helpful to find local support groups and publications.  He also says that the Calgary Chapter of the Celiac Association has been very helpful.  He also mentioned that the book Dangerous Grains co-authored by Ron Hoggan M.A. and James Braly, M.D.  was an important find for him so that he could learn more about grains and mycotoxins. In addition his doctor suggested that he start to exercise. Mike began slowly building his strength, gaining weight and is now running in half marathons this year.  He has completed one in May, one in June and he has another half marathon on October 2 in Calgary at the Harvest Festival.  I was so inspired and amazed but had to ask, why half marathons?  Isn't that a bit much? He said it is something to just cross off his bucket list!  Mike said, "When he was literally near death's door, he knew that if he made it through this he had to help others and to get them moving!" Bravo Mike Irwin! I will be cheering for you from WA state on October 2nd!  As we concluded our chat, after 2.5 hours on Skype I asked him if there was anyone he wanted to thank that helped him through this ordeal. Mike Irwin says, " I couldn't of made it through last year, without the help of a lot of people ... My family - Mom and Dad , Rosemarie and Doug, Brother and Sister-in-law, Jim and Zoe All my friends from Vernon BC and Ft. St. John, especially - Jesse, Eric ,Jordan and Troy Kim at the health food store, who helped me from the start. And the others in Ft. Nelson as well My family doctor, Dr Mostert, My GI - Dr Melanie Stapleton from Calgary, Alberta My Respirologists Drs Charlene Fell and Kerri Johansen also from Calgary, Alberta Ron Hoggan and Jax Peters Lowell, your books I've read from cover to cover more than once. David Rocco, La Dolce Vita tought me to love food again! And finally Lance Armstrong, I read "it's not about the bike" again during the depth of my illness." 
Mike crossing the finish line!
 I look forward to hearing about this next chapter in Mike's life and Good Luck in Calgary! If you would like to share your story I would be happy to chat with you.  Please contact me at   Namaste, Lisa     GLUTEN FREE FOODIES for events and Gluten Free lifestyle info. 

Tell Everyone … Happy Celiac Awareness Day!

September 13th, 2010 at 12:15 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Today is Celiac Awareness Day and Samuel Gee's Birthday!
Who needs a better reason than to eat your favorite meal and chat about Celiac Disease to celebrate the birthday of Samuel Gee?  Who is Samuel Gee?  He is the person who found the link between Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet.  In 2006, the United States Senate passed the bill S.R. 563 to recognize this day as - Celiac Disease Awareness Day.  To learn more go to - Celiac Sprue Association - Samuel Gee.  The symbol or logo that you see above is for the Celiac Sprue Association.  Tell your friends, family and anyone who wants to learn more about Celiac Disease to visit their site and consider being more involved.

So I am going to celebrate by talking to as many
people as I can today about Celiac Disease ... OK not so different than most days ...
I will indulge a bit with my special treat ...

Flan with Orange, Caramel and Coffee!

I am even going to put a candle in it! What is your special Gluten Free treat today? Please tell me about it in the comment section and how your diagnosis of Celiac Disease and eating Gluten Free has made a difference in your life.

I do have one favor to ask ... please talk to as many people today about Celiac Disease as you can.  There is 1 out of 133 people that have Celiac Disease so you are bound to provide info to someone that either has it or needs more info to get a diagnosis.  Please share this blog posting site or the many others that I have listed on the side bar of this blog.  It will make a difference in someone's life!

Happy Celiac Awareness Day ... Happy Birthday Samuel and Thank you!


Gluten Free Food Drive EVENT at Stella’s Pizza & Pasta 9.26.10

September 12th, 2010 at 10:12 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Join us for our second Gluten Free Foodies - Gluten Free Food Drive Event at Stella's Pizza and Pasta in Poulsbo, next to Central Market on Sunday, September 26th at noon for our monthly event. 

Bring your current (not out of date please) non-perishable Gluten Free Food to donate to the
Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition.  Suggested Gluten Free Food donations - baking mixes, aseptic non dairy milk, crackers, pasta, cereal, instant potatoes.

Bring your friends and family and eat some awesome Gluten Free pizza, pasta and dessert. 
Order the Gluten Free pizza crust with any of the traditional topping selections off the menu -
Mediterranean, Greek, Hawaiian, Meat Lovers or something a little more gourmet like Chicken Parmesan, BBQ Chicken, Hot Pepperoni, Garlic Chicken, The B.O.T. (Bacon, Onion, Tomato), White Pizza with white garlic sauce, bacon and pine nuts and spinach.  They even have something I have never thought of for a pizza but I hear it is a favorite with some people - Oyster & Cheese Pizza!
The Best CHOP CHOP Salad!
They also have a variety of Veggie pizzas like the Greek Veggie, Four Cheese or you can create your own favorite combo!

The Gluten Free Pizzas are 10 inches and you will normally add $1 to the menu price but the Gluten Free Special $2 off runs through the end of September so you can order one while you are there and take one home and save!  Prices range is approximately $10 - $14 not including create your own.  Each guest or family will have a separate tab and will pay at the end of their meal.
Stella's will also be offering Gluten Free gnocchi, salads and dessert.

We are in a private room and space is limited.  Please RSVP to by Sept. 25 at 5 pm.

Stella's Pizza & Pasta is located next to Central Market -
19980 10th Avenue NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370
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Looking forward to seeing you at Stella's Pizza and Pasta!


Gluten Free Foodies – Nominated for King 5 TV Best in Western WA!

September 9th, 2010 at 5:02 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Hey Gluten Free Foodies ... Thank you for the nomination and the votes!
Please click on either ICON to vote as many times as you want! Yippee!
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100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes – Carol Fenster – Love It!

September 5th, 2010 at 1:17 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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All of the Best Gluten Free recipes in one book. The timing for this cookbook couldn't be better! It is the perfect gift for anyone that is new to Gluten Free baking and cooking.  The size is nice and compact and it is organized in an easy to reference layout to help you plan meals ... Heck ... Carol even gives you some great ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner with different themes - Weekend Brunch, All-American Supper, For Kids of All Ages, Southwestern and more!  She also uses some special icons that each recipe will have so that when you need some quick ideas you can easily see which recipes are either - Vegetarian, Quick - 30 minutes or less, or Kids' Favorites. ( Please see page 9 for image of icons and more details.)

The first 20 or so pages provide some helpful tips or reminders about different Gluten Free Grains and Flours, Savvy Label Reading and Gluten Free Brand Recommendations.  The book has five chapters that start with Breakfast and end with Desserts!

So I tried one of the recipes yesterday morning because I just wanted something to enjoy with my coffee.  It was a rainy, cool Saturday morning ... What could be better than something homemade that you would normally get at a bakery? 

 I must confess ... I have never made scones before so I thought this was a good challenge.  The recipe that caught my eye was Cranberry-Orange Scones with Orange Glaze.  I can not have Cranberries (allergic ... ugh ... love them ...) so I thought  ... what do I love almost as much ... if not more than cranberries that goes really well with orange ... DARK CHOCOLATE!

Carol Fenster's - Cranberry-Orange Scones with Orange Glaze
or Dark Chocolate- Orange Scone with Orange Glaze ... as pictured.
I love my Microplane!

1/3 cup of unsalted butter or buttery spread at room temperature
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup of granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
1/2 cup of milk of choice
1 1/2 of *Carol's Sorghum Blend (pg.4)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of dried cranberries or *3/4 cup of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (GF,SF,DF,CF,NF)
2 tablespoons of heavy cream, milk of choice for brushing

1 - 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup of powdered sugar

1. Place rack in middle of the oven.  Pre-heat to 375 degrees.  Grease 13x9 non stick grey baking sheet or line with parchment paper. 
2. Make the scones - In food processor, butter, orange zest, egg and 1/3 cup of sugar until well blended.  Add milk, sorghum blend, tapioca flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, guar gum, salt and process until well blended.  Add the cranberries or dark chocolate chips and pulse until they are incorporated into dough.  The dough will be very soft.
Cooling on parchment paper and rack.
3. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet (with parchment paper) patting it with a wet rubber spatula into a smooth uniform 8 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick. Use the wet spatula to shape the wet sides (rather than rounded) for more even browning. Brush the dough with cream and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. 
Now this I can eat! Dark Chocolate-Orange Scone with Orange Glaze.
4.  Bake until dough is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.  Remove the scones from the oven and, using a sharp knife, cut the circle of dough into 8 wedges. Pull the wedges away from the center so they are at least 1 inch from each other and return the scones to the oven.  Bake until the sides of each scone are browned, 5-7 minutes more. (This makes all edges of the scones crisp rather than just the tops.)
Cool the scones on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
5. Make the glaze.  In a small bowl, stir the orange juice into the powdered sugar to create a smooth thin glaze.  Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze onto the warm scones. Serve immediately.

*Carol's Sorghum Flour Blend -  1 1/2 cups sorghum flour, 1 1/2 cups of potato starch or cornstarch, 1 cup of tapicoa.  Wisk together until well blended and store in a tightly covered container in a dark dry place for up to 3 months. (See page 14 for more info.)

The scones were the best I have ever had.  I have never really been a big fan of scones but when you are Gluten Free and it is the only thing offered in a bakery I will get them.  This scone was the perfect blend of crunchy, citrus-sweet outside and surprisingly soft inside but not Gluten Free gummy!  It had great nooks and crannies for the glaze to just ooze into and puddle for that perfect bite of Dark Chocolate and Fresh Sweet Orange Bread.  They were even better the next day because I stored them in a air tight container after they cooled on the rack.  The 3/4 cup of Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips are the perfect amount for every bite!  I think Enjoy Life has the best Dark Chocolate flavor and love the small, cute chips!

There are so many recipes I want to try from Carol's book but I wanted to get this review out as soon as possible.  Just to give you an idea of some of the recipes I am going to try soon - Soft Pretzels, Corn Dogs (on a stick!), Ice Cream Cones, Pork Carnitas in a Slow Cooker, Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms ... actually I want to try them all.  The pictures are great and the recipes are so simple to follow.  I highly recommend this book as a 2010 holiday gift this season - Shop at  Your Gluten Free friend or family member will thank you!  Why not put it on your wish list!

As as sidenote if you are trying to stay away from sugar, I would use local honey or palm sugar.  The ratio is 1-1.


A Grandfather’s Legacy For His Celiac Grandkids

September 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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I must say that I feel very blessed by my blog and the people that it brings into my life. I am touched when I hear the stories that connect us. Last night I was contacted by a reader, Alek Komarnitsky, that happened to come across my blog because his children have Celiac Disease.  Alek told me that when his oldest son Dirk was a baby he was not thriving or growing.  They took him to numerous doctors and tried various therapies.  After so long without a diagnosis he became seriously ill.  Alek said, "They took him to Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado, their home town, and the doctor there diagnosed Dirk with "failure to thrive". It was only after some subsequent tests (with other doctors) that Celiac was finally diagnosed."
  So from that moment on the entire Komarnitsky family has been learning and living Gluten Free. 

It has been almost a decade that Dirk, now 12 and younger brother, Kyle now 9, have shared a bond of living Gluten Free. Alek and Wendy realized that Kyle showed similar symptoms as a baby and were able to start him on a Gluten Free meal plan immediately.  The family has learned to read labels, even the boys help out when dad forgets to bring his reading glasses into the grocery store. The boys know to ask about food before they consume it.  Wendy, mother and Betsy, grandmother, have learned to cook and bake without Gluten so that the boys could live a normal life in and out of school with friends and family. 

Alek and his wife also dove into learning everything they could about Celiac disease when Dirk was diagnosed. They found Dr. Fasano at the University of Maryland Celiac Research Center and have been doing quite a bit of fundraising to help increase awareness and research. Alek created a website - "Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease" , which has raised over $40,000 for Celiac Research.

This story has an unfortunate turn, Alek continued to tell me that his father Oleg Komarnitsky, passed away a few days ago unexpectedly.  Oleg was a resident of Bellevue, WA for over 30 years.  Oleg and his wife Betsy have been supporters of the Celiac Disease Research since the diagnosis of their grandsons.  They have asked that in lieu of flowers that people please donate to the University of Maryland Research Center for Celiac Disease to help find a cure for his grandkids.

Alek and his family were in Bellevue in August and had a wonderful time with Oleg and Betsy.  Oleg's love to fix things will always be a lasting memory.  Most recently, Oleg found a kitt-car and fixed it up so the boys could race up and down the hills in Bellevue.  They all had a wonderful time and as always enjoyed Betsy's Gluten Free treats during this most recent trip. Alek wanted to share this story about his family with me because as he said, " My Dad would do anything to help find a cure for his grandkids and as you know, increasing awareness is a very good thing, since Celiac is often undiagnosed."

See a heartfelt memorial site and tribute from Oleg's family including more info about how to make a donation and offer your thoughts to the Komarnitsky family.

The picture above is from the Komarnitsky memorial site and is of Oleg, Betsy, Dirk and Kyle during a rare Bellevue snow storm.

Oleg Komarnitsky was born on September 2, 1938.

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About Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie

Learning to live Gluten Free is a challenge. Gathering with like minded people while exchanging ideas, life experiences and gluten free food is more interesting! So I created, Gluten Free Foodies, to support people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerant and other Food Sensitive people by gathering at events and celebrating the foods that we can eat! Do you have a Gluten Free question you want the answer to? Feel free to send me an email at Original blog - After all, didn't Erma Bombeck once say ... "I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food."

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