Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Call me an idealist, but I love the beginning of a new year. It feels as though the slate is wiped clean in a way, and anything is possible. I know that most resolutions fail within the first few weeks, but I still think the optimism that accompanies those resolutions is encouraging.

This year my resolution is simple: Be kinder to myself and others.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This is the last menu plan of the year. It's hard to believe that I've been posting weekly menu plans every week since January 2011. Three years of meal ideas for easy gluten free dinners. When I started posting them it was more for my own reference, to ensure that I wasn't feeding my son the same three or four dishes over and over. Now it's to provide meal ideas for others who are where I was. I'm looking forward to keeping up the tradition in the New Year.

Monday: Lemon & Artichoke Chicken served on a bed of Rice and with a side of Steamed Broccoli
(Cook chicken with 1 jar artichoke hearts, chopped, juice of half a lemon, pat of butter or some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Thicken with some cornstarch or GF flour mixed in a bit of water. Cover and simmer until done.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ice Storm Madness

If you live anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, out to Eastern Canada and through many parts of the United States, the past week has been a mess of ice storms, power outages, and that special celebration some of us call Christmas. A busy time no matter what, but add in a crazy storm that turned the world into something out of a fairy tale while simultaneously knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of people, and things get crazy.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas! I'm blessed to be able to share my story with all of you, and I can't explain how much a part of my life you all are. For those who don't celebrate Christmas, I wish you a happy holiday season filled with love and laughter!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Hello! I feel as though it's been an eternity since I last posted, although it's only been a few days. A massive ice storm hit the city where I live, causing severe damage to trees and hydro lines and shutting down power to hundreds of thousands of customers, including me. We spent one night in the cold at home, then moved to my parents' house, finally ending up in a hotel when they lost power too. I'm lucky that my power is back on, because there are people expected to be without power until the weekend. no cooking got done this weekend, but I know what I'll be making, so here it is!

Monday: Gluten Free Gnocchi with Tomato Meat Sauce

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Organic Works Bakery in London, Ontario

A few weeks ago I received a HUGE box of samples from Organic Works Bakery in London, Ontario. My son gets excited when I receive products for the blog because he thinks everything is for him since it's all gluten free. He was not disappointed with this delivery. The box contained Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double Chocolate Cookies, Ginger Cookies, Lemon Cranberry Cookies, No Nut Peanut Butter Cookies, Zucchini Bread, Banana Bread, Focaccia Bread, Brown Rice Bread, Rye-Style Bread, and more.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #4 Mini Meatballs & Dip

Meatballs are always a hit, and by making them mini, you don't need to use a lot of meat to get a lot of meatballs. I use lean ground beef for mine and keep the flavour pretty basic so that they can be paired with any sauce I happen to feel like using. This time I paired them with a bottled Sweet Chili Thai Sauce, but they would be excellent with a BBQ Sauce, a Cranberry or other fruit sauce, or even with an Asian-inspired Soy-Ginger Sauce. I made 48 of these meatballs on Friday, and my husband and sons have almost finished them already.
Holiday Appetizer #4: Mini-Meatballs & Dip

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly Gluten Free Menu Plan

Everyone around here is still sick, and yesterday we were hit with a snowstorm. I miss the summer. On the plus side, it does look really pretty outside. This week's meal plan in full of simple, warming foods that are perfect for the type of weather we're having here. Enjoy!

Monday: White Bean, Spinach & Chicken Meatball Soup (RECIPE)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Product Review: Google Nexus 7 Tablet

A few weeks ago I was given the incredible opportunity to try out the new Google Nexus 7 tablet to help me in both my work and personal life, courtesy of Staples. I have been looking for a good tablet for a while, but hadn't yet committed to one I wanted to spend money on. I had a long wish list of what my tablet would include, and a teeny-tiny budget to work with. The Nexus 7 fits everything I was looking for.

Photo Source

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December's Cookbook of the Month: You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free!

You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free!: 500 Delicious, Foolproof Recipes for Healthy Living
A pioneer in gluten-free cooking, Roben Ryberg has worked with gluten-free flours for over 15 years. Now, in You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free!, she vastly simplifies the challenges of this special diet-while perfecting the flavor of everyone’s favorite foods. Completely comprehensive, You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free! offers 500 recipes for all kinds of breads and baked goods, plus easy appetizers, soups, entrees, and salads to win over any crowd. It also features desserts for special occasions-even wedding cakes! Unlike the standard use of three or more flour blends, these recipes often call for just one flour, and many recipes include corn, potato, rice, and oat flour variations. This is an essential cooking bible for anyone with celiac disease, wheat allergy, IBS, or other gluten sensitivities.
I decided to end the year off with a review of a cookbook from a few years ago. This book was originally published in 2008, and covers recipes for just about every occasion. I've already gone through my copy and highlighted the recipes I'm looking forward to trying. This book looks as though it has some great recipes!  This seems like the perfect way to end a great year of cookbook reviews.

Guess what? Like always, I'm giving away a copy. Contest is open to entrants in Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United States. Terms & Conditions can be found in the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #3: Quesadilla Bites

Everyone loves appetizers that are cheesy, crispy, and can be dipped. These quesadilla bites are perfect for little fingers as well as adult tastes, and the flavours can be adapted and changed to suit the audience. These take no time to put together, and are inexpensive to make. Definite crowd pleasers!

Holiday Appetizer #3 Quesadilla Bites

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cookbook Review: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread

Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread
by Nicole Hunn

Forget everything you’ve heard about baking gluten-free bread. The revolutionary Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread gives you 100 recipes to satiate your crispy, crunchy, and doughy cravings, gluten-freely and on a shoestring budget.

Ours is a bread-obsessed culture. Whether we’re eating it at every meal or refusing to eat it altogether, bread defines almost every diet, especially the gluten-free community that must avoid it completely. But now, thanks to Nicole Hunn, there will be no more settling for the frozen bread in natural food stores or, worse, pretending that a lettuce leaf is an acceptable alternative when making a sandwich. Readers will rejoice to finally enjoy the rolls, muffins, tortillas, naan, pita chips, scones, and breadsticks they’ve been missing—made even sweeter by the price tag.

Nicole Hunn is the author of the Gluten-Free on a Shoestring series and blog, which has been featured in the New York Times and MSN Money. She has appeared in Living Without and Easy Eats, and on Sirius/XM Radio and ABC News, among others. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This week's menu plan is full of soups and healthier dishes since both of my boys are sick. I'm trying hard not to catch whichever virus is floating around the family!

Monday: Baked Ham w/Greek Yogurt Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Potatoes: Bake in a 375F oven until insides are soft. Fluff with a fork and add a spoonful or two of Feta Greek Yogurt)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #2: Mascarpone Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto

Dates are often thought of as a dessert item due to their natural sweetness, but paired with mascarpone and prosciutto, they make an incredible appetizer. I had a hunch that these would be good, but I was actually surprised at just how addictive they turned out. The sweetness of the dates is tempered by the creaminess of the mascarpone and the prosciutto adds a touch of saltiness to balance everything out. These are impossible to get wrong. Use pitted dates for even quicker assembly.

Mascarpone cheese is a mild, spreadable Italian cheese that is often flavoured with sweet or savoury flavours to match the dish. It's the cheese used to make tiramisu, the popular Italian dessert. Prosciutto is a type of dried ham, served in thin slices.

Appetizer #2 Mascarpone Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #1 Cream Cheese & Cucumber Roll-ups

Last year I posted 12 holiday dessert recipes, so this year I decided to do something a little bit different. Appetizers are a huge part of most holiday entertaining, and sometimes I spend more time figuring out what to serve as appetizers than I do on the actual meal.

The goal here is to provide some simple appetizer ideas that are easy to cook or even just assemble. There's enough to do over the holidays. Food should be simple to prepare and delicious to eat. Oh yeah, and gluten free! No complicated appetizers here. Just quick ideas that will get your party started in no time.
Appetizer #1 Cream Cheese & Cucumber Roll-Ups

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Celiac Baby Turns Three!

Today is a very exciting day around here. First, today is my mom's 60th birthday! It's a big milestone, and I'm excited to celebrate with her soon.

Second, Celiac Baby! turns 3 today. Not quite as impressive as 60, but still pretty amazing. The few months before I started this blog, when my son was extremely sick all the time and we didn't know how to help him, were awful.

When he was still sick all the time

Monday, December 2, 2013

Product Review: Goldbaum's Gluten Free Products

A few weeks ago I received a box of samples from Goldbaums, a company that produces and sells gluten free products. I didn't know much about the company, but once I started reading up on them, I was impressed. Goldbaums products are gluten free, and are produced in a facility that is free from gluten, soy, dairy, and nuts, which is an important consideration for people with allergies or other food restrictions. I also noticed that the products I was sent were kosher and GMO free.

I received pasta, flatbread crackers, chips, chow mein noodles, soup mandel (or soup croutons), ice cream bowls, and more. I have to say, everything was high quality and could rival a gluten-filled counterpart. My son was most excited about the dessert cups. They are ice cream cones, but in a bowl shape, perfect for a banana split! I've never seen anything like them before, and they would make great sundaes for two.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

12 Days of Holiday Treats All in One Place!

The twelve days of Christmas, in dessert form! Look no further for incredibly good desserts that are easy to make and unbelievably gluten free! Click the photo to be taken to the recipe page.

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Today we're off to the CIBC Children's Christmas Party. Last year my oldest son wouldn't go near Santa. Let's see how it goes this year! 

This week's menu plan is full of quick and simple meals that are filling and family friendly. Click where you see RECIPE to be taken to the specific recipe. Enjoy.

Monday: Eggplant Cannelloni  (RECIPE) 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Food Free Advent Calendar

Growing up, I remember having those cute little advent calendars that had a little window that opened for every day of the month, complete with a little chocolate. Unfortunately, most of those calendars don't have gluten free chocolates, so I had to think outside of the box. This is the first year my son has been old enough to really grasp the concept of counting down to Christmas, so I decided to do something different and come up with my own version.

Diabetes Awareness: What Diabetic Bloggers Want You To Know

I've talked before on my blog about the link between Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes, and although we have been fortunate in our family to not be touched by diabetes, some people very close to me have been. This incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in children with Celiac disease is higher than for children without, and I think it's important for all parents of children with Celiac Disease to be aware of this additional risk. I was approached by Dr. Mario Trucillo about sharing this infographic about Life with Diabetes to help bring awareness to diabetes, I couldn't refuse. Created using tips and information supplied by diabetic bloggers, it provides some insight into what those living with diabetes would like the general public to understand about their illness.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (23)

I hope all my American readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving and for those who are braving the Black Friday crowds, stay safe and be kind!  It's just stuff!

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I imagine most of the gluten free buzz will be about how to stay safe over the holidays. Here's the latest in research, product development, and headlines about Celiac Disease and Gluten Free. Click the links to read the full articles.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Batman sweater over Iron Man t-shirt with Captain America socks. Says the Hulk ones make him too angry.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recipe: Gluten Free Butter Chicken Pasta

I was in the mood for pasta this weekend, but felt like something different. I saw the jar of butter chicken sauce in the cupboard and decided to try something new. I'm glad I did, because I think we have a new family favourite. This pasta has all the rich flavour of butter chicken, but in a pasta! A great way to introduce butter chicken to someone who may not be familiar with it, and a delicious twist on a basic pasta dish. Plus, by using a jarred sauce, this meal comes together quickly.

Monday, November 25, 2013

UNICEF Survival Gifts

The holiday season is upon us, but for some children, gifts are the last thing on their minds. Children around the world are struggling to survive, particularly I areas hard hit by natural disasters, war, poverty, or drought. UNICEF Canada works to help children by providing gifts of survival that can help improve the living conditions of children worldwide. As a parent of two young children, I feel that it's important to teach them about the importance of giving to those in need.

UNICEF has helped make this a little bit easier by coming up with a short 50 second video to explain how we can give gifts even to those we don't know. I've included the video below. I showed it to my 4 year old son and it helped open up a great discussion about how we can help others even from far away. We also spoke about the children in need in our own community, and what we can do to help close to home.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This week's menu plan has some new takes on old recipes, but they're all delicious and easy to prepare. I'll be posting some recipes this week. Enjoy!

Monday: Butter Chicken Pasta

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (22)

Welcome to this week's edition of the Gluten Free Buzz! Catch up on the headlines on research into Celiac Disease, new product announcements, controversies, and more. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some weekend reading!

The announcement that the Celiac Sprue Association recognized Omission Beer as being safe for Celiac sufferers caused quite a stir in the GF community this week. Read about the details at CNBC. What do you think?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shop Local at the Vaughan Shopaganza!

I always like to support local events and small businesses, so when I was offered the chance to write a post to bring some attention to an event in my area, I jumped at the chance. Just for full disclosure, I am not getting paid or receiving any type of compensation for this. I just think it's a great event for a good cause.

Vaughan Shopaganza is an event that showcases local vendors, with 100% of admission fees going to Hospice Vaughan. Hospice care can be extremely important to those who are terminally ill.

Monday, November 18, 2013

American Medical ID Bracelets & A Contest to Win 1 of 2 $50 Gift Cards

Everyone who visits this site knows that my son can't eat gluten. His school bag, lunch box, and personal items are labelled Gluten Free. Still, I always worried about what might happen when all those labelled items weren't in plain site in an emergency situation?

In addition to my son being gluten free, my husband has a life threatening shellfish allergy, and I am allergic to Penicillin. As adults, we sometimes feel that we can advocate for ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes there are times when you can't advocate for yourself. A person in anaphylactic shock can't tell others that they're having an allergic reaction,  just as someone who may be unconscious can't let a doctor know that they are allergic to a specific medication. Having a prominent visual reminder can alert someone else to a specific condition or allergy, which can be lifesaving.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This week's Menu Plan is going up a little bit later than usual, but I was at the Gluten Free Garage this morning and then watching the Santa Claus Parade this afternoon. Still, dinner got made for the week. Here's what we're eating at our house this week!

Monday: Lentil Soup (Recipe)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (21)

If you're interested in reading about the latest research, news items, and events in the gluten free and Celiac community, then be sure to check back every Friday for Gluten Free Buzz, where I round up the 5 most interesting and relevant items of the week. Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread

I announced Nicole Hunn's upcoming book Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread as November's cookbook of the month a few days ago, and now I'm excited to announce that I have a copy to give away! This book will be released in December, and one lucky reader will be treated to a FREE copy. How's that for an early Christmas gift?

Here's some more info about the book:

Forget everything you’ve heard about baking gluten-free bread. The revolutionary Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread gives you 100 recipes to satiate your crispy, crunchy, and doughy cravings, gluten-freely and on a shoestring budget.

Ours is a bread-obsessed culture. Whether we’re eating it at every meal or refusing to eat it altogether, bread defines almost every diet, especially the gluten-free community that must avoid it completely. But now, thanks to Nicole Hunn, there will be no more settling for the frozen bread in natural food stores or, worse, pretending that a lettuce leaf is an acceptable alternative when making a sandwich. Readers will rejoice to finally enjoy the rolls, muffins, tortillas, naan, pita chips, scones, and breadsticks they’ve been missing—made even sweeter by the price tag.

Nicole Hunn is the author of the Gluten-Free on a Shoestring series and blog, which has been featured in the New York Times and MSN Money. She has appeared in Living Without and Easy Eats, and on Sirius/XM Radio and ABC News, among others. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Summer Fresh Appy Recipe: Holiday Jewel Hummus Stuffed Olive, Tomato & Bocconcini Skewers

My Gift Box from Summer Fresh
In October, I was invited to join a group of Ontario food bloggers at the Summer Fresh headquarters to tour the facilities, learn about the history of the company, and try some of their signature and soon to be released products. It's not always easy attending these types of events as a gluten free blogger, because often, there are few options for me to report back on to my readers.

Summer Fresh is different. Gluten free hummus, dips, and salads are a big part of their brand. They also offer a wide selection of lactose free and kosher products. I've been a Summer Fresh fan ever since my son went gluten free and I discovered their line of gluten free products. Their labels are colour-coded and clearly state whether the item is gluten free, lactose free, or Kosher. They also carry a line of organic products.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Cookbook of the Month: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread

This month's cookbook comes from Nicole Hunn. This is the first cookbook I've reviewed that is entirely dedicated to bread, so we'll see how this goes. I'm a little late getting this post up because last week was a crazy one with my son being hurt, but I've managed to snag myself an advance reader's copy of this title (it comes out in December) and I'm excited to get baking!

Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread
Nicole Hunn

Forget everything you’ve heard about baking gluten-free bread. The revolutionary Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread gives you 100 recipes to satiate your crispy, crunchy, and doughy cravings, gluten-freely and on a shoestring budget.

Ours is a bread-obsessed culture. Whether we’re eating it at every meal or refusing to eat it altogether, bread defines almost every diet, especially the gluten-free community that must avoid it completely. But now, thanks to Nicole Hunn, there will be no more settling for the frozen bread in natural food stores or, worse, pretending that a lettuce leaf is an acceptable alternative when making a sandwich. Readers will rejoice to finally enjoy the rolls, muffins, tortillas, naan, pita chips, scones, and breadsticks they’ve been missing—made even sweeter by the price tag.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Upcoming Event: Gluten Free Garage and an Interview with RonniLyn Pustil

If you live in or around Toronto, there is a great gluten free event taking place this Sunday, November 17th at Artscape Wychwood Barns. The Gluten Free Garage, Toronto's pop-up gluten free marketplace is back for another day. I attended this event in April, and was impressed by all the local vendors and speakers who came out to support the gluten free community. Want to know what my experience was like? You can read about it in my Gluten Free Garage Recap Post .

This event brings together local producers, artisans, and vendors in one place for a day of sampling, learning, and fun. Unlike many of the bigger events, this event focuses on the local, and has more of a farmer's market style feeling, rather than a large convention set-up. It's a chance to get to know where to go locally for gluten free food and information.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This past week was a tough one for my family, so I'm looking forward to the new week ahead. This weekend was filled with catching up on all the things I didn't finish during the week, and the menu plan is one of simple comfort foods.


Monday: Gluten & Dairy Free Leek & Potato Soup (RECIPE) 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (20)

Welcome to another version of Gluten Free Buzz, where I curate the latest in Gluten Free and Celiac Headlines.

This week's headlines are really interesting, so settle in and enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Son Has Been Gluten Free for 3 Years. Today I Had My First Meltdown About It

I hesitated to write this post because I don't want to sound selfish, or callous, or like I'm complaining, but I figure that if I'm feeling this, someone else may be feeling it too.

Gluten Free living has become such a normal part of my life that I somehow completely missed the fact that my son has now been gluten free for 3 years. Quite the milestone, considering he's just over 4 and 1/2 years old. Since the start, I have tried to be positive about his diet because to be honest, I was relieved that we figured out what was making him so sick and that it was something that could be managed. The truth is, yes it required an overhaul of our diets, but natural gluten free food is readily available, so I started meal planning to ensure that my son ate a variety of delicious food. I cleared out the cupboards, researched what it meant to be gluten free, started this blog, and reached out to the GF community for support.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Enjoying the last few warm days of fall. Photo taken on the walk home from my son's school.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: October's Cookbook of the Month Gluten Free Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond

Gluten Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond
by Linda J. Amendt

Breakfast is the favorite meal of the day for millions of Americans, but those with a gluten intolerance are out of luck, since many breakfast foods and baked items have been banned from their diet. They must find gluten-free alternatives or go without. For the rising number of Americans who are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet as a healthy lifestyle and for parents experimenting with gluten-free recipes for their families, they, too, are having to do without.
That disappointment will no longer be the case. In Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond, home cooks will discover a variety of gluten-free recipes for their family’s favorite breakfast foods. From light quick breads, muffins, biscuits and scones to tasty pancakes, waffles, coffee cakes and sweet rolls, this collection of 100 recipes will bring breakfast back to the gluten-free table. A tantalizing array of frittatas, quiches, and breakfast casseroles are perfect for any meal of the day. The recipes in Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond are quick and easy to make and yield delicious, satisfying results.
Recipes for homemade all-purpose flour, crepe batter, pancake batter, sweet roll dough, and biscuit dough will give every gluten-free cook the basics for creating delicious dishes of their own.
In addition to great recipes, Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond will provide cooks with the information they need about gluten-free ingredients, including ingredients to include—and avoid--in their diet and preparing and measuring ingredients. Each recipe chapter will begin with tips to help home cooks create great-tasting gluten-free breakfast specialties to serve from morning to night.

Amazon Canada // Amazon U.S.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Last week my son fell and knocked a tooth loose, so the doctor prescribed a soft food diet for a while. Not mushy, but just softer on the teeth.  That means that this week's menu plan is full of foods that are easy to eat, but still delicious. This week's recipes are internationally inspired, and full of incredible flavours. I hope you enjoy!

Monday: Thai Curry Vegetable Stir Fry over Rice Noodles 
(I used Summer Fresh's Thai Curry Sauce and poured it over a medley of mixed vegetables. cook the rice noodles separately and add them in at the end.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (19)

Welcome to November! I hope everyone's Halloween was great. Mine ended up in the emergency room, but that's a post for tomorrow!

The colder weather has certainly hit where I live, and I'm keeping warm with some hot chocolate. Curl up under a blanket and enjoy the latest headlines, studies, and news related to Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Living.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Almond Fresh Winner!

Halloween is the perfect day to hand out treats, and I have a great treat in the form of $20 in coupons for Almond Fresh products for the winner of the giveaway. There was a fantastic response to the short, 1 week giveaway, and I want to thank everyone for entering.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would have a Halloween-themed Wordless Wednesday. Here are a few images from last year. Looking forward to tomorrow!

My son and my niece

The baby, at only 2 months. He looks much older!


Monday, October 28, 2013

What My Son Will Get in Return for his Gluten Filled Halloween Candy

Since there are so many gluten-filled candy items that my son will get when trick or treating this Halloween, my husband and I wanted to make sure that he still got to enjoy the holiday even though he would have to give up most of his candy. We decided that instead of trading candy for candy that we would trade his candy for a bag of non-candy treats, an idea my friend Lisa from Pocketfuls gave me last year.

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Heading into Halloween week, things have been a bit crazy around here! Here's our simple menu plan for the week, including a freezer meal for Halloween night. Just pull out, defrost, and heat before eating. Couldn't be easier! Enjoy your week, and have a spooktacular Halloween.

Monday: Fish Tacos (tortillas, baked tilapia, avocado mayo, curtido) Curtido Recipe

Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 Tips for a Safe and Gluten Free Halloween

When your child has food restrictions or allergies, holidays that are supposed to be fun can turn into nightmares for parents trying to keep their kids safe. In addition to the usual safety precautions, there are the concerns about what your child can eat, and how to handle the disappointment that can accompany the realization that most of what’s in their trick or treat bag isn’t safe for them to consume. Here are some tips for a safe and happy gluten free Halloween.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (18) : Halloween Edition

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I might do a Halloween themed Gluten Free Buzz this week. So, instead of the latest research or news headlines, here are a few articles about Halloween, GF-style.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almond Fresh Review & Deliciously Different Drink Contest!

UPDATE! The giveaway for this contest has been changed FOR THE BETTER! Rather than giving away a coupon for a free product, I will be giving away $20 in coupons for Almond Fresh products to one lucky winner. Better, right? YES! Now keep reading for your chance to enter! If you already entered, your previous entries remain valid.

Many of you who read my blog regularly know that in addition to being gluten free, my son also has a very difficult time with cow's milk. We drink a lot of goat's milk, soy milk, and rice milk around here, and use a ton of dairy-free alternative products for cooking and baking. Still, I have to admit, Almond Milk was never really on my radar as an option. Sure, I saw it on the shelf, taking up space beside the other dairy alternatives, but my eyes would just skim over it to find the product I was already used to buying.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Catelli Gluten Free Pasta Review & A Recipe

Updated: In the original post I wrote that the product is produced in a wheat free facility. I have received confirmation that it is produced in a gluten free facility and is Certified Gluten Free by the Canadian Celiac Association.

It's no secret that I love pasta, and that my family eats a pasta dish at least once a week. I have probably tried more gluten free pastas than any other GF product, and I continue to explore every time a new pasta comes on the market. I was getting ready to try Catelli's new line of pasta when they sent me a box and a few recipes to share with my readers. Perfect timing! Just for the record, I have not been financially compensated for this post, and my opinions about the pasta are my own.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Recipe: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This recipe is comfort food at its best. Hearty beef stew with chunks of potato and carrots, in a rich, wine-based broth. So easy to prepare, and filling on these chilly fall evenings. When I was a kid, my dad used to make stew whenever it was really, really, cold outside, and it's one of those foods that has a special place in my heart since it reminds me so much of him.

I don't know if my stew can compete with his, but it's still pretty good! The aroma in my kitchen as this was cooking was intoxicating, and everyone was lining up to enjoy a bowl when it was ready. Serve with a gluten free baguette so you can mop up all the juices in the bottom of the bowl!

Feel free to use up vegetables you have in the fridge that need to be used, or to substitute chicken or turkey for a slightly different version.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Thank goodness for my slow cooker! This weekend I was able to get the meal plan done with minimal actual work because I took advantage of the slow cooker. With the weather getting colder, heartier soups and stews are in order. I hope something here inspires you to make some comfort food too!

Monday: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Gluten Free Halloween Candy Lists

Every year, I find myself scrambling to find up-to-date gluten free candy lists so that I know what I can allow my son to keep after trick or treating. There are a few sites that update their lists every year, so instead of duplicating their work, I will share the love and direct you to two of those sites where you will find pretty comprehensive lists that are up-to-date. Since companies often have different formulations for candy sold in different countries, I have included lists for both Canada and the United States.

Halloween: Marshmallow Pumpkin and Monster Treats

I am a huge Halloween fan. It's great to suspend reality for a while and enjoy the land of make-believe. Halloween is made for children, and now that I have two of my own, I enjoy watching them experience the magic for themselves. Unfortunately, when food restrictions like being gluten free get thrown into the mix, some of those traditional Halloween treats are suddenly off-limits.

I refuse to let my son feel as though he's missing out on anything because of an ingredient, so we just go ahead and make our own Halloween treats that any kid would love. My sister is throwing a child-friendly Halloween party next weekend, and I'll be making these treats and more to contribute to the festivities. I prefer to make treats that my kid can help with, and these fit the bill.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gluten Free Buzz (17) The Week's Celiac and Gluten Free Headlines

Hey everyone! Welcome back to gluten free buzz, where I keep you up-to-date on the news in the world of Celiac and Gluten Free. Last night Twitter was abuzz as Jon Stewart hosted a gala to raise funds for Celiac Disease research. His kids have Celiac disease, so it's a personal issue for him. But he wasn't the only headline, so let's get to it!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recipe: 20 Minute Gluten Free Mac 'N' Cheese

Macaroni and cheese seems to be one of those mysterious dishes that everyone loves but no one has a clue how to make. Most recipes I've come across have a list of ingredients so long that the average cook would be intimidated to try them. I do have a mac 'n' cheese recipe that involves a few different types of cheese, breadcrumbs, and an oven, but the truth is that I barely make it because it's too time consuming.
When my son asked why he can't have the macaroni that his friends at daycare got to eat, I knew it was time to come up with a version that he could enjoy. I sometimes forget how difficult it must be for such a little boy to be left out of eating the same things as his friends since he handles it so well most of the time. The excitement on his face when he said it looked just like his friends' macaroni and cheese reminded me of how important it for him to feel included as much as possible.