Thursday, 29 December 2011

Diana Sauce

Here's a little info from the Diana website to tell you which of their products are gluten free:

None of the Diana® Gravy products are gluten free. However, one Diana® Sauce variety and three of the Diana® Marinade varieties are gluten free. They are as follows:

Diana® Sauce: Gourmet Western Smokehouse Diana® Marinade: Spicy Southwest Diana® Marinade: Steak Spice Diana® Marinade: Teriyaki

I used to love the Diana Sauces for cooking with meatballs...I'll have to find some of the Gourmet Western Smokehouse sauce to try. I also just found this recipe for Smokehouse Layered Dip that looks delicious. I'm going to have to make this soon!

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Crepe Lasagna

Last week I discovered an awesome food blog called Elemental Custard. Mara's recipe for Crepe Lasagna caught my eye immediately. I have not made lasagna since we went gluten free. Yes, we can buy gluten free lasagna noodles (and we have a package), but I just wasn't inspired. I was probably avoiding yet another sub-par experience with a gluten free substitute for something that is meant to be made with gluten. Mara actually prefers Crepe Lasagna to regular gluten-noodle lasagna. Here is a quote from her site:

Let me tell you, unless you LIKE rubbery, thick wads of pasta, you'll never want to go back.

I love it! After being gluten free (at home) for the last year or more I'm starting to have less and less interest in gluten foods. I don't need to eat gluten free - it is only for BoyBee that our house is gluten free. And our food is "cleaner" because of it. I don't mind it one bit. Elemental Custard is not a gluten free blog, but so many recipes are easy to modify to make them gluten free that I don't want to limit myself to reading only gluten free blogs. I'm glad I've kept an open mind :)

I use a fantastic gluten free crepe recipe from Silvana Nardone's cookbook "Cooking for Isaiah", and I don't feel like I am missing a thing. The lasagna turned out great, but Mara's pictures turned out better so I'm nabbing a couple from her site to share with you...

Thank you Elemental Custard for restoring my inspiration to make lasagna!

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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Arthur's Smoothies and Bolthouse Farms

Just a quick, "gluten status" post for today...

The FAQ page of Arthur's Smoothies states that Arthur's Smoothies are gluten-free...and...the FAQ page for Bolthouse Farms states

With the exception of Protein Plus Strawberry Parfait, all of our beverages are gluten-free.

Happy holidays everyone!

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

Christmas and delicious food go hand in hand. I am sitting here thinking about all the wonderful food we are planning to make over the holidays and I can't wait! Dutch Pancake piled high with strawberries, bananas, blueberries and whipped cream, fresh croissants, Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies for Santa, Chocolate Molten Cakes, Hungry-man Breakfast, Roasted Chestnuts...and maybe even a cheesecake...

I love Christmas baking. A few days ago BoyBee helped me make Peanut Butter Balls. It was such a simple recipe - perfect for little hands to help with. The filling needs a bit of time to set in the fridge but the actual hands-on time required to put these together is minimal.

See if you can resist making these classic treats...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter (I use Kraft)
2 1/4 cup icing sugar
1 3/4 cup crushed rice cereal (I use Nature's Path)
1 cup chocolate chips (I use Hershey's Chipits)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I use Crisco)

Directions:

1) Melt the butter and peanut butter together in a saucepan.

2) In a medium bowl mix together the icing sugar and crushed rice cereal. (Note: I use the Magic Bullet to crush up the rice cereal and it does a fantastic job. Be sure to leave some bigger pieces though so you still have a nice crunch.)

3) Add the butter/peanut butter mixture to the icing sugar/cereal mixture. Mix well, then place in the fridge to set. Clean up and then go relax with a good book. Come back in 30-60 minutes.

4) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll up the mixture into 1" balls and place on the baking sheet. You'll have to give each one a firm squeeze to help hold it all together. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for another 20 minutes or longer.

5) Melt together the chocolate chips and shortening in a bowl in the microwave. It usually takes just over a minute for me. Stir and put it back in if needed.

6) Using two forks roll the peanut butter balls in the melted chocolate and place back on the baking sheet. Set in the fridge for at least an hour before eating.

Enjoy and share!

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas Confections

There are goodies at every turn around the holidays, so I thought I'd check into some of the most popular store-bought Christmas confections to see what is safe...Hopefully this list makes it easier for you to feel comfortable picking up a candy from your co-worker's desk!

Safe List (but double check for yourself)

  • Pot of Gold (Hershey's, read the label)
  • Turtles (Nestle, read the label)
  • Allan Candy Canes (Allan, read the label)
  • Toblerone (Kraft, read the label)
  • After Eight Thin Mints and Straws (Nestle, read the label)
  • See's Peanut Brittle (this is the best peanut brittle you will ever taste - worth every penny - makes a great gift)
  • Ganong Delecto
  • York Peppermint Patties (Hershey's, read the label)
  • Unsafe List

  • Lindt - risk of cross-contamination
  • Ferrero Rocher - contains wheat
  • Quality Street - contains glucose-fructose (from wheat and/or corn)
  • Terry's Chocolate orange - may contain wheat
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    Wednesday, 14 December 2011

    Children's Books

    With Christmas coming up I thought I would post some book suggestions for the gluten-free children on your list. I searched Amazon.com for "gluten" in Children's Books and there were 43 results. Wow - we are coming a long way. I seem to recall doing a similar search last year and there were only three or four. I am certainly happy to see so many Children's books covering Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. I think we all know a child who has an issue with gluten.

    Here are some of the highlights:

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    Thursday, 8 December 2011

    Croissants


    Are there any foods that you still haven't found great gluten free versions of? Our list is getting really short, but one of the outstanding items was croissants up until a few days ago. BoyBee and I made gluten free croissants from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring and they were fantastic. They surprised the whole family, as well as the select few that we shared them with.

    I am not saying that these croissants are any comparison to the delicious gluten croissants you can get in France, but they are comparable to the kind you typically find in North America. I'll go as far as to say that they are definitely better than the kind you buy in a tube and bake. These croissants are the best gluten free bread-type food I have found. Use your favorite gluten free flour mix (I used Silvana's), and eat them straight out of the oven for the best taste.

    We used to have fresh cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning before going gluten free but I have yet to find a great recipe for those. I have found good recipes, but not a great one (if you have one please let me know!).

    These are going to be our new Christmas morning tradition. I'm so glad I found them! Thank you Nicole from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring :)

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    Thursday, 1 December 2011

    Indian Fritters

    I love Indian food. I also love that most Indian food is naturally gluten free. I have found a great blog with lots of Indian recipes, called India On My Plate. I am loving it. I haven't actually found a recipe on the site yet that calls for any gluten ingredients. Naturally gluten free foods are the best!

    Tonight I made Vegetable Fritters using sweet potatoes and zucchini. The original recipe has lots of ideas (eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini flowers, spinach...) and I bet broccoli and cauliflower would be delicious made into fritters as well. I just wanted to keep it simple my first time making fritters. These were a hit in my house and I'll definitely be making them again.

    Maybe next time I'll try the Beet, Tomato and Cumin Salad...yum! I'm so glad to have found a "normal" blog without gluten!

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    Tuesday, 29 November 2011

    Butterball

    Here is a list of gluten free items from Butterball:

    Thank you for contacting Butterball with your question. All of our products are gluten free excepting Stuffed Breast or Stuffed Turkey
    But I will list by fresh or frozen

    Fresh/processed found in deli or meat dept
    Butterball Turkey pepperoni
    Butterball Turkey bacon
    Salt reduced Butterball Turkey bacon
    Butterball Trio
    Butterball Franks (wiener)
    Butterball Biggies (wiener)

    In deli counter---Butterball Cooked or Smoked Deli Breast (custom slicing)

    Frozen dept

    Butterball Whole Frozen Turkey
    Butterball Light and Dark Turkey Roast
    Butterball Bone-in Turkey roast
    Butterball Boneless Turkey Roast
    Butterball Turkey burgers

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    Monday, 28 November 2011

    Pumpkin Spice Latte

    The Pumpkin Spice Latte season at Starbucks may be over but you can still enjoy delicious Pumpkin Spice Lattes all winter long. Last year I discovered a great Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe online but I quickly realized that I was wasting my money. The recipe called for a tablespoon or two of pumpkin puree and all I can find are big cans of it, so I would make a few lattes and then forget about the rest of the puree for a week or two. By the time I came across it in the fridge I am sure it was well past it's prime. So I pretty much forgot about making my own PSLs and this incredible hot chocolate became my new favorite winter drink.

    Last month I came across a blog called gluten free easily and when I saw their recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes I knew I must subscribe to the post right away.

    There are many reasons this recipe has me hooked:

    1. It's for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
    2. It is delicious with or without espresso (kid-friendly!).
    3. It is so much healthier than the Starbucks version (actual pumpkin, natural sweetener of your choice).
    4. It is very inexpensive compared to the Starbucks version.
    5. There is no waste. This recipe has two parts to it...First you make pumpkin butter, which lasts much longer in the fridge than pumpkin puree, and then you just use it as needed. Apparently it's supposed to stay good for about 6 months in the fridge but I know that in my house it will always be used up long before then.
    6. It's multi-purpose. The pumpkin butter can be used for all sorts of things! Spread it on your biscuits, waffles, crackers, mix it in with plain yogurt.
    7. You can use whichever type of milk you prefer - regular, almond, rice, soy, lactose free...and you can customize it by the cup.
    8. It makes a great gift, and with Christmas coming up this is going to come in really handy. Fill a mason jar, tie a little ribbon around it, and attach a small card with directions. Perfect little Christmas gift idea for someone who already has everything or who is difficult to buy for.
    9. Oh yeah...it's gluten free!

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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    Saturday, 26 November 2011

    The Body Shop

    I love products from The Body Shop, so I contacted them to find out if they have any gluten free products. Here is their response:

    Attached is a list of products which contain a low level of Wheat, Corn, Rye, Barley or Oat and as such may possibly contain low level of Gluten. Also, is attached a list of gluten free products.

    Please understand however that Gluten is not cited as an impurity in our raw materials and our vendors do not actually test for it, as such. If any of the products in our assortment which contain Wheat, Corn, Rye, Barley or Oat derivatives have Gluten as an impurity, the level would be extremely low. We are not however in a position to guarantee that the rest of our portfolio is Gluten free. It has to be stressed that this is the same for all reputable cosmetic manufacturers and brand owners.

    I wanted to clarify what they meant by this so I wrote back and got a very clear answer:

    Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the products to be 100% gluten free, but the list does include products thought to be free of gluten.

    We're going to keep products from The Body Shop out of our house but there are a lot of people for whom this level of security is suitable.

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    Sunday, 20 November 2011

    Morris National

    I'm still catching up with some companies who produce Halloween candies to find out if they are gluten free or not. I recently received this response from Morris National - it's the Just For Fun candy necklaces, bracelets and watches I was really wondering about, but the rest is good for future reference as well.

    Here is what they said:

    Here's a list of gluten free items:
    • Marshies Pink and White marshmallows 200g bags
    • Marshies Neapolitan Twists marshmallows 200g
    • Sour Tongue Tinglers 1kg bag, 300 ct tub, 60 ct tub
    • Sour Tongue Tinglers Bombs 150ct
    • Marshies Hallow Mallow Marshmallows 300ct
    • Gummy Zone Hot Dogs 60ct
    • Gummy Zone Mini Burgers 60ct
    • Gummy Zone Sour Mini Burgers 60ct
    • Just For Fun candy necklaces, bracelets and watches
    • Tangy Zangy Cubes
    All of the above are free of gluten (wheat, rye, oats and barley) and free from gluten cross-contamination.

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    Thursday, 17 November 2011

    Maple Leaf Foods and Schneiders

    Maple Leaf Foods and Schneiders are currently owned by the same company. I phoned Maple Leaf recently regarding their labeling policy because I found the information on their website wasn't specific enough.

    Here is what their website says about gluten and allergens:

    Can we trust the allergen information on your labels?

    We are very careful about listing known allergens. Although, we recommend that you check the list of ingredients on our labels every time you buy, just in case there’s been a change. If you require further detail, please contact our Consumer Affairs hotline at 1-800-268-3708.

    Do you have a gluten free or nut free list?

    No. At Maple Leaf Foods we produce our products in multiple facilities. We also are always changing and improving our products. We take allergens very seriously. We recommend you look at the label every time.

    When I spoke to the representative on the phone I asked whether they considered wheat, rye, oats and barley allergens. The answer was yes, and that if there is a risk of cross-contamination it will be listed in a "May contain" statement.

    Not that processed foods are good for us, but sometimes we've gotta do what we've gotta do...as long as it's gluten free...

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    Wednesday, 16 November 2011

    Clover Leaf

    I came across the following gluten information about Clover Leaf products on their website:

    Clover Leaf Spicy Peanut Satay contains wheat, as do the crackers in our Tuna Salad Kits, the Clover Leaf Tuna Steak-Mild Curry and the Clover Leaf Crab & Lobster Delectables products. All other Clover Leaf canned products are gluten free.

    Thanks Clover Leaf for making this information available!

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    Sunday, 13 November 2011

    Burt's Bees

    I contacted Burt's Bees to find out whether their products are safe for those with Celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance and here is their response:

    Thank you for contacting Burt's Bees. While we can identify products in which we do not use raw materials containing gluten, we cannot certify that our vendors did not process these ingredients on equipment where contamination could occur. For the most accurate source of information, please refer to the list of ingredients on our website or on the product. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

    This one is not so clear cut - for us extreme types we'll take a pass.

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    Thursday, 10 November 2011

    Blue Sky Soda

    I generally don't drink soda, but someone offered me a Blue Sky Creamy Root Beer last night and I thought I'd give it a try. It has all natural ingredients, so if am going to drink soda this looks like a good choice. It was a nice treat - I'm going to have to find a way to get my hands on a few more cans :) I contacted Blue Sky Soda regarding gluten and here is their response:

    All Blue Sky products are wheat, rye, oat and barley free. Blue Sky Soda is made in plants that have closed lines so there is no chance of cross contamination. So, drink up and enjoy!

    I love clear-cut responses like that!

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    Wednesday, 9 November 2011

    E.D. Smith

    I contacted E.D. Smith recently to find out whether their Pure Pumpkin is gluten free. They sent me a very nice response, along with a full list of E.D. Smith and Habitant Brand gluten free products...

    Thank you for requesting information regarding E.D. Smith products. We are always pleased to hear from consumers who have enjoyed our products, and are concerned that your diet now requires special needs.

    Our manufacturing facility is not gluten free, however, cross contamination between products with differing ingredients that are produced on the same line is prevented by sanitation and processing procedures such as flushing the lines to drain, a hot water rinse, or complete sanitation washups as required.

    The following is the allergen information for our Pure Pumpkin.

    Item Description EDS Pure Pumpkin 12-796

    Allergen In Product On Line In Plant
    Coconut N N N
    Dairy N N N
    Eggs N N N
    Fish N N N
    Gluten N N Y
    MUSTARD N N N
    Peanuts N N N
    SESAME OIL N N N
    Sesame Seeds N N N
    Shellfish N N N

    Attached, please find a listing of our E.D. Smith and Habitant Brand gluten free grocery products, which we hope you will find useful.

    (See attached file: EDS Gluten Free Consumer List.xls)

    We appreciate your interest in our products and thank you for your inquiry.

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    Monday, 7 November 2011

    Gogo Quinoa Spaghetti

    After going gluten free we spent a fair bit of money trying all of the different types of gluten free pasta we could get our hands on. Spaghetti is a staple in our house and if we couldn't have great spaghetti anymore this might end up being a pretty sad place. After a lot of trial and error we finally found Gogo Quinoa Spaghetti. We were so happy to find this pasta - it is by far the closest in taste and texture to gluten pasta. We have often served it to guests without them realizing that it was gluten free.

    Until we finally sorted out the terrible, the mediocre and the great gluten free foods on the market we had a lot of missing pieces in our kitchen. It was wonderful to be able to fill in one more piece when we found Gogo Quinoa! They make a number of other great products including Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies, Quinoa Crunchies, and Pancake Mix. I haven't been disappointed with any of their products :)

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    Friday, 4 November 2011

    Potato Pizza

    This week PapaBee made a really interesting pizza - the crust was made out of POTATO!

    I have a bit of a love affair with potatoes. I also love naturally gluten free foods much better than the gluten free wannabe versions. A pizza with a potato crust is a whole lot of goodness. PapaBee got the inspiration from Luxirare. We don't have the fancy slicer they use but grated potato worked really well. PapaBee was worried that the potato wouldn't fully cook so he fried it up in a shallow Le Creuset for a few minutes (our cast iron pan was too small) and then left it alone so that it would brown nicely on the bottom. The browning part is really important as it adds both a structural component to the pizza and a really great flavour.

    Simple toppings on this pizza are ideal. A bit of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, basil and few slices of salami are all you need for toppings...or simply use whatever you have on hand.

    I love that you don't need dough to make pizza!

    We will be making this again in the near future, that's for sure. Thanks Luxirare!

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    Tuesday, 1 November 2011

    Old Dutch Snack Foods

    Here is an excerpt from the Old Dutch Snack Foods website regarding gluten free foods:

    The following Old Dutch products are Gluten-Free:

  • All Old Dutch Flat Potato Chips & Rip-L Potato Chips (includes Baked Potato Crisps)
  • All Dutch Crunch™ Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
  • All Arriba® Tortilla Chips
  • All Restaurante™ Tortilla Chips (except Multigrain)
  • Restaurante™ Salsa (Mild, Medium, Southwest Style, Salsa Con Queso)
  • Old Dutch Rip-L Dips (Spinach & Ranch)
  • Old Dutch Corn Chips (Original & Bar-B-Q)
  • Old Dutch Popcorn Twists™ (Regular & 4 Cheese)
  • Old Dutch Bac'n Puffs
  • Old Dutch Cheese Pleesers™
  • Old Dutch Crunchys™ (Nacho & Extreme Cheddar)
  • Old Dutch Popcorn (Cheese & White Cheddar)
  • Old Dutch Original Beef Jerky
  • Old Dutch Nuts & Seeds (excluding BBQ Peanuts & Olympic Mix)
  • Humpty Dumpty Sour Cream & Onion Rings
  • Humpty Dumpty Cheese Sticks
  • Humpty Dumpty Ched-A-Corn
  • Humpty Dumpty Corn Chips
  • Humpty Dumpty Cruncheez
  • Humpty Dumpty Ringolos BBQ
  • Humpty Dumpty Potato Sticks Bacon & Hickory
  • Happy snacking!

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    Dutch Winter Stew

    One of my favorite cold weather meals is Kayotic Kitchen's Dutch Winter Stew. This is such a delicious, comforting meal, and it makes even better leftovers. I simply replace the flour in the recipe with corn starch, use beef broth instead of beer, and the rest is naturally gluten free. I always add more vegetables than the recipe calls for - they turn out so well in the stew. Go ahead and give it a try!

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    Saturday, 29 October 2011

    King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Cookie Mix

    I love to bake, and found the thought of giving it up heart-breaking when we went gluten free. I couldn't stand the thought of BoyBee missing out on baking sessions with me as he grew up - I loved baking with my Mom when I was little. After going gluten free I tried recipe after recipe and nothing was turning out. After many trials I began to concede - if the result was edible I considered it a success. It was not so easy to convince PapaBee of these successes. At one point things started to turn around; I found a couple of really great recipes that rivaled their gluten-containing counterparts, and some were actually BETTER than the originals! I have been on a mission ever since to find the best recipes and I hope that through this blog I can save you some of the disappointment by passing along only the best.

    Now BoyBee loves baking with me. He is constantly pulling up a chair to the kitchen counter and saying "Cook! Cook!". He helps with almost every part of the process...measuring, pouring, passing me eggs, mixing etc. It is a great opportunity to practice skills like counting and following directions. Sometimes it is not always practical to spend the time to measure out 15 ingredients for a cookie recipe, so we sometimes use store-bought mixes.

    The best mix I have found is King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Cookie Mix. YOU CAN EAT THE DOUGH!!! I learned early on not to taste gluten free cookie dough - it is usually terrible before it is baked. I think it is the xanthan gum. So I'm not sure why I even thought to taste this dough (maybe it's just a reflex that I hadn't gotten rid of yet), but it was great (no xanthan gum)! It tasted just like "real" cookie dough. I am in love. The cookies were wonderful as well, chewy and delicious.

    You can buy King Arthur products throughout the United States and they also ship to Canada. Keep an eye out for the red maple leaf on their website for products that are easy to ship to Canada (there is a flat rate shipping fee and no need to deal with Customs).

    Thank you King Arthur for making a product that will allow BoyBee to have one more "normal" experience as he grows up. You don't know how much that means to me.

    Update: I just received a discount "stamp" from King Arthur Flour that my readers and I can all use...

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    Thursday, 27 October 2011

    Brown Butter and Roasted Apple Madeleines

    Ever since Aran at Cannelle et Vanille posted a recipe for Brown Butter and Roasted Apple Madeleines last month I have been obsessed with making them. It took me a few weeks to get all of my ducks in a row, but it was worth the wait. PapaBee and I decided earlier this year that since we couldn't have gluten in the house we would at least make an effort to keep food interesting, especially if it meant buying neat gadgets. So without further thought I went out and found a madeleine tray and started phoning around looking for gluten free hazelnut flour. The madeleine tray was easy to find at a kitchen specialty store; the hazelnut flour was a bigger challenge. Luckily I had been getting ready to place an order for NutsOnline (excellent source for good quality, gluten free nuts, dried fruit and other goodies) and noticed that they carried the hazelnut flour. Yipee! It only took a few days to receive the order and I was ready to start baking!

    There are quite a few steps involved in making these delicious madeleines, including making your own roasted apple puree. (No, you cannot just use applesauce. Once you make it you will understand why.) After your puree is ready, butter browned, and ingredients all mixed up, the batter must be tightly covered and refrigerated for 2 hours before baking. So don't expect to be able to spend a couple of hours on these and produce the finished product. This is a labour of love. There is no rushing these nuggets of goodness along.

    I love many things about Cannelle et Vanille's blog, but what really get me is the purity...Aran has managed to turn gluten free eating into pure gourmet. When you make one of her recipes the goal is not to get dinner on the table in 15 minutes, the goal is to slow down and enjoy the process. A lot of gourmet cooking (gluten free or not) is not very healthful. Cannelle et Vanille is the whole package - healthful, pure foods that taste incredible. What more could you ask for?

    Go ahead and try these madeleines. They are so versatile, a delightful snack with tea, an easy breakfast on your way out the door, a bedtime snack...and perfect for little hands and mouths who are still learning eating skills.

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    Wednesday, 26 October 2011

    Perfect Hot Chocolate

    Tonight is a very chilly evening and so I must share my hot chocolate recipe with you. It is THE BEST hot chocolate recipe EVER. It is simple and delicious. After you make it once you will be able to pull this recipe out of your memory and make it on a whim. It makes a great drink for cooler weather (winter is inevitably on it's way so let's be prepared) and makes delicious chocolate ice cubes to add to cold drinks.



    Perfect Hot Chocolate

    1 cup of milk (or milk alternative)
    1 oz chocolate (I use Baker's semi-sweet)
    a pinch of salt
    whipped cream (I prefer the store-bought cans of whipped cream but you could make your own)
    cinnamon

    Add milk, chocolate and salt to a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

    Heat on medium, stirring regularly.

    When it comes to a simmer, allow it to simmer for a minute or two and then remove from heat. I like to let it cool for a few minutes so that it is not scolding hot when served. Mix it around often to prevent a skin from forming on the top - but if it does just pour the hot chocolate through a fine sieve before serving.



    Add whipped cream and a light sprinkling of cinnamon and you have yourself a perfect hot chocolate!

    A great way to get cozy on a chilly day :)

    Mmmmm...



    Notes:

    - If you want a treat that is extra delectable double up the chocolate :) It is heavenly.
    - This recipe is for a single serving but is easily doubled, quadrupled or more.
    - Keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days incase you want to make it in advance.

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    Tuesday, 25 October 2011

    The BEST Gluten-free Halloween Candy List for 2011

    I just came across a fantastic gluten free Halloween candy list, self-proclaimed as the BEST gluten free candy list. I tend to agree. MyGlutenFacts.com is a website focusing on providing detailed information about products in Canada and the USA and indicates whether a product is made on a cleaned production line, a dedicated GF production line, or a dedicated GF factory. Their information is updated every 90 days. These guys are really on top of it, saving the rest of us a TON of work!

    Here are links to their 2011 gluten free Halloween candy lists:

    Canadian Halloween Candy List
    USA Halloween Candy List

    A huge thank you goes out to MyGlutenFacts.com!

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    Friday, 21 October 2011

    Socca Pizza

    Last night I made a recipe from Amy Green's cookbook Simply Sugar & Gluten Free. I don't actually own the book (yet) but was inspired by a recent post by sheletthemeatcake.com to make Amy's Socca Pizza (scroll down, it's at the bottom of the post).


    I made it with my own favorite toppings...Crème fraiche, blanched baby spinach, shredded mozzarella, and gobs of ricotta cheese. (This pizza also works well with traditional tomato sauce instead of the crème fraiche.) So delicious.

    It was so simple to make the socca, and it tasted great. This is the easiest way I have found to make homemade gluten free pizza, and it is healthful as well! I found the crust to be a little too thick for my liking, but then again my pan may have been a bit smaller than what is called for. I'll definitely be making this again, with a thinner crust. This pizza is a great way to get your children to eat their legumes :)

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    Monday, 17 October 2011

    Gillette


    Here's the response from Gillette regarding gluten in their products:
    All Gillette products are gluten free, and we do not have any cross contamination with any products that have gluten in them.
    For more gluten free personal care products check out the rest of the site!

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    Sunday, 16 October 2011

    Going Gluten Free Guide

    If you are new to gluten free, or if you have been working on it for a while and are curious if you've taken all the right precautions, this guide is for you. Please let me know if you think of anything I've missed. This guide is helpful not only to those who must eat gluten free, but also for those who would like to cook gluten free for their guests. So pass the link along to friends or family who might find this useful!

    Phase 1 - Start Eating
    Phase 2 - Remove the Obvious Gluten
    Phase 3 - Try Some Gluten Free Grains
    Phase 4 - Eliminating Cross Contamination in the Kitchen
    Phase 5 - Removing Other Hidden Sources of Gluten
    Phase 6 - Scour the Stores and Start Baking!

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    Saturday, 15 October 2011

    Halloween Candy


    You may have noticed that I have been placing a strong emphasis on posting labeling policies for confectionary companies. With Halloween coming up I want to have a strong awareness of which products will be safe for BoyBee. I've purchased quite a variety of gluten free candy - it has actually been fun to shop for this year. Companies are getting much better with their labeling policies and they are also producing more gluten free products. If I find Halloween candy in the store that is labeled "gluten free" it is an automatic sale for me.

    The plan this year is to go trick or treating and bring our loot home to sort through with BoyBee, explaining to him as we go which products are safe for him and which ones will hurt his belly. We'll give away the gluten candy to the later trick or treaters to get it out of the house, and we'll replace it with an assortment of safe candy that I've stocked up on. It should be a good learning experience for BoyBee.

    For my gluten free Halloween candy list I am not going to provide you with specific products. Instead I am going to point you to the relevant posts for various confectionary companies so you can check the packages yourself as manufacturing processes are not always the same in different locals. I've covered a large portion of the market. I hope you find it useful.

    Have a safe and happy Halloween!!!

    Allan
    Frito Lay
    Hershey's
    Kraft (Cadbury, Maynard's)
    Nestle
    Sunkist
    Tootsie

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    Friday, 14 October 2011

    Hershey's

    I was happy to come across Hershey's statement of allergens and gluten free foods today. You can find their Information about Special Dietary Concerns on the General Nutrition Information page. Here is what they say:
    Allergens – An allergen is food or food component that can result in an adverse reaction involving the body's immune system. The Hershey Company strives to provide its consumers with accurate, reliable ingredient statements upon which consumers can make their purchase decision. The Hershey Company ensures that the ingredient statements are accurate, and that any allergen statements placed on the label is understandable.

    Gluten Free- a food bearing this claim does not does not contain the protein from a wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, triticole, farina, vital gluten semolina, malt vinegar or protein derivatives of these foods. The Hershey Company strives to provide its consumers with accurate, reliable ingredient statements upon which consumers can make their purchase decision.
    Hershey's brands include:

    5th Avenue
    Almond Joy
    Breathsavers
    Bubble Yum
    Cadbury (in the US, this is Kraft in Canada)
    Chipits
    Dagoba
    Eatmore
    Glosette
    Good & Plenty
    Heath
    Hershey's
    Ice Breakers
    Jolly Rancher
    Kit Kat
    Mauna Loa
    Milk Duds
    Mounds
    Mr. Goodbar
    Oh Henry! (in Canada, this is part of Nestle in the US)
    Pot of Gold
    Reece's
    Rolo
    Scharffen Berger
    Skor
    Snacksters
    Take 5
    Twizzlers
    Whatchamacallit
    Whoppers
    York
    Young & Smylie
    Zagnut
    Zero

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    Wednesday, 12 October 2011

    General Mills

    Here is General Mills' response to my questions about gluten ingredients and cross-contamination:
    We can assure you that if the ingredient label does not list wheat, barley, rye, or other sources of gluten, then the product would be gluten-free. Sources of gluten are listed on the label even if the source of gluten is part of another ingredient (such as flavoring or spice). Due to product reformulation, ingredients for the same product can vary from one package to another. You should, therefore, always use the ingredient list printed on the package or label to provide you with the most current and accurate information.
    And here is a list of General Mills' brands to help with your shopping:

    Betty Crocker
    Big G cereals
    Big T Burgers
    Bisquick
    Bugles
    Cascadian Farm
    Cheerios
    Chex
    Cinnamon Toast Crunch
    Diablitos Underwood
    Fiber One
    Frescarini
    Fruit Snacks
    Gardetto's
    Gold Medal
    Good Earth
    Green Giant
    Häagen-Dazs
    Hamburger Helper
    Jus-Rol
    Kix
    Knack & Back
    La Salteña
    Lärabar
    Latina
    Lucky Charms
    Macaroni Grill
    Monsters
    Mountain High
    Muir Glen
    Nature Valley
    Old El Paso
    Pillsbury
    Pillsbury Atta
    Progresso
    Total
    Totino's / Jeno's
    Trix
    V.Pearl
    Wanchai Ferry
    Wheaties
    Yoplait
    Yoplait France

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    Tuesday, 11 October 2011

    M&M Meat Shops


    Here is a positive response I received from M&M Meat Shops along with a pdf listing all of their gluten free foods...There are lots of options :) Enjoy!
    Thank you for taking the time to contact us at M&M Meat Shops Ltd. It is always a pleasure to hear from our customers.

    Customers with dietary restrictions, especially related to food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances, represent a growing portion of our customer base. In order to serve these customers better, we realize that accurate information on all ingredients in our food products, beyond the standard label declaration, is needed. With this in mind, we have requested of all our suppliers to search their ingredients for any sources of the eleven food ingredients commonly known to cause allergic reactions or sensitivities. The eleven food ingredients are peanuts, tree nuts, shrimp/shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, MSG, sulphites, gluten/wheat, sesame and soy. Their individual responses have been compiled into our Product Information Manual. As well, if the manufacturer identifies a significant risk of cross contamination with one of these ingredients, it is identified as present in our listing for that M&M product.

    A copy of this Product Information Manual is available behind the counter of every M&M Meat Shops' store. It lists presence/absence (as identified by the manufacturer of the food) of the eleven protein ingredients that commonly cause allergic reactions. Gluten/wheat is included in this listing. Therefore, the Product Consultants at any store will be able to check for the presence of gluten/wheat in any product that is of interest to you either over the phone, or in person.

    Our stores also have access to a searchable nutrition and allergen database for all our products. Product Consultants are able to provide you with a printed list of our products without certain allergenic ingredients such as gluten/wheat. In a recent search, approximately 175 of our 476 products do not contain gluten/wheat. This list can be generated at your local M&M Meat Shop stores but is not available from our website. For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the list of our products that do not contain gluten/wheat.

    In addition, our web site provides the nutritional information and individual allergen information for our more than 400 products at www.mmmeatshops.com, although complete ingredient listings are not available.

    I hope you will find the above information useful. Thank you for shopping the M&M way.
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    Monday, 10 October 2011

    Eden Foods


    Eden Foods has a great selection of gluten free foods available, including canned beans, chili, condiments & sweeteners, soy milk, juices, oils & vinegars, pasta, snack foods, supplements, tomatoes and more. I am very impressed with the detail about gluten free foods that they provide on their website, and the company in general. Here are a few quotes:

    What We Do
    Provide the cleanest, most nutritious foods & accurate information about them, their uses and benefits.

    Why We Do It
    To have good food for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, and to make it available to you and yours.

    Are you getting that warm and fuzzy feeling yet? If you're not quite there yet, keep reading. Here is their detailed statement on gluten free products:

    What Eden Foods means by 'Gluten Free' is:

    1. Eden's full ingredient disclosure, and requirement of such from all secondary suppliers assures that there are no ingredients that contain, nor are derived from wheat or any other gluten-containing grain.

    2. Eden Foods is highly proactive toward food safety, sanitation, and the prevention of allergen cross contamination as exemplified by our ongoing participation with food safety programs such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis at Critical Control Point) and AIB International audits.

    3. Eden routinely tests for gluten in foods that are listed as 'gluten free'. Our gluten free confidence is not solely based on testing, but also on good manufacturing practices and meticulous handling.

    4. Occasionally Eden Foods changes ingredients or suppliers and this may affect the 'Wheat Free' or 'Gluten Free' status of our products. If this should occur we immediately update our "Wheat Free and Gluten Free List" to reflect any change.

    5. While extremely unlikely, it is conceivable that EDEN products listed as 'gluten free' could become affected with miniscule amounts of gluten. Please use common sense depending upon your level of sensitivity and feel free to contact us about specific Eden foods.

    For a full list of Eden's gluten free products you can visit their website.

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    Saturday, 8 October 2011

    Sunkist


    Sunkist Fruit Snacks are gluten free :)

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    Tootsie


    With Halloween coming up I've been looking into which confections are gluten free. I have found a number of products that are actually labelled gluten free, such as Sunkist Fruit Flavored Snacks and Mini Fruit Roll-Ups (yeah!), and I have been looking into different companies labelling policies such as Nestle, ConAgra, Allan Candy, Unilever, Kraft (Cadbury, Maynards) and Frito Lay.

    One big one for Halloween is Tootsie. Here is what their website says about gluten:

    At this time, all of our confections are gluten free with the exception of Andes cookies. We do not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt or any of their components and that includes our dusting on our conveyor belts. We do use corn and soy products in the manufacturing of our products.

    It's great to have so many options this year :)

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    Wednesday, 5 October 2011

    Phase 6 - Scour the Stores and Start Baking!

    Now that you have the basics, and the not-so-basics under control it is a great time to start experimenting with baked goods. Whether you choose to buy your gluten free bread and cookies or make your own, there will be a lot of trial and error. I'm hoping that I can minimize some of that for you, and save you some money along the way. Over time I will be posting all of my favourite store-bought foods and all of my favourite recipes and cookbooks to try and help you in your journey. I am quite particular in what I call "great", "amazing", or "fantastic" foods. I never thought I would use those terms with gluten free food but I now know that they exist and I want to share my findings with you.

    The first store-bought gluten free baked goods that we purchased were very disappointing. Everything was dry and crumbly, and tasted terrible. We experimented over and over, and it got quite expensive. I finally attended a meeting organized by our local Chapter of the Celiac Association and some of the presenters there had brought in some home-baked goodies to share. There was also a local vendor, Judy's Magic Mixes, who had brought in some freshly made bread, cakes and even a pizza! It was at that meeting that I had my first tastes of great gluten free specialty foods. What a relief! I collected a few extra cookies to take home to PapaBee (still not trusting anyone else to make food for BoyBee), and then the gentleman from Judy's Magic Mixes caught me adding a corner of his loaf of bread to my stash…he asked what I was doing and I thought I was in trouble for a moment until he took what remained and gave me most of what was left! It was so exciting to take these goodies back to my family.

    There are quite a few great foods available on the market nowadays but they are not always easy to source. I am a great supporter of purchasing gluten free products online (more on that in a later post), but the very best foods you can get are going to come straight from your kitchen. I've done a lot of experimenting with recipes and had many poor results. It was such a relief when things started to turn around. My advice is to hang in there, stock the most common flours and starches, and try to find a trusted source for recipes (maybe me?). Oh, and once you have found a place to buy a given item it is a great idea to record where you got it. It is hard to find a store that carries everything so my products have come from 5 or 6 different stores. I wish I had written down where I got certain ones as they were not all easy to find!

    To start you off with your shopping, find two or three recipes that look great and start searching for ingredients. I found that every time I found a new recipe it would call for an ingredient that I didn't have yet so I started buying them all, whether I needed them at the time or not. Over time you'll learn which items are most useful to and you can stock up then. One final tip...If you know of a cookbook with a lot of great recipes that uses a pre-made mix, make a big batch - it is a wonderful time saver.

    Here is a list of what I tend to stock...

    Most frequently used:

    - brown rice flour
    - white rice flour
    - almond flour/meal
    - tapioca flour/starch
    - arrowroot starch
    - potato starch
    - corn starch
    - corn flour
    - amaranth flour
    - chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour)
    - buckwheat flour
    - sorghum flour
    - xanthan gum
    - baking soda
    - baking powder

    Less often:

    - sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour)
    - quinoa flour
    - hazelnut flour/meal
    - coconut flour
    - flaxseed meal
    - guar gum
    - millet flour
    - potato flour (different from potato starch)
    - quinoa flakes
    - teff flour
    - cornmeal

    Phase 1 - Start Eating
    Phase 2 - Remove the Obvious Gluten
    Phase 3 - Try Some Gluten Free Grains
    Phase 4 - Eliminating Cross Contamination in the Kitchen
    Phase 5 - Removing Other Hidden Sources of Gluten

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    Friday, 30 September 2011

    Note to Starbucks: Bring it!


    I recently emailed Starbucks Customer Service to find out which drinks are gluten free:

    I am on a strict gluten free diet, even trace amounts of wheat, rye, oats or barley can make me sick. Could you tell me if there are any drinks at Starbucks that are completely gluten free? This information would be very helpful to me!

    The response that I received was disappointing:

    Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

    Starbucks is unable to guarantee a "gluten-free" environment in our retail locations due to the potential for cross contamination with gluten-containing products. The open environment and operating procedures of our store locations may present additional risk for gluten-sensitive customers aside from the gluten-containing ingredients themselves. "Gluten-free" is a claim with specific requirements defined by government agencies and industry standards. We are unable to make this claim on a product unless the item is specifically formulated and manufactured to meet the definition of the claim

    If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.

    I feel that Starbucks can do better, and in different words I'm basically asking Starbucks to "Bring it!". Come on Starbucks, you can do better than that!

    Thank you for your response.

    Are there any plans in place to modify your operating procedures so that Starbucks drinks could be a safe option for those who are on gluten free diets? I have no first-hand barista experience, but from the customer side it seems like it would be fairly straight-forward to make safe drinks.

    Lattes: If your beans are gluten free, everything that goes through your espresso machine is safe. I believe your steamers are only used to steam milk (you would have to verify that your soy milk or other milk alternatives are gluten free), so your steaming equipment is safe. Then you have your syrups - if you could identify which syrups are gluten free we have ourselves a gluten free latte!

    Blended ice drinks and smoothies: If you can verify which ingredients are gluten free, and ensure that good cleaning practices are in place, this could provide many safe options.

    Bottled drinks: Do you know which bottled drinks are gluten free? The teas? The frappuccinos? Juices? Even this is helpful.

    We all realize that there are risks to consuming anything that is not produced in a gluten free environment, but if we are very careful and if the staff are properly trained, it is extremely feasible to produce safe products. Food can be quite tricky, but drinks are especially straight-forward.

    By taking a "unable to guarantee a "gluten-free" environment" stance Starbucks is greatly limiting their customer base. There are over 3 million Americans with celiac disease and many more who are gluten intolerant. We would love to know that we have options at Starbucks, as eating on the go is very challenging.

    I would love to know if Starbucks has any plans to become more accommodating to people restricted to a gluten free diet! Thanks for your help.

    I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response...

    Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

    I am truly sorry to hear about your Gluten inquiry.

    I want you to know that we take feedback from our loyal customers seriously. Because you know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks, I will share this with the appropriate department here in our corporate office.

    We have made a promise to our customers to provide outstanding products and service. I know that this is a primary reason why you visit Starbucks and I understand how disappointing it is when we let you down.

    Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to improve what we do.

    If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.

    I am typically very accepting when a company indicates that it's products are not safe for those who cannot have gluten, but in this case I thought it was a bit silly of them to not even try. Starbucks seems to be everywhere, and it would be so nice to be able to travel and know that there is such an easy-to-find coffee shop to grab a safe latte.

    If you feel the same way I am sure Starbucks would love to hear from you! info(at)starbucks(dot)com Pass along the message to anyone you know who would support gluten free drinks at Starbucks!

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