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)

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 :)



- 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. 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!

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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 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


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!!!

Frito Lay
Kraft (Cadbury, Maynard's)

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Friday, 14 October 2011


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
Bubble Yum
Cadbury (in the US, this is Kraft in Canada)
Good & Plenty
Ice Breakers
Jolly Rancher
Kit Kat
Mauna Loa
Milk Duds
Mr. Goodbar
Oh Henry! (in Canada, this is part of Nestle in the US)
Pot of Gold
Scharffen Berger
Take 5
Young & Smylie

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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
Cascadian Farm
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Diablitos Underwood
Fiber One
Fruit Snacks
Gold Medal
Good Earth
Green Giant
Hamburger Helper
Knack & Back
La Salteña
Lucky Charms
Macaroni Grill
Mountain High
Muir Glen
Nature Valley
Old El Paso
Pillsbury Atta
Totino's / Jeno's
Wanchai Ferry
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, 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 Fruit Snacks are gluten free :)

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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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