Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shortbread: Two Flour Mixtures, Two Cookies

Christmas is here, well almost, and that means time to bake and experiment. Last year, I tried to adapt a few recipes and just ended up with cookie spread and a super-sized, ok tasting, ugly looking chocolate chip cookie. I've learned a bit more this year and decided to jump back in and try to adapt some of the family favourites.

My Mom is an amazing cook and baker but the Christmas baking torch has been passed to me in recent years. I wanted to make food the whole family could enjoy without people wishing my mom took over the gluten baking duties. I decided to buy a bag of Bob's Red Mills all purpose baking mix to experiment this holiday season. For the first batch of cookies (star cookie on the left), I used the Bob's Red Mill mix. I love the brand and all they have to offer so I felt pretty confident that the cookies would turn out. Hot out of the oven, I was a bit worried but they cooled to something a lot more tasty. My family likes them but I felt I could taste the garbanzo and fava bean flour so decided to make a second batch with my 1:1:1 sorghum, tapioca, brown rice mix. I like the second batch better as does my dad but my mom likes the first batch. If you have the time, experiment but most of all, enjoy some cookies with your family.

Shortbread adapted from Robin Hood's Favourite:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (icing sugar should also work)
2 3/4 cups gluten free flour mixture
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 cup gluten free flour for dusting.

In a bowl or mixer, cream butter. Add the sugar gradually, beating until smooth and creamy. Add flour gradually, mixing well after each addition. Mix well until smooth.

Chill dough for easy rolling (about 1 hour as any longer the dough gets too hard). Roll out dough, one portion at a time on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. I found the dough really stuck to the rolling pin so I used my hands a lot. **Remember if you are using a wood rolling pin, make sure it is new or just used for gluten free cooking.

Cut into shapes with floured cutters. Bake at 325ºF for 12 - 18 minutes or until light golden. Before cooking, you can also decorate them but I love the simple, plain shortbread.

Let them cool and age (if you have time) as the flour flavour settles and the butter flavour comes out. Enjoy!

Christmas Cookies - Mocha Shortbread

Well, it sure has been a while!!! It has been a busy Summer, Fall and Winter but that doesn't mean the cooking has stopped.

I promise to catch up and post some great treats I've made this year including: lemon ricotta cake, cupcakes, squash risotto and many more delicious things.

And, of course, Christmas cookies. I started late but it has been a full on job the past few days as I'm home with the family getting ready for Christmas. It has been five years since we have all been at home as we have spent the other years in Mexico! Last year was my first gluten-free Christmas and it was fine (besides that cake I bite into by accident as I was told it was ice cream), but this year we are at home and looking to bring back our holiday traditions.

An all time family favourite is my mom's mocha shortbread. I'm not sure where this recipe came from originally but my mom's copy is typed up on some circa 1990 computer/printer combo and there is no longer a digital version to be found. After a few days of searching, the recipe appeared. We were going to make these with regular flour but I didn't want to spend time making something I couldn't eat so I decided to try them gluten free. It was pretty simple and they turned out great. The photo is from them fresh out of the oven not 30 minutes ago...delicious! I cannot wait until they cool for a treat with breakfast (shortbread really does benefit from cooling unlike other types of cookies).

My flour mixture was passed on to me last year at a program with the Gluten-free Vancouver. The mixture is 1:1:1 tapioca flour, sorghum flour and rice flour (I use brown rice for everything). I made up a mix of 1 cup of each flour, shook it all together and got ready to make these cookies.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons strong brewed coffee (we use espresso)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (as above) or regular flour for the gluten-eating folks
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon fine-ground coffee
1/4 cup granulated sugar, optional

In bowl or mixer, cream butter with icing sugar until fluffy; beat in liquid coffee, vanilla & almond extract. Stir together flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, & ground coffee. Blend into butter mixture, using hands if necessary.

On waxed paper, shape into a rectangle about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Wrap in wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more until a harder form. I found with the gluten free version of this recipe, the dough was pretty soft from the butter and really needed the fridge.

Remove from fridge and cut into 1 inch slices. Bake on ungreased baking sheets at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until firm & lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and lightly press tops into granulated sugar. We found the gluten-free form were really fragile when warm so we sprinkled sugar on top while they cooled instead.

My mom used to make these a month before Christmas and would store in tins in cool places (garage, shed, trailer). They improve with age but as I made mine tonight, they will be eaten right away.

As they are fragile, I would consider adding potato starch to the 1:1:1:1 mixture of flours next time in equal portion. The mocha, vanilla, almond flavours should cover the potato taste and it may make it stick together better. I'll try it next time and post the results.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gluten-Free Lemon Cake

It has been a while since I blogged so today I'm finally catching up with blogs to follow and desserts to enjoy. Gluten-Free Lemon Cake is a great mix of the previous two posts as it combines dessert with a fabulous recipe from the Celiac Teen website.

I made this cake for a bridal shower this weekend and I think it may be my new favourite dessert. It is perfectly light and decadent at the same time. It also tastes like summer to me and is the perfect patio treat paired with a nice light white wine. I'm already planning to make it again.

Lemon Cake
1 cup salted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest (or feel free to add more for extra flavour)
4 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk (or soy or regular milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup lemon juice (best if freshly squeezed)
3/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
3/4 brown rice flour (or any rice flour will work)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two round 8 inch cake pans (or one larger and one smaller version if you don't have matching cake pans)
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add in zest and mix until combined.
3. In another bowl, combine eggs, almond milk, vanilla and lemon juice
4. In a separate bowl, combine remaining agreements
5. Alternatively add flour and liquid mixture to the butter mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
6. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Buttercream
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy
2. Slowly add in sugar about a 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated
3. Add vanilla and blend until buttercream is fluffy

Spread on bottom cake layer and then add the top piece. Spread icing on the top layer with a spatula.

Enjoy this seriously delicious dessert. It is light, fluffy and perfect. Love it. Thanks to the celiac teen for posting the great dessert.

Gluten-Free Bloggers

Thank goodness for the internet. It is hard to imagine what celiacs pre-internet did for new recipes. Yes, I know there are bookstores and libraries and doctors but there is something about being inspired by other gluten-free blogs out there in the world.

I have a few that I follow and check in on regularly. The first one the Gluten Free Girl and Chef was introduced to me by a non-celiac cousin. She mentioned the delicious recipes and great posts as a source of food inspiration gluten-free or not. As soon as I was diagnosed, I quickly ordered a copy of the book Gluten-Free Girl: How I learned to love the food that loves me back...and how you can too by Shawna James Ahern. The book is fabulous, funny, inspirational and will shake your depressed, life changed butt into the kitchen. Shawna and her chef husband, Danny, are coming out with a cookbook in September. Needless to say, I CANNOT wait!

Check out Shawna's blog at

Another great blog is the Celiac Teen which follows avid teen baker Lauren through adventures of adapting recipes. I have made some of the desserts and WOW, they are delicious.

Check out Lauren's blog at

The gluten-free goddess is another fantastic blog and Karina encourages other gluten-free bloggers to post the image above to definite their blogs. The layout is fantastic and there are tons of recipes to appeal to all members of the family not just those with celiac.

Hope these help you on your gluten-free journey. I know when I'm feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I check out some of my favourite blogs and then I feel okay (and yes, that is a Sound of Music reference).

Happy Cooking and Baking!

Nanaimo Bars

One of my favourite desserts are Nanaimo Bars! Not long after being diagnosed, I knew I would need to figure out how to make them gluten-free as I was not willing to give up my favourite special treat. Luckily, these are easy to make gluten-free or not. I cannot figure out why it took me so long to try making them as they are very simple, no cooking dessert.

Weddings and birthdays are all around so I decided to make a batch for a recent friend's bridal shower. So tasty that nobody even knew they were gluten-free until they saw me eating one.

Make a batch and enjoy with friends...they will love you for it.

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 cup coconut (shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

Make the bottom layer and then place in fridge for 30 minutes or more before adding the next layer.

Middle Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons almond milk (or milk or soy milk)
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Add middle layer to the fridge cooled bottom layer. Spread with a spatula until even and return to the fridge while you make the top layer.

Top Layer:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

If you have a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together. Stir constantly to prevent burning. If you don't have the pot, then place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 - 30 second increments stopping to stir. Repeat until fully melted. Pour on top of the other layers. Spread with a spatula or tip the pan back and forth to create a more smooth top finish.

Place back in the fridge to cool. Cut into squares, serve and enjoy.

I have more birthday parties coming up and I'm sure I will make another batch.

Monday, April 5, 2010

turkey chili & cornbread muffins

After spending the Easter weekend with a cup of tea, movies and cold medicine, I decided it was time to cook something up that would help with my recovery. Spring is in the air in Vancouver and as the weather flips back and forth between beautiful sunshine and torrential windstorms, turkey chili seemed like the perfect dinner.

I'm a fan of food that can be mixed, changed and improvised. Like pizza and risotto, chili is one of those meals that can be mixed and changed depending on the season. The weather is warm enough that beef seems too heavy so I decided to try it with ground turkey instead.

Tasty, spicy and the perfect meal for the end of a long weekend spent recovering from a cold. I'm already thinking of changes for next time. Until then...enjoy

Turkey Chili
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cups of water
2 cups of tomatoes (or 1 can crushed tomatoes if there is nothing is in season)
1 can red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
1 can corn - drained
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder (less if you are looking for less of a kick)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place the turkey in the pot and cook until evenly brown. Stir in the onion and cook until tender.
2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, corn and garlic. Season with chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (minimum).

Homemade cornbread muffins are fantastic (and I will post a recipe here sometime) but in a post-cold haze, Bob's Red Mills cornbread mix is perfect. All you need is milk (or soy or almond milk), butter or vegetable oil and 2 eggs. Bob's Red Mills makes two cornbread mixes so make sure you grab the gluten-free package!

Choose to make the bread or muffin version and in 20 minutes, you'll have the best side to your homemade chili.

The perfect way to end a weekend and great leftovers for the whole week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

more adventures in Seattle

Just up the road from Romios is a fabulous bakery specializing in Wheat and Gluten-free baked goods. There are also a lot dairy free and vegan options.

I enjoyed trying two types of brownies. The first was a rich dark chocolate brownie. There was no way to tell it was vegan. Delicious. The second was a mint chocolate brownie that was also to die for. Unfortunately, they were both so fantastic that they were consumed before a photo could be taken.

If you are in the Seattle area, check out the brownies and other treats for yourself!

Wheatless in Seattle
10003 Greenwood Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98133-9137

Friday, March 26, 2010

foreign adventures in gluten-free food

A hard part about cooking with restrictions is staying motivated and inspired. I'm not sure if it is the same for people who choose dietary restrictions but being forced, for health reasons, to eat a certain way can be difficult. Sometimes you just want to order take out and eat with the 'regular' folk.

In Seattle, you can enjoy being one of the regular folk.

Romios Pizza & Pasta is fantastic with the longest gluten-free menu I have ever seen. The owner is gluten-free and believes everyone deserves hot, fresh pizza, pasta and tasty garlic bread. I'm not sure I have ever been that happy in a restaurant - before or after diagnosis.

The garlic bread was so fantastic that even the non-celiacs in the group couldn't tell the difference. The pizza options were amazing and I am already thinking about what I will have next time.

If you live in Washington state or British Columbia, it is definitely worth the trip. The two local bakeries only a few blocks away also carry gluten-free options.

Romios Pizza & Pasta
8523 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103

Thursday, March 4, 2010

tomato fondue

All good cooking starts with great basics.

Thanks to my favourite cookbook, Healthy Gluten-Free Cooking by Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearny, gluten-free basics are easy to master. I also have to thank a dear celiac friend for passing along the cookbook. Without it, I probably wouldn't have eaten for weeks following my diagnosis last year. The recipes are easy to follow and are a great launch pad for inspiring new recipes. Without the cookbook, I wouldn't be writing this blog and I definitely wouldn't be enjoying experimenting in the kitchen.

Tomato fondue be a side vegetable dish, sauce for pasta, filling for an omelet or a base for stews. It will make you never want to eat pre-made pasta sauce ever again.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 medium very ripe tomatoes, peeled, in summer, or 2.5 x 14 oz cans tomatoes in winter
salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar to taste
1 tablespoon any of the following: freshly chopped mint or torn basil or a mixture of thyme, parsley, lemon balm, and marjoram
balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless steel saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, toss until coated, cover and sweat on gentle heat until soft but not coloured. It is vital for the success of this dish that the onions are completely soft before the tomatoes are added. Slice the peeled tomatoes and add with all the juice to the onions and garlic.

Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and sugar (canned tomatoes need more sugar because of their high acidity). Add the herbs. Cook, covered for 10 minutes more, or until the tomato softens. Cook fresh tomatoes for a shorter time to preserve the lively fresh flavour. Canned tomatores need to be cooked for longer depending on whether you want to use the fondue as a vegetable, sauce, or filling.

Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar at the end of cooking to greatly enhance the flavour.

Enjoy any way you like! I cooked mine as a side vegetable to accompany homemade crab cakes. Delicious!

Monday, March 1, 2010

shitake mushroom, shredded zucchini and bacon risotto

After an amazing Olympic Games filled with golden moments and amazing new friends, I'm back at it in the kitchen. I can now live a long life without seeing another untoasted gluten free bread sandwich after living off of them for the past month.

When I thought of what I would make on my first day off, the thing that came right to mind is my favourite shitake mushroom, zucchini and Canadian back bacon risotto. Before my diagnosis, I never made risotto. Pasta seemed like an easier dish for great meal. While rice and corn pasta exist, I have barely eaten it over the past year. Instead, I have discovered a love for risotto. Like pizza, it is a base that any food can be added to for a delicious dinner. It always seems to work out and tastes fabulous.

So for my first home cooked meal following the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, I decided to make risotto.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 white onion
Bacon - I use half a package of Freybe Canadian back bacon
1.5 cups chicken broth - I use Pacific Organics
1.5 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
1 shredded zucchini
shredded romano cheese

1. Boil chicken broth in separate pot. Let simmer on low heat once boiled
2. Pour olive oil into a heated wok or pan. Add bacon and thinly copped onions and cook until soft.
3. Add arborio rice and toast in pan until liquid is absorbed
4. Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth to the onion, bacon rice and stir until absorbed
5. Add shredded zucchini and mushrooms and another 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Stir until absorbed
6. Add the rest of the chicken broth and stir until absorbed
7. Add romano cheese when almost all of the broth is absorbed. Keep stirring.
8. Serve topped with romano cheese

Serve with a glass of chilled white wine and enjoy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

chocolate chip cookies

Pre-celiac, I loved to bake. The Joy of Cooking chocolate chip recipe was my favourite. There is something comforting about the smell of freshly baked cookies filling the house.

For the first six months of gluten-free eating, I focused on meals and cooking - not baking. There were a few recipes I would try (like the lemon squares) but I wasn't ready to attempt recreating my favourite cookie. In December, I attended a Living Gluten-Free Community event about adapting recipes. I was inspired and finally felt ready to tackle my favourite cookie.

(Check out the links section to connect to the Living Gluten-Free Community)

I jumped right in and decided to adapt the Joy of Cookie recipe. The cookies were too liquid, they spread and then cooled to a crispy, flat strange thing. And 'thing' is the best explanation. I cannot say they tasted bad exactly, but they weren't what I remembered either. It felt like a failure and I wondered if I was ready. I wish I took pictures of the depressing little things. Plus I would never want readers to think that everything turns out the first time around!

I've been testing out new baking treats on my dad's office. Today I stopped by and a few people asked if more cookies were coming soon. I came home and was about to remake a recipe but decided to search through some borrowed cookbooks to see if I could find a new recipe.

And I found something perfect in Gluten-Free Cooking by Anne Sheasby. The recipe is simple and quick (and I adapted it slightly to use butter instead of margarine). Plus don't they look great? I've already had four by the time I sat down to write this up.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

6 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup light soft brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup gluten-free cornmeal
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

Place the butter and sugars in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy

Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space for spreading between each one. Bake 10 - 15 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool before transferring to a wire rack.

For the dairy free, try with gluten-free/dairy-free margarine and dark chocolate chips or substitute.

They may not be exactly how I remember chocolate cookies but this recipe finally converted me to a new favourite. Bake and enjoy...and at this rate, I will be making another batch for the office as the first batch is going to disappear quickly.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

beef, broccoli & mushroom stir-fry

Stir-fry, pizza and risotto are three of my favourite things to make for dinner. It is the best way to cook odd vegetables that sitting in the fridge and they are meals that allow for tons of creativity. I call these three dishes the refrigerator cleaners and I mean that in the best possible sense!

For stir-fry, I always have rice noodles (preferably brown rice noodles) and gluten free tamari in my house so I can cook something quick and easy. I may purchase chicken, beef, bok choy or seasonal vegetables to add to my basics. I have a chicken recipe that has a slightly more complex sauce and will post later but for a quick weekday meal beef, broccoli and mushroom stir-fry is a perfect dinner.

When I went gluten free, I was surprised by all the hidden wheat, barley, oats and rye in foods and especially sauces. I have always been a fan of teriyaki sauce and soy sauce and wasn't sure how I could flavour my meals now that these items were off limits. After a few weeks of eating plain vegetables and meat, I knew I had to find a solution.

Have you heard of tamari? I did not know what is was or how it was different from soy suace when I first started reading about making my own sauces and salad dressings. It is apparently made with more soy beans than soy sauce resulting in a thicker product. Traditionally, it is not made with wheat but many brands thicken it with wheat so buyer beware.

I use Amano tamari that is labeled wheat free on the green label. Amano also makes a blue labeled tamari that contains wheat so read carefully. Nothing worse than cooking a great meal and realizing you contaminated it yourself!

If you do not have cornstarch, rice flour should work just as well to thicken your sauce. Cornstarch is a great thickener and is not expensive so you may want to invest in some for future cooking. Otherwise, rice flour or potato flour work well for this purpose.

Beef, Broccoli & Mushroom Stir Fry

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons gluten free tamari
2 garlic cloves (or more if you are an extreme garlic lover like I am)
1 inch piece of ginger root peeled and finely chopped
12 oz lean beef, cut into thin strips
1 red pepper
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
salt & pepper
brown rice noodles (or brown rice)

Soak the rice noodles in hot water. It does not need to be boiling water. Let soak for 8 - 10 minutes and then drain and set aside.

Blend the cornstarch with the tamari in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a wok, add the beef, garlic and ginger and stir-fry over a medium heat until the beef is browned all over.

Add the red pepper, broccoli and mushrooms and stir-fry until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the cornstarch mixture and salt and pepper to taste than cook until the sauce thickens.

Add rice noodles to the wok and mix with the meat and vegetables. Serve immediately.

If serving with rice instead of noodles, serve the stir-fry over the cooked rice.

Be creative. Change the vegetables with your other seasonal favourites...zuchini, green or yellow peppers, bok choy, various types of mushrooms, or cauliflower. I like to choose vegetables that make the meal more colourful but choose what is in season and what you love for the best results!


frosted lemon squares

The type of food I really wanted to eat the weeks after my diagnosis were desserts, except most of what I would eat as dessert was now off limits. A good friend of mine, who happens to be a celiac and dietitian, gave me my first cookbook as the starting ground for cooking. The book Healthy Gluten-Free Cooking by Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney. What I loved (and still love) about this book is the simplicity of the recipes and the limited use of gluten free flours. Most of the book depends on rice flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum for the recipes which are all easy to find. I flipped through the book trying to decide what to try to make and decided on making my first dessert.

One of the reasons I wanted to bake so quickly after my diagnosis was to be able to eat the new foods with memories of my old eating in order to see if I could tell the difference. I feared that years down the road I would be serving inedible gluten free food to friends and they would be too polite to tell me it just was not the same. I also have always loved baking.

The recipe is simple and I have made these many times since to rave reviews by friends. They are a moist, not too sweet treat perfect for a light dessert or a cake with afternoon wine or tea.

Frosted Lemon Squares

1.5 sticks (6 oz) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup (3 oz) rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1.5 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

For the frosting:
Freshly shredded rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Put the butter, sugar, eggs, rice flour, tapioca flour, gluten free baking powder, and xanthan gum into a bowl and mix together. I do this by hand but a food processor or mixer would work perfectly too.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until pale golden brown. My pan is a rectangle that makes for thin squares.

Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the frosting in a bowl. As soon as the biscuits are cooked, spoon a little of the frosting over the top at a time, allowing it to soak through before pouring on more. Leave to cool in the pan. Cut into squares.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the beginning...

When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I entered a week-long slump of barely eating because I could not figure out what I could eat without getting sick. It was a bit melodramatic and did not last long. Thankfully, my family and friends offered a lot of support and I was soon cooking and eating better than I had in months.

After testing out my new cooking skills on friends, I was encouraged to write a blog. But who would read it? Who really cares? How will it stand out in an internet filled with blogs? I put it off but after posting a few photos on facebook, requests came in for the recipes to match the pictures. The blog idea was reborn. But I put it off until last week, at a fabulous Italian dinner party with homemade pasta (I brought my own corn pasta), encouragement came from strangers and I was finally pushed over the edge.

So here it is Fabulous Gluten Free. The title is inspired by one of my favourite television character's excessive use of the word 'fabulous' as she stumbles through love, dating and writing in New York City. I figure what better way to stumble through learning and re-learning to cook, bake and eat gluten free.

The site is also conscious of budget. A lot of gluten free products (who am I kidding? all gluten free products) are significantly more expensive than their gluten counterparts. I have some gluten free blogs that I loyally follow but wanted to include the budget savvy element here. We all want to eat well and it is possible without breaking the bank.

I hope you enjoy the food!