GIG of Marin December meeting and special guest

Posted on November 10th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in GIG of Marin, Holidays/Special Events, SF Bay Area, Upcoming Events | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarinlogo21Our next meeting of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will take place on Tuesday, December 7th at 6:30.

For our holiday meeting, we will welcome special guest Pamela of Pamela’s Products who will share fun stories and great baking tips! We are starting earlier than usual, at 6:30pm, with a potluck — bring your favorite savory or sweet dish to share (and you might want to bring an extra container to take home leftovers!).  Samples of Pamela’s cheesecake and other goodies will be offered.

pamelaPlease let your gluten free friends and family know about this special chance to meet Pamela and experience GIG of Marin. The meeting is free; however, please consider a donation of $5 or more to cover the costs of renting the meeting room, printing the handouts, etc.

Whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or are learning more about gluten free living for yourself, family or friends, we welcome you to the GIG of Marin. New members, friends, and loved ones are always welcome.

As always, we request that you RSVP to this event by emailing us at: glutenfreemarin@yahoo.com.

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will meet:

  • Tuesday, December 7th
  • 6:30 to 9:00pm
  • Community Room at Corte Madera Town Center (upstairs at PF Chang’s end) 770 Tamalpais Dr. Suite 201, Corte Madera, CA, 94925

We look forward to seeing you!


Make any cookie festive!

Posted on October 30th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

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Okay, if you are like me, you don’t always (never?) have time to make roll out sugar cookies, cut them into shapes and decorate. Though they are fun, they really are time-consuming. And I still haven’t experimented enough to find a reliable gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free roll out sugar cookie recipe.

What I have been doing lately is make whatever cookie is good (in this case it was oatmeal cookies) and pipe decorations onto them. The kids love them! If you don’t own a piping set, you really must get one. It’s so easy and fun to make your treats look fancy!

Don’t miss the 2010 Halloween Candy lists:


Halloween Candy List – Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Status – 2010

Posted on October 3rd, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Food Allergies, Gluten Intolerance, Holidays/Special Events, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Products, Wheat Allergy | Read 73 Comments - Add Your Own »

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM 2010. THE 2011 HALLOWEEN LIST IS HERE: Halloween Candy List Gluten-Free Allergen-Free 2011

Here’s the list you’ve been looking for… but first, you get to see the giant spider I made in my yard last year for Halloween! The Home Depot guys cutting the black pipe to my specifications thought I was crazy! The spider is coming out again this year with some modifications (furry perhaps?)

spider1

Now on to the candy…

Each candy shows if its ingredients contains wheat/gluten, milk (dairy), soy, egg, nuts, or peanuts (6 of the top 8 allergens — fish and shellfish are not included since I have not found this to be a concern with candy). I do not include coconut as a tree nut and have not listed coconut as an allergen. I called many of the manufacturers and/or checked their websites for gluten and allergen information,which I have noted at the end of each manufacturer’s section. To print this list, click on the Print icon above the title. If you don’t see the print icon, click on the title of the article first.

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients and also check with the child’s parents before giving them any candy or allowing them to eat anything! I will not be held liable for any accident occurring due to the use of this list. It is meant as a guide only.

In a hurry? Check out these:
Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2010
Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2010

NOTE for bloggers: If you are going to post or share this list, would you be so kind as to give me credit and link to me? This took many hours of my life and I even got kicked out of Walgreen’s for taking notes in the candy aisle, so please be considerate of my hard work! :)

Mainstream candy listed by brand, in alphabetical order:

ADAMS & BROOKS

  • Scooby Doo! Fun Pops (lollipops with picture of Scooby Doo)
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, nuts, egg, milk, wheat/gluten, soy
    • Ingredients contain: no top 8 allergens
    • Package statement: “Packaged in a plant that processes peanuts and tree nuts.”

AIRHEADS

  • Airheads Bars and Airheads Bars Sour
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, nuts, egg, milk, wheat/gluten
    • Ingredients contain: soybean oil
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour”
  • Airheads Xtremes Rolls
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, nuts, egg, milk
    • Ingredients contain: wheat flour, soybean oil
  • Airheads Xtremes Belts
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, nuts, egg, milk, soy
    • Ingredients contain: wheat flour, wheat starch
  • Airheads Pops and Whistle Pops
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, nuts, egg, milk, soy, wheat/gluten
    • Ingredients contain: none of the top 8 allergens

AMERICAN LICORICE CO.

  • Sour Punch Twists
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, nuts, egg, milk, soy
    • Ingredients contain: wheat/gluten

ANNABELLE’S

  • Big Hunk
    • Ingredients free of: wheat/gluten, milk, tree nuts (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: peanuts, eggs, soy lecithin
    • Package statement: “made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Rocky Road
    • Ingredients free of: none of top 8!
    • Ingredients contain: milk, tree nuts (cashews), wheat/gluten (barley malt and wheat flour), soybean oil
    • Package statement: “may contain peanuts, eggs, and flour”
  • Abba Zabba
    • Ingredients free of: tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat/gluten (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: peanuts, soybean oil and soy lecithin
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Look
    • Ingredients free of: tree nuts, wheat/gluten (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: milk, peanuts, soy lecithin, eggs
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • U-No
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, eggs, wheat/gluten (see company Gluten-Free info below)
    • Ingredients contain: milk, almonds, soy lecithin
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”

Gluten-Free info (via phone Sept 2010): The only guaranteed gluten-free candy is the 2 oz. (regular size) Big Hunk. For all other candies, including the mini Big Hunks, there is the possibility of contamination from flour that is used on the belts. While there is no flour used specifically for the Big Hunk minis, there is flour used on the belts for the manufacture of the Look bars.

CONTINUE READING »


Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2010

Posted on October 3rd, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Food Allergies, Gluten Intolerance, Holidays/Special Events, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Soy Allergy, Wheat Allergy | Read 21 Comments - Add Your Own »

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM 2010. THE 2011 HALLOWEEN LIST IS HERE: Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011

halloweenpumpkin

This is a 2010 quick list of Halloween candy with ingredients that are gluten-free and free of the top 8 allergens. I have included a package statement if it mentions allergens. For a more complete listing, along with company allergy statements, please read the Halloween Candy List – Gluten-Free Allergen-Free – 2010. For a gluten-free listing only, please read the Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2010. To print this list, click on the Print icon above the title. If you don’t see the print icon, click on the title of the article first.

NOTE for bloggers: If you are going to post or share this list, would you be so kind as to give me credit and link to me? This took many hours of my life and I even got kicked out of Walgreen’s for taking notes in the candy aisle, so please be considerate of my hard work! :)

Mainstream candies:

ADAMS & BROOKS

  • Scooby Doo! Fun Pops (lollipops with picture of Scooby Doo)
    • Package statement: “Packaged in a plant that processes peanuts and tree nuts.”

AIRHEADS

  • Airheads Pops and Whistle Pops

CADBURY ADAMS (now part of Kraft Foods)

  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
  • Sour Patch Xploderz
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that handles peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat.”

CE DE CANDY

  • Smarties (only USA, not Canada), Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, Bubble Gum Smarties, X-TREME Sour Smarties, Smarties Parties, Easter Smarties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Pops
  • Candy Money
  • Love Hearts

FARLEY’S AND SATHERS

  • Super Bubble and Super Bubble Blast
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that manufactures products containing traces of eggs.”
  • Trolli Gummi Bears, Trolli Sour Brite (Frite) Crawlers
    • Package statement: “Made in allergen-free facility but packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Jujyfruits, Jujubes
    • Package statement: “Made in allergen-free facility but packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Brach’s Candy Corn and Gummi Candy Corn (not flavored candy corns — see below)
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and/or soy protein”
  • Heide candies — Jujyfruits, Jujubes, Cool Grape, Red Raspberry Dollars, Wild Cherry

FERRARA PAN

  • Lemonhead, Red Hots, Chewy Lemonhead and Friends, Tropical Chewy Lemonhead and Friends, Applehead, Grapehead, Cherryhead
    • Package statement on some: “This product was manufactured in a facility where peanuts, almonds, milk, cashews, macadamias, pistachios, soy and egg are used in the production of other products.”

FRANKFORD CANDY & CHOCOLATE COMPANY

  • SpongeBob Gummy Krabby Patties
    • Package statement on some: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, and wheat.”
  • Gummy Body Parts
    • Package statement on some: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, milk and soy.”

HERSHEY

  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Hard Candy Sticks

IMPACT CONFECTIONS

  • Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes

JELLY BELLY

  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

JUST BORN

  • Mike & Ike
  • Hot Tamales
  • Peeps Pumpkins and Ghosts

NECCO

  • Necco Wafers

RIVIERA

  • Spooky Candy Rings (eyeballs, Frankenstein heads and other shapes on rings)

SPANGLER (may contain traces of soy oil)

  • Dum Dums
  • Chewy Pops
  • Saf-T-Pops
  • Circus Peanuts
  • Candy Canes
  • Chewy Canes

TOOTSIE

  • Dots

WRIGLEY

  • Starburst
  • Skittles, Skittle Sour and Skittle Crazy Cores
  • Lifesavers Hard Candy and Lifesavers Pops
    • Ingredients free of: wheat/gluten, peanuts, nuts, egg, milk, soy (except some flavors, like Butter Rum)
    • Ingredients contain: soy lecithin (some flavors)
  • Lifesavers Gummies, Big Ring Gummies regular and Sweet and Sour

WONKA

  • Bottlecaps, Everlasting Gobstopper, Runts, Fun Dip and Fun Dip Sour, Pixy Stix, Sweetarts (regular), Tart N Tinys, Nerds, Spree
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.” (Sweetarts)
  • Giant Chewy Nerds
    • Package statement: “Made on equipment that also processes peanuts, nuts, milk, wheat and soy.”

Natural/specialty candies:

AMANDA’S OWN CONFECTIONS (www.amandasown.com)

  • Chocolate shapes and chocolate lollipops

ANNIE’S

  • Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (Flavors: Tropical Treat, Berry Patch, Sunny Citrus, Summer Strawberry)

ENJOY LIFE (www.enjoylifefoods.com)

  • Boom CHOCO Boom Dark Chocolate Bar, Crispy Rice Bar, Milk Bar

INDIE CANDY (www.indiecandy.com)

  • Halloween Chocolate Lollipops, Halloween Crystal Lollipops, Halloween Gummies

PURE FUN (www.organiccandy.com)

  • Halloween Pure Pops
    • Ingredient statement: “Manufactured in a segregated area of a facility that may product products containing nuts.”

SURF SWEETS (www.surfsweets.com)

  • Gummy Worms, Gummy Swirls, Gummy Bears, Fruity Bears, Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Sour Berry Bears

YUMMY EARTH (www.yummyearth.com)

  • Lollipops, Candy Drop, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms

Looking for non-candy ideas for Halloween? Read How to have an allergy-free Halloween.


Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2010

Posted on October 3rd, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Holidays/Special Events, Wheat Allergy | Read 28 Comments - Add Your Own »

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM 2010. THE 2011 HALLOWEEN LIST IS HERE: Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2011

spiderweb1

This is a quick list of gluten-free Halloween candy for 2010. This list includes candies that do not contain wheat or gluten as an ingredient. I have included the allergen statement if it mentions wheat or gluten.

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients and also check with the child’s parents before giving them any candy or allowing them to eat anything! I will not be held liable for any accident occurring due to the use of this list. It is meant as a guide only.

For a more complete listing, along with allergy statements and other allergens, please read the Halloween Candy List – Gluten-Free Allergen-Free – 2010. For a list of candy free of most major allergens, read the Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2010. To print this list, click on the Print icon above the title. If you don’t see the print icon, click on the title of the article first.

NOTE for bloggers: If you are going to post or share this list, would you be so kind as to give me credit and link to me? This took many hours of my life and I even got kicked out of Walgreen’s for taking notes in the candy aisle, so please be considerate of my hard work! :)

Mainstream candies:

ADAMS & BROOKS

  • Scooby Doo! Fun Pops (lollipops with picture of Scooby Doo)

AIRHEADS

  • Airheads Bars and Airheads Bars Sour
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour.”
  • Airheads Pops and Whistle Pops

ANNABELLE’S

  • Big Hunk
    • Package statement: “made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Abba Zabba
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • Look
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”
  • U-No
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that uses milk, egg, treenuts, wheat and peanuts”

CADBURY ADAMS (now part of Kraft Foods)

  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
  • Sour Patch Xploderz
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that handles peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat.”

CE DE CANDY

  • Smarties (USA only, not Canada), Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, X-TREME Sour Smarties, Easter Smarties, Smarties Parties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Pops
  • Bubble Gum Smarties
  • Candy Money
  • Love Hearts

FARLEY’S AND SATHERS

  • Super Bubble and Super Bubble Blast
  • Trolli Gummi Bears, Trolli Sour Brite (Frite) Crawlers

    • Made in allergen-free facility but packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.
  • Jujyfruits, Jujubes

    • Made in allergen-free facility but packaged on equipment that packages products containing traces of milk, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.
  • Now and Later regular
  • Now and Later Soft
  • Brach’s Candy Corn and Gummi Candy Corn (not flavored candy corns — see below)
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
  • Brach’s Caramel Candy Corn, Caramel Apple Candy Corn, Chocolate Caramel Candy Corn
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and/or soy protein”
  • Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins
    • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and/or soy protein”
  • Heide candies — Jujyfruits, Jujubes, Cool Grape, Red Raspberry Dollars, Wild Cherry

FERRARA PAN

  • Lemonhead
  • Red Hots
  • Chewy Lemonhead and Friends
  • Tropical Chewy Lemonhead and Friends
  • Applehead
  • Grapehead
  • Cherryhead

FRANKFORD CANDY & CHOCOLATE COMPANY

  • SpongeBob Gummy Krabby Patties
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, and wheat.”
  • Gummy Body Parts
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, milk and soy.”

HERSHEY

  • Milk Chocolate Bars
  • Milk Chocolate Bars with Almonds
  • Milk Duds
  • Heath Minis
  • Kisses, Special Dark Kisses
  • Almond Joy
  • Mr. Goodbar
  • Baby Ruth
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Hard Candy Sticks
  • Jolly Rancher Doubles, Pops and Mini-Stix
  • Reese’s
  • Pay Day
  • York Peppermint Patties

IMPACT CONFECTIONS

  • Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes
  • Warheads Extreme Sour Hard Candy

JELLY BELLY

  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

JUST BORN

  • Mike & Ike
  • Hot Tamales
  • Peeps Pumpkins and Ghosts
  • Peeps Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Covered Pumpkins

MARS

  • M & Ms Plain
  • M & Ms Peanut
  • Snickers
  • 3 Musketeers and 3 Musketeers Mint
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar
  • Dove Milk Chocolate and Dove Dark Chocolate
  • Dove Peanut Butter

NECCO

  • SkyBar Twilight Saga Chocolate Truffle Heart
  • SkyBar Twilight Saga Peanut Butter Wolf
  • SkyBar Twilight Saga Caramel Cullen Medallion
  • Mary Janes
  • Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses (orange wrapper like taffy with no ingredients)
  • Wafers

NESTLE

  • Butterfinger
  • Raisinets
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Baby Ruth

PEARSON’S

  • Mint Patties

POPCORN EXPRESSIONS

  • Kettle Corn Snack Bags

RIVIERA

  • Spooky Candy Rings (eyeballs, Frankenstein heads and other shapes on rings)

R.M. PALMER COMPANY

  • Palmer Tricky Treats — Googly Eyes, Boneheads, Pumpkin Patch
    • Package statement: “Manufactured on equipment which also processes wheat, peanut butter and tree nuts.”
  • halloweeneyeballcandyCreepy Peepers (white wrapped balls that look like eyeballs with various colors of eyes and red veins — no ingredients listed on individual pieces)
    • Package statement: “Manufactured on equipment which also processes wheat, peanut butter and tree nuts.”
  • Peppermint Patties
    • Package statement: “Manufactured on equipment which also processes wheat, peanut butter and tree nuts.”

RUSSELL STOVER

  • Marshmallow Pumpkin, Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin, Marshmallow Football
    • Package statement: “Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.”
  • Coconut Cream Pumpkin
    • Package statement: “Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.”

SPANGLER

  • Dum Dums
  • Chewy Pops
  • Saf-T-Pops
  • Circus Peanuts
  • Candy Canes
  • Chewy Canes
  • Shrek Ogreheads

TOOTSIE

  • Charleston Chew (including minis)
  • Charms Blow Pops, Sweet Pops, Zip-A-Dee Mini Pops, Fluffy Stuff Pops
  • Charms Flat Pops
  • Dots
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Rolls and Fruit Rolls
  • Junior Mints
  • Junior Caramels
  • Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum, Tear Jerker Sour Bubble Gum
  • Sugar Babies and Sugar Mama
  • Sugar Daddy
  • Caramel Apple Pops

WONKA

  • Bottlecaps, Everlasting Gobstopper, Runts, Fun Dip and Fun Dip Sour, Pixy Stix, Sweetarts (regular), Tart N Tinys, Nerds, Spree
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.” (Sweetarts)
  • Chewy Runts, Chewy Gobstopper, Laffy Taffy Stretchy and Tangy, Giant Chewy Sweetarts, Mini Chewy Sweetarts, Sweetarts Chewy Twists, Chewy Tart N Tiny, Chewy Spree
    • Package statement: “Made in a facility that also processes wheat.” (Giant Chewy Sweetarts)
  • Laffy Taffy, Laffy Taffy Rope, Sweetarts Chew
  • Giant Chewy Nerds
    • Package statement: “Made on equipment that also processes peanuts, nuts, milk, wheat and soy.”

WRIGLEY

  • Starburst
  • Skittles, Skittle Sour and Skittle Crazy Cores
  • Lifesavers Hard Candy and Lifesavers Pops
  • Lifesavers Gummies, Big Ring Gummies regular and Sweet and Sour
  • Hubba Bubba Gum, Glop, Max, Pop

Natural/specialty candies:

AMANDA’S OWN CONFECTIONS (www.amandasown.com)

  • Chocolate shapes and chocolate lollipops

ANNIE’S

  • Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (Flavors: Tropical Treat, Berry Patch, Sunny Citrus, Summer Strawberry)

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE (www.chocolatedecadence.com)

  • Chocolate Halloween shapes and chocolate bars
    • except pretzel items

CRISPY CAT

  • Mint Coconut Candy Bar
  • Toasted Almond Candy Bar
  • Chocolate Marshmallow Candy Bar

DIVVIES (www.divvies.com)

  • Boo x2 Chocolate Ghosts
  • BinGo! Divvine Chocolate Bar
  • Benjamint Crunch Bar
  • Halloween Jelly Beans

ENJOY LIFE (www.enjoylifefoods.com)

  • Boom CHOCO Boom Dark Chocolate Bar, Crispy Rice Bar, Milk Bar

INDIE CANDY (www.indiecandy.com)

  • Halloween Chocolate Lollipops
  • Halloween Crystal Lollipops
  • Halloween Gummies

PURE FUN (www.organiccandy.com)

  • Halloween Pure Pops

SURF SWEETS (www.surfsweets.com)

  • Gummy Worms, Gummy Swirls, Gummy Bears, Fruity Bears, Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Sour Berry Bears

YUMMY EARTH (www.yummyearth.com)

  • Lollipops, Candy Drop, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms

Looking for non-candy ideas for Halloween? Read How to have an allergy-free Halloween.


Happy Birthday to my girls and Aloha! gluten-free cakes

Posted on August 31st, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Food Ideas, Gluten Intolerance, Holidays/Special Events | Read 5 Comments - Add Your Own »

hawaiigirls

This year’s double birthday party featured a Hawaiian theme. We went to Hawaii on vacation this summer and my girls fell in love with a hula dancer we saw. (I also encouraged the Hawaii idea so I could re-use the fish decorations I have used the last two years! I am running out of themes featuring the ocean.)

Once again, my mom made the cakes with Pamela’s chocolate cake mixes, and they were gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. I have already frozen the leftovers for any future cake needs that arise — I will keep the frosting as is or scrape it off and refrost as necessary!

birthdaygirls2010

4cake6cake

We had 12 little girls and invited the parents to stay for food and Mai Tais made with my husband’s grandfather’s secret Mai Tai recipe from Hawaii. You only needed one!
The gluten-free dinner menu included:

  • Quinoa tabouleh salad with cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, mint, parsley, lemon juice, feta cheese
  • Black bean salad with corn, jicama, red pepper, and cucumber, tossed in a vinaigrette
  • Oven roasted baby gold potatoes
  • Barbecued Aidell’s chicken apple and cajun style andouille sausages
  • Freshly cut pineapple

The party was a success, complete with tiki mask pinata, treasure hunt and a spontaneous dance party at the end. It is hilarious to hear 6 and 4 year olds singing, “All the single ladies!” They are growing up too fast!

Past birthday posts:
Happy Birthday to my girls and wow! gluten-free mermaid cakes! 2009
Happy Birthday to my girls 2008


Easter candy gluten-free and allergen-free

Posted on March 30th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Holidays/Special Events, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Products, Recipes & Cooking Tips, Soy Allergy | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Easter is coming quickly! Are you ready?

Let’s cut to the chase! This list is by no means complete… but here are some ideas. You can also check out last year’s Easter article. Post more ideas in the comments if you have them!

JELLY BEANS:

  • jellybeans2Jelly Belly
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy*, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • SuperFruit flavors are made with all natural colors and flavors and was recently accepted by Feingold Association.
    • Allergen info (via web March 2010):
      *Soy lecithin is used on Chocolate Pudding flavor.
      Are your Jelly Belly jelly beans gluten-free?
      All flavors of Jelly Belly beans are free of gluten. We do not use any wheat, rye, barley, or oats in the basic recipe for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The modified food starch listed on the package is cornstarch.
      If I am allergic to peanuts, can I eat Jelly Belly jelly beans?
      Please continue to carefully check all ingredient statements on packages and bulk bins for peanut ingredients.  We discontinued Peanut Butter flavor of Jelly Belly beans (this flavor contained peanut butter and peanut flour) however, it is possible this flavor may still be included in packages sold in retail stores.
      None of the other flavors of Jelly Belly beans contain peanuts as an ingredient.  We no longer process peanuts in our manufacturing plants.
      Are Jelly Belly jelly beans dairy-free?
      Yes.  We work very closely with all of our ingredient suppliers to ensure that all ingredients are free of dairy.
  • Surf Sweets
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy*, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • Allergen Info (via web March 2010):
      Are your products gluten-free and casein-free? Yes, all of our products are both gluten-free and casein-free. Casein is the protein found in dairy.
      Are your products peanut-free? Yes, all of our products do not contain peanuts and are produced and packaged in a facility free of peanuts.
      Are your products produced and/or packaged in a facility with other common allergens? No, our products are produced in a facility free of: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
      Surf Sweets products are made with natural colors and flavors, organic fruit juice and sweeteners, and provide you with your daily allowance of Vitamin C. We are also one of the only candies made without corn syrup.
  • Gimbal’s
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • Allergen info (via web March 2010):
      Gimbal’s Fine Candies facilities are free of these eight most common food allergens.
  • Just Born
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • Allergen info (via phone March 2010)
      Please always check packaging as ingredients can change from year to year, but at this time, the jelly beans are free of gluten and the top 8 allergens.
  • Update: Jolly Rancher, Starburst, Lifesaver and Mike & Ike Jelly Beans are all free of the top 8 allergens!

BUNNIES & CHICKS & EGGS, oh my!

  • peepsPeeps
    • Gluten-free (including chocolate covered peeps)
    • Regular peeps are free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish). Chocolate covered peeps contain dairy and have an allergen warning for peanut, tree nut, egg and coconut.
    • Allergen info (via phone March 2010)
      Please always check packaging as ingredients can change from year to year,
      but at this time, Peeps are free of gluten and the top 8 allergens.
  • Hershey’s
    • Check label!
    • Stay away from Robin Eggs! These are Whoppers in an Easter disguise, and they contain gluten.
    • Hershey’s allergen info:
      The Hershey Company strives to provide its consumers with accurate, reliable ingredient statements upon which consumers can make their purchase decision. The Hershey Company has an Allergy Task Force that ensures that the ingredient statements are always accurate, and that any allergen statements placed on the label is understandable. Do your products share plants & equipment? We take food allergies very seriously at Hershey and have strict procedures in place to prevent crossover of allergens into other products that do not contain the allergen. In instances where we have a concern about possible crossover by an allergen we take the added precaution of including an allergy information statement on the label.
  • Make your own chocolate eggs and lollipops!
    If you’re worried about the ingredients in the available chocolates out there, trying making your own! Here’s how I did it:

    1. I got Easter egg and bunny lollipop molds at a baking supply store (Cake Art).
    2. I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
    3. I tempered the chocolate in the microwave (see end of post for instructions), poured it in, and let it set in refrigerator.
    4. I wrapped the little chocolates with colored foil and the lollipops with clear plastic and a pretty ribbon.
    5. I marveled at my work — it was so easy I couldn’t believe it! :)
  • Garnish baked goods with bunnies and other Easter decor
    If you can’t actually find a bunny to eat, then stick one on top of a treat! Last year I made these mini-cupcakes using Pamela’s Vanilla and Chocolate cake and frosting mixes, with Wilton sprinkles and some bunny decorations. They were a hit and I will be making something similar again this year.

eastercupcakes

How to temper chocolate in a microwave oven to make chocolate molds (from the Guittard website):

  1. Place chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl. Place the bowl of chocolate in the microwave oven. Set power level to 5 or 50%. Set time to 30 seconds. Heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Take the bowl out of microwave oven and use a rubber spatula in a gentle sweeping motion to stir the chocolate, even if none of it has become liquid yet.
  3. Return the bowl to the microwave oven. Heat for 30 seconds more. Remove. And stir.
  4. Repeat the intervals of heating and stirring until about two-thirds of the chunks become liquid and about one-third are in soft lumps. The temperature of the liquid chocolate at this point will be about 100°. Continually stir to cool the chocolate until the soft lumps disappear and the temperature lowers to 89°F.
  5. At this point the chocolate should be in temper and ready to use.

Make a gluten-free Valentine pizza!

Posted on February 2nd, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Dairy Allergy, Food Ideas, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips, Wheat Allergy | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

heartpizza21

Valentine’s Day is about love. And who doesn’t LOVE pizza? Better yet, gluten-free pizza?

Decorating cookies is fun, but decorating a heart-shaped pizza is another great activity to do with kids. Bonus: you have dinner made!

To make heart-shaped gluten-free pizzas, I make the pizza dough using the Chewy Pizza Crust recipe on the bag of  Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix. I add some salt to the dough while mixing because it cuts the sweetness a bit which I like better for a pizza crust. This pizza is also dairy-free, soy-free and egg-free!

You can do the following for any pizza dough recipe:

  1. Grease baking sheets or pizza pans or heat a pizza stone.
  2. Divide the dough into as many pizzas as you want. You can make the pizzas as thick or thin as you want, or as big or little.
  3. Pour some olive oil on a little plate and press your palm into it.
  4. Use only your palm to spread the dough. Don’t get your fingers in the dough because they will get sticky! If you get dough stuck on your hands, wipe it off and start again with a clean palm in the olive oil. Kids can try spreading the dough themselves!
  5. Shape the dough into a heart and let rise as directed. After dough rises, reshape the heart if needed.
  6. Partially bake as directed.
  7. Put out different toppings and let the kids decorate their pizza. Sliced olives and salami (not spicy like pepperoni) are a favorite. We make some without cheese since my kids don’t eat dairy. You could go for an all red pizza — sauce, tomatoes, red peppers, pepperoni.
  8. decoratingvalentinespizza2decoratingvalentinespizza

  9. Bake as directed. The longer you bake, the crunchier it will get. Also, judge the baking time based on how thick or thin you made the dough.
  10. Say “I love you” and/or “I love pizza” as you bite into your delicious  gluten-free Valentine pizza!

heartpizza3


Happy Gluten-Free New Year!

Posted on December 31st, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Holidays/Special Events | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

new_year_2010This December marked my 7th anniversary of being gluten-free. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in December of 2002 and I celebrate it as a life-changing and positive event in my life. Obviously I would prefer to not have celiac disease, but I choose to celebrate the date of my diagnosis because I feel lucky to have found the answer to my ill health.

I know many of you out there have had similar stories, and I wish you a wonderful GF new year: Great Friends, Great Family, Great Fun and Great Food (gf of course)!

Happy New Year!
Alison


Gluten-free allergen-free gingerbread houses

Posted on December 10th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

gingerbreadhouse2You don’t have to miss out on making or eating a gingerbread house just because you are gluten-free or have food allergies. Gluten-free allergen-free gingerbread houses can be done! Here are some ideas:

  • Make the one I made last year, using Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix: Allergen-free gingerbread house
  • Order a gluten-free, allergen-free gingerbread house KIT from A&J Bakery! The Allergen Friendly Gingerbread House Kit is peanut, tree nut, wheat, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, and sesame free. The are all made in a dedicated nut and gluten free facility. The cost for the kit, which includes the gingerbread house pieces, candy and some non-edible decorations is $30 and can be ordered online. Or call them in Cranston, Rhode Island, at (401)228-8696.
  • Order mixes from Jules Gluten-Free, who is offering a holiday special that includes a recipe for a gingerbread house.
  • Follow the recipe for a gluten-free gingerbread house from Jenn Cuisine – it looks great!
  • If your child has egg allergy, use a recipe for allergen-free gingerbread house frosting.

If anyone has more ideas, please comment!