Æbleskivers Gluten Free

Posted on December 13th, 2012 by Alison | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Æble – what? Æbleskivers: a sphere-shaped Danish pancake. When my daughter had a Heritage Feast at her school, we were asked to bring in a food that had meaning to our family. Since my grandmother is 100 years old, I thought we should honor her with a dish from Denmark.

I borrowed her cast-iron Æbleskiver pan and set out to make — you guessed it — gluten-free Æbleskivers! When we called my grandmother to discuss, she confirmed that “Oh, yes!”, she used to eat Æbleskivers as a child growing up with her Danish grandparents and ate them either with jam or powdered sugar.

To hear my daughter have this conversation with my grandma was the best part of this whole experience, and the second best part was my daughter’s excitement to make the Æbleskivers. The third best part was that they turned out great and we loved them!

So, I bring to you: Gluten-Free Æbleskivers!

Gluten-Free Æbleskivers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • extra butter for frying

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add in egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk and beat until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat or whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff peak. It is best to use cold eggs.
  4. Heat Æbleskiver pan until medium hot and put a pat of butter into each well.
  5. Put about two tablespoons of batter into each well. When the bottom is browned, turn the ball of dough so the other side can get browned. Be patient — if you try to turn it too early, it will result in a doughy mess. The browner it gets, the easier it will be to turn. People used to use knitting needles to turn the dough… I used a wooden skewer.
  6. When both sides are browned, remove the Æbleskiver to a plate.
  7. They are best served warm, dipped in jam or sprinkled with powdered sugar. There are many variations also — some people stick a piece of apple in the middle when it is half-way done cooking, others use applesauce, Nutella, banana — really anything you like!


Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin Holiday Potluck 2012

Posted on November 8th, 2012 by Alison | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

gigofmarin1

Mark your calendars and get out your recipe books: our Holiday Potluck is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 4. With a start time of 6:30 pm, this annual tradition offers more time for socializing among members and enjoying delicious gluten free foods together.

We are delighted to announce that this year our special guest will be Elaine Taylor, president of the Taylor Family Foundation and founder of Camp Celiac. In the spirit of the season, GIG of Marin will be giving the donations we collect at the door to The Taylor Family Foundation to support their goal of preserving the wellness and enhancing the quality of life for Northern California children with life-threatening or chronic illness, including celiac disease.

We will also hold a special raffle to raise money for the Taylor Foundation so bring extra cash or your check book!

Elaine Taylor has celiac disease herself, and is an advocate for education about gluten.  Her daughter, Katie Alin, is the owner of Miglet’s Gluten Free Bakery in Danville.  Read an interview with Elaine here.

Elaine Taylor and daughter Katie Alin at Miglet’s.
For the potluck, please bring a savory or sweet item to share with a card identifying the ingredients in your dish–particularly ingredients that are known to cause reactions in some people like eggs, dairy, corn, etc–so that all can find foods that are safe for them to enjoy.
And, if you can, please stick around at the end to help clean up the room–many hands make light work.
Because we need to provide enough supplies for everyone to enjoy the potluck, RSVPs are particularly important for this meeting. Please do so on our Facebook event page or by sending an email.
Help us spread the word and reach more people seeking support for their gluten free lives: visit our website for a printable flyer that you can post in public places and share with your friends, family and medical practitioners.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.The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will meet:

  • Tuesday, December 4th
  • 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!


Where have I been and where am I going?

Posted on September 20th, 2012 by Alison | Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »

Hello long-time followers of my blog (since 2007!) and hello newcomers, both to my site and to the gluten-free diet…

Where Have I Been?

Those of you who have been around a while may have noticed that I don’t post information as much as I used to (and those of you on Twitter may have noticed my absence there as well). It’s not because I don’t love you! My life has become filled to the brim, with a job, kids and their lives, a support group, and then of course I had to be the coach of my daughter’s soccer team (???!)

So I have put blogging on the back burner, last in the priority line. (Oh – I also have a husband that needs attention once in a while!) I still post occasionally, and I still have things to share with you, so don’t worry, I’m still around. I’m proud of the body of work I have created and moved by the comments and emails I receive every day — stories about recovery, desperate requests for advice, gratitude for providing a resource. I’m also thankful to all of you that have posted comments, offering insight to others needing help. (There are over 180 comments on the article I wrote about Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Gluten back in 2008 – amazing.)

Where Am I Going?

I’m going to Africa. Not for good — just an adventure. Why am I telling you this? Because for the next couple weeks I will really be out of touch! Plus, I’m celebrating two anniversaries — my wedding anniversary and my gluten-free anniversary. 10 years for each! I’ve got my bars packed, my GlutenEase (can’t hurt), and my fingers crossed that I will be able to easily eat. Good thing I’m a carnivore!

I will try to share my adventures when I return, including pictures of my food…

So hold down the site while I’m gone — make comments and help people out there on the path to good health!

Oh, one more thing — I have run out of time to do my annual Halloween candy safe list before my departure. I know many of you count on it every year. I don’t know if I will be able to do it in time for Halloween when I return. Sorry, sorry, sorry! It will be back next year.


Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin Special Event Sept 27th

Posted on September 5th, 2012 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarin1GIG of Marin invites you to their first special event featuring internationally renown gluten sensitivity expert, Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN, on September 27th, 2012. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are limited, so buy yours today!

O’Bryan is a board-certified nutritionist with a passion for educating people about the many manifestations of gluten sensitivity, both in the digestive system and beyond.

If you have been successfully managing a gluten free life due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, O’Bryan’s presentation will provide you with the latest medical research about your condition. And since O’Bryan is well-regarded for his ability to clarify the confusion around conditions relating to gluten sensitivity, this is an excellent event to bring your friends and family who are curious about whether gluten may be impacting their health or even those people who are skeptical about “the whole gluten thing.”

Identifying and Conquering Gluten Sensitivity
Thursday, September 27
6 pm   Food samples offered by a selection of local restaurants
7 to 9 pm  Lecture by Tom O’Bryan

At The Mill Valley Hotel (previously known as The Larkspur Hotel)
160 Shoreline Highway, just off 101

$10, advance registration

A sought-after speaker, O’Bryan lectures around the world including to The Royal Society of Medicine, London and the American College for the Advancement of Medicine. He was selected as one of 5 nationally recognized presenters on endocrinology by the International Symposium on Functional Medicine.

Trained as a nutritionist and chiropractor, O’Bryan is also a graduate of the Institute For Functional Medicine’s hallmark program Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice. In his clinical practice he is known as a “Sherlock Holmes” for finding the root cause of chronic disease and metabolic disorders. He is an independent clinical consultant to Cyrex Laboratories, which recently debuted testing for gluten sensitivity.

Generously serving samples from their gluten free menus at the special event will be

Lydia’s Sunflower Center
Lotus Cuisine of India
PF Chang’s
Sans Gluten Free Grocery
Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

Plus Flour Craft Bakery, owned by Heather Hardcastle who recently presented at a GIG of Marin meeting, will be offering samples of their confections which will be available at her new bakery in San Anselmo, opening this fall.

Buy your tickets now and invite your friends to this special opportunity to hear internationally-known gluten sensitivity expert Tom O’Bryan on September 27th.


The Taylor Family Foundation – amazing what they do for special needs kids!

Posted on August 21st, 2012 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

I am proud to say that I know Elaine Taylor. Elaine is warm and kind, and has celiac disease like me. I met her through various gluten-free groups and events because she runs Camp Celiac, a camp for kids who must live gluten-free. You see, kids who must be on a special diet often can’t attend regular camps, or if they do, special preparations and accommodations must be made, and the child inevitably feels singled out or embarrassed or left out because they can’t eat what the other kids are eating. At Camp Celiac, kids don’t have to worry about the food, and get to spend time just being kids.

But Elaine and The Taylor Family Foundation do much, much more than run Camp Celiac. In fact, Camp Celiac is one of the newer additions in a 20 year history of offering camps to kids with special needs, including:

  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Autism
  • Hemophilia
  • Bi-Polar disorder
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Brain tumors
  • Congenital Hand Deformities
  • Skin disease
  • Crohn’s, colitis & IBD
  • Pediatric cancers
  • Developmentally delayed
  • Preschool burn survivors
  • Deafness
  • Surviving the loss of a parent

And here’s the incredible part: these camps are FREE to the families of the kids with special needs. The Taylor Family Foundation raises money to be able to allow families to send kids from northern California to this camp. In addition, they provide services throughout the year. Their annual Day in the Park fundraiser is coming up on August 26th, and they accept donations throughout the year.

I had to write this post after watching this video on ABC7 — you will have a better idea of how special these camps are after viewing it.


zpizza – gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free

Posted on August 19th, 2012 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

Most of America takes for granted the ability to go out for pizza or have it delivered. Most families I know have pizza at least once a week and it is the standard food for birthday parties and sports team outings. If you have to avoid gluten, finding pizza gets a little more challenging, but there are more and more options out there. If you also have to avoid eggs and/or dairy, however, it becomes almost impossible to find a good, safe pizza.

zpizza, a pizza chain started in southern California, offers not only a gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free crust (made by Venice Bakery), but also offers Daiya cheese for those who want a non-dairy cheese option (it is also soy-free). They offer a gluten-free menu online and in the stores, as well as a vegan menu.

I really liked the pizza. The crust was crunchy but not crackery, and the toppings were really fresh. The meats are nitrate-free, the tomato sauce is organic and the veggies options are interesting, like arugula, shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and capers.

But the best part of all was that my gluten-free egg-allergic daughter could order a pizza. It’s the little things!

Note: zpizza states that they are not a gluten-free environment. While I was at the Petaluma, CA location they seemed very careful and used dedicated pans in the oven, but please dine at your own risk. If you have nut allergies please note that they use peanuts and pine nuts in some of their sauces.

 


Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin August 2012 Meeting

Posted on July 24th, 2012 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarin1Gluten Free Resource Exchange

Our next meeting of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will take place on Tuesday, August 7th at 7:00.

What is your the “go to” resource that supports your gluten free life?

 Perhaps it is a book you read when you first were diagnosed.  Or maybe it is the doctor or other health professional who has stuck by you through a difficult diagnostic  and recovery process.  You might read –or even write– a blog that connects you with scores of other people living gluten free.  Or maybe you have a favorite appliance that makes cooking gluten free easier.  Is there a product on your grocery store shelf that you buy and use regularly?  Or a restaurant you know of that “gets it”?  Perhaps your resource is a friend–who eats gluten free, or not–someone who listens well, understands the challenges you face and makes you feel welcome at the table despite your diet restrictions.

At our next meeting on Tuesday, August 7, we invite you to share the resources you’ve discovered and depend on to make living gluten free work for you.  We will open up the discussion to exchange our experiences so that each person will leave this meeting with new ideas to enhance their gluten free lives.  Bring along your resource or come and be inspired.

People who are new to the gluten free diet are especially encouraged to attend.

You can RSVP here or on our Facebook page. RSVPs help us plan logistically for the meeting, but if you haven’t RSVP’d, please come anyway! You are always welcome.

This is an excellent meeting to bring friends or family who are new to gluten free living! Our speakers will offer many practical ideas plus their energetic and positive approaches to living gluten free. Please spread the word about this meeting. You can find a flyer for distributing or posting by visiting our website and clicking on GIG of Marin Flyers For Mailing or Printing on the banner across the top.

Please let your gluten free friends and family know about this fun event. The meeting is free; however, we appreciate 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.

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will meet:

  • Tuesday, August 7
  • 7:00 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!


Gluten-Free Corn Dog Recipe – Dairy-Free and Egg-Free too!

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Alison | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

A seven year old kid that has never had a corn dog? Hard to believe, but even the gluten-free corn dogs on the market have eggs in them, which my daughter is allergic to. So, once again, necessity is the mother of invention! Corn dogs were on the menu at her camp this week, and I just couldn’t let my daughter be left out! Fryin’ up corn dogs at 8 am isn’t my normal morning routine, but the end result was worth my kitchen smelling like fried oil for the rest of the day. These corn dogs were so yummy, we even shared one for breakfast!

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Egg-Free Corn Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Pamela’s Cornbread & Muffin Mix
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for taste – optional)
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer prepared to the equivalent of 3 eggs (or use 2 real eggs if you can have eggs) (also, I’m not even sure you need any eggs or egg replacer at all – it might work without it but I didn’t try that!)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread, melted (or use real butter if you can have dairy)
  • 3/4 cup water, more or less
  • 6 to 10 hot dogs, depending on the size
  • Oil for frying. How much oil you need is going to depend on what kind of pan you are using. If you have a deep fryer, lucky you. I do not, so I used a lot of oil in a pan big enough to lay a corn dog across.
  • Skewers

Directions:

  1. Mix Cornbread & Muffin Mix, sugar, melted butter and egg replacer together in a bowl – it will be extremely thick and dry.
  2. Gradually add water until the batter becomes uniform, but is still rather thick.
  3. It is best for hot dogs to be at room temperature and dry. Test the batter by dipping the end of a hot dog into the bowl to see how it sticks. If it is too thick, add more water.
  4. When the batter has reached the right consistency, pour it into a tall glass.
  5. Heat oil. I don’t have a thermometer to test the oil, but I read that you want frying oil to be at the point where a chunk of bread dropped in will brown in 60 seconds. I used this method with a chunk of gluten-free bread.
  6. Insert a skewer into each hot dog, almost to the end. If the skewer is too long, cut or break it off to leave just a small handle.
  7. Dip the hot dog into the tall glass of batter. You may have to swirl it around a bit to get it evenly coated. Pull the coated hot dog out of the glass and fill in holes with batter if needed with a wooden spoon.
  8. Immediately put in the frying oil until browned. Use tongs to pull the corn dog out and set on paper towels.
  9. Batter may get thicker as it sits. Add more water as needed.
  10. Serve hot or let cool and then freeze.

 


Gluten and skin diseases

Posted on June 19th, 2012 by Alison | Read 7 Comments - Add Your Own »

The association between celiac disease and the skin condition Dermatitis Herpetiformis has been understood for quite some time, but a newly published article outlines the associations between gluten and other skin manifestations. The article “Celiac Disease and Dermatologic Manifestations“, put out by the Division of Dermatology in Florence, Italy, concludes that anyone suffering from psoriasis, alopecia areata, chronic urticaria, Hereditary angioneurotic edema, atopic dermatitis, or Cutaneous Vasculitis be screened for Celiac Disease.

They also reviewed other skin diseases for their possible relationship to gluten, and in the conclusion they state: “Although in none of these cases has been effectively demonstrated a pathogenetic link between the diseases, some of these associations are more common. Particularly lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, vitiligo, Behc¸et disease, linear IgA bullous dermatosis, and also both skin and mucosal manifestations of lichen. Besides the importance of the diagnosis of DH [Dermatitis Herpetiformis], that is virtually always associated to CD and can be considered a specific marker of the disease, even the identification of the other dermatological conditions associated with gluten sensitive enteropathy could be significant, highlighting the importance of a close collaboration between gastroenterologists and dermatologists. In fact,many skin diseases reported in this paper are actually more common in the celiacs or show atypical clinical presentation often associated with resistance to standard therapies in those patients.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from a skin condition, think about gluten. This article focuses on celiac disease, but as those of us in the gluten-free community know, these same symptoms apply to people with gluten sensitivity.

The entire review article can be accessed here: Celiac Disease and Dermatologic Manifestations.

Please leave comments about your experience with gluten and skin.


My daughter has a new allergy and you might be surprised at this one

Posted on May 21st, 2012 by Alison | Read 43 Comments - Add Your Own »
Lentil Allergy Reaction

About a month ago, I gave my daughter a new soup to try: Amy’s Lentil Soup. It is delicious with quality ingredients and she ate it up one day after school, before gymnastics. I added cooked rice to it and it made a great powerhouse snack! The next week I made it for her dinner, again with rice. I think she ate two bowls, she liked it so much. Then it all went downhill…

Within a minute of finishing the soup, her voice changed and she began to have trouble breathing. She was having an asthmatic reaction. No hives, no redness, but she instantly didn’t feel well and wanted to go to bed (it was still early). I immediately gave her Benadryl and as we headed to her bedroom, she said, “Mom, bring my emergency kit.”

Because I grew up with asthma, I recognized the asthmatic breathing she was experiencing, and got an inhaler that we had been prescribed by our pediatrician but had never used. I thought to myself, “If this doesn’t work, I’ll use the Epi.” And I was racking my brain as to why she was having this reaction, though my instinct told me it was lentils since everything else in the meal was foods she had had many times before. I also knew that lentils are a legume and since she is allergic to peanuts which are also legumes, I thought there could be a connection.

After a few puffs on the inhaler, her breathing began to normalize, but slowly. Eventually her breathing was clear as she fell to sleep, exhausted by what her body had just been through. Now I know that many doctors and knowledgeable food allergy people would have advised using the Epi Pen right away, but there’s still part of me that is scared to use it, and I felt that I should try the other medications first. Luckily they worked.

Once she was asleep, I headed to the computer for answers. Sure enough I found myself in peanut allergy forums where moms were discussing the other legumes that their children were allergic to. It seemed that lentils and chickpeas were the most common legumes that peanut-allergic kids reacted to. Several of the forum members quoted the statistic of 20% of peanut allergic children being allergic to lentils or other legumes (but my allergist thinks this statistic is too high). I had never considered that lentils could be a problem, but here I was now realizing that she was probably allergic to them. I lost it. I mean I really lost it. I cried — hard. My husband was out of town and I felt alone with this knowledge and I couldn’t get a handle on my emotions. Luckily I was able to call another mom with allergic kids who could understand what I was feeling. She talked me down, but mostly just listened and was there for me on the other end of the line.

The next day I made an appointment with the allergist to test for the lentil allergy. We couldn’t get in until weeks later and I was told to avoid lentils until we could do the testing. Last Friday was the day. That morning, I called Amy’s Kitchen. I figured I should know every ingredient in that soup before we went in, and “spices” was listed as the last ingredient. Here is where I give a big plug for Amy’s: I have always loved this company and now I like it even more. The customer service person (key word here: person) understood my needs and immediately escalated my call. Though companies don’t always like to share their ingredients, because it’s like giving away their recipe, she did tell me what the “spices” in the soup were so that I could have that information to best take care of my child.

That afternoon I took my daughter to the allergist. I brought the lentil soup in one container and straight lentils that I had cooked in another container. They literally put the suspected allergens into the skin on the back to see if there is a reaction. The doctor used a commercial lentil solution for testing also. We tested a few other things while we were there too.

The results: she reacted strongly to both the lentil soup and the straight lentils. Those are the two top left wheals on her back in the picture. She did not react to the commercial lentil extract, leading both the allergist and me to believe that fresh lentils are certainly more potent and allergenic than their extract. The third wheal you see in the picture is the positive control — they purposely give histamine to make sure the person will react to something if allergic (if someone has taken antihistamines, it can affect the test). The other pricks were to rule out other ingredients in the soup (celery, for example) and retesting some other allergens.

My daughter was a trooper through the whole thing, but in the car on the way home it hit her that there is yet another food she is not allowed to have and that she has to watch out for. It breaks my heart. I hope they find a cure for food allergies in her lifetime!