Here there be cookies.

Here there be cookies. (Blogger uses cookies, folks, but I am sure they are gluten free.)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Desperately Seeking Lunch

Sorry, no photo of the results.
The food is in my tummy,
and it wasn't until I was eating it that
I knew I wanted to tell you about it.
You can feast your eyes on these
 frost-tipped, crispy leaves instead.
Okay. I have no time for this, but here I am. I just had lunch. Lunch is a tough meal for me. I have a hard time figuring out what to have. But today, I found a yummy twist on an old standby. 

Today's Tortilla
1 rice tortilla (Food for Life is gluten free - available at Fred Meyer)
Refried beans
Chachie's Mango Peach Salsa (available at Freddy's and at WinCo)
Raw almonds
Avocado

All quantities of toppings are flexible.

Spread the refried beans on the tortilla, top with almonds and a little bit of the salsa. Turn the the broiler in your oven on high and broil for 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to your plate and add avocado slices and more salsa. Yum.

Obviously you can vary this in many ways, but the resulting toast of those almonds and the added protein do wonders for this tortilla. Really, it is the best solution to my diet restrictions for a burrito-type food yet.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Repost: Con Agra allergen policy


HOLD THE PHONE! This post was originally published in August of 2009, but I am reposting here due to new information.


I just did a search on the Con Agra website instead of checking here and I am glad I did. Their information isn't easy to find, and I actually ran across an FAQ page that specifically addresses gluten. I am not impressed. I won't be using their products unless they change their policy. The problem: they don't include all forms of gluten, only wheat. They label wheat on their labels, but not rye, barley, or contaminated oats. Man am I frustrated and disappointed!

Original post:
Con Agra doesn't have specific allergens listed on their site, but they have answered this question on their FAQ page: "Do your products contain ingredients that I'm allergic to?"

I hate it when I find out I have been shooting myself in the foot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fudge!!! Improved

My Fudge!!! post has been very popular on here, and I hope that means that lots of people have been enjoying safe and yummy chocolate for Christmas, but I made an important discovery:

This time I only made up 1/2 batch of the condensed milk and 1/2 a batch of the fudge recipe. To this, I added about 3-4 tablespoons of creamy Adam's peanut butter (untouched by a knife that has been spreading some on gluteny bread of course), and the fudge is a lot creamier. The base recipe tends to be a bid dryish and flaky, but this stuff is really smooth and moist. I haven't tried the maple syrup in the condensed coconut milk yet, but I have to make some to take to my sister's for New Year's, so I will give it a try then.

Sleuths Abound

Used by permission from Sarah
The Play-Doh Dilemma: Revisited
Sarah, of the label "Sarah bakes again", posted this photo of creations her children made with PlayFoam, by Educational Insights. She said it can be used like Play-Doh and has a consistency similar to rice crispy treats, without the stickiness. She also suggests that if it isn't mashed together, the colors will separate fairly easily. If they are mashed, they will blend together, which is the also case with Play-Doh.

PlayFoam is gluten free, suitable for children - ages 3 through 8,* and the package says it never dries out.

Another option is a product called, Bubber, from Timberdoodle. Like the PlayFoam, Bubber is also supposed to never dry out. The company has put out a promotional video of the product and the stuff used in the demonstration is purported to have been left out of its packaging for ten years and is still malleable. We have some at church, and it does tend to shed crumbs, but they are easy to clean up. It has an odd, dryish, almost sandy consistency, but the kids don't seem to mind.

Healthy Top
As thorough as Mimic Creme is on their website, there is one thing I had been able to discover, so I made a phone call to company. I was told that once Healthy Top is opened, it can be used for 14 days if it is stored in the refrigerator.

Attack of the Evil Gluten 
I mentioned in my post "Sleuthbook" that I have had some pain in my digestive system and have been trying to track down the cause. One product I have been using is Mission Tortilla Chips.  I went to their website <http://www.missionmenus.com/FAQs.aspx> and on their FAQ page it gives the following answer to the question, Are Mission products gluten free?

"Mission Foods Corn products are produced with 100% corn flour; wheat ingredients are not added to the formulation. These products include Corn Tortillas, Corn Tortilla Chips, Taco Shells, Tostadas, Corn Gorditas, and Sopes. These products are produced in plants that also process wheat tortillas."

I sent them an email asking for clarification, but have not yet heard back. This statement makes me very nervous. First, they only mention wheat ingredients, which makes me wonder if they even know what gluten is. Second, I am unsettled by the warning in the final sentence. I stopped using the tortilla chips and for the past few days have been able to eat food without pain. One of my preschool Sunday school students (age three) noted in church yesterday that I look tired. When I get this sick it shows (my husband can always tell when I am in pain). Hopefully I have found the source and will be able to rebuild my health and look better soon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
*Apparently it is suitable for an even wider age range. Sarah hinted at enjoying playing with the PlayFoam as well.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sleuthberries

These are not blueberries and raspberries,
they are service berries.
But they are the right colors
and the photo is festive
and I like posts with pictures.
Stephanie Laidlaw over at Gluten Free Hope is amazing. I was directed to her blog yesterday and I have found many recipes that I want to try. There are some recipes with dairy, but many of them are fine as they are for my restrictions. The blog is beautiful and I want to eat those blueberries and raspberries.  

Recipes I want to try:

I think I am going to learn a lot from this lady!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sleuthbook

My reputation
This was a recent status of a friend of mine on facebook.* She was referring directly to me. I not only eat No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding, I also edit. :) 


"Hey gluten free friends, Albertson's had a hand-out at the register yesterday. It is all the gluten free products/brands they sell. I told the cashier I would give it to a friend of mine and she would probably bring it back with red pen marks."

His reputation
It isn't that I was shocked that the guy was selling gluten free bread that wasn't actually gluten free. I understand the market is expanding and I understand greed. What surprised me was how seriously the law took it and 1.5 million dollar bail the judge set. 

Their recipes
Dressing!
If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you probably know I have been in search of a gluten/dairy/egg/soy-free creamy dressing. Well. I haven't come up with some yet, but someone has! I haven't tried it yet (I need to get to the store to purchase the ingredients), but I am very excited about this recipe! Vegan Cultured Coconut Milk Dressing from Neven Jones over at diary of an exfoodie

Fudge!
Just before Thanksgiving, I posted a link to a No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs (like fudge would ever have eggs...yuck), No Soy, No Kidding fudge recipe made from So Delicious Coconut Milk (obviously becoming an important part of the                     free diet) and I learned yesterday that their is another fudge recipe out there that will work for us! This one comes with several variations. It can be found at Go Dairy Free and the base recipe is called Five-Minute Fudge. Looks amazing!

Inoffensive Cookie Recipe
This article is very entertaining. There is a recipe for allergen friendly oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but it is written by someone who is allergy free. Her humor is understandable, delightful, and it is nice to have a good laugh over how ridiculous our food predicament is. Serious, but ridiculous.

My recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup for Me and Youp
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cups frozen peas
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

This makes a nice big batch; which was purposeful (you will see why). You can use other seasonings and vegetables if you want. Mine turned out quite thick last night and to the leftovers and for dinner this evening I plan to add some water to thin it out and make it more soupy, another package of noodles because the quantity of this needs more of them, some chopped cauliflower and some thawed zucchini that I put up from my garden. 

I want to also make a salad (so I will need to get to the store to get the cultured coconut milk) and I am thinking I will try this recipe for Almond Quick Bread from Simply Vintage Girl. I will have to convert it to gluten free, which won't be difficult, and use some sort of egg replace for the eggs in it, but I am think it should convert well.  I am making this for company. My uncle has just moved to town and is living in a hotel for another week. There has been a lot of restaurant eating and soup has been requested. You can see why I want to pack in the nutrition.

Her response
I mentioned in my post, Back on the breakfast table: Quinoa (keen' wa), that I was going to look into the larger package sold at Costco. I did. It is called truRoots Organic Quinoa and it is quite economical, ten dollars for four pounds, and I don't have to worry about shipping costs. I have recently been getting gluten somewhere and I wanted to check with the company to see if there are any chances of cross contamination. I did. There isn't. Here is the response that I received from the president of Enray Incorporated, the company that packages it here in the United States:

Our quinoa supply chain is entirely gluten free from farms to packing, so there is no cross contamination. Our facility is also allergen free. I am very sure that there is no cross contamination in our products. We check every batch internally with a gluten test kit to verify gluten levels.

I am so relieved! I love quinoa for breakfast and I have been purchasing packages ahead so if Costco isn't carrying it for part of the year, I won't run out. This company impressed me—from the initial phone call where I spoke to the customer service department to the email I received from the president, they were concerned, kind and went out of their way to help me, which I appreciate very much. Thanks Esha and Maggie!

...............................................................
*I played with the graphic idea for awhile. It is, indeed, meant to cause the reader to think of facebook (though my sister says that it doesn't in purple, but the blue is too close). I started out with a color very close to facebook blue, but thought they would not appreciate me coming that close to their logo. The font is not theirs and the color is not theirs, so hopefully this won't bother them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sleuthing out those Gluten Residuals

Most of the gluteny foods left my house a long time ago, but sometimes I run across an item that has been in hiding. I have been trying to send this home with people for a couple of months or so and last night I got desperate and put it out for my husband's men's Bible study. Someone took the bait! Note: Aaron is the husband of Sarah of Sarah bakes again. He didn't get to come last night because he is sick, but the bottle didn't know that at the time it was writing the note.

Out and about on the web
I was directed to an article on safely freezing foods. If you are like me, you often take your own foods to other people's homes. I sometimes like to make extra when I cook and freeze it for those occasions and this article has information I have not heard of before.

From the Gluten Free Recipe Box, Raw Almond Pistachio Ice Cream! No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding!

It occurs to me that I haven't really been out and about much of late. Those are my only two bits of information to share. I did send off an email to a company inquiring about their products this morning, but I haven't heard back yet; when I do, you will. 

I am definitely getting gluten from something in my home, but I haven't nailed it down yet. I have almost decided that I will attend our ladies' cookie exchange at church this year. I am wishy-washy, but the thought of being in a room full of glutenful cookies is a bit unnerving. It isn't reasonable to be that paranoid - which is why I have almost decided to attend. It was suggested that this is a good way to have some glutendeath cookies on hand for my glutenable family during Christmas break, which is true. I am certainly not going to bake any for them. So I have almost, absolutely, nearly decided to attend.