Sunday, April 21, 2013

Making a Difference

Earlier this week, I attended an all day conference for work. Since it was an all day event, we were served lunch. Everything was going so well until I got in the line for lunch. I was horrified to see that the only thing on the table that I could eat was potato chips. Now, being a Celiac for over 10 years now, I always have a contingency plan when I go to events like these. So, instead of having lunch at the conference, I left to go buy my own lunch and then came back afterwards. I know that I should have checked before the conference to make sure there was something that I could eat, but sometimes I find myself assuming with the amount of awareness out there now that there will always be something for me.
What this event taught me is that there is still so much more work to be done on spreading awareness about Celiac Disease and making sure that there is always lunch for those who can't eat just anything. After lunch that day, I listened to a speaker who talked about never giving up on what you want. She told us that if you believe in yourself, you can make anything happen. When I left that room, I found myself more determined than ever to get the word out there about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet. That is one of the biggest reasons that I am hosting the Gluten Free Expo in Wichita Falls, Texas in less than a month. I want people to know what Celiac Disease is, and what it means to those who have it. 
This expo will be the first of many events to raise awareness in Wichita Falls, Texas. This experience has given me a new sense of purpose to help give those with Celiac Disease a voice and see to it that no one has to feel like an outsider at any event they attend. I admit this is not going to be an easy task, but it will certainly be worth it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Newest Addiction

We gluten free cooks spend a ton of time looking for and coming up with new recipes. Now, it's easier than ever to find those recipes online, with iPhone apps, and especially with Pinterest. For anyone who has never used Pinterest before, I caution you. It is incredibly addicting! When I first started using the site, I was amazed to see how many gluten free recipes, ideas, and product reviews that were available. Now there isn't a day that goes by that I am not on Pinterest checking out new recipes, products, and a ton of other things. The great thing about the site is that you get all of these things from people who are just like you, and even share the enthusiasm that I know I have when I find a new gluten free product. It's really amazing to have yet one more resource at your fingertips to get gluten free information from. I use Pinterest on my iPhone and iPad about 99% of the time. I do occasionally get on the computer to check the site out, but I like having the capability of checking it anytime and anywhere. So give it a try and see what great gluten free treats and dinner recipes you can find.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Remaking Recipes

Sometimes it's not so easy to make a recipe you used before going gluten free into a gluten free success. However, it is possible. It might take a couple of tries so don't give up if you don't succeed the first time. 
The first thing you should do when trying to convert a recipe is to make sure you know what ingredients on your recipe are not gluten free. Once you know that, figure out what a suitable replacement for those ingredients will be. Keep in mind that with a gluten free flour or baking mix, you might need a little more moisture in your recipes than you did before. 
The other thing that may need to be adjusted on your recipes is cooking time. Cooking times with gluten free ingredients are not always the same as their gluten containing cousins. 
One recipe that I converted shortly after going gluten free was an easy pie crust recipe that I use for every holiday and party. This pie is so good that I have my 10 year old cousin and my 11 year old nephew requesting them for every family dinner. This delectable dish was taken to my family's Easter dinner this past weekend, and the boys ate all but one little slice of it.

This go to dessert took me a couple tries to get a flavor combination that liked in the crust. After trying it with Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and also with Gluten Free Bisquick, I wound up choosing the Bisquick.
After a few attempts with converting recipes, you'll get the hang of it. After several years of cooking gluten free, I can now convert recipes with ease and even make up my own all the time. I've failed at some recipes and some have taken several tries, but if you stick to it, you can figure anything out.