December 29, 2011

The Wait Is Over...



I received a special package via UPS this afternoon. It contained quite a few things (A BIG thank-you to Kellogg's), including a full size box of Gluten Free Rice Krispies! According to the coupon pamphlet, the cereal will be available in Canada beginning this January! Im curious what distribution will be like as the Betty Crocker cake mixes took longer than expected to show up in most retailers. Some stores like RCSS in Oshawa have yet to see the mix hit it's shelves.
Hopefully Kellogg's can pull this off and provide Gluten Free Rice Krispies across Canada quickly and efficiently.



This has been a long time coming. Not only am I thankful to Kelloggs's for the heads up, I am grateful that this product will soon be available to Gluten Free Canadians.

Kick Off The New Year With Kellogg's Gluten Free Rice Krispies




**** Update January 13, 2012 ****
Still no response from Kellogg's regarding my inquiring email BUT....My good friend Jax over at Gluten Free Ontario reports on her Facebook page that these have been spotted in Sudbury Ontario! Complete with French/English labelling you can expect Gluten Free Rice Krispies to cost around $5.29.





A Tenenberry Let Down

Talk about mouth watering! I was so excited when I saw this Gluten Free Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake by Tenenberry  at Sobeys. I Called my mom, who is also Gluten Free due to Celiac Disease and told her about my yummy discovery. 


We decided that this would be OUR Christmas day dessert. We also decided that we were not going to share it with the Gluten Eaters, no matter how much they drooled.

Christmas day came and went right along with my high hopes for this Gluten Free Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. I wanted to brag to the world how amazing it was. I really did.

As you can see from the side view picture, there was a touch of frost on the side of the cheesecake when I had purchased it. No big deal, I thought. Should have thought again. 


I tried so hard to enjoy a slice of this cake, but I could't. There was an overwhelming gritty / grainy texture. To me, it seemed as though the cake had been frozen and defrosted  multiple times. The Graham Cracker crust bottom was complete mush! Even the taste of the cheesecake wasn't right. Something was very off. WAY OFF.

My mom and I  decided it was best to toss the remaining cheesecake in the trash. Good thing too as we both ended up with some mild tummy troubles. No doubt (presumably) due to the way the cake was repeatedly frozen/unfrozen.

This was a waste of $24.99, but also a learning experience. Perhaps it was just frozen and thawed too many times. I don't  know. What I do know is that I won't be spending that kind of money on a Gluten Free product that I have never tried before, ever again.


All I really wanted was a special treat that my mom and I could share on Christmas day. Something delicious for us, while everyone else at the gathering enjoyed their gluten filled snacks. Next year I'm going to bake an apple pie for our family Christmas. Nothing more heart-warming and comfort filled than apple pie and ice cream.


December 16, 2011

A Gluten Free Oat Alternative

Have you tried Certified Gluten Free Oats?
I have and unfortunately I cannot tolerate them. I was surprised by how fast I reacted. It really hit me like a ton of bricks.....3 days of lethargy and un-wellness.

If you can't tolerate GF Oats or do not want to take the risk, I have an alternative. A safe and satisfying one. When I bake cookies, I add Quinoa Flakes (Ancient Harvest Quinoa to be exact) to the recipe. Add as much or as little as you like and you will be awed with the texture. Just like a real oatmeal cookie, minus the unruly side effects.


There is a whole world of recipes that you can add these neat little flakes to. All it takes is creativity and  a little a lot of patience. 


Here is some inspiration for adding Quinoa Flakes to recipes:

  • Cookies
  • Muffins
  • Yogurt
  • Apple Pie
  • Fruit and Nut Bars
  • Crusting Meat
  • Crab Cakes
  • Burgers
  • Stuffing

December 07, 2011

Alek's Controllable Christmas Decorations for Celiac Research

christmas banner 486x60



Do you enjoy looking at Christmas Lights?
There's a website on the Internet that uses several webcams to provide a live view of thousands of 'em.
You can also CONTROL them - yes, turn them on & off with a click of a mouse from your home PC ...
plus you can even inflate (or deflate) the giant Elmo, Frosty, Santa, SpongeBob, and Homer Simpson - D'OH!
So surf over to the Christmas Lights Webcam
to check out all the fun action at the totally free site which also raises awareness about Celiac Disease Research at the University of Maryland.







November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - I am "That Girl"

November 28, 2011

The Gluten Free Diet Plate

Ever wonder how much of each food group you should be consuming? Check out this GF diet plate care of ChooseMyPlate.Gov . I'm quite happy the food pyramid is no longer. The plate and drinking cup make for easier visualization.

November 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Ontario - Blog: PC introduces a new Gluten-Free Cookie!!

Check out my friend Jax's blog, for the recent winner of Recipe To Riches. It's a bitter sweet win for this Gluten Free contestant.


However Sonya will NOT be participating in the grand prize finale. After the episode was filmed, it was discovered that Sonya has an immediate family member who works for one of the entities involved with Recipe to Riches, which makes her ineligible to participate in the contest. This is a common eligibility rule in Canadian contests which aims to make contests fair for all participants.


Gluten-Free Ontario - Blog: PC introduces a new Gluten-Free Cookie!!: RECIPE TO RICHES is a new competitive reality series where each week, Canadian home cooks battle to have their original recipes become a P...

October 27, 2011

Alek's Controllable Halloween Decorations for Celiac Research


Alek Komarnitsky is a parent on a mission. His two boys have Celiac Disease and for the past 7 years he has been doing something spectacular to help raise awareness for the condition. He decorates his house to the extreme for Halloween. It really deserves to be on an HGTV Halloween special. It gets better too....We can control the lights! Alek's website offers us the opportunity to view the decorations on 3 live webcams. You can even inflate/deflate Homer Simpson, the Incredible Hulk as well as other awesome characters. Alek's Controllable Halloween Decorations for Celiac Disease is probably the most innovative and interactive way to raise money for Celiac Disease yet.




If you enjoy the decorations (and hard work) please consider donating to the  over $60,000 raised for the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. Don't forget to  send an instant message over the webcam. You can also watch the fun and excitement on Halloween night. 

After the American Thanksgiving You can view Alek's Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease



October 17, 2011

Gluten Free Batman Cake




To help celebrate my husband's birthday this year, I made him a cake. Gluten free for obvious reasons. I used a GF Golden Cake Mix (more on that later) and whipped cream cheese frosting both care of Betty Crocker . To make the Batman design and other decorations, I used Wilton Sparkle Gel. Very easy to use.



Back to the Betty Crocker cake mix. Although it tasted alright and was easy to make, I doubt I will buy it again. Unless there is a substantial price decrease that is. It is simply not worth the cost.  The mix made half the amount of cake that other GF cake mixes make for the same price or less. I really layered the icing both inside and on the cake as well. This helped the height slightly. I did find this cake to be quite crumbly. 
Re


An interesting discovery (although I'm not surprised) is that there is quite a bit less cake mix in the GF Betty Crocker version compared to the wheat indulged Betty Crocker counterpart. Plus the four dollar or so difference, in price. 





I opted not to make a cake for my son's 3rd birthday this year as he LOVES "Cars" and I seriously lack the skill to tackle a cake of the nature below. I purchased it at Walmart for $20.00. In all honesty, the gluten eaters did not really like it. Most people commented that it (fondant) was too sweet and opted for my GF cake instead.


Happy Birthday to my boys!



October 05, 2011

CBS Show "2 Broke Girls" Sends Celiac Disease Awareness Back To Square One


Some people just don't understand....


 I sent an email to CBS this morning regarding the show 2 Broke Girls.
 I missed Monday night's episode but I would like to thank my friend Jax of Gluten Free Ontario for making me aware of this poor attempt at humour. Please view the clip below and then read on to see my email.


Good morning.

I am writing you today not only out of serious concern, but out of disappointment. On Monday nites episode of 2 Broke Girls, there was a joke about the Gluten Free diet. I find it to be in very poor taste!

Celiac Disease is a SERIOUS medical condition. I have Celiac Disease and I need to be conscious EVERYTHING I consume. I am not doing so to "mask an eating disorder" as the show implied. A tiny speck of wheat/gluten can make me severely ill.

1 in 133 people in the United States have Celiac Disease. It is a hereditary (My mother has the Disease as well) autoimmune disease, which left untreated can lead to life threatening disorders. There is no cure for Celiac Disease. The only way I can keep my body from attacking itself is by maintaining a strict Gluten Free diet. Yes, this means I have to ask every server at every restaurant about Gluten Free options available. This also means I have to double check to make sure that everyone preparing my meal understands that I can  become seriously ill if they do not prepare my meal 100% Gluten Free

Your most recent airing of 2 Broke Girls puts my life and the lives of other Celiac's in danger. This "joke" of sorts is the reason I fear going to a restaurant. I do not deserve to be made fun of, belittled or have my health taken lightly. Would you suggest that someone with a peanut allergy is just trying to lose weight? Or claiming that they can't eat something for attention? No, you wouldn't! Just because I will not drop on the floor dead the moment I ingest Gluten, does not mean that my body is not reacting negatively! I  won't go into details, but feel free to visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website for the not so lovely particulars.

 "Untreated celiac disease can be life threatening. Celiacs are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders (gall bladder, liver, and spleen), and gynecological disorders. Untreated celiac disease has also been linked an increased risk of certain types of cancer, especially intestinal lymphoma." This quote is direct from the University of Maryland Centre for Celiac Research.

And just so you are aware, I would NOT be on a Gluten Free diet if I did not have to be!!! It is extremely expensive. Would you pay $8.00 for a loaf of bread better suited as a brick if you had a choice? Decent tasting and nutritious food can be difficult to come by and best of all, I get to deal with people not taking my health seriously! It is not my intention to make a server's job difficult. I have to look out for myself as it is clear that real life will unfortunately be mimicking your show.

 I would like an apology for myself and other people who have Celiac Disease.

Sincerely,
Sandra Lajoie 


***If you would like to make a complaint about this epsiode please visit the CBSFeedback Form***

September 30, 2011

Celiac Disease Explained For Kids

Has your child been diagnosed with Celiac Disease? Want a stress free, entertaining way of explaining the condition to your little one? Check out the video below! It's produced by Kumquats (named so because the original puppet was orange like the fruit).




September 27, 2011

Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Pizza Crust Review






Being a square is pretty awesome thanks to Kinnikinnick's Gluten Free Pizza Crust. This is by far  the best GF pizza crust I have ever eaten. Well worth the price in my opinion.


Why Do I love Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Pizza Crust?

  • 4 individual size crusts per box
  • Bakes in about 17 minutes via my toaster oven
  • Once created, these pizza's freeze beautifully.
  • The crust is tender with the right amount of crunch and feels light in your mouth. Not dense or cracker-like.
  • My non-GF hubby will eat this...happily!
  • Cost's about $8.99 per box




 The  holes in the top of the crust are not an imperfection. They  are there to help the pizza rise by creating air flow. The bottom of the pizza crust is dusted with cornmeal to prevent sticking to pan.


My favourite GF pizza sauce to use is Primo Pizza Squeeze. Just the right amount of tang and sweetness. I prefer the squeeze bottle to the canned sauces for convenience.


Kinnikinnick is one of the largest gluten-free / nut free  manufacturing facilities in the world. Please visit their website for a complete product listing or to shop online. 




September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Celiac Disease PSA Video




September 16, 2011

Air Canada Centre's Epic Fail Response To A Gluten Free Inquiriy



Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, we are not able to send out autographed items or pictures. Autographs are done at the discretion of the players/staff, so you would have to write to them individually at the following address. We do not encourage fans to send in items to be signed as we cannot guarantee there return. 


Name 
50 Bay St, Suite 500 
Toronto, ON 
M5J 2L2 



Thanks again,
Fan Services
Your Comment @ 2011-09-14 13:30:40 
Subject Category: Fan Services
Good Afternoon,
Can you please tell me if there are any Gluten Free options available at the ACC. As a fan with Celiac Disease I would like be certain that there are Gluten Free options myself (along with other Celiac's) as well as staff trained about cross contamination.
1 in 133 Canadians have Celiac Disease. There is no cure and the only treatment is a strict Gluten Free diet.





**********UPDATE************

Below is a response (09/17/11) I received one day after 
 the one from above. Clearly someone ended up reading my email this time. Although ACC does not offer much, a proper response is a nice gesture.



Dear SANDRA,
Thank you for your email.Unfortunately there are not a lot of options at the Air Canada Centre in regards to gluten-free food items. Jamie Kennedy fries and our fruit cups are gluten-free and are available for most events. In addition to those, there are modifications we can make to accomodate you. Take for example we serve a prime rib sandwich, we could serve you prime rib without the bread. Also if you let us know ahead of time of when you are attending an event then we can prepare something in advance for you.Thanks for being a fan and hope to see you at the ACC soon!Fan Services   

September 14, 2011

How To Survive Halloween Gluten Free


It's best to discuss any school Halloween activities with your child's teacher. Prepare a special snack (ie: a cupcake or decorated cookies) for your child to eat during the celebration. 
I would also suggest giving the teacher a loot bag containing  Gluten Free goodies. This prevents temptation and the feeling of being left out as there can be a lot of that darn gluten at school.


There are numerous Gluten Free "safe" candy lists published online.  Although I had thought about researching and creating an updated list, in the end I decided not to. My reasoning for this is to encourage the constant checking of ingredients and not to create a so called safety net of sorts, that may inadvertently give a false sense of security. Sounds over the top right? 




  • Ingredients can and do change frequently
  • There may be confusion between a full size product and it's miniature counterpart as they often have different ingredients
  • American and Canadian versions of the same product tend to have different ingredients

It may be time consuming but reading the ingredients on the package is key to having a successful trick or treating experience. Keep in mind that some companies do post a Gluten Free label on their candy which can be helpful. I would still advise reading the label in it's entirety to be sure that there is no risk of cross contamination.  


Check ALL treats before they are consumed but have some fun with it. It's easy to make a game by grouping the candy into piles.
  1. Safe Candy
  2. Not Safe Candy - This group of treats can be donated to a sibling, perhaps as a trade or even designated as a treat pile for mom and dad.
If there is No Ingredient List-contact manufacturer or place in the Not Safe pile
    If you feel that there may not be enough "safe" treats handed out, create a Gluten Free goodie bag. Remember, not every treat needs to be candy. Think temporary tatoos, stickers, hair accessories, bracelets, glow sticks, Halloween themed story books and movie's. The possibilities are endless.



    August 30, 2011

    Spelt, Kamut, Ezekiel and Confusion



    Spelt, Kamut and Ezekiel bread.  There seems to be a mecca of people who just don't understand  grain. Although these grains may be easier for some people (who can maintain a normal diet) to digest, they are NOT and never have been safe for those with Celiac Disease.


    It is important to note that although an item can be labelled "wheat free", that does not mean it is gluten free as well. In order to be safe for consumption, a product must be both wheat and gluten free.

    Spelt and Kamut are a form of wheat.They are often referred to as “ancient grains,” which is just a fancy way of saying that they have not been modified.

    Ezekiel Bread contains a combination of wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and millet along with  great northern beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans. The only difference with this type of bread is that it is made from sprouted grains. Still a giant no for Celiac's.

    According to the Health Canada website - Gluten: any gluten protein or modified protein, including any protein fraction derived from the grains of the following cereals: barley, oats, rye, triticale, wheat, kamut or spelt.  The definition would also apply to the grains of hybridized strains of the cereals listed above.

    The below chart from U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services breaks down the different species of grains. It does a good job of showing the many different and often confusing forms of grain that are not safe. It also shows which grains are indeed safe to eat.

    Allowed Foods
    amaranth
    arrowroot
    buckwheat
    cassava
    corn
    flax
    Indian rice grass
    Job's tears
    legumes
    millet
    nuts
    potatoes
    quinoa
    rice
    sago
    seeds
    sorghum
    soy
    tapioca
    teff
    wild rice
    yucca
    Foods To Avoid
    wheat
    • including einkorn, emmer, spelt, kamut
    • wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein
    barley
    rye
    triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
    Other Wheat Products
    bromated flour
    durum flour
    enriched flour
    farina
    graham flour
    phosphated flour
    plain flour
    self-rising flour
    semolina
    white flour
    Processed Foods that May Contain Wheat, Barley, or Rye*
    bouillon cubes
    brown rice syrup
    candy
    chips/potato chips
    cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage
    communion wafers
    French fries
    gravy
    imitation fish
    matzo
    rice mixes
    sauces
    seasoned tortilla chips
    self-basting turkey
    soups
    soy sauce
    vegetables in sauce
    Do not feel obligated to try something just because someone tells you that it is safe. Well intentioned people make errors from time to time. I have seen two Canadian talk shows to date that have had (cooking and fitness) guest's speak about food being gluten free when in reality said food is not GF. 


    There are also those who don't have your best interest at heart and are just trying to make a quick buck. Unless you are 100% sure something is safe, don't risk it. In the end, your health is top priority.




    August 17, 2011

    Gluten Free at the Ball Game

    Photo Credit: Geoff Baker; The Seattle Times


    Sometimes going to a sporting event is like choosing entertainment over hunger. There is always the option to pack some small snacks, but this often turns into an " I wish I could eat something here" moment. If you are a Seattle Mariners fan, this IS your moment - Friday August 26th. There will be a select seating area, close to a Gluten Free Concession! 

    The Gluten Intolerance Group (advocates in the GF  community) will be on hand during the festivities. This should help ensure it will be a Gluten Free Success!

    For more detailed information please view this article Mariners Offer Benefit for Gluten-Free Fans

    To find out more about ordering Gluten Free tickets please visit Gluten-Free Awareness Night


    I really hope to see the Toronto Blue Jays offer this special event in the future. Perhap's an e-mail to them is in order ;)

    August 14, 2011

    Seven Things On A Sunday Evening

    1) Summer is almost over. Who hit the fast forward button?

    2) My vegetable's will soon be ready to harvest from my garden

    3) Soon it will be time to research safe Gluten Free treats for Halloween

    4) It looks like it is going to rain, but I wouldn't be surprised if the storm misses us.....Again

    5) I bought my first loaf of Udi's Gluten Free bread yesterday. I am excited to try it!

    6) This weekend was full of much needed fun

    7) Celiac Disease NEED'S a superhero. A voice with the power to educate and create awareness.

    July 30, 2011

    Vegetable Garden




    This is my second year growing a vegetable garden. I have learned a lot and still have many things to discover.



    Currently, my garden consists of potatoes, strawberries, miniature lettuce, garlic, red onion, tomato, carrots and chives. I definitely plan to branch out and add more next year.




    As you can see, many of my plants are in container's. I  actually started my garden while we still had a deck in our backyard. It has since been removed and we are left with a luscious grassy yard. 


    Next year I hope to improve the garden by learning more about harvesting properly as well as pest prevention.



    I love my garden. It really helps keep grocery costs down and it's quite relaxing to take care of.

    July 28, 2011

    Product Review: Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cookie Mix

    This was my first time baking with Betty Crocker and she did not disappoint! The cookie mix is beyond simple. All you need to do is add butter, vanilla, an egg, and stir. Baking time is about 8-10 minutes depending on your oven.



     For me, this cookie mix brought back memories of regular home-made cookies. They are chewy with just the right amount of crumble! Betty Crocker has proved that Gluten Free does not have to be taste free. The cookies are so marvellous that you may have to hide them from any non Celiac's in your home. I guess that can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  It's great that I finally have cookie's worthy of sharing. Although,how much sharing I want to do is debatable


     The mix is made in a dedicated Gluten Free processing facility.Thumbs up! It  will be available across Canada by August of this year.

    Awesome pros:
    The mix has chocolate chips in it. Talk about value for your buck.
    Easy to make and quick to bake
    Minimal additional ingredients required

    July 25, 2011

    Beat The Heat With A Smoothie




    Today called for smoothie's to help us beat this heat! I went with what I had on hand for this recipe but there are many substitutions available at the grocery store.


    Recipe:
    2 1/2 Cups Frozen Mixed Berries 
    (blackberries,blueberries,raspberries & strawberries)
    2/3 Cup Milk
    1Cup Apple Juice 
    4 frozen Yoplait Minigo 


    If the mix seems too thick, feel free to dilute it with water or juice.
    This recipe made 4 "Popsicles", 3 drinks and filled an ice tray.
    On a side note.... Frozen Yoplait Minigo's on their own make a delicious treat as well.

    July 21, 2011

    10 Things On A Thursday

    Some staples in my Gluten Free pantry
    In no particular order....

    1. All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
    2. Tapioca Flour
    3. Corn Starch
    4. Quinoa Flakes
    5. Milled Flaxseed
    6. Bread Mix
    7. Muffin Mix
    8. Bob's Red Mill Hot Cereal (GF)
    9. Cooking Oil/Spray
    10. Pancake Mix

    July 18, 2011

    Thank - You General Mills Canada!

    Some month's ago, I had sent an e-mail to General Mills Canada. I inquired if and when their Gluten Free line, that is in America, would hit Canadian shelves. Unfortunately, at the time, they  were not able to give me any confirmed information on the subject. Then last week, I received a wee package in the mail. I could not believe it! I knew by this point that Chex had already hit the shelves here and Betty Crocker is soon to follow suit. Still, this surprise was and still is pretty darn awesome! I was not expecting this at all so I am quite thankful to General Mills Canada for thinking of myself and probably many others as well.

    Some companies really do care <3

    Super excited to try the Cereal and bake like I've never baked before when Betty Crocker gets here :)

    On Instagram

    © Gluten Free Doll. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.