One of my favorite blogs is called Six Sister’s Stuff and last Christmas I found a recipe for ginger cookies there. These were such a hit when I baked them last year that I’ve added them to my annual cookie repertoire. The original recipes wasn’t for gluten free bakers, so I’ve converted it and recommend using Jules gluten free flour in it. Happy Holiday baking!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter then add 1 cup white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Form into oversized teaspoon balls and roll in sugar. Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.
The result is a complex, chewy cookie with just the right amount of spice.
As an Ohio native, nothing sounds strange to me about putting cocoa and cinnamon in chili. If you’ve never had Cincinnati style chili, it may take a time or two to acquire a taste for it, but after a few attempts I bet you’ll start craving it. And nothing is better than the mound of finely shredded cheddar that it’s garnished with.
I’ve been a Skyline fan since I was little, but stopped eating there a few years ago due to cross contamination concerns (although they have a helpful note about food allergies on their website). This slightly modified recipe comes from What’s Cooking, Chicago?, and I serve it over gluten free spaghetti noodles whenever I get a Skyline craving. Here’s to three ways!
Traditional Skyline chili has beans as a garnish but this recipe incorporates it into the chili. If you’d rather have it on top, just reserve and heat the beans before garnishing with the cheddar cheese. Also, this recipe freezes really well. Just thaw and heat when you have a craving for Cincinnati chili.
1 15oz can red kidney beans (rinsed, drained, warmed)
1 pound GF spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
In a large dutch oven, add the oil along with the onions and cook until they soften. Add the ground beef to the pot. Saute the beef and break up the meat with a potato masher (this is very important because Cincinnati chili should not be chunky at all).
Once the beef has browned and is broken up, add the garlic, followed by the spices – chili powder, cayenne, dried oregano, cocoa powder, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground black pepper and one teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, water, vinegar, sugar, and drained beans scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer. Stir occasionally until the chili is deep red in color and has thickened slightly, roughly an hour. Season with salt.
To serve, plate up spaghetti and top with chili and cheese.
As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us (including me) get caught up in the preparations and spend little time about thinking about the true meaning of the holiday. Rather than pondering what gluten or allergy free dishes you’ll be able to eat, I encourage you to take a minute to reflect on everything you’re thankful for. Although life with food allergies/Celiac can be challenging, when it’s put into perspective I think there’s so much in life to be appreciative of! To get you started here are some things that I’m thankful for this year.
1. Past challenges that have made me a stronger person.
2. A supportive, healthy spouse who makes me laugh all the time.
3. Kind, wise and generous family members.
4. Honest, fun and thoughtful friends – new and longtime.
5. Career opportunities.
6. A happy, lovable dog named Banjo.
7. Good fortune of selling an old house and buying a new one.
8. Access to great medical care for me and my husband.
9. Past opportunities to travel the world.
10. A great education and no student loans.
Now it’s your turn, what are you thankful for this year? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Because I work in health care, I’ve always been offered a free flu shot through work. The first few times I received the flu vaccine, I was nervous about a potential allergic reaction because the vaccine is grown in fertilized chicken eggs. While thankfully I’ve outgrown my childhood allergy to eggs, anytime food allergies come up, I like to be extra cautious. So, I like to follow the advice a nurse gave me several years ago.
2. Have two Epi-Pens with you when you get the shot.
3. Hang out at the pharmacy or flu shot clinic for 15 minutes after receiving the injection to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
I got my flu shot last week and it didn’t hurt at all (and no reaction!). My arm was a little sore for a day or two but knowing that I’m well protected against the flu was worth the minor discomfort.
This post is in no way medical advice. It’s just about my personal experience as a person with multiple food allergies (but not an egg allergy) who gets a yearly flu shot. Please talk to your doctor to make sure you should get a flu shot.
As a working girl, I need quick, easy to prepare healthy meals. This is one recipe that fits the bill. I created this sauce when I was playing around with gluten free bouillon cubes. I don’t have affiliate links, but here’s where you can find them if they are not available in your local grocery store. By diluting a cube with less water than recommended, the sauce is extra flavorful and much healthier than a cream-based sauce. You can see the vegetable and pasta combo I used below, but this recipe is also great with penne and whatever vegetables you have in your produce drawer.
Like most kids, second to Christmas, Halloween was my favorite holiday growing up. What’s not to love about dressing up, having parties at school and running around and collecting pillow cases worth of candy?
If you’re read this post from my mom, you’ll know that my parents tried hard to not make me feel different from my peers, despite my multiple food allergies. And trick or treat was no exception. I went door to door with my friends and collected mass amounts of nutty candy like Reese’s, Snickers and Almond Joy. When the night was over, my friends and I would spread our candy out on the kitchen floor and I’d trade my highly coveted Reese’s for their Skittles, Starbursts and Milky Ways (back before the allergy warnings were on them). It was really the best of both worlds and something you might want to consider talking to you kids about if they are old enough to identify safe foods on their own. Just be sure they wash their hands after touching the packaged candy.
Let’s try not to segregate food allergies kids from everyone else during this food-centric holiday. If anything, bartering candy will only make them more independent and better equipped to handle their allergies/Celiac disease as adults.
I love entertaining and was so happy to be able to host my friend Jenna‘s bridal shower at my new home. She is marrying the son of my mom’s longtime friend so my mom was my super creative co-host.
Jenna and I share a love of Oprah and used to love watching her favorite things holiday episode, and that’s where I drew the inspiration for her shower. The foods and drinks were her favorites and we also asked guests to bring a small gift for Jenna that was one of their favorite things. It was so fun to see how creative our guests were. She received everything from a gift card for a frozen custard shop to mini shampoo travel bottles and exfoliating lip scrub.
Bride-to-be Jenna and Me If you look closely, you can see that we stamped each pennant with one of her favorite things-a dog paw print, leaf, flower, purse and shoes.
In addition to Oprah as inspiration, we incorporated some things from the Sound of Music’s Favorite Things song. Favors were succulents wrapped in brown paper and string, and I borrowed a friend’s stuffed cat for the “whiskers on kittens.”
We also used the stamps on the handmade placemats.
Roses on rain drops, whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages tied up in string
Because I was the only gluten free eater on the guest list we decided to make it a semi-gluten free event. My mom made all the gluten containing foods at her house and brought them over and we served them on warming trays so I didn’t have to worry much about cross-contamination.
Salsa is a staple at my house. Tortilla chips, rice, pasta–we top everything with salsa. I usually buy the biggest container but we still go through it quickly. When I came across this recipe from a friend’s aunt, I realized how much better homemade salsa can taste. Even though this recipe uses canned tomatoes, the flavor is much more robust and tastes less “processed” than store-bought varieties. Plus, the recipe makes a huge batch that stays fresh in the fridge for about a week.
Perfect on tacos!
Also, for those of you with oral allergy syndrome, this recipe is perfect for you because canned tomatoes are cooked.
Give it a try and don’t forget to wear gloves when you’re handling the jalapeños!
Gluten free Donatos pizza…you heard me right! As a Columbus native, I’ve always had a weakness for Donatos, my hometown pizza. Their crispy crust and high quality toppings were always what I craved for pizza night prior to my Celiac diagnosis. In fact, their pepperoni pizza was one of the things that I missed the most after becoming gluten free.
I recently had the opportunity to meet someone from Sonoma Flatbreads, by Donatos, at a gluten free event and was so excited to take him up on his offer of a pizza taste test. By the way, this post is not sponsored by Sonoma Flatbreads by Donatos and all opinions are my own.
Three cheese ready to go in the oven
Cheesy and certified gluten free
Crispy crust on the margherita
There are two really exciting things about these pizzas:
1. They taste fantastic! Seriously, the toppings (pepperoni, three cheese and margherita) are the high quality you’d expect from Donatos. The pizzas got really nice and bubbly in the oven and the crust is crispy, something that’s difficult to achieve in the gluten free world.
2. If you live near a Donatos restaurant, they will deliver the Donatos variety of these certified gluten-free take & bake pizzas to your home. It’s perfect for people like me who have Celiac disease and can’t risk cross contamination but don’t want to feel left out at the dinner table. (You can buy the Sonoma Flatbread version at Kroger in the freezer section.)
Great work Sonoma Flatbreads and Donatos! I can’t wait to see what other varieties you come up with in the future (hint-hint, I used to love your Vegy)!
September marked my fifth year of being gluten free due to Celiac disease. I’ve come a long way since that fateful day when I heard the news from an endocrinologist (not the typical diagnosis) and devoured one last batch of gluten-filled chocolate chip cookies to mourn my old lifestyle. Yes, I call Celiac a lifestyle because it’s more than just avoiding a few foods; it’s adjusting to a new way of eating and living. No longer can I order a pizza or run through a drive through when I’m hungry and crunched for time. My commitment to a healthy lifestyle means meal planning, lots of grocery shopping and carrying around a cute little lunch bag. While sometimes it’s a bother, this commitment is something I’m proud of. Not only does it keep me feeling good and free from Celiac-related complications, but eliminating restaurant food and many processed foods makes me and my family healthier.
This month on October 8th I’m also celebrating another milestone–the one year anniversary of Top 6 With a Side of Gluten. Blogging has been a great addition to my life. I’ve been able to connect with the gluten and allergy free community, including sweet bloggers like Vegetarian Mamma and G-Free Laura, help others with challenges related to gluten and allergen free living through tips and recipes and educate my own friends and family about food allergies and Celiac disease.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement this year. I’m grateful for each connection, comment, Facebook like and retweet. I’m looking forward to continuing this hobby in the coming year and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Top 6 With a Side of Gluten.