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Friday, February 28, 2014
Gluten-Free Friday Funny: 2/28/2014

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Ringing in the New Year with Gluten-Free Ronzoni
Just in time for the holidays, I was sent a gift basket from Ronzoni to announce their new gluten-free pasta. It was news to me that Ronzoni launched a gluten-free pasta so I was excited by their gift. The Ronzoni Gluten Free Goodness Pasta Kit included Ronzoni Gluten Free Pasta, an awesome bright yellow colander, and pasta serving spoons. This was was a welcome surprise and a great addition to my kitchen.

I wanted to put together a special meal for New Year's Eve and thought I would use the Ronzoni Gluten-Free Rotini as part of the main course for my meal. I was in the middle of reading Apron Anxiety by blogger and journalist Alyssa Shelasky and two of her recipes stood out to me as both a challenge and a delicious dish.

I spent ALL of New Year's Eve day shopping around Astoria. Luckily there are some great butchers and cheese sellers in my neighborhood. Unluckily, every single person in Astoria was also out that day shopping for a NYE meal. After about 5 hours of shopping (no joke), I had everything I needed for my meal.

My first dish was from page 207 of Apron Anxiety: "Lamb Meatballs Garnished with Pomegranate Seeds and Resolutions." I never cooked lamb and only tried lamb chops once in my life, so this was my stretch dish. Alyssa said that these meatballs made her resolution to become an amazing cook come true so I thought I should go for it and try this dish. I followed this recipe pretty much by the book except swapping out crushed crackers for gluten-free breadcrumbs. In one word, this dish was DELICIOUS! It also felt very decadent to be eating lamb and pomegranate. I am not a fancy cook and this dish made me feel fancy!

Steamy! 

Happy 2014! 
My second dish was also inspired by Alyssa and her take on Nigella Lawson's Fusilli with Toasted Pine Nuts and Feta. Here is where I was putting the Ronzoni Gluten-Free to good use. Instead of gluten-filled fusilli, I used Ronzoni's gluten-free rotini (as seen above). The pasta had that yellow color that us Celiacs know so well from the years of eating corn pasta, but the difference with this pasta is that it is a blend of white and brown rice, corn, and quinoa. Once the pasta cooked, it lost that heavy yellow hue and looked more like regular pasta. I was very careful to follow the directions on the box of Ronzoni Gluten-Free rotini because gluten-free pasta can be very temperamental at times. When the pasta was the perfect al dente, I took it out of the water and proceeded with the recipe. This pasta had a nice mild flavor with no overpowering corn taste. It was balanced and I think a good choice to use for this recipe. The curly-cues of the rotini held the spinach and feta well and paired nicely with the lamb meatballs.

My boyfriend and I literally ate until we couldn't eat another bite. He is a gluten-eater and said the pasta was really tasty (big compliment from an non-GF person). The meal was ambitious but totally worth it for our New Year's Eve dinner. I had to roll myself to the bar to ring in the new year, I ate so much! We had lots of leftovers and the pasta held up really well with a reheat in the microwave the next day.

The Ronzoni Gluten-Free website not only has a pasta locator, but lots of recipes, and a coupon for $1 off any box of the gluten-free product. I highly recommend you giving this pasta a try, especially if you are tired of those "corny" gluten-free pastas. The pasta is 100% gluten-free, contains 19 grams of whole grains per serving, and is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Click here to learn more and to download your Ronzoni Gluten-Free coupon today.



Sample product, kitchen gifts, and compensation were provided by the company but opinions expressed here are my own. 

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Monday, February 24, 2014
Chef Ladner Creates Gluten-Free Magic at Del Posto
Del Posto, in New York City, has been on my radar for a while now. When I first read on Serious Eats that they launched and entirely gluten-free pasta menu in 2013, I was really excited and wanted to learn more. I started doing some research, learning that Del Posto is co-owned by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich. My mom and I have been fans of Lidia's for years, always stopping to watch her cooking shows on PBS. I kept Del Posto in the back of my mind for any upcoming celebrations but kind of forgot about it.

Then two weeks ago, Del Posto came back onto my radar with gusto. Both Gluten-Free Philly and Pasta's Kitchen posted the video below and I was blown away. Chef Mark Ladner speaks candidly and and professionally about keeping customers happy and not letting anyone leave his restaurant dissatisfied. He wants everyone at his restaurant to enjoy their dining experience, regardless of their dietary restrictions. Chef Ladner and his team did their research and made gluten-free magic in their Del Posto kitchen using Chef Thomas Keller's Cup4Cup gluten-free flour.

I applaud Chef Ladner and the Del Posto team for their support of our community by embracing the gluten-free pasta challenge, rising to the true definition of hospitality, and welcoming the gluten-free community.

My birthday is coming up and I am hoping this is a good reason to finally splurge on a complete gluten-free dinner at Del Posto!



Chef Mark Ladner of NYC's Del Posto Creates Gluten-Free Versions of Entire Pasta Menu from Forklift on Vimeo.


"Our ultimate goal is when an entire table is enjoying one pasta, perhaps two or three of those people would be having gluten-free version of the exact same pasta and unless you heard the initial conversation, you would never know the person next to you is having something different from you and that is what makes great dining."  -Chef Mark Ladner


Thank you Chef Ladner on behalf of the gluten-free community! I hope to thank you in person soon. 

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Friday, February 21, 2014
Gluten-Free Friday Funny: 2/21/2014
Source: SomeEcards.com

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Exclusive Interview with a Celiac Fundraising Superstar
Alan and I at the 2013 Celiac Gala in NYC
Over the eight years I have been organizing the NYC Celiac Meetup group, I've had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people living with Celiac Disease. These people are everyday New Yorkers with exciting jobs and a passion for raising Celiac awareness. Alan Olshan, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, is one of those people that I met through our group.

I cannot exactly remember the first time Alan and I met, but I feel like we have been friends forever. Alan comes to each Meetup with a smile and a friendly attitude. Talking hockey and baseball to some members or modern dance and classical music to others. We've shared many delicious gluten-free meals and joked about other flops (tepid rolls, yuck!). He has always leant a friendly ear which is always much appreciated. He introduced me to modern dance and even let me sit in on a prestigious rehearsal of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. He's become a real friend and ally in the NYC Celiac scene.

A few years ago, I started helping Alan with promotion of a Celiac fundraiser he put together with the Paul Taylor Dance Company to raise awareness and funds for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. This year marks the 9th year of this fundraiser and I wanted to sit down (via email) to ask Alan some questions about the event, Celiac, and what has changed over the years.

Join Alan and I on Tuesday, March 18th at the 9th Annual Paul Taylor Dance Company fundraiser at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for a gluten-free cocktail party and stunning performance by the company itself. Click here for more information about purchasing tickets. 



Photo: Laura Halzack in Paul Taylor's Private Domain,
photo by Paul B. Goode.
Interview with Alan Olshan, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Paul Taylor Dance Company

Gluten-Free Fun: What is the Paul Taylor Dance Company?
Alan Olshan: After studying at Syracuse and Juilliard, Paul Taylor began to dance professionally and choreograph in 1954. He is the last living pioneer of modern dance and ranks with the legendary Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham as a principal founder of this American art form. The Company performs Mr. Taylor’s ever-growing collection of dances, which now numbers 140, around the country and throughout the world.


GFF: How did you get involved with the PTDC fundraiser for the Celiac Disease Center at 
AO: In 2004 I asked a friend about creating a fundraiser to benefit the Celiac Disease Center, and Cynthia Beckman at the Center was eager to work with us. Luckily, Dr. Green is a huge fan of dance.


GFF: How many years have you been organizing this fundraiser?
AO: This year marks our ninth effort.


GFF: Why is this cause so important to you? 
AO: I lived for 50 years with Celiac – eating gluten – before I discovered that contrary to what my parents were told when I was a newborn, one does not outgrow Celiac at six. I want to support the CDC’s efforts to identify those with Celiac so they don’t suffer needlessly as I did.


GFF: What is your favorite part about this Celiac Disease Center fundraiser?
AO: I love the cooperation we get from people like Edena at Pala Pizza, and Ceil and George at Foods by George. And of course the Celiac Meetup has been incredibly helpful in spreading the word of the event and building an audience for it.


GFF: How have things changed since you started organizing?
AO: After the one year when we ran out of pizza in five minutes, we now ration the slices so everyone gets some!


GFF: How can people buy tickets?
AO: Folks just call me at 646.214.5821 with a credit card; I seat the Meetup group together. For more expensive tickets, one calls the box office at 212.496.0600.


GFF: What is included in the ticket price? 
AO: Whether the tickets are bought through Meetup or through the box office, the prices include a donation to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia, admission to the pre-performance light supper including pizza from Pala and dessert from Foods by George, and of course a performance by the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center. I always choose a program that I think the group would especially like, and this year includes a comedy, a very alluring work and Mr. Taylor’s signature dance, Esplanade.


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Friday, February 14, 2014
15 Reasons Why You Should Love Someone with Celiac Disease


Valentine's Day is today so I thought it would be a great time to reflect on all of the wonderful reasons you should love a person with Celiac Disease today and always. Please feel free to add your additions in the comments section below!


1. We are rare! 
Only 1% of Americans have Celiac Disease. Even fewer African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans have Celiac Disease. We are less than one in a million and a great catch if you can find one of us!

2. We are unique! 
Celiac Disease has over 300 symptoms. The disease manifests itself different in each and every one of us. No two Celiacs are the same.

3. We get stuff done! 
It was the Celiac community that rallied behind re-opening the the FDA gluten-free labeling conversation and subsequently helped get these laws passed in the summer of 2013, making shopping for safe food easier for all of us.

4. We are persistent! 
On average, it takes 6-10 years to get a Celiac diagnosis. We do not accept doctors with no answers or vague diagnoses. We keep on looking for an answer and don't give up until we get one.

5. We know the best restaurants in town! 
Ask a Celiac where to eat and they can probably rattle off a list of safe, gluten-free restaurants within a 50 mile radius. We do our research ahead of time and probably have an "in" with the manager and the chef. We also tip well. (Hint, hint: you should do this if don't, especially if you are fed safely and well!)

6. We don't discriminate. 
We share our celiac disease with men and women of all ages and races. We are blondes, brunettes, blue eyes, grey eyes, short, tall, and so much more.

7. We love food.
Our only "cure" for Celiac at the moment is gluten-free food. Yes, our medication is food! What's not to love about that? Some of the most decadent foods on earth are naturally gluten-free. Feel free to spoil us with wine, chocolate, caviar, and truffles.

8. We are great communicators!
Do a search on Google and you will find hundreds of gluten-free blogs, Twitter handles, and Facebook pages dedicated to living the best Celiac life ever. We probably built our blogs to share the research we have done on the journey to our own diagnosis with others struggling with the same research. Simply Gluten-Free keeps a great list of gluten-free bloggers in our Celiac community.

9. We are entrepreneurs!
Some of the best gluten-free products come from those of us living with Celiac Disease who will not settle for crappy tasting gluten-free food.

10. We are social!
After our diagnosis, we often feel like we are the only ones living with Celiac. To fix this, we seek out support groups, online communities, and other resources to connect us with others living with Celiac Disease. Meetup.com is a great place to connect with others living with Celiac.

11. We are global!
Celiac Disease knows no borders. There are national and international celiac organizations across the globe. These associations are often eager to help Americans navigate the gluten-free scene when traveling to their country. Gluten-Free Globetrotter keeps a growing list of international Celiac organizations.

12. We can cook!
Many people with Celiac Disease choose not to dine outside of their home which makes getting creative in the kitchen a necessity. There are hundreds of recipes online that are naturally gluten-free and we are eager to try them all.

13. We are loyal!
When we find a gluten-free brand or restaurant that tastes good and feeds us safely, we tend to be repeat customers. We are excited to tell others about our gluten-free discoveries and will continue eat this food and be loyal to the brand.

14. We are meticulous!
It probably takes someone with Celiac twice as long to do an average grocery shopping, but this is because we read labels on every product we buy. We look for warning signs like "Made in a shared facility with wheat" or "May contain..." We pay attention and are careful about everything we eat.

15. We are appreciative!
A gesture as simple as buying us a safe, gluten-free brownie, a new GF cookbook, or even just texting us a photo of something gluten-free that reminds you of us goes a VERY long way. We will be happy that you are aware of the gluten-free world around you and that you want to share it with us.




Much love to you and your favorite Celiac 

on this Valentine's Day!





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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
CSA Responds to Revised TTB Gluten-Free Alcohol Labeling Policy
Yesterday when the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) released its "Revised Interim Policy on Gluten Content Statements in the Labeling and Advertising of Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages", I immediately reached out the Celiac Sprue Association.

As you may remember, I had some very interesting emails with the CSA staff back in November when they decided to endorse Omission Beer with the CSA Recongition Seal. Omission Beer is a barley-based beer and cannot legally be labeled "gluten-free" as per the TTB policy. I was curious to see if the CSA would stand by their endorsement now that the labeling policy had been revised.

Here is what the Celiac Sprue Association had to say:

Mary is out of the state this week at a conference, and she has asked me to respond to your inquiry.  The February 11, 2014 updated TTB policy on gluten-free labeling, based upon the TTB’s review of the FDA final rule, is basically a restatement of the TTB’s interim policy.  CSA’s certification of Omission beer was based upon the product meeting all of CSA’s Recognition Seal certification requirements, and obviously, the TTB policy has no bearing on the CSA certification process.  It is our understanding that Craft Brew will comply with the requirements of the TTB, as will CSA. Neither label will use the terms “gluten-free”.  Craft Brew will use the statements required by the TTB regarding removal of gluten, and the CSA Recogniton Seal will continue, as in the past, to not use the terms “gluten-free”.  As you know, there is currently no available test to determine any product to be absolutely gluten-free, and even under the FDA final ruling, products allowed to be labeled “gluten-free” may likely contain gluten.  As always, the purpose of CSA Recogntion Seal is to provide consumers with additional information so they can make informed choices on the products they purchase and consume.

Larry Brauer
CSA Special Projects


Based on this email, the CSA will continue to endorse Omission Beer despite the law stating Omission cannot legally be labeled gluten-free. This does not sit well with me and continue to feel that that Celiac Sprue Association doesn't have the celiac community in its best interest.

How do you feel about this revised labeling policy for alcohol and the continued endorsement by the CSA of a gluten-derived beer?


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Breaking News: TTB Updates Gluten Policy for Beverage Alcohol
I just received this email and think it is very important to share with the gluten-free community regarding how the TTB will allow the term "gluten-free" on alcoholic beverages.  Please share!

We have completed our review of how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) final rule on the use of the term "gluten‐free" in the labeling of products under FDA’s labeling jurisdiction impacts TTB’s interim policy on gluten content statements in the labeling and advertising of wines, distilled spirits, and malt beverages that we previously set forth in TTB Ruling 2012‐2.

As a result of our review and consultation with FDA, we are updating our policy on gluten labeling.  Given the important consumer health considerations relating to “gluten-free” claims, TTB believes that it is important to adopt an approach on this issue that is as consistent as possible with the regulations that FDA issued.

Under our updated policy, alcohol beverages that are made from ingredients that do not contain gluten (such as wines fermented from grapes or other fruit and distilled spirits distilled from materials other than gluten-containing grains) may continue to make “gluten-free” claims in the same way allowed in the new FDA regulations for inherently gluten-free products.

Consistent with the new FDA regulations, TTB will continue to consider “gluten-free” label claims for alcohol beverages that are made from gluten-containing grains to be misleading to consumers who are seeking to avoid the consumption of gluten for health reasons.   However, products made from gluten-containing grains may be labeled  with a statement that the product was “Processed,” “Treated,” or “Crafted” to remove gluten, if that claim is made together with a qualifying statement that warns the consumer that the gluten content of the product cannot be determined and that the product may contain gluten.

TTB may revise this policy after FDA issues a final rule or other guidance with respect to fermented and hydrolyzed products.   In the interim, we remind consumers that the FDA has determined there is still no scientifically valid way to evaluate the claims that beers made from gluten-containing grains can be processed in a way that removes gluten and that there is inadequate evidence about whether such methods are effective.

Our Revised Interim Policy on Gluten Content Statements in the Labeling and Advertising of Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages (TTB Ruling 2014-2) can be found on our Website at:  http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2014-2.pdf.

Please contact me with any questions.

Tom

Director, Congressional and Public Affairs
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Office:  202-453-2180

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Monday, February 10, 2014
Celiac Symptoms and Conditions Interactive Checklist



The Celiac Disease Foundation just launched an interactive Celiac Disease symptoms and conditions checklist. According to their website, 

"This checklist is NOT a self-diagnosis tool. Diagnosis of celiac disease requires a celiac disease panel blood test and an endoscopic biopsy of your small intestine. 
You MUST be eating gluten in order for the celiac disease panel test to be accurate as it measures your body’s reaction to gluten. A proper diagnosis can only be made by a physician."

You can fill out the checklist, get a copy, and then share it with your doctor. To access the checklist, please visit http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/symptoms/checklist/ 

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Friday, February 7, 2014
Gluten-Free Friday Funny: 2/7/2014
How many times have you dealt with someone trying to lose weight that says "Oh, I am gluten-free too" and then is super selective about what they can and cannot eat? Show them this! 


Source: http://mimiandeunice.com/

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
2014 Celiac and Gluten-Free Summer Camps


The summer might feel far away, but the best time to sign up for summer camp is now! Here is a round-up of all of the 2014 Celiac and gluten-free summer camp sessions that I have discovered so far. Some of the camps offer scholarships, so be sure to click the links if you are looking for more information. I wonder if I am too old for summer camp in Switzerland!!!!

Gluten-Free Family Camp Weekend 
Milford, Pennsylvania
May 30 to June 1, 2014
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Gilmer, Texas
June 15-20, 2014
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Roscommon, Michigan
June 15-21, 2014
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Middleville, Michigan
June 29-July 3, 2014
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Warm Springs, Georgia
July 13-18, 2014
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Annandale, Minnesota
July 20-25, 2014
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Camp Celiac at Camp Arroyo
Livermore, California

Session One: July 21-24, 2014
Session Two: July-27, 2014

Note: The by-laws of The Taylor Family Foundation require that they give priority to campers from Northern California.
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Bloomington, Minnesota
July 22-24, 2014
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Gruppenhaus Bärgsunne, Switzerland
July 26-August 2, 2014
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Wake Forest, North Carolina
Camp is in conjunction with Gluten Intolerance Group
July 27-August 2, 2014
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Ithaca, New York
August 1-3, 2014
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Gluten Free Summer Camp Ohio
Camp Y-Noah near Akron, Ohio
August 3-9, 2014
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Vashon Island, Washington
Camp is in conjunction with Gluten Intolerance Group
August 4-9, 2014
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North Scituate, Rhode Island
August 10-15, 2014
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Water Valley, Alberta, Canada
August 18-22, 2014
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Camp Silly Yak at Brigadoon Children's Camp 
Aylesford Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 24-29, 2014
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Camp Eagle Hill
Dedicated gluten-free kitchen
Sessions throughout the summer

Do you have a camp that should be added? Please email me at gfreefun@gmail.com

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