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Thursday, December 24, 2015
Merry Christmas from Gluten-Free Fun
Wishing all of my wonderful readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 




Friday, December 11, 2015
A Personal Message to the NYC Celiac Community


After more than ten years of organizing the NYC Celiac Meetup group, I am stepping back from my leadership role as I embark on a new adventure. As you may have read last week, I am moving to California with my boyfriend who is starting a new job. I am taking my gluten-free consulting business bi-coastal and will continue to be a strong celiac advocate for our community no matter where I live.

It is with mixed emotions that I write this post today. I love New York City and the wonderful people I've met through the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group. It has become like my extended gluten-free family. Over the past ten years, the group has given me much more than I could have ever expected. I've met so many great people that were brought together by this gluten-free connection. Our group has grown to more than 2,000 members and we've had more than 400 events which continues to both impress me and surprise me each day.

I have seen friendships bloom between group members, marriages, births, and sadly even deaths of some of our members. I've met gluten-free travelers from around the world who've made one of our Meetup events a stop on their itinerary. We've shared hundreds of wonderful gluten-free meals together while supporting our fellow celiacs. It really has been an enriching experience for me. I not only gave my all for this celiac community, but I got so much back from my supportive members. This community is really such an important part of my life and I am going to miss it dearly.

I will continue to play a small role in the NYC Celiac Meetup group posting annual events, webinars, and maybe even hosting events when I am back in NYC for work or family events. But from January on, I am passing the gluten-free leadership role to a new organizer.

Thank you all for your support and friendship over the past 10+ years. I hope you all continue to support one another in the gluten-free community and that you keep in touch as I move west.

Be well!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Canyon Bakehouse Salted Caramel Brownie Trifles and HUGE Giveaway
When Canyon Bakehouse approached me about a HUGE reader giveaway and a delicious recipe, I couldn't say no. They have an awesome line of gluten-free products that are all delicious and they want to give you ALL of them. This would be a perfect prize to win right around the holidays. It's one of the best gluten-free gift packages ever! I am a big fan of their entire product line and appreciate their outreach to the gluten-free community. The Canyon Bakehouse staff kept me well fed at the GFAF Fest in Connecticut last month!



The brownie bites are some of my favorite desserts ever and they don't last longer than a day in my house. When I saw this recipe, I was drooling on my keyboard! I might have to try making these for our Christmas dessert.

Salted Caramel Brownie Bite Mini Trifles
Recipe created by Lauren Gaskill, Making Life Sweet

DIRECTIONS

For the caramel sauce:
2 cups organic unrefined white sugar or cane sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup real maple syrup
½ cup coconut milk, full fat
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of sea salt

For the coconut whipped cream:
1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
¾-1 cup cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For serving:
1 package Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Brownie Bites, crumbled
¼ cup smashed Gluten Free chocolate cream sandwiches, cream removed (cookie pieces only)
Mini cordial glasses

INSTRUCTIONS

For the caramel sauce:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, maple syrup and water to a boil, stirring well until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer over low heat until the syrup water is a deep amber color, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove caramel sauce from heat. Stir in the coconut milk, butter and salt until combined. Let cool slightly before using.

For the coconut whipped cream:
Chill coconut milk in the fridge for at least eight hours. Remove the can from the fridge and carefully remove the lid without tipping or shaking the can. Scrape out the top, thickened cream and discard the liquid.

Place cream in a medium mixing bowl and beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth - about 1-2 minutes.

To assemble the trifles:
Place about 1 tablespoon of brownie bites at the bottom of each cordial glass. Evenly pipe or spoon a layer of coconut whipped cream onto each brownie. Add a layer of caramel sauce and then another layer of brownie and coconut cream. Repeats layers. Serve immediately.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, December 7, 2015
Big News for Gluten-Free Fun in 2016

I planned a giveaway today, but it is time to break some big personal news. In early 2016, I am moving to California with my boyfriend who is starting a new job. I am taking my gluten-free consulting business bi-coastal and will continue to be a strong celiac advocate for our community no matter where I live. This blog will continue and is going to be bigger and better than ever from the West Coast!

I love New York City so much which makes it so hard to leave. I have always lived within 90 miles of the city and I really never imagined living anywhere else. But life throws you a curve ball sometimes and this one has actually been in the works for about 10 months now. With a new year, the approaching winter, and the excitement of trying something new, the timing was right for this move to California.

One of the hardest parts of leaving NYC is leaving the New York City Celiac Meetup Group that I have been leading for more than ten years. This group has given me much more than I could have ever expected. I've met so many great people that were brought together by our gluten-free connection. Our group has grown to more than 2,000 members and we've had more than 400 events which continues to both impress me and surprise me each day.

I have seen friendships bloom between group members, marriages, births, and sadly even deaths of some of our members. I've met gluten-free travelers from around the world who've made one of our Meetup events a stop on their itinerary. We've shared hundreds of wonderful gluten-free meals together while supporting our fellow celiacs. It really has been an enriching experience for me and I hope for you as well.

If you are in NYC on December 15th, please join me at my final Meetup event. Details here.

One of the things I am most excited about is connecting with the gluten-free community in California. I am going to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January and Expo West in Anaheim in March. I also hope to make it to the Celiac Disease Foundation Expo in May. I cannot wait to meet all of you west coasters that I often miss being on the east coast. It is time for me to grow my gluten-free empire on both coasts!

2016 will also bring a HUGE redesign to Gluten-Free Fun. It's time to modernize this blog. Stay tuned for a new look, new icon, and so much more.

Thank you for all of your support now, over the past 8 years I have been blogging, and for the future!

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Thursday, December 3, 2015
Celiac Disease Children's Books for the Holidays
I have noticed a new trend of books geared towards kids with celiac disease and food allergies both on Amazon.com and at gluten-free events. I think these books are great because they tell a story that many other children's books don't tell in a very relatable way. Many of these authors live gluten-free themselves or have a child who is gluten-free, which makes these stories quite personal. I have always been an avid reader and one of these books would have been a great gift for me as a kid.

Do you know a celiac child or children with food allergies? Add these to their holiday gift list!
Click on the book cover and it will bring you right to Amazon.com!


The Adventures of Celia Kaye
by Kaitlin Puccio


My Special Cupcake
by Julie Lyn Klingel


Allergic to Bullying
by Monique Vagueiro

Eating Gluten-Free with Emily
by Bonnie J. Kruszka 


The Celiac Kid
by Stephanie Skolmoski



Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?
by Katie Chalmers



Adam's Gluten Free Surprise
by Debbie Simpson



The GF Kid: A Celiac Disease Survival Guide
by Melissa London



Cilie Yack is Under Attack
by Caryn Talty 



Willie Villie Meets Casey Kramps
in Sprueville
by  Elena Torsiello

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