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Monday, January 31, 2011
Massachusetts Restaurants Prep for Food Allergy Law
Good news for those of you in Massachusetts. Starting tomorrow, all MA restaurants "will be required by law to have a certified food protection on staff." Read the article below for more information.

Massachusetts Restaurants Prep for Food Allergy Law

As of Feb. 1, all Massachusetts restaurants will be required to have a certified food protection manager on staff.

The National Restaurant Association and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association jointly unveiled an approved program to help restaurants comply with the state's restaurant allergy-awareness law that was passed in 2009.

The food protection manager must have completed allergen-awareness training through a program recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Certifications must be renewed every five years.

The state health department approved the NRA/MRA Massachusetts Allergen Training program, which includes a 30-minute online training video developed by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

The program covers various types of food allergies, the consequences of cross-contamination and the necessary precautions to take when serving guests with food allergens. Managers also learned what steps to take if a guest experiences a reaction.

Additionally, these managers, according to The Boston Channel, are responsible for teaching their restaurant's staff about serving customers with food allergies and minimizing mistakes. They also are expected to personally serve food to guests with allergies.

As the law rolls into place, restaurants are encouraged to avoid complex dishes that may subtly hide allergens, such as shellfish or rye. Federal law does not currently require “minor” allergens to be listed on food labels.

Also under the new law, Massachusetts restaurants are now required to print the warning: “Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy” on menus and other materials, including takeout pamphlets, websites and catering menus.

Chains without print menus can place the statement on menu boards or post it at the point of sale. As with any other restaurant law, local health inspectors will periodically check for compliance.

The Food Allergy Awareness Act officially went into place almost a year ago behind the efforts of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts is the only state that requires restaurants to educate staff on food allergies. As incidents of food allergies continue to rise, state officials have expressed hope that other states will follow their lead.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases estimates that food allergy occurs in 6 percent to 8 percent of children 4 years of age or under, and in 3.7 percent of adults.

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Friday, January 28, 2011
Recipe of the Week: Bob's Red Mill Pizza
This week's recipe is a bit of a cheat since it came from a mix, but I had a very busy week full of gluten-free networking events so I have a good excuse!

When visiting my sister last week in Connecticut, I picked up a Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix at Xpect Discounts. (Check them out, they have a HUGE selection of Bob's stuff at relatively inexpensive prices.) My sister and her family are big fans of the Bob's GF Pizza, but I never tried it because I was intimated by the yeast. Yes, this is probably a really silly fear to have, but I just never used yeast before and thought it would be difficult. It wasn't. I followed the directions exactly as listed on the package (see below) and it was really quite easy. The directions suggest dividing the dough into two parts. I actually split it in two and then split the second batch of dough into another half, giving me three pizza crusts. I could only eat half of the first one, it was so big.

My Modifications

  • I had no modifications from the original directions except I didn't have plastic wrap at my apartment. I just kept the dough in a bowl with a cover as it rose for 20 minutes.
  • I cooked the first dough according to directions and with toppings. I cooked the other two mini-doughs without toppings and froze them. It will be an experiment next time I decide to use these doughs. I will post an update. 
  • I topped the pizza with red onions, roasted red peppers, oregano, garlic powder, and lots of mozzarella cheese. 
This pizza was awesome. The crust was thick and chewy and really delicious. Considering I only paid about $2.50 for the package and I got more than 4 servings out of the one bag, I definitely see additional purchases of this mix in my future.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011
Living with Celiac Disease: A Round-Table Discussion
If you are in the Boston area and looking for some information about Celiac Disease, check out this event open to the public.

Living with Celiac Disease: A Round-Table Discussion

Date: 2/10/2011
6:30PM - 7:30PM

Celiac Disease Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
East Campus, Dana 601
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston , MA 02215

This is the first date of our 2011 informal “Round Table” Discussions on living with celiac disease and the gluten free diet hosted by the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

This event is open to our patients and the public. It will be held in the Reisman Lecture Hall on the second floor of the Rabb Building.

Your questions will form the framework for the evening.

Bring your questions on diagnosis and screening, symptoms, manifestations of celiac disease, associated complications, novel advances in research, hidden gluten, nutrient needs, appropriate follow-up with your medical team, and anything else you’d like to ask.

The Q & A will be hosted by one or more of the following providers:

  • Ciaran Kelly, M.D., Medical Director
  • Daniel Leffler, MS, MD, Clinical Research Director
  • Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, Nutrition Coordinator

Registration is required and limited for this event. Please call in advance to confirm your seating. Significant others are welcome but, again, space is limited. We will call or email you back to confirm your space.

To register: Call 617-667-8186 or email mdennis@ and provide your full name, phone number, email, and number of people in your party.

There is no cost for this event. Regular parking fees apply to the lots surrounding the Medical Center.

Refreshments and samples of gluten free products will be served.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dr. Ciaran Kelly
Medical Director, Celiac Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

To learn more about the Celiac Center at BIDMC, please visit their website at: or on Twitter at!/bidmchealth

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
100 Delectable Recipes for Your Gluten-Free Kid put together a great list of one hundred gluten-free recipes. Although the title of their post says gluten-free kid, these are really recipes to feed your entire gluten-free family. This list is a perfect resource for my recipe-a-week adventure in 2011 and I can't wait to dig further and find some new favorite recipes. Amongst the recipes in this list, you will find some of your favorite gluten-free bloggers including GlutenFree Goddess, Elana's Pantry, Simply Gluten-Free, and Gluten Free Mommy.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Greyston Gluten-Free Follow-Up and New Blogger
Back in November, I hosted a giveaway from Greyston Bakery. I don't eat oats (gluten-free or not) so I decided to give one of my readers a chance to try the Greyston Gluten-Free Oats Banana Bread a try. The lucky winner was a college student from New York named Candice. I love feedback on giveaway prizes, so I was thrilled to get a follow-up email from Candace last week.
The banana bread from Greyston bakery came beautifully wrapped. Since I was at school my mom wrapped it up and put it in the freezer.

The other day I was looking for something in the freezer to eat and I remembered I had banana bread! I took it out the night before and enjoyed it the next afternoon! The bread defrosted great and looked like someone had just baked it! When I cut the bread I could actually see small pieces of bananas in it. As for the taste I really enjoyed it. The bread was full of flavor and is close to the banana bread I remember eating before I went GF. The next morning I enjoyed PB & J on the bread. It was delicious! Overall, it was a great treat and I would recommend it to others!

Thanks for the feedback Candice!

I am also excited to announce that less than two weeks ago, Candice started her own blog. Candice said "Your blog along with a few others has been such a HUGE help to me since my diagnosis, so I decided to start one (I started on Friday). Being a college student that does a lot of cooking and baking I decided it would be a great way to share my GF journey. :)"

Good luck Candice. Blogging is a crazy yet exciting journey to embark on.

Visit Candace's blog, Embrace G-Free today.

Monday, January 24, 2011
Gluten Free Rafting Trip in Oregon
I don't remember exactly how I learned about this rafting trip, but it sounds like a lot of fun for those of you in the Pacific Northwest.

Gluten Free Rafting Trip

August 21 - 23, 2011

We are delighted to be working with the renowned Gluten Free RN, Nadine Grzeskowiak, on this very special Oregon rafting adventure.

Having a significant food allergy like gluten intolerance can make people wary about eating out or even taking a vacation. Assurances that the food will be gluten free do not always hold up and then the consequences dramatically impact the quality of the vacationer's experience. Nadine and the gluten free chef accompanying her on this unique outdoor adventure, will make sure the foods that you are served are not only gluten free but delicious as well.

This is a vacation where you can have true peace of mind-no worries about the food being served you, just focus on the fun. Nadine is confident that this trip will address almost any food allergy because the food will be fresh, organic, and free of allergy causing substances. So the added benefit is that if you have food allergies other than gluten, this Oregon rafting trip will also be the perfect vacation.

The dates for this gluten free 2011 Oregon rafting and kayaking trip are Sunday, August 21 (starting about 9 a.m.) through Tuesday, August 23 (ending about 5 p.m.). The cost is $1140/adult and $1080/youth (17 years and younger) and is all-inclusive. This cost covers all meals from lunch the first day through lunch the last day, 2 nights lodging, guides, gear, government fees, shuttle back over the mountain at trip's end, Nadine's expertise (she will be on the trip with you), and the gluten free chef's skills at each evening dinner and breakfast meal. Whitewater Warehouse will prepare delicious, gluten free lunches riverside each day.

Interested in joining Nadine on this unique trip? Just give the friendly folks at Whitewater Warehouse a call at 1-800-214-0579 today to reserve your space(s). A $300 per person deposit will secure your spot. Or email us at

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Friday, January 21, 2011
Breaking News: Schär to Break Ground on US Facility
I was formally introduced to Schär USA, Inc. last July when I attended a wonderful luncheon in New York City. Although I had eating Schär in Italy, I never had their products in the United States. I left with a full belly, a gluten-free goodie bag of Schär products, and a new favorite gluten-free company for breadsticks, cookies, and more.

Today, I learned that Schär is breaking ground on their first United States manufacturing facility in New Jersey on Tuesday. This is great news for both Schär and the gluten-free community. Although Schär tries to keep their prices low, they are still importing most of their products from Europe. A manufacturing facility in the United States will help eliminate those international importing costs which will hopefully keep their prices down.

Congratulations to Schär USA, Inc. for their United States expansion and good luck on Tuesday!


(LOGAN, NJ) – Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and other state and local officials will join with Schar USA on Tuesday, January 25 at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate the company’s decision to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in New Jersey.

Schar USA, which will be graduating from the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, is a division of Italy-based Dr. Schär Srl, Europe’s leading producer of gluten-free products. Dr. Schär plans to invest approximately $15 million into its new facility operation and has purchased over eight acres of land in the Pureland Industrial Park. The company also has an office in Lyndhurst.

What: Groundbreaking and tree planting to celebrate the company’s new facility in Logan Township.

When: Tuesday, January 25, 2011; 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Pureland Industrial Park
Heron Drive (Lot: 12.05; Block: 2803)
Logan Township, New Jersey
The lot is right next to Bentley Trucking (307 Heron Drive)

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Recipe of the Week: Edamame Hummus
The third 2011 Recipe of the Week was a HUGE success and a sort of "choose your own adventure" of recipe adaptation. This is my version of Edamame Hummus.

This week's recipe was based on the Spicy Edamame Hummus recipe from Vital Juice. The Vital Juice recipe came from La Fuji Mama's Quick and Easy Edamame Dip recipe and she adapted that from the Food Woolf's Forever Green Edamame Dip recipe. Add on top of these three recipes my own adaptations and you find your fourth generation edamame dip recipe. I love when you get lost in webpages clicking on one link to another. From the Vital Juice website, I have now added two new outstanding food blogs to my regular RSS reading rotation.

(Side note: If you aren't subscribing to Vital Juice Daily yet, you should be. It is a really fun enewsletter that sends out quality information. I get a double dose of Vital Juice through their "Everywhere" and NYC enewsletters.) 

Vital Juice Spicy Edamame Hummus Recipe

16 oz. frozen, shelled edamame
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
3/4 c. red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. Sriracha Chili Sauce (look for it in the ethnic section of your grocery store)
2 lemons, juiced
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Boil a small pot of water. Turn off the flame and add edamame to the water. Stir for about 10 seconds and then immediately drain the water (you want to just barely thaw the edamame, not cook it).

2. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, except the salt and black pepper, and pulse until mixture starts to become smooth. Leave some small chunks for texture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with chips, crackers, or cucumber and carrots sticks.

My Modifications
  • I am not big on spicy things, so I skipped the Sriracha Chili Sauce and added a teaspoon of chili powder instead. 
  • I didn't have toasted sesame oil on hand so I used 2 1/2 additional tablespoons of olive oil.
  • I used 4 teaspoons of minced garlic instead of 4 cloves of garlic. (What can I say, I am a sucker for pre-cut ingredients)
  • I skipped the cilantro and the salt.

I really loved this dip. It was easy to make and the flavors were just right. I think this would be a perfect addition to your Super Bowl Sunday food spread. I ate the dip with Trader Joe's Onion & Chive Corn Crackers but I think it would go well with gluten-free pretzels, veggies, and event spreading it on bread for a sandwich.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011
Gluten Toxicity Now Available on
Last week, I blogged about Shelly Stuart's new e-book Gluten Toxicity. I am happy to announce you can now buy this book on Shelly's book is $19.99 on and is currently in stock.

To order Gluten Toxicity, click here.

To learn more about Shelly, please visit the following links:

Twitter: CeliacNurse1, PaleolithicRN, GlutenToxicity

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Winter Getaway at Good Commons (Gluten-Free Meals Available!)
Good Commons Winter Expedition Weekend
January 27 - 30, 2011
Plymouth, VT

Join new friends in the Northeast for a winter escape filled with snowy adventures, gourmet cuisine and rest & revitalization.

I first learned about Good Commons last summer through Kristen, an amazing sommelier,  friend, and fellow member of my NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group. I had the pleasure of attending a wine tasting hosted by sommelier Kristen in the fall. If Kristen's wine tasting class is any indication of what's in store at Good Commons for their Winter Expedition Weekend, then you are in for a real treat. Kristen is extremely knowledgeable and friendly and doesn't make you feel stupid when you know nothing about wine. (ahem... me!) Kristen, a fellow gluten-freer, is good friends with Chef Matthew Wexler at Good Commons, so I trust you are in excellent hands and that Chef Matthew knows how to handle gluten-free food requests.

I just booked a different vacation (yay!), so unfortunately I cannot make this trip up to Good Commons. I hope to make it to Vermont one day soon to check out everything they have to offer. Chef Matthew Wexler is well-versed in gluten-free meal preparation. If you book this trip, please be sure to call or email Good Commons ahead of time to let them know you require gluten-free meals.

If you end up visiting Good Commons for their Winter Expedition weekend, I would love feedback! Also, if you are interested in attending and getting an additional discount please send me an email and I will put you in touch with Kristen. 

Join Good Commons, one of the premier boutique retreat destinations in the Northeast for a winter escape filled with snowy adventures, gourmet cuisine and rest & revitalization. To learn more about Good Commons, CLICK HERE.

Limited time discount for my blog readers:

Round-trip transportation on our private jitney, the Good bus (NYC only)
3 nights lodging at Good Commons
Local shuttle service to Okemo Mountain, Killington, and snowmobiling
Meals prepared by private on-site chef
4-course dinner with guided wine pairings and sommelier
Optional yoga classes
On-site certified massage therapist (additional charge)


Thursday, January 27th
1pm Depart NYC on our private jitney, the Good bus, with gourmet snacks and beverages
Stop at First Stop for equipment rental
Arrival at Good Commons
7:30pm Hearty Winter Dinner

Friday, January 28th
7:00am Breakfast
7:45am Depart to Okemo Mountain*
1pm Optional Midday Drop Off/Pick Up
4pm End of Day Pickup
5pm Optional restorative yoga class
7pm Four Course Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings
*Additional activities at Okemo include ice skating, snow tubing and snowshoeing. Okemo also provides free shuttle service into the town of Ludlow for lunch and/or shopping.

Saturday, January 29th
7am Continental Breakfast
7:45am Depart for Killington followed by drop off for snowmobiling
10am Optional yoga class for those not skiing
1pm Optional Midday Drop Off/Pick up
4pm End of Day Pickup
5pm Snack
7pm Family Style Winter Feast

Sunday, January 30th
7am Coffee and light breakfast snacks
7:30am Depart for Okemo Mountain for FREE Hour of Power
9am Optional yoga class for those not skiing
9:30am Return to Good Commons
10:30am Hearty Brunch
11:30am Group Photo
12pm Departure

Tesha Buss is the owner/creator of Good Commons. Raised on a dairy farm and doing back flips by the age of three, Tesha reached her childhood dream of becoming a Broadway performer, only to discover that a new dream--a retreat center to rest and revitalize--would soon reveal itself. She welcomes the revolving door of health and wellness professionals, artists, vacationers and more who seek to "be Good".

Matthew Wexler is your chef for the weekend, as well as a freelance food and lifestyle writer. He is proud to share the bounty of the Northeast with all those who visit Good Commons through fresh, vibrant and accessible cuisine. Matthew's writing can be found at

Good Commons was originally built in the 1840’s and operated as a general store. It has been lovingly renovated and restored and now features six bedrooms and a sleeping loft, six bathrooms, two living rooms, and a multi-purpose studio. The property features all of the modern amenities of one’s own home, while still creating a warm and inviting environment that honors the historical traditions that have characterized the house for more than 160 years.

Bedroom prices per person, based on double occupancy
$675 regular --$575 discount - Black Diamond Bedroom, includes deluxe steam shower / SOLD OUT
$650 regular --$550 discount- Standard Bedroom--One Male and One Female Slot Left
$525 regular -- $425 discount- Loft, charming sleeping quarters

All deposits are non-refundable. See website for additional information.

Travel Information:
The Good bus will be leaving from 45th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues at 1pm sharp on Thursday, January 27th. The Good Bus will be leaving Good Commons on Sunday, January 30th at 11:45am to return to the same location in NYC. Providing your own transportation? Inquire about our discount. Please contact: tesha@

To register, please click here.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
COMB Honey-Based Vodka and Gin

Last Friday, Astoria Wine & Spirits hosted a COMB Vodka and Gin tasting. I don't drink hard liquor much anymore, but this brand caught my eye because they are a honey-based spirits company. This is an exciting new alternative to those of you who are on a gluten-free diet and want to stick to gluten-free liquor.

Although I have heard of potato-based vodkas, I never heard of vodkas made entirely from honey so I wrote to the company looking for additional information. Ed Tiedge, founder of COMB Spirits, replied that "COMB Vodka and COMB 9 Gin are distilled 100% from honey and are gluten free and, in fact, made with no grains at all." Awesome!

Here is what else I learned:

Where is COMB made?
Everything is done in our artisan distillery that is located in Port Chester, NY in Westchester County. There we ferment the honey into honey wine (mead). We then distill it into vodka, gin or brandy and finally bottle and pack it.

Where does the honey come from?
We make our honey wine from orange blossom honey that we source from Florida.

Why don’t you use local honey?
The taste of a particular honey reflects the nectar of the blossom varietal it’s taken from. (Orange blossom, avocado, almonds, etc.) Much of the available local honey is characterized as clover and “wild flower” whose flavors can be quite variable from batch to batch. This leads to inconsistent flavors that don’t always translate favorably to wines and spirits. There are some excellent single varietal honeys in New York State, apple blossom for example, but they are not available in sufficient quantity for reliable production of our spirits.

Do you have your own bees?
Currently we don’t have our own bee hives; however, we are looking at purchasing some hives to insure a reliable supply of local honey from apple blossoms.

How much honey does it take to make spirits?
It takes about a gallon of honey to make a gallon of vodka. Honey is about 80% sugar so it takes less per pound than grains to make alcohol.

How much COMB can you make?
At current capacity, we can make about 100 cases per month.

Who is pouring it?
We’re currently in several restaurants in Westchester County that emphasize high quality local
producers, Blue Hill at Stone Barns use COMB Vodka and COMB 9 Gin, and we will soon be
poured in several cutting edge cocktail bars in New York City.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the COMB Vodka tasting this past weekend but I hope to catch them in NYC soon.

You can learn more about COMB Vodka and COMB 9 Gin here:
Twitter: @COMB_CTO

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Monday, January 17, 2011
Rudi's Gluten Free Giveaway

If I am not the biggest fan of Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery, I don't know who is.

My love affair started with Rudi's when I was introduced to their gluten-free breads at a brunch in Philadelphia in October 2010. How can you not fall in love when you are served baskets of gluten-free multi-grain toast followed by a delicious plate of gluten-free French toast at 10 Arts in the Ritz Carlton? It was like a gluten-free fairy tale!

Next came gluten-free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches from Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery at the NFCA's Appetite for Awareness event. Hello REAL bread! These PB&J sandwiches won my A4A10 Gluten-Free Fun Vendy Award for "Best Sandwich of the Day." The had full, spreadable coverage of both the peanut butter and the jelly. Best part, you didn't have to toast the bread to get it to stay together! This is almost unheard of in the gluten-free bread world.

Most recently, Rudi's launched their Spread the Bread program in conjunction with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. This national coupon program supports Celiac Disease education for physicians through NFCA's Continuing Medical Education program. For everyone $1 off coupon you download from the Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread website, Rudi's will donate one dollar to support the NFCA's efforts to better education physicians in the diagnosis of Celiac, up to $20,000. To visit the Spread the Bread site and download your coupon today, visit

Finally, Rudi's not only has a wonderful selection of gluten-free breads and now a really important mission to educate professionals about Celiac Disease but they also have a really fun and cheery website. At the Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery website you can find out where to buy Rudi's bread in your neighborhood, download coupons, find out about upcoming events, and read their company blog. (I am featured in their article "Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakes Up Friendships On the Road"!) I think the blog and their Facebook and Twitter presence are really important for connecting with their customers.


I am hosting a Rudi's prize package giveaway. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog, on my Facebook page, or send me a Tweet. Do all three and you are entered three times! The winner will be chosen on Friday, January 21 so enter today!

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Friday, January 14, 2011
Recipe of the Week: Ful for Love
This weeks recipe was one I was really excited about. I read this book called "The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber last summer. It is a great memoir of growing up in an Arab-American family told through food stories, recipes and family anecdotes. Many of the recipes are easily adaptable for a gluten-free diet so I copied them down onto my recipe cards and stored them away. I have been making Diana's hummus since last summer and I absolutely love it!

After reading "The Language of Baklava", I wanted to let the author know how much I enjoyed the book and the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-inspired recipes so I sent her an email. I love when I get responsess from authors! It makes you feel that they appreciate you as much as you enjoyed their book. Here is what Ms. Abu-Jaber had to say:
Dear Erin,
Thank you so much for your kind words-- I'm so pleased that you were able to find gluten-free/adaptable foods. I really feel like the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest (and yummiest) around...but I may be biased! Oh, I predict you will love Ful, and if you make the muhamara recipe, be warned-- people will try to lick out the bowl.
Enjoy! And many thanks again for taking out the time to write.
I decided recipe #2 for my 2011 recipe resolution would be "Ful for Love" by Diana Abu-Jaber. I must preface this recipe by saying that I am not a huge fan of large beans. I don't like the texture of anything bigger than a black bean unless it is smushed or in a stew/chili. I never had fava beans before so I was a bit put off right from the beginning. Nevertheless, I gave it a try...

Ful For Love from The Language of Baklava, page 323


1 small can of fava beans, drained
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of one lemon
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. In a saucepan, combine fava beans, garlic, onion, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper. 
  2. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes then remove from heat
  3. Add lemon juice and remaining oil. Mash into beans with fork.
  4. Garnish with onion and parsley.
*Ful is nice topped with chopped tomato.

My Modifications
  • I did not have fresh garlic, so I used minced garlic from a jar. 
  • I used a potato masher to really mash up the fava beans to avoid that bean texture.
  • I ate this with gluten-free rice crackers, no parsley or tomato garnish. 
I didn't love this recipe, but mostly because of the fava beans. I couldn't really get past the smell or the taste of the beans. I think I might try garbanzo beans next time. Any suggestions?
I still highly suggest "The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber for anyone that enjoys food and family memoirs. 

2011 Recipe Resolution #2 is now finished. 

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Thursday, January 13, 2011
New E-Book: Gluten Toxicity
I received an email back in October looking for gluten-free bloggers to be included in an upcoming book about Celiac Disease and gluten intolerances. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to include Gluten-Free Fun and was excited to learn that the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group would also be featured in the support group section of this book.

The new e-book is finally finished! It's called "Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance" and is now available for purchase and download at the author's website. Shelly Stuart, R.N., B.Sc.N., the author of the book said it was a "2 year project... [and] a resource to increase awareness" about gluten. With 30 chapters covering everything from types of gluten intolerances to in-depth explanation of symptoms to diet and finally support for your gluten-free lifestyle, I think this book is full information that is very helpful to both the newly diagnosed and the veteran Celiac. You can read more about Shelly below.

As I mentioned, you can order this e-book at Shelly's website. In addition, Gluten Toxicity will be available as a paperback from and will be available in some stores in British Columbia, Canada. Congratulations to Shelly for finishing this book and helping the gluten-free community with the new book Gluten Toxicity.

From the back cover of Gluten Toxicity:

Are you suffering from fatigue, anemia, indigestion, bowel symptoms, skin rashes, joint pain, infertility, poor bone density, headaches or other neurological issues?

These symptoms, along with many others, can be triggered by immune reactions to gluten. Unfortunately for those who are suffering, gluten intolerance is very under-recognized and under-diagnosed by doctors. Sadly, patients often suffer for decades with incomplete diagnosis and misdiagnosis.

"Gluten Toxicity" provides a comprehensive checklist of symptoms, in depth analysis of the diagnostics tests, an outline of the gluten-free diet, tips to help with a new lifestyle adjustment, and recommendations to consider when complications arise. Helpful checklists will assist the reader to keep track of blood test results, and tasks to help with healing. If you are looking for a definitive guide that provides comprehensive information about gluten intolerance, then this book is for you.

Shelly Stuart is a Celiac Nurse and Gluten Intolerance Consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She has been a Registered Nurse for 21 years in a variety of clinical areas, including gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease. Shelly and her eldest daughter have Celiac Disease, and her other two daughters have food allergies. Her extensive medical background, along with her experience as a mother, have been valuable assets in helping others with diagnosis and healthy lifestyle adjustments. Helping patients navigate the maze associated with gluten toxicity has become a way of life for Shelly.

To learn more about Shelly, please visit the following links:

Twitter: CeliacNurse1, PaleolithicRN, GlutenToxicity

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Washington, DC Area Awarded “World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination”
GlutenFreeTravelSite Awards Washington, DC Area the Title 
of “World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination” In Third Annual Contest

Washington, D.C. and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs offer vast array of dining choices 
for people following gluten-free diets

South Riding, VA, January 11, 2011 – GlutenFreeTravelSite ( today named Washington, D.C. and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs the winner of its annual “World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination” contest. Now in its third year, the contest recognizes locations that offer a wide range of dining choices for people following gluten-free diets. New York was the winner the first year, and Florida was the winning destination last year, due in large part to how accommodating Disney World and the surrounding Orlando area are to gluten-free guests.

Each year, the results are determined by tallying the number of user-submitted dining and travel reviews received throughout the year for each location on GlutenFreeTravelSite. The Washington DC metro area had a particularly impressive showing this year.

GlutenFreeTravelSite benefits from a close relationship with the DC Celiacs support group
(, and many of its members have contributed to the site by providing personal, detailed feedback on DC-area restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. Reviews of many independent restaurants as well as chain restaurants offering gluten-free menus give residents of and visitors to the D.C. area a wide a range of “safe” choices.

“Many cities in the DC area, like Bethesda and McLean, offer numerous gluten-free dining options,” said DC Celiacs member Sandra Robins, who is also the DC Gluten-Free Examiner and Gluten Free OptimistBlogger. “In Bethesda, Maryland, diners can enjoy delicious gluten-free crab cakes at both Lilit Cafe and Chef Tony's. New gluten-free menus are being discovered regularly, providing diners with significantly more choices than four years ago, when I was initially diagnosed with Celiac Disease."

“The DC area is a great place to live or visit if you’re on a gluten-free diet,” added Karen Broussard, founder and president of GlutenFreeTravelSite. “No matter what type of food is desired -- haute cuisine or casual family dining, Italian or Ethiopian -- diners can always find plenty of places offering great gluten-free options when searching the dining reviews on GlutenFreeTravelSite.”

Visitors to GlutenFreeTravelSite can search by state or country – or even by town or zip code – to find restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruises, and grocery stores that accommodate their diets. They can also submit their own dining and travel reviews to provide helpful feedback to others with their same dietary needs and challenges.

Most people who follow gluten-free diets do so because of Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body is unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. As awareness has grown and more people with Celiac Disease get properly diagnosed (as many as 1 in 133 people in the United States have it, according to a 2003 study, but over 90% of these people remain undiagnosed), more restaurants in the Washington DC area – and around the world -- have recognized the need to serve this market by developing gluten-free options for their menus.

About GlutenFreeTravelSite
GlutenFreeTravelSite was launched in April 2008 to give people following gluten-free diets a place to share feedback on restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruise ships, and grocery stores around the world that cater to the gluten-free community. The site is organized geographically to make submitting and searching reviews very user-friendly. In addition to their large database of valuable reviews, which includes feedback on many independent restaurants,” GlutenFreeTravelSite also offers a “Gluten Free Restaurant Menus” section ( showcasing a list of many national
and regional restaurants chains that now offer gluten-free menus, with direct links to those menus. For more information or to learn about advertising opportunities, visit GlutenFreeTravelSite ( or e-mail


For Information Contact:
Sarah Welz
Tel: 703-626-8055


Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Updated RSS Feed for Gluten-Free Fun
I wouldn't normally post something like this, but it looks like one of my tools for my readers was corrupted today. If you subscribe to this blog using an RSS feed reader like Google reader, please update to the following URL:

This will also allow you to receive all blog postings via email as well.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you are still reading this and didn't lose me as a link altogether!


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GlutenFreeTravelSite Announces Mobile Version of Website

Mobile Version Offers Free and Automatic Access to Gluten Free Restaurant Information and Dining Reviews via Any Smart Phone

South Riding, VA, January 5, 2011 –
today announces the launch of a mobile version of the site, automatically available on any smart phone. The mobile version provides visitors with a user-friendly format for accessing the site’s gluten-free dining information when “on the go” or traveling.

GlutenFreeTravelSite is a website that helps people following gluten-free diets find “safe” places to eat, whether they are looking for a restaurant in their town or searching for suitable places to eat or stay when traveling. The site contains a database of thousands of reviews of restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruises, and grocery stores throughout the world -- submitted by people following gluten-free diets.

“The mobile version of GlutenFreeTravelSite is incredibly easy to use, and more importantly, gives you instant access to a wealth of gluten-free information,” said Chad Hines, founder of the Gluten-Free Faces social networking site. “You have the ability to browse through local gluten-free restaurant reviews, view restaurant menus, and even access all your favorite social media sites -- all while on the go!"

Similar to the main site, the free mobile version of GlutenFreeTravelSite allows visitors to search reviews by city/town or zip code, with the search results appearing on a Google map. Users simply click on any establishment listed to link to the review. Most places reviewed are “hidden gems” such as independent restaurants, stores, resorts, and inns/B&B's that Celiacs may not have heard about elsewhere.

The mobile version of the site also incorporates the
Gluten Free Restaurant Menus section, which lists national and regional restaurant chains that offer gluten-free menus – and provides direct links to their gluten-free menus and locations. Users of GlutenFreeTravelSite’s mobile version can even visit the site’s Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, and read the Featured Review of the Month, a review that is chosen from the prior month’s submissions for special showcasing.

Most people who follow gluten-free diets do so because of Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body is unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 people in the United States and rates are even higher in some other countries. People with “gluten intolerance,” autism, and other health concerns have found that a gluten-free diet can also help reduce their symptoms.

“People following gluten-free diets have somewhat limited options when it comes to dining out and traveling,” said Karen Broussard, founder and president of GlutenFreeTravelSite. “With the mobile version, people can now have the helpful resources of GlutenFreeTravelSite at their fingertips at all times – whether they use an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android-based smart phone.”

About GlutenFreeTravelSite
GlutenFreeTravelSite was launched in April 2008 to help users quickly and easily access peer-written reviews of restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruise ships, and grocery stores around the world that cater to the gluten-free community. Between the database of reviews and the dozens of national and regional restaurant chains with gluten free menus listed on their Gluten Free Restaurant Menus page, visitors to the site can find thousands of safe and delicious dining options. For more information or to learn about advertising opportunities, visit GlutenFreeTravelSite at or e-mail

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Monday, January 10, 2011
Best Gluten Free Website, Blog or Social Site Winner: Gluten-Free Fun

I am so excited to announce that my blog Gluten-Free Fun has won the award for best gluten-free website, blog, or social site. I want to thank every one of my readers who voted for my blog. This is really amazing and it means a lot to me that you took the time to vote. You can see all of the nominees and winners by clicking here.

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Friday, January 7, 2011
Recipe of the Week: Butternut Squash Enchiladas
I decided one of my 2011 resolutions is to try one new recipe a week. I like to cook, but I tend to continue using reliable recipes that I have been cooking for years. Sausage and peppers, chili, stir fry, and pasta dishes are staples in my weekly meal planning. I read a ton of blogs so I bookmark recipes on an almost daily basis. I have also been reading a lot of food memoirs so I also gather recipes from there. Add the enewsletters that flood my inbox on a daily basis and I am simply overloaded with recipes. Now, it is my goal to start trying out those recipes. I am going to try at least one new recipe per week and then post it up here at Gluten-Free Fun every Friday.

Sometimes I will follow the recipe down to each teaspoon and each dash of salt. Other times I will modify the recipe based on what is in my cabinets or how I am feeling that day. Regardless, I will post the original recipe as is and then let you know if I made any modifications. Many times I make modifications when I am missing ingredients or short on time so I will include this in my review.

My first recipe of 2011 was Butternut Squash Enchiladas from I love because they have a page where you can enter your ingredients that you have on hand and it returns recipes including those ingredients. This is exactly what I did on Tuesday night. I had half of a butternut squash and a ton of spinach in my fridge, hence my first step at accomplishing my food resolution of 2011.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

8 (5 inch) corn tortillas
1/2 unpeeled butternut squash, seeded
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup enchilada sauce
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream, for topping (optional)

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Lay the tortillas flat onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the butternut squash half into a microwave-safe dish cut-side-down, and pour in the water. Cook in the microwave until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and dice; place into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking until the spinach wilts. Gently fold the spinach mixture into the diced butternut squash.
  4. Arrange four crispy tortillas on the baking sheet. Divide the squash mixture among the tortillas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of goat cheese over each tortilla, then top with the remaining tortillas. Pour the enchilada sauce over top, and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of cotija cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until hot, about 10 minutes. Garnish each enchilada with chopped cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream to serve.

My Modifcations
  • Instead of cooking the butternut squash in the microwave, I roasted this in the oven for 40 minutes on 350 degrees. This eliminated the need for 1/2 cup of water.
  • I used frozen, pre-chopped onions as well as pre-minced garlic.
  • I did not have tomatoes or enchilada sauce on hand, so I substituted with 1/2 cup of salsa. I suggest including some kind of condiment since the general flavor was a little bland without the sauces.
  • I didn't have goat or cotija cheeses, so I used mozzarella cheese. 
  • I only used 6 corn tortillas.
  • I layered one corn tortilla with the squash, spinach, onion, and garlic mixture followed by some mozzarella cheese. Topped that with another corn tortilla and repeated the veggie mixture and cheese topped with one more corn tortilla. Using this method of layering and filling (think Mexican-ish lasagna), I got two servings from my preparation of ingredients.
  • Next time I think I might include some chili powder and cumin into the mix because I felt the general flavor was a little bland. This might be because of the missing enchilada sauce. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this dish and would definitely cook it again. 
    My first 2011 Recipe of the Week was a success!

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    Thursday, January 6, 2011
    LiveGlutenFreely's Newsletter and More!

    Gluten-free recipe ideas. Useful product news. Featured articles to match your lifestyle. That's what you'll get when you subscribe to our LiveGlutenFreely's monthly newsletter. Plus, you'll get exclusive coupons that'll help you save money on gluten-free products.

    Sign up today for LiveGlutenFreely's newsletter and online coupons!

    You can also find them on Facebook at


    Wednesday, January 5, 2011
    Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Launches Spread the Bread Program
    You all know I am a huge fan of both Rudi's and NFCA, so this press release is really exciting to me.

    Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Launches Spread the Bread Program to Benefit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

    National coupon program supports celiac disease education for physicians through NFCA’s Continuing Medical Education program

    Boulder, Colo. – Jan. 4, 2010 – Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery is making life brighter for families that suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerance by giving them another way to enjoy bread again through its new line of gluten-free breads. As part of its commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery announced today it is partnering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to increase education and diagnosis of celiac disease through a national coupon program, Spread the Bread.

    Through Spread the Bread, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery is proudly supporting the NFCA’s efforts to educate physicians on the diagnosis of celiac disease through its Continuing Medical Education (CME) program. NFCA teamed up with top celiac doctors nationwide to create a program that provides education for primary care physicians focused on celiac disease with the goal of improving diagnosis and management of the disease. For full accreditation information, please visit:

    “Every year, millions of people suffer unnecessarily as a result of the lack of diagnosis of celiac disease,” said Alice Bast, Founder and President of NFCA. “Our mission is to decrease the amount of time it takes for someone to get diagnosed, improve quality of life, and with the support of companies like Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, we can better reach that goal.”

    To visit the Spread the Bread site, visit:

    For every $1 off coupon downloaded for a loaf of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread, Rudi’s will donate a dollar to support the NFCA’s efforts to better educate physicians in the diagnosis of celiac disease, up to $20,000. Coupons are available now on Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery’s website and Facebook page, and will remain available through February, or until the goal is reached.

    “We created Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery so people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance can once again take pleasure in eating tasty and healthy breads,” said Doug Radi, vice president of marketing for Rudi’s Organic Bakery. “In addition to creating great-tasting gluten-free breads, we’re also committed to raising awareness and furthering education about celiac disease through partnerships with organizations like NFCA. The Continuing Medical Education program’s goal to teach doctors to diagnose celiac disease will greatly impact the gluten-free community.”

    There are an estimated three million people in the U.S. suffering from celiac disease – that’s one in 133– yet less than 200,000 are diagnosed. Through partnerships with gluten-free organizations like NFCA, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery hopes to elevate the level of education and awareness on celiac disease and gluten-intolerance, as well as the gluten-free diet, through local and national initiatives that drive hope for a better, brighter future, like the Spread the Bread program.

    Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery breads are available nationally at natural foods stores and select mainstream supermarkets. For more information, visit

    About Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Inc.
    Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Inc., founded and headquartered in Boulder, Colo., is the only nationally available brand offering a full line of certified organic bread and baked goods. Rudi’s Organic Bakery has a long history of baking bread a better and brighter way, by using simple organic ingredients that contain no artificial ingredients, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or trans-fat. Since 2005, Rudi’s Organic has been a part of Charter Baking Company, Inc., a portfolio company of Charterhouse Group, Inc. Rudi’s Organic is a premier organic brand with distribution throughout the U.S. in both natural foods stores and mainstream supermarkets. Founded in 1976, Rudi’s Organic offers small batch organic artisan breads, sliced sandwich breads, wide pan sandwich breads, hamburger and hot dog buns, wraps and a popular line of organic spelt breads, buns and tortillas. In July 2010, Rudi’s Organic Bakery launched a new line of natural gluten-free products under the Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery brand. For more information about Rudi’s Organic Bakery, visit

    About the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
    The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of celiac in order to gain prompt and accurate diagnosis for those suffering, supporting the health and wellbeing of those with the disease, and facilitating research that will better understand the disorder and find a cure. Visit for information.

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    Tuesday, January 4, 2011
    How Much Are Food-Allergic Diners Worth?
    AllergyEats Founder Calculates the Power of the “Veto Vote”

    BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the past year, AllergyEats founder Paul Antico has encouraged restaurants to better accommodate food allergic and intolerant diners because it’s the right thing to do. Now, the financial expert is demonstrating another benefit to catering to the food allergy community: it can significantly increase restaurants’ profits.

    “Millions of Americans – or roughly 5% of the general population – have known food allergies or gluten intolerance, and restaurateurs should recognize the tremendous spending power of this community”
    Antico, a former stock fund manager with 17 years at Fidelity Investments, leveraged his financial analysis background to determine how much economic power the food allergy and Celiac disease community can influence.

    “Millions of Americans – or roughly 5% of the general population – have known food allergies or gluten intolerance, and restaurateurs should recognize the tremendous spending power of this community,” Antico explained.

    Assuming that 20% of the food allergic population will never feel comfortable dining out, while another 20% will try to eat anywhere, that still leaves 9 million food allergic diners that can be won over by allergy-friendly restaurants. Yet this number dramatically underestimates the true economic value of serving the food-allergic population, given that most diners eat out with other people.

    “A key factor for restaurants is the ‘veto vote.’ If one person in a party has food allergies, the entire group will likely go to a restaurant that can accommodate that one individual. The food allergic diner will ‘veto’ restaurants that won’t cater to his or her specific needs,” Antico explained.

    “I’ve made a conservative assumption that the average party dining out includes only three people, two of whom do not have food allergies. This estimate is especially conservative given the greater prevalence of food allergies in children, who often eat out with a party of four or more. Therefore, the “winnable” food allergic diner community – 3% of the total US population – actually translates into a 9% or greater potential increase in business for an allergy-friendly restaurant,” Antico continued.

    As an example, the casual dining chain Chili’s averages roughly $3 million in sales per restaurant annually. On each sales dollar, Chili’s earns about 15c in profit. Since restaurants have considerable fixed overhead (rent, staff salaries, etc.), it’s reasonable to assume that every additional sales dollar generates 25c (or more) in profit.

    Therefore, a 9% increase in sales at a typical Chili’s would equate to approximately $270,000 per year. That translates into an additional $50,000 or more in annual profits for an “allergy-friendly” Chili’s versus a similar but “allergy-unfriendly” restaurant. Even if a restaurant is already at or near capacity during weekend prime times, by becoming more allergy-friendly, they can still increase their profits by tens of thousands of dollars annually.

    Savvy restaurateurs understand the financial benefits of providing an allergy-friendly environment. Many restaurant owners are wisely taking extra precautions to accommodate food allergic and intolerant guests, having their employees trained in allergy safety, creating gluten-free menu options, providing ingredient lists, and seeking industry certifications.

    “As the father of food allergic children, I avoid restaurants that won’t accommodate my sons’ special dietary requirements. I’d rather take my family of seven to an allergy-friendly establishment instead. Others within the food-allergy community feel similarly,” Antico explained. “The feedback is clear – if a restaurant doesn’t have food allergy protocols in place, these dining parties will take their business elsewhere.”

    “From a purely business perspective, it’s in restaurants’ best interests to accommodate the food allergy population, as it can lead to significantly higher profits,” Antico continued. “The objective, peer-based feedback on AllergyEats makes it easier for the food allergy community to find allergy-friendly restaurants and avoid those that don’t measure up.”

    AllergyEats is a free, user-friendly website that provides valuable peer-based feedback about how well (or poorly) restaurants accommodate food-allergic customers. Antico started AllergyEats after dining out with his two food-allergic children and becoming frustrated by the inconsistencies in restaurants – some were willing and able to accommodate food-allergic diners and some were not. He created AllergyEats as a resource that offers restaurant feedback specific to food allergies.

    AllergyEats lists well over 600,000 restaurants nationwide, which food allergic diners can rate. The site also offers information on restaurants’ menus (including gluten-free menus), allergen lists, nutrition information, certifications, web links, directions and more.

    AllergyEats, which launched in February 2010, is experiencing tremendous growth, as word spreads about this valuable resource. Tens of thousands of visitors now use the site monthly, and more than 2,000 social media “fans” follow the site, participating in discussions and posting comments. The overwhelmingly positive response to the site demonstrates that AllergyEats is meeting a tremendous need in the food allergy community.

    AllergyEats has received a number of endorsements from highly-respected food, health and allergy organizations, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Gluten Intolerance Group, and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Additionally, AllergyEats is forming exciting partnerships with other organizations, including restaurant chains, established food allergy non-profits and more.

    For more information, please visit

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    Saturday, January 1, 2011
    Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary to Gluten-Free Fun
    Today is the first day of 2011. It is also my four year anniversary of this blog, Gluten-Free Fun. I have so much I want to say about this accomplishment and the past year, but I am beyond exhausted. I have slept in my own bed once out of the past eight days and I want to sleep until noon tomorrow. I look forward to recapping 2010 in the week to come and also celebrating my four wonderful years writing this blog.

    Happy New Year!


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