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Thursday, October 31, 2013
Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Planning
Thanksgiving giving is four weeks from today. It's never too early to start planning for your gluten-free meals. At our Thanksgiving table this year, five out of the eight of us are gluten-free. While there might be some gluten on the table, such as gravy, there are very few items that contain gluten and all of the main dishes are totally gluten-free.

It seems that I have been tasked with the gluten-free carbs this year. I plan on making side dishes and desserts. Let's call it a semi-homemade effort on my part. Here is what I am cooking in my gluten-free kitchen.

Cornbread by Bob's Red Mill
Herb-Seasoned Stuffing by Three Bakers
Holiday Pumpkin Cake by The Cake Mix Doctor, Anne Byrn
Gluten-Free Fun Apple Crisp

I also won a raffle a few weeks ago for a two-layer cake from Pip's Place: The Gluten-Free Cakery here in NYC. I am excited to pick up a gluten-free and dairy-free cake for my family to enjoy.

What's on your gluten-free Thanksgiving menu?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Free Celiac Blood Screening in Chicago on November 16th
Every fall, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center holds a free blood screening to test people who are at risk for Celiac. My friend's daughter got tested and diagnosed with Celiac after this screening in 2013. If you or your loved ones live near Chicago and haven't been tested for Celiac, now is your chance!

According to the Center's website: "You are eligible for this free blood screening if you are at risk for celiac disease and are eating a regular, gluten-containing diet. There is no need to fast before the test. The antibody screening tests for celiac disease are not accurate if one is following a gluten-free diet. If you have removed gluten from your diet, it will typically require that gluten is reintroduced on a daily basis, with at least one serving per day (1/2 slice of bread or a cracker), for at least 12 weeks prior to the antibody blood screening tests. This is sometimes referred to as a gluten challenge, which should only be conducted under a physician’s supervision."

Pre-registration is mandatory, so please visit the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center website today to begin your pre-screeming and registration.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Gluten-Free Chef's Table Tour Kick-Off Dinner with Photos

Last night I was thrilled to be a part of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef's Table Tour. The first stop on the tour was in New York City. Alice Bast of the NFCA and Chef Jehangir Mehta were the gracious hosts at Chef Mehta's restaurant Metaphor in Tribeca. You may know Chef Mehta from The Next Iron Chef.

Me with Chef Mehta

Chef Mehta has been involved with the NFCA and the Celiac community for a very long time. When he spoke about ingredients, cross-contamination in a kitchen, and preparation of gluten-free food, it was obvious the chef knew what he was talking about. Chef Mehta acknowledged that being gluten-free is a lifestyle choice for some but in his kitchens he takes "everyone's gluten-free requests as a serious illness request." He also said "gluten doesn't die with fire" which I think is a great reminder of why the same pans and grills shouldn't be reused in the kitchen when preparing gluten-free food.

Me with Alice Bast of the NFCA

One of the highlights of the night was meeting other bloggers. In my section of the table, I was the only person with Celiac and the only gluten-free blogger. This gave me the opportunity to educate others and reiterate the important points made by Chef Mehta and Alice throughout the night. Of course, there were some doubters of the prevalence of Celiac but I tried to set them straight. I actually thought it was a very good, strategic move on behalf of the NFCA to invite non-gluten-free bloggers. The more people we bring into our community, the greater chance we have to educate others.

You can follow the GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef's Table Tour on the NFCA Facebook and on Twitter at @CeliacAwareness and @jehangir_mehta or by tweeting #GFChefsTable or #GREATKitchens. The Gluten-Free Chef's Table Tour will cover 9 more cities in the United States through the fall and into the spring of 2014.

Thank you Alice and Chef Mehta for an informative and delicious evening!

Shout out to my girls Ingrid and Bobbi who stealthily ate their dinner behind me the whole night and didn't say hello until the end. ha! I know your are reading this. :-)

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Gluten-Free Chef's Table Tour Coming to NYC Today and Tomorrow
New York City is the first stop on the NFCA Gluten-Free Chef's Table tour. While I won't be at the inaugural lunch today, I will be at dinner tomorrow dining along side of the NFCA's Alice Bast and learning more from Chef Jehangir Mehta. I am so excited to learn more about this awareness tour and enjoy food from the Chef's Table!

According to the NFCA, "GREAT Kitchens has paired with nationally recognized executive chef and restaurateur, Chef Jehangir Mehta to launch the GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour. The tour will feature exclusive gluten-free dining experiences from executive chefs in fine dining restaurants, gluten-free cooking demonstrations with local media and interactive educational experiences at partner universities."

The NYC dinner is on Wednesday, October 22nd will be at Chef Mehta's restaurant Metaphor and it is open to the public. I am excited to reconnect with Chef Mehta, I first met him at an NFCA event many years ago. It is great that he has been such an advocate of gluten-free safety in his restaurants over the past 6 years.

Please contact the restaurant directly to make your reservations! See you there!

Mehtaphor Restaurant
130 Duane Street
New York, NY 10013

To read more about the Gluten-Free Chef's Table Tour, visit the NFCA website to see their press release.

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Monday, October 21, 2013
NYC Gluten-Free Bakeries

With the announcement on Friday that the NYC cupcake giant Crumbs is opening a 100% gluten-free store in New York City this October, there will soon be six 100% gluten-free bakeries in Manhattan. For an island that only had one gluten-free bakery less ten years ago (Happy Happy Happy which is now closed), having sixretail shops selling gluten-free baked goods is kind of a big deal for gluten-free New Yorkers. As a matter of fact, I think this is kind of a big deal for any city in the United States. Lower Manhattan seems to be the hot spot with 3 of the 6 gluten-free bakeries south of 14th Street. Getting on your walking shoes, loosen your belts, and get your gluten-free sweet on!

Update 1/6/2014 
By The Way Bakery: 2442 Broadway, between 90th and 91st Streets (now open!)

Read more about BabyCakesNYC

Please note: I have confirmed that all of the above bakeries are 100% gluten-free. There are no gluten ingredients used at any of the bakeries I have listed! 

View Gluten-Free Bakeries in NYC in a larger map

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Friday, October 18, 2013
2013 Celiac Disease Center at Columbia Gala Recap and Photos
Last night I attended the 2013 Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University gala fundraiser at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. This is one of my favorite events of the year because I always get to catch up with amazing gluten-free friends. It's like a Celiac reunion in fancy clothes!

Last night's event was extra special because it was hosted by The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. Turns out that Jon's son and wife both have Celiac Disease and Dr. Green, from the Center, diagnosed his son. Mystery solved as to why he was there! Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Mr. Stewart in person as he was quickly whisked away by Columbia staff to meet others who probably donated much more money than I ever did. I did snap some candid shots of him signing autographs and giving a speech about how the Center helped his family.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York was also there and I was so excited to meet her. As I have said before, these are my real Gluten-Free Celebrities! Congresswoman Lowey was a key backer of moving the gluten-free labeling legislation through to the FDA. I thanked her profusely on behalf of the entire Celiac community for focusing on this issue. She is such a sweetheart.

Me with Congresswoman Nita Lowey

Another highlight of my night was when a blog reader and her daughter Jacquelyn came up to meet me. Jacquelyn was diagnosed with Celiac about five years ago and my blog was the first one her mom started reading. She thanked me for being a great resource and I was beyond flattered and touched by her thanks. She said I helped them a lot and it was great to finally meet me in person. People, this is why I do what I do. If I can help just one person through this blog, it makes all of my time worth it. Thank you Jacquelyn and your mom (so sorry I forgot your name!!) for saying hello!

My friends from the Gluten Intolerance Group of Long Island, formerly knows as the Suffolk County Celiacs, were guests of honor last night. It was so great to see them get recognition for all of their hard work for the Celiacs of Long Island, New York. Congratulations!

Gluten Intolerance Group of Long Island

By my estimates there were almost 300 people in attendance, enjoying a gluten-free meal including a bread basket full of gluten-free breads from Hu Kitchen, Schar, Foods by George, and Free Bread, Inc. I ate way too many bread products, but it is always awesome to go to a party where everything is safe to eat.

Although I am not a patient of the Celiac Disease Center, I work very hard to promote their events to my readers and NYC Celiac Meetup members. I know the doctors of the Center have helped many of my Meetup members with a proper diagnosis and their road to healing. Thank you to the Celiac Disease Center for my ticket and for all you do for our community.

Karen of Free Bread Inc., Kirsten of Our Gluten-Free Family, Jill of Glow Gluten-Free and Me

Me with Alan of the Paul Taylor Dance Company

Me with the amazing Jill of Glow Gluten-Free 

Me with Pedro of Everybody Eats

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Thursday, October 17, 2013
2013 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Lists

Halloween is only two weeks away and time to start thinking about how to keep your gluten-free kids (and yourself) safe from gluten contamination. There are multiple gluten-free candy lists floating around on the internet, so here is a rundown of what I found so far. Please be diligent this Halloween season!

Celiac Disease Foundation 2013 Halloween candy list
Includes Hershey's, Just Born, Nestle, Tootsie Roll, Necco, Smarties, and Jelly Belly with phone numbers to these top manufacturers Celiac Disease Candy Page
Updated October 2, 2013. Includes top manufacturers and phone numbers

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Gluten-Free Halloween page
Includes candy list and tips to keep yourself and kids gluten-free this Halloween

What is your favorite gluten-free Halloween candy? 

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Gluten-Free Cookbooks and an Antique!
Yesterday, my friend Elizabeth Barbone from asked on Facebook what cookbooks have improved your life or which are the cookbooks that you would always recommend to friends. I thought this was a great question and I would love to hear your favorites!

As you know, I was diagnosed with Celiac in 1981. At this time, there were almost no resources for a newly diagnosed celiac. My parents had to rely on doctor input and any information they could find. They were desperate for information so finding a gluten-free cookbook in 1981 must have been a big relief. The very first gluten-free cookbook my mom had was "Good Food, Gluten Free" by Hilda Cherry Hills.

First published in 1976, "Good Food, Gluten Free" was WAY ahead of its time. The author's husband had Celiac Disease and a sadly all-too-common road to his diagnosis in the late 1960s. She clearly did a lot of research and I have to say I am very impressed with the information that was presented in this book that is close to 40 years old! There is a brief introduction to Celiac, other conditions associated to celiac, other diseases that may benefit from eating gluten-free, and how to feed a celiac infant and child. I think this chapter was probably the most useful to my parents 33 years ago! There are also chapters about how to socialize while maintaining a gluten-free diet, how to travel, suggested menus, and so much more. This book has been fun to look at recently and realize what a godsend this must have been to my parents.

What are your favorite cookbooks? Did any book change your life after going gluten-free? I would love to read your suggestions in the comments section below.

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Monday, October 14, 2013
Gluten-Free British Airways Fail
Can someone please tell me what is wrong with these pictures of my gluten-free meal from British Airways on my flight to the UK last week?

In case you didn't realize, not only do I have a regular, gluten-filled bun but I also have a cheesecake that clearly states "CONTAINS WHEAT". I was told on the flight that they didn't get the proper gluten-free trays and that this should be ok. The flight attendant then proceeded to tell me that she was gluten-free too (probably as a weight loss regimine) and this meal should be fine. I may have exaggerated a little bit and told her I could die if I ate this, but I was livid that I had no dinner for a trans-Atlantic flight except a plain salad and a small fruit bowl. At close to $1,000 a ticket, I deserve better treatment than that! There was chicken in some kind of gravy on the plate too but given the other food clearly containing gluten, I opted not to eat it. I trusted my gut (har har) and didn't eat anything on the tray. Luckily my mom had made me two gluten-free sandwiches to eat on the plane in case of circumstances like this so I didn't go completely hungry. I just worry about other gluten-free travelers who aren't as savvy as I am when it comes to not trusting the airlines, especially when they are trapped and hungry! Also, I am glad I was awake enough and paying attention to what was put in front of me. It would have been a horrible 6+ hours across the Atlantic with many trips to the airplane bathroom if I didn't read the ingredients. That is no way to start a vacation!

Flying home wasn't as bad, except they didn't serve me until they were feeding everyone else dessert and that was only after I asked two flight attendants where my special meal was and them looking at me with blank stares. They also ran out of food for many of the people on my plane and started bringing them meals from first class. How does an airline not know how many people they need to feed?

And the biggest kicker, British Airlines didn't send my bag or my mom's bag home with us. Two people, two bags, three different flights. How does this even make sense?


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Thursday, October 10, 2013
Happy Anniversary National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is celebrating their 10th anniversary today. Over the past 10 years, NFCA president Alice Bast and her amazing staff have done a tremendous job bringing celiac awareness, education, and fun to the gluten-free and celiac communities. I have participated in many of their events over the past 10 years and I look forward to many more years and events to come. Thank you NFCA for your tireless efforts within the Celiac community and congratulations on this milestone anniversary!

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Monday, October 7, 2013
12th Anniversary Gala to benefit the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia

An evening to benefit the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University hosted by Jon Stewart!

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Mandarin Oriental, New York 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street New York, NY 10023

Cocktails and silent raffle 6:30 pm sharp
Dinner 7:45 pm sharp
The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University invites you to celebrate 12 years of commitment and dedication to profoundly improving the lives of individuals with celiac disease around the globe.
Honoring: Olga & Ruvim Breydo and Suffolk County Celiacs 
Music by Juilliard & The Matthew Rybicki Quartet & The Derek James Band
Attire: Festive
Auction: Fabulous items will be offered at live and silent auction. Live auction conducted by renowned Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet. Checks, Amex, Visa and MasterCard will be accepted.
All food will be gluten-free

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Friday, October 4, 2013
Gluten-Free Skit is Just Wrong on Conan O'Brien Show
I don't normally like to post things like this because I want to let them just roll of my back, but I felt like I needed to set a few things straight.

Last night, a member of "Team Coco" sent me a link to a "comedy" bit on the Conan O'Brien show. I use quotes around the word comedy because not only did I find this clip stupid, but I also found it just wrong and confusing. Comedienne Erin Foley was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant and she starts listing all of the things she cannot eat. It is sad that Erin feels so limited but this is often the case with people that are first diagnosed. This kind of "comedy" is confusing to those who are newly diagnosed and I would like to set the information straight. Here are the things Erin says she cannot eat, followed by just a small sample of companies that DO create gluten-free versions of those products

Beer: New Planet, Redbridge, Bard's Tale, New Grist, Celiac, Green's, St Peter's
Bread: Udi's, Rudi's, Schar, Ener-G, Whole Foods, Free Bread, Food for Life, Kinnikinnick, Glutino
Crackers: Glutino, Mary's Gone Crackers, Schar, Orgran, Nut Thins, Crunchmaster, Edward & Sons
Cookies: Udi's, Pamela's, Mary's, Schar, K-Toos, Glutino, MiDel
Chips: Utz, Boulder Canyon, Flamous, Food Should Taste Good, Lundberg, Kettle Brand
Pizza: Amy's J.D.'s Best, Udi's, Schar, Rustic Crust, Bob's Red Mill, BOLD
Pasta: DeBoles, Barilla, Trader Joe's, Ener-G, Lundberg, Schar, Mrs. Leepers
Pancakes: GF Bisquick, King Arthur, Arrowhead Mills, Gluten-Free Pantry, Pamela's, Cherrybrook Kitchen
Communion Wafers: Celebrate Communion, Ener-G

The ONLY product I agree with Erin on is croissants. I have not come across any gluten-free croissants in this country yet. I know that Schar sells them in Europe, but they aren't here yet. Ok Erin, I will give you that one.

Erin did make a list of the things she can eat but didn't get it quite right:
Garfaza (Um, WHAT??? I think she meant garbanzo or garfava)
Teft (It's TEFF, not teft)

Erin gave a discouraging shout-out to Living Without magazine stating that it comes with a razor blade. Depression is very real for many people living with Celiac and gluten intolerance. Is a joke alluding to suicide funny? NO! Be a little more sensitive Erin.

I understand Erin is probably in her bitter, sad-to-be-diagnosed phase of her gluten intolerance as well as just trying to make it in Hollywood but "comedy" skits like this are just a disservice to our gluten-free community, not funny, and hurt our reputation for being taken seriously. Good luck with that comedy career, Erin, but try using some different matter in your attempt to be funny.

What do you think? 

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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Crumbs Gluten-Free Now Open in New York City

Today is the day! The popular cupcake shop Crumbs is finally opening their very first 100% gluten-free bakery right here in New York City. All of these products will be produced in a gluten-free and peanut-free bakery and delivered fresh on a daily basis to the store. This will be New York City's 6th 100% gluten-free bakery and probably one of the most popular.

According to a press release from Crumbs in September: "By adding gluten-free alternatives to our already distinctive assortment of gourmet cupcakes and desserts, we are truly opening our doors to a whole new group of consumers who may not have had the chance to taste our desserts before," says Julian R. Geiger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crumbs Bake Shop, Inc. "Now, those who live a gluten-free lifestyle will be able to enjoy the Crumbs experience."

Located just south of Union Square in the heart of NYU land, Crumbs is in a prime location. You can reach Crumbs Gluten-Free via public transportation on the A/B/C/D/E/F/M trains to West 4th Street or the N/R trains to 8th Street. There is even a New Jersey PATH train stop right near by.

Check out their impressive gluten-free menu!

Click here to see a larger version

Crumbs Gluten-Free
37 West 8th Street
New York, NY 10011

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Gluten-Free in Portland: Imperial by Chef Vitaly (in Photos)
I had a decadent, gluten-free meal at Imperial in Portland, Oregon over the summer. You can read my entire review on my Gluten-Free Globetrotter site. In the meantime, these photos should get you hungry!

My Imperial menu for the evening:
Drink: Sleight of Hand: pisco, lillet rose, pamplemousse liquer, flamed negroni mist
Appetizer: Kale and raw vegetable salad with sunflower seed brittle and goat cheese dressing
Bonus dish: Ocean caught salmon belly
Main dish: Tails and Trotters Barrel Planked Pork Secreto with smoked hazlenut romesco sauce and grilled leeks
Dessert: Coffee Toffee Icebox Cake

410 SW Broadway
Portland OR 97205
PHONE: 503.228.7222

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