Peanut Butter Beauties

I keep hearing about recipes for three ingredient peanut butter cookies. I wanted something a bit more actual cookie texture (think less greasy) and with less sugar than the versions I have come across. So I decided to play with the proportions and I wanted to add some gf flour. I cut the sugar by one fourth and dumped in a small amount of flour. To make sure my results weren’t like a brick I added some baking powder and to keep them from being incredibly crumbly messes I tossed in a touch of xanthan gum. The resulting dough was still a tad crumbly but when you scrunch up about a tablespoon with your fingers it forms a ball that can be flattened with a fork dipped in granulated sugar in the traditional cross hatch of all great peanut butter cookies.

The results: simple but tasty = peanut butter heaven. I must advise that I used chunky peanut butter. I don’t much care for creamy peanut butter so I try not to have to buy it for recipes. So I chunked it and my somewhat picky eater who doesn’t like chunky peanut butter was in love with these beauties. I am guessing it would work with creamy. Let me know how they turn out if you make them with a creamy peanut butter.

peanut butter cookies 001

To review, significantly lower in sugar than most three ingredient recipes, great flavor and texture and simple to make. Bonus: they still remind me of the peanut butter cookies of my childhood…which were full of all purpose flour! I used my typical flour blend; King Arthur gf blend but I am sure Better Batter or Cup for Cup will work. If your blend has gum in it no additional gum is needed so leave that quarter teaspoon out.

Note: if you love the salty cookie concept, sprinkle with coarse sea salt before baking. Either sweet or salty they are somewhat addictive, especially fantastic with a glass of cold milk.

cranberry apple pie and peanut butter cookies 007cranberry apple pie and peanut butter cookies 008cranberry apple pie and peanut butter cookies 009

Chunky Peanut Butter cookies

1 cup chunky peanut butter
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg (room temp)
½ cup gf flour blend
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ cup sugar for fork action
Coarse sea salt (optional)

Directions: Mix first six ingredients well in stand mixer. Form into balls by squeezing in hand. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, press with fork dipped into sugar. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired.

Bake at 375 for 9 to 11 minutes. Watch carefully – they burn easily. Let stand one minute before lifting off with pancake turner to a cooling rack. Eat and enjoy these gems of cookies…you will be taken back to your childhood.

Advertisements

Pear Crumb Tart

This recipe I recently created is for all the pear lovers out there.  I know, I know, pears are under ripe one day and then rotting the next. They are tricky to catch just right.  But it’s worth the effort, if you enjoy the delicate flavor of a ripe pear.  I used Bartlett pears as that was what I had on hand plus they are quick to use because you can leave their skin on for this recipe.bartlett pears I am a fan of the bosc pear but you usually need to peel them.  They also might need to bake an extra five or ten minutes depending on how ripe they are. bosc pears

Only four or five good sized pears make this tart;  one more if they are on the small side. They should be somewhat firm but not hard; close to the eating state of ripeness.

I used a slight variation on my GF tart shell crust which is from Annalise Roberts’ book; Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  It is very easy; hand pressed into your tart pan.  I call this is a cookie crust; sweet and slightly crumbly, very yummy.

thanksgiving meal 016

Angie’s Pear Tart

Crust

1 cup brown rice flour mix

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. xanthan gum

½ tsp. cinnamon

5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, in 5 chunks

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

½-1 tsp. water

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients in a stand mixer, cut in the butter by mixing it at a med low speed until crumbly.  Add vanilla and mix well.  If it is really dry looking add the tsp. of water.  Press into the bottom and up the sides of your tart shell as evenly as you can make it.

For this recipe I use a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.   I think any low pie pan or tart pan will work.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes unless you have a bottom heat oven like I do; skip that step if you have a pizza oven.

Filling

4-5 ripe Bartlett pears, sliced – not thick or too thin

¼ cup sugar (1/3 cup if you like it more sweet)

1 tbsp. GF flour or 2 tbsp. instant tapioca (I prefer tapioca)

The grated peel of one small lemon

The juice of half that lemon

More directions: Slice the pears right into the mixing bowl, cutting out the center core and seeds. Pour or squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the fruit. Mix the sugar, peel and flour and sprinkle over the pears.   Turn them over with a big spoon and gently dump the mixture into the crust.   Spread it so there an no low spots or high areas. It doesn’t have to look perfect, slightly disarrayed is just fine. Make the crumb topping.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Final steps: Sprinkle lots of crumb topping all over your pears, don’t skimp! Bake 35-40 minutes until the pears are soft if pricked with a fork.  Do not over brown the crust. thanksgiving meal 013

Let cool before serving.

This tart might be just perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  Pear heaven for those of us who crave their lush flavor! My dad adored pears – I guess that is where I get my love of them.  The cinnamon crust and the lemon add just a touch of complexity to the finished tart.

 

Brown Rice Flour Mix  Identical to King Arthur’s gf blend.
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

Apple Pear Carmel Pie Perfection

Pie has always been a classic holiday dessert. But sometimes we want something a bit different. Maybe, right now you are frantically looking for an alternative to pumpkin pie or apple pie; they seem kinda ho hum. Look no further, apple pear caramel crumb pie to the rescue!

Fresh tasting, locally sourced fruits are exactly in the spirit of Thanksgiving. The apple is the predominant flavor but the pear adds sweetness and a special flavor. The sugars, spices and lemon peel create a yummy caramely sauce. It is not that really sweet caramel of sauces; just enough sweetness to tease your palette.

This pie is fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I even tried a slice with some sharp cheddar in the British pie tradition; it was nice but I really like it best all alone, so the delicate fruit and spices show their winning flavors.

apple pear pie, squash, chicken and dumplings 010

apple pear pie, squash, chicken and dumplings 011

This is the dry blend you mix the fruit slices with before pouring in the crust.

apple pear pie, squash, chicken and dumplings 012

Loaded with crumb topping and ready for the oven!

This recipe is a blending of my own pie filling and the pie crust and crumb recipes from Annalise Robert’s cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics. I used less sugar, more fruit, and made a few other changes to create my own special pie using apples and pears. Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member. There is nothing like the classic desserts that we traditionally enjoy at celebrations and feasts to comfort a celiac who can’t eat what they used to.apple pear pie, squash, chicken and dumplings 019

Angie’s GF Apple Pear Crumb Pie

Crust:
1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbps. granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 lg egg
2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you chop the peeled and cored fruit into ¼ to 1/3 inch slices.

Filling:

5 cups peeled, cored, and thin sliced cooking apples (4 big apples)
2 cups (2 large pears) bosc pears; peeled, cored, and sliced thin – place in medium bowl

Mix the following in a small bowl and pour over the sliced apples and pears:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp. tapioca flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated or zested lemon peel (I zested)

Roll out pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around. Fill with sweetened fruit mix. Sprinkle the lemon peel evenly over top and pour the crumb topping (1 to 1½ cup) evenly over this mixture. The more crumbs the thicker the crust they will form; for a really thick crust use all the crumbs from the recipe below.

If you love your pie really sweet add another ¼ cup granulated sugar to the dry mix part of the filling. I found the pie to be plenty sweet but everyone has their own sweetness level.

I put a pie guard under my pies to contain any oven accidents. If you make many pies it is a must. pie guardBake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pie, then 30 more minutes uncovered until bubbly and the crust is light brown. Cool at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

Note: I bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gives me a great browned crust. If your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake the crust 10 minutes before filling and topping the fruit.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

¾ c brown rice flour mix
½ c granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks
Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch (not potato flour)
1/3 c tapioca flour

Cranberry Crackle Tart: Light and Flavorful

I discovered this recipe on line, back before last Thanksgiving, at splendidtable.com. I loved the look and sound of it but didn’t find time to make it until last Christmas. Love at first bite. Like a fruit tart and a pavlova had a baby: this is the felicitous result. Light and delicate making it perfect after a hearty Thanksgiving feast. It is really guilt free if you eat it minus any toppings. I devoured it with vanilla ice cream on top at last year’s Christmas luncheon, nice flavor combination. I want to make one for Thanksgiving, maybe this time I will be serving it like you do a Pavlova, with lightly sweetened real whipped cream on top. Yumm!

It is really easy to throw together. If you are gluten free you can use the recipe provided below, which I adapted the splendid table recipe to make it gluten free. At holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Wegmans often has gf redi-made crusts. So does Frey’s Better Foods in Hellertown. If you are a wheat eater use whatever cookie tart crust you like. I added the cinnamon to my crust and found it added a lot to the complexity of the flavors. The crust absolutely needs to be prebaked before you put the tart together.

I should say I seldom use fresh cranberries; I generally make a fresh relish – old family recipe – for Thanksgiving but never got it made last November. So I had the bag of cranberries in the fridge in the fruit bin. Yeah, it sat there a month: I did have to pick through it (you always should) after I rinsed them and remove and squishy ones. There are usually a few of those mixed in and they aren’t great for anyone to eat. Let the picked over berries dry. Anyway, my point is; this tart is fantastic tasting even if you aren’t a huge cranberry fan.

I used some smooth raspberry jam (what I had) but you could probably use most any jam. Just chose one full of real fruit in a flavor you like as you can definitely taste the jammy flavor mixed in with the crust and the meringue topping. I loved it with raspberry jam, a favorite flavor for me.

crackle tart 006crackle tart 007

Sweet Cookie crust

Place the following in a stand mixer bowl and combine

1 cup GF flour (recipe below)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp. cinnamon
Add 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 6-7 chunks. Mix on low until the butter is just crumbs blended in.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water. Blend well.

Pour the crumbs into a ten inch tart pan that was sprayed with cooking spray. Or a glass pie pan. Spread it up the sides. Press gently in so it is a cohesive crust but do not press really hard or it will be like concrete when you finish baking it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Set the crust on a rack to cool to room temperature. Do not let it get more than light brown.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur’s GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour
Filling

2 tablespoons chunky cherry, raspberry or strawberry jam
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cranberries (if they’re frozen, don’t thaw)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions: When you’re ready to fill and bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Gently spoon the jam on top of the crust and spread it evenly over the bottom, I used the back of my big spoon for this operation. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium speed just until they are fluffy and fairly opaque. With the mixer going, add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, then keep beating on high until the whites are shiny and form definite peaks; they will look like marshmallow. This is a meringue.

Pour the cranberries into the bowl of meringue and, using a flexible spatula or spoonula fold them into the meringue. Try to distribute the fruit evenly, but don’t mix too much– you want to keep the meringue fluffy. Spoon the meringue over the jam and spread it to the edges, making it swirly if you’d like. The jam might push up around the sides of the meringue, and that’s fine. Don’t fret if it looks like not enough filling, it will puff up in the oven to fill the pie pan.

Bake the tart for 1 hour, at which point the top will be light beige and cracked here and there. (If you’d like more color, you can bake it a bit longer or even put it under the broiler.) I did not go there! Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. I did cut it while slightly warm and we all thought that was just perfection. If you’d like, and I do, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Whipped cream on top is also great.

Storing: The tart is best the day it’s made, although it’s still pretty nice the next day. Leave the tart at room temperature, covering only the cut part with a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. I doubt you will have any the second day anyway. It is that tasty.

Easy Peasy GF Pumpkin Pie

Pie is considered a tradition for Thanksgiving dessert in the USA. So you might feel the need to make a GF pie for the holidays. I think pumpkin is actually a really easy to make pie choice: it has only a few steps. Make or buy a ready-made crust, dump and mix up the filling, bake it, chill it and yumm it up!! And a pumpkin pie sure is a classic favorite in my family .

pumpkin pie 2

This GF crust will work for any pie you should want to make including pecan pie. This particular filling recipe is adapted from my 1970s Betty Crocker and is one I have made for years; perfect custard texture. If you like it really sweet add another quarter cup sugar.

My mom always says that eating a slice of pumpkin pie is like having an extra vegetable serving. I like to cook up a butternut squash and run it through a food mill to make it silky smooth for the pie but you can just buy a can of pumpkin, not pie filling which has other stuff; just the pumpkin please.

Go ahead, bake as easy a gf pie as is humanly possible and enjoy a tasty yet kinda healthy pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

Angie’s GF Pumpkin Pie

Crust:
1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbps. granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 lg egg
2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you make the filling.

Filling:

2 eggs
2 cups cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree (canned is fine)
½ to 3/4 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. cloves
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1 3/4 c evaporated milk (1 entire can)

Beat eggs well and add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together with a mixer at low speed until blended.

Put It Together:

Roll out pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! My sister Karen gave me a pie bag last year and I love it for an even thin crust. You can get one on line from King Arthur Flours. Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around. Bake ten minutes unless you have a bottom heat oven which will allow you to skip this pre-bake.  Removed from oven and carefully fill with pumpkin pie mixture. Sometimes I sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, lower temperature setting to 350 and bake for 45 minutes until just set and the crust is light brown. Cool and chill at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at or close to room temperature.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour Mix)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published on this blog November 2014.

Alsatian Apple Tart: New Classic at My House

I bought a few new gf cookbooks this past 6-7 months. I have been too busy to do much with my new one by Annalise G. Roberts; she wrote my favorite gf cookbook “Gluten-Free Baking Classics”. In “ The Heirloom Collection” she re-creates many classic recipes we all love but in a gluten free version. Eighteen cakes, thirteen muffins, scones and quick breads, sixteen cookies, twenty breads as well as eleven tarts. And some other misc. baked goods. SO many yummy looking things to bake. All gluten free. And knowing Annalise Roberts, all yummy!

She starts with a section on how to take a wheat flour based recipe and make it gluten free; very interesting: I have a few cherished recipes I would love to convert.  She is such a reliable and careful baker; all her recipes turn out exactly as promised. With so many great looking recipes and if you have any of her other cookbooks you will definitely want this one.

Anyway back to my tart: I was looking for an apple recipe that only needed 4 apples, cause that’s all I had and this tart caught my eye. I had everything but the heavy cream. So I procured a small container and I was good to go.

It was a very easy recipe; make the tart shell and while it pre-bakes, peel and slice the apples and mix up the custard. Arranging the apples took me 3-4 minutes and another 30 seconds to pour over the custard and carefully place it in my oven for a transformational baking. alsatian apple tart 002

This tart has a lovely texture; the apple slices are soft but held their shape and the custard is silky and subtle. The long baking makes the crust very crisp. No ice cream needed; this is perfect just by itself.

alsatian apple tart 007

After making this tart I noticed that this is the baked good featured on the back cover of the book; a place of honor for a fantastic apple treat. So freaking good; you must try it even if you use a wheat crust. Alsace-Lorraine is an area in Germany close to France; over the years it has been passed back and forth a few times. One of my ancestors is from this area so I was thrilled to find a recipe my great great grandmother might have baked!alsatian apple tart 004

Alsatian Apple Tart
6 large slices or 8 skinny ones

Crust:
1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbps. granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 lg egg
2 tsp fresh orange, lemon juice, even lime juice works

Spray a nine – ten inch tart pan that has a 1 ½ inch side with cooking spray, set aside. I use a ceramic ten inch pan but if you have one of those tricky deep tart pans with a removable bottom that would work perfectly.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of a stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.

Roll out the flattened ball into a pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I like to sprinkle a bit of my flour mix on the crust as it gets thinner so it doesn’t stick to the pie bag/wax paper. Peel off one side of paper and place in the tart pan, be sure to center it. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Filling:

4 medium-large sized apples, yellow delicious or fuji work well as they don’t squish down too much. I used Fuji; best use for them yet as I find they don’t squish like I want in pies.

Peel apples, quarter, cut out core, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices (8 for a medium apple)

Mix in a medium mixing bowl with:

6 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs; stir well
Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. cinnamon.

Arrange the apple slices in the warm/hot tart shell, squash them close together. Pour the custard filling over the apples.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50-55 minutes until the custard is set and the crust is light brown

Cool the pie at least 1 hour before serving. You can sprinkle the slices with confectioner’s sugar if you like to guild the lily; not really necessary though.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour mix)
2 c brown rice flour, finely ground
2/3 c potato starch (Not potato flour)
1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ great cookbook: Gluten-Free Baking Classics – The Heirloom Collection.

Surprising facts on GF Safety for You Non-Celiacs

Did you know that once a person with celiac disease stops eating wheat it becomes even worse when they do accidentally consume a food containing gluten?  After I quit wheat I thought that I could cheat once in a while and not really suffer any consequences.  Not so. It is like your body becomes incredibly sensitive to all gluten substances and even a tiny bit is too much.

A few examples: if I splash beer on my hands while serving a mug at Musikfest and then unthinkingly touch a finger to my mouth; instant contamination and feeling sick is sure to follow.  Same goes if I am volunteering in a church kitchen and touch bread or flour and then touch my mouth with that contaminated hand. Zapped again!

Then there are multiple ways to be contaminated by food that should be safe: If I eat at a pancake house and order eggs and home fries, if my food is cooked on the same griddle spot as your pancakes five minutes earlier; instantly it is contaminated and unsafe for anyone with celiac disease.  And sometimes the home fries have flour in them and waitresses seldom know about every bit of what goes into a dish and may tell you it is safe when it contains wheat of some sort.

If the chef sprinkles seasoned salt or spice mixes on my rice or potatoes, it is likely uneatable for me.  The reason is that manufacturers often put all purpose flour in seasoning mixes to facilitate flow and to create a smooth mixture of spices.  This is why many things that appear safe are not; “seasoning mixes” are the culprit that makes rice pilafs often uneatable by celiacs.  rice pilaf

Thanksgiving is coming up.  Beware, some turkeys have brine that contains some gluten; I got sick that way last November.  Butterball turkeys fresh or frozen are gluten free.  Plus, a turkey stuffed with regular bread stuffing is unsafe for someone with celiac to eat even if they don’t touch the stuffing.  Really. You need to buy or make a gluten free stuffing; either based in rice, gf cornbread or just buy a bag of gluten free bread to make your stuffing. Aldi’s has gluten free stuffing for both chickens and turkeys.

butterballbutterball

Even GF pasta can be contaminated if it is drained in a colander that is used for wheat pasta.  The gluten in pasta is extra sticky and it is nearly impossible to get all of it off a colander.  So, many times pasta that should be safe gets contaminated when the cook drains it in a colander that has tiny particles of wheat gluten sticking around the strainer holes. Restaurants that advertise GF menus need to have dedicated equipment like strainers, colanders, pots and utensils. Really: I often ask about the colander when I attempt to safely eat pasta at a restaurant.colander

The times I fail to carefully read a list of ingredients are the times I have to throw things away later as I find out they are unsafe for me.  Same goes for times I eat at places which don’t have GF menus.  They often tell me they serve GF foods but they really don’t understand fully how much they have to do to keep my food safe.  See three paragraphs above….

A few people seem to feel celiacs are exaggerating or being over cautious.  When in reality all that caution is necessary to eat safely and avoid gluten.  It only takes a tiny amount of gluten to contaminate food or drink.

So if you are cooking for someone with gluten intolerance, be sure to read my previous posts that cover how to plan, prepare, and serve a GF meal that is safe (November 2014) and your meal will be a success for everyone enjoying it!

And if you are in a restaurant don’t roll your eyes when the person at the next table starts to ask pointed questions on ingredients and method of preparation with respect to gluten.  They are just trying to eat a safe meal out.  Sometimes this experience is kinda a roll of the dice for us celiacs so be patient and polite if you come into contact with this situation when you are dining out.  And yes, that goes double for you wait staff persons!  We are not trying to hassle you, just attempting to stay safe and enjoy a good safe meal.

Also, I know people who get exasperated by labels that say gluten free on stuff you assume is safe.  I hear those comments sometimes in the store! Well, I as a celiac applaud when companies put that GF label on foods. I feel much more safe consuming food that is labeled gluten free because of all the sneaky or hidden ways we can accidentally eat food with some amount of gluten.  Still, there are stories going around about food labeled gluten free which upon closer examination clearly had a gluten ingredient.  I am guessing companies love to slap those two words on labels to sell food, whether the food is really gluten free or not.  I have to read the label regardless just to be sure.

Finally, foods labeled gluten free make my life easier as I’m someone who must avoid the stuff at all costs.  Just know that I am thrilled when I find something safe to snack on, especially when it is in the main stream of foods; food not specifically manufactured for me as a celiac.  Why? I love it because those things tend to be cheaper and tastier than stuff marketed solely to the gluten free consumer.  If it is for everyone the price is better; they can’t afford to sock your average buyer with a doubled price just because it is also gluten free.  And if it doesn’t taste good; few in the main stream will purchase it so we are ensured better tasting products.

In summary; now you can see how important it is to have products that are labeled gluten free and why your friend with celiac has a zillion questions when you have lunch together! Be understanding!

Revised but originally published November 2014.