Fall Baking Fail Number 1 – Gluten-Free Baking Can Be Tricky

I love to try making all the fall baking treats.  I still haven’t been able to make a good Pumpkin Bread, so I thought I would try a Pumpkin Bar.  It was definitely a “No”.  Too chewy and oily.

Baking fails happen.  It often feel worse now that I’m using all the different gluten-free flours and dairy alternatives that are more expensive.  But I had plenty of baking fails before we needed to change our diets due to Celiac Disease and food allergies.

It’s a good thing I have Aldi’s new Sea Salt Caramel Dessert Hummus to have with apples instead of the chewy pumpkin bars. Have you tried this seasonal dessert hummus?  It is really good.


I better make some Brownies, since when my kids saw the pan yesterday they thought brownies (it is the only thing the pan is used for) and I had to quickly warn them it was NOT brownies.

I’m back to the pumpkin bar/ pumpkin bread drawing board.  I also have one other dessert I am trialing this week.  I hope it turns out better than my pumpkin bar experiment.



Apple Crisp and Pumpkin Bread plus my review of FAACT’s Teen Retreat

I love fall.  It is my favorite time of year.  So far it has been busy and cold!

I participated in FAACT’s Teen Retreat with my daughter.  What an amazing time for teens with food allergies and their parents.  As an adult with food allergies I often feel the odd man out, and am thankful that most of my friends, family, and coworkers ask questions and are understanding to my food needs.  This weekend was the support that my teen needed to feel NORMAL.

Many of us lunched at Maggiano’s Oak Brook. With well over 20 teens and adults needing to special order, Chef Tito did an amazing job.  I love seafood, but often it is pre-seasoned in the morning or the night before.  I knew they could do the pasta for me (gluten-free pasta with just oil and garlic) but I really wanted some shrimp. Chef Tito said yes, they pre-season their shrimp but would try to find some plain shrimp for me and he did! It was great to see all the kids order and eat with no problems. Every child at the table had to list their allergies and ask extra questions making it normal for the next child to do the same.

The rest of the weekend was full of new friends, speakers who were informative and personable, and teens and parents who get what it’s like living with food allergies.  We can’t wait till next years and are trying to figure out how to fit Camp TAG into our summer schedule and hopefully a visit with our new friends before the 2020 Teen Retreat.

Now that we are home and getting back in the swing of things, I am again attempting to make pumpkin bread from scratch that tastes as good as the GF box mix from Trader Joes. With all of it’s cross contamination warnings I would like to find something safer.

My attempt looked good but wasn’t quite done and was dense on the bottom. My kids had all kinds of Great British Bake Off lines to describe the failure, which made me happy. It was an improvement on my last attempt at pumpkin bread, yeah me.


I guess I will stick to my Apple Crisp for today.  And try pumpkin bread again next week.

Cygnet Organizing LLC

Going Gluten -Free “What Do I Need To Avoid?”

I know when I first went gluten-free it was hard.  Reading ingredients is time consuming, making lifestyle and food changes was overwhelming.  Fast forward ten years and I’m so happy I made the changes in my diet and lifestyle. Knowing how sick gluten and some of the other things I was eating (Milk, Nightshades, Tea and a few others) make me it is now easier to live without them.

There are so many questions when going gluten-free.

I think the first is what do I need to avoid?

Start looking at the ingredients in your food….

The following are ingredients you should avoid on a gluten-free diet: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Tritical, Malt, Brewers Yeast, and Wheat Starch.

Sometimes in the ingredient list the “wheat” ingredient is in bold or has wheat in parenthesis after the ingredient. Such as flour (wheat). Sometimes after all of the ingredients there will be a Contains or May Contain statement. Even if a product has a Contain/May Contain statement always look through the entire ingredient list.

Remember to check personal care products, vitamins, and medication.

The following PDF can be printed to help you shop when you are starting on your gluten-free diet.

Cygnet Organizing LLC Ingredients to Avoid -Gluten

I started Cygnet Organizing to help those diagnosed with food allergies, Celiac and other food avoidance diagnoses find flow in their new lifestyle. As someone with Celiac and multiple food allergies, and a mom fo someone with Celiac and life-threatening food allergies, I know the overwhelm and defeat you can feel moving through everyday life. From finding what to eat, accommodations at work and school, recreating cherished recipes, time management and productivity around food preparation, and other concerns when transitioning to your new medically diagnosed diet, Cygnet Organizing can be there to help you find confidence in your everyday.


Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Tree nut-Free and Peanut-Free)

I was on an nice vacation last week an left my garden tasks to my teenager.  I came back to monsterous zucchini.


I don’t have many recipes that I use zucchini in, but this is one of my kids favorites.   Since these happened to be sooo big, I did end up taking the skin off of most of the slices I made.  I don’t like to make “boats” with zucchini because I feel like I just destroy it when I cut it into portions to serve. I like to make 1/2 inch slices like you would for acorn squash.

I don’t eat this recipe because of the tomatoes, and I used sausage that has peppers., but I am hoping to make some of my own sausage and try using pumpkin for the sauce. This recipe makes a good amount of stuffing which make great leftovers and can be used over pasta (or zucchini noodles) the next day.

Stuffed Zucchini

  • Servings: Approx. 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Stuffed Zucchini
  • Zucchini (if stuffing try to get medium to large zucchini) – approx. 4
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Dairy-Free Cheese (I used Aldi’s)
  • 24 ounce jar Pasta Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Coconut Oil spray


  1. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  2. If making zucchini boats, slice the zucchini lengthwise and take out seeds.  I decided to make 1/2 inch rounds and took the skin off and scooped the seeds out.
  3. Brush with olive oil and place on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  4. Place in oven for 15 minutes
  5. Brown sausage in pan.
  6. Add the garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese and pasta sauce to sausage and mix in pan.
  7. Scoop sausage mixture into zucchini
  8. Any extra mixture spoon into a dish sprayed with coconut oil
  9. Bake for 15 minutes in oven.
  10. Serve hot and keep the extra for leftovers.