May is Celiac Awareness month along with food allergy awareness month. Having one of these food avoidance diagnosis is difficult, and sometimes adding the second seems overwhelming. We started off with just food allergies but quickly found out that gluten was a problem. I have been free of gluten and dairy for more than 10 years. It is sometimes hard to remember what it was like to cook with wheat flour or what certain cheeses tastes like.
I am a much better baker than cook and really enjoy baking. I have a soft chocolate chip cookie recipe that I make often, so when I came across someone raving about this cookie recipe I had to try it.
During this time of Safe at Home it has been heartwarming to see the sharing and caring coming from so many companies. Even though I have never been able to partake in the the warm cookie at a DoubleTree, I was curious about the recipe. It is often the little additions that make a cookie great. This one has three things added to make it special (four if you count the nuts, but I don’t usually replace those in recipes). Cinnamon, oats, and a squeeze of lemon make the DoubleTree cookie memorable.
Gluten-Free DoubleTree Signature Cookie (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Tree nut and Peanut-Free, and Nightshade-Free)
The year of the rat started last week and I celebrated with some homemade fortune cookies. You really do need to move fast when they come out of the oven to get the four on the cookie pan shaped properly. I had just watched the The Great British Baking Show (S05:E02) where the technical was fortune cookies. I don’t remember which contestant put the still warm shaped cookies inside a muffin tin, but this is definitely the best way for them to retain their shape while they cool.
They were easy to make, and it was fun to have for this years Lunar New Year. Next time I may attempt the orange flavored ones from the Great British Baking Show.
Organizing wise I am washing and packing away the rest of the winter coats. I had packed away the boots and snow pants a few weeks ago. My kids are older and the amount of “after school’s out” paper deluge is becoming less and less. In fact I only have one packet of papers from one child and a small pile from the other. Such a relief.
We are having a few friends over to celebrate the end of school and are planning a super simple menu. Chips and salsa, fruit, drinks and some yummy baked goods. (Including the awesome little sugar cookies in the above picture!)
In the garden I have lots of seedlings coming up and have planted plenty of tomato plants. I know, “but you can’t eat tomatoes”! But I feel a vegetable garden is not a garden without tomatoes. So this year I have 5 different types, and a few pepper plants too. My favorite part of gardening is letting things bloom and go to seed.
In part of my garden I currently have a blanket of fennel, dill, cilantro, mustard, and borage seedlings. It smells heavenly when you walk through them. I’ll pull most of it up in a few weeks when I plant another round of seeds.
The Nourished Festival is in Chicago this weekend. If you are new to Celiac/Food Allergies it is a great place to get know companies that truly care about allergy friendly foods. If you have been living with Celiac/Food Allergies for awhile it is always good to scope out the new finds and sample some of the new products that will be in stores soon. I shared the event on the Cygnet Organizing facebook page and if you buy tickets ahead of time there is a discount.
Part of being an AllerCoach™ is Auto injector education. Always have at least two auto injectors with you.
I’m not sure I would be brave enough to not have my auto injector secured inside of something, but this made my day to see this woman biking. I usually use a running belt to hold my Auvi-q’s and phone while biking, but may need to get a real bike shirt.
Today is National Brownie Day! And I may be making Brownies later, but I am finishing up these yummy soft cookies I made the other night.
I usually top them with Candy Cane bits, but they have been hard to find this season. I could try to break up some candy Canes, but the last time I did that it was not pretty.
I use chocolate chunks in these cookies, but they would be just as good with chips. The teaspoon of peppermint oil gives it a nice holiday taste. I have made these at other times of the year and left the peppermint out and they are just as good.
One of my goals for this winter is to add more Hygge to my life. To slow down and enjoy the holiday season. To be thankful for my snuggly cats and the warm blankets. To listen to Christmas music and turn the lights on on my tree whenever I am home. Some coffee and the soft cookies were a great Hygge addition to today.
I’m spending today looking through my Christmas and Winter boards on Pinterest and planing my holiday baking.
I still haven’t perfected rolled out sugar cookies. Plus I love to bake but decorating the cookies is not my strong suit. I saw some beautiful Linzer Cookies the other day and hope to make some of those too. I have a friend who makes holiday candy that looks safe for us to eat so that will make it on the list this year. And don’t forget the Hot Chocolate! I plan on trying some fancy versions this holiday season.
This morning I went to Woodman’s in Buffalo Grove. Their Grand Opening is Saturday, but they are open for business as of yesterday afternoon. There were still some holes on the shelves which I am sure will be filled by Saturday.
I have been hearing good things about the selection of allergy friendly products at Woodman’s for years now, but there has not been a store conveniently located to me. Last weekend while visiting friend in Wisconsin I stopped by a Woodman’s near their house to check out the selection. They had some products, it was crowded, I was tired. In the end I came away overwhelmed and anxious about the selection.
When I arrived this morning I entered the door to the store that enters into the bread and bakery section. They had Sweet Ali’s and a few other brands in this section. I did not find any Udi’s or Canyon and started to panic. This place was known for having all the best gluten-free brands. They had to be here.
What I discovered was this Woodman’s has a dedicated Gluten-Free Section!!! Plus two dedicated refrigerated sections for dairy-free milk and yogurt and another for dairy-free cheese.
Here are some of the selections…
Look at all that Canyon Bakehouse and Schar selections. They even had the long-awaited Hawaiian Bread!
The Gluten-Free frozen bread selection is pretty good too.
Almost any Katz product you wanted!
Our favorite Kinnikinnick cookies in new packaging.
The elusive Diaya cheese sauce only pouches.
Free2b Sunflower cups.
And our favorite Yummy Earth Lolly Pops, which are an essential in our house for the winter months.
They truely had the best gluten-free and dairy-free selection I have seen. The one brand I could not find I believe was operator error and I’m hoping on my next trip to locate.
I love to garden. For the past few years I have not grown tomatoes. I found it really hard to have a vegetable garden without tomatoes. So this year I planted a few plants and have been giving the tomatoes to friends.
I try to take a turn through the garden multiple times a day and enjoy taking my morning coffee or an afternoon snack out to enjoy while watching the pollinators buzz around.
These little sugar cookies are so wonderful and they are good coated with sparkling sugar or without the crunchy coating. These are definitely one of those “people will never know” food allergy friendly treats.
You know the sadness that takes over you in the line at Starbucks as you look at all the pastries in the case knowing you can’t eat any of it…. That feeling must be why I’m always trying recipes for things I see in that case at Starbucks. Or in this case those little bags by the register at Starbucks.
I have to admit I was intimidated by this recipe. The resting and refrigerating make me think this recipe is too fussy to make, but it is pretty easy.
I do find it is best to let the eggs come to room temperature. And I melt the Earth Balance in the microwave and let it sit until it is room temp.
The batter is really thick. But there are so few ingredients I like to hand stir this recipe instead of use my mixer.
I use a small disher to fill the molds, and usually have enough to make two pans worth.
I hope these will make it easier to stand in line at Starbucks. Enjoy! -SB