Gluten Free Baking

I have a ton of cookbooks...and I tear out recipes from all the gluten free magazines I read each month. I also have several binders full of recipes, including a lot of old family favorites that I adapt to make gluten free (like my husband's and my favorite lasagna recipe). So another cookbook is not necessarily something I desperately needed. But am I glad to have gotten a copy of Carol Kicinski's new Simply Gluten Free 5 Ingredient Cookbook! The premise is that all the recipes include only 5 ingredients (not including things like water, oil, salt, and pepper) and take only about 15 minutes to make. For a busy mom juggling a business, that's music to my ears. I make dinner most nights, and sometimes it can take an hour or more to prepare. So I like the sound of easy, as long as it's healthy and my family will eat it! So I opened the cookbook and started paging through it. The difference between this cookbook and others is that I dog-eared about every third page! Everything sounded so delicious -- and there were some really cool and creative recipes. Since I wanted to enlist the help of... Read more →


I realize Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix has been around for years now, but I still felt it worthy of a Blog post. This continues to be my go-to base for any chocolate cake, cupcakes, or whoopie pies. I'd like to tell you I've found something better, after trying many gluten-free chocolate cake mixes over the years, including some "from scratch" recipes. But I'd be lying. I guess it's hard to compete with Betty Crocker's test kitchens! (Read on for my latest yummy adaptation using the mix...) Although I'm not by any means suggesting this is a "healthy" mix -- or that it incorporates any nutrient-dense flours like amaranth, teff, quinoa, etc. -- I do like the fact that it has fewer ingredients than most store-bought mixes. The ingredients are as follows: sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa processed with alkali, tapioca starch, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono calcium phosphate), salt, and guar gum. Again, this isn't anything special, but I like the fact that, unlike most store-bought "regular" cake mixes, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And they've clearly nailed the proper blend of ingredients in the right ratios. From the comments on... Read more →


My older son (not Celiac) loves making chocolate chip cookies. He has tried many different recipes but gravitates back to the traditional Nestle Toll-House recipe, using one of many of our favorite gluten free flour blends as a cup-for-cup substitute for regular flour (so our younger Celiac son can eat them, too!). There are so many wonderful gluten free flour blends these days that it's hard to pick a favorite. Ones we like and use cup-for-cup in both savory as well as baking recipes include Pamela's Gluten Free All-Purpose Artisan blend, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, Carol's Amazing All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour, and Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I've only purchased their Original Blend but am looking forward to trying their new "Wholesome Flour Blend"which incorporates healthy ingredients like ground flaxseeds and rice bran for fiber and healthy fats). Many of these flours are also non-GMO, which as you may know, is increasingly important to me. Last week, my son had the urge to make chocolate chip cookies, and he was planning to follow the Nestle Toll House... Read more →


Wow...I didn't realize it had been a month since I penned my last Blog post. November flew by, and with the Holidays already in full swing, I know things won't slow down anytime soon! Picking up on those particular themes of the Holidays -- and being starved for time -- I wanted to share a few easy seasonal favorites, both new and old. These are tried-and-true things you can serve up without spending hours in the kitchen. Over Thanksgiving, I used two gluten free products I'd tried before....Wegmans own gluten free Honey Cornbread Mix and Aleia's Savory Stuffing Mix. I love these two products -- for both their ease of preparation and for their delicious taste. This time, I cooked the cornbread a bit too long (set the timer, wanted to cook it for just an additional 30 seconds, and then forgot about it in the oven for several more minutes!). Fortunately, it was still decent, just a bit dry and crumbly. But providing you set your timer properly and follow the package directions, it turns out great (as it has for me in the past)...nice and moist. You'd never know it was gluten free. If you're looking for a... Read more →


We're always adding helpful content, updating resources, and improving the functionality of GlutenFreeTravelSite and our free companion mobile app, Dine Gluten Free. But for those of you who haven't visited for a while -- or may not be aware of all the ways these valuable resources can help you DINE & TRAVEL gluten free more easily, we thought it might be time for a reminder... First Stop (if you need it): An Overview Under the RESOURCES tab within the navigation bar on our website, there's a section of the site called About Celiac & Gluten Sensitivity that contains 12 "chapters" of information that are helpful to both new and veteran gluten free folks. And if you have friends or family members that need to understand your diet better, send them a link to this page for answers to the questions they may have (sometimes it's easier when it comes from an impartial source!). Also, if you have a friend that suspects gluten may be adversely affecting their health, by all means, pass along this information to them. It could provide the spark that leads them to get tested. We've tried to make the explanations about Celiac, gluten sensitivity, and a... Read more →


Earlier this summer, our older (non-Celiac) son who doesn't like pizza anyway was off to a camp with friends. It provided a great opportunity for me to have some in-the-kitchen bonding time with our younger son (who has Celiac) making pizza (which he loves!). We've tried all sorts of store-bought gluten free pizzas over the 10 years since our son was first diagnosed with Celiac, and we've also bought "naked" crusts to customize them ourselves. I've even tried various gluten free mixes and flours to make our own "from scratch" pizza when time allows. So I was particularly curious to try Cup 4 Cup's new gluten free Pizza Crust Mix. Surprisingly, this was my first Cup 4 Cup purchase. I know many of you swear by their all-purpose flour. I've been meaning to try it -- despite its high price tag -- but have been really happy with the other GF flour blends I use (King Arthur's all purpose GF flour and GF all purpose baking mix, Bob's Red Mill new gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, Pamela's GF All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend, Tom Sawyer gluten free flour, and gfJules Gluten Free Flour). But when I saw this new Pizza Crust... Read more →


Last week, I blogged with much excitement about Wegmans' launch of ready-to-eat gluten free bakery items. Back in early December, they launched two types of gluten-free cookies, gluten-free frosted brownies, and gluten-free cupcakes -- now available at all their locations. They are all made using Wegmans' gluten free boxed mixes, which have been available in their stores for a while now. At the time of the post, I had not personally tried the new ready-to-eat items, but that evening, I happened to be near a Wegmans, so I went in and bought one of everything. Over the next few nights, my husband, two sons, and I taste-tested each of the new items. Here's what we thought: Gluten-Free Cupcakes -- These come four to a pack, with two vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and two chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. Unlike the photo Wegmans had sent me, the gluten-free cupcakes in the store near us did not contain colorful "confetti" style sprinkles on top. That was actually GREAT with me, as I prefer not to give my kids things with artificial color or flavor, if I can help it. Perhaps they decided not to include these on the cupcakes after all...it... Read more →


My favorite posts to write are those in which I get the opportunity to share news about my favorite companies, stores, or restaurants introducing new gluten free items. Today, I'm thrilled to be able to share the recent news about the new gluten free bakery items avaialable at all Wegmans locations. Yes, you can now enjoy Wegmans Gluten-Free Frosted Pan Brownies, Gluten-Free Cupcakes, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies. I discovered this just yesterday, as I was perusing my Wegmans MENU magazine (free when you sign up for a Wegmans shopper loyalty card). There in the back of the magazine, on page 135 (almost missed it!), was a brief mention of their gluten free -- yes, gluten free -- desserts! What? When did this happen, and how did I miss it? I'd heard rumblings about this a long time ago, but each visit to Wegmans turned up nothing gluten-free among the amazing ready-to-eat bakery items (save for the supposedly Chocolate Dome in the bakery case, which is good, but still bears a risk of cross contamination, as it's displayed alongside everything else). Turns out, they just rolled out their gluten free cookies, cupcakes, and brownies in early December... Read more →


Have you dreamed of getting away to a beautiful and relaxing B&B where every detail is thought of -- including gluten free meals? If you thought a place didn't exist, I'm here to tell you it does...and best of all, it's located in one of the most picturesque and wonderful places in the U.S.: Napa Valley's wine country. Having lived in San Francisco myself many years ago -- and spent numerous weekends venturing up to Napa and Sonoma with my husband -- I can tell you that it's a place like no other. I was so thrilled to learn a year ago that Karen Lynch, gluten free herself for nearly a decade, had restored a historic home and several cottages on a beautiful piece of property in the heart of downtown Napa...and turned it into a B&B called the Inn on Randolph. Although the food served has always been 100% gluten free, Karen didn't initially market the inn that way. But she soon realized her mission must be to make others like her aware that they could find a safe "home away from home" in Napa where they could relax and enjoy wonderful, safe meals as they explore the area.... Read more →


If you're like many people in the gluten free community, you may be trying to avoid other grains besides just wheat. Or maybe you're trying to adapt recipes to make them more nutrient-dense by using alternative flours like almond flour. And I'm sure most of us would like to reduce the refined sugars in our diet. These are all great dietary goals, but where do you start? How do you make some of your favorite gluten free meals and baked goods without the gluten free flours you've come to rely on in recipes? Consulting a cookbook like Comfort Cooking Without Grains and Refined Sugars is a great place to start. Written by Eleanor Fahey of the Cooking Without Grains website, it contains over 200 recipes (both sweet and savory). I love how the recipes use ingredients like honey instead of sugar. And I especially like Eleanor's use of almond flour, which I've always found lends a wonderful flavor and moistness to recipes (in addition to adding protein, fiber, and healthy fats -- you can't beat that!). Recipes range from appetizers and dips...to breads and muffins...to meat and seafood...to condiments and salad dressings...and even vegetarian meals. I'd like to give you... Read more →


I wanted to share this easy, tasty recipe for Pumpkin Muffins (good any time of year!), adapted to be GLUTEN FREE from a recipe my older son made in his Family and Consumer Science course in Middle School (the modern-day term for what we called "Home Ec" back in my day!) I love the assortment of gluten-free flour blends on the market now -- so many good ones to choose from. Substituting them cup-for-cup for "regular" flours makes adapting recipes like this so easy. We used King Arthur gluten free multi-purpose blend, since it's easy to find in stores near us, but you can use another favorite brand of your choosing. Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients: Dry: 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (we used King Arthur's GF multi-purpose flour) 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice Wet: 1 cup pumpkin 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup orange juice 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 eggs Topping: 1 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar or confectioners sugar Directions: 1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2.) Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners and spray lightly with non-stick spray (or spray non-stick spray directly in muffin... Read more →


Something unique happened at our son Ryan's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts this past weekend. For those of you who don't know, the Blue and Gold Banquet celebrates the anniversary of scouting, and most packs celebrate with a dinner and entertainment for the scouts and their families. This year, our son and the other scouts in his den were being honored for earning their "Arrow of Light," the highest honor in Cub Scouts. They will be crossing over into a Boy Scout Troop next month, so this was the last gathering as part of the Cub Scout pack. For the past few years, the pack has had a Cake Contest as part of the festivities at the Blue and Gold dinner. There are various categories (most creative, most patriotic, most chocolate, and many more...sometimes they even include best "allergy free" cake). The idea is to have the boys help in the preparation and decoration of the cakes. In past years we've made a penguin-shaped cake (Ryan loves penguins) and a flag cake (a sheet cake decorated with vanilla buttercream icing and with strawberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes). The flag cake won for Best Allergy-Free Cake,... Read more →