One of my favorite baked goods growing up were the Seven Layer Bars my mom used to make. I don't remember if she necessarily made them just around the Holidays -- or at other times of year. But every so often I get a craving, despite being the only one in my house that's a big fan of them. This past weekend I decided to make a big batch, which I then cut into squares and froze for future Holiday events we'll either be hosting or attending. It is SO easy to adapt the traditional Seven Layer Bar recipe to be gluten free. One ingredient that can present a problem is, of course, the graham cracker crust. But not to worry, as there are now many brands of gluten free graham crackers to choose from. This time, I used Pamela's GF graham crackers, but you can also use Kinnikinnick's S'morables graham crackers or Schar's variety. (These are all great for making traditional cheesecake crusts, too.) The other ingredient that you should be careful about when selecting a brand is butterscotch chips. Nestle's are NOT gluten free. I was fortunate to find Guittard brand at our local Whole Foods store, and... Read more →


Although I have some ancestors from Sicily, I really don't know much about that part of Italy. My travels thus far have focused on what I call the "big three:" Rome, Florence, and Venice -- and a lovely week in the region of Umbria in central Italy. What I didn't know until recently is that Sicily is where the Italians themselves vacation! This is due to its wonderful climate, gorgeous beaches, and legendary food. In fact, Sicily is where Italy likely gets its reputation as a culinary dream. Since it has been at the geographical crossroads of so many different cultures over the millennia, it has blended influences into what most agree is exceptional cuisine. This is where southern Italian dishes that many American Italians grew up on originated. For example, "red gravy" (tomato sauce) has its origins here. And, as in most areas of Italy, you'll be able to find gluten free pasta offered as an option in many restaurants. Much of the food in Sicily is farm to table, so there is a freshness and quality that you don't always find in other locations. For gluten free travelers, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us makes it even easier... Read more →


Unless you're a skier, you might be surprised to hear that Switzerland makes a great destination ANY time of the year, even in the Winter. While Summer offers the most comfortable temperatures, it can also be the most crowded, with Summer tourism affecting popular sites (but, of course, that's no different than in other places in Europe!). You may want to consider a trip in the Fall or Spring, when the cooler weather is crisp but pleasant -- and you'll encounter fewer crowds. Of course, Winter sports enthusiasts will love the colder months when they can enjoy Alpine activities. And gluten free travelers will be thrilled to learn that travel agent Ellen Morse, who is Celiac herself and provides customized travel itineraries for gluten free travelers (as well as travelers without dietary restrictions), has recently created an itinerary for a 7-night trip to Switzerland. Please note: This is NOT a group tour. You can take this trip at any time you like and with whomever you like. The suggested itinerary, which Ellen can help you customize for your own specific interests, covers three perennial favorite spots: Zurich, Lucerne, and Interlaken. These towns will give you a true taste of Switzerland's... Read more →


It had been a while since I'd made scones, and since I had both buttermilk and gluten free cinnamon chips in the house (Hershey's brand is gluten free), I decided I'd whip up a quick batch earlier this week. Of course, you can customize these gluten free scones to your taste, using cinnamon chips (my favorite), chocolate chips (my husband and kids' favorite), or even blueberries or nuts. Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten free baking flour (choose your favorite blend -- I've used many different kinds over the years) 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup butter, melted 3/4 cup chocolate or cinnamon chips, berries, or nuts Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Melt the butter and then, once it cools a bit, stir in the buttermilk. Add the butter/buttermilk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients until combined. Add the chips, berries, or nuts. Scoop 12 large spoonfuls of the batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a scone comes out... Read more →