Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best and the Rest of 2009

Happy New Year!

I've been mulling the people, places, and things that have made my gluten-free life more bearable this year. I call it the Best and the Rest because, well, there are so many to name -- and they're all great. And yeah. This is a long list.

So in words, links and pictures, I'd like to present the first-ever

Ging Recommends! The Best and The Rest of 2009

I'd like to start with people, and at the top of my list, at 1. and 2. are my "Gluten Free Gurlz" -- Lori Pocock (on left) and Jennifer D. Harris (aka JGF).

These women have been such a wonderful addition to my life. I've really gotten to know them this year, and we've had great times at the Atlanta Gluten-Free Vendor Fair, and at brunch at the Four Seasons. And other places in between.

But the best of 2009 starts with these two GF friends. And OH, the things we have planned for 2010!

And trust me, folks, you're going to be hearing A LOT about and from Jennifer Harris in 2010.

Jennifer is also the GF Product Specialist at Return to Eden in Atlanta. Visit her when you're in town. A tour by Jennifer is worth your time, and worth the trip.

The rest of these people really rocked my world with their friendship AND their products this year.I feel a gluten-free kinship and fellowship with them all.

Marilyn Santulli and American Gra-Frutti

Everything Marilyn Santulli produces at American Gra-Frutti is product with integrity and lots of gluten-free love. I have to say I have my favorites -- Peppermint Creams, the It's Not Fruitcake, and also the They'll Never Know cake.

But my favorite product is the luscious Peachtree Pimento cheese spread! Here it is with another favorite of the year, Udi's Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread. Grilled.

Eric Larsen and the fine folks at Starfish Gluten-Free.

I love the battered cod, but more than that, I love the spirit and heart of this company. Eric Larsen has become and email/Facebook friend, and I'm glad I know him. And I'm always glad to reccomend this wonderful product.

And next year? Shrimp and tilapia. Can't wait.

Jill Brack and GLOW Gluten Free

Why I love GLOW and Jill Brack is simple: A heart for the community. She is one of the products featured in the first gluten-free food bank. Her generosity is amazing. Her cookies are better than home-made cookies. Win win. (see post below this for more).

Shelley Ritchie of Moondance Heavenly Desserts.

Shelley's from Georgia, and she's trying very hard to get into Whole Foods. I've been trying to help. She has THE BEST, period, bar none, brownies in the world.

They look like this

but taste...heavenly. And they're available through Gluten Free Mall.

The Best Gluten-Free Places of 2009:

1. Denver, Colorado, is the best gluten-free place on earth. It starts that this is the home my GF brother-from-another-mother, GF Steve! I truly cherish his insight and friendship and love. I can't wait to go to Denver to meet him and The Artist this August. While our friendship has grown from our blogs, it has transcended those blogs.

Also in Denver is perhaps the most important product I found this year -- Udi's Gluten Free. It wins the GF GOLD AWARD of 2009 in my book.

Because of Udi's, I will never have to settle for mediocre gluten-free bread again. Ever. The fact that the lovely Heather Collins at Udi's made me the Southeast Super Here (complete with cape) means I will do anything to get Udi's in a GF person's pantry. Seriously. I even went to stores in Tampa this break with Udi's to get the word out about their fine breads, muffins, and pizza crust. Udi's is Da Place. and Da Bomb.

Check out that sandwich above...wish I could show you my pizza I'm making for dinner.

Also in Denver is a special woman named Gluten-Free Dee, Dee Valdez.

She is the instigator of the first ever gluten-free food bank in Loveland, Colorado. She has inspired me to try to found one of these in my community, in middle Georgia, and in Atlanta. I know I will have great guidance and love with this. What a loving, giving spirit. So inspirational.

So yeah, I wanna go to Denver and take all of you with me!

And finally, the rest for 2009

Shoutouts to:

Gluten Free Gobsmacked author Kate Chan and the chicklet. How happy am I? Aunt Ging says hey!

The Atlanta Metro Celiacs
and Middle Georgia GIG

Chef James Harris at Harrah's Atlantic City

Lee Tobin and the Whole Foods GF Bakehouse

GFMeals from Your Dinner Secrets (Pork cutlets!)

Nebo Restaurant in Boston


Coconut Bliss

Blue Moon Pizza in Smyrna, Georgia

Outback in Roswell, Ga.

Sally's Bakery on Roswell Road

and of course,

My sweet Randy


to Lobster, the original GF food, anywhere

Much love, and here's to 2010.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Who needs a cookie swap? I've got GLOW!

Because of issues with my autistic son's behavioral wanderlust, I didn't feel especially encouraged to attend my GIG's annual holiday cookie swap last weekend.

But thanks to Glow Gluten Free cookies, my cupboard is filled with delicious cookie treats!

I've said many times I'm not a baker -- my Mama, may she rest in peace, was the one who supplied our house with cookies and cakes. She was especially happy during the holidays, when she baked batches of Anise Cookies and Snowballs, and of course, Snickerdoodles for the love of her life, my son, Jeffrey.

Jeffrey loves Snickerdoodles. At first I thought they might be made with Snickers bars, but they're not -- they're a rich sugar cookie, rolled in cinnamon sugar. Sure, I could make them, but not like my Mama. (Jeffrey occasionally sneaks a package of raw dough into his grocery basket...and I baked some a while ago that were delicious.) But I'm no cookie baker.

When Mama died, there was a bag of Snickerdoodles in her freezer, and Jeffrey transported it to our freezer. He parceled out those cookies for about a year, eating them one at a time, about one a week.

I didn't think I could replicate my mother's Snickerdoodles, until a few weeks ago, when Jill Brandt, the lovely person behind Glow Gluten Free cookies, sent me a sampling of her wares. I actually approached her for additional samples -- I'd already purchased two types, the Gingersnap and the Double Chocolate Chip. I've bought both since, and will buy them again. (Hat tip toJGF -- she brought me the Gingersnaps....yummmmmmy!)

But oh, those Snickerdoodles. They're my Mama's Snickerdoodles, but healthier and better than ever.

When they're first out of the box, the Snickerdoodles are crisp. I actually put mine in the microwave for about 8 second, and it was perfectly warm and crispy. But I put them away after one cookie...and I didn't seal them well. But to my surprise, the second day, they were just a tad moister and softer -- exactly like my Mama's.


Now, the unique selling point of Glow Gluten Free is that each cookie has two grams of fiber, is gluten and dairy free, and has 13 grams of carbs and nine grams of sugar. If you go to this page, you'll see ALL the nutritional information about these great cookies.

This Christmas eve, Santa will pull a fast one on Jeffrey. Instead of his leaving cookies for Santa, Santa will be stuffing his stocking with Glow Gluten Free Snickerdoodles, a real taste of home.

Thank you, Jill. You and Glow really have made my holiday season this year!

Much love, and I'm all a GLOW!


The cookie details: Seven per package, and each cookie is a generous serving.
Cost: Around $7 a package

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blue Moon, you knew just what I was there for...

You heard me saying a prayer for...
Glluten-free pizza I could care for

With apologies to Rodgers and Hart (and everyone who recorded it,) I think of that song every time I think of Blue Moon Pizza in Marietta and Vinings (We visited the one just off I-285 at the S. Atlanta Road exit).

A few weeks ago, my Gluten-Free Gurl Jennifer Harris invited me to meet her for lunch at Blue Moon. I'd heard and read the raves for the pizza there, but we were in search of the gluten-free pizza. Jennifer and another of the GFGs, the fabulous Julie Arens of Outback in Roswell, had tried it, and I knew I had to try it, too.

See that beautiful pizza? I gotta say, it is THE BEST gluten-free pizza I've ever had. The. Best. Ever. And I also tried the cheesy bread, which is JGF's favorite there.

The crust was crispy, the meaty toppings fresh, and the whole thing was just amazing...

This is Kelvin!

I met Kelvin Slater, who the proprietor with his wife Mandy, and I congratulated him on the great product. There's a lot of neat stuff about their menu and motive on their beautiful website, too. That's a great feature there about JGF, too!

Blue Moon Pizza's motto is, "life should be less ordinary". The gluten-free pizza sure isn't ordinary -- it's extraordinary.

Much love, and can't wait to go back next weekend!


Here's the hot slice:

The menu: (my gluten-eaters loved it, too. They had a bacon cheeseburger pizza)

2 Great Locations!

Marietta Store:
Phone: 770-984-2444
Fax: 770-818-2496
2359 Windy Hill Rd
Marietta, GA 30067
(1 mile west of I-75) Vinings Store:
Phone: 770-436-4446
Fax 770-436-4406
4600 West Village Place
Smyrna, GA 30080
(South Atlanta Rd. at I-285)

Follow them on Twitter @Bluemoonpizza and tell them Ging sent you!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fabulous Fruitcake for the holidays!

OK, it's called It's Not Fruitcake. But American GraFrutti has got the MOST DELICIOUS cake of nuts and fruits I've had since I stopped eating gluten. I mean it.

Let me explain: I am a part of that rare breed of people who actually like fruitcake. A specific kind, from the city of Claxton, Ga., has always been a favorite. I love the mix of pecans and cherries, raisins and fruit.

I know. I know. I am the one who would claim the leftover bars given away at the office party (one year I scored EIGHT of them!)

But back to this cake. Wow. Amazing. I absolutely love it! Marilyn Santulli, the beautiful chef behind these luscious cakes, sent me a loaf for a Thanksgiving treat. I saved it until today.

Moist. Not overly, cloyingly sweet like most cakes. Crunchy pecans. Beautiful cherries. Amazing.

Here are the flavors and details.

Gluten Free and Vegan

Gluten Free Flours, pecans, raisins, all natural cherries, raw agave nectar, natural oil blends, vegan beet sugar, soy protein, organic spices. 0 grams trans fats.

BERRY WONDERFUL (this is the flavor I enjoyed).
Gluten Free and Vegan

Gluten Free Flours, pecans, cranberries, blueberries, tart cherries, raw agave nectar, natural oil blends, vegan beet sugar, soy protein, organic spices. 0 grams trans fats.

Gluten Free and Vegan

Gluten Free Flours, pecans, blueberries, tart cherries, organic orange peel, raw agave nectar, natural oil blends, vegan beet sugar, soy protein, organic spices. 0 grams trans fats.

Now, I know someone out there has someone who loves fruitcake -- gluten free or not, this cake is a delicious, healthy holiday treat.

Trust me. I'm an expert.

Much love, and that cake is calling me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Studying at the feet of the master

This article with the recipe was published with Lee Tobin's permission. You can find other Whole Foods Gluten Free Recipes on the wonderful Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse Site.

When was the last time you attended a cooking class and didn’t worry for a second whether or not the food was safe for your gluten-free lifestyle?

When I heard Lee Tobin, the mastermind behind the Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse was holding a cooking class at Harry’s Farmers Market/Whole Foods in Alpharetta the night before 2009 Gluten-Free Vendor Fair, I couldn’t wait to sign up. An evening of gluten-free food from a gluten-free master? Heaven!

After all, who among us hasn’t marveled at the selection of gluten-free baked goods at Whole Foods? Whether it’s the pie crust (ah, the pie crust), the Nut Meal and Raisin Cookies, or the Scones, the selection at available at Whole Foods makes it a gluten-free person’s best friend.

But a cooking class with Lee Tobin? For me, it was like studying at the feet of the master. After all, Lee Tobin’s experience as a person diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1996 led to his development of the Gluten-Free Bakehouse. If you read his inspiring story on the Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse websit you will see that it was both a love of food and a need for a quality, safe gluten-free product that made this product happen.

When I found my gluten-free friends Lori Pocock, Jennifer D. Harris, and Carol and Ron Hinton were going to be attending the class, too, I couldn’t wait for the evening.

The fifteen students in the class had the opportunity to taste a full-course meal called “Gluten Free Alternatives for the Holidays.” The menu included gluten-free chicken tenders, cooked with the new gluten-free bread crumbs, Turkey Pot Pie, Roasted Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, mini Yucca cakes with avocado vinaigrette, a classic Caesar salad with croutons, and a beautiful purple sweet potato pie.

With his kitchen helpers scurrying around him filling water and wine glasses and chopping ingredients, Lee prepared each dish for the audience. The chicken nuggets, soaked in buttermilk, were dipped in sweet rice flour, then in an egg wash, and dredged in the GF bread crumbs. Deep fried, the nuggets were crispy and delicious.

The turkey pot pie (recipe below) could become a standard around the holiday season. Though Lee used freshlycooked turkey, leftover cooked turkey or chicken would work. A step that that surprised me, though, was turning a GF pie crust into the top crust. I never thought to roll the thawed pie crust into a ball, then rolled it out for a pie crust.

My favorite recipe of the evening was the mini yucca cakes with avocado vinaigrette. Lee grated one yucca root, then mixed in a can of black beans, corn, red pepper and green onions. He seasoned with mix with cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper, and baked them in the oven. Topped with the vinaigrette, the caked were crunchy and savory.

As the evening’s meal came to an end, Lee asked the audience for any gluten-free requests. People suggested pita bread, French bread, and croissants, but several simply urged him to keep doing what’s he doing. For a long, long time, please?

If you want to see more pictures of Lee and Daniel Lyons in action at the GF Vendor Fair, go here:

Gluten-Free Turkey Pot Pie
Serves 6 to 8
There's always something comforting about eating rich and creamy turkey pot pie and this version is no exception. Use leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or even shredded roasted chicken, to make this simple take on a classic even easier. Lee Tobin adapted this classic Whole Foods recipe for the gluten-free diet.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour flour
1 1/2 cups turkey or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 1/2 cup fresh peas
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 (9-inch) frozen Whole Foods Gluten Free pie shells (in pie pans)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add leeks, carrots and celery and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and cook over medium high heat until they have given off their moisture and are tender, about 10 minutes. Add leek mixture to skillet and toss to combine. Add flour, stir well and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add broth while stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until very thick. Add turkey, all but 1 tablespoon of the cream, thyme, salt and pepper and stir well. Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl and set aside to let cool.

Remove pie crusts from the freezer and set one aside to let thaw. Fill remaining pie crust with cooled turkey mixture and moisten the edges with a bit of water. Roll second pie crust into a ball and after kneading it, roll it between two pieces of parchment paper into a round top crust. Place the crust on top of the turkey mixture, then crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush crust all over with remaining tablespoon of cream and bake until golden brown, crust is cooked through and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 15 minutes, then cut into slices and serve.

Much love, and Lee, many thanks for everything you do!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

They'll Never Know...A GF Cake with an Edge!

photo from the website

I was at Celiac Awareness Day in September at Harry's Farmer's Market in Alpharetta when I met a lovely woman selling a cake made out of spinach and squash. And carrots. Vegan. Gluten free. Non-dairy, too. I swear to you, my immediate thought was BLEAH.

But the cake was petite and beautiful, and aslice of it on the plate looked delicious -- like a gourmet carrot-spice cake, MY FAVORITE, I thought.

Being that I am watching my blood-glucose level, I tasted a small bite. I was BLOWN AWAY by the richness, the texture, and the spicy flavor. I told the baker then, I am going to write about your product on my blog. And while it has taken me a while, my thoughts are truly sincere:

Thank you, American GraFrutti. You sure named this cake right when you called it "They'll Never Know..."

I ran into the talented baker behind American GraFrutti, the beautiful Marilyn Santulli, at the Atlanta Gluten-Free Vendor Fair last month, and I told her I was still planning to blog about her wonderful cake. She gave me one to bring home and savor, and I greatly appreciated it. I managed to sneak a few bites of the sample, and again, it was luscious and delicious.

Marilyn's photo is from her website.

I am more like saving the cake, though, because it is the PERFECT dessert to take to a holiday party this year. First, it's priced very reasonably -- at Return to Eden, the cost is about $11 for the small cake. I also saw it at Whole Foods for a similar price. Also, it is a beautiful cake -- frosted in cream-colored rich icing, it has beautiful piping and is placed in a perfect little box and frozen. I think this cake would make a splendid gift for a gluten-free housewarming (or hostess) gift! I know I would love it!

But you know what else the wonderful Marilyn makes? Fruitcake. I didn't get to try it -- I don't know why--but you have to know, I ADORE FRUITCAKE and have missed is so much since going gluten free. So you can bet I will be ringing up Marilyn to order some fruitcake for the holidays. You don't have to worry, though -- I won't pass it on to you like some dumb booby prize in a "dirty Santa" game. I will keep it for myself and eat it greedily, little bit by little bit... They even ship nationwide!

But back to American GraFrutti. Did I mention the wonderful Pimento Cheese? I bought a tub for $5 and greedily scarfed it down on some Udi's White Bread for a sandwich I know and love...and Marilyn's is great. And there are the "trufflesque" Carob Coconut Drop Cookies, too. Oh my! I love them, too.

But the "They'll Never Know" cake has stolen my heart while not clogging it with cholesterol and bad things. You GOTTA love that.

This information comes from my friend
Jennifer D. Harris' post on Examiner.Com.
(Yay JGF!)

I think it's important to include the ingredient list, but for goodness sake, don't let this stop you from buying this wonderful cake! It is AWESOME! Like Marilyn said, "They'll Never Know!"

“They’ll Never Know” Cake
American Gra-Frutti, LLC
P.O. Box 72406, Marietta, GA 30007



Much love, and you're right, "They'll Never Know!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And the winner is....

I used the random number generator here at Truly Random Number and the winner is.....

Karen at Fab Grandma!

Karen, send me an email (which is posted on my site) and I'll get the copy of Annalise's great book to you ASAP!

Much love, Ging

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Delicious Dinners Direct to your Door

Back when Jeffrey was an infant, we lived in Wurzburg, Germany. One of our favorite restaurants, just up the street from our economy apartment, was a Gasthaus that served delicious schnitzel. My favorite was always the pork schnitzel (there are lots of varieties) with its crispy crust and tender, spiced-just-right taste. Sometimes I'd order one for me and one for Jeffrey, which explains why I was so huge when we returned from Germany...but I digress.

I was never able to find that taste in an American product, but last week, I did, in the breaded pork cutlets made by gfmeals.

Selling at $20 a package (and a package has four servings according to the label) these cutlets took me back to the Schnitzel Factory near Kitzinger, Germany. I was in bliss! They also, I might add, are low in calories and carbohydrates, and have only one gram of sugar. That's great for my GF/SF diabetic diet!

There's really a lot to like about gfmeals by Your Dinner Secrets, and over the last month I've become a fan for two reasons. First, they're sold frozen and shipped for a reasonable shipping cost based on the cost of the order. Second, I really like the co-founded, Roni Piterman, whose son is recovering from ADHD through a gluten-free, casein-free diet (this product is free of most major allergins -- including gluten, of course, which matters most to me personally). According to their website:

Your Dinner Secret was founded in January 2007 to bring the finest entrees, sides and baked goods to the people of Los Angeles. In mid-2007 we recognized that people nationwide were desperately in need of frozen, ready-to-cook, entrees, sides and baked goods that are gluten-free and casein-free. Families dealing with autism, aspergers, ADHD and celiac disease embraced us, and word of our service spread across the US. We developed the brand gfMeals to serve this market. Now, since we use organic produce and all-natural meat, we also serve the nationwide market of people who simply want to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The website also has a wonderful section on the gf/cf diet for those considering it for a person with autism or ADHD.

I also tried the delicious turkey meatloaf. It's priced reasonably (about $16.50) serves three and is delicious. I'd consider having these in my freezer for those days when I've got to produce a meal but have no ambition when I get home. To me, though it's delicious, making meatloaf s a sloppy, intensive process. And I have to take my rings off to do it -- yuck. This meatloaf had an especially piquant sweet onion sauce. Though it's a little high for my low sugar diet, I liked the meatloaf fine without it, too. Either way works fine. Oh, and I love that there's no green pepper in it. I absolutely don't like green pepper in my meatloaf! This is actually very close to my recipe, to tell the truth.

Roni sent me samples of the pork cutlets and the turkey meatloaf at my request on Twitter, and she has secured a customer because of it. As soon as I can, I'm anxious to order a stock of the pork cutlets for my freezer -- they're perfectly sized for my diet, are delicious, and are very versatile. I thought about making pork parmegiana -- add sauce and cheese. Or Jaeger Schnitzel, bu adding a mushroom gravy. But I mostly like them plain. They're delicious and so easy to prepare, I can do them from frozen in my toaster oven in only 20 minutes. (Just be sure to spray the pan as directed.)

Oh, and they have weekly specials (which will tempt you in your email mailbox every week) AND a great newsletter called "The Secret Scoop.

Thank you, Roni, for the chance to sample your product. I'm so impressed.

Now, here's my idea for you, my readers. When people ask you what you want for holiday gifts, why not request a gift pack from gfmeals? It's a great freezer staple, no more expensive than some gluten-free products in the supermarket, and it's delicious. What a great gift!

Here's all the details:

Your Dinner Secret
20929 Ventura Blvd., #22
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Your Source For Gluten and Casein-Free Entrees, Sides and Baked Goods Shipped To Your Door

Keep in touch with gfMeals on Facebook.
Keep in touch with gfMeals on Twitter.

Much tasty love!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A thoughtful book, and a give-away!

A few weeks ago, I posted about a deal where you could purchase a Zojirushi bread machine and receive a copy of Annalise G. Roberts' Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine.. I was thrilled to receive a copy of the book for review, but, with full disclosure, I admit I don't have a Zo, so I couldn't test the recipes.

I wish I did, though. Now more than ever. This book should be nicknamed Clarissa, because it explains it all!

If you are new to the gluten-free baking world, and you have a Zo, this book will make your life and baking very straightforward and deliciously easy. I love to read cookbooks, and after reading the sections of this book on the gluten-free baking pantry, the flour mix ratios, and so much more. I could feel my taste buds activating when I read about the cinnamon swirl bread...I learned a lot from the book, in short, and that's an essential tool in good cook-book writing, in my opinion.

Annalise Roberts is a baking goddess, loved and revered by members of the gluten-free baking world. And her book is a true service vehicle to those who are gluten-free. In short, it's a must have for your baking library -- as long as you have a Zo, that is.

So for that reason, I am going to make this book available to one of my readers as a prize. You see, I don't have a Zo, and as a college professor of limited means (read:furloughed but fabulous?) I don't see buying one in my future. So for me, while this books is delightful, inspiring, delicious reading, it does me no good.

So here's the deal: Tell me in the comments here why you think I should give you this book (which in a way will be a tribute to Annalise's fabulous work) AND then I'll use my husband's random number ap to pick a winner.

Deadline to enter and win: Sunday, October 25. 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. I'll announce the winner and ask him or her to send me mailing details. Cool enough?

Thank you Agate Publishing, for producing such a fine book. And thank you, Annalise Roberts, for ALL you do for the gluten-free world.

Much love, and best of luck!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A B-Udi-ful Product for the Gluten-Free

A few weeks ago, I received what I've been calling "a box full of love" from Udi's Gluten Free Foods, a Gluten-Free Bakery in Denver, Co. My lil bro Gluten Free Steve, who lives in Denver, has been taunting me with tid-bits about Udi's for a year or so now. Finally, I got my chance to try this product.

And for three weeks, I have been savoring every last morsel of food from this box. I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE with Udi's, so much so that I want to move to Denver so I can camp out on their doorstep. Seriously.

Yes. It's bread that is THAT good. Muffins that are luscious and delicious. Pizza crust crispy and hearty.

Nirvana. Manna. Heaven on a plate. And no, I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean every letter of every word.

Yea, I know. I'm gushing. But here's why. Udi's products taste like they're not gluten free, which to me is the whole point.

My first sample was the blueberry muffin. Now, as you know, I'm a baking slug. I am too lazy to make even something simple like muffins (from a mix, no less). But this muffin....well, three things about it. Great crumb, moist and delicious, no after taste. Moderate carb content, so it didn't spike my blood sugar. And great shelf life -- four muffins for me lasted four days (thank you God Randy doesn't like muffins. Of course, I threatened his life if he ate one. But I did share with him....I promise). I love that these sat on the counter for a long weekend and didn't go stale or get moldy. WOW.

Aren't they B-Udi-Ful? Yeah, that hole is where I pulled out a blueberry the size of my thumb. Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Test two: A sandwich. Randy and I made sandwiches for lunch the next day. I made my one-slice wonder tomato sandwich on the Udi's bread, and I thought I was eating a gluten-filled bread. And Randy couldn't tell the difference. The white bread is like what good white bread should be -- and it, too had a shelf life of about three days. Of course, that's how long it took me to eat the whole loaf, two slices at a time, as a carb serving on my diabetic diet. It's perfect. IT IS THE BEST PACKAGED GLUTEN-FREE LOAF BREAD. I love that sold fresh it is ready to eat, but that it thaws to freshness and doesn't have to be retoasted or heated to taste good, too. Amazing.

I just wish I could buy it around here. Sigh. Every time I frequent a gluten-free food purveyor, I ask them to carry it. Honestly.

But I also want to add a couple of things. First, I've NEVER seen anything but a positive review of Udi's bakery and products. NEVER. Like this rave by the Denver Gluten-Free Examiner. Or this support by my lil bro Gluten Free Steve,

They're also on Twitter at @udisglutenfree. Follow, people! Follow!

And while I'm here, let me mention this. @GlutenfreeDee, the Twitter face of Udi's, is one of the nicest people I've ever met. (Here's her website.) She has become a virtual friend to me -- I can't wait til I get to Denver next summer! Gluten-Free Steve is going to take me to meet her. What a joyful day that will be! (and I can't wait to see my carry-on luggage on the trip back from that one...) I hear there are cinnamon rolls to die for there....

The Udi's site has all the details for purchase, but let me reiterate: You can find Udi’s Gluten Free foods in participating King Soopers, or ask for us in the bakery department at your grocer’s. Their dedicated gluten-free bakery is located at 101 E. 70th Ave (corner Broadway) in Denver, CO 80221 (303)657-1600. CafĂ© patrons can watch as our bakers work to get you the best gluten free product on the market.

Like I said. B-Udi-Ful!

Much love, especially to you, @GlutenFreeDee

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Skipping along with Nature's Path

Not long after we got back from vacation, I got a box full of love from Nature's Path, the organic, and-- importantly for me -- careful with gluten-free products company.

I'll admit it. I'm addicted. Their products -- from Mesa Sunrise Cereal to the yummy EnviroKidz to Honey'd Corn Flakes to the Crispy Rice Bars, well, they're a fave.

But in addition to the product, I also fell in love the company, what it stands for, and especially, its excellent products.

Take for instance, its minifesto: First, from its website:

At Nature’s Path, we live for healthy, great-tasting organic foods. It’s why we get up in the morning. But we are also a company that wants to do more than just sell breakfast foods.

But this made me actually PROUD to be a customer of the company.

"We aspire to advance the cause of people and planet, along the path to sustainability. And we like to think we put our money where our mouth is. Or rather, where our heart is. Because growing organic, healthy foods in a sustainable way is our passion—the cornerstone of our family company. It’s where, and how, it all began.

But we also know that when it comes down to it—no matter what kind of a difference we want to make as a company, and no matter how much you share those values—if our food isn’t delicious and exciting, we’re not living up to our fullest potential.

Healthy foods don’t need to be boring and tasteless. Which is why we spend our days and nights dreaming up new recipes, tracking down exotic new ingredients, and researching the latest (or most ancient) superfoods. We know you’ll be pretty impressed when you read our labels. But we hope you’ll be even more impressed when you take your first bite."

Admittedly, it has taken me a long time to make this post, because my new diabetes concerns has caused me to have to significantly limit my cereal intake. For me, 3/4 a cup means 3/4 a cup -- most of us wouldn't recognize portion control like that voluntarily...I admit it.

Ok, so on to the product review. I give it THREE YUMS UP! I didn't try a single thing I didn't like and could not make, in a moderated portion, a part of my gluten-free/diabetic/gastroparesis diet.

For the kid in me -- EnviroKidz is yummy, slightly sweet, and crunchy. I especially like the Cereal Bars I like that I can buy both of these brands at my local Kroger. With a cup of vanilla-flavored almond milk, it's yummy for a bedtime snack!

And honestly, I keep one of the Crispy Rice Bars in my purse in case of a blood sugar low. It also makes a great snack that DOESN'T spike my blood sugar AND for some reason, I don't have an adverse reaction to it.

But perhaps my favorite was the Honey'd Corn Flakes. They're GREEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAATTT! OK? Get it?

I admire and respect the company, and I'm happy to share this product with you in the gluten-free world. Many of you already know it, but I hope with this post, you'll appreciate even more what the lovely selections from Nature's Path Has to offer us in the gluten-free world.

Much love, and crunch crunch!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Help Moondance make it to Whole Foods!

Perhaps you remember my blog post about Moondance Heavenly Desserts, Shelley Ritchie's wonderful bakery.

Shelley is in the middle of a campaign to have her delectable products carried by Whole Foods, and we can help.

Please go to this page of Shelley's website and click on the letter link on the left.

Or, you can use this copy here.

I'm heading to Whole Foods in Atlanta next weekend, and I plan to take TWO copies of the letter -- one for each store!

You should, too. We all need a little more heaven in our lives!

Much love, and I can't wait til I can buy these in the south!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Welcome to Ging Recommends!

And thanks for joining me over here in product-review land!

The reviews and information on this site are totally my own. No endorsement on this site is a paid endorsement. While I do accept samples from companies, I have no fiduciary obligation to them.

I will do my best here to give you my thoughtful evaluation of the best of the GF World.

My first post will be up shortly. Stay tuned!

Much love,