• Where to start? It’s been awhile. I guess you can say I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the last month. I think that GF has finally caught up to me. We’ve been traveling a lot and it hasn’t been easy. Or to say it in a more positive way, it’s been challenging. My little soft-sided blue cooler has been my constant companion. As long as I have my McCormick’s Salt & Pepper with me, and a few snack bars and some fresh fruit, I feel ok going out. But still, I feel so left out when everyone else is eating what everyone else is eating, and I’m not.

    Anyway, I have a whole lot to write about. I think I’ll start with the yogurt snack that’s been a mainstay when we’re home. Here is the very simple recipe:

    gf Plain Yogurt
    honey, to taste
    granola, to taste
    red Seedless Grapes, halved
    strawberries, quartered

    Mix the honey and granola into the yogurt. After ingredients are well-blended, add fruit. Yum! Next time, I’m going to try and remember to add some flax seeds to it, as I’m trying to add flax seeds to my diet in a big way.

    Granola was one of the more difficult foods to give up when I found out I had Celiac Disease. One of the foods I ate almost every day is the yogurt, fruit, granola combo I mentioned above. It was hard to find something to replace that, so when I found two different kinds of granola that are more than acceptable and I found that they were kick-your-heels in glee delicious, and great as a snack or mixed in some plain yogurt, I was able to bring the yogurt back into my life! Very Berry Crunch is made by Enjoy Life! I haven’t tried their other flavors, but I’ll bet they’re delicious. The other kind is made by a company called Bakery On Main. They have several flavors…the one I tried and love is Nutty Maple Cranberry Granola. Those two granolas are among some of my best recent GF finds! I found both at Whole Foods, though I’m sure other stores carry them. Plus you can order them from their websites.

    I only have a picture of the Bakery On Main granola. But know that both kinds are very good. This pictured granola is heftier, with larger pieces of ingredients. The Enjoy Life granola is smaller and more crushed, both are great.

    I’m going to try and make some muffins using both of the granolas. I haven’t done a lot of baking and we are having a group of people visit us at the end of July. They will be here for a continental breakfast and for lunch. So, I’m looking for some good baked items that we can serve for breakfast. Any ideas for muffins, scones, etc., please let me know.

    These are expensive compared to other non-GF granolas, but Celiacs don’t have much of a choice unless we don’t eat these things or we figure out a way to make them on our own. For me, I am ao very grateful to be able to afford to pay extra money and have the food that I can eat. I do feel really badly for people who are Celiacs and can’t afford to buy the high-priced items that we are able to eat. Though, on one of the listservs, someone mentioned that Amazon.com now has a grocery store where you can buy GF foods for significantly less money than in the stores or at other websites. I haven’t tried that yet. I still like going shopping for my food on my own.

    One of the best new finds I made is a bread created by Ina Garden. It is more than fantastic and fabulous. It is the first GF bread that I can eat without toasting it. I’m not kidding. Run as fast as you can and get this bread. And if you can’t find it in your local health food stores (or wherever you buy GF foods), BEG the manager of the store to get it. Ok, it’s expensive. $6.99 a loaf. But worth every penny. I’ve had it untoasted, toasted with butter, toasted with butter and jam, untoasted with grilled marinated tempeh and avocado and ketchup and mustard. It is just fantastic! I called up the owner and told her that though she didn’t know me, I loved her. She could have written me off as a crazy woman, but she was very kind and really seemed to appreciate the feedback. If only the Celiac community can continue to get these kind of homemade, high quality products, we will not feel so left out of the mainstream. Kudos to Ina Garden for making this for us.

    Well, that’s it for now. More to come if I can stay out of the funk I’ve been in. Maybe the wonderful summer produce that is beginning to appear at the markets will give me hope:).
    • David Marc Fischer

      Welcome back–missed ya!

      Keep your eyes peeled for Orgran’s granola–it’s relatively light, if you like that kind of mix. Years ago I had another light granola in Germany that was good, too.

    • Ellen

      Thanks! I haven’t seen Orgran’s granola. I will look for it. I do have a few packages of their pasta, but haven’t tried it yet.

      Hey, we’re going to Queens tomorrow. Any suggestions for restaurants with GF items? I wish we had time to come into NYC to go to Rissoteria. Next time…

    • Bridget

      I tried that new oatmeal from a family of celiac farmers (http://glutenfreeoats.com/products.aspxc). They were wonderful and made great GF granola!

    • Hippy Nursey

      I’m so happy to see a posting from you! That bread looks soo yummy! I wish I could find it around here. My local TJ’s has been out of the Food For Life Brown Rice Bread for weeks now, which is my mainstay so I’ve been breadless. :( I actually just got a box of the GF Pantry’s Sandwich Bread mix so I’m going to try that in my hand-me-down breadmaker (it’s my 1st attempt – hope it looks like bread!!) Anyway, glad to see you back. Feel free to vent about your funk anytime.

    • Ellen

      Hi Bridget,

      What a great idea to use the GF oatmeal to make your own granola. I hadn’t thought of that! Actually, I’ve been a bit reluctant to try the GF oatmeal, but maybe I will get some and make my own granola. Thanks for the post!

    • Ellen

      Hi Hippy Nursey,

      Thanks for the post. The funk is beginning to lift, slowly, but it is lifting. I bought a new book, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread and I’m really excited about trying some of the recipes. I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended)! There are a few GF breads that I’ve bought at Whole Foods and our local health food store, but I like the idea of making my own. I’ve tried a few different recipes, none though that have sent me soaring. Maybe I’ll have luck with one of the recipes from the new book.

    • Anonymous

      When I stayed at the Artist’s Inn in Terre Hill, PA, they offered me a gluten-free breakfast. One of the items they served were delicious scones, made in mini flower pots. They used the Gluten Free Pantry Muffin and Scone Mix and added in pecans. They were really delicious and I’m sure you could make them in a muffin tin.

    • Ellen

      Great idea! I am looking forward to eating scones again, GF of course! I like the idea of making them in flower pots. How clever!

    • Anonymous

      I’m a student who will be going to school in MA, too. Where did you find this Ina Garden GF bread? Can you get it at Whole Foods?

      Also, my family is interested in staying at a Bed and Breakfast on the Cape in October. I was wondering if you had heard recommendations of B&B’s that provide gf meals

    • Ellen

      I found the Ina Garden bread at our local health food store called Living Earth in Worcester, MA. If you google Ina Garden, you can find them on the internet and then call to find out where else their bread is sold.

      I don’t know of any B&B’s in particular, or that serve GF food. I wish I could help. Good luck with school!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the great idea. I just bought a 6-pack of Banilla/Strawberry-something yogurt and the Berry Enjoylife Granola. I was thinking of adding slivered almonds into the mix for some extra protein since I seem to get ravenous 3 hours after eating my regular 6AM breakfast of GF Erewhon rice krispie-type cereal and almond milk.

      Be careful adding whole flax seeds, since they can irritate the GI tract. To get the same health benefits, try using crushed flax seeds, which you can buy in a bluish/purple pack (it must be refridgerated then, since it spoils rather quickly) or else grind the whole seeds yourself in a dedicated coffee grinder. I’ve seen mini-packets (single-servings) of crushed flax seeds at some Whole Foods stores; enjoy your Omegas!

    • Ellen

      Thanks for the reminder. Yes, I’ve been trying to add flax seed meal to anything and everything I can. We travel a lot though, and having the mini packets would be ideal.

    • Ellen

      Dear Anonymous,

      If you’re parents are coming off cape and heading towards Boston, they are welcome to stay at our “B&B”, complete with GF meals in a totally GF household. We live about a 1 3/4 hours from the cape, on the way towards Boston.

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