Archive for December, 2010

A Tale of Two Turkeys

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Turkey

Gertie, my turkey

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and friends and express gratitude for all we have AND to eat the best food ever. I don’t care what others say… Thanksgiving is all about the food, and it’s my absolute favorite meal to prepare.

This year, I had the privilege to set 15 places at two tables and work some gluten-free magic in my own domain. Being in control of the menu and ingredients can be an advantage if you worry about ingredients, preparation and cross contamination in the kitchen. Just make sure you have plenty of extra hands to assist so you can enjoy the day without exhaustion! Of course, the magic occurs when all are able to give thanks for the food on the table and not even know that every bit is gluten-free.

Beckee and Dave

Fierce competitors

My husband Dave and I have a love for each other and cooking competitions (Bobby Flay, Iron Chef, Top Chef) so this year we agreed on a “Turkey Throwdown.” I dug out my favorite Martha Stewart Turkey 101 recipe for Gertie, the 12lber that included a rub down of butter, stuffing of onion, apples and herbs, and a continued basting of butter and wine.

Gluten-Free Turkey on the Grill

Fred, Dave's turkey

Can it get any better than that? Dave thought so.  The grill master used a combo-recipe for Fred (his 12 lber) that included brining, basting and indirect heat, with a touch of apple wood thrown in for smoke- all on his big ol’ grill.  Both cooked birds were perfect specimens – brown, juicy and tender.

Family reviews and votes were mixed. Each bird had such a distinctly different taste…there was no comparison. Actually I think the family was just playing nice because of the holiday. In my opinion, Dave was the winner …this year.


December 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm 2 comments

An Uphill Battle

Kristin's Grandma


It’s that time of year again. Time for my grandmother, 89 years adorable, to call me so that she can review the ingredients of her favorite holiday recipes. I’ve been diagnosed for three and a half years but somehow the questions and comments such as, “It has a teaspoon of flour in it. Can you have it?” and “What do you mean you had bread? I thought you couldn’t eat bread. What’s it made out of?,” still arise. Like I said, she’s 89 years adorable so I can’t help but smile.

This year the questions and comments were no different. But the food around the table was. For the first time in three years my family’s entire Thanksgiving meal was gluten-free, complete with the Gluten-Free Goddess’ corn-bread stuffing and my aunt’s homemade pear and cranberry almond flour crisp. I left the table with my belly full and my heart happy.

While cleaning up, I casually mentioned that I should make this year’s Christmas lasagna using rice noodles. My aunt slowly stopped toweling off the dish she was holding and my grandmother, with her hands on her hips, asked, “Well, what’s that gonna taste like?”

Looks like I haven’t won this year’s battle just yet.


My gluten-free Christmas lasagna!

Update: The gluten-free lasagna I mentioned above? My family actually let me make it for Christmas dinner. And it was a hit! In fact, they liked my lasagna better than the regular version.

Who said gluten-free didn’t taste good?


December 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Everybody Knows Somebody!

I am convinced that everybody knows somebody with celiac disease.

When I tell people where I work and what I do, more often than not the response I get is, “Celiac? Oh yeah, my sister in law/cousin/boss’s son/mailman/insert someone here has that.”

It never ceases to amaze me.gluten-free pizza

On that note, here is a lovely photo of a gluten-free pizza made by my culinary savvy roommate, whose grandfather happens to have…you guessed it…celiac disease!

Using some Chebe pizza dough mix she picked up while attending our Appetite for Awareness event, she was able to make this delicious looking creation for her entire family as they came together to celebrate the holiday weekend.

It warms my heart to know that my job enabled me to help make this thanksgiving a special and delicious experience for her relatives, the gluten-free and non gluten-free eaters alike!

I now plan on scouring the office for extra pizza dough samples.

If I bring a few more home – maybe she’ll make a pizza for ME!


December 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

A “Free” Thanksgiving

It was an interesting Thanksgiving this year with heated discussions, not on politics or pop culture, but about the dietary requirements of our motley group. This was an improvement over the last two years…last year our gluten-free pot pie got stuck in an oven fire, the year before Thanksgiving came only one day after Molly’s celiac diagnosis.

For 16 years, I was the only one to be accommodated. My vegetarian diet kept everyone away from my home on Thanksgiving if they could possibly avoid it. Now, we had one gluten-free, one soy-free, three lactose intolerant and one on a very strict diet for interstitial cystitis involving no preservatives, low acid and a whole lot of pear juice. My sister’s father-in-law was grilling us because his doc suspects he may be lactose intolerant. (I told him to be tested for celiac because he likely has the gene.) He was inquiring whether or not there was dairy in pickled herring.

For me, I actually tasted the turkey.


December 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

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