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I was recently contacted by Christi Silbaugh, one of the authors of “Gluten-Free Made Easy” and asked if I would review her new gluten-free cookbook. Just reading the title “Gluten-Free made easy” made me anxious to read it and give some of the recipes a try.

At First Glance.
This cookbook is a paperback book with at least a dozen gluten-free recipes in each category of Breakfast, Finger Foods, Pasta and Pizza, Main Dishes, Sides and Sauces, Soups and Salads, Breads, and Desserts. There are plenty of recipes to tempt your taste buds.

This book begins with lots of good information and resources about being gluten-free: answers to common questions, flour blends and cake mixes, easy ingredient substitutions, favorite products, where to shop, etc.

The cookbook is well-organized and features many recipes with full-page, 4-color photographs. Sometimes I receive cookbooks to review, and only find a few recipes that I really want to try. Not so with this cookbook. It is full of gluten-free recipes for everyday eating. Many of the recipes have few ingredients and simple instructions. Love that!

The Recipes.

  • The Mole Chicken was a nice change for our family. It wasn’t too spicy, and we enjoyed the chocolate flavor.
  • The Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken was deliciously crisp and moist.
  • Pollo Pasta Primavera and Linguine Carbonara are on our menu this week. Can’t wait to try them!
  • Simple Spanish Rice and Mexican Black Bean Chili will be on our menu next week.
  • My kids have requested Cinnamon and Sugar Donut Holes and Banana Snickerdoodle Muffins, so we’ll be making them soon, too!

There are several recipes in this cookbook that are similar to our own family favorites, so I know we’ll enjoy the many new ones we find in the book, too.

The Tips.
I love all the tips scattered through the book: Make Your Own Pancake Mix, Snacks in a Snap, Lunch Box ideas, Purchase or Prepare (tips for saving time and money), Making Treats for a Gluten-Free Friend, and more.

Overall.
There are a lot of great gluten-free recipes in this book! It would be a great cookbook for anyone on a gluten-free diet. And, it gives a lot of information that would be helpful to someone new to the diet, as well as someone who wants to cook for their gluten-free friends and family members. The only downside for me, is that a lot of the recipes call for dairy — butter, cream, milk, etc. — which my body can’t tolerate anymore. Of course, I’ve gotten pretty good at making substitutions, but it would be nice to have recipes that had already been tested with dairy-free alternatives.

Where to Find It.
Gluten-Free-Made-Easy-blog-tour

 

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Yes! There’s still time to order last-minute Christmas gifts!  All of these cookbooks are available on Amazon, and can be shipped in time for Christmas. In fact, if you are a Prime Member on Amazon* (as I have been for several years), you can get free two-day shipping and still get your packages there by Christmas. You just need to order your gifts by Sunday (Dec. 22, 2013)! So, on to the cookbooks….


The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes: 100% Gluten-Free
If you’ve been interested in trying a Paleo diet, but were worried about how much time and effort it would take to do it, this may be just the cookbook you need to get started. Who doesn’t love the convenience of a slow-cooker dinner? This cookbook has a variety of intriguing meals to try. Try recipes for Spicy Tamari Almonds, African-Style Chicken in Onion Gravy, Mussels in Lemongrass Tomato Broth, Chinese-Style Braised Pork, and Chocolate Flan with Toasted Almonds.


Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking: Includes 250 Delicious Recipes
Heather Butt and Donna Washburn put together another fabulous gluten-free cookbook. This large, and very thick paperback cookbook is filled with 250 recipes including Breakfast, Quick Breads, Soups, Salads, Main Entrées, Bread Machine Recipes, and Desserts. I love the format of the book, with each recipe including tips and nutritional values per serving in the margin. I’m looking forward to trying the Almond Sponge Cake!


Gluten Free Goes Gourmet
In this beautiful hardback cookbook, author Vicky Pearl creates elegant recipes that are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free, Low Glycemic, and Kosher. I LOVE that each recipe includes a full-page photo of the finished product. I love to see how a recipe is supposed to look, and also get ideas for a nice presentation. There’s nothing missing from this cookbook: Drinks, Salads, Soups, Meat & Poultry, Fish, Sides, Breads, and Desserts. I am personally excited to try out the  ”Magnificent Mock Dairy” recipes.


Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More)
This paperback book was written by Nicole Hunn, author of her first cookbook Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap and website blog of the same name. This cookbook gives great details to help you recreate the mouth-watering breads pictured in the book. It also includes information about different flours to use, and a whole chapter on what to expect from gluten-free bread. I just got a copy of this in the mail, and I can’t wait to give it a try!


Green Smoothies for Every Season: A Year of Farmers Market–Fresh Super Drinks
This small hardcover book would be a great gift for someone who likes to detox after the holidays and make healthy New Year Resolutions. The book begins with an introduction to drinking green smoothies, the health benefits, and the importance of rotating the greens you eat. The variety of recipes is incredible, and is organized by the season you can find the produce. Try the Strawberry Fields or Star Fruit smoothie in the Spring or the Pomegranate Pop in the Fall. There are also recipes for the Stomach Soother, Brain Booster, Honeymoon Healer, Lemon Liver Cleanser, Heart Starter, Bone Builder, and some many more!


Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free: Allergy-Friendly Vegan Desserts: 100 Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, or Refined Sugar
This paperback cookbook is comprised entirely of sweet treats made without gluten, eggs, dairy, or refined sugar. Author Ricki Heller also shares recipes at RickiHeller.com (formerly Diet, Dessert and Dogs) and in her last cookbook called Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar.


Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes
Elana Amsterdam has created another wonderful cookbook for the gluten-free community. And this one is also grain-free, dairy-free, and perfect for a paleo diet. Like her past cookbooks, it is a smaller paperback book, but full of wonderful recipes. You’ll find a variety of recipes for Breads and Breakfast, Vegetables, Entrées, Desserts including pastries and cookies, and drinks. The Rosemary Lemon Chicken has been a winner at our house, and we’ve even modified it to make Cilantro Lime Chicken.


Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle
Author Kyra Bussanich is a pastry chef and owner of the gluten-free bakery, Kyra’s Bake Shop. She was also the first gluten-free contestant and winner of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. This hardback cookbook begins with a guide to the ingredients, and discusses possible egg and dairy substitutions in her recipes. It also reviews the different gluten-free flours, and offers some baking tips. Besides all the wonderfully sweet recipes, I appreciate how this cookbook  labels each recipe as one of three different levels of difficulty: easy, intermediate, and advanced. Most of the recipes are either easy or intermediate, so you’ll have plenty of practice time to work up to the advanced recipes. :)

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Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Here are some fun ideas for gifts to give to those who cook and live gluten-free. Great for someone new to the gluten-free diet, but also good for the seasoned gluten-free cook because I’ve included cookbooks and products that are new this year!

Calendar with Gluten-Free Recipes

Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang created this fabulous monthly calendar with gluten-free recipes for 2013. There is a wonderful recipe printed on each calendar card with beautiful full-color photos. On the back of each card is easy-to-follow directions for making the gluten-free and dairy-free recipe, along with suggestions for making it vegetarian, vegan, and paleo.

I love the small size of it (a CD case). Perfect for stockings or easy shipping! You can order it directly from Diane’s website, where you’ll also find a list of the recipes and more details about it.

Cookbooks for a Busy Gluten-Free Family


The The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carrie Forbes was just recently released. I haven’t seen the book myself, but I’ve tried many of Carrie’s recipes from GingerLemonGirl.com, and I’ve always had good results with them.  What busy family couldn’t use a good slow-cooker recipe to help them manage a week filled with a myriad of activities? You can order the cookbook directly from GingerLemonGirl, or on Amazon.


Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love–Fast! is another cookbook designed to help busy families manage a gluten-free diet. The author, Nicole Hunn, includes tips for advance meal prep, kitchen shortcuts, and make-your-own mixes to get meals on the table fast. And like her first cookbook, this one also provides inexpensive solutions for a complete gluten-free meal. But what really gets my attention is those gluten-free glazed chocolate doughnuts on the cover! Must try soon.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cookbooks

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen written by Denise Jardine provides recipes that are dairy-free, as well as gluten-free. It has a nice variety of recipes for cheese and sauces including a Creamy Macadamia and Pine Nut Cheese, a Mustard Cream Sauce, and a Spicy Peanut Sauce. A few more recipes that got my attention, but I haven’t tried yet, are Crispy Pizza Crust, Chocolate Orange Pudding and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

The Spunky Coconut Dairy-Free Ice Cream Cookbook: Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Written by Kelly Brozyna, also author of the blog The Spunky Coconut. These recipes are made with coconut milk, cashew nut milk, and/or hemp milk using a blender or an ice cream maker. What a variety of flavors: Blueberry Lavender, Roasted Banana, Spiced Apple Tea, as well as the classics Chocolate and Vanilla. Order this and other cookbooks at The Spunky Coconut Bake Shop or on Amazon.

Paleo Cookbooks

This year, I’ve been trying to include more Paleo-friendly meals into my diet. The paleo diet is free of all grains, so it is also gluten free. My husband and I both felt great after being on the diet for just a week. We aren’t ready to commit to it full-time, but I am making some small changes to our meals to make more of them paleo-friendly. You, too, may be interested in some of these cookbooks.

I purchased Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids this year. It was written and created for families with young kids. My daughter loves the story in the front of the cookbook that tells about how the author’s family transformed their health and lives by learning to “eat like a dinosaur.” It embraces the paleo diet and has lots of fun recipes to get the kids engaged in the diet, too.


Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle This author also has a blog at Balanced Bites. She is a certified nutrition consultant who writes in this book about how good food can improve your health. This is not just a cookbook. It is a guide to the paleo diet that explains it in detail, including foods to eat and foods to avoid. It gives instructions for grocery shopping, gives tips for eating out, explains how to regulate your blood sugar with food, and provides lots of great recipes.


Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: Real Food for Real Life This is a follow-up to her first cookbook Everyday Paleo and her children’s book Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship. Like so many paleo books, this book focuses on how to improve your health by making good food choices and staying active with your family. There are lots of full-color photos of the recipes. And, I love that she’s included recipes great for families with kids — slow-cooker recipes and “fruity creations and treats.”

Magazines

You didn’t know there were magazines specific to the gluten-free diet? Yep, in fact, there are several now! When buying a subscription for a friend, why not order one for yourself, too?


Simply Gluten Free Magazine is the newest of the gluten-free magazines, just being released this fall, in time for the holidays. It’s a bi-monthly publication created by the multi-talented Carol at Simply…Gluten-Free, this magazine is sure to include her delicious recipes and beautiful photographs that are always tempting. Must get a subscription to this one! You may also be interested in her cookbooks: Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts and Simply . . . Gluten-free Quick Meals.


Delight Gluten Free Magazine does a great job of keeping its readers up to date on the latest news and trends for the gluten-free lifestyle. It publishes six times a year and provides gluten-free recipes, articles and tips for living gluten free. With editors and writers that continue to be engaged in the gluten-free community, it is sure to have information relevant to anyone eating gluten free.


Living Without Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine, addresses a variety of food allergies and sensitivities, including gluten-free and dairy-free. It provides delicious new recipes in every issue, as well as articles and tips about living with food allergies. You’ll read about new studies and topics to address with your doctor.

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Scroll down for the details about the Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x10. But first, I want to tell you about an exciting new children’s book.

Explaining Celiac Disease to a child (and even adults!) can be difficult. So, when I was recently introduced to a new children’s book that explains Celiac Disease, I was anxious to read it and see how the author approached this subject with her own child. My son was so young (18 mos) when he was diagnosed, that I didn’t need to tell him a lot about it in the beginning. His knowledge about Celiac Disease has grown gradually, as he got older and was better able to understand it. It gave me time to understand it myself, and think about how to approach the subject with him. By the time my daughter was born, a few months later, we had already switched our household to being completely gluten free.

As my kids got older, we did have conversations (and still do) about Celiac Disease, gluten, and how to deal with school, friends, restaurants, and other outings dealing with food. For us, the acceptance and understanding of being gluten free was a natural process because we dealt with it as new situations were presented to us. My children don’t know any different. We don’t lament over it, we just deal with it as a natural result of our intolerance to gluten. They are not embarrassed or uncomfortable about it. And I’m happy to say that they feel confident enough to tell friends about it and to ask about the gluten content in food before eating it. So, I don’t think that part of being diagnosed has been difficult for us.

I have, however, known other families who were diagnosed when the kids were older. They had already developed favorite foods – favorite gluten foods. Before the diagnosis, they were able to eat any snacks, lunches and treats at any party, event or restaurant without having to question the ingredients. For these kids and their families, I think the transition is more difficult. The parents are often overwhelmed by the experience. They are immediately forced to face it all: explaining it to family members, teachers, friends, cafeteria, restaurants, etc. This new book may be the first step to helping families accept the diagnosis and treatment, and see it as a happy alternative to an otherwise unhealthy life.

“Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers is a children’s book that is beautifully illustrated and written as a dialogue between a mother and daughter. And to be honest, at first I was a little uneasy with the dialogue format. I read so many books to my children, that I guess I was expecting a story book. But, instead, I found this book to be a thoughtfully written suggestion of how to introduce and explain Celiac Disease to a child. Perhaps it will help you and your family members better understand Celiac Disease. It includes questions and answers about what Celiac Disease is, what gluten is, what it does to the body, and what that means for the family. As I read the book, I was drawn in by how the mother creatively explains Celiac Disease to her daughter in a language and terminology that a young child can easily understand. I was surprised by the detail that was put into describing the physical effects on the body. But, it is not a medical book. It was all explained in language that is appropriate for young children. And best of all, it is written with a very positive, loving voice that embraces the diagnosis and sees it as an opportunity to thrive.

My final thoughts? I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to explain Celiac Disease to a child 3-10 years. I think it’s probably too detailed for a younger child to understand. However, even if you have younger children, it would be a good book for parents to read. It certainly gives you ideas about how you can continue to explain the disease to them as they get older. Older children may also be interested to read it as a first step to understanding the disease. I feel like it is written for younger children, with analogies to nature and playground equipment. So, older children may not find the references to playground equipment very exciting, but they will be able to relate and easily understand the comparisons.

Buy the book. If you have children, grandchildren, or other young people who are curious about Celiac Disease, you can buy the book at Katie Chalmers’ website. Buy one for yourself, for friends, and maybe one to donate to your school’s library and the public library. It would be an easy way to introduce friends and classmates to Celiac Disease, and hopefully, help them gain a good understanding of what gluten free means. Perhaps it will even impress upon the teachers how important it is for children with Celiac Disease to remain gluten free. It isn’t just a diet of choice. For Celiacs, it is a necessary diet for a healthy life. [I do not get a commission for these sales. I simply think it is a worthy investment for increasing awareness about Celiac Disease.]

Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway x10! Not ready to buy the book? Or, maybe you like the idea of having multiple copies to give to other family members. The author of the book, Katie Chalmers, has put together a fabulous giveaway with fabulous gluten free products. Celiac Family and 9 other blogs will be hosting the same giveaway over the next two weeks. One winner will be chosen from each blog. You may enter the giveaway on each of the blogs to increase your chances of winning, but you can only win once. Several companies that make gluten-free products have donated items for the giveaways. Just take a look at all the good stuff in the giveaway.

Giveaway Goodies. Contents may vary slightly, but each winner can expect to receive the following:

  • Signed copy of “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?”
  • Schar 123 Milly PlayMais- dice game & biodegradable natural toy activity brick set
  • Schar products: Cheese Bites, Chocolate -or- Vanilla Sandwich Creme Cookies, Hazelnut Wafers
  • Pamela’s Products: Single Serve Pancake Mix, Single Serve Brownie Mix, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookie two-pack,  Tablespoon/teaspoon measuring spoon, kids sized t-shirt- color will vary
  • Nature’s Path: Peanut Butter Panda Puffs & crispy rice bars- flavors will vary, $1 off coupons
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers: one of the following: box of cookies -or- crackers -or- Sticks & Twigs
  • Snyder’s of Hanover: bag of gluten-free pretzel sticks
  • Chebe: pizza crust mix -or- all purpose bread mix
  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes: one bag of soft peppermint candy sticks
  • Stuffed teddy bear: colors may vary
  • Holiday pencils, eraser, holiday notepad & plastic snowman cereal bowl
  • Large holiday gift bag & small holiday gift bag & tissue paper- will need to be assembled to give as gift

Where to Enter. Be sure to visit each website below for another chance to win the fabulous prize pack! (But remember, you can only win once.)

Accustomed Chaos – hosted by Devan

Adventures of a GF Mom – hosted by Heidi

Be Free For Me – hosted by Kathleen

Celiac Family – enter below in the comments

Gluten Free Betsy – hosted by Betsy

Gluten Free Easily (gfe) – hosted by Shirley

Gluten Free is Life – hosted by Kim

Gluten Free Philly – hosted by Michael

Gluten Free Taste of Home – hosted by Cinde

Simply Sugar & Gluten Free –  hosted by Amy

Finally – How to Enter the Giveaway!

  1. Simply leave a comment on this post telling me about the gluten free product that helped you the most when you first started on the gluten-free diet. (It can be a food, a cookbook, book about Celiac Disease, or maybe even a friend.) Or, if you aren’t on the diet yet, just tell me which of the prizes interests you most.
  2. You can receive bonus entries for letting your friends know about the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Just be sure to come back and leave additional comments below letting us know where you mentioned it.
  3. Make sure when you’re leaving a comment, that you put your email address in the appropriate box so that I can contact you if you win.
  4. The giveaway will run from now until Dec. 15, 2010; 10 pm EST. The winner will be chosen using Random.org. The winner should respond within 24 hours after being contacted by email. If I’m unable to contact the winner, another winner will be chosen. We’d love for the winner to receive the prize before Christmas, so that you can enjoy the goodies during the holiday.
  5. Good Luck!

Additional Rules for the Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x10!

  • All 10 of these contests are open to residents of the USA. Only the Accustomed Chaos and Gluten Free Easily contests are also open to Canadian residents.
  • All 10 contests begin on Wed. Dec. 1, 2010 and will end on Wed. Dec. 15, 2010 at 10pm EST.
  • Entry requirements will vary between bloggers. Please follow their directions to enter.
  • Entrants can only win once total within all 10 giveaways. If anyone is chosen more than once as a winner, another winner will be chosen so everyone only wins once.
  • One winner per household.
  • Winners with valid entries will be selected at random. The winners will be announced and notified via email and must reply within 24 hours to claim. Otherwise, another eligible entry will be chosen, in order that all prizes will arrive before Christmas. So please remember to check your email on Dec.16th.
  • If any of the 10 prizes do not arrive before Christmas because of any unforeseen holiday mail rush problems, the USPS, Katie Chalmers and hosting bloggers will not be held accountable.
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