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Gluten Free Challenge Results

Where has the time gone? It has been almost two weeks since I last posted, thanks to a busy work schedule. I am working on something exciting for the blog right now, and that should be up soon. In the meantime, I thought I would update you how gluten free is going. I very much enjoyed learning more about living gluten free, and learning new recipes to support this is a fun challenge. That said, the gluten free lifestyle did not make a difference on my health. Additionally, it made things even more difficult when socializing than they already are for me, so I will be including some gluten in my diet.  I plan on cycling it out of my diet from time to time the way I do most protein.  I will continue to explore and develop gluten recipes, which are taking me more time to get right than those restrictions I am more familiar with. Not every recipe here will be gluten free, but then, not all my recipes are allergy free to begin with, so that is in line with what I am doing here. I told you that I am working on something special. It is gluten free! I hope to have it up in the near future, and I think many people will enjoy it!

Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article in its Health section about food allergy tests. It gives a good take on what I feel is an important and misunderstood issue. I have had doctors tell me I am allergic to much more than I am. I have had doctors tell me I am allergic to no foods. While I am not a doctor, and do not have the benefit of their education, I know that both these cannot be true. I have found that I had to educate myself, and then find doctors that were right for me. This means finding doctors who treated me as an unique person, not trying to fit me into their preconception of what a person should be. It also means finding doctors that will use tests as an aid, while not depending on them for everything. For anyone who is dealing with food allergies, I encourage you to educate yourself and make sure you understand what your doctor is doing. If you are unsure where to start, I recommend reading the article: Your Kid Truly Allergic? Tests Add to Food Confusion

According to our teacher, Chief Jessie, the main goal of the first class is for her to understand the skill level of each student. Each of the ten students there that night gave an introduction, including a skill level and why they were there. After slicing a carrot to show Chief Jessie our knife skills, we paired into teams of two to make a dish each. My team made Chicken Wing Appetizers. At the end of the night, we all sat down to enjoy everyone’s dishes.

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A Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan Yogurt that tastes good? It may be hard to believe, but there is a good option: So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt. While I can have some soy, it is put in so many dairy substitutes that I try to diversify wherever I can. It would be very easy for me to overload, and need to pull soy off my diet long term. By and large, I really enjoy Turtle Mountain’s product line-up. They are truly dairy allergy friendly. That said I am aware that they often have soy in their products. So when I say they were starting to carry soy free items as well, I was very excited. Then I tasted it.

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Sushi 101

Last week, I attended the Sushi 101 class I had signed up for in December. The first thing I learned is that sushi is all about the rice. This makes it surprisingly vertical and allergy friendly. It does not have to contain any fish in it at all. If you are after raw fish, you are interested in Sashimi. Sushi can have fruit, vegetables, fish, chocolate, or meat in it. It is the rice that makes it sushi. Presentation, however, is important. In class, I learned seven different ways to make sushi, complete with presentation tips. Since the rice is the most important piece, I have included a recipe for sushi rice at the end.

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The January Cake Club covered how to decorate cookies with royal icing. This is traditionally done on sugar cookies, but that can be overly sweet. Most of the people in the club thought the slightly less sweet taste of a shortbread cookie tastes nicer (though not all). As such, we used shortbread cookies. This post has a recipe from a guest contributor, my friend Jill, for Cream Cheese Shortbread Cookies. It also includes what I learned about decorating cookies. This, as well as most of the cake club entries, will not be very allergy friendly. That said, I think it could be made allergy friendly and might look into some allergy friendly options once I have finished my current cooking projects.

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The Food of a Younger Land

Last summer, I went to Barnes and Noble looking for a copy of a magazine, and left with the book “The Food of a Younger Land”. It is some of the notes (almost 400 pages) from a late 1930’s Federal Writers’ Project assignment that never made it into a finished book. The assignment was called “America Eats”, and looks at what people ate in different areas. The book covers true seasonal and regional eating, not because it was trendy, but because it was necessary. They ate with the seasons, and what was grown locally, because they had to. Additionally, each region had its unique customs, which had not spread or become generalized. Mexican was found near the Mexican border. Seafood was found close to the sea.

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