Blogger Review: Pam Jordan Gluten Free Food Blogger www.imaceliac.com

PamJordan

Living Gluten Free with Celiac Disease. As a working mom and a Celiac making good Gluten Free meals for my family can be hard.  I try to make easy and good meals that everyone in our house will eat.  My hope is that other families will enjoy the recipes too!

 

 

 

Pam Jordan with I’m a Celiac

Ok, hold on to your seat belts! This one is a firecracker. I am amazed to see what she does ona daily basis. Not only does her toddler keep her busy, but her twins, work, cooking, blogging… Whew! I am exhausted! But not her, she has so much energy and passion for life and for gluten free education. A girl after my own heart. I feel like I have known her a lifetime. I’ll be reviewing her quick and handy cookbook soon and can’t wait!

Name: Pam Jordan
Web address: www.ImaCeliac.com
Twitter: @ImaCeliac
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ImaCeliac
Instagram:
ImaCeliac
Where are you based out of?
North Carolina

Are you personally gluten free? Celiac? Any other Allergies?

I’m a Celiac!

What drew you to the internet and inspired you to blogging world?

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in January 2011.  I was left by my doctor with no information other than “don’t eat gluten”.  I went straight to the blog world to find out what I could actually eat.  It didn’t take long to find other people like me that were able to live Gluten Free and enjoy life and FOOD!  Once I got the hang of eating Gluten Free I wanted to share my journey and recipes with others.  We have three young kids and I work so I had to learn to make healthy, Gluten Free meals that are easy and taste good.  Now I share recipes, product reviews, restaurant reviews and travel reviews on my blog!

What is your favorite thing to blog about?

Recipes that take gluten filled junk food and make them Gluten Free!  Onion rings, potato skins, corn dogs, cake balls to name a few!

What is your “message”?

Living Gluten Free With Celiac Disease.  As a working mom and a Celiac making good Gluten Free meals for my family can be hard.  I try to make easy and good meals that everyone in our house will eat.  My hope is that other families will enjoy the recipes too!  I also do product reviews to help people navigate the many and not always tasty GF products available.  If there is a way for me to help you on your Gluten Free journey please let me know!

Do you have any cookbooks, other blogs, etc that you would like to mention?

Cookbook: Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes

What is your favorite gluten free indulgence? (Greenbean wanted to know)

Junk food – chips, cookies, dips, desserts, wine, chocolate

Would you like to contribute a recipe?

Freezer meals have been a huge help to our family and a big time saver.  Here is one post about how I do it and some recipes.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Kids in elementary school, working, blogging, going on adventures, and loving life!

Would you like to add anything else?

I heart Claudine! - I heart you too Pam!

And buy my book on Amazon!

What is something interesting about you that may or may not be related to blogging?

I’ve moved 13 times.  Air Force Brat

Thank you, Pam, for your top notch recipe development, product review, and most of all, your easy approach to gluten free living! You are a doll and I can’t wait to see you again at our next Bloggie event!

 For a complete list and write-ups for all my favorite bloggersclick here!

Blogger Review: Lauren Kossack Allergy Free Blogger www.epifamily.com

LaurenKossack

“Injecting Hope Into The World of Food Allergies & Beyond   I want to give other families hope that they to can live a normal, fun life with food allergies.  Once you accept it and learn how to manage the allergies, then you can live a fun, normal {well a new normal} life and enjoy all the foods that you thought you’d never have again {just done a bit differently}.”  

 

 

Lauren Kossack of “Our Life as an Epi-Familiy”

Although she can find amazingly cute shoes in the kids department of Target on sale for $7.99, there is nothing little about this lady! Lauren’s heart and her drive to educate others about living and cooking allergy free is huge, and contagious! I love her new YouTube channel and have earned so much about the new allergies my Greenbean has been diagnosed with and how to substitute safer options. I am grateful for her Internet and social media presence. I hope you get to know this terrific blogger, mama, and one of my very own “gfbff’s.

Name: Lauren Kossack of “Our Life as an Epi-Familiy”
Web address: www.epifamily.com                    
Twitter: @epifamily
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EpiFamily
Instagram: lolokossack
Where are you based out of? Indianapolis, Indiana

Are you personally gluten free? Celiac? Any other Allergies?

I have a gluten sensitivity so I try to stay gluten-free on a daily basis.  My boys have severe food allergies. Oldest – anaphylactic to eggs & youngest – dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut & sesame {anaphylactic to all but soy}  We also avoid fish and shellfish as we haven’t had the youngest tested for them and that’s what we were advised to do by our doctor.  So most of my cooking is free of the top 8 allergens.

What drew you to the internet and inspired you to blogging world? 

For me it was a couple things, first and foremost it was an outlet for me.  To write about our daily struggles and the challenges that we face as parents of food allergic children was a good way for me to unwind and “get it all out.”  It was my own form of self-therapy {or perhaps we should call it selfapy}!  It was also a way to keep our family up-to-date with all of our happenings and updates on the boys.

Secondly, following the anaphylactic reactions and food allergy diagnosis for both of my boys I felt helpless, scared and alone. There wasn’t anyone to hold my hand and teach me how to read labels and grocery shop.  When you are watching your child turn blue and gasp for air all because of something that they ate, you become fearful to feed them anything.  After learning everything on my own I knew that God was calling me to help other food allergy families. I didn’t want anyone to ever go through what I went through.  So if I could help just one person by sharing all of the knowledge that I came to through months of research and trials and errors then I would be grateful. No one should have to walk this path alone.  I’m here to virtually hold the hands of other moms and dads as they begin this challenging walk to keep their kids safe and alive.  Hopefully we can have some fun along the way!

What is your favorite thing to blog about?

Anything and everything food allergy related.  It’s hard to say.  As far as recipes go – I love to bake and surprise my boys with yummy treats since I can rarely find baked goods free of the top 8 allergens.  My boys love to bake with me so it’s something that we do together.  When a new recipe finally works exactly like I wanted it to, I get really excited to share that with my readers!

What is your “message”?

I like this question – I’ve never really thought about what my “message” is.  I guess that it’s twofold.  First I think my tag line really helps direct all that I want my blog to embody.  “Injecting Hope Into The World of Food Allergies & Beyond” – I want to give other families hope that they to can live a normal, fun life with food allergies.  Yes life as you know it has to change and change quite drastically. But once you accept it and learn how to manage the allergies, then you can live a fun, normal {well a new normal} life and enjoy all the foods that you thought you’d never have again {just done a bit differently}.  I think my video series says just that “Food Allergy Love with Lauren.”  Once you learn to “love” your food allergies and your life with the food allergies then you and your family will thrive!

Do you have any cookbooks, other blogs, video links, apparel sales, etc that you would like to mention?  

Cookbook in the making.  Stay tuned…  I do have a video series on YouTube about food allergies called, “Food Allergy Love with Lauren.”  Follow me!

What is your favorite gluten free indulgence? (Greenbean wanted to know)

Well for me it would have to be a salty item and a sweet item.  For the salt – I love potato chips – so any and all potato chips. For my sweet:  I will make gluten free chocolate chip cookies (actually free of top 8) and then just eat the dough!!!  Since I substitute the eggs with flax seed – there is no risk of getting sick!!!  :)   Now why didn’t I know about an egg substitute when I was pregnant?  I could have eaten all the cookie dough that I wanted!

Would you like to contribute a recipe?

It’s my most famous recipe thus far: Mint Chip Chocolate Cake.  Seriously delish!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well for starters, hopefully still in Indianapolis.  I don’t plan to move but you just never know where God takes you.  But all of our family is here an they are such a huge support system for us, especially with our boys and their allergies.  However, I don’t think that’s what you’re asking.  HA!  I guess I’d still be blogging and supporting food allergy families in any way that I can.  My boys will be elementary aged at that point and so I see myself actively involved in all that they do so I’ll probably be the proud owner of a mini van and have acquired the title “room mom,” “soccer mom,” and a variety of other “mom” names.  Perhaps a 3rd child???  We’ll see what God has in store for me and my family!

Would you like to add anything else?

hmmmm…You seriously rock and I think you should move to Indiana so we can be bff’s in person on a daily basis rather than via social media! -Awe, gee, thanks Lauren! Back atcha!

What is something interesting about you that may or may not be related to blogging?

I’m deaf in my left ear due to a blind forceps delivery that was performed when I was born.  They cut and severed the auditory processing nerve that runs along the left side of my face.  I was taught to read lips at a young age and I can watch tv shows while on mute by lip reading.  Many times I don’t know that I’m doing it until someone asks why I’m watching the TV on with no sound.

Thank you Lauren for sharing yourself with me and my readers! I know they will start following you and will not be able to get enough of you, like me!

For a complete list and write-ups for all my favorite bloggers, click here!

Blogger Review: Keeley McGuire Gluten Free Food Blogger www.keeleymcguire.com

KeelyMFood can be fun for kids with food allergies.  It’s so true. Just because our kids have food allergies or an intolerance doesn’t mean they should feel left out. By making their food fun, they can feel special and be proud of their lunches. Who cares if they can’t eat the “mystery meat” from the cafeteria, because what they have is way better!  It’s empowering for them. I know my daughter feels that way.”

Keeley McGuire with the KeeleyMcGuire Blog

Have you ever met someone and thought, I could totally hang with this chic on a daily basis. This woman not only has an incredible business sense, but an amazing personal side. You are immediately set at ease when you meet her with her soft smile, friendly approachability, and hilarious wit and charm! This is what led me to introduce you to her. I LOVE her concept of Easy Allergen Free Lunch Boxes. It has saved me many-a-morn when I stand at the counter, half awake, at my allergy girl’s empty lunch box. Keeley makes it so easy for me. I go straight to her Instagram Account and viola, my work is done!

Name:  Keeley McGuire
Web address: www.KeeleyMcGuire.com
Twitter: @keeleymcg
Facebook: /keeleymcguireblog
Instagram: @keeleymcguireblog
Pinterest: /keeleymcguire1
Based out of: Michigan

Are you personally gluten free? Celiac? Any other Allergies?

My daughter is anaphylactic to peanuts, but we avoid all tree nuts too due to CC and her being in a completely nut free class at school. She is also gluten intolerant, so eats completely gluten & wheat free.

What drew you to the internet and inspired you to blogging world?

My daughter started schooling at 1.5 years old – first in speech therapy and then receiving an Educational ASD diagnosis. We had already found out about her food allergy, so I began the process of navigating packing foods for a (at that time) VERY picky eater (due to age and sensory issues). It was my sister who prompted/ inspired me to start a blog. She was my first and only reader for some time. :) I quickly realized as more parents found my site there were other moms out there just like me struggling to pack lunches and ways to make them more appealing and fun for their kids. That’s when it really became my primary focus. Over the last two years of blogging, I have learned so much about healthy eating, food allergies, and met the most incredible people! It’s really a creative outlet for me, as well.

What is your favorite thing to blog about?

You know it’s funny, my daughter is the primary focus of our site – her allergy friendly fun lunches, which I really do love making – so when I can post a round up of healthy adult lunches, I always enjoy that too. I’m overwhelmed by the responses from parents who admit to not taking the time to make sure not only their kids are eating healthy, but they are too. It’s important we set a good example for them. Plus keeping ourselves energized and healthy keeps us at our best to be there for and take care of our family.

What is your “message”?

“Food can be fun for kids with food allergies.” That slogan, or theme if you will, came about in an interview I did with SunButter about a year and half ago. It’s so true. Just because our kids have food allergies or an intolerance doesn’t mean they should feel left out. By making their food fun, they can feel special and be proud of their lunches. Who cares if they can’t eat the “mystery meat” from the cafeteria, because what they have is way better! ;) It’s empowering for them. I know my daughter feels that way.

Do you have any cookbooks, other blogs, etc that you would like to mention?

I was honored to be a part of the Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook, EasyLunchboxes Edition as a gluten free recipe contributor. I am also a weekly gluten free & allergy friendly recipe contributor to MOMables.com.

What is your favorite gluten free indulgence? (Greenbean wanted to know)

Ooo, I honestly love spoonfuls of SunButter with a few EnjoyLife Chocolate Chips sprinkled on it. It tastes sinfully delicious! Just don’t tell my daughter I do that – I don’t want her getting ideas. lol

Would you like to contribute a recipe ?

15 Minute Prep & Bake Mini Corn Dog Muffins

Gluten, Dairy, Egg, & Nut Free (photo & recipe towards bottom of post)

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Still making lunches :) I’m sure at some point I’ll have to tone down the cutesy when she becomes a “too cool” teenager but she’ll always need safe healthy foods, and so will I for work. I would honestly love to still be writing for MOMables (Hi Laura!) and hopefully write my own book. That would be a dream!

Would you like to add anything else?

Just have fun! Seriously. It’s not work if you love what you’re doing and that’s why I enjoy our site so much and sharing ideas. Brown sack lunches get boring every day. It doesn’t have to be hard – use a cookie cutter on a sandwich. It takes no more time than cutting the crust off with a knife. Add some silicone cupcake liners and picks for color and to keep foods from touching. Boom! Easy peasy.

What is something interesting about you that may or may not be related to blogging?

Interesting fact: I’m a football junkie. I love all sports, really (everything from watching premier league soccer to cycling), but I live for NFL season. LOVE IT.

Thank you, Keeley, for making my life easy and so many children’s with allergy’s lunches enjoyable! Get to know this lady quick and follower blog, IG account, and twitter. I promise you will not regret it!

For a complete list and write-ups for all my favorite bloggers, click here!

Celiac Awareness Month

In honor of Celiac Awareness Month you will be seeing my favorite allergy friendly food bloggers featured here on the blog. I can not express how excited I am to share these lovely women with you and I hope you start following them so you allergy friendly tool box can be that much more prepared.

I have LOVED following them on social media for a while now and I was blessed to met them face to face this past April at the Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo in Chicago, IL.

Click on the picture below to have a sneak peak of you will get to meet!

  

Kelly

MelaniePittsrebeccagflaura

So keep an eye out and get to know my #gfbff ‘s (gluten free bff’s)!

GFGB Travel: Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo Chicago, IL

swag2

I had the complete honor to be a part of the Glutenfree Allergy Free Expo Media Team in Chicago this year. To say the least, I am feeling very swagalicious. I am looking forward to reviewing some of these new gluten free and allergy free products and can’t wait to share them with you. Make sure you keep an eye out for my reviews here.

Although I have attended a few gluten free expos, this was my first to be invited to attend. I had the opportunity to meet face to face and chat with some of my favorite products lines as well as meet new ones.  I have a new pizza crush with Smart Flour Foods. And Schar Vanilla Sandwhich creams and I have a secret love affair going on. My pantry standards (Udi’s, Pamela’s, Glutino, Rudis, Enjoy Life, Ian’s, and Kinnikkinnick) were there and I was tickled to talk with the cool people of these companies and get the 411 on some of the new products that they will be introducing soon to the market. I will be sure to let you guys in on these new products very soon!

The Expo was laid out very user friendly. Although all the foods were gluten free, they were not all allergen free. Upon the newly diagnosed egg and dairy allergy for both Greenbean and I, I was relieved to see that each vendor had a “info tent” on their tables that indicating what allergen foods were in each product served. Yay, no tummy aches!

Not only did I walk away with swag, new vendor contacts, and new products to review, I picked up a new term or “hashtag” that will most likely pop up now and again on my tweets and instagram feeds: #gfbff, or, glutenfreebestfriendforever. Please forgive the highschool mentality, but seriously, when you are around bloggers that write about what you blog and live what you live, you are insta bff’s in my book. To not have to endure rolling of the eyes when you mention just one more food allergy that has come up for your child or yourself, or to not have to explain that gluten is found in more places than wheat, and just talk shop, it is such a welcome breath of fresh air!

Click on the picture below to get to know these amazing food bloggers!

KeelyM  LaurenKossackPamJordan

gflauraCindyGordanEricaDermer

MelaniePittsrebecca

Aren’t they a beautiful bunch? I seriously had a great time hanging with these ladies! Next month, for Celiac Awareness Month, I will be featuring my favorite Gluten Free Allergy Free Bloggers in my first Blogger Campaign! You will learn more about who these women are, what drives them to blog, and what they have to offer to you, our community! Stay tuned!

This next month will be packed not only with my favorite bloggers, but with product review and new gluten free allergy free news! Thank you GFAF Expo for such a treasure of a time, until next year!

Don’t fret if you missed Chicago’s Expo, there are more to come:

And for all you Gluten Free Allergy Free Food Bloggers out there…There is a Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in November in Vegas! Jenny Sprague of Multiple Food Allergy Help is the brainchild behind this Conference. Her site helps families manage multiple food allergies. And as we know, most Celiacs and Gluten Intolerant people deal with more that just being gluten free.  Save the date and I just might see you there!

 

GFGB Travel: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel – Chicago

I have had the opportunity to be on the Media Blogging Team for the Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo in Chicago and stay at the beautiful Marriot Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel.

chirs_phototour77

Wow (!) is one word that came to mind as I entered this magnificent hotel today. The entrance immediately lifted my soul to a level of euphoria. After a day of travel, I suddenly felt energized and ready to jump feet first into the Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo.

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The attention to detail did not stop here. The lobby is full of modern, classy, and comfortable vignettes perfect for blogging, mingling, or coffee with my bloggie friends.

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The dining areas flow in the same style and grace as the sitting areas so seamlessly that I felt like  I was part of one big welcome party, in a quiet easy way. The lobby is easy to navigate and the dining is sophisticated and comfortable for any traveler.

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But my FAVORITE part of the entire hotel experience was my room! Not only was this space like walking into a page right out of  a top home magazine.  From the comfy heavenly beds…

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…to a “special perk” in the bathroom. (note the blue screen on the mirror).

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No detail was spared for this gluten free traveler. The check-in process was of ease and conducted by extremely competent, eager, and friendly staff.  Thank you Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel for an incredible stay and an amazing experience.

Photos by Marriot

For more reviews of my gluten free travels, click here.

Restaurant Review: D’Agostino’s Pizza and Pub: Chicago, Illinois

dagspizza-copy

I was invited to be a “plus one” to a gluten free Italian Feast at D’Agostino’s Pizza sponsored by Schar, the European market leader in gluten-free foods. My date, a fellow celiac blogger Pam Jordan who is the creator and masterpiece maker of I’m a Celiac Blog. Check her out, you will be glad you did!

Schar, the European market leader in gluten-free foods, offers gluten free products for the discerning gluten free shopper at the local grocer. They, also, recently launched the Bontà d’ Italia Partner Program, a foodservice offering that will ultimately extend the company’s gluten-free pizza to restaurants nationwide. D’Agostino’s Pizza  is the first of many restaurants to host their products.

Tonight, I had the privilege to not only meet some really talented gluten free bloggers, but to spend some time with the dietitian, Anne Lee, of Schar and visit with their gluten free chef and consultant, Denise San Flipppo.

It was amazing to connect with another gluten free/celiac dietitian. There is some sort of immediate bond that happens when we fellow celiacs come together. Her role is vital in ensuring the foods that are served are gluten free and the many logistics that come with being a registered dietitian.

Denise has been a busy lady as well. Her role as chef involves restaurant training and certification of each establishment that offers Schar’s food service line . The training involves a 20 hour certification program encompassing a full kitchen and menu audit, and training of hosts and delivery people on gluten free food handling and discussion. The kitchen gets an overhaul as well. All of the gluten free utensils are coded purple (the color for allergen safety of peanut, tree nuts, fish, egg, milk, soy, and gluten). There is a special work station just for gluten free preparation to decrease the risk of cross contamination to the allergy consumer.  Although Anne and Denise are celiacs, it is not a requirement to work with Schar. (wink)

It was so nice to go to D’Agostino’s and eat gluten free knowing all the work that has been done before I ever sat done at the table to eat. Thank you Schar and thank you D’Agostino’s for a lovely gluten free evening of fun, food, and no tummy aches!

For more gluten free eats, click here!

 


GFGB Travel: Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola, Florida

HIRHotel

After a long winter is was time for some sand in the toes!  My choice was to grab a friend and vacation in Pensacola Beach, Florida at the Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach . To say the least, I was not disappointed. The drive from the airport over the long rustic bridges to this island was such a surreal experience. I call this hotel a newbie because it was finished about 2 years ago from the unfortunate results of Hurricane Katrina. I love staying at new hotels! The customer service was far beyond my expectations, the accommodations were clean and new, and the views were perfection.

HIRPool

 

This was our view from our balcony on the 11th floor. This pool was adult and kid friendly. The lazy river, baby pool, the large play area in the pool, the nostalgic wooden bridge and 2 hot tubs gave us plenty of room to lounge, play, and veg.

HIRLunch

I enjoyed some outdoor eating at their restaurant Riptides. The bartender took my order and was delivered within 15 minutes. The menu did not indicate gluten free options, so I went safe with  Skye’s Three Reef Shrimp Salad which was fresh and safe for me to eat.

HIRBeachChairs

We were steps away from the beach as well! We rented some lounge chairs and an umbrella and assumed vacation position! The “dudes” that were in charge were your typical cool surfer dudes that muscled the umbrella for us and even gave my friend a paddle board lesson. What’s a girl to do?

HIRPeerView

Strolling on the beach was a favorite of mine. It was warm, the water was perfect, and the conversations to be had with a good friend were priceless.

HIRLobby

The lobby was always waiting for us to relax and after a long hard day of relaxing at the beach. I loved the colors, the textures and the (still) the view!

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We had dinner at Riptides inside. This is a place you can walk in with you bikini and a cover up or freshly showered and a sundress. The friendly customer service continued.

HIRRoom

Our beds were heavenly! This picture does not show our balcony, but we had one….

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…11th floor view to be exact. We would wake in the morning, have our coffee and soak up the sun, breeze, and simply let life fall off.

HIRBeach

Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach Resort was an incredible experience I will never forget. I had amazing company, spectacular accommodations, the most beautiful weather and EXCELLENT customer service. I will be back and perhaps bring the family next time!

Photos by Holiday Inn Resort.

For more reviews of my gluten free travels, click here.

 

 

GFGB Travel: USA’s Largest Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo 2013

GFAF Expo Blogger Badge

Well, its that time of year for me, EXPO Experiences! I am on my way in two weeks to USA’s largest Gluten Free Expo April 20-21, 2013. I have had my eye on this Expo for some time now and have the honor to be an official member of the Press Team of the Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo (GFAF Expo).

Did you know there are more than 15 million Americans on a gluten-free diet and most are still searching for the best products available.  The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo features over 150 vendors sampling and selling products.  The Expo also showcases personal care products, vitamins and supplements, and green household cleaning alternatives.  Both the dedicated peanut/nut-free area and special area for gluten-free kids are crowd pleasers.  Allergen savvy health care practitioners will be available to answer medical questions.  Guests can attend free lectures, connect with gluten and allergen-free restaurants, associated non-profits, and much more.

“The GFAF Expo is like a giant shopping mall for people with food allergies.  One of the biggest complaints is that many of the restricted diet products don’t taste good or that they are so expensive.  The GFAF Expo allows everyone to taste the products before they make a purchase,” says GFAF Expo Founder and CEO, Jen Cafferty.

I look forward to tasting all these products, meeting the brains behind the product, and writing up reviews so you can experience the Expo with me.  If you want to experience it yourself first hand, which I highly encourage, here are the remaining dates for 2013. I hope one of them is near you!

GFAF Dates Banner

Free admission with your Vendor Fair ticket to our classes & seminars. Learn Gluten Free 101, Cooking & Baking, Travelling and Saving Money!

  • Over 20 Classes & Seminars Available
  • Classes Included with Vendor Fair Ticket
  • Limited Seating, First-Come First-Served
  • See schedule here
You will find my reviews on the latest products here. So keep checking back, I’m sure you will find something you love and maybe even see you at the next GFAF Expo!

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Italian Easter Bread

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We all have our family traditions, when it comes to the holidays, and they notoriously  revolve around food. Easter is my most favorite holiday of the year. Not only do I get to celebrate my Savior’s Resurrection, BUT, I get to celebrate the making and EATING of my mouth watering Italian Easter Bread!

As you may know, my blood runs thick with Italian tradition. And these traditions usually lend themselves to irresistable pasta dishes, multliple cookie fare, and wonderful moist bread choices. And as an adult diagnosed celiac, I find this as a welcome challenge to tweak each recipe my grandmother and mother have passed down to me, including and not limited to this bread.

I remember as a child my senses would come alive as the first batch went into the oven. I could not wait to sink my teeth into that first piece of the warm, icing laded, cool butter smothered slice of bread. The smell of the sweet anise would fill the air and activate my taste buds to overdrive. I remember my mother’s counter being lined with loaf after loaf of this Easter Bread to hand out to family, friends, neighbors, our postman, and anyone else who was smart enough to “stop by”, and “suprisingly” leave with loaf in hand.

My Italian mother is a generous woman and I am grateful for her handing down this special tradition to me so I may share it with my family, friends, neighbors, postmen, and now you -gluten free style. Thanks mom.

I have made the Italian Easter Bread gluten free, of course, and have chosen to use substitutes for the egg and milk since my daughter is currently struggling with these sensitivities.  Feel free to add them back in at your discretion.

Happy Easter, Ya’ll.

Italian Easter Bread

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Bread
Occasion Easter
Region Italian
By author Claudine Phillips

Ingredients

  • 3 cups GFGB All Purpose Flour (or any pre-made gluten free flour mixture)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Organic Natural Sea Salt
  • 1 packet Red Star Active Drive Yeast (.25 ounce)
  • 2/3 cups Almond Milk (Can use coconut milk or cow's milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Anise Oil
  • 2 heaped tablespoons Butter at room temperature (I skipped this step to eliminate dairy)
  • 1/4 cup Natural Apple Sauce (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/4 cup Maraschino Cherries (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk (Or any milk, add as needed)

Note

*The bread is best served at room temperature. If you have leftovers, wrap well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days (but it won't last 3 days, promise).

Directions

Step 1
Sift 1 cup of the flour in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Step 2
Place the milk into a small saucepan over low heat, and warm to about 110 to 115 degrees F.
Step 3
Once the milk reaches the correct temperature, stir in the sugar, stirring constantly until dissolved. Add the yeast, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Step 4
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in the milk mixture; swirl with your hand, or standard mixer dough arm, in a circular motion to combine the flour mixture with the milk mixture.
Step 5
In a small bowl, combine the salt, applesauce (or eggs and butter) and anise oil. Add to the dough and continue mixing. Sift in remaining flour until dough begins to pull together.
Step 6
Once you have a sticky ball of dough formed, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and elastic. It will remain slightly tacky.
Step 7
Mix in maraschino cherries.
Step 8
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Place in a draft-free area and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Step 9
Place the dough into bread pans, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 10
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown on top, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Step 11
Once the bread is cooled to room temperature, whisk together the powdered sugar and the milk, adding more if necessary to reach the desired consistency (like a runny toothpaste). Pour the glaze onto the top of the bread, let it run down the sides, and decorate with colorful sprinkles. Slice, smother with butter, and enjoy all day!

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