Saturday, April 30, 2011


Facebook page is up! I had a few email request for one so it is done!

There seem to be two Gluten Free Gluttony groups on FB, one is private and one is for this blog. Go to the widget on the side of the blog to access the page! Click like and become a member! Once I get 200 likes, there will be an awesome giveaway! WOO HOO!

The link below, takes you to the wall!

Interview with Arnel McAtee, Creator of Arnel's Originals!

 At the AZ Gluten Free Expo, I met a lot of Vendors. As I mentioned, a few stuck out as being amazing and one did not. One of the amazing Vendors was Arnel. She was kind, bubbly and really put herself in her product. She lived the gluten free lifestyle 110% and she was excited to share this with every single person at the expo. I didn't just want to do a shout out and say, "Hey, buy her bread, it is tasty!", I wanted you to get a feel for Arnel like I did.
Michelle: I remember you telling me that it took you eight years to come up with your final recipe for your bread mix, do you remember how many recipes you came up with before you found the right one?

Arnel:I couldn't even guess how many loafs of bread we consumed over the years that were less than exciting. Since 1996, my only purpose as I baked was to feed and nourish my gluten intolerant family. Creating the business called Arnel's Originals: Good and Gluten Free was only born two years ago, after both our daughters went off to college.  If I recall, right from the git-go I was able to bake a nice and soft loaf with a great flavor using only wholesome ingredients. Later on, I worked on the integrity of the bread structure, (so it wouldn't fall apart after 4 or 5 days,) and moisture retention (so it wouldn't dry out.)

Michelle: What makes your breads and mixes stand out from the others?
Arnel:Besides using mostly organic grains and making sure the bread is also free from dairy, soy, and corn products,  the bread can be toasted and eaten for a sandwich many hours later. It's that texture, combined with a great taste and heightened nutrition, that sets my bread apart from the rest. The first ingredient in the bread is Organic Buckwheat, which is amazingly nutritious. Buckwheat is actually a seed which contains the eight essential amino acids. I would never use it, however, if the flavor weren't just divine. I know of no other gluten free bread that tastes, behaves, and nourishes the body so well.

Michelle: You were so cheerful at the Expo! How many Expo's do you average a year and what is your advice on a cheerful disposition?
Arnel:Many of my passions are rolled up in what I do for the gluten free world and my "cheerful disposition" as you call it, is just the joy I feel for what I do. I've always enjoyed cooking and creating but its being of service to others that feeds my soul. I get to do that weekly when I greet customers at the weekly Farmer's Market in Ojai, California and of course when I attend gluten free or health food conferences a few times a year. 

Michelle: You went gluten free after your daughters did, are there any gluten products that you miss sometimes? 
Arnel:I can honestly say that I don't miss anything made of gluten. I always loved eating bagels but not any more; they make me feel awful. Occasionally, I come across a food item that I recall with fond memories. When that happens, I saunter over to that food, lean down, and inhale slowly. That wonderful aroma fills me with contentment and I am good to go. Because I get a central nervous system reaction  (anxiety for one) along with digestive and arthritic discomforts, I am never tempted to eat gluten.  

Michelle: What advice would you give to someone new to the gluten free lifestyle? 
Arnel: If eating gluten wrecks havoc with your body, it won't go away, and as you age, it will become harder and harder for your body to bounce back. Sometimes gluten causes permanent damage to your intestines.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, deprived, and perhaps angry about needing to be on a gluten free diet, remember that those feelings are temporary; they will dissipate.  Here's the advice, "Don't let your feelings guide your actions,"  use your logic.  With so many choices now a days, eating gluten free is no big deal. I would say that it is a "little deal" and at best a minor inconvenience, which a small price to pay for good health. I was diagnosed at age 43 and in the last 15 years of living without gluten, I have never felt better or been happier. Take care of yourself; you're worth it!

Gluten free mixes (Bread, All Purpose Flour/Pie Crust, and Pancake/ Breading ) are available through  web site or can be obtained without shipping costs at the GF Country Store in Gilbert AZ and 20 other stores in California.Fresh bread can only be purchased at the Ojai Farmer's Market on Sunday mornings. I would like to thank Arnel for taking the time to be interviewed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How I keep cross contamination risks low.

I am always fearful of cross contamination when I eat out, I do my best to explain to servers at restaurants what I need to be safe from cross contamination. Sometimes, I even carry around a card explaining everything.
At my house, I am super-duper careful because if I get sick, I feel like it is pretty much my fault. Yeah, sure, I am the only gluten-free person in my home but I have properly educated my lovely  and supportive boyfriend on ccing the home.

As I have previously blogged, some items that would be easy to cross contaminate like: cream cheese or butter, we have two of. They are also labeled.
I also clean the kitchen several times a day. Yes, that may sound extreme but it is really helpful. I have the sink clean, the counters cleaned off and the stove clean before every meal. I clean the kitchen after every meal too. Every night, I wipe down the appliances and the cabinets. Jacob loves his gluten items and I never know where his 4 year old hands have touched! It all starts in a clean kitchen! 

Another important part of a gluten free kitchen is a gluten free toaster. Anytime I mention my gf toaster to someone non-gf they don't seem to get it. "Isn't the gluten free bread enough?", they usually ask? Well, honestly, NO. Crumbs from non-gluten free bread will get trapped in the foils and rub all over my toaster. I almost think of it as sex. My toaster, my gf toaster only has sex with gf bread, that is it's husband. If it cheats and allows non-gf bread to enter it, then it will get a "toaster transmitted disease" (lol) and gluten me. So, since I don't like sluts and my beautiful toaster is strictly gf, then I am one happy lady.

The day I got my awesome Hello Kitty Toaster, my gf beauty!

Another, tip I use is I wash my hands when I cook a ton. Just in case. Also, if I have to cook GF food and Non-GF food at the same time, I cook the GF food first. This way the gluten is less likely to come into contact with my food. I then store the GF food in a spot far away from the gluten items.

What are your tips? Please share!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My GF Easter Cupcakes!

Gluten Free
Those are super cute! We all think so at my house! I have been baking tons of non-gf food lately and I thought I deserved a gf treat, so I made these. I used Better Crocker White GF Cake Mix, home made butter cream frosting ,dyed it green, piped it and used Wilton's tip # 3 to make it look like grass. Then I placed a fun colored duck shaped Peep on top! Super easy and super cute!

What are you going to make this Easter?

Friday, April 22, 2011


Before I give praise in upcoming post to select vendors for their amazing dedication to the gluten free community (most vendors were excellent but select few deserve extra recognition) there is one that was so rude, I must call them out. A different vendor praised gluten free bloggers, called us their bread and butter and thanked me for my work as a gluten free blogger. It felt great to hear that from a vendor that gave up their Saturday to be at a busy Expo.

Anyway, the vendor that I want to discuss is:
While their food isn't bad, their customer service skills are absolutely horrible. They have been rude to me on the phone in the past and dealing with them at the Expo was no exception. I was shocked. The Expo would be the place for Gluten Free Creations to expand their base not alienate it with rude behavior and taking a lack of interest in their clientele. I have driven to Fountain Hills for one of their Eclairs, I wont do that again and I wont eat their products again. I tried to engage in conversation with the female representative there and she was cold and rude. I stood back and watched, she was rude to about 6 other people at the expo. Stupid move, they were placed right next to the better quality UDI's table. Maybe she was just bitter because UDI's bread taste better and the people at UDI's are actually capable of human interaction. I don't normally write mean things on my blog, but maybe a bad review will wake up Gluten Free Creations and they can recreate their public image because they have lost a customer in me and some of the other people at the expo that day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last Saturday was the Gluten Free Expo! I saw many familiar faces and I met many readers! It was so wonderful.
The second I walked in, I saw Traci and her husband. I love the Expo!

A warning to those of you planning to attend next year, the Expo is crazy packed with amazing Gluties! So, come hydrated and hungry! You will leave full!

This is the only photo I managed to take inside the Expo.
This is just when the Expo opened and most of the vendors were still setting up. About 20 minutes later the room was pretty full.

I will do some vendor spotlights during the upcoming weeks, so look out for that!

I also met one of my favorite GF bloggers, from Gluten Free Frenzy, Chandice. She is so sweet and awesome!

The Expo was amazing. I cannot wait to spotlight my favorite vendors and my least favorite vendor.

Last but not least, this is the best part of the Expo...
The goodies! The amazing loot! I cannot wait till next year!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jo-Sef Products Square Cookies

I tried all three varieties of Jo-Sef  Products square cookies and they were each delicious in their own way. The cinnamon tasted like Graham crackers and that was great since I love and miss those.  The chocolate ones tasted like Teddy Grahams and the vanilla ones tasted like normal vanilla cookies. I enjoyed the vanilla cookies with a cup of tea.

There is absolutely nothing negative to say about these cookies. They are delicious, gf, egg free and preservative free. I can see these being the perfect accompaniment to a tea party on a Sunday afternoon.