Thursday, May 30, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Well, we're nearing the end of Celiac Awareness Month. Truthfully, I've been very aware of my celiac this month, after my worst glutening yet last weekend. But just because May is over, don't let your awareness dwindle. I probably won't let you.

Anyway. On to three fabulous things.

1. We have two lucky winners from the giveaways I was hosting - congrats to Kari and Molly on their prizes! Your goodies will be heading to you shortly, ladies.

2. Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but Fox Barrel now has a pomegranate pear cider. In a box. That you can tap. You're welcome.

3. Related, it's playoff hockey time in Chicago, and nothing says "playoff hockey" like, um, nachos. I'll be whipping up a batch for Saturday's game, I do believe, and I'd love to hear your favorite nacho fixings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday, my gluten-free lovebugs. Hope everyone has awesome plans for the holiday weekend. My plans include a lot of getting my nerd on. And now that my grill is fixed, eating a lot of barbecue. Yum.

1. There is still time to enter my mini-giveaway from last week, and my Mrs. Glee's giveaway. Just comment on the respective posts to get entry. And make sure you leave your e-mail, so if you win I can reach you!

2. A big THANK YOU to everyone who rallied last week to get Disney to pull the episode of Jessie that promoted bullying off the air. I'm really proud of my community for putting our collective feet down and showing that we will not let that kind of nonsense fly.

3. If you are an online shopper, Amazon has some great deals on gluten-free food to celebrate Celiac Awareness Month. They have a pretty big variety, so it's a good chance to try some new goodies!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mrs. Glee's Review & Giveaway!

If it hasn't been made pretty abundantly clear around these parts, I'm a bit of a cookie monster. Okay, possible understatement. At any given point in time, you can probably find at least three varieties of GF cookie in my pantry (see also: pants not fitting). But I've been shying away from baking my own, because a) ain't nobody got time for that and b) GF baking is hard. Well, most GF baking. But sometimes, you just want a fresh-from-the-oven cookie.

In steps Mrs. Glee's. I was introduced to this fine company last month at the GFAF Expo. They had loads of yummy baked treats to sample, all gluten free and awesome full. Their secert? Navy bean flour. Don't make that face - none of their products actually taste like beans. But the flour blend they use - beans and all - has fiber, protein and antioxidants that you don't necessarily get from other mixes. And if you're going to be eating baked goods (which I am), you might as well get some bonus nutrition.

 The mix is easy to use - it calls for the traditional butter, egg & vanilla. I used real butter, but I'm sure you could sub in a non-dairy alternative if that's your thing. The recipe also calls for maple syrup - I 100% recommend the real stuff, not the flavored garbage. It's a little more expensive, but lasts longer, and it's not just syrup-colored chemicals. After you mix it all together, be patient, because you've got to stick the dough in the fridge to chill for a bit. This is the hardest part of the whole thing, because the dough smells so yummy (full disclosure: I sampled a fair amount of dough. So good. But YOU shouldn't do that. Raw eggs and all).

After the dough has chilled for a bit, you make little cookie balls, roll 'em in sugar and pop 'em on a baking sheet. Bake them until their all golden and delightful, and then let them cool before noshing. The maple was great with coffee (also, everything is great with coffee), and I'm sure they keep for about a week. Ours didn't make it that long. As you can tell by the lack of finished-product photo, they were gobbled up, post haste. My non-GF husband and co-worker thought they were really good, too. The maple is a nice addition, and these would be awesome in the fall, maybe with a little pumpkin added in ... yum.

 In addition to cookie mixes, Mrs.Glee's sells an all-purpose bean flour blend, as well as noodles. They are in a variety of stores across the country, or you can order directly from the company.

Here's where the giveaway comes in. Mrs. Glee's sent me two mixes - I whipped up the Maple Sugar Cookies for myself, and I've got a bag of Brownie Mix for a reader! You can enter by:
1. Leave me a comment with your favorite way to eat a brownie (with ice cream? warmed up?). Make sure you leave an e-mail address, so I can reach you if you win.
2. "Like" my page on Facebook, then let me know you did!
3. Follow me on Twitter - @divinemissliss.

I'll pick a winner next Friday evening.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three Things Thursday & a Mini-Giveaway

It's a gorgeous day here in Chicago, and I'm feeling springy and awesome. I hope you are as well.

1. Last night, Bruce hosted an amazing gluten-free dining event at Da Luciano's in River Grove. I'd heard legend that this was the. best. GF Italian food in the world, and it was pretty dang delicious. I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures, but look for a full review forthcoming. I think all I really need to say is this: gluten-free tiramisu.

2. The southwest suburbs got a little more GF last weekend when Gusteau's Gluten Free Shoppe opened in Lemont. I'll get to sit down with owner Patricia soon to talk about the amazingness that is GF takeout. They are open Tuesday-Saturday, and from my short visit last week, I can tell you that it's worth the trip out. Let's show them lots of support, southwest Chicago gluten-freers, I'd love to see this place succeed!

3. Mini-giveaway! I have a small celiac awareness prize pack - a few green ribbon awareness pins, some fun stickers and a couple of surprises. To enter, just leave a comment with your e-mail. I'll pick a winner next Thursday.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Gee whiz, gluten-freers, have I got a ton to share with you. Great new products, two restaurant reviews ... too bad none of them are happening today. I've just *sigh* been too busy to recap. I've been too busy for lots of things. Like laundry. And dishes. First world problems, amirite?

1. Since I'm a librarian AND a celiac, I figure I've got pretty good insight into awesome, gluten-free books. So when Gluten Is My Bitch showed up at my door yesterday, I was pretty enthusiastic. I was not wrong. I only took down about half of the book last night before giving in to the seamy mistress that is the bubble popping game, but I loved it. If you like snark, pick up April's book, and check out her blog.

2. I was hanging out over at Taste Guru last week as a guest blogger. Check out my post about gluten-free on the go here.  After you read my piece, spend some time browsing the site. Not only do they send out butt-kicking monthly boxes, they have a ton of great articles on living gluten free. And marketing guru Laura is probably the most adorable person ever.

3. J is doing her Life In & Empowering Through Photos series again this year. Check out the gratuitous nerd pics of me from my post on May 6. Yeah. There's also cupcake shots and my dog as a squirrel.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Did you know it's Celiac Awareness Month?  Well, technically, every month is celiac awareness month if you or someone you love has the disease. But in May, we pull all the stops out to flood your Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds with messages of awareness and activism. You might be getting annoyed. But we're only a few days into the month, so hold on to your hats, cowpokes, because there's a lot more awareness yet to come.

If you're feeling adventurous, here are three of my personal favorite resources to peruse:

1. University of Chicago Celiac Disease Research Center: I cannot speak highly enough about the team of researchers at U of C and all that they are doing to find a cure. They've also organized an amazing bank of questions and answers, on just about everything celiac-related you can imagine. And their celiac gift basket program is a Godsend to the newly diagnosed. So bookmark the page. I know I did.

2. The Celiac Disease Foundation: Another hotbed of awesome celiac knowledge. You can find videos, support, tips and tricks for traveling, the whole kit AND caboodle.

3. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: If there is a celiac resource out there, you can find it on the NFCA's Web site. Check out their "Bloggers" page for more awesome reads (including a cameo by yours truly.)

Celiac has a ridiculous number of possible symptoms (I think it's somewhere near/over 300!), and only a fraction of them are gastrointestinal. If you or someone you love has been struggling to find answers about illness, or if a relative has been diagnosed, please consider getting tested!