GFCF Recipes

GFCF Recipes


Happy Holidays

Yes, I have taken some time off from blogging for the holidays. Things got kinda crazy, and quickly. I'll be back next week with some new recipes and observations. Meanwhile, enjoy this very addictive game.


Games at - Snow Line
Snow Line

Help Santa Claus collect the presents.

Play this free game now!!


Anyone remember Suzy-Q's?

Bet you thought the taste of Suzy-Q's and HoHos was lost forever on a gluten- and casein-free diet. Well, it doesn't have to be. I know, I know. I'll bet you're saying, but ... I can't use eggs, or soy or even chocolate! You don't have to. This is the allergy-friendly version -- all allergies. And, it's easy. Here's how:

1 recipe of "chocolate" cake (use either cocoa or carob powder) made in two round cake pans (split the recipe)

1 cup powdered sugar (Domino sugar is GF. Miss Robens sells corn-free powdered sugar. Or, make your own.)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder (I use Knox)
1 tbsp water

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake recipe, splitting the recipe between two cake pans. I grease them with Spectrum organic shortening. The cakes bake together in about 15 mins. Use a toothpick to be sure.

When done, let cool 5 mins. Carefully pull the sides away from the pan and ease them onto cooling racks. Let cool thoroughly.

When cool, mix the powdered sugar, xanthan gum and gelatin in a bowl and stir. Add the water. Use a hand mixer on slow speed to blend until a creamy, icing texture is reached. Don't let this sit long. Use a knife to spread the icing onto one layer of the cake. Wet the knife is necessary to help spread. Immediately place second cake layer on top and gently push down.

Now, you can serve this cake style. Or you can cut it into any shape you want. I trimmed the edges to form a squarish shape and then cut into 16 "bars."

You can play around with this now. Next time, try chocolate or carob icing by adding some of that powder into the sugar mix. Try a Twinkie type cake by making a white cake and white filling. Try getting some of this stuff into a syringe and squirting it into a cupcake. Or, make the Suzy-Q even better by doubling the icing recipe -- it'll make the center filling thicker.

Have fun.


Molasses tip

I've found that several of my entries have started with the phrase, "This is silly..." Well, this is another one of those entries. Yet, I felt I had to share.

I've been baking gingersnaps and gingerbread cookies lately and using molasses and thick cane syrup. It's kinda tough getting that stuff to pour entirely out of a measuring cup. However, I've stumbled upon a little trick that helps that situation (no laughing from the expert chef section, please). If you coat the measuring cup with oil beforehand, the molasses will slide right out.

Actually, many of these recipes called for oil anyway. So, I measure the oil first, then the molasses. No waste.


A good shampoo

I recently switched shampoos for my kids and the new product works so well that I thought I'd mention it here. I bought the Shikai brand shampoo, which really lathers well and leaves a very healthy looking and feeling hair. We do use conditioner also, which helps with brushing -- they have very fine hair. You can research the product online at


How fever might negate autism behaviors

Yesterday's news, but worth reposting anyway. I've experienced this with my kids. I thought it was pretty freaky when it happened. I remember the last time they were both fairly ill, vomiting, fever, etc. We pulled them off their supplements for the week, but instead of tanking, they were pretty well-behaved and "normal" in their speech and actions. Very odd. Now, it makes sense. Read on....
Study: Fever lessens autism symptoms
December 4, 2007

Key behavior ranging from better concentration to improved word use tends to occur when a child with autism has a fever, scientists report in an unusual investigation published yesterday.

Exactly how a fever changes the brain remains a matter of speculation. But scientists at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore have found that even though the effects are temporary, the discovery opens a new window to understanding autism.

Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, director of medical research at the institute's autism and related disorders center, said the study was inspired by anecdotal reports from parents and clinicians who found that when a child with autism developed a fever, many classic signs of the condition seem to subside. The effect, however, is fleeting.

Zimmerman and collaborator Laura Curran studied 30 children with autism between the ages of 2 and 18 during and after an episode of fever to determine if there was any truth to the rumors about behavioral changes. The team defined a fever as 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and asked parents to document their child's behavior throughout the episode.

"The patients we took measurements on all returned to baseline after a week," Zimmerman said, referring to a reversal to previous behavior.Despite the reversal, Zimmerman said the change was eye-opening because children not only spoke more and made better eye contact, some experienced better overall relationships with parents and peers.

Zimmerman, who reports the transformation in the journal Pediatrics, told Newsday the discovery provides a better understanding of the brain. The organ has tremendous plasticity, he said of its ability to adapt to stress, which in this case was a fever. He also said the new data sheds more light on why autism occurs. Fever causes a change in how the brain sends messages between cells.

During a fever, the body produces a flood of infinitesimal proteins called cytokines that may facilitate messages between brain cells. When the fever subsides, this enhanced activity diminishes as well.

"In the science of autism a lot of people are looking at the synapse as the area where the problems are," Zimmerman said. A synapse is the tiny gap between the ends of nerve fibers across which messages are fired.

Edward Carr, a professor of psychology at Stony Brook University, said that though the research is interesting, children with autism experience improvements without fevers. "His point shows there's a certain plasticity, but I don't think improvement depends on a fever.

Dr. Eric Gould, a pediatrician in Great Neck, said he believes the study was published prematurely and provides nothing useful for parents and their children. "Revealing this information at this juncture is purposeless," he said.

Gould added that "observational studies are not worth anything. They're so patently absurd on the surface. You can't compare apples to apples because each of those kids was different. It's not like each of them had strep throat."


Oh, a programming note here ... Don Imus is back on the radio at WABC, New York. That's 770 on the AM dial in the New York area. Or, listen online -- click here. I'm certainly not suggesting anyone excuse his on-air remarks that got him in so much trouble, but I will point out that he and his wife have been tremendous advocates of the autism community. Imus was talking about the ins and outs of autism issues, including vaccines and thimerosal, before it hit the mainstream media. Like I said - just pointing his return out.

GFCF Gingersnap Bites

This may be a cheesy follow to my GFCF Gingerbread People recipe, but it's been very popular at my house the last couple of days with my kids and a few of their friends. So, I thought I'd post it too.

I'll just call this Gingersnap Bites. GFCF of course. Oh, and egg-free, soy-free, rice-free, corn-free and bean-free. Whew!

Make 1 recipe for Gingerbread People dough.

Instead of rolling out, divide dough into two chunks.

Take one chunk and using floured hands, roll it out into a long log on a floured surface to about 1/2" thickness.

Now, using a floured knife, cut the log into many small bite-sized cookies.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Repeat with the 2nd chunk of dough. You should be able to fit both on one cookie sheet.

BAKE 10 minutes, not 14.


GFCF Gingerbread People

This was a hit this week in my house. I thought I'd try this cookie recipe out before Christmas arrived to see if it worked. It does, and it's versatile. With a few changes, I made this rice free too. The source is the Special Diets for Special Kids cookbook, by Lisa Lewis. This was a contribution by Karen Seroussi. I made some changes to the original recipe and I'll note those along the way.

2/3 cup brown rice flour (I used sorghum)
1/3 cup sweet rice flour (I used tapioca here)
1/3 cup tapioca starch (I also kept this 1/3 cup tapioca)
1 TBL cinnamon
1 tsp ginger (use more for a cookie with a real ginger bite)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses (I used Steens Cane Syrup)
2 TBL water

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. So, my flour mixture was 2/3 cup sorghum and 2/3 cup tapioca. Then, add the liquids.

Mix well. Add tapioca if necessary to get a dough that you can knead.

Roll the dough out on a floured board or surface, using the tapioca, to about a quarter-inch thickness. Cut out gingerbread person shapes, flouring the cutter with tapioca.

Bake at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 14 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a rack. This gave me a nice, crunchy cookie. Bake for less time to make more chewy and less crunchy.

If you want, add eyes and buttons with icing.


Meat rice easy dish

Here's a nice slap-it-together GFCF meal. Everyone in my family likes this one. And it's free of gluten, casein, soy, egg, beans.

- 1 recipe pizza sauce

- ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)

- brown rice, cooked OR pasta noodles OR kidney beans OR quinoa OR potatoes

Now, make the pizza sauce in a sauce pan. Cook the brown rice or pasta. Brown the ground meat.

When done, drain grease from the meat. Add some pizza sauce to the meat and stir in -- as much or little as you like. Add a cup or more of the rice or pasta. Stir. Sprinkle with some sea salt and/or favorite spices.



Yummy gluten-free sausage

I don't mind, every so often, promoting a product that I come across. I found a pretty good brand of sausage that not only offers gluten-free varieties, but also states that it's gluten-free ON THE FRONT of the package. And, because they did so, I bought a pack of their sausage. This is Aidells sausage. I bought the chicken-apple flavor. It is gluten-free, no MSG and made with chicken not injected with hormones. Perfect! The kids liked it but I had to explain why there were small pieces of apple in the sausage. I told them it was potato, which they would prefer over apple. Anyway, great product.

Check Aidells out at its Web site. They also have this to say about gluten: "Gluten is an ingredient in soy sauce which we use in some of our sausages. These are Thai, Lamb with Rosemary and Lemon Chicken. As for dairy products, our Pesto Sausage contains Romano cheese. Our spice blends are our trade secrets. However, if you are allergic to any particular spice, please contact us. We will happily tell you if it is in any of our products."


How cell phones and Wi-Fi might cause autism

I don't know about you, but this study makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.

Washington, DC (PressReleaseHelp) November 15, 2007 -- A groundbreaking scientific study published this week in the peer-reviewed Australasian Journal of Clinical Environmental Medicine warns that wireless communication technology may be responsible for accelerating the rise in autism among the world’s children. (J.Aust.Coll.Nutr.& Env.Med, 2007; Vol.26, No.2 pages 3 – 7; report attached.)

Autism is a disabling neuro-developmental disorder whose cause is not completely understood, but is known to involve heavy metal toxicity. American advocacy groups call autism "the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States." Twenty years ago, only 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with some form of autism; U.S. government data show the rate in 2002 to be 1 in 150; clinicians who treat the disease estimate the occurrence today to be closer to 1 in 100.

Although some of the increase in autism can be ascribed to more efficient diagnosis by the medical community
The children studied were seen by Tamara Mariea², a certified clinical nutritionist based in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in treating autism. She is the primary author of the paper, along with Dr. George Carlo¹, an expert on the dangers of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), who headed the world’s largest research program on mobile phone health hazards in the 1990s. Their work revealed the autism-wireless technology connection following a series of tests on autistic children monitored during 2005 and 2006.

The autistic children followed specific detoxification protocols in an environment that was mitigated with regard to sources of EMR including mobile phones and WiFi³. Heavy metal excretions were monitored from hair, urine and feces over periods ranging from several weeks to several months. The researchers found that with protocols administered in the mitigated environment, heavy metals were cleared from the children’s bodies in a pattern dependent on time and molecular weight. The heaviest metals, such as mercury and uranium, cleared last. In many of the children, the decrease in metals was concomitant with symptom amelioration.Tamara Mariea, said: “These findings give us very important clues to solving some of the enigmas we see in the autism literature regarding the efficacy of detoxification. And, we are extremely pleased with the results we are now seeing in these children. Our protocols are working.”

Dr. Carlo said, “These findings tie in with other studies showing adverse cell-membrane responses and disruptions of normal cell physiology. The EMR apparently causes the metals to be trapped in cells, slowing clearance and accelerating the onset of symptoms.”

The authors point out that the rise in cases of autism is paralleled by the huge growth in mobile phone and WiFi usage since the late 1990’s – with worldwide wireless usage now having reached nearly 4 billion persons.

“Although some of the increase in autism can be ascribed to more efficient diagnosis by the medical community,” Dr. Carlo said, “A rise of this magnitude must have a major environmental cause. Our data offer a reasonable mechanistic explanation for a connection between autism and wireless technology.”

Notes to Editors:1. In the 1990s, Dr George Carlo headed the $28.5 million Wireless Technology Research program, funded by the mobile phone industry and overseen by the federal government, studying health hazards from mobile phone technology. He is currently head of the non-profit Science and Public Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C. 2. Tamara Mariea is Director of Internal Balance, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2000, she has helped over 500 autistic children.

3. WiFi refers to technologies that use wireless communication to connect computers to the Internet.


Helpful flu shot brochure

It's flu season of course, which brings all sorts of concern about flu shots, thimerosal (mercury) and other disturbing vaccine ingredients that those of us in the Autism Spectrum Disorder community worry about. Anyway, here's a helpful brochure from SafeMinds -- The Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders). It tells you which flu shots to watch out for, if you're considering them.

Autism medicine research & a dose of skepticism

Nothing like a strong dose of skepticism to start the morning. Sorry folks, I'm very concerned about this. First, note the word "relieve" in the release. That, to me, means this would be like a cough medicine. If you give the medicine, your child's symptoms are relieved, but not cured. When the medicine wears off, they return. And, then, like other meds, there's other impacts. With my kids, the preservatives and dyes are problems. They cause behavior issues that are almost worse than the initial illness. Again, sorry, but I think this is the mainstream medical community seeking that "pop a pill" answer to autism rather than the complex treatments that actually make life-changing differences for many of us. Make up your own mind. You'll find the original release here.

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 26 – Children with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of five and 17 years are needed to participate in a research study looking at how a medicine called fluoxetine works to relieve the repetitive behavior and other symptoms associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The study will take place at the John Merck Child Outpatient Clinic and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Researchers are looking for both children with autism and those who have symptoms of ASD. For the purpose of this study, fluoxetine is investigational. An investigational drug is one which has not been approved for this use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction skills, as well as the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. Many children with autism also experience challenging behaviors, such as overactivity, anxiety, irritability and agitation. The targeted behaviors for this study include:

· constant rocking, spinning, twirling or pacing
· repeating words or phrases over and over
· repeating activities such as going in and out of doorways, picking up and putting down objects
· insisting objects be in a precise order; or that they do things in a particular way or particular order, et cetera
· insisting parents or caregivers perform activities in the same manner over and over again
· asking the same questions or making the same requests over and over
· issues with any other type of repetitive behavior that interferes with daily function

The study will require nine visits, and additional visits may be scheduled if clinically indicated. Participants will be compensated for their time.


Autism research at Harvard

If you missed Kent Heckenlively's piece "The Harvard Gang" at the Age of Autism site, it's worth reading. Here's a snippet, but you can read the rest by following the link. It's interesting stuff about what Harvard researchers are finding in the autism world.

By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

You can always tell a Harvard guy,” my dad would say, beginning one of the innumerable jokes he told during my youth.

“How?” my brother and I would respond, knowing we were being set up.

“Because he has to tell you he went to Harvard within the first five minutes you meet him,” came the answer.

If earlier generations of the crimson and black were known for trumpeting their credentials, I have to admit that the current crop now impresses me with their research into solving some of the mysteries of autism.

Dr. Martha Herbert of Harvard Medical School first caught my attention back in 2005 with her article, “Large Brains in Autism: The Challenge of Pervasive Abnormality.” Dr. Herbert was investigating the most replicated finding in autism neuroanatomy, namely that autistics seem to have unusually large brains. In her review of autism research, she noted that the picture which was emerging suggested inflammation as a reason for the large brains observed in autistic children.

Dr Herbert wrote, “Although there is a great deal of heterogeneity to the medical complaints that frequently accompany autism, there are common threads that may indicate common or related molecular and cellular mechanisms between body and brain. For instance, the pathophysiologies of inflammation and oxidative stress, and excitotoxicity are greatly linked, and it appears these types of mechanisms are implicated in the brain as well as some of the sensory and sleep regulation, epilepsy, immune, and gastro-intestinal complaints commonly seen in autism.”

To translate the medical-speak, inflammation is something we know from infections or injuries, oxidative stress is another expression for the signs of stress on the body from chemicals, and excitotoxicity is another word for how nerve cells responds to toxins.

Read the rest at Age of Autism.


Gluten free stuffing ... just in time for Thanksgiving

You'll find this recipe for a basic, Thanksgiving gfcf stuffing at the GFCF Recipes site at Recipe Circus. I tried this the other day. Pretty good.

Garlic, Onion and Sage Stuffing
Source of Recipe: Angela Lowry

List of Ingredients
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted GFCF margarine (I just used canola oil in a pan)
2 small onions, finely chopped (I used 1 medium onion)
2 celery stalks, diced (I used 1 stalk)
5 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 3)
6 cups GFCF bread cubes (I used 1 recipe of Noah's Bread)
1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed or ground dried sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (I skipped this and added a pinch of cayenne pepper)
2 eggs, beaten to blend (I used flax eggs)
1 cup chicken stock or canned broth (I used homemade)

Melt margarine/oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add
onions, celery and garlic and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.

Combine bread, sage, salt, oregano, thyme, pepper and other spices in large bowl. Stir in onion mixture and eggs. Add stock and mix well.

Use to stuff goose, turkey, duck or chicken, or prepare as a side dish by baking in a casserole dish covered with oiled foil. I baked 20 mins at 350.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Pumpkin spice cake

This is a great recipe to make for the kids -- or yourself -- for Thanksgiving. It's an easy gluten - casein - soy free recipe for a pumpkin bundt cake. I have to confess that I found this on the Web at a recipe site or maybe another blog, but I've forgotten which one. If this is yours, feel free to claim credit here. I've modified it slightly. It turned out great.


1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
1 tbsp carob or cocoa powder
3 flax eggs
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin (Libby's is gluten free)
1 Tbsp powdered sugar (reserved for later to sprinkle over cooled cake)


In large bowl, combine flours, Xanthan Gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and carob/cocoa. Mix. Set aside.

Place flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water - microwave 30 secs., let sit 5 mins), sugar and oil in mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add vanilla and pumpkin, mix another minute. Add mixed dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Pour batter into 10 cup capacity Bundt Pan which has been greased. I use Spectrum organic shortening. Sprinkle pan with sugar (approximately 1 tablespoon sugar). Bake in 350° oven for up to 40 minutes, checking after 30. Turn Bundt out onto serving tray and allow to cool. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Domino sugar is gluten free. Or, try a Wholesome Sweeteners product.

Forced vaccinations? What's going on in Maryland?

In case you haven't heard what's happening in Maryland, I'll repost a Christian Science Monitor Story (via CBS News) below. I don't know about you, but there's no way anyone's forcing me to give my kids vaccines. And I haven't read much about the autism families in Maryland and how they're dealing with this. So, read the article and try to imagine how much thimerosal was pumped into these kids' arms.

Maryland County Gets Tough On Vaccinations

(Christian Science Monitor) This article was written by Gail Russell Chaddock.

For the parents that converged on a courthouse in Prince George's County, Md., on Saturday morning, the choice seemed clear: Vaccinate your kids or go to jail.

In fact, there are exemptions for medical or religious reasons in the state of Maryland. But few parents standing in lines that stretched down the sidewalk outside the county courthouse said they were aware of them.

Flanked by protesters and television crews, parents said they just wanted to sort out immunizations, so their kids could go back to school - and they could avoid penalties of up to 10 days in jail and $50 a day in fines.

"I've got too many children to raise to go to jail," says Remy Durham, who cares for her nephew, Lamonte Hyter, along with seven other children.

All states require that children be immunized from some childhood diseases, but the crackdown in Prince George's County has attracted international attention.

"We've had calls and e-mail from all over the country, especially the Midwest, as well as England, Germany, and Poland," says Glenn Ivey, state's attorney in Prince George's County, in a phone interview.

A lot of the uproar over the county's new approach to this issue was fueled by misinformation, he said - especially Web sites that said "we were going to start arresting people." One critic "called me a jackbooted representative of a United Nations, international pharmaceutical conspiracy," he says.

In fact, no decision has been made yet on what steps to take next, and it was never intended to scare people, he says. He's boiled his answer to critics down to one line: "It's about getting kids back in school, not to put parents in jail," he said.

By the start of the 2007 school year, more than 2,800 children in Prince George's County were not in compliance with state mandates on immunizations. The school board asked the courts to help by setting up a date for parents to either have their children vaccinated on site or provide evidence that they were in compliance with the law.


A Thanksgiving experiment

We've never cooked a real Thanksgiving meal for our kids. Without gluten or casein or soy or rice or corn -- what was left? Well, this year, we're going to try a modified meal that, if all goes well, mirrors the adult's dinner. That way, if the kids want something that's on an adult's plate, we'll have something for them. They may never know it's different. And, who knows, maybe some of the adults will want what's on the kids plates. So, I am cooking tonight and tomorrow night. I will let you know how these work out and post -- both the successes and failures. Here's the main lineup:

- Roast chicken
- Sausage stuffing
- Mashed potatoes
- Pumpkin cake
- Carrots

And if we don't connect again until later, Happy Thanksgiving.


Pizza omelet - GFCF style

In the spirit of my last post, fried potatoes, and after realizing that likely didn't satisfy your hunger for a really good new recipe, I felt obligated to offer something much better today. Thus, the pizza omelet recipe. Nothing difficult about this one. Of course, this does have eggs, the real ones. So, anyone with the dreaded egg allergy/intolerance, will avoid this recipe (like on our home). However, like in our home, even if the children can't enjoy, the adults sometimes sneak a little something for themselves. :)

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced fine
1/4 medium onion, diced
sliced pepperoni (or, alternatively, bacon or sausage -- see below)
sea salt
4 eggs
oil - I use canola

Now, heat a little oil in a pan. I really only use enough to coat the bottom, if that. Once hot, toss in the potatoes. In 5 mins, add the onion. In another 5 mins, add the pepperoni.

When the pepperoni starts to look cooked through, crack the eggs over the potato mix. You can make these scrambled, if desired, or keep the yolks intact. Let cook through on one side, then flip with a spatula. Season with sea salt, and if desired, pepper.

Now, this is good. It looks fun too. The pepperoni circles resemble a pizza and the yolks help that look also. Plus, it tastes great.

You can buy GFCF pepperoni at your local supermarket -- I believe Hormel makes a GF brand. Also, our local Giant Eagle started selling GF pepperoni (and it's marked with a real GF symbol now -- they finally realized there's a market for this stuff -- yeah!). Or, you can buy Wellshire Farms pizza pepperoni. If not, use an alternative, like Applegate Farms sausage, or Applegate Farms bacon. All healthy stuff -- and it tastes great. Also, remember, not all traditional breakfast foods have to be just for breakfast. This can be a good dinner too, especially if you're in need of more dinner ideas.

Fried potatoes

This is another one of those recipes that's really not a recipe. So, forgive me. It's fried potatoes. We really don't fry much anymore. When the kids were first diagnosed and I didn't know how to cook very much gfcf, we ate fried potatoes a few times a week. Now, it's really just a weekend treat. Now, through the week, my oldest -- the potato lover -- eats Dutch potatoes. Much healthier. But, they eat so little that's not healthy for them that I don't mind treats like this every so often. So, I simply peel, wash and cut up 3-4 medium potatoes -- diced fine so cooking doesn't take so long. I use canola oil (Tuscan Sun), just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat on medium high. Cook until golden, tossing every so often. You may toss in some chopped onion if you wish, or even chopped bacon (or fake bacon, i.e. - cut up hot dog). You'll find preservative free bacon and hot dogs out there -- Applegate Farms is one brand, Wellshire Farms is another.


Banning hormone-free labels?

Not that we can drink milk here. But, I just thought this was stupid enough to repost and share with you. Pennsylvania decided to cave to pressures from the milk industry rather than do something productive to resolve the more pressing issue of whether the hormone injections actually are being passed along to humans in milk and beef. Whadya expect from government?

USA Today
Pa. bars hormone-free milk labels
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is stopping dairies from stamping milk containers with hormone-free labels in a precedent-setting decision being closely watched by the industry.

Synthetic hormones have been used to improve milk production in cows for more than a decade. The chemical has not been detected in milk, so there is no way to test for its use, but a growing number of retailers have been selling and promoting hormone-free products in response to consumer demand.

State Agriculture Secretary Dennis C. Wolff said advertising one brand of milk as free from artificial hormones implies that competitors' milk is not safe, and it often comes with what he said is an unjustified higher price.

"It's kind of like a nuclear arms race," Wolff said. "One dairy does it and the next tries to outdo them. It's absolutely crazy."

Agricultural regulators in New Jersey and Ohio are considering following suit, the latest battle in a long-standing dispute over whether injecting cows with bovine growth hormone affects milk.

Effective Jan. 1, dairies selling milk in Pennsylvania, the nation's fifth-largest dairy state, will be banned from advertising that their product comes from cows that have never been treated with rBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin.

The product, sold by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. under the brand name Posilac, is the country's largest-selling dairy pharmaceutical. It is also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.

It has been approved for use in the U.S. since 1994, although safety concerns have spurred an increase in rBST-free product sales. The hormone is banned in the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan, largely out of concern that it may be harmful to herd health.

Monsanto spokesman Michael Doane said the hormone-free label "implies to consumers, who may or may not be informed on these issues, that there's a health-and-safety difference between these two milks, that there's 'good' milk and 'bad' milk, and we know that's not the case."

Rick North of the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, a leading critic of the artificial growth hormone, said the Pennsylvania rules amounted to censorship.

"This is a clear example of Monsanto's influence," he said. "They're getting clobbered in the marketplace by consumers everywhere wanting rBGH-free products."

Acting on a recommendation of an advisory panel, the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department has notified 16 dairies in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts that their labels were false or misleading and had to be changed by the end of December.

"There's absolutely no way to certify whether the milk is from cattle treated or not treated" with rBST, Wolff said. "Some of the dairies that have enforced this, it's absolutely the honor system."

Rutter's Dairy Inc., a central Pennsylvania company that sells about 300,000 gallons a week, began promoting its milk as free of artificial hormones this summer. It has fired back at the state decision with full-page newspaper ads and a lobbying campaign. It is also urging customers to protest.

"We just think the consumers are more keenly aware in today's world about where their food comes from and how their food is manufactured or handled," said Rutter's President Todd Rutter.

Rutter's sells its milk at the state's minimum price, but a national spot check of prices by the American Farm Bureau last month found "rBST-free" milk typically costs about 25% more.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GFCF and egg-free Hash browns -- McDonald's style

I hate to measure my cooking successes by how close I can replicate McDonald's foods. But, there's just a few things that I can't resist. This is one.

This hash brown recipe is another example of using one recipe in several ways. And, it's egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free and casein-free. It can be corn and rice free too with a little flour switching.

- 3-4 potatoes, shredded or diced in small pieces (your preference)

- 1/2 medium onion, shredded or diced in small pieces

Make batter according to directions and let sit 5 mins. Shred potato and onion. Mix into batter. Spoon into hot pan with 1/4 inch of oil or less. Form into shapes, if desired, using greased cookie cutters - circle, etc.

Fry on both sides until golden brown.

This was a treat last weekend. I don't think we'll do this too often due to health reasons.


GF Pepperoni Bread

So, talk about easy and good. And, devious.

Yes, devious. I've made this into a morning bread for my youngest daughter. Very difficult to feed -- no egg, soy, rice, gluten, casein, etc. Anyway, making a variation of Noah's Bread, I've found something that gives her some meat, bread, fiber and other healthy things.

Here's how.

- make one Noah's Bread recipe
- add 1/2 tsp salt
- add 1 tbsp sugar
- cut up as much gf pepperoni (like Wellshire Farms, Applegate Farms or Hormel) that you want. Of course, you could use any meat, or salami, etc. Using more makes it more appealing, and filling.
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water; heat in microwave 30 secs and let sit 5 mins.)
- corn meal

So, mix the bread recipe, add the other ingredients. Spoon into about six lumps on a lightly greased baking sheet. Smooth the tops of the lumps down by wetting the back of a spatula or spoon - form the lumps into rounds. Sprinkle corn meal over the tops. Bake according to the Noah's Bread recipe.


The Rescue Post has moved

For those of you who enjoy the Rescue Post, note that it has moved and been renamed Age of Autism. Same people, it seems. You'll find it at:


Wal-Mart, autism and vaccines -- a holiday story

Thought you guys might like to read this. First, because it gets into the flu vaccine, thimerosal and mercury. Second, because this was written by Dr. David Ritchie of Boulder, Colorado. What's cool about that, you might ask? Well, he's my brother and an invaluable (free for me) resource when it comes to health issues. Enjoy the snippet. The rest of the article is on his blog, which you can find at this link.

My wife and I take both of our daughters to a chiropractic center near us that focuses on whole-body wellness. There is some research indicating that different types of chiropractic treatment (not the bone-crunching kind) helps kids with autism spectrum disorders. We believe -- without any scientific evidence -- that the treatments have helped some. I may post more on this later. There was an interesting piece on this in the last Schafer Autism Report, if you missed it.

The Flu Vaccine: Questionable at Best

By Dr. David Ritchie

It’s that time of year again… yup, it’s Flu season. You may have thought it was election season, seeing all the curbside signs to get $25 flu vaccines at Walmart, beckoning you as if they wanted your vote. Walmart, endlessly proving to the world that it is a one-stop-shop for everything; from food to patio furniture to underwear to… yup… you guessed it… vaccines. It looks like our health care system has taken the next step and is now being franchised like everything else. Does it concern you, even just a little bit, that the flu vaccine is being pushed so hard and you don’t even need to visit a doctor’s office to get it? Well, hopefully after reading this you might think twice.

Read the rest at Dr. Ritchie's blog, Innate Health. Or, if you're in the Boulder area, ask him about it yourself!


GFCF guide to hot dogs

I love hot dogs, and so do my kids. But, with the host of food issues they have, including the gluten - casein free diet and soy, finding an OK hot dog is tricky. We don't follow Feingold strictly, but we also try to avoid the dyes and preservatives. We bend the rules for hot dogs, since they don't get much of this elsewhere. However, we are in the process of switching hot dogs, to a brand that does not have the preservatives. I think it's worth the extra money. I'll be buying those in bulk to cut my cost. So, here's a look at some OK hot dogs with a few notes on each. Also note, there are turkey dogs and chicken dogs and tofu dogs out there. We can't do tofu, so you won't find that here.

1 - Best's Kosher: This is the brand we use. It is kosher. It is gluten/casein free. It is soy free. We can't find it in a local supermarket, but we can buy it through Sam's Club. You could also find it in a Jewish grocery or deli in your city. The only downside is that it contains preservatives, which we try to avoid. Otherwise, it's perfect.

2 - Hebrew National: This is the brand we used to use. It's similar to Best's Kosher in every way, except it contains soy. That's a no-no for us. If it's OK for you, it's a great hot dog, and you'll find it in your local supermarket.

3 - Applegate Farms: This is an excellent brand that is gfcf, soy free, and does not have the preservatives. It is sold organic and a non-organic package. Your choice. We buy it at a local food co-op but I imagine you'll find this at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's too.

4 - Wellshire Farms: This is the brand we're switching to. The reason is it's gfcf, soy free and preservative free. I can get this in bulk for the same price as the kosher hot dogs, which have preservatives.

5 - Shelton's: If you're looking for an alternative to beef, Shelton's is among the best, selling turkey and chicken hot dogs. My kids will eat this.

6 - Others: I've been told, and I've read, that other supermarket hot dogs are OK, such as some -- not all -- Hillshire Farms, Oscar Meyer, Ball Park, etc. This may be true. I've tried to steer away from those, not for any reason based in fact. I tried to head for hot dogs held to stricter ingredient guidelines, like the kosher dogs. Now, I'm going even farther in buying the preservative-free. Just trying to keep as much junk out of my kids bodies as possible.

Now, for buns, you're on your own -- for now. But, I've made hot dog buns using the Noah's Bread recipe. And for ketchup, Heinz is gluten free, but we buy Muir Glen brand, which is organic and does not have the high fructose corn syrup. Again, I buy bulk to cut costs. Annie's also sells a healthy ketchup. Mustard -- French's.


From cakes to cupcakes -- gfcf, of course

I like recipes that you can use in different ways. Cakes and cupcakes are an easy example. Sometimes my kids get tired of cake. I can see it on their faces. So, I'll use my "chocolate" cake recipe (carob) to make cupcakes. And they love it.

Here's my cupcakes:
- 1 "chocolate" (0r carob) cake recipe - click here for recipe
- muffin pan
- muffin liners

Simply pour the cake batter into the muffin liners, if you wish, or just into a greased muffin pan. I actually decrease the water in this recipe by 1/2 cup.


Chocolate milk -- without the chocolate

Huh - you might ask? Chocolate without chocolate. Well, this really isn't a recipe. It's just one of those things. You know, a creation, to get around a food intolerance. My kids can't have chocolate, for now. So, I turned to carob to make my chocolate cakes and cookies. And recently, I've been adding a little carob to our milk -- rice milk or DariFree. I've had great success with this.

All I did is pour a glass of your favorite milk alternative. Then, in another cup, add a Tbsp of carob powder and drops of water until it forms a smooth paste that you can spoon out. I spoon just a little into each of their cups, along with a tsp of sugar, and stir. I do the paste thing to prevent the carob powder from clumping in the milk.


Another pizza sauce recipe

Found this pizza sauce recipe on the web and tried it last week. Very tasty, especially for garlic lovers. The recipe was called "Laura's Pizza Sauce."


A 6-Ounce can tomato paste
2 Tbsps oil
½ cup water
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tspn salt
¼ Tspn pepper
½ Tspn vinegar


In medium sized bowl, add tomato paste, olive oil and water; stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir.

Let sit for a while for flavors to mingle. Heat on low. Serve.


Autism was everywhere -- we just didn't notice (HA!)

So, if the autism rate is a creation of better diagnosis, where are all the undiagnosed autistics from past decades? They must be everywhere, right? Look around your office or hometown -- how many do you see or know over age 20?

Take me, for example. I have two children with autism. A man in the next pod over has an autistic son. The supervisor two pods in the other direction has an autistic nephew. A supervisor nearby has a child with an autism spectrum disorder. My wife's best friend from her youth has an autistic son. So does one of my friends -- two children in his family. My last boss has an autistic son. Two families in my neighborhood are struggling with autism spectrum disorders. Two families in my small church are struggling with the same. There are about six children in my daughter's kindergarten class with spectrum disorders with more coming next year.

Now, how many kids did I know in high school who fit the autism profile -- maybe one, undiagnosed of course. Or, he might have just been very shy.

This is an item from the Huffington Post...

The Boys on the Bus
Posted November 5, 2007
By Kim Stagliano

My kids get door-to-door pickup service to their public schools. It's one of the "perks" of having autism. Remember the old jokes about riding the "short bus"? Not so funny anymore. On one of the two buses that stop at my house, I see three boys in the windows. Boy #1 is a good looking kid. He also has the telltale facial traits of Down syndrome. He sits tall, alert, and looks out the window at the world. When I wave to him he returns the gesture. His smile could light up a Broadway stage. He greets my daughter as she mounts the stairs. I call him "The Mayor."

Boys #2 and 3 are typical looking kids, blond, also handsome. They sit hunched over with their faces contorted, eyes squeezed shut and their fingers in their ears, blocking out the world as if in pain. If they happen to glance at me, they cringe and turn away instantly. (I haven't always had that affect on boys, in case you're wondering.) Boys #2 and 3 have autism.

You simply can't mistake their autism for anything else. It doesn't look like intellectual disabilities, DS, cerebral palsy, or any other category of disability. And yet the drums are beating in the national media (again) to tell you that there is no autism epidemic, simply better diagnosis. Or to promote this offensive explanation for the skyrocketing numbers of kids with autism: parents clamor for the diagnosis in order to get school services. Sure, blame the greedy parents! "I'll take reading, writing, 'rithmatic, a one-on-one aide, OT and Speech and a couple of those naked lady tees please."

In my household, autism is an epidemic. We're the New England Patriots of autism. 3 and "Oh!" (Our three daughters have autism.)

Along with telling us there is no epidemic of autism, a major push is on for two pediatric autism screenings by age two. That confuses the heck out of me. Doctors are already so good at diagnosis that we've gone from CDC stats of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150 in twenty five years. Is there a prize if we get to 1 in 50 kids?

I'm not sure the pediatricians are ready to take on the "two by two" challenge. They have not been trained in the neurobiological symptoms of autism. After all, autism is classified as a psychiatric/behavioral disorder, even in 2007. I asked hundreds of parents how helpful their pediatrician had been as they sought answer for their kids. Their answers were disheartening. The majority said that their pediatrician was an impediment to getting a diagnosis.

For instance, when a parent expressed concern that her child had regressed in speech and started chewing his clothing voraciously, "There's nothing wrong with him. He's just not a dummy, like most kids. He's worried about the world." To the Mother whose child couldn't sit up at 12 months, "She's a late bloomer." Another gem, "Do you see the way his eyes follow this block? That proves he doesn't have autism." To a mother whose child wasn't clapping by 12 months, "If he does have autism there's nothing you can do about it."

Here's my personal favorite. "I've never heard of a family with more than one child with autism." That's what my pediatrician told me in 1998 when I expressed concerns about my second child's lack of speech. He was in his mid-forties and affiliated with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the most respected hospitals in the nation.

I believe my old pediatrician. I'm sure he had never run across a family like mine. Because I don't think we existed. The epidemic is real. It's here. The faces of those boys on the bus tell me so.

Mashed potatoes minus the milk and butter

How can mashed potatoes still be good without milk and butter? Well, I'm not sure you could possibly duplicate the original, but this version does a good job. This is a mini-recipe. If you're feeding more than a few, you should double it.

-- 5-6 medium potatoes
-- 1/2 tbsp organic shortening (or CF margarine if you can eat it)
-- 2 cubes chicken broth (these are ice cubes -- each cube is about 2 tbsp.)
-- 1 tsp sea salt
-- Darifree or other dairy sub

Boil the potatoes. Drain, and toss back into the pot. Add the 2 cubes of chicken broth (I make my own broth and freeze it in ice cube trays. Each cube is about 2 tbsp of broth.) And, add the 1/2 tbsp of shortening - I use the Spectrum organic shortening. Use what you like. Add the salt. Start mashing to get the lumps out. Then, I 'whip' with an electric beater. I add 1 tbsp of Darifree at a time to reach my desired whipped potato appearance and texture. Plus, the Darifree adds a creamy flavor.

Of course, after all that, my kids force me to make ketchup faces on their mashed potatoes. :)


Easy pizza sauce gfcf

I found this on the web somewhere and used it. It's very simple. And it works. It's the first of two pizza sauces I'll post this week. Both are good. And, both can be used in other dishes, which I'll get into later.

- 6 oz. can tomato paste (I use Hunt's)
- 8 oz. tomato sauce (any gfcf like Muir Glen)
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- dash pepper
- dash oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil or other oil
- optional: dash cayenne pepper

Mix in a sauce pan and heat on low until blended.


Quick and easy gfcf chicken nuggets -- just like McDonalds

I found a recipe for Batter Fried Chicken Nuggets over at the GFCF Recipes Yahoo site at Recipe Circus. (So, no credit to me for the recipe) At first glance, I didn't think it could possibly work. Well, it does. There's no author listed. And, I -- of course -- played with the recipe a little bit. The best part of this recipe is that you can use any flour you like and it turns out pretty much like the nuggets you buy at McDonalds. So, if that's what you're looking for, this is the recipe.

- chicken: I cut up about 3 breasts.
- 1/3 cup gf flour (I used about 80 percent brown rice flour and 20 percent tapioca)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Heinz vinegar (or other gf brand)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup water

So, you mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Then, combine the vinegar and soda in another small bowl, quickly dumping it in the flour as it reacts. Then, quickly add the water. Whisk well. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. It thickens. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan. Mix your chicken pieces in the batter and let them sit in there while the oil heats. When hot, fry until golden brown and cooked through.

Trust me, this works. And it's quick. And it's very simple.


Translating GFCF Recipes

I'm amazed daily at how many people find my little blog each day from around the world - from Australia to Hong Kong to India to Israel to Germany, Spain and France, and nearly every state in the U.S. So, to make blogging easier for you, I've added an easy translation link to my site, located in the "GFCF Blog Guide" section near the top right corner. The scrolling message prompts international visitors to a free translation site hosted in the language they choose. Or, the link may immediately translate the page without having to plug in the blog address.

This makes it nearly as easy to read my blog in Chinese or Arabic as it is for a Pittsburgher to read it in English. I'll be expanding the service in the future.

Thanks for reading.

GFCF tortillas - great for sandwiches!

I put off trying gluten - casein free tortilla recipes. I'd never made tortillas in the past and was sort of afraid? Well, afraid may be too strong of a word. Anyway, I didn't. Until now. Let's call this the "Version I" tortilla, simply because it works for some things, but would not work for anything gooey or with sauce. It will fold, but not retain the bend. So, saucey stuff will run out. And, it doesn't keep too well. But, if you're looking for an alternative to regular breads and rolls for lunches and snacks, this would work. This version uses corn flour, but I know you could try any other flour -- brown rice and sorghum come to mind. Millet? Amaranth? Quinoa? This is very easy and quick. I had six tortillas in about 15 minutes, counting the mistakes. I had some for lunch and the following day after keeping them in the fridge. The hardest part of this recipe is the technique. Like many gfcf breads, it's sticky. The key is lots of flour. So, here it is.

- 1 1/2 cup corn flour, not corn meal
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2/3 cup luke warm water

Mix all the ingredients until you're able to scoop some up and roll a ball in your hand. It will be "loose." I taped wax paper onto my counter and coated it with corn flour. I floured my hands. I floured two spatulas. Yes, I used two. You'll see why. I put 1/2 tsp oil on a pan and heated it on high. When hot, I grabbed a golf ball size of dough, rolled it in my hand and then flattened it with my hands as much as possible. Then, I put it on the floured surfaced, flipped it so both sides were floured. Using the palm of my hand, I flattened more, keeping a circular shape, but not too much pressure. Now, using your hands to flip it will be difficult. It fell apart on me. So, I used the floured spatula to get underneath the dough and flip it. I flattened it more with my hand (I had to keep flouring my hands through all this), then I used the spatula again to get under it and plop it onto the pan. I cooked this about 1 minute on each side. A little more if you want.

Like I said, this is great as a sandwich alternative. I threw some lunch meat and mustard with lettuce in one for lunch. It's a nice change-up for my yeast-free daughter who eats buns at lunch from the Noah's Bread recipe.

I'm going to work with this a little more to get a tortilla that holds when it's bent.


Happy Halloween! -- safe gfcf candy lists

Anyone out there have a pile of candy tonight that your kids brought home from school, or a party, or trick-or-treating? Any clue as to what pieces are gluten - casein free and which are not? I just sorted through my daughter's bag of goodies from a school party. And, I used the following two lists to help guide me. If it wasn't on one of these lists, the candy went into my bag ... or, uh, the garbage.

First, check the candy list at GFCF Diet Support Group.

Next, is the list at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

Between the two, you have a heft list to review. Use your browser to search for candy names more quickly.

A simple GFCF icing for cakes, cookies and cupcakes

This is too simple to be good. But it is -- good, that is. And, very simple. Three ingredients. That's all. I'd say I developed this recipe, but I'm not sure a three ingredient recipe really can be developed. It's more of trial and error thing over time that finally worked, after many failures. See, all I wanted was an easy icing for my gfcf cakes and cookies. But, the no-dairy thing makes it difficult. And, my kids seem to not tolerate recipes heavy with the cf margarine or organic shortening. And, soy's a no-no, too. Anyway, enough of that. Here's the recipe.

-- 1 cup powdered sugar (Domino is gluten free, but has corn starch)
-- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (just a quarter teaspoon, no more)
-- 1 tablespoon water (this could be any milk sub, if you wish) plus more in 1/4 tsp increments to soften icing.

OK, now, mix the dry ingredients until blended. Add the water. Whisk well. Then spread. That's it. This will hold, retain color, etc.

So, what I haven't done, but know can be done, is to make variations of this. You can vanilla extract if you like. Or, add cocoa or carob powder to make chocolate icing. I don't know why it took so long to make this, but, you know, we have a lot going on. The simple things tend not to get done right away.


Lindsay's Bread - a new gfcf bread recipe

This is a great, moist, easy to make gluten and casein free bread (soy/rice/corn-free too). It's a variation of Tom's Bread, which many of you already are familiar with. I developed this variation for my daughter's lunches. It's moister, for one. She didn't like dry bread. And, second, I didn't want to use the bean flour, nor did I prefer the brown rice flour. So, I tried sorghum flour, which I love for my baking. This is a yeast bread. And, it has eggs. I've not tried making this without real eggs, but, I'll bet you could make this using flax egg alternatives. See my recipe for flax eggs to try it out. You'll also note that I use a flax egg in this recipe along with real eggs.

So, here's how I made it. I hope you enjoy Lindsay's Bread (she calls it Salami Bread -- it's the bread we use for her salami sandwiches).

- 1 cup sorghum flour (see Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup potato starch (potato starch is key here -- adds moisture)
- 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch/flour
- 3 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 tbs. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. creme of tartar
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 flax egg (I use golden flax seeds, ground fine -- you can do this in your coffee grinder, or buy it ground. See directions below)
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- 3 tbs. oil (I use canola oil)
- 2 1/4 tsp. yeast

Make the flax egg -- mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water. Heat in microwave for 30 secs. Let sit for at least 5 mins.

Meanwhile, mix all other dry ingredients, including yeast. Using potato starch makes a world of difference. I've tried this using corn starch, but it's just not as moist. So, if you cannot use potato, I'd suggest adding more water to the recipe or cutting back on the starches.

Then, mix all the wet ingredients, including flax egg, in another bowl.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Scrape sides to get it all mixed in.

Grease a bread loaf pan -- I use Spectrum organic shortening. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until it doubles in size -- about 40-50 mins.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 40-45 mins until toothpick comes out clean. This rises! So, if too tall, consider cutting off the top. And, next time, don't let it rise so long. Let it sit 5 mins. Then put onto wire rack to cool. It will sort off deflate slightly. It's OK.

Once cooled, slice and eat.

Oh, and I'm working on a yeast/egg-free bread for my other daughter. Stay tuned.


Halloween Candy

We don't do Halloween. It's not our favorite holiday, and never was. I'm not into the ghosts and spooky things. I tend to think it's a warped event altogether. Yet, I don't want the kids to be left out and now they're old enough to know when they're not getting candy and everyone else is.

So, this year, I bought some gfcf candy (also soy free) with a couple other treats and I'll put them in a birthday-type bag from the dollar store and send it to school for their Halloween party. They'll think it's great. To be honest, my kids don't eat much candy. We used to buy DumDums lollipops, but noticed when they had too many in a week that their behavior was warped. That's when we learned about the dangers of food coloring. So, we found Yummy Earth brand pops and College Farm candy. Good stuff. My oldest can stomach the dyes and corn syrup better than my youngest. And, it's the oldest's party I'm most concerned about. Oh, you can get chocolates out there too. Our kids just can't have it, so that's why I've skipped it. So, below, I've included some ideas of other safe candy.

- Sweet Tarts, from Wonka
- Necco Wafers
- Smarties, Ce De Candies
- DumDum lollipops
- Lifesavers (regular)
- Pez
- Starburst
- Some favorites like stickers, fancy pencils and a fancy pumpkin straw.

That'll be enough. It'll last her a long time. Like I said, we don't let her have candy very often. It's a treat.

The youngest will be happy with some DumDums, a Pez and Smarties -- with the toys, of course.

So, we'll make our kids happy on Halloween through sugar but I might just rename the holiday in our home, "Candy Day."


The flax egg substitute

This is one of those basic recipes for a cooking alternative that you don't know about unless someone tells you. For those of you who can't have eggs due to a food intolerance or allergy, you have some choices. Ener-G makes an egg replacer that has a potato base. Bob's Red Mill sells one too. You can make your own at home using flax seeds. It's much healthier, and in bread recipes, adds a nice texture. I use this is any recipe possible to give my kids more nutrition -- breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, etc.

Here's how to make it:

To make one egg sub ... one tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of liquid. Microwave for 1 minute. Let it sit for at least a minute or two. Note: with some microwaves, the heating can be done in 30 seconds.

Flax seeds are very healthy. According to, it has alpha linolenic acids, which is a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, which is what you find in fish. Its benefits include lowering cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol, LDL. It also may lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure, and also lower the risk of heart attack.

It also is an antioxidant and has fiber. New research also shows it may help fight cancer, particularly breast cancer.


The simplest gfcf cookie mix your kids will love

Jim's cookie mix

Well, this is what it sounds like. A basic cookie mix that you can use to make several variations of day-to-day cookies -- even for the toughest of diets. It is gluten and casein free. It's soy and egg free. And, the way I make it, it's also free of rice, corn, potato, chocolate and beans. Wow - what's left? Here it is:

1 cup sorghum flour (or brown rice or chickpea)
1/2 cup tapioca flour (or other starch)
1/2 cup sugar (or other sweetener)
3 tsp egg replacer powder (like Ener-G) or 1 flax "egg" or applesauce/pearsauce/etc.
2 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum)
2 tsp baking powder (corn-free, if desired)
1 tsp sea salt (optional)
Extra sugar (optional)
Canola oil (or other oil)

Mix this well. Then add, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup water. Add extra water by the tablespoon if too chunky. You want this to be smoother, but not liquidy.
Beat with blender until mixed, scraping the sides.
Using WET hands, scoop out small ball-shaped hunks of dough and place on ungreased cookie sheet or in muffin tins. The dough shape can be rough. You can smash the top down with a fork to give it the classic peanut butter cookie look. Or, you can smooth the top down by using a spoon. I sprinkle some sugar on top before baking. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. They will be very soft coming out of the oven but will firm up as they cool. When cool, top with some icing or powdered sugar.

This is the standard cookie. And, I actually don't make this version often. Most often I make one of the following versions:

-- Carob/cocoa: add 1/3 cup carob or cocoa powder to the recipe.
-- Spice: no carob. add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ginger to the dry mix. Add 1 tbsp syrup (cane, maple, honey, agave) to the 1/2 cup of water measure.
-- Date-spice: no carob. add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ginger to the dry mix. add 1/4 cup mashed dates or figs. Mash them by boiling in water for 10 minutes. Drain, keeping the water in reserve. Add 1 cup of the fruit to a blender with 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Add more or less fruit to get desired consistancy.


Noah's Bread

You may have heard of Noah's Bread. Like Tom's Bread, its among the most highly requested gfcf bread recipes. Why? Because it works and is versatile. I'll post the original recipe here, as originally posted on the GFCFRecipes Yahoo group message board by Kwan. She created this recipe for her son, Noah. Later, I'll post some of the variations I've used for things like donuts, rolls and soft pretzels. This is a good recipe to experiment with. Try different things you have in mind.

Original Noah's Bread

from Kwan
This is the original version of Noah's Bread, developed by Kwan for her son Noah when she couldn't find any bread he could eat.

1/2 cup brown rice fl. (I subbed sorghum)
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup corn or potato starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (or sub)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup CF milk (or water)
1/3 cup sparkling water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix all ingredients well, except the sparkling water. Once the batter is well mixed, add the sparkling water to make the batter rise.

Work quickly and form batter into buns, bagels, roll, etc. I use hamburger form pans and rings from the Gluten Free Pantry but you can also use aluminum foil to make form rings. I also put the batter into large ziplock bags, cut a corner, and squeeze out the appropriate shape of whatever I'm trying to make, such as bagels.

The batter should be thick and look somewhat lumpy. Don't use too much batter or form too high. The bread will puff and rise and settle back down once cooled.

Bake for 20-25 min until the crust is golden brown.
The crust will be hard out of the oven but will soften once cooled.

They freeze and thaw really well.


Tom's Rolls recipe

So, I posted the recipe for the famous Tom's Bread. It's only fitting that I follow with the recipe for Tom's Rolls, a variation of Tom Van Deman's original bread recipe. Good for rolls or burger buns. Here it is in Tom's words:

1 1/8 cup Chickpea flour also called Garbanzo bean flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup + 1 Tbs. tapioca flour
3 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. creme of tartar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cup warm water (uncomfortable to touch but not boiling)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

Turn your oven to 350 degrees. Put your bread machine on the dough cycle
and let your machine make your dough. Your problem with our non-wheat dough
is that it is very sticky. You will need to dump the dough into the middle
of a greased plastic sheet like saran wrap and squeeze out each roll on a
greased cookie sheet. Roll the greased plastic sheet around the dough into a
roll of dough leaving one end open and the other folded it over. Squeeze
out the dough using both hands to form balls of dough about the size of a
tennis tall and about 3 inches apart. Fill up each of your cookie sheets
with the tennis ball size dough. Try to squeeze them as round as possible.
Cover each sheet with a greased plastic sheet and place in a non-drafty warm
place to rise. Allow the dough to at least double in size. As soon as the
rolls are ready take off the plastic and place in the top part of the oven.
Bake for 25 to 40 minutes or until they look brown and sound hollow when you
tap lightly with a spoon. Cooking times will vary according to atmospheric
humidity. From this point I think that you will be able to finish the
baking. Hope that you enjoy the rolls. They can be used for hamburger buns


My first GFCF pizza

Note: I've improved my pizza recipe since this time. You can find my latest pizza crust recipe by clicking here.

I think trying to make a pizza my kids would eat without the use of dairy or soy kinda scared me away from the idea altogether. But, recently, I've had a few ideas of how to make pizzas my kids might like. I tried one last night. And it worked. My kids had their first slices of pizza. And they liked it.

Now, if you're looking for a miracle recipe here, you won't get it. This is very basic stuff. I'll give you the recipes -- yes, two. And, now I think I'll try some of the other ideas I've had. And, when I do, I'll be sure to post.

These pizzas are using a crust made from the Noah's Bread recipe. Since I haven't posted Noah's Bread yet, I'll include it here (and, as a reminder to myself, I'll post that recipe tomorrow so we can all find it quickly in the future).

3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg sub
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup water or cf milk
1/3 cup sparkling water

1 garlic clove
1 tsp sea salt
6 oz can tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp oil

Use any you wish.
Genoa salami
Potato chips (for chip lovers)

Heat oven to 450. Mix dry ingredients well. When oven is ready, add liquids (have to wait -- don't do this too early because you want the sparkling water activity to be active and not have fizzled out). Mix well. Spread dough on a greased pizza sheet in a circular fashion. Pinch edges to form a pizza edge. Bake for 10 minutes.

Make the sauce. Chop onion and prep other toppings.

Pull shell out after 10 mins. Spread pizza sauce and other toppings. I added chopped onion and chopped genoa salami (Boar's Head).

Bake another 10 minutes.

Note, I made half a pizza with crushed potato chips -- sorta like you would with a tuna casserole. So, I waited to add those until the last 5 mins.

My youngest daughter liked the pizza with chips and my oldest liked it without.

It all tasted like pizza -- just without the cheese.

Stay tuned for more pizza updates.


Autism rates in public schools

An eye-opening piece from Rescue Post yesterday on the rate of autism. This is a repost from the Rescue Post item.

October 18, 2007
Why the Department of Education Can’t Count
By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
When journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were pursuing the Watergate scandal which eventually brought down President Nixon they were advised to “follow the money.” Or as my friend the Stanford economist says, “The truth is usually revealed when you find where people spend their money.”
I was considering these ideas when I came across some data from the U. S. Department of Education about the number of autistic children in public schools. The question of whether there’s actually an epidemic of autism is a controversial topic for many medical and educational professionals.
One of the more persistent critics of using data from the U. S. Department of Education has been Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, a professor at the University of Madison-Wisconsin and President of the American Psychological Society. In an interview with Dr. Laurie Barclay and published in 2005 Dr. Gernsbacher laid out three reasons why the numbers from the Department of Education are not to be trusted.
First, the data is a count of only the children served, not all the children who meet the diagnostic criteria. Second, the criteria under which children will receive services may vary from state to state and across time. Third, the child count data for autism only began to be collected after the 1991-1992 school year.
I thought of my own initiation into the autism controversy when my daughter was three-years-old and in addition to having her seizure disorder and not developing normally was diagnosed with autism. At the time the therapy of choice was Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and it came with a hefty price tag, roughly two thousand a week. Adding to that were the other professions of speech, physical, and occupational therapy playing their role, and her price-tag for our school district was about a hundred and fifty thousand a year.
When we moved to a new school district and we tried a different therapeutic approach we were able to significantly cut the cost, but were still asking the school district to shell out a good seventy-five thousand a year.
Like you and me, the school districts are not interested in paying out that kind of money. I find it difficult to believe school districts could be railroaded into spending the sums of money required by our children if there wasn’t an overwhelming need.
George Orwell once wrote, “Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.” Before we decide to dismiss the Department of Education numbers, let’s see what they actually are, starting with the three largest states, the three smallest states, then the country as a whole from the time the records began to be collected, in comparison to the present day.
In California in 1992-1993 there were 1,605 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. In 2006-2007 there were 31,077.
In New York in 1992-1993 there were 1,648 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. In 2006-2007 there were 13,951.
In Texas in 1992-1993 there were 1,444 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. In 2006-2007 there were 16,801.
In Wyoming, the smallest state by population, in 1992-1993 there were 15 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. In 2006-2007 there were 279.
In Alaska in 1992-1993 there were 8 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. In 2006-2007 there were 454.
In Vermont in 1992-1993 there were 6 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. In 2006-2007 there were 328.
In the United States in 1992-1993 there were 12,222 autistic children between the ages of 6-21 as counted by the U. S. Department of Education. (That’s about the current size of the small town in California in which I grew up.) In 2006-2007 there were 224,415. (Curiously, that’s a little more than the population of Madison, Wisconsin where Dr. Gernsbacher teaches as a professor at the University.)
When Vaccine Autoimmune Project/ founder Ray Gallup looked at these numbers with Dr. Edward Yazbak, they concluded that the most current autism prevalence among our children is not 1 in 150, but closer to 1 in 67.
Let’s look at this in terms of dollars and cents. I know at seventy-five thousand dollars a year, my daughter is a big-ticket item. Let’s cut that to an average of twenty-five thousand per autistic child per year and play around with the numbers, shall we?
In 1992-1992 if we used those numbers we would come up with a cost to our education system of a little over three hundred million, adjusted for today’s dollars. In 2006-2007 that number would be more than five and a half billion dollars.
The truth is found when you discover where people spend their money. If our public schools are wasting more than five billion dollars a year when they don’t have to, why are we letting them educate our children?
I’ll bet the Department of Education believes their numbers. They listen to teachers and principals on the front lines, not psychologists and professors in ivory towers.Kent Heckenlively has worked as an attorney, television producer, and is now a beloved science teacher.

To vaccinate or lie -- an autism dilemma

I signed one -- but in PA, the exemption is just not for religious reasons. Here's a snippet from PA code (note the part in bold):

"Religious exemption. Children need not be immunized if the parent, guardian or emancipated child objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief."

And here's the Associated Press story as printed in the Boston Herald...

Parents take a shot at lying on vaccine forms
By Associated Press Thursday, October 18, 2007
Records show that a small but growing number of parents are claiming religious exemptions to avoid vaccinating their children, when the real reason is skepticism over their effectiveness or concern the shots may cause other illnesses.
Some say they are forced to lie because of the way the laws are written. Massachusetts and 27 other states allow parents to opt out for medical or religious reasons only.
Sabrina Rahim is not religious, but signed the form. She fears that earlier vaccinations may be to blame for her son’s autism.
State records and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show rising rates of religious exemptions.
Dr. Paul Offit, head of infectious diseases at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, and a harsh critic of skipping vaccines, said doing so is “irrational.”
The number of exemptions is just a few thousand of 3.7 million children entering kindergarten.
In Massachusetts, the number has more than doubled, from 0.24 percent, or 210, in 1996 to 0.60 percent, or 474, in 2006.
Officials say refusing vaccines carries a risk of disease outbreaks.
“You’re not just making a choice for yourself, you’re making a choice for the person sitting next to you,” said the CDC’s Dr. Lance Rodewald.
Rachel Magni, 35, a mom in Newton, is afraid of vaccines for her children. She got a religious exemption for her daughter, 4, and son, 1. “I felt that the risk of the vaccine was worse than the risk of the actual disease,” she said.
Dr. Janet Levitan, a Brookline pediatrician, tells worried patients to pursue the exemption. “I tell them, ‘If you don’t want to vaccinate for philosophical reasons and the state doesn’t allow that, say it’s for religious reasons,’ ” she said.

A gluten-free label -- but not mandatory

Maybe you've heard recently that the Food and Drug Administration is proposing the creation of a specific definition for "gluten-free" foods -- you know, putting a real meaning to the "gluten-free" label you find on that box of cereal, hot dog package or ketchup. This definitely is a step in the right direction as we gluten-free citizens well-know that most products have no label indicating the presence of gluten. That's because it's not considered a main allergen that should be disclosed, like soy and wheat. I hope that's the next step. So, for now, when this actually goes into practice, it will be a VOLUNTARY system. That means, companies don't have to label something gluten-free, but if they do, they must adhere to the rules. Also, unless I'm wrong, there's a little quirk in the proposal as products made from oats may be labeled gluten-free. That's because the oats themselves are gluten-free, but in most instances, are not kept apart from gluten grains and from the transfer, become a source of gluten. So, reading ingredient labels would continue to be a requirement. If you want to read more on the FDA's proposal, you'll find it here.


Gluten Syndrome? Uh-oh

The Press (New Zealand)
Thursday, 27 September 2007

The effects of gluten on health
Gluten sensitivity is not restricted to those with coeliac disease, says a food-allergy expert. If you're constantly tired, stressed and anxious or have problematic eczema or headaches on a regular basis, you might be one of the thousands who have what Dr Rodney Ford has coined Gluten Syndrome.

According to Ford, a Christchurch-based paediatrician who is a world-renowned expert in food allergies, people who are sensitive to gluten do not necessarily suffer from coeliac disease, which affects the small intestine, as is the common belief among most experts.

Ford says that up to one-third of all cases of chronic illness and fatigue could be caused through gluten sensitivity, and up to one in 10 people may be suffering from Gluten Syndrome.

"Gluten causes tiredness, anxiety and stress. The medical world accepts it can damage the gut, but it can also damage the brain, skin and nerves. Until now, many of these illnesses have been blamed on everything from stress at home to other medical conditions, including depression," he says.

You can read the rest at The Press Web site.

What's in a vaccine -- formaldehyde, MSG and mouse serum?

With all this talk about the hidden dangers of vaccines, especially with relation to mercury and autism, I found a recent blog entry at Rescue Post very enlightening. It showed what the ingredients -- approved by the CDC -- are in each vaccine. And, it included a link directly to the CDC's Website that shows this. Here's the direct link to the PDF file - click here. Or, here's the link to the page of files with all types of information about vaccines - click here. Another interesting file on that page is the Thimerosal content of vaccines -- click here. The ingredient list is disturbing and includes MSG, lactose (for those allergic to dairy, mouse serum formadehyde, red dye, thimerosal, yeast, calf skin, mouse brain, soy and human fetal tissue. Don't believe me -- look through the documents. (Oh, the human fetal tissue is "human diploid tissue.")


Autism cluster found in New Jersey school

For our autism education today, this is an interesting article from The Record in New Jersey about a cluster of autism cases found in one school. The article reports the study found of 24 school staffers, 57 percent of their children were diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders and 24 percent were diagnosed with autism. Read more.

The Record
Autism study hints at school cluster
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A research study has found a possible autism cluster among children of teachers who worked at a Northvale school.

"While we cannot yet determine the cause of these findings, we can say for certain today that the prevalence of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders ... is statistically significantly higher," said study leader Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen.

The study's task force will now look at environmental factors at St. Anthony's that could have caused rates of autism and other learning disorders to be higher than state or national levels.

"Whether the building is contributing is speculation," said Rosen, also the medical adviser for the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center, which initiated the study.

The findings released Tuesday were based on interviews with 24 school staff members who came forward after 500 letters were mailed to present and past employees. Rosen said he doesn't know the total number of teachers with children who have worked at the school during the past 10 years but that he wants to interview all of them.

Read the rest at The Record.

Tom's Bread - a gfcf bread

I hadn't posted this individually on my blog yet and thought it was time I did. If you're looking for an easy and reliable gluten - casein free bread, this is a good one. Tom shared this with the GFCFRecipes Yahoo message group and it is widely requested. People just call this Tom's Bread. It can be made in the bread machine or oven. I've subbed potato starch for the corn starch. And, I've even used a mock yeast recipe instead of real yeast. I also use regular cane sugar instead of the brown sugar. Very good gfcf bread. I'll post it below just as Tom wrote it:

CELIAC LIGHT BREAD by Tom Van Deman August 20, 2003

1 1/8 cup Chickpea flour also called Garbanzo bean flour (Jim's note: I've switched to sorghum here -- same amount -- as my youngest can't deal with the bean flour yet)
1 cup cornstarch (I use Cream corn starch)
1 cup + 1 Tbs. tapioca flour
3 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar (Make sure that there are no lumps)
1/4 tsp. creme of tartar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cup warm water (uncomfortable to touch but not boiling)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil (I use peanut oil or canola oil)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

Bread Machine Method

WARNING: Adding more liquids or flours or reducing same could cause the bread to not cook thoroughly on the inside or to be too heavy. Also I am at almost 6000 feet altitude in Denver area which might cause your bread to be slightly different than mine. First try it as is and then experiment if necessary.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl except for the yeast. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly with wire whisk. Mix together the lightly beaten eggs, warm water, and oil in a separate bowl and thoroughly mix with wire whisk. Pour the liquid ingredients into your bread machine bowl (I use my Zoj). Immediately spoon in your dry mixed ingredients on top of the wet ingredients to make a mound in the center but covering all of the wet ingredients. With a spoon or spatula make a small depression in top of your dry ingredients (must be dry for the yeast) and immediately spoon in your yeast. Place your bread machine pan in the machine correctly and turn the machine to regular wheat bread cycle and turn on machine. (This dough will need two kneadings in order to get its content to proper consistency.)

Do not add any more liquids or flour. The dough will form a sticky ball. With a spatula scrape down the sides of machine bowl to make sure all of the dry ingredients get into the dough ball. On the rise cycle use your spatula that is wet to smooth the top of the loaf, if desired. Bake the bread using the medium crust setting. When finished turn the loaf out onto your wire rack and allow bread to cool or you can slice it while hot (Do not squeeze the loaf too tightly while holding it to slice while hot.) Slice the bread thin with a serrated bread knife or electric knife and enjoy.

Oven Method

Turn your oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl or your mixer bowl including the yeast. Mix thoroughly on medium or low setting. Mix together the lightly beaten eggs, warm water, and oil in a separate bowl and whip with wire whisk until all ingredients are mixed. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with your mixer on medium speed (Use paddle or dough hook). When sticky ball forms scrape sides to get all of the flours and ingredients mixed together and continue to mix for about 1 minute more. Scrape into a 9 x 5-inch lightly greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, set in non drafty warm place and let rise until at least double size (approximately 45 to 60 minutes). Remove plastic wrap and pace pan in preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a spoon. Turn the loaf out onto your wire rack and allow loaf to cool or you can slice it while hot (Do not squeeze the loaf too tightly while holding it to slice when hot.)