Sunday, February 25, 2007

Peanut Butter Rice Cereal Treats

I made these for Andy today - he has been begging for them. I don't make them too often as I try and keep High Fructose Corn Syrup consumption to a minimum. The recipe is listed in the archives - August 14th. If anyone has a substitute for the HFCS that would work in this recipe - please post it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Andy went to the gastro today

The visit was not at all what I had expected.

I keep hearing from other parents of kids with celiac how they do annual blood tests and I have been feeling bad that we haven't been to a gastro at all. His regular ped had referred us and I wasn't sure what to expect.

But the doctor was very nice and did not order any tests at all. He basically said that as long as Andy is doing OK on the diet - let's not mess with it. Just keep doing what we are doing. Make sure he goes to his regular ped for a weight at least once a year and just see him every 2 to 3 years unless Andy starts having problems.

If Andy gets to be a teen and starts wanting off the diet - then we can do a challenge so we know 100% since Andy was never scoped. And he wouldn't even mess with the blood test - just do a piece of bread for 2 weeks and then go straight to a scope.

He said we could do a genetic test - but that won't really tell us much. All celiacs will have the gene for celiac - but so do 60% of everyone - so only if you are one of the 40% do you know anything certain with the genetic test - and since Andy has birth relatives with celiac, he probably almost certainly has the gene.

And it really doesn't matter if we call it celiac or leaky gut or a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance. The fact is that Andy does much better on a gfcf diet so let's not mess with it.

Someone else might have been disappointed that he didn't want to run tests, but I am relieved. And having a gastro validate it all makes it more real for the school and anyone else who might challenge the validity of the diet.

Great Find at the Dollar Store Today

I found Sesmark Savory Thins Original Sesame Rice Crackers at the Big Dollar Store today - and they were 2 for a dollar! I couldn't believe it. I had just finished our last package of them and wrote them on the grocery list. I only stopped at the dollar store for bubble bath. I picked up 4 packages - probably should have gotten more at that price. They weren't broken or cracked or anything they were in great shape. I don't know if any other Big Dollar Stores have them - this was at the one on Robert Street in West Saint Paul.

Added more blogs in my links

I finally got around to updating my links again. I have added a few more blogs - I have more to add - I just can't always find where I have them written down - or I go there so much I think I have them as links until I actually look at my blog!

If you have a blog on GFCF, autism, celiac or FAS and want me to link to it and I haven't - just send me an e-mail or leave me a comment.

Happy reading!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Best Price vs. Most Convienent

I am grateful that we are able to afford to buy gluten free without having to draw from our savings or having to give anything up - but I am still a bargain shopper at heart and I hate to spend any more money than I need to.

On the other hand, I want products to be available close by. Sometimes it is a difficult choice to decide where to buy my staples.

Take my favorite pasta - Tinkyada. The Rainbow Foods store right here in my suburb carries it and I'm glad they do and I want to encourage them to carry it and more gluten free foods, but at $4.19 a package it is quite expensive. I can get it for $3.59 a package if I drive to Fresh and Natural Foods in Shoreview (14 miles one way). Or I can order it online from for as low as $2.96 if I buy 12 at a time. Even with paying shipping, the savings of buying online is quite substantial. Especially if you consider that we eat a lot of pasta - we probably go through 4 packages a month - that's 48 a year. At a difference of $1.23 each that's $59.04 a year.

Sometimes it is cheaper to buy locally. Take Panda Puffs. I can get that at Super Target right here in my suburb for $3.64. If I drive the 14 miles to Fresh and Natural, it will cost me $4.37. has them for $4.25 and Miss Roben's has them for $5.29.

It can be very confusing to know what is a better deal where. For myself, I keep an excel spreadsheet listing the items I buy and the prices at each of the stores I shop at. I then highlight in yellow where it is the cheapest. If I am placing an order online anyway, I will check my spreadsheet and see what else is cheapest there and go ahead and order some. If I'm getting low on just one item and I can buy it locally I probably will even if it's a few pennies more. I check my receipts against my spreadsheet and make sure I update the information periodically.

It's a lot of work making sure you get the best price and balancing buying locally to encourage the local grocers to carry more gfcf products - but it is something I feel I have to do. I just hate throwing money away. Just because we can afford to buy this food doesn't mean we should pay the highest price we can. And I would like to quit my job some day and that is only going to happen if we can afford to live without me working.

And don't forget to throw taste into the mix. Miss Roben's is more expensive than on a lot of the items I buy - but you can't beat their taste or their customer service. If no one in the family wants to eat it - it wasn't a bargain!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Situation Resolved!

Today was a much better day. I spoke with the principal this morning and let her know how upset I was. She called me around noon to tell me that her and the teacher had discussed the situation and were very sorry. The 'friendship mix' activity has been cancelled. A note went home today with the kids explaining that one friend couldn't eat it and that didn't make it a very good frienship mix so they won't be doing it. The teacher sent a simple e-mail in reply to mine - it simply said she was sorry. Andy told me tonight that she sat with him at lunch time and told him how very sorry she was and something about there were easy and hard ways to do things and sometimes the hard things are the best kind - but he couldn't remember what else she said - I think I can fill in the blanks. I feel better now. She did talk to the class about it being cancelled and why - and Andy did report that one little boy told him at the lockers that it was all his fault - I told Andy not to worry about it. They are going to string 100 cheerios on a necklace tomorrow - and I have Perky O's (gluten free cheerios) to send in for Andy so it all works out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm so upset at Andy's school right now!

Overall, I have been pretty pleased with Andy's school. But we keep having diet issues. Keep in mind that Andy is diagnosed with celiac and we have medical documentation for the diet.

I just don't know how to keep him safe any more. In the beginning of the school year his aide gave him a regular muffin. And then we just keep having food activity after food activity - with no advance notice.

Today I come home from work late after a very stressful day at work and Andy hands me a baggie with a very sad face. "Mama, I have to take 100 of something into school for the other kids to eat, but I don't get to eat it". I'm sure my kid has this mixed up - but I read the newsletter and it is very clear -

100th Day Friendship Mix

In celebration of the 100th day of school on Wednesday we will be mixing up a "friendship mix" for snack. With your help, this mix will consist of 100 edible pieces of something from each student in the class. Please count out 100 of something edible with your child and return it to school tomorrow if possible. We will mix it all together on Wednesday morning and share it as our morning snack. I've attached a baggie for your convenience. Feel free to use it or not. Ideas include: 100 pretzels, 100 kernels of popcorn, 100 chocolate chips, 100 gummies, 100 raisins, +++ (no peanuts please)

Well, excuse me - the peanut allergy kid gets to be safe but my kid doesn't???? My first response was to send in 100 peanuts, but I would never, ever do that to a child. There are so many 100 day activities that could be done, they do not need to pick one with food. And what kind of a friendship mix is it if one friend is left out?

I have tears rolling down my face right now as I type this - how dare they leave my child out? What good is the IEP when they constantly do food activities that my child can't do?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

GFCF Pumpkin Bread

I tried a new recipe for pumpkin bread tonight - and it turned out really good! This is now my favorite recipe for pumpkin bread. I used pumpkin that I had grown in my own garden and had frozen - so it was a little watery when thawed. So instead of 1 cup of pumpkin and 1/4 cup of water, I just did 1 1/4 cups of pumpkin.

I also doubled the recipe - it does not make two loaves.

GFCF Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 c. gf flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Mix)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, & baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, & spices. Pour into the bowl w/ dry ingredients & mix just until all are combined - don't stir too much! Stir in the nuts, if you're using them. Pour into a well-greased 9x5x3-in. loaf pan; bake 50-60 minutes until done in the middle. Remove from pan, cool on a rack.

Keep wrapped in the refrigerator.

GFCF Snickerdoodles

GFCF Snickerdoodles

½ cf margarine (I used Crystal Farms Dairy Free)
½ shortening (I used Crisco with no transfats)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ¾ gf flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF mix)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix thoroughly margarine, shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar and the eggs. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls.

Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon; roll balls in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. Immediately remove from baking sheet.

Makes 6 dozen cookies

Friday, February 02, 2007

A great newsletter

I get a weekly newsletter from gluten free dot com that is very informative - I love their question and answer section. If you don't get this newsletter, you really should sign up and request it: