Gluten-Free Foods Fair Saturday, March 20 @ Hiller’s Market in Plymouth

I am continually impressed with the awareness that Hiller’s has of gluten-free issues/needs.

Click here for full details: Hiller’s Market is hosting another gluten-free foods fair!

Where: Hiller’s Market in Plymouth (15455 Haggerty Road)

When: Saturday, March 20th 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I recently attended a gluten-free fair at their Commerce Township location and I was delighted to discover new brands and items I hadn’t tried before. This Saturday (March 20th, 2010) they will have vendors with samples to try (yummy cupcakes and pizza last time… soooooooo good). Hope to see you all there!

If your interested in learning more about their gluten-free offerings check out the Hiller’s Gluten-Free Newsletter

**Author’s note: I am in no way connected with Hiller’s, just a satisfied gluten-free customer.**

Betty Crocker Baking Disaster

I am admittedly not the best baker, but when I purchased the Gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix from Betty Crocker I wasn’t expecting to rely as much on my culinary skills as on premixed simplicity. As you might have guessed, things didn’t pan out as I expected.

The mix was easy to put together, (just add egg, butter and vanilla extract) and the cookies smelled wonderful and were a quick bake. The problem came when it was time to remove the cookies from the baking pan. Even though they weren’t entirely stuck to the sheet, they simply crumbled into an unrecognizable heap at my every attempt to move, shift or lift them. The cookies that made it off the sheet semi whole disintegrated to crumbs when lifted for eating. It was a disappointment.

I tasted bit of the cookie crumble pile and it was pretty good, so I think Betty’s on the right track. I would definitely be willing to try others of their gluten-free line (click for here for more info). I am particularly interested in the Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

If you have tried any of the Betty Crocker Gluten-free line we would love to hear about it, your successes and/or failed attempts.

Here is a list of delicious and less disastrous gluten-free cookie mixes I have tried:

Which is your favorite? Have you tried one that isn’t here?

Virtually Gluten-Free

We’re not talking about gluten free food labels about being almost gluten free.

We’re talking about literal Virtual Worlds. Specifically Second Life (

Recently, Gluten-Free A2 has learned about the use of virtual worlds for health education. By creating virtual spaces were your virtual self (avatar) can meet with others and receive counseling or information.

The whole thing is largely unregulated in terms of the kinds of information presented, but there are some genuinely “islands” or isolated worlds created by legitimate organization. For example, there is a state Safety Commission that’s developed a Second Life island where your avatar can run around and learn about various safety hazards, like not wearing your seat belt or the dangers of carbon monoxide.

We’re pretty sure you can’t create an avatar (virtual self) that’s gluten insensitive, so when presented with this format, Gluten-Free A2 wondered out it’s relevancy to our health concerns.

Would any of you be interested in using a virtual world to learn about a health issue? We know a lot of people use the internet to anonymously search for health information. AKA investigate what that strange dog-shaped bruise on your leg might be. Okay, that was a little bit random, but you get the idea.

At GFA2, we’re all about using as much social technology as possible to get out GF information and support. We may even have overdone it when you consider that we have a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, YouTube, and various widgets all working for us. Yeah, that’s a lot.

But, this whole concept of a virtual world has got the gears turning in our heads. Having already made avatars and played around in Second Life, we’ve got some ideas but we’d love to hear yours!

Would you consider using a virtual world for counseling and receiving health education?

Would you take a gluten-free cooking class that took place at a regular time in Second Life? How else could you use a virtual world to address the needs of the GF community?

Dabble in a virtual world and let us know your thoughts!

Super Simple, Gluten-Free, Vegan Banana Pancakes

banana pancakes


1 c. Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 banana, mashed (you can use up those almost too ripe bananas you stick in the freezer for banana bread that you don’t have time to make)
1 1/4 cups soy milk (or regular milk, but then it’s not vegan)
1-2 tbsp sugar

1. In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.

2. In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork and add 1/4 cup of the milk, mixing together until there are no lumps.

3. Add the banana, sugarr, and remaining soy milk to the dry mix and stir together until JUST mixed.  The batter can be lumpy. If you over-mix, you will end up with really dense, gross pancakes instead of light, fluffy ones.

4. Pour about 3/4 to 1 cup of batter (I like smaller pancakes so I use a 1/4 cup of batter) onto a hot non-stick pan, a lightly oiled frying pan, or a 350F griddle and cover with a lid.

5. Let sit on medium heat until the center starts to bubble and the surface is no longer shiny/liquid-y (about 1-2 minutes).

6.  Flip pancakes over and cook other side until golden brown (about a minute).

7. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

8. Top with fresh fruit and/or maple syrup.

Makes about 12, 1/4 cup pancakes (enough for ~3 people)

Wedding Planning and Diet Diversity

I’m getting married in August of 2010, so wedding details have been on my mind a lot lately. As a vegetarian I worry about showing up to a wedding reception and there being no vegetarian option. Lucky for me I can try to fill up on house salad, rolls, and cake in such a situation. I can only imagine how difficult a wedding reception is as someone with gluten intolerance, or other food allergies.

Out of curiosity I started searching the internet for ways to throw a wedding while being sensitive to the dietary needs/preferences of others. Weddings are expensive, so most people don’t want to call the bride and groom and ask for an accommodation. I plan to include a line in my invitation that reads something like “if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions please let us know about them below.” Obviously you can’t alter your menu too much for each person, but if you know what your guests need to watch for, your caterer can label items better. This picture on Gluten-Free Girl is what I am thinking.

A wedding planning site that I just read basically gave the advice of having something universal like chicken, and a meat free option, and from there don’t stress yourself out over it. I take issue with this though because if you don’t know how a food was prepared, or what the ingredients are, guests don’t really know what they are getting. For instance, sometimes cheesy potatoes are made with chicken broth. I’m probably preaching to the choir here though, right?

For those of you who are GF, have you been to large scale events where you were really impressed with how the organizers handled dietary restrictions? I’m sure everyone has horror stories, but I am looking for the positive.

I look forward to hearing some experiences you’ve had!


Gluten-free as a fad diet!?

Absolutely not. I recently had a conversation with a friend who was going to try out eating gluten-free to lose weight. She thought it was a passing fad diet!

Check out this video from CBS News that does a fairly decent job of explaining Celiac and gluten-free eating:

Ever come across people who don’t believe Celiac Disease is real? Tell us your stories!

**UPDATED** Pizza and Beer Gluten-Free Style~ The Jolly Pumpkin Ann Arbor, MI


Thank you all for your comments, since I posted this there have been many comments noting issues with cross contamination. I am not aware what Jolly Pumpkin has done to address this issue, but if you are looking for gluten-free pizza in Ann Arbor here are some other DELICIOUS options:

  • Cottage Inn – Amazingly yummy gluten-free options at the main location downtown. The pizza is great, more traditional pizza options. I particularly love the cheesy bread. Great prices. Word on the street is that they now DELIVER gluten-free pizza!
  • Silvio’s Organic Pizza- So very yummy, and organic too! Silvio’s has a lot of gourmet toping options that are pretty delish.

Original Post:

Every campus meeting, every late night meal seems to center around this proverbial pie, but for many of the gluten-intolerant and celiac sufferers among us pizza is among the forbidden fruits that are sorely missed. I sometimes watch longingly as friends dive into a delicious smelling pie, hoping to one day  again enjoy a saucy slice. So, last night when I arrived at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery on S. Main St. here in Ann Arbor, I could hardly contain my excitement.  I was about to indulge in savory slice of gluten-free pizza joy!

First off, I have to say that I deeply appreciate that the Jolly Pumpkin is offering a few gluten-free options on their menu, and that they don’t inflate the price of the gluten-free pizza crust as compared to their other pies. I have found in the past that places offering a gluten-free pizza option charge an extra fee of $6+ just to get the specialty crust. This can easily take the joy out of the experience and my wallet.

For $8 the Jolly Pumpkin offers a ‘build your own’ style pie of six decent sized slices. There are many topping options that come at an additional charge. I chose the regular shredded mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and for my toppings I made the bizarre combination of oven dried tomatoes, sweet onions and pineapple.

So how was it? (You ask, salivating in anticipation).

Well, the crust was DELICIOUS! Better than I expected in many ways. It was stretchy and had a sour-doughy flavor. Unlike many of the cardboard style frozen gluten-free crusts on the market, this was really soft, like the real deal. My topping choices on the other hand, left much to be desired. The pineapple seemed to be candied and not fresh chunks, which is unusual…not in a good way, and the oven dried tomatoes were a bit flavorless and over cooked. It was the sweet onions that saved the day, pairing perfectly with the gluten-free crust. Another thing to note is to ask for extra sauce if you like the cheese/sauce ratio to be heavy on the saucy side like I do, other wise it was a great pie.

Gluten-Free Pizza at the Jolly Pumpkin

If you get a chance, go try the Jolly Pumpkin’s pizza and let us know what you think! I didn’t try their gluten-free beer, so definitely let us know if it’s any good.