Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Recap

If you spend any time in the kitchen experimenting with gluten-free recipes, you'll know that there are times when things don't turn out exactly as you've planned. That was very true for us, and it accounts for my hiatus from blogging. Unfortunately, though, it had nothing to do with the food.

Early on Christmas Eve, Kelli and I rolled our sleeves up and got into the kitchen, ready to churn out dish after dish of GF holiday feast food. Our mock cake, I'm happy to report, was repeated with great success. Kelli also whipped together a double chocolate mousse torte. For dinner that evening, we chowed on whole dungeness crab, and delicious homemade lasagna from scratch. For the lasagna, I made a double batch of GF pasta noodles from scratch using our recipe. Instead of cutting the sheets of pasta into thin noodles, though, I cut them into large squares that matched the size of our baking pan. Kelli made a filling of seasoned tomato sauce with ground turkey, onions, and red and green peppers. Then we layered the noodles, sauce, filling, and mozarella and ricotta cheese, and baked the lasagna in the oven (first covered with tin foil, then without to finish it off). The result was dreamy for our taste buds.

Shortly thereafter, however, our holiday went awry. Kelli was rushed to the hospital with sudden and severe post partum complications. I'll spare the details here, but it was a very scary couple of days. We spent Christmas in the hospital, and because we left home so suddenly (Kelli in an ambulance, me trailing with baby Marin in our car), all the food I mentioned above had to be tossed in the garbage after it sat our on our kitchen counters unrefridgerated for days (the smell of the crab was particularly horrid).

Our family is all home now, and Kelli is recovering. After riding out the storm, skies are looking bluer again. Just as surely, we'll resume our usual blogging... starting with a review tomorrow of Hapa Sushi in Colorado, which recently unveiled a gluten-free menu. In the meantime, we wish all of you a very happy and (especially in light of our recent scare) healthy New Year.

- Pete

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Treat


One of the things I look forward to most about Christmas is the food. Not just any food, but specifically the food traditions of my cultural heritage. Tonight - Christmas Eve - we'll have a seafood feast in the Sicilian tradition. And tomorrow - Christmas morning - we'll devour a loaf of mock cake, which comes down to us from my Polish heritage.
Mock cake is a Polish sweet bread with a poppy seed filling. The bread, as its name implies, is both sweet and moist. The poppy seed filling tends to be something that people either love or hate. I, for one, can't get enough of it! (Thankfully, we also make it for Easter, so I can enjoy it beyond just Christmas.)
Creating a gluten-free version of mock cake has proven a bit challenging in the past. We've been working on perfecting a recipe for nearly two years. Last year, Christmas 2007, we came close. When the loaf came out of the oven, it was perfectly browned on the top, perfectly moist on the inside, and delicious. But once the loaf cooled to room temperature, it set up like concrete. Back to the drawing board.
A few weeks ago, Kelli dove into the kitchen again, using our gluten-free flour blend and some additional recipe modifications. The result was what you see above - a perfectly formed mock cake! We believe we just may have successfully developed a gluten-free mock cake. Of course, the mark of any successful recipe is repeatability. Later this afternoon we'll be in the kitchen, whipping up another loaf of mock cake. And with any luck, by this time tomorrow I'll be feasting on a loaf of wonderfully gluten-free mock cake. Stay tuned, and happy holidays!
- Pete

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Recipe: Homemade Corn Tortillas from Scratch

Mexican is a regular on our dinner menu, and often, that means tacos. Tacos, of course, require a shell. And our preference is to make fresh corn tortillas from scratch. It's easy to do with the right implements (a tortilla press), and the results are delicious!

To begin, you'll need only three ingredients: Maseca (instant corn masa flour), water, and salt. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup Maseca, 2/3 cup warm water, and 1/2 tsp salt until combined. Texture should be soft dough...not dry, but also not tacky. (In other words, just right.)

Cover your tortilla press in plastic wrap on both halves. Use 1/8 of the dough (the recipe makes 8 tortillas), and form it into a ball (slightly larger than a golf ball).

Press the tortilla. Kelli presses four times, rotating the tortilla a quarter turn each time to ensure an even and round tortilla.

It should look like the above photo...muy bonita.

In traditional Mexican cooking, you'd cook the tortillas on a comal. We use a flat skillet (pancake pan), and cook the tortillas for 50 seconds or so per side over medium-high heat. You don't want to overcook the tortillas, or they'll dry out and crack when you're eating them. Err on the side of undercooking if there's a question.

Voila! Delicious tacos on homemade corn tortillas. (The leftover tortillas make a great dessert...a little butter, cinnamon and sugar, a minute or so in the toaster oven, and your dessert is good to go!) Enjoy!
- Pete and Kelli

Monday, December 22, 2008

Keeping it in the Family

Well, little Marin is ten days old today. Kelli and I have had a chance to settle into a new routine, and have learned to cope with a tiny dose of sleep deprivation. The past week-plus has also given us time to sit back and think about Marin's future diet. She hasn't been tested for Celiac Disease yet (she's on a 100% breastmilk diet for the time being anyway, so what's the hurry?). But it's something we think about.

It's often cited that Celiac Disease affects approximately 1 in every 133 Americans (the rate of prevalence is different for other countries). But Celiac Disease has a hereditary component. The National Institutes of Health have found out all sorts of interesting connections. For example, the longer a baby breastfeeds, the later in life CD symptoms are likely to onset. (I wonder if this explains why my symptoms spiked in severity around age 27.) For another, persons with CD also have a tendency to demonstrate other genetically-transmitted diseases, including thyroid and Addison's (both of which are in my family...hmm). But most importantly, for first-degree relatives of someone with CD - a parent, child, or sibling - the probability of also having the disease is heightened, to 1 in 22.

In the weeks and months leading up to Marin's arrival, we gave a lot of thought to that stat - 1 in 22. In particular, we hoped that our baby wouldn't be saddled with CD, restricted to a lifelong gluten-free diet. It wasn't the diet that we worried about for her, but rather all the social interactions of children with their friends. Kelli and I both have fond memories of pizza parties, birthday cakes, cupcakes at school. All of those activities would be radically different for a child with CD - you'd either become a bystander, watching from the sidelines, or you'd be a participant, albeit in an altered way with a "special" treat set aside that you could eat. I hesitate to use the word "outcast" (that's much too harsh a term) but we didn't want our little one wondering why she was different and couldn't eat the same things her friends did.

With the passage of time, I've had a chance to give the subject further thought, and I no longer lament it the way I once did. Whether she's diagnosed or not, she'll grow up in a loving, gluten-free household. Her diet will be healthy - by gluten or gluten-free standards. And I know she'll find, as I have, loving friends who take the time to understand CD and make accomodations to cook gluten-free food so that all can enjoy the meals set before us.

Food is a social thing. It's an inclusive activity meant to bring family and friends together. When we have friends who are gluten-free, or vegetarian, or vegan, or lactose intolerant, I think we instinctually want to cook to meet those needs. To make sure everyone has an equally welcome place at the table. Marin, I'm confident, will find her place at the table, CD or not. Her future friends and family will make sure of that.

- Pete

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Growing Gluten-Free Family

Here on the NGNP blog, I try to stay pretty focused and on-message, and that means covering all things gluten-free. But there are rare occasions when I permit myself to veer off, and this is one of those times when I'm taking the liberty to diverge, if slightly, off the gluten-free topic.

This past Friday, December 12, Kelli and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world, Marin Concetta. She's now four days old, and adding her to our gluten-free family has been - as everyone said it would be - life changing (in the best of ways). She's months away from solid food, but before that day approaches, we'll have her tested to make sure that gluten (and other disagreeables) aren't the same problem for her that they are for me.

In the meantime, mom (Kelli) and baby are both doing well. While Kelli recovers from the rigors (to put it mildly) of childbirth, I've been in the kitchen, whipping up some of our old favorite GF meals... Kelli's parents are in town visiting and helping out, and we've introduced them to our margherita pizza, our Belgian waffles, and our chipotle chicken with sauteed peppers and onions.

That's enough about the food, though. At this point, my attention is centered on our new bundle of joy. Life will be different, for sure, but I'm already looking forward to an extra pair of hands in the kitchen, helping to make our recipes and enjoy some good old gluten-free cookin'.

- Pete

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Uno Chicago Grill announces GF pizzas

As we approach Christmas in a few short weeks, No Gluten, No Problem just as rapidly approaches its five month anniversary. Since we went live in late July 2008, you - our readers - have come from all 50 states and from 39 countries. (Wow!) To that end, Kelli and I strive to bring you diverse content, from recipes to product reviews, from bakeries to restaurants, that will appeal to a wide cross-section of the gluten-free community. Though we're based in Colorado, we've blogged about bakeries like Mariposa in California, and Shabtai in New York. Similarly, we've blogged about restaurants like the Yankee Smokehouse in New Hampshire, and national chains such as P.F. Chang's China Bistro, to name a few.

However, I'm self-aware that we've been more Colorado-centric than usual lately, with restaurant reviews of places in Boulder, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs in recent weeks. I'm happy to report that our blog is (virtually) headed on the road again, with upcoming stops in Oregon at the Arico Natural Foods Company, and in Connecticut at Aleia's gluten-free bakery. Keep an eye out for those posts in the near future!

We hit the road today, too, with a stop at the national chain, Uno Chicago Grill. Uno has been a very proactive restaurant in terms of addressing the dietary needs and restrictions of its customers. The nutrition section of the website is loaded with useful info, including a sub-section on gluten-free cuisine (click on "gluten-free" under dietary category to view the GF menu). The GF menu currently includes more than 30 items, ranging from entrees to salads to sides to dessert.

The big news, though, is that Uno recently became the nation's first casual dining restaurant chain to offer a gluten-free pizza (two pizzas, actually - plain cheese, and pepperoni). The move was announced in an article in QSR Magazine, which serves the quick service restaurant industry. (Thanks to my sister-in-law, Karla, for tipping us off to the news!) Uno spent more than a year researching and developing a recipe for the crust, which in the end used rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch and extra virgin olive oil, among other ingredients.

For now, Uno is field-testing the new pizzas in its New England region, so those of you in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, eat up and please report back to us or comment here with how you like the new GF pizzas! The rest of us can expect to find the GF pizzas at our local Uno Chicago Grill sometime in 2009. Happy dining...

- Pete

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recipe: Sea Scallops in Lemon-Butter Sauce

There's a lot I love about Colorado. One of the (few) downsides, however, is our utter state of land-lockedness, far from any coastal waters. As a native Long Islander, I'll admit - I miss my seafood. Not just any seafood. But truly fresh seafood. The kind where what you buy at the local fish market is what came off the boats that morning, or perhaps, the night before. The kind of seafood you buy at Southside Fish and Clam in Lindenhurst, or the Southold Fish Market in Southold, two of my favorite seafood markets back in New York.

It's not seafood snobbery, believe me. The freshness makes a difference, and it's a difference you can taste. What we can buy here at our run of the mill supermarkets in Colorado just doesn't compare. At least there's Whole Foods, which does a pretty good job of shipping in fresh, never frozen seafood, such as scallops. We pay a pretty penny for it, but as an occasional indulgence to satisfy my seafood needs, it does the trick.

And so I recently made scallops in a lemon butter sauce for Kelli's birthday dinner. These were truly colossal sea scallops...six to the pound! To cook the scallops, I rinsed them in cold water and set them aside. In a large skillet, I melted three tablespoons butter, added about an equal amount of olive oil, and sauteed two cloves of minced garlic. To that, I added the juice from one half a large lemon, and set the heat to medium high. Then I placed each of the scallops into the skillet and covered it with a lid. (Normally, I wouldn't cover the scallops, but these were so large that I wanted to retain some of the extra heat to help them cook evenly through.) When the underside began to show the slightest bit of browning, I flipped the scallops and finished cooking them on the other side.

Scallops are a delicate thing to cook. When done to perfection, they're divine. But finding that perfection is a fine line to walk. If you overcook scallops, they become chewy and fishy. If you undertook scallops, that's a food safety issue. You want scallops to remain tender and moist, but they should be white and opaque all the way through. If you cut into a scallop and find a clear center, it isn't done. (To be doubly sure the scallops were perfectly done - especially since Kelli is pregnant and I wasn't keen on poisoning her - I cheated and cut one of my scallops in half. It looked good, so I pulled the scallops off the heat.)

To plate the dish, I paired the scallops with Jasmine rice and grilled asparagus (seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper). Finally, I drizzled some of the remaining lemon butter sauce from the pan over the scallops. I'm happy to report that the meal was delicious, and I think Kelli and I could easily have eaten another helping of scallops. We just might have to make more scallops for Christmas Eve, when my family celebrates Sicilian style, with lots of seafood!

- Pete

Monday, December 8, 2008

Recipe: Limeade

I've long been a fan of limeade.  It's a refreshing drink, especially in the summertime, and also pairs well with gin or rum when you're making cocktails (as in a lime rickey, for example).  And for almost as long as I've been a fan of limeade, I've been using MinuteMaid's Limeade frozen juice mix.  Typically, Kelli and I would keep two or three stocked in the freezer, and when we ran out of "regular" juice, we'd mix up a pitcher of limeade.

We've slowly been eradicating high fructose corn syrup from our household, however, and that has prompted a shift away from MinuteMaid, which uses HFCS and other added sugar in its limeade.  To be fair, we do make some exceptions to our "no HFCS" rule - it's still in our ketchup, and it's still in the sports drinks I use to recover from long workouts.  But for the most part, we've gotten the HFCS out of the house, and MinuteMaid was the latest casualty.

Fortunately, it's really easy to make delicious limeade yourself.  It tastes just as good, or better, than MinuteMaid's.  And if limes are at a good price, it costs no more - and sometimes, costs less - than buying limeade at the store.  The recipe is super simple...here's how you do it:

You'll need three ingredients: a lime, agave nectar, and seltzer water.  If you're using a tall, Tom Collins-style glass, you'll need a half lime per glass.  If you're using a shorter glass, use a quarter lime per glass.  Add the juice and pulp from a lime to the glass.  Add about one tablespoon of agave nectar (plus or minus, to taste, depending on how sweet you like your limeade), and fill the remainder of the glass with seltzer water.  Stir and you're done.  Enjoy!  Add a few cubes of ice to chill the drink, and you're good to go.  It's that easy.

Also, a quick word about agave nectar.  We've started using agave nectar as a gluten-free, natural sweetener thanks to our friend Jess, who is on a diet free of refined sugars.  As a sweetener, agave is a healthy and versatile ingredient, and one that has earned a spot in our pantry.  We use Madhava brand agave nectar, which is a local company based in Lyons, Colorado, north of Boulder.  Regardless of what brand you use, agave nectar has an interesting background:

The nectar comes from the agave salmiana plant, which grows wild and abundantly in the the high desert of central Mexico.  The flower of the plant is removed, leaving bowl-shaped cavity in the center.  The live plant secretes a juice into that cavity, which is harvested up to twice a day for six to eight months.  Once harvested, an enzyme is added to the "juice," and excess water is evaporated, enabling the conversion into agave nectar.  As an aside, Madhava's brand is harvested by local indians on their own land, which sounds like a nice, idealistic alternative to commercialized production.  Regardless, that's the story of agave nectar in a nutshell.

But whether you were interested in the background of agave nectar or not, enjoy it when you use it to make delicious and refreshing homeade limeade!  (You can also substitute lemons in this recipe to make an equally tasty lemonade, by the way...)

- Pete

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tree Trimming, GF-style

For as long as Kelli and I have celebrated Christmas together, it's been a tradition that, at the beginning of the holiday season, we cut down our tree, and then set it up and trim it in the house that night with our own little tree trimming party. We look forward to it every year.

Back in New York, cutting down a live tree was as easy as heading to the local Christmas tree farm. You'll find them all over - out on the East End of Long Island, in the Hudson Valley, in upstate New York. When we moved to Colorado in 2004, we discovered that tree farms of that sort don't exist in the Rocky Mountains. But we also discovered the Front Range Christmas Tree Program, run by the US Forest Service, which has enabled us to continue our old tradition in a new and decidedly Colorado way - we buy a $10 permit, and head into the National Forest in search of a Christmas tree to cut down.

We usually go to the Elk Creek area near Winter Park, but this year we headed up into another area of Arapaho National Forest. There we found a beautiful stand of Colorado blue spruce, which we prefer head and shoulders over lodgepole pines. With bow saw in hand, I cut down our tree, and Kelli and I tied it to the top of the Jeep and brought it back to our house in Boulder.

There are lots of things I love about this tradition, and one of them is the food. The so-so photo above is the only one I took, mostly because I was too busy stuffing my face with what you see there. Some usual suspects crop up on the tree trimming party menu each year, and they made their predictable appearances this year, too. Shrimp cocktail, with a cocktail sauce made fresh (with some extra spicy horseradish this year!). Pigs in a blanket (to make them gluten-free, we used Coleman gluten-free hot dogs, cut them to length, and wrapped them with a modified version of our dough). And buffalo chicken bites (basically, it's chicken breast cubed and cooked in a spicy buffalo wing sauce, using the authentic Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce, which is conveniently gluten-free).

In between bites of food, we managed to string the lights and decorate the tree. Our ornaments are like a trip down memory lane - there are ornaments that have been a part of our relationship, but also ornaments that are family heirlooms in a way, contributed by grandparents, great aunts, parents, and other beloved relatives and friends. And placing each of those ornaments on the tree sparks a conversation about this person or that person. It's an especially nice way to remember those who are no longer with us for this holiday.

This is our fifth Colorado christmas tree, and Kelli and I unanimously agree that it may be our best (but we loved them all!).

And of course, Baby Bronski is due on December 14, so unless he or she arrives exceptionally late, we're expecting this to be our first Christmas with a new addition to the family. It'll be a gluten-free Christmas, for sure, and so much more. But I'll blog about that when the time comes...
- Pete





Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill, Steamboat Springs, CO

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been on the road lately with my book tour for Powder Ghost Towns. On Tuesday, those travels took me to Steamboat Springs, one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns. Looking for a restaurant recommendation where I could eat dinner, I stopped in at the Epilogue Book Company, which was hosting me for that night's slide show and book signing. They wholeheartedly recommended the Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill (970.879.3773, 5th Street and Lincoln Avenue).

I'll admit, I was wary. I used to love local brewpubs - Kelli and I have been to more than our fair share over the years. But since going gluten-free, I've found they can be difficult places to eat. I can't drink the beer. And often, foods that might otherwise be gluten-free get beer-battered in the local brew. However, as I strolled past the front of the restaurant, the smells were too good to ignore. I stepped inside to inquire if they had a gluten-free menu, fully expecting them to say "glu-what?"

I was delighted to find that they have a gluten-free menu! (You can read about my similar delight at finding a gluten-free menu at Mi Casa in Breckenridge here.) It turns out that many Steamboat locals have been asking for GF dishes. What's more, the GF menu offered a nice variety of salads, appetizers, and entrees. Mahogany's signature entrees are what they call the "dipping entrees," where you pair a protein with one of many possible dipping sauces. Adobo-rubbed lamb sirloin. Caribbean jerk-spiced duck breast. Vietnamese sizzling tofu. Not your standard pub fare.

Tuesday happens to be Latin night, which meant that Mahogany offered an alternative menu, rather than the standard dipping entrees. Although I could have ordered off the GF menu, the Latin offerings sounded too good to pass up. The helpful waitstaff talked with the chef to confirm which dishes could be prepared gluten-free. I ordered the citrus ginger grilled pork tenderloin, which was served medium. It came with a poblano chile - yucca hashbrown, mole amarillo, shoestring crispy corn tortillas, and a sizzling side plate of vegetables. I was in taste bud heaven. And I paired the dish with a mojito...always a nice treat.

Steamboat and Mahogany Ridge surprised me in the best of ways: a gluten-free menu with delicious, high-end cuisine you wouldn't normally find at your local brewery. The next time I'm in Steamboat, you can bet you'll find me at Mahogany for dinner, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others. Bon appetit!

UPDATE: December 17, 2009

To truly review a restaurant, protocol dictates that you visit at least twice. Back in November, Kelli and I traveled to Steamboat with Marin to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and we made a return to Mahogany Ridge for our special dinner. Having had such a positive gluten-free dining experience the first time I around, I was excited to go back...and to introduce Kelli to the restaurant. We were both salivating over the prospect of setting our sights on Mahogany's signature Dipping Entrees. (You can see the restaurant's full menu here, on their MySpace page.)

I was even more wowed by the food this time around than last. (And again ate happily and safely gluten-free.) The Dipping Entree menu includes eleven entrees - ranging from lamb to chicken, buffalo, beef, duck, elk, and several kinds of fish. Nearly all of those entrees are naturally gluten-free (or can be prepared gluten-free). Then, you pair your choice of entree with any two of 20 house-made sauces. Again, the majority of the sauces are gluten-free (and the GF menu indicates which ones are good to go). You can stick with Mahogany's recommended sauce pairings for your entree, or mix it up to suit your preferences.

For my entree, I ordered the Yucatan Pork Tenderloin, which was an achiote-rubbed pork tenderloin, grilled medium. I paired it with the Smoked Tomato Demi Glace, which was a veal stock reduction with smoked roma tomatoes. There's only one way I can describe the meal: DIVINE. And I don't use all caps lightly.

We're headed back to Steamboat again in January. (I have a book signing and slide show at Epilogue Book Company.) There's no question where I'm going for dinner... it's Mahogany all the way. (So many Dipping Entrees and sauces, so little time...)

- Pete

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GF Thanksgiving, Redux

Well, it's nearly a week after Thanksgiving, and I'm finally carving (to use a Thanksgiving term!) enough time out of my day to blog about the holiday. The last week or so has been a true whirlwind. Aside from the holiday itself, I've had five magazine article deadlines, have been busy finishing up the last of the house projects (anticipating the arrival of Baby Bronski any day now...), and traveling on the road with a book tour for Powder Ghost Towns (TV appearances in Vail and Steamboat Springs, and slide show / book signings in Steamboat Springs, Colorado Springs, and Boulder). You might say that, like the turkey above, I'm done. Or at least tired.

Our Thanksgiving, however, was wonderful (as I hope yours was, too!). A last minute change of plans left us with a 14 pound turkey for 4 people. Needless to say, we had lots of delicious leftovers, which in my book was a very good thing (if you don't count the five pounds I managed to pack on by overeating...).

Although Kelli and I originally planned on hosting Thanksgiving at our house, we shifted venue to the house of our good friends, Greg and Emily. They have a six month old, and we're on the verge of having a newborn, so we thought it best not to tempt fate and host at our house (I was born on Thanksgiving, and my mother warned us...). Thanksgiving at the Brinkmans was just as Thanksgiving should be - a holiday spent with good friends and family, football on the television, amazing smells wafting out from the kitchen, and a long, drawn-out meal.

Kelli made a delicious GF corn bread stuffing which was truly spectacular. Here's how she did it: Start by baking a 9x9 pan of GF corn bread. Set aside. In a large skillet, saute 1/2 pound of pork sausage. Add four tablespoons of butter, and saute one small onion (chopped) in the butter and sausage. Add salt, pepper, and fresh sage to taste (we've made it both with and without the sage... both are great). Add half of the corn bread, cut into small pieces. Pour one cup of GF chicken stock over the entire mixture. Transfer to a casserole dish, cover with tin foil, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Voila! GF stuffing that can compete with the best of them.

In addition to the turkey and stuffing, our Thanksgiving dinner included many of the usual suspects: mashed potatoes, gravy, roasted vegetables, and a cranberry relish. The plate above was the first of three full plates I served myself, in addition to two servings of dessert, which may help to explain the five pounds I'm now working extra hard to shed.

And of course there were the pies - a GF Dutch apple pie, and a GF pumpkin pie.

True to the holiday, this Thanksgiving, like many before it, was a time to reflect and give thanks. Kelli and I have much to be thankful for in 2008 - wonderful friends and family, the anticipated arrival of our first child, the publication of my first and second books (in March and November, respectively).
But specific to this blog, I also wanted to give thanks for you, our readers, for my fellow gluten-free bloggers, and for all who have touched the gluten-free community in ways big and small. Sometimes, it is only with the benefit of hindsight that we realize that what initially seemed a negative, is in fact a positive. Such has been my experience since going gluten-free. In January 2007, it seemed like a damning diagnosis. Since then, however, I've realized what a benefit it has been instead. I've shifted to a more healthful diet, and my body feels stronger and more healthy without its being ravaged by the gluten. I'm more aware of what I'm eating, and more intimately connected to my food. I've revisited the traditional, cultural cuisines of my heritage to make family heirloom recipes gluten-free so that I can continue those traditions. And I've connected with people like you, who share the gluten-free lifestyle. We're bonded by that commonality, and I give thanks that this blog, in a way, has brought us together.
- Pete