Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Food Allergy, Travel, NYC

I was talking with a new coaching client the other day about traveling to NYC with two food allergic children. I go over this extensively in my new book however I wanted to add some additional strategies that came up during our sessions:

Bring all of your medications with you.

Go over your allergy action plan or emergency plan with your board certified allergist/pulmonologist or GP from home.

Print it out and pack it. PDF it and email it to your self. Put a PDF copy of it on your smart phone so you have it handy.

When you choose your hotel, do a google search in the area for local hospitals. Put those names, numbers and addresses in your phone for easy use.

Also do a google maps serach for local 24 pharmacies around your hotel. Here in NYC CVS, Rite Aid and Duane Reades are everywhere, many open 24hrs with pharmacists.

If you like chain restaurants, look them up in NYC, we do have some like Chipotle that are allergen-friendly.

If you want more restaurants, read my sub-site: http://allergicgirlrecommends.blogspot.com/ as well as my top tips for dining out

And remember: all of this emergency information is just in case. Most likely everything will be great but you don’t want to scramble in an emergency in a new city. Having these few items on hand (action plan, hospital names, local pharmacy names) will decrease your anxiety about traveling somewhere new.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NIH, Food Allergy Guidelines, Video

From a press release:

Matthew Fenton, Ph.D., chief of NIAID’s Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Branch, sits down with Hugh Sampson, M.D., past president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, to discuss the recently released food allergy guidelines and how they may affect diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

The video is at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/739532 and available outside the Medscape firewall, so no registration is required to view the piece.


It's worth viewing, food allergy peeps and then talking over with your board certified health care provider. [Disclosure: I was part of a committee working on the roll out of these guidelines.]

Allergic Living Magazine, America

Here is some very exciting news for both the allergy and celiac communities and me and YOU. The Spring issue of Allergic Living magazine will have an American version, with an article about dining out safely by yours truly!

From AL press release:

Allergic Living Launches!

Great news – Allergic Living magazine, which started in Canada, is launching a full U.S. edition with its Spring issue! The new magazine is published in April, and if you subscribe by April 15, you can still get the launch issue – which promises to be spectacular – as part of your subscription.

The Launch Issue includes:

- Allergic Living’s Guide to Smart, Safe Dining – thorough and empowering information from allergy coach and author Sloane Miller. This article is loaded with advice that will have you and yours dining out safely and often. Also: tips from top chefs including Ming Tsai and Susur Lee. This article is a must-read for anyone dealing with food allergies or celiac disease.

- An in-depth report on a brand new and very promising peanut allergy vaccine.

- The Food Allergy Experts: Renowned allergists Dr. Scott Sicherer and Dr. Hemant Sharma answer reader questions.

- Gluten-free baking with the Gluten-free Goddess herself, Karina Allrich. For Spring: a gorgeous carrot cake and soda bread.

- Columns from FAAN’s Julia Bradsher and Gina Clowes of the AllergyMoms blog on the “new normal” after diagnosis.

- Gluten-free columns from Shauna James Ahern – aka Gluten-free Girl – and dietitian and author Shelley Case.

- Fresh and delicious Spring recipes from Food Editor Chef Simon Clarke. Allergy-friendly and gluten-free.

- Trees of Sneeze, a surprising cross-America guide. Plus tips to find pollen allergy relief, just in time for spring, and much more.

More good news. Allergic Living is great value at $29.99 for 2 years but, for a limited time, the magazine is also offering FAAN members a special discount: $10 off a 2-year subscription ($19.99) or $5 off a 1-year subscription ($14.99).

I highly recommend subscribing. Click here - or go to Allergicliving.com, click the Subscribe/Renew button. If you are a FAAN member living in the U.S., enter this promotion code: org2365FAAN

If you have any questions about subscribing, contact Allergic Living at info@allergicliving.com or 1-888-771-7747.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Martha Stewart Living Radio, March 28, 2011 at 10am

I'm going to be on Whole Living hosted by Terri Trespicio for 30 minutes TODAY.

TUNE IN!

Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius 112 and XM 157

The caller hotline is 866-675-6675 to reach us live on air from 10 to 10:30 am ET

Their Twitter handle is @MarthaRadio to tweet questions live.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mrs. Leepers, Gluten-Free

This is a mysterious little brand: Mrs. Leepers.

I’ve seen them at my local supermarket for years and never tried until recently. One night, desperate for some GF pasta and not wanting to run to a specialty store, I picked up a bag of Mrs. Leepers Radiatore corn & veggie pasta. With only four ingredients, I thought: Okay can’t be bad. And it’s wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it either. The pasta cooked up quickly, al dente, but it lacked any real vegetable flavor; also the radiatores fell apart relatively easily. As I was hungry, and in a pinch, I thought: it’ll do. But I wouldn’t seek it out for a meal. Also the website has no salient information about the company, their allergen policies, anything really. Hurm, so overall, meh.

I only mention them as they seem to have very good distribution, at least here in NYC, and I’m wondering how and why as I never hear them talked about on blogs or reviewed. Thoughts? Have you tried Mrs. Leepers? Loved it? Am I missing something wonderful here? Do tell.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Have It Your Way, Food Allergies

*Update September 2011: This time, they were less careful about food allergies e.g. a manager who wouldn't talk with me, and visible cross contamination by bussers and servers so much so that I was unable to dine. The lesson here is: even with doing all of the steps, sometimes the risk is still high. Don't eat.

Did you see this New York Times article a few weeks back? "Have It Your Way? Purist Chefs Won’t Have It"

I know quite of few of you read this article and posted it on your Facebook pages (or on mine) and the reactions ranged from anger, anxiety, resignation and frustration – all of the natural feelings when you read about a chef saying people are making up allergies to get special treatment in a restaurant. You and I both know that is not true. However, this article was making a point and they found a few NYC-based chefs who are more concerned with their kingdoms than with their costumer.

Reading this article confirmed many of our worst fears: chefs don’t want us in their restaurants; they think we’re lying, annoying or a liability. (and PS: sometimes there are those customers that do lie, that are annoying and do tell a restaurant that they will sue them for a mistake.) But I can tell you, this is the aberration in NYC, not the norm – most chefs want to have happy costumers who are dining well and safely in their restaurant, food allergic or not.

And even in this article they are showing only one side of this “Chef trend”. For example, I’ve heard that David Chang’s restaurant is great wth gluten-free guests, yes - really. And at Le Relais de Venise L’EntrecĂ´te, the place that opens the article: "...diners are asked a single question: Would they like their meat cooked well, medium, rare or bleu (extra rare) - I went there over the summer for a birthday party and they were great with my allergies: they made adjustments as necessary and they have a dedicated fries fryer (totally safe for gluten-free and food allergies). So, even in this article not everything is as it is written or all one-sided.

Our job is to have a dialogue with a restaurant to determine the level of safety and/or potential risk. Talking with the chef or management directly will give you that information: are you dealing with a restaurant that prides itself on hospitality (that's what you want) or one where what the chef says is law (that is going to be a trickier prospect).

Don’t be scared off by one article quoting a few outlier NYC chefs. Keeping having those positive dialogues and finding the chefs who welcome your business.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chobani

I’ve been a Chobani fan for a while now. I travel with them, sprinkle my homemade granola on them - they are slightly cheaper than other Greek yogurts on the market and every bit as thick and Greek-styled. I’m lactose intolerant, and usually with yogurt, I don’t experience symptoms (or aggressive symptoms, that is).

Chobani was at Food Fete with me but they were one of the vendors (one of many) that I didn’t get to. So they kindly sent me some samples of their product line to try, including their smaller, kid-friendly portions/flavors: VerryBerry and Honey-nana

The Honey-nana was my favorite of the two: a slightly whipped texture (or was that from shaking in transit?), premixed (i.e. no fruit on the bottom), sweet but not overly so, five added probiotics and a smaller portion size for smaller tummies.

From the Chobani site:
100% natural
No synthetic growth hormones, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners
Packed with protein
An excellent source of vitamin D
A good source of bone-building calcium
Five live and active cultures, including three strains of probiotics
Gluten-free and Kosher certified
Free of nut, soy, wheat, and shellfish allergens
Two kid-friendly, blended flavors (VerryBerry and Honey-nana)


I found the VerryBerry and Honey-nana more commercial tasting with a few more added ingredients, like natural coloring and cream. And the pre-mixed feels less “Greek”. One issue for me was that with added cream, I was sent over the lactose-intolerant edge i.e. I was burping all throughout the Broadway show I was watching. However, that is not the yogurt's issue but mine. Overall, the kid in me liked these new kid-friendly sizes and flavors.

Idea for Chobani: I’d love this 100 calorie, 1.5 fat gram size for adults in your regular flavor line- it’s perfect for travel, more convenient for a purse and better calorie/fat/carb count. And I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting this smaller snack size - please consider it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tonight: Allergic Girl in NJ

March 21, 2011

730pm-9pm

I'll be at the Food Allergy and Asthma Support Group of North Jersey

St. Barnabus Ambulatory Center
200 S Orange Ave,
Livingston, NJ 07039

Talking about food allergy management, signing copies of Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well With Food Allergies and noshing on treats provided by our friends at Cherrybrook Kitchen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meditation, Food Allergies

Anxiety and food allergies, I talk about it, a lot. On this blog. In my book, Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies. With my coaching clients. I talk about it a lot because we all experience it a lot.

One of the techniques that can help with low level, generalized anxiety is meditation. From the New York Times: “M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.” Even the Mayo clinic agrees.

[This is not recommended for more severe bouts of anxiety. If you feel you are in this group, please see a board certified psychiatrist for an evaluation.]


Why I like it for the food allergic community? Because when you’re feeling anxious you have a place to return to, a calm place. But you need to practice going to that calm place to have it to return to and best to practice when not in crisis. Years of yoga practice helped me go deeper into a meditative state. I can drop into it whenever I like. During a recent MRI? Yes, I meditated throughout and almost feel asleep.

There are many ways to access mindfulness or meditation. Some people call it prayer and you can join a religious organization to do so. There are other strains, unconnected to religion; free meditation centers abound in most large cities; many yoga studios run classes for low cost; and of course, there are online groups and sites. Type "meditation" into google and tons of links will come up.

Meditation in whatever form you are thinking about is worth looking into. It doesn't need to get all fancy, with outfits and pillows and special books or movies or iTune downloads. Really it starts with focusing on the breath. And staying there for a few moments. It is that simple.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How To Get There

I read this story last week in the New York Times and thought it was a great metaphor for anyone who has been made fun of for finding their own way, even if it’s just ordering in a different way at the restaurant.

“Growing up, I thought that in order to be a successful dancer, you needed to be on Broadway or you needed to be in music videos, doing other people’s work,” she said. “So this is like a dream, to be able to just do my own thing to Girl Talk.” It was often scary during the last few years, she said, charting an iconoclastic path through the New York dance world, where people sometimes get “weirded out” by her ideas and her hybrid style. But she always had faith, she said, that if she kept doing what she loved, good things would happen. “I just didn’t know specifically how to get there,” she said with a laugh. “But now it’s coming to me.”

Read more here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marginalia

This past weekend, I saw the revival of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. One of the themes was the cryptic message that Fermat left about his theorem in the margin of a notebook and how other marginalia takes on a llife of it's own when discovered/uncovered years later as historical archives.

The week before that there was this excellent article in the New York Times by Sam Anderson about we marginalists (I group myself in there because I'm totally a marginalia-girl): This hit home for me — it spoke to the little scribal monk who lives deep in the scriptorium of my soul — and I quickly adopted the habit of marginalia: underlining memorable lines, writing keywords in blank spaces, jotting important page numbers inside of back covers. It was addictive, and useful; I liked being able to glance back through, say, “Great Expectations,” and discovering all of its great sentences already cued up for me. (Chapter 4, underlined: “I remember Mr. Hubble as a tough high-shouldered stooping old man, of a sawdusty fragrance, with his legs extraordinarily wide apart: so that in my short days I always saw some miles of open country between them when I met him coming up the lane.”) This wasn’t exactly radical behavior — marking up books, I’m pretty sure, is one of the Seven Undying Cornerstones of Highly Effective College Studying. But it quickly began to feel, for me, like something more intense: a way to not just passively read but to fully enter a text, to collaborate with it, to mingle with an author on some kind of primary textual plane.

I’m a notes in the margin girl. Come look into my library and you can read all the conversations I've had with the greats over the years, engaging in a dialogue with the author. And you can do this too in my book, Allergic Girl. Have there been been parts you’ve underlined? Or a section where you've written a little note to me, something you wanted more of, disagreed with you or really loved? I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CIA, Allergic Girl Book Signing

**UPDATED**

Great day at CIA. Didn't take nearly enough pictures!

CIA Hyde Park, NY Campus:


Me & Jay Blotcher (Media Relations for CIA)


Me & Chef Elizabeth Briggs:


Lunch (notice my regular, my safe go-to meal):


***

Tuesday, March 15 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

I'm going to be at the Hyde Park, NY campus of The Culinary Institute of America, signing books at the Craig Claiborne Bookstore located on the first floor of Roth Hall. (Barnes & Noble).

If you're in upstate New York, come get your book signed!

Monday, March 14, 2011

International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of NY, 2011



I was honored to host a panel about food allergies for the food service industry at the International restaurant of Foodservice Show of NY for the fourth year.

For the third year, Chef Meghan Young of BRGuest and Julia Bradsher of FAAN joined me to educate the food service industry on food allergies and best practices.

Here we are getting ready:

Always a pleasure working with these professional and knowledgeable women.

I was asked to do a short podcast about our panel for the Expo:


And then, we were able to walk the floor and look at all of the goodies. The Japanese pavilion this year had the most interesting allergy-friendly and gluten-free items.

Fresh, gluten-free rice-based pasta:


Rice-flour based brioche squares:


Pretty, gluten-free soy wraps for vegan sushi:


Smokin' condiments:


I will post reviews soon!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Food Fete, Food Allergies

I was honored to have a table at this first of its kind event: Food Fete, an allergy-friendly, gluten-free vendors presenting their wares for the press. Many of my favorite colleagues, press, bloggers and manufacturers were there as well as some new friends.

***

My table of the Allergic Girl book with chocolate and candy lollies made exclusively for me by Indie Candy (top 8 free):


Rudi's were there - I still haven't tried them:


Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free dairy products:


The Pacific people with all kinds of alternative "milks":


Everybody Eats:


Enjoy Life Foods:



General Mills:


***

Here's the full list:
Chobani Greek Yogurt
Cockspur Rum (bar sponsor)
Enjoy Life Foods
Everybody Eats
General Mills
Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free & Redwood Hill Farm
HomeFree, LLC
Lucini Italia
Mary’s Gone Crackers
National Peanut Board
Pacific Natural Foods
Pasta Prima
Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery


I hope to sample some of these goodies soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chipotle




As many of you long time readers may know, I don’t frequent chain restaurants for the simple reason that we don’t really have them where I live in Manhattan. However, there is one chain that we do have here in NYC that I frequent often: Chipotle. I’ll stop in for a business meeting/work lunch, a quick lunch without work colleagues, before an evening event or before theater. Friends often suggest it to me for a casual food allergy friendly bite with this Allergic Girl because it has something for everyone. And it’s my new saving grace when I travel.

Why all this Chipotle love? Food with integrity is their motto. They like to treat animals well. You can dine there as a vegan, vegetarian or full on meat-eater. It’s less than 10 bucks for a meal.

But for me, the biggest attraction is that anywhere in the country that I may go, I can dine at Chipotle and be assured that: “We use no peanuts, tree nuts or any other kind of nuts in our food.” That means I seek out Chipotle on my google maps GPS whatever city I may be in and dine there, often. After an Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies book event in Philly, guess where the event organizer suggested taking us for dinner that’s safe for her food allergic child and me? Chipotle.

Chipotle: food allergy friendly - we love what you're doing -keep doing it!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Food Allergy, Massachusetts Restaurants

From The MetroWest Daily News:

A new state law, the first of its kind in the United States, requires Massachusetts restaurants as of last October to post notices on their menus, asking customers to tell their server if anyone in their party has a food allergy... As of Feb. 1, at least one manager at each restaurant must undergo online training in dealing with food allergens and get a certificate of completion from the state.

"It really is to raise awareness," said Suzanne Condon, director of the environmental health bureau for the state Department of Public Health. "It pushes, if you will, that dialogue between the consumer and the food establishment themselves."

The state worked with both food allergy advocates and food industry representatives in crafting the rules, Condon said. The menu and poster requirements went into effect first to encourage servers and patrons to talk to each other about allergies right away, she said. "This basically puts a responsibility on both parties," she said.


(Read more: Restaurants getting a taste of new food-allergy regulations - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News)

This is more great food allergy news. The question I always hear is how: how do I start that dialogue? I spend a whole chapter of my new book Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies discussing the HOW, with samples, practice dialogues and lots of examples, even how to salvage a bad situation (we’ve all had those).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Celiac Meet up, NYC, March 8, 2011

***UPDATE***

Here are some pictures by Erin of Gluten-Free Fun from last night's event. Angie's Kettle Corn (TOP 8 Free) sent some goodies for everyone to take home - THANK YOU Angie's!

Angie's Kettle Corn:
DSCN2072

Hostess and Celiac Meet-up Goddess Erin of Gluten-Free Fun and me:
DSCN2074

The book:
DSCN2077

Me reading in some seriously high platform shoes:
DSCN2083

***

Free Tuesday night? Come join me for a soiree of booze and books - what could be better? From Meet Up:

Newly diagnosed with food allergies? Had food allergies a long time? Have a loved one with food allergies and want to support them? Dating someone with food allergies and want to know what to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions and want to meet like-minded people, then join us for conversation and drinks with Sloane Miller, author of Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies, at Heathers Bar on March 8th.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Heathers Bar
506 E. 13th Street
New York, NY

Books will be available for purchase during this event through Mobile Libris.

Happy hour prices on drinks during the book event including well drinks, wine, and gluten-free beer.

Monday, March 07, 2011

WPIX, Allergic Girl

**Segment airs March 9 during the 8am hour! Channel 11 in NYC: http://bit.ly/fHE9Mq**

From the Tribune Broadcasting press release: Beginning today, PIX11 Morning News will be airing a week long initiative to raise awareness of these allergies, with segments airing Monday, March 7th through Friday, March 11th at 6:55, 7:20, and 8:20am.

“Food allergies affect millions of people everyday – we, at PIX11, are taking this opportunity to feature developments and resources–not only for those who have food allergies–but for the many of us who have relationships with people with these allergies,” said Eric Meyrowitz, PIX11 Vice President/General Manager. “Food Allergy Awareness Week will feature some of the nation’s top doctors and common challenges, as well as people’s everyday experiences, among other relevant topics.”

Segments include:

• ALLERGY 101: a primer on food allergies, plus information on new medical research;

• HOW TO COPE: Tips on how to live with food allergies, medications, treatments and products;

• WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY: A live demonstration of what to do if someone is having an allergic reaction;

• SHOPPING SMART: PIX11 will shop with a allergist and learn how to read food labels;

• TRAVEL: Traveling with food allergies is difficult, PIX11 will showcase the best food allergy travel destinations;

• THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ALLERGIES: PIX11 will explore how allergies affect the sufferer and the family;

• SAFE SCHOOLS: PIX11 visits a school in Long Island and in New York City already practicing safe public food services and allergy safe zones;

• FOOD CHALLENGE: PIX11 will follow a patient taking a food challenge at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York;

• LAW & ORDER: Legislators who are making a difference; PIX11 profiles City Council Member Jessica Lappin, who sponsored bill Int. # 818A which established the food allergy reference posters which are now required in New York City restaurants;

• COOKING FOR ISAIAH: A local mother from Brooklyn developed a gluten-free/dairy-free cookbook to help prepare meals for her son. Sylvana Nardone, the founding Editor-in-Chief of Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, will be on set with her son Isaiah to cook an allergy-free dish with the PIX11 Morning News team;

• ALLERGIES & THE CITY: A profile of a family raising awareness in lower income communities;

• ALLERGIC GIRL: detailed information on bloggers with useful sites and online information.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Anxiety in Food Allergic Children, Study

Study: "EAACI: Food allergies in children cause anxiety and loneliness, have dramatic impact on their quality of life"

"The burden of food allergies and the risk they can escalate to life-threatening diseases is particularly heavy on children, whose normally active and sociable lifestyle can be severely limited and frustrated by the effort to keep them away from potentially dangerous food. According to a study presented at the 2011 Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), held Feb 17-19 in Venice, Italy, 23 percent of allergic children are no longer curious to try new food to vary their diet, considered too monotonous by most of them. A child out of ten also gives up crucial physical activity for fear of anaphylactic shock triggered by exercise."

Is this you or your child? Going over the risks with your board certified medical provider can be the first steps to helping you and your child re-enter life safely.

My new book Allergic Girl is another resource as I address this very issue. Whether you are a food allergic and anxious adult or the parent of a food allergic child wherein you and your child are feeling anxious, add fun back to your food allergic life.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Food Allergies, College

From an article in USA Today:

“The allergic student of even a few years ago might have had to take chances, pester cooks about ingredients or just skip eating anything made in a public kitchen altogether. But as allergies seem to have become more common — and as allergy sufferers and advocates have become more aggressive in lobbying for accommodations – dining services officials are beginning to act. Many college and university dining halls have adopted signs that point out common allergens, while others offer frozen meals and special items like gluten-free bread so students with allergies can have the social experience of eating with their friends.”

This is great news!

However, if your college isn’t yet up to speed, I talk about how to dine allergen-free whilst at college in my new book Allergic Girl.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Allergic Girl , Starred Review Library Journal

Starred review from Library Journal:

*Miller, Sloane. Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies. Wiley. Mar. 2011. c.272p. index. ISBN 9780470630006. $24.95. HEALTH -- Is it possible to live a safe yet full life with life-threatening food allergies? According to Miller, the answer is an unqualified yes. A social worker who maintains the Allergic Girl blog (www.allergicgirl.com), Miller shares her wealth of knowledge and experience gained from living with severe food allergies and coaching food-allergic clients. The book is divided into three sections: an introduction to food allergies, how to cope with them, and how to find the right doctor; several chapters on relationships with self, family, friends, lovers, and food; and discussions of how to manage dining out and participating in social events and celebrations involving food. Throughout, Miller emphasizes building positive relationships, and she coaches readers to be assertive but also patient with others who may not know how to respond to someone with food allergies. She includes sample phrases and conversations to help readers communicate their needs clearly and graciously in a variety of situations. VERDICT As the parent of a child with a severe food allergy, this reviewer found Sloane’s approach both positive and practical. Highly recommended for anyone with food allergies, as well as their families and friends.—Janet A. Crum, City of Hope Lib., Duarte, CA

Book Review, CNN

A well done book review by colleague and fellow Allergic Girl, Elizabeth Landau on CNN.com:

"We all think we’re alone, and yet we all are in this together," Miller said."

Read more here and the book is available now!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour, Cookie Mix

A few weeks back, Brooklyn Allergy Mom made some King Arthur Gluten-Free Cookies and shared a few cookies with me. She replaced the egg with applesauce and added some zanthan gum. The taste was delish – just like I remember chocolate chip cookies. However the texture was off - chewy, and not in the right way chewy. I thought maybe it was the lack of egg or the addition of xanthan, hard to know.

So I made some King Arthur Gluten-Free Cookies according to the directions. [Samples of this King Arthur Gluten-Free Cookiesmix were sent to me by King Arthur Flour back in the fall.] The mix came together easily and well, having the right texture, like a GF Toll House cookie. And the raw dough, tasted familiar, like raw cookie dough should (yes I had many many tastes). Only thing to do was to add some allergen-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life) and pop into the oven. This is what these little beauties looked like and boy oh boy were they good. As you can see, I couldn’t wait for them to cool before taking a taste. I gave a few cookies to a work colleague who doesn’t eat GF who said they tasted like regular cookies; he wouldn’t have known the difference. That is a major score. Especially as the King Arthur Gluten-Free Cookies mix is top 8 free!



One suggestion: don’t use salted margarine like I did, the dough had a distinctly salty/savory flavor whilst not unpleasant, could have been avoided.

One question to King Arthur Flours: I’d love some tips about substitutions (so one makes the mistake I did, for example). For example, the mix is top eightallergen free yet you need to add two allergens to make the mix – egg and dairy. I’d love to know if they had for egg-free, dairy-free? they have an FAQ section, that would work perfectly there or subs on their box that would be great!

Meanwhile, overall thank you King Arthur Flours for making such a great brown sugar cookie mix – bravo!