Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Elizabeth Barbone: A gluten-free tribute to a gluten-free chef

When I was a kid, we talked in Sunday school about the concept of hiding one's light under a bushel. Sometimes, phenomenal people in the gluten-free world are so humble (and often, so busy) that they don't always get their due.  They're simply too busy doing for our industry.

I want to introduce you all in the gluten-free world to a woman who fits this bill -- and you all already know her.  She's Chef Elizabeth Barbone.  Culinary Institute of America-trained with significant allergies, now gluten free, a fighter of food (and other) allergies all her life, Elizabeth is my Unsung Hero.  And I want to sing her out. 

A few weeks ago, after making a donation to the generous Bloggers without Borders food event for Jennifer Perillo (of In Jennie's Kitchen) I had the opportunity to receive a package of shortbread cookies baked lovingly by Elizabeth. and it reminded me of her gentle, generous, giving spirit and love of food.

Now, a disclaimer: Full disclosure. I count Elizabeth as one of my good friends, gluten-free or otherwise; she and I have been swapping comments, phone calls, and emails for more than three years after meeting on the Delphi Celiac Forum.

I first became enamored by her easy GF bread recipe made in a stand mixer,  You'll see it posted on the sidebar of recipes here somewhere.  It's from her successful blog,

She is the gluten-free miracle worker when it comes to baking.  And I'm not just saying that lightly.  Some say she shared that crown with the late Bette Hagman.

Her first cookbook Easy Gluten Free Baking is without question my favorite baking book.  And her site offers wonderful free recipes, but as a subscriber it gives you much more.

Elizabeth raised more than $700 for Jennifer Perillo and her beautiful daughters.  My friend Janet and I savored those cookies, morsel by morsel.  They are more than devine.  They're better than gluten shortbread in my book.

She ever offers you the recipe on her website.  Along with many, many more (like, 700).

And don't miss her weekly column on gluten-free cooking on Serious Eats.  Get out there and RSS that sucker!  She offers a new and different recipe every week on what some believe to be one of the most important foodie blogs around right now. It is a highly prestigious placement for a gluten-free chef, to be sure.

A little bird told me that Elizabeth has some pretty phenomenal things happening in the next few months.  I am excited for her, and I am excited that I will get to benefit from her generosity and kind spirit, but most of all, from her love of gluten-free food that is safe and delicious.  All of us with CD need that.

So today I am shouting out to Chef Elizabeth Barbone, a true gluten-free cooking expert, kind soul, and cooking genius.  You make our world better every day.

And confidentially -- your website and blogs by Shauna "Gluten-Free Girl" James Ahern and Karina "Gluten-Free Goddess" Allrich inspired this blog.  And I'm damn glad.

Much love, Ging

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pink Lids Save Lives

They do.  They really do.

Yoplait Yogurt lids lead to an annual contribution to breast cancer research of up to $2 million!

Every year for the past few years, Yoplait yogurt and MyBlogSpark have provided some excellent incentives to bloggers to remind folks of the Pink Lids campaigns that always comes up around Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This year's theme is "Save Lids to Save Lives."  And now, lids may be submitted through Dec. 31, 2011 electronically!

I have to admit that I'm a fan of all Yoplait does.  I think this company donates and does more for cancer survivors and fighters than any other.  That they target Breast Cancer -- which touches one in eight women -- is especially significant to me, as a woman, as a friend of many survivors, and as a grand-daughter of two women who both died because of this form of cancer.

So here is a sassy little giveway for you!

MyBlogSpark has sponsored and will provide one reader of my blog with the adorable items above.  In addition to two cups of yogurt (yum) there are some wonderful breast cancer awareness products and a lid container collector.  I passed mine on to my students who are working on an awareness event.  They plan to collect lids the night of the event!

So here's your chance.  Post a comment and a shoutout to someone who's a real fighter -- someone who you would save lids to save lives for!

My someone is Patti Weimer. 

Want to get more involved in Yoplait's efforts?
Follow them on Twitter at:!/YoplaitYogurt
Or follow them on Facebook at:
Sign up for a Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure

And thank you, Yoplait and MyBlogSpark.

Much love,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A medical update, vol. 6,243

To all my friends:

A visual update.  Or, an update on my continued illness. Or, SSDD.

Here's the latest update from my doctors.

It has been 17 months since I developed the stroke in my right optic nerve that has left me for all purposes blind in my right eye.  Sept. 20 will be 17 months on prednisone, and Aug. 26 was one year on methotrexate.

Time flies when you're having fun, right?

1.  It seems the doctor at the Mayo Clinic has blown me off completely. After following his advice for a year, he has chosen to ignore my latest labs, sent by my doctor.  And yes. Of course I followed up.  So I say fine to that.  I do have a free hotel night in Jacksonville, but I won't use it on that.

2.  After 16 months on prednisone, I have begun the slow process of weaning off it.  Thanks to my WONDERFUL doctor Katy Gustafson-Roberts (shoutout) I am on week two of the wean.  So far, no ill impact from that. I made that woohoo announcement the day we started.  I am on 7.5, and Friday I go to alternating 7.5 with 5.  And then 5. and then 2.5 and 5. and then 2.5.  And GOD willing. Done.  *Lab work coming in two weeks. Pray for continued low sed rate and c-rp.)

3.  I continue to take a weekly shot of methotrexate (nasty chemo shot) and will continue this.

4.  My retina specialist Dr. David D'Heurle (shoutout( says my left eye continues to suffer hemorrhages *retinal bleeds -- see last post* and will.  That ship has sailed.  Can't go back.

BUT he also doesn't think additional eye surgery or nasty eye shots will make it better.

5. I'm in the ADA/Voc Rehab system and am getting some eye aids soon.  Update when that happens.

And so, I wait and try to see.  Try being the operative term.  I have a bleed almost weekly now, sometimes small, sometimes huge (had a horrible one while at AEJMC in St. Louis and could not see clearly from Thursday afternoon til Sunday).

But I persevere.  And I get funny, you don't LOOK sick a lot.

I am coping well.  I am doing OK. I am chronically exhausted (but you know that). Some days I see better than other.  I need warm socks and lots of spoons, but so do we all. I continued to be blessed with understanding friends, students and family -- so blessed.

We now return you to your own issues and trends.  Keep me posted on you, ok?

Much love,