Walk for Celiac Disease!

Daria says:

What a wonderful weekend it was!!!

A much needed mother-daughter getaway spent doing what we love….eating, walking, & gluten-free networking!

In mid-April, Mom sent me an e-mail about the 4th Annual Mid-Hudson Walk for Celiac Disease. I checked the dates and wondered…it was on a weekend, which of course, in my industry is the busiest time for work! But, I really wanted to go! So, I requested off and my chef was kind enough to allow me the time AND he became my sponsor!

Yay!  I was off to raise awareness!

As you know by now, the month of May is Celiac Awareness Month, so it was perfect timing for us to head up to New York. As a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate, it was an amazing weekend going back to visit my alma mater in Hyde Park, NY.

Not to mention, my favorite Chef Richard Coppedge was going to be there doing a baking demo (I spotted it on the agenda)! We wanted to surprise him…and so Friday came and we were off!

Driving trips are always a great time to catch up with my mama bear while we listen to my latest music choices & we just laugh as the time passes! No sooner do we realize it, we are at the hotel getting ready to go over to the CIA to eat at one of the restaurants, American Bounty.

Meeting up with one of mom’s childhood friends was a great addition to our dinner experience! She and Marilee hadn’t seen one another in many, many years and had been wonderful friends since first grade! There was a lot of hugging and laughing when they saw each other!

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Once we were seated in the dining room, we were greeted with gluten-free breadsticks…it’s so great when you make the reservation, you just need to state that you are “gluten-free” and they are ready for you! It’s so easy…call or use OpenTable for American Bounty!

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Mom decided to have the half chicken with natural jus, mashed potatoes & grilled asparagus.

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Marilee & I got the duck served with morel sauce & braised fennel. Marilee decided to get the grit cakes & I chose the sautéed dandelion greens as a side.

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Dinner was so amazing! And of course, we needed to try dessert=)

Mom & I got the lemon meringue with ginger ice cream & raspberry pearls, which was gluten-free.

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To end the meal, the kitchen sent out some petit-fours (or as we call them, mignardises)!

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I think the only time we weren’t laughing & being too loud was when our mouths were full of delectable treats! Lol=)

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We had a long day ahead of us on Saturday, so we said goodbye, and decided to get some much needed rest! Not sleeping so well through the thunderstorms, we were nervous that the weather wasn’t going to hold up for the walk.

Sure enough, we got ready & got lost along the way, but finally made it to the correct side of the Walkway Over the Hudson!

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We registered & got a very nice bag full of gluten-free goodies, a T-shirt advertising our walk, and got to meet lots of amazing vendors & taste-test all of the amazing breads, cookies, apple wine & hard cider!

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Everything was wonderful….AND the best part ~ there was not one thing there that was going to make us sick if we ate or drank it!!!

The countdown began & the ribbon was cut….off we were on our walk to raise awareness of this disease!

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It was absolutely perfect weather! It was sunny, the breeze was blowing & spirits were high!

Again, we got to keep catching up with one another & keep bouncing ideas of what we would like to do with our future plans together as a mother-daughter duo=)

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We met Nico, the “AmbassaDOG” of the Walkway Over the Hudson, who is a celebrity in his own right! And adorable, to boot!

We made it all the way across & back over the Hudson River & we couldn’t wait until noon to surprise Chef Coppedge. We had some time to walk around & purchase some of these amazing treats vendors had to offer, although we learned our lesson….don’t ever browse, then think you’d come back & everything would still be there to choose from! Get it as soon as you see it, no matter where you are! Cardinal rule of the gluten-free world=)

We were discussing breads with another amazingly talented mother-daughter team we just met & out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him! Chef Coppedge…he looked like he was seeing a ghost!! It had been almost 8 years since I graduated, and probably at least 6 years since I had last seen him while visiting the CIA!

Immediately, I ran over & gave him a hug! He still seemed like he was in shock! We got to chat for a short while before his baking demo and of course, pose for a few pictures!

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At noon, he announced that he was going to be making amazing gluten-free muffins to the crowd that gathered; the wonderful muffins that I remembered! Completely taken off-guard, Chef called me up to introduce me to everyone that was sitting in on his demo.

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Slightly blushing, I made my way up to the front & he talked about my being a former student & how he had placed a bio of me in his cookbook (Gluten Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America; a must for your library), how I had worked at The Hotel Hershey for seven years, & now, how I am starting my venture as an Executive Pastry Chef at The Mill in Hershey!

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He also promoted our blog (the one you’re reading!) & handed out our business cards so that the gluten-free crowd could check us out and hopefully, follow our journey =)

I absolutely adore all the people that come out to the gluten-free events!

Everyone is so excited to share their stories, their newest hurdles & adventures. The great part about my background from the CIA is being able to help share that knowledge with others to help them be able to travel & eat without constantly being sick!  The even better part is I get to do this with my best friend, my mama bear! I am so glad we got to meet all of these amazing people and now hope to keep in touch & spread the word about their incredible products!

Here are some of our favorites!

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Awestruck premium hard cider

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Yankee Folly Cidery

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Meredith’s Bakery which has many gluten-free products….their bread is FANTASTIC!

Bearsville Bakers

Bearsville Bakers

And these for which we have no pictures, but it doesn’t diminish their impact!

Wild Apple

Schar

Schar, an Italian company that’s been around for over 20 years, is a great source of gluten-free products. We were so THRILLED to meet Dr. Anne Roland Lee, Director of Nutritional Services for Dr. Schar USA! She was so personable and knowledgeable!

Thank you to all of you who will be helping us spread the word about our blog in the near future

After the walk, we headed back over to the CIA to hit the gift shop and visit with one other chef that I fondly remember….Chef Stephane Weber. He is the pastry chef at Bocuse, the French cuisine restaurant on campus. His desserts are simply amazing!!

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We had a great little mini-reunion!

And of course, the CIA campus changes all the time…this sign is a new FAVORITE!

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Can you see why??

Chef Coppedge said to be sure to visit the “fish sculpture” near the Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, the Italian cuisine restaurant on campus….now we now know why!

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This 12-foot, 360-pound Atlantic sturgeon was created by artist, John F. Sendelbach, in 2014. It features approximately 700 knives, 400 forks, and 600 spoons!

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It’s simply incredible!!

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We wandered around some more….just because….and had a blast!

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Our last stop before home was a former favorite of mine,

Coyote Grill, in Poughkeepsie. They have really good tacos!

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I had chicken and Mom had fish….they were yummy!

If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Hyde Park area, please put it on your “Must See Places” list! The area is just gorgeous and has so much to offer!

Until we meet again!

Happy gluten-free adventures!

© 2015, Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

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The perfect pound cake!

Monica says:

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and when I think of my Mom, I recall her either baking or sewing…..and did I mention that she was great at both?

Well, she was!

Me and Mommy

 That’s me and my Mom circa 1961

This brilliant seamstress could sew anything….from curtains to fully-lined coats; she did it all. Having four daughters to keep clothed, she was forever in her “sewing room” cutting, pinning, and stitching. She was so talented that she could make a dress without a pattern…all you had to do was describe it to her and off she went.

One of my biggest regrets in life is not making the time to learn to sew when she wanted to teach me. Being the youngest of the crew, I was not interested in learning anything so domesticated…and because I went to Catholic school for 12 years, we did not have Home Economics class, so I slipped through the cracks!

When I did try my hand at sewing many years later, I basically taught myself and with some help from my oldest sister, I was able to make some simple curtains, pillows, and what I call “nonsense” items….but never took on a clothing project!

If only we could have do-overs!!

Baking on the other hand, was something that I was interested in, and I did get bake with my Mom. She spent countless hours in the kitchen making braided bread, cookies, nut rolls, and more! Our home always smelled incredible and was always so clean and tidy.

She had a talent for making food into beautiful presentations and just enjoyed making people happy, as do I. She loved to “fuss around” and make life a little grander and I know that I definitely inherited this from her!

As you can imagine, my Mom’s baking was legendary in our church parish and school. The nuns who taught at our parish school LOVED her cookies and bread, and looked forward to them on holidays and special occasions. One time I remember the nuns were concerned because my Mom hadn’t sent them any baked goods, so they asked my sisters and me if our Mom was sick. Yes, she actually was! So they sent special prayers up to heaven to get her well quickly so they could enjoy her goodies again….it’s funny how you remember the simple things!

We lost my Mom in 1997 and consequently, she wasn’t alive when Daria and I were diagnosed with celiac disease, but I know she would have tried to adapt many of her recipes to be gluten-free…she was just like that!

In the recipe that follows, we combined our favorite spice, cinnamon, with organic coconut palm sugar (the secret ingredient), to make the streusel, that flavors and creates a beautiful look to this classic pound cake…and of course, we added baby pecans to give us a bit of protein. You can use walnuts or almonds if you prefer.

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Anyway, this post is for my Mom and Daria’s “Grammy”….

a perfect gluten-free pound cake inspired by a wonderful woman!

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Cinnamon Swirl Gluten-free Vanilla Pound Cake

Dry ingredients for Cake:

2 cups King Arthur Gluten Free Flour or flour blend of your choice

¾ tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

1 tsp Egg Replacer

1 cup sugar

Wet Ingredients for Cake:

½ cup or 1 stick softened butter

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

Streusel Topping:

3 T Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

1 T softened butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚ and grease a loaf pan (9” x 5”) and dust with gluten-free flour.

Whisk flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and Egg Replacer. Set aside.

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy and light.

Now add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat until just blended. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat the mixture one more time!

Spoon half of the batter into a prepared pan. Mix together the streusel ingredients and spread half over the batter.

Now spoon on the remaining batter and top with the rest of the streusel.

Use a knife to swirl the streusel through the unbaked cake.

Bake for about 55 minutes OR until a tester comes out clean. (We always use a tester!)

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Cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

One large loaf yields 10-12 servings.

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk    whisks

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The cake can be served as is or with ice cream or whipping cream…any way… it is delicious!

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So, if you are able to spend a little time with your mom on this special Sunday, enjoy every minute.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of you that are moms and moms-to-be!

Special blessings to my niece Amanda and hubby Gary, who just had a little one on April 28th….welcome to the crazy family, beautiful baby Audrey!

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Big sister Gracie is more than excited to share with you!

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These are my two blessings, Claudia and Daria….love them with all my heart!

Girls and me W'burg VA 2006

This picture was taken in Williamsburg, VA, when Daria was on her pastry externship

from the Culinary Institute of America.

And last, but certainly not least, a Happy Mother’s Day in heaven, Mom! xos

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Blend up some nutrition!

Monica says:

Smoothie recipes are everywhere! They are THE go-to breakfast or energizing snack in the afternoon!

If you have a blender, you can make virtually any smoothie!

Smoothies are quick and easy, help you get more fruits and veggies, and can sustain your energy for a longer time! And did I mention, FUN?

If I didn’t…FUN ranks right up there!

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I LOVE listening to the whir of my HealthMaster™ blender (Montel Williams Living Well series)….yes, we got sucked into the infomercial and resisted, however, when we saw it at our local Boscov’s, we purchased it (and are happy to say it has been great)!

Anyway, the blender itself comes with a Smoothies and Power Drinks recipe manual and additional titles for making soups & sauces, appetizers & dressings, and desserts & ice cream, as well as an eating plan.

I’ve collected quite a few recipes into a “Smoothies” file, and I downloaded the Smoothies for Migraines ebook onto my Kindle, along with a few other titles.

When I first started blending my smoothies, I followed the recipes to the T.

Now, not so much!

It all depends what’s in the refrigerator and on the countertop….these ingredients will become my smoothie for the day!

A favorite of mine that I make fairly often is a nut and fruit smoothie.

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This one was made with 1 cup of fresh blueberries, ¼ cup of natural peanut butter (no sugar added), 2 very ripe bananas, 2 T chia seeds, 2 cups of vanilla soy milk and 6 ice cubes.

The ripe bananas give this smoothie a sweet taste

and the blend of blueberries and peanut butter round it out!

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Delightful!

So if you haven’t become part of the smoothie craze, I would suggest that you join us!

Easy, nutritious, and fun!!

What could be better?

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

Monica and Daria say:

It’s time to become  aware of the many symptoms of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity!

The GIG, Gluten Intolerance Group, has designed this great infographic to demonstrate the many, many possible  physical and mental manifestations that have been associated with gluten-related disorders.

gluten free infographic

 

The GIG, founded in 1974, is a watchdog for gluten –free products and verifies their quality, integrity, and purity. The organization is currently in 27 countries and has certified over 21,000 products.

Look for this symbol to be sure that the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, a program of GIG, has ensured your gluten-free food safety.

 

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The grocery markets have become flooded with gluten-free products….one last reminder!

ALWAYS read the labels…especially if you have multiple allergies or sensitivites!

It takes a few extra seconds, but is so worth it!

Happy May!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk