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relish - july 2013 boys 'n berries

Relish 06: Boys ‘n Berries

Relish is a compendium of things to enjoy greatly and that add a little flavor to your gluten-free life. Because really, summer is all about the berries (and the boys).

relish - july 2013 boys 'n berries

So, I’m an old lady now.

Two weeks ago, I turned 29. It was a celebration to remember – all my friends made it out for the night. For my birthday, I treated myself to a trip to BlogHer Food in Austin. I even got to spend an evening in Millenium Park with friends listening to music. And because that wasn’t enough, I hosted the Great Big Gluten-Free BBQ and went to WordCamp (a WordPress conference for work).

But let’s talk.

There were some epic things that happened online in the gluten-free community. First, if you didn’t read this incredibly honest and heartfelt post by KC from GFree Foodie, go read it right now. And if you haven’t supported the kickstarter from Erica at Celiac and the Beast, you should do that. (The rewards include that awesomely designed swag from her blog)

Delicious eats.

There were so many incredible things shared to make this month, I chose a few of my favorite gluten-free summer options. (And some boy bait…)

relish - four things i want to make

This recipe is called Blueberry Boy Bait (01) from Alison at A Girl Defloured. I wonder if it actually works? And how about some Mango Coconut Popsicles (02) from Sarah Bakes Gfree Treats? These are perfect for hot summer days. I am going camping this week (yikes!), but these s’mores in a jar with bourbon marshmallows (03) from Sabrina at The Tomato Tart make me a little more excited about the food potential. And this incredible Icy Cold Mocha Chocolate Gelato (04) from Jane at the Heritage Cook will be making its way into my summer cooking rotation.

Other lovely things.

relish - four gluten-free things I loveThis casserole dish (01) from the Feed line at Target are both stylish and money for a good cause – you win twice! I know I mentioned it last month, but I am so excited about the new box club from Gfree Foodie (02). Go sign up now! Sometimes, fancy lipstick is a luxury we can’t justify, so this new lip balm from Almay (03) is both gluten-free and affordable. Taylor, the teen behind the blog Gluten Away has released a set of cards for diners (04) will all sorts of special diets. Go check them out!

What’s next?

Next month, I am going to meet some food blogging friends at BlogHer ’13 here in Chicago, so if you are going to be in attendance, make sure that you let me know that you will be there! I am also planning trips to some expos and conferences this fall, so keep your eyes on my list of events!

Relish - a list of gluten-free things from April 2013

Relish 04: Ramp it up

Relish - a list of gluten-free things from April 2013

Good bye April!

You might have noticed that I wrote 36 posts in April. Thirty of them were for the Health Activist Writers Month Challenge. Let me tell you, I am certainly ready for a cookie or two. And maybe a cocktail. (My friend Alison is curating a pretty impressive list of cocktails … you should go try a few, I know I am!).

For me, April was a little crazy, and I am not referring to the crazy number of blog posts. There was a little something about spine surgery in the middle. A design conference that needed attending. And a bowling outing for charity.

I also finally booked my hotel for BlogHer Food in Austin. I decided to stay at the Extended Stay America so I would have my own little kitchen and a guarantee of a safe meal if I need to cook one for myself. If you are going, you need to let me know so we can meet up and become best friends forever. (But the title of GFBBFF, that is Gluten-Free Blogger Best Friend Forever, is already taken, so we’ll have to come up with a special one for you too.)


And there is something I definitely don’t want you to miss: the infographic about Celiac Disease that Gluten Dude created last week. Celiac Awareness Month is upon us, and this infographic contains lots of great information. Please share it! (He even has it set up so you can embed it in your blog!)

Let’s talk about some food

I’ve been missing cooking. Something about not being allowed to bend and lift makes it a bit difficult to do. Boo to that. But, I did find some mighty awesome things to make from some of the best people on the internet. Sadly, although it is ramp season (this month’s title was totally referring to them because I am clever like that), none of these include them.

First, my friend Alison has been a busy bee, and she made these amazing(01) Gluten-Free Muesli Breakfast Cookes. Cookies + breakfast = awesome. Then Cindy at Vegetarian Mamma made (02) Gluten-Free & Vegan Onion Rings. A lady after my own heart. More breakfast items from the lovely folks at Cup4Cup. They shared (03) Gluten-Free Chewy Granola Bars on their Facebook page. And last, but definitely not least, Tracy at Shutterbean shared an amazing (04) Honey Orange Ginger Ale recipe. I wonder if it goes well with bourbon…

Some other lovely things

Ok, sometimes I spoil myself, but that’s ok. We all deserve a little bit of indulging.

A friend of mine recently started selling Stella and Dot (this is a link to her page), and even though I had no intention of ordering, their (01) Alexandria necklace caught my eye, and my incapacitated self decided I needed a present. My (02) Zoku Slushie Maker made me feel like a kid again and brightened up my days this month in ways Real Housewives marathons never can. This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the gorgeous new cookbook from Shauna and Daniel Ahern (Gluten-Free Girl & the Chef),(03) Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. And yes, another pair of shoes. Did you expect anything less? I am supposed to take it easy for a few months, so I thought I needed more fun flats. These (04) brightly colored shoes from Two Lips fit the bill perfectly.

What’s next?

Well, May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so look for posts and tweets with information about gluten-free living, celiac disease and gluten-intolerance from all of your favorite bloggers.

I will be finishing up the Snack It To Me series, I have reviews of two gluten-free pizza crusts and a review (and recipe from the lovely cupcake wars champion, yra Bussanich, herself) of the new Crave Bakeshop mixes.

Hooray for May!

Relish 03: March 2013

Relish 03: Put a little spring in your step

Relish is a compendium of things to enjoy greatly and that add a little flavor to your gluten-free life. Because really, life is all about the awesome sauce.

Relish 03: March 2013

March is the bringer of spring, even if that spring starts out with near-freezing temperatures and some snow. This month I was incredibly lucky yet again. I had gluten-free pancakes at Little Goat made by Stephanie Izard herself and I learned how to make a killer guacamole from Rick Bayless. I even crossed macarons off of my culinary bucket list.

But as wonderful as my month was, a fellow blogger got hit by the food elitists and took on adult food bullies (part 2).

Four Gluten-Free Recipes

This month, like every month, the internet was filled with delicious new recipes that I can’t wait to make. You might know that I am obsessed with Chunky Monkey Ice Cream…and this(01) Chunky Monkey Banana Ring Cake from Silvana Nardone looks like heaven. To health things up a bit, might I suggest these (02) Quinoa Pizza Bites from Gfree Laura. Uh, super yum! Movie nights will never be the same now that I have a recipe for  (03) Garlicky Lime Popcorn from Spiced Curiosity. But I think this month, this (04) Warm Almond Quinoa Breakfast Sundae from The Healthy Apple takes the cake. It feels almost as indulgent as the frozen custard my Papa used to give my sister and I for breakfast when we were kids.



Now that we are well fed, let’s treat ourselves. You might already know that I am a lipstick junkie and that I will try out just about any lip product that comes my way. Well, I found this (01) lip scrub from local gal (well, she grew up in Aurora) Sara Happ. After months of searching, I finally found (02) perfect black flats. They are lined in suede and the leather feels like butter. (03) My “Make Cupcakes Not War” tshirt is one of my favorite designs from tshirt designer extraordinaire Johnny Cupcakes. To go on your newly smooth lips, (04) Hot Mess lipgloss from Red Apple Lipstick might be my unexpected favorite makeup purchase so far in 2013.

In April, the Ratio Rally is back! You can also follow along as I challenge myself to write a post each day for the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

Relish 02: For the love of…life

Relish is a compendium of things to enjoy greatly and that add a little flavor to your gluten-free life. Because really, life is all about the awesome sauce.


February is the month of love, and even without a gentleman caller in my life, I got to spend it in style. (In case you missed it, I went to San Francisco and ate at The French Laundry and spilled the beans on their gluten-free brioche). Erica, Charissa and Alison also wrote about our visit to the San Fran. (On an unrelated note, the power point that I made for the presentation is available to download)

Speaking of the month of love, Gluten Dude started a series of Gluten-Free Love Stories. There are some truly awesome stories. Read them. Be jealous of how lucky they are.


This month, the internet was filled with delicious new recipes that I can’t wait to make. Like this incredible (01) Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad from A Girl Defloured. Since that is a little healthier than my fruity pebbles filled diet allows for, I think I should make up for it with (02) a Chocolate Raspberry Tart from With Style & Grace. Weekend mornings can be perked up with these (03) single-serving buckwheat waffels from Oh, Ladycakes. And we can wrap it up with another recipe featuring my favorite childhood vegetable (04) Ginger & Tamarind Glazed Carrots from The Tomato Tart.

Erica wrote a post about being human, getting glutened and powering through. I wrote a post in reaction to a comment from a friend that turned into a peptalk that I needed. There was anger over a NickJr. skit. Joy the Baker wrote some sound advice on blogging. This month was pretty epic, a certain Sassy Celiac even made a music video.

February was pretty great. But just you wait – next month I am going to start contributing to a new site, will have a new ebook out and frannycakes will be 2 years old!

Were there any gluten-free highlights that I missed?