Thanksgiving Pie

Yum! Pie. Pumpkin pie.

You can’t eat gluten? That is not a problem! Gluten-free pie can be better than pie made with gluten.

Here is how you can make it:

Here are some more instructions:

You want everything COLD. Much more important than gluten to a pie dough is cold. Weigh out the flours you’re going to be using and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before you start. If you’re using the food processor, put the bowl and blade of the food processor in the freezer as well. Cube up your butter into 1-inch pieces and put them in the refrigerator. You want COLD. That’s what makes a pie crust flaky.

And if you want to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Here is the best way to do so:

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Happy Holidays

P.S. Who doesn’t like deals? Check out gluten-free saver for many deals!

-Janice Vargas 🙂


Gluten-Free Related Buzzfeeds:

Buzzfeed is a very popular website that usually contains lists relating to a certain topic such as “30 signs you are obsessed with your dog”. I took it upon myself to search gluten on this site and actually received a lot of results. Some of the links were funny and others were actually lists of websites. I used to think Buzzfeed was just for entertainment purposes, but I know see this is not true. Buzzfeed actually contains valuable and useful information for people who are gluten-free! For example, here is a list of “23 Gorgeous Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Desserts”!

There are tons of other links related to being gluten-free and they all contain links to the recipes for every food the site suggests! One of the best gluten-free buzzfeeds I have seen is called “Everyday Struggles of Living Gluten-Free”. The link to this very funny and accurate link is below!

If you are ever feeling down about not being able to eat gluten definitely check out buzzfeed for some comical relief!


Ilyssa Frank

Gluten Free Gift Baskets

Ever try to send a gift basket to someone with an allergy?  It’s a pain, right?  You constantly struggle, asking different companies such as edible arrangements, popcorn factory and more, what their ingredients are, only to find out that they can not guarantee that there is no cross contamination.  Fortunately, resolves this issue.

I Can Have That is a site designed to send gluten free and allergy friendly gift baskets. Customers can purchase gluten, milk, egg, soy, wheat, tree nut, peanut, fish, or shellfish free baskets.  Why do they accommodate so many allergies you ask?  According to their site, between 4% and 8% of the general population has a food sensitive allergy.  One out of every 133 people has celiac disease and cannot digest gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barely.  Therefore, they focus on gluten free as their main form of gift baskets, but still provide for other allergies.

Jane Erickson developed this site after she and her son were diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006.  Her sister claimed that she wanted to send her sister a gift basket a few weeks later, but could not find one that was entirely gluten free.  Jane approached a friend and thus I can Have That was born.

To add to the accommodations, I can have that prides themselves on providing foods that have a delicious taste even though they are allergy friendly.  This way, people can truly enjoy the gift basket that they receive.  Their baskets each include a variety of goodies for different occasions or cravings.

On the site, you can also purchase gluten free cookbooks, separate knives and cutting boards, or a few other fun toys to add to your gift baskets.  You can also specify the day you want your gift basket to arrive, if it for a special occasion.  All orders received after 2 PM Eastern will be shipped on the following business day.

If your friend or loved one has celiac disease or some other food allergy, brighten their day and check out and send them a gift basket.

Gluten Free Hanukkah!!!

Why is this Thanksgiving season different than the rest? Simply because Hanukkah is falling on the same week of Thanksgiving this year. So lets take a break from the gluten-free mashed potatoes and turkey and focus on those classic Hanukkah goodies that can be easily made to be gluten-free. Hanukkah food tends to involve fried food, which isn’t gluten-free usually. However, we can still celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights with gluten-free fried food! Lets start with the latkes. A latke, otherwise known as a potato pancake is a very traditional Hanukkah food that can be easily made gluten-free following the recipe below!

Gluten-Free Latkes:

4 pounds Russet potatoes
1 large onion, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 cup Rice Flour Mix
3 eggs, beaten
Olive oil for frying

Preheat oven to 200 degrees or “warm” setting.

Peel potatoes and submerge in cold water. Grate the onion into a large bowl. Grate the potatoes using the larger grate of a box grater, or use the grater attachment of a food processor.

Quickly squeeze a handful of grated potatoes at a time over a second bowl (or the kitchen sink) to remove all liquid. Add the dry potatoes to the onions and mix as you go. This step should be done as quickly as possible to prevent oxidation of the potatoes.

Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron works best) over medium-high heat, until just below the smoking point.

Add remaining ingredients to the batter, and stir until fully combined. Place a small handful of batter (approximately 1/4 cup) in the hot oil at a time, gently pressing each latke with the back of the spatula so that it is no more than 1/3″ thick. Do not press too hard, as the latkes will be more crispy if the the batter is not densely packed and each latke is thin and lacy (space in between the pieces of potato). Fry until completely golden-brown on the bottom and crispy around the outside corners. Flip and brown on the second side.

Transfer latkes to a plate lined with paper towels or several layers of brown paper (I use grocery bags). Allow paper to absorb excess oil, then transfer latkes to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet in the preheated oven, where they will stay warm until ready to serve. Serve hot, with sour cream and applesauce.

Extra latkes can be frozen on a baking sheet in the refrigerator, with parchment paper or freezer paper between the layers. When frozen, transfer to ziploc bags. Reheat in oven on 400 degrees F.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Now for the matzah balls! It’s not a Jewish holiday without matzah ball soup! Here is a recipe for gluten-free matzah balls!
Gluten-Free Matzah Balls:
1/4 cup finely ground almond meal
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon flax seed meal (finely ground flax seeds)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon chicken fat or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1 tablespoon softened margarine
Beat egg with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, and combine well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Add additional potato starch, if necessary, until the batter is firm enough to be rolled into balls with your hands – It will still be sticky, but not too wet to handle. Using clean, dry hands roll a tablespoon of dough at a time into balls. Submerge in boiling water or soup.
Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until each ball has puffed up a bit and is cooked all the way through.
For Vegetarian do not use Chicken fat.

All of these recipes and more can be found simply by typing in gluten-free Hanukkah foods on google! The power of technology will allow all you gluten-free Jews to enjoy the holiday season! Happy Hanukkah and let there be light!

-Ilyssa Frank


Bakery for Gluten-Free Badgers


Indulgence is key to any diet or lifestyle, especially with restrictions caused by gluten intolerances. With such a strict diet set by the inevitable fate of biology, room for indulgence may seem slight; however, it is easier than you would think to look for foods that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

In Madison, Wisconsin, food comes in endless quantities and varieties, even to those who are gluten-free. The Silly Yak Bakery is a place known and loved by many gluten-free badgers looking for a source of safe breads and baked goods for any occasion. By simply visiting the website, the accessibility of this bakery is evident. The list of products offered is infinite, as well as the ways in which they may be received. Although this is most convenient for our fellow Madison residents, options for shipping are immediately presented, sending relief to those that are not as close.

The torture of passing a bakery is described in a consumer’s review on the homepage of the website, reflecting the daily struggles that most non-gluten-free eaters do not consider. The ability to walk into any restaurant, bakery, or super market and find safe food is a privilege that gluten-free eaters may not experience as often as those who are not. With this in mind, The Silly Yak Bakery offers gluten-free snackers their own place of fulfillment. Surrounded by cookies, muffins, pies, and pizza all delectably gluten-free, any person may be exposed to sheer happiness.

Check out this website to find information on making a visit or an order of your own!  

A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about family and well, the food. We all know how much we are looking forward to this at home; Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this is definitely something that has been on my mind. There are actually plenty of convenient gluten-free foods and ingredients for Thanksgiving you can use as shortcuts, or you can decide to make everything on your menu from scratch — your choice. Pinterest has a great board of GF Thanksgiving Recipes – I highly recommend browsing through this.

Here’s a run-through of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and what you need to do to make them gluten-free:

The turkey. Fresh, plain turkeys — those without any added broth, spices or other ingredients — are always gluten-free. Don’t open any gravy packet that’s included with a turkey, though — those almost certainly contain gluten.

Stuffing. It’s actually pretty easy to make gluten-free stuffing, and once you add spices and other ingredients, it’s likely to taste almost exactly the way you remember it. You can use a mix or simply use gluten-free bread crumbs (either packaged or from your own stale bread) in your own traditional recipe — you shouldn’t even need to alter the recipe. If you add spices, make sure they’re from a safe source.

Mashed potatoes. Some brands of instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free, as well, but it’s not difficult to make your own, and I think they taste better that way.

 Sweet potatoes. You might find a recipe for candied sweet potatoes that includes flour as an ingredient, but I think it would be more the exception than the rule — the vast majority I’ve seen are naturally gluten-free.

Gravy. Many of us grew up watching our mothers make Thanksgiving gravy using the turkey pan drippings, plus wheat flour. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to make gluten-free gravy — just substitute corn starch for the flour.

Pumpkin pie. The trick to making a decent gluten-free pie is placing the emphasis on the filling, not on the crust. That being said, though, it’s not difficult to make a decent gluten-free pie crust, or you can purchase one pre-made and frozen at many high-end grocery stores. You also can try one of these gluten-free pumpkin recipes, which include ideas for pies and more. Just make sure that all your other ingredients — spices, mainly — are from safe sources.


Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

-Janice Vargas

Online Gluten Free Shopping

Did you know that you can order gluten free products to be delivered to your home?  Even if your local grocery store does not carry enough gluten free products, you can get them at “The Gluten-Free Mall”.  This website is through  It provides thousands of different brands and products that any person with celiac or a gluten intolerance is bound to love.

This site regularly runs specials on products as well.  Often they will discount popular products.  This can save you a great deal of money since gluten free products are often very expensive.  In face, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, they are currently running specials on different gravy mixes and other Thanksgiving feast essentials.  By using this site, you will be able to find everything you need for your family holiday.  No family member will have to worry about struggling to find food for you to eat.

Not only are there food products on this site, but users can also purchase cookbooks, condiments, cleaning products, vitamins, clothing, and more, all either gluten free or advertising gluten free awareness.  Some of these things can make fun gifts for those that have gluten sensitivities.  You can search products by brand or type that you are looking for.  This makes your search easy considering there are thousands of options on this site.

Gluten free mall also sells frozen foods, such as frozen breads and pizzas.  The Gluten free mall will ship products that are frozen and assure you that they will arrive still frozen as well.  Check out to see more of these products.

Disney Channel Show “Jessie” Mocks Celiac Disease

This past may, the popular Disney show “Jessie” aired an episode that made fun of a gluten free child.  Shortly after, this episode was removed from the regular programing schedule.  The “Jessie” episode was called “Quitting Cold Koala”.  In this episode, a teen nanny was taking care of a child with a gluten free diet.  Jessie, the main character was one of many to make derogatory statements about children who need gluten free diets, mocking the character on the show.

1.8 million Americans have celiac disease and many may not even know that they have it.  Children across the country watch this show and it projected a negative image and allowed the encouragement of mocking this medical reality.  CBS news quoted a mother who has two children with celiac disease but are also “Jessie” fans.  She explained how upset and enraged her children were.

Often times with dietary restrictions, children already feel isolated.  CBS quotes Amy Raslevich, mother, saying, “Disney gave children permission, and an example, to further isolate my children and others like them because of their medical conditions.

In response to the many upset families across the nation, Disney posted this statement on its official Facebook page.  “We are removing this particular episode from our regular programming schedule and will re-evaluate its references to gluten restrictions in the character’s diet. Please accept our apologies for the upset this episode caused you and your family. We value your feedback and thank you for watching Disney Channel.”

Personally, as a teen nanny and someone with celiac disease, I am appalled that Disney would ever consider filming an episode like this.  I was an avid Disney fan as a child, and it concerns me as to the other derogatory marks regarding different types of people that they may have made in the past and that I may not have noticed.  I also believe that Disney should not have simply posted this to their Facebook page.  While I do believe that social media is the most efficient way to distribute this information, I think that Disney should have also held a conference with characters of the show, to repair the damage done to those children.  This would allow the children to see familiar character’s faces, and comfort them in this grave mistake.


Check out the CBS news article for even more information regarding celiac disease and this story.

Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance or sensitivity generally takes one of two forms: one with characteristics more similar to celiac disease and the other with characteristics more similar to a food allergy.

Given the varying degrees of severity and symptoms of gluten sensitivity, researchers believe the prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity to be much higher than that of celiac disease. It is estimated 6% of the U.S. population, or as many as 18 million people, suffers from gluten sensitivity.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

This group reacts with some of the same symptoms as people with celiac disease (gastrointestinal pain or bloating, diarrhea, fatigue) but gluten-sensitive individuals typically test negative for celiac disease in diagnostic blood tests and show no signs of the damage to the small intestine that defines celiac disease. Because of the lack of clarity around symptoms, no accurate or conclusive test for gluten intolerance has been found.


As such, it is generally advised that people who may suffer from gluten sensitivity speak with a dietitian and follow a gluten-free diet to relieve symptoms. If following a gluten-free diet does not alleviate symptoms, it is advised patients speak with their doctors, as they may be suffering from something other than gluten intolerance. There are various outlets of Internet sources that one can seek out for gluten intolerance. Various websites and even phone applications have made it easier for those who are Gluten-Free! Keep an eye out for new websites for celiacs or even just googling a product will go a long way!

Some foods are naturally free of gluten. Here is a handy checklist of examples for your next trip to the supermarket:

  • Milk, not flavored with ingredients that contain gluten, such as malt
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juices
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Beans, in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Peanuts
  • Seeds, such as flax
  • Tree nuts, such as almonds
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Fresh fish (cod, salmon)
  • Fresh shellfish (clams, oysters)
  • Fresh poultry (unbreaded)
  • Fresh meats
  • Honey
  • Water, including bottled, distilled, spring

Check out The Food and Drug Administration or The Mayo Clinic for an extensive list.

-Janice Vargas

A Gluten-Free Winter!

As the winter seems to be drawing near people will soon be resorting to the typical “winter food”. Winter diets seem to consist of comfort food, especially warm foods such as soup and hot chocolate! However, some of these typical winter recipes may not be available for gluten-free people! But have no fear! There are alternate recipes for people who do not eat gluten! Below you will find several gluten-free winter recipes that will be sure to keep you warm and full this winter!

Smoked Mozzarella Caprese Salad Recipe




8 ounces (1 ball) smoked mozzarella, thickly sliced
2 medium ripe beefsteak tomatoes (or 4-6 on the vine), thickly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil
high-quality extra virgin olive oil
smoked sea salt
crusty Italian bread, for serving
  1. Remove largest basil leaves at the base of the stem.
  2. Rinse basil leaves and gently pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Arrange ingredients on a serving platter in the following order: 1 slice smoked mozzarella, 1-2 basil leaves and 1-2 slice tomato (depending on size).
  4. Repeat until all ingredients are used.
  5. Drizzle generously with extra-virgin olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt and serve at room temperature with crusty Italian bread.
Level of Difficulty:
Prep Time:
15 minutes

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe




1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 pound ground beef
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 cup frozen peas
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrot and ground beef. Cook until beef is browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the fat and add the broth, tomato paste and thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the juice thickens, then add the peas. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 11 x 9 baking dish and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook about 20 minutes, or until tender, and drain.
  6. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk and salt until smooth.
  7. Spread mashed potatoes in an even layer over the meat mixture making sure to reach edges completely.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Level of Difficulty:
Prep Time:
20 minutes
Cooking Time:
1 hour

Chocolate Basmati Rice Soufflé




6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into even chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons basmati rice flour
1 cup whole milk
1 pinch salt
5 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 egg whites
  1. Place the chocolate in a dry, microwave-safe container. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and heat for 1 minute at half (50%) power. Remove from microwave and stir with a spatula. If the chocolate is not completely melted, put the chocolate in for another 30 seconds at half power. Stir and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat the bottom and sides of six 6-ounce ramekins with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle the bottoms and sides evenly with the sugar. Tap out excess sugar.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in basmati rice flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble, 3-4 minutes. Add the milk, melted chocolate, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in beaten egg yolks and vanilla.
  5. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add the reserved sugar, beating until stiff. Fold whites into chocolate mixture.
  6. Gently spoon the mixture into prepared soufflé dishes. If you prefer, sprinkle a little extra sugar on top of the soufflés to make them crustier.
  7. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes or until puffed and browned. Serve immediately.
Level of Difficulty:
Prep Time:
10 min
Cooking Time:
40-45 min

Wild Rice And Cornbread Stuffing Recipe




For the cornbread

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk, at room temperature

For the stuffing

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 cup onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
8-10 sage leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the cornbread: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Grease your baking pan using 1 tablespoon of the butter and place in preheated oven.
  4. Whisk 3 tablespoons butter, eggs and milk together in a large bowl, then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
  5. Remove heated baking dish from oven and pour batter in evenly.
  6. Return dish to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely, then cut into 1-inch cubes and leave out on a baking pan overnight to harden.

For the stuffing: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine cooked wild rice with cornbread cubes in a large bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup stock, stir to moisten and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large pan, and saute onions, garlic and celery until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer vegetables to cornbread mixture and return pan to medium-high heat.
  6. Brown the sausage, then toss with the sage and add to cornbread mixture. Toss all together to combine.
  7. Transfer mixture to a large baking dish, drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup of stock and bake until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
Level of Difficulty:
Prep Time:
1 hour plus overnight drying time