Friday, May 13, 2011

A New Heroine

 I'm almost in tears writing this, because I just baked these:

nut butter-and-jelly cookie cups

and when the kids came in, Violet said, "Can I have a cookie?". I said yes. Then Jude said, "Can I have one, too?" His expectant little freckle-face searched mine for the word that I sometimes cannot say because of his gluten and dairy intolerance:


I used to bake, a lot. In our home, baking is synonymous with love and comfort. I remember coming home from school and finding the kitchen table covered with cookies sitting on a layer of newspaper. The greasy rings left behind spoke of home.

I rarely bake anything now because I hate to say "no" to him when the girls can eat it, and have found that gluten-free substitutes just don't make the cut. Without butter and the sticky, binding qualities of gluten, baking is often tasteless, gritty, or just...blech. It can taste like dried peas (if it contains chickpea flour), crumbles into a million pieces, or makes your tongue feel weird.

Last week I hit a wall. I do the majority of the cooking and feeding around here, and with a gf/df child, a picky preschooler, a husband who always feels underweight, I feel like I need the skills of a specialist, when really, I'm just a mom trying to work, garden, farm, knit, and sometimes sleep. My husband came home and no dinner was made and I made him take the kids out to the chip stand for fries. I stayed home and ate a scrambled egg. I was at the end of the line, after having spent too much money on mixes and substitutes that just didn't satisfy.

I knew there had to be something I was missing, but I don't have the know-how (or the time or discipline) to experiment with flours, starches and gums to come up with the best gluten-free flour blend.

Lucky for me, Silvana Nardone has done if for me! Author of "Cooking for Isaiah", Silvana tested and experimented and perfected gluten and dairy free cooking. I just got her cookbook and have made three recipes from it since yesterday: Sloppy Joe Stuffed Potato Skins, homemade pizza crust, and the cookies you see above.

Not only did all three recipes get rave reviews from Jude, they were also enthusiastically eaten by everyone else! The cookies are everything you want from a cookie: sweet and a bit salty, crispy on the outside, dense and chewy on the inside. Unbelievable.

I asked my hubby to pose for a shot. I told him to act sexy while eating the cookie. He wasn't sure what that meant, but I'd say he nailed it, wouldn't you?

Porn for moms of gluten-free kids: exhausted-looking dad enjoys homemade cookie.

So, I am now following the church of Silvana. She's helped me out of a rut, inspired me, and has made me a heroine in my son's eyes, just because I made a delicious cookie that he, too, can eat.


  1. Wonderful news for the entire family; fantastic.

  2. Our family also has gluten issues (no out and out celiac's but definite issues).
    My personal theory is that over the past couple of generations our bodies ability to process plain old food has been taken away as we're force fed this foreign substance that our digestive systems just don't recognize.
    If you are interested, Indian cookbooks often have sweet treats made with besan (chickpea) flour that are amazing! Whenever we are down to the GTA we pop by a couple of Indian sweet shops we know and trust to buy up a big box of decadent goodies.
    I've been hearing rave reviews about this book you mention!

  3. I have been gluten free for about 18 as well as casein free. I sometimes miss an item but sure don't miss the nausea and indigestion that concluded my eating them!
    I also have a mixed family at the table, of the 8 of us 4 are vegetarians, two of us are gluten free, one is a nothing-but carnivore and two are hard -core carbbies. Thankfully I do the veggie stuff and hubby does meat and carbs with gluten.Having a " blended family" at the dinner table can make it complicated

  4. I had a friend post a link to this book. Might be worth a look if and when you need more recipes:

  5. Mmmmm....cookie porn. So glad you've found a balance!

  6. Can't wait to check the book out! Also have a kid with multiple allergies (some of which I don't think I even know about!)

  7. wow - you had me in tears reading this too. And I don't even have gluten-free needs in our household - you slightly made me wish I did! Good writing can do that.

  8. SO happy for you and for Jude! You are such a good Momma!

  9. We just found out my three year old has a dairy allergy so we are in the beginnings of the "no, you can't have that anymore" phase. It is terrible! Thank you for recommending this cookbook. I will definitely check it out!


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