Monday, October 12, 2015

My Post-Diagnosis Cookbook Binge

The month after my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease was an expensive one. Trying all sorts of new gluten free foods (many were not good investments!), buying a second toaster, cooking utensils, and frying pan (to ensure no cross-contamination), and then cookbooks, because I have an addiction to recipes.

As I am not a great cook, I rely heavily on books and recipes to tell me what to do. I dropped around $90 on Amazon right after we were given the green flag to start the gluten free diet.

Back then, the library was not a source for many - if any - gluten free cookbooks. Now, I consistently find the newest ones on the shelf!

Back then, blogging was not the "thing" it is now, but there were a few gluten free bloggers that really touched my life and saved my sanity. I'll be talking about them tomorrow.

Back then, Pinterest did not exist - my favorite way to find and keep new recipes. That's a topic for Wednesday!

AND, to top it off, one of my favorite haunts, Half Price Books, did not have gluten free cookbooks back then. When I was there last week? My, how things have changed for the better. :)

Half Price Books in Deerfield Township now has a gluten free cookbook shelf
So of those first books I ordered, I only use a few of them with any regularity - but I won't part with any of them. Part of it is I simply love books and like to flip through them, but sometimes they are just a great resource when trying to figure something out. I would like to share a few of my absolute favorites, though!

I always like perusing people's bookcases in their homes - so I'll offer up a chance to look at mine! First shelf: 

Living Gluten Free for Dummies - EXCELLENT resource when starting out. Highly recommend - but it is not really a recipe book.

Gluten Free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn:  Some of my favorite recipes are from her cookbooks and blog. Often the recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients are not crazy (at least in her first book - I cannot attest to the more recent ones). Her "Perfect Yellow Cupcakes" really are that - perfect! (her website:

Happy Birthday to me! Hydrangea cupcakes using Gluten Free on a Shoestring's recipe

Easy Gluten Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone: The holiday spritz cookies recipe in this book is worth the book's price. Period. They always turn out PERFECTLY and even my gluten-eating friends think they are delicious and can't get enough of them. (her website:

Easy Gluten Free Baking's Spritz Cookies

Second shelf:

Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea: You would not believe what this woman has pulled off with a crock pot. From soups to baby food to crayons - she figured it all out. She has a great website/blog - and I have found that if the recipe is in the book it is helpful to check out the comments on the blog, sometimes there are helpful additions or tricks readers share. (her site: Our absolute favorite of hers is "Traditional Stuffing" - best Thanksgiving stuffing ever. Like Stove-Top, but a better. And you can keep that space off the stove for the day. SO GOOD.

Traditional Stuffing - in a crockpot! by Make It Fast, Cook It Slow

Third shelf:
Classics, though I use them for reference more than anything. What I find interesting is that I was ready to trash my non-gluten free cookbooks early on, getting frustrated at recipes that called for bread crumbs and soy sauce and other ingredients that were expensive and hard to find gluten free. Now, six years later, those bread crumbs and soy sauce bottles are in most every Kroger and Meijer, and it is interesting how some meals have made it back into the rotation.

In upcoming days I will share some of the bloggers that have provided our favorite recipes, as well as how much I love to use Pinterest as a free recipe book!

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