Raise your hand if you knew that September 13 was National Celiac Awarenes Day. No? I didn’t either. I found out inadvertently via a P.F. Chang’s Facebook post.
Anyway, in doing a bit of background research I learned that National Celiac Awareness Day was established in 2006 to get the word out about celiac disease. The date was chosen because September 13 is the birthday of Samuel Gee, who is credited with being the first to discover a link between the gluten-free diet and celiac disease. The Celiac Sprue Association has provided an online resource for people who want to help spread the word and educate others about what celiac disease is. Some of their ideas for observing National Celiac Awareness Day include hosting a gluten-free baking contest and speaking to a classroom (perhaps your own child’s?) about celiac disease.
Back to P.F. Chang’s. P.F. Chang’s has been a very good friend to the gluten-free community. If I am not mistaken, they were one of the first major chain restaurants to offer gluten-free options, before it was even “trendy” to do so. They have one of those most extensive gluten-free menus I have ever seen at any restaurant. And, they are family friendly! My kids love the crayons, activity sheets and Wikki Stix they get each time we dine there.
The reason for the Facebook post I alluded to earlier was to announce that they have recently added a new dessert to the gluten-free menu: a Triple Chocolate Mousse Mini Dessert! We rarely get dessert when we dine out but it’s nice to know that they do have some gluten-free options. You know what else is great about P.F. Chang’s? They have recipes for their Gluten Free Mongolian Beef and Gluten Free Shanghai Cucumbers on their website! I’m bookmarking the Mongolian Beef recipe.
Perusing the baking aisle of my local Safeway today, I was surprised to find they now carry gluten-free Bisquick – I’d heard a rumor about it but never actually seen it. The official product name is Bisquick Gluten Free. At $5.89 for a 16 ounce box (and that was the sale price) it was certainly pricey, but consistent with the other gluten-free baking mixes sold at Safeway (Amazon is cheaper, people). Bisquick used to be a staple in our home. I actually stopped buying it several years ago not because of the gluten thing, but because their regular baking mix contains hydrogenated oils. Fortunately, the gluten-free version does not contain hydrogenated oils. As far as the taste goes, I am planning a review (Gluten-free Pancake Death Match?) for a future post. I will say that despite its Betty Crocker pedigree, it is going to have to be darn good for me to jump ship from my beloved Pamela’s. (Which comes in convenient 4 pound bags–take note, Betty Crocker!)
One of the foremost gluten-free bloggers and voices in the gluten-free community, Shauna James Ahern (of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef), has a new book coming out this week. Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, co-written with her husband Daniel Ahern (the titular “chef”), is billed as a cookbook/love story. As a fan of the blog as well as her previous book, Gluten-Free Girl (which I read after my son’s celiac diagnosis but before my own), I’ve been hotly anticipating this book for months (there is a picture of pizza on the cover!). Shauna’s writing is exquisite and just good stuff, even you aren’t gluten-free. I can’t wait to get a copy of this book in my hands. Bonus: now that both of my kids are in school full time, I have a little more time to experiment with the recipes!