BE. INSPIRED| Why I Love Camp Celiac Strong| Part II

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of hosting a gluten free baking demo at the 2nd Annual Celiac Strong Camp in Ithaca, NY . I can’t say enough how happy I am to have been a part of this wonderful camp. Kids and parents came from all over New York state, Canada, and even Florida to be a part of Celiac Strong.  Celiac Strong is a summer stay away camp filled with fun, sun, swimming and gluten free food. But It’s the latter that makes Strong different from the typical summer camp experience.

Those of us living with celiac disease can attest to the fact that living gluten free can be frustrating at best and isolating at worst. Even though the questions What will I eat? or What is that made of?  become second nature, none of us would be being fully honest if we didn’t admit that the constant scrutinizing and passing on foods at parties, gatherings, and events does not wear at our psyche over time. The ability to be completely and totally worry free vanishes once one receives a celiac diagnosis. The constant planning of meals and snacks when on the go does become part of life, but it also induces anxiety, stress, and in some cases, resentment.

Celiac Strong Camp takes the worry out of life and for a few days kids and adults alike can eat and live in a beautiful environment with like minded individuals. Individuals that understand all that comes with living with celiac disease.

The level of camaraderie, positivity, and overall kindness of camp Founder Sabrina Devos and her mom Chris is omnipresent and infectious from the moment you set foot in the main cabin. Volunteers from all ages work tirelessly to ensure that the Celiac Camp experience is one that is fun, organized, and worry free. This year I was able to fully immerse myself in camp the experience. I was set up with two wonderful volunteers; nicknamed PB and J who were my assistants during my demo. The participants were broken up into groups of three. Each group was lively, interested, and invested in learning about the Cookie Cake recipe that I presented. The younger campers were the best. I was literally blown away by their knowledge, know how, and participation. Six, seven, and eight year olds should really run the world.

Dinner was provided and I literally almost ate my plate. Chris’ homemade mashed potatoes and stuffing was out of this world. I couldn’t help but ask, Are you sure this stuffing is gluten free…since I haven’t had stuffing in years. To be able to eat without worry is literally mind boggling. It wasn’t until I was in a completely safe environment that I realized how much we take for granted this so often overlooked commodity. It made me appreciate the adage that we really don’t realize how good something is until we no longer have it.

I could go on and on for pages and pages but I won’t. Celiac Strong Camp is more than amazing. As well run and organized as it is in just the second year, speaks to the commitment, passion, and dedication of Sabrina, Chris, and the wonderful volunteers. If you are looking for a safe summer getaway camp for you and your family, Celiac Strong is the place to be in the summer. Click the image below to learn more about it and watch the video above to listen to one camper’s narrative as to why Celiac Strong is so amazing.

celiac strong camp

Recipe Roundup| July

And just like that July is out and August is in. Summer is slipping through my fingers and I don’t like it one bit. I have many irons in the fire so it’s back to work for me. In the meantime check out all the recipes that made the cut during July and keep it locked for many more recipe (and other) surprises during the month of August. Continue reading

Strawberry Swirl Buttermilk Pie|Visual Recipe Tutorial

Summer is all about fun, sun, strawberries, and cool simple desserts. This Strawberry Swirl Buttermilk Pie fits the latter to a T. This pie can be eaten as is, but it’s best served chilled with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. So beautiful and I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me.


Watch the Youtube video (above) then follow each step of the recipe through the photos. Continue reading

Gluten Free Menu Plan| August 2-7, 2015

The dog days of summer are here and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Clear blue skies, sunshine, and warmth are here and I’m trying to relish (and revel) in every single moment. I hope you are enjoying your summer as well. I sincerely want these moments to last; so much so, that I’m taking a minor break from the blog for the month of August. What does this mean?

Well, posts will be sparse and not featured every day. I have a ton of irons in the fire and in order to give you the best that I’ve got, I need to totally immerse myself into my work and catch as must R&R (in between) as possible. But worry not. I’ll still be busy on the respective facebook, twitter, and tumblr pages.

Season one of AskTheGlutenFree podcast will continue to be  brand new every Friday through the month, inspiring quotes will be posted courtesy of my BE. campaign, and I have a very special A+mazing surprise in store.

Yes, we are moving and shaking here on the gluten free chef blog and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  But before I ramble on any longer, check out this week’s menu ideas; the last until around mid September. Stay tuned, you haven’t seen the best of me yet :)

Continue reading

Hazelnut Almond Un-Graham Graham Crackers

I love a graham cracker crust. It’s my go to for many desserts and comes in handy most especially in the summer. From cheesecake to lemon bars, the uses for graham crust are endless. It’s for this reason that a from scratch gluten free un-graham graham cracker crust has been on my to do list for some time now. If you remember my All About Graham Flour post, you know that graham flour contains gluten. Of course, store bought pulsed gluten free graham cracker’s are my go to; but this A+mazing scratch version is simply wonderful. It’s a little involved but very much worth the trouble. Continue reading

BE. INSPIRED| Why I Love Camp Celiac Strong| Part I

I’m still basking in the inspirational glow from my visit and gluten free cooking demo from Camp Celiac Strong 2015. They say a  picture is worth a thousand words, so for today I’ll let the visuals speak for me.  But don’t fret…my one thousand words are coming tomorrow. Until then BE.INSPIRED BE.FEARLESS| BE. GLUTEN FREE


Simple Stovetop Strawberry Jam|Visual Recipe Tutorial

This Simple Stove Top Strawberry Jam was inspired by my love of summer and  strawberries. It’s very similar to the Cranberry Jam that I make every winter. See how easy it is to make by following the steps in this A+mazing visual recipe tutorial. You won’t regret it.
Watch the Youtube video (above) then follow each step of the recipe through the photos. Continue reading




Episode 9| Are You Still Doing That Gluten Free Thing? by Ask The Gluten Free Chef

The Gluten Free Chef has something to get off his chest.
A venting session of sorts, this week’s episode is a PSA to the non-celiac, helping you understand what not to say to someone that lives and eats gluten free.

Share your comments and please submit your questions for future episodes after the jump or on Twitter. (‪#‎asktheglutenfreechef‬ ) Continue reading