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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Gluten-Free Cooking Made Easy by Susan Bell

What happens when you give six women/families with gluten allergies copies of Gluten-Free Cooking Made Easy: Delicious Recipes for Everyone border= by Susan Bell? Six very happy tummies.

Compliments of Walnut Springs, my friends and I were able to taste-test this new cookbook and I have to say with great pleasure that the cookbook was a resounding success! Hurray Susan Bell and Walnut Springs Press!

So let’s get right to the point. The food was yummy, we found a few typos and slip ups in the ingredient lists, but on the whole we were extremely pleased with the recipes and the resulting fabulous dishes. Hands down winners? The Best Waffles and the Angel Food Cake. Mmmmmmmmm. For people who normally have to go without or eat cardboard, need I say more?

What else is there to like? It isn’t just baked goods. (Okay, I know my description above kind of sounded that way, but I promise it’s full of a variety of great dishes.) If we had to tear ourselves away from the bread products, the stir fry, fajitias, cheesy halibut, creamy ramono chicken, taco soup, sweet pear pork chops and chicken pasta salad also got happy nods of approval.

Gluten-Free Cooking Made Easy: Delicious Recipes for Everyone border= is a great introduction to the weird world of gluten-free living. The food is wonderful and fairly easy to make. Having a resource like this can make things a little less discouraging. One woman used it as a reference to go through all her “old” family favorites and figure out how to easily adjust them for her daughter-in-law’s diet restrictions. Another just simply threw out all of her old cookbooks she was selectively sifting through and proclaimed Gluten-Free Cooking Made Easy: Delicious Recipes for Everyone border= to be the only cookbook she needs or uses. It really can feed the whole family without the bread-tolerant members even noticing a difference. Heck, my autistic son gobbled down the chocolate chip cookies without blinking and believe me, it’s very hard to pull one over on him!

I have to admit when I first looked through the recipes I was a little discouraged. The ingredient lists to duplicate a wheat flour can feel a little daunting. I’m a very lazy cook, so it might not bother (and didn’t seem to) anyone else. What I’ve found though, is the recipes are usually simple enough outside of the ingredients that I can kind of do a “make a mix” approach with the flour ingredients. I simply measure twice, cook one set of ingredients and the other set of ingredients in a Ziploc bag so it’s a little easier the next time I’m craving that awesome angel food cake. Did I mention we really liked the angel food cake? And the waffles? And the zucchini muffins? And the blueberry muffins? And the rice bread?

Hungry yet? Yep, me too. So, if you’ll excuse me I haven’t gotten a chance to try the brownie recipe yet and I can hear it calling to me.