Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Happy New Year"

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kids Corner

Gluten Free Baking In Our Easy Bake Oven!

My girls received their first Easy Bake Oven for Christmas, and of course, the first thing they wanted to do was make some delicious pint sized treats for the entire family.  I obviously can't use the mixes that came with the oven, so I found this delicious recipe online and it was fabulous!  I am going to try out some of our cake mixes that we carry and I'll report how they turn out.  If you have kids with an Easy Bake Oven, you'll love this recipe! 

Here is a recipe that make 4 cakes, plenty for everyone to share!

Chocolate Easy Bake Cake

•1 cup gluten-free flour mix
•1 egg
•1 TBS canola oil
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 cup water
•1 tsp baking powder
•2 TBS cocoa powder

Preheat Easy Bake Oven. Grease cake tins with oil or dairy-free margarine

Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Pour into cake pans.
Insert cake pan into the Easy Bake Oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove, let cool, then frost with icing recipe below

The Celiac Shack 
Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays From The Celiac Shack!

Happy Holidays!

May your days be filled with family, friends and all good things. 

The Celiac Shack
Making gluten free fun one day at at time!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Almost Time...

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

The year has passed and so many exciting things have happened to us all over the past twelve months.  I am finding it hard to believe that the New Year us almost upon us.  I've been thinking in my spare time about how I wish to see to new year and the changes I'd like to personally make in it.  As many of you know, my favorite quote is "Be the change you wish to see in the world", and I try to be this change throughout all of my days.  I teach and preach this motto to my children, spread the idea to strangers and friends alike, and believe the world would be a much better place if everyone was the change they wished to see at least once a day.  It's not a hard concept and very easy to do.  I tell my kids that if someone says something mean, then they should say something nice.  If someone doesn't hold open a door for you, then you should hold a door for someone else.  My personal favorite as of late...If someone doesn't say "Please" or "Thank you", then you be sure to say those words to someone.  Quite simple in concept, but has HUGE results in the scope of a day!

We have informed all of you that The Celiac Shack will be undergoing some changes throughout January 2010.  We asked for feedback and received so many great suggestions and comments.  I'd like to thank all that took a moment out of their busy day to let us know how we can make our community and pantry even better.  We've thought about how we can be the change we wish to see in the gluten free world, and we've decided to make those changes over the next month. 

I've re-evaluated what is important to me as a mother, wife and person.  I've thought about what changes I'd like to make so The Celiac Shack will provide you an even better gluten free destination spot.  I've decided to use the first month of the year to give all of you the best that I have to offer.  The Celiac Shack has been a dream and ever changing entity of mine for years, so I appreciate all of you and your support.  My labor of commitment and determination will be back better than ever very soon! 

I am still accepting product suggestions , so please feel free to let me know what products you'd like to see in our gluten free pantry.  I want to provide all of you with the best shopping experience possible and that includes carrying all of your favorite products for less than you're paying now! 

Please email us @ with your suggestions/requests.  We will be around the entire time we're making our changes and you'll still be able to order  your favorite products during this time.  Just send us a quick line and let us know what you need!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" contribution today is to reassure each of my children that they are super smart and special cookies!  A word of praise is worth more than all the money in the world! 

How will you be the change you wish to see today? 

Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Health & Wellness

The Gluten Free Vegetarian

I have been speaking with quite a few people lately who are vegetarians, and they've asked me how to go gluten free while following  a vegetarian diet.  For a vegetarian who has already eliminated meat, poultry, fish, seafood and possibly eggs and/or dairy products, further limitations may be particularly unwelcome.  As with any lifestyle diet, there are challenges, but with proper planning and education, a completely gluten free vegetarian diet is absolutely possible and a very healthy way to live and eat. 

I followed a vegetarian diet for many years for personal reasons, and after I get my chops on the entire gluten free diet, I may try to go vegetarian again.  That may be too much for my family to handle all at once, so we're taking baby steps! haha

Below is an article that I found, read and find very informative.  It is from and it was written by Carol Rees Parrish, R.D., M.S., Series Editor.  Please read it over for some great information if you're interested in becoming a gluten free veggie!

The Celiac Shack
Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Travel & Leisure

Starbucks has Gluten Free Items

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am a full coffee addict!  I can't live without it, and I don't understand people that do. I Like the smell, the taste, the feeling it gives me, and there is nothing better than walking into a coffee house and getting your hot cup of joe and a delicious treat to enjoy with it.  Only problem is, until recently, every time I walked into Starbucks, I only could get my hot cup of coffee.  Sad that I couldn't pick one of the treats from that forbidden case that I always drooled over.  Now I CAN!  Starbucks has an Orange Valencia Cake that is gluten free.  They also offer a gluten-free Amaretti Cookie that you can purchase. I know that there is a Starbucks in every town and city...probably on every corner, so it's nice to know you can pop in, sip your hot cup of goodness and get a gluten free snack on the side. 
Check out the link below, which is the Starbucks blog link to answer any questions you may have:

Go out and get some caffeine!!

Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shack Attack

Closed For Business

Aloha "Shackers"! We are shutting down our website starting January 1st for a major overhaul. We are adding new products and removing the ones that are not a good fit for our customers. We are also streamlineing the usability of the overall site to make it more enjoyable and easier to use. Though you will not have access to The Celiac Shack for most of the month, we will continue to share and communicate with all of you through our social networking websites. If their is anything that you must have, we can be reached via e-mail at

We would also like to afford you all the opportunity to chime in and add your two cents on the changes we make. What do you want from "The Shack" in 2010? Tell us about your likes or dislikes about everything from the products we carry, to the overall design and functionality of our pages. We want to hear everything! Without your approval and happiness, we would not be able to carry on. So let it rip and stay tuned for further updates concerning January's closure. Thanks for a great 2009 and we look forward to a fantastic new year.

The Celiac Shack
"Making gluten free fun one day at a time!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gluten Free Product Information

Soup's on!

My family loves a great bowl of soup, and typically I make my own pot of homemade goodness, but the other day, I was short on time.  I went online, looked for some great gluten free soups and came across the Live Gluten Freely website.  This is an informative website that lists all of General Mill's Gluten Free products.  I chose their Traditional 99% Fat Free New England Clam Chowder for our dinner, and it was quite delicious.  I made some gluten free rolls and it was a perfect dinner for a cold winter evening. 

Here is the link to the Live Gluten Freely website

I'm not getting paid or receiving anything from General Mills for promoting their website or products, but I really like to see companies that are getting on the gluten free wagon!

Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kids Corner

Empower Your Children To Live In A Gluten World!

After speaking with numerous parents about the different ways they are teaching their children to live in our gluten filled world, I decided to look for some key points that may help everyone with this necessary, yet daunting task.  It is more difficult for children in my opinion than adults to grasp the concept that they can't have "normal" birthday cake or treats at school.  It is a bad day when you tell your child that they will always have to read labels and ask questions before they put anything into their mouths.  After all, everything always looks SO good!  I came across a great article that I found informative and inspiring and I'd really like to share it with all of you.  It shows ways to empower our children to live without gluten and deal with life in a world that doesn't cater their special needs diet. 

This article is titled Kids and the Gluten-Free Diet and it was written by Mary K. Sharrett and Pam Cureton from the February 2007 issue of Practical Gastroenterology.

I hope you enjoy it and take some great tips and information from it.  I really spend a lot of time with my kids in the kitchen, role playing for hard situations where "taboo foods" are bound to be, and reviewing labels.  It really can become part of your day and life without much hassle if you have the support to do so. 

If you haven't already, please sign up for The Pipeline, The Celiac Shack's monthly newsletter.  We offer something different each month, including contests, gluten free recipes, and gluten free information. 

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments!

Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Health & Wellness

Understanding Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is a condition that results from a person's body being unable to properly digest the gliadin protein. People without gluten sensitivity can digest and break down gliadin into very small particles and those small particles can then be easily absorbed by the small intestine and used by the body as a nutritional source.

Those people who are gluten sensitive cannot break down the gliadin protein molecule in to small enough particles. The undigested gluten protein gets absorbed into the first layer of the membranes of the small intestine. But because the food is not fully digested the body's immune systems sees these protein particles as something it needs to attack and destroy, in very much the same way the immune system would attack an invading organism such as a virus, bacteria or parasite. The attack by the immune system is what causes the problems because the surrounding tissue of the small intestine can become severely damaged. It results in two significant problems in the small intestine:

1.The surface area of the small intestine is reduced and the tissue becomes very unhealthy. This results in a condition called malabsorption, which means that the small intestine can no longer properly absorb foods and essential vitamins and minerals.

2.The attack of the immune system directly affects the surface membrane of the small intestine and essentially creates large gaps in the membranes resulting in the membranes becoming permeable to large size proteins. These proteins would not be passing through a healthy small intestine. One of the biggest problems for gluten sensitive individuals is that this permeable membrane will allow the large undigested gluten molecules to enter the blood stream. These gluten molecules can then travel through the bloodstream and adhere to tissues distant from the small intestine and create damage to those tissues. This occurs because the immune system is actively fighting gluten molecules wherever it finds them. This phenomenon explains why gluten sensitivity can create problems throughout the body and may in fact create many symptoms in other parts of the body in addition to or other than the small intestine.

* Information by Dr. Rick Petersen, D.C., C.C.N.)
(Click here to view whole article)

The Celiac Shack
"Making gluten free fun one day at a time!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Travel & Leisure

Wild Wood Art/Gluten-Free Cafe

Let's take a trip down to the lone star state to visit a real gem. The Wild Wood Art Cafe is nestled in Austin, TX. I'm sure you know or have heard about this cities hot music scene, but know little about it's gluten-free side. People everywhere are interested in healthy living from wholesome, alternative food sources. Wild Wood strives to make baked goods that are delicious, yet harmless to the growing community of wheat-, gluten- and carb-free people who love tasty foods.

They remain dedicated to the nutritional welfare of people with food allergies and medical restrictions. Wild Wood produces gluten free foods that are so good, the claim everyone likes them better than ordinary wheat-filled items. That is a tall statement to make in my book. I have tasted some pretty good products before, but as good as the gluten filled counter parts? Wow!!! They have Mexican favorites, salads, cookies, breads, the works! (Menu)

Normally the menu they have created would be enough to peak my intetest, but Wild Wood has more to offer. They have their very own art gallery. What kind of “magic” do the Wild Wood artists offer? One that is grounded firmly in the earth and its precious resources - clay, fibers, metals, woods, and savory flavors... Join them in a virtual – or real – flight to a place where good taste can satisfy all five senses, a place where affordability, adventure and delight are shaken, not stirred...

WOOD: In the steady skillful hands of the Zapotec woodcarvers a mix of imagination, humor, and insight crystalize into wooden sculptures. Smooth or textured, huge or tiny, these art works invite us into the minds and culture of an ancient world. They work with 60 Oaxacan families who use copal wood and other found materials to delight and amaze us.

WOOL: Weavers by trade for more than 2000 years, Zapotecs Indians were introduced to wool by the Spanish only 500 years ago. They create 100% wool, double sided tapestry weave rugs and wall-hangings. They specialize in unique designs and custom sizes. (Gallery)

"Making gluten free fun one day at a time!" 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shack Attack

Aloha Everyone! Below is a special segment from our newsletter "The Pipeline". The lounge focuses on input from our subscribers. In December we asked people to give us their very own personal stories regarding their gluten intolerance. We had a couple of really good submissions that we would like to share with you today. If you like what you read, click on the following link to receive your copy. You will find an assortment of stories, recipes, contests and more! Hope you enjoy it and I look forward to sending you your copy today!

Subscribe: "The Pipeline"

I have a personal story for you. I've always gotten headaches (forever!) but 7 years ago I suffered a spontaneous subdural hematoma and since that time have been plagued by chronic migraines occurring regularly up to four times per week. I've seen countless neurologists, alternative medicine specialists, acupuncturists, and surgeons. Nothing worked and I resigned myself that I would suffer these debilitating headaches daily for the rest of my life. Six weeks ago my 13 year old son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and my entire family started the gluten free diet with him. My son was rightfully discouraged by his diagnosis but took it in stride saying God gave this to him for a reason, he just didn't know what it was yet. Well, since starting the diet with my son I've only had one migraine! One, in six weeks! I haven't ever felt relief like this. Obviously, I'm very gluten intolerant and just was never diagnosed. I thank my son every day for getting us on this diet. It isn't easy and it isn't fun but, I think he now has his reason for his diagnosis - it was to help his mom. (From: Tami Wessley - Gluten Free Faces)

Hi my name is Mike, and I'm a recovering gluten-holic. My story is somewhat unique, because I do not have the typical "bathroom" symptoms like most people experience. My mom made me get tested, because celiac runs in my family. I was diagnosed with celiac when I was 21 years old, a sophomore in college, and doing all the things 21 year-old college students do: Cold beer in the fridge, Pizza buffet on the corner, and especially the $1 McDonalds double cheeseburgers. Immediately after college, I started a business and worked 24/7. I couldn't resist the temptations and convenience of quick, high carb, meals on the go. After selling my business, my life slowed down a lot, and I could start to see some symptoms that I had previously overlooked. About a week after I switched to a gluten free diet, I could tell a difference. I was in a better mood and more energetic. Since then, the benefits have become even better. I believe success all is about your mindset. You have to make yourself believe that you will never eat "poison" again under any circumstance. If you are serious, your friends and family will also feed off of your new attitude and will begin to accommodate to your needs. To make it easy on myself, in the beginning, I stuck to meats, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Over time, I have slowly added other safe foods into my diet. Yes, you can still go out to eat. Just do some quick research beforehand, talk to your server of chef, or always keep a snack with you. One last thing: get involved! Talk with people on Twitter, Facebook, and people in your community. They will keep you motivated and updated on all the new things going on in the quickly growing gluten free community. (From: Mike Hutchinson - Switch To Gluten free)

I like what you've done with the Celiac Shack...your theme, messages and info are always informative. Keep up the good work! (From: Chad Hines - Gluten Free Faces)

The Celiac Shack
"Making gluten free fun one day at a time!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gluten Free Product Info

Gluten Free Wine...Just In Time!

For those of us that really enjoy a nice glass of wine once in awhile, it is nice to know there are safe wine options out there.  My husband enjoys the gluten free beer, but I have been staying away from wine for the past year, and now that I know of some brands that are safe, I can resume my occasional wine sipping with friends!

Listed below are the companies that have certified their wines are safe and free from gluten:


*Fenn Valley

*Five Oaks

*Ingleside - (Only the Blue Crab Blanc and Blue Crab Blush, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosato de Sangiovese, Viognier, The Rose, and October Harvest.)

*Kendall Jackson

*La Rocca - All wines are not only gluten free, they are sulfite free too

*Louis Jadot - Only the Maconnais and Beaujolais are made in stainless cask. Their other wine are made in barrels sealed with water and flour.


Break out the cork screw, polish up those glasses, and get ready for the taste of some great wine!

The Celiac Shack
Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kids Corner

Gluten Free Silly Putty

Here is a fabulous Gluten Free Silly Putty recipe that my kids love to make.  We always appreciate gluten free crafts and activities, so here is one for your craft box! 

Silly Putty - (Grade - Great/Good) Not edible ~ Adult supervision is strongly recommended.

1 cup water
6 Tbsp Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup (4 oz bottle) white school glue
optional: food coloring

1.) Pour 1/2 cup water into a small bowl. Add the Borax and stir until dissolved. Set aside.

2.) Pour the other 1/2 cup of water in a medium-sized glass or metal bowl. Add the glue and stir until combined. Optional: add food coloring and stir to achieve the desired color.

3.) Pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture. Knead with hands until most of the water is absorbed and the putty can form a ball in your hands. Lift the putty from the bowl and discard the remaining water mixture. Return the putty to the bowl and allow to sit, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until fairly firm.

4.) Store any unused silly putty in an airtight container.

The Celiac Shack
Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Health & Wellness

Bone Problems in Kids With Celiac Disease may be Reduced by Gluten-free Diet

A new study has said that gluten-free diet can affect recovery of children with celiac disease (CD), an inherited intestinal disorder characterized by life-long intolerance to the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.

Although CD can be diagnosed at any age, it commonly occurs during early childhood (between 9 and 24 months). Reduced bone mineral density is often found in individuals with CD.

Now, the new article in the journal Nutrition Reviews examines the literature on the topic.

Metabolic bone disease remains a significant and common complication of CD. Reduced bone mineral density can lead to the inability to develop optimal bone mass in children and the loss of bone in adults, both of which increase the risk of osteoporosis. There also exists an additional risk of fracture in people with CD.

However, evidence suggests that a gluten-free diet (GFD) promotes a rapid increase in bone mineral density that leads to complete recovery of bone mineralization in children.

A GFD improves, although rarely normalizes, bone mineral density in adults. Children may attain normal peak bone mass if the diagnosis is made and treatment is given before puberty, thereby preventing osteoporosis in later life.

Also, nutritional supplements consisting of calcium and vitamin D seem to increase the bone mineral density of children and adolescents with CD.

"Our findings reinforce the importance of a strict gluten-free diet, which remains the only scientific proven treatment for celiac disease to date," the authors conclude.

"Early diagnosis and therapy are critical in preventing celiac disease complications, like reduced bone mineral density," they added.


The Celiac Shack
"Making gluten free fun one day at a time!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Travel & Leisure

Zehnder's of Frankenmuth

Have you ever heard of Little Bavaria and Zehnder's? If you have, then you know how cool Frankenmuth can be for a day or weekend visit. If not, you have to start combing your calendar for a date that you can pay a visit. It's a semi-annual visit for "The Jones Gang" because it is in our home state of Michigan and they have a rocking restaurant that has a Gluten-Free/Celiac menu.

Zehnder's of Frankenmuth is the heart of Midwestern hospitality. In its ten dining rooms, which can seat more than 1,500 guests, Zehnder's offers a full-service menu that features all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinners, seafood, steaks, fresh baked goods and European desserts. Each year, Zehnder's serves nearly a million guests with the superb hospitality that has made it a world-wide attraction.
Dinners range from $15.25 to $21.50, with children's portions and special event menus available. The luncheon menu is available Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm. Zehnder's is open seven days a week. They are only closed on Christmas Eve, and for our annual employee Christmas party in early January.

It's a tradition the began 150 years ago when The Exchange Hotel opened its doors in 1856. The Zehnder family purchased the hotel in 1927 and the tradition of good food and hospitality continues today at Zehnder's of Frankemuth.

"Making gluten-free fun one day at a time!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shack Attack

Wanted!!  Feedback For The Celiac Shack

As all of you know, we are always trying to improve our site with new product additions, finding ways to improve functionality for our customers, and seeking new and pertinent gluten free information and news. We have had such great feedback from all of the gluten free community, but we're asking for some more input. 

We're approaching a new year, and we'd like to make some changes to improve The Celiac Shack.  We would really appreciate your input and suggestions on our site.  Input of all kinds is welcomed so we can make all of the necessary changes to make  The Celiac Shack the gluten free pantry/community that you think of first for all of your gluten free needs. 

Here are some of the areas we'd really appreciate feedback on:

What can we do to make you shop more at The Celiac Shack?
Is our site easy to use?
How can we make our site more user friendly?
How do our products' prices compare to other gluten free pantries?
What gluten free products would you like to see in our pantry that we currently don't carry?
Would you find gluten free cooking demonstration videos helpful?
What can The Celiac Shack do to keep you as our customer?

We are open to product suggestions and will get new products in as requested.  We will do our best to get all of your favorite gluten free products to you at a better price than you're paying now, and we'll have them delivered them to your door!  
Again, we value all of the opinions we receive from you.  As a thank you for replying with your suggestions, we will send you a gluten free sample bag absolutely FREE.  Include your name and mailing address with your e-mail, and we'll get it out to you ASAP.

The Celiac Shack is making gluten free fun one day at a time...How can we make it fun for you?

The Celiac Shack

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gluten Free Product Information

Ruby Tuesday Is On Board With Gluten Free Dining!

Back in the day, my family used to take our occasional trip out for dinner at a local restaurant.  It's much more difficult these days because not many restaurants have gluten free menus.  I get excited when I see restaurants get on board with gluten free options for their customers.  It makes my life easier when I don't have to look at every ingredient and ask the server so many questions that their head pops off. 

We have our few dining spots that I know are safe, but now I am able to add one more to my list.  Ruby Tuesday's Gluten Free menu looks pretty good.  You can get appetizers, sandwiches, burgers (without the bun of course), Ribs, Chicken dishes, Salads, and Seafood. Best news of all, they offer Gluten Free Kids items!  Super bonus for us and all other families with kids! 

Quite the selection from what most places are offering, so I think the next time we go out to dinner as a family, we are going to head to Ruby Tuesdays! 

Listed below is the link to their gluten free menu for your review:

Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kids Corner

Gluten-Free Kid

I recently stumbled across an awesome blog page written by a 12 year old girl named Alex. If you have any children in your home that have gluten issues, I strongly urge you to allow them access to this page. It would be a great way for them to relate to someone of their own age with the same problems they have. Her page is no hack job, it's slick, well written and has great information from recipes to personnel stories. I could learn a thing or two from her for my own page. Below is the introduction from her "Getting to know me" section.

"Hi, my name is Alex and I am a 12 year old girl. I live in Woodinville, Washington. I was really sick in third grade and missed 36 days of school. After a bunch of tests I found out I had celiac disease. It was very hard at first to have celiac but now it has gotten a lot better. My friends are great about this and have helped me through this disease. My family has also helped me a lot. Once you get used to having celiac disease and your friends start to know more about it this disease will be more like a little problem instead a huge one. Other kids who have celiac disease might think that this is really hard and might think that this is the end of the world, I used to think that but now that I have gotten used to it is just normal. I created this website so that I could share with other kids fun recipes, places to eat, great places to go on vacation, and to help out other kids with celiac disease."

Click on the link below to check out her whole page and make sure to tell her what a wonderful job she is doing.

"Making gluten free fun one day at a time!