Friday, December 23, 2011

last minute gifts

Scrambling for a last-minute items for a gluten free (or other allergy-friendly) foodie?  Here are a few ideas...

If your loved one is a reader, Sloane Miller's Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies and Sandra Beasley's Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life are two of the best finds published in 2011.  They're each available in electronic and traditional formats. Don't Kill the Birthday Girl was (appropriately) a birthday present from my boyfriend's parents, and I bought myself the Kindle edition of Allergic Girl's book.  (She can be followed on Twitter @AllergicGirl.)

If you're fully aware of cross-contamination concerns, you might fix an allergy-friendly meal.

Before jumping into such a daunting task, you might want to get yourself and/or your lucky foodie Gluten Free Cooking for Dummies.  The series has books available on other special diets as well, including but not limited to diabetes, IBS, vegan, and vegetarian cooking.  I was fortunate to find a couple used copies on Amazon - one for myself, one for my mom.  (Tip: be sure that the recipient doesn't find the "for dummies" language to be disparaging.  Some folks do!)

Does your foodie blog?  My boyfriend gave me some awesome business cards & an engraved business card holder from Vista Print.

Two upbeat magazines are now available for gluten free foodies: Easy Eats and Gluten Free LivingLiving Without is a magazine for those with food allergies and sensitivities in general.  Personally I like to play around with recipes in Food Network Magazine and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

Another idea for the budding chef: gluten free cooking classes.  Some chefs will do home parties, and occasionally classes are available at Jungle Jim's Cooking School, Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, or Party Source in the Greater Cincinnati area.  (Unfortunately I couldn't find any coming up at any of these locations, but it's great for future reference!)  That's definitely one gift I would love when another class is available, so I'm sure others would too. 

Some restaurants are particularly adept at fixing allergy-friendly meals, and at this time of year, you're likely to find some great gift card deals.  In the continuing economic crisis, you might as well get your money's worth, and these locations allow a safe environment for a shared meal with friends and family.

Is your foodie big-hearted?  You might consider donating to send a child to a gluten-free summer camp.  For more, see this post on Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom.  

While, of course, you don't want your foodie to be defined by their special diet, these ideas should let them know you're an ally on their journey :)

I'm hoping that I may be able to share the recipe for my new favorite Christmas cookie in the coming days:
cheesecake with a gluten free Honey Nut Chex crust!  My boyfriend's mom made them, and they're absolutely delightful.

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