Gluten- and Dairy-Free ‘MELA PIE’

In celebration of Thanksgiving, I attempted to make my first ever Gluten- and Dairy-free ‘MELA PIE’ (Sidebar: Mela is not only Italian for apple, but is coincidentally one of my nicknames. Mela is also a Sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’ or ‘to meet’ and, therefore, the perfect dessert for a Thanksgiving gathering with family and friends).

Here’s how I tuned a mini-bushel of local organic apples and a handful of ingredients into a delicious homemade MELA PIE:

Gluten-free Pie Crust: I used an El Peto pre-made pie shell that I purchased at the Gluten-Free Expo in Toronto last weekend. Note: the shell is to be pierced, pre-baked for ~15 minutes, and cooled before filling, as per the box (More ambitious bakers: feel free to bake the crust from scratch)MelaPie_ingredApples (peeled, cored and sliced very thin): I used mildly-sweet and crisp hand-picked local apples from Organics Family Farm, and temporarily placed the cut slices in a water/lemon mixture so they would not ‘brown’ as quickly (thanks to a tip from my Pastry Chef sister)

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“Gluten-free Back-to-School Tips and Recipes”

“If it hasn’t started yet, school’s just around the corner for millions of gluten-free kids. That means a gluten-free plan for breakfast every morning, and for gluten-free lunches, and in-school and after-school snacks.”

Read the full article on, prepared by Jefferson Adams.

GF Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Nutritionist and Culinary Consultant, Peggy Kotsopoulos, makes her gluten-free, guilt-free goodies on CBC’s Steven and Chris show:

“Culinary Celebrities Tackle Gluten-Free Dining”

“The Food Network still hasn’t added a gluten-free cooking show to its prime time line-up, or well at all, but that doesn’t mean that our nation’s top chefs haven’t started taking the gluten-free diet seriously. Whether launching dedicated gluten-free product lines or implementing gluten-free menus in their restaurants, these culinary geniuses have started catering to the growing gluten-free community in big ways.”

Read the full story from Delight Gluten-free Magazine, posted by Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod.

Celebrate the Forthcoming GF Labeling Regulations with ‘Cake for One’

“In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop and finalize standards for gluten-free labeling. Due in 2008, the Celiac community is still waiting for FDA to fulfill that mandate. A year ago, news outlets from coast to coast were buzzing about gluten-free labeling. Activist chefs gathered in Washington, DC, to build the world’s tallest gluten-free cake, while advocates hosted a summit for gluten-free labeling.” [Source:]

As a result of these efforts, the FDA reopened the comment period for the gluten-free labeling regulations in the United States (FDA news release- August 2, 2011). They have since promised to issue the labeling regulations by the end of the third quarter of 2012 .

In anticipation of the release of these regulations, the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) invites you to make cupcakes — one for every year you have been gluten-free! Take a picture of your cupcakes and post to the ACDA’s Facebook page. Then spread awareness by sharing the link with your friends and family via email, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.

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Vote for “Showers of Flowers” in BabyCakes’ Cake Art Contest

The BabyCakes Cake Art Contest is now in the voting stages and “Showers of Flowers” needs your support!  Click here to visit the cake gallery and cast your vote for #6 “Showers of Flowers” (representing Toronto, Canada)! There are some amazing creations in the gallery!We appreciate your votes. Check the BabyCakesNYC blog after May 7 to find out who won!

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Guide

With so many gluten-free all-purpose flours on the market, finding the right one for you can be complicated. Good news! Delight Magazine has compiled a guide to Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flours so you can find the best flour for your baking needs: Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Guide.

“Showers of Flowers” GF/DF Cake

This Easter weekend, my sister and I enjoyed collaborating on a gluten-free/dairy-free cake for BabyCakes’ Cake Art Contest of the World. We used the German chocolate cake and icing recipes from ‘BabyCakes Covers the Classics’ (‘Reading’), and covered it with McCall’s EasyIce gluten-free/dairy-free fondant. The result: delicious!

Here’s a sneak peek of our creation, “Showers of Flowers”…Stay tuned for the voting stages of BabyCakes’ contest…