Free for ALL Cooking – & Why I’m Thankful –
I've seen several reviews lately that have put the proverbial EM-pha-SIS on differing portions of the title to my new book: Free for All Cooking. I've appreciated each of them and enjoyed thinking of the many ways the title so truly describes the book.
I don't think I had settled on my favorite representation of this book though, until I saw another one on Twitter today. It read, FREE for All Cooking. Now the play on words here is that this one came attached to a contest to actually win one of my new books … FREE! (Go here if you want to be entered to win before November 30) But lest we focus entirely on the contest and lose sight of the fact that the recipes contained in this book are really developed, FOR ALL, I want to share with you — my readers — a bit more about my latest title.
You may already know that I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999. You may not know that I was diagnosed with severe lactose intolerance over two years later, when I hadn't yet returned to my happy, healthy self (that self was lost in 1989 when I first manifested undiagnosed by very obvious celiac symptoms).
In my journey to bring normalcy back to my gluten-free, dairy-free life, I began to bake furiously, never willing to compromise on taste or texture and ultimately having to create my own new way of baking free from these seemingly essential food ingredients. Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating was the outcome of that initial baking frenzy.
My road to delicious foods was long and very, very bumpy, but I now happily share my baked goods, flour and recipes with people all over the country through my books, cooking classes, blog and unique gluten-free flour mixture. This real-life education began another journey for me, which culminated in my book, The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free.
But working with all these new folks over the years has shown me that the majority of people living gluten free have also discovered that they or someone else in their family has other food restrictions as well. Sometimes it's not even the gluten-free part that seems so hard for people, but the fact that other dietary changes face them as well, and the cumulative effect of it all can seem too overwhelming to bear.
It is for these folks that I wrote my just-released book, Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family can Enjoy. A handbook for those of us living with more than one food limitation, but not wanting to feel food-restricted; a cookbook full of delicious recipes, tailor-able to nearly any set of food allergies or intolerances. A book that brings all kinds of foods back onto ALL of our tables.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much, including for the opportunity to help so many people live more normal and very happy lives with food restrictions like celiac disease.
Here are a few of the impressions shared by the first reviewers of my new book, for which I am also thankful. (More reviews on Amazon.com)
The thing you should know about Jules is that she will not settle for less than stellar tasting food. She’s extremely focused on making sure the dishes she creates are good enough for anyone to enjoy, including the most finicky gluten eaters around. Jules has been baking since she was a young girl so when she went gluten-free she had to learn how to create her favorite dishes without gluten. That’s what led to her creating her own custom gluten-free flour blend which is now a staple in our pantry. Recently, I made an apple cobbler recipe with Jules Gluten Free flour and it was shockingly delicious.
There are recipes for Breakfast Foods, including Pop-Tarts, granola, scones and cinnamon rolls. Appetizers & Side Dishes include recipes for Croutons, Stuffing, Fried Green Tomatoes (one of my favs), Matzo and more. Breads & Rolls include Baguettes, Biscuits, Challah, Pizza Dough, and more. The Soups section was one of the most fun to browse through! So many good recipes like Pumpkin Soup, Chili and Gazpacho. Main Dishes include Potato Gnocchi, Ravioli, Tempura Shrimp or Vegetables, and Tomato Sauce. Then, saving the best for last, Desserts! Recipes range from the simple Chocolate Birthday Cake and White Frosting to Brownies to Carrot-Apple Cider Cake with Sour Cream Frosting. Like pies? There are many recipes, including a Crustless Pumpkin and a Key Lime Pie.
When my book arrived from Amazon, I ripped open the box and the book just about fell open to page 195: 5-Minute Chocolate Cake. Within a few short minutes of the book’s arrival, I had a wonderful Chocolate Cake in a Mug! Not only delicious, but cute as can be! The chocolate chips melt just enough to make a lava-cake effect, and the cake itself is springy and yummy. This is such a perfect little cake recipe to have on hand for a special after school treat or a drop-in guest. Just imagine how impressed your guest will be when you whisk up a little cake in a mug that cooks in three minutes. It’s practically a miracle!
Quite a few of the recipes in Free for All Cooking are for dishes that people with restricted diets thought they might never try, or enjoy again. They are all relatively simple to prepare, and are healthful alternatives to many supermarket offerings. Free for All Cooking is a must-have for those who can’t eat everything, and those who cook for them.
Her section on substitutions is wonderful! She covers alternatives to milk, how to make your own buttermilk with ingredients you probably already have on hand; multiple egg substitutes; sugar substitutes; and more!
If you are tired of making dishes with multiple flours definitely check out “Free For All Cooking”!
This is a very valuable cookbook! Eliminating certain foods from your diet shouldn’t have to be limiting on: taste, variety, nutrition, and it shouldn’t require you to have any special skills to prepare meals! I was expecting to be confused following the recipes in “Free for All Cooking“; I was relieved to discover that the opposite was true. The simplicity in which the author presents her compilation of recipes, and informative solutions, and substitutions is both welcomed and well received.
There are so many recipes in this book I want to try! My short list is…Dark Chocolate Beer Cake, Popcorn Bread, French Baguette, Pumpkin Corn Muffins, and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. I love the fact that she has some unusual things in the book. I mean really, beer cake? It sounds wonderful to me! I would have made that right away, but I'm out of gluten free beer. It's number one on my list.
The proof is, of course, in the dairy-free pudding. Buttermilk biscuits, cheesecake, pumpkin pancakes, and coffee cake are all possible by using substitutions and a little imagination.
Two recipes were tested from “Free for All Cooking.” The Mexican Stew was a sweet potato-based soup which was a perfect choice for an autumn supper. I shared this dish with a friend who claimed that he hated sweet potatoes but had seconds and asked for the recipe. Since apples are plentiful at our neighborhood grocery stores this month, my second recipe was for a Carrot-Apple Cider Cake which was moist and good even without frosting.
This is an excellent cookbook, even if you don’t have an allergy sufferer in the family.