It's official, we are now a GIG Branch

Well now, that only took two and a half years to complete!

I received notice earlier this week that everything was approved. I am now in the process of reading through the handbook and related materials - lots of information to keep straight. I think my head will 'splode!

Officially we are now called GiG of East Central Wisconsin. Along with the new name, I am also in the process of re-doing the website. The new website is

Currently, GiG is allowing us to keep individual branch websites, but they are also allowing us to have branch pages within their own website. I'm not sure how things will shake out yet, but stay tuned! I've also updated our Facebook Page.

I am excited and yet somewhat nervous. Although it has been 25 years since I've started a new job, it feels like I'm starting a new job. I now have a "boss" to report to, lots of new things to learn and do.

I am excited because I feel GiG allows our little group to reach beyond the four walls of RMC, beyond Ripon, beyond Wisconsin. This association allows us to do things nationally and globally - something that would be hard to do on our own. I really like what GiG does for the gluten-free community and I am proud to be a part it.

Thanks to everyone at GiG National and thanks to everyone that encouraged and supported me over the years [and continue to do so]. I wouldn't have been able to start this group without your help!

Here's to the next phase of our journey!

Al Klapperich
GIG of ECW Branch Manager

Jules Gluten-Free Mixes


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The kind folks at Jules Gluten-Free sent the group a Jules Gluten-Free Bread Mix and a Jules Gluten-Free Cookie Mix.

We use Jules Gluten-Free Flour Mix all the time for a variety baked goods, but this was our first look-see at the bread and cookie mixes.


Since we [when I say we, I mean Peg since she's the one with the baking skills] were short on time, we [Peg] decided to mix up the cookie dough Thursday night and store it in the fridge until Friday night. These cookies require the dough to be chilled before baking anyway.

Peg had one pan in the oven and one pan of dough balls on deck. As I peeked into the oven and saw that the cookies were a good 3+ inches in diameter, I mistakenly asked if the dough balls were the right size.

Yeah, that remark got me "The Look", Hey, my only concern was that we'd have enough cookies for the entire group, that's all.

Peg prompted me to take a look at the large bowl of dough that was waiting to be made into cookies and said not to worry. As in most cases, Peg was right. This mix makes 50-60 cookies! I bow to her baking prowess - I am not worthy...I am not worthy...

*I slunk back to living room to finish prepping for the meeting*

Most of the cookies survived the night and made it to the meeting. Indeed the cookies were a hit! One member exclaimed - "These taste just like Toll House cookies!" Sure'nuff, they do!

If you run out of your own ideas on how to use this cookie mix, Jules sells an eBook with recipes for twelve different cookies.

julesgfcookiesingle        julesgftowercookie

"C is for cookie, that's good enough for me"



Peg was a bit nervous about the bread. The dough was dense, not the texture of most gluten-free breads that she is used to making, as well as not rising very well in the warm oven.

Learning my lesson during the "cookie incident", I decided it best to play the supportive spouse...

This means nodding, actively listening and quietly being "the canvas" in which she can "paint the picture" of her concerns. It does not involve me offering up any suggestions on how to "fix" said problem - something guys are genetically programmed to do.

I may have mentioned that my baking skills and knowledge are limited, but the primal, in-born male instinct to "fix things" often times overrides the fact that males may lack the proper knowledge to offer up any type of useful suggestion...this is how arguments start. :-)

By the time Peg was done "painting the picture", the bread had risen and it was time to bake!

Hmmm, it appears that being the supportive spouse had paid off. Whoohoo!

As you can see by the pictures, the bread turned out well. In fact, my pictures look very similar to those found on Jules' website.

I was surprised at the size and height of this loaf of bread! It did not suffer from shrinkage that I've seen in other gluten-free breads. [My uneducated guess has to do to with the fact that this dough was drier than some of the others, but what do I know?] Any guy will confirm that shrinkage is not a good thing...

Just like the cookies, members liked the bread.

One member suggested this bread would work great for French Toast. Yeah Toast!

Another member said "I really liked it!"

One of our "chronologically enhanced" members specifically requested to take home the heals of the bread. Bless you Don!!

The bread must've been good, because at end of the meeting, there were only 3 slices left for me bring home.


I like that Jules' products are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (one of several programs offered by the Gluten Intolerance Group of America). Actually, I applaud any company that deems it important enough to certify their products, either through GFCO or CSA.

Where to find

Jules' products are not found locally, but they can be ordered from her website.

If you are lucky enough to live in a handful of states, you can find it locally.

If you are a first time customer, there is a Welcome Pack and an upgraded Welcome Pack. Either one is a good deal. It just depends if you want 1 or 2 bags of flour.

Thanks again Jules Gluten-Free for
sharing your products with our group!

Jules, LLC | 7120 Minstrel Way, Ste 206 | Columbia, MD 21045
Customer Service: 877-236-3940 or email: support at

Snyder's of Hanover Gluten-free Pretzel Sticks


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Synder's of Hanover was kind of enough to hook us up with some of their gluten-free pretzel sticks this month. Having tried the other GF pretzels on the market, I was interested in trying Synder's version.

They are indeed as good as my fortunate GF friends that tried them before me said they were! They do look a bit different from the non-gluten-free pretzels in that they are bigger in diameter. It's really not an issue (at least for me) since they have that familiar pretzel taste, crunch, and snap! Besides, it just means there's more pretzel-y goodness per bite.

I did feel the need to speak louder during the meeting due to all the crunching going on. :-) Judging by the noise generated, the pretzels were well liked! If we had a Crunch-o-Meter, it would've been off the charts.


Beyond the taste and texture components, I like that they are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (one of several programs offered by the Gluten Intolerance Group of America). Actually, I applaud any company that deems it important enough to certify their products, either through GFCO or CSA.

If you want read more about Snyder's certification process, you can read the press release from GFCO. Please take the time to do so, it gives you an insight as to what goes on in the certification process.

Snyder's offers a web page that lists their GFCO Certified gluten-free products, gluten-free products, and products made with gluten-free ingredients. It states that their GF products are tested for 20 parts per million or less. Their made-with-gluten-free- ingredients could contain trace amounts of gluten.

Testimonials (from gluten-eaters at that!)

We had a bag left over from the meeting, so I took it to share during Adult Education Hour at church.

Those are really good! Where did you get them?
~ Lisa (a gluten-eater)

I like those pretzels
~ Shirley (a gluten-eater)

It turns out our local Pick n Save does carry these pretzels, so during the holidays we made a batch of Chex Mix using Synder's GF pretzels. As it was disappearing from the bowl, I asked my wife's niece her favorite item...

The pretzels!
~ Jackie (a gluten-eater)

Where to find

Closest place to get Snyder's Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks:

Ripon Pick n Save

Snyder's Store Locator does not list our Pick n Save at this time. I have brought this to the district sales manager's attention. Hopefully it will get resolved.

Thanks again Snyder's of Hanover for
sharing your products with our group!

Snyder's of Hanover | P.O Box 6917 | 1250 York St. | Hanover, PA 17331
Phone: 1-800-233-7125 Ext. 1410

Gluten-Free Turkeys


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The holidays are upon us, here's a list of turkeys that are gluten-free.

Always, always, always check the ingredient list!

Jenni-O Products.

Jenni-O is a Hormel Company. Hormel will clearly gluten (wheat, barley/malt, rye, oats).

Jenni-O's website shows a Gluten-Free icon on each GF product.


A moist and delicious whole bird available in two sizes: 12-14 pounds and 16-18 pounds.

The meat does not contain gluten, but the gravy packet does.

A fantastic whole bird available in two sizes for your convenience: 10-16 pounds and 16-20 pounds.

The meat does not contain gluten, but the gravy packet does.

Please note, the meat does not contain gluten but the accompanying gravy packet does.

Honeysuckle White

The majority of Honeysuckle White® products do not contain Gluten.

However, the following list of products do contain Gluten: 

Asian Grill Marinated Turkey Strips
Teriyaki Flavor Turkey Breast Tenderloin
Frozen Italian Style Meatballs
Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs
Beer Smoked Turkey Brats


Purdue's Gluten-Free List

Do you have any gluten-free products?
Yes. Many PERDUE® products are free of gluten. Perdue chickens, chicken parts, and turkeys are all gluten-free. These are sold fresh as well as frozen and some are flavored with seasonings. Feel free to check the ingredient listing on individual packages, download the list here or order the list by phoning us at 1-800-4PERDUE® (1-800-473-7383).


Verified by phone: All turkeys are GF except for the stuffed turkeys. They are in the process of switching over to rice flour for their gravy packets. Check the ingredient list for rice flour instead of wheat flour.

Do Butterball® products contain any allergens like gluten?

Butterball product labels let consumers know whether any of the top eight allergens may be present in the product. For example, a label may read “contains wheat and dairy.” Specifically, gluten is not present naturally in turkey. Two retail products contain gluten: our stuffed turkeys and our Italian Style Meatballs. Our gravy packets have been reformulated to eliminated gluten; check the labels to be certain.


Do your hams or turkey breast contain glutens?
We have reformulated our glaze to be considered free of allergens. This means our hams and turkey breasts DO NOT contain glutens.

Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery


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Our samples for November's meeting came from Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery in Boulder, CO.

Rudi's bread is another one of those gluten-free breads that are amazingly good. We got to try their products at the GIG Conference in June.

To top our wonderful bread, we had some of Peg's homemade Blueberry and Raspberry jam. YUM!

Two of our group members were going to have garlic bread with their GF lasagna later that night for supper.

At the end of the meeting, there was only a few slices left for me to take home. That means everybody liked it!

While Rudi's Bakery is not a dedicated GF facility, they have excellent manufacturing processes. Their bread is certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. This means the bread must test below 10 parts per million of gluten.


Rudi's: How We Make It

How We Make It

Our master bakers worked with gluten free experts and consumers for more than 15 months to get our formulas to taste like real bread. Our passion is baking better bread and we’ve been doing it since 1976. We used our extensive baking experience to create gluten-free bread that tastes and feels like the real thing.

Although we do not have a dedicated gluten-free facility, we do have a segregated, separate manufacturing approach. We bake our gluten free breads on separate, dedicated equipment and on separate production days. You can feel assured our gluten free products never come into contact with something used to make a product containing gluten. As part of our manufacturing process, we also do the following:

• Our organic and gluten free equipment is color-coded for easy segregation
• Our gluten free breads are baked only after our facility has gone through an extensive, full day clean-up process
• All incoming ingredients are also tested and certified to be gluten free
• As part of our gluten free certification, every batch of our gluten free bread is tested and must test below <10 ppm of gluten for distribution
• We also send product to an outside lab to validate our test results and ensure we have less than 10 ppm of gluten

IMG_7000 IMG_7001


Rudi's: Where to Buy

The closest places to get Rudi's products are:

Festival Foods
Oshkosh & Fond du Lac, WI

The Red Radish
447 S. Commercial St.
Neenah, WI 54956

The Free Market Inc.
1000 W. Wisconsin Ave
Appleton, WI 54914

Thanks again Rudi's for sharing your
products with our group!

Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery | 330 Walnut St. Unit C | Boulder CO, 80301
Phone: 877-293-0876 | (303) 447-0495 | Fax: (303) 447-0516

Meet Debra Hope-Riedesel RD, LD


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Debra is our newest member and wins the prize for living the furthest away (Iowa). I first met Debra in 2007 when she started posting on the discussion boards at and

I was very impressed with her knowledge of Celiac Disease/Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and the gluten-free diet. Not all registered dietitians are that knowledgeable. Thankfully, the word is getting around about this condition and other RDs getting up to speed.

Peg and I got to meet Debra face-to-face at the Gluten Intolerance Group Annual Conference in June 2010.

When Debra asked if she could become a long distance member, I was thrilled! Squee! She has graciously volunteered to write some articles to help keep us better informed. We are also working on a way for her to "telecommute" to our meetings.

Welcome aboard Debra and thank you!

Here is Debra's Bio...

Debra Hope-Riedesel RD, LD
Has been a private practice registered dietitian in West Des Moines, IA for the past 7 years, specializing in women’s health, food allergies, food intolerance and the gluten-free diet. Debra is the creator and author of The Cycle website, a specialty woman’s health website consulting with women all over the country as well as internationally.

Debra earned her Dietetics degree at Iowa State University in 2003 and fulfilled her required internship with both Iowa Health Systems and Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Debra also consulted on special projects with the Center for Health and Wellbeing starting their dietary program for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Debra speaks on the gluten-free diet and women’s health.

Prior to going back to school in mid-life Debra spent 16 years in advertising and marketing (Newspaper, radio and Television). Debra also holds a bachelors degree from Drake University.

Warm Fuzzies

When I came home for lunch today I found a Christmas card in our mailbox. What was written inside totally made may day! It's notes like this that make all the hard work of running a support group, answering people's questions, gathering information, writing emails, making phone calls, etc - worth every second. "This is what running a support group is all about Charlie Brown!"

Back in 2001/2002/2003 when I was struggling to figure out why I was so sick, I was so very thankful for the people (Cara & Anne just to name a couple) that helped me get my life back. That experience lead me to the philosophy of "making a difference". Through their kindness - they made a difference in my life, I wanted to do the same for others. I'm a huge fan
"Paying it Forward". I've not seen the movie or read the book, but love the concept!

Thank you for the kind words and for making my day. It helps keep me motivated. I also want to thank all those in my life that allow me to help others. Without you, I couldn't do what I love to do.



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Pacific Foods Condensed Gluten-Free Soups


ECWGFG's Website will no longer be updated. Any new updates will be found here:

Pacific Foods are now offering 3 types of gluten-free condensed soups.

We have not spotted any of these "in the wild", but The Free Market in Appleton carries Pacific's products. You can use their Where to Buy Page to see if there's a store in your area.

Make sure you check out Pacific's Special Diets Page to find products that match your needs. Also look at their Processing & Allergen Handling Page.


Cream of Celery


Cream of Mushroom


Cream of Chicken

Pacific Foods of Oregon • 19480 SW 97th Ave. • Tualatin, OR 97062

Be-Udi-full Udi's!


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Udi's Gluten-Free Foods from Denver CO, have taken the gluten-free bread & baked good market by storm.

Some how they've figured out how make gluten-free bread smell, taste, feel and act like "real bread".

Is it possible they captured some of those "magic elves" and enticed them to use their magic for good and not evil?

How ever they do it, they were gracious enough to send us a sampler box of their fine products.


In May, we had a bread tasting event, Udi's bread was the hands down winner. In fact, one of our members had never heard of Udi's.

After our tasting event, he now has added sandwiches to his lunch repertoire.

When Udi's say "We're bringing sandwich back" , they really mean it!

In our box of goodies we found: Cinnamon Rolls, Blueberry Muffins, Lemon Streusel Muffins, Double Chocolate Muffins, Plain Bagels, Pizza Crusts & Bread.


Cinnamon Rolls

These guys are great at room temperature, but they'd be even better after a short stay in the microwave.

After we got home from the meeting I had heat up a leftover piece.

Ahhhh....yeah...that's the ticket.

There's just something about a cinnamon roll that requires it to be eaten warm.

IMG_6923 IMG_6924

Blueberry & Lemon Streusel Muffins

Several of the members said the these muffins were their favorite


Double Chocolate Muffins

Strangely enough, I think this was my favorite. I don't always like chocolate baked goods, but these had just the right amount. They are rich and chocolatey.

Mmmmmm chocolatey...


Plain Bagels & Whole Grain Bread.

Our most recent diagnosed member, really liked the bagels. Before I was gluten-free, sometimes I'd have my chili con carne on top of a bagel. I can now have Chili Bagels again! WhooHoo!

The bread - well, what else can I say but...


In the Ripon vicinity, Udi's bread can be found at Ripon's Pick n Save, Festival Foods in Oshkosh. The Village Market Shop in Fond du lac. Woodman's & The Free Market in Appleton has the bread and muffins. Need to find other Udi's locations? Try their Store Locator.

Thanks again Udi's for sharing your products with our group!

Udi's Gluten Free Foods | 7010 Broadway Suite #430 | Denver CO, 80221 | Phone: (303) 657-6366 | Fax: (303) 657-5373

12/3/2010 - Edited to add Ripon's Pick n Save as a location to buy Udi's bread.

Wisconsin Gluten Free Expo 2010


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Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Lakeland Union High School
9573 State Highway 70
Minocqua, WI 54548

11:00am - 3:00pm

We attended this event last year when it was in Wausau. Great event - well attended by visitors and vendors alike! Looks like this year will be no exception - over 60 vendors.

Take advantage of the pre-register option. It will cut down the wait time to get in.

Good luck Julianne & crew!

View Larger Map

GF Dining at Primo's - Oshkosh, WI


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Primo Logo
Our friend Maggie told us that Primo's in Oshkosh could accommodate the gluten-free diet.

That type of news is always good to hear, but I tend to reserve final judgment until I've done my own investigative work. However, if there's one person I trust as much as Peg when it comes to gluten-free, it's our friend Maggie.

Today was the day we gave Primo's a try. Wow, we shouldn't have waited this long!

I get a bit nervous going to a restaurant for the first time. I don't like going in "cold". I normally do my detective work ahead of time to get a feel for what the place is like. However this time, it was on the spur of the moment - there was no time for a fact finding mission - I'd have to make my decision on site. I made sure we were early enough to avoid a busy lunch time crowd.

As the hostess greeted us, I inquired about a gluten-free menu.

We don't have a gluten-free menu, but there are menu items that can be made gluten-free - just ask your server.

This is a positive response. 1) she didn't ask "gluten-what?!?!" or look at me as if I had three heads...

When our server arrived I asked her what gluten-free options were available to me.

Well, any of our sandwiches, except the meatball sandwich [due to bread crumbs] can be made gluten-free with gluten-free bread. Any of our pasta sauces are gluten-free. We do have gluten-free pastas, but I need to find out what type we have today. We also have gluten-free pizzas.

I asked if they boiled the gluten-free pasta in fresh water or the gluten pasta water. I asked if the prep of the gluten-free sandwiches were done at a separate location.

I tell them that this is gluten-free order so they know. The kitchen is very good about keeping things clean. The pasta is boiled in fresh water, the sandwiches are prepared separately. All of our food is prepared fresh and to order, we are able do these things

I asked my ever popular question: "Why do you have gluten-free options?"

We have some very loyal customers that required gluten-free options. In order to accommodate them we started looking in to it. We are finding more and more people need this. I also have in in-law that has celiac disease.

All the answers were to my satisfaction, so I decided order the Italian Bomber sandwich [Italian beef, Italian sausage, red sauce & Provolone cheese] with gluten-free white bread. It did take some extra time for our meals to come out, but this is standard operating procedure when it comes to GF meals.

When my sandwich came out, she apologized as they did not have any GF bread. No worries, this sandwich was huge without bread! There were plenty of side options I could've gotten, I almost got the grilled asparagus, but chose GF pasta with red sauce.

The sandwich and the pasta/red sauce were very good! I would definitely order them again.

I decided to save room for some gluten-free dessert, so I was able to bring half of my lunch home. They had 3 desserts to choose from. I opted for the flour-less chocolate cake. Wow - it was very good! It had the texture of a cheesecake.

Overall, I was impressed with the knowledge, the service and food at Primo's.

Sadly, my camera was sitting at home, so I have no pictures to share. Guess I'll just have to go back...

Stay tuned!

Gluten-Free Oats® from Powell, WY


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This post is long overdue and I apologize for not doing it sooner. My personal life has been in a bit of an uproar with the passing of my mother in February.

The acceptability of oats in a celiacs diet has been debated for years.

Currently the general consensus is that pure, uncontaminated GF oats are acceptable for most celiacs with medical supervision.

Some celiac have reported reacting to the protein found with oats.

Mainstream oats have been shown to contain unacceptable levels of cross contamination due to growing, harvesting & processing.

To find out where many medical and support organizations stand on oats - click here.

The Beginning

In October 2009, we attended Wisconsin's Largest GF Expo in Rothschild, WI.

As we were browsing through the products Gluten-free Trading Company had on hand we purchased a box of Gluten Free Oats® from Powell, WY.

The brand of gluten-free oats we previously used had a much coarser texture and had a "feed mill" smell and taste. Anyone raised in a rural area knows the smell I'm talking about. It's a very earthy-grainy-cerealy smell. When used in a baked good, the chew factor was almost overwhelming. Non-GF Peg noticed the same differences between said previous brand of GF oats and non-gf oats.

I opened the box when I got home and took a big whiff.

Hmmm, no feed mill smell!

Since I prefer my oats in bar or cookie form, I asked [begged] Peg to make some oatmeal cookies for me.

Hmmm, no feed mill taste with a great chew factor!

Peg made some gluten-free oatmeal for breakfast one day. It cooked up just like the oatmeal she loved as a kid. Peg confessed that she likes Gluten Free Oats® better than her non-gluten-free Quaker oats! "Hey go eat your own oats!"

I have since learned that the "feed mill" smell & taste usually comes from rancidity.

Gluten Free Oats® meet the group. Group, meet Gluten Free Oats®

We were so impressed with Gluten Free Oats® that we wanted to share them with support group members. I sent off an email to see if I could get some samples and before I knew it, there was a big box of flakey gold sitting on my front step.

Peg and I decided to have a build your own oatmeal bar for our March meeting. Toppings included brown sugar, raisins, dried cherries, Crasins and milk. We cooked the oatmeal and placed it in a crock pot before we left for the meeting.

Two of our members were quite excited about the prospect of having oats again. They grew up eating it for breakfast. In fact, both of them went back for seconds! The entire group liked the oats immensely! Smiles were on everyone's face.

Just the other day, I received a bulk order of Gluten Free Oats® for the group. Sounds like satisfied customers to me!

I want to publicly thank Seaton and his entire family for their ingenuity & generosity!

Gluten Intolerance Group Annual Conference - June 2010

We were lucky enough to meet face-to-face the family that produces these oats. The more I talked to them and got to know them, the more impressed I got. If you are not familiar with the history of Gluten Free Oats®, it's a great story.

Over breakfast, I found out they are in the process of building a larger processing facility. This will allow them to produce quick cooking oats and steel cut oats.

If you look closely in the picture below, you'll see a blue plate. They were handing out oat pancakes and oatmeal cookies. Yes, they were delicious! Yes they do have the recipes on their website.


Katz Gluten-Free Bakery


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For this month's meeting we had a bread tasting event. Katz's Gluten-Free Bakery in Monroe, NY, was kind enough to send us some of their products to sample.

I chose the popular Challa Bread and their Whole Grain Bread. As a bonus [I didn't request it, didn't want to appear piggish after all], they sent us some Chocolate Rugelech! Cool!

I must apologize, I did not get a chance to take any pictures of our event. I know, I know - very uncharacteristic me.

The Challa Bread was popular. I had fun finding out the history of Challa bread. Several members particularly commented on the crust and how well they liked it. It's a great tasting bread with great texture. A good all around sandwich bread.

The Whole Grain Bread was liked, but not as much as the Challa. Everyone loved the taste, but texture was a bit chewy [at least for my tastes]. To be fair, the bread was not completely thawed, so we put it microwave a few seconds right before the tasting. I also noticed that Katz's website states...

We recommend toasting this bread to achieve a maximum level of taste and crispiness.

Grilled Katz's bread
Sadly, we didn't have access to a toaster in the meeting room. While I was grilling some burgers for dinner, I decided to grill up a few slices of bread. This worked wonders.

I think everyone commented on the fact that either bread did not fall apart when applying the butter or jelly. So many GF breads tend to crumble in your hand while doing that - not Katz's!

The Chocolate Rugelech was a new experience for me and I think for the rest of the group. I admit, I had never even heard of Rugelech before, let alone taste it. Rural Wisconsin does not have a large Jewish population, so we tend to miss some of the world's cultural foods. German, Polish & Scandinavian cultures, we got covered. Yah, you betcha! . :-) Now that I think of it, a good GF beer would pair nicely with the Chocolate Rugelech.

I think the most common comment I heard was..."Interesting". I will say, they do have a taste that is not usually found are this part of WI. They are not overly sweet [which is what you usually find around here], there's a slight bitterness that takes you by surprise. These look like a mini-cinnimon rolls, so perhaps my brain was expecting something more along those lines. After my third or forth one, I found that I was sad because they were gone.

After I contacted Katz's, I happened to find their bread at Woodman's Grocery in Appleton - it's in the freezer section by the GF foods. I'm not sure if they are carried at all Woodman's locations or not.

A special thanks to David at Katz's for being so generous with their products. I tip my hat to any and all companies like Katz's that provide us foods to make us happy and feel "normal".

Until next time...


General Mills Gluten-Free List


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General Mills now has a website listing all their gluten-free products. You'll also find a growing list of recipes.

WI GF Food Expo


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On Oct. 24th, Peg and I went to Wisconsin's Largest Celiac & Food Allergy Expo hosted by Wausau & Northwoods Celiac Support Groups in Rothschild, WI.

Kudos to Jennifer & Julianne for putting together a great expo! I'll have to see how things go, I may volunteer to help next year.

I was glad I followed their recommendation to pre-register! Yes indeed there was a line. It was nice to walk up to the Pre-registration table, check in and then head into the expo.

Once inside, Holy Cow! I thought the line outside was long! The room was packed. It was like one great big Conga Line all the way around the room.

One of the first things you could smell was deep fried fish, chicken and mushrooms. While that may not seem very exciting to gluten eaters - it's mouth watering to gluten intolerants - specially Wisconsin gluten intolerants.

You see, in Wisconsin, Friday night fish fries are eagerly anticipated and something to look forward to after a long work week. It's hard for non-Wisconsinites to fully comprehend the concept of the Friday Night Fish Fry.


Dakota Lakes

The Dakota Lakes company was sampling their Gourmet Coating mix.

Mmmm crispity, crunchity deep fried goodness with a bit of bite.

The good thing is that this mix doesn't have to be used strictly for deep frying. It can be added to burgers, meatballs, mashed potatoes, soups and stews.

Be sure to check out their recipe page.

The Bar - Wausau

In true WI fashion the next table was from The Bar. They were sampling Redbridge Beer and GF pizzas that they serve in their 6 restaurants throughout WI.

It just so happens that The Bar is located right across the street from the exhibition hall - how convenient!

They have a nice selection of food on their GF menu. If you're craving "bar food", I think you'll be able to find it there. They have a dedicated frier for their fries.

As a matter of fact, we had a late lunch here with a couple of friends that also attend this event. I couldn't resist the fries and had to get a pizza.

To read about my visit to The Bar in Oshkosh, click here.

Julianne Karow's
Celiac Resource Guide - Helping to Navigate Life's Detour

Taking a break from food, Julianne Karow [one of the coordinators of the Expo] was displaying her new book - Celiac Resource Guide - Helping to Navigate Life's Detour.

Since we were in the middle of the Conga Line, I didn't get a detailed look at her book. It's a collection of websites, companies, and other hints & tips for those trying to figure this crazy gluten-free lifestyle. It looked like a nice guide for those just starting out or those needing a compact resource list to carry with them. Julianne does offer a sample page of her book.

In the brief time I did look at the book, I noticed that and's Forums were listed in the Online Discussion Forums section. Cool!

For those that may not know, GFAB is a website/fourm I co-founded with a few of friends of mine [Anne, Cara & Kim] that I met early on in my GF journey.'s Forums is a forum that administrate/moderate for


One vendor that was a particularly welcome sight [at least for me] was Bard's and their Bard's Gold Beer. No, I'm not an alcoholic - I'm lucky if I have 1-2 beers a month. Allow me to explain my enthusiasm...

The year was 2005. We attended a Gluten Intolerance Group Annual Conference in Chicago. I got to taste something that I had not had since that cold Red Stripe in hot Jamaican cab in March 2003. It was a Bard's; it was nectar of the gods. Bard's brewery was a young company started by Craig Belser and Kevin Seplowitz - both beer lovers and diagnosed celiacs. They were trying to restore balance in the GF world.

Indeed they did, but WI just had to be out of balance a bit longer. I asked Bard's on and off over the years when they would be coming to Wisconsin. After all, they were in every surrounding state, why not here? I felt it was a conspiracy by some of the larger breweries that were headquartered in Wisconsin - then again - it may have had something to do with the grassy knoll. Oddly enough, it did seem similar to the Margarine restrictions that ended in 1967.

I give the Bard's guys a lot of credit, they don't give up, nor do they forget! In mid-September, I received a response to my February 2009 email. They finally had gotten some distributors to carry their beer in America's Beer Dairyland. The only bad thing is that it wasn't in East Central Wisconsin. No worries, I'd travel to Madison [154 miles round trip] for a Bard's! I found out in October that Bard's is now carried within 20 miles from our house! Here's a PDF of places that carry Bard's.

Special thanks to both Brian's at Bard's for making it possible to get some samples for our support group. GF pizza, chili & beer party is on tap!

General Mills

General Mills were displaying their line of GF Chex cereals & Betty Crocker baking mixes and passing out recipe packets. I think this is the first time I've seen a big, mainstream company at one these events.

Hopefully General Mills involvement in the gluten-free world will kick start a number of other mainstream food companies to follow suit. It certainly has made it easier for many get gluten-free products in a mainstream grocery store. I do worry about the negative impact it might have on those smaller companies that created similar products years ahead of the mainstream.

Rice Chex was the first cereal to be reformulated in April 2008. Corn, Honey Nut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Strawberry Chex followed in June 2009.

Also released in June 2009 were the gluten-free baking mixes of Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Devil's Food Cake, Yellow Cake.

Gluten Free Trading Company

The Gluten-free Trading Company is one of the premiere GF stores around - at least in WI. If it's GF, they've probably got it! The owners are no strangers to celiac disease and food issues. It was good to see them again.

When I first went GF 6 years ago, we made a trek to Milwaukee to see them. Back then, they had a really tiny store, but it was stocked with all GF products. Everything was safe to eat!

What impressed me the most during our first visit was their willingness to help us out. We were brand new to being gluten-free - dazed and confused to say the least. The staff spent a huge amount of time taking us around the store showing us products, explaining things all the while.

We decided to purchase some BiAglut pasta and a box of Gluten Free Oats [from WY]. Peg had a chance to make herself some oatmeal with these oats. She prefers them over Bob's Red Mill for taste & texture. BiAglut pasta is my all time favorite, however due to the expense, I only get it on occasion.

Smooze Fruit Ice

Smooze Fruit Ice is a brand new product for me. I've never seen it anywhere.

What caught my eye was the fact it's made from coconut milk! I know many that avoid dairy, so this would be one more treat to add to their freezer.

We have not tried our samples yet.

Artisana - Organic Coconut Butter

Artisana is another company that I've not seen or heard of before. Again, it was the Raw Coconut Butter that caught my eye in their flyer.

They have a whole host of organic nut butters and coconut oil. I did not see any samples of their products, however it was late in the day and they may have run out.

Kettle Cuisine

The soups from Kettle Cuisine is another new product for me. I'm generally not wild for store bought soups, but we both liked the Angus Beef Steak with Chili with Beans and Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles.

I would buy a few of these to keep on hand. They are available at several large Wisconsin grocery chains. In East Central WI, that means Festival Foods & Woodmans.

I felt the sodium content was better than many canned soups. You will these soups in the freezer section. Perhaps this is why I've never seen them before.

The have 10 soups - all of them are GF. Six of them are dairy-free.

They are also certified GF by the Gluten Free Certification Organization and test below 5 parts per million of gluten.

WI's Largest Celiac - Food Allergy Expo


ECWGFG's Website will no longer be updated. Any new updates will be found here:

The Wausau & Northwoods Celiac Support Groups host the 2nd Annual Celiac & Food Allergy Expo.

Attend Wisconsin’s Largest Celiac & Food Allergy Expo. Our goal is to help those within the community gain knowledge, research, and resources while providing opportunities for families with allergies to bond with one another. It is an Expo for the general public, food industry, and health professionals.

When: Saturday Oct. 24th 2009 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Cedar Creek Mall - The Patriot Center Rothschild, WI
Admission: $1.00 or donations to Toys for Tots & Coats for Kids

Partial list of exhibitors

Against the Grain
Bard’s Beer
Dakota Lakes
Enjoy Life
Full Flavor
General Mills
Gluten free trading Co
Kettle Cuisine
Kitchentable bakers
Life Beyond Wheat
Lisanatti Foods
Mary’s Gone Crackers
Molly’s GF Bakery
Old Wisconsin
Prometheus Labs
Pure Fit
Pure Fun
TH Foods
The Bar
The Silly Yak
Tree of Life
Wild Tree

GF Dining at The Bar in Oshkosh


ECWGFG's Website will no longer be updated. Any new updates will be found here:

Last Sunday we decided to stop by The Bar in Oshkosh to check out their gluten-free menu. (see page 7 of their full menu to find their GF options) Peg had heard about it from one of her co-workers.

Since they don't explain much on their website, I had several questions. Their GF menu talks about french fries, this concerned me. In most places deep fryers are also used to fry breaded/floured items. This process will contaminate any gluten-free food that is placed in the deep fryer. I was also curious about the knowledge level of the staff.

We walked in and grabbed a table. The waitress came over and dropped off menus. I looked at it and didn't see the GF menu, so I asked her for one. She said "Oh sure, I'll be right back!". Already this is a good sign. Sometimes the wait staff doesn't have a clue when you ask for such things.

I decided to look over the menu, then ask my usual batch of questions. Upon perusal, I noticed in the lower right corner of the menu, some text. That text explained they have dedicated friers for their fries and fresh chips. It also explain that their meats can be cooked on the char-broil grill where gluten items are not placed. Being able to get fries outside of my own home is a real treat!

"Wow, these guys get it!" I said to Peg.

The GF selections are not numerous, but it covers just about all items in the bar-food food group. Burgers, fries, pizza, Booyah, wings - what more could you want? Yes, they also serve Red Bridge!

Our server said "It will take just a bit longer for your food because the kitchen has to get things cleaned up first". Cool!

I had the burger with GF bun and fries. It was good! The bun pretty good as GF buns go. It was soft, pliable - but had typical GF bread "chew" factor.

We when waitress came back with the check, I asked a few more questions...

Q - How long have you had a GF menu?
A - About 6 months.

Q - Are you getting a lot of GF diners?
A - Yes, as the word gets out, we are seeing more and more.

Q - Did you have to have some type of training on handling the GF orders?
A - Yes, we all had to come in for special training.

Q - Do you know why there's a GF menu?
A - One of the owner's sister has celiac disease.
*We've found, in most cases there's a family or friend that has celiac disease.

Overall, I was happy with the service and quality of the food. Peg had the wings. I'm not sure if the wings from the non-GF menu are the same as the GF wings. That's one question I didn't ask! We will be going back. I don't know if I want to try the 'za or the Booyah...

The Bar has
6 locations around the state!

1st Anniversary

Wow, it's been one year since our first meeting. Time really flies.

We had a nice little surprise for our meeting. A member I know from was able to attend. It was the first time I got to meet her face to face.

She was even kind enough to bring GF baked goodies from
Molly's Gluten-Free Bakery. Once the owners of Molly's found out that Judy was bringing them to a support group meeting, they were kind enough to let us sample them - for free!

Wow - thanks Molly's, that was more than generous of you! All the members took business cards and order forms, hopefully we can turn those samples in to orders for you. Thanks Judy for bringing us new treats to try!

I think things are going pretty well for the group. It's not particularly large, but slowly growing. Our members faithfully attend every meeting they possibly can.

While we have got some flyers out in the community, we want to go further in spreading the word. One of our members proposed the idea of attending health fairs that speckle our area. I think that's a great idea and will be looking into that.

Another member was kind enough to get the group some business card printed up. It's an easy way to let people know when & where we meet.

Thanks Becky for your donation of the cards!

Here's to another year!

Campbell's Gluten-Free List Online

I received this email today from Susan Baranowsky. She asked me to help spread the news. Campbell's now has their gluten-free list online! It's been recently updated too - 07/2009.

For you Pace fans - hang in there a bit longer. It hasn't made the list yet because it's still going thru it's testing process.

Hi. My name is Susan Baranowsky. I am the Director of Consumer Affairs at Campbell Soup Company. We understand your interest and are pleased to share with you an easy way to access our most up-to-date list of Campbell’s gluten-free products.

Please visit us at where you will find our gluten-free product list as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

Campbell offers a wide variety of gluten-free products. Our list is always growing, so visit us often.

Cookie Daze 2009 here we come!

Well, it's offical - Peg signed us up for the Cookie Daze Bake and Taste Contest.

Nothin' like waiting till the last possible minute. Today was the last day we could register. After all, the event is on Saturday...yeah...this coming in...August 1st.

It's a good thing we've done this a few times before (
2007, 2005, 2004), at least we know what to expect . We missed competing last year, however we did get to take part in something Cookie Daze related. We got to appear on WLUK-TV 11 to promote it! It was fun and quite the learning experience. Click here to see the pictures.

We started doing Cookie Daze in 2004. I started my GF Journey in 2003. We wanted to bring awareness to the community about Celiac Disease and gluten-free food. We wanted to show that gluten-free food does not have to crappy; it can be every bit as good as glutenous food - and often times better!

We didn't enter the contest win to anything, it was all about education and awareness. There was a small write up in an area newspaper about our story. This brought out a lot people to see what it was all about. They came out strictly to see US. Celiacs going to a cookie baking contest - who woulda figured...

We were award winners every year, we'll see if this year is any different. Peg is really fired up about this recipe. She thinks she'll do well.

If you like to see pictures from past years contests, be my guest:
Cookie Daze 2007 Pictures & Cookie Daze 2005 Pictures

CD more common than 50 years ago

Celiac expert and gastroenterologist, Dr. Joseph Murray, of Mayo Clinic lead a study that is published in the July 2009 issue of Gastroenterology.

This study looked at blood samples that were collected at
Warren Air Force Base between 1948 and 1954. The researchers tested the samples for celiac disease and compared the results from those individuals collected recently. They found young people today are more than 4 times as likely to have celiac disease than the same age group in the 1950's.

Also noted in the study was that patients who did not know they had celiac disease were almost 4 times as likely to have died during the 45 years of follow up.

It's not known exactly why it much more common.

Watch a video of Dr. Murray discuss this study

More details on the study can be found here.

Al's Commentary:

I wonder how much of the increase has to do with the amount of processed foods that exist in the Standard American Diet?

Ripon's Pick n Save Has Betty Crocker Mixes

Yup they're there! Thanks Donna for the heads up!!

They are 3.69 per mix.

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

I talked earlier about the Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes that would be widely available in June. We have found them at Festival Foods in Fond du Lac & Oshkosh. Woodman's in Appleton also have them. The local Pick n Save did not have them as of a last week.

So far we've tried the Chocolate Chip Cookie mix and the Yellow Cake Mix.

As you can see the cookies turned about quite well. Yes, they do taste as good as they look! Be aware, they do contain an entire stick of butter. The good thing is that these cookies freeze quite well, as to most GF baked goodies.

Peg made the cupcakes for a family gathering we had recently.

The frosting she made is from an old family recipe. It's from her Aunt Elsie's "Funeral Cake" recipe. It's called funeral cake because Elsie would always make it to take for funeral gatherings.

Even the "gluten-eaters" approved of them. They're a bit denser than wheat cupcakes, but tasty none the less!

One thing I've noticed in these two products is the lack of grittiness. Often times rice flour that is not ground fine enough feels gritty in the mouth as you chew it. You'll find that the asian rice flours will have this very fine [almost powdery] grind. It appears that General Mills is using such a fine grind in these products.