Recipe: Chocolate Chip Scones

I love baking and got this love from my mom.  She and I would spend time in the kitchen making cookies, bread, anything that could be baked.  When dad was diagnosed with Celiac, she went above and beyond to copy favorite recipes so that he would still have the foods he loved.  She also discovered new recipes that have become favorites.

This is one of those recipes:  chocolate chip scones.  If these are at a breakfast, they are sure to be gone in a second.  I love making this recipe because it’s quick and easy…perfect for a brunch!


2 cups Bisquick® gluten-free mix

1 cup chocolate chips (I use mini chocolate chips for more chocolate per bite.)

1-1/3 cups whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper or use a nonstick cookie sheet.

In large bowl, mix Bisquick mix and chocolate chips. In a measuring cup, mix whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extract. Stir into Bisquick mixture until soft dough forms, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons additional whipping cream if necessary.

Divide dough in half. On a surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix, pat each half into a 6-inch round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove parchment paper with scones to cooling rack.

Optional icing:

1/4 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract

1 cup gluten-free powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk or water

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle half the icing over warm scones. Sprinkle with almonds. Drizzle with remaining icing.

Each scone is approximately 250 calories each but for a special occasion or for a brunch this is a perfect treat. These scones also freeze well if you are looking to make them ahead of time.  I make them without the frosting as I feel they are sweet enough with out it.

The Bisquick baking mix can also be used for your favorites such pancakes, waffles and even pizza crust. It’s great to have on hand so you can make your breakfast favorites!

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To those who serve and have served

Today is Memorial Day in the USA.  A lot of people are happy for a three-day weekend, myself included, and it’s a kickoff to summer BBQ’s and picnics.  People go camping, watch baseball or get their yard ready for summer.

Unfortunately, I think for a lot of Americans, the true meaning of the day is lost.  Memorial Day is a remembrance day for those who have died while serving our county.  It has special meaning to me, though.

My grandfather served in WWII.  He spoke German so was a soldier/interpreter for the US.  He helped liberate death camps, including Dachau or Auschwitz, I don’t remember which.  He saw horrible things, things that I didn’t hear about until I was into my 20s.  Grandpa had severe PTSD and had nightmares almost every night about his fellow soldiers.  But it also made him proud of his country and, even when he was in his 80s and needed a wheelchair to get around, he STOOD when the flag was presented.  He loved God, his family and his country.  Those were the only three things he needed.

He didn’t die in a war or a battle but today I remember him.  I also want to take a moment to thank my Dad and my Aunt for their service to this country, as well as the many friends I have who have served and continue to serve.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God Bless the USA.

My dad (L) and my grandpa (R).

My dad (L) and my grandpa (R).

Summer Eatin’ Tips

I wrote this article for a local newspaper a couple years ago but the tips stay true to this day.  Enjoy!

Summertime conjures up thoughts of barbeques in backyards, picnics over the 4th of July and company parties. Food items that are often served at these functions can be quite frightening for someone who is gluten free: hamburger and hot dog buns, pasta salads and many desserts are just a few to list. Here are some tips for eating gluten free yet enjoying the summertime festivities!

First, find out what will be served. If it’s pulled pork, find out if the BBQ sauce will be on it, if there was a marinade, etc. Hamburgers could have seasonings in them that have a wheat product as a filler. Hot dogs may not always be safe to eat and you may need to call the manufacturer. Finding out what will be served, and doing your homework, will make eating so much easier. It’s always a good idea to ask and plan ahead!

Second, bring your own. If buns will be part of the meal, bring gluten free buns. Udi’s makes a great gluten free hamburger and hot dog bun. If you aren’t sure about salads being served, bring a small portion for yourself.

Third, watch contamination. That knife that is in the mayo may have just been on a “normal” bun. It may be a good idea to bring some condiments that you know are safe.   Also ask that your hamburger or hot dog be cooked in a totally separate area on the grill as cross contamination can occur there as well.

Fourth, ask about any marinades or spices that might be on the food. Many marinades use wheat as a thickener and spices sometimes use wheat products as a filler. These hidden sources of wheat can be a concern. Just as to see the labels to make sure they are ok.

If your host or hostess has told you “not to worry about it”, just remember to have a back up plan. A good snack in your bag like Glutino’s pretzels or Nut Thins chips will be a great idea to keep you on track with your gluten free diet. You can also bring along something that you know will be ok for you to eat such as Mission Tortilla Chips and a jar of salsa.

Just remember: it’s ok to ask. Don’t be afraid to protect yourself this summer by asking what is in the foods you are about to put into your body. Then after you’ve asked, enjoy your summertime foods!


Living FREE

We live in a world that is gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, etc to accommodate for the differing allergies, intolerances and autoimmune diseases that we see in the world.  Gluten free has become a buzz word and everyone thinks that if it doesn’t have wheat, it’s safe for consumption.

Not the case.

Last August the FDA created a mandate that said that anything labeled gluten free must be 20ppm or less of gluten.  While I considered it a win, a step for those of us that need to be gluten free, it’s not enough.

Here is how I see it:  if something was labeled peanut free but still had 20ppm or less of peanut dust in it, it wouldn’t be labeled peanut free, right?  I mean, if someone ate something that was labeled this way and had a peanut allergy it would still cause a reaction.  Probably death.

So, why is it good enough for something that is labeled “gluten free” to have SOME gluten in it?  It’s not.

It’s time for gluten free to mean that.  FREE of gluten.  Zero, zilch, nada.  A little bit can still hurt someone who is Celiac (or has a wheat allergy or intolerance) and for a Celiac, just 1/64th of a teaspoon can cause damage.  Damage that could take months to heal.

So Celiacs, let’s stand together and show these companies, and the FDA, that gluten free must be FREE of that that makes us sick!

Rant over.


Review: Spoons Bistro and Bakery

Last Friday I took the afternoon off to take my mom for a Mother’s Day mani/pedi.  Before we went, mom asked where we should grab lunch.  Since she had never been to Spoons Bistro and Bakery, and we had time, I suggested that we go there.

Spoons Bistro and Bakery is a unique place.  It is located on the campus of HopeWest, which is the Hospice center for Western Colorado.  All proceeds from the restaurant go back to HopeWest so you feel good about eating there because it supports and amazing cause.

Their lunch menu consists of sandwiches, paninis, pastas, salads and the like.  Simple fare with either chips, veggies, fries and more.  They also have amazing desserts!  They also have a dinner menu that appears to cover many different tastes, although I haven’t eaten there for dinner.

It had been a long time since I had eaten at Spoons but knew that they offered gluten free options.  We looked at the menu, made our choice and when it was our turn to order, the first thing I told the lady was that we were both gluten free.  I was shocked when she said “Are you gluten free or Celiac?  If you are Celiac, I would recommend not to have a panini because there may be bread crumbs from regular bread.  We have a special frying pan just for our gluten free bread and we can toast your sandwich.”


She understood!  We told her that I was Celiac and she said that the chef had a sister that was Celiac so they carefully watched for cross contamination although they couldn’t guarantee it.

I was thrilled.  How often does that happen?  Mom and I both ordered the Rosemary Chicken and Avocado Panini in grilled sandwich form with carrots and celery on the side.  It’s not often that I get a sandwich while eating out so it was a treat!

The sandwich consisted of rosemary chicken, bacon (how can you go wrong with bacon?), avocado, lettuce and tomato.  It was amazing!  I enjoyed every bite of it…and could have eaten more.  I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture!

They usually also have a gluten free dessert but not that day.  We did discover that they have a weekly gluten free bakery item so I will have to check that out at some point.

I also love the fact that their prices are super low.  It was just over $15 for the two of us to eat, which is very inexpensive for a lunch anywhere.  Easy on the budget, great for the tummy!  In fact, I’m going there for lunch tomorrow and can’t wait!

If you want to know more about Spoons, visit their website.  The visit there will be well worth your time.

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How do you do it?

This week we decided, at work, to start rotating and each Friday we take a little “brunch break” at work.  Not only does this give us a little break in the morning but each one of us gets to make something and share the recipe with the rest of the bunch.  One of my co workers was searching recipes and kept asking “can you have this?” and “can you have that?”  Of course when it comes to biscuits, pancakes and so many other breakfast foods, they are off limits for me.  The poor girl was trying so hard and I kept having to say no.

She then said “I don’t know how you do it, I would starve.”  Interestingly enough, when I asked friends what things they heard the most when you’ve explained your gluten free diet, the most common were “how do you do it?” and “you can’t eat anything.”

I will start with the question.  You do it because you have to.  Believe me, this isn’t something that I’d choose.  I do miss eating pancakes at a restaurant, biscuits and gravy on a buffet and egg rolls.  Oh, how I miss egg rolls.  But it’s something that is necessary for me to live.  To not live in pain.  To remain healthy.  You read labels, all of them, because wheat is hidden in so much.

Then to “you can’t eat anything.”  Well, if you mean you can’t get a Big Mac from McDonald’s, then yes.  Not that I’d eat that if I could…nasty.  You can eat, you just have to do research and, yes, it does take time and effort.  But I eat, I eat a lot.  You just learn what you can and can’t have.  You learn to shop around the outside of the grocery store, which is typically the healthiest choice anyway.  I eat lots of brown rice, quinoa, veggies and chicken.  I get creative.  And yet, I don’t look all skin and bones.

I feel bad for my co workers and anyone else that tries to cook for me.  Some of my friends have become experts in reading labels, in asking and, when all else fails, in sending me pictures of the labels of foods I may eat at their homes.  It isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it’s done because it’s needed.  And that’s how I do it…the short version!

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The Journey

It all began with my dad.  It was June of 2009 and dad’s health had been going downhill for quite some time.  He didn’t have energy, was looking pale and, as a good stubborn German man, refused to go to the doctor and had been refusing for months.  I will never forget the Sunday that we had done a trip through the orchards and when mom and dad dropped me off, as usual, I invited them up to my condo which is on the second story.  Dad flat out said “no” because he didn’t have the energy.  I had gone over there a few days later and dad could hardly walk across the living room without stopping to gather his energy so he could keep going.  He had turned into an old, old man in front of our eyes.  My brother emailed me, asking if he needed to fly in from Washington state.  I told him no…but I honestly didn’t think dad was going to make it.  Later, he would tell us that he wasn’t sure he was going to live much longer.

A couple of weeks later I received a phone call while I was at work.  It was my mom and my dad had driven himself to the ER from his part time job at a golf course.  They had found a hernia and would have to do surgery.  When they did the pre surgery blood tests, he came back severely anemic and ordered an upper and lower GI to find out where they internal bleeding was.  Otherwise, why would you have such severe anemia?  The gastroenterologist did the tests and told mom that they biopsied a portion of his upper GI but he was pretty sure it was Celiac Disease.


My mom is super resourceful so started doing research so when the test came back positive for Celiac Disease, she was ready to rock n roll.  Everything got put into a box and I was the proud recipient of TONS of food.  Mom started baking and cooking gluten free, dad was mad at the world.  Here he was, in his 60’s.  He was already a diabetic and had a thyroid condition…why this too?  No bread, no pasta, no beer…Father’s Day was right around the corner so I did my due diligence as his daughter and found gluten free beer.  It was no Bud Light but it worked!

We would later find out that all of these autoimmune diseases work hand in hand and when you have one, you are very likely to have another.

Mom’s research took her to find that if you have a relative with Celiac Disease, you have a 1 in 22 chance of having the disease too. A few months later I took a blood test and it  came back positive for Celiac Disease.  I spoke with my doctor and she told me that as long as I didn’t have the symptoms, to keep on living my life the way I was.  (BTW, this is NOT correct.  If you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease you must IMMEDIATELY start eating gluten free).

As time went on, I starting having symptoms.  I had always been anemic but now I was having intestinal issues.  I would eat and then head straight to the bathroom because it went through me so fast.  I would have severe cramps and would go home and just curl up on my couch, praying they would go away.  I was bloated and had no energy.

I finally decided it was time to go gluten free.  Should be easy, right?  My mom and dad had just gone through it and I was sure it would be easier for me.

I went through the purging process as well, taking food out of my pantry and donating it or giving to it friends.  I then headed to the grocery store, Vitamin Cottage, actually.  I will NEVER forget standing in the pasta aisle, looking at the mac and cheese and wondering which box of $5 mac and cheese was actually any good.  Which $6 pasta was any good.  I was overwhelmed and, before I could start crying, I bought a box of mac and cheese and went home.  It was overwhelming and I cried all the way home.  The mac and cheese sucked.  It was expensive so I ate it all and cried more.

The next day I put on my big girl panties and went to City Market.  I bought a few things because a girl’s gotta eat.  I asked mom for help.  I tried things and figured out which ones weren’t good, although I’d eat it anyway because GF food is EXPENSIVE.  Most breads were only good for toast, buns were hard, eating out was horrible and still can be bad.  It was FRUSTRATING.

But I’ve lived and I’ve figured out what is good, what isn’t, where is safe to eat, where make my tummy hurt and in this, I’ve found friends who are going through the same thing.  It’s so much easier when you have people who know exactly what you are going through.

And that’s my journey, so far.  I know there is more to do, this is my platform and there are many more people who feel alone in this world, or who haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac although they’ve been diagnosed with everything under the sun.  And the true cause is Celiac Disease.

I ask that if you know someone who has Celiac Disease and feels alone in the world, share this blog.  If you have a question for me, ask.  I’m here to help, I’m going on this journey for a reason.

Me and Dad at a Broncos vs. Bears game

Me and Dad at a Broncos vs. Bears game