Monday, June 29, 2015

Chai Latte Anyone?

Today I wandered around Kristiansand, checking out the stores and enjoying the ocean view. I had absolutely no agenda (except that I had to buy common necessities like toothpaste and floss), so I took the time to "see the sights." I have always enjoyed a good chai latte, so when I came across the Taj Chai and Coffee house, I decided to explore their gluten-free options. It was a typical quaint European cafe, furnished with eclectic furniture and decor-something straight out of a TV show or book. The best part was that they had gluten-free apple muffins, among several pastries (suksesskake included), so I immediately ordered a muffin and a chai latte. I sat outside with my drink and pastry, reading from my e-reader, and kind of felt like a hipster.
 

What I love about Norway is that most cafes and bakeries carry gluten-free options, so I can enjoy the experience of picking out freshly baked pastries instead of getting them from the freezer section :).

After I finished my chai latte, I headed down by the water and spent a good two hours reading and basking in the sun. Notice my practical tennis shoes-I've been doing so much walking here, so comfort trumps fashion ;).
:)
-Sema

Monday, June 22, 2015

An Update on Living Gluten-free in Norway

Good afternoon from Norway! There has been gorgeous weather in Kristiansand in contrast to the ongoing rain in St. Louis. I was taking the bus home (I'm getting pretty good at public transportation) and I looked out the window and saw this gorgeous view:
 
#nofilter :)
I have been talking to chefs and exploring stores and restaurants, and I haven't had a hard time trying to find food to eat! The gluten-free sections in the grocery stores consist of the European brands like Schar, and they are all clearly marked gluten-free.
 Whenever I speak to chefs, they always know what the gluten-free options are-even when there is no gluten-free menu. I haven't come across many gluten-free menus, but the servers usually point out what can be made gluten-free on the regular menu. Recently, I went to Clarion Hotel Ernst in Kristiansant for dessert, and found out that the chocolate nemesis cake was gluten-free (I had to tell them I was gluten-free, because normally they sprinkle cake crumbs on top). Almost everyone at my table ordered it, and they all loved it. I'm not going to lie-when I saw the cake, my jaw dropped, because the piece was so small. I was expecting this huge slice of chocolate cake, since it was priced at 125 kr (about 16 dollars). In the end, I was glad it was smaller, because I wouldn't have been able to finish it-it was so rich in taste! The best part was that I ate the same thing as everyone else! :)

Stay tuned for more updates!
-Sema

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Peel a Fresh Shrimp

I got the opportunity to peel fresh shrimp-something I'm not exactly used to, since I'm used to the ready-peeled shrimps that you get at a store or restaurant. Living in the mid-west deprives me of fresh shrimp, so it was quite a treat to be able to peel the shrimp myself. It was hard to peel the first shrimp I picked up, but after three shrimps, I managed to get the hang of it. Before I knew it, I had piled my plate with shrimps, and I was ready to make a "traditional" Norwegian shrimp sandwich, complete with mayonnaise, avocado, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

How to Peel a Shrimp
1. Take a shrimp.
2. Break off it's head.
3. Gently peel off the shell of its tail.
4.  Peel apart the shell in the middle of the shrimp. (Pull the two sides of the shell apart in the middle. like you were opening a hotdog bun.)
5. Take off any access parts of the shell, as that is not part of the meal.

Voila! You have freshly peeled shrimp (naturally gluten-free, and absolutely delicious).
Enjoy!
-Sema

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Always Be Prepared!


Wow, what a trip! On Sunday I departed for Norway, and I had quite an experience at the airport. I got to my gate on time, stopping to buy an iced chai tea latte and a bottle of water before I settled in for a long wait until boarding time. Half an hour later, there was an announcement that the plane wouldn’t be arriving on time, and it would be delayed 20 minutes. 20 minutes turned into 40 minutes which turned into an hour, and before I knew it, I realized I wouldn’t make it to my connecting flight! I immediately went up to the counter, and they managed to book me onto another flight with another airline. I walked swiftly to the other terminal, which happened to be a 15 minute walk not including the terminal train, and re-checked my luggage. I inquired about a gluten-free meal, but learned that it was too late to actually order one on the flight, so I was thankful that I had eaten a gluten-free pizza at the Hilton connected to the Chicago O'Hare airport earlier. Everyone was so nice and understanding at the airport, that it really made traveling alone so much easier!
The restaurant at the Hilton connected to Chicago O'Hare had so many gluten-free options-including pasta and pizza!


My number one motto of bringing extra emergency snacks really helped in this situation, since I didn't have the option of a gluten-free meal on my new flight. You should always be prepared to deal with any situation whilst traveling, so you won't be stressed out about food :)-that you can take the time to enjoy yourself instead. They gave me a plate of fruit for breakfast to make sure that I didn't go hungry on the long flight.

I got a box of chips on the plane. It was so fancy that I had to take a picture of it :).

Stay tuned for more updates on my experience with living in Norway (for the summer) on the gluten-free diet!
-Sema

Monday, June 1, 2015

Food Allergy Bullying

I recently collaborated with two other teen bloggers to explain the effects and solutions to food allergy bullying. I got to team up with Taylor Miller and Rebecca Pytell, two very inspiring gluten-free advocates. I urge you guys to check them out!

Click here to read "How We Can Put an End to Food Allergy Bullying One Person at a Time (From Teenagers' Point of View)"

-Sema

Monday, May 25, 2015

Easy Pavlova Cake!

School's out, which means more time to sleep and of course experiment with recipes! I'm also getting ready for my trip to Norway in two weeks, but more on that later. Today's recipe is so easy to make, yet it really brings a festive vibe to all summer parties. So, when someone asks you to bring a dessert, you can bring this naturally gluten-free cake that will have everyone asking for the recipe!

Cake Ingredients
6 room temperature eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Dash of white wine vinegar

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, we will only need the egg whites for this recipe.
3. Place the egg whites in a food mixer. That way you don't have to beat it by hand, because trust me, that would take a while.
4. Set the mixer on high, and start mixing until it turns into a creamy white substance.
5. SLOWLY add in the sugar in a thin stream, as to not clump anything up.
6. Add the vanilla, cornstarch, and vinegar.
7. Let it mix until it because so thick that it doesn't run out when you tilt it over.
8. Place parchment paper over a round oven pan. (I used a pizza pan and cut out a sheet of parchment paper to fit it.)
9. Evenly distribute the batter over the pan.
10. Set it into the oven for 1 hour.


Topping Ingredients
1 pint of whipping cream
3 tablespoons of sugar (or however much you want to sweeten the cream)
Fruit of choice (I used blueberries and strawberries)

Procedure
1. Whip the cream, adding in the sugar. You want to whip it until it becomes spreadable.
2. Wash, cut, and dry the fruit. I cut strawberries into little bits, and added blueberries.

Once your cake has cooled down, add the whipped cream, and top it with the fruit. The cake will be crispy on the outside, but creamy on the inside, and once paired with the fruit and whipped cream, it creates a delicious treat.

Voila! You have a dessert for every occasion! So the next time someone asks you to bring a gluten-free dessert, you won't break a sweat.
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, May 17, 2015

GFAFEvent Recap

 Thank you so much to everyone who came out yesterday to the GFAFEvent to meet with me and hear me speak :)! I got to meet so many awesome people, and had a great time talking to all of you.

If you couldn't make it to the event, here are a few links you can check out:
Think Eat Live. I love their mixes, and think that it's so unique that they make them from sunflowers! I did a blog post on them a while back, so click here if you want to check that out.

Gluten-free Hungry Gal. Go check her out!

Gluten-free in St. Louis. She is such a sweet person, and I had an awesome time chatting with her at the event. Check out her Facebook page!

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Their booth was actually right next to mine, so I got to learn a bit about them. They are a non-profit organization and are a great educational resource!

CJ Tammons of Tumbling Gluten-free! She's a fellow gluten-free blogger, and a wonderful person.

I'm off to study for my math final!
-Sema

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gluten and Allergy-free Wellness Event in St. Louis

Last year I had a wonderful time meeting those of you who came out to the St. Louis GFAF Wellness Event! I am looking forward to this Saturday, when I will be speaking about living on the gluten-free diet as a teenager! If you are in the area, be sure to come hear me speak at 1:00 pm. Click here to read my recap from last year.
 

Click here for more information about the event in St. Louis.
Click here to go to the event's homepage.
Click here to go to the event's Facebook page.

Happy Mother's day to all the mothers out there! I surprised my mom this morning with a breakfast, complete with star-shaped pineapple, because she's a star. (Sorry to be cheesy, it had to be said.) I am truly thankful for my best friend, and am truly thankful for everything my mom has done for me. Thank you mom :').


Happy Celiac Awareness month!
-Sema

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Easy Candied Walnuts

Tomorrow I have my first AP test for this semester, so I will be spending the majority of today reviewing environmental science. I think the best way to stay motivated with studying is with study snacks! Today I really didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I needed to be going over all the material, prompting me to make candied walnuts. This 4-ingredient snack takes about 5 minutes to make, and will satisfy your sweet cravings!

Ingredients
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of cinnamon (depending on how much of a cinnamon-y taste you want)

Procedure
1. Melt the butter in a small pot.
2. Add the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.
3. Stir everything together (keep stirring so nothing burns) until the sugar has caramelized and coated the walnuts.
4. Immediately transfer the walnuts to a plate, separating them. If you just leave it in the pot, you'll have a huge clump of walnuts!

Voila! You candied walnuts and have the perfect snack to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Iced Coffee

 The weather is getting warmer, and schoolwork is getting busier! What's the perfect remedy? Iced coffee. Now I know I could go to the nearest Starbucks and pick up a delicious grande iced coffee, but I often don't have the time to spend. Starbucks can get pricey (although it's a wonderful treat), so that's why I make my own! I have a mandatory ACT this week as well as two finals, and the following week AP testing starts, so sleep will be scarce. What better way to get up in the morning than to pour myself a nice cup of iced coffee (we all need something to look forward to on those dreaded Mondays, and pretty much the rest week)?

The iced coffee I treat myself with is a bit different than the one I bring along with me to school or to study at the library.

Ingredients
Your usual amount of coffee (brewed to your taste, and whatever brand you prefer)
Creamer/milk (I love adding a hazelnut creamer to my coffee, because I absolutely adore the flavor)
Dash of Cinnamon (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)
Shredded chocolate (optional)

Procedure
1. Brew your coffee.
2. Now this is optional-when your coffee has cooled down a bit, add some of it to an ice tray. That way your coffee doesn't get watery when you poor the liquid coffee over it. I couldn't find an ice tray, so I just used regular ice, and it was still delicious.
3. Add your coffee to a large jar and stick it into the fridge. Wait for it to become a bit cooler than room temperature, or just leave it overnight to enjoy in the morning.
4. Select a nice glass or tumbler. I use a tumbler to bring to school, adding ice and a little hazelnut creamer!
5. To make it more of a Starbucks-y drink, I add the creamer, ice, and whipped cream. I then top it with a dash of cinnamon and shredded chocolate.

Voila! You have a delicious drink that you can customize the way you like it!
Happy studying/enjoying iced coffee!
-Sema


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Prom 2015

 

I went to prom on Saturday and it was a fantastic evening! At the prom they served dinner, so we made sure to plan everything ahead of time. When I got to prom, they gave me two index cards-one to put on the table and one to give to the waiter. This ensured that I got the correct food and that instead of worrying about what I was going to eat, I could enjoy my prom night! The main entree was naturally gluten-free (chicken and mashed potatoes with a side of steamed vegetables), so all I needed "specially prepared" was the salad (we eliminated the blue cheese) and the dessert. I actually never got to the dessert since I was up dancing and having a great time ;).
-Sema

Monday, April 13, 2015

Visiting Norway on the Gluten-free Diet

As you all know from my last blog post, I went to Norway two weeks ago!  Fortunately, as a lot of foods in the Nordic diet happen to be naturally gluten-free, I didn't have much trouble looking for delicious foods to eat. Most local bakeries have gluten-free pastries and bread, so that's a real treat! One of my favorite store-bought items would have to be the Waza Crisp Bread (knekkebrød), so if you ever visit Norway, be sure to stock up on this "bread alternative."
 

The hotel I stayed at had both gluten-free crisp bread and regular bread, and I used toaster bags to make sure that there wasn't any cross contamination issues when using the toaster!

I mean, look at this leaning tower of hamburger!

Almost everyone in Norway speaks English, which means you'll have no trouble talking to the chefs and servers about the gluten-free diet. The waiter walked me through the buffet offerings, pointing out what was gluten-free and what wasn't which  was really nice :).

How cool is this wine glass candle thing :)! 

If you ever find yourself in Norway on the gluten-free diet, don't fret, because you'll be just fine!
-Sema

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Quick Trip to Norway

 
Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Norway! Traveling requires preparation, especially if you are on the gluten-free diet. I made sure that before my trip, I packed sandwiches and snacks in a lunch bag, which I then put into my duffel bag. That way, whenever I got hungry on the plane, I wouldn't have to sort through all my things to get to the food. Unfortunately, there were no restaurants with gluten-free items near my gate in the airport in Amsterdam on my return to the US, but I wasn't worried since I was prepared for anything :). My trip was smooth-no delays or cancellations, but I'd rather be safe than sorry (rather too much food than too little)! The food on both the Delta and KLM planes was good (I know, I was surprised too!), so I never went hungry.


I checked with a flight attendant before take-off to make sure that I was getting a gluten-free meal. They came around with a list and put a sticker on my seat that said I was gluten-free. Since it was such a long flight, they served multiple meals. On the way to Norway, breakfast was an Udi's muffin and a banana.



-Sema


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Gluten-free Bread Pudding and Vanilla Sauce

 
I haven't had bread pudding for a while, so today I set to the task of making it, as I had quite the sweet tooth this morning. It wasn't hard to make, and my mom said that she couldn't tell that it was gluten-free (even though I assure you, it most definitely was.) I decided to make this recipe lactose-free as well with lactose-free milk :).

The Pudding
Ingredients
6 slices of gluten-free bread (I used the BFree white bread, check them out!)
2 tablespoons of melted butter
4 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups milk
3/4 cup white sugar

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut the gluten-free bread into little squares and them to a bread pan.
3. Sprinkle the raisins and the melted butter over the bread.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, milk, and white sugar. Mix it well.
5. Add the mixture to the bread pan, completely covering the bread. You may have to push down on the bread to completely submerge it.
6. Bake for about 35 minutes, then take it out and cover it in foil. Put it back in for another 10 minutes.
7. Take it out to cool. 

The Vanilla Sauce
Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure
1. Combine all the ingredients except for the vanilla extract over medium heat in a saucepan.
2. Mix it together until the mixture becomes thick. It will begin to boil, and once it does add the vanilla extract.
3. Mix it a little more and then remove it from the heat.
4. Add the sauce to an individual bowl filled with the bread pudding.


Voila! You have a delicious dessert!
Enjoy!
-Sema







Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Easy Fish Dinner

 

Do you need dinner fast? Here is a quick and easy fish dinner recipe! You can eat fish cold or warm, grilled, baked, boiled, poached or fried (so many options!). I usually opt for boiling the fish, as it is the healthiest, and in my opinion, most delicious option. When you have learned how to boil fish properly, the end result is a tender, juicy meal! I mean, if you can boil water, you can boil fish!

Ingredients
4 skinless salmon fillets
6-8 cups water
Pinch of salt
4 bay leaves

Procedure
1. Fill  pot with enough water to cover the fish.
2. Add a couple of bay leaves and a pinch of salt.
3. Bring the water to a boil.
4. Add the fish and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

On the side you can add steamed vegetables and brown rice, as I think they complement the fish nicely. Voila, you have a meal (and a really healthy and delicious one too)! 
Enjoy!
-Sema

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gluten-free Norwegian Almond Cake (Suksesskake)

 
Happy pi day everyone! In honor of this special day, I decided to make a cake (because I love to celebrate with food). This cake is pretty easy to make, and I love how it's naturally gluten-free. The first time I tasted this cake was at my great-aunt's house in Norway, and ever since I've been dreaming about it :).

The Frosting
Ingredients
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup softened butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Procedure
1.  Place a saucepan over low heat, and add the egg yolks and sugar, whisking them together.
2. Stir in the heavy cream until the mixture becomes really thick. (Bring the mixture to a near boil.)
3. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. I used an electric mixer to get rid of any lumps.
4. After it reaches room temperature, mix in the softened butter until you get rid of the lumps.
5. Set it in the fridge so it can get cold.

The Cake
Ingredients
5 egg whites
1 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Procedure  
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and grease your baking pan (I used a round 9 inch form).
2. In a bowl, mix together the egg whites with an electric mixer until they become firm.
3. In a different bowl, mix together the almond meal, confectioners sugar, and the baking powder.
4. Fold the egg whites into the mixture.
5. Pour your batter into your baking pan.
6. Bake for 30 minutes! Your cake should spring back when you put your finger on it-it will also get a nice golden color.
7. Let it cool down (and sit down and enjoy the scent of an almond cake). Once cool down , add the frosting! 

Look how beautiful it is :').

Add some slivered almonds for garnish,  and voila, you have traditional (and tasty) Norwegian almond cake. The best part of the recipe is that it is entirely gluten free!
 Enjoy!
-Sema 
 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Strawberries and Cream

I spent the majority of today outside, basking in the beautiful weather. Lately, we've gotten a lot of snow and icy cold weather, so today was quite a treat (it got up to 65 F/18 C)! When I got home, I decided I wanted a simple dessert, something that was easy to make and didn't require a lot of prep time. So, I whipped 1/2 a cup of heavy whipping cream in the blender, adding a dash of sugar. I then cut up some strawberries, and shaved the side of a chocolate bar, and voila, I had dessert :).

Also, happy International Women's Day!
-Sema

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spicy Gluten-free Chicken Wings


It's been snowing on and off for the last few weeks, and last night we got a lot of snow! (Of course the snow couldn't have waited until tonight, so that we'd get a snow day tomorrow...) To counteract the extremely cold weather outside, I decided we needed something spicy for dinner. I love spicy chicken wings, as they are pretty easy to make as well as delicious to eat! I could have just used a ready made gluten free buffalo wing sauce, but instead I used this recipe (shout out to my dad for teaching me this!). You can add any side dish, and I decided to go with boiled potatoes, rutabaga (a Swedish turnip), and carrots, as well as a side salad.

Ingredients
3 lbs chicken wings
Gluten-free soy sauce
Honey mustard
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Black Pepper

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spread the chicken wings on an oven safe pan.
3. Sprinkle a little bit of soy sauce and honey mustard over the wings.
4. Add 1/2 a cup of buffalo wing sauce.
5. Sprinkle a dash of black pepper and 1 tspn Italian seasoning.
6. Now for the fun part! Treat your chicken wings to a spa treatment by massaging all the ingredients in!
7. Put the wings into the oven for about 30 minutes.
8. After about 30 minutes, set the oven to 400 degrees and flip the chicken wings over.
9. Put them back into the oven for another 30 minutes, or until done.

Voila! You have spicy chicken wings!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gluten-free Cheerios!

I used to eat Cheerios all the time as a child, as it was a great snack and cereal! Of course, when I was diagnosed with Celiac at the age of 6, we didn't want to focus on what I couldn't eat-so we focused on what I could eat (there is plenty out there)! Oats are in fact gluten-free, but often come in contact with wheat during the production phase , which is why you have to buy certified gluten-free oats. I am very excited that the manufacturer of Cheerios finally has decided to make Cheerios certified gluten-free through a procedure that ensures the separation of oats from other grains during the production phase. However, make sure you check with your physician if you can tolerate gf oats, as not everyone with Celiac can!

Watch this informative video on it:


-Sema

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fruit Smoothie


Here's a naturally gluten-free delicious smoothie that you can enjoy in this chocolate-infused week :)! I absolutely adore this recipe-it's got a sweet taste to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings! The good thing about smoothies is that you usually can add anything you've got in the fridge to make a delicious creation! This is my favorite smoothie recipe, as it is sweet and filling!

Ingredients
1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt: you can make your own, click here for the recipe!
1/4 a cup of sliced strawberries
1/4 a cup of sliced kiwis
1/4 a cup of sliced frozen mangoes
1/4 a cup of sliced bananas
a dash of mango/orange juice-I used mango juice to give it a sweeter taste
1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Procedure
1. Put all the ingredients in the blender.
2. Blend until you reach the desired consistency.

Voila! You have a delicious snack/breakfast item!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, February 8, 2015

No Cook Gluten-free Oatmeal


Sometimes mornings can be hectic-but that shouldn't mean that you skip breakfast! With a little prep the night before, you have a delicious breakfast the next day. This week make sure you get a hearty breakfast in the midst of all the chocolate!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of gluten-free oatmeal
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon chia seeds
A drizzle of honey
Optional: fruit of your choice.

Procedure:
1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Put a lid on the jar and store in the fridge overnight.

Voila! You have a delicious breakfast for those chaotic mornings!

Valentine's day is just around the corner, and I'm really looking forward to it this year. I will be performing with a small orchestra at a retirement home. I love seeing their faces light up as we stroll into the room, instruments up and ready to play.
Here's my outfit of the day for Valentine's day! Sometimes just a pop of color really goes a long way :).

Enjoy!
-Sema


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gluten-free Waffle Sandwiches

 Do you like waffles? Do you like sandwiches? Well then I have the perfect snack for you! Sometimes when you're in a hurry, you don't think about what you are going to eat. Here's your solution-once a week, make waffles. Store them in an airtight container, and whenever you run out of time for a meal, pop a waffle into your toaster, and voila you've got a snack!

But you can do so much more with waffles than you think! The cool thing about it is that you can top waffles with whatever you're in the mood for! I mean, there are some days where I'm just like I need some whipped cream on my waffles. But then there are other days when I like to top them with a mixture of sauteed hotdog, mushroom, tomato, and a little green onion for garnish.

Enjoy!
-Sema

GIF by uproxx.com

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars from the Living Luxe Gluten-free Cookbook

When you go looking for recipes, it's not very different from shopping for clothes. When you look in a magazine and see a shirt you like, you'll probably want to buy it. So, when you look through a cookbook and see a recipe you like, more often than not the food will be laid out in an enticing way.
I love browsing books and magazines that contain beautiful foods. Yes, I just called food beautiful! When I looked through the Living Luxe Gluten-free Cookbook this afternoon, what really drew my attention was the pictures. Honestly, gluten-free has never looked better :). Today, I am sharing a recipe with you with the permission from the author of  Living Luxe Gluten-free Cookbook Michelle Lee (She has over 110 recipes that are both gluten and lactose-free!).

These chocolate chip oatmeal bars are easy to make as well as delicious to eat!

Ingredients
1 tbsp. softened butter (lactose-free if needed)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 lightly beaten egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 medjool dates without pits that are finely chopped
Optional: gf vanilla protein mix (I didn't use it.)

Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

2. Mix butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in egg, vanilla extract, and salt. Slowly stir in oats, chocolate chips, dates, and protein mix (if using).

3. Lightly grease foil with a touch of butter. Spread oat mixture evenly on foil, creating a 1/2-inch deep rectangle measuring about 4-by-8-inches. Bake until edges are browned, about 10 minutes.

4. Remove fro oven and allow mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice into four snack bars, each measuring about 4-by-2-inches. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.

Voila! You have homemade chocolate chip oatmeal bars! Click here to buy Living Luxe Gluten-free on Amazon. Michelle has done a wonderful job in the layout of the book and on her choices of recipes.
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Easy Gluten-free Tomato Soup

Today I was in the mood for tomato soup, so for lunch that's exactly what I made :). This recipe is very easy, and you can easily impress your friends with your culinary abilities! So here it is, the easiest, most delicious tomato soup recipe! *drum roll please* (I have also included a DIY bread sticks recipe!)

The Soup
Ingredients
1 can tomatoes (I used our own canned tomatoes.)








1.5 cup broth (I used chicken broth.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley/basil for garnish
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in about a 1/2 cup water

Procedure
1. Mix the broth and tomatoes in a medium saucepan at medium heat.
2. Once it starts bubbling, add the heavy whipping cream.
3. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes and season with salt and pepper!
4. Use a hand-held blender and puree the soup.
5. Garnish with parsley or basil (I used parsley).

The Bread Sticks
Ingredients
2 slices of gf bread
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Shredded/sliced cheese (I used chedder.)

Procedure
1. Toast the bread until has a golden color. While you're doing that, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice the bread into thin slices.
3. Chop up the garlic and add it to the bread slices.
4. Drizzle each slice with olive oil.
5. Add the cheese, covering each slice.
6. Bake until the cheese is melted. I let it bake a little after that to make it crunchier.

I ended up making two batches, because my younger brother loved it so much!

Voila, you have bread sticks and tomato soup!
Enjoy!
-Sema

LOOK AT THIS DELICIOUSNESS

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Easy Gluten-free Apple Crisp

Today is a cold and rainy day, so I decided to make apple crisp! I think that the best way to counter a gloomy day is with wonderful food, a good book, and a delicious cup of tea. This apple crisp is SUPER easy to make and will surely make your mouth water!

Ingredients
1/3 stick of butter
2-3 apples
1 cup certified gluten-free oats
1 tbs of cinnamon
A handful of walnuts
1/3 cup of brown sugar

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice and peel the apples.
3. Put the oats into a blender to make your own flour. Blend them until they reach the consistency of    flour.
4. Crumble the butter in the oat flour.
5. Stir the brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts into the mix.
6. Add the mix to the apples.

7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the apples are soft and tender.

Voila, you have a dessert! I added a little cream to the side, but you can substitute the cream with ice cream or yogurt!

Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, January 4, 2015

How to Bake a Pizza in 3-5 Minutes

School is starting again tomorrow, so that means that my life is going to get super busy again! Sometimes you don't have time to spare-even when it comes to baking a pizza! That's why this trick comes in VERY handy during those busy days ahead of us (and it really works on thin crust pizzas)!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Put a large frying pan in (make sure that it has no plastic/wood components in it.)
3. Heat the frying pan until it becomes REALLY hot.
4. Take out the frying pan and add your homemade/ready made pizza crust.
5. Put the oven on 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Add your favorite toppings to the thin pizza crust! I like to saute onions, mushrooms, and turkey sausage before I add it to the pizza. My pizzas usually contain as many vegetables that can fit on them.
7. Put the frying pan back into the oven.
8. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until it's done.

Voila, your pizza is finished! The best part about it is the fact that the middle of the pizza won't be gooey or uncooked, because the frying pan does a good job of heating the whole crust!

Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What's For Breakfast: Gluten Free Holiday Edition

It is practically inevitable to have guests during the holidays! Having guests means that you must make extra food-and breakfast can often be a chore. I currently have two lovely Norwegian exchange students visiting for the weekend, and we had fabulous Scandinavian breakfasts. Here's what you do.

1. Set the table the night before, that way you don't have to even think about plates and forks in the morning.

2. Take the deli meats and vegetables out of the packaging and set them on a plate, it gives it a classier look.


3. Light some candles. Candles=classy.


4. Get egg cups. I mean, what's cuter than a little cup that holds your soft/hard boiled egg.

5. Charger plates add a splash of color to your place setting.

6. Add wine glasses to your breakfast table. It's more fun to drink milk and juice out of it! Bonus-add a cloth napkin.

7. Add a variety of cheeses to the table, as it allows people to choose which cheese they'd like. (We also had a variety of deli meats: turkey pastrami and roasted turkey breast.)

8. Have a starter-even at breakfast. We served oatmeal (gluten-free of course.)

9. Make sure your bread is separate from the other bread. As my guests aren't gluten-free, their bread was in a separate bowl than mine. Fun fact-my bread is actually a gluten-free crisp bread from Norway! So, if you're ever in Norway, pick some up, it's DELICIOUS. (Plus you don't need a toaster.)


Sprucing up your breakfast table really makes your guests feel welcomed and gives you bonus points as a host!


Enjoy!
-Sema