My kitchen is 100% gluten free. Every ingredient, every surface, oven and utensil is free from any risk of cross contamination.
It's been my goal to have everyone who tastes my food ask, "is this really gluten free?" No more tasteless, dry cardboard. Just the best ingredients baked with love from my family to yours.
My name is Allyson and this is my crazy family.
Me and my guy The kids (aka taste testers)
I started redefining my baking almost 3 years ago when our special needs son was diagnosed with Celiacs. I was used to being a special needs mom, but this whole food thing threw me for a loop. Here is a 15 year old boy who eats everything in sight, whose favorite foods are bread and pizza. How do you explain to a mentally 4 year old kiddo in that hungry teenagers body that all of his favorite foods are now off limits? I can tell you... you don't.
Thankfully, there is a lot more available for Celiacs patients these days so I did what every parent in that situation would do. I sat the family down and talked about the whole house going gluten free. The other 4 kids were skeptical, but they were on board for their brother. We spent the day purging the kitchen and went on a family adventure to the local store. We found lots of things to try. It was an adventure... a terrible, tasteless adventure.
By the end of the second week the kids were grumpy and so was I. I wanted to bake again, show my family the foodie love I used to and so began my quest. I was determined to figure this whole gluten free baking thing out. It couldn't be that hard, right? I would either learn how to bake yummy gluten free goodies or die on the alter of taste with smears of rice flour on my face.
There were some spectacular failures. I can't tell you how many times I stood in my kitchen grumbling at the oven asking "why won't you just rise" and recalculating yet again the flour blends I was using. Quick breads would bake on the outside and be raw in the middle. Brownies became ice cream sundae toppings. Muffin additions sank to the bottom of the cups.
I'd be experimenting on the family yet again, happy smells wafting from the kitchen when the kids got home from school. I'm not sure why they avoided the kitchen for those first few months. Perhaps it was the grumbling determination, or maybe that I'd hand them a sample every time they ventured close enough. There's something disconcerting about a mad scientist mommy handing you something to eat and wondering out loud "is this bad?"
There was tweeking and temperature modification, so many ingredient changes that sometimes I lost track. I knew I could figure it out. This was going to happen!
Even in the failures there was fun. The kids started wandering in from school asking if there were any ugly cookies they could eat. My stuff was starting to taste good again. It was the look, the rise, the stuff every baker perfects over time and experience that just wasn't there yet. But we're family and we stick together. They started bringing friends over and we'd hang in the kitchen playing with new dough, learning.
It took about a year, but I got the general hang of gluten free cooking. I'd sent so many experimental goodies in to school with my kids, to work with my fiance that I was sure they'd never need to frequent another bakery for the rest of their lives. But a funny thing happened. People started to request my desserts. School bake sales and work pot-lucks were always on my calendar. Then... there was rum cake.
A friend from work asked me to make her a rum cake for her birthday. It was her favorite, but since she'd found out about her Celiacs, she hadn't had one. She was willing to come across town to pick it up and she'd pay me for it. I was floored. I got to bake, one of my favorite things to do AND I was going to get paid for it? Aces!
It sort of rolled on from there. My need to care for my family by feeding them something yummy turned into a hobby which turned into my passion which turned into the shop you're now perusing. It's absolutely amazing how life works sometimes.
Take a look around. See if there is something you'd like to try. From my family to your, baked with love. Gluten free goodies that don't actually taste gluten free.