I have been gluten free since August 1, 2008.
However, my doctor advised me to stop eating gluten in December of 2007. Whoops. I was in the process of giving up a number of other foods that were bothering me at the time, and was about to drive down to New Orleans with a friend (a 14-or-so-hour trip) and I just couldn't handle one more thing to get rid of; especially since I didn't know anything about what "gluten free" meant at the time.
In hindsight, I wish I had just gone ahead with it. I would have saved myself 8 months of additional agony. Not to mention, those foods I was giving up? Most of them I can eat now that I'm gluten free (and after my insides healed)!
But, better late than never.
If you're just now going gluten free, or if your doctor just told you that gluten is your problem, that you have Celiac Disease, whatnot, do NOT do what I did. Is it a lot of work? Yes. Is it worth it? YES!
I currently live in Abingdon, Virginia, with my wife. Our home is gluten free, and we started off with kitchen-ware that was either brand new, or had only been for gluten free use in the past. My wife does not need to be gluten free, but has done so very willingly because of the impact that *not* being gluten free would have on my health. I react to minute bits of gluten, so it is much easier for both of us to be gluten free and not have to worry about cross contamination.
I am neither a physician nor a nutritionist. I am writing about my experiences, and research that I have done to try to help others on and/or new to the gluten free diet be a little easier. Please do not take what I write as medical advice.
Masters of Business Administration in Economic Crime & Fraud Management
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, History, and Russian
I know that not all of my readers are gluten free due to Celiac Disease, but for those of you who are (and who are also on Facebook), I’d like to recommend a new group that a friend of mine created. I am also an admin. The group just went live this week!
Please note: All 3 questions MUST be answered in order to receive approval to join. If you haven’t answered all 3 within 48 hours of requesting to join, your request will be declined and you will have to re-apply.
Celiac Disease and You – Science First! is a new Facebook support group which caters to the Celiac community. It is NOT a recipe group, but is instead meant to be there to support people diagnosed with Celiac, in the process of being diagnosed, or for those who feel they benefit from following a Celiac diet. It’s a place to share with your fellow CD sufferers, and to get some tips and tricks on how to navigate the tricky world of food out there. If this sounds like something that would benefit you, come and join this Celiac safe community!
If you’re living in (or visiting) the Roanoke/Salem area of Southwest Virginia, make sure you add Corbin’s Confections to your list of places to stop!
Corbin’s Confections is a simply marvelous bakery, which is 100% gluten free, peanut free, and nut free. And 100% delicious. The bakery is owned by Shana Brown and family, and her son is Corbin. Everything they make is safe for him; prepared in a guaranteed safe kitchen. Nothing in this bakery contains gluten, peanuts, or tree-nuts. Nothing contains products which are, “made in a facility that processes,” or are “made on the same equipment as” gluten, peanuts, or tree-nuts. And nothing in Corbin’s Confections “may contain” gluten, peanuts, or tree-nuts.
Shana’s mission is to provide a place where anyone with gluten, peanut, or tree-nut allergies can get tasty treats at a reasonable price.
They prepare beautiful personalized cakes for any occasion! They also have a variety of items in stock at all times, such as cupcakes, pies, donuts, biscuits, eclairs, scones, bread loaves, rolls, cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies, snack cakes, and more!
Their current menu (April 2018) lists the following prices:
Bread Loaf, $8.00
Pumpernickel round, $5.99
Cake slice, $3.75
Cinnamon Rolls, $3.25
Mini Cupcakes, $1.25
Pie slice (single crust), $3.29
Pie slice (double crust), $4.09
Snack Cakes, $3.32
As someone who must eat gluten-free, and as someone who enjoys bakeries immensely, I have been to a number of GF and GF/Nut free bakeries up and down the east coast, Texas, Arizona, and California. I can tell you that the prices at Corbin’s Confections are incredibly reasonable, particularly for a gluten-free bakery. As anyone who must eat gluten-free knows, gluten free ingredients are ridiculously expensive, but Shana manages not to pass that cost onto her customers.
I’ve never regretted any purchase from Corbin’s. Everything is delicious. And everyone is warm, genuine, and friendly.
This bakery opened in 2016, and they were listed in SWVA Living as Reader’s Choice Best New Business. In 2017, they were nominated Best New Small Business by Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce!
You can find Corbin’s Confections at:
18 East Main Street
Salem, VA 24153
Current Hours (I recommend checking their FB page to confirm in the future):
Do you remember the sense of awe that Harry Potter felt when Hagrid told him he was a wizard? That’s how I feel every single time I find a gluten free bakery that is truly gluten free. And if it’s a cafe on top of that? Even more amazing.
There is 1 (wonderful) gluten free bakery about 2 hours from where I live, but no restaurants, so I generally just get to go out to eat when visiting family (and mostly out of state). They’re usually out of the way from anyone I visit, but going out to eat isn’t something I get to do at home at all, so it’s always worth the trip.
A few months ago, in the very helpful WNY Gluten Free Facebook group, someone posted about a place called Suzea’s, and said it was near Letchworth State Park. That caught my eye, because when my Mom and I get together to go visit her family in WNY, we pass right by there. So I immediately looked it up to see if it was close enough to our route to convince my Mom to stop (she doesn’t like to make a lot of stops on the way up/back).
It wasn’t out of the way at all. It was right on 36, a route we almost always take, although in the past few years, I’d pushed for taking 390 right up to the 90 to save time from the backroads. No more! As long as Suzea’s is open, I am happy to take the small roads through the towns peppered along 36, 63, 20, and so forth. And I hope it will be open a long, long time.
Now, onto the review! Suzea’s is a bakery and cafe. My favorite! Not only were we able to get amazing baked goods there, we were able to have dinner! Mom & I don’t pack much when we travel, and so by the time we get into Mt. Morris, NY, we’re pretty hungry! And there’s nothing like getting to eat a fully gluten free meal, and a hot meal at that, which you didn’t have to prepare yourself. Especially on a road trip where options are typically limited.
The food was fantastic.
When we first went in, we were offered a sample of their plain sandwich bread. Soft. Fresh. Delicious. We took a loaf to go. It was good toasted — but it didn’t need to be toasted to be edible. Which meant I could have it with poached eggs later that week and not have to get out my GF toaster.
Then we sat down to peruse the menu and decide what we wanted for dinner. I went gluten free in 2008. Not once since then have Mom and I been able to stop for an actual meal on the way to Buffalo. Having the option, now, to do that, and knowing that as long as we back our departure day up from our usual Sunday, to Friday or Saturday, we can always have dinner coming, and breakfast going, is amazing. Thrilling. It makes me ridiculously happy.
And the food? Totally worth it. Even if you’re not as lucky as we are, and the bakery is out of your way? Go anyway. You won’t be sorry!
Here’s what we had for dinner on our first visit:
Here’s a look at the bakery:
And then on the way back, we stopped for breakfast, which was also delicious. (Oh, and cookies, which, again, delicious. I only wished I had bought more than 2!)
Can’t wait for my next visit, which, if we don’t run into too much traffic, will be tonight! I’m so excited! If you’re anywhere near Mt. Morris, NY, and you’re gluten free, or have a gluten free friend or family member, or even if you aren’t gluten free at all, but you just love really good food, be sure you take the time to stop by. You will not be sorry.
Sunday – Wednesday: Closed
Thursday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Parking: Parking lot / off street (note: small lot)
My apologies for my terribly LONG absence. I had a lot of trouble with my former website host. It got to the point where I couldn’t even login at times, much less update any posts, or fix any problems.
I now have a much better host, which not only should help the site run smoother, but is saving me money! (Relieved: Really didn’t want to have to take my site down!)
I have updated my logo, theme, about pages, and a few behind the scene items. Since it looks like we’re finally going to have several good-weather days this week, I’ll be rushing to finally fix all the little (and big) things I’ve wanted to change for over a year. And then I will get some new posts up. After that, I plan to get back to writing my GF guide book. Ideally, I’ll be able to publish it this year. The cookbook is still in the works but will take longer. (Two computer crashes slowed me down there, but looks like all is well now.)
If you have any questions about anything I have reviewed, or any products you’ve been wondering about, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
During the years I’ve been gluten-free, I’ve noticed that what many of us miss most (or at least a lot) are donuts. Specifically, yeast donuts. Gluten-free cake donuts have been on the market for awhile, and occasionally if you’re lucky, you’ll happen across a GF bakery that knows how to make yeast donuts, but those are few and far between.
I grew up on Dunkin Donuts. I discovered Krispy Kreme in high school. I adored both. I miss both, especially DD since I have many good memories associated with DD. I miss the chocolate frosted, the strawberry frosted with sprinkles, the jelly donuts (any kind), the cream-filled, and so forth.
I was never really a cake donut person. If I want cake, I’m going to have cake; not cake masquerading as donuts!
But for years, cake donuts were pretty much all there was.
I had one yeast donut out in Phoenix, AZ, and it was amazing. For 7 years, I’ve been hoping to find GF yeast donuts for sale somewhere else, and for 7 years I have been disappointed.
And then I was offered to review some donuts for Kinnikinnick (which I’ve done before, and they’ve been cake), but this offer had a difference. I’d get to try the Pumpkin Spice donuts (again) and a new soft donut. Soft like yeast? Sure, I was definitely up for that!
The pumpkin donuts have been vastly improved. They were good the first time I tried them several years ago. They are light-years better now. Delightful little pumpkiny donuts in a yummy glaze. They’re not yeast, but if you like pumpkin, you won’t care. So good! I shared them with T as well, and she thought it was delicious! (She does not need to be gluten-free, so I always like to have her try samples I receive since she still knows what gluten-full foods taste like.)
I also was sent a box of vanilla donuts + icing. If you’ve been missing the little icing packets that come with Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, you’ll squeal with joy when you see and taste the icing that comes with these donuts!
This donut is small and light. It can go right from freezer to microwave to your mouth without any thaw time. 15-20 seconds works well (if you do 2 at a time, maybe 30 seconds, depending on the strength of your microwave).
Then you get to ice it with as much or little icing as you like. For my first donut, I did half-and-half, so I could get a fair taste of the plain donut. I love icing. LOVE. But I could easily eat these donuts plain. They are amazing. This is how I remember yeast donuts. THESE are the donuts I have been looking for!
T thought these were amazing too.
These donuts are GLUTEN-free, DAIRY-free, and NUT-free. You can read more about them here. This is a PDF sheet that will give you nutritional information on both products, as well as providing the UPC code, which may be helpful if you are trying to get your local grocery store to carry the soft donuts. The Pumpkin Spice donuts are seasonal and may not be something stores can carry.
The only problem I had with either of these donuts was the packaging. Although the boxes close (if you open them carefully), there is no way to reseal the inner plastic packaging, and it rips easily. On the other hand, there is very little chance that these donuts will stick around in your freezer long enough after opening to get freezer burn!
I also recommend cutting the icing packets a part instead of tearing across the dotted line which separates each packet (the plastic rips easily).
Each package also comes with instructions on how long to microwave them, which is a huge plus! (More companies need to follow suit!)
Anxious to try these donuts out yourself? Check out my Facebook page and see if you can win an awesome donut prize pack! Five lucky winners (must be in North America) can try to win 4 boxes (3 of cake donuts: pumpkin, chocolate, and cinnamon, and 1 of the new soft vanilla) each!