Babbling & Such

” When life takes the wind out of your sails, it is to test you at the oars. “

– Robert Brault


This quote was in my email this AM, but I didn’t read it until almost 6 PM.  It is interesting how it that applies to my life today.  My day started off okay, for the first 45 minutes or so.  Then my friend shows up with her daughter, my God daughter, that I watch daily.  She asked me if I was planning on putting my trash out today – it was trash day after all.  &*%@#(*& Guess who didn’t remember his chores last night?  Yep.  Jon.  I ran to the garage (cursing all the way) and got the cans to the curb.  Then I realize that not only did Captain Facebook not remember to empty the trash & take it out, but he neglected to sweep the floor – again – after I reminded him 4,356 times.  Okay, maybe not that many, but those of you who are parents know exactly what I mean.  How do I know he forgot?  Well, aside from the crumbs, which doesn’t always make it obvious because he is not the most efficient sweeper, I had surreptitiously left a blueberry under the table.  We hadn’t had blueberries since Tuesday, so, that has now become “Exhibit A”.  On the surface this all seems minor, however, this has been on ongoing battle with Jon.  I know, he is 13, and this is just the beginning.  I should be thankful that he is healthy and I am, but it doesn’t make days like this any easier to deal with.  Then home comes the interim grades report from school.  Don’t even get me started on that.  Not only has the wind been taken out of my sails, but I think someone stole one of my oars.  😉


Now, I am not normally one to boo hoo on my blog, so now I am going to share something positive & useful.  I got this email from Dee Valdez (Gluten-free Dee) today and want to help spread the news. 

Would love to have you join us physcially, in mind or in spirit for this great event next Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 4-6 pm in Loveland, CO, my hometown. If you can’t make it, feel free to send a donation. Special thanks to one of my clients, family owned, Denver based Raquelita’s Tortillas for donating their wonderful gluten free flatbread, Sandwich Petals and challenging other corporations to join the cause. Thanks to Glow Gluten Free for being the first to accept the challenge and send their yummy gluten free cookies.

Press Release Follows – Please forward to any friends you have in the media or to your favorite bloggers.  Would love to do some radio, TV, Newspaper, blog interviews before and after event.

A heartfelt thank for your continued support, friendship and encouragement. This is so exciting and humbling.


December 3, 2009 Dee Valdez 970-308-1062

Nationwide Movement To Get Gluten Free Food Into Food Banks Begins In Loveland Colorado

Loveland, CO, December 3, 2009 – “There is a great need to develop a systematic approach to establishing Gluten Free Food Banks across the nation,” says Dee Valdez, who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 17 years ago. About 15 years ago, Valdez remembers talking to a mother with a sick 7 year old who had Celiac Disease. The exasperated mom said she had to choose between feeding her whole family or just feeding her sick daughter the very expensive gluten free food she could find. The distraught mother said, referring to her Celiac daughter, “She’s just going to have to live with diarrhea. “

“I was devastated by her reality,” says Valdez, “so I gathered as much gluten free food as I could and left it on her doorstep. Unfortunately, my reality didn’t allow me to help parents like her again, until now.”


Bread is plentiful in food banks across the county.

Gluten free bread is not.


Loveland’s House of Neighborly Service will be the test site for the new program Valdez is designing to be implemented in communities across the country. There are scattered efforts to gather gluten free food for the holidays or offer a monthly gift card to help offset the extra expense of a gluten free diet. “What I see that is missing is a systematic approach to feeding gluten free families in need,” say Valdez. “If someone has Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, they can become very ill in the short and long term if they eat gluten containing food because that is all they have.” Bread is plentiful in food banks across the country. Gluten free bread is not. Valdez, or Gluten Free Dee, as she is called, intends to change that.

Gluten free food donations are now being accepted at House of Neighborly Service, 565 N. Cleveland, Loveland, CO 80537. It is asked that the food be identified as such when dropped off. Anyone available to deliver their gluten free food Tuesday, December 8, between 4 – 6 pm can be part of an exclusive group dedicating the new gluten free section of the existing food bank with a Ribbon Cutting, Press Conference and Festivities.

“We are excited to be able to provide an option for people with gluten sensitivities who are financially struggling, especially considering the cost of a gluten free diet,” says Erin Becerra House of Neighborly Service (HNS) Food Program Manager.

HNS provides food baskets for an average of more than 500 Loveland/Berthoud area households each month. The mission of the food program is to provide wholesome food to nourish people who are food-insecure.


Although only about 1% of the U.S. population

has Celiac disease…

12% of U.S. households want to eliminate

or reduce their gluten intake.


Although only about 1% of the U.S. population has Celiac disease, new gluten free food manufacturer General Mills says its research shows about 12% of U.S. households want to eliminate or reduce their gluten intake.            July 2, 2009 article             For General Mills, Wheat-Free Items Are Tricky to Make, Cheap to Market

“I honestly don’t know how many additional people will come in for help knowing that we now have gluten free food available and how many of the families we are already serving will take advantage of this new option,” says Becerra. “I believe that we will be able to provide assistance with the help of our generous community, and the support of gluten free food manufacturers and retailers who are willing to donate products for those who cannot afford them.”

Families in need of gluten free food, who live in the Berthoud, Loveland areas served by House of Neighborly Service need to be screened for services Monday – Thursday. Please call 970-667-4939 to find out the appropriate paperwork to bring to determine eligibility.

“This is an opportunity to be part of a group setting a precedent that will spread nationwide,” says Valdez. “We can make a difference.  We can change someone’s life.”


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

4:00 – 6:00 pm

4:00 – 4:15 Music and Gluten Free Snacks

Tours of Gluten Free Pantry

Locals Bringing Donations

Interview Opportunities

4:15 – 4:45 Press Conference

Gluten Free Dee

House of Neighborly Service Officials

Celiac Sprue Association Representatives

4:45 – 5:00 Gluten Free Food Manufacturer Challenge to Donate

Rich Schneider, Product Developer

Gluten Free Sandwich Petals by Denver’s Raquelita’s Tortillas

5:00 – 5:15 Ribbon Cutting and Dedication

First Family Receives Gluten Free Food Basket

5:15 – 6:00 Music and Gluten Free Snacks

Tours of Gluten Free Pantry

Interview Opportunities

Please give us a tentative RSVP to Dee Valdez 970-308-1062 so we can reserve a parking spot in the overcrowded parking lot adjacent to House of Neighborly Service

I wish I lived in Colorado so that I could go.  That is a long drive from Ohio! 


Check out my newest Examiner article for places to get gluten-free holiday baking supplies in Columbus. 


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Cookie-A-Day: Day 3 – Dark Chocolate Snowstorms


I knew as soon as I found this recipe that I had to convert it to a gluten-free one.  I love chocolate.  I don’t think I can express how much I love chocolate.  I love the added touch of the powdered sugar, adding a “holiday” feel. 

Dark Chocolate Snowstorms

1 1/2 cups GF flour mix (I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix)

1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla


1.  Best sugar & butter in mixing bowl until fluffy.  Beat in egg & vanilla. 

2.  Mix all dry ingredients together and then blend into the wet mix.  Mix well.

3.  Chill dough for 30 minutes.

4.  Roll dough into balls & bake at 350 for 12 minutes. 

5.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes on sheet & then remove to cooling rack.

6.  Dip in powdered sugar while still slightly warm.

***Tip for gluten-free cookie baking:  Chill the dough at least 30 minutes, even if the recipe does not call for it.  This helps the cookies not spread out too much on your baking sheet.  I speak from lots of tears & experience.  😉

Ready to go in the oven:


Ready to inhale:




I had some people asking about the Catholic Potatoes I had on our Thanksgiving menu.  You can find the recipe for them here, on The Examiner. 


See you tomorrow for the end of week 1 of Cookie-A-Day!