2012-09-28 Fabulous Friday Finds

pedestrian tunnel under College Ave, Decatur, GA
pedestrian tunnel under College Ave, Decatur, GA


It’s Friday!  Let’s celebrate by looking at interesting things.  Even if I do have to work tomorrow.

I’ve been gluten-free for almost a full year now (discounting the few “tests” that proved that, while I don’t have celiac, gluten and I should remain broken up), and finding good gluten-free bread that is also dairy and egg (and pineapple — weirdly that’s tripped me up more than once) free is difficult.  DeLand Bakery to the rescue!  This stuff can be wicked hard to find, but that’s not because stores up here don’t carry it.  It sells out.  If you’re in the Concord area, the Concord Co-op and the Natural Choice Market in Hooksett both carry it.  It makes fantastic toast.

I made this “Spanish Bar Cake.”  My house smelled incredible, and it lasted a few minutes at staff meeting.  (I did end up subbing dried cranberries for the raisins.  I thought I had raisins.  I didn’t.)  I didn’t frost it, but ate it more like a quick bread, with butter (or, you know, soy-free Earth Balance vegan margarine.  You know what I mean.)

So this week I’ve been experimenting with actually recognizing and dealing with the fact that most of the cleaning products on the market contain coconut derivatives (I’m allergic to coconut). I’ve been breaking out seriously for several months, and I thought maybe it’s time to look at whether it has any relation to the cleaning products I’m using containing one of my allergens. I managed to find a soap that contains no coconut derivatives, Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap, and then I found a recipe to make your own 100% Olive Oil Castile Soap from the bars, and then I found this recipe to make your own shampoo from Castile soap. So I made the Castile soap from the bars, and then made shampoo from the Castile soap. I modified the recipe because I have a freaking lot of hair and I like thick shampoo, and I have since modified it again because I didn’t find it moisturizing enough. So what I did was take the 5 cups of Castile soap that the recipe yields and added 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil, and a little lime essence. I found this a bit too drying. After speaking with my hair dresser last night, I added another 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the mix and it worked out great this morning. So far – good news, I found coconut free stuff.  Bad news–it appears to be working. Which means I may have to continue making my own stuff. But it’s only been a few days so we shall see. I’ll update you all on the lotion issue when I get the stuff I ordered to make my own coconut free body lotion and lotion bars.

As we head into fall, I start looking at comfort foods and I found a Broccoli Cheez soup that looks fabulous.  I should be able to modify it to remove the almond milk (a no-no for me) and I miss Broccoli Cheddar soup.  I’ll report back.

Also this week, I finally tried the Wacky Cake recipe I posted in one of our Fabulous Friday Finds posts a while back.  I just about cried.  It tasted like cake.  Real cake.  I hadn’t had a good cake since I got diagnosed with the egg allergy.  It was awesome.  And yeah I know there’s a ton of oil in it, and it’s probably not good for you, but it’s real cake people!  All things in moderation.

Lastly for those of you that have a gluten sensitivity,  I found this interesting blog post on whether the wax on fruit and vegetables contains gluten (and/or soy and dairy).  Apparently the wax can can contain these ingredients, and the author of the post used gluten testing kits (who knew these existed?  I wonder if there’s dairy testing kits…) to determine whether her fruits and vegetables contained gluten.  It was a fascinating article, check it out. (I think that may explain the random allergic reactions I’ve had for years to certain fruits and veg — specifically apples.  I only buy local and organic now, and if I can’t find those, I peel.  MK)

I’m not really a big food rules person, but as rules go, I like these.  No Meat Athlete has great “recipes” that are really guidelines, and I find it useful despite not being veg or an athlete.


    1. Hi MK and Denise, I’m an old knitting buddy of Denise’s and we have food sensitivities in our house to dairy and we just started working with an allergist for my son who may have a stone fruit allergy. I was wondering what kind of reaction you have to fresh apples? She mentioned that some people, especially those with seasonal allergies, sometimes have an oral reaction to fresh tree fruit. We can avoid the reaction by peeling or cooking the fruit. Whatever causes the reaction is concentrated in the skin. One tidbit I didn’t know before. : )

      1. I can’t speak for MK but my father in law has a pectin issue, where as long as an apple or a peach is cooked, he’s fine, but if he eats it raw, then not so much. I’ve also heard of something called pollen oral allergy syndrome where people react to the pollen from trees or weeds still on certain vegetables and fruits.

        1. For me, it’s itching in the throat, but not at a scary level. Just really annoying. It’s happened off and on for about the last 10 years, and except for pinpointing summer apples in Oregon (they’re old at that point, so likely waxed), I have no idea what’s causing it. I wash everything well. And I just try to eat what’s in season. That seems to help.

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