First things first….

That is a phrase I never fully understand – of course first things are first…if they weren’t, well, I guess they would be second, or perhaps third.
I’m Gabby. I bake and cook. A lot.  And do it all gluten-free. 
About six months ago, I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance (I could not be tested for Celiac because I had stopped eating gluten a few months prior to that, on recommendation from a nutritionist).  Prior to this summer of illness, I was an avid cook and baker. 
Since I began to be gluten-free prior to being very ill, I did so gradually, which I will admit, was not smart.  Living completely gluten-free didn’t seem too bad, for awhile.  Until I wanted to bake a cake, eat a bowl of garlicky pasta, or drink a delicious Belgian beer (I’m still saddened when I walk into a good beer store – so many good things I can’t drink!)  I was content to eat salad, soup, eggs, meat, and rice for every meal – until I couldn’t stand the site of lettuce and the thought of having rice again was almost too much to bear. 
Then – I started cooking and baking again.  It was then that I realized that living gluten-free was fantastic! I not only felt better, but I felt more connected to food in a way that I think many people do not get to experience.  Food becomes more personal, cooking becomes more creative, and baking becomes like a mad (and often delicious) science experiment.  This new found enthusiasm for food was intoxicating, in the best way possible.  I can’t take full credit for my venture into gluten-free baking and cooking – I had several people push me and encourage me along the way.
 We laugh. A lot.
First, there is my fiance – Brad.  He’s pretty awesome.  When we started dating, we both had sort of a lackluster relationship with food. Yeah, I cooked.  I wooed him with promises of guacamole and chicken curry.  However, I did not cook with the passion and excitement that I do now.  He is part of that excitement.  Our relationship also helped him discover his love of food.  He is an immensely creative person – when we met, he was in a band (being the best guitar player ever!).  When he got sick of regular college, he decided to experiment with cooking.  He is one of the most creative cooks I know and he makes some seriously delicious, amazing food.  Everyone always tells me how lucky I am to have an aspiring chef as my future husband.  They’re totally right – a guy who can cook, play guitar, and  puts up with my dog – too perfect. 

 At the Guinness brewery in Dublin with my Uncle and family
Then, there is my family.  My mom is also gluten-free (mostly).  She has a wheat allergy and does better without gluten. My stepdad is a gluten-loving dude with a palate that demands bold flavors – if it passes his test, I’m golden.  My dad is the authority on all things chocolate and peanut butter and my stepmom is also gluten free – I mail them goodies to taste and for the holidays (I don’t know if anyone but my dad actually gets to taste them, but I like to think so).  My brother is a connoisseur of anything pastry related – the guy loves his dough and sugar. Without their support, I would not be who I am – and my life would be lacking a certain dash of crazy happiness.  And I would be lacking a diverse panel of taste testers.
My friends are awesome. Enough said.
Now that all that stuff is over…we can get on to the gluten-free goodies.


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