Author: Michele Vilseck

+Blog Book Tour+ “Gluten-Free Made Easy” by Christi Silbaugh & Michele Vilseck

Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Published by: Front Table Books (@FrontTableBooks)

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Official Author Websites:

Christi Silbaugh: Site | @MomWhatsForDinn | Facebook | YouTube

Converse via: #GlutenFreeMadeEasy, #gfree & #glutenfree

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Gluten-Free Made Easy” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I originally shared this on yesterday’s tour stop but I felt I should leave this on this tour stop because it still applies as I selected both tours at the same time to host; thereby everything I mentioned yesterday still directly inspired me to read this cookbook too!

I have been embarking on a Quest for living healthier and more vibrantly than I had been before I stumbled across a few culinary disciplines: Macrobiotics, Veganism, Vegetarian, Whole Foods, and Gluten-Free living. I also came across an appreciation for raw juicing as the benefits of drinking vegetable juice as it was intended to be consumed has a strong impact on my well being moreso than always attempting to eat the number of vegetables we all need to have on a regular basis. At my heart of hearts, I am a vegan vegetarian who accidentally became gluten-free! In reality, I am living an omnivore life whilst finding myself Gluten-Sensitive. Circumstances affect all of us from one point in our lives to the next, and although I spent five years eating through the seasons whilst purchasing farm to farmer’s market fresh fruit and veg (all organic or non-chemical grown); last September I had to put that part of my life on hold and switch back.

When I saw this particular cookbook come up for tour at Cedar Fort, I was celebrating the joy of the find because one area of cookery I am always delighted by is *baking!* I daresay, I was a budding baker long before I became a budding chef! Laughs. In truth, I was a lot like Julia Child — I came into my own with the ways of food and the kitchen a bit late in life (my late twenties) which grew out of my passion for eating. I love the experiences food can create and the palette of choice due to different cultural styles of cooking and the different ingredients that can be combined to create a bit of bliss inside of a bite! I rarely meet an herb or a spice that I do not passionately become addicted too (one reason the film “The Mistress of Spices” is amongst my favourites!) and I am forever growing in appreciation for Ancient Grains & Fibers. My favourite resource for picking up these beautiful lovelies to cook with and grow in appreciation for tastes unlike any I grew up knowing so well is Bob’s Red Mill.

Sorting out how to narrow down the choices within the pages of Gluten-Free Made Easy, was not as easy as falling in love with the variety of choice! One thing I had forgotten to mention yesterday on my review of The Secrets of Gluten-Free Baking is that particular cookbook requires a more flexible budget whereas Gluten-Free Made Easy works well for individuals and families on a more tight budget. Also, as I am only gluten-sensitive I paired an element with one of my recipes that someone who has Celiac Disease could not eat themselves; this is simply my journey as a girl who strives to live as healthy as she can whilst eating around her gluten-sensitivities.

+Blog Book Tour+ “Gluten-Free Made Easy” by Christi Silbaugh & Michele VilseckGluten-Free Made Easy
by Christi Silbaugh, Michele Vilseck
Source: Direct from Publisher

When The Secrets of Gluten-Free Baking author Jillayne Clements learned gluten was off the table, her taste buds rebelled. But she soon discovered that gluten-free food can be healthy and delicious! Use her unique whole foods approach to create:

Cinnamon Rolls
Buttermilk Biscuits
Honey Oak Bread
Breadsticks and more!

Whether you're on a temporary or permanent gluten-free diet, learn Jillayne's tips, preferred ingredients, and secret against-the-grain methods to baking delicious food without gluten. This book blends taste and satisfying nutrition into mouthwatering gluten-free recipes your whole family will enjoy.

Bake your way to Better Health today!

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Gourmet Cooking for Two, NOURISH: The Beginner's Guide to eating healthy and staying fit

Genres: Cookery, Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking


Published by Front Table Books

on 13th May, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 280

Author Biographies:Christi Silbaugh

Christi Silbaugh (seen in the photo) started cooking gluten-free in 2009 when her daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. Since then, she has created and posted over one thousand gluten-free recipes. Her cooking obsession and love for her family has turned a hobby into a full-time career of blogging and writing. She is the self-educated chef and author of three cooking blogs, including Mom, What’s For Dinner; Gourmet Cooking For Two; and Zero Calorie Life. She writes for foodie media giants Glam Media and Federated Media and works for Fast Forward Events, covering food and wine events in San Diego.

Michele Vilseck is a mother and avid hobbyist who loves to write and loves to live gluten-free. She is always eager to take on new projects, including writing this cookbook. Michele has been eating gluten-free for over ten years. Although brought on by necessity, her passion for food increases daily. Her great how-to tips and tricks throughout the book engage the readers, letting them know they are not alone in this journey. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut with her family.

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Before I begin, I want to clarify one thing: because I am gluten sensitive and not suffering from Celiac Disease, I do eat around my triggers. What I might be able to eat myself is not what I know others who have higher levels of gluten intolerance can eat. We’re all individuals and so, as I share my own story and adventures in cookery & baking experiments, please keep in mind that you have to make your own choices which work for you and your family. This is only one girl’s journalling of exploring healthy options and healthier living. Remember only you and your physician can make choices that benefit your own health and wellness. Please be advised I am only sharing personal recollections of cookery & baking books whilst experimenting with the recipes inside.

The authors truly made this a user-friendly primer for anyone who is starting to eat a Gluten-Free lifestyle, not only by their approach to make each category colour coded and vibrant, but they took the time to educate and to lead with suggestions that might have gone overlooked in other cookbooks. I enjoyed looking over the list of hidden gluten foods, as I have already deduced on my own behalf that I need to switch to GF beer! I love dark amber lager but at times I do notice it doesn’t like me very much in return! I’ve checked out the market for GF beer and I must sadly be on the last leg of expansion for distribution! Aye. There are a few brands of beer I can enjoy every odd moon until I can source the GF varieties, but at least I know there are GF beers out there! I have a lovely magazine about this topic near my desk and I promise once I get to dig into it further I’ll be posting a review because it is a topic that interests me!

On the note of soups and cream of soups not being GF friendly, I recently found a quality source for GF Cream of Mushroom Soup which is Healthy Valley. I am unsure if this brand is mentioned in the cookbook, but I find it a great go-to resource to use when wanting to get away from regular “cream soup” to use as a base in cooking. I mention this inside my recollections of cooking two of the recipes, but my go-to pasta is Tinkyana! It is by far the best I have found on the market, not only because the noodles hold their consistency but because the taste is spot-on and brilliant! I love how using their products create a lighter meal and you do not feel as though you had eaten a meal with pasta as a main part of the meal! Instead of using Soy Sauce I have used either Braggs Liquid Aminos (by Braggs), Raw Coconut Aminos (by Coconut Secret), San-J Organic GF Tamari Soy Sauce by (San-J), or even a product I can say aloud but cannot find in google in order to spell it properly! Laughs.

I loved the expanded section on mixing your own flours, including an easy one for Vanilla Cake Mix! I’d like to sort out if that is a more cost effective alternative to always purchasing a ready-made mix like Betty Crocker’s (of which I used for the Breakfast Bar). The authors and I share a mutual passion and affection for a few brands like: Ancient Harvest (for Quinoa), Bob’s Red Mill (my post yesterday is a good indication of my love!), Glutino, and King Arthur Flour. I was not overly impressed by Udi‘s unfortunately, and although I finally sourced Pamela’s brand for baking flours & mixes, I found the brand a bit pricey.The other brands they listed are ones I want to try as budget will allow: Better Batter, Mina’s Purely Divine, Manini’s Gluten Free, Schar, and Venice Bakery.

Let me share the joy I found whilst experimenting with recipes found within:

#GFBakingFest Shopping List by Jorie in Canva

The first recipe I knew I wanted to make was actually a baking choice rather than a savory option! When I read the ingredients for the *Raspberry Breakfast Bars* I knew that between what I had on hand and at the ready in my pantry & fridge combined with a few items I could pick up at the grocer’s — this would make a fantastic start to exploring all the lovely and delish offerings inside Gluten-Free Made Easy!

I decided to take Rochelle @NotebkBlogairy (the post where she hosted the first event on 11 August, 2013 which was spontaneous & a heap of fun) up on her idea to host a #GFBakingFest of my own, as she had originally spontaneous created the niche on Twitter when she shared her experiment. I always host a weekly tweetchat at 11am NYC on Saturdays (#ChocLitSaturdays), therefore I started my tweeting for this event around 2pm NYC. (you’ll note, I always denote the time zone via a major city rather than EST or PST) I began by tweeting out a ‘card’ announcement of what would be needed for the recipe, the authors of the cookbook itself, and a bit about the event in general. The card was then attached to this tweet, which I have included on the left! I am so very thankful to StoryDam @StoryDam for originally cluing me into the benefits of using Canva! (canva.com) I was able to ‘photo journal’ my baking experience and easily upload those photo journalling cards to Twitter for everyone to see!

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#GFBakingFest Ingredients by Jorie in Canva

Crofter’s Organic | @croftersorganic | Facebook

Better Crocker | @bettycrocker | Facebook

Smart Balance | @SmartBalance | Facebook

{ the oats were left-over therefore exact brand unknown; eggs on hand }

As you can see, I opted to sub the Raspberry jam for the jam I had on hand in my fridge: Crofter’s Wild Blueberry (Organic) Jam, featured here in front of the cake mix! Oh, my dear stars, this jam made the end result so wickedly addictive to eat, I think the ENTIRE pan was consumed before Tuesday morning! Laughs with mirth. I nailed this recipe so well I’ve been asked for encore appearances! This is always a good way of knowing you’ve hit on something special, and I credit the success of this experience to the authors! Of whom have my heartfelt gratitude for not only giving such awesome recipes that fit flexible and tight budgets, but for giving recipes that do not require a lot of difficult (i.e. pricy) ingredients to source and obtain! They simply rock for providing affordable recipes for those who want to whip up something healthy, Gluten-Free, and divinely succulent!

A note on the ingredients: I am a healthy baker who generally opts for brands to use that are more known for being GF (Gluten-Free), however, I was working on a tight budget for this experiment and was most delighted that the grocer I attempted to purchase a GF Cake Baking Mix from was out of stock but was able to query a neighbouring store whereupon I was able to make the purchase! They were thankful I brought it to their attention they lacked having a GF Cake Mix on the shelf and I thanked them for finding me the last item I needed to bake the breakfast bars! A win-win! I was most surprised to find how much I loved using Betty Crocker’s GF Cake Mix! Yet, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself – what I wanted to say, is that I generally opt for Earth Balance to bake with when butter is required, but in a pinch, Smart Balance is as good as my preferred brand. Likewise, when farm fresh eggs are not in the budget any veg diet egg will surely do just fine! The reason I switched the type of jam I used for this bar is simply due to cost and what I already had on hand to use.

men shoppingShopping Trip: Whilst I had quite a lot on hand for the three recipes I selected to make out of this cookbook, there were a handful of ingredients I needed to pick up. A family friend had gifted us a grocery giftcard to help my parents celebrate their Anniversary in late Spring; but given how Spring and Summer flew past us with health afflictions and other things that arose out of the blue, we never had the pleasure of using the giftcard until now! Therefore, I was quite happy that several of the items were either on sale or a Buy One, Get One:

  • Cauliflower – Buy One, Get One
  • Mozzarella Cheese – 2 for $5; bought one for $2.50
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Sweet Peppers – Buy One, Get One; bought one red & one orange
  • Garlic – 2 for $1
  • GF Cake Mix by Betty Crocker – $4.99
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – discounted
  • 3 pounds of Yellow Onions – discounted

By substituting the jam I had on hand, I saved instantly by not having to purchase Raspberry jam, and by having other ingredients already on hand such as the following, I saved even more:

  • Crofter’s Wild Blueberry (Organic) Jam
  • Swanson’s Chicken Broth
  • Red Gold No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
  • Springer Mountain Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (veg diet)

#GFBakingFest Preparing the Ingredients created by Jorie in Canva

The best part about this recipe is that you can do a bit of prep whilst your pre-heating your oven, which is what I explained in this tweet that went out on Twitter. Most of this is self-explanatory with my notes overlaid onto the images themselves, but the one thing I wanted to mention is the Before & After Water pictures. When you first put the jam into a mixing bowl (my preference are glass, but I used to only have plastic; either/or will work) you will notice that by adding the water it changes the consistency of the jam itself. It allows the jam to breakdown a bit and become more spreadable for creating the bar itself.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Bread Making, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Cookbook, Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Gluten-Free Foods, Non-Fiction, The Bookish Foodie