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Monday, February 1, 2016
Happy Gluten-Free Funuary
Whew... it's been a really crazy few weeks (months, really). I moved to California. Yes, this life long New Yawker packed up her bags and headed west. I had a wonderful cross-country road trip with my boyfriend Victor that showed me beautiful parts of this country that I've never seen before. I also ate my way across this country and have lots to report back on from gluten-free bakeries to not-so-gluten-free-friendly truck stops. Can't a girl get a banana!?!

Now that is February and I am almost settled into a permanent place to live in gorgeous Santa Cruz, California, it is time to get back on track. I have product reviews, personal stories, how-to information, and so much more for you. But I also want to know what do you want more of? Do you want to know where/what to eat? Do you want to hear personal "wins" in the gluten-free world? Do you want recipes. TELL ME! I want to know what my readers want and I want to bring back this blog from a slow end of 2015 and almost non-existent start to 2016. Please leave a comment below and tell me what you want what you really really want. (Sorry, may or may not have listened to some Spice Girls on the way from NYC to Cali!)

In addition to this blog, you can also find me at Gluten-Free Globetrotter, my gluten-free travel blog. I am also Gluten-Free Fun on Twitter and Facebook. Stop by, leave a comment, and let me know you are still reading or if you are a new reader. Thanks!



I live here now. Um, WHAT????? Still in shock! 
A photo posted by Erin Smith (@glutenfreeglobetrotter) on

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Nine Years of Gluten-Free Fun

Nine years ago yesterday, I launched Gluten-Free Fun. In the midst of packing for a cross-country move, I forgot! But I couldn't ignore this major milestone. I never could have imagined that growing up as a celiac and rarely talking about being gluten-free would turn into a blog that is almost a decade old where I share my life with strangers.

I definitely could never have pictured meeting all of my wonderful readers, social media followers, and gluten-free friends when I started this blog. As a kid, I never knew more than a handful of people that knew what being gluten-free actually means. Now, I know thousands! I always imagined only my family and a few close friends would read Gluten-Free Fun. Today, there are more than 10,000 of you that stop by each and every month. This blog has turned into more than anything I could have ever imagined.

Nine years is basically fifty years in blogging years. Recently my blogging has slowed down as life has gotten in the way. (damn you job, moving, second blogs, etc.) But I have BIG plans for Gluten-Free Fun in 2016. A MUCH needed redesign is slowly coming along. I am also more active than ever on social media and hope you will continue reading this website, tweeting with me, and posting to Facebook.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and readership over the past nine years. You have know idea how much you all mean to me! 

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Friday, January 1, 2016
Happy New Year from Gluten-Free Fun

I wish you all nothing but the best for the new year. Much love, prosperity, and good health in 2016.

Happy New Year! 



I am starting off the new year with a cross-country drive to California from New York City!
Stay tuned for updates from the road. 



Thursday, December 24, 2015
Merry Christmas from Gluten-Free Fun
Wishing all of my wonderful readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 




Friday, December 11, 2015
A Personal Message to the NYC Celiac Community


After more than ten years of organizing the NYC Celiac Meetup group, I am stepping back from my leadership role as I embark on a new adventure. As you may have read last week, I am moving to California with my boyfriend who is starting a new job. I am taking my gluten-free consulting business bi-coastal and will continue to be a strong celiac advocate for our community no matter where I live.

It is with mixed emotions that I write this post today. I love New York City and the wonderful people I've met through the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group. It has become like my extended gluten-free family. Over the past ten years, the group has given me much more than I could have ever expected. I've met so many great people that were brought together by this gluten-free connection. Our group has grown to more than 2,000 members and we've had more than 400 events which continues to both impress me and surprise me each day.

I have seen friendships bloom between group members, marriages, births, and sadly even deaths of some of our members. I've met gluten-free travelers from around the world who've made one of our Meetup events a stop on their itinerary. We've shared hundreds of wonderful gluten-free meals together while supporting our fellow celiacs. It really has been an enriching experience for me. I not only gave my all for this celiac community, but I got so much back from my supportive members. This community is really such an important part of my life and I am going to miss it dearly.

I will continue to play a small role in the NYC Celiac Meetup group posting annual events, webinars, and maybe even hosting events when I am back in NYC for work or family events. But from January on, I am passing the gluten-free leadership role to a new organizer.

Thank you all for your support and friendship over the past 10+ years. I hope you all continue to support one another in the gluten-free community and that you keep in touch as I move west.

Be well!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Canyon Bakehouse Salted Caramel Brownie Trifles and HUGE Giveaway
When Canyon Bakehouse approached me about a HUGE reader giveaway and a delicious recipe, I couldn't say no. They have an awesome line of gluten-free products that are all delicious and they want to give you ALL of them. This would be a perfect prize to win right around the holidays. It's one of the best gluten-free gift packages ever! I am a big fan of their entire product line and appreciate their outreach to the gluten-free community. The Canyon Bakehouse staff kept me well fed at the GFAF Fest in Connecticut last month!



The brownie bites are some of my favorite desserts ever and they don't last longer than a day in my house. When I saw this recipe, I was drooling on my keyboard! I might have to try making these for our Christmas dessert.

Salted Caramel Brownie Bite Mini Trifles
Recipe created by Lauren Gaskill, Making Life Sweet

DIRECTIONS

For the caramel sauce:
2 cups organic unrefined white sugar or cane sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup real maple syrup
½ cup coconut milk, full fat
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of sea salt

For the coconut whipped cream:
1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
¾-1 cup cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For serving:
1 package Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Brownie Bites, crumbled
¼ cup smashed Gluten Free chocolate cream sandwiches, cream removed (cookie pieces only)
Mini cordial glasses

INSTRUCTIONS

For the caramel sauce:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, maple syrup and water to a boil, stirring well until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer over low heat until the syrup water is a deep amber color, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove caramel sauce from heat. Stir in the coconut milk, butter and salt until combined. Let cool slightly before using.

For the coconut whipped cream:
Chill coconut milk in the fridge for at least eight hours. Remove the can from the fridge and carefully remove the lid without tipping or shaking the can. Scrape out the top, thickened cream and discard the liquid.

Place cream in a medium mixing bowl and beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth - about 1-2 minutes.

To assemble the trifles:
Place about 1 tablespoon of brownie bites at the bottom of each cordial glass. Evenly pipe or spoon a layer of coconut whipped cream onto each brownie. Add a layer of caramel sauce and then another layer of brownie and coconut cream. Repeats layers. Serve immediately.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, December 7, 2015
Big News for Gluten-Free Fun in 2016

I planned a giveaway today, but it is time to break some big personal news. In early 2016, I am moving to California with my boyfriend who is starting a new job. I am taking my gluten-free consulting business bi-coastal and will continue to be a strong celiac advocate for our community no matter where I live. This blog will continue and is going to be bigger and better than ever from the West Coast!

I love New York City so much which makes it so hard to leave. I have always lived within 90 miles of the city and I really never imagined living anywhere else. But life throws you a curve ball sometimes and this one has actually been in the works for about 10 months now. With a new year, the approaching winter, and the excitement of trying something new, the timing was right for this move to California.

One of the hardest parts of leaving NYC is leaving the New York City Celiac Meetup Group that I have been leading for more than ten years. This group has given me much more than I could have ever expected. I've met so many great people that were brought together by our gluten-free connection. Our group has grown to more than 2,000 members and we've had more than 400 events which continues to both impress me and surprise me each day.

I have seen friendships bloom between group members, marriages, births, and sadly even deaths of some of our members. I've met gluten-free travelers from around the world who've made one of our Meetup events a stop on their itinerary. We've shared hundreds of wonderful gluten-free meals together while supporting our fellow celiacs. It really has been an enriching experience for me and I hope for you as well.

If you are in NYC on December 15th, please join me at my final Meetup event. Details here.

One of the things I am most excited about is connecting with the gluten-free community in California. I am going to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January and Expo West in Anaheim in March. I also hope to make it to the Celiac Disease Foundation Expo in May. I cannot wait to meet all of you west coasters that I often miss being on the east coast. It is time for me to grow my gluten-free empire on both coasts!

2016 will also bring a HUGE redesign to Gluten-Free Fun. It's time to modernize this blog. Stay tuned for a new look, new icon, and so much more.

Thank you for all of your support now, over the past 8 years I have been blogging, and for the future!

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Thursday, December 3, 2015
Celiac Disease Children's Books for the Holidays
I have noticed a new trend of books geared towards kids with celiac disease and food allergies both on Amazon.com and at gluten-free events. I think these books are great because they tell a story that many other children's books don't tell in a very relatable way. Many of these authors live gluten-free themselves or have a child who is gluten-free, which makes these stories quite personal. I have always been an avid reader and one of these books would have been a great gift for me as a kid.

Do you know a celiac child or children with food allergies? Add these to their holiday gift list!
Click on the book cover and it will bring you right to Amazon.com!


The Adventures of Celia Kaye
by Kaitlin Puccio


My Special Cupcake
by Julie Lyn Klingel


Allergic to Bullying
by Monique Vagueiro

Eating Gluten-Free with Emily
by Bonnie J. Kruszka 


The Celiac Kid
by Stephanie Skolmoski



Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?
by Katie Chalmers



Adam's Gluten Free Surprise
by Debbie Simpson



The GF Kid: A Celiac Disease Survival Guide
by Melissa London



Cilie Yack is Under Attack
by Caryn Talty 



Willie Villie Meets Casey Kramps
in Sprueville
by  Elena Torsiello

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Monday, November 30, 2015
Gluten-Free Cyber Monday Deals

Follow me all day long on Twitter and Facebook
for additional Cyber Monday deals on gluten-free products!

Here are a list of the gluten-free cyber Monday deals that have come across my desk so far today. I will update throughout the day. If you have a deal, please post in the comments!

Updated 6pm EST

Glutino: 15% off everything online use code GLUTENFREE15; Free shipping on orders over $59.
http://shop.glutino.com/?utm_source=newsletter_GLU20151130_CYBERMONDAY_15

Hungry Root: 30% off your order using code CYBER30 on check-out.
http://bit.ly/1lqPcJY

***

Updated 2pm EST

GFJules: up to 25% off and free shipping over $89 until 12/1.
https://gfjules.com/

Jonty Jacobs: You get 25% off any Biltong and Droewors online, when you spend $100 or more! Enter code JJ25OFF. Offer ends 12am 12/02/2015 EST.
http://www.jontyjacobs.com/

Jovial Foods: 25% off online store items using code CYBER15
https://jovialfoods.com/shop/

***

NuGo Nutrition: 20% off ALL NuGo Bars and free shipping over $100. Code THANKS20 til 12/11

Good Girl Cookies: 2 for $10, no code needed

Sweet Note Bakery: $1.00 off gluten-free bagels with code CYBER30. Only valid today!

Ms. Michelle's: Free shipping on gluten-free cookies with code monday

GFF Magazine: Buy one subscription, get one free. No code needed.

GFF Magazine Shop: Save 20% on gift packages using code GFFGFREE

Enjoy Life Food: From now till 12/2, save  15% off your entire cart, and 20% off when you spend over $75! Use code HOLIDAY.

Canyon Bakehouse: Free shipping on orders over $50 using code FREESHIP

Nima Sensor: Test for gluten in the palm of your hand. Free shipping on all pre-orders.

Send Me Gluten-Free: Save 20% on 3+ month subscriptions use code CYBERMONDAY20. Expires 11-30-2015.  Save 20% off your first box. Use coupon code  WELCOME20.

Katz Gluten-Free: Free shipping with orders over $50, many items on sale.

Gluten-Free Labels: Free shipping on orders over $50 with code FREE50.

NoGii: Buy one get one free on NoGii Chocolate Coconut & Cocoa Brownie High Protein Bars. NO quantity limits!
http://nogii.com/



Note: There are some affiliates links in the above post.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving
Thank you all for being such great readers and friends
over the past 8 years.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!




Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Help Krumville Bake Shop Grow with Kiva Zip
I recently became involved with Kiva Zip NYC, a company that crowd funds loans for small businesses. This is a really unique way to help a business grow by lending a small amount of money to the campaign. Unlike Kickstarter or other crowd funding platforms, Kiva Zip loans are always paid back to the lender by the borrower. Kiva Zip loans can be used for any business purpose, such as investing in new equipment, purchasing inventory, hiring staff, expanding product lines, marketing or advertising, etc.

Loans are crowd-funded on the Kiva Zip website by individuals around the world who invest as little as $25. It’s a powerful marketing platform that can get a business exposure to new potential customers and advocates.  Their funding success rate is over 90% and the process only takes a few weeks.

I was so impressed with the Kiva Zip model that I decided to become a trustee. As a trustee, I get to put my name and support behind some really innovative small businesses. I can work with the borrowers to help them meet their fundraising needs while giving them guidance about how to reach the gluten-free customer. Please note, I do not make any money being a trustee. I just get to help other entrepreneurs meet their goals.




My first endorsement is Krumville Bake Shop, a local gluten-free bakery based in Brooklyn, New York. I have known Krumville Bake Shop and owner Antonella for years. Antonella has provided the NYC Celiac Meetup Group with many delicious gluten-free treats at local events. She has hosted baking classes for our group as well as sharing her space with the Pasta Flyer team. Antonella has celiac disease and must eat gluten-free so she knows exactly what the gluten-free customer is looking for in a baked good. Besides being a great baker, Antonella is also a super friendly and generous person. When the Kiva Zip stars aligned and Krumville was looking for a trustee to endorse her project, I knew she would be my first endorsement!

It would be amazing if you could help Antonella meet her Kiva Zip borrowing goal. This loan will help Krumville Bake Shop buy new baking equipment, increase their inventory, and grow their online brand. Your money will also help a hardworking gluten-free baker grow her business AND you will be paid back throughout the duration of the loan. It seems like a win-win to me!

There are only 7 days left of Krumville Bake Shop's Kiva Zip campaign so be sure to visit the lending page today: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/16977


If you are looking to become a borrower and need an endorsement, please click here

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Monday, November 2, 2015
HAChat Tomorrow: How to Navigate the Holidays with a Chronic Illness

Tomorrow, November 3, I am co-hosting a WEGOHealth health advocate Twitter chat at 3pm EST. During this hour-long Twitter conversation, I will address your questions and biggest challenges of how to survive the holidays while managing your health. I will give some gluten-free tips, wellness suggestions, and provide you with some ideas to make your holidays more enjoyable.

To participate, follow the hashtag #HAchat on Twitter this Tuesday at 3pm EST or you can follow along at http://hubs.ly/H01lG0Z0.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015
Gluten-Free Globetrotter Live at the GFFAFest in Connecticut



Join me this weekend as I share my best gluten-free travel tips at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Stamford, Connecticut. My favorite part of these expos is meeting my readers, so be sure to stop by and say hello. My presentation is both Saturday and Sunday at 11:20am EST on the lecture stage. If you want to say hello, I will also be at the bloggers booth throughout the expo.

I hope to see you there!


One- and two-day tickets available! Use code “NYCCMG” for a special 15% discount!

Buy your tickets today: http://bit.ly/GFFAFest2015

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Monday, October 26, 2015
Vote for Gluten-Free Globetrotter in the 6th Annual Gluten-Free Awards
Vote for Gluten-Free Globetrotter


I am thrilled to announce that my gluten-free travel blog, Gluten-Free Globetrotter®, has been nominated for Best Gluten-Free Blog in the 6th Annual Gluten-Free Awards. If you aren't reading Gluten-Free Globetrotter, you should be! This year, I have had some great travel experiences including trips to Colorado, Texas, Mexico, and France. I love sharing my gluten-free travel stories, my tips for how to navigate the gluten-free globe, and connecting with other gluten-free travelers. Gluten-Free Globetrotter has really become my passion project and there are big plans for 2016. I would really love your vote to help Gluten-Free Globetrotter win as best gluten-free blog.


BEST GLUTEN-FREE BLOG QUESTION #3



And don't forget to visit:
www.glutenfreeglobetrotter.com

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Thursday, October 15, 2015
Gluten-Free Oktoberfest in New York City


I am excited to announce the first annual Gluten-Free Oktoberfest in New York City on November 7, 2015. According to the GFOktoberfest website, this is "the first gluten-free event of its kind on the East Coast. GF Oktoberfest was created so that people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease could safely come together and mingle while enjoying a selection of over 45 gluten-free ciders and beers and an unlimited amount of gluten free food. To add to the fun, meet some of the cider makers and brand ambassadors! Feast on a full gluten-free Oktoberfest menu with traditionally mouthwatering sausages, meatballs, pizza, desserts, and much more."

For anyone that has attended a "regular" Oktoberfest in the past, you know your gluten-free options are almost non-existent. This event is unique is that people with celiac disease can eat and drink EVERYTHING! The beers, the ciders, the food are all gluten-free. Now is your chance to toast the season and not have to worry that you cannot eat anything because you can.

There will be two sessions to allow for the most attendees possible. Early bird tickets are only $45 for the first 50 tickets and $55 after the early bird special is over. This is a 21 and over event and tickets will NOT be sold at the door. Buy your tickets today! 

Bring your friends, meet new friends in our NYC Celiac Meetup group, and celebrate the Oktoberfest season at GFOktoberfest this November!

To learn more, visit http://www.gfoktoberfest.com/.




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