It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post here, but I’m happy to be back among fellow Hudson Valley Parents.  My family had a number of health problems to sort out, and this took much of my time and energy for the last few months.  I’d never stopped photographing my food, though, and knew I’d be back.  The biggest change I bring to the table is that we are now gluten-free.  In September, my daughter and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which is a genetic intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and contaminated oats.  Given that I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, mastering a new method of cooking was a challenge I gladly accepted, especially since it meant healing my daughter.

As this blog goes forward, I am keeping an emphasis on healthy, uncomplicated, creative family meals.  Everything featured here will be appropriate not just for the gluten-free cook, but for all.  Feel free to make whatever substitutions are best for your health and lifestyle, whether it be traditional flour in place of gluten-free flour, non-dairy substitutes in place of dairy, or whatever tickles your fancy.

And sometimes, we want a meal that requires no substitutions.  The other morning at breakfast, we were in the mood for something different.  I perused my fridge, and found an almost-empty carton of OJ, a few bananas who’d seen their hayday and then some, and the yogurt I’d made the day before.  I thought for a minute, and then pulled out the blender.  We were tickled how this turned out; to quote my husband and daughter, “It was the best smoothie ever.”

A Sunny Smoothie

In a blender, combine 1 c. vanilla yogurt (I used Greek), 1 c. orange juice, 1 1/2 c. frozen mango chunks, and two bananas.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon (about one teaspoon) and blend until smooth.  This was a nice and thick, sweet but not over-the-top, and really filling.  It’ll definitely be a part of my smoothie repertoire from now on.

If there are any readers out there who are gluten-free, have Celiac Disease, or any type of gluten-intolerance, I’d love to hear from you.  Each day is a learning experience on this new journey, and I’ve found that we gluten-free fanatics tend to stick together.  To see what’s happening in our kitchen, or to share what’s going on in yours, please stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  Happy g-f cooking!

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