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Gluten Free Party
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my husband and I have a group of friends who we go out to dinner with most Friday nights and every couple of months we have a pot luck style party at someone's house. We usually have a theme.

Whe I was diagnosed with Celiac, I was crushed. I forsaw sitting in the car during dinner nights and not eating at all at the parties.

Instead, our friends found local restuants that could do a gluten free dish or were OK with me bring in my own meal and I have my "freak bag" (a lunch bag filled with gluten free condiments )

They were all pretty curious about the gluten free thing so for our last party, we did a gluten free theme and everyone had to read every single label and call manufacturers before they could put it in the dish.

It was very cool! The people closest to me got a small taste of what a huge change our family has had to make and they got to learn that eating "healthy" does not have mean no flavor! (Plus I got to be a total pig and I didn't get sick from ANYTHING!!)

This ended up a great experience for all of us, and I would highly recommend trying it out.

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What a great idea! We haven't had a party like that, but I have done two cocktail parties at my house where all the food was gluten free. No one knew a thing! Some close friends did ask "Can you really eat all that?" They were amazed at the variety and fun foods that were gluten free. A real eye opener for some.

I think it is important for us and our friends/family to know we are still more alike than different.

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my husband and I have a group of friends who we go out to dinner with most Friday nights and every couple of months we have a pot luck style party at someone's house. We usually have a theme.

Whe I was diagnosed with Celiac, I was crushed. I forsaw sitting in the car during dinner nights and not eating at all at the parties.

Instead, our friends found local restuants that could do a gluten free dish or were OK with me bring in my own meal and I have my "freak bag" (a lunch bag filled with gluten free condiments )

They were all pretty curious about the gluten free thing so for our last party, we did a gluten free theme and everyone had to read every single label and call manufacturers before they could put it in the dish.

It was very cool! The people closest to me got a small taste of what a huge change our family has had to make and they got to learn that eating "healthy" does not have mean no flavor! (Plus I got to be a total pig and I didn't get sick from ANYTHING!!)

This ended up a great experience for all of us, and I would highly recommend trying it out.

awesome! way to have fun with it! what a great idea :D I have been cooking simple stuff, changing or omitting things from recipes and food remains delicious. more delicious now that I know what *not* to eat. haha but my family is a little wigged about the whole deal. (my husband is fighting me about giving away his soy sauce lol) so when I cook, toward the end of the cooking process, I take a portion out and set it aside. then I 'finish' cooking :) then I freak them all out when I tell them: ''GLUTEN-FREE!!! IN YOUR FACE!!!'' :D:D:D and proceed fix my plate out of the same pot that their food came from :) bwh hahahah!!

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What a great idea! We haven't had a party like that, but I have done two cocktail parties at my house where all the food was gluten free. No one knew a thing! Some close friends did ask "Can you really eat all that?" They were amazed at the variety and fun foods that were gluten free. A real eye opener for some.

I think it is important for us and our friends/family to know we are still more alike than different.

I was really interested in your reply. I would like to plan a cocktail party where all the food would be gluten free but other than Gluteno pretzels I don't have any ideas. Could you give me a menu of what you served? I appreciate this more than you know. For me it is a daily struggle to keep to this diet, and I don't think I could face trying to think of party foods that are gluten-free. Everything I make now is labor intensive...

Thanks for your ideas.

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I am blessed by close neighbors with whom we eat at least a couple of times a week. I think it is his uncle who has celiac, so he already knew what was going on and I've been thoroughly impressed ever since the first barbecue when he scrubbed the grill completely. Now when we have people over, there are already four of us that are at the very least gluten-aware, if not completely gluten-free and so the awareness spreads gradually and much more gracefully. Of course we have picky, vegetarian and diabetic friends and family too, so no one is really freaked out about dietary limitations.

It's very copacetic.

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I was really interested in your reply. I would like to plan a cocktail party where all the food would be gluten free but other than Gluteno pretzels I don't have any ideas. Could you give me a menu of what you served? I appreciate this more than you know. For me it is a daily struggle to keep to this diet, and I don't think I could face trying to think of party foods that are gluten-free. Everything I make now is labor intensive...

Thanks for your ideas.

I think a Mexican theme would be easy - taquitos, taco bar, chips and salsa, cheese dip, and of course (at my house anyway) margaritas! If you want to cook you could make an enchilada casserole or maybe a crock pot of chili.

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I second the Mexican food night! Yum yum! Tacos, tostados, taquitos, enchiladas (tons of variety there!), nachos, quesadillas, salsas, margaritas...Can you tell my favorite food fair?!

2 days ago was my birthday and when I showed up at the gym, my workout mates had made me gluten free cookies, brought in all the ingredients so I could verify and then went into a 5 minute explanation of how they cleaned the kitchen to prep the food, used a one time disposable pan to keep from CC, etc... I nearly cried because the gesture was so dang sweet! It's friends like these (and your dinner party ones) that we should cherish!

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I think a Mexican theme would be easy - taquitos, taco bar, chips and salsa, cheese dip, and of course (at my house anyway) margaritas! If you want to cook you could make an enchilada casserole or maybe a crock pot of chili.

Oh..... Mexican food is definitely not something I could do or would do. Probably the food I least like. I live in Dallas so getting away from Mexican food is hard here. Too many ingredients that I can't have because of GERD, IBS or don't like... tomato salsa, beans, onions, seasonings, hot peppers... just not stuff I eat.

Thanks for the idea though, I appreciate it.

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This post and replies are so sweet and amazing. I'm still dealing with others not understanding the depth of Celiac. Love the Mexican idea!

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How very sweet of your friends, but I would be leery of something cooked in their kitchens. I have a shared kitchen, but I also have separate margarine tubs, separate spoon rests, separate colanders, and I watch very carefully for bread crumbs that somehow manage to get EVERYWHERE now that I'm more aware. I threw out my sugar and got a new bag because there were times in my pre-celiac days I would measure a cup of flour, wipe off the measuring cup with a paper towel, then dip the measuring cup into the sugar. (I know, you all are cringing...) The last example probably is what I think of most when I worry about other peoples' cooking. Most people are aware that bread crumbs end up in the margarine tub, but what about flour in the sugar from when you made cookies 6 months ago?

I've been glutened by my mother - who has a master's degree and read up on the subject and bought all gluten-free stuff for Christmas dinner. She swears she has no idea how it happened. Maybe it was a bread crumb in the spoon drawer. Who knows.

I was also glutened by a physician friend who at one time forwarded me information on gluten-free medications - I think it was cc on the grill where she was cooking the 'gluten-free' brats.

Don't mean to sound paranoid, just realistic.

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How very sweet of your friends, but I would be leery of something cooked in their kitchens. I have a shared kitchen, but I also have separate margarine tubs, separate spoon rests, separate colanders, and I watch very carefully for bread crumbs that somehow manage to get EVERYWHERE now that I'm more aware. I threw out my sugar and got a new bag because there were times in my pre-celiac days I would measure a cup of flour, wipe off the measuring cup with a paper towel, then dip the measuring cup into the sugar. (I know, you all are cringing...) The last example probably is what I think of most when I worry about other peoples' cooking. Most people are aware that bread crumbs end up in the margarine tub, but what about flour in the sugar from when you made cookies 6 months ago?

I've been glutened by my mother - who has a master's degree and read up on the subject and bought all gluten-free stuff for Christmas dinner. She swears she has no idea how it happened. Maybe it was a bread crumb in the spoon drawer. Who knows.

I was also glutened by a physician friend who at one time forwarded me information on gluten-free medications - I think it was cc on the grill where she was cooking the 'gluten-free' brats.

Don't mean to sound paranoid, just realistic.

You do bring up a good point. I have never been glutened by my neighbors, who have family members with celiac, but I have been glutened by our food science department at the university where I work. It is always a gamble, when you aren't processing your own food.

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Oh..... Mexican food is definitely not something I could do or would do. Probably the food I least like. I live in Dallas so getting away from Mexican food is hard here. Too many ingredients that I can't have because of GERD, IBS or don't like... tomato salsa, beans, onions, seasonings, hot peppers... just not stuff I eat.

Thanks for the idea though, I appreciate it.

No Mexican food - you're killing me (just kidding!)

OK, some other things we do when we get together with friends

veggie tray and dip

gluten-free chips/dip

mixed nuts

sliced tomatoes, drizzle with balsalmic vinegar, top with fresh basil and sliced mozzarella

never tried it yet, but you can make gluten-free Chex Mix

gluten-free meatballs are easy to make ahead of time - they freeze well also

Lit'l Smokies - in a crockpot with BBQ sauce

Shrimp cocktail

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts

Mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and topped with garlic and parmesan - broil to sear the cheese

Slow cooker orange chicken - I made this for dinner recently and everyone loved it - would work as an appetizer also - it's chunks of chicken, rolled in Pamela's Baking mix and pan seared, then you throw in the crockpot and cook with an orange sauce for several hours - quick and easy

I also make a lot of gluten-free pizza - that's a little more involved than the other things

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No Mexican food - you're killing me (just kidding!)

OK, some other things we do when we get together with friends

veggie tray and dip

gluten-free chips/dip

mixed nuts

sliced tomatoes, drizzle with balsalmic vinegar, top with fresh basil and sliced mozzarella

never tried it yet, but you can make gluten-free Chex Mix

gluten-free meatballs are easy to make ahead of time - they freeze well also

Lit'l Smokies - in a crockpot with BBQ sauce

Shrimp cocktail

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts

Mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and topped with garlic and parmesan - broil to sear the cheese

Slow cooker orange chicken - I made this for dinner recently and everyone loved it - would work as an appetizer also - it's chunks of chicken, rolled in Pamela's Baking mix and pan seared, then you throw in the crockpot and cook with an orange sauce for several hours - quick and easy

I also make a lot of gluten-free pizza - that's a little more involved than the other things

Great ideas. I think some would work. Thanks so much for your suggestions...

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I'm throwing a garden party this weekend for 30 people and this is my menu (it's a co-birthday party for 1 male and 1 felmale, so the theme is pink and brown--the food, you'll see is either pink or brown):

Thai peanut pasta

Salmon cakes with tarragon dipping sauce

Veggies and hummus

Fruit salad

Shrimp cucumber salad

Meatballs in homemade teriyaki sauce

Pink marshmallow pops

Chocolate muffins

Vanilla cake with raspberry filling

Chocolate pudding dirt cups

Raspberry Lemonade

Iced coffee

Everything is gluten-free, egg free and dairy free!!

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I'm throwing a garden party this weekend for 30 people and this is my menu (it's a co-birthday party for 1 male and 1 felmale, so the theme is pink and brown--the food, you'll see is either pink or brown):

Thai peanut pasta

Salmon cakes with tarragon dipping sauce

Veggies and hummus

Fruit salad

Shrimp cucumber salad

Meatballs in homemade teriyaki sauce

Pink marshmallow pops

Chocolate muffins

Vanilla cake with raspberry filling

Chocolate pudding dirt cups

Raspberry Lemonade

Iced coffee

Everything is gluten-free, egg free and dairy free!!

Wow this menu sounds great. Question: What brand of chocolate pudding is dairy free? What are marshmallow pops? I used to love salmon patties... I guess I could substitute the breadcrumbs... great idea!

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Wow this menu sounds great. Question: What brand of chocolate pudding is dairy free? What are marshmallow pops? I used to love salmon patties... I guess I could substitute the breadcrumbs... great idea!

I make the pudding from scratch. I use chocolate soymilk and egg replacer in my recipe.

Marshmallow pops are marshmallows dipped in dairy free chocolate then dipped in sprinkles and once the chocolate is set, i stick it on a skewer and then into a cute vase.

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I make the pudding from scratch. I use chocolate soymilk and egg replacer in my recipe.

Marshmallow pops are marshmallows dipped in dairy free chocolate then dipped in sprinkles and once the chocolate is set, i stick it on a skewer and then into a cute vase.

Ahhhh ok.... sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

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Chocolate Pudding

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Yummy-Vegan-Chocolate-Pudding/Detail.aspx

Salmon cakes (gluten-free breadcrumbs and canned salmon, for the sauce I use tofutti sour cream and veganaise):

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salmon-Cakes-with-Tarragon-Chive-Dipping-Sauce-101501

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Rachelle!!!

Shrimp and cucumber salad please :D

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Rachelle!!!

Shrimp and cucumber salad please :D

Yes'M :D

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Shrimp-and-Cucumber-Salad-with-Dill-Vinaigrette-106620

Have to admit that I've not made this before, but the reviews were so good, I'm gonna go for it. I am using pre-cooked, tail off shrimp.. I don't have time to devein and cook all that ;) I'll let you know how it tastes!

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Yes'M :D

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Shrimp-and-Cucumber-Salad-with-Dill-Vinaigrette-106620

Have to admit that I've not made this before, but the reviews were so good, I'm gonna go for it. I am using pre-cooked, tail off shrimp.. I don't have time to devein and cook all that ;) I'll let you know how it tastes!

It was a super hit!!! And super quick and easy!!! I made it the day before so there was lots of marinating time. I'd give it a quick stir every time I had to go to the fridge for something.

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    • I'll give my PCP a call tomorrow and see what they can offer. My only worry is the expense as anymore tests will put me behind in being able to afford to see the GI. I have high deductible insurance but get money put into my HSA. I'm still trying to pay off the CT scan though. Which is why I'm trying to pick and choose which poses the greatest risk for me right now and what can wait. (Though I would prefer not to wait on any of it.)

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    • She (your PCP)  can order a celiac blood panel.  It might not be a complete panel, but it's a start.  Any medical doctor can order one.  A GI is needed for the endoscopy (ulcers, Celiac disease, h.pylori, etc.), HIDA scan (gallbladder)  or colonoscopy (IBS).   Since you just saw her, email/call/write a letter and ask her to order (lab) the celiac panel.  You could go to the lab before or after work.  Pretty easy!  
    • I just now saw the second reply and I see what you mean. Again, the issue is that I may have to go with the gluten until close to the end of the year.

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