Affordable Gluten Free: What You Can Expect from Us?

White Shell Pasta Shaped Into a Flower
It's time to share everything I know about
cooking and baking gluten free!

When I first started blogging, blogs were a way for like-minded people to keep in touch, visit once in a while, and learn things from each other. More than a diary, but less work than a complete, full-blown website, blogs were a way to communicate with people who had similar interests as your own.

For people like me, who are disabled or partially disabled and don't get out much, the slower pace of a blog was a nice way to feel connected without having to put on a front for others.

Today, that's no longer true.

In general, food bloggers own an expensive digital camera, lighting equipment, and some type of photo editing software. They spend a lot of time developing their photography talent, learning at which point in the cooking process to photograph a recipe, and what's the best angle.

They learn where to shine the light, so the food will look its best rather than display what the dish will look like when it hits your dinner table.

There's cookbooks to write, recipes to curate or develop, giveaways, Instragram and Pinterest images to make and post. And, don't forget all those advertisers and sponsors that they gotta keep happy, so they don't have to pay for the ingredients they use in their recipes.

This means product reviews have to be objective, rather than honest, and they have to hustle traffic, so sponsors don't turn to their competitors.

You won't find much of that here.

What I Am and What I Am Not

I am not a professional photographer, so I often use images from Pixabay to illustrate a point.

Two Kids Taking Photos of Each Other
When photos are my own, they aren't professionally
doctored up because I don't know how to do that.

I am a professional cook. Or was a professional cook is more accurate, now. Cooking is what I do, so sometimes my photographs will turn out nicely, while other times they don't. I have no idea why.

I don't know a thing about lighting or editing a photograph. I can crop a picture or export it from my Picasa 3 image program, so it won't take up as much digital space, but I just own a cheap digital camera. I point and shoot. That's it.

I am also a freelance writer. I got my start at the Content Farms and learned a lot of what I know through blogging, taking on personal clients, and working as a ghostwriter for Textbroker. Today, I'm just blogging, reseraching, and writing only enough articles at Textbroker to keep my account there in good standing.

I am not a social media butterfly. I dislike much of what social media offers. It's too busy, and too fake for me, so even though I have social media accounts, I'm rarely at any of them.

However, I do like Pinterest and find it can be inspiring, especially when it comes to coming up with new and inventive cooking ideas, so I am in the beginning stages of learning how to make a decent Pinterest image. You'll just have to bear with me on that one.

I have vertigo and Graves Disease, as well as a lot of other conditions that may or may not be associated with celiac disease. I have good days and bad days, which is why even across all of my blogs, I don't blog every day.

I prefer to keep things simple and do things the old-fashioned way, and that includes my gluten-free cooking.

Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking Isn't the Same

Hubby and I have been gluten free for almost a decade now, so much of what I do is automatic. I no longer have to give food a lot of thought, but I haven't forgotten what it was like to find myself in the midst of a gluten-free nightmare.

Since I was a professional cook and culinary specialist before going gluten free, it was extremely shocking to realize that nothing worked anymore. I was like an infant when it came to gluten-free cooking and baking, and had to start all over from scratch.

All of my prior cooking techniques and tricks were suddenly obsolete. There was new rules to learn, complex flour mixes to understand, and I felt pretty lost in a sea of confusion because even though there were hundreds of gluten-free websites back then, they all contradicted each other.

Since then, I've come to realize that the conflict and contradictions are an outgrowth of the variances in gluten sensitivity.

Old 1948 Calendar

However, gluten-free information goes out of date quickly, so getting the correct information for your particular situation can be challenge.

On top of that, the gluten-free recipes I tried back then all sucked, so I found the whole transformation experience frustrating and expensive.

Advice in forums that told me to just keep trying different gluten-free products until I found something we liked that agreed with me was insane.

Eventually, I reached a point where I said, "No more. I'll figure this out by myself."

But winging it took time, and lots of trial and error.

I cooked, threw it away, cooked again, and threw away some more. It was the only way I could figure out what was correct and what was just tolerable.

I wasn't looking for tolerable.

I wanted good, old-fashioned food that was as good as, or better, than what I used to eat before.

What You Can Expect From Us

Today, hubby and I have reached that point, but it was a long time in coming.

While I do agree that taste is subjective, and we all won't like the same things, settling for less than the best is not an option. It's difficult enough to be gluten free without having to settle for food that's "just okay."

That's why you won't see me posting every day here. Nor even every week.

I'm not interested in competing with other bloggers for traffic.

I'm interested in helping you avoid a lot of the mistakes that I made when I was new to gluten-free cooking and baking. I'm interested in converting common dishes and recipes to be gluten free.

However, I'm only interested in publishing a recipe after I've made it the best that it can be. That process can't be rushed. Gluten-free cooking, like all cooking, is a science and you gotta get the science right.

Even then, the composition of the flour mix you use, the brands of ingredients, the altitude you live at, and even the humidity on any given day will all affect the outcome of a recipe. Substitute an ingredient or different brand that you already have on hand and it may, or may not work out the same.

I can show you the shortcuts.

I can teach you the principles you need to know, but you'll have to be willing to do a bit of fine-tweaking for yourself. What's available in my area might not be available at yours, and fine-tuning is the only way to arrive at the best. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of my altitude and my relative humidity, which might not be identical or compatible with yours.

Not everything you cook will be that sensitive, so it's not really as bad as this sounds. Lots of everyday dishes are already gluten free or can be easily converted to be gluten free and have no relationship to altitude or humidity. Cakes and cookies, for example, are much easier to duplicate than yeast breads.

Meat dishes, casseroles, and salads are simple and quick to convert, if you need to convert them at all. Many you won't have to mess with. They will already be gluten free or easy to make gluten free by simply switching to a safe brand.

I just want to be honest with you, so if you try to do a little gluten-free baking for yourself, you'll understand what you're up against and what the consequences are for changing the ingredients or doing things differently than I do.

Some changes work the very first time you try them and some changes do not. That's just the way it is. So I'll try to give you all the information you need, so the failures will be few and far between.


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