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We discovered a while back that our youngest Elizabeth– just 1 1/2 at the time– had a gluten intolerance. This was not a new disease for me; my mother is also gluten intolerant and has been for 20 years. Since I had some history, I had a pretty good idea of what foods were available on the market in Dayton Ohio. I searched for new stores, tried new things. I found that dinners and snacks would not be a problem –eat whole foods. Foods from the vegetable and meat departments are not processed, so there is no way to have gluten introduced. My problem was with desserts. Everything I tried was disgusting, expensive and didn’t taste like the real thing.
I started experimenting with gluten free all purpose flour mixtures in February 2011. I wanted my daughter to be able to eat what the other kids were eating. And if those other kids came to our house, I wanted them to eat my daughter’s food, and not spit it out because it tasted icky. I knew what I wanted, how was I to get there? I started with 4 different AP flour mixes and made chocolate chip cookies. Thankfully, I have very hungry and not shy co-workers and friends. I had them rate the cookies based on color, texture, and taste. I got honest and constructive feedback. I went back to the test-kitchen and made more tweaks, added more of this, and less of that. Again I took them to my tasters. This happened several times until I had a winner!
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