I am the middle of three daughters born to an American Air Force Pilot and an English artist. Growing up I traveled extensively with my family. My mother always encouraged us to try new things, to be fearless in eating and I learned early on to appreciate food from a variety of cultures.
At home we ate a fairly typical diet which included many wheat based products. Little did we know at the time that the wheat breads and breakfast cereals I was eating were slowly eroding my small intestine and poisoning my body. By the time I was in my mid-thirties I was suffering from an average of two migraine headaches a week, was severely exhausted and had constant digestive problems.
The only “cure” for gluten intolerance is to adopt a gluten-free diet. When I discovered I was gluten intolerant I was taken aback. Half of my family can tolerate gluten and half not. I needed to find a way to prepare meals we would all enjoy and I needed to figure out how to so without the gluten filled ingredients so familiar to me.
When I looked to gluten-free cookbooks for inspiration I was disheartened. They lacked the beautiful, glossy photographs that I so enjoy. The books were, for the most part, printed on inexpensive paper, read like text books and often contained ingredients not commonly found in the average grocery store. They seemed to be written for the “sick person” or “allergy person”, relegated to the alternative diet category. They did not seem to be written for people like me, people who love great food.
So I turned to food itself for inspiration. It was then that I decided to look at the world of food not in terms of what I can’t eat but what I can. I discovered a whole beautiful, abundant world of gluten-free food. I started to create and cook dishes that would not only keep me from being ill but were delicious and aesthetic as well. I cook food that is not just fit for people with a food intolerance but food fit for people who truly love to eat.
My philosophy is simple – find great food that is naturally gluten-free. I love the challenge of discovering how to re-invent old favorites, simply and gluten-free.
I have never been big on self deprivation and denial. I choose instead to celebrate the abundance of a gluten-free lifestyle. And what would a celebration be without dessert? Whether it is the finale to an elegant dinner party, the end of a family meal or an after-school snack with the kids, desserts and treats are the little indulgences that make life truly special. They can also be the most daunting for the gluten-free cook.
My desserts and treats are not only gluten-free but many are grain and dairy free as well. They can be made with readily available ingredients and require no special equipment and no more expertise than the average home cook already possess.
I hope you enjoy this book and find in it recipes that will help you to celebrate the special moments, big or small, of your life.