Tag Archives: christmas

What do you get the person who’s allergic to everything?

What do you get the person who’s allergic to everything?

stocking-stuffersGluten and dairy and sugar, oh my! The holidays are an allergen nightmare for those of us who deal with everything from Celiac disease to Candida, but they can be an even bigger nightmare for their loved ones who want to make them feel special and included. Overjoyed cries of “I can eat THAT?!” are music to my ears, and they can be to you too. Here’s a list of a bunch of gift ideas you probably haven’t thought of for the Temperamental Tummies in your life.

Stocking Stuffers

Made On: – This company is primarily run by just one gal, who is passionate about and fantastic at what she does. She makes hard lotions, bug block, baby rash lotion, hair butter (a favorite!), soaps, lip balms and tinted lip balms that are 100% natural, hand made, and fragrance, allergen, and preservative free! Around the holidays, she has a lip balm called Vanilla Dust that is a favorite in my family! It’s got a slight sparkle and a delicious sugar cookie smell. Her customer service is top notch, and every repeat customer gets to choose a free product with their order! It’s called Made On: because every product comes hand-labeled with who made it and on what date, so you know it’s always fresh. She even has mechanic soap for guys with fresh pine needles to get those hard-working hands clean, and shaving soap too! Check out her website here!

Red Apple Lipstick– A lot of people don’t know that makeup can contain gluten and all kinds of toxins! That’s not a gift, that’s a curse! This Red Apple isn’t poisoned, however. It’s just the opposite, and it’s completely gluten free, so it’s safe for the Celiac in your life! Their product line specializes in fantastic lipsticks, glosses, and eyeshadows, and they released a mascara that has rocked my world. They’re all high grade, and made by my friend Jay and his lovely wife Andrea especially for Celiacs! Check out my review of their products here! Check out their website here!

Surf Sweets– Christmas candy is notorious for containing allergens like corn, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and dairy. For your little kids, or even your big kids, they have some of the best tasting gummy bears and jelly beans on the market! You’ll have to hide them from everyone else! Check out my review here! 

Lovely Candy Co–  They have the most incredible caramels, licorice, and fruit chews I’ve ever tasted, and they’re gluten free, kosher, NON-GMO(!), no HFCS, and no artificial anything! Gotta love the care that comes with buying from a small family business! They’re available at Target, and a few other stores.

Other great stocking stuffers include: hypoallergenic earrings (check Etsy for great options!), fuzzy socks, a new day planner (TJ Maxx has them for $5!) and fun pencils/stickers/etc, tea (The Republic of Tea is certified gluten free!), a candle (try finding a local candle company!), or a great scarf (just check to make sure they don’t have any textile allergies, like I do!).


A pound of coffee (here’s a list of gluten free ones!) and a great new travel mug! (I just received this as a present and it’s awesome)

Skincare! (shameless plug for L’BRI- it’s a local company here in Wisconsin. Aloe vera based, truly natural skincare that’s incredibly affordable!)- Here’s the website, and here‘s a link to see which products contain things like soy or honey if you’re vegan. But really, if you’re getting them skin stuff, check ingredients!

A monthly subscription box! I’m a fan of ones for tea, personally, but here‘s a link with 12 different gluten free food subscription boxes!

Gift cards to places like health food stores, whole foods, etc so that we can buy ourselves gluten free treats we normally wouldn’t spring for!

Look for a local gluten free cafe and buy them a gift card to that place! Try using to search your area!

Gluten free treat mixes, like brownies and cookies- they’re not cheap, but really nice to have around.

A nice lunchbag set, because us allergic people ALWAYS have to bring our own food, but why shouldn’t it be cute?!

Bath salts…baths are great when you’re hurting from a reaction.



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Surf Sweets Giveaway!

Some of the best holidays as a child revolve around one thing: getting candy. Easter baskets, 4th of July parade candy, Trick or Treating, and the good ole’ Christmas stocking filled to the brim with sugarplums. For a kid with allergies, holidays fall flat because these treats are off-limits, and for their parents, these holidays can be nerve-wracking. I’m here to tell you about (and GIVE you!) candy that you and your child can safely eat, and it’s delicious.



I have TWO POUNDS of various Surf Sweets products to give away, 1 pound to each of the two winners!

Here’s the deal on the products:

Made with Organic Ingredients

No Artificial flavors or colors

Produced and Packaged in a facility FREE FROM the top 10 allergens! 


Gluten Free

No High Fructose Corn Syrup

No Dairy/Casein

Nut-free facility

Soy free

Vegan and Vegetarian options

Made in the USA (click to find out where to get them in your area!)

Part of 1% for the Planet- they donate 1% of profits to environmental organizations!

They come in a variety of flavors, including:

Sour Berry Bears– these are probably my favorite of all the flavors. Not too sweet, not too tart, just a great balance of flavors. VEGAN

Jelly Beans, regular and spring mix- Make Easter fun again!

Peach and Watermelon Rings– these are so soft, and don’t have that nasty artificial flavoring taste because they’re made with organic fruit juice. VEGAN

Gummy Bears and Worms– in a variety of flavors, these are silky smooth in your mouth; none of that tacky, year old gummy texture here! I actually savor every bite.

Fruity Bears– enriched with vitamin C, VEGAN, and soy free!

Sour Worms– nicely sour, without having the Warheads-style burn in your mouth. VEGAN



So how do you win them? It’s easy! Do any combination of these things that you feel comfortable with, then comment here or on Facebook and tell me which you did, leaving me your email address so I can contact you if you win! Each completed task gives you another entry! Please be honest with your entries. Thanks!

1) Follow this blog via email (see button on top right)

2) “Like” this blog on Facebook so you don’t miss any amazing recipes or giveaways (see button on top right)

3) SHARE the Facebook post about this giveaway with your family and friends

4) “Like” the Surf Sweets Facebook page


Thank you all for your entries! The winners are Jonelle C. and Nate L.!

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Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Reviews


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Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another one of the recipes that my mother made and I just HAD to try, so I suffered to find this recipe to share with you all! It’s from a blog called Dessert Now, Dinner Later but now I’ve made it gluten/dairy free. 🙂 I normally cut a wide swath around dairy since I’m extremely sensitive to it, and I’ve included a recipe at the bottom for vegan, corn-syrup free caramels that look delicious as well as a link to where to buy them if you hate making candy (!) I used the Kraft caramels in them, so for those of you who aren’t dairy-sensitive, go for it. Other wise, use the recipe or the Cocomels (made with coconut milk!). These were ridiculously delicious, and, again, I find myself hard-pressed to keep from sitting here with my Kahlua and caramel flavored coffee, scarfing cookies. I know I’ll pay a bit for the dairy in the caramels, but it’s a half cup for 2 dozen, so if I just have a bite…


Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Seriously, use parchment paper…you’ll thank me for this)

Cream together:

1/2 c. (1 stick) margarine, room temp (note: you can substitute coconut oil as well at a 1:1 ratio. There is a “baking substitute” info graphic on the blog if you’re not sure what to use, as well.)

1/4 c. heaping, granulated sugar

1/4 c. heaping, brown sugar

Then add:

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Mix and scrape down bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix:

1 1/2 c. Special Sweets Blend flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Add to wet mixture in two batches, mixing until combined.

Fold in:

3/4 c. Glutino stick pretzels, broken into thirds

1/2 c. caramel bits

1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Spoon onto parchment paper or use a small cookie scoop (you’ll get around 2 dozen)

Bake for 15 minutes

Let cool a bit before taking off the pan and putting on a rack to cool completely

Where to buy dairy free caramels


Recipe for dairy free caramels

Vegan, Corn-syrup free caramel recipe from Fork and Beans

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Posted by on December 22, 2013 in Dessert


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Cranberry Chocolate Pecan cookies

My mom made these this year, and I totally cheated and ate the gluten because I wanted to try them, and they were so delicious I HAD to try to “convert” them to my way of thinking. They’re quite honestly the best gluten-free cookies I’ve made to date. I used a half and half blend of my cake flour and Special Sweets blend because the SS blend has oat flour and I didn’t want them to get too “oatmeal-y”. Both are good, easy to make blends to keep around the house. I have a canister of each and am experimenting with them in different recipes. It keeps it easy for me. Instead of listing “mix 18 different gluten free flours that are impossible to find/ridiculously expensive”, I’ve made the blends from easily accessible, simple ingredients, because gluten free cooking shouldn’t be hard, or taste “gluten-free”. Oh, and any time I use margarine in a recipe because I’m out of coconut oil, feel free to sub coconut oil.


Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Cookies

makes about 3 doz.

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix

1 1/4 c. Special Sweets blend

1 1/4 c. cake flour blend

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

In a big bowl with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer on medium, cream together

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) margarine, softened

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. granulated sugar

3 Tbsp light corn syrup

Then add and beat in:

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

Reduce speed to low. In 2 batches, add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and beat in until just blended.

Stir in:

8 oz chopped dark chocolate

1 c. dried cranberries

1 c. chopped pecans

Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, up to 1 day

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and adjust oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Drop dough in rounded tablespoons (or use a small cookie scoop, my preferred method) 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake 5 minutes, then rotate on racks and bake 6-8 minutes longer or until golden brown. 

Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Cake Flour Recipe (featured in my Chocolate Cake recipe)

3 c brown rice flour

1 1/2 c tapioca starch

1 c almond flour (if you’re nut free, substitute with ground flax seed in the same amount)

1 c coconut flour

Special Sweets Blend

1 C. Brown Rice Flour

1 C. Oat Flour (Don’t buy it, really. Just throw some oats in the food processor and grind them down)

1 C. Coconut Flour

1 C. Tapioca Flour/Starch (same thing)

1/4 C. Cornstarch

3 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum (or Guar Gum, but Xanthan tastes better)

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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Dessert


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Green Bean Casserole

I’m sure many of you g/d free cooks out there have been frustrated around Thanksgiving, feeling like your options are limited and, frankly, not up to par. Well, this recipe impressed the heck outta me, and had my “normal-food” family wanting to snag some of my special food. 🙂 I consider that a success.


Green Bean Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Take 1 TBSP margarine, melt in a pan and add 1 TBSP gluten free all purpose flour and stir it around until smooth using a whisk (it’s called making a “roux”).

Then add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp coconut palm sugar, and 2 TBSP diced onions.

Brown for a short minute, then add 1/2 c. soy sour cream or, as I used, plain greek yogurt. Mix.

Add 1 1/2 cans drained french-style green beansStir to coat, then move to an 8×8 glass baking pan.

Sprinkle 1 c grated goat gouda on top.

Mix 1/2 c. crushed Glutino g-free pretzels (they taste the best) and 1 1/2 tsp melted margarine as well as a generous tsp Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle (garlic, pepper, thyme, etc). Sprinkle on top of cheese and put in oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is all bubbly and the top is golden. 

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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Side Dish


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