My Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event Recap

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The map said that it was only a 13 hour drive from Toronto to Raleigh, North Carolina where I was to make a presentation for the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event. It seemed like days upon days. It was only 15 hours from point A to B but I had my sister (also known as Princess Gluten-Free, a sometimes-blogger you can find by clicking HERE) as my travel buddy/photographer with me and we can all guess how siblings act towards each other stuck in a car that long? Actually, we got along great. We stopped at most of the rest stops and took pictures. We sang along to the insane amounts of Taylor Swift that plays on American Radio stations, and in the morning, marvelled at the mountains as we drove thorough them, all covered with beautiful and thick-like-soup fog.

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This was at about 10 hours of travel. My sister is none-to-happy.

 

Along with the fact that I was asked to make a presentation about Men and celiac disease; I was able to walk around and meet a lot of different people who run and/or work for a lot of different gluten-free food companies. Many of which are central to North Carolina and don’t necessarily come on my radar as a Canadian, but that’s what shows like this are all about. Getting the knowledge out there and seeing what can be and is available to you.

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Me giving my presentation. If you can’t be who you are, go home.

 

I was able to finally meet some amazing people at the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event, some I have talked to via the internet for a while now, and some I have just recently met. All in all it was a great way to finally put a voice to the faces that I see on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Those first impressions are something that will never go away.

I’m not going to start with a list that is good or bad, I’m just going to talk about some of the stuff I came a cross while I was in Raleigh, North Carolina for the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event.

Tiffany Hinton of GF Mom Certified was someone I chatted with a bit, and did a book review for last year. Meeting her was great. I was able to listen to her presentation too and actually learned something new. Never let anyone tell you that celiac/gluten-free events are dumb, never let anyone tell you that holding these events for people with celiac isn’t a good idea because we all already have this disease. I learned something new. This is what they are for. To learn and to teach others about the knowledge they might not know.

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Tiffany Hinton and I. Yes, i am as much a ham in this photo as I am in real life.

 

Pam Jordan, also Imaceliac.com, is a great person who did a blog post for me in 2014, and I finally met. I scored a t-shirt from her too and found out that her and I are a lot alike and really hit it off. This is something I never would have really known had I not drove to North Carolina to this event.

There is a better picture of Pam Jordan and I on Instagram but if I pout that here, you wouldn't get to see this masterpiece.
There is a better picture of Pam Jordan and I on Instagram but if I put that here, you wouldn’t get to see this masterpiece.

Nikki Everett organized the whole Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event and from what I saw, it all was pulled off without a hitch. Organized perfectly, talks flowed smoothly. I missed the meet and greet for the vendors at the very start of the event, but Nikki had no problems finding the time to usher me to those who might benefit from meeting me. All days she was smiles and all day she was there to answer any question I had (even recommend lunch for my sister and I, which was so good).

Josh Schieffer of the Gluten-Free Buyers Guide, Tracy Bush the Nutrimom, Justin from the YoDish app. All really awesome people that took time out of their days to talk to me and take a picture with me and just be a person to me. There are so many people that I go to talk to that I wish I had A) taken notes B) taken more pictures C) spent more time (as you know, my sister and I drove to North Carolina from Toronto. And as fast as we drove down there, we spent that much time there too and were on our way home by 6:30pm that night). I never got a second to say anything, but the representative from inBite really cave me a nice ego boost when she dropped something in my bag and referred to me as ‘The King’.

Nutrimom, Tracy Bush has the same picture, but from a different angle.
Nutrimom, Tracy Bush has the same picture, but from a different angle.

Jenna Drew and I had a nice moment talking about a missing cell phone (I know that seems like a cold hearted kinda memory, but It was nice. We had a chance to talk about a few things and talked like we were old friends).

Jenna Drew and me ladies and gentlemen.
Jenna Drew and me ladies and gentlemen.

A few gluten-free products that I liked (in no particular oder):

BRÜKS BARS gluten-free nutrition bars were so good I’m a little sad I only had a sample of them and didn’t buy a whole box while I was there (I’m pretty sure they will ship to Canada). But each bar is handmade?!? crazy. Taste good and each one is unique, and the owners were super nice and took a lot of their time to talk to me.

RALEIGH RAW is organic, raw and cold pressed fruit juice and shit it was good. I had a few sips of each of the drinks, I bought and took home the coconut, cinnamon one. I’m not even 100% sure thats what it was. All I know is it tasted great and tasted like liquid rice pudding. A plus, a total plus.

JP’S PASTRY gave me this cream cheese brownie which I am pretty sure is the love of my life and all I want to do is marry it and have babies with it. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with it. It was that good and I am so sad that it isn’t a part of my life anymore. It made it all the way to Canada and in my fridge. With each bite I was blown away by how moist, delicious and unique it was (this was probably the grossest review of a food I have ever done and probably any food on the internet, but if you get your hands on one of the cream cheese brownies, I bet you’ll feel the same way I did).

FREEDOM FOODS had this Maple crunch cereal that was great. Like someone poured maple syrup on the non-sweet parts of Lucky Charms. I kept going back for free samples. Hindsight is always 20/20 because I wish I kinda bought a box at the show.

CALY’S KITCHEN is a booth I’m not sure was there, but their products were in the blogger bag that I took home, and if you caught my live review on periscope then you know they really hit it home with the granola. It smelled great and tasted great, it’s just a shame the bag was so small. It’s also a shame I ran out (Dear Caly’s Kitchen, please send me more of that honey granola -Love Jordan).

These are just a few of them that stood out in my mind as I wondered the vendor floor at the Gluten & Allergen Wellness Event in Raleigh, North Carolina. That’s not to say that I hated everything, quite the opposite. Amy Fothergill the Family Chef and I had a nice little interaction, and missing her presentation about making gluten-free pasta is something I kinda regret.

Would I attend another Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event? Heck yeah I would. I had a blast.

Would I speak at another one? Yup. It was a great experience. It may have been my first time but I doubt it’ll be the last time you see me on the speaking circuit.

I huge thanks to Katrina, my little sister for coming with me and keeping me level headed during my less strong moments and then going to Target with me and braving the back to school shoppers.

Help Back This Gluten-Free Cook Book

When you take to Kickstarter you have a goal in mind and you have something you’d like to see come to the light of day. I fully understand the idea behind Kickstarter and I really do wish it was around when I was younger (I had a lot of great ideas).

You’ve heard of Tiffany Hinton right? She’s the boss over at GF Mom Certified? C’mon. At least remember that I reviewed her awesome book Three Days to Perfection which you can read by clicking HERE.

The recipe for these apple cinnamon muffins are in the book. CINNAMON!!!
The recipe for these apple cinnamon muffins are in the book. CINNAMON!!!

Well, Tiffany is at it again, only this time she is putting the ink to the paper and attempting to get her newest cook book KID APPROVED backed by some supporters via Kickstarter. I was a huge fan of her last piece of work (even though she totally owes me gluten-free eclairs) and I want to be a part of her new cook book KID APPROVED which is of course a gluten-free kids cookbook with 200 pages of fun and full colour images. It includes menus, shopping guides, party solutions and more.I have a kid and I could make her some GF treats, even though they’d secretly be for me. But, I’d like to see you help her out too. Just go to this link:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652666192/kid-approved

And start backing this awesome project.

The one thing that I like about this project is that this was a dream of her husbands and in the course of history, not a lot of people get to see their dream fulfilled. Sometimes not even a good idea gets to meet it’s full fruition. I’d like to see Mr. GF Mom Certified get to his goal: to see his idea of a kid friendly gluten-free cook book come alive.

You only have until April 22 2015 to back this great project. So get on it. So here is the link again, in case you missed it: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652666192/kid-approved

I donated.

Could you?

I’ve Read Three Days to Perfection (A gluten-free cookbook)

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What do you know about me and my cooking/baking prowess? If you follow me on my Instagram feed, you know that I am a pancake guy. I make and eat pancakes more than any human possibly should. And that is pretty much the extent of my baking expertise (even that is stretching it. I just use XO Baking pre-made pancake batter and just add milk and eggs, soooo, really, I can’t bake worth shit).

Given the opportunity to bring you a gluten-free baking cookbook is pretty exciting; THREE DAYS TO PERFECTION is all about taking the worry and trouble out of creating a fine and edible croissant and pastry flour blend. A year of struggling with finding the right way to bring it to your mouth is what Tiffany Hinton of GF Mom Certified has done with her newest cookbook Three Days to Perfection (you can find it by clicking HERE and getting yourself a copy, which I will make no money for, but because I would like you to attempt to make this food that has been laid out in step by step pictures and easy to follow gluten-free recipes). It’s not just a cookbook, its a instruction manual to gluten-free European style food, and as the cover of the book says: without the travel.

This new flour blend has taken into account all the problems you might have had with other flours for your pastries: crumbly or dry food, flat, heavy or no taste type desserts (or appetizers if you want) and made it apart of their selling feature. Creating something from your own ingredients and making something your own and not worrying about the so called nasty chemicals or preservatives in some store bought food. Tiffany Hinton has made Three Days to Perfection her own little baker’s corner that kind of makes you feel like your in a cooking class with a jovial animated character. You don’t feel like an idiot when you read, you just get it. This gluten-free book understands you, which makes it easier to comprehend.

Am I going to show you one of the recipes I made? No. Like I said, I don’t bake. My Mom does, and I asked her to make me the ‘Apples and Cinnamon Slab’ to which she responded “…I don’t know how to make pastry dough”. I felt like a boss, showing here the recipe for pastry dough hidden in the pages of Three Days to Perfection. As of today, I haven’t seen this Apples and Cinnamon Slab, but rest assured, I will bug her until my Mom (AKA the best Mom ever) makes it for me. She said she’d try, and that’s all I could ever hope for. If I tried to make pastry dough? Well, I fear what might happen.

With the list of tips on ways to choose proper and possibly high quality ingredients and a point by point list of the ‘secret’ tools for making successful pastries….wait wait wait, there is a recipe  for making gluten-free eclairs? ECLAIRS? There are now three things I need to talk about:

1) Why the hell am I not making these?

2) Why is no one making these for me?

3) GLUTEN-FREE ECLAIRS!!!

The title should be changed from Three Days to Perfection to Three Reasons Why Jordan Want’s You To Buy This Book Because He Wants Gluten-Free Eclairs.

3daystoperfectioneuroad2
Eclairs! Eclairs! Eclairs!

Don’t be fooled by cookbooks being aimed at woman. Just because I don’t bake doesn’t make me a typical man. Cookbooks are and should be aimed at all genders. It’s not about equality, it’s about interest. Not all comic book readers or movie nerds are men. It’s a shared choice of interest. And that goes for cookbooks. Don’t let my lack of baking skills deter you from me being an excellent choice to promote this European style gluten-free cookbook. I like food and I like people talking about food, so there is no better choice.

Food is the social lubricant and it’s one of the smell of savoury foods that triggers good memories and author Tiffany Hinton really brings that idea to the forefront with one sentence that caught my eye “It will become your secret weapon to pull out…for those special people in your life that make you want to smile as soon as they walk in the room.” That’s what baking should really be about: memories.

If you’d like to have new and improved gluten-free pastry added to your repertoire of holiday baking, give Three Days to Perfection a try. Then send me gluten-free eclairs. All of them.