Introducing Christy-Made, a New (Allergy-Friendly, Vegan, Gluten-Free) Baked Good Catering Service

It’s really hard to find quality baked goods that meet all of your allergy needs and still taste like baked goods. For instance, I can have gluten but I can’t have nuts, and you’d be hard pressed to find a bakery that’s nut free but not gluten free or vegan or both. Like, maybe I want an egg and butter filled brownie made of wheat that just doesn’t have traces of nuts. And is baked by someone competent who I can literally trust with my life.

Enter Christy-Made. Christy is an incredible baker (though, moment of truth, her baked goods aren’t kosher so I’m going based on smell and heresay from dozens and dozens of people who I’ve witnessed eat her baked goods) who just started a new catering business where she handmakes baked goods for any occasion and delivers them straight to your home or office or wherever! While her baked goods aren’t necessary specialty (meaning gluten-free, vegan, allergy-friendly, etc.) they can be. She’s really knowledgeable about food allergies and intolerances, and she’s very eco-conscious, too — all the ingredients are local and organic.

Christy was instrumental in helping me understand my bevy of new allergies back in March. Even though she is not an allergy sufferer herself, she knows how to adjust and tweak her recipes to cater to people with special dietary restrictions. She walked me through baking once gluten, eggs, dairy, and xanthan gum were all out of the question. So if you’ve liked my pumpkin oat muffins or anything in that variety, know that I built those recipes using tips and tricks and inspiration from Christy. She helped me figure out foods I could use to replace old staples in my diet, and taught me how to tweak old recipes. So while I haven’t had the joy of actually eating her food, because technically her kitchen/equipment isn’t up to my standards of kosher, I know it’s good, and I know it’s made with care.

So check out Christy-Made. And next time you’re in LA and need a nice dessert, call on Christy. Whether or not you need her to go the extra mile and adjust the recipe to your restricted diet

Emmys! (and some hives)

It’s the superbowl of TV…the Emmy Awards! Only, there’s no typical food for this major American holiday, which is a shame. It’s my turn to host the Emmy’s “party” this year (read: a few friends in sweatpants sitting on a couch watching the show), and I decided to cook what will maybe become an Emmy’s staple menu.

Main Dish:

Homemade pizza — for recipe, see here.

Side:

Fried zucchini — essentially, zucchinni fried with garlic, salt, and pepper.

Dessert:

Strawberry chocolate oat muffins – a twist on my pumpkin oat muffins (vegan! gluten free! nut-free! woo-hoo!) only with pureed strawberry and some chocolate powder instead of pumpkin…or cherries

It all would have been an absolutely SUPERB dinner to accompany a really incredible Emmy show (Homeland! Homeland! Homeland!) but I erupted into hives for a reason I simply can’t understand.

Or maybe I can understand it. Last Monday, on the second night of Rosh Hashana, we had the traditional new fruits to make a blessing for the new year. I am allergic to most fruits, certainly exotic fruits, so I didn’t eat them. No one anticipated an airborne reaction, because there was no horseradish involved. And yet, I broke out into hives for a few days following that meal. My guess right now is that I had an apple that was right next to the fruits, and as with the horseradish incident of Passover, I think the apple absorbed some of the other fruits’ essences. Apples are pretty absorbent — they’re known to absorb most of the pesticides sprayed on them, for instance — and since I had definitely not overdosed on apples and that’s what I was eating when the hives began, I can only imagine they are the culprit. It’s been under a week, and I haven’t been strict about my Benadryl usage, but these sorts of hives can reappear for days. So I’m betting it’s that. Or I overdosed on wheat, with it being in the pizza, and having challah pretty regularly as part of all the ritual meals. Not that I’ve been eating a ton of challah, but I’ve had less wheat over more time than in most weeks (most weeks I eat wheat only on the weekends, in huge amounts. This week, I’ve had bread at many meals, but in small amounts).

Either way, my traditional Emmys meal was slightly marred, but very delicious, so here’s to hoping that next year:

a) I’m closer to winning an Emmy

b) my allergies are in check enough to eat the above foods totally 100% safely

Vote for Breakaway Bakery, the best kosher dairy-free, peanut-free, gluten-free bakery in LA!

My friend’s aunt runs an amazing bakery in LA that’s kosher, gluten-free, casein-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, wheat-free, gum-free, whole grain, organic, transfat-free, preservative-free, and almost soy and tree nut free (some of their flours are processed in facilities that process treenuts and soy, though the equipment is cleaned before the run of the flours they use — allergens may still be present in the air around the flour, though. None of their products contain soy or treenuts).

The baked goods are delicious, and the owner is lovely. She’s well-informed and responsive to questions. And it was her informing her niece about the dangers of xanthan gum that helped her niece realize my corn bread reaction was likely to the xanthan gum in it. Niece tested, doctor approved.

Anyway, the bakery — Breakaway Bakery — is competing in Intuit Go Payment’s Get Business Growing contest. Please take a second to vote for them and grow this business. It’s great to have a local bakery that meets these needs, but by selling their goods in other areas, more people will have access to the baked goods they need.

And yes, I believe baked goods are a necessity. I’d much prefer buying muffins to baking my own.

Click here to vote. Click here to visit Breakaway Bakery’s website.

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Cherry/Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Potentially Egg Free

I got a little bored of my pumpkin muffins, and after a friend (who happens to be a pastry chef) made a delicious strawberry merengue dessert for me a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to experiment with strawberries. Especially now that I am definitively not allergic to them.

This recipe is so easy and I made it up so feel free to tweak it as you wish…I wound up with about 10 muffins. Play with proportions for more.

1 cup oat flour

1 1/4 cups rolled oats

2 egg whites (or 1 egg, or apple sauce or egg subsitute)

1 cup sugar

1ish tbsps brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

a drizzle of oil

5-6 strawberries

10ish cherries

Preheat the oven to 400. Puree the strawberries and cherries in a blender. I didn’t de-pit the cherries, so I spit the pits out of the muffins which I’m ok with, but I guess you can de-pit them or buy pitted cherries if spitting bothers you. Mix the dry ingredients, eggs, and oil in a separate bowl. Add the cherry/strawberry puree. Mix well. Pour into a greased muffin cupcake tin.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy.