Candy Hearts Blog

It's a sweet adventure full of gluten free goodies!

Candy Hearts Blog - It's a sweet adventure full of gluten free goodies!

The GF&AF Expo is coming to Phoenix…I’ve got your coupon Code!


Get excited, Phoenix!

The Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly Expo (#GFAFExpo) is coming on January 17, 2015!

Sugar and I attended this event the last time they were in town and had a blast!


I would HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to sample a TON of gluten-free stuff while filling your new reusable shopping bag (included in ticket price) with a bunch of *free* goodies and coupons.

I mean who WOULDN’T recommend that, right?

Lucky for you, I’ve scored a couple coupon codes to make your day even better!


You can get a 15% discount by using coupon code ADVANCE from December 17th, 2014 through January 16th, 2015.

HERE is the link to purchase tickets.

Last, but not least, be sure to stay connected and share your experiences!

  • Twitter
    • Follow @gfafexpo & tag any Expo tweets.
    • The official Twitter hashtag for the Expo is #GFAFExpo
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
    • Follow @gfafexpo & tag Expo pics 

Photo-A-Day: Proud

dmpad 4It’s not easy having Type 1 Diabetes.

It’s not easy having Celiac Disease.

But…ya know what?

It’s not easy being the sibling of a kid with a chronic diagnosis either.

When you want to take gymnastic lessons, but the budget can’t budge because of test strips, co-payments, and gluten-free groceries.

When you’re in the middle of a super fun bike ride, but have to stop because your sister has a low blood sugar.

When you can’t wait for a stop at the ice cream store, but find out your sister’s blood sugar is super high, so you have to wait a little longer.

It’s not fair.

And, yet, these little girls are patient. They don’t complain. They are willing to do anything asked of them in support of their sister.

By the age of 3, they each knew how to call 911 to report an emergency.

By the age of 4, they each knew how to test her blood sugar themselves.

They’ve retrieved countless juice boxes over the years.

They’ve walked miles upon miles alongside her to raise funding, awareness, and hope for a cure.

They’ve accepted their roles in this life with a gracious smile.

I am proud of them for a million reasons.

The way they support their sister is just one of them.

Photo-A-Day: Snacks

dmpad 3 snacks


Oh how I love thee.

I’m not a perfect Pinterest mom…far from it, in fact.

But I do make sure there’s a hearty snack on the table when my kids get home from school (ehum, most of the time, anyway).

My life is much easier when they’ve been snacked up as soon as they walk in the door.

That dinner hour? You know the one…when you’re in the kitchen trying to get dinner on the table with kids coming and going, then standing over your shoulder with their whining and “I’M HUNGRY…WHEN’S DINNER…I’M STARVING”……..

Well, I’ve just learned that snacks can make or break our after school hours over here.

Shared from my Instagram, here’s a pic of one of our favs for Diabetes Month Photo-A-Day (#dmpad)!

Dear Food Processor,

I owe you an apology.

You have been under one of my cabinets for years.  Your parts have been pushed around, crammed, and shoved into the nooks and crannies of a plethora of other kitchen appliances, bakeware, and cutting boards.  I know it isn’t pretty under there, but you have waited patiently — untouched and unloved — without causing me much of a headache.  (Well, aside from all those parts that kept getting in the way.)

Mr. Rose picked you up several years ago.  I’m not even sure why at the moment, but none of that matters now.  Over the past four years, I’ve poured over thousands of gluten-free recipes, always in search of something new, yet familiar, to offer my family.

Whenever a recipe would read anything to the effect of:

“In the bowl of a food processor…”

I would quickly close the recipe, turn the page, or simply decide to take my search in a different direction altogether. The idea of digging through the cabinet to find all your parts, drag them out, and then have to wash them afterwards just felt like too much work.

Until yesterday.

I’m sorry.  I judged you (and. all. your. freaking. PARTS!!!) unfairly.  It was wrong.  I know that now.

You see, last night I made a chicken pot pie for dinner.  In the olden days, I would have had a ready made pie crust on hand to slap over the top of my baking dish.  But, in these days…these GLUTEN-FREE days…that’s not possible.  

If my family is to have a chicken pot pie for dinner, I have to make the pie crust myself.

I’ve tried a few recipes.  I know the basic ingredients: flour, butter, salt, sugar, water.  I’ve tried to use a few different gadgets (and even resorted to just using two knives) in order to cut the butter into the flour.  I’ve tried to use my stand mixer.  I’ve tried every possible way to avoid using…YOU.

Yesterday I decided to search for some tips.  You know tips to help me incorporate the butter better and tips to help me improve my pie crust technique.  I found THIS article, and immediately cut up my butter into bits to put in the freezer. I threw some ice in my water too.  

And then…there it was…

“Combine the flour blend, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.”


But I was determined to make the best gluten-free pie crust possible, so I did it.  I found you (and YOUR PARTS!!!!), dusted you off, and plugged you in.

Oh, Food Processor.  You really delivered.  I will never doubt your ability to help me in the kitchen again.



It’s true.  

I overcame my food processor anxiety, followed that article’s advice to a T, and ended up with the best gluten-free pie crust I’ve ever made in the past 4 years.

Except, I’m not a very good “roller”.  

In fact, I’m a horrible “roller”.

But…I’m really good at smooshing dough and using cookie cutters.  

(This was a flower cookie cutter and I sliced each one in half.)

Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

1)  FIRST, read this article, pull out your food processor, make a pie crust, and throw it in your fridge.  (P.S.  I use Jules Gluten Free Flour Blend.)


1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup gluten-free flour (Such as Jules Gluten Free)
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
1-2 (or 5-6) splashes of white cooking wine
2 cups cut up cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
Half a bag of frozen corn
(Can also add dried herbs, salt and pepper, or whatever else you want to enhance the flavor)

Saute onions and celery in sauce pan, remove and place in large bowl.  Add chicken and corn to sauteed veggies and mix well to combine.

Melt 1/3 cup butter in sauce pan.  Sir in flour and let cook over low heat for 1 minute.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly.  Add chicken stock and wine, stirring constantly.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour sauce over chicken and combine well.  Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray, and add chicken mixture.

Top with pie crust — OR pie cut outs, if you’re anything like me 😉

Brush pie crust with thin layer of milk (no puddles!), and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  Cover with foil if crust becomes too brown during cooking process.


Gluten-Free Thanksgiving 2012: The Leftovers.

I love Thanksgiving.  I love the food, the friends, the festive atmosphere in the air…the cooking, the prepping, the planning.
I love it all.
But I especially love the leftovers…
I’ll get to those in just a minute…

First I want to tell you about how we had two delicious feasts this year.  We spent Thanksgiving Day with Heidi and her beautiful family.  We love these people.  Seriously. Spending Thanksgiving with them felt like we were hanging out with our own extended family.

Heidi is one of those friends who loves to cook…and I’ve never, EVER, eaten anything from her kitchen that wasn’t absolutely AMAZING.  But, aside from that, Heidi knows that our family has to deal with that pesky celiac disease “thing”.  Toting celiac along to holiday meals can be a pain.  Sometimes it seems like there’s gluten in everything, and it’s hard to be the “problem child”, always asking about ingredient lists for all the dishes and whatnot.

Except, we never have to worry when Heidi is cooking.  She keeps some GF flour on hand, and happily modifies anything she can.  I never asked her to…she just does it.  And she doesn’t make us feel like we’re being picky or hoity-toity, because we need something gluten-free to eat.  Some of the best gluten-free stuff to ever pass these taste buds have come straight from her kitchen…and no one in her family even needs it!!!!  From appetizers with GF crackers, to the BEST GF streusel topped sweet potatoes, to chocolate torte and pecan pie…she just made it work.  If I’m honest, THAT fact is what really made our Thanksgiving so special:  The fact that we have friends like Heidi and her family in our lives.

On Friday, Mr. Rose and I cooked up a feast of our own!  My father and step-mother, along with her father and a cousin joined us for dinner.  We had planned to eat at 6:30, but dinner didn’t actually make it to the table until 7:30.  OOPS!  Such is life when you only have one oven and three littles wandering in and out of the kitchen all day 🙂

So what DO you serve for a gluten-free holiday feast?

You might be surprised at how easy it is.

Here…let me break it down for you:

  1. Mashed Potatoes — potatoes, butter, milk, salt.  Nope!  No gluten!
  2. Stuffing — I used some random GF bread that had been in the freezer for awhile, along with some Udi’s and made THIS recipe.  It was DELICIOUS!
  3. Cranberry Sauce — From a can, but I added the juice of 2 clementines and some chopped pecans to make it look fancier.  I’m the only one who eats it…but I want to make a fresh batch one of these days anyway.
  4. Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans — I just made up my own recipe, but I guess it’s kind of like this one, except I like more sugar and don’t add the garlic salt.  Again…no gluten! 
  5. Gravy — I was always afraid of making gravy before going gluten-free forced me to start making my own sauces, creamed soups, and gravies.  With Jules Gluten Free Flour, it’s just a matter of substituting the GF flour for regular flour, and moving on.  Again, it’s in my head, but here’s a recipe that should work for you 🙂  PS — My gravy got great reviews this year!
  6. Pecan Pie — Heidi sent us home with some of her GF pecan pie.  She tells me this is the recipe she used, along with a GF pie crust from Whole Foods Market.  All I know is that is was SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!
  7. Sweet Potatoes — Okay, mine weren’t as fancy as Heidi’s.  But they were still mighty delicious 🙂  I used Kraft Marshmallows, because #1) They’re my favorite and #2) They’re GF…though I have to admit that I’ve never found a marshmallow that wasn’t GF.
  8. Marshmallow Salad — Speaking of marshmallows…this is a dish I grew up with…but we add walnuts and maybe some other stuff too.  Bottom line:  My holiday table wouldn’t be the same without it.  This year, my dad brought it along…every time I eat it, part of my heart is transported back in time to when I was a little girl.
  9. Turkey — OF COURSE!  We aren’t turkey professionals, but our bird was pretty fantastic this year, if I do say so myself 🙂  PS — Here’s a list of GF turkeys.
Oh, but there was more!!!!
Fried Rice — ?????  WHAT????  Yes.  Have I ever mentioned that Mr. Rose is half Japanese?  Well, when I asked him what Thanksgiving dishes remind him of his childhood, he started rattling off things like “wontons” and “duck” and “fried rice”…….so…… there ya have it.  His fried rice has been one of the most popular dishes at our Thanksgiving table for as long as we’ve been married.  His recipe is top secret (and DELICIOUS!!!!!)  I do know, however, that he uses San-J GF Soy and Teriyaki Sauces.

Ham — Yeah, we had a GF spiral ham in addition to the turkey.  More leftovers 🙂

I should also mention that I made some of these GF crescent rolls, except I forgot about them so they didn’t actually make it onto either plate.  I ended up using the dough to make cinnamon rolls on Saturday morning.

And, of course, we had REAL whipped cream to top our pie 🙂

(Hey, I never said our feast was healthy…just that it was gluten-free!)

I’m Not The Same.

She came home with an invitation to a cookie decorating party the other day. No special reason…just a group of friends getting together to make some memories and have fun on a Friday afternoon.  She excitedly handed me the card as we were walking away from her gate, and then scurried ahead to join her pals before skipping off to the park.

I looked around at the other moms, who were also reading the invitation, and couldn’t help but to wonder what they were thinking.  One by one, they smiled before tucking it away without a care in the world.

I saw that invite, and my mind immediately thought about gluten and carbs. About how I’d need to make some gluten free cookie dough since my freezer stash was used up with the holidays.  I thought about shared decorating knives, and the tops of sprinkle bottles that would inevitably touch the glutenous cookies they were embellishing.  I wondered if I’d be able to gauge the pump setting changes I made this week.  After all, it’s not every day, you get to smother a cookie with decorations and call it dinner.  Ugh.  I wondered if this party would wreak havoc on her blood sugars, and if I’d sleep for more than a 3 hour stretch on the night that followed.

I’m not the same.

Across the parking lot, up the little hill, and the park was there. Perfect weather. By the time I made it to the table where she left her backpack, they were already off and running.  I knew she needed to test her blood sugar, but I let it slide.  The other moms huddled, and we chatted about sore throats and runny noses…a fever and antibiotics.  They were talking about plans for the weekend, while I stared past them, watching her play at the far end of the field. She seemed off.  Slower, off balance perhaps?  From where I was sitting, trying to listen to the conversation, I couldn’t tell if there was a problem.  I was distracted by the distance between us.  They looked around and glanced from side to side, making sure their kids were okay while I stared at every step, every move, every sign to determine if I should run her supplies out to the to the field.

I’m not the same.

I decided to walk a few laps around the field.  It would give me a chance to meet up with my girl on the other side, and check her number while passing by. 55.  I knew it.  The other kids started running back to the tables.  Snacks were waiting. We sat on the sidewalk with juice. And Starbursts.  And Nerds.  I retested to see that she was coming up, and then we walked back together. Everyone was scattered.  I watched as the other moms doled out granola bars and handfuls of goldfish without a care in the world about carbs or gluten.  She was feeling better, so we retested to see that she was over 100, calculated the carbs, and bolused to keep her from skyrocketing.

I’m not the same.

We opened the backpacks, and started going through the folders.  The other mothers were talking about their children’s 100% scores, and I noticed that mine had missed 9 math problems.  Math certainly isn’t her favorite subject, but nine is still a lot of errors for her.  Come to think of it, I had no idea how her numbers had been all day.  I wondered what part of the day this assignment was given.  I wondered what her blood sugar was at the time.  I reached for the Ping remote to scroll through the history.  They reached for a cell phone to return a text.

I’m not the same.

Drama runs an extra half hour after school now.  The big show is getting close! They talked about how nice it would be to have an extra 30 minutes for prepping dinner, and helping the other kids with homework.  I wondered if I should decrease her afternoon basals, just to be safe.

I’m not the same.

Before bed, I brushed her hair while she read to me.  Then we talked about school, and who she played with at recess.  We talked about who she sat with at lunch.  She showed me a silly handshake they made up on the playground.

And we talked about the cookie party.  She told me that she got nervous when her friend started passing out the invitations.  She was worried that she wouldn’t get one.  When I asked her why, she replied…

“Because I’m not the same.”

Rudi’s (as in NOT Udi’s)

You might remember a tasty turkey sandwich I wrote about awhile back.
I was very excited….
After all, it was the first time since having 2 celiac diagnoses in the house
that I had found a viable store bought gluten-free bread option for our diets!
Shortly thereafter, I began hearing about another GF bread, with a very similar name.
{For the record, I have no idea why the names are so closely related.}
After committing my life to Udi’s (because I couldn’t find a loaf of Rudi’s anywhere in my area) I decided to contact Rudi’s to see if they’d send us a sample, before giving up on them without trying their product.
I ate a slice right from the bag….soft, light, airy….YUMMY!
Peanut butter and jelly was the *real* test for these taste buds…
FYI: I do think you get more bread with Rudi’s.
Not only are the slices slightly larger, but I also didn’t notice any “big holes” in the sample loaves they sent.
An example of the “Udi’s Big Hole” I just mentioned. Every now and then, I run a cross a loaf of Udi’s, and find these huge holes throughout. At $5 – $6 for a small loaf, I think it’s reasonable to expect that every piece be a full slice!!!
Whether you’re a gluten-free newbie or veteran, I’d highly recommend that you consider adding Rudi’s to your shopping list!

1 IN 133 - Support Gluten-Free Food Labeling
Do you realize that 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease?  

Think about how big your neighborhood is.  Your school.  Your church.  Your workplace.  YOUR FAMILY.

1 in 133.

That’s a LOT of people, and most of them don’t even know they are affected.  Did you know that estimates indicate approximately TEN PERCENT of the T1 community will be affected by Celiac?  This is a second autoimmune disease that has made a  huge impact on a community I care deeply about, and that’s why I’m coming to you today.  

Not to mention that my T1 daughter is part of that 10%…and I’m that 1 in 133 as well.

In 2007, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize standards for gluten-free labeling. Four years later, the FDA has failed to fulfill that mandate. To the millions of Americans who eat gluten-free food, this inaction is a big deal.  

(Hello???  FDA DRAGGING FEET…can anyone in the T1 community relate to this?)

To draw attention to the FDA’s inaction, and to galvanize the burgeoning gluten-free community, leading members of this community will host Capitol Hill legislators, noted celiac disease researchers, gluten-free community leaders and food corporations to the first Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit, in Washington, D.C. on May 4th, 2011. Coinciding with the newly recognized National Celiac Awareness Month, the event will also feature the world’s largest gluten-free cake – symbolizing the big deal that clear, accurate, reliable labeling plays in the lives of people dependent on labeling for their health.

John Forberger, of full-service marketing agency Oxford Communications and Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten Free are addressing this stagnate situation head on…and they’re doing it with CAKE.  Let’s face it…you can catch more flies with honey!!!!

I had an opportunity to ask John and Jules a few questions about the 1in133 Project, and I’m excited to tell you how YOU can help…right now…today…before you move on to the next blog you’re planning to catch up on…    

What inspired the 1 in 133 project?

The “1in133” project’s humble beginnings began in late 2010, during a phone call between John and Jules. We had asked each other who was standing up for all of our friends, both online and off, who shared stories of being “glutenized” or becoming ill after ingesting gluten. Every day we heard of people eating “gluten-free” foods and experiencing horrible reactions – stomach cramping, back pain, headaches, dry skin and even hospital visits. Neither of us could think of anyone or any groups who were trying to standardize a set amount of gluten present in manufactured foods. We knew a standard was overdue, but couldn’t pinpoint who was spearheading the much needed effort.

How can people get involved?

On our website, there are 5 easy ways to further the FDA’s responsibility of finalizing standards for gluten-free food labeling.

1. Sign a cool digital petition, which people can sign from the convenience of their home computer, anywhere in the world.
2. Write to the FDA directly on our site (
3. Donations are welcome of all sizes to further this joint effort and community venture.
4. Bloggers can download a neat banner/badge from our site ( and install it on their site.
5. To spread awareness using social media platforms, we created a Facebook Causes Page ( and a Twitter account ( We recommend using the Twitter hashtag #1in133 whenever chatting about the event.

What’s this I hear about the WORLD’S LARGEST GLUTEN-FREE CAKE?  
(Editor’s Note: I LIKE LOVE CAKE!)

According to our calculations, we are projecting the cake will be between 10-12 ft. tall. It will likely have 16 tiers of 3 layers of cake per tier. It will weigh over 1000 pounds (it’d be fun if it weighed 1,133 lbs, wouldn’t it?!!). Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse in NC is baking out the cakes using Jules’ recipe for white cake, and we’ll know closer to the cake event how many sheet cakes it will actually take to create this thing.  There will be folks coming from all over the US to help “build” the cake, and financial contributors and others will be present to put some of the “icing on the cake!”

So there you have it, friends.  
Start telling the FDA to finalize gluten-free labeling standards

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