Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung


In My Shopping Cart: Holiday Cookies for the Gluten Free eaters

In My Shopping CartJean ChungComment

I cannot believe Christmas is a week away! 

So I'm sure if you're like me, you're getting invited or hosting a lot of parties that involve food. :D

About three years ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I was mostly vegan/vegetarian when out dining before that, and having celiac on top of that was not easy, since a lot of vegan dishes have gluten in it. Some articles I've encountered during my research even said being vegan and eating a lot of those textured vegetarian proteins could trigger celiac disease if you already have genes for it. 

So now I'm technically not vegetarian anymore, although I still don't like to eat meat and stick to tofu and vegetarian dishes at home. These cookies I'm about to share with you are not vegan.

When I get invited to potluck dinner parties, I always bring my own desserts but I make sure that other gluten eaters enjoy them too. I sometimes bake them from scratch but most of the time, I use this mix.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Betty Crocker now has a line of gluten free mix products now and I've tried this cookie mix and the brownie mix. They're surprisingly really good! My gluten eater husband and friends didn't even notice they were gluten free. When I make them, I do add a bit of cinnamon for taste. Other than that, I just follow the instructions exactly, and they come out perfect.

(BTW, did you know Betty Crocker is a made-up character??)

If you want to fancy it up more than that, you can try dipping the cookies in more chocolate and nuts after the cookies are done, like this.

Now on to storebought cookies.

These are chocolate chip cookies from Tate's bake shop. I used to only see them at Whole Foods or Bristol Farms stores but now I see them everywhere, even at Ralph's. 

The cookies are thinner so the chewy factor is pretty low, but they're crispy and very very buttery. I do prefer chewy cookies, but these are so tasty I don't mind. A co-worker brought them to work one day (she's also GF) and the entire team tried and finished the entire bag in one day. 

Glutino Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Glutino Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Hello HOLIDAYS~! I found these at a Whole Foods Market near my home and immediately put it in my cart. I took their regular yogurt-covered pretzels on my trip to Korea and loved it! And these were just as good, but just better because it has small bits of candy cane candies

Glutino also has an excellent chocolate chip cookies (which are GMO-free) and double chocolate cookies. I usually get chocolate chip cookies but for a recent holiday party for my law firm, I tried getting the double chocolate cookies. Chocolate makes everything taste good, right?

Glutino Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Glutino Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Actually this is true. America's Test Kitchen did a whole episode on gluten free baking as well as publish a gluten free cookbook earlier this year. According to their experiment, chocolate is a wonderful ingredient in gluten free baking because gluten free flour mix doesn't absorb all the grease from butter, so they tend to get greasy when they're out of the oven. So adding chocolate and powdered milk helps absorbing those grease. If you want to try baking from scratch, definitely try this. I tried the waffle and cookie recipes, they're closest thing I came to the PERFECT recipe. And now I have the flour mix that I can use for other cooking too! :)

If you have any dietary restrictions, holidays and parties are hard. I'm so glad gluten free diet is becoming "trendy" so that more people are aware of it and manufacturers are kinder to people like me who actually need to be on gluten free diet. 


Disclaimers: I am not affiliated with any of the shops or companies I mention here. I'm just like any other yarn addicts who surf around the internet all day long looking for the perfect yarn or accessories to try next. These products I mention are in fact in my shopping cart, at each of the applicable websites. Whether I'll actually buy these or not, we will never know! In other words, no one pays me to write this.

Life Things: Knitting brings me joy.

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

I have been so tired lately. Between the exponentially growing belly this week and not having any appetite or desire to eat since the beginning of this pregnancy, my body is finally asking for more energy.  I'm sleeping 8 hours a day--something I was never able to do before because of insomnia; and yet by 5pm-ish, I feel like I'm ready for bed again. Heck, I wake up feeling like I should go back to bed already =P 

So lately, my fix has been visiting all the yarn shops in my area. Since I started knitting more seriously 7 years ago, there have been many LYSes that opened, renovated, and closed. I haven't been to a lot of the LYSes in the past 2 years, opting to order stuff online since I worked so much and never had time to go visit shops. 

I live 15 minutes away from Purl Soho's warehouse in Tustin, CA. I heard that when the owners decided to open Purl Soho, one of the owners didn't want to move to NYC, so they decided to keep the warehouse in California. It's not a full-service LYS (no classes, no social knitting circles, etc) but the employees are nice and you can even order stuff online for in-store pick up. When I first found out about the warehouse 3~4 years ago, I thought the yarns were outside my budget but now that I work and can afford nicer yarns, this has been my knitting heaven. I got a new set of Addi's Sock Rockets but had such a wonderful time with all the yarns they carry, especially their own line of yarns. 

Yesterday, I still managed to go to my ballet class in the morning, and I went to a yarn shop right after class. Sheared Sheep has been around for years, I think even before I started knitting seriously. But since they moved to the new location and renovated their website, I needed to pay them a visit. I was not disappointed. Their website is still not complete, but at least the new location is a lot more artsy and cozy. The shop is so beautiful and the plaza has a lot of interior design stores and cafes, it's a perfect place to hang out. 

Visiting both stores this week has cheered me up considerably. This pregnancy has been very very kind to me, physically (and I'm very proud of the fact that I'm still dancing), but emotionally, it has been messy. I don't have mood swings like other women but facing my body image issues and getting to the bottom of my general feelings about motherhood and babies have taken a toll on me. 

Knitting has been the constant source of the healing process. I like the fact that when I'm concentrated on knitting, reading charts, writing patterns, even writing about my knitting on this blog have all helped me feel calm and stress-free. Not to mention, the wonderful people on the Ravelry forum with March due dates! It is so nice to know that Ravelry is not just a knitting help website but so much more. We got designer groups, attorney/law student groups, expecting family groups... Just as the attorney/law student groups helped me through law school and the bar exam, the March due date group people are there for all my questions, concerns, and general venting. :)

So knitting is my thing. I love the community of knitters, shopping experience, and the things I create. It is that one stable thing in my life right now.