Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fairytales Come True, An Event Can Happen to You

Food allergies, budgets, options, safe packaging- does this all sound familiar? These are all part of any allergic family's life. The feeling of not ever being able to just enjoy your foods or always worrying that there is no way you would be able to not only try a bunch of allergy-friendly goodies let along having anything remotely similar to a stock pile. It's all a pipe dream, a fairy tale....or is it a dream come true?

This was my second year attending the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh* and also the third event attending as well as being one of their bloggers. I am a self-professed event geek because I love meeting new people, reuniting with people I have already met but the biggest reason I love going to these expos are the products. Tons and tons and tons of allergy-friendly products that I can taste, bring home, share, hoard- all my choice. It's like Halloween for people with food allergies.

This event had a little bit of an added twist....let me explain it as easily as I can to all of you. I will give you the fast version so ready to be amazed. Now, in order for this to be effective, you must read it as if I am telling it to you all in one, fast sentence, like those announcers on tv. (Deep breath, ready??) The evil blogger GF Mom Certified challenged my cooking abilities! We both love gfJules products, we both cook with them and somehow, a king got into the mix (King Gluten Free). And so I was in a flurry of activity, seeking an allergy-friendly eclair recipe to prove my cooking skills. There was dough flying, cream filling everywhere, video upon video of her taunting me and then, there were the royal Prince and Princess that made a surprise appearance at the pre-event dinner at Primal Food & Spirits (because this is where all of the royals go and, well, just because it's downright delicious!). Here's a zooming fast photo recap of that night's events:

On the way to the restaurant
Can a Princess be any luckier?!

Before the gluten attack (do you see how she was sneaky?!)

Luckily, the Princess was well prepared with her EpiPen!

In all honesty, GF Mom Certified & I get along very well- love her and her beautiful family! But we still had bunches of fun even before the event began. Wondering about the eclairs? Recipe links can be located at the end of this post :)

STILL not sure why you should go? Let me give you a few examples:

Celiac Disease Support Group &
NC State Food Allergy Support Group
SUPPORT! There are also great support groups that you find and meet at the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Events. Because, as you know, everyone also needs some extra support now and again. I'm also glad to see that there is so much support in the area, especially for students who are away from home which can often be frightening and doubly scary with food allergies.

If you would like information for yourself or someone else, please visit the Celiac Disease Support Group which is through the WakeMed Cary Hospital as well as the NC State Food Allergy Support Group.

FAMILY! Since I go to multiple events, I feel as if many of the sponsors and even some of the attendees are part of my family now (how awesome is that?!) My last event, I got a surprise visit from the Harris Family and I was lucky enough to see all of them again this time around. Again, I have never seen such a supportive food allergy father and mother ever or (dare I say) cuter children. They are just good-hearted people who happen to love SunButter as much as I do (so, maybe I am a bit biased). I also got to meet Jena- the winner of my Giveaway and a page member :)

Then, there are my other families as well- my Glutino peeps (I couldn't help but try to sneak the entire table into my bag. Kayce from Enjoy Life Foods that I see often (the girl is always, always in a great mood!!). And, just in case you were like What the heck, Nutrimom- what's with all of the sunflowers?! I was supporting another extension of my family, SunButter who also were my event sponsors (thanks guys- you know you are awesome but I like to remind you!). And there's GF Mom Certified (Tiffany Hinton) again!

SWAG PLEASE! I know I have said it before but I cannot help but reshare the amount of swag that you get both as an attendee and as part of the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event Blogger Team. It may seem a bit selfish but come on, look at all of the great products that I got from so many of the vendors!

Yes, it's good to be a Blogger! Check out my goodies-

Event swag & a sweet
after-event surprise from Our House GF

I did say it's like Halloween but now looking back, it may actually be more like Christmas.

(Click for the Recipe & a Special Deal!)
gfJules Eclair Bake-Off This was just a fun, added bonus that happened to intertwine into the event. It was silly, it was challenging and I loved every minute of it! GF Mom Certified made absolutely delicious gluten free eclairs using gfJules flour and they were perfect! If you would like to try her recipe, it can be found in one of her cookbooks. (Please note it does use butter and duck eggs). Last time, we made muffins and this time somebody (eh hem, King Gluten Free) decided it would be eclairs....yeah, thanks for that.

I wound up having a before and after recipe. My before was my Eclair Doughnut recipe which was free of egg, dairy, gluten and nut. They were good but not similar enough to an eclair (curse you, GF Mom Certified, yours were too good!) but I didn't know I could use egg and butter, gosh!!! I did get to use my favorite oil Winona Pure Oil so it's all good was still bunches of fun.

When I got back, I got an idea for another, much easier recipe. STILL not very eclair-like but definitely easy and delicious! May I share my Eclair Bon-Bons which are free of the top eight allergens. The filling is just three simple ingredients and can also be used in many other desserts and toppings. I even have a short video tutorial here (please feel free to watch & share here). I am also honored to say that this recipe and video are featured on the GoVeggie website (thanks GoVeggie!!!).

(Recipe Here)
'Til Next Time As always, I am exhausted but overjoyed to be a part of this event again and I cannot wait to go to the next one. If you missed this event or you are unsure of which events are closest to you, feel free to go to the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event website and see the complete list of events, dates, locations and event schedules. Please share with a friend (as sharing is nice, unless it's food) and please let them know that Nutrimom sent you (hey, a blogger just likes to know all of you are out there listening).

*Feeling left out because you didn't hear about last year's event? No worries, click here to get up to speed.

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