Archive for January, 2014

Living Without Magazine Shares Sweet Debbie’s Ruby Red Wine Cupcakes Recipe!

January 14, 2014

Living WIthout Mag 2014173
Ruby Red Wine Recipe 180

Ruby Red Wine and Chocolate

Makes 12 standard-size cupcakes

I used to whine a lot during the week, until Friday came, but now I just add
wine to my chocolate cupcakes and Friday comes rather quickly. You should
try it; it’s like having your very own cupcake vineyard right in your kitchen.
This is also a perfect Valentine’s Day recipe for your gluten-free or vegan loved
one. xoxo Debbie

Must Have
12 standard-size paper baking cups
¾ cup unsweetened plain rice milk
¼ cup Pinot noir
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1¾ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/3 cup cacao powder
1¼ teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon guar gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup coconut nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
1/3 cup vegan, soy-free plain yogurt
(I use So Delicious coconut milk yogurt.
See resources for more information.)
Chocolate Frosting
½ cup coconut nectar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons mashed avocado
1 cup powdered erythritol
½ cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon warm water
1/8 teaspoon stevia powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinot Noir Pink Frosting
½ tablespoon coconut oil
½ tablespoon coconut nectar
¾ cup powdered erythritol
½ tablespoon Pinot noir
½ tablespoon cranberry puree
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Must Do
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a standard
12-cup cupcake tin with paper baking cups.
2. To make the cupcakes, mix together the
rice milk, wine and apple cider vinegar in a
2-cup measuring cup.
3. Whisk together the flour, cacao powder,
baking powder, baking soda, guar gum and
salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
4. Add the grapeseed oil, coconut nectar,
vanilla and stevia to the flour mixture and
stir to combine. Next add the rice milk
mixture and stir until it is absorbed and
the batter is smooth. Stir in the yogurt until
well combined.
cupcake love 81
5. Pour the batter into the measuring cup,
as the spout will make it easier to pour the
batter into the cupcake tin without spillage.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared
cupcake tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup
should be about two-thirds full. Bake the
cupcakes for 16 to 17 minutes, or until they
bounce back slightly to the touch. Rotate
the cupcake tin from front to back halfway
through baking.
7. Transfer the cupcake tin from the oven to
a wire rack and let sit for 10 minutes before
removing the cupcakes to cool completely.
8. To make the chocolate frosting, mix
together the coconut nectar, coconut oil and
avocado in a medium-size bowl. Add the
powdered erythritol, cacao powder, warm
water, stevia and salt and stir until smooth
and well incorporated.
9. To make the pinot noir pink frosting,
microwave the coconut oil and coconut
nectar in a small microwave-safe bowl for
20 seconds. Add the powdered erythritol,
pinot noir, cranberry puree and salt and stir
until smooth and well combined.
10. Frost the completely cooled cupcakes
with the chocolate frosting. Place a dollop of
the pinot noir pink frosting on top.
Keep unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight
container for up to 3 days, or wrap and
freeze them for up to 3 months. Leftover
frosting keeps in the fridge for about
4 weeks if stored in an airtight container.

“The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies” – Book Review

January 7, 2014


There are few food allergy books on the market today that are as comprehensive and complete as “The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies” by Tracy Bush. Tracy is the founder and President of Nutrimom, Inc., a consulting business that specializes in food allergies. She provides guidance and support to those who have been diagnosed with severe and life threatening food allergies.

Her new book is a resource guide ideally for families that are new to the world of food allergies and in it, lists resources, kitchen supplies, foods and other essentials necessary to successfully navigate the often terrifying world of food allergies.

I particularly like the chapter on kitchen gadgets since a girl can never get enough of those as well as the chapter on food swaps. Even though I deal with my son’s severe and life threatening food allergies on a daily basis, I am constantly learning of new foods that I can use in my son’s repertoire. Tracy has great ideas as to how to incorporate proteins, vegetables and fruits in all sorts of dishes so your child gets the nutrition they need. She even suggests pureeing the meat if your child does not like a chunky texture in their soup. Brilliant!

Also, if your child is in school, Tracy provides sample Action Plans for the teachers and administrators of your child’s school so they know what to do in an emergency. Tracy also includes information about 504 plans as well as sample letters to parents so they, too, are informed about your child’s food allergy.

I highly recommend this book to any family living with food allergies as it is a great guide and reference to have on hand. “The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies” can be purchased online. You can also visit Tracy at

Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expo – San Francisco Here I Come!

January 7, 2014

Gluten-free Expo in San Francisco

Gluten-free Expo in San Francisco

In addition to January 25-26th being my birthday weekend, more importantly, it is also the weekend of the San Francisco Gluten-free and Allergen-free Expo (GFAF). I have been chosen as an official author and will be there with other vendors, cookbook authors and well renown speakers.

When you go to events such as this, you share a common bond with everyone in attendance. We are all involved in the day-to-day challenges and struggles of leading a gluten-free and allergy-free existence. Some do it by choice, but the majority of us do it for very specific dietary and life sustaining reasons.

Back in 2009 my husband and I found out my son is severely allergic to all the top food allergens plus a few more sprinkled in for good measure. He suffered several anaphylactic episodes during which we almost lost him, before we realized the extent and breadth of his very severe food allergies. Now that we have the complete list, our due diligence and vigilance has kept him alive for his five young years.

At an event such as the GFAF, we are reminded that we are not alone, and that there are so many more resources and choices than there were years ago. At the GFAF we will get to see vendors that prepare gluten-free and allergy-free foods in dedicated facilities and taste their goodies. We will hear expert speakers and learn from gluten-free bakers and cooks. We will take home swag bags and friendships that we never had before. It is a weekend of celebration that we have come so very far and are in very good company.