Introducing Annette Marie of Best Life Gluten-Free! Annette will be sharing her gluten-free recipes here on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) staff blog.
My name is Annette and I live in the “Garden State,” the lovely state of New Jersey! I was actually a New Yorker most of my life, growing up there and learning to cook and bake at the hip of my Italian-American Mom. (I must admit that when I was twelve, I wasn’t too happy to forgo the soda shop after school in order to learn how to make marinara sauce!) But looking back, I’m glad she did it.
Like many others, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after much suffering, pain and anguish, wondering what could be wrong with me. As a kid, we visited the doctor so often that when he saw me he’d exclaim, “Well, it’s the belly-ache kid!” Later in my life I had 3 ulcers and always suffered with stomach issues in one way or another.
For years I was embarrassed, frustrated and down-right mad! Why couldn’t they fix what was wrong? However, unlike some people with celiac disease, I wasn’t diagnosed as a child…nor as a teen…nor even as a young woman. Mine was diagnosed well after 50! Talk about a medical mystery!
It was so severe that I was unable to make a 30 minute drive without plotting the route and discovering if there was a shop with a restroom nearby.
Thank God for the gastroenterologists, who have been caring and supportive, have provided information, guidance and so much more. Yes, it was difficult the first few months, but I took it on as a challenge to be met.
That’s why I’m really hoping to “Pay-it-Forward” by helping anyone who may need some guidance or reassurance. My recipes are both “semi-homemade” and “scratch,” and if I can provide photos along with as much description as I can to help you get cooking gluten-free, then that’s what I’ll do.
My biggest message to people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is, please don’t feel isolated. More and more, it seems as if gluten intolerance and celiac disease are coming to the forefront. And thank goodness for strides being made in our behalf by organizations like the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
Here is just one of my gluten-free recipes that I’m so excited to share with you!
Cheese-Filled Coffee Cake
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 6 oz. cream cheese – room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Bisquick
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup milk (I used Lactaid 2%, but any is fine)
- ¼ cup butter – softened, room temp is fine)
- 1 tsp. gluten-free pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Crumb Topping Ingredients:
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup softened butter – room temp
- 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (Bob’s Red Mill is fine.)
- Small amount of confectioner’s sugar for dusting on top when it’s done.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a round 9 in. cake pan. (I used margarine)
- Well, you’ve greased the pan liberally, so set it aside. First, mix the filling in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined. Spread about a little more than half of the batter in the bottom of the pan.
- Next put the cream cheese filling on top and try to spread around. (It may be difficult, but using the back of a tablespoon works well.)
- Lastly, put the remainder of the dough batter on top.
- In a small bowl, using a pastry blender tool or 2 forks, combine the topping ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. Ovens vary so take a peek after 20 minutes. A tooth pick inserted into it should come out clean and dry when done.
- Cool well before dusting the top with sifted confectioner’s sugar, if you like. After cooling, be sure to keep covered for freshness.