Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Host a Gluten Free Dinner Party - Monday meet the Experts

It's Monday people, and you know what that means!

It's time to bring forth another one of my foodie experts and I am honoured today to introduce you to  Jeanine Friesen from the popular website The Baking Beauties.

As the  Kitchen Witch's guest expert on gluten free baking, cooking, and recipe development, I know you will get a lot out of her tips for entertaining and cooking for friends who are gluten intolerant!


Hi everyone, my name is Jeanine. I author The Baking Beauties, a blog which is chock-full of gluten-free recipes.

Lyndsay called out to me last week to ask for help with a gluten-free dessert for a cocktail/dessert event she was hosting. I gave her the recipe for Pina Colada Parfaits, which I thought not only fit quite well with her theme, but was also naturally gluten-free.

Lyndsay was going to be hosting someone with gluten intolerance, and I know how difficult that can be. Or at least how difficult that can seem.

However, when you take a step back, you realize there are a number of things you can do that will make hosting a breeze.

1. First off, stick with naturally gluten-free foods. Gluten is in wheat, rye and barley, and anything that contains those ingredients. But, if you stick with fruits, nuts and cheese, you have naturally gluten-free foods that your guest can enjoy.

2. Try to stay away from processed foods, as those have a higher chance of either containing gluten, or having been cross-contaminated in the manufacturing process. Cross-contamination is when an item does not contain gluten, but may have come into contact with it during the manufacturing process.

3. Be sure to read the labels on all packaged foods, like nuts & candy, to see if it may have come from a facility that also processes wheat. Those are items you want to stay away from. Oats are also to be avoided unless they are certified gluten-free. Regular oats have also been cross-contaminated from the fields through the processing.

4. If you do decide to bake something, like peanut butter cookies, flourless chocolate cake, or Nutella cake, which are all naturally gluten-free, be sure that the containers you are scooping from are new containers. If you use an open container, you may have gotten bread crumbs in it by double dipping your knife into the container when making yourself a sandwich.

5. Be sure to use freshly scrubbed bowls, spoons, measuring cups and baking pans when preparing your baked treat. If you use them for baking with wheat flour, they may still have trace amounts of gluten if they were not properly cleaned the last time you used them.

6. Always use new containers, and new margarine, and let your guest know that you went that extra step, they will appreciate it. If you are still feeling stumped, please don’t let someone’s restrictive diet stop you from inviting them over. If you just don’t know what to serve them, you can ask them to contribute to the evening by bringing a dish that they can enjoy. I know I don’t mind being asked to bring some baking when we get together with friends.

 Please stop by my blog, The Baking Beauties, for more simple gluten-free treats that anyone can make.

And now, let's see how Lyndsay does making my Pina Colada Parfaits!


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  1. Awesome tips Jeanine!! I never would have thought about the crumb in things like PB and margarine. Now I will have some tips to go to, if ever I have to entertain and a guest eats gluten-free!!

    1. I know, aren't those great tips? I never would have thought of the one with the crumbs either!

  2. Cutting boards is another. Very often if we use a cutting board, we just wipe it with a damp rag and put it away. But, if you are going to be cutting anything gluten-free on it, you need to scrub it down first. I usually just cut on a large glass plate if I'm at someone else's house and feeling uneasy about it. ;)
    Thanks again for having me, Lyndsay! I appreciate it!

  3. These are very useful tips. Thank you Jeanine and thank you for the introduction to her blog.


  4. love it...Thanks Lyndsay for featuring Jeanine...she did a good job and so did you...

  5. The recipe from Jeanine has me wanting to lick the screen. Great tips!