Gluten Free Christmas Holiday Treats in Edmonton 2018

I think I made good use of the newly created Gluten Free Edmonton Support Group this week!  It turned out to be a great tool to source some information for this post!

I put the question out there, what gluten free holiday treats for Christmas can you find this year?...  and the messages started flowing in!

Click here to see all the amazing gluten free holiday treats shared by group members.  You will need to log into Facebook and join the group to contribute and see additional items.

With that being said!  Here is a start of what people listed off!
  • Gluten free walkers shortbread @Walmart
  • Gluten free gingerbread kits @Kinnikinnick Fresh
  • Gluten Free mi-del ginger snaps @walmart
  • Gluten free chocolate yule log @Kinnikinnick Fresh
  • Gluten free candy cane mi-del sandwich cookie @Sobey's Ellerslie
  • Assorted gluten free cookies @Food in the nud
  • Gluten free festive sugar cookie bar @Celebrate, gluten free
  • Gluten free sugar cookie mix @Kinnikinnick Fresh
Check out more as people add by joining the group and clicking the image above.
Gluten Free Edmonton Support Group
Public group · 199 members
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A place where the Celiac/Gluten Free Community in Edmonton can support each other.

Gluten Free Edmonton Support Group on Facebook

Recently, I have been thinking about what's next with Gluten Free Edmonton?  I have been doing this for 8 years already.

What can I do next to get people engaged?

I'm already on Facebook, Twitter and more recently trying to grow an Instagram following.

I would love to get on YouTube, do shopping tours, demo products etc.  But really, I have a full time job already leading a national healthcare organizations digital experience.  I just don't have the time, because after work, I love spending time with my family.

So now what?  How do I grow our community?  Which got me thinking.  I know Facebook is not for everyone, but it is still THE place for community.  More so than Twitter and Instagram.  The Facebook Group features are amazing for connecting others.

I notice more and more people posting questions on our Gluten Free Edmonton Facebook page.  Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't care for that, so it doesn't highlight other peoples posts unless I share it, because at the end of the day Facebook really just wants ad dollars to boost a post shared by a Page.

Which brings us to groups!  A place where everyone can post and be heard.  A place where each person can set their notifications and not miss a thing.  A place to share with a us an amazing gluten free product they found, or ask a question about where to find a product.  A place where we can can interact with everyone in different ways.  I place where we can just simply help someone in our community that just needs a helping hand.

There are so many awesome things that can be done with a Facebook Group.  I'm just starting with the basics and will see where it goes.

So come on in!  Join the new Gluten Free Edmonton Support Group on Facebook!
Gluten Free Edmonton Support Group
Public group · 126 members
Join Group
A place where the Celiac/Gluten Free Community in Edmonton can support each other.

Gluten Free Shredded BBQ Beef

It took us a while to try this recipe.  We usually make pulled pork, or a shredded BBQ chicken.  But never a shredded beef.  But the recipe from America's Test Kitchen turned out to be delicious.  We froze leftovers in two packages (it made a lot!)

The recipe is a slow cooker recipe, that could probably be adapted to for the instant pot.  There is a lot of prep for this recipe.  So if you are going to run the slow cooker during the day while at work, I suggest doing some of the prep the night before.


4 oz bacon (about for slices), chopped small
2 onions (medium)
2 tbsp chili powder (optional)  It should give it some tang
1 tbsp paprika
1.5 cups ketchip
1.5 cups coffee
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp mustard
5lbs outside round roast / boneless beef chuck trimmed and quartered
1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp cider vinegar


  1.  Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Add onions, chili powder, paprika, and cook until onions are softened. (8 to 10 minutes)
  2. Stir in ketchup, coffee, brown sugar, and 1 tbsp of mustard.  Simmer until thickened and measures about 4 cups.  Transfer 2 cups of mixture to slow cooker and keep reserve for later.
  3. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle in slow cooker.  Cover and cook in slow cooker for 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
  4. When beef is tender, transfer beef to a large bowl and shred into bite size pieces.
  5. Let sauce settle for 5 minutes and skim fat from top and strain
  6. Simmer sauce for 20 to 30 minutes until reduced to 1 cup.  Whisk in reserved mixture, with hot sauce, cider vinegar, and 1 tbsp of mustard.  Simmer for a few minutes and add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Toss shredded beef with 1.5 cups of sauce and keep remaining for serving and keeping the beef moist.
Sauce notes

I skimmed fat, but didn't strain.  I kept the bacon pieces in.

When I reduced the sauce, I added the mixture then reduced.  I just didn't reduce to one cup.  I just let it go for 20 minutes.

Panago Pizza's Gluten Free Menu

I am going to start off by saying, Yes, I agree, pizza places are a disaster for cross contamination.  So like any other pizza place, even though they serve a gluten free pizza, they are unable to guarantee no cross contamination.  This is true for any restaurant that is not 100% gluten free.

With that being said, we wanted some pizza and so we went to Panago Pizza.  They do a good job at keeping their menu up to date with the latest allergen info.  They break it down for their recipe specials, their sides and their individual toppings.

The other day we tried the gluten free pork carnita pizza!  I liked it, it wasn't Amanda's favorite.  She still likes the bacon cheeseburger pizza the best.

I thought it was refreshingly different with a nice pulled pork topping along with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  I will admit, there could have been more meat on it.  I love that it was loaded with lettuce, and tomato and cheese though.

Next time we will either go back to her favorite gluten free bacon cheeseburger pizza or try the gluten free BBQ chicken.

Panago Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gluten Free Catering Tip - Let's Talk Cross Contamination

This is one of those posts I really wish I didn't have to do but I will.  I'm also keeping the venue name private right now because they handled everything correctly once informed.

So I didn't get the best picture of this, but in the photo below is a tray from a breakfast setup for a meeting I was attending.  The Turkey Sausage and Bacon was labelled gluten free, however and unfortunately, (and I have seen this done a lot), the sausage and bacon were put on top of slices of bread to absorb the grease instead of just using a wrack. 

Why they do this?  I am really not sure.  It can't be that expensive to just have racks that insert into the trays to lift up from the grease instead of laying in grease soaked bread.

This is not just a lesson for caterers, but a lesson for everyone that requires a gluten free diet.

For the caterers, pay attention to your process and cross contamination when you label.  If something is gluten free, but may be crossed with a shared fryer, or something like this.  Indicate it.  In this case,  noticed it before anyone that required gluten free ate it, and it was corrected and a fresh batch was offered up.  The staff were thankfully receptive, but I imagine they may not always be.

For those the customers, always talk to the wait staff, ask questions!  This is your health.  You are always eating at restaurants with caution, and eating at catered meetings at conference centers or hotels is still the same.  If the staff can't answer you, or you did not get the answers you need ask to speak with the catering or banquet manager.  Get the answers you need so you can make a good decision if the food is safe for you.

Lastly, for everyone.  Be respectful. 

Lets be respectful and understanding that not everyone understands are concerns, so lets continue to educate everyone thoughtfully and respectfully.  Lets ask the staff questions, lets listen to what they have to say and talk about it.

Lets be respectful to everyone dietary needs.  For the most part, this probably seems like an inconvenience.  Lets ask the customers about their needs, lets listen to why it is important and lets talk about it.