The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mayhem in LA

Dear Readers:

It's been awhile, so definitely time for a new post. Since I last blogged about pumpkin seeds, a lot has happened. First, I went trick or treating.

Trick or treating in LA is so much fun, because these HOLLYWOOD types take their decorating seriously. I've never seen anything like it. Everyone, seriously, goes all out. And guess what? People don't just give out treats for the kids, they give out wine and vodka to the grown ups. (I was on antibiotics for Bronchitis, so got left out of that fun). But if any of you are considering a trip to Los Angeles, might I recommend late October? Halloween is actually a bigger holiday in LA than Christmas. Suffice it to say, we had a blast!

Next, on to the Writer's Strike. As some of you may know, I have two careers. The other one is TV writing. Which I can't do now. Because we're all on strike. So I've been walking the picket lines with my other writer friends. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is my favorite strike anthem.

And now, on to food. I've been sampling some really great GF products recently, and I want to share the wealth.

Earlier this week, I went with my very pregnant friend Rachel to The Sensitive Baker for a little TLC. Her husband is also on strike, he wrote the movie Norbit, but now he's twiddling his thumbs, waiting for the baby and hoping to have a job sometime in the foreseeable future. So we bought him half a dozen gluten-free lemon poppy seed muffins to cheer him up, and it did the trick. The Sensitive Baker is a dedicated GF Bakery that sells locally, but also ships, so you too may order some of their delicious products. Beware that they use eggs, tree nuts, and soy. Check out their site here

I also sampled their light, moist, and fantastic Chocolate Zucchini Muffin, which no-one would ever guess was GF. And then, my most favorite find, their BAGELS!!!

This is a REAL bagel, an old-fashioned bagel, with no GF grittiness or bitterness. Its texture was all bagel, as was its flavor. Seriously, one of the best bagels I've had since I left NY, home of the bagel. Kudos to the Sensitive Baker for her gift to breakfast. (Please read the ingredient lists on her products before ordering to make sure they are safe for you). Most of all, the woman who started this bakery, Sandee Hier, was so nice and friendly and forthcoming with info about her products, it made me want to go back over and over again. Her staff was competent, and there was none of the attitude I had previously experienced at Babycakes in NY. This is a bakery making outstanding products, with a mission to help those on special diets, SENSITIVELY.

Stay tuned, Amy's Kitchen just sent me some new GF/CF products to review, so I'll be back with that soon.

Peace and Happy Hanukkah!



  • At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said…

    What tactics do you use to take away candy with allergens on Halloween night? Wondering if you had any tips there.

    Also, what TV show do you write for? Those of us who enjoy your writing would no doubt like to check it out and look for your name in the credits.

  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger we light candles! said…

    Hey Cybele,
    Thanks for the update. I love the halloween picture, you guys look awesome. Thats cool that people in L.A go all out for halloween. I guess I should start saving up my cash and head over there sometime for halloween just to see all the decorations :)

    Anyways hope the writers strike ends soon and that new episodes of my favorite shows come back :)

    Also, hope all is well and I guess I'll comment again later :)

    peace <3 -marla

  • At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cybele: this latest blog is very funny. Not that you normally aren't witty, but this one stands out. Thanks for the bagel info :) and the youtubeage

  • At 4:35 PM, Blogger Kelly said…

    Thanks for the update, Cybele!
    I'd also like any tips on taking away candy with allergens, but I'd also like to ask who are you and the boys in your Halloween costumes? And did your husband get to dress up and go out too? Thanks so much for your allergy-free efforts!

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Dina said…

    You guys look great and look like you had a lot of fun trick or treating.

    Good luck with the writer's strike. I hope that you guys can work something out soon. I am definitely a huge TV fanatic so I will miss my shows once they run out of taped episodes to air. By the way what show do you write for?

    I looked at the website for the sensitive baker. It looks great. It is also nice to see that it is kosher. Unfortunately I live in New York so I won't be able to try it until July when I am coming to LA for vacation. That chocolate zuccinni muffin sounds amazing.

    Hope all is well...Happy Hanukkah and an early Merry Christmas.


  • At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Cheryl said…

    Cybele: I think TOP CHEF needs you on their show. Whaddya say?

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    hey cybele!

    so glad to hear you are all doing ok! i am sorry to hear about the writer strike though, but at least it means more time with the family!

    I can't wait to try the sensitive baker it sounds great and its kosher!! - an added bonus!

    I was wondering if you and the boys will be coming to the NY area when your husband does his concert in Westchester, being that it was your old town? I wanna bring my cookbook for you to autograph if you are!!

    Can't wait to hear how the Amy's meals are...

    Happy Chanukah, enjoy some potato latkes and jelly donuts before you move on to the christmas trees hehe!

    take care,

  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cute picture!

    Will you be including more "for kids" type of recipes in your new cookbook? I enjoyed the hodgepodge selection of your first book, but I think more kids recipes would be a nice addition since most of us seem to be cooking for allergic children rather than adults.

  • At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Katrina said…

    Very cute picture! I'm a big Amy's fan so I can't wait to see what you think of the new products. The Bean & Rice buritto is my favorite. I also like the marinara sauce for those lazy nights that I don't make my own!
    My husband and I are also going to one of your husbands shows! We're going to see him in New Haven CT. in January. But first we're going to see Neil Young in NYC!!! He's a favorite of mine:)

  • At 10:07 AM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Dear Jennifer:

    Please see the article I wrote last year Re: halloween at the following link. I try to address this very issue.

    When my son Lennon was younger (like 2), I actually did supply my neighbors with safe candy and we just trick-or-treated on my street. As he got older, we'd make trades, allergen-free candy for regular candy. I never experienced any problems with this. And then we'd donate the collected candy, which he always loved doing (ie, giving it to his babysitter, or his teacher at school). Luckily, my son has outgrown his dairy and soy allergies, so I have a lot more options now. I just confiscate the candy with nuts that he can't have, and he seems totally fine with that. I can only speak for my son, but it seems that the act of gathering is the real fun, and as long as he gets to eat something sweet and yummy, it doesn't matter where it came from.

    Re: TV... I am in the amorphous land of development. This means I develop new ideas for TV shows, and write pilots, so far, none of which have made it to air. Believe it or not, the bulk of TV writers in LA are in "development", churning out new material, about 10% of which makes it on TV. So that means I work with a production company, or this year, a studio. It's what comes before the Networks.


    My sons chose my costume for me at Long's Drugs. I am some kind of She Devil. The boys are "Muscle Commando's" a character that as far as I can tell was completely invented by Target. No my husband didn't dress up.


    Sadly I won't be making it back East in January. So sorry.


    Yes, there will be more "kid" recipes! Although, I'm still a firm believer in kids eating all types of foods. When I was a kid, nobody gave me special "kid" food. My family ate dinner together, and we all ate the same thing. That's how I developed such a love for food. I got to experience a wide range of flavors, not just mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. But again, yes, I will be creating a lot more "kid" recipes. Just curious if people have been going to Kids with Food Allergies for recipes? They seem to have some good ones.



    ps, Cheryl, thanks for the props. There's too much back stabbing on that show for me. I'd probably cry.

  • At 10:10 AM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Whoops, here's the rest of that link. Cut and paste into your browser.

  • At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said…


    Thanks for your comment. I will look at your article now.

    If your son has outgrown his soy and dairy allergies, then do you primarily still write for the food allergic community because you enjoy it? Food allergies might not spell an end for cooking delicious foods, but I wouldn't choose to kook this way if I didn't have to. I applaud your efforts if you are continuing to help the food allergic in making recipes for those affected even if they are no longer a main factor for you.

  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Hi Jennifer:

    No, we still have allergies in my household. I wish I were that altruistic! However, I do the gluten-free recipes purely out of a desire to help others, not because we avoid gluten. See here for a recent allergy update from a former post:

    ....these days, all we have to avoid in our food allergic household is:

    DAIRY (my husband is allergic, and Monte has been advised to avoid it due to asthmatic reactions)
    FISH (I'm allergic)
    SHELLFISH (Lennon is allergic and I'm allergic)
    WALNUTS (Lennon is allergic and I'm allergic)
    HAZELNUTS (I'm allergic)
    WHEAT (I'm moderately allergic, but I still eat it sometimes)

  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Katy said…


    Adorable picture. It seems the hypo-allergenic, whole foods diet is having a very positive effect on your sons' physiques! :-)

    Any idea when the new cookbook will be out? This year in my holiday treat searching, I've found that there is more and more hypo-allergenic candy (especially chocolate) and baked goods available. So maybe the increasing demand from shoppers and spokespeople like you is motivating bakers and small businesses to create and include specialized products in their companies. Keep up the good work, and Happy Holidays.

  • At 8:17 PM, Blogger Lauren said…

    cute picture :)
    i was a zombie firefighter for halloween... all i did was make myself look dead (it wasn't hard after being at school for 2 hours) and wear my bunker gear :)

    i'm starting the whole eos food trial thing soon... on december 19th i'm getting a PEG tube and then i start single ingredient food trials... so if you have any ideas how to prepare apples or pears or butternut squash or anything like that in different ways without using other ingredients, please let me know! :)
    the last time i did this (it was interrupted and i never finished the food trials) the food was wicked boring :P
    apples for breakfast, apples for lunch, apples for dinner.

  • At 2:11 PM, Anonymous LindaRose said…

    Hi Cybele,

    Thanks for the latest blog. Too bad you couldn't partake in the "adult candy" while trick or treating. I'm sure it would have made it even more fun! ;) Hope you're feeling better. Your husband, Adam, lucked out with the stage hand strike during his run with Rent. Hope the writer's strike doesn't last too much longer. Good luck with everything!

    Your kids are adorable, I have to say that I think Lennon resembles you and Monte looks like his Daddy.

    Happy Chanukah to you and your family (even though it's the last day) and wishing you an early Merry Christmas!

  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous J said…

    Is there some sort of forum where everyone can take their apparent pent up sexual frustration for Cybele's husband that isn't her own blog page? I can't speak for anyone but I'd think that reading post after post about him would be extremely tiring to read when she's not managing a site for him. Even if she doesn't directly state that it is, how about a little self-cotrol? Sorry -- I don't mean to start anything but I think people could use a reminder to think before commenting. Cybele, please remember that some of us come to look at your page for its intended reasons rather than to ask questions about your husband.

  • At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Cybele really cute pic those boys are so cute it sucks that thay have so many allergies ...

    Your costume was great

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family

  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Hi Cybele

    This is my first time visiting your blog- sounds like you've been busy! I'm a new mother who was just introduced to your book by a friend.

    I hope you don't mind going back a bit, but I seem to have missed the special that aired a while back. Has that been put up online or is it able to be ordered?

    My numerous allergies went undetected as a child, and I spent much of it miserable and sick. I'm taking every precaution with this one and making the best of the diet I've been put on. Thanks for all you do for people in this position.

    Looking forward to more recipes to try out!

  • At 10:33 PM, Blogger xsarahx said…

    Ooh, those muffins sound incredible, especially the poppy seed. The bagels look delicious as well - do you have any recommendations for a dairy-free cream cheese, if such a product even exists? Thankfully there are no soy allergies in our house, but I’ve never managed to find something like soy cream cheese…we live in central Canada and don’t really have access to a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, so I think I’ll be doing some exploring over my exam break. :-)

    My thoughts are with everyone affected by the writer’s strike – hopefully it will be resolved soon and the writers will get the money they so rightfully deserve.

    (And this is kind of random, but what kind of weather do you guys have in December in L.A.? We’re coming down for Christmas and it’ll be my first time experiencing one without 3 feet of snow, so I’m definitely looking forward to it!)

    Thanks and happy holidays! :-)

  • At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Katrina said…

    I agree with exposing young children to all different types of food. Even though my son has multiple food allergies he eats a wide variety of foods. He has healthier eating habits than most kids I know with out allergies. Not to mention cooking one meal a night is enough!

  • At 8:05 AM, Anonymous katrina said…

    Hi Cybele,

    I was hoping you could help answer a question for me. When you cook a marinara sauce, arn't you reducing the acidity of the tomatoes? I'm not sure if it's something I can introduce to my toddler yet. Our allergist says one thing and the pediatrican says another. Thanks.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Robin said…

    Hi Cybele,
    thanks so much for sharing the Halloween pictures, they are so cute! I am really glad you all are enjoying the California experience. It is different here, I am not so sure the rest of the country "gets it".
    I don't think many of us realized that the strike affected you directly as well. I sure hope it gets settled soon...
    just wanted to wish you happy holidays, enjoy them!
    P.S.I am giving your cookbook as a gift to my daughter-in-law, she's going to love it.
    take care, Robin

  • At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Just a question about the Sensitive Baker--do you know how they package things to ship? I'm on the East coast...and since I'm a celiac, I would love to try their products! I'm just worried about them shipping to the East Coast--I'm sure you know how GF products can be, if they're not stored properly...getting all crumbly, crappy, and stale!



  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Hi Molly:

    I assume the sensitive baker ships their goods frozen, as that's how they recommend you store them. SO probably on ice, which means they'd arrive still tasty.


    Yes, I do believe you are reducing the acidity of the tomatoes when you cook a red sauce, and the longer you cook it, the less acidic. Adding a little sugar or honey to the sauce helps to further reduce acidity. I'm curious, what do your allergist and ped say, respectively? I've been giving my kids marinara/red sauce as long as they've been eating "real" food.


    "Better Than Cream Cheese" is the best dairy-free cream cheese I've found. It is made with soy. Perhaps do a search online for it? And I'm answering this late, so assume you're already here. If not, it's in the 50s and 60s and goes down to the 40's at night.


    Not sure if "Edible Enemies" will air again or be posted on Youtube. Hopefully...


    How is your food trial going???? Hope you're finding new foods you can eat!

  • At 6:48 AM, Anonymous katrina said…

    Happy New Year Cybele!

    Thanks for the response. Our ped told us to avoid all acidic fruits including tomatoes. Ours allergist said the best thing is to try and see how he handles it and to introduce it the same way as any other food. I think I'm going to try it out this week.


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