Tag Archives: giveaway

Drumroll, please…

Well, the GFAF Expo is behind us, and so too—finally—is my giveaway. I did the drawing last night, old school, by printing out all of your comments and tweets and combining them together into what seemed like an appropriate receptacle:

Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Expo giveaway drawing tote bag

Check out my book collection in the background. Yep, that’s Living Gluten-Free for Dummies on the left. No shame.

I tried to take a picture of my sister as she drew the winner, but she was not having it. We’ll have to content ourselves with an image of the lucky winning ticket, instead:

Congrats, Barbara!

Congrats, Barbara! And how perfect that someone new to the game would get a bag full of goodies to try. I think we can ALL feel like winners here.

Thanks to everyone who took my personality quiz and participated in the giveaway. I had fun dreaming up the personality types and hope you enjoyed the quiz. You can still take it, if you haven’t yet (just for fun). If you do, I hope you’ll let me know what you score!

Since a few people asked, I thought I’d share all the possible personality types and their descriptions. If you want to take the quiz, maybe don’t read these first. Though I’ve heard that spoilers actually increase enjoyment, so maybe you should. I’ll leave it up to you.

We wound up with a preponderance of Celiactivists…not so surprising, considering the milieu, but there were a smattering of the other types. Here they are:

Celiactivist


Celiactivist - celiac activist spreading awareness

Photo © CALI | Flickr

You are a Celiactivist. You know everything there is to know about gluten, and you’re happy to inform anyone who doesn’t. You’re active in the celiac community on- and offline, and I’m flattered and flabbergasted that you found the time to take my humble little quiz. Thank you. Now get out of here and get back to making the world a gluten-freer place. (After commenting, of course.)

Spr00b


Spr00b - new to celiac disease, newly diagnosed - welcome to Newbie, please drive carefully street sign

Photo © Anne | Flickr

You are a Spr00b. You were recently diagnosed and, to put it “bluntly,” you still don’t know nuthin’ about nuthin’. But you sure are eager to learn, and you’ll get there! Try the quiz again in a month. It’s amazing how much time you have to Google your condition once you stop going out to eat.

Silent Celiac


You are a Silent Celiac. You don’t get what the big deal is about awareness and you just want to live your life. You didn’t ask to have celiac and you aren’t going to let it define you. You follow a gluten-free diet, and you may indulge in a blog or two (like mine—good choice!), but for the most part you do your best to forget that you’re sick, and you hope others don’t focus on it, either.

Villian


You are a villian. You have biopsy-confirmed celiac disease, but your callous attitude toward gluten consumption makes you an enemy at best to yourself and at worst to the community at large. You regularly spout mistruths about the disease or give in to the temptation to “cheat” on the diet. It’s not so much that I hate your guts, it’s more that your guts hate you.

My Mom


You are probably my mom. You don’t have celiac disease, so I don’t know why you’d be reading my blog or taking my quiz unless you loved me very very much.[Edit: Actually, even my mom didn’t take the quiz. Go figure.]

It’s also possible, of course, that I got some of you completely wrong because you actually have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. But honestly, if the top researchers in the world can’t agree on a standard for diagnosing this, I’m not going to claim to, either.


In the comments, tell me about the VILLIANS you love to hate, your favorite CELIACTIVIST bloggers, or fond memories of your own SPR00B days. Are there any types you’ve come across that I didn’t include?

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A superlative GFAF Expo Roundup: Part 2

So, you read Part 1, but you’re still wondering who had the best donut? Never fear, Part 2 is here.

Remember, I’m giving out a package of some of my goodies to one lucky winner. I decided to extend the giveaway through the end of the day today, in case anyone gets excited about one of the products below and decides to enter. Have at it!

By the way, there are many great vendors I haven’t explicitly recognized. Product reviews aren’t a major focus of my blog, so I don’t want to overload you with them. Suffice it to say that all of the vendors were great people, selling great food, doing great work (besides that one brand that’s in the doghouse).

Most represented superfood

quinoa

Quinoa as far as the eye can see
Photo © Flickred! | Flickr

Neck and neck winners:
– CHIA, in Holy Crap cereal (which I will likely not be eating as cereal but am looking forward to baking into something) and in Chia Moxie peanut butter, plus several energy bars
– QUINOA, in many baked goods and bars, and the star of I Heart Keenwah, one of the most addictive supersnacks I’ve ever come across. I’m fond of the ginger peanut, but be careful: according to cofounder Ravi, this flavor is polarizing.

By the way, I just learned that the I Heart Keenwah founders all met at my alma mater, the University of Chicago! I had no idea there were so many quinoa lovers running around the quad. But it makes perfect sense that U of C alumni would be annoyed enough about the mispronunciation of their product’s name to spell it out phonetically. Because, English majors and business students alike, that’s just the way we are.

Also ran:
Spirulina
(a B12-rich algae) popped up in one Raw Revolution bar. The bar is an alarming shade of green but tasty nonetheless. (All their bars were good, similar to Lärabars but more interesting, in my opinion. Though I like Lära, sometimes the bars are a bit dry, which I didn’t notice here.)

Most simultaneously adorable and practical

A close runner-up in this category was me, wearing my Red Apple Audrey lipstick sample, but I figured I’m not really that practical, so I gave it to Gluten-Free Labels instead. Throw a couple of these babies on your colanders and spoons, and throw your masking tape and Sharpie in the trash. (Well, no, don’t do that; they’re still useful for other things, and that’s wasteful.)

Mark your territory in style, and support a really nice person, too—I’ve met the maker, Kelly, twice now, and she’s great.

Gluten-free beer most likely to please someone who never liked beer that much in the first place

New Planet. Some of their beers tasted more like cider, which is great because I prefer cider anyway. The ones that did taste like beer were more mild and accessible than some of the heavy hitters (Glutenberg, for example, which I could tell would be great if I liked hops). New Planet’s Belgian and amber ales got the thumbs up from this would-rather-drink-a-margarita girl.

Jeff of Basic Batters, with the prize-winning donut holes to his left

Jeff of Basic Batters, with his prize-winning donut holes

Best donut

I liked both Kinnikinnick’s and Basic Batters’ cinnamon-sugar donuts, for different reasons. Kinnikinnick’s was lighter and more traditionally donuty, but Basic Batters’ had pumpkin purée and pie spice mixed in, and it was so dense and autumnal, and man, am I ever ready for fall. They sold out before we could buy any, sadly. This family company is brand-brand-new and off to a killer start. Watch out, Dunkins.

Most generous vendor

This one is too tough. So many of the vendors I met were so outgoing and nice, and so (rightfully) proud of their wares, and so eager to share them with us. Most of them were gluten-free themselves, and I could see they recognized themselves in our shining faces as we swallowed that bite of brownie, baguette, or “rye” bread that tasted just the way it should.

Althea wins gluten-free coffee cake from The Cake Over bakery

She always was the lucky one in the family.

At the end of the day on Sunday—which, by the way, is the best time to be at this kind of event if you’re in it for the freebies—many of them gave away food they had brought with them, in portions much larger than a bite. For example, we lugged home two bulging bags of rolls from Local Oven (local not to NJ/NY but to Texas, though I believe they ship nationally. Try the onion rolls).

However, if I had to choose a winner, I’d give it to the Cake Over, a brand-new, not-even-quite-opened bakery in NJ, whose owners ran several giveaways over the course of the weekend. The prizes included a whole frosted champagne cake (very tasty—I had a sample), a two-foot-long tray of chocolate cake bites, and a chocolate-swirled coffee cake…which went to us! Yesssss.

Most hoping to see at the next Expo

No, you hipster, not a cronut. (Or a townie, either.) The other day, I had the sad revelation that peanut butter-stuffed pretzel bites exist…but GF ones don’t. Sure, you can dip your GF pretzels into peanut butter, but that’s not the same. I would love if this would come down the pipeline (ideally in a sunbutter-filled form, too, as the Gluten-Free Idiot suggested on Twitter, for the peanut-allergic), because no way am I attempting to make my own. I will for sure blog about them, though. Here’s looking at you, Snyder’s.

Best part of the experience (or, most likely to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside)

Colette Martin with her book, Learning to Bake Allergen-Free

Colette Martin with her book Learning to Bake Allergen-Free

Nabbing all the leftovers at the very end of the day on Sunday. Just kidding.

The best part by far was the people. I met several writers and bloggers who had previously existed for me only as a voice on a phone, emails, pixels, Tweets, and blog posts. (For example, I finally got to say hi in person to Colette Martin, whose book I helped edit at work and who is a real dynamo and super nice. Great book, too, if I may say so.)

Some of the vendors I’d met earlier this summer, but many of them (and many of their products) were totally new to me. All of them were smart, forthcoming, and passionate about their products.

Some attendees were parents of gluten-free kids, some were newly diagnosed themselves, some were old hands with years of experience to share. I loved getting to know them.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again, maybe at the next Expo, and I can only hope that one day I’ll also be lucky enough to meet and talk to all of you, face to face, over a gluten-free treat or two.

Note that there was absolutely no “committee” or “voting” involved; all opinions are strictly my own. For these “reviews,” I was not compensated with anything other than free Expo tickets, huge amounts of free samples and a sugar high. Thank you, once again, to everyone who made this event possible, particularly the vendors and other bloggers who made it a fantastic weekend.

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What kind of celiac are you? (Personality quiz plus giveaway)

Do you like labels? You know who does? Celiac disease researchers. In 2011, the best of them from all over the world came together in Oslo to update definitions of kinds of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity (making me, for example, no longer “atypical”—see the new labels here).

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In the spirit of redefining categories, I thought I’d throw out some new ones of my own. (Maybe the Oslo crowd can discuss them at the next conference, to be held in Chicago this September, at my alma mater, though even the discounted rates are too expensive for this civilian!)

Now, whether or not you like labels, I think you’ll agree that often we’re defined by our illness. Some of us even call ourselves “celiacs.” But of course having celiac disease or being gluten-free isn’t all there is to know about us. Our personalities matter, too.

That’s why I’ve created a simple 10-question celiac disease personality quiz, just like the ones you used to see in Seventeen magazine. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a teenage girl to participate…or even have celiac disease. It’s inclusive.)

Take the quiz, then come back and let me know what you scored. To reward your participation, I’m offering a giveaway! In fact, just to make things confusing, I’m offering TWO giveaways.

The prizes are: remaining is:

1) A surprise swag bag from the upcoming Secaucus, NJ Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Expo. Share your result in a comment, on Twitter, or on Facebook by the end of the day on Wednesday, September 11th, for a chance to win (or do all three, for three chances to win). Only US & Canada entries are eligible, though I hope you’ll check out the quiz even if you live elsewhere.

2) Two free tickets to the Expo for a day of your choice. You can attend on both Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th, or choose one day and bring a friend. To enter this one, comment by Friday, September 6th, letting me know your result AND letting me know that you’ve done one of the following:

Everyone who comments (and lives in the US or Canada) will be entered into the first drawing. You CAN be entered into both drawings—just be sure to do one of the Expo requirements to join the second.

There’s no better way to celebrate back-to-school (and expo) season than by taking a quiz…so what are you waiting for? Sharpen those No. 2 pencils and let’s get cracking.

The giveaway is no longer running. But you can still take the quiz here.

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“You don’t need this one, do you?”: A tale of the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Today I have a story for you about my spam filter.

I get a lot of email, so the little guy really gets put through his paces. (Yes, my spam filter is a little guy. He resides inside my Gmail apparatus, where he sorts desperately through the onslaught of slush, never recognized when he does something right but always excoriated for his errors…sort of like the stereotypical publishing intern.)

Email spam onslaught

Photo © Jean Pierre Gallot | Flickr
Looks like someone’s little guy has been on vacation.

If you’re wondering why I get so many emails, it’s because:

  1. I have a giveaway addiction. If you follow me on Twitter, you may already be aware of this. (If you don’t follow me on Twitter, join me! You’ll never miss a Kinnikinnick giveaway again.) This wouldn’t be a problem except that, to get extra entries, I sign up for all kinds of newsletters that I never have time to unsubscribe from, much less read.
  2. I love deals. So I always sign up when Express wants to email me updates on their end-of-season sales, and I can’t bring myself to quit Groupon Goods or Blackboard Eats (someday they’ll post a passcode for Risotteria). Plus, I’ve joined all the gluten-free-specific deals sites now, too. So many delicious, edible goodies to completely ignore.
  3. I’ve posted my email address on my site. Therefore, the bots are all over me.
  4. I’m very, very important. Thus, I receive important correspondence. I’m sure you guessed this one already.

Given all of the above, I can’t possibly be expected to sort through my emails myself. Gmail’s new “promotions” tab helps somewhat, but my spam filter must do the rest. And, occasionally, out of spite or exhaustion, he flubs it. He shows me something I never wanted to see, or he hides something I really, really wanted to see…such as the email welcoming me to attend the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ, as a blogger this September 7th and 8th.

No, little guy, no! What’s wrong with you?

I’ll sort him out later. But because of his hyperactivity, I didn’t find out until just a couple days ago that I get to go to the Expo to see, to taste, to learn, and to report back to all of you.

GFAF Expo Blogger Badge (Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo, Secaucus, NJ)Still, I’ve managed to pack several weeks’ worth of excitement into those days. I’ve never been to a gluten-free expo before, and this one looks like it’ll be a blast. They’ve got an awesome lineup of classes (I’m looking forward to the presentation on turning glutenful recipes gluten-free by Chef Richard Coppedge, Jr.), and I know all of the vendors will be distributing samples and swag. (See above re: love of deals and giveaways.)

I’m sure my mind, strained as it is by my mountains of email, will be even more boggled by the array of gluten- and allergy-free choices available today. I feel lucky (-ish) to have been diagnosed at a time when the gluten-free market is exploding. And I feel lucky (-er) to be able to go and check some of them out in a couple of weeks.

Do you want to feel lucky, too? You can get in for free by volunteering, or you can buy tickets here (including special “early bird” tickets if you want to beat the crowds). And if you don’t live in the area, you can check for another location near you—they’ll be in Dallas in October.

And, of course, if you happen to be as into giveaways as I am, you’d better believe I’ll be doing one. Check back next week to enter, and after the event I’ll send a bundle of Expo surprises your way.

Want to be sure you don’t miss it? Ignore everything I said about clogged inboxes and sign up to follow me by email below! (Or, if Facebook or Twitter float your boat, I’d also love to see you there.)

Photo © Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo | Flickr

Photo © Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo | Flickr

Tell me your best stories of spam filters gone awry or bursting email inboxes. Will you be at the Expo, or have you been to a similar event? Which class looks best to you? Any vendors I should be absolutely sure to check out?

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