Gluten free recipe developer, online baking class teacher, lifestyle creator.
I’ve always loved all things made of wheat. Bread, cookies, pies, pasta, and bagels. More than that, I’ve always loved baking with wheat ever since I was in junior high school when I purchased my first book on baking.
I still remember the very first cake I made at age 12. It was an orange cake. Sort of like a butter cake with orange peels. As soon as the cake came out of the oven, I’d poked few holes with a skewer to douse the cake with orange syrup. Then decorated the top with candied orange slices. What a vivid memory we sometimes carry with us.
Then there was a pan of brownies I baked in the hospital because I was hospitalized for three weeks for broken bone. It was part of the recreation during recovery. The nurse asked me what I wanted to do and I must have answered “I want to bake”. A boxed brownie mix and hospital kitchen. Never before a boxed cake mix tasted so good. I baked it with the nurse’s help and shared the pieces with nurses and other kids who were in the hospital. Baking and sharing became my passion.
Believe it or not, when I moved into college dorm in Ithaca, NY to study psychology, I packed my own whisk and a bowl so that I won’t have to miss out on baking. In college dorm. And yes, I did do lots of baking. It was my way of communicating with friends, and a sure way to relieve the stress all university students have to learn how to deal with.
So then it came quite naturally when I had three months off between the graduation and my first day of work, that I decided to fly to Paris to attend all the possible short term baking classes available then. I was enamored with French baking; learning and tasting and buying ingredients and tools.
Time passed. I’ve changed my jobs, got married, had a child, lived in many different cities and countries, and gone through ups and downs.
The only constant was that I was baking. Baking and sharing had stayed as my passion and hobby. Always. Again, it was my way of communicating with new and old friends, and it was my way of learning the culture as I moved from one country to the next. You can learn so much more than the actual recipe when you bake something rooted to the region.
Then about seven years ago, I was hosting a group of friends for afternoon tea. I was pouring hot tea into everyone’s cups. Well, I was trying to. For some reason, my hands wouldn’t stay still. I was shaking. The lid of the teapot was rattling so bad that I felt embarrassed. I was spilling tea on a table cloth. No, I was not nervous. These were my friends. And by then, in my mid thirties, not many things made me nervous anymore. Well maybe except for the piano recital that I had to play alongside my daughter.
Something was not right. Around the same time, I was sweating a lot regardless of the weather. And I felt exhausted all the time. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs. I couldn’t finish any house chore in one go without taking a quick rest on the sofa here and there.
Severe case of thyroid disorder was the diagnoses. Well figures. My grandmother had it. So did my aunt. Runs in my family. I’ll just take the medicine and get on with it.
I was to take the medication twice daily and get blood tested monthly. Did that for three years. I couldn’t see the end of it because one month, the hormone level was too low because apparently, the medication was too strong. Next month, it was too high, so I had to take more. Repeat.
After three years of this, I knew I had to change something, do something a little more invasive, in order for me to feel truly better. So I started reading books and joined group sessions and was convinced that I should give this gluten free lifestyle a try.
Two years into going free of gluten, my thyroid function was normalized. But honestly, I felt it sooner. I was less agitated or tired, I was less irritable, and my hair had regained shine. Now that I think of it, so much was suffering inside me and showing the damage outside simply because I loved wheat so much.
Now came the real challenge. When I started this gluten free lifestyle, there was not much readily available GF food nor recipes that I wanted to follow. As an avid baker, I was up for a challenge. Thus began my journey of developing delicious gluten/grain free baking recipes and sharing them.
When I create a new recipe, I follow these guidelines:
- All are gluten free (of course)
- Some are grain free, dairy free, soy free
- Use natural and wholesome ingredients
- Bake in small batches (because food waste is a big issue!)
- A recipe that both wheat lovers and none wheat eaters both can enjoy
Hope you join me in making and enjoying small and healthy treats.
Looking forward to having you in one of my Instagram Live Lessons!