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I have the most wonderful husband in the world, and Garlic Jim’s has the tastiest gluten-free pizza. Yesterday, after a long day at work and a fun-filled Tin Pencil meeting, the question of what to fix for dinner hung in the air on the car ride home. It was after 8:30pm already, and I asked my husband, David, if I should fix nachos.

“No, I don’t really feel like nachos tonight,” he said to the windshield.

David has never turned down nachos before and it caught me by surprise. But no matter. Then, when we got home and I was finally able to give him a proper hello, I noticed something else strange.

“Did you have garlic for lunch?” I asked, pulling away. Earlier that day, he had told me he’d had fast food.

“No,” David said, giving me a confused look. He started test-smelling his shirt and then turned his nose toward me. “Maybe it’s your hair.”

I laughed doubtfully and went to the kitchen, my bat senses tingling. The final three clues came in quick succession. I started looking in the fridge and searching the cupboards when David interrupted me.

“Let’s go get in comfy clothes,” he said.

“Aren’t you hungry?” I asked, baffled that Mr. Hollow Legs would delay an already late dinner a moment longer than necessary.

“I really want to go change,” he insisted.

I made my way to our bedroom and then realized he wasn’t with me. Clue one.

“Where did you go?” I hollered.

“Be right there!”

And then I heard it. The beep of the kitchen timer being set. Clue two. When he appeared by my side a moment later, I eyed him suspiciously.

“What did you do?” I asked with a grin. “Is there something in the oven?”

“No!” he said, unconvincingly.

“What did you make?” I was jumping up and down now, a childish tendency that I can’t seem to suppress when David is around.

“I didn’t make anything,” he said. This time I knew he was telling the truth and that this was the third clue.

I didn’t dare hope. Could it be pizza? I was afraid to ask but did anyway and he told me to go look in the oven. It wasn’t just gluten-free pizza, it was THE BEST gluten-free (non-homemade) pizza I’ve ever tasted (and have only ever had once before). Garlic Jim’s! David had gone there for lunch as part of a work thing and brought a pizza home for dinner. What a guy! Honestly, I wonder how I ever got so lucky.

By the way, for anyone who’d like to spread the pizzawesomeness, Garlic Jim’s is a franchise. Please, someone open one in Spokane (the closest one is nearly an hour away)!

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The most frustrating thing about being Celiac, at least for those of us who discovered our problem late in life, is missing all those wonderful, gluten-filled treats we used to eat. I discovered I was Celiac when I was fifteen, which had left me time for enough cookies, muffins, bagels, cake, and donuts to be wistful about it the rest of my life. Silly as it may sound though, one of the things I miss most are Lemon-OHs!(R) by Austin (R). Well, not anymore!

Based loosely on the featured cookie in February’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine (a Christmas present from my in-laws) and turned gluten-free, lemony, and for god’s sake simpler (who keeps ground vanilla beans on hand?), I present to you Lemon-SQUEEs!

.  .  .

Lemon-SQUEEs!

3  cups gluten-free, all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

3  tsp. xanthan gum

2  tsp. cream of tartar

1  tsp. baking soda

1/2  tsp. salt

1  cup unsalted butter, softened

1  1/2  cups granulated sugar

2  Tbsp. milk

1  Tbsp. vanilla extract

1  16 oz. container of Betty Crocker’s gluten-free lemon frosting

  1. Mix together flour, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter. Add the granulated sugar and then beat until smooth. Beat in the milk and vanilla, and then your flour mixture.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half between two large sheets of wax paper until about 1/8″ thick. Put in the fridge to chill for thirty minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Using a 2″ (diameter) round cookie cutter, cut out circles from dough. Lightly spray cookie sheet with gluten-free cooking spray (such as PAM, but not PAM Baking) and arrange dough circles on sheet, leaving plenty of room for the dough to spread (I only fit fifteen: three up and five across). Re-roll scraps between the wax paper and re-chill for a few minutes if dough has become too sticky from handling.
  5. Sprinkle dough circles with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. If your oven’s like mine and tends to burn in the back, you may need to rotate the cookie sheet after 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 minute and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Frost the bottom-side of one cookie with the gluten-free lemon frosting. For prettiest results, you may want to use a frosting bag (I didn’t have one and just used a butter knife.) Top with a second cookie, sugared-side-out. Repeat. Recipe makes about 45 sandwich cookies.

Mallory Battista’s Blog

Notes from an aspiring author, artist, and occasional gluten-free cook.

Storytelling isn’t just a thing to do, it is a way of seeing the world.

I am a storyteller. I live as though I am a hero on a quest and I strive to treat every person that crosses my path as the main character of an equally complex and exciting story. I find joy when their paths overlap with mine, and though some encounters are fleeting and others last a lifetime, I see the importance of each one to the continuation of Life's plot. I am grateful for the adversity that is set before me, as it makes me a more well-rounded character and adds challenge and excitement to my journey. And I always, ALWAYS have faith in happy endings.

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