Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lunch and Learn Event a Success

Our September 15th Lunch event called Lunch and Learn: The Healthy Truth About Food, Medical Research, and Nutrition, with nationally known sisters, bloggers and cookbook authors Claudia Pillows, Ph.D and Annalise Roberts, had quite a turnout. 

The morning kicked off with a lecture and slideshow presentation by Dr. Claudia Pillows, followed by a catered lunch by La Piastra Restaurant in Cromwell, CT, then a cooking demonstration by gluten-free cookbook author Annalise Roberts.

Dr. Claudia Pillows
Photo by Kirsten Carbone
Dr. Pillows talked about achieving a healthy immune system through a balanced diet and some of the latest, most up-to-date information on what we know about celiac and gluten intolerance, while injecting a little food-for-thought humor into her slideshow, like the slide that said "If grain diets help you lose weight, why are they fed to the cows to fatten them?"  Dr. Pillows also talked out digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome and she referred to the Mediteranean food pyramid as a healthy alternative resource for basics on eating.

Annalise Roberts preparing samples of her gluten-free bread
Photo by Kirsten Carbone
Annalise Roberts handed out delicious samples of some of the recipes from her latest cookbook, such as bread, lime tarts and brownies, before giving a demonstration of several of her recipes using gluten-free baking techniques, from the 2nd edition of her cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics.   The recipes she demonstrated included a cupcake recipe, pie crust and bread dough.

Annalise covered the different flours used in gluten-free baking in detail, as well as the process she went through to develop and refine her recipes.   Annalise's focus is classic baking, and she thoroughly tests all of her recipes before publishing them.  One tip she gave participants was to thoroughly shake flour in a plastic bag prior to using it, then use a spoon to transfer the flour into the measuring cup before leveling, in order to keep the amount of flour in the recipe consistent.  She also recommends par-baking pie crusts before filling to prevent them from getting soggy.

The GIGSE group was very engaged and asked many questions throughout the demo.  Several found that Annalise has a warm and comfortable way of working with a group that felt like having a conversation with your good friend from next door.

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