Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Sicily: A Gluten-Free Friendly Destination

I have dreamed of visiting Sicily (an island just off the toe of Italy’s boot) for a long time, but my chance finally came last month when I was invited to consult with a research institute in Naples, Italy. Sicily is just a short plane ride away, so I arranged to spend a week in this lovely land.

Oranges freshly picked in Sicily

Oranges are everywhere in Sicily

The Food of Sicily

Everywhere I looked, there was citrus. Citrus groves, bowls of oranges and lemons on tables, decorative citrus trees in outdoor planters. Lots of olive oil, olives, and pasta. Really fresh fish, caught that morning. Lots of fresh fruit, including the fruit of the cactus plant….not my favorite; they’re probably an acquired taste!

But what did I eat? As one hotel employee told me, “Celiac disease is quite common here” so most hotels and restaurants were familiar with gluten-free cooking and had gluten-free food on hand, including bread and pasta and chefs were able to modify certain dishes to be gluten-free. So, I ate very well.

Two dishes that I ordered frequently were “mixed grilled seafood” which was simply several varieties of plain grilled fish. The varieties included swordfish (popular in Sicily), white fish, prawn, octopus, and calamari. Fresh lemon was the only garnish. Another main dish that I had twice in one day at the same hotel because it was so fabulous was a simply-roasted whole sea bass. A sprig of rosemary was the only addition because the fish was so good. Roasted potatoes and carrots accompanied the fish.

Mixed Grilled Seafood

Mixed Grilled Seafood is a gluten-free choice.

The other dish that I ate frequently was pasta, usually tubular pasta such as penne tossed with tomato sauce. One time I had pasta with clam sauce and sometimes fennel was added, but I usually opted for the simple tomato sauce. I don’t know what brand of pasta they used, but it was similar to our Tinkyada brand.

Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Gluten-free pasta with tomato sauce

Most European hotels include breakfast, usually served buffet-style. Luncheon meats, cheese, eggs, cereals, fruits, and breads are quite common. But in Sicily, they add more… lots of pastries, tarts, croissants, etc. Also, vegetables such as eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, olives. The size of the spread varied by hotel, but our favorite was Hotel Villa Ducale in Taormina (near Mount Etna) which featured a breakfast that covered two large tables, plus several smaller tables for the hotplates of egg and bacon. It was truly sumptuous.

Of course, I couldn’t eat the pastries, but gluten-free bread was provided. Sometimes it was Schar bread or locally baked (see the photos). Of course, you have to ask the usual questions about every dish you eat, but English is commonly spoken, at least well enough to communicate with visitors like us.

Gluten-free bread choices

Gluten-free bread choices

One dish that I ate as often as I could is proscuitto and melon. I rarely got cantaloupe, but usually it was a light-green melon similar to our honeydew.

Proscuitto and Melon

Proscuitto and Melon

Sight-Seeing in Sicily

Sicily is a land of varying terrains. Of course, it’s an island so there is a lot of scenic coastline. Other parts are rolling hills in the south, but my favorite was the mountainous areas of northern and eastern coasts. Mount Etna, an active volcano on the eastern side, was barely visible as we drove up to it and we didn’t have time to snap a photo. The next day it was shrouded in clouds and continued that way until we left. We only got a complete view from the airplane as we flew back to Naples.

If you are a history buff, you know that Sicily was conquered by many, many different peoples. As a testimony to one of these eras, the Greek temples in the south near Agrigento are fascinating. Many of the temples are 2500 years old. Interestingly, they are tastefully lit at night (just white lights, no neon) o you can see them from afar.  One restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows facing the temples (which are a mile away) so you can view the temples while dining.

The Culture of Sicily

Sicilians are warm and welcoming. They love their espresso (which I do as well). They prefer to eat late; most restaurants don’t open until 7 PM and some were not open until 8:30 PM which was hard for an early-to-bed person like me.

The music of Sicily is lovely, often characterized by an instrument called a mandolin. One evening, our hotel featured a special presentation of two performers, one playing a mandolin and another playing a guitar. It was the type of music heard in the Godfather movie, but they played American favorites as well. In fact, we noticed that many hotels and restaurants play American music. It wasn’t uncommon to hear Frank Sinatra in the background.