Kara's birthday was just over a month ago. With her birthday money I bought 3 gluten-free cookbooks. I am now attempting to put those cookbooks to good use. I've tried some random recipes and some "replace a normal food" recipes to varying degrees of success. I've also tried just substituting a gf flour mix in place of normal flour - it works well enough for cakes and muffins, but not much else. I'm baking muffins at least once a week so that I have breakfast food (since I'm off wheat/gluten right now too), and 2 kinds of cookies (one normal, one gf) at least once every two weeks. Mark, my mom and I have all remarked multiple times that it really is a good thing I like to bake.
Last night I tried making a gf pizza dough. It was edible, but the only thing that made it taste like pizza was the toppings. Today I made coffee cake, which was better than the pizza dough, but it didn't have a struesel topping on it because I haven't figured out how to make one without flour AND without butter :P
The hardest part of Kara's diet is the no dairy. For example, I had to make her part of the pizza with soy cheese that doesn't really melt, and I also had to make sure it wasn't contaminated by the cheese the rest of us were having. It just isn't the same. Also, Chloe and I had popcorn today, and I have to pull out some for Kara before I added butter, and then make sure she didn't eat any of the buttered popcorn.
The most important thing for me right now is to read the label for every product at the store. I have to avoid wheat and all other gluten flours (which means anything with malt is out because that's made from barley), I can't get anything that has the generic term "alcohol" (such as vanilla extract), and then there's all the dairy terms - butter, milk, cream, lactose and casien to name a few.
I've also been doing research into celiac disease testing, and I know that will make life horrible when we get around to it in a few years. But more on that later, I'm going to bed.