Cookbook Reviews – Older Reviews

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Published: October 2, 2010

Peut Contenir des Traces de Bonheur (May Contain Traces of Happiness)

peut Contenir des traces de bonheurFor those whose children have dairy, egg, peanut or nut allergies, the beautiful cakes, cookies and chocolate of Quebec’s Guardian Angel Foods have proved a godsend. The company’s slogan is “Peut Contenir des Traces de Bonheur” – may contain traces of happiness – and that’s now the title of a cookbook/memoir by Guardian Angel’s Julie La Rochelle and Jean-Sébastien Lord. The book, written in French, has the couple delving into a rich allergy-friendly repertoire, not just of great desserts, but also of flavour-infused dishes from appetizers to mains. There are imaginative salads, savoury soups, influences in the entrées from Asia to the South of France (Spicy Chicken Thai Noodles, Mediterranean Tilapia). What’s striking is that the recipes are sophisticated enough for guests, yet, like all the best cooking, are made of simple, fresh ingredients and uncomplicated in design.

This is more than a cookbook, however. It tells the family’s journey from the discovery of their elder son’s food allergies, and offers much advice that they accumulated on their road to food bliss. “We tried to be as original as possible, inspiring ourselves with recipes from around the world,” says Lord. The book also contains advice on hosting the allergic. In fact, it “even helps members of our own family to invite us to dinner,” he says.

Peut Contenir des Traces de Bonheur, $34.95, Les Éditions de l’Homme. Available at


What Else is to Eat?
What Else is to Eat
The Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook
Linda Marienhoff Coss; $16.95; Plumtree Press

As the parent of a 17-year-old son with multiple food allergies, Linda Marienhoff Coss knows all about cooking within the limits of allergy. Her previous cookbook, What’s to Eat? has sold more than 15,000 copies, and this follow up offers more of the accessible recipes that made its predecessor so popular.

Coss focuses on using ingredients that are readily available in grocery stores, rather than sending readers on a search for hard-to-find items from specialty stores or websites. More than half of the book is dedicated to non-dessert items, with recipes ranging from chicken Marsala to dilled pan-roasted carrots. Sections covering meats, side dishes and sweets offer family-friendly choices for those who must avoid dairy, egg and tree nuts.

Allergen Free Baking: Baked Treats for All Occasions

Allergen Free BakingJill Robbins; $18.95; Family Matters Publishing

Fans of HomeFree (formerly Gak’s Snacks) organic cookies and coffee cake will be happy to hear that the company’s president and resident baker Jill Robbins has published a cookbook dedicated to delicious baked goods (though none of the recipes for the retail treats are included).

All recipes are free of dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat, and some are gluten-free as well. Items are cross-referenced by occasion, making it easy to find appropriate desserts for birthdays, holidays and bake sales. Tempting sweets recipes include: cranberry oatmeal cookies, dairy-free ice cream sandwiches, peach muffins and doughnuts.

Both the book and organic dry ingredients are available through the company’s website,

Most of these reviews were originally published in Allergic Living magazine.

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