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on March 27, 2011
THIS IS THE MOST INFORMATIVE, INSPIRING, GLUTEN-FREE COOKBOOK I HAVE EVER OWNED!! Believe me, my shelves are lined with GF books. After being diagnosed with Celiacs Disease over 2 years ago, my head was in a whirlwind. From cover to cover "Gluten Free on a Shoestring" has taken the guess work out of everything! Nicole has done all of our research for us. From Online Coupon & Supermarket Web sites to Company Web Sites, her tips are wonderful & she tells us what to buy & from where. The recipes in this book are delicious, easy to follow, & don't require a lot of "odd flours" that are expensive! I have made RRP & plain Hummus(both oh so yummy), Ricotta pancakes(Delicious),Banana-Blueberry Muffins(To die for:O)Sweet potato Biscuits (ate these w/ Meatlove),Graham Crackers & Banana Cream Pie (Truly ambrosial~thought I'd died & gone to Heaven!!)Seeded Bagels (regular size is perfect for a sandwich),Spinach Pie( Am I in Greece?) As you can tell, I'm cooking my way through "Gluten Free on a Shoesting" & truly enjoying the recipes. I've purchased this coobook for my Mama as well. She cooks for me when I come to visit & is enjoying this book as much as I am. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU PURCHASE THIS COOKBOOK, IT'S THE ONLY GF COOKBOOK YOU'LL EVER NEED!!Thank you, Nicole for all your research, time, effort, & hard work so that others may live a delicious healthy Gluten Free life.
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on March 4, 2011
Thank you, thank you!!! I have bought so many gluten free cookbooks and have had terrible results. Gluten Free On a Shoestring is very easy to follow..Nicole explains everything and makes it seem so easy to bake. I baked her Pound Cake and my husband (who does not need to eat gf) said he couldnt tell the difference. Nicole is witty, smart and clever. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her and she was so informative, while being so down to earth. She understands that people dont want to eat gf foods that taste and smelly yucky. She understands that people want to be able to cook gf without a hassle, not to mention the cost of baking gf. I recommend this book to everyone that needs to be on a gf diet. Don't waste your money on any other gf cookbook. I look forward to her next cookbook and will certainly buy it! Thanks, Gina
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on March 12, 2011
I am not a diagnosed celiac, but I was having extremely uncomfortable digestion problems that led me to an elimination diet. After just a few days of going gluten-free my body rebounded & ever since I have had normal digestion! I don't need a doctor to tell me I'm feeling better.

ANYWAY--I found this book at a store in town & spent the evening flipping through it & drooling at the seemingly simple, delicious recipes. I ran home & ordered it off Amazon as quick as could be. I am so glad I did. The book begins with lots of tips on how to save money & feel confident in your new gluten-free kitchen. From where to shop to what to buy, Nicole is full of wisdom for those of us living on a shoestring budget.

The recipes I've tried have been a success & her instructions are clear and easy to follow. The bread recipes are to die for & I am especially in love with the simple popovers which are pictured on the cover of the book.

Buy it. Try it. You won't be sorry!
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on July 8, 2012
I would give 3.5 stars if possible. It would be a 5 star except for the major con, listed and explained below:

Pros:
- very, very good basic recipes (tortillas, bagels, naan, etc)
- primer to gluten-free lifestyle
- a few good medium-difficulty items

Cons:
- inconsistent directions (see comments below) between cookbook and website, for the same or similar recipes

I love Nicole's website and have successfully made several recipes from it to date. Her basics are pretty good, and very easy, less fussy versions of other recipes. For example, the bagel recipe doesn't have any eggs in it, so I have made two batches already and it's a VERY simple recipe. What I was looking for in a cookbook was a good collection of simple, straightforward, reliable gluten free recipes for the basics. Hers work.

HOWEVER - and this is a big however - some of her technique and other commentary is inconsistent between the book and her blog. For example, on her pretzel recipe, she tells you to chill the dough and roll it out "with wet hands." However, when she makes pretzel bites on her website, which uses the same dough, she comments that the dough is "very wet," and so she tells you to add a little flour - and not to wet your hands, but flour them. I tried rolling out pretzel dough with wet hands and was very sad with the results; I checked the website, curious to see pictures, and found out I was doing it wrong even while following her directions. In the same recipe, she tells you to dip the pretzels in a baking soda bath; on the website, you boil them - which as I'm looking at my pretzel bites I just made (from the book), would have been a very helpful extra step as they did not brown very well.

So, in summary, using her cookbook in conjunction with the pictures and other helpful information on her blog would be the best way to get your $ out of the book. The ingredients are spot on, just use the blog for the pictures, technique, and tips. Frustrating, since I bought a book so I could NOT take the computer into the kitchen, but still very good recipes all the same.

I'm hoping the next cookbook will (a) have some better pictures and (b) some updated instructions, as the author seems to have learned a lot since she wrote the first one!

** A note to those saying that the recipes only work with better batter: not true at all. I use a home-made blend, recipe from KAF, ingredients bought at our local grocery. WEIGH your ingredients. A cup of her flour is 140g; just put 140g of whatever flour you use instead. Works great.
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on November 4, 2013
Gluten Free on a Shoestring is both a guide to going gluten free on a budget, as well as a cookbook with 125 inexpensive but high quality gluten free recipes. Nicole Hunn is a well-known blogger and cook who focuses on reinventing well-loved recipes to be gluten free. The first two chapters of this book are dedicated to money-saving advice and tips for sourcing inexpensive gluten free ingredients and cooking in bulk to save time and money. These two chapters offer suggestions for food preparation and storage, how to stretch ingredients, and how to practice once a week cooking.

Gluten Free on a Shoestring starts at the beginning, with kitchen basics such as stocks, dough and crusts, sauces and small bites. Recipes gradually become more specialized, with breakfast and brunch, vegetarian meals and sides, and comfort food main dishes. The cookbook tackles recipes that are traditionally gluten-filled and adapts them to mimic the originals without the gluten. This cookbook also offers an impressive selection of breads, baked goods, and desserts, with an entire chapter dedicated to bread recipes and one to desserts.

Similar books I love:
Wheat Free Cookbook: 100 Delicious Gluten Free and Wheat Free Recipes to Boost your Health and Energy

The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook: Includes Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Vanilla, Peruvian Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes, Lamb with ... Lattes...and hundreds more! (Everything®)

Favorite Recipes:
Spinach Dip (pg. #60)
Cinnamon Rolls (pg. #76)
Coffee Cake (pg. #84)
Dinner Rolls (pg. #98)
Potato Gnocchi (pg. #126)
Chicken Pot Pie (pg. #158)
Tortilla Soup (pg. #168)
Pound Cake (pg. #186)
Apple Crisp (pg. #224)
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on February 5, 2012
I bought this because my mom can't eat gluten and every time she visits me I spend a lot of money on gluten free ingredients that we use a little of and that spoil before she visits again. I thought there would be some good, easy recipes in here that would discuss how to economically use a variety of gluten-free flours -- maybe a discussion of which types of flours are more economical, easier to store, have a longer shelf life, etc. However, every recipe merely calls for "all-purpose gluten-free flour" instead of regular flour. There is an introductory paragraph stating that the author prefers the Better Batter brand, but no other discussion about what types of flours work best in what types of recipes. Unlike all-purpose wheat flours, which are pretty much interchangeable, gluten-free all purpose flours vary substantially. Given the lack of detail, I wouldn't expect the recipes to turn out well unless I used the Better Batter brand, or a very similar mixture of ingredients in equivalent proportions. Also, the author recommends buying in bulk, but there is no discussion on how to preserve the ingredients so they don't spoil before you get around to using the 25 pounds of whatever. It isn't necessarily a bad cookbook. Just not what I wanted.
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on March 13, 2011
I am new to being gluten free and I appreciate the approach this book takes to living a gluten free life. I do not have Celiac's disease but am making this change as part of treating Hashimoto's disease (autoimmune thyroid disorder). I have not been one to do a lot of cooking, and am finding it very difficult to not only transition to being gluten free, and but also finding that I am spending a lot of time in my kitchen; as well as money trying to figure this out. I have never been one to want to recreate the wheel - so, the suggestions in this book are right up my alley. I appreciate very much the tips on how to save money, do the cooking without it being tedious or having to make do with food that is just ok. I am looking forward to putting her advice to the test. Also, thank you so much for making it available for the Kindle.
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on July 28, 2011
I wish Nicole had written this book when I first started my gluten free (GF) saga. She tells you all you need to know to set up a GF kitchen and eat GF without a lot of fuss and without cashing in your IRA. I have many GF cookbooks, and use them all, but quite sparingly compared to this gem. I've not made any dish in this cookbook that I didn't like. She has also encouraged me - a pretty damned good baker - to branch out. She even has a recipe for GF sourdough starter! Some is in my refrigerator right now! Nicole has a spectacular blog [...] which is humorous and on which she posts recipes. (She's writing a new cookbook even now!) I recommend that all newbies start your GF experience here, but old hats at the GF game should not pass on this book. The only other thing besides this book you'll need is Jule's Nearly Normal All Purpose flour and you'll have everything you need. (It can be found online; in my experience, it works like no other, and it can be cheaper than alternatives. I buy by the case.) If you live or work near a Trader Joe's market, you're golden, as they have many GJ offerings and are expanding all the time!

Update from 05/27/12: Every recipe I've done from this book tastes great. One thing I've learned baking from this book is that the key to GF baking success is mixing doughs longer. I mix all my other recipes longer now (e.g., from Nearly Normal Cooking For Gluten-Free Eating: A Fresh Approach to Cooking and Living Without Wheat or Gluten) and they come out better. I've had a little problem with the baking times here (I have to bake longer, or things fall) but I blame my schitzo oven, not Nicole. Even when I didn't bake the item long enough, the taste was great! Her book is my go-to cookbook now, and I'm a cookbook user. (After this, JOY OF COOKING is second; Fenster's 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (1,000 Recipes) and Nearly Normal Cooking For Gluten-Free Eating: A Fresh Approach to Cooking and Living Without Wheat or Glutenare tied for third.) FYI, Nicole also recommends BetterBatter Flour, available online, and I've used that too with great success. I've also mixed my own, which is easy enough if you can find ingredients cheaply in bulk (a recipe is in The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Happy baking/cooking everyone!

Update from 02/14/15: Yep, still lovin' this book! In fact, my favorite GF cookbooks have a new order. I probably use Nicole's newer Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More) more than any of those GF others. This is still the book I'd recommend to GF newbies, no doubt.
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on April 12, 2011
It's been 4 years since I've had a piece of bread that was worth eating. You know what I'm talking about. Gluten free bread is always dry, dense, and crumbly--often requiring toasting so that it is even edible. NO MORE!!! After following Nicole's recipe, I literally cried when I saw and then tasted the bread--soft and no crumbs!! This cookbook offers recipe after recipe for all our favorites from sandwich bread and popovers to chicken pot pie and baked eggplant parmesan. Just amazing!!! It's a no fail and a MUST BUY!! My family is eating "normal-tasting" food again. Delicious food. Food that I am proud to serve to my in-laws (and that says a lot). I just can't say enough good things about Nicole and her recipes! Not only that, she offers great suggestions on how to save money on our food purchases. Can't beat that!
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on April 4, 2011
As a cookbook collector who also needs to be gluten free, I have seen them all. Several of the newer cookbooks have been quite good, some are actually pretty useless. I am a mother of three hungry kids, wife of one hungry husband, and the only one in my family who cannot eat gluten. Sometimes it's a struggle to cook my gluten free foods for everyone because they either "taste funny" or are simply too expensive to make. This book addresses both of these issues - the recipes are VERY family friendly, using a tasty flour blend, and perhaps best of all, Nicole gives real ideas about saving money, which is a definite concern for gluten free families. This is the first book I've seen that actually addresses the issue of the cost of these foods. I can tell already that this will be one of the cookbooks I use most!
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