Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Gluten Free Thank you!

Many thanks to all of our loyal participants and clients of MariposaBaking, and supporters of The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center for your generous participation in this year's third annual National Celiac Disease Awareness Month in May. 

This unique partnership, in its third year, was formed through a strong desire to generate greater awareness about celiac disease on the west coast by bringing together the Bay Area’s preeminent, 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery and a world-renowned leader in celiac disease research.

This year, Mariposa Baking highlighted its widely popular ‘rye’ breadchocolate chunk cookies, and delicious butter croissant, which can still be purchased in their retail locations, online store or by mail order. A percentage of proceeds from these purchases were donated directly to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center towards ongoing and cutting-edge research to find a cure. 

We look forward to next year's National Celiac Awareness Month and for the opportunity to work with and taste all of Mariposa Bakings' newest baked goodies!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May is National Celiac Awareness Month = Sweet Treats!

It's hard to believe that it could already be the month of May and time once again to celebrate National Celiac Disease Awareness month! It's also our third annual partnership with the fantastic Mariposa Baking of Oakland and San Francisco - We're really excited! 

Here's the scoop and how YOU can participate, eat delicious GF baked good, AND most importantly support the amazing research being done at The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center - they rock!! 

And don't forget to #GlutenFreeMay your most creative and/or delicious looking creation made with either Mariposa's ‘rye’ breadchocolate chunk cookies, or butter croissant. We'll pick the most creative and visually appealing photo and one lucky winner will receive a gift card from Mariposa!


Prominent Bay Area Gluten-Free Baking Company Teams Up to
Help Find a Cure for Celiac Disease

Mariposa Baking and The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
Celebrate National Celiac Disease Awareness Month in May

(Oakland, CA -) Mariposa Baking of Oakland/SF is partnering again with The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center to recognize National Celiac Disease Awareness Month in May. This unique partnership, in its third year, was formed through a strong desire to generate greater awareness about celiac disease on the west coast by bringing together the Bay Area’s preeminent, 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery and a world-renowned leader in celiac disease research.
Throughout the month of May, Mariposa Baking’s retail locations (Oakland and SF) and online shop will offer their customers the opportunity to participate in this fundraiser. A portion of Mariposa’s sales from the month of May goes directly towards funding research at The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. This year, Mariposa Baking is highlighting its widely popular ‘rye’ bread, chocolate chunk cookies, and delicious butter croissant, which can be purchased in their retail locations, online store or by mail order.

“Mariposa is committed to the long-term health of our customers and The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is doing important research to improve the lives of people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance,” said Patti Furey Crane, founder of Mariposa Baking. “We’re very happy to support the work of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and to enable our customers to participate in this fundraising effort, while raising awareness in the Bay Area around celiac disease. We look forward to great success.”
May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. The focus is to raise awareness about celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCSG). Approximately 1 in 133 or 3 million Americans have celiac disease. There is no evidence-based data to indicate how many have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

            “We’re very excited to be partnering for a third year with Mariposa Baking, a company that not only delivers delicious gluten-free artisan products to those who require the diet, but also demonstrates their commitment to the community with substantial efforts to help raise much-needed awareness and funds throughout the Bay Area and beyond,” said Carol M. Shilson, executive director at The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. “Our programs and services educate thousands of consumers, patients and medical professionals across the country each year and our research is truly leading the way to a cure.”

Event Details: May 1 – 30, 2015
- Locations: Mariposa’s Bakeshops:
o   Oakland Bakeshop:          5427 Telegraph Ave., D3, Oakland, CA 94609
o   SF Bakeshop:                   1 Ferry Building Plaza, Shop 32, San Francisco, CA 94111
o   Local Pick-Up:        
o   Mail order:                   
o   Telephone:                         510-595-0955

For more information about this event, details about this partnership or celiac disease, please visit: For information about The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, please visit:  

About The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center:
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center seeks to cure celiac disease. It is an international center of excellence providing comprehensive patient and professional education, expert diagnosis and treatment for both children and adults, groundbreaking bench and clinical research, and active leadership in advocacy efforts. The Celiac Disease Center is part of the University of Chicago, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization completely funded by donations.

About Mariposa Baking:
Our start was simple. Patti Furey Crane, Mariposa’s founder, craved high-quality sweets while pregnant with her first child. Finding few options at the time, she set out baking them herself. And so, in 2004, Mariposa was hatched. Mariposa’s mission – create wholesome, hand-crafted food using the finest natural ingredients. Our certified green bakery also houses our first retail bakeshop. We have two storefront locations, our Oakland Bakeshop and our new SF Bakeshop, est. 2012 and located inside the Ferry Building, where we’re able to bring daily bread and hand-crafted sweets to San Francisco’s gluten-free community. We have an online store for customers outside of the Bay Area, distribution to natural foods stores on the West Coast and we service many local restaurants with our artisan breads and pizza crusts. We have a passion for- the baked goods we make, the creative journey we’re on, and the communities we serve.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fifty Shades of Red...

Cupid's Span  along the beautiful Embarcadero with views of the Bay Bridge
I hope that you had a lovely Valentine's Day and that someone made you and your heart feel extra loved this year...and if you're a celiac, that you dined out safely and without issue!

I was inspired yesterday by the brilliant shades of red that were abundant at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market in San Francisco and by other little goodies and artistic endeavors that caught my eye. Red, in all it's hundreds of shades, is truly one of my most favorite primary colors. I've decorated many rooms in my home with fabrics and furniture carrying a red theme or undertone.

The deepest and loveliest shade of red that one can find (in my opinion) is that of the Geranium. They are a joy to see when blooming in all of their brilliance in the heart of summer, and the Geraniums' deepest red is also reflective of the colors of our Basque heritage. If you drive through any Basque village in Spain or France your eyes will be treated to a robust display of overflowing Geraniums on every balcony, in this succulent "deep red" that just inspires happiness! It's my color - enough said.

Mother Nature never disappoints and this photo collection seems to support that fact. From shades of deep orange, vibrant cherry and muted raspberry, reds alerted my senses and drew me through the market yesterday as if I was following a guided path. Everywhere I turned I was witness to the beauty of the color and its robust offerings - was it a sign on Valentine's Day?? Hmmm, or rather the fact that in mid-February, in the heart of San Francisco, we're literally experiencing "summer-like" weather...wait, scratch that! The weather in the summer is never this great! With the warm temperatures we've been enjoying throughout the state, flowers are blooming, fruit tastes like it was picked in mid-July and colors are popping. We Californians should be grateful for such weather given that the other half of the country is inundated with massive snow and cold, but in truth, while we're enjoy the vibrancy now, we'll be paying for it later when we're drought-ridden!

In the meantime, here's my little curated photo montage in honor of a heart-filled holiday - enjoy!

Vibrant red chard for sale at the farmer's market 

Organic red berry jams

Little nectarines bursting with color! 
A favorite little ceramic Basque plate that I love
Pomegranates piled high

Sweet Basque dried peppers - always a treat to find!
All we need is love... 

Heart to Heart

Rancho Gordo beautiful beans 

Apple ciders

Remnants of my Mariposa Baking gluten free baguette, Frog Hollow Farm plum conserve and a latte
Cafe de la Presse

Beauty on a page from my newest cookbook, A Kitchen in France

The unstoppable bloom! 

As close to Pantone 186c as Mother Nature can get...or is it the other way around?!

What can I say...I'm all heart.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Inspiration...The Bread Exchange

Basque Sheepherders Bread

Hello!! It's been a while since I penned a blog post - the truth of the matter is that my inspiration has waned and I've been waiting for a new wave of interest to find me so that I would feel the impending desire to write again and write about something worthwhile and interesting...

Recently, I heard an interview on BBC news while driving home from work one evening that stopped me in my tracks and caught my interest in a way that even surprised me. The story, featuring Malin Elmlid, a Swede who’s based in Berlin, discussed her love of sourdough bread and what a cultural key bread can be to discovering so much about so many - the common and edible thread that weaves together almost every culture on the planet. She even turned her desire to bake and trade bread into a lifestyle that's since garnered a book deal, The Bread Exchange, elevating her recognition within the International food community. 

As a Celiac, this interview might have been reason to switch to another channel on Sirius XM given the intense discussion around sourdough and naan, both which I clearly can't eat in the traditional sense of baking. Yet the feeling that came through to me as I listened to this woman discussing the touch, smell, feel and passion of baking bread was intoxicating. I wanted to hear more about her Bread Exchange and how on earth trading loaves of fresh bread with perfect strangers across continents could evolve into a multi-cultural exchange, and a life-changing experience.

It's true that science can trace back the creation of bread to nearly 30,000 years ago. Bread, in all its various forms, is the most "widely consumed food in the world". Not only is it an important source of carbohydrates and protein (from gluten), it's also compact and portable, which helps explain why it has been an integral part of our diets for thousands of years. More than 12,000 years ago, primitive people made flat breads by mixing flour and water and placing these "cakes" in the sun to bake. Later, bread was baked on heated rocks or in the hot ashes of fire. As empires rose and fell the evolution of bread was intimately connected to the ancient cultures of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. At one time it was said that the Greeks baked over 50 different varieties of bread. It is also said that Columbus brought the first known loaf of sourdough bread to this country in 1492. 

The value of sharing bread is "borderless" and symbolic, both culturally and religiously, around the world. It's also the staple food in the majority of cultures, and like people, breads have regional and national characteristics that influence. Growing up in a Basque family, bread was always present at our table and social gatherings. We learned early on about Basque Sheepherder's bread, hearing tales my grandfather, “Chichie,” would share about baking that bread in a Dutch oven while living alone as a young man in the mountains of rural Nevada and Oregon tending sheep. It was not only a staple in his diet, but his cultural companion to boot. 

Artisan breads at the Burlingame Farmer's Market 

A diagnosis of Celiac Disease changes ones' relationship with bread...entirely. Personally, I've made peace with the loss of real sourdough, Italian Focaccia, fresh Parisian croissants and yes, Sheepherder's Bread...that was until I listened to this BBC story and learned more about The Bread Exchange!  

As the news story continued with baker/author Malin Elmlid, she spoke more about her experimental baking late into the night that would happen after working a "regular job" in the fashion industry by day. She started giving away her breads to friends, colleagues and strangers, which then transformed into travels and trading breads for say, concert tickets or sailing lessons, or being invited into a family's home in Kabul, Afghanistan to partake in a meal. The experience of arriving in a strange land with nothing more to offer than a loaf of bread might sound unwise, even naive, however; Malin goes on to express how the sharing of bread is "borderless" and opens up people's hearts and minds, breaking down cultural barriers through exchange. It's such a simple yet authentic concept that a loaf or a piece of bread can be the catalyst that offers perfect strangers the window to exchange world views through this humble yet mighty nourishment. 

The more I write about and research bread and learn of the "artisan" varieties that seem to be available at every Farmer's Market anywhere, my taste buds and heart are tugged at wanting to pick up a baguette, break off a piece, and eat it right on the spot! And let's not even get me started about when I'm traveling in Europe, most especially France, where my version of "pain frais" is well, window shopping!! My years in Italy also exposed me to massive amounts of "pane fresco" and far too many non-gluten free crumbs near my plate that I shutter to recall! But what influenced me the most during my time in friend's and family households was breads' presence at every meal and every table on a daily basis. Life without fresh bread would be for most, life without good conversation or joy. It's essential and engrained in most cultures' DNA. As the Hungarian saying goes, "bread is older than man". 

Breaking bread will most likely always be away for society to commune and take time to share good food and conversation with one another, and bread will remain a foundation at family tables (well, not mine!). Baking techniques will certainly continue to evolve as will the demand for baked goods and more options for gluten-free eaters, which is nice (I'm trying to be optimistic here), but the longing for a piece of Sheepherder's Bread my grandfather used to bake stays with me - I can almost taste it.