I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy (not celiacs) about 4 years-so needless to say, I am no expert in discovering delicious wheat free products. I found this book at a Borders and bought it purely on the fact that there were beautiful pictures for every recipe, my "wheat-free" frame of reference goes from "I can swallow this down" to "Oh my god, I think that was cat litter." My boyfriend, who has been outstanding and encouraging (to the point where he has willfully chosen to not even purchase wheat containing ingredients into the house) has watched me horribly "fake" my approval for some truly heinous products.
So I gave up. Until Blackbird. I was so used to being disappointed after every trial, that after the first batch of chocolate chip cookies, I literally went back to the book, back to all of my ingredients-just to make sure they really were wheat free! Every recipe I've tried has been a delight!
The only substitution that I have made is that I use Xantham Gum (it's easier to get for me) instead of Guar Gum. HOWEVER! If you do this, use HALF the amount or the food will get a weird tacky consistency (which is not pleasant).
I've read negative reviews about the extraordinary number of ingredients-I sigh. If you can't eat wheat/gluten, you kind of have to deal, and this book makes it soooo much easier. The recipes are also fairly simple-they just take some time-once again, if you don't want to die from something you REALLY want to eat, suck it up and there will be no regrets! Blackbirdbakery.com is also a great resource for recipes she develops (there's a recipe for fried chicken people!!)