By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Local author Bridget Towery has released another book. To celebrate, she was signing copies last month at the Moapa Valley Library in Overton and the Moapa Library in Moapa.
Towery published her first cookbook “Your Gluten-Free Cookie Jar” early in 2017. She followed that book up with her latest publication, “Your Gluten-Free Holiday Dessert Tray,” just in time for the holidays.
Both books are filled with recipes that help those who can’t tolerate gluten, or simply want to cut gluten from their diet.
Towery has been interested in cooking for most of her life, although she did not start out as cook or an author. “I’ve had a long-time fascination with food and cooking,” she said. “I always wanted to be a pastry chef, but life took me on a different route.”
She was born and raised in Buckner, Missouri, where she graduated from Fort Osage High School before joining the Air Force. During her Air Force years, she served as an administrative assistant until the Air Force base where she was stationed was closed.
Realizing she had an opportunity to make a life change, she decided to leave the military and move. But she couldn’t decide where she wanted to go. When a friend suggested she look at Las Vegas, she replied, “Where’s that?”
After researching it a little, she wrote away to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, which sent her information.
“I fell in love with Boulder City,” Towery said. “So I packed up my son and my belongings in our Chevette with no air-conditioning and drove cross-country to settle in Las Vegas.” She said that when she drove into the area, “I knew I was home. It was just so beautiful.”
In an effort to raise her son in an area with a small-town atmosphere, she left Vegas and moved to Moapa Valley. She and her husband Brian have lived here for fourteen years now.
Eventually Towery realized that she finally had the time and the opportunity to rekindle her interest in cooking and baking.
Advice from doctors had Towery attempting to cut gluten from her diet. But these attempts were difficult for Towery because although she loved to bake, she could never eat anything she baked. She found gluten-free mixes available at the grocery store unsatisfactory. “I bought a gluten-free cake mix and not only was it extremely expensive, it tasted more like a sandy muffin than cake,” she said.
Towery knew that there had to be a better answer. So she started playing around with ingredients until she got a mix that tasted so good you couldn’t tell it was gluten-free.
“My husband was my guinea pig and believe me, he ate a lot of bad food from my recipe attempts,” Towery said. “Then one day he took a bite and said, ‘This is gluten-free?’ and I knew that I had hit upon success.”
Towery started a blog to spread her recipes on the internet called “Baking With Bridget-Where cooking gluten-free is as easy as pie.” She had an enthusiastic following on her blog. So last spring she took some of those recipes, compiled them, and published her first book.
“There was such an amazing response to my first book that we decided to publish a holiday sequel,” she said.
Bridget is planning on adding more books to the series, with two new books planned for the upcoming year. Towery’s books are self-published and available on Amazon.com. Local residents can also get a signed copy directly from Bridget by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.