Archive for February, 2011

Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies?

Posted in baking, product, recipe on February 28th, 2011 by Betsy – 6 Comments

Last weekend, our neighborhood girl scout stopped by to bring David his Tagalongs.  As he dove right in to the box of chocolate peanut butter goodness, I was reminded of years of Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils.

samoa Recently, I haven’t had much time in the kitchen, but my friend Wendy sent me this article, which has me inspired: Make Your Own Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies


Sounds awesome, right?  They have gluten-free recipes for Thin Mints and the equivalent of Do-Si-Dos.  (Do you remember those?)  Yum!  I was disappointed that they didn’t have a recipe for Samoas so I did some sleuthing on my own and found this recipe for gluten-free samoas, on Gluten-Free Betsy.  (Great name!)

thin mints 2

It’s not the same as ripping into the brightly colored box, I’ll admit, but it’s not too bad.  Have you tried making your own version of Girl Scout Cookies?  What’s your childhood favorite?

Cafe Jonah & the Magical Attic Now Open

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, Restaurants, Uncategorized on February 23rd, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

cafe jonah

Last week, Café Jonah & the Magical Attic officially opened its doors.  Right now this unique coffee shop (owned by Souper Jenny) is serving an assortment of Sally’s Bakery gluten-free muffins, including banana chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, and almond carrot walnut muffins, which are all dairy and egg free too.  The Almond carrot walnut muffins are also soy free.  Yes, please.

Check out how cool Cafe Jonah looks inside…

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Inside Cafe Jonah

cafe jonah interior

So, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, head to Café Jonah & the Magical Attic for a latte and a gluten-free muffin.  Sounds like the perfect Saturday morning to me.

cafe jonah 3

I'm envisioning myself in that chair, coffee in one hand, book in the other.

Hometown Dates for Bachelor Brad

Posted in TV on February 22nd, 2011 by Betsy – 10 Comments

*Beware: spoiler alert!

bachelor logo

Last night’s episode of The Bachelor brought us to the final four bachelorette’s hometowns.  For the most part, these visits went smoothly and there were no major disasters as in previous seasons.  (Ah, memories!)

Before I get started, did anyone else notice that Brad was wearing a beret in the opening scene?  Wow.  Classy guy.

Brad first went to meet Chantal O.’s family in Seattle.  Turns out they basically live in a castle and her mom’s face looks pretty plastic.  (I wish they told us what her parents do for a living.)  Nonetheless, Brad and Chantal O’s dad bonded over their “Daddy issues.”  I wanted to listen to their serious conversation, but I was too distracted, trying to count the number or wine bottles in the wine cellar.  (Note: Chantal O’s father is the only one Brad asked for his blessing to marry his daughter.)

And, I’m glad this didn’t seem to bother Brad, but two cats and a little dog = deal breaker.  Sorry, Chantal O.

Then it was off to Madawasca, Maine, with Ashley. This was my favorite home town date, even if Ashley’s enthusiasm and energy entirely exhausts me.  Ashley’s family seemed normal enough…well, until Ashley told her parents that she wanted to sleep with Brad on the floor of the living room, and that didn’t seem to bother them.  Did you catch from her dad’s conversation that Ashley’s not actually a dentist, and hasn’t finished dentistry school?  I feel so deceived.  Good work this week, Ashley.  You only mentioned ‘disconnect’ once in a semi-joking, semi-passive aggressive way.  It looks like next week you won’t do as well on this front.  I did laugh a little when Brad told Ashley he could see himself living in Madawasca.  I don’t think so, Brad, but I like the sentiment.

Next stop, Chico, CA with Shawntel N. of Newton Brasewell Funeral Home.  Ok, I stand corrected on the two cats and one dog deal breaker.  The only bigger deal breaker than owning two cats and a little dog, is starting your home town date with a funeral home tour.  Yikes!  And I hate to judge, but Shawntel’s dad sort of fit what I picture as a funeral home director, mustache and all.  Shawntel nicely waited until that night to tell her family that she would consider moving to Austin.  This caused a major rift as her dad is relying on her for his retirement security and the town of Chico needs Shawntel.  Duty calls!  After this date, I had a feeling Shawntel would be left without a rose as long as Brad’s time with Em didn’t involve a funeral home.

The beginning of Brad’s date in Charlotte, with Emily, was the most anxious I’ve ever seen Brad.  He really wanted to impress Little Ricky and ultimately he did.  What better way to win over a child than bring gifts?  Brad’s still completely smitten with Emily but I just can’t see them together in the end.  I don’t know that Brad is really ready for parenthood, no matter how attracted he is to Emily.  Brad was freaked out to kiss Emily while Ricky was asleep upstairs.  This could be problematic for their future romantic relations.  (Oh no, what’s going to happen in the fantasy suite??  Will we have the first contestant to every say ‘no???’  Doubtful.)

The rose ceremony was quick and simple.  Now that there are only four remaining girls, and they’re no longer living together, there’s no drama to be documented.  Shawntel N. did not receive the rose (shocker) so now she can return to Chico and embalm away.

Next week: South Africa or bust!

Pure Knead Bakery Opening for Retail

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event on February 21st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

If you love the hamburger buns at YEAH! Burger than you’ll want to keep reading the following press release from Pure Knead

We are *delighted* to announce that our retail shop will open on Saturday, February 26th!  A few of the many products you will see include our well-known buns (both original and multigrain), hoagie rolls, rosemary bread braids, olive boules, baguettes and croutons! Of course, you can’t have a great bakery without great dessert! You haven’t had bread pudding until you’ve had our Pure Knead bread pudding, and our brown sugar chocolate chip cookies are simply heavenly! Ok, now that your mouth is watering (mine is), here are some details…

pure knead_7Dai

We will be open from 9am to 1pm, with both fresh and frozen options for you. The bakery address and phone number are at the bottom of this message.

We will have monthly specials to take advantage of our amazing local agriculture system, so sign up on our facebook page to get the inside scoop on those offerings!

You can certainly call ahead and place an order for pick up, or simply come on Saturdays and see what strikes your fancy!

Many of you have asked us for products that are free of allergens other than gluten. Just a quick reminder that all Pure Knead products are certified gluten-free, and are also free of dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish- we don’t use them in our facility. Most of our current products do contain egg and corn. In the bakery, you can look at the ingredient list for every product we sell; we are proud of what we put into our products, and think you should know what you are eating. For the Opening, we will not be offering specialized products, but I promise that we are working on egg-free and other options for you! If you have a question, please don’t ever be shy about asking!

The Grand Opening is special to me for so many reasons, and we are going to celebrate! You will be able to sample many of our products on the 26th- try before you buy! And the first 20 people through our doors will go home with a special goodie!

We are so excited to welcome you to the bakery; so much time and care has gone into this effort, and I can’t thank the Pure Knead staff enough for helping me make this a reality! Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday- and bring a friend or two!

So here’s where to find Pure Knead:

186 Rio Circle, Suite C – Decatur, GA 30030 – 404-377-5567

If you are familiar with Dekalb Farm’ers Market, we are just down the street. Rio Circle is just off of Laredo Drive, which runs directly into the Farmer’s market. Look for the signs for Southern Sweets bakery; we are located in the same building (Suite C in the back half of the building). Mapquest will find us, so use it if you aren’t from around the Decatur area!

Foodie Publications Highlighting Gluten-Free Dishes

Posted in advice, reading, recipe on February 18th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

I always like seeing major publications giving attention to gluten-free dishes.  Of course my immediate reaction is, “Why can’t you hire me?” but then I move on and actually enjoy the recipes and appreciate the gluten-free shout out.

With the help of Gluten Freedom readers, I’ve found:


Food & Wine’s website has a Gluten-Free Slide Show, with links to each of the recipes.  Of course the rack of lamb looks good to me!


Real Simple’s website has ‘Ten Gluten-Free Dinners’ for you to try.  I’m thinking about making their zucchini stuffed with quinoa.  Yum!

What looks good to you on these sites?  Have you seen any other foodie magazines recognize gluten-free cuisine recently?

Old World Artisan Bread Company

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, product on February 16th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

old worldGF Whole Grains Bread

Recently my kitchen has been stocked full with gluten-free breads from a local, Atlanta bakery, Old World Artisan Bread Company.  Owner and founder, Thomas Sergio, began his career baking gluten-filled breads and bagels, but has realized there is a need for yummy, gluten-free breads in the Atlanta area.  Sergio has done just that and developed a recipe that is flavorful, texturally bread-like, and more importantly, perfect for sandwiches, grilled cheese and even French toast.  Prepare to wow your friends, as they won’t know this bread is gluten-free.  (Nor will they be overcome by a weird after taste, either!)

old world pbj open

I have been enjoying the gluten-free whole grains bread for lunch in a variety of ways.  Grilled cheese is hard to resist on a lazy Saturday afternoon, but I must admit, my favorite combination is Old World’s bread toasted and topped with peanut butter and homemade jam.  I never get tired of peanut butter, thank goodness!  I know it’s not fancy, but it’s so good.  And, it takes truly delicious bread for me to forego my rice cakes and use GF bread.

My Favorite Jam...

My Favorite Jam...

old world pbj2

Old World’s cinnamon raisin muffins are particularly delicious when enjoyed with cream cheese and jam.  A perfect afternoon snack or morning breakfast.  Just heat the muffins a little in the oven, slice in half and let the cream cheese work its magic.  I prefer this combination to a thick, gluten-free bagel anyways.  (Gluten-free bagels involve way too much chewing for my liking.)

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins: Envision with Cream Cheese

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins: Envision with Cream Cheese

I always keep soup, stews and chili in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner, so last week, I enjoyed leftover beef chili (made by David), Brussels sprouts, and an Old World dairy-free, gluten-free dinner roll.  These rolls taste delicious with honey or butter and made the dinner more filling.  I just love corn bread or a roll with soup.  (It makes me feel more normal.)

old world GF Dinner Rolls

old world chili

Perfect Weeknight Dinner

Final Verdict: Old World Artisan’s gluten-free offerings are not to be missed and even gluten eaters will enjoy these products.  Buy a variety and store extras in the freezer.  Stay tuned for more info on their gluten-free hamburger buns.

Check out Old World’s gluten-free offerings on their website.  You can find Sergio’s gluten-free products at Return to Eden (Atlanta) and Atlantis Natural Foods (Dunwoody).

Anguilla or Bust: “Every conversation we have is so deep.”

Posted in TV on February 15th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

bachelor logo

Last night’s Bachelor left something to be desired.  I sort of feel like I’m saying that every week.  But, I’m not a quitter, so I will continue to watch until the final rose has been given.

Brad managed to do ok without his therapist this week, but he seems to be turning into a therapist himself.  There was a lot of “what I’m hearing you say is…” and “that is your perception.”  So, as the girls continue to pour out their beer tears on Brad, he continues to mop them up, and maybe even give out some sympathy roses (ahem, Ashley).  It’s too late in the game for that, Brad.

All-American girl, Emily, received the first one on one date this week.  Brad, you tricky dog…you planned a dream-like day for Emily, with helicopter rides and deserted islands.  Oh wait, Brad didn’t plan a darn thing.  (Why does it drive me crazy that the girls always give the bachelor so much credit for planning the dates?!)  Brad continues to grow more and more smitten with widow-Emily, yet I still haven’t seen much of a conversation between the two of them.  But he’s silly in love with her, and I kind of believe it, and I kind of think it’s sweet.  Brad guaranteed Emily that she would receive a rose, even though he kept telling her he was ‘breaking the rules.’  Now the big question…how will meeting little Ricky go?  (According to next week’s previews: not so good.)

Shawntel N. received the next one on one date and she managed to really wow Brad with her interactions with other people. Yes, he’d never seen any of the girls interact with anyone besides himself or one of the 25 other crazy women.  (Need I remind you, this is a very realistic scenario?)  Brad and Shawntel N. wandered the streets, talking to ‘the people,’ making out, playing dominoes with ‘the people,’ making out, jumping rope with ‘the people,’ making out, and listening to ‘the most famous singer in Anguilla’ with the people.  Oh, and they made out.

(Side note: Can you believe there are still two women named Shawntal left in the game, but spelled differently?)

The final one on one date belonged to Britt, who seems to be wasting away over the course of the show.  She looked so tiny on this episode.  Did anyone else notice that?  Britt has been one of my top favorites the entire season, but last night it was clear that the connection was not there.  Brad decided not to wait until the rose ceremony (which I respect) to tell Britt she’s not the one.  This whole scenario, however, must have been planned, as they had the dinghy ready to take her away.  Britt, you handled it well and I wish you the best of luck, fellow foodie writer.

And of course, the producers planned on the group date involving the three most dramatic, high maintenance, beer teared, trio of the group.  Their early morning wake up call resulted in a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.  (They made sure we knew it hits shelves on Feb. 15.)  Ashley quickly agreed to go topless (as long as she had conch shells in front of her), and Chantal O. went one step further, really going topless, sort of covering herself.  Ah, female competitiveness at its best.  No wait, it gets better.  Michelle decides to straddle Brad in her photo shoot and make out with him as the waves crash upon them.  I think this move both excites Brad, yet absolutely terrifies him.  The other two girls are less than pleased.

The most G-rated photo from the shoot.  (This is a family-friendly blog.)

The most G-rated photo from the shoot. (This is a family-friendly blog.)

Which leads us to the ‘pool party’ portion of the group date.  With only four people, two of whom are totally ticked off, you can’t really define this event as a party.  Brad spends the whole date apologizing to Ashley and Chantal O. (who are in competition for the ‘drunkest girl at the party’ award), while Brad literally avoids Michelle like the plague.  He is genuinely afraid she is going to mount him (again) in front of the other girls.  Michelle, your time is running out.

After Brad does a little more therapy with Ashley and Chantal O., it’s time for the rose ceremony.  Brad insists on no cocktail party and proceeds to hand out roses.  It was pretty predictable at this point who Brad was going to let go, even though Michelle insisted (as if in a final plea to the cameras), “every conversation we have is so deep.”  Not deep enough, Michelle.  Brad let Michelle go and awkwardly walked the silent and enraged Michelle to her limo, where she proceeded to lie down in silence.  Being conniving and competitive is exhausting, isn’t it?

Next week: meet the families!  Always a new insight into the girls’ lives.  Predicted awkwardness: Shawntel N. showing Brad her place of work and Brad trying to win over little Ricky.

Canoe Restaurant in Buckhead

Posted in Atlanta, Restaurants on February 10th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

canoe Well-known Atlanta restaurant, Canoe, is a place that I have gone multiple times for lunch and dinner, but I haven’t yet gotten around to writing about it.  I was reminded of my negligence last weekend when I went to Canoe with David for a work dinner and easily made selections on their menu that could be tweaked to be gluten-free.

Canoe is properly named, as it is located right on the bank of the Chattahoochee River, and was completely flooded during the fall of 2009.  The atmosphere is calm, yet swanky and it’s not so loud that you can’t talk to your dinner companions.  While you won’t feel like you’re in the middle of the trendiest scene in Atlanta,  you will enjoy delicious food and good atmosphere.

Canoe’s menu is expansive and doesn’t change often, so you know what you’re walking into.  Many fancy restaurants have minimal items on their menu, which can be tricky for those of us that are already limited in our options.  When inquiring with my server at Canoe, they have always said, pick what you want, and we’ll try to make it work.  I love that attitude!

My favorite items on Canoe’s menu include their Warm Artisan Cheese Salad with bacon, spinach, and dried cranberries.  This starter definitely fits my love for sweet and salty dishes.  The warmed cheese perfectly combines with the other items on the plate.  Bacon, cranberries, cheese and pecans = YUM.

For entrees, I love their sage roasted pheasant (without the crispy pheasant croquette).  The pureed sweet potatoes that accompany this dish are delicious, and bring out the sweeter side of the sweet potato.  (I consider myself to be a bit of a sweet potato snob and I love them!)  The pheasant’s crispy, salty skin and tender meat are a great combination when mixed with the sweet potatoes or eaten separately.  I’ve also enjoyed the salmon with spaghetti squash and spinach, for a healthier dish.  Both of these entrees are light, yet filling.  You don’t leave dinner feeling like you’ve overdone your evening out.

I definitely recommend checking out Canoe if you’re looking for a nice meal in Buckhead. There’s something on the menu for everyone and you won’t be disappointed!

Have you been to Canoe?  What are your favorite dishes?

Canoe Restaurant – 4199 Paces Ferry Road, NW – Atlanta, Georgia 30339 – 770.432.2663

*Reservations can be made at Open Table

New Product Discovery: Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Posted in GF product on February 9th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

I’m a sweet and salty girl.  I love granola for that reason.  Maybe it’s because I’m indecisive, so when I’m searching for a snack, I can’t decide if I want something salty or something sweet.

glutino 1

For that reason, chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorite items from my gluten-eating days.  Any time I went on a road trip, chocolate pretzels were my treat.  I’m pretty creative in the kitchen, but I’ve never tried to make gluten-free chocolate covered pretzels.  Honestly, it seemed like more work than results, to make this delicacy from scratch.  And David doesn’t share in my love of chocolate covered pretzels; it’s not as much fun to make things for just me.

On a recent trip to the Howell Mill Kroger, I was perusing their natural food section (which has some of the best selection of gluten-free products) when my heart nearly skipped a beat, as an unfamiliar bag caught my eye…Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

glutino bag

What a day!  I immediately grabbed the bag, only hesitating for a second, when I saw the staggering price tag: $5.99 for a less than large bag.  But the price didn’t stop me as I immediately justified the purchase in my mind: One Starbuck’s scone costs almost $3 and this bag of pretzels was way more food than one measly baked good.  (Yes, that’s how my mind works…constantly justifying purchases.)

I had barely paid for my treat when I tore into the bag and sampled my discovery.  I was not at all disappointed.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Glutino’s pretzels so I wasn’t too nervous about how the gluten-free version of chocolate covered pretzels would translate.  Perfect crunch, saltiness, sweetness and texture.  And the chocolate, oh so good.

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I love these pretzels.  In fact, they might be my favorite gluten-free packaged good right now.  Confession: I’ve already been back and bought another bag, as well as a bag of their yogurt covered pretzels.

Have you found these chocolate covered pretzels at any other stores in the Atlanta area?  Are there any other brands that make this item, that I just don’t know about?  Happy snacking!

Sally’s Introduces Cinnamon Rolls

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, local food on February 7th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Local bakery, Sally’s Bakery just added Cinnamon Rolls (with icing!) to their menu.  These rolls come six to a pan, for $9.99.  Perfect for a Sunday brunch or a lazy morning breakfast.  Sally’s cinnamon rolls are gluten, dairy, soy and egg free.  Amazing!

Sally's Bakery Cinnamon Rolls

Sally’s has also decided to make their dinner rolls and pecan pie part of their year-round menu, not just for the holidays.  Head to Sally’s and stock up on your gluten-free goodies.  Remember, you can always put items in the freezer to enjoy at a later date.

Sally’s Bakery – 5920 Roswell Rd. Suite 108A- Sandy Springs, GA 30328- 404.847.0211