Cafe at Pharr

Posted in Atlanta, Uncategorized on February 8th, 2013 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Hello, Friends.  I am so long overdue on a post; I don’t even know where to begin.  I’ve dined at new restaurants, read new books, traveled to some cool places and even cooked some a few new dishes.  Most importantly, our sweet Laney is 7 months old!  She is a reminder to me of how long it’s been since I’ve given this blog any TLC.

A couple of recent photos of Miss Laney


My inspiration for getting back on the blog is Café at Pharr…

Today I ate lunch at Café at Pharr and enjoyed delicious chicken salad that rivals Zoe’s.  Yours truly loves a good chicken salad!  I went to the Westside Location (on Chattahoochee) but they have multiple locations.  I enjoyed the curry chicken salad served on a bed of greens with a yummy sesame dressing that’s also gluten free.  All of the Café Pharr’s chicken salads are gluten free.  I will definitely be going back again soon, as it’s very kid friendly and not crowded.  Great service and our server knew what I was talking about the moment I mentioned celiac.  Check them out at their Westside, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Vinings or Miami Circle locations.

Keeping us Fed

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10th, 2012 by Betsy – 3 Comments

Hi Readers!  I can’t believe that months have gone by since I last wrote.  There have been a lot of changes in our life and it’s been wonderful.  It’s definitely hard to find a moment to nap, let alone write!  Most importantly, our daughter, Elaine “Laney” Andrews Metcalf arrived at 11:25 am on Monday, July 9th.  Laney turned two months old yesterday and she’s a delight!  We’re completely smitten with her.

Our Family

Sweet Laney at 2 months!


As I’m way more consumed now with Laney’s meals and not my own, I haven’t done much cooking, but neighbors and friends have been showering us with meals.  I thought I would never be able to be the recipient of meals when we had a baby because of my dietary restrictions but people have been so great about wanting to accommodate me.  There’s only been one mishap but fortunately, we caught it early…darn soy sauce in marinades!  If people offer to make you meals, or even when you’re going to dinner at someone’s house, make sure that you are clear about your needs.  People want to help you and serve you so let them!  It is scary, I know, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed barely making a meal in the last two months.

Some meal highlights include:

-       Zoe’s Kitchen kabobs: Zoe’s got me through pregnancy and deserves its own separate post.  They have a gluten-free menu. (Just make sure you specify GF when you order).  I love their kabobs and braised white beans, as well as their chicken salad with cole slaw.  On their website they list all allergen information.

-       Curry chicken salad and gazpacho

-       Chicken and wild rice casserole

-       Baked salmon, tomatoes and mozzarella, and arugula salad

-       Grilled chicken caprese with roasted potatoes

-       Pork tenderloin with roasted carrots and salad

-       Quinoa with tomatoes, feta and corn

-       Almond butter chocolate chip cookies (with GF oats)

-       Pesto chicken with GF pasta

There are so many possibilities to prepare for someone who is gluten free and I am truly thankful to all of the people who took the time to carefully prepare these meals for me.  David, Laney and I are very appreciative!  The last two months were much smoother because of these meals.

Miley’s Gluten Free “Party in the USA”

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11th, 2012 by Betsy – 1 Comment

So Miley is blaming her weight loss on going gluten free??  Clearly she’s not eating the Udi’s bagels and Mellow Mushroom GF pizza that I’ve been chowing down on over the last few months.

Check out this article (sent to me by reader Lucy) about Miley’s gluten-free diet.  Not so sure that it’s going GF that’s making her so thin.  I’m glad US Weekly actually has some educated things to say about going gluten free.  “Miley Cyrus Slammed for Going Gluten-Free”

Lululemon is coming to the Westside

Posted in Atlanta, favorite things, GF product, Uncategorized on March 22nd, 2012 by Betsy – 2 Comments

This is dangerous.  A new Lululemon store is opening on Howell Mill Road, in the Westside Provisions District.  I just saw the sign this weekend and I immediately snapped a photo to send to David.  He already knew of this news but he (smartly) had elected not to share it with me.  The store is scheduled to open this summer and I’ll need to avoid making eye contact with the store during my (probably frequent) trips to Yeah Burger, as I survive my final month of pregnancy.

If you aren’t familiar with the brand, Lululemon, you should check them out.  I wish that I had invested in them.  I’m not someone who’s into name brands, expensive clothing, but Lululemon’s workout pants are worth every penny.  These yogaesque pants are flattering on anyone’s butt and thighs…even a pregnant woman.  (They don’t make maternity clothes but I bought a size up for the coaching season.  Again, totally worth it.)

Spring Reading

Posted in reading, Uncategorized on March 13th, 2012 by Betsy – 4 Comments

Thanks to a wonderful spring break trip to Miami, I had a little time to do some good reading.  I’m trying to take advantage of quiet moments, without a crying baby that needs my attention.  Word on the street is that life changes a lot once baby enters the world.

The President and the Assassin, Scott Miller: This biography documents the lives of President William McKinley and the relatively unknown anarchist who assassinated him, Leon Czolgosz.  If you were a fan of Erik Larson’s writing style in In the Garden of Beasts, then you will enjoy this read.  I love feeling like I’m reading a story but unknowingly digesting a big chunk of history.  McKinley is a president that we don’t hear about all that often and tend to brush over in U.S. History classrooms, but under his leadership, U.S. foreign policy changed entirely, as we became actively involved in China, Hawaii, Cuba and other foreign countries.  Also, the theory of anarchism is fascinating and Miller does a nice job explaining the ideas behind the anarchist leaders at the time and painting the picture of the clash between unions and big business at the turn of the 20th century.  All you history lovers should pick this one up!

Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Before we moved to Atlanta, I taught African Studies in D.C. and Baltimore.  This historically rich continent often goes unnoticed in our classrooms, yet there is so much to learn about it.  This novel takes place in a politically unstable Nigeria and is told through the perspective of a 15-year old girl named Kambili.  While this book is fiction, Purple Hibiscus offers a personal illustration of the long term effects of colonialism on many different aspects of an individual’s life, including religion, politics, business and wealth.  Even if you don’t know anything about Nigeria, this book is an easy read, full of beautiful prose and unique characters.  If you read Things Fall Apart in high school, check out Purple Hibiscus for another representation of the western world being haphazardly transplanted onto the continent of Africa.

I am the Messenger, Markus Zusak: I chose this young adult book because I recently devoured and loved The Book Thief, written by the same author. While The Book Thief was one of my favorite books of the last year, I am the Messenger was not as brilliant to me.  (I have now vowed not to pick up a book by the same author immediately after reading one of his/her other books.  I think it sets me up for disappointment.)  I found the story to be a bit far fetched, the main character being a 19-year old cab driver, who, after witnessing a bank robbery, is ordered by an anonymous person to do things for other people.  I just had a little trouble believing this one or suspending disbelief.  An interesting read, with a thoughtful message, but not at the top of my list.

Do you have any recommendations for me?  Of course I’m already putting together my (pre-July 3rd) summer reads wish list!  My sister-in-law, Alden, sent me Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing up Bebe, so that’s next on my list.  It’s the first child-raising book I’ve dared to read and it’s very amusing and useful.  (Of course, the snob in me, loves the fact that she used to write for the Wall Street Journal.)

Gluten Free College Experiences

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2nd, 2012 by Betsy – 1 Comment

I need your help!  I’m writing an article for Living Without Magazine about being gluten-free in college.  Since I was not GF when I was in college, I would love both parents’ and students’ thoughts and anecdotes about their own personal experiences.

  • How did you choose your college/university?
  • How did you investigate beforehand?
  • Which school did you pick and how has it lived up to your expectations?
  • How have you been surprised?  Disappointed?
  • Is there anything that has changed since you’ve been at school?
  • What are your favorite dorm snacks?
  • Parents, how did you best support your child while not being overbearing?

Thanks for your help!  Feel free to leave your insights in the comment section on the blog or email me directly at betsymetcalf@gmail.com.


Perfect Weeknight Supper: Kettle Cuisine Soups

Posted in GF product, Uncategorized, vegetarian on February 22nd, 2012 by Betsy – 4 Comments

Recently I had the opportunity to try some delicious soups made by the folks at Kettle Cuisine.  I love making soups and stews in my own kitchen but there are times when the husband’s out of town, or I’m getting home late from a lacrosse game, that I just want an easy dinner that involves minimal work on my part.

Kettle Cuisine makes yummy, hearty soups, in many varieties, that only need to be heated before serving.  Perfect for a solo weeknight dinner or a Saturday lunch.  Most of Kettle Cuisine’s soups are high in fiber and lower in calories than your typical frozen dinner.  More importantly, ALL varieties (including their chicken noodle soup) are gluten-free!  Kettle Cuisine’s founder, Jerry Shafir, started producing entirely gluten-free soups in 2006.  Jerry’s daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with Celiac 20 years ago so he knows how hard it can be to find tasty, healthy, frozen meals that are gluten free.

Some of my Kettle favorites include the chicken soup with rice noodles, chicken chili with white beans, and Thai curry chicken soup.  These soups are filling and won’t leave you hungry. They don’t skimp on the good stuff, like meat, veggies and beans.  When eating one, you don’t feel like you have a bowl of broth in front of you.  I let David try the New England Clam Chowder and he devoured every bite.  He said it was one of the best clam chowders he has ever tasted.  (I’ll have to take his word because I’m not a huge clam chowder fan.)

Kettle Cuisine’s soups can be found all over the country.  Click here to find a location near you.  In Atlanta, you can find them at Whole Foods, Return to Eden, and even at the Kroger on Howell Mill Road.  Check them out for yourself!  You won’t regret sampling this perfect weeknight dinner.  (Warning: These meals will make you wonder why you’ve spent so much time in the past making soups from scratch.)

Exciting Changes in 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23rd, 2012 by Betsy – 11 Comments

Hi Friends!  Hope the new year is treating you well.  Life has been busy for us, hence the absence of posts.  I wanted to share with you a little news.  (Hopefully this explains my lack of posts a little better.)

Needless to say, we’re very excited about 2012!


Help Send a Child with Celiac to a Gluten-Free Summer Camp!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Hi Readers!  I must apologize for being MIA for way too long.  It’s been a busy time of year here and I really hope 2012 involves more time for blogging.  In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about a great opportunity to give!

The holiday season is the perfect time for you to give back to the community.

In the spirit of the giving season, I want to bring your attention to a fundraiser I’m helping promote this week for a great gluten-free cause.

This week only, giving just $2 of your hard-earned money will go toward providing scholarships for children to attend a gluten-free summer camp hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) next summer in Southern California.

But this week, donating $2 doesn’t mean you’re just donating $2…

This week through Sunday, December 25, Gluten-Free Saver has partnered with Van’s Natural Foods to raise money to send children to next summer’s CDF-sponsored summer camp, and Van’s is matching all donations up to $1,000!

The goal is to raise $2,000 – and when you donate $2, you’re really contributing $4.

You can read more about the fundraiser here: www.glutenfreesaver.com.

The summer camp will be held in San Bernardino in Southern California from July 30 to August 3, 2012, and it’s open to all 7-15 year old gluten intolerant and gluten-sensitive children – not just those diagnosed with celiac disease.

Sure, receiving gifts this time of year is always fun, but the feeling of knowing that your generous donation of just $2 can bring a tremendous amount of joy to a young child… well, now that’s priceless.

Please help reach the goal of donating $2,000 to the Celiac Disease Foundation this week. Every $2 helps.

YES! I want to help send a child to a gluten-free summer camp and donate $2 right now!

P.S. 100% of all donations will go directly to CDF.

P.P.S. If you’re feeling extra generous this holiday season, you aren’t limited to donating just $2 – you can give as much money as your heart desires!

Here, There and Everywhere…Fall Travels

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on November 17th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

Life has been busy. Good busy. David and I’ve been traveling a lot the last few weekends, enjoying the beauty of fall, all over the country. Our first weekend away took us to Charlottesville, Virginia, one of our favorite places in the world.

Fall in Charlottesville is pretty hard to beat

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

We spent the weekend reading, walking around grounds, and we even made a visit to Monticello, the home of Mr. Jefferson. I’m embarrassed to admit that neither of us had been to Monticello since our senior years of high school. It was definitely worth the trip!

The gardens at Monticello

The following weekend we headed to Vail, Colorado. This trip was a bit more work than play. We stayed at the Westin Beaver Creek and enjoyed the gluten-free pasta on their menu. Delicious! (They also have GF pizzas available too.) While in Vail I filmed a “sizzle reel’ for a potential travel show. This was quite an experience, as I’ve never been on camera before. I will say, it did help that I taught for five years, so am used to having an audience. I won’t have much more information on the show until spring but the hope is that Food Network or Travel Channel will pick it up. I’ve got to admit, it was pretty hysterical to be referred to as “The Talent” all weekend. Stay tuned…

Not many photos from the weekend, but here's one.

For the shoot, I did all kinds of fun fall activities (zip line, ice skating, shopping, etc.) and of course some delicious dining! The highlight for me was interviewing Kelly Liken, chef and owner of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail. I tend to be star struck by chefs and I was particularly impressed by Kelly’s finesse on camera and ease with which she answered questions. (Perhaps Kelly’s comfort in front of the camera comes from being a finalist on Top Chef DC and competing in Iron Chef.) She also made me some delicious, gluten-free food to try. Restaurant Kelly Liken takes very seriously food allergies and special food needs. They don’t label items as “gluten free” on the menu because they are extremely accommodating to all diners and willing to tweak a dish so to fit the needs of the customer. It was truly a pleasure to interview Kelly and get to know her.

I’ve got more to share with you about our travels, dining and fall adventures, but wanted to give you the quick update! I can’t believe Thanksgiving’s exactly a week away. I’ve barely even begun to think about it.