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Valentine’s Dinner at bhojanic

Posted in Atlanta

David and I love Indian food.  We really love Indian food.  Until recently, we had not yet found a good Indian restaurant in Atlanta that I confidently felt could ensure a safely gluten-free meal for me.  Much Indian food should be naturally GF, as it’s centered around rice and yummy (flour-free) sauces but sometimes there can be a language barrier, which can make it difficult to be completely clear on what’s gluten-free and what’s not.

Upon recommendations from friends, David and I decided to try out Bhojanic, a Decatur Indian restaurant, for our belated Valentine’s date.  I emailed with the manager earlier in the week and they assured me that many of their items are gluten-free.  Bhojanic is located in a strip mall on Claremont Road (just off of I-85), not downtown Decatur.  It’s very easy to get to and parking is hassle free, unlike downtown Decatur.

When we arrived at Bhojanic, we were immediately seated and of course started salivating at the menu.  There were so many items on the menu, which made me feel confident that there would be something I could enjoy.  It was actually a bit overwhelming to know where to start with the menu, but our waiter was very patient and took the time to explain many of the dishes to us.  (David and I both ask lots of questions!)

In talking to our waiter, he was a bit overly confident that certain things were gluten-free.  For example, he assured us the cornbread was gluten-free, but we had him double check and it turns out that they do dust the bread in flour.  This was a good reminder to me that it’s always worth it to really make sure your waiter verify ingredients with the kitchen.  Even though I didn’t want to be pushy, I also didn’t want to ruin our Valentine’s date.  David is my biggest advocate when it comes to dining out, so he’s always willing to ask, if I’m not feeling as assertive as I need to be.  (Thank you, Valentine.)

We ended up ordering a handful of different items on the menu, but our meal centered around Chicken Tikka Masala, which is hands down my favorite Indian dish.  At each restaurant, tikka masala is a little different, so you never know exactly what you’re going to get, but it’s a tomato based sauce that is delicious, and varying in spice levels.  At bhojanic, you can order different sizes of this dish but David and I wanted enough for two (and leftovers) so we got the bigger serving.  We also ordered a rice bowl to share with our tikka masala.  The tikka masala had a bit of a kick to it, and was one of the best we’ve ever eaten and the leftovers the next day were equally as delicious.

Chicken Tikka Masala…so good.

Everything we ordered at bhojanic was gluten-free so  we could share all of our dishes.  It’s so much more fun when you can happily stick your fork in your date’s food and take a bite, without worry.  At this point, I don’t fully remember what we ordered (apologies!) but it was all delicious.  We enjoyed a chickpea side dish, a tapas dish that involved shrimp, and a cheese appetizer.  Bhojanic has a long list of specials each night so the menu online is not comprehensive and most of the items we ordered aren’t even on it.  Hence, I can’t tell you exactly what we ate, but you can see the photos.

Shrimp tapas

Yummy cheese dish: Beware, those are jalepenos, not okra, like I originally thought.

I would definitely recommend bhojanic, but you want to make sure to check with your server or the manager about each specific dish.  Also, they do not use a separate fryer so I would avoid anything fried.  A successful Valtentine’s date night and David’s already advocating that we go back!  Next time, I’ll remember what I ate.

bhojanic – 1363 Clairmont Road, Decatur,GA 30033
404.633.9233

Canoe Restaurant in Buckhead

Posted in Atlanta

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

“Welcome to Moe’s!”

Posted in Restaurants

Moe’s just released a new menu, with clear ingredient and allergen information.  Unfortunately, they don’t offer corn tortillas, but their bowls look yummy.  Corn chips aren’t gf but you could always bring your own.  (Just don’t share your salsa or guac with the rest of the table!)  All of the meats are GF, as well as beans and rice, and lots of toppings.  Click here for more information about their new menu and clarification on gluten-free items.  Always make sure to ask servers to change their gloves when making your dish.

Moe’s is a great place to go for a quick and easy dinner.  Have you tried Moe’s new menu?  What are some of the highlights?  Did employees seem knowledgeable?  Never hesitate to ask to talk to the manager for clarification!  Better safe than sorry.

Making Pumpkin Bread with Pamela’s

Posted in Baking

I heart Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix.  If you are new to the gluten-free world, Pamela’s is a must-purchase for you.  This is an easy go-to mix for making pancakes, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, and other yummy treats.  The folks at Pamela’s have a great recipe and you can add minimal ingredients to their base mix in order to make a delicious baked good.

David’s Saturday morning specialty: Pamela’s Pancakes

While I love experimenting with my own flour combinations when baking gluten-free, sometimes you just need something quick and easy.  Pamela’s is just that…oh, and it tastes yummy too.  Even my brother, who is the biggest gluten-eater I know, loves homemade chocolate chip cookies with Pamela’s.

Another thing I heart is baking with pumpkin.  Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin bread are all at the top of my list of favorite sweets, especially as we enter the cool weather months.  I find that baking with pumpkin adds moistness (for a lack of a better word) and sponginess to gluten-free treats.  Last week, I wanted to make a quick and easy pumpkin bread and I found this recipe on Pamela’s website.  Perfect!  I didn’t even make the Crumble Nut Topping and it was delicious.  I also like making this pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, if I really want to please my sweet tooth.  Since I was serving the pumpkin bread with soup, I went the more savory route and omitted the chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Bread with Crumble Nut Topping

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1-1/3 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Topping: (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of nuts (sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans)

Beat together butter, sugar, egg, and pumpkin. Add remaining bread ingredients and mix together. Gently mix in chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased loaf pan (8 x 4). Mix nut topping ingredients and smooth evenly over batter to the edges. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.

Enjoy!

An Abundance of GF Options at Fuego Mundo

Posted in Restaurants

Recently, I ventured north, just ITP (that’s “inside the perimeter for you non-Atlantans) to Fuego Mundo in Sandy Springs.  My friend, Sarah, and I met up for lunch at this self described “South American Woodfire Grill,” that was definitely worth the drive.

Don’t let the setting in a strip mall deceive you…Fuego is deliciously unique!

Not only was the food delicious, but almost everything is gluten-free.  In fact all of their entrees and sides are naturally gluten and dairy free.  Wow!  I love having choices and not worrying about contamination.  You get your choice of a side included with your order of an entrée, and their selection was right up my alley.

The grill where the cooking happens. No worries of contamination on this grill.

I ultimately went with the chicken skewers as my entrée and “The Health Nut” for my side dish.  The chicken skewers were so yummy, perfectly blackened on the grill.  The “health nut” included quinoa, black beans and baked plantains.  Delicious.  I like to mix everything on my plate and this was the perfect combination.  It’s hard to beat a good batch of quinoa and I’d never thought to mix black beans and quinoa, but I will definitely be doing this at home too.  I could have used about twice as many baked plantains, but otherwise, the serving sizes were very generous!  (I ate my leftovers for dinner the next night.)

Chicken skewers and plantain chips

The Health Nut

Other items on the menu that tempted me were the lamb chops (a little pricier) and the steak skewers.  Fuego also has a large selection of fish on their menu, ranging from tilapia to salmon.  There’s even tofu for vegetarians.  The Veggie Lovers Stir Fry with quinoa came in as a close second to the Health Nut, for my choice of side, but I think I’ll stick with the Health Nut because it was so good.

Also, I didn’t realize this when I went to Fuego Mundo, but Jennifer Harris, of the Gluten-Free Examiner recently informed us that Fuego is now offering gluten-free carrot cake.  A-mazing.  It’s a must that I go back and sample the carrot cake.  Anyone up for a lunch or dinner date?

Fuego Mundo at the Prado:

5590 Roswell Road
Suite A120
Sandy Springs, GA 30342
404-256-4330

Lotus Cafe: Dining in Jackson Hole

Posted in Bakery

Normally, when I travel, my anxiety levels rise, as I’m far away from the restaurants I love and the safety of my own kitchen.  While we were out west, however, I didn’t find myself worrying about food.  Everywhere we went in Wyoming and Montana, people knew about gluten and were willing to accommodate me if they didn’t already have their gluten-free items listed on the menu.  We also didn’t feel limited to only eating at really nice restaurants, as there were plenty of more casual restaurants that had a wide range of options for me.  Particularly in Jackson Hole, I don’t even feel like we began to tap into the dining world, but we did get a great sampling of the yummy (and gluten-free) flavors Jackson Hole has to offer.

On our first afternoon in Jackson, we took a stroll around the downtown.  I spotted the Lotus Cafe immediately and was hopeful that there would be options for me at this quirky spot.  Fortunately, my hunch was right.  Serving everything from Pad Thai to burgers to Indian food, Lotus’ huge menu indicates every item that can be made gluten-free. Basically everything on their menu can be ordered gluten-free, and I really mean everything.  (Their website indicates 99% of the menu can be made GF.)

Many GF treats greeted me in the glass case!

After enjoying drinks at Spring Creek with my friend Beanie, (and attempting to adjust to the altitude) we returned to Lotus for our first dinner in Jackson.  I was immediately overwhelmed by the plethora of options…what a rare treat!

One of my favorite menu items was the gluten-free samosas with spiced peas and potatoes.  This dish, which is basically a large breaded dumpling, is always a no-no for me.  At Lotus, however, they use a combination of brown and white rice flour in their samosa recipe.  Delicious!  The sauce accompanying the dish is amazing too.

GF Veggie Samasos

For our entrees, David and I decided to share, since I could actually know for sure that his meal was gluten-free too.  He ordered the chicken tikka masala (one of our family favorites) and I went with the ‘Fiesta Bowl’ with bison.  The fiesta bowl consisted of a mix of bison, cheese, lettuce, corn chips, lentils and other yummy goodness.  I always like to combine everything on my plate so this dish was perfect for me.  The tikka masala also received positive reviews from both of us and I loved getting to reach across the table and grab a bite off David’s plate and not worry about contamination, gluten, etc.  It’s the simple pleasures in life, right?

Fiesta Bowl with Bison

Chicken Tikka Masala

What a meal!  Oh, and the best part is that Lotus also serves breakfast and lunch.  All of their sandwiches can be prepared on their homemade gluten-free bread.  The whole time I ate my dinner I was planning when we could return to try their other food!  Unfortunately we never got back to Lotus for lunch but we did go for coffee and breakfast a couple of times.

GF & Vegan Zuchinni Muffin (even David loved it!)

If you’re in Jackson, Lotus is the perfect place to go just for a cup of coffee.  We brought our books and would make a morning of it until we got motivated to start moving and hiking.  (More about the hiking and reading later.)  All of Lotus’ baked goods (cookies, muffins, etc.) are vegan, making them dairy free and egg free.  Many of their items are also gluten-free.  Fortunately, I didn’t realize the muffins were vegan until after ordering.  (Usually I shy away from foods that are missing milk, eggs, and butter!)  These muffins were delicious!

Raspberry Cashew Muffin

I have a much more positive attitude towards vegan items now that I’ve sampled these amazing treats.  During our time in Jackson, I enjoyed Lotus’ raspberry cashew muffin and zucchini muffin.  So good.  One morning I also ordered the ‘Maya,’ steamed quinoa with apples, cinnamon candied walnuts and organic milk.  Sweet quinoa is quite possibly my favorite culinary discovery while out west.

Maya: Hearty Quinoa with a sweet crunch

Sadly, I did not get to try nearly as many things as I would have liked at Lotus, as we were only in Jackson three short days.  Other dishes that stood out to me on the menu included:

  • The Deluxe breakfast sandwich (David ordered this but got it with glutenous bread…he’d done enough sharing at that point.)

David’s Deluxe Breakfast Sandwich (can be ordered on homemade GF bread)

  • Pad Thai
  • Chicken Mango Spring Rolls
  • GF espresso chocolate chip cookie

I guess I’ll just have to go back to Jackson to sample the rest.  When I started this post, I thought I would write about all of the restaurants where we ate in Jackson, but clearly I’ve got a lot to say.  The others will just have to wait.  Lotus definitely deserves an entire post to itself.  Thank you, Lotus Café.  I hope to see you again soon.

PS: Lotus also has gluten-free tamari/soy sauce on every table.  Even labeled!  Who doesn’t want a little soy sauce on their raspberry cashew muffin?

Lotus Café -145 North Glenwood Street in downtown Jackson

Phantom of the Opera & Taqueria del Sol

Posted in Restaurants

On Gluten Freedom, I’ve shared with you many things about me.  Many nerdy and quirky things about me.

You know that I love ‘The Bachelorette.’  Did you see last night’s episode??  Frank is pitiful.  I once again vowed that I’m never going to watch another episode of the show.

You know that I love famous chefs and folk music.  Um, Indigo Girls are playing in Atlanta on October 15th.  Mark your calendars!

You know that I dream of someday being a farmer.  Now that I’ve spent some time working at Serenbe Farm this summer, I’m not sure I have the stamina for that career.  (Bugs like me too much…I’m covered in chigger bites as I write.)

One of the other things that I love which I haven’t really shared with you is musicals.  To quote Tobias Funke from ‘Arrested Development,’ (a great show, by the way…much better than ‘Bachelorette’) I love the “theeeater.”  As a child, my favorite family trip was to New York City where we saw three musicals in 48 hours.  This trip would be my husband’s worst nightmare, but he politely puts up with my love of musicals, nonetheless.

Can I sing?  Nope.  Did I ever act?  Not once.  Do I still love shows?  Heck yes.  Why, I’m not quite sure.  Maybe it’s because that’s what we listened to in the car when I was little.  (I had no idea how racy “Les Mis” is until around age 18.  The song, ‘Lovely Ladies’…Wow.)

So last week, when our friends, Peyten and Stan, asked if we would like to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at the Fox Theater with them, I quickly accepted before asking David what he thought about the idea.  I hadn’t seen ‘Phantom’ in 12 years, and they’re claiming this is the last national tour of the show.  (Probably just a marketing ploy, but I fell for it nonetheless.)

After accepting Peyten’s offer, then came the question of where to go for dinner before the show.  An 8:00 start time limits one’s options, especially for me, who always worries about being on time.  (I don’t want to risk missing the overture.)

Peyten suggested Taqueria del Sol as it’s apparently a quick stop for a meal, despite the long line that’s always stretching out the door.  I had never been to this beloved Atlanta spot, as I’m weary about places that serve food quickly and en masse.  Thanks to blogger, Celiac Eats, who loves Taqueria del Sol, I was willing to give it a try.  As the time for dinner got closer, I became more anxious about the impending meal.  (I know that’s weird for you non-celiacs, but going out to dinner can be very scary, especially when you’ll be confined to a theater seat for the next three hours.)  I texted my friend, Anne, (also celiac) and asked her opinion.  She was lukewarm on Taqueria so I began to plan on eating dinner prior to the Taqueria stop.

David encouraged me to call ahead, just in case, and I did.  He’s full of great ideas.  The manager, with whom I spoke, has a gluten allergy herself.  She knew everything I could eat and was very specific, which I love.  She even told me that I can have chips if I come for lunch, but not for dinner because at that point the fryer is contaminated.  Such helpful information!

Most of the enchiladas are totally gluten free and the corn tortillas can be substituted for the tacos.  They were some of the best corn tortillas I’ve ever eaten.  For dinner, I ordered one Memphis taco and one Veggie taco, with a side of the Charros beans.  I also got some guacamole because I can never resist guac.  The brisket taco is also gluten-free so I’ll try that one next time.  Both of my tacos were delicious.  The Memphis comes with smoked pork, jalapenos, bbq sauce and cole slaw.  A perfect combination.  Sweet, salty and crunchy.  (I love weird combos and combining textures.)  The veggie taco was delish as well!  I enjoyed my meal while sipping on a tequila and tonic.  Yes, a tequila and tonic.  Don’t knock it ‘till you try it.  I promise, you’ll love it.  Just think margarita, without the too tart, too sweet grime that stays on your teeth.

As I mentioned, Taqueria has an intimidating line out front, but it’s worth it.  You can walk to the bar and order a drink to enjoy while you wait in line.  The line moves fairly quickly so it looks worse than it is.  I’m so glad to discover another spot in Atlanta where I can grab a quick, and relatively cheap meal, that’s gluten-free friendly.

And of course, we made it to the Fox in plenty of time and I thoroughly enjoyed the show, trying not to sing along.  Afterwards, I did have trouble explaining to David why I think ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is so good.  It just is.

Whole Foods Buckhead Hosting Gluten-Free Expo

Posted in Cooking

I just learned from the Gluten-Free Examiner, Jennifer Harris, that there will be a gluten-free expo on Saturday, August 7 from 12-4, at the Buckhead Whole Foods.  There will be demonstrations and gluten-free vendors so you should definitely check out this GF event.

Whole Foods has been a very successful grocery chain, with mixed reviews.  Some criticize it for pushing out smaller, local, natural food stores while others applaud it for bringing quality ingredients to communities and supporting some (not all) local farms.  A January article in the New Yorker entitled, “Food Fighter” featured Whole Foods’ founder and CEO, John Mackey.  This article provides an interesting perspective on the store and Mackey.  It’s worth the read.

Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey

Despite the controversy associated with this high-end grocery store, I always appreciate Whole Foods’ large selection of gluten-free foods, and random ingredients like quinoa, almond flour, bean sprouts, and every nut you can imagine.

Here are some of my favorite things about Whole Foods:

  • Great selection and prices on wine (10% off if you buy in bulk.)
  • Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse Pie Crust (Great for Tomato Pie & Quiche)
  • Each item in salad bar is clearly labeled with ingredients
  • Amazing cheese selection
  • The best store bought gluten-free cupcakes, ever.
  • People say Whole Foods is expensive (and it is) but there are good deals to be found.  Cedar’s hummus is often “Bo-Go” and Lara Bars are often the best price in town.  (You get an extra 10% off if you buy the whole box.)
  • Whole Foods meets all of the shopping needs for the contestants on Top Chef.  (Sometimes the tilapia’s frozen or one contestant buys out all of the lamb chops before his opponent can get to them, but for the most part Whole Foods has everything.)

Thoughts on Whole Foods?  Favorite Saturday splurge when wandering the aisles?

Delicious Mexican Food in Atlanta & DC

Posted in Atlanta

I love Mexican food, in fact it’s one of my favorite genres of food.  It can be tricky to find good, Mexican cuisine that is safely gluten-free, as there are often language barriers and risks of contamination.  When we lived near Washington, D.C., I was lucky enough to find two Mexican places I loved: Tortilla Coast and Rosa Mexicano.  Much to my excitement, when we moved to Atlanta, I discovered that there’s a Rosa Mexicano in Atlantic Station, just a few miles from us.  David and I went to the Atlanta Rosa Mexicano last weekend and were just as pleased with our meal here as back in the District.

A word of warning: Rosa Mexicano is not your cheap, order by number, Mexican food.  Rosa Mexicano’s food is high-quality, with fresh, natural ingredients.  Not only does Rosa Mexicano serve great food, but they are gluten-free friendly, as they use corn tortillas and they fry their tortilla chips in a fryer that’s free from gluten.  If you check out Rosa Mexicano’s website, they even have a gluten-free menu.  The Atlantic Station restaurant didn’t actually have copies of the GF menu, but having perused the online version earlier, I had an idea of my GF options and what I wanted to order.  When going to Rosa Mexicano, or any restaurant, make sure that you double check with the chef about what’s gluten-free, even if they have a gluten-free menu.  Our waiter was very friendly and willing to run back and forth to the kitchen for us.  He double checked everything for us.

If you go to Rosa Mexicano, you must get the guacamole that they prepare table side.  It’s so good, I want to lick the bowl.  Every last bit of guac gets scraped out of the dish’s crevices.  Their guacamole’s amazing, fresh, and you know exactly what’s in it because you see them make it.  (A celiac’s dream!)  As I mentioned before, the chips are gluten-free as are the tortillas so I can dip away!  David’s a competitive eater when it comes to guac, so I just have to make sure I eat quickly and/or hoard some of the avocado-goodness on my plate.  Normally I take my time when I eat, but it’s hard to maintain any manners when the guacamole is put on the table.  Every man (and woman) is left to fend for himself (herself).

For my entrée, I usually go with one of the versions of the Tacos al asador: pork, steak or chicken.  These are actually more like fajitas than what I think of as tacos, and I love ‘building my own’ from the platter of meat, veggies, beans and rice.  On our most recent visit, David and I each got one order of tacos and shared.  I love being able to share at a restaurant!  David ordered the pork and I chose the chicken.  I don’t usually order chicken at restaurants, but Rosa Mexicano’s chicken tacos are delicious and I particularly look forward to the cheese, onions and peppers that are cooked with the chicken.  These dishes come with unlimited corn tortillas, and the black beans are speckled with cheese.  David and I splurged that night by ordering two entrees, but in the past we’ve just ordered the guacamole and one order of tacos, and it was plenty of food for the two of us.

If you’re craving Mexican food and want a restaurant safe from gluten, you should definitely check out one of Rosa Mexicano’s locations in Atlanta, DC, Miami, L.A., or New York.  While the food’s a little pricier than most Mexican establishments, it’s worth the splurge.

“We’ll Always Have Baltimore:” Homemade Crab Cakes

Posted in Cooking

“Crabcakes and football! That’s what Maryland does.” As a former Baltimore resident myself, I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard this line in the great comedy, Wedding Crashers. I don’t know if I agree with the football part, but Marylanders definitely take great pride in their crab cakes, and rightfully so.  After two years of living in Maryland, David and I remain quite biased in favor of the Commonwealth of Virginia since that’s where we were born and raised.  We even tend to be a bit tough on the state of Maryland.  We do have fond memories of our first two years of marriage in Baltimore, our friends, students, favorite local spots (Nacho’s Mama’s!), and of course, crab cakes.

You probably don’t know this, but the 2006 Miss USA Pageant was actually filmed in Baltimore.  (Isn’t that exciting?)  I think David and I might have been the only people to watch the pageant at all, let alone it’s entirety.  Seeing the host, Carson Kressley (remember, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?) prancing around Baltimore, enthusiastically shouting about all of the beautiful sights and tourist attractions was mind numbing, yet we couldn’t stop watching.  (Who knew Baltimore had so many things to see?)  While I might not be moving back to Baltimore in the near future,  to quote the 2006 Miss USA Pageant Host, Carson’s comment to co-host, Nancy O’Dell of Access Hollywood, “We’ll Always Have Baltimore.”  Yes, we’ll always have Baltimore.

Last week, Jen (a Baltimore native and avid fan of The Wire), invited David and me over for homemade crab cakes, using fresh Chesapeake Bay crab meat sent by her mom.  Since restaurant-made crab cakes contain breadcrumbs as the binder for the crab meat, I was so excited about the rare opportunity to enjoy a gluten-free crab cake, triggering Baltimore and Eastern Shore nostalgia. Jen’s family recipe calls for Saltines but she used Glutino crackers instead. Absolutely delicious. Even the gluten eaters didn’t notice a difference. I love the use of Old Bay in this recipe.  It just wouldn’t be right to not include this great seasoning spice in a Maryland crab recipe.

The Lalley’s Maryland Crab Cakes:

  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • 3 T mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t Old Bay seasoning
  • 6 crumbled Glutino Crackers
  • Fresh chopped parsley

Pick out any pieces of shell in crab cakes. (It wouldn’t be authentic if there wasn’t a little bit of shell. Mix all of ingredients together and mold into crab cakes.

Sautee cakes in butter on medium heat until slightly browned on both sides. You could alternatively broil them. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

We enjoyed our crab cakes with asparagus and a delicious salad made by Maury, the salad expert. Such a great spring meal!  We’ll always have Baltimore…