Posts Tagged ‘celiac’

Perfect Sunday: Pizza & Football at Mellow Mushroom

Posted in Atlanta, favorite things, GF product, Uncategorized on October 13th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

How did I not (re)discover Mellow Mushroom pizza earlier???  Of course I remember Mellow Mushroom from my college days in Charlottesville, sitting outside, after a long day of tailgating.  Nothing went better with a pitcher of beer than a Mellow Mushroom pizza and pretzels.  Mmm, just thinking about that crust and those late afternoons makes me miss college and my gluten-eating days.

While I had read that Mellow Mushroom has a gluten-free pizza, I just hadn’t made it over there yet.  What was I thinking?  One Sunday afternoon, David and I decided to head over to the Mellow Mushroom on Peachtree Road and try out the GF pizza.  Not only was the craving for pizza pulling us toward Peachtree’s Mellow Mushroom, but their flat screen TVs and the NFL Sunday Ticket.

We’ve discovered our perfect spot for watching the Redskins when they’re not on the Atlanta networks.  Mellow Mushroom was just the right place for an early Sunday dinner with four football games happening around us.

Kosmic Karma with sausage: so many toppings. I love it!

I was very pleased by the GF pizza at Mellow Mushroom.  Of course it’s not the same as the pizza I remember from my C’ville days, but it’s pretty darn good.  And, they don’t skimp on the toppings so it’s not overly bready.  I went with the Kosmic Karma pizza with sausage and it was amazing.  I can’t resist anything with pesto!  The sundried tomatoes, feta, and spinach are an awesome combination.  Since my first visit, I’ve ordered the Kosmic Karma with chicken, another good protein addition.  (Going with just the veggies is plenty of food and flavor, so don’t feel like you have to order a protein topping.)

Almost all of Mellow Mushroom’s toppings are gluten free, and our server was very knowledgeable as to which ones contained gluten.

Unfortunately, Mellow Mushroom does not currently offer gluten-free beer on their menu but hopefully if more people request GF beer, they’ll add it to their beverage list.

 

Will I be going back to Mellow Mushroom? Um, already have.  Thanks, Mellow Mushroom, for making a delicious GF pizza that satisfies my carb and greasy food cravings!  I’ll look forward to more Sunday afternoons with you.  You can also call ahead and order takeout too.  Another great option for an easy Sunday dinner! The Vinings location also sells gluten-free pizzas, if that’s closer to your neck of the woods.

Note: I found that reheating the GF pizza worked best in the oven, not in the microwave.  The pizza returns to its normal state in the oven, but is not so good in the microwave.

Mellow Mushroom – 1770 Peachtree Street NW – Atlanta, GA, 30309 – 404.687.4766

Article in NY Post on Gluten

Posted in media on October 5th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Check out this article in the NY Post, entitled, “The City’s New Psychosis: Gluten!” It raises some interesting points about the gluten-free diet and how many folks are adopting this diet, even without a celiac or allergy diagnosis.  The article even mentions my favorite GF bakery, Tu-Lu’s Bakery.

After you read the article, let me know what you think.  Is it bad for GF to be trendy like Tom’s?  Or does the expansion of the GF world help promote awareness?

PS: Have you seen, New Girl, the new show in Fox’s Tuesday night line up?  Well, David and I think it’s pretty hysterical so you should check it out.  AND, this article mentions that the show’s star, Zooey Deschanel, is gluten free.  Another GF celeb…Is it getting too trendy?

Amazon Prime

Posted in advice, GF product, online shopping, Uncategorized on September 29th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

I’ve recently been converted to the world of Amazon Prime.  My sister-in-law, Blair, convinced me that Amazon Prime is the way to go, as it diminishes the frequency of shopping, which for me is a huge plus.  Basically, I hope to buy all of my food, toiletries, etc. (except meat and veggies) through Amazon Prime.

For those of you that don’t know about Amazon Prime, it’s truly genius.  You pay an annual fee of $79 and you get free two day shipping on all of your purchases (that qualify for Amazon Prime, which is most items). Not only will I be buying things like toilet paper, laundry detergent and trash bags, but even groceries.  (And of course there will always be the book impulse buys.)

Did you know that Amazon has an amazing selection of gluten-free products???  Some of my favorite GF items are on Amazon.  This is a great option if you live in a small town and don’t have access to a Whole Foods or natural food store.  Or if you’re like me, and the thought of going to Costco or a shopping mall makes you break out in a sweat.

Mesa Sunrise Cereal

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lara Bars

 

bionaturae fusili Pasta

Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (Enviro Kids)

Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

 

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats

 

Jif to Go

Bye bye Costco membership, hello Amazon Prime!  Just make sure you recycle all of the Amazon boxes you’ll start to accumulate!

What do you like to order on Amazon Prime?

American Gra-Frutti: Product Review

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, GF product, local food, Uncategorized on September 26th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

You may have seen American Gra-Frutti at your Atlanta Whole Foods or perhaps at a Braves game, in the gluten-free concession stand.

Did you know they’re a local, Atlanta company?

Did you know they are a 100% gluten-free bakery?

Did you know they make a variety of vegan treats?

Well, now you know!  You should check American Gra-Frutti’s website out and learn more.  Recently, they sent me a bunch of treats that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying.  And the ones I can’t yet get to, like a loaf of bread, I just stuck in the freezer for a later date.

This isn’t your typical bakery folks…sure, they have cupcakes, breads, and muffins but just wait, there’s more.  American Gra-Frutti makes two of my favorite items that I have not had since I was diagnosed with celiac FOUR years ago!

#1: Cheese straws: If you grew up in Virginia, like me, or anywhere in the south, you probably share my love for cheese straws.  I freakin’ love cheese straws.  They remind me of the holidays, of the gift baskets my parents always received from their students, and of course, they remind me of cocktail time.  American Gra’Frutti’s cheese straw crackers are so good, I had to keep a close watch on them because David wanted to devour every single one of them from the moment the package was opened.  They’re that good.  Perfectly cheesy, crispy and with a spicy kick.  Just the way I remember them.  And reasonably priced!

#2: Graham crackers: These crispy, sweet treats can be enjoyed a variety of ways (peanut butter and nutella?) but they are best when used for the sandwich of a s’more.  Since we got our package of graham crackers, David and I have started making s’mores all the time.  They’re the perfect dessert, especially now that we’re heading into the cool weather months.  We’ve been cheating a little and just heating up our marshmallows over the grill.  Still delicious!  American Gra-Frutti’s graham crackers hold together perfectly with s’mores, and yes, you can fit two jumbo marshmallows between two of them.

You can order American Gra-Frutti through their website or at the Buckhead Whole Foods.  Where else have you found these treats?

Next time I’ve got my eyes on the carrot cake!  Thank you, American Gra-Frutti for safely making delicious gluten-free food.

PS: Their flat bread with hummus is currently my favorite afternoon snack…

Charlottesville Travel Article

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on September 6th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

If you went to the University of Virginia, you’re most likely as in love with Charlottesville, Virginia as I am.  We Wahoos can be a little snobby about “The University” and our favorite historical figure, Mr. Jefferson.  (That’s right, he didn’t go by “President” just “Mr.”)

I give Charlottesville credit for a lot of things in my life: a great college education, my husband (who gave me my tour of UVA my senior year of high school), wonderful memories, and my nerdy love of history.

Needless to say, when I was asked by Living Without Magazine to write a travel article about Charlottesville, I couldn’t resist.  Of course I had way too many gushing things to say about C’Ville, even though when I was a student, I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with celiac.  I’ve been back many times since and have learned to navigate the GF world in C’Ville.  I also enlisted the help of two of my former students (who are way cooler than me), Liz and Eleanor.  They are now living the dream as 2nd years at UVA…they also have celiac so could give me the scoop on all of the yummy spots they enjoy.

Check out my article on Charlottesville by clicking here or buy the October/November issue of Living Without at your local Whole Foods or health food store.  While I miss the delicious Take it Away sandwiches and Bodo’s Bagels, there are more and more options in C’ville for us gluten-freers.  I promise!

Even bon appetit says it’s good to be gluten free!

Posted in advice, recipe on September 1st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

The September issue of Bon Appetit has a “Good Health” article entitled “Gluten-Free for All.”  The article discusses the notion that more and more people are realizing that following a gluten-free diet makes everyone feel better, not just those of us with celiac disease or a diagnosed gluten allergy. I’ve been saying this since I went gluten free!  I’m glad to know that the medical world has finally caught up with me.

The Bon Appetit article states, “Devotees say eliminating gluten gives them more energy, fewer aches and pains, and less bloating and depression…after years of skepticism, doctors now think they’re right.”

“Gluten-Free for All” also includes two yummy recipes that I will definitely be making: South Indian Lentil Cakes with Raita and Thai Ginger Chicken Salad.  Yum!

Any of you gluten-eating folks willing to give the gluten-free diet a try for a couple of weeks?  Do it for your health!  I promise, you’ll feel energized and your tummy won’t be so darn temperamental.

A Mother-Daughter Evening at Posana Cafe: Asheville, NC

Posted in Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized, vegetarian on August 11th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

I’m fortunate to have a handful of friends that live gluten-free, making it a treat to go out to dinner with them and always a little more relaxing to dine in their homes.   One of those special people in my life is Carter, also known as “Chili-T.”  An academic, talented writer, and friend, I asked Carter to indulge my readers with the details of the experience she recently shared with her mom at Posana Café, an entirely GF restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina.  Asheville is on the top of my list of places to visit, but I still haven’t made the trek.  Well, I did go to Asheville once, when I was about 10 years old, but I only remember the fancy food elevator system at the Biltmore Mansion..

From Carter:

I’m not quite sure I’ve enjoyed a more delectable feast than the one my mama and I shared together at Posana Cafe during our recent weekend getaway to Asheville, North Carolina.  On the morning before we made our trek to the beautiful mountainous region of Western North Carolina, Betsy gave me the scoop about this particular eatery in that it boasts a Gluten-Free Food Service Accreditation and has been awarded for its commitment to safe gluten-free food service.  So, no sweat on the brow, no tremulous tummy aches, no nervous nail-biting worries at dinner.

Carter's mom in front of Posana

Because of the craziness of the concurrent Bel Chere festival taking place the same weekend of our “quiet escape” to North Carolina, we wisely made a Saturday night dinner reservation and had the choice of sitting outside or in.  Although the patio was quite spacious and provided beautiful views of the sites and sounds of the folk milling about downtown Asheville’s historic Pack Square, we decided to forgo the heat and people-watching distractions and enjoy the lovely ambiance inside.

Served by Cythera, our wonderful waitress, and an equally friendly serving staff, Mama and I were treated like queens during the entire meal.  We explored their beautiful menu from start to finish and delighted in seeing the names of actual local farms from which their delicious fare comes.  It was evident that we were in a restaurant dedicated to its community and equally dedicated to responsible, sustainable practices; even their literature that we picked up to review was made from recycled, post-consumer waste, chlorine-free paper.  Cheers to going green (Atlanta, step up)!

While their main entrees looked incredible (and reasonable!), and we were quite tempted by such seafood selections of trout and scallops, we decided to get a wider expanse of tastes by ordering a sampling of items from their appetizer, salad, and small plate sections.  Our first course consisted of two summer essentials: the soup of the day, a fresh gazpacho with cucumber-mint sorbet, and the Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp, artfully wrapped and presented with gluten-free ponzu dipping sauce.  Taking one bite at a time, we savored every morsel.  Had we been in the company of our own home, I’m quite certain that mama and I would have each taken turns at licking clean our gazpacho bowl.  Neither of us had ever tasted a soup so refreshing, and the dab of cucumber-mint sorbet in the middle was an unbelievable accompaniment that really brought it to life.

Grilled Veggies

We were still savoring our first course when our next series of goodies arrived, and as Cythera and company presented the plates of our marinated grilled vegetables, ricotta gnocchi, and local kale salad, our eyes were on stems.  The vegetable plate consisted of thick, meaty slices of grilled eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash, alongside warm quinoa salad with wilted spinach, tomatoes, parmesan, and all drizzled with basil oil.  I had never before had gnocchi (potato dumplings), and our ricotta gnocchi was one of the most glorious things I have ever tasted.  My mouth somersaulted with delight over this particular dish that offered heaps of gnocchi, sun gold tomatoes, wild mushrooms, and local goat cheese, all swimming together in the most delicious sauce.  As if those two were not enough to satisfy and excite our palates, believe it or not, the local kale salad was our favorite.  It arrived as a magnificent mound, freshly tossed with pumpkin seeds, currants, manchego cheese, lemon, and olive oil.  It was seemingly so simple and yet so absolutely divine.

Kale Salad

Riccotta Gnocchi

While we did not want the evening, nor our grand feast to end, our parting gift came in the form of dessert.  As die-hard ice-cream lovers, mama and I shared a serving of Belgian chocolate sorbet and mint chocolate ice cream, both made from scratch in the restaurant.  We closed our eyes with every bite and could taste every single natural ingredient.  This truly sent us over the moon and completed our heavenly evening at Posana Café.

Delicious Dessert

Even though we only experienced dinner, it is also open for breakfast and lunch, and I imagine that ANY food made in this glorious restaurant is nothing short of fantastic.  Mama and I left feeling filled with good, REAL, natural food, and absolutely satisfied in mind, body, and spirit.  Thank you, Posana Café, for an unforgettable experience; we WILL see you again…the sooner, the better.

Guest Blogger "Chili-T" & "Mama"

More GF Options in Norfolk: Carolina Cupcakery

Posted in bakery, dessert, GF product, travel, Uncategorized on August 7th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Another place I checked out while in Norfolk was Carolina Cupcakery.  This delicious sweet spot, on Colley Avenue, makes a variety of cupcakes to accommodate special diets (vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, etc.)  For their gluten-free cupcakes they use a rice and tapioca flour blend.  The woman I talked to was extremely knowledgeable about gluten-free and told me that they make their GF cupcakes at their Chesapeake location and they have a designated area of the bakery and equipment to use for these items.  They arrive at the Norfolk store already packaged individually so no cross contamination to worry about.  Good work, Carolina!

After a day of unpacking boxes, everyone deserves a treat, right?  I tried the variety with vanilla cake, chocolate chips and chocolate icing.  So yummy!  I love icing but it was a lot of icing, even for me.  My brother will love this place once he arrives.  I really liked the texture of the cake and the taste of icing and cake…it wasn’t a fondant type of icing.  (I’m not a big fan of fancy cake…I want something that tastes freshly made, for a high school bake fair, not an “over the top” wedding reception, if you know what I mean.)  They have multiple varieties so it’s nice to have choices!

I really enjoyed this sweet treat and I’ll absolutely be returning to Carolina Cupcakery when I head back to Norfolk for a visit.

 

 

 

 

Carolina Cupcakery: Colley Ave.

Carolina’s Cupcakery – 2019 Colley Ave. #102 – Norfolk, VA – 757.531.1548

Cupcakes, Cozy Dinners & Chris Rock: Another Day in NYC

Posted in bakery, travel, Uncategorized on May 24th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

nyc2tulus

David and I continued our trip through New York City on Saturday afternoon with a stop at Tu-Lu’s Bakery.  I’ve written about Tu-Lu’s before, when she first opened, a year and a half ago.  What began as a bakery with a few cookies and brownies, has exploded into panninis, coffee cakes, muffins, cakes, croutons, cookies, and other treats. Tu-Lu’s bakery offers vegan and dairy free options as well, but everything is gluten free.  Owner, Tully Lewis, is gluten free herself and she understands the need for delicious gluten-free products.

Over the course of our weekend, we managed to stop by Tu-Lu’s twice.  Yes, twice!  I showed no restraint while in the Big Apple.  On my first trip, David enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie, and I bought one of their special cupcake flavors: chocolate chip.  It combined two of my favorite things: cake and chocolate chips!  Tu-Lu’s mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour makes for a great base, but each of her goodies has been perfected and tweaked for the best flavor.  There are no funky after tastes with these treats and I would absolutely recommend Tu-Lu’s if you’re visiting New York City.  If you live in New York, consider ordering one of her beautiful cakes for a special, gluten-free occasion.  And of course, I purchased some treats to go, as well.

nyc2tulu

Tu-Lu's Chocolate Chip Cupcake...yum!

Since we enjoyed a late breakfast at Friedman’s and an afternoon snack at Tu-Lu’s, we skipped lunch on Saturday.  We also knew that we would be eating dinner on the early side because we were going to see a show that night.  (I love all things plays and musicals, so I couldn’t fathom being in New York and not buying tickets to a Broadway show.  David nicely complied.)

Il Buco

Il Buco

On Saturday night, we went to Il Buco for dinner.  This Mediterranean inspired restaurant feels warm and cozy on the inside, with pots and pans hanging from the ceiling.  I love the combination of rustic, yet elegant and I immediately fell in love with Il Buco when we stepped inside.  As I mentioned, we were early diners because we were seeing a play at 8:00 so we got to see the restaurant transform from a quiet hidden gem, to a bustling restaurant, full of good people watching.

Il Buco: So cozy

Il Buco: So cozy

Even during Il Buco’s transformation from quiet to hectic, over the next two hours, we were the recipients of amazing service the entire time.  I was so impressed by the attention we got and how much our server communicated with the chef about our orders.

While a significant amount of Il Buco’s menu involves some form of pasta, there were plenty of appealing options for me.  We started with the olives marinated in lemon zest, basil and rosemary that were meaty and delicious.  This mix of three different types of olives, was a perfect commencement to the meal, especially since I can’t enjoy the typical bread served at the beginning.

Olives marinated in lemon zest

Olives marinated in lemon zest

For an appetizer, David and I shared the beef carpaccio which I had never tried before but every bite was lovely. This dish included Niman Ranch grass fed beef fillet, marinated artichokes, and salmoriglio (whatever that is!).

As an entrée I branched out and tried the wreckfish with a tapenade and grilled artichokes, that came highly recommended by our server.  I tend to be a little nervous about ordering fish that I’ve never tried before, but I wanted to be a little more adventurous, and had enjoyed a fairly meat-heavy dinner the previous night at Perilla.

Il Buco's Wreckfish

Il Buco's Wreckfish

Il Buco was such a lovely dining experience and I will absolutely go back here the next time I’m in New York.  Even though it’s not a restaurant that advertises “gluten-free,” they were so hospitable and accommodating, that it’s definitely worth the trip.  You should make reservations, as it’s a very popular restaurant and not a large space.

After our dinner, we hopped back into a cab, and back to Broadway to see a production of The Mother F**ker with the Hat.  (Yes, you read that correctly.  That’s the name of the play.)  This intense, 90 minute show, stars Chris Rock and four other actors.  Recently nominated for a Tony for Best Play, “The Mother F-er with the Hat” is not the comedy you’d expect from Chris Rock.  It’s dark, emotional and quite depressing but David and I would both agree that we’re glad we saw it and it was very moving.  I grew up watching Chris Rock in Saturday Night Live and it was fun to see him on stage.  The other actors were gripping in their roles and I was definitely entertained.  (Note: While I loved the play, I would not bring children to this show or my in-laws, who I love dearly, but don’t think think it’s a great fit.  So, decide for yourself if it’s right for you.)  Get your tickets now because it’s only showing on Broadway for a limited time.

After the play finished, I made David wait outside the theater’s side entrance so we could watch the actors leave.  Nicely, David complied.  (David’s compliance is a theme, in case you can’t tell.)  For 45 minutes, we watched the actors leave one-by-one, and interact with the fans as they departed.  I’m not a big autograph person, but they signed autographs and thanked everyone for coming to the show.  I was quite star struck.

I couldn't help but snap a photo of Chris Rock!

I couldn't help but snap a photo of Chris Rock!

We then went out for a drink at a swanky hotel bar and called it a night.  Such a great (gluten-free) day for us in this fun city!  Stay tuned for our final 24 hours in NYC.

Recap:

Tu-Lu’s Bakery – 338 East 11th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue) – New York, NY 10003

Il Buco – 47 Bond St # 1 – New York, NY 10012-2450 – (212) 533-1932

Mother F**ker with the Hat – Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre – 236 West 45th Street (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue)- New York NY 10036

Whole Foods Market Hosts 3rd Annual Gluten-Free Expo

Posted in Atlanta, event on May 16th, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

If you’re in town this weekend you should check out the following invitation from the West Paces Ferry Road Whole Foods…

Join us for a day of all things GLUTEN FREE! Our 3rd Annual Gluten Free Expo will be held on Saturday, May 21st from 12:00pm-4:00pm at Whole Foods Market Buckhead.  We are hosting a diverse roster of gluten free vendors and representatives from the Atlanta Metro Celiac Society, as well as will feature the plethora of gluten free products from around the store.

Whole Foods Market – 77 West Paces Ferry Road Northwest – Atlanta, GA 30305 – (404) 324-4100