Posts Tagged ‘local’

Yummy Spoonfuls Baby Food…yes, I’m writing about baby food

Posted in Atlanta, GF product, pregnancy, vegetarian on March 1st, 2012 by Betsy – 4 Comments

I’ve never thought much about baby food before but now that I am going to be bringing a life into this world, I guess it’s something I need to think about.  I worry about what I put into my body so it’s only fitting that I should be concerned with what my baby gets in her body.

When I heard from the folks at Yummy Spoonfuls, I thought this could be a great opportunity to learn a little more about baby food.  (It’s a thrilling topic, I know.)

Yummy Spoonfuls makes organic baby food in 25 flavors and is committed to, “providing premium, organic, nutritious and fresh baby food that tastes good to even the most finicky baby.”  Each container of their food is made from scratch with all natural ingredients. Their products are free from salt, preservatives, gluten, dairy, additives, sugars and/or fillers. Sounds pretty healthy to me.  But will the little ones like it???

Connor pondering over how he feels about this new food.

Since my daughter is not yet here, I asked my friend, Meredith if she would be willing to try out Yummy Spoonfuls on her 7-month old son, Connor.

Here’s what Meredith had to say about Yummy Spoonfuls: Out of the three flavors (apple, pear, and butternut squash), Connor loved and gobbled down all of them, but I’d say he had a special liking for the butternut squash and was squealing for more after each bite.  I tasted all of them too and hands down they taste better than Gerber organic or earth’s best…definitely more flavor and less watery tasting.

Success! Connor wants more!

Looks like Yummy Spoonfuls isn’t just healthy but also appealing to little ones’ taste buds.  Have any of you fed Yummy Spoonfuls to your child?  What was their reaction?  Click here to find where you can get your hands on some Yummy Spoonfuls.

*Special thanks to Meredith, Scott and Connor for sampling and documenting Yummy Spoonfuls!

Atlanta’s Honeysuckle Gelato

Posted in Atlanta, dessert, favorite things, GF product, local food, Uncategorized on November 3rd, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Have you noticed that food trucks are all the rage in ATL?  Well, they are!  Sadly, many of the food trucks serve greasy sandwich type meals that don’t meet the needs of gluten-free diners.  BUT, I’ve discovered a food truck with plenty of GF options!  One of my new favorite things that’s uniquely local to Atlanta is Honeysuckle Gelato.  Native Atlantan, Wes Jones, decided to drop his regular job and start Honeysuckle Gelato with two of his buddies.  I, for one, am very thankful for his decision!  You can find his delicious gelato by following his stylish teal food truck.

Many of Honeysuckle’s flavors are naturally gluten free and so delicious.  Creamy, yummy and overflowing with natural ingredients, not a bunch of chemicals and artificial flavorings.  You might have seen Wes and Honeysuckle at the most recent gluten-free vendor fair.  If you were lucky enough, you tried his ridiculously amazing Salted Caramel flavor.  It is truly divine.  The salty-sweet flavors blend perfectly together and it’s the ideal evening treat!  If salted caramel doesn’t sound delicious to you, what about peanut butter honey or ginger molasses?  Go to their website to see more of Honeysuckle’s signature flavors.

Honeysuckle Gelato at the GF Vendor Fair

Honeysuckle also offers sorbets which are naturally gluten free and dairy free so there’s something for everyone!  Many of their flavors are naturally GF.  Mmm, chocolate mint or watermelon sorbet, anyone? Check out this southern inspired gelato for yourself!

Don't miss the Honeysuckle food truck!

Recently I asked Wes a few questions about himself and his new business.  Here’s what he had to say:

Gluten Freedom: Are you a native Atlantan?

Wes: Yes, I am.

Gluten Freedom: What do you love about Atlanta?

Wes: My wonderful friends and family and the amazing food! What are your favorite eats in Atlanta? That’s a tough one because there are so many great choices. Hal’s is usually up there and Fox Brothers has been a frequented place recently.  Other than that, anywhere in Decatur.

Gluten Freedom: How did you get interested in gelato?

Wes: My business partner, Jackson Smith, was making gelato in NYC at Il Laboratorio del Gelato and we first kicked the idea around of starting a gelato place here in Atlanta as a joke and before long we had talked ourselves into actually doing it.

Gluten Freedom: Where does one purchase a food truck?

Wes: The same place you purchase everything else…the internet.  We actually found our truck on eBay.  It was a New Orleans Shaved Ice Truck in a small town in Alabama.  We thought it looked cool so we convinced the people to take it off eBay for a couple days so we could come look at it.

Gluten Freedom: Where does the name Honeysuckle come from?

Wes: We we’re having a hard time coming up with something we liked that was catchy, southern and sweet all in one until Jackson had an epiphany. He called me up and said “I got it!! Honeysuckle!”  Before I had time to argue he hung up the phone.  Lucky for me, I loved it and it stuck.

Gluten Freedom: What’s your favorite GF flavor?

Wes: It changes weekly as we make awesome new flavors, but “Dock of the Bay”, our Sea-Salted Caramel, was my first love and I always feel guilty when I name a flavor other that.

Gluten Freedom: Where can we find Honeysuckle?

Wes: That’s the beauty of having a food truck – you can find us all over town! We post our schedule here - http://www.honeysucklegelato.com/contact-us/ – and we also tweet our daily menu and locations at @honeysuckleatl.  Our goal is to be in some specialty stores and select grocery stores in the area next spring so keep an eye out for us!

 

Thanks, Wes, for taking the time to answer my questions!  I hope everyone will check Honeysuckle’s website to find a location nearest you!  This is not just another ice cream place, I promise.

Save the Date: October 22nd!

Posted in Atlanta, event, favorite things, local food on October 6th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

It’s almost that time…the Atlanta Gluten-Free Expo, one of my favorite events in our area, is happening on Saturday, October 22nd.

This will be my third trip to the expo and I can’t wait for a morning of indulgent eating, with no worries about contamination.  It’s the one time of the year that I can literally eat everything in the room.  Nothing’s off limits!  Check out what I had to say about the 2009 and 2010 GF Expos by clicking here and here.

A shot from last year's Gluten-Free Expo

So here are the deets: From 9:00 to 2:00 on Saturday, October 22nd, come to the Hilton Hotel in Norcross, GA, to indulge in many glute-free items.  Cost of admission is $10 and children under 12 are free.  This great event is hosted by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and organized by gluten-free expert extraordinaire, Jennifer Harris.  For more information on the day’s speakers and events, click here.

Hope to see my fellow Atlantans on the 22nd!  What are some of your favorites from last year?

 

 

What’s Happening in ATL…

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event, local food on May 2nd, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Here are a few things happening in the Atlanta area, related to all things gluten free:

Sally’s Bakery has recently changed their hours of operation in response to customer’s requests and will now be open on Saturdays:

Sally’s Bakery New Hours of Operation:

  • Tuesday – Friday: 10:00am to 5:30pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am – 3:30pm

On Saturday, May 7th, Dinner A Fare in Northlake will be hosting a gluten-free event from 11:00-3:00.  The folks at Dinner A Fare will be offering samples of gluten-free items from their May menu and a local gluten-free baker will be selling her cakes, pies and pasta.  Yum!  If you’re interested in pre-ordering, send an email to northlake@dinnerafare.com.

And don’t forget May is Celiac Awareness Month!

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Dining at Westside’s Miller Union

Posted in Atlanta, local food, meals, Restaurants, vegetarian on April 26th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

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David and I met at  Miller Union for dinner on Thursday night to celebrate the end of my successful lacrosse season and the conclusion of David’s most recent work project.  It was a perfect venue for a romantic and delicious date.

I have a confession: David and I went to Miller Union for dinner the month it opened (over a year ago) with our friend, Chris.  The three of us sat at the bar, and were a little disappointed with our dinner.  At the time, there weren’t many items on the menu, the service was mediocre and the food did not meet my expectations based on all of the hype Miller Union had been receiving.  This underwhelming meal made me sad, as I really like Chef Steven Satterfield, a frequent customer of mine at The Local Farmstand, and I love Miller Union’s mantra of minimal, fresh, local food.

Chef Steven Satterfield (photo from Food & Wine)

Chef Steven Satterfield (photo from Food & Wine)

Since that dinner, David and I have returned to Miller Union for drinks (we love the bar), and I’ve enjoyed lunch with friends at Miller Union.  Their seasonal vegetable plate is one of my favorite dishes on the Westside and perfect for a lunch date.  The ambiance at Miller Union is bustling, yet relaxed, with the perfect amount of people watching but not so loud that you can’t talk to the person with you.

But last Thursday was our first time splurging on dinner at Miller Union since our so-so evening nearly 18 months ago.  I’m glad we gave it another try.  Nearly everything on the menu is naturally gluten-free, literally almost everything.  The only red flags were the “farrotto” that accompanied the New York Strip and the cream grits fritters appetizer.  (It turns out that the “grits fritters” are normally gluten-free but that night fried chicken was the special so the fryer was contaminated.)

So I oohed and ahhed over the menu for awhile before discussing my top choices with David.  It turns out we were on the same page and were intrigued by the same two entrees.  Since everything we wanted was gluten free, we decided to split two entrees so we could enjoy both.

David went with the fritters for an appetizer and I ordered the soup of the day: spring pea soup, which came highly recommended by our waiter.  Beautifully green, my soup was light yet very flavorful.  A great way to start the meal.

Spring Pea Soup

Spring Pea Soup

The first of our entrees was the grilled pork loin, with cranberry beans and braised greens.  The pork loin had an amazing kick to it, due to the apple cider vinegar they use while grilling the pork.  Juicy, flavorful, and meaty, this pork dish is a meat lover’s dream.  Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with plenty of food on the plate.  You won’t go hungry with this order.  The cranberry beans tasted meaty themselves and I loved combining them and the pork in one bite.  The greens were braised with onions and were delicious by themselves, in the juices of the pork.

MU pork

While David started with the pork, I began to work my way through the sautéed quail with dirty rice and arugula.  I usually stay away from restaurant entrees that involve rice, simply because I just don’t find it all that exciting and I’d rather a vegetable, quinoa or risotto.  Miller Union’s dirty rice, however, is not your ordinary rice.  As much as I love vegetables, everything tastes better with pork and this rice affirms that statement.  The dirty rice is a mix of wild rice with Miller Union’s homemade pork sausage and bacon.  Wow.  I could have eaten just the rice as my entrée.  The quail was also yummy, and simply cooked, with crisp skin and flavorful meat.  I followed the waiter’s suggestion, and ate with my hands.  (If you use your fork and knife, you won’t get very much meat.)  The arugula added a nice bite to the dish and beautiful color on the plate.

MU quail

I would highly recommend Miller Union for a date night.  While it’s a little pricey, the quality of food and ingredients make the price worth it.  Chef Steven Satterfield really uses as many local, seasonal vegetables as he can access, and supports local farmers.  Many chefs say they do this, but don’t always live the principle (to quote my new favorite show, “Big Love”). I’ll definitely be returning to Miller Union for another date night.

I only wish that I could enjoy Miller Union’s daily ice cream sandwich special!  (Not GF.)

Philips Arena Expands Gluten-Free Options

Posted in Atlanta, event, GF product on April 18th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

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I received the following email last week from Marie, of Levy Restaurants, informing me of great additions to the gluten-free options at Atlanta’s Philips Arena.  Just in time for the NBA Playoffs!  Look for the gluten-free cart next time you head to Philips.  This list includes everything from sweet to salty to savory, healthy and not so healthy.  Whether you’re at Philips for the Hawks, Thrashers, Bon Jovi or NKOTB/Backstreet Boys (June 22!), check out their GF choices.

nkotb

Hi ­­­­Betsy-

I work with Levy Restaurants, the official restaurant partner of Philips Arena. Levy has expanded their gluten-free menu offerings at select arenas and ballparks throughout the country this season and I would like to share some of the new items with you.

The gluten-free menu options allow all sports fans to enjoy the traditional game-day experience. Levy Restaurants introduced gluten-free snacks and beer to all sports venues last year and they are stepping up their game this year with the launch of an exclusively gluten-free portable cart. The cart will be debuting at Philips Arena in time for the playoffs. I’ve included details on the new gluten-free versions of fan-favorite concessions, as well as snacks, sweets, and beverages already offered nationwide.

  • Hot Dog – Certified gluten-free hot dog, Kinnikinnick bun, Heinz ketchup and French’s mustard
  • Chili Cheese Dog – Certified gluten-free hot dog, Kinnikinnick bun, Ghel’s chili sauce and cheese
  • Nachos – Mission tortilla chips, Ghel’s cheese, Embasa jalapenos
  • Loaded Nachos – Mission tortilla chips, Ghel’s chili sauce and cheese, LaVictoria Alamo salsa, Embasa jalapenos
  • Beverages – Red Bridge Beer
  • Snacks – Taste Good Tortilla Chips, Classic Snacks Gluten-Free Carmel & Cheddar Popcorn Mix, Eden Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Eden Organic Berry Mix, Larabars
  • Sweets – NuGO Free Dark Chocolate Bar (gluten, soy and dairy free too), Class Snacks Gummy Bears, Skittles

philips

Souper Jenny Opening a New Restaurant with Gluten-Free Options

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, local food, Restaurants on February 3rd, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Jennifer Levinson, owner of Souper Jenny, is opening a new restaurant, Café Jonah and the Magical Attic, in February.  Levinson envisions this new restaurant to be a gathering place and coffee shop, inspired by old-fashioned European cafes.  Open for breakfast and lunch, Café Jonah will offer daily frittatas, sandwiches and salads.  The frittatas and most of the salad options will be gluten-free.  Most excitingly, Café Jonah will be selling freshly baked, gluten-free goodies from Sally’s Bakery, featuring Sally’s muffins.  Café Jonah won’t be offering gluten-free sandwiches on the menu at first, but hopefully eventually.  Check out this article in the AJC to learn more about Café Jonah and the inspiration behind the concept.

Stay tuned for more information about the opening date!

Café Jonah and the Magical Attic3188 Paces Ferry Place, Atlanta GA

Introduction to Scoutmob

Posted in Atlanta, event, local food on August 10th, 2010 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

scoutmob

Attention Atlantans and NYC friends:

I would like you to meet Scoutmob.  This awesome website offers great deals on uniquely local spots.  Some of my current favorites include:

- 50% off at Cook’s Warehouse

- 50% off at B.Braithwaite (Looking for a baby gift?  Perfect stop on the Westside)

- 50% off at Shaun’s (they have a GF menu!)

- 50% off at Savvy Snoot (great used furniture place on the Westside)

ScoutMobiphone

Why do I love Scoutmob?

  • It’s totally free and you get all kinds of amazing deals.
  • Each day you get fun/quirky write ups about each of the places that are featured on the daily deals.
  • I get to use the cool ScoutMob App for my new Iphone that makes me feel trendy.
  • You don’t have to have an Iphone to use the deals.
  • Daily emails that tell you about cool, local goings on, that are unique to Atlanta.

Check it out for yourself.  I just wanted to make the introduction.  Click here to visit their website: Scoutmob

For those of you that have already drank the Scoutmob Kool-Aid: What deals have you used?  Any NYC feedback?  We love it in ATL?

Ode to My Food Processor

Posted in cooking, local food, product, recipe on July 30th, 2010 by Betsy – 9 Comments

food processor 2

Dear Mini-Food Processor,

You have been a wonderful kitchen gadget for our family.  Making hummus with you has been a favorite Sunday activity.  Your salad dressings are delicious and you always know just the right amount to make.  The perfect size for a batch of pesto, you’ve been a great friend in our tiny apartment.  Even though we keep you on the top shelf, almost weekly I stand on my tip toes, grab you, and put you to work.

You’ve been working overtime recently, as we’ve had an endless supply of basil.  Thank you for your hard work.  You never disappoint.  Even when I fine a large chunk of garlic in my hummus that you forgot to chop up, I don’t mind because I know that I ask a lot of you.

basil

I have a confession to make, Mini Food Processor.  You’re going to have a new home.  It’s not that we don’t love you, but it’s time for us to buy a bigger food processor.  You will always be our first and I  have many fond memories of our time together.  Now that we’re moving into a home with a more spacious kitchen, it only seems right to buy a larger model.  I’m looking forward to working with our new food processor, chopping onions and other veggies, but just know that you will never be forgotten.

Your new home with the Williams will be much more spacious than the living conditions you’ve had for the past year.  Meredith will take good care of you, I promise, and make many yummy foods with you.  Keep chopping away.

Love,

Betsy

food processor

Basil Dressing (in the Mini Food Processor)

This is a great dressing for salad and delicious to add to other summer dishes. Lighter than pesto, so it absorbs better into whatever you’re making.  Also, let’s be honest: Sometimes I’m a little cheap to make pesto.  Pine nuts are pricey so this is a solid alternative to pesto and not as rich.

Great to use with:

  • Roasted potatoes
  • Pork chops
  • Grilled bone-in chicken breasts
  • Tossed in a cold quinoa salad
  • Salad dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • juice from ½ a lemon (add more if you want it to be more tart)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • s&p

Put all of the ingredients, except olive oil, into food processor and mix.  Once blended, add olive oil.  If you want it to be more liquid thank thick (less like pesto and more like salad dressing), add more olive oil and white wine vinegar and less cheese.

Other Great Uses for the Mini Food Processor:

Hummus

hummus

Pesto for pasta or pizza

pesto pizza

Quinoa for a Crowd

Posted in cooking, event, local food, recipe on July 16th, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Recently a group of us hosted a luncheon to celebrate my good friend, Mary Stuart, and her baby that’s on the way.  On a steamy, summer day, it can be difficult to create a menu.  When it’s hot outside, we’re not looking to eat heavy, rich, foods.  Instead your food should be light and refreshing.  Also, this luncheon was not at my house, so I had to take transportation into account when planning.  I  didn’t want to be assembling my dish upon arrival, so my ‘quinoa for a crowd’ actually tastes better when made a day in advance.

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As the name implies, this recipe makes a lot of food, and I always make too much food when I’m playing host.  Leftovers are delicious and this quinoa makes for a great lunch during the week.  In our Atlanta group of friends, I’m not the only gluten-free eater, so we labeled the items for the luncheon that were gluten-free and kept them at the beginning of the buffet line, in order to best avoid contamination.

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Quinoa for a Crowd (Serves about 10-12)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups quinoa
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons salt & ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bag frozen, shelled edamame
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

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Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 table spoon white wine vinegar

Rinse and drain quinoa if package instructs you to.  (Some do and others don’t.)  I have a very fine strainer that I use for rinsing my quinoa.

Heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add quinoa and stir for a minute while cooking.  Add 1 cup broth and stir while the quinoa absorbs the liquid.  Once liquid is absorbed, add 3 more cups.  Lower heat to medium-low.  Let cook, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper.  Add more liquid as needed.  You’ll know the quinoa is done because it will ‘pop.’  Not like popcorn, but you’ll see that the quinoa becomes bigger and there will be a little line in the middle of each grain.  It will take about 20 minutes for quinoa to cook.  (Unlike risotto, I think it’s hard to overcook quinoa.)

Remove quinoa from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Meanwhile, finely chop red onion.  Heat shelled edamame (according to cooking instructions on bag).  Drain and let cool.  Cut tomatoes in half.  Put onion, edamame and tomatoes into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice, honey, olive oil, white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard.  Taste.  Depending on how tart or sweet you like your food, add more honey and olive oil (for sweetness) or add more mustard or lemon juice (for tartness).  This is completely about your flavor preference.  I find that anytime I make a vinaigrette, I keep sampling it until I’m content with the flavors.  (Not very precise or scientific, I know!)

Once your quinoa has cooled, add the grain to your large bowl.  Mix with tomatoes, edamame, and onions.  Add your vinaigrette and toss.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  If your salad dries out a little, just add some more lemon juice or olive oil before serving.

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As I mentioned, this quinoa, is the gift that keeps on giving, so I brought the leftovers to a dinner that same night.  Still delicious.  And I ate it for lunch the next day.  And the next.

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Another highlight of the luncheon was the chicken salad that my friend Meredith made, using one of Emeril’s recipes.  I loved the cashew and apple combination.  Salty, sweet and tart, all in one.  Not too much mayo either.  You can see this naturally gluten-free recipe here.  (The only change Meredith made was omitting the parsley.)  Of course, thoughtful Meredith even remembered to bring gluten-free crackers for the chicken salad!

What do you like to make when cooking for a crowd?

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