Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Melting Pot - GF All the Way!

The Melting Pot is, in my opinion, an amazing delicious chain restaurant. All courses (except the salad) are fondue style. You choose your broth for the cheese and meat entrees and your chocolate for the dessert! Best of all they have a dedicated GF menu! You must know that your entire party has to be ok with the GF menu, since you share the fondue pot. When you join the Melting Pot's Club Fondue you can keep up with food/wine tastings, special events, and discounts from the Melting Pot.
I had an amazing meal and have to share.
Since I love chocolate, I start with dessert first! We tried milk chocolate and amaretto, delicious!!! The GF selection is missing the pound cake and brownies.. But, it comes with strawberries, marshmallows and bananas. YUM!
Next course, cheese! I didn't think I would be as happy with the cheese entree without the bread, but.. OH MY, it was amazing! As you can see, it comes with apples and vegetables. The cheese dip we tried was "Spinach Artichoke." It was perfect, thick and oh so cheesy.
Here's an up close and personal shot of my favorite course of the night - look at how amazing this cheese looks!

I had the ceasar salad next, and must say, this was the first time I didn't miss the croutons! Thankfully it had "parmesan encrusted pine nuts." Delicious!!

For the last course, the main entree, we used a simple vegetable broth for our meats (we had a combo of chicken, ny strip, filet and duck. A variety of sauces accompany the main course as well as veges.
Be prepared to spend hours cooking, laughing and having a great time. To find a Melting Pot near you, type in your zip code here and Enjoy!!

The Melting Pot on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Inidivudally Packaged GF Fudge Brownies

French Meadow makes great individually packed fudge brownies. They are 6 to a pack and are meant to be kept frozen. They are so convenient. You take out one from its individual packaging and zap it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and you have yourself a warm delicious brownie snack.

I checked out French Meadow's website, and although I know they make perfect snack size GF brownies, I was not able to locate other products they make -- if you know of more GF products you'd recommend, please, let us know!!

I also checked out French Meadow's facebook page, they have a great following of over 1,200 people. All seem to praise the company for its wonderful products.

Here's what the indiviudally packed brownie looks like.

Good GF chocolate will always get a THUMBS UP from me! Can't wait to see what else you make!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sushi Samba - GF Sides!

Sushi Samba, a restaurant in South Beach, NYC, Las Vegas, and Chicago boasts a blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. I hear their sushi is fresh and delicious, you just need to order a whole lot of it to be full. The portions are small, meant to be tapas style. It is undoubtedly expensive, but, there are items on the menu that a GF Celiac like me loves, and I wanted to share them with you.

What's nice is Sushi Samba staff has always been accommodating when I discuss not being able to eat gluten, they know what I am talking about - and lead me to the parts of the menu that I can eat.

I go to Sushi Samba for the "aperitivos" - aka, the appetizers and sides. The edamame ($6) is great, the only unique difference, is the addition of lime, which is sheer perfection. It's a great combo.

I actually crave the "Peruvian Corn" ($6). They are huge kernels, and delicious butter surrounds the kernels - this is by far the best corn I've ever had.

The "Purple Potato Mash" ($5) is unique and fun, they are mashed potatoes, and taste just like the real thing.

This is the side I least liked, the "Coconut Rice" ($5). There was too much coconut flavor, and not enough rice flavor for me. The coconut overpowered the rice to such a big extent, I had no desire to finish it.

What was really nice about this meal, was that I was actually full by the end of it. The edamame was filling, and the Peruvian Corn and Purple Mash were great accompaniments.
As you can see, it is easy to spend $22 on sides, but, it is SO nice to be able to go Lincoln Road and eat at a restaurant with friends.
All in all, THUMBS UP for Sushi Samba.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Green Gables - Allergy Friendly!

Green Gables Cafe, in Coral Gables is dedicated to providing organic foods, that is vegan/vegetarian and GF friendly. What is wonderful about Green Gables Cafe is they are VERY aware of Celiac disease, and are accommodating. They have daily vegan/GF soups and many other choices, and even have GF bread for their sandwiches.

Here is a sample menu.

I personally order off of the Sides and Snacks portion of the menu. Below is what I ate during my last visit.

I like the Garden of Eatin(R) Organic blue corn tortilla chips ($2.50) and the Organic carrot sticks with roasted garlic aioli dip ($2).

I tried the Chicken Curry Salad (mayo-less) ($6.) as well.

I typically pick out a protein and have it with either the brown rice or carrots and corn tortilla chips. I love that Green Gables provides GF options.

The GF soups are my personal favorite, one week I ordered 3 days in a row.

The dice roasted chicken or pulled turkey is good. All of the food is healthy, which to me means salt and pepper must be added for flavor.

I'm thrilled to have an Green Gables Cafe nearby. It's always wonderful to have an organic GF accommodating restaurant in our backyard. Let's support them!


Green Gables Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 22, 2010

Breadsticks - Are you Sure you Are GF??

Schar gluten free breadsticks are incredible! I was thrilled to find them. Personally, bread is what I miss most, and these breadsticks taste like the real deal. I've had non Celiac/non GF family members/friends try this product, all agree and enjoy them.

I found numerous other Schar products at the grocery store today, and picked up a lot of them, which I can't wait to try. Here is a list of all of Shar's products. From GF flours to bread to piczza crust and cookies, Schar has many choices. I was separately impressed with Schar's website, it is an amazing Celiac resource. It has a Celiac Disease and Nutrition web page that lists many wonderful Celiac/GF resources from travel tips for Celiacs to Associations in the U.S. and support groups. Schar also has a gluten-free life link, listing restaurant and travel tips, to shopping tips and more.

The breadsticks come in 2 packages, above is one. Yum!

I'm delighted to have found Schar and look forward to trying ALL of their products. Visit their online store or your local grocery store to check out Schar products. Huge THUMBS UP to Schar!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Good Cookie!

The Good Cookies is a company that produces 3 different types of GF, lactose free and flourless cookies. They also use 100% recyclable packaging. They were kind enough to send me a package of cookies to review.

When I received a package from The Good Cookies, it was like opening a birthday present. I had to show you the pictures - the packaging is beautiful and so much fun to open. I order products from all over the U.S. - and never feel like I'm receiving a special present, but, with The Good Cookies, this is a different story. I loved learning the packaging was 100% recyclable.

First, you have a white box with the pink sticker from The Good Cookies.

Then, the cookies are wrapped in pink wrapping paper with the pink sticker from The Good Cookies. Adorable, right??

Upon opening the wrapping paper, I had 2 packages of cookies, it contained all 3 types of cookies.

Here's what the individual cookies look like.
This is The Good Cookie! Yes, it is the cookie the company is named after! It's a chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal cookie combo. I would have loved to see just a chocolate chip version, minus the peanut butter and oatmeal - as I know how hard it is to have a great GF chocolate chip cookie. The oatmeal consistency in the cookie makes it more dense, but, its still a great cookie.

Pure and Innocent is my favorite! It is a white chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal combo. The white chocolate chips are such a great addition, to me, this cookie brings all of the ingredients together best. The peanut butter and white chocolate are a great pair.

The last is the Choc-o-holic, which is a chocolate chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal combo. I originally thought this would have been my favorite, being a huge chocoholic. Instead, it's my 2nd favorite. The oatmeal, as you can see, has flakes throughout the cookie. I personally, am not an oatmeal lover, and find the consistency with the white chocolate as being the taste that works for me best. The cookies are great GF cookies period, if you like oatmeal, all the better. I'd love to see them expand into different types of cookies, like a peanut butter chocolate chip - minus the oatmeal.

All in all, wonderful packaging plus great tasting GF cookies makes for a fabulous treat. You can order online, or shop that contains their cookies in Manhattan Beach.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Breaded GF Chicken Nuggets - Wow!

Bell & Evans makes delicious breaded gluten free chicken nuggets. What I miss the most, is convenient food! I want to come home from work and be able to line a pan with aluminum foil and put something in the oven, come back in 20 minutes, and have a meal. This is much harder being GF.

I was thrilled to find Bell & Evans GF chicken tenders and shocked when I took them out of my oven and realized they taste JUST like the real thing. The chicken was great, it was breast meat - didn't taste like filler meat. The breading was wonderful - so tasty, flavorful, crunchy, just like the non GF counterparts I fondly remembered. See a similar product review giving Bell & Evans rave reviews.

The flavor, moisture, texture, and breading in these tenders is perfect. I've tried the chicken strips and tenders, both are perfect. Bell & Evans has this down to a science!

Bell & Evans also produces non GF items, and according to their website takes steps to guard against contamination like training its employees, segregating ingredients, GF products are produced only at beginning of shifts - see more on the website link.


Monday, November 15, 2010


SO PLEASED Pizza Fusion's South Beach location is NOW OPEN! If you are GF and love great pizza, Pizza Fusion is for you.

My personal favorite, is the traditional GF pizza, with goat cheese topping. Check out the Menu, as you can see, all GF items are notated by "GF" next to the item. How great does this pizza look?? The personal GF pizza is $3 more than the regular pizza and has 4 square slices, see below (you're right, I couldn't wait and ate a piece, when you try it, you'll understand). The Large GF pizza has 8 slices, and is $5 more than the regular pizza. My specialty goat cheese is $1 more on a personal pizza, and $2 more on a large. My personal GF with goat cheese topping is $10 ($9 plain).

While I was at Pizza Fusion yesterday, I did notice that the same pizza paddles are used for both the regular and GF pizzas, and it looked like the GF and regular pizza's were all on the same racks. I know I am overly senstive and have reactions with cross contamination - I did not have a reaction -- but, this may be an issue for some.

I have separately tried the pear and gorgonzola salad - as some of you may know, some blue and gorgonzola cheese is NOT gf (you must be careful!), I have had unfortunate reactions to some. I was told Pizza Fusion's gorgonzola is in fact GF. I've tried it and did not have a reaction. I've asked why it is not notated with the "GF" symbol - but, had not received a clear answer, they likely do not want the liability by saying its GF if some have a reaction.

Update** - I also tried the new updated spinach and artichoke pizza, delicious.

(Update* - The South Beach location has GF Flatbread on the menu!)

It's also great to notice the Gluten Free Brownie $4 on the menu - I've tried them at different locations, and I'd personally rather stick to Betty Crocker's brownies. If you really want dessert when you're at Pizza Fusion - the insider scoop I received is to ask if they are grainy that day - it makes all the difference to me. The first time I tried them, they were ehh, could live without them. The grainy taste made the consistency tough to swallow. I'd prefer the smooth taste, where the only thing that's crunchy is the many chocolate chips I add! Apparently, some chefs have realized this and make adjustments to make them more smooth/less grainy. The North Miami Beach location has sorbets, I've had the chocolate chocolate chip on top of the brownie, that was great. I know... I'm a chocoholic, I've admitted it already!

Bottom line, if you want delicious GF Pizza, Pizza Fusion is your place. It's a must try! Enjoy it!

Update 3/25/2012 - Love the goat cheese pizza and chocolate brownies!




Pizza Fusion on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Doughnuts!! Oh Yeah!!

Kinnikinnick has a WIDE variety of Gluten Free products. I'm working my way through them, but, for now, you MUST know about their Cinnamon Sugar Donuts!
I thought I'd have to scratch donuts from the list permanently, but, no, not with Kinnikinnick! There are 5 types of donuts, I've only had the pleasure of trying the Cinnamon so far, my local Whole Foods needs to step up and carry more!
Kinnikinnick products include donuts, bagels, cookies, muffins, mixes breads, see for yourself on their product list.
The donuts are kept frozen, and just need about 15-20 seconds in the microwave to be perfection. See my cinnamon donut below. Yum!!
Here is a Kinnikinnick store locator find one near you! FYI - Ordering online comes with a $10 shipping charge.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Betty Crocker = THANK YOU!!!!

How do I love thee, Betty Crocker - let me count the ways!!

Betty Crocker came out with the best, gluten free line, which includes the most amazing, bowl licking brownie mix ever!!!
I've tried all 4 gluten free products:

1. Brownie Mix
2. Cookie Mix
3. Cake Mix - Vanilla
4. Cake Mix - Chocolate

My hands down favorite is the Brownie Mix. My fridge is always fully stocked!

Here are some tips to make them even more delicious:

1. Add MORE chocolate chips to the mix!!! (if you LOVE chocolate as I do, it's never enough, so pack on a 1/2 bag of chocolate chips to the batter!)
This is what the batter looks like pre-more chocolate chips
    Isn't this much better?!
2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil

3. Under bake, Under bake, Under bake! Gooey brownies are perfect, chocolaty and last a while (you can re-heat them in the oven and put a perfect scoop of ice cream on top)! If the package says 23-26 minutes, I bake for 5 minutes less than the lowest time (18 minutes).
(doesn't this look perfect?!?!)

Betty is nice enough to share some additional gluten free recipes, which you make from the 4 products within her gluten free line. The Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Bars with Chocolate Icing sounds like its right up my alley!

Huge THUMBS UP to Betty Crocker, thank you for bringing DELICIOUS brownies back into my gluten free world!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shabtai ROCKS!

Delicious!!! I LOVE YOU SHABTAI!!!!
I haven't tried a product I don't just LOOOVVVEEE!! Shabtai, you have brought 7 layer cake back into my life, and for that I thank thee! How you make GF chocolate cakes taste soooo good is a wonder to me! I just keep on ordering!
When will you come to my local supermarket already???
Here are some of my absolute favorite products.
Rainbow Cookie Squares $8.99. They are perfect. Chocolaty, cakey, scrumptious!
Seven Layer Cake! Shabtai does both the white cake, and chocolate cake. I love them both!

If you haven't tried SHABTAI... get on their website ASAP - I promise you won't regret it, especially if you're a chocoholic like me looking for great GF chocolate cake!