Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Survive the Holidays Gluten-Free

Happy Holidays to all my Gluten Free Friends!!!

This week, David J. Blyweiss, M.D. asked to share his knowledge about how our Celiac community can stay gluten free and healthy through the Holiday season.  Here's what Dr. Blyweiss had to say:

Is it possible to stay gluten-free through all the holiday parties and family gatherings this season?  It is but it can be a challenge for anyone.  If you have celiac disease, your immune system treats gluten like a toxin. It was once a rare disorder, but now celiac disease is four times more common today than it was five decades ago.

Even if you don’t suffer from the disease itself, many are still sensitive to gluten — especially if you suffer from:

·        Stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, vomiting.
·        Migraines
·        Joint pain
·        Chronic fatigue
·        Brain fog
·        Hay fever and sinus infections
·        Skin rashes, especially eczema or hives
·        Unexplained weight loss

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ginny Bakes - And I'm SO Glad She Does!

Ginny Bakes - who knew it all started in Miami Beach - where I am from?!

Ginny is a mother of four and states that she is "passionate about home cooked meals that are delicious, nutritious, whole and organic and [she feels] strongly feel that dessert should be no exception. The perfect dessert should be light- delicious, nutritious, whole and organic."

Ginny takes her baked goods seriously!  Check out the variety of products she makes here.

Ginny's baked yumminess doesn't come cheap.  This package of double chocolate happiness is $7.99 at Fresh Market, $9.99 at Epicure!  The box comes with 8 cookies.

The real question is... are Ginny's baked goods worth the hefty price tag??

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Not Every Day I'm Quoted in MSNBC!

Picture from
I was quoted in A second chance for faulty food? FDA calls it 'reconditioning', by MSNBC reporter JoNel Aleccia.

JoNel was a pleasure to speak with.  We discussed a process many are not familiar with - "reconditioning."

Reconditioning is a process whereby products currently NOT in compliance, are brought into compliance.  This applies to ANY FDA regulated product, can be cosmetics, foods, medical devices, dietary supplements, etc.

The story came up when JoNel was investigating moldy applesauce.  No one wants to think the foods they consume are not safe, who can blame us!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Betty Lou's Just Great Stuff, Yes, it's Gluten Free!

Every time I go into a health food store, I look for gluten free products I have not yet tried. I want to know what's out there, especially if it's good!  I picked up a "Just Great Stuff" bar - Strawberry Acai flavor -- how could I go wrong??  I love both!

I have to admit, it is Just Great Stuff.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough You'll LOVE

It's true. It exists. It's even frozen. I swear. I wouldn't lie about something so important. I've been searching the GLOBE for delicious chocolate chip cookies. I've found good ones. Nothing like my pre-Celiac days. That would be a difficult, if not impossible feat. Well... Keep reading!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Garden Lites, Healthy & Delicious?

Garden Lites does it all. You can taste the fresh ingredients used.  Their tag line says it all:

I'm by no means a fan of healthy cuisine. It has to taste good!  Chocolate on the other hand, I'll never discriminate against.  It takes a lot for me to eat some veges.  One would typically think something frozen, especially a vege souffle, just can't be good.

Healthy? Oh yes it is. Check out the nutrient facts and see for yourself!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Grill on the Alley, Aventura Mall

The Grill on the Alley, has 6 locations.  I went to the latest location, in Aventura, Florida, which to my pleasant surprise, has a special gluten free menu to cater to us Celiacs!  Check out the lunch menu here:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy People Have to Eat Too: Fast & Easy Dinner Recipes for Gluten-Free Diets

Excited to present guest blogger, Melissa Cornine of Blog Content Guild providing insight on Fast & Easy Dinner Recipes!  Let me know what you think!

It doesn’t matter how much work you have to do or errands you have to run, there are only 24 hours in any given day.  You have a job to go to, kids to chauffeur, dry-cleaning to pick-up, an unpredictable cable guy to meet, calls to answer, emails to return AND you are supposed to provide a healthy meal free of gluten at the end of every day?  Feeling overwhelmed yet?  Stop stressing. Easy dinner recipes can help you get things under control—at least in the dinner department.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Long Island, New York, A Great Place for Celiac's

For Celiac's traveling is daunting. You always wonder if you'll be able to go out to eat, how accommodating and knowledgeable the restaurants will be, and we're always scared of cross contamination - as we should be! Doing research in advance of travel is always important. I personally like the and who doesn't just google?! What was really refreshing when I traveled to Long Island, was the complete awareness and pleasure to accommodate. It seemed commonplace that all Italian restaurants had gluten free pasta, knew to cook it separately, and knew which of the sauces they used were gluten free. I was in heaven!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Glutino Pizza Crust - Yum, Yum, Yum

Glutino makes a wide variety of gluten free products, including gluten free baking mixes, frozen meals, snacks, breads, bagels and even donuts!!  I was excited to try their gluten free pizza crust.  I've found making my own pizza is always much better than heating up a frozen pizza - this was no different.  Glutino's pizza crust was great.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This One's For You!

You may have noticed I've been MIA... It's been for a good reason, I wouldn't just leave my gluten free folk hanging!  I've decided to share, in part, because I need to -- and I think it may help others as a result.

My heart's been aching with sadness, I've just lost my first and oh so beloved Chuckie.  This is hands down one of the toughest losses I've gone through.
To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though inasmuch as he had four legs, a tail, and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman. Hermione Gingold

Friday, September 16, 2011

Islamorada, A Slice of Heaven

There's nothing like getting away and heading to Islamorada.  Its a slice of heaven, the ocean and bay is gorgeous to stare at, the people are wonderful and warm, everything is pet friendly (I love traveling with Chuckie - the best dog ever!), and best of all the restaurants are SO gluten free accommodating (must be because the people are so nice)!!

I always think were spoiled on Miami Beach to have Lincoln Road, with blocks and blocks of restaurants and the ability to eat outside (under umbrellas of course) year round (with either fans or heaters, should it be 90 or below 60 degrees).  Yes, were spoiled!  But, Islamorada has a whole new degree of spoiled, here, the restaurants are unassuming, until you go to the back, many are on the water, and this particular restaurant, Lorelei Cabana Bar, had beach front service.  There was sand on the floor and gorgeous bay views, and such a low key atmosphere.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gluten Free Ice Cream CONES!!!

When's the last time you were able to enjoy an ice cream cone???

I was overcome with excitement when I found gluten free ice cream cones at Publix!!!  I personally can't remember the last time I was able to enjoy a delicious ice cream cone.  I recall delicious waffle cones covered in chocolate (after all, my first job ever was at Ben & Jerry's, where I made yummy waffle cones daily, good memories!).

This isn't a waffle cone, but, it is a great tasting ice cream cone.   Being able to enjoy an ice cream cone is a really cool new reality for Celiac's!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gaylord Palms Orlando - A Whole Gluten Free Meal - BREAD Included!!

If you've never been to Gaylord Palms in Orlando, prepare yourself, it's an experience!! I was lucky enough to be there for a work conference. Wandering around the hotel you realize just how amazing the hotel is. You literally feel like your outside in the atrium - almost like a Vegas feel.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gluten Free CREPES (yes Crepes!!) in Coral Gables!!!

The Crepe Maker, a restaurant inspired by the delicious crepes in France can now be found in 6 states throughout the U.S. See all locations here.

I was fortunate enough to meet Doreen, who owns the Coral Gables franchise of the Crepe Maker at a Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce networking event. She handed me her card and I said I wish I could partake in a delicious crepe, but, I'd have to go all the way to the keys to have a gluten free crepe. Doreen immediately said her and her Husband, Robert, the crepe master would happily accommodate Celiac's, and they regularly do!! I hugged Doreen, I think she may have thought I was nuts, but, HOW EXCITED are you to think of REGULARLY having gluten free crepes?!?!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Udi's Gluten Free Bread - Great for Cheesy Garlic Bread!!!

Udi's Gluten Free Food makes delicious white bread.  I personally have craved and missed garlic bread for a little too long, and decided it was time to re-create it.  My fellow Celiac's out there can sympathize with how difficult it is to find a great tasting bread.  I was thrilled to find Udi's.  (For those avid readers, you may also have seen my posts on Rudi's and Schar, two competitors to Udi's I also love).   The good news is that there IS great tasting gluten free bread out there!  I hate feeling like I'm missing out on something -- hence my love for homemade Udi's garlic bread. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gluten Free Spanish Food in Ybor City & Celebration

Columbia Restaurant, a family owned business, started in 1905 in Ybor City, Tampa, now the world's largest Spanish restaurant. On a side note, I had a great tour of the MANY rooms at this restaurant, they are amazing.

Now, Columbia has 7 locations across Florida. Thus far, I've been to two locations, Ybor City (Tampa) and Celebration (Orlando). The reason I love Columbia? That's easy, I was showed around the kitchen in Ybor, its a clean detail oriented kitchen, with chefs and owners that know the importance of "gluten free"!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gluten Free Labeling is Coming - But, First, FDA Wants to Hear From YOU!!!!

Imagine a world where a manufacturer’s claims that their products are “gluten free” could be trusted by U.S. consumers.  Imagine a world where U.S. consumers were promised a definition of “gluten free” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the FDA held all manufacturers and importers to the same stringent standard….

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TODAY @ 4pm - FDA Speaks to YOU on Gluten Free Food Labeling

Gotta love Blogger sometimes, the copy/paste function isn't working out well for me... Let's try this again!!!

TODAY, at 4pm, FDA is having an announcement regarding the proposed rule on gluten-free labeling of foods

  • Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA
  • Michael M. Landa, J.D., Acting Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA

  • The teleconference will be held Tuesday, August 2, 2011 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET. The toll-free number is 800-369-1976 (inside the United States) and 312-470-7298 (international). The password is CFSAN.
A replay will be available one hour after the teleconference ends until September 2, 2011. To hear the replay, callers can dial 866-415-8391.  International callers will need to dial 203-369-0700.

Mini Pops - Gluten Free With NO HULLS!!

Mini Pops was kind enough to send me samples of their product to try. For those of you, like me, that hadn't heard of Mini Pops, no, its not popcorn, its popped sorghum!

Mini Pops has a column on its bags dedicated to educating its customers about what Sorghum is! If you can't read below, sorghum is the 5th most harvested cereal grain on the globe. In the USA, over 8 million acres of land is devoted to sorghum farming which happens to require far less water to grow than corn.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paquitos - Tasty Gluten Free Mexican Food in North Miami Beach

Paquitos, authentic Mexican food exists in North Miami Beach.  I've been craving delicious nachos for some time, and have no time or energy to make anything myself lately... hence the reason for this blog - and the many gluten free accommodating restaurants I've found and love to share with you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pizza Fusion - Now on South Beach!!

Pizza Fusion FINALLY made its way to South Beach!!!!  I'm a HUGE Pizza Fusion fan, and was definitely depressed to learn of the closing of the North Miami Beach location - so I'm thrilled to know Pizza Fusion is now in my back yard!  Best of all - they have NEW menu items!!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zuma - Miami's Upscale, Gluten Free Accommodating & Delicious Cuisine

Zuma, a modern Japanese cuisine style restaurant is your place if you're in need of an exquisite dinning experience (warning, it is pricey so make it a special occasion!).  Zuma is already in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and Dubai, and has now blessed Miami with its presence. Zuma is inspired by the informal Japanese dinning style called izakaya.  

Let me set up my Zuma experience for you.  We called ahead, as I typically try to do when dinning in a new place - to make sure I'll have some options with my gluten free diet.  They were honest and told us weekdays are much better for accommodations then weekends, when they are slammed.  It's a perfect date night place, so my personal chef and I decided to go for our date night, i.e., Monday night (have to have something to look forward to on dreaded Monday's).  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Miami Beach's BEST Gluten Free Steakhouse

Red the Steakhouse is home to one of my favorite filets.  The certified Angus beef prime and perfectly seasoned beef make for one the best filets. If you're a meat eater like I am, you've had a good steak before, but, there's just that extra umph with Red that takes it to that next level, its not just a good steak, its orgasmic.

Thankfully steak and potatoes are great for my gluten free self!  My last trip to Red, I had the special side of the day, sweet corn.  I love corn and eat it often, but, never thought of gourmet corn until trying Red's.

It's smothered in butter, and deliciously creamy.  I'm ready for another!

The mashed potatoes ($8.90) are a staple side for us as well, creamy, rich, tasty, buttery and soo yummy.

Next up, the best part of the meal, the 8 oz. filet ($39).  I've been to Red at least 5 times, and the filet is always consistent.  You can taste the fact that its plain and simply great quality meat, and perfectly seasoned on the outside.  Add perfectly cooked and you have yourself a perfect steak!


Red the Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 20, 2011

Popcorners! A Healthy, Tasty Gluten Free Snack

Popcorners, all natural, and all gluten free! I've recently found these delicious treats, and must say, I'm pleasantly surprised. As you know, finding delicious gluten free snacks can be a difficult feat. Popcorners comes in 5 flavors, white cheddar, kettle, butter, sea salt, and cheesy jalapeno. Thus far, I've tried the kettle and sea salt and do love them both. I was thrilled to receive Popcorners as an option on a Jet Blue flight, and am equally excited to see that AM theatre's is now offering a healthy snack option, including Popcorners, a bottle of water, a trail mix bar and fruit chips.

As you'll notice, every package notes that it's Gluten Free right on the front of the bag!

It's like a popcorn and a chip united and a popcorner was born. It's like no other chip you've tried. Closest to a corn chip, but, so much tastier.

Addictive, and thankfully, healthier than alternative chips. Try them and let me know what you think!


Friday, May 27, 2011

BITE Allergy Friendly Bakery on Miami Beach Continues to Impress!

SAD SAD NEWS.  BITE IS NOW CLOSED, and MARIE IS NOT WORKING FROM HOME...  Keeping this post up for us as a real reminder... When we have AWESOME stores dedicated to making our lives with food allergies better, we NEED to support them!!!!

As an alternative, check out Bunnie Cakes - my post for them is here. 

I rarely, if ever, write about the same place twice... But, this is deserved. I continue to be overly impressed with BITE (click to see my first post), where every person with an allergy deserves a bite of some delicious dessert! For those of you challah lovers, BITE now makes delicious gluten free oat challah every Friday, as well as all sorts of amazing pastries (last week were the BEST cinnamon rolls I've ever had (didn't even think they were gluten free!!! and neither did the NON GF folk I was nice enough to share them with)). I was lucky to try the lemon bars, and chocolate bars, both fabulous. Also worthy to note, BITE has a great selection of KATZ's gluten free products, (click on Katz's to see my favorite picks).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jovial Gluten Free Cookies - They Will Make You Happy!

 Its always a real treat when someone asks me to try their new gluten free product.   This time, a friend sent over 3 boxes of Jovial gluten free cookies.  Fig filled, chocolate cream and vanilla cream.  I first tried the vanilla cream.  It has a crunchy chocolate outside and smooth vanilla cream filling.  The filling most reminds of a delicious frosting, like the kind you'd find on a Publix cake - only this is much lighter somehow, but, not less tasty. 

As a self diagnosed chocoholic (with all who know me in unanimous agreement), I would have thought the chocolate creme filled would have won my heart and would have been a sure win first place for me.  Surprisingly, my heart and stomach are in utter LOVE with the fig filled cookies.  They have a soft cookie outside and oh so fabulous fig filling - the filling reminded me of my fig craze, where all I'd want to do is saute figs in olive oil until they were perfectly caramelized. 

This filling is that good and the soft outside brought me memories of a fig newton, but, I never fell in love with fig newtons, these are just better.  Its a light snack - I've hid them in my office drawer, and make sure to close the door before I eat them, who wants to share? :). The chocolate cream filled are just like their vanilla cream filled counterparts - harder crunchy outside with light frosting like cream inside. 

The good news is these cookies are easily accessible on - the link and picture of the cookies can be found below.  Let me know what you think, which is your favorite??


Cookie, Organic, Vanilla Cream, Gf, 7 oz (pack of 10 )

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Best Gluten Free Crepe Ever?!?!

Sometimes you are just at the right place, at the right time! It was a girls weekend getaway - celebrating my belated birthday. We decided to head to Key West, it's close (driving distance from us in Miami) and always a good time. I was worried about food options, as it turns out, rightfully so (but, I'll get to that later)...

On Saturday afternoon we decided to get pampered, and headed to a local salon for manicures and pedicures. The prior night I was glutened at Santiago's Bodega... I told the waitress I was gluten free (reviews stated the restaurant was GF accommodating) and specifically asked about 5 menu items, I am a meat and potatoes kinda girl, and asked about the lamb chops, chicken, potatoes, etc. She came back and said all were well, she confirmed it with the chef... But, whether or not she really checked is beyond me... Bottom line, if you're gluten free, DON'T order the lamb chops... And you're better off speaking to the manager to discuss menu items before ordering...

So... after my sad experience, one friend in particular decided to make it her mission to find a GREAT gluten free restaurant for me to enjoy the next day. We were discussing restaurants and menu items at the salon, and funny enough - the woman sitting next to my friend say "Are you a Celiac"? So funny how she knew from tiny tidbits of conversation that didn't even specifically discuss gluten in any way. She went on to tell us she was the owner of French Cafe Creperie and made GLUTEN FREE CREPES!!!!! I was shocked, I've longed for crepes and put them out of my mind. She uses buckwheat flour, and has Celiac friends she's made them for, hence her deep knowledge of Celiac disease and desire to cater to the gluten free community. Needless to say, I loved her instantly. She let us know we needed to "pre-order" the gluten free crepes, so of course, we did instantly. It takes her 24 hours to prepare the gluten free crepe - so ORDER before you go!

The next morning, we anxiously head to La Creperie in Key West. It is a quaint low key restaurant with a wonderful stress free key west kinda vibe. The crepes are made in front of you, if you choose to sit at the bar, there is also other indoor, and outdoor seating. Word to the wise, BRING CASH - its a cash only restaurant - but, sooo well worth it!

Here's a sneak peak at the menu items. The owner was FANTASTIC, SOOO accommodating! She remembered us from the salon and went through the menu with me and specifically discussed which would be best pair with my gluten free crepe. She was most excited to tell us about the "red velvet" sweet crepe ($8.50). It had a raspberry chocolate ganache, fresh strawberries, scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top. (For us GF folk, we only needed to subtract the raspberry coulis - which she immediately advised me). After hearing of this delicious sweet crepe, I knew this was a must.

On to the savory crepe. The owner raved about the Ratatouille ($11.25) - which has tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, red and green peppers (thankfully both are sweet), onions, garlic, herbs and melted swiss cheese. I am not a vege lover, but, onions, herbs, cheese, and red peppers sold me. I decided to be adventurous.

I started with an expresso - a single (at least that's what it was supposed to be) - it was ginormous! In a real coffee cup, strong and delicious! No way I could have finished it. A great start though.

I shared the savory and sweet crepes. We started with the savory Ratatouille.

This gives you a good idea of the yumminess inside the crepe. For someone like me that isn't in love with veges, this was a pleasure to eat. The cheese was delightful, not a sharp swiss, a savory one. The veges were not strong, they complemented the crepe and cheese perfectly - (I even ate most of them!).

Next up, RED VELVET!! Just thinking about it makes me want a return trip.

This is my half of the crepe, it is filled with delicious chocolate, covered with strawberries and ice cream. Oh my!
Since you know I am a chocoholic, I did ask for additional chocolate to smoother the crepe with, and I was obliged easily - (after I was laughed at... but, that's ok!). There's never enough chocolate!!

I had such a delightful experience at La Creperie and hope you get to make your way down to Key West to enjoy it as well. I've never had a better crepe, and will make you the same bet, you'll be hard pressed to find a better gluten free crepe!

HUGE THUMBS UP for La Creperie!!!

Santiago's Bodega on Urbanspoon

La Crêperie on Urbanspoon