Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Crepes and More in Wilmington, NC

This past weekend I took a trip to Wilmington, NC to attend a wedding.  I did some research before the trip to find some good Gluten Free places to eat in town and Our Crepes and More came up.  I haven't had a good crepe in over ten years!  So I knew I was going to make it to this restaurant even if I had to go myself.  



Luckily I was able to convince a group of my friends to go with me for breakfast Sunday morning.  The restaurant is very easy to find and is off a main road.  It is actually right next to the Whole Foods.

The sign in the window was a very happy welcome for this Celiac! 

 The online menu does not list Gluten Free as an option but the website states: "Our menu offers many delicious healthy options, as well as vegan & gluten free crepe !"  Most all of the crepes could be made Gluten Free just ask if you aren't sure.

After reviewing the menu I decided to go with a savory and sweet crepe!  I ordered a bacon, egg and cheese crepe to start.  

I followed it with a Nutella and strawberry crepe.  Holy wow, was I blown away!  Both were amazing and filling.  


Everyone else in the group loved their crepes too.  The guy in the group went for the American Breakfast which was huge!

The taste and texture were in line with the crepes I remember from Paris many years ago.   Knowing that this restaurant exists is super scary!  If I'm ever even close to Wilmington I will make the drive just to get these yummy Gluten Free crepes!  They do charge $.99 extra per crepe for Gluten Free which isn't bad.  

So if you are ever in the Wilmington, NC area I suggest a stop at Our Crepes and More for some tasty Gluten Free crepes!

Enjoy!

Our Crepes & More on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Menu Sept 30 2013

Is anyone else blown away that October starts this week!  Fall weather has shown up in NC and it has been wonderful!

My trip to Wilmington, NC this past weekend was filled with good friends, good food and even some sand between my toes.

This is a crazy week since I'll be gone a few days for a work conference.  I have planned easy make ahead meals to help hubby feed the kiddos.



Monday - Shepherd's Pie - I'll have it pre-cooked and all hubby has to do is heat it up.
Tuesday - Baked Ziti - When I made this a few weeks ago I froze half of it so all hubby has to do is heat it up. 
Wednesday -  One Dish Wonder - An easy meal to ease me back in :)
Thursday -Beef Stroganoff with steamed veggies
Friday - Grilled Chicken and tater tots
Saturday - Party at a friend's house

GIVEAWAYS

Red Apple Lipstick $35 Gift Card!!! Gluten Free cosmetics that rock.

Hoo-Rags!!! The best bandana for working out, cooking or hanging out around the house. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Check out MyLifeWithFoodAllergies.com.  It has great posts about being Gluten Free hosted by Living Without magazine. 

Do you Like I'm a Celiac on Facebook? We are almost at 900!


Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!



Need help planning your families weekly menu?  Check out eMeals


Looking for a good Gluten Free Magazine?  Check out Living Without. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies

Yes, that's right folks the Girl Scouts have come out with a Gluten Free cookie!  It is a Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie.  They are bite-size cookies that come in a resealable bag.  There are around 20 cookies in the 5oz bag and are Certified Gluten Free.  However they do contain milk and soy so they are not dairy or soy free.


In our area the regular box of cookies cost $3.50 and the Gluten Free cookies will cost $5.00.  So like all things Gluten Free there is a mark up.  The price will vary by area.  Here is the full ingredients list.  
UPDATE: The cookies I tried are from an early trial batch.  The cookies that will be sold have the following allergen warning on them.  So be aware of this new change. 

The Gluten Free cookies are only available in 20 markets this year. If you are lucky enough to be in one of the test markets you will need to pre-order your cookies soon.  

Here are some important facts about the Gluten Free Girl Scout cookies.


Are the Girl Scout Gluten Free Chocolate Chip  Shortbread Cookies produced in a gluten free bakery?
Yes.  The Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies are produced in a gluten free facility and meets a 5 ppm hurdle set by Celiac Sprue Association, which is 75% lower than the FDA's 20 ppm proposed limit.

Do you offer a gluten free Girl Scout cookie?
For the 2013-14 cookie season, ABC will be piloting the first ever gluten free Girl Scout Cookie.  The delicious new cookie is a bite-size Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie.  By introducing this new cookie, we’re inviting consumers who avoid gluten to enjoy Girl Scout Cookies.
ABC will assess the results of the pilot after the first year and determine next steps.  There are 20 councils across the country that chose to be a part of the pilot: visit abcsmartcookies.com/gf-cookie-councils to see which councils are participating. 
The new cookie has no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no high-fructose corn syrup, no palm oil, and no hydrogenated oils.  And it’s made with real chocolate chips and real butter.  
So now the ultimate question - How do they taste?

Good!  I found them to be tasty.  They have a nice buttery, chocolate flavor.  The flour blend is rice flour based so you get a touch of the gritty rice flour texture.  They do not taste like any Gluten Free cookie I've had before which is nice.  I'd give them an 8 out of 10.  I plan to buy a few bags from my local girl scout!
These would be great for an afternoon snack or to go in a lunch box. 
Overall, my hats off to the Girl Scouts for branching out to the Gluten Free and allergy world.  There are so many kids that have food restrictions it is nice for them to be able to order Girl Scout cookies.  The cookies also have the Celiac Spruce Association logo showing they adhere to the high standards.

If you have the chance to buy some of these Gluten Free cookies please do!  If nothing else than to just encourage the growth and awareness of food allergies and Celiac Disease.  If this test season goes well who knows what they will come up with in the coming years.

So this year when the adorable Girl Scouts knock on your door know they may just have some Gluten Free cookies for you!
For more information about the Girl Scout cookies go here
Disclaimer: I obtained the cookies from a friend in one of the test areas and am in no way being compensated by the Girl Scouts of America.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Twisted Noodle Restaurant Review

Once a month we make the hour and a half round trip drive to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for Gluten Free goodies.  During our last trip it was just me and the kids.  It also happened to be dinner time.  After two failed attempts to find a safe place for us to eat I pulled out my Find Me Gluten Free app and discovered Twisted Noodle in Chapel Hill.  It happened to be in the same shopping center as the Trader Joe/s.  

So in I walk with a four year old and two year old twins.  The look on the waiter's face was hilarious!  However he was very nice and grabbed us two high chairs.  I immediately let him know we needed to eat Gluten Free.  He said it would be no problem and even suggested a few dishes.  They do not have a Gluten Free menu but the menu does say many of the Thai dishes are Gluten Free.   
Pad Thai

We ordered the Chicken Pad Thai and Chicken Fried Rice with no soy sauce.  The food came out quickly which was a blessing because the kids were getting antsy.  I put some of each dish on all of our plates.  The kids LOVED it!  I was putting second and third helpings on plates.  Hands down this was some of the best asian Gluten Free dishes we've had.  The servings were large enough to feed the four of us plus take leftovers home for hubby.  He was a huge fan of the fried rice.
Fried Rice

I'm pretty sure a visit to Twisted Noodle will be a part of our monthly shopping trip!  They have two locations in California, one in Chapel Hill, NC and one in Durham, NC.   I'm looking forward to going back and getting more yummy food!

Enjoy!

Twisted Noodles on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 23, 2013

Eating Gluten Free at Outback Steakhouse

Last week hubby and I ran away for a mid-week date night.  With the babysitter watching the kids we quickly walked out the door and headed to Outback for dinner.  To be honest this was only my second visit to Outback since going Gluten Free because my first visit didn't end well.  I was optimist that this time would be better and it was!

To start with they have a really big Gluten Free menu with loads of options!  I'm a meat and potatoes kind of girl so I went with the steak.   I ordered the Outback Special which is a 6oz sirloin (they have larger cuts if you want it).  My sides were a house salad with ranch (no croutons and mixed in a clean bowl) and a loaded backed potato.  
My first steak was not very awesome (couldn't cut it) so I ate my potato while they made a second steak.  The second steak was awesome!  Very juicy and flavorful.  

For dessert they offer a ridiculously good brownie called the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.  It is a flour-less  nut brownie topped with ice cream, whip cream and hot fudge.  Hubby and I shared this awesomeness! 

The service was very good.  The server was very careful to note that all my dishes were Gluten Free.  The manager was also very nice about the steak issue and even brought hubby out extra fries.

I'm excited to say we would go back.  Outback won me back during this visit.

Eating out Gluten Free is difficult.  Just because a restaurant has a Gluten Free menu it doesn't always mean you will get safe food.  The best you can do is educate the staff and ask lots of questions. 

Enjoy!


Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekly Menu September 23 2013

Happy Fall Ya'll!!   Fall is my favorite season.  What's yours?  I love the weather, the changing leaves and the fall food.  Just thinking about it makes me what to make an apple or pumpkin pie!

This week has some fun adventures in it!  Wednesday is girls night with my sister and mom for a fun dinner.  Then this weekend I'm heading to Wilmington, NC for my college friend's wedding.  Yeah for more girl time.  Any restaurant suggestions in Wilmington?



Monday - Chicken Alfredo - testing a new GF pasta from Goldbaums 
Tuesday - Seasame Chicken - slow cooker with rice
Wednesday -  Dinner at Bella Monica for girls night
Thursday -Mexican Shepherd's Pie
Friday - Breakfast for dinner
Saturday - Leftovers for family, I'll be at a wedding

GIVEAWAYS

Red Apple Lipstick $35 Gift Card!!! Gluten Free cosmetics that rock.

3 Hoo-Rags!!! The best bandana for working out, cooking or hanging out around the house. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Check out MyLifeWithFoodAllergies.com.  It has great posts about being Gluten Free hosted by Living Without magazine. 

Do you Like I'm a Celiac on Facebook? We are almost at 900!


Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!



Need help planning your families weekly menu?  Check out eMeals


Looking for a good Gluten Free Magazine?  Check out Living Without. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hoo-Rag Ambassador

I'm so excited to let you all know that I am now an Ambassador for Hoo-Rag.  What does that mean you ask?  Well it means that I get to tell you how much I love their stuff and give you guys a discount on their purchases!  Giveaway below!

I was first introduced to Hoo-Rag last December.  It is a seamless bandana that you can wear while working out, cooking, cleaning and a number of other activities!  Here is my initial write up about Hoo-Rag.



With short hair I always wear my Hoo-Rags while running, at the Y or at a class.  It keeps the hair out of my face and helps me look and stay cool:)

They have tons of different patterns for women, men and even dogs! 



The Hoo-Rags are machine washable and are super durable.  They also stay put even on my long runs.  They offer free shipping on all orders too!

If you are interested in buying a Hoo-Rag use code: PJ906 for 10% off your order!

The awesome team at Hoo-Rag gave me three extra Hoo-Rags to giveaway.  
Groovy-Hoo, Blue Chevron, Sunflower Power New

Login to win one of these awesome Hoo-Rags. 
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

My GFF - Alicia

There are so many amazing friends that I have made since going Gluten Free.  I have so many people that I am friends with that have forever changed my life that I would never have met if I weren’t Gluten Free.  We may only see each other once I year but I can tell you what they ate for dinner last night!  These wonderful people lift me up, encourage me and help me feed my family Gluten Free food.
 
Alicia and me at the DC Gluten Free Expo
There is one friend who has been with me since before my Gluten Free journey began.  Alicia and I met our sophomore year in high school in the late 90’s.  We went to different schools but attended the same church.  Most weekends were spent hanging out, watching movies, shopping or going on adventures together.  We went to college close to one another and she was even in my wedding.  After college we spread out due to life but still kept in touch.


In January 2011 when I got the call from my doctor letting me know I had Celiac Disease Alicia was actually with me.  Due to life’s craziness our whole group of friends from high school were together for my father’s funeral.  As I rejoined the group after talking to my doctor I shared my news.  Alicia looked at me and said, “I have Celiac Disease too!”  Turns out she was diagnosed three years prior and had kept quiet about it.   She then downloaded a ton of information about where I could eat, what was good and what brands of food she liked.  That night I had my first official Gluten Free meal with her at Chipotle. 

Shortly after returning home Alicia sent me a Gluten Free care package.  It was filled with magazines, books, and cookbooks.  She also had a list of products she loved like Udi’s bread, Kind bars and Chex cereal.  My Gluten Free journey started off with the help of one of my best friends!

Almost three years later she is still there for me.  She will text me photos of the yummy Gluten Free food she is eating or recipes she finds.  I have been able to visit her at least once a year and we get to visit all the tasty Gluten Free restaurants together.  This past spring Alicia even joined me at a Gluten Free expo in Washington DC. 

Alicia is not only one of my oldest and dearest friends, she is also MY GFF!

Who is your #GFF?  Go to Udi’s facebook page to share your story!


Disclaimer: This post is part of Udi’s #GFF campaign.  No financial compensation was given for this post.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kiddo Tags Review

Little B is now in play school with her twin brother and older sister.  We love the small setting and the teachers are fabulous.  It is just a half day program which is perfect. 

Unlike most 2 year olds Little B can't eat Gluten.  So this means no treats like the other kids.  At this age the issue is making sure the adults around her know not to give her the same snacks as the other kids.  I have communicated a number of times with the director and teachers to let them know about her dietary needs.  I even brought in a large box filled with Gluten Free goodies for Little B to eat.  
To go to the next level I ordered some custom wristbands from Kiddo Tags for her.  These emergency alert wristbands come in a number of colors and are fully customizable.  The ones I ordered have:

Her name
Gluten Free
No Flour, Wheat, Rye, Barley
Check bag for snacks

I put the wristbands on her school backpack and diaper bag.  Each order comes with 12 wristbands so I still have plenty for birthday parties or field trips.  

The wristbands are laminated and sturdy enough for a day or two use when on your child.  They are best for when you can't be with your child and not intended for every day use.  The ones on her bags are still going strong after three weeks!

Kiddo Tags also carries Alert Tags which would be great to put on lunch boxes. 

Check them out and if you get on their email list she sends out killer discount codes!

Disclaimer: I was given the Kiddo Tags to review.  The opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

We love pasta dishes in our house.  Noodles just seem to disappear off everyone's plates!  The kids preference is noodles with butter and grated parmesan cheese.  Curly, the four year old, likes white sauce and not red.  The twins like red and white sauce on pasta and tend to get super messy when eating it!



I decided to create a lasagna the four year old would eat.  I knew it had to have white sauce to make her happy.   With leftover chicken in hand I just needed a vegetable to add color, texture and flavor.  I decided spinach would be fun!  So this is how I made Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo Lasagna


What You Need:
2 cups chopped cooked chicken - I used rotisserie
2 jars of GF alfredo sauce - I used Classico
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
1 box GF lasagna noodles - uncooked - I used De Boles
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups chopped thawed spinach

1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded


How To Make It
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In one bowl mix together the chopped chicken, seasoning and 1.5 jars of the alfredo sauce.  In a second bowl mix together the mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.  Take a 9 x 12 casserole dish and create your layers: 1/4 jar of alfredo sauce, GF noodles, chicken and sauce mix, spinach, cheese mix, noodles and repeat.  For the top layer spread the rest of the sauce from the jar and 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and cook for 50 minutes.

This came out super tasty!  The four year old liked it but wasn't a fan of the spinach so she ate around it.  Oh well, I tried!  It even tasted great heated up the next day for lunch.  This ones a keeper!

*UPDATE*
I have found that adding a cup of cottage cheese to the cheese mixture adds some rocking flavor and texture.  So add some cottage cheese if you want to take it to the next level! 

Enjoy!

Post linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays

Monday, September 16, 2013

Red Apple Lipstick Giveaway

The team at Red Apple Lipstick are fantastic!  Not only do they provide our community with Gluten Free cosmetics but they are also super generous.  They are giving away another $35 gift card to one lucky blog reader!

I wear their makeup everyday!  You can read about my first review of their products here.  I wear the Rallye Balm at night, the lipgloss during the day and have since purchased some eye shadow that I wear daily.  These products have great color, texture and look great on.

Their products are all 100% Gluten Free, all paraben free, lead free, soy free, not tested on animals and vitamin E enriched.  The cosmetics are also made in the USA and they have great customer service!

Login in below to enter to win the $35 gift card to Red Apple Lipstick!


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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Menu September 16 2013

We had a quiet at home weekend!  It was wonderful.  I ran a 10k Saturday morning and we spent the rest of the day relaxing around the house.  With our new work / school schedule it is nice to have us all home and playing together.

The last half of this month is busy with traveling and work events.  It should be a fun, busy couple of weeks for our house!



Monday -  Baked Ziti - testing a new GF pasta from Goldbaums 
Tuesday - Asian Beef Roast - using eMeals recipe
Wednesday - Chicken Skillet Dinner
Thursday - Maple Turkey Breast - using eMeals recipe
Friday - Dinner out to celebrate hubby's birthday with my side of the family
Saturday - Leftovers

GIVEAWAY UPDATES
The winner of the Viviana Foods Italian Blend Penne pasta was CJ Williams!  You will LOVE this pasta!

I'm announcing two giveaways this week!!!!  So make sure you check back to see what FREE goodies we have for you!


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Check out MyLifeWithFoodAllergies.com.  It has great posts about being Gluten Free hosted by Living Without magazine.  It even has articles written by yours truly!

Do you Like I'm a Celiac on Facebook???  Don't miss the updates, links, giveaways and great discussion!


Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!



Need help planning your families weekly menu?  Check out eMeals

Friday, September 13, 2013

National Celiac Awareness Day

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day!  Did you know Congress actually made September 13th National Celiac Awareness Day?  It's true!  Read about it here. 
Source
Today is the day to speak up and help the 83% of people with Celiac Disease who are undiagnosed.  If you have a friend or family member who shows signs of Celiac Disease encourage them to learn more.  

Here are some great resources:

Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist
Diagnosis and Treatment
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity 
Facts and Figures

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day!  May it be filled with tasty Gluten Free food!



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