Sunday, December 26, 2010

Udi's Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins!

Udi's has done it again - Double Chocolate Muffins! Chocolate cake-like goodness in a single serving size with lovely chocolate chunks inside.

These are Gracie's favorite muffins - she loves them for breakfast or for birthday parties! We used to get GF cupcakes for her to take to parties but she now prefers the chocolate muffins - with or without icing. They are a generous size and perfect for putting a little icing with sprinkles on top if you want a little fancy - but also really good just plain.

We find these muffins (like the others) are best when put in the microwave for 1 minute at 50% power (from frozen - adjust if thawed.) The Udi's site says it is also great served with berries for dessert!

I have to admit I am not a big fan of gluten free baked goods but these are REALLY good! Gluten free or not - they are just a darn good muffin.

Chess pie - My oh my!

So... I go to make pumpkin pie on Christmas morning only to discover I didn't have pumpkin! What to do, what to do? I searched on and came up with Chess Pie! Num, num, num.

Chess pie is a super sweet, eggy custard pie - it is a hit with the old people since it has been around forever! I think it needs to make a comeback.

I came upon this recipe that was super simple and had ingredients I had on hand.

So how is pie gluten free you ask? Well - the pie crust isn't but the custard is. I made the filling per the recipe - the only change I made was I didn't add the corn meal to Gracie's dessert since I didn't have GF corn meal on hand. I poured it into a custard dish and put it in a water bath and baked until a pick came out clean.

This was such a simple, old fashioned pie that everyone loved. We topped it with Cool Whip and Cool Whip makes EVERYTHING more awesome!

I also do Pumpkin Pie Custard which Gracie LOVES! I would assume you could do any of the custard pies as a crustless custard by cooking in a water bath. So - break out your favorite pie recipes and experiment for yourself - or try the Chess Pie! You won't regret it.

Gluten Free Bisquick!

I heard the urban legend that Gluten Free Bisquick was coming - but it appears it is here! I have yet to try it but I would love to hear from anyone who has.

I just went on the Bisquick site and saw they have a "Product Locator" - I see they have a store by my parents who have it.

It looks like the main flour in it is rice flour - it does say the recipes need to be altered because of how rice flour cooks differently. I am looking forward to trying it!

So - has anyone tried it yet?


It is AWESOME! The pancakes are "normal!" Our whole family eats them.

I add a little more milk since the batter is a little stiff but other than that I follow the directions.

The bad news - it is about $4 + for a VERY small package. It makes about two recipes of pancakes. I have only tried it for pancakes - I would like to try the biscuits.

I can recommend the GF Bisquick. It is really good, available (it is at my local WalMart) and EASY!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's a Celiac thing - you wouldn't understand...

My friend Teela sent this to me from CNN - it is an interesting article in itself - but the comments on the bottom are priceless!

What a debate! Gluten is the devil, Celiacs are over reactors, I know you are but what am I...

In a nutshell what I took away from it is "It is a Celiac thing - you wouldn't understand."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Easy, fancy, oh so very good...

Troy has always loved Eggs Benedict and will get it at nicer restaurants when we are eating out for breakfast but we never make it at home. I wanted to do something nice for him for Father's Day so I decided to make this for him in the morning.

We had perfected Blender Hollandaise years ago when we made Bearnaise sauce for steak but I haven't made it in over 10 years. Now I know why - it is fantastic! To the point of being an invitation to an obsession... That said - I have controlled myself - somewhat. Purists would say the only way to make it is on the stove. I am not a purist. I like simple and good. I used this recipe from I changed the servings from 6 to 4 - it made just enough w/a little extra left over.

In a nutshell you take egg yokes and blend it with a good Dijon mustard and a little Tabasco and lemon juice - then add hot melted butter and blend until it is all combined - easy, easy, easy. It is smooth and silky and won't break up like the traditional sauce.

Now time to put it all together. I poached three eggs, toasted three English Muffin halves and instead of Canadian bacon I used chopped bacon. Muffin on the bottom, bacon next, egg then top with Hollandaise. The picture above is the one I made on the second day. The flecks are from a whole grain Dijon I used - I think it adds a rustic look.


We loved it so much I got up and made it for Troy again the next morning before he went out of town. Then I stopped. I could eat it every day.

Now I know what you are saying - English Muffins are not gluten free - and you are right. That said everything else is! You could serve it on a gluten free English muffin, a slice of toasted Udi's bread or Udi's bagel 1/2, do it ala Martha Steward and serve it on an artichoke base, serve it on chopped, cooked spinach etc. Or simple serve the sauce over poached eggs. It is hard to go wrong.

Once you realize how easy it is to make Hollandaise Sauce the possibilities are endless. Serve it over steamed asparagus, over grilled chicken or fish, over steamed broccoli or cauliflower - oh so many things. Try it, see if you like it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gluten free at The Cracker Barrel

While traveling this weekend we stopped at the Cracker Barrel. We figured we could get some eggs and maybe bacon for Gracie. When we got there we discovered they have a gluten free menu! There were several things on the menu she could have - she picked bacon and eggs :)

I have looked online I could not find an "official" gluten free menu for Cracker Barrel so I called the company. I spoke to a lovely lady named Sandra and she emailed me the following:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. We appreciate receiving your inquiry and we do understand your concern.

The following is a list of menu items that do not contain wheat, barley, or rye products as an ingredient(the
modified food starch in the fried apples is from corn). However, we have an open kitchen where biscuits and dumplings are made from scratch several times daily. Many of our grill items do not contain glutens but are prepared on the same equipment as products that do. There is always a chance that cross-transference may occur.

Please inform a manager of your sensitivity when you visit one of our stores to ensure that every effort is made to prevent the accidental transfer of glutens via the handling and preparation of your meal.

Grill Items:
grilled chicken tenders, hamburger steak, ribeye and sirloin steak, grilled catfish, grilled trout, grilled pork chops, country ham, city ham, bacon, eggs, pork sausage, turkey sausage

Side Items: carrots,
cole slaw, corn, fried apples, green beans, mashed potatoes, baked potato, pinto beans, turnip greens

Excluding the
fried chicken tender salad and chunky chicken (homemade chicken salad) salad, salads ordered without croutons would not contain glutens. See the ingredient statements below for our salad dressings choice.

The vinegars used in the salad refined distilled grain vinegars. According to the American
Celiac Disease Alliance, "Distilled alcoholic beverages and vinegars are gluten-free. Distilled products do not contain any harmful gluten peptides. Research indicates that the gluten peptide is too large to carry over in the distillation process. This leaves the resultant liquid gluten-free."

Buttermilk Dressing: cultured buttermilk, soybean oil, water, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, salt, corn syrup, sugar, spices, lactic acid, xanthan gum, guar gum, onion*, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, garlic*, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor. *DEHYDRATED

Peppercorn Dressing: soybean oil, water,
sour cream solids, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, salt, spices, dehydrated garlic, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, natural flavor, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor.

Honey French Dressing: high fructrose corn syrup,
soybean oil, corn-cider vinegar, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, salt, paprika, spices, xanthan gum, onion*, honey, invert sugar, beet juice concentrate, garlic*, natural flavor. *DEHYDRATED

Honey Mustard Dressing: soybean oil, water, high fructrose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, honey, egg yolk, mustard seed, sugar, salt, spice, white wine, natural flavor, xanthan gum, citric acid, tartartic acid, artificial color (including yellow #5), calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor.

1000 Island Dressing: soybean oil, water, pickles, sugar, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, high fructrose corn syrup, egg yolk, salt, spice, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate added as preservatives, natural and artificial flavors, onion*,
bell peppers, garlic*, calcium disodium EDTA to protect flavor, xanthan gum, guar gum, polysorbate 80. *DEHYDRATED

We look forward to having the opportunity to serve you again soon.


Sandra Vance
Guest Relations Representative
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc."

I appreciate that they state specifically that they make biscuits an dumplings daily and there may be an issue with cross contamination. Of course this is true for any restaurant - but it is good to be reminded. When we were there the sweet, young waitress was really helpful and understood gluten and our need to stay away from it.

We all had a great lunch and everyone got what they wanted - everyone was happy. I had the lemon pepper fish and it was perfect!

Happy traveling!

Cinnamon rolls - num, num, num...

I went to get Udi's Sandwich Bread for Gracie from Herb's & More in Decatur and discovered something glorious - Udi's Cinnamon Rolls! Oh - I had such hope...

They were frozen so I thawed one in the microwave, topped it w/the enclosed icing and served. Warm, sticky, gooey, cinnamony goodness! It tasted as Gracie has been know to say "like it is full of gluten!" They are the size of a big muffin - depending on how hungry she is she will either eat a full one or a 1/2 and save the other 1/2 for later.

We went out of town last weekend and took these with us. She had them instead of dessert at night and instead of biscuits for breakfast. They kept well thawed for the 3 days. My only suggestion would be that instead of 2 bigger icing packets there were 4 smaller ones. It was hard to travel w/an open packet.

At $6 a package of 4 they are about $1.50 each - about what you would pay for a cinnamon roll at the donut shop.

I have to give a shout out to Udi's. Not only is their food gluten free it is DELICIOUS! It taste as good as "regular" baked products w/o the horrible dry crumbliness that gluten free products often have. I hear they have bagels - I am on the lookout for those now.

Cinnamon rolls - ummmmmmm

I just "glutened" Gracie

Ugh, ick, ugh. It just makes me sick.

We have LOVED the Ian's Gluten Free Cookie Buttons. Not only did they taste good they also come in individual packages - perfect for lunches, travel etc.

Earlier in the week I made a quick stop at Sprouts to pick up some snacks. I grabbed come crackers and Ian's Cookie buttons (Chocolate Chip.) Came home - put them in her designated "Gluten Free Snack Bucket" and called it good.

This afternoon she went to get a snack, opened a package and ate a cookie. She noticed they tasted a little different (like coconut) and decided to check the ingredients - it said "Contains wheat! She screamed "It has WHEAT!" We jumped up, ran to the bathroom when she spit out what she could, washed her mouth out and brushed her teeth. I pray she doesn't get sick tonight.

I looked up the package online - they are IDENTICAL!! The graphic at least. One says "Organic" and the other says "Gluten Free" but other than that they are pretty much the same. Check for yourself above.

I called the company - left a message and took full responsibility for not reading the ingredients but am hoping they will consider changing their packaging - I left my phone number and will report back if there is anything to report. I also called Sprouts (the cookies were in the "gluten free area.") The man I spoke w/was VERY nice - said that he also had gotten confused and put the organic cookies in the GF spot because they look so much alike and said he would go to check the shelf.

I accept full responsibility for buying it w/o double checking the package. That said - what a horrible marketing job. If I want Coke I look for the familiar red bottle/can. Diet coke has a silver bottle/can. Lays Potato Chips has different colors for different flavors etc.

I will probably continue to buy the cookies - but w/a cautious eye.

I hope she doesn't get sick - and I hope no one else makes the same mistake.

Update - 7/9/10

We made it through the night - thank goodness! She dodged the bullet this time. The crazy thing about Gracie's Celiac is before she was diagnosed she would get sick about 3 days a week - but she ate gluten daily. It was hit or miss - but when it hit it was HORRIBLE! I am so thankful she is fine. She was so upset and worried - I was as well.

I got a call from Ian's this afternoon. The lady said they have had this complaint before. She did say to always look for the red "Gluten Free" banner. I asked if they were going to be having any other items that were in Organic and GF in similar packages and she said she wasn't sure - and again said to check the red banner. Um - no doubt.

She also said they are discontinuing the "Organic" Cookie buttons and are just going to be making the Gluten free ones - that said the organic ones will still be on the shelf for a while.

She also said they were going to be making a 7 oz. version of the cookie buttons that would be out soon.

So - lesson learned - the hard way. I will be double checking next time before putting items in my basket.

Update 7/10/10

Well - apparently it took some time. Yesterday afternoon Gracie had a bad case of sour stomach that lasted all night. About 2 am she woke us up saying she thought she was going to throw up (she didn't.) Thankfully she went back to sleep and was ok in the morning. She was pretty uncomfortable until it passed.

I am glad it wasn't worse than that - we all were.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My oh my - this looks good! Fluffernutter Cookies

While "Stumbling" I came across "Picky Palate" - a really cool cooking blog. Most of her recipes are original and look really good!

What popped up was Fluffernutter Cookies! All the goodness, none of the gluten, easy and only 3 ingredients! Peanut butter, Marshmallow Creme (Kraft is GF) and an egg!

They sound awesome. They look awesome and I don't care that Gracie doesn't like peanut butter cookies and Sam can't have them - I think I will try it anyway! Ok - maybe I will try it w/Almond butter.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ummmm - Cinnamon rolls!

This morning I made biscuits for Troy, Sam and I and Gracie had her usual cereal. I was in the other room getting ready and I heard SOBBING coming from the kitchen. Sam was eating his biscuits - which is our usual Sunday breakfast - and all the sudden Gracie had "missed" biscuits. She cried for a while - it broke my heart.

A while back I purchased some Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix - I thought tonight would be the perfect night to try it.

It was really easy to make - egg, oil (I used melted butter), 3 Tbsp apple sauce and some milk. I only had blueberry/pomegranate apple sauce and it gave the mix an interesting color. The package had several recipes on the back - I chose the "spiral" way because it just looked easier. In a nutshell I made thin "ropes" out of the dough then placed it on a plate w/some brown sugar. I pressed a little brown sugar against the rope then coiled it together where the sugar was in the middle. I put a small dot of butter on top and placed it on the baking sheet and baked according to the package directions - it took the full 30 minutes.

The end results looked like - well... you be the judge! :) However it was DELICIOUS!! The butter caramelized the sugar on the bottom which added to its yumminess. The top was an interesting color - it didn't' really "brown" but since the dough already had a brown color it wasn't unappealing. It had a crisp texture on the outside and a chewy texture on the inside - similar to the Chebe Cheese Bread.

Some tips: My friend Jennifer said she made the rolls but the outside burned before the inside cooked. Because of this I made my "ropes" thin and the rolls small. It made about 20 rolls this way. I used my Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer w/the dough hook attachment - I use it for the cheese bread as well. I had to add a small amount of water (2-3 Tbsp) to get the dough to come together in a ball - it was sort of crumbly before that. Use two hands to roll the rope - pulling apart as your roll - it is "springy" and will try to pull back together.

I am glad I made it! Gracie was happy and satisfied. She had a dessert for tonight and a breakfast for tomorrow. She may always miss "real" biscuits but at least she knows there is still yummy baked goods to be had.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Glutino Pretzles

We went to Central Market last night and as always we looked around to see what we could find that might be new. When Gracie was first diagnosed we tried the Glutino Pretzels - but we tried the braided ones - she didn't like them. I always hoped she might try them again but was never interested. Well... last night she decided she would. The helpful "Foodie" opened a bag of pretzel sticks and said that kids usually prefer these to the braided type. She LOVED them!

We ended up getting a big bag and when she woke up this morning she wanted to have some. We decided they would be really good with peanut butter (her staple protein.) I tried them and they were really good! If they were not so expensive I would get them as a snack for everyone - however at $5 a bag they are a Gracie treat alone.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Have I told you we LOVE cheese bread??

These are mine --->

This is the "Professional" bread :)
Well we do! We love it enough we bought a case of Chebe Bread Mix to keep on hand - I always double the batch to freeze individual servings - just pop in the oven and we can have cheese bread whenever we want.

Well... while stumbling on "Stumbleupon" I came across the blog "Simple Recipes." They have a really interesting "Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread" recipe that you make in a blender. Fascinating! I like that you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days - cheese bread all week!

I have everything at home needed to make this - I just might try it tonight (or maybe tomorrow...)


Well I tried it! The Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread recipe. It was really easy to make. Just dump it all in the blender, pulse then pour. They were really good - could have used a bit more salt but a satisfying crispiness on the outside and a nice, soft, cheesiness on the inside - not to mention - they were HOLLOW! Way cool and completely unexpected. Something the hollowness does is make them light and airy - it also gives you an excuse to eat several!

Very different from the Chebe Bread mix we use. If you look at the picture of the breads in the Pampered Chef Mini Muffin Tin you can see the one muffin that was turned over has a little hole in it. Several came out this way. I can see a number of things to do with this - fill with herbed cream cheese, chicken salad, ham salad... the possibilities are endless! They are like cream puffs - but cheesy.

It could have used a little salt - I would add a couple of shakes from the shaker next time. Gracie prefers the Chebe Bread but also likes these. This will be something easy to whip up in a flash for dinner.

I made them last night and made a few then stuck the rest of the batter in the fridge. Today I pulled it out, gave it a quick pulse then cooked the rest. Really easy!

What I love about them is they are GOOD! What Gracie loves about them is they are bread - really good bread. Often she will eat them in the morning with her eggs while we have our biscuits. She is happy, we are happy and all is right with the world.

(In the voice of the narrator from Sponge Bob)
"20 seconds later..."

I had JUST pressed "send" when Troy and Gracie came in and said "We figured out what to do with the hole in the bottom! Squeeze Cheese!" Or as it is officially called "Kraft Easy Cheese" - the day glow cheese in a can (which is also gluten free!) They stuck the nozzle in and squeezed the day glow goodness inside. Heaven - or something like it... It was really good - not as good as the fancy herbed cheese stuff in my imagination :)

It is Potluck and Picnic time!

It is always hard to find things to take to picnics and potlucks that EVERYONE will enjoy but also that is gluten free. I came across a Jello recipe and thought "Jello!!" There are so many recipes that use Jello that are already GF and many others that can be easily altered to make them GF (instead of graham cracker crumbs use GF cookie crumbs...)

I posted a while ago about the Jello Cake we used to make back in the day and "Teela's Jello Salad." Here are a BUNCH of recipes from Jello website. Try something new and report back!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I just "Stumbled Upon" this one! One ingredient ice cream!

Troy has been a big fan of "StumbleUpon." You click on what you are interested in, push the "stumble" button and it will take you to random sites. This is how I found the cake below and how I found this delightful ice cream idea!!

One ingredient ice cream. That's right - ONE INGREDIENT! The recipe is on "The Kitchen" site. In a nutshell freeze bananas, blend and voila! Creamy ice cream. Dairy free, gluten free, sugar free... Nothing but bananas.

I think I will have to try this one.

Update 4/21/10

We tried the "ice cream" and it was GREAT! Surprisingly so.

I had three bananas that were "just turning." They were not brown but they were perfectly spotted which means sweet and delicious. I sliced them and put the in the freezer. Tonight I put them in my little "Oscar" - or small food processor - and beat the heck out of them! At first they were sort of crumbly and hard - almost like chopped nuts. Gracie and I tried it at this point and she thought they had the taste and texture of banana split Dippin Dots. I thought it was really good but thought Sam would probably prefer they be sweeter so I added about a teaspoon of honey and a few drops of good vanilla - then I beat the heck out of it again! My poor little Oscar! It had never worked so hard. It started to make a "hot" smell - a little concerning. Next time I will "chop them" until they are the chopped nut consistency then let it sit for a minute just so it can soften a bit - but not too much.

When it started moving from the chopped nut consistency to a smoother one it started "balling" up like bread dough might - then it let go and started getting a whipped consistency similar to semi frozen Cool Whip. It turns to a soft serve consistency. I assume you could put it in a container and freeze it solid.

It was yummy! Gracie LOVED it, Troy thought it would be good as a base for sundaes and Sam thought it was "OK" and added chocolate syrup (he is NOT a fruit eater :) I tried a little chocolate on mine and it took on a banana split flavor. We will be doing this again.

Of course many ice creams is gluten free but it is rarely this good, this healthy and dairy free!

PS: Needless to say the picture on top is mine!

The Master Baker - Gluten Free Cake

A friend had this on her Facebook page - I thought it was AWESOME! It uses pecans as the base instead of flour and egg whites to give it lift. Sadly Gracie doesn't like nuts in things but I think I might try this for myself some day.

Gesine Bullock Prado (Sandra Bullock's sister) is a baker, blogger and cookbook author. She shows how to make her Mom's cake - changing the name from (find out yourself :) to The Helga Cake! It looks fantastic. It is Gluten Free. What is not to love??

Even if I don't make the cake I am going to HAVE to try the icing - that looks fantastic. I love finding different - and yummy - things for Celiacs to have that are "normal" without the nastiness of gritty gluten free flours and ingredients we can't pronounce. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Well - a lot has happened since we last spoke...

First off - for some reason my last two posts didn't "take" - it looks like I have been gone for a while but for some reason they got "stuck."

Second - we got Sam allergy tested. What a mixed blessing - stressful but exciting and helpful but sometimes ignorance is bliss.

He has HORRIBLE eczema. It is really bad. We were told it was dairy when he was a year old and always assumed that was the reason for it - turns out he is only "mildly" allergic to milk. He is "moderately" allergic to peanuts! You know - peanuts that peanut butter is made out of. The peanut butter that he had ALL THE TIME!!! Sigh. Thankfully he is not anaphylaxis (or get anaphylaxis?? - it is all new to me.) He just gets the horrible rash. Needless to say we are off peanuts. But peanuts - like gluten - is often hidden. More label reading.

Something else? He is mildly allergic to BAKERS YEAST!! That means two kids no bread! Or at least not his daily sandwich. He can have it about 3 times a week. Even though the doctor said it was a common allergy there is sadly LITTLE info on the web about Bakers Yeast allergies. Thankfully he can still have many crackers, tortillas etc. Sam said "Gracie! There is something else we both can't have - peanut butter sandwiches!" He thought that was cool. I love that kid.

We tried almond butter (also gluten free!) Blue Diamond Almond Butter to be exact. It was good - but a bit bland (has almonds and salt.) Sam liked it "OK" but didn't love it. We added a little local honey (good for allergies!) and he loved it! Thank goodness. Of course it is twice the price but a quick and easy protein.

He was SEVERELY - really allergic to cats and dust mites. That means no new cat and lots of new bedding. It also means we are looking into allergy shots. :(

This is all new to me. Growing up my sisters had grass allergies and my Mom was allergic to raw shrimp but other than that we just ate - and did - what we wanted. No label reading, no special meals, no nonsense. This must come from Troy's side of the family :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fairy Bread

A couple of years ago Gracie had to make some sort of food from another country for her class. We looked at Australia and found a traditional kids party treat - Fairy Bread! Never has a treat been more simple AND simply good.

In a nutshell it is bread spread with butter and topped with sprinkles - nonpareils specifically but honestly any sprinkles will do. The crunchiness and sweetness of the sprinkles combined with the creaminess of the butter and the substance of the bread - lovely.

Traditionally sprinkles are made with rice flower - many say specifically on their label they are gluten free. Gracie is currently making her Fairy Bread with Udi's White Sandwich Bread, butter and Halloween sprinkles - never mind it is March :)

Friday, March 19, 2010


We were traveling through South Texas this week and stopped at Whataburger in Seguin for lunch. I went ahead to see if their french fries were gluten free. I spoke to the General Manager - Joe Garza - and he told me they were. He also told me they have separate fryers for the fish, chicken and fries and was really helpful.

I went out to get the family and we started walking in - out runs Joe looking for us! He was very concerned because he told me wrong - they fried onion rings in the same fryer as the fries. He was VERY concerned that Gracie might get sick if she ate them. I really appreciated his concern.

We decided not to eat there however I called the Whataburger corporate office to brag on Mr. Garza and kindly request they consider making their fries gluten free.

Here is a link to Whataburger's list of items that contain gluten. I do think it is interesting that they have a list of items that CONTAIN gluten - which basically causes us to have to stare at the menu to try to figure out which things do NOT contain gluten.

Chipotle Restaurants

I was watching a taped show of Oprah's - "Food 101." The owner of Chipotle Restaurants was on talking about the freshness of the foods etc. I then wondered if they had gluten free items - they do!! Take a look at the link above - it is the "FAQ" page and they talk about their gluten free products and procedures. Also - they have an "Allergen chart" which shows the foods that contain gluten - most do not.

The Burrito Bowl looks awesome - all the burrito goodness and none of the flour tortillas.

It is nice to know there are other restaurants to add to our gluten free list.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gluten free at P.F. Chang's China Bistro

My friend Darin emailed me this info today. P.F. Chang's has had a gluten free menu but today they added 5 new beef dishes!

I have to say it has been years since I have been to P.F. Chang's. No reason why - we just haven't been. I do remember it fondly. You know I always love it when a restaurant is accommodating to a gluten free diet. They even have gluten free soy sauce.

P.F. Chang's gluten free menu is LOVELY! Many favorites and new things to try. They even have dessert!

I called the Grapevine location and spoke to a manager (I am sorry I didn't get his name - he was very helpful.) I asked how they prevented cross contamination with their gluten free items and he stated that the gluten free area - like the vegetarian area - is separate from the main cooking area. They have separate woks and utensils and a shelf that is earmarked for these things. The manager invited me to call back anytime with any questions.

The last time I went to P.F. Chang's it was just Gracie and I. She had an appointment in Grapevine and she wanted to go because they had Magnadoodles (magnetic write on toys for kids.) We shared a dinner and a fun evening - just Mom and daughter. Gracie was about 6 at the time. We need to go back.

Check out the menu. It looks awesome, the food at P.F. Chang's is fresh and not expensive (lunch is about $9, dinner goes up to about $18) and it is a great place to go to dinner with friends and family.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Things have been slow around here...

My laptop broke! I have been sharing Troy's laptop (thanks Troy!) but between sharing the laptop, kids, and just plain worn out from work. Sorry for not keeping up - I will try harder.

Also - I have changed some of my information on my "About me." I am no longer "Owned by Miss Kitty." Sadly we lost her about a month ago and we miss her terribly. She was loved by everyone who knew her and because of her "God Mother" Miss Nancy who lives across the street she was known all over town. She had pictures painted of her, a stamp made, greeting cards, was on a calender and was a "Feline friend of the Library."

Recently I have had the (very bittersweet) opportunity to meet several people who have been recently diagnosed with Celiac. It is bittersweet because I hate that they were diagnosed but I love that it is easier to diagnose AND there are more products out there for those who are gluten free than every before. Gracie gets excited to hear about someone else - it is good for her to know she isn't alone. We are a community.

Thank you for following my blog. I love doing it - and I love that others enjoy reading it.


I spoke before about taco shells - which we love. I have recently discovered my kids actually prefer the Tostada shells. I like that I don't have to cook them before serving.

Sam likes them with bean dip and / or taco meat on top. Gracie likes them with shredded cheddar and lettuce. I like them with cheddar melted on top - like Joe T Garcia's nachos. Troy likes them topped with meat, cheese, lettuce and salsa then chopped up into a salad. I also love that tostada night is a night where we all enjoy our dinner.

Gluten free at Pei Wei

Last night the kids and I went to Pei Wei. We all LOVE Pei Wei and it is someplace where the kids will eat everything on their plate.

I have mentioned several times that Gracie is VERY picky - which is a royal pain. Troy figured out that Gracie likes it better with the sauce left off. I figured out that she likes the sauce on the side for dipping. I also figured out that Pei Wei is AWESOME at accommodating even the pickiest eaters! Grace gets basically chicken nuggets with rice and veggies on the side and I get a kid who will eat all of her meat. This is a kid who does NOT eat much meat at all. I love the fact that I get a fun meal out at a restaurant "I" love and the kids love also.

Great information from General Mills!

My friend Kathy sent this link to me - it is AWESOME!

General Mills Living Gluten Freely is a great site with recipes, product information etc. I love that gluten free has gone "mainstream" and it is easier than ever to find products at your grocery store - instead of having to always go to a specialty store - for gluten free products.

Check it out!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Interesting information from the Food and Drug Administration

While looking at the Nutella website I came across this LINK to the Food and Drug Administration.

It has a lot of really good information about labeling information for Gluten free products as well as information on Celiac Disease.

I am really excited when I see clear labeling for gluten free products. It is a no brainer - you don't have to worry if the food is safe or not.

Taco shells

We have always been taco fans at our house. We have used flour tortillas or soft corn tortillas - never really buying the crunchy corn shells. Well... then there was Gracie.

Crunchy taco shells are basically corn, oil and salt. They come in regular, large, flat bottomed (our favorite for some odd reason - they don't break while filling them) and tostada shells.

Last night while going to a Mexican restaurant it dawned on me that restaurants usually serve pre-made crunchy taco shells. We were going to Rosa's Mexican restaurant and learned they don't make their own. Gracie had lettuce and cheese tacos (since she is basically a vegetarian other than fish and bacon) and ate every bite.

I realize this is "common sense" for many Celiacs - but the fact is often I realize down the road "Oh - that is gluten free - she can eat that!" I think this is true for many Celiacs - you strip yourself down to the basics then start realizing what you CAN have.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I had such hope

Tomorrow night is "Cici's Pizza night" to raise money for our school so the 4th graders can go to camp. We were SO excited because we learned they can make a gluten free pizza! Whoo hoo!!

I decided to call ahead to get some information and asked for the manager. I asked about a gluten free pizza - he had no clue what I was asking.

I said "crust less pizza."

He said "Oh - we can do that. We put it in a personal pizza pan and use sauce and cheese and whatever other toppings you want. "

I wanted to clarify it could be gluten free (as in a pan free of wheat residue etc.) so I said "So you can make it with out flour on it at all?"

His response - "We don't have any of that here - you don't have to worry."

(Me) "You don't have what?"

(Him) "Any of that stuff you are talking about."

(Me) "Flour? It is in all of your pizzas."

(Him) "Huh? What? No - we don't have that."

I started to explain myself and Troy wisely said "Hang up." I excused myself and hung up.


Double sigh.

I am not as disappointed that we couldn't get gluten free pizza as I am upset that it was proven to me that sometimes businesses will say what they think they want you to hear to "make you happy." We would have been in a world of hurt if we had trusted this "manager" and his "don't worry." Not to mention how disappointed Gracie would have been if we had gotten there only to have to leave because we were misinformed.


Well - it turns out it was a case of "Stupid is as stupid does."

I decided to drop Gracie off at basketball practice and take Sam to Cici's for dinner as a reward for a good report card.

We got here and I ordered a cheese free pizza for Sam (which he devoured!) and saw a Manager walking around. I asked the lady at the front if this was the same manager that was on duty last night - she said it was a different one. When he stopped by our table to ask how everything was I said "I have heard you can make a crust less pizza here - do you?" He told me that yes they can - they put it in a foil "to go" pan (aka for the Celiac as "Safe!") and will put sauce and cheese then any topping you want. YEA!! Of course Gracie only likes cheese on her pizza so she would be eating a little sauce and melted cheese but we could bring some bread for her to dip it / spread it on.

We we go there often? Probably not. However it is GREAT to know it is an option for everyone. Honestly none of us love Cici's - however with birthday parties, sports dinners and going out with friends it is nice to know it is an option.

I guess it pays to ask the question more than once - especially to someplace local.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Put a cherry on top!

Gracie LOVES Maraschino Cherries - simply loves them and always has.

She has been asking me to get some for her for a while but honestly I have forgotten to pick some up while at the store. I got some today at WalMart (Great Value brand) and it stated on the jar "Naturally a gluten free food." I really like that. We all know cherries are a naturally gluten free food but with the artificial color and extra flavoring etc. you never know what will be in it. It is nice that it is so clearly stated.

Not only does she love how they taste she just loves the "fancy" that it brings to any food. Add it to lemon lime soda, ice cream, put it on a dish of pudding or on top of the whipped cream on your hot chocolate. Fancy, fancy, fancy.

I think the thing it brings - especially to a child with Celiac - is there is SO much she can't have that is fancy. Stick a bright red cherry on top and something very simple seems kicked up a notch.

They keep forever in the fridge. Keep it on hand to put a cherry on top!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Aveeno Nourish Hair Care - a warning!

I was watching TV and a commercial came on for Aveeno Nourish Hair Care with "The Power of Wheat Complex." It says it "Harnesses the restorative power of wheat protein (aka Gluten) for hair care."

I have to say a year ago this wouldn't have phased me. Now flashing lights were seen and beeping noises heard at the mention of wheat protein. Honestly - even though I am careful about foods I wouldn't have thought to look at shampoo ingredients. Needless to say I will be more careful in the future.

I like Aveeno products and have some. I am sure this is a fine product for most people - just not for Celiacs or those with gluten intolerance.


A commenter asked a really good question - what is the issue with gluten in shampoo? Thankfully Gracie hasn't had an issue with this - but I have heard of others who have. When she was diagnosed the nutritionist recommended we stay away from products with gluten in them. When I was doing my research in the beginning I came across several blogs and websites that also suggested staying away from beauty products with gluten in them.

This is one of those things I don't have first hand experience with but there are enough warnings out there I am not willing to risk it.

A blog I enjoy reading wrote a bit about her experience with it - check it out:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gluten Free Grace is on Facebook!

Gluten Free Grace now has a Facebook Page. Just type "Gluten Free Grace" in the search field and you will see our page. If you become a fan it will alert you when I put new posts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I have used the recipe site "" for years. It is real food by real people and I have always been able to find what I was looking for.

Yesterday I put in "Gluten Free" in their search and there are several Gluten Free recipes! Some look better than others but it is nice to know there are some out there.

Something else I like is you can add recipes. I have done this (pre GF days :) but it would be a great place to share your favorite gluten free recipes with the rest of the gluten free world.

Check it out!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread

Along with the other goodies we received from Udi's was a loaf of Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread. I thought "Oh - Grace won't eat that." She didn't like whole grain bread before she was diagnosed - I couldn't see her liking it now.

Well... I hated to waste the bread and since she had only been eating it as grilled cheese I decided to give it a try - oh - and not tell her :)

It has been 3 sandwiches later and she is none the wiser - she sucked them down as quickly as she did with the sandwich bread and never questioned it. Trust me - if she thought something was "off" she would have mentioned it!

I compared the nutritional info on both breads - honestly it will come down to taste. If you like a whole grain bread then try it - you may like it better. Either way - the Udi's Sandwich bread or the Udi's Whole Grain bread is a HIT at our house!

There's an App for that!

While Grace ate her Gluten Free Ice Cream at the cute little shop in Southlake I played with my new iPhone. We were considering going to dinner later and I thought I would do a search on "Gluten Free" on the App Store. There were about Apps under Gluten Free - restaurant finders, Celiac Restaurant Cards (which could be pulled up in different languages!) gluten free info etc.

Are they awesome? Not really. Are they fun - you bet. Some are free, some are under $2 and others are over priced. It is just nice to know they are out there.