Gluten Free Blog Posts

December 4, 2018

Extra Large Rice Cereal Treat

Kellogg's Rice Krispies isn't safe for Celiacs because they contain malt flavoring. Malt flavoring comes from a barley grain. Barley is not gluten-free and therefore Kellogg's Rice Krispies are not gluten-free.

Which means you can't really make Rice Crispy treats using Kellogg's brand of Rice Krispies. (There are plenty of alternative brands that make Rick Krispies that are safe for Celiacs.)

This is important to know because you can't buy pre-made Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats.

Wegman Rice Cereal Treats

Wegman's Rice Cereal Treat

Did you know at Wegmans you can get a large Marshmallow Rice Cereal Treat? This is perfect to cut up and pack in lunches or to serve as treats for kids at parties.

They are devious and nobody would know that they are gluten free - they taste just like regular Rice Treats.

Where to Find them in The Store

You can find them near the in-store bakery section of Wegmans. They are located near various other allergy-friendly cookies and treats. (In Natick, they were on the second to bottom shelf - which makes it easy to miss!)

November 27, 2018

Wegmans Burger Bar

One of the nice things about the Natick Mall's Wegmans is that they have a few places to eat. Last Sunday we made a stopover at the Burger Bar since we visited it a few times in the past and had good experiences.

Things were a bit differently on this trip - partly because of the CDC national mandate to not use Romaine Lettuce.

"Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a warning.

Meanwhile Back at the Burger Bar

When we placed our order for Gluten Free Burger, we told them it was for an allergy. We asked if she could have a salad with her order - since she can't have french fries due to cross-contamination issues. The server told us they couldn't do that, and that the only option available would be a fruit cup. We thought that it was weird that they still served salads using other types of lettuce, but they couldn't make a side salad from the same lettuce?

My daughter was happy with the fruit cup option so we were fine with that.

Burger Arrived with a Bonus Side

When my daughter's dish arrived, she got the fruit cup, burger and animal crackers. Which was very strange seeing that this was an allergy order. I double checked the animal crackers packaging and they weren't gluten-free.

We have eaten at the Burger Bar enough times that we knew that the burger bun was gluten free.

Burger Bar

Communication Breakdown

Clearly the server at Wegmans didn't know about the Gluten Free order - or not aware of what foods could be included as a side dish.

We didn't say anything at the time, as we didn't ask for cookies and she doesn't like animal crackers. It was a "bonus" side that was anything but a bonus.

My daughter loved her burger. She took her usual time of eating it. She didn't end up eating the fruit cup. All she wanted was a burger for lunch and she likes using the Coke Soda machine to make her orange soda.

It was a busy post-Thanksgiving Sunday at the Mall, but that's no excuse for serving regular crackers on a gluten-free order.

November 20, 2018

Gluten Free Eggnog

Good News! All major brands of Egg Nog are naturally Gluten Free! Wheat is not something to add in any recipe for Egg Nog. (I am sure someplace there's an Oreo Egg Nog and that's definitely not Gluten Free!)

I checked Hood, Garelick Farms and they both have their entire Eggnog product line as Gluten Free.

Egg Nog 2018

Turn of the Century Recipe

I found this "Turn of the Century" EggNog recipe at the Boston Public Library (January 1922). This is how your grandmother might have made EggNog.

Beat white to a stiff froth, then put in the yolk, beat very light, and bring milk to boiling heat and pour over the egg, then add sugar and flavor.

If this, is not your recipe please try and see how superior it is to the old way.

I am not exactly sure that's going to taste the same as people might have gotten used to. I will continue to look to see if there's a more detail "Turn of the Century" way to make EggNog.

November 13, 2018

Turkey Shape Butter

Keller's Creamery Turkey Shaped Salted Butter is now available at Walmart, Hannaford, Wegmans and Stop and Shop. We did not see any in Market Basket or Whole Foods.

Kellers Turkey Shaped Butter

We had this last year, and it was a hit at the Thanksgiving table.

They make a Christmas Tree and a Bunny Shape Butter too. The Christmas Tree is available in December and the Bunny is available in March.

We recommend getting two, that way there's no issue with cross contamination if you have regular rolls and gluten-free rolls. (Or get one and put it next to the gluten-free rolls to encourage people to take the gluten-free rolls.)

Remember Kids Butter

November 6, 2018

Benevento

Boston's North End is the best place to go to get Italian food. There are lots of great restaurants to choose from and the food is excellent. Certainly worth visiting if you're coming to Boston for business for vacation.

If you're eating Gluten Free, you may think your best to stay away. You would be wrong. There are some restaurants that offer excellent gluten-free meals - Benevento is one such restaurant.

Benevento Gluten Free
Gluten Free Garlic Bread and Alfredo Pasta

Nine Things We Learned visiting Benevento

We found Benevento via the Find Me Gluten Free ios App, it got a very good rating from other guests.

We made reservations for five at Benevento and ended up sitting in the basement. It was nice because it was quiet, but we were sitting next to the cleaning kitchen. (Not sure why we were put in the basement if we had a reservation.) You're much better off eating at street level since they have an open kitchen.

There is a TV downstairs where you can watch the latest Boston Sports. (I believe that there's one upstairs too.) There is no cellular service downstairs - so no chance of checking in. (You shouldn't be using the phone in a restaurant anyways.)

The downstairs bathroom was flooded and it took a while for it to get clean.

The server brought regular bread to the table even though we indicated that two people in our party needed to eat gluten-free. They did make some gluten-free garlic bread which is one of the appetizers. They don't have gluten-free bread as a regular table offering.

My daughter didn't really like the garlic bread. I think this is the first time that she tried Garlic Bread. It was a nice treat for her. I tried some and thought it was good. It was gluten-free flatbread that had garlic sauce on it.

We order my daughter the Alfredo Pasta, which is to her is just a different type of Mac & Cheese. She did enjoy it and ate a fair amount. I think she was saving her appetite for some dessert at Mikes Pastry. I also tried some of the pasta and thought it was good.

The other meal that was served gluten free was Puttanesca. It looked exactly like regular Puttanesca and tasted just as good. The person was planning on saving some of it for the next day but ended up eating the whole thing because it was so good.

We did take home the Alfredo Pasta and my daughter didn't really like it a couple of days later. She said that it tasted better at the restaurant. I asked if she wanted to go back to Benevento, and she said yes.

Finding Benevento

Benevento is located on 111 Salem Street, in the North End of Boston. It's about a block away from Bova's Bakery. They have their menu posted online so you can see all the gluten-free options.

We would go back, as we love visiting Boston's North End. Next time we'll ask her to eat more otherwise we wouldn't go to get ice cream at Mike's Pastry.

October 30, 2018

Just Crack an Egg

Finding a good breakfast is kind of hard to do for a seven-year-old. They are very picky about what they want. Add needing to eat gluten-free makes it really hard. There's very limited choice on cereals and other breakfast goods - such as Eggos and frozen pancakes.

School mornings can be crazy. If people aren't up in time, it can be a madhouse to get ready for the day. However, a good breakfast is critical to winning the day.

Crack An Egg

Crack-An-Egg To the Rescue

Crack-An-Egg is a mix of vegetables, cheese and a protein (Ham or Bacon). Dump out the contents, crack an egg in the container pour in the contents back in and stir. It's a simple healthy breakfast. Since the ingredients are all separated, you can decide how much - if any - to put in with your egg.

We love Crack-An-Egg. It's a great way for my daughter to have a healthy breakfast very quickly. In about 70-seconds she has a simple scrambled egg breakfast. It's all naturally gluten-free!

Sometimes she's in a mood to make it herself, with some adult supervision and has fun mixing all the ingredients together. Most mornings, I am putting everything together.

The nice thing about Crack-An-Egg is that the portion size is perfect for her. It's not too much or too little. Sometimes she finishes it, and sometimes she leaves just a bit left.

Expensive Breakfast

Crack an Egg is a bit expensive breakfast for a seven-year-old. It's a nice healthy treat to have a couple of times a week. My daughter loves it and looks forward to breakfast in the mornings.

Obviously the concept of Crack-An-Egg is easy to make homemade. Simply get a microwave safe bowl, put in an egg and some chop vegetables and protein. But who has time in the mornings to chop up vegetables and protein?

You can find Crack-An-Egg in the dairy section, usually above the regular eggs. In New England, we have seen them in Market Basket, Stop and Shop and Sudbury Farms. Wegmans and Whole Foods does not carry them.

October 23, 2018

AMC Theater Popcorn is not Gluten Free

A M Cpopcorn

At a recent meeting at the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Group we were surprised to learn that the Popcorn at the local AMC Theater chain in the Boston area is not gluten free.

Wait. What? Popcorn not gluten free? We always thought it would be safe. Apparently not!

Members of the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Group took the time to call around all the movie theater chains and received information that the butter topping that they put on the popcorn contains gluten.

I checked various AMC websites and did not get the same information - all indications was that the popcorn is safe. However, we know that the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac group is a reliable source and we trust their findings.

Now What?

The next time we'll go to the movies, I'll make a batch of popcorn for my daughter. If someone at the movie theater challenges bring outside food to the movies, I'll let them know that my daughter had enjoyed the popcorn in the past but can no longer have some.

If you want full details about how celiac friendly that other Boston area movie theater's are, be sure to join the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Group and ask for the Popcorn report.

October 16, 2018

Switch Witch

In 2013, Audrey Kinsman created a new Halloween tradition - Switch Witch.

The concept is simple, after trick or treating kids would put unwanted candy in a cauldron and then put the Witch on top of it. The next morning, the candy would disappear and in place would be a wanted toy.

Switch Witch

Another Practal Use of the Switch Witch

The Boston Celiac group took it one step further and suggest that children put in candy they can't eat because the candy contains Gluten.

The next morning the unwanted candy is replaced with safe to eat candy. Making it a fun holiday.

Where to Find the Switch Witch

The Switch Witch is available in most bookstores, including switchwitches.com and Amazon.

This is yet another new tradition for today's families.

October 9, 2018

Blue Dalia Restaurant and Tequila bar

This weekend we tried the Blue Dalia Restaurant and Tequila bar which is located in the Wegman's store inside the Natick Mall. We decided to visit since I got a $25 promotional gift card in the mail.

We did hear that they had a lot of Gluten Free options, so we decided to stop by for lunch.

Blue Dalia
Crispy Rolled Tacos is a good Gluten Free option.

Six Things We Learned

We arrived at noon time on a Sunday and was surprise that the restaurant was a bit empty. It was a holiday weekend, so we figured that most people are out and about and not spending time eating lunch at the Mall.

The chips and dips that the server puts on your table while you look are gluten free. (Margaritas has to special cook the chips to make them gluten free.)

There was no Gluten Free menu. When we placed our order, we asked the server if certain dishes were Gluten free, he didn't seem to confident that they were. He told us that he would check it out and let us know. He never came back, so my daughter's order must be good - She wanted the Crispy Rolled Tacos.

The dishes were a bit expensive for lunch - which could be the real reason why no one was there on a Sunday afternoon.

It took a long time to get our drinks and our order, which was surprising considering the place was empty. We didn't expect fast food, just that things took longer than we thought it would.

The food was very good. Everyone enjoyed their meals. We pretty much cleaned our plates. The portion size was reasonable.

Would We go Back?

While we liked our meal, we probably wouldn't go back any time soon. The meals were a bit expensive and the service was slow.

My daughter did like her meal giving it a 70 out of a 100, which is a good sign that she liked it enough to want to come back.

Finding Blue Dalia Restaurant

The Blue Dalia Restaurant and Tequila bar is located in the produce section of Wegmans in the Natick Mall in Natick Massachusetts.

October 2, 2018

Cauliflower crust at California Pizza Kitchen

Have you tried California Pizza Kitchen Cauliflower crust? It's not only delicious but it's gluten-free.

We are obsessed with it. It's definitely better than the regular crust because it has additional herbs and spices that makes a typical pizza taste even better.

CPKpizza Options
Pictures of the three different types of pizza available - Regular, Gluten Free and Cauliflower.

Restaurant managers have told us that the cauliflower crust is a very popular dinner dish - just about everyone agrees that it's a hit. We haven't had an issue with no supply - lucky us!

If you tried other cauliflower crust before and been disappointed try California Pizza Kitchen version - especially if you tried variously frozen verities.

If you're eating gluten-free because of an allergy, make sure to let the service know so they can prepare and cook it to avoid cross-contamination issues.

My daughter still likes the gluten-free crust - I think she is a bit scared of adding additional vegetables to her pizza. She has tried the cauliflower one but will still order the regular gluten-free crust.

September 25, 2018

Café Crayola

If you're getting hungry while visiting the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA, there is a cafe where you can grab a quick bite. It's very convenient and they do have some gluten-free options.

Crayola Cafe Gluten

Five Things We Learned

Cafe Crayola is only accessible with paid Crayola Factory admission. This isn't the only food option. You can leave the Crayola Experience and visit other nearby restaurants in downtown. (Be sure to get a hand stamp before exiting if you would like to re-enter.)

There's very limited seating in the Cafe Crayola. A couple of large school groups could take up all the seats. Definitely arrive early and get a table before ordering at the counter.

There was no special Crayola Experience dish - I noticed that most people got pizza or hot dogs. They do have a Crayola Experience cup which makes for a good souvenir.

There are many gluten-free options, a hot dog without a bun, salad, and Gluten Free pizza. Service was a bit weird - We asked if they had Gluten free pizza and the person just disappeared to the back. It left us wondering If they are making the pizza or checking to see there was one available. The cashier had to confirm that they were making it.

It took a while for the pizza to cook. Which isn't a surprise. The pizza is available in one size and split into 6 slices.

My daughter and I shared the pizza and we ate everything. It was good and very satisfying.

September 18, 2018

Cask Taphouse and Grill

Back in August, we visited the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. After a long day at the museum, we were hungry and looked for a gluten-free place. There were several in the area but thought it would be best to try The Cask Taphouse and Grill which was near our hotel.

About the Cask Taphouse and Grill

The Cask Taphouse and Grill was founded in 2016 by the Reehl, Hanko and DeMaria families who desired to create a restaurant with a warm and inviting environment where friends can gather to enjoy well-crafted American food and good drinks. The concept is a casual yet energizing space where good food and drink is served.

Gluten Free Options

When we arrived, we asked the hostess if they had a Gluten Free menu, and they gave us the following print out sheet:

Allergy Hand Out

Allergen List

Grilled Portabella, Grilled Pub Steak, Grilled Pork Chop, Any Salad with protein minus croutons, All of our dressings are gluten-free, Scallop App, Shrimp App minus the bread, Grilled wings, All of our wing sauces are gluten-free, French onion soup without the bread.

It was nice that they had a gluten-free list, just a bit strange that it was on a print out that had a kid drawing on the back of it. My daughter was happy to see that her favorite dish - Wings, was on the menu.

We ordered the wings, but with a not so spicy sauce.

The Cast Gluten Free

Overall Good

My daughter liked the wings, but she still thinks the ones at Durgin Park. She ate most of the wings, and I got to try a few. They were good. Certainly a good treat after a long day at the Crayola Experience.

We would go back again. We did find the restaurant to get pretty loud towards the end of our meal and would recommend eating early if you don't like loud environments.

Finding the Grill

The Cask Taphouse Grill is located at 80 Kunkle Dr, Easton, PA 18045. This is just off the Lehigh Valley Thruway exit in Easton.

September 11, 2018

Fire & Grain

This past August we stayed at the Hershey Lodge for a few days while we enjoyed the park. During our stay, we ate several meals at the Fire and Grain restaurant.

Be sure to checkout the Allergen Information Guide.

Fire and Grain

Six Things We Learned about Eating Gluten Free at the Fire & Grain

  • We found that the staff was knowledgeable about eating Gluten Free. However, not everyone was fully trained in what foods were available.
  • There is a separate Gluten Free menu, ask for it when you check in at the hostess stand.
  • They made gluten free pancakes for my daughter for breakfast. We did walk down the buffet line and got scrabble eggs and fruit.
  • At Dinner, they did have Gluten Free bread for her to enjoy while waiting for her dinner to cook. She really enjoyed the cheeseburger and french fries.
  • The manager would deliver all the specially prepared meals to the table and followed up to make sure everything was satisfactory.
  • All the various meals that we ate at the Fire and Grain we didn't have any issues. We kept coming back because the food was good and it was a convenient place to go in the mornings.

Happy Hour and the Fire & Grain

  • Happy Hour at Fire and Grain is from 4 until 6 every night. There is no happy hour at the water park bar when you arrive after a long drive, stop over at the Fire and Grain to get some refreshing drinks!
  • This is a great time to try some of their appetizers.
  • We highly recommend trying the Reese's Peanut Butter Martini

Directions to the Fire & Grain Restaurant

Fire & Grain is located in the lobby of the Hershey Lodge - 325 University Dr, Hummelstown, PA 17036

September 4, 2018

184 Country Store

We recently traveled from the Boston Area to Hershey, Pennsylvania for vacation. We decided to avoid the area around New York City since we didn't want to stuck in any traffic.

About halfway through our journey, we got a little hungry and looked for some places to eat and take a quick break for the kids in the car. We found a cute restaurant just off of I-84 called "184 Country Store."

Initial Impressions

This is a cute place to stop for kids. There are a few things outside where they could explore. The restaurant has a nice type store inside where you can find all sorts of unique General Store things.

This is a good place to stop for not only for food but also to browse around and shop for things.

The general setup is that you place your order at the register and then sit down at a table and wait for them to bring the food over to your table.

184 Country Store

Gluten Free Options

The menu featured lots of popular sandwiches. We asked about Gluten Free options and the cashier didn't really know what was available. She checked with the chief to see what foods were available for my daughter.

The only option they came up with was a Cheese Omelet, which they would happily make even though they didn't serve Omelets for lunch.

When the cook delivered the meal, he told us that he makes sure that the grill was completely cleaned before cooking the Omelet.

Good Meal

My daughter liked her meal and ate a lot of it. I think she ate a lot of the snacks in the car beforehand and wasn't all that hungry.

In addition, I think she was a bit distracted will all the store merchandise around that she didn't really want to sit and eat.

Parting Thoughts

The 184 Country Store was a great stop over place. It would have been nice if they had better gluten-free options, for example, it would have been nice if they could have done a Philly Cheese Steak with no bun.

After eating, we had a fun time browsing around the store looking at various things. The kids had fun checking out the dollhouse and fake jail outside.

This is certainly a better stop than going to a fast food restaurant and would recommend it to anyone heading on I-84 in Pennsylvania. The place gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs for a bit.

Finding 184 Country Store

The 184 Country Store is located in Greentown Pennsylvania, 101 Creamery Rd, Greentown, PA 18426.

You can check out the menu online: 184 Country Store Menu

June 10, 2018

Natick Wegmans

Wegman's has a great selection of Gluten Free Options.

Wegmans Gluten
You won't find a grocery store in Metrowest Boston that has more frozen Gluten Free options than Wegmans.

Today, we visited the new Wegmans at the Natick Mall. We were very happy to see that they had a lot of options in the grocery section and in Frozen Foods.

The nice thing about Wegmans is that they carry a lot of the new products. They also have many popular items in stock - such as Canyon Bread and Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Donuts. ( We were surprised that they didn't have Wow Baking Company Cookies

We highly recommend checking out the new Wegman's in Natick and stock up on Gluten Free foods. Keep in mind that the prices are a bit more than Market Basket or Stop & Shop but the selection is second to none. It's worth visiting to see the latest products in Gluten Free eating.