Gluten Free Blog Posts

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

Café 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 Café 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.

February 25, 2018

Best Super Crispy Fries at Home

You can make really good healthy French fries at home.

Lamb Weston Super Crispy French Fries and the NuWave Brio Healthy Digital Air Fryer make the best combination.

We have tried generic French fries, from Stop & Shop and Market Basket, and they have been good. However, for the best fries, it's best to go with the Lamb Weston brand - particularly the Super Crispy type.

Yummy Fries

Five Simple Tips

  • Cooking at 400 degrees for 19 minutes for 1/2 a bag seems to be the best combination.
  • The french fries will be very hot when done - wait a minute before eating.
  • You don't need to add any oil to the bottom of the tray!
  • The french fries are delicious as is - no reason to add salt!
  • If you do use the "generic brand" I recommend cooking a little bit longer for an extra crispy taste.

January 21, 2018

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

If you're looking for a great Gluten Free Bakery near Framingham Massachusetts, I would highly recommend Gerardo's European Bakery in Westborough. They have a lot of great Gluten Free options and make a great gluten-free cake.

Check out this cake that was made for a 7-year birthday party:

Cake Collage

None of the kids at the party knew it was gluten free and they all ate up their large slice of the cake. Even some of the adults at the party wanted to know where the cake was made.

They did a great job making the cake and having it taste great. We did provide the bubble gum balls and the glasses on top. They were easy to work with and make sure that we were satisfied with the cake before leaving.

Gerardo's European Bakery is located at Gerardo's 232 Turnpike Rd in Westborough, MA 01581. You can call (508) 366-1845 and place your order.

December 26, 2017

Top 7 Gluten Free Post of 2017

We did a lot of food exploring this year, we found some great restaurants in the Boston area and some delicious food options at the grocery store.

From Disney World to Cape Cod, and from Santa Village to Boston's Back Bay... we tasted a lot of food this years.

Here are the top seven blog post of 2017

In no particular order...

  • Maggiano's Little Italy - Bad service, but still a great dinner
  • American Girl - We love that they have gluten free options. This year my daughter is going to go to the 110 Grill for her birthday, just to have a few more options.
  • Ashland Ale House - It's the new favorite local place to visit.
  • Santa's Village - Our experience with eating gluten free in this park.
  • 110 Grill - Nice place for lunch and dinner.
  • Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brew Co - Great place to go in your in New Hampshire White Mountains. Great food and atmosphere.
  • Catholic Church's Holy Eucharist - Learned a lot about the catholic church position on the eucharists. There is gluten free options available for Catholics that wish to receive holy communion.

December 19, 2017

Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Since 2015, my daughter has put out a good selection of cookies for Santa Claus. He is happy because all the cookies are made at home and are gluten-free.

I would argue that gluten-free cookies are much better than "regular" cookies. Gluten Free cookies have more crispy taste and they stay crispy longer than regular cookies.

Christmas Cookies
Cookies and carrots that was left for Santa last year.

HOLIDAY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Classic Hershey Cookie recipe that has been updated using King Arthur Flour (Gluten Free) - one of the best Gluten Free Flour available. Anyone that taste these cookies will have no idea that they are gluten free!

1-1/2 cups King Arthur Flour (Gluten Free)
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1-1/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Holiday Candy Coated Baking Bits, divided

Heat oven to 350 F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, blending well. Stir in 1 cup candy-coated bits. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Press 8 to 9 of remaining bits on the dough before baking. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookie is set. Do not overbake. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 3-1/2 dozen cookies.

December 12, 2017

J&M Diner Reopens!

The J&M Diner was one of 11 businesses destroyed by a 3-alarm fire on March 11, 2017, at the Old Path Village Plaza on Concord Street. The Diner reopened on November 27th to huge crowds. We decided to wait a couple of weeks and checked out the new place.

We were fortunate to be served by the owner of J&M. She told us that a lot of people were very excited that they were back in operations. She told us that they had a large Marathon Day following, apparently people that run the Boston Marathon like to treat themselves to a breakfast when they travel to Boston for the Marathon. (Just a heads up that there may be busy around the 3rd week of April.)

JandM

Same great Food and Company

The new restaurant has a much larger dining room and kitchen. We still had to wait for 15/20 minutes to be seated at 10:30 am. At least in the new location, you can sit and wait for your name to be called.

The food was good as we remembered. Sure you can get breakfast anyplace in the MetroWest, but there's something special about ordering a meal that's named Ooowy Googy. They do put a lot of creativity in their food.

The other nice thing is that J&M now accept credit cards! In their old location, it was a cash-only business. While they did have an ATM machine in the back - it had a $3 surcharge. We like it because we don't really carry that much cash around.

Gluten Free Options

While J&M Diner was constructing their new location, we asked if they were going to have any gluten-free options. In particular, we saw all the waffle machines they had lined up and wouldn't it be great if one of them was dedicated to making gluten-free waffles!

They told us that they were working on getting the store up and running. Once things have calmed down, they would consider having gluten free options.

We'll keep an eye out and will update on delicious gluten-free options at J&M Diner in Framingham, Massachusetts.

J & M Diner is now located at 50 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01702.

December 5, 2017

Nespresso Mocha

Best Hot Chocolate

Nespresso is a really good single cup coffee. If you haven't tried it yet, stop by one of the Nespresso stores and try one of their coffees. You can't get a free coffee, but its certainly worth the investment. A basic cup of coffee cost a bit less than one that you get at Starbucks.

Nespresso coffee shops offer all sorts of different drinks and for the most part, they are all gluten-free, with the notable exception of the Smores drink. Each drink can be made decaf - so your children can try the coconut peanut butter drink.

The people at the Boston, Newbury Street store are very friendly. They offer great one on one service. So if you have an allergy they will make sure that there's no cross-contamination.

Meanwhile at Home

When you do get your own Nespresso machine, here's a great drink-mix to try: Nespresso Mocha

  • Stormio
  • 2 scoops of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate

Put the Swiss Miss in the cup and then add the coffee - obviously, make sure that you're using a mug that can handle the mix.

This is a great winter morning drink. You won't need to add any sugar or cream to this drink. (Ya I know there's plenty of sugar in the Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate)

Nutrition Facts

Adding 2 Tbsp of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix will add 73 Calories and 140mg of Sodium. This compares to using Dunkin Donuts Extra Extra Coffee Creamer 120 Calories and 18g of sugar.

November 28, 2017

Target Holiday Commercial

Did you see this Target commercial before Thanksgiving, titled "Target Holiday 2017 - Thanksgiving":

Kind of cute, right? Well, what you may not know is that the last line in the commercial was said by the Fad Barbie. This sort of implies that eating Gluten Free is a fad thing.

This is a bit insulting to those that have celiac because it implies that eating "Gluten Free" is just a fad diet. While many people have jumped on the "Gluten Free" bandwagon, it's certainly not a fad for millions of celiac users.

What do you think? Was the Target Commercial in bad taste?

November 21, 2017

Chocolate Pretzels Recipe

Its always hard to find the right dish to bring to a potluck. You can't go wrong with a gluten-free chocolate dessert treat. The good thing about this recipe is that it doesn't take much time to prep, and you don't have to worry about it.

Gluten Free Pretzels have more of a crunch, and would certainly recommend using gluten-free pretzels than regular pretzels. In addition, gluten-free pretzels tend to hold the crunch longer when in the refrigerator.

Simple Ingredients

  • Bag of Gluten Free Pretzels
  • Hershy Hugs
  • M&M (Seasonal Colors)

Pretzels

Basic Instructions

Top a pretzel with a Hershey's hug and put it in the oven for 5 mins. Take it out and place an M&M on top of it. Put in the Refrigerator to let it cool for a few minutes.

Download the complete Instructions.

Things I learned

We have been making this for years, even so, there are a few things I learn this time around:

  • It takes about 2 bags of Hershey Kisses (16oz) to top all the pretzels in a 16oz bag.
  • One 1 lb bag of M&Ms is enough for 3 bags of Pretzels
  • Better off getting a 16oz bag of Snyder Gluten Free Pretzels than two 8oz bags Glutino's Pretzels. (Cheaper!)
  • The Snyder's Pretzels are a bit smaller and are perfect for this project.
  • Hershey Hugs are better than typical Hershey Kisses because you get a nice color swirl
  • Once completed, I kept the finish product cold all morning, and it was a nice and cold treat.
  • This easily could be made several days in advance.

Quick and Easy to Make

The nice thing about this is that there's no prep ahead of time. You don't have to wait for the microwave or mix ingredients at the last minute.

Simply store the container in the refrigerator and take it out when you're ready. A great idea for anyone who wants to contribute to a potluck but may not have time during the day.

November 14, 2017

Best Hot Chocolate

Marshmallow Fluff and Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate are the perfect combination for a treat on a nice cold day. Have you tried it yet?

Super Swiss Miss

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix

The large 58.4 oz container of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix is great to have in the pantry. You never know when you have to make a large batch of Hot Cocoa when company comes over. Once open the container is good for a year.

If Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix isn't strong enough chocolate, you can always put a Hershey Miniatures in the cup. Simple drop in the mini and stir the mix before topping it off with Marshmallow Fuff. The hot water will melt the Hershey Mini for a nice boost of chocolate flavor.

Marshmallow Fluff

Typically you would top off the hot chocolate with standard Marshmallows, but the melted Marshmallow Fluff is an excellent way to sweeten your drink. I have found that the Marshmallow Fluff has a more taste than a standard marshmallow. In addition, you can pack more fluff in a cup than you can with typical marshmallows so you get a slightly sweeter cup of Hot Chocolate.

Super Fluff

Dehydrated Cereal Marshmallows

If you're not into Marshmallow Fluff, try Dehydrated Cereal Marshmallows instead of standard Marshmallows. We have found a 2 lbs bag of Hoosier Hill Charms Original Cereal Marshmallows is great for the entire winter season.

Gluten Free?

Yes, both Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Fluff are all naturally Gluten Free. There's no need to look for a gluten free container in the Natural foods section.

The Hershey Miniatures may contain gluten. Your better off using Hershey's Nuggets Milk Chocolates. Check out the Hershey's Gluten Free page on which products are gluten free.

November 7, 2017

Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brew Co

This past summer we visited several attractions in the White Mountains, including Story Land and Santa’s Village. On our last day we stopped at the Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brew Co for dinner. It was a great experience and we’ll certainly be going back!

We accidentally discovered Moat Mountain Smoke House because we stopped at the Local Grocer thinking that we could get a good Gluten Free meal there. We arrived too late and they had already closed the kitchen. They don’t open for dinner. We did a quick search and surprise to find that the highest rated Gluten Free restaurant, on Find Me Gluten Free, in North Conway was right next door.

Good Gluten Free Options

Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brew has a great selection of Gluten Free options. Which was a nice change of all the different places that we tried in North Conway.

The server was very helpful with the choices that my daughter could have. The server appeared to be not only knowledgeable about how things were prepared in the kitchen, but also cross contamination issues.

My daughter selected the gluten-free cheese pizza. She was happy to have so many choices and even delighted to have cheese pizza on vacation.

Moat Mountain Gluten Free

Excellent Meal

The pizza was excellent, and as I recall she ate most of it. Which is a rare thing for her to do? Usually, she just has a couple of bites and says she’s full. So the pizza must have been that good to want to eat a lot in one sitting.

I did have a bit of one of the slices and it was good well and nice and crispy.

We’ll Be Back

All out meals were really good, and it was a nice family restaurant. They actually have quite a good selection of micro-brews. We’ll certainly be back on our next adventure to North Conway.

We were lucky that we didn't have much of a wait, as we left we could see that the wait to sit down was going to long wait. I can tell you that it's definitely worth the wait. Especially if you want delicious gluten-free food.

Finding Moat Mountain Smoke House

Moat Mountain Smoke House Co. is located on historical White Mountain Hwy. It's about 4-minute drive North from the 5 and 10 store. The address is 3378 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH.