|March 7, 2017|
One of the disadvantages of eating gluten free is that you can’t make a quick batch of cookies. All the instant dough making products, such as Pillsbury Cookies, are not gluten free.
We just found out about Immaculate Gluten Free Cookies, which are available in the Gluten Free refrigerative section of Wegmans. They are exactly like the quick oven bake cookies that you find in the dairy aisle. They come in three flavors:
They don’t have any seasonal special cookies, like Easter Eggs or Christmas trees. However, it’s awesome that we can now make a quick batch of cookies whenever we want. So if we want some cookies to enjoy with a movie, it’s super easy.
The cookies are available in the refrigerative section, but the directions on the packaging does indicate that you could freeze them and bake them from frozen.
Cookies will last 6 months in the refrigerator. We put our packages in the freezer. It was very easy to break apart the dough when they were frozen. I put the bags in several Ziplock bags and back in the freezer.
Cookies were yummy. It took about 17 minutes to cook. However, they appear to be slightly undercooked in the middle. Perhaps a few more minutes would have made them perfect.
In our taste test, we found that the Double Chocolate was the best tasting of all of them.
Immaculate Gluten Free Cookies are available at Wegmans, Market Basket and Target.
|February 26, 2017|
The weather in Boston was great this week, several days it was it hit 60 degrees. Not bad for late February.
If you're enjoying a beautiful spring day in Boston and happen to be walking down Boylston Street hungry for ice cream, you should consider stopping in at Sugar Heaven for some devious ice cream.
Sugar Heaven is a fun candy store. On the walls of the store, they have a huge selection of bulk candy. In the middle of the store, they have a selection of hard to find candy.
In the basement of Sugar Heaven is a small ice cream parlor.
Much of their ice cream is gluten free, obviously the Cookie and Cream isn’t one of them. They do have a great choice of toppings and they are stored in individual containers.
When ordering the hard ice cream, ask them to clean the scoop.
They do have soft serve ice cream, but the machine isn’t always working. If your looking for soft ser
The store has a $10 minimum for credit cards. This isn’t hard to exceed if your buying bulk candy. If you're just getting a couple of ice cream dishes it will be less than $10. Your best bet is to stop at an ATM on the way to the store. There is a Citizen’s Bank at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth Street.
Sugar Heaven is located at 669 Boylston St in Boston's Back Bay.
|February 18, 2017|
Eataly Boston is a vibrant Italian marketplace that features an array of cafes, counters, restaurants, and a cooking school. Eat, shop, and learn.
The marketplace opened in December 2016 and has been doing very well with the lunch and dinner crowds. At lunch time, I have seen lots of people buying things for dinner - wine, cheese, and various other things.
Did you know that Eataly has a good size Gluten Free pasta selection? Near the center, court restaurant are several shelves of quality gluten free pasta:
Also located on one of the shelves are some gluten free flour used for baking or making pancakes.
Eataly doesn't have any “fresh” gluten free pasta, but just as well, since there could be cross contamination issues. They do carry gluten free pasta sauce!
Try the Gluten Free Mario Batalo Alfredo with Banza Elbows and fresh Parmesan Cravero grated cheese. Makes for a delicious dinner!
You can find the gluten free near the Il Pesce restaurant.
|February 11, 2017|
In Disney Spring, is the Goofy Candy Store. A fun place to get all sorts of delicious goodies.
If you're eating Gluten Free you should be aware that not all of the Goofy Glaciers are gluten free. These slurpy like drinks are delicious but you should know that some of them may contain gluten.
There are eight regular flavors:
We were told that the Gawrshly Berry Blue was Gluten Free. Before you try a sample, simply let them know that you want the gluten free Goofy Glacier.
It's helpful to re-learn more about eating gluten-free. There are plenty of resources online. If you want more information on the Celiac Disease, check out the blog post over on jenreviews.com.
Jen posted some useful information about What foods to Stay Away from and she has some Delicious Celiac Disease Diet Recipes.
|January 28, 2017|
Practical Gluten Free Breakfast Options at Logan International Airport.
If you're taking an early morning flight, there are some options for those that need to eat Gluten Free. However, your best safe bet is to bring along a morning snack. The last thing you want is to encounter cross contamination on a long flight.
One thing to keep in mind that if you're taking the first flights out in the morning, not all dining places will have all menu items. We have found that people will wait in line for Wolfgang Puck and PotBelly.
All restaurants are open at 5am and close 30 minutes before last flight.
We have learned that it’s best to bring our own snack, and just get a fresh cup of coffee at Dunkin or Starbucks. The lines are both coffee shops will be long, but they do move pretty fast compared to a typical coffee shop.
Our daughter enjoys getting a fresh fruit snack in the morning and Green Express and GoGo Stop at the Jet Blue Terminal is a good place to go as we wait for boarding.
|January 14, 2017|
We enjoy making our homemade pizza from home and using the Above the Grain pizza crust makes it easy.
You can find the crust for about $8 at most stores in New England including Whole Foods and Stop & Shop.
We usually make a spinach pizza and a pepperoni pizza. Instead of using a typical pizza sauce, we like using the Francesco Rinaldi Hearty Sweet & Tasty Tomato Pasta Sauce. A 24oz single jar is perfect for two pizzas.
The crust is really good and guests that have tried it can't tell that it's gluten-free. In fact, some have suggested the crust is better than anything that they have tried. Certainly doesn't taste like frozen pizza.
Since we cook a lot of pizza at home, we find having a couple of perforated pizza pans is worth the investment. The pizza comes out nice and crispy and the pans are very easy to clean.
|December 27, 2016|
Wine is gluten-free because wine is made from grapes. The Celiac Disease Foundation says all fruits are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease to consume. Champagne and sparkling wines are also made from grapes and gluten-free.
This new year’s eve your safe to enjoy your glass of Dom Perignon, and not be concern about gluten.
My soon to be six-year-old daughter will have to wait for another 15 years (2031) to enjoy her first champagne.
Did You Know:
That in order for a bottle to be called Champagne it must come from the Champagne region of France, otherwise its just sparkling white wine.
In Massachusetts, bars are excused from highlighting alcoholic beverages that contain gluten ingredients. Many of the “higher end” type of bars will have a category to highlight which items are gluten free, This is from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Frequently Asked Questions:
Are allergens in distilled spirits and alcoholic beverages required to be disclosed?
No. Distilled spirits or wine, in themselves, are not known to present a risk. Allergens are not in distilled beverages as there are no proteins left for them to be attached to. If a bar area has a food menu, it would be required to post the allergen statement on its bar menu….
|December 20, 2016|
We just notice something on Betty Crocker Gluten free packaging. On the 2017 packaging, they no longer have box tops.
We noticed this as we recently purchased multiple boxes and noticed one of them didn't have a box top on it anymore. The box that didn't have a box top was a newer one.
Box Tops are a way for schools to earn rewards for school supplies. Simply purchase a product with a box top, clip the top and give it to your school. For every Box Top you clip, your child's school will receive 10 cents.
This past September marked the 20th anniversary of the Box Top program by General Mills. They celebrated by coming out with a new mobile app that makes it easy to find products that have Box Tops.
The App allows you to find all the bonus Box Tops - so that you can maximize your box top contribution. This is perfect if you child is in some type of contest at school.
The app features bonus Box Tops offers from participating brands and retailers. Users can select offers, purchase the products and scan their receipt to get electronic credit for their schools.
The Better Crocker Gluten Free Cookies are great for school. We made them for a Polar Express reading that they were doing at my daughter's school. The kids love the cookies and nobody could tell they were gluten free.
Several teachers really enjoyed them and they also couldn't tell that they were gluten-free.
The trick to cooking them is to use parchment paper. They don't burn on the bottom when you have parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
|December 13, 2016|
We enjoy our traditional Friday pizza. Usually, we eat at home, but every once in a while we'll go out and enjoy a pizza with friends. UNOs is a fun place to meet up with friends. They have a lot of different gluten free options and the food is pretty good.
UNOs has had a gluten free pizza for a long time and it was so-so. It wouldn't be the first place we would go for pizza.
Things has changed as they suddenly got serious with the gluten free crust and the pizza is amazing. It's so good that you forget that it's a gluten-free crust.
This is from UNO's press release from a couple of weeks ago:
Uno Pizzeria & Grill, well regarded for its gluten-free menu options, has entered into an exclusive partnership with Venice Bakery to introduce a gluten-free pizza crust that will have customers wondering if it's the real deal!
"This new gluten-free crust is so good, most people can't tell the difference from our regular crust," says Louie Psallidas, Uno's President, and CEO. "Unlike many gluten-free pizza crusts, it has a raised edge and the bold, flavorful taste that Uno's pizzas are known for."
Los Angeles-based Venice Bakery is one of the largest family-owned, gluten-free pizza crust manufacturers in the United States.
The Framingham UNOs has had the gluten free pizza for a while as we noticed the change in September. Here's a picture of the pizza from our last visit:
|December 6, 2016|
This past weekend we had a very interesting experience at the Cheesecake Factory at the Prudential Center Mall in Boston, Massachusetts.
We had a rather large party -13 people. We stopped by for lunch before heading to the Holiday Pops at Symphony Hall. (We made reservations ahead of time and indicated that there were 2 people in the party that had gluten free allergy.)
When we placed our order we told the server, multiple times, that our daughter has celiac and that her food needed to be gluten free. In addition, my wife also placed a gluten free order. My daughter orders a pasta with four cheese.
When the meals came to the table, we asked the server if both dishes were gluten free. He indicated that they were.
My daughter lunch looked a little strange as the sauce appeared to be thicker than normal. Typically gluten-free pasta sauce is a bit watery because you can't add flour to thicken it up.
My wife started eating hers for a bit and then noticed that a macaroni was in her dish. We know from experience that the Cheesecake factory only has one style of gluten free pasta. It was at that point we realized that they cooked the pasta in the same water as regular pasta. This would result in serious cross contamination.
You can see the Macaroni that was mix in with the Rotini. We have learned from past experiences that Rotini is the only gluten free pasta that the Cheesecake factory has. So as soon as we saw the Macaroni we knew something wasn't right.
We immediately asked for the manager.
When the manager arrived we informed him of what we found. He was very apologetic. He informed us that there was nothing on the food order that it was an allergy. (Turns out we had a new server, which explained other problems we had with other dishes.) The manager offered to re-cook the pasta and make sure that they used new water. We told him that only our daughter dish needed to be fixed.
About 10 minutes later, the same server came by with a new plate. This was a bit surprising since I would have expected that the floor manager to bring the dish to the table, as a sign of taking ownership and responsibility. The sauce looked a bit watery than before which is what we would expect.
I thought that the pasta was cooked pretty quickly. ( I can't even boil water and cook pasta at home in less than 10 minutes) My daughter said the food tasted good and looked better than before.
The Cheesecake factory did make some adjustments on the bill, we don't know exactly since we didn't pay for the meal.
We sent an email to the Cheesecake Factory corporate offices and a couple of days later we received a call from the Cheesecake Factory. We explained the situation and the concerns. They said that they would look into the issue and would send us a gift card for our troubles.
Not exactly sure that we would go back to the Cheesecake factory.
|November 29, 2016|
Yesterday was National French Toast Day.
If you're eating Gluten free, you do have some options for French Toast:
My five-year-old daughter really loves Van’s Foods Cinnamon French Toast Sticks. We have a couple of boxes in the freezer in our basement, always making sure that they are always available.
We find that they are better served with a nice dab of Nutella on the side. She actually prefers that way.
We have tried Hershey spreadable chocolate, but they don't taste the same. Hershey Spreadable chocolate is perfect for other things, just doesn't do well with Cinnamon French Toast sticks.
You put the pre-slice bread in the toaster for about a minute, and then take them out and separate around the chocolate. I find they taste better when you click the frozen button on the toaster.
If your kindergarten has celiac is looking for a good breakfast treat, stock up on Van’s Foods Cinnamon French Toast Sticks.
The Cinnamon French Toast Sticks are expensive (~$5 for 12 slices) to have every day for breakfast. They are a great treat when you're looking for something different than the usual cold cereal.
They are also nice snack on a really cold day.
|November 22, 2016|
McCormick is well known for their recipe mixes collection. If your lucky, you may find a store that carries all 25+ different varieties.
McCormick also makes eight different mixes as Gluten Free:
We have tried many of these in soups and in crock pot recipes. They are all very good, we have had to add a little corn starch to thicken up the gravy in some recipes.
According toe McCormick's website, you can find these in various stores including Target/Walmart and Amazon.com.
The Stop and Shop on Temple Road in Framingham, Massachusetts has discontinued selling McCormick's Brown Gravy Gluten Free recipe mix packets.
I was worried that McCormick has stopped making the gluten free Brown Gravy, but there's nothing on their website or from various gluten-free food blogs.
I am guessing that this particular Stop and Shop is not selling enough of the gravy to justify the premium shelf space. I would highly recommend that they should move it over to the gluten free section.
They did put a strange shelf sign:
Apparently I shouldn't use my Stop and Shop card, otherwise, it wouldn't be discontinued.
|November 15, 2016|
On January 2009, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed into law the Food Allergy Awareness Act. The Act requires that certain food establishments comply with regulations developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The purpose of the Act was to educate the food service community on some food allergies that consumers may have.
The act went into law on October 1, 2010. All food establishments that cook, prepare, or serve food intended for immediate consumption either on or off the premises must be fully compliant.
Every food establishment in Massachusetts is required by law to display a food allergy awareness poster in the staff area. In addition, they are required to include a notice on menus that reads “Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.” ( Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140, Section 6B )
The law also requires that a person in charge has food allergy training for certified food protection managers. The training is done via video in collaboration with FAAN Ambassador Who Cares Ming Tsai. The four-part video is available on YouTube.
The law requires that the Massachusetts department of Public Health designated a program for restaurants to be classified as ''Food Allergy Friendly'' and maintain a listing of restaurants receiving that designation on its website. I checked their site and wasn’t able to find any “Food Allergy Friendly” list.
The law does not require that the food establishment has allergy friendly food, just that they are aware of the issues that people have with food allergies.
Failure to have the Food Allergy poster posted, menu notice or proof of training would be a critical health item on the health inspection report requiring corrective action within 10 days.
If you or anyone in your party has any food allergy, it’s a good idea to view the poster and watch the video. This will help you have an understanding of what information is available at the food establishment. (or at least what people should know.)
|November 1, 2016|
Recently we went to Dulce D Leche Gelato Cafe in support of a fundraiser by the Saint Bridget School. The cafe was giving the school a percentage of sales for those that brought in a promotional brochure.
Framingham newest premium cafe is the place to go to get a nice cup of coffee and some delicious gelato ice cream.
Dulce D Leche Gelato Cafe open for business on June 5, 2016 at 5 Edgell Road in Framingham. The location is commonly known as One Framingham Centre.
They are a full-service coffee shop with hot chocolate, pastries, and Argentinian Gelato Italian-style ice cream.
Argentianian Gelato ice cream is a bit different than standard ice cream you get at a roadside farm stand. It's creamier and smooth. If you like soft serve ice cream, you'll enjoy Argentinian Gelato ice cream.
Dulce D Leche has a lot of unique flavors to pick from. If you're unsure of how something would taste, they are happy to give you a small spoon sample.
I liked the Dulce de Leche flavor with chocolate chip. It's a good flavor to start with.
Seating area was quiet and clean. There is free wifi available, for those that want to browse the Internet while enjoying their coffee.
When we informed the staff of my daughter's need to eat gluten free they were accommodating. The server pointed out each ice cream that did contain gluten. Lucky for us, there were lots of ice cream for my daughter to select from.
She was happy to have the milk chocolate. I think that she wanted to try the brownie chocolate, but she knew that it contained gluten.
I noticed that they had a scoop in each flavor. So there was no chance that flavors could mix up.
We took a couple of pints home with us. The good thing is that they make the pint for you. These aren't prepacked containers - you can watch them pack it up for you. (They do stuff it all the way to the top!)
The ice cream is better soft than hard. So if you're going to have it in your freezer, keep it out for a bit before scooping so that it can soften.
Its worth going and treating yourself to an afternoon ice cream treat.
An International House of Pancakes is being built in the parking lot near Dulce D Leche. I would suspect that the Framingham Centre will be a busy place with the addition to the iHop.