Monday, December 31, 2012

Bread , it was bound to happen

So I hadn't had a really bad loaf of bread yet. Some didn't rise like they should have but they were passable at least. Then the concave loaf happened. So ashamed, I immediately got cracking on another loaf to rectify the situation. The fallen loaf is now bird food. LOL. nice way to dispose of it I think? But for your amusement, a picture of the bad loaf, and one of the good loaf…..

Gf dinners are fun!

Beef tips with GF: cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, chicken broth (I ran out of beef broth) and spaghetti! I also made garlic bread out of my newest loaf of GF bread out of the bread machine :-) I can say, I was totally digging this!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

more links to gluten free lists

From Hunt's (I live in PA, we are all about the ketchup!) :

Some Grocery store in Massachusettes, but they have a nice listing of gluten free products:

Wolfgang Puck (sold through Campbell's):


Possibly one of the best GF Links
You can search all sorts of stuff to be gluten free :-)

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Ken's mom has made this before for us and we have never successfully recreated it, until now!   It really is a yummy treat.   It's different from other Mac and Cheese recipe's as the cheese curdles and becomes little clouds of cheesy goodness!  I used brown rice macaroni noodles in the following recipe:  

2 cans evaporated milk
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
2 T minced onion
10 oz cubed cheese (sharp or cheddar, sharp works best)
2 T butter
1 egg, beaten 

Put all the ingrediants in the crock pot and stir well.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hr.   Stir occasionally.   Then add in 1 ½ cups dry macaroni.   Stir and cook on LOW for 3-5 hours, however ours was done in 1 hr 15 min.  The cheese will look curdled when it’s done.   

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bread, glorious bread

So the bread journey continues. Last night I made loaf #4 and by far the most normal looking one. It doubled in size and has real nooks and crannies in it! You wouldn't be able to tell it's Gluten Free. SCORE! I think the best tasting loaf so far has been the cinnamon raisin. I am making another loaf of that this weekend. :-) The White loaf is going to be cut up for stuffing for our Christmas dinner with my family tomorrow.
Also of note, Classico's red and white sauces are gluten free. I decided to mix the vodka sauce and Alfredo together and bake with some penne, Italian cheese blend and gf bread crumbs. Mmm mmmm good! The next night we reheated it and added the AppleGate farms gf chicken nuggets with some cheese on-top for a bite sized chicken parm. I can say this was awesome. Will make again :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bread Machines and new goodies at Wegman's

As the cost of anything Gluten Free is borderline prohibatively expensive, I decided to start looking into a bread machine to start making my own gluten free bread as almost $6.00 a loaf makes me wanna cry.  I have almost gotten to the point where I don't even look at the prices of my gluten free items and just accept the high bill at the end.   So my friend gave me hers as she was no longer using it.  I purchased a book for gluten free bread machine recipe's (  and the first loaf turned out OK.  Yeast and I are still learning to work together.   I have another loaf in the bread maker right now following Oster's recomendation for gluten free breads in their bread machines.   The book said to do a dough cycle then a bake cycle, they said:

Thank you for contacting Oster, a brand of JardenConsumer Solutions.     

We recommend the wheat setting for gluten free bread.

We appreciate your business and are happy to help if youhave any further questions.


Jarden Consumer Solutions

We are interested in your feedback regarding your emailexperience. Please click the link below to complete our online customersatisfaction survey. You will need to enter in or copy/paste the followingreference number.  1-1634342011

So that is the current experiment and I should know in 3 hours if it worked.    Fingers and toes crossed.

On another note, we hit Wegman's the other day and investigated their newly expanded gluten free section and they have a lot of teh same stuff as my Giant does, but some other nifty finds, like gluten free pizzelles!!! so incredibly happy :-)  They are close to what I grew up with.   (  Also of note, they had Bell and Evans gluten free chicken nuggets and chicken breasts, and they are good.   It's nice to have options.  I still love the Applegate Farms nuggets, but there is room in more life for more than one brand.  :-)   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving and more pizza!!!

So of course this being my first Gluten Free Thanksgiving I was excited to see how well things could be adapted.   First we had two different stuffing's, as I wasn't sure how mine would turn out, I had mom make hers for the rest of the folks in case mine bombed.   But luckily, my stuffing creation was actually yummy.   I made the Three Bakers Herb Seasoned Stuffing (, which I had made once before on the stove top, and it kinda disintegrated, but did it this time in the oven and for much longer then suggested to get a nice crisped edged yet tender centered stuffing.   Then I took a loaf of gluten free bread and cubed it, let it air out all day and then did our traditional stuffing preparations with it and baked it.   I then mixed the two stuffings together.  Not a bad combo!   For the gravy I used potato flour to thicken it and it was spot on.   I asked my mother to use the Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs (  she had found for me and make the pumpkin pie.  It was delicious!  One of the best I have ever had!  It was a nice time, as my parents, brother, Ken, and two of my uncles were here.   I wish we had a bigger place, I would invite more family to these events!  
We always split Thanksgiving between the morning with my family then up to Ken's for the rest of the day/weekend.   With his birthday at the end of the month we always have a birthday dinner up there and a nice time visiting.  We made it up there in time for dinner and more turkey and good stuff!  
Now, I had a goal to make it to Sabatini's (   to try their gluten free pizza.  The crust was decent, but what won me over was they proper use of sauce! and their yummy cheese/sauce combo.  So many place skimp on the sauce on the gluten free pizza's (sorry Grotto, this is you I am talking about).  I would sooo get that again, and it took all I had not to eat the whole dang thing.   \
Next time we are up I hope to get more and to hit the Gluten Free Pantry and get some of their goodies!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Evan Williams Alcohol

I contacted them to ask about their gluten free products and here is what I got :

Thank you for contacting Heaven Hill Distilleries and for your inquiry regarding our gluten-free products.

I have attached a list of our products, including Evan Williams Apple Orchard, that are gluten-free. Some of these products constituent ingredients include corn, barley, rye or wheat, but are, in fact, gluten-free. The distillation of the constituent ingredients eliminates many of the elements which affect those with gluten intolerance. However, it is important to consult a health care professional to gauge your sensitivity.

As a family owned, independent company, Heaven Hill Distilleries takes inquiries from our customers very seriously and hope that our prompt response is evidence of this. Thank you and if I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Slowly getting caught up

I think I have fallen a little behind here. Ok, before I left for vacation I tried some new marinades from San-J and they were delicious! The Peanut sauce and the Orange sauce were both delightful. I cut up the chicken, put it in a bag with a generous helping of the marinade and let it in there for about a half hour. Then I laid the chicken on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet and baked them at 450 till they looked done, flipping every 10 minutes. They were delicious! I would highly recommend them.

On our way back from our Massachusetts trip we stopped in Wilkes Barre to visit with Ken's family and stopped by Sabatini's to get a T-shirt for my cousin's husband, and found out they now carry gluten free pizza! Score! And he directed us to a new gluten free store, it's a tiny one, but I got some goodies there! now the gluten free store he sent us too is small. Like, small. But it was packed with a lot of stuff I haven't seen elsewhere so I am happy. They don't have a website or any over the phones sales as they are a cash and carry kind of place. But I do plan to stop up on our next visit over Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Such a slacker!

With vacation, me being sick, Ken being sick, dad falling and having to go to the ER, work and a few other incidents, I have fallen way behind on my posts!  I will have to sit down and organize myself a bit, but I will say I have continued to find new and delicious gluten free restaurants and food!   
I also stumbled across a gluten free discount card.  It cost $10 and has some discounts for a few places, so I figured, why not!  It arrived this week and I am anxious to give it a try.  They have two separate ones, one for Dauphin county and one for Cumberland.  I bought both since I live in one and work in the other.
I finally decided to try something else off the gluten free menu at Piazza Sorrento, as I figured, if they are nice enough to have such a full menu, I should give more than pizza a try.  I had their chicken Marsala over risotto.  It was delicious!   So glad I gave it a shot.   
In Massachusetts, many places were able to accommodate me, and I appreciate the efforts they made.   We hit Guiseppe's Ristorante and Piano Bar, and they had a wonderful gluten free pizza and just a nice atmosphere.  I would so love to go back there.
I recently purchased Three Bakers gluten free stuffing and am looking forward to seeing how it tastes.  My hope is that it is close to Stove Tops.  That, would be awesome.   
That is about all for now, until I sit down and organize the things I have been accumulating to add.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

frozen pizzas and pizza puffs

I tried two new gluten free pizza's I ordered from the gluten free mall.  Udi's and Contes Margherita pizzas.   Now I LOVE Udi's breads, so I was certain I would love their pizza.  I didn't.  It really didn't have much flavor, which was a let down.   I may give their pepperoni pizza a try, as sometimes, that's enough to spice up a bland pizza.   The Contes was good.  I might still add a little extra flavor to it, but overall, a good frozen pizza.  Nice crust, lots of toppings, and it smelled and looked like a real pizza.  
I did try a new pinterest recipee out last week, for pizza puffs.  It wasn't bad.  I would make it again.   I think though, that I need to find a better pepperoni to put in it, as mine was a little extra greasy.  I know pepperoni is greasy, but this had a little extra which can hurt the tummy.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cubed pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

What's in my rice?

Even before the gluten sensitivity diagnosis, rice has been one of my favorite foods.   I especially love brown rice.  In the gluten free world, most everything that is bread or dough related has some sort of rice flour.   Which again, made me happy, as I am down with rice.
Then this week, we find out there are high arsenic levels in rice??? Or , shall I say, higher levels then are permitted in our drinking water.  All because this super yummy food is extra absorbent and sucks it right out of the soil and/or pesticides?
Now they are suggesting maybe boiling 1 part of rice in 6 parts of water and drain off the water to dilute the issue.   Interesting.  To me, that seems like the levels are a bit of an issue then.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vacation and family

I haven't been feeling well the past week or so, so I haven't been trying or doing much. With that said, I did try a new gluten free ravioli from Conte and it was yummy. Ken said he wouldn't have known it, or the garlic bread I made with Udi's whole grain bread, were gluten free. SCORE! If I wouldn't have been so hungry, I would have taken pics. I also ordered and received some gluten free breadcrumbs recently, and look forward to giving those a shot! They were from Mozzarelli's To meet their minimum order requirements I also ordered some frozen pizza dough's. I still have the Gnocchi from the gluten free mall to use, for the mac and cheese recipe from Pinterest with gnocchi's instead of macaroni noodles. Mmmmm, I love fall, or as Ken referred to it when I talked of Crockpot season, the fat season. So be it. :-)

We are going on vacation the first week of October with my family. I am excited to get back to Massachusetts, which we love, but haven't been able to get to in a long time. Also excited to try some of the gluten free places I have already found there. I will have my gluten flam pills with me, as, if Sugar Mags has their carrot cake pancakes I will be partaking! After the past couple of years, losing some relatives that really were some of my favorite people, family medical dramas and everything else that goes on in a day, it will be really nice to get away. And as my Mom says, we never really had family vacations growing up, so this will be good. Although it's 8 hrs in the car with my family. I think I owe Ken big for this one!

On the note of Grandpa's passing, his house goes up for sale next week. I am filled with deep sadness and relief over this. I hate to see it go, and that it really is the final part of it all, and while not everyone understands it, we still have that place to go to right now. It's still a part of him, that's tangible. Once it's sold, it's done. Even thinking about it makes my eyes well up. He built that house for his family. He raised his family there. Watched children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, run freely. Made wine there, holiday meals, memories. So many wonderful memories. Even all the family BS that has come about since his illness and subsequent passing can't make me forget the good memories. Some moments in time, are cherished more than any object can ever be. Even with all that, I am relieved that it’s close to no longer being a tie to the relatives that are so very caustic.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New things

So, I have been wanting to try the soft pretzel recipe out of Nicole Hunn's , Gluten Free on a Shoestring.   The first time, the dough did not rise, and I thought it was because of the temperature of the water.  Not having a thermometer, I just judged the temp based on how it felt in relation to my skin.  I threw that dough out.   I got a thermometer, and measured everything and put it in the food processor, with the correct blade, and I think it may have risen a little. They didn't' roll out as they should and the texture seemed way off.   But I decided instead of scrapping this one, I would bake them out anyhow.   Flavor wise, they weren't bad.   I believe though, the issue with the rise is that I use the Splenda sugar blend, which I read was still good for yeast, instead of regular brown sugar.   I think I will give this a third try and use real brown sugar and if it doesn't rise then, then I am not meant to conquer this recipe.  My goal is to get the dough to rise correctly so I can convert it into pretzel bites and make a cheese sauce and have my own homemade pretzel bites :-)
My mother has bought me a box of a Chia Chocolate Chip Cookie mix to try.   Now, I prefer to make my own, but I wanted to give it a shot.  While they weren't bad, I wouldn't be rushing back to buy the mix.   Just prefer the good old fashioned homemade chocolate chip cookies.  
I am looking forward to trying the family Pizzelle recipe with Better Batter.  I think it will be nice to have some again.  I miss certain family favorites and looking to convert all to gluten free that I can.  Biscotti are next!!
Next week a few girls from work and I that are all Gluten Challenged are ordering out from Wild Tomato for lunch.  I am excited.  I am hoping to get the Mushroom-o-Rama pizza I swear I ordered Friday, but got a regular instead?  Also that same day, a few girls from work and I are having drinks at Flinchy's which has gluten free options.  I am excited.  
Ken and I are also trying to plan a vacation with my parents, as we all need a get away after all that has happened in the family the past two years and my parents really haven't had a real vacation in ages.   I think we are finally heading back to New England.   woo hoo!!!    Ken and I have been wanting to go back there for a few years now and I am glad to be able to get back up there in the fall.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day weekend

We went up north to visit Ken's family for the Labor Day weekend and hit up the Grotto while we were there. I must say, I got the gluten free pizza with pepperoni this time, much better than I remembered the last one being. I quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately we didn’t' have time to go to the Dough Company too, but next trip I am sure we will. In fact, I found on the gluten free registry that the sushi place up there, Katana, has gluten free soy sauce, SCORE!
Next week the fellow gluten free ladies and I are having Wild Tomato for a little luncheon of our own. I know, surprise, I am eating Wild Tomato. I can't help it, it's good and they have soooooo many options. One of the ladies at work is also a fan, and I brought in some leftovers for another and she loved it. So I figure, why not expose a few more to it and see if I can keep bringing on new fans? I believe if you like a business, support it. There are so few places that offer not only the options but the care and customer service that Wild Tomato does, that I want to do my part to keep it around.
I also found that Annie's makes gluten free single serves of mac and cheese. I still needed to add more cheese to it to make it creamy, but it was delightful :-)
I plan on trying the gluten free pretzel recipe out of Gluten Free on a Shoestring this weekend. I have been dyeing to try it and make my own cheese dipping sauce. I think, this could only lead to good things!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pizza and brownies

I tried a new gluten free pizza last week, from Jojo's in Mechanicsburg. The sauce and toppings were great. The crust was similar to most of the places around here. To date Wild Tomato still holds the best crust; well best gluten free pizza hands down award! And I am not just saying that as they are awesome enough to send out a thank you card !! But this was still enjoyable and I would get it again.
I also gave Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Brownie mix a test drive. I have to say, not because it's super easy to find in a grocery store, that I prefer it to the better batter brownie mix. The Better Batter was still damn good. But there was something about that Betty Crocker one that was impossible to tell the difference between it and a glutinous one. It was just scrumptious. And I toped it with peanut butter chips :-) , as we all know, peanut butter and chocolate are one of the greatest pairings known to man!
There are a few places popping up on the gluten free registry for gluten free pizza that I am curious to try. Unfortunately, just because it shows up on there doesn’t mean you can find any info on it when you go to their website. It also doesn’t mean they will reply to your email requests citing said discrepancy. *grumble* but I am still totally looking forward to checking them out.

On a non food related note, we went over to my grandfather's house to look around a bit, take it all in. It was the first time I was able to be in there without all the drama and really take it all in. I can't begin to describe the heartache of seeing a garden that was so meticulously and expertly cared for all those years, weed ridden and so sad looking. To see the house that my grandfather built (designed, whatever) for his family, to be in the process of being gutted for resale, just tears through me. I look in a room and see visions of memories past, and am filled with joy and sadness all at the same time. I went through, room by room, just to try and make peace with all that has happened there. Seeing the room where my grandfather passed away all but brings me to my knees. And I will say that, it makes me extremely uncomfortable that Dad now has that bed. It doesn’t bother him and my aunt though it would be good for Dad with all his spinal issues. While I appreciate her actually doing something considerate for my father, it gives me the hebee geebies. The room across the hall from that in my grandfather's house is where my grandmother passed away. During her final months of battling cancer I think she stayed in that room from time to time. That whole end of the house just hurts too much to be near.
I think what makes this all the much harder to handle, aside from the fact that my grandfather is no longer here, is that this is all happening so soon. Grandpa has only been dead for 2 months, well as of tomorrow it will be 2 months. To see his house almost empty, it just happened so fast.

I guess that is enough emotional rambling for now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mmmm mmmm Bisquick!

My box of Gluten Free Bisquick had a recipe for chicken fingers on it that I decided to try.  Ken and I agreed that we will be having this again!  Very tasty, light and crunchy.   I cooked them a little longer then the recipe called for, but I like my breading crunchy.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
cup grated Parmesan cheese
teaspoon paprika
teaspoon salt or garlic salt
boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
eggs, slightly beaten
tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
    Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika and salt in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken strips into eggs, then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over chicken.
      Bake 12 to14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center

      Wednesday, August 15, 2012

      Love trying something new!

      So, while dealing with the comical, but yet almost typical "What do you want for dinner" back and forth Ken and I go through ( though not near as fun as mom and dad's,  "Where do you want to go dear?"   "I don't know, where do you want to go dear?"   "It's up to you dear."   "No, no, no, it's up to you dear."    And so on.) .  I decided to finally make the Maifun noodles I bought a few months ago and make up a modified version of their peanut sauce on the back and add some chicken, and viola!
      Totally yummy new meal :-)

      Peanut Chicken Maifun 

      Maifun Noodles (or Gluten Free Angel Hair Pasta)
      4 chicken breasts chunked and cooked in salt and pepper.

      ¾ C peanutbutter
      3 T Gluten Free Soy Sauce + a splash
      2 T Sugar
      3 T Sesame Oil
      2 T Vinegar
      6-9 T Chicken Broth (depending on the thickness you want)

      Mix sauce together and toss cooked noodles and chicken insauce and serve

      Next time I may try a dash of cayenne pepper or pepper flakes for just a touch of heat....

      Tuesday, August 14, 2012


      So I keep on my quest to check out places, and quite honestly, see how educated they are. Almost anyplace has something gluten free. However, not all places are educated as to what that is. Take Ted's Bar and Grille, I asked if they had any items on their menu that are gluten free. Their reply was all of this , "No sorry."
      That was it. Now, I can see their menu online, I am certain some of the salads are safe, although we know how much I just love salad . There are several items I am sure are or can be made gluten free with a little care. But their response says all I need. Never gonna go there.
      Now I tried some quinoa pasta the other day, the garden pagoda's and they were tasty! With some vodka sauce, parm cheese and some of the Glutino pizza crusts I repurposed as garlic bread, mmmm mmmmm GOOD.
      Also, a friend gave me some gluten free cheese curls to try. Now, yes, they have sponge bob on them, but they were light and tasty. I would buy these.
      I am excited. I am going with a friend at lunch to get some take out from Bangkok wok, which previously advised many of their dishes are or can be made gluten free, including my beloved pad thai. J Soooo stoked!
      Also, the last batch of cookies came out great :-)

      Thursday, August 9, 2012


      I met up with some coworkers to try a new place that lists gluten free items, Flinchy's. I tried their GF Pizza, as I try all pizza J it wasn't bad. It was not a frozen crust so I was happy, and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I think it just needed some more flavor. Maybe a little less cheese too. I think Wild Tomato is still my fave gluten free pizza J they got it right!! I could actually go for some right now…..
      I will go back to Flinchy's though, as they actually have several items available that are gluten free. A large chunk of their menu actually. So there is plenty for me to keep trying J

      Saturday, August 4, 2012

      Chocolate chip cookies

      So on Pinterest I started following Nicole Hunn, and her blog  I even purchased her book through Amazon.   She promotes a product I praised before, Better Batter, and it's in a lot of her recipe's.  I followed her chocolate chip cookie recipe today, to see if I could prevent the very loose and crumbly , yet tasty cookies from last time.  And you know what?  It worked perfectly.  They are delicious and not falling apart.  Before they were spreading out very thin and just didn't hold together very well.  Incidentally, the crumble were excellent on ice cream, just sayin....
      So I highly recommend following her and her recipes.  She really has been doing the gluten free for a while and has done a lot of the experimentation and documentation that makes it easier for us newbies.   Hopefully I will feel brave enough to try one of her bread recipe's, after I am done savoring the bread I got from Betsy's Bakery.  That Raisin Cinnamon bread is just MMM MMMMMMM Good!

      Friday, August 3, 2012

      Betsy's Bakery

      I did finally make it over to the new Gluten Free and Vegan Bakery, Betsy's Bakery, in Camp Hill. Nice thing is, they had a Living Social deal , so I got $14 worth of goodies for $7. Score! I tried their chocolate chip cookies, snikerdoodles, peanut butter covered brownie and cinnamon raisin bread. I love the bread and have had it for breakfast all week. Both cookies were good, but I have to say, the snikerdoodles have my love more. The brownie wasn't bad, it did however crumble when I would try to pick it up. It was my least favorite thing, but everything did TASTE good. I will be back. They had some cupcake samples which were delicious!

      Wild Tomato, you had me at hello

      There are certain things that just aren't the same when made gluten free. They aren't bad, but they aren't what you know and love. Pizza has been that for me. For all the pizzeria's that have been kind enough to make a gluten free pizza, I have noticed they are all generally the same premade, frozen dough. Which while not the same chewy goodness I love, still allows me an avenue to eat pizza. And then I decided to try Wild Tomato's gluten free pizza last night, as they have a lot of items on their menu that are gluten free, subs included! It arrived, and my very nice delivery lad informed me that they make the dough there. Their manager has Celiac's and stuff is made fresh daily, or every other day, as demand dictates. So I opened it up, saw a lovely looking pie, and then….I tasted it. Oh my! This is what has been missing! A real dough! And the sauce and flavors were great!!! I am sold! I can't wait to try more from this place. Ken tried their Meat-A-Ball Sub and was a fan too. Sometimes, it's a good thing to break out of your comfort zone! Thank you Wild Tomato, we will be in touch again soon!

      Wednesday, August 1, 2012

      Olive Garden, you made me sad

      So we went to the OG for dad's bday dinner. I asked, twice, for the gluten free menu, which is admittedly small. I ordered the Penne Rigate Pomodoro with chicken. I was underwhelmed. The pasta had been sitting under the heat lamp for a while, judging by its chewy, leathery texture. The amount of chicken was laughable. The flavor was good, and that was its saving grace. I think next time I will try their salmon or steak, as a solid piece of meat will surely be better than the scant amount I had and those don't involve pasta that could be overdone.

      Monday, July 30, 2012

      Vacation- beach style

      My bestie drove across the country from California to give her mom time with her girls for the summer. This is great for me as I can't afford to go to Cali to see her yet. So we decided it had been too long since we did a trip together, and when she asked her girls for things they wanted to do they said the beach. So we did a two night beach trip. It was really nice. Much better than the first beach trip we took together! Not only because of the accommodation were not a flooding tent with rafts (no air mattress? Use a raft!) or raining, but because we had time to come up with some ideas of what we wanted and I got to spend time with her four beautiful children. They are four very well behaved little cherubs. And there was so much joy out of the 1 year old, just sitting in the sand and playing, your heart can't help but smile! Every time I get to spend with my her is a new memory I cherish, and her girls add to that. I am so thankful that not only did she include me in such a trip, but that she and her husband allowed some of their hotel points to be used to make the trip affordable.
      Now, when it's getting late in the evening and you need to feed the troops, and you are on a crowded boardwalk ,you look for something that is versatile and appeals to the masses, even if it's not on your gluten free plan. So we stopped at a pizza place that had a 28 inch pizza. At this point I decided to pull out the Gluten Flam and give it a go. And I felt OK overall, some minor discomfort, but it came more the day after. But it was a delicious pizza and HUGE. Did I mention it was the size of my inseam?
      Other than that incident I had my gluten free foods with me for the other times. So it wasn't bad, and since we had planned to eat in most of the time, that made it easy. I find that I can adapt, for the most part, anywhere. Not having Celiac's helps. I have been able to order fries at places that I know do not have dedicated fryers and I have been just fine.

      Wednesday, July 25, 2012

      Zucchini Bake

      I decided to try the gluten free bisquick in one of my all time favorite recipes , and you know what? It worked! I must finally post a recipe!

      3 1/2 C grated zucchini
      4 eggs
      1/2 C oil
      1 garlic clove minced
      1/8 tsp ground black pepper
      1/2 tsp oregano
      1/2 tsp marjoram
      2 T parsley
      1/2 C fresh grated Parmesan
      1 C bisquick
      1/2 C or so dried onion flakes

      Bake at 325 degrees for atleast 45 moms but up to 1 hr 20 mins. The sides and top will get golden brown.

      Tuesday, July 24, 2012

      New Bakery to try!

      I am totally stoked that there is a gluten free bakery in Mechanicsburg,
      .  I can't wait to try it sometime.  This is great news!  also, my shipment of gluten free terriyaki sauce arrived today, woot woot!   We ate at JoJo's in Harrisburg Saturday night, adn while they have almost nothing guaranteeing gluten free outside of salad with oil and vinegar (do people think that if you are on a gluten free diet you actually like salads??? I promise you, not all of us do) but on the specials list was this delightful Pork dish.  OMG, the sauce was made with cider, and it was delicious!!!!   I am heading to Atlantic City this weekend with my bestie and her four little girls, so we will see what culinary delights I can get into out of town.    

      Friday, July 20, 2012

      This and that

      So the kitchen manager at Shady Maple was somewhat helpful. I think he's far more used to fielding peanut questions then ones on gluten, but I ate well regardless. Still full today!
      On our way back we stopped at a pottery shop and I perused the teas and bought this tasty little morsel. I was skeptical, but it's delightful! I am so happy I took a chance on it. I also bought the coconut chocolate one, and will try this weekend!

      Tomorrow we remove our items from my grandfather's house. There has been so much drama leading up to this, that I can't wait for it to be over. And with it drawing closer, I have actually had time to start mourning. And my heart breaks all over again. In a way, once our stuff is out of there, we won't be back or have a need to be back. The process of selling the home will come eventually. A home my grandfather built to raise his family, A home where his grandchildren and great grandchildren played, Where Cherry trees grew to be harvested for his famous Sour Cherry wine, A place where holiday dinners came and went, birthdays, cherished memories. It's also a place where both my grandmother and grandfather died. It really represents a circle of life. How can a structure be so emotional? You take the memories with you, right? But yet, it's going to be an end to an era. This was the one place everyone could still go to meet up and visit and now….it's all over. I can't comprehend how the loss of someone brings out so much anger and greed and inconsiderate actions. We should all be joining together and reminiscing. But that is not how it has gone, and I can't help but think it's so far removed from how grandpa would want it. A true gentleman, he would have not wanted all this infighting. *sigh* Sorry to unload so much personal emotions. I just feel so much flowing from me now, and it's just so raw. My brother and I both agree that, with all that has gone down the past month; we are less concerned with the traditional concept of blood line family and retaining those ties, with the exception of our cousins. The nicest part of all this is getting to really reconnect with them. I have some wonderful cousins, very selfless and caring. I am proud to have them in my life and happy that they allow me in theirs. Another blessing has been my boyfriend. He has had to endure a solid month of crazy from me and my family and remains my source of strength and rational calm. I am very lucky I have had the support I have.

      Wednesday, July 18, 2012

      Bangkok Wok

      I called Bangkok Wok on the Carlisle Pike to ask if their Pad Thai is or can be made gluten free (as I have been craving it) and I was told Yes :-) I was also told most items on the menu can be made that way. SCORE!!!!

      On a side note had gluten free pasta with vodka sauce and used my Udi's multigrain to make garlic bread and it was delicious!

      Shady Maple

      A reply from Shady Maple:

      Thank you for your email. We have a large selection of items on our buffet which are gluten-free: large salad bar, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and some meats and fish. We do not offer any items with a gluten-free replacement to wheat flour. When you arrive, please ask a kitchen manager for information about any specific items on the buffet. We look forward to serving you soon.


      I inquired to Arooga's and got this reply:

      Thanks for asking this question. We currently do not provide a complete menu of items that are gluten free. However if you have questions regarding certain items we can read labels for you to make a menu choice. We do not guarantee 100% that an item will be gluten free but we can try to provide you with information to make a menu selection. When visiting any of our locations you can alert your server to your allergy and at that point they can alert their manager. Any manager on the property can assist you in making a selection that best suits your dietary needs.

      If you have any further questions regarding this you may contact me and I will be happy to assist you.

      Tasty Eats

      I figured, I search hi and low for this kind of info, so I might as well share my research!

      I have personally eaten at and can vouch for these establishments:

      Some big chains that have GF items or lists. These are either direct links or you have to look for the allergen/gf info to link from here:

      I haven't tried these yet, but they have GF items/menu's:

      Saturday, July 14, 2012


      So far I am pretty pleased with Glutino. Their delicious, although horribly small, cheese pizza has the best gluten free crust I have had yet. It's actually so close to regular dough I didn't think of it as a gluten free pizza. So happy! Also tried their chocolate covered pretzels. YUM!!!!' I am looking forward to trying more of their peoducts. I bought their frozen chicken pad Thai meal for lunch at work next week. Here's to hoping it's as good as the other items I have tried :-)

      Thursday, July 12, 2012

      Duke's Riverside

      I emailed Duke's to see if they had gluten free items as I might be there next week. I got a prompt reply :

      We do not have a gluten free menu. However, there are items on our menu that are gluten free or can be made gluten free. Most salads we offer can be gluten free if requested without croutons. Any chicken beast or hamburger we offer can be made gluten free with the omission of the bun. Dinner items Spaghetti, Strip Steak, Southwest Chicken Dinner (without the rice), and Tuna Steak are all gluten free. Hope this is helpful.

      So I asked for more clarification as I was surprised spaghetti was on the safe list and rice not. Here is the reply I got back : I'm sorry, the pasta is not gluten free. The rice does have alot of different seasonings in it so we were not sure.

      So I think I need to revering when I go there.!

      Wednesday, July 11, 2012

      Fox and Hound

      So I meet up with some friends for drinks at the Fox and Hound in Harrisburg. I ask when I get there if they have a list of gluten free items, as most places have an allergen list anymore, not that I could find one for them online…. The waitress tells me they don't, but let her ask the cook. So she comes out and informs me, "our salads and grilled chicken are safe." I am thinking there is more on the menu that is, however under that I ask, "so does that mean the Caesar dressing is safe?" So many dressings are iffy, depending on who makes them. She assures me it is, I order a grilled chicken Caesar salad and my drink and wait. The waitress comes back the only dressing that they can give me gluten free is oil and vinegar. I know they must have more safe on that menu, but they don't have it listed out and so I just drank. I was a little disappointed. I had a few of my friends fries and did just fine. I think fries are safe! So my point here is, that with as far as many places have come in detailing food allergens, there are still some, chains, that have not come to this. But this is why I ask. I know some people scoff and don't believe a gluten sensitivity is an issue and think my being careful is absurd, but you know what? For the first time in years, I don't have stomach pains. So it is working for me. And when the six month trial period is over and I try gluten again, if it hurts, I will gladly go back to gluten free!

      Sunday, July 8, 2012

      Thank you Better Batter

      I decided to try the better batter all purpose flour as its supposed to be a cup for cup replacement for regular flour. You know what? I did my regular cookie recipe with it, and aside from being a little thinner then I normally make them, I am rather pleased! I think next time instead of reducing the flour amounts like unused to I will use the suggested amount. The flavor is the same. I am totally stoked!!!

      Sunday, July 1, 2012

      And so it goes...

      Sadly, Thursday Grandpa passed.  This obviously, no matter how well we understood was coming, was devastating, and relieving at the same time.  I am greedy, I hate to let people go, however, I also hate to see people suffer, and the last month of Grandpa's life, when this all started, was a struggle.  Some days he would bounce back and other days we were preparing for the end.   Fact of the matter is, he would have been miserable to keep going on unable to walk freely and breathing with an oxygen tank.  His periods of being awake were getting less and less.   So while my heart is breaking, I am also glad he doesn't have to endure that anymore.  Almost everyone in the family rallied the past month to be there for him. My aunt moved into the house to take care of him, so fulfill his wish to be "carried out of his home", and my sweet cousin who has two kids, a working husband and a Nana also going through surgeries and health issues made time to help out, god bless her. My parents where there regularly and we were too.  Too many more to mention, but the constant flow of visitors was a reminder of how loved he was.  This Tuesday when we lay him to rest will be the end of an era, and a beautiful life.

      I guess I should get onto the gluten free part of the Gluten Free Journey this blog is to be about.   I had some Gluten free pizza at Piazza Sorrento yesterday, which seems to be the average pre-made gluten free crust I have encountered at all the establishments with gluten free pizza that I have tried so far, but it was tasty.  Their Old World Pizza is one I am quite fond of.   Also tried Hogdson's Mill Gluten Free Cookie Mix and that yielded "awesome cookies" according to Ken.  SCORE!  Really looking forward to trying the Better Batter mixes and all purpose flour I got soon.   Also tried was the Pizza Grille's Gluten Free pizza.  Another pre-made crust, but their flavors are usually good.

      This week will be an emotional one, but I know it's another chapter in the journey of life.  R.I.P. Grandpa.