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.