Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Miguel's Organic Dippers

There's honestly too much gluten free food in my house when I come home.  The cupboards are bursting with snacks -- chips, cookies, popcorn; you name it it's in my cupboard here at home.  The cupboards aren't the only area that is full with gluten free goodies as the countertops are overflowing with freshly baked brownies, cookies, cakes... again, anything you can imagine.  It's hard on my waistline, but a great opportunity to try new products out.


One such product is Miguel's Organic Tortilla Dippers.  They come in three different flavors: Vegetable & Seed, Three Pepper, and Everything.  I tried the Vegetable & Seed flavor and I was instantly enamored with it.  My family and I matched the chips with a fresh salsa made by one of my mother's friends and the combination was an enormous hit; the bag of chips was gone within an hour.

We normally eat the Garden of Eatin's Blue Chips, but Miguel's are a great change of pace with a bit more flavor.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Miguel's Organic Tortilla Dippers

Monday, December 28, 2009

Emeril's Southwest Essence

As my mother tried to prepare me a gluten free dish for Christmas dinner, we kept running into obstacles.  Worcestershire Sauce?  Iffy.  Cocktail sauce?  Also potentially hiding gluten.  She was making a potato dish too, and needed to know about potential gluten in spices.  I went googling and found some useful information about Zatarain's -- and by useful I mean they don't list potential gluten in their spices.




Instead of Zatarain's my mother turned to Emeril's Southwest Essence.  Luckily B & G Foods, the distributor of Emeril's Essence line, has a great list of their gluten free products.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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B & G Foods
Gluten Free List Here

O'Scugnizzo's

Whenever I travel home for the holidays, I'm shocked by the amount of gluten free food available in my small hometown.  The Celiac support group here is extremely active and has made enormous strides in making gluten free food available for those who keep a gluten free diet.  For a small, rural town, there is an inordinate amount of gluten free options.  It makes it much easier to stomach the snow and cold when I know I'll be plied with all sorts of gluten free treats.

The latest gluten free offering in my hometown is pizza.  Gluten free pizza seems to be all the rage these days, with Pizza Fusion, ZPizza, Deano's Gourmet Pizza, Fresh Brothers, Lucifer's, and Garlic Jim's all offering gluten free pizza in L.A.  Unfortunately, prior to O'Scugnizzo's gluten free offering, my hometown was severely lacking in comparable options.

With the addition of O'Scugnizzo's, however, my hometown has stepped onto the gluten free playing field in a big way.  I won't go as far as saying that the pizza is up to the high bar set by my favorites in L.A. (here's looking at you, Fresh Brothers and Deano's); nonetheless, it's a great option for pizza if you're in upstate New York.



The pizza my look strange to those of you not initiated to the cult of O'Scugnizzo's, but they always make their pizza with the cheese directly on the crust with the sauce on top.  The crust isn't made in house but is instead made by a local company and shipped to O'Scugnizzo's.  The above size is the only size available in the gluten free crust.  It's definitely more of a personal pizza than a family pizza -- there were only 4 slices.  The gluten free pizza costs $7.95, a bargain compared to ZPizza and Pizza Fusion.  Of course, those two chains exclusively use organic ingredients whereas I'm certain O'Scugnizzo's does not.

All in all, O'Scugnizzo's offers a great gluten free pizza for those of you in, or traveling through, the upstate New York region.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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O'Scugnizzo's
3963 Oneida Street
New Hartford, NY 13413 (Map)
315.737.8000
Gluten Free Pizza only available at this location

Friday, December 25, 2009

Strawberry Macarons Recipe

Whenever I come home I'm guaranteed to be force fed the latest gluten free recipes that my mother and sister have found.  My latest trip has been no exception to that general rule.  I finally arrived home after three cancelled flights and a 1.5 hour delay through Atlanta back home to upstate New York to a plate full of gluten free cookies.  The local time was 3 a.m. but that didn't stop me from indulging in a few of these delectable pastries.




I particularly enjoyed the Strawberry Macarons my mother made me, and have reproduced the recipe below.  The cookies were flavorful, light, and very simple to make.  The recipe comes from TeaTime Magazine's March/April 2008 issue.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the cookies; I turn into a cookie monster when I'm home and had eaten all of these before I thought to photograph them.  Whoops.  The picture above is from the magazine.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season!
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Strawberry Macarons
Makes 40-54 cookies, 20-27 sandwiches

1.25 cups confectioners' sugar
1.25 cups almond flour
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 drops red food coloring
Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling (see below)

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl.  Blend in almond flour.
3. In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites until foamy; add salt.  Slowly add sugar; blend until soft peaks form.  Add vanilla extract and food coloring, being careful not to overmix.
4. Gently fold the almond flour mixture into the egg whites until just incorporated.  Do not overmix.
5. Gently fill pastry bag with mixture (no tip is necessary).  Pipe batter into 1- to 1.25-inch rounds on prepared baking sheets.
6. Bake until bottoms of cookies are just set and tops are only slightly firm, about 20 minutes.  Do not overbake.
7.  Remove parchment sheets from baking sheets immediately after removing from the oven.  Allow cookies to cool completely on parchment sheets.
8. When completely cool, spread a thick layer of Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling (see below) on the flat bottom of a cookie.  Sandwich with a second cookie; repeat with remaining cookies.  Reserve remaining filling for another use, if desired.

If possible, prepare cookies one day before serving to allow Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling to fully set.
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Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling
Makes about 1.5 cups

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1.5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup strained strawberry preserves

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Sift confectioners' sugar into mixture.  Add vanilla extract and preserves; blend until smooth.
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Do you love it or do you love it?

Prego Italian Sauces

Being home for the holidays is a bit like surviving an obstacle course, particularly around the holidays.  With so many potential dishes for hidden gluten it's a difficult time to be around, no matter how carefully my family tries to prepare my food.

Luckily, when I asked for pasta the other night, my parents found out that Prego now labels their sauces with a large "Gluten Free."


Creating great pasta dishes just became that much easier for us Celiacs!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Prego Italian Sauces

Monday, December 14, 2009

Xooro in Santa Monica Potential Changes

According to Eater LA's sources, the Xooro in Santa Monica may soon be re-done as a Spanish bistro.  It seems that the Santa Monica branch, which is substantially larger than the West Hollywood location,  isn't picking up the slack for the chain.

Xooro makes great gluten free churros that can be drenched in chocolate, peanut butter, or a host of other delicious flavors.

If you're a fan of Xooro, make sure to stop by the Santa Monica location to support it!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Xooro
125 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Map)
310.260.2919
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8360 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Map)
323.951.9592
Note: Call ahead at this location to ensure they have gluten free churros available.

Friday, December 11, 2009

San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing

If you're anything like me, you avoid most Asian food except for P.F. Chang's, which has an extensive gluten free menu.  I don't avoid it because I dislike it; I used to be a very picky eater and not eat anything other than pasta with butter.  The irony is clear -- I can no longer go to any restaurant and order pasta.  Nor can we Celiacs (or people who keep a gluten free diet) imbibe in soy sauce-laden Asian food because of wheat's use as a thickener in soy sauce.

Well, San-J to the rescue!  I've been using San-J's Wheat-Free Soy Sauce for a long time but didn't know that San-J made other gluten free.  I was recently over at my friend Lauren's apartment while her roommate, Vanessa, was making dinner with her boyfriend.  Vanessa randomly looked at the salad dressing bottle they planned to use and saw that it was marked "Gluten Free."


Forgive me that the quality isn't the best as it was taken on my camera phone.  Regardless, it's good to see San-J making more gluten free products!  I tasted a bit of the sauce and it was great, particularly after staying away from peanut sauce for so long because it often contains gluten.

After a quick look at San-J's website, it looks like the company makes two additional gluten free dressings: Sesame and Ginger.  All of the company's cooking sauces are gluten free too!

The company's website even has a great recipe listing, in which you can choose the product you want the recipe to be based on.  Watch out for gluten in the added ingredients, of course, and make changes accordingly.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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San-J

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eat My Blog - Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

On my way to the library today (finals are the best!) I stopped by the Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale in West Hollywood.

There was an impressive spread of baked goods out at Zeke's Smokehouse, but I had my eye on the prize -- the gluten free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes I had seen in the bake sale's advertising.




I was fortunate enough to pick up the last one.  This cupcake was AMAZING.  Words can't even describe how rich and decadent it was, particularly the frosting.  Luckily, the baker attached her website to the cupcake so when I arrived to the library I was able to find the recipe.

The recipe is included below -- thanks to L.A. Easy Meals for the simple and delicious gluten free recipe!  Instead of using the Whole Foods mix she uses, try it with Betty Crocker's Gluten Free mixes!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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This dessert is really too good to be true. The cupcake itself isn’t sweet at all, I don’t even know if it would be worth eating if it weren’t for the frosting. Although the frosting may taste very decadent, all the ingredients are very low in calories. I’m usually not big on using cake mixes because of all the unnatural ingredients in them, but you can go to Whole Foods and pick up a standard box of organic Devil’s Cake mix. This is also a super simple recipe to whip up for the holidays.
Peanut butter Chocolate Cupcakes
18 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs or ¾ cup egg whites
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup All-Natural Peanut Butter Spread
  • FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup cold fat-free milk
  • 1 package (1.4 ounces) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 package (8 ounces) fat-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup All-Natural Peanut Butter Spread
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen fat-fat whipped topping, thawed

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, eggs, applesauce and peanut butter. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 1 minute. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in pudding. Beat in half of the whipped topping; fold in remaining whipped topping. Frost cupcakes . Store in the refrigerator

Thursday, December 3, 2009

General Mills Creates "Live Gluten Freely"

General Mills, the creators of great gluten free products like Chex, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Mixes, and Gushers, has created a new website to help gluten free customers select General Mills products safely.

Live Gluten Freely has great gluten free recipes and the entire listing of General Mills' gluten free products.  Before seeing this website I didn't know so many Progresso soups were gluten free!  The site also says to look for "Gluten Free" below ingredient listings on General Mills products; if the product is gluten free it will be listed.



It's a very simple, easy to use website that is incredibly useful for Celiacs or people who avoid gluten in their diets.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Live Gluten Freely

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Counter in WeHo?

An item on LA Eater says that there will soon be a new branch of the great burger place The Counter in West Hollywood.  The Counter has an extensive gluten free menu that can be accessed here.  Use caution when reading this menu -- I see they don't list their malts as gluten free.

The item reads: From a tipster, "Just noticed a notification posted outside Baja Fresh at Sunset and Hayworth across from DGA. Application to serve alcohol and its being replaced by The Counter. Inside Baja they say its happening in this month."

The restaurant's official website doesn't reflect the news;  I'll keep you posted with updates.

Do you love it or do you love it? 
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The Counter
2901 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405 (Map)
310.399.8383
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Other SoCal Locations Here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dawn's Dinners

This is particularly for my readers a little outside of L.A.  I was recently contacted by Dawn of Dawn's Dinners.




Dawn is gluten-intolerant and own's Dawn's Dinners, which prepares full meals for people around the Santa Clarita Valley.  She is beginning to make entirely gluten free meals, and wanted to offer her services to people in the Santa Clarita Valley.

For more information, check out her website here.  I haven't made it up to Santa Clarita to try the meals and won't be able to make it out there until next year (which is only a month away!).  If any readers stop in, please leave comments about your experience!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Dawn's Dinners

Babycakes in LA - New Video!

Babycakes just posted a new video celebrating the upcoming opening of their new branch in L.A.!


BABYCAKES NYC: COMING TO LOS ANGELES IN DECEMBER!!! from BabyCakes NYC on Vimeo.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Babycakes
130 East. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Map)
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248 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002 (Map)
212.677.5047

Monday, November 30, 2009

GF Meals Tasting

GF Meals will be holding a FREE tasting this Saturday, December 5th.  Full information is below and comes directly from GF Meals.

I love GF Meals' products, particularly the bread.  GF Meals' gluten free bread is the best I have ever tasted.  The company also ships nationwide!  GF Meals is definitely worth visiting, especially since they are giving away FREE samples.  How can you turn that down?

Do you love it or do you love it?
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GF Meals
20929 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364 (Map)
888.700.5610
-
Information:
gfMeals Needs Your Opinion

You are invited to a "FREE" gfMeals Tasting Event "THIS" Saturday, December 5th

And...10% of sales during the tasting will go to our friends at Generation Rescue

One More Thing...During the month of December gfMeals is holding a Holiday Food Drive to benefit Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. Bring donations into their store or make a contribution online. They'll give you 10% off your next gfMeals purchase.
____________________________________________________________

Please join gfMeals, by Your Dinner Secret, with your family and friends on Saturday, December 5th at their Woodland Hills store between 11 AM and 2 PM. They welcome you to drop by at any point during this time frame.

Come give them your feedback on NEW products before they hit their nationwide menu.

Some of the NEW items are:

GFCF SOY-FREE Macaroni and Cheese
NEW GFCF SOY-FREE Pizza
GFCF SOY-FREE Macaroni and Beef
NEW flavor of GFCF SOY-FREE Sausage Patties
NEW Baked Goods
The store is located at:

20929 Ventura Blvd., #22 in the Woodland Hills Village Shopping Center (just west of De Soto Ave.)

PLEASE R.S.V.P. via phone - 888-700-5610 or via email – info@gfMeals.com
____________________________________________________________

About gfMeals - gfMeals, by Your Dinner Secret, makes living a gluten and casein-free (GFCF) lifestyle, delicious and stress-free. Offering a vast menu of family-friendly, ready-to-cook entrees and sides, as well as the most delicious GFCF baked goods, gfMeals ships food NATIONWIDE to your door.

Every meal comes frozen, with simple cooking instructions. Your family will be delighted by our Chicken Tenders, American Turkey Meatloaf, Turkey Burger Macaroni, Meatballs, Super Mac-n-Chz, Mashed Potatoes, Faux Buttermilk Sliced Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, just to name a few.

gfMeals Makes GFCF Easy!

START SHOPPING AT gfMeals TODAY...

Via Website: Place your order at www.gfMeals.com.
Via Phone: Call gfMeals at 888-700-5610 and place your order over the phone.

Stop In And Shop: 20929 Ventura Blvd., #22, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 (Hwy 101, De Soto Ave. exit)

QUESTIONS? Call us at 888-700-5610 or email us at info@gfMeals.com. 

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Sued, Round Two

Well it looks like the litigation over Elisabeth Hasselbeck's "The G Free Diet" isn't over yet.  A prior case was dismissed in November.

Susan Hassett, the woman who brought the prior dismissed suit against Hasselbeck in June 2009, has again filed suit against Hasselbeck.  In her original suit Hassett alleged that she had sent Hasselbeck a copy of her book, "Living with Celiac Disease" and that Hasselbeck copied Hassett's book to write her own.  Hasselbeck responded to the charges almost immediately on her daytime talk show "The View," saying that appropriate action would be taken.

According to TMZ, Hassett has filed suit again because her first suit was dismissed because of a technicality.  In addition to her original claims, Hassett also alleges that the book is "misleading and dangerous" for celiacs.  Elaine Monarch, Founder and Executive Director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, issued an open letter shortly after Hasselbeck's book was published, saying "the inaccuracies in this book are potentially dangerous and detrimental to celiacs..."

I will keep you posted as the suit continues.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Santa Barbara Salsa

My sister Alyssa visited me in Los Angeles over her Thanksgiving break from college, and we had a great time.  I'll be doing more posts about her visit and the gluten free places I took her around the city, but for now a quick post about a great gluten free product available online and at your local grocer.

When we were deciding what to prepare for Thanksgiving, we knew turkey would not be on the menu.  We decided to make a traditional California thanksgiving -- tacos!


We made fresh guacamole, a delicious mix of black beans, red peppers, and tomatoes, and found a great, gluten free salsa to place on the tacos.  It's Santa Barbara Salsa and, you guessed it, is made near Santa Barbara here in California.  We picked up our Santa Barbara Salsa at the Pavilions here in West Hollywood.

The best part?  All products are labeled gluten free (if they are gluten free)!  I haven't seen the pestos on shelves, so I can't confirm that they are gluten free.  It does say on the company's website that all of their products are gluten free, but look for the handy "Gluten Free" before purchasing.  Santa Barbara Salsa makes fresh salsas, shelf-stable salsas, pepper sauces, and pestos to go along with gluten free bruschetta.




Do you love it or do you love it?
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Santa Barbara Salsa
Looking for Santa Barbara Salsa?  Store Locator

Gluten Free Toppings at Pinkberry

Well this was an unexpected surprise.  I visited Pinkberry at the Farmer's Market by The Grove to check out the chain's new chocolate flavor and was shocked to see the topping below:





That's right, Pinkberry is now offering gluten free chocolate cake crumbles as a topping!  Cross contamination issues may come up since they are stocked next to other toppings, but I gave them a whirl to try them out.  I made sure to ask whether the spoon they used was dedicated to the gluten free chocolate cake crumbles, and the polite swirler answered affirmatively.  By the way, do you call a Pinkberry worker a swirler?

I ordered up a half chocolate, half pomegranate with the gluten free chocolate cake crumbles and yogurt chips.  I tried the new chocolate flavor before ordering it; it certainly is not tart.  Instead it's creamy and very rich chocolate -- too rich for my friend, Hilary, who joined me in the expedition.



I love the gluten free chocolate cake crumble!!  It was also very rich, so it probably isn't the best idea to pair it with the new chocolate flavor.  I asked my swirler to put it on the Pomegranate side of my small froyo.  They were rich, delicious, chewy, and altogether amazing.  I wish they would package it and sell it on its own!

I'm not sure if this topping is available in your local Pinkberry;  I'll check the WeHo location soon to see if they offer it there too.  The gluten free chocolate cake crumble is shown on the froyo emporium's website here.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Looking for a Pinkberry? Store Locator
Follow Pinkberry on Twitter Here
Follow Gluten Freeways on Twitter Here

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Glow Gluten Free Cookies

I was recently in touch with Jill, the owner and baker behind Glow Gluten Free.  We tweeted back and forth and ended up e-mailing.  I hate to start the post off with a bit of unfortunate news, but the products are not available in stores here in California.  Fret not, readers -- Jill is working hard on making them available around the L.A. area.  Do you have any ideas of where you would like to see them around these parts?  Leave a comment for Jill to read!


More importantly, because they will be available out here in California soon, how do they taste?  They are absolutely, unbelievably amazing.  I think what really sold me on them was the fact that my favorite flavor ended up being the Gingersnap cookies;  I do not like Gingersnap cookies in general and the fact that Jill was able to craft a delicious, gluten free Gingersnap cookies speaks volumes about how great her other cookies are.  The Double Chocolate Cookies were great to dunk into a glass of Rice Nog and the Chocolate Chip cookies were great.

The cookies are gluten free, casein free, trans fat free, and preservative free.  They are available in Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  I can't recommend them highly enough -- if you are in any of the just mentioned locations, get to the nearest location that carries Glow Gluten Free cookies and buy a box of each.  You will not be disappointed!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Glow Gluten Free
Follow Glow on Twitter Here
Become a Fan of Glow on Facebook Here
Follow Gluten Freeways on Twitter Here
Become a Fan of Gluten Freeways on Facebook Here

Pinkberry Coupon for Free New Flavor

Pinkberry is offering up its latest flavor FREE with toppings.  You read that right -- FREE.


The national frozen yogurt chain is offering a free small chocolate with toppings when you purchase another product of equal or greater value.

More information is available on Pinkberry's official blog.  I haven't been able to check it out yet, but I'll definitely be going soon.

Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -
Looking for a Pinkberry? Store Locator

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale

Great news!  I've been e-mailing with Cathy, an organizer of the upcoming Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale.

At first I was concerned that there would be no gluten free representation at the bake sale.  All proceeds go to Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, and I was hoping to show my support.

Luckily, Eat My Blog has just released a list of some of the delicacies that will be featured, and conveniently labeled certain ones "GF" for "gluten free"!


If you enlarge the above picture you'll be able to see which ones are marked GF.  I've also reproduced the gluten free list below.  The full press release announcing the event is available here.

The event is on December 5th from 10am-4pm.  It is in West Hollywood at Zeke's Smokehouse, 7100 Santa Monica Boulevard, at the corner of La Brea & Santa Monica Boulevard.

Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -
Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale
December 5th, 10am-4pm
7100 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046 (Map)
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Gluten Free Products:
Caramel Fleur de sel Macaroons
White Chocolate and Matcha Tea Macaroons
Butterscotch Budino (Pudding)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
Bacon Walnut Maple Fudge
Bubblegum-flavored Marshmallows
Monkey Munch
Orange and Saffron Soft Caramels
Super-Addictive Caramel Corn


Sunday, November 22, 2009

ThinkThin Dessert Bars

Think Products has just put out a new, gluten free product:  thinkThin dessert bars.  I love Think Products' Think Thin bars and their Think Bites and am looking forward to trying this latest addition to their line, which also includes ThinkPink.


These new thinkThin dessert bars are gluten free and pack 15 grams of protein in each bar with only 200 calories.  They come in three flavors: chocolate covered strawberries, lemon creme pie, and tangerine cremesicle.

Want to try them out?  They are available for purchase through Amazon.com or Think Products' site.  I haven't seen them on shelves yet, but will look for them in my local Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bigelow Tea

Today was a particularly long day of school. The hours, the minutes...no, the SECONDS crawled by while I had my head deep in case law research. The topic itself is very interesting, but the appeal I was reading was an appeal on procedural grounds. I won't get all legal mumbo jumbo on you here, but suffice it to say it was a boring case. Speaking of mumbo jumbo, did I ever link to one of the blogs that inspired me? My roommate in college started a blog for our university's admissions office, appropriately called Mumbo Jumbo (our mascot is the Jumbo).

Sorry for the tangent, as I said, it was a LONG day at school. I needed a bit of a pick me up at around 2:30pm, so I headed to a local grocer to search out something gluten free. I saw that there was an enormous selection of tea. I've posted about this before (here), but tea can sometimes present a problem for us Celiacs.



Luckily, I went for the Bigelow Cranberry Apple. I turned it around to read the back of the box and there, staring right at me in large letters, it read "GLUTEN FREE." Wow! It is always great when I find a new product without even meaning to.

When I got back to my desk I decided to check out the Bigelow website. After searching the FAQ section for a bit, I stumbled upon a list of the Bigelow products that are gluten free. They even did testing on certain products that contain barley and found that the gluten levels were extremely level. Imbibe in those at your own risk!



The full list of gluten free Bigelow teas can be found here.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Bigelow

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Julie's Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches

There are certain things that, as a Celiac, I definitely miss.  One of them is being able to buy cookie sandwiches straight from an ice cream truck.

While this latest product doesn't replicate the experience, you can buy Julie's Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches at your local Whole Foods.  I picked mine up at the Whole Foods in West Hollywood.


These sandwiches are a gluten free throwback to eating ice cream sandwiches as a kid.  The cookies are chocolate and, despite being frozen, are not soft and chewy.  The ice cream in between the cookies is vanilla and is served in a generous portion between the two chocolate cookies.

Whole Foods has the nickname "Whole Paycheck," but these gluten free treats won't hit your wallet too hard.  For a canister of four sandwiches I paid about $5 -- much cheaper than a Pinkberry!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Julie's Organic Ice Cream
Whole Foods Store Locator

New Pinkberry Flavor Debuts

I'm terribly sorry for the late notice -- the finals rush has taken hold and is taking me away from my blogging duties.  Posting will be light for a few weeks, but I'll try to keep you as well informed as possible.

Friday, November 20th from 7-9pm Pinkberry will be giving away its newest flavor: Chocolate Pinkberry.



Frankly, I'm a bit skeptical about tart Chocolate frozen yogurt... but those of you who have read my other posts know that I'm a sucker for Pinkberry.

Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -
Pinkberry
900 Pacific Coast Highway
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 (Map)
310.318.5888

Gummy Giveaway

After waiting 1,000 years to finally do the drawing for my Gummie Giveaway, we have a winner -- Callie Anne!




Thanks to everybody for your comments; look for another giveaway soon.

In the meantime, Callie Anne, I hope you're reading this -- e-mail me so I can process your information to get you your prize pack!

Thanks everybody.

Update:  Unfortunately for Callie Anne I haven't heard from her yet... so I've had to choose a new winner.  The new winner is Gluten Free Maps!  Please contact me so I can provide the appropriate information to Betty Crocker to get you your prize pack.
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General Mills Fruit Snacks

Bricks & Scones

With Starbucks cutting its Orange Valencia Cake from stores with little remorse, gluten free coffee enthusiasts in Los Angeles have been struggling to find a replacement shop for their morning jolt.  The Orange Valencia Cake was truly more of a "treat" than something I would order every time.  It was also frustrating to see them individually wrapped -- such a waste of resources!

Well lucky for you coffee (and gluten free!) enthusiasts, a family run shop on Larchmont called Bricks & Scones is here to fill the void.  In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I loved this shop even before it opened -- an entrepreneurial '08 Tufts alum, Jinah Kim, opened up the shop, so my Jumbo allegiances were already favoring the café.



Jinah and I go way back, having lived 3 feet across from each other in Tilton Hall our freshman year.  When she told me months ago that she was thinking about opening up a coffee shop in space her family owned on Larchmont, I tried my best to convince her that she need to have gluten free options available.

Yesterday the fruits of my pestering were unveiled in the form of awesomely delicious Carrot Cupcakes topped with delicious frosting.


It's been too long since I've had a great, fresh cupcake.  While French Meadow's cupcakes are great, there is nothing quite like being able to order a gluten free cupcake at a coffee shop alongside your gluten eating friends.

All of Bricks & Scones' pastries are made fresh and in-house, so there is no need to worry about eating leftovers or packaged products.  The carrot cupcake I had was great, and paired up perfectly with The Blaker Special -- hot chocolate flavored with pumpkin spice.  I would normally never order a carrot cupcake but when Bricks & Scones tweeted me I knew I had to get over to the shop to check out their new gluten free products.  The frosting wasn't hard and crunchy as is typical in a previously frozen gluten free product; instead it was smooth and creamy.



Jinah also told me that Bricks & Scones is experimenting with other gluten free products, but wants to perfect them before releasing them to the public.  Judging by the gluten free carrot cupcake I had last night, I have no doubt that Bricks & Scones will be able to pull off other gluten free recipes quite well.  Bricks & Scones serves up Intelligentsia coffee alongside its delectable pastries.  Jinah told me that she expects to have gluten free items available every afternoon -- you can always call ahead to make sure!

For you students out there, Bricks & Scones offers 10% off every visit with your Student ID.  And for those of you who use reusable mugs, make sure to bring them in -- you also get 10% off your visit!  The coffee shop also offers free Wi-Fi access and two floors filled with seating; the upstairs is reserved as a "Study Space" and quiet is recommended.

Bricks & Scones also has an awesome outside patio.  There is plentiful seating outside so when the weather warms up a bit Bricks & Scones will be my go-to Sunday morning place for a carrot cupcake, hot chocolate and the Sunday Times -- what could be better?

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Bricks & Scones
403 N. Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004 (Map)
323.463.0811
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hasselbeck Suit Dimissed

In June, news broke that a Massachusetts author had filed suit against Elisabeth Hasselbeck concerning the latter's new book, "The G-Free Diet."  Almost immediately after news of the suit broke, Hasselbeck commented on the allegations and was prepared to defend her book in court.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Elisabeth Hasselbeck; the lawsuit was brought by Susan Hassett and alleged that Hasselbeck had used material from Hassett's book for Celiacs.

Hassett's attorney refused to further pursue the case against Hasselbeck.

The Boston Herald has further information here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

ThinkThin SoCal Tour

I was snacking on a ThinkThin Bites bar here in the library and decided to check out ThinkThin's websites for any updates.  I love ThinkThin bars -- they are gluten free protein bars that taste awesome.  The ThinkThin bars are covered in chocolate, low carb, and high in protein.  How can you go wrong?




I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon ThinkThin's ongoing SoCal tour.  During the month of November and stretching into December, ThinkThin will be doing demonstrates throughout Southern California.  Check it out here for the full information or check out the dates below from the product's website.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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ThinkThin


The Transformation Tour

SO CAL TOUR







14-NovSaturday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~Beverly Hills
14-NovSaturday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Fairfax
15-NovSunday11am – 2pmMothers Market Demo~Irvine
15-NovSunday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Tustin
16-NovMonday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Brentwood
19-NovThursday11am – 2pmMothers Market Demo~Coasta Mesa
19-NovThursday4pm – 7pmMothers Market Demo~Huntington Beach
20-NovFriday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~El Segundo
20-NovFriday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Venice
22-NovSunday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~Thousand Oaks
22-NovSunday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Woodland Hills, CA
23-NovMonday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~Arroyo (Pasadena)
23-NovMonday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Sherman Oaks West
28-NovSaturday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~West LA
29-NovSunday11am – 2pmCo-Op~Santa Monica
29-NovSunday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Santa Monica
30-NovMonday11am – 2pmMothers Market Demo~Huntington Beach
30-NovMonday4pm – 7pmMothers Market Demo~Coasta Mesa
3-DecThursday11am – 2pmMothers Market Demo~Santa Ana
3-DecThursday4pm – 7pmMothers Market Demo~Anehiem Hills
4-DecFriday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~Fairfax
4-DecFriday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Beverly Hills
5-DecSaturday11am – 2pmMothers Market Demo~Irvine
5-NovSaturday4pm – 7pmWhole Foods Demo~Tustin
6-DecSunday11am – 2pmWhole Foods Demo~Brentwood
16-DecFriday4pm – 7pmMothers Market Demo~Irvine

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rice Dream Rice Nog

Last year around this time, my roommate Vanessa convinced me to try her Rice Dream Rice Nog.  It took a lot of convincing since I had never warmed to the taste of egg nog.  After much ribbing, she got me to take a sip... and I've been hooked ever since.


Rice Nog is light and delicious; it's perfectly flavored with cinnamon and is alcohol free.  The best part: it's gluten free (and marked as such)!  Look at the lower left hand corner on the front of the above package -- do you see the upside down triangle?  It reads "Gluten Free."  The below picture is a bit blurry, but hopefully gives you an idea:

It's a great seasonable product that is cholesterol, lactose, dairy, soy, and gluten free!  It's also 100% vegetarian.  My vegan roommate last year drank it, but they may have changed the recipe so please check the ingredients to confirm.  It is also shelf stable, so you can stock up on lots of boxes to last you well past the holiday season.

I've found Rice Dream Rice Nog in my local Pavilions, but when I went to Whole Foods today it was not in stock.  Just a warning!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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If you can't find it in stores, purchase is through Amazon here!: Rice Dream Rice Nog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

Look at what I found while Hilary and I were waiting for our churros at Xooro -- we walked over to Sweet Lady Jane Bakery:


OK, so it didn't look quite like that in the store, but it's a chocolate flourless cake!  Hilary brought me in there because she wanted to pick something up for her mother -- she knows I normally don't frequent establishments that discriminate against us Celiacs!  It was my lucky day, and after asking the owner about the preparation of the cake I was convinced that the cake was perfect for me.

And indeed it was!  I warmed it up for about 15 seconds in the microwave and fell in love upon first bite.  It was perfectly sized with a great texture -- not too hard and not too soft.

The person who helped me pick out the cake told me that they don't always have it in stock, so definitely call ahead to see if they have them in stock.  If they do, it's a great treat for you Celiacs while your non-Celiac friends munch on all the great gluten-filled stuff the shop serves.

After perusing the Bakery's website, it looks as if the Chocolate Flourless Decadence (the official name) can be found in over 15 Ralph's in the L.A. region.  Check out the listing here.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Sweet Lady Jane Bakery
8360 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Map)
323.653.7145

ZPizza's ZBites

ZPizza recently launched a new gluten free product: ZBites.  I had tweeted with ZPizza about the new product and was excited to finally try it.  After stopping in at the new coffee shop on Larchmont, Bricks & Scones (full post coming soon!), I stopped in at ZPizza to finally check out ZBites.

ZBites are white meat chicken bites with gluten free breading, similar to a chicken nugget but way fresher.  In the interest of full disclosure, I've eaten close to three chicken nuggets in my entire life.  They just never really appealed to me.  However the grass is always greener and after being diagnosed with Celiac I was sad that I could no longer sample them.  ZPizza has saved the day with their new ZBites -- these chicken nuggets are way better than I remember chicken nuggets being.




ZPizza's chicken is the main ingredient and is definitely higher quality than any chicken nugget I have ate in my pre-Celiac days.  The chicken tasted fresh and the bites were sizable -- certainly not your run-of-the-mill frozen chicken nugget.  The gluten free breading wasn't as thick as gluten-filled chicken nugget breading is.  It instead was more of a light dusting than a crunchy outside covering.  The crunch that chicken nuggets often had is nowhere to be found in the ZBites.  I think that the lack of crunch is a testament to how fresh the chicken is -- instead of crunching into a defrosted chicken nugget you're biting into food that tastes fresh.  What a novel idea, right?

I liked ZPizza's ZBites, but I can't say I'll be going back for more -- I'm just not that into chicken nuggets.  For Celiacs looking for a chicken nugget replacement, this is definitely the best option.  The chicken tastes great and the gluten free coating flavors it well.  ZPizza also offers three gluten free dipping options: Raspberry Chipotle, Ranch, and BBQ.  An order of ZBites will run you $6.50 without tax, and is definitely a large portion!

ZBites are not yet available at all locations, so make sure to call your local ZPizza to see if they are available before headed over.  As of October 2009, ZBites were available at these locations.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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ZPizza
123 North Larchmont
Los Angeles, CA 90004 (Map)
323.466.6969
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You can follow ZPizza on Twitter here.
You can follow me on Twitter here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Green Leaves in West Hollywood

This will be a short post, but I wanted to update you about some disconcerting news.

I heard from my friend Justin, who works at Real Food Daily, that Green Leaves Vegan had issues with not being entirely vegan.  I snooped around the internet to see if there was any more support for what he said, and found a great post by Quarry Girl that tested 17 Los Angeles establishments that purport to be vegan.  In that post Quarry Girl admits that the study she conducted only represented a snapshot in time and that by the time readers checked out the post a restaurant included on the study may have changed its practices.  Green Leaves Vegan's establishment was understandably upset after finding out about Quarry Girl's post, as it finished as a "Big Time Loser."  Quarry Girl was threatened with legal action over her comments and updated her post with the letter sent to her by Green Leaves' attorney here.  Green Leaves even went as far as offering Quarry Girl the opportunity to retest its food;  this may render a vegan's concerns moot, but I wanted to provide the full history of Quarry Girl's study.

Why am I writing this post?  Well, after my visit to Xooro today, Hilary and I drove up N. Kings Road and hit a red light at Santa Monica Boulevard.  Right in front of me I saw "Green Leaves" with an abundance of promotional signs.  When I arrived home, I pulled up Green Leaves' website and saw that it listed the new West Hollywood location that I had seen.

What was truly disconcerting, apart from the above vegan tests, was that I now do not see any items being marked gluten free on the restaurant's menu.  I'm not sure what caused this change, but I wanted to alert my readers as soon as possible that the pancakes I previously posted about may no longer be made in a gluten free manner.  I called the restaurant and they said they still had them, but I have not been able to visit the restaurant in person to confirm this.

I will check into this as soon as possible, but be warned before eating at Green Leaves Vegan that the items previously marked gluten free may no longer be made gluten free.

Green Leaves Vegan
8351 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Map)
323.848.2345
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1769 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Map)
323.664.2345

Xooro West Hollywood

I've been meaning to go to Xooro's new West Hollywood location for a long time now.  However, I've called a few times and whenever I was ready to go they didn't have any gluten free churros in stock.  My schedule and Xooro's finally coincided today, and my friend Hilary and I went to check out the churro shops new location.  Xooro's first location was in Santa Monica; the link to the left was one of my very first posts here on Gluten Freeways so enjoy the throwback.




Xooro's location on Melrose is certainly cozier than the Santa Monica location; instead of the two tables that were at the Santa Monica location last time I visited, the Melrose location utilizes stools at countertops that overlook Melrose Ave.  I enjoyed setup of the Xooro on Melrose as much as I did it's Santa Monica location; the shop is located just blocks from a variety of trendy Melrose shops (Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diesel, Fred Segal, Johnny Cupcakes, etc.) so you can see people walking outside of the shop.

I've written about the churros that Xooro serves up and the one on Melrose are no exception -- they are great!  The flavors are what really make the churros great.  Hilary and I ordered three gluten free churros and split them -- we had the Triple Chocolate, the Dulce de Leche, and Jordan's Favorite.  Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera to take pictures of the awesomeness... you'll have to go here to check out the fritters on the website.  Oh wait!  I just found a picture of the churros:





That's just a little preview of the filled churros.  Hilary and I really liked the Dulce de Leche and Jordan's Favorite; the Triple Chocolate was a little too rich for Hilary's taste and by that point I was pretty full too.  Three churros definitely does a body good.  You can also order original churros without any filling, although I would strongly recommend that you go for the filling.  

I also strongly recommend that you call the Xooro location you are going to visit to make sure they have gluten free churros available in stock.  As I said earlier, there have been times that I've called the West Hollywood location and they did not have gluten free churros on hand.  Also be mindful that the Santa Monica location is closed on Mondays (at the time of this post).  The gluten free churros also take a bit longer to prepare than do the non gluten free churros, but we didn't mind the wait.

Aside from those caveats, enjoy!

Do you love it or do you love it?

8360 Melrose Avenue #107
West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Map)
323.951.9592
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125 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Map)
310.260.2919
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Please Note:  I have not visited this location and am not sure if it is open yet; it is listed on Xooro's website.  I strongly recommend calling the Santa Monica location to inquire about the National City location before visiting. 

Westfield Plaza Bonita Mall
3030 Plaza Bonita Road., 2452
National City, CA 91950 (Map)