Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy GF Anniversary to Me!

It has been two years since I went gluten free for medical reasons. The first year was definitely a learning experience and was most difficult around the holidays. (My family has many traditions of baking during the holidays...cookies, cakes, pies...) I also have been very bad at keeping up with my blog, but as time goes on I hope to do a bit better at updating it with more GF recipes, places to eat and any other gluten free goodies I find. You see, my life has been crazy so far this year since I have been planning a wedding as well. My gluten free intolerance has to be taken into account for my upcoming nuptials as well. Luckily I have chosen a great venue with a caterer that will tend to my needs, as well as any other allergies my guests have. So far it's been a really great experience! You can check out my handmade save the dates at my "sister blog" here... http://www.cestlaviedesigns.blogspot.com/

Well, until my next post I hope all who read this have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Domino's and Gluten Free?


Today marks the beginning of the gluten free crust offering at Domino's Pizza. Although, it is not recommended for people with Celiac's disease. I think it's a bit of a catch 22 if you ask me... I have a gluten intolerance and not full blown Celiac's so I'm going to test the Domino's Gluten Free Pizza waters... and let you know how it goes... Till then... read CBS News' article here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57429388-10391704/dominos-new-gluten-free-pizza-crust-not-recommended-for-people-with-celiac-disease/


THE RESULTS...

The GF pizza from Domino's is not too shabby. I ended up eating the entire pie! Which packs on quite the large amount of calories I am sure! the price was okay... I ended up spending about $15 since I got two additional toppings to my pizza. I will most likely not go back any time too soon, but nonetheless it was a pretty good pizza.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Larabar - Best Meal Bar Ever!

Dear Larabar,

You are delicious! With your simple basic ingredients and wonderful selection of flavors, I am hooked! It was love at first taste. And you are gluten-free too! Wow! A match made in heaven.

My hunger is satisfied and my taste buds are happy.

Till next time,
Cassandra

ps. So far my favorite flavors are Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, and Lemon.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sweet Freedom Bakery, One word "AMAZING!"



I finally had a chance to go to Sweet Freedom Bakery on South Street in Philadelphia yesterday; and, I am officially hooked! It will now be my "go to" place for delicious baked goodies. As all you gluten free goers know, it's hard to find moist yummy baked treats. Well, I found the place! It's a little piece of heaven in our fare city and I can't wait to go back. Only problem is...with all these sweet treats I'm going to have to buy some bigger jeans. Haha. But it's so worth it!

The bakery is completely allergen friendly. They pride themselves on being gluten free, egg free, corn free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, casein free, peanut free, no refined sugar and kosher. (I hope I'm not missing anything.) The bakery itself is super cute and welcoming. The staff was extremely helpful and kind and all the baked goods looked amazing. As soon as I got home I opened my bakery box and took photos (which you see here) of the beautiful selection of desserts I chose. The first thing I tried was their cake balls. It's a mix of chocolate and vanilla cake covered in chocolate. It was moist, delicious and I wished I bought two! I told my boyfriend that my next birthday cake must be made by them! I also bought a chocolate chip cookie, carrot cake cupcake with vanilla icing, an oatmeal raisin sandwich cookie with vanilla frosting in the middle, an apple crisp square, chocolate chip banana bread and a fruit and oat tart with caramel. I can't wait to devour the rest, but am trying to savor each gluten free goodie.

I cannot tell you enough how yummy the baked goods are at Sweet Freedom. Even if you do not have any kind of dietary restrictions you  must go! It's truly a dream come true for me with my gluten sensitivity. 

For more information you can click their logo to the right or go to www.sweetfreedombakery.com. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Best GF Banana Bread....EVER!


This past Christmas I made gf banana bread from scratch for the first time. I googled a recipe and fell upon this one from Taste of Home. It is truely AMAZING! It was moist, soft and absolutely delicious! I have a very dear friend, Ali, who also has a gluten allergy along with corn, garlic and many others and this was the perfect bread for her. She loved it as much as I do. I will definitely be going back to the Taste of Home website (http://www.tasteofhome.com/) for more recipes. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as Ali and I did. (Just a little fyi...my notes of ingredients I used are in pink lettering.)

Ingredients:
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 - 5 medium) I used bananas that were ripened and then frozen in my freezer.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade unsweetened applesauce that my mom made this past Autumn.)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts - optional (I chose not to put any nuts in the bread.)

Directions:
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients just until moistened.

  • Transfer to two 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with walnuts (if using.) Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each.)

Credits: www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Gluten-Free-Banana-Bread

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy Gluten-Free New Year! I fell a bit of the gluten-free train during the holidays, and boy did I pay for it! From an upset stomach, bowel issues, heat flashes and sore muscles, my body has once again reminded me that gluten is not my friend.

So with this new year, and many new resolutions I'm starting fresh with my diet once again. It was hard to avoid those flour filled treats around the holidays, especially the ones that are tradition. And it was my first Christmas and New Year's being gluten-free, so it was a tough one to say the least. But, my New Year's resolution for 2011 is "to take better care of myself." Whether that is to take the time to relax with a nice hot bath or to take a break during my week to meet a friend for a walk; I'm going to remember to take care of ME.

I started last night by taking the time to do the elliptical machine at my house for 20 minutes and then do a nice set of yoga stretches. It felt so good to move my body more then what it is used to these days. I then took a long hot shower and even sat in the bottom of the basin and closed my eyes and just reflected on my day. Now, if only I can keep this up for the next 360 days out of the year... As you can see, I'm not very good at keeping up with my blog these days either. But, that will be another resolution that I can hopefully stick with!

Well until tomorrow... or the next day... good luck on your resolutions!

Cas

Friday, October 29, 2010

GF Cook Books

Recently I have had some friends come to me for gluten-free recipes. I have't dabbled much into cooking and baking gluten free foods from scratch (I tend to just use boxed GF cake mixes if I'm baking), but I purchased a new cook book that I think will be great! I'm really looking forward to making and tasting some of the recipes in this book. It's called "A Cook's Bible, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes" by Grace Cheetham. You can find it online at amazon.com, but I found my copy at Whole Foods Market. Either way it looks like a great collection of recipes. I'll be sure to post any that I make and taste test.

Have a happy gluten-free day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jefferson Opens Celiac Center

Follow this link for the full story:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Check out this Blog!


To all my GF Followers, I came across this blog a few weeks ago and if you live in the Philadelphia area you must check it out! Gluten Free Philly is an informative and awesome resource to those with a gluten allergy or Celiac's Disease. It tells all of us Philadelphians where to shop, eat, get the best baked goods and more! You can also find coupons for many websites or locations that sell gluten free products.


Here is a link... so check it out!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tis the Season for GF Foods...

As the holidays quickly approach, so does all the treats filled with gluten and other not so allergen friendly ingredients. Since my gluten allergy is still fairly new, I have quickly learned what I can and cannot eat. I have also learned how to substitute certain ingredients when baking and cooking for gluten free alternatives. The first big holiday for this season that I was partaking in was Rosh Hashanah.

One of my dear friends invited me to her family's Rosh Hashanah celebration. We started out our day by going to the orchard to pick apples, then by stopping by the market for ingredients for our dinner. Since kugal is one of my favorite dishes to eat when going to my Jewish friend's celebrations, I knew this was one part of the meal I really wanted to be able to enjoy. My friend Aimee told me the ingredients...which the main ingredient is egg noodles. Well there's a big no no for someone with gluten intolerance. So I decided to try to substitute the egg noodles with GF corn noodles. Well, to my surprise it tastes amazing! As I continue the next few months of holiday celebrations I will post new recipes using GF ingredients for you all to try!

Here is Aimee's GF Kugal Recipe:

1 bag of GF corn noodles (any brand you prefer)
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs beaten
One 16 ounces Sour Cream
One 16 ounces Cottage Cheese
Cinnamon (to taste)

Cook noodles 5 to 6 minutes, then drain. In separate mixing bowl combine sugar, eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese. Grease pan, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix noodles with wet ingredients. Pour in pan. Place 3 tbsp of the butter in pads over the mixture and dash top of kugal with cinnamon. Bake for 25 minutes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Super Yummy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Most of the gluten-free cookies I have bought at the grocery store have been hard, crunchy and have not been satisfying my cravings for the "just baked" taste I desire. Until... I found these! Glenny's Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They are amazing! I found them last night at my local supermarket food chain in the organic section. I was a bit weary at first, but in the name of research I had to try them. They were soft, moist and chewy just as advertised. As well as the perfect sweet snack. They also came in Oatmeal Chocolate Chip; which I did not purchase (as of yet.) But, once I do I'll be sure to purchase a box and report back!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A sweet article posted by philly.com

I was reading the Philadelphia Inquirer online a few weeks back (posted August 12, 2010 to be exact) and came across an article about a pastry chef with a Celiac's. The title of the article is "A sweet job, with or without wheat." You can read the article by following this link:

http://www.philly.com/philly/restaurants/100458224.html

Gluten Free...for me?


The other day while shopping at Whole Foods for some gluten free items I came across a basket of cookies. They were all different cute shapes, and had icing and sugar sprinkles and looked amazing! I was so excited and have been searching for a yummy treat that I quickly picked up the pink piggy shaped cookie. I took it into work the next day took one bite and I'm hooked! It's a delicious gluten free sugar cookie...for me! Cookies....for me? is a gluten free based bakery located in the Philadelphia area. You can find out more about the company at www.cookiesforme.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gluten Free Philly

Finding great gluten free treats can be a bit of a challenge, so as I come across great treats and eats I will post them up on Smell the Flour. Here is one I found the other day while walking toward center city Philadelphia on South Street. Although I have not had the privilege of trying any of their delectable goodies, the store front is super cute and everything on their website looks divine! The bakery is called Sweet Freedom and it's located at 1424 South Street in Philadelphia. You can go to their website at: http://www.sweetfreedombakery.com/ for more information.

Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Smell the Rice - Potato - Gluten Free Flour!

Well it sure has been a looooonnnnng time since I have posted anything on this blog! A lot has happened in the past year as well. Including my sensitivity or allergy to wheat, rye and barley. My doctor's and I are still not 100% or not if I have Celiac's but after months of abdominal pain; which led to several blood tests, CT scans, ultrasounds etc... I cut gluten out of my diet. Two weeks after going gluten-free (gf) I woke up pain free! So therefore I'm convinced that my pain was from what I was eating.

Since my new-found pain free, gluten-free life, I have learned a lot about what goes into my body and how it makes me feel. Going gluten free has had it's ups and downs and I'm not going to lie, it's been tough at times. But, if I feel better that is was matters the most!

The biggest challenge for me thus far was my craving for white bread with peanut butter on it. I have never been a huge fan of white bread, I used to go for whole grain or whole wheat, but when it's something you know you can't have it make the cravings even worse. My mission was to find a gf bread that I didn't need to toast to taste good. But instead, one that I could take right out of the package and eat as is. Well I finally found one that I LOVE! And here it is...

Udi's Gluten-Free White Sandwich Bread...


I have also tried Udi's Gluten Free Bagels, which are amazing! One, they don't weigh 50 pounds like most of the gf brand out there and two, they taste awesome!

If anyone else out there has any gluten-free suggestions feel free to comment or email me! I would love to hear from you!

I'm going to try to be more active on this blog and post more gluten-free items on a regular basis.

Cheers for now!