Friday, October 22, 2010

GF pizza in Indy (Puccini's and Mellow Mushroom)








I love pizza!

Before I went GF, I ate pizza all the time and lots of it.

Fortunately, for both my wallet and waistline, GF pizza was hard to come by when I was first diagnosed, so I didn't eat nearly as much as I did pre-Celiac.

Unfortunately, now Puccini's and Mellow Mushroom have both decided to make delicious, GF pizza and only Brandie will keep me from becoming a ravenous pizza-hound again.

Both of these restaurants have excellent crusts and lots of delicious toppings. Puccini's has GF pasta as well, and on my next trip there, I'll have to try it out. We didn't try the salads, but I may have to try one next time, so Brandie can order herself some gluteny breadsticks. Their toppings list is amazingly huge. We ordered one pizza with hamburger and feta and the second with chorizo and jack cheese. I really enjoyed the chorizo because, at most places, the chorizo gives me terrible indigestion, but not at Puccini's.

Mellow Mushroom has massive salads and you can build your own which is good for me, since I like my salads with lettuce, cheese (mmm Feta!), and salad dressing. I got the salad because Brandie wanted the gluteny Mufuletta bread, but I wasn't expecting so much. For pizza, we ordered a Mighty Meaty and a cheese. The meat pizza was good, but the cheese pizza could have used a little more cheese (which is why next time I'm getting a pizza with multiple cheeses on it).

Puccini's and Mellow Mushroom are great pizza places, and although they are a bit expensive, it is totally worth the price.

www.mellowmushroom.com/
www.puccinissmilingteeth.com/

Udi's GF baked goods




I recently had the good fortune to find Udi's GF bagels and pizza crusts in our local Kroger store. Man, was I lucky! The bagels taste like I remember bagels tasting before I went GF. It brought back memories of eating Lender's bagels when I was a kid. Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm! We also tried the pizza crusts, and they were delicious, too. They baked up nicely, although I think the next time we get them we'll try baking them a little bit before putting the toppings on them. All in all, I love the Udi's GF products that I've tried so far, and can't wait to try more.

http://udisglutenfree.com/

Trader Joe's cookies




We recently bought a bag of Trader Joe's GF snickerdoodles, and they were really good. Essentially, they are EnjoyLife snickerdoodles in a Trader Joe's container, but that didn't meant that we didn't like them. They are delicious, and Brandie is probably going to use these cookies along with the ginger snaps to make a cheesecake crust.

Speaking of ginger snaps, these are the other new GF cookies from Trader Joe's. I like the snickerdoodles, but I LOVE the ginger snaps. Before I went GF, I wasn't a big fan of this kind of cookie, but now I am. These are probably the best ginger snaps I've ever eaten, and if I'm not careful, I'll clear a bag in less than a week.

www.traderjoes.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trader Joe’s Gorditas


Brandie and I love shopping at Trader Joe’s and seeing all the new GF goodies that they have to offer. I found these and thought I’d give them the old college try. They were pretty good. A little bland to eat by themselves, but with some salsa, cheese, and/or taco meat, they would make an excellent meal.

http://www.traderjoes.com/

Gluten Free Bisquick



The last time I had biscuits and gravy was kinda disappointing. I had just been diagnosed with Celiac, and Brandie tried to make some GF biscuits and sausage gravy. She did well with the gravy, but the biscuits left a lot to be desired. I saw a lot of buzz about the GF Bisquick on the Gluten Free Indy news group, and we just had to try it. Good job, GF Indy folks! We tried biscuits and gravy again (twice now, actually), and it was like the stuff I’d eaten BEFORE going GF. My hat’s off to Betty Crocker and her GF Bisquick. If I weren’t already married, Betty, I’d propose to you in a heartbeat.

http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/bisquick/default.aspx

Kinnikinnick GF product spotlight


Personal Pizza Crusts
These crusts were very delicious and just the right size for a single serving. Brandie was afraid that I’d eat 2 pizzas at a time (I have a large appetite sometimes), but the only time I felt hungry after eating one of these pizzas, a small salad was enough to finish off the meal. Kinnikinnick is a great company for GF products. I can’t think of anything of theirs that I’ve tried and didn’t like.
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S’moreables
My in-laws were hosting a Labor Day party, and my sister-in-law was going to bring all the makings for S’mores. I didn’t want to miss out on the fun, so I stopped by G’town Market and picked these up. Let me say that it was one of the best purchases I’ve made. These crackers are delicious and taste like I remember graham crackers tasting. They made excellent S’mores, and the leftover crackers went very well with some fudgy chocolate frosting. Mmmm mmmm!

http://www.kinnikinnick.com/

Namaste Spice Cake Mix



Brandie and I found this cake mix on sale, and we decided to try it. When we got it home to make it, Brandie noticed that there were instructions for a gingerbread variation. Man, am I glad that Brandie talked me into that. It was delicious. We made a basic glaze to drizzle on top, and my only complaint was that we didn’t put enough glaze on. The cake itself remained moist and delicious even almost a week after baking them. We’ve tried Namaste in the past and haven’t been too impressed, especially since it is a little pricey – however, this cake mix has motivated us to give Namaste another try.
http://www.namastefoods.com/

Emsa Original Traditional Beef Goulash



Brandie and I love to shop at Saraga International Market near Lafayette Square. We like to walk up and down the aisles and see all the great international foods. While we were in the frozen section, I noticed this goulash, and the Hungarian in me had to try it. I’m glad that I did. I prepared it and poured it over some brown rice. I didn’t want to stop eating it even after I’d finished the last bite. If I hadn’t been at a friend’s house while eating it, I probably would’ve licked the bowl clean. Hopefully, we can make it to Saraga again and pick up some more of this delicious meal.
I looked for Emsa’s website, but no luck. As a matter of fact, the only site I found was Eurofoodmart.com and it only listed the Emsa’s products you could buy from their site.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gluten-Free Indy

If you don't read the Indianapolis Star then you most likely missed the recent GF articles. I was donating blood yesterday at the Indiana Blood Center when to my surprise, they had the article sitting out for people to read. Go Indy Star and I kudos to all those involved.

The following is a link to one of the articles and it spotlights The Measuring Cup:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20107300309

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunstart "Free From" cookies



While we were at Jungle Jims we searched out GF products all over the store. Now I’ve heard that the incidence for CD is 1 in 100 people in Ireland; therefore we figured that the Irish section of the store would have GF products. Wouldn’t you know – we were right! Sunstart Quality Bakers had a collection of cookies available under their ‘Free From’ title. The list of cookies included:

Supreme Golden Crunch
Chocolate Chip Crunch
Ginger Golden Crunch
Chocolate-Wrapped Golden Crunch
Raspberry Golden Crunch

Tommie bought a box of the Chocolate Chip Crunch and a box of the Chocolate-Wrapped Golden Crunch. The results were wonderful!!!! These have to be the best GF boxed cookies I’ve had. I can’t decide which flavor I liked best; I would suggest trying them all if you’re a cookie fan.

Here’s the bad part – as of right now there are no distributors in Indiana. Argh!! Their website shows 7 distributors in Illinois and 7 in Ohio. So what do we do? Either go to Ohio, Illinois or ask Whole Foods and Georgetown Market to start distributing.

Check out their website: http://www.sunstartusa.com/index.htm

Research Update

Here is a link to an article that you might find intresting:

http://www.livescience.com/health/celiac-disease-gluten-peptides-100721.html

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Watch



While we were in Cincinnati we looked for places to eat breakfast and we came across First Watch. The website does have a printable gluten-free menu and I must say breakfast was tasty. I would say that they are a mix between IHOP and Le Peep. They have some more of the high scale offerings of Le Peep while having the IHOP atmosphere.

My only problem with First Watch is that the pricing was a little too high. Our breakfast cost $28 which is a little high for two college students on a budget.

So would I recommend it? Depends on what your budget is.

http://www.firstwatch.com/

Jungle Jims!!!!


I think it required to use exclamation marks behind the title of this wonderful place! When we were in Cincinnati, we decided to stop by this mammoth of a grocery store. We’ve been told for years that we should go here and we finally made the trip. One of my main reasons for going is the lack of Mediterranean food options here in the city. Of course Tommie was ready to do some GF shopping as well.


My first piece of advice is to pick up one of the maps when you first enter. When you read Jim’s website, he’ll give you crazy statistics like: 150,000 products, 1200 beer labels, 12000 wine labels, etc. You will definitely need a map to get through all he has to offer. My second piece of advice, take your time and plan for an entire day’s worth of fun. Of course – I am speaking to foodies, if you are not a foodie, then you may not enjoy this outing.




Tommie and I spent about 3 hours and that is because we had to get home, I’m sure we could have spent much more time. We loved how Jim decorated the different cultural sections; you’ll see pics of Robin Hood’s forest (noting the English section) and the Lucky Charms scene (noting the ‘American’ area). There are plenty other decorations: a tug-tug, a ship, an Elvis-style dog, etc. Did I mention the outside of the store? It looks like a theme park – note the elephant picture.


The GF selection was amazing; make sure you ‘go to’ Ireland as well because you’ll be surprised by the cookie selection. Of course I loved going to the Mediterranean, I purchased about 3 pounds of pitted kalamata olives that should keep me content for about a year or so. Speaking of olives – you have to check out the olive bar!!! It was heaven; I could live in the olive bar.

There were so many wonderful things about Jungle Jim’s and I couldn’t possibly list them all here – so make sure you check out their website: http://www.junglejims.com/

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chex chicken



So, I don’t know about you, but when new GF items join the market, Tommie gets uber excited. This was the case when Chex cereal created a GF Corn Chex. Well, Tommie actually isn’t much of a cereal eater and I found myself with a conflict:

1. eat the cereal myself (which didn’t sound too pleasing, I’m pretty picky when it comes to cereal),

2. force it down my husband’s throat (which would not be nice),

3. throw it out (this would have broken my heart, I hate food going to waste),

4. or figure out a way to use it in a meal.

So, then what to make? Chicken!!! I crushed up the Chex, added some salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. I then coated the chicken in egg, and dipped it in the Chex mix. Then I just cooked it in some veggie oil.

The result…yummy, crispy chicken.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Brandie and I really enjoy Chebe. We’ve tried all of the types (except for the cinnamon rolls), and they’re all delicious. Over the years of using Chebe, we’ve actually decided that we like the Garlic-Onion Breadstick Mix most for pizza and the Pizza Crust Mix for breadsticks, especially when you put half a stick of string cheese in the middle of the breadstick. C'est magnifique! The Focaccia Mix makes a good pizza crust, too. And the Chebe Original Bread Mix is excellent no matter what kind of cheese you add. We recently made a batch, and the only cheese we had available was Parmesan. Again, c'est magnifique! We usually buy our Chebe at Georgetown Market, they seem to offer the best prices and most deals. However, you can find Chebe at many stores now.

http://www.chebe.com/

Aurelio's Pizza


Brandie and I were heading up to Chicago to see our niece in a 4th of July parade and celebrate her birthday. I did some research and found Aurelio’s offered gluten free pizza, and there was one on the way to Chicago. We were not impressed. The crust was overdone in some spots and underdone in others, and the sauce was mediocre at best. That combined with a 6”x6” pizza for almost $8 made it my least favorite pizza ever. I wouldn’t eat there again, especially with such great GF pizzas as Monical’s, Uno’s, or Gino’s (especially the latter two since they’re all around the Chicago area). Brandie ate non-GF friendly foods: breadstick, regular pizza – and she was very disappointed as well.
And according to great sites like Gluten-Free Registry (http://www.glutenfreeregistry.com/) and Urban Spoon (http://www.urbanspoon.com/), there are a growing number of restaurants offering gluten free pizza in and around Chicago. I hope to make more trips to Chicago to try them out…
Oh, and visit my sister and her family, too.

http://www.aureliospizza.com/

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AJ Creations


Brandie found this bakery online and since we were going to be in Covington, KY to check 0ut the Mainstrasse tour, we ought to check out this place. AJ Creations was worth the trip over the river from Cincinnati alone. When we approached the shop, I had a little trouble opening the door (I swore it was closed b/c I pushed and didn't try pulling, or vice versa). The trouble was worth it too. We walked in and the place smelled wonderful, and they had a case full of goodies. We bought a caramel brownie, a cherry scone, a piece of coffee cake, and a loaf of bread.

Although I did not like the scone (I'm not a big fan of them anyway), Brandie did, and everything else was very delicious. We originally bought the brownie for me, but after I gave Brandie a taste (big mistake), we ended up sharing it. The coffee cake was very good, too. I did not expect the raisins (I think), but they were an excellent addition. And the bread was fantastic. We bought the loaf so I could make breakfast sandwiches at the hotel the next day, because we had a tight schedule and no time to stop for breakfast. The bread was very good, even though I could only use the microwave at the hotel since I'm sure the toaster was full of gluten crumbs. Since I've brought it home, and can use my own toaster on it, it is even better.
All in all, Brandie and I were uber-impressed with AJ Creations. I hope to make it to Cincinnati again sometime soon, and across the river to Covington for more GF deliciousness.

http://ajcreationsonline.com/Welcome.html

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rusty Bucket




A new restaurant has opened in Indy, off of 86th and Ditch. When we found out that they had a GF menu, naturally we wanted to eat there. When we found out there was one in Cincinnati (where we just spent a week on vacay) it seem fated that we should eat there. If we liked it, then that meant there was a new GF restaurant at home to go to.

So how was it? Initially I wasn’t too impressed because the GF menu seemed small. However, it was A-MAZ-ING!!! The atmosphere resembles that of a sports bar, but a little more calm and laid back. The waitress was fantastic and she was very knowledgeable about the GF options. She had even eaten some of the GF offerings (even though she isn’t GF) and was very helpful.

We started off with the Double Stacked Quesadilla and let me tell you – YUMMY!!! Tommie is not a fan of the guacamole, but I am and it was delicious. I might have to make this appetizer my main entrĂ©e next time. Then Tommie ordered the Grilled BBQ Chicken with Mashers and Skillet Beans.

He liked the chicken, loved the mashers (mashed potatoes), and thought the skillet beans were pretty good. The skillet beans are green beans that are cooked with red bell peppers and bacon.

I had the Reuben, which wasn’t GF, but just to add – they had thee best corned beef that I’ve ever eaten! It wasn’t the best Reuben (I hold that honor for my mother),but this was definitely a close 2nd.

Overall, we will definitely be going again and we highly recommend it to everyone.

http://www.myrustybucket.com/default.aspx

Holiday World and Splashin' Safari




You would think that since I grew up Indy, I would have been to Holiday World by now. However, I find myself 27 and wondering what Holiday World is like. So, Tommie and I decided to head down south for vacation this year and check it out. While we were researching Holiday World it was exciting to see that they had GF options for Tommie.

For lunch he had a GF Double Tarzan burger (basically a double cheeseburger with Kinnikinick bread), a baked potato, and Enjoy Life snickerdoodle cookies. His lunch cost a little over $6.00. You just can’t beat that – great price and a good size lunch. Later on, before we left we had some ice cream (of course that shouldn’t shock you if you read my ice cream review).

Basic overview of the park: we spent most of the day in the water park and had a great time. They have free parking, free soft drinks and water, and free sunscreen. The park was very clean and the staff was nice. Make sure you take cash, because you'll need it if you decide to rent a locker. Also, make sure you wear water shoes or flip flops when running around the water park (your feet will thank you). We don’t have children and therefore most of the non-water attractions didn’t really pertain to us. I would say that overall, it is a great place to take a family and a good deal for the price.

http://www.holidayworld.com/

Ice cream in Cincinnati




Understand that when I say that I love ice cream, I really love ice cream. I could probably eat ice cream everyday and never get tired of it. Dairy Queen, Coldstone, Baskin Robbins, Ritters,..I’ve tried them all. Edy's, Breyers, Kroger,…tried all of the store-bought brands also. So, when we go on vacation – I find it my personal duty to search out new and exciting ice cream experiences. Ohio had plenty of options and here are 3 that I particularly enjoyed.

Dojo Gelato
This was my absolute favorite!!!! Gelato is like ice cream’s creamier more flavorful Italian cousin. It was so good and had so many options that I couldn’t select one flavor, so I decided not to limit myself. I tried ‘pomegranate sorbeto’, ‘raspberry goat cheese’, and ‘orange blossom pistachio’. Tommie tried ‘sea salt caramel’ and ‘Mexican vanilla’. I could have seriously sat there and eaten this gelato all day long. The price was right also, we tried 5 flavors and the bill came out to just above $8.00. So where can you find Dojo? Findlay Market. Here are the links for both Dojo Gelato and Findlay Market:
http://www.dojogelato.com/
http://www.findlaymarket.org/

Graeter’s
Tommie and I had a great opportunity to take a night hike at the Cincinnati Zoo while we were in Ohio and we met some great people on the hike. A wonderful local couple told us we had to get some Graeter’s before we headed back home. They suggested that we try one of the ‘chip’ ice creams because the chips were humongous. I had ‘peanut butter chip’ and ‘toffee chip’. Tommie had caramel and vanilla w/ chocolate sprinkles. I gotta say, the couple didn’t lie – those chips were crazy big. Tommie and I were definitely satisfied and Tommie was hoping that we could make a second trip before we left. If you go to their website, you can find local stores here in Indy that sell the yummy ice cream.
http://www.graeters.com/

UDF: United Dairy Farmers
Eating GF at the Cincinnati Zoo is pretty much impossible, unless you take your own food. However, they did have ice cream. It was pretty darn hot the day we went and Tommie and I spent around 9 and half hours at the zoo so our snacks only lasted for so long. We decided that we just had to get some ice cream to hold us over till dinner. When we headed over to the ice cream shop I noticed that the brand was called ‘UDF’ and I had never heard of it. Then I saw a sign labeled ‘United Dairy Farmers’. Tommie and I both got vanilla and I gotta say – pretty good.
http://www.udfinc.com/

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fogo de Chao




Tommie and I decided to start off our vacay with lunch at Fogo de Chao. We had heard many a great reviews from co-workers and friends and so we had to try it out. So what did we think...it was pretty good. I would definitely make a reservation (which you can do online at their website). The place was pretty empty when we first arrived, but we went early and by the time we left it was pretty busy.



The first course is a salad bar - which I thought was pretty great. Tommie enjoyed it a little, he was mainly there for the rolls (which are GF) and the meat. The salad bar has everything from fresh mozzarella to hearts of palm to prosciutto. Then comes sides and meat. You have an unlimited supply of polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, and grilled bananas. I must say, the polenta was one of my favorites and the potatoes were fantastic (this coming from a girl who isn't too crazy about potatoes). They will also start bringing out baskets of warm bread. Then the meat...and more meat...and more meat. Actually, there are 15 types of meat! Basically, you get these little cardboard wafers with one green side and one red side. When you're ready for meat, just turn the card to green, when you need a break, turn it to red.



We didn't have room for dessert, but the waitress told us their papaya cream actually broke down protein and would make us feel less stuffed. I don't know if this is true or if it has a 'placebo effect' but the cream was excellent and we managed to make room.



Overall, it was a good experience, and I'm glad we went. That being said, it was expensive (we paid $90 for lunch, that was with a $16 tip). I'm not sure we would go again, but it was fun.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chili's

Brandie and I decided to go to Chili's because they were having a benefit for a friend of hers who was recently paralyzed. I printed off the GF menu from their website, and was looking forward to a good meal. I toasted some bread, because I was going to get a burger, and I love dipping their burgers in the honey mustard sauce they have. I started off with the Chicken and Green Chili soup, and was not overly impressed. It had big pieces of avocado (of which I'm not a fan), and the flavor was kind of like regular chicken soup. I was expecting a little heat and/or pizzazz, but nothing doing. The burger and loaded mashed potatoes were excellent, and I'm looking forward to hitting up Chili's again for those. I would not order the soup again, though.

Papa Roux Cajun restaurant

I role-play with some friends on the Eastside of Indy, and one night they decided that they wanted Papa Roux. I was afraid at first that, since it's Cajun food, it would have wheat in everything. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the menu, and they had GF options listed. I was sold; I really like Cajun food before I went GF, and I've been looking to find some non-gluten-y Cajun ever since. I got the Red Beans & Rice with Cajun Chicken, and it was delicious. You can ask my friends: I barely came up for breath between bites, it was so good. I recommend that if you find yourself on the Eastside and/or are looking for good GF Cajun food, check out Papa Roux at 10th and Post.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A new family member : baby Audrey

I know this doesn't pertain to 'gluten-free', but it pertains to our family. Tommie and I welcomed a new member to our family on Tuesday: baby Audrey Colette. She is absolutely beautiful and I wanted to share pics. We now have 5 beautiful nieces, sometimes I think we are the luckiest aunt and uncle in the world.

Review: Kinnikinnick KinniKritters (animal crackers)

Some of Brandie’s friends at work were having a dinner party, and I needed to bring something GF to eat for dessert. I saw that Georgetown Market had their Kinnikinnick animal crackers on sale, and since it had been so long since I’d tried them the first time, I figured I’d get a box for the party. After dinner, we broke the box open, and I’d forgotten how good they were. Even the other guests were grabbing handfuls of them and eating them, not knowing that they were GF, and they all thought they were delicious. I really like these cookies even though they are a little too sugary-sweet for my tastes. They go great with a tall glass of ice-cold milk.


Brandie here - I have to say these cookies ROCK!!! I'm not too sure about buying them on a regular basis because I will honestly eat an entire box by myself. Everyone at the dinner party loved them and were amazed at how good they were. We bought them for $3.99 on sale and I can't remember what the normal price. However, you can buy them at Georgetown Market and if you use your frequent customer card then you'll rack up points. Ah, thats a beautiful sound - Georgetown Market and KinniKritters in the same sentence.

http://consumer.kinnikinnick.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/consumer.home.html

Review: Dr. Lucy's Gluten Free Cookies

As I was reading Living Without magazine a couple of weeks ago, I saw an ad for Dr. Lucy’s cookies that said they were being sold at Whole Foods and Starbucks now. I checked at the local Whole Foods when we went shopping there once, but I didn’t see them. I figured that I’d have to find them there, because I almost never go to Starbucks. Oddly enough, Brandie had a meeting at Starbucks for a charity event that she was volunteering for, and she asked me to come along. As I was ordering Brandie’s and my drinks, I remembered the ad, and started looking for the Dr. Lucy’s. I found the chocolate chip cookies and bought myself a bag. They were very good. They reminded me of Chips Ahoy cookies from my pre-GF days. Now, while I was not a fan of Chips Ahoy when I could eat them, finding a cookie that tastes good, is GF, and decently priced, as the Dr. Lucy’s were, I have to give them a thumbs up. I got 4 or 5 average-sized cookies for a little under $2 (before tax), at Starbucks, which makes these cookies not only GF, but also relatively inexpensive and widely available.
-Tommie

Review: Nathan's Hot Dogs


I was born in the Bronx and we visited my family near there on a regular basis. Occasionally, we got to eat at a Nathan’s hot dog stand growing up, and it was such a great part of being out east. Then they started selling Nathan’s hot dogs by the package here in Indiana, and it was great. Then I got diagnosed with Celiac, and since Nathan’s hot dogs weren’t gluten-free, that was bad. Now, Nathan’s are gluten-free, and it’s great again. I didn’t realize how much I missed those hot dogs until Brandie noticed that they were gluten-free at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. We bought a package, and they are delicious. It’s like reliving my childhood while knowing that I won’t have to go through puberty again; the best of both worlds.

We bought our Nathan's at Walmart, but I'm sure you can get them at other local Indy stores.

-Tommie

Review: Isabella's Best Baked Goods

We found these cookies at Georgetown Market, and figured that we’d try them out for the blog. They didn’t last a week, and Brandie only got to eat one or two of them. These were some of the best GF cookies I’ve ever eaten. I like oatmeal cookies and I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, so I thought, at best, I’d like them, but I was wrong. The only chocolate chip cookies that I like more than these are the homemade ones that Brandie and my sister, Kristen, make. I was checking their website, and they make Not-so-Peanut Butter cookies, too, but I will not be trying those, as I have a strong aversion to peanut butter.

Where to buy: Georgetown Market
Price: $4.49

P.S. - Don't forget that at Georgetown Market you can get a frequent customer and earn rewards for every dollar you spend. We just received an $11 gift reward to use at the store!


-Tommie

Review: Carrabba's Italian Grill

We went to Carrabba’s on Saturday night for an early Mother’s Day celebration with my mom. I downloaded the gluten-free menu the day before, and decided that I was going to get the Pollo Rosa Maria if I could get it with Marinara sauce instead of the mushroom and lemon butter sauce. When we arrived, the server was very helpful with my sister (she's GF also) and my orders, making sure to indicate that they were to be gluten-free. He spoke with the kitchen staff to make sure that the Marinara was safe, and that they could replace the Pollo Rosa Maria’s usual sauce with the Marinara. My sister, Kristen, and I both had that with garlic mashed potatoes and Mama Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup (without pasta).

It was delicious. I don’t get to eat at Carrabba’s very often, and I slightly prefer Maggiano’s since they have a gluten-free pasta available, but I will definitely be looking forward to the next time we have a family outing at Carraba’s.

Overall, I give Carrabbas 4 out of 5 stars - they'll earn 5 out of 5 when they add some GF pasta to the menu.

http://www.carrabbas.com/ restaurant site
http://www.carrabbas.com/menu/pdf/GFmenu.pdf GF menu

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Review: Trader Joe's frozen pancakes


I really like these pancakes. I must admit that I enjoy taste and texture of the pancakes that Brandie makes with the Trader Joe’s Pancake Mix more, but the convenience of just popping these bad boys in the toaster straight from the box more than makes up for it.

Review: Trader Joe's frozen waffles


I love Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Waffles. The taste and texture remind me of my memories of Eggo Waffles. Every weekday morning, I eat a waffle with a piece of sausage and cheese. I occasionally eat these with some homemade syrup (from I guy that I work with), and they don’t get all soggy, even though I use a lot (I mean, a LOT) of syrup on them. As an added bonus for our casein-free friends out there, these waffles are Dairy-free too.

Another great thing - they're pretty cheap = $1.99 a box. They do sell out quite a bit so stock up while you can.



Review: Castle Wood deli meats and cheeses


Brandie and I found the Turkey Pastrami at Sam’s Club, and I decided to try it to save some money on my lunch “bill”. I went into it expecting something halfway decent, but it ended up being so much more. It’s some of the best pastrami that I’ve ever eaten. We’ve also tried the Provolone and Colby Jack cheeses, and they are great too; almost too great, in fact. I kept using the provolone to make pizzas, and I’ve been using the Colby jack to make quesadillas. I’ve been going through these “wholesale-club” sized cheese packages a little too quickly for Brandie’s liking. They have a wide range of meats and cheeses including Roast Beef, Ham and Turkey of various types, Swiss, Pepper Jack and Cheddar cheeses.

Before I was introduced to the turkey pastrami - I would make a 'balovalone' which was provolone and bologna - ah my humor, it is wonderful.


Review: Georgetown Market Snickerdoodle cookies


These cookies are awesome. You can’t beat getting a delicious cookie about 4 or 5 inches wide (the cookies never make it home to be measured properly) for only a $1.75. Every time we go to G’town Market to pick up bread, I always sneak in a cookie. Sometimes, I’ll make up a reason to go to stop by G’town like: “We’re going to be in near Georgetown today, can we stop by for a Snickerdoodle on the way home.” Granted, even if we’re on the other side of town, we’re always close enough to G’town for a cookie.

Review: Monical's GF pizza


Friends of ours ate at Monical’s over a year ago, and told us that there was a sign on the table stating that they offered gluten-free pizza. As soon as I heard this, I began begging Brandie for us to go and try it out. When she finally got tired of hearing me complain, we went, and I couldn’t have been happier. Not only was it nice to be able to drive down the street to get a gluten free crust (Donato’s No-Dough just wasn’t cutting it anymore), it was really good. We told the server that we wanted a gluten-free pizza, and they knew all about it. I turned my sister onto Monical’s GF pizza when she came to visit from Chicago, and she really enjoyed it too.
Monical's does deliver (you can even order online)and a little hint: the Monical's in Avon charges less for the GF pizza then the Zionsville restaurant.

Review: Think Thin Bites - Cookies 'n Cream


Brandie introduced the Think Thin Bars earlier, and recently we found these “Bites” at our local Trader Joe’s. I was buying the bars to keep in my lunch box, as an emergency snack should I feel a little light-headed from not eating for a while. The bars were a little too much for the period of time that I sometimes go without eating, but the bites are the perfect size. I can eat a bite on the bus home from work and not feel too full to eat dinner a hour or two later. These bites also come in a Peanut Butter flavor, but I have not tried those, as I do not like peanut butter.

http://www.thinkproducts.com/bites-bars.php

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gorilla Munch at Aldi's

Tommie and I were shopping at Aldi's (just south of 71st & Michigan) and to our surprise they were selling Gorilla Munch!!!

How much: $2.49/box (lower then the usual)
Where: I'm not sure which Aldi's well be selling the cereal
When: Until supplies last -so get 'em while you can