Thursday, November 3, 2011

Continue the blog?

After much thought Tommie and I are trying to decide whether or not to continue the blog. I am not sure how much people this is actually reaching and with all of the information out there nowadays, this may be a little out dated. We will make our final decision within about a week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Georgetown Market: Gluten-Free Friday

November 11th


GLUTEN-FREE FRIDAY



4375 Georgetown Road
Indianapolis, IN 46254
317-293-9525


STORE HOURS
Mon-Sat
9am to 8pm
Sun
11am to 5pm

Gluten Free Dreams Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

This product is brought to you by the folks at Cherrybrook Kitchen. I found these on clearance and decided to buy them (a - they were on clearance, and b- we had never tried them before). I haven't tried too many Cherrybrook products. I'm not sure why, just haven't. They're readily available, you can buy them at most places (Target stands out in my mind).

These little guys were quite good; little crunchy bites of heaven. They make for a great snack, thrown into a lunch box or on the go. I'm not sure I would recommend them, mainly because I don't know what the going price is for them off of clearance.

Check out their website, this company offers many gluten-free products.

BeeFree Gluten-Free Bakery

About a month ago I was checking out at Georgetown Market and I noticed a gluten-free cookie for sale up at the register. I always stop by the deli on the way out to pick up cookies (if you're not gluten-free, then they're vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is yummy), especially since Tommie is addicted to their GF snickerdoodle cookies.

Anywho, at the register was one cookie left, a BeeFree GF Cowboy Cookie. I asked the cashiers if they had eaten any and they responded with a no, apparently the cookies were selling so fast, the employees hadn't had a chance to try them. I then had to make a decision, leave the cookie, knowing the cashiers were going to eat it or buy it and let Tommie eat it. Well, I figured that since those wonderful ladies are always at the store, they could get their own. :)

When Tommie got home that night I explained I bought him a cookie and that I wasn't sure what was in it but that I was positive there was no peanut butter or coconut (two ingredients you won't find in his vocabulary). He looked at me, one eyebrow about to explode off of his forehead, "this is vegan...you expect me to eat a vegan cookie?" In Tommie's head, he equates vegan with cardboard and tasteless. I just smiled, "if you don't eat it, I will". He cautiously took a bite and then smiled. "Dang, that's a good cookie." The questions then followed: who is BeeFree, are they local, did they have other cookies? I had no answers for him. Therefore when we saw them at the Gluten Free Living Now Expo we were ecstatic.

Come to find out, they are local and not only do they have other cookies, they have breads and pizza dough. Their booth was eye catching and they had samples of everything to try: Let it Be...John Lemon cake, Vegan Cowboy cookies, snickerdoodles, and even chocolate crinkle cookies. By this time I was absolutely stuffed, but Tommie is a food soldier - I believe he ate one of everything at the booth. We were sold, these products are amazing. I even mustered up enough gastric space to try the Let it Be...John Lemon cake and I am glad I did. It was delicious!

So where can you buy these products? Well I've already mentioned that Georgetown Market offers their goods. Here are some other places you can purchase their yummies:
-Green BEAN Delivery
-BluMoon Cafe
-Chuck and Birds
-Goose the Market
-Pogue's Run Grocer
-Natural Born Juicers
-Indy Winter Farmer's Market

I want to say that they're also going to be selling through Nature's Pharm, but I'm not 100% sure on that so call before you go.

Enjoy!

Mrs. Glee's Gluten Free Foods



I had not heard of Mrs. Glee's before the Gluten Free Living Now Expo. They were at the opposite end of the exhibit hall than we start on so naturally we were stuffed and a little less focused on the products. However, the nice gentleman at the booth did a great job of educating us about the company and their products.


This is another company located in Michigan, but you can purchase their products on line.


These products are decently priced and they are delicious. Using their rigatoni, they created a pasta salad that was wonderful. Also, they had brownies and oatmeal scotties to try. Now these samples got lost at the bottom of our bag and were not found for at least three days. I was saddened when we did find them because I just knew they were going to be dry and tasteless. Boy was I wrong! The brownie was moist and gooey. And the oatmeal scotty, well...I was ready to get in the car and drive to Michigan to pick up more. That is when I remembered that you could order on line!!!!


Check out their website, they've got a great thing going. These were absolutely the best oatmeal scotties I've ever had.


Side note: I wanted to express my delight (again) about the Gluten Free Living Now Expo. This event was above and beyond anything we had hoped. The organizers did an absolutely tremendous job in arranging fabulous companies and groups. Indianapolis has one of the best gluten-free communities I've seen, if not the best. Companies like Mrs. Glee's, and the others we have mentioned are just testament to the high quality of work put into the expo.

Bob's Red Mill

Another company that had a great showing at the expo this year was Bob's Red Mill. I was particularly amazed at how many gluten-free products they offered:


79


That is AWESOME!!!!


I also found their information very useful. They offered a flyer that explained how much xantham gum should be used for gluten-free baking:


cookies: 1/4 tsp per cup of flour

cakes and pancakes: 1/2 tsp per cup of flour

muffins and quick breads: 3/4 tsp per cup of flour

breads: 1 to 1 1/2 tsp per cup of flour

pizza dough: 2 tsp per cup of flour


They were also handing out samples of their GF Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. I will let you know what Tommie thinks. I really enjoy Bob's products; they're tasty, easy to work with, and reasonably priced. Bob has been a staple of the gluten-free baker's pantry for years and we always keep their products around.


You can find Bob's Red Mill at almost all grocery stores so pick some up, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mim's Kitchen

The first thing that caught my eye about this booth at the Gluten Free Living Now Expo; the advertising. I can't tell you what name brand 'gluteny' company Mim's advertising reminds me of, but it reminds me of one of those big companies. So much so that I looked at Tommie and said, "hey what is that company - I can't believe they've actually made a gluten-free cookie". He of course was picking up what I was putting down and we headed straight to the booth. Even though he and I were on the same wavelength, that thought didn't carry much weight - we were both wrong.

Mim's is not Toll House or Nestle, or any other big company. It is a mom (or a 'Mim' in this case) who wanted a better cookie for herself and her family. In pursuit for that cookie, she has made a wonderful discovery. Mim's product is a frozen preformed dough, you simply pop it in the oven and you're done!!!!

This is crazy, I never thought we'd see this day. I remember when Tommie was diagnosed (yes yes, he had to walk up hill in the snow both ways) and there wasn't anything like this. We had to mix flours and starches just to get an 'ok' loaf of bread and forget cookies - they weren't even a priority. Things have been getting better, we can eat out a lot more and grocery shopping is quick and mostly painless. And now...well now, we can simply pop in Mim's cookies and await that scent of yumminess. Did I mention they taste wonderful?? Oh yes, they're quite delicious and the texture is fabulous. I would argue that if I served these at a party, no one would know they were gluten-free.

So hats off to Mim, bravo!!! Her cookies come in six great flavors (sugar is the best, but I'm bias): chocolate chocolate chip, sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, and ginger.

Now Mim's Kitchen is located in Indiana, PA, but there are a few stores in Indiana that offer her products. Check out her website for more details.

Bittersweet Bakery

As we continue to unload the massive bag of swag we were given at the Gluten Free Living Now Expo, I was reminded that we need to start posting. So I shall begin with the Bittersweet Bakery.

Let me start off with the bad news,...they're located in Eagan, MN. However, it is my understanding that they're looking to break through the Indianapolis market. If that is true, I'm sure Nature's Pharm will be one of the first stores to offer the product.

Sidenote: Nature's Pharm has done an AMAZING job of supplying gluten-free products at reasonable prices. They make Castleton worth the drive.

Anywho...their gingersnap cookies are DEVINE!!!! Therefore I don't feel bad at all when I confess that I ate both of the gingersnaps Tommie and I were given. I know, I know, I'm a terrible wife. We did a great job of 'trick-or-treating' (you know, "I'll trade you a chocolate chip cookie for a gingersnap") and sharing the goods with each other. However, after I ate the first gingersnap, I cautiously grabbed the other one and snuck it under my pile of treats. If it makes you feel better, I couldn't handle the guilt and I told him (after I ate the second cookie).

I am very excited to see if this company starts offering mail order options or if they can break through the market here. I will be first in line to try their long list of other options (pizza crust, cupcakes, etc.). This is a product, that regardless of the gluten-free aspect, I would still buy for me. That is rare. Usually if I am hungry and want something, I eat the gluteny version (mainly because it is for me and not Tommie, the gluten-free one). That being said, this product beats out all other competitors, gluteny or not.

Curly's sauceless pulled chicken

I really enjoyed this product. I was looking forward to mixing in some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce to see how it turned out. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any in the house. I was panicking since I’d put the chicken in the microwave already. That’s when I noticed the jar of salsa in the fridge. I mixed some in, and came out with excellent Enchilada Chicken, as I called it. It tasted like the chicken filling you get at a Mexican restaurant in their burritos or enchiladas. I would like to try this product again, only this time with BBQ sauce. Of course, if all we have is salsa, that’s OK, too.
We found this product at both Kroger and Walmart (in the meat section).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Glow

I was at Angelo's the other day and there they were, right as I entered. An entire display of glow gluten-free cookies.

glow? What is glow? I have never heard of this brand before. The two types they had were chocolate chip and gingersnap. They were only $1 a box so of course I bought one of each. I must admit that these cookies sat in the pantry for a couple of days, mainly because I had purchased a lot of GF items that day (Tommie was overwhelmed), and two probably because we were unsure of what they were going to taste like.

We first cracked open the chocolate chip. They were okay, kind of had a weird after-taste. Of course Tommie liked them and over the next week proceeded to finish off the box. Then on to the gingersnaps. Okay people, you have to LOVE ginger to enjoy these. I am sensitive to ginger and I felt like my someone had just smeared fresh ginger all over my tongue. Again, Tommie liked them and finished off the box by himself.

So there you have it, 50-50. This household is split down the middle as to whether or not the cookies taste okay. That being said, when it comes to gluten-free, Tommie is the person that matters when food is concerned. If he doesn't like it then there is no point in buying it.

This company does have some great mottoes and ethics, I would check out their page and see what else they have to offer. It is definitely worth trying.

Enjoy Life: Crunchy chocolate chip cookies


We have enjoyed Enjoy Life (forgive the alliteration) products ever since Tommie was diagnosed in 2005. Over the years their products have gotten increasingly better, but I must say that the best product so far has to be their crunchy chocolate chip cookies.

I am not much a 'crunchy' cookie gal - I like my cookies gooey or soft. Therefore, when I found these cookies at Angelo's, I bought them for Tommie - not me. When he sat down to eat some I took a cookie thinking "well, it's for the blog". (Insert smile here). Can I tell you that this cookie was A-MAZ-ING?!!!! Needless to say I told Tommie he was going to have to put up the cookies, hide them, and never let me know where they were.

The flavor is fantastic and the texture is wonderful. I would bet some wealthy person's money that if you passed these out at any event, no one would suspect they were gluten-free. They are absolutely wonderful.

Next time you're walking through the GF aisle and you're wondering what sweet treat to buy, stop and place your hands on a box of these yummy cookies and you'll be a happier person for doing so.

Jason's Deli

Tommie and I ate at Jason's Deli a while ago and even though we did a review then, I don't think we did justice to the experience. When we were there, the area was still under construction (we went to the deli up at Keystone) but it was very easy to enter.

Tommie ordered the pollo mexicano AND half a sandwich with warm corn beef and Swiss on Udi's bread. He didn't realize how big the meal was going to be and I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head when the staff delivered our meal.

Here is a quick list of pro's to eating at Jason's:
-family friendly (did I mention the free ice cream?)
-helpful service
-antibiotic free chicken
-potato was better than McAllister's and he was also able to have an option to get a sandwich
-servings are huge
-Tommie's said the corn beef was better than Shapiro's!!!
-beef isn't processed, brought to the store on the bone and sliced in house
-salad bar looked amazing (so did the Beefeater, a huge sandwich that I might get next time)
-prices are reasonable
-have vegetarian options

Only a few suggestions, expect a lot of foot traffic when you get there. The place was packed!!! Ask them to toast the Udi's bread, otherwise your sandwich will turn into meat and cheese with breadcrumbs.

Other than that- great restaurant. It is nice to eat at a deli with my husband and know that he is not having to settle. Go Jason's!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

96th St Steakburgers

A couple of weeks ago, I saw on the Gluten Free Indy listserv that 96th Street Steakburgers was offering Udi’s GF buns. I begged and pleaded with Brandie to try it out, and she finally relented. I got a triple steakburger with just cheese on a Udi’s bun, with a large fries and drink. It was awesome. It was like getting all the deliciousness of a Steak ‘n’ Shake burger (on a bun, no less) with Penn Station or 5 Guys fries. I absolutely loved it. Brandie was not as pleased with the French fries, but she does not love potatoes like I love potatoes. It wasn’t too badly priced either. I will have to convince Brandie to head over to the Northeast Indy/Carmel area more often, so we can be near 96th Street Steakburgers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

GF Expo in Carmel

Just wanted to remind everyone that the 'Gluten Free Living Now' Expo is coming up:



October 7-9, 2011 10a-5pm


The Fountains


502 Carmel Drive


Carmel, IN 46032

Admission is free, but they would like for people to RSVP (which you can do on their website, see link below). Ticket purchase is required for lectures and speakers include:
-Dr. Fasano of CFCR
-Alice Blast from NFCA
-Mrs. Alaska 2011
-Pam Cureton, RD, LDN, CFCR
-Dr. Vikki and Rick Petersen, DC, CCN

This should be very exciting, hope everyone can attend.
http://www.glutenfreelivingnow.org/Gluten_Free_Living_EXPO.html

Jovial Foods: Inherently Good

Another one of our finds at Angelo's was jovial cookies. Now I purchased these cookies in Tommie's absence but figured since we're both willing to try new things that we better give this brand a shot. There were two types of cookie at the store: chocolate cream filled and fig fruit filled. Now I should have purchased both, but I knew that Tommie would like the chocolate and not the fig. Of course, I love fig and if I get the chance to purchase them I will do so and let you know how it goes.

We decided to try the cookies before doing any research on the company. The box was quite informative: the product was organic, and a product of Italy. The company's catch phrase is 'inherently good' and so we were ready to taste. The cookies come two to a package, which I loved because they were already portioned and it would be easy to just through a package in a lunchbox or bag. The outside of the cookies are crispy and yummy, but then the best part is the middle - chocolate fudge!!!! Now I absolutely loved these cookies! Tommie however was a little less impressed. There is somewhat of a coffee taste and he despises coffee flat out. Of course I had no problem finishing the small box over the next month.

Now to the company: they want to revive ancient grains and entrust this to local farmers. Their company is much bigger than just gluten-free, but to my surprise their website hosts a lot of gluten-free content. The website is very user-friendly, clean, and makes me want to run downstairs and cook up some pasta. As I was reading through the website I became a little depressed, afraid that I would not find any local vendors, but alas, the Indy and Carmel gluten-free distributors are coming through. You can find jovial products at the following stores:

-Georgetown Market
4375 Georgetown Rd Indianapolis , IN 46254
317-293-9525

-The Fresh Market
5415 N. College Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46220
317.259.9270

-Whole Foods Market
14598 Clay Terrace Blvd Carmel, IN 46032
317-569-1517

-The Fresh Market
2490 East 146th Street Carmel, IN 46033
317.815.1970

-Nature's Pharm: Indianapolis
8215 US Highway 31 South Indianapolis, IN 46227
317-888-0557

I would highly suggest trying the cookies and you better believe that I will be hunting down some of their other gluten-free products!!! I am so excited. http://www.jovialfoods.com/

Angelo's

My grandmother and sister have been telling me of this store called Angelo's for a while now. "Oh they have the best deals, and there are so many gluten-free products." Grandma would buy Tommie some Mrs. Leepers and then some cookies. And slowly we realized that perhaps we should check out the store. One day I ventured to Angelo's with my grandmother and sister to see what all this commotion was about.

When first pulling up to the store, located at College and Georgia, the building didn't seem too impressive and rather small. My grandmother then threw a curve ball, "I hope you brought cash or a checkbook, they don't take debit or credit". Tommie and I are terrible at carrying cash or checks. We pay for everything with our bank card (we like it that way, it goes right out of our checking account and we get points). Luckily I had my checkbook with me and I was ready to shop.

Right as I walked in the door I was surprised by all of the Whole Foods and various brands that we normally pay a good amount of money for. What were they doing here? Why were they so cheap? Why I am standing here and not getting a cart?

Angelo's is a salvage and surplus store and therefore can turn around and sell these products at much lower prices than originally marked. Now that being said, some of the boxes are a little damaged and I wouldn't necessarily buy a box of crackers. There are guidelines they have to follow as to the quality of the products and whether or not they can be sold. There is a freezer section, Tommie and I have not purchased anything mainly because nothing really caught our eyes but my grandmother has and has no complaints about the food.

So what kind of gluten-free products have I found?
-Annie's GF macaroni
-GF Hamburger Helper
-365 (Whole Foods) bread mixes
-Glow
-Think Thin
-Glutino
-Mrs. Leepers
-Lundberg
-Snikkidy
-Enjoy Life
-Jovial
-Bob's Red Mill
-Ian's
-Schar
-Kinnikinnick

Just to mention some off the top of my head. The deals are amazing and there are products that aren't normally found in our regional market - which is AWESOME. Here is the thing about Angelo's: they have tons more gluten-free (and I've just been told, organic) products, they just can't bring them in until they sell what they have. Now Tommie and I have made them a mainstay of our monthly grocery shopping but we wanted to make sure everyone in Indy knew where they were and to check them out if you get a chance. It will be worth your time, promise.

Angelo's does not have a website so here is their information:
Tony Sund & Jenny Jones
201 S. College Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-634-6552
Fax: 317-264-3580
Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00
Saturday 8:00-2:00

Schar lady finger cookies

When sitting down to write this entry I reminded of the Meijer commercial in which a little girl is asked to eat a name brand spinach and she reacts by making a sour face and saying 'yuck'. She is then given a store brand mouthful of spinach and to our amazement she has the same reaction. Well, folks, that is my response to Schar lady fingers.

I must admit that I am not a fan of lady fingers, gluteny or not. I wouldn't pay for them, heck I wouldn't even eat them if they were free and baked by a close friend. I would even argue that if on a deserted island and they were my last means of food, I would try to catch fish before succumbing to the anguish that is lady fingers.

That being said, when Tommie saw Schar lady fingers at Angelo's he really wanted to try them; mainly because he had never had a lady finger. So, of course we bought a box. When he opened them he offered me a bite and so I tried a piece. I know, I know, you're wondering after all of that complaining I did in paragraph two why in the world I would try a lady finger. Well folks, one of two things happens when you try food. 1 - you take a bite and you like it. 2 - you take a bite and you don't like it. Either way, the whole experience is usually over with in a couple of seconds and you know at least know your feelings on a certain item.

So my reaction was much akin to the girl in the Meijer commercial. I looked at Tommie and with a somewhat sour face stated, "yep - taste like a lady finger". That is the best I can do for you with this one. They look, feel, and taste like a lady finger. Perhaps a little bit spongier so if you're going to make tiramisu or some kind of layered mouse or fluff dessert I wouldn't soak them as long, but other then that - they're pretty darn close to the real thing.

Here is the real kicker - if you do like lady fingers and want to buy this product - I'm not sure where you could get it. The Indianapolis market doesn't have a lot of Schar products and because Angelo's market reaches much farther than our own, that is where they found it. You could always call up Angelo's and see if they have more in stock and of course there is the Schar website which can give you answers on locations nearest you: www.schar.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hey there...

So summer has been busy. I started a new job downtown at University Hospital, we drove through the south (about 3500 miles), Tommie was in summer school and now we've settled in to somewhat of a 'fall semester' routine.

Now that I only have work (school is done for at least 2-3 more years!!! woo hoo!!), I am trying to rekindle relationships with all of my hobbies. I have quite a few posts coming down the pipeline and hopefully they'll be interesting. Look for some of them to start appearing within the week.

Hope all are well, healthy, and happy.

Brandie & Tommie

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Willy O's Pizza

Tommie and I were in the Grand Rapids area recently to visit family. We stopped by Marie Catrib's (see earlier posts for review), but the restaurant was packed and the wait was at least an hour. Sadly, we had to find somewhere else to eat. To make things easy for everyone, we ate at Chili's. Tommie was a little sad because he always likes to eat somewhere we can't find back home. Well, luckily we happened to stop for gas in South Haven, Michigan and he remembered that there was a GF pizza restaurant in the town.

The employee at the gas station knew the place when asked and was happy to inform us that we were just 2 minutes from the restaurant known as Willy O's.

When we first arrived to the tiny restaurant I was sure that this was going to be another 'frozen GF' crust that was mediocre at best. Wow!! How very wrong I was. First things first, order your food. We ordered some bean and cheese dip with chips for an appetizer and of course we ordered a GF pizza.
Second, we walked around and read the numerous newspaper articles plastered on the walls. Come to find out, Willy is no small restaurant owner, but a world renowned pizza guru! He won at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas in the 'non traditional' category. That's right folks - his GF pizza is certified fabulous.

As a matter of fact, Willy (or his son) will make your pizza to order, it is not frozen. The wait is worth it, the staff (which is all family) are wonderfully nice, and the overall experience will make you wondering why you hadn't heard of South Haven, Michigan before.

Tommie's review: the best GF pizza he has eaten in the United States. Willy O's has something special going on and you have to try it.


You can find Willy O's (Willy Olund) on facebook, or just google the restaurant and read any of the numerous positive reviews.

Yats

One night when Brandie picked me up from work, we wanted to grab a bite to eat before we went to a bonfire with some of her work buddies. I work downtown, and we were trying to think of someplace to go. I remembered that Yats offered GF options, so I gave the one on Mass Avenue a call. The person with whom I spoke on the phone was very helpful with letting me know that the GF options for that night were Red Beans with Sausage and White Chili with Chicken.

They had me at Red Beans with Sausage.

We went to Yats, and when I spoke with the person behind the counter about being GF, he told me that they have a few options, and he wrote a list for me (which I’ll include at the end of this entry). I immediately ordered the Red Beans, while Brandie got the Chili Cheese Etouffee w/ Crawfish. It was delicious.

Brandie and I will be returning, and I want to try the White Chili with Chicken next. I was a big fan of Cajun food before I went GF, and thanks to places like Yats and Papa Roux, I still remain one to this day.
Here are Yats’ GF options (although only the Red Beans and White Chili are consistently available):
* Jambalaya
* White Chili w/ Chicken
* Red Beans w/ Sausage
* Hunter’s Stew
* Pazole Stew
* Vegan White Chili
*Succottash

What made Yats even better? The serving sizes are huge and the price is low. Plus, if you're an WFYI member and receive the yearly membership card, Yats always offers 2-for-1 deals.

Between Yats and Papa Roux - Naptown has Cajun on lock!!!!

Jason's Deli

Brandie and I stopped by here on our way to Castleton to try out the GF bread. I was hoping to get a Reuben, like I’d had at Square Rootz, but the sauerkraut wasn’t listed on the GF menu. I went with half a hot corned beef with Swiss cheese sandwich, and a Pollo Mexicano baked potato.
First off, make sure you ask for the bread to be toasted. I didn’t think to ask, and the bread started crumbling from the first bite. I also should have ordered some mustard or Thousand Island dressing, because the sandwich was very dry.

Second, the Pollo Mexicano potato was good, but I didn’t think to ask for any butter to put on the peel when I was finished. I didn’t think about asking because when I get a baked potato at McAlister’s, the butter comes with it.

Third, the meal comes with free ice cream, which is always a plus with me.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and I’ll give it another go sometime when I’m in the Castleton area.

P.S. We lost the pictures we took during our meal. Sorry.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunstart Cookies


The Sunstart Caramel & Chocolate Dessert Delights were OK. It was very expensive, and you only get 5 cookies per package. We had tried Sunstart’s Chocolate Chip Crunch and Chocolate Wrapped Golden Crunch about a year ago when we visited Jungle Jim’s in Ohio. They are good cookies, although a little too dry for my tastes, and they have a coconut flavor that is a bit heavy at times.

If these cookies were less expensive, I would definitely try them again, since I do occasionally enjoy coconut cookies and desserts.

Dutch Country Soft Pretzels

Nature’s Pharm North had an open house a few weeks ago, and while Brandie and I attended, I was allowed $30 worth of new GF goodies to try for the blog.

The Dutch Country Frozen Soft Pretzels were great. One night, Brandie baked up these pretzels, and made some Fondue, as well. The pretzels were great by themselves, but they were even better with the cheese sauce. You get 3 per package, and the price was a little steep, but I will definitely try to talk Brandie into letting me get more of these soon.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cupcake in the City

Tommie works in the Chase building downtown. He has only a few places to find food, there is Qdoba on the circle and that is about it. Forget about having any thing sweet on his mind. That all changed about a month or so ago. Cupcake in the City arrived in the Chase Tower and ever since my husband has been giddy with delight because they offer gluten-free cupcakes. The cupcakes run about $2.50 a piece and at first I was a little put off by the price. Of course that changed when Tommie brought home some cucpakes.

These cupcakes are AMAZING!!!!! The picture below is a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing and a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing. I'm not quite sure how those ladies can get the icing to actually taste like real peanut butter. When you bite into the cupcake, it is like eating a wonderful surprise that taste just like a Reese peanut butter cup.
Tommie says to check ahead of time to see if they're going to have any cupcakes left, and of course I don't have the contact information for you right now. I'll put that on Tommie's 'to do' list for this week. Otherwise if you're in the area, stop in at the Chase Tower, they'll be selling the cupcakes up on the 2nd floor in the cafeteria area.

GF pizza at our house

It is no secret that Tommie LOVES pizza. Of course, when I say "LOVES", that is a gross understatement. Therefore it is no surprise that he is always finding ways to make pizza, and he especially loves it when it is easy and quick to prepare.

These pictures are of his latest concoction. For crust he used La Tortilla Factory's Simply Delicious gluten-free wraps. He baked it in the oven at 350 for about five minutes or so, just enough to make them crispy. He then added pizza sauce, cheese, and meatballs. That's right - meatballs. These were Aldi's turkey meatballs that he cut in half and spread all over the crust. He then placed it back in the microwave until the cheese was melted.

And voila...and very simple and delicious pizza. You'll notice in this picture that there are two crusts. Yes, he put a double crust, with cheese binding it on the bottom. He loves pizza and he loves cheese.


Enjoy!

Mrs. Leeper's Chicken Alfredo

When I was diagnosed with CD, I thought that the convenience of Hamburger Helper and other “one-skillet” meals went out the door. Then shortly afterwards we found Mrs. Leeper’s pasta meals. The Alfredo meal is really good. We always try to buy one or two boxes whenever we see them on sale. They’re delicious and relatively easy to make, with the pasta coming out anywhere from good to a little mushy. That’s OK with me as long as they’re not too firm, which is a problem with some GF noodles and pasta. Brandie thinks it tends to be a little too salty for her taste and prefers just cooking it for me so I can take it for lunch to work.

Glutino Yogurt-covered Pretzels


While we were shopping at Kroger the other day, Brandie and I noticed a bag of these pretzels in the clearance section. They were marked down to $2.99 from $5.99, so we thought we give them a try. It was a good decision. These are pretty good for $2.99, but the package is too small, in our opinion, for us to pay the full $6. This did cement our intent to try to make our own chocolate-covered pretzels this winter; maybe sooner, if I can bug Brandie into the idea.

Trader Joe's Mini Tacos

I’m just going to come out and say it: Brandie and I love Trader Joe’s. They have so many delicious things to eat, and a lot of GF goodies, too. The mini tacos fall into both categories. They’re delicious, and I get some whenever Brandie and I do a “Trader Joe’s Night”. There are about 24 tacos per box, so that gives me dinner and lunch for at least one more day, sometimes two. I like both varieties (chicken and beef), although I usually get the beef kind so Brandie can eat one or two, since those are her favorites.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gluten VS Gluten-Free: PF Chang's desserts

Friday afternoon a group of us went out to PF Chang's. As stated in our previous blogs, we are now in love with this restaurant. Anywho - on this particular occasion, we decided to get some dessert. I ordered the 'great wall of chocolate' and Tommie ordered the 'GF flourless chocolate dome'. So how did they match up?


The GF dessert was AMAZING!!!!! Don't let the size of this treat confuse you - there is a lot of flavor in this small amount of yumminess. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure how much of this one could eat because it is that rich. It is a great dessert to share with another person.




The size of this cake is crazy. This could feed about 4-5, maybe even more, people. The downside, the flavor. The cake was lacking in the 'pow' of flavor and texture. I thought the cake would be moist, but it wasn't really - more sponge-like.


Which dessert won? The GF flourless chocolate dome - hands down!!!! Everyone at the table agreed. The GF option at PF Chang's is amazing and it would be a shame to leave without trying it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ziyad Kufta Kabob

Tommie and I couldn't remember if we had written a post about this wonderful product so we decided to just type up a review. You can buy Ziyad's Kufta Kabob in the frozen section at Saraga grocery store. We have only found it at the Lafayette St. store, not the Greenwood location.

It is kind of pricey, around $6 bucks but it is worth it. We cook ours on the George Foreman and put it on salad, toss it in a pita, heck it would even be great on a pizza with some feta.

Sometimes it is hard to find the product at Saraga, but no worries, they just started carrying the spice mix! The bottle has the recipe for kufta kabobs and you can make them for yourself at home. Of course we bought some so once we get a chance to use the seasoning we'll let you know how it goes.

Trader Joe's Goat Milk Brie

I know what you're thinking - "why is she writing a post about cheese?" Yes I know that most cheese is naturally gluten-free so then there must be a good reason for me to be wasting my time talking about it.

Long story short- it's good and it's cheap. It is no secret that Tommie and I love Trader Joe's. They have great products for even greater prices and luckily they're just up the street from our house. Now, Tommie doesn't share my love for brie (he's odd that way), but he does recognize the cost saving benefits of eating Trader Joe's brie.

Never tried brie? Never tried goat milk cheese? Live on the wild side. Next time you're at Trader Joe's wander by the cheese area, pick up some cheese you've never tried (and may not be able to pronounce). Then head over to the cracker section, pick some GF crackers up and have a cheese tasting at home. Worst case scenario - you don't like it, in which case Trader Joe's will let you bring the item back with for a refund. No questions asked. However, I don't think you'll be doing that once you taste this lovely cheese.

Enjoy!

Fiber Advance Gummies

I am always looking for ways to add more fiber to my diet and I came across these jewels at Walmart while we were standing in the pharmacy line. The gummies taste like candy and leave no yucky aftertaste. They provide 4 grams of fiber per 2 gummies and only scant amounts of sugar. For those of you who are diabetic, there are 6 grams of carbs per serving (2 gummies).

Another great bonus, yep - you guessed it. They're gluten-free.

I would recommend this product for anyone looking for more fiber in their diet.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Original Pancake House: Indy @ 86th & Ditch

In our Chicago vacation blog, we mentioned that we ate at a place called Walker Brothers, and we had GF pancakes. Well, the actual name of the restaurant is Walker Brothers Original Pancake House, and it’s a franchise of The Original Pancake House.

A couple of weeks ago, my parents were eating breakfast at the OPH in Noblesville, and they noticed that it had GF pancakes listed. I got super excited, because I’d been missing the GF pancakes from Chicago. I called the 86th and Ditch location in Indy, and they had the GF pancakes, too. Brandie and I met my parents, my GF sister, her husband and his daughter for breakfast for my birthday, and we (my sister and I) were very happy that we could eat the pancakes. They were very good, though I remember the ones at Walker Bros being better. Still, I got 8 good-sized GF pancakes for a price that wasn’t going to completely break the bank. I am very happy that there is a place near our house that has GF pancakes, but I’m afraid that I’ll keep bugging Brandie to take me for pancakes all the time.


Enjoy!

Jalebi/Chhena Jalebi/Mithai

When I ate Indian one day, I tried a Jalebi and loved it. Then I asked one of the servers what it is made of, and of course, it’s wheat. Ever since that day, I’ve tried to find Jalebi that is made without wheat. Fortunately, I found something at Patel Brothers on Lafayette Road. It was called Mithai on the packaging, but a little Internet research has turned up that it’s generally call Chhena Jalebi, or cheese Jalebi. It’s almost as good as the original. Granted, I ate the wheat Jalebi when it was warm, and the cheese Jalebi at room temperature, so that might have made the difference. I like to eat the Jalebi with ice cream. There are plenty of other GF goodies at the various Indian grocery stores along Lafayette Road, but I’ll save that for another post.

Snyder's of Hanover: GF pretzels


I’ve wanted to try these pretzels ever since I’d heard that they were available in Indy. Finally, during one of our trips to Whole Foods, I remembered about them and bought a bag. As Brandie would say, “OMG, these’re good!” I ate them as a snack to get me through until dinner, but it was hard not to eat the entire bag. I just kept eating and eating and eating. Brandie had to take the bag and hide it, so I wouldn’t ruin my appetite. I would definitely buy these pretzels again, and I think they would be great dipped in chocolate, which is an experiment Brandie and I want to try someday.


Brandie here - I gotta say, GF pretzels are definitely one of those products that are just better GF. I would actually eat GF pretzels over 'regular' pretzels any day.


Enjoy!

Trader Joe's Creme Brulee




I am a huge fan of crème brulee, and when I saw that Trader Joe’s not only sold some, but it was GF, I had to try it. Fortunately, I didn’t have to convince Brandie too much. It is delicious. Not only is it great crème brulee, but it comes in a thin chocolate cup which makes it even better. I could eat these everyday for dessert and never get tired of them.


Look for it in the frozen section. Take them out about 30 minutes or so before you want to eat them (although Brandie prefers them slightly frozen).


Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recipe: 7 Layer Dip


Ingredients:
-1 1/2 LB beef
-1 (16oz) can refried beans
-4c shredded cheese
-1 (8oz) container sour cream
-1c guacamole
-1c salsa
-1 (2.25oz) can black olives, chopped
-1/2c chopped tomatoes
-1/2 c chopped green onions
Directions:
1. Brown beef, set aside to cool.
2. Spread beans into the bottom of a 9x13 inch serving tray that is about 1 1/2 inches deep. Sprinkle 2c shredded cheese on top of beans.
3. Sprinkle beans on top of cheese. Spread sour cream very slowly on top of beef.
4. Spread guacamole on top of sour cream. Pour salsa over guacamole and spread evenly.
5. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle black olives, tomatoes, and onions on top.
What I love about this dish: you can mix things up. If you don't like guacamole, don't add it. You can use shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese. There are so many ways to individualize it.
Enjoy!

GF Progresso Soup


So this may not be news to you, but we were shocked when we found out there were some soups that Tommie could eat from Progresso. If you click on the title of this entry it will send you to the Progresso site that has a complete list.


Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Allyou.com GF article: Eat Well, Gluten-free

One of Tommie's co-workers tore out this article and gave it to him to read. I just wanted to let everyone know about it. It is pretty short, but has a couple of recipes and product reviews.

If you click on the title of this blog entry it will direct you towards their website.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Restaurant Review: P.F. Chang's

So Tommie and I had a postponed Valentine's dinner on Saturday at P.F. Chang. This was our first time going and I know, we're probably the last people in Indianapolis to dine there. Let me just sum up our experience in one word: AWESOME.

We had the P.F. Chang's for Two which is a four course meal for $39.99. We had the following:
Appetizer: GF chicken lettuce wraps
Soup: GF egg drop
Entree: GF Chang's Spicy Chicken and GF Pepper Steak with white and brown rice
Dessert: chocolate mousse(GF) and cheesecake(not GF)

I had heard so many great things about P.F. Chang's that I figured I'd be disappointed - that I would have my hopes so high that it couldn't possibly be that good. However, it was that good, as a matter of fact it was even better.

We made reservations online, and was that a good thing. When we arrived to the restaurant about 7:10PM (our reservation was 7:30PM) it was crazy packed. I thought that we'd never get a seat but they actually seated us early. Then our service was so great. Tommie explained about being gluten-free and the server was old-hat at gluten-free. He knew right off the bat what we could eat and he still wanted to confirm with the chef that everything would be up to standards.

Our enter experience was excellent and this will not be the last time that we visit P.F. Chang's. I just hope that next time I remember we have a 'Warrior' card and use it to get an even greater deal.

Restaurant Review: Cafe Patachou

I received a comment from a blog reader that Tommie and I should try out Cafe Patachou. I had heard from others that this place was pretty darn good and that they're gluten-free toast option was kick-butt. So, the other morning after working a 12 I decided to take my honey out for breakfast.

We drove over to Broad Ripple and sat down for breakfast. I was first amazed at how fast paced and packed the place was. Their reputation of being popular was definitely head on. The cashier suggested we take a seat wherever.

Before I go any further, I do want to commend Patachou on their gluten-free options. I can't think of any other place in the city where we can get gluten-free toast. That being said, we weren't impressed.

I got the waffle (with no pecans - I'm allergic) and Tommie got the corned beef hash with Udi's gluten-free toast. We both had water to drink (the tea was $4.50 a cup!!! - I find that expensive). We also ordered a side of bacon to share (there really weren't a lot of meat options for breakfast).

My waffle came with a small cup of mixed fruit and it was just okay. The waffle was soggy and I didn't find the batter that tasty - without the powdered sugar it would have been terribly plain and tasteless. Tommie said his corned beef was okay, it was basically a bunch of onions and peppers with small bites of potatoes and beef. He was excited to get 2 full slices of toast. His corned beef also came with two eggs on top. The bacon - well, I don't like mine with fat or bendy. Needless to say, I didn't like the bacon.

Positives:
-If you like coffee they have a great deal, pay for one cup and the rest is self-serve and they had a great selection.
-The atmosphere is pretty casual, business suits to sweat pants.
-If you like eggs for breakfast, this is your place.

Negatives:
-This place was packed. There were a couple of tables waiting to place an order and the poor couple next to us had two little kids and I thought that at one point they were going to walk out (they waited about 10 minutes to be acknowledged).
-If you don't like eggs (I know, I'm a freak) then this isn't the place for you to eat breakfast.
-I found it kind of pricey for what you get. Our total was $22.45 for breakfast. Perhaps I'm just cheap.

Overall, we'll probably not go again. It didn't leave a lasting impression and the fact that they served Udi's isn't motivating us to go back for more.

Udi's Bagels

One thing I missed when I was diagnosed with Celiac was bagels. There were a few out there at the time, but they were either chewy like pipe foam, or dry and crumbly, turning to sand in your mouth. Because of this, I gave up my love of bagels and wept bitter tears whenever I’d see people eating them.

Then I found Udi’s bagels.

When I tried the first one, it was like a Hallelujah moment. I thought that somehow I’d gotten regular gluten-y bagels, so I double-checked the bag. Sure enough, it said gluten-free, but I couldn’t believe it. Now, I’ve found my bagel, and I try to wheedle a bag out of Brandie whenever we go to Kroger. I give these bagels two thumbs up, 5 stars, and an A++.

If you are buying your Udi's bagels at Krogers then check for coupons in the store because you might be surprised when you find a Udi's stand with $1.00 or .75$ off coupons!

Review: Against the Grain Gourmet Frozen Pizza

Brandie and I found these at Whole Foods and decided to give them a try. We were not disappointed at all. They held up very well while baking, and didn’t get too dry or brittle. I had a couple of bites where the crust tasted a little sweet, but that may have just been in my head. Overall, the crust was good, and I would definitely give it another go.

Also, the size was comparable to any pizza you'd get out at a restaurant. I would definitely eat this pizza again!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie



Ingredients:
-1 pie crust (whatever one you prefer)
-2 c cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or just get a can)
-2 tbsp butter, softened
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 c white sugar
-1 tbsp all-purpose flour (GF of course)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 c buttermilk (no skimping on the low-fat version)
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix mashed sweet potatoes, butter, and eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, flour, and salt. Mix in spices if desired. Add to sweet potato mix.
4. Mix together buttermilk and baking soda. Add to sweet potato mix and stir well. Mix in vanilla extract. Pour filling into pastry shell.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 70 minutes, until set in center.


Enjoy!

Udi's Cinnamon Rolls

The same day we bought the Udi's blueberry muffins, we grabbed a pack of these for the same price ($2.38).


They're OK, the texture is rather spongey and once you nuke them they become rock hard. The icing is delicious though. I don't know if I would recommend buying them if you had to pay $6.00 (regular price), but they're not bad for the price we paid.

Udi's Blueberry Muffins

Tommie and I were at Kroger the other day and were amazed at how many gluten-free items were marked down on clearance. The big plus about clearance items at Kroger, they also allow you to use manufacturer coupons so we got these muffins for $2.38!!!


The texture resembled gluteny muffins and the taste was amazing. I would definitely recommend these to anyone - especially if you can get them for the price we did (otherwise they're about $6.00).

Crunchy chicken

Okay, so we had a lot of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I had to figure out what to do. I decided to take some of Tommie's cereal and make some crunchy chicken.

All I did was smash up some of his Nature's Path Whole O's and add some sea salt and pepper. I then coated the chicken (I didn't add any egg or anything), placed it in a baking dish and popped it in the oven at 350 for about 35-40 minutes.
(before going in the oven)

(close-up of the chicken before it was baked)



After being baked.

It was pretty yummy and crunchy, of course the bottom was a little soggy. Still haven't figured out how to make it all crunchy - if you know the trick then give me a hollar.

Enjoy!

Puppy Chow

So you will never find this stuff just sitting around our house. Tommie hates (and I mean hates) peanut butter and I'm trying to drop some pounds so it isn't conducive to our styles. However, I was asked this year by my mom and sisters to make a batch for the holidays. So I figured I'd throw the recipe up here just in case there are still people out there that don't know how to make it.

Ingredients:
-9 cups of Chex cereal (woo hoo for GF cereal)
-1 c chocolate chips
-1/2 c peanut butter
-1/4 c butter
-1/4 tsp vanilla
-1 1/2 c powdered sugar

*Okay, here is another disclaimer: I may have giving you set amounts for the ingredients, however this is one of those recipes where you just wing it. If you think it needs more chocolate or peanut butter then add it.

1. Put the cereal in a large bowl, or ziploc bag (make sure whatever you put it in has plenty of room for your to mix up your ingredients).
2. Melt chocolate, peanut butter, and butter.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
4. Pour over cereal and mix.
5. Put mix in a ziploc bag
6. Add powdered sugar and shake well to coat.
7. Now I don't do this, but you can then lay out the mix on wax paper and allow it to cool.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

(disclaimer: this is not a picture of my pie, mine never turns out that beautiful)
Ingredients:
-4 pkg cream cheese, softened
-1c sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-4 eggs
-1 can pumpkin
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-dash of ground cloves
*Preheat oven to 325
1. Beat cream cheese, 3/4c of the sugar and vanilla
2. Add eggs one at a time
3. Remove 1 1/2 c of the batter and set aside.
4. Into the smaller bowl of batter: stir in remaining 1/4c sugar, pumpkin and spices into large bowl.
5. Layer the 2 batters then take a knife and swirl through the batter.
6. Bake for 55 minutes (give or take).
Crust:
-GF snickerdoodle cookies (Enjoy Life has a great cookie, but you can now get them under the Trader Joe's name for a cheaper price. Udi's also makes a great cookie, but they're uber expensive).
-melted butter
-brown sugar (optional)
Now the idea is to put the cookies in a food processor until they're crumbled, then add in the butter (and brown sugar if you want) to make a crumb crust. I use a spring form pan so I just grease the bottom and spread the mix over the pan. I put a cookie sheet under the pan when baking to remove the chance of any mess.
I get rave reviews for this every year (I usually make it at Thanksgiving).

Restaurant Review: Papa Roux revisited

Okay, so I know in the past I've sang the praises of Papa Roux, however, I don't think I fully explained the yumminess of this establishment.

As some of you know, I work nights at a hospital and so dinner time has become somewhat of a non-existent entity in our home. Well, last Friday I was cancelled due to a low patient population (which is great for patients and turned out to be great for me). I quickly decided that I was going to pick up Tommie from work and we were going to go to Papa Roux's for dinner.

Even though I had eaten Papa Roux's once before, I had never actually been for a 'sit down' at the restaurant. Therefore I was a little surprised when we walked in and (1) it is tiny, and (2) it was packed!!!! It resembled a marketplace almost on how quick and efficient the staff was at helping customers order their food and get moving.

Here are some pros about eating at the restaurant:
1. you will most likely get to sit next to someone you've never met
2. unlimited FREE sides
3. did you read number 2?

So Tommie ordered the roast beef po-boy with no bread. I ordered the muffaletta. Then we set down and a waitress zoomed over and explained the 'flag' system. Basically, when you're ready for a side you just raise the flag and let the staff know what you want. The servings about 1/2 cup sizes so if you don't like something then you won't feel too bad about not finishing it. Plus, it helps you to not overeat.

Of course are meals were FANTASTIC. Here is a list of all of the GF options:
*All Po-Boys are GF when served over rice.
*red beans & rice
*creole (SUPER SPICY, but sweet and yummy if you can handle the heat...beware)
*chili
*chicken creole
*chicken chili
*chicken chili frito pie
GF sides: (remember these are unlimited when you eat in)
*red beans & rice (mentioned above)
*coleslaw
*creole
*apple sauce
*white rice

So everyone should go to this restaurant. The food is wonderful, the staff is friendly, and the price is great! Dinner cost us about $17 and we were so full when we left. BTW: you can order any of their sides to go for $.50!!!!

Restaurant Review: Square Rootz Deli

Located at 1111 Prospect St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
The inside is pretty cool. Check out the awesome layout and colors. Also, there is some pretty cool artwork hanging about. You can also pick up massage oils, groceries, and pick up some albums at Uncle Rudolph's Record Rack (make sure you bring cash if you to plan to buy any music).
So you walk in, place your order, and have a seat. The hardest part of this routine, deciding on what you're going to eat. I ordered the reuben with pasta salad (of course mine wasn't GF). Tommie ordered the reuben and mashed potatoes. Look below and see how pleased he was when he got the plate.
That my ladies and gentlemen is ONE reuben sandwich. I guess they figured that even though the bread is small, that they're not going to skimp on the portions. And by the way - the quality of the food is AMAZING. They use Udi's bread and Boar's Head meats. Look at all that cheese!!!!
And the outcome? Well, you can see for yourself. This place is AWESOME!!!! I would highly recommend this deli to anyone, not just GF Hoosiers. As a matter of fact, I think we're going to be making this a new hangout for us. And price? It cost about $20 for lunch, but did you see the size of that sandwich? And I know their pasta salad isn't GF, but if you're going with someone who can it, I suggest they try it.