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January 2014
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March 2014

February 2014

Something unique happened at our son Ryan's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts this past weekend. For those of you who don't know, the Blue and Gold Banquet celebrates the anniversary of scouting, and most packs celebrate with a dinner and entertainment for the scouts and their families. This year, our son and the other scouts in his den were being honored for earning their "Arrow of Light," the highest honor in Cub Scouts. They will be crossing over into a Boy Scout Troop next month, so this was the last gathering as part of the Cub Scout pack. For the past few years, the pack has had a Cake Contest as part of the festivities at the Blue and Gold dinner. There are various categories (most creative, most patriotic, most chocolate, and many more...sometimes they even include best "allergy free" cake). The idea is to have the boys help in the preparation and decoration of the cakes. In past years we've made a penguin-shaped cake (Ryan loves penguins) and a flag cake (a sheet cake decorated with vanilla buttercream icing and with strawberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes). The flag cake won for Best Allergy-Free Cake,... Read more →

Our family spent last weekend in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Presidents Cup ice hockey tournament with our younger son's Select hockey team. Despite the frigid weather, snow, and grey skies, we were reminded what a cool city this is -- and how many great "gluten-free friendly" places there are to eat. We visited some old favorites discovered on another trip to Pittsburgh a few years back...and also tried a few new places we'd found while researching places online prior to our trip. Our first stop -- literally upon arriving in town -- was Gluuteny bakery on Murray Avenue in the "Squirrel Hill" neighborhood. This gluten free, dairy free bakery is almost reason enough to visit Pittsburgh. We'd been there three years before, and we couldn't wait to go again. It just happened to be Valentine's Day, and I figured it could go one of two ways...either they'd have tons of stuff prepared for "last minute" shoppers, or they'd have sold out of most items by the time of our late afternoon arrival. Fortunately for us, there was a nice selection of items left, and let me tell you, we had a hard time choosing! So we pretty much bought one... Read more →

By now, you've likely heard me talk about The Inn on Randolph, a newly renovated and dedicated gluten free B&B in the heart of California's Napa Valley wine growing region. Owner Karen Lynch, gluten free herself for 7 years, has transformed this historic 19th century home into a luxurious and modern retreat. It offers the perfect getaway for gluten free travelers wishing to spend some time in this beautiful part of the country. As a guest at the Inn, you enjoy fabulous gluten free breakfasts and late afternoon appetizers...and you'll have your choice of several nearby restaurants that are just as gluten-free friendly. Karen occasionally hosts special events, and now she's offering a two-day Gluten Free/Allergen Free Baking Class with Master Chef Jeffrey Larsen from March 16-17, 2014. You'll check in at 12:30 on the 16th and then enjoy a lecture on gluten free baking where Chef Larsen will discuss flour varieties, baking techniques and tips, and how to set up a gluten free kitchen. Then you'll participate in a hands-on baking class in which you'll prepare breads, pizza, rolls, hamburger buns, and focaccia. After a break to relax, you'll nibble on gluten free appetizers, followed by dinner and dessert... Read more →

Without a doubt, Wildfire restaurant has one of the best Gluten Free Menus around. We're fortunate to have one of their 7 locations not too far from our home, so we've visited there several times. Each experience has been better than the last. We want YOU to be able to experience Wildfire for yourself...that's why we're giving away two $25 Gift Cards, one to each of two lucky winners (details at the end of this post). The options on Wildfire's extensive Gluten Free Menu are almost overwhelming: homemade thin-crust gluten free pizza, gluten free pastas, steaks, chops, chicken, ribs, fish, shellfish, sandwiches, and burgers. They even bake their own rolls for the burgers and sandwiches. There are no fewer than 7 appetizers on the Gluten Free Menu -- something for every taste or mood (although our family typically goes right for the salads and entrees!). Some favorites in our family from our visits to Wildfire have included the Fresh Mozzarella Pizza, Shrimp and (gluten free) Penne, Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad, Wildfire Chopped Salad, New York Strip Steak (steaks can be served "plain," or with any of three gluten free options: garlic crust, bernaise sauce, and peppercorn sauce), Macadamia... Read more →