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August 2014
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October 2014

September 2014

Every so often, a company sends me samples of a gluten free product to try. Recently, I was contacted by My Dad's Cookies, a company I wasn't familiar with and whose products I'd never seen. I agreed to try them, and WOW...was I glad I did! These are the closest thing to traditional Italian bakery cookies I've seen (and they're gluten free, of course). The box arrived, and inside were small boxes of many of their gluten free cookie varieties: Raspberry Linser, Chocolatta, Black and White, Chocolate Sandwich, Vanilla Graham, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Lemon Drop, and Chocolate Chip. I was so excited to put them all on a big platter to show my son (actually, both my sons...I knew the non-GF son would be just as excited about sampling as my Celiac son!). Needless to say, they passed our taste tests with flying colors! My favorite were the Raspberry Linzer, and my sons liked the Lemon Drop and Chocolatta (which reminded us of a small, round version of Pepperidge Farm's Milano cookies). My Dad's Cookies was started by Elan Malina to give children with Celiac the same cookie treats they see their friends enjoying. Because these cookies look and taste... Read more →

China. It has become a popular tourist destination in the past decade, but for those of us following gluten free diets, the thought of traveling to China can be overwhelming. The locals' knowledge of the meaning of "gluten free" and how to prepare safe gluten free meals is almost non-existant, so typical group tours leave you with few, if any, dining options. Planning a trip to China on your own is no better, unless you have inside knowledge of the few hotels and venues that do understand what's entailed in serving safe gluten free meals. But now I have great news... If China is on your "Bucket List," there is a travel agent who does have inside knowledge. She is gluten free herself and has worked closely with a high-end China-based tour company to find safe hotels that welcome gluten free travelers. Ellen Morse, of Gluten Free-Us Travel, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease decades ago and specializes in serving other gluten free travelers. She works with reputable local companies in destinations around the world to plan amazing itineraries. Her trips, including this one to China, are NOT group tours...they are suggested itineraries which incorporate hotels that understand the gluten free... Read more →

I tried to narrow my choices for gluten-free friendly CHAIN restaurants to just 10, but with so many chains now offering great gluten free selections, it was too hard to do. So here are my 12 Favorites.Some are our family's regular go-to chains with locations around the Washington DC area where we live...while others are regional chains outside our area that we were thrilled to discover on various trips. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano – I love that Biaggi’s is located in mid-sized cities where there may not be quite the same range of gluten free choices of a “Big City” like New York City or Boston…but where diners are sophisticated and want a restaurant that understands their gluten free needs and desire for high-quality food. We've been to the ones in Salt Lake City (now closed) and Maple Grove, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. You’ll find a huge Gluten Free Menu here, including many wonderful GF pasta choices. Here's a photo of a seasonal Caprese Salad they offered over the summer. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – What could be better than meeting up with friends or co-workers at a place that offers gluten free pizza, gluten free beer, and even a... Read more →

New York City is one of the easiest places to find "gluten free friendly" restaurants. Our family just returned from a trip to New York to visit family, and this time we made it a point to go into New York City for a few days -- for some good gluten free dining, as well as some business meetings and sightseeing. I've always loved NYC and actually lived there many years ago, so any opportunity to return to the Big Apple is a welcome one. This time, my husband and I had a couple days to ourselves while my mother-in-law watched our kids, and then they later joined us in the city. We wanted to try several gluten-free friendly restaurants that had been recommended to us, but on the first night our desire was to find someplace in Little Italy that understood gluten free. Fortunately, that was not a difficult task, as most of the restaurants on Mulberry Street in the heart of Little Italy have their menus on display along the street. Many of them had mentions of gluten free options (typically gluten free pizza and/or pasta) on their menus. After asking some questions at various restaurants, we chose... Read more →