Well, we have another amazing travel adventure to entice you with...a visit to Iceland, the land of extreme contrasts. You'll have a chance to visit all the unique natural wonders of this island country, from geothermal baths to icy glaciers. It's another itinerary put together -- with all the gluten free details researched for you -- by Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us. She is constantly on the lookout for ways to combine the most popular travel destinations with a safe gluten free experience. This time, she worked with the owner of a travel company in Iceland who also happens to be gluten free. All breakfasts are included at the hotel she will recommend, and the vetting has been done to ensure you'll be food-safe. In addition, she has restaurants she will recommend for your other meals. With all the work done for you, you can relax and enjoy the journey, experiencing the warm hospitality of the Icelandic people and all their country has to offer. Iceland affords such a rich and unique experience, with sights you won't find elsewhere...at least not all in one place! Its stunning topography includes geothermal hot spots, lava fields, volcanic craters, black sand beaches,... Read more →


This post is long overdue. I've been meaning to share some of our family's near misses -- and one actual "glutening" episode -- for a while. All have been a result of wonderful gluten free products whose packaging just happens to look almost exactly like the same company's non-GF version. I want others to be aware of these products so we can all be super-vigilant as we rush through our favorite grocery stores quickly loading up our carts with our favorite gluten free staples. I'm also hoping that bringing this blog post to these companies' attention might get them to reconsider their packaging choices. Don't get me wrong...all these companies and their products are favorites of ours, and we are so grateful they have chosen to offer gluten free varieties. But the mistake is easy to make when grocery shopping, and I'm sure our family wasn't the first to experience these "near misses." Exhibit #1: Annie's Mac-n-Cheese varieties Annie's makes some wonderful varieties of mac-n-cheese. They have different shapes of pasta, both yellow and white cheese sauces, gluten free and regular pasta, and even vegan gluten free and non-gluten free varieties. It's easy to think you're grabbing one thing on... Read more →


Last month, over the President's Day long weekend, our family ventured down to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina for a hockey tournament with our younger son's team. Typically we head north for tournaments, but this year the team was in the mood for something a bit warmer. And in that department, we lucked out...the temperature hovered right around 72 degrees each day, making it not only a glorious weekend for travel, but a perfect weekend to squeeze in visits to some college campuses for our older son, a sophomore in high school. While it's still a bit early for him to be narrowing his choices for colleges, we've been trying to drive or walk through any campuses in areas we've visited over the past year or so. It's a great opportunity for him to get a feel for big state schools versus smaller private universities, urban campuses versus rural or suburban, and liberal-leaning versus more conservative. Although our older son is not Celiac like our younger son, these campus visits give us a feel for "what's to come" in another few years when our Celiac son begins his own college search. Like other Celiac teens, his decision will... Read more →


Most of you know I try to keep my posts on this blog focused on gluten free dining and travel, not sharing recipes. There are so many other great bloggers who do that so well! However, every now and then, I like to share favorite family recipes from our own kitchen -- or ones passed down from other family members. It's especially nice when a treasured family recipe enjoyed over the years can easily be adapted to be gluten free. Such is the case with the recipe I'm sharing today. My mother-in-law's Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb recipe was something I first enjoyed when visiting my future in-laws about 20 years ago, when my now-husband and I first started dating. It was a dish my mother-in-law would often make when entertaining guests, and it works especially well in warmer months, when you can cook it on the outdoor grill (although it's so good, it's worth donning a warm jacket and manning the grill in the winter!). The recipe is extremely easy, and the only modification I've made from the original recipe is to replace the soy sauce with gluten free tamari (I use San-J's low sodium gluten free tamari). There... Read more →


Is an African safari something you've always dreamed of? Are you looking for a travel experience "off the beaten path"...but concerned about how you'll stay safely gluten free? Now your dream can become a reality, thanks to one of the most trusted gluten free travel specialists we work with. Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us has just announced her latest itinerary -- to Cape Town, South Africa and Kruger National Park. As with all her itineraries, you can travel at any time and customize the itinerary according to your interests. This is not a group tour...unless you want to organize a large group yourself. Ellen has worked with a large and very reputable travel company in South Africa to vet all the hotels where you'll stay and restaurants that you'll have to choose from. Ellen and her local partners have been very impressed with the level of gluten free knowledge at these establishments and feel confident you will be food-safe throughout your incredible journey. They leave no detail to chance! Because the company Ellen works with in South Africa is a large travel company, you benefit from the best pricing. So you really get the best of both worlds...a value-priced... Read more →


I always get so excited to share our new gluten free travel discoveries with you, and today is no exception! We've learned about an exotic resort situated on a cliff edge next to rainforests and a waterfall in one of the world's most beautiful tropical beach towns...Montezuma, Costa Rica. Best of all, the resort has been completely gluten free for almost two years. It's part of their mission to provide their guests with healthy food -- which also means a focus on food that's natural, organic, and local. The resort is dairy free, too, and they can even accommodate other dietary restrictions. All you need to do is let them know! The resort is called Anamaya, meaning "good health" in Sanskrit. While you can stay at this beautiful oasis for any reason, most people flock here for the yoga retreats and/or the surfing lessons. (The resort is just 40 minutes from Santa Teresa and its famous surf spots -- and just minutes away from other amazing beaches for surfing.) You can do one, the other, or a combination of both (yoga helps work on strength and balance -- key for surfing!). There's also the option to get scuba certified. Of... Read more →


Every couple months, we work with Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us to bring you a new gluten free itinerary. We try to offer something for every type of traveler: ever-popular destinations like Italy...newer "hot spots" like Cuba...once-in-a-lifetime experiences like The Galapagos...and "up-and-coming" destinations that have been gaining favor. Chile is one of those destinations. Due to the stable nature of its government, its unique history, and its gorgeous topography sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, Chile is a destination you'll want to consider. And because its seasons are opposite ours in the northern hemisphere, it's an especially great place to visit during October through April, when average temperatures in Chile are in the 60s. Near-perfect weather, in my opinion! Chile offers incredible scenery and natural beauty. You'll fall in love with its awe-inspiring topography of forests, mountains, beaches, lakes, volcanoes, fjords, canals, and islands. Plus, its history -- dating from the native Incans to the Spanish Colonial period to a thriving modern country -- offers a fascinating blend of cultures. Increasingly recognized for its vineyards, Chile is also the perfect destination for oenophiles who enjoy tours and tastings at scenic wineries. For travelers with safety top-of-mind,... Read more →


Last week we had the good fortune to dine at Rasika, a popular restaurant in the "Penn Quarter" area of Washington, DC...just blocks from the Verizon Center, where we were going to see an NHL hockey game with our hockey-playing sons. We'd heard a lot about the restaurant -- and the buzz was that it was very gluten-free friendly. Not surprising, since most Indian restaurants don't use many gluten-containing ingredients in their preparations. It's hard to get a table here...most people have to make reservations well in advance. However, when I called (rather last minute) to inquire about getting a table, I was told that they keep the tables across from the bar open for walk-ins. How nice...I wish more places would do this. Otherwise, it can take weeks to get reservations at popular spots like Rasika. Although they don't have any information about gluten free options on their website, they assured me when I called that almost every item on the menu is gluten free, with a few exceptions. When we arrived (early) and secured a table, our server was most helpful and friendly. He pointed out the few items that would be off-limits due to gluten. This really... Read more →


You probably remember my Blog post detailing my family's trip to Italy this past summer. It was so fantastic, from a gluten free dining perspective, that I wrote a book about it (Gluten-Free in ITALY : Your Worry-Free and Gluten-Free Travel Guide to Italy), available on Amazon. But I'm often asked...of all the places we dined in Rome, Florence, and Venice, which was our favorite spot? Who had the best (and safest) gluten free offerings? In Rome, at least, I'd have to say it was a small chain of restaurants known as Mama Eat and Mama Frites. It was pure serendipity that we ended up eating at these two restaurants while in Rome. I'd heard about both restaurants and had included them on our list of places to potentially try while in Rome. However, I wasn't sure if it would work out, based on where we planned to be sightseeing each day. As luck would have it, after touring the Vatican for several hours one morning, a nearby gluten-free friendly restaurant where we'd planned to have lunch closed for renovation. We were starving, but we decided to continue with our day's plans and head south to Trastevere, an ancient and... Read more →


Recently, one of our favorite gluten-free friendly inns changed hands. You probably recall me publishing a few posts about the Inn on Randolph, a top-rated and totally gluten free B&B in Napa, California. Renovated several years ago by the previous owner (who was Celiac), this historic property has all the modern amenities discerning travelers have come to expect. The best news is that the new owners have continued their commitment to the gluten free community by continuing in the tradition of offering a 100% gluten free kitchen. You'll still be able to enjoy the wonderful 2-course homemade breakfasts full of gluten free specialties, in addition to hors d'oeuvres or afternoon snacks. No matter what time of year you're looking for an escape, the Inn on Randolph is the perfect destination. Nestled in the heart of Napa, you're within walking distance of restaurants (including many with carefully crafted gluten free offerings) and shops. You're surrounded by gorgeous vineyards and not far from bustling San Francisco if you're looking for a high-energy day trip. As you can imagine, guests have a hard time leaving the Inn, with its charm, pampering, and wonderful cooking. Fortunately, for those who want to prolong that pampered... Read more →


Have you ever heard of Sweet Note gluten free bagels? I hadn't...until recently. Fortunately, their distribution has expanded to include CVS, Whole Foods, Shop Rite, Dean & Deluca, MOM's Organic Market, Door to Door Organics, and Weis (but not all locations of these stores -- enter your zip on this page of their website to find the closest location to you). Their "claim to fame," so to speak, is that they have created the first authentic, New York-syle bagel that is gluten free (AND free of the top 8 common food allergens). I thought about that statement, and YES, they are right. They are authentic, in terms of look, texture, and taste. You'd never believe they were gluten free, much less free of other allergens, too. While our family buys other gluten free bagels, we have yet to find one that comes close to a traditional bagel. Some are like eating a big round-shaped piece of tasteless bread, others are tasty but not really what you remember bagels tasting like, and still others use a lot of bean flour, which I don't care for (weird aftertaste). These bagels are smaller, denser, crusty on the outside, and chewy on the inside... Read more →


Every so often, our family makes a new version of a "homemade" gluten free pizza. We've tried many brands, and to be honest, we don't have a favorite...they actually all turn out pretty well. But to be honest, many times we go with our favorite ready-made frozen gluten free pizza (or frozen shell, which we top with our own sauce and toppings). We love Against the Grain pizzas (and plain shells) and have also enjoyed Udi's frozen pizzas when cooked on the grill. But traveling in Italy this summer inspired us and had us looking forward to trying a new mix for gluten free crust...a mix from one of our favorite restaurants in Florence. "How is this relevant to me?" you ask. How would you get your hands on this mix without going to Italy? Well, as of a couple weeks ago, it's available on Amazon.com! (A 3-pack is priced well at $12.84.) We purchased two boxes of the mix (which also comes with fresh-packed tomato sauce in a tin can and a packet of oregano) after dining at the restaurant...before we knew it would be available in the States via Amazon.com soon enough. So we had the pleasure of... Read more →