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October 2013

For my Birthday back in August, my husband suggested we try Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. It's one of several restaurant groups that have expanded to bring a new Brazilian twist to dining out. We had never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, although many friends raved about the experience. Basically, in Brazilian "rodizio" style dining, servers come to your table offering various slow-grilled meats that have been roasted on spits, and you can try as many types as you like -- for one fixed price. What piqued our interest was the rumor that almost everything is gluten free. Fortunately, the rumor proved to be true. I called the restaurant (their Tysons Corner, Virginia location) to make a reservation and inquired about whether they had a gluten free menu. While they don't showcase it on their website, they have a detailed printout of Gluten and Dairy Information they provide to interested guests upon their arrival at the restaurant. The person taking my reservation assured me that they accommodate gluten free diners frequently and that there would be many, many options we could enjoy. To say we were overwhelmed with the gluten free choices was an understatement...Chima Brazilian Steakhouse far surpassed our gluten... Read more →

Whether you serve them with a warm latte on a cool Fall morning -- or save them as a mid-afternoon treat, these Gluten Free Cinnamon Chip Scones are easy to make and sure to please. You can use your favorite gluten free flour mixture (one that can be substituted cup-for-cup for regular flour in baking). And feel free to swap the cinnamon chips for chocolate chips -- or better yet, use fresh berries like blueberries or raspberries (or both!). This scone recipe is very versatile, so you can try a new variety each time. Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour (I used King Arthur brand) 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted 3/4 cup cinnamon chips (make sure they are gluten free -- I used Hershey's brand) You can also substitute chocolate chips, berries, or nuts -- or any combination of those Instructions: 1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees 2.) Spread parchment paper on a baking sheet (this helps prevent the scones from burning on the bottom) 3.) In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 4.) Melt... Read more →

It's Back to School and Back to the Scramble! Today we welcome Aviva Goldfarb, mother of two and the author and founder of The Six O'Clock Scramble®, an online weekly meal planning service and author of a cookbook by the same name. She also has a second cookbook, “SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Meals for Busy Families” Both are available on Aviva is also a Today Show contributor and frequently appears in media such as the Washington Post, O Magazine, Real Simple, Working Mother, Prevention and more. Aviva's focus is on the family dinner -- and making it easier for busy parents. After all, families who eat dinner together typically have better relationships. Plus, the kids do better in school, are healthier physically and emotionally, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors like drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. More interesting (and rather alarming) statistics and trends can be found on Aviva's website. By following Aviva's tips below, you'll learn to save time, money, and your sanity! Most of Aviva's recipes are gluten free -- or can be easily adapted to be gluten free. Below she shares two favorite recipes, as well as... Read more →

As many of you may remember, several years ago California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) introduced gluten free pizzas, but they quickly pulled them off the menu due to concerns about cross contamination from the preparation of their regular pizzas in the same area. Fast forward three years, and California Pizza Kitchen is back with gluten free pizzas...this time having invested in thorough training by the Gluten Intolerance Group's Gluten Free Food Service and Management Training Program. Bob Moncrief, VP of Training and Development, explained, "We wanted a third party to verify our procedures so that gluten free diners could be comfortable." So now the systems are in place for CPK to offer a safe product for Celiac and gluten sensitive diners. And it's a good thing...apparently gluten free pizza has been the most requested item in CPK's restaurants nationwide. I was priviledged to speak with Brian Sullivan, the Senior Vice President of Culinary Development for California Pizza Kitchen, and also attend a lunch at CPK's "Innovation" test kitchen in Redondo Beach, California. What I learned about their new training and procedures impressed me, and I can attest to the fact that their pizza is wonderful. (Read on for details about how... Read more →

It's time to start thinking about planning Winter escapes and Spring Break vacations! If you've put off planning due to concerns about whether you'll be able to find a vacation spot that can accommodate your gluten free diet, I'm here to say you have plenty of options. And frankly, "accommodating" is no longer an appropriate word to use in this case...there are now MANY resorts and cruise ships that go WAY beyond merely "accommodating" their guests. They deliver a truly incredible and memorable experience for the gluten free traveler. So how do you find the best places? I'd suggest contacting Lesley Hayden, a Gluten Free Travel Specialist with Travel Leaders travel agency. She loves her job, and she loves her gluten free clients even more! While not gluten free herself, Lesley has spent the past few years of her long and successful career as a travel agent building up quite a following among gluten free clients -- and working with chefs at numerous resorts to ensure these clients are well taken care of. Many of the resorts Lesley works with are top-rated, all-inclusive resorts located in the Caribbean and Mexico. And if cruising is more your thing, Lesley can also... Read more →