Showing posts from 2011

Christmas Dinner

This year was a bit of a struggle. It took me a long time to get into the holiday spirit. Perhaps, the 3-month period of unemployment, moving from place to place (including my sister's), warmer weather and no snow (!!!) all contributed to the loss in holiday cheer! Top that all off with a crazy work week prior to Christmas  mix that with a case of the flu, and what do you get? Nothing other than one girl running around on Christmas eve trying to finish Christmas presents (buying and wrapping) and Christmas dinner. 
Despite all the stress and frustration of preparing for Christmas this year, it all came together just fine. That is, minus Mia having the flu, us all missing Christmas Mass, most of us sleeping throughout the day and a couple little disputes here and there.  Cranberry Jelly was a must!
Part of Fran's Christmas Present! Our goal is to eventually turn this bottle into a Christmas Lamp.
Brown Sugar Ham with Pineapple. 
Sweet Potatoes

Cream Corn Pudding.
This pudding is a fa…

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas In NYC / S'MAC Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

To my dismay, I had recently found out that my sisters haven't really spent much time in NYC, let alone the fact that they have never been for Christmas. Now, I can't say that I would want to live in NYC, but - let's put it this way, I miss it like I miss home. Ever so often, you just have that urge to go home. Well, here and there, I have that same urge to visit the city :D. I enjoy the atmosphere and the culture! I love how people can just themselves and not care what others thing about them. The more original you are, the more loved you are. 
:.The more original you are, the more loved you are.:
Not really feeling the Christmas spirit this year, I was hopeful that the city would do it for me. We heard carolers, saw the tree, visited the store windows, dinned, and so much more. It was fabulous - all minus the driving and parking :D 
We started our trip in Hoboken NJ. I surprised my sisters and we took a visit to Carlo's Bakery! That show really does remind me of my fami…

Gluten Free Gift Ideas Part 3

For some time now I have kept a list of Gluten Free products that look of interest to me, but being a full-time student (up until now that is) I really couldn't afford the specialty gluten free items. I am just starting out in my current position so I still don't have a lot of extra money. So I have decided to share my finds with you all and perhaps you will purchase these for your loved ones or heck, why not treat yourself?

Genius Gluten Free Bread
Gluten Free Ravioli  & now Gnocchi
De Puma's Pasta
Flax Muffins
Crab Cakes
GF Meals (Deliverable)
LiveWell Pizza
SandwichPetals (Gluten free flatbreads)
Freedom Foods
Raw Bars
479 Popcorn (Gourmet Popcorn)
DS Gluten Free
Pasta Prima
Qrunch Burgers
Clemmy's Ice Cream (Lactose, Gluten Free, & Sugar Free)

Christmas Dinner Ideas

Funny how my parents have had 26 Christmases together and they still can't figure out what each other will want for Christmas dinner. I mean, they know the basics, like my dad enjoys a ham, but that's about it.

Last night I was visiting the family and being the organizer that I am, I decided to try and put together the Christmas day food menus, after all it is an art :D. At least it is an art in our house. Trying to get all the girls to answer what their favorite Christmas food is and then getting the answer out of my parents...yikes!

This is what we have come up with thus far for Christmas Day Food:
Christmas Day Breakfast:
* Mom's Fruitcake (It's a tradition, can't go without it)
* Porkroll
* Scrambled Eggs

* Christmas Pancakes (Red velvet and green almond flavored)
* Bacon

Christmas Day Antipasto
* The basic Meats and Cheeses
* Olives
* Cheese Ball and Crackers
* Christmas Day Soup (Dad has requested Sausage and Cabbage, the man can never get enough Cabbage and Sa…

Gluten Free Gift Ideas Part 2

Going gluten free is a big step, but once you are able to overcome the initial shock and learn the basics, you begin to explore the rest of the world around you. If what you used to eat was that poisons to you, what else is harmful to you?  Take a look at cleaning products; most of those do more harm than good.

Better Life Cleaning products are good for the earth and good for you. Check out today's Gluten Free Gift Idea: Better Life. They currently have a special, Starter Kit for $35.55 + Free Shipping (over a $50.00 Value). All of their products come equipped with quirky, cute, names. Take their All Purpose cleaner for example, it has been names: what-EVER!

Purchase options: Online, Whole Foods, ACE, or Schnucks.

New Gluten Free Bakery

Tote, opens today!  Stop by the Italian Market to grab some great gluten free goodies :D
An option to order online is coming soon!!

Gluten Free Dinner Under 30 Part 2

What's for dinner? Why not a nice steak dinner?

- A nice piece of grass-fed steak
-1 package of frozen corn
- 1 can of BPA free black beans
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic powder
- Cumin
- Honey
- Lettuce

Set the oven on Hi Broil. Place the steak on the bottom rack with the door slightly open. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip. Move the steak to the top shelf of the oven and back for an additional 3 minutes. Flip and bake for the final 3 minutes. Once finished pull the steak out of the oven and let it rest for 3-5 minutes.

Heat a pan to medium heat on the stove top. Add the black beans, corn, spices, and honey. Heat thoroughly.

Plate the lettuce, add the steak, and pile on the corn and black beans topping.

Gluten Free Dinner Under 30

I am finding that many people assume a gluten free meal takes longer to prepare than most dishes. Wrong. Here I have whipped up a delicious shrimp dinner in closer to 10, maybe 15 minutes.

White Wine
Corn Starch

Directions: Heat your frying pan. Add some butter and chopped garlic. Let the garlic turn brown. Then add your onions. Don't crowd the onions. Give them room to breathe. Lastly add your shrimp and desired amount of white wine. You may need to add some corn starch to thicken.

Gluten Free Pure Tacos Coming to Philadelphia, PA

Thanks to our friends at Gluten Free Philly for the update- Pure Tacos, whose menu is 100% gluten free, is coming to Center City West!!! It is not often, correction, I have yet to be in a restaurant that is 100% gluten free! I do believe that my first visit will probably take me a year to order due to the feeling of overwhelming joy!

Ah, gluten free people... what a huge success this is! Even 5 years ago when I first started my gluten free journey- the thought of eating out was terrifying. Stay tuned for an update once this joint is up and running! I will for sure be one of their first customers this coming February!!!

Giving is Living - Gluten Free Gift Ideas 1

It is that time of year again. I know, to many - it has emerged out of nowhere! If you are in need of some great gluten free gift ideas, be sure to check out's gluten free options.

They carry quinoa, vanilla extract, Vino de Milo Dressings, a wide variety of gourmet cheese and much much more!

Glowing Green Smoothie

I have had this recipe for sometime, but was already afraid that I wouldn't care for the taste. However, my current living situation involves a lot of driving so a quick smoothie in the morning is the ideal option.

So I whipped up a batch last week and took them with me. Turns out....I love them. The taste is great, and they are rather work schedule doesn't allow for a lunch break until about 2:00pm and this smoothie holds me over rather well.

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups of water1 head of organic romaine lettuce3-4 stalks of celeryA bunch of Kale1 Apple1 Pear1 Banana Juice of 1/2 a lemonAdd the lettuce and water and blend. Then add in the celery and kale. Once that is mixed well toss in the apple and pear. Lastly, mix in the banana and lemon juice. Pour into glass jars and enjoy!

Thanks to Kimberly Snyder for the recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Gluten Free Pizza in Wayne, PA

I was in Wayne, PA today with my sister and together we found another gem! This by far is one of my favorite gluten free restaurants! Now listen...I tend to get excited when I find gluten free friendly restaurants, especially ones close to home; so much, that sometimes I let my excitement over-exaggerate my liking of the food served. I have said it before and I will say it again, too many restaurants don't serve good food. You know what I am talking about! We as customers are looking for a chef to create masterpieces that they have put their heart-and-soul into.

A chef once told me that she chose her line of work not for the praise or the pay, because clearly neither where there, but for the enjoyment and the ability to create her own art. This small glimpse into the person she is, probably already has you wanting to eat whatever she creates, and let me tell is always delicious and cooked to perfection!

It is unfortunate that way too many times I am served food that is o…

Gluten Free Findings at the Christmas Tree Shops!


Gluten Free Findings at Williams Sonoma

Has anyone tried them yet? Curious to see what your reviews are!

Teresa's Cafe

Sorry for the lack in communication. Life has been a bit crazy around here between visiting my grandparents, accepting a full-time position, and apartment hunting. Yesterday was an apartment-hunting type of a day. I kidnapped my dad and off we went to the Philadelphia area to look for a new apartment. After a long day of searching...we all know this is exhausting....we decided to have dinner in Wayne, PA. I pulled up my gluten free app on the phone and found Teresa's Cafe.

The atmosphere was welcoming, staff was exceptionally helpful, and the food was tasteful. Even my dad,who being 100% Italian himself,  is a rather harsh food critic enjoyed his meal.

Most restaurants tend to overcook gluten free pasta and turn it into mush, but Teresa's knows what they are doing! The pasta was cooked perfectly, the sausage had a good taste to it, and all around the meal was something I would recommend to others. :D

Time spent with the family is never time waisted.

Take a look at the pretty flowers Mia and I brought to our grandparents.
Today we went out and got them both new lift reclining chairs. These chairs are amazing! Makes it so much easier for them to get in and out. Now, we just need to get grandpa to remember that he has a remote to move him versus him struggling.
Its hard to watch my dad take care of his parents as if they were young children.  It's like they say....your parents raise you and in return you take care of them in their older years.

Gluten Free Halloween

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe Halloween! 

Gluten Free Candy List (from
Gluten–Free and Gluten-Safe Halloween Candy and Treats

3 Musketeers fun size
3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate

Act II Popcorn Balls
Albert’s Gummy Eyeballs
Albert’s Iced Halloween pops (lollipops)
Almond Joy fun size bars
Amanda's Own Confections Chocolate shapes and chocolate lollipops
Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit snacks
Applehead, Grapehead, Cherryhead

Baby Ruth original and fun size
Barrels of Candy
Bazooka Big Mix (includes bubble gum, bubble gum filled candy, candy chews, and bubble gum filled lollipops)
Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot Wicked Webs Berry Wave mini feet
Betty Crocker Halloween fruit flavored snacks, including Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll–ups, and Mini Rolls
Butterfinger original and fun size
Big Blow bubblegum
Black Forest Gummy Tarantulas
Black Forest Gummy Fun Bugs Juicy Oozers
Bubbly lollipop and gum

Candy Checkers (made for Target)
Caramel …

Morning Walk

There is nothing like starting my day with a walk. The crisp clear air, peaceful environment, the silence....its a great way for me to clear my head from the previous days frustrations; especially now with the major life decisions I am about to make in regards to my career path.

Gluten Free Traveling.

I have decided to work on establishing a list of gluten-free friendly restaurants that I have encountered while traveling. Or that I have found online and traveled to just so that I may experience a fabulous gluten-free meal.

Raw Can Roll Cafe, Wayne, PA
Pure Fare, Philadelphia, PA
Cheu Noodle Bar, Philadelphia, PA
Sip-N-Glo, Philadelphia, PA
Aksum Cafe, Philadelphia, PA
Sweetgreen, Ardmore, PA
Jar Bar, Wayne, PA (closed)
Matador, Wayne, PA
Xilantro, Wayne, PA (closed)
El Vez, Philadelphia, PA Food For All Market, Philadelphia, PA
Las Bugambilias, Philadelphia, PA
Christopher's, Wayne, PA
Main Line Pizza, Wayne, PA
333 Belrose Bar & Grill, Radnor, PA
Peace of Pizza, Multiple Locations
Teresa's Cafe,Wayne, PA Portfino, Philadelphia, PA (closed) Percy Street Barbecue, Philadelphia, PA Distrito, Philadelphia, PA Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, West Chester North Wales, Phoenixville, Maple Shade, Wilmington, DE  Cube Libre, Philadelphia, PA, Atlantic City, NJ, Orlando, FL, Washington, D.…

Harrisburg, PA, Gluten Free Friendly Restaurants

This is a work in progress and I would love to have others' opinions. So if you have had a successful gluten free meal around the Harrisburg, PA area please contact me with the basic information (Restaurant name, location, gf option, etc.), a good story, pictures, whatever floats your boat! :D
Here are some of the places I have thus far had a successful gluten free meal around Harrisburg, PA GardenFresh Market and Deli, Harrisburg, PAThe Wild Tomato, Harrisburg, PAGreen Room Bistro, Carlisle, PAPizza Sorrento, Hershey, PALa Mattina’s Pizza Fayetteville, PA

First Snow Fall

First snow fall of the season! Funny...the geese flew south only 2 weeks ago. According to the old wives tales....aren't we suppose to have another week before the first snow?
Stay safe and warm.

Iron Hill Brewery

On one of my more recent job interviews put me back in the Philadelphia area. This provided a great opportunity for me not only to pick up my official MBA diploma (pure excitement), but to also visit a good friend of mine. She selected the Iron Hill Brewery for lunch.

We have visited the Iron Hill Brewery a number of times before and I have always appreciated the staffs' knowledge on the needs of their gluten free consumers. This time I ordered the smoke house burger. While I asked for my burger to be cooked medium-rare, and I even took the time to describe how I wanted it to look (rather pink inside), I received my burger cooked well done. I also was not asked if I wanted a side of salad or french fries (which can be made gluten free upon request). The overall experience was disappointing.

While the food was ok...rather taste-less in my opinion, most likely due to the burger being overcooked, I just can't help but find myself eating more and more vegetarian! I haven't tr…

Pumpkin Overload

What to do when you have an overabundance of pumpkin? Well, you can toast pumpkin seeds, make pumpkin seed bark, make pumpkin pie, make pumpkin roll...but the best of all this season....

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie!


Approximately 2 cups of flour (make gf by using a gf all purpose flour blend)1 tablespoon of cinnamon1/2 teaspoon of baking soda1/2 teaspoon of baking powder1/2 teaspoon of ginger1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or allspice, whichever you have on hand)1/2 cup of brown sugar1/2 cup of sugar (or sweetener substitute, I used honey)A pinch of salt1/2 cup of oil (can substitute with applesauce)1 cup of Pumpkin puree1 large eggPreheat the oven to 345 degrees.  In one bowl mix all the dry ingredients, in another mix the wet ingredients.  Then slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients. If the mixture is too runny, add more flour. Spoon onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Let Cool and then sandwich with some cream (recipe follows below). 
Cream: 1 1/2 cream cheese packets1/4 cup …

One of my new loves

For Life tea products is officially one of my new loves and a great Holiday present idea! Products are stylish, easy to use, easy to clean, and more affordable than other companies. 

I choose to purchase some of the Berry Blend loose tea! It only took one sniff and I new this was the tea for me :D

And the cup's lid has a dual function, flip it over and it works as a plate for your tea infuser.

Just a Friendly Reminder / Gluten Free Checklist

To all of us who have to take a gluten free diet seriously, I just wanted to share the friendly reminder that The Gluten Free Doctor has provided for us.

Here is a list of ingredients to AVOID at all costs!!!
Abyssinian Hard (Wheat triticum durum)Hydrolyzed Wheat ProteinAtta Flour- An Indian food-is actually another name for wheatBarley Grass (can contain seeds)Barley Hordeum vulgareBarley MaltBeer (most contain barley or wheat). There are gluten free brands- Bards, Redbridge, New Grist, Greens etc.Bleached FlourBranbread FlourBrown Flour- British for Whole Wheat flourBulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)Bulgur WheatClub Wheat (Triticum aestivum subspecies compactum)Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)cookie Crumbs- unless made from a gluten free cookieCookie DoughCookie Dough PiecesCouscousCrab Meat- Artificial- made with shredded fish and wheat flourDurum wheat (Triticum durum)Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)Emmer (Triticum dicoccon)Enriched Bleached FlourEnriched Bleached Wheat FlourEnriched FlourFar…