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Showing posts from December, 2016

Happy Holidays!

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Everyone spends their holidays in different ways, but the important part is that we take the time to do something for others, ourselves, and to reflect on how we can do better for the coming year. 
While my family is a crazy loud Italian family, I love them with my entire heart, soul, body, mind..... They may not always get along, they may be embarrassing at times, they may anger me at times - BUT I do love them and the holidays wouldn't be a success without them and their screaming. 
This year, I got a bit crafty ( I AM NEVER CRAFTY) but I knew they would appreciate it. So out came the crafts and my Pinterest account :) I made table settings,
Decorated Mason Jars
Shower Bombs
Clementine Wreathes 



Oh, and my Nana's Favorite - rice pudding. Mom's traditional recipe is not the creamy rice pudding that I notice Nana always reaches for. After some research, dad and I were ready to mix and match recipes and see what we would come up with. We ended up tripling the below recipe.

Miracle Noodles

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Miracle Noodles are an easy no-calorie option for those that are gluten-free and vegan.

While I am not watching calories, I do love Miracle noodles for their consistency, ease of use, and how quick they are ready to enjoy!

When you first open the package, it has a bit of a weird smell but the instructions note to rinse the noodles for a bit and then simply cook for 2 minutes. The very first time I tried these noodles, I was a bit leery and pretty sure this weird smell would stick around and I wouldn't be able to stand eating them. However, I am always down to try new things so I rinsed the noodles and tossed them in a vegetable broth for two minutes.

I was in love and they were so kind to my stomach - especially since I have been working so hard to help heal my digestion.

The company has a couple of product lines:
1. Miracle Noodles and Rice - I would really like to try the Ziti, Dry Kanteen, and the rice versions (having a bit of a hard time finding them at my local stores).
2. M…

Straw Propeller Gourmet Gluten Free Oatmeal

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With my recent addiction to gluten-free oatmeal and the need to have food accessible on-the-go - I was beyond excited when I found Straw Propeller's Gourmet foods. They market themselves as using only real ingredients, with no additives or preservatives - win win!

Straw Propeller offers 15 unique flavored gluten-free non-GMO on-the-go oatmeal varieties.
Here is what sets the company apart from their competition:

Gourmet Grab-and-GoGluten-FreeNon-GMOAll Natural KosherVegan optionsNut-Free optionsUSA MadeWomen-owned Company (YAY)Hot and Cold Cereal options10% goes to a charitable cause
While attending a recent event, I quickly tossed the Indian Curry Variety into my bag and ran out the door. When it came time to eat, I carefully read the instructions - added my boiling hot water and let it set. 
I waited about 3 minutes, as per recommended and noticed it still wasn't set. I continued to let it set, but it never seemed to arrive in that cooked consistency I was looking for :(
The t…

Indeblue, Philadelphia Gluten Free and Vegetarian Friendly

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After having had such a wonderful experience at Desi Village and experiencing the true wonders of the Indian cuisine during our work team's Diwali event - I have been trying to emerge myself more and more into the Indian options around the Philadelphia area.

I came across Craig LaBan's review of Indeblue and immediately became intrigued. I ran to their website to see that they clearly mark their gluten-free and vegetarian options on menu.

I did some reviews and it appears most people enjoy the meat dishes and their most reviewed appetizer, or starter dish would be the crispy spinach chaat salad.

Upon arrival, we were welcomed into a warm and cozy atmosphere - which was much appreciated after the short chilly, the smell of snow coming, walk from the parking garage. We were seated towards the back and while it was tight and a bit loud - somehow it worked and provided that cozy-like feeling that was needed for a family reunion.

While I was a bit late, the remainder of the table w…

Asiana Garden, Radnor, PA Gluten Free and Vegan

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Happy Holidays! It is that time of year for holiday events - aka ladies day out with their manager.

These types of events tend to freak me out and we all know why. Not all restaurants are Nicole-friendly and if they are, ordering can be painful and difficult to explain - but you have to be a team player and get involved in these events.......... so here we go.

Things I do before attending a new restaurant:
1. I call and ask to speak with a manager. I try to discuss the gluten-free allergy and get a feel for their understanding and importance of contamination

2. I use Facebook to communicate some of my additional food preferences/ allergies.

3. I review the menu 1,000+ times trying to see where I could ask for modifications and not just be served a piece of lettuce.

Day of the event:
1. Pray

2. Arrive at the restaurant. After being seated, I excuse myself from the table and find a manager to speak with. I explain all of my allergies and what I am looking for and together, the team and I…

Philly Gala for the Humane Leaque

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I was recently invited to attend the Philly Gala - A celebration for the Animals hosted by The Humane League - Philadelphia Chapter. The location of the event was at the Goldilocks Gallery - neighboring the Philadelphia Union Trust building.

This was my first time to this particular venue but found it to be a nice little gem tucked into a corner of Philadelphia's pockets. While it was a bit on the "chilly" side for me - most attendees found the temperature to be comfortable.

I arrived early and found it to be a bit on the hectic side. In a private room, attendees were enjoying their VIP dinner by Vegan Chef Lenka, while additional volunteers seemed a bit scrambled to set up the donated vegan appetizers, light meals, and desserts.

I gladly jumped in and offered my assistance. As a team, the tables were displayed and everything was ready for their general admission guests 7:00pm arrival.

In review, of how the tables were arranged, I could see that there was clearly some glut…

Foods When You Are Battling the Flu

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I have been feeling a bit under the weather the last week and food has not been appealing to me. Things I used to really enjoy all of the sudden taste like dirt or the smell freaks me out. All of this is very typical for when I am not feeling well - thank you people for sharing your flu with me, it was such a nice surprise! - I wish there was an emoji that rolled his eyes, I would totally insert it here. Okay, enough ranting...on to some topics of food.

I was pretty excited to try making a pumpkin sauce for my zoodles. I literally just added whatever I had laying around and included some zucchini and kale. It smelled pretty decent and appeared to set rather thick so I was pumped! However, when I prepped the dish and sat down to eat, I was no soo enthusiastic. It was NOT at all what I wanted it to be. Oh well, not every dish can be a success.

Not feeling great, the one day I decided to rock some soup for breakfast.

I made my basic vegetable broth and added in some scallions, cilantro (…