Picture This?

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Its true!  Everyone loves good food. It is also true that a  picture is worth a thousand words.  Therefore a picture of food must be worth ten-thousand words. So?  The next time you are eating at a national restaurant with gluten free offerings why not take a picture with your cell phone and let us know what you think about it?  Because this blog is your blog too.

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Boston Market

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As soon as you open the door and walk into a Boston Market you can smell the aroma. Tender, Juicy, Rotisserie Chicken rotating on a spit until it is a deep, rich, brown, right before your very eyes. And! Who doesn’t love home style mashed potatoes covered in gravy? Yes, I said, “gravy”. Thick, rich, savory gravy dripping from your plate. Did I mention the creamed spinach? If you are not a fan of spinach Boston Market actually has a number of additional sides you can consider. These just happen to be my favorites. Boston Market is a café style restaurant. You place your order at the front counter while you are served. Then your food is brought to your table on plates with silverware. Staff is courteous and will bus your table. In fact, trash cans are not even available. The feeling of the restaurant is casual and homey. Click below to follow the link to Boston Market to see what options youmight enjoy. And as always verify and re-verify that what you will order is not only gluten free but also that staff understands safe food handling practices. Where do you enjoy eating family style?
http://www.bostonmarket.com/ourFood/index.jsp?page=allergens

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One Million Dollar Pillsbury Bake Off

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With a one-million dollar grand prize, Pillsbury has made life and winning a lot easier to be gluten free.  With a variety of delicious ready to use products you can be a winner too.  It is my hope that the 2014 winner will be a gluten free recipe.  Most grocery stores carry gluten free chocolate chip cookie dough, pizza crust, and pastry dough.  Their website is full of great ideas to get you thinking about an entry of your own. I have already experimented using the pizza dough to make focaccia.  Lets just say that it needs a little more work. The pastry dough, however, is fabulous, white, flaky, and buttery.  It holds up to any pie crust including gluten.  I have tried a few new creations such as a ground sausage and spinach breakfast tart which is full of flavor. I also have used the chocolate chip cookie dough to duplicate some of the suggestions on their website.  The peanut butter blossoms they suggested where a hit.  I also substituted the mini peanut butter cups for Hersey’s kisses. For the recipe click on this link. For more information about how you could win the one million dollar Pillsbury Bake Off contest click here. http://www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/bake-off-contest/bake-off-47

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Panera Bread

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It sounds ironic but Panera Bread does have a gluten free menu.  However, at first glance, their official website doesn’t include a gluten free menu.  Knowing that encourages me to continue writing a national gluten free dining guide. Nevertheless, if you have the opportunity to enjoy a meal at Panera they do have a gluten free menu if you ask them for it. The menu is limited but there is more than enough to choose from.  What it lacks in options it more than makes up for in service, quality and flavor. They offer a number of salads without crotons and a few other toppings such as fried onions.  To play it safe I also avoid cheese which contains mold since mold is often grown on the heads of moldy wheat. They also offer black bean or creamy tomato soup.  While they do not provide a gluten free roll they to offer to exchange it for either a bag of chips or a crisp fresh apple.  I enjoyed a chicken salad and creamy tomato soup.  They were so fresh that the only thing I could think of to improve it would have been seconds. As always be certain to verify and re-verify everything you choose to consume to be sure that it is gluten free.  If you would like to check out Panera’s website click here:   https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/home.html

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Red Robin Something to Chirp About

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Choices during the holiday season are important when you are gluten free. Red Robin offers a number of tasty choices that I liked even before I was gluten free.  I am a fan of gourmet type burgers especially a cool, crispy-crunchy, green lettuces wrap. Red Robin is one of the few restaurants that actually fire grills burgers.  I have had the salads too. They offer grilled chicken, cob, house and Caesar. And lets not forget the bottomless fries. If I could I would go just for the fries. Lots and lots of hot sizzling fries oozing with ketchup dripping down the sides.  They also provide a menu just for the kiddos in your family so you don’t have to go broke keeping kids safe.  The children’s menu also offers sides such as apple slices, celery sticks and mandarin oranges. The atmosphere is fun and the wait staff is attentive so if you are running Holiday errands you might want to treat yourself to burgers and fries.  Follow the link below for more information about menu options and guidelines. http://www.redrobin.com/img/content/cms/cms_wheat_gluten_allergen_menu…

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Girl Scout Cookies Go Gluten Free

Girl Scout cookies are going to offer a gluten free cookie.  If you are a fan of the girl scout shortbread then get ready to place an order soon.  According to Pittsburgh’s WTAE the gluten free cookies will be available this January.  Each box will only cost about one dollar more than those made of wheat. 

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Gordy and the Magic Diet

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Gordy is a spunky child attempting to navigate a world of tempting food and “fitting in” while staving off “tummy” monsters.  Celiac disease and food issues aren’t new but thanks to picture books like Gordy and the Magic Diet new light can be shed on an old issue. Gordy chooses to find strength and determination to avoid monster like reactions in order to enjoy happiness and good health.  Authors Kim  Diersen and April Runge and illustrator Carrie Hartman know the importance of the magic diet.  Between them their children have experienced a host of serious health issues which have greatly been reduced without the dangerous side effects of medication.  

As I turned page after page many thoughts came to my mind.  I wondered how my own childhood might have been different  if my parents would have had such a book.  I wondered how I might have avoided offering certain foods when raising my own children aged twenty-six and thirty.  I wished that there was a grown up version that I could give to people who don’t understand the real dangers of cross contamination and that, “Yes, just a little can hurt”. 

If you would like to find learn more about Gordy and the Magic Diet please follow this link  http://www.gordyandthemagicdiet.com/.  Which books have been most helpful to you to help you and others to understand celiac disease? 

 

 

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