Oh The Places We’ll Go

Today is my last day of work and on Friday I’ll be taking my one way flight back east!! We’ll be spending a few weeks in New Jersey with Bryan’s family before we head on up to Rhode Island and get settled into our first place together.  While in New Jersey, we’ll be making a few trips to Philadelphia, New York City and almost a week in DC (we are beyond excited about that…neither of us have been).

With being gluten-free I decided to do a bit of research for our little adventures of places where we could possibly try out.  Of course I had to try to locate a cupcake place in each city!  So here is our potential stops as of right now…if you have any other suggestions PLEASE leave a comment and let me know of them!!


Sweet Freedom Bakery

New Jersey

Gluten Free Gloriously

New York City

Babycakes NYC (been here already and LOVE it)

Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery

Bloom’s Delicatessen

Friedman’s Deli

Lilli and Loo’s




Red Mango

D. C.

Hello Cupcake!

Kavanaugh’s Pizza

Lilit Cafe


I want this!!

I love cupcakes – as I have said many times. I just came across this blog – Cupcakes Take The Cake and instantly fell in love.  Not only is this site cute and fun and full of cupcakes but check out this post about this awesome calendar!!

Hello Cupcake! 2011 wall calendar for sale

For the early birds out there, who want to make sure 2011 is filled with cupcakes when scheduling plans, the 2011 Hello Cupcake! wall calendar is for sale now. I have the 2010 one and it’s adorable, and I know the year before I waited too late to buy a different cupcake calen

dar and it sold out, so a heads up from us.

You can buy it from:


Info below via publisher Andrews McMeel.

The Hello Cupcake! 2011 Wall Calendar features all-

new photography and all-new designs for the most imaginative and eye-popping cupcake creations you’ve ever seen! Using everyday components available at the supermarket—cake mixes, prepared icing, candies, and breakfast cereals—the best-selling authors of Hello, Cupcake! and What’s New, Cupcake? are back to dazzle your senses and sweet tooth with this irresistible wall calendar.

Each month

features a practical illustration identifying all the components used to transform ordinary cupcakes into rubber duckies, valentines, goldfish, freshly baked pies, playful polar bears, and other seasonal sensations. You don’t have to bake to enjoy these cupcakes—they are a wonder just to gaze upon.

I need one of these for our new place 🙂  I love finding new blogs to follow!!

Little Black Box

Many females get excited for a “little blue box”, but not me!  I’ve never really been a fan of Tiffany’s actually.  I like jewelry, don’t get me wrong but I like more unique pieces rather than mass marketed diamond rings and key necklaces (no offense to anyone who owns or likes their products, it’s just not my thing).  I’m sure Bryan was excited to learn that I don’t care for their products either…plenty of pressure was just lifted off of him.  I told him flat-out I never want him to buy me anything from there…save your money, find something different and unique from a local artist or something.

But this post really isn’t about jewelry at all, I was just thinking of the excitement woman have over that little blue box and the imagination of what it could possibly be holding.  My excitement came in a little black box!! A while back I did a post of gluten-free cosmetics and I am now doing a follow-up to it.  I am continually searing for gluten-free/wheat-free products especially when it comes to skin care, cosmetics and body washes/lotions.  This is an extremely difficult and frustrating task.  I know there are products that you can order online, however I really like to see what I am buying before doing so.  I want to be able to smell these items too. The other hard thing is, I’m not a huge make-up wearer.  I like to have a little bit on but I never want to feel like I am wearing anything especially in the summer time.  I do understand that having a thin layer of foundation is a great protection for your skin from all the pollutants and such in the environment.  So I try to do just that, and like they say – “a little bit goes a long way”.  My “normal” routine is foundation and eye liner.  Every once in a while I will put on some eye shadow and maybe, just maybe some mascara.

When I first posted about this I contacted Bare Escentuals and they sent me the following e-mail in return:

Dear Jenny,

Thank you for contacting Bare Escentuals. I would be happy to assist you! I certainly understand your concern regarding gluten in our products!

The only products that we carry containing gluten are the 100% Natural Lipcolors, 100% Natural Lip Glosses, RareMinerals products, and the Skin Rev-er Upper contains Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract. The 100% Natural Lip Liners contain barley lipids but it has been tested to be gluten-free.

Firm, brighten and reduce fine lines and puffiness.

Our new RareMinerals Active Triple Treatment Eye Cream visibly diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, restores firmness, and reduces puffiness around your delicate eye area for smoother, firmer, brighter skin. Infused with our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex,T this groundbreaking eye cream uses mineral electrolytes and Marine Peptides to rejuvenate skin around the eyes instantly and over time.

To learn more, just respond to this email or call us at the number below.
We hope this is helpful, but please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions you may have via email or by phone at 1-888-795-4747 during our business hours Monday through Saturday 5 AM to 9 PM, Sunday 7 AM to 4 PM Pacific Time.

Customer satisfaction is Bare Escentuals #1 priority; we appreciate you taking the time to contact us.

Warmest Regards,
Tiffany D.
Bare Escentuals Beauty Associate

The following information is also found on their website:

While the list below shows the Wheat, Oat, Rye and Barely free products please keep in mind that these products may be made in an environment that handles Wheat, Oat, Rye and Barley derivatives.

All-Over Face Colors – all shades
bareEyes Eye Makeup Remover
Blush – All shades
Blush (SPF 20) – all shades
Brushless Mascara
Body Minerals – all shades
Eyecolor – all shades
Extreme Glimmers – all shades
Faux Tan
Faux Tan Body Moisturizer
First Base Lip Balm
Flawless Definition Mascara – all shades
Foundation (SPF 15 Original) – all shades
Foundation (SPF 15 Matte) – all shades
Gossamers – all shades
High Shine Eyecolors – all shades
Hydrating Blush – all shades
Liner Shadow – all shades
Lip Rev-er Upper
Makeup Remover Wipes
Mineral Veil – all shades
Mineral Veil (SPF 25) – all shades
MultiTasking Minerals – all shades
On the Spot Swabs
Prime Time Eyelid Primer
Prime Time Foundation Primer
Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer
Quick Change Brush Cleaner
Radiance Rocks – all shades
Soft Focus Colors – all shades
SPF 15 Lipgloss – Fiji
SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen – all shades
Weather Everything Liner Sealer
Well Cared For Brush Shampoo

Buxom Insider Liner – all shades
Buxom Lash Mascara
Buxom Lashliner – all shades
Buxom Lip Polish – all shades

Blemish Therapy
Moisture Burst Facial Mist

I received this e-mail back in February and just last week I went to Macy’s and had them match my skin tone to their foundation (another thing you can’t do online) and ended up leaving with one of their starter kits!!  It is $60.00 for their starter kit and includes the following:

  • 2 shades of bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation, size Medium
  • 1 Mineral Veil Finishing Powder, size Medium
  • 1 Warmth All-Over Face Color, size Medium
  • 1 Handi Buki Brush
  • 1 Flawless Application Face Brush
  • 1 Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush
  • How-to DVD to show you how to Swirl, Tap, Buff your way back to the skin you were born with
  • Like I said before I’m not a huge makeup person, however this stuff is awesome!  I love that it feels like I’m wearing nothing, yet I have an even skin tone and It is being protected from any harmful pollutants.  You can buff on as little or as much as you want depending on the level of coverage you are looking for.  I usually go for a light coverage and was told by the sales associate that this should last about four months and the larger size would last between six to seven.  Not bad for $60.00.

    They have a huge selection of blushes (which I never use because I have naturally pink cheeks), eye shadows, eye liners, brushes etc.  So take a look around and if you are looking for some great gluten-free cosmetics, I would highly recommend this to you.  I can’t wait to play with some more of their products (eye shadows specially) but that will come in time.

    New e-Cookbook from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang!

    Check out the post below about the new e-cookbook from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang:

    “I’m very excited to share a project I’ve been working on for some time now.  My first e-cookbook has been published.  The Gluten-Free Diner is ready for you to get instantly.

    Now those of you who were signed up for my newsletter already knew it was out and had received a discount code.  I appreciate all of you that have already purchased the book.  Thank you. If you’re not signed up for the newsletter and want to be among the first to get the latest news, tips and recipes, sign up for it here.

    Now that I’m sharing The Gluten-Free Diner with the wider world, I am offering a special introductory discount that will expire in 3 days so don’t wait to get your copy.  Be sure to read to the end of this note for the discount code.

    The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook

    The Gluten-Free Diner contains 48 of  your favorite diner-inspired recipes.  I love to eat out and go to diners.  Unfortunately most of them can’t accommodate a gluten and dairy free diet.  So I’ve created these recipes to answer the question, “If I had a diner, what would I be serving?”

    This cookbook not only has recipes, but a menu on how to put them all together for tons of great meals.  Click Here to check out what’s on The Gluten-Free Diner Menu!

    Also included on almost every page is a little blue box where you can take notes on something you might change to your own taste, what you would serve that recipe with, mark it as your favorite to make again or anything else you want to remember.  Almost every recipe  has a photo of the dish.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a very visual person.  Show me the photo!  As always, I love to get your pictures when you make these recipes.  Please send them along, especially if you make the two recipes that don’t have photos so I can add them in the next edition.

    I would love for each person who reads this to purchase The Gluten-Free Diner and then pass this message along to others.  This cookbook makes a great gift for those people in your life that always want to cook for you, but are not really sure what a gluten free meal would be.  Maybe you are looking for a gift to give a teacher, co-worker, friend or neighbor.   How about that Dad that likes to cook or other family members that insist on giving you that dry plain piece of chicken or fish when you visit.

    Of course these meals are great for those who do not even follow a special diet, but just love diner meals.  I’ve tested these meals on company, and not one of them ate gluten and dairy free and not one of them even noticed it was missing.”

    I’ll be downloading mine soon!  I always love finding new cookbooks, gluten-free or non-gluten-free.  I was excited to see that this one was a digital cookbook that can easily be downloaded and best part…its under $10.00…now that is something you don’t see very often anymore. Check out some of the recipes offered here.

    Click here to get The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook

    Salad Works – Gluten Free Options!

    I love salads, however I love them even more when someone else makes them.  It’s hard for me to find really good salads where I live (you wouldn’t think so, but it’s true).  My option used to only really consist of Subway but you have to be very careful with them and cross contamination.  In the past few moths, we got a Erik’s Deli – which is great!!  They have a few salads and even provide a list of their ingredients for you to check over.  But up until we got Erik’s it was pretty bad around here.  The salads at Trade Joe’s are okay but nothing great and the Gluten Free options are very limited!!

    Bryan has been craving a Chinese Chicken Salad for what seems like two months now.  He finally found one at this place called Salad Works. Here is a little blurb from their front page:

    “Saladworks is the nation’s first and largest fresh-tossed salad franchise concept with over 100 restaurant locations across the country. Saladworks offers a “fanatic’ly fresh” menu of America’s Best Salads, Focaccia Fusion sandwiches and proprietary soups.
    All Saladworks salads are made-to-order, chopped fresh daily, and under 500 calories! Choose from over 50 fresh ingredients and create your own today!”

    See as I’m always looking for a place that has great salads I sent them an e-mail to see which of their products (salad dressings, meat etc) were gluten free.  I got a very quick response from Jennifer that said:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us.  Below you will find a list of items, including dressings and soups, that are labeled with allergen information, including gluten content.  Please note that fresh produce items like lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, etc are not included because they are inherently gluten free and we do not use any kind of preservatives that would add allergens.

    Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is any more information that we can provide.  We are currently working to distribute this information to our stores so that questions like yours can be answered at the store level.

    Thanks again and have a great day!

    -Guest Relations”

    She also included a chart in the e-mail that lists all of their products and which ones contain gluten (along with other allergens!). Please click  Allergen Information to view it as a PDF.

    I’m very excited to try Saladworks out this summer!

    Eggs In A Nest – Canyon Bakehouse

    My all time favorite breakfast as a child (and as an adult) is Eggs In A Nest (at least that is what we called it in our home, I know it goes by other names as well).  My mom used to make this for me when I was younger, and I love it.  It brings back so many memories.  It’s very quick and easy to make, so it makes a great breakfast option on the weekends or on week days when you are getting ready for work and need to make something quick.

    The Mountain White Bread was the only bread I didn’t sample in the previous two days.  I already knew that I wanted to make Eggs In A Nest with this bread, so instead of having breakfast for three meals yesterday I figured I would save this one for today.  When you make these Eggs In A Nest, you’ll need to cut out little squares in the center of the bread to place the eggs.  When I was younger my mom would toast these up for me all so but today and I decided to just try them as they were, no butter, no toasting just pop it in my mouth and see how this bread tasted all by its self.

    It’s truly great!  The texture is perfect, and has a slight sweetness to it.  I have to say this “white bread” could beat out all those main brand gluten filled breads in flavor.  This would make great sandwich bread with out even having to toast it before hand.    I also think that if you were to cut this up in cubes, mix it with some herbs and bake it in the oven it would make for some great croutons.  All in all it seems like a very versatile bread (same goes for the San Juan 7 Grain).

    Eggs In A Nest

    2 slices of bread – Canyon Bakehouse GF Mountain White Bread

    2 eggs


    salt and pepper

    • Cut out a small square in the center of each slice of bread
    • Lightly butter both sides of bread and place in pre heated skillet (low-medium heat)
    • Gently brown the first side of toast
    • Crack one egg and place in the center of the first piece of bread (repeat for the second one – I do not eat the yoke so I use only the egg whites)
    • Season with salt and pepper
    • Once egg has started to set, flip and cook until egg is no longer runny
    • Serve and enjoy!

    Canyon Bakehouse – Gluten Free Bakery Products (Review)

    Some time last week I was asked by Canyon Bakehouse if I would like to sample their products and review them.  Of course I said yes!  I have been reading all of these amazing reviews about them and couldn’t wait to try them for myself.

    The past month has been a bit crazy with packing everything up that I need to ship and trying to figure out what to sell/get rid of and the next month is going to be even more intense.  I’ll be living with some friends for my last month in California to save some money (Thanks so much guys!!), so posting may not be as often until we get settled.

    With the big move and all the shipping going on money has been tight so I’ve been trying to make meals that can either make good left overs or be turned in to something else.  One thing I don’t normally buy is bread products because fankly the ones that are out there (especially at Trader Joes) stink!  They are like eating bricks, the feel like one, look like one…you get the point.  I try to make my own, but I had to throw out my bread pan recently because it too stinks.

    I come home on Friday after work to find a box full of tasty tooking/smelling products from Canyon Bakehouse.  I opened it up and couldn’t resist trying them right away.  The breads are fluffy and squishy (I’m sure plenty of people do this when they shop for bread..they squeeze first, who wants hard bread?).  Not only did it come with a sample of each of their breads: San Juan 7 Grain, Cinnamon Raisin, Mountain White, and Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia but it also comes with a sample of their Cranberry Crunch Muffins! A little surprise was also in the box…a sample of their hamburger buns (not currently on their website, but watch out for them!).

    I first dug in to the Focaccia bread, had to try a little sample of it dipped in some nice warm olive oil.  For dinner last night was some cinnamon raisin toast.  Not only was this bread, soft and fluffy but it has the consistency of real bread that you would buy at any normal grocery store.  The flavor and texture is amazing,  you truly can’t tell there is not gluten to this bread. I think the Focaccia bread would bake for an awesome panini sandwich with some mozzarella cheese, basil and prosciutto (roasted red peppers for Bryan).

    Today for breakfast I cut one of the muffins in half and grilled it (with just a little bit of butter).  I’m in love with these muffins…they are the perfect size, just the right amount of cranberries with the added crunch from pumpkin, poppy and sunflower seeds!  Cranberry nut muffins have always been my favorite type of muffin and these have stood up to the test and exceeded my expectations.

    I’ve spent most of the morning and afternoon packing things up and sorting through everything else and left no time to go grocery shopping, so I’ve been very thankful for this box of goodies.  I looked around and thought oh I can make an egg sandwich for lunch! And so I did…on the San Juan 7 Grain Bread.  Just a lightly fried egg with some shredded/melted cheese on some toast bread.  Again, you can’t tell the difference with the consistency of the bread.  It’s extremely flavorful.

    After all the packing the last thing I wanted to do (obviously if you can’t tell by my last few meals I just wrote about) was to cook a meal.  I was planning on sushi but it just didn’t work out tonight so instead I headed down the road to the little pub and ordered a gluten free cheeseburger to go.  I came home and tried out one of the hamburger buns.  These also are fantastic.  The burger from the pub was a little bigger than my sesame bun and when getting towards the end of my burger I noticed that the bread was starting to fall apart a little bit, but over all it was very good.

    I would buy all of these products over and over again.  In fact I already told Bryan that I will be trying to get these in the Whole Foods nearest us when we move and if we can’t find them we need to order them online for sure.  When you are out shopping next time look  for these products.  Here is a little blurb from their site if you can’t find them in your stores:

    “You can find our products at the following stores. We are working to expand into additional stores in additional states. If you would like to see our products in your community, please send your suggestions and support to stores@canyonbakehouse.com.”
    A very big thank you to Canyon Bakehouse for the samples and the amazing products that you are making…keep it up!  You all are doing an amazing job.  I truly do not miss “real” bread when eating your products.  I truly think this is the best manufactured gluten free bread that I have had.  And yes….all of their products are gluten free!

    Special Report on Celiac Disease – USA Today!!

    It’s here!!!  Pick up your copy of USA Today or download the report from The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website.

    USAToday.CD.May2010 – pdf version

    Faces of Celiac Disease

    Another Gluten Free Blogger – Heidi of Adventures of A Gluten Free Mom posted this on Facebook yesterday…when you have a chance please check out this video and her blog!

    I was diagnosed almost two years ago now with Celiac Disease. “Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.”  The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown, but it’s often inherited. If someone in your immediate family has it, chances are 5 to 15 percent that you may as well.”

    Since I was about ten years old (if not younger) I always had problems with being sick especially after eating.  Around that time I was diagnosed with being lactose intolerant.  For many years I went dairy free but still was getting sick…ALL THE TIME.  Little did I or my doctors realize that it wasn’t the dairy making me sick, it was everything I would eat with it.   At fifteen years old I was diagnosed with both IBS and Fibromyalgia.  The Fibromyalgia was very uncommon for someone my age at the time and still is.  The IBS was no surprise because many of my family member either have that or  Crohn’s Disease.

    After twenty six years of eating pretty much anything I wanted: Pasta, Breads, Pizza, Chinese Food, Soy Sauce etc it was a hard change for me to switch my lifestyle to be completely gluten free.  I’m not going to lie its a challenge, but honestly having a good attitude about it, a great support system of friends (none of which are gluten free but made every effort to cook/bake gluten free so I can enjoy it also) and being forced to be creative with my cooking (hence my blog name) it hasn’t been that bad.  There are a few days where I miss the texture of real Italian/French bread but besides that, the joy and feeling of not being sick all the time is truly amazing.  I can enjoy almost all the food I truly love with out fear of getting sick.  I cook at home most of the time and have learned to recreate my favorite gluten filled meals to be gluten free with all the taste that one could hope for.  These past two years have been a journey for sure and I’m sure all the years to come will be even better.  I have an amazing boyfriend who is willing to eat gluten free meals (he can go out and get real food, but at home it will be all gluten free).  He is extremely well at looking out for me and reading labels on products.   I’m very thankful for him.

    May is Celiac Awareness Month and I would strongly encourage you to get tested if you have symptoms of Celiac Disease (especially if someone in your family has Celiac!-hint hint to my family members)

    Thanks Heidi for posting this.

    Raise Awareness

    I have plenty of T-Shirts and many of which raise some type of awareness.  From Invisible Children to TWLOHA, it stops and makes people think and ask questions.   Those are two great organizations and if you have a second I highly recommend talking a look at their sites and seeing what they are all about.

    So, if we wear shirts for organizations, why not wear one for Celiac Awareness?  Check out these links from Cafe Press for your Celiac, Gluten Free, Wheat Free etc t-shirts, bumper stickers, aprons, bags/totes etc!!  Spread the word this month!

    Cafe Press : Celiac

    Cafe Press: Gluten Free Stuff

    Cafe Press : Celiac Chicks

    Cafe Press: Gluten Free

    May is Celiac Awareness Month!!

    Gluten Free

    May is Celiac Awareness Month!!  Want to help spread awareness?  Please read the an excerpt from the Triumph Dining Blog

    “Celiac Awareness Month (May) is quickly approaching, and we’re looking to get the word out in a big way! Each year, it seems we get closer to the tipping point, with more restaurants offering gluten free menus and more groceries labeled as gluten free. But, there’s more we can do in our quest to truly make Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet mainstream.

    That’s why we’ve teamed up with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to run a website badge campaign to generate awareness. Placing a badge (like the one above) on your website is a great way to get a dialogue started and to let the world know that you support Celiac Disease Awareness.

    And, until the end of May, when you add the badge to your website we’re going to give $5 (up to a total of $5,000) to the NFCA, to help them raise even more awareness of Celiac Disease. Participating in this event and using the badge is 100% free for you. We’ll make the $5 donation on your behalf. So, what are you waiting for? The only thing standing between the NFCA and up to $5,000 is a 30 second copy and paste job.

    Thank you for participating in these efforts and helping to raise awareness of Celiac Disease. The more we do to the get the word out, the better all our lives become. Together, we can make a difference!

    Ross Cohen
    President, Triumph Dining

    How to Participate

    1. Copy the code for any of the badges below and then paste it on your home page.
    2. E-mail us at awareness@triumphdining.com with a link to where you placed the badge on your site.
    3. You’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for one of several Triumph Dining Gluten Free Survival Kits (a $50 value!).
    4. Help us spread the word to raise even more money for the NFCA with the sharing tools (e-mail, twitter, and facebook) below.
    5. Celebrate your good deed for the day.

    At the end of May, we’ll present a check for up to $5,000 ($5 per person who pastes a badge on their site) to the NFCA.”

    Get your Celiac Awareness badges HERE

    Gluten Free

    For more information about Celiac Disease please visit:

    The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

    Celiac Disease Check List

    A new take on chicken tenders and fries

    A few weeks ago I filled out a form on Tropical Traditions website to be considered to review their coconut oil.  Not thinking that me and my little blog would get picked but I did! Yesterday I received my Coconut Oil in the mail and instantly began to think “what should I make first?”, “should I use one of their recipes or try and create my own?”, “what does it smell like?”, “will it have a strong coconut flavor?”.  Needless to say my brain was on 20 question mode, but I had a photo assignment last night and couldn’t experiment right away, so I did it tonight.  I was nervous and excited to experiment and swore that if my first try came out bad I wouldn’t blog about it.  Thankfully it came out pretty tasty!

    I’ve read so many great things about coconut oil, both for cooking/baking but also the health benefits of it.  Below are a few interesting facts that I have found in my research:

    • Coconut oil is very heat stable so it makes an excellent cooking and frying oil. It has a smoke point of about 360°F (180°C)
    • The oil is also used to give movie theater popcorn in the United States its distinctive flavor
    • Made from fresh coconuts, not dried copra
    • Has a fresh coconut fragrance
    • Apart from coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid found in such high concentrations is in mother’s milk

    I had been curious about coconut oil for a while now and been wanting to try it out for myself so I am very thankful to Tropical Traditions for sending me this amazing sample to experiment with and write about.

    So back to my 20 questions:

    “what should I make first?” – I decided to try and make a play on chicken nuggets and fries.  Instead I made coconut flour dusted chicken tenders and sweet potato fries.  They were fried in a little bit of coconut oil (recipe below).  It was very very tasty.  The chicken came out fantastic!!  So juicy and tender with a hint of coconut flavor (just a hint).  The fries came out great too, however I think I prefer my fries baked instead of fried.

    “should I use one of their recipes or try and create my own?” – I went with making my own recipe this time, but Tropical Traditions has tons of great looking recipes that I look forward to trying!

    “what does it smell like?”- It definitely smells like coconut but in a good way (not like suntan lotion).

    “will it have a strong coconut flavor?” – A slight coconut flavor is there but its not over powering or anything like that.  I rather enjoyed it.

    Chicken Tenders and Fries

    1/4 cup of coconut flour

    1/4 cup tapioca flour

    1/2 teaspoon of salt

    1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 medium to large sweet potato – cut into “fries”

    2 boneless/skinless chicken breast – cut into 1/2 inch strips

    coconut oil – enough to lightly fry the fries and chicken – about 1/4 -1/2 cup

    In a medium bowl mix the coconut flour, tapioca flour, salt and pepper until combined.  Dredge the sweet potato fries in the flour and shake of any excess flour before adding to the oil.  One the fries are finished cooking cool them on a wire rack.  Lightly sprinkle with salt (if you desire).  Next, add the chicken to the same flour mixture, coat lightly and shake of any excess flour before adding to the oil.  Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until fully cooked. I dipped my chicken in a little bit of honey….oooh so good!!

    Seeing as I was given this very generous sample to try I have decided that for the next month before packing everything up to ship across the country I will make one coconut oil recipe a week, so please stay tuned for more recipes and reviews. Now…what to make next, hmmmmm  Maybe I’ll try baking something next.

    Please check out this video from Tropical Traditions about their Coconut Oil:

    A few of my favorite blogs

    I Blog Gluten Free

    I love finding new recipes, trying them out and altering them (if not gluten free).  I own too many cooking magazines and cookbooks (to some peoples standards, but not mine).  I read cookbooks like some people read novels.  I love them.  Now, with technology I find myself reading tons and tons of blogs.  Getting new ideas, new recipes to try and of course continually learning more and more about this gluten free world.

    Here are a few of my favorite blogs (you can also find these and a few more on the blog roll tab)

    101 Cookbooks

    Heidi has some amazing recipes on here, and plenty of gluten free options! Here is a little blurb from her site:

    Hi there, my name is Heidi Swanson. 101 Cookbooks is my recipe journal. It’s where I write about the recipes that intersect my life, travels, and everyday interests. Often the recipes are from my cookbook collection, sometimes not – they might come from a friend, or I might write about a recipe I created myself.

    I focus primarily on natural, whole foods and ingredients – vegetarian recipes that are good for you and for the planet. Welcome!

    Elana’s Pantry

    After finding out I had celiac disease this is the first blog/site that I came across and it is by far one of my favorite ones.  I am continually going here for idea, trying her recipes and sharing it with others.  I find Elana’s knowledge and creativity amazing.  (I still need to buy her cookbook!!) Here is a little blurb from her site:

    In my 20’s I studied ayurvedic cooking. When my son and I were diagnosed with celiac disease, this three-year study came in handy. Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten. Out of necessity my cooking took on an entirely new dimension as we both went on a gluten-free diet.

    Unwilling to cook two separate meals each night for my family, I needed to make gluten-free food that tasted like regular food. Would I be able to do this well enough to convince my husband to come home for dinner?

    I threw myself into this culinary challenge and my husband, a tough critic, held nothing back. With much trial and many errors, I developed a gluten-free repertoire that tastes delicious. Friends and family now ask for my recipes, even those who are not on restricted diets!

    While my cooking might not be complex, I appreciate that my food brings people together –those who eat regular food and those who can’t –to break bread in the warmth of my kitchen. I love to make food that is not only good for you, but actually tastes good. This has become a passion for me.

    If you are interested in buying her cookbook you can get it on AMAZON

    Four Chickens

    I absolutely love this blog.  Jeanne has some tasty tasty recipes.  I’ve made her doughnuts and her scones…both are wicked good!  I’m very excited to try her new puff pastry recipe hopefully in the near future.  You should defiantly check out her blog and recipes.  Here is a little blurb from her site:

    I have 1 daughter, 1 husband, 5 chickens, 1 organic garden in a constant state of disrepair, 100 million books, 10 million skeins of yarn, 5 million cookbooks, 2 million projects in progress rolling around the house, and 1 PhD in theatre history/theory.

    I am gluten-intolerant. I also have a life-threatening allergy to wheat. My daughter has a life-threatening peanut allergy. This combo platter keeps life interesting, to say the least.

    I make fabulous gluten-free baked goods and it’s my goal to help others do the same.

    Adventures Of A Gluten Free Mom

    This is my latest obsession.  I was drooling looking at all of her recipes tonight.  I came across Heidi’s blog the other day because she had posted a link on my Creative Cooking GF Facebook page.  I can’t seem to get enough of her site right now. Sadly I don’t have a little blurb from her page about her.

    I hope you take some time and check these out and the others listed on the blog roll tab.

    A Very Merry Christmas

    This year I saved up my vacation time the best I could so I could spend almost three weeks with my boyfriend and our families back east.  We don’t get to see each other very often and its really hard.   We get to see each other every few months, its really taught us not to take each other for granted. We met over five years ago now but we’ve learned a lot about each other over the past ten months.  For example I learned that he is lactose intolerant and allergic to onions, raw apples and a few other things.  So, not only will our house be Gluten Free, it will be Onion Free and mostly Dairy Free.

    I got my first experience cooking both GF and DF while he was here for Thanksgiving.  I made a complete dinner for us.  GF stuffing, a turkey, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes and to top it all off a GF Apple Pie!  He and I both loved it.  And have to admit looking forward to doing it all over again next year.

    This year we sent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family back in Mass.  Christmas Eve is spent with my mom’s side of the family each year.  Lots of food and plenty of family to share the holiday with.  Its never a dull moment, trust me!  Christmas day is spent with my dad and step mom.  I had filled my parents in on Bryan’s allergies and my step mom made one amazing meal.  Completely GF, DF and OF!  Prime Rib with DF scalloped potatoes, green beans with pancetta.  The only part that wasn’t 100% GF, DF was the cheese cake.  My step mom makes the best cheese cakes, I swear!!  She even made me own special one with no crust.  Oh man I can still taste it.

    They also wanted to take us out to dinner one night at the 111 Chophouse in Worcester.  I’ve been there once or twice before, but this was before finding out about having Celiac.  I made sure to bring my little Triumph Dining card with me, however I didn’t need them.  The Chophouse has a gluten free menu.  Not just a few things either, it was a very complete menu.  It had apps, salads, main dishes, and deserts.  I was highly impressed with their selection for GF guests.  I ended up going with the Wagyu Flat Iron Steak. (Thanks again Dad and Sue for another amazing meal!)

    After about a week in Mass we headed back down to New Jersey to spend some more time with Bryan’s family and our friends.  We went to The City a few times, ate at Risotteria twice.  Shared the goodness of that place with our friends and Bryan’s Dad. (I have to say they were good sports to go to a GF place just for me! – Thanks guys).  On our first trip to the City we also went to MoMA to see the Tim Burton Exhibit, which is AMAZING.  I highly recommend going if you are there.  He is an extremely talented man, that is for sure.  Next stop was the Empire State Building!!  My dream finally came true.  (I know a self proclaimed dork, but I’ve always wanted to go since seeing An Affair To Remember).  Not only was it almost empty – no lines believe it or not, but we got to go to both the 86th floor and the 102 floor!  Both of which are amazingly beautiful.  It was night time and the city looked like it had a million Christmas lights all lit up.

    Our next trip was with Bryan’s Dad to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, NYC (which sadly closed on 1/3/10). They had some amazing things on display.  When you first got in they show you a “movie” of different artists who have been inducted.  It made me sad that I’ve missed some pretty amazing artists growing up.  Don’t get me wrong, I grew up listening to great music, but sadly didn’t get to see any of these artists.  I realized that we have lost amazing talent over the years and most musicians now a days just don’t measure up.

    On our  way home we stopped at BabyCakes!! Its a small little place, but the cupcakes are unbelievable.  I walked out of there with six cupcakes and two brownie cupcakes.  Don’t worry I didn’t eat them all myself, I shared 😉  I even love whats printed on the back of the box “Saving your behind one cupcake at a time”.  My friend Adina gave me their cookbook for my birthday, and now I can’t wait to try some of their recipes.

    For photos from my trip back home visit my Flickr page!

    Gluten Free Eating in Monterey, CA


    Its been a little over a year since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I’m continually learning new things. I’m always on the hunt for new recipes, ideas, and places to eat. Eating out is by far the hardest part of being Gluten Free. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook. I love to experiment and try new things but there are those days where I would much rather just grab something quick to eat.

    When I was first diagnosed I did a bunch of research online and found these amazing little cards called Triumph Dining Cards. These are amazing! They come in 10 languages and I always keep the “American Cuisine” in my wallet. I figured these not only would be good with eating out but also for future travel.

    I’ve used these cards quite a bit. I used it last weekend when eating at a Thai restaurant in San Francisco (Khan Toke Thai House). Not only does it help you with picking foods but it also helps the wait staff and chef understand what you can and more importantly can’t eat.

    Over the past year I have found a few places that are not specifically Gluten Free, however they are very accommodating. I thought I would take a few minutes to share these places with you.


    P.F. Changs – Del Monte Center, Monterey, CA

    They have a specific Gluten Free menu, its small but has a good selection. Their Chang’s Spicy Chicken is by far my favorite!

    Full MoonAlvarado Street, Monterey, CA

    A small family run restaurant in down town Monterey. They are very accommodating for me. I have brought them large bottles of gluten free soy sauce and they cook all of my food with it. All of their food is cooked to order (except maybe the spareribs which are pre-marinaded). I eat there often (to the point they know me by name and my “usual” orders) so when I first found out they had another customer with Celiac Disease and offered to cook my food with their soy sauce, so I have in turn offered that they can use my soy sauce for any one else with Celiac.

    If you have any questions they are very friendly and honest people. I’ve never had to worry about any cross contamination there either.


    Ocean Sushi – Monterey and Pacific Grove, CA

    Who doesn’t love sushi?! (ok a lot of people, I know) Again, nothing is specifically Gluten Free, however sushi has some great options … AvoEbi Roll (shrimp, avocado), Philadelphia Roll (salmon, cream cheese and JPN cucumber) and Edamame are great choices. There is not extra sauces or tempura to worry about. They don’t provide gluten free soy sauce but I’ve been known to bring my own and they are fine with that. I’ve talked with a few of the staff about Celiac and they are very accommodating to Gluten Free eaters.


    Chipotle Mexican Grill – Del Monte Center, Monterey, CA

    Here you have to be a little more careful of cross contamination, but I’ve eaten there plenty with out getting sick. On their website you can read all of the ingredients in their marinades, sauces, salsas etc.

    As I try more places I’ll update on here, but these are some of my favorites…next up Siamese Bay