Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Food banks in need of gluten-free donations

With the number of people getting their food from food banks on the rise and the number of people who need to eat gluten-free also on the rise, there is a real need for more gluten-free food donations at food banks.  In fact, it's a huge problem because if you've ever looked at what's on the shelves at food banks, the items are usually heavy on the gluten.  From Campbell's soups to Kraft mac-n-cheese - the options are very often items that are off limits to people who can't tolerate gluten.

Check out the article (link below) about the problem and please share it with others if you're so inclined.  I saw a news report recently that quoted something like 1 in 6 Americans don't get enough to eat.  That means that many people who can't tolerate gluten also don't have enough to eat.  Now imagine that when those people try to secure something to eat from a food bank, there is very little being offered that they can safely consume.      

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/health/article_cd7c2a0c-1a5f-11e1-9898-001cc4c002e0.html

Together, even if just taking time to share this with others, we can actually make a difference.  Thanks to everyone who takes the time to spread the word about this serious need in our country!

*To learn more about Deb Wheaton (from the article), please visit notevenacrumb.com.  




Monday, November 21, 2011

North GA resort offers gluten-free options

One of the readers at Celiac-Disease.com was kind enough to let us know that Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA can accommodate gluten-free guests.  Since we needed a mini get-away and wanted to enjoy the fall colors north of Atlanta, we decided to stay at the resort just for one night last month. Before booking the room, I confirmed that the dining room could serve gluten-free meals upon request.

We arrived at the sprawling resort mid-afternoon and were checked into a king room with a private balcony.  This was actually a surprise since we had not booked that type of room, but the manager upgraded the reservation and comped our night's stay as well!  After settling into our cozy room, we checked on our dinner reservations and headed to the expansive veranda off the main lobby to enjoy a glass of wine.  The view from there is simply amazing and the fall colors were somewhat subtle this year, but lovely none-the-less!

When we checked in with the hostess for dinner, she informed us that the chef had created special menus for us. Imagine my surprise when I was given a lovely formal printed gluten-free menu that included an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert!  And as usual, I requested something that was not listed...lol!  Hey, I prefer salmon over filet mignon any day - what can I say?

We started with the gluten-free appetizer listed on the special menu. The prosciutto wrapped shrimp turned out the be one of the best appetizers we've had in a very long time.  My perfectly prepared salmon was served over a portebello mushroom and gluten-free penne pasta which at first glance, I thought might not be edible since it was obviously corn pasta.  But the chef knows his stuff and it was imported Italian gluten-free pasta.  It was delicious with a very light sauce that could not have camouflaged bad gluten-free pasta.  

In addition to our menu items, we also enjoyed the salad bar which was fairly basic and included a nice cheese selection and fresh fruit.  After our amazing dinner, I enjoyed a lovely baked pear dessert and my husband enjoyed a gluten-filled treat.  We watched the sunset over the mountains from our table.  The gourmet meal, scenery and friendly staff made for a perfectly lovely evening!

The next morning, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet.  While there were no gluten-free bread items to be found, I filled up on an omelet, bacon, cheese and fresh fruit.  If I go back, I might take a croissant from Celiac Specialties to round out the buffet options.

There are many spa services and even horseback rides available at Brasstown Valley as well as an indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub.  We're not golfers, but the course there looks very nice.  We were there for such a short time that we didn't take advantage of anything but the lovely views, the great dining and the relaxing atmosphere.  The entire experience was delightful and we hope to return for a longer stay one day!
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Wishing you all a fabulously delicious                   gluten-free Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AMERICAN AGRA-FRUTTI moved - Grand Opening event this Saturday!


AMERICAN GRA-FRUTTI just moved to a new location and to celebrate the bakery is hosting a grand opening event this Saturday.  If you're in the ATL and on the gluten-free diet, be sure to stop by and try some of the tasty gluten-free goods being sampled at the grand opening event.  See below for details and be sure to RSVP if you can make it!  
  
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We are ready to open our new bake house and store front. We hope that you join us for our Grand Opening Celebration.

Saturday, November 19, 2011
10:00 am to 3:00 pm


1007 Mansell Road, Suite D.
Roswell, GA 30076

770-587-5874

We will have our classic foods and new delights for you to enjoy.

Come taste our family of gourmet Middle Eastern foods:  hummus, savory spreads, and dolmas.  These delicious foods are all dairy free and vegan.


RSVP: Please let us know if you think you will be able to drop by on the 19th by emailing marilyn@agrafrutti.com with "Opening RSVP" as the subject.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sally's Bakery offers Thanksgiving treats!


If you are in the Atlanta area, you probably know that the first gluten-free bakery here was Sally's Bakery in Sandy Springs. The bakery owners are dedicated to creating tasty gluten-free foods that are so good gluten eaters don't suspect they're gluten-free!  Many of their creations are dairy-free as well!  Just in time for Thanksgiving, Sally's Bakery is offering specialty holiday staples and treats.  They also tweaked their hamburger buns a bit so they're a normal size and are said to be just like a normal gluten containing bun!  I've placed my holiday order and am excited to try some new items from Sally's on Thanksgiving! 

With the bakery owner's permission, I'm posting their most recent newsletter below.

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Greetings,

We hope this newsletter finds everyone enjoying this fall weather!  After a great deal of experimentation and feedback, we are happy to introduce our new hamburger buns.  It is a completely new recipe; they are actually hamburger bun size and you would be hard pressed to tell they are gluten free. We're very pleased with this new recipe; they have the texture and feel of regular buns so grab a pack next time you're in!

Bun Ingredients: brown rice flour, non-GMO cornstarch, tapioca flour, eggs, sugar, canola oil, potato flour, non-GMO cornmeal, yeast, rice bran, baking powder, vinegar, gelatin, egg replacer, xanthan gum, sea salt

With Thanksgiving coming up, we are pleased to announce the following additions to our menu:

9” Pumpkin Pie – $13.99 – As a holiday staple, this favorite will round out your Thanksgiving meal or make a great breakfast the next day...if it lasts! – Our pumpkin pie is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

9” Pecan Pie – $15.99 – Our best ever pecan pie is a must have in our house.  No one will ever know it's gluten free.  We're using fresh south Georgia pecans to top this pleasantly sweet southern favorite. – Our pecan pie is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

8" Apple Buckle Cake – $14.99  – Our apple buckle is very similar to an apple coffee cake.  With the perfect balance of brown sugar and cinnamon this treat will be gone before you know it! – Our apple buckle cake is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Yeast Dinner Rolls (pack of 6) – $5.99 – These classic yeast dinner rolls will be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu and are sure to melt in your mouth. – Our dinner rolls are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs.

9" Chocolate Cake - $14.99 - This is our classic chocolate cake recipe many of you have had just in a smaller version.  You can trick your gluten-eating family and friends; they won't be able to tell it's gluten free! - Our chocolate cake is free of gluten, soy, and eggs.  Contains dairy (butter only).  Dairy free version available upon request.

9" Vanilla Cake - $14.99 - This is our classic yellow cake recipe many of you have had as well.  You can trick your gluten-eating family and friends; they won't be able to tell it's gluten free! - Our vanilla cake is gluten free and soy free. Contains dairy (butter only) and eggs.

Let us help you save some time this Thanksgiving!  These additional offerings will be available from Tuesday, November 15th through Wednesday, November 23th by special order.  Special orders may be picked up after 12pm.  Some items will be frozen.  Place your order by phone, via email, using the contact form, or in person!  Also, to make Thanksgiving week easier we will be open on Monday, November 21st with regular weekday hours.  

Our holiday schedule is as follows:

Open Monday, November 21st - Wednesday, November 23rd: 10:00am - 5:30pm.
Closed Thursday, November 24th - Monday, November 28th.
We will reopen with our normal operating hours on Tuesday, November 29th.
Thank you all for your support!

Best regards,

Sally, Bonnie, Taylor, and Davis Owings

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Sally's Bakery - A Gluten Free Place
5920 Roswell Road, Suite 108A
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Bakery: 404-847-0211

Sign up for our Email Newsletter to hear about new baked goods, special offers, etc.!
Go to www.sallysbakery.com and sign up on the left sidebar.



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UPDATE 11-17-11:  I picked up my order from Sally's Bakery today and the soft, FRESH hamburger buns demanded we have burgers for dinner.  We paired bun-less burgers from Five Guys with Sally's 'new and improved' hamburger buns.  Well, believe it or not - the new buns are really improved even though they were pretty tasty before!  While I've never had a gluten bun at Five Guys, my husband gets them most of the time and he said without question that the Sally's Bakery buns were much better than the gluten buns he normally gets!  Now that is impressive - and surprising! 


It's important to note that the buns need to be refreshed after they've been frozen and you must use a low temperature (200-250 degrees) to do this.  I like warm buns so even though I could have eaten the very soft buns right out of the bag, I heated them slightly at 250 in the toaster oven.  Now we have another thing to be thankful for at this special time of year - delicious gluten-free buns from Sally's Bakery! 
  



  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mina's Gluten Free based in the ATL!


Until recently, I was unaware of the company in Stone Mountain that produces gluten/allergen-free mixes called Mina's Purely Divine Gluten Free Mixes.  I met Mina at the recent gluten-free vendor fair here and eventually got a chance to test taste some delicious goodies made with her mixes.  The product line is fairly unique in that there are only three mixes (A, B and C) which can make everything under the sun that is traditionally made with gluten.

I had the bagels which tasted just like a normal gluten bagel and made for a perfect turkey pesto sandwich for lunch.  The other samples included chocolate cake and carrot cake.  The chocolate used in the chocolate mix is of high quality which makes for delicious and rich chocolate treats.  The carrot cake was also wonderful and after snacking on tiny versions of each cake over several days, I ended up falling in love with the carrot cake!  It was always a favorite of mine when I ate gluten and I'd always choose it over chocolate desserts any day.

Mina's mixes are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and are free of all forms of gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.  You can read more about how this interesting product line got started HERE.  There is an array of recipes to use with the three mixes on the company's website.  Currently, the product line can be ordered online, but I hope to see some local stores pick it up soon!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Enjoy Life Foods 'not nuts!' trail mixes


not nuts!<sup>®</sup> beach bash<sup>®</sup> : click to enlarge

There is not a nut I don't like.  I'm a huge fan of nuts - pecans, cashews, macadamias, walnuts - all nuts.  I love them.  So, when Enjoy Life Foods sent me their trail mixes to review, I didn't even remember until they arrived that all products in the line are allergen free.  Meaning that none of them contain nuts of any kind.  I figured that I might not enjoy the mixes since they are nut free and the only reason I'd typically eat trail mix is for the nuts.

Below is description of the products:


Happy trails to you.

Salty, sweet and crunchy, our trail mix is so good you won’t even miss the nuts. On the trail or on the go, it's the ideal portable snack. With no peanuts or tree nuts (or any other allergens for that matter), it also makes a great school-safe treat.
gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree-nut free, soy free, egg free and casein-free


Once I read the ingredients on each of the two bags, I felt better about my chances of liking the mixes.  After all, I quite like dried fruit, sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds and salt. The first mix I opened was the 'beach bash' and it was excellent - the perfect blend of savory and sweet ingredients!  There are six servings in a bag, but this snack is so good one could easily get carried away and down half the bag without thinking about it.  To keep from doing that, I put the mix in a small ramekin.

Next up was the 'mountain mambo' mix.  It too was delicious and a little extra special in that it contains chocolate chips!  Seriously, dried fruit and chocolate - what's not to like?!  I'm not really sure which mix I think is the best of the two.  They are each extremely tasty and both fairly different.  I can see putting some of the trail mix into small baggies to have on hand when dining out in a place that doesn't offer gluten-free appetizers.  The resealable pouch package will also travel well and not take up a lot of space in luggage.

If you like the ingredients listed in these two mixes, you're sure to like the combinations of them that Enjoy Life Foods came up with for these delightful products!

*The products reviewed above were sent to me free of charge. As always, my comments are my own and have not been influenced by any outsides sources.    

No omelet for brunch...seriously?!

When visiting in-laws recently, we went to brunch in Chattanooga, TN.  Since brunch is typically pretty easy to manage gluten-free (I've...