Saturday, March 15, 2008

Great Gluten Free Places in Seattle

Gluten Friendly Chain Restaurants:

PF Changs at Bellevue Square

Very knowledgeable and helpful. It is always a fun family dinner here. The kids like the lettuce wraps, lemon chicken and street noodles. The best comes at the end with the Chocolate Dome for dessert. Afterwards, head over to Lincoln Square for a movie or stroll the aisles of the Container Store.

Maggianos Little Italy, 10455 Ne 8th St, Bellevue

Yet another favorite. Great service and great food. Upon arriving, inform your server that you need a gluten free meal. The chef will come out and help design a meal that meets all of your dietary requirements. They even have gluten free corn pasta! My daughter's favorite is a Caesar salad with fettuccine Alfredo sauce. I usually eat a steak or their spinach salad which is very good. Again, the best part comes at the end with gluten free crème brulee. It really is a special treat to eat here.

Outback Steakhouse

Several locations on the Eastside. Very knowledgeable and offers good food in a family friendly atmosphere. My daughter usually sticks with a bun less burger, salad or baked potato. Again, it is worth the trip for the desserts - The Thunder Down Under is a family favorite.

Some Local Favorites:

Cafe Flora, 2901 E Madison St, Seattle (206) 325-9100

A local favorite. The kids may have to be a little more restrained here and a little more adventurous with what they are willing to eat. The restaurant is vegetarian, The food tastes so good you will hardly realize that the restaurant is vegetarian. Items that are gluten free are marked on the menu. Go on a nice afternoon and eat on the inside patio. It is really lovely.

Da Vinci Cafe and Bakery, 10003 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle (206) 782-5735

Da Vinci Bakery & Café is the very first completely gluten free bakery in Seattle. The bakery is completely wheat and gluten free, so there is no room for contamination. Even my non-celiac's love this place. Everything is good. A fun little place to go on a Saturday afternoon. It has really cute decorations and the people that work there are very friendly.

Cinnamon Works, Specialty Bakery, 1536 Pike Place, Seattle (206) 583-0085

The perfect place to grab a gluten free cookie after a stroll through the market. Parents beware, the cookies are monster size. Need help locating it - just look for the man playing the piano on the corner. It is right next to him.

Adults Night Out:

Most of the fine dining restaurants in Seattle are very capable of accommodating a gluten free diet. Just call before you go but I have had wonderful experiences eating at a lot of Seattle restaurants.

Impromtu Wine Bar Cafe, 4235 E. Madison St., Seattle (206) 860-1569

This may not be the type of restaurant to take the kids to only because their pallets may not be mature enough for the food selection. But if you get a night out, or you have older children, do not miss it. It has great atmosphere in the charming neighborhood of Madison Park. The wine and food selection changes seasonally. Executive Chef Dan Ahern's then creates menu items matched to the wines, providing guests with an inspired fine dining experience. The menu is almost completely gluten free and they are more than aptly educated about celiac disease.

Where to Shop:

Most chain grocery stores in Seattle have a gluten free section. In addition to Whole Foods, here are some local stores with great selections of gluten free food:

Fresh Vitamins, 12618 120th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA (425) 821-1819

Great selection of harder to find gluten free items including Chebe Pizza Mix and Kinnikinnick products, in addition to Ener-G and Glutino.

Manna Mills, 21705 66th Ave W, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043 (425) 775-3479

Manna Mills has the best selection of gluten free food~Glutino, Ener-G, Chebe, Kinnikinnick and many other choices.

Natures Pantry, 10201 NE 10th St, Bellevue (425) 454-0170

A good selection of gluten free food in the heart of Bellevue.

Amazon Fresh

An on-line grocery store with 704 gluten free items.
The service offers daytime delivery, local pick up or pre-dawn delivery that has your groceries waiting on your doorstep in the morning if you place an order by midnight the night before.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The New Batter Blaster!

Pancakes in a Can.

This is what our non-gluten free society has come to.

I saw the article about it in the newspaper and my first thought was of disgust! They say it is to hard to mix up some pancakes real quick so they decided to make Batter Blaster!

How disgusting. Everyone supposedly loves it but I think it is all fake.

If you want to find more out about this "organic" mix then go to their website:

I am disgusted and am going to send them and e-mail about this disgrace to our society right now!!!!!

Lemon Olive Oil Cookies

1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

1 egg

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

First combine the yogurt and olive oil well. Stir in the egg, then the lemon juice and zest, to make a coherent mixture.

Next, combine all the dry ingredients together. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry. The dough will be sticky like and might stick all over your fingers.

Form small balls with the sticky dough and roll each ball into sugar. This will make the finished cookies crunchy and shimmery. Place on a baking sheet covered with a Silpat or layer of parchment paper.

Cook for around 12 minutes. The cookies will be soft at this point, but they will fill fully formed. Let them sit on a baking sheet to cool for about 5 minutes.

Carefully move the cookies to a cooling rack and let cool for another 5 minutes. Dig in and enjoy yourself!

Gluten Free Kid's Multi Grain Bread

Gluten Free Kids Multi grain Bread

½ cup brown rice flour

½ cup sorghum flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

¼ cup millet flour

2 t active dry yeast

¼ tapioca starch

¼ cup cornstarch

2 t xanthan gum

3 t sea salt

3 t ground flax seed

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1 cup water at room temperature

2 T canola oil (or any kind of vegetable oil)

2 T honeys (we use Anna’s Huckleberry Honey)

2 t apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate large bowl by hand or using a hand –mixer on low just until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture until fully combined.

Pour into a 9 x 5 inch bread pan that has been greased.

Turn the oven off, place the bread inside and let rise for 90 minutes. Do not open the oven door during this time.

Increase heat to 350 degrees and bake until the crust is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 – 40 minutes.

This is delicious bread with an amazing taste that everybody loves!

Me making the delicious bread!

Cooking Class with the Gluten Free Girl

On Tuesday the 11th of March the Gluten Free Mom and I went to a cooking class that the Gluten Free Girl taught.

She taught a lot about how to accept being Gluten Free and how after a while you get used to it.

One thing that really stuck out to me was when she said that its not the taste of the food you remember but the memories you have making it. You remember your grandma's food not by the taste but how you made the food and memories cooking it with her.

We also learned more about Bob's Red Mill flours and sugars, mixes, and chocolate to use when you cook. Guardedly chocolate is a good thing to use.

With her we made Multi grain Bread, and Lemon Cookies. (I will make a post for them later.)

She has a tattooed "yes" on her wrist.

If you do not already have her book you should get it. It is called the "Gluten Free Girl." You can order it from Amazon.

The Gluten Free Girl was very inspiring and has made me want to write and cook even more!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New York City

New York City

We love New York City. We found it to be very family friendly and we loved all of the gluten free options.

Eating gluten free while in New York City:

What to Pack and Bring Along

When we travel it is much easier and more economical to take our own breakfast food. We pack
Kinnikinnick maple dipped donuts and chocolate chip muffins, a box of our favorite cereal, some extra napkins, paper bowls and plastic spoons. There are fruit stands all over New York selling fresh fruit.

The night before, pick up some fresh fruit for breakfast. In the morning, Mom and Dad order coffee from room service with a glass or two of milk and we eat breakfast in the room. Honestly, gluten free or not, this is a really easy way to eat breakfast with kids when you are at a hotel. No one has get to dressed, we get to sip our coffee while we read the paper.

I also packed a loaf of gluten free bread and some peanut butter for lunch in case we could not find a place to eat. New York City has so many wonderful gluten free places to eat that we hardly needed it. But we bought some chips and fruit and packed a lunch the day we rode the Ferry to Staten Island.

Of course, always pack extra snacks. Purefit Nutrition Bars (
Pure Fit Nutrition Bar, Peanut Butter Crunch, 15 - 2 oz bars [30 oz (870 g)]) and Organic Food Bar Belgium Chocolate Chip travel well. We also took along Ener-g Pretzels and peanuts. It is not a road trip for us without our Candy Tree Licorice Vines (Candy Tree Organic Cherry Vines, Wheat-Free/Gluten-Free, 2.6-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)).

Family Friendly Gluten Free Restaurants

Risotteria, 270 Bleecker Street (212) 924 6664

One of our favorite restaurants in NYC. Located on Bleecker Street in the quirky community of West Village. Risotteria is quaint with great service and, most importantly, great gluten free food. It starts the moment you sit down and are served crispy gluten free bread sticks.

The excitement continues through the main course offering pizza, risotto, Panini sandwiches and straight into the GF dessert options. Menu is clearly marked and the wait staff offers outstanding service. Risotteria is small and very popular so go for a late lunch or early dinner. They happily squeezed our group of five in.

Babycakes NYC, 248 Broome Street (212) 677 5047

For dessert, head to Babycakes NYC for the best gluten free cupcakes you have ever eaten. BabyCakes offers all natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from gluten, casein and eggs. Eat some at the bakery and take some back to the hotel for later. The bakery also offers mail-order delivery.

Bloom's Delicatessen Cafe 350 Lexington Avenue (212) 922 3663

Yes, your classic New York deli that offers a gluten free menu. Great for breakfast or lunch. Menu items range from omelet’s to French fries. Burgers were served without a bun but sandwiches come on toasted gluten free bread.

Peter's Restaurant New York 1606 1st Avenue (212) 734 9600

A neighborhood diner located on the upper east side, a short walk from the Met. An extensive gluten free menu including pancakes, sandwiches on gluten free toasted bread, french fries and even chicken fingers. A nice outside seating area as well.

Ruby Foo's 2182 Broadway (212) 724 6700

Asian restaurant with lively decorations. I wondered if this was the inspiration for PF Chang's or visa versa. We enjoyed lettuce wraps in a fun environment. Make reservations in advance.

Sambuca 20 West 72nd Street (212) 787 5656

My Mom and I at our 2nd favorite restaurant called Sambuca.

Another favorite, Sambuca is a family style Italian restaurant that offers a gluten free menu with dinner rolls, pasta dishes including ravioli, main dishes such as chicken scarpariello, salads and even brownies for dessert. Make reservations in advance.

Lilli and Loo 792 Lexington Avenue (212)421-7800

Chinese cuisine and sushi bar. Pretty authentic Chinese food which the adults liked but was a little too real for our kids Americanized Chinese palate. We had chicken lettuce wraps, street noodles and Manchurian beef.
Other Gluten Free Restaurants:

Unfortunately, we did not get around to trying the following restaurants which also offer gluten free food. If you have, let us know what you think and we will add your comments.

Candle Café Third Avenue and 75th St as well as on East 79th Street, near Lexington Avenue (212) 537-7179
Vegetarian cuisine. Click on the link for their gluten free menu.

Gourmet Land 1588 2nd Avenue (82nd & 83rd)(212) 772-8700
Beijing, Sichuan and Malaysian style Chinese restaurant on the Upper East Side.

Lumi’s 963 Lexington Avenue (NE corner of 70th St) (212) 570-2335
Upscale Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side featuring Mediterranean Tuscan cuisine.

Tini’s Restorante Italiano 2nd Ave and 81st Street (212)628-3131

Southern-italian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. The Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program suggests that you “ask for Enzo when requesting the gluten free menu.”

Beyond Eating:

We actually did more than just eat in New York. On our first trip with the a family of five, we only had a couple of days, but the following itinerary worked great for us. We tried to make cab rides as short as possible so our sightseeing was coordinated with our gluten free dining options. This takes a little more planning, but takes away a lot of the stress once you reach your destination.

Waldorf Astoria 301 Park Avenue

This is a great old historic hotel that is centrally located for sightseeing up and down Manhattan Island. It was just a few minutes walking distance to the American Girl Doll store. We even walked to Central Park and Times Square. During the week it was flooded with business suits, but more relaxed on the weekend. We all loved it here.

First night:

We had to try Risotteria for our first New York City gluten free dining experience and we were not disappointed. We loved this restaurant and enjoyed strolling down Bleecker Avenue after dinner. Since we were here to see the sights, we caught a cab to The Empire State Building. We reached the top just in time to see the sun set and the lights of Manhattan come on. Since we come from the land of mountains, water and pine trees, this sight had an entirely different feel of beauty to us. The kids were in awe.

Day Two:

We were traveling with an eight year old girl, so day two was Rockefeller Plaza and the
American Girl Doll Store.

Need I say more??

We dropped off the bags at the hotel and walked to
Bloom's Delicatessen Cafe for lunch.

We were heading out early to go to a Broadway Show that night so we ordered extra carry out food for dinner (some green salads and chicken salad) and keep it in the hotel refrigerator. We spent sometime in the afternoon shopping on Fifth Avenue. That night we went to
Mary Pippins on Broadway. It was absolutely fabulous. The highlight of the entire trip and we are still singing supercalifragil . ....

Day Three:

We were taking the ferry to
Staten Island and the Statute of Liberty so we decided to make some peanut butter sandwiches on gluten free bread, buy some chips and fruit and take our own lunch. It was a good idea because there was really nothing to eat for us on Staten Island and we avoided the long lines at the one food vendor. The ferry ride was wonderful. The view looking back to Manhattan Island is unmatched is its ability to inspire awe. The Statute of Liberty was equally inspiring. We planned on seeing Ellis Island, but my sightseers had seen enough, so next time.

On the way back up to the hotel, we went by Babycakes for a late afternoon snack.

Wow - truly fantastic cupcakes. That night we had dinner at Ruby Foo's.

Day Four:

After a late breakfast/early lunch on the Upper East Side at Peter's Restaurant, we took an easy cab ride across Central Park to
American Museum of Natural History.

Of course this is a NYC family classic. We really enjoyed the Cosmic Collisions Space Show. Afterwards, we walked through Central Park and down Fifth Avenue to our hotel. Dinner on our last night in NYC was at Sambuca.

Day Five:

We had a late flight, so time for one more day of sightseeing. We had to go back to Risotteria for another great gluten free meal. Then we headed to Time Square for some last minute shopping.

The M&M store has very cute lunch boxes (great for a celiac kid who has to carry lunch just about everywhere). Of course, we had to ride the giant ferris wheel at Toys R Us.
We were all sad to leave the Big Apple but decided we would definitely make this a yearly excursion.

How I was Diagnosed with Celiac Disease

In third grade I missed 36 days of school.

My mom kept on taking me to the doctor but they always said it was the flu. We figured there was something else wrong because every month I would stay home from school and have the stomach flu for a week.

Towards the end of the school year we saw a doctor who gave me a blood test that said I was positive to celiac disease. We saw a specialist doctor who saved my life. I had 6 blood tests that summer along with a biopsi and a broken arm.

The day I broke my arm I found out that I had Celiac Disease.

I have had it for almost 3 years now and am perfectly healthy. This blog will give you a feel of what being gluten free is like and will give you some great tips and recipes. I thougt having Celiac Disease was the end of the world but it turned out that it was really the start of something new.