Category Archives: Reviews

Entertaining Your Gluten Eating Guests

image via IMDB

image via IMDB

Do you know what’s super fun? Having a house load of guests that you love. Lots of eating, laughing and of course, karaoke. But you know what’s not awesome? When you’re gluten-free and you’re secretly worried about what everyone will think since you’re serving gluten-free bread and stuffs.

Luckily, I have amazoids friends and family and even more luckily I’m super into saving my intestines so I won’t be serving up any gluten in my kitchen. (Bringing it in, and keeping it segregated is kind of okay, I just won’t be the one slicing up those bagels.) Still, as the only person who has to eat gluten-free, I want to make damn sure everyone is too busy stuffing their faces to notice what may or may not be in their breakfast. Also, I try to get everyone liquored up so aren’t as concerned about the food. That’s a pro tip, and you are welcome.

So here’s what I whipped up with visitors in town. Easy, breezy, yummy in all the gluten-y tummies. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Coconut Pie is Yum

gluten-free-dairy-free-chocolate-pieI love pie, ya’ll. I don’t love making it so much since that whole crust thing gets in the way. But as I’ve said before, and will say again and again and again, if you buy a pre-made gluten-free pie crust or use a gluten-free mix, you can rock that gf pie. Which is what I just did here with this one. Also, I did it without dairy*. What? I KNOW. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Chuck E. Cheese ‘Cuz It’s Chucktober!

gluten-free-chuck-e-cheese

Okay, so this pizza is not gluten-free. But how cute is this????

Happy Chucktober everybody! Oh, you didn’t know that was a thing? IT IS. And I think my kids might have been the first to celebrate at the Burbank Chuck E. Cheese because they were so excited to see us wander in dressed like crazy people. Or maybe everyone at the Burbank Chuck E. Cheese is just way nicer than the one we used to go to in Brooklyn. 100% possible. Get it together, Atlantic Center.

Either way, when my kids walked into Chuck E. all dressed in costume they were greeted like skee ball champions with unlimited tokens. Which, they kind of were. You see, Chuck E. Cheese reached out to me about this promotion going on all over the nation in October—kids wear costumes, kids get 50 free tickets. Tickets which kids can trade for toys and candy that makes them lose their little minds. But I had another reason for wanting to go and write about Chucktober. A reason beyond going home with a ton of Fun Dip.

I’ve written about gluten-free parties for kids before in both my first book, and I also recommend Chuck E. Cheese as a fun gf spot in my upcoming book as well. It’s because of this – Continue reading

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How to Survive a Gluten-Free Earthquake

What hell a SoCal earthquake hath wrought.

What hell a SoCal earthquake hath wrought.

Before any of you lifelong Californians or folks from the Far East jump in, let me just inform you that I come from the land of tornadoes, came of age in the land of the occasional terrorist attack, and am very, very new to the land of the “you-never-know-when-it’s-coming” earthquake. I guess it’s just what you’re used to because, HOLY HELL THESE EARTHQUAKES ARE FREAKING ME OUT!!!!

I mean, let’s be honest, not as much as a terrorist attack, but still. It’s been a shaky couple of weeks. And one thing I worry about, of course, is what to eat during a disaster. OK, once I know no one is dead or seriously injured, ALL I think about is what I’m going to eat. Red Cross isn’t gluten-free you guys. (Is it? Maybe I’m unnecessarily judging.) Anyhoo.

We have stockpiled water, some canned goods (but let’s be honest, not cooked? that’s gonna’ suck) and randomly some V8 in case things get really desperate. Which is why I was stoked to get a box of RATIO bars from those nice folks right after a couple of medium ones hit.

gluten-free emergencyI’m not totally a “protein bar” kind of girl, yet I am a gluten-free eater who can get really ‘effing sick if I don’t have anything but gluten around. Like, you know, while traveling, after an earthquake, etc. In addition to the gluten-freeness, there aren’t any GMOs up in here, no soy protein, no artificial ingredients and no hormones. None of us need hormones, especially during a natural disaster. Since RATIO has peanut butter, well, I’m all set. I mean, I’ll have to fight that dino for it, but I’m feeling pretty excited about my stash the next time a biggish one comes.

Do you have an emergency gluten-free stash?

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Gluten-Free New York City: Maialiono, Artisanal, Gramercy Tavern + More

gluten-free new york city

I think this was supposed to me, and I’m scared

I just ate my way through NYC, you guys. I did. I’m lucky enough to have great friends who love great food so anytime I find myself in the area I get at least one dinner date that just blows me away and makes me say things like, “Ohmygod, New York food is sooooo much better than Los Angeles,” while I’m about three glasses of wine into a meal. Because, you know, judging dinner while drunk is an excellent measure of a meal.

Still, I did have some amazing gluten-free meals and can’t wait to head back, meet more friends (it was a quick trip), eat more food, and get more fab advice from NYC Grubber who I follow obsessively on Instagram. First awesome tip? Maialiono in the Gramercy Park Hotel.

gluten-free new york cityYeah, that’s some gluten-free pasta with cannellini beans and escarole, what of it? It was great and all, but two more things made this meal spectacular: gluten-free bread, and THREE KINDS OF GLUTEN-FREE PASTA TO CHOOSE FROM!!!!! Oh, and awesome friends. Duh.

The next night I had a bang-up risotto at Peasant. This restaurant, while a bit more difficult to navigate, was one of those magical places where you feel like you’re in a movie while you dine. The wine was crazy good, and our waitress had just enough attitude.

gluten-free new yorkSpeaking of movies, I highly recommend you follow up a dinner at Peasant with a vodka shot at Pravda coupled with an intense argument with your bestest friends about Woody Allen. Or maybe just the vodka.

Hold the mother scratchin’ phone! For those of you who have been reading for a bit, you know that I heart the cheese so much. I remember very well the first time I went to Artisanal right off Park Ave. and enjoyed cheese followed by a side of cheese. I met the dearest friend (wow, that sounds SO proper!) for lunch after a morning of wedding registry (not mine, hers) and was slightly worried about being disappointed on account of the lack of fondue I was about to consume. Guess what came out with the seasonal cheese tray?

gluten-free new yorkRecognize those Glutinos up in there???? I also had a lovely tuna lunch, which, while not a grilled cheese, was still good.

The true test of my fave New York restaurants came on our last day there. See, before we moved away my husband and I had a tradition of going to lunch at Gramercy Tavern on our wedding anniversary. Why lunch? Cheaper, no reservations, and the tavern seating is kind of more awesome than the white tablecloth dining room. Also, you still get the greatest food. See that cappuccino up there at the top? Yeah, they did that.

Gramercy is constantly at the top of like, every list, all the time. So I was pretty scared to walk in as if I could eat there safely. Yet, everyone was SO on board. Not only that, you guys, this may not look like much -

gluten-free new yorkBut what you’re looking at is seriously the greatest thing I have ever eaten in my life ever. And when I told the waitress that, she was like, “Yep. We get that a lot.” This is how good the house made bacon, whatever most perfect cheese in the world that was, freshly ground burger tasted. I said this, “I’m not even interested in that bun. It looks awful, in fact. I’m 100% sure that my gluten-free version is better.” I repeated this often and more than once I got the reply, “Yeah, you might be delusional.” Still, that’s what I FELT you guys. Oh, and look at this -

gluten-free new yorkWhat. The. Hell. Roasted + raw vegetables that taste as good as they look. Oh, just on the house with some dipping sauces, all gf. Beautiful!

Honestly, I didn’t have a lot of time to explore New York because it was a quick trip. Which now, embarrassingly, makes this post look like I ate an incredible amount. But I got a hot tip from a friend (an LA friend, actually because they’re all so down with the gf) about a bakery near my hotel.

gluten-free new yorkAll of that business up there was gluten-free! I got this savory spinach muffin and a super chocolate chip bar situation. SO GOOD. Pip’s Place, The Gluten-Free Cakery also has the best name. Pip’s, for chrissake.

All right, gang. This was another test (because all I do is test New York, apparently) when I went to my favorite very gluten-filled restaurant in my old neighborhood, No. 7. I loved their fried broccoli so much I recreated it gluten-free and vegan for my book. Still, gluten all up in there when you dine in. These gluten-free broccoli tacos, however, SHIZZLE -

gluten-free new yorkI forgot to photograph my steak, but yeah, you can get a steak.

Go forth to New York, my friends, and eat gluten-free.

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America’s Test Kitchen Goes Gluten-Free! + Giveaway!

gluten-free bread recipeThat’s a lot of exclamation points in one headline. But I kind of get excited when an institution like America’s Test Kitchen gets all up in our gluten-free business by publishing The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook and creating their own ATK gluten-free flour blend. Woot! The experts are in the hiz-ouse.

These lovely folks sent me the book, a canister of pre-mixed gluten-free flour blend (do they know how lazy I am? I guess so) along with a solid bread pan. Which is why I just had to test out a bread recipe. Since I love the cheese so much I made their Cheddar Cheese Bread and wowza! This bread disappeared in like 5 minutes as my kids grabbed it right out of my hands before I even had a chance to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

Since I hid two pieces behind my back, I was able to make myself a toasted turkey, cheese and arugula sandwich. I say toasted, because I just wanted a little buttery crunch instead of a melty mess since the bread was so light and nice. Lookee -

gluten-free cookbook giveawayI SWEAR there was more arugula in there. I’m not just trying to pretend I eat vegetables up in here. Anyhoo. This gluten-free bread was incredibly easy to make, and was ready in no time.

The thing I love about all of the ATK recipes is that they explain why a prep choice was made. In this recipe the instruction is to use a large hole box grater for the Parmesan and talked about why it was crucial. If that had not been there I guarantee you I would have grabbed the microplane. ATK makes sure you’re doing it right. Like your mother. It’s the mother of gluten-free cookbooks.

It really is great for those of us who have been slogging away at this gluten-free cooking thing for awhile, and newbies who may not get why certain things are done in the kitchen. Additionally it’s chock full of information about shopping, substitutions and why everything works. It’s just fab. You want one? Giveaway instructions at the bottom of this post!

Now, you’re probably wondering how you can get some of this gluten-free cheddar cheese bread right up in your mouth asap, right? Here’s how:

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Gluten-Free Palm Springs: Cheeky’s, Lulu, Trio & More!

gluten-free palm springsPalm Springs. The land of vintage stores and Bob Hope’s house that is well-hidden behind a very large gate complete with cameras and threat of arrest. It’s magical.

And I was lucky enough to spend a few days with some super rad friends last week/weekend and one of the other people in attendance was also gluten-free! Woot! Hooray for food issues! (Also she was dairy-free and was able to find good gf/df dishes in ALL of these places, so heads up GFDFs.)

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