The Real Deal With Gluten-Free Cheerios

gluten-free cheeriosHello peeps! I’m freshly back from Minneapolis where General Mills is cooking up some gluten-free business. If you took part in the lively Facebook thread, you know that GM is changing the way Cheerios are made and as of this fall, 5 varieties of Cheerios will be gluten-free: Original, Honey Nut (woot!), Multigrain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted.

Naturally, those of us who have celiac disease and other intolerances, allergies, and darn good reasons to stay away from gluten, are wondering two things: Is it safe? How does it taste?

Well, I can answer one of those questions.

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Gluten-Free Travel Emergency Snack Bag: Part 1,059

gluten-free travelIt’s travel time, people. Spring Break is coming up, then summer and the next thing you know—BAM—the holidays. This means you need to be prepared if you drop dead, or barf a lot, or poop your pants, when you eat gluten. Any of those.

I’m heading to Minneapolis today to check out General Mills and what they’re laying down (Hint: it’s Gluten-Free Cheerios!!!!!!!!) so I’m packing all these goodies up in case I need some safe foods. Yes, it is a lot. And no, I probably won’t need it all since General Mills is taking care of gluten-free me and other GF peeps. Still, I do love carrying a sandwich around with me.

Here’s what’s good here: Continue reading

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The Pros and Cons of Getting a Hamster

peveteaux:

From Bake Sales…..

Originally posted on Bake Sales Are My Bitch:

hamster-pros-consI know this is a food blog, and I’m not planning on eating Todd II, but let’s talk about hamsters. Because kids love cake and kids love hamsters. But that doesn’t mean they should have either, not all the time.

Last week was my son’s 6th birthday. I love my son, and I especially love making him crack up because he’s got a great sense of humor and he loves to laugh. While this is adorable, and fun and fills our home with an insane amount of joy, it is not a good reason to bring a living creature into your family unit. Still, that’s what went down.

You see, my husband had a hamster when he was a kid. He named that hamster, Todd. Rightly so, both of our kids found this name to be hi-lar-ious for a hamster. I mean, Todd. But it was the ’80s and…

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You Can’t Please Everybody, or, That Time I Almost Poisoned a Dinner Guest

food allergy fuck upI had the pleasure of joining a group of ladies last weekend on a birthday trip out of town. I was the “new girl” which meant I wasn’t used to everyone’s stuff. Personal, medical, and food. Normally not an issue except for the fact that I was preparing dinner for the group first thing Friday night.

As I’m exploring on my side project, Bake Sales Are My Bitch, you can’t swing a cat without hitting someone with a food allergy/issue/whatnot. Of course I’m including myself in that cat swinging activity. Naturally when the call went out we had a fairly long list of food issues, well, for only 8 ladies. Again, I’m the celiac, and not blameless. And also super sympathetic, obvs. Still, the allergy to capsicum peppers was to be my Achilles heel.

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Barrel & Ashes

gluten-free los angelesAvert your eyes, vegans. I’m about to lay some serious meat down on you with even more meat on top of that. Smoked meats, meats in beans, meats on top of Frito’s—Barrel & Ashes has got all of that and it’s very, very gluten-free friendly.

Once again, I found myself in a dark restaurant which isn’t the best to photograph when you only carry an iPhone with zero photo apps (I’ve really got to to do something about that). But how much light do you need to show the awesomeness of a gluten-free Frito chili pie? This much:

gluten-free los angelesAnd this is where I say this restaurant in Studio City is gluten-free friendly, rather than straight up gf. While the smoked meats are naturally gluten-free (huzzah! the brisket is the one to hoard, try the jalapeno cheddar sausage too), the wait staff—while charming—aren’t fully clued into the gluten-free world. Which is fine, in the sense of they’re serving tons of smoked meats, it’s not their biggest priority and even I get that. And luckily most items on the menu are naturally free of gluten, so you know there’s a very low chance of cross-contact. But when you’re trying to be super safe and you feel like the conversation you’re having isn’t really registering, well, it’s best to stay with what you know is free of gluten. Like meats.

But I received mixed reports on that delicious Frito chili pie. The first time I went to B & A, I was told it was off-limits. The second time I was with a group and the appetizers were mostly off-limits so I made sure to double check on the Frito chili pie. In my world, Frito chili pie should always be gluten-free, but many people add thickeners to chili that could contain flour. Hence, my concern. This time I was told I was safe if “Fritos were gluten-free.” This made me nervous, but not too nervous to grab a bite. Perhaps my stomach was a little rumbly? But I’m not 100% sure. Which means next time I’d better skip the chili pie. This is my sad face :(

Again, the brisket is insane and I crave it daily. The sausage is also to die for, and the ribs are amazoids. I loooooove the baked beans with the pork belly. I mean, who wouldn’t? And the greens are delicious and I can’t imagine what could be inside that would make me sick. So stick with that, people and you’ll be happy.

MEAT!!!!

 

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Osteria Mozza

gluten-free osteria mozzaWell I’m feeling great today, people. Other than my prosecco headache, that is. But still, no gluten’ing after chowing down in a super popular, super fancy restaurant that I’d assumed was off-limits makes me very, very, happy. Very. I am sad that the photos I have from last night’s amazoids dinner are not so hot. So I will cheat and use some from the website. Like that first one. That’s nice, right?

Osteria Mozza is one of those places everyone talks about wistfully, but I always cursed because, Italian. I don’t know how I didn’t get the memo that they were super gluten-free and other allergen friendly, but now that I know I can tell you where my big celebration dinners in LA will be. Right up in that oxtail ragu, is where. This oxtail ragu with gluten-free garganelli pasta

gluten-free los angelesOh hells, that was good. Much better than the picture. And then there was dinner of the naturally gluten-free grilled yellowtail with some kind of chickpea situation that was OFF THE HOOK. Yes, I did describe chickpeas all street like.

We dug into it so quickly, this was the only photo I got of that deliciousness –

gluten-free los angelesI know, we’re hogs.

And dessert was gelato, of course.

gluten-free los angelesIt was dark in there, guys. And a professional photographer I am not.

While everything from the punch di giorno to the gluten-free amuse bouche were impeccable, there’s another reason I’m so in love with Osteria Mozza as a gluten-free diner, and lover of all things yum: These people know how to take care of the celiac.

When I made the reservation I put in the notes that I was gluten-free and celiac. When I arrived at the restaurant, the hostess confirmed that I was celiac, which should not have surprised me since there is a sign right on top of the reservation table that asks everyone to alert their server to any food allergies. Nice. After being seated, not only did our waitress know about my gluten situation, but the guy bringing around the bread did as well. As did the amuse bouche server, as did anyone who came within 2 feet of our table. This is me—happy.

gluten-free los angeles

The waitress also confirmed what I had heard, which was all gluten-free pasta is prepared separately and there is no danger of cross-contamination. Additionally, most of their main dishes (non-pasta) are naturally gluten-free, as are the side dishes, antipasti and salads. The only off-limits foods for me were the stuffed pastas and a lot of the desserts. This. Is. Heaven.

Mario Batali has been fantastic with his restaurants in New York as far as accommodating the gluten-free, and as a partner in Osteria Mozza (along with the amazing Nancy Silverton and Joseph Bastianich) he clearly gets how to make a celiac diner happy. Yes, this is a pricey meal, and yes it’s a special occasion place. But I have yet to have been treated better, and with such consideration at any other fancy restaurants since my diagnosis, so I will be back. Oh, I will be back.

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Gluten-Free Oklahoma: It Ain’t Easy

gluten-free oklahoma braum'sI’ve said before, I believe in my own dang book, that one can travel anywhere in the United States and still eat safely gluten-free. And while my challenging time in Oklahoma last week made me reexamine that declaration, I will stand by it. I COULD have camped out at Wal-Mart and eaten loads of gluten-free snacks. I also could have only eaten milk shakes all week. Things I considered, but rejected for health, time and good citizen reasons. Instead I ventured out into the restaurant world and, well, it didn’t always go fantastic like. But sometimes it did! Here are my OK wins and OK fails, gluten-free style. Continue reading

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