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5 Days of Giveaways: Friends Who Cook Are the Bestest Friends

Image via mom.me, photograph by Daniel Montoya

Image via mom.me; photograph by Daniel Montoya

Not that I don’t adore my friends who don’t cook. In fact, now that I think about it friends who DON’T cook can be much less judgmental when I’m serving up something hot out of the gluten-free oven. But that’s not what I’m talking about today! It is Day 2 of the giving away of The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet: Go G-Free in 30 Days or Less. Hooray! But first, let’s see who won yesterday’s challenge.

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Gluten-Free Santa Monica: True Food Kitchen

gluten-free-restaurant-santa-monicaHoly hell, I wish this restaurant was much closer to my couch. True Food Kitchen is basically my most favorite restaurant for two big reasons. Maybe three. One, SO MUCH GLUTEN-FREE. And it’s amazing. Did you see this dip? Those are gluten-free triangles of bread, freshly toasted and totes delicious. There was kale and avocado up in that, and my super picky 6-year-old was all, “Is this guacamole?” and ate most of it. That reason alone would make me dine there twice a week.

Two. I don’t have pictures here, because we were leaving a school event and needed cocktails, but they have super healthy juices and fizzy healthy drinks that make you think you’re all powerful. I LOVE THOSE DRINKS. Why aren’t they down the street from me? Why must I travel an hour to Santa Monica? That’s not right.

Three. My husband is a super healthy eater in spite of all of my efforts to the contrary. Both of us find dishes we love here. And the fact that they know how to do everything gluten-free. Like this pizza— Continue reading

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The Dos and Don’ts of Renaissance Faire When You’re Gluten-Free

gluten-free-renaissance-faireLet me start off with an apology, because I basically have mostly “don’ts” in connection with The Renaissance Pleasure Faire. And I’ll tell you why. I kind of lose all of my nerve when people start yelling “Wench!” at me in Olde English. This, my friends, was a HUGE learning curve in my gluten-free journey. Or walk about. Or whatever it is they say there.

Let’s just get started. We’ll Friday morning quarterback later.

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Let’s Say You Were on a Deserted Island . . .

gluten-free-problemsSo we played this game the other night at dinner, and like most family games I was totally in. Except for LIFE. I hate that game. The theme of this particular deserted (or is it desert? I don’t think there are islands in the desert, right? Or is that just a saying? Anyhoo.) was “What would your breakfast, lunch and dinner be if you had to eat the same three meals on a desert(ed) island?”

My family doesn’t do just one meal. We know that’s ridiculous.

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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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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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