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Gluten-Free New York City: Sad Bagels & Happy Seafood

gluten-free-new-yorkHey guys! Happy 2016. It’s certainly been a whirlwind already, dudes. Amiright? Between losing Bowie and Snape and snarking on the Golden Globes and super white Oscars, the world has gone CRAZY. Or maybe it’s just me.

Unlike most of my typical January’s, I’ve been in three states and on 5 different airplanes so far this year. Most recently I found myself in Raleigh, North Carolina speaking to a group of chefs from all over the country who run a variety of hotel kitchens. It was GREAT, you guys. Turns out it’s a lot of fun to talk to people who aren’t already sold on gluten-free bizness. While there’s not much better than being on a book tour and having people agreeing with you all the time, there’s something really cool about a real discussion with people who aren’t sure if they want you in their restaurant. GREAT talks, great chefs, great people. So!

Going backwards a little bit, I started the year in New York City, which is always my happy place. It’s also pretty exciting to try new gluten-free friendly joints every time I visit (which is a lot). It’s like I can’t keep up with gf progress in the big city. And that is an amazing thing.

Something that was reinforced on this trip was the fact that when you travel with other people, you can’t choose every restaurant based on it’s awesome gluten-freeness. There’s the time when you’re at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and everyone is DYING FROM HUNGER. And for some reason the UWS Risotteria is closed. What’s up with that? Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Iceland: Blue Lagoon to Rotten Shark

gluten-free-iceland

Is this mud gluten-free?

Oh. Em. Gee. I am a bit traveled out right now, you guys. I’m not sure how every bit of my trips/vaca days got booked all together but they did, and now I’m home to fill you in on the good, the gluten-free safe, and everything in between. (Rotten shark would be in between, ya’ll. Way in between.)

So, yes, Iceland! The land of elves and narwhals is just as magical as you might think. Having never seen anything like it, my entire family was shocked and awe’d (in a good way) as we traveled around this little country built out of volcanoes, a dash of Goth and a lot of pure love.

I highly recommend visiting the land that sits partly on the North American continental plate, and partly on the Eurasian continental plate. It’s a country like no other (well, maybe like Greenland, I didn’t go there) where geo-thermal power makes cities go and glaciers are just hanging out like it’s nothin’. From whale-watching to geyser viewing this independent country is absolutely fascinating. Gluten-free? Well…..

Iceland is either perfect for the gluten-free, or really freaking hard. Perfect if you’re a huge fan of seafood and lamb (which I’m notsomuch) and hard if you’re looking for the nod of understanding from your waitstaff when you start talking about gluten. The fact is, you will find a load of gluten-free options if you’re adventurous. If you’re like me and balk at whale, horse, puffin, lamb (I raised baby lambs as a kid, I just can’t eat those adorable fluffies) and rotten shark—you should hit a grocery store straight away to load up on gluten-free snacks and food you can prepare in your room. Just in case.

With that said, there are a ton of restaurants in Reykjavik and I only had to leave one due to the only gluten-free options being puffin and horse related. I ate well, and the food was rich, which meant I didn’t need a ton of it. At the same time, I brought gluten-free crackers with me (and picked some up at a health store with gluten-free options) and bought meat and delicious Icelandic gouda to make snacks with whilst on the road. Like this—

gluten-free-icelandOne of you lovely readers turned me on to The Coelic Plate’s review of gluten-free Reykjavik and I did find myself in a few of the recommended spots. It’s a fantastic list and I recommend you take a peek before your trip North.

A word about Skyr. Skyr is the Icelandic yogurt that people rave about. Personally, I hate yogurt unless it’s frozen and has chocolate sprinkles. I did want to try Skyr, however, I also hate fruit yogurts and when my husband said the plain was not awesome, I skipped it. He did love the fruit flavors and thought it was one of the most delicious treats ever. So if you’re a yogurt type, load up on the Skyr.

Here’s where I dined out safely, and deliciously! Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Odys & Penelope

gluten-free-los-angeles-restaurantsSo I was on my way to Sugarfish when I walked by this nice wood/glass/shiny metal building that seemed super cute. I made a mental note (La Brea and somethingsomething) to find out what it was, but then forgot. I remembered real quick when I met my friend in front of Sugarfish and they were all, “It’s an hour-and-a-half wait.”

Moms don’t play that. I mentioned that I’d seen a potential hipster joint, and my friend said, “Oh yeah, it’s great. Let’s see if you can eat there.” Turns out, that was a freaking great move. Continue reading

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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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