G-Free Review: WI State Fair

Last week I ventured to the WI State Fair to see all the best that my state has to offer. Generally, fairs and festivals are my least favorite places (despite my love of people watching) because I can’t safely eat anything.

This year’s fair had deep-fried everything: candy bars, veggies, s’mores, cookies, butter, pies… and all could be eaten from a stick. I was jealous that my husband could eat whatever he wanted.

I was lucky because this year I tried Slim McGinn’s basket of homemade potato chips that may not have been labeled “gluten-free”, but they didn’t make me sick (quite a risk eating them, but I was hungry!). Of course, that wasn’t as wonderful as seeing Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery supplying Robert’s Restaurant with hamburger buns.

It was expensive, and the bread was dry (likely from leaving it out… I know how food booths work), but it was nice to eat a meal and know I wouldn’t get sick. Thanks for being awesome, Molly’s!

G-Free burger
G-Free burger

G-Free Grade = B

G-Free Review: Moondance Cheesecake

After a stressful morning at work, I decided I would treat myself to the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake cup  (from Moondance) waiting for me in the fridge.

cheesecake heaven in a cup!
cheesecake heaven in a cup!

This heavenly creation was probably one of the best tasting grocery-store (Whole Foods to be exact) cheesecakes I’ve ever had.

The crust is “pecan shortbread” and I think it’s more pecan than cookie. I normally don’t like pecans but the texture and flavor only made the creamy cheesecake better. The cheese filling is typical, I would say. Nothing extraordinary, but nonetheless delicious.

For someone who is a chocolate fanatic, I initially thought the light sprinkling of chocolate chips was a bit too scarce. However, everything (crust, cake, topping) was in perfect proportion.

This is an excellent dessert – high in calories and high in satisfaction. I would definitely try more flavors… maybe when I’m not on a diet.

Don’t go the website if you’re hungry.

G-Free Grade = A+

In other news:
my scarf is coming along beautifully. I kind of wish I would have made something different. A hat maybe? I’m scared to try new shapes though…  Knit and Crochet Now! makes everything look so easy!

beautiful stitching
beautiful stitching

Luciana’s Favorite iPhone Apps, Edition 2

I’ve upgraded to the iPhone4 and life is better up here. This phone is super fast, clear screen, longer battery life and has mega bonus features. My favorite feature is the multi-tasking because I’m an app-oholic and I have wanted to do more than 1 thing at a time since I got my first iPhone3. Since getting the newer model, I can now listen to my favorite internet radio while playing my favorite time-management game. It’s heavenly.

Luciana’s Favorite iPhone Apps, Edition 1

  1. Words With Friends ($2.99) – Scrabble, but better because you can play with random people or someone you know. I’m quite the wordsmith so if you want to challenge me I’m Lulubelle110.
  2. Find iPhone (free) – Login and this app will find any phone that you connect to it. My husband and I have each other in our app so that we can see where the other’s phone is (or our own). This is perfect for spying on someone or locating a lost cell phone or timing dinner perfectly to your spouse’s arrival home. What’s also nice is that you can disable the phone from the app in case it’s stolen.
  3. Netflix (free) – I’m obsessed with Netflix. I love the instant viewing. I love the DVDs sent to me. I love the lack of late fees. I love everything. I watch Netflix constantly, so I upgraded my account to the unlimited and it was worth it. Now with this app I can watch Netflix at work on my lunch break (and with the iPhone4 retina display it’s perfection).
  4. Live Poker by Zynga (free) – I think this is the best free poker app out there. There are tournaments, sit and go tables, stat recording and more. You need a facebook account to sign up, so I used a fake one to not flood my real one with any spam it might cause (so far none). I love that you can play with real people. The other free apps are only with AI player which isn’t any fun. I learned I’m excellent at poker and I want to play for money soon.
  5. Barnes & Noble (free) – Your basic mobile shopping app, but it lets you search by barcode. So if you’re out and want to scan a book to see if a local B&N has it in stock, you can. Plus, you can reserve books right from the app to pick up in-store.
  6. I’m always looking for great new apps… the cheaper the better!

G-Free Review: Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery

Hidden in Pewaukee, WI is the home of the best g-free baked goods I’ve ever had, Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery. They have an extensive menu from brownies to pita bread to sheet cakes. I’ve only tried a few things so far, but everything I’ve tried hasn’t disappointed.

The most recent purchases were rolls and  a cake for my dad’s 50th birthday. Vanilla cake / vanilla frosting (he’s a boring guy, what can I say?) – but it was AMAZING. You couldn’t tell it was g-free. Usually g-free baked goods leave a weird feeling in my mouth. Not Molly’s cake! And those rolls… wow. Plain, they were delicious. Warmed up, they were delicious x500. It’s not easy to bake soft and moist g-free foods, but Molly’s has mastered it.

Previously I’ve had their raspberry dream cakes, which are small cake sandwiches with raspberry cream filling. The cake part tasted like a Twinkie but felt a bit heavier. It was so delicious. I should learn some more adjectives, but really, there are no words for something this yummy.

Dad holding his beautiful cake. Says, "Buon Compleanno, Maurizio"
Dad holding his beautiful cake. Says, "Buon Compleanno, Maurizio". Please note his "Italian" expression.

I can’t wait to try everything on their menu! Has anyone else been to Molly’s? Was it as fabulous as my experience?

Molly’s G-Free Grade = A+

G-Free Review: Red Robin

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. used to be a favorite place of ours to eat before I knew I was a Celiac. They make huge, specialty burgers and have delicious onion rings. Not that I *can’t* have burgers, but they’re no fun to eat without the bun and onion rings…

We haven’t gone there in a while, but we got a massive gift card from my dad (hi, Dad!) who knew we liked it a lot, so we decided to see what they had besides plain meat patties.

Turns out… a lot!

  • They post a g-free menu online. It looks sadder than it is. I found other things on the regular restaurant menu I could have if some things are just substituted.
  • The staff was accommodating and knowledgeable. I didn’t see the menu before we went in, so I guessed at the safest thing on the menu. I asked the waitress about their nacho platter because they use both flour chips and corn chips. I told her just to use the corn ones. Instead, she asked the cooks about it and informed me that even the corn chips might not be safe. She replaced the chips for their wedge fries and I had those covered in the nacho toppings. It was pretty great. I could have gotten really sick if she didn’t double check like that. Go waitress!
  • AND they also have a lovely allergen alert system:

We will be going there without fear from now on!

Red Robin’s G-Free Grade = A