Celiac Awareness Day (was yesterday)

Since I don’t like “awareness” days of any kind, I chose not to celebrate or announce it yesterday. What is the point of an awareness day when most of today’s society is aware of situations and they just don’t care? Or don’t have the means or time to take action?

Instead of a boring list of what does and doesn’t have gluten, and why you should care, here is a fun article for the Day After Celiac Awareness Day:

Gluten-free Celebrities

1. Rachel Weisz – didn’t even know who this was until I googled her. Apparently she was in a lot of movies and married Daniel Craig.

2. Elisabeth Hasselbeck – LOVE her. She’s on The View and wrote an amazing g-free diet book that I highly recommend to anyone, even non-Celiacs (see the lovely quote from the book below.)

3. Ryan Phillippe – hottie actor from my youth. Has he been in anything good recently?

4. Geri Halliwell – Ginger Spice, my 2nd favorite Spice Girl (Posh, Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Baby – in that order).

5. Emmy Rossum – didn’t know who this was either, an actress who sings? She’s in the movie Dare, which just happens to be in my Netflix queue. Maybe I’ll watch it now.

6. Chelsea Clinton – daughter of the former president. She’s not that interesting, probably because she’s a vegan and that’s just weird.

7. Bill Clinton – former prez. He insulted my dad and Italians one time when my dad met him and chatted him up. Slightly more interesting than Chelsea.

8. Zooey Deschanel – LOVE her. Can’t wait for the new series New Girl to start on TV this fall. I loved her mostly in Elf, Weeds and Failure to Launch.

Each meal left me bloated and gassy, with  sharp, explosive pains in my abdomen. No matter what I ate, I would soon be doubled over with cramps, awful indigestion, diarrhea – or all of the above simultaneously. I soon became all too familiar with the location of any and all bathrooms.

-The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide, page 5

Celiac Awareness ribbon

I didn’t know the Celiac awareness color was light green when I made this blog. How fitting.

G-Free Review: Joey’s Seafood & Grill

I love seafood, but I don’t love that it’s expensive. Joey’s is the perfect combination of quality, price and g-free accommodations.

It’s a regular favorite for my husband and me.

Until Joey’s, the Hubs didn’t even like fish and now their fish fry is “the best” and the only one he will eat (without complaining the whole night, that is). That’s fine for me because there are so many things I can have!

My usual dish is the pound of crab legs because it’s affordable and amazing. I’ve also had their shrimp and scallops – both were of excellent quality which I didn’t expect for such a casual restaurant. G-free safe cooking styles for the shrimp and scallops that I’ve had so far have been “blackened” and “sauteed Cajun” – both I would highly recommend (but stay away from the Cajun if you don’t like spicy!). Safe sides I’ve had were the french fries, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Since I love all three, I rarely venture from those, but someday I’ll see what else they have.

MMMmmmm… butter.

The place is usually empty except for Friday and Saturday nights, the service is as wonderful as the food and they took the time to answer my questions about gluten free seasoning and options. The servers I’ve had were surprisingly willing to substitute glutenous foods for safe options in those “combo” dishes that usually come with an attitude when you want something not listed.

If you have a Joey’s Seafood & Grill near you, try them! See if it’s the best fish fry… and if it isn’t, you didn’t have to spend too much to find out.

MMmmmm… crab legs.

G-Free Grade = A

Spice World

Cute Penzey's Kitten

Yes, I love the Spice Girls CD… and no, this post is not about that.

I recently found out some great news: Penzey’s Spices (one of my all-time favorite local stores) is 98% gluten free*!!

They have a spice for everything: dips, salsas, every meat and vegetable, baking, grilling… you name it. I usually just check the back of everything I want and then buy it if it looks safe. I don’t have to do that anymore. I didn’t want to trust the rumor, so I emailed Penzey’s and got an immediate response about their products when I asked which 1-2 items were not gluten free.

Ingredients are clearly listed for our spice blends. Some ingredients used in blending that contain possible allergens include, Soy protein, lactose and dehydrated cheese. Soy protein is used in Chip & Dip Seasoning, lactose is used in Taco seasoning and the dehydrated cheeses are used in our line of Cheese Seasoning Blends. A meticulous clean up is performed after production of these items. Penzeys soup bases are produced at another facility and are known to contain allergens. Penzeys Spices no longer sells MSG and does not use it in blending. All other items are free of common allergens.

The email was much longer but I was really happy with the response time and detailed answer. I love Penzey’s and if you don’t have one near you, consider buying from them online!

My favorites: Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (amazing on popcorn) and Fox Point Seasoning (amazing on steamed veggies).

And, while looking up those links, I saw some amazing recipes on the website that will likely be showing up here.

Cute Penzey's Kitten
found this on someone’s blog… penzey’s + kitten = amazing
*There is one spice that isn’t gluten free and it’s the Beef Soup base, but since it’s made at another facility, it won’t cause contamination. Other soup bases may contain other known allergens, as well.

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