Monday, May 21, 2012

Eating Gluten Free in Blowing Rock, NC

My hubby and I made a trip up to Blowing Rock, NC this past weekend.  This was my first trip since going gluten free, and I have to say with a little meal planning and restaurant research, eating gluten free was totally doable!

We knew there was an Outback right down from our cabin, so that's where we headed on Friday night.  Outback has a separate GF menu and has become one of my go-to restaurants.  This, however, was the best GF dining experience I've had since going GF!  To start, we had an awesome waiter who was very knowledgeable about the gluten free menu and meal preparation.  I asked about the chance of cross contamination on the grill and he suggested that they could cook the chicken on foil for added safety! YEAH!  When he brought the food out, he made a point to tell me that the chef who prepared the dish has a wife with Celiac Disease!  So of course, he would know the importance of keeping everything GF!  Such a great Outback experience!

Saturday morning we ate in for breakfast....I've decided that a kitchen is a must-have for a Celiac on vacation!  What a life saver!  We stopped in at a local restaurant for hubby to grab a bite to eat, then made the short walk back to our cabin for my lunch...some of the chili beans I had prepared beforehand!

For dinner I had called a few places and asked if they had GF items and how they accommodated GF needs.  I called three restaurants and we decided to try one that said they were very careful about cross contamination for those with Celiac Disease.  When we got there however, the waiter was not sure what items were GF, and even after checking with the chef, seemed uncertain.  The GF choices were extremely limited.  So...we politely said we'd have to go somewhere else.  I think this was my first time leaving a restaurant since going GF, but I'm glad we did because we ended up at a wonderful place and had a fabulous dinner!

It's another restaurant I had called beforehand, The Best Cellar.  Our waitress was rather new, so I asked if there was a manager or someone who knew the menu well who could tell me about GF options. A waitress came out who was very familiar with the GF options, and hubby and I both decided on the filet.  It was covered with peppercorn...delicious! I ordered mine without the cream sauce.  I also asked if they cleaned their grill for GF items, she checked and said they could do that too!  For sides I had the mashed potatoes and the asparagus without hollandaise.  The meal was fabulous!!

Never be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask questions when you have Celiac Disease. It's a must, and in my experience, servers are very willing to do whatever they can to create a good experience...just always make sure you speak up politely :).

We ate in for breakfast again on Sunday.  For lunch, we wanted to try a popular place off the main street, The Village Cafe.  We previewed the menu, and I was certain I could find something gluten free.  When I asked the hostess if they had a table available, I also asked if they had gluten free items.  She said they could certainly accommodate me.  She even checked with the chef to see what soups were GF.  Once we were seated at our perfect little table on the patio, she came and said that the Black Bean and Smoked Chicken Chili was gluten free.  Since she was there, I asked her what else on the menu was safe.  Among other  items, she listed the Caesar Salad.  That made my decision easy....Soup and salad, please...without croutons, of course! :)  She even told me next time we come, to call a couple of days ahead and the chef would be sure he had some GF soups on hand!  WOW :)

What an awesome trip!  If you've never been to Blowing Rock, NC, you should definitely make the trip if you're not too far away!  Such a wonderful little town with great shops and some great gluten free options too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bacon & Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

I found this recipe for mashed potatoes with bacon and cheddar on Pinterest.  It looked so yummy I couldn't wait to try it!  The potatoes are so creamy, and with the addition of the bacon, cheddar and scallions...oh my goodness!  There are quite a few steps in this recipe, but they're super simple and so worth the effort!

Here's the link!

Linked to

Friday, May 11, 2012

Good Morning Mom! GF Breakfast & Brunch Ideas for Mom's Special Day

Mother's Day is Sunday of course, and here are a few breakfast ideas from GFSG and around the web for Mom's special day....gluten free, of course!  Here's a picture of me and my sweet kiddos last Summer...This was about 3 months before my Celiac Diagnosis.

Gluten Free Pancakes

Coconut Caramel Sauce

Banana Pancakes

Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles

Banana Cinnamon Waffles

Blueberry Muffins

Coffee Cake Muffins

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins

Sausage Spinach Quiche

Breakfast Casserole

Cinnamon Sauteed Bananas

Enjoy!...& Happy Mother's Day!

Linked to Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tips on GF Shopping and more from the Ingles Dietician...

I thought this was a great article from featuring a Q&A with Leah McGrath, the Ingles Markets Dietician.  Thought I'd post a link to it here...great information!

Carrot Egg Scramble

I love scrambled eggs and when I found this recipe for carrot egg scramble at Raia's Recipes, I thought it was a nice twist on a classic dish.  It turned out soooo yummy! 

3-4 organic baby cut carrots grated or very thinly diced
3 tsp. milk (or a little more~about 1 tsp of milk per egg) I just estimate :)
3 eggs
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 c. shredded or thinly diced cheddar cheese

dash of pepper

Combine all ingredients in large bowl with wire whisk.  Melt 1 tbsp GF butter in skillet over medium heat. Pour mixture into skillet. Cook eggs till done, stirring/flipping till cooked.

Here, I actually split the original recipe in half to make a single serving.  I made just a few other changes to the original recipe from Raia's Recipes.  Here's a link to it...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jalapeno Cheddar Grilled new favorite GF sandwich!

A while back I ran across this recipe for a Jalapeno Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich at As Good As Gluten, and since then it's become my favorite GF sandwich!  WOW is it yummy!  Here's the oh so delicious link to this fabulous sandwich...

Here's what I use...
2 slices of Udi's gluten free sandwich bread 
·2 tsp butter
·3-4 slices of cheddar cheese cut from block

·as much Philadelphia Neufchatel cream cheese as you like :)
·6-10 slices of pickled jalapenos (I use Mt Olive Brand)

I will say that trying to cook the sandwich in a skillet can get a bit messy, with the flipping and all, and I've found that the cheese doesn't quite melt all the I cheat a little.  I melt some butter in the pan and brown just the two slices of bread on one side.  Then I move the bread to a plate, add the ingredients (as much of each as you like) and assemble...

Spread an even layer of cream cheese on one piece of bread.  top with jalapenos, then cheese slices.  Top with other piece of bread. Then stick that baby in the microwave for about a minute ....the result....ooey, gooey cheesy goodness.  I love to dip my sandwich in a little GF Ranch dressing  sometimes too! Enjoy!

Linked to... 
Gluten Free Fridays at
Gluten Free Wednesdays