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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baker Street

It's been 6 months since I've discussed them HERE.
Please review that link.

Concerns were recently expressed in the GFFW Facebook group about their GF menu- and the fact that they have now removed this menu because it was not completely GF.

I looked back at their GF menu, which is still posted online HERE.
I couldn't help but notice that the items mentioned in the blog post last summer still appear in this menu online.

I've never eaten there; it's a bit out of my price range these days. Please share your experiences here on the blog, on www.facebook.com/glutenfreefortwayne or at glutenfreefortwayne@yahoo.com.

I've heard plenty of positive reviews of GF dining there, but the most recent report I'm hearing is not encouraging.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Message to Anonymous:

Below is a quote from an anonymous post on the blog found HERE:
"Unless you have celiac disease, there are no health benefits from a gluten free diet. Quit promoting this myth! What a joke..."

The following was my response:
"I'm not sure what myth you think I'm promoting and I'm sorry if I have somehow offended you in sharing my experiences in gluten free eating- I do this because my life depends on it. I do have Celiac Disease, as well as the associated Dermatitis Herpetiformis. I don't limit my blog to only a Celiac audience, as the treatment for Gluten Intolerance or Gluten Sensitivity is exactly the same. Pre-diagnosis, I was always skeptical of the people who used a GF lifestyle to manage Autism and behavior disorders, but I am not here to pass judgement on the choices of others. I just want to share what I have learned with others who are going through similar experiences."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gluten Free Sampling SATURDAY!!


From The Health Food Shoppe:
This Saturday Nov. 12th 11am - 2 pm is GLUTEN-FREE SAMPLING DAY!  All items sampled will be gluten free.  Holiday ideas, new items, deli treats and party tray previews. 
We'll have special one day only sales as well.  Join us Saturday, 11am - 2pm. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FINALLY PIZZA!!

Remember how Casa was supposed to start having pizza back in July? I wrote about it way back on June 14! Somehow July didn't quite happen, but I stayed excited. In August, I knew it would be anytime now. I was calling them once a week for a while hoping they would have it- or at least have a date for when they would have it.

Well, school started. As you can see from the date on my last post, it's been a busy school year. This is my first posting since school officially started! So I got busy and discouraged and quit calling. I did check their online GF menu about a week ago and the pizza still wasn't back up (it was originally posted online when the pizza was first supposed to arrive in July).

Guess what?

It's posted now.

The buzz on Facebook is all positive. I can't wait to try it. If I wasn't drowning in paperwork, I'd head out for pizza tonight!! If you've had it already, please tell us all about it. I was hoping to be one of the first, but hey- at least I can make sure everyone knows it's out there now, right?

Some might complain and be negative about how it took so long and how they didn't seem to know what was going on....... I'll complain that I've been dying to try their pizza, BUT I'm okay with them taking their time to make sure they get all the details right. Casa has been amazing ever since they first debuted their GF menu- they want to do this right. I applaud that.

Now go eat some pizza!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

French Meadow Bakery

For the longest time, I kept lingering at the freezer section, looking at this box of brownies. I was never a brownie lover until adulthood, so I'm pretty picky about my brownies. Are these worth the money? The picture on the box looks good, but that doesn't mean anything. After months of dancing with these questions, I finally bought some- back in May, I believe, at the Co-op.

I loved that they came individually wrapped. Not too big, not too small. I wasn't overly impressed with the first one, but not at all disappointed. I had another one the next day. It was pretty good. By the time I got to the end of the box, I was disappointed that they were gone. French Meadow Bakery for the win!

I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of other people talking about this company because this seemed like a pretty high-quality product. No gimmicks, just goodness.

The Dash-In uses their bread if you want a GF sandwich. I haven't been there, but I've only heard good things.

When I saw some cupcakes at Meijer (who also carries the brownies), I knew I had to try them after the brownies success. These were awesome from the start. Again, they're not too big, not too small. The glob of frosting on them satisfies the inner child adequately. I even ate one for breakfast one time, after my usual Larabar and Stonyfield or Brown Cow yogurt. Fun, fun!!

A few weeks ago, I found some pizza crusts from French Meadow at A&B Natural Foods. Well duh, I have to try it!

This pizza is the closest I have come so far in the GF world to the pizza baking experiences I had working at a gluten pizza place in high school and college. It's a blob of frozen dough in its own pan, ready for toppings and an oven. It filled out the pan perfectly and didn't stick at all. Clean-up is easy with this pan of course, and you could even eat it straight from the pan. My toddler liked it too, and she gets a bit picky about bread-y products.

I don't know why more people aren't publicly singing the praises of French Meadow Bakery, but I definitely want to get the word out for you to try this stuff out. I'll leave you with pictures of our two pizzas from last week:


Thursday, August 11, 2011

You MUST go eat at Cottage Flowers!

I apologize that this post has been so long in the making, but I cannot emphasize enough how much you MUST go to The Health Food Shoppe's deli at Cottage Flowers downtown for lunch at your earliest availability. Seriously, get out your calendar and write/type it in right now. This is important because they are only open Monday through Friday during the lunch hour, 10-2. If you work days and you're not downtown, you need to plan a special trip on a day off or something. You will NOT be disappointed!!!

I went to their preview party a few weeks ago and they had tables set up with desserts and sandwiches ready to go, as well as hot items at the counter. I'm waiting in line with all the downtown people eager to try it, holding a squirmy toddler and suspiciously eyeing all these flour-based foods ahead of me. I knew they were supposed to be offering some gluten free foods, but I was beginning to suspect that this was not going to be the day to sample them. I was THIIIIIIIIS close to turning around and walking out because there was NO way I could make a lunch of it there on that day. I talked myself out of it thinking I could at least get some info on their GF foods and feed that wiggle-worm who was by now throwing the sippy cup at people in business suits.

When I got up to the dessert table, I almost jokingly asked the guy if there was any chance that any of the items would happen to be gluten free (I already KNEW the answer, I was so sure!)- he stated that yes, everything but THIS ONE item IS gluten free.

Wait, what??
The brownies?
The muffins?
The pecan gooey bars?
ALL GLUTEN FREE????

I asked so many times that the sippy-cup-assaulted man in front of me had to jump in and assure me that yes, he said they are all gluten free.

"So, what would you like, ma'am?"
"Um, all of it!"

I still wasn't convinced. This poor kid just doesn't know what I'm talking about.

I worked my way over to the sandwiches. I started out sharing that I had been told that these desserts were GF (they reassured me of this as well) and asked if any of the sandwiches were..... no, they're not........ the gluten free sandwiches are over on the counter.

Eeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

I got sandwiches for me and the sippy shooter and asked about the hot items. They just ran out of the lasagna, but assured me that they ALWAYS make it GF. They had some salmon stuff that was good. Sorry, I don't remember exactly what it was.

Then I got talked into the quinoa salad. They had cous cous (not GF), but the quinoa salad was their GF alternative to that. Didn't look much like something I'd care for, but what the heck!! And yes, it was awesome.

This week I have had the opportunity to eat lunch there a few times due to work (need to get a job in Citizen's Square now for lunch convenience....) and I am so sad that it may be quite some time before I get to return. That's why I need you to keep them busy. From what I've seen, the lunch crowd has been good, but I don't want to lose this amazing asset, even if I can't take advantage of it as regularly as I would like. Please go there when you can. Seriously.

Okay, so as I said, I've lunched there twice this week and will be back there once more tomorrow. Yesterday I got a sandwich and the salad bar; today a sandwich and soup.

They use Sami's bread, which I actually had never tried before. Very good. They use meat from Applegate Farms- no hormones, antibiotics, nitrates, artificial ingredients, or gluten. All of their veggies are organic. Their lemonade is fresh-squeezed with just lemon juice from organic lemons, cane sugar, and water.

They offer a hot entree every day as the daily feature. Today was Chicken Divine, which is like a chicken casserole. The soup caught my attention more, however. It was turkey and rice with mushrooms (and something else maybe???)- great stuff!!

You can get the salad, soup, or sandwiches individually, but they do offer lunch specials (like a combo meal) where you can get a combination of two of those or the quinoa salad with tea or lemonade for $8.95. I of course had to add a dessert on each day- a pecan gooey bar yesterday and brownie today. I'm not too nuts about nuts, but the pecan gooey bar is so fun!! I may have to pick up a few of those tomorrow for the road.

Have you written this in on your calendar yet to go get lunch there soon??? Because I feel like an infomercial at this point that just won't shut up!!

I haven't enjoyed lunch so much since The Roasted Bean closed and I couldn't get my paninis for lunch anymore...

Okay, wait. One more thing I forgot. When you go to the salad bar, get croutons. Yes, the croutons they have out are GF.

I told someone yesterday that eating here is like the opposite of eating out at many other places for us. Usually we have a small list of things we can choose from; here we have a small list of things we canNOT choose from. THIS is a reflection of why I love The Health Food Shoppe so much, beyond just this deli. Their business was started by someone GF looking to make GF options available loooooong before GF was even remotely mainstream, and certainly before it was being blogged. :)  Same idea as my blog- I started the concept of Gluten Free Fort Wayne to keep my info organized and to share with others. Many other businesses offer GF foods, but GF is the reason we have The Health Food Shoppe in the first place.

I promise you I'm done now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pizza at Casa's

When I had originally heard that Casa would be offering a gluten free pizza, I was told it would be available at the end of July. Word on the street (aka Facebook) confirmed this when I heard that July 25th would be the magic day. When I went in to the Jefferson restaurant that day, I was told it would be two weeks before it was available. Two weeks later is today, but I thought I'd call ahead just to be sure...

I called Jefferson first. No pizza. No definite date on when it would be available. The person I spoke with wasn't sure if it was just their location or all of them, so I called Dupont next. No pizza there. They said they thought it might be another two weeks. Since I was on a roll at this point, I called Stellhorn. No pizza and no idea when it would be available- a month, a week, who knows! Apparently there were some delays or miscommunications with the timing of their new menus as well.

So yet again, I was looking forward to GF pizza from Casa's all day and am left with nothing. I noticed that their online menu has been updated yet again also. Two weeks ago, it showed the addition of the new GF pizza and the cheesecake; now it shows the cheesecake but not the pizza.

I could make some pizza at home with the new French Meadow Bakery crusts I got this weekend at A&B Natural Foods, but I don't have anything to put on them..... time to go digging in the fridge!

As an unrelated side note- A&B has Bakery on Main peanut butter and jelly granola bars on sale. If you've never tried them, get over to Time Corners and get a box- I promise you won't be disappointed!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TODAY: Dicky's Wild Hare

Don't feel like cooking tonight? Go to Dicky's Wild Hare today! 15% of food purchases will support the Kratzat family after a serious car accident last week. When asked about GF food, they said: "We have great burgers, chicken, an awesome salad bar and lots of seafood. We also have 3 different ciders that are naturally gluten free."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Macarons at Madeleine's

I finally made my way to Madeleine's Bakehouse today (yes, I know I'm a slacker) and tried their macarons. Their what? I deal with food in simple terms- you know, like cookie- so just in case you're as clueless as me, check it out on Wikipedia.  THESE THINGS ARE AMAZING!!! They're $1.89 each, but you get 20% off if you get a dozen or a half-dozen. They have 6 flavors, so it was a no-brainer and a little under $10 after tax. Cookie is NOT the word for these delights- I really need to expand my vocabulary. My only complaint: THEY'RE ALL GONE ALREADY!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"What are your thoughts?" I was asked.

You've got to love a friend who knows how to get me going! It all started with a little link on Facebook and a caption asking my thoughts on it. Well heeeeeere we go..........

First of all, HERE is the article I was asked to read. How about you read it before continuing to read this post? That way we're all on the same page.

Did you read it yet?

Yeah, it is pretty long.

It's full of information.

I'm guessing that if you've been at this for very long, you probably know most of what he's saying already.

Are you still just reading my post??

Okay, fine. Click here to READ THE ARTICLE.

Now I will continue.
As I said, my friend posted this on Facebook and asked my opinion. If you've read anything I've written (and if you are viewing these words, I think that counts), you know my response is going to be more than a simple "good article".

The following is my response to his request for thoughts:

AUGUST 8!!!

August 8th is a big day for the gluten free in Fort Wayne. Casa's new GF menu- which includes pizza- debuts that day (it can be viewed online now) AND The Health Food Shoppe's deli at Cottage Flowers officially opens. If you missed the preview day, you really missed out!! I promise a posting about it is coming one of these days; somehow I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Seriously, you need to check the place out.

Sooo... lunch at Cottage Flowers and dinner at Casa on August 8? Yes, please!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Option for Lunch

The Health Food Shoppe is opening a deli inside Cottage Flowers downtown, which will include some gluten free menu items. Hours will be pretty limited- 10 to 2 weekdays- but if you're downtown or can get downtown for lunch, that's perfect.

I'm thinking I'll need to check out the preview party Friday- how about you?

See the article in the Journal-Gazette HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Attention Walmart Shoppers

I have now found gluten-containing pasta in the gluten free sections of two different local Walmart stores. Please continue to be cautious in reading labels when shopping and do not assume that just because something is located in the gluten free section that it actually is. The item in question comes from Eden Organics. For the record, their gluten free pastas can be found HERE. These are not the pastas I found in the gluten free section. I have contacted Walmart HERE, thanking them for supporting those of us who must maintain a gluten free lifestyle and firmly requesting that they find a better placement for these products, so as not to dangerously mislead shoppers. Hopefully this matter will be resolved as quickly as the oatmeal fiasco with Kroger.....

I was going to link to an old Myspace blog post for reference on the oatmeal, but it seems that the blogs don't have handy web addresses that these blogspot posts do, so this rest of this posting will be a good, old-fashioned copy-n-paste of that entry:



 

BEWARE THE MISLEADING OATMEAL

Okay seriously, how many times does a celiac recite the whole "wheat, barley, rye, and oats" line, fully including oats in the category of forbidden foods, even though technically, oats in and of themselves are safe? It's too much to explain, and being that most oats are contaminated somewhere along the way, it's just easier to lump them in with all the poisonous grains for the sake of explanation.
Personally, I don't even try to mess with the certified GF oats because I'm scared it'll be too confusing to me.
Yet.... I was drawn in when I got word that Kroger had labeled its store brand blueberry instant oatmeal as being GF. I bought a box. I was too chicken to actually try to eat it, but I bought it. It says right on the front: "A gluten free food. This product has never contained gluten."
Wow. Their website is quite thorough, so I can trust this label, right?
Right???
I couldn't bring myself to try to eat it. I got on their website and sent the following message to Kroger:
"I recently found that on your blueberry instant oatmeal, the package states that it is gluten free. I am concerned about the gluten contamination that so often occurs with oats. Before attempting to eat this oatmeal, I would like to know if Kroger is confident in stating that these indeed are oats that have not been contaminated by wheat, barley, or rye at any stage in their harvesting and production. Thank you for your consideration."
The first reply came a few days later:
"Thank you for contacting The Kroger Co. A Customer Service Representative has received your comments. We have forwarded your message to a Registered Dietitian who will research your inquiry and reply as soon as possible.

Also, please feel free to call our toll-free number (1-866-632-6900) with nutritional inquiries concerning our products; our representatives will be happy to assist you and provide you with the most up-to-date information.

Thanks again for your inquiry, and we look forward to helping you in the future.

Sincerely,

Russ Taylor
Consumer Affairs"

Ooookay..... I am now concerned at the fact that they do not have a reply to such an inquiry already prepared. Most of the time when I contact a company online about the GF status of their products, I get the same response that anyone else would get when they ask. Apparently this question has not yet made it to "FAQ" status.
Today I received the promised reply that could truly address my concerns. This is what it said:
Thank you for contacting The Kroger Co. We are always happy to provide additional information for our products. You inquired about the gluten free icon on the label of the blueberry instant oatmeal. We do not recommend our oats on a gluten free diet for the exact reasons you noted in your original e-mail. I have notified our corporate food technologist who is responsible for the product and we have agreed that we should remove the icon from the label. I apologize for the inconvenience this causes you and for our oversight in this matter. Please feel free to return the product to the store. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention so that we can get it resolved. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions.
Maggie Gough RD LD
Corporate Dietitian
The Kroger Company
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1141
Fax: 513-762-4763
1-800-632-6900


No further comment from me on this one!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please eat tacos!

I will be out of town at a wedding, so you must go eat tacos for me this Saturday and let me know how they are. The GF taco cart will be at Sweetcars on Jefferson Saturday from 5:00-8:00. They would appreciate your feedback, and I want to hear all about it too!! You can post your review anonymously here on the blog and also at the Facebook page.

Eat tacos!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kitchen Adventures

First off, I am not a cook. I never was before I had to go GF, and while I may be a little more open to learning new things now, the bottom line is that it better be easy. I don't have time for fancy recipes and special ingredients, and my toddler had better enjoy eating the food too.

I planned to make salad for dinners this week. I bought some chicken and that was going to be my fancy cooking- cutting it up and cooking it on the stove with a little olive oil and Italian dressing.

While my chicken was cooking, I pulled out my other salad ingredients so I could start putting them together. I opened up the head of lettuce and there were some bad leaves on the outside. I peeled them off and found a few more. So I broke that away and there were still more..... yeah, I had a bad head of lettuce. Now what? It's not much of a salad without the lettuce, and I am NOT going back out to the store. So once again it was NoOodles to the rescue!

I threw two packs of NoOodles in with the chicken and started tossing in my other salad ingredients: mushrooms, cucumbers, tons of tomatoes. I even got adventurous in my salad planning and bought bean sprouts, so in they went as well. I dumped in the rest of the dressing and let it all cook.

Here's where I'm not so much of a chef..... all those tomatoes are mostly water. Now I have soupy mess. I don't want soup! Hmm.... what is the best thing I have that can soak up the extra water? Sure, I could thicken it with GF flour, add rice, drain it..... no, I added Notta Pasta noodles. I found out one time- quite by accident- that if you leave them in the water you boiled them in, they will eventually soak it all up AND not turn to mush. I actually like them better that way than following the directions on the package and draining them. So I tossed them in and let it simmer. They worked their magic and I no longer had soup!

I thought it could be fun with cheese too- I mean, that WAS going to be a part of the salad. Another win:


The only problem with this dish is that it's too complicated for my kid. She likes each of the individual ingredients, but this is too mixed-together for her and she got frustrated after a while. I love it though- and it's so much better than the salad would have been.


I had another win in the kitchen the very next day. I had a leftover Udi's hamburger bun that had to be on the verge of stale if it wasn't already there. You know we can't let that go to waste! I decided to make a turkey sandwich with it and use the microwave to save me from the bun's age. I opened up the bun, put a little Miracle Whip on each side and a slice of cheese, and microwaved it for 30 seconds. Then I added my turkey and closed it all up. WOW! I wish I had more buns to make another one of these today. I will be trying this with the bread. Silly me, I always just made my sandwiches cold! This really was amazing- and yes, it received toddler approval. I do believe it's now time to go make some lunch....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Baker Street

Have you been to Baker Street? When they first opened, I was quick to check their menu online, and wasn't too hopeful for the GF among us to be able to eat there. How long has it been now? No clue. BUT I noticed some time back that they do offer a GF menu. I linked it on my page and moved on with my life... until now. I inquired about what practices they have in place to prevent cross-contamination and also asked about sauces and other little details on the GF menu. I have included the response I received below. They are very diligent with managing potential cross-contamination. For now as they are fine-tuning their GF menu (don't worry, I've sent questions and other thoughts to help with this process), I would recommend continuing to ask questions about ingredients, sauces, etc., but I think you can absolutely have a very enjoyable dining experience there- just make sure you're verifying everything on the GF menu for now. I'll be sure to put the word out when they have a new GF menu. If you've eaten there (I'm a little broke right now, so I have to keep it cheap), I'd love to hear your experiences!

Response:

The training and food handling procedures we have in place begin with education and knowledge.  Most importantly, the fact that if you touch something with gluten you now have to wash your hands before you can touch another product or you have just contaminated it.  We take extra care when preparing gluten free items.  Whether it is pasta that is boiled in its own separate pan of water or something fried that is prepared in fresh grease not used for anything else.  (The fried option is not always readily available as we do not take any chances.  Unless we know beyond a shadow of a doubt the grease hasn't been used we will not make it)

The soy sauce we carry does have gluten in it.  We are however sourcing different providers to try to find a suitable replacement.  Our bordolaise sauce also has a small amount of gluten in it.  However, our Worcestershire sauce is gluten free.  I am not sure what other sauces would typically contain gluten.  But if you have any questions, I will be sure to diligently research to make sure we are serving the safest menu possible. 

We will be updating our GF menu shortly.  When we do I will try to make sure we email a copy to you.  Thank you again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm a Bakery on Main Fan with Nothing to Hide!

Just to clarify, this is all about Bakery on Main's newest delight, True Bar. You'll see from the wrappers that they really do have nothing to hide- both in the phrase printed across the front and in the fact that the wrappers are clear, so you can see exactly what you are about to eat. Nothing to hide- AND nothing to complain about.

Not even walnuts.
I hate walnuts.
They stink.
Horribly.
I only ate my Walnut Cappucino Bar because I got it for free.
I want another one.
I have nothing to hide.

See what I mean?
Even though I hate walnuts and they're the FIRST ingredient on the label... I like them!!!

Let me be up front: they want me to blog about True Bar. Obviously they're also hoping I'll say good things. I refuse to lie on here though, so their control over this blog ended when they put that package of True Bars in the mail to me. I fully anticipated turning up my nose at the Walnut bars and telling you to judge for yourself. You still should, but I can tell you that I like them all. Really, I do.

Here are the lovely bars I got from Bakery on Main to sample:


Blue: "I'm a Fruit and Nut Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Green: "I'm a Coconut Cashew Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Yellow: "I'm a Walnut Cappucino Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Orange: I'm an Apricot Almond Chai Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Red: I'm a Hazelnut Chocolate Cherry Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Pink: "I'm a Raspberry Chocolate Almond Bar with Nothing to Hide"




Okay, I told you about the fluke of the Walnut bar. I really didn't intend to even eat it, but my 15 month old was with me, so I wanted to eat something I could easily share. It had the smallest chunks of nut of the ones I had left at the time, so I dared to unwrap it. This was also the case with the dreaded Coconut Cashew bar- ew, coconut! Same story: even with the least favorite ingredient being the first listed on the label, it was more than just bearable, it was enjoyable. Bakery on Main has some magic going on, that's all I can say.

I think it goes without saying that if the least-anticipated bars were amazing, the ones I CHOSE to try first were darn good too. I would not regret purchasing a single one of these.

Speaking of regret: they all range from 150 to 190 calories. Enough to satisfy without regret. They have substance to them- I could see them being handy to carry in my purse when I go somewhere in case they have little available that I can safely eat. They make a fun, meaningful snack too. Kids like it too- or at least based on my one toddler sampling.

Other selling points (I'm just copying these here):
Omega 3 from Chia
Good source of fiber
Made with many low-GI ingredients such as brown rice syrup, agave nectar, chia seed, and a variety of nuts
GFCO certified gluten free
Dairy and casein free
Non GMO
Low sodium
Kosher ou Parve
All natural
Wheat free
No transfats or cholesterol
Low in saturated fat

The website states:
"The suggested retail price is $1.99 per bar, these will be available on our website July 1 and will begin appearing on store shelves in September."

So wait, I can't get more yet?? Hmmm..... time to use my Grandpa's line when he's trying Grandma's cookies: "I'm not sure if they're good or not. I need to try another one." Please??

I did say I'd be honest, so here's the negative stuff:
They do contain soy. This means my brother can't eat them. He would love them too, so that's disappointing.
The packaging will not strike you immediately as being Bakery on Main. Having "nothing to hide" leaves little room for the stripes and bakery picture you may recognize this brand for.
One of the bars has walnuts, which are disgusting, and another has coconut, which is also gross. Oh, wait- I already determined that in spite of this, they are awesome!!

Sorry to tease you with all that. I'm sorry, I have no more left, so you can't even try to steal them from me. You'll have to wait until July 1 to order them online. When you see them in town in September, feel free to post a comment on here to let people know. I believe right now The Health Food Shoppe has the best selection of Bakery on Main products in town. You can also find some at A&B Naturals Foods, Walmart, and the Co-op. I don't believe anyone in Fort Wayne carries all of their products yet- at least not at last check! So go enjoy a Soft & Chewy bar (Health Food Shoppe and A&B) while you wait for the next great thing coming out of this company... and maybe start campaigning for more places in town to start carrying more of their products!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Things on the Horizon at Casa

As if the pasta wasn't good enough- heck, just the Casa Salad is worth a visit- more good things are coming our way at Casa's!

I went to Casa twice at the end of April/beginning of May and started hearing right AFTER that about the new cheesecake. Why, oh why, was I left out?

Well then I heard that they're carrying Redbridge beer also, and I knew I just needed to check on things.

An email from Tom Parisi, Director of Operations, confirmed it all: the caramel cheesecake was on a trial basis in April and May (I still wish they had "trial"ed it on me!), and it was such a success that it will be added to the menu. They are in fact carrying Redbridge. Aaaaand......

The new menu, which will be out by the third week of July, will also include three gluten free pizza choices.

I'm extremely hesistant to try any of the other GF pizzas- ahem, pizza CRUSTS- offered locally after "getting glutened" a year ago from one. I used to work in the pizza business- I know how that darn flour operates (can be airborn for up to 24 hours)- but I just may give this one a try.

Why?

For one, they're offering a gluten free PIZZA, not CRUST. Additionally, Casa has always treated me well on the GF dining- I feel safer eating there than most places in town.

Exciting gluten free times in Fort Wayne!

GF Rice Krispies

GF Rice Krispies have made it to town! We've had a sighting at Meijer on Lima Road; they have not yet made it to the Southgate Kroger. Let us know where you find them- and be careful to check the packages- don't accidentally start buying the old ones with malt!

***6-15-11: They have also been found at Walmart in Decatur.

GF Tacos? Yes, please!

GF tacos? Yes, please! But where? Share your thoughts in response to this post I received today on the Facebook page: "I am in the planning process of operating a gluten free street taco cart in Fort Wayne Indiana, Friday..Saturday and Sunday. Any ideas on the best location to set up my cart? We have located some really great GF products to use and most important they taste great !!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

GF at the Farmers' Markets

Pembroke Gardens/Pembroke Bakery is at the West Main Street Farmer's Market on Fridays, South Side Farmer's Market on Warsaw Street on Saturdays, and the East State Farmer's Market at Tecumseh Library on Sundays. Their most interesting offering in my opinion is the banana split bread- lots of banana, dried cherries, chocolate chips, and ground up walnuts (not too big, so walnut haters like myself can survive it).  They also have a cinnamon raisin bread and just regular bread too. They will be opening up a bakery downtown this summer- probably by August- where they will offer some gluten free goodies such as these.

If you're south of town, you have options too. The Decatur Farmer's Market at the Riverside Center on Thursdays 3:30-6:30 and The Bluffton Farmer's Market in the Dutch Mill Plaza on Saturday mornings will feature GF baked goods and noodles. You know how us city folk like to get all excited about Amish cooking? Oh yeah, how about gluten free! She's taking requests for what to make, so get out there!

I might have to try to venture out to the Decatur one sometime this summer because I'm excited to try this stuff out. You know it's going to be awesome when it's made by someone who has to be GF too. Hmmm.... must check with my Celiac friend in Decatur for a good spot to get dinner down there on this road trip....

Do you know of other good GF finds at the local markets this summer? They're great places for us to visit for fresh produce anyhow, but picking up some bread or noodles too makes it even better.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Keeping It Real

To anyone who may actually be following these blog posts (are you out there yet???)- I apologize for my recent silence. Work has been busy, and I've been battling pneumonia!! Now on to today's rant....

I want to put the caution out there again- it can't be said enough- to be careful who you listen to out there, especially HERE on the internet. Remember that anyone with a modem and a keyboard can post anything online these days, and they do. Just because you see it in writing does not make it gospel, does not make it gluten free.

I started this page- actually, the myspace page years ago- as a centralized resource for the gluten free in Fort Wayne, whether it be people dealing with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, or autism. Obviously the GF bandwagon has gotten crowded in recent years. This is good and bad for those of us who need to take it seriously.

It's good because the more demand and awareness there is, the more options we have.

It's bad because lots of people try to be experts and not all of them are. Just because someone claims to be GF does not mean they know it all. It means they eat food. Just because they post a blog does not make them somehow superior to you in the ways of gluten avoidance. It means they know how to post words online.

I say all of this knowing that it may come across as sounding as if I think I'm somehow better than the people I caution against. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. That's up to you to decide, I suppose. Are you in this because of Celiac Disease? You better be very discriminating in who you trust. Are you in this because you've gotten the impression that GF somehow equates to healthy? Well, yeah.... uh.......

I try my best to not overstep my bounds online in being an expert. I try to just have the internet platform serve as a collection of resources. Want an expert? Try some of the Celiac links at the bottom left of the page. Want to know what's out there locally? Try the links on the right side of the page, but know that not all of those places are created equally. There are places linked that I've never had the guts to step foot in. They offer something GF, but that doesn't mean I'm trusting it. Heck, a big motivation in starting to link so many online resources was to create a centralized database for MYSELF! I'm just nice enough to share it.

That's what I keep this page going for- sharing. Big ramblings such as this will appear here on the blog. Little tidbits, such as Udi's buns now being at the Co-op, show up on the Facebook page. I try to spread the GF word of FW as I hear it. I'm not trying to make money or anything; I'm just trying to make my own life easier and maybe yours too.

It just worries me because so many new things and people seem to be popping up lately that I DO NOT trust. But on the surface, they're as legitimate as anybody else. I'm concerned that the people who really need good information are going to be misinformed- not intentionally, but still...

So please- be careful out there!

And hey..... if you're out there listening, drop a comment on here or on FB so I know I'm not actually just talking to myself.  :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yikes!

All the copy-and-paste action I have going on here to repost old blogs from Myspace have screwed up the whole look of this page! I will fix it as soon as I have time, but I don't think I will have the chance today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gluten Free Fort Wayne links

Have you joined the Yahoo email group yet? It's easier to have a conversation when there are enough people to actually talk.

How about the Facebook page?

Of course, there's always still the good ol' Myspace page out there too, cobwebs and all...

Well, how do you like THEM cucumbers?

Dinner tonight was a medley of all that sounded good while grocery shopping this weekend: sausage because I had a coupon, Nooodles because they have no calories, and cucumbers because they were great for beating the bloat during pregnancy (the ONLY time I've EVER tolerated those horrid things!)- mixed with some Cali Fine Foods seasoning, dried onion flakes, and cheese.

When I put it all together, I anticipated posting an update on Facebook about the mess ending up in the trash and offering the remaining cucumbers to any takers. I was scared of taking that first bite. Being that I'm not the chef of the house and my husband doesn't do much online, I think it's safe to say I won't be telling him about it, even though..........

...........it was..................

......................................................................................................................................................good!

I can't even just say that it was the individual pieces of this concoction that were good- it was the entire package. Really. When it was gone and I looked at the empty bowl, I realized that I ate the slices of cucumber without any protest, hesitation, or grimacing. Where did they go? Did I really eat them??

So, in spite of myself, dinner was a win.....

....well, except for the sausage my daughter snuck into the trash can when I left the room.............

Do you have any surprise success stories of GF meals that you've invented?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tidbits

Here's the latest word on the GF streets of FW:

Tilted Kilt and Red Angel Pizza both serve gluten free beer. Red Angel also has a GF pizza crust.

Other spots in town offering GF crusts include B. Antonio's, 800 Degree Pizza, and Vince's.

Speaking of Vince's, they were also supposed to be trying out some GF buns and wraps recently. I've not been there yet, but I feel like they have a lot of potential for the GF community.

As always, use good judgement when ordering GF pizza. I do think all of these places are doing the very best that they can to keep us safe, but you have to decide based on your own levels of sensitivity or willingness to take a chance.

Madeleine's Bakehouse in Jefferson Pointe offers some GF goodies. They don't keep a lot on hand due to the risk of cross-contamination, but you can order GF things from them.

Casa is now offering a GF cheesecake. I hear it's good. I'm not sure how long they've been offering it, but I went to Dupont last weekend and Jefferson two weeks before that and heard nothing about it. I'm very disappointed that they didn't bring this to my attention since I was ordering off the gluten free menu. So next time you're in there, ASK!

Larabars are 10 for $10 right now at Scott's and Kroger.

I have now found Bakery on Main products at A&B Natural Food in Time Corner, Scott's, Walmart, and The Health Food Shoppe.

Udi's now has buns. They haven't hit store shelves YET, but you can order them here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Coming in July: The Pembroke Bakery

It's always fun to find surprise gluten free news!

I was reading the paper this morning and happened across an article related to ARCH (historical buildings? gluten free? what??). I was very glad to have taken the time to read this- it seems that when Angie Quinn retires from ARCH this summer, she is going to open up a bakery downtown. According to this article in the Journal Gazette, "She plans to sell breads, cookies and pastries, including gluten-free and dairy-free versions."

So not to put the pressure on, but now the word's out. I look forward to seeing what they have to offer and hope to be able to support this new endeavor. I'll let you know when I hear more- please, if you have any more information on this (or anywhere else in town that's hooking it up GF-style), please let me know so I can get it out there.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Whine Dine

Admit it: you've attended a GF support meeting, meal, or other event and when it was all over, you wondered why you just wasted all that time listening to others "whine and dine". You know how it goes- nobody has had it as bad as me: the symptoms, the sensitivity, the doctor, the........... you get it. It's human nature, sure. We all want our story to be heard, especially when we felt like we went through so much alone and then find ourselves in the company of others who "get it".

WHAT IF there was an event where the rule was "no whining"? You show up with a dish to share, potluck-style, and an understanding that we've all been through the rough times and we're just going to deal with today. Every dish (gluten free, of course) is labeled with ingredients so you can check to see if it's safe if you have other sensitivities. If you like it, take a copy of the recipe. If you don't cook, bring your favorite GF packaged stuff. You know, just like for the family reunion- there's the aunt who always makes the awesome rolls AND the aunt who brings pop and chips.

If you're interested, comment here, on the Facebook fan page, or email me at glutenfreefortwayne@yahoo.com. I don't have a huge audience on here just yet, so I'm thinking maybe sometime in 2012. Being opening day at the zoo today, I thought perhaps we could rent the big pavilion there at Franke Park and people can make a day of it if they want- go to the zoo, play at the park, AND eat some GF food. Maybe 5 bucks a person or family or something to cover the cost of the facilities and any extra money is donated somewhere for Celiac research....?? University of Maryland or Chicago or something...? Maybe see if we can get popular GF brands and local businesses to donate samples and/or coupons...?

Let me know your thoughts. Let's get a conversation going- publicly, if possible (here or FB), so people can see there is interest and get involved in the conversation. This is something I just thought up today, so I'm open to hear from others. I don't want to make it too complicated like other big GF events- I don't have time- but how tough could a potluck be if I'm starting more than a year in advance? Famous last words perhaps........  but hey, this is just a conversation at this point. I'm not committed to anything but typing these words.   :)

Talk to me!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NoOodles!

Meijer recently started carrying several new gluten free products. Among them was this curious little bag of precooked noodles floating around in water waiting to be served. I bought one, not knowing what to expect, but expecting very little. For as convenient as it seemed, there was no way that it could be any good. I used the excuse of my blogging duties here to sacrifice and try these things myself.

I missed the part on the package that said it has zero calories.

Today I decided to try these silly little noodles for dinner, fully intending on cooking a backup meal when they ended up a disaster. The package says to rinse them very well. I wasn't very concerned about that until I smelled them. Backup dinner, get ready...  I rinsed. I cautiously tasted. I liked. NoOodles are good!

So now what? What do I have in my kitchen to make these into a meal or something? I mixed in some Herb Medley seasoning from Cali Fine Foods. Ooh, wonderful! I opened a can of mixed veggies, threw it in the microwave for a minute, and then mixed in some cheese. It can't be that bad, can it?

It was awesome! I really enjoyed my dinner, my one-year-old had fun with the noodles, we both ate our vegetables, and I didn't feel guilty about stuffing myself with something gluten free...... which of course then required some rewarding with leftover Apple Spice Cake made from a 1-2-3 Gluten Free mix.....

The new challenge is to venture back out and discover how much I paid for this stuff. If it's cheap enough, I just may have another tool to use in losing a few (many) pounds!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Guten Free Events

April 9 Farmington Hills, MI Gluten Free Food Fair 10:00am - 2pm First Presbyterian Church of Farmington 26165 Farmington Road Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 474 -6170 Join us and 27 great gluten-free vendors.

April 16 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Memorial Hospital, 615 N Michigan, South Bend, IN. Booths with nutritional information, vendors with G-F products, area restaurants. Workshops about baking G-F, living G-F, Celiac Disease and more. Free conference and free parking in garage. Contact person: Jeannie Derrow, RN: 574-220-5040. For more information: jbderrow@aol.com

April 30-May 1 Chicago Gluten & Allergen Free Expo
 The Wyndham Hotel, Lisle, IL, 8 am - 5pm. Cooking, baking and nutrition classes offered for $175 per day. Price includes classes, gourmet lunch, gift bag of goodies, and entrance to Vendor Fair. Special kids cooking class offered. Vendor Fair with 70+ vendors offered to public for $15 adults and children under 12 free.

May 21 Grand Rapid Gluten Free Food Fair 10 am - 5pm. A new, larger location this year at Deltaplex, 2500 Turner Ave NW, Downtown, Grand Rapids, MI. Given by the CSA chapter of Grand Rapids. Vendor Fair proving samples and coupons. G-F cooking lessons & conferences. Watch the website for the conference schedule postings early April. You must register for a conference and there is a limit of one conference.

September 25 Goshen Gluten Free and Wellness Show 10 am - 2 pm. I.U. Health
Goshen Hospital, Arbor Room, Goshen, IN. Vendors offering samples and selling their products. First 300 guests registered receive a reusable shopping bag full of goodies. Each registered guest will have their name put into a drawing for a gift basket or gift card from a vendor at the show. Must be present to win. Contact: Tanya Trick 574-825-3366. More information: famileslivingwithcd@email.com

October 7-9 Indianapolis Gluten Free Living Expo 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at The Fountains 502 Carmel Drive Carmel, IN 46032 The expo will have vendors offering all kinds of foods, testing items, and informational sessions. Cooking demonstrations will be offered by a few of the vendors. Featured lecturer: Dr. Alessio Fasano, M.D. Center for Celiac Research. I've seen him speak twice and recommend this to anyone who has never seen him before.


Special Thanks to CSA 110 Michiana and Gluten Free Indy for sharing most of this information.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wall Street Journal: "Clues to Gluten Sensitivity"

I thought this was a well-written and informative article.
There is so much outdated, misunderstood, or just plain incorrect information that is circulated by people who just don't know enough yet, it's nice to see something in a mainstream publication that truly "gets it". They definitely got their info from the right sources. Check it out: Clues to Gluten Sensitivity. The table at the end is a clear illustration of what they are trying to share.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fort Wayne Celiacs Meeting

The group will meet this Saturday, March 12 at Old Crown on North Anthony.
Amy Radcliff, an Independent Consultant for Homemade Gourmet will be sharing with the group and will demonstrate how to prepare 4 gluten free meals in 4 minutes. Of course, there will be samples. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fruity Pebbles

I've never eaten this stuff, but now that it's gluten free, I somehow felt obligated to buy a box and try it. I also have a box of Cocoa Pebbles, but I haven't come down low enough from the sugar high to try those yet.

SUGAR HIGH!

As a teacher and a parent I find it frightening that THIS is how many children are starting their days. Okay, fine. I'm glad they're eating SOMETHING for breakfast. I'm also glad it contains vitamins and minerals to give them something they need also. BUT WOW!

As a kid, I had the joy of adding sugar to my cereal, especially such flavorful treats as Rice Krispies (soon to be gluten free) and Wheaties or Shredded Wheat (I don't miss those breakfasts!!!). Sometimes I added too much, but that's what kids do, right? Maybe I just don't have the taste buds I had when I first hit double-digits, but a taste of these Fruit Pebbles reminded me of the days when I discovered that you actually CAN add too much sugar to your cereal.

At the risk of sounding like I'm complaining though, I must say that they were quite tasty. My daughter agreed. I just won't be serving them to her for breakfast. I'm thinking desserts.

They're fun straight out of the box, but I think they could be a fun addition to Rice Krispies Treats when the cereal is made gluten free (don't jump on it just yet- Rice Krispies still have that pesky malt flavoring right now). So for now, maybe some Rice Chex treats or Envirokidz Koala Crisp treats with the Fruity Pebbles...... maybe even sprinkle some onto more boring cereals for a splash of color and sugar? Would they be good sprinkled on ice cream? I think they could be.

I'm excited for one more gluten free option available to us; my personal opinion is that it ought to be found in the candy aisle rather than the cereal aisle, however.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Meijer

A lot of gluten free foods are on sale right now at Meijer. I took this opportunity to stock up on some of my favorites like Allergaroo spaghetti and 1-2-3 Gluten Free Brownie and Pan Bar mixes. I think the sale prices last most of the month.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bakery on Main

I'm really starting to wish I had put this blog up sooner. It's so much easier to manage and to navigate than my old one on Myspace (although that one's not going anywhere- it's got quite the archive of older blogs).

Today I was able to post my next set of links at the bottom of the page- my favorite gluten free products. It's amazing how many I was able to come up with off the top of my head, and I know that there are ones I'm forgetting (in fact, there are at least two that I can picture the product, but for the life of me cannot remember the name of the brand..... they will be added next time I go grocery shopping). One of the newcomers to my favorites is Bakery on Main .

I have to admit that I was a skeptic. I have seen their granola on store shelves many times, looked at it, and moved on. I even have coupons that I've picked up along the way somewhere that I've been too chicken to use! I don't know what my problem has been......... my inner child picky eater saw something unfamiliar in the package and got scared, I guess.

Well let me tell you!
Those weird little pieces in there- sweet little corn flakes and rice crisps- are the funnest part of the granola. Even my 11-month-old loves them. My favorite flavor is the Nutty Cranberry Maple, although they're all good (I just have to pick around the walnuts in the Apple Raisin Walnut- there's no convincing me that walnuts are edible). I've bought the granola at The Health Food Shoppe on North Anthony and the Southtown Walmart. I swear I thought I saw them at Meijer before, but couldn't find them there last time I looked. The granola is awesome for a quick little snack or a little bit of fun fiber.

My favorite, favorite, favorite products of theirs are the soft and chewy granola bars. I know it's been a few years since I've had a gluten-laden granola bar, but I swear these are better. Favorite flavor? All of them! WE NEED THESE IN FORT WAYNE!!!!! If they're in Fort Wayne, then I'm mad that I haven't seen them. Since you all missed my birthday, I will be accepting Bakery on Main Gift Boxes for Mother's Day.

Hint: dropped.

Wow, I'm sounding like an advertisement here. Seriously, this stuff is awesome though. And just for a little bit of advertising flavor- check out their Eat Better Live Better Club. Yay, coupons!!

Okay, fine. One more thing.... "Like" them on their Facebook page and after they get to 1000 fans, they will pick 10 people (ahem, 9 plus me....... right???) to win 3 boxes of the soft and chewy granola bars. Don't forget to "Like" Gluten Free Fort Wayne while you're out there too.

I'm done now.

3-5-11 UPDATE: BAKERY ON MAIN GRANOLA BARS ARE AT THE HEALTH FOOD SHOPPE AND ON SALE RIGHT NOW!!!! WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My old blog

The concept for Gluten Free Fort Wayne started years ago. I brought it to life on Myspace, and that page is still there, although it has been gathering a bit of dust recently. To see older blog postings, go to the GFFW Myspace blog.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gluten Free Tasting TODAY

BeeFree Gluten Free Bakery will be at Chuck & Birds (in the old Hartley's building on Fairfield) from 10-6 today (Saturday) doing a tasting.

*****UPDATE: Apparently they posted the wrong time on their Facebook page. It starts at 2:00. If you have the opportunity to head out there when it's actually happening (unlike me), I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My favorite spots for groceries

1. Meijer on Lima Road
All Meijers carry a decent selection of gluten free products; this one has the best in my opinion. Overall for any groceries I purchase, Meijer has the best price. My husband would disagree, but he buys different things..... like Chef Boyardee and other gluten favorites of days past. I love my Stonyfield and Brown Cow yogurts- some days they are the number one reason I go to Meijer instead of somewhere else!

2. The Health Food Shoppe
My only complaint about this place is that I can't leave there without spending at least $50. This has nothing to do with their prices; I just love too many of the things they sell. They have the city's best selection of gluten free foods and if you join their gluten free club, you can get a 10% discount on all gluten free products you buy there. My biggest weaknesses there are all of the Udi's products and Liz Lovely cookies. They have more gluten free cookies than your deprived tummy can tolerate! Seriously, you have to try the Liz Lovely cookies... and WOW cookies... and Lean on Me cheesecake..... and....and.... and..... ..........       ........
Do you see now why I'm broke?

3. Kroger at Southgate
Most of the Scott's and Kroger stores carry a good selection of gluten free favorites (I found Udi's cookies at West State last week when I went in for pizza crusts!), but this one consistently amazes me with all of the things I love- such as Gluten Free and Fabulous pizza. These stores have the best selection of my favorite Larabars at the best price- and every now and then you can catch them at the Scott's/Kroger special price of 10 for 10. Today I even found chocolate covered Glutino pretzels there.

4. Three Rivers Co-op
This is always the first place people mention when I talk about being gluten free. The truth is they might be lower than fourth on my list if it weren't for their great selection of Larabars at a great price. They have many of my favorite products, but they are all things I can get somewhere else too. I was also turned off by misinformation being shared there one time about Celiac Disease.

Honorable Mentions:
A & B Natural Foods in Time Corners
Wilma's Health Care & Food Shoppe in Churubusco
Dupont Road Kroger
Southtown Walmart

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Local Links

Links to places with gluten free food available in the Fort are now up along the right side of the page. Please, if I forgot any or if you learn of anything new, let me know so I can link it here. I would like for this to be an easy one-stop page for all things gluten free in Fort Wayne. Look for more links in the future for my favorite gluten free brands and other useful Celiac and gluten free websites.

Please use your best discretion when dining out at any of the places linked here. In most cases, I have linked their gluten free menu or list, but offering a gluten free list does not guarantee a full understanding of our needs. Continue to ask questions and give specifics to ensure that your food is prepared safely for you.

I also want to add a word of caution on the pizza places linked here. They do all offer a gluten free crust and I have heard many good things about them. My one experience dining at one of these places was not ideal, but it was also in the very early days of the GF crust being offered. I'm optimistic that things have improved. You just need to make your own choices based on your level of sensitivity, I suppose. Please understand however that pizza places by their very nature are full of flour. Flour can remain airborn for 24 hours. I've witnessed this firsthand in my pre-celiac days working in a pizza place. I could leave the place spotless at the end of the night and then return the next morning to find a layer of flour covering everything. Also note that these places are stating that they offer a gluten free CRUST, which implies to me that this is the only thing that is verified by them to be gf- not the pepperoni, sausage......... but this is just my own conjecture here. I have only been in contact with one of these places and this was last summer, so I really don't have updated inside information.

Look for Gluten Free Fort Wayne on Facebook!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Post!

Please visit www.myspace.com/glutenfreefortwayne until I have the opportunity to figure things out on here. Also look for Gluten Free Fort Wayne on Facebook!

I hope to get things going on here soon.