Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Caramello Cupakes!

These are divine. I LOVE Caramello Bars and I LOVE CUPCAKES. I love cupcakes so much that I stalk cupcake blogs as though they were porn, yes food porn! No, I don't get off on it, but it is visually pleasing. It is actually worse because I know that the cupcakes I am lusting after are most always not gluten free. So, it is almost as though I am committing a sin. I decided to create a Caramello cupcake...well, at least I am pretty sure they didn't exist prior to their creation when I was asked to bring cupcakes for Karmen's b-day celebration!

Here is how you can also make them!

-A chocolate GF cake mix ( Sof'ella Organic Gluten Free Chocolate Cake & Frosting{it comes with the frosting in the box})
-A jar of 12 oz caramel ( I used Walden farms because it was sugar free and my bf is diabetic but it also said GF on it. It also was calorie free, fat free, carbohydrate free, cholesterol free, and preservative free. By itself it isn't the best tasting but when it was in the cupcake, you couldn't even tell that it was sugar free!) Most of the jar will not be used, the jar I bought just happened to be 12 oz. each cupcake will most likely have about 1/4 tablespoon inside or less but it is hard to tell how much you are injecting inside.
- Caramello Bars (Calculate how many cupcakes you want. If you want 12 cupcakes, buy three bars because there are 4 squares on each bar.)

-Line the cupcake pan with liners. Fill half way with the Sof'ella Organic Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix and bake according to instructions.
-Once cupcakes are baked and cooled, inject a good amount ( not so much that the cupcake breaks) of caramel into the cupcake.
-Then follow the instructions listed to make the Sof'ella Organic Gluten Free Frosting.
-Once Frosting is made, frost cupcake and garnish with Caramello chocolate!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lara Bars

Lara Bar= Goodness. I cant even pretend to go through literary process for these with you. I wont even try to create a rising action and then bring it to the climax when I just want to let you all in on how freaking delicious they are. Oh wait, it gets even better. They are all natural. They are also suitable for raw eaters, vegans, kosher folks, soy free people, the gluten free like me, and the dairy intolerant. Yes, they work for us all. Why? Because they only consist of fruits and nuts, so unless you are allergic to those ingredients, you can indulge!

The Cherry Pie flavor actually tasted like a cherry pie and it cost less monetarily and calorie wise than one slice of pie would! Whoo hoo! The Apple Pie one was also really delicious. I was really pleased.

I no longer have the wrappers, so I cant post the nutritonal information like I normally would. Trust me, worth every bite :)

I guess I cant finish this with out some sort of resolution or call to action...

Have you tried Lara Bars? If so, let me know what you think and which type you tried and liked!

Two Truths & A Lie

This isn't gluten free at all but I am playing a game of Two Truths & A Lie on my other blog if you guys want to play along...

Two Truths & A Lie Game

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chili's Update!

Thursday night I was getting ready to eat dinner with my family and the phone rings, the gentleman on the other end asks for me by name. I, sounding uncertain confirm that he is speaking to me and he tells me that he is from the Chili’s Corporation and that he got my email from the corporate office. I go over the story again. Henry, my Chili’s contact, was very nice and apologetic, he agreed that the server was very insensitive and out of line. He also agreed that getting sick was unacceptable. He spoke to me for a very long time and listened to my concerns and suggestions. He was not only sorry for the incident, and he wanted to apologize to me on behalf of the company. He said he would normally offer me gift cards but he could tell that wouldn’t be appropriate in this circumstance, he was right. I never, ever want to go back to Chili’s ever again. So, he took additional information and he was going to refund my dinner! He was going to track down my receipt to give me back the refund but also find out the servers name and they were going to take to her about being more sensitive to her customers. They were going to talk to their cooks about being more careful in the kitchen about cross contamination. He also gave me his cellular number in case I do not receive my refund or anything else should arise. I am very happy with the way Chili’s handled the issue. Thank you Chili’s for taking care of this properly, I just wish it wouldn’t have happened in the first place! Or should I say, thank you Henry!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chili's Gluten Free Menu....A Winner...Right?

I had heard that Chili’s had a gluten free menu from a few of the blogs I visit but I couldn’t remember if it was a good menu or not. Then I remembered reading about Stephanie’s glutening but I thought that it wouldn’t happen to me because, what would be the odds? Plus, I would not only tell the server about my intolerance but also I would go prepared with my handy-dandy cards!

Was I naive? Maybe, I was. Maybe it is because I have put too much faith in people or maybe it is because I expect that if you actually have a gluten free menu, it means that you know the meaning of what gluten free is and what cross contamination is. Is that too much to ask? Do I sound harsh? Well, keep reading. I am more than just a little upset, this ladies and gentlemen is by far the worst culinary (if you can call Chili’s culinary) experience I have ever had.

My boyfriend and I were meeting his sister, her husband and their adorable daughter for dinner. I mistakenly suggest Chili’s for dinner because of the gluten free menu. Jared and I get there first, we sit down and we talk the game plan. The game plan includes how I am going to order. I always think this through because I get nervous and never want to leave anything out. Jared orders for me often because it makes me uneasy and he has great attention for detail, but I ordered for myself last night. His family arrived, they decided on their order and the waitress came. She was not very pleasant but I was nice to her.

When it was my turn to order I chose: A hamburger. No bun, with cheese and the garnish. No French fries. Instead of the fries can I please have a side salad? She nodded. I continued: No Croutons. No dressing of any kind. Instead I would like lemon wedges. I have Celiac Disease meaning I cannot have any gluten or wheat because it will make me very sick. It is all on this card. Can you please give it to your cook and their staff?

She took the card and gave me a look. I didn’t care though. I have no clue if she gave it to the cook or not. When she returned with my order, she brought me my burger with a side of ranch on the plate. The ranch was in a separate container so I didn’t freak out but I was still annoyed. Ranch was not on the gluten free menu and I didn’t order it. She wasn’t listening to my needs. I told her again “I am highly allergic to gluten and I don’t want to take a chance, could you please take the dressing back.” I know that celiac is an autoimmune disorder but I didn’t feel like explaining it to her, she wasn’t getting it. I figured the word allergy would work better with this chick. Then she really crossed the line, she replied with, “Yeah, I would be PARANOID too.” I didn’t want to make a scene. I was at dinner with my boyfriend and his lovely family and I was on the verge of tears. It had been such an amazing week for the gluten free community with the release of the G-Free Diet and all of the promotion surrounding it and also with the launch of the Starbucks gluten free dessert. I wasn’t going to let this girl get me down. I wasn’t being paranoid, I was protecting my intestines.

Dinner was awful. My salad tasted old. I couldn’t even finish it and my burger kind of sucked. I started not feeling well during my dinner. My boyfriend said it was the worst steak he ever had. My boyfriend's sister didn't really like her dinner either. I left still hungry since I didn’t finish my meal so my boyfriend took me to In & Out for some french fries. I had a bad feeling about the food I had eaten at Chili’s so I took some Pepto while we were still there, especially since I wasn’t feeling well. I know that Pepto isn’t cure at all, but maybe it helps a little? Hey, kept me from having the craps! So, I would like to think that maybe it lessens it a bit…right?

We were going to this arcade called Golfland to play games and by the time we got there I had this massive headache. After ten minutes I threw up in the restroom. I threw up a total of four times while we were there, but I didn’t want to leave and let stupid Chili’s get in my way. I was in so much pain that it hurt to walk and I felt really bloated. On the way back to my boyfriend’s we stopped at the store and picked up some things so I would feel better.

I can honestly say that Chili’s was the worst restaurant experience I have ever had. It wasn’t the worst glutening of my life but it was by far the worst customer service and pretty awful food. I do not like being insulted by people when I am trying to have a good time. I am saddened by the lack of humanity that waitress showed for me, it is hard enough trying to eat out. I know that there are more and more options for gluten free people showing up all the time but when restaurants like Chili’s has gluten free menus, I expect their staff not to insult patrons and not to cross contaminate them. I am really disheartened by Chili’s. I normally try to not give bad reviews but Chili’s you gave me really crappy service and maybe you should give your servers a bit of sensitivity training

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thanks Starbucks for thinking of the Gluties like me!

I was counting down the days until the launch of STARBUCKS: GLUTEN FREE VALENCIA ORANGE CAKE! Today was the big unavailing! I checked twitter to see the chatter, a friend told me her Starbucks wasn't carrying it until tomorrow. I decided to call the closest location to me and they had three left! I was happy that the gluten free community was gobbling these goodies up! We want Starbucks to know that we not only exist; but that we have needs that have to be met!

We walked to Starbucks and I was so happy to see that they still had two when I arrived! See the joy on my face...
My son just wants his drink!
Then it was time for the moment of truth, could Starbucks create a fabulous gluten free dessert?

YES! A BIG YES!!! It was moist, and spongy. It reminded me of the orange version of the lemon pound cake that I loved in my pre-gluten free days! I was in gluten free heaven! The glutton in me was satisfied! Oh Starbucks you won me over, I was skeptical.

It came prepackaged and it was not in the same case! So I felt like cross contamination was not something to worry about. I also liked that the ingredients and the nutritional information was listed on the packaging!

Normally when we walk, I wear different shoes. I should stick to routine because I got massive blisters that bled. This was so worth it!

Yup, that is blood!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 290
Total Fat: 16 grams
Carbohydrates: 32 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Protein: 9 grams

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Book Review: The G Free Diet : A Gluten-Free Survival Guide

The G Free Diet : A Gluten-Free Survival Guide , by Elizabeth Hasselbeck arrived on my door on my wheat free anniversary last Thursday while I was spending time with Stephanie. We skimmed through the book both trying to figure out if it was something that we would like. Stephanie left and I cracked open the book that night.

I had been familiar with the books author from shows like Survivor and The View as well as her cute clothing line. I had known that she also suffered from celiac disease and that instantly made me feel connected to her, but would I like her book?

The The G Free Diet is highly informative. The book really made me think. If you follow me on Twitter you know that I realized that my hair dye had been glutening me. I had pondered this in the past but always forgotten to check the ingredients of my hair dye. Well, the The G Free Diet not only gives you Gluten Free Friendly Cosmetic Manufacture names but it also lists product names to look for. Also, sure enough, the hair dye I have been using for a while contained wheat.

I like how personal the book gets with Elizabeth's struggle with celiacs. I know how hard it has been for me and others I know that have to deal with it on a daily basis.

I also liked how the book has chapters on how to use the gluten free diet to help autism. There are also sections on how to be a wonderful gluten free significant other, which I thought was really sweet, plus, it was filled with the sweet antidotes from her relationship with her husband. There are also chapters on how to accommodate the needs of gluten free children, and how to party like a champion with out being a kill joy. Everything in her book was very informative.

The only things that I didn't like about the book was that she doesn't have a dedicated GF toaster because of space in her New York home. I am a Native New Yorker and I am sorry but crumbs are crumbs even if you use foil to shield them! My GF toaster just got contaminated yesterday and I will be needing a new one, I am a cross contamination freak.

The other thing was that she (I don't want to give away spoilers) ate a non-gf meal at an important function. I personally wouldn't take the risk, because my intestines are so sensitive to gluten and I know what happens if they are exposed. But she did for good reason, I just wouldn't.

Those things were minor. Over all, I liked the book a lot. I would have read it in a few sittings but I was swamped with finals.
I totally recommend reading it when it hits store shelves in the morning!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Card Carrying Member!

Those cards I am holding are what I take when I go out to restaurants now. They inform the establishment I am dining at of what celiacs is, how not to cross contaminate me and what can happen to me if I do get contaminated. All of my information is neatly printed on a double sided business card. I have 500 hundred of them!

You can order them through . I didn't though. I made my own and ordered mine through a small online printing company with a sale, coupon codes & free shipping! The grand total came to about .25 cents! Triumph's are cool though because you can order them in different languages, a plus for travel!

Regardless, I happy to have my cards and now I hope that my eating out adventures are safer!