Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Goodies Giveaway: Tate's Bake Shop Holiday Basket

It's been a while since I've offered a giveaway, but the wait was worth it. I've been a big fan of Tate's Bake Shop's gluten-free chocolate chip cookies since I discovered them a few years ago; they're thin and crunchy with large chocolate morsels studded throughout each and every one.

Tate's sent me a gluten-free holiday gift basket so that the Gluten Free Philly family could try some of their newer all-natural products like the Chocolate Chip Cookie Peppermint Bark and Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Tate's gluten-free products are made in a dedicated facility.) Amazingly, the "chocolate" chocolate chip cookies are even better than the original. I'm not a huge fan of ginger, but even the Ginger Zinger cookies were tasty. I love chocolate peppermint bark, and when you add in cookies? Sheer bliss, my friends.

Friday, November 21, 2014

News & Notes: November 21, 2014

Kellogg's this week announced plans for a gluten-free version of its popular Special K cereal. Hitting store shelves in mid-December, Special K Gluten Free "features multi-grain flakes (corn, sorghum and rice) with a touch of brown sugar," according to the company's press release. A customer-service rep I spoke with yesterday told me that the cereal complies with the FDA's gluten-free labeling requirements (tested to contain less than 20 ppm) though it is not manufactured in a dedicated facility. The new Special K joins gluten-free Rice Krispies in Kellogg's gluten-free cereal stable.

The new Cocoa Puffs-like Safari Cocoa Crunch cereal from Mom's Best is also gluten free.

Also on the gluten-free product watch, look for Entenmann's-style Rebecca & Rose branded chocolate covered donuts at Passover. My Tuesday post has details on that and other holiday items announced at last week's Kosherfest food show.

In local restaurant news, Norristown now has its own all-gluten-free restaurant, where the entire menu is also organic and vegan. Gangster Vegan (2454 W. Main St., 610-630-1600) serves juices, smoothies, raw food and desserts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Cheer


With Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah approaching, it might seem premature to talk about Passover, which doesn't occur until early April. However, new gluten-free products announced last week at the annual Kosherfest food show in northern New Jersey merit a look ahead.

Kedem Foods announced several new gluten-free products that will be widely available for the Passover holiday next year, including additions to its all-natural, certified-gluten-free Rebecca & Rose brand. Chief among them are Entenmann's-style Chocolate Covered Donuts. Also new under the Rebecca & Rose name are brittle-like Brownie Crunch and Blondie Crunch as well as two cookie varieties.

Kedem is also adding a Cajun variety to its Jeff Nathan Creations line of Passover Panko flakes.

Also at the show, Manischewitz sampled new garlic & rosemary matzo-style squares and crackers, matzo ball mix, carrot cake macaroons (which won the event's Best New Kosher for Passover award) and a chocolate brownie mix.

The year-round artisanal gluten-free flour mixes from Blends by Orly won the Kosherfest award for Best New Mix. Each blend is optimized for different categories of baked goods; for example, London Blend is a cup-for-cup substitute in recipes for scones, cookies and biscuits. Other varieties include Tuscany Blend (breads and pizza crusts), Paris Blend (cakes and cupcakes), Sydney Blend (brownies, muffins and pies) and Manhattan Blend (brioche, challah and pastries). Currently, the mixes are sold in stores throughout northern New Jersey and New York, but can be purchased online.

Friday, November 14, 2014

News & Notes: November 14, 2014

Center City Philadelphia residents and office workers have new breakfast and lunchtime options at The Milk House, a grilled cheese and ice cream concept located at the Suburban Station concourse (1617 J.F.K. Blvd., 267-606-6757). All breakfast and grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu can be made on gluten-free bread using a separate grill, with staff changing gloves to avoid cross-contact. The tomato soup, fresh-cut fries and tater tots (from a dedicated fryer) and several ice cream flavors from Doylestown's Sweet Pea are also gluten free. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Across the river in Cherry Hill, Rockhill (1800 Rt. 70 E., 856-424-4455) opened last week serving a wide array of gluten-free options. The menu includes sandwiches, cheesesteaks and burgers on gluten-free rolls, salads and appetizers like onion rings, wings, cheese bites, fries and tots, all prepared in a dedicated fryer.

The Turning Point, the New Jersey mini-chain that serves breakfast, lunch and brunch, is opening its newest location in Cherry Hill (606 Haddonfield Rd., 856-988-1528) on Monday; it will be joined by a spot at the Mercer Mall in Lawrenceville (3371 Rt. 1) in early 2015. All locations have gluten-sensitive breakfast and lunch menus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Giving Thanks

Gone are the days when Thanksgiving was a holiday where those eating gluten free had to do without. Here's a quick run-down of widely available products (as always, review ingredient labels for specific items):

Turkeys: Fresh and frozen unstuffed turkeys from Perdue, Butterball, Empire (kosher), Jennie-O and Shady Brook Farms are gluten free. Store-brand turkeys may also be gluten free; check the labels.

Hams: Hams from HoneyBaked and Wellshire Farms are gluten free.

Gravy: McCormick recently introduced a gluten-free turkey gravy mix, and Imagine Foods makes an organic gluten-free and non-dairy turkey-flavored gravy. (Imagine has a dollar-off coupon offer here.)

Stuffing: There are many gluten-free stuffing mixes and cubes on the market these days. Look for varieties from Glutino, Gillian's, Rudi's, Trader Joe's, Williams-Sonoma and Whole Foods.

Pies: Gillian's produces gluten-free pumpkin, blueberry and apple crisp pies, while Whole Foods bakes pumpkin, apple, cherry and pecan pies at its GlutenFree Bakehouse. (Look for a dollar-off coupon in the holiday edition of the Whole Foods' in-store circular.) There are too many manufacturers of gluten-free baking mixes and pie crusts to mention here, but those are also options.

Also check with your nearest gluten-free bakery for freshly baked Thanksgiving pies. Locally, Sweet Christine's in Kennett Square, and Sweet Freedom in Center City Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr and Collingswood are accepting holiday orders.