Monday, August 31, 2009

Celiac Conference at duPont Hospital for Children

The Children’s Celiac Center at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware will be hosting its 4th Annual Celiac Conference on Saturday, September 26.

The event, to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 3rd-floor lecture hall of the hospital, is open to all children and families with an interest in celiac disease. (Child care will be available in the Child Activity Center during the lecture portion of the conference.) After the discussion, attendees will be able sample gluten-free products from vendors (Sweet Christine's and Pamela's Products among them) and socialize with others with celiac disease.

Guest speakers this year will be Ivor D. Hill, M.D., a world-renowned expert in celiac disease, and Pam Cureton, R.D., a registered dietician. Dr. Hill, a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Bowman-Gray University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is an author of the pediatric celiac disease guideline published in 2005. He led the celiac disease working group at the last two sessions of the World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Ms. Cureton is a registered dietician at the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland. She has served as nutritional adviser of celiac support groups since 1993 and is actively involved in the celiac clinics at the University. She is the co-author of the popular “Gluten-Free Diet Guide for Families” and has spoken nationally to medical professionals and support groups across the United States and Europe.

For more information or to RSVP to this free event, call Julann Fasy at (302) 651-5928 or email jfasy[at]nemours[dot]org or minnes[at]nemours[dot]org.

Friday, August 28, 2009

News & Notes

One local product and one local restaurant: those were the subjects of this week's postings. On Monday, I wrote about the gluten-free beef pot pie made by Twin Hens of Princeton, New Jersey, while on Wednesday, I reviewed Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, with eight locations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Thanks to reader Tami for alerting me about two Absecon, New Jersey restaurants that offer gluten-free options: China Sea of Absecon has a separate menu (the link is at the Gluten Free Philly restaurant page) and Calabria Pizza Italian Grill offers 10-inch personal gluten-free pizzas.

In addition to serving food that can be prepared gluten free, Kildare's Pub serves Redbridge beer and Strongbow cider. The restaurant has area locations in King of Prussia, Philadelphia and West Chester, Pennsylvania and in Newark, Delaware.

Joe's Crab Shack, with local outposts in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware, has a gluten-free menu available. Included are the restaurant's seafood Steampots, crabs, mahi-mahi, tilapia, steak and grilled shrimp, Key West Chicken (no sauce), salmon (no glaze), Bucket of Shrimp and Cobb Salad (no dressing).

Olive Garden has updated its gluten-free menu: gone is the pork medallions entree but there's now a gluten-free penne dish with marinara sauce. The Mixed Grill entrees on the menu should be prepared without demi-glace, which is not gluten free. On a related note, the chain is planning to open a location in Collegeville, Pennsylvania in November 2009.

Diners can now make online reservations for all Delaware Valley P.F. Chang's China Bistro locations.

I updated the site's gluten-free-friendly markets list to include two future Whole Foods Market locations: one in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (tentatively set to open in November 2009) and one on Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware (in development).

Back in April, I wrote about a new line of frozen gluten-free meals from Gluten Free Café. The manufacturer, Hain Celestial, has just rolled out snack bars under that nameplate. New are chocolate, lemon and cinnamon sesame bars made with flax seed. They're available online at

A Taste of Thai has introduced Toasted Coconut Fortune Cookies that are gluten free. The cookies can be ordered online direct from the manufacturer.

Kinnikinnick Foods just announced the newest version of their gluten-free KinniTOOS sandwich creme cookies: chocolate cookies with a fudge creme filling. The company says the cookies will be in stores come November, but they are available for home delivery by ordering through its website.

Wow Baking Company is offering visitors to their website a free gluten-free cookie of their choice. My older son recently tried their Snickerdoodle cookie and thought it tasted great. (Wow Baking's cookies and cake mixes are available at Thanks to Maureen at Hold The Gluten for the tip.

When my older son was younger, it was always a challenge at the start of the school year to educate faculty and administrators about his diet. Several years ago my wife prepared a two-page handout that we gave to his teachers, and we've used it every year since. The letter serves as a primer on the diet and gives them guidance about lunch time and snack time preparation, when a classmate's birthday will be celebrated and when certain arts and crafts materials are used. Just drop me a line at gfphilly[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in getting a copy of the note and I'll email it out to you.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pumping Iron

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant recently opened its eighth location in the tri-state area, and its first in New Jersey, at the former Pastavino site on Kings Highway in Maple Shade. My family and I recently ate at the chain's newest spot to sample some of the newest gluten-free offerings.

Available during lunch and dinner hours at all of its restaurants, Iron Hill's new gluten-free menu includes over 40 modified dishes, such as Brabant Mussels with white wine, leeks, garlic, parsley, lemon and cream, Voodoo Shrimp with honey barbecue sauce, white rice, sour cream and green onion, Fiery Baked Chipotle Wings, served with blue cheese dressing and vegetable sticks, Grilled Salmon with baby arugula, imported olives, red onion, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, feta and balsamic vinaigrette, and Char-Grilled Angus Sirloin with grilled fingerling potatoes, asparagus, sun-dried tomato-portobella mushroom relish.

"We took several Iron Hill favorites and recreated them to make them accessible" for diners on a gluten-free diet, says Dave Anderson, the restaurant's Director of Culinary Training, who created the menu. “We believe it’s critical to offer our guests a wide assortment of delicious food options, regardless of any dietary restrictions that they may have.”

Not only does the chain offer an extensive gluten-free adult menu, but it also has a slate for kids as well. Children get an entree, beverage, and a choice of two sides (or one side and ice cream) for $6.50. The kids' menu lists shrimp and chicken entrees, burgers, breadless sandwiches, seven different side items, and four ice cream flavors.

We started our meal with a large shared plate of the gluten-free Classic Baked Buffalo Wings served with blue cheese and vegetable sticks. The mild chicken wings and drumsticks were surprisingly tasty even though they weren't deep-fried. Both boys ordered off the childrens' gluten-free menu: my older son ordered a bunless cheeseburger with steamed broccoli and my younger one had the broiled shrimp with mashed potatoes, and both slurped down the house-made root beer. They followed dinner with a scoop of ice cream.

Iron Hill clearly has made an effort to appeal to gluten-free guests, and it shows in the large number of menu choices. The restaurants don't yet brew gluten-free beer on the premises, but Redbridge is served in bottles.

In addition to the Maple Shade locale, Iron Hill has Pennsylvania outposts in Lancaster, Media, North Wales, Phoenixville and West Chester and Delaware locations in Newark and Wilmington.

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 24, 2009

Here's the Beef

After Linda Twining and Kathy Herring found that their artisan chicken pot pie was among the most popular items ordered from their frozen dinner delivery business, the pair decided to sell the product at the retail level.

In 2007, Linda and Kathy, the co-owners of Twin Hens in Princeton, New Jersey, set out to create a shepherd’s pie with a gourmet twist. As professional chefs, they wanted to find an alternative to the standard recipe with mashed potato and decided to use a creamy polenta topping. Says Kathy: "We quickly realized that with a corn meal topping, we could easily substitute rice flour as a thickener and make our beef pot pie gluten free."

Twin Hens launched its gluten-free beef pot pie in early 2008. The Australian beef they use is grass-fed and contains no hormones or antibiotics. The beef pot pie, which takes about 45 minutes to prepare, also contains organic cornmeal and vegetables. In 2008, the product was awarded a silver medal in the Outstanding Diet/Lifestyle category at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade show.

The 11-ounce beef pot pie carries a suggested retail price of $8.95 and is available at area Whole Foods Markets, independent natural food stores and online at Gluten Free Mall.

Friday, August 21, 2009

News & Notes

I hope you enjoyed the recent posts about my family's recent trip to Boston and my older son's week at Camp Celiac in Rhode Island.

Incidentally, Reader Bethann wrote to tell me that she recently spoke with one of the owners of Tall Pines Day Camp in Williamstown, New Jersey, who assured her that the camp is food allergen-friendly and can accommodate gluten-free diets.

I reported yesterday the cool news that gluten-free hot dogs and beer (and probably snacks as well) will be available at Philadelphia Eagles home games this season at Lincoln Financial Field. If you get down there in the next few games, post a comment to let us know what else is available and how it compares to Citizens Bank Park.

If any of you have sought out a gluten-free hot dog at a Phillies game this season, you were probably told that you have to return to the concession stand (behind Section 128) a few minutes later or wait close by because it takes longer to prepare. Well, I ordered one for my older son at Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks. Since it was crowded at the stand, we walked briefly in a less-congested area of the concourse. When I returned, the hot dog was wrapped and ready for pick-up. What's wrong with that, you ask? Until I arrived, the hot dog was being kept warm at the bottom of a nearby SuperPretzel case that had lots of pretzel crumbs and salt in it. After paying for it, I removed the hot dog from the outside foil - it was double-wrapped - and cleaned my hands with a wipe before taking it out of the inner wrapper and putting in on a cardboard tray for my son. I appreciate that the vendor wanted to keep the hot dog warm, but the pretzel warmer was not the place to do it. (I'm not sure the employees at the stand even understand why someone might be ordering a gluten-free frank - on two different occasions, the woman from whom I ordered asked me if I was getting the "gluten" hot dog.)

I can report that this time out the roll, while on the burnt side, did stay intact. At a game earlier in the season, the bun was crumbly. My son was disappointed, though, that there were no gluten-free snacks available, notwithstanding what the Phillies have posted on the team website.

Congrats go out to reader Tammy for winning the recent Betty Crocker Gluten-Free dessert mixes giveaway. Thanks to everyone for entering!

P.F. Chang's China Bistro has updated its gluten-free menu, adding such items as fried rice. The revised menu is posted at my restaurant page.

A reader wrote to tell me that Mugshots, a coffeehouse with locations in Philadelphia's Fairmount and Manayunk sections, now sells gluten-free vegan cookies made by Liz Lovely.

Another reader is seeking recommendations on gluten-free/dairy-free-friendly restaurants in Sea Isle City, Avalon or Stone Harbor, New Jersey. If you have any good experiences with eateries in those towns, please post a comment or email me and I'll update this post.

There are lots of new products to mention this week. First, Barbara's Bakery has introduced a version of its popular Puffins cereal that is labeled gluten free. The company's Multigrain Puffins are made from gluten-free oats, brown rice and corn. Here's the ingredient list:
Corn Flour, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Brown Rice Flour, Whole Oat Flour, Fructan (NutraFlora® Natural Dietary Fiber), Oat Hull Fiber, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Natural Caramel Color, Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Iron, Annatto, Vitamin D, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols [Soy])
I found the product at the Cherry Hill Wegmans, where all Puffins cereals are on sale this week for $2.50 a box. The Multigrain Puffins label contains the following additional information:
No peanut ingredients used in this facility. Made on equipment that also manufactures products containing soy, wheat, milk, almonds, and hazelnuts.
In light of its testing to ensure the exclusion of gluten in its Multigrain and Honey Rice Puffins (which does not contain oats), Barbara's Bakery considers both cereals gluten free. I spoke with the company's Technical Services Coordinator, who told me that the lines are cleaned before production of the gluten-free varieties and that the cereals are tested to ensure that gluten levels are below 20 ppm.

Blackwood, New Jersey's Caesar's Pasta announced this week that it has added two more pastas to its line of gluten-free frozen entrees: potato gnocchi and spinach-potato gnocchi. Both of these new pastas are vegan and all natural.

Be on the lookout at Whole Foods and other markets for gluten-free BBQ Chicken Pizza from Glutino.

French Meadow Bakery, which not long ago introduced gluten-free tortillas made with rice and tapioca flours, is, um, on a roll. (I couldn't pass that one up.) The company has just added two new gluten-free bread loaves to its product line - white sandwich and cinnamon-raisin. Both breads are also free of casein, lactose and peanuts. You can receive 20 percent off of your purchase from the bakery's online store by entering code fmb423ss34 at checkout. You can also print a "$1 off" coupon from the company's website for in-store purchases.

Jessica at emailed me about a new gluten-free snack called GoGo Squeez. It's 100% fruit squeezable applesauce that comes in a resealable pouch. GoGo Squeez comes in five flavors: apple, peach, banana, strawberry and cinnamon. The product has no added sugar and is also dairy-free, gelatin-free and Kosher-certified. The snack is available nationwide at Whole Foods.

Bella Monica's gluten-free flatbread pizzas will be available in all Wegmans markets this fall.

I wrote in June about an reformulated oat-free version of original Kix cereal from General Mills. While shopping for groceries last weekend at Wegmans, I found the 10-ounce box in the cereal aisle.

Van's International Foods issued an allergy alert this week and is voluntarily recalling the 12.4-ounce packages of its frozen Van's Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes with the lot number "200060629B1" because they contain undeclared wheat, gluten, milk and egg in the product. The 118 cases of the product may have been distributed in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Idaho and Hawaii, through retail outlets that include but may not be limited to Whole Foods, Wegmans, Giant Carlisle, Sprouts and Martins. The recall follows on the heels of the company's inclusion of barley malt in its original formulation of the pancakes.

Save the date: the Whole Foods in Wayne, Pennsylvania will be holding a "Gluten-Free Italian Food Fest" on Saturday, October 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you've read this far, thanks! Tune in next week for a review of the gluten-free offerings at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Don't forget to email me at gfphilly[at]gmail[dot]com with news of upcoming events, new products and menu additions.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who Let the Dogs Out?

The Philadelphia Eagles' signing of Michael Vick is not the only recent development of late; gluten-free franks and buns will be available this season at the team's games at Lincoln Financial Field. (No dog jokes here.) The hot dogs will be sold at the "Philly Favorites" stand at Section 117 beginning with the August 27 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Aramark, the stadium's concessionaire, hopes to add gluten-free snacks at that stand in time for the first regular-season home game on September 20. Aramark will also sell Redbridge gluten-free beer at the "Liberty Bell Tap Room" stand at Section 118.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gluten Free Road Trip: Baked Beantown

To break up the travel involved in getting our older son to Camp Celiac in Rhode Island two weekends ago, we planned a Saturday night stay in Boston, about an hour away from the camp.

We rode north in an Amtrak Northeast Regional train from Philadelphia early Saturday morning. I didn't expect much of a crowd at that time of day, but the train was packed. Once we settled into our seats - with our luggage in three different places - I took out my firm-issued laptop to set the boys up with a DVD movie. (Note to self: buy a cheap DVD player next time.) First, the laptop wouldn't start up. After I finally got in touch with one of the firm's IT guys, the laptop booted through to the desktop. When I went to put on a DVD, the software couldn't run the movie. IT guy tells me that I have to download a different player. Um, problem - I can't connect to the Internet because my BlackBerry isn't set up to work as a modem. IT guy (thanks, Chris!) gets me hooked up with Verizon to connect, I'm able to download the proper program, and the DVD starts playing. Crisis averted. I'm already exhausted, and we're only one hour into the ride.

To get out of the house early, we decided to forgo breakfast at home and instead eat on the train. I knew from experience that the train's Cafe Car had a microwave, so we brought an Ian's waffle, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich with us and planned to ask the attendant to heat it up for my older son. As it turns out, Amtrak frowns upon warming up waffle, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. I explained my son's diet situation to the attendant (and tipped him for good measure), and he told me he would do it "this one time." Another crisis averted.

Taking the train turned out to be a great idea, though, since we were able to get up as we pleased. The four of us found a table in the Cafe Car, where we ate and played Travel Scrabble. We arrived at Back Bay Station about 2 p.m, tired and hungry, when we taxied over to our hotel, the Sheraton near the Prudential Center.

After checking in and getting our bags up to the room, we headed back down and took a 10-minute cab ride over to Burton's Grill, just two blocks from Fenway Park. The Boston location is one of three in Massachusetts, with other outposts in Connecticut and Virginia. All locations offer a gluten-free menu. Our older son enjoyed a cheeseburger served on a gluten-free bun with skin-on french fries.

We relaxed the rest of the afternoon by taking a trolley tour of the city (twice!), where we saw Paul Revere's house, Boston Public Garden (pictured, above), the U.S.S. Constitution, and parts of the Freedom Trail before returning to our hotel.

In researching Boston restaurants in advance of the trip, I found an Italian restaurant called Nebo that had gluten-free pizza and pasta. While I wanted to check it out for dinner, it wasn't particularly close to the hotel and we all were beat from a long day. So we ended up walking over to Legal Sea Foods at the Prudential Center. It had been a while since we've been to the King of Prussia location, so we were pleasantly surprised to find our server bringing out gluten-free rolls along with the wheat-flour bread at the start of the meal. Each of us ordered the grilled shrimp, which came with a couple of sides.

In Boston proper, there are several other chain restaurants that have gluten-free menus, including Uno Chicago Grill and P.F. Chang's. Eateries local to the area that offer gluten-free options include Elephant Walk (Cambodian/French), Wagamama (Asian), Myers + Chang (Asian), Papa Razzi (Italian) and Marco (Italian).

My wife and I were so nervous about dropping off our son at camp the next day, we hardly slept (although he didn't seem to be worried at all.) The next morning we ordered from the breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant, where the chef prepared a separate order of eggs, bacon and fruit for our older son.

We took advantage of the beautiful Sunday morning weather and walked over to Fenway Park in time for a 10 a.m. tour. Fenway, like Wrigley Field and the old Yankee Stadium, has so much history attached to it that it's hard not to be impressed even if you're not a fan of the home team. As part of the tour, we sat in the seats atop the famed Green Monster, in the wooden Grandstand seats (circa 1934) down the left-field line, and in the press box. Incidentally, across the street from Fenway on Yawkey Way is the largest team store I have ever seen. It very well may be the capital of Red Sox Nation.

We took the "T" back to the hotel, where we picked up a rental car and loaded up the luggage for the short trip to camp. I had brought my portable GPS along, and was able to locate a Ninety Nine Restaurant near the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border for lunch.

While it was emotional for me and my wife to unload our son's bags at camp and unpack his belongings, we were comforted by the fact that he would be surrounded by kids just like him for nearly a week. Many parents we spoke to while waiting in line to sign in told us that their children had been to Camp Celiac before and that it was the highlight of their summers. We felt confident that our son would feel the same way.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Celiastic Adventure

Please welcome a guest blogger to Gluten Free Philly: my 8 1/2-year-old son, who has celiac disease. He just returned from Camp Celiac in Rhode Island, where he had a wonderful six-day experience in an all-gluten-free environment. (Detailed information about this year's menu is posted on the camp website.) Camp Celiac has been held for the past 10 summers on the grounds of Camp Aldersgate in North Scituate, about 20 minutes outside of Providence. He wanted to write about his week away from home, so I'm turning today's post over to him.
This was my first trip to Rhode Island. When I first got to camp, I thought, "Wow - that's a lot of celiacs." I was amazed.

When we checked in, they gave me a cool 10-year anniversary Camp Celiac shirt. I met a lot of nice people in my bunk and the bunk next to mine. I was excited for all of the new foods I was going to eat.

My favorite activity was fishing with Rod, the fisherman. I caught six fish: five pumpkinseed sunfish and one baby largemouth bass. I was shocked when I caught the bass. It was three inches long.

We ate our meals at the camp mess hall. My first meal was turkey with gravy and rice, green beans and Chebe rolls. We had chocolate-chip ice cream with chocolate cones for dessert. The food only got better from there. We even went out one afternoon for lunch at Uno's Pizzeria. We had the whole restaurant to ourselves.

One day, we took a field trip to Cape Cod to whale-watch. We saw 65 whales and one baby seal. The kind of whales we saw were humpback whales and right whales. I liked dinner on the way back - we had GoPicnic boxes that had a turkey stick, a cheese stick, Sweet Surf gummy bears, snap pea crisps, sunflower seeds and applesauce.

I also loved the Still Riding veggie and pepperoni pizzas, and also the hamburgers.

I really liked meeting other kids that have celiac disease. It made me feel like I am not the only kid that has to be on a gluten-free diet. It was really nice to be able to eat the same food as everyone else. We were all telling each other about our favorite foods and restaurants.

The last night, we went to a dance and made requests for different songs. The song I requested was the last one played, around midnight.

I was sad when it was time to leave, but I was looking forward to going back home after almost a week away. I said goodbye to my counselor and the kids in my group. My dad picked me up and we drove to the airport in Providence to fly back home. While we were waiting for our plane, he taught me how to blow bubble gum.

When I got home, there was a sign on the garage that said, "Welcome Home."

Camp Celiac was a very big experience for me because it was the first time that I was away from home for that long. I was also happy to meet and hang out with other celiac kids.

Friday, August 14, 2009

News & Notes

You still have time to enter Gluten Free Philly's most popular giveaway yet - a "Sweet Treats" prize pack from Betty Crocker featuring all four varieties of the company's gluten-free dessert mixes. The giveaway runs until Sunday night. For more details and to enter, check out Monday's post.

On Wednesday, I wrote about the gluten-free and gluten-free/sugar-free pizzelle made by Dee Tees'. The cookies can be found in many stores and markets in the Delaware Valley.

On the restaurant front, Grandma's Grotto in Horsham, Pennsylvania now serves gluten-free pizza from Still Riding Pizza, along with no-gluten pasta. (Thanks to a reader for the tip.) The eatery also offers gluten-free lasagna, baked ziti and meatballs, and will soon be installing a separate fryer for french fries.

Reader Tom commented that Jasper, a French-influenced BYOB in Downingtown, Pennsylvania is gluten-free friendly.

Iron Hill Brewery, with locations in Media, North Wales, Phoenixville and West Chester, Pennsylvania, Maple Shade, New Jersey, and Newark and Wilmington, Delaware, has posted its gluten-free menu online. Although there's no gluten-free beer brewed on the premises, the restaurants do serve Redbridge by the bottle.

Pei Wei Asian Diner now has online ordering at its four Delaware Valley locations (Philadelphia/Main Line and Springfield, Pennsylvania; Cherry Hill and Moorestown, New Jersey). First-time users get 25 percent off of their entire order.

Grub Street reports that Gayle, in Philadelphia's Queen Village neighborhood, will be closing on September 4 after five years.

The Reading, Pennsylvania R.O.C.K. chapter is holding its back-to-school event tomorrow - Saturday, August 15 - at the West Lawn United Methodist Church in West Lawn, Pennsylvania from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a discussion on digestive health and naturally gluten-free foods from a local farm available for purchase.

The Mercer County, New Jersey celiac support group is set to meet at DeLiteful Foods in Lawrenceville on August 26 at 7 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring along their favorite gluten-free foods to share. Send an email to mercerceliacsupport[at]gmail[dot]com for more information.

That's it for this week. Stay cool this weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the Round

For more than a decade, Debbie Garlotta has been baking authentic Italian pizzelle. A few years ago, one of her customers asked if she could make a gluten-free version of her handmade cookies. So she experimented with different ingredients until she was satisfied with the result. Now, her Southampton, New Jersey-based company, Dee Tees' Gourmet Italian Pizzelles, offers gluten-free and gluten-free/sugar-free pizzelle in three varieties year-round: vanilla, chocolate chip and anise. A fourth gluten-free flavor - pumpkin - is sold during fall months.

Debbie told me that she has separate baking schedules for the pizzelle made with wheat and her gluten-free versions, which use rice flour. She says that her equipment and facility are cleaned after every run of the cookies with gluten and she waits several days from the end of each run before starting a two-week gluten-free production.

The gluten-free and award-winning gluten-free/sugar-free pizzelle are sold in packs of 13-14 cookies each and are available at stores throughout the area. There's a store-locator feature on the company's website, but not all stores carry the gluten-free varieties. Debbie mentioned that in Pennsylvania, Martindale's Natural Market in Springfield and Altomonte's Italian Market in Doylestown and Warminster stock the gluten-free cookies, as do Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Mr. Ritt's Bakery in Millville, New Jersey and the Zallie's ShopRite markets in southern New Jersey. You can call Dee Tees' directly at (609) 859-9159 to find out which stores near you sell them. Depending on the store, a package of pizzelle sells for around $5.99-$6.99.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Goodies Giveaway 4: Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Dessert Mixes

UPDATED (8/17/09): Congratulations to reader Tammy, who was randomly selected as the winner of the prize pack. Thanks to everyone who entered.

UPDATE (8/10/09):
Due to overwhelming demand, General Mills has run out of the free coupons (mentioned below), but you can still call to get more information on the company's gluten-free products.

It’s been a couple of months since the debut of Betty Crocker’s four gluten-free dessert mixes: yellow cake, devil’s food cake, chocolate chip cookie and brownie. Wegmans was the first local supermarket to stock them, and other stores have since started carrying the products. (They’re also available at All of the mixes are made in a gluten-free processing facility.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to try them, now’s your opportunity to do so; if you have, you can stock up on more! As part of Gluten Free Philly’s latest giveaway, one lucky reader will win a Betty Crocker “Sweet Treats” prize pack. The prize pack includes all four dessert mixes, two “free product” coupons for any of the varieties, and a “Betty Crocker Gluten Free” grocery tote bag, magnetic grocery list and pen, all courtesy of MyBlogSpark.

In addition to entering the giveaway, you can call General Mills at 1-800-446-1898 to request a coupon for one free mix of your choice and to receive information about the company’s growing number of gluten-free products.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment to this post letting me know which one of the mixes you like the best (if you’ve tried them) or which one you’d like to try the most (if you haven’t had tasted them yet).

Some brief guidelines: (1) please do not enter unless you or a family member is on a gluten-free diet; (2) one comment per person; (3) U.S. residents only.

Most important is to make sure your comment provides a way for me to contact you. If your comment does not link back to an email address, blog or website through which I can get in touch with you, post your email address in the comment in the following format: "name[at]domain[dot]suffix."

The giveaway runs now through Sunday, August 16 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. I’ll randomly select one winner the next day and will contact them by email. If I don’t hear back from the person with his or her mailing address by the following Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern, I’ll select another name.

Good luck!

Friday, August 7, 2009

News & Notes

Since my last News & Notes post two weeks ago, I wrote about some new products and one of my family's favorite restaurants. For those of you in the Delaware Valley that haven't already paid a visit to Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees, New Jersey, you will be suitably impressed with the breadth of the restaurant's gluten-free menu.

Last Friday, I wrote about Bella Monica gluten-free flatbread pizzas, which are now widely available at natural foods stores in the Philadelphia area. Since I posted my review, the company wrote on its Twitter page that the pizzas should be in Wegmans markets this fall and that it's also working on a personal-size pizza.

Froose, a healthy alternative to kids' ordinary sugary juices, was the subject of my post on Wednesday. The drink comes in three fruit flavors and uses organic brown rice syrup, rather than high-fructose corn syrup or evaporated cane juice, as its sweetener.

Last month, I wrote about the gluten-free restaurant options available near the Philadelphia Eagles' training camp in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. I updated the post this week to note that Boston's The Gourmet Pizza, with a location in Allentown, recently added gluten-free pizza to its menu.

The GREAT food-service training program, sponsored by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, has announced that Steve & Cookie's By the Bay, an upscale American restaurant in Margate, New Jersey, has completed the course and that the kitchen and staff are knowledgeable about preparing and serving gluten-free menu options. I've added the establishment to my restaurant list.

New to the bakery list this week are two shops. Christine's Italian Pastry Shoppe in Northfield, New Jersey (which has an owner with celiac disease) sells gluten-free hot dog and hamburger buns, rolls, cakes and cupcakes. Reader Leslie wrote me to advise that the Swiss Haus Bakery in Center City Philadelphia now offers gluten-free peanut butter bars, banana loaves and brownies. During a visit this week, an employee there told me that the gluten-free baked goods are made in a separate area of the kitchen using equipment and utensils that are thoroughly cleaned before use.

I also stopped by the new Center City Philadelphia outpost of Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man to inquire about whether any of the company's chocolates are gluten free. Sadly, an employee told me that some of the chocolates contain gluten ingredients and, because the sweets are not made in the store, she couldn't say whether any steps to prevent cross-contamination are taken.

Several readers have asked me whether the upcoming Appetite for Awareness event on September 30 is child-friendly. There were some children in attendance last year, and I would say that kids ages 5 and up would be fine there. I wouldn't recommend bringing stroller-age children, though, since a large crowd is expected and there's not a lot of room to push around a stroller.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that you can support the Gluten Free Philly blog by shopping at - getting there through the links on this site - even if you aren't buying gluten-free foods, cookbooks and the like (it doesn't cost you anything extra and I get a small referral fee). This month, Amazon is offering lots of discounts on gluten-free groceries - all offers are valid through August 30, 2009. Orders over $25 are always shipped free via standard shipping, but for a limited time, there's $.99 standard shipping on all grocery products fulfilled by for orders less than $25. This service normally costs $4.59 plus $.59 per item.

First, you can save 20 percent on Conte's gluten-free pasta and pizza when you spend $59 or more on those products. Use promotional code CONTE809 at checkout. Also, the company is offering free expedited shipping (be sure to upgrade at checkout).

You can also save up to 35 percent on EnviroKids gluten-free cereals, vanilla animal crackers and crispy rice bars: save 20 percent when you enter code NATPAT67 at checkout. Plus, save an additional 15 percent when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order.

Save 25 percent when you buy any eligible Arico gluten-free cookies and chips. Use the following promotional code when you check out: ARICOFDS.

Also, you can save 50 percent on Lucy's gluten-free cookies with promotional code DOCTOR55.

That's all for this week - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Froose Change

Philadelphia-area parents and their school-age children soon will be preparing for another school year. Because many local districts don’t offer gluten-free options in their schools’ cafeterias, parents of children with celiac disease often have to pack lunches, drinks and snacks for their kids every day. A healthier alternative to boxed juices, many of which contain high-fructose corn syrup sweeteners, is Froose, a gluten-free drink made with organic whole-grain rice and fruit.

I first heard about Froose at last year’s Appetite for Awareness event but didn’t learn until recently that the company behind the product is based locally in Media, Pennsylvania. Froose comes in three flavors – Playful Peach, Perfect Pear and Cheerful Cherry – and is sweetened with organic brown rice syrup and fruit juice concentrates. Given our family's familiarity with ordinary "squeeze" juice boxes, we expected a drink similar to those types of juices. However, Froose has a fuller, thicker consistency - much different than the watery boxed juices. While it’s shelf-stable, my kids liked Froose better when chilled. (Their favorite was the pear flavor.)

A 4.2-fluid-ounce box of Froose contains 80 calories and 3 grams of fiber. The product is sold in packages of four boxes at local Acme Markets, Whole Foods Markets and through the Froose website.

Froose will soon be debuting another product: vegan gummy bears made with gluten-free whole grains. These soft chews also will contain 3 grams of fiber per serving and will be sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. They’re expected to be on store shelves this fall.