Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

I've heard many posters on celiac-related message boards and blogs of late singing the praises of Udi's Gluten Free Foods. Udi's has a dedicated gluten-free bakery in Denver, Colorado that turns out breads, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts and granola. At the moment, Udi's products are not sold in any East Coast stores, so I decided to order the white sandwich bread, lemon streusel muffins and blueberry muffins direct from the company to see if these products lived up to the hype.

The products were shipped frozen and were thawed upon receipt. In a note accompanying the shipment, the company explained that the products would stay fresh at room temperature for up to three days after receipt, after which the goods should be frozen, then defrosted or heated as needed. We left the breads and muffins in the kitchen for three days and found them ready to eat the entire time.

My older son loved the fact that he could eat soft sandwich bread right out of the bag. In fact, the bread is so soft and airy that I ripped a piece while spreading butter on a slice. I've never encountered that before with gluten-free bread! On consecutive days after getting the delivery, I packed my son peanut-butter and salami sandwiches on untoasted bread and he told me the bread stayed soft through lunch. A loaf of bread yields about 12-14 slices, but the slices - and the loaves themselves - are smaller than Whole Foods Bakehouse Sandwich Bread. The bread's crust is firm and chewy.

The other night, I made my older son two grilled-cheese sandwiches with Udi's bread. Since the bread was frozen, I lightly toasted four slices, then spritzed them with butter spray and grilled them in a frying pan with American cheese. I sampled a piece and couldn't tell the difference between it and one using wheat-made sandwich bread.

Everyone in the family tried the muffins and thought they tasted great. Both muffins had a cake-like texture. I love all things lemon, so I was partial to lemon streusel variety.

Since the time of my initial order by phone, Udi's launched an online store, where customers can order the breads ($5 each), muffins ($6 for four), pizza crusts ($5 for pack of two) and granola ($5.99 per bag) for home delivery. There are several shipping options, the least expensive of which is FedEx Ground. I just placed another order for eight loaves of bread (there's a volume discount for all products; the price for the bread was reduced to $4.75 each) and ground shipping cost about $10.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goodies Giveaway 5: Betty Crocker Fruit-Flavored Snacks

UPDATE (10/5/09): Congratulations to reader Sherazada, who's the winner of the giveaway!

When I was a kid, I often had strawberry-flavored Fruit Roll-Ups for a snack. Not only are Fruit Roll-Ups still around, my kids love them - except I couldn't have imagined back then they would be eating Fruit Roll-Ups With Tongue Tattoos or, for that matter, Fruit Gushers, Fruit By The Foot or fruit snacks shaped in just about every animal and cartoon character imaginable!

Having school-age children, my wife and I find it convenient to keep fruit snacks on hand. I was happy to notice recently that General Mills, the makers of Betty Crocker fruit-flavored snacks, began labeling these products as gluten free. With its introduction of gluten-free dessert mixes and reformulation of Chex and other cereals to become gluten-free, General Mills has endeared itself to the gluten-free community. The fruit snacks are made with real fruit and are less than 100 calories per serving.

As part of Gluten Free Philly's latest giveaway, you have an opportunity to reminisce about your youth - or please the younger set. One lucky reader will win a Betty Crocker "Simple Joys" prize pack (pictured above) that includes two packages of Betty Crocker Fruit-Flavored Snacks, a retro Pick 'em Up Sticks game, a light-up yo-yo and a classic Frisbee, all courtesy of MyBlogSpark.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment to this post about one of your favorite games to play as a child.

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, October 4 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, September 25, 2009

News & Notes

I've heard from a number of vendors this week who are excited about their participation in next week's Appetite for Awareness and Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, to be held on September 30. "Main event" tickets are still available through the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and are $100 for adults and $35 for students, and may be tax-deductible. If last year's event was any indication, the opportunity to sample food from some of the area best restaurants and get lots of product samples and coupons is worth the price of admission. If you spot me there (my picture is posted in the "About Me" section of Gluten Free Philly), feel free to introduce yourself.

After I wrote about the ready-to-eat gluten-free meals from GoPicnic on Monday, reader Dina wrote to tell me that the company is running a 20%-off promotion for orders placed through its website. Just type KIWI in the coupon code box at checkout. The offer runs through October 31.

On Wednesday, I profiled Sweet Christine's Bakery in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, which sells gluten-free breads and sweets exclusively.

Morton's Steakhouse, with locations in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey, has gluten-free options on its menu.

The Melting Pot is set to open its Warrington, Pennsylvania location (uprooted from Chestnut Hill) on September 30.

Since Mr. Ritt's Bakery moved out of town a couple years ago, there's been no dedicated gluten-free bakery in Philadelphia. That's about to change with the arrival of Sweet Freedom Bakery. The bakery, owned by Allison Lupert and Heather Esposito, is coming to Center City (1424 South Street) in November. Sweet Freedom's products, which will include cakes, cookies, loaves, muffins, brownies, blondies and pizzelle, will also be allergen-friendly, vegan and contain no refined sugars.

There's also some new-product news this week. Nature's Path has introduced two more gluten-free cold cereals. Both Crunchy Maple Sunrise and Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise are made from organic grains such as corn, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth.

More Canadian baking: Kinnikinnick Foods announced this week the introduction of several new items, which are currently, or will soon be, available for online ordering at the company's website. New are chocolate and graham-style KinniKritters animal crackers and panko-style breadcrumbs. The products will be available in stores in next several months.

Kettle Cuisine, which makes frozen, ready-to-eat soups, has added several new products to its existing gluten-free line. The company has rolled out a vegetarian Three Bean Chili as well as Organic Carrot & Coriander Soup, Organic Chick Pea with Spinach Soup, Organic Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup and Organic Cream of Mushroom & Potato Soup. All of the products come in 10-oz. microwaveable bowls and sell for a suggested retail price of $3.99 each.

There are many gluten-free-friendly restaurants participating in some upcoming local Restaurant Week programs. Diners can enjoy a three-course meal from October 5-12 during Delaware Dines Out for only $30 per person. Among the restaurants involved are Iron Hill Brewery in Newark and Wilmington, The Melting Pot in Wilmington and Newark's Soffritto Italian Grill. The South Jersey Restaurant Week runs from October 18-23 and features a four-course meal for either $25 or $35 per person, depending on the eatery. Andreotti's Viennese Cafe in Cherry Hill, Blackbird in Collingswood, Mullica Hill's blueplate, Casona of Collingswood and La Campagne in Cherry Hill will be offering special menus during this promotion. Links to the websites of these restaurants are posted on the Gluten Free Philly restaurant page.

I'll leave you this week with a video preview of the Appetite for Awareness event:

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Success

I first met Christine Ruggio, the owner of Sweet Christine's Gluten-Free Confections, at the duPont Hospital for Children's Celiac Conference two years ago. At the time, she had just started her fledgling business and was sampling her homemade cookies at the event. Since then, demand for her all-natural cookies and other baked goods has grown so much that Christine, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005, opened Sweet Christine's Bakery last year in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

At her bakery, Christine offers gluten-free items exclusively as part of a menu that includes sandwiches, salads, pizza and, of course, lots of sweet treats. Christine, who is a fellow University of Delaware alum, kindly sent me some samples of her products. My kids and I particularly liked the sweets - the rich chocolate brownies, soft chocolate chip cookies and the rich, gooey lava cake that I warmed for about half a minute in the microwave oven. What was left of the white sandwich bread I used for sandwiches kept its softness for a few days at room temperature before I sliced and froze the rest of the loaf.

If you don't live or work near the bakery, Sweet Christine's bread items and desserts are available for online ordering and at retail locations throughout the Delaware Valley. Sweet Christine's will be at the vendor fair at this year's duPont conference, coming up this Saturday, September 26 in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Appetite for Awareness event in Philadelphia on September 30.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Go Without Gluten

UPDATE (9/21/09): GoPicnic is offering 20% off orders at its online store through October 31 with the use of a promotional code. Just type KIWI in the coupon code box at checkout. Thanks to reader Dina for the info.

Among the foods my older son tried for the first time at Camp Celiac in August was a ready-to-eat boxed meal from GoPicnic. GoPicnic's founders developed the concept of the shelf-stable "picnic" meal in 2004 for a major U.S. airline. Recognizing the benefits such shelf-stable meal programs could bring to others, the company's founders expanded on the original concept, creating meals for different types of diets, including those who eat gluten free. GoPicnic works directly with manufacturers to develop single-serving sizes of interesting products.

The company makes three kid-friendly MightyMunch gluten-free meals: ExploreMunch, SafariMunch and SportsMunch. ExploreMunch includes an Old Wisconsin turkey stick, a Copper Cowbell white cheddar cheese slice, Calbee baked Snapea crisps, Mrs. May's sunflower seed crunch, Sweet Perry Orchards natural strawberry apple sauce and Surf Sweets all-natural gummy bears. SafariMunch contains Salba Smart organic tortilla chips, Ortega mild salsa, Sheffa zesty snack mix, Mrs. May's sunflower seed crunch, Sweet Perry Orchards natural strawberry applesauce, and Enjoy Life snickerdoodle cookies. The SportsMunch variety includes Bridgford turkey pepperoni slices, Sensible Portions cheddar multigrain crisps, Mrs. May's pumpkin seed crunch, Sweet Perry Orchards natural cinnamon applesauce, and Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Three other varieties are geared toward adults. The GoTrek box includes Jack Link's beef steak nuggets, a Copper Cowbell Swiss cheese slice, Sheffa zesty snack mix, Mariani cranberries and pineapple blend and Swiss Delicato milk chocolate. The AnywhereBreak meal includes Jack Link's beef steak nuggets, Corazonas Squeeze of Lime tortilla chips, Ortega mild salsa, a Copper Cowbell white cheddar cheese slice, Mrs. May's cashew crunch, Mariani dried cranberries and Swiss Delicato dark chocolate. ZestyBreak contains includes Bridgford turkey pepperoni slices, Copper Cowbell Asiago cheese spread, Mary's Gone Crackers whole-grain crackers, Sheffa zesty snack mix, Mariani Ultimate apricots, Lärabar Apple Pie fruit and nut bar and Swiss Delicato dark chocolate.

I recently ordered direct from the company two MightyMunch Gluten-Free Samplers, which contain each of the three different Munch varieties. The meals have come in handy for lunches at my son's school and for a quick bite before late-afternoon Little League baseball games. He doesn't like every item in each box, but there's enough other food in there that sates his appetite.

GoPicnic donates 5% of all sales of gluten-free meals (which range from $4.99 to $6.99 each) to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. New customers can sign up for the company's newsletter to get a 10%-off coupon code for use on their first order. Shipping is free for orders over $99. Several varieties of GoPicnic's gluten-free meals are also available for online ordering at Costco.

Friday, September 18, 2009

News & Notes

Less than two weeks to go before the Appetite for Awareness event, the area's biggest celiac awareness event of the year. I will be there and will report on the festivities. This week, meanwhile, I wrote on Monday about the some of the cool gluten-free ice cream flavors from Turtle Mountain like Snickerdoodle and Key Lime Pie that contain bits of cookie or cake. On Wednesday, I posted a review of the gluten-free chicken meatballs, bite-sized pound cakes and challah muffins made by New Harvest Naturals.

In restaurant news, I learned this week that Nunzio's Ristorante Rustico, an Italian BYO in Collingswood, New Jersey offers gluten-free pasta.

Late last month, I wrote that Calabria Pizza Italian Grill in Absecon, New Jersey began serving gluten-free pizza. Due to the popularity of that item, the restaurant has expanded their gluten-free offerings to include ravioli. Thanks again to reader Tami for the tip.

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey has posted its Fall 2009 gluten-free menu.

Reader Debra posted a comment this week that Sedona, Patsy's and The Parkway, all located in southern Delaware's Bethany Beach, are gluten-free-friendly.

If you're a regular rider of the PATCO high-speed train line between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, you probably use a Freedom card to pay your fare. Now the card is good for savings at many shops and restaurants in both areas. Among the businesses in New Jersey offering discounts are several gluten-free-friendly places: Casona in Collingswood ($10 off $50 or more), Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees (20% off total check, up to $8) and DiBartolo Bakery in Collingswood (10% off). Just present your Freedom Card at time of payment.

The newest area Wegmans market, replete with gluten-free groceries and frozen items, will open in Collegeville, Pennsylvania on October 11.

Conte's Pasta has broken ground on an expansion of its production facility in Vineland, New Jersey. According to an article this week in the Daily Journal, the project will help the family-owned business widen its niche in the market for gluten-free pasta.

Edy's limited-edition Hot Cocoa light ice cream and seasonal Pumpkin light ice cream, now available in supermarkets, are safe for celiacs. The Hot Cocoa flavor, which is similar to Rocky Road but without the nuts, disappeared from our freezer in two days!

Don't forget that the Philadelphia Eagles' first home game of the 2009 NFL season will take place this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Gluten-free hot dogs, snacks and beer are available at Lincoln Financial Field. Details on where the items are available can be found at my post from August.

I'm happy to report that I received an email this week from the retiring organizer of Camp Celiac in Rhode Island that several volunteers have stepped in to run the camp next summer. More information about next year's session will be posted on the Camp website but applications are expected to be available for campers and volunteers in February 2010.

Keep the emails coming - you can reach me at gfphilly[at]gmail[dot]com. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Top of Spaghetti

As someone who's always looking for unique gluten-free foods, I hit the mother lode with three different products made by New Harvest Naturals of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The company was gracious enough to recently send me samples of its new chicken meatballs and mini pound cakes, as well as its original product, challah muffins.

The appetizer-size meatballs are available in two flavors, Traditional and Italian Style, and are sold by the dozen in resealable pouches under the New Harvest Gluten-Free Kitchen label. My older son, who loves my mother's homemade meatballs, thought the minis were "right up there." (Sorry Mom!) He first sampled the Traditional meatballs in a roll with marinara sauce and, later, over a plate of gluten-free pasta.

The bite-size pound cakes made under New Harvest Naturals Gluten-Free Bakery brand are individually wrapped, making them ideal for brown-bag lunches. The cakes come in three varieties: Classic, Marble and Raisin. I tried the classic and marble ones and found that were true to the smooth taste and texture of glutenous pound cake.

Kosher Naturals Gluten-Free Bakery's challah muffins, in Original, Chocolate Chip, Blueberry and Toasted Onion flavors, are made from gluten-free oats. The oat flour makes these muffins more bread-like than "cakey." The muffins, which should be stored frozen, are dense and chewy when warmed in the microwave. My son particularly liked the chocolate chip variety with a bit of butter.

New Harvest Naturals owner Abe Pinchuck was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005. He started New Harvest in 2008 in an effort to expand the variety of gluten-free products on the market. All of the products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and are dairy-free and kosher.

The meatballs and pound cakes are new to market and are now making their way into natural food stores, mainstream supermarkets and kosher grocers. You can call the company at 1-888-829-4484 to find out which stores near you carry the products or to order the products for home delivery. The muffins and cakes can be ordered online at the Gluten-Free Mall, while the cakes can be ordered at

Monday, September 14, 2009


Although ice cream flavors with cookie or cake pieces are verboten for those with celiac disease, there is a reasonable facsimile available in local markets. Turtle Mountain makes a line of non-dairy frozen desserts under the name Purely Decadent Dairy Free, and among the gluten-free varieties are Cookie Dough, Blueberry Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Snickerdoodle. All of the "doughs" in these pints are made from rice flour. Those flavors, along with more than a dozen others, are made from organic soy milk. The company also makes a gluten-free cookie dough variety with coconut milk. (Note that the Chocolate Brownie Almond and Cookie Avalanche flavors are not gluten-free; a complete allergen identification table is posted at the company's website.) During the manufacturing process, Turtle Mountain tests for gluten and will not distribute a batch if results indicate more than 20 parts-per-million.

In the Philadelphia area, Turtle Mountain products are sold at Acme, Clemens, Genuardi's, Pathmark, ShopRite, Super Fresh, Wegmans, Weis, Whole Foods and local natural food markets.

Friday, September 11, 2009

News & Notes

The weather in the Delaware Valley during this first full week of September made it feel like it was time for trick-or-treating. I blogged on Tuesday about a few gluten-free treats from French Meadow Bakery. Their new tortillas and breads were a hit in my house.

I finally got around to finishing the map of gluten-free-friendly restaurants and markets in southern New Jersey. The links to the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania maps can be found on the top of every page on the Gluten Free Philly site.

Reader Andy wrote to tell me that he had an enjoyable gluten-free meal at Christopher's in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The American restaurant does not have a gluten-free menu but had either items that already were gluten-free or that could be modified.

Arpeggio, a Mediterrean BYOB in Spring House, Pennsylvania that's one of the initial eateries posted to the Gluten Free Philly restaurant list, has listed its gluten-free menu items on the "News" page of its website.

The Water to Go outpost in Pennsauken, New Jersey has sold gluten-free breads, pizzas and sweets, among other items, for some time. Now the store's owner, Jane, has formalized the food side of her business by creating Gluten Free Dynasty, located in the same spot at 3501 Haddonfield Road. She's expanding the business by offering customized gluten-free food baskets.

Naturally Savvy reports that Glutino has introduced yet another new product: gluten-free breadcrumbs. Many Glutino products - including the sandwich creme cookies I mentioned last week - are available for purchase at, the company's online store. You can save $5 on an order of Glutino products totaling $25 or more by entering code BEFREE at checkout. The offer ends October 31, 2009.

The list of participating restaurants at the Appetite for Awareness event on September 30 in Philadelphia keeps growing. The event will feature gluten-free cooking from the likes of Bar Ferdinand, Beneluxx Tasting Room, Bindi, Café Estelle, Casona, Chifa, Cochon, Devil's Den, Distrito, Fish, K. Taylor Holy Smoke, L'Oca, Little Fish, Lolita, Melograno, Mirabella Cafe, Noble American Cookery, Osteria, Sauté, Slate and Vetri. Among the sponsors and vendors are Bard's Beer, Bell & Evans, Blue Diamond Growers, Boar's Head, Caesar's Pasta Specialties, Conte's Pasta, French Meadow Bakery, Good Eatz, Kettle Cuisine, Pamela's Products, Schar, Shabtai Gourmet, Thai Kitchen and Wegmans. Tickets for the VIP reception and general admission are available from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

I wanted to mention a couple of other fundraising efforts related to celiac awareness. Donna Bell's daughter, Evey, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease three years ago when she was 3. Each October, "Team Celiac" - started by the Bell Family - takes part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey to raise money to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The event usually draws over 5,000 walkers. Over the past two years, "Team Celiac" raised over $35,000 for the JDRF. The team's other goal is to raise awareness for celiac disease.

This year, the Walk will be held on October 18. Donna expects between 250 and 300 participants walking for "Team Celiac." In addition, the team will be renting a booth at the vendor area and handing out celiac information packets along with gluten-free food samples. To join the team or make a donation, you can visit this site.

Also, Westbrook Lanes in Brooklawn, New Jersey will host a "Lazer-Glo" bowling fundraiser on October 4 to support the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. The event, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., costs $20 per person or $75 per lane (up to six bowlers). Gluten-free snacks will be served. The fundraiser will also feature a Chinese auction and 50/50 drawings. For more information or to reserve a spot, call Patricia Lokitis at (215) 882-0407 or email her at plokitis[at]incresearch[dot]com.

For those of you in the Jersey Shore area, the Children's Celiac Support Group (for parents and children) will meet on Sunday, September 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Pediatric & Adolescent Specialty Care Center in Mays Landing, New Jersey. Attendees should bring their favorite gluten-free food to swap. RSVP by September 16 by emailing celiaccenter[at]email[dot]chop[dot]edu or by calling (267) 426-6822.

Looks like it will warm up a bit this weekend - enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

That's a Wrap

As the lunchmaker-in-chief in our household during the school year, I try to vary my older son's gluten-free lunches so that they don't get boring. I've made sandwich wraps for him in the past, but the brown-rice tortillas I used were not pliable and didn't hold up well long after being warmed in the microwave oven. I was intrigued, then, when I read about new gluten-free tortillas from French Meadow Bakery, which are made from a combination of rice flour and tapioca starch.

The company recently sent me a package of the 7-inch tortillas, along with its new gluten-free breads, to review. (The tortillas and breads also are casein-free, lactose-free, peanut-free and kosher parve.) All of the baked goods were shipped frozen, although the company says the breads can be found in the frozen-food aisles and bakery sections of stores.

Unlike the brown rice and corn tortillas my son has tried before, the French Meadow version had the texture - and even a bit of the elasticity - of wheat tortillas. I made him a cheese wrap in the morning before a day trip last week and it held up nicely through lunch time. (As with any tortillas, these should be warmed in the microwave.) This past weekend, he enjoyed a pan-grilled quesadilla, a blend of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses sandwiched between two tortillas.

My son also tasted the three different breads - sandwich, cinnamon-raisin and multigrain. The breads were not crumbly and all of them had a thick, chewy crust. Given that he's been eating the Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse white sandwich bread for ages, I was surprised when he proclaimed the multigrain to be his favorite. It's made of a whole-grain flour blend that includes flax, quinoa, amaranth, millet and teff.

I also tried softening a couple slices of frozen French Meadow white bread in the microwave to see if it would make a decent sandwich. My son liked how the bread tasted as part of a turkey club. He thought the cinnamon-raisin bread made for good breakfast toast.

All French Meadow Bakery gluten-free products are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group. The certification means that the products test at less than 10 parts-per-million of gluten. The company's gluten-free product line includes fresh and frozen fudge brownies and chocolate-chip cookies, Italian rolls and pizza crusts. All of the gluten-free products are made on dedicated equipment in a segregated area of the company's Minnesota bakery.

The only rub in my view is the amount of servings per package, based on the cost. A pack of six tortillas retails on French Meadow Bakery's online store for $3.99, while the breads, weighing about 14 to 15 ounces, sell for $4.99 each. Each package of bread contains eight slices. By comparison, the Whole Foods breads sell near me for $5.29 and are a full loaf, weighing 28 ounces and yielding 16 slices. Hopefully, as the company ramps up distribution of these products, it will eventually increase the package sizes. French Meadow currently is offering 20 percent off online orders by entering code fmb423ss34 at checkout. You can also print a "$1 off" coupon from the company's website for in-store purchases.

French Meadow Bakery will be among the vendors attending the Appetite for Awareness fundraiser at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center on September 30. The company will have samples of its breads, tortillas and a new line of cupcakes available at the event.

Friday, September 4, 2009

News & Notes

If you're a parent of a child with celiac disease, I encourage you to attend the duPont Celiac Conference in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday, September 26. We went a couple years ago and found the medical presentation extremely informative. The best part, though, was being able to sample lots of different gluten-free foods from area restaurants and bakeries.

I also wrote this week about S'Better Farms' gluten-free beef corn dogs, part of a product line that includes some delicious chicken entrees.

I've added a "Coffeehouses" category to the GF-friendly restaurant list that includes cafés that serve gluten-free snacks.

On the restaurant trail, Austin's Restaurant & Bar, a sister eatery of J.B. Dawson's located in Reading, Pennsylvania, offers a gluten-free menu.

Roman Delight's Southampton, Pennsylvania location at 492 Second Street Pike will soon be carrying Still Riding gluten-free pizza.

All three Palermo's locations in Mercer County, New Jersey - Bordentown, Ewing and Roebling - serve gluten-free pizza, Trenton-style tomato pies and pasta.

Stefano's Ristorante Italiano in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey has expanded its gluten-free menu to include their own-make pizza.

Two other Garden State restaurants are serving gluten-free Bard's Beer: Carolina Blue Restaurant in Pitman and The Taproom & Grill in Westmont. The latter also serves Original Sin Cider.

Devil's Den in South Philadelphia has Original Sin in bottles as well as New Grist gluten-free beer from Lakefront Brewery.

Woodchuck Draft Cider has unveiled its seasonal Fall Cider, with cinnamon and nutmeg spices and a hint of white oak. All of Woodchuck's hard ciders are gluten free.

Center City Philadelphia's Swiss Haus Bakery has added gluten-free peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies to its offerings, at four for $2.

There's more sweet news from Glutino. The company has three new gluten-free cookies on the market: chocolate chip, chocolate vanilla creme and vanilla creme. All three are available for online purchase at has posted its grocery items on sale throughout September and there's a few gluten-free food deals worth mentioning:
There are no codes to enter; the discount will be reflected in your cart at checkout.

For a limited time, you can receive $.99 Standard Shipping (3-5 days) on all grocery products fulfilled by (Normally $4.59 + $.59 per item.) Add as many qualified grocery items to your cart as you want for the same flat $.99 shipping charge. To take advantage of this shipping offer, just add products to cart and check out as normal. The $.99 shipping cost will be noted in the final checkout page. Orders of $25 or more ship free with Super Saver Shipping on eligible products.

Kids With Food Allergies is sponsoring a Family Fun Event & Expo on Sunday, September 13 at Whole Foods in North Wales, Pennsylvania. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and is free for all attendees. There will be a children's dance-a-thon and other activities for kids along with allergy-friendly (and gluten-free) food samples and vendor information.

A couple weeks ago in this space, my older son wrote about his wonderful experience at Camp Celiac in Rhode Island this summer. As soon as I picked him up, he told me that he was excited to go back next year. So we were startled to learn this week that the organizer of the camp since its inception 10 years ago has several family-related health issues that preclude her from continuing her work on the camp going forward and, as a result, there will be no more Camp Celiac programs there.

We met many parents whose children returned year after year and told us that the camp was the highlight of their children's summers. While our son only went once, he was fortunate to have had an opportunity to meet and play with other kids with celiac disease and not have to worry about food for nearly a week. We wish Tanis and her family all the best and thank her for all of her hard work.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Better Batter

While there aren't many options for a quick gluten-free lunch at home, our family always has a box of S'Better Farms Beef Corn Dogs on hand in the freezer. A single corn dog takes about two minutes to heat in our microwave oven, and it's always good for an easy, hassle-free meal. We've never tried cooking the corn dogs in the conventional oven (about 10-15 minutes), but they probably taste more authentic that way. The corn dog batter is made from a rice and corn mix.

All S'Better Farms retail products are 100 percent natural and gluten free, in addition to being certified Glatt kosher and halal. The product line also includes Chicken Fingers, Chicken Siciliano, Chicken Szechwan, Chicken Ballontine and Chicken Party Wings. The corn dogs and chicken dishes are produced in an area segregated for gluten-free production on dedicated equipment.

Locally, S'Better Farms products can be found in independent natural food stores and in the kosher frozen food sections of Wegmans and ShopRite markets, where they sell for around $7.99 a package. They can also be ordered online at the Gluten-Free Mall.