Saturday, February 26, 2011

Palm Beach-The Ocean Grill

Holla guys and gals!

Another restaurant that is very gluten free friendly that actually has a semi gluten-free menu would be The Ocean Grill in The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

 This restaurant also has the words GF next to each meal that is gf.  Awesome!  There are about 9 options, and like most of the Breakers restaurants their waitstaff is very GF friendly.  They get it, so you do not have to worry!

                                 Check out options like Peel and Eat Shrimp, Asian Lettuce Wraps
                                                                         Florida Chili
 Mixed Green Salad, Lobster Salad, Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad,
Chef Salad and so much more like sushi and grilled Mahi Mahi...and more!!
All GLUTEN-FREE.  Gluten-free meals are prepared separately so there is NO cross-contamination!

What a relief!

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie

Thursday, February 24, 2011


As most of you know popcorn for the "most part" is gluten-free.  I say most part in quotes, because sometimes you will find a brand that is not.  Especially when it is flavored.  But this gourmet brand is gluten free and it is called Popcornopolis!  Their flavors are great!! You have Caramel, Cheddar, Cinnamon Toast,  Kettle, Pecan Caramel, Almond Caramel, Sour Cream and Onion, Rocky Road and 20 more and counting!! All Gluten-Free!.  It's hard to find a lot of processed foods that have amazing flavor that are in fact gluten free.

Upon our arrival at the breakers we were given a large decorative basket of flavored popcorn.  Darn I thought, I def cannot have that.  Bummer I thought.  But after my brother devoured the Kettle flavor he ran to my room to tell me that this brand was gluten free!  All flavors.  I said yeah right Greg, are you trying to get me sick?  I really thought he was joking, but after reading the package, and seeing the big Gluten-Free cloud stamp I was relieved and very happy!

This popcorn by the way is sooo good it is addicting! You can order gift baskets and choose the selections, create your own or just enjoy on its own.  Their flagship store is in Hollywood and there are many other locations and other markets that carry their products.  You can even sign up for their newsletter!  Yeah baby!

I would like to give a shout out to my 15 year old brother Greg, who is now learning all about being gluten-free because of me.  He is always looking out for me and I give him props for finding this great product and informing me!  Yeah Greg!! You go guy!

See for yourself!  and ENJOY!!

xoxo Julie

Chocolate Egg Cream

**found in Gourmet Magazine February 2002

 Makes 1 drink.

 Active time: 5 minutes

 Many years ago, this delicious New York fountain drink was actually made with eggs, but its been a long time since anyone's seen that version!  If you are a serious egg cream lover, use a seltzer siphon to get the best foam.

1/2 cup chilled whole milk
Chilled seltzer
1/4 cup gf chocolate syrup

special equipment: a long-handled spoon; a seltzer siphon (optional)

1.  Pour milk into a 16-ounce glass and place spoon in glass.  Pour seltzer or squirt if using siphon into glass to reach 1/2 inch below rim.  (A snow-white foam will develop.)
2.  Pour syrup into center of white foam, then stir in syrup and remove spoon through center of foam

 Enjoy!  xoxo Julie

Poached Pears with Marsala, Cinnamon and Vanilla

                                      ***found in Bon Appetit October 2002

Another great way to enjoy a guilt free dessert is to poach or steam a piece of fruit and add fresh vanilla beans or dessert spices.  It tastes like it should be a zillion calories but surprisingly it is not.  Yay!

6 servings

2 cups dry marsala
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
2 long strips orange peel
6 7-ounce Bosc pears, peeled, stems left intact

8 ounces mascarpone cheese* optional (Italian cream cheese, sold at Italian markets and many supermarkets)

Combine 2 cups dry Marsala, 2 cups water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, split vanilla beans and orange peel strips in heavy large pot.  Bring to boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Add peeled Bosc pears.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover pot and simmer until pears are tender, turning pears occasionally, about 40 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to platter.  Boil liquid in pot until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 12 minutes.  Pour syrup over poached pears.  Chill until cold, turning pears occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Divide poached pears among 6 shallow bowls.  Strain syrup; discard solids.  Drizzle syrup over pears.  Top each with dollop of mascarpone, if desired and serve.

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Breakers-Beach Club Restaurant

Ok, here is what is exciting.  I am loving how Gluten-Free knowledge is evolving.  Yes, you heard me...You will start seeing places that were not gluten-free before are suddenly gluten-free friendly or better.  It's exciting.  It exhilarating!  And it gives me a peace of mind.

Every Presidents weekend/week I go with my family to Palm Beach Florida.  I love it.  And every time I get on that airplane I think "oh no, what am I going to eat"?.  My family always dines out and I'm always stuck with a salad and no dressing.  Ugh.  There are never options.

But this year there has been a change.  And in this situation, change is good!  Change is GREAT!
Now their menu states GF next to each meal option that can be prepared Gluten-Free.  Awesome!  Now there are not a ton of options, but 4-5?  Great start!  Of course the burgers and the fries are off limits, but hey we gotta start somewhere right?

There are a few salads offered gf, as well as a Chicken Satay option, Shrimp options and a few spicy sushi options.  Yum!  One of these days these places will get gluten-free desserts and stop putting thickeners and bread crumbs in their burgers.  Maybe even one day use a different oil batter for their amazing fries.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

At least I can enjoy a great lunch with my family and not worry.

And Just like the Houston's waitstaff, the Beach Club Waitstaff at The Breakers are also very gluten-free friendly.  They understand the allergy, and their GF foods are also prepared separately.

Good deal!

3 cheers for The Breakers!

Enjoy!  xoxo Julie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Palm Beach Grill

Hello from sunny Palm Beach, Florida!  Ahhh...the heat feels soo good!  It's about 80 degrees and I am definitely sporting some great color!  Seeing a lot of Neon color trends and fun straw tote bags.  This whole peruvian influence is coming on in!  So stock up on great colorful bags!!

On the gluten-free side...I went to Palm Beach Grill here in Palm Beach, Florida and I have some great news to report.  But first a story behind a story.

Do you know why Palm Beach Grill is called Palm Beach Grill? And not Houston's and/or Hillstone?  Well Houston's also now renamed as Hillstone is a fantastic chain across the board known for it's amazing ribs (not gluten-free) and great Salmon dishes.  Known for their fries and dips, as well as their wine and beer selection.  This place is not fancy by any means, but it offers a great and large setting for a family outing, drinks with the boys or an intimate date.  It's also a great after work spot and always has a happening bar scene no matter what location and what state.

Now Palm Beach is known for its ritzy nature with ritzy people and Palm Beach Island does not want any kind of "chain" on their island.  Go figure.  So now Houston's is called Palm Beach Grill.  It's purpose is to stand out from the rest.  What is funny, is that it is the same menu, same decor and same type of atmosphere.  It's really quite hilarious.  So those fancy Palm Beach residents who think they are going fancy are really going to Houstons/Hilstones.  Ha!

But regardless of the name the food remains the same-fantastic!  And the waitstaff is soo uber gluten-free friendly. I was even told by my waitress when I went to explain my allergy that their restaurant can get in a lot of trouble if they don't prepare gluten-free food in a separate gluten-free cooking area.  Fantastic!!

I think Fantastic is the word of the day.  He he he.

What a relief.  I have been to many of the houston's chains, and I have found that all of their chains react the same way.  So although, this chain does not have a gluten free menu, there are plenty of options for you to have!

Off the top of my head:

Baked Potato
Tuna roll (no sauces)
and much more!
Just make sure you are not using the sauces.  At this restaurant it's the sauces that will get you.

Here is what you CANNOT HAVE:

Ribs (sorry folks, as they used to be my fav too, their sauce is pre-prepared and therefore according to their manager at one of the NYC locations, there are thickeners, hidden gluten and obvious gluten in their sauces).  Boo!  Sad face.
Also, their spinach dip is NOT gluten-free , and I am not 100% sold on their tortilla chips.  Because they are not made there, I am not sure if there is a combo of flour and corn in them, but I don't trust it.
And sadly all except the ice cream is not going to be gluten free, so steer clear!

So there you have it.  Houston's/Hillstone and Palm Beach Grill are the same restaurant


There are many gluten free options prepared separately!


xoxo Julie

Toblerone of Switzerland

It's good to know that some international chocolatiers are gluten-free!  I always enjoy a Toblerone every now and again, and have never noticed any reactions, but I never knew for sure.  Shame on me!  But I just found out that Toblerone IS gluten-free!

Yeah baby!

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Walnut Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

**found in December 2010 Cooking Light Magazine

1/2 granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp. butter, softened (unsalted)
3 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
8 ounces of GF cake flour (about 2 cups) (try All Purpose GF Flour)
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp of walnuts-toasted, chopped and divided

1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup maple sugar or granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
dash of salt
1 tsp. of any flavor maple syup
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in Vanilla, Increase to high speed, and beat for 1 minutes.
3.  Weigh Flour.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through cinnamon), stirring well.  Add four mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined.  Stir in 1/3 cup walnuts.
4.  Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups; divide batter evenly amoung cups (may amount to more, and if so add more liners and muffin trays).  Bake at 350 degrees for 19 minutes or until a toothpick runs clean and no crumbs stick to toothpick.  Cupcakes will look slightly pale.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
5.  Place cream of tarter and egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form.  Combine maple sugar, 1/4 cup water, and a dash of salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Cook without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238 degrees.  Gradually pour hot sugar syrup into egg white mixture, beating until stiff peaks form.  Spread about 3 rounded tbsps. frosting over each cupcake.  Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsps. nuts.  Yield: 12 cupcakes

Calories: 291 for one.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Honey-Caramel Ice Cream Sundaes

**found in Eat Better Magazine 2011

8 servings

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. buter
3 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, each cut into 8 wedges
3 tbsp. (packed) golden brown sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream
Tosted Pecan Halves (optional)

Sauce:  Stir sugar, cream, butter, honey, and 3 tablespoons water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat; bring syrup to boil.  Add spices, pinch of salt and pinch of black pepper, shaking pan to blend.  Boil without stirring until sauce coats spoon, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat; Stir in vanilla.
Do ahead: Can be made 1 week ahead.  Cool, cover and chill.  Rewarm before using
Apples:  Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add apples; sprinkle with sugar.  Saute apples until tender and brown in spots, about 12 minutes. 
Scoop ice cream into dishes, top with sauce, apples and pecans if using.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Candy-What You Need To Know

In honor of St. Valentines Day I am posting this week only tasty dessert recipes.  St. Valentines Day is not only a reminder of love and affection, but affection and love for your tummy.  I know I am a bit late in posting these, and I do apologize to my readers for not preparing you the GF Valentine way, but better late then never.

Valentines day can be hard, especially when you are new to this lifestyle.  What candy is gluten free? What can I eat? And what can my crush make me on this delicious day?  How is anyone going to know what I can eat, and what if I am dining out? 

These are all valid questions, and really the only way you will get your answer is by reading blogs or googling it yourself.  Since you have this disease or lifestyle it is your job to get this straight.  I know, what a drag.  Why can't you just take a handful of whatever, or a big heart shaped box from your local drugstore, LINDT, GODIVA or any of those other brands and eat it without caution?  Because you can't.  Most of the time, these boxes will list the ingredients, but reading labels are difficult, and you may not know how to identify gluten in candy.  It doesn't always say wheat or gluten.  Sometimes the labels will only mention that the goodies are processed on the same equipment as our mortal enemy-gluten.  And sometimes the label will show nothing.  This does NOT mean it is gluten free.  Your best answer is checking online or actually calling the manufacturer.  So what happens if your crush gets you a box?  If you are unsure of the gluten content, you simply cannot eat it anyway to please your crush, or yourself.  Don't be that person!  Don't think it won't affect you.  Remember it's only 1/8th of a tsp. that will get your body to breakdown status.  It's not worth it.

So to make your life easier I have derived a list of gluten ingredients to look out for on your St. Valentines day.  Whether you are an adult, a teen or a child, someone around you, if not yourself needs to know this information.  Whether it be your man, your crush, your friends or your children's teachers...someone will need to know what goes and what does not.

Unsafe Gluten List

Wheat Starch
Caramel Coloring (not Caramel, however...see below)
Caramel-Just know that Caramel has more gluten then you would think.  Merely from it's consistency many chocolatiers use flour to keep this sticky substance from sticking-though an ingredient label will never tell you that, keep this in mind.
Barley Malt
Maltodextrin-If made in USA it can derived from corn or potato startch, if made outside of usa, you have to worry, and should be cautious.  If this ingredient is derived from wheat starch it must mention it on the package.

If any ingredients are derived from Wheat it must mention this on the package, however if the product is made overseas, or out of the country then the rules change. European chocolates don't always mention where the ingredient is derived from.

Know that Godiva and Lindt are not gluten free, though you will never see wheat on the package. This info I got from emailing their Customer Services and viewing their website. Bummer!

Check out my GF Parent section as it has tons of Candy lists, parent forms and info on GF Candy.  Don't forget to check out my GF Valentines LIST as well.  This has recipes and candy info on particular brands.  All the chocolate that is gluten-free.  Yum!

Check out this LIST from  This list is extremely helpful when reading labels.  If you have not suscribed to this magazine, I highly recommend it.

I also found this great GF Valentine and GF Candy LIST from a great blog called Celiac Family, The list from Celiac Family tells you what candies are safe, unsafe and the kinds where you should use your judgement and caution.  Know that Dove Heart Candies-Chcolate, Milk, Dark, Cherry Swirl are all gluten-free, along with Dots and Spangler Candies, in specific Dum Dum pops.  Know that Charms Blow Pops and Skittles are gluten free as well as many other candies that are listed on Celiac Family's List. 

Also know that just because one brand has a chocolate option that is gluten-free, it does NOT mean that all chocolate made from that brand are too.  In some cases yes, like spangler, and in other cases no, like Dove.  Also on the list of gluten free are: Tootsie Rolls, M and M's (not the pretzel kind), Pixy Stix, Gobstoppers, Sweatheart Hearts, Necco Hearts, Butterfinger, Bottle Caps, Sweet Tarts (not Sweet Tart Heats) and more.  You must read the fine lines and do your research.  You don't want to be sick on St. Valentines Day or on any other day for that matter.  And there is plenty of amazing candies you can enjoy without feeling deprived.

Make sure you read the "caution" list as well as the "un-safe" list from Celiac Family.  Know that Hershey chocolate hearts are safe, but the peanut butter hearts are NOT gluten free.  Again, I will tell you to read the fine lines.  Do not assume, it will get you in trouble.

Be cautious with Valentine Heart Boxes.  Although Russell Stover and Cadbury state on their websites that they try very hard to keep everythig gluten-free, there is cross contamination.  Their equipment is shared with Wheat.  Use your judgement.

Hershey's large 3lb chocolate heart is gluten free.  Yeah!!  Also a lot of See's Candy is gluten free too. Know that Hershey's does not have a gluten-free safe list for their candy because their candy ingredients always change. Know this. Keep this in mind the next time you pick up a piece.Also a huge tip in gf candy hunting...Made in USA is very different then made in Mexico.  The standards change.  If you are concerned call them.  There is always a customer service number on the packaging.  If you call before 5pm, you will have an answer.

Another great way to be able to have a gluten free box of chocolates is to make your own.  Maybe your crush or family or even friends want to get creative.  Make a box.  Paint it read, get creative.  Collage the box, use red stickers or ribbon or anthing Valentine looking and add in chocolates that you already know are gluten free.  Yes it is a lot of work, but fun while doing it!

Have a super fabulous Valentines Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lots of Love, Affection and Sweet Goodness!

xoxo Julie

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Fig and Olive Restaurant

Last weekend I went to brunch at Fig and Olive in NYC.  It is a great wine and cheese tasting lounge with great meals that has 4 locations each in different areas of wonderful NYC.  Their best location is in the Meat Packing District, while the other locations are more towards the Upper East Side and one other location in the 50's on the west side.  This restaruant even participated in Restaurant Week with great deals!

What Fig and Olive is not so great about is the gluten free allergy or at least its understanding.  I guess it depends on the waiter you get, and if that is the case I suggest talking to the manager at this hot spot.  I used to eat here all the time, but I would always get their famous cheese platter (which I know is naturally gluten-free) and their wine.  On the occasion I would get a piece of grilled fish.  However it was restaurant week, so the menu was different and limited.

Upon ordering I asked the waitress if she was familiar with the gluten-free allergy/lifestyle.  She enthusiastically said YES, we know all about it, don't worry. 

I was relieved.  There is nothing like going to a fancy trendy spot and not having to worry about gluten being added or in my meal.


This woman knew nothing!

I showed her a few selections off the menu that I was interested in.  She then points out that there is dairy and cream in the selection.  I look up at her and I say that is irrelevant.  Then she says that she thought I was gluten free.  OMG!  I mentioned that dairy was not the issue.  So she blankly looks up at me and said isn't dairy gluten?  Oh Jesus.  I said no.  I then had to go into massive detail to get her to understand.  No wheat, no breadcrumbs, no flour (i knew they didn't use gf flours), no oats, rye or barley, no thickeners etc.  She just looked at me and sad "oh".

I should have known the chocolate mousse from the price fix menu was not gluten-free, but as she put this chocolatey surprise in front of me, I dreamed she honestly knew the allergy.  She said you don't have to worry about this one, this is gluten free!  I ate it.  And slightly in the back of my mind I sort of knew it wasn't.

Well I can only tell you what you already know.  I got sick.  And fast.  My friend asked me if I wanted to go shopping at Bergdorf's after lunch and I knew I just needed to go home.

I am not sure if it was just the mousse, as I have a feeling some of the other dishes I had , had some suspect gluten in them as well.

I am writitng this post, because I believe that this restaurant is not as gluten-free friendly as I had once thought.  I personally will never go here again, unless I am only eating the cheese and wine.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Boston Market & Gluten-Free

What's gluten-free and wheat free at Boston Market you ask?...Mediterranean Green Beans, Garlicky Spinach and now their Gravy!!  Other grand foods too like Rotisserie Chicken, Roasted Turkey Breast, Butternut Squash, Cinnamon Apples, Coleslaw, Creamed Spinach, Fresh Steamed Veggies, Garlic New Dill Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Corn, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Southwest Santa Fe Salad, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Franks Sweet Heat Sauce, Honey Habanero Sauce, Island Mojo Sauce,

Check out this post from Triumph Dining and check out Boston Market's Allergen List

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Tulu's Bakery Caters Birthday Cakes

My mom stopped by Tu Lu's Bakery a few weeks ago and informed me that Tu Lu's is now doing Birthday Cakes.  All you have to do is order ahead!

xoxo Julie

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Serafina Restaurant

Last month I blogged about Serefina's Restaurant.  Serafina, a fine Italian eatery with 5 locations alone in NYC has now spread it's wings and landed itself in East Hampton, NY, Sao Paolo, Brazil, and coming soon Philadelphia.  When I mentioned Serefina in my previous post, I was posting about the Dream Hotel location on West 55th Street and Broadway.    

After posting I received a post from a fellow reader asking if the GF pasta was made with the same water as the gluten pasta.  Erin was concerned there would be cross-contamination.  I have to be honest, when I ordered the pasta from the Serafina location Dream Hotel, I just assumed it would be made separately.  And after Erin posted this concern it got me thinking.  It got me thinking, do all Serafina locations carry GF pasta? and if so, how does each location treat the gluten allergy, and how does the chef prepare the foods, and/or use the same utensils and cooking area and further more, is the staff knowledgeable?!  So I called each location.  I was able to get an answer from 5 of the 7 locations.  I could not get in touch with the E. Hampton location, and obviously being here in NY I cannot call Brazil.  So I emailed the contact person on the website asking my questions, I even asked about the Philly location that is not even open yet.  I hope to hear from those locations soon, and when I do, I will post the response.

Here are the locations I was able to get in touch with...

Serafina-(Dream Hotel) 210 W. 55th Street at Broadway (212) 315-1700
Manager and chef confirms that they
DO have gluten-free pasta. GF pasta is cooked with different/fresh utensils, cooking pans, water and in fact has a separate cooking area all together for gluten-free.  (This is the location I had gone to.  It's sooo worth it!  Click above on Serafina Restaurant for some GF tasty pics)!

58th St and Madison (212) 832-8888
Manager confirms that they
DO NOT have/carry gluten-free pasta. They have a completely different menu then all other locations. The staff was very short with me on the phone. It did not appear that they would be carrying GF anytime soon.

61st between Madison and Park (212) 702-9898
This location
DOES HAVE GF Pasta. Manager and Chef confirm that cooking GF is a "made to order" basis, therefore chef confirms that they use separate water, utensils, cooking pans and a separate space to make these meals.

(Time Hotel)-224 West 49th St. between Broadway and 8th Ave (212) 315-1700
Manager and chef both confirm that the brand of pasta they use for all pasta dishes
IS gluten-free. Their choice of pasta just happens to be a gluten-free pasta (it is fusilli shape). I asked the manager to check and confirm with the chef, and the chef showed her the bag of pasta. Their pasta's are labeled gluten free. However, their home-made pasta is not gluten-free so do not get confused, and yes gluten free pasta is made separately from home-made pasta, in separate utensils, pans, water etc, but know that because it is made separately the manager mentioned it will take longer to cook. (because it will take longer to boil new water)

1022 Madison Avenue at 79th St. 2nd Floor (212) 734-2676
Manager confirms that they do
NOT carry gluten free pasta. I then asked if they would be getting it soon. The Manager said that they don't foresee carrying gluten-free anytime soon. This manager was short, to the point and didn't seem to have any interest in the subject matter.

I hope everyone enjoys this post and finds it helpful!

xoxo Julie