Sunday, September 21, 2014

FREE Webcast Hartford Part II - Organic Food vs GMO, Cooking Home Style, and Important Gluten Free Facts

We are so excited about this week's webcast line-up! 
Part II of the Hartford GFAF Wellness Event, September 25 at 7:30 pm EST
brings you:
Amy Fothergill - Author of The Warm Kitchen
Beth Hillson - Food Editor of Living Without, Blogger, Author, American Celiac Disease Alliance and was the founder of Gluten Free Pantry
Bill Duesing - Organic Advocate and Founder of Northeast Organic Farming Association, Author, and Radio Host.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

FREE Webcast Hartford Part I - Coping, Cooking, and Living With Food Allergies

Are you ready for another incredible installment of speakers?
We have some lined up for you preceding the Hartford Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event on Oct 5 at Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Ave., from 10 am - 4 pm. We hope you will join us to see what a celebration we throw and just how tasty and much fun learning can be.

The webcasts can be attended LIVE and are always accessible on our Archive page listed above. These interesting hour and a half presentations are composed of 15 minute interviews. They are perfect for not only newly diagnosed, but are positive, interesting, and informative to anyone seeking a healthier life.

Part I - September 18 - 7:30 pm EST
We will be looking at Coping, Cooking, and Living with Food Allergies with Rustie MacDonald, Dana Fuggi Martin, and Nikki Everett

Part II - September 25 - 7:30 pm EST
We will be delving into Importance of Organic Food and Our Health, Myths of Gluten Free Living, and Learning to Convert Your Favorite Recipes to Allergen Free with Bill Duesing, Beth Hillson, and Amy Fothergill

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Yankee Doodle Dandy Gluten Free Summer Trip Part II - Hartford Connecticut

Our first day in Connecticut, our mountain bodies tried to adjust to the dense humidity that enveloped us in 98 degrees of moisture, so thick it felt like you could cut it. We rose early to try and beat the heat and get as much done as possible. Other than the heat, we knew there were some amazing items to try while feeling like two fish out of water. I mean, let's face it, we live deep in the heart of Southern Appalachia where the pace is a little slower.

My father was born in the Jewish faith and on a weekend, he would take me to the oldest deli in Charlotte NC, which was in a small mall built in the 60's. I remember the smell of fresh pastrami, rye bread, deli mustard, and a barrel of fresh pickles steeped in dill and garlic, like it was yesterday. Occasionally, he would let me go into school late and we would stop in for a bagel with salmon and cream cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

Lucky for Hartford, they have a NY style kosher deli in Vernon CT that has a wonderful gluten free selection - Rein's Deli was where we landed. Let's just say, it was good enough that Doodle begged to eat breakfast there every morning.

Everything Gluten Free Bagel, Nova Scotia Salmon, 
extra onion and cream cheese with fresh made dill pickles on the side

The Gluten Free Menu in whole so you can salivate with me

We had to visit one of our new vendors, so we ventured to Glastonbury for Dee's One Smart Cookie bakery. The adorable little dollhouse of a shop holds treats that make your eyes light up. An allergen free array of goodies to rival Willy Wonka's factory any day awaited us. Non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, and the other top 8 are achieved in a variety of options.
Get out your napkins...

Death by chocolate Jumbo cupcake

Clockwise: Peppermint Chocolate Chip cookies, Egg Free Crumpets,
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars, Birthday Cake

So much more to pack into our short trip. But we absolutely could not leave Hartford without visiting our Title Sponsor for the event coming October 5 at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, Bakery On Main. After having worked with them in events for the past 5 years, we loved being able to visit their business and see where their new larger facility was going in.

Bakery On Main Oatmeal is perfect for a healthy start

We heard Harry's Bishops Corner Pizza was the place for a safe delicious gluten free pie in town. Not only is it pizza, but local seasonal ingredients on a great crust made by local Still Riding Pizza? Sign me up! Harry's is also hosting a Farm to Chef program which makes us love them even more. Thankfully they will be joining us October 5th, so you can try some for yourself.

Oh yeah!

The next morning I talked Doodle out of more salmon and talked her into trying Blue Plate Kitchen in West Hartford. This cozy retro styled cafe features local and seasonal options and a great gluten free menu with very knowledgeable staff. 

L to R: Gluten Free French Toast and a Mediterranean style omelet
with fresh spinach, tomatoes, local feta cheese

Is that enough good food for you? Oh but there is so much more to explore yet!
We will just have to do another post to share it all. With the event right around the corner, please follow us on Facebook for detailed information on the event and all of its participants - local and national.

See you next time, right here, for more of Connecticut's best allergen free living.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Yankee Doodle Dandy Gluten Free Summer Trip Part I

The last trip we blogged about was to the Raleigh event on August 9, which was a great time had by all. But before that, Doodle and I took a week long adventure and drove to Hartford, Connecticut to set up our event there on October 5. That's a 12 hour haul from the mountains of NC equaling a whole lot of "Are we there yet?" and "Can I just see the GPS?" Overall, she complained less than on the road to Little Rock and we both have gotten used to being on the road together.

I figured we could do some exploring along the way to spice up her summer. The first stop, as we rode deep into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, was our founding father Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello. If you haven't visited this incredible landmark to history, you definitely should. He was a fascinating character of a man and the tour of the house is full of factual historical tidbits.

Not a lot of allergen free options at the Cafe Monticello, but they do have them. They suggest you call ahead. We simply carried some snacks with us in our cooler in the car and snacked before going in. They have some scenic vistas and benches in the shade to munch a bite before the tour.

Scenes from Monticello

We left Monticello and trekked onward to Pennsylvania. My plan was to surprise Doodle with an educational stop in Amish country. We pulled into Lancaster, PA before nightfall. I scoured the internet for a few minutes and found John J Jeffries. This little jewel has a Chef who believes in Weston A. Price Foundation nutrition guidelines and is locally sourced, organic, sustainable and absolutely divine! 
Selection of allergen free varies as menu is seasonal, but you can bet you will leave here stuffed with real wholesome deliciously handled food. Vegetarian options as well

But the most amazing of all was the Lavender Honey Creme Brulee
They change to Pumpkin Brulee in the Autumn

Oh my, right?

The next morning, we rose early to drive into New Holland, PA. A couple years ago, I found this amazing Amish Gluten Free soft pretzel company online. I paid a staggering shipping cost to buy them as a treat for Doodle, because they are frozen and have to have next day air freight. It was worth it as a very rare treat to see her face light up. But you can also now purchase their mixes online and you should! 

She heated them, salted them and placed them in a bag for a 
very happy child with a container of mustard. 

With no time to waste, we said farewell to the Amish and headed Northeast. After 5 more hours and a stressful drive through New York City, we finally made it to Connecticut! I couldn't wait to get out of that car and neither could the tired teen. I knew she would trip out on my next find, so I secretly typed it into the GPS and hid it to keep her from knowing where we would stop next.

When you become allergen free, the thought of walking into a diner that serves hamburgers, sandwiches and fries, is usually a far away dream. The dream became a reality in West Haven, Connecticut thanks to Georgie's Diner, a staple to locals since 1956 with new owners who care.

Pictured L to R: Potato Soup, Traditional Club Sandwich, 
and a Turkey Burger, all gluten free. Their Gluten Free menu is huge!

We drove on into Hartford, road burnt, and ready for sleep to recharge. It is always exciting to learn about a new landing spot for a GFAF Wellness Event. Hartford would prove to be no different, especially with our Southern viewpoint of learning New England style food and products.

Join us next time as we head out and about in Hartford searching for the best of what they have locally and in allergen friendly fare.