Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top Unavoidable Challenges While Traveling with Food Allergies

Having food allergies and traveling is a bit like being in a National Lampoon movie We find little gems of places to eat and we also find rare moments of kindness that make our challenges a little less hard. And then, out of nowhere, you get dealt a side swipe of a doozy that makes your head spin and you think, "Hmmm, maybe I am not quite as invincible as I thought I was"

I am not talking about just cross contamination, which is a very real and constant thing.that can result in end game, but there are a slew of other challenges to face. If there weren't, we wouldn't spend so much time on blogs and forums/groups discussing them. If they weren't there, we wouldn't own our food allergies like a badge that irritates those who don't have them. It is just a fact of a food challenged life. 

Here are some of our top unavoidable traveling challenges:

1. Rented a cabin with full kitchen and arrived after a snow storm, only to find the pots and pans were all non-stick surfaced, except for the baking sheet. Needless to say our menu options were a challenge, but aluminum foil is our friend.
2. Rented an Air BnB house, arrived and found that the stove was broken. It was in a remote location with no cellphone service to call owner, so I drove down to a spot I could get signal. When I finally reached the owner, he suggested we take our food to a local pizza restaurant because no service could be rendered on weekend?!? Uhhh, not acceptable. So we left and drove to a city and got a hotel.
3. Caught in a freak snow storm while driving and it took 4 hours to get to a restaurant to safely stop to eat. Now we never get in the car without something packed
4. Airports with not one safe thing to eat except for a KIND bar. Thank goodness for KIND, but our nut allergy friends? Nada. Refer to #3 and pack your carry-on bag with a few things.
5. Emergency pit stops may necessitate you have toilet paper or tissues on hand, in the car, anywhere you can grab it. This will be extremely helpful before hanging off the side of a hill, hiding from cars, while having a coming to Jesus moment because there are no bathrooms in sight...Trust me.
6. Got food poisoning and thought it was cross contamination. Drove 80 MPH to get to health store before they closed to get supplies to help the reaction. Realized it was actually food poisoning because the drive took 6 hours instead of 4. Both my face and bottom know every bathroom between Louisville and St Louis now.

And that's just the top moments revisited. What are some of yours?
We don't know about you, but we can't wait for what 2018 will bring. :)
Happy Travels!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Gluten-Free Pizza Foodie Love - Our Favorites for You

Even with the boom of gluten and allergen free, there are still less places to get safe pizza than you would think. A good pizza is like the Holy Grail of food allergy land. There are just so many things that can go contamination wrong in the process of cooking because of the glutinous flour, dough, and manner in which they cook with speed. 

We have a hard time finding pizzas that are ever as good as the ones we make at home. But who has 3-4 hours to set aside and really get that dough right? If you do have time, here are some of our favorites: 
2. Gluten-free - King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour Best for thicker yeasty crust
Here is a fail proof recipe for your crust from America's Test Kitchen

Have no time but want a great crust for home with your own toppings? Try a pre-made crust from one of the following:
1. Still Riding Foods - 6 or 12 inch crust, vegan, kosher, gluten free Local to Connecticut but ship everywhere
2. Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet Gluten & Grain Free Local to Ohio but ship everywhere
3. Kalo Foods Artisan Pizza Crust Gluten Free - 12 inch crust. gluten-free not dairy free. Local to North Carolina but ship everywhere

Next we cover where we have stopped that are as safe as they can be in their floury atmosphere and have mad pizza skills. But here is a little break for That's Amore. One cannot simply write about pizza without a little Dean Martin, or at least I can't. 

Our pizza choices on the road:

1. The Wild Tomato Pizzeria  Harrisburg Pa - Owners are very knowledgeable about handling procedures for celiacs. They offer most things on menu gluten-free. Subs on a real Schar hoagie! But the pizza is yummy and the ingredients, so fresh. They also offer gluten-free cheesy bread and pasta dishes too, but you can't dine in shop as it is take out only. Grab it on your way out of Philadelphia or on your way passing through.

2. Senza Gluten NYC - There are just endless tasty options at this 100% gluten-free restaurant that is Italian based deliciousness in everything they do.  But if you are wanting pizza in NYC, stop here for lunch and dine on gluten-free heaven. Everything from appetizers to desserts are the stuff that celiacs have sugar plum fairy dreams about

3. Pizzeria Verita Burlington VT This Vermont pizzeria makes their own gluten-free crust in a dedicated space and have a separate wood fire oven for gluten-free! Imagine the tastiness happening in that last sentence

4. Pure Pizza Charlotte NC Farm to Fork, organic pizzeria with breadsticks, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts. If you don't mind the parking and hassle of going uptown to their location, it is a must stop.

5. Harry's Bishops Corner Hartford CT This pizzeria was owned originally by the owners of Still Riding Pizza and makes an excellent pie. They have dedicated kitchen space and have excellent feedback about their safety.

6. Baker's Crust Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake Not only do they offer a very decent gluten-free pizza that is Farm to Plate. They also have some amazing other options like Bacon Mac and Cheese. We are putting a pic here because it is just so rare to find it anywhere gluten-free

7 Moonlight Pizza Raleigh NC Another Farm to Table pizzeria finishes out our list and they are divine. In house made gluten free dough that has been raved about online. They offer other options also and are worth a swing by if in the Capital city . 

And here's hoping the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - Amore!