Tag Archives: happy gluten free

Sweet Theory Baking Co.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville
Today, after being told over and over to check this place out, I finally made my way to Sweet Theory Baking Company.  Sweet Theory Baking Company is a bakery near the heart of the Park and King District near Little Five Points/Riverside area. It is located between Park and Post on King not far from where you can get a gluten-free beer at Kickbacks or Beer:30.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleI was greeted by the cutest little store front on a chilly yet sunny day. I went during my lunch hour so I did not have time to linger long. I quickly found the items designated with a (GF) on them and was overwhelmed with the options.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleI asked the manager what she thought the most popular items were and she pointed me in the direction of doughnuts, cupcakes, cookie sandwiches and whoopee pies. All of these items came gluten-free except the doughnuts. I was a little sad, I have heard so much about these doughnuts but my mind was put to ease when the manager explained that the owner (and head baker) was still working on the right recipe. Good enough for me.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleIn addition to the cakes and cookies and such, I noticed that they had some gluten-free savory garlic and herb biscuits. I can’t tell you the last time I had a biscuit. I decided to try that and a cookie sandwich.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville
The place was a bit quiet, it was a Wednesday during lunch time.  I decided to enjoy my gluten-free garlic and herb biscuit in a cozy spot near the front windows and just chill. They had warmed the biscuit up for me and put on some soy free earth balance vegan butter.  The biscuit was so satisfying. The consistency was different than a real biscuit, but the taste was awesome. It was flaky and at times crumbly, but not dry (definitely a mess to eat if you are on the go.) This southern girl was happy (can we get a gf/df biscuits and gravy?:)).

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville

So I guess I should have eaten a real lunch before my visit, because after the biscuit I was wanting more. So I dug into the chocolate chip sandwich and before I knew it had eaten almost half. Very moist, chewy and HUGE.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville

While the biscuit was not a regular on the menu, the cookie sandwich is along with numerous gluten-free cupcake flavors from peach to root beer.  In addition they had blueberry and raspberry flavored muffins as well.

As I was finishing up my biscuit and half of the cookie sandwich the manager explained that they also make ice cream (they only have vanilla for now, more flavors to come as the weather warms up) and they make a special treat called a Brooklyn Egg Cream which she described as a chocolaty and  unique cold beverage.
sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville
Everything at Sweet Theory Baking Company is egg, dairy, soy and peanut free. They have some items (a lot actually) that are gluten-free and made in a designated gluten-free area with designated utensils. There is absolutely no dairy in this store. Even when ordering coffee (which is local-Bold Bean), your coffee creamer options were almond or rice milk.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleSweet Theory Baking Company’s sweets were delicious. I like them as much as Cookie Momsters. However, Sweet Theory Baking Company offers what I have suggested to Cookie Momsters numerous times, a place to linger. Sweet Theory is a place I could meet up with friends for an afternoon coffee and have a snack. I felt at home and as if I belonged. Sometimes when I leave Cookie Momsters I feel like I am doing something in secret because I go in, order and leave (usually enjoying my treat at the next red light as I drive back to work or home).  I still love you Cookie Momsters but it is nice to have options in different parts of town.  Now my wish is for a gluten-free/dairy-free bakery at the beach…

I will be back Sweet Theory Baking Company. Thank you for a lovely dessert lunch J

Sweet Theory Baking Co. on Urbanspoon

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New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I really hope everyone is enjoying special time with family and friends.  I spent the rest of 2012 up in Chicago with my boyfriend’s family.  It is freezing up here but I have also gotten to see some snow so it is worth it.  The food here is great, and I love being in a big city where almost every restaurant we go to is educated on gluten-free.

(If you are ever in the area, Meli’s is one of my favorite breakfast places.)

While 2012 was full of challenges, I also have so much to be thankful for.  As I look forward to 2013 I can’t help but be reminded I still have so much more to learn and I still need to take steps to reduce the amount of times I get sick.  Here are a few of my New Year’s resolutions and wishes:

  1. I hope to be more prepared.  This means relying less on pre-packaged foods and making more of my own foods from scratch.  This also means less meals out and more meals at home.
  2. I wish that more restaurants knew what “gluten-free” means.  Yes, I can have potatoes, no I can’t have soy sauce, no I can’t have fries that have been fried with battered onion rings.
  3. I will have more willpower over sweets.  Perhaps I can incorporate sweets a little every day so I am not so deprived I go and spend $30 at Cookie Momsters.
  4. I want to exercise more.  There are some days I have been glutened, I am tired, grouchy, my stomach doesn’t feel good, but after exercise I feel so much better.

What are your gluten-free New Year’s resolutions?

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October Means Pumpkin Flavored Gluten-Free Goodness

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Recently we had a pretty involved Facebook discussion about pumpkin flavored baked goods. Since it is the first week of October, I thought now is the appropriate time to share some yummy pumpkin deliciousness. Beyond the pumpkin spiced latte’s everyone raves about at your local coffee shop, pumpkin cupcakes, muffins, cookies, ciders are all the rage.  Pumpkin is one of the first signs that fall is in the air.  Beyond searching Pinterest and searching “gluten-free pumpkin recipes” here is a list of some pumpkin goodies you can purchase or make that our Facebook friends shared with us:

Pumpkin Sides
Weight Watchers Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Cookies Made to Order
Fresh – Simply Delicious & Organic makes AMAZING (or so they say) pumpkin spice cookies for the fall! They bake over 100 of them to take to Riverside Arts Market from 10am to 4pm each Saturday. They usually sell out of them but you can call ahead and pre-purchase. Their cookies are always gluten-free, dairy free, and delicious!

Mama B’s Specialties  Hello Fall!

Top left – Pumpkin Donut Holes, Top Right – Pumpkin granola, and bottom right – Sweet Pumpkin Dip with apple slices and ginger snaps.

Pumpkin Bread

Version 1 Sarah Lind GF Pumpkin Bread

1 box Betty Crocker® Gluten Free yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
1/2 cup gluten-free semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pan with oil.
2. In large bowl, stir all ingredients except chocolate chips until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread evenly in pan.
3. Bake 9-inch loaf 55 to 65 minutes, 8-inch loaf 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool about 2 hours before slicing.
Makes 16 servings

Version 2 GF PUMPKIN BREAD

1 c. canola oil
3 c. sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 – 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin
3-1/2 c. Gluten Free flour blend
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. water
½ c. unsweetened natural applesauce

Combine oil, sugar, eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well.
Sift together all dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.
Add water and applesauce and mix well.
Pour in two lightly greased loaf pans. (Or 1 4-loaf Pampered Chef pan and 1 loaf pan)
350 degrees for 50-60 min.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing from glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin flan from Food Network’s Ellie Krieger.

Pumpkin muffins
Sippers Coffee House has been baking gluten-free pumpkin muffins.  They use a standard pumpkin muffin recipe and add a teaspoon of xanthan gum to give the muffins more lift. You can preorder if you prefer for them to do the work.

Do you have a favorite gluten-free pumpkin baked good recipe?  Do you even dare share it with us.  My favorite is to roast the pumpkin seeds.  MMM,

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Maintaining a Gluten-Free Home

My boyfriend and I recently moved into a house at the beach.  We had a discussion about how we would handle food in our house.  I have Celiac disease and am dairy free, gluten-free and shellfish-free.  He likes pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs in addition to pretty much anything I cook.  I wasn’t completely stressed about the conversation, however in my mind I was thinking: how would we wash the dishes together?  Would we have to separate out items in the dish washer, would we have separate dish sponges, or would we have to use separate utensils or plates?  Then the thought of friends coming over began to really stress me out.  Having to be strict and educate friends on what to use and what not to touch did not sound fun for me or for them.

We decided to maintain a 100% gluten-free household. My boyfriend was fine with getting his pizza, hot dog or hamburger fix for lunch, when we go out to eat or when we eat separately.  That was music to my ears. The expense of cooking gluten-free for an entire household can be quite costly. However, it is worth it to feel safe in my own home and cooking at home still costs less (most of the time) than dining out.  It really isn’t that hard to make gluten-free meals at home that taste yummy. Most people don’t even realize what I make is gluten-free.  I enjoy finding new recipes and using fresh ingredients.  Cooking is fun for me. And being healthy is important. So far I have had no complaints…

How do you maintain a safe kitchen? Is your kitchen 100% gluten-free? Do you take steps to keep gluten-containing foods and utensils separate from the gluten-free foods and utensils?

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Pei Wei: Gluten-free Lunch Review

On Monday I decided to go out to lunch at the much anticipated Pei Wei.  The restaurant is located between Beards Jewelry and Charles Schwab near Chipotle and Bento (two great gluten-free restaurants) at the Town Center.imagePei Wei is owned by PF Changs and you order at a counter and then they bring your food out to you.  The prices are less expensive than PF Changs and the flavors and ambiance are very similar.

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I asked the woman behind the counter for a gluten-free menu.  She handed me a small menu with 6  items on it.
imageThere is an electronic menu on the stand where you order with all of the items on the regular menu so you can see what things cost and what is in each dish.  There is no extra fee for ordering gluten-free (at PF Changs they charge about a $1 extra for all of their gluten-free menu options).  The woman behind the counter said they take extra precautions for people who order gluten-free.

I ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls and the Pei Wei Spicy with Chicken for my lunch .  Both items and a drink came out to $18.  That is not too bad, considering I had left overs for lunch the next day.

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The Vietnamese chicken salad rolls were fresh and healthy tasting.  They were yummy, however they came out super fast and had some sort of peanut sauce on them and the menu said to get them without the peanut sauce.  I probably should have asked or verified that they were gluten-free but it was all over my receipt that it was gluten-free.  My advice if you order these is to double check that there is no peanut sauce on them.  I do not get sick right away so it is hard for me to know when I have been glutenated.  However what I ate of it was really tasty.  These are cold and not fried and they are a nice alternative to fried egg rolls.

imageMy main entree was the Pei Wei Spicy with chicken and brown rice.  The outside of the chicken was slightly crispy.  According to Lauren Teague a follower on my Facebook page, the proteins are dredged in potato flour.  Overall the dish was quite yummy, though I would have liked some different vegetables maybe peppers or broccoli rather than carrots and snowpeas.  Even though the name leads you to believe this is super spicy, it was not really spicy, I could easily have added a little more spice.  The flavoring was similar to sweet and sour chicken.

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I really wish they had a gluten-free rice noodle dish.  The gluten-free menu seems a little limited.  I would also love to learn what procedures they take to make it safe for those of us with gluten-allergies.  It appeared that they used separate plates, but I am not sure about that.

I enjoyed my time at Pei Wei.  I haven’t had lunch by myself out at a restaurant in a while so it was nice to sit and look out the window and enjoy my meal.  You will definitely need a to go box. Portions are quite large for just one person.  

Have you been?  What is your favorite thing to order?

Pei Wei on Urbanspoon

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Travel: Gluten-Free Wrigley Field

Recently I attended a Cubs Baseball game in Chicago, IL.  If you haven’t been to Wrigley Field there is no baseball park like it.  My boyfriend is from Chicago and a HUGE Cubs fan.  This was my 3rd time being in the stadium, and while the Cubs did not win, it was my best experience yet.  Each game I look forward to the 7th inning stretch, hearing “Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go” at the end of a winning game and the sound of the old score board as it counts balls and strikes.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

While driving into lively Wrigleyville, I did a little research in the back seat on my smart phone.  I found information on the blog Not Even a Crumb that in March of 2011 they had implemented designated gluten-free spots in the park for beer, hot dogs (including buns) and other snacks.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

Around the corner from our seats on the mezzanine level just outside the bleachers in center field, I found this little nook of a concession stand that had gluten-free beer and snacks.  Next I was on my journey to find the gluten-free hot dogs.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

Sheffield Grill!!! Located on the bottom floor between the bleacher seats and right field seats it is pretty easy to find.  They had gluten-free hot dogs, hot dog buns, corned beef sandwiches, bbq sandwiches and all of the fixings.  I was so excited to have a Chicago style hot dog with peppers, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes with my boyfriend.  It was AWESOME!  Being able to have gluten-free hot dog with a gluten-free beer made me so happy.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

I wish I had taken a better photo to document this momentous occasion but we had to get back to the game and I was so hungry, I couldn’t wait a second longer to have this yummy treat.  While the bun in no way compares to a gluten-containing bun and I made a complete mess, the hot dog was hot and the fix-ins were fresh and flavorful.  You will need to eat it over a plate and have lots of napkins on hand but all in all it rounded out a perfect night at the old ball game.

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Nutrition: Mila

A few weeks ago one of our followers commented on my post about a new nutritional supplement called Mila.  She was adamant about it’s benefits to those of us with gluten-issues. She asked me if I was willing to give it a try and I thought, why not.  I had heard a little about its benefits but was excited to learn more.  I had a hunch this is something Dr. Oz had reported on and sure enough I found a link to a blog post by one of his staff members.

Mila is ground Chia seed.  Chia is known as “a super food” and each serving contains a ton of Omega -3s and 5 grams of fiber per serving. According to the blog post on DoctorOz.com “The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and much more – even protein!”

The suggested uses of Mila include:

  • blending with yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, cottage cheese
  • Stir into milk
  • mix into pancakes, muffin, bread or cake mix
  • Toss into a salad or pasta
  • Mix into pizza sauce, pasta sauce, rice, quinoa or other grains
  • Blend into smoothies
I decided to try blending it into my morning smoothie a few times a week (it was suggested to have Mila earlier in the day and drink a lot of water afterwards).

Here is my favorite smoothie:

  • frozen Strawberries
  • frozen chopped bananas
  • a handful of greens (spinach and kale are my favorite)
  • one spoonful of almond butter
  • a few dashes of agave nectar
  • almond milk about 1-2 cups
I mixed 1 tablespoon of mila with 9 tablespoons of water and let it soak in the blender about 15 minutes before I wanted to make my smoothie. Warning, Mila is not very tasty by itself, you need to add it to something with flavor.
According to Seed4change.net Mila is very absorbent when pre-soaked in water.   Pre-soaking Mila enhances the bio-availability of Mila’s nutrients (including fiber), it hydrates and decreases removal of water from the the lower intestine.  Pre-soaking may also help eliminate bloating and stomach discomfort that some may experience (um, probably everyone reading this blog experiences this).
Here is my yummy smoothie!  I know it looks a little weird because of the greens, but I promise it is delicious and nutritious!

After a few smoothies a week I definitely noticed a difference.  I had more energy and the stomach pain and discomfort I usually felt went away.  I am not sure about how much this costs or all of the places you can purchase this, but you can try contacting Jessica at Lifemax.  I would think that you can find it at Whole Foods and Native Sun as well.

Have you tried Mila? What are your thoughts?

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