Posts Categorized: Bakeries we ❤

Gluten free in Disney

Room service!

Guess where we are…

 

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. These adorable Mickey Mouse waffles were definitely one of the highlights! Many people had told me that Disney World is heaven on earth for people with celiac. Of course, I did my own research. Here are some links so that you can do yours too:

Walt Disney World: Special Dietary Requests

The Disney Food Blog: Disney World Treats for Guests with Special Diets

The Disney Food Blog: Dining With a Special Diet in Disney World and Disneyland

Allergy Free Mouse: Your Allergy-Free Guide to Disney World

The Huffington Post: Disney Dining

AllEars.Net: Menus from Around the World (you can check out menus from Disney restaurants)

When it comes to doing your research, don’t procrastinate! Figure out where you want to eat and then make your reservations for table dining well in advance of your trip. We were a little late to the game and so we weren’t able to get dinner reservations at some of the restaurants we wanted to try, like Kouzzina by Cat Cora (on Disney’s BoardWalk), California Grill (in the Contemporary Hotel) and Teppan Edo (in the Japan pavilion in Epcot). When making your reservation, be sure to tell them about your food restriction. Upon arriving at all of the restaurants we had booked in advance, the host was aware of Lily’s “gluten allergy” (people seemed to get it more when we said she had a gluten allergy as opposed to celiac disease) and the chef came to our table to go over the gluten-free options. I can’t tell you how much we appreciated the attention and concern from the chefs and waitstaff about Lily’s gluten allergy.

more…

pizza four ways

Pizza night! We all made our own super-yummy and cheesy personal pies. Some had more vegetables than others.

 

O’Doughs gluten-free flax pizza kit is one of our go-to store-bought crusts. Terrific taste and texture!

 

Now if only we could get our hands on their new Bagel Thins…we can’t seem to find them anywhere and they sold out in a New York minute at the Gluten Free Garage!

a sweet bite

Local author and artist Cybèle Young‘s latest children’s book about one of our favourite things—food! Come meet her and buy her book at the Children’s Art Studio Pop-Up at the Gluten Free Garage this Sunday afternoon!

 

I tried to take just a few bites.

 

A little mid-day pick-me-up.

 

Chocolate, caramel, pecans! It’s hard to believe that this ooey-gooey goodness contains no dairy, eggs or cholesterol. Best of all, it’s made in a gluten-free facility.

 

It was love at first bite.

 

Thanks for the tummy love, Sweets from the Earth!

 

Nom…nom…nom…

 

Another one bites the dust.

you only turn 5 once

Franny is five.

 

For her birthday, we partied like it’s 1999.

Cupcakes with her class at school. A Barbie cake from Goodbye Gluten. More cupcakes at her party. And a homemade Hello Kitty cake at her Bubby’s house.

OK, we’ll admit, we went overboard this year because we were eager to try out different baked goods from some of the exhibitors who will be at the Gluten Free Garage. The best gluten-free bakers in town are coming to this event! For a list of the who’s who, check out our Exhibitors page.

Now back to the birthday girl.

 

Franny at school with her cupcake from The Wheat Free Girls. These babies, just bigger than bite size, were gobbled up by her classmates and teachers.

 

“The Beatles” – chocolate cake with vanilla coconut butter cream – were so much more than a pretty package. They were evidence that happiness is a cupcake.

 

“The Doors” – vanilla cake with chocolate butter cream – rocked Franny’s world.

 

This way to Franny’s party at The Children’s Art Studio!

more…

Barbie takes the cake

Franny had her gluten-free cake and she ate it too. Thanks Goodbye Gluten!

 

Franny turned 5 a few days ago. Unlike her big sister, she does not have celiac disease. Though she doesn’t eat gluten at home because our house is a gluten-free zone, she sometimes eats food with gluten when she goes to friends’ houses, when we visit family members and when we eat out. She and I used to have “gluten Tuesdays”—after her music class we would go a bakery and she would get to indulge in a fresh, soft bagel or yummy muffin or flaky croissant. Franny understands that Lily cannot eat gluten but that she can. Oftentimes when she eats something really delicious she’ll look at me and ask: “Mommy, is this gluten?” And it usually is.

When the kids were quite little I was really getting into baking. Both of my grandmothers were incredible bakers and some of my most cherished memories of them involved baking—whether I was licking the bowl after helping my Nana Lil make her famous mandelbread (I dream of that batter!) or sprinkling chocolate chips into my Bubby Fran’s beloved banana cake. I yearned to create memories like that with my children.

But then Lily got diagnosed with celiac disease and my kitchen was turned upside down. There was a big learning curve. Shopping now took me hours: scrutinizing every label and constantly referring to my bible—the pocket-sized Guide to Acceptability of Foods and Food Ingredients for the Gluten-Free Diet (written by registered dietitian Alexandra Anca, who will be on-hand at the Gluten Free Garage!). I had to adapt to cooking gluten free, so baking fell by the wayside.

And then I started to miss it. So I began to learn about gluten-free flours and what and how much to substitute. There were words like xantham gum and guar gum. I got a scale because one of my favourite gluten-free bloggers, the Gluten Free Girl, says it’s best to bake by weight. Baking soda: GF or not? I found it all so daunting that I started to dabble in mixes. And some were OK but I wanted to bake like my grandmothers, from scratch.

I bought a whack of gluten-free cookbooks and found some great gluten-free recipes online and now I have a few home-baked staples that we all love. But at some point, I kind of gave up on my desire to be the mom who bakes birthday cakes from scratch. This was around the same time the kids started going to friends’ birthday parties with cakes adorned with princesses and other Disney characters. They wanted Ariel on their cake! My Little Pony! Luckily my mother-in-law gives the Cake Boss a run for his money, but I couldn’t push my luck. She bakes the cakes for family birthday celebrations; I wasn’t about to ask her to whip them up for kid parties too.

So for three years I did what any mother afraid of gluten-free baking would do: I convinced Franny that she wanted an ice-cream cake in October and I told Lily that cupcakes were way better than cake.

Until Franny turned 5 and asked for a Barbie cake. After wrapping my head around the thought that she’s only 5 and already into Barbie, I thought, why not? I played with Barbie dolls and I turned out OK (my husband might say this is up for debate). I decided to go to Loblaws and get a Barbie cake for Franny and buy Lily a gluten-free cupcake. But then I felt bad for Lily. She’s always the kid at every birthday party who can’t eat the cake the other kids are scarfing down. Why would I exclude her at her own sister’s celebration?

And herein lies the modern-day celiac mama’s dilemma: Where to get a gluten-free cake with Barbie on it?

On a hunch, I called up Goodbye Gluten, our go-to store for one-stop 100% gluten-free shopping. They make delicious baked goods (all free of gluten, nuts and dairy) and their store is super kid-friendly. Whenever we go there, Lily has a field day because she knows that she can have it all. Most importantly, I can trust that there is no risk of cross-contamination when I buy their baked goods and prepared foods. Surely, Goodbye Gluten can make a gluten-free Barbie cake!

And they did. Because that’s what they do: cater to the gluten-free community and to those with food allergies. Franny got to choose the flavour of her cake (vanilla), the colour of the icing and even the hair colour of her Barbie. When we brought it to the table, she was blown away by the sight of her pinkalicious Barbie cake. As she gobbled up the first bites, she turned to me and asked: “Mommy, is this gluten?” She ate her Barbie birthday cake…and Lily got to eat it, too!

 

Her wish already came true!

 

Franny celebrates with Lily and her big cousin Ella.

 

Stay tuned for more GF birthday goodies…we’re milking this birthday!