Posts Categorized: GFG updates

The return of Gluten Free Garage

2015: Friends, family, fried potatoes and a dog called Chicky

Do you follow @glutenfreegarage on Instagram? These were our best nine photos of 2015. There were friends, family, fried potatoes and the new love of my life, a tiny dog called Chiquita (Chicky). You may have noticed that we didn’t run Gluten Free Garage last year and our website was quiet. That’s because a very close family member was sick with cancer and I spent much of my time with him.

 

My uncle Michael was a volunteer at all four GFGs

My uncle Michael was a volunteer at three Gluten Free Garage events. Here he is with some of our other dedicated volunteers (my mom and aunts) at the fall 2013 GFG. Ever since I was a little girl, he was like a big brother to me. And, later, a best friend and confidante. Michael was my person. He made me—and so many other people whose lives he touched—laugh a little louder, smile a little wider, live a little better. As his pancreatic cancer was progressing, I wanted so spend every precious moment with him that I could. Which meant sacrificing Gluten Free Garage, a decision that didn’t come easy to me but one that I do not regret. On September 11, 2015, Michael passed away.

 

Michael was too sick to volunteer at the last Gluten Free Garage (fall 2014) but he made a point of coming to visit

Michael was too sick to volunteer at the last Gluten Free Garage in November 2014 but he mustered up whatever energy he could to pop in and visit his gluten-free god-daughter at her favourite food event.

 

TK TK TK

Gluten Free Garage remains close to my heart and, as a mother of a child with celiac disease, I feel strongly that even though gluten-free food is so widely available these days there is still a need for a curated gluten-free marketplace in Toronto. Many of you do, too, as evidenced by the emails we get asking us when the next GFG is happening. As my uncle Michael would say, the show must go on! We’ll be back at the Wychwood Barns on May 1, 2016 to kick off Celiac Awareness Month! I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you ready for Gluten Free Garage #5?

 

gluten-free road trip

There was excitement in the air. We were going to Canada's Gluten Free Market...in a Zipcar! I've always wanted to drive a VW Beetle. Off we went to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.

There was excitement in the crisp fall air. We were off to Canada’s Gluten Free Market…in a Zipcar! (My car was in the shop and I’ve always wanted to drive a VW Beetle.)

 

Being new to the “Zipsterhood,” I wasn’t sure how this car sharing would all play out, but becoming a member and picking up the car was a piece of (gluten-free) cake! Literally, you can be sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle in 4 simple steps:

1) Join Zipcar.
2) Reserve a car.
3) Unlock the door (with your Zipcar card).
4) Drive!

You can drive by the hour or the day, with gas, insurance and up to 200 km a day included. Best of all, there was a Zipcar location two blocks away from our house. Off we went on a gluten-free shopping spree to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington!

 

Organic Works Bakery's Peter Cuddy couldn't wait for us to taste his new bread.

I pretty much could be the biggest fan of Organic Works Bakery’s Quinoa & Honey Bread. OWB owner Peter Cuddy knows it, but today he couldn’t wait for us to taste his new Buckwheat, Chickpea & Flax Bread. He kindly gave us a loaf to take home and I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast all week long. Note to self: Pick up some more at Gluten Free Garage!

 

After three samples of their roasted vegetable Lasagna, Franny declared: "This is the best pasta ever!"

After three samples of Antipastos Kitchen’s lasagna, my younger daughter (who does not have celiac disease) declared: “This is the best pasta ever!” Now that’s a nod of approval! I’m sure she’ll be back at the Antipastos table at Gluten Free Garage for more.

 

This was our best new gluten-free find!

Our best new gluten-free find! Blossom Bakery’s artisanal veggie flatbread pizza—so flavourful, an amazing crust, lovely combinations of toppings. We went home with two savoury pies, which were devoured upon arrival. Wait til you taste these pizzas at Gluten Free Garage!

 

Girls in the back seat, groceries in the trunk, here we go!

Girls in the back seat, groceries in the trunk, here we go! Off to the vegan and gluten-free Lettuce Love Cafe  and sister bakery Kelly’s XO Bake Shoppe in town.

 

By this time the girls were calling the Zipcar "our" car (while making quotation marks in the air).

By this time the girls were calling the Zipcar “our” car (while making quotation marks in the air).

 

My Goddess Bowl at Lettuce Love Cafe sounded fresh.

Lettuce Love Cafe on a Sunday afternoon in Burlington is THE place to be! After much deliberation, I ordered the Goddess Bowl (dreaming of it now), hubby had the BLAT sandwich (“bacon”, lettuce, avocado and tomato) and the girls had grilled cheese sandwiches with avocado (made on none other than Organic Works Bakery bread!). Never been to Lettuce Love? At Gluten Free Garage, you’ll have the chance to get a taste of what they do and you’ll see it’s well worth the drive to Burlington! You’ll also get to meet Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie, the inspiring mother/daughter duo behind Lettuce Love and Kelly’s XO Bake Shoppe.

 

A trip to Burlington without a stop at Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe.

A trip to Burlington without a stop at Kelly’s XO Bake Shoppe is like a trip to the CNE without going on a ride. It is a MUST. Here are just a few reasons why:

 

The chocolate dip donut. We love us some gluten-free donuts and these babies are the real deal. (Fellow donut junkies take note: The bakery offers them Friday to Sunday only.)

 

The Dulce de Leche cupcake

The award-winning Dulce de Leche cupcake.

 

The Mile High Brownie. 'Nuff said.

The Mile High Brownie. ‘Nuff said. No, wait, it should be said that the baked goods at Kelly’s do not contain any gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, lard, casein or artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Say what?!

 

A long day, as this big sister crashed on top of her little sister can attest to...

After a long day with loads of tummy love, gluten-free big sister crashed on top of her little sis on the way home in “our” car. The End.

 

Zipcar, Organic Works Bakery, Lettuce Love Cafe and Kelly’s XO Bake Shoppe are all sponsors of #GFG2014!

SPECIAL ZIPCAR OFFER FOR GFG PEEPS: Click here to sign up and save on your Zipcar membership!

would you like poutine with that?

Fries and cheese curds and gravy, oh my!

Fries and cheese curds and gravy, oh my!

 

A trip to the Gluten Free Garage just isn’t complete without stopping by the Hero Burgers food truck for the best poutine this side of Papineau. Our favourite corner spot for gluten-free (and hormone- and antibiotic-free) burgers and buns, HB has our carnivorous cravings covered all over town. Thanks to this short-order saviour, there are plenty of GF options to choose from, but note that not all locations offer the gluten-free poutine—made in a dedicated fryer with trans-fat-free canola oil—so be sure to ask before ordering (the Colossus and Yonge & Shephard restaurants have them). We’re purists when it comes to poutine so we stick with the traditional dish, but for the more adventurous, Hero Burgers serves up four different flavours: beef, mushroom, garden and Caesar.

 

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Available at all locations across the GTA!

 

 #GFGsponsor

the grain-free gourmet

JK Gourmet

JK Gourmet’s new honey-sweetened artisan chocolate comes in four tempting flavours: roasted almonds, almonds & blueberries, almonds & cherries, almonds & black currants. But no need to feel guilty for indulging—it’s made with raw, organic, fair-trade, dairy-free Ecuadorian dark chocolate!

 

Celiac may be the first disease most people associate with gluten free, but for JK Gourmet founder, cookbook author and colitis sufferer Jodi Bager, going “g” free (as in gluten and grains) was a key ingredient to being symptom free for the past 16 years.

Launched in 2001, JK Gourmet makes natural whole foods and baked goods—free from grains, gluten, sugar and preservatives—that taste out of this world and make you feel great, regardless of your reason for going gluten free.

JK Gourmet was one of the first of its kind to bring choice grain-free ingredients together with culinary expertise (and far too many health benefits to list) and stays on top of the trade by coming out with irresistible new products on a regular basis.

We’ve been huge fans of JK Gourmet’s granola forever and these days we can’t get enough of their new artisan chocolate (drop by the JK booth at Gluten Free Garage and taste for yourself!). But with the fall season well underway, nothing makes us feel as warm and cozy as this rustic apple pie, made from none other than JK Gourmet’s famed almond flour.

#GFGsponsor

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