Posts Categorized: Happiness is…

i scream, you scream

We all scream for ice-cream sandwiches!

We all scream for ice-cream sammiches!


One day last week Lily came home from camp feeling sad because it was ice-cream sandwich day. A few days earlier I had received a call from the camp director asking me if there was a gluten-free ice-cream sandwich that they could get for her so she could have what everyone else was eating. I told him about a brand I had heard about that we hadn’t tried yet and where he could pick them up. I felt grateful that he had called and I was happy that Lily wouldn’t feel left out.

So why was she upset? She said that it wasn’t a real ice-cream sandwich, that the outside was hard and crumbly like a cookie instead of being soft like the other kids’ treats. She understood that the camp had gotten that ice-cream sandwich especially for her and she didn’t want to make anyone feel bad so she had wrapped it up and put it in her napsack. This is my seven-year-old gluten-free girl.

A couple days later I’m trolling around on Facebook and up pops a post from Bunner’s Bake Shop with a pretty pic of what they called a “classic ice-cream sandwich” wrapped in tissue and tied with a ribbon—their latest vegan, gluten-free (re)creation, available on weekends only. I had faith in this ice-cream sandwich because, well, it’s Bunner’s and they don’t mess around when it comes to gluten-free baking. Case in point: Their “fauxstess” cupcakes. So Friday rolled into Saturday and we rolled into the Junction.


Lily came

“It’s a real ice-cream sandwich!”


She would have given it two thumbs up if she wasn't holding her sammie in her other hand.

She would have given it two thumbs up if she wasn’t holding her sammich in her other hand.


While Lily was living it up with her ice-cream sammie, I spotted this happy woman coming out of Bunner's sporting a GFG tote bag! That made my day.

While Lily was living it up with her gluten-free ice-cream sammich, I spotted this happy woman coming out of Bunner’s sporting a GFG tote bag! Move over sammich…this gal made my day!


like buttah (without the dairy)

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The recipe for these melt-in-your-mouth cookies originally appeared in Clean Eating. They are more chocolate chunk than chip.


Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten and dairy free!)

1 cup unsalted almond butter, stirred well
¾ cup Sucanat
1 large egg
½ tsp baking soda (gluten free)
¼ tsp sea salt
3 oz dark chocolate chunks (70% cocoa or greater)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients until blended.
Stir in chocolate.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes (if you can wait that long).
Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 15 more minutes (as if).

almond butter rice crispy treats

Just 4 ingredients and a whole lotta yum!

Just four ingredients and a whole lotta yum!

Dr. Jodi Larry‘s Almond Butter Rice Crispy Treats

¼ cup almond butter
2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup brown rice crispy cereal (I used brown rice puffs)
1 tbsp cacao nibs

In a bowl, stir together almond butter and maple syrup.
Quickly heat in a pan for a few minutes until ingredients become soft.
Mix well and add in the cereal and cacao nibs; stir and mix.
Roll into balls and freeze for 5 minutes. Store in the freezer or fridge.

green goddess dressing

This nutrient-rich Green Goddess dressing

This nutrient-rich green dressing is versatile. Enjoy it on a salad, brown rice bowl or quinoa or as a dip for raw veggies.


Dr. Jodi Larry‘s Green Goddess Dressing

1 garlic clove (use ½ if you don’t like it too garlicky)
¼ cup water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 avocados
½ cup packed fresh parsley
½ cup spinach
1 tbsp chopped green onion
½ cup lemon juice
4-5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne (optional but recommended)
½ tsp pure maple syrup

Put garlic clove into food processor and process until finely chopped.
Add in water, olive oil, avocados, greens and onion; process until mixed well.
Add in lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, then salt, cayenne and maple syrup.

gluten-free with Gusto

Up on the Gusto 101 rooftop, cobalt appears to be the new black.

Cobalt was the new black up on the Gusto 101 rooftop patio at Portland and King. This industrial enoteca is the first restaurant in Toronto to have a year-round rooftop patio.


Rooftop blah blah

Us press peeps (in my other life, I am an editor and work for KingWest magazine) were there to witness the auto-body-shop-turned-resto’s new retractable glass roof. As it opened up to blue skies in just nine minutes, we were lucky enough to dine al fresco on such a sunny spring day, tasting the gems from Gusto’s Nonna family-style sharing menu. (Photo: Henrieta Hansikova)


Gusto 101's sought-after kale salad.

Gusto 101 is not a gluten-free restaurant but some of its dishes are naturally gluten free, like the salads, including the much-coveted Cavolo Nero. This insalata is insane. Lacinate kale, zante currants, toasted pine nuts, shaved pecorino and lemon vinaigrette. I could have licked the entire platter clean but people were watching.


Carpaccio made the carnivores at the table happy.

Beef tenderloin carpaccio with truffled cannellini beans and pecorino was a hit among the carnivores at the table. The beef tartare, polipo (octopus) and most items prepared on the grill, including the salmon and chicken, are also gluten free.


Executive chef Daniel Mezzolo dished up a special gluten-free fusilli al funghi

Executive chef Daniel Mezzolo—whose motto when it comes to cooking is “simple is best”—dished up a special gluten-free corn fusilli ai funghi for me. (The regular version of this dish, fettuccine ai funghi, is Gusto’s most popular pasta.) I completely inhaled it and I don’t like mushrooms. That’s how good the food is here. Any pasta dish on the menu can be made with gluten-free noodles (with the exception of the ravioli). When the waitress asked me if I had an allergy or sensitivity, it made me feel like they understand that there are varying reasons for eating gluten free, some that require more serious diligence when it comes to food preparation.


Post lunch, the cafe macchiato looked too pretty to drink but my dining companion said it tasted even better. I was happy to stick with my Gusto Bianco wine-on-tap, which can be had for $1 per ounce.

Post-lunch, the cafe macchiato looked too pretty to drink but my caffeinated colleague said it tasted even better. I was still happily sipping my Gusto Bianco wine-on-tap, made on the premises, which can be had for $1 an ounce.


blah blah blah

Our hosts sent us home with this washable “paper” bread bag made in Lucca, Italy. Seeing as our house is gluten free and fresh bread is scarce around here, I found another use for it. The bread bag can be yours too for $20 at Shop Gusto 101.