Friday, July 20, 2012

Gluten Free Cutie- I Finally Love a Cupcake in Atlanta area!

Gluten Free Cutie's Gluten Free Whoopie Pie
With visions of Red Velvet Cupcakery's gluten free black velvet cupcake in my head (from when we lived in DC area last year- see my cupcake wars blog post here), I have been settling for frozen Whole Foods Markets chocolate cupcakes because they are the tastiest I could get my hands on.  Well, finally, I have found a DELICIOUS cupcake place in Roswell, GA, about 20 minutes from mi casa.
Gluten Free Cutie is a boutique bakery with shabby-chic interior-even a porch swing inside- where all offerings are gluten free, dye free, egg free, peanut free and some dairy free.  It's a mom & pops shop with close attention to detail and a variety of gluten free goodies, from apple pie and buns to quiche.  I sampled several items:

Whoopie Pies- they were ok...fudgy, dense, a touch dry with a filling resembling marshmallow fluff.  Didn't finish it.  A bite was enough.

Apple-Pie-In-A-Jar which was flavorful and served warm with a flaky, buttery crust and sugary, crumbly topping- 5 stars!

Cake Pops that were loaded with flavor, but overly sweet for my taste.  Didn't finish mine.

and, of course,

 Cupcakes  that were all with a great, fluffy-ish texture, great flavors from which to choose, many with fillings and lovely and tasty frostings (not that overly sugary buttercream, more like a soft, mushy, frosting with a bit of a marshmallow-like texture to it) and toppings.  Two thumbs way up for the best-seller, The Devil Went Down to Georgia!  Seth (part-time gluten-eater) loved it as well!  I also loved the Cinnamon one and the peach one with peach fruit inside.  The Smore's one was pretty good, with a springy, marshmallow "frosting" with a hint of graham cracker flavoring and a chocolate cake with chocolate-filled center.
     Best of luck to the newly open Gluten Free Cutie!  Seth felt the inside of the shop was a bit loud acoustically, with it hard to have an intimate conversation without everyone hearing you, or you hearing them.  I would suggest that they partner with Sally's (frozen foods) Bakery to sell frozen baked goods in larger quantities that people can take home, while bringing in more traffic for GFC.  I think it's a tough row to hoe for gluten free only places to go it alone.

Cake Pops from Gluten Free Cutie

Inside of Gluten Free Whoopie Pie

Gluten Free Apple Pie In A Jar

Flaky, light, delectable gluten free pie crust!

S'mores/Campfire gluten free cupcake

The fillings inside the cupcakes add something special!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How to Make Gluten Free Granola

Gluten Free Granola, made with honey, nuts, raisins, and Bob's Red Mill gluten free certified oats. 
It was at-home cuddle-time movie night.  My Marine helped me make homemade gluten free granola for a movie snack to layer atop peanut butter apple slices as we watched Our Idiot Brother, a movie that actually had a very realistic portrayal of a parole officer (like me!) played by one of my favorite actors, Sterling Brown, the guy who plays Roland on Army Wives!
Anyway, I looked up a regular granola recipe here. We subbed Bob's Red Mill gluten free certified oats, and added some sunflower seeds, ground flax, and pumpkin seeds (sex drive boosters, it's true- see here).  It was super quick and easy to make, smelled fantabulous and tasted great, even before baking.  This stuff had me asking, WHY did I ever buy gluten free granola???

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Questionable Pan-fried Gluten Free French Toast

2 Breads Gluten Free Whole Foods White Bread and Light White Bread made as classic French Toast.  
Seth (who doesn't care for GF bread at all) loved it.  He gobbled up all of his and one of mine.  I liked the bottom piece ok (the smaller, "Whole Foods White Bread").  It was a bit spongy and springy in texture, but tasted fine.  The larger, "light white"WF gf bread piece was too soggy to me, and I didn't like it at all.  Most of the recipes I google for gluten free french toast are for baking it, or call for baking your own bread first.  All that is too much work.  I grew up with a single mom who just threw stuff in a pan and stayed skinny doing it (we didn't use real butter or real cream or other stuff that the chubbier moms used).  Although she did whisk up her own cinnamon syrup, which I won't share the recipe.  It's too special.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dining Gluten Free at Random Greasy Spoon Diners

(RANDOM)DINERS-No gf menu- I will often eat at random diners (especially while traveling and desperate for fresh and hot food) as long as I trust the server is listening to my needs, and especially when I can SEE them preparing the food. I explain my "allergy", cc, and order an omelet or eggs to be cooked in a clean pan (rather than the grill), with clean utensils. Sometimes I'll order hash browns or grits, after much interrogation. Bacon, I have to ask if they set it on bread to drain the grease. Fruit, juice, or yogurt round-out the meal.  Sometimes, I bring my own gf bread or biscuit.  Remember, celiacs HATE IHOP with a passion- IHOP even puts gluteny pancake batter in their EGGS-not recommended, steer clear!

Pizza Fusion- SOOO GOOOD!

Gluten free pizza at Pizza Fusion in Miami, FL, 2011.

Cake-like, tasty gluten free brownie at Pizza Fusion.

PIZZA FUSION-chain w/multiple locations-gf options on reg menu-We don't have one near us in Atlanta, but we eat at Pizza Fusion when we travel.  Well-trained staff and consistently good gluten free pizza with a thicker crust and better toppings than most places is why we like it.  They also have a really good cake-like, gluten free, fluffy brownie.  I love it here!  The gluten free menu is great!  Order at the counter, very casual, similar to a fast-food atmosphere.

Buckhead Pizza- Pretty Good Pizza!

Shrimp FLATBREAD at Buckhead Pizza Company in Georgia.  Pretty good, but similar to the pizza.  Thicker than most gf crusts.
BUCKHEAD PIZZAgf pizza crust available on reg menu-multiple locations in Atlanta area-I like the gf pizza here.  The crust is not too thin and doesn't get too mushy.  They serve Redbridge gluten free beer.  It tends to take a long time and be busy and loud there.  One time I got a burned pizza that took almost an hour.  Some locations have entertainment at night.  They also have a gf flat bread that is from the same pizza dough.  

Yeah! Burger

Hot Dog on a gluten free bun with fries from a dedicated gluten free fryer at the eco-friendly Yeah! Burger.  
(Atlanta-Virginia Highlands & West End on Howell Mill)-gf menu-I recommend this place.  GF onion rings, fries, buns, hot dogs, etc.  I prefer the fries over the onion rings (I make my own onion rings with Orgran bread crumbs that are far superior).  The West End location grills the buns and has better service.  The buns fall apart, but who cares?  The hot dog is tasty.  Good food, diner atmosphere.  I also found a coupon when I checked in on my cell phone on Facebook and Foursquare.  They also have a frequent diner card.  They even had a copy of a gluten free magazine to peruse while I waited.  Casual, you order at the counter.  Indoor and outdoor seating.

Good Grub Subs Lives Up To Its Name: Alpharetta, GA

My gluten free hoagie BLT and an Udi's chocolate chip cookie at Good Grub Subs in 2012.

GOOD GRUB SUBS-Alpharetta, GA-non-gf items marked on reg menu- I like their sandwiches.  They use a large size of Udi bread and offer Udi cookies and stuff.  They also have a gluten free hoagie bread.  The bread can be a bit dry and crumbly, but it is good as gluten free bread goes.  The toppings are great.  I think they use Boar's Head, but not sure.  Mufaletta gluten free?  Yep!  Wide variety of sandwiches here!

Cheeseburger in Gluten Free Paradise

Bacon Cheeseburger on Gluten Free Bun at Cheeseburger in Paradise with freshly fried potato chips.

Potato Chips with nacho toppings, a gluten free appetizer I eat as a meal when I'm being naughty.
My boyfriend loves Cheeseburger in Paradise.  There is a sports bar here and it's right near Perimeter Mall in Atlanta.  I've had most everything on the gluten free menu: burgers on gf buns, bbq chicken sandwich, salads, fish, fish sandwich.  It's all tasty and filling.  It's very loud there.  The managers bring your food out when you are gluten free.  The gluten free bun is fine, it does fall apart.  I'm happy for any gf bun.  I had an odd experience at a location in Florida where the manager got confused about gluten free and fryers, but I never did get sick.

Peter's of Dunwoody

We went to Peter's of Dunwoody, in Dunwoody, GA, based on a friend's recommendation of their gluten free chicken parmesan that is to-die-for.  Well, I must say, we went without reservations on a Friday night and there was no wait.  The totally nineties, frumpy, brown dining room was almost empty, and we were the only patrons under age 50.  To our amazement, the frowning hostess took it upon herself to ask if we'd called ahead.  My Marine and I exchange glances.  Should we go wait at PF Chang's?
The waiter was less frowny, but when asked what was gluten free, he apologized profusely and said only pasta.  Due to my friend's recommendation, I asked for the chicken parmesan, and was served a delicious chicken parmesan, without breading, over gf pasta (which seemed to be corn pasta, not my fave).  Now you know, chicken is NOT my favorite.  This chicken was JUICY, the marinara sauce was flavorful, and the pasta was ok.  The Major's gluteny lobster ravioli was amazing, he says.  I brought my own Against the Grain baguette.
 It was a nice meal, but we were not full afterwards- I skip lunch on days I know I'm dining out for dinner.  I wish it had been served with veggies.  Seth enjoyed the caesar salad and I loved the caprese salad (mozz & tomato with a green dressing).  Seth also had spumoni ice cream and coffee, which was served in a country mug decorated with little birds on a branch, just like at Grandma's house!  In the nineties, of course.

Gluten Free Favorites