Aleia’s GF Oatmeal & Raisin cookies

Aleia’s GF Oatmeal & Raisin cookies

The base of these cookies is amazing, however the raisins are a bit tart and clash.  Overall, they are a great cookie to have on hand when you don’t have time to make your own.

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They’re a bit expensive (almost $7 for the bag), but there are a good amount of cookies in the bag and they stay incredibly fresh for a long period of time.  I ate them over about 3 or so weeks and they were still fresh and yummy til the end.  My friend bought them for me when she saw them at the commissary, but the big bummer is I haven’t been able to find them in store locally elsewhere. Amazon does have them 3 packs for $25.99 currently.

I bet an oatmeal chocolate chip of this company would be amazing, however since I cannot have soy, this is not an option for me (most chocolate chips including Aleia’s have soy lecithin, which some people even with soy allergies do not react to, but it still seems to bother me).  They have a few other flavors according to their website, but I have not tried them yet.

(As usual, I was not compensated in any way for my review, just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free or with food allergies! It’s also not medical advice.)

Sticky Fingers Bakeries GF blueberry scones

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These blueberry scones are amazing.  Not just “good for gluten free,” more like “better than the gluten kind” good!  They are not as dry as I find traditional scones to be, which is a plus in my book!  The smell and taste amazing and the ingredients are relatively un-junky (except for the canola oil, which still could be worse).

They’re safely made in a separate gluten free facility from their other baking mixes. The only top 8 allergen in the scone mix is milk.  The ingredients are: White Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Sugar, Wild Blueberries (Blueberries, Sugar with less than 2% Malic Acid, Canola Oil, Tartaric Acid, Natural Flavor), Buttermilk Powder, Tapioca Starch, Baking Powder, Canola Oil (Ascorbic Acid & Rosemary added to preserve freshness), Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor.

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Admittedly, my husband made them but he said they were easy to make.  He just put them like drop biscuits, but you could shape them more triangularly like traditional scones if you so desired.

So far I’ve only been able to find these at World Market and online at http://www.stickyfingersbakeries.com.  I’ve seen this company’s plain GF scones at Vitacost, but not yet Blueberry.

(As usual, I was not compensated in any way for my review, just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free or with food allergies! It’s also not medical advice.)

The BEST brownies and they’re gluten free!

King Arthur Gluten free Brownies

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There is no better way to describe these than that they are the same as the best gluten brownies in a box used to taste! They advertise as wheat free, soy free, nut free but appear to be “top 8” allergen free (so no wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish).  The recipe does call for eggs and melted butter (but I know those of you who are dairy free can make that easy modification to a dairy free butter or oil and I’ve not tried it with flax egg or egg replacer to know if that comes out well).  They are made in a dedicated GF facility, so those of you who know King Arthur for it’s gluten baking supplies, it’s a totally different place that they make the GF products! We love them for doing it right!

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These are a bit pricy and only make a small 8×8, but they are the only gluten free brownies I’ve found that still have the moistness, texture, and chocolatey taste like “normal” brownies. I have fooled my gluten eating friends with these even!  They sag a little in the middle when they’re done baking, but they still taste the yummiest!

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As usual, I was not compensated in any way for my review, just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free or with food allergies! It’s not medical advice.

Margaritaville Myrtle Beach, SC

When we went to visit family living in Myrtle Beach last summer, I was worried about what places I could safely eat.  They didn’t have many of my typical comfort restaurants near them it seemed.  I wasn’t new to gluten free, but I was new at traveling with gluten free, especially to someone’s house that had gluten in the kitchen.

We did Outback one night, which is a relatively safe (not perfect) chain, but we wanted something with more summer/beach vibe.  One place I knew had a great gluten free menu was Margaritaville, down at Broadway on the Beach–which is a cool Boardwalk type vibe, but it’s set a few miles away from the actual beach. Definitely a place to spend time if you’re in Myrtle Beach.

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Even though I’ve never heard of Jimmy Buffet having celiac, you might wonder because his sister restaurant Cheeseburger in Paradise is an amazing place for gluten free as well.  Since a burger and fries isn’t something I often can have and it looked the most appealing on their menu, that’s what I had.  They have GF buns and fries (dedicated fryer) here!  The decor/experience was really cool too.I forgot to take pictures of the food, but I did get a few shots of the inside of the restaurant.  Be warned, there is usually a wait of at least 30 minutes near any dinner time in summer, but for me safe food is worth that!

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Their burger was cooked well as I requested and tasted really good, the bun fell apart some but not too much for GF.  The most amazing thing was that they had a gluten free dessert.  An amazing dessert.  It was a monster bowl of brownie and ice cream and syrup and whipped cream! When it arrived, I was really sure this could not all be GF and checked with the server and online a few more times before indulging, but it was amazing and I felt fine after!  So, I recommend Margaritaville if you’re in Myrtle Beach and gluten free!

I was not compensated in any way for my review, just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free!

Turkey Pepperoni & Cheese GoPicnic meal

The GoPicnic boxes are favorites of many gluten free people.  Everytime I look for travel tips for gluten free, this is on the list.  Well, many of them have pork or pumpkin seeds, which are two unusual allergies I have, so I am not a fan overall.  There was one box I was able to eat all of the ingredients in back when I was first gluten free, that was their Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese box.  Now I avoid soy and they’ve changed fruit mix to a fruit & peanut mix, so I can’t eat all of the ingredients but here’s why I occasionally still buy the Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese.
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GoPicnic boxes certainly are a great idea, they have 4 or 5 items all neatly packed in a box that even has a soduku  puzzle’s inside written on the box, which is nice.  They are relatively crush proof and what I can eat in them has always been yummy.  They really should do a “Free of the Top 8” box, but at least I do enjoy some of the components (I’m lucky that I don’t waste the other parts, as my husband can use the rest in his lunches).
The real reason I buy these meals occasionally is because I LOVE the Copperbell Asiago Cheese spread–it’s really nice to have a shelf stable, non-nut protein to take on trips and when paired when some gluten free crackers, it can be quite filling.  The Crunchmaster Multi-seed crackers that come in the Turkey GoPicnic box are gluten free and tasty, but do contain soy so I no longer will eat them.

Their turkey pepperoni (currently Bridgford brand) is gluten free and yummy to put on a pizza, but too greasy to eat as part of a snack/meal otherwise.

The box also now has Baja Blend by Sweet Perry Orchards, which has peanuts and dried fruit, so that’s out for me too because of the peanuts.  It used to have a dried pineapple-cranberry mix called Tangy Tango by Sweet Perry Orchards that was quite tasty if you happen to still see that edition on your store shelves.  Apparently the Tangy Tango is no longer made, as I couldn’t find it to buy online anywhere even by itself.  😦

For dessert, the old boxes came with a mini-almond Roca bar, which had soy but the new ones have a yummy ZimZam hard caramel Lollipop that’s very sweet but yummy (has milk, which I can usually handle in small amounts as I only have a lactose issue).

I was not compensated in any way for my review, just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free!

(legalese)

La Mattina in Fayetteville, PA

-La Mattina on Rt. 30 between Chambersburg and Gettysburg

In what is an amazing display of how gluten free friendly central Pennsylvania is, in what feels like the middle of nowhere near Caledonia State Park, on Route 30 between Chambersburg and Gettysburg (officially in the town of Fayetteville) is an amazing little “mom and pop” Italian restaurant called La Mattina with several amazing gluten free options.  I had a cheese pizza and it came in a special foil pan so it didn’t touch the pizza oven and it came with my own person red and white plastic cutter (sealed in plastic)!  They seemed very knowledgeable when I asked about separate utensils, etc. Their very extensive gluten free menu also offered gluten free ravioli, stuffed shells, pierogies, and pasta!  I did not get sick at all from their pizza! The crust was a bit dry and flavorless, but the sauce and cheese made it tasty and the leftovers reheated well the next day.  It was a pretty large size (probably would comfortably feed 2, not your usual personal size for GF) and I think about $11.  I didn’t remember to take a picture, sorry!

(As usual, I was not compensated in any way for my review, just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free or with food allergies! It’s also not medical advice.)

Flinchy’s – great Gluten free options in Camp Hill, PA

I apologize I haven’t posted anything lately, life has gotten so very busy!  What a winter we’ve had, huh? You’ll be happy to know that despite my hiatus, I’ve been taking pictures and notes of lots of Gluten free goods & bads and I will be working on sharing them all soon!

Flinchy’s (Camp Hill, PA) dedicated fryer, GF pizzas

Another amazing place in central PA with a HUGE gluten free menu is Flinchy’s.  It’s on Hummel Avenue in Camp Hill, PA near the Capital City Mall.  They offer gluten free pizzas with unique toppings (last time we shared a Cheeseburger Pizza and a Chicken Parmesan pizza-both delicious and safe!). 

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They also have a dedicated fryer, so I could even have fries. They had a crabcake with cornstarch instead of flour so it was gluten free (and it was so delicious, I forgot to take a picture until I had eaten the crabcake!). It was real crab and not any or much filler, amazing!

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They also have wings, Redbridge GF beer, GF pasta! They suprisingly don’t have GF bread, but if you want to bring your own, you can have many of their sandwiches.

(Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review. I simply like to share my good & bad finds with other gluten free people).