Sunday, March 27, 2016

Arizona: Gluten-Free Good Eats: Part 2

I love when I find a small, privately owed gluten-free restaurant that makes good on their promises. Cafe 8 is one such restaurant.

I went online to find a gluten-free breakfast place, I felt safe eating at in Mesa. As many of you know, that can be a difficult task. I read some great reviews about Cafe 8, so I checked out their menu. We were meeting my brother there, who does not have food restrictions, so I wanted to be sure he would also enjoy his meal. And I am glad I did, the food is excellent!! Check out the menu. 

Cafe 8 is tucked away in the corner of a strip center in Mesa, Arizona.  We got there soon after it opened, so we were able to visit with Alex and Tracey, the owners, for a while. As you might guess, I had lots of questions, and they were happy to answers them all.

They opened Cafe 8 in 2013, after moving from San Francisco.  As they were remodeling  the place, people would stop by to talk with them. They soon discovered the need for a gluten-free menu in the area. They already used organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, and excellent quality food so taking the next step to including gluten-free food seemed logical. Tracey was well aware of celiac disease, as her aunt suffers from it, so she began exploring the best way to include gluten-free food in their menu.
Cafe 8: Gluten-Free Breakfast

During her research, she began to put 2 and 2 together, and realized that her young son, might also be suffering from celiac disease. He had been suffering from bully distention, brain fog and some of the classical symptoms of celiac disease. After 4 months of eating gluten-free, her son went from straight D's in school to straight A's and he physically felt much better.

Cafe 8: Gluten-Free
Tracey converted her home to a gluten-free zone and soon did the same for the restaurant. They carry regular bread but don't make it in the restaurant so that there is no cross contamination. The only flour used in the restaurant is gluten-free.

Tracey bakes all the desserts and on Saturday's she makes gluten-free and dairy-free desserts.
Cafe 8 Gluten-Free Desserts

This restaurant is a "must visit" if you are in or near Mesa,  Arizona.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Picazzo's in Arizona: Great Gluten-Free Eats

The car ride to Arizona is a continuous view of desert scenery. A stunning blue sky goes endless forward and so does the dry, arid desert. The desert is sprinkled with cactus and other burly looking growth with a few occasional mountains.  At first the view is interesting but after a few hours it becomes hypnotic, which can be a problem when you are driving.

It is the occasional oddity that makes the drive fun.

On the road to Arizona

These "ladies" traveled along side us for a few hundred miles. They must have been wearing a lot of sunscreen to stay so pale.

What made the drive even more tolerable was the knowledge that Picazzo's was awaiting our arrival.
Picazzo's: Gluten-Free and Allergen Free
We eat at Picazzo's both nights we were in Arizona, even though it was 25 minutes from our hotel.
95% of the food at the restaurant is gluten-free. They offer a  choice of gluten-free pizza crust or regular. Everything else including all the pasta is gluten-free. 

My favorite thing was the Apple Cobbler with Coconut Ice Cream - Amazing!!!!!!!

Picazzo's Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Apple Cobbler

The first night we had Spicy Thai Peanut Fusilli and  Spicy Uncle Louie Linguine,  which were both delicious. After 6 1/2 hours of driving, I was very hungry and forgot to take a photo before devouring 1/2 th plate.

The second night I had Bianca, (Linguine, Chicken and Vegan Alfredo Sauce). Richard (who eats dairy occasionally) decided to order the Baked Mac's and Cheese.  He was in heaven.

Picazzo's is always a great gluten-free oasis.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What's New at the Expo

Here are some of the headlines from the 2016 Natural Products Expo West:

New Products are on the way. 

Enjoy Life: Always Gluten-Free    
                                                         ProBurst Bars:
Enjoy Life
    Cinnamon Spice Chocolate
    Cranberry Pomegranate
       Cocoa & Roasted Sunseed Butter
       Mango Habanera
Crunchy Cookie Mini Cookies:
  Chocolate Chip
Double Chocolate
Vanilla Honey Graham
Sugar Crisp
      Soft Baked Mini Cookies:
Chocolate Chip
Double Chocolate Brownie


Gluten-Free Organic Tempura Style Sweet Potato Sticks
Gluten-Free Organic Tempura Style Green Beans
Gluten-Free Organic Crispy Potato Puffs
Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Bread Crumbs

King Arthur: Recap

King Arthur 

King Arthur is changing its gluten-free packaging this year so be on the lookout for a blue box with bold white lettering saying. “GLUTEN-FREE”.

Gluten-Free New Products:
Measure-For-Measure Flour
Sugar Cookie Mix
Cornbread Mix
Pumpkin Bread Mix
Pie Crust Mix


Gluten-Free Soft Donuts with Vanilla Icing
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Snyder's Gluten Free

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bite Size Sandwich Cookies

Pamela’s: All products are Gluten-Free

Nut Flour Blend
Grain-Free Pancake Mix
Buckwheat Pancake Mix
Protein Pancake Mix
Buttermilk Pancake Mix
Non-Dairy Pancake Mix
6 Grain Pancake Mix


Gramwich: Chocolate and Graham-Style Sandwich Bars (Gluten-Free)
Banana Bread: Chewy Baked Whole Grain Snack Bars  (Gluten-Free)

Check out for information of some of Marian’s favorite up and coming new gluten-free products.

Monday, March 21, 2016

King Arthur: New Set Of Clothes

King Arthur's New Look
King Arthur not only had new gluten-free products at the Expo, they had a whole new look. Coming in the Summer of 2016.

The boxes for their gluten-free products will soon look that boxes in the photo. Personally, I liked the old look better but change is inevitable and as long as they haven't changed their cake and pancake recipes, I am happy. 

Unfortunately these are the only pictures of the new products I have, so let me tell  you what's new.

Gluten-Free New Products:
Top item: Measure-For-Measure  Flour
Left Top: Sugar Cookie Mix
Left Bottom: Cornbread Mix
Right Top: Pumpkin Bread Mix
Right Bottom: Pie Crust Mix

I am very excited about the Measure-For-Measure Flour, if it is as good as King Arthur's other Gluten-Free products, it could save us a lot of time using individual flours and starches.

I tried the pie crust at the Expo and I was impressed. It was light, buttery and flaky 

I look forward to trying all the new gluten-free products when they hit the stores.

Friday, March 18, 2016

BraziBites- Yum

Cameron and Junea found a way to share their favorite food memories from their homeland, Brazil and share it with us. 
Cameron and Junea Founders of BraziBites

Junea shares:    The Family Recipe

It’d been four years since I’d moved to the U.S. to be with my husband Cameron, so I called my mother in Brazil and asked for our family recipe. She was excited and quick to share the family secrets that made “the perfect cheese bread.” Cameron and I made our first batch in our home kitchen that summer.

BraziBites: Gluten-Free

My husband came with me to the Expo one day. We had been there for several hours and it was hot and crowded. He had begun to regret his decision to come see what all the fuss was about, when we stopped at the BraziBites booth. One "bite" of these amazing treats and all doubt was gone. He turned to me and said, "These made the whole day worth while."

Go to the website at Find Us to see if BraziBites are selling near you. 

BraziBites are naturally gluten-free, non-GMO , sugar-free,100% natural, no trans fat but do contain dairy. They can be found at Whole Foods, so next time you are there, give then a try.

You may have seen this product on Shark Tank last November, I know I did. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

You Can Have Your Cookie Dough and Eat It Too!

As a child, my favorite part of homemade cookies was getting to eat the raw dough. BUT then we found out that it was not safe to eat raw cookie dough and the end of cookie dough eating began.

Eating Raw Cookie Dough is  back!

Alpendough- Vegan and Gluten-Free

Alpendough has created a Gluten-Free and  Vegan (no eggs) cookie dough that tastes amazing. These cookies were by far my favorite cookies I tried at the Expo. They are soft and gooey. The flavor is fabulous and the raw cookie dough was so much fun to sample.  

I came home from the Expo feeling very good about the future of gluten-free products. There are many new and innovative companies bringing quality products to the market. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gluten-Free Klippy's

Every once in awhile, I meet someone that I can tell is special and a person I want to get to know. Laura Klipp, the creator of Gluten Free Klippy's, is one such person. I met Laura the 1st day of the Natural Food Products Expo West. Her booth was surrounded by people clamoring to try her delicious cookies. 
Laura Klipp

I got to talk to Laura for a few minutes.  It was while she was working as a pastry chef, at a French Restaurant, that her health started to fail. She later discovered that it was the exposure to flour (gluten) that was making her so ill. Laura's health issues and love for baking eventually led her to develop the fabulous gluten-free products that she sells. For more details about her journey, go to

The products are certified gluten-free, made in a dedicated facility, and contain only non-GMO ingredients.  These cookies are delicious and well worth trying. 

Klippy's has 3 basic catergories:

1. Gourmet  Frozen Cookie Dough- Gluten Free

Gluten-Free Klippy's Frozen Cookie Dough

2. NEW - Fresh Baked Cookies: Gluten-Free, Egg Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free, and Nut-Free

   3. Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
Gluten-Free Klippy's All Purpose Flour
Let's show Laura that we appreciate her dedication to bringing the gluten-free world fabulous baked goods, by trying her products. 

Monday, March 14, 2016


Toosum-GlutenFree Oatmeal Bars
I meet Peter Guyer, founder and chief executive officer of Toosum,at the Natural Products Expo West. As we talked, he asked me if I would blog about his company. I responded, "If I like your product I will." He gave us samples and off we went. Unfortunately, they contain sunflower seeds, which I am allergic to, so I had my sister's family try them out.

Well, the Toosum bars got their seal of approval and then some. Even my teenager niece enjoyed them.

It is nice to have a 100 calorie gluten-free bar available that tastes great and has many health benefit including:

Low in sugar and no refined sugars
Certified gluten-free
No artificial anything
Gluten-free rolled oats—heart-healthy fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol
Chia seeds—full of omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce risk of heart disease
Cashew butter – monounsaturated fat to help improve cardiovascular health
Chicory root—another protein-packed, fiber-rich ingredient to help your digestive system
Sunflower seeds—packed with vitamin E and antioxidants
Coconut—loaded with fiber to improve digestion and stabilize glucose levels
Banana—high in potassium to help lower blood pressure and tryptophan to help boost your mood
Acai berries—high in powerful antioxidants to help boost the immune system and slow the body’s aging process.
Cranberries—loaded with antioxidants and proanthocyanidins, polyphenols that keep bacteria
Cherries—an excellent source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium
Plums – a good source of fiber that helps normalize blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of sugars
Blueberries—high in powerful antioxidants and vitamin C to help boost the immune system and brain function.
Greek yogurt—loaded with probiotics to support healthy digestion

Finally a Gluten-Free Pretzel Without a Weird Aftertaste!

Snack Time Gluten-Free Pretzels
Snack Time Mini Pretzels Crisps are the best gluten-free pretzels I have eaten. Most gluten-free pretzels taste good for the first couple of bites but quickly the aftertaste sets in. Not these crisps.
These little treats have a great crunch and a buttery flavor. The bag is only 110 calories and 1 gram of sugar, which adds to their appeal.

Gluten-Free Pretzel Crisps
Enjoy these pretzel crisps by themselves or use them with dip. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Gluten-Free Baking Made Easy by BELLA Gluten-Free

I am ready to share the treasures I discovered at the Natural Products Expo West now that my feet stopped aching and my head has cleared from the dull sound of 65,000 people talking all at one time. I approached the Expo very differently this year. 

Every year I race to find out what new products the big GF companies have and during the exploration, I find some new GF companies. This year I decided to reverse the process and seek out the new, up and coming GF companies. I love the GF world and really want to focus on helping it grow. 

I uncovered some great finds, which I will blog about this week. I went with my sister, who is also GF, and we have some favorites. Since my sister and I are also dairy-free, we couldn't try everything,but many companies were kind enough to send us home with mixes,etc,so we could test them. 

We were fascinated with BELLA  Gluten-Free Cup-To-Table in Minutes. 
Mary Capone. the owner and creator of the company has ingeniously come up with a way to package spectacular testing GF baked goods so that we can bake with ease. 

Cup-To-Table In Minutes
With a few simple steps you can have wonderful tasting baked goods!
Skip the measuring of multiple flours and dry goods and just add butter of choice, milk of choice and an egg and you are on your way to eating great treats. 

Bella Gluten-Free

The company was started in 2010 by Mary Capone . Her story below is from their webpage

Diagnosed with celiac disease, our founder, Mary Capone combines her gluten-free mastery with her love of the kitchen to create scrumptious gluten-free, allergen-free cuisine. Mary is a cookbook author, and nationally known instructor of gourmet gluten and allergen-free foods. As a celiac chef with celiac kids, Mary has designed mixes that not only have great taste and texture but include plenty of healthy ingredients as well.

Bella Gluten-Free™ is created in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
                                                         products are 100% natural
                                                         allergen-friendly baking mixes