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Bob’s Cornbread Muffin Mix

Cornbread Muffins

Our Cornbread 'Mini' Muffins

We recently spent time as a family suffering with the flu.  Not too much fun, and sometimes even more difficult with Celiac.  For whatever reason, we crave certain things when sick, namely, a good bowl of warm chicken soup and some bread or toast.  At least we do!  So unless you can find good gluten free noodles and bread, you just cannot make it through cold and flu season easily.

Luckily, we decided to try the Bob’s Cornbread mix.  We picked up a mix at Kroger and figured we would give it a try.  Regular cornbread tends to be dry, so we did not expect the gf version to impress us.  Even so, we figured if we made ‘mini-muffins’ in our mini pans, maybe they would not dry out as much.

Drumroll please….success!  The smaller muffins were more moist, especially when we coated them with honey.  They made a GREAT complement to the gf chicken noodle soup ‘Grammie’ made for the girls.  With a sweetish flavor, they reminded us of the Bisquick pancake mix.  We definitely see some uses outside of just muffins, maybe as a coating for chicken for nuggets, or other coatings.

Today’s Farm at BJs!

Today's Farm

Another Gluten Free Fruit Treat!

Every time we stop at the warehouse store BJs, we find yet another gluten free product.  I do not know if Costco’s and Sam’s Club carry some of the same products, but my mother-in-law found yet another gluten free product at the BJs in North Raleigh across from Triangle Towne Center.

Today’s Farm has put out a line of freeze dried fruit in individual packets.  First thing I thought: another great snack for school or travel.  Each packet carries the ‘a full serving of fruit’ tagline, so again we feel pretty good giving the girls this snack.  We picked up Mixed Berry.  Yum!

More Gluten Free Cookies–Snickerdoodles!

Cookies

GF Snickerdoodles

My mother-in-law found another good recipe for gluten free cookies using the new GF Bisquick.  You can find the recipe here: http://www.liveglutenfreely.com/Recipes/Details.aspx?recipeId=a7b3dde6-a627-4b80-8b00-cfa8c319ae7a

A nice easy recipe for snickerdoodles.  We love these with milk!

Disney Dining: GF Cookies for Dessert

GF Cookie

GF Dessert at Disney

The infamous gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that every Disney restaurant wanted to give us.  We saw the websites that talked about brownies and other things, but except for our resort (Pepper Market at Coronado Springs), we only found cookies at both Pecos Bill’s and Cosmic Ray’s.  I do need to say, these cookies were good!  Not only soft and fresh, but the picture does not truly show how large they were.  Pretty nice to know you can get these.  We often would only eat one, and stash the other away for later.

Disney Dining: Princess Lunch at Akershus (Epcot)

GF Reservation

Allergy Reservation Receipt

On Day Two, we headed to Epcot for our scheduled Princess Storybook Lunch.  We went back and forth between Cinderella’ s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom and Akershus at Epcot.   We finally decided on Akershus because it sounded like a. there were more GF options and b. the real reason, more princesses would show up there.  So this was the meal that worried us most. We did not know what we may find here for the girls, but then we figured, they only wanted to see the princesses, so who cares!

When we checked in (you MUST register 90 days in advance to get a reservation!), they stamped Allergy on the receipt.  Ok, I definitely liked that, as it showed they were aware of our allergies.  Once they showed us to our seats, the chef came out to ask what our girls would like.  We ended up doing a plain chicken again with vegetables.

Akershus also has a snack/fruit/bread bar that you go up to as you wish.  A buffet-style line obviously scares us due to cross-contamination, but we decided that some fruit would work.  So they chomped on that while waiting for the meal, or more likely, waiting for the princesses to come out.  The chicken came, in a large portion, and the girls did eat some.

Dessert was quite impressive.  Again, the chef came out to ask about the main entrée and then to see what the girls could eat.  He ended up bringing a type of ice cream with strawberries.  Of course, the girls only nibbled, as the princesses starting coming back to our area.  Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and Ariel each came to our table.  We actually saw Belle when we came in, and also receive a complementary picture package with her.  All in all, a pretty good experience, and we thank the folks at Akershus for making dealing with Celiac there a non-existent problem.

Akershus Sign

Princess Storybook Lunch

Disney Dining: Mickey Ice Cream

GF Ice Cream Bars

Mickey Ice Cream: Gluten Free!

So with then Disney dining plan, we could pick a snack each day.  A Disney snack constitutes a pretty wide variety of things.  You could choose a fresh piece of fruit, like a big apple or banana.  We did that at the resort we stayed at.  You could choose a soda or bottle of water, things we did as well.  Their popcorn is supposedly gluten free, so we did that one time.  And of course, you need to try the Mickey Ice Cream bars.  These were pretty big, and consisted of vanilla ice cream in the shape of Mickey with chocolate covering it.  Sort of like a Klondike.  Pretty good.  We each tried one on day one and enjoyed!  I do like the variety of options available for gluten free snacks.  You could also pick some other things like popsicles and lemonade.  Nice flexibility.

Disney Dining: Cosmic Ray’s

Hot Dog

Hot Dog at Cosmic Rays

Cosmic Ray’s became a favorite of our family during our trip. We ended up eating there three times! Probably due to its good location, right beside the Tea Cups and Tomorrowland, it always seemed we ended up there when needing a break. Inside, you face a vast area of seating, and of course, the star of the show, Sonny Eclipse will sing a variety of songs and tell some jokes. Think: Showbiz/Chuck E. Cheese type entertainment.

Just like a Pecos Bill’s, we told the cashier we needed a gluten free menu, and a person came out with a special menu, then put an ‘allergy’ alert on our order. Cosmic Ray’s is a good choice for all, since you go to different ‘bays’ for things like chicken, sandwiches, and burgers. Meal one there the girls got a hot dog on a gluten free bun, another gluten free cookie, and gf fries, which they prepared separately. Meal two we tried the rotisserie chicken which they served with mashed potatoes. Another gluten free cookie and a pack of grapes this time.  On our final trip, in trying to use up our meal plans, we did the hot dogs again and got Yoplait yogurts.  Nice to see a variety of things in one place.   We definitely appreciated the service from each of these places.  Made our entire visit much more enjoyable!

Grapes

Can't Go Wrong With Grapes

Disney Dining: Pecos Bill’s

Gluten free cheeseburger and fries

GF Cheeseburger and Fries at Disney's Pecos Bill's

When we flew into Orlando on Day One, we knew it would be a tough day.  We showed up at the airport at 5am to catch our flight, since we wanted to get to the park right away.  We caught the Disney Magical Express bus to the hotel, checked in, and headed to the Magic Kingdom.  After getting caught in a parade right away, we decided our cranky girls needed something better to eat than the candy they lived on so far that day.

As we walked through Frontierland, and checked the MK GF list on my EVO (click here for PDF), we saw Pecos Bill offered gluten free options.  We went up to the cashier and asked for a gluten free menu.  They sent out a special supervisor who shared a gluten free menu.  While we found the items on our list did not always match the existing menu, we always found gluten free options.  Here at Pecos Bill, we got the girls a cheeseburger on an EnerG gluten free roll, gluten free fries, and a LARGE gluten free pre-packaged cookie.  Oh, and a Yoplait yogurt too.  Great options!  We actually shared one cookie, and took the other to snack on later.  This definitely worked, as after they got good food in them, we headed out to It’s a Small World and enjoyed the day!

Vacationing to Disney World: With Celiac

GF Reservation

Allergy Reservation Receipt

So we finally decided to take the girls to Walt Disney World last year, the week after Thanksgiving.  After consulting many of the books (The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World being our favorite), websites (All Ears–Celiac Experiences), and friends, we felt pretty confident about spending some time at Disney.

We definitely were VERY please at every step of the trip.  From the chefs coming out to talk with us, to the large variety of gluten free options, I must admit Disney does a good job making everyone feel a part of their ‘magic.’

Over the next few posts, I will share some of our experiences, but we did go with the Disney Meal plan (the regular level, a table service, a counter service, and a snack for each of us each day).  Of course we  brought a TON of snacks that we kept in our backpacks, suitcases, and hotel each day.  We did NOT go for any of the ‘grocery’ delivery services or stop by a grocery store, but that is definitely an option for Celiac travelers.  Just look on any of the ‘unofficial’ Disney websites for some options.

Stay tuned!

Trader Joe’s Cider

Trader Joe Cider

A Warm Cider for Cold Winters' Nights...

Well, since we’re celebrating a snow day here in Raleigh, how about a post about warm apple cider?

So nothing says the holidays or winter like apple cider.  With Celiac, we need to be cautious with the various extras added to some ciders.  No fear with Trader Joe’s Pear Cinnamon Cider, as you can see the (g*) no gluten symbol clearly on the label.

Definitely pick up some of this cider–it tastes quite refreshing, served either cold or warm (20 seconds in the microwave works fine).  The girls both liked it for something different.