Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Atlanta's Gluten-free bakeries begins with American Gra-Frutti

During the next few weeks, I will be giving a shout-out to our local Atlanta area bakeries who specialize in cooking up gluten-free treats and make up mixes for people to buy.

One of my very favorites is American Gra-Frutti, owned by Marilyn Santulli.

Marilyn found she was gluten intolerant as she was about to open her bakery and quickly turned her business into a celebration of gluten-free baking.

We tried a number of her products and they were all just great!

Her cheese straw, cheese buttons, and graham crackers were simply wonderful! (Yes, I did say gluten-free graham crackers!)

My obvious favorite were the graham crackers though the cheese straw were not far behind. They were crisp and tasty with the perfect amount of heat. The cheese buttons were greatly appreciated by our gluten-intolerant young tasters. I think they could replace any cheese cracker on the market.

Marilyn has been on the news, featured in magazines and is now being sold at Whole Foods. This is quite an accomplishment for anyone, especially someone who makes a gluten-free product.

We will also trying out one of her bread mixes this weekend and will give a full report on that, too.

American Gra-Frutti is located in Roswell but their full line of products can be found on their website. It would be worth your while to at least check out since there are a number of very interesting recipes on this website, too.

Go to to explore. All her recipes and products are gluten-free and everything I tasted was very good.

Friday, May 23, 2014

More good foods from the GFAF Expo

At the GFAF Expo this past weekend I saw a number of new gluten-free products I would like to mention. I tried many of them and most were very good, especially to those who hadn't been eating any cakes, cookies, pies, fried foods and one of my favorites--tortillas.

Many vendors were really rolling out and baking pizza after pizza for attendees. It was a popular item. (To be fair, some of our local pizza places now have a gluten-free menus, including my favorite, Partners II Pizza which is the best pizza ever--but that is a topic for another day.) Above is the pizza served at the Smart Flour booth.

But back to tortillas--Rudi's has a new tortilla in several flavors and I tried a quesadilla they were dishing up. It was better than any gf tortilla I have tried so far. Rudi's has a compete line of organic wheat breads sold at Whole Foods. The gluten-free products have only been around a few+

Other new products on the horizon:

Ener-G is coming out with a new line of bread mixes and have hamburger and hot dog buns. Imagine that. They also have flours, dough amendments and a line of cookies, bread mixes and too many products to name. It will be very interesting to try their new breads.

Smart Flour is out with pizza, crusts, desserts and amazingly, hamburger buns. They were telling me that they are beginning to sell their gf crusts and buns to local and national vendors--so, when you go to a restaurant, you may be tasting a Smart Flour product. They also have a flour that is a mix of sorghum, amaranth and teff that they call "ancient grain." I would love to try it but I haven't seen it in local stores around here.

Udi's, clearly the biggest player in the gluten-free market is really one of a group of companies in the "healthy-eating/lifestyle" business. They have almost everything you can name, including a whole line of breads, muffins, snack foods, pizza crust and well--everything. Some of their products are good and some are very, very good. Go to their website to see their full line of products. They offer coupons, too.

Glutinos, a partner with Udi's has those really good gluten-free pretzels, seems to be branching out with new products, especially snack foods, cookies, baking mixes, and even a sports/energy drink that is a bit like a milk drink. Also, they have a toaster pastry. How mainstream is that?

 Plentils is a snack new product we tried by Enjoy Life. They also have their full line of delicious cookies that my daughter raves about and their new chips that include lentils were good and come in SO many flavors. Enjoy Life also carries gf chocolate chips so we have liked them for quite a few years for that. They seem to specialize in allergen-free products, not just gluten-free. If you tried them in the past and weren't that impressed, try them again. Their cookies and snack bars ARE better than ever. You can also get a coupon on their website.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nature's Path and some giveaways

As I think about this past weekend's GFAF Expo at the Cobb Galleria, I first think of Nature's Path who was the author's sponsors for the Expo. Nature's Path is a company you may already be familiar with because of their complete line of organic breakfast cereals, granola bars and other breakfast goodies. One of their products is the popular Envirokidz cereals. They also have a line of gluten-free cereals, oatmeals and chia cereals (Qi'a).

We were right next to this company and they made it a happy place because in addition to the coupons they were giving out, they were getting folks to "taste-test." They had several cereals in little cups to taste and they would ask passersby to taste and tell them their favorite. 

Mine, of course, was the Sunrise Crunchy Cinnamon cereal that in addition to a quick breakfast meal, would make a wonderful snack for kids and adults alike. All of their products are certified organic and non-GMO certified. The cereals are super crunchy without being too hard. How do you do that? The other choices were good, too. One with vanilla was getting high marks.

 One thing I really liked about them is that they were so friendly and nice to everyone, especially all the kids who could count on a big smile, a "how's it going?" and a perfect fist bump.

In addition to their sale in most local groceries, Nature's Path has an online store and I think you would like their cereals. The cost is not too high for organic cereal, especially with the price of regular cereals in the grocery store. (The online price is $4.39.) It would be worth a try for breakfast and for snacks. There is sugar (cane sugar), but the Cinnamon version also has corn, quinoa, flax, buckwheat and amaranth--all healthy grains.

Also, today we will begin a giveaway for Delight Magazine. Just leave a comment (Enter Me!) and win two magazines. One for you and one to give away. We were right across from them and they gave us some of their current issues to give away. Very nice!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A weekend at the GFAF Expo

This past weekend, my daughter and I set up shop at the Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expo at the Cobb Galleria.

This week I want to dedicate my blog to information about products and information I learned about at the rewarding expo.

We sold our books to dozens of wonderful people who came, hoping to find some good products to aid them in their gluten-free and allergy-free lifestyle that they have to cope with in order to have productive lives without wheat and a long list of other ingredients. Things like peanut allergies and tree nut allergies, egg allergies and SO many more.

I was so impressed because the people were so happy to be there--FINALLY! a place where people made them feel special, rather than excluded!

You can see a few of the products on our other blog: No apologies GF

No Apologies Gluten-free.

We even have this unfortunate selfie of my daughter and me that was taken after we set up our booth. I think selfies should probably be illegal, but that's is how I look early in the morning.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Benefits of attending the GFAF Expo--this Saturday!

It's almost time for the GFAF Expo at the Cobb Galleria. I really hope to see you there. We will be there with our new book, meeting and greeting all the GFAF visitors and vendors.

What are the benefits of attending? 

You will see over 150 vendors who will be giving away samples and coupons for every kind of gluten- and allergy-free food you can imagine!

There will be plenty of samples.

New products will be launched there.

You can attend classes to help you in your gluten and allergen-free lifestyle.

A free bad to carry home the loot.

Plus, you will get to see us there where you can get to know us in person--and buy one of our books.

My daughter and I are really looking forward to meeting you--so get your ticket today!

We can't wait.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Time for Mexican!

OK! It's the fifth of May so here's a good reason to bring out the Mexican recipes--as if we needed a good  excuse! Mexican food is great! This is a favorite recipe for our family.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground beef
1 8 oz. package Mexican-style saffron rice, prepared according to directions (I used Vigo Mexican rice, but it does have MSG and corn solids. I think any kind of rice mix would work.)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or green onions)
1 can black beans, drained
1 large tomato, chopped
jalapeno pepper, chopped (use more if you like it hot)
1 tsp. Adobo seasoning (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
6 green bell peppers, washed and halved, lengthwise with seeds and cores removed
cilantro, chopped
4 to 6 oz. Mexican cheese grated (I used Sargento artisan blend)
4 to 6 tablespoons water

Cook rice according to directions. Brown ground beef in large frying pan until well browned and "scrambled." Drain ground beef. Add garlic and brown. Add rice, beans, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, seasonings and salsa. Mix well. Pour half of the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and pour 4 to 6 tablespoons of water over rice mixture. Stuff peppers and place on top of the rice mixture in casserole. Sprinkle with cilantro and bake, covered at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or until peppers are soft. Uncover and sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Bake for 15 minutes longer and the dish is ready to serve.