Home Baked Gluten Free Buns using Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix

I’m a huge fan of Simple Mills line of mixes and products.  Pancake Mix, Muffins/Cupcakes Mix,  their almond cracker, cookies and now, their Artisan Break mix.  The mixes are generally just a handful of simple ingredients that I would characterize and higher quality, better choice ingredients.

In this post, I adapt Simple Mills excellent gluten free bread mix for use as buns.

I used Norpro’s Puffy Muffin Top Pan to make the buns.  I liked the size (4″ wide by 1/2″) deep and the 6 wells ended up working perfectly for one complete box of mix.

A look at Simple Mills Artisan Bread Box

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts.  Six ingredients that you can read and pronounce.

This mix can be made in at least three different ways – Flatbread, Dinner Rolls and Loaf.  I had tried the dinner rolls for a holiday meal and was very impressed.  That encouraged me to give buns a try.

The buns/muffin tops – I used the dinner roll recipe for this batch

Prior to try the dinner roll variation, I tried the flat bread variation.  The flat bread recipe is on the right.  Far too dense to be considered a bun, in my opinion.  The flat bread attempt turned out well but really a lot more like a biscuit than a bun.

I sliced the buns while they were still warm

Toasting two buns on my Little Griddle (on my electric stovetop).  I love my Little Griddle!

The finish toasted buns!

A gluten free sloppy joe!

These turned out really, really well.  I have never found a store bought, ready made gluten free bun that I like.  They fall apart, they’re mealy, they don’t taste good and they’re expensive.   I’ve had good GF buns in restaurants, but nothing that I could use at home.  Really glad to have a fresh baked option with quality ingredients.  Thank you to Simple Mills for making awesome products!

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A Celiac Traveler’s Best Friend? HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven

HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven

HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven by Hot Logic

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Enjoy a delicious meal wherever your day takes you
  • Use flat-bottomed, sealed-top containers-metal, plastic, glass, cardboard, ceramic food containers
  • Can accommodate food containers up to 8.75″W x 6.75″L x 2.5″H
  • Insulated tote with aluminum lining to maximize heat retention
  • Patent Pending
  • Enjoy a delicious meal wherever your day takes you
  • Use flat-bottomed, sealed-top containers-metal, plastic, glass, cardboard, ceramic food containers

As a Celiac Disease Sufferer, my options are severely limited when I’m driving.  Whether it’s a 5 hour trip to the Twin Cities or a 13 hour trip to Denver, my options are generally – cold food out of a cooler or whatever gluten free junk food I can find at a roadside gas station.

Enter the HotLogic Mini Personal Oven.  I received one of these as a gift and… love it.  It allows me to have safe, hot meals when taking a road trip.  I have the 6 cup  AC version.  Other sizes and power options are available.

You can use a 6 cup Pyrex container (included with mine) to warm up leftovers or warm up frozen entrees or something like a Freshly meal.  Note that heating times are much longer compared to the microwave.  Read the directions you receive with your until, but generally speaking, we’re talking about a couple of hours.  When I warm up Freshly meals (that are not frozen) and hour and a half seems to work pretty well.

I’ve mainly used this on driving trips, but it’s certainly small enough to fit in a carry on or checked bag.

I think this is a fantastic unit and I’m really glad to have more options when I’m out and about.  This saves me from having to eat junk food, go hungry, eat cold food or worry about finding a safe place when I’m on a trip.

Hot Logic – on Amazon

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Trip Report: Gluten Free in St Louis!

We decided to take a last minute Spring Break Trip to St Louis.  This was our first time visiting STL since my diagnosis.

St Louis has a lot to offer, it’s generally easy to get around, has a lot of good GF options and great attractions (many of them free).

I always use the Find Me Gluten Free app to scope out an area when traveling.  I suggest that you actively use it as well – write fair reviews and suggest new businesses to add.  That is a service to the gluten free community – we want to know what you know!  Since I have Celiac Disease, I generally filter by the Celiac Friendly tag and see what comes up.  Example – Celiac Friendly in St Louis, sorted by rating.

Our trip was really just a long weekend, so we didn’t visit a lot of places.  I hope to visit STL much more often and will add to this post as I do that.

New Day Gluten Free – This place is awesome!  Awesome!  Dedicated gluten free bakery and cafe located in Clayton, Mo a short drive or MetroLink ride from downtown St Louis.  Go to this place!

Menu board at New Day Gluten Free

Bakery case at New Day Gluten Free.  Chock full of all manner of gluten free things.

California Turkey Melt, Potato Salad & Pickle

Side view of the California Turkey Melt.  New Day Gluten Free has one of the best gluten free buns I’ve ever had.  Almost a flaky biscuit-like texture.

Cinnamon Roll

Chocolate Chip Cookie – this reminded me of Doubletree’s cookies (sans walnuts and gluten).  We snacked on this on our way home and regretted only getting one.

Lasagna and bread stick.  This was delicious.  I would bet that most gluten-eating people could not tell you that this was gluten free.

New Day Sub

Picky Gluten-Eating (Adult) Child Comment: My son had a sub the first time we ate at New Day Gluten Free.  Afterwards he said that he liked the sandwich and said it was much better than (other place).  I said… so you liked the gluten free sub better than the regular wheat bread sub (the sandwich he was referencing was not gluten free).  He said… I guess so, I thought the (other place) sub was gluten free.  My college aged son like his New Day Gluten Free Sub better than a regular sub at another restaurant.  Not to say the the New Day Sub was his favorite sub ever, but still those are some pretty great words for a gluten free sub.

GF Meatball Sub.  Delicious!

A sandwich to-go

Breakfast Rice.  The menu says this is a unique dish and… they’re right.  I liked it, but I’m not sure I would order it for breakfast again.  Maybe for lunch.

Breakfast sandwich and hashbrowns

I’ve had a number of biscuit and gravy type dishes since going gluten free.  New Day’s biscuits and gravy are the most traditional (at least what I would call Midwest traditional) that I’ve had.  They are delicious.  This is another dish that I think you’d be hard pressed to identify as gluten free.  Bravo New Day!!

New Day’s Menu – Also Full Online Menu

New Day also has frozen items available to take with you.  I got Lasagna and Biscuits and gravy.  Their to-go menu has additional items available to order, beyond what’s on their day to day menu.  Some of those do require time to make so, call ahead to reserve yours.

If you can only visit one restaurant while you’re in St Louis, try to get to New Day Gluten Free.  It’s full of nice, caring and talented people that have a 100% gluten free environment.  If all of that wasn’t enough… the food is awesome.

The Corner Pub & Grill – The Corner Pub & Grill is owned by the people behind The Tavern and The Shack Restaurants.  Multiple locations of each restaurant can be found throughout the STL area.  The owners of these restaurants have a daughter with Celiac Disease.  Their daughter Hanna is the inspiration behind their gluten free menus and their desire to do gluten free well.

We went to the Corner Pub for two dinners

Gluten free hot wings and loaded potato skins.  Each is marked as gluten free and was identified as gluten free upon delivery.

Although the Corner Pub generally gets outstanding ratings for Celiac Friendliness on Find Me Gluten Free, I was a little nervous as we went on… St Patrick’s Day.  The place was hopping.  After being seated I explained my situation to our wait person and was met with care and understanding.  She seemed to be well informed about gluten free and cross contamination issues.  When I brought up St Patrick’s Day she said that it really did not matter how busy they are, they take gluten free orders very seriously.

Gluten Free Chicken Strips and Fries

Smoothie King – as of this writing Smoothie King’s Nutritional Guide says “All smoothies are gluten free with the exception of Power Punch Plus, Muscle Punch, The Hulk, and Coconut Surprise”.  Check with Smoothie King for up to the minute information.

I ordered a “Banana Boat” and explained that I have Celiac Disease and need to eat completely gluten free.  I also double checked gluten content using my Nima Sensor.  This isn’t a good photo, but I did get a smiley face which means gluten free.

Dear Smoothie King: You’ve got three that have three things that have gluten in them.  Please consider reformulating these to exclude gluten.  Your chain could be a relaible and stress-free source for those that must eat gluten free.  Three things guys… just change them.  I bet no one will be able to even tell the difference.

Where to stay:

We stayed at the Residence Inn St Louis Galleria.  It’s right by a Metrolink station so getting downtown is easy.  Whenever possible, I like to have a refrigerator, freezer and microwave in my hotel room and this location fits the bill.  We were happy with the location near the Galleria Mall in Clayton, Missouri and felt like it was a nice central location for the places we wanted to visit.  This Residence Inn is also very close to New Day Gluten Free.

I would also consider the Homewood Suites Galleria.  That is within walking distance to New Day Gluten Free.

Didn’t Go, but wanted to…


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Trip Report: Gluten Free in the Twin Cities!


Pictured: Burning Bros Brewing Logo

We just returned from a long weekend trip to the Minneapolis, St Paul metro area.  I’m happy to report that there are some stellar gluten free options in the Twin Cities!

I always use the Find Me Gluten Free app to scope out an area when traveling.  I suggest that you actively use it as well – write fair reviews and suggest new businesses to add.  That is a service to the gluten free community – we want to know what you know!  Since I have Celiac Disease, I generally filter by the Celiac Friendly tag and see what comes up.  Example – Celiac Friendly in Minneapolis, sorted by rating.

Here’s where we went…

  • Twin City Grill – We went here for an anniversary dinner.  Very nice restaurant with lots of GF options and professional staff.  I was immediately put to ease after chatting with our server.  Twin City Grill is part of the Lettuce Entertain You group of restaurants and, it’s my understanding, that LEY, takes food allergies seriously.  That’s certainly the case at Twin City Grill.  Excellent meal.  GF items came out tagged with allergy labels.  I love that.  Restaurants… identify GF and specially prepared foods when you bring them to the table.  This let’s us know you cared all the way through the process.  Twin City Grill even had a flourless chocolate cake available (although we were too full).
  • Burning Brothers Brewing – with a motto of “Don’t Fear the Beer”, a completely gluten free brewery (sign on the door says no gluten allowed) and a Celiac brewmaster… this place is my jam.  Excellent GF beer and truly warm and nice people.  This is a great first-ish stop in the TC area, because you can chat with these folks about GF options around the area.  They periodically have food trucks (all are said to have GF food).  This has a cool neighborhood brewery feel – with none of the gluten.  I recommend the sampler and ended getting a pint (and a growler to go) of their Pyro Pale Ale infused with Raspberry.  Burning Brothers also cans their beer and is available throughout the Twin Cities, Minnesota and Beyond.  Dedicated gluten free breweries are a rare sight.  This place is an absolute jewel… go there!
  • ZZQ Smokehouse – This place is…. outstanding.  I’ve eaten a lot of BBQ (in my pre-celiac days) and have made my own bbq at home for years and years.  This place is a legit barbecue restaurant [regardless of gluten content] that stacks right up there with some of the best places I’ve visited in Kansas City and Memphis.  The fryer only fries handcut potatoes and every single side and sauce is gluten free.  The only thing that has gluten is the bun.  I identified myself as someone with Celiac Disease and the owner wiped down the counter and cleaned utensils.  I chatted with the owner at length and he has a relative with Celiac Disease.  We tried to eat here again, but it didn’t work out schedule-wise.  This is an outstanding restaurant.
  • Sassy Spoon – This is a dedicated gluten free restaurant that serves a creative menu along with local gluten free beer (Burning Bros!), cider and wine.  We went on a Sunday.  On weekends that also offer a brunch menu.  I got the biscuits and gravy, which were a treat.  I also sampled the omelette.  The Sassy Spoon is in a cool neighborhood and has some outdoor seating.  What a great restaurant.
  • Freshens – Freshens has a couple locations in the Mall of America.  Their smoothies were all 100% gluten free.  I picked up a smoothy while and the mall and it was pretty tasty.
  • Beer – Burning Brothers – pick it up in the brewery or at local stores.  Glutenberg Beer – Glutenberg has good distribution in the Twin Cities area.  I was able to try a couple of their beers and they were excellent.  James Page Brewings JP’s Acapella Pale Ale was also available at both the wine stores I went to – very tasty pale ale.  I also picked up a bottle of Element Brewing Company’s Plasma Sake IPA, although I have yet to try it.  It can be a trick to find specific beers in stock.  A store may carry it, but it may not be available.  Total Wine allows you to order online for in store pickup.  That way, you have your order reserved.  Total Wine had every GF beer I’ve mentioned here, including Burning Brothers Beers – Pyro Ale and Roasted Coffee Ale.  I also found good availability at Haskell’s a local chain of wine stores.
  • Rojo Mexican Grill – The menu has lots of clearly marked GF options.  Our food was good, albeit it a little on the pricey side for serving sizes.  Serving sizes in general were good, but the tacos in particular are on the small side.  Our service was slow, but the server was nice and apologetic about the wait.  I think they were understaffed when we visited.  It was an excellent experience in that I did not get sick [my #1 priority] and the food was delicious.  I would definitely go and give them another try.

Didn’t Go, but wanted to…

  • Wok in the Park – Although, we didn’t end up getting to go here, I wanted to.  This place get’s stellar ratings online, I had those echoed to me by locals (at Burning Brothers Brewery) that I spoke with.  We did go to this restaurant and went inside, but unfortunately they weren’t open and going back just didn’t fit in our schedule.  It seems like an awesome place, I’m looking forward to trying it on a future trip.
  • The Original Pancake House – I’ve eaten at a couple of these pre-Celiac and had some great breakfasts.  The ones in the Twin Cities area, in particular, get great ratings in Find Me Gluten Free.  Another restaurant on my to-try list.

We stayed at the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Bloomington.  Really great hotel, newer and a good location close to the Mall of America, but not too close.  This was a Celiac Friendly hotel for us since – it has a kitchenette area to make food, it has a Red Robin in it and a great health food store [Fresh Tyme Grocery] is located right across the parking lot.

We enjoyed some of the area parks and rented bikes.  The Twin Cities is an awesome area with a lot to offer including many great gluten free options.

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Hello Seattle… Gluten Free Trip Report!


Even though I’m from the Midwest, I consider Seattle a second home.  We have a good amount of family there and have traveled there many times over the years.  This is the first time I’ve gone to the Pacific Northwest since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease [About Me].  As always, my trip report will focus primarily on food.  Seattle, in general is an awesome place to visit, has lots and lots to see and do in beautiful, sometimes stunning surroundings.

Connect with Us!  FacebookTwitter | Pinterest | Google+RSS Feed | Email NewsletterSubmit a Tip [Topics Covered]

Ghostfish Brewery and Gastropub – Ghostfish is a dedicated gluten free brewery (and kitchen).  They don’t produce “gluten removed” beers, they use gluten free ingredients from beginning to end.  The same is true for their restaurant.  We were fortunate enough to visit after their expanded GF kitchen had opened.  Previously, they had offered gluten free pizzas (prepared off site), with the expansion, they now offer a good sized menu.  This was our first stop off the plane.  We also went back one time later in the trip.  Pictures below are from both visits.


Ghostfish’s Gastropub Menu


Fish and Chips with Grapefruit IPA tempura batter and grapefruit remoulade.  I had this twice.  The first time it was crazy delicious.  Since I was starving from not eating all day, I had to go back again and confirm that it was delicious.  Confirmed.  We also had a pizza.  Ghostfish serves SODO Pizza‘s thin crust pizzas.  One of the better GF crusts I’ve had.


A taster of gluten free beers from Ghostfish.  From left to right – Vanish Point Pale Ale, Peak Buster Double IPA, Grapefruit IPA and Watchstander Stout.  I’ve been in a good number of breweries (before being diagnosed with CD).  Ghostfish has a beautiful location and… it smells like an actual brewery.  The beer was delicious.  We also purchased some packaged beer to go.


A Watchstander Stout.  2015 GABF Gold Medal Winner for the Gluten Free Category.  Ghostfish’s Brewmaster Jason Yerger has Celiac Disease.  All of the founders either have gluten issues or have loved ones with gluten issues.

Razzi’s Pizzeria – In Greenwood.  Razzi’s has a massive, massive GF menu.  Massive.  Comparing the traditional and GF, it seemed nearly everything had a GF option.


I received bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar prior to ordering.  The bread was one of those… I’m scared this is gluten containing bread, sorts of things.  My kids quickly confirmed I was okay.  Their GF bread and pizza crusts are also available for to go purchase.


Razzi’s is a certified Gluten Free Restaurant.  Dear people who run restaurants… I’d love to see this symbol a whole lot more.  Razzi’s also offers vegan options.


I had the beef lasagne and it was very good.

Dick’s Drive In – If you’ve been around Seattle much, chances are you’ve eaten here or at least heard of it.  In spite of being a fast food restaurant, this is one of my favorite places, ever.  It’s the whole package.  It’s the people, the building, the pacific northwest air, the way they take your order and the food, it’s all of it.  After being diagnosed with CD, I literally mourned, losing quite a few things.  Dick’s Drive In was on that list.  This is your classic good news/bad news scenario.  The good news is… I was still able to go there and I did eat.  Bad news… really the only option is fries.  They are great fries, so it’s not all bad.  No tartar sauce for the fries though, according to a Facebook interaction I saw on their page, the mayo contains gluten.  I was glad to at least get some fries here.


Dick’s Drive in makes hand cut fries from fresh potatoes.  The fryer is dedicated to fries.  Don’t eat the tartar.

Ivar’s – Yeah… no.  Another one of my favorite pre-celiac restaurants. Some of Ivar’s sit down restaurants offer gluten free options, but (as of this posting) do not get great ratings for Celiac friendliness.  I didn’t eat anything at Ivar’s.  I only mention Ivar’s to call them to account.  With the number of restaurants that Ivar’s has, there is no good reason why they can’t do gluten free well at at least one of their sit down restaurants.


I love my GFF Food Cart– I caught up with I love my GFF at the Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market


A look at their menu.  I love my GFF serves bowls.  You’ve got two main options “Fiesta” or “Sunshine”.  You can also add chicken.


Of course, I chose Fiesta!  It was super tasty.  You get a lot of food… “Organic, sprouted quinoa layered with Fiesta Sauce (pumpkin seeds/cilantro/lime), organic black beans, spice rubbed organic chicken, fresh cut organic red bell peppers and green onions, topped with avocado, sprinkled with Tillamook cheddar cheese and pumpkin seeds.”

nuflours – nuflours is a dedicated gluten free bakery, cafe and restaurant.  I ate breakfast and lunch at nuflours.  I had a chance to talk with the owner.  She was extremely nice and their food was outstanding.


Closed on Monday.  As a Celiac, it’s fantastic to be able to go to a dedicated gluten free restaurant.  You don’t have to worry about cross contamination or ask a million questions.  You just sit down and enjoy yourself like a normal person (for once).  If you have these by you… patronize them!


I got the bacon potato quiche and “Good Morning Muffin” for breakfast.  The Good Morning Muffin is a muffin with an egg in the middle.  Pretty tasty.  The quiche was outstanding.  For lunch I got the Bacon Gouda Panini.  That was as good as it sounds.

Capitol Cider – Nearly everything at Capitol Cider is gluten free.  The menu and entire kitchen is GF.  Their ciders are (presumably) all GF.  I’d ask to make sure the one you’d like is GF.  They also serve Ghostfish GF beer.  They do serve some gluten containing beers.  Those are the only thing you really need to worry about at Capitol Cider.


Our Capitol Cider meal was roundly praised by my entire family, even my sometimes reluctant and complaining kids :).  I had fish and chips on four different occasions while in the PNW, Capitol Cider was the home of my favorite GF fish and chips. Regardless of gluten content… these were delicious.  The hand cut fries were amazing.  We also ordered fries for an appetizer.  They come with a stone ground mustard aioli.  My plan was to try that and quickly discard it and ask for ketchup.  That didn’t happen as the mustard was delicious paired with the fries.  Also worth mentioning… The cheesecake.  Even my picky daughter raved about this.  Capitol Cider was our most expensive meal.  The tab was a bit spendy for our group of 5.  Having said that… it’s worth it.  Go at lunch time if you want to save some money.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery – After dining at Capitol Cider we walked around the neighborhood a bit and stumbled on Starbuck’s Reserve Location.  I’m not suggesting this as a gluten free destination, but it’s worth a look if you’re in the area.  This is Starbucks putting their best foot forward.  Really cool place, especially if you like coffee.


A picture at Starbucks Reserve location.

Asiana Bistro – in Redmond.  Run by a wonderful Korean lady who suffers from Celiac Disease.  Nearly everything is Gluten Free, although there are some gluten containing items.  I get the sense that the owner is there much of the time and I know she understands the importance of a gluten free diet for CD sufferers.  I felt safe eating at Asiana Bistro right before flying back home and was not disappointed.


A got a combo at Asiana Bistro and choice chicken teriyaki and mongolian beef.  Gluten free and delicious.

Cupcake Royale (no photo) – This was another one of those too good it scared me sort of things.  I was actually concerned that it contained gluten for a few hours, but it was in vain.  I didn’t get sick and it was delicious.  Cupcake Royale is not dedicated gluten free.  They have one GF cupcake.  I was told they bake that first thing in the morning before any of the gluten containing items are made.  The website says the GF cupcake is made with Gluten Free Bob’s Red Mill Flour.  – Search Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free on Amazon

Duke’s Chowder House (no photo) – Duke’s has a number of GF options including all of their chowders.  Those were recently converted to all GF.  Our server said that the motivating factor for offering gluten free was that the owner’s son has Celiac Disease.  I just had a medium size bowl of regular chowder here.  It was very good.  I will say this was one of my more disturbing meals, based on something the server said to me when my food was delivered.  She reassured me that she flagged my food as allergy-level gluten free throughout, but said… “take a couple bites and see how you feel”. Not good.  She very nice and seemed otherwise well informed and capable.  I think Duke’s just needs to take another step in the GF arena and make sure servers are completely trained.  In retrospect, I should have asked to speak to a manager at that comment.  It just didn’t leave me feeling well about the safety of the meal.  I should have dug in my heals to see what was up.  I didn’t.  Fortunately, I did not get sick.  To Duke’s… You’ve made some great strides in this area.  I encourage you to keep going and become a destination for those with gluten issues.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries – We visited one of these in the suburbs of Seattle on our way up north.  This was my first Five Guys visit post CD diagnosis and I was happy with it.  I like that I can watch everything that’s going on.  The fryers are dedicated.  I had an order of fries and a burger in a bowl.  I’m usually not a fan of… burgers in bowls, but it was really good.  Five Guys puts a sear on it that gives it some good texture that helps with flavor and expierience.  I did get bacon, but I skipped all of the other toppings to cut down on cross contamination risk.


Beyond Seattle….

We also ventured north of Seattle to Bellingham, WA and Vancouver, BC Canada.

SMAK – Vancouver, BC.  SMAK is a dedicated gluten free restaurant and offers coffee, smoothies, breakfast, sandwiches, Bowls and more


I got the Ginger Pork bowl (which I cannot currently find on their online menu) and a bowl of minestrone soup.  Most others in my group got the butterless chicken (which I did not try).  The Ginger Pork was tasty and filling.  I also had a delicious GF berry muffin at SMAK.


SMAK is a delicious gluten free choice in downtown Vancouver.

Granville Island Farmers Market (no photo) – Vancouver, BC.  Granville is a neat little island in Vancouver that once held the World’s Fair.  We ate at the Farmer’s Market.  Of course there were many fresh fruit and vegetable options, so that’s great.  Prepared food options were few and far between. I ended up deciding to get soup from the Stock Market.  They had a couple GF options and assured me that preparation was Celiac-safe and that was true for me.


We visited Lynn Canyon Park in Vancouver.  [Photo from lynncanyon.ca]  It offered stunning surroundings and some great trails.  The nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a bit pricey to enter, where Lynn Canyon is free.  I’m sure Capilano is great, but we had a wonderful time hiking at Lynn Canyon Park.

Brandywine Kitchen (no photo) – Bellingham, WA .  Lots of GF options although not dedicated gluten free.  Brandywine was getting great ratings in Find Me Gluten Free for Celiac friendliness and they came through for me.  I had the fish and chips and a Ghostfish Pale Ale… surprise.  The food was tasty and the staff was competent.

Gluten Free Angels Cafe – Bellingham, WA.  Dedicated GF bakery and cafe.  We ate an early dinner here and got breakfast to go for the next morning.


I got the spicy roast beef panini with Wasabi Horseradish and potato salad as a side.  Both were fantastic.  I want the recipe for this potato salad.  I’m a potato salad aficionado (is that a thing?) and this one ranks right up there.


Gluten Free Angels had a delicious GF quiche.  I couldn’t wait to take a photo, as you can see I had already taken a couple bites.  I actually got this piece as a side to my panini for dinner (don’t you eat quiche with your panini?) and liked it so much that we got some to go for the next morning’s breakfast.


A look at the panini.  It has roast beef and pastrami along with pepper jack cheese and wasabi horseradish.

Accommodations – In the Seattle area, we stayed in Lynnwood, WA because our family is farther north of Seattle.  The Homewood Suites that we stayed was new and well located, close to both a Costco and a Whole Foods.  Restaurant-wise, there aren’t really any Celiac friendly restaurants in the area.  Everything was a drive to Seattle proper.  That was okay with us as we really needed to be all over anyway.  Consider staying in or close to Seattle proper if you want to be close to the restaurants in this report.

Rental Car Tip – For whatever reason, rental cars at SeaTac airport seem to be sky hi.  We booked a vehicle via Avis in Kent, WA a few miles from the airport and set the return location to SeaTac.  That meant we only had to get to Kent once.  We took at Uber to Avis in Kent to pick up the car.  We saved a bundle of money doing this.  The whole family was with so we got a mini van.  At SeaTac I was seeing prices at $1,300 to $1,400 for a van for the length of our stay.  The Avis in Kent trick resulted in a rental of about… $550 with taxes.  Of course prices our going to vary and this may not work for you.

Airports – We flew into Seattle Tacoma International (SeaTac) on this trip and that is the closest and most convenient option.  We have flow into Portland for past trips as it’s not that far away and you can see both Portland and Seattle on the same trip.  We’ve also flown into Vancouver, BC (YVR).  Again, you can double dip and see a couple of cities.  You can sometimes find some deals flying into YVR.  I’ve also seen better frequent flyer award availability going into YVR. See: Airfare Deals at Priceline

We had an outstanding trip to Seattle.  Seattle and the surrounding area are aware of the gluten free movement and related health issues.  I felt like I had plenty of options in Seattle proper, with fewer in the suburbs.  Bellingham, Wa has several great options as does Vancouver, BC.

Thank you to at Celiac Safe Eats on Twitter for Celiac Safe recommendations for Seattle!  [Connect with GF Finds on Twitter]


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Gluten Content Test: Counter Culture Coffee Forty Six Coffee Beans + Nima Sensor False Positive

After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2016, I wrote Counter Culture Coffee to see if the coffee beans I get from them (Counter Culture Coffee Forty Six) are gluten free.

My email to them:

“I have recently been diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Because of that, I need to eliminate gluten from my diet.  Does counter culture coffee contain gluten or any gluten containing additives?  I can’t imagine you use gluten anywhere in the process, but I wanted to double check.”

Their reply back (dated 3/8/16): “Thanks for contacting us! Coffee is naturally gluten-free and we do not add anything in the process of roasting, so you should be good to go!”

Note: This is their reply to me personally, not an official position, contact Counter Culture Coffee with questions and verify currentness of information.

Fast forward to 11/2017.  I decided to double check this with my Nima Sensor

Result: Gluten Found!  What the what?!!!!  This result baffled me and sent me into a spiral wondering – Just what can I trust???  Single ingredient item from (what I consider) to be a high end coffee roaster, that has told me their process includes not gluten ingredients.  After some digging, I realized that this was false positive result.  Nima has issues with intensely colored things.  See link below.

I decided to perform a GlutenTox test on this coffee. GlutenTox allows you to choose between 5 and 20 PPM.  I performed this test at the 5 PPM (parts per million) sensitivity level.

I used a cooled down shot of espresso to complete this test.

The bag of coffee, two glutentox solutions and test strip

Close up of the results

The test stick has two lines, the one on the left is the blue control line and should always become visible.  There is another possible line just to the right of that, that one is red.  That becomes visible if gluten is detected at the selected concentration.  As you can see in this photo only the control line is visible.  According to this result the sample I tested has a lower than 5 PPM gluten content.

Order has been restored in the world

More About GlutenTox



Each GlutenTox test comes with single use pipettes, extract solution, dilution solution, sample scoop and a test stick.  The testing process is relatively simple and the instructions are clearly written.  This test gives you some flexibility as you have the choice between testing at 20 PPM (parts per million) or 5 PPM.  Under 20 PPM allows manufacturers to label certain foods as gluten free.

GlutenTox Home is a quick, user-friendly test to detect gluten in foods, drinks, cosmetics, or any other substance. It’s useful for anyone who suffers from celiac disease, or keeps a gluten-free diet for any reason.

  • Adjustable sensitivity: test for 20ppm or 5ppm of gluten depending on your specific needs
  • No special equipment required; everything but the test material is included in the kit
  • Safe, non-toxic, and easy to use
  • Quick response: a reliable answer in less than 20 minutes
  • The included G12 antibody recognizes the toxic fraction of gluten in wheat, barley, rye, and even oat.

Kits contain everything you need to test for gluten in foods, drinks or cosmetics. Kits are available in 2-, 5- and 10-test quantities.

Price varies based on how many kits you buy

Visit GlutenTox


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A note about gluten content tests: These are performed in non-lab environments with small samples.  Processes and ingredients change over time.  Tests found on Gluten Free Finds should not be considered authoritative in nature.  Always check product labels and consult manufacturers for additional information on ingredients and processes.

Gluten Detective – At Home Test for Gluten Exposure!

I’ve been waiting for this product to reach the US for a while now.

GlutenDetect developed and released by Spanish company Biomedal tests for Gluten Immunogenic Peptides (GIP) are fragments of gluten resistant to digestion and therefore eliminated in urine and stool.

This at home test let’s you know if you have ingested gluten in the last 24 hours.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this product because my celiac disease symptoms can be mild, at least with cross contamination level gluten.  Sometimes I don’t know if I’ve been glutened.  I’m excited to have the ability to conclusively answer the question – I have eaten gluten??

GlutenDetect has been released in the US under the brand name Gluten Detective.  The current downside is the semi-outrageous pricing.  I’m hoping they can bring the price down.

Gluten Detective


“Gluten Free” Labeling – Just Stop It Already – Kate’s Real Food

The photo above was taken at a coffee shop in Estes Park on a family vacation.  Although Estes Park itself doesn’t have a lot of gluten free options, Boulder and Denver… do.  I would venture a guess that Boulder, is one of the most gluten free friendly spots in the whole United States.  We split time between all three locations.  Look for an upcoming trip report to hear just how great Bolder and Denver are for us gluten free peoples.

Back to the subject this post.  Kate’s Real Food Tiki Bar.  These appear to be labeled gluten free, but they aren’t really.  They are labeled “gluten free ingredients”.  The label proceeds to tell you how they are processed on shared equipment.

From Kate’s Real Food’s website – “The Tiki Bar is gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free and dairy-free, but made in a facility that also contains gluten, peanut, soy and dairy products”

Really??  Just please stop it.  Either do it or don’t do it.  This product is deceptive and dangerous.  If you can’t make a gluten free (or peanut free or soy free or dairy free) product that’s really free of those things, please just hop off the bandwagon and stop.

Annie’s Double Chocolate Chip GF Granola Bars, 5 Pack


Annie’s Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars, Double Chocolate Chip, .98 oz, 5 Count from Annie’s Homegrown

Gluten free, no high fructose corn syrup.  Non-GMO.

Update: Since this post was published the price, availability or promotion has changed.  Check the product page for up to the minute description, price and availability.  Also: Today’s Deals on Amazon

Annie’s Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars, Double Chocolate Chip, .98 oz, 5 Count

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Triumph Dining Gluten Free Dining Out Cards – English & Spanish + Review

Gluten Free Dining Out Cards (English and Spanish Edition) by Triumph Dining

These cards help to explain to restaurant staff (in both English and Spanish) that you need to dine gluten free.  I have these and have used them for foreign travel.  In my opinion, they are an amazing help.  Check out my review.

Update: Since this post was published the price, availability or promotion has changed.  Check the product page for up to the minute description, price and availability.  Also: Today’s Deals on Amazon

Gluten Free Dining Out Cards (English and Spanish Edition)

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