The great dinner party dilemma

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in Events, Lifestyle | Posted on 05-11-2012

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Dining out has always been a leap of faith for the gluten-free family – but we’ve discovered over the years that the stakes are even higher when it comes to eating around at someone else’s house.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that those of us on strict gluten-free diets are very fortunate to receive invitations to dine with our gluten-eating friends – and so it seems more than a little petty to start grumbling about the quality of the cuisine on offer.

And herein lies the problem. What guarantees are there that well meaning friends and family understand exactly what ‘gluten-free’ means in terms of cross contamination and hidden ingredients? And even more problematic, how you quiz them ahead of time without coming across as a grumbling so-and-so who’ll never be asked back? Read the rest of this entry »

Gluten-free holiday survival tips

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in nutrition, Travel | Posted on 09-01-2012

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Happy New Year! We here at Gluten Free Family may have downed tools these last few weeks, but we haven’t completely frittered our idle moments. Our days out and about, traveling here and there, have provided some inspiriaton.

We have a few new gluten free projects in the pipeline this year (as a result we won’t be blogging quite as regularly) so watch this space.

We have also pulled together a gluten free holiday survival guide. We know how tricky things can be when you are away from your own familiar cupboards and your regular retailers — and it’s tempting to fall off the wagon — especially at this time of year.

So here are the tips we’ve collected in the weeks and years past — and please feel free to share yours! Read the rest of this entry »

Gluten-dodging out and about

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in kids, Lifestyle, parties, Travel | Posted on 25-10-2011

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Allergy riders

Don’t get out much? Then I’ve got some tips to share from Sue Black who spoke at the Gluten-Free Expo back in August on the topic of The Social Coeliac.

I’ve been meaning to jot down the highlights of her presentation for a while. Her advice is particularly applicable to those with Coeliac Disease who are concerned about making a fuss in social situations: Read the rest of this entry »

Bunfight in New York

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in Lifestyle, Travel | Posted on 01-08-2011

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Gluten-free Babycakes

Discovery: Navigating the delights of New York’s retail precinct and tourist circuit is more time consuming than you’d think!

Result: Not as much insight into gluten free living New York style as we hoped.

Conclusion: You need more than just a few days in the Big Apple to accurately log its gluten free credentials—but we still managed to make some casual observations as we bumbled our way around the tourist traps. Here they are: Read the rest of this entry »

Gluten free in New York, New York

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in New products, restaurants, Travel | Posted on 10-07-2011

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Start spreading the news. We’re leaving on Tuesday.

It’s going to be our first official Gluten Free Family fact-finding mission to the Big Apple. (Okay its really a holiday).

But between shopping trips and sightseeing, we plan to suss out the gluten free US supermarket scene, hunt down the legendary Babycakes, and sip gluten free cosmopolitan cocktails.

We did a similar roundup on the gluten free scene in London last year, when Lucy braved the British summer to visit relatives.

This time the whole team (all two of us) will travel to New York, and we’ll report back on all that we find—and even post a few pics—in a week or two!

Lucy and Mandy

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New gadget for gluten dodging

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in New products, News, restaurants, Science | Posted on 03-04-2011

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Not sure if that tuna mornay really is gluten free?  Swinburne University student, Alexandra Gray, has developed an electronic touchscreen device that could let you know. Read the rest of this entry »

Baguettes ahoy: go gluten free in Paris

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in News, Travel | Posted on 29-11-2010

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breadImagine my surprise when I found a box of gluten free Blissful Berry bikkies tucked into the conference bag on a recent work trip to Melbourne.

Of course this is not typical. The gluten free thing usually puts a bit of a dampener on trips away. My co-blogger Lucy has even vowed self-catering is the only way for her family.

The hospitality industry does seem to seriously lag behind the growing demand for these types of services.

But with food intolerances on the rise, this may soon be set to change. We received a media release recently about a Paris holiday package for families with special dietary needs. Read the rest of this entry »

Gluten free in the UK: part 2

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in lunches, restaurants, Travel | Posted on 21-10-2010

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aeroplane4Last week I regaled you with tales of supermarket aisles and vacuum packed bread in the UK, and I pondered the future of gluten free products here in Australia.

Now its time to discuss some of the other potholes we encountered on the road, oceans away from the comforts of our own sweet kitchen.

As always, the biggest trouble we had was with eating out. Hot chip fatigue set in early this trip as munchkin refused any type of potato foodstuffs that didn’t come heavily salted in a foil packet.

Britain proved especially challenging for us here because although the supermarkets offered a good selection of GF wares, very few cafes had any non wheat options whatsoever.

That’s a bit of a departure from our experience here in Sydney where a friand, muffin or an almond biccie can be found most decent coffee brewing establishments.

Then there were the restaurants and pubs which boasted little other than off-limits delights like scampi, beef and ale pie and sticky toffee pudding. Read the rest of this entry »

Gluten free in the UK

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in bread, kids, Travel | Posted on 14-10-2010

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Sainsbury's Free From range

Sainsbury's Free From range

I’ve just returned from a trip that sent me out of my culinary comfort zone and into unchartered territory: the gluten free food aisles of UK supermarkets.

I am happy to say we not only survived, but even thrived on this foreign soil.

I can also gladly report that all the important food categories were catered for:  pasta, bread and jam tarts.

According to those in the know, Sainsbury offers the widest gluten free range which it has self branded as “Free From” and from there we procured some very nice pasta spirals that were exceptionally soft and palatable.

They also have a bread under the same label which I was very happy with indeed. It was a plain white bread loaf that is split in two and spread over two vacuum packs. Not only was it tasty as toast but a bit of gentle persuasion in the microwave rendered it suitable for sandwiches too which was an unexpected delight and added to our lunchtime repertoire substantially. It also was dairy free, which we appreciated very much. Read the rest of this entry »

Gluten free travel talk

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in Lifestyle, Travel | Posted on 24-09-2010

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gluten free travel

gluten free travel

I am jetting off to the UK this very weekend, so it seems timely that I should talk about travel for the gluten free.

The first time we flew long haul we naively booked a gluten free meal for me and my son. We were treated to a fruit platter at every single meal. Guess what was for pudding? Yes – more fruit!

It was starvation provoking torture. Fortunately for us – we can bend a little on occasions such as these – and now we just have the normal meal, and just eat around the gluten (eating only the rice on the plate and salads, just to get a bit of savoury on the palate).

Those needing to manage allergies and coeliac disease do not have this luxury owing to the every present threat of cross contamination. So what can you do?

My advice is to book the gluten free meal, and ask the airline what that meal will comprise. (Don’t forget to reconfirm your dietary needs just before the flight and if you are coeliac ensure treatment is included in your travel insurance). Read the rest of this entry »