Friday Photos: the view from here



After running around doing errands this afternoon, my mama and I collapsed on the couch this evening and fed our Downton Abbey addiction. We can’t help ourselves.

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Mark served us dinner — Sheperd’s Pie — ¬†in front of the TV. We do that sometimes. ūüėČ


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I blame Mamasita for these. (they’re my Easter fave) She “snuck” them into our cart at Target.


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I balanced it all out with the Greek Salad and Veggie Chili at City Market in Whitefish Bay.


One of our go-to places when my mama visits is Cafe Hollander.

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They have some new additions to their GF menu.

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Like this Quinoa Skillet. YUM!

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I completed it all with a side of bacon. (it was lacking in meat!)

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But the real reason we go? For the beverages. ūüôā


We may have found a new tradition.

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Anaba Tea Room in Shorewood for a light lunch — the options were limited, but a young lady working in the store said they have more dinner options, so I’ll have to go back to check things out. The Pear Ginger Chicken Salad over greens was a unique twist on one of my top picks for lunch.

Need to rest up for tomorrow — we’re off to the Winter Farmers’ Market in the morning, followed by a trip to Molly’s GF Bakery, and then a visit with my soul sister and her mama. It’s my last full day with my mama. It has been such a treat to have her here this week… coffee in the mornings, a new show we can’t get enough of, crafternights, too much chocolate, and enough one on one time to last me until I get to see her again. (which I hope is soon!) Love her to the moon and back. #soveryblessed

Good night!

Have a JOYful weekend!


PS: want in on our new monthly photo fun? It’s “31 Days of Real Life” for March — join us on Instagram. You can find me at: celiacinthecity. #31daysIRL




{a gluten-free wedding story}

Last month we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.

My husband went waaaaaay above and beyond and planned a weekend getaway to Green Lake, WI — we stayed at the most beautiful place, Angel Inn Bed & Breakfast. (I’ll be writing more on that soon.)


Seems like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle.

When I look back now, I remember the day being absolutely perfect. (despite some day of ¬†stress that we could have done without) And that’s how I will always remember it.

I thought it might be helpful to some folks (like my GF friend, Melissa, who was recently engaged — congrats!) to tell you all about planning a gluten-free wedding.


Just me. IRL. And other confessions.

You know what I’ve kind of been missing?

Friday Photos.

They went on for about a year, and then because my work schedule changed, and I started dreading doing the posts, I put them to rest for a while. (not that long ago)

Maybe because my phone is full of photos, or maybe because I secretly liked the structured schedule of it, I’m missing those posts already.

You too?

So I thought I’d bust out a post today. Which happens to be Friday. ¬†With photos. Just because.

And maybe I’ll make a thing of it.

A weekly post with photos, but it won’t have to be on Fridays. Maybe a “weekend round-up” of sorts. Just me. In real life, a week in review. (and sometimes other confessions)

Confessions like…

  • I sometimes over analyze posts for so long that I don’t end up posting them. After I attended that blogger conference in the spring, I started to worry that what I was writing wasn’t good enough. After hearing things like: “be good at one thing, not a bunch of different things,” and “you should be testing your recipes at least 10 times before you post them.” I freaked out a little. Mostly because I am all over the place with cooking and baking — and that’s what I LOVE about being in the kitchen.
  • It took me until today to write that.
  • I will sometimes use butter, sugar, and white flours. There are plenty of blogs out there that are good at just one thing — and that’s just lovely, but this blog is just real life and in real life I sometimes eat those things.
  • Other times I will go all paleo on ya! That is the beauty of having a blog — to share all of the different recipes, cookbooks, websites, stories that make the world go round!
  • I don’t test my recipes 10 times before posting them. Let’s get real life — that would mean there would only be like one post a year! And what fun would that be? That doesn’t mean I haven’t made some of them at least 10 times since then. ūüôā ¬†I share with you what has worked for me, in our kitchen, not as chefs (although my husband really should be one!) but as people who love food and get joy out of spending time in the kitchen together.
  • It’s my THREE year blogaversary tomorrow — yep, October 20, 2009 was my first blog post!¬†

So there you have it. That’s me this week.

Now let’s get to those photos…

Hello, Honeycrisps. ‘Tis the season of apples, and I am taking full advantage by having an apple a day.

I whipped up an all-purpose flour mix, so I can spend more time baking and less time measuring and weighing — will keep you posted how it does on the baking front.

Who wants a chicken corn tortilla soup recipe? Raise your hand high.

I’ve been eating plenty of eggs lately. I’m feeling uninspired in the breakfast category — what are you eating? Share with me. Help make my mornings easier.

So there’s Crispin in a box. Which you probably already know. (since I talk about Crispin on FB from time to time) ūüôā

But did you know that there’s also Fox Barrel in a box? Of the pomegranate pear variety. (which reminds me of grown up fruit punch and I am loving it!) AND Crispin now comes in cans. Yep. You heard it here first. (and Milwaukee is one of the test markets — watch for it in the very near future.)

I met up with some GFGFs (gluten-free girl friends) at Zaffiro’s in Mequon. For research, of course. They are willing to put your pizza on a pan, instead of directly on the oven surface and they will do fresh cut ingredients for you too — just call ahead and let them know you’re coming. I had them run mine through for a few more minutes, to get some color on that cheese — so worth it, and I’ll be going back!

Football food: Italian beef from the slow cooker topped with cheese and peppers — all on Goodbye Gluten bread and a side of butternut squash.

Leftovers: Italian Beef Nachos! Leftovers rule.

Know what else rules? ALL of YOU.

Thank you for joining me in this (sometimes) crazy ride — this blog has led me to new opportunities, introduced me to new friends, and allowed me to share my daily randomness with the world. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Many thanks. 

Happy 3rd Blogaversary, Celiac in the City.


{friday photos} back of the bike chronicles

Welcome to¬†Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City ‚ÄĒ you can read how it all started by clicking¬†HERE.

When the temperature soared in to the 100s last week, most of you were out on the lake, keeping cool in the pool, or camped out in the A/C with Netflix.

But not this girl. No, I was out on an adventure. (a very hot one)

On the back of the bike.

Very hot is actually putting it mildly — by Friday midday, we were having to pull over for a/c relief and ice water every half hour. (and even then the half hour spurts were too much to handle)

But we made the best of it, and as usual, when traveling with our friend Has, we scored on the gluten-free finds — and in some pretty random places.


Friday Photos: celebrate

It’s been a week of celebrating.

Celebrating summer. Like this cake from Tracy over at Shutterbean — summer on a plate.

Gluten-Free Coconut Cake with Berries

You’re going to want the recipe, I promise you will, so here it is. I converted it to gluten-free by simply substituting a cup of Cup4Cup flour mix. (no one, and I mean no one, will know the difference)

Celebrating sister time with lunch at Cafe Hollander.

Speaking of celebrating — why don’t you join us for the next GF Get Together event happening next week at Cafe Hollander? (see the invite here)

Celebrating family time. (which is why this post is semi-random and pieced together… I’m home in Minnesota with my fam, staying up until my eyes beg for surrender and taking advantage of every daylight hour to be outside, in the fresh air, with my best buddies)

And their little brothers. (my peanuts)

mama & daddy’s first night out — auntie Sarah survived!

I FINALLY wore them out.

We’re a food family though, so although we’d rather be outside playing, we take time for good grub.

mamasita’s mac & cheese

We celebrate the little things — like getting the table set for a lunch party, using grandma’s “special” wine glasses to sip soda out of, and dancing around in the kitchen. Just because.

And it doesn’t have to be anything gourmet. Kids are happy just getting to the table with you, having helped prepare the meal — they get excited about the little things. I’m telling ya. Celebrate it.

they LOVE anything they can serve up themselves… small dishes = happy kiddos

Celebrating with mamasita at Chevy’s in Sioux Falls, SD.

*note: although they have a gluten-free menu, there seemed to be some confusion on some of the GF menu items (the same thing happened in the twin cities) so be sure to double check everything before ordering.*

Celebrating solo.

pit stop picnic on the way to Minnesota — Riverside Park ~ La Crosse, WI

Celebrating South Dakota’s gluten-free friendliness with a stock up on beverages.

Hy-Vee rocks

Have you tried Michelob Ultra Light Cider yet? It’s no Crispin, but it is celebration worthy.

How funny is that sign? Not only does Hy-vee stock my favorite gluten-free beer, but they are encouraging you to celebrate too. (started this post yesterday, saw the sign today — confirmed the need for more celebrating in life)

So take note… grab your friends and family, some good food, and then celebrate.

We already are.

You should join us.

What are you celebrating this week?

Friday Photos: 10 Days of Real Food – Day 4

Welcome to¬†Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City ‚ÄĒ you can read how it all started by clicking¬†HERE.)

It’s Day 4 of the¬†10 Days of Real Food pledge.

And those cookies are the last thing on my mind.

Instead, I’ve actually taken the time for making breakfast.

Nothing fancy this week because (sadly) I am back at work, after a refreshing (but too short) holiday break. The students aren’t back for classes until the end of the month, so my days are a bit less rushed right now — perfect for sitting down and actually enjoying a meal.

And right before we started this pledge, I had one tasty breakfast at¬†Stubby’s¬†— where they have¬†Crispin Cider¬†on tap, my first indicator they were cool. Our server was quick to check with the chef on safe brunch options and I went with the fan favorite, Tenderloin Benedict: two 3-oz. grilled tenderloin medallions served atop grilled portabella mushrooms with poached Yuppie Hill Farm eggs, finished with Sriracha Hollandaise. (sans tater tots — they brought me fresh pineapple) Because everything was made from scratch, this would have fit right in this week. Ok, maybe minus the Crisposa — Crispin and orange juice.

My breakfast of choice the last two days though, was this.

plain yogurt, sweetened with a little honey. banana, figs and a sprinkle of cinnamon. served with¬†Gluten-Free Girl’s graham crackers

I ¬†had to modify the graham cracker recipe to fit into the “real food” category, but it was worth it. I won’t lie, they were a little better with cinnamon¬†and¬†sugar on top, but I’ll take what I can get.

As I said in my last post, Mark is joining me on this 10 day adventure, which has helped tremendously. (that and my daily hourly emails with Kristi, to keep us on the straight and narrow) This has inspired us to get in the kitchen and get creative. Not only are we focusing on eating real foods, but also eating from the pantry and freezer.

acorn squash stuffed with homemade venison andouille sausage, kale, peppers, celery and onions topped with parmesan cheese

You really could stuff any ‘ol vegetable and the “stuffing” ideas are endless. Just pre-cook your meat (or go meatless) then in the same pan, add in your veggies. Pre-roast your squash, fill with your masterpiece of a veggie mix, bake to warm through and melt cheese.

Real food dinner is served.

See? Endless ideas — on the first night we pan seared some shrimp as a topper.

Not everyone is a fan of venison. Truth be told, I turned my nose up at it for years, until I met my husband. He has the magic touch for all things venison. And we’re not just talking throw some venison steaks on the grill — that was the only way I had tried it prior to Mark’s menu of options, and I was not a fan.

I like mine flavored with a marinade, breaded for venison parmesan, spicy for venison tacos, pounded down and rolled around stalks of asparagus and goat cheese, or double ground with pork shoulder to make sausage.

venison bratwurst patties topped with swiss cheese, pickles and spicy brown mustard  & a quick potato gratin

I guarantee you’ve never had venison all the ways Mark has made it — you would be a fan, promise. Because we are eating out of the freezer, there will be more venison recipes to come.

And keep the veggies coming. Need more ways to incorporate them? Check out Daily Bites¬†— Hallie has some ideas and a recipe for you, plus some giveaways you won’t want to miss. And stay tuned each Thursday as she and other bloggers ring in 2012 with “New Year, New You.” Eating habits that you can carry through the entire year.


One thing that doesn’t fit into my 10 Day Real Food pledge, but still deserves a photo, is this fun-filled package that arrived for me this week. As a runner up in the¬†Cup4Cup cookie contest¬†with my¬†Snowflake Cookies¬†recipe, I received a bag of their C4C gluten-free flour mix, a bowl scraper, and a hand written note from Lena Kwak! (she is the mastermind behind C4C, working alongside¬†Thomas Keller) It’s not everyday you get mail from¬†The French Laundry… kind of a big deal.

(they love my website. yes, in the scrapbook it goes.)

Not only do they have this handy new gluten-free flour mix, but they work hard to provide GF options in¬†their restaurants¬†too. I’ve said it before, we really are in the “golden age” of gluten-free.

When a world famous chef is taking note of the gluten-free community, I can move past the little comments like, “well, yes it’s the same fryer, but it’s such a minimal amount, that it’s fine” (shame on you bartender at Cafe Hollander) I’ll just keep bringing in my own fries from¬†Stack’d.¬†ūüėČ

Off to the gym for a nice long walk. (or maybe I should be outside with these nice temps!)

Thanks to sister Laura for this video — can you limit your sleeping and sitting to just 23.5 hours a day? ūüôā

video source

How are YOUR new year resolutions going? 

Back to school.

I have read countless status updates on Facebook about friends and family sending their kiddos off to school this week and last.

Browsed through first-day-of school pictures, with their new backpacks, shiny kicks and still-clean outfits. (unless you are my adorable nephew who pulled an “Auntie Sarah” and spilled before he left the house)

It could have been worse. You could have been his little brother who did not get to go to school. He will tell you “I’m going to school in the fall.” For him it is still summer. We confuse them when we say the fall. He’s thinking leaves changing colors and jackets in the morning. I’m not going to tell him it actually means next week.

But for me, it was back to “school” on Monday. Having a flexible summer schedule is one perk of working at a university. But it makes it that much harder to head back to a normal schedule.

I have taken full advantage of working less this summer. Making my own schedule. Not having to worry about packing a lunch every day.

When you are on a gluten free diet, it’s not as easy as sorting through the take-out menus in your desk drawer. It actually takes a little work to make lunch happen. Unless, of course, you are Gluten Free Mike living it up in NYC. His daily updates of where he is ordering lunch always make me a bit envious.

Sometimes you have to get creative. I am a big fan of a smorgasbord -style lunch. A little of everything. This may have become a habit because I often procrastinate buying groceries and end up with only a little of each thing left. Either way, it has worked out.

My Mamasita gave me this new lunch container as a back-to-school prize. She also showed up with coolers full of garden produce that she has been working on all summer. They all fit perfectly in my new little container. It’s as if my mom knew about my love for make-your-own-lunchables. (actually, I think everyone knows… it gets quite the laugh from my supervisor at work)

A couple of years ago, I found Built lunch totes. There was some sticker shock at first, but then I realized that my lunch bag is one of my most used accessories. I take it with me daily. And not just to work. It goes along on road trips, days at the lake house, bike rides, everywhere. The best $25 ever spent.

(you can even throw it in the washer and it will keep your Crispin Cider cold when you have to bring your own beverage to parties)

What are you guys packing into your lunch bags this fall?

A gluten free summer in the City

I cannot tell you how many times I have opened up this page to start a post in the last month.

A whole month has gone by without a peep from this girl. (Well I have been peeping a little on my Facebook page, if you aren’t already joining us, please do. I am always sharing little tidbits over there that don’t always make the site)

Sometimes life just happens. Not always the way you expect it to. Sometimes the way you thought you were headed is not where you end up. It’s been a busy month. Crazy busy. I wanted to be here with you guys, but I had to take a little time-out.

The problem with that is… now I don’t even know where to start. I have been taking pictures every chance I can. Knowing that someday soon I would be back here. Sharing them with you.

To ease back into things, I think I’ll just share a little of everything that has been going on. And I’ll never pull that leave-for-a-month trick again.

On food:

The nice folks at Canyon Bakehouse sent a bunch of products for me to try and then share at our last Gluten Free Get Together. This is their rosemary & thyme gluten free focaccia. It made the perfect flank steak sandwich with roasted red peppers and mozzarella.

At a recent birthday party, a sweet friend was kind enough to save me my own serving of bruschetta before it hit the regular bread. This focaccia worked wonderful for that. Or just toast it up and dip it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Loving the cinnamon raisin bread too (toasted with honey) and the Mountain White bread makes soft sandwiches, no toasting required.

I had the most wonderful dining experience at Seven Seas in Delafield, WI. ¬†It was a birthday party for my dear friend and she was so sweet to call her friends who own the restaurant to be sure I could eat a good meal. (not just a salad) Thanks to Mark at Seven Seas for being so accommodating.¬†He even ordered¬†Strongbow¬†for the party. Lucky me!¬†Our server was amazing and made me feel like I was the “special” one at the table. Delicious food and the best view. Go see them soon!

On fun:

Crispin Cider and Fox Barrel Cider have been the drinks of choice this summer. Family and friends have been converted.

Made two trips to Summerfest this year. In between seeing friends’ bands play, I volunteered some time. As a hotdog. Yep, that’s me on the right. It was over 90 degrees that day. Oy.

This sunset never gets old. Neither does time with my soul sista. Thanks to her, this view has been a big part of my summer.

On friends:

I am blessed to have friends who are healthy, happy and here. Remember how lucky we all are to be alive and well.

Cheers to amazing friends!

And cheers to YOU. I have missed you guys. Feels good to be back. What have you been doing with your summer?

CRISPIN CIDER (YES! It’s gluten free!)

I used to be such a beer girl. Blue Moon. Sunset Wheat. Really, any beer you could put some type of citrus fruit into.

Now, my options are limited. I’m not complaining. I love that Lakefront has New Grist, Budweiser with Redbridge, Bard’s Tale, all good stuff. But there are only a handful of places in Milwaukee that have caught the gluten free fever. I’m working on it though, I did get New Grist back at Miller Park a couple of years ago after they tried to give it the boot.

But plenty of bars and restaurants DO carry cider.

That’s why we’re here today. To talk cider.

Crispin Cider. My new favorite. (here I go with favorites again) This after work drink is how it all started.

Once I posted it to Facebook, my so-ahead-of-the-times sister reminded me that she had told me about Crispin last year and that she loves it too. She lived in MN at the time, the wonderful state Crispin calls home. (I’m biased because I grew up there)

Since then, I have been lucky enough to try more of the Crispin flavors. (many thanks Mike!)

Crispin Light made an appearance at a recent tailgate at Miller Park.

Also made an appearance when visiting my sister. (you saw the pancake post, I worked hard that day!)

We tested out Crispin Brut that day too. It was a taste test. For research of course.

I bring Crispin any time I have to bring my own beverage. I tell friends about it, let them try it, then hide them very carefully so they don’t try to steal them.

The breakdown on flavors, from my friends at Crispin:

  • Original: Crisp over ice. A classically styled, but untraditional hard apple cider. Fruit forward, with a fresh, crunchy appley nose and a deliciously creamy, refreshingly crisp mouth feel.

  • Brut: European-style extra-dry over ice. The ‚ÄĚchampagne‚ÄĚ of ciders; combining subtlety and sophistication; the epitome of unforced elegance. A crisp fresh apple bouquet with a brisk, refined finish that lingers on the palate.

  • Light: Bright over ice. America‚Äôs first light cider. Refreshingly light. Invigorating and full-flavored. A clean and cool, brisk and modern cider with delicate undertones that‚Äôs deliciously bright and refreshing and usually *served with a lemon slice* for a long cold spritzer-style refreshment.

  • Honey Crisp: New Crispin Honey Crisp Artisanal Reserve‚ĄĘ is a small batch, hand crafted, super-premium hard apple cider smoothed with real organic honey for a rich, creamy, full-bodied crisp taste. Smooth over ice.

  • The Saint: *Prepare to be converted.*The Saint is a uniquely debonair & elegant cider, a cider to convert skeptics.

I just cracked open a Honey Crisp while typing this. Rich and creamy is right, I will not be sharing this one. (although the Honey Crisp and The Saint, both 22oz, are perfect for sharing)

Do I have to pick a favorite from my favorites? Not sure that I can. Depends on the occasion really. But if, hypothetically, you were involved in a flip cup tournament, I would go with the Light or Original. For a Saturday movie-night at home, take out The Saint.

Help me spread the good word in Milwaukee by asking for Crispin at our favorite bars and restaurants. I try to tell them I have a limit on how many of those way-too-sweet ciders I can have, Crispin is a much better option. Perfect amount of sweetness. Not too much. Just right. If you find it while you’re out and about, stop back and let us know where.