Archive for August, 2012
Summer is my favorite time of year, so I am always a little sad when Labor Day weekend arrives. Warm (read: hot and muggy) weather has never bothered me too much. I have taken it as a nice break from the dreary Winter months and what, as of late, seem to be very short Fall and Spring seasons. I like to spend my weeknights going for a run through downtown Philly or sipping on a margarita (good thing they are naturally gluten-free!) with friends and my weekends down the shore enjoying the sun and ocean.
But here we are at the inevitable end of summer. As I get ready for a fun weekend with friends at a music festival, here are some of my gluten-free tips for your holiday weekend no matter where you are headed.
- If your plans involve an event or location where outside food is either not permitted or gluten-free food is not available, I always opt for a big breakfast ahead of time like hot quinoa with shaved coconut, sliced peaches and almond milk. Not a fan of warmer meals during the summer months? A smoothie with a banana, blueberries, kale, beets and some gluten-free protein powder has become a staple for me recently. Throw in some raw almonds or a gluten-free energy bar (KIND is my staple) on the side and you’re all set.
- For those who will be relaxing on a lounge chair either poolside or in the sand, you can snack on green or red grapes. Try sticking them in the freezer too, it’s a nice plus. By the time you’ve arrived at your destination and are ready to eat them, they should still be chilled! You can also do the same with cherries. If you have access to a nearby freezer you can even snack on these naturally gluten-free bites: slice up a banana, spread some nut butter on top, then drizzle enough hot fudge or dark chocolate to cover the slice. Stick in the freezer for a few hours and you’re good to go! Just remember: keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat, otherwise you will have a chocolate mess on your hands (literally).
- Headed to a BBQ? A variety of gluten-free beers have been popping up all over and I think we can all appreciate having a choice. If you have access to a food and beverage store that sells craft beer why not make a mixed pack to taste-test with your family and friends? For those of you in the Philadelphia region, The Foodery is always an excellent choice.
What are your favorite gluten-free tips for the long holiday weekend?
In July, I had two golden opportunities to celebrate the generosity of personal friends and friends of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).
We all love a party but some of us are really good at throwing one of the biggest parties in town. Meet Chris Auman, a member of the NFCA Team who has worked on our events since the day she walked in the door years ago. Chris has been a huge part of the energy and organizational power behind Appetite for Awareness as this fun-and-food-filled event has grown from an intimate evening in a private home to the festival that we enjoy today.
Right now, Chris is organizing the Marketplace for Appetite for Awareness 2012 being held on September 23rd at the Historic Strawbridge Building at 8th & Markets Streets in Philadelphia. If you want to have loads of gluten-free fun, come on down. Chris will be ready for you.
On July 27th, we held a party of a different kind when we celebrated Chris’ birthday. Alice Bast, Chris and I headed to Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington where we enjoyed a delicious gluten-free Mexican meal. The gazpacho with watermelon, tomato, cucumber, a house specialty, was a big hit at the birthday table.
On Sunday, July 29th, I made my way from my home in Blue Bell, PA to the absolutely fascinating home of Jennifer and Ken Arters in Downingtown, PA. Jen was holding an in-home shopping spree benefiting NFCA. Featuring jewelry from Stella & Dot, along with fabric purses and bags of all kinds from Thirty-One, this trunk show was like Christmas in July, as far as I was concerned. Temptation was everywhere. Yes, I succumbed!
Jen prepared delicious gluten-free treats from tasty miniature meatballs to fabulous mini red velvet cupcakes. And, yes, I succumbed.
Jen and Kenny showcased these delightful gifts in their 1850s house lovingly being brought back to its former glory. Restoration is hard work designed for talented and skilled people with a passion for making things better. Jen and Kenny have an equal passion for raising awareness of celiac disease. All of us at NFCA are grateful for their spirit of volunteerism and their dedication to the celiac cause. You will see them at Appetite for Awareness – helping out, of course.