Sunday, March 28, 2021

PastryBase Gluten-Free Unicorn Cupcake Baking Kit

Since my birthday is this month, it's been a weird experience to have a normally celebratory time of the year for me coincide with the start of the pandemic (last year) and the one-year milestone observations (this year). Though I'm not a huge birthday person, it has felt really strange to celebrate on my own for two years in a row now, forgoing my preferred method of celebrating: sharing a meal with friends and enjoying some delicious gluten and dairy-free sweets.

Feeling uninspired and riding another wave of quarantine burnout, I was totally going to forgo any celebration this year until my mom surprised me with a intriguing cupcake kit from PastryBase. Cutely packaged and promising cupcakes that tasted as good as they looked (while being gluten-free and vegan!), the kit proved to be the perfect pick-me-up, and fantastic real world application of the Great British Bake Off skills I hope I've learned in binging all the seasons this past year.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Soupergirl Review

The covid-19 pandemic has, and continues to, disrupt every aspect of daily life. Though I really miss seeing my colleagues and friends in person and the other perks of living in Washington, DC (museums, performing arts, public transport), I've sort of settled into a "new abnormal" routine. 

Despite the difficult reason it has to be this way, a small silver lining of social distancing is that with a slower pace of life, I have had a renewed focus on what I'm cooking and eating, and where I'm sourcing it from. The highlight of my week every week is the Saturday farmers market in my neighborhood, and I've found that small businesses and restaurants have responded to the crisis nimbly and have gone over and above to feed the gluten-free community.

Though I have had fun experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes, I hit a wall a few weeks ago and simply lost any motivation to meal plan, cook, or wash dishes. Enter a literal super hero to save the day (well, at least mealtime anyway): Soupergirl. This woman-owned business serves up seasonally-inspired soups (and more) sourced from local farms and purveyors in a battle against the industrial food movement. Already a fan of their soups (which can be found locally across the DMV region), I realized it was more than overdue to dedicate a blogpost to this super awesome company. 

The Federalist Pig Review

In what seems like a never-ending stretch of social distancing, I have diligent about sticking close to home over the past six months, venturing out only on rare occasions. While I have enjoyed trading in my evening commute to be more creative in the kitchen, I've missed the simple luxury of going out to eat and the only potential danger was potential gluten and/or dairy cross contact. 

Luckily, a recent visit from my mom and aunt allowed a rare opportunity to explore beyond my neighborhood, and finally stop by a restaurant that has been on the top of my to-try list for ages now: The Federalist Pig. It's reputation totally preceded it, and it has earned high regard for serving up top-notch fare and relaxed, casual atmosphere. Not only that, but with a clear allergy guide and lots of gluten-free options, I was pretty excited to finally be able to pay The Federalist Pig a visit and see if it lived up to the hype.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Seoul Spice Review

In light of the ongoing devastation of the coronavirus epidemic, it's more important than ever to support restaurants and companies that cater to gluten-free diners. Covid-19 considerations or not, being a gluten-free diner can be challenging, so any eatery or product that makes life more navigable to those of us with dietary restrictions are the MVPs of every community. 

One stalwart in my community of Washington, DC is Seoul Spice, the 100% gluten-free fast casual restaurant serving up Korean comfort food with style. I realized it's been ages since my I first posted about them (back in 2016!) and they are more than overdue for an updated review. With one of their restaurants conveniently located near me in Northeast DC in the NoMa neighborhood, I made a day of stopping by for some takeout to take advantage of the nearby Metropolitan Branch trail. Good food, fresh air, and a day below 90 degrees on a summer day: the perfect trio for an enjoyable (and socially distanced) day. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

MYBREAD Gluten-Free Breads & Pizza Crust Review

From the earliest days of my blog, literally in its first year, I have been a huge fan of MYBREAD and their line of gluten-free pitas. They've managed what I once thought was impossible when I first went gluten-free: a soft, yet sturdy, pita bread that doesn't compromise on form or flavor despite being flour-free.

Recently, MYBREAD expanded their product line beyond their pitas to branch out from their flagship pitas. When they reached out to share all about these new offerings and generously share samples, I jumped at the chance to give these breads and pizza crust a test drive.

What's great about MYBREAD is not only are their products gluten-free, they are free from dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy. Plus they're also vegan! 

This attention to allergies and ingredients means MYBREAD products can safely fill a bread basket or be the foundation of pizza night to bring people together despite managing multiple dietary restrictions. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Gluten-Free Friendly Black-Owned Businesses in the DC Area

At a national, regional, and local level, the last two weeks have unleashed a swirling storm of emotions: outrage, exhaustion, heartbreak, but also renewed hope the "more perfect union" generations of Americans have dreamed of can be realized.

That can't happen however, without the clear and unequivocal acknowledgement that Black Lives Matter. 

By typing, saying, or shouting those words in protest, millions across the country are uniting to reject the national paradigm that has for too long subjugated people of color through systemic economic, educational, and institutional inequity and racism. 

We have to do better. We must do better. Each and every one of us has a part to play in promoting equality in the communities we live in.

One such way is to support local Black-owned businesses, which not only have been impacted by inequality, but the negative impacts of covid19-related closures. Inspired by similar lists and articles, I've compiled a list of gluten-free friendly Black-owned restaurants and food businesses in the DC area. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Vegan My/Mo Mochi Review (Dairy-Free)

Though it still doesn't quite feel like it yet, Summer is definitely upon us, and with it comes my renewed search for the latest and greatest in gluten and dairy-free frozen dessert options.

The latest such products to catch my eye are the vegan mochi offerings from My/Mo. While I've seen My/Mo in most every grocery store I've been in, their dairy-full version of this bit-sized treat are usually what's stocked. After seeing others rave about these desserts, I was so excited to finally find the dairy-free version to try.

Now what exactly is mochi? It's a sweet rice cake from Japan that makes for a portable, yet substantial meal. My/Mo puts a decidedly sweet twist on the substance, by wrapping cashew-based ice cream with an outer coating of sweet rice dough.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Taza Chocolate Virtual Factory Tour and Tasting Review

With an all-but-cancelled spring behind us and a rather uncertain summer ahead, like many of you, I've been slowly coming to terms with the "new abnormal" we are now living in.

As such, I've tempered my disappointment about canceled travel and events with closer-to-home adventures that have allowed me to re-discover my DC neighborhood and connect virtually with friends and family. 

Given that I'm not going anywhere any time soon, when I saw that Taza Chocolate was offering virtual tours of their Somerville, Massachusetts factory, I jumped at the opportunity to take a virtual trip to learn more about one of my favorite chocolate companies. I am already a huge fan of their line of completely gluten-free and dairy-free products! 

This online adaptation of their factory tour (via Zoom) not only includes a behind-the-scenes look at  ingredients and processes, but also comes features a delicious and interactive component- a bean-to-bar tasting!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in DC to Support During the Covid19 Crisis

Like all of you, it's been really disconcerting to have the daily fabric of my life ripped apart by the coronavirus epidemic. Gone are the simple pleasures of workplace banter and high fives and my favorite things about Washington DC, which are the vibrant arts scene and delicious restaurants. 

It's clear this is a crisis unlike anything the world has ever seen, and it's going to have ramifications for the foreseeable future. In cities like mine, businesses large and small are reeling and seeking any kind of stable footing they can get. 

I've always been impressed by the solidarity of the DMV area and generosity of the gluten-free community, which is why I wanted to put together a post with a round up of local businesses in the area you can support to not only ensure local businesses can weather the storm, but that your pantries and freezers can be stocked with safe gluten-free food. If ordering out at this time is something you are not comfortable with, you can also order gift cards to lend your support now, and enjoy the benefits later once we are through the worst of this (with every hope that time comes sooner rather than later).

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Dairy-Free Oui by Yoplait Review

In recent months, the yogurt aisle at my local grocery stores has gotten a lot more crowded in the best possible way with mainstream brands introducing new dairy-free lines and already dairy-free brands introducing new products. It's certainly a great time to be in search of dairy-free yogurt and a long way from the sad days of off-textured and off-flavored versions I tried when I first transitioned away from all things dairy. 

I'm not going to lie when I say that I've enviously eyed the yogurt offerings of Yoplait's sub-brand Oui for years. The cute glass jars and focus on thick French-style yogurt with fruity fillings made with real ingredients seemed like a winning combination from afar. That's why when they rolled out their new coconut-based dairy-free line, I kept a close eye on local stores to see and taste them for myself. With the bar for dairy-free yogurt getting higher and higher, could these earn a place as my go-to choice for yogurt cravings?