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The Chicago-area plays host to what is the largest gluten-free expo in the country on April 20 and 21st, 2013. As you know, new products, cookbooks and information are coming out all the time about all things gluten-free and this is the place to see it. They expect over 7,000 people in attendance over the two-day event and tons of vendors.
I am excited to say I will finally get to go to the Gluten-Free/Allergen Free Expo as an official blogger. If you can get yourself to Chicago, by all means do it. But if you can’t, please keep an eye on my website for all the scoop or see below on how you can follow it through social media.
Here’s what you can expect from this expo:
- Vendors – 150+ are expected. From Glutino to Red Apple Lipstick to Pamelas Products and even Crave Gluten Free Bakeshop (see my 2011 post-Cupcake Wars interview with Kyra, the owner, here) View the full list of vendors.
- Presenters — I am very excited about all the great things that we can learn at this event. Speakers will be talking about autism, healthy diets, cooking for TEENAGERS, gluten intolerance and much more. View the list of presenters and the schedule.
- Reasonable fee for a great value! You get all of this for $20 per day ($35 per day if you want to come as an early bird). Children 5-12 years old get in for less. Tickets can easily be purchased online or at the door.
It has been more than a year since Subway expanded to the Duluth/Cloquet Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin area. And I have finally had the opportunity to bring Emma up there and get a sandwich!
Over Easter weekend we were driving into Cloquet (which is just about 15 minutes west of Duluth, MN) and we needed to stop and eat. So I gave the local Subway a call when we were about 15 minutes away to ensure they still had gluten-free sandwiches. I explained my daughter had celiac disease and we needed to be extra cautious.
We arrived during the lunch hour and Emma ordered first.
Tip #2: ask to use fresh ingredients from the back instead of what is on the front line.
The gluten-free buns are individually packaged with a knife and require at least one toasting. The employee asked us if Emma wanted hers toasted once or twice. Normally she doesn’t want it toasted at all, but they said they had to do it once so that is what we opted for.
The employee put the bun on parchment paper and put it in the toaster oven. She also used a piece of parchment paper on the handle of the oven. The turkey and cheese (that’s all she puts on a sandwich) were put on the toasted bun and moved onto a clean sheet of parchment paper for wrapping.
Tip #3 ask to make sure the GF sandwich gets its own bag.
The great thing is that with every tip I gave you here, the Cloquet store employees already knew about and it appeared to be in their protocol.
Emma loved the sandwich although she was very skeptical at first and thought she would get sick. But she did not get sick and everything went smoothly. She wants to go back!
As for Subway, they continue to roll their gluten free sandwiches out at a glacial pace. It is understandable they want to do it right, but considering I announced that gluten free Subway was coming to the Duluth area in January 2012, I would have thought we’d have heard of at least one or two more expansions in the last 16 months. So for now it appears the sandwiches are still only available in the Duluth, Minnesota area, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Tacoma, Washington and Portland, Oregon Hoping we get an update soon!
When I think of the Williams-Sonoma brand, I picture a perfect kitchen where I make perfect meals. In general that is not my reality. But I wanted to try out the new Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free cookbook to see if it could whip me into shape.
The book is authored by Kristine Kidd, editor of Bon Apetit magazine who also has celiac disease. She brings a wealth of experience both editorially and personally to this book.
It is my feeling that if you consider yourself a “foodie” (gluten-free or not) you’ll like this cookbook. The photos are phenomenal and the ingredients are natural with a variety of flavors. If you are a general collector of cookbooks, this gluten free cookbook is a great one to have on your bookshelf — because after all, gluten free should be represented by a cookbook that could double as a coffee table book.
I made two recipes: Roast Chicken and Vegetables with Fall Spices and Cornbread.
I realized a few things with the chicken recipe– It was easy (as long as I had the ingredients), and I should consider making things this way more often. The chicken was juicy, the fingerling potatoes were done to perfection and when it came out of the oven it literally looked exactly like the photo in the book (when does that EVER happen?).
However, this recipe was not for my family. Not quite anyway. I can honestly tell you my family ate the chicken and said it was okay, but they didn’t care for the spices (cumin, paprika, coriander and red pepper flakes). I also didn’t do the squash as recommended in the recipe, instead I did carrots because I know my family will eat those. While we are very “meat and potatoes” eaters (which is why I chose this recipe), those flavors weren’t for us.
I can say my takeaway is that I can make my own version of this very dish and I did learn something.
As for the cornbread, we LOVED it. It had more flavor than the basic cornbread I usually make from scratch and it was no more difficult to make. My husband wanted only a bite at first but after he tried it he asked me to cut him a piece. We went the basic route with the cornbread recipe. We didn’t add the sage or rosemary, nor did we add the optional additions of cheese or jalapeno chiles. I just baked it in an 8 inch round cake pan, not in the cast iron skillet that the recipe called for.
Throughout the book there are food preparation tips, information on cooking in season and how to prepare to cook gluten free in your kitchen. The one thing I wish the book had was more substitution information. I just assumed the cornbread would work okay in a regular baking pan because I don’t own a cast iron skillet (nor was I going to buy one just for this recipe). But a little note like “Don’t have a skillet? Any baking pan will do” would have been nice for we cooks who are more novice than others and like to follow the rules. Also, since we aren’t a spicy family, knowing options on how we could make the flavors more tame without ignoring the recipe altogether would have been a good learning experience for me.
So did the book whip me into cooking perfection as I had fantasized earlier? Nope. But, the recipes turned out the first time I tried them and they really only took about 30 minutes which, in my book, does go within my time range of cooking a meal on a weeknight.
If you want to bring out your inner gluten-free foodie, take a look at Williams-Sonoma’s Weeknight Gluten Free.