Saturday, October 10, 2015

GFGS Community Calendar: October 2015

As a service to our regular readers and the Celiac community at large, Gluten Free Garden State has started an ongoing list of upcoming events of interest. We will feature local happenings, as well as national events open to the public. The calendar will appear on the second Saturday of each month. Links will be posted to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtages #GFSked and #celiacsavethedate.

In the coming month, there's a grocery store festival in Evesham, a tasting party in Westfield, and support groups in Long Branch and Voorhees, among many other events in New Jersey and surrounding areas. 


Around the Garden State

Saturday, Oct. 17: Gluten Free Festival at ShopRite of Marlton, 10 am-2pm, 307 West Route 70 in Evesham. The free, in-store festival features registered dietitians to answer questions, educational information, shopping tips and meal ideas.

Saturday, Oct. 24: Savor the Flavor Gluten-Free Tasting Party at Patricia & Paul: Artisans of Fine Oils and Balsamics (20 Elm St.) in Westfield, 7:30-9:30 pm; Meet-Up with the Celiacs of Central NJ group. The store will be closed to the public for this private event. Cost is $25. Join and/or register for the party online through the group's Meet-Up page.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A One-Stop Gluten-Free Tour of the Garden State

Photo/GFGardenState

The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo in Secaucus is done for 2015, and we're already looking forward to next year.

(BTW, it'll be held Oct. 15-16, 2016. Mark your calendars NOW.)

We've attended enough gluten-free expositions to know what to expect, in general. There are many vendors offering on-the-spot tastings of their wares and some provide take-home samples to try later. There are beauty products, travel companies and medical professionals, all looking to serve the gluten-free community. And it works.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

GFGS Community Calendar: September 2015

As a service to our regular readers and the Celiac community at large, Gluten Free Garden State has started an ongoing list of upcoming events of interest. We will feature local happenings, as well as national events open to the public. The calendar will appear on the second Saturday of each month. Links will be posted to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtages #GFSked and #celiacsavethedate.

Enjoy!

Around the Garden State

TODAY, Sept. 12: Gluten Free Festival at ShopRite of Medford, 11 am-3 pm; Held throughout the grocery store (208 Route 70 East), the second annual event will feature samples of more than 60 gluten-free foods. No cost to attend.

Sunday, Sept. 13: Celiac Sprue Association, Southern New Jersey Chapter meeting, 2-4:30 pm, Hope Church (500 Centennial Blvd., Voorhees); This month's meeting was pushed back one week, due to the Labor Day holiday. It will be held in the church's Meeting Place building. New members welcome.   

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Local Gluten Free Festival is back

Photo/GFGardenState

ShopRite of Medford is hosting its second annual Gluten Free Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Held throughout the store, from 11 am to 3 pm, the event will featurs samples of more than 60 gluten-free foods. There is no cost to attend.

This family attended last year's festival, not knowing what to expect, and left viewing it as a small expo. Many familiar players were represented, including Schar, GardenLites and Enjoy Life foods, and everything offered for tasting was available for purchase (of course).

Friday, August 28, 2015

New products, old favorites coming to NJ expo

It's that time of year again. To some, the most wonderful time of year.

I'm talking, of course, about the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo.

This year's event will be held Saturday, Oct. 3 and Sunday, Oct. 4, 10 am to 4 pm both days, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus. Its a whirlwind of vendors, offering samples of their wares, selling products and sending visitors off with swag. Whether your on a gluten-free diet or a diet free of the eight most common allergens, including peanuts, there's a cornucopia of options for you.
I've been to more than a few of these types of events over the past five years or so, and every one is exciting. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998, the gluten-free/allergen-free industries have come a very long way. Those who are newly diagnosed and dealing with daily frustrations will be thrilled to find an entire exposition hall full of foods they can eat. That was me at my first expo. It's still me.

According to organizers, there are many returning vendors, including Schar, Udi's, Enjoy Life, Garden Lites and Luce's Gluten Free Artisan Breads, and some newcomers, like Cheerios, WHOs Gluten Free and the Minute rice company.

My recap of last year's roster of new products can be read here

The two-day event also features seminars and information sessions relating to gluten-free or allergen-free diets, as well as celiac disease. (And during last year's event, there was even a marriage proposal!)

To buy tickets or learn more about the expo, visit the organizers website: www.gfafexpo.com

Through Sept. 2, the expo is offering 30% off tickets. But first, try for a free ticket by entering the Gluten Free Garden State raffle:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway




Friday, August 21, 2015

Schooled at the Alumni Grill

The Alumni Grill is my new go-to place for quick, summer eats in Wildwood.

Located on Pacific Avenue, just a couple of blocks from Mariner's Landing on the boardwalk, the Alumni offers a decent gluten-free menu in a fun, school-themed atmosphere. For gluten-free foods, it relies on a dedicated fryer from April 1 to Sept. 28. (It has only limited hours during the off-season, during which the dedicated fryer is not used.)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

GFGS Community Calendar: August 2015

As a service to our regular readers and the Celiac community at large, Gluten Free Garden State has started an ongoing list of upcoming events of interest. We will feature local happenings, as well as national events open to the public. The calendar will appear on the second Saturday of each month. Links will be posted to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtages #GFSked and #celiacsavethedate.

Enjoy!

Around the Garden State

Saturday, Sept. 12: Gluten Free Festival at ShopRite of Medford, 11 am-3 pm; Held throughout the grocery store (208 Route 70 East), the second annual event will feature samples of more than 60 gluten-free foods. No cost to attend. 

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 3-4: Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Secaucus. with educational presentations, and products for sampling and purchase. Go to gfafexpo.com to purchase tickets and obtain additional information.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Restaurant reminder

Gluten-free restaurant menus and special diet accommodations have come a long way since I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1998. A really looooong way.

I try to keep that in mind whenever I'm eating out or on the road, anywhere outside my usual dining comfort zone. I was reminded again last night that gluten-free foods are not an entitled to us as customers. I'm not resentful when I'm not accommodated, but thankful when they're a safe meal is available. 

Last night, I went with a big group of family to a pizza-pasta restaurant. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision for me, so I did not research it in advance. Unfortunately, the kitchen had nothing gluten-free to offer with the exception of side salads.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

GFGS Community Calendar: May 2015

As a service to our regular readers and the Celiac community at large, Gluten Free Garden State has started an ongoing list of upcoming events of interest. We will feature local happenings, as well as national events open to the public. The calendar will appear on the second Saturday of each month. Links will be posted to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtages #GFSked and #celiacsavethedate.

Enjoy!

In the Garden State

Sunday, June 7: CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) Southern New Jersey Chapter #9 meeting with an indoor picnic, 2 p.m. at Hope Church, 700 Cooper Rd., Voorhees. New members welcome. Visit the group's website for more information.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Garden Lites giveaway

Our loyal readers know that we, the folks behind Gluten Free Garden State, are avid fans of Garden Lites products.

Read our first review here and our kids panel review here.

In honor of Garden Lites' ongoing contest (more on that in a sec), we are giving away coupons that can be redeemed for free products at your local grocery stores. Two winners will each receive one coupon apiece. Trust me, these muffins and souffles are worth trying, especially if you're faced with a child who doesn't like to eat her or his veggies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Once you've entered our raffle, check out the Garden Lites "Surprisingly Delicious" Contest. The company is encouraging fans to submit photos of their friends and family that capture the moment people learn that the products' first ingredient is a vegetable. Fifty finalists will be chosen to receive free packages of Garden Lites products and coupons. Two Grand Prize winners will receive a $500 gift card, plus one year's worth of products.

The deadline May 15 for the Gluten Free Garden State giveaway and the Garden Lites contest. Good luck!