Last week we had the good fortune to dine at Rasika, a popular restaurant in the "Penn Quarter" area of Washington, DC...just blocks from the Verizon Center, where we were going to see an NHL hockey game with our hockey-playing sons. We'd heard a lot about the restaurant -- and the buzz was that it was very gluten-free friendly. Not surprising, since most Indian restaurants don't use many gluten-containing ingredients in their preparations. It's hard to get a table here...most people have to make reservations well in advance. However, when I called (rather last minute) to inquire about getting a table, I was told that they keep the tables across from the bar open for walk-ins. How nice...I wish more places would do this. Otherwise, it can take weeks to get reservations at popular spots like Rasika. Although they don't have any information about gluten free options on their website, they assured me when I called that almost every item on the menu is gluten free, with a few exceptions. When we arrived (early) and secured a table, our server was most helpful and friendly. He pointed out the few items that would be off-limits due to gluten. This really... Read more →


You probably remember my Blog post detailing my family's trip to Italy this past summer. It was so fantastic, from a gluten free dining perspective, that I wrote a book about it (Gluten-Free in ITALY : Your Worry-Free and Gluten-Free Travel Guide to Italy), available on Amazon. But I'm often asked...of all the places we dined in Rome, Florence, and Venice, which was our favorite spot? Who had the best (and safest) gluten free offerings? In Rome, at least, I'd have to say it was a small chain of restaurants known as Mama Eat and Mama Frites. It was pure serendipity that we ended up eating at these two restaurants while in Rome. I'd heard about both restaurants and had included them on our list of places to potentially try while in Rome. However, I wasn't sure if it would work out, based on where we planned to be sightseeing each day. As luck would have it, after touring the Vatican for several hours one morning, a nearby gluten-free friendly restaurant where we'd planned to have lunch closed for renovation. We were starving, but we decided to continue with our day's plans and head south to Trastevere, an ancient and... Read more →


Recently, one of our favorite gluten-free friendly inns changed hands. You probably recall me publishing a few posts about the Inn on Randolph, a top-rated and totally gluten free B&B in Napa, California. Renovated several years ago by the previous owner (who was Celiac), this historic property has all the modern amenities discerning travelers have come to expect. The best news is that the new owners have continued their commitment to the gluten free community by continuing in the tradition of offering a 100% gluten free kitchen. You'll still be able to enjoy the wonderful 2-course homemade breakfasts full of gluten free specialties, in addition to hors d'oeuvres or afternoon snacks. No matter what time of year you're looking for an escape, the Inn on Randolph is the perfect destination. Nestled in the heart of Napa, you're within walking distance of restaurants (including many with carefully crafted gluten free offerings) and shops. You're surrounded by gorgeous vineyards and not far from bustling San Francisco if you're looking for a high-energy day trip. As you can imagine, guests have a hard time leaving the Inn, with its charm, pampering, and wonderful cooking. Fortunately, for those who want to prolong that pampered... Read more →


Have you ever heard of Sweet Note gluten free bagels? I hadn't...until recently. Fortunately, their distribution has expanded to include CVS, Whole Foods, Shop Rite, Dean & Deluca, MOM's Organic Market, Door to Door Organics, and Weis (but not all locations of these stores -- enter your zip on this page of their website to find the closest location to you). Their "claim to fame," so to speak, is that they have created the first authentic, New York-syle bagel that is gluten free (AND free of the top 8 common food allergens). I thought about that statement, and YES, they are right. They are authentic, in terms of look, texture, and taste. You'd never believe they were gluten free, much less free of other allergens, too. While our family buys other gluten free bagels, we have yet to find one that comes close to a traditional bagel. Some are like eating a big round-shaped piece of tasteless bread, others are tasty but not really what you remember bagels tasting like, and still others use a lot of bean flour, which I don't care for (weird aftertaste). These bagels are smaller, denser, crusty on the outside, and chewy on the inside... Read more →


Every so often, our family makes a new version of a "homemade" gluten free pizza. We've tried many brands, and to be honest, we don't have a favorite...they actually all turn out pretty well. But to be honest, many times we go with our favorite ready-made frozen gluten free pizza (or frozen shell, which we top with our own sauce and toppings). We love Against the Grain pizzas (and plain shells) and have also enjoyed Udi's frozen pizzas when cooked on the grill. But traveling in Italy this summer inspired us and had us looking forward to trying a new mix for gluten free crust...a mix from one of our favorite restaurants in Florence. "How is this relevant to me?" you ask. How would you get your hands on this mix without going to Italy? Well, as of a couple weeks ago, it's available on Amazon.com! (A 3-pack is priced well at $12.84.) We purchased two boxes of the mix (which also comes with fresh-packed tomato sauce in a tin can and a packet of oregano) after dining at the restaurant...before we knew it would be available in the States via Amazon.com soon enough. So we had the pleasure of... Read more →


Congratulations to Kent State University in Ohio for being the first college to open an entirely gluten free dining hall! Hallelujah! I just hope more colleges follow suit in the coming years. I've been optimistic that our own Celiac son, now 13, will have ample choices when it comes to his big college decision. After all, as a parent, you hope that your child will be able to choose a college based on all the typical criteria (academic reputation, courses of study, location, affordability) and dozens of other personal preferences -- rather than solely based on where they'll be able to eat safely for four years. Granted, more and more colleges have started labeling gluten free choices -- and are even well-versed in how to avoid cross contamination in the preparation of gluten free meals. Others have separate stations for gluten free. But, alas, most colleges still have a long way to go. To hear this news from Kent State sets the bar higher, and, in my opinion, where it should be -- and could be -- at colleges all over the U.S. After all, even at the smallest colleges, there are always multiple dining halls. Why not dedicate one... Read more →


I have a ton of cookbooks...and I tear out recipes from all the gluten free magazines I read each month. I also have several binders full of recipes, including a lot of old family favorites that I adapt to make gluten free (like my husband's and my favorite lasagna recipe). So another cookbook is not necessarily something I desperately needed. But am I glad to have gotten a copy of Carol Kicinski's new Simply Gluten Free 5 Ingredient Cookbook! The premise is that all the recipes include only 5 ingredients (not including things like water, oil, salt, and pepper) and take only about 15 minutes to make. For a busy mom juggling a business, that's music to my ears. I make dinner most nights, and sometimes it can take an hour or more to prepare. So I like the sound of easy, as long as it's healthy and my family will eat it! So I opened the cookbook and started paging through it. The difference between this cookbook and others is that I dog-eared about every third page! Everything sounded so delicious -- and there were some really cool and creative recipes. Since I wanted to enlist the help of... Read more →


Travel & Leisure magazine has just named Charleston the #1 travel city in the world! Have you been there? If not, now is a great time to visit, while also layering in a bit of culture. From October 6-9, 2016, Charleston is hosting its annual Nuovo Cinema Italiano Italian Film Festival. You can combine everything Italian with wonderful Charleston culture at the perfect time of year! And, of course, you will dine gluten free without worry. Ellen Morse, gluten free travel specialist and Celiac herself, lives in Charleston and sits on the Board of the Festival. Since moving to Charleston a year ago, she has been exploring gluten free restaurant options and can personally recommend local venues where you will enjoy safe and wonderful meals. She has also vetted three different (and gorgeous) hotels that are able to take good care of gluten free guests. Your stay can even be extended beyond the dates of the festival, if you'd like to spend more time exploring Charleston and the surrounding area. There is limited availability at the hotels, however, so if you think you might be interested, give Ellen a call at 312-337-9235 or email her at ellen@glutenfreetravel-us.com. The New Italian... Read more →


Have you dreamed of being able to enjoy authentic Neapolitan style pizza? Homemade gluten-free pasta with almost any sauce you can imagine? Gluten-free Nutella crepes? Freshly made gelato in a variety of gluten-free flavors? No, I'm not trying to torture you...but rather give you hope. These things do exist, and if you've ever longed to go to Italy, you can now entertain that thought...without worrying about how you'll stay gluten-free. I'm thrilled to announce the publication of my second e-book, Gluten-Free in ITALY: Your Worry-Free & Gluten-Free Guide to Italy. Like my first e-book, Gluten-Free in LONDON, this guide to ITALY provides you with everything you need for a successful (and safely gluten-free) trip: restaurant recommendations, advice on accommodations, tips for getting around each city (and between cities), the scoop on the best tours and excursions, and suggestions for saving money. You can literally use the book as a day-by-day guide to the cities our family just visited in late June/early July: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Our 12-day journey was a dream come true. We had enough time in each city so that we didn't feel rushed (although you never really have enough time to see all the amazing sites... Read more →


Yes, you heard it right...not only has the United States recently lifted the travel ban to Cuba, but it's now even accessible to Celiac and gluten free travelers. If the Colonial history, tropical climate, or "frozen in time" image of antique cars cruising the avenues of this island destination appeal to you (perhaps it's long been on your "Bucket List"), you'll be glad to hear it's now a possibility. Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us has added this destination to her list of other destinations that have previously been challenging for gluten free travelers. She has worked closely with her local contacts at Condor Tours and Travel to vet the hotel where you'll stay and the restaurants where you'll dine. Although Cuban food and cooking methods tend to lean toward the gluten free anyway, she and her partners have asked all the necessary questions and worked with the chefs to ensure you will be food-safe on this journey. Most meals are provided as part of the suggested itinerary Ellen has created, and she has safe suggestions about where to eat for the few meals you'll be on your own. Her well-thought-out itinerary includes hotel, transfers, many meals, and tours of... Read more →


This week, we are sharing a post from the mom of two kids (and wife of hubby) with Celiac and gluten sensitivity. You'll get a chuckle out of her all-too-familiar trials and tribulations as she and her family fly across the world on a somewhat regular basis. She has some great tips that you may not have thought about...and others that are definitely great reminders as we all begin the summer travel season. An expat living in Singapore now, you can find Karen Horan's contributions to the Celiac community in southeast Asia on the websites listed at the bottom of this post. Enjoy...and send us your own stories of gluten free travel! My official title is “Global Domestic Engineer, specialty ‘Human Development’. I have two full time clients who are currently 10 and 13 years old. By my calculations I have roughly 10 years left of full time work, then I can become a consultant on an ad hoc basis. My teenage client was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when she was just 3 years old and her younger brother and father are both gluten intolerant. After many years in my job, I was feeling pretty good at handling a medically... Read more →


As I brainstormed ideas for this blog post, I pondered over what was happening in our family's "gluten free life" right now. It dawned on me that a big part of my own gluten free planning right now centered on working with our son Ryan to plan what food he would pack for a few upcoming camps and camping trips this summer. This isn't our first rodeo...our son has been to overnight boy scout camps for the past few summers, a week-long hockey camp, and many boy scout weekend camping trips in which they prepare their own food. While it's always more work for Ryan to take his own food, we're all getting it down to a science. So I thought I'd share some tips and thoughts, especially with those of you who are doing this for the first time. First off, my recommendation: If you have a choice of where to send your gluten free kid to camp, you may want to peruse our list of summer camps on our CAMPS page on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Each year we add to the list and update the information for the current year. What started as a handful of camps willing to work... Read more →