May 16, 2017

Gluten Free Garage 2017


Less than 2 weeks to go until this year's Gluten Free Garage


I went last year for the first time and quickly became a fan. The pop-up gluten-free event feels like a farmers market, hidden away in the city. 


What you can expect from this year's event


  • Discover local bakeries, restaurants, and retailers that cater to their gluten-free needs
  • Sample and purchase gluten-free food, beverages and related lifestyle products from a wide variety of vendors
  • Enjoy delicious gluten-free food prepared onsite by local chefs and caterers
  • Get information about celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and the gluten-free diet
  • Learn more about the gluten-free lifestyle from guest speakers
  • Grab a free tote bag for all their gluten-free goodies
  • Take home coupons for future purchases as well as samples of gluten-free products


Learn more about the history of Gluten Free Garage by reading my interview with founder, Ronnilyn Pustil.




GFG


Hope to see you at this year's event!


April 02, 2017

Review: Pikanik


I was provided with free product for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

Gluten-Free Pancake and Lava Cake Mixes



Meet Pikanik


If you haven't discovered Pikanik, let me introduce you.
 Pikanik is a gluten-free and allergen safe bakery located in South Surrey British Columbia. EVERYTHING is free of gluten, wheat, peanut, tree nut, dairy, soy. Some products are even egg free.


They sell everything from bread, muffins, and cupcakes to pasta, baking mixes, and Vegan caesar salad dressing. For a flat $10.00 rate (on orders $30.00+) Pikanik delivers's from West Vancouver to Abbotsford and some surrounding areas.





Single and Lava'n It Chocolate Lava Cake Desset Mix


Gluten-Free Chocolate Lava Cake


Price: 
$8.95
Makes 6 single servings

Chocolate lava cake is new to me. Well, making it is anyways. Being the avid Food Network viewer that I am, more than a few of these have come across my screen. Watching chefs talk about how fussy and intricate these heavenly cakes are to make was enough for me to leave it to the pros.

So imagine my surprise when a mix for chocolate lava cake shows up at my home. I'll admit that I was a wee bit scared at first. I'd be crazy not to be right? Once I read over the extra ingredients and effort required, I was confidently pleased. All you will need on hand is a little bit of oil, coffee (optional), water and sugar.

The recipe is set up so that you can make individual lava cakes or a big one. I opted to get some use out of my ramekins and make individual ones. Cooking time and temperatures vary from oven to oven so please keep this in mind as you may need to make some adjustments. I had to crank the temperature slightly and leave the lava cake in a little longer. Once you figure out your oven, it's easy peasy. And don't worry, a delicate hand is not required for success.

Taste Test

If you are a chocolate fan, this mix is for you! Lava cake #2 (#1 was taken out too early...whoopsie!) was a wonderland of ooey gooey delicious! As you can see from the above photo, some of it stuck to the ramekin, but hey, it looks super rustic and cute! You can taste a nice sweetness, but you're not left with that overindulgent feeling. Though the cake was slightly dense it was lovely and paired spectacularly with whipped cream and powdered sugar. Next time around, I'm going all out and making an ice cream sundae lava cake! The fun combinations are endless. Especially considering the minimal effort needed to make the lava cakes.



Flippin' Fantastic Flapjacks Pancake Mix


Pancakes

Price: $10.95
Makes 60 pancakes

Silver Dollars, Flapjacks and Hotcakes are just some of the that names pancakes go by. For most people, mornings would not be complete without them. I love to make big batches and freeze them for quick (and sometimes late night) snacks.


Like the lava cake mix, this one doesn't require a whole lot of extra ingredients. All you need on hand is oil, eggs, yoghurt, and milk. I replaced the yoghurt with apple sauce and used Almond Milk for our pancakes.


Taste Test

The pancakes turned out pretty great. They flip flawlessly with a spatula which is really important to avoid a muddled mess in the pan. The addition of applesauce added a gorgeous scent and flavour. The pancakes turned out fluffy but slightly thinner than I'm used to. This could be due to my applesauce swap. I really loved that they were not overly sweet and were quite delicious with maple syrup and just a bit of butter. I'm thinking these pancakes would be great for school/work lunches - just spread your favourite jam or nut butter on a pancake and roll it up. Or go wild with a filling of sliced banana and Nutella.


Some Final Notes


  • The packaging of both mixes is resealable. How brilliant and ah-mazing is that?! 


  • Pikanik has a customer appreciation program that earns you a credit with every purchase!

  • Their product selection can be viewed and ordered online here


You can follow and interact with Pikanik on Facebook and Instagram: @pikanikcreations




February 20, 2017

Review: Boatwright's Dining Hall

Located in the picturesque Port Orleans Riverside resort, Boatwright's Dining Hall is a southern gem waiting to be discovered. The resort theming brilliantly mimics the bayou. It's a peaceful escape from the intense action of park touring. With top notch landscaping that is both relaxing and mesmerizing, it's easy to sit back and enjoy the lush surroundings. 

In all fairness, having vacationed here twice, I have a deep fondness for Port Orleans Riverside. No matter how long we stay, it never seems to be a long enough visit in this treasure of a resort.


Alligator Bayou
Aligator Bayou Rooms


Although Boatwright's is only open for dinner, it never seems to be overflowing with patrons. That's not a bad thing and part of what makes the experience so charming. Sure, peak times are loud and bustling, but it in no way feels crowded or rushed.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Boatwright's Dining Hall

After being seated our waitress promptly greeted us. She was kind, patient and funny - a real delight! Boatwright's now has allergy menus, which simplifies things nicely! Though we were given the option to have the Chef come out before we ordered. As I'm Celiac and my little guy was recently diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance, I opted for a visit from the Chef. This enabled us to ensure both dietary restrictions were understood and would be accommodated.


Boatwright's Dining Room



The gluten-free rolls used by Boatwright's (and many other Disney restaurants) are made by Deanna's Gluten-Free. As they are both dairy and gluten-free, my son and I were brought a basket-full to share. Together we agreed that they are pretty remarkable and outrageously good. They were soft, not crumbly and heated to perfection. I just wish they were available in Canada.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Deanna's Gluten-Free Rolls


I decided to go with the Voodoo Chicken and Waffles for dinner. Having read positive reviews on this dish beforehand, I was mighty excited! Guess what? It lived up to my expectations and then some! The chicken was mouthwateringly good - crispy, juicy and seasoned well. The waffles were great as always. I'm a big fan of Disney waffles and you can get enjoy them at most Disney-owned properties, which is great. 

What the below photo doesn't convey is just how big the portion size is. Though you can probably only see one, there are two big pieces of chicken on that plate. I actually ended up sharing some with my family! They loved it just as much as I did.


Boatwright's Dining Hall
 Voodoo Chicken and Waffles



Dinner was followed by a round of dessert. The butterscotch creme brulee I was presented with was marvelous! How a dessert can be both light and decadent, I've no idea but Boatwright's pulls it off nicely. Needless to say, I wasted no time polishing off this beauty of a treat.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Butterscotch Creme Brulee

Overall I was thoroughly impressed with our dining experience. Everyone we encountered was happy and helpful. The ambiance of Boatwright's is just so darn warm and inviting. And of course, the food, which everyone at our table collectively agreed was terrific.


Have you dined at Boatwright's Dining Hall? Tell me about your experience below!



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