Posts Tagged Georgetown

Reading, Writing, and Reviewing

    Ever since Lori asked if I could put together a class on the topic of ‘gluten-free’ for The Caring Place I have been reading and reviewing books from our local Georgetown Public Library because I believe in quality reference material. At about the same time Barb had sent me a link to a book review and the next thing I knew I was head-over-heels in reading materials both borrowed and purchased.

    Libraries have always seemed like magical places to me. All of those books on so many subjects: if I could read them all then I would certainly know everything. At least that is how I viewed the school library at Meadowbrook Middle School when I first became aware of library passes and the resulting unlimited access to all those books! OK, so now I know better but still there is so much knowledge that can be gained just by going to the library. So I have borrowed books, read books, reviewed books for the local library and on Amazon, purchased books, and donated books. If the class learns nothing from me at least there will be a rich and varied resource to fall back on.

    The assembled collection (below) covers so many related aspects of gluten that I was having trouble narrowing down the information to present. Simple, keep it simple – you can see from the list of books that I have real problems with that.

    So I decided on this approach. On the first day we meet there will be samples of home-cooked pasta and sauce using store brand GF ingredients from HEB and a sample of commercial snack food (Glutino pretzels). We will introduce ourselves and then together we will plan the next meeting around the most pressing needs of the group. And we will continue from there.

Gluten Related Reference Material at the Georgetown Public Library:

Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic
Peter H. R. Green and Rory Jones

The Complete Gluten-Free Diet & Nutrition Guide: With a 30 Day Meal Plan & Over 100 Recipes
Alexandra Anca and Theresa Santandrea-Cull

The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook: Spicing Up Life with Italian, Asian, and Mexican Recipes
Vanessa Maltin

Gluten-Free Kids: Raising Happy, Healthy Children with Celiac Disease, Autism, and Other Conditions
Danna Korn

Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food: a Practical Guide
Chef Alain Braux

The Gluten-Free Gourmet: Living Well Without Wheat
Bette Hagman

You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free! 500 Delicious, Foolproof Recipes For Healthy Living
Roben Ryberg

Planned Donations Purchased but Currently Out on Loan:

Dangerous Grains
James Braly and Ron Hoggan

The Gluten-Free Vegan
Susan O’Brien

    Rita has been reviewing some of the books with me. Since she is also a Certified Health Coach I hope to have her lead a ‘gluten-free’ tour of a Georgetown grocery store.

Gretchen (Mom) and Rita


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HEB Gluten Free Products

    HEB is a Texas-based company with headquarters in San Antonio. This organization is very generous in support of The Caring Place (TCP) in Georgetown with their daily donations of bread and support of other TCP programs. They have also been long term suppliers of my most basic gluten-free grocery needs.

    I needed to replenish my Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free cornmeal in order to make several pans of GF cornbread to be served at the Annual Soup Supper to benefit TCP (where Don and I both volunteer). Our nearby HEB on Williams Drive carries a good selection of these products.

    While I was shopping there I decided to check out their brand of pasta that Clara had tried and told me about. I was really curious because Don and I had been on the HEB product taste-testing panel quite some time ago. Also, as a volunteer in The Caring Place food pantry I often hear comments from people trying to manage gluten-free about how expensive it is. This is what I found.

HEB Brand Pasta & Sauce - All Gluten Free

HEB Brand Pasta & Sauce - All Gluten Free

Prices on March 1, 2011:
Gluten Free Fusilli $1.99
Gluten Free Spaghetti $1.99
Garlic & Herb Pasta Sauce labeled Gluten Free $1.89
Traditional Pizza Sauce labeled as allergen: milk $1.50
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Meal $3.58

    I also picked up Udi’s Whole Grain Sandwich Bread while I was there since there were only three slices remaining at home from the previous loaf. Price wise this one is in my ‘luxury item’ category. But it is handy to keep in the freezer for when I don’t have time to put together something else for the carb portion of a meal or snack.

    For staying healthy, whether you must eat gluten-free or not, a balanced diet is always in order. It takes planning ahead so that the right stuff is always available: in the fridge, in the pantry, in the car, wherever. It is critical to prevent a tumble over ‘The Gluten-Free Edge’ that lurks nearby. Given that criteria I can always rationalize a ‘luxury item’ 🙂


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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Chef Alain Braux

Press Release:
    Edible Austin presents author Alain Braux talking about his new book, Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food at  BookPeople on Monday, February 14, from 7–9 pm. Treat yourself (and perhaps a loved one) to an evening of conversation with Chef Braux (recently named in the Top 10 Food Celebrity list as well as a Best Sweet Bites of 2010 by the Austin Chronicle), who will prepare his bliss-inducing Flourless Chocolate Torte for us. Also meet Sarah Bartholow from Hail Merry, who will be sampling a selection of their scrumptious gluten-free and vegan products. We’ll also have a selection of celebratory beverages on hand. Free!

    Alain’s comment `gluten-free junk food is still junk food’ is such an astute observation. He believes we should eat thoughtfully, be aware, and indulge joyfully on special occasions. Enjoy dessert on Valentine’s Day at Book People and chat with Alain – he loves to talk about food!

For those of you who live in Georgetown you can find a copy of Alain’s book at the Georgetown Public Library – NBNF 641.563 BRAU.

    Alain is also the author of How to Lower your Cholesterol with French Food. Both books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions.

Features found in his book aside from the wonderful recipes:
1) Narratives from people about their journey of GFCF discovery – one of these stories might be your `aha!’ trigger
2) Sympathy for the many reasons you may be attempting to self medicate and suggestions on how to find the right doctor
3) Why keeping a food journal is so very important (there may be additional sensitivities)
4) Setting yourself up for gluten-free and casein-free success
5) A comprehensive list of resources for Celiac Disease and Autism including books, magazines, organizations, and online support
6) Those mysterious food additives that could indicate `hidden’ gluten – pages of them
7) `Safe’ and `not safe’; in medication, vitamins, toiletries, household cleaners

    Rita and I visited with Alain recently at People’s RX at the Westlake location where you will find an extensive gluten-free grocery section and gluten-free options in the deli. The North Lamar and South Lamar locations also have gluten-free options in the deli.

Gretchen (Mom) and Rita

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Natural Grocers in Austin and Pamela’s Cheesecake

    Don’t you just love finding new gluten-free products and places to shop that are within modest driving range? Especially a store that has a staff so knowledgeable, helpful, and personable that shopping is an adventure rather than a chore?

    When Rita first discovered a local Natural Grocers she was so excited. “Mom, the first thing I saw when I walked in was a whole rack of food labeled gluten-free. It was right at the front of the store. I didn’t have to hunt or ask; it was RIGHT THERE.”

Natural Grocers Storefront

Natural Grocers Storefront

The Natural Grocers monthly advertising flyer is here . Their business philosophy is explained on page 4. Next time we shop there I need to bring bags and a cooler to bring home some of their beautiful fresh, organic produce.

    As I peered into Rita’s car I saw that she had a couple of cardboard boxes full of grocery items. Was she so excited that she bought cases? No, it seems that Natural Grocers is totally green, ‘bring your own bag(s)’. They have their discarded cardboard boxes available for reuse if you forgot to bring bags but they do not have any plastic or paper bags.

    Rita was so excited about the new products that she found. One of them was a miniature cheesecake made by Pamela’s – yes, Pamela’s of the baking mixes that first eased our transition into the gluten-free world. (Hmmm, now I am thinking about those biscotti that I haven’t made in quite a while from the Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix.)

    An Agave Sweetened New York Cheesecake – this is classic Sara Lee’s gluten-free cousin. OMG, three times we have purchased one of these 3 inch little jewels and they have yet to make it out of the parking lot! Like mother, like daughter, the two of us are “have fork, will travel” food adventurers.

Rita (with cheesecake), Joel, and Nate

Rita (with cheesecake), Joel, and Nate

    There are currently three locations in the Austin and Cedar Park area. The one that Rita first discovered was at Arbor Walk. We don’t know if the one in Cedar Park is open yet but the website says February so we will be checking it out. And there is one more to the South in Austin on Guadalupe.

Austin – Arbor Walk Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
10515 N. Mopac Expressway, Bldg. L
Austin, TX 78759
Hours: M-S 8:56-8:04 Sun 8:56-6:06
Phone: (512) 231 9200
(P.S. It doesn’t hurt our feelings that DSW Shoes is there at Arbor Walk also)

Austin Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
3901 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78751-4522
Hours: M-Sat 8:56-8:04 Sun 8:56-6:06
Phone: (512) 323-5100

Cedar Park – Opening February 2011! Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
1335 Whitestone Blvd Bldg G-17
Cedar Park, TX 80104
(Half Price Books, another of our favorites, is in the same shopping center)

Gretchen (Mom) and Rita

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Udi’s Bread Arrives at H-E-B Georgetown!

Udi's Bread
Udi’s Bread


After a long wait and checking back week after week it really is here!

Georgetown 2 – Williams Drive
4500 Williams Drive
Georgetown, TX 78633

    Yesterday, Friday, 01-07-2011, I picked up a few items on the way to my volunteer shift at the local food pantry. I cruised by the frozen bread section just in case and there it was! Udi’s white bread, whole grain bread, and bagels all lined up on the top shelf, left hand corner of the frozen bread section.

    I immediately notified Clara. There is real bread, good bread, when we want it and when we need it. Don can cook French toast for our breakfast without a long lead time and sometimes complex planning.

    Yeah H-E-B and thank you ever so much for following through and making it happen!! 🙂

Gretchen (Mom)

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Udi’s Bread Coming to H-E-B Austin and Georgetown!

    Friday, 01-07-2011, I picked up a few items on the way to my volunteer shift at the local food pantry. I cruised by the frozen bread section just in case and there it was!  Udi’s – white bread, whole grain bread, and bagels all lined up on the top shelf, left hand corner of the frozen bread section.

    At long last! The very popular Udi’s gluten-free breads are coming to H-E-B grocery stores in Austin and Georgetown. The stores selected are the ones that have the larger, 3-door freezer space for gluten-free products. Be sure to stop by one of these stores and check them out.

Udi's Bread

Udi's Bread

The new items will be in the following stores starting November 8th.

 Austin 08 – Congress/Oltorf
2400 S Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704

Austin 23 – Brodie/William Cannon
6900 Brodie Lane
Austin, TX 78745

Austin 25 – Parmer/IH 35
500 Canyon Ridge Drive
Austin, TX 78753

Austin 28 – Slaughter
5800 Slaughter Lane W
Austin, TX 78749

Austin 29 – Bee Caves
701 S Capital of Texas Hwy
Westlake Hills, TX 78746

Georgetown 2 – Williams Drive
4500 Williams Drive
Georgetown, TX 78633

    Udi’s bread is the commercially available gluten-free bread chosen by an ever-increasing number of families and restaurants. Jason’s Deli introduced it nationwide earlier this year as a bread option for their sandwiches. Rita and I have eaten at several Jason’s in the Austin area and recently I was in Abilene and ate lunch twice at the Jason’s there.

    Rita and I had it served to us at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop when we were attending a family reunion! And my wonderful Sister, Amanda, brought me a loaf of Udi’s there because she didn’t know if Rita and I would be able to have bread at the resort.

    Those of you with family and friends know how BIG this is for those who must eat gluten-free!! Can you tell I am excited?

Gretchen (Mom)

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Walmart Remodel and Gluten-Free Section!

    Our grocery shopping list is a computerized printout of grocery items that we customarily purchase arranged by store isle and product. On the day before our every-other-week shopping expedition Don places a copy of the listing on the kitchen counter. There will be items that he has already marked that he, as chief cook, has noted that we need. I am required to add the items from my kitchen notes and we shop from this consolidated list.

    When Walmart started the remodel several shopping trips ago Don noted with satisfaction that they were leaving the grocery section alone – it’s perfect, it matches our list, so of course it doesn’t need to change. I kept telling him they would get to it. So theoretically I could have said ‘I told you so’ but that would have only caused him more stress. So I settled for ‘you’ve been in denial!’ which is marginally less obnoxious.

    The bad news is we have to completely change the list. The good news is that there is now a GLUTEN-FREE SECTION! And they have TINKYADA pastas and BOB’s RED MILL products. That was all I could check out since Husband was pushing the cart so fast the wheels were almost smoking. He tends to do that when he is irritated; usually with me for tossing items in the basket that are ‘NOT on the list.’ You may have gathered the impression that our marriage resembles an ongoing stand-up comedy routine and that would be fairly accurate.

    We are taking our comedy routine on vacation so it will be a couple of weeks before I can get back over to the store and really scope out that new gluten-free section. We are taking the notebook PC and we will have internet access along the way. So I will have time to write about new products and recipes that I have been neglecting.

Mom (Gretchen)

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