Beauty and The Celiac

Surviving Being Celiac...One Place at a Time

Palisade cafe – Colorado wine country

We had several recommendations to try this place. Total let down. Our only option was a burger whereas a year ago we could have anything. No silverware despite asking. No cheese on the burnt and over cooked burger. No service. Never once came back. Last year they made fries on the cook top. Today. Salad. This place has gone down hill and not long cares about its guests.

New Cook Book – Deliciously Gluten Free Volume 2

Wow! what a 2020 it has been. Got to spend 3 months with girls, have had lots of time to do stuff around the house and more importantly time to experiment with new and delicious gluten free recipes.

So I am please to introduce my second cook cook: Deliciously Gluten Free, Volume 2. In this new version you are going to find several updates to many from volume 1 as well as more than 30 new creations, like gluten free Chicken Cordon-Bleu or Maple Glazed Salmon.

Great Experience at Tony Packo’s Hot Dogs in Toledo

This week, we were in Toledo, OH for a fantastic job interview opportunity (which went great by the way)… Now that the interviewing is all wrapped up, we wanted to spend some time exploring the area, learning all about what Toledo and the surrounding areas had to offer, and see some sights with Jeff, our tour guide and real-estate agent (super knowledgable)!

Jeff, and a few others, suggested we try Tony Packo’s for lunch today. It is Toledo’s home for hot dogs, pickles, chili and a few other Hungarian wonders est. in 1932. I know what you are thinking, “who stops for a hot dog?”, especially being gluten free… Well, we did our homework and found out they carry gluten free buns, which are soft and actually fit in your mouth, and have several other items that are gluten free. So, why not give this historic and star-studded famous place as try?… It did not disappoint!

There are a few locations around the area and we visited the Westgate spot. We were greeted by Skylaar Constant, the former defensive end from Toledo University Rockets! He was warm and welcoming with a polite and pleasant manner. Skylaar set the tone for a positive experience right away. Of course, we had some hesitation about eating given our giant fear of being glutened. Not to fear, Skylaar had our back. He immediately went through the menu, made some recommendations and handed us several samples to try.

Skylaar Constant

The first sample was the chili with beans. I am picky about my chili and found this to be flavorful and exciting. Next up was stewed cabbage with lots of paprika (delicious). Last sample (or so we thought) was a chicken chili that was a complete 180 from the original beef chili. The chicken chilly was also tasty and something I would not hesitate to order!.

After several samples and great conversation with Skylaar, we finally ordered hot dogs on gluten free buns, mustard, onions, and chili. What a great hot dog with a soft gluten free bun and a really tasty snappy dog. I was impressed! This meal brought back several memories of going to Stewarts Hot Dogs in Huntington, WV when I was a kid and getting hot dogs topped with sauce with my pops and dad. Its really amazing when food can bring back such an iconic and nostalgia moment and, at the same time, establish a new memory from another outstanding place.

chili dog, gluten free bun, sweet hot pickles and cabbage

The last thing I want to mention about this place are the pickles. We all know how much Leah loves a pickle. So we were not getting out of there without trying the pickles. The plate of food comes with a couple of pickles to sample, but once Skylaar found out we loved pickles he came out with two different bowls of the original and sweet hots to try. Really… good… pickles!!! I preferred the sweet hots, Leah the original. Even better Skylaar wanted to make sure went went home with a couple of jars to share with friends back in Colorado. So we ended up with garlic and sweet hot. We tried for pay for them but Skylaar was not going to allow that.

Fantastic pickles!

We were treated great at this place. Our food issues were cared about and the service was top notch. This was not just a quick place to stop in for lunch, it was an experience that builds a special memory.

It will be one of the the most uplifting experiences we had here in Toledo. Thank you, Skylaar and thank you, Tony Packo’s!

Holy Toledo! There is certainly a lot to offer here! Water abound, historic towns, great scenery, growing food scene, WONDERFUL people, museums and interesting facts and history! We could easily see ourselves living and thriving here! What a hidden gem of an area.

See you again soon, Toledo!

Weekly Recipe – Florentine Chicken

This it a great dish to dive into if you are new to cooking or maybe nervous about making something that sounds pretty fancy… I can assure you this is an easy one to make and will wow any guests you are having over for dinner. Give it a try and see for yourself how easy this one is to make.

Serve with a nice crisp white wine and steamed or roasted asparagus.

Florentine Chicken


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely diced onions
  • ¼ cup cooking sherry, white wine or chicken stock
  • 3 cups spinach, well rinsed
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a medium size pan or Dutch oven
  3. Cook chicken until nicely browned, about 5 minutes on each side
  4. Remove chicken and set aside making sure to retain any juices
  5. In the same pan, add the onions and sauté 3-4 minutes
  6. Stir in the garlic next and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes
  7. Deglaze the plan with the wine (or stock), making sure to loosen and of the stuck bits on the bottom of the pan
  8. Add in the spinach and wilt down until fully cooked, about 3 minutes or so
  9. Add any additional salt and pepper per taste
  10. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in ricotta cheese and cream, simmer for another 3 minutes but not letting the cream come to a boil
  11. Add the chicken and juices back in and simmer another 2-3 minutes


If you have an Air Fryer, this is a great dish to help increase the easy factor. Toss the seasoned chicken into the Air Fryer for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through.

Beef & Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

These were so much fun to make together and so yummy and healthy! All family members were clean plate club – even the girls!

We thought we had riced cauliflower at home but when we started to make them we discovered we did not! Uh! So we used brown rice instead. Not as low carb as I’d like but you eat what cha got!

Weekly Recipe – Moroccan Pork Chops

I love making this dish. It’s a really easy recipe to present pork chops in a new way. I tend to make it more on the spicy side and double the amount of red pepper, but eliminate it when I am serving it to my littles.

Speaking of the littles. This was their first time trying this dish, so we were not sure how it was going to go. Both littles gave it two thumbs up, which for them is a double-like! They loved the pork and the introductions to the new spices in the dish. We saved this with sautéed squash, wilted spinach and mashies. Clean plate clubs all around.

Moroccan Marinated Pork Chops


  • 4 thick cut porkchops (or chicken breasts)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (I leave this out for the littles)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Butterfly porkchops/chicken (cut in half) and pound to about ½” thickness using a food mallet
  2. Place chicken in large zip-lock bag
  3. Mix remaining ingredients (except porkchops) in a bowl, whisking well to combine fully, about 2 minutes
  4. Pour mixture in with pork and massage around to cover all evenly
  5. Squeeze out any remaining air and seal bag, storing in refrigerator for 4-6 hours
    1. Massage at least 1 more time about halfway through
    1. Note: can stay in marinade for up to 24 hours
  6. Preheat a pan to medium high heat and cook chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side, just until it starts to brown and crisp around the edges
    1. Also, works great on the grill
  7. Topping suggestion: Greek Yoghurt with fresh herbs and garlic stirred in

Afternoon Tea Party

Yesterday, our family set up a formal tea party! Completely gluten free, of course! We pulled out my great-grandmother’s formal china made in 1920, real silver silverware, table cloth, place mats and napkins. We all got dressed up and made actual invitations to give to each “guest” attending!

We lined the stairs with stuffed animals to allow the girls, Kellen is 8 and Korra is 6, to have a royal guard to escort them to the tea party. Kellen invited her sick puppy and purple blanket to sit next to her and Korra invited her monkey and Minnie Mouse blanket to sit next to her!

We served cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches, egg salad with crackers, deviled eggs with bacon, chocolate mint cookies and port wine filled chocolate (for adults only). And of course, mint tea!

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company.

This place sure did not disappoint. It’s sitting at the end of a long pier. Not very big and no tables inside, bar type seats. Tables outside along pier… great place for the sunset.

So… no gluten free menu to speak of, but servers are knowledge and so many things are already gluten free and others with tiny mods are easily Celiac safe. It’s only seafood, so you have to be seafood ready.

First up was Dungeness Crab cocktail. This was excellent and overflowing with crab. It was almost enough on its own.

Second was the outstanding Ciapinno… I say outstanding because so many places give it a whirl and it Disappoint. This didn’t not. Half a crab, shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels. Excellent flavor with a hint of spice. The fresh basil added a little mystery. I’d put this top two for sure!

They do not have a full bar… beer, wine, bubbles and one single cider. I had the cider, which was local but could have been more try for my preference.

In closing. Good spot for gluten free and awesome seafood. I’d come back for sure.

Restauracja Pod Baranem – Poland

Great find near the castle in Warsaw Poland. Very large gluten free menu with dedicated safe space to cook in. Tonight I had beetroot soup with meatballs. Which, if you don’t like beets this is an exceptional dish to dig into. Flavorful and brothy!

Dinner was 2 different kids of gluten free Pirogies! I was impressed. Soft, well made bad packed with polish flair!

Dessert… well I cannot speak enough s out the dessert. No idea what’s it’s called but is the only GF cake on the menu. I’m not sure I have ever had a dessert that good. Sweet, perfectly soft cake, pudding. Wow!!!

I’ll have to add this place as on me of my favorites in Warsaw!

Nic & Norman’s – Senoia, GA

BnCR: safe but just ok

Nic & Norman’s is a burger joint with a few other upscale options. The atmosphere is pretty and service is ok. The restaurant is owned by two of the actors from The Walking Dead. I had a bison burger with a gf bun that tasted like it was previously frozen and an attempt at roasted Brussels sprouts with goat cheese on top.

I did have to ask the waiter to double check the sauce that was on the side to be sure it was gf; he then came back and took the sauce off my plate saying they weren’t sure.

Over all not a tasty meal…just food.

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