Friday, October 24, 2014

Gluten Free in Hilton Head

Our trip from Hilton Head was very tough for us to leave it was that good! Especially since I discovered amazing GF food our last night there...and had more on my list to try!  

As I have mentioned before we are frequently visit Disney since we have their DVC, and because they are so amazing with accommodating food allergies/sensitivities.  For our trip to Hilton Head, we stayed at the Disney HH resort.  It has the same magical Disney feel without the park, and characters...just relaxing!  The only Disney character is Shadow who is a real live golden retriever!  

At the resort they only have quick services; which is fine with us since it gave us a chance to explore more eats!  Even at Disney HH they are very accommodating to allergies, and take all the necessary steps to provide safe food.  We also picked up some food at a Whole Foods down the street.  We did have a full kitchen -but, to play it safe with the pots and such, I don't  use them.  

For our quick serves, we had burgers, hot dogs (both with GF buns), turkey sandwich with GF bread, and fries (baked since they don't have a dedicated fryer).  And...are you ready for this?!?!  They even had Dole Whip...yup, even Dole Whip!!  Can you tell its a fav?!?!  If you haven't tried it, it's a must!!

We typically had a quick serve for lunch, and then enjoyed breakfast in our room.  I packed Chex instant oatmeal packs, and picked up yogurt and fruit at Whole Foods.  On our last morning we did have breakfast as a quick serve and it was amazing:  bacon, acrvles eggs, and mini mickey waffles.

Now...onto the Hilton Head eats that we enjoyed off the property. Unfortunately, we had a quick visit so we only tried 2 new places outside of what we have already tried before.  Our first 2 nights, we had Carabba's Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill.  I'm a creature of habit and usually stick to my comfort of places I feel safe -but, built up the guts to go out of that comfort zone.  So, we tried Hudson's and The Black Marlin Bayside Grill, too!  Carabba's & Bonefish have a gluten free menu -however, my other 2 visits had GF noted on the regular menu for options.  

Guess I should also mention I did a lot of research before this trip too!  We used to have a local Celiac Support group -but, the president ironically moved to Hilton Head so I always reach out to her before my visit.  Our last visit to 5 was 5 years ago, and my discovery of our past support group president was a very pleasant surprise!  BTW, HH has come very far in the past 5 years!! Thanks to my go-to contact who is a true pro, I used the Find me GF app, and the Hiton Head Guide the resorts provide.  In the front of the Hiton Head guide, it noted GF friendly eat on the index, too!  Having all the information this infomtion in hand, it gave me great confidence to go out of my comfort, and try new eats!  

We are seafood lovers -so, we thought to try Husdons Real Local Seafood.  We, of course, had fresh crab leg!  My pick for dinner was the grilled salmon, with baked potato, and broccoli.  It was good -but, heavily buttered.  Since eating so many real foods lately, I got full quick from the heavily buttered meal.  Not to hubby enjoyed the rest!!  Miss J loved her first experience with crab legs, and enjoyed her shrimp & broccoli, too!

Now...onto my fav...The Black Marlin Bayside Grill.  We thought Hudson's ones was good until we ate here!  

The Black Marlin was amazing!  We started with crab legs again, and an order of potato skins made with pulled pork.  

Miss J is a shrimp lover, and had shrimp again!  However, her shrimp at the Black Marlin was literally the best shrimp I have ever tasted in my life.  
For me, I had the Grilled Salmon Salad...and it was amazing! The salad had mixed greens, strawberries, blue cheese crumbles, candied pecans, and a raspberry poppy seed vinaigrette.  Outstanding!  We all left The Black Marlin with very full, happy bellies! 

In case your wondering what my hubby had...well, he always has gluten or as we call it gluten glitch when we are out to eat.  Since our house is 100% GF, he typically has gluten when we eat out of the house.

My biggest regret of the whole trip was not going out of my comfort zone sooner!!!  

For our next Hilton Head trip, I already have a wishlist for our eats:

Hope this passes on some useful info, and maybe gives one of you confidence like I did on venturing out of my comfort zone!  If you have any Hilon Head recommendations, I'd love to hear them for our future visits!  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gluten Free Kids Party

This weekend we had Miss J's 5th birthday party, and had a blast celebrating!  It was held at a local bounce place with all inflatable fun!  Typically the bounce place provides pizza for the kid -but, made an exception for us to bring in our own food due to Miss J being gluten intolerant.  Although I could have made it much easier for me, and had the other kids have the pizza and just make Miss J a separate pizza -but, I wanted to have all 100% safe.  

Since the party was from 11 AM - 12:45 PM we had a light snack type lunch with carrot sticks, cheese cubes, grapes, and GF pretzels individually portioned out.  For the adults, we all snacked on a veggie tray, cheese with a side of spicy mustard, and pretzels.  After the party, I realized I didn't send any of the kids hone sugared up since we didn't even hand out candy for the snack bags!  (more about that later!)  

For the cake, I made GF ice cream cone cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting.  The helpers at the bounce place were quite intrigues, and thought the were real ice cream cones -but, couldn't figure out how I kept them from melting!  I'm so disappointed...with all the craziness of the party, I forgot to take a picture of the finished project of the cones.  However, you can get an idea from the blog page that gave me the idea!  Thanks to JoJo & Eloise for the Ice Cream Cone Cupcake idea! 

(Unfinished product)
Miss J is a huge animal lover, and wanted to to somehow include that in her party -so, each child adopted a puppy...a plush one that is!!  Each child went home with a little plush webkins puppy in a little house, with a certificate of adoption signed by Miss J!  The kids all loved it -plus, they all got a new little friend to snuggle!  To get more details on this idea, check out this link:  Puppy Adoption Idea Link.

It was a true joy to watch all the smiles on the kids faces, and know that I provided a 100% safe environment for my baby girl...and myself!  And...even more of a joy that all enjoyed the food! Next time, I process to get more pictures!!    

I'd love to hear what you have done for birthday parties, too!!