The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa

The Property:

Pools, a golf course, mountain views, a spa, restaurants, and more, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa is the ultimate weekend escape. I had the opportunity to visit the hotel the other week and given my schedule was hectic, it was the perfect place to come home to in-between the craziness of my meetings and just sit back and relax. Even in the 105 degree heat!!

Whether you are looking for a golf retreat, place to have your next corporate event, or a simple getaway, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa is for you!

The pools on the property are absolutely beautiful! “Las Brisas” is the main pool and also the largest. It is located closest to the hotel lobby and restaurants making it a fun and convenient area to grab some sun. If you are looking for a quieter afternoon, check out “Las Hadas,” the Adult (18+) pool. Finally there is “La Paloma,” which is the quiet pool!

DINING:

I had the opportunity to dine at the Westin’s main restaurant, Pinzimini, for breakfast, and I was very pleased with their spread! I mean, eggs, avocado, and smoked salmon are the key foods to my heart! The first morning my friend and I dined at the restaurant and the second morning we decided to order our favorites to the room directly.

Note: the hash browns are not gluten free, nor is the granola!

Gluten-free items are noted on the lunch and dinner menus, and some GF options include the Kale Salad, Shrimp Avocado Salad (my go-to whenever I see one offered!), Beetroot Pistachio Ricotta Salata Salad, and a Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza!!

The Westin is also home to the Fireside Lounge, Las Brisas Cafe, Mission Hills Market Cafe, Season’s Grill, and they have in-room dining! 

Not pictured but also on the property are an amazing tennis court and fitness center! I usually don’t workout on vacations, but I hit the gym every day! It was too nice to skip!

Greater Palm Springs:

Our trip to the desert was to gear up for Palm Springs Restaurant Week! This year, PSRW is June 2-11, and I was so amazed to see how many amazing restaurants are up in Palm Springs, and how they are all so accommodating for people with gluten-allergies!!

Here is where we went:


Lulu California Bistro-
Palm Spring’s go-to brunch hotspot. Gluten-free pizza, pasta, salads, and more! The restaurant’s super causal vibe makes it great for any and all occasions, and don’t leave without diving into a mound of cotton candy!
State Fare Bar + Kitchen- One of the most beautiful restaurant’s I’ve been to in the state of California. Watch the sunset while indulging in gluten-free pita and exquisite cuisine.


King’s Highway Diner- This famous ‘diner’ belongs to the Ace Hotel. Eat inside in the adorable diner, or outside by the pool. Gluten-free tacos are a must, and the restaurant goes out of their way to accommodate gluten-allergies! I’m still dreaming on my Oasis Salad and poolside margaritas!
Bonta Restaurant & Bar- Known for their meats and German delicacies, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many gluten-free options were offered!

Huge thanks to Greater Palm Springs for hosting us on this stay! To read more about Restaurant Week and activities in Palm Springs, visit their website, here! https://visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

Stoli® Crushed

I know I’ve been teasing, but it’s FINALLY time to announce the launch of Stoli® Crushed! Stoli Vodka is expanding their portfolio into the real fruit juice vodka sub-category with this new, fresh, fun expression of premium Stoli Vodka mixed with real fruit juice! Think your classic (gluten-free) vodka, but blended with 10 percent real fruit juice for a refreshing taste. So these beautiful colors you see here… they are totally natural!!

You may be thinking “I’ve seen fruit flavored vodka before” but this is TOTALLY different. The fruit juice in Stoli Crushed is REAL and Crushed has 20 percent less calories than its closest real fruit juice vodka competitor. Stoli Crushed mixes perfectly with Crushed Ice and/or club soda, delivering a refreshing, cocktail that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. I love it because it is easy to drink on-the-go – from the beach to the backyard –  just unscrew the cap to make delicious simple cocktails and let the fun begin.

Flavors:

  • Pineapple: Tropical ripe, juicy pineapple with a fragrant citrus nose
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit: Fresh pink grapefruit with a bright citrus nose

If you didn’t catch it above… you don’t want to miss the best part! Crushed is made with 88% corn and 12% buckwheat, just like Stoli Gluten-free, so it’s 100% gluten-free, too! “Gluten-Free” is even noted crystal clear on each bottle. Serve in a pitcher, or use in your fun summer cocktails, I can’t wait for you all to give it a taste!

Schar Gluten Free

Gluten Free brands are emerging left and right, each rivaling each other in uniqueness and taste. So what makes a brand stand out? Exactly that. Uniqueness and taste. Also history, mission, and dedication to the gluten-free community around the world.

Schar started in Italy over 35 years ago, which may surprise some as Italy and gluten-free aren’t exactly synonymous. Especially 35 years ago!! But the brand has been a total hit in Italy, and their impact in the U.S. has been no less significant.

I’ve tried Schar gluten-free bread in the past, as well as their Honeygrams, but with such a diverse product line I haven’t had the chance to try everything. Until now!

First, I have to start with the Honeygrams. Does anyone else miss graham crackers as much as I do?? Graham crackers were one of my favorite snacks growing up, and these taste just like I remember! My S’mores eating days are back!

Next, CROISSANTS! I went to my local bakery multiple times a week growing up so that I could have a chocolate croissant for breakfast. And on mornings that I didn’t go to the bakery, I cooked Pillsbury croissants and would eat the whole pack by myself! When I saw the croissants in my gift bag I couldn’t contain my excitement; they were the first item I cooked! NOTE: you will see on the croissant package that the croissants contain “wheat.” Per the Gluten Free Mall, the croissants contain “gluten free wheat starch.  Wheat starch is the carbohydrate component that is left after processing wheat flour to remove the protein portion.  Schar has determined this product is safe for individuals with celiac disease, but not for those with wheat allergies.” PHEW!

Now to the bread category. Yes Schar has gluten-free breads, but their product line is absolutely one of the most unique out there! Deli style bread, Hot Dog Rolls, Baguettes, Crispbreads, and flatbreads!! Seriously, I’ve never seen a gluten-free baguette so long! I’m also constantly comparing gluten-free breads to one another, and this bread tastes SO much like gluten-filled bread it’s wild! It also is ‘fluffy,’ a trait many gluten-free breads lack.

Lastly, I have to talk about all of Schar’s snacks! I already touched on the Honeygrams, but Cocoa Wafers, Butter Cookies, Oat Biscuits, Cheese Bites, Snack Cakes, Table Crackers, Italian Breadsticks, and Chocolate Hazelnut Bars round out the crew, and they are all must-haves!

Schar goes out of their way to make the gluten-free feel as though they are back in their gluten-full days, and with so many product lines there is a Schar product for everyone!

To find Schar products near you, check out their Store Locater, here!  And to buy online, visit a third party site such as the GlutenFreeMall or Jet.Com to purchase!!

Chocolate Chip Avocado Banana Bread

Avocados. Bananas. Chocolate Chips. Need I say more?! This week’s NOBREAD Bread incorporates all of my favorite foods! Oh! And I can’t forget my favorite natural sugar, coconut sugar. I’m so curious to hear what y’all think; when I finished making it, I actually thought I did it all wrong! Turns out this unique bread has a ‘different’ outcome… but I love different, and this bread is no exception. It’s pretty amazing!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 4T Coconut Oil
  • 1 avocado (1/2 cup mashed)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Dairy-Free Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • Dairy-Free chocolate chips

What You Will Do:

  • In one bowl, mash your banana. In another, whisk your eggs. In a third, mash your avocado. Combine all 3 in a large bowl.
  • Add coconut oil and dairy-free milk. I used almond.
  • In a small bowl, combine GF Flour, Coconut Sugar, and Baking soda. Mix together.

  • Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and mix.

  • Sprinkle in chocolate chips!
  • Pour batter in a bread pan, and top with a few more chocolate chips!
  • Cook at 350 for 50 minutes.

**NOTE: This is the one bread recipe where the good ‘ol check your bread with a toothpick trick WON’T WORK. The consistency of this bread is going to be more mushy! The bread was ready to come out at 40-45 minutes, but I left it in the oven for 50 minutes, because I wanted the outside of the bread to be nice and crisp. The contrast of crisp bread edge to soft inside is heavenly!

Honestly, this is one of the better NOBREAD Breads I’ve made!! If you are concerned about ‘tasting’ the avocado in the bread… you really don’t! And if you are concerned that the mushier inside means the bread is undercooked… no again! Can’t wait for you to try it!

Lemon Meringue Tart at By The Way Bakery

By The Way Bakery Launches Artisan Breads!

Gluten Free Artisan Bread By The Way Bakery

Gluten Free Artisan Bread

When I first heard that By the Way Bakery had recently launched a new line of breads, I knew I had to get in to try them! Since By the Way opened its first location in Manhattan in 2014 (the flagship opened in Westchester in 2011), it has been one of my favorite gluten-free bakeries in NYC despite the increasing number of competitors.

Avocado Toast using Gluten Free Artisan Bread By The Way Bakery

Avocado Toast using Gluten Free Artisan Bread

While By the Way has always sold sweet treats and pastries, the new artisan bread line marks one its first forays into savory baking. The line includes dinner rolls, demi ficelles, mini baguettes, and boules. Unlike some gluten free breads, all of the varieties are able to hold up to spreads and toppings without falling apart. The baguettes are great for hearty sandwiches, while the boule serves as an awesome base for breakfast toast, whether you are topping with avocado and a poached egg or using it to make french toast! Not to mention, they taste just like their gluten-filled counterparts…or so we’ve been told by our friends and families who have tried them. While I like to buy all of their breads for myself to enjoy throughout the week, they are especially great for entertaining or hosting guests over a holiday even if your guests aren’t gluten-free. They’ll have no idea they are eating gluten-free bread unless you tell them and you won’t have to make as many separate appetizers and dishes for yourself and your guests!

Blueberry Almond Muffins and Madeleines at By The Way Bakery

Blueberry Almond Muffins and Madeleines

Like holidays, weddings are another example of an event where hosts want to be sure everyone, including them, is able to enjoy the food and most importantly, the cake, regardless of dietary restrictions! Gluten-free brides, however, often worry their guests will be turned off by a gluten-free cake. Thankfully, By the Way Bakery also offers wedding cakes, which are sure to please all guests – even the biggest wheat devotees! They will work with you to make sure the flavor and design of the cake are exactly what you had in mind for your big day!

Gluten Free pastries By The Way Bakery

Gluten Free pastries

By the Way Bakery now has locations in Westchester, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, and Greenwich, CT. If you haven’t tried their delicious pastries and bread, make sure to stop in to one of their locations soon. And “by the way,” all of their products are gluten-free, dairy-free, and Kosher, but you’d never know from the looks and taste of them!

Fudge Brownie Cookies at By The Way Bakery

Fudge Brownie Cookies

Stoli Gluten Free Freeze Pops!

Summer is AROUND THE CORNER! And the only thing I love more than summertime and the beach is a cool, tasty cocktail in my hand as I enjoy the season. Fruity cocktails have always been my favorite, but often these cocktail contain ingredients that are high in sugar or high in our enemy, gluten. To remedy this, I’m making your next BBQ… or afternoon refreshment… healthy, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious! Introducing my Strawberry Lime Vodka Pops made with Stoli Gluten Free! 

What You Will Need:

Strawberry Syrup (see below)
1 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
1 Cup Stoli Gluten Free
4 Cups Water

For the syrup:
1 Cup Strawberries
1 Cup Sugar (I used Organic Cane Sugar)
1 Cup Water

What You Will Do:

  • First make the simple syrup. In a saucepan, boil 1 Cup of water.
  • Once boiling, add in 1 Cup sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Once dissolved, let your syrup cool.
  • Add 1 Cup strawberries and bring back to a boil.
  • Let the strawberries boil for about 10 minutes… you will notice the syrup will turn red and thicken!
  • After 10 minutes let your strawberry syrup cool.

  • In a pitcher, combine strawberry syrup, 1 Cup fresh lime juice, 1 Cup Stoli Gluten Free, and 4 Cups of water.
  • Stir together.
  • Once mixed, pour into your ice pop holders! I made 6 ice pops with this quantity, and kept the remaining juice in the refrigerator so I could make more pops later… and have a glass after dinner 😉

The ice pops will take about 3 hours to freeze in a freezer. If you have difficulty removing the ice pops from the holder when you are ready to eat them, run the ice pop under cool sink water for a few seconds to loosen!

Homemade, refreshing, and guaranteed gluten-free! Summertime cocktails don’t get much better than this!

 

Marble Banana Bread

What do you do when you come home from a week away and you have SUPER ripe bananas sitting on your counter? Make banana bread! I’ve made just about every banana bread there is to make, but on my quest to make a different NOBREAD Bread each week, I’ve discovered a new recipe!

Marble breads are beautiful, and flavorful, so I figured why not kick my banana bread game up a notch, and use unsweetened cocoa powder to make a beautiful marble banana bread? You will see in my ingredient shot below a bowl of chia… I was going to use chia “eggs” and make the bread vegan, but then I realized this may mess with my color scheme, and I switched it out for traditional organic eggs!

What You Will Need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 Cups almond flour
  • 2T coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of Pink Himalayan salt
  • 3T unsweetened Cocoa powder

What You Will Do:

  • In a large bowl, combine your wet ingredients (3 ripe bananas, eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla)
  • In a small bowl, combine your dry ingredients EXCEPT the cocoa powder (almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt)

  • Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and mix.

  • Once combined, your mixture will measure to about 3 Cups. Pour 1.5 Cups in one bowl, and 1.5 Cups in the other.

  • Add 3T Cocoa Powder to ONE of the bowls, and combine.
  • Line your bread pan with parchment paper. Pour scoops of each bowl into the bread pan so that the colors rotate.

  • With a knife, swirl your mixture!

  • Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean!

  • Slice and serve! Each bite in unique, with flavors of almond, coconut, banana, and chocolate! I mean… what more could you want!

To be honest, I’ve seen prettier marble swirls… but I’d like to think this was a great first try!! I’ll work on my knife skills for my next marble cake. If anyone has any tips, let me know!

Garden Lites

Time to get PERSONAL.

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Eight years ago I was diagnosed with my gluten-allergy and put on an elimination diet that removed gluten, dairy, soy, fruit, nuts, and anything artificial from my life. So what did I eat? All-things bland and plain! Sliced turkey, rotisserie chicken, steamed vegetables, egg whites… oh and I can’t forget rice cakes!! During this time, I was in my third year at Cornell University, where there was Wegman’s, a.k.a my savior. One day while roaming around Wegman’s, I stumbled upon Garden Lites soufflés. The soufflés were gluten, dairy, soy, and nut-free, and had SO many good-for-you flavors and ingredients packed into one little box I immediately purchased a few! The soufflés were light yet filling, and added much needed flavor into my diet.

The cool thing about Garden Lites, too, is that veggies are the first ingredient in all products.  Garden Lites is on a mission to create DELICIOUS foods that are truly healthy, and what’s even better than their flavor combos is that they take just minutes in a microwave to make, and if frozen, still take just minutes to cook!

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I’ve followed Garden Lites over the last 8 years, and watching them grow and develop has been amazing. They recognized the importance of gluten-free YEARS before it was cool to recognize it, and for that they will forever have my loyalty. Currently, I’m obsessing over their line of muffins! They are Non-GMO, Gluten, Dairy & Nut Free, and they come in Chocolate, Blueberry Oat, Banana Chocolate Chip, Carrot Berry, and Superfood Veggie. If you’re wondering what the first ingredient is in the Banana Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Muffins… its zucchini! P.S. In this post you’ll see limited pictures of the Banana Chocolate Chip, and that’s because I ate most of them before it was time to shoot pics!

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To cook the muffins, place the microwavable bag in the microwave for 10 seconds if defrosted, and 35 seconds if frozen! That’s it! The muffins are smaller than the size of your palm, about ~100 calories, and high in fiber and whole grains! Wait, I said they’re delicious, right?! You would never know you’re essentially eating vegetables in muffin form, and the egg whites and oats add just the right amount of protein so they are the prefect breakfast or midday snack. Other gluten-free offerings from Garden Lites include Veggie Bakes and Waffles!

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If you don’t see Garden Lites at a store near you, you can buy them on TheHealthFoodStore.com !! To see where you can purchase Garden Lites products, check out their store locater, here! You’ll also find a coupon for a discount off your next purchase!

** For the month of May in honor of Celiac Awareness month the Classic Cooking team is donating 1% of all online sales at TheHealthFoodStore.com to Celiac Disease Foundation. The CDF Team Gluten-Free name and logo and Celiac Disease Foundation name are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of this product or service.

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KIND “Raise the Bar” CONTEST!

How cool is THIS?! Have you ever wanted to have say in the new flavor of one of your favorite companies?! Well for the first time ever, KIND will empower fans to choose its next bar flavor in a nationwide “Raise the Bar” contest. Four potential innovations — Sangria, Spiced Fig, Sweet Pretzel Crunch and Sesame Seaweed — will go head-to-head starting May 9th through May 31st. Anyone can vote, and the winning flavor will be announced in mid-June. The most exciting piece – 1,000 people who vote for the winning flavor will be selected at random, and actually get some bars sent their way!

I’m loving Seaweed right now… so Sesame Seaweed is getting my vote!!

Vote for which Limited Flavor Edition you would like to see next, here! 

www.kindsnacks.com/raisethebar

#KINDRaiseTheBar

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NUTRO™: Man’s Best Friend’s Best Friend

I’m sharing #NUTRO in my life as part of a NUTRO sponsored series for Socialstars™.

If you follow NOBREAD, it’s pretty clear we are very particular about what we put in our bodies. From eating the healthiest gluten-free food to some of our most recent content about ketosis, it’s important for us to fuel our daily lives with only the best products this earth has to offer. It would only make sense we treated our furry friends the same way.

NUTRO™

Photo by Analiese Trimber

While it is rare but possible for dogs to have Celiac Disease, it is even more common for them to develop intolerances to the protein. As it turns out, there are some undeniable truths about gluten that hold true regardless of the species. Probably the most poignant point is that gluten is a known inflammatory – this especially includes gut inflammation, which we can imagine is just as uncomfortable for a dog as it is a human.

We recently found out about a pet food brand whose product takes into account all our feelings on the subject. Case and point, NUTRO™’s philosophy is NUTRO. FEED CLEAN.™ If that doesn’t have NOBREAD written all over it, we don’t know what does.

NUTRO™

Photo by Analiese Trimber

NUTRO™ has designed a dog food that is made without GMOs, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Plus, some of their products are completely grain-free. For example, the first ingredient in their NUTRO™ Limited Ingredient Grain Free Venison Meal & Sweet Potato flavor is venison meal – as it should be. Trace amounts of genetically modified material may be present due to potential cross contact during manufacturing.

This recipe is also free from corn and soy, which can upset the tummies of some dogs. Corn and soy happen to be common allergens in humans, too. Isn’t it a coincidence how similar the digestive tracts are between dogs and humans?

NUTRO™

Photo by Analiese Trimber

At the end of the day, it only makes sense to be equally as passionate about what we feed ourselves as what we feed our pets. While they might not have to bop around for meetings or hold a 9-5 job, fun play time and an exhausting day at the dog park requires some serious fuel.

Cookie Dough Hummus with Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate

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Growing up, the only thing I loved more than making chocolate chip cookies was eating the chocolate chip cookie dough. Often, half the batter would be gone by the time I got around to baking the cookies! I also don’t know why I am speaking in the past, this is still the case! I will admit, however, that I feel guilty every time I eat the dough because not only is it SO unhealthy, but the dough always contains raw egg. Introducing my Cookie Dough Hummus; a protein packed dough that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and actually good for you!

It is officially May, which is also National Celiac Awareness Month, and my favorites over at Enjoy Life Foods and I have decided to create this PERFECT, gluten-friendly treat for all of our GF friends. The cookie dough is perfect as your next cocktail party appetizer, after-dinner dessert, midday snack, and for the parents out there, this is the kind of cookie dough you WANT your kids to be having!

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What You Will Need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained)
  •  1/3 cup of  sunbutter (or any other nut-free butter!)
  •  2T Coconut Sugar
  • 2T Maple Syrup
  • 1T Olive Oil
  •  1 tsp vanilla
  •  A pinch of Himalayan salt
  •  Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate

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What You Will Do:

  • Place Chickpeas, Sunbutter, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, Olive Oil, vanilla, and salt in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth!
  • Scoop mixture into a bowl, and sprinkle with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

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The chocolate chips totally make the Cookie Dough Hummus complete, and add just the right amount of sweetness!

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