“Buh-bye” February!

Monica says:

As I begin writing this post, we are in the midst of yet another snow storm to be followed by ice…March is certainly carrying the bad weather forward!

I had a very busy end to February and luckily, it included some sun and a lot of fun!

Yes, my sister and I went to “The Sunshine State” of Florida to visit some wonderful friends and get some much needed rest and relaxation.

And even though Florida was experiencing some very cold weather, the last few days of our trip were in the 70s while our northern families and friends were in a deep freeze. So let’s just say we felt very blessed!

While visiting the Seminole/St. Petersburg area, I was able to find some gluten-free goodies! Here are a few of my finds!

Double Tree @ North Redington Beach had a gluten-free menu!

Turkey Reuben with roasted turkey breast, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut on toasted GF caraway seed bread! Accompanied with Strawberry Lemonade with beach umbrella….mandatory!

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Horiatiki Salad @ Hellas in Tarpon Springs….garden fresh tomato wedges, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, Greek olives, and feta cheese. I had mine with oil and vinegar to be safe.

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The “best Gyro in town” without the pita @ Hellas! A blend of lamb and beef, broiled….melted in my mouth with tzatziki sauce! Delightful!

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We had to go to Florida to find a Pizza Hut that carried gluten-free pizza….was a treat but didn’t have the taste I remember! I guess I was really missing that gluten-filled crust….oh well!

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A visit to the Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Pete was the best place yet! We could have wandered in this place all day! Everyone was hustling and bustling about….great fun!

Of course, I had to have dark chocolate gelato and look at these Italian salamis and pepperonis!

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February ended on a very high note when Lewie and I attended the wedding of our dear friends’ son, Ian who married his high school sweetheart, Sarah. Lewie and I (also high school sweethearts) celebrated our own wedding anniversary just a week prior and were so happy to be invited to this celebration! And the weather cooperated!

Ian’s mom, Dori, and I first met when I was hired as an elementary librarian at a school district in the Poconos where her children attended school. She was hired as my library assistant and our friendship was cemented right off the bat! We had so much in common and have been close ever since….19 years and counting!

Later, when I transferred to the high school, I was again connected with Dori’s children….just loved having them!

Luckily our husbands are good friends too….Mike and Lewie have a lot in common as well….both LOVE food and are great cooks! Lucky us….although we aren’t too bad in the kitchen, either!

Anyway, Ian and Sarah chose what proved to be the absolute best place to have their wedding reception….The Brownstone in Paterson, New Jersey.  It was stunning in every way!

The food was phenomenal….by far, the best wedding reception food we’ve ever eaten! It truly did not taste like mass-produced food at all….it was fine dining!

And even if I couldn’t eat some of it…I admired the smells and beautiful presentation of the appetizers, the drinks, the salads, the entrées, etc.

To say that we were “stuffed” is an understatement! You just couldn’t help yourself….so much to eat and so little time!

Thank goodness for the wonderful DJ and dancing!

The evening began with appetizers too numerous to recount but here are a few of my gluten-free favorites!

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Our dinner was a Mediterranean dream….the wait staff asked you to choose your salad, pasta, and entrée.  I did not choose pasta for obvious reasons, but here are my other choices.

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And c’mon…..how about this dessert table?

Italian zeppole (doughnuts), wedding cake that tasted like strawberry shortcake (or so I was told by Lewie), Italian cookies, fruit, and coffee (with your choice of liquor) that was so pretty, you just didn’t want to drink it…but I was told it was incredible! Even though I could only choose fruit, it was delicious and satisfying!

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Let’s face it…there’s nothing like an Italian wedding! If you’ve never been to one….I hope you get invited to one of these amazing celebrations!

Just love this picture of Mike, Sarah, Ian, and Dori!

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Much happiness for Ian and Sarah!

Thank you for letting us share this glorious day with you!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

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