Mmm, mmm, good….gluten free Maine!

Monica says:

Last Christmas when the family was all gathered for the holidays, we started tossing around places that we would like to vacation in the summer. After a lively discussion, we settled on Maine.

Yes, Maine.

The only state with one syllable…Maine was the winner!

January came and I started to scope out prospective places to stay for what would be our “Junebabies Birthday Celebration!”  Daria, Claudia and I were all born under the sign of Gemini and we always loved celebrating our birthdays together! It’s more fun and honestly, we get to celebrate all month long since we are 10 days apart from the beginning of the month to the end! (How did we manage that??)

Anyway, we chose the coastal town of Ogunquit which means “beautiful place by the sea” and it fully lived up to its name!

With 90% of its coast open to visitors and a gorgeous white beach, who could complain? The weather was a bit rainy in the beginning of the week, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. We were lucky to have some 70+ degree weather in no time and it was just lovely.

And now let’s talk about food…..gluten free food!

The majority of our meals was eaten out and about, but after an unfortunate incident where both Daria and I got “glutened,” Daria’s boyfriend, Andy, (a trained chef), came to our aid and cooked dinner for us a few nights.

We were so lucky to have both his skills and willingness to help us and our gastrointestinal tracts that soon we were ready to take the plunge again into the restaurant scene!

Here we enjoyed some ribs and gluten free mac ‘n cheese from BeachFire Bar & Grille 

Breakfast made by Chef Andy and Chef Daria included her famous gluten free pancakes from Batter (her business) and his specialty of bacon and sausage. They prepared breakfast more than a few times, but I was so busy eating, I forgot to photograph all of the wonderful treats!!

Next we enjoyed a home-cooked meal of grilled pork chops with Andy’s special rub, grilled asparagus, and mashed potatoes that I am still dreaming about!

And barbequed chicken made the menu, too….yum!

Our “Junebabies Birthday Celebration” included our baking Funfetti vanilla cupcakes and we celebrated by eating them with ice cream….we were having so much fun, that we didn’t photograph the food as much as the singing and wish making!

Happy birthday, girls!

And I am so happy to be with my favorite Junebabies for our birthdays!

We ventured up to Portland (about 45 minutes north of Ogunquit) a few times and found some wonderful things to eat there.

The best place, by far, was Bam Bam Bakery!

A gluten free bakery in the heart of Portland, it had just about everything we could ask for. From goodies to savory items, where everything is made from scratch, this little gem had it all!

Take a look!

 

Daria and I were in gluten free heaven!

And right across the street was Browne Trading Market which had fresh fish, caviar, and smoked seafood as well as cheeses, jams, vinegars, etc., and of course, wine!

For lunch, one trip into Portland, Lewie and I stopped in The Lobster Company and I ordered a lobster salad as you can see! The problem was that upon ordering, the girl never said that there would be a 45 minute wait for our food!!

Yikes….for a salad?

Only saving grace was that the lobster-shaped table pager, which we couldn’t wait for to vibrate, was adorable!

Daria and Andy headed to El Rayo Taqueria for some much talked about tacos…they love Mexican and were super excited! Most (notice I said most) Mexican food is gluten free, so it’s good choice!

Al Carbon taco with char grilled chicken with pico de gallo salsa, cotija cheese, shredded lettuce & radish on the left and Carne Asada taco with char grilled steak with rajas, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce & lime on the right. Both delicious and gluten free, of course!

Elevation Burger was another choice for a change of pace and it did not disappoint!

100% organic, grass-fed, free range burgers make all the difference….so fresh and tasty. All that was missing was a gluten free bun, but they had a lettuce wrap, so that’s what I got!

NO fries, of course!

Dessert was a scrumptious cup of gelato from Gorgeous Gelato.  Making a selection was tough but I decided on pistachio….oh dear! So smooth and delightful! The owners are from Milan, Italy, and this gelato is true Italian gelato!

Wish I had a bigger stomach!

Maine, which supplies almost 90% of the nation’s lobsters, is teeming with places sporting the best lobster rolls and lobster tails. Back in Ogunquit, we decided to go to The Lobster Shack in Perkins Cove, the local fishing community, to check out their “full Maine experience.”

What a great little place!

All of the live lobsters are caught by local lobstermen and are held in ocean water tanks before steaming.

This had to be the sweetest lobster we ever ate!

And the “Maine experience” included shelling the whole lobster and even though it took us a while (we are complete novices), it was very enjoyable. Thank goodness for the “lobster bibs”…they proved to be so necessary!

Before our lobster dinners arrived, we decided to try the homemade New England clam chowder. It is a family recipe that doesn’t have any thickening flour which worked with our gluten free diet!

Full of clams, haddock, potatoes, onions, spices, milk and cream….oh what a delicious way to start the meal!

And I can’t forget the steamers!

We were a very happy table with happy bellies!

Even though it wasn’t planned, we seemed to save the best restaurant for last!

With so many gluten free options, we were thrilled to find and experience Roost Café and Bistro in Ogunquit.

Their homemade gluten free products are made on site by their chefs and the proof is in the taste!

We had gone to this wonderful eatery on Friday evening (our last night of vacation) and wish that we had discovered it sooner!

Of course we wanted to try everything but settled on two gluten free appetizers. The first was the Pan Fried Crab Cakes with red pepper aioli and dressed greens. They were amazing!

Next, was the Calamari with roasted garlic, pineapple and sweet chili sauce. This breaded and fried delight was the best ever!

My entrée was the Seared Scallops, pan roasted with creamy sweet pea risotto, and house veggies. Full of flavor and so delicious! All gluten free!

Daria chose the Fish and Chips, baked haddock with lime-cilantro slaw, and fries (made in a dedicated fryer!). She was so happy with this entrée….fried but gluten free! When does this happen in a restaurant? Almost never!

We were so full at dessert time that we declined, even though the gluten free offerings sounded incredible. A few hours later, we realized that I had gotten a piece of Tiramisu from Bam Bam Bakery and we found it in the refrigerator!

Here we are devouring it!

After eating our dessert, Daria and Andy suggested that we go to Roost before leaving for home for their breakfast/brunch. And since it was Daria’s birthday, we couldn’t resist!

As we sat down, we all were feeling the same way….we just didn’t want our vacation to come to an end. But once we ordered our breakfast food, we knew it would end on a high note!

The birthday girl ordered Brioche French Toast stuffed with mascarpone, fresh berries, and whipped cream….just what she wanted!

I chose the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes….which were so amazing! They were the fluffiest gluten free pancakes that I have ever eaten!

OmG! Take a look at these beauties!

I had a little help, but I would say I did good, yes?

And since our puppy daughter, Molly, wasn’t able to come with us to the beautiful state of Maine, she had to have some lobster, too….okay, it’s not edible, but cute, huh?

Some day we hope to return to Maine…..such a gorgeous place with some great gluten free food!

And next time, we hope to see a moose!

But for now, we brought home the next best thing!

© 2017, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

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Walk for Celiac Disease!

Daria says:

What a wonderful weekend it was!!!

A much needed mother-daughter getaway spent doing what we love….eating, walking, & gluten-free networking!

In mid-April, Mom sent me an e-mail about the 4th Annual Mid-Hudson Walk for Celiac Disease. I checked the dates and wondered…it was on a weekend, which of course, in my industry is the busiest time for work! But, I really wanted to go! So, I requested off and my chef was kind enough to allow me the time AND he became my sponsor!

Yay!  I was off to raise awareness!

As you know by now, the month of May is Celiac Awareness Month, so it was perfect timing for us to head up to New York. As a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate, it was an amazing weekend going back to visit my alma mater in Hyde Park, NY.

Not to mention, my favorite Chef Richard Coppedge was going to be there doing a baking demo (I spotted it on the agenda)! We wanted to surprise him…and so Friday came and we were off!

Driving trips are always a great time to catch up with my mama bear while we listen to my latest music choices & we just laugh as the time passes! No sooner do we realize it, we are at the hotel getting ready to go over to the CIA to eat at one of the restaurants, American Bounty.

Meeting up with one of mom’s childhood friends was a great addition to our dinner experience! She and Marilee hadn’t seen one another in many, many years and had been wonderful friends since first grade! There was a lot of hugging and laughing when they saw each other!

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Once we were seated in the dining room, we were greeted with gluten-free breadsticks…it’s so great when you make the reservation, you just need to state that you are “gluten-free” and they are ready for you! It’s so easy…call or use OpenTable for American Bounty!

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Mom decided to have the half chicken with natural jus, mashed potatoes & grilled asparagus.

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Marilee & I got the duck served with morel sauce & braised fennel. Marilee decided to get the grit cakes & I chose the sautéed dandelion greens as a side.

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Dinner was so amazing! And of course, we needed to try dessert=)

Mom & I got the lemon meringue with ginger ice cream & raspberry pearls, which was gluten-free.

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To end the meal, the kitchen sent out some petit-fours (or as we call them, mignardises)!

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I think the only time we weren’t laughing & being too loud was when our mouths were full of delectable treats! Lol=)

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We had a long day ahead of us on Saturday, so we said goodbye, and decided to get some much needed rest! Not sleeping so well through the thunderstorms, we were nervous that the weather wasn’t going to hold up for the walk.

Sure enough, we got ready & got lost along the way, but finally made it to the correct side of the Walkway Over the Hudson!

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We registered & got a very nice bag full of gluten-free goodies, a T-shirt advertising our walk, and got to meet lots of amazing vendors & taste-test all of the amazing breads, cookies, apple wine & hard cider!

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Everything was wonderful….AND the best part ~ there was not one thing there that was going to make us sick if we ate or drank it!!!

The countdown began & the ribbon was cut….off we were on our walk to raise awareness of this disease!

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It was absolutely perfect weather! It was sunny, the breeze was blowing & spirits were high!

Again, we got to keep catching up with one another & keep bouncing ideas of what we would like to do with our future plans together as a mother-daughter duo=)

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We met Nico, the “AmbassaDOG” of the Walkway Over the Hudson, who is a celebrity in his own right! And adorable, to boot!

We made it all the way across & back over the Hudson River & we couldn’t wait until noon to surprise Chef Coppedge. We had some time to walk around & purchase some of these amazing treats vendors had to offer, although we learned our lesson….don’t ever browse, then think you’d come back & everything would still be there to choose from! Get it as soon as you see it, no matter where you are! Cardinal rule of the gluten-free world=)

We were discussing breads with another amazingly talented mother-daughter team we just met & out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him! Chef Coppedge…he looked like he was seeing a ghost!! It had been almost 8 years since I graduated, and probably at least 6 years since I had last seen him while visiting the CIA!

Immediately, I ran over & gave him a hug! He still seemed like he was in shock! We got to chat for a short while before his baking demo and of course, pose for a few pictures!

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At noon, he announced that he was going to be making amazing gluten-free muffins to the crowd that gathered; the wonderful muffins that I remembered! Completely taken off-guard, Chef called me up to introduce me to everyone that was sitting in on his demo.

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Slightly blushing, I made my way up to the front & he talked about my being a former student & how he had placed a bio of me in his cookbook (Gluten Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America; a must for your library), how I had worked at The Hotel Hershey for seven years, & now, how I am starting my venture as an Executive Pastry Chef at The Mill in Hershey!

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He also promoted our blog (the one you’re reading!) & handed out our business cards so that the gluten-free crowd could check us out and hopefully, follow our journey =)

I absolutely adore all the people that come out to the gluten-free events!

Everyone is so excited to share their stories, their newest hurdles & adventures. The great part about my background from the CIA is being able to help share that knowledge with others to help them be able to travel & eat without constantly being sick!  The even better part is I get to do this with my best friend, my mama bear! I am so glad we got to meet all of these amazing people and now hope to keep in touch & spread the word about their incredible products!

Here are some of our favorites!

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Awestruck premium hard cider

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Yankee Folly Cidery

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Meredith’s Bakery which has many gluten-free products….their bread is FANTASTIC!

Bearsville Bakers

Bearsville Bakers

And these for which we have no pictures, but it doesn’t diminish their impact!

Wild Apple

Schar

Schar, an Italian company that’s been around for over 20 years, is a great source of gluten-free products. We were so THRILLED to meet Dr. Anne Roland Lee, Director of Nutritional Services for Dr. Schar USA! She was so personable and knowledgeable!

Thank you to all of you who will be helping us spread the word about our blog in the near future

After the walk, we headed back over to the CIA to hit the gift shop and visit with one other chef that I fondly remember….Chef Stephane Weber. He is the pastry chef at Bocuse, the French cuisine restaurant on campus. His desserts are simply amazing!!

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We had a great little mini-reunion!

And of course, the CIA campus changes all the time…this sign is a new FAVORITE!

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Can you see why??

Chef Coppedge said to be sure to visit the “fish sculpture” near the Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, the Italian cuisine restaurant on campus….now we now know why!

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This 12-foot, 360-pound Atlantic sturgeon was created by artist, John F. Sendelbach, in 2014. It features approximately 700 knives, 400 forks, and 600 spoons!

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It’s simply incredible!!

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We wandered around some more….just because….and had a blast!

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Our last stop before home was a former favorite of mine,

Coyote Grill, in Poughkeepsie. They have really good tacos!

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I had chicken and Mom had fish….they were yummy!

If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Hyde Park area, please put it on your “Must See Places” list! The area is just gorgeous and has so much to offer!

Until we meet again!

Happy gluten-free adventures!

© 2015, Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

Monica and Daria say:

It’s time to become  aware of the many symptoms of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity!

The GIG, Gluten Intolerance Group, has designed this great infographic to demonstrate the many, many possible  physical and mental manifestations that have been associated with gluten-related disorders.

gluten free infographic

 

The GIG, founded in 1974, is a watchdog for gluten –free products and verifies their quality, integrity, and purity. The organization is currently in 27 countries and has certified over 21,000 products.

Look for this symbol to be sure that the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, a program of GIG, has ensured your gluten-free food safety.

 

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The grocery markets have become flooded with gluten-free products….one last reminder!

ALWAYS read the labels…especially if you have multiple allergies or sensitivites!

It takes a few extra seconds, but is so worth it!

Happy May!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

Celiac Awareness in an unlikely place!

Monica says:

When my friends, Carmine and Francine, invited me to their antique store, The Shop 2, to be the featured guest in celebration of Hazleton’s Second Friday, I was a little hesitant at first. I said, “Let me think it over.”

I was hoping that my partner, Daria (my daughter), might be able to join me in this adventure, but just having started as the Executive Pastry Chef at The Mill in Hershey, I knew it was a longshot!

“Oh, Mom, just do it and have fun!” was her response. So I thought, “Why not?”

“Yes, I’ll do it!” was my response to Carmine. She wasted no time in letting the association who coordinates Hazleton’s Second Friday about my visit, and the next thing I know, I am speaking with Jill Whalen from our local newspaper! Here is the result of my phone interview!

Alright…now to decide on which gluten-free goodies I will make for the open house.

It’s fall and what do most people crave in the fall? Pumpkin? Chocolate (that’s a given)? Apples?

Of course….all three!

So I immediately go on a hunt for recipes….if you’ve read any of our previous posts on this blog, you will remember that I am a recipe addict! I have tons of recipes written down on paper, too many cookbooks to name, and a recipe file on my computer.

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin….how about a great pumpkin bread?

I look over a few recipes and then consult with Daria and viola! A pumpkin bread recipe is born!

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

2 ½ cups brown rice flour

½ cup arrowroot starch

5 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

4 large eggs

1 cup veggie oil

½ cup fresh orange juice

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.)

1 cup dried cranberries (we like Trader Joe’s brand)

 

Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Grease with shortening and flour with brown rice flour, two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, OR one 9 x 5 and 4 small loaf pans (which I did).

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix eggs, oil, and orange juice. Then add the sugar and pure pumpkin. Blend on medium-high if using a stand mixer or handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.

Now add dry to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until well combined.

Stir in the dried cranberries if you are adding them.

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Watch the small pans if you are using them! You may need to adjust the time.

Cool for at least 10 minutes in pans before attempting to remove them. Let the breads cool completely on wire racks.

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk    whisks

 

 

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….how about a no-bake recipe?

Daria’s friend Amanda visited with us a while ago and brought with her some delightful no-bake chocolate balls. So thanks to Amanda from Michigan for this recipe!

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Chocolate Orange Balls

1 cup Almonds

1 cup Pecans

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup honey

3 T cocoa powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

½ cup chocolate chips

Zest of 2 oranges

Extra crushed pecans (about 1 cup)

 

Using a food processor, pulse almonds and pecans until finely chopped.

Add salt, honey, cocoa, vanilla, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and zest.

Process until well combined.

Roll chocolate mixture into 1” balls. Roll each ball in crushed pecans.

© 2011, Amanda Schmidt

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Notes from Monica for chocolate balls:

I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Rolling the balls is super messy…. and you lose too much of the dough, because it’s so sticky! I ended up forming balls with my fingertips. Much better!

I made this recipe twice…did not double it initially due to the size of my food processor. In total the 2 recipes yielded a little over 7 dozen balls.

 

Apples, apples, apples…apple pound cake, anyone?

A great gluten-free blog that we follow is Gluten Free on a Shoestring. The author of this blog, Nicole, has written a few cookbooks, in addition to her blog. We have found them to be wonderful additions to our gluten-free library!

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These apple pound cakes are her recipe. She calls them Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Apple Pound Cakes. The batter is delightful….with the addition of the cinnamon, it took everything in me not to just eat it! Oh my goodness…these little cakes came out great!

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Last but not least, I wanted to have a vegetable dish for our gluten-free celebration and decided on a Black Bean Salsa. It’s easy and has a great flavor profile!

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Black Bean Salsa

2 cans black beans, washed and drained

I bag frozen sweet white corn, thawed

1 large can diced tomatoes, drained

3 green onions (scallions), diced (also dice the stems)

½ green pepper, seeded and diced

½ red pepper, seeded and diced

½ yellow pepper, seeded and diced

2 cups fresh, chopped tomatoes

Red wine vinegar to taste (about ¼ to ½ cup)

1 fresh lemon, juiced

Dried cilantro (1-2 tsp)

Garlic powder to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

Dash of cumin

 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Season the black bean salsa to your taste. Serve with gluten-free corn chips or any of your choice! I served Garden of Eatin’ Organic Tortilla Chips.

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© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

All in all, we had a great little spread of gluten-free goodies for our guests! Yes?

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I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet so many people last evening who are fellow celiac disease sufferers. Many told me of their struggles and triumphs with this autoimmune disease while others who were just diagnosed, were looking for some guidance.

While I had my blog up and running during the open house, I also prepared some handouts and had many posters scattered throughout the store, regarding celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

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If anyone would like any of the information I shared, just email me @ glutenfreedoubletalk@gmail.com, or comment here; I would be happy to share!

Thanks to The Shop 2 for helping to spread celiac awareness! You two are the best!

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Hoping everyone got something out of the experience! I know I came home happy!

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© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

Hidden gluten….it can be anywhere!

A good friend (thanks, Patrick!) sent us this article and we wanted to share it with all of you!

The article, written by registered dietitian, Tamara Duker Freuman, discusses hidden sources of gluten. When we were first diagnosed, I remember being so afraid of ingesting something we shouldn’t and of course, it happened more than a few times!

Best advice from us: READ THE LABEL! This can’t be emphasized enough.

The other HUGE piece of the puzzle regarding gluten-free safety is cross-contamination. Why are we going on and on….here’s the article!

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2012/09/11/5-sources-of-hidden-gluten-in-your-diet

 

hidden gluten

Take me out to the ball game!

Monica (mom) says:

If you live near the Philadelphia area and are in the mood to see a ball game, consider attending the contest next Sunday, May 18, 2014, between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.

Why should you attend?

It’s “Celiac Awareness Day!”

Hundreds of families will be joining the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness at the ballpark to get the latest information about celiac disease into everyone’s hands! And did I mention that there will be gluten-free concessions, too?

And an added bonus…next Sunday just so happens to be the Phillie Phanatic’s birthday!

For more information: http://www.celiaccentral.org/community/upcoming-nfca-events/celiac-awareness-day-philadelphia-phillies-12932/

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