Acorn squash with a gluten-free twist!

Monica and Daria say:

If any of you are regulars on Facebook, you may have seen a post for a delicious way to make acorn squash.

The stuffing looked amazing and had sausage and lots of gooey cheese in it.

While we are sure that it tasted as good as it looked, we decided to make a vegetarian and

gluten-free (of course) stuffing for our acorn squash.

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After washing and removing the seeds from our squashes, we roasted them with a little olive oil and pumpkin pie spices.

What an aroma! The whole kitchen was happy!

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While the squash was roasting, we chose our ingredients for the stuffing.

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What would be a better base for a stuffing than some yummy quinoa?

Yes, quinoa it would be!

And what delectable food ingredients can we add to the base?

How about our favorite Honeycrisp apples for crunch…

some scallions for savory flavor…

fresh parsley to make it vibrant…

chopped walnuts for extra protein…

dried cranberries for a wee bit of sweetness…

and lemon zest to pump it up!

 

Here is the step-by-step recipe for you!

Acorn Squash with Quinoa Stuffing

Ingredients:

2 acorn squashes

Olive oil

Pumpkin pie spice

1 cup quinoa

1 Honeycrisp apple, chopped

2-3 scallions, diced

Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Handful of chopped walnuts

Handful of dried cranberries

1 whole lemon, plus zest

2 T sunflower oil

Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

Cut 2 acorn squashes in half; remove seeds.

Drizzle each piece with olive oil.

Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions. Place one cup dry quinoa into 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

While quinoa is cooking, chop the Honeycrisp apple into bite-size pieces. Dice scallions and chop fresh parsley. Chop a handful of walnuts. Set aside in a bowl.

Now add a handful of dried cranberries to the bowl.

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When quinoa is done, remove from the pot and spread on a cookie sheet to cool slightly.

Make the dressing with the juice of one whole lemon, add some zest from the lemon and combine with sunflower oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now assemble the dish by placing squash onto each plate and fill the cavity of each squash half with the quinoa stuffing.

whisks     © 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

Note:   We started out with three acorn squashes and when we cut into them, we ended up with only two! Make sure you look at them carefully when purchasing them!

 

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You will have more stuffing than you need but guess what?

It’s a great lunch for tomorrow, without the squash!

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This dinner was not very labor intensive and it was delightful!

Enjoy as much squash as you can while it’s at its best!

Happy roasting!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Halloween “Monster Tacos”

Monica and Daria say:

Happy Halloween!

It’s one of our favorite holidays!

Every year when our family was growing, we looked to this holiday with great anticipation! We always had so much fun trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and enjoyed costume parties, too!

All of us participated! Sometimes, we worked out a themed Halloween, while other years, we each decided what we wanted “to be!”

Either way, it was great; the memories are long lasting!

Since we are a fan of tacos, this year we decided to make some yummy ones with some grass-fed beef. It seems that we have gotten away from the traditional taco “shell” and prefer to use taco chips instead. You can really get into your mound of beef and scoop up all the goodness without having such a mess on your hands!

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We are calling these “Monster Tacos” since we decided to switch out the customary cheddar cheese for muenster cheese….hence, the name!

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And, using fresh organic salsa really elevates the flavor! Add in some fresh arugula for a peppery taste and you’ve got some great tacos to munch!

We are including our recipe here for homemade taco seasoning…there’s really no reason to ever buy it! It’s super easy to make and if your pantry looks like ours, you will have these items on hand!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (1/8 tsp ground red pepper)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt (1/2 tsp salt)

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.

Store in an airtight container.

When cooking:

Add 1 T of cornstarch to 2/3 cup of water; mix well and add after adding seasonings. whisks

 

Last, but certainly not least, we LOVE Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips….they are curved and crunchy and hold all the yummy goodness from the plate to your mouth!

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So here’s wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!

Now go enjoy a scary lunch!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

Let’s get heart healthy!

Monica and Daria say:

World Heart Day will be celebrated on Tuesday!

Since you may know that heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death worldwide, it’s important to reduce our risk for these cardiovascular diseases by making some lifestyle changes.

Why not start with the food you consume?

When you think of a traditional American cookout, what foods do you see?

Hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage patties,….well, while we love all of those foods, too, we feel the need to elevate our nutrition a bit while grilling!

So, at our cookout today, we decided to select a lean protein and surround it with some heart friendly veggies!

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Our choice was organic, free-range, hormone and antibiotic free chicken!

The vitamin B6, found in chicken, is particularly helpful to your heart. Research has shown that B6 fights cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that is affected by diet. Homocysteine is understood to cause damage to the inner linings of arteries and in turn, promotes blood clots.

We are so lucky that we have a local farmer nearby who provides us with this wonderful protein that contains essential nutrients and vitamins.

We chose to cut the chicken into tenders to make it easy to thread onto our skewers. And of course, the grill time is reduced as well.

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It’s nearing the end of grilling season, but we can still get our hands on some delicious corn on the cob. A great source of soluble fiber, corn provides heart healthy benefits. It binds with cholesterol and carries it out of your system, which helps lower levels in your blood and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.

We brushed our cobs with organic coconut oil and grilled on low to medium heat, cooking 1 to 2 minutes on each side until slightly brown. Take it easy on the salt shaker….remember, you are trying to be heart healthy!!

Last, we have our dark leafy greens.

Statistics claim that only about one quarter of all adults consumes the recommended 3-4 servings of veggies per day!

The health benefits of eating your greens are well established. They are crucial to our heart health for countless reasons including their role in strengthening the immune system, improved blood circulation and purification, and lowering cholesterol.

We buy organic and like to include organic beets whenever we can. The cleaned whole beets are simply roasted in aluminum foil until tender, cooled, and then sliced to be placed onto the salad….so yummy!

This night our salad was sprinkled with a wee bit of feta cheese, which contains calcium that helps keep your bones strong, but remember that feta should be an occasional indulgence…not an everyday occurrence, since it is high in sodium!

Let’s pump up the greens and improve your health!

 

Here is the simple chicken recipe to get you grilling, too!

Moroccan-spiced chicken skewers

Ingredients:

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp pepper

2 T olive oil

1 ½ pound of chicken tenders

Directions:

Put all spices into a Ziploc bag and shake until blended. Add olive oil and knead to blend.

Add chicken and knead to coat until blended again.

Place bamboo skewers into water to prepare for grilling.

Marinate for a few hours in refrigerator.

When ready to grill, thread each tender on a bamboo skewer.

Grill 4 minutes per side….yummy!

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Doesn’t this look so good?

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It really was a great meal to eat and to share, knowing that you were kind to your body, as well as those of your guests!

All organic and all gluten-free, of course!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

Happy Trail Mix Day!

Monica and Daria say:

What can you do with a bunch of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate (yes, most definitely, chocolate)?

You can make your own trail mix!

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We grabbed a variety of nuts that we always have on hand… ½ cup of each of walnuts, almonds, and pecans.

Then we added in ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, and ½ cup of sunflower seeds.

We LOVE dried cranberries so we put in ½ cup of those and topped it all off with ½ cup of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips!

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What is easier and nutritious to boot?

It has a great combo of carbs and energy. Trail mix is THE snack for hiking, biking, and exploring!

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Trail mix is so versatile that your ingredients are only limited by your imagination! Some of our favorited additional ingredients include puffed rice cereal, M&Ms, pretzels, unsweetened coconut, or anything else that is trail mix worthy!

Just make sure that your ingredients are gluten-free, and you are set to go!

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And did you notice that our trail mix is in a collector Pyrex bowl? Just picked it up at our favorite antique shop, The Shop 2….check them out!

Have a great day…wherever your travels may take you!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

A gluten-free getaway!

Monica and Daria say:

Oh how we love the end of July!

“Why?” you ask.

In a word….Bedford!

Well, maybe two words…Bedford Springs!

Lewie (hubby and daddy) always attends a conference here and he is so nice to invite us to tag along! He is busy during the day with meeting people from around the state of Pennsylvania, and we busy ourselves with leisure activities…..swimming, reading, antiquing, etc.

Is it any wonder that we look forward to this conference???

This year we couldn’t have asked for any better weather, either. The days were hot and sunny and even though I, (Monica), am not into tanning, reading under the umbrella and sipping something yummy was simply delightful! Daria gets enough sun for both of us!!

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Even though this is the fifth year that we’ve accompanied Lewie to Bedford Springs and have gotten to know the area quite well, we always look online for any new restaurants (before we leave) that may have opened since our last visit.

And to our surprise, we usually find something!

This year we investigated via findmeglutenfree.com and were not disappointed!

What a great resource for people who need to eat gluten-free!

This web site offers the user an insight into gluten-free friendly businesses in cities around the United States and even some cities in Canada! You can go online from your computer or download the free app to your cell so that you are connected wherever you go!

For those places that we had eaten at in previous years and wanted to dine there again, we made a reservation using Open Table. For the new places, we stored the information (address, phone, hours and days of operation) in a memo on our cell and were we happy we did!

This info was right at our fingertips when making inquiries and reservations when we arrived. We didn’t have to take any extra time to look anything up a second or third time! What a timesaver!

Here are our new favorite places!

Our dinner at Eat2Live Bistro was perfection! This wonderful little place in New Paris, is a dream come true for gluten-free diners! From soup to dessert(s)…we enjoyed every second!

Our server Tina was so friendly and knowledgeable about eating gluten-free; she truly added to our dining experience!

We started off with fresh blackberry infused water….Daria chose to add some coconut palm sugar to sweeten it a bit!

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Then we looked over the extensive menu!

Daria enjoyed the chilled Gazpacho which consisted of local tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and watermelon…so refreshing!

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Monica and Lewie had the Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Chowder which boasted creamy, roasted sweet corn and red bell peppers with potatoes and nitrate-free bacon! Amazing!

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We each ordered a different entrée and had so much fun tasting each other’s. That’s what families do!

Daria had the Chicken ‘n Pesto which featured seasoned, grilled chicken breast topped with a roasted garlic and herb feta. It was served over house made quinoa pasta tossed with marinated local tomatoes and butter pesto sauce.

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OmG! So delicious!

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Look at that quinoa pasta!

Monica chose the Roasted Pineapple Pork Chop. This local pasture raised pork chop was topped with roasted pineapple salsa and served over a creamy mushroom wild rice risotto.

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In a word…delightful!

Lewie decided on the Trout Almondine (a local spring water fed trout, of course) which was presented on a creamy mushroom wild rice risotto, with seasonal veggies and toasted almond butter.

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Melted in your mouth!

Tina’s suggestions were spot-on and we were delighted to have found such a great eatery.

We were so full after our dinners, but managed to share the Three-Berry Cobbler with house made ice cream….gluten-free of course!

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It was simply delicious!

Since we rarely ever find an establishment that has ALL gluten-free desserts, we decided to take home the other selections….it’s so nice to have a refrigerator in the hotel room!

And when you are on vacation…dessert is breakfast!

So here are the other desserts….

A delicious Cheesecake….so creamy on an oatmeal walnut crust…we chose the caramel drizzle!

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Spring Carrot Cake…moist and delicious with cinnamon and walnuts, this cake had a house made lemon cream cheese frosting! Yum!

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Chocolate Truffle Cake…a decadent two-layer cacao (dark chocolate) beet cake with cacao avocado truffle icing. Just the right amount of sweetness and definitely chocolatey!

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We ended the evening with some sangria on the porch of the Bedford Springs Omni just chatting and reminiscing about vacationing together!

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Lunch at the Bedford Springs Omni was great, too!

Cheese plates, fruit plates to start!

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A gluten-free Rachel sandwich (which is a variation on a Reuben) with turkey, and coleslaw along with some gluten-free veggie pizza hit the spot!

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And here are some gluten-free shrimp rolls that were so good! The rolls were accompanied by a ham, cheese, and pea salad that is a local favorite. Not one of ours though…sorry!

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SO happy that we were able to spend a little time together!

Monica says:

While Daria couldn’t continue on the way with us to Greensburg to attend the Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp, we really wish she could have, because she missed some GREAT gluten-free food!

On the evening of our first day there, we found a great little place called Noviello’s Sunset Café. What a fabulous Italian restaurant!

As soon as we walked in and smelled the Italian sauce, we knew we were in for a treat!

Since most Italian restaurants serve bread and dipping oil immediately upon ordering, I was so happy when our waiter brought me this little veggie plate! He even apologized that they didn’t have any gluten-free bread and hoped that this would make up for it!

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The house salad featured red beets, fresh grated mozzarella, and a house dressing that was a white wine concoction. Very good!

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I ordered the polenta with marinara sauce and it may have been the fluffiest polenta I ever ate! It seriously melted in my mouth!

Add your grated cheese and that’s it!

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Heaven!

The best was yet to come!

While we were eating the evening before at Noviello’s a gentleman at the next table was talking about being gluten-free….well, one thing led to another and he suggested a pizza place for me to try!

Before we went to the Steelers’ Friday Night Lights practice in LaTrobe, we found Little E’s Pizzeria…and my day was made!

I had to take a picture of the window….so exciting!

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Organic and gluten-free selections were so numerous I couldn’t even believe it!

I settled on a Margherita pizza with red pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, drizzled with extra virgin oil and fresh basil. Lewie decided on a gluten-free meatball hoagie that was made with homemade grass-fed Texas Longhorn meatballs, provolone cheese and red sauce.

We were so shocked and delighted that the meatballs were gluten-free!!

While we waited for our selections to be made, we had some Woodchuck Amber on tap….the flavor was so much crisper than the bottled!

The meatball hoagie came out first…two huge pieces and with extra dipping sauce! Can you see the steam from the sauce?

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Such great flavor in the meatballs and the bread…oh, the bread!

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And now the pizza!

I think this pizza was the best gluten-free pizza I ever had! (even though I raved about the one in Rome!)

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The crust was herbed and so incredible!

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I wondered if the pizza crust and the hoagie bread were made on site. So I asked!

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Our server told us that they bought the gluten-free items from a place called Herbalicious in Mt. Pleasant…

we will be  looking into their products!

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Do you think we enjoyed our pizza?

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All I kept saying to Lewie was “I wish Daria was here!” and “I wish these people would come to eastern PA!”

Our evening ended with Lewie seeing his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers and a beautiful “blue” moon to boot!

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A great trip and tons of great gluten-free food!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

To see our gluten-free adventure in Bedford in 2014 link to:

https://glutenfreedoubletalk.com/2014/08/09/a-lovely-little-place-called-bedford/

 

 

Veggie Lasagna…gluten-free and gorgeous!

Monica says:

Is your mouth watering looking at this picture?

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If so, then you need to make this gluten-free lasagna and make yourself happy!

Lasagna has always been a favorite meal in our household.

The saucier and cheesier the better!

But when Daria and I were diagnosed with celiac disease, our meals changed quite a bit….especially the Italian ones!

In 2002 the products that are on the market today were virtually non-existent. We ate very blandly and endured many a boring meal while we educated ourselves about this thing called a “gluten-free diet!”

We did have the occasional pasta but it was made by my hubby and Daria’s daddy who grew up making cavatelli with his Nana! He used Betty Hagman’s cookbook, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy, like a bible. Thank God for Lewie because we were still getting used to our new lifestyle and were often sick!

Fast forward to today….gluten-free products abound! But we still find ourselves shying away from the commercially produced and processed items because we feel better eating “whole” foods.

Not to say that we aren’t grateful for the strides made in gluten-free food….we are! We just know what’s best for us…

as I’m sure you know what is best for you!

That being said, I have developed a recipe for gluten-free veggie lasagna that incorporates

all of the fresh and wonderful vegetables that I love.

Hope you give this recipe a try!

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Gluten-free Veggie Lasagna

This recipe has five parts…first, make the sauce…second, blend the cheese mixture…third, boil the noodles…fourth, sauté your veggies…and fifth, put it all together!

Sounds like a lot of work but it is so worth it!

Let’s get started…

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped fine

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1-15 oz. can tomato sauce

Sprinkle of basil

Sprinkle of oregano

Dash of cracked pepper

Directions

Sauté the onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.

Then reduce heat to medium low and cook for an hour making sure to stir every now and then.

After one hour, simmer for an additional hour.

MEANWHILE, while your sauce is getting lovely….

Cheese Mixture

Combine these Ingredients

32 oz. of Ricotta cheese

1 egg

Pinches of parsley, oregano, and basil

Dash of salt and pepper

Set the mixture aside and place in refrigerator.

NOW it’s time to make the…

Pasta

Boil ONE box of gluten-free lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

Cool.

Time to chop and sauté the…

Vegetable Blend

Ingredients

2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-8 oz. packages of mushrooms, chopped (baby bellas)

3 large carrots, chopped

3 small to medium zucchini, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bag organic baby spinach

Mozzarella cheese, grated

Romano cheese, grated

Directions

Sauté mushrooms and onions in extra virgin olive oil first. When translucent and semi-soft, remove to a plate.

Next, sauté the carrots, zucchini, and garlic until semi-soft.  Add in the spinach and stir through the veggie mixture until it wilts slightly.

Remove to the plate with the mushrooms and onions.

And now it’s time to assemble the lasagna!

Get your favorite 9 x 13 pan out and get ready to layer! (I use a non-stick ceramic baking dish)

Place sauce on the bottom of the pan, followed by noodles, followed by veggies, followed by ricotta mixture topped with a sprinkle of grated mozzarella and Romano cheeses.

Repeat.

Make sure you end with a layer of noodles on top, covered with sauce and topped with Romano cheese!

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 whisks   © 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

So the next time you are craving lasagna, why not try a vegetable version?

You can really pump up your recommended veggie intake for the day and have fun doing it!

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Buon Appetito!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Antiquing in Rhinebeck, NY!

Monica says:

We really lucked out on this trip!

The weather was perfect, the company sublime, and I found great gluten-free food along the way!

My dear friends, Carmine and Margie, responded with a resounding YES when I suggested we take a road trip to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY, way back in February.

We planned and planned and the weekend finally arrived….we put on our matching sunglasses and we were READY!

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When we were all young mothers with little ones, one of our saving graces was to go “yard-sailing” every Saturday morning throughout our geographic area. It was bonding time for us to just laugh and share our lives with one another. We had so much fun!

There are so many “treasures” throughout my home (and each of them would agree) that make me smile when I look at them, because I can remember the exact story that brought me to that piece!

We had never spent an entire weekend looking for “treasures” so we knew we were up to the challenge!

Our first stop was the CIA, Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, where we needed to have a small bite to get us going! The girls were so excited as we wandered around the beautiful grounds of the campus!

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My choice this morning was coconut tapioca featuring a lemon curd & poached pineapple garnish….

it was delightful and of course, gluten-free!

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Even my tea, Jasmine Dragon Pearl, hit the spot!

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Day One…and we were off to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck to find the fair! 

How happy we are to be together and make memories again!!

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Walking around, talking with vendors, and getting ideas….just spells H-A-P-P-Y!

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Our evening dinner took us back to the CIA, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, where we dined for hours!

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We were so busy that I forgot to take pictures of my entrée, which was Brodetto Pesce e Verdure, roasted seabass with an aromatic broth and spring vegetables.

Thanks to Chef Coppedge (Daria’s mentor), once again, for the gluten-free breadsticks!

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We were exhausted since we had been awake since 4:30 am…time for bed!

Day Two: We started our adventure with brunch at the famous Hyde Park eatery, the Eveready Diner!

This 24-hour establishment has been a landmark in the Hudson Valley for nearly forty years! It was even featured on an episode of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri!

Daria told me that this place was a “must-see” for the ladies….she has great memories of this diner from her days at the CIA!

We open our menus and here’s what we saw….there is “Ed’s Breakfast” and “Carmine’s  Omelette!”

Too funny since our Carmine is married to Eddie!!

Hence the photos below!

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And did I forget to say that the ham and cheese omelette with the side of grilled home fries was served with the best gluten-free toast ever??

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It was a pillow of yummy!

With our bellies full, we were off to the fair for round 2!

Along the way, we searched in several antique shops for treasures, too. Me… I found an old chicken coop that I plan to upcycle into a coffee table! That’s another post!

We once again, saw some great ideas and made a few purchases! How could we not?

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Gigi’s Trattoria in Rhinebeck, was our choice for dinner. I had read about this restaurant online before the trip and I knew that they had gluten-free pasta and pizza, so we ventured in to satisfy our hunger for something Italian.

We decided to split a salad called Rughetta, which featured baby arugula, Parmesan, lemon, and olive oil. And what a good choice!

While the girls enjoyed Tagliatelle, featuring house-made fettuccine with a Gigi Bolognese and fresh ricotta, I decided to try the gluten-free gnocchi. Sadly, our waiter informed me that they had run out of the gluten-free option, so I ordered a gluten-free pizza, or as they called it a Gigi Skizza ™ .

My choice was a pizza called the Rustica, featuring a ricotta-roasted garlic spread, sausage, broccoli rabe, shaved Parmesan, and chili flakes. It was a crispy gluten-free flatbread. Not bad!

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Since Margie’s sweet grandkids call her Gigi, we only thought it appropriate that this picture highlight only her!!

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Time to return to the hotel and crash! Another day of laughter and great fun!

Day Three: Our last day in the Hudson Valley….we are ready to pack in as much as we could before we hit the road for our three-hour ride home!

We decided to try the hotel’s breakfast to get started and unfortunately, I found very little to eat. I chose a banana and ran back up to the room to get a gluten-free bagel that I had packed for the trip! Grabbed some peanut butter and jelly and I was set for the morning!

While we headed back up to Rhinebeck and began looking for a parking space, we stumbled upon a fantastic farmer’s market (which happens every Sunday all year long!). We wished that we had packed a huge cooler…they were selling everything from fresh produce to seafood and garden plants!

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We continued our exploration of Rhinebeck and discovered some great little shops and considered taking a Pilates class…nah, only kidding!

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Soon our appetite alarms sounded and we decided on a Thai restaurant called aroi Thai.

Voted the “Best Thai restaurant in the Hudson Valley in 2014,” this quaint little place did not disappoint!

My entrée choice was Pad Kee Mao with shrimp, which has flat rice noodles sautéed with basil chili sauce, bell peppers and green onions….

it was superb!

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I always make sure that the soy sauce used in any Asian dish is gluten-free….just ask! People are so accommodating! Or better yet, check the menu ahead of time and consider emailing the chef to ensure ingredients are gluten-free!

Our last stop before we headed home was the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site in Hyde Park. I had been on the grounds before but never had gone inside, so we decided to take the tour and enjoy the sights!

The tour began in the Visitor Center which was originally the home for the family used when the main house was being built.

We started off by snapping a picture of a huge chandelier and enlisted the help of a bison!

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This fifty-four-room mansion, which was described as a cottage in comparison to the other homes owned by the Vanderbilts, is a remarkable example of the gilded-age of architecture.  It includes 14 bathrooms, 10 guest bedrooms, and several rooms for male and female servants.

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We were completely flabbergasted at the opulence of this home!

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One word can describe the mansion….eclectic!

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Its contents remain virtually unchanged from the time the Vanderbilts lived there!

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Carmine (her Daddy was a great plumber) LOVED the indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water and flush toilets…

again, a first in the area at that time!

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My favorite chandelier….this home was the first in Hyde Park to have electricity!

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Just enjoying this tour so much!

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A few pics of the floor below where the staff and servants lived and worked!

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LOVED the staircase….both down

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…and up!

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The grounds of the mansion were beautiful and we could only imagine how much care went into keeping an estate like this looking its best. The formal gardens were meticulously planned and what a wonderful feast for your eyes!

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Here is the gorgeous view from the east bank of the Hudson River!

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“Buh-bye” Hudson Valley….we enjoyed EVERY single minute!

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The car is packed to the max! Thanks, Daria, for letting us borrow your CR-V!

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Margie only has ONE seat going home (funny, she had TWO going up)….the rest is our treasures!

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So sad to go, but we will be back…promise!

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If you’ve never visited the Hudson Valley, plan a trip soon! It is a very welcoming area and there is so much to see!

And eat!

And buy!

And most of all, a great place to make happy memories!

We had an easy and incident-free ride home, thankfully….and we are grateful to be home safe and sound!

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Thanks for reading about

The misadventures of  3 ladies who love to antique OR 3 antique ladies who love to go…”Where are we going?”

 

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk