September 13, 2009

A Very Happy (Gluten Free) Birthday!!

Yikes! Would you look at the date of that previous blog post...September 6th. It's been a busy week! Lots of news and stories to share.

First things first - Have you noticed that Gluten Free Betsy has gone dot com?! That's right, I'm big time, baby! Spread the word, I'm now Yay!

Yesterday was my birthday and a very memorable one at that. My best friend's birthday is the 10th, mine is the 12th, and we always celebrate together on the 11th. This year wasn't any different. Friday night we met up with friends at a local dive bar and had a lot of fun. This was my 10th birthday since I've had celiac, and ironically I received my very first gluten-free birthday card. My good friend, Bjorn, made me this cute little card:

It was good time. Thanks, friends, for coming out and celebrating. You're all the best!

On my official birthday, it was an extremely busy day. Since I wholeheartedly believe and love charities striving to help a cause, I walked to strike out ALS. Long-time family friends lost their mother/grandmother to ALS a couple years ago and every year we walk in her honor as Betty's Bunch. It was a beautiful day and a great turn-out.

Afterwards was the event I've been waiting weeks for, the Safe and Sound Dinner at Da Luciano! The amazing Lisa Williams organizes the most amazing dinner parties for allergenistas that are always a delight. I was really looking forward to this one, because Da Lucianos has incredible gluten free italian food that I couldn't wait to introduce to my mom. I honestly couldn't think of a better birthday dinner! Look at this amazing menu:

We started out with cheese pizza. The crust was so crispy and the cheese so ooey-gooey! Yum!

Bruschetta came next. I've never had bruschetta before I went gluten-free so this was a real treat!

My favorite italian dish, Eggplant Parmesan, was served next.

Quite possibly the best Minestrone Soup I've ever had followed.

At this point I was getting pretty full, but dug right into the Manicotti that was served next. I thought I had memorized the menu by heart, so sorry to my table mates that I kept calling this Cannelloni. I need to get my italian dishes straight, because this is my new favorite thing!

I can't believe the menu continued as Chicken Parmesan and pasta with tomato sauce were placed in front of us. Again, this dish was delicious. My mom couldn't believe all the food we were eating was gluten free. It was too good to be true!

Tiramisu and a Cream Puff completed the feast. Yes, it was truly as feast as I felt like a queen eating all that decadent gluten free food!

I LOVE Lisa's Safe and Sound dinners. They are not only great for the meal, but I love meeting new people. I met such interesting and nice people at Carnivale and yesterday I was thrilled to sit with Lauren White from Whole Foods Market. She was such a sweetheart and filled with great information! As the Store Concierge she helps a lot of people by answering questions, providing personal shopping assistance, finding recipes and nutritional information, conducting store tours, and recommending products. She even told me she saw a gluten free lemon scone at a Starbucks a few days ago! She couldn't remember which one, but I think I will be on the hunt to track one down. I couldn't find any information on the internet, so maybe they are top secret?

As if this wonderful meal wasn't enough, Lisa surprised me with a sixer of Swirlz gluten free cupcakes for my birthday! Aghh!! My favorite!!! I was actually debating whether I should have had some delivered to me at work on Friday, so apparently Lisa not only cooks allergen free, but she's also a mind reader!!! Either that or great gluten free minds think alike! Thank you again, Lisa!

The box got a little smashed and food stains on it from all my leftovers stacked on top!

The cupcakes inside were safe and yummy as ever!

The Safe and Sound goodie bag is one of my favorite parts of the night. The last gift bag was filled with great stuff, but the bag I received yesterday had about ten times more samples. I mean, look at just a few of the items!

What a great day!'s not over. I ended the day with seeing one of my favorite musicians, Regina Spektor. Awesome concert, great seats, a very happy birthday to me indeed.


Jenn Sutherland said...

Happy Birthday, Betsy! Looks like you really celebrated in style...and I am *drooling* over the Safe & Sound Dinner pics...I'm definitely going to have to make the next one!

nutritioulicious said...

Happy Birthday! Looks like it was a delicious celebration!

Julie said...

Happy Birthday Betsy! Wow! The food pictures are beautiful, hats off to DaLuciano's for tackling such a traditionally wheat heavy cuisine with panache.

nutritiontokitchen said...

What a fab birthday celebration! Those cupcakes look so cute and tasty!

Linda said...

Happy birthday Betsy! It sounds like you had a great one. That gf food looks incredible. Tell Bjorn - great card. :)

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

Happy Birthday indeed!!! Glad it was great - you deserve it Mam!! Love ya!! Dee

Linda-Kitchen Therapy said...

Happy belated birthday. A superb meal and Regina Spektor. What a night!

My daughter has given me Regina Spektor tunes. I always get a kick out of her.

Marlow said...

Happy Birthday indeed! I was able to see Regina Spektor this past January in New York City and it was Ahhhmazing. Love her! She is too cute! And curses when she messes up!