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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious


A Surprise Gluten- and Dairy- Free Party

Chef Tommy Fitzgerald after he revealed his secret Tender agendaThis past Saturday night I went to a surprise birthday party for a couple of super guys and great friends. 

There was also a nice surprise for me, however, when the chef prepared a meal that was nearly entirely gluten- and dairy-free. 

You see, usually, my party protocol includes appropriate primping and then some frozen Applegate Farms lunch meat thrown into my purse.  Usually, at a party, and after I've circulated and socialized ... and after my knees get weak ... but before I feel that alien invasion called low blood sugar, I find a quiet corner in which to hide (a.k.a.) my car or the nearest bathroom).  I then peel open the pack of meat and stuff my face with a few of the unfrozen slices before going back out and resocializing like a human.  Once all proteined-up, I usually pretend that I'm not at all jealous of the party-goers' oohs and ahhs as they sample the tastiness of the table.  I ignore their glazed over eyes as they take that first bite of that cheesy, buttery, puffy thing or that chocolately chewy brownie concoction (my favorite food).  And when I get home, I pretend that it is perfectly heatlhy to eat a fairly full meal at midnight -- because I'm hungry as heck.  And then further tell myself that its really not such a big deal (and in the light of world peace, devastating disease, and people with real hunger, it really isn't a big deal at all.  I'm seriously quite content with these small problems).

And I usually forget to take the left over lunch meat out of my purse when I get home. 

But Saturday night was different and fun.  Because of my "new best friend" Tommy Fitzgerald, I had a full plate.  I licked that plate clean.  I went back for seconds.  I had such an abundance of mexican food that I had to leave a little behind; I just couldn't possibly take another bite.  The salsas were incredible, the chicken was so juicy and tasty that I raided the party refrigerator later in the evening for more.  That was a nice surprise indeed.


So my biggest thanks and a big shout out to Tommy -- and to The Leonard at Logan House for taking care of their Tender Foodie for the evening.  It was so nice to be able to relax, not worry and just enjoy some great food and great people.

And a big happy birthday to John and Bill.  You are surrounded by so many folks who love you (because you are so darn loveable).  May your years be filled wtih great happiness, joy, health and many more years of fun in the great out-of-doors.  Keep feeding me like this and you might actually get me out camping.


Tommy Fitzgerald owns Cafe Stella in Grand Rapids, MI, is a favorite chef at The Leonard at Logan House, and caters all kinds of events.  Take a trip to his web site for more info.

The Leonard at Logan House is an historic bed and breakfast that specializes in peronal or business stay, weddings and events, corporate events, meetings, parties and more.

These guys know how to throw a great and memorable party.





15% Gluten-free Expo in Chicago - 2/21/2011 only!


New Food Allergy Clinic to Open in New England

Peanut allergies are on the rise, and New England doctors are beginning to respond with new treatments.  A local paper "" ran a story on this on Feb. 13 (excerpt below). 


The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center, located in West Hartford, has initiated a new, investigational treatment that may desensitize patients with peanut allergy with the hope that if an allergic individual were to eat something with peanuts they would much less likely experience an allergic reaction. Partners Dr. Mitchell Lester of Westport and Dr. Joseph Sproviero of Easton also have practices in Fairfield county.

"We are providing a unique opportunity for the majority of peanut allergic patients to receive an investigational treatment that has been rooted in previous clinical studies," said Jeffrey M. Factor MD, Medical Director of the New England Food Allergy Treatment Center.

"The research we are conducting will hopefully result in substantial improvement in the quality of life of many peanut allergic patients."


Read this full story at:


Another clinic is also opening a pediatric center in Brisbane Australia:




I {Heart} Organic Wine – Quick V-Day Suggestions

 I know you.  You’ve waited until the last minute to think about Valentine’s Day.  Give your Tender Valentine a few warm fuzzies with our last minute wine suggestions. 

Organic wine is not always easy to find.  Dave Russo of G.B. Russo and Sons in Grand Rapids, MI has some of the best in the area (and probably in the country).  Dave has several of these wines on sale right now.  So stop by on your way to see your honey.


Some quick picks with some quick facts:


Ehlers Organic Wine


Organic Status?  Made with certified organic grapes 

Country?  U.S.A./ California

Value?:  High-end wine for a good price


Ehlers Vineyards cultivate their wines using organic and biodynamic methods – all done for bottom line results and best taste.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of these wines support the Leducq Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to funding international cardiovascular research. 



Read More:





Natura Wine (Emiliana Organic Vineyards)


Organic Status?:  100% Certified Organic

Country?:  Chile

Value?:  Great wine, good price

Take a visit to the Emiliana Organic Vineyards’ web site to learn about organic and biodynamic farming in wine.  It’s fascinating.  The Gewurztraminer that G.B. Russo carries has a good review from


“It is a gentle wine, rather feminine and floral in character, showing honey and flowers on the nose and stonefruit on the palate. Cleanly made, this is both a good sipping wine and one that would combine nicely with Asian cuisine.”


Read more about Natura Wines, Emiliana Organic Vineyards and organic and biodynamic wine production:



La Vielle Ferme


Organic Status? – This wine is raised with organic principals, but its neighbors are not organic. 

Country?:  France

Value?:  Excellent.  Good wine, great price.


One unique attribute of this wine is that there are no added sulphites.  Trace amounts of sulphites are natural in wine.  However, sulphites are usually added used to kill the yeast and stop the fermentation (if you don’t kill the yeast you get vinegar).  La Vielle Ferme uses a flash heating process instead to stop fermentation.  



'La Vieille Ferme is producing exuberant and delicious wines.'

James Suckling : The wine spectator


Read More:




You can also find these at G.B. Russo & Sons


1.    Perrin & Fils:  Cote Du Rhone Villages (France)

2.    Tres Sabores:  California




Announced Today: Food Allergy Labeling Laws in Canada

New Food Allergy labeling laws were announced in Canada today.  Labels on food will now include ingredients derived from gluten sources, sulphites and "other allergens".  Beer and wine are left out of the labeling requirements for now after hard lobbying from the beer industry.  But indicators show that alcohol might be in our allergen-labeling future.