Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sanaa Lunch - Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

This review was updated 5/10/16

Yesterday, my daughters and I had lunch at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas with my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  Sanaa is a table service restaurant featuring African cooking with Indian flavors, and great views of the animals on the savanna outside.

Sanaa is one of my family's favorite restaurants at Disney World for lunch and dinner, and is featured in the following blog posts: My Favorite Table Service Restaurants at Disney Best Disney Restaurants without a Park PassBest of 2014 - Disney, and two posts in my series The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney - Gluten Free Appetizers and Gluten Free Desserts.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gluten Free Fried Smelts

Both my husband and I have Italian Catholic grandmothers, so we were raised with the tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve.  Growing up, I always had several fish dishes to choose from, while Mitch's family had at least seven for the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Both of our grandmothers made fried smelts, a dish we have not had since our last Christmas in Pittsburgh, ten years ago.  This year, while having dinner at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant on Christmas Eve, we decided that we needed to revive some of our family Christmas Eve traditions, like the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  While we brainstormed all the fish dishes we could cook next year, we decided that we needed to make fried smelts, so we bought some smelts at Lombardi's Seafood in Winter Park on Saturday.

Sanaa Christmas Dinner - Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

Sanaa, which is located in Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, is one of my favorite table service restaurants at Walt Disney World for both lunch and dinner.

We usually have Christmas breakfast at Disney World, and dinner at home, but this year, we changed things up a bit and had breakfast at home, and dinner at Disney.  Sanaa was very busy when we arrived at 3:30, and I had to wait 10 minutes just to check in.  Walk-ins were not being accepted, so if you want to have dinner at Disney World on Christmas day, make sure you have advance dining reservations.  

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Bald Strawberry Cake Cafe - Melbourne

The Bald Strawberry Cake Cafe is now closed.  The restaurant is still open.  

The Bald Strawberry, a 100% gluten free restaurant in Melbourne, Florida, recently opened The Bald Strawberry Cake Cafe in the same shopping plaza as their gourmet waffle cafe.  You can read my review of The Bald Strawberry here.

At the Cake Cafe, you can buy a variety of baked goods, mixes to take home, fresh organic coffee, and gluten free pasta.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Portobello Country Italian Trattoria - Disney Springs

Last Friday, my daughters and I had lunch at Portobello Country Italian Trattoria in Disney Springs.  We have never dined at this restaurant before, because of mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, and we tend to have very high standards when it comes to Italian food, our favorite cuisine to cook at home.

After a member of my private Facebook group Gluten Free in Orlando raved about her meal at Portobello, I finally decided to give it a try.  Portobello is not Disney-owned and operated, so they do not have an allergy-friendly menu.  When I told our server that I had celiac, she did not offer to bring out a chef, but I asked to see one to discuss gluten free options.  Our server had told me that there were salad options, and the chef mentioned that most pasta dishes can be made gluten free with the use of gluten free penne, because their sauces are gluten free.  When I asked what brand they used, I was told Bonta d'Italia, which is Schar.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe - Disney Springs

After having lunch at Portobello today, my daughters and I stopped at The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe, which opened in Disney Springs earlier this week.  The shop is very small, and we had to wait in line for about 10 minutes before we were allowed to go in.

The Ganachery, with its apothecary theming, features hand-crafted chocolate.  Upon entering, we watched chocolate being applied to their custom-made ganache.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen - Magic Kingdom

Yesterday, I had lunch at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, the newly opened Jungle Cruise themed restaurant in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom,

Currently, Disney's newest table service restaurant is not accepting reservations, but we were able to put in our name before the restaurant opened at 11:00, and I received a text when our table was ready.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Gingerbread Spiced Cookie Mix

Earlier this week, I made gingerbread cookies with Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Gingerbread Spiced Cookie Mix.

I was really excited to try this new product from Williams-Sonoma, because the mix contains my favorite gluten free flour, Cup4Cup, and I love their gingerbread spice quick bread mix.  I had high hopes for this mix, and it certainly did not disappoint, though I was disappointed that I never received my online order of the gingerbread spiced cookie mix, which I placed back in October.  I knew it wasn't supposed to be shipped for several weeks, because it was not in stock yet when I ordered it, but after seeing it in the Williams-Sonoma store in Winter Park, I called to find out where my order was.  Well, it turns out that the online store would not be fulfilling my order, because I guess they never received the mix, so I headed to my local store to buy two boxes, which were on sale for $12.99.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Backlot Express - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Yesterday, we headed to Hollywood Studios to immerse ourselves in everything Star Wars.  We rode Star Tours twice, so we could experience some of the new adventures inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  We also checked out "Star Wars: Path of the Jedi" and the Star Wars Launch Bay, where Disney Visa cardmembers can feel the power of the force at a private Star Wars Imperial Meet 'N" Greet.

The Backlot Express, a quick service restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios, recently updated their menu with Star Wars themed food options, so we headed there for lunch.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Cake

Earlier today, I stopped at the Trader Joe's in Winter Park to buy a gluten free cranberry orange ricotta cake.  The cakes are available in the bakery section of the store, and a new batch are put out each morning, so be sure to get there early, especially if you are going on a weekend.  An employee also told me that you can call in the morning and reserve one for pickup later that day.

The cake, which costs $5.99, has an allergen warning that it contains milk, egg, and soy, and may contain traces of almond, hazelnut, and walnut.  It is not a large cake, but it would probably serve 4 to 6 people.

Boardwalk Pizza - Winter Park

A couple of weeks ago, we had dinner at Boardwalk Pizza in Winter Park with family that was visiting from out of town.  We first discovered Boardwalk Pizza about four years ago, when I was still teaching full time.

Before Boardwalk Pizza, I had never had a gluten free pizza that I liked at a restaurant.  Last month, I found this picture of a Margherita pizza I ordered there years ago.  I enjoyed their pizza so much, we ate at Boardwalk Pizza pretty regularly until I retired from teaching and started making pizza with Chebe at home.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Carrabba's Italian Grill

Earlier tonight, we had dinner at the Carrabba's Italian Grill in Oviedo.  We have had several good dining experiences there since moving to Orlando, but we haven't eaten at Carrabba's in probably three or four years.

Carrabba's recently expanded their gluten free options with the addition of casarecce gluten free pasta, and modified their signature grill-baste to make it gluten free.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Honey Corn Bread Mix

This year, we spent Thanksgiving with our family in our hometown of Pittsburgh.  My aunt bought a Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Corn Bread Mix to make muffins for my daughters, who are not huge fans of stuffing.

The mix, which is certified gluten free by the Celiac Support Association, contains degermed white cornmeal, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, potato starch, baking powder, salt, and light amber honey.  It has an allergen warning that it contains eggs and milk, and is prepared and packaged using machines that may come in contact with soy.  The mix itself does not appear to contain eggs or milk, but the directions call for the addition of 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 cup of milk, and two eggs.