Giveaways coming from this event!! I will be reviewing, and then giving away a signed copy of “Autism – Recovery Against All Odds” by Kristi Chrysler. I will also be giving away a Gluten-Free Sample Package of goodies! Stay tuned for details.
Last night I attended an awesome gluten-free event sponsored by the North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group! I went with my mom, my 6 year old daughter, and our 7 month old little boy. I was attracted to this event because of the samples! Several local restaurants gave samples of their gluten-free menu items. My daughter LOVES samples! What is it about getting a little cup of food that is so fun? But it is, isn’t it? Ever since going gluten-free a couple months ago, I’ve had to say “no” to more samples than not, and it’s taken some of the fun away from our Costco trips for her. When I saw this event and saw they would have samples, I wanted to take her because I thought it would be really cool for her to be able to have any and every sample they offered! I was right! She was so excited, even though it took a while for it to sink in. She kept asking me, “Is THAT gluten-free TOO? WOW!”.
I’m so glad we got there when it opened because as it was, some of the lines for the samples were quite long. Everything I had was worth waiting in line for though!
They also had a kid’s table outside where the kids could choose a free toy (Lovebug got a ‘grabber’), color a picture, & pick up an activity book.
At the first couple of stops, we picked up a sample for each of us – my mom, me, my daughter. After all, I paid to get in, I wanted my money’s worth. 🙂 Soon we realized we would never be hungry enough to try everything if we did that, so we started just getting one sample at each place for us to share. I was very impressed at the generous samples they were giving. They were small appetizer portions! We tasted some incredible foods, and a few “ok” foods. I’ll list the ones I enjoyed the most!
* First, one of my two favorites! Delicious, yummy, decadent treats from Wholesome Foods Bakery!! I can’t wait to visit their location in person. I thought you had to order everything online, but after talking to them, I learned that you can just drop in to pick up an individual item. I will definitely be doing this! This is an awesome mother-daughter team that served us freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, cranberry cookies, a type of pound cake, and the brownies! Oh, the brownies! They were made like muffins and then individually wrapped. I didn’t get to mine last night, so I had part of it for breakfast this morning. What? I had to try it to write about it, didn’t I? It was perfect! Crunchy and crispy on the outside, but moist and a perfect texture on the inside. It was all I could do to wrap it back up and save it till later. I don’t usually like nuts in my chocolate (just a quirk!), but this had walnuts in it and I loved it. It provided a perfect balance without being dry, which is my usual problem with nut-filled brownies. I could go on and on! Go visit them yourself!
* My other favorite is a great raw food company! Hail Merry offers an incredible selection of RAW foods. They have macaroons that are out of this world! They were sampling their granola at this event, and I was impressed. The sweet ladies there spent time chatting with us and discussing the benefits of raw food. One of the ladies and I had a lot in common. She has PCOS, had a hysterectomy and was working to lose weight because she had been diagnosed diabetic. I’m not diabetic (although it’s in my family history), but I do have PCOS, and had a full hysterectomy a couple years ago. She was sharing how eating mostly raw foods had made a significant improvement in her blood sugar and helped in controlling her weight as well. After chatting with us a while, they broke open a package of macaroons for us to sample (MMM!), and even gave LoveBug a free T-shirt! So sweet! She wore it around for a while, but took it off because she didn’t like everyone staring at her (I don’t think they really were), but she did sleep in it last night.
* Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Chocolate Mousse from P.F. Changs. I had recently eaten at P.F. Changs and was impressed with their GF menu, but I had not had a chance to try the mousse because my daughter chose the Flourless Chocolate Cake instead. I picked up one sample of the mousse to share with my mom & daughter. Turns out my mom doesn’t like mousse, and my daughter said it was “too chocolately”. Their loss! I gobbled up every bite! Don’t worry, it was made perfectly – my daughter just prefers white chocolate. I used to wonder about her sanity, but now I just embrace that we each get our own chocolate in the pantry 🙂
(That mousse looked much better before I dug into it!)
* A delicious grit cake topped with a perfectly cooked jumbo prawn and BBQ sauce by the Gaylord’s Ama Lur. It was picture perfect (but I failed to take a picture!), as well as pleasant to the palette!
* A wonderfully seasoned paella (traditional Spanish dish including meats, seafood, rice and vegetables) from Paella Texas that included oysters! (my daughter loved the oysters so much she went back for more!).
* A noodle dish from Asian Mint – I don’t remember what it was called, but it had a yummy sweet sauce on it and was topped with bean sprouts – loved it!
* A gnocci & chicken dish with a creamy sweet pepper & basil sauce topped with fresh parmesan cheese. I could have eaten an entire plate of this! It was amazing! It was from a brand new restaurant, Zeppole, that will be opening in the Gaylord on November 15. Again, I didn’t get a picture of this one – I was too busy eating it! Just trust me…you’ll want to go try it!
Enjoying the variety of samples on the patio!
Another surprise that I didn’t expect were samples of pre-packaged items! I don’t know why, but that never occurred to me. I just assumed it was all restaurant style foods we would be trying. They loaded us up with packages of chips, cookies, crackers, mixes, bars, and even fortune cookies by A Taste of Thai! I was super excited about the fortune cookies because we haven’t eaten them for over 3 years. Regular fortune cookies are not only NOT gluten-free (which we’ve been avoiding for a couple months), but they also have artificial food coloring in them (which we’ve been avoiding for over 3 years). It’s just one of the fun things as a kid to get to open the fortune cookie and enjoy that little treat at the end of a meal, so I was thrilled to be able to give that back to my daughter. I liked them so much, I asked if I could buy a bag from them. Not just one bag, they said…how about 3 bags for $5? SOLD! It was a win-win, because we will not run out of fortune cookies anytime soon, and the vendors didn’t want to take this stuff back with them!
My Bag O’ Fortune Cookies!
Sometimes it pays to hang around till the end too! We were upstairs letting LoveBug run circles with a bunch of other kids on a “dance floor” type rug under disco lights. Nearby, was a long line of tables with vendors giving samples of cookies, chips, crackers, etc. I went through the line while my mom kept the kids and I admit I was thinking “not nice” thoughts about the people in front of me as I saw them grabbing several samples of each item. Turns out, when it was my turn, the vendors were telling us “Please take lots of them! We have so many and we don’t want to take them back with us!”. Well, who am I to argue with that? So, I loaded up my bag and then sent my mom & daughter through for theirs. They were handing us entire bags of chips! Cool! I’m very frugal and it was hard for me to spend the money to attend this event, but I sure am glad I did.
Our glorious view from the patio!
Our stash from the evening (3 people’s worth!)
I’ll come back later and post the details of the giveaway so you can enjoy some of these great samples too!