Cupcakes and Sunshine: 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Food + Friends (Trader Joe's Haul!)


I realized today that I definitely have more pictures of food on my phone than I do people. It's probably a 5-1 ratio. 🤣 I thought I'd share some of my favorite Trader Joe's finds as of lately that I've been loving! And some photos of some favorite friend + food moments I've been loving thrown in here too.


These are my FAVORITE^^ Forget Reeses Eggs and Christmas Trees. In college I knew all of the workers at Trader Joe's, and I've been working on knowing the TJ Crew members in Dallas too, but it's a bit harder in a bigger city, and when you Trader Joe's hop.

However, friends, I've had some great success....


I am now known as the "Sunflower Buttercup Girl" at our closest TJs. I come in and buy packs of them. As I go through the line, "Oh...you're the one that buys packs of those..." oops. Yes. That is me.


I think the best weekends are full of good friends + good food


living out all my foodie dreams^




A couple weeks back, we had a Trader Joe's party and each of us brought a TJs item we've always had our eye on, but just hadn't purchased yet.


Our party featured watermelon jerky, a Greek Spiral, Cinnamon Churros, Cream Cheese Blitzes, a deep dish cookie pie, almond spread, some crackers, tamales, and a few more items. Thinking we should make this a regular event, okay friends!?


And back to the food haul! In addition to Sunflower butter cups, I also purchase bags of Cauliflower Gnocchi to have on hand. Love this stuff!!


Super versatile, healthy, and easy. **DO NOT** follow the instructions on the bag to make it.
Instead, add a tablespoon of Kerrygold Butter to a frying pan (or regular butter/ olive oil, but highly recommend Kerrygold!), add in frozen gnocchi on medium heat. While gnocchi is cooking, slice TJ's Italian Chicken Sausage (LOVE the hints of fennel + spicy kick!) and toss in once gnocchi starts thawing and continue heating until gnocchi & sausage are evenly browned. The easiest lunch!


I've been wanting to try this carrot juice for a while. Didn't love it alone, but added a packet of True Lemon (from Target, not TJs) since the juice itself doesn't have sweetener.  This juice definitely has a KICK. Pretty sure it has black pepper and chili powder? But I love it with lemon!


Just purchased this one today, and have not yet tried, but I can not wait. I'll keep you posted.

***UPDATE: this stuff is GOOD. Probably some of the best hummus I've ever had.


Tried out the jerk-style plantain chips a few weeks back, and I'm super sad to say I didn't love them. They taste like the burnt-toast chips in Chex mix...


 and I usually avoid those. BUT if those are your favorite part of Chex mix, I highly suggest the Jerk-Style plantain chips.


This is one of my favorite easy lunch meals as well. To mix things up, I'll make a meat sauce of browned sausage + spaghetti sauce, and then cook the crust alone. Once crust is baked, slice with a pizza cutter into triangles (like the picture on the box^^), and then DIP in the meat sauce. Switches things up a little :)

Ending this haul with some of my favorite TJ's instagrammer's to follow for new products and some really great ideas!!!
Happy Trader Joe's-ing!

@traderjoeslist
@traderjoesobsessed
@traderjoeskitchen
@traderjoesjunkie
@traderjoesnut
@traderjoesglutenfree

&Mix+ Match Mama's TJ's favorites


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Life Lately


Life lately has been filled with good friends, good food, good travels-- here's the highlight reel! 




































Tuesday, February 19, 2019

THE BEST Gluten Free Restaurants in Dallas, Texas

This post has been a long time coming, and I'm excited to finally press publish! Dallas has an incredible selection of gluten-free restaurants, and it's on my list to visit them all!

**Some restaurants below this post-- I still haven't visited, but are on my Dallas gluten-free restaurant bucketlist. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! Would love to keep this list updated & don't want to miss out on any of the best gf eats Dallas has to offer. (I do have Celiac, so the ones included are Celiac friendly unless marked otherwise)



So here it is! The BEST gluten free restaurants in Dallas. (In no particular order! If they're here, they're really good)

HG Sply Co:


What to order at HG Sply Co:

  • The NACHOS- Both gf and mass gluten consumers LOVE these nachos. I've never had better. (& they have a great happy hour deal on them too) 
  • Most everything they have is gluten free/can be made gluten free. Their bowls and desserts are incredible 
  • Don't order the cheeseburger- you will be leading yourself into an evening of despair and menu remorse if you do. Can't go wrong with anything else on the menu though

Flower Child:

Gluten Free Kids Meal at Flower Child in Dallas, Texas

What to order at Flower Child: 
  • This is one of my favorites! Everything is good, but if you're going for healthy- their salmon is incredible! 
  • The Mac & Cheese- the best gluten free Mac & Cheese 
  • Top secret insider tip- I order from the kid's menu almost every time. It is half the price, and I don't eat more than that. Also- you can order salmon and ANY of the sides from the kids menu (this isn't on the kid's menu, but I have some top secret insight from 2-3x/wk experience) 
  • their variety of lemonades + gluten free brownies + gluten free lemon muffins. 
  • Goodness, it's all good.

True Food Kitchen:


Gluten Free at True Food Kitchen
What to order at True Food:
  • Lasagna Bolognese 
  • Spaghetti Squash Casserole 
  • Pan-Seared chicken breast
  • I've also had some of their juices (Kale Aid- yum!), and really want to try their gf chocolate cake. Has anyone had it? 

Sprinkles Cupcakes:


What to order at Sprinkles: 
  • The best part of eating at True Food is that Sprinkles is right next door ;) 
  • The Gluten Free Red Velvet cupcake is 10/10
  • They also have a gluten free lemon blueberry cupcake that is great
  • You actually can not go wrong with Sprinkles gluten free cupcake selection or GF chocolate chip cookies. I highly recommend for a mid-day treat. 

Meso Maya:


Gluten Free Meal at Meso Maya in Dallas, Texas. 90% of their Menu is Gluten Free

What to order at Meso Maya:
  • This was the first restaurant I ate at in Dallas, Texas- and it is still one of my favorites
  • Meso Maya has the best gluten-free Tex Mex I've had!! They hand make all of their corn tortillas, so order a side of those with whatever you order + guac  
  • Their brisket tacos- No words. So good. 
  • I want to say that the only menu items that aren't gf here are items with their mole' sauce. 

Sundown at Grenada:

What to order at Sundown: 
  • Their flatbreads are made with Unrefined Bakery's gluten free pizza dough and are so good- highly suggest the Pesto Parmesan
  • Chips and queso- it's rare to find gluten free queso in Texas and Sundown has it! 
  • Manitoba Burger

Sixty Vines:

What to order at 60 Vines:

  • If you have friends in town, or a celebratory dinner with friends without gluten intolerances/allergies, I highly recommend 60 Vines. They have every wine you can imagine on tap! And their gluten free options are 👌
  • Roasted potatoes- as crazy as this sounds, their roasted potatoes are incredible. I've suggested to all, & now they are everyone's favorite side dish to order
  • Gluten free pastas- I haven't had them, but I've heard they are great! Adding it to my to-order list

ChopShop:

What to order at Chopshop: 
  • I'm at Chopshop almost as often as Flower Child
  • Their gluten free wraps are great (I recommend the turkey) + lots of bowl options
  • Stevia sweetened lemonade- so good! 
  • I love their "Facelift" juice too

Modern Market:

What to order at Modern Market:
  • Salads- so many choices, and they're all really good and have incredible homemade dressings. Not just lettuce + meat 🙌
  • Meat + veggie plates- I love these! 
  • Vegan GF Chocolate Chip Cookies + Vegan Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Lakewood Smokehouse:

  • Tons of gluten free options here, and definitely one of my favorite places to get bbq! 

Unrefined Bakery:


What to order at Unrefined: 
  • Their gluten free 5 Grain Bread- I buy a loaf at least every two weeks- the best gf bread I've ever had
  • Gluten Free cupcakes- you can order gluten free/dairy free/soy free/ egg free. Tons of choices here + super knowledgeable staff about allergies
  • Their chocolate pie is actually my favorite- and you can order by the slice! 

START Drive-Thru:

What to order at START:
  • I love this restaurant and I'm so thankful because besides Chick-fil-a, it is the only fast food restaurant I can eat at with Celiac. (Now there is a drive-thru to eat at on Sundays 🙌)
  • GF breakfast wraps + tots- so good
  • It is not the most wallet-friendly place to eat, but because of convenience, I give it 4.99/5 stars 
  • Their gluten free blueberry pineapple muffins are GREAT and they have cute 1/2 sized juices!

Creamistry:

What to order at Creamistry:
  • There are lots of gluten free/dairy free liquid nitrogen frozen ice cream options and they have an allergen menu too!
  • LOVE their coconut-based ice cream

GRUB Burger Bar:

What to order at Grub: 
  • I ordered a burger without a bun (on a salad of some sort) + their Gluten Free Sweet potato fries!! They have a dedicated fryer for these fries

Shake Shack:

What to order at Shake Shack:



  • Their gluten free Shack Burger. They'll change their gloves and make it in a dedicated area if you have Celiac! 
  • Concretes- I usually don't get any mix-ins because it gets a little tricky with cross-contamination, but the vanilla and chocolate concretes are too good
  • Fries are NOT GF

Kate Weiser Chocolates:

What to order at Kate Weiser:
  • Kate Weiser's selection of handmade chocolates only uses the best ingredients- their staff is super knowledgeable of every ingredient in each chocolate, and they will tell you which ones are gluten free (which is most of them!) The chocolates are also all so pretty- like art! Almost too pretty to eat- but that doesn't stop us from coming back again and again





Unleavened Fresh Kitchen:
What to order at Unleavened:
  • Most of the menu is gluten free, AND they have gf fried chicken and shrimp! (not the healthiest options, but there are very few restaurants that serve gluten free fried items) 
  • LOVE their Havana Salad- guava-glazed pulled pork, ham, swiss, honey mustard

Hannah's Gluten Free Bakery:

What to order at Hannah's:

  • I've never been to the storefront of Hannah's, but I've purchased their gluten-free cinnamon rolls from the Dallas Farmer's Market. Love them, and I need to give them a visit to see the other options they have
  • They are a sweet, family owned business and their instagram is fun to follow to see their daily options

Rise No. 1:

The cutest souffle' restaurant!! The fruit souffles and all savory souffles can be made gluten free! 

Juice Bar:

There are tons of smoothie/juice bars across Dallas. Most all menus are GF! 




Steel City Pops:

Most all pops are gluten free! (even cookie pop flavors!🙌)



Andy's Frozen Custard:


I order their chocolate/vanilla custard with banana slices + marshmallow cream

JOY Macarons:

  • Almost all macarons and ice-cream sandwiches here are gluten free 

What to order at Royal Blue
  • Royal Blue is the cutest mini grocery/coffee shop located in Highland Park, and they have tons of gluten-free snack options
  • Order their gluten free sweet potato bread + a latte




Be Careful, but GF Options Here:
If you are avoiding gluten, but do not have Celiac, I suggest Twisted Root, Velvet Taco, Hopdoddy Burgers, and Breadwinner's Cafe. I would say that the restaurants aren't very knowledgeable of cross contamination, so be very careful if you do have Celiac! I LOVE Velvet Taco's queso, which is gluten free, but have to bring my own chips (BYOC. Ha) Velvet Taco used to be more knowledgeable in GF offerings, but I think they got rid of their GF practices, since there was too much opportunity for cross contamination in their kitchen.

Gluten Free buns at Twisted Root in Dallas, Texas
Gluten Free Queso at Velvet Taco (bring your own chips if Celiac!)


This is the best gluten free bread in Dallas- and the best GF bread I have found in general! 

Gluten Free Dallas, Texas Chain Restaurants: 

  • Chipotle 
  • Eatzi's
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • In-N-Out
Gluten free "protein style" In-N-Out Burger

  • Snap Kitchen
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Seasons 52
Can NOT go wrong with gluten free grilled nuggets and fries from Chick-fil-A🤷

Haven't Tried these, but on my Dallas GF Bucketlist: 

Kozy Kitchen
Company Cafe
Origin Kitchen + Bar
Gather Kitchen
Testa Pizza (apparently very good pizza crust- will have to check and see if it is Celiac friendly)
R+D Kitchen
BellaGreen
Public School
Rise No. 1
Whisky Cake
Taverna By Lombardi
Matt's Rancho Martinez
Komali
Rodeo Goat
Fireside Pies (I don't usually trust pizza places, but heard they cater to those with Celiac!)
The Woolworth






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