Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cause for Celebration - Cuppycakes Sweet Boutique

Life is good and it just got better kids!!  Yes, we have a wonderful advocate for gluten-free living and as luck would have it, she just opened a bakery featuring some of the best gluten-free products I have ever had.  Shari Preister is the vibrant, vivacious, animated owner of Cuppycakes Sweet Boutique and her excitement for her new adventure is contagious!  With much pride and anticipation she opened her Boutique last Friday, and of course you know I was there to check things out!  As soon as you walk in you are greeted warmly and you know you have come to a place a little a good way......a very good way.

Shari is very celiac saavy and she has outdone herself with gluten-free items for us deprived sweet connosseurs......she really has!  The shop itself is very upbeat and lively.  The type of place that bids you to come in and revel in the aromas and take in all the amazing choices that await you.  I was so excited to be there and when I arrived I recognized Shari immediately from the Food Network's Cupcake Wars.  She got her start out at Sempek's in Elkhorn, but it was a small place and she was unable to offer gluten-free items every day.  Now she has the space and boy is she utilizing it.  It is a big step for her to move to her new location and I think that she will do very well.  She also offers some great coffees and teas.  I applaud her enthusiasm and determination.

Let's talk food now.........first the gluten-free cupcakes.  Shari keeps them unfrosted and separate from the other cupcakes.  You can pick the flavor of frosting you prefer and you can even have them put a filling in the cupcake if you wish!  I had a vanilla cupcake with raspberry frosting and a fresh raspberry on top.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but when I took the cupcake home I devoured it as if it was my last meal...........and I licked the cupcake lining........yes, folks it was that good!  They are a little larger than your average cupcake (can that be a bad thing?) and each bite is really better than the last.  In case you can't tell, I am hooked already:)  Next is her gluten-free cheesecake.........please can we talk??  This stuff is what our gluten-free dreams are made of.  She usually has New York Style cheesecake and then you can pick the topping you would like on it or if you are a purist, you can have a plain slice.  Very creamy, very luscious, and everything you would expect from an authentic cheesecake.  She tells me she will be making a gluten-free margarita cheesecake with a gluten-free pretzel crust.......count me in!!

Next up is her marvelous gluten-free cookies.  These chocolate cookies are heavenly!  They are a little bit crunchy on the outside (but not too much) and on the inside they taste like a rich brownie!  Oh yeah, they are just superb!  They are small (perfect size) so I am guessing they might be guilt-free too......ha!  They are by far and away the best gluten-free cookie I have ever had.........really delicious.  I am betting my gluten loving friends would never be able to tell these cookies are gluten-free.....never.

OK, so I should put something healthy in here too, right?  Shari makes a gluten-free granola bar that makes me smile from ear to ear.  Some gluten-free granola bars are less than stunning imitations of the gluten laden ones I used to enjoy...........too many seeds, too hard, too know what I am saying.  But these are just about perfect and they are sweetend with molasses not sugar.  I am pretty critical when it comes to gluten-free granola bars and these have surpassed all my expectations.  I take them to work with me and have them for a snack.......just perfectly satisfying for me.......and they really are guilt free:)

Now if I sound like I am gushing over this new shop, I guess I am.  But, when you find someone who is an advocate for celiac and gluten intolerant people and then you realize that she really "gets" the whole picture and she serves amazing food..........well, yes, I am going to gush.  One of her employees also has celiac and that is also a plus for the shop.....she knows stuff:)  And she does not charge extra for gluten-free I need to repeat that??  She does not believe it is right to charge more for gluten-free and she is well aware of what we have to pay for things that everyone else takes for granted.  The Boutique is at 14242 Fort Street and it is easy to find.......just head for 144th and Fort and you can't miss it.  This woman is a gem........what would you expect from a woman that made gluten-free cupcakes for Katy Perry:)  Make some time to visit the shop and let's give this amazing woman the support she deserves........and bring your gluten loving friends with you.......that stuff looks amazing too!!!  Til next time, cheers!  Linda

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hello out there!  It has been a long time since I have blogged and there are several reasons for that.  First of all, I think I just got tired of talking about celiac and all the tedious details that come with it.  Secondly I was eating way too many carbs and we all know what that can lead to.  Yes, extra pounds, so I decided to take a much needed break from constantly thinking about gluten-free and then came to a realization.......I cannot take a break from the gluten-free life and IS my life and it will be forever or until a miracle takes place (not holding my breath).

I went through a period of time where I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and having so many aspects of my health tied to gluten, that I think I kind of checked out of the conversation.  No, I stayed on my gluten-free diet (in spite of being glutenized occasionally by some uninformed person at a restaurant or because of my assumption that an item on a menu was still gluten-free).  But I became so weary of meeting new people and having social situations where I either had to explain why I was not participating in a junk food fest or having to explain my health issues to a date that I became pretty cavalier about the whole thing.  And alas, it did not go away and I am still here and I seem to have a new outlook on this "wheat, gluten situation".  It is what it is and I am what I am.  People either accept or they don't............but either way it is my problem, not theirs.  So once again I am on the band wagon to be an advocate for gluten-free living and to sort out all the issues that come along with it. 

I am thrilled to say that the Farmer's Markets are back in full force and I could not be happier!  I have pined away for this weekend tradition all winter and am looking forward to strolling aimlessly through the booths and being surprised by the bounty that is the Markets.