It’s a Cider Revolution at the Hyper Local Brewfest // June 9 & 10

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On June 9th and 10th The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts will be hosting it’s 6th Annual Hyper-Local Craft Briefest. With craft beer hitting maximum saturation, hard cider is really taking off. This is being called a ‘cider revolution’. And the Brewfest will have plenty of cider to sample from Cider companies all around New England. 

This years’ Cider vendors include: 

Prospect Ciderworks was founded in 2015 as Harvard Cider Company, located out in Harvard, Massachusetts. One of the founders, Mark Finnegan, grew up in the area which has a plethora of orchards–fairly common for Central Mass. The idea at the start was to do something different and to push the boundaries of craft cider while still using and showcasing local apples, and in the first full year of business they launched three flagship ciders as well as a summer seasonal. The drive of their ciders is to experiment with new flavor profiles that haven’t typically been used in traditional cider-making.  

Last fall, Prospect Ciderworks moved to a 6,500 sqft facility just south of the South End in Newmarket Square. With the move they decided to change the name to respect the fresh start: Prospect Ciderworks is an homage both to Prospect Hill in Harvard, which has a beautiful view of the Nashua River Valley, and to the street that the three founders first lived on in high school. Prospect Ciderworks will be on shelves come the end of May-early June.

Stowe Cider is handcrafted and made in small batches from local apples in Stowe, VT.

Artifact Cider is a brewery based in Everett, MA that crafts ciders of distinction from the superb apples of New England. Unfortunately they don’t have a tasting room but you can find their ciders at various locations in and around Boston!

Lookout Farm Cider is a true craft cidery. They use modern fermentation and traditional aging techniques to produce a uniquely refreshing hard cider since 1651. Lookout Farm is located in South Natick, MA, and is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the U.S.

Bantam Cider is a modern, craft cider made locally in Massachusetts from fresh pressed apples and all natural ingredients. The brewery is located in Somerville, MA.

There are a whopping three unlimited sampling sessions over two days. To purchase tickets, click here

Time & Dates:

  • Session 1 – Friday, June 9th  (6:30 – 9:30 PM) 
  • Session 2 – Saturday, June 10th  (3:00 – 6:00 PM)
  • Session 3 – Saturday, June 10th  (7:00 – 10:00 PM)

The event will be held at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA. Tickets are $48.00  for general admission and $89.00 for a pair. The Brewfest will gather nearly one thousand local craft brew fans to celebrate together with dozens of vendors over two days, and three sessions, of unlimited drink samples, food, and fun!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my review and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Cider & Artisan Beverages offered at the Hyper Local Brewfest

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On June 9th and 10th The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts will be hosting it’s 6th Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest. So you are probably thinking, “I can’t drink beer!”. I know!! The Briefest is not only about beer. Over the years it has grown to include a number of cider and artisan beverage companies and this year there are quite a few gluten free beverages available at the Fest for you to try!
 
This year there will be an abundance of cider at the festival, which just so happens to be one of my favorite drinks. From cider to cold brew, there is plenty for the non-gluten drinkers to sample. 
 
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Green Bee hand crafted beverages are made with real ingredients, real flavor and the natural sweetness of honey.  Green Bee beverages harness the power of local bees to offer a healthier alternative to mass produced beverages (this soda but healthier). 

Say Hello To The Green Bee Way:

  • Only use fresh squeezed juices and real ingredients.
  • Ingredient lists are short and clean.
  • You will never find refined sugars. Just pure honey.
  • Made without chemicals and preservatives.

I love that I can drink soda that tastes real and doesn’t make me feel bad after drinking it. The flavors are strong – in a good way – and so fresh tasting! Green Bee Craft Beverages can be found in natural food stores, fine restaurants, leading supermarkets, gourmet shops and fine pubs, including Boston-area Whole Foods, Cambridge Naturals, Allandale Farm, and Luke’s Lobster restaurants. Green Bee Craft Beverages is handcrafted and bottled in Brunswick, Maine.

Prospect Ciderworks was founded in 2015 as Harvard Cider Company, located out in Harvard, Massachusetts. One of the founders, Mark Finnegan, grew up in the area which has a plethora of orchards–fairly common for Central Mass. The idea at the start was to do something different and to push the boundaries of craft cider while still using and showcasing local apples, and in the first full year of business they launched three flagship ciders as well as a summer seasonal. The drive of their ciders is to experiment with new flavor profiles that haven’t typically been used in traditional cider-making.  

Last fall, Prospect Ciderworks moved to a 6,500 sqft facility just south of the South End in Newmarket Square. With the move they decided to change the name to respect the fresh start: Prospect Ciderworks is an homage both to Prospect Hill in Harvard, which has a beautiful view of the Nashua River Valley, and to the street that the three founders first lived on in high school. Prospect Ciderworks will be on shelves come the end of May-early June.

DrinkMaple was founded by two dedicated triathletes in May 2014, DRINKmaple Organic Maple Water is a premium, plant-based hydration beverage containing one single ingredient: maple sap. Boasting 46 naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, antioxidants and prebiotics, the functional beverage is naturally low in calories and sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, organic, Kosher and non-GMO, as well as being naturally subtly sweet and refreshing with a hint of maple. DrinkMaple is available all over Boston including, Whole Foods, CVS, Wegmans, Stop & Shop.

Other gluten free beverages to look out for at the festival:

Commonwealth Coffee Co.‘s craft cold brew coffee is micro-roasted, micro-brewed, and fairly traded specialty coffee from the best coffee farmers in the world.

ParTea Infuse the Booze is made in Somerville, MA. Their infusers are made up of of dried fruits, herbs, and spices packed into paper tea bags. Add any spirit of 80 proof or higher and get delicious results. Each kit comes with flavor-specific recommendations, and you can have fun experimenting!

Stowe Cider is handcrafted and made in small batches from local apples in Stowe, VT.

Artifact Cider is a brewery based in Everett, MA that crafts ciders of distinction from the superb apples of New England. Unfortunately they don’t have a tasting room but you can find their ciders at various locations in and around Boston!

Lookout Farm Cider is a true craft cidery. They use modern fermentation and traditional aging techniques to produce a uniquely refreshing hard cider since 1651. Lookout Farm is located in South Natick, MA, and is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the U.S.

Bantam Cider is a modern, craft cider made locally in Massachusetts from fresh pressed apples and all natural ingredients. The brewery is located in Somerville, MA.

A handful of beer vendors also have gluten-free beer, but I am currently not 100% sure as to what flavors will make an appearance at the festival.

There are a whopping three unlimited sampling sessions over two days. To purchase tickets, click here

Time & Dates:

  • Session 1 – Friday, June 9th  (6:30 – 9:30 PM) 
  • Session 2 – Saturday, June 10th  (3:00 – 6:00 PM)
  • Session 3 – Saturday, June 10th  (7:00 – 10:00 PM)

The event will be held at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA. Tickets are $48.00  for general admission and $89.00 for a pair. The Brewfest will gather nearly one thousand local craft brew fans to celebrate together with dozens of vendors over two days, and three sessions, of unlimited drink samples, food, and fun!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my review and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Gluten Free Dinner Options at Bergamot Restaurant // Somerville, MA

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Bergamot, in Somerville, is a neighborhood bistro that offers a more-than-average neighborhood-bistro experience. They use fresh, local (when available) and seasonal ingredients to bring you innovative, global, and delicious food in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Jeremy and I went before moving to New York City and sat at the bar since we did not make a reservation – you should definitely make a reservation. With that said, we had a great experience at the bar. The bar tender was friendly and knew the menu down to the last minute ingredient. He was able to give us detailed explanations of dishes, informed answers to questions, excellent recommendations, and knew exactly which dishes were gluten or, or could be made gluten free.

The chef was great. They accommodate dishes for me without any hesitation. Everything is made fresh to order and altering a dish to be gluten free is no problem for them.

Our meal began with the arrival of an amuse-bouche, a freebie on the house. We were served roasted Beets with toasted hazelnuts, similar to the appetizer listed on the menu.

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Then we shared two appetizers; padron peppers with roasted tomatoes and toasted almonds and zucchini stuffed with ground beef, fresh herbs, and toasted almonds.

Padron Peppers
Padron Peppers

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For my entrée I had the Striped Bass with a mango, pineapple salsa over Cannellini Beans.

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Jeremy had the steak sirloin with radishes and green beans. Although the dishes sound simple, the flavors are anything but.

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Before the dessert course we were offered a palate cleaners; tomato sorbet over roasted coconut “granola”.

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Desserts change frequently with the seasons, as does the main menu.

The dark chocolate mousse, mint sorbet, served with free blackberries, blueberries, and a huckleberry puree was decadent.

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Jeremy had the deconstructed white chocolate cheese cake with watermelon, peaches, and a homemade granola. The texture, the flavors and the presentation were perfect.

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This is a restaurant that sets out to be good to people, to serve them delicious and healthy food, to make them feel cared for and comfortable. We had such a great experience here and have not stopped talking about our meal that day ever since.

Bergamot on Urbanspoon

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Taste of Somerville 2014

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Taste of Somerville is held annually in the heart of Davis Square. Produced by the Somerville Chamber of Commerce Dining & Nightlife Group, The Taste of Somerville is a unique way to experience Somerville’s dining and nightlife scene. The 2014 Taste of Somerville will feature over 40 notable participating restaurants, breweries and retailers.

Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit The Somerville Home, a private non-profit corporation that has a proud history of providing residential services to the elderly and disabled individuals of the community.

As someone who doesn’t make it to Somerville very often (as in never) I was excited to check out all the restaurants. I know Somerville is home to many renowned restaurants. For two hours I had the privilege of learning about the various establishments and sampling the culinary riches Somerville has to offer.

2014 Featured Participants:

Arts at the Armory            Aeronaut Brewery             Ball Square Wines

Bantam Cider                      Bergamot                              Bibim

Boston Burger                    Brass Union                          Bronwyn

The Burren                          Casa B                                     Cuisine en Locale

Diva Bistro                          Dave’s Fresh Pasta              Earl’s Kitchen

Eat at Jumbo’s                    El Potro Mexican Grill      Espresso Plus

Five Horses Tavern             Foundry on Elm                 Fuji Sushi

Goose Island Brewery       Harpoon Brewery              Highland Kitchen

Holiday Inn                          Horizon Beverage               The Independent

Johnny Appleseed              Johnny D’s                            J.P. Licks

Jules Catering                     Kindred                                  Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Legal C Bar                           Lyndell’s Bakery                 Noor Mediterranean Grill

Olde Magoun’s Saloon      Orange Leaf                         Orleans

PJ Ryan’s                              Pizza Posto                             Redbones

River Bar                             Sabur                                        Saloon

Slumbrew                             Somerville Theatre             Taza Chocolate

Tony C’s                               United Liquors                    West 7 Bistro

I was impressed with variety of food samples and the number of gluten free options. Here are some of my favorites and highlights of the night:

Pulled Pork Taco from Bergamot
Pulled Pork Taco from Bergamot

Chicken stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto
Chicken stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto

Beet Shooters from Jules Catering
Beet Shooters from Jules Catering

Asparagus Puree
Asparagus Puree from Cuisine En Locale

Cucumber Gazpacho from Sabur Restaurant and Lounge
Cucumber Gazpacho from Sabur Restaurant and Lounge

Sushi from Fuji
Sushi from Fuji

Grilled Chicken Skewers from Noor Mediterranean Grill
Grilled Chicken Skewers from Noor Mediterranean Grill

Taza Chocolate
Taza Chocolate

Chili Bar
Chili Bar

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Rum based Coffee Liquor
Rum based Coffee Liquor

 

I was also tried two ciders I had not known about before:

 

Ace Cider
Ace Cider

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Johnny Appleseed

And an old favorite:

Bantam Cider
Bantam Cider

And great wines too:

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It was such a great way to learn about Somerville’s restaurants and their gluten free offerings.

Bummed you missed out on this year’s event? Don’t worry it’ll take place again next June so mark your calendars now!

 

Disclaimer: I received a ticket to this event free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all my opinions are my own.

 

Get This Week's Gluten-Free Deal!

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Instacart – Grocery Delivery comes to Boston & NYC! // $10 off your first order

You can order groceries online and have them delivered to your doorstep in an hour or two, for a delivery charge of as little as $3.99. Sounds too good to be true, right?

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Well thanks to Instacart, a grocery delivery service that delivers in as little as an hour, this is actually possible. Instacart, a website and an app where you order your groceries from your favorite stores, recently launched in Boston and connects you with Personal Shoppers in your area who pick up and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores. In Boston, this includes Whole Foods, Shaw’s, Market Basket and Costco. Instacart is not affiliated with these stores, but it makes shopping there so much easier.

I have a busy life and getting to the grocery store is not always easy, nor is it on the top of my “favorite things to do” list. I mean who likes going to the grocery store at 5pm? The lines are long, the people are moody, and I’m usually hungry. And lets face it, sometimes there just isn’t enough time to go to the grocery store.

Eating a gluten free diet makes this even more of a chore. I shop at multiple food stores because each one offers different gluten free items or significantly different prices for the same product. Instacart lets you mix and match from various stores. So rather than having to run all over the city to different grocery stores, someone else can do the schlepping for me!

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With delivery prices as low as $3.99, and free for orders $35 or more this is a no brainer. I can definitely spend $35 in one shopping trip, thanks to the high prices of gluten free items. The minimum order is $10. Deliveries can be made in less than two hours but can also be scheduled for specific times or days when you’ll be home. The company says its fastest delivery was made in 12 minutes. Instacart also offers a service similar to Amazon Prime: for $99 a year, all under two hour deliveries over $35 are free.

I placed my first order at 5pm today. I ordered items from both Shaw’s and Whole Foods. It was easy to browse items by aisle, as you would in a grocery store, and I could filter by brand and/or dietary preferences including gluten free, organic, kosher, and vegan. This was a huge time saver. I was impressed with the number of gluten free products on the site. It’s not like food delivery/take out sites that don’t always list the gluten free options- you know what I mean, we’ve all been there.

Can’t find what you are looking for? It’s impossible to list every single item a grocery store carries. Luckily there is an option to Add a Special Request/Custom Item. All you have to do is include a description of what you are looking for the, the more specific the better, and you can even add a photo, which I did to make it easier for the shopper.

What happens if something is out of stock? When something is out of stock at the store Instacart will do their best to replace it with something similar. During checkout, you can choose specific replacements for any item, or ask for no replacement of an item. If you allow it, your shopper will call from the store to confirm replacement items.

You can view the status of your order and make changes and if the Shopper has not started working on your order, you can add to, modify or cancel your order very easily.

My first order:

Placing my order was super easy. I ordered food from both Shaw’s and Whole Foods.

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Photo Courtesy of Instacart, this was not my actual order.

My shopper called me because an item I wanted wasn’t in stock, but they had another flavor, so I told her that was ok. She also told me she was having a hard time finding the special request item I had added to my order. That didn’t surprise me because I know that not all Whole Foods carry that very new item. A few minutes later I received a text message with an estimated delivery time. My shopper actually arrived 15 minutes before the estimated time, I can’t complain about that!

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I was impressed with the quality or service and communication. I also really liked the convenience and ease of the entire processes.

Prices are set by Instacart and may vary from what you may see in your store or your sales flyer. However, you will see the price for each item when selecting your grocery list. I found that the prices were very similar, if not the same, as what I typically pay for my groceries. For example a carton of Almond Breeze Almond Milk at Whole Foods cost $1.99 in the store and on Instacart. There were some items that seemed a bit high to me, Barbara’s Bakery Puffins at Whole Foods sell for $3.99 and a bit more at Shaw’s, about $5.99-$6.99. On Instacart the price at Whole Foods was also $3.99 but at Shaw’s the Puffins cost $7.99.

After your order(s) is delivered you receive both a text and e-mail. If any replacements had been made the e-mail will show this as well as the adjusted price. You are also asked to rate and tip your shopper. Tipping is not required but shoppers appreciate recognition of their hard work. You can tip in cash or using your credit card during checkout or after delivery.

Instacart is available in and around Boston and NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Woodland Park) 7 days/week from 9am-midnight, depending on local store hours.

 

 

Want to give Instacart a try? Use this link or enter promo code GlutenFreeBostonGirl to get $10 off and free delivery on your first order!

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. I did receive $35 of free groceries from Instacart, but all of my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Dine Out Boston Gluten Free Options (Formerly Restaurant Week)

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Perhaps you’ve heard – Restaurant Week is now Dine Out Boston. Whatever name it goes by, I’ve still got you covered when it comes to gluten free options.

From March 16th-21st and then again from the 23rd-28th participating restaurants will be offering tasty prix fixe lunch or dinner menus (or both). New this year are the three pricing tiers for each meal period. Lunch menus are available for $15, $20 or $25, and dinner menus are priced at $28, $33 and $38. Price and number of courses vary by restaurant.

Below is list of participating restaurants that offer gluten free options on their Dine Out Boston Menus. Some offer full Gluten Free menus while others have a few gluten free options on the menu, or can accommodate very easily by subbing gluten free pasta for regular, etc.

If you would like me to add your restaurant to this list, or if you are a gluten free diner who has recently enjoyed a gluten free Dine Out Boston meal somewhere else please let me know and I will be happy to add it to the list.

Dine Out Boston Restaurants with Gluten Free Options:

 Disclaimer: This list is my own personal list based on personal and past experiences.

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New Holiday Menu & Gluten Free Options at Au Bon Pain

I was recently invited to attend blogger/media tasting at Au Bon Pain, hosted by Chief Brand Officer, Maria Feicht and Executive Chef/Director of Culinary, Roger Bowles. Unfortunately, I had to work and could not go. But, lucky for me, I was invited to check out the new holiday menu and gluten free options at a later time.

When you think of Au Bon Pain what comes to mind? Bagels? Sandwiches? GLUTEN?

Yes, they do have a gluten-filled menu, but they also have many gluten free options, including; salads, soups, a chicken harvest rice bowl, oatmeal, hot and cold lunch bar items, and other gluten free snack options.

Au Bon Pain strives to create healthier yet flavorful convenient options for everyone. ABP’s website offers nutritional and allergen information for every single menu item.Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 10.50.34 AMAt Au Bon Pain, items are clearly marked if/when they contain allergens. I like the variety of gluten free options available at each location and I am happy that Au Bon Pain is recognizing this opportunity to give their customers more information about their products.

I’ve eaten at Au Bon Pain numerous times but I had no idea that the company was founded over 35 years ago in Boston! Au Bon Pain has over 250 locations world wide, including Thailand, Japan, and Kuwait.

Six times a year, the company introduces new seasonal items to the menu, and sometime they become permanent fixtures. The New Holiday Menu only includes one new gluten free option. It’s disappointing there’s only one GF option, but once you try the GF Thai Coconut Shrimp, you won’t care about the gingerbread cookies or peppermint shortbread!

The Thai Coconut Shrimp is a blend of petite shrimp, red peppers, carrots, bamboo shoots and lemongrass in a coconut and curry broth with a touch of spice and fresh lime. This is not the type of soup I would expect to find at this café, but I am pleasantly pleased that it is on the menu and I hope that it becomes a mainstay! IMG_5937

And, Au Bon Pain now has K-Cups! Awesome right?? I drink coffee, from a Keurig machine, Every. Single. Morning. So this was great news for me!

Au Bon Pain has over a dozen locations in Boston and Cambridge. To find a location near you, click here.

Au Bon Pain on Urbanspoon

 

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Gluten Free Cyber Monday Deals

Get a jump start on your holiday shopping with these great Gluten Free Deals! Make sure you get something nice for yourself too.

Tate’s Bakeshop, seller of Gluten Free cookies and gift baskets. 20% Off everything with code Cyber2013 at Checkout.Tate's Bake Shop - Cyber Monday

 

Gluten Free Saver always has fabulous deals on gluten-free products, magazines and more!

Jules Gluten Free Holiday Bake Set $30 for $99 worth of products for new customers

  • Includes five pounds of flour, cookie mix, cornbread mix, and grahams mix
  • Five e-books featuring 203 gluten-free recipes
  • Use promo code CYBERMONDAY to save an extra $25% off

Groupon Go-Picnic Deal. $19 for $40 worth of products

Gourmet Nuts 6-pack of Chia and Flax Seeds. 53% off. Only $19.99 for $42.99.

Save 50% off a Gluten Free Gift Basket from Gourmet Gift Baskets with this groupon deal.

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Cuisine Cube Gluten Free Subscription Service. Only $19.99 for $29.99 credit towards a subscription or food items.

Katz Gluten Free 50% off large pizzas with promo code CYBER50.

Save $5 off your first Nature Box with promo code SPECIAL25

GoHastings Buy 2 Get 1 Free on ALL paperback Gluten Free cookbooks $16.99 or less.

Abe’s Market sells organic all natural products; including household items, gifts and gluten free (vegan, dairy free, etc) foods. Use code CYBERMONDAY at AbesMarket.com to save $10 on all orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping

Got Milk? 100 Magic Milk Straws for $12.99 instead of $31.23 from Groupon.

Gluten Free Basket
Please take a moment to complete my Gluten Free Dining Out Survey. Thank you.


Gluten Free Black Friday Deals Start NOW

Get a Jump start on your holiday shopping and avoid the stores this Friday with these great Gluten Free Deals! Even better- the deals start today so you don’t have to wait until Friday to take advantage of these spectacular savings!
Gluten Free Saver always has fabulous deals on gluten-free products, magazines and more!Get This Week's Gluten-Free Deal!
Jules Gluten Free Holiday Bake Set $30 for $99 worth of products for new customers
·      Includes five pounds of flour, cookie mix, cornbread mix, and grahams mix
·      Five e-books featuring 203 gluten-free recipes
·      Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY to save an extra $25% off
Groupon Go-Picnic Deal. $19 for $40 worth of products

Simple Squares Organic Snack Bars 12 pack for $22.99 instead of $29.20

Katz Gluten Free always has great deals

Cuisine Cube Gluten Free Subscription Service. Only $19.99 for $29.99 credit towards a subscription or food items.

Save $5 off your first Nature Box with promo code SPECIAL25

GoHastings 20% off Gluten Free Cookbooks with code PINCHOFSALT

Abe’s Market sells organic all natural products; including household items, gifts and gluten free (vegan, dairy free, etc) foods. Save 20% with code DISHINGDIRTY and FREE Shipping on all orders.

Tate’s Bakeshop, seller of Gluten Free cookies and gift baskets. Take 10% off your order with promo code save10

And stay in shape this holiday season with a 30-day gym membership to BSC for only $24. Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY to save an extra 25%!

For Gluten Free Savings all year long check out my Gluten Free Deals page for daily updates with the newest gluten free deals!Gluten Free Basket

Please take a moment to complete my Gluten Free Dining Out Survey. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Drizly Delivers Alcohol Right to Your Door

A new alcohol delivery service app called Drizly, developed by three Boston College alums, rolled out this past spring and we used it tonight for the first time. I don’t know what took us so long to get on board!

Drizly is a convenient and enjoyable way to buy alcohol. Drizly allows users to have their favorite beer, wine, and/or liquor delivered to their door in 30-60 minutes, without the hassle of going to the liquor store, and without any markup!

I’m sure you’re asking, “How is this legal?” Well, rest assured, it is completely legal. The Drizly team is following Massachusetts law and has worked with some of the best law firms in the state to ensure that everything is absolutely on board. They have a state of the art ID verification system that makes sure the person ordering and receiving the alcohol is over the age of 21.

So how do you get started? Simply download the Drizly app and put in your address and payment info. Browse their list of available beer, wine, alcohol and extras (bitters, Bloody Mary Mix, martini olives, etc.), place your order and then sit back and relax.

Save $5 on your first order with promo code “glutenfree”. Enjoy!