Gluten-Free Valentines and Giveaways

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
People tend to feel very strongly about Valentine’s day.  I must admit I was not a fan until my friend Karen, introduced me to the ‘Crush Party.’  Rather than focusing on romance (or the lack thereof), it’s a celebration of friendship and love.  I am in full preparation mode as I ready my apartment for the festivities.  I will be serving Chocolate Fondue and my classic gluten-free cupcakes along with rosemary roasted cashews and more snacks than my friends will possibly be able to consume. I also decided to try a new recipe for gluten-free red velvet cupcakes with mixed results (full recipe to follow).

I decided to take it easy on the holiday candies since I had so many left over last year. But if you are looking for options – Necco brand conversation hearts and Hershey’s chocolate kisses are both gluten-free. For a full list of gluten-free candy, download this 32 page file.

And if you are looking for chocolate splurge – I highly recommend the chocolates from Chocolatique.  With flavors like ‘Georgia Pecan and Burnt Caramel’ ‘Tahitian Vanilla Caramel’ ‘Root Beer’ and ‘Grand Marnier Truffle’ you won’t lack in decadence. They were my favorite product at the Fancy Food Show last year and they even have a line of sugar-free chocolates.  While not every flavor is gluten-free, I met owner and chef Ed Engoron at the show and he is VERY gluten-aware. There are so many tempting flavors – I want to place another order soon, but can’t decide which ones will fill my box.

Now to the FREE stuff! 

Carraba’s Italian Grill is offering one lucky “A Gluten-Free Guide” reader a $50 gift certificate.  They are also hosting an event on February 10th and 11th called Dal Cuore Nights where you can select from their gluten-free menu and be entered to win an even bigger prize – an Italian Cruise.

To win the $50 gift certificate anyone who leaves a comment with a tip or advice anywhere on the site from now until February 14th will be automatically be entered. It doesn’t have to be witty or profound – let us know what you thought of a recipe or restaurant – just be sure to include your email address or web site info in the comment log-in.  The winner will be selected randomly and announced on February 15th.

If you’d prefer to cook at home, you can enter this contest for $1,000 in chef’s knives. (contest ends February 28, 2009) I was never a believer in entering contests until my friend Farrah started winning more things than I could count.  I followed her example and actually won a trip to Scotland 3 years ago (which is a gluten-free wonderland).  Granted I’ve had a bit of a dry spell since then, but still – it does happen.

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day!

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Cara said,

February 6, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

Always make sure to take your restaurant card to restaurants with you and don’t be afraid to talk to the manager. Also always double-check your food when it comes and notify the waitstaff if there is an error. But remember, Be Patient, this is a learning experience for them too! :)

Jenn said,

February 7, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

I love Pamela’s Pancake/Baking Mix. I am able to use it as a straight substition for flour in most recipes. This mix has made me love gluten free baking.

Twisted Cinderella said,

February 7, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

We haven’t done a lot for Valentines in the past, but this year I want to do something. I think it would be nice for my daughter to have a family, love-filled, fun, Valentines Day.

wendy wiswell said,

February 7, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

wow, free giveaways! i wish baking wasn’t so difficult with my 3 year old. finding a gluten/dairy/egg/potato-free-anything that tastes good w/the right consistency is quite a challenge.

Jessie said,

February 7, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

Of all your recipes, I’m most looking forward to trying out the Chicken with Strawberry Salsa one once it’s strawberry season again – looks delish!

Elissa Forman said,

February 10, 2009 @ 12:51 am

I am thrilled to see a gluten free menu from Carraba’s Grill. As a matter of fact we have eaten there with my two teenage kids who have celiac disease. My issue with them is, why can’t they stock some gluten free pasta? It’s an Italian restaurant and dry pasta has a very long shelf life. Is that so much to ask?

Cathy said,

February 11, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

I don’t usually “do” Valentine’s day, but this year I’m giving it a try. I just found your blog and am looking forward to trying out some new recipes!

Rachel said,

February 12, 2009 @ 3:22 am

I am looking forward to making the nut crust cheesecake, sometime soon.

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