Friday, January 16, 2015

The Gluten Escape

One thing I've tried very hard to do since having babies is to invite my kids into my normal daily activities.  This has in part been a selfish effort of mine to somehow avoid sitting on the floor and making Paris Hilton look-alike Barbies talk all day.  But really, can you blame me?
More than anything though, I've felt very early on that, if my daughter is pulling on my pant legs begging me to play with her, and I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, then why not ask her to help make dinner instead?  It can become a special time where I teach her to crack eggs and measure out the cinnamon.  It can be an experience that allows her to beam with pride when her daddy walks in and she can say, "Daddy!  Look what mommy and I made you."  I could spend my days annoyed with my children because of their never ending attempts for my attention and then stressing about all that I didn't get done for the day.  Or I could spend my days inviting them to help me and learn from me and experience life with me.
After Mackenzie was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, I found this approach to parenting even more important.  Learning to cook gluten free foods was a special way that Mackenzie could learn to own her allergy-- and she has!   At a recent parent teacher conference Mack's kindergarten teacher remarked to us that she is, "Pleasingly surprised at how Mack is the only child in the class to really own her allergy.  She knows what she can and can not have and unlike the other kids, she doesn't ask for treats that she knows she can't have."  Man, this made a momma's heart so incredibly proud.
With all of that said, one of the ways I want to continue to help Mackenzie (and Levi) own their gluten allergy is to visit local restaurants and bakeries in our area to try new foods, rate them "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" and then bring some special treats home for later.  I plan to blog about each of these adventures as a way to hopefully be a resource for other parents in the Denver area who are looking for allergy friendly places to eat out.
Our first trip to a local gluten free (and partially dairy/nut free) bakery was this past week.  As a family we visited The Gluten Escape in the Denver Tech Center.  If you are a Denver local you'll likely know this area.
Here's the scoop on The Gluten Escape:
Located at 4403 South Tamarac Parkway, Denver, Suite 103

The outside atmosphere of this little bakery was just so-so.  Located in a small strip mall, it wasn't exactly quaint or charming like a little downtown bakery would be.  But we were more interested in the food than what the parking lot looked like.
Once inside we heard lots of "oohs and ahhs" from Mackenzie.  There was a row of cupcakes to choose from with flavors like Vanilla Champaign, Chocolate Chocolate & Red Velvet.

There were brownies with sprinkles, brownies with powdered sugar and my husband's choice favorite-- the Black Forest brownie. 
There were many types of cookies as well as pumpkin scones & muffins
This bakery was certainly not lacking in quantity of goodies, that's for sure!  There was a stand filled with freshly baked bread (all their food is made in house) as well as a cake cooler.  Many of the desserts were also dairy free and were marked special by a little orange sticker.
You can check out a more detailed menu here.
Here she is trying her Powdered Sugar Brownie.
Then she went and stole a bite of my Red Velvet Cupcake-- this was a gluten & dairy free cupcake and you would have never had a clue!
Little man woke from his slumber just in time to try a Snicker Doodle Cookie...which we all agreed was amazing.
We left for home with a blueberry muffin for the next day's breakfast as well as with a freshly made ball of pizza dough for our Friday pizza night (the pizza dough was under $5.00 so we considered this a big score)!
Thanks Gluten Escape for a wonderful first experience!  It won't be our last visit!

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