Take Your Gluten-Free and Vegan Friends For A Delicious Dessert At Papa Ganache in Matawan, NJ

About a month ago, my boyfriend Luke and I were driving through Matawan, NJ when I noticed a sign that said, “Bakery Amazing Delicious Vegan Treats… Gluten-Free Too!” When I pointed it out to Luke, we immediately looked at each other and said “Let’s try it!” It wasn’t until after we turned into the parking lot when I realized that it was the new location of a gluten-free bakery I’ve been dying to try — Papa Ganache.

lauren post

I first heard of Papa Ganache a few years ago from an old co-worker who was vegan. One day he brought in a slice of their vegan sponge cake and allowed me to try a small piece. It was delicious but it never gave me the incentive to go and check out their other desserts. I wasn’t gluten-free at the time (or vegan, but I’m not vegan now), so I didn’t think there was a need to go when there were plenty of regular bakeries around. Now that I’m gluten-free, it’s an entirely different story!

papa ganache

Before I get into all of the delicious treats I had, I want to mention how awesome the atmosphere is in this place. It’s perfect for the cafe junkies, especially the ones who inhabit Starbucks on a daily basis. It’s quiet and comfortable; perfect for a study session a work environment (if you telecommute), or a place to bring clients for a lunch or a snack. I would highly recommend this place for any of these instances or any occasion really!

cupcake

Now, about these desserts! It was really hard to choose from so many options (imagine a case full of snacks, I was in gluten-free heaven!), but I decided on a gluten-free red velvet cupcake and the chipwhich (one of Papa Ganache‘s specialties!)

chipwich & cupcake

The red velvet cupcake was moist that it practically melted in my mouth. It was so delicious that I seriously wish I had gotten two of them! The chipwhich was also great, but I had a lot of problems finishing the entire cookie. As you can see it’s huge and it was also too sweet for my taste! I definitely think that they should make smaller portions of it, like some of the other cookies I saw on their shelves.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first official Papa Ganache gluten-free experience! If you call the Jersey Shore home, I highly suggest you stop by their new location at 106 Main Street, Matawan, NJ! It’s a beautiful environment, filled with the most delicious goodies! I definitely plan on going back and dragging my friends and family along with me!

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A Gluten-Free Valentines Day: Sugar Cookies

Last year when my boyfriend Luke and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day, I decided I would bake him cookies instead of giving him a gift. Since he loves the Marvel comic book series, I went straight to work in finding a Spider-man cookie how to. Thanks to this tutorial, I was able to re-create his favorite web-slinging superhero fairly easily! This was the result:

spiderman

Since last year was such a yummy success, I decided that every year from now on I would give my boyfriend the gift of cookies along with his Valentine’s Day present! So this year, I decided to bake him sugar cookies again for the big day! Even better – these cookies are gluten-free, so I can have a bite of one if I want to!

For the dough, I used the Wegman’s box recipe but from then on out I channeled my inner Buddy Valastro for the decorating! The cookies say “I love sleepy bears” (that’s my boyfriend’s pet name, I know, cheesy) as well as “Happy Valentines Day, I love you.”

this years cookies

Needless to say, Luke loved them (as expected)! He was also really impressed with my cookie bear!

Here is the recipe straight from the Wegmans box if you want to try them yourself this Valentine’s Day weekend! Let me know if you come up with some cool creative designs for your significant other!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies(via Wegmans):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Wegmans Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 6 TBSP of Butter
  • Frosting of your choice / Cookie cutters

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an electric mixer, add 1/2 cup of Wegmans Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix and Butter, stir on medium until dough is crumbly.
  3. Add rest of mix and 1 beaten egg. Stir again until all components are mixed in.
  4. Flatten dough and place it on plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-1/12 hours.
  5. Take dough out of refrigerator, roll it into balls and separate it onto the cookie sheet, about 1-2 inches apart.
  6. Bake cookies 11-14 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  7. As far as decoration goes, I used the cookie cutters when the cookies were soft after it was cooked. You can use the cookie cutters when the dough is raw and it will have the same effect.
  8. Add frosting and designs.

Looking for A New Lunch Spot? Try Lettuce for Life in Marlboro, NJ!

If there’s one thing any of my friends or family could tell you about my eating habits, it’s that I will never EVER pass up a delicious salad! In fact, some might say that “it’s all I eat!” (which I won’t deny). So when I heard there was a fairly new salad spot in town, I had to stop by and check it out!

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Photo Credit: Lettuce For Life

Lettuce for Life, located across from the CVS on Main Street in Marlboro, NJ, was similar in price to a lot of other salad spots I’ve been to over the years, but what makes it stand out is the abundance of choices! While most places limit you in how much add-ons you can have, Lettuce for Life lets you top your salad with whatever you like for the price of $5.99!

photo

Much like my gluten free tortilla bowl, my salad included lettuce, raspberry vinaigrette, feta cheese, cranberries, and grilled chicken! The only ingredient my salad lacked were candied walnuts, which were either missing or unnoticeable amongst all the different ingredients. As you can see from the picture, I wound up just adding my favorite candied walnut brand when I got back home, so it was really no big deal!

Overall, Lettuce for Life has a great atmosphere and delicious salads for both the gluten tolerant and gluten-free guys and gals! I’m definitely going to keep this place on my radar for future lunch dates!

Gluten-Free Tortilla Salad Recipe

Hi Readers! I’m Lauren, the new gluten free gal of the Small Chick Big Deals staff! Not to brag or anything, but I’ve only been gluten free for a year and I’m really good at scoping out the most affordable gluten-free products and restaurants in the Tri-State.  I’m also practically a magician when it comes to concocting my own gluten-free recipes. So if you’re looking for some new ideas as to what to eat or where to go, stick with me and Small Chick Big Deals for the best of the best when it comes to all things gluten-free!

This week, I’m letting you all in on a not-so secret recipe created by yours truly! Like all of the recipes on SCBD, it’s really easy and affordable, and is practically perfect for lunch and/or dinner! So without further adieu, here’s the recipe for my gluten-free tortilla salad.

Perfect tortilla pans

Perfect tortilla pans

Ingredients:

  • 1 Toufuyan Gluten Free Wrap (Any Gluten Free Wrap will work)
  • 1/2 Head of Lettuce (or as much as you can cut and fit into a bowl)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Gluten-Free Candied walnuts
  • Feta cheese
  • Grilled Chicken (optional, especially for the gluten-free vegetarians)
  • 2 TBSPs of Ken’s Raspberry Walnut Dressing

Instructions:

1. Lay Toufuyan Gluten Free Wrap in a Perfect Tortilla bowls (like the one pictured). They are a great (and fun!) investment ($8.95 on AsSeenonTV.com). If you don’t feel the need to purchase one, laying the wrap flat on an oven safe pan works too!
2. Butter with PAM or melted margarine. Put the wrap in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. For the fastest results, let the wrap sit in the oven while it is preheating.
3. Wait until the wrap turns a light golden brown, then remove it from the oven. Use your best judgement with this one, guys.
4. If the wrap is flat, put it on a plate or in a bowl. If you used the Perfect Tortilla bowl, remove the rap from the metal bowl pan.
5. Insert the rest of the ingerdients as much and in whatever order as you like (though it is probably best to put the lettuce in first). I typically put in about half a head of lettuce but that’s how much fits into the Perfect Tortilla bowls. With the other ingredients, I say, put as in as you want, just as long as it’s not overflowing the bowl/wrap. I like to use 2 small chicken breasts and sprinkle a small amount of the rest of the ingredients.
6. Mix in about 2 TBSP of Ken’s Raspberry Walnut Dressing (or dressing of choice) and Enjoy!

The end result

The end result

Hope you guys enjoy my first gluten-free recipe! It’s a huge hit with my gluten-free mother and my not-so gluten free boyfriend so I hope you all like it too! I highly suggest purchasing those Perfect Tortilla bowls to get the full effect!