Gluten Free at Disneyland: Carthay Circle


The hubby and I had kept meaning to go to Carthay Circle but things had always been not quite right for a number of reasons. During a recent trip, we FINALLY made a point to go there for my boot’s off celebration dinner!

We started off downstairs. Once you check in, there’s usually a bit of a wait but there are cocktail waiters ready to hand you a beverage. After a glass of the Fairy Tale Cuvee, we were brought up to the gorgeous dining room. The space is surprisingly large and there are smaller dining rooms off the main room. The walls are lined with wine, all with numbered tags on them. The ambiance is very nice, a quiet respite from the madness outside.

[slide id=”carthayaugust”]
[images src=”” title=”Salad” caption=”Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad” url=””]
[images src=”” title=”Dinner” caption=”Summer Garden Risotto” url=””][/slide]

forgive me for the dark photos. The lighting there is definitely for mood and not photography!

When I asked, I was told that anything could be made gluten-free. Awesome! I like to hear that! Ultimately, I went with the Heirloom Tomato and Avocado salad and the Summer Garden Risotto, both of which required little-to-no changes (salad usually includes croutons.) The salad was amazingly good, so good that I ordered it on my second trip and I’m not usually a salad person! The risotto was good, but not for me. It was quite citrus-y which I know some people love but I’m not among them. However, still a fantastic risotto and something I’d suggest to anyone who did enjoy citrus!

We had wanted to order dessert but we were WAY too full after our dinners to even consider it. In fact, that was the case the second time we went as well! Overall, this is definitely not a cheap option (with drinks, I think it worked out to around $100 per diner) but if you’re looking for a very nice meal inside California Adventure, do consider Carthay… if you can get in!

Gluten Free at Disneyland: Carnation Cafe


I’m happy to report that I’ve just returned from my most recent trip to Disneyland after six weeks of being in a boot post-surgery! So, you know what that means, more eating gluten free at Disneyland! First up, our lunch on arrival at Carnation Cafe on Main Street USA.

My husband is a huge fan of their Baked Potato Soup which is sadly not gluten-free. However, if you’re missing it or just want a fantastic baked potato soup recipe, use this one from DisneyFoodBlog. I replaced the standard flour with Cup4Cup and it was fantastic! However, the texture changed overnight in the fridge so leftovers became more like mashed potatoes. Still fantastic, but definitely not soup!

Usually when I come to Carnation, I get the fresh catch of the day special which has always been awesome. Today, I was feeling like something a little heavier than usual (it was 3PM-ish and my first meal of the day!) so I went with the Sourdough Bacon-Cheese Melt on an Udi’s bun with fries:

Sourdough Bacon-Cheese Melt

As you can see, I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture when it arrived! The description on the site is “Angus Chuck Patty, Pepper Jack Cheese, Grilled Onions, Hickory-Smoked Bacon, and Spicy House Sauce on Grilled Sourdough served with your choice of fresh Fruit or Seasoned French Fries” and that’s what you see here. The sandwich, especially on the Udi’s roll instead of the sourdough, is massive. I have a big mouth and I decided to cut it in half first to conquer it. The onions are an awesome addition to the sandwich if you like grilled onions. The pepper jack cheese was good, but don’t expect to taste the spice. I didn’t even realize that’s what it was until I just went to get the description off the site!

I was only able to eat about 3/4ths of the sandwich before I had to tap out and that was even after leaving quite a few fries. I’d say the one thing it really needed was a kick of something else. The “spicy house sauce” also gets lost in the mix. I feel like it probably could of used something with a bit more oomph but that could have probably been done with some mustard or similar. 

I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to be ready for our next reservation at Carthay Circle in a few hours after eating that monster sandwich, but I found a way! That’s a post for another day however!

So, bottom line? Disneyland gluten-free diners, I would give a happy thumbs up to this dish right here with the addition of a bit of some other condiment. No tears dears over the lack of potato soup, you’ll need the room in your stomach for the massive sandwich. And if you’re feeling saucy and don’t have an issue with dairy (I always do and don’t have issues), enjoy a root beer float along side. Perfect complement to the cheesy greasy melt!

IMG 3421

Off topic moment: we arrived pretty much just in time for the new Elsa and Anna pre-parade float to go by. The float was gorgeous and sadly all I got was this picture of the back because I didn’t realize I’d forgotten the card for my DSLR at home until that moment! Oops! I wanted to catch more parades during this trip which didn’t pan out (I think I’m the only parade fan in our group!) but I did get to see the tail end of this gorgeous float. I love all the floats in the Soundsational Parade. For more photos, check out MousePlanet’s photos here!


Would you like to read more of these reviews? Check them all out here!

How I Make a Fantastic Cup of Coffee

If you’re like me, your crafting, heck, your life is powered by coffee. I’m the person who got into coffee because I like the flavor of it so I tend to be a bit picky about what I drink. Sometimes, you have to go to Starbucks, but most of the time, I like to visit craft coffee places and try something new. 

I found that I’d been going with K-cups at home. While K-cups aren’t bad per se, they are kind of under the heading of “survival coffee” in my mind. This is the stuff you drink because otherwise you’re on the fast track to a caffeine headache. When I realized this, I knew it was time to step up my home coffee game. I asked a few friends and talked to some the friendly baristas at my favorite place (Elabrew in Santa Monica if you’re in the area!) Now I make coffee like this: 

Coffee Time!The concept behind it is the pour over method. You take the dripper, put it over your container and pour water directly over the coffee. It really can be that simple. I usually use a bit of water at first to wet the grounds, then fill it with water. Let it drip through, refill, repeat until out of water. It may not be the most precise way, but it works for me to make a great cup of coffee. 

For my system, I use: 

A Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
The Bee House Large Ceramic Dripper
The Hario Range Server
The Bonavita 1L Kettle

If you really want to geek out on it, check this post from Prima. They go into all the details, including each of the different brands and types of drippers. I also just found this cool all porcelain one via that page that I may have to order to try out for myself!

If you have any other questions, comments or suggestions, leave them in the comments below! I’ll do my best to get to them and if I don’t have the answer, a friendly barista may!


This post does contain links to pages that will net me a small referral bonus from Amazon. Thanks for helping me stay drinking the good coffee! 

Gluten-Free Chicken Parm!

I have an odd relationship with cookbooks. I love them. I read them like novels. But when it comes to actually cooking with them, unless it’s a brand new dish, I tend to avoid them. This is especially true of Italian food. For some reason, I have that Italian-American style that my husband loves (heavy on the garlic and savory) down to where I figure I can get it done almost every time with him singing my praises.

That was the case with the chicken parm you see here. I’ve only made chicken parm twice, both while I was with him and while he liked mine the first time, he loved this one!

This version is gluten-free, though really what that requires is different breadcrumbs. This could easily be converted to regular breadcrumbs (though I’d suggest the Italian style kind) if you don’t need the expense or don’t care. And as a friend of his suggested, you could also use crushed up corn Chex just as well 🙂

Gluten-Free Chicken Parm a la Goshzilla
Serves 2
A yummy baked chicken parmesan
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 2-4 chicken breasts
  2. 1/2 c breadcrumbs (I used the Glutino ones. Can be replaced with gluten-y Italian type or crushed GF Chex cereal!)
  3. 1/2c parmesan cheese (I used the kind in the green can. No joke!)
  4. 1-2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (depends on how herby you like your crust. If you’re using the Italian crumbs, leave it out unless you want more)
  5. 1-2 tsp garlic salt (optional)
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1-2 tbsp garlic pepper (optional)
  8. 1 jar sauce (any type)
  9. 1 pack sliced mozzarella
  10. spaghetti (I used the TJ’s corn. If you’re more virtuous, this could be replaced with a salad of your choice)
  1. optional step: split your chicken breasts. I generally prefer thinner cuts of meat for this so I split mine down the middle.
  2. Start your oven up and pre-heat to 400.
  3. Set up two bowls large enough to contain your chicken pieces. In one, dump the breadcrumbs, cheese, Italian seasoning (if using) and the garlic salt (also optional). In the other, beat the two eggs and add the garlic pepper, if using.
  4. Grease your nearest baking sheet and get ready for a breading extravaganza! Remember, the best way to do this is to have a wet hand and a dry hand. I use wet for left and then right is dry. Makes sense in my brain!
  5. So, dip the chicken in the egg, let it get coated, then using the wet hand, drop it into the breadcrumbs. Then use your dry hand to grab a handful of the breadcrumbs, push them into the top, flip and repeat. Then, put the newly breaded chicken on your greased pan. Repeat until complete and then, as my buddy Alton says, wash those chicken-y hands!!
  6. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes. After that, flip them and bake for another five minutes. Take them out and switch your oven to broil. Add about a tablespoon of sauce to the top of each (really, it’s add to taste. I don’t like a lot of sauce on mine) then add mozzarella (I added two slices to an average sized piece because I love cheese!) and put it under the broiler until it reaches your level of desired doneness.
  7. Serve with your spaghetti or salad and enjoy your delicious creation!!
finn & roo
Please leave a comment with how it goes for you! This was my version after reading a few recipes and taking the best from each so I’d love to hear how you switched it up and made it your own 🙂