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Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free bed and breakfast’

Managing Food Allergies at a Maine Bed and Breakfast

January 6th, 2014 by Judi Hauer

When some people think about a Maine bed and breakfast, they think about cold muffins, bagels, and store bought danish, and that’s definitely what happens here at the Maine Stay Inn.  Each day we serve a multi-course breakfast, and when I say “serve,” I mean it.  But many people still assume that a bed and breakfast might not be able to handle dietary restrictions, and that’s simply not the case!

Who would think these tasty muffins could have no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, and still loads of flavor?!

Who would think these tasty muffins could have no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, and still loads of flavor?!

Now, I must always point out that while we take every precaution when dealing with allergies, we make sure that guests know that allergens are contained on the premise and that the possibility of cross contamination could occur.  Especially when it comes to gluten free diets, guests want to know if we really know our stuff.  And we sure do!  I basically grew up learning to cook and bake gluten free items, because I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 12.  And over the years, a variety of foods have been removed from my diet, so I’ve learned to adjust, which has meant that the whole family is really aware of what is in foods.  So when we had 2 gluten free, 2 gluten and dairy free, one dairy free, and one nut free guests this weekend it was just no problem.  And we didn’t just serve them fried eggs!  Everyone got their “safe” version of our planned menu and it was so well received!

So most of the common food allergies are old hat at our Maine bed and breakfast, but things certainly get more complicated when a single person has multiple allergies.  Sometimes that means we need input from the guests, but usually with some thought and planning we’re all set, but that’s exactly why we request at least 7 days advance warning s that we can adequately prepare!  The thing that had us in a pickle for the longest time was a guest who was gluten free and vegan.  But with a lot of research and LOTS of taste-testing, we’re really getting the hang of it, and even served two different baked creations at teatime this weekend and no one knew the difference!  So if you’re considering a Maine bed and breakfast and have food allergies, look no further because we’ve got you covered!

Special Diets at a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

July 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!

Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!

Anyone who’s been on a strict eating plan of any kind knows that the idea of venturing out to eat can be very daunting, but at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, we take very special care to prepare a delicious and nutritious diet for those on special diets.  As you may know, we have nearly 15 years of gluten-free cooking under our belts – and that’s in real chronological years, not some cockamamie summation.  But because food allergies have been on our radar screen for so long, we’re able to take the same great care with nearly any other special diet thrown our way.  One of the simplest special diets we accommodate at the Maine Stay Inn is vegetarian, and, in fact, not a single entree contains meats of any kind – we only serve meats as a side!  So even if you do forget to mention it, we’re happy to leave it off your breakfast plate.  Now vegan diets can be quite a bit trickier, since they include no animal products of any kind (no eggs, no milk, and definitely no Maine lobster), but after quite a bit of experimentation, we’ve got a solid repertoire to make sure that vegan guests can enjoy our typical gourmet breakfast as well.  Combining gluten free and vegan can be even trickier, but we’re slowly mastering the art of creating “normal” texture without regular flour or eggs.  Now, it’s definitely possible that a vegan won’t have the exact same breakfast as the omnivore at the next table, but it will certainly be delicious!

Food allergies are becoming a growing concern, and we’re happy to plan menus around food allergies or sensitivities.  That said, there are allergens on the premise, so there is always the remote chance for cross contamination, but our kitchen staff is extremely diligent when it comes to allergies, especially because more than a few have food allergies themselves!  The only thing we ask is that those following special diets of any kind give us 7 days notice so we can appropriately plan menus, food orders, and equipment needs.  But don’t worry – if it slips your mind you will still get a handful or reminders before you arrive.  Since we love breakfast so much, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the carefully crafted morning meals at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, even those on special diets!

A Guide to Your Gluten Free Bed and Breakfast Getaway

June 23rd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Gluten free breakfast? No problem!

Gluten free breakfast? No problem!

For many people, the words gluten free and bed and breakfast don’t seem to belong in the same sentence, because they think of muffins, pancakes, and french toast, which don’t typically mesh with a gluten free lifestyle.  Unless you’re at the Maine Stay Inn, that is!  My family first started learning about gluten free diets nearly 15 years ago, when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and we’ve been cookin’ up a storm ever since.  So when we came to Kennebunkport, it was only natural to bring our expertise in gluten free cooking to our bed and breakfast.  That means that when we have gluten free visitors, we pull out all the stops to make them our signature gourmet breakfast, but gluten free!  Don’t worry, you won’t leave the table hungry here!

However as we all know, you can’t start the day without a great breakfast, but you also have to have quite a few more meals over the course of the day (especially on vacation), and exploring unfamiliar restaurants and eateries can be a little stressful when you’re on a gluten free diet.  Fortunately, we know the Kennebunkport restaurants like the backs of our hands, and we’re more than happy to share that information with you.  Sure, restaurants with gluten-free menus make it easy to know what you can and cannot eat, but we’ve also experienced first hand which chefs are responsive to alterations, which kitchens can keep those special requests straight, and which places, unfortunately, seem to make  mistakes.  Plus, we can keep you in the loop about places for snacks, take out, and tasty treats that are gluten free friendly too!  So it’s time to put your feet up and relax, because you really can enjoy a gluten free bed and breakfast getaway in Kennebunkport Maine!

Getting Ready For Our Annual Gluten Free Weekend!

October 26th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is almost upon us, but with the help of our trusty new friend and social media invention, Pinterest, we’ve got that covered – it’s our annual gluten free weekend that’s got me frazzled!  Now, at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, handling gluten free diets at any point is no biggie.  Since our family has well over a decade of gluten-free cooking under our belts (not combined – that is in real, calendar years!), we’re very familiar with the quirks of working with gluten free substitutes

pinterest breakfast recipes

Help us decide on gluten free recipes that we’re considering on our Pinterest board of breakfast recipes!

and tweaking almost any recipe so it is safe for our gluten intolerant visitors (and for me, the resident taste-tester).  But somehow making everything we serve during the first weekend of November something GF seems like a way bigger deal!  I’ve spent the last year trying to figure out exactly what we’re going to serve.  Now, it doesn’t help that I am in love with what we served last year…  Seriously, I dream about the almond angel food cake whoopie pies with peach preserves basically daily.

Like I have mentioned before, I have a new addiction.  Pinterest.  Oh lordy, it’s worse for procrastination that Facebook!  I digress, but I have been scouring Pinterest for the prettiest and most inventive breakfast recipes that are naturally gluten free or lend themselves to effective substitutions.  And snacks.  And candies.  And non-breakfast deliciousness.  The problem, now, is that there are just too many options!  Thanks goodness that at the Maine Stay Inn we alternate sweet and savory breakfasts, because if I had to choose I would really be up the creek!  So instead of sharing a sneak peek at our upcoming menu, I need your help to narrow it down.  So hop online and check out the recipes that I am deciding between on our board called “Yummy Breakfast Recipes” and let me know what sounds best!  It’s hard to believe that our annual Gluten Free weekend is just around the corner, but with your help, I know we can make it the best one yet!

How Our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast Handles Food Allergies

March 13th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Over the course of the last several mornings, the breakfast conversation has included how our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast handles people with food allergies and other dietary restrictions.  It’s a challenge, that’s for sure!  Since I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy well over a decade ago, my family is very well versed in gluten-free cooking and baking.  In fact, we won’t have a single day without a guest requiring a gluten-free diet for over a week!  Fortunately, we’ve got lots of tasty recipes up our sleeves to

guest brings eggs to kennebunkport bed and breakfast

Gluten-free guest brings a special delivery!

keep these visitors well fed and safe during their trip to Kennebunkport Maine.  Despite being very capable of whipping up GF meals, we do ask that you give us at least a week’s notice (but at the time you book your reservation is best), because we plan our menus about a week at a time and order food supplies accordingly.  We’ve got to make sure that the right ingredients are in the kitchen when you arrive!  As a special “thank you” to the kitchen staff at the Maine Stay, one gluten free guest brought us delicious free range eggs (note the blue color as compared to a regular egg) from her very own farm – boy were they ever delicious!

Of course, there are countless other food allergies to be faced with, and we always ask that you give us at least a week to prepare.  Sometimes we’ve just got to do some extra reading!  And we almost always have to do some extra taste-testing, because even visitors with special diet needs deserve a tasty and nutritious morning meal!  But as with nearly any food-serving establishment, we can’t guarantee that contamination cannot occur.  With a kitchen covering less than 50 square feet, it is even more of a challenge.  When preparing food for someone with a food allergy, we thoroughly clean the kitchen and make sure all the offending substances are away from our preparation area.   So if you or someone in your family has a severe allergy (particularly when it comes to nut allergies), we always understand when you need to bring along some foods you feel comfortable with.

Often, though, dietary restrictions aren’t limited to food allergies, so please let us know about any foods you can’t eat.  Yes, that means grapefruit too!  It interacts with many medications, and since it’s not an allergy, many people forget about mentioning it.   Especially during the colder months, citrus is a great option when it comes to fresh fruits, so don’t keep us in the dark, please! But our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast loves to provide delicious, nutritious, and, most importantly, safe foods for guests with food allergies, so let us know if you have questions about how we’ll handle yours!