Being gluten-intolerant is far from fun. So many things that were once a delectable treat become outlawed in your daily diet. While the amount of gluten-free items at restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries have increased, the ability to cough down $5 for an item that would usually cost $2 is difficult. It’s a struggle I faced while wedding planning. I found that most of the gluten free cupcakes and cakes I could find we’re going to cost us well over $1000. Because of that, I put my research cap on and started scouring for local places that wouldn’t break our budget. After looking through downtown, I came across a hidden shop in the West End of Davenport that sold gluten-free and vegan friendly options called, Chic Soiree.
I recently noticed a new business open up in the West End of Davenport, Chic Soiree, and decided to take a walk down to investigate. What I discovered was a delicious bakery with an amazing story behind it.
I was greeted by Sara Whelchel, a third generation cake baker, who kindly allowed me to hang out in her kitchen with her, while she frosted a cake and told me all about her new business.
The newest addition to the local brewing scene in the Quad Cities is coming up on its one-year anniversary. Baked Beer & Bread Co. is located in the Village of East Davenport, at 1113 Mound Street. With plans already for expansion, I sat down with their newly appointed Head Brewer Curt Johnson to find out what’s coming up for the establishment.
The Quad Cities is centrally located to allow for interesting day trips less than an hour away. My sister, Barbara, and I decided to take a drive to Eldridge, Iowa, just 15 minutes north of Davenport on Route 61. Eldridge with a population a little over 5,000 is a growing community with several newer businesses to attract day trippers.
It’s been a great first year for our blog about the Quad Cities. The first blog post was in March and over 100 blog posts followed. This year the team of 5 bloggers has covered food, family fun, festivals, outdoor recreation, shopping, gardens, music, and more. What was the top 10 of 2015?
As it dawns on all of us that holiday season is here, the to-do lists inevitably begin to grow. Our normal day-to-day routines expand to include additional stops and shopping trips, seasonal chores and new craft attempts, and of course, baking. For some of those of us out there – like my mother – holiday baking is a joy. It is a several day event, that takes weeks of planning, and is a special, relaxing way for her to get into the holiday spirit.
For me, however, baking is a tedious task, one that takes up too much time and makes too big of a mess for the end result. Rarely are my baking adventures successful, they’re usually dry and disappointing so I typically buy my desserts already baked by someone else.