Saturday, October 1, 2011

gluten free SOUP'S ON!!

the weather outside is just willing me to make soup.  it's all cold-ish and rainy-ish.  it's just kind of yucky outside if you ask me; perfect soup weather.  (i've even got my fuzzy slipper shoes on!)

i've chosen corn chowder for this evening.  i'll be using a "cheat" soup mix: Frontier Soups Illinois Prairie Corn Chowder

i've used this mix once before and it was awesome.  this time i'm using some fresh corn as the recipe on the package suggests as an optional ingredient.

here we go!  i used one container of vegetable stock and the rest water to make up for the 8 cups of chicken broth; only because it was what i had in the house.  it is definitely the end of corn season, because the ears of corn are only as big as the palm of my hand.

brought to a boil and added the soup mix and fresh corn.  it is corn-tastic!!  
...and now for the 45 minute covered simmer (aka time to do the dishes and watch tv).
now time for the heavy cream and another simmer uncovered 30 minute wait...

as an aside:  the heavy cream i'm using is from Mapleline Farm in Hadley, MA.  (i just think it's cool to use local products.)  i also purchased most of my ingredients from Randall's Farm and Greenhouse in Ludlow, MA.  they are an awesome resource for gluten free products and hold several gluten free tasting nights throughout the year.

read for it's close up...
this soup certainly did the trick to make me feel warm and cozy on this kind of yucky day.  
for good measure i added a hunk of gluten free bread.
these rolls are from Italy!!  (they sell them at Randall's also.)  five minutes in the oven to fresh baked crusty bread.  i used them for all kinds of things like sandwiches and homemade garlic bread.

gluten free soup night was a perfect way to beat the yucky day blues.  have a happy gluten free day!

what's your favorite food to make on a yucky day?

doughnuts are a girl's best friend

literally, doughnuts from Chmura's Bakery in Indian Orchard, MA are my kryptonite.  

they are truly my ultimate physical weakness.  my all time favorite are the classic chocolate frosted with rainbow sprinkles.  just the sight and smell of them are enough to brighten my day.  <3

<insert angels singing here.>  

my goal in gluten free life now is to literally only "cheat" on gluten food with these babies.  i can live without a lot of things... but trying to imagine the rest of my natural life without ever having another one of these fresh made tasty beauties is just too much to bare.

have a happy (almost) gluten free day!!  you know i did if it was doughnut day!!  hahaha

Do you have a "cheat" food, that you can't live without?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

our daily bread... does that come gluten free?

[FAIR WARNING:  i think this is going to be a whiny one.]

"When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more." - Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City

As much as I LOVE food...  sometimes i wish one of two things: 1.) that i didn't need to eat.  and or 2.) that i didn't need to worry about what i can and can't eat ALL the time.

i should feel grateful that there are a ton of things i can eat without too much worry.  fresh fruits and veggies, meat, most cheese, nuts, and best of all chocolate.  i should also feel grateful that i'm a great cook and very creative at turning things lurking around my cupboards into wonderful meals for myself.  

however, sometimes i just want to go through the dunkin donuts drive thru and get an egg and cheese croissant, eat it, enjoy it, and not be sick.  sometimes i just want to be able to go to a pizza party and not have to ask for a special pizza from a special shop, (even though it is super delicious.)  sometimes i just want to not have to worry before going out with friends to eat and frantically google the menu the night before and pray for something gluten free i can eat and not get sick from.  sometimes i don't want to have to explain why i want to go to uno's a second time in a month and why i don't want to try a new place.  sometimes i don't want to feel so hungry that in the moment i don't care what i eat as long as i'm not hungry anymore, and then feel so terrible about myself afterward.  sometimes i just want to be like everyone else. 

i know i'm not the only person with food allergies.  i'm very grateful that i don't have to carry an EpiPen to save my own life.  But sometimes it just sucks not being able to just go somewhere and eat.  it sucks to have to read every food label before buying something at the store.  it sucks sitting at lunch watching other people eat things i used to eat and still want to eat.  it sucks when people offer me new things to try and i have to say no.  it sucks to have to say, "no, i don't like the pot pies, because i can't eat them."  it sucks when you think you've been good and eaten "safe" foods, but you get sick anyway.

oh well.  i'm glad i had years of being blissfully unaware of food contents.  i think this is going to be my new gluten free mantra:

thanks for letting me vent.  i think i just have to listen to my grandma on this one... she has two comments that will always sick with me.  1.) there is always someone who is worse off than you.  and 2.) how's your diet going?

the first one is very true and makes me feel like a jerk for whining.  and the second one pisses me off at first and then i just smile and say something to the effect of:  it's going ok.  i  think to myself:  she's so cute and she'll never understand.  on that note.
have a happy gluten free day!  :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

let's get ready to crumble!!!

to be more accurate... tonight i'm making a "crisp".  here is the recipe i used as my starting point: peach crisp from real simple

here is what theirs looks like:

for my gluten free about 1/2 the size varriation this is what i did:

1.)  instead of peaches i used nectarines and blueberries (simply because they were the only non rotten fruits in my house.)

2.)  i used 3 and a half table spoons of sugar and NO flour to coat my fruit. 

3.)  for the topping i used 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, a "healthy" pinch of salt, about 6 table spoons of butter, 1 cup bob's red mill gluten free rolled oats (love these), and 1/2 cup of trader joe's almond meal.

before the oven ready for it's close up...

and now baking for 30 minutes and then a look see to see how things are going...

30 minutes was plenty long enough...

it is bubbling and HOT from the oven!!  i can't wait for it to cool down so i can try it!!  

i'm only trying a "taste" since it's late.  but i have a pretty good idea of what i'm having for breakfast...

HOLY MOLY... i am good!!  and so is the crisp...  hahaha.  i expected it to be good, but it is nothing short of gluten free magic!!  my only change for next time would be that i might take the skins off the nectarines, because they got a little weird after baking.

a crisp success!!  YAH!!  have a happy gluten free day, and make yourself this crisp!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

it's gluten free (pizza)... and I helped! hee hee

so... i've had this box of gluten pizza crust mix in my pantry for a while now and tonight i finally made it!

it was a king arthur flour gluten free pizza crust mix.  (if you have never been to king arthur flour in vermont it really is worth the trip.  they had a TON of amazing gluten free items, and it was just cool if you like to bake and eat things.  they had nice cafe for snacking at too.  i think we got something flour less and chocolate; maybe it was a cookie...  all i remember is that it was good.)

as the box claims it was (fairly) quick and (fairly) easy.  the only super annoying part was the two 30 minute wait for it rise sessions.  which, btw, it didn't really even rise... i was expecting a show.  not so much.  however, it did make 2 pretty big pizzas...  (i'm going to share one with my mom and freeze the other one for a later date.)  
... ta da!!

it tasted good, not the best and not the worst i've had...  (if i made it again i think i'd bake it longer, it had a slight uncooked taste.  i followed the directions exactly as stated on the box and used the middle time between the 2 suggested baking end points.)  if you have a free evening with nothing to do:  make yourself some gluten free pizza!!

have a happy gluten free day!  :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

on again, OFF again...

<over share alert!!>

well, wheat and i were on again the last couple weeks...  i was going hot and heavy with Subway, Dunkin Dounuts, and Panera!!  YUM.

but alas we were not meant to be.  i woke up this morning and i felt like i got run over by a truck.  now i feel like i have a knife in the back of neck.  and to top it off last night i literally wanted to kill myself over something i knew was super super dumb.  

NOTHING tastes as good as feeling good feels.  I guess i just have to keep telling myself that.

this morning, as part of my rehab, i went into Dunkin Dounuts and didn't order anything but my coffee.  i said good bye to Subway today for lunch... ham and cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers and extra mayo on WHITE...  GOOD BYE!!  

the great part about my wheat detox/ rehab is i can make a fresh start with my next bite and i can be in total control of how this goes from here.  i am so a food addict.  

i feel better just for getting it out and know with absolute certainty that i'll feel better in the morning... and maybe my pants will fit better too.  i am SO bloated.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

to share or not to share...

so i've mentioned my gluten free difficulties at work before... which i am VERY happy to report have been resolved when i changed jobs in mid february.  now i'm a receptionist at the allergy and asthma center (a.k.a. dr. walker's office) in springfield.  where we have a designated lunch time and eating outside of that time is discouraged.  no more constant snacking, yah!!  i lost like 5 pounds in the first 2 weeks of working there.

however, i have a new gluten free work dilemma... i take A LOT of phone calls from people wondering if they have celiac disease.  my dilemma is that although i have a TON of personal experience on the subject of trying to go gluten free; i'm no medical expert on the subject (and i'm self diagnosed.)  frankly, beyond diagnosis... no one else in the office seems to be a celiac expert either...  you are diagnosed, sent back to your pcp, who is supposed to send you to a nutritionist, end of story.

just this past week i spoke to a parent looking for testing for their child because of headaches.  they explained at length that they had tried everything and as a last resort they were coming to us for help.  i asked very casually if they had thought about eliminating wheat.  the parent admitted considering that as a possibility but not trying it yet.  i told them in my experience ditching wheat was the trick.  they seemed more open to the possibility and excited to hear that i had success with out wheat.

i was overwhelmed with a feeling of pride (i guess) that i might have helped someone with my words of encouragement and experience.  but then all i could think was:  yikes!  am i going to get in trouble if someone in the office finds out i'm passing out advice to patients??  i instantly decided to be more careful with my personal information sharing.  not in an embarrassed way, but in a "the receptionist does not have a medical degree" kind of way...  

however, i can't help but be compelled to at least offer a kind word, or a "hey, this website, or store has great gluten free stuff," to someone really looking for the answer to why they have pain, headaches, or "tummy trouble".  it sucks to feel crappy; i know that first hand.  like this parent said about their child, they're 16, they don't need to have headaches like this.  it sucks to be looking for answers and come up short, too.  

another patient said their spouse was just diagnosed after an endoscopy... only after their doctor told them they were bloated because they were swallowing too much air!!!!  after hearing that story i sat at my desk shaking my head, and thinking about how far celiac awareness has come in the past few years but also about how far it clearly still needs to go.

so, careful sharing from now on i guess... honestly, no one has made a peep at my current job about my sharing; where i make a point of not hiding my gluten free status.  i think these are carry over feelings from the last job where i felt as if i wasn't capable of doing anything right, especially answer the phone.

oh well.  have a happy gluten free day!  :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

an amazing gluten free moment

last weekend my parents and i attended the mount holyoke college annual flower show.  it is seriously one of my favorite events of the year.

before that we ate lunch at another of my favorite spots:  Barstow's!

the amazing gluten free moment came when i placed my order for a chicken salad sandwich, and asked the girl to "hold the bread please!"  she looked at me kind of funny, and then i explained that i had brought my own gluten bread!!  (yes, i'm now that girl.  who carries gluten free bread in a sandwich baggy in her purse.  hahahaha and damn proud of it.)  after confirming with another girl what the best course of action would be... my mom and i were served two scoops of chicken salad and a plate of sandwich "toppings".  

i have never been so satisfied with a meal or with myself.  the chicken salad was awesome!!  and as for myself... i was super pumped that i thought ahead and didn't allow myself to be sucked in by the "regular" fluffy white bread that would have only caused me tummy trouble and a headache.

the other AMAZING part about Barstow's is that they make gluten free cookies!!  they usually have peanut butter, and coconut macaroons.  this time i took home some coconut macaroons.  :)

unless you are gluten free, or are in a similar situation, it is really hard to understand how meaningful a small gesture (like "holding the bread") can mean to someone.  thank you Barstow's!!

have a happy gluten free day!!  :)  

Monday, January 24, 2011

dining out: gluten free...

a while ago, on our way to get some breakfast, after finding our favorite gluten free spot closed for remodeling.  we pasted a restaurant with a sign out front that read: GLUTEN FREE PIZZA AND BEER.  since then i've been dying to try it out!!  

well saturday night my parents and i went out for GLUTEN FREE PIZZA AND BEER!! at Patsy's Pizzeria & Ristorante

the service was great and the food was awesome.  they had what i would consider a large gluten free menu with a variety of options.  as i scanned the menu the thought occurred to me:  wow, i can order a pasta dish!!  

i had my heart set on gluten free pizza so that's what i ordered.  i was super surprised and excited that my topping options were not limited to a small list either!  i ordered the 'combination', hold the hamburger, and green peppers, add onions.  my mom ordered baked ziti and my dad ordered "regular" pasta a la stephania.  

my pizza was a pre-made 10 inch crust with exactly what i wanted on it ...and it was nothing short of gluten free pizza magic.  (like eat, pray, love style: unbutton your pants and eat til you can't eat anymore good.)  my mom's baked ziti was probably the best baked ziti i've ever had, gluten free or not.  there was super creamy ricotta cheese mixed throughout and the sauce was really flavorful (no jar sauce involved here.) 

whether you're looking for gluten free fair or not Pasty's is a must try!!

enjoy something today, i mean: really enjoy something today, and have a happy gluten free day!

p.s. it was a really nice feeling to come home feeling full but not like i'm going to sick full... you know what i mean!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the return of the cheese cracker


so the people that i work with are constant snackers.  the classic cheez-it is a very popular snack around the office, and i really miss them.  :( 

however, i found a pretty good gluten free alternative.  cheese snackers from the grainless baker!!  

the box feels like it weights 5 pounds.  hee hee but they are well worth the heavy lifting!!  they have a super cheese-y crunch-y taste/ texture.  my only complaint is that they are very salty, but that keeps me from sitting down and eating the whole box.  (so it's a good thing i guess.)

well enjoy cheese crackers again, and have a happy gluten free day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

no croissant tastes as good as feeling good feels.

it has taken me a long time to get here...  but i've gone gluten free.  this year for new years when i thought about making resolutions something just clicked.  

a couple of years ago i bought the book the gluten free girl ...and it's taken me til now to be ready to read it.  i highly recommend it.  after reading a few chapters all i could think of was: why am i allowing myself to eat food that hurts my body so badly?  

no croissant tastes as good as feeling good feels.  or at least that's what i'm telling myself now.  and i DO feel a lot different.

my goal for this blog is to be a place where i can get it all out, and share recipes that actually taste good.  (there is nothing worse than buying all kinds of weird ingredients and having a recipe come out like crap.maybe some product reviews too!  (i just found some gluten free cheese crackers that are super.)

thanks for reading and have a happy gluten free day!