Saturday, August 30, 2014

Down Memory Lane


Years ago on our visits to Door County (our last trip was @1990), we ate most of our meals at The Cookery, in Fish Creek. So pleased that it's still going strong with the next generation in charge still locally sourcing much of their food, and baking all their own breads and desserts. The Cookery is now 2-story, with an upstairs wine bar (limited menu), including a GF version. We scored almost immediate seating upstairs. (It's a rainy night, so outside was iffy, and a 45-minute wait for downstairs, inside.)

A Wisconsin favorite: Smoked Whitefish Spread.


I enjoyed Steak Frites (2 Saturday dinners in a row, in 2 different states than my own) while CA had Scallops in a Pinot Grigio and Butter Sauce, with Polenta on the side. For a starter we shared the Whitefish Spread with cucumber slices for moi, and toasted bread rounds for CA. Wisconsin knows how to grow flavorful meat. Good food. Great only-in-Wisconsin Whitefish Spread.

I was miffed to find it seriously rainy, rather than the earlier spitting, when we exited the restaurant. Miffed because I had both a light-weight slicker and an umbrella... In the car.

Didn't stop us from running between a few shops before heading to the car, with a sidestep into The Door County Chocolate and Fudge House. Hey, fudge is GF. Not carb-free or calorie-free, though. And, Dippy's just a few doors down has bottled water in a cooler. Yes.



Road food takes planning. This was a totally spontaneous roadtrip. We were on the highway 1-1/2 hours after waking up and deciding to go. I packed a small cooler with iced tea, Jill's garden Cocktail Tomatoes, a Banana, both GF and Club Crackers, Aged White Cheddar and peanutbutter. Just what I could quickly assemble.

After an hour+ of drive-time, we had breakfast at Panera. I ordered a Cafe Sandwich--tuna with lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Just tossed the bread and ate the remainder with a fork. Very satisfying.

We had a bit of a late lunch in Egg Harbor at Galileo. CA had Pear-Gorgonzola Flatbread (pizza), while I managed GF with a Door County Salad (mixed greens, grilled chicken breast, candied pecans, dried cherries, a bit of a delicious (I think) aged goat cheese. All tarted up with a raspberry viniagrette dressing. Slow service, but adequately good food.








Friday, August 29, 2014

Corn Dogs

Gluten-free Corn Dog Bites


A group of friends got together for a lovely birthday lunch--3 of us celebrated birthdays during this past week (23rd, 26th, 29th). So, I wasn't much hungry for dinner tonight. The reheated GF pizza was not a viable option and CA ate the leftover fritata. I was too lazy to get takeout, so eventually I put together a "recipe" of sorts.



Using the pancake recipe (1/3) on the King Arthur Flour (GF) pancake mix box, I added some organic white cornmeal and mixed up a thick dipping batter. After cutting the Trader Joe's GF hot dogs in thirds, I dipped them thoroughly and dropped them into some hot oil. I need to tweak the proportions of pancake mix/cornmeal a bit. This'll work for my occasional hotdog fix.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dinner Tonight


Found a container of a recipe for Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas in my freezer a couple of days ago,

Tonight I decide to use the filling to make taquitos. I hate to fry, but I figure these will reheat well so I can make enough to make the grease clean-up worthwhile.

A little more than halfway into this project, I decide to finish off the filling using the "good" white corn tortillas. For CA. For me, they unfortunately include wheat flour. But, I'm guessing that's why they taste so good. They are the best!


Results: O.K., except the organic white corn, gluten-free tortillas are just this side of indigestible. Or, at least that's the mouth-feel. CA tries both versions, and feels my pain. His are far better.


Front 4 are the tasty non-GF.


Suffering through with these.


Hands-down the best we've ever had.


Will make taquitos again. Next time spicier.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Something's Amiss

Absolutely delicious.

Not sure what's going on, but a few of my symptoms that were lessening have revolted.

IBS (2x in 2 days)

Fatigue (increased and debilitating)

Sleep disturbances

Increased muscle/body aches

Hand and feet numbness, tingling

Leg aches upon resting

Sharp cramping in upper-mid chest (scary)



Dietarily, I tried oatmeal from Starbucks, commercially-prepared Rice Krispie Treats, Talenti Gelato, and spicey chicken sushi from Caputo's.

Talenti Gelato


Will save the gelato for rare special occasions; cease eating suspect Rice Krispie Treats; and try the sushi another day under controlled conditions.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chicken Curry Tonight

Oh yeah!
My Americanized version in process.
White raisins are the all-round best.

Curry paste and coconut milk added.

Secret ingredient.

Dinner in less than 30-minutes.




Monday, August 25, 2014

Pancakes for Dinner




Breakfast for dinner was a hit tonight. Very good tasting King Arthur Flour mix. We made 1/2 recipe and that was perfect for two, with some well-drained applewood smoked bacon.

Results: Pancakes were excellent, although texture was a bit mealy on the tongue. Outside of pancakes had excellent appearance and texture with a definite light crunch. Just get a good taste before chewing, and don't dwell on the texture.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

GF Road Food

Madison, WI Farmers' Market


Busy morning, and we're traveling today. We've got a quantity of semi-prepared food in the frig that we do not want to leave behind--6 hard boiled eggs and three farmers' market tomatoes, to name a couple. Plus grocery items, staples and fresh food that does not fit into a GF lifestyle. JE's family will benefit...

After the gym I accomplish a produce(tive) market run, where I stumbe onto perfect baby Arugula, baby Spinach, lovely Avocados, clean and chrisp Cilantro, firm Red Grapes, beautiful Sweet Potatoes, etc. At home I rush around finishing packing while CA starts chopping the eggs (no time to make deviled eggs), and then I cut up tomatoes and finish making egg salad. We fill a large bag with 2 large servings of egg salad and two servings of lightly-salted cut tomatoes, add the Ziplock of freshly-washed grapes and top off the supplies with disposable eating utensils and napkins.

Yep. A car picnic.

CA has an 11:00am rehab (knee) appointment in Crystal Lake, and straight from there we get on the road toward Cincinnati for a Fun Kids weekend, and to celebrate my Satuday birthday.

All our provisions work out well, and we're stocked-up and ready to stay GF, one day at a time.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Loving This Book


-order here-

So, so much goid information. And, he writes with humor and a bit of irony. Serious business without taking himself and his accomplishments too seriously. Following the blog, too.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Quick Mexican


Not certified Gluten-Free, but made with GF ingredients.
Good enough for me, and delicious.

These tamales are a long-time favorite from Trader Joe's. Pleased to see they still fit into my life. And, I already had some Quickie Enchilada Sauce from the Gluten-Free Goddess in my freezer.
Microwave for just 3 minutes.
I serve with rice, shredded Romaine lettuce, and sour cream. More than I can finish. One tamale isn't enough, two are too many. Need to make 4 for CA and I to enjoy as leftovers.







Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trouble is in the House


Started the day out fine with Egg Salad on GF Udi toast. Bad bread, but works o.k. as toast. A vehicle for the good stuff.


After a healthy dinner at Bone Fish, we made a quick stop at Trader Joe's, as I plan to make a big pot of chicken stock tomorrow. Found these...

Seemed very sweet after almost two weeks mostly without sugar. But, PB & Chocolate is many times the answer.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tacos for Lunch, Learning to Eat GF One Meal at a Time


Working on a repertoire of meals. This was excellent, but not my favorite tortillas.

Not gluten-free.


The are the best! Except, they add wheat gluten to the white corn. Instead, I bought some random all-corn tortillas. I'm going to have to begin taste testing a variety of corn tortillas to find the tastiest GF version.


For today's lunch, I kept it simple.

Ground Beef Tacos

1 lb. gound beef

3-4 oz. tomato paste

2-3 T. ground chiles (not chili powder)

1/4 cup water

6-8 small all-corn tortillas

Olive oil

Salsa, sour cream, shredded lettuce or cabbage



1. Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Return to medium heat.

2. Stir in tomato paste and ground chiles.

3, Add water. Mix thoroughly.

4. Simmer until liquid is mostly gone.

5. Heat olive oil in separate small skillet, until sizzling.

6. Add tortillas one at a time for just a few seconds on each side. Drain well.

7. Assemble your tacos, to taste.


Results: I will definitely have these for lunch going forward. If my tortillas had been larger, or if I'd overlapped two, I could've doctored these up with raw onions, avocado, tomatoes, etc.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dinner Tonight


Romaine, avocado, carrots, sweet onion, Braeburn apple, dried cranberries and blueberries. And then, we added toasted walnuts and dressed it with the avocado-buttermilk-jalapeńo-cilantro mixture we made on Sunday. I especially like the produce sticker still adhering to the apple chunk top-right.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Granola, Fruit and Nut

God bless the Gluten-Free Goddess. This Granola recipe is almost perfect. All I did was use about twice as many nuts as suggested (almonds, pecans, walnuts) and added dried cranberries, white raisins, blueberries, and peaches when the mix was hot out of the oven. And, I increased the quantity of maple syrup and light olive oil by 2 T. each to accomodate the extra bulk.

Makes approximately 9 cups.

Results: Wonderful. I might try honey next time, and add a bit of brown sugar to try to get the granola to form a few crunchy nuggets.

This is so not low-calorie, so I'll limit my intake. My non-GF spouse gives this two thumbs-up.


CA and I really love this, but we decided we wanted it more as a snack than breakfast cereal. So, we re-baked a big half of this batch and added 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup dark brown sugar. We baked 35-40 minutes, stirring twice. Sticky, but as it cooled it was easy to break into big, chunky goodness.

Next time I'll go the honey-brown sugar route from the get-go. And, I'll keep the quantity of oats as is, but totally bump up the nuts and dried fruit. I'll also up the cinnamon a bit.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Where to Begin, Part 3

It's taken me several grocery runs to accept the fact that I need a pantry-shelf-full of new ingredients. Denial is a very powerful dynamic. It's dynamic.

I first purchased:

I ground much of this into a flour in my food processor.

Then, I read a few more Gluten-Free Goddess recipes, and some Aran Goyoago recipes. And, headed to Whole Foods for:


My first GF baking is a Nigella recipe Lemon Shortbread (GF buscuits), which I adapted a bit. Switched out the almond flour for coconut flour because I'd forgotten I'd already acquired almond flour. (Need to get these flours organized ASAP). And, I couldn't fathom using the zest of (3) lemons so I cut the quantity down to the zest of (1).

I used an 8" square baking pan and baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.




Results: Tasty, but definitely a different mouth-feel compared to the all-purpose flour version.


Friday, August 8, 2014

It's a Good Thing

Caught a segment on Martha Stewart's Sirius radio program where a listener calling in talked about her family's favorite condiment.

Avocado-Buttermilk-Jalapeño-Cilantro Dressing/Dip

1 pint Buttermilk
1 Avocado
1 Jalapeño, seeded
Cilantro, shredded

Toss in blender and purée until smooth.

Results: Nice, not perfect. My avocado was not ripe enough. Next time I'll use a creamy ripe one, or maybe two.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Where to Begin, Part 2

At Aldi.


So, after almost giving up on finding a GF wrap, this was randomly at Aldi. Guess Aldi has a short-term commitment to this product line, depending on how they sell.


Wrapped a Trader Joe's hot dog and condiments in one. Not bad. Not great. Let's just say, I always finish a hot dog bun. There was wrap left when I'd devoured the hot dog, but I didn't eat the last bite or two of wrap. It works to hold the sandwich goodies, so that'll have to be good enough for now.


This works for toast, if you have oodles of good toppings on it. Too dry for a sandwich. Maybe try it grilled?


Results: Made a Pizza Margherite for lunch yesterday. Crust is not bad; baked-up crunchy. Browned well. Good taste. A little mealy on my tongue, but I'm a food snob.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Where to Begin, Part 1

I am not without resources as I begin this GF journey. I've had two superior gluten-free mentors on my radar for several years. I've loved their recipes and photos; I just didn't think I needed to be GF. I do not have Celiac disease.

I've known for many years that I am somewhat Lactose-Intolerant and I do not easily digest legumes. I thought I was managing those issues. Well now, being GF is imperative. I'm not following a currently trending food fad. My health requires I make dietary adjustments.

We've been using the Gluten-Free Goddess recipes for years. Love her Southwestern ones, especially. And, almost a year ago I bought Aran Goyoagan's Small Plates, Sweet Treats cookbook after enjoying her beautiful Cannelle et Vanille blog photography.

Today I am spending time educating myself about ingredients and figuring out how to eat safely and exuberantly.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gluten Morgen

In the face of accumulating evidence and the last vestiges of denial, I will today begin a gluten-free lifestyle.

This will be a new journey. One I approach with trepidation. I love my carbs. Breads are so beloved. Pasta is almost my favorite meal. I'm a baker of repute. I have a sweet tooth that requires high-quality ice cream and baked goods--mostly baked by me. I have an annoyingly sensitive palate. I can taste fats, and determine their quality. I easily differentiate between excellent and mediocre chocolate. I am a thoughtful shopper; willingly driving further, paying more for the best ingredients.

I fear eliminating gluten is going to radically change my culinary and gourmand life, and not for the better.

However, my quality of life has been on a downhill trajectory for some time. I believe I have an autoimmune disorder; a leaky gut. The reason I'm still in the guessing stage is that my current internist has been very off-putting in exploring my myriad of symptoms. And, I've had a major health insurance change in the near offing.

My new insurance is in place, as of August 1st, and I'm ready to find a new doctor. I just need to get through my current cataract surgeries (July 29 and August 19) before delving into the teeming pile of lousy symptoms and ailments I've accumulated in recent years.

It's a new day.