aelfie: (Wheat sinister)
After reading [livejournal.com profile] allanh  go on about this place, I was bummed that there wasn't one near me. A few months pass and the situation is rectified. Every other Friday morning I have a babysitter come over and watch the kids while I run around the valley crazed trying to get a bunch of errands done. So I stopped here for lunch today.

Overall score: 2 out of 10.

Why so bad?

I ordered the little bacon cheese burger, small fry and a bottle of water. They get points for not blinking when I said no bun. The Fries were, in fact, awesome! And gluten free, a big bonus. However, the burger is completely responsible for the low score. It could have tasted good. I'm not sure. 'Cause I did not get a Bacon Cheese Burger. What I got was one of the most unappetizing and unappealing things I've eaten in a long time. What I received was a bunch of little piles of stuff (grilled onions, crumbled bacon, grilled mushrooms, pickles) with a cheese burger placed on top. On top of that a couple of slices of tomato. And on top of that was a large pile of chopped lettuce. All wrapped up in a SINGLE layer of foil. I wish to goodness I had a smartphone so I could have taken a picture of the mess they served me. It was awful. And then I had to go back to the counter to get a knife and fork to eat the damn thing. And the single layer of foil kept ripping so my food was actually touching the table. Eww!

I'm sorry, but when I go out for a burger, I want something I can pick up and eat with my hands. These guys might have an awesome product, but their delivery for the gluten intolerant needs some serious work. It might be worth it to go back for the fries and maybe a hot dog, but I'm not sure. In the mean time, I'll just stick with In -n- Out or Carl's Jr for a burger. Both of them serve a burger than can be eaten properly. And they are pretty damn good too.
aelfie: (Wheat is my enemy)
For the third time in a week, I've gotten glutened.

The first time was french fries cooked in contaminated oil. That just gives me a headache and a little digestive problems.

The second time was Saturday. A friend brought dinner over from Boston Market. She had asked the guy behind the counter if a particular side was safe (Squash Casarole) and he said it was.  I ate one bite and said "I don't think so, there's breadcrumbs in the casarole" I looked up the info on the website and yes, it does in fact contain gluten. I got a nasty headache, big digestive problems, stomach cramps, and I just realized its why I've been tired for the last 2 days even though I've been feeling awesome since Gray showed up.

The third time was tonight. Another friend brought over dinner (someone who completely understand the whole celiac thing no less!) She brought over her standby Asian Chicken and Rice Salad. Which is wonderful! I didn't notice until I almost finished the second bowl that, in addition to normal rice, and wild rice, it contained standard orzo pasta. *hang head* I've already taken Advil for the massive headache that is building, I'll be downing Immodium for the digestive problems, and I think I'll just go to bed for the next couple of days....

Now for the humor of the meal. Ike came in while Joe and I were eating, looked at the salad, pulled out a grape with his bare, dirty fingers and Joe started berating him for not having "a bare minimum of table manners" and I, not thinking, piped up. "So speaks the man with his mouth full of food" I got a dirty look from Joe, while Ike and I just looked at each other and started to giggle. It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but its been the first time in a LOOOOOONG time that something slid past my filters.

And it really was funny though.



aelfie: (Wheat is my enemy)
Holy Crap! How cool is that?

Details here from killthegluten.blogspot.com

Basics: Betty Crocker moves into the Gluten Free Mix market with Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, and Chocolate Cake! Woo Hoo!

Also!

Reported by Delightfully Gluten Free, General Mills is converting 3 more Chex Cereals to a gluten free formula! Woot!!!! They will be adding Corn Chex, Honey Nut Chex and Cinnamon Chex to the GF Rice Chex. This is so cool!

Now if only Frito-Lay would drop using Maltodextrin to freakin' everything!


aelfie: (Wheat is my enemy)
First, Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Rice Pasta and Cheese (better known as GF Mac and Cheese). So, in keeping with their ever expanding line of proprietary GF foods, Trader Joe's recently released their version of GF M&C. I've tried about 4 other brands of GF M&C and they all sucked. Or more specifically, the pasta of those box meals sucked, the cheese sauces all tasted good, but the pasta it was put over was just HORRIBLE. (Annie's was the first I tried and I spit it out into the sink it was so bad) And I admit, I'm not the biggest fan of boxed Mac & Cheese, but I did appreciate having one in the pantry so if I was starving, I'd have something decent tasting to eat. So I was a little reluctant to try TJ's Mac & Cheese. I didn't want another disappointing experience. But I took into account that all the other TJ's GF stuff was, if not good, but excellent, I'd invest the dough to try a box. I was not disappointed. I cooked it up the other day for lunch, it made exactly one bowl, perfect for a mid day repast. The sauce was a bit thin, and I need to cook the pasta just a hair longer next time, but it was really, really good. I won't make a steady diet of the stuff, but the next time I pop into TJ's, I'll buy a couple of boxes, assuming I find any, my local TJ's has a hell of a time keeping GF stuff on the shelves, it just flies out the door.

Second, one product, two different preparations. I tried Gluten Free Pantry's Quick Mix, made into bisquits and dumplings.

I finally made Chicken and Dumplings for dinner tonight, and pulled a box of the Quick Mix out of my pantry. I've been told that when I make Chicken and Dumplings, my dumplings are odd. Joe grew up with a rolled out and cut dumpling. Me? I use a baking powder drop bisquit recipe, and just drop it into the boiling chicken soup by the tablespoon. It cooks in about 15 minutes, it not only makes dumplings, but thickens up the soup beautifully. From previous experiences, even before going gluten-free, I found that a full batch of bisquits was waaaaay too many for the soup. Dumplings left in overnight in leftovers become sodden lumps of dough. Not appetizing. So I mixed up the Quick Mix using the instructions for bisquits, put about half of the dough in the oven (about 6 good sized ones) and put the rest in the soup.

The Bisquits are very good. Warning! They crumble when hot, so let them sit a bit if you can stand the lovely smell.  After cooling they hold up under the weight of honey very well. These are a bit sweet tasting without any adjustments. Next time I might add some more salt to savor it up a bit. And they will be perfect for pouring hot leftovers on.

The Dumplings were also very good. My last few attempts of making GF Dumplings have been abject failures. Not fluffy on the inside, just a nasty, gluey, inedible lump. These cooked up beautiful with fluffy centers. Yea! The only problem I have with them is one I just mentioned. This mix is a bit on the sweet side. It was just a bit too sweet for my taste for a savory soup. Next time I'll add a bit of salt and herbs to the dough before dropping them in.

I'll definitely be buying more...I can't find it in a 5 lb size, which is annoying, I'd prefer to buy in bulk. Much cheaper!

Three (okay, two) new products, and three thumbs up!

EDIT: Oh yea.The Quick Mix calls for 1 1/2 cups of butter. Next time I'm going to try 1/2 & 1/2 butter and shortening...the biscuits might not spread so much. The butter flavor was good, but a bit much.
aelfie: (Eat that thing)
So earlier in the week I found out that there's a place in Downtown SJ that sells Gluten-Free pizza. I haven't had non-homemade pizza in 2 years. I begged, pleaded convinced my friends that it would be a great place to go for Mom's Night Out.

So we went. And it was....

Good. Different, but good. As it states in the name, its east coast style pizza, so it has a wafer thin crust, a light smear of sauce and not much on the toppings. Very different style than the pizza I grew up on and loving. But I did enjoy it. It costs an extra 5 bucks for the GF pizza and it comes in only one size, which is frustrating. I think it needed a bit more sauce. I know its not supposed to, but the problem with GF crusts is that it literally soaks all the sauce in, unless you put on a lot. So next time I'll just ask them to put more on.

I'd happily go back, but not very often. My share of dinner alone (medium, one topping pizza, half sized salad, water) was $40.00. That's a lot of money and a lot of GF pizza I can make at home.

aelfie: (She who cooks)
And another batch of cookies in the trash.

I'm running short of the GF AP flour I use. So for Chocolate crinkles I decided to try using an AP flour my mom bought me. It uses four different flours to make the 1 to 1 mix and the base is garfava flour. (A combination of Garbanzo and Fava Bean flours) which upon previous attempts at using proved to be bitter and just plain Blecky. It is recommended that you use this flour with strong tasting things to cover the bitterness. Molasses cookies, pumpkin bread, etc, etc. I figured that any recipe that has 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate would be enough to cover up that taste.

I was wrong.

Blech!

Although Joe is still eating them. I'm not surprised mind you...but as he said "Its chocolate rolled in sugar...I'm eatin' it." and "I've eaten my own cooking. Its gotta be a lot worse than this for me not to eat it."

I didn't even finish my first bite of the second cookie, I spit it out. And 20 minutes later the bitter, yucky aftertaste is still with me. Blech! Just nasty. This is starting to make me a bit discouraged in attempting to bake using my own recipes. I'm beginning to wonder if its worth the trouble. However, I just don't want the kids to see all the baking I do come from boxes and mixes. I love to bake. I'm just finding it annoying to try and bake gluten-free.

EDIT The kids apparently think these cookies are worth pulling out of the trash. Ew.
aelfie: (Wheat is my enemy)
So I found something really good recently. The catalog said "Cracker Bread" and I said "WTF is that? Well, its only $4.50. I'll order a box."

And about 2 weeks later it showed up. This stuff is really good. Its shaped like and intended to replace "Crisp Breads" like Rye Crisp or the cracker you get in the lunch room at Ikea. The distinct rye taste is missing (duh!) but the texture is dead on. I have been throughly enjoying these since. I must get more.

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