Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gluten free in Spring Lake, New Jersey

While visiting my family in NY , I was delighted to be able to eat some great gluten free food out an about. One place my mother took me to was Spring Lake New Jersey.

First we stopped at a store that is right outside of Spring Lake called Epicure. They had some gluten free things from companies I had never heard of before. We purchased some bread, crumb cake, raviolis and a couple sugar cookies.

The cookies were good.

I was really excited about the gluten free ravioli. We ate them later that night. I used to love ravioli and haven't had any for over 5 years. I loved them

I also enjoyed the crumb cake.

The store owner gave us a great tip...there was a deli nearby that would make up a gluten free sandwich. I was ecstatic and we headed over. It's called Mileto and it is an Italian and Polish Deli.

At first they said they wouldn't be able to make us a sandwich because they had not received their order of gluten free bread from that shop we were just at. But I knew we would be getting a sandwich. I mean, I planned exactly what I wanted the whole way over- a cheese sandwich with tomato, lettuce and mayo. Just like I would eat before I became gluten free. With that freshly sliced stack of deli cheese I knew it would be great....
We were lucky because we had purchased bread at that shop and requested them to make it on that. They were more than happy to.
I haven't been this happy about a sandwich since Ireland at Kilkenny department store, when for the first time I got a gluten free sandwich that tasted good.
They gave us a pickle and coleslaw(gluten free) just like a regular person!
I got my cheese sandwich!

My mom got Gluten free Chicken Parm that was made with gluten free bread crumbs!!

My mom is excited to go back there with my father, so he can get some good old polish food like stuffed cabbage and perogies(I'm assuming they are not gluten free, but perhaps the cabbage is) and they can go relax at the beach.
It is a lovely place, even in the winter

Would you like to see a Martha Stewart Food Allergy Magazine?

Martha Stewart is having a contest for the future of her company. Staff members came up with ideas, finalist have been chosen and now they are up on her blog for America to vote.
Guess what? Her Deputy Home Editor cannot eat gluten, nuts or dairy and came up with the idea of a magazine for food allergies! I think it would be great to see such awareness of food allergies in a magazine published by such a well known figure!
Right now this idea is coming in second, so you must vote!
Go here to vote.

Friday, January 11, 2008

GF bagels!

I made these the other day for J. Slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. It's hard to make a good bagel that's GF, but I think these came out great. You're not going to get that chewiness inside like a real bagel, but it's better than nothing and they were still really good compared to other GF bagels we've eaten before.

I can't remember the exact recipe because I looked up a bunch of regular bagel recipes and just substituted.

-Rice flour for regular flour
-Xanathan gum
-Raw honey instead of sugar.
-I also added egg as a binder because the dough didn't have enough structure to hold together when rolled into a ball. I'm sure it's because I basically made up my own recipe.
-Canola oil

Boil a few minutes on each side, throw into a really hot oven to get the color/crispness on the outside. Remove from heat, let cool and then enjoy!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Belated birthday dinner

I'm always really busy working. So much that I didn't get to cook myself the dinner that I had wanted and planned for several weeks. When I finally got around to doing it a week later, I was very happy.

I had a menu of blinis with caviar and creme fraiche along with duck with vanilla sweet potatoes and truffle butter.

I had buckwheat groats that we usually cook and incorporate into Sasha's breakfast. So, I made flour out of some with the food processor and mixed it with a bit of rice flour and other ingredients.

I had never butchered a duck before(I've butchered countless chickens), but it was pretty easy.

The free-range duck and truffle butter. I couldn't find a Muscovado duck, but I bought this one from Whole Foods. A few weeks later, after walking into Bristol Farms, I saw them in the freezer case. Maybe next time.

Ingredients for the vanilla sweet potatoes and tangerine reduction sauce.

Ingredients for the blinis.

Duck in the pan. Remember...cook it medium!

The finished product:


More stuff...

Olive oil-poached Sablefish(commonly called Black Cod) with herb rice.

Split pea soup ingredients. I forgot to take a picture of the actual soup.

Various types of carrots, beet root and asparagus for roasted vegetables.

Different roasted veg with beet root, brussel sprouts, cauliflower.

We're back....

It's been a while since the last post, but we've both been extremely busy with our respective businesses. I'm always driving around for work, so I never really have the time to post anything. Having a blog that consistently has new content certainly is time consuming as a lot of you know. So, this blog hasn't gone away. I will have a really long post about GF food in IRELAND very soon. J and I have gone there twice. Once in 2006 and once in 2007. It's a GF paradise compared to the US.

There's been a lot of gluten-free food that has been made, especially around the holidays. J is going to visit her family in NY this weekend, so she and her mom are going to hit up some GF spots in NY and possibly some other surrounding states.

The following pictures are in no particular order.

The first stop takes us back to San Francisco for J's bday weekend. We tried to look for this place a few years ago, but we had incorrect directions and never found it. That place is Cafe Gratitude.

J mainly wanted to go there for the raw desserts since she loves them. CG uses local, organic, sustainable ingredients from local purveyors and all of that good stuff.

So, this is NOT the outside of the actual Cafe. This is where the food is made(it is then sent over to the cafe), which I will talk about later.

Of course, J's favorite things there. Dessert.

I believe this one was the Coconut cream pie a la mode with vanilla nut milk ice cream.
This is the nut-flour layer cake.

This particular salad is called "I am Fulfilled".

Alright, time to review the food. The was good with one glaring exception. Remember earlier in this long-winded post when I said they made the food off-site? That was a major problem here. The produce was fresh, BUT the dressing that was on a section of the salad was SO acidic and salty that I could barely even eat it. I mean, we're talking the acidity range of a mild drain cleaner here. If I were in a different restaurant, I would have sent it back and asked for a refund. I didn't want to cause a scene and I didn't want to upset J's weekend, so I just ate. J had the same problem with it. Later on, the roof of our mouths were very swollen and felt like we had scalded them eating really hot pizza. I felt the thin layer of skin dangling off of it. That lasted for several days. That's the problem with making it off-site. I can guarantee that the group of people putting the food together didn't taste the dressing and they must have made it in large quantities. If you're making something for people to eat, you have to taste it. If you wouldn't eat it, don't serve it.

The desserts were delicious and so much so that the next morning before we headed up to Muir Woods, J wanted to stop by and get some more to eat as a snack.

I have more pictures, but I'm not going to post them . They are about my visit to the fabulous Swan Oyster Depot and the ridiculously awesome Kumamoto and Blue Point oysters I had for breakfast. I had 2 dozen Kumamotos and dozen BP oysters. I shall be back.

Spaghetti Bolognese made with Turkey and brown rice spaghetti.

Quince with vanilla bean. Delicious.

Potato Leek soup.