Saturday, September 13, 2014

A French Experience with French Wheat

Family Connection, French Connection

My family and I just returned from the most fabulous trip. This was a two and a half week excursion through Switzerland and France, with a quick dash through Italy, to reconnect with and meet extended family and attend a family reunion. 

It was fantastic!

We stayed only two or three nights in each place we visited, moving along like gypsies. But this gave us the opportunity to visit several different branches of the family in such a short amount of time.

Many of the family we visited were not able to attend the reunion we were headed for. This made our time with them all the more precious. 

We loved every minute of it. Every. minute.

We learned a word of German, a bit of Italian, and definitely some French. It was quite interesting to see how English, Italian, French, and some Spanish came together to create conversations!

Before leaving on the trip, I warned my cousins that I needed to be gluten free. This message was passed around and everyone was ready for me! They went out of their way to be sure I had bread and pasta I could eat. 

And let me tell you, I so very much appreciated it!

I ate safely. Period. 

But only a few days into our French experience, I was prompted, or encouraged, or gently nagged, to try some wheat. 

Try some wheat?!!  Yes, try some. 

Why? You might ask. Go ahead. Ask.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whoever invented the chocolate chip cookie should be very, very happy. What other cookie is so universally great?

Lots of cookies are great. I am a cookie monster. But the world knows and loves chocolate chip cookies like no other.

Just because I need to be gluten-free doesn't mean I am going to miss out on great food and certainly not great cookies!

I have made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from scratch and from mixes. These cookies have been good and delicious and delectable.

I am still eager to find and try a ready-made gluten-free cookie dough. I've seen them in stores away from home when traveling and not able to bake them. I need to find some of these doughs close to home so that I can try them!

In any case, sometimes you need some ready-made cookies. Maybe for a picnic. Maybe to go camping. Maybe just to keep in the cupboard for just the right time. 

Well, these are ones you want to have in your cupboard. For any or all of those reasons.

Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Eating Gluten-Free at Hershey Park

Staying Amused at Amusement Parks

Presumably we all like going to amusement parks to be amused. But there is nothing amusing about not being able to find safe food to eat while there.

In this case, safe means gluten-free.

I've had difficulty finding gluten-free food in some amusement parks, but have heard rave reviews of others. These raved-about amusement parks provide great gluten-free options.

So when we knew we were headed to Hersheypark, I was curious to see into which category it would fall.

Gluten-Free Flop or Gluten-Free Fabulous?

Or somewhere in between?

First step: Check their web site.

Easy enough from home, before ever even looking at the door.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Want Not

Book Review

I love being challlenged. I love it even more when the only consequence is getting to a dictionary, either the electronic or paper variety. 

This author gave me several challenges in the form of words I don't know. I'm pretty good at figuring out meanings from context, but it is still fun to go look them up.  

How many times have I told my kids to "go look it up"? Lots. Lots and lots. Way more than just lots and lots.

And that doesn't include how many times I have told them to "google it."

Actually, googling works on words too. 

Try it out:


Do you know them? Did you google them? 

Who needs context when we have Google?!

Well... you. You do. I do. We all do. We all need to be able to read meaning from context because we don't want to be running off to a dictionary or Google for every other word.

I am usually able to make a good guess at the intent and keep reading. And if I remember later, I look it up later. And I am generally right. Or I'm on the right track.

All these fancy, schmancy words in a novel about trash. Go figure.

Want Not

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas

Non-Dairy Protein Snack

Chickpeas. This still sounds foreign to me, even after all these years. 

See, I grew up with garbanzo beans. They were used to top salads, only occasionally. I might have found them available at a restaurant salad bar. Maybe.

But their main purpose for existence seemed to be for making Three Bean Salad. Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and canned green beans, with some vinegar and red onions.

That was just about the full extent of my knowledge of garbanzos.

That is, until I became friends with a colleague. A colleague from India. 

In India, they have chickpeas instead of garbanzo beans. And they are used widely and frequently. 

And somewhere about this time, I also discovered hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas. Or garbanzos. Whichever.

I love hummus so much, I now make it frequently - more if it is summertime - regardless of whether anyone else is interested in eating it.  But it always, always gets eaten quickly. And not all by me!

Chickpeas, in spite of still sounding foreign to me, are a regular in my kitchen now. Ready to be made into hummus at any moment.

And then I found these. 

Safron Road Crunchy Chickpeas, Falafel and Bombay Spice

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eating Gluten-Free at Pasco Kitchen and Lounge

Farm Fresh Food in the Desert

I was off traveling again. Another trip to Tucson, Arizona.

What do you think of when you read 'Arizona'?

Desert? Yep.

Southwest? Yep.

Dry? Yep.

Hot? Usually.

Farms? Not so much.

Yet, there is farm-fresh produce to be had. So one would like to conclude that farms are in the area.

This is a good thing.

It is an especially good thing when that farm-fresh food lands squarely in front of you at a restaurant. In the city where you traveling. Where you don't have a kitchen in your hotel room. When you didn't happen to bring your favorite set of pots and utensils to use in the kitchen you don't have in your hotel room in the city in the desert.

Farm fresh food served to your table in the desert. Wonderful!

This is exactly what I got here.

Pasco Kitchen & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Pasco Kitchen and Lounge