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Trials, Tribulations, and Revelations from a new celiac
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[size="4"]I blog regularly, but not on this site much anymore. I liked this site because it is mostly celiacs, so I will occasionally post here, but no pics for this site. I've been diagnosed since 2005, so here is WHAT I've been eating lately:[/size]
[size="4"]Trader Joe's gluten free boxed mac n cheese (the ONLY one I'll eat)[/size]
[size="4"]Gluten Freeda's gluten free ice cream sandwiches (new flavor: Cherry Cheesecake) (Whole Foods)[/size]
[size="4"]Amy's frozen Gluten Free Burritos (I heat these on my own plate, covered in the work microwave), paired with veggies[/size]
[size="4"]Beef Brisket- I just sear it with salt and pepper on all sides, then throw it in oven w/beef broth n veggies at 350 deg for 3 hrs.[/size]
[size="4"]Whole Foods shrimp salads (in the buffet/deli area) with my own avocado and tortilla chips[/size]
[size="4"]EnviroKids peanut butter krispy bars- I eat for breakfast at work, paired with fruit[/size]
[size="4"]frozen brown rice- Dr. Oz recommended it, and I notice I DO eat it more when it takes 5 min than 45 min to cook from raw[/size]
[size="4"]Bell & Evans gluten Free BREADED frozen chicken breasts- they re-formulated it and it's even more awesome (WhFoods)[/size]
[size="4"]Udi's personal pizza crusts topped with my own veggies and Hormel pepperoni[/size]
[size="4"]My favorite breads: Sally's Bakery's frozen CRAW and Against the Grain's frozen baguettes (from Whole Foods)[/size]
[size="4"]Kinnikinnick gluten free S'moreables graham crackers for microwave s'mores or just dipped in Betty Crocker frosting[/size]
[size="4"]Buffalo Burgers with bleu cheese dressing and Rudi or Udi gluten-free hamburger buns[/size]
[size="4"]WHERE have I been eating?[/size]
[size="4"]Cheeseburger in Paradise: bbq chic/bacon sandwich, fresh fried potato chips or loaded chips appetizer or steak salad[/size]
[size="4"]Tin Lizzy's Cantina: pulled pork skillet w/Tostitos gluten-free chips they bring you in a bag[/size]
[size="4"]57th Fighter's Group- WWII themed restaurant in DeKalb Co. GA- steak, ceviche, potatoes, w gluten-free hazelnut nutella torte[/size]
[size="4"]Five Guys- I bring my own bun and have them change gloves and make me a lettuce-wrapped burger and fries[/size]
[size="4"]Egg Harbor Cafe- gluten free pancakes (not listed on gluten-free menu- you must ask!), breakfast meats, eggs, I bring my bread[/size]
[size="4"]Turner Field-- I eat at the gluten free stand at the games[/size]
[size="4"]PF Chang's- they expanded their menu, but I still get the sichuan beef (spicy) or fried rice with shrimp. I'd like to try the caramel mango chicken, since I love mango, but I'm afraid I won't like it, since I hated the lobster dish.[/size]
[size="4"]Gluten Free Cutie- the 100% gluten-free bakery, the Devil Went Down to GA cupcake is to die for, also apple pie w/ gluten-free crust- yum[/size]
[size="4"]Blue Moon Pizza- gluten free pizza DELIVERY, also inside the restaurant. [/size]
[size="4"]Little Azio's Pizza[/size]
[size="4"]I'm not copying the full reviews and pasting here, but you get the idea.[/size]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="6"][color="#ff00ff"]Don't be a downer. St. Valentine's Day is not a Hallmark Holiday. This holiday has a sociological value and psycho-emotional value of lifting the winter doldrums and inspiring people to be romantic, thoughtful, and profess their love.[/color][/size][/font]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="6"][color="#ff00ff"]Plus, there's the candy![/color][/size][/font]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="5"][color="#ffc0cb"][b][url="http://www.sees.com/pdf/SeesAllergenInfo_010112.pdf"]See's[/url] candy is almost all gluten free. I'd observe and ask about cross-contamination, but I'm planning on getting some! My faves are trinidads, turtles, and carmallows.[/b][/color][/size][/font]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="5"][color="#ffc0cb"][b][url="http://celiacfamily.com/gluten-free-valentine-candy/"]Here[/url] is Celiac Family's [u]list[/u] of other Valentine Candy.[/b][/color][/size][/font]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="5"][color="#ffc0cb"][b][u]Russell Stover'[/u]s is mostly gluten-free (not the obvious items containing cookies and crackers) but read this [url="http://www.russellstover.com/custserv/faqmain.jsp?ruleID=102&itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=178&itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=178&faqcid=268"]link[/url] re: RS's shared equip.[/b][/color][/size][/font]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="5"][color="#ffc0cb"][b][u]Other faves[/u] of mine are Peeps marshmallow hearts, Reese's hearts, and Ghirardelli chocolates.[/b][/color][/size][/font]
[font="'Century Gothic"][size="5"][color="#ff0000"][b]I never begin my summer shapeup/diet at New Year's- I always slowly lean into after Valentine's Day and ramp it up each week until it's full-fledged in March-April-May, until I look fab in June! So, candy, here I come! It's too hard to post pics on this blog so I do it on my other one. Sorry![/b][/color][/size][/font]
To see what I'm planning to cook for [size="3"][color="#a0522d"][b]Thanksgiving[/b][/color][/size] this year, with links to recipes, click [url="http://glutenfreebreeze.blogspot.com/2011/10/preparing-gluten-free-thanksgiving.html"]here[/url]. I got ideas from magazines as well as from the Gluten Free Expo in Norcross, GA, last weekend.
I'm throwing my first [size="3"][color="#ff8c00"][b]Halloween Party[/b][/color][/size], and these are the gluten free Halloween snacks I'm serving:
[list][*]Chocolate tombstones and witches fingers I'm making from molds where you melt and put food coloring in the chocolate to paint different parts of the design various colors. Gummy worms and candy will make up the cemetery[*]Maybe??cute gluten-free ice cream cone cupcakes frosted with chocolate sprinkled with Butterfinger for an orange note[*]gluten-free pretzels dipped in chocolate, dipped in Nerds candy[*]creepy mice (a different version than the one I made in the past)- see recipe & picture [url="http://homecooking.about.com/od/dessertrecipes/r/blcandy25.htm"]here[/url].[*]Chee-tos[*]pumpkin hummus from a gluten-free magazine recipe, served with celery and other veggies[*]red hots[*]reeses pieces[*]Laffy Taffy[*]some kind of savory prosciutto-wrapped appetizer[*]wondering what creepy cocktail I can come up with[*]hot spiced cider[*]As for costumes, I'm just going to use an old one. Perhaps Dolly Pardon or USO girl. Was also considering Shotgun Bride (pregnant, trashy).[/list][size="4"][color="#8b0000"]Happy Fall, Y'all![/color][/size]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]All I can say about the Rachael Ray Cookbook, [u]365 and No Repeats![/u] (written in a slang-laden, simplicity-encouraging, style that caters (pardon the pun) to User-Friendliness), is that RR has forgotten a few things now that she's ubiquitously uber famous:[/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]We don't have sous chefs to chop, dice, and julienne everything, so it doesn't take only 35 minutes prep for us- that timing planner box is WAY off![/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]We don't have people to handwash 3 pots, a pan, and a Baking Dish for one meal [/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]After we just chopped and julienned until our arms got shin splints, and soiled 3 pots and a pan (I said screw it! Forget the Baking Dish part), we don't want to break out the blender, too![/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]We can't afford fresh herbs, fresh ginger, fresh everything (and I DO have an herb garden! And I don't know if it has paid for itself in the time, effort, worry, water, and money I put into it!)[/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]When you say recipe 241 is just like 240 but you swap the chicken for pork and take out the wine, the ginger, the this and the that and omit this action and add this action...we feel like you should've just written a fresh recipe out![/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]Chicken and rice---> not a complete meal. Scallion isn't counting as a full vegetable. Half the plate should be veggies, Foodista![/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]Oil, butter, EVOO, butter--RR, we sometimes use spray butter and Pam because we don't wanna clog arteries 365 days a year. I hope you have LifeALert![/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#0000ff"]Lastly, if it's good, we should WANT to repeat it! (And the Honey Chicken with spicy lemon rice was great! But, we were so tired from all the chopping, cooking, cleaning, that we decided to eat leftovers the next night-too tired to cook again!) And I only chose that recipe because the other one had the blender![/color][/size][/font][font="Comic Sans MS"] [/font]
I made the gluten free Rice Krispies Treats and my friend and fellow blogger, Katja, made her own souped up version. Read more about what we made and view pictures [url="http://glutenfreebreeze.blogspot.com/2011/08/update-i-made-gluten-free-rice-krispie.html"]here[/url]. I also wrote what happened when I brought them to the potluck.
Since Marines don't always get to use their leave (vacation days), instead of taking a vacation this year, I visited family on three separate weekends in June, July, and August:
[b]FAMILY REUNION[/b]: Met my friend and former teaching colleague from CA, Yolanda, in Chicago and bussed over to Wisconsin, since my Devil Dog couldn't come. Since she's a different race, there were some quizzical looks at the family reunion! It was fun, though. They had a laptop opened to ancestry websites and old photo books out. We sampled my uncle's rhubarb and raspberry wines, held my cousin's new baby, watched the tweenagers whack a pinata, and ate. I brought along gluten-free crackers. My aunt made me a gluten free jello and cream cheese salad that I didn't love, but I was glad to have salad (the Kraft dressing marked gluten free were out on the table), Chee-tos, chips and salsa, fruit, and wine. I did feel envy as others dug into the Scandinavian desserts and ubiquitous pumpernickel bread spread with cream cheese and sliced olives. More wine.
We listened to my 102 year old great-grandfather tell stories about everyone, and my college girl distant cousin show and tell about her fabulous trip to Switzerland where she met and stayed with family members she'd never met before. The only thing missing was the Alp Horn. Not there this year. I did end up crying at the end because I felt so sad seeing my grandfather's dad and 5 siblings all there, but not him since he died 20 years ago due to cancer. He was the only one who never quit smoking. And my grandmother's four siblings are also all alive. Gram died of lung cancer at 66 because she's the only one who smoked for 50 years. I just feel robbed. And it really hurts that my brother and his wife smoke, despite having four kids. She even smoked through her pregnancies. And she calls herself Supermom.
[b]Wedding[/b]: My magnanimous Jarhead ended up volunteering to do security at the park's reception site, therefore missing my youngest brother's wedding. Then at the reception we ended up clearing tables and doing dishes(it was a budget wedding of 160-180 people for under 10k). So we spent $1000 flying in and barely got to see each other, much less get to show him Chicago for his first time ever or spend time with my nieces and nephews who begged me not to go home to Georgia.
I'm glad I was able to support my brother, but after having been maid of honor for my friend last October, I'm done being in weddings. The first night was the long-lasting, disorganized rehearsal and dinner of dim sum, which was entirely soy sauce and noodle-laden gluten that I got to watch everyone devour then order a salad back at the hotel. I was in the wedding and we had a tea ceremony and took pics from 11-3 and the wedding finally began at 4. It was hot as balls so the groomsman was mopping my back with tissue...ew. My honey wasn't in it so he helped set up the hall all day. And the bride was so nervous or who knows, that there was tension in the air the entire day. I think it was since they used sheet cakes from a bulk store to feed the guests, she'd insisted on making a 2 layer fondant-covered decorative cake for the cutting ceremony. We had told her not to put that kind of work/pressure on herself... Then my brother insisted that my mom and dad (who've been divorced for 31 years) walk down the aisle together in the processional. Which was Weird with a capital W. Props to them for doing whatever my brother wanted. My stepdad (of 25 years) walked down with my niece. But, the ceremony was sentimental. The highlight was when the bride read her vows from her iphone. haha.
The other great part was that my estranged father and I were cordial and he didn't humiliate me and draw attention and cry and act like an attention getter, like he had at my other brother's wedding ten years ago. What a pleasant surprise/relief. He'd just been dumped by his girlfriend (my former babysitter from childhood-yes, he's hillbilly), so he was humbled.
Wedding grub: I ate chicken and rice and salad at the wedding. I had meant to bring a cupcake, but it was too hot to not melt.
Anyway, weddings aren't my fave, if you hadn't postulated. (Perhaps because this isn't the first wedding where I was on the clean-up crew.) When I was married in my 20's (believe me, I tried to elope) , I planned everything to a tee, there was a little help by family to decorate with tulle, but no rehearsal or rehearsal dinner so that they could enjoy the beach and California on their own. They drove to the beach for the wedding, had fun, and left. In fact, someone told me how great my wedding was at this wedding!
[b]CAMPING:[/b] Hillbilly side of family. Aside from the rain and cloudiness, at least it was cool -72 degrees and not very buggy in Wisconsin. My family members all smoke, except my brother and his new wife who quit years ago. There was much farting and talk of it, mooning each other, beanbag tossing games, and fishing. The highlights for me were the pontoon boat and the fire-roasted food and s'mores with Smoreables from SuperTarget that I brought, along with hearing stories about my extended family and spending time with my nieces and nephews.
I did have a hard time dodging [b]cross-contamination [/b]from people- my brother eating his crumbling smore above me while I was sitting in a lawn chair, my sister in law touching all the marshmallows with her gluteny graham cracker hands as well as scraping the metal marshmallow sticks with the crackers to get the mallows off for the kids, contaminating the sticks.
I used lots of moist sanitizing wipes for my utensils. I dodged anything cooked on the dirty gas grill. My brother and sis in law called the night before my flight to see what they could bring for me, which was kind of them: fruit and marshmallows and a pillow. I had the ultimate camping gear packed in a backpack as tall as me by my Marine. The best thing was the 2 inch thick-inflatable by only a couple breaths -air mattress that rolls so small but feels so good! My aunt-in-law kept insisting that I eat veggies she cooked on the grill in a tinfoil pan thing, so I asked and she said spices and oil, but when I tasted it there was definitely butter- and you know what happens when there's butter- it could be contaminated with crumbs, etc. But, I didn't get sick, so hopefully it didn't harm me. ugh. Serendipity allowed me to eat the spicy and delicious hot bratwurst that my brother brought, as it was labeled gluten free on the package!
On the four hour drive, we ate at Wendy's and I had a Lara bar and fries at Mc Donald's.
Anyway, it was a fun summer, but I'm glad to be home with my Honey!
New Digs! Southern hospitality is alive and well in Atlanta: neighborhood barbeques, strangers who chat and wave, and amazing food everywhere! We've been officially "peached". The peach jam, peach salsa, and peaches are all fabulous, but here's what else I've been dining on (while maintaining the ten pound weight loss I just achieved):
<b>Gluten Free Shopping List: The Super Target</b> here has several gluten free products like my favorite Glutino chocolate peanut granola bars that are super chewy and only 110 calories, as well as some frozen Amy's Indian meals, Annie's organic fruit snacks, hummus with pine nuts labeled gluten-free, lots of salad dressings labeled gluten-free, Smoreables gluten free graham crackers, and -making a judgement call per the ingredient list-SkinnyCow mini fudge pops at 50 calories. (I also saw other crackers there, but not my preferred Glutino.)
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<a href="http://www.sallysbakery.com/">Sally's Bakery</a> is like all gluten free, all the time. And I like it. They have samples of treats out for you to try before you buy. The CRAW bread is with cinnamon, raisins, almond milk, and walnuts. It's their specialty and the other two people in the shop with me also bought some. The hamburger buns were mediocre. They aren't pre-cut. The texture is thick, not airy enough, and kind of dry. Mine were in the same bag as the CRAW bread, so they tasted cinnamon-y, which isn't what you want with a burger.
The <b>Outback</b> here has a gluten free <b>bloomin onion</b>, french fries, etc. and I have to say I felt sick afterward, but it may have been from all the grease. The onion was good, the fries ok, they were out of ribs, and I took home my hamburger (on a gluten-free bun) because I was full-but, since I had been sick I had my Bucket o' Luv devour it the next day, rather than risk it myself.
**This entry is pasted from my new blog location, so please forgive the formatting jargon. The new blog with pictures and more can be found under my profile.
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We have enjoyed many meals out, so reviews of <b>Jason's Deli</b>, <b>Yeah! Burger</b>, <b>Sugo</b>, <b>Braves' Stadium</b> (yuk), and a brunch place are on the horizon.
<b>Random Menu for a day</b>
Breakfast: nectarine and Glutino Granola bar
Lunch: Hormel Natural gluten-free honey ham sandwich on Sally's gluten-free bun with lettuce, tomato,etc.
Snack: Strawberries, peaches, SkinnyCow fudge pop
Dinner: Amy's frozen Indian meal with tomato and veggies with hummus
[size="2"]Katz Gluten Free has a promotion where if you pay for the shipping ($8 for me), they'll send you afree sampler box of gluten free baked goods.[/size]
[size="2"]All of their stuff is dairy and nut free, for those who need that. For me, I like nuts- the people and the food- because they add flavor and texture to life! So, I sweetly asked my Marine to get out his credit card and voila! I received the package in a few days. Since I'm watching my weight, each day I try one small item.[/size]
(For pictures, click on my profile to see my other b log.) So far I have tried the chocolate chip cookie (heavy on the brown sugar, didn't enjoy it), marble cake(dry, lacking in flavor), chocolate cupcake (superior texture, mild in flavor-I wouldn't buy it since I like to taste the chocolate if I'm eating thecalories), and honey muffin (excellent texture, excellent flavor-I'd buy them).
[size="2"]I've yet to try the dinner roll, rugelech (pinwheel pastry?), and slices of bread (challah, wholesome,whole grains and white).[/size]
[size=2]It's no surprise I saved bread for last, because I'm a bit of a bread snob, methinks, and I offer no apology for it. Frankly, in 2005 when I started out, I hated all the breads available to me. I only ate homemade offerings from the retired ladies at my celiac support group in California. So now I pretty much indulge myself-meaning, you will not find me chiseling frozen bread. I only eat the bread that you thaw the whole loaf on the counter, not chiseling a slice and putting the rest back in the freezer. Rudi, Udi, and Against the Grain are my staples. [/size]
[size="2"]Occasionally, if there is a brand I've used favorably in the past, and it's on sale for super cheap, I will buy it- Kinnickinnick or Whole Foods (got a loaf on sale last week). My Marine (who is not picky and eats many of the gluten-free pastas, pancakes, and Bell&Evans gluten-free breaded chicken), does not like any gluten free bread at all. He chooses to go without bread and buns at home, waiting to inhale the real deal out in restaurants. He eats a sandwich and soup every day at a deli or lunch cart.[/size]
[size="2"]I have baked some good stuff myself, but then I have to freeze most of it (defeating the point of making it fresh-as well as hogging freezer space), or eat it (which is how I gained weight last winter). So, I've pretty much resorted to buying a 4 pack of Udi Chocolate cupcakes or muffins, a single cupcake from Red Velvet Cupcakery (divine!), or a peanut butter bomb or brownie from Buzz Cafe down the street from me. If I can find French Meadow Bakery goodies, I'll get those.Other than that, I eat mainstream indulgences that don't contain gluten (I have never liked creme brulee, meringue cookies, or tapioca, all of which are usually recommended for us and doled out on cruises and in restaurants-I didn't like the food accommodated for me on my cruise in 06). When we move to Atlanta, there will be Sally's Bakery down the road! Man, gluten free is spreading like Wildfire (the restaurant called Wildfire has amazing gluten-free food, too).[/size]
Dear Newly Diagnosed Celiac, Gluten Free Living is a Journey...
Try to remember-it's the rainy days that help us appreciate the sunny ones. Maybe reading gluten free books, blogs, or message boards could help validate your feelings and give you eating ideas. Sometimes, your mind will jump to plenty of excuses of why you can't or why the ideas seem unrealistic, but try to focus on the "can" and the "I'll try" attitude.
Yes, I had a hard time eating the gluten free baked goods and stuff with the flour blends and guar gum (which is a natural laxative!) and xantham gum and all that stuff. Celiacs often suffer from lactose intolerance for a variety of reasons, so maybe avoid dairy at first?
Some quick food ideas that come to mind-that have pure ingredients with minimal processing, or have always been gluten free without substituted ingredients:
Smoothies (I even eat Jamba Juice) If you don't want dairy, use a gluten-free soymilk or rice milk or almond milk
apple with peanut butter and Udi granola
Craisins, make your own gluten-free trail mix
potato chips or tortilla chips (just corn, oil, salt-even baked ones)-make nachos with soy cheese or just salsa
soup-some Progresso soups are labeled gluten free and they just have vegetables and gluten free broth
eggs, egg salad, deviled eggs, omelettes
tuna, tuna salad
jell-o, M&Ms (lots of flavors)
cereal- Rice Chex, gluten free health cereals- I like Nature's Path Organic Corn Flakes gluten free...alone or with milk substitutes above
quinoa- it's a seed, so it shouldn't be that hard on you, especially if you tolerate rice- I cook in Swanson Chic Broth and add peas
brown rice pasta- the ones I use only have brown rice and water as ingredients, so if you can eat rice...
Try a variety of fruit- blackberries, kiwi, starfruit, pineapple, guava, mango, etc. Put on skewers like a fruit kabob
Norpro 5-Piece Garnishing Tool Set[Image]
Corn tortillas- buy the fresh kind with just corn masa flour and water and salt- top with black beans, soy cheese, salsa, etc.
Hummus, salsa, pico de gallo, and other gluten free toppings
There's also a list online called [url="http://www.kidceliac.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=53"]50 gluten-free Things You Can Eat Right Now[/url]
This has been described as the toughest diet there is, and I've read it takes 3 years to get a good handle on it, so be patient with yourself. It's a journey. You will buy expensive things that you end up throwing away, spend lots of time making things and shopping for things that you won't like. Lots of gluten free stuff doesn't have preservatives, so it goes bad quickly, too. You may even "poison" yourself unwittingly. It's a long road, so educate yourself and be patient.
SPOIL YOURSELF in ways that you can. Buy fancy bath stuff, go to the cooking store and buy a garnishing tool set (mine was $7) to make the foods you can eat (like fruit) look special and appetizing, buy yourself some flowers, start an herb garden to use on your salads, buy new dishes, toaster, utensils, so you know it's "safe". Call yourself and your diet "special" and others "regular" (not normal) or mundane or plain or run-of-the-mill or white bread. Change your language and change your thinking. Attend a support group (ask at your doctor or search online or on this site). I learned so much going to a cdf celiac convention and found so many products and resources. Do a celiac 5k or run and raise money and awareness for your new cause! Be glad you don't need shots or medicines or dialysis, just a diet! Dump your shampoo with hydrolized wheat protein and questionable makeup and buy new, gluten free ones! Express your feelings, coin fun terms for your new circumstances (my friends call me silly-as$, a play on the word celiac), write a poem or journal about it. And on and on!
Best wishes to you on your path...
My Marine was committed to a time-consuming motorcycle safety course all weekend (he has had a retro bike for a year that he isn't licensed to ride yet), so I packed up some <b>Glutino pretzel sticks and crackers</b>, <b>Lara Bars</b> (pb&j, peanut butter cookie), apples, <b>Bunny Organic fruit snacks</b>, and leftover Starburst <b>jelly beans</b> and jetted off to Atlanta. Once here, this perfect little inn Seth booked for me has a mini fridge and microwave, so I stopped at <b>Trader Joe's</b> and picked up some grape tomatoes, goat cheese, and carrots. For $69 a night they have a free gym, parking, and internet, all of which cost extra last time at the pricier Midtown 'W' Hotel. This place rocks!
Spent day one touring trendy Buckhead apts and relishing the 75 degree sunny weather (pleasantly absent of humidity I was expecting) in the popular and updated <b>Piedmont Park</b>- such a tranquil gem with the water and magnolia trees, but look up and the skyscrapers are peeking from behind the trees, reminding you that you're in a city! I ate the Trader Joe's fare the first night in my cozy hotel room. The second day, I worked out and ate an apple, then had a mango "tea freeze" at SanFranCoffee, which was dee-lish! (I am fully aware how calorie dense these things can be, so this was lunch.) After an <b>awful day</b> (I got a ticket for failing to stop at a sign I didn't see when I was oogling mansions at "tuxedo row", had itchy mosquito bites all over from the park, carefully navigated to appointments where I got stood up to not see 2 homes, and just when I was calling my boyfriend to whine, a giant locust-like bug with excellent timing fell out of a tree and hit me hard), driving around and learning that Virginia Highlands was out of our housing budget, my pal from middle and high school picked me up to go to a <b>crawfish boil </b>with her family for dinner. They were out of crawfish! She is so sweet-she must've researched gluten free-because she said <a href="http://www.moes.com/Food.php?ii=2">Moe's Southwest</a> Grill has gluten free food! The gluten free items are marked on the menu, so she insisted that she order for us while I watch her baby. My first time not ordering food for myself! This took trust! So, even as they shared nachos and burritos family-style, I had a pork rice bowl and it was spicy and filling! And I didn't get sick.
Mission accomplished! The following day I found and put a deposit on a house that is simple, yet homey and spacious, in a neighborhood that's easy to hop on the freeways and full of large trees (near my hotel that I'd gotten familiar with driving all weekend)! We'll move soon and Seth's commute will go against the flow of traffic, so I hope we truly enjoy it there! I tweeted what I ate that day (highlighted by <a href="http://www.wildfirerestaurant.com/chicago/menus#gluten-free">Wildfire</a> dinner)and plan to eat somewhat the same today, then back to VA until it's time to move here! Oh yeah, he passed the motorcycle licensing test. oh. joy...ahem.
note: I copied and pasted this entry from my new blog. That one has pics of the park and the food. Hope you visit!
[size="5"][font="Century Gothic"]Since moving to the DC/Virginia area, [u]Oyamel[/u] is a chow champion of mine, since it's near the museums (I left my car in California-no snowy driving 4 me). Not only do I volunteer at one of the [u]Smithsonian Museums,[/u] but I set a goal to see as many of the museums/sights in this area as possible during our year here.[/font][/size]
[font="Arial Narrow"][b][color="#9932CC"]Let's tangent to a museum/tourist list:
[u]So far, I've toured [/u]: Pentagon, Gettysburg, Newseum, Library of Congress, Spy Museum, G.Washington Masonic Memorial, Freer Gallery, Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Castle, Nat'l Building Museum, Nat'l Geographic, Gadsby's Tavern, Torpedo Factory, Mount Vernon, Amer. History, Hirshhorn, Christ Church (G.Washington's), Nat'l Harbor, Baltimore Harbor, Nat'l Mus. of the Marine Corps, Carlyle House, Ramsay House, Arlington Nat'l Cemetery, Dulles Air and Space (not on mall), Postal Museum, Natural History, Air & Space (on mall), American Indian, Portrait Gallery, Kennedy Center, Fredericksburg, and that's all I remember so far.
[u] My faves are[/u]: Library of Congress, Dale Collection at Museum of Art, Mount Vernon, and the giant Washington statue at the Masonic Memorial, and Iwo Jima. Newseum, FDR Memorial, and Gettysburg surpassed my expectations. I had already been on the city tour in '05 with the Capitol, embassy row, and white house.
I have several museums [u]yet to see[/u]: Black History in Alexandria, African American Smithsonian, Basilica, Nat'l Cathedral, inside White House, inside Wash. Monument, Colonial Williamsburg, Lee-Fendall, Ft. Ward, Anacostia, Nat'l Botanical Garden, Nat'l Zoo, Renwick, Arts & Industries, Nat'l Design, Women's, Cherry Blossom Festival, Dumbarton Oaks, and I'm sure there are more.[/color][/b]
[font="Century Gothic"][size="5"]Back to FOOD:
Call it serendipity, but Oyamel is almost next door to [u]Red Velvet Cupcakery[/u], which without fail has gluten free cupcakes (usually the delectable, crispy-topped, "black velvet" flavor, which is fudgy but with a dark depth to its taste, with a perfect texture, not crumbly or dense) and the cupcake elves are aware enough to put on a clean glove to grab it with.
For now I'll keep updating this brendygirl blog (I've had since Oct 06 and over 30,000 hits), but I'm trying to get my new one going on gluten free breeze at blogspot where there are pics (even of the grasshopper taco) and more. Also twitter at glutenfreebree.
I dig [u]Oyamel[/u] because they have a separate and lengthy gluten-free menu. Plus, you can get single plates (similar to Spanish tapas) of $4 items to build your own meal. I get the various tacos, soup, or tamale, all freshly made on daily homemade corn tortillas and guacamole. Today I had 2 fish tacos which were deceptively filling, and felt adventurous enough to go for the [u]chopped grasshopper taco[/u]. It was spicy and crunchy and orange-colored. I liked it. Next time I'll try the cow tongue and maybe a dessert (chocolate flan with pomogranate gel on top). Mexican food is hard to please me with, after living in SoCal. Their salsa is the real deal and everything is fresh and back-to-basics. I only wish we could have the chips!!
It is no fun to watch other people chomp on chips when I can't! Even if I brought my own, they wouldn't be warm. Boo hoo.
Rosa Mexicano and Legal Seafoods are a matter of blocks from there, so I'm lucky to be able to eat out! There are lots of places all over here, but I've had many times where I've eaten successfully at an establishment, only to return and get sick. I guess it just depends on who is working and how tidy they are back there in the prep/cookin zone.[/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][b][color="#FF8C00"]At home here is what I've been grubbing on:
[u]Udi's Cinnamon Raisin Bagels[/u] with Philly strawberry cr. cheese and fresh sliced strawberries on top
Homemade [u]Quaker Grits[/u]- My Marine went to Tulane, so he enjoys Southern stuff and he's capable of whipping it up himself
[u]Chobani yogurt[/u] (cheaper, giant tub of plain) I add flax seed, fresh blueberries
[u]Egg Sammich[/u]: Udi multigrain bread (toasted), with egg and rhubarb/straw jam
[u]Jimmy Dean turkey sausage[/u]
[u]Bisquick pancakes [/u]with bananas or Ghirardelli milk choc chips and syrup
apple with peanut butter
(not all at the same time)[/color][/b][/font]
[b][font="Comic Sans MS"][color="#008080"]Lunchy-love:
[u]Progresso Split Pea & Ham Soup[/u]
[u]Sargento Provolone[/u] Grilled Cheese (on Udi)
[u]GlutenFreeda's microwaveable burrito[/u]- chicken n cheese or bean n veg
[u]Lara Bar[/u]- peanut butter cookie, apple, or pbj, or cashew cookie (these bars were an acquired taste, I hated them at first and still detest the chocolate flavors)
[u]Veggies and Hummus[/u][/color][/font][/b]
[b][color="#800080"][font="Comic Sans MS"]No GLut-in din-din:
[u]Bisquick[/u] Recipes: Amazing [u]Chicken Fingers[/u] and [u]Chicken Pot Pie[/u]-My Marine Marvels!
Allrecipes: [u]Coconut Curry with Tofu[/u] (I added chicken, water chestnuts, & baby corn cob)
This was my first time cooking and eating BOK CHOY! Thumbs way up! My Marine did all the veggy chopping, since I have carpal tunnel, so it was a fun, team project! Served it over a boxed [u]Taste of Thai yellow curry rice[/u] marked gluten-free
Allrecipes [u]Lasagna with Pepperoni and ground beef[/u]- amazing, but expensive--(we splurged on the fancy $11.99 Romano Cheese last time, but this week we got the Kraft kind so we'll see if it measures up)
[u]Pad Thai-[/u] From box Taste of Thai (cheap) and not enuff sauce rendered it bland
[b][font="Comic Sans MS"][color="#A0522D"]Super Snack-a-licious
[u]EnviroKids Krispy Rice bars[/u]- Peanut butter choco drizzle- pretty good, crunchy and chewy at the same time, not too dry, decent flavor, hint of a strange aftertaste like fakey chocolate items sometimes produce
[u]Schar crackers[/u]- a bit on the dry side, but crisp and desirably doughy in the mouth, and nice with toppings-not overly crumbly
[u]Schar breadsticks[/u]- crunchy and hard, with a buttery flavor, as they are intended
[u]Andes[/u] mint chocolate wafers
[u]GummiSavers Bursts[/u]- we stealthily sneak em to the movies
[u]Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate[/u] with Kraft mini mallows-I never knew if SM was gluten-free, but I had been drinkin it as a newbie (before I knew it could be questionable) and never reacted
Blackberries and blueberries (fresh) when they're on sale
veg n hummus
Lara bar-acquired taste, tread carefully
fruit salad with cool whip
Fritos- took em on a day trip
[font="Comic Sans MS"]Shopped and ready to try: [u]Shepherd's Pie with Manwich[/u] (Manwich was on sale cheap and I saw a recipe on a blog, and my Scottish Marine LOVES Shep pie--wish me luck)
Keep your gluten free focus, live lovely and lovingly, and may the gluten free breeze blow gently your way! Besos!
I tweeted this product review-Twitter at Gluten Free Bree-My bf's mom gave me a box of Simply Organic gluten-free cocoa brownie mix as part of a gluten free goodie package she mailed me for taking care of her son after his shoulder surgery.
It was very easy to mix up, just stir in melted butter and eggs! It's certified organic, meaning the production of the sugar, cocoa, etc. is done without chemicals, hormones, pesticides, etc.
Find more of my reviews at my new blog on glutenfreebreeze at blogspot. The texture came out great-fudgy with a light layer of crunch on top. However, the taste just wasn't there for me. The flavor was bland, not measuring up on my choc-o-meter. I'll stick with the wallet-friendly Betty Crocker. (The Namaste irritates my tummy.)
[size="4"][font="Century Gothic"][color="#483D8B"]In the elevator to our hotel room (the cdf conference in L.A.), a woman commented on the [color="#A0522D"][b]Udi bread[/b][/color] she spied sticking out from my bag on the bellman's luggage cart. This was my marine's first clue that "people like ME" were swarming the hotel.
My beau learned SO much from the speakers (Dr. Peter Green, Dr. Sheila Crowe, Dietician, Shelley Case, and Cook Extraordinaire Frank Baldassare!
My Marine needs to step up his know-how pertaining to Gluten Freedom since.. *drumroll*:
The Marine Corps is sending him to Command & Staff School for a year and so I'm going to rent my house out, sell my car, put my teaching job on hold, adopt a carefree attitude, a scarf, and a metro card...and shack up with him for a year! Funny enough, the hardest part has been thinking about glutenous tenants contaminating my virgin, high-end fridge and stove!
Back to the conference:
After dining on [color="#FF0000"]gluten-free Bisquick Pancakes [/color](perfect texture, yummy, can't wait for them to hit stores this fall),and savory [u]Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Sausage Links[/u] (thumbs way up!)we alternated between raiding the chillbump-inducing superfluous vendor sample hallways and watching the presentations. I preferred last year's lunch, this year was chicken (snore), but the Betty Crocker cupcakes were tasty. It's always such a special occasion to eat out without needing to tame & train a server and just relax and enjoy with lots of "special" people, who are "against the grain", like me! I was pleased to see lots of nutritionists at a seminar learning about gluten-free!
[u]Now for the GOODS on the GRUB:[/u][/color]
Foods/Products I liked and recommend:
[*][color="#9932CC"]Udi Bread (Awesome & loaf can be thawed!)[/color][list=1]
[*][color="#9932CC"]Rudi's Bread (similar to Udi's and if I see it, I'll buy it)[/color][list=1]
[color="#9932CC"][*]Glutino Chocolate covered pretzels- 2 die 4!
[*]Asian Chicken Helper (Hamburger Helper)- pretty tasty. A good replacement for the "normal" kind
[*]gluten-free Bisquick Pancakes- Yum with a capital Y--it came with 9 other gluten-free recipe cards to use bisquick
[*]Jones Dairy Farms All Natural Sausage- Savory and Delicious
[*]Kettle Cuisine Soups- I like them, but I'm too thrifty to purchase them
[*]Soy Delicious (fake ice cream): It's rich and flavorful- cookie dough is a nice gluten-free flavor!
[*]Zojirushi Breadmaker- the bread was good, and machine is $200 or so
[*]Simply Gluten Free desserts- oatmeal cookies were delicious and only a tad overchewy
[*]PureFit Nutrition bars- fair as nutr.bars go, but too pricey, I'll stick with Lara (half the price)
[*]Bard's Tale Beer- great
[*]French Meadow Bakery Brownies- Vey Good, texture&taste. I prefer Rudi's Raisin bread to theirs
[*]Smooze Mango and Coconut Fruit Ice- tasty, but I use cheapie popsicles
[*]Green's Beer- Great
[*]The Pure Pantry Baked Goods- Delicious
[*]Sof-ella cake mix- Good, I get it cheap at FreshNEasy
[*]Boar's Head deli meats and cheeses and condiments are tasty and ALL gluten free
[*] Annie's Bunny Crackers Cocoa & Vanilla- yum
[*]Schar breadsticks and Wafer cookies- crunchy and tasty
[*]Boulangerie Brownies and Baked Goods- Excellent- My favorite find at the conference!!![/color][/list]
[color="#000000"]Things I didn't like (don't waste your dough)
[*]Simply Boulder Culinary Sauces- not creamy enough and too tart
[*]Earth Cafe Desserts- taste like mush
[*]Mary's Gone Crackers- taste like birdseed, CrunchMaster are better
[*]Nature's Agave sweeteners- yuck. Better to go with real sugar
[*]various pastas- stick with Mrs. Leepers and Tinkyada[/color]
[size="4"][font="Tahoma"][u]My new favorites[/u]: [color="#800080"]Glutino Gluten Free Organic Bars (chocolate & peanut)-smaller than a "traditional" granola bar, but taste fabulous and travel well.
Progresso Canned soup (low sodium chicken and wild rice)- $1.25 a can at Target with pop-off lid
I don't really like creamy soups, but they have many gluten free soups, and many are LABELED gluten free!
Glutino breakfast bar (reformulated) CRANBERRY. Really good. New formula is less chalky. Good to keep in car or to travel with.[/color]
[u]Good Eats[/u] (I will buy these regularly):
[color="#006400"]Dr. Praeger's Fish patties [/color](breaded with potato)- breading stays on pretty well, tastes great.
[color="#006400"]EnviroKids Organic Crispy Rice bars [/color](chocolate)- good taste and texture, but a hint of a weird aftertaste. One box was rotten-as in the bars were super hard, so I'm going to try to get that resolved by calling the co.
[u]Expensive but tasty[/u]:
Frozen meal: I forgot the brand but I bought it at Sprout's to keep in the freezer at work for emergency food: It's got a single lunch serving of chicken and quinoa and stuff. It was tasty, but it took FOREVER to heat in the microwave and it was over $6 for one frozen meal-because it's ORGANIC (pricey).
[u]Tasty but hurt my tummy [/u](too rich and cheesy):
Caesar's brand frozen gluten free lasagna (from Sprout's)
Please stop buying that DISGUSTING [color="#A0522D"]Food4Life frozen bread [/color]that is super DENSE and has an overwhelming fruit juice flavor! When I visited my mom, she had bought that because it was the only kind available at the nutrition store she went to. Whatta waste! Get it off the shelves so GOOD kinds can flourish!
[u]Eating Out at Restaurants[/u]:
[size="7"][u]Thumbs-Up[/u]:[/size] [color="#0000FF"] Uno's Italian [/color](stuffed chicken thing) they forgot to take the breadstick off and had to redo it, but it was ultra-flavorful and juicy.
[color="#0000FF"]Denny's[/color]: Kudos for consistency- haven't gotten glutened in many many meals.
[u]Fair[/u]: [color="#FF0000"]Carrabba's Italian[/color]: I hate gluten-free menus that are just meat and veggies with all the flavorful sauces and goodies removed. It worked, but it's a major pia (pain in the...) to drool over everyone else's tantalizing tastings while you eat dry meat and plain veg.
[color="#FF0000"]Applebee's[/color]: Too bad you won't put out a gluten-free menu, but I did have the shrimp add-on (I added on to my bf's meal- it comes in it's own dish) and the bbq ribs without problems several times. Tony Roma's ribs are only $2 more and much better meat, but... Kudos on free Vet's Meals Nov.11th
[u]Terrible[/u]: [color="#FFA500"][b]Quizno's[/b][/color] Didn't have a thing and after thorough explanation and changing of gloves,the worker continuted cc so I had to just have a drink while everyone else ate
[color="#FFA500"][b]Chili's[/b][/color]: Boo for you, CHili's for taking your gluten free honey bbq ribs off the menu. SHameful
[u]Breakfasts[/u]: Yogurt, hard-boiled egg, or Denny's Build-Your-Own-Slam: Hash browns, eggs, fruit, and bacon, or half a Glutino sesame seed bagel with fake cream cheese
[u]Lunches[/u]: Progresso Soup and Glutino Pretzels or Crunchmaster Multiseed crackers (I prefer over Mary's Gone)
or tuna on a Kinnickick hamburger bun or grilled cheese on Kinnickick Robin's Honey Brown Bread and fruit
[u]Dinners[/u]: Trader Joe's Frozen Tamales with tomato and avacado salad, or Spanish Rice (I'm bad and cook it in bacon grease then add bacon crumbles to it- I use the Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe but add the bacon part) with steamed veg, or black bean tacos, or steamed crab legs from grocery store with gluten-free crackers
Valentine Dinner: Tony Roma's for ribs (Tony Roma Orig. sauce) and corn and cole slaw. Boy was I full! Yum!
[u]Desserts:[/u] Trader Joe's Chocolate Walnut Cookies that taste like soft fudgy brownies, or Reese's Pieces, or chocolate pudding (it's actually in the milk group on the food pyramid, not a dessert- especially since I don't drink "real" milk), or s'mores I make with gluten-free graham crackers from Clark's Nutrition market
Hooray! I'm finally doing a really consistent job of remembering to keep my reuseable cloth grocery bags in the trunk so I don't have to use those shameful plastic store bags.
I have JURY DUTY soon and I'm bringing Glutino granola bars in my purse, eating a big breakfast, and going to look for yogurt or drive to IN N OUT burger if I need to eat lunch. Emergency snacks in car: Glutino Breakfast bars, Salt N Pepper Baked Chips, Nerds Candy [/font][/size]
[font="Garamond"][size="4"][color="#FF00FF"]Thanks so much for over 20,000 blog hits! I'm so humbled that you love my musings...or love to laugh at them...or laugh AT ME...or love to HATE me, lol.
As you know, I enjoy singlehood more than the average person, so here are some of the romantic DON'Ts I've had to endure over the years from well-intentioned men (I'm recognizing their effort,really) attempting to hone their inner Don Juans: ([size="1"]the intention here is to amuse, but also to prevent further embarrassment and awkward moments)[/size]
Sappy letters...in RED ink (overkill). Most memorable line "When we're apart, I feel like I'm trapped under thick ice and I can't breathe"
Tacky photos of themselves: Best of worst: Closeup of him flexing his bicep...with excessive [u]armpit hair [/u]sticking out everywhere. My female friends had gag reflexes upon viewing it. Runner-up: Pucker-pouted male close-ups
Bath salts...when I didn't have a tub...and he'd showered at my house several times, so he should.have.known.
Homemade CDs: First date to Palm Springs Tramway (up mountain in gondolas)he put in a long one in the car of songs "he thought I might like". Even though we'd only met once.
Taking the liberty...He sent pics of me (yes, he took many at the tram) to my WORK (since I don't give my home address out until date 5 thru 10-only about 10 percent ever make it that far) and I never received them...limbo
Vacuum-packed flowers. Flowers that have been vacuum-packed and do not smell.
Homemade dinners (especially for a celiac-which causes major anxiety unless you are a gluten free expert) where he uses EVERY pan and utensil in your kitchen and then YOU get to clean up, lucky girl. Or the dude who brought over everything to cook in my gluten-free kitchen and contaminated me, and my kitchen
Surprise!: In college I had 3 roommates and as soon as I opened the apartment door, I was hit by a wall of HEAVY, eye-stinging cologne. My roommate walked by and gave me a bug-eyed, "you poor girl, better you than me" grin. as I heard clanging in the kitch
Burned food- he fried frozen shrimp with no oil or butter in the pan. Poor guy.
surprise Picnic in the park..he didn't bring a blanket. I'm allergic to grass. Bad, bad, bad
Rapelling trip- he forgot the gloves
Honey. sticky. nuff said.
Spandex undies- I do like a man in boxer-briefs, but not skin-tight spandex lime-green. they looked painful on him.
Giving himself self-aggrandizing nicknames, shooting for "cute" factor, I think:
Bigg Papi comes to mind
Best Romantic Tips (many are FREE):
Warm a towel in the dryer and wrap her in it when she's done with her bath/shower
Leave a rose on her car windshield
ask her if she wants you to brush her hair
edible body paint..again ask her
Microwave lotion (I have the one that comes in a glass jar) and rub her with it
(obviously test the temp first)
when she says her day was just ok or not great say, "Tell me more" and listen
Buy 2 photo frames with lots of slots and fill it w/photos of a trip you2 went on- have her keep one and you keep one in your home or office
book a couples massage- but go home afterward- your face and hair gets mussed and nobody wants to go out to dinner like that. Lots of coupons in this economy
FONDUE-gluten free, of course (chocolate with marshmallows and fruit, for example)
Harry Connick, Jr. concert tickets
Book an appointment for her to get her hair or makeup professionally done b4 a special night out.
If she's girly: Sephora (aka: makeup heaven)
take her shoe shopping
Have her choose a romantic novel, buy it and take turns reading it to each other
stop doing the things that annoy her and don't tell her, she'll notice
get your hair cut the way she likes it...or let it grow...
keep a picture of her or u2, so people can see it...your cell wallpaper
or next to your spedometer
Quietly finish the honey-do list...or any unfinished project or wish list
wear a tie out to dinner at a place where she doesn't know that they'll cut it off[/color][/size][/font]
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"][color="#800080"]Totally Gluten-Free turkey day again, but this time at my newly purchased house with my Major's mother and my mom&stepdad all in from Florida
We did lots of fix-it stuff on my new house (bank repo)
Parents woke at 4am (FL time 7am) and went to 24 hr Wal-Mart to buy me "appropriate" dishes and silverware (they said mine isn't heavy enough) for my belated birthday and early xmas gifts.[/color]
My stepdad forgot to take his [color="#FF0000"][b]blood pressure meds [/b][/color]on Tuesday (day 3)and blew his top and went MIA in the rental car.
Didn't hear from him till Wed. night-he'd flown back home.
Mom [color="#008000"]plugged up my sink [/color]by putting a whole bowl of broccoli down at once. Then when I used the hex wrench and the reset button, to no avail, and wanted to disassemble the pipes to get a clog out, she said we'd need special tools and made me call the [color="#000080"]plumber[/color]. $140 later, plumber said I could've done it myself. The pipes are plastic and you undo them with your hands.
Our yardwork day yielded a giant pile of brush that needed to be hauled. Guy drives by slowly and offers me half the price the other dude wanted and gets out his [color="#0000FF"][b]machete[/b][/color] and packs it all in!
Meanwhile, carpet cleaner dude (and wife), 2 electricians (boys installing chandeliers), and furniture delivery dude all arrive at same time. All were cheerful and enjoying our sweet smelling foods we were [color="#9932CC"]cooking in the dark[/color].
While in the midst of spackling holes in the walls, I had to pick up my Major's mom who was [color="#2E8B57"]stranded at the airport[/color]. I've never met her, so I showered quick, my mom was drying my hair while I smeared on makeup! I have a 2 seater car so mom had to stay home while I entertained the lady in Palm Springs until our Major could get her.
She is a former teacher, so we got along awesome, but she did tell everyone she [color="#006400"]said the rosary to cope [/color]with my driving.
Tried a fresh turkey (not frozen) this year- Sheldon's- and it was good.
Told mom to cook the gluten-free stuffing OUT of the bird, but she said that was "UnAmerican" and it turned out like sludge. Had to chuck it.
Planned on making the normal gluten-free pie crust mix, but a friend said to use her recipe- but it burned after only 15 minutes in the oven. So, how do you fill it with apples and cranberries that bake for 45 min.?
Tried again to cook the apples separately, and that worked. Weird.
Sylvan Farms dark brown bread mix a success, again. Everyone ate it. Even my mom.
Sink got [color="#FF0000"]clogged AGAIN[/color]-this time with sweet potato skins and I had to disassemble it b4 guests arrived [color="#FF0000"]in my red dress[/color].
My mom announced to everyone that they need to expect our (gluten free) food to taste a little [color="#800080"]"weird"[/color]. ugh
Everyone enjoyed the sunset view at my house (no neighbors across street-only dry riverbed and walking path)
Major lured me into my closet and mauled me with our parents in the next room.
Everyone was eating appetizers (brie and Trader Joe's crackers, crudite with hummus, and 7 layer bars) and told her they couldn't tell a thing. Those crackers are AMAZING, even mom had to admit.
Our guests stayed until 11PM, so I guess they had a great time.
Mom has pics of most of this (even the fix-it guys, and my legs and red dress sticking out from under the sink)...I posted on my fb. lol [/size][/font]
[color="#FF00FF"][b]I had coconut cake, cupcakes, and brownies for my birthday. My best friend was going to be in Vegas for my bday, and so she invited me and I invited my other friend from New Orleans. It was so fun. My Major was still away, so it was perfect for just girls. My bff carried 2 bakery boxes on the plane from Texas! (From [u]Lil' Aussie Bakery [/u]in San Antonio-2die4.) I am so lucky! She eats gluten free stuff with me, and she also orders it when she's out, just to try it for me and to keep up the demand. Her fiance likes a lot of the gluten-free food. My Major has been eating the bread- he makes breakfast for me now at my house in my gluten free kitchen, so I'm happy.
We only ate only once each day (so not much food pressure), at [u]In N Out [/u](which they were Jonesing for, since they don't have it@home) and steak n lobster in the hotel (NYNY)on my bday (I had to switch seats, as I was facing a giant display of baguettes)and nibbled the gluten-free baked goods in the hotel room,went on the gondola, where we encouraged the couple across from us to kiss under the bridge, and they responded that they've been married 50 years and that's over, no kissing anymore. Talk about uninspiring. We got on the guest list for the 4 clubs at the Palms and we liked the [u]Playboy club [/u]the best. Good music (not trance or techno) and not too crowded...and free. We shopped- her for souvenirs and me for shoes, sat front-row at the Chippendales (saw a totally inspiring bachelorette group dressed as [u]Harajuku girls [/u](Japanese fashionista types) with petticoats and babydoll hair and the whole nine- If my bff ties the knot, we're doing that for her!), (I remembered my favorite scene (from a girls weekend 5 yrs ago) with the motorcyle guy, but added new faves: like, the one in the dark with the guy rubbing glow-in-the-dark paint on himself . The military acts were downer, making me miss my marine. Plus there was a Marine Birthday Ball going on in Vegas, and tons of Marines dressed in their blues all over. One grabbed me! It was kind of annoying to be reminded of my Major when I really missed him from his long trip and I was trying to keep my mind off of it. :lWe got a 2 for $99 deal on the "sensual" side of Cirque du soleil, [u]"Zoomanity", [/u]which pushed the envelope quite a bit, very overt sexuality, I thought. I did like the contortionists diving into the giant fishbowl, though. got facials at the spa, caught a Prince impressionist show, and just enjoyed people-watching.[/b][/color]
[color="#4169E1"]When I arrived home, my Major was there within the hour and we continued the bday celebration, after him being gone a month.Major M's surgery was delightfully postponed, so I had 2 days' notice that I was going back to Vegas for the Ball. Had fun searching for a dress, with 2 sales ladies whisking in red, white, and blue gowns and bejeweling me with rhinestone and crystals. I texted my friends and mom the pics and they all weighed in on their choices (even my mom's coworkers, lol). I picked the one they liked, a backless blue satiny Jessica McClintock. I'd researched [u]"What not to wear to Marine Corps Balls"[/u] and other sites, and since he's been deployed he hasn't been to one in 4 years! So, I wanted to make it "all about my marine" and support him, but I ended up enjoying every minute of it! (There were a few ladies who hadn't read the article, )
When I stepped out and first saw him in his dress blues, my breath caught. It was jaw-dropping. Since he's a major, he doesn't have the white belt , but he does have all these cool gold medal leaves on his cover and his shoulders. I love those leaves! He has a stunning smile and he's a redhead with green eyes, and may I just say God Bless the U.S. Marines for their "Semper fitness"! Those broad shoulders that make a V shape down to that 32 inch waist. Thank you, sir!
I mingled with the other ladies, took lotsa pictures, danced, was surprised when we weren't asked how we met (didn't get to use our pre-determined story about meeting the night before and me working at a gentleman's club, boohoo), bc people kept asking how long we've been married! What a shock. ANd you know how I feel about that! Yuck! But, deciding to roll with it, I did tell how the cabbie said he'd driven a few marines to the chapel, and how I might get the Major there by night's end. One 66 yr old woman grabbed my arm as we were saying our goodbyes and said that she'd "stand up" for us if we decided to go ahead and do the drive thru! 2 funny!
Afterwards, a dozen of us (Majors and wives, dates)took a [u]stretch SUV limo [/u]to the Palms and got VIP treatment by the hotel people, as well as random people just buying us drinks and VIP booths just as a thank you to the Marines for their service. I was glad to see them treated so well. They deserve it, and I was just along for the ride. So generous. I danced until my shoes came off (bebe crystal silver ones) and shot craps until I'd won my Major and a lt. colonel hundreds of dollars (Major let me bet for him, so he could learn), and people were shouting, Come on, Lady Luck!
On another note, it was heart-wrenching for me to look at each marine's medals (I'd asked the Major for a crash-course in medal-reading b4hand), seeing how many deployments, and how many V's for valor, and asking them about their families. They are truly noble and inspiring.
As far as holiday shindigs, our celiac one was pretty fun. The food was fair, I brought Asian Chicken. The dessert table was the show-stopper. Some chocolate haystack looking things that were crunchy on the outside, but creamy like a meltaway in the middle were divine. As were these soft, pumpkin cookies- sandwiched with cream in the middle. Whoah, Mama!
I was full. Which is a once or twice a year feeling for me. Well done.[/color]
I didn't eat at the Marine Corps Ball (I'd eaten a [u]shrimp cocktail [/u]at our hotel b4hand-the Monte Carlo, which was reasonably priced and beautiful). There was a buffet, and I didn't envy anything except the dessert. It all smelled gross, too, which helped. I also didn't eat at my work party. They had Chinese food and it was all fried and fattening looking, so I didn't even care. I had wine and chocolate. I kind of feel good thinking about how I won't need to diet after the holidays! Plus I'll be in Florida, so I'll be bikini-ready, hopefully.
Gotta go work out!
Breakfast: eggs and 1/2 sesame seed gluten-free bagel
Lunch: Dinty Moore stew and celery with pb(it's rainy today and I had to do housework)
Dinner: Spinach and Feta mini-pizza- on sale at Sprouts for $3.99.I dip it in Enrico's pizza sauce.
Dessert: Pamela's cookies that were on sale at Sprout's.
New Favorite: gluten-free graham cracker s'mores (in the microwave, but once it stops raining, in the firepit)[/color]
[size=3]Totally Gluten-Free turkey day again, but this time at [u]my house [/u]with my Major's mother and my mom&stepdad all in from FL
We did lots of fix-it stuff on my new house (bank repo)
Parents woke at 4am (FL time 7am) and went to 24 hr Wal-Mart to buy me "appropriate" dishes and silverware (mine isn't heavy enough) for my belated birthday gifts.
[color="#4169E1"]My stepdad forgot to take his blood pressure meds on Tuesday (day 3)and blew his top and went MIA in the rental car.
Didn't hear from him till Wed. night-he'd flown back home.[/color]
Mom [u]plugged up my sink [/u]by putting [color="#2E8B57"]a whole bowl of broccoli [/color]down at once. Then when I used the hex wrench and the reset button, to no avail, and wanted to disassemble the pipes to get a clog out, she said we'd need special tools and made me call the plumber. $140 later, plumber said I could've done it myself. The pipes are plastic and you undo them with your hands.
Our yardwork day yielded a giant pile of brush that needed to be hauled. Guy drives by slowly and offers me half the price the other dude wanted and gets out his [color="#000080"]machete[/color] and packs it all in!
Meanwhile, carpet cleaner dude (and wife), 2 electricians (boys installing chandeliers), and furniture delivery dude all arrive at same time. All were cheerful and enjoying our sweet smelling foods we were cooking in the dark.
While in the midst of spackling holes in the walls, I had to pick up my Major's mom who was stranded at the airport. I've never met her, so I showered quick, my mom was drying my hair while I smeared on makeup! I have a 2 seater car so mom had to stay home while I entertained the lady in Palm Springs until our Major could get her.
She is a former teacher, so we got along awesome, but she did tell everyone [color="#FF00FF"]she said the rosary to cope with my driving.[/color]
Tried a fresh turkey (not frozen) this year- Sheldon's- and it was good.
Told mom to cook the gluten-free stuffing OUT of the bird, but she said that was [color="#FF0000"]"UnAmerican" [/color]and it turned out like sludge. Had to chuck it.
Planned on making the normal gluten-free pie crust mix, but a friend said to use her recipe- but it burned after only 15 minutes in the oven. So, how do you fill it with apples and cranberries that bake for 45 min.?
Tried again to cook the apples separately, and that worked. Weird.
Sylvan Farms dark brown bread mix a success, again. Everyone ate it. Even my mom.
Sink got clogged with sweet potato skins and I had to disassemble it b4 guests arrived in my red dress.
My mom announced to everyone that they need to expect our food to taste a little "weird". ugh
Everyone was eating appetizers (brie and Trader Joe's crackers, crudite with hummus, and 7 layer bars) and told her they couldn't tell a thing. Those crackers are AMAZING, even mom had to admit.
Everyone enjoyed the sunset view at my house (no neighbors across street-only dry riverbed and walking path)
Major lured me into my closet and mauled me with our parents in the next room.
Our guests stayed until 11PM, so I guess they had a great time.
Mom has pics of most of this (even the fix-it guys)...I posted on my fb. lol[/size]
Kinnickinnick gluten-free Graham Crackers + chocolate + marshmallows = Yum to the Oh Yeah! I never thought my trigger would be tripped by a plain ol' graham cracker! I have yet to master the way I got it once to be soft and warm in the microwave. They are no where near chalky. So nice.
Unfortunately, I also laid my hands on some Andean Dream Quinoa Cookies-yuck...aside from $ down the drain, they're a waste of calories in the sweets allowance, so I spit it out. Also sampled St. Amour Brownie Madelines. Ugh. Fruit aftertaste. ew.
As for the rest of October, I'm mostly about resting up and planning for Oct. 31 and November. Excited to pass out candy in my new neighborhood in my house with the dead grass that adds good ambience.
I have my pinup girl costume. Excited about the 40's hair and makeup. No date- I let the IrishProgrammer thing fade out and I'm currently enraptured with Major M. He's military and serving in The Republic of Georgia now, so I get nightly phone calls and emails. He has had the hardest time of anyone figuring out the gluten-free modifications! He kept drinking beer or gin or gobbling pizza during our dates and thought I was being demure about not kissing him afterward. I was seriously ready to maul him! (One day, after he'd obtained the clearance for entry to my batcave) I said, Do not eat or drink anything b4 u get here! And I kissed him as soon as he came over.
As it would happen, I took him to Macaroni Grille one Tues. and had the same meal I've had b4 of spinach and scallops, and felt some pains and popped some Immodium in the restaurant...got home and I was s-i-c-k! I don't think he noticed. Then I was sitting on his lap and he told me that he had to go to the Rep. of Ga for a month and that he wouldn't have cared before, but now that he met me, he doesn't like that he has to go Tuesday... I said I was aware that these things happen in his career field and that I considered it a business trip, just like any guy in a suit and tie. Well, he told me that was the best reaction he has ever gotten when telling a woman about having to leave.
Well, I'm just logical (more of a thinker than a feeler, really)-he's not in harm's way. He's just teaching and stuff. But, now, I'm feeling weird since he's not here to go places with me and I feel bad telling him about my plans (friends from various states flying to Vegas for my bday), etc. while he's locked down on some campus in some place over near Turkey and Russia. But he really seems to be enjoying his work there and all the architecture, food, and culture.
Anyway, here's how my GLuten/brain fog whipped some drama into the situation: As he continued talking that night, my stomach was audibly groaning and inflating and I was trying to keep focused, while figuring a way to cut the night short, since I needed some private porecelain time. So, I reiterated that I didn't feel well. I asked if he could hear my stomach and he said yes. He went home.
So, the next morning, I had the WORST brain fog ever. I was driving to work thinking, he said something about leaving, and something about he likes me and what was that other thing? And I remember he said "Woman!" and what was that about.... I told him later that my memory was all blacked out.
FF a few days...Saturday we were hanging out and he asked if I was taking him to the airport. And I said I work Tuesday, but what time? And he said not Tues., TODAY at 4:00. I told him he was joking. No, he said he had to [u]be there [/u]Tues. and it takes 2 days to fly there. So, I said -No!- he hadn't told me. And we figured that he DID tell me -on that gluten night, when I'd pretty much blacked out. Go gluten.
B: pomegranate raspberry Lucerne yogurt and jasmine tea
L: Ian's gluten-free chicken nuggets w/bbq sauce and a side of fresh (on sale) raspberries
Snack: Organic EnviroKids gluten-free rice krispy bar- chocolate (they're fair flavor-wise, ok texture)
Dinner: Tamale and taco with steamed carrots and black olives whole
Dessert: S'more and strawberry ice cream
[color="#9ACD32"][b]Dating Island Boy encouraged a couple trips to L.A., so I multi-tasked...got to taste goodies from [u]The Sensitive Baker [/u](everything was frozen, which was disappointing), but I tried several things, and the only things I'd repeat are the [u]cupcakes and the cookies[/u]. I also tried [u]Mani's Bakery and Cafe[/u], which is supposed to carry gluten-free selections in the bakery, but all they had were [u]peanut butter cookies[/u], which were fair. Crumbly as all get-out. So, I walked down the road, chatting on my cell, and discovered a manicure/pedicure for $19.99, and followed it up with a facial and a visit to [u]Whole Foods. [/u] Each WF carries different things and I was annoyed that this one didn't have my french bread loaves and a couple other items, but they did have a whole row of gluten-free goodies. Chill bumps appeared on my arms and I got all woozy. Just for kicks, I grabbed [u]ice cream sandwiches[/u], which were amazing. They are made with glutenfreeda's cookies. Figuring I should try things I wouldn't normally try, I snatched some ice cream [u]cones ([/u]the plain cone version).They did have a faint aftertaste of rice, but they were great! They didn't crumble! The company that makes them is called Goldbaum's in a blue box and I forgot the name. I took the box and a bucket of strawberry Breyer's ice cream to my celiac support group meeting (aka the meeting down the hall from the AA meeting, where the people look much more colorful, lol- even when people knock on the wrong door, they immediately know they're in the wrong spot...as in, we never get mistaken for the AA's. I kind of take offense to that!) and everyone ate a cone and loved it! Many grateful thanks and one woman even wanted her picture taken, it had been so many years since she'd had an ice cream cone[/b].[/color[color="#0000FF"]]*********************[/color]
[color="#FF8C00"][b]So, time for some updates from the MALEbox:
[u]Traveldude [/u]hasn't been in contact for 3 weeks. My friend, whom he rents a condo from says he's 3 months behind on rent. I'm worried about him.
[u]TwinAbs[/u] and I went dancing to a recently opened club, and it was pure elation. We met there, so I was looking for him, and I noticed this really hot guy, and when he turned, it was him! I forget how amazing he looks. So, we cut a rug for several hours and I enjoyed every second of it. He kept telling me that women keep staring at me and I told him to not bring it up, but we figure it must be because I wore my 5" heels, which makes me 6' tall. They are comfortable, because they have like fabric, not constricting leather uppers. Then we stopped at a diner for breakfast, which is perfect since I can eat eggs and fruit w/o too much trouble. He eats eggwhite omelet. No wonder those abs are so lean. mmmmm. We might plan a trip to Jamaica soon.
While out at the dueling piano bar, my buddy noticed my exbf circa 2006 the [u]Irishprogrammer[/u] this summer, and eventually I accepted his invitation to dinner. I printed out a list of places near his house that could accommodate me, and he chose Carino's Italian, and I had like fish and veggies and really good wine. Anyway, since we had so much fun, I decided to keep seeing him, except to keep in mind that he is not long-term/serious material, due to his Irish temper. We've done the beach (I ate nachos after), the fair(corn and baked potato), the pool, market night, etc. He put a couple things together at my new house.
The bad part is, although I am forthright and let each dude know that I am part of the dating world(as in, not exclusive with them), [u]IslandDude[/u] abruptly stopped contact and it came to my attention that he evidently drove an hour to my house without warning and saw me kiss IrishProgrammer outside. But, I must say, I have plenty of opportunities to snoop or surprise the people I date, but I don't want to go there. So, if you "go there", then you must be ready to handle what you find. When not in an exclusive relationship, men focus on the part where they feel ok to be dating freely themselves , but they never truly allow themselves to believe that the woman is. They always assume she's sitting home, waiting by the phone. Which [u]usually[/u] plays to my advantage....
Anyway, I better go. Drawers to organize, outfits to choose for the week, pineapple to slice.[/b]...[/color]
[size=5]I found a house to buy, so since I'm moving out, might as well mess up the kitchen here....So I tried the [/size][color="#8B0000"][size=3]beer batter onion ring [/size][/color][size=5]recipe on this site, but the first "test" rings came out without the batter on very well, so I had a brainstorm and after dipping the raw rings in batter, I coated them in gluten-free Orgran bread crumbs. They turned out crunchy, greasy, and sweet. So savory! They looked and tasted so good, I think non-gfreople would eat them!
Traveldude was feeling under the weather so I invited him over to rest and I took care of him. I had banned cooking for a week to rest my wrists (tendonitis) (it worked-they feel much better), so I used coupons all day to get us Jamba Juice for breakfast (I tried the pomogranate one and it was fan-tabulous!), salads for lunch from Portillo's, and I dragged him to[/size] [color="#A0522D"][size=3]Z's Pizza [/size][/color][size=5]when he had to go to a nearby coaching function, to finally get my gluten-free pizza and it was AWESOME! Crunchy, thin crust and fresh toppings. I ordered the "California", which is veggies, plus pepperoni. I'm going back soon!
I wasted no time to bake the [/size][color="#FF8C00"][b][size=3]Betty Crocker yellow cake mix [/size][/b][/color][size=4]for breakfast (I couldn't wait) and it was good. It had a slightly undone spot in the center, but the edges were so done, that I didn't want them to get crunchy. Perhaps my oven doesn't cook evenly.[/size] [size=4] It only lasted 3 days around here! oink!
Since being off work I'd been house-hunting, organizing my life and apartment, sunbathing, floating in the pool, reading, card-making, watching Wimbledon, cooking, doing yoga, volunteer matching, applying to be an event organizer in my free time, and skyping my mother on the other coast. I was getting a little bored, and as I was shopping, I was approached by a cute, friendly man with an accent. Let's call him Island Dude. So after talking and emailing, we met at a museum and he ate lunch uncomfortably while I watched (I'd purposely eaten earlier-I didn't know it would bother him) and have done several things like the botanical gardens, the beach, watching tennis, dancing, watching a parade, and then...DUN-DUN...DUNNNNNN!...eating out. [/size]
[size=4] He's very kind and concerned about my food issues, so we went to a place in L.A. recommended online. It was a Thai place with a waitress who sternly insisted she knew about gluten free and told me I couldn't have any of the meats or shrimp because they are all marinated in fish sauce (which is usu. gluten-free, unbeknowingst to her) and she recommended the fried calamari because [u]"it doesn't have sauce, it's just battered in flour." [/u]Island Dude's eyes got wide at that, because even tho he's a rookie player on the gluten free team, he understands about no flour. --He's the first dude to correctly presume that he would need to brush his teeth after eating or drinking gluten-y stuff if he wanted to kiss me! ---Anyway, I ate a side of steamed rice and a side of vegetables. I.Dude pretended to not be sad for me, and after he brushed his teeth, he showered me with kisses.[/size]
[size=4]The next time we went out, he said, we will keep going places until you can have something decent! We agreed on a Cuban hole-in-the-wall and I asked lots of ?s, (surprisingly, when I opened my mouth, it all came out in espanol), and the waitress LISTENED!! like "Is there flour in the beans? I'm allergic to flour. Is the rice cooked in anything besides water? I'm allergic to chicken broth. etc. I enjoyed a savory, flavorful meal of salmon and rice and beans. I was going to get plantains, but Island Dude said his seemed like they'd been reheated.[/size]
[size=5]So I'm looking forward to spending more time in L.A. with Island Dude and trying all the restaurants and bakeries that I researched today from a gluten free food reviewer. I'm going to fry more onion rings and try to make hot wings. And since I'm going to buy all new appliances for my kitchen, and they'll never have touched gluten, I have to ponder my gluten policy for my new home. I'm leaning toward, gluten outdoors only. Leave your shoes and gluten by the door. [/size][color="#0000FF"]
Menu for today: Breakfast: Celiac Specialties Cherry Streudel (yum-oooh) LUnch: egg salad on toast with corn on cob (must eat it b4 it's too late) and grapes. Dinner: Z's pizza. Dessert: homemade onion rings.[/color]
Funny to realize that going "against the grain" for years has opened my palate to foods I never would've enjoyed BGF (before gluten free). Baked goods with nuts. I liked some nuts BGF, but never baked into stuff. Now, I love Pamela's ch.chip cookies with walnuts and Trader Joe's Flourless Chocolate Walnut cookies, which taste more like brownies to me. Even when I bake my Namaste or The Craving's Place brownies, I put walnuts on top! I even made green beans with sliced almonds. I like Almond Joy candy now. And honey nut Chex? I never liked Honey Nut anything, but now I do.
BGF, I liked Cream of Wheat cereal, Frosted Mini Wheats, Rice Chex, Post Raisin Bran, and Honeycomb. I liked lots of more sugary, less fibery cereals, but I wouldn't eat them. I should've while I could! Reese's and Cap'n Crunchberries, Cookie Crisp, Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops. It's been so long, I can't even remember.
I should've eaten more of those big, strawberry-covered restaurant waffles. And danishes. And pastries. Apple turnovers. Cinnamon rolls. I should've had a chubby year, where I gained 15 or 20 lbs., but just ate yummy grubby stuff every day.
I am going to put in an order to Celiac Specialties, asap! I better go to the gym b4 it arrives!
I wish I could stretch my palate to enjoy naturally gluten-free stuff like cheesecake (w/o crust), creme brulee, tapioca pudding, and meringues. I hate that stuff. As my 8 yr. old self used to say:Grody!
btw, I got glutened at sushi. Must be cc. I wish I'd at least have eaten something like cake.
As far as dating goes, I still go out dancing with Twin Abs: he has twin girls and six pack abs. We go to our favorite spot where there are always live bands that play a variety of dance hits from Fergie, to Michael Jackson, to Stevie Wonder (so it's worth the hour drive for him), and it's a blast.
However this night began badly because our habit is to meet each other there (my preference-so there's no awkward moment where he drops me off and tried to get invited in) , but for the first time since Dec. when we met, he wasn't there.
This is our first bump in the road. I was stubborn and texted him that I was there and I wasn't taking my phone in-I don't want to keep checking the phone and waiting for him, I'm the type of chick whose determined to have a good time regardless- The band is really good. The singer is an energetic Asian chick with long silky pigtails and a powerful voice. And so a skinny gray-haired guy in a pale yellow suit asked me to dance, and I said yes (I will dance with almost anyone who asks respectfully). I'm pleased that he's a good dancer, and it's fun to get the quizzical looks from people at the "odd couple".
So, song after song, YellowSuit asks who I'm here with and I tell him that my date hasn't come, and he laughs. More songs go by, and YS periodically singsongs "He's not coming." and laughs. I'm surprised that it actually hurts my feelings. And I stoically reply, "Yes, that's the end of him." And I realize I am sad and wish my date would come, and this is the second time in my life that I've been stood up...but try to distract myself with dancing and good music. As we walk off the dance floor, up walks Twin Abs.
Suddenly, I'm a tad embarrassed by YS's attire, and am surprised to sense some jealousy/annoyance from TwinAbs, but he doesn't say anything. I say to YellowSuit, "This is my friend I told you about. Nice meeting you." and he leaves.
Anyway, TwinAbs loves to dance, even when the band goes on break and the DJ puts on a salsa, he'll pull me out there. Women give me the evil eye (since he's so hot, I guess) and yuppy men with their dates/wives sneak a peek at me as we walk by. Usually I hate that and get nervous about needing to brush them off, but with him it's fun. Why? because Twin-Abs doubles nicely as an impenetrable creep-shield! The gawkers have this look... like they would never have the balls to...His good looks are intimidating, and I like it. And he is so nonchalant and not attention-seeking. He wears a baggy shirt and a jacket the whole time...meaning that I'm the only one who knows there's a washboard under there! And I'm sneaking rubs of him, where usually it's my dance partner who's the touchy-feely one.
He's also a great listener (he takes me out on the patio there to talk where it's quiet) and a total yin to my yang, but I have a feeling he has more baggage than he lets on. Like ex-wife drama, or maybe he's not fully exed from her yet. I relish the feeling that we are each other's escape from reality. With us, there is nothing heavy. Just bliss in the air, euphoria,genuine smiles, caresses, sexual tension, phermones and endorphins and kisses and hugs and intense eye-locking. I am not in any danger of falling for him, so ignorance has been bliss since Dec.
I still hang out with my Travel Buddy. Lately, we've been cooking dinner for each other and then cuddling to cheer on the Lakers. He massages me, rubs my tendonitis wrists and it's extra comfy at his place since he is just as gluten aware as I am and won't let me lift a finger.
For my tendonitis, the physical therapist didn't give me exercises yet. She massaged the wrists and then had me do the parrafin wax dip! Oooh, that stuff is amazingly good!
When the doc put up my xrays, he shouted, "Wow, you have nice bone edges!" I'm like, what? Anyway, I said that's great because lotsa celiacs have early osteo. Funny doctors.
Breakfast: I'm on meds for the tendonitis, so I have to eat to avoid nausea, so I grabbed some Rice Chips in the car. Santa Fe flavored. Kinda odd. And I don't like rice chips much. Ahh well.
Lunch: A lady at worked catered a lunch from Juan Pollo. I took a risk that there wouldn't be broth injected or marinated in the chicken, skipped the rice (it looked yellow-like with broth), and ate corn tortillas with the chicken and salsa inside and beans. Yummy, but I was still kinda hungry and eyeing the potato salad and rice.
Dinner: Laker night: TravelBuddy made me Hebrew National oven baked hot dogs with Wendy's chili on top of gluten-free Kinnickinnick bun and I brought over corn on the cob. Almond Joy and Raisenets for dessert.
Friday was the last day of school, and lots of cake and goodies all over. Seeing all that yummy stuff and skipping lunch, I pledged to go home and baked a gluten-free Pantry chocolate cake. One slice I frosted with milk choc. Duncan Hines, the other I covered with strawberries and whipped cream. It was three o'clock and I was starved, so lunch and dinner were one mega-meal of 2 reheated tacos and rice (and a grilled cheese sandwichas the cake baked)and a one inch cube of coconut pudding (I'm afraid it'll go bad b4 I eat it). I was actually stuffed, and didn't eat the rest of the night!
[color="#483D8B"][size=4]Bigg Papi is what the charm on his thick, gold chain necklace reads. Take away one g and you have his license plates. What can I say? He makes me laugh. So, I took him to my friend's house to a barbeque and it was funny. I begged him to tell everyone about how, being raised as a foster kid in NY, his siblings think he has big $ out here and call him Hollywood, they always call him when there are funeral expenses in the family. He says, "I'm tired of paying for caskets. Next time we're just gonna reuse the same one and keep it in the garage." As far as dating goes, that was our last date, so he's now a "goner", lol. He is too stubborn and closed-minded for me.
Rewind to our first date: Yardhouse's gluten free menu isn't that great. As in: it's just many items from the regular menu, with tags stating what you must order them WITHOUT. The magic word in the gluten free lifestyle: Without. Without flavor. Without sauces. Without texture. Without pretty garnishes. Without regular beer. Without kisses if your honey has had a sandwich or a beer. Without bleu cheese crumbles or won ton crunchies. Without, without, without.
boo hoo poor me. LOL
Anyway, men love the Yardhouse. I love their chopped salad and Redbridge beer and the Lakers on tv. Hence, I go there. So even before the gluten-free menu, I had already used my very own brain power to realize that I could have the chopped salad and a spicy vinegrette dressing. I've had it a few times. However, last week, I got glutened. On our 1st date. And he didn't know. Upon the first strange pang in my stomach, I discreetly popped Immodium. A couple hours after, I excused myself to the restroom. For a LONG time. And then I said that I had a nice time and let's go now. And I gave a hug and got in my Bond Girl Car and dropped the top, as for the wind to distract me from my gurgling tummy, and sped home.[/size][/color[color="#FFFF00"]]***********************************************************************************[/color] [size=3][color="#800080"][font="Comic Sans MS"]Random thoughts from tangents in my mind:
My realtor (whom I used to teach next door to) made a wrinkled-nose type of face when telling me her daughter (who does many things in a "different" way, she likes to say) is on a crazy diet b/c her grandson has autism and it's called "gluten free" or something. Right. Crazy. Right. hmmm. Does she know she's offending me?
I put in an offer on a short sale March 5 and still haven't gotten an answer. I guess it really should be called LONG sale.
My new G1 phone is so awesome! I can google any product right in the aisle! I'm glad my old phone fell in the pool!
I finally got the Flex Spending plan company to realize that I can show comparable prices of "regular" items from ANY store, not just the same store as my gluten free purchases, to get my pre-tax reimbursements.
Honey Nut Chex: I like it! I really, really like it!
Yesterday I ate: Breakfast: part of a Pamela's gluten-free cookie
Lunch: No time to pack, so had to make do with the stuff I keep at work in the freezer and fridge: Peanut Butter Sandwich and some Ian's gluten-free fish sticks w.ketchup
Snack: Raspberries and fruit snacks
Dinner: Reheated gluten-free Mrs. Leeper's colorful veggie corkscrew pasta with Prego sauce and Kinnickick Italian bread grilled on the stove with spray butter and garlic salt sprinkled on top.
Usually I have broccoli, but I ate it all the night before.
Today: Breakfast: A whole row of Kinnickinick Montana's Choc. Chip cookies and milk.
Lunch: Nothing. I was hungry, but I was on the phone. Now I lost my appetite.
Dinner: Going out for sushi with my sushi buddy later. I usually have steamed edamame (soybeans in their pods that you pop into your mouth), albacore sushi (not rolled) with lemon squeezed on top (I don't really like gluten-free soy sauce), and warm mussels with green onions and lemon and cheese, and maybe a scallop sushi roll if I trust the chef[/font].[/color]
[size=3][font="Comic Sans MS"][color="#4B0082"]My lofty expectations for the Celiac Conference were met! It was AWESOME! People just like ME! Vendors cooking and catering to ME, and chucking copious samples my way. (I did have to spit some in the trash, but there were some very tasty morsels as well.) Doctors delivering diatribes about dx and diarrhea and DQ8 and disease and deflated villi and developments in process for protection against gluten. I enjoyed the clarification and question-and-answer sessions with those docs. A formal, sit-down lunch with salads, sauces, and souffles! Yeah, Bay-bay! Waiters serving up without instruction. Table conversations about lengthy journeys to diagnosis, wedding plans for gluten-free cakes, unsupportive spouses, and gluten-free food faves. [/color]
[color="#483D8B"]Foods I hadn't had before that were excellent are:[/color]
[/list][color="#800080"][u]French Meadow Bakery [/u]cakes. I went back for more. The texture and flavors are next-to-normal, which is saying a lot. [/color]
[color="#4169E1"][u]Toro[/u], the Norwegian brand that I've been dying to try but can't find in stores, was amazing. I had various flavors of breads that were outta this world. I'd been dying to try because they have gluten, but less than 20 parts per million, so it's safe for celiacs. Just enough gluten to make it springy and not crumbly.[/color]
I can't recall whether or not I've had [u]Breads from Anna [/u]before but they are good.
[color="#0000FF"][u]Green's[/u] Belgium beer was good. I had Amber beer, which was a good flavor.[/color]
[color="#800080"][u]Three Senses Gourmet's [/u]chocolate souffle was great! Not like I remember the souffle in France, but pretty great by gluten-free standards.[/color]
[color="#4169E1"][u]Betty Crocker's [/u]brownies were great. Their mixes (brownie, ch.chip cookie, yellow cake and devil's food cake) will be in regular stores in June or so. [/color]
[color="#9932CC"][u]Kettle Cuisine's [/u]gluten-free soups. I had chicken noodle. It was good, but not spectacular. Kinda watery and not all that flavorful.[/color]
[color="#2F4F4F"]Companies I already adore, but had more products I hadn't tried b4:[/color]
[color="#8B0000"][u]Schar[/u]- the breadsticks were as tasty as the crackers I love.[/color]
[color="#008000"][u]Kinnikinnick[/u]- I like the animal crackers, I'm eating them now. Crunchy and sweet.[/color]
[color="#8B0000"][u]Celiac Specialties[/u]- I love all their baked goodies[/color]
[color="#000000"][b]Companies whose food I tried and disliked[/b]:[/color]
[color="#FF0000"]Almond Glory- [/color]strong almond flavors, nothing like regular food
[color="#FF0000"]Sweet Addictions Bakery [/color]wedding cake, yellow. Gross texture, dense and disgusting
Other people liked the chocolate one, but I didn't try that one
[color="#FF0000"]Garlic Jim's Pizza[/color]- It was fair. The crust was oily and squishy with tons of herbs. I've had better.
[color="#FF0000"]Arico Natural Foods Company [/color]gluten-free cookie bar-almond cranberry- dry, dry, dry. ucky blucky
[color="#FF0000"]Gluten Free & Fabulous [/color]Cookie Bites- Yuck. AFtertaste is weird (like when they put coconut and sweet rice flour where it doesn't belong)... I'm bringing the rest of the bag to my celiac group b/c one of them who've been gluten-free for lotsa years= appreciate anything gluten-free =will enjoy
gluten-free & Fab also gave a bag of Sweet Savory Bites- it says to spread hummus or cheese on them-haven't tried them yet, but kinda scared to.
[color="#FF0000"]Karmic-health[/color]- Gluten free snack mix- it is ok. cinnamony with gluten-free oats...nothing I'd purchase
[color="#FF0000"]Mary's Gone Snack Stick things[/color]- tastes like birdseed.
Companies I like and buy regularly, but didn't try anything new:
[u]The Cravings Place[/u]- My favorite Pancakes (I add egg) and pretty good brownies
[u]Pamela's-[/u] Hers all taste great, just sometimes they make me bloated...the price I pay
[u]Amy's[/u] frozen meals
[u]Nature's Path [/u](I tried a new cereal, but I didn't like it. I'll stick with organic corn flakes)
[u]Blue Diamond [/u]Nut Thins- not my fave, but they're ok
[u]Gen. Mills Chex[/u]- I guess all the flavors are going gluten-free, but they just gave me a box of Rice Chex
[u]Mrs. Leepers [/u]pastas-I'm cooking brown rice spaghetti right now
[u]Celifibr[/u] Bouillon cubes[/font][/size]
[color="#FF00FF"] [size=4] [font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]My celiac group leader's brother died of celiac complications a couple weeks ago. It's sad and it brings to mind how seriously we have to take our treatment, which is our gluten free diet. Today I read the thread here about [color="#2E8B57"]Joe C[/color], the rapper who died of celiac. It makes me so somber. I wish celiac was diagnosed quicker and more accurately, before it reaps so much damage.
I agree with other post-ers, that it would be great if celiac had a relatable famous spokesperson. At least Elisabeth Hasselbeck's [u]The Gluten-Free Diet book [/u]is coming out soon.
I still love the [color="#2E8B57"]HOUSE episode [/color]about celiac, where the medicine is making the baby sick because the pills have binders with gluten! And the [color="#0000FF"]Men In Trees episode [/color]where the Asian lady's husband is celiac. [color="#00BFFF"]Restaurant Wars [/color](on the BBC) had a challenge with "difficult" customers, including celiacs! Two of the three restaurants messed up and served a bread and a crostini to celiacs! The judge told the chefs to imagine the stress they caused those customers!
On a lighter note...I baked [color="#800080"]gluten free cookies [/color]with [color="#800080"]Pamela's Baking Mix [/color]today and Ghirardelli chocolate chips and they are great! I used the same mix for the [color="#0000FF"]pancakes [/color]yesterday and those were divine! I've got the [color="#0000FF"]Glutino pizza [/color]in the oven now. I put Hormel turkey pepperoni on it. I'm gonna have edamame, too. I saw the Beyonce movie, Obsession, today. It was pretty good. I am excited to see her in concert this summer! I ate [color="#FFA500"]popcorn and Butterfinger [/color]and sour tape candy at the movie! That was my lunch! I need to work out now!
I tried gluten free turkey [u]sausage patties by Shelton's and they were nasty[/u]. Lumpy texture and bad flavor. Last week I cooked bison burgers and even made [color="#4B0082"]veggie pasta (Mrs. Leeper's[/color]) with [color="#2E8B57"]bison meatballs [/color]([color="#2E8B57"]Orgran gluten-free breadcrumbs[/color])-very tasty!
On a surprise invite, I went to see [color="#FF0000"]Joss Stone's concert [/color]last week (sultry, jazzy voiced Brit, young & cute- trademark is she sings barefoot). I like the songs, "Jetlag", "A Right to Be Wrong" and the more commercial hits she's had as well. I'd seen her years ago at VH1's Diva's Live in Las Vegas. Anyway, since it was after work, we stopped spontaneously at an Italian restaurant and I had Snapper with a tomato sauce and veggies and a mista salad with v/o. The waiter had some notion of what celiac was and it was a delicious meal. I wonder if you guys believe me when I say that I've had the best luck at Italian restaurants...they use lots of spices and olive oil (they would never marinate a steak in soy sauce, for example) and all you have to do it emphasis no cc for the bread! Really!
This week we're going to another concert and we'll eat at [color="#4169E1"]Ciao Bella,[/color] where they serve gluten-free pasta. I'll bring along the [color="#000080"]gluten-free croutons (by Gluten Free Pantry)[/color] and [color="#008000"]dressing (Kroger Poppyseed)[/color]I like. Last time they served the REGULAR pasta, but before I ate it, she ran over to take it away! So, when I make the reservation (and to the waiter), I'll mention that they need to use a unique shaped plate to signify an allergy.
I've been taking Ian's gluten-free [color="#008080"]fish sticks and Chicken Nuggets [/color]to work for lunch. The nuggets are good with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce ($1 a bottle).
I've been feeling pretty good lately, except for my wrists. Shooting pains, soreness, and pain when I push myself up or use the can opener. I bought an electric one last week. My mother, her sister, and my grandmother all had [u]carpal tunnel[/u]. My mom wore the arm braces and got better without surgery. I really DON'T want the surgery! My doctor says it's from writing too much at work--12 years of teaching! I have to write 33 report cards that are quadruplicate (thick)! Ugh. It's common with teachers...my friend a year younger than me (he's 32) just had surgery for it and the scar is ugly and a terrible visual reminder that he had to go under the KNIFE! Ugh...I don't want THAT! I must wear the braces. Must. Must[/font].[/size][/color]
[color="#00BFFF"]Last night Travel Dude came over for our indulgence night of American Idol, chili dogs (we pour Wendy's chili over Hebrew National lowfat hot dogs he bakes in the oven and I use Kinnickick gluten-free bun), and romancin. He also brought over Ruffles and (gluten-free) brownies from the pickup window at Outback Steakhouse, but I was too stuffed to eat mine![/color] [color="#0000FF"]My student teacher and I are getting more used to one another. I like her. I just wish she were a harder worker. She's 28, a mom, and finally finishing her degree at her husband's urging. She said she'd rather be a counselor, but after observing one, she discovered they do too much paperwork and she'd rather talk.[/color]
[color="#483D8B"] Anyway, she was gone this morning, so I had the kids sign a canvas bag (I'd ironed a cartoon image onto it, one I'd printed onto that transfer paper stuff) that we'll present to her on her last day. I still have two from when I was a student teacher, and a crafty coffee mug (a parent needlepointed all the kids' names on a sleeve inside the clear part). I cherish them all. I went a little nuts at Michael's and got a canvas wall-hanging that has pockets to hold supplies all over and now it also needs to be decorated for her. I even bought things to sew onto it. And I bought lotsa trinkets to put into the pockets. Like binder clips with apples on them. And puppets. ugh What was I thinking? [/color]
[color="#4B0082"]This is where the silly-ass (celiac) comes in: She has to teach the fractions chapter and to impress her university supervisor who comes to visit weekly, she brought fruit loops for the kids to manipulate last week and this week pieces of BREAD. I just asked that it all be cleaned up.[/color]
[color="#006400"]Random menu: Today I ate Chex cereal for breakfast, celery and peanut butter for lunch, avocado for a snack, and a Heb. Nat'l hotdog on a gluten-free bun with gluten-free chocolate cake for dinner.[/color]
[color="#556B2F"]Tomorrow I have Homework Heroes Lunch with the Teacher. They're all girls this time, and I took their group picture holding their certificates to print onto magnetic paper and cut out for them to keep. They'll also get a certificate, a giant Smencil, and a pink glittery foam tiara to decorate and wear. I'll eat yogurt and berries for lunch, while they eat pizza or whatever from the cafeteria. I set out a fancy tablecloth in the classroom, we eat and chat (they love to have individual attention), and then they decorate the tiaras, doodle on the board, and play games. It's fun, but tiring.[/color]
[color="#FF00FF"] Books I read on vacation that I loved: Honolulu (historical fiction of a mail order bride who came to Hawaii during plantation times), Piece of Cake (true memoir of a crack hooker turned lawyer), and Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy (an Irish author I favor) about a heart clinic's staff and patients and their woes and love stories, fiction.
Gluten Free foods I've tried lately and HATE (whatta waste- must give away or throw out) ugh!:
Ener-G chocolate chip potato cookies- horrible flavor
kinnickick chocolate dipped donuts (frozen)- just gross all the way around