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About lpellegr

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    Ewing, NJ

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  1. lpellegr

    Bob and Ruth's Travel Tours - Has anyone tried it?

    Last year I took a Bob and Ruth tour of Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland. Bob and Ruth are a couple who go along, and Bob arranges ahead of time for meals to be gluten-free, then rechecks with the restaurant staff before every meal, which sometimes leads to some last-minute changes. It was fun - we had an itinerary and tour guides and most meals were included, although because the restaurants didn't know what we had previously been served by other restaurants, we sometimes had similar meals. I enjoyed it, although Ruth has some difficulty getting around and as they are aging they may not be able to do this for much longer. The hotels were all very nice, we had some special private tours away from the crowds, and I enjoyed being able to eat safely. I would do it again, depending on price and destination. I'm going to try Italy on my own this year, which they say is easy for celiacs.
  2. I had a coupon for Schar bread, which noted that I should look on the shelves, not in the freezer. I found the Gluten-Free Artisan Baker Multigrain Bread as stated, at room temp on the shelves, and took it home without high expectations. It was double-bagged, sealed into an internal bag surrounded by a normal bread bag, and it says to store at room temperature until opened, then refrigerate. IT WAS AMAZING. It was soft and flexible, and didn't show the slightest sign of wanting to crumble. I gobbled down 3 slices before making myself stop. After overnight at room temp, it was still wonderful this morning. I don't think it will last long enough to get stale, but I was very impressed. I pretty much gave up on bread except for making my own for crumbs and the occasional slice, but this is the first commercial loaf that I thought was worth the price. Ingredients: water, rice starch, sourdough (water, rice flour), corn starch, agave syrup, buckwheat flour, sunflower oil, soy protein, modified cellulose, psyllium seed husk (vegetable fiber), flax seeds, guar gum, apple fiber, yeast, millet flour, sunflower seeds, apple juice concentrate, sugar, quinoa flour, salt, honey.
  3. Many of the homemade gluten-free flour recipes do include potato starch (not potato flour) in them, such as Bette Hagman's flour mix. I think you'll see it often in the older recipes before people started experimenting with flours with more protein (sorghum, millet, etc). It is indeed a useful additive in the right proportion.
  4. I just got a box of Cheerios for the rest of the family, and they say "gluten-free". Which made me wonder how did they do it? I react to oats, ironic after eating 3 bowls of Cheerios every day for 30 years, so I avoid them, even gluten-free, but I was curious. Did they actually use gluten-free oats, and would there be sufficient supply? Wouldn't they have to raise the price? On the back of the box they explain: they SORT the oats from conventional fields to remove wheat, rye, and barley. Okay, that's probably done by computer, and I've seen enough of those "how it's made" shows to know that they can do it rapidly, using puffs of air to knock the offending grains out of the line, but how rigorous is this? I have to assume that they wouldn't claim it to be gluten-free unless they were pretty sure about it, but would you eat them?
  5. I took a cruise on the MS Amsterdam, and as they recommended I contacted them about gluten-free food 90 days ahead of time. They sent me a form to fill out about what gluten-free items I wanted - pancakes, pizza crusts, bread, muffins, etc, for each day of the trip. So did I get that? Heck no. In the main (fancy) dining room I got 2 pieces of toasted gluten-free bread with each meal (and tough as nails - nobody took me up on my dare to eat it), but there was no sign of the stuff I requested, or of any way to ask for it. I would not have trusted the staff of the buffet to handle it safely anyway - no idea whether they had separate toasters, but I doubt it. I did get an offer of gluten-free pasta at one of the optional restaurants, but didn't take it. Clearly they were not in the gluten-free loop and that form I filled out was a sham. I managed to find safe food, but it certainly was limited. At least I didn't go home with the notorious cruise extra pounds. The main dining room staff seemed to mostly understand my needs, and gave me the next day's menu each night to pick out some items that they would check for me, so that was good, but the buffet was clueless. I will be contacting Holland America to tell them about this.
  6. lpellegr


    This site is a year's worth (and more!) of gluten-free crockpot recipes. I like the ones I have tried so far, and you'll see lots of feedback for each one. http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com
  7. The Thai Kitchen soups in the little bags are easy to make without cooking. Squeeze the bag to break the rice noodles into smaller pieces (just to make it easier) and pour the noodles into a cup. Add hot water to cover, add seasonings, and just let it sit until the noodles are soft. Some of the seasoning packages are a little hard to open, so you might need a scissors.
  8. lpellegr

    "gluten Free" Creperie A Charade?

    A small crepe place near me offered gluten-free crepes, and yes, she had a pitcher of gluten-free batter, but she could not dedicate one of the crepe bakers (like a big round stone) to the gluten-free crepes, so I let her know that she couldn't call them gluten-free. I don't think she even has that on her menu any more. Some restaurants need more education.
  9. Yes, the hostess mentioned an iPad, but when the waitress didn't offer it as an option, I figured they might not be prepared to deal with this. Knowing what I know now, I would make sure to ask for the iPad, but really, is it so hard to print the allergy list from the website and just hand it to a customer as they walk in? The food was not worth going back intentionally, but in a pinch I might stop in again. Maybe if the waitress had known to bring up the iPad, I wouldn't be so cranky and would be raving about how marvelous the service was. But not the food.
  10. Not the perfect loaf, but with trial and error I found recipes that suit different needs. One crumbly bread that is good for making bread crumbs. A few loaves that are good for slices. Biscuits, French bread, crumpets, pizza dough. Keep playing around, and make a lot of different recipes until you find some keepers. I have never found one that gives you the texture of Wonder Bread, but there are better and worse versions of homemade wheat bread. I started with Bette Hagman's books 10 years ago and made and re-made and adapted recipes, picking up others from the internet or other cookbooks. Of course I have a houseful of weird flours, but some things are good enough to have to hide from the gluten-eaters.
  11. I agree that it's nice to have the ability to check on multiple allergens, but I wasn't offered an iPad, and I was not planning to go there, I stopped in because I saw the place in a mall I had not been to before and remembered that they could do gluten-free. I didn't know I would have to do homework before I could eat there. I have eaten at restaurants so very rarely over the past 10 years that I was hoping for something nice and easy, and it was neither, so I was greatly disappointed. I expected to be given an actual menu like at PF Chang's or Outback.
  12. I usually use a flour blend from Bette Hagman's cookbooks, so I did the calculations for what they use in the ATK cookbook and got: 80% of the total is my flour mix, 20% is brown rice flour, to substitute for making their mix. This approximates their blend (although without the milk). I found their bread recipes tasted good but the bread was very heavy and dense. I cut the psyllium by 1/3 and that seemed to help, but I don't see this as superior to the usual recipes I make. I might try substituting the psyllium in those recipes and see what happens. In case you're wondering, I prefer Ginger Lemon Girl's Favorite Sandwich Bread, or Bette Hagman's Oregon Bread. Give those a try.
  13. I made the ATK sandwich bread recipe (not in a breadmaker) and found it incredibly dense. I can't imagine trying to bite into two slices of it with a filling. It does indeed taste good and it toasts up really well, but soft it is not. I tried the multigrain bread recipe, cutting the psyllium powder from 3T to 2T and that seemed to help, but it's still pretty dense. You do need to bake it longer than any other recipe I have tried in order to get rid of the unusually large amount of water added. They also recommend a lower baking temperature than my usual recipes, so you might need to adjust the breadmaker settings.
  14. If you don't see the words "wheat, rye, barley, oats" you should be fine. Sometimes you see corn gluten, but that won't hurt you unless you have issues other than celiac disease. Iams dry is safe.
  15. I stopped at a Red Robin yesterday for the first time in about 10 years, because I knew they could do gluten-free, but the hostess told me they no longer print the information because "all the allergy information is on our website". So when I sit down there, there is no information I can use on the menu, and I have to either rely on the server's memory or find someone with internet access. The hostess told me that someone could bring an iPad around for me. Really? This is the best they can do? Is this how Red Robin does it everywhere or was it just this place that doesn't print anything out for customers? I understand that they don't want to print out expensive menus in case their selections change, but you'd think they could at least have a current copy of their online allergy lists printed out. The food was so mediocre (including a gluten-free burger bun that disintegrated halfway through, leaving my hands covered with sticky crumbs) that I don't plan to go back, but I want to write to someone and register a complaint.