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About lpellegr

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    Ewing, NJ

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Hi All, My 31 yrs ago my son was diagnosed with celiac, he was at deaths door, but were able to "fix" him, thank God. I just got a Kitchenaid 600 pro mixer, and I want to make him a bunch of bread to freeze and have handy. He hates all the store bought ones he has tried. He is just sooo intolerant I'm afaid to try any "gums", I want to use unflavored gelatin. Can anyone tell me how much to use per loaf?  My son has a family of four and career, but is always hungry! I also plan to get the pasta attachment, to make him gluten-free pasta. I could use any and all tips, and maybe some easy bread recipes, I have Trader Joe's gluten-free flour, with no gums in the ingredients. HELP........Thanks...a loving mom, Celeste ( He CAN eat yeast)

    Your son might be able to keep his hunger under control by adding more protein (meat, eggs, cheese), and eating fewer carbs (bread, pastry, pasta).  I'll stay full much longer after 2 eggs scrambled with cheese and spinach than after a bagel or several bowls of cereal.  Making pasta for him is a nice gesture, but the gluten-free pastas out there usually have simple basic ingredients (no gums!) and are much easier to have on hand when you want them.  Try a few and figure out whether you prefer corn (falls apart quickly), rice (Tinkyada is good), quinoa, or other types of gluten-free pasta.  Don't worry too much about xanthan gum.  It will be hard for your bread to hold together just using gelatin or eggs or other non-gum methods.  Feed him natural, unprocessed foods for a while until his guts heal, then you can try something with more exotic ingredients like xanthan gum (which you can find in all kinds of foods - even candy and ice cream).

  9. Basmati is great for soaking up interesting sauces, so put it under stews and Indian food or chili.  I like the Chicken Makhani from http://crockpot365.blogspot.com, but it has a lot of ingredients.  In addition you can make rice salads or pilafs - there are hot or cold rice dishes with raisins and nuts, carrots and celery, cinnamon and garlic (sounds odd, but it works!) with various dressings.  Look up Persian Rice or rice with raisins.  Here's an example http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/8837-rice-with-raisins-and-cinnamon.  There are also recipes for basmati rice pudding.  Now I'm hungry.

  10. The 5 qt (and I think the smaller size) can handle a 4-cup bread recipe when I double a 2-cup recipe, so you should have no problems making 2 loaves at a time or 1 large loaf.  If you do a lot of baking consider getting a second bowl so that you can make another recipe while the first one is being washed (I'm too lazy to wash by hand sometimes).  Also consider getting the special loaf pans that King Arthur Flour has for gluten-free bread - they really do a nice job, and you get square slices instead of short wide slices from a regular loaf pan.

  11. Rinsing is not recommended for many white rice brands, because the removal of the outer layer that takes it from brown rice to white rice removes a lot of nutrients.  Some rice brands are sprayed with nutrients to put back what was lost, so the package will say "do not rinse before or drain after cooking".  If you do, you lose the added nutrients, but if you have a decent diet and don't live on rice, chances are you'll survive the rinsing.

  12. Making your own bread crumbs is not too hard.  Take any bread (I bake my own, but any will do, and if you make your own it doesn't have to turn out pretty) and tear or cut it into pieces.  If you have time and a safe place to do so, let them air dry overnight, but you can skip this.  Put them in a casserole dish in the oven at 250, and set a timer for 30 minutes.  Stir it to shuffle the pieces, set the timer for 30 minutes again.  Keep doing this until the pieces are all dry and starting to brown.  You can even leave them in the oven overnight after you turn it off (just leave yourself a note stuck to the oven controls so you don't forget!  Not that I ever have.... :P).  Store them in a plastic bag or other container until you have time to destroy them in a food processor or blender.  If you get them completely dry, they will last a long time at room temperature.  If you make neat cubes, you can use them as croutons - saute up in olive oil with some seasoning.