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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Macarons at Madeleine's

I finally made my way to Madeleine's Bakehouse today (yes, I know I'm a slacker) and tried their macarons. Their what? I deal with food in simple terms- you know, like cookie- so just in case you're as clueless as me, check it out on Wikipedia.  THESE THINGS ARE AMAZING!!! They're $1.89 each, but you get 20% off if you get a dozen or a half-dozen. They have 6 flavors, so it was a no-brainer and a little under $10 after tax. Cookie is NOT the word for these delights- I really need to expand my vocabulary. My only complaint: THEY'RE ALL GONE ALREADY!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"What are your thoughts?" I was asked.

You've got to love a friend who knows how to get me going! It all started with a little link on Facebook and a caption asking my thoughts on it. Well heeeeeere we go..........

First of all, HERE is the article I was asked to read. How about you read it before continuing to read this post? That way we're all on the same page.

Did you read it yet?

Yeah, it is pretty long.

It's full of information.

I'm guessing that if you've been at this for very long, you probably know most of what he's saying already.

Are you still just reading my post??

Okay, fine. Click here to READ THE ARTICLE.

Now I will continue.
As I said, my friend posted this on Facebook and asked my opinion. If you've read anything I've written (and if you are viewing these words, I think that counts), you know my response is going to be more than a simple "good article".

The following is my response to his request for thoughts:


August 8th is a big day for the gluten free in Fort Wayne. Casa's new GF menu- which includes pizza- debuts that day (it can be viewed online now) AND The Health Food Shoppe's deli at Cottage Flowers officially opens. If you missed the preview day, you really missed out!! I promise a posting about it is coming one of these days; somehow I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Seriously, you need to check the place out.

Sooo... lunch at Cottage Flowers and dinner at Casa on August 8? Yes, please!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Option for Lunch

The Health Food Shoppe is opening a deli inside Cottage Flowers downtown, which will include some gluten free menu items. Hours will be pretty limited- 10 to 2 weekdays- but if you're downtown or can get downtown for lunch, that's perfect.

I'm thinking I'll need to check out the preview party Friday- how about you?

See the article in the Journal-Gazette HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Attention Walmart Shoppers

I have now found gluten-containing pasta in the gluten free sections of two different local Walmart stores. Please continue to be cautious in reading labels when shopping and do not assume that just because something is located in the gluten free section that it actually is. The item in question comes from Eden Organics. For the record, their gluten free pastas can be found HERE. These are not the pastas I found in the gluten free section. I have contacted Walmart HERE, thanking them for supporting those of us who must maintain a gluten free lifestyle and firmly requesting that they find a better placement for these products, so as not to dangerously mislead shoppers. Hopefully this matter will be resolved as quickly as the oatmeal fiasco with Kroger.....

I was going to link to an old Myspace blog post for reference on the oatmeal, but it seems that the blogs don't have handy web addresses that these blogspot posts do, so this rest of this posting will be a good, old-fashioned copy-n-paste of that entry:



Okay seriously, how many times does a celiac recite the whole "wheat, barley, rye, and oats" line, fully including oats in the category of forbidden foods, even though technically, oats in and of themselves are safe? It's too much to explain, and being that most oats are contaminated somewhere along the way, it's just easier to lump them in with all the poisonous grains for the sake of explanation.
Personally, I don't even try to mess with the certified GF oats because I'm scared it'll be too confusing to me.
Yet.... I was drawn in when I got word that Kroger had labeled its store brand blueberry instant oatmeal as being GF. I bought a box. I was too chicken to actually try to eat it, but I bought it. It says right on the front: "A gluten free food. This product has never contained gluten."
Wow. Their website is quite thorough, so I can trust this label, right?
I couldn't bring myself to try to eat it. I got on their website and sent the following message to Kroger:
"I recently found that on your blueberry instant oatmeal, the package states that it is gluten free. I am concerned about the gluten contamination that so often occurs with oats. Before attempting to eat this oatmeal, I would like to know if Kroger is confident in stating that these indeed are oats that have not been contaminated by wheat, barley, or rye at any stage in their harvesting and production. Thank you for your consideration."
The first reply came a few days later:
"Thank you for contacting The Kroger Co. A Customer Service Representative has received your comments. We have forwarded your message to a Registered Dietitian who will research your inquiry and reply as soon as possible.

Also, please feel free to call our toll-free number (1-866-632-6900) with nutritional inquiries concerning our products; our representatives will be happy to assist you and provide you with the most up-to-date information.

Thanks again for your inquiry, and we look forward to helping you in the future.


Russ Taylor
Consumer Affairs"

Ooookay..... I am now concerned at the fact that they do not have a reply to such an inquiry already prepared. Most of the time when I contact a company online about the GF status of their products, I get the same response that anyone else would get when they ask. Apparently this question has not yet made it to "FAQ" status.
Today I received the promised reply that could truly address my concerns. This is what it said:
Thank you for contacting The Kroger Co. We are always happy to provide additional information for our products. You inquired about the gluten free icon on the label of the blueberry instant oatmeal. We do not recommend our oats on a gluten free diet for the exact reasons you noted in your original e-mail. I have notified our corporate food technologist who is responsible for the product and we have agreed that we should remove the icon from the label. I apologize for the inconvenience this causes you and for our oversight in this matter. Please feel free to return the product to the store. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention so that we can get it resolved. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions.
Maggie Gough RD LD
Corporate Dietitian
The Kroger Company
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1141
Fax: 513-762-4763

No further comment from me on this one!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please eat tacos!

I will be out of town at a wedding, so you must go eat tacos for me this Saturday and let me know how they are. The GF taco cart will be at Sweetcars on Jefferson Saturday from 5:00-8:00. They would appreciate your feedback, and I want to hear all about it too!! You can post your review anonymously here on the blog and also at the Facebook page.

Eat tacos!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kitchen Adventures

First off, I am not a cook. I never was before I had to go GF, and while I may be a little more open to learning new things now, the bottom line is that it better be easy. I don't have time for fancy recipes and special ingredients, and my toddler had better enjoy eating the food too.

I planned to make salad for dinners this week. I bought some chicken and that was going to be my fancy cooking- cutting it up and cooking it on the stove with a little olive oil and Italian dressing.

While my chicken was cooking, I pulled out my other salad ingredients so I could start putting them together. I opened up the head of lettuce and there were some bad leaves on the outside. I peeled them off and found a few more. So I broke that away and there were still more..... yeah, I had a bad head of lettuce. Now what? It's not much of a salad without the lettuce, and I am NOT going back out to the store. So once again it was NoOodles to the rescue!

I threw two packs of NoOodles in with the chicken and started tossing in my other salad ingredients: mushrooms, cucumbers, tons of tomatoes. I even got adventurous in my salad planning and bought bean sprouts, so in they went as well. I dumped in the rest of the dressing and let it all cook.

Here's where I'm not so much of a chef..... all those tomatoes are mostly water. Now I have soupy mess. I don't want soup! Hmm.... what is the best thing I have that can soak up the extra water? Sure, I could thicken it with GF flour, add rice, drain it..... no, I added Notta Pasta noodles. I found out one time- quite by accident- that if you leave them in the water you boiled them in, they will eventually soak it all up AND not turn to mush. I actually like them better that way than following the directions on the package and draining them. So I tossed them in and let it simmer. They worked their magic and I no longer had soup!

I thought it could be fun with cheese too- I mean, that WAS going to be a part of the salad. Another win:

The only problem with this dish is that it's too complicated for my kid. She likes each of the individual ingredients, but this is too mixed-together for her and she got frustrated after a while. I love it though- and it's so much better than the salad would have been.

I had another win in the kitchen the very next day. I had a leftover Udi's hamburger bun that had to be on the verge of stale if it wasn't already there. You know we can't let that go to waste! I decided to make a turkey sandwich with it and use the microwave to save me from the bun's age. I opened up the bun, put a little Miracle Whip on each side and a slice of cheese, and microwaved it for 30 seconds. Then I added my turkey and closed it all up. WOW! I wish I had more buns to make another one of these today. I will be trying this with the bread. Silly me, I always just made my sandwiches cold! This really was amazing- and yes, it received toddler approval. I do believe it's now time to go make some lunch....