My Salute to David Puddy

All of you Seinfeld fans will know exactly who I am referring to.  For those that don’t let me explain.  David Puddy was a rather interesting recurring boyfriend character for Elaine on the hit Seinfeld show during the 90’s.  He wasn’t very bright and was known for staring at nothing, his constant break-ups with Elaine and my favorite line “Feels like an Arby’s night.”

Puddy video

Today I salute you David Puddy by eating a Roasted Chicken Farmhouse Salad from Arbys.  I decided to get it without the onions….I’m not a big fan of eating hunks of raw onions in my salad.  This is a very simple salad, but the addition of bacon makes everything better, right?

Okay…..I’ll confess.  I also ordered the value sized Jamocha shake you see pictured.  I don’t want any judgement!  I have had a really busy week at the office and thought I deserved a little treat with my salad.  At least that is my rationalization 🙂

If you get a craving for an Arby’s salad or a Jamocha shake…don’t blame me….blame David Puddy!

Gluten-Free Vendor Fair Coming to Georgia

I just learned from some of my gluten-free cyber friends that a gluten-free vendor fair is coming to Norcross on Saturday, October 22nd.  This fair will have a sampling of gluten-free foods. Many of the more than 80 vendors will offer vegan, casein-free, and dairy-free products in addition to gluten-free wares.  There will also be speakers and cooking demonstrations.  Each year there is a raffle fundraiser with products donated by exhibitors.

Admission this year was $10.00 per person with kids 12 & under free.  This could be very beneficial to those that are going on the gluten-free diet for the first time.  The fair will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Hilton Atlanta Northeast hotel in Norcross.  The phone number for the hotel is 770-447-4747.  Last years fair had over 1,300 attendees and they expect attendance to be higher this year.

If you are interested check it out!

Got Milk?

Several weeks ago when my colitis was acting up I started looking into foods that can aggravate it.  It seems that there can be many triggers that can cause your tummy trouble like caffeine, chocolate and dairy.  Since I don’t really ingest much caffeine and there was NO way in hades that I was giving up chocolate I decided to cut cow milk out of my diet.  I had become accustomed to having a glass of the cow juice every morning with my breakfast either in a bowl with cereal or in a glass by itself.  I had tasted soy milk before and I gotta say…..NOT a fan!  I decided to try some of this almond milk that I had been hearing so much about.  The “original” flavor did not impress me.  The smell and lack of flavor did nothing to win my taste buds over so I tried the “vanilla” flavor next.  YUM-O!  Okay….I can deal with this!  It was creamy and I loved the hint of vanilla flavor.  I have been drinking this brand now for a couple of weeks and I am happy to say my stomach has not had any bad reactions.  As a matter of fact, my colitis hasn’t acted up in a while now…..YIPPEE!

I’m not sure if I have found the solution to all of my stomach issues, but for now I am loving the almond milk.  I buy the Blue Diamond brand because it goes on sale quite frequently at Publix and Kroger and coupons are usually very easy to find.  If you haven’t tried it yet check it out and let me know your thoughts.

I just have one question though…..do those little nuts have udders?  I don’t know how they get the milk out of them, but my stomach is thankful!

Let’s streak!

Who doesn’t like to get naked, right?  I kid….I kid.  No, I’m not talking about the drunk guys that run onto a field during a game buck naked because someone dared them to show their manhood.  I’m actually referring to the burrito streaker at Moe’s Southwest Grill.  A streaker is any burrito they have on their menu minus the tortilla so they put all of the yummy gluten-free ingredients into a bowl so you can still enjoy the best part of the burrito. 

Mondays at Moes are $5 burrito days so your streaker will qualify for this great deal.  FYI– the corn chips are listed on Moe’s allergen info as containing wheat or other glutens so you may want to stay away from those.

I chose the Homewrecker Streaker which includes sour cream and guacamole.  Doesn’t this look yummy?

Making Whoopie!

I decided to try out the Land O Lakes gluten-free Whoopie Pie recipe this weekend.  I used the Betty Croker gluten-free devils food cake mix and the cookies turned out great.  I decided to make a homemade caramel sauce, but didn’t have any cream so I tried substituting vanilla almond milk.  Either I cooked the caramel too long or the almond milk substitution did not work because there was a strange taste to it.  We opted instead to just fill the whoopie pies with the vanilla icing mixture.  They were very sweet, but quite delicious.

I saved some of the cookies and filled them with mint chocolate chip ice cream and that was a really yummy treat too. 

All in all I think this recipe was a success even with our caramel issues.  Next time I’ll try adding the caramel and see how that enhances the flavor.

Whoopie Pie Ingredients:

1 (21-ounce) gluten and wheatfree chocolate cake mix

1/2 cup LAND O LAKES butter melted

1/2 cup water

3 eggs

1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup LAND O LAKES butter, softened

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup prepared caramel sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

Combine cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, water and eggs in large bowl; stir gently to combine. Let batter rest for 30 minutes.  Heat oven to 400°F. Drop batter by slightly rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.   Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to wire cooling rack.

Place 1 cup butter in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed. Add caramel sauce, 1 teaspoon sea salt and gluten-free vanilla. Beat until well mixed.  Pipe or spread rounded teaspoonful filling onto bottom of 1 cookie; place second cookie, bottom-side down over filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. TIP: Letting batter rest allows batter to rise and increase volume of whoopie pies.

 

An Empty Bottle

An empty bottle holds so many possibilities.  It can hold delicious olive oil, potpurri or in my case some infused vodka!

I was paying a visit to one of my favorite stores, Cost Plus World Market, recently and I saw a bottle like the one pictured above.  I immediately remembered an episode of 5 Ingredient Fix where Claire Robinson infused vodka with some delicious fall flavors.  So this has become my project for this weekend!  I bought some vanilla bean, crystallized ginger, some cinnamon sticks and a sugar or pie pumpkin.  Once you put all the ingredients together you have to let the vodka sit for a week and then strain it and enjoy.  I will start the process this weekend and report back next weekend once I get to sip on this yummy elixir.

Can’t wait to see how this fall vodka turns out….wish me luck!

Land O Lakes is the Bomb!

I was reviewing Hip 2 Save’s site today and I came across this little gift…..Little Joys Recipes by Land O Lakes brochure in a gluten-free version.  Christmas has come early my gluten-free friends!  Check it out here:

Little Joys by Land O Lakes

All of these recipes look yummy, but I have to say two jumped out more than the others for me.  Gluten-free whoopie pies with a salted caramel filling…..my mouth is watering already!  The other that caught my attention was the Red Pepper Asiago Gougere Cheese Bites….no yeast….YEAH!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the holiday season to try some of these out in my kitchen.  As I try them of course I will share my experiences here.

Three cheers for Land O Lakes!!

Gluten-Free Pasta at Romano’s Macaroni Grill

I was invited to go to dinner recently with some old work colleagues and Romano‘s was chosen as the restaurant.  We chose the Ashford Dunwoody location.  My first thought was….I guess I’ll be ordering a salad…again.  I reviewed their allergen menu online and thought my eyes were deceiving me when I see gluten-free penne listed.  YAHOO! 

ALLERGEN MENU

Once we got to the restaurant I decided to order the Penne Rustica and stated that I needed to have the gluten-free pasta to our waiter.  His reply to me was “That is going to take a lot longer to cook.”  What kind of a response is that?  I told me that I was fine with that.  I had my heart set on pasta so my mind was made up.  They brought the lovely little loaf of bread to the table with the olive oil to dip it in.  I knew that I couldn’t dive into that, but I was content in knowing that I was going to eat penne pasta in a cream sauce with roasted chicken and shrimp…..yum!

Once they brought my entree I requested some fresh parmesan cheese grated on top and then I dove in.  I didn’t take a photo of  the dish for fear that my old co-workers would think I was a dork when I told them “I need this pic for my blog.”  Overall the dish was decent.  I got one piece of  chicken that had some grisly stuff on it and only got 2 shrimp in the entire dish, but I was still happy that I was eating PASTA and not eating rabbit food.

Romano's Macaroni Grill on Urbanspoon

Quiznos Mediterranean Salad

I used to go to Quiznos all the time and eat their toasty sandwiches.  The way the cheese would melt under that broiler was enough to make my mouth water.  Now I am relagated to order one of their Farmers Market Salads, but doesn’t this one just beg to be eaten?  This salad contains chicken, an Italian cheese blend, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, black olives, banana pepper rings, and cucumbers.  I absolutely love the Tzatziki dressing that you can get for this salad.  It’s creamy and tangy and goes really well with the banana peppers.

I eat this salad about once a week and I think it is tasty and affordable. 

Try it and let me know what you think!

Quiznos on Urbanspoon

Fiery candy

On a recent trip to Whole Foods I couldn’t resist passing by the candy section.  My eyes immediately turned to the chocolate bars that sat on the shelf.  Each decadent bar seemed to be calling my name, but one seduced me more than the others.  The Chocolove Chilies & Cherries in Dark Chocolate peaked my curiosity. 

I’ve never been one of those people who enjoys intense heat in their food, but I have always been curious to try chilies and chocolate.  After carefully reviewing the ingredients to make sure the bar was gluten-free I tossed it into my basket.  I took the bar back to my office and waited like a good girl until after I had eaten all of my lunch.  I peeled off the wrapper and noticed there was a poem inside from Romeo and Juliet.

“My life were better ended by their hate,

Than death prorugued, wanting of they love.”

The seduction of this bar was blatent!  I broke off one small square and was greeted by the smooth rich dark chocolate….and then….it hit me!  The chilies made their prescence known, but not in an abusive way.  My tongue danced on the heat and then tasted the tangy sweetness from the cherries.  I took a small sip of my water, but the heat in my mouth was not overpowering.  I took another square and then a third as my taste buds became alive with the sensation of the heat.   This bar was bold, intense and when she was done with me I was totally satisfied.  Wham, Bam and Thank you ma’am!