Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mike's Lite Hard Lemonade

In the recent weeks, there has been quite a bit of talk about the new gluten free version of Mike's Lite Hard lemonade.  I had read that testing had been done to certify that the lite beverage is indeed gluten free, including an ELISA test being done.  Before going out and buying some, I did some checking on their website.  Mike's indeed has used the ELISA test and results are 5ppm or less, way below the required 20ppm.

Only two flavors are currently labeled as Gluten Free, the regular lite hard lemonade and lite cranberry hard lemonade.  Mike's states that neutral malt base is the core of all their products, but only the lite beverages have been tested.

I gave in and bought a six pack.  There is a bit of an after taste at first, but the lite hard lemonade tastes great!  I would attribute the after taste to the natural sweetners (stevia).  I have become pretty sensitive to gluten contamination in the last six months and will react within 45 minutes.  No reaction!  It will be nice to be able to hang out with friends at get togethers or at a softball game and have an alcoholic drink that is not wine!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Location, Location, Location

Have I mentioned how stubborn both D and I can be?  We both are pretty strong willed, to say the least, and will stand our grounds.  To that end, I've taken the discussion of location off the table.  We are still a good year or two away from opening and because of that, probably the best idea.

In the meantime, we still have research to do on opening a business and requirements by the state of Illinois.  Not only that, but only having two cookie recipes that I know are good, is not going to cut it.  It's time to get back in the kitchen and keep baking.  I have one new cookbook that I got a week ago that I am excited to start trying recipes from.  Some of the recipes are sugar free, others are dairy free.  It will be interesting to see how they taste and how other's react.

I also have a cookbook that I won in a contest yesterday that focuses on taking out processed sugar.  I'm excited to get that one and start experimenting.  I've picked up more agave nectar and some coconut palm sugar.  I've used the agave nectar once and have never tried the coconut palm sugar.  The palm sugar is to replace brown sugar and is from the sap of a coconut tree.  Interestingly enough, the brand I bought states that they do not recommend for diabetics as the glycemic index of the sugar can fluctuate.  It will still be interesting to try and also a good note to use in baked goods that I want to label as sugar free for diabetics.  I'll blog more after I get the cookbook and have tried a recipe or two.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Starting a Business

A few weeks ago, my best friend sent me an IM and told me that I won.  After going back and forth, what I won was the discussion over the years that he should open his own restaurant.  Come to find out, he wants to open a gluten free place.  Of course, I jumped on the bandwagon and will be a 50% partner.

Gluten Free Bistro has been born!  It will be another year to two years before the doors of the retail business officially open.  The business will be located in Illinois where my great business partner is located.  The discussion of where in Illinois is still being debated.  Definitely outside of Chicago is what we both are agreeing upon at this point.  It will either be in one of the burbs outside of Chicago or a little further where there is not many options for individuals that are either gluten free or have chosen a gluten free life style.

What exactly will Gluten Free Bistro be?  A bakery for one.  I love to bake and love having the option of fresh made items instead of buying frozen cookies, cupcakes, etc and having to de-thaw.  The other have of the bistro will be salads, soups, and possibly sandwiches or even daily specials.  This side of the business is still in development and under discussion.

I have to admit I was on cloud nine the weekend I found out.  This has been something I have been thinking about over the last year to two years and have been looking into opportunities here and there.  The great thing about this partnership is my best friend is familiar with restaurants and has worked in them off and on through the years.  I bring the gluten free knowledge to the partnership.  I am always learning when it comes to the baking side, but that is what life is about.  You never stop learning and growing and improving!

The next year is going to be interesting as we journey through the process of opening a business.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First GIG of Metro Denver Quarterly Meeting

The new Metro Denver GIG chapter held their first quarterly meeting yesterday.  It was really great to meet new people that either have Celiacs, Gluten Intolerance, or just follow a gluten free diet for a better lifestyle.

The meeting was started with going around the room and having everyone introduce themselves and talk about when they started a gluten free diet and why.  It was interesting to hear the different stories and symptoms people have, as they are not always the same.  We had individuals that have been gluten free for up to 10 years and for as little as two months.  For individuals that kids with celiacs or gluten intolerance, it was suggested that having a card with your child's picture on it and the allergies is quite helpful for school. It helps the teacher identify your child and keep in mind the allergies if any food is to be brought into class.

Katie did a great presentation on coconut oil.  I had never heard to much about coconut oil before or even cooking with for that matter.  It has a much higher smoke point then olive oil and is just as good for you.  It's best to stick with a virgin, cold-pressed, and unrefined brand.  Artisana is an example of a good brand to buy.  Coconut oil also has a long shelf life and won't turn rancid as quick as other oils such as Safflower.

May is Celiac Awareness month and lots of events are coming up.  GIG National is currently working on the 2011 Chef to Plate Awareness Campaign.  It will be a week of restaurants sponsoring gluten-free eating, sort of like the Restaurant week that Denver has earlier in the year.

Interested in GIG?  Check out the information on!

Dinner this Week:

Sunday night is Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.  I love my meatloaf that I have created!  I don't measure any of the ingredients, but it's a mix of A-1 Sauce, Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, BBQ Sauce, minced dried onions, garlic powder, an egg, and GF bread crumbs.  Who says that meatloaf has to be tasteless!! :)

Weeknights will be a simple pasta dish - Quinoa shells, evoo, balsamic vinegar, pepper, italian diced tomatoes, and Dubliner cheese.  I'll also probably make a cornish game hen and this will give me left overs for lunch as well.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Udi's Whole Grain Bagels

Udi's Whole Grain Bagels are finally here!!  In the last E-newsletter that Udi's sent out in late December, they mentioned that they were now offering Whole Grain and Cinnamon Raisin Gluten Free Bagels.  Needless to say, I made sure to stop by my local Vitamin Cottage to see if they had them.  Unfortunately, they did not, but were more then happy to order a case.

It did not take long for a case to arrive.  In fact, I went in on a Wednesday evening and by Friday morning, had the call that the case was in.  The downside was that I had to wait until I returned to town after the holiday's to get them.  I came home with three bags!

It was worth the wait!  The Whole Grain bagel is just as good if not better than the plain bagel.  It has the same great flavor from their whole grain bread, but in bagel form.  This morning, I toasted half a bagel with a little cream cheese.  Heaven!  I'm looking forward to making a bagel sandwich later this week for lunch at work.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year!  I wish everyone all the best and happiness in the new year!

For a change, I actually stayed awake until midnight.  It was my traditional at home new year's eve - quiet and just relaxing.  The highlight was finally talking with one of my dearest friends on the East Coast.  It was already midnight there and an honor to be able to wish the family a very happy New Years!

I hope to do more baking this year and work on experimenting with converting recipes.  I finally tried a gluten free pie crust from scratch at Christmas and it was a success!  I did an apple pie with a crumb topping again and it was delicious.  I even made my own fried onions at Thanksgiving for Green Bean Casserole.  A little too heavy handed on the cayenne pepper, but it was heavenly to have that dish again.

I've now been gluten free for 4 1/2 years and feel so much better!  I have not had the stomach issues that have always plagued me.  The one thing I have noticed is that I am becoming more sensitive to cross-contamination.  I guess it's time to be more careful and strict! That and time to exercise more and eat better. I love finding all of the new gluten free foods that are coming out, but the calories are high.  So, for one of my New Year Resolutions, it's time to start eating healthier and try to stay away from some of the processed food.

Today, I am going to use up the leftover ham from Christmas and make Scalloped potatoes and ham.  I know, high in calories and carbs, but I love my potatoes! :)  I have made it even more fattening by using a mustard cheese sauce in place of the traditional white sauce.  It gives it so much more flavor and will provide some lunches during the week.  This is good as it means I won't eat out and will be saving money! Tomorrow, I will probably do sushi take out from my favorite Chinese restaurant.  I had planned on having the sushi for New Years Eve, but cold weather and snow nixed that idea.  Was happy to just work from home and stay off the roads!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Canyon Bakehouse Update

Great News!!!  Canyon Bakehouse announced on Facebook today that their Gluten Free Hamburger buns will be in Whole Foods this weekend for Memorial Day!  Looks like I will have to make a trip to Whole Foods and try them this weekend.