Tuesday, July 29, 2008

T&T SUPERMARKET











One of my personal favorite stores to shop for groceries is this regional chain in Western Canada (5 stores in Ontario also). T&T sells predominantly Asian products, which does not mean that's all they carry. Their rice selection is by far the largest I have seen in any store in Canada.

Yesterday I went to see the store manager at the Harvest Hills location to inquire about a few things and he was very helpful.
One of the shortcomings for Celiacs is their vast selection of ready made foods, as they use exclusively Chinese soy sauces, of which none are GF. No good for Celiacs. Stay away.

However, if you spend some time and go from aisle to aisle, you can find some real treasures to cook with.
Indonesian Trasi (Shrimp paste) for Nasi Goreng, Tom Yam for Thai Coconut soup, a large selection of GF noodles and many more snacks and ingredients that are just very very unique.

Their fresh seafood section offers everything you need to make a great fish based soup or curry.

If you get their flyer, it is well worth it to check out their meat specials as well, last week it was beef tenderloin. Too fresh to cook right away, I usually let the filet dry age in my fridge for about two weeks before using it.
If you like vegetables, local or exotic, you will love T&T. For a real spectacle go on a weekend when all the Asian population seems to shop and watch them select their veggies. Funny stuff.
I bought Basil yesterday, you get about five times more for your money than what you would get at COOP or Safeway.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

THE PIZZA!















For me, Pulcinella's in Kensington makes the best Pizza in Calgary. If you like thin crust.
Not such a good place for Celiacs. Flour all over the place. It's not dusty in that place, it's floury.
Nevertheless one day I took Victoria there, if not to eat, but for her to see what makes their Pizza stand out.


Good dough of course, but also simple, fresh ingredients. More is less on a Pizza, plain tomato sauce, fresh basil and Buffalo Mozzarella is all you need for the perfect Pizza Margarita. I likes some meat on mine, a good Salami (not Pepperoni), or Prosciutto. Or both for me. Anchovies give it a nice salty kick. Yes, I know, Anchovies?....just try it once, you may start liking anchovies!

One very important matter is the baking process. Not everybody has a wood fired Pizza oven, but heat is key. GF dough takes longer to bake as well, so it is maybe better to prebake the bottom a bit, otherwise the toppings get over cooked. Sort of happened today....they still turned out better than any Pizza Victoria made me eat from any gluten free places. MUCH BETTER!




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COCOA PEBBLES





We looked everywhere since back in Canada, but cannot get this cereal anywhere. Regular grocery stores or health food stores.

Lucky for us, my dear friend Tim from Las Vegas sends us a box here and there to satisfy the cravings.

Made by Kraft Foods for Post, when you call their 800#, depending on who is answering, they will tell you that Cocoa Pebbles are made in a dedicated facility. No cross contamination. The next phone call may sound totally different..Over all the years both Victoria and Isabella never had a reaction, so we consider it safe.


This rice based cereal is by far Isabella's favorite, she especially likes the chocolate flavored milk that's left in the bowl after she is done with the cereal. So on your next trip to the States, buy some! No other chocolate based cereal comes even close, says Isabella.

Monday, July 21, 2008

MINI PANINI






Gluten free bread mostly is difficult to use for grilled cheese sandwiches or paninies. Not sure why that is, but in the past I found it hard to grill with store bought breads. In comes Victoria's creation. Her bread is really good to grill with.


Good ingredients are essential if you want a good authentic Panini. I use mostly Salami and Mortadella as a base and add different things around it, to make it more exciting.
Today I used Prosciutto as well, added some Asagio cheese and filled the centre with grilled peppers and a couple of basil leaves. Medium heat works best on the grill for me, maybe 3 minutes, 4 tops and it's ready to enjoy.

GF PATISSERIE RENOVATIONS




Slow renovations, but I can see it coming together very well. Good.
They are making progress, but Victoria is not ready to give me an opening date yet. Soon. That's all she tells me. Oh well.
I will keep you posted.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BIG JUICY HAMBURGERS




Nothing beats a classic burger once in a while. With all the right toppings, caramelized onions, greens, tomato, add some bacon & cheese. PERFECT

With Hamburger buns from Kinnikinnick ( I still have to look up how to spell that name).

Everybody is happy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

MARKET DAY IN BEARSPAW





Week 7 and going stronger every weekend. I am really proud of Victoria and Lauren.

Their efforts for the Celiac community is outstanding, the product is fantastic and most important, the response is overwhelming. People call from church, wanting to put product on hold, the service took longer....gotta love it.

Victoria and Lauren can't wait to get into their permanent space in Cochrane and even out the weekly supply and demand curve a little. There certainly is a time limit to serving 9 different GF baked goods fresh on one day only.


Once they are up and running, watch out! I have tasted some incredible waffles this past week, I predict another winner. We ate them both fresh, as well as tested them toasted after three days in the freezer. Be amazed.


Friday, July 11, 2008

DAS SUSHI BOAT












Up in the northwest of Calgary, is a Sushi bar we frequently visit. Right from the very beginning of going there, we made sure it is safe for Victoria to eat all their ingredients. the only thing she always brings along, is her own soy sauce.



Whenever you are not sure about eating something, just ask the staff to show you the packaging, so you can read the label yourself. Though I knew that their Wasabi is GF, we asked to see the bag to ensure they have not switched brand. All safe. We are still waiting for the confirmation on the seaweed they use (it is imported direct from Japan without food label....), but there are plenty of choices without and on request they prepare any roll without for you.






For the first time they had a dessert on the floats today, an excellent Pannacotta, also safe to eat.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

HAPPY CUSTOMERS AT THE MARKET




It has been 6 weeks already since Victoria started to sell her fresh baked Gluten Free cakes and bread. By now she has already a good rate of repeat customers who come loyally every Sunday to buy a few things. Feedback is very positive with many of her clients expressing their excitement on the new permanent location in Cochrane. (More on that tomorrow)


Today was the first time Victoria did bring her cupcakes and they sold out pretty quick. So there will be more next Sunday

I will be taking some more shots of happy customers next week too, so come on by and you will be put on my blog...I had to leave early today for some work at the new bakery in Cochrane, but I was able to take a couple of pics.


Megan is one of Isabella's good friends from Bearspaw School. She is on the gluten free diet, and she came by today with her dad to stock up on goodies for the week.