Sunday, November 30, 2008

LAURA BUSH ATE HERE






But not the prez. Strange. Maybe GW does not like dumplings.

Anyway. I am here in China, taking care of my business and of course tell you about the trip.
My first lunch was in Beijing at a restaurant well known for it's dumplings. My local contact who is China's largest organic vegetable producer, and a supplier to this restaurant, took me there before I headed off to the next city.


When in China, and dealing with chinese business people, you learn quickly that food is a very important factor of life. I don't mind....my suppliers all know my limits when it comes to strange items I will not eat. So I eat. A lot.


Mr. Lee is probably the best contact I have in Beijing, he lived in the US for many years, so he think like a local, but also understands my approach when doing business.
Always let your host choose the dishes to be served, a simple rule of etiquette here. You can't go wrong most of the times.

This particular restaurant had a show kitchen, where you can watch the staff prepare the dough and stuff the dumplings with a great variety of fillings. Some simple condiments with a variety of heat to go along, great company this great, simple meal made for a great start of my trip.

The four of us had drinks, salads and loads of dumplings, the total bill came to ten bucks.
Hmm, maybe GW does not like frugality? Listen to your wife. Always!

Friday, November 28, 2008

GLUTEN FREE CHEESECAKE--THANK MARTHA

Lauren again, taking the place of theceliachusband (who is currently in-flight to China). There will be posts a-plenty when he returns.

One picture does it all in the name of cheesecake.

I've been making this since our second month, and there has yet to be a weekend without a cheesecake since. It's too good, the customers just can't do without it!

Of course, I thought for celiacs the problem was always the crust...until I figured out that a lot of restaurants make the cheesecake itself using flour--so not even a taste from the top for those daring (or desperate?) enough just to get some of its creamy goodness.

Flour is just a way to cut back on using eggs (ohh science! oh cost-cutting technique!), but I find it to be a big no-no for a good cheesecake. Only the best. And for this rich and creamy pleasure for your mouth--besides the fabulous buttery crust created from our own cookies (am I making you drool yet?)--we have to thank Martha. Stewart that is. We have enjoyed this cheesecake recipe for as long as I can remember, few and simple ingredients, and an end result that is (to quote many customers) "the best cheesecake I've EVER had!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OMA'S RUM TRUFFLES



So I'm filling in for Peter (aka The Celiac Husband) a second time to prove I'm a good fit to blog while he is leaving to China for business. Weird calling him by his first name, but I don't know how many people would understand if I started throwing "Papa" in the mix...



If there's anything that gets me excited, it would be anything to do with Europe. Austria in particular. Haven't gotten my chance to see France, Italy, etc. yet, so it remains my personal favourite place to go. The idea of goodies from Austria excited me years before I got a chance to visit.

Long story short, Peter is actually my step-dad, but you'd never know it. No evil step-parent cliche to throw in here, sorry! Until I was fourteen, Oma (that's grandma) was known to me only through the parcel of cookies sent every year at Christmas. Often it arrived late and we feared the postal service decided they deserved them more.





Crescent cookies, jam cookies, a cornflake cookie, and everyone's favourite...rum balls. For the sake of our customers, they will be deemed as Oma's Rum Truffles, because they are anything but your typical old-cake-soaked in rum-balls. No old cake here, best leave that for Punschkrapfen...

The pictures prove it. Made with Austrian rum (yes, it does make the difference), and rolled in coconut, they are delicious.

General notes:


-you might become addicted


-getting greedy will cause you to smear it on your face


-no, it will not make you drunk ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

GLUTEN FREE FRUITCAKE


PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGES













Fruitcake. Repressed childhood memories. Flavors so strange and strong for a kid's palate.
Marinated orange zest, bright red preserved cherries, nuts and dates, all of which were trounced in strong alcohol. No surprise really that this traditional Christmas cake is not the most popular treat around.
And yet, people still order it. Traditions are traditions I guess.

So Victoria set out to create an excellent gluten free version of a fruitcake. She already got orders for them. Very much like with all her other treats, Victoria has chosen the best tasting ingredients and left out chemically enhanced fruits.

California Almonds and Pecans from Georgia are the nuts. Raisins, cranberries, a mix of dried apricots, pears, peach, plum and sour cherries make up the fruit base of this creation.

Top all that with a glaze of Austrian apricot jam and rum, decorate nicely with fruit and nuts and even I am tempted to take a bite this year. A bite. Not more. I leave it for you. If you leave me the cheesecake.

Cruel dad I am, Isabella and her friend Ceilidh were my guinea pigs this morning. Guess what?
They liked it!! "Yummy, and it's so pretty".

Friday, November 21, 2008

LAUREN'S GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE







Lauren is going out tonight. Lauren is too busy writing a post to you. Teenagers. What can I say.

So let ME tell you what she made today.




The perfect Chocolate Mousse on a cake. I love Chocolate Mousse. She used their Callebaut chocolate and created a light, chocolatey Mousse cake that is PERFECT. I could not have done any better. If you are in or around Cochrane Saturday, stop by and buy a piece. Eat instantly. Reward yourself. Don't worry, they have napkins at GF Patisserie.






Thursday, November 20, 2008

EATING IN CHINA











I am getting ready for my final trip to China of the year, now that I have Lauren to post about GF Patisserie, that's perfect.
I will make an effort to write some stories from China.

Food seems to be top priority for chinese people, almost a ritual come to think of it. The images were taken in a factory kitchen, where I once visited. At sharp noon the boss told me "time to eat".

Me thinking Western, I wanted to finish business first, but he insited, because if we don't go NOW the workers will eat all the food. This is an artisan workshop with maybe 25 people.
All comes to a stop and they all line up for their lunch.


I have observed this all over China, not only in my suppleir's places, but in office buildings, city streets and elsewhere.

Food is their pleasure, food is their right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A LITTLE REFRESHMENT...?

So you were promised a guest writer, and a guest writer you've got. Lauren here, from my beloved laptop. Alright, despite my ability to type well, my blogging style is not nearly up to par with the celiac husband, but I'll give it my best shot. I say this because my own blog has one post, from the end of the last school year.

Those who know me best know I like to be really technical about some things, I could go on about the difference between store bought and artisan breads. You can really appreciate a good one. Hey Papa, we haven't been on a Sunday round of the bakeries in a while...hint hint.

But obviously here we focus on gluten-free. One of the things I miss about making regular bread is the variety you get to choose from. So why not the same for gluten-free? I get bored making the same thing over and again, so a new flavour combination was the way to go, especially with Christmas just around the corner.




Behold... the Cranberry Pecan Flax Baguette...quite the mouthful! Can't say this combination of ingredients hasn't been done, but the result today was fantastic. Paired with a good creamy cheese (think Brie or Camembert) and you have an instant hit for your holiday parties.

Friday, November 14, 2008

GLUTEN FREE TIRAMISU!











Since I am getting a bit busier these days, I don't have so much time to sneak around the bakery. So my updates about those tasty treats are very short notice.....not to mention I hardly get any treats for myself.

Besides all the standard classics, Lauren and Victoria made Tiramisu for today. I tested their gluten free version a week ago and must say it is as good as the one.


Anotehr fresh treat today is the Cheese cake with a Gingerbread crust. Sounds very interesting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

GLUTEN FREE WIENER SCHNITZEL













THIS IS A RE POST FROM JUNE 10TH


Ask any Austrian for his/her favorite dish and you will get one of two answers. Pork roast or Wiener Schnitzel, usually 70/30 in favor of Schnitzel. WE LOVE SCHNITZEL.

In the past we tried to make Schnitzel with crumbs from Kinnikinnick or some other store bought rice based bread crumbs. Not going to knock those products too hard, but it just was not so good. Especially for me.

Today we ground up some of Victoria's sandwich bread that we left out on purpose so it dries out, to see how the bread turns into crumbs. Victoria sliced the bread, let it sit out for about 48 hours to get rid of any moisture, before she put the slices in a food processor.
A fantastic result. The bread turned into outstanding bread crumbs.
They browned nice without burning, the Schnitzel stayed crispy and did not get soggy at all. I would say it is the closest to "real" bread crumbs.
So don't throw out your old gluten free bread, make GF crumbs!!

Add some fresh parsley potatoes, lingonberries,(European cousins of our Cranberry, you can find them at IKEA) , a green salad on the side, it makes for a great dinner.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WHOLE FOODS IS THE HEALTHIEST GROCERY STORE



PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGES

























I was not going to post any more stories about las Vegas, but today CNN had a segment about the healthiest grocery store in North America.


Unfortunately we do not have one here in Calgary, but Whole Foods was in first place and during our trip to Vegas we went to visit the latest Whole Foods there.
I'll just post the images, you can read all relevant comments on this article:




Not cheap, but a dream to shop.

Monday, November 10, 2008

GF PATISSERIE DELIVERY SERVICE






Victoria is working on a small website for GF Patisserie and I got a sneak peak today.
The site will be just like the store, personal and simple.
No Flash animation or other gimmicks.
We all know it is easy to build a site, but it's extremely hard to maintain one.

One thing that caught my eye, is a potential delivery service of Gluten Free Baked Goods in and around Calgary. For $10.00 only. Hmmmm. Not impossible, but tight. So I decided to buy the delivery vehicle for Victoria....this way she can stay within the budget.



Sunday, November 09, 2008

THIS FLOUR MIX MAKES GREAT PASTA!






















Victoria already made a point that gluten free bread can taste very close to the real thing, using her flour mix.


GF Patisserie's bestselling products are her breads. All of her breads are well liked by her loyal customers. On a Saturday, even the freezer is empty.



For a while already I kept mentioning to Victoria that she should try to make noodles for the family, using her flour mix. And today she did. Now, for non Celiacs, with regular glutinous flour both wheat or semolina, you can produce some fantastic noodles. Nothing beats fresh Pasta with a good sugo or sauce.


Once a suitable recipe was found, Victoria went to work duplicating it with the gluten free flour mix from her bakery. Patience is one thing my wife has oodles (rhymes with noodles) of, much more than me.


And patience she needed to make this work.


The result is astounding to say the least. Hand cut gluten free noodles, we have to get a Pasta maker now, as the very first version was a bit too thick still and it would work much faster with one of those machines.






Saturday, November 08, 2008

GLUTEN FREE TAPAS






















The Spanish kitchen. Not as well known as other European exports from Italy and France, but nevertheless, very good.

Maybe most famous for Paella, that Saffron rice dish they make so well. That alone should make Spain a popular country to visit for Celiacs? Unless of course you can find a resto closer to home.

Here is my feeble attempt on that dish:

http://theceliachusband.blogspot.com/2008/08/paella-la-boqueria.html
Then there are Tapas, those small appetizer plates, both cold and hot versions. If you visit any bars in Ibiza or Barcelona, there will always be olives, ham, cheese and other treats on the menu that you order with your drinks.

In Chicago, a very well known restaurant group called LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU (
http://www.leye.com/), has taken the tapas concept and built a successful restaurant concept around it.
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba serves a great selection of Sangria, that sweet wine drink with fruits, as well as Paella and other classic Spanish dishes. Exciting times. There is one in Vegas.....so obviously we had to go there.
Bacon wrapped dates with cider vinegar are pretty much the ultimate flavor explosion on a small plate. We like them so much, we make them at home now.
Fried hot padron peppers, spicy paprika potatoes with tomato aioli, manchega cheese and Serrano ham, seared chorizo, txistorra, butifarra & morcilla sausages........I stop now. It's too good.And all gluten free!

By the way (Lorne), they also have cooking classes where they teach you how to make Paella and other spanish dishes.