Monday, March 30, 2009

GF PATISSERIE WILL BE CLOSED APRIL 15TH TO 18TH




Get your orders in. Email, phone, fax, whatever it takes. Victoria and Lauren are going on a holiday that week. Well deserved.

They will re-open with regular hours on April 22, 2009.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

LAZY SUNDAY SANDWICH











With more snow arriving all last night and today, this is going to be a lazy Sunday. With the food to go with it.

I took some of GF PATISSERIE'S Italian flatbread, toasted it and filled the loaf with some of my favorite combinations. St. Andre triple cream Brie cheese, Mortadella, my Dalmatian Fig spread and some fresh basil leafs. Quick and easy, but possibly one of the best sandwiches I came up with. Fig and Brie goes very well together. Add some fresh basil leafs....

Victoria got one of those indoor growing thingies at Christmas and despite my initial reservations of it ever producing anything, we have fresh basil at home all the time now. Great bonus when living in this country with this kind of weather.
Life is good. Never mind the snow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

SPRING GOODNESS AND LITTLE PETER COTTONTAIL







Calgary may not be ready for spring, but GF Patisserie certainly is. Victoria and I (hey it's Lauren...haven't posted in a while!) have started to get pretty tired of the snow, its officially the new season! To help get us in the mood, we made spring-themed sugar cookies for everyone to enjoy.

Mutual effort goes into making these, Victoria bakes them off, and I do the finishing touhes. I quite enjoy singing "Little Peter Cottontail" as I decorate...the bunny rabbits are my favourite! Oooh sprinkles! They'll definitely bring out the kid in you. But after all the effort that goes into them, I am glad we can enjoy these little edible creations.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

GLUTEN FREE PASTA CARBONARA
















Rizopia makes the best rice noodles hands down. I heard something about imported noodles from Italy, but until I get my hands on those, Rizopia is our gluten free noodle provider.

Today I made Fettuccine Carbonara, the "wet" version. My preference is the dry version without cream, but my family likes my creamy sauces, so they got it. Such an easy dinner to make, just mix it all up little by little and you get some great Pasta. The egg yolk goes in raw at the end, to add some extra flavor to the whole thing. And yes, the cheese is from COSTCO.
They had a great selection of Pecorino Romano this time, had to buy one for my cheese drawer.


I also bought my first Dandy lion salad today, I liked it, but the large leafs was too bitter for the girls. Have to wait for younger leaves.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GLUTEN FREE TRAVEL


Dang. I am not even a Celiac. Just a considerate husband. As I am prepping a short trip over Easter WITH Victoria, I'd better look up what's new on the GF front in the USA. To make it a smooth trip for the family.

I thought I travel lots, but today I found a couple of Blogs of real road warriors.
I mean they travel. All the time, all the places. All GF. Great reads for those of you who are travelling for work or fun and always look for that place to get some GF food. Here they are:




Monday, March 23, 2009

GLUTEN FREE CRAB CAKES






















Crab Cakes are one of my favorite appetizers when we dine out. It is also an appetizer I cannot share with Victoria, as I have never seen them made without gluten. COSTCO to the rescue.

During a recent trip I saw this bucket of crab meat in a cooler. Reading the ingredients, you know it's a winner. Crab meat. Nothing else.

As a binder we used GF PATISSERIE'S gluten free bread crumbs and some eggs. (Don't throw out any of your left over GF Bread says Victoria, let it dry out and make bread crumbs)

Some minor flavoring, a nice Wasabi Remoulade as condiment and the perfect crab cakes for Celiacs are ready.












Really much easier to make than you would think. Go to Costco, there are three in Calgary!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MARCH 22ND 2009, CALGARY


I cannot believe it.

Why? What am I doing here? It snowed again last night. This is it. I am done.
It's time to start looking for a place to live at like this one:




Join me?

Friday, March 20, 2009

GLUTEN FREE HOT DOG BUNS











OK. So. It's tough for Celiacs out there. No food at the hockey arena, the ball game or even at the community pool? A salad? Maybe? I feel for you. Especially after I read this: http://www.glutastic.com/show-me-the-buns/ It's brutal. Expensive already, but also terrible in quality. Not to mention no GF Food.

Having mastered a gluten free Hamburger bun already, I suggested to GF Patisserie that a GF Hot Dog bun is the next logic step. I do agree with Caitlin from Glutastic that such a basic staple of North America's leisure life should be available to all people, intolerance or not.

Though Lauren sometimes can be incredibly grumpy and stubborn (which I think she got from her mother), she did get on this project with much zeal and created a prototype gluten free Hot Dog Bun.

Ah. I present: GF PATISSERIE'S Hot Dog Bun for Celiacs. Some improvements needed, possibly for sale next week. Just in time for BBQ season.
Yes, I used Frankfurters and not Wieners! Freybe brand, 100% gluten free.




Thursday, March 19, 2009

GLUTEN FREE DIET - ARTICLE


Michael Zimmerman, MD, our Gastroenterologist in Las Vegas, has sent me another article about the boom of GF Food in the US.

This article is from a trade magazine, Progressive Grocer, and describes how the adopting of a gluten-free diet is becoming an increasingly popular solution to alleviate complications from the numerous medical maladies associated with wheat and gluten consumption.


Read it here:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

GLUTEN FREE CREPES














































While I spent most of my Sunday here,



Victoria apparently went on to work on the perfect gluten free batter for Crepes.
After I pointed out a recent blog post by this Blogger:

where I watched a video about a Crepe stand in Malaysia of all places, I really wanted Crepes. Victoria came through.

I love Crepes. In Austria, which long time ago was a really big empire with a varied cuisine, we call Crepes "Palatschinken". Those thin pancakes did not originate in France, but in Hungary, which way back was part of Austria. Of course. You knew that. Right?

Catholic as the continent is, on Friday you eat no meat. Austria being landlocked, substituted many of the standard Friday fish savory food with sweet dishes as a main course instead of dessert.

Apricot dumplings, huge portions of apple strudel with vanilla sauce and of course Palatschinken with all sorts of fillings. History lesson over.

So Victoria took a standard recipe, substituted the all purpose flour with her own gluten free mix and went on to prepare me the best dinner of the week. Really, a Crepe does not need all that much flour to begin with, just a bit to bind the batter.

The key is to have a good pan, heat it well and be quick when running the dough into the pan.
Nothing beats a half dozen Crepes with all those sweet fillings. Apricot jam, Lingonberry sauce (from IKEA) with whipped cream and the king of all Crepes, Nutella with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

Life is good.





Saturday, March 14, 2009

GLUTEN FREE WAFFLES







The weekend. Time to spend with Isabella and her friend. Sleepovers, play time and of course a good breakfast. Most important meal of the day. So they say. "They" have not seen my breakfasts.

What was the main request? Waffles. Of course. With loads of whipped cream, berries and real maple syrup from Quebec. So I made a patch of gluten free waffles for the kids, hot chocolate with the leftover whipped cream. No surprise all of Isabella's friends want to sleep over at our house?

My camera was malfunctioning, so the images are from previous posts. The round waffle iron is at the house, the square ones are from GF Patisserie.
They have to make them weekly as they sell as fast as their breads.

Friday, March 13, 2009

GLUTEN FREE SHORT CAKE & ST. PATRICK'S DAY











Just in time for the first warmer weekend of this season, Lauren perfected GF Patisserie's short cake recipe. The short cake is filled with Strawberries and whipped cream, fluffy and very moist. She was kind enough to bring home a taster, I gotta tell you, it's excellent.

And in preparation for next week's St. Patrick's day, GF Patisserie has made the obligatory green thing.
Cloverleaf shaped cookies with green royal icing. How ingenious....well, not really. The Irish...what can I say. Just another excuse to get drunk? Or in my case, eat all the left over cookies? Regardless it's a fun day in the neighborhood.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

SCHARFFEN BERGER CHOCOLATE TASTING
















As of late, many articles have been written about a new trend of artisan chocolate makers and the fans of high percentage chocolate. "Single bean", Terroir", "Limited Vintages" to just name a few of the buzz words I read about. Sounds vaguely familiar to some wine enthusiasts I have encountered over my years in the hotel industry.

Well, I got an expert in the house, so I decided to put some bars to the test. After all, Isabella's favorite chocolate is a complex,two toned, single cast, hollowed out piece of chocolate with a surprise twist at the end. The Kinder Egg.
So qualified, she must be able to taste the underlying flavors of cherry fruitiness, paired with wafts of earthiness before the cocoa bean smacks you on the head, for which Scharffen Berger is so famous for. Right?

Four different bars to the test, ranging from 41% cocoa content, all the way up to 82%. Pure luxury for chocophiles. Ehm, I can just picture those dinner parties, where for dessert you get just a single bite of a variety of bars to taste. Would I spoil THAT party. A bite? You must be kidding.

Anyway. A glass of milk (?) to rinse her palate after each different bar and Isabella is ready for this highly scientific experiment. Very much like with a cheese board, I start Isabella out with a bite of the mildest bar. 41% Extra Rich Milk Chocolate.
How is it, I asked. "Good." Not exactly what I expected as a response, compared to some knowledgeable chocolate lover's descriptions I have read so much about online and in airline magazines. Oh well. Good is better than spitting.

Onwards to 62% and 70% cocoa contents. Semi Sweet and Bitter Sweet. How are they? "OK."

What do you mean OK? Can you taste anything else than Chocolate? The look Isabella gives me after that question....yep, Papa can be weird sometimes. I kept probing for any flavors, such as Tar, Leather, Grapefruit. Nothing? Are you sure?
Now she is asking to call her Mom, a sure sign Isabella is getting freaked out.

Major milk rinse. Or was it just a giant gulp to wash down that unfamiliar taste of a 70% cocoa bean bar? Isabella did not tell me. I suspect latter. Not such a big grin anymore. Only one more bar, Isabella. I promise. Yes, this one will be the best one.

82% EXTRA DARK by Scharffen Berger. A highly praised, sensuos chocolate treat to some.
Isabella takes a bite, let's the piece melt a little on her unspoiled taste buds just like a pro, contemplates the experience, looks at me.....and ....."More milk please." "Quick, please."
But Isabella, can you tell me first about the flavors please? No? Are you crying? OK, OK. I'll get the milk. Experiment over.
Maybe I should host a dinner party next time.

Here is a review from a great, informative and educational Chocolate Blog I am reading:


My personal favorite? Read about it here:






Thursday, March 05, 2009

A GLUTEN FREE FREEZER
















Quite a while ago now I ate my last bun from my favorite bakery in Calgary. Guenther's on 17th Avenue SE.
That bag was the last gluten stronghold in our freezer. My go to bag for a really good jam bun. If you are NOT a Celiac and read this blog, treat yourself to Guenther's baked goods. You won't regret it.


Anyway. I digress. Since Victoria experiments at home with new recipes, durability of products in a freezer and so on, we have turned over the freezer to our fellow gluten intolerant people in the house. Lucky for me, Lauren and Victoria turn out a great tasting variety of carbs, otherwise I think I would have to invest in my own freezer in the basement. Today while cooking, I wanted to make some garlic bread and had a peek in the freezer...ah now that's worth a post I thought.

The mess, the ingredients, the experiments, it's all there in plain view. Ground Poppy seeds from Austria, loads of Haagen Dazs in different flavors, a set of those bestselling Nanaimo bars (Thanks to Caitlin from www.glutastic.com), a couple of Pizza shells, some peas and corn, but mostly excellent carbs. All breads from GF Patisseriere. 100% gluten free. And proud of it. I am converted. Successfully.