Wednesday, October 28, 2009

GF HALLOWEEN CUPCAKES & COOKIES

Still no camera. Still flying blind here.
Victoria just told me that this weekend they are preparing special Halloween cupcakes and sugar cookies. Special treats for you.

So come on out to GF PATISSERIE and check it out.






THEY WON'T LOOK LIKE THIS ONE

...AND NOT LIKE THESE EITHER



MAYBE LIKE THAT SET? NOPE!


NOPE



YOU MAY JUST HAVE TO COME AND SEE!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY!








Tuesday, October 20, 2009

GLUTEN FREE FISH & CHIPS

All from scratch. Fish, batter, fries. Tartar sauce too. Nothing pre made. I bought the fish at T&T Supermarket, I think it was still moving when the guy cut up my pieces...very fresh fish.

While I was prepping the sauce, fries and trimming the fish, Victoria made the batter with gluten free beer.
Actually really easy and it turned out just fantastic. Greasy greatness. I sprinkled the fries with Truffle oil & salt to give them some extra flavor.

The batter was light and flavorful from the beer.
Very unfortunately my camera is now broken (I saw it coming) and I was unable to show an image of the fish inside the batter. The final picture. Did not happen.

But believe me, it was a great meal.

Recipe for the batter at the end of the post.





ALL FRESH, ALL FROM SCRATCH



CONDIMENTS




COD, FRESH




HAND CUT FRIES



EXTRA FLAVOR FOR THE FRIES


HOME MADE FRIES



SMALL PIECES OF FRIED FISH



Batter:
enough for 4 servings, plenty of fish.
3/4 Cup of GF Patisserie flour mix
Salt
2 Tbls spoons of Apple Vinegar
1 Egg
1 Cup of gluten Free Beer
Mix it all up till smooth, drag the fish trough (after you dusted it with flour) the batter, slide into 375F hot oil and wait until golden brown.
Or just come over to our house the next time.






Sunday, October 11, 2009

MUSING LAS VEGAS

Lately I have been reading some fairly negative observations about visiting Las Vegas. Overpriced, tourist trap, only swanky restaurants, no inexpensive options and much more complaining. Some factual, some pure ignorance.

I agree. And not. Vegas is not for everybody. If you lived a sheltered life and don’t know much about the world outside your comfort zone, Vegas is not for you. You will get eaten up and spit out before you knew what just happened. If you have ANY streak of addictive personality, do not go to Vegas. That city is built with money from people like you.
On the other hand, Las Vegas lets you be whatever you want to be and will not judge you. Never.

Having spent some glorious years there, I feel however that those folks do an injustice to Las Vegas, because there is more, much more to Vegas than the strip. Just because your dinner was overpriced and not as good as your last meal on the Calgary tower, does not mean that the whole city is overpriced and full of bad chefs. It’s tough to judge a city by having spent three nights on the most touristy mile in this world.

During my last visit, which was a working visit, I just had to double check if I am blinded by those bright lights and maybe too blue eyed myself? I did not think so and that quick stint just confirmed that Vegas is a great city if you are willing to venture outside your security blanket.

For the very first time, I stayed downtown. When we lived there, we did not even visit downtown, so this was a first. $47.00 USD a night at the Golden Nugget. Taxes included. Did it on Priceline and got a newly renovated room with mountain view.
This was also the very first time I had a chance to see that light show you always hear about. Yes, Freemont Street experience. Compared to Stephen Avenue mall, great. A must see? No. But hold on, wasn’t that a Bryan Adams song? Go Canada!

Food. This post would be pages long if I were to write about all my passion of food in Vegas. So I keep it brief and about my last visit there.

Chipotle. Lots of them. The best fast food Mexican and for under 10.00 you are full. Corona included. Yes, a Cerveza.
In-N-Out Burger. Nothing in Canada comes even close. You can keep waxing on about the Burger Bus, it’s a dump. Sorry.
On the mid price side, well, we got Earl’s Joey’s and Cactus Club. In terms of chains. If you were to go there blindfolded, you would not be able to differentiate between any of the three. They might as well amalgamate.
My last evening there, I visited BRIO , a mid size chain serving American Italian food. We only had an hour, so we opted for the bar and appetizers. Happy hour. $2.95 specials for about 8 different appetizers.
What can you get for that here? Supersized fries at McDonalds? There, Carpaccio. Not a big order, however it’s a bargain. Not to mention the flatbread, Bruscetta, sliders, etc. all for $2.95.

I did not want to bring grocery stores into the discussion, but if the Strip is out of your (eating) league, less than two miles (ten bucks in a cab) south of Mandalay Bay is a Whole Foods. Which by the way, we will never get in Calgary. There they have three. Plus four Trader Joe’s and a couple of Cost Plus World Markets.
But then we got the Farmers Market. Great. Finally something Vegas does not have….

On the higher end side of dining, any comparisons are futile. My last fine dining experience in Calgary was on 17th Avenue this spring and while it was a good meal, it left me somewhat disillusioned. It’s not just the food that counts when you spend 150.00/person, the whole atmosphere is supposed to be part of it. And (Yes, one more comparison with Vegas) it just was not there. Sorry to say.

Vegas may be a fantasy, but it sure is a good one. Why don't I move back then if I love it so much you ask? I am happily married to a Canadian, that's why. And it's all about compromise isn't it?

Here are some websites for you to experience Vegas outside the tourist traps and even less expensive:

www.biddingfortravel.com (here you can see what people pay for hotels/cars)
www.priceline.com

http://thestrippodcast.blogspot.com/
http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/blogs/dmckee/

www.traderjoes.com (check the flyers…)
www.wholefoodsmarket.com
www.worldmarket.com









Less than 50.00 a night


A different kind of waterslide.



Brio. Cool place. Inexpensive.



Sitting on a patio, October 8th, no heat lamps...


Interior





Steffen & Kiki, long time friends












Still a great grocery store
















Shortcut chef, a great name for convenient food











Saturday, October 10, 2009

MAGGIANO'S LAS VEGAS

I ordered the Tiramisu to go.

PASTA! AVAILABE GLUTEN FREE





No croutons.....



UN STANZA



Wynn's across the street





Maggiano's little Italy. Located right above Cafe Baba Re Ba in the Fashion Show Mall in Vegas. When we visit Vegas together, I always get stuck at Baba Re Ba, which in itself is a great place. But I always glance upstairs, thinking of their Pasta and Tiramisu.

This trip I went sans Victoria and naturally took advantage and went upstairs. Tuesday night, a 250 seat restaurant fully booked. What recession? I could not believe it.
Just a short, worthwhile wait though, we got a great table on their veranda, overlooking Wynn's properties across the street.

Maggiano does not have a GF menu, but they do offer their pasta dishes with gluten free rice pasta. And I highly recommend you go and try them. It's a chain and you will not regret the trip.

I ordered Linguine with clams in a red sauce, Caesar's salad (without Croutons) and Tiramisu. My client ordered Veal (can be made GF), a side of pasta. As you can see, it's a friendly place for Celiacs.
To boot, a couple of musicians serenaded the crowd and I even recognized them from way back when they played for us at Zeffirino's, a different Italian restaurant in Las Vegas.

Friday, October 09, 2009

GLUTEN FREE RICE CHEX

All ready for Thanksgiving? Got all you gluten free things bought and ready to cook up a storm? Let me offer you breakfast. Gluten free.
If you happen to visit GF PATISSERIE on Saturday, go early.

I brought back a few boxes of Rice Chex for you. My suitcase is not the largest. I focused on the honey nut flavor. VERY limited quantities. $5.00/family size box.













Thursday, October 01, 2009

GLUTEN FREE STUFFING RECIPE

ALL INGREDIENTS



SAUTE THE ONIONS, CELERY AND GARLIC



CUT THE ITALIAN FLATBREAD INTO SMALL CUBES


ADD CHOPPED PARSLEY ( CAN BE FINER CHOPPED, I AM NOT PATIENT)



ADD SAUTEED VEGGIES



ADD EGGS & SOME BROTH - MIX IT ALL UP






BAKE FOR ABOUT 25 MINUTES @325F






EAT (AND TELL ME ABOUT IT)





Just in time for next week's Fest, here is a basic recipe for some really good, gluten free stuffing.
I used GF PATISSERIE'S Italian flatbread, but really, you can yuse any GF bread as long as you like the quality. Don't use crappy bread, because you get crappy stuffing.
Keep in mind, I don't weigh things, just go with my househusband instincts....
One loaf of Italian flatbread makes about 4 cups (or mugs maybe) of cubes....
1/2 Cup of finely chopped celery
1/4 Cup of even finer chopped onions (who came up with CUP as a measuring tool?)
Garlic What? No Cup? I used four cloves.
S&P (obvious)
3 eggs whisked a bit
Chicken broth ( to moisten it a bit)
Oh. yes, chop some parsley.
You can also add some Craisins, if you feel festive.
Put the stuffing into a well schmeared dish, cover it up and bake for about 25 minutes, the last 5 minutes uncovered for some browning.
Really easy to make, alter ingredients to your likings. I'd love to see some of your images....email them to me and I will post them on here.