Tuesday, August 16, 2011

GLUTEN FREE WEDDING CAKES IN LAS VEGAS


Over 120 000 weddings are being held annually in Las Vegas. Or, over 300 each day.... Theoretically, if you consider 1 in 133 is afflicted with Celiacs, that makes a pretty large number of gluten free wedding cakes per year sold in Vegas.
Guess what. Hard to get one. Very hard.

A while ago I checked out one of the oldest, most established bakeries in Vegas, they simply were not interested in gluten free cakes at all. Not even cupcakes. No reason given, just NO.

Enter Beau Monde Bakery. 100% Gluten free, 100% taste. 


They have hired a couple of very talented bakers and are offering gluten free wedding cakes, birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, any gluten free cake really. Zero cross contamination.

Call them, talk to them about your special day, the color you want, the decor you want, the flavors you want. Butter Cream, Fondant, decorations. They will be able to make it for you, gluten free.
Below are some of Lauren's creations at GFP, the rest are from Trisha, one of the bakers at Beau Monde Bakery. (702) 331-1515




















Sunday, August 14, 2011

LE SARMENT BRULANT - COGNAC














We happened to be in Cognac during the annual Blues festival and while we wandered the streets to listen to the different groups and singers play, we walked by a wood fired Pizza place, The Burning Branch (Google Translate...). It was jam packed inside and out, but my trained eye for a good Pizza caught the characteristic charred edges on some plates, which in my opinion is a sign of a good Pizza.

After the Festival was over (we missed Moby by a couple of days, but then he is not exactly Blues is he?), I dragged the family back a few days later, in the hopes that Victoria and Isabella would be able to eat anything, while I eat PIZZA!
The did not have GF Pizza, but were able to make Moules Frites in a creamy bacon sauce without gluten for Victoria and Isabella had a Kid's size Steak Frites.

As we walked through the restaurant to their patio, we saw the wood fired cook top, whereas the Pizza oven was inside the kitchen.
Excellent choice. In the unlikely event that any of you go to Cognac soon, this place is worth it.
The mussles that Victoria had were excellent, Isabella's steak was good.  The desserts were classic french, GF Mousse au Chocolat and GF Creme Brulee. Lauren and I shared a Tarte aux Pommes, topped with Creme Anglaise, which was heated in the wood fired grill and was the best dessert of all.  But not GF.

The bill, including two aperos, came to 67.00 Euros, around 94.00 bucks, not a bad deal for what we had.

When I did the Google translate, I came across this video, which shows this Restaurant up in flames in 2010. Glad they reopened it.


Friday, August 12, 2011

RENTING HOLIDAY HOMES IN EUROPE

It's not for everybody. But if you are somewhat self sufficient, want to explore regions around Europe on your own terms and have a budget, this is the way to go to Europe.
Aparments, houses and Gites come in all forms and sizes, from rural rustic, to luxury upscale. They come with kitchens, which if you have an issue like Celiacs do, comes incredibly handy, some have pools, some have a farm attached, the selections are endless.

First we visited Hinterstoder Austria, a small alpine village where my parents still rent out the two apartments where my sister and I lived before . About 800 sqft, we had two bedrooms, full bathroom, living area and a quaint dine in kitchen. An incredible mountain view from the balcony and the house is located right next to a river.

To give you an idea, here is their listing, a family of four can rent this apartment for as little as 350.00 Euros a week. A bargain.

http://www.tiscover.com/at/xlayout/portal/accommodation/206173at,en,SCH2/objectId,ACC660281at,season,at1/home.html

Our second holiday home was near Cognac in France, where we rented a Gite for a week.
A rural location meant for a relaxing week. The place itself had a pool which we shared with two other families (great for the kids). Well equipped, we had breakfast every morning, lunch and dinners a few times as well.
Mostly salads and cheeses, but a couple of times we actually cooked full meals as well.
France is a bit more expensive to rent place at, this Gite was 750.00 Euros a wekk.
There are plenty of sites to find Gites in France, such as these tow. Book early if you want the good ones. No matter what the economy does, Europeans take holidays....

http://www.gites-de-france.com/


http://www.holidayhomesdirect.ie/

For a complete, worldwide selection of holiday rentals, check this site out....

http://www.vrbo.com/

As I said, it is not for everyone, you gotta cook your own meals, do the dishes, be somewhat social (quelle horreur pour moi), but all in all, we really enjoyed our holiday.
So much so, that Victoria is waxing on about a gluten free Gite in France. You know, cook your own meals, but she will bake her breads, cakes and such and even wants to offer gluten free High Tea. Vhat? Who will serve all that? Me? Oh no.

Maybe we have to hire Manuel for that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwYPCFfbhZM&feature=related






HINTERSTODER, AUSTRIA

THE HOUSE IS LOCATED NEXT TO THIS RIVER


VIEW FROM OUR BALCONY


FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN


SCHLAFZIMMER

CHALET EDLINGER



MORITZ THE CAT


RELAXING BY THE RIVER

 GREENERY EVERYWHERE


UP THE MOUNTAINS


THE POOL IN FRANCE


GITES DE BRIVES, COGNAC


RENOVATED BARN


ISABELLA WATCHING CARTOONS IN FRENCH


KIDS SHOULD RULE THE WORLD. NO WARS.


THEY DIDN'T HAVE THAT MUCH FUN AT THE BAKERY

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

VIVA LAS AREPAS - LAS VEGAS


An update on this post: Quality and gluten free seems to pay off. The owner has opened a restaurant and turned the kiosk into a Taco stand. Read more here:





From Wikipedia:

The arepa is a flat, round, unleavened patty made of cornmeal  which can be grilled, baked, or fried. The characteristics vary by color, flavor, size, thickness, garnishment, and the food with which it may be stuffed, depending on the region. Arepa is a native sort of bread made of ground corn, water, and salt which is fried into a pancake-like bread. It can be topped or filled with meat, eggs, tomatoes, salad, cheese, shrimp, or fish.

Just imagine a gluten free hot pocket, then you know what they are talking about.

This little Kiosk on Las Vegas Blvd. was the food find of this trip to Vegas. Located across the street from the Olympic Garden (which offers a totally different gluten free experience), the kiosk owner Felix prepares these excellent gluten free bites.

I tried quite a few different fillings, all very tasty,  #7 being the standout. I liked it so much that I dragged Victoria and Isabella into the 'hood, who after overcoming their trepidations about the surroundings really enjoyed the Arepas as much as I did.

So, when in Vegas you have to try this place. 1516 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Here are some more reviews:









 A FOOD TRUCK WITHOUT WHEELS.....


ON THE CORNER OF LAS VEGAS BLVD & WYOMING


EXCELLENT PRICES

PICTURE MENU FOR TOURISTS LIKE ME


THE OWNER

 CORN PATTIES ON THE GRIDDLE


STUFFED WITH ALL SORTS OF GREAT FILLINGS


VERY FRESH


SKEPTIC ISABELLA.....



.....LOVED IT