Wednesday, September 25, 2013

GLUTEN FREE EGG PASTA RECIPE.


Victoria is making gluten free Pasta from scratch lately. Quite an undertaking? Not so, she says and much better than any store bought.  And since she is making egg noodles, there is added protein too. Which is the least of my concerns....I just love a good bowl of Pasta.

Maybe I am biased, but her GF Patisserie flour is indeed versatile. It's the only mix she ever uses, now and back in the bakery days. While there are tons of choices out there, I have not seen any supplier offering just one, perfect for it all, gluten free flour. 

Currently it's available at below GF Patisserie licensees. Some of them may even ship if you ask.


The Recipe:

350 - 400 gr of GF Patisserie flour (Results will vary with other gluten free flour mixes)
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp salt
4 Eggs (room temperature)
4 TB Oil (Victoria used EVOO)
4 TB Warm Water

In a big bowl mix dry ingredients, make a well (dig a hole), add the eggs, warm water and oil. Blend all ingredients with your hands until the dough comes nicely together. Break into small portions for easier rolling and cutting. 

For cooking, bring a pot of salted water to boil, add the noodles and cook the noodles for not more than 3 minutes (they are fresh....). Strain and add sauce of your choice. If you do not want to cook all your noodles, they do freeze well.  

How easy is that?


FETTUCCINE CARBONARA

PASTA BOLOGNESE

GF PATISSERIE FLOUR 

MAKE A WELL, ADD THE EGGS

ADD WARM WATER AND OLIVE OIL

HAND MIX WET INTO DRY INGREDIENTS (LIKE AN ITALIAN NONA)

THE FINISHED PASTA DOUGH

PREP THE ROLLING SURFACE WITH SOME GFP FLOUR

BREAK INTO SMALLER PORTIONS (FOR EASIER ROLLING AND CUTTING)

SPRINKLE FLOUR ON TOP TO AVOID STICKING

RUN IT THROUGH YOUR PASTA  MAKER

 THE BEST PASTA DOUGH YOU WILL HAVE EVER MADE

OR HAND CUT THE DOUGH IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A MACHINE

FEEDS SIX


Saturday, September 21, 2013

LA BRASSERIE BORDELAISE


This lunch has been in the making for a while. On our last trip to Bordeaux Victoria chose Mexican food( a fairly safe bet for Celiacs), and this weekend I finally was able to pick this Brasserie for lunch. It's been in my list for a good six month now.
When you walk by the place with the red awnings and all the wines along the walls, it's a very inviting look. And their reviews seem very good as well.

Though I emailed them about a gluten free meal and they acknowledged the possibility of it, the staff was a bit shaky when I brought it up during ordering. "Normally it should be", as an answer did not sound as confident as one would want them to be, so Victoria opted out of a full meal and was happy to eat half my fries. 
Gluten issues aside, La Brasserie Bordelaise is a great place to eat. Not only was my steak the best so far inside France and it was served medium rare as ordered. Only on my way to the restroom did I see the explanation for a good piece of beef. They age their beef in house to ensure good quality. 
While waiting for the food, we watched some of the other diners' plates go by and there were some great looking dishes to be had. 
One of the tables in my view had a Foie Gras Bocal appetizer which I would have ordered to share, but without any bread, no dice. Not sure how they would react to a "bring your own bread" request, but it's an option. My direct dining neighbor at the bar chopped away at a giant Andouillette aptly named "Gargantua".  I should have taken a picture. 
Desserts were fine, a nice choice of sorbets, fresh fruits and of course Creme Brulee. 

Being in Bordeaux, no wine selection at a restaurant should be a surprise, but this place offers 400 different wines, many by the glass. Bottles, racks, cases all displayed throughout the restaurant, with one section of wine under glass on the floor. Great concept. When in Bordeaux, check it out. Especially if you enjoy wines.





RUE ST. REMI

LOOKS SMALL

WE HAD LUNCH AT THE BAR

A FEW COMMUNAL TABLES IN THE FRONT

OBVIOUSLY THE CRUDITES ARE GLUTEN FREE

WINES, CHAMPAGNES, COGNACS AND ARMANACS

ISABELLA AT THE BAR

SO FAR, MY BEST STEAK IN FRANCE

YOUR OWN DINING CAVE

THE PLACES JUST GOES ON AND ON


TAPENADE 

LUNCH SIZE STEAK (OR BREAKFAST SIZE IN COLORADO)

HOUSE MADE MAYO FOR THE VERY GOOD FRIES

THE OBVIOUS CHOICE FOR CELIACS, CREME BRULEE

THE CONDIMENTS

BRING YOUR OWN (GF) BREAD. THE FOIE GRAS LOOKS AMAZING

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

COOK AT HOME



One of the best things I've learnt to accept here in France is the separation of wants and needs. Without too much media influence, watching commercials, reading local papers or magazines, hearing the latest reviews on stuff (My french is not good enough), I have come to realize that one can live on much less than constantly following and wanting the latest. Since that is a broad statement, let me reduce it to food. Though I should tell you that I got away with wearing the same two pairs of shorts for most of the summer......

Food for me when living in North America was mostly intake. Hardly was it celebrated, I saw it as convenient to find a cheap Curry or Kebab.   Especially living in Las Vegas. A nice $9.99 All You Can Eat lunch buffet? I am there.
 But even in Calgary, you found me more often at Lina's, Earls or any other good lunch place than at home preparing a snack or meal. There always was a place I wanted to try that I heard about or read a review in  City Palate.  Not a bad thing at all, just a habit. A habit of wanting. And yes, I enjoyed that habit. 
When Victoria's food issues aside of gluten became more varied, we already started to see the light of home cooking as a family back in Calgary, but when I was on the road by myself it was still very different. I think there is no Pizza place in Calgary that I did not try. 

Life in rural France has changed all that to the better. Or the best. Celiacs is still more a nuisance than a serious disease to most local restaurateurs and so we started to cook more and more at home. Lunch and dinner. Now we are at a point that when we want to dine out, it's an event. Not a habit.  

Yes, we have more time than back in North America, but even if you have a full time job, where there is a will there is a way.  There isn't a garage sale weekend without finding a hardly used Crock pot or juicer these days. And we all have freezers to store pre cooked meals in.

One does not have to be the food Unabomber and forage urban parks for wild mushrooms, nor should you try to be as perfect as a TV chef (they all have lots of help on set). But let me tell you, home cooking is not only easy on your household budget, nothing is more rewarding than a frequent (daily for us) family meal with mostly self made dishes. Isabella may just understand what we did here when she is grown up. We don't preach any of it, we just make it look normal. let's hope it sticks.

Canning, preserving, roasting, deep frying, sandwiches, salad dressings, mayo,  soups, all of it we started to make ourselves since we are here in France. For her baking, Victoria even made her own Vanilla, not to mention her own gluten free flour mix (but that's obvious because of GFP).
While Victoria has a much better aesthetic approach to meals with nicely prepared plates and all, I am more for the quick fix. Sausages (bought) with some roasted potatos, a really good sandwich, giant plate of french fries (definitely home made, including the beef fat for deep frying). The list goes on. We want it, we cook it. 
I am not certain what would happen if we were to move back to the States, but hopefully some of this home cooking would be transferred even in a country where convenience is a right. 

Throw any "Yes, but..." objection at me if you want, I will argue them all. Time? Not valid. Two 30 minute sitcoms missed and you have a few pre cooked meals ready for the week. 
Don't know how to cook those mussels? I learnt it on You Tube as well. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAaYCzt9B0k

Worried that your Mayonaise won't work out? At a cost of less than two bucks a try, who cares. Keep at it until it works. You'll never eat Hellman's again. 

http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4518648675379747815#editor/target=post;postID=5006189895436613263


Gluten free baking? Please. More recipe Blogs than days in a year. Here is a good one:

http://glutenfreeeasily.com/

Did I forget anything? Pictures today are random. 
If you want to dine with us, don't forget the two contests you can enter:

http://glutenfreeeasily.com/two-night-city-gites-gf-patisserie-gluten-free-getaway-bed-and-breakfast-jarnac-france/

http://www.celiacchicks.com/uncategorized/gluten-free-hotel-france.html





RENDERING BEEF FAT

HOME MADE GF BRIOCHE

FOIE GRAS GOES REALLY GOOD WITH THE BRIOCHE

HOME MADE MAYO

LINGONBERRIES MADE BY OMA

GLUTEN FREE HAMBURGER BUNS

HOME MADE BUTTER MILK ICE CREAM 

HOME MADE BEEF STOCK

HOME MADE KETCHUP FOR MY FRIES

CHRISTMAS, NOT MUCH LONGER NOW

GROW SOME BASIC HERBS. CILANTRO

BASIL

 PEA SHOOTS





Thursday, September 12, 2013

IT'S A CONTEST


Two actually. If you always wanted to taste Victoria's gluten free baking or liked what you saw on this Blog, this is your chance to come and stay with us.

Kelly Courson, the original Celiac Chick (started ten years ago!!) is offering a two night stay, breakfast and dinner included in our Studio. Please go to her website to look up her contest:

http://www.celiacchicks.com/uncategorized/gluten-free-hotel-france.html

http://glutenfreeeasily.com/two-night-city-gites-gf-patisserie-gluten-free-getaway-bed-and-breakfast-jarnac-france/


So there. TWO chances to win. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

HAARLEM



Netherlands. Not New York.
I had to go to Holland for a short trip and chose to stay in this town, 30 minutes outside Amsterdam. Haarlem is actually closer to the Airport than the big city we all go to normally when we visit Holland.

Let me tell you this though, if you find big cities overwhelming to visit, Haarlem is a great place to stay and explore. A more approachable dutch experience. Coffee shops and all. 
Before the European Union, Holland was known to be the epicentre of social liberalism. It still is, but without borders a lot of the culture has expanded into other European countries by now. But yes, back then there was only one Amsterdam. We visited many times. 

How liberal? If a hotel is NOT on Tripadvisor (we all check out our lodging choices before booking and  arriving now) and on check in, cash is OK, without documents, any documents, you are in a liberal place. 
The weather is so so, rain showers since arriving and no end in sight. But if it's OK for the locals, it is OK for me. 
I walked around the city centre for a few hours this morning and yes Haarlem is a mini Amsterdam. Great architecture, old houses made new, Grachten, friendly people and lots and lots of bicycles. They are everywhere. Though somewhat of a comfort creature, if street culture is dictating I could see myself riding a bike. A long way before that happens though. In Jarnac.....

Enjoy the pictures.








MY FAVORITE HOUSE PICTURE OF THE DAY

A SMALLER GRACHT

THIS HOUSE IS 156 YEARS OLDER THAN OURS IN JARNAC (1692) 

GROTEN MARKT


BIKE OWNER MUST HAVE TWO KIDS.....

CLEVER

RIDE TO CHURCH ON YOUR BIKE

A BRDIGE OPERATOR

IT'S A DRIVE BRIDGE, THAT SWINGS OPEN FOR BIG BOATS




AND BIG SHE IS!


DON'T ORDER THE COFFEE HERE.......

MY FAVORITE NAME FOR AN ALTERATION SHOP

 LOBBY/RESTAURANT/LOUNGE/BREAKFAST ROOM