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May 20, 2010

Sex, Lies, and Allergies

This morning my husband sent me this article from a blog he frequents which has had me thinking most of the day about the title of this post. The blog entry was, in short, about a guy seeing one of his favorite chefs "tweet" about how he can't stand people lying about allergies and the trouble it causes him in the kitchen (in a nutshell). The writer was offended, as he'd made reservations months in advance to eat at the chef's restaurant. His wife is allergic to gluten, and he took it personally, thinking the chef meant that people with food allergies are making it up, that it's in their head.

The perhaps more interesting part was the reader comments, the ones who say that the chef is probably more aggravated with people who go into restaurants and list of a number of ingredients that they can't have, saying they're "allergic". My mind shifted to an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie is on a date with Berger and orders something with "no parsley", saying she's allergic. Berger calls her out for claiming she's allergic (when she in fact isn't) and her retort is "I hate parsley. If I don't say I'm allergic, they'll put it on anyways."

And then they make Berger out to be the bad guy for calling her bluff!

Do you know anyone who does this? I have honestly never lied about being allergic to an ingredient, and I've never had a problem when asking for "no this" or "no that". If my plate arrives and it has olives when I asked for no olives, I simply put them on my napkin to the side.

I liken it to people who keep a handicap sign in their car so they can get the good parking spaces. If someone got caught in the act doing that and said "I just hate having to walk across the parking lot." it would not be received well. It's deceptive, and it's not fair to the people out there who have honest to goodness problems.

I didn't want to turn this into a rant, but it definitely had me thinking all day about people taking advantage of others. And despite Carrie Bradshaw's faux pas, I will still go and see Sex and the City 2 next weekend (or as Mr. GF calls it, Sex in the Desert), even if I'm alone, because my movie-going girlfriend will be sitting on a beach in Mexico drinking a sex on the beach.

But just think next time you're in a restaurant and considering telling the server you're allergic to parsley, or onions, or water without lemon, ok? Unless, of course, you are...

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! And some links!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! I wish I could be with mine, but she's enjoying a vacation where temperatures are much warmer, and drinks flow a bit more freely! Yay, Mom!

I apologize for my sporadic rate of posting lately, some work has occupied a lot of my time, which is definitely a good thing! I do hope to get into a better groove because I have gotten quite a lot of resources and recommendations from friends and family who are on the lookout for GF foods!

As promised in the WHEAT IS MURDER post, I have scanned and uploaded the list of places in Connecticut that offer gluten free pizza options. Look for it under "Dining", as well as some additions!

One exciting thing about the work I have been doing is meeting new people and seeing beautiful new places around New England! I had an event yesterday in the Hudson Valley area in New Windsor, NY, and the facility had a gluten free buffet! In chatting with the manager and some of the guests, a few of the young children in the party's family were recently diagnosed Celiacs, so the party was about 80% gluten free. How wonderful is that? There is nothing more sad than going to a big shindig and feeling like there's nothing you can eat. I even got to sample the food and it was very tasty!

So for anyone looking for a gluten-free friendly banquet facility for an event, party, wedding, consider Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor, NY! It is 10 minutes from I-84, just over the Hudson.

May 2, 2010

May Day! Time for a Gluten Free Barbecue!

One of our favorite things to do as soon as the weather gets warm is have friends over to barbecue and enjoy being outside. Since yesterday was gorgeous and actually hot, we did just that! The joy of having friends over is that our friends are always willing to bring snacks or dishes, so it really turns into a potluck of yummy things to eat. And nothing compare to the company of friends and family, especially when there's food involved!

I thought I'd pull together some cookout ideas in case you want to host your own cookout, or are going to a friend's house who has gluten intolerance. Imagine how delighted they'd be if you showed up with a food that's friendly to their diet!

Beer
Let's face it - it's an essential part of summertime and easy living. There's nothing like kicking back and enjoying a couple "brewskies" with friends. Our friend Andrew brough a six-pack of gluten free beer with him last night, and Mr. GF was delighted! Note: Please drink responsibly. Always have a designated driver or plan on spending the night.

The easiest gluten free beers to get your hands on are Redbridge and Bard's Tale. Redbridge (Anheuser Busch) is a great everyday beer, and their website tells you where you can find it in liquor stores and dining out. Bard's Tale is just as yummy, but a bit harder to find. If you can't find these in your local liquor store, strike up a conversation with the manager and let them know the benefits of having a gluten free beer option available in their store. Assure them that you'll be a loyal customer and will tell your friends as well!

Burgers
We get either fresh or frozen patties (I have yet to make my own, perhaps this summer!), and pair with Kinnikinnick english muffins, which when frozen and then toasted make a great burger bun substitute. Add your favorite toppings and you're in business! Cross contamination: If you are serving burgers on GF and regular burger buns, serve up the gluten free burgers first so you don't get regular bun crumbs on the spatula and GF buns. Or use separate spatulas.

Kabobs
This is an easy alternative if burgers aren't your thing. Grab some wooden or metal skewers, add chunks of chicken tenders, green and red bell peppers, onions, and whatever other veggies you like. You can simply season with salt and pepper, or marinate in a variety of gluten free dressings like Annie's Naturals.

Chicken Wings
One of my favorite easy things to grill is chicken wings soaked in Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce (this is also a good one for Superbowl parties!). Get a family size pack of chicken wings, season with sea salt and lemon pepper (Trader Joe's has a really great fresh grinder of lemon pepper), and then put in a large ziplock baggies with 1-2 cups of Sweet Baby Ray's. Mush it around till all wings are coated and let it marinate overnight in your fridge. Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand - they get messy!

Roasted Summer Veggies
There are so many delicious summer vegetables that are great for roasting if you're tired of eating salads. Try combining sliced zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, and corn with sliced garlic, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Broil on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I will have some more ideas for you as the summer goes on, but I hope you get out there and enjoy the weather, friends, and food!