Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gluten free and vegan on Top Chef

A friend of mine just emailed me that Zooey Deschanel was a guest on Top Chef last night. She is gluten free, vegan and soy free. Here's a link to the episode on Top Chef Episode

Obviously, Bravo is on channel 61 on my cable provider so you'll have to change over to yours. As of right now the episode is on another seven times in the next two weeks.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Fast Food Review - Chipolte Mexican Grill

I ate for the first time in a Chipolte Mexican Grill this weekend and loved it! I had previously visited their website and knew that most of their menu items were gluten and dairy free. When I got to the counter, I mentioned my dietary restrictions and the counter person handed me a small white card which listed all of their menu items and all of the allergens (both wheat AND gluten were listed). Only the flour tortillas and soft flour tacos contained gluten and only their two obvious dairy items (sour cream and cheese) contained dairy.

The store is set up like a Boston Market where everything is laid out infront of you at the counter. You have a choice of bowl, salad, crispy taco and (if not a celiac) soft tacos and buritos. Add to that your choice of meats (chicken, beef, pork), beans (black or pinto) and rice, as well as sides of chips and three different salsas or guacamole. Overall, it was a little spicy but excellent.

I'll definitely be going back.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fast Food Review - Chick-fil-A

I recently learned that Chick-fil-A has a gluten free menu. I used to eat at Chick-fil-A quite a bit before realizing I had Celiac disease and truth be told was still occasionally cheating with their french fries. I checked their website and found their Gluten Free list (click on Nutrition & Health on the left side and then look for "Gluten Info" on the top menu bar on the resulting page).

As expected, their chargrilled chicken was gluten free (without the bun of course) and two of their salads are as well (the Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad and Chargrill Chicken & Fruit Salad). What I was really excited to see was that their Waffle Potato Fries are GF too. Now of course, there are issues of cross contamination so I emailed them to ask about that.

It turns out that all of the breaded and fried chicken at Chick-fil-A is cooked in some sort of covered pressure fryer. The Waffle Fries are the only item fried in their Waffle Fry Fryer! Not willing to take corporate's word for it, I stopped by a Chick-fil-A in a mall on my way home and confirmed with the local store that this is indeed the case!

Ah, happy days, I can eat fast food french fries again! At least at Chick-fil-A that is.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Favorite Celiac Holiday is this Week!

My favorite Celiac holiday is this week - Passover! Technically, my holiday is the day after Passover when supermarkets mark down all of their Passover products. I must warn you however, that Passover does not require that products be gluten free and can be made (and often are) from Matzo meal which most certainly contains wheat gluten. Due to religious restrictions (which I don't pretend to know) most Passover foods are dairy free which is a big bonus for me.

Every year, I stock up on Shabtai cookies and cakes, Geffen GF noodles and cookies, dark chocolate peppermint patties, potato starch, and other candies, cookies and cakes. I've even found a brand of gluten and dairy free blintzes (but they're hard to find). Last year, I didn't run out of all of these assorted items until over the summer sometime.

My advice is to check out some supermarkets before Wednesday and see which (if any) in your area are carrying Passover products. Even though Passover doesn't end this year until April 15th, I find most supermarkets start their markdowns the day after Passover starts (this year it starts at sundown on April 8th). Again, I want to stress that not everything that is for Passover will be Gluten Free. You need to look for a label of "Gluten Free". It seems that a lot of Gluten Free foods are also labeled "Non-Gebrokts" but I can't be 100% sure that that is a direct translation of Gluten Free. (It looks like everything gluten free is non-gebrokts but not everything non-gebrokts is necessarily gluten free!)

Happy shopping!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Product Review - Garbo Toast Bread

Garbo attended (and gave out samples) at a support group meeting last fall. I was amazed at how good their bread was even untoasted. On occasion, "Livin' Gluten Free" a local sandwich shop has their Sun Bread but I was excited to find that my neighborhood Kings Super Market is carrying their Toast Bread and Sport Bread.

The Toast Bread is great. It browns up nicely in the toaster and the taste reminds me of the homemade loaves of yeast bread my grandmother used to bake at Easter. I do however see why they call it 'Toast' bread. It unfortunately does not have the durability to be sandwich bread.

I don't really eat enough toast to justify the extra trip to Kings (it's local, but not a store I usually shop in). I'll just toast a slice of sandwich bread instead. It won't be as good as Garbo's but it will do.

If you can't find Garbo's Toast Bread locally, you can purchase it online here: Garbo Toast Bread.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mom's Turkey Cutlets - gluten free/dairy free

I've been on a kick to duplicate everything that Mom used to make growing up, only this time gluten and dairy free. Some were easy (spaghetti and meatballs) as her sauce and meatballs are already gf/df and gf pasta is easy to come by. Others, such as steak and handcut french fries, were already gluten and dairy free. Others took a little work.

One of my favorites was Turkey Cutlets with a side of Fettuccine Alfredo. This was also the first thing I learn how to make when I learned how to cook (of course back then it contained gluten). I'm going to split out the two recipes for those who are looking for one or the other but they really are best together!

Mom's Turkey Cutlets

1 pound Turkey Cutlets
1 egg
1/2 cup GF bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup water
2 tsp gf chicken bullion

Add egg to a shallow pan and beat with a fork or whisk.

Add bread crumbs to another pan.

Dip each cutlet first in the egg and then in the bread crumbs to coat.

Heat oil is a frying pan over medium heat. Add cutlets and brown on each side (about 3 minutes a side). Don't worry if they don't all fit at once; fry them in batches.

Return all cutlets to the pan and add water and bullion. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes (or more) until tender. Note: if not fully covered by the water, rotate them (top to bottom) at least once during this simmer.

Serve covered with the juice from the pan and a side of Fettuccine Alfredo and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Fettuccini Alfredo - gluten free/dairy free/vegan

Growing up Mom used to make Fettuccine Alfredo as an accompaniment to her Turkey Cutlets. I've broken out the recipes into separate posts for benefit of those looking for one or the other.

Please note, this recipe is for 8oz of pasta however, some GF brands come in 12oz or 16oz. In that case, the recipe easily scales up (by half for 12oz and double for 16oz).

Fettuccine Alfredo

8oz Gluten Free Fettuccine
1 cup rice milk
2 Tbsp GF flour
3 Tbsp Vegan Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp olive oil

Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions. Meanwhile in a sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until it starts to brown. Add vegan Parmesan and rice milk while continuing to stir. Allow to thicken stirring occasionally. If it finishes thickening before the pasta is done, remove from heat until pasta is done (you'll need to reheat it once the pasta is ready). Drain the pasta and cover with sauce.

Makes 3-4 side dish servings.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Product Review - Organic Bistro Frozen Meals

A little while ago I noticed a link for Organic Bistro appearing in the Adsense ads on this site. Since Adsense doesn't allow me to click on my own ads, I typed Organic Bistro into google and checked out their website. Everything about these meals sounded great: gluten free, dairy free, all natural, etc, until I got to the part about where they were on sale and realized they weren't available here in NJ! Since I don't like to order food online (I prefer to support the local stores that carry GF/DF) I figured I would just have to wait until they were available here in New Jersey. Well, thanks to Whole Foods, I didn't have to wait long!

On my last shopping trip to Whole Foods, I noticed two varieties of Organic Bistro meals in their freezer case and bought both. The price is pretty reasonable especially when compared to other gluten free frozen meals on the market. I ate the Ginger Chicken (see photo at right) over the weekend and the Chicken Citron (see photo below on left) last night. The Ginger Chicken had green beans, carrots, snap peas, edamame and brown rice while the Chicken Citron had spinach, edamame, sun dried tomatoes, carrots and quinoa.

The meals are organic and contain multiple vegetables and whole grains. Best of all, their entire line is both dairy and gluten free! I think the meals will take some getting used to as my palette adjusts from what it remembers of frozen meals packed with salt, refined sugar, white rice, unpronounceable additives, and/or refined flours. I am certainly a fan of the convenience as well as the nutrition packed into each meal.

I've been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables but when grabbing something quick (read: microwaved in a couple of minutes) that can be hard to do. I think these meals will be a nice addition to the nights I don't have time to cook.

Update: I ran to Whole Foods tonight and they now have what appears to be the entire line! Since I have such a small freezer I'll have to try these one or two at a time. Up next are the Jamaican Shrimp Cakes.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bread Crumbs - Gluten and Dairy Free

Just a quick recipe for gluten/dairy free bread crumbs today.

Growing up, Mom kept a large ziplock bag full of stale leftover italian bread pieces in a cabinet over the stove. She'd use these pieces whenever she needed to make stuffing or breadcrumbs. I'd been doing the same with gluten free bread for the same reasons with limited success. The main problem with doing this is that any bread with rice in it will dry out to a point that you can't cut it. Cubing it for stuffing is impossible (bordering on dangerous) and even when making bread crumbs my magic bullet leaves a couple of un-crumbed chunks behind. I would either recommend drying fresh GF/DF bread or cubing the bread before letting it go stale and storing it in the bag!

4-6 slices of dried out Gluten Free bread (dried, not stale)
1 tsp of dried parsley, crushed
1/2 tsp of dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp of dried oregano, crushed

If you need to dry out the bread, just put on a cookie sheet in the oven at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes turning once, halfway through.

Add bread to food processor, blender or magic bullet and blend until the coarseness you'd like. Empty crumbs and herbs into a mixing bowl and stir until well blended.

Depending on the size of your GF/DF bread slices this should yield 1 - 1.5 cups of bread crumbs.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Manicotti - gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan

Success!!!! My Gluten Free/Dairy Free Manicotti were a huge success on Christmas day! I used a flour blend mix by Annalise Roberts but I would think you can use any you like. Her blend recipe is available on her website here. The recipe for my GF/DF Manicotti is as follows:

Ingredients - shell

1 cup gluten free flour
1 1/4 cup water
9 tbs whipped silken tofu (or three eggs)
1/2 tsp xantham gum

Ingredients - filling

1 package silken tofu (16oz)
1 tbsp Vegan parmasean
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 egg (optional, if making vegan leave out and do not adjust)

Ingredients - other
1/2 cup of tomato sauce (I don't eat a lot of tomato so you might need/like more.)
cooking spray (as needed)

For the shells: Add the flour and xantham gum to a large mixing bowl. Add the whipped tofu (or beaten eggs) and water then stir until blended smooth. The batter should be runny and if it is not, then add a little more water until it is.

Heat a small 5" frying pan over medium heat (oil if not a non-stick pan). Add a small amount of batter to the pan and quickly tilt the pan so the batter evenly covers the entire bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Cook about 2 minutes until the top of the batter is dry, then flip carefully using a small spatula and cook the other side. Set aside to cool and repeat until you are out of batter. (Note: it may be helpful to place the finished shells on wax paper so they don't stick together.)

For the filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir (I use a spoon) until combined and resembling ricotta. Do not over stir or the mixture will turn into goo.

To assemble: Spray a baking pan with cooking spray or coat the bottom with tomato sauce.

Hold a cooled shell in the palm of one hand and with the other hand spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling lengthwise across the center of the shell. (I used the serving spoon that came with my flatware - it appears to be the right size for me.) Flip one side and then the other over the filling until you have a mixture filled tube. Flip the tube over (so the folds are on the bottom) and place carefully into the baking pan. Repeat with the remaining shells and filling.

Cover the manicotti with your favorite tomato sauce. (Since I avoid too much tomato, I sort of just brush them with sauce.)

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (Option: if you want, you could cover with shredded vegan mozzerella cheese after baking and broil until the cheese is melted. Watch carefully while broiling as the cheese will quickly burn and blacken if left in too long!)

This recipe makes approximately 10 manicotti but is easily scaled up.

Don't worry if the first couple of shells are disasters, they take a little practice before you get the exact right amount of batter in the pan and get the hang of tilting to spread the batter.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A very successful Christmas Day!

Ok, so I'm two months late with this post but it has been bouncing around on my ideas list for a while. Christmas day worked out great!

First off, after trying gluten free/dairy free manicotti a couple of times, I got them right for Christmas. I'll post that recipe soon. I made way too many (there were 30 for dinner, but my aunt made plenty of the gluten/dairy variety. My father, one uncle, and one cousin avoid dairy so I made enough for all four of us with plenty of left overs (and boy there were). I had also made another batch of Grandma Cookies (sour cream cookies) that were better than last time but still not right.

Now for the best part. My aunt set up dinner buffet style. Everything that anyone brought that was gluten and dairy free (veggies, meatballs, fresh ham, a chicken dish, the gf/df manicotti, etc.) were on one table and everything with gluten and dairy on the other! Perfect, not a worry of anyone swapping spoons, etc.

Since I had made a substitute manicotti for the one thing on the menu that I really couldn't eat, I felt that I was eating the same meal as everyone else. I know, it is a bit silly but psychologically it really does make a difference.

I really consider myself lucky for how accommodating my family is, especially considering the horror stories I hear at support group meetings and read in some other blogs.

Now I've just got to figure out what I'll make come Easter!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo) - adventure

Wow, you'd think this wouldn't be so difficult.

Sunday night I thought I'd make Chicken and Rice with some boneless chicken thighs I had in the freezer. I've never made it before but figured it couldn't be that difficult. I searched through some cookbooks and then online and surprisingly enough could not find a recipe for Spanish Chicken and Rice. And I note Spanish here because I did find plenty of South/Central American recipes but not a one from Spain. How can you tell? Well, there are two easy give aways. Rice in Spain is a medium grain variety. Now granted, I don't expect anyone to go to the expense/effort of importing rice from Spain but there are substitutes and short grain rice is easy enough to find (and much closer than long). So if the recipe called for long grain rice it was out. Secondly, Chicken and Rice does not include tomato sauce. It's referred to as "pasta" sauce for a reason - namely it doesn't belong on rice!

Anyhow, armed with some bits of ideas from different recipes and having watched my cousin make Paella a number of times I gave it a shot . . . and missed. In hindsight I made a number of missteps:

1) I cooked the garlic and onions first, then browned the chicken. When I started I figured I would get the flavor of the onion and garlic in the chicken if I cooked them first. In practice, I had to remove them from the pan to keep them from burning while the chicken browned. I added them back in with the rice but by that point I think I missed infusing the flavor into the rice. Oops.

2) I added the saffron to cold water. I used to add boiling water to saffron strands and then use the liquid (removing the strands). I've since found one can grind the saffron in a mortar and pestle for the same effect, however it looks like you still have to use hot water for that bright yellow color. I added it with the water immediately after the rice. I used more than I would have with the strands method but the dish was fairly tan in the end.

3) I skipped the beer and Rioja my cousin usually adds to his paellas (I've got some Bards Tale). Not sure how much this was missed but the dish lacked a bit of flavor.

So, I'll have to try this again sometime. Next time I'll be sure to have some green pepper on hand to add with the onion and garlic. I'll also look to correct my three gaffes above.

Overall it wasn't a bad meal, it just wasn't what I set out to prepare when I started!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pigs-in-a-Blanket (Disaster)

Back over Super Bowl weekend I had contemplated making Pigs-in-a-Blanket to take to a Super Bowl party my cousin was throwing. I searched the internet for a suitable gluten and dairy free recipe and came up with nothing. I did manage to find one dairy free recipe and was going to try it with a 1-to-1 substitution of a GF flour blend. Well anyhow, after making Guacamole and some Bob's Red Mill brownies, I just ran short on time and decided to skip them especially since the party's hosts were making regular Pigs-in-a-Blanket.

I finally got around to trying to make them this weekend and boy am I glad I didn't try them Super Bowl Sunday! For starters, I hadn't really read the recipe and this one, while claiming to take 25 minutes of prep time (at the top), actually require 25 minutes of prep time spread out over two hours as the dough was proofed and proofed again!

Finally, I was ready to start and rolled out the dough between two sheets of wax paper. I quickly realized I had not added enough flour when the dough stuck to both the top and bottom sheets. I ended up scraping it off the wax paper, then rolling it around the little cocktail franks in my hands constantly adding more GF flour mix to keep it from sticking (too much). As you can see from the photo, some of my earlier ones (on the left) had too much dough and (due to forgetting to add Xanthan gum) sagged a bit around the franks. Most of the later ones (on the right) ended up having pretty narrow bands of dough.

Overall, they tasted ok although the 'blanket' portion was a bit hard. I suspect this hardness could have been due to me cooking them in a toaster oven instead of a regular oven but I'm not sure. I had some as a snack late Sunday night and ate the rest (reheated in the microwave) for lunch on Monday. The dough was softer after being reheated.

I debated calling these an adventure rather than a disaster but after all the trouble I don't think I can even begin to save the recipe, but will instead have to start from scratch trying to put one together. It was certainly a nice treat after 3 years without, but at this point not worth the effort!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Poll! Who are the readers of this blog?

I've added a new poll to the site (it is in the top left corner) to get some small idea of who is reading this blog (all 10 of you!) :-) Please note, since a voter can select multiple reasons, the total number of votes will exceed the total "Votes so far" at the bottom. For example, if I had voted and selected "I am a Celiac!", "I am lactose intolerant/allergic to dairy", and "I am allergic to eggs" then it would show as 1 vote so far with three different votes on the results page.

Select all that apply and if you choose "Other", add a comment below with the category I am missing!

Edited - corrected how votes are counted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Uno Chicago Grill is awesome!

I stopped for dinner at an Uno Chicago Grill last night after a basketball game (for those interested, Seton Hall lost in overtime.) I had recently visited Uno's website ( after having read on some other blogs that they are rapidly rolling out Gluten Free Pizza nation wide. (see article here.)

Unfortunately, they aren't rolling out Dairy Free Pizza nationwide so I had to skip it! They do however, have a touch screen computer kiosk in their lobby that links to their online nutrition information. This online resource not only lists the eight major allergens (the same ones required on groceries) but each entry also contains a link to a full listing of every ingredient in a menu item. That's right, no need to rely on asking what is in a certain sauce or side dish, you can easily look it up!

Before arriving at the restaurant I already knew that their Brown Rice w/ Craisins and Mango was GF and DF. I ordered a bunless burger with red onions and guacamole after using the kiosk to find that their guacamole is dairy free as well. Most restaurants put butter in their rice and have no idea what is in their guacamole so it was nice to order just a tad bit easier.

Yes it would have been nice to have had French Fries, but the rice was a really good substitution. I think this is my new favorite chain restaurant!

Has anyone else had a positive experience with Uno's?

Vote for the best Themed Food Blog

One of the other GF blogs I read is "Karina's Kitchen, Recipes from a Gluten Free Goddess". I've tried a couple of her recipes and the most recent - African Sweet Potato Soup w/ Black-eyed Peas and Beans was amazing! Anyhow, the reason for this post is I found out that her blog has been nominated for the 2008 Best Food Blog awards at Well Fed Network in the 'theme' category. The voting is only open until tomorrow night and currently her blog (the only GF blog in the category) is in a tight race for first place.

If you have a minute, check out her blog here and if you like what you see you can vote for her blog here:

Karina's African Sweet Potato Soup with Black-eyed Peas and Beans

A couple of nights ago I made an amazing African Sweet Potato Soup from a recipe I found over at Karina's Kitchen. You can find the recipe here. I'm not a big fan of anything too spicy (ok, truth be told, my stomach can't handle anything spicy) so I subbed out the chili pepper for an odd looking mild green pepper the supermarket had. I also skipped over the hot red pepper flakes. What I ended up with was an intensely flavorful just a touch sweet soup!

I had it for dinner Monday night and for lunch yesterday and again today. I'm glad to report I've got two containers of it frozen in my freezer for future lunches, although I doubt they'll last very long. I do think the next time I make it I may use a bit less broth and make it more of a stew than a soup.

Thank you to Karina for this recipe and I strongly encourage anyone reading to check out her recipe and try it yourself!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I ordered a pizza for dinner last night!

I stopped by Pizza Fusion last night in Ridgewood, NJ and ordered a Gluten Free and Dairy Free pie. For those who are not familiar with Pizza Fusion they are a relatively new chain of franchised pizzerias based out of Florida but rapidly expanding across the US. They serve gourmet pizza using mostly organic ingredients and are heavy into recycling and energy efficiency. They offer a gluten free crust (which is becoming common here in NJ) but the really big news is that they offer a Vegan Mozzarella as well! For the first time in ~15 years I can order pizza in a Pizzeria!

All of the gourmet, organic and GF/DF ingredients (as well as renewable energy, hybrid delivery vehicles, etc) come at a cost however. Their food is a bit expensive and you pay significantly more ($8) for a GF crust and a bit more for Vegan cheese ($2). It should also be noted that it is an oval pie, not a round pie so it is smaller than the "large" size you would get at a regular NJ pizzeria. Also, it is not a traditional New York style pizza but rather what I believe to be a Neapolitan (islands of cheese in the tomato sauce, not a covering a cheese) style pizza - or at least the one with soy mozzarella was.

Overall it wasn't bad but unfortunately not worth the price. The crust contains bean flour which has a distinct flavor. I hear rumors that some people don't mind this flavor but, I for one am not a big fan. Coupled with the lack of cheese it just wasn't what I was hoping for. I am certainly glad there is an option to go out for pizza, especially somewhere with a trained staff and clearly marked ingredients but again, at the price and size it just wasn't worth it to take out or dine alone. Perhaps for a special occasion or to dine in with friends . . .

I did have half the pizza left over (shown in the photo on the right). I plan on reheating the remaining slices under the broiler later this week after first covering the bare spots of tomato sauce with some shredded Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella that I have in the freezer for just such an emergency!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Product review - Kinnikinnick Donuts!

I attended a training class in NYC the second week in December. The computer school that hosted the class provided a large breakfast spread for their students. When I say large, I mean ridiculously large! There were muffins, and scones, and bagels, and toast, and cereal, and danishes, and most distressing of all - glazed donuts! I had planned ahead (not actually expecting there to be food and having to leave home insanely early) and had brought along a breakfast bar (thanks Enviro-kids!) Add to that a banana (they had large, multi-tiered basket of fruit as well) and I had a pretty decent breakfast . . . . but I just couldn't stop thinking about those donuts!

To my knowledge there is only one company that sells a GF/DF donut - Kinnikinnick. I purchase most of my GF products at a large Whole Foods near my home. I do also on occasion stop in some smaller health food stores especially if I'm traveling outside my immediate area or even just driving somewhere I know there is a store. I finally found a store selling Kinnikinnick Vanilla Glazed Donuts!

If you've never had these, I highly recommend them. If the last time you purchased them they came in a plastic bag, I highly recommend you try them again. The first time I had a Kinnikinnick Donut they were sold frozen together in a plastic bag. The donuts weren't a uniform size or shape and were about as dense as clay. I used to eat half a donut at a time as they were too heavy to finish an entire donut in one sitting.

Since then however they've made some vast improvements. The donuts now come in a box of six. Inside the box they are arranged in a tray that keeps them from freezing together. Each donut is now a uniformed size and shape (not jumbo sized like at Dunkin Donuts but a good size overall). They are also a nice texture and consistency and are as light as a GF product really can be.

So, anyhow, it was nice to finally get a glazed donut even if it was a month later! Of course, in writing this post, I spent some time poking around the Kinnikinnick website and now I'm yearning for some of their other flavors - Cinnamon Sugar, Maple Glazed, Chocolate Glazed and Chocolate Coated!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Starbucks going Gluten Free?

It looks like Starbucks in considering offering Gluten Free menu items. They are currently soliciting opinions on their blog as well as test marketing a limited number of items in a limited number of stores. You can read all about it (as well as add your opinion) here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Where have I been?

Ok, so it has been about a month since my last post. I've started working on a number of new posts but figured I'd start with an explanation of where I've been. I had an adverse reaction to Transderm Scope patches I used to treat seasickness on my cruise at the beginning of December. The immediate affect was blurry vision which went away after about 36 hours. Ever since then however I've been getting eye strain/pain in my left eye and I have been trying to avoid too much time in front of the computer (tough when that is what you do for a living!) I do wish I could say it was getting better but at least it isn't getting worse. I'm going to try returning to the eye doctor as well as an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist next week.

Every three years for work I need to renew a computer certification exam. I thought I had until the end of January but I double checked and found out I had about 2 weeks less than I thought. I crammed like crazy (including spending New Year's Eve with a text book) and passed the exam on January 4.

Yes, I passed just in time to contract the flu from hell on Tuesday, January 6th! I was in bed all day Wednesday and Thursday and am just now finally getting over this never ending cough!

Anyhow, that's why I haven't been blogging, but now the exam is passed, the flu is fading and the eye is stable (at least not getting worse) so I'm going to start again. I've got a couple of great successes to post about, including Grandma cookies, Manicotti, Wienerschnitzle with Spaetzle, and Mom's Turkey Cutlets with Fettuccine Alfredo! I also found a couple of cool recipes (DF Fudge, GF/DF coconut bars, and an African Bean Stew) on some of the other GF blogs I read and hope to try some of these this weekend.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and wish you all the best for 2009!

Visitors (Counted on Gluten Free/Dairy Free Waffles!)

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