Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gluten free eats that are easy to make for your New Year's Eve bash.

Allergic Girl posted recently about Mark Bittman's naturally gluten free and simple to prepare roll-up appetizers. He has prosciutto rolls with asparagus and arugula. Eggplant feta rolls. Smoked salmon rolls with ricotta and chives. Sounds pretty delish.

So I got to thinking. What other recipes might the Bittman have which are also naturally gluten free? I found these two: roasted chestnut soup and potato pancakes. *Please note that this is version two (the gluten free one) on the pancakes.*

(via weheartit)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter vacation

The good thing about the kids being on school break is not having to get them out the door early.

The bad thing about the kids being on school break is not having to get them out the door early.

(Photo via weheartit)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The hunt for red balloon.

I have no particular passion for red balloons. But this image from Ellen Kooi Photography I find irresistible.

It reminded me of something I had seen before...

I was then on the hunt for all things balloon. And red.

(Photo of graffiti girl and red heart balloon via Flickr. Six stills via Flickr. Young woman in field Flickr. Boys and shadows Flickr. Last one, Flickr.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weekly links

Here's my weekly round-up of the crafty, do-it-yourself, baking stuff I probably won't be trying:

walnut boat ornaments
at Craftzine
I'm speechless.

glittery toothpick stars at Craftzine
I could make these.

gluten free coconut chocolate nirvana bars at Karina's Kitchen
These too.

cupcake liner papers to create garland at Craftzine
This makes me think of this.

a do-it-yourself R2-D2 dreidel at The Park Bench (via Not Martha)

placing a mirror in built-in china cabinet at Apartment Therapy
We don't have a built-in china cabinet.

practicing random acts of kindness at Apartment Therapy
I can do this.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Part Two: Proper Etiquette for a Gluten Intolerant Person When Dining at a Friend's House.

Like the restaurant dining deal in Part One, call the host of the dinner party in advance. Explain your dietary restrictions in terms of what you can and cannot eat. It may be helpful to read Allergic Girl Sloane Miller's 7 tips for being a great allergic guest. She presents a slightly different scenario. But you'll get the idea of what it takes to make the dinner guest experience an enjoyable and safe one.

One more thing. Definitely bring a dish to share. (Gluten free, of course.) Even though you may be hands-on in the kitchen, it's extra assurance that you won't starve.

photo via Flickr

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Part One: Proper Etiquette for a Gluten Intolerant Person When Ordering at a Restaurant.

Allergic Girl has four posts which discuss the whole dining out gluten free situation pretty darn well.

First read about creating a Cheers experience. Here she outlines steps to follow in preparation of your "Big Night" out. Basically, give a heads up to the restaurant by calling ahead. Present a gluten free card. (Get one if you don't already have one.) Be friendly. But be assertive.

Not Plain But Only is her newest bit of dining etiquette. Translation: say "only" instead of "plain" when ordering.

Another useful tip is having a safe friend with whom to dine. Someone who gets your needs and is understanding. Someone who realizes that you guys may need to leave the restaurant earlier than expected.

And finally, check out Allergic Girl's post about eating allergen-free at other people's weddings. Very similar to the steps in the Cheers experience. She also mentions bringing along a safe snack. (Just in case.)

Bon appetit!

(Stay tuned for Part Two: Proper Etiquette for a Gluten Intolerant Person When Dining at a Friend's House.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The 15 best little black dresses

And all but three are under $100.

Gap cable knit dress, $65.99

Tahari chiffon and satin faux two piece dress, from Nordstrom, $63.90

Max & Cleo bubble sleeve matte jersey wrap dress, from Nordstrom, $118

Pintucked chiffon dress from Gap, $99.99

Play by C. Ronson obsidian lace dress, from Urban Outfitters, $108

Teeze Me tiered mesh dress with bow, from Nordstrom, $72

Silence & Noise strapless dress, from Urban Outfitters, $58

Maggy London sleeveless silk dress, from Nordstrom, $87.90

Black sash shift dress from Gap, $34.99

Lace yoke dress from Forever 21, $22.80

Strapless tiered ruffle dress from Gap, $49.99

Silky glam dress from Forever 21, $19.80

Milly roll neck stretch wool dress, from Nordstrom, $360

Gap strapless knit dress, $48.99

Alex Evenings lace and satin sheath dress, from Nordstrom, $75.90

Plastic Island beaded shift minidress, from Nordstrom, $65.90
(I know this one's not black. Just like the look here.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday gift ideas for your sister, husband, nephew, best friend, roommate, co-worker or anyone else you know who can't eat gluten. (Or wheat.)

Newsweek Magazine calls this book "a delightful memoir of learning to eat superbly while remaining gluten free." From $11.91.

A personal fridge that is great for office or dorm, from $39.99.

A gluten free cookbook that can be enjoyed by everyone, whether they have a gluten intolerance or not, from $12.63.

Well, I'd be silly not to include a gluten free gift basket from Vanilla Spoons. $69.95-$139.95.

A stainless steel 2-pound breadmaker, to make gluten free bread, of course. From $70.98.

A gift certificate to Risotteria Restaurant in New York City. (It's worth a trip to New York.) Read the article in The New York Times.

Even though it has nothing to do with gluten free stuff, I couldn't resist adding this German film. (For obvious reasons.) From $6.87.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekly links

It's highly unlikely you'll catch me doing any of these activities this weekend:

recycling egg cartons into fairy lights at WhipUp

using a sewing machine (huh? I don't even own one) and some recycled newspapers to make these snowflake garlands at Craftzine

making melt-in-your-mouth gluten free sugar cookies at Living Without

knitting knee high socks at WhipUp

OR... knitting these periodic table mini-sweaters at Craftzine

removing "old house" smell at Apartment Therapy (my house is pretty new so I don't currently have this problem, thank goodness)

discovering the 10 best ways to reuse an empty plastic bottle at Apartment Therapy

Well. Maybe the cookie thing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gluten free dining in the #1 small arts town

Northampton, Massachusetts (a.k.a. Paradise City) is a pretty cool and funky place to live. Smith College is located here. And "Noho" was once dubbed the Number One Best Small Arts Town in America. According to American Style Magazine, it's one of the Top 25 Arts Destinations. The New York Times picked Northampton as the best place for retirees in 2007.

(Via Flickr)

A vibrant Main Street filled with shops and art galleries, downtown boasts more restaurants than your usual small New England college town. There's also a bazillion coffeehouses. Duh.

(photo via Flickr)

The Calvin Theater was once Northampton's largest movie theater. It showed first run films for almost 70 years. The Calvin closed temporarily in 1994, but was later renovated and re-opened to house mostly live performances. We saw k.d. lang perform here. Like Adele (read the post below), another gorgeous voice. Also went to a few Commonwealth Opera productions here. And, yes, was lucky enough to catch a couple of flicks at the Calvin back in the day.

(photo via Flickr)

Ralph Nader made a stop here before Election Day. Notice the ice cream cone in the background. That's the famous Herrell's Ice Cream.

(Photo via Flickr)

Stripey guy in Northampton.

(Photo via Flickr)

Decent fare at this bar/restaurant with emphasis on bar. Haven't been to Packard's in a while. I just liked the greens in this picture.

*Please note, I don't know anything about the gluten free friendly status at this place.*

(photo by Justin Chung)

So if you live nearby or are just passing through you may want to visit some of the following places, road tested by me and my family. They're sure to please gluten free palates and gluten glutton ones alike.

*Please note [again]. These eating establishments are NOT gluten free. However, we have found them to be gluten free friendly. Ask questions. Explain your needs. But eat at your own risk. Everyone has his or her own comfort level when dining out.

Last week we had Sunday brunch at The Green Bean where my son LOVES the ginger buckwheat pancakes. Ironically, buckwheat is gluten free. Who'd have guessed that? The Bean is located at 241 Main Street in Northampton, MA.

(photo via Happy Cow)

Can't exactly recall what we ate but do remember that kids and I enjoyed lunch here last summer. Gluten free friendly, Bela Vegetarian Restaurant is at 68 Masonic Street in Northampton.

(photo via Happy Cow)

The India House at 45 State Street is excellent. Most items on the menu are gluten free. In fact, one of the restaurant's ads reads "gluten-free, and oh so good!" Oh so true.

Paul & Elizabeth's, a natural foods restaurant at 150 Main Street (in Thornes Marketplace) specializes in fresh fish and tempura. Though they are not a gluten free restaurant, they were able to provide us with a gluten free menu the last time we ate there.

Flayvors of Cook Farm, 129 S. Maple Street in nearby Hadley, is a great place to take the kids during the summer. Licking a gluten free ice cream cone and listening to the cows moo. What could be better? I'll tell you what. You can order a gluten free ice cream cake from Flayvors. Give them at least 48 hours notice. Choose two flavors. Cookie crunchies and fudge in the middle. Yummm.

(photo via Flickr)

A final mention goes to River Shark at 17 Montague Road in Amherst. Amherst is about 15-20 minutes from Northampton. My son loves this place. They make regular pizza and also offer a gluten free pizza crust upon request. The Shark used to serve up gluten free pasta. For $1! Unfortunately, it wasn't available when we dined there a couple of weeks ago.

Intersection of King and Main. Bellissima little town!

(photo via Flickr)