Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I guess I'm feeling Brooklyn today.

I'm rather partial toward the interior of this Brooklyn home I saw on Design Sponge. Typography everywhere. Husband grew up in Brooklyn. Not to mention Our Love Is Here To Stay was our wedding song.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's not your Uncle Jimmy's convenience store.

Last Friday I read in The New York Times about tomorrow's opening in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (New York) of Brooklyn Standard, a bodega/small grocery/convenience mart. Well, apparently GLUTEN FREE PASTA will be among the foods available at the new bodega. Sheez. When I was a kid my friends and I used to walk to "that store down the block" to buy slushies, Bazooka bubble gum, Pixy Stix and such.

I wish to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Woops. Wrong award. Thank you Rachel over at The Crispy Cook for honoring me with The Adorable Blog Award. In fact Rachel received her award from Ivy, one of the three founders of BloggerAid--the initiative to raise money and awareness of global hunger issues.

Here are the rules for this award:

Include the award logo in your blog or post.
Nominate as many blogs which show adorability, cuteness and charm.
Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

So I'm passing it on to these bloggers who embody the essence of charm and adorableness through their writing style and/or use of visual aids:

...love Maegan
Celiac Chicks
Head Over Heels
Luphia loves...
Blog Goggles
You Are My Fave
Made By Girl

Ladies, now go pass on the love. (Please.)

(Photo via Google Images)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekly links

Have a great weekend! Things you can do:

make a versatile weekender tote using cotton wax cloth and leatherette at Weekend Designer via WhipUp via Tipnut

make gluten free roasted tomato and leek pasta at Gluten Hates Me (Only four ingredients.)

disguise a damaged or ugly ceiling at Apartment Therapy

make a patchwork pet bed at Apartment Therapy (Maybe Anonymously Chic could use another spare?)

make a paper telephone sculpture using raffle tickets and Scotch Tape at Craftzine

make a Dixie Cup spherical dodecahedron at Instructables via Apartment Therapy (It's a plastic cup hanging lamp. Maybe it can help with #3.)

fake a clean house at Real Simple via Apartment Therapy

(Photo via A Little Sussy)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Celiac Spotlight: An interview with Miss Aimee from Mostly Mod

I did a post last month on her gorgeous photography. What some of you may not know is that the lovely Miss Aimee of Mostly Mod has celiac disease. After I read about her recent trip to Marfa I was thinking: How does she maintain a gluten free diet while traveling? So I was thrilled when Miss Aimee agreed to answer a few questions about her personal experience with celiac.

When were you diagnosed with celiac disease?
About 4-5 years ago, although I will say it took me about a year to come to reality with the severity of it. I was in denial for a year thinking I could cheat the diet. I was scared that it would simply be unmanageable to continue on being "the foodie" I am in a celiac world.

What was one of the first things you ate after learning you couldn't eat gluten? Are there any foods you miss?
Well, naturally I think my body naturally disliked the foods I couldn't eat. I never liked pizza or pasta or bread. In fact, I can remember as a child always eating the inside of my sandwiches and the hamburger meat out of buns. I loved grits growing up and all corn-based products. So it wasn't a huge change for me. But I will say after knowing you cannot have something there is a funny thing that happens...you just want one more bite. I miss birthday cake from really great bakeries. I miss scones. I miss a good few bites of homemade macaroni and cheese or a good beer on a hot summer day. Although I have conveniently become a wino because of the lack of beer in the fridge.

Are there other members in your family with a gluten intolerance?
Yes, my Dad. He found out 5 years ago and that was why my sister and I both got tested. Of course my sister was fine, and I had celiac. Both my parents were not at all surprised as my Mom will tell the story over and over about the time I broke out in hives from eating too many stone wheat crackers one day. I loved those crackers! What a shame. The doctor (in the 70s) took me off wheat for about a year. Nobody knew what celiac was then!

What is meal prep like--do you cook one gluten free meal that all can share vs. separate ones?
I DO NOT make separate meals. We eat only gluten free foods in my house except for the basic bin of saltine crackers on the counter for my husband and the kids, and I always make sandwiches for the kids' lunch boxes on whole wheat bread. Although I will say my kids love toasted gluten free bread from Whole Foods. Whole Foods brand makes the BEST Prairie Bread ever! It must be toasted though. I eat it all the time.

Is there a favorite gluten free recipe you'd like to share?
Wow. So many. See my blog Mostly Mod for favorites as I post them every Tuesday! I only post recipes that are loved by the entire family. I have a fantastic Mexican cornbread recipe and we eat Pamela's brand pancake mix every Saturday for breakfast. I recently brought it on my Marfa trip and made pancakes for two families. Nobody knew they were gluten free and everyone loved them! In fact my friend Joslyn told me she thought they were better than regular pancakes! She swears she will buy them now. How great is that!

How often do you travel?
All the time. We are huge get-up-and-go-on-an-adventure kind of family. So I never know where we will eat but I can always find something!

Are there particular places you favor going where a gluten free diet can be easily accommodated?
No, I am a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. So, I am pretty easy.

Is there anywhere you would NOT recommend to a person who has dietary restrictions?
Well, I will say I am NOT a fast food kind of person and never have been. It is greasy and makes you feel so bad after eating it. I try not to ever feed it to my kids but sometimes they just want it (so you got to give in).

Basically, what's your method/best advice for handling the whole gluten issue when traveling?
Pack a small cooler bag full of fresh fruits and veggies, pack a few of your favorite boxes of gluten free crackers and a jar of peanut butter....and you won't starve no matter what. Be open-minded....chefs are pretty on the GF diet now. I find that when I go to any place to eat they pretty much all accommodate me well. You can always order a grilled chicken nothing on it and a side of rice or potato right?!

Is there anything else you'd like to add about dining out in general? (e.g., restaurants, friends' homes, etc.)
I will say my friends are intimidated at first to have us over for dinner because of my gluten free diet and then they realize it is pretty easy. I always send them to a few great gluten free recipe links on my blog sidebar that I frequent and they are all great recipes my husband and friends absolutely love! I always tell people you can't really go wrong with Mexican food either. The truth is gluten isn't good for anyone, celiac or not...so if you don't HAVE to go there why go there...right? I feel great. I have tons of energy, I am feeding my body the way I should...so yeah for celiac. I love cooking, I love eating...so it's all good over here.

Thank you for sharing, Miss Aimee!

Please feel free to email me (jackie at VanillaSpoons dot com) if you'd like to be featured in a celiac spotlight.

Related posts about dining out can be found here and here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is why you're fat.

I recently discovered Tumblr This Is Why You're Fat, a site filled with junk food porn. People are able to submit their pictures of deliciously gross food to this website. Some of the entries worth noting: deep fried Tootsie Roll on a stick; bacon-wrapped meatloaf with a layer of mac and cheese; sloppy joe on a Krispy Kreme; deep fried peanut butter-covered brownie wrapped in cookie dough. And, of course, more deep frieds and things on sticks. Thank goodness I didn't notice any pictures of gluten free food. Except maybe this 120 ounce steak.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Weekly links

Wooooo-hooooo! Spring is here--and so is the weekend. Here's some stuff you may want to do:

celebrate the vernal equinox 30 ways at Curbly

make gluten free brandy berry pie at Hey, that tastes good!

knit a paper dolls t-shirt at Needled via WhipUp

learn how to fold a t-shirt in 2 seconds at Apartment Therapy

think about the color black for a kitchen at Apartment Therapy
(I thought about this for 2 seconds. Nope.)

make a lemon cello to go with a limoncello at Craftzine

discover 8 more brilliant uses for lemons at Martha Stewart

*BONUS THREE* (Feeling generous.)
use thumbtacks to make wall decoration at Apartment Therapy

add bamboo veneer flowers to spruce up some plain IKEA Lack side tables at Craftynest via Craftzine

reuse old bundt pans to decorate kitchen wall at 2Modern Design Talk via Curbly

(Photo via weheartit)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I love Cynthia Nixon who loves YummyEarth candy.

And guess who features YummyEarth's organic candy in their gluten free gift baskets? You guys are so smart. Here is Vanilla Spoons' description of the candy:

[Featured are] YummyEarth's handcrafted organic lollipops with flavor names like Mango Tango, Pomegranate Pucker and Chili Mango Mambo. Best of all, these little suckers are certified organic, 100% vegan, kosher, gluten free, peanut free and tree nut free, egg free, dairy free, corn syrup free and soy free. Now that's a mouthful! In fact, this candy company has been recognized by Harvard Medical School for their organic mission.

You can find these yummy pops in Movie Mania, The Graduate and Close Encounters of the Sweet Kind.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Adorable blouse. (But it's not the reason for this post.)

Is it just me or do you think this model looks a lot like Martha?

(Photos via Makool Loves You and The Martha Blog)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekly links

Step lively this weekend! Here are some things you may want to do...

learn how to grow shamrocks at Martha Stewart

make curried red lentil, chickpea and red kale soup at Food Blogga (Though it's not specified as gluten free, it's naturally gluten free. Just make sure you use a gf vegetable broth.)

use fabric paint to transform upholstered furniture at Apartment Therapy

make an embroidery hoop chandelier at Gingerbread Snowflakes via Craftzine

make an abstract mobile at Dinosaurs and Robots via Apartment Therapy (Never imagined I would be using the words dinosaurs and robots on this blog.)

paint your closet doors with a trellis pattern at Modern Homebody AND Chez Larsson via Apartment Therapy (Did I miss a credit to someone here?)

make your own photo cuffs at Photojojo via WhipUp

I'm taking part in the Hooked on Fridays blog carnival going on now at Hooked on Houses. Check it out to see what people are hooked on! (I'm hooked on my gluten free care package discount offer.)

(Photo via weheartit)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A lady stops to look in the window of a French bakery.

Claudette contemplates entering patisserie: Mon dieu! But they all look so good. If I go in juste pour un moment, perhaps Jean-Pierre won't notice if I'm not home by six. Oh, but today is Thursday. I am making duck a l'orange.

(Photo via weheartit)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is your college kid allergic to wheat or gluten?

We call it The Graduate. Remember this? A gluten free care package from Vanilla Spoons filled with yummy edibles. Artisan-crafted chocolate bars which were described as the "Best Organic Bars" by Food & Wine. Gourmet peanut butter with flavors like Mighty Maple and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. Home-style vegan cookies from the lovely Liz Lovely. (A little warning about these cookies: My two girls WHO CAN EAT GLUTEN once scarfed down the Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Chip before their celiac bro ever even had a crumb. Crummy indeed. True story.) And much more.

From now until March 20 we will offer a 10% discount on The Graduate. Just enter ANM for the code. Bridget (or Jake) will love being surprised by this gluten free goodness you send.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

one two three four

I'm super-busy today, but wanted to post a little something for you.

(Top via ooh_food's photostream, bottom via Design Sponge)

Monday, March 9, 2009

French Aristocracy Photos by Lauren Greenfield

After discovering that I had missed Lauren Greenfield's lecture at Smith College, I decided to do some googling of Ms. Greenfield. And boy am I glad that I did. Because we all know that in addition to writing about 'la vida gluten free' and shamelessly plugging Vanilla Spoons, I can't resist posting--well, those irresistible images. And Lauren Greenfield's portfolio is chock-full of them. She was named by American Photo as one of the 25 most influential photographers working today.

The leader of a hunting club in the Foret de Cuvee sits down to a feast in the forest after the weekly hunt on horseback in Burgundy France.

Family and friends reunite at the family chateau near Paris for the occasion of an aristocratic couple's 25th wedding anniversary.

Elder women at a wedding reception in a chateau near Paris. Maintaining a chateau is a financial burden for contemporary aristocrats and some have turned to renting their chateaus for weddings.

Young aristocratic couples dance at the exclusive Jockey Club in Paris. To become a member of this elite club, families have to provide documentation going back several generations to prove the true nobility of their family line.

French aristocratic children join social clubs called "rallyes" which become their primary form of social life. They begin meeting to play bridge and theatre, then graduate to dance lessons, and eventually dance parties.

A maid dries dishes in the estate she has worked in since her childhood in Burgundy France.

Did you notice that nobody seems particularly happy in any of these?

(Photography and text by Lauren Greenfield via vii Photo Agency)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thin Photography Exhibit at Smith College

Yesterday world-renowned photographer and eating disorder activist Lauren Greenfield presented and discussed her work at the Smith College Museum of Art. Unfortunately, I hadn't heard about the lecture until today. Ms. Greenfield's Thin and Girl Culture - Major solo exhibition is currently on view at SCMA through April 26. (I definitely won't miss this.)

THIN is a documentary project by Greenfield on the subject of eating disorders. She followed and photographed a group of women in treatment at the Renfrew Center in Florida, producing color photographs and a documentary film about the women and their experiences. Thin grew out of an earlier body of work, Girl Culture, which focused on the image-obsession of women of all ages in the United States. Selections from Girl Culture will also be on display in an adjacent gallery to provide a context for Thin and expand the themes of the show.

On March 27 there will be a second screening of her award-winning documentary Thin at Smith. The film follows four girls in their daily lives at Renfrew. The film explores the process of treatment, the cycle of addiction, and the unique relationships, rules, and rituals that define everyday life within the treatment center.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Weekly links

Have a great weekend--don't forget to set your clocks one hour ahead. Here's a list of things to do...

spruce up your salt and pepper shakers at Heart of Light via Apartment Therapy

learn to knit a Norwegian purl at WhipUp (Watch a short demonstration on YouTube.)

make gluten free pasta e fagiole at The New York Times

learn how to board and batten at Apartment Therapy (Learn first what 'board and batten' is.)

make an ottoman out of an old suitcase at Instructables via Craftzine (Perhaps Anne over at The City Sage would like to add this to her ottoman collection.)

learn how to separate an egg at Saveur via The Kitchn

arrange and hang picture frames using butcher paper at Apartment Therapy

(Photo via weheartit)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Say cheese.

Love these couple photos. Do you think everyone is smiling?

(Photos from top to bottom: weheartit via Peonies and Polaroids, Dustin Todd via Coco + Kelley, Margaret Singer via Design is Mine)

this is gluten free glamorous

A couple of weeks ago I saw a recipe on Glamour's health & fitness blog for guilt-free chocolate-chip muffins. Or as Mariska Hargitay likes to call them, "Joyful Heart Fudge Chip Muffins"--named after her Joyful Heart Foundation which supports survivors of sexual assault. *Please note that the Glamour recipe lists oat flour as one of the ingredients. The only oats that are certain to be free of contamination from gluten grains are grown in dedicated fields. Read more here about gluten contamination of commercial oats in the U.S.
So back to the glamour thing. Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow did a seven day gluten free diet cleanse which she shared in her GOOP newsletter. And let's not forget those loyal fans of BabyCakes.

Do you think there IS a Hollywood obsession with the gluten free diet?

(Photo of Mariska via Flickr)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Here's another one.

Yay Namaste!

And if I possess even the smallest amount of marketing savvy, it's probably important for me to mention that Namaste's gluten free baking mixes are featured in a few of Vanilla Spoons' gift baskets including our Mix and The City and Close Encounters of the Sweet Kind.

(Episode 11: ...But Which Brownie Mix? from Bethany Lee on Vimeo)

Make a gluten free chocolate mug cake in 5 minutes.

You have no idea how thrilled I am to have discovered Bethany Lee and her gluten free cooking tutorials on Vimeo.

Monday, March 2, 2009