Monthly Archives: June 2011

Gluten-Free Deep Fried Kool-Aid

Oh yeah, I went there.

Because gluten-eating gluttons shouldn’t have all of the fun, I have transformed this season’s most outrageous county fair treat into a g-free ball of fun. Thanks to my sister-in-law’s boyfriend, I am now the proud owner of a “professional deep fryer” and what better way to break it in than making up a batch of deep fried Kool-Aid? Seriously, if you’ve got a better idea, please let me know, because I don’t believe it exists.

One of the most delightful parts of this experiment came in the simple act of making Kool-Aid. I haven’t had this stuff since I was a kid, and my own children have never experienced the joy of liquid, dyed, sugar running down their little gullets. How is it I’ve denied them this pleasure for so long? So I busted out my Mr. Kool-Aid pitcher, which I sent away for with proofs of purchase back in the 1980s, and almost threw out during my latest move. What the heck was I thinking? Behold the beauty: Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Chain Vs. High-Falutin’

We Moved!

Hi lovers, likers, and tolerate-ors of GIMB. So we moved last week, and in addition to the packing, unpacking, sorting, cleaning, discovering of old clothes that are suddenly new again, I’ve been sans Internet. But I’m back! And I’ve been eating.

The thing is, when you move, is that you wind up dining out a lot. Which is not so awesome for those of us with the celiac. Especially at lunchtime when slices and sandwiches are staring you in the face. Needless to say I had a lot of tacos last week, but I also was lucky enough to hit a couple of stellar joints, both of which served me up gluten-free dinners to die for. Or rather, to totally not die for, as they were gluten-free and will not slowly give me small intestine cancer. Woot! Which made me stop and consider (again) my love of the fancy restaurants, and avoidance of the chain.

I hit both, and here’s what happened, and how they compared. Continue reading

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What Just Happened?

Sing it, Senor

So we’re moving to a new house this weekend, which naturally means I’ve been spending some time at IKEA. Today after my daughter and I grabbed some storage baskets and lighting fixtures at the pride of Sweden, I was starving. Our options at this fab shopping center in beautiful downtown Burbank included California Pizza Kitchen and Chevy’s Fresh Mex. Clearly the pizza was not going to cut it, so we hightailed it to the Fresh Mex of the West.

This is where I admit that I’m becoming more fond of dining at chains, instead of my usual fancy farm-to-tables. Because those people know how to take care of a crazy diner with special needs. What happened next should go down in the celiac hall of fame. Which I will start, after posting this, moving, and getting that book proposal finished.

As we got comfortable with our tortilla chips, salsa and giant water cups, I asked the server if they had a gluten-free menu. She wasn’t really sure what the heck I was talking about, and brought me the tequila menu. Hey, tequila is gluten-free. After I admitted to myself I couldn’t only have tequila for lunch, she went to talk to someone and obviously learned the seriousness of my request. That lady came back and swatted a chip out of my mouth, scooped up the basket before we could shove more in our mouths, yelling, “You can’t eat these.” That’s when I knew Chevy’s wasn’t messing around about the gluten-free. Right after the great chip save, the manager came over and pulled up a chair. That’s right, he wanted to be relaxed as he spent an insane amount of time walking me through the menu, and quite frankly, the whole philosophy of Chevy’s.

He then explained to me that they have a separate frying basket for gluten-free chips, and they were heating the oil right now for me. My own personal chips without the taint of delicious flauta drippings. (Which, by the way, I totally should have thought about!!!) I asked him what I could have on the menu, and he was kind enough to go over all of the options, and inform me that the fajita marinade contained soy sauce. There are four star restaurants I’ve been to where they don’t get the soy sauce thing. He also told me, not to worry because they could substitute corn tortillas on any dish, and leave out the marinade if fajitas were what I was craving that day. He basically told me to order what I wanted, and they’d make it gf. Chevy’s in Burbank, where have you been all my life?

It gets better. Continue reading

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The Best Ice Cream Cake of All Time is Now Gluten-Free

You are welcome.

A long time ago — like the late ’70s, early ’80s — a very sweet mom started the grand tradition of making her little girl a special dessert on her birthday, and on those days when the little girl came home pissed off because Jason Adair couldn’t stop screaming, “April’s a Fool! April’s a Fool!” Her mom called this “choco ice cream dessert” and the little girl called this freaking delicious.

Then one day — somewhere in the 2011 range — the little girl discovered she could no longer eat the greatest dessert of all time, thanks to a nasty case of the sprue. (Isn’t that a funny word for celiac? Yes, it is.) You see, the crust of this fab choco ice cream dessert is made of Oreos. And Oreos could kill a celiac. Or anyone else, for that matter. Seriously, that’s like all lard in between two chocolate cookies.

But the little girl was all grown up and willing to take a risk on lard, if only she could find a gluten-free Oreo alternative. And holy crap, she did. Continue reading

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I’m Writing Crazy Letters!

Wait, can’t I use email?

Dear (Starbucks/Magnolia Bakery/In ‘n’ Out Burger),

I’m writing to beg you to help me, help you, make more money. As a sometimes constant patron of your fine establishment, I’ve spent like a bazillion bucks over the past decade or so. But now, tragedy has struck and I’ve been given a celiac disease diagnosis. Yes, I am very brave. No, you don’t have to keep saying you’re sorry. I’m managing. Thank you for the tissue. Continue reading

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Where Gluten Hides Out (Like the Jerk That It Is)

Unclean! Unclean!

One of the most annoying things about having celiac, is thinking you’re kicking ass by de-glutening your pantry, cooking g-free 24/7, then you go out to eat only to be blindsided by hidden gluten. (This also applies to well-meaning friends who, naturally, are not fully clued into the evil of gluten.)

So you go to a restaurant, or a BBQ, and say, “Hey, guys, sorry, but I’m all celiac and stuff so I can’t eat gluten.” Nice people say, “No problem, here’s what you can have!” Then you go home and get sick. You know why? Gluten is an evil mother scratcher, and this is where it hides: Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese Plus Chicken Fingers

Yowza! That’s some decadent dinner. But I’m all about trying to figure out how to recreate my favorite, really bad for you foods sans gluten. It was only a matter of time before I busted out a macaroni and cheese recipe that makes it worth skipping the boxed varieties. And even Oprah* agrees, this mac and cheese recipe is the absolute best. And you know what goes so well with mac and cheese? Chicken fingers. So gird your arteries, celiacs, you’re going to want to make this three-cheese dish worthy of the Queen of Talk and serve it up with a side of gluten-free chicken fingers. Duh. Continue reading

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