Monday, February 25, 2008

Time to catch up!

It's been over a month since I posted last. I've been really busy with work and trying to get on a good schedule for exercising. It's working and I've been fairly consistent. It's true what they say about exercise being good for your mind. Less worrying, less anxiety about the daily struggles.

Our Palm Beach Celiac Support Group's First Vendor Fair was fabulous! I don't know if I blogged about it but there were so many excited, invigorated people there. It was great to be around those who understand our day to day experiences!! Speaking of exciting, I must tell you that I bought Shauna Ahern's book, Gluten Free Girl. It is so wonderful and such an easy read. I've kept it on my nightstand and read a few pages a night. She talks about how she's fallen in love with fruits, vegetable, "good" grains, and more. Personally, I've tossed out my Morton's Salt (the one with the girl with the umbrella) and am using kosher salt or sea salt. I use fresh herbs whenever possible. Basil! Fresh basil! Does it get any better than that? Okay. Maybe. Cilantro is another one of my favorites. Not just for mexican food either. Experiment! That's one of Shauna's suggestions. Hey, just throw caution to the wind, as my sister Ellen says. So I did! And I've created yummy entrees that my family and I enjoy with health benefits.

Back to the vendor fair, I also spoke to one woman who made Pamela's bread mix with a Kitchen Aid vs. a bread machine. She claimed that it came out better. I tried it the next week and ya know what? She was right. Three minutes in the Kitchen Aid mixer, let it rise for 60 minutes, then, bake for 90 mins. It was so good. I absolutely love Breads from Anna so I'll be trying hers in my Kitchen Aid as well.

My husband and I went to Scottsdale/Paradise Valley, Arizona last week to spend time with cousins. Aside from the beauty of the mountains, cactus, and the red rock of Sedona (I live in "no mountain South Florida!"), I was able to find amazing gluten free pizza. The name of the restaurant is Pizza Picassos. The crust was the closet thing that I've found to the real thing. I asked the waiter for the recipe and he gave the the ingredients. I'll just have to play with the measurements. The following day we went to Sedona and I found the New Frontier Market. I bought Tom Sawyer flour, two 5lb. bags! Ok, so I'm an extremist! Meanwhile, I did find other restaurants where they actually knew what gluten free and celiac disease are! Imagine!

When we left on Monday night, Feb. 18th, we packed our bags and flew to Atlanta to connect to Ft. Lauderdale. Our bags were the last, yes the very last, to come onto the belt at baggage claim. My husband's suitcase was open and yes, you guessed it! The flour wasn't there. I didn't discover it until the next afternoon when I went to bake since we got in at 1:15 a.m. the night before. I called my husband, who didn't realize it wasn't there. I followed up with a call to Delta, who gave me a claim number. I will put in a claim even though they said that they don't typically reimburse non-perishable items. We'll see what happens when I submit the claim. Meanwhile, I called Tom Sawyer flour the next day and ordered 10 more pounds of flour. The gentleman, quite a gentle man, threw in a cookbook for all of my troubles. I hadn't received it as of Saturday the 23rd. Cross your fingers that it comes today. Pizza crust here I come!

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend it with my sister Ellen of I Am Gluten Free. Many of you have read her fabulous blog. What you might not know, is that she and Peter are extremely talented musicians, who circle the country as keynote speakers, Artists in Residence, and childrens' entertainers. We spent the weekend at a local synagogue, singing and praying together. It was a very happy weekend and I'll think of it often. I use their secular music every day in my preschool class and highly recommend it. I hope they don't mind my "tooting their horn" but their website is Great, great music!

Today is Wednesday and my daughter is 16 yrs. old! Whoa. It sure goes by quickly, doesn't it? Anyway, I got the flour in yesterday from Tom Sawyer. Last night, I dipped tilapia in egg, dredged it in the Tom Sawyer flour mixed with dried parsley, paprika, s and p. I sauteed it and though it may have needed some other seasonings I can tell you that it did have a slight crunchy coating. I cannot wait to experiment more with it. The gentleman I spoke to, Eric, confirmed that the equivalent ratio is 1-1. He said that I can take any recipe and substitute it easily. I wonder about the xanthan gum connection but I'll have to experiment.
It has been a while since I've read other wonderful blogs. It's time to catch up and round up some new recipes. It always inspires me to read new recipes! Speaking of recipes, I made Ellen's Asian Twist Tofu recipe and it was really delicious. I'll look forward to trying yours. Meanwhile, take care and be healthy!