Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Grilled Cheese

Again; uber easy meal here, but the first time I've made it. Grilled cheese and steam-able veggies - another one pan meal. 

I grabbed some butter and a spatula on the drive home from work. Things you take for granted when you move into your first home, but little by little we'll get there.

I buttered the outside of four pieces of bread, I grabbed some cheese from the deli and layered that on the bread, we had two different types of cheese. So we ended up with a Cheddar/American Grilled Cheese sandwich. Threw them onto the frying pan which was on a medium flame. The gluten free bread is so small two fit on the pan at once!

  While the grilled cheese grilled up I threw a bag of BirdsEye steam-able veggies in the microwave. Make sure to double check that the bag of veggies is gluten free. They do make options with cheese sauce and pasta, so diligence is key here on picking the right ones. I left the grilled cheese on the pan until slightly browned and then flipped. I really need flipping practice! 

Viola another quick and easy meal. We threw some left over lettuce wraps from dinner out the night before, and we were set. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

This was a great idea in my head. Then remembered that I have 1 pan available currently.... So we had to go dig in the garage for another pot, and improvised. Truth be told, my dad always made scrambled eggs with ham and green peppers. So I did have to pull out the tablet and dial in the Food Network and find out how to make scrambled eggs. It was pretty easy. 

I decided to do 5 eggs between the two of us. I added a couple dashes of milk to the bowl and mixed up the eggs until they were well combined. I would have added some salt, but we didn't have any. poured that into the big pan and stirred every couple minutes. A spatula would work great, don't have one of those yet either... So I used a serving spoon, (That I have!) As the eggs started to form I threw some chunks of cheddar cheese in, since we do love our cheesy meals. While all of this was going in I attempted to separate the bacon that I pulled out of the freezer, (next time I'll try to remember to thaw the bacon) and put that in a small pot to start frying. Sadly we have 1 total frying pan at this point. I hate to buy a lot of anything before the holidays; since our parents know what we do and don't have they keep trying to buy us what we don't have for holiday gifts. But the holidays seem so far away right now as we keep realizing we need to improvise things still! We are learning to be resourceful.

So here is my ingredient breakout - 

5 large eggs
1 dash of milk
1 dash of salt
3 slices of cheese

mix all ingredients minus cheese in a bowl and pour into a hot frying pan. Stir every couple minutes, and add the cheese right before the eggs reach the consistency you like best. 

Once consistency is reached scoop onto your plate. Remember the pan is hot, so the eggs will keep cooking even after you remove the heat. 

Bacon - Find a bacon that works for you. Oscar Mayer is my go to - 

Throw the bacon into a pan, if you have one, I used a small pot, and it worked fine. Turn the bacon over regularly to keep each side cooking evenly and cook until desired crispiness is reached, about 8-10 minutes. Viola - Simple easy breakfast in under 15 minutes!! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quick and Simple

Quick and simple dishes; When you get use to the convenience products on the market going gluten free and back to cooking from scratch is hard because you forget all the extra effort involved, and it can feel overwhelming at first. I know for me it was super overwhelming. I own a ton of GF cookbooks which is great for ideas, suggestions and meal bases, but I'm talking even simpler. 

I remember learning to cook in home economics in Junior High School, but even at home with my family we did lots of convenience meals during the week, and Sunday's we'd cook a big from scratch meal, but that was it. We were always somewhere with some activity, that we were always rushing to get to. So all the wonderful training I received was pushed to the back of my brain to now 20 years later try and remember it all. This will be an interesting journey for sure! 

Having recently moved in with my wonderful boyfriend of four years and starting to make a go at things together, it's crazy learning more of what we each like and don't like in foods and what we are accustomed to. We still need furniture and to finish unpacking boxes, and heck move stuff from his condo to our place. So we're on the go 24/7 still. So with 1 pan that a friend brought over for us, and a few utensil's my mom gave us, I started to make more than just frozen meals this past weekend. 

Some are still cheater meals with the help of something frozen, but we're getting there, one day here I'll have a gourmet meal that we can have people over to enjoy, until then, guests will have to enjoy a frozen pizza or two with us. Though finding GF corndogs at the grocery store the other day made my heart flutter, I know we can't have that every night. 

As we make our cheater meals I'll do my best to photograph and post, between those and the "I Give Up - We're eating out" meals I should have plenty to write on. Luckily I have several great grocery stores for finding good GF items and fresh items, so I'm hopeful we'll knock this one out of the park and be kitchen pro's in no time. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pardon my absence

I must ask that you pardon my absence on reviewing. It's been a crazy couple months with my 8-5 job, finally getting started on a hand made jewelry partnership with a friend, looking for a new place to live and seeing what other job options are out there, and decorating for the holidays; I've been a bit busy! 

Don't worry I've been eating out and reviewing, just not in my blog. My notebook is full of things to type in here! With our new place we do have a Gluten Free Kitchen now too!! So I'm hoping for more baking, and experimenting recipes from my gluten free cookbooks, so I will have even more to write on. 

We aren't completely unpacked, but the kitchen is put together and we've started on some quick meals that can be made with 1-2 kitchen items. Once we get things more settled in I hope to get some Celiac Awareness bracelets made to put on Etsy, so I'll keep everyone informed on how that's going too.  

Right now I'm mastering the simple meals I can make with few items and in little time so we can devote more time to unpacking, and furniture shopping. I forgot how the little things do matter as I stood at the counter with a canned good thinking, "well now how do I open this???" Thankfully someone had brought me their electric can opener they never used. Well I used it for them! 

Luckily they also gave me a nice big frying pan, and some casserole dishes too; so I can start to make some meals. But Amy's Gluten Free line, and EVOL have been our best friends. I swear I have never run to the store so many times in a two week period, but I'm racking up some crazy reward points, as we realize we need stuff, and don't have it yet. Today's shopping trip is a spatula and butter, grilled cheeses for dinner tonight!! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Red Robin - Good and Bad Gluten Free

I have a love hate relationship with Red Robin. I was super stoked when they started to do gluten free buns with their burgers. I was even more stoked when they said they had dedicated fryers for their French fries. It was great progress from a chain restaurant to handle allergies with such care. I know it’s more for the sake of having options for children, but hey we all need a good ‘normal’ meal every now and then when out with friends and family. They seemed to train their staff really well, and everyone was on board with allergies. Now as staff has probably cycled out and new staff has come in, things have dwindled in my opinion. I am at the point of avoiding the place like the plague because I’ve left more than once almost in tears due to bad experiences of ignorance.
The first issue came from a disgusting, wet, cold burger. I refuse to be charged extra and then served a sub-par meal! The gluten free bun was so soggy and gross it almost disintegrated when I picked up the burger that was cold. That same location told me they didn’t have a dedicated fryer so I got 4 pieces of broccoli as my side dish. By the time the server came back most of our group was done eating. Pointed out to him how cold and gross the burger was and he told me “It is gluten free.”. – WOW! Really, that’s your response?

The second issue came 6 months later; we were at a different location in the same area as the one where this happened, since I wasn’t too keen on going back to that location we tried another one. 

This time as soon as we were seated and handed the iPad with the allergen listing the server couldn’t figure out how to turn it on, and unlock it. My brother called the manager over who right away started to praise how great their location is with allergies and how wonderful the gluten free bun is, and how awesome they handle allergies. It would have been nice had he given us 2 seconds to ask questions before he started to push their burger club card. He also pointed out the iPad was the “safest way” to ensure the meal made correct, even though the internet is super slow and takes a long time to load each page. So one would assume if I am holding the iPad that designates someone has a food allergy and ask the server no less than 5 times to make sure the meal is made GLUTEN FREE; and if he can double check that the fryer for the French fries is gluten free, that my meal would come out GLUTEN FREE. NOPE!

He brings out a basket of deep fried chicken fingers on top of French fries. I stared in horror at the meal, and asked him if he was certain it was gluten free. He goes “YUP!” I asked again and told him if he was wrong I’d be horribly ill, and in the hospital, was he certain? He responded, “Well I think so…. Do you want me to check?” The manager came out of the kitchen, Hands up in the air and loudly said “That’s your meal!” He walked over looked at it and responded – “That’s not on the gluten free menu…. That’s not how it should have been prepared….”

The sad interjection I should add is when I told my dad this he told me “I would have assumed it was rice based flour or something and that it was safe”. So back to the catering to children – my dad would have let me eat this because he would have assumed all the safeties of talking to the manager, telling the server multiple times, and their “super safe” way to order this would be correct. Major Fail! 

I walked out of the restaurant and told my brother I didn’t feel safe eating there, that I couldn’t risk their ignorance. The manager figured out besides flagging the meal gluten free in the computer the waiter needed to list out the modifications that needed to be made to the meal, he needed to list, no breading, grilled, not fried for the chicken. One would think with their fancy technology on the iPad that their system for ordering would be more advanced to know gluten free = no breading on chicken or their staff would have a cheat sheet how to enter the items for the cook to make sure they are safe. I settled for a microwaved Amy’s meal back at our hotel that I was too agitated to actually eat more than half of. 

That being said, no more Red Robin for me!