Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gluten Free in the Hamptons 2013: LUNCH


LUNCH, also knows as The Lobster Roll Restaurant, on a long stretch of highway between Amagansett and Montauk has had a gluten free menu for a few years. But now they have a dedicated gluten free fryer and they have added gluten free french fries and fried chicken tenders to the menu. LUNCH serves a small paper American flag in the gluten free food to differentiate it from the regular entrees at this busy, roadside restaurant which has a beachy feel even though it isn't actually on the beach. Gluten free dessert options include ice cream, chocolate cupcakes or chocolate cupcake sundae's. 

We are so excited for the dedicated fryer and we're crossing our fingers for gluten free fried clams in the future.

LUNCH
1980 Montauk Hwy
AmagansettNY 11930
(631) 267-3740

Saturday, May 25, 2013

An Easy to Find, Nontoxic Silver Polish--Toothpaste!
















My father passed away the weekend before Thanksgiving and in my rage and grief over his passing and his illness I polished my silver with toxic silver polish. It all seemed so hopeless that I didn't care the polish was toxic. I needed the world to be bright and shiny for a moment. In the back of my mind, I knew that it would be the last time I polished silver with conventional polish but I was too wiped out to find an alternative. I spent six months looking for a less toxic silver polish--or someone else who had sturdier genetics and didn't care who polished for a living already--to polish my silver. 

And then, in the spring before I wanted to polish the silver for my husband's birthday,  I found a post on The Daily Green that you can polish silver with toothpaste! It's hard to believe this simple solution to tarnished silver would work but it does. Crest worked very well and kids can help with the polishing. 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Fun Friday: Rolled Fondant Letters for Cupcakes



Colorful rolled fondant letters are a great way to differentiate your gluten free baked goods from everyone else's. There is no mistaking these C cupcakes.  There might be other chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing at the bake sale--but how many have a green C on them? Green and gold are the school colors of my daughter's school and she was on the green team for field day so we chose a green C (the school initial) with yellow sprinkles to decorate our chocolate cupcakes. They sold out in 10 minutes I was told. Go green!


To make these fondant letters you need:
Rolled Fondant
Rolling Pin
Parchment Paper

Directions:
  • Kneed a golf ball size of fondant until it is soft and pliable.
  • Press flat with your hand onto parchment paper.
  • Roll as flat as you can. About 1/8 inch thick.
  • Press down with letter cookie cutter. 
  • To remove fondant from cookie cutter we used chopsticks.
Note:
It's a little tricky to get the fondant out of the cutter. If you are doing the activity with kids they will need assistance for this part.
____________________________________________

According to Wilton Industries Customer Care Center in 2007
1-800-794-5866
"There is no gluten in the fondant and none in the plant."
But always check directly with manufacturers to make sure because things change.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

52 Week Challenge: Week 2 (Baby Red Chard)


red chard

















The 52 week challenge has been a big success with my 7 year old. This week we tried organic girl SUPERGREENS--baby red and green swiss chard, baby arugula and baby spinach. Red chard was our favorite green. The greens were on a Mother's Day breakfast in bed tray my husband made me and my son asked for his own breakfast in bed. After finishing our bagels and scrambled eggs, we dipped the greens in some salad dressing. My son also tried hot sauce. And lemon quinoa

Unfortunately, my eleven year old officially quit the 52 week challenge. Interesting, because she is my better eater who doesn't really need the challenge. My picky eater (who is not so picky since the challenge) seems to find it fun.

There are a few ways to start the 52 week challenge. Choose a new fruit or vegetable or food each week to present to your family. Bring your kids to the farmer's market or the grocery store and ask them to choose a fruit or vegetable they have never tried. Or, if you are feeling less ambitious just send them into your fridge to find something they have never tried before! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dr. Mercola on Plastics in Tea Bags--A Surpising Source of Potential Toxins

Dr. Joseph Mercola is a health expert who writes articles and sells wellness products on his website Mercola.com. When I want an overview of the alternative perspective on a health issue or supplement or chronic health problem I often go to Mercola first and do a search.

On April 24, 2013 Mercola wrote an article on Plastic and Cancerous Compounds in Tea Bags--A Surprising Source of Potential Toxins. It's shocking how plastic is hidden everywhere--even in our old fashioned tea bags. And, it makes you realize how going back to the most basic way of making food (and beverages) can really prevent exposure to these modern day chemicals. Some manufacturers are using plastic in the manufacturing of  the tea bags and coffee filters. The process "prevents tears that allow the tea leaves/coffee grounds to leak." And it can expose people to unhealthy toxins as the plastics used are exposed to boiling water during the process of steeping tea. If you don't have time to read the whole article Dr. Mercola suggests:
"purchasing tea from manufacturers who can certify that their tea bags do not contain epichlorophydrin, and avoid plastic tea bags. Your best option is to opt for loose tea."

"When selecting tea of any kind, it should preferably be organic (to avoid pesticides) and grown in a pristine environment (tea is known to accumulate fluoride, heavy metals and other toxins from soil and water, so a clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Dana's Bakery Gluten Free Macarons


Dana's Bakery has a GF macarons for every occasion. Have a Gluten Free Girl Scout? Dana's sells a box of only thin mints. Want to celebrate those little things? A small birthday cake macaron tastes like the real thing and the cookie dough flavor is better than the guilty pleasure itself. For the perfect party gift order a box of champagne macarons. A box of twelve from Dana's is perfect for any occasion. Kids will love the fun and whimsical flavors and adults will love a delicious twist on a sophisticated treat.
   
Dana's Bakery wasn't planned to be gluten free but it was a welcome coincidence because they use almond flour instead of pastry flour, but you would never expect to see the little gold "GLUTEN FREE" on the box from the taste. The texture is like cake with a hard shell and the most amazing, flavorful frosting you could ever imagine - it's a far cry from the jam full of seeds that fills macarons at cafes.
   
Little things like these macarons make being gluten free a little better--finding joy in something unexpected, and being ecstatic over those coincidences.

The macarons are $30 plus shipping for a dozen but if you sign up for the mailing list you will get an extra 10% off and sometimes you get a coupon code with your box. You can choose what flavors to get or order a variety box and get one of each flavor.

PROS: See the glowing review above!
CONS: Contains dairy. Pricey...but worth every penny!

photos by SEPNYC and ZeeBee


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

52 Week Challenge from Feed Me Dearly

The 52 week challenge was created Jessica who writes the inspiring blog Feed Me Dearly. Jessica created the challenge as a way to get her kids to try new foods. Each week, you try to eat a new food that you have never tried before. Even if you aren't a kid, the 52 week challenge is a great way to incorporate more variety into your diet. I am one of those people who eat the same thing day after day. I like the predictability of having one thing over and over again. But, it's also really fun to eat a wide variety of food.  Even if your kids don't want to try the new food, you can be a model for them so they can vicariously learn that trying new foods can be fun and exciting. Let me say that again--even if your kids don't want to try the new food, you can be a model for them so that they can see you trying and enjoying new foods.

By making the novelty of a new food central to the challenge, it takes away the fear of new food. Trying something new becomes a fun weekly game instead of a chore.

Spring is also a great time to try new foods because of the abundance of fresh produce at the farmer's market. For our first week of the challenge, we found micro-greens and edible flowers at the Union Square Farmer's Market. We tried:
  • Yu Choi, the small yellow flowers (above) which are a type of Chinese greens called "choy sum" which means flowering stem
  • Tatsoi
  • Claytonia

My son tried one tiny bite of the greens and then grabbed a handful of greens (to go with his potato chips.) His hands were a little dirty--but I got a nice picture. I put the greens on a plate on the counter to take some pictures and he proceeded to eat my still life. My eleven year old tried them but passed on seconds saying she would eat the larger, edible flowers when she was in the country in the summer.
The leftover greens also brightened up my tacos. 
 
If you would like to join me and Feed Me Dearly in the 52 week challenge, send me an email with the name of your blog and I will get you information on how to participate.

BLOGS IN THE 52 WEEK CHALLENGE...


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Friday, May 3, 2013

Food Styling and Photography at ICE

"Less is more" seemed to be the take away of the Food Styling and Photography course at ICE taught by James Peterson, Jamie Tiampo and Jennifer Jung. Today's lecture and demo was on still lives. We pared way down from the overfilled tray of fruits, vegetables, herbs and white chocolate until we were finally left with this lonely but quite beautiful turnip. 

Here is a list of other food bloggers who are joining me at ICE...

Healthy Green Kitchen
Feed Me Dearly
HeirloomMeals



Our Gluten Free Family Cooking 2013 by Kendra Alexis



I cook everyday. These photographs give you a glimpse of me in my kitchen doing what I love to do--cooking and  preparing homemade food for myself and my family.

Kendra Alexis, a gifted and giving photographer, took them. When she isn't doing a photo shoot for families in NYC, Kendra gives back to the community by volunteering to take pictures for non-profits. She is an affiliated photographer for the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation and a member of PPA (Professional Photographers of America.) You can see more of her work at her website Kendra Alexis.

(To learn more about beet kvass--which is the sparkly wine colored beverage in the jar in the slideshow, go to my post on An Affordable Superfood--Beet Kvass.)








Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: Organic Girl Greens


Organic Girl greens are by far, the best product that has ever been sent to me to review.

Nothing makes me happier than fresh, crisp organic greens. Well, that is not completely true--washed THREE times organic produce makes me even happier. I sampled two blends of Organic Girl mixed greens (I heart baby kale! and SUPER GREENS) and baby spinach. My favorite was the SUPER GREENS which contains baby red chard, baby tat soi, baby spinach, baby green swiss chard, and baby arugula. Super Greens also contain 470% the daily value of vitamin K,  an important cofactor for vitamin D absorption.

Prewashed greens are super convenient way to get nutrient rich produce on the table quickly and the zippy Organic Girl packaging makes it a memorable brand. There are 14 different types of greens to choose from.

Last week, I discovered Organic Girl greens at Annie's Fruits and Vegetables--which is a small neighborhood grocery/produce market on the Upper East Side in NYC. Amazing that this  great product is hitting the shelves of big and small markets.

To find out where you can find Organic Girl visit the store locator. To read more about this great brand visit iloveorganicgirl.com