We thought we had to go all the way to Tacoma for a gluten-free burger but we found out that Porterhouse in West Seattle has gluten free buns so you can get pretty much any sandwich de-glutenized. Why are these secrets so closely kept??? Anyway, it was awesome. Hondo says he likes it “even better than the other place.”
I forgot to post these pics, this was Hondo’s family birthday party at my mom’s house. I used the leftover chocolate buttercream for the filling in the cake and made Joy of Cooking’s chocolate satin frosting for the outside. Hoo-boy. That frosting is a crowd-pleaser. It’s made with evaporated milk (note to self: condensed milk is the essence of dulce de leche, much more prevalent at the mexi-centric grocery stores in my neighborhood, don’t mix them up next time…). I made the cake from scratch but from now on I might just use the Pamela’s gluten-free cake mixes. They are way easier & always turn out moist & delicious. Not that my cake wasn’t good. Everybody had seconds. But honestly, as my own worst critic, the cake was a little dry. Now all I need is a lovely flat crystal cake plate… (the pink plates have always been too curved to respectably hold a cake).
With Japan in our hearts & on our minds…
Japanese restaurant food is pretty much untouchable for the gluten-free because of the prevalence of conventional soy sauce… so as per usual, of course we have to figure out how to make it on our own. Luckily we live in Seattle so there are millions of cool gadgets at fun stores like Uwajimaya & Daiso Japan. The main gadget you need is a little bamboo sushi mat. But for fun you might want to try the little onigiri presses. They are little plastic forms that you press your sticky rice into to make cute shapes like the bear above. Then if you are feeling really inspired you can get these crazy little paper punchers to make faces out of nori (I hand cut the one above using scissors).
Basically the recipe for sticky rice is your main component. Everything else you can sort of wing it on. Note: sometimes the rice is called glutinous rice but I promise it’s still gluten free. It just means it’s sticky. Also- be careful when selecting your nori (seaweed sheets) because many of them are seasoned with soy sauce (the wheat kind).
Sticky Rice: Continue reading
This is $150 worth of gluten-free food purchased for about $40 at Albertsons on the clearance shelf. Its all in date; with expiration dates in 2012. I have my mom to thank for finding this bargain. It’s kind of her mission in life. My mom is a Supersaver. You probably picture someone who clips coupons and drives around to 14 different grocery stores to get the cheapest everything just to save a trivial sum. Oh no. It goes much deeper and more efficient than this. Growing up we had access to utilities but hardly used them. We almost never used the heat. I remember waking up in bed in highschool being fully dressed (leggings, shirt, socks, jeans, sweater) with an unzipped sleeping bag over the top of my bedding and there were icicles of condensation on my windows from my breath. We also didn’t let the shower just run while the water heated up. You had to hold a big 2 gallon jug (it was some wide mouth costo-sized ranch dressing vessel) up to the showerhead and catch all the cold water. I’m not sure what was done with the water. I like to think it was used to water plants but we didn’t have that many plants. She probably made coffee with it.
Also our lunches were not packed with sandwich bags. My mom quilts professionally and her batting comes on these huge rolls that are the size of a phone booth. The rolls are sheathed in super-size plastic bags which she used to cut into napkin sized sheets to wrap our sandwiches. Probably not the most sanitary practices but I certainly owe my iron constitution to her. I almost never get sick.
Conservation methods aside, her main thrill in life is getting stuff for free or sometimes, getting the store to pay you to take it. If I ever need anything that Walgreen’s carries I can pretty much shop for it in her cupboards. Need razors? Shaving cream? Sun screen? Vitamins? Toothpaste? Peanutbutter? “New” flavors of snack food (y’know, like midnight-lime Doritos or some such nonsense)? She has it. And she’ll tell you exactly how much she paid for it. “I had a manufacturers coupon and it was on sale and they have a rebate deal going so they paid me 28 cents to take all this stuff!” She could teach seminars. But I’m not sure you could really learn to do this. It’s more like a mental illness than a choice.
You know how some of the best gluten-free meals are made? It’s when you think to yourself, “I could really go for a _________ right now”, and since like 99% of restaurants are off-limits you better just figure out how to make it. Anyway, corn dogs entered my brain and they were surprisingly easy to make and delicious. And obviously, a serious crowd pleaser. After too many days of feeding Hondo thinly disguised health food (spinach & quinoa billed as “Hulk Rice”) and Hondo telling me very earnestly, “mommy, you know that rice we had last night? Don’t make it again, OK? It was so bad.” it feels nice to serve up some homemade “fast” food. Hondo ate 3.
Mix up the batter in a bowl, pre-heat the oil on medium heat, dry the dogs off with a papertowel, dip the hot dogs trying to keep as much batter on them as possible and fry them for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden. Make fritters with the left over batter.
Toot-toot, I’m tootin’ my own horn. These cupcakes turned out awesome…
For Hondo’s birthday party I made 5-dozen mini chocolate cupcakes. For every kid invited by Hondo comes 1-2 parents and sometimes a sibling…
I doubled the chocolate cake part of my favorite black bottom cupcake recipe and made chocolate buttercream from The Joy of Cooking (not for the faint of heart). Here is the recipe if you care (or dare), after the break…
Oh Full Tilt Ice Cream, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
huh-one: Salted Caramel
huh-two: Thai Iced Tea
huh-thrrree: Vegan Chocolate Mint
you get the picture, Horchata, Ube (Japanese sweet potato), Vegan Almond Joy, Chai, they are all super-yum, and they respectfully handle our gluten-free cones, careful not to cross contaminate them. Plus they make their own waffle cones which smell delightful even if we aren’t eating them… aaaand, rumor has it that they are working on a gluten free cone formula and they promised to keep us updated on the developments if we Facebook “Like” them. I told our favorite ice cream scooper that I had already liked them but now that I Facebook-Like them it is official.
We spent Hondo’s actual birthday evening there and rocked some arcade games with our best friend Amber.
Besides the ice cream I also appreciate Full Tilt’s civic involvement. They always have thank you letters on the back bulleitin board for supporting schools and they have the international sign for breastfeeding sticker next to the visa mastercard logos on the front window. That always warms my heart.
Amber & Hondo way outplayed me & Mike on Gauntlet (OK, so we added coins for Hondo but still, he is 4 afterall!).
What ice cream shop is complete without a sexy ironic Nagel? Of course, I am partial to this one because of the bangs.