Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Doing what you can ...

Well I have to admit - I have fallen in love with the "Pinterest" world - over a very short period of time ~ and have not been doing much writing, I have done more dreaming and planning, and more dreaming and planning.  I have found because my entire system feels a bit off ~ I am feeling fatigued and uninspired ~ so working on ways to reignite my motivation.  It is often hard to balance all the things we want to do in life - to balance what our bodies, soul and spirit all need to keep vibrant and moving forward...

I have had a drive to write about being gluten free and share a bit more with the world ~ I have become a newbie to Twitter as well as Facebook pages, I am looking for ways to become more involved and volunteer for our Celiac Chapter in our city, learning to blog with pizzaz ;) ~ putting together simple recipes, slowly learning how to write out ideas, recipes, inspiration ... AND in the last 6 months we have made some major moves in our life ... making a full commitment and settling into a new relationship, bought a house, moved two households into one, adopted a puppy ... and are working on a blended family.  A lot I have thrown on to my plate ... and then there is feeding my soul and spirit ... I am a crafter (many different crafts over the years) in the last 7-8 years it has been primarily scrapbooking, I love to garden and plant, dabble in painting, I love to take pictures ... I really appreciate the small and simple beauty we can find in our world, if we want to look.  It is this creative spirit that Pinterest appeals to ... I am enjoying the glimpse into what people (all sorts of people) find inspiring, thought provoking, goal making, motivating  .... interests, dreams, hobbies, plans ... amazing and visually stimulating ... It fires up my dormant spirit to be creative ~ now to just figure out the balance of the outlet so that all the wonderful new things (to me) like blogging, tweeting, Facebook, writing don't take a back seat to the my other loves. 

I loved this simple quote ~ and done in such a creative way (mixed media look is becoming my new love):

Do what you can
with what you have
Where you are ...

Very good then ... We shall  :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kinnikinnick's New Products :)

I was thrilled at the beginning of this week to be picked as one of the fortunate people to receive a sample pack of Kinnikinnick's 4 new soft bread items - in their "Toss Your Toaster" campaign ~ even more excited to come home last night to have the box waiting for me ~ oh what to try first??!!! 

We decided on the Kinnikinnick's new soft white hotdog buns :

I have to start with the awesome aroma when I opened the bag ~ I ran into the livingroom and put the bag right under the nose of my guy and said "sniff!" ... mmmmmmmmmmm that delicious fresh bread smell ~ it was delightful.  And I noticed the softness of the products right away, and the sizes!  In both the bread and the buns they were considerably larger than the regular loaf of bread we usually buy ~ Kinnikinnick's has found the way to make a more regular sized loaf with incredible softness,
and amazing texture. 

So I decided to make smokie dogs and put these new buns to the taste test ~ grabbed some other ingredients - Fresh Express Coleslaw, Onion (which I sauteed in a pan with a little olive oil), threw a few Grimm's Fine Foods Bavarian Smokies in the microwave, as a side dish I made some Farabella Gnocci - (that I tossed with a touch of margerine and some dill.)  And wala ~ a simple supper - smokie dogs and gnocci - with a side of cabbage and sauteed onions.  mmmmmm

Biting into the smokie dog was amazing - the new Kinnikinnick buns are awesome!  My honest comment would be that I seriously do not think anyone who is a "gluten eater" (ha ha ;) evil gluten eaters) would be able to tell the difference between this amazing product and one that was made with wheat.  It was seriously heaven ~ soft on the inside yet had a lovely brown and slightly chewy crust ~ really good ... no amazing!  I have to say it is not only splendid that Kinnikinnick's has managed to not only make a better product that is out there now but one that is also a better value for our hard earned money!  Hooray for Kinnikinnick's!!!  And even better that this is a locally owned and operated company - they have done Edmonton proud with the tremendous growth and incredible results ... and seem to be getting better and bigger all the time. 

Big big two thumbs up for Kinnikinnick's Foods Inc. ~ Amazing New Soft Hot dog Buns ~ can't wait to try the rest of the new products! 


***** oh and to note:  It was awesome to throw together lunch today ~ made a quick tuna salad "bunwich" - small can of dill and lemon Cloveleaf tuna, some Daiya Vegan chedder cheese, a handful of the Fresh express coleslaw, Hellman's mayo and a touch of French's mustard, mixed together and spread generously on a Kinnikinnick's new Soft Bun ~ DELICIOUS!!! 

Thank you Kinnikinnick's!!!  You have made one celiac (and by the look of your twitter feed) many others a very very happy woman!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Gluten free at Soda Jerks Restaurant

So Friday night after my guy and I met up after work - ran a few errands ~ we looked at each other and said now what? as in "what shall we have for supper?" ha ha ~ and since we were fairly close to their west side location I said "Let's go to Soda Jerks" and try out their gluten free burgers.  :)  In truth it is because of great and awesome "heads up" of others like this one on Gluten Free Edmonton we decided to give this restaurant a go ~ at times I do love to be the "first" one to write up a gluten free review of a restaurant (have to admit that) but it is very nice to days have a "safe" pointer about an eating establishment in Edmonton, already looked up and you can roll in with some confidence (in saying this we always have to make sure we do our own due diligence and never just expect that because you just say oh I need to eat gluten free doesn't mean you have to check and make sure others check to keep your meal safe.  :) But I do want to say Thank you to Gluten Free Edmonton for all you do for us Celiacs in Edmonton ~ very much appreciated.

On to our experience at Soda Jerks Restaurant ~ We had a great experience right from walking in, it still gives me a little shiver of happiness when I walk into a restaurant for the first time and when I mention being a celiac or having to eat gluten free ~ all the staff are accommodating and knowledgeable right from the hostess to the waiters and waitresses ~ it makes for an enjoyable dining experience right from the front door.  This was the kind of experience we had at Soda Jerks ~ our hostess didn't hesitate or miss a beat when we inquired about how we go about eating gluten free at Soda Jerks ~ she confidently said that our waitress would be able to explain and assist us in making sure our meals were safe.  Our waitress when advised that we needed to eat gluten free and that celiac - therefore cross contamination is an issue ~ again was confident that the kitchen was knowledgeable and that all items chosen would be double checked to make sure they were safe, and if not then we could make alternative choices.
Even in getting our sodas ~ she checked before bringing them to the table and then brought them to the table to let us double check them before she opened and poured them into a glass for us.  Her consideration and simple concern was admirable.  It was notable that I never felt "different" or "strange" for needing gluten free requirements, and find it uplifting that restaurants in the Edmonton area - that there are more dining establishments all the time that are understanding or acknowledging what eating gluten free means and the importance of areas like cross contamination, and we are not made to feel like a nuisance, but as a patrons that simply wants to dine, spend our hard earned money with them and not be ill afterwards.  :)

So our burgers - we decided to go with the "Build your own" burger idea ~ which is a superb selection I think most people would be hard pressed not to be able to build a burger or sandwich of their liking, the large and varied selection actually makes it a challenge of what you can put together.

Kevin's creation
Kevin's creation: (beef patty on a gluten free bun, with caramelized onions, pickles, sauteed mushrooms and a tomato salsa)

And for myself I created ;)  (beef patty on a gluten free bun with caramelized onions, iceberg lettuce, roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms with both the roasted garlic mayo and the Dijon mustard sauces) - honestly the picture did not do it justice it was awesome ~ the bun was pretty good, a Kinnikinnick Tapioca Rice Hamburger Bun (I read that they also may soon be offering the new soft buns and I think that would be an awesome addition) - the patty cooked well - all the topping made for a delicious combination ~ and and the side order of french fries were great, Thank you Soda Jerks for the dedicated fryer so that this is an option on your menu, much appreciated.  :)
My Delicious Creation :)

So a two thumbs up for Soda Jerks Restaurant - West End - for an enjoyable experience from the service, drinks and delicious food ~ a definite add to somewhere not only that we will recommend but that we shall be visiting for the nights when we just have to have "an awesome burger".  :)