Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lit Italian Wine Bar ... with friends

A few weeks back we were once again venturing out to dine with a small group of fellow celiacs (and partners) and tonight's restaurant of choice was the "Lit Italian Wine Bar" on 104th street.  Kevin and I had never been there - but I had tried a sampling of their food at the "Taste of Edmonton" in the summer and was looking forward to the evening.

We went on a Thursday evening and the Wine Bar was full but did not feel too crowded - it is a small-ish intimate dining establishment - two floors (I did not venture up to the second floor - so will definitely have to go again and check that out ;).  We were seated just inside the front entrance - a long drapery from the second floor ceiling down to the floor backed the diners at our table from the entrance side.  As our group made reservations a head of time our waiter was aware of our gluten free requirements, and was pretty accommodating ~ we were brought complimentary bowls of popcorn to our table ~ which went quickly and was quite tasty, kind of a nice light alternative to the usual bread at the table.     
We all ordered a different plates ~ one plate in common with a few of us was the calamari -I loved the way it was prepared - not the usual plate of small individual rings but in slices of squid that were dusted with cornstarch, slightly spiced and lightly deep fried to a golden crispy texture ~ came in a fair sized portion, perfect for sharing as an appetizer for two, or in the case of one of our diners she had for her main course.
The calamari came with two sauces ~ one creamy in texture and taste and the other with a tomato base, both complimented the calamari. 

For our mains Kevin and I chose two of the salads on the menu - on and eye catching bed of mixed greens - I will have to go back and get the proper names and descriptions for these delicious salads ~ unfortunately the Lit Italian Wine Bar site is down so I can not pull up a menu to give you a proper description of these tasty dishes.

Lightly seared tuna on a bed of mixed greens with a slightly sweet sauce.
Perfectly cooked sliced beef tenderloin on a bed of mixed greens 
 I think that the Lit Italian Wine Bar would be a lovely place to go for light meal, a great glass of wine and conversation.  I did find that the live entertainment that evening was a bit loud once it started, it was a lovely woman singing and playing her guitar - but as it was right across from our table it made it difficult to talk or hear among our group. I am sure I would have enjoyed sitting and listening to her more had I just been out with my honey for a drink and light fare ~ rather then getting to know new friends.  May have made a difference as well if we had been sitting a bit away from the entertainment, as it was it did make it difficult to talk among each other once she started to play.

I will definitely go back with a few friends or just with my Kevin for a relaxing evening of sipping wine, more of that delicious calamari :) and to listen to the live entertainment, makes for an enjoyable evening ~ or a perfect way to end a movie date night. :)  
Lit Italian Wine Bar  -   (780) 757-6688
10132 104th Street Map.df61265
Edmonton, AB T5X 1J7
A few more dishes others enjoyed at our table: 
bocconcini cheese wrapped in proscuitto - with GF bread

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pearl River Restaurant

Pearl River Restaurant - 4728 - 99 Street  ~~ Phone: 780-435-2015

I had read about Pearl River Restaurant on sites of other bloggers such as Gluten Free Edmonton and Gluten Free Chickie and wanted to give it a try.  One of the things I did miss about eating gluten is to have really awesome Chinese food - Wok Bok was so fast food and often seemed to make me feel a bit ill, and then I heard about Pearl River.  I no longer miss out on eating amazing Cantonese - Chinese food.

We were given the opportunity to go with a group of gluten free dining friends - of which Gluten Free Edmonton wrote an awesome blog post about, and we had such a delicious and positive dining experience ~ Kevin and I have been back time and time again since then.  Pearl River is our "comfort eat out yummy place" ha ha - the food is always delicious and I never get tired of eating that amazing "Shrimp in Paradise Sauce" ... seriously folks it is so awesome and so cool that it is an item that is "breaded" (with potato flour) and "deep fried" and so yummy and still safe for us celiacs!  Heaven I call it - ha ha but seriously yes I call it Heaven.  ;) 

It is also a great experience dining in or taking out ~ the owner of Pearl River - usually the gentleman you speak to at the front of house, seats you, takes your phone orders, and so on - is so accommodating ~ never once did I feel out of place eating there or feel like any of the servers did not understand what I meant when I said "I am a celiac and have to eat gluten free" ~ a lot of their dishes are made gluten free on a regular basis, so they have a number of menu items to choose from.  

We have eaten there often since our first time way back in February ha ha - and have even started introducing others to Pearl River - Kevin's mom (not gluten free eater) came with us last month for an awesome meal - we could order the whole yummy meal gluten free and all share, and be so satisfied with everything.  I do have my favorites however - the amazing "Shrimp in Paradise Sauce" the shrimp are large and tender and sauce which is an interesting mix including mayonnaise and a touch of curry is just a creamy delight.   I also have grown very fond of the beef and broccoli and the chicken and black bean sauce - both full of tender meats and full of perfectly cooked vegetables.

It's always a good eats whether we dine there or get take out ... the service is great ... and quick and pleasant and the food is delicious.

I love Pearl River - if you like Cantonese - Chinese food - you will too!  :)
Big thumbs up for this restaurant - 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

mmmmm ... cupcakes :)

Had a craving this evening for something different than the usual evening snacks ... wanted sweeter, wanted something with cake yet not that large ... so I decided to do cupcakes ~

Now I sit and read people's lovely blogs, and websites and facebook pages full of lovely recipes but you know what I am not a natural baker ... I don't have the pantry I crave or the time to make one so I went to the next best thing ... a great mix and then add some touches of my own ;)  Why fight with getting something exactly right with a bunch of ingredients I don't carry in my house (because they would likely go bad - as some things have done - before I would use them) when there are people who have done that sometimes tricky measuring and I have a lovely start.  :)

So I grabbed a carob cake & muffin mix to start :)

In a medium sized bowl I put one slightly ripening banana - mashed it very well with a fork - then I added the 3 eggs - and with the fork I lightly whipped and beat together the eggs and banana - then I added 3/4 of a teaspoon of ginger powder, and about two teaspoons of allspice - then added the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 3/4 cup of coconut milk and beat it all together until smooth. 

So I took a simple carob mix and added banana, ginger and allspice ...  baked in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and ta da  ...

 Banana Carob Ginger cupcakes ... all within a half an hour :)

THAT I just have to love ... gluten free dairy free and scrumptious ... :) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kinnikinnick's Blog Post ... a must read ...

This blog post by Kinnikinnick's "The Gluten Free Insider" titled ~ Please stop dismissing the Gluten Free Diet is a well written article that breaks down by themes some of the common misconceptions and media "wording" when the "gluten free diet" is written about in today's media.

As a celiac, as it was pointed out, we raise our glasses to more awareness about Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity - unfortunately as this article so clearly points out there is a tonne of misconception and negativity towards people going gluten free ~ so it is refreshing to have a company and manufacturer like Kinnikinnick's stepping up and standing on the side of the benefits of being gluten free ~ whether it is a requirement (as with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity) or a choice.

I enjoyed reading how they pointed out that any "diet" can be healthy or unhealthy - it is all in the execution.  There as so many healthy choices out there to eat - gluten free or not ~ that in reality it comes to being educated, informed, and making those choices.

There are many more strong points in the article - like making sure if you do have a problem with gluten you get diagnosed - for undiagnosed celiac disease can be life threatening, that the gluten free lifestyle is not a choice it is a "life long requirement". 

It is a great article and I wanted to make sure I blogged about it and gave it my two thumbs up support ~ I echo the comment of "Gluten Free Edmonton"  that it is "Glad to have you on our side helping to dispel any myths about the diet".

Here Here!

I certainly agree ...