Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Retreat Time ... a much needed refresh for the Soul (She Matters Art Retreat)

2013 will go down as one of the most roller coaster years in the lives of myself and my family.  This year has been one of amazing highs and happy times to soul crushing lows ... the most tragic of these was my son losing his dad this July to very aggressive stomach cancer - it was a shock to us all, and it has been life altering to our family, sadly we also lost my son's uncle and his dad's older brother just a month and a half before.  Two amazing men with growing and loving families, taken by cancer within 2 months of each other.  I have to be honest - I just wanted the world to stop spinning, I wanted the sun and moon to halt while we processed this terrible loss to our lives, while we tried to figure out how to move forward - to deal with the never ending pain of losing someone so close, how to help my son grieve, understand his anger, accept it and keep moving ~ at the same time doing the same for myself.  Have felt a bit lost at times ... the roller coaster feeling continues.

This year also brought great blessings into our lives - my youngest sister had her first child, and while her pregnancy and birth were very traumatic - and my little niece was born two and a half months early and at a mere 2.8 pds., and spent the first two months of her little life in the NICU Unit at two different hospitals - they have both thrived since then and my little niece has become one of the great joys in my life.  I also became a great Auntie once again, to two new nephews - one in March and one in October of this year.  So here joy.  

But roller coaster it has been ... and even with the simple joys of new life and innocence, it has been a struggle to maintain a smile and a light heart most days.  To say my health has been taking a knock would be a simple statement, for even though you think you are doing your best to control the stress you feel bonded with you over loss - my body has been telling me differently this year.  It has been a struggle to feel "ok", and a hard thing to explain to people how connected it all is.  So this past September I had an opportunity to take a bit of time for myself, to get back to some creative therapy ... I had signed up for a Mixed Media Art retreat called "She Matters Art Retreat" held by the wonderful family of Christy and Ben Tomlinson, in Idaho Falls, Idaho - Owners of Scarlet Lime  ~ I write about my art retreat experience here.  This post however is to pay tribute to the FOOD ~ and the wonderful people that made the effort to keep me well fed and do it safely ~ all the while learning themselves about gluten free cooking and preparing food for a Celiac.

So this is going to be a different kind of post than I usually do ... this post is not about an awesome local restaurant, or a celiac event or even a post about what "topics" of discussion maybe be trending on other blogs or twitter ~ this is a post about a celebration of sorts, a post about some amazing people that with their sincere caring and thoughtfulness handed me a gift this year ... a refreshing of my belief in goodness, a hug to my soul ~ at a time where I really needed one.  

Being someone with Celiac Disease - why did I think I could even take a risk and venture into someone's home and have them cook for me?  What steps did I take to ensure that I would be able to stay healthy?  Well first of all - I have learned that though this disease is a part of who I am - and learning to live and live well has often been a challenge ~ I have also learned that this disease does not define who I am, and yes I may be a bit stubborn but I believe we need to keep challenging ourselves and what we can do, keep moving ahead.  I like to travel and I like to eat out - and I continue to do so, I just have to take a few more precautions now that I ever had to in the past.  Look around us - in the years since I have been diagnosed it is amazing how Celiac Disease has come to the world's attention ~ more aptly really "gluten free" ~ and yes while there has been negative media, celebrity, and company there is also strong positive things happening.  Support for each other is a big one, and we can all play a part in awareness for others.   

So I started by emailing back and forth with the Tomlinson's and finding out what they knew about "gluten free" eating, preparation, cross contamination ~ we both tried to keep it simple, as they were feeling a bit overwhelmed I think at times with all this new information, so we kept to basics - I found an excellent article about cross contamination in preparing food for Celiacs or Gluten Free eating.   They in their shopping travels were able to speak to some local woman about Gluten Free - and were able to purchase some awesome products with that guidance.  And then I arrived ... we got ourselves a bit settled and then right away Ben pulled me to the side to talk about the food, they intended to feed us women very well (Ben was our Chef - Margie Romney-Aslett our sous chef - and decorator of the table extraordinaire, and our dear Chrissy she also was a huge part of the helping in the kitchen with Ben to put out amazing meals) and I was included in that loving caring attention and goodness. 

One of the most touching moments was at the very beginning of my stay with them ... our first meal ... Ben actually baked me my own loaf of gluten free goodness - and it was delicious.  The bread mix was from a local online company called "MOM's PLACE" and this bread was heavenly.  They also found a chicken noodle soup that was seriously the best I have tasted - I was kicking myself I did not take a picture of the can or the name of the company (as I did not recognize it).  It was awesome, so full of flavour and noodles, and all gluten free.  :)  They were careful with the cross contamination aspect, as you see my little meal was set out on an island away from the other breads and soups ~ so very thoughtful.  It was simple touches like this that kept me safe - so very appreciated.

The food they prepared all week was so thoughtful ... even the night that Ben cooked in cast iron crockpots over the coals - they did a separate crockpot for the chicken and potatoes served to me.  He gave an awesome effort to cook me my own crepes (may have looked a little wonky but they were oh so good!) and pancakes too.  They thoughtfully made sure I had every kind of snack available to me too - from salty to sweet.  And though we both had to check in every meal (because it was also on me to make sure if they had any questions I answered quickly as they were preparing food for a number of people) it was done in a way that I felt welcome and extremely cared for.  It certainly added to the whole experience of the retreat.  Here are a few pictures of the amazing dishes I enjoyed at the Retreat ~ and the wonderful people who took the time to make my experience one I will always cherish and hope to experience again in the future!!!

And this post would not be complete without writing about the other ladies that attended this retreat - I know there is so much negative media about Celiac and Gluten Free eating but I felt not one bit of a negative vibe from any of the people who were there, quite the opposite ~ they were loving and caring and there were even a couple other ladies that had dietary requirements that they did not feel comfortable coming forward about - once they saw I had it was much easier for them to voice these.  We should never be afraid to speak up about something that affects our health so directly.  I have to deeply thank all the Tomlinson's, Margie, Chrissy and all the wonderful ladies at the retreat ~ Melanni, Fay, Michelle, Laura, Iris and Shirly for making this week one of the best this year.  Your love and support in all of this has touched me in a way that I am finding hard to express.  And thank you so much Ben and Christy for all the care and attention you showed to keeping me well fed and feeling very welcome and cared for in your home - love you all!  Hugs 
Yummy Crepes - while they did not hold together as well they were delicious!

Cast Iron Crockpot Chicken and potatoes - amazing!!! Done on an open firepit, so cool.  Chrissy and Margie were the best sous chefs for Ben!  Hugs

Awesome breakfast dish and as the ingredients were all gluten free - including the Johnsonville Sausage - delicious!  Potatoe, Sausage and cheese strata

Special personal touches on the table always greeted us, was so amazing ~ we were made to feel so cared for. 

MMMMmmm Oatmeal with fruits (Gluten Free on the label) Yum.

It was a treat to come in for meals everyday ... from the amazing and delicious meals to the special touches on our plates. 

Gluten Free Pancakes for breakfast - fruits and bacon and gluten free sausage!  Yum

The special people who kept me safe - love them all - Christy, Ben, Margie and Chrissy

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gluten Dude and a Fabulous Mega Mail Bag post ...

Well our lives have been turned a bit sideways in our home in the last few months so I have kind of just dropped from the picture for a while to regroup, re-prioritize, and refresh.

So today I am going to point those that kindly still come and visit my blog and wait for updates to an awesome blogger - Gluten Dude - now he has the same problems as most of us bloggers do - how to keep up with all that there is to write but he has the job a hundred fold next to little ol' me ha ha.   He has an awesome website ~ recently reformatted, you can seriously sit and read all day and still have so much more to read.  It's great and reason this man is so so busy trying to keep up ha ha.  And one of the bloggers that has seriously kept me inspired to stay blogging myself.

He posted a really really cool blog post today ... Called it the "Mega-Mail" bag ... he took a whole bunch of letters (emails) and questions and put them into one post ... then answered what he could, threw out the query to his loyal group of followers ;) to add and also see if they have answers to others.

Gluten Dude's - Mega-Mailbag Post 

It is a fabulous post ... chalk full of great information ~ and so I am going to direct you to this amazing post and also all the wonderful people who are answering the queries also. 

Love what Gluten Dude does ... straight forward information, a bit on the edge some days ha ha but always with a good intention of helping us all along on this adventure of learning to live with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance. 

As for me ... I have tonnes I would love to write about ... local restaurant reviews to information ect ... still a bit overwhelmed at this time ... but I will be back! 

The best is wished for you all,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

East Side Mario's - Gluten Free Menu

I am in the process to convincing (wink wink) my lovely family members and friends that should they have something that I can share on my blog ... a review of a restaurant, a recipe, an experience they have had regarding Celiac Disease and living Gluten Free to please let me know so I can especially do that ... SHARE on my blog.  Awareness comes in all forms ~ even from those who are not Celiac like Kevin's mom ... Kevin and his mom, Sylvia, recently had a dining experience at East Side Mario's ... And Kevin wrote up a guest blog for me on how the experience came about and a review of how East Side Mario's did in the "serving gluten free" department ...

So thank you Kevin for sharing and he writes:

" We are always working at finding new places that can serve us gluten free, and we are especially looking for restaurants around our family members where we can all go out and enjoy a meal together. 

I stopped in to have a visit with my mom the other day in St. Albert.  She told me that while she was at work, one of her customers mentioned that they worked at East Side Mario’s.  My mom mentioned in her conversation with the customer that there were members of her family that had celiac disease, and had to eat gluten free, however the customer quickly responded that they were able to serve gluten free food.  I know that my mom would never lead us down the wrong path, but I will honestly say that I was a little skeptical that a franchised casual dining restaurant would have the knowledge on how to prepare gluten free food.

My first step was turn to my phone and check online for a menu.  They had an extensive menu listed online, but there was nothing specifically on the menu which stated that any of the items could be made gluten free.  My back-up plan was to give them a phone call, where I stated that I had celiac disease and needed to eat gluten free, and asked if they could accommodate.  She stated that they could serve gluten free. 

Upon arrival, I told them that I called in earlier, and that I was told that they could serve gluten free.  They provided me with a gluten free menu, which had a number of appetizers and mains and a dessert to choose from.  I ordered the Sausage and Pepper Pasta, choosing to go on the wild side with something a little bit of spice to it.

The food arrived at the table, and was clearly introduced to me as “gluten free Sausage and Pepper Pasta”, which was such a reassuring step for them to take.  The pasta was cooked to perfection, and the sausage and sauce had just a little bit of a kick to it.  The taste was amazing, and I was even more impressed at the fact that the portion size was perfectly adequate to fill a guy like me up, without being too much. 

I walked away from the meal with a very positive experience knowing that the restaurant took my request very seriously, yet treated my dietary restrictions as if it wasn’t a problem for them to handle.  Having another restaurant option is always a bonus, and mom and I are looking forward to bringing Sherri along the next time!"  

East Side Mario's 

615 St. Albert Trail
St. Albert, Alberta
T8N 3L3

Ph: (780) 470-5880

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

CELIAC Disease Awareness Month (Gluten Intolerant)

May 1st, 2013 the day that kicks off this year's CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH ~ a month where we kick up our efforts to educate and reach out to people with Celiac Disease, and friends and loved ones of those with Celiac Disease, as well as the general public about the disease.  Being involved with the Canadian Celiac Association - Edmonton Chapter as one of the Board members and being a blogger of Gluten Free Living I have to say I am proud of the efforts of many who work all year round to bring education and awareness in focus about this Disease. 

This month - May is Celiac Awareness Month - and right here in Edmonton and area there are many events going on ~ Education Events, Dinner and Food Sampling Events ~ all focused on raising the awareness and reaching out to those who may be searching for an answer to health problems.  Yes - for those with Celiac Disease it is an autoimmune disease that the bodies reaction actually attacks and damages the digestive system which leads to many serious health problems if not addressed, but even those with gluten intolerance/sensitivity are affected with an array of symptoms that can make everyday life an uncomfortable chore and cause serious health problems, so raising awareness is important to many for optimum health.

Celiac Disease ~ quoted from the Canadian Celiac Association - Edmonton Chapter's Site:

"Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system no longer recognizes gluten. When gluten is eaten, it sets off an autoimmune response and the absorptive surface of the small intestine (known as villi) is attacked and damaged. Continued deterioration of the villi can have many serious effects, including malabsorption of important nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 100 people in Canada is affected by celiac disease. Many of them are still waiting to be diagnosed. People of any age, from infancy through old age, can be diagnosed with celiac disease, and you don’t outgrow it."

To learn more about Celiac Disease, symptoms and the steps to being diagnosed - please check out the rest of the information on the site.  As well as check back often for the Events/Sessions that are posted up all year round.

The Edmonton Chapter is hosting many awareness events this month - In which they will have on hand resources and volunteers with knowledge and information:

"Join us at one of the following locations to learn more about Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis and other gluten intolerances. We will have on hand resources for distribution and knowledgeable people available to answer questions. Check out our information on screening, testing, gluten-free diet guidelines, cross-contamination and more. At the hospital displays, health-medical professionals can drop by to pick up our free Celiac Toolkit.
Find us at:
  • Sturgeon Hospital – St. Albert May 2-3 (Thursday – Friday) 9:00am-2:30pm
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital – Edmonton May 7-8 (Tuesday-Wednesday) 9:00am-4:00pm
  • University of Alberta Hospital – Edmonton May 15-16, (Wednesday-Thursday) 9:00am-4:00pm
  • Grey Nuns Hospital – Edmonton May 23-24 (Thursday-Friday) 9:00am-3:00pm
  • Misericordia Hospital – May 21 (Tuesday) 9:00am-3:00pm
  • Leduc Hospital – May 28 (Tuesday) 9:00-3:00pm
Other dates:
Downtown City Market – City Hall – April 27 (Saturday) 10:00am-3:00pm
Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market – Saturday June 8 (8:00am-3:00pm)"

Canadian Celiac Association  - Is the National voice for people who are adversely affected by gluten, and is dedicated to improving diagnosis and quality of life.

There are also awesome events happening in and around the city for all to partake in:
  • Edmonton Health & Wellness Show - May 4 & 5 -  This will be quite the show - filled with information, products, contact with Industry experts - covering so many aspects of healthy living such as Diabetes, Healthy homes, Career fair, Health testing, Get Fit Zone, and this year is the first for an Exhibit dedicated to "Gluten Free Living" ~ Saturday's "Meet the Experts" Forum - Debbie Pietsch , B.Sc., RD - will be there to answer questions regarding Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Living. :) 
  • Gluten Free "Cravings" Food Fair - Sherwood Park - May 18th - Entry is Free to the Food Fair - and sampling costs $10 a punch card.  
  • Gluten Free Louisiana Purchase Dinner - May 26th - Register before May 22nd - Hosted by the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter.  
I need to also post a couple amazing blogs that I follow ~ the information up-to-date, relevant and informative, they also will have information all month geared towards Celiac Awareness Month and have great information all year round!  :) 

Gluten Free Edmonton - This blog is amazing - Since I have been diagnosed I was so fortunate to come across this blog ~ Amanda and Abisaac have put together and amazing blog which (he quotes: "is for the gluten free, wheat free person looking for gluten free recipes, gluten free products, gluten free tips and stories".  They inspired me to become more involved with my local chapter, at this time we all sit on the Board of the Edmonton Chapter - it's been a great experience being more involved in what is happening where I live.  :)  Their post to kick off Celiac Awareness Month 2013.

Gluten Dude - His post to kick off Celiac Awareness month - encouraging us to be advocates of celiac disease awareness all year long. :)  Gluten Dude has built a true Celiac Community with his site - and while his site is full of amazing information, tips, stories, and more (he is a true advocate to take the media, celebrities, doctors ect. to task or to praise their "version" of what Celiac Disease is) he also encourages us to talk among ourselves for support and insight, and makes sure we don't ignore the facts ... that there are dark,scary, sometimes just plain hilarious places to see, feel, experience with Celiac Disease and we all need to do that and then ... keep moving on and up to better health.  Truly appreciate his insight.

Wow going to be an exciting month and so many avenues to explore ... sure hope you can take advantage of some of the activities that are going on in your area this month, and look into opportunities all year long to support Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance - Gluten Free Living Awareness. 

Cheers :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An evening on Whyte Avenue ... Accent European Lounge and Block 1912

I am seriously behind in posting ... honestly just getting back into the swing of things after being sick for a couple months ... so I am going to start off with posting about a recent evening we had.  Kevin and I are part of a group of awesome folk who attend plays, movies, theatre events, and other drama / art related activities all around our city.  Recently we joined an evening that took us to the Old Strathcona district of the city and Whyte Avenue.  We were going to a movie called "Upside Down" in the historic Princess Theatre.
Accent European Lounge 
8223-104 Street
ph: 780-431-0179
We also had the opportunity to join some of the group members and go for supper beforehand ... the restaurant that was chosen was the Accent European Lounge - just off Whyte Avenue.   We have had the pleasure of dining a few times with our theatre going group ... in big and smaller numbers (blog posts yet to come) and I find it can be a great experience as long as we do a little work ourselves as Celiac and Gluten Intolerant before we go out.  This was our first time dining at Accent European Lounge so as I always do when dining out at a new restaurant I called the restaurant beforehand to see if they accommodate eating as someone with Celiac disease and having to have a gluten free meal.  The young lady on the phone knew at once what Celiac Disease meant and let us know that the Accent European Lounge definitely had options for us.  We decided we would then go with the flow and decide once we were at the restaurant and what was presented to us what we would eat.  The waitress once I identified that we were celiac with a gluten free requirement for eating, was able to go over the menu with us ... give us a few options and let us know that the chefs were knowledgeable and able to make adjustments to most entrees on the menu.  We decided to go with the special of the evening - it was a "New York Tenderloin with a Peppercorn sauce and a side of vegetables" - once the waitress checked with the chef she came back out and let us know that the sauce would have to be omitted because of a gluten thickener but that the rest of the dish would be ok.  So we stayed with that order.
  We were not disappointed ~ the steak was done medium rare with a tasty seasoning.  We were pleasantly surprised with the awesome vegetable side to accompany our steaks ~ roasted potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, carrot, pepper, cauliflower and a lovely little fresh tomato cucumber garnish.  The vegetables were cooked very well, and seasoned nicely.  It was a great steak and awesome dish.  Beautifully presented.

We then went to the movie "Upside Down" at the Princess Theatre (built in 1914) - sat in the upper balcony it was a neat experience.  While it may not be a theatre for big action films, or ones that you would want a big screen production, there was a welcoming warm quaint feeling about sitting there in this almost a century old theatre and watching the film.

Afterwards we decided to head to a local Cafe to discuss the movie and for some coffee/tea and sweets - so we walked a short distance down the block to the Block 1912 - A European Cafe - This is a very cute and trendy coffee house on Whyte Avenue, totally set up so that groups of all sizes can enjoy chatting and sampling the delicious fare.  As it was later in the evening our group of theatregoers decided to stop for coffee/tea and sweets ~ At first Kevin and I were only going to get a couple cups of Soy Chai Latte ...
Soy Chai Latte ... spicy and but not sweet - we had to add sugar. :)

... but as some of the group came back to the table with yummy desserts we were wondering if we should go and take a look to see if Block 1912 had any sweets to accommodate Celiacs ;)  Well when our friend Steve came back to the table with a delicious looking chocolate cake and then announced to us "know what this is also Vegan and Gluten Free they told me" well then of course (for the blog post of course) we had to try a piece for ourselves.  So Kevin went up to see what they had that evening, and brought back to the table a piece of heavenly (and rich) chocolate cake, and a hot mixed berry crumble.
The chocolate cake was not really sweet - which was nice, and very smooth and rich, I could not finish my piece and it would have been good getting half the slice ha ha ~ delicious.  Kevin's hot mixed berry crumble ... was amazing (and he is lucky I had my own piece of cake to finish) it had a crumble on top that was mostly nuts.  Definitely will go back to the Block 1912 and see what other tasty fare would be on the menu for Celiacs and Gluten Sensitive folk ... and report back - it's the least we can do.  ;)

Block 1912- A European Cafe
10361-82 Avenue
ph: 780-433-6575

Friday, March 15, 2013

Busy Busy Life ...

Well I have been ill for about the last three weeks now ... actually all that is left of the flu head and chest cold I started with is a nagging and irritating cough that just does not want to go away ... now most of the time it is bearable until I want to do something important like rest or sleep ha ha ... then it is not a pretty sight or sound, my son "lovingly"(?) said yesterday "I think it is time mom to take you out back and shoot you" ha ha ... nice kid lmao but he is right it can get downright annoying when listening to me cough and cough ... ah well I will appreciate my health all the more once I am done with this little sickness ... and then back to just dealing with all the fun stuff that comes along with being a celiac ha ha.  Right?!  Fun?!  Right?!

Well I have to say a few things that are most awesome about being diagnosed with Celiac Disease ~ yes I do have some ha ha ...

I have met, worked and volunteered along side, and follow (blog wise) some really amazing people.  Good hearts, down to earth, wanting to help others people ... from being involved with the Edmonton Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association - to meeting amazing bloggers such as Gluten Free Edmonton to volunteering along side some amazing folk from Kinnikinnick's ... and many more.

I have enjoyed getting out into our city and trying out new cuisine's and new places to shop ... found some amazing places to eat - favorite restaurants like Pearl River and Matahari and have found some seriously awesome places to shop such as Rio Vida Bakery, Kinnikinnick's ~ I love living in Edmonton and having all the resources we do so close by ... and the great support system we have in our own Association and all those involved in the Celiac and Gluten Intolerant world.  I wish I could be out and about more, and find more ways to get involved but there are only so many hours in the day, and days in the week and when working full time, and trying to balance life well ... we all just do what we can.  I am in great awe of those that manage to blog on a regular basis and have some much information to share ... seriously admire their dedication and time management skills and thank them dearly for the inspiration to keep at my own little corner of the blogging world.  I would love to blog on a daily basis, I would love to be creative on a daily basis ... but I have come to realize I have to be realistic and just do what I CAN DO ... and take care of all my various parts.  :)   I have of late gotten back to exploring my Artsy side as well ... trying to balance as I said ... so life is busy.

Life is busy and life is good busy ... so no time to be sick ... no time to let it slow me down ~ so much to enjoy and do. :)

Speaking of enjoy ... my guy Kevin stopped into Rio Vida Bakery last night to pick up some of her amazing soup/buns and perogies that we ordered from her, also Green Onion Flatbreads (I have become quite addicted to these - crave them all the time ha ha) and brought a new flavor of flatbread home - Spinach (oh awesome).
 She wanted us to try out a seasoned breading mix - for like coating fish or chicken and we decided we had to try that right away.  So last night for supper we made chicken strips and they were delicious! er soup is amazing.  The Chicken Vegetable is my favorite!  So good ... I have a question for my readers if someone can help me???  When using the seasoned breaded coating on the cut strips of chicken breast I found that the coating did not moisten in a lot of the strips - still tasted great but looked powdery?  What steps do I need to take to make the chicken moist so that the breading crisps better - I dipped in egg mixture then the seasoned breading mix ... should I have marinated or somehow added something?  I would love to hear what others think.

So bottom line is life is busy ... and though I would love to blog all the time in reality I don't have the hours in the day to stretch ... I haven't even been on my twitter in the last weeks because of feeling ill - Pinterest I can look at pictures ha ha - twitter I had to read but again love the inspiration we can glean off of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest ... so enjoying the social media age we live in.

That also is a plus of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease - it has had me researching and reading so much more ... and then you come across amazing sites like "Gluten Dude" - he has recently re-formatted his whole website - amazing!  My world has definitely been a better place since following blogs like his and Gluten Free Edmonton - so much talent in this world and glad we can share a little in it.

So I haven't really blogged for a while and this one is a bit of a mishmash - but just to say I am still around and busy "living" life ... I have a Facebook Page I would love more people to like and follow and there is always my twitter feed @highonlifeandgf ~ now that I am on the mend I hope to be more active on both ... Take care everyone and thanks for reading!  :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Brown Rice Crisps

I had to post about these awesome rice crisps that I enjoy.  I am glad that they named them so well because seriously they are not a rice "cracker" so to speak ... they are a rice crisp .. the texture is very light and crispy and they have a satisfying crunch.  They are a rice cracker that I enjoy all on their own ... which I can not say for a few other brands, because the are so thin and with none of that chewy styrofoam feel you can sometimes get with a rice cracker.  They are delightful.

We have picked them up at London Drugs in the past, but also this last few boxes we have purchased have come from our local Safeway ... I will keep my eye out for other places that might carry them as well and update this post.  :)

Seriously good ~ even if you haven't cared for rice crackers in the past ... these are certainly different and quite a refresh on the rice "cracker" .... THEY ARE CRISPS!  :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lazia Restaurant - North End

 Lazia Restaurant - We had a delicious supper at Lazia ~ As we were with family I only took a couple pictures and forgot to take a picture of our delicious mussel dish we had as an appetizer - all the more reason to go back for another supper soon!  :)

We did call before we went to the restaurant we had noticed that on their website only a few items were marked so we call to inquire if there were more options available, and yes we were assured that we definitely could be accommodated with a number of items on the menu.  So this was good to hear.

White fish, scallops, shrimp, mussels, salmon and veggies
When we were seated we let our waitress know that as Celiac we would need to be eating Gluten Free - she showed no hesitation in knowing what we were talking about and went to get us what Lazia has put together for a Gluten Free Menu.  On this menu there were more items - including appetizers - that were not marked on the internet site.  First we ordered the Mussels - which came in a Cherry Tomato White Wine sauce, they were delicious - in the sauce was also shaved carrots, cherry tomatoes and peppers - very nice.

Alberta Boneless Shortrib
Kevin had the Alberta Boneless Shortrib ... with mashed potatoes and vegetables ... the meat was very tender and the sauce very tasty. The vegetables in both dishes were very fresh and cooked to just right - still having just a bit of crunch to them.  And the cherry tomatoes in our mussel dish and Kevin's Shortrib dish were not mushy .. loved that.
KL Seafood Pot
I decided to have the KL Seafood Pot ~ that comes with a side order of white rice, it was delicious.  The sauce in the seafood pot was just a bit spicy, I spooned it on to my white rice and it was so yummy.

13503 St. Albert Trail
ph: 780-488-3823

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rio Vida Bakery - Delicious for Lunch!

My guys was recently at Rio Vida Bakery to pick up some awesome perogies that Najah makes there ~ and he came home with something new for us to try.  Najah is serving soups now as well :)  She has a deal on for 5 bowls (good sized bowl) of soup and 5 buns for $19.95.  Kevin brought these home and we popped them into the freezer ~ today I remembered to take one to work with me (with one of her yummy onion cakes instead of a bun, I admit I have become addicted to her green onion cakes - will have to try the buns it came with another day ha ha) and at lunch popped it in the microwave here - for first 3 minutes - gave it a good stir and then for another additional two minutes.

Oh my - I have to honestly say this Chicken Vegetable soup I had today is one of the best soups I have tasted.  It is just full of vegetables and lots of chicken, and has a vibrant and warm flavour (if you can call a flavour warm ha ha) - seriously DELICIOUS!   It is a great deal - a good sized bowl of soup and a bun for appr. $4.00 - can't beat that for a take out soup.   The soup froze very well and heated up nicely.

We shall be new regulars to enjoy all her soups - can not wait to try the next flavour ...
Yay!!!  For Rio Vida Bakery for understanding the work lunch dilemma :)  Awesome!!!

Chicken Vegetable soup - with an onion cake (bun)

Green Onion cake
Had to add another picture - one of the green onions cakes I have become addicted to - they are seriously yummy - moist a bit chewy ... this batch we got had a bit more green onion on them and I loved them this way too.  :)    

It's great to have a dedicated gluten free bakery in the West End of Edmonton ~ go and check out and visit with Najah at Rio Vida Bakery ... support our small businesses here in Edmonton. 

Rio Vida Bakery 
17515-100 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
contact Najah - (780) 902-7593 
email - 

Udi's helps with a quick supper ...

So we have some Udi's Gluten Free, Dairy, Soy and Nut free Pizza crusts ~ for a quick supper we used some leftover breakfast sausage, bacon, then some lunch meat - turkey ~ two kinds of cheese - mozzarella and chedder - on top of a frozen pizza crust that we topped with hunts tomato paste.
Popped it into a 375 degree oven for approx. 10 mins and had a quick and simple supper which was delicious. 
 Some days it is very nice to be able to come home after work and make a quick and simple supper ~ and I love the thin pizza crusts from Udi's - more options to them than just pizza.  I also have applied a thin brush of olive oil - added some spices, in the oven for 4-5 mins to brown and cut up into square pieces and used for heavier dips.  Could add a bit of cheese and have cheese bread.  Awesome! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morning Brunch

It was a nice treat this morning to have Alex and his friends for brunch - I use to do a lot of Sunday mornings when he was a touch younger and was at home more on weekends haha.
The kids were treated to an entirely gluten free brunch - thanks to the awesome Pancake and Waffle Mix from Kinnikinnick's :) and Johnsonville sausage, Safeway Hashbrowns.