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Saturday, September 29, 2012

a few pics from my chicago trip!

These are just a few interesting (to me at least) photographs of my Chicago trip last weekend.

*Our view from the VIP lounge at the Chicago Art Expo

*The Museum of Contemporary Art - Chicago

*Our lovely docent for the Skyscraper exhibition at MCA Chicago

*Enoc Perez, Marina Towers - oil on canvas.

*Chris Burden,  Chrysler Building - Nickel plated metal Eitech toy construction part, metal flag, and wood base.

*Kader Attia, Untitled (Skyline) - altered refrigerators. 

*Fikret Atay,  Tinica - video.

*gelitin - The B-Thing, chromogenic development prints and drawings on paper.
Additional information: For their 2000 studio residency on the 148th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers, the artists of the Australian collective gelitin spent days smuggling found building materials into the tower.  Early one morning they (illegally) extracted the large window of their studio with suction pads and used the materials they had collected to construct a functional load-bearing balcony, posing for a photographer who captured the scene from a prearranged helicopter.  The fantastical preparatory drawings reveal both a desire to fly and a fear of falling.

*Hans-Peter Feldmann, 9/12 Frontpage - digital prints on paper.
Additional Information: Hans-Peter Feldmann has been collecting newspaper images in albums since childhood, in postwar Germany.  When he started his artistic career in the late 1960s, he often employed found photographs into his work.  His monumental installation 9/12 Frontpage consists of images from his archive of 151 international newspapers published on September 12, 2001.  All of them in some way register the terrorist attacks of September 11.  Displayed in a grid, they constitute a quite memorial. 

*Ahmet Ogut, Exploded City.

*Yin Xiuzhen, Portable City: Chicago - suitcase, used clothing, found objects.

*The Koi pond at the MCA - Chicago

*Chicago skyline.


Friday, September 28, 2012

I ♥ Friday

It's been a crazy couple days.  Spent some time in Chicago....came back to a huge pile of work... and now I'm off to Washington DC this weekend.  

Both trips have been and will be fully of Art - which I love now that I can combine traveling and museums - all relating to my amazing job.  I'm just super lucky.  

More special traveling posts to come!  

Have a great weekend :)


Thursday, September 27, 2012

PF Changs

*I realize it's completely inappropriate to choose a chain restaurant when traveling - especially when you have that restaurant in your hometown.  However, sometimes you just need a quick, safe option and sometimes you're just craving chinese :)

PF Changs has gluten free down.  They have a massive gluten free menu and it's the easiest place to eat chinese gluten free.  Most "real" chinese restaurants struggle doing gluten free for quite a variety of reasons.  

*Gluten free menu right on the regular menu!

*Lettuce wraps to share

*Mongolian Beef - my favorite!

*My mom and I ordered the same thing... great minds think alike :)  Notice how my plate is different, that's to make sure it's gluten free!

If you're craving Chinese - you should definitely find the nearest PF Changs.  At home or away :)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hotel Breakfast

I'm sure I've mentioned this before - but I LOVE breakfast.  I love it anytime of day and honestly could only eat breakfast foods the rest of my life!

Our hotel breakfast spot had the most incredible offerings - which included my favorite, the omelet bar!

The had a whole section of fresh made juices.  I tried cucumber/spinach juice - which was beyond refreshing, however I think it would be best with vodka :) and also green grape juice - super amazing.

This is my gigantic omelet!  They had all the toping arranged in a buffet style (sort of like Hu Hot) and you could just load up a big bowl with all the veggies you wanted.  I've never been a huge fan of egg yolks so I opted for their egg white omelet.  Very filling for a long day of museums, shopping, and walking!

They also had a crepe bar - this is what my mom had for "breakfast dessert."  I obviously did not indulge in this but I just thought it was pretty!

When traveling - it's a good idea to load up on breakfast just incase you have a hard time finding gluten free snacks during the day.  Always best to start the day full of eggs!!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sweetwater Tavern - Chicago

Traveling with Celiac's Disease does not need to be a huge challenge.  Gluten free is becoming more mainstream - which makes everything easier!  All you need is a little research before you set out for the day.  I usually travel with my laptop, iPad, and iPhone so I am able to research on-the-go but if you are a little lighter traveler than I am - you can certainly do all your prep work before you leave.  

Google (obviously) and Urbanspoon are my two favorite places to research gluten free restaurants.  Urbanspoon allows you to search by "gluten free" and a specific neighborhood in the city you're in - which is great.  Siri (if you have iPhone) might be helpful also - but she hates me and usually refuses to point me in the right direction.  

I knew I wanted to find a restaurant that served burgers (just randomly craving it) and was able to accommodate gluten free needs.  Through Urbanspoon, I found the Sweetwater Tavern just a few blocks away from our hotel! 

Sweetwater Tavern - 225 N Michigan Avenue. (right on the corner of this building)

Nothing but meat in these burgers!

They even had gluten free beer! 

I ordered the Fiesta Burger - I can't resist jalapeƱos :)

*clean plate.

Information / knowledge is always your best weapon for eating gluten free.  Don't just assume any restaurant can accommodate gluten free - you need to check before hand.  Be prepared to check websites or make a quick phone call.  


Sweetwater Tavern and Grille on Urbanspoon


Monday, September 24, 2012

Candy Corn M&Ms

I love M&Ms - usually just the regular ones and occasionally the peanut ones.  However - I saw these on the counter at Walgreens and just had to try them.  

Regular candy corn is not gluten free so it's been quite awhile since I've had any.  These do not really REALLY taste like candy corn but they are pretty good.  I think they would be best served with salted peanuts like you see candy corn sometimes.  Not an exact replacement - but pretty darn good. 

Just try a bag if you see them - it's worth a nibble!


Friday, September 21, 2012

I ♥ Friday

There's sooooo much exciting stuff going on the next couple days!!  This evening our Art Auction Exhibition opens - which includes a lovely cocktail party!  I'll be heading home to sleep for just an hour or two, then my mother and I are off to the Chicago Art Expo for 3 days!  I can't wait, it's been way too long since I've traveled to the windy city.  I'll be traveling quite a bit in the next two weeks so bear with me if I miss a post or two - but at least I can do some research on gluten free while traveling!  

I hope you have a wonderful gluten free weekend!!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cardamon Sugar

I think every person has fond memories of eating donuts even if they were taken away from them by Celiac's Disease.  Funny enough, some of my very earliest memories involve eating donuts.  My mom and I use to visit Cup & Kettle in our small town for breakfast on special occasions and I very distinctly remember how the small cafe was set up, the tables, the booths, the glass cases.  My favorite was their oatmeal of course, but they had the most delicious donut holes!  Unfortunately Cup & Kettle is now a pharmacy.

Also when I was a child, I would visit my grandparents on Saturday mornings which always involved going to coffee on West O at Randy's Donuts.  I always chose chocolate milk which was in one of those tiny cartons like school lunches but it came with a straw!  And my donut of choice was the chocolate frosted long john - the cream filled one, not the pudding.  I'm not sure what Randy put in that filling but it was by far the best cream filling ever - I can still remember how it tasted. 

Donuts recently have seen a come back in the gourmet world and here's my take on donuts - gluten free style!  :)

*Donut pan from Sur La Table

Pumkin Spice Donuts with Cardamon Sugar :)

Oven at 350

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl.
1 3/4 cup flour - use Domata 
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 cup brown sugar

In separate bowl - combine wet ingredients.
1/3 cup butter - melted
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine wet & dry ingredients.  The batter will be pretty thick - I think this is because of the gluten free flour.  Put the batter into each well in the donut pan - you could use a pastry bag (if you want to get more kitchen stuff dirty).  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Should make about 10 donuts.

Put the donuts somewhere to cool.  Melt a couple tablespoons of butter.  In a separate container combine sugar, cinnamon, and cardamon.  Dip the donut in the butter (both sides) then into the spiced sugar to coat!  Eat immediately!  Don't sugar/butter them unless they're going to be eaten immediately.

Taste best with coffee :) 



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reese's Halloween

I love fall but I hate halloween.  But to clarify I do love candy :) - chocolate candy, not those skittles or sour baby things everyone else eats.  If it's not chocolate, I'm not wasting my time. 

For the upcoming candy season - Halloween and pretty much through New Years... Here's the list of Hershey's Gluten Free options.  

*You'll notice on the website list this apparently is not gluten free.  I checked the website AFTER I had already eaten this.  The label mentions nothing suspicious so I'm not really sure what they're talking about.  It was perfectly satisfying to me.  **Eat at you own risk!**


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


*grilled fish tacos 

Stokes in the old market is one of my favorite places to have fish tacos!  They are able to accommodate gluten free changes to most all their menu items and their waitstaff is incredibly helpful.

Stokes is a great place for dinner and drinks!!


Stokes Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 14, 2012

I ♥ Friday

*Shiny Berries :)

This has nothing really to do with gluten free anything but it's a super cool food fact!  These berries are the shiniest living thing in the entire world!

This Berry reflects 30% of the light that hits it, while most surfaces only reflect a small fraction. 

Anyways - I thought you would want to know this.  

Happy Friday!  

I've had a super crazy busy week from work and projects so I'm especially for this weekend because I'm heading to the game on Saturday with my best friend Christina! - GO BIG RED - and I'm planning to spend a relaxing Sunday at home with my family!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cupboard Tacos

*needs a little green or something!

This is "cupboard meal" - My dear friend and former roommate introduced me to this term.  It's when you don't feel like going to the grocery store and just have to make due with what you have in the cupboard!!

I was craving breakfast tacos!

Saute diced onion and diced up little smokes in a pan.
Season accordingly.
Whip up some eggs to add to the scramble.
Meanwhile, warm some corn tortillas with cheese in the oven.
Assemble and eat!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chex - Greatest Gluten Free Cereal!!

General Mills nailed it with this one!  Finally a cereal company figured out how to make normal cereal gluten free!  Chex is available in most of their flavors - gluten free!!

1). It's nice to feel normal shopping in the regular cereal aisle.
2). Chex tastes delicious!

Available gluten free:
Honey Nut
Apple Cinnamon

Go get yourself a box or two!!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


We celebrated my Mother's birthday (again) recently in Lincoln at JTK's in the old train station (haymarket area).  I have eaten here a few times recently and I just can't get enough of it!  

We began with a couple rounds of red wine - they have quite an extensive selection.  I had a wonderful caesar salad - my favorite of all salads, and for dinner I ordered seared Seabass with saffron and roasted red pepper risotto.  I'm a huge fish lover and this is my favorite dish!  I was too full this time to order dessert - but they do have a traditional creme brulee that is incredibly sweet and creamy!


Jtk on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 10, 2012

TJ's Sweet Potato Chips

 These are my favorite gluten Chips at Trader Joes.  You'll quickly realize I do most of my shopping at TJ's with some supplemental shopping at HyVee.  

These chips are incredibly tasty all by themselves, but additional options include:
-with salsa of course
-use them a croutons
-crunch up and add to soup!
-crispy topping on casseroles
-great for nachos
-perfect in lunches
-in place of breadcrumbs in meatballs (ground very finely)

Don't be afraid of the "sweet potato" label - they taste nothing like sweet potatoes, they are just wonderful salty chips!  Much better than regular corn chips.

Potato Pancakes

I love potato pancakes and they are a great use of leftover mashed potatoes!

This is not a precise recipe :)

Leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg (just because)
Gluten Free Bisquick to thicken the mixture so you can form patties
Any additional seasoning you want

Mix all together until it has a play-dough consistency.  Form into patties (pancakes) and put on an oiled baking sheet.  Brush oil on the top of each.  Bake in the oven at 400.  10 minutes-ish on one side, then flip them over and bake for another 8ish minutes. 

Serve with ketchup or siracha!

*these store and reheat really well.