Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The strange after Christmas days...

I have been catching up -- on sleep, mostly -- since Randy's brother left Christmas day. I've had a horrendous case of bronchitis, and I didn't do the math until yesterday when I realized it has been two weeks since I first got that sore throat. I feel almost human today. But I was on the go and sick for two solid weeks, including the entire time Ron was here. And I never really slowed down.

I thought I'd share with you a quick, easy recipe for those after-Christmas days. We are plum full up of leftovers, and we'd had out fill of rich food. With me trying to cut my portions sizes in half, it has been a challenge.

So tonight I made drunk chicken, with a twist.

Drunk Chicken was my friend Susan Holmes Brown's (from Mississippi) recipe in graduate school. She would make it for "company," so I enjoyed it at her apartment a couple of times. I always found it comforting.

Drunk (Garlic) Chicken

One half chicken breast for each person, up to eight halves
One can GF Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup sour cream (light is OK)
6-8 smashed cloves of garlic.
Salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash garlic herb seasoning, and Tony Chachere's

Season breasts with seasoning of choice *but season them well. Lay in a casserole dish and throw the garlic cloves around the breasts.

Mix together soup, wine and sour cream. Pour over.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour and 10 minutes, basting once or twice (but it should cover the chicken). Let sit for 10 minutes out of oven before serving so juices gather in the chicken. Place chicken on plates and smash soft roasted garlic into the sauce, stirring briefly. Spoon sauce over chicken and rice.

Serve with rice (we used Minute) and a fresh steamed green vegetable (if you have one around.)

OK, I leave you today with the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me in a grocery store. Yesterday we were buying sodas in Publix, and after Thanksgiving, I'd noticed that the turkeys were marked down. So I looked yesterday and sure enough, the Butterball Fresh Turkeys were about 39 cents a pound.

Me: Holy crap, Randy. This turkey is just $3.95
Randy: Do we want one?
Me: (silence, thinking about work involved and lack of freezer room)
STRANGE LADY TO MY LEFT: You can raise a turkey for less than $3.95.
Me: (looking at her doubtfully but not saying anything...)
SLTMY: Really. You can raise a turkey for less than $3.95. (She wanders off toward produce.)
Me: Confused and surprised, I move away from the cheap turkeys toward the deli section...

CURTAIN on Theater of the Non Sequitur

Much love, and more later...I want to share my Christmas Prime Rib rub and recipe....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas to all

I am not kidding when I say I haven't had a second to post this past week.

With the medical drama over (yes, I have pernicious anemia, and yes, I have to take B-12 shots. but my Celiac panel/biopsy showed good villi and good numbers, so YAY for all of that. I have also been down since Dec. 12 with a growing case of bronchitis. I'd like to say that is on the way out, but I still feel like crap.

OK -- ao Jeffrey and I filled with sleigh, I mean car, with toys and headed south to Tampa, where we're happily enjoying big stores to shop in and the company of my wonderful brother in law Ron (and Randy, of course). We've had friends over for a spaghetti feast (wouldn't be Christmas without one in my family) and went to a lovely party last night at the home of Roxanne, who's from Jamaica. Delightful!

And now, on Christmas eve, I'm washing clothes, wrapping presents, and planning for an evening of party food, luminaria in the neighborhood, and Christmas lights. Randy and Ron are out shopping, and Jeffrey is counting the minutes and trying to peek!

Tonight's Christmas eve dinner is a tradition, of sorts. We're having a buffet full of wonderful hors d'oeuvres, all purchased, and all gluten free. It will be Aidells spinach and feta sausages with grainy mustard, aidells sun dried tomato meatballs, spinach and artichoke dip, and a big pan of macaroni and cheese. I also made a Chocolate Pecan Pie.

For breakfast, I'm baking a sausage and cheddar quiche (so easy). And later in the day we're having prime rib with roasted carrots and potatoes (and leftover everything else).

I wanted to take this time to tell you all, my friends and GF family, how blessed I am to have you all in my life. Like Mariah Carey sings in one of my favorite Christmas songs, "ALL I want for Christmas is YOU." Lucky me. I got that already.

Blessings, peace and MUCH much love, to all of you.

Chocolate Pecan Pie (from Paula Deen)

One GF pie crust of your choice
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup milk or dark chocolate chips GF
1/2 cup butter melted
three eggs beaten
2 T. spiced rum (or bourbon) or vanilla if you're boring
1 cup white sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts and chips in bottom of pie crust (no need to pre bake it). Mix other ingredients and pour over the nuts and chips. Bake for 35 minutes until the middle doesn't jiggle any more.

Cool and serve. VERY rich and decadent, and the spiced rum....Randy really loved this pie. He said it was the best.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Perniciously Intrinstic, and all that jazz

I don't know what the heck is going on with me, but there has been a cascading effect with my doctors over the last week.

Suffice it to say that because of something in my system, I've got horribly low B-12, which might be something called pernicious anemia, because my addled stomach isn't producing something called intrinsic factor. There are B-12 shots in my future at the very least.

Oh, and I'm fresh outta hormones, so now I'm on pills and stuff. Yay for hormones. (reminds me of a dirty joke...but not here. not now.)

But God bless Catherine Roberts, my internist. She takes good care of me. And God bless Marison San Inocencio, my gyno. I am happy still to be in the care of two such wonderful women. Much love to you!

Sigh. All this confusion explains my absence since grades were due. I've had three doctor appointments and 10 vials of blood drawn. Tomorrow I have an endoscopy at the hospital in Atlanta. Thankfully, Daddy and Mary are putting up with us. I'm also glad I set the alarm...

I had a lovely GF Christmas Meetup of my very own Saturday night -- with Lori from the Delphi Celiac Forum, and Julie from Outback. I was so happy to have the chance to eat and talk GF with people who give a damn. It's so refreshing to know that the food before me won't make me sick. It didn't. I enjoyed every minute of it.

And once again, SHOUTOUT at the top of my GF lunch to Crossville Roswell Outback and Julie and Tom and the crew. Lori said she had a coaster that said, of the coconut shrimp, "If you love them so much, you should marry them." I think I am at least engaged to the GF coconut shrimp, but I also bought and froze a GF Bloomin' Onion for later. Lori and I also strolled the Trader Joe's for GF goodies.

So -- the clown fish above is a replacement of the picture of Lori and me. I had a blast!

Much love, and more later,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A holiday greeting for you

I saw this today on the Delphi Site, and I wanted to put it here. I hope it works for you. In lieu of mailing cards this year, I have made three holiday donations. One, to Baby Chan's Adoption Fund. Two, to Doctors without Borders. Three, to the Life Enrichment Center in Milledgeville.

A holiday card from Ging!

Much Love and happy holidays! I'll write more when I'm done with my last batch of papers!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another great online book auction

That crafty Kate is at it again!

This is a great auction, once again, to help out with the expenses for Baby Chan, who is on her way to her loving parents very soon.

Please consider bidding on this book! It's for a great cause, and it's a great book.

Much love, and mo love to you Kate!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two spicy mentions from last week...

Yes, folks, I made Randy another pie. We ate both of them. They were both delicious.

I mentioned this to someone on the Delphi Celiac List, and after I made it the other night, I knew I had to post it here.

Jalapeno Corn Bread

1 cup GF corn meal and 1 cup GF corn flour (or your flour mix)
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking powder
3 beaten eggs *or sub equivalent
2 ears corn, stripped (or one can Niblet Kernels
1 small can diced chilis
1/2 cup chopped jalapenos (or salsa)
1 pint of GF light sour cream (or cottage cheese)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded *LF if OK
up tp 1 cup of milk (or soy/rice/almond)

Mix. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer.

Go Tech beat Georgia Cheese Dip
(supposed to also be go Auburn beat Bama, but it was HAHA Auburn...damn)

1 pound mild or hot sausage, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped celery
One large jar salsa, as spicy as you like it.
2 8 oz blocks of LF cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese or choice

Brown and drain sausage, add celery. (You could add onion if your husband wasn't MY RANDY). Add the jar of salsa of choice. Stir til warmed through. Put the cream cheese and cheddar on top, cover, and let sit for about 10 minutes. Stir til melted through.

Serve with the GF chip/cracker of your choice.

Much love, and last week of fall semester...


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The three hour, thirty-five minute pie

You all need a laugh before you tie on the GF Feed Bag...

Tonight I got started with our TDay preps, brining the turkey breast, thawing some homemade dressing, baking some jalapeno corn bread, making ambrosia...

I decided after dinner I would go ahead and bake my Randy's requested pecan pie. I dutifully took it out of the oven at 35 minutes and it was still a little wobbly, so at around 7 p.m. I put it back into the 325 (convection) degree oven. I was talking to my sis Janet on the phone, and I mentioned I'd just put it back in and let the residual heat firm it up a little bit more.

But while I had turned off the time, I had promptly forgotten to turn off the oven. And then we all left for Target.

When we got back at around 9:15, the house smelled wonderful, like pralines. The pie. OMG the pie.

Still in the oven. A toasty brown. Like caramel pecans. The GF crust from Whole Foods had shrunk, but it was beautifully browned.

Not burned though. The filling was almost evaporated, but it was NOT burned.

I'm afraid it might be a little crunchy, and I might end up making another one.

But chalk it up - another adventure in baking, courtesy the GF Paula Deen...

Much Love, and Happy Thanksgiving!

**Pecan Pie
Three eggs
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 T. melted butter
1 t. vanilla
1 cup pecans
1/4 t. salt

MIX all ingredients and pour into prepared crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce and bake for 35 minutes (not three hours and five minutes)until the middle is set.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The spirit of Thanksgiving

My friend Kate, over at Gluten Free Gobsmacked, is smack-dab in the middle of the adoption process.

I've written about Kate's journey before, and I have encouraged you, my friends and readers, to help her with her adoption journey. In fact, she knows now that she and her love will be adopting a beautiful baby girl!

But things are getting closer than ever. It won't be long now before the Chan Family is a a little bigger Family!

So here's your chance to help:

Kate is sponsoring some on-line auction items. If you go here you'll see how you can help.

I still haven't sold my cookbooks for Kate's benefit, but I hope to do that before the holiday season ends.

Anyway, I wanted to make sure you all saw Kate's latest endeavor. Help her if you can. What a great way to share the spirit of the season!

Much love, especially to my friend KATE!

P.S. I baked an exciting pumpkin pie yesterday. Now, except for the crust, Pumpkin Pie should be GF. So this was easy with a Whole Foods crust. It was pretty tasty, too. It's actually a Paula Deen recipe.

1 (9-inch) premade pie shell
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used a can of evaporated milk instead)
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Partially bake the pie shell, according to the package directions. (I didn't do this. It worked just fine).

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 1/2 cups of the heavy cream, sour cream, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, dark rum, and vanilla. Pour into the shell. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Alton Brown

Dear Alton Brown:

It's me, Ging, the "gluten-free Paula Deen," who auditioned for your special that is airing on the Food Network right now. It's called Dear Food Network, and their people sent me an email. I sent in my picture, some questions, showed them my blog. I was so excited because I, lowly GF Ging, might get to meet her idol, Alton Brown. I was ready to cancel class for it!

You didn't pick me. I wasn't so hurt til the show came on tonight. And now I'm really sad.

Alton, you have to know, I've been a fan of yours since your first season on Food Network. I used to post on your old fan site. And I have tried for years to see you in person, since you live near me -- Atlanta and Milledgeville are not far apart.

But Alton, I have to say, I'm really upset right now -- down right GLUM, to tell you the truth. Because I'm looking at this episode, and you've already entertained some of the questions I wanted to ask, that I proposed to Marquita at Dear Food Network. (We're still Facebook friends, I hope.)

I mean Alton, come on. Why am I not watching myself on your show right now? What was it about me that said, "Don't pick that stupid gluten free lady from Milledgeville?"

Seriously. I asked about the difference in fresh and frozen birds. How to brine. How to reduce my carbon footprint, how to make a GF gravy...

Oh wait. Maybe I know what it is. I mentioned the dreaded words.....GLUTEN FREE. That has to be it.

Maybe your people, your handlers, thought my allergy-concerned questions would not be appropriate. I don't know. Or maybe you thought not many people care about GF stuff.

Look around.

But alas, I'm sitting here, all sad and filled with longing. I wanted to be there on YOUR SET watching you roast that freaking brined turkey (which I've been doing, BTW, since that first Romancing the Bird show).

Crap. I feel left out. I mean, you couldn't even let me sit in the audience? I would have been so cute, and I would have smiled a lot...whether you let me ask questions, or not.

Seriously, Alton, I feel so............unloved right now.

I know it was something I said. I just wish I knew what. My chance at six degrees of Alton Brown, dashed and dazed.

Not feeling much love,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost Alphabet Soup (A Sunday Blessing)

I know. I know! I've been too gone for too long. But between the election, a weekend away for our anniversary, and a rip-roaring cold that had me in bed and out of work since last Thursday...

So this is a post about soup. I am a canned soup baby -- my Mama raised me on the lovely red and white Campbell's cans, and my favorites were always tomato and vegetarian vegetable (the "Alphabet" soup).

Now, most of you with GF issues know, there's barely a soup on the Campbell's menu that is considered GF. There's wheat in tomato soup (can't figure out why) and of course pasta in chicken noodle and vegetable soup. Even the cream soups have wheat!

But imagine my shock last week when, on the Delphi Celiac Forum, it was reported that Campbell's has basically removed the GF status from its Prego spaghetti sauces with an all-encompassing statement that basically states, "we can't guarantee the GF status of this food, so you better not risk it." It now seems the sauces contain natural flavors that may be made with barley, rye or oats.

Aw Campbell's, say it ain't so.

From their site-

"Allergen Labeling Code of Commitment"

From nourishing soups, sauces and beverages to wholesome snacks, Campbell is committed to providing extraordinary products that nourish people's lives everywhere, every day.

Since our founding in 1869, we have worked to provide an extensive choice of products that can help consumers meet their daily nutritional and lifestyle needs while consistently delivering on taste and quality. In our continued desire to meet your expectations, we are committed to providing accurate and reliable ingredient statements upon which you can make your purchasing decisions. As ingredients in our products may change, we recommend that you check the label on our products for the most current and accurate ingredient and nutritional information."

Isn't it ironic? This is the company that has a condescending, annoying, blindfolded, soup-slurping woman identifying a piece of carrot to the exact farm location, yet Campbell's can't tell me if a sauce has gluten in it.


I've managed by now to replace all my favorite uum-uum good products with ones that are certified GF, but I am sorry to say I won't take a single chance on ANY Campbell's product ever again. If they won't tell us if there's gluten in it, what else AREN'T they telling us? Oh yeah, and that all natural stuff? Give me a break.

I did manage the other day to make a vegetable soup that very closely resembled my favorite alphabet soup. You should try it.

Almost Alphabet Soup

2 packages frozen soup vegetables (available in several brands, but includes corn, peas, potatoes, carrots, limas, plus seasoning vegetables. I got mine at Kroger.)
1 envelope GF brand onion soup mix
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes plus two cans of water
One can diced tomatoes with juice
1 T. ranch dressing seasoning mix (I use Penzeys brand but Hidden Valley is GF)
2 T. GF worcestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked GF pasta shapes (or regular is you're not GF).

Mix all ingredients until soup veggies are cooked through and soup is simmering. Add pasta until cooked.

I hope everyone has a great week. Almost time for turkey day...more on that later!
Much love, and stay warm in this fall chill.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Veggies for Thanksgiving and beyond

November? What? Where has this year gone, friends?

I have been really craving veggies lately, which probably is a good thing. At least I'm not craving leftover Trick or Treat candy.

With Thanksgiving coming soon, I thought I'd use this space to publish a couple of recipes that would go well with your holiday feasts. In fact, these two recipes would go well any time in the upcoming holiday season. They're simple as can be and have sharp flavors that accentuate either roast turkey or ham.

I don't know about you, but I love Picadilly Cafeteria - ok, used to before I was gluten free. My Mama used to love this recipe, and she searched high and low for a copy of it to make for us. I was so disappointed when I found out it had flour in it, but I find this does very well with a replacement of Pamela's Baking Mix. The extras in the Pamela's mix give it the lift that taking out the gluten needs.

Picadilly's Carrot Souffle

1 3/4 pounds carrots, chopped up and cooked until very soft. You can use fresh or frozen.
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Pamela's Baking Mix or for you non-GF folks, plain old flour
3 eggs, well-beaten w/electric mixer
1/2 cup butter or margarine (room temperature) Note: you can use light margerine and Egg Beaters instead to make this a low fat and lower calorie dish.

powdered sugar

Microwave for 14 minutes or boil carrots until they're extra soft. Drain well and put into large mixing bowl.

While carrots are still warm, add: sugar, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat with mixer until smooth. *Note. I had to put my carrots in the blender to puree them. You might have to do the same. Either way, it works fine.

Add flour and mix well. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add butter and mix well.

Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour or until top is light golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar over top before serving.

A few years ago, I discovered that if you put curry powder and olive oil on cauliflower and cook it in the over for about 45 minutes, it develops a richer flavor. Roasted curried cauliflower is one of my favorite preps of this simple winter veggie, and if you like cauliflower, you'll LOVE this.

I depend on my sea of Penzeys spices to make this dish, but you can use what you have. I just got a new taste sensation from Penzeys I truly love -- Mural of Flavor, a sprinkling seasoning that combines every single member of the onion family -- shallots, onions, chives, and garlic -- with some lemon and onion peel thrown in for good measure. I fear it will be too much for my dear Randy, but I absolutely love it and will use it generously. If you don't have any, you can use onion powder and garlic powder, or even shallot salt if you have it (I have some my bro GF Steve sent me. I use it a lot, too.)

Roasted Curried Cauliflower (It's spicy, just like Annelle)

2 bags of frozen cauliflower or one generous head (or two cleaned bags -- I got a deal on those on the produce rack marked down to 99 cents each, much cheaper than a head of cauliflower).
One small chopped red onion (or yellow, if you don't have red)
4-5 chopped garlic cloves
1 t. sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
2 T. margarine or butter (to finish)
Curry Powder (hot, mild, Madras, your choice)
Red Pepper Flakes
Mural of Flavor or garlic and onion powder

Put cauliflower in a roasting pan and mix it with chopped onion and garlic. They will roast, too, and become sweet and caramelized. And yes, frozen cauliflower works here too -- just cook it a little longer.

Season with salt and olive oil and mix. Then, liberally season the top with the other seasoning. Give it a quick toss and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and toss with 2 T. margarine/butter. Let stand for a few minutes while butter melts.

It occurs to me this would also be good with butternet squash. I'll have to try that soon.

One last thing:

I don't like to talk about politics, because I truly do believe that we ALL have a right to privacy in an election year. That's why there are curtains on those voting machines. But my family knows where I stand, and they know whom I've already voted for this election year.

Some of you are wit me, and some of you are agin me, and we'll settle this like adults come the wee hours Wednesday morning, I'm sure. (Gluten Free Steve, I am expecting a call from you to celebrate!)

But what IS important to me, and what I will say LOUDLY HERE -- VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. PLEASE if you haven't early voted, Don't forget to VOTE TUESDAY. You might have to take a day off for it, but it is essential you ALL VOTE.

If you don't vote, you don't count, and more importantly, if you don't vote, you give up the right to complain for four or six (Senate race) or eight years if it doesn't go your way.

So MUCH love, and GO VOTE!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Pure Bar (and A Sunday Blessing flashback)

I always love it when I can cross=post my GF blog and my student PR blog. This is another opportunity, at least in the first segment.

The weekend after the Atlanta GF Product Fair, I got an email for the public relations representative for Pure Bars. Paul mentioned in the email that he'd read my blog and read of my use of LaraBars, and asked if I'd tried his company's product, The Pure Bar. This epitomized my public relations axiom, "who is my audience, and why should she care." He cut right to the punch and hooked me immediately.

In a volley of emails, we established that I had not tried the bar, would like to, and would be glad to blog about them if he would send a sample. Now, when I agree to do this and agree to accept a sample, I don't ever know what to expect. But I promised him I'd be honest. That's the most I can do.

But this was a classic example of public relations done right. Paul had indeed looked at my blog, at least enough to know that I do like bars like LaraBars and Kind Bars, so I seemed a possible candidate for his pitch. He also saw that I occasionally review products (I don't solicit products to review, but I've never turned one down. That's my policy so far.) He also indicated that he knew that I would be honest about the product, or at least factual.

A few days later, i got a package in the mail. Inside was a delicious GF product AND a great example of the use of a Flickr Stream for PR purposes. It is from there I pulled (with their permission) the two images I've used here today.

How exciting. I've been wanting to teach my PR Admin class the advantages of Flickr over the other sites, and this will let me know them how a public relations person can use Flickr to load stock images. I am impressed and obviously used this tool.

In a the packet from this savvy public relations practitioner, I got three bars to try -- Chocolate Brownie, Wild Blueberry, and Cherry Cashew -- plus a lovely brochure with helpful FAQs. I also got a beautiful product fact sheet (which I plan to use in my public relations writing class as an example) that showed the six flavors below.

Of most interest to me is the product 1) has no gluten, dairy or soy. I am intolerant of all three. 2) The product is organic. This matters to me, even though I do lapse into poor eating choices often. 3) The product has 4-5 grams of fiber while packing in vitamins and omega-3s.

I tried two of the bars (saving the cherry cashew for a rainy day, I suppose) and I really, really ENJOYED THEM. The chocolate doesn't have the aftertaste that the LaraBar/Jocolat bar has, and the Blueberry -- which I ate while waiting at the airport for breakfast last Monday -- was tart and richly blueberry flavored. I liked it the best of the two. And priced in the $2.20 range, the bar is certainly worth it.

Alas, while in Tampa shopping last weekend at my favorite health food store, I came up empty on the Pure Bar. I checked their very helpful website and found that I can find them at Whole Foods (great, I shop there in both Atlanta and Tampa) and other stores such as HEB and Meijer sell them, too.

OH! And they send me a coupon! I will use that next time I buy these bars. I can't wait to try the Cranberry Orange -- perhaps my favorite flavor combo!

So here's a tip of my virtual hat to Pure Bars, as well as to Paul, the savvy PR Guy for CDI New Media/carryonpr. You represent a great product, and I'll be sure to purchase Pure Bars next time I'm at the Whole Foods near me. (P.S. I think my dear husband, aka the incredible shrinking man, would like the blueberry ones, as they fit in well with his current dietary requirements).


A year ago tomorrow, I had my surgery that determined I did not have ovarian cancer. I can't believe it has been a year, but it has been...and it has been a good one. While I've had ups and down, and medical issues continue to be, well, issues, it has been a great 365. I just remember how blessed I felt last year when we got the all clear, and the support of all my readers. I thank you all again, one year later, for being part of my life.

Much love, and enjoy a beautiful fall day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Outback Update

I got a phone call (an actual CALL!) from Outback Carrollwood after i posted my blog post about my disappointment there. I also sent that to the Corporate Office, so I guess they finally got tired of my complaining.

Don't get me wrong, I am greatly appreciative of the acknowledgment that I got that "Outback is working on its new GF menu." I get that, I really do. And the unit manager I spoke to was very sincere and very nice. He explained that his Outback is testing a new lower-priced menu, for the budget conscious in this economy. Bravo for you!

But I'm one of THOSE GF people. You know, the kind who expects you to live up to your advertising. You know, "No Rules. Just right?" And no updated GF menu means RULES, not right. OK?

Look, I GET IT. It costs a lot of time and money to make a GF menu happen, and it's tough to keep that updated for the GF community. And you're right, you DO have an acceptable GF menu -- MUCH more to offer than say, Applebees, Fridays, or some of the others who don't even bother to try. I suppose I should just STFU and accept what you have to offer.

But as I told the manager (who was really patient and kind with me, I assure you) when you KNOW another Outback can make something as glorious as a GF Bloomin' Onion happen, or can make something as simple as a GF Hamburger Bun happen (it's a frozen Kinnnick bun, for gosh sake. Buy a couple of packs and make a dozen people happy!) it's hard to accept a plain piece o' steak, baked potato and steamed veggies. I can make that at home.

And know what? I will, until you let me know you have your GF Menu Issues up to date. Until then, I'll save my Outback cravings for Julie and the gang at the Crossville Road, Roswell Outback (SHOUTOUT AND THANKS!).

Much love, etc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who's your Mama, are you Catholic, and can you make a roux?!?

This was going to be a blog about dinner, but by the time it was over, it had segued to a walk down memory lane. This post meanders...I digress.

Tonight, Paula and Jamie Deen were making onion rings, and I threw up my hands in dispair. I just couldn't stand it, so I went into the kitchen to replicate her recipe. She made the kind I really like -- thin sliced, almost onion "String" that are dusted with flour but not battered. You dust them with flour and let the juice of the onion make it stick. They cook fast and are really crispy.

I wanted those.

So I sliced up two onions, and like Paula, shook them in a zippered bag with some GF pancake and waffle mix (a brand I got at the GF Food Fest, by ****Toro, had very little sugar. I took a chance on it. It was perfect for this.) I added a heaping teaspoon of Tony Chachere's seasoning, and viola (I know, it's voila, but I think viola's funny here) in a few minutes I had a pan full of juicy crispy onion rings. I seasoned them up with cayenne pepper...yummy.

I'm still not to memory lane, but this next part is for Julie Harrell Boucek. I owe you a birthday present. Here you go:

Paula made a sauce like they serve at Zaxby's. I wanted some of that too. (Randy will love that I know how to make this!)

Homemade Zax Sauce
1 cup mayo (can use light or fat free is you're a heathen. I use Duke's whole fat).
1/2 Chili Sauce (if you eat HFCS) or organic ketchup (if you don't)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (JUST A LITTLE) refrigerated horseradish (this is important for the zing of the sauce, the mouth burn.)
1 t. spicy season-all salt or Tony Chachere's seasoning salt (or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper)
1/2 t. chili powder

I PROMISE you it tasted just like I remember Zax sauce (or the sauce at Outback), I mean it.

ANYWAY. After I ate the onion rings and sauce (I had lots of sauce left), I had to dispose of the cooled oil in my cast iron frying pan. While I was pouring out the oil, though, on the bottom of the pan I saw an inch of the most beautifully browned flour and oil mixture. I haven't seen that sight in about nine years...

ROUX! I had a cup of beautiful, perfectly cooked, chocolately brown-roux in the bottom of my frying pan!

(I haven't made roux or a pot of gumbo since I had Jenn Hill and Danny Watson over for dinner, Christmas 1999, when Jenn was editor of The Colonnade.)

So I scraped the roux into a plastic container, and this weekend, I'm going to make gumbo in my Crock pot. I have sausage, chicken, and okra in the freezer...YAY! And I'll report back...

And that, of course, comes back to my title. That was the name of a cookbook when I lived in Louisiana -- and I learned how to make a roux when I lived there. I loved the food in Louisiana -- I used to stop at a gas station in Ocean Spring, Mississippi and fill up coolers with crawfish-stuffed chickens, and andouille sausage...etc. I loved it.

And now, I'm thinking about gumbo, More to come, this weekend.

Much love, and try that sauce, Julie. You'll find the horseradish in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, usually by the eggs...


Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Tale of Two Cities (It's Sunday, I'm blessed, but this was no blessing)

OK. That's it. It's official. I am never setting foot in the North Dale Mabry Outback near our house in Tampa ever again.

And I'm sending this post to the central office here in Tampa.

Outback, your Dale Mabry Road's treatment of the gluten free menu is abysmal. Shameful.

Especially not after going to the Roswell Outback with the gluten-free menu of heaven. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

Here's what happened today. We were going to go to Mimi's Cafe,but the wait was long, so we went next door to Outback.

As usual, I asked for the GF menu (and a manager) immediately, and I also asked for a server familiar with the menu. Last time, we had a clueless wonder.

We were seated and I had no menu. The server came by in about 5 minutes and asked if we wanted an appetizer. I said I don't know, I want a menu first. A few minutes later, the manager came over with a menu and said, "OK, this really correlates with the regular menu, but here's more or less what you have available to order."

The operative word here, folks, was LESS.

Server comes up and I order a Spinach Codd Salad off the GF menu EXCEPT that is no longer on the menu AT ALL. She literally SNATCHES the menu from my hands and says, "You'll just have to order off the regular menu. I'll be sure to tell the chef to make it gluten free."

Oh really? My trust level at this moment, not so high. And the new menu has more fried items than even.

Five minutes later I order prime rib, a baked potato with butter only, and steamed veggies....And I dream of the beautiful people at Roswell Outback and the GF Bloomin' Onion, even a Kinnickinick bun for my hamburger!

But not here. Not at the second resutaurant in the chain in the home city of the franchise. NO no no. Nada.

Randy said he's tired of it, and I am too. How is it a chain, based in Tampa, can't even get an updated GF menu to its second store in the chain seven miles away? And it is obvious from the success of the Roswell store that having an extended GF menu -- even if it's only at ONE store in a big city like Tampa -- is a boon to business. When I saw Jared the manager from Roswell at the GF Vendor Fair a few weeks ago, he said his store's numbers are way up in an economy that is shrinking. That's because we members of the GF Community patronize those who take good care of us. One store in Tampa would have the patronage of a huge GF South Florida community if it would simply TAKE IT SERIOUSLY and treat us with respect. Which, like Rodney Dangerfield, I got none of today.

But no. And I left disappointed once again.

SO here's the deal, Outback. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I WILL not patronize your store again until you figure out that 1) the need for a real GF menu is serious and 2) the need to update that menu once in a while is essential. In fact, I will not patronize ANY of your stores unless they can serve me a hot GF Bloomin' Onion, like my friends in Roswell can.

Nope. No more.

Much love, especially to my friends at Roswell Outback who DO get it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

National Blog Action Day

A week ago, I made the commitment that I would join Blog Action Day on Oct. 15 on Poverty. And since the day I made the commitment, I have been trying to decide what to write.

Wikipedia defines poverty as:deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water.

Today, in this broad discussion of poverty, I have decided my blogs must be related. You see, I teach (and practice) public relations because I love it. I'm gluten free to live. What I love and how I live are intrinsically linked, I think.

So the question of the day: How are PR, Celiac Disease, and Poverty related. And what can I do to help?

In a sense, it's simple: Celiac disease can be costly disease because it covers one of life's necessities -- safe food and drink. And it can be a burden in so, so many ways.

I admit it, I'm spoiled rotten. I have two beautiful homes, a loving family, and more food than I should have. And since I became gluten free, I have spent more money than ever on specialized food stuff that make my life easy and comfy. I am blessed, I know it. And in this economy, when our investments and jobs are on the line...I feel the pinch every single day. My employer-provided insurance covered my tests for my diagnosis of Celiac disease, including the specialist.

But then, I don't live in poverty or need.

I wonder how is it for people who do live in need AND have Celiac disease and can't afford the food, or tests, or even the occasional treat. Do they even know they might have it? That may sound like a trifle to you, but it can be huge. Celiac disease could affect 1 in 133 people, and many people have who don't know it. And the ravages from the gluten ingestation on a person with Celiac disease can be deadly -- it destroys the small intestines, can cause lymphoma, can cause other auto-immune disorders.

Imagine having a child with Celiac disease and having to depend on food bank donations to survive. Often food bank food contains wheat and the other "poisons." Imagine being on a fixed income and having to make a home gluten-free and feed yourself food that automatically costs more. Imagine having to afford hospital tests for Celiac Disease -- painful tests, annoying tests -- and having a doctor say NO because you don't have insurance. Imagine not knowing where to turn for help.

No, in all my time posting/reading/writing about the gluten-free lifestyle, I have never encountered this topic anywhere. There's a lot of people suffering in silence. In need. In poverty.

My friend Cassandra of Delightfully Gluten Free is part of the North Texas GIG, and she is always collecting GF food for newly diagnosed families. I admire that about her--heck I admire her.

I know our wonderful Middle Georgia GIG is just getting off the ground, and we're struggling -- heck, the other officers are still paying for stuff out of their own pockets since we don't have a budget. But I know those ladies, and if someone came to them and said "I need GF food for my child and I can't afford it," they'd pull something together as fast as they can, with love and care. They would address the need.

Is there a chance there could be something I could do like that? I can't reach out to all of Georgia, but I can reach out to my Georgia. I can help someone who has a need, who is hungry, and who needs to be gluten free. Here, in silly ol MillyVegas.

If this makes one person need less, then I have made a difference. And that today is my pledge.

OK, I don't know exactly what I am going to DO yet. And I think I'm going to call on some of my crackerjack PR students (those who might want to help) to help me think how I can address this need. I can't build a house like Habitat for Humanity, but I can help someone restock a kitchen pantry. I can offer guidance through my resources. And most of all, I can be a friend. More and more people are finding out they, or their children, or their parents, have Celiac disease. I know how that feels.

So first, let me make a promise: Today, my blog was accepted into the BlogHer network, and I vow to use this forum and that network to continue to spread the word about Celiac disease and offer to help anyone I can who is in need and new to CD.

And I promise to try to do more. I have been greatly blessed. It is time for me to give back.

I promise this is my project for the next Calendar Year, and I will report back soon with details.

Much love, and I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!


P.S. Happy Birthday Daddy. I love you. You and Mama taught me to give back. Thank you for that.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

In praise of old-time Fall snacks (A Sunday Blessing)

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been experimenting with some old-time snack foods. I don't know what got in to my system, but I've been in the mood for boiled peanuts, a big pot of popcorn, and apple butter. They all remind me of Fall, so I'm going to use that as my excuse. It finally feels like Fall here today. Finally!)


I don't think people appreciate old-fashioned popcorn any more. We're all so used to popping that bag filled with preservatives into our microwave, we don't realize how simple it is to make popcorn. But it can be simple. I mean, today I saw that new chick on the Food Network making popcorn as part of her high paid cooking show. So if it's good enough for there, it's good enough for here.

The thing I learned a long time ago is your portion of popcorn can be small to huge, depending on the size of the pan. You could make two cups worth in a small saucepan. I've done it.

You need a pan with a tight-fitting lid, some canola or veggie oil, and some popcorn kermels. The topping of your choice comes later -- I just want salt, most of the time.

Put your pan on the stove and cover the bottom with oil. That's the secret to no stick -- it doesn't have to be an inch thick, it just has to cover the bottom to a sheen. Then, turn the heat on high and add popcorn to make one flat layer on the bottom.

When the first kernel pops, cover the pan tightly and begin to shake it on the heat. It will pop furiously, and after about a minute, turn off the heat. It will continue to pop for about two more minutes. YOU MUST KEEP SHAKING IT OR IT WILL SCORCH (do as I say, not as I do). When it stops, pour into a bowl and salt (or butter). If you're a fan of Kettle Corn, I have made a passable sugar free Kettle Corn by adding Splenda while it's very hot.

Boiled Peanuts

I never dreamed I'd make boiled peanuts, really. I just buy them from gross-looking old men at roadside stands. But I've had a Jones for them a lot, of late. Flash back to a conversation I had with Marianne Edwards (shoutout!) and her husband, Bo Sibilsky a few weeks back. Marianne and I seem to always run into each other at the store, and she had a huge bag of green peanuts in her cart. We got into a discussion of boiled peanuts, and she said, "Bo makes them. It's really easy." So when I saw them two weeks ago at a wedding, I engaged Bo in a recipe for Boiled Peanuts (or in Georgia, Bawled Peenuts).

Which reminds me of the song we used to sing in Fifth grade music..."Eatin Goober Peas. Eatin Goober Peas. They are so delicious, eatin' Goober Peas." Sung to "Bringing in the sheaves"...but I digress.

Get a BIG pot (I used my stock pot) and put in washed peanuts to three parts water. (I made about two pounds of peanuts I think. $1.29 a pound at Kroger.) Then the tricky part -- you need a salty brine or water. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of table salt (really) and, if you're into spicy boiled peanuts, a handful of red pepper flakes. I used plain on Morton's salt here, and after the 1/4 cup, tasted the water. It wasn't very salty, so I added the other 1/4 cup. It gets more concentrated as they cook, but Boiled Peanuts are about salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium so they continue to boil. Leave on for at least three hours before you taste them (green peanuts=yuk). Start tasting at three hours...I actually dished up a bowl to eat during the second part of Forrest Gump, and they were good. But I turned off the heat and let the remainders steep for a while, and they were even better. Drain most of the bring and store them in a zippy bag when cooled. I won't be eating my leftovers for a couple of days, though. I ate WAY too much yesterday and I'm paying for it big time today. My lips are shriveled from all the salt and hot pepper...

Crock Pot Apple Butter

I have always loved Apple Butter, but it has so much sugar and HFCS in it, I won't buy it any more. But fall for me calls out for Apple Butter. I really thought I'd made up this recipe, but then I looked at Cooks.Com and found a bunch more like it. But mine is a little different.

When I've made it before, I did it stove top, and it takes time and energy. So I thought, how could I go this faster? Voila!

One large (or two) jars of unsweetened applesauce (I used one I got at Wal Mat. No sugar added)
1 cups apple cider (I used Simply Juice, no sugar added). Use 2 cups for two jars.
1 cup Splenda and 4 T. brown sugar Splenda (again double as needed)
2 T. ground cinnamon and 1 T. ground cloves (OR if you have apple pie spice, you about 3 T. of that).

Place in your Crock Pot and cook all day, stirring occasionally. Scrape down sides often.

Mine made under a quart of apple butter (from about twice that amount of sauce/juice). Store in refrigerator.

Much love, and Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Great GF Products Surround Atlanta!

I spent last Saturday at the Atlanta GF Product Fair, and I couldn't have planned a better day. In addition to making some wonderful new GF friends from the Atlanta Metro Celiac group, I got a chance to sample both local and national products I'd not tried before. I bought a bunch of products, too, and now my pantry is stocked for the next couple of months.

A special shoutout to my friend Lori P (from Delphi) and my GIG buddy Carol, whom I saw, and to Maureen and Allison, both of whom have daughters with CD at Georgia College! And I enjoyed meeting my tablemate Denise! She did a bangup job with those Ian's Cookies!

But what really impressed me were the local products, made by people (some with CD, some just GF) who were tired of not finding what they wanted, so they worked to make it themselves.

Here are some of my new BGFFs *best gluten-free friends. I'm including their phone numbers and URLs so you can try their products, too!

•She had a simple table, but her product was DYNAMITE. The Connor Cookie Company had the best peanut butter cookies -- GF and regular included -- I've ever put in my mouth, and believe me, I've eaten a lot of them. The operation is simple, but June Conner, my hat's off to you. You sure know how to bake a cookie. No website, but you can email June at or call 404-323-1427. Impressive, and the little girl on your package is adorable. The cost is good, too -- $5.95 for six cookies, and they have oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip, too.

•The Gluten Free Divas Bakery really has a lovely assortment of products and mixes, and thanks to them, my Daddy had a really lovely Georgia Pecan Blondies for his birthday party Saturday night. They gave me a whole tray of leftover samples for him! And he loved them! He said, "These have all kinds of good things in them!" Their mixes were delicious -- a pizza crust mix was yummy, and those blondies...But they also deliver GF cupcakes, pizza parties, and cookies in metro Atlanta and have a reasonable minimum and turnaround.

This is an outstanding young product, and I hope to support them as much as I can. And those blondies...yum!

Phone: 770-940-1946 or 770-238-9846.

•Improv*eat was right next to the Divas, and I spent a lot of time at their table, too. Improv*eat is a lifestyle company, now totally gluten free, with some very interesting product. One I couldn't resist was a coconut-meat wrap -- shelf stable, GF, made of good fiber and fat. They were sampling the wraps with filling, and a curry-flavored wrap with (grain-fed, organic) beef was delicious. They're expanding their offerings, as of this week, too.In addition to being GF, they're earth friendly (business cards on etched recycled bamboo!) and are trying to avoid the other seven major food allergens. And they're growing. I enjoyed talking with Todd Fitts, founding partner in the group, and I am impressed. Check out their offerings on the web or email Todd or call them at 404-214-9021.

•Dr. Sherri Lange, a home ec teacher who got "fed up" with the offerings on the GF market, came up with Exsqueesite Foods. Simply zip of the top of her product's bag, add liquid, and squeeze and bake. I tasted a couple of her product -- a muffin and a chocolate chip cookie, and they were delicious, and they did look easy. Sherri said she mixes the muffin mix in the morning, puts it in a ramekin and into the toaster oven and in minutes, she has a great hot muffin for breakfast! Her email is Info @, and she has cookie, cake, muffin and bread mixes, as well as flour mixes. Her mixes, by the way, are gluten free, egg free, corn free and dairy free. Her phone number is 678-937-9200.

•The cookies that Tiffany Person at The Free Cookie were really beautiful, and her arrangements were both beautiful and reasonably priced. She has really cute Red Hat cookies (for the GF Red Hatter) and others, shaped like flowers. Their cookie bouquets start at $25 each. You can contact them at (404) 536-6170 or by email at Check out the pics of their designs on their website! REALLY cute.

I'm always happy when local restaurants offer GF offerings. Of course, the fine folks from the Crossville Outback were present with samples of their GF Bloomin' Onion. I still highly recommend this Outback - it's worth the trip to Roswell for the experience. I especially loved their "We Hate Gluten" shirts! It was nice to finally meet Julie, the person who started the GF revolution at this restaurant, and to see Jared, one of the great managers again. I only regret that I couldn't go there for lunch!

The folks from Wildfire at Perimeter Center were also there with samples of a decadent chocolate cake -- GF of course. I had a few minutes to talk to special events manager Nicole, and they're ready to host your next GF dinner party! Call them at 770-730-9080 for more information. The GF menu they had on display looked delicious.

And while I'm talking about "new kids in town," Check out Legal Sea Foods by the Georgia Aquarium. They sampled an incredible GF clam chowder and promised special care to the GF diners who visited them.

All the national products there were wonderful, but you have to love the "hometown wonders."

Much love, and much success to these businesses!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Informed consent (and a Sunday blessing or two)

First, thank you God that Hendley is OK.

And who among us isn't sad about the death of the wonderful Paul Newman? Speaking as a film fan, he was brilliant no matter the role. Speaking as the parent of a diasbled adult, Newman's Own Products (which are nothing short of spectacular AND mostly gluten free!) contributed thousands of dollars to specials needs charities, which is brilliant. Speaking as a happily married woman, I envy the 50-year romance he had with Joanne Woodward. He once said of her, "When you have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Whatta man. And speaking as a citizen of planet earth, we've lost a great humanitarian.

And now, informed consent:

I got my granny panties in a wad last week when I saw this article on the Delphi Forums Celiac listserv. Everyone spent a lot of time debating whether Splenda or sugar was better for consumption, but NO ONE seemed to note the glaring item for concern. The study, conducted by Duke University, was funded by the lobbying arm of the Sugar Association.

I was concerned more by the sponsorship than I was by the results. So Splenda causes obesity, kills "good" intestinal bacteria, and keeps the body from absorbing medications? I'd like more proof, please, funded by a non-partisan group. I just can't imagine that they didn't "cook the books" in favor of sugar, as opposed to Splenda.

I really don't know what to think. As a person living with diabetes and celiac disease, I DO need to have my medications absorbed and my "good intestinal bacteria" intact. I'd like not to be obese any more, too. But nothing you tell me will convince me that sugar, FOR ME, in any significant amount, will improve my health over my consumption of Splenda. I have not intentionally chosen a sugar-filled drink (over one with Splenda, saccharine or aspartame) in a long time. If I do have a food with sugar in it, I make sure it is pure sugar (or honey, or molasses) as opposed to corn syrup, and I have it in a small, small portion. I watch my sugar intake because it causes great damage to my eyes, stomach, and nerve endings when it drives up my blood glucose.

Let's face it -- most of the time, a person with such complex health concerns as I have NEEDS Splenda and NEEDS to be as sugar free as possible. Sorry, sugar association, you're going to have to come at me with a fair, realistic study before I give up my Splenda use. Oh, and run it by my docs for their approval, while you're at it. Your product is a bigger threat to me than Splenda is or ever will be.

And readers, remember, caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware. Or in this case, let the survey reader beware. Read the fine print and take caution when you see these surveys. It might not be all that it is cracked up to be.

Much love, and hand me that Diet Rite Tangerine soda, sweetened with Splenda, will you?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Hungry 100

OK, Stella has her groove back...

I was reading a new food blog I found, The Hungry Hamburger (not a GF Food Blog) about the 100 foods one should sure try before he or she dies. This was also on Serious Eats, one of my favorite food blogs.

But, I'm a pretty adventuresome eater, way before GF, and I have to say, rather than putting in bold the ones I HAVE eaten, I'll bold/italicize the ones I haven't. There are 10 I haven't tried and eight I will never try. And most of them are GF.

I haven't eaten Horse, for instance, but I have eaten the Belizean "royal rat," Gibnut, Cow-foot soup, and Pigtails and Peas.

How about you?

The Hungry Hamburger List

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush LOVE IT! And it's GF
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses It's cheese.
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes My sis Janet used to make Peach wine. YUM!
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras OMG how i love this food...
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (on GF crackers, no less)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (yes, I've tried one nibble)
27. Dulce de leche You can buy it out of a can at WalMart. YUM!
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda Heck, make it with GF bread...
31. Wasabi peas YAY! Love them, and can find them GF, too!
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (I've had lassi, but not salted. I'm claiming it. And no, it's not a puppy.)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar Never smoked a cigar, but have had cognac where others were smoking nearby. It counts.
37. Clotted cream tea At the Savoy in London, 1999 good time...
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects Not intentionally
43. Phaal A hot curry. Haven't tried it yet.
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi a pickled fruit
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini My FAVORITE martini, BTW
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads LOVE them, actually, sauteed in butter crispy. LOVE them!
63. Kaolin Hell, I'm southern, and that stuff is in the water around here!
64. Currywurst
65. Durian No, but I would.
66. Frogs’ legs Won't ever, either.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis Can't do it, it's not GF.
69. Fried plantain YUM. A favorite, to be sure. In Belize, if possible.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette Don't like em, won't do it again, but yeah, I have.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini (Food of the gods. No blini any more, but Caviar is perhaps my favorite food!)
73. Louche absinthe (OK, had a facsimle in New Orleans at the Old Ansinthe House, no less)
74. Gjetost, or brunost (out of curiousity once, at a Swiss Colony at Northlake Mall)
75. Roadkill I eat Vienna Sausages. Does that count?
76. Baijiu (yes, actually, once at a Chinese feast).
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum (gonna have me some of dat tomorrow night at the new local Thai place)
82. Eggs Benedict )do I hear the hallelujah chorus?)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare I'm sorry, I don't eat rabbit/hare or squirrel (aka rats with good PR).
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse Again, not intentionally...
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Much love, and report back in the comments!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eeek! It has been more than a week

I apologize, friends, for not blogging more often right now. Truth be told, I've been having some internal issues, and I've 1) not been cooking and 2) not been eating well.

Ok, not tonight. Tonight I'm having a pan-roasted steak and some leftover GF blooming onion that I froze.

But, last night, I had some canned fruit cocktail and some fresh grapes with my GF chicken Vienna Sausages (I know). The night before, I had popcorn and some GF McDonald's fries. And Sunday, I ate popcorn while watching the Emmy awards. Saturday night, after great GF meals at the Connect 2008 conference in Athens, I ate boiled peanuts and Cheetos for dinner.

See what I mean? Had I not gone to Connect, well, I would have subsisted on pork rinds last weekend. I'm sure of it.

I don't know what the problem is with me, but I just don't have much gumption to cook. I'm entirely stressed at work, and I've been on the road a lot. I'm not cooking, and I'm not eating out. I'm just junkin' it up.

I am maintaining my 100 percent GF status, though, and that is what is important. I still rarely eat sugar, and I'm still limiting the other allergen-producing foods.

So I ask you, GF friends. What do you do when this happens to you?

Much love, and I hope the slump ends soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A corny discussion

This is a first for me. I'm doubling up a post on both my personal blog and my public relations class blog.

This is a post about the use of propaganda in public relations campaigns. And it's directly related to a mass-mediated commercial and a web site campaign that's been going on since the beginning on September.

Backstory: Readers of my gluten-free blog know I've made a concerted effort to eliminate high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from my diet. My personal research has convinced me that this product is dangerous to the digestive tract, especially for those who are immuno-challenged, like I am. I based my decision on two things: First, I did research (including paper documents from non-biased nutritionists,) and Second, I did an elimination diet. I eliminated HFCS from my diet (even threw away my ketchup, bbq sauce, and salad dressings). I've also tried to give up my consumption of plain old corn syrup, but that is also difficult. But suffice it to say that this endeavor has made me all but give up Snickers bars, my favorite gluten-free treat. Finally, I discussed this at length with a medical professional I trust -- my gastroenterologist.

I have been troubled by and curious about a new campaign from the Corn Refiners Association that has been airing on television for the past several weeks. This persuasive campaign is designed to show the innocence of HFCS, with a cute couple discussing the safety of the ingredients. (You can find this video, and the other commercials, here. I recommend you watch so you'll see the message they send.

Yes, they want you to believe that HFCS is a Sweet Surprise. Over and over, the corn refiners association wants you to know that there is no caloric difference in HFCS and sugar. That there's no difference in HFCS and honey. And that HFCS is less expensive to use than sugar, honey, or molasses as a sweetner.

And to make sure you believe them, they back up their claims by doing survey research and sending out press releases.

For instance, consider the Press Release that suggests that a National survey* of Moms shows that Moms are more concerned about individual ingredients, rather than the "big picture" -- that kids still eat the wrong foods and don't exercise enough. The sponsor of the survey? The CRA. I immediately notices the *asterisk* by the word survey in the lead of the release. What did following that asterisk show? I quote:

*Wakefi eld, a national polling fi rm, conducted the survey between August 18 and August 25, 2008 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results were collected from a random sample of 400 mothers ages 18 and older. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population.

If you don't know survey research, recognize this: A national survey that is invited and online is only going to get a certain kind of audience. And I highly doubt that they conducted a random sample of 400 mothers age 18 and over, especially if they set QUOTAS to ensure reliable representation of the U.S. population. In other words, it's a survey that generalizes to a large audience something tested only on a small one.

This is propaganda, from a group most attacked by a society that is giving up HFCS for healthier choices. It is a direct response to the film King Corn, which has raised awareness and concern about corn production in the United States. They've even created their own propaganda website that echos the information at Sweet Surprise. You'll find it on google -- under High Fructose Corn Syrup Facts. Read to the bottom! It's copyright the Corn Refiners Association!

Here's a funny thing about propaganda, though. It always contains a kernel (pun intended) of truth. For instance, yes, HFCS is cheaper to use than sugar, honey, or molasses. And yes, the press release is right -- some parents aren't seeing the forest for the trees when it comes to dietary issues for obese children. Many of their claims are in fact couched in truth.

But as is the case with most propaganda, it's the truth, but not the whole truth. Not completely.

One must read on to get a clearer picture. I read this site several months ago, and it convinced me that, FOR ME, high fructose corn syrup is a risk.

What I hope you're asking now is, "is that website also propaganda?" Is it the tool of a propaganda campaign from people who want to take down the Corn Refiners Association?

The point, and there is an important one here: Propaganda and persuasions are everywhere, about every single product in society. Public relations is an industry of persuasion and often, propaganda, and ALL public relation's communication to society is on behalf of a client. Someone out there is representing the Corn Refiners Association. Someone out there is representing the film King Corn.

And somewhere out there, there's the truth HFCS and its impact on the human digestive system.

The directive for all of us, as consumers, is caveat emptor. That applies to our consumption of ALL media, whether that media is selling popsicles or political candidates.

But what is the directive for those of us who are public relations practitioners? To quote Hamlet, "Ay, there's the rub." Must we believe in the clients we represent? Students, could you represent a client in whose stance or product you didn't believe?

We must always, always be aware of the source and motive of our information, whether we're on the receiving or disseminating end of it.

And remember, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!

Much love, and pay attention!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Thinking of my friends in Texas

There's a disruption in the force tonight, and its name is Ike. It has had me glued to the television today, while I've tried to work on research and plan for next week at school.

I have lots of friends and family in Texas, both real and virtual )readers of this blog as well as Delphi Forum friends). Bob and Paula and their family are in the storm's path in Houston -- in fact, Paula, with her work, is in a chemical plant in Texas City (right there!) The storm is as big AS Texas, which means friends in San Antonio, Tyler, Burleson, and Huntsville are gonna get a lot of rain and win. And so will my much loved family -- Randy's folks -- in Dallas.

Now's the time for all of us to send up some positive thoughts and affirming prayers on their behalf. And be prepared to help if the need arises.

I'm afraid it ain't gonna be pretty. I've heard "worse than Katrina" a few too many times today to be comfortable.

Much love, and be safe out there friends.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Gluten-Free Mecca in Atlanta: TWO Urban Licks

Friends, I had another phenomenal dining experience in Atlanta last weekend. (Julie, Jenn, Joy, JP - Read the P.S.)

Promise me, GF and non-GF friends alike, if you need a place to dine in the ATL, you'll go to TWO Urban Licks.

And this man? Chef Cameron Thompson? He's a saint.

Now, let me tell you about the menu. I called ahead (as usual) as asked my vetting questions. When we got there, the host asked, "Now who's my gluten-free diner?" At the table, Billy, our waiter, asked the same question.

Then, the miracle happened. Billy took a menu into the kitchen and came back with it PERSONALLY ANNOTATED FOR ME by Chef Thompson. In all my time as a GF diner, I've NEVER had that kind of personal service. NEVER. I mean, I've had great chefs, and great suggestions, but a PERSONALLY annotated menu? Amazing.

And friends, there was a lot to choose from on this menu. Read this description below:

"All of the small plates are ideal for sharing or savoring on your own. A few of the menu’s highlights include the Salmon Chips, loaded with short smoked salmon, chipotle cream cheese, capers, and red onion; Lamb Lollipops served with grape chile jam and goat cheese; entrĂ©e options include Pork Shoulder with NY baked cheddar macaroni and pork jus; and the Bronzed Sea Scallops served over smoked gouda grits in a tomato broth."

Of all those items described above, only the macaroni and cheese was off limits -- and I could have ordered the pork with another side dish. Both Randy and a new friend, Enoch, had the pork. I tasted it....mmmmmmmmmmmmm. You could, to quote Billy, "eat it with a spoon."

I had the salmon chips and the scallops, and an assortment of homemade ice cream for dessert. Delish!

Now, I hoped to show you a picture of the menu but the beautiful annotations wouldn't show up on the camera. And I'm still waiting for pics from Enoch of this beautiful place.

But I wanted to post this message. I felt so wonderful dining at TWO, and I know you will love it, TOO!

Much love, and visit the website and enjoy the music, too!

P.S. Turns out, small world, Billy was Chris Harrell's former roomie and best friend. We had a great time calling Chris on Billy's phone, and laughing. I mean, who would have thought this guy was best friends with one of your old classmates from GC?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vetting the Gluten-Free Restaurant

I had one of those disheartening GF dining experiences this weekend while in Las Vegas with Randy and our friends Paula and Bob. We planned to meet them in Vegas early this summer, to treat Bob in celebration of his graduation from law school. It was also their 30th wedding anniversary, so we had a lot to celebrate. The room was on me, and the celebration dinner was on Randy. We were so excited to see them.

But we got sidetracked on the topic of a gluten-free menu at the party restaurant of choice.

It leads me to this question: What criteria do you use when you "clear" a restaurant for dining? In political party convention terms, how do you vet a restaurant?

I use a three-tier process to make my decisions. First, and always, I consult others on the gluten-free diet for suggestions. I was just in Las Vegas, where I'd been before. I already had some names and some good suggestions from our last trip.

Second, I look for the TNT -- tried and true -- gluten free places. I know there's a dedicated GF menu at PF Changs, Outback, Maggiano's, Bone Fish, Chick Fil A, even to some extent at McDonalds.

But sometimes, in the case of special occasion or curiosity, I try to find safe food other places. Here is how I "vet" a restaurant before I make a reservation.

I am a member of a restaurant reservation system called Open Table, where I log in and make online reservations. Open Table doesn't always list GF menus, but it is a convenient place to find restaurants and their information -- it makes it easy to look at menus quickly and make decisions.

I always make phone calls to restaurants that I plan to dine at out of town. ALWAYS. I ask to speak to a manager and ask if the restaurant can accommodate someone with food allergies, specifically gluten intolerance.

I am not an inconsiderate diner, folks. I am if anything kind and generous to places that work things out for me. So if they say no, then I thank them politely and take my business elsewhere. Take Bobby Flay, for instance -- love him as a chef, but he has no desire to accommodate anyone with a food allergy. On his web page he takes questions, and it's clear from his answers he's pretty clueless about GF meals. I don't get mad, I just don't go.

But I had a first experience Saturday at a place called rumjungle at Mandalay Bay that left me angry and defensive.

If you're gluten free, don't waste your time. They really don't want you there.

Here's my saga:

Last Tuesday, I called rumJungle, which I'd found on Open Table, and asked my usual questions. The manager on call (whoever it was -- I wish I'd written down her name -- said, "Sure. We can handle anything." I asked more pointedly if that included their fire-pit dinners (it's a Brazilian steak house with the swords and fire and all). She said, "Absolutely."

So far, so good. I was excited. Randy was even going to make a rare exception and go off his diet for this! (And trust me, he stuck to it the rest of the trip!)

When we checked in at rumjungle, the hostess greeted us and said the server would bring us my gluten free menu suggestions. They were sweet, warm, and welcoming at the desk. And the place, it looked incredibly fun.

A young, grossly inexperienced server came to the table and admitted she didn't really know what gluten was, but she announced there was no GF menu, that she'd talked to the chef, and he suggested I get a plain steak or salmon. I should not order any of the toppings or butters for the meats, and the fire pit was out of the question, except for salmon and turkey.

But, I protested, I was told there was "no problem." Well, she said, there's not, as long as I didn't want to participate in the specialties of the house.

Nope. No menu. Only suggestion? Plain steak or salmon. Plain sides. I'm sorry, but I was told I could participate in the Fire Pit meals. I wanted the fun to begin as promised by the manager I spoke to on the phone!

Bob and Paula, being the friends they are, said, "Let's leave." Randy said so too. But it was 8 p.m. on a Saturday night in Las Freaking Vegas, and I wasn't giving up. I asked for the manager. This had to be a mistake.

I proceeded to have a discussion (almost an argument) with one of the most patronizing, arrogant managers ("one of them, he said") I've ever met. He kept saying there was nothing safe. I was trying to point out that I understood that, but because of one of his staff's comments, I planned an entire celebration around a menu of food that I could not eat. He basically repeated what Sally Server said. Plain steak. Salmon. None of the sides were safe. The meat in the fire pit -- not safe. The worst part was he kept trying to tell me WHY it wasn't safe. I wanted him to explain why I'd been told it WAS safe. We were fighting at cross purposes.

I implored him one more time...are you sure? I mean, the person I talked to on the phone was so certain. He asked me if I had her name. Well, that to me implied that he thought I was making this all up. At least, that was what I inferred from his tone.

I was livid. I gave in to my friends, and we got up and left. Before I left, I told the manager he should train his staff better. We were misled, and that person basically RUINED plans that had been in the works for a long time. And I said one more thing:
I don't want to force my allergies on you, but you should not lead people to believe that you can work with them when in fact, you cannot. I would have preferred you tell me to go elsewhere than get my hopes up and embarrass me in front of my friends and family. That is just rude.

And he said, I swear to you, he said NOTHING. He just walked away.

Someone was looking out for us (add that to the fact that business is down in Vegas right now). I called Nobhill,Michael Mina's exquisite restaurant at the MGM Grand, where we dined last year. They had a table for us. We had a delicious meal, and I was treated like the gluten-free queen. At no point was I excluded from the meal. I was treated politely and with great care. It was amazing. I have always recommended them on the Celiac Listserv, and they continue to have my admiration and support.

Wish we'd gone there first. Glad we went there in the end.

So perhaps this is a warning for you GF diners out there. When you phone a place to see if it can accommodate your GF needs,
check twice. But don't get your hopes up.

It's a jungle out there.

Much love,


Some places I can add to the good list in Las Vegas:
The restaurant at Ellis Island (prime rib)
The buffet at the Monte Carlo (the chef accompanied me around and even had them cook me a steak on the clean grill).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome Baby Trent!

This morning, Julie Harrell Boucek, former editor of The Colonnade at my university, gave birth to a future lineback for the University of Georgia (ok, maybe University of Virginia or Navy), Trent Goolsby Boucek.

Isn't he beautiful? He weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces, and will be gluten free for at least six or seven months (ok, I'm kidding, but seriously...he will.)

Mother, Baby. Daddy and Big Sister (and Gran C and Big Daddy) are all doing well.

And I'm one proud adopted granny (Aggie Carter, that's me! Julie is the one who nicknamed me Carter back in 1998).

I'm going to be on the gluten-free road for a few days. Back with reports from Gluten-Free Vegas!

Much love, happy labor day, and WELCOME LT!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

That was the week that was... (A Sunday Blessing)

All in all, I had a remarkable back-to-school week. Although Fay has been squalling to the south of here (and has been pouring rain on us since yesterday afternoon) we've escaped with no harm so far. Randy even escaped the worst of it, though rain yesterday did cancel his back-to-school golf game.

Last Saturday night, out of the blue, I got an email from an old undergrad newspaper friend. I hadn't heard from him in at least 10 years, and now it seems his daughter is considering my university next year. I was thrilled to be in touch with him and his wife (who was also a college friend). I hope they'll visit us soon.

On Sunday, while working on a project for my PR & Admin class, I created a LinkedIn account (I'm trying to learn about social media. My friend Karen is my idol...she's amazing. I want to be her should I figure this out one day...) While looking for connections, I found another undergrad friend, whom I hadn't heard from for 10 years. She and I been great friends for a very, very long time, and I'd truly missed her a lot. Well, by Wednesday, we were back in touch by email, and we just talked on the phone for the first time in years. Turns out she's only three hours away in Savannah, again. Last I saw her, she was in Michigan! If you are on linked in, connect to me! I'm already hooked up with my buds Gluten-Free Steve (who wrote me the greatest recommendation! LOVE you!) and Kate! I also on Twitter, which I can't for the life of me figure out, but anyway...if you are, I am too. GingerCM. Tweet me, y'all

And one more friend came back into my life this week. She's only a half-hour away from here, in Macon, but we'd lost touch and hadn't been in email touch since 2003. We're back in email touch again. I hope to see her soon.

I was also reunited this week with my dear students as classes started again. It has been a horribly stressful week. I have created a lot of new assignments for the student groups and classes I teach, and there will be a lot to do in the next two months. One of my classes is required now to keep a blog. That site is called Bobcat PR, and you're welcome to see it any time you'd like.

With all this schoolwork (I even had to work most of the day, much to Jeffrey's dismay) I haven't had much time to cook or create gluten-free goodies for myself. Since Randy went home last weekend, I've fallen back into my old habits of cereal for dinner, etc. Tonight, I'm going to make a pan-roasted Porterhouse steak that was on the markdown rack at Kroger. Tomorrow, I'm going to make Kate's Banana Bread.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to replicate one of my mother's recipes -- a pork-chop casserole with onions and potatoes.

Here's the recipe, if you'd like to try it, too:

Pork Chop Casserole

One package of lean pork chops (one pound). I have sirloin chops
seasoned with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, salt and pepper
Two baking potatoes, sliced thin
One large onion, sliced thin
One can cream of mushroom soup (GF for me) with 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt

Alternate layers of potatoes and onions in a casserole dish. Top with pork chops. Top with soup mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

OR put it in the crock pot and cook on high for six hour. Can't decide which way I'll go.

OH, BTW, shoutout to Randy, who lost 18 pounds! YAY for my honey.
And y'all keep my former student Julie in your prayers as she goes in for a c-section in five days to have her son, Trent.

Much love, and so much more...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

So long to summer...

(Start humming the theme from "Welcome Back, Kotter." But don't call me Dr. CAA-tear. Only Brian Grooms can get away with that.)

Yes, friends, for me and my Randy, for my BGFF Kate, for a lot of others of you out there, it's that time of year again...the students are on their way back. We start classes Wednesday and have been back since last Thursday. Randy headed south (just in time for the hurricane, no less) Saturday, leaving me for his fall semester start next week.

Fall semester's here. Let the Week of Welcome BEGIN!

Yeah, right. Whatever.

While I am excited about all the work I did this summer to prepare for my fall classes, and I thrilled about those classes in general, I seriously needed a little more summer. What I needed, I realize now, was a week alone in my own house, with time to clean the closets and the toilets. You know what I mean?

Fall semester finds both Randy and me rededicated to our respective diets. In spite of my popcorn and GF cupcakes this summer, I did manage to lose 14 pounds since we got back from Portugal in May. I seriously hope to lose 15 more pounds by Thanksgiving. Then I'll have 20 more to go. Or something like that.

I wish you could tell. My buddy/colleague at work, Angela, told me she could tell, but frankly, the bloating from the gastroparesis (unrelated to CD/GF) has me constantly looking like I'm six months preggo (I'm not). And when I've had GF baked goods (like the melba toast I had this weekend, or the GF pizza I was served for lunch) it can get pretty bad.

I also find I'm getting glutened-like symptoms a lot lately. Of course, the fact that I ate half a flour tortilla (a small one) thinking and not noticing it was the corn tortilla I ordered, well, that was DREADFUL. I was sick for two days.

No, for me, it's time to start packing my lunch again. Kind bars and hummus, here i come.

My sweet Randy...honey, I know you're reading out on a super mega diet, and he seriously KICKS MY GF BUTT when it comes to willpower. With his permission on Thursday, I'll tell you how much he's lost, but he is doing GREAT. I better catch up, or he's going to trade me in for two skinny 25 and a half year olds...

But I digress. BTW, I was sad Estelle Getty died this summer. And George Carlin. My law class will never be the same...

Now that fall is here, one of the things I have in the yard are fresh pears. These are what we call in Georgia hard pears, but they're delicious. You just have to peel them to eat them. When I checked the tree last week, the deer and other critters had cleaned off the bottom branches which had maybe four dozen pears on them. I reached up high and picked three last week, and they were feeling pretty ripe. I hope to pick a dozen this weekend and make some low-sugar pear preserves. It's one of my favorite thing. I WILL report back.

I wanted to share with you a little salad I whipped up for dinner tonight. It was delicious.

Fresh Pear Salad

Two ripe but FIRM pears, peeled, cored, and chopped.
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (I get these at Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup Stilton or GF Blue Cheese (or GF Feta or Goat Cheese) ( had a little tiny piece of Stilton
2 T. mayo, mixed with 1 T. Splenda and 1 T. apple cider vinegar (dressing)
1 handful raisins or dried Crasins.

Chop pears in bite-sized pieces. Add nuts and cheese. Top with dressing. Mix thoroughly.
Serves ME!

Much love, and OH! I got some new shoes for school. YAY me!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A perfect summer recipe - Pulled pork and coleslaw

I've been cooking a lot lately, since Randy is on a mega-diet and I'm the supportive wife :-) except when I'm eating cupcakes and popcorn in Chicago. Mostly it has been ultra simple grilled chicken and fish, a basic roast, things I've already posted here.

Since today was my first day of school (grrrrrr he has another week and a day) I decided to make something spicy and delicious in the Crock Pot. Of course, this was just before I discovered that Jeffrey left the freezer door open outside on Monday, thus defrosting my ancient freezer (and ruining a ton of food). Double grrrr....I was gonna have a GOOD day, I could tell.

Anyway, I thought I'd try pulled pork. Except, I had no idea how to do it that would work for the diet.

Funny thing, it was as good as any pulled pork I've ever had. And topped with our creamy crunchy cole slaw, it was a winner.

So here's the recipe...

Pulled pork

1 2-3 pound pork roast, lean (I used one by Smithfield with Paula's Deen face on it...) I suppose you could use loin, or tenderloins, but I used a boneless roast I got in a cryo-pack at Wally World...
1/2 cup organic ketchup (tomato sauce would also work) It is less sweet than regular because it has no HFCS.
1/4 cup GF worcestershire sauce
1 T. Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning (can't live without it)
1 t. Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning (GF)

Put roast in Crock Pot and season - add ketchup and worcestershire. Roll roast in sauce. Cover and cook on simmer hi for 6-9 hours until pork is fork tender and can be pulled apart. NOTE: You have to watch it toward the end, since all the seasoning will cook out (as will the fat) and caramelize in the bottom of the Crock Pot.

Shred pork. Add 2 T. of sherry vinegar and 2 T. hot sauce of choice (or to taste if you don't like spicy).

Spicy crunchy cole slaw

1 bag angel hair cole slaw mix (thanks, Angela...)
1 small bunch of green onions, chopped (I used Penzeys freeze dried shallots, but if Randy weren't here, I'd use the green onions).
1/2 cup dill pickle juice (straight from the jar...or cider vinegar and 1/2 t, dried dill)
Generous sprinkle (2 t.) of shallot or garlic salt (oooh Steve, I used that shallot salt. TDF...)
1/2 cup sugar free pickle cubes (or relish, if you have no sugar issues like we do)
2 T. mayo (I use Duke's) You can use light or fat free, but I don't...they contain HFCS.
Several generous grind of pepper (I actually used Penzeys Florida Pepper)

In a big bowl, put the cole slaw mix and onion together and season with salt. Let sit for a few minutes, then add the pickles and stir. Add the pickle juice, then add the mayo last. Stir well. It has a nice sweet/sour flavor. If there's any left when Randy leave, I'm adding back the onions.........

Much love, and Chow, y'all...