Monthly Archives: June 2011

Stocking the Pantry

I stocked up on a bunch of GF flours today, so I can start baking. I got:

Potato starch
Tapioca starch/flour
Arrowroot powder
Brown rice flour

I also picked up some baking powder and baking soda, as well as some essential spices.

I’m only here for six more weeks, but I haven’t been able to bake for the last six months and I miss it so much. I’ve been saving tons of recipes to try.

It’s hard not having a kitchen stocked with cooking and baking supplies-a Kitchenaid mixer, for example-but I’ve picked up a few things and have most of what I need to make most of the things I want to bake.

I got three different pizza crust mixes (Namaste Foods, Full Circle, and Bob’s Red Mill), so I can compare. I got a bread mix too (Bob’s Red Mill). I’ve never tried making GF bread at home, so I want to compare those mixes too. I really want to make some from scratch as well. Same with the pizza crusts. I like knowing what’s out there and how it all tastes, though. Now that acquiring all the flours I need, I can do both.

June, in Pictures

Ok, so June isn’t quite over, but nothing exciting should be happening in the next couple of days. My goal was to take more pictures this month than last, but I only decided that a week ago; I didn’t really give myself much of an opportunity. Also, I did not do nearly as many interesting things this month. I mostly just worked.

Did I mention that I’m a Prairie Coteau Habitat Intern for The Nature Conservancy in Southeastern South Dakota for 10 weeks this summer? I’m starting week four tomorrow. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before, which is what I was hoping for when I applied for a variety of internships with them in December. I don’t really like working in an office all day; I thought I’d try the complete opposite on for size. I’m not sure I like it all that much either. I’d ideally like something in between. I’m not sure what kind of jobs there are that fit that bill yet. Mostly I’m just concerned with getting a job at all in Vermont, where Dan and I will be living come the end of August. I really hope I can find something in my field, or at least something I feel is worthwhile and interesting.

Onto the pictures!

Chebe Pizza Crust Mix

I had never seen Chebe in stores before, but I’d heard of it. When I found the gluten-free section in the Hy Vee out here in the remote world of South Dakota, I was really impressed. They had tons of stuff! There were even those chia seeds I keep seeing everyone talk about.

So I bought a box of the Chebe pizza crust mix, because it was inexpensive and it didn’t call for a mixer of any kind. I didn’t read the ingredients until I got home. Then I found out it was basically just tapioca starch in a box. I wasn’t too impressed. I continued to not be impressed after eating it. It tasted weird. The texture and crunchiness were good, though, so I’ll give it points for that.

Today I found an ancient handheld mixer in the crew house today, though. Now I can try some of the others, or make my own, like I’ve been wanting to. So stoked. :)

May, in Pictures

Palestine

I can’t believe I never posted my pictures from our visit to Palestine. We were ridiculously busy after that, and then we were home, where we were also ridiculously busy. Now it’s the end of June and I’m in South Dakota, interning for The Nature Conservancy, out on the prairie (with ticks), while Dan is in Pennsylvania, working as a camp counselor and circus instructor for kids at an overnight camp. My, how time flies.

We went to Palestine to volunteer at the Nablus Circus School. It was such an amazing experience. The kids were great, the owners of the circus were amazing (he’s from Palestine, she’s from Iowa, of all places). I’m so happy we went, for so many reasons. It was my favorite part of my time in the Middle East. It was also the most eye-opening. I could talk about it all day…but I won’t do that here.

Epic Cafe

When I was in Tucson, I had to get an assignment done for my online class while Dan was off teaching people to do stand on each other’s shoulders and do handstands on other people’s hands. I was looking for one coffee shop and couldn’t find it, but passed by Epic Cafe and decided it was too hot to keep looking for the other place so I might as well stop there instead. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t find the other place, because they were supposed to have gluten free goodies. Well, guess who else had a selection of GF stuff? That’s right-Epic did. I had an iced toddy and a muffin. The AC was fridig, the wifi was fast, and the environment was just right. I highly recommend it. I reviewed them on yelp while sitting there. Also, my review of Epic was featured as a review of the day on yelp shortly thereafter. I’m proud!

La Cocina

The day after we got back from Israel, Dan and I took a trip to Tucson, primarily to see Fleet Foxes play at the Rialto Theatre. The first night we were there, we ended up at La Cocina for dinner, after much yelp sleuthing on my part for places that had gluten free offerings. That was pretty much the best decision I ever made about where to eat. It’s been so long since we were there, that I’m just going to copy and paste my yelp review for you. But oh man, if you’re ever in Tucson, go there-gluten free or not.

“This is my new favorite place. I had one of the best dining experiences of my life there last night.

Highlights:
Locally conscious, vegetarian, vegan, GLUTEN FREE(!!!), and omnivore friendly food (from beef to sprouted tofu).

The most beautiful patio.

Hibiscus lemonade.

One of the best salads I’ve ever eaten.

A great bluegrass band (I forget their name, but I’ll try to remember to update with it later).

The best gluten free bread I’ve ever had. I actually thought it was regular bread for a minute there.

Awesome, super friendly service.

Lavender white chocolate gluten free cheesecake. Need I say more?

Very reasonably priced-$30 for two people for two entrees, one appetizer, one dessert, and two lemonades. Well worth it, especially when you consider the fact that it’s actually real, healthy food.

I went because they came up on yelp when I searched for gluten free in tucson. Boy am I glad I did. It was the perfect date spot for my boyfriend and I. A little romantic, in that southwestern, cool spring night, lemonade drinking on the porch kind of way. I wish I could go back every night. I’ll be back every time I’m in Tucson, for sure.”

Here are pictures, because who doesn’t like pictures?

Don’t we look so zen? We totally were. It was a great we-just-got-back-in-the-country-and-missed-it-so-much experience.

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