CooK’n Cozy with Anita and family!

What a great experience yesterday! I so enjoy going into homes and meeting families that want to add nutritious eating habits to their lives. I was so excited to get there that I packed everything but the RECIPES!

In spite of this little oversight we CREATED the best recipes ever. From Heavenly Bread (minus the almond butter and the oven off) to Italian Soup.

What’s a meal without desert? EMPTY… so we whipped up a batch of Sweet Potato Crepes with Ginger Rhubarb Sauce.

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We even managed to muster up a tray of Bom-a-rama Brownies and a vat of Nut’n Butter than Butter Chicken. The one dish we were both looking forward to making was the Egg & Veggie Breakfast Bars which just slipped our minds! Too much talking and eating I guess.

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Both Anita and I got a thumbs up from the test crew. Thanks to her two children and husband we had plenty of volunteers for critiquing our accomplishments and sampling. I’m waiting for the teams results of the Nut’n Butter than Butter Chicken and the chocolate brownies.

Anita sent me the most amazing email, and, with her permission, I’d like to share it:

Hello Melinda.
Thank you so much for this wonderful afternoon. I had so much fun. You showed me so much great food and my family loves it too. My family likes you a lot – so do I! Rick said I should tell you, you are welcome at our home anytime! If you tell us exactly what kind of herbs you would like us to plant for you we will be glad to do that. You would LIKE our garden once it starts to grow, I am sure of it. And you can definitely count me in for the breakfast class. I am very grateful that I found you (actually my girlfriend found your flyer). Thanks again.
Have a great weekend,
Anita

Well, I’m the one that lucked out with this last visit. I made some wonderful new friends and I was offered their BEAUTIFUL backyard for growing some herbs. One of my favorite things is making seasonings. Now I have the opportunity to do this with bio herbs and a top notch Green Thumb Gardner to care for them! PLUS, I don’t have to mow the lawn. Thanks Rick and Anita. I look forward to cooking those Egg & Veggie Breakfast Bars with you May 21st!

CooK’n at the Wallonenhof on May 21st!

DSC06585Our next CooK’n event is just around the corner!

On May 21st, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Wallonenhof Restaurant we will be CooK’n Breakfast! The most powerful meal of the day!
Plan on spending the morning cooking a savory Saturday Morning Brunch. Mark your calendar, this is one you wont want to miss!

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Pizza Hunting 2

Well our trip is coming to a close. My search for the perfect pizza crust has been more then successful. I am excited to get home and begin experimenting with all my new secrets.

One thing I have learned about eating gluten, dairy and soy free on the road. It is possible and even enjoyable! Here are a few ideas to help you stay faithful to your journey:

  1. Plan before you go. My mother was an avid dieter and repeated one of her favorite mottos daily: “if you don’t plan, you plan to fail.” So make some plans.
  2. Check out the net and search for restaurants and bio grocery stores in the area you will be visiting before you go.
  3. Check what days the farmer markets are open in the area you will be visiting.
  4. Take simple supplies: gluten free bread, small cartons of coconut cream for your coffee, nuts, fruit and my favorite: Thyroid Greens by Susan Cohen.
  5. Ask! I found that most local restaurants will be more than gracious to accommodate you. Staff were always happy to toast my bread at breakfast.
  6. Look for local restaurants that use fresh foods and don’t have a million things on their menu. Most will have 3 or 4 different choices that use seasonal foods and may run out since they don’t cook for the masses. So call early for reservations and menu choices.

IMG_2651Zur Herknerin in Wien was one restaurant we found that fit this protocol (it was also helpful that Lutz’s son Dominik worked there as a part-time waiter). The food was amazing and we were served fresh delicious meals. My creamed spinach was replaced with fresh yummy white asparagus with a kind smile and friendly service, which included a visit from the chef.

IMG_2598One superior meal that was cooked to perfection happened to be in a cozy apartment above the city. Perfect jazz, relaxing ambiance with fine silver and a knowledgable chef. Stuffed red peppers with fresh ground pork/beef mix topped with delicious tomato sauce, all meeting my lifestyle needs. What a meal! And one I will surely repeat. Thanks Chef Dominik!

Blue Orange in Wien was a great find for gluten free bagels. Perfect egg sandwich with bacon and a side of Jalapeño’s.

IMG_2609The highlight of my researching effort paid off. Our first night in Wien we walked a block to Pizzaria Scarabocchio. I had done my homework and found It had super reviews and definitely met my expectations. The crust was light chewy and crisp on the bottom. I did walk away with a few more secrets for my next pizza crust.

To end our stay in Wien we had to hit the Scarabocchio once more just to make sure and compare. My husband ordered a normal crust while I stuck to my gluten free. The test was done and we both voted that there was little ground to debate a difference in texture and flavor. See for yourselves.

Kudos to the owners! In my book Scarabocchio you’re number one…at least for this week!

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Pizza Hunting 1

Well, as many of you know, living the gluten/dairy/soy-free lifestyle has been pretty easy for me. I’ve been able to recreate everything I miss except one thing… Pizza crust! Yes. I am fine with my Basic Bold Tomato Sauce, nut cheese and my Bella Italian Seasoning, but creating the right crust has been my quest and mission.

To date, I have not found a replacement, just a lot of mistakes in the trash. But it is spring break and I am off once again, pursuing the perfect crust!

CooKnCoach_160410-7This past week, we headed to Munich for 3 days where I searched the internet for gluten-free pizza restaurants and discovered Pizzesco. It turned out to be one of the best I have tried so far! Yes, it is a close call between Ferro in Idyllwild California and this fantastic hole in the wall in Munich.

We took the subway and followed the directions to the Pizzesco. The seating area was about 100 people and the room was packed! This did not detour me, though. I was determined to check out this gluten-free pizza and I even told the gentleman that led us to our cramped table, fighting off the walk ins, that I planned to publish my experience on my website. He gave the sign of a long Pinocchio nose and laughed.

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Well by the end of the evening we were laughing. It was amazing! The crust crunchy. I had the standard salami and Lutz had the most delicious one: truffles with thinly sliced potatoes covered in buffalo mozzarella.

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When the gentleman realized I was serious about my review, he treated us to their homemade tiramisu with gluten-free lady fingers. I will have to recreate this one using coconut milk to really indulge, but the bite was worth it.

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I didn’t leave empty-handed, I was able to pick his brain and left Pizzesco with some new material at hand. Yes, a secret ingredient I have not tried yet… My mind is ticking as I type. I see the perfect crust on the horizon. Stay tuned!

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It was a close call between Ferro in California and Pizzesco in Munich. Tomorrow we are off to Vienna and the hunt to find the perfect crust continues!

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