Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Girls Book Club

At my friend Stephanie's suggestion, we pulled together an all-girls book club!  At a record high of 16 lovely ladies from several friend-groups, we will attempt to meet once a month to chat about books... er... gossip a lot. 

The boys have a bet that this will only last a few months.  They have started a Tuesday night darts club for boys that they are sure we will join after the new year. 

Let's prove them wrong ladies!  First up:

Stephanie hosted the first gathering to "get to know you" and to pick the first book. She made some gluten-free cookies for me and specially bought gluten-free hummus!  It was very sweet and thoughtful of her.  I'm still eating leftover cookies she sent home with me.

Gluten Free Wine Dinner Week at Wildfire

Save the Date - Gluten Free Wine Dinner Week at Wildfire

Wildfire & The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center are teaming up for the first ever Gluten Free Wine Dinner Week! Beginning Monday, November 8 through Friday, November 12, each Illinois Wildfire location will be hosting a Gluten Free Wine Dinner one night of the week. These special dinners will feature all gluten free fare perfectly paired with wines hand-selected from Wildfire's very own wine list by Wine & Spirits Director, Brad Wermager. Each dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. The dinner is priced at $75.00 per person, which includes a $25 donation to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, tax and gratuity. Save the date for the location nearest you as reservations are limited!

View the menu here.

Wildfire Restaurant

Ernie’s parents treated us for my belated “birthday” dinner at Wildfire. I don’t even know how this turned into a birthday celebration but Ernie’s mom showed up with an amazing bouquet of flowers and a huge butterfly balloon. It was so thoughtful!

Right as we sat down to eat, our server was extremely accommodating to my gluten-free diet. There’s a separate gluten-free menu that you have to request. He even brought out warm gluten-free bread for me while everyone else was enjoying the rye bread brought to the table. The bread was really moist, served warm and very buoyant for gluten-free bread. It didn’t have the greatest taste but the texture was one of the best I’ve experienced for bread. The taste had that sour/sharp note of rice flour with a slightly gritty aftertaste. But no need to be greedy, they still had gluten free bread.

Though there was an extensive list on the gluten-free menu, I still went for an altered version of the daily special. I have a soft spot for halibut. The special was served as an almond crusted halibut but the kitchen so kindly prepared mine broiled. It was served with three sticks of grilled asparagus. Why does asparagus make your pee smell?

The server in fact was so cognizant of my gluten-free restruction that he forgot to bring out Ernie and Big-Ernie’s soups! So much food came out with each of our dishes and side dishes that by the time they asked the waiter about the soups, appetizers were no longer needed.

The fish was flaky and fresh. What a huge portion. The broiled version didn’t have much else to it – just a plain broiled filet of fish, basically the way I like it. A melted butter drizzle came on the side if you wanted to add a little bit of taste (and calories). I also ordered the au gratin potatoes on the side (which are made gluten-free). Warm cheese melted over scalloped potatoes! I never make these at home since the boxed variety often has flour in it and I never take the energy to make it from scratch so this was a bit of a treat. The serving size was also enormous. I really could have split this into two or maybe even three meals.

To finish off, our server even brought over a flourless chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a candle on top to celebrate my ‘birthday.’

Overall: Awesome service that completely catered to GF diets (although he did neglect the rest of the diners!) and enormous portions good for packing up half the meal. Check out their gluten-free menu in the toolbar to the left. Bon Appetite!

Celiac Screening

I tried to sign up for U of Chicago's free Celiac Screening.  Unfortunately, they require you to be eating gluten for at least 8 weeks prior to the test so that automatically disqualifies me.  Bummer.

For those of you who are eating gluten, but are interested in finding out if you shouldn't be- go ahead and sign up!

A little behind on the blog...

Sorry friends, I have been really behind on the blog and I actually do have some updates to share!  It's been so busy at my "9-5" job, er should I say "7:30am-8:30pm" job.  I'm loving the work but there is just so much going on.

I'll try to get these posts out before heading out to Munich and Paris.

1) Wildfire Restaurants
2) Cookie Bar
3) Sprinkles' Gluten-Free Cupcakes
4) Udi's Gluten Free Bread

All of the above are contributing to my weight gain. Well, in addition to my lack of exercise.  humpf.  Mom even metioned something at my cousin's wedding in Tahoe last weekend. "Did you gain weight? You look fatter than your sister."  Greeeeat, just what every gal likes to hear.

We've been getting through some of the insanity workouts but Phase 2 is reallllly intense. No normal human being should put their bodies through that.  I can't wait to get a new gym membership in October. It was nice to save some money over the summer by trading in the gym membership for some outdoor activities and the Insanity workouts, but I just didn't end up working-out as much as I should.  Plus, in the abscence of the races and triathalons this year, I didn't have any reason to push myself.

Some Q4 2010 Goals:
1) Join a gym. Work-Out at least 5x / wk.
2) Cook more at home and find more gluten-free recipies to post
3) and cut down on the random sweets!