Category Archives: Weird Food

New Grist Gluten Free Beer

New Grist gluten-free beer | Gluten-free alcohol for those allergic to  gluten

One of the major bummers of going wheat-free this holiday season has been going beer free. But today my friend brought me gluten free beer…and it is good!

New Grist - Year-Round Beer | Lakefront BreweryNew Grist - Year-Round Beer  | Lakefront Brewery

It is light and citrusy. I recommend giving it a try! Many thanks to Logan for the treat.

The Coffee Cake

I woke up this morning with visions of coffee cake in my head. We bought a box kit of gluten free coffee cake a few days ago and I envisioned whipping it up for brunch.

Unfortunately, I forgot one crucial detail: I am not very good at baking.

And doubly unfortunately, the vaguely worded directions presupposed some knowledge about making coffee cake. Knowledge I did not possess.

So, I mixed everything together, not realizing I was supposed to split the mix and make a crumble. It also did not help that I added milk that had begun to spoil.

The end result was an incredibly dry cake batter. It became so dry, in fact, I would have given up if Kris hadn’t come downstairs and rescued it. But somehow, rescue it she did!

It doesn’t look pretty, but hey! It tastes good! It is amazing how people who actually know how to bake can rescue my best attempts at ruining something.

Further Food Fails

For once, my dinner turned out. I found a box of gluten free stroganoff at the store. This struck me as not only a good option for dinner, but something I could turn into lunch for the next few days.

Look at me, meal planning!

I suppose my enthusiasm is what led me to forget to check for other ingredients on the back of the box. And it still didn’t occur to me as I browned some ground beef, added the gluten free pasta, and mixed in the sauce.

It didn’t occur to me until I was done and my delicious dinner sat right in front of me that I thought, ‘Am I sure there is no soy in this?’

And then I checked and guess what? The whole meal was basically soy. There went my dinner plans.

I opted instead for a gluten free pizza but apparently my first gluten free pizza was just irregularly delicious because this one turned out a soggy, indigestible mess.

At least my gluten free, knock-off Pringles didn’t let me down.

Baking Follow Up

Brownies = hard as a rock, inedible.

Biscuits = sketchy looking, yummy tasting!

I guess one for two ain’t bad.

Baking Challenges

Some of my friends at work are hosting “Friendsgiving” (Friends Thanksgiving) tomorrow and I learned a few other girls also have wheat/gluten allergies.

So, I dug up the box of gluten free brownies and the box of gluten-free biscuits that made the trip with me from Wisconsin.

And then realized that I left all the items for baking in Wisconsin.

No measuring cups? I got creative. No bread pans? Well, that was a trip to Wal Mart. And then another trip to Wal Mart when I realized I actually needed a baking pan. (I swear Bethany and I had at least 4. Why did none of them get packed?!)

No non-stick oil? No problem, I’ve got butter. (Actually, during one of my Wal Mart runs I did try and find one but do you realize how many non-stick oils contain SOY?!)

Then I ran out of butter. Then I tried melting coconut oil. But, oh yeah, my microwave isn’t working. So then I had to dig out my one saucepan to melt two tablespoons of butter.

I realize I misread the directions of the biscuits and that they are supposed to be served hot. Then realize I have no aluminum foil to put over them to stick the dough in the fridge.

So I guess I should just bake them anyway because something is better than nothing?

I knew I should have just bought the boxes of gluten free cookies.

Aldi for the Win

I recently discovered I have a laundry list of food allergies and while wheat sounds more intimidating, soy is the thing in just about all my usual foods. Not that I’m repining: not eating foods that make me feel sick is an AMAZING experience. I’ve got more energy. I don’t feel nauseous almost constantly. I don’t need as much sleep. It is great.

And now Aldi has made life even more amazing with its selection of gluten and soy free foods.

You see, I went to Aldi today and saw avocadoes and thought “ooooh, guacamole dip!” But then I realized I couldn’t eat tortilla chips or bagels and started throwing myself a tiny pity party.

Until I walked down the next aisle and found the gluten/soy free crackers and bagels! I literally started singing.

I’m definitely benefiting from the fact that in recent years, wheat/gluten and soy have become slightly more mainstream allergies. It is possible to find a lot of alternatives.

But you know? Even if I couldn’t, it is worth it. I love feeling like I’m returning to my old self. It is crazy how a food allergy (or six) can impact so much of your life.


Food Allergies

I don’t talk about my health issues a lot on this blog but basically law school did a number on me physically. Today was a wonderful day because I got some answers about my health…including the number of things I’m allergic to!

  • Mango (knew that one)
  • Shellfish (no more shrimp for me. 😦 )
  • High fructose corn syrup (not good for you anyway)
  • Cantaloupe, musk melon, watermelon (WATERMELON! HOW IS THAT A THING YOU CAN BE ALLERGIC TO)
  • Soy (goodbye tofu, you will not be missed)
  • Wheat
  • Cream cheese (I got worried when I was told there was some sort of cheese allergy coming up but I guess if I had to pick a cheese to be allergic to…)

I also learned I am allergic to everything outside. Trees? Grass? Flowers? Yes. Plus, mold, dust, and anything that can blow in the wind.

In other words, I have no future working in a greenhouse.

Bethany Bakes

I would like to say my attempt at cooking yesterday inspired my sister, but she informs me that, in fact, she had planned all week to bake and I inconvenienced her by using the kitchen on Saturday. At any rate, I did her a favor because watching me discover how few baking necessities we own inspired her to go grocery shopping this morning.

And I have to hand it to her. She wasn’t kidding about baking.

She made 3 different types of cookies and pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie.

Alas, I do not get to try the pie. She is bringing it to work tomorrow. But I have gotten to play cookie tester all day!

There are certainly worse ways to spend a Sunday.

Don’t Experiment With Food When Expecting A Guest

In my head, dinner looked like this:

A perfectly set table with matching dishes. Caesar salad already on the plates, with warm grilled chicken neatly placed on top. A basket of homemade soft-pretzels neatly positioned in the middle. And of course, the main dish…beer cheese soup. Beverages would include lemonade or beer. And we would have decaf coffee and my favorite desert cheese to finish it off!

And I guess…technically that mostly happened. Just not the way I hoped.

I was going to make broccoli cheddar soup for dinner. Not that I have ever made that either. But while researching recipes, I saw beer cheese soup, remembered that my guest came from out of state, and thought I’d give her a “taste” of good German/Wisconsin food.

My first problem was with making the soft-pretzels. The dough mixed easily enough but then I was supposed to dip it in some concoction with baking soda. Which wasn’t on the ingredient list and which I don’t happen to have on hand. I also didn’t have the special parchment paper to bake them. I shouldered through anyway. Then I went to sprinkle sea salt on the pretzels and the lid came off…resulting in a ruined pan of pretzel shaped salt-with-dough. I threw that out and started again. Unfortunately, even with liberal use of non-stick spray, the pretzels stuck to the pan and came out in weird sizes and shapes.

The chicken—which I have grilled without problem many times before—was raw when I first cut into it. I then put it back on and overcooked the whole thing till it turned to rubber. At least the salad came from a bag and tasted fine.

And then there was the beer cheese soup. I realized after I was well into it that the recipe I was reading called for me to dump all the ingredients in a blender. You better believe I do not own a blender. I also couldn’t get the broth to heat. Or thicken. Or really, anything. The end result tasted pretty terrible. (Too much mustard maybe?!)

My guest didn’t want coffee, lemonade, apple cider, beer, milk, or any other beverage I bought for her visit. She drank water. She also did not like the desert cheese.

Moral of the story: when expecting a guest you don’t know very well, don’t try a new dish.


Tteokbokki, or stir-fried rice cakes, is a popular Korean food. It is always one of my favorite dishes when I order Korean. The local Asian grocery story has some different versions of tteokbokki so Bethany and I decided to give it a try.

First: the microwavable kind

SURASANG Rice Cake With Hot Sauce 170g -

Unexpectedly good flavor and texture. Microwavable bowl would be easy to take to work. Not a lot of spice.

Second: The Make-On-The-Stove Kind

SURASANG국물떡볶이, 88 서울, 12/820G]SURASANG FZN RICE CAKE WITH HOT SAUCE,  12/820G - PanAsiaFood

Hands down the better of the two. It comes with fish cakes and a slight spice kick. Filling and delicious!

Of course, neither as good as the stuff in the restaurant. (Or straight from the street vendor in Busan.) But sure easier than trying to find the ingredients to make these homemade!