How Slow Food Benefits Food Allergy Families

May is Food Allergy Action Month. This initiative from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization strives to raise awareness about food allergies and inspire actions to improve the lives of people with food allergies. One way that my food allergy family is taking action is by embracing the Slow Food movement. What is Slow Food? The Slow Food movement began in Italy in 1986 in protest of a popular fast food chain. The philosophy of the slow food movement is simple -- its back-to-basics. Its all about slowing down to enjoy life's simple pleasures, like gathering around a table to enjoy a good meal. It's about enjoying the kind of food your grandmother made. The Benefits of Slow Food There are three pillars to the Slow Food movement: good, clean and fair. For food allergy families, like yours, these pillars are key. Good food, the first pillar, means locally-grown, seasonal food, like strawberries harvested from a nearby farm in late spring rather than … [Read more...]

Book Review: Reasons Mommy Drinks

I recently read the hysterically funny book Reasons Mommy Drinks by Lyranda Martin Evans and Fiona Stevenson. I laughed out loud from the very first sentence of the introduction. I even tweeted that. Reasons Mommy Drinks chronicles a new mother's journey from the baby shower, "a painful rite of passage, cleverly disguised with adorable pink or blue ribbons that later become an embarrassing hat," through 18 months postpartum and drinking the Mommy Kool-Aid. This pint-sized book includes 100 chapters (if you call a hysterical, one-page vignette a chapter) accompanied by 100 drink recipes -- that's 100 drinks to snarf through your nose for every belly busting chapter about the first 18 months of motherhood. The drink recipes are just as funny to read as the vignettes. The instructions for "One-Hit Wonder" suggest listening to Vanilla Ice with a shot of Irish cream to drown out all the questions about baby number two when baby number one isn't even one yet. And the … [Read more...]

Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine Opens in DC

Sophie's Cuban Cuisine, a New York City Cuban restaurant, opened its first location in Washington, DC, this week. And I had the pleasure of dining there with Liza of (a)Musing Foodie. Liza and I braved the streets of Northwest Washington in a Chevy Traverse on the day the federal government shutdown. Not so easy but we lucked out and found valet parking two doors down from the restaurant. Inside, we were greeted by Sophie herself and her incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff. We sampled plantains, three kinds of rice, three different meat dishes, and a cubano (Cuban sandwich also available as a wrap.) When you go, make sure to order a side of Sophie's special green sauce to accompany your meat dishes (its dairy free). And save room for a Batido, a fruity tropical shake. It's so good.  Sophie's Cuban Cuisine is located at 1134 19th Street NW in Washington, DC. Lunch was provided for free. Transportation was provided by the GM Northeast Team. Thank you. … [Read more...]

Dine Out For No Kid Hungry At La Madeleine Cafe #Giveaway

Stepping inside the Annapolis mall, I'm drawn to the pastry counter at the entrance of la Madeleine Country French Cafe. But I can only look; there are no gluten-free treats here. That's okay, though, because I'm here to meet with Stephanie Miller, director of marketing for la Madeleine. Inside, I forget I'm at a mall; the decor is cozy with an inviting fireplace as the centerpiece of the restaurant. The dark woods and faux brick create a rustic and quaint look. I could easily sit here with an espresso and write for hours. Stephanie and I sit at a table and sip raspberry ice tea while she shares the la Madeleine story with me. She tells me about Chef Patrick and his passion for the French countryside and his mission to bring the flavors of that region to America. And then she tells me about No Kid Hungry, the Share Our Strength national campaign to end childhood hunger. September is No Kid Hungry Month and, this year, la Madeleine has pledged $200,000 to the campaign. With … [Read more...]

Daiya Cheese Quesadilla #GlutenFree #DairyFree

I've been reading The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison and all I can think about is cheese. But here's my problem: I'm trying to cut out cheese because, well, we're just not friends. Cutting out cheese, all dairy actually, is really hard when you are reading a book ALL ABOUT CHEESE. Since I started reading the book, I've been craving a grilled cheese sandwich -- one with crisp, buttery bread and cheddar cheese oozing from the sliced middle. However, I have yet to find a gluten-free bread that fits this order. So, I decided to improvise by making a gluten-free, dairy-free quesadilla. At the grocery shopping, I picked up rice tortillas and Daiya wedge-style cheese. Its supposed to cut and melt like cheese even though its a dairy-free product. When I was dairy-free, Daiya was the only dairy-free cheese I would buy. The shredded mozzarella was great for making pizza, even though the smell was less than desirable. The Daiya Cheddar wedge looks a lot like a block of Velveeta and … [Read more...]