Category Archives: Food

Gluten Free Brasilia, Brazil

I didn’t really worry about how to eat gluten free on our whole trip to Brazil. The main food we eat is churrasco, which is BBQ meat with beans, rice, veggies, and salad. Plus, Brazilians label all packaged food, even things like cachaçha, as gluten free.
For breakfast at our hotel, there was also usually pão de queijo- cheese bread- which is made out of tapioca flour.There was also always a lot of fresh fruit to enjoy, and lots of Brazilian coffee!With lots of fresh vegetables and options, I was not feeling left out of the food scene, although I did miss enjoying the subzero beer from my previous visit in 2010. They serve beer extremely cold and keep it in a thermos on your table, ensuring that each glass you have is ice cold. Plus as soon as you finish the bottle, another one was on its way. I had to be a little more careful with the caipirinhas. 🙂Some meals were not quite as amazing as others, like this mediocre salad below, but that happens when you’re eating in a mall.We also enjoyed lots of cafezinhos, little coffees.If there was one thing we got enough of on this holiday, it was MEAT. Glorious meat.Another favorite of mine is Brazilian tapioca, which are a kind of pancake made out of tapioca flour, often served with condensed cream and coconut. Although they are less common outside the north of the country, we found them in a mall and made sure to order some!Another part of churrasco’s feijoada – stewed beans and pork served over rice- is farofa, which is toasted cassava, or tapioca, that you can see in the lower left of the photo above. That was also a typical part of my Brazilian diet. 🙂

Not all the people know what gluten is, but eating gluten free in Brazil is still a pretty painless process. The most painful part was eating too much meat and not enough vegetables!

Thanksgiving Treats

Yeah, posting about this in May, not only because we always celebrate the day sometime random in Switzerland, but because you only have 5-6 months before you need to start planning Thanksgiving 2016!

Or, if you’re like me, maybe you hanker cinnamon-based desserts year round, because YUM.If there’s anything Kay should miss this summer while he’s in Singapore, it is our ice cream maker, because the ice cream coming out of this machine is mouthwatering. This cinnamon ice cream recipe from Epicurious is pretty epic.I don’t make too many ice creams with eggs yet, but I really should, because they make the most wonderful, creamy texture in ice cream. This really seemed like a proper ice cream, and not some weird gluten free, lactose-free ice cream that I was making the previous summer.I also wanted to make a cranberry apple pie to bring along for dessert, as well as pecan tassies, and a pumpkin ice cream. It was a lot of dessert, even for seven people.Again, I used the The Everything Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook for the pie crust, and then I sort of winged the apple cranberry part with some normal pie recipes online.Overall, I was pretty happy how the pie crust turned out. GF pie crust kind of scares me a bit. I still haven’t made a covered pie, but I will at some point.In between making the ice cream and taking it to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving, I taste tested the cinnamon ice cream with the secret cheesecake I made for Kay. The one that I’m not allowed to share with others. 😉 It was great celebrating our ninth Thanksgiving together with these friends.They are my first friends in Switzerland from my rotary house times, and Kay is already a little sad that he will miss 2016’s Thanksgiving because he’ll be in Singapore.We age like fine wine together. 🙂Good times are always had with this crew.Maybe 2016 will be the year for the covered GF apple pie? Or a new attempt at pumpkin pie without my precious Libby’s pumpkin puree? Only time will tell.

Gluten free Birthday Cake for Kay

We were flying back from Lima on Kay’s birthday and then I was in Hong Kong, but by late November, it was time to make the boy a cake. Or two, considering this was only the “shareable cake” and not his beloved, private cheesecake that I would make later on.

After two years eating gluten free, making cakes is not quite so scary any more. The recipes from The Everything Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook seem to work very well. I decided to make a standard white cake and then spice it up to be a pseudo spiced cake.I added in spices like cardamom and cinnamon, as well as a pinch of cloves.Frostings usually confound me, but this time I made a delicious, delicious, delicciooooous maple cream cheese frosting, recipe below.Prepping the cake for frosting.Considering that we were getting close to Christmas, it made for a really nice, wintery cake.We had a belated dinner for Kay at his father’s house and I brought the cake along as dessert.This one turned out a tad denser than other cakes I have made from this book, but still perfectly acceptable. 🙂It was only a shame that Kay had a stuffed up nose and could barely tastemy yummy creation. Oh well, too bad for Kay!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 113g butter
  • 8oz/200g cream cheese (1 pack Philadelphia)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Homemade gluten free freezer meals

Shortly after Kay moved out, I bought myself a granny bag, as I call it, to help bring groceries home on my own. Kay was my “carrying mule” as I fondly referred to him, and without him around, I really need some help with the heavy items like milk and liquids.I buy food in bulk and plan 4-6 meals to make over the weekend. Usually at least two are slow-cooker meals that require little prep or work and two are stove top meals.Above was fondue mac and cheese with cauliflower and carrots and below was slow cooker beef broccoli.This weekend I also used my Le Creuset pan for a big potato and carrot beef pot roast.And below was one pot chili mac.Most of the recipes are for around 8 portions. Sometimes I just wing them and make a bunch of food. These meals, along with chopped veggies like carrots and celery for the week, go into my new IKEA glass tupperware.Each night I cook, I enjoy a new, fresh hot meal, as well as dishing everything into the containers to cool before going into the fridge.It is really a factory line sometimes. Below was a risotto I made on auto mode on my Kenwood and then threw in cut peppers and spinach for some extra veg, as well as cheese, because, well…risotto. 🙂Once the meals have been in the fridge for a few hours and cooled even more, I transfer them to my big freezer that I bought myself last year.When I am heading to France or coming home from a weekend abroad, it’s SO easy to pull out meals for the week and to bring to work.Colleagues are amazed when I’ve been in Barcelona over the weekend and bring a fully homemade Sunday roast to work for lunch. With the freezer, everything is possible!

Are you a fan of homemade freezer meals or freezer cooking?

Gluten Free Cusco and Lima, Peru

After our long bus ride into Cusco with a crack-of-dawn arrival, we slept for a couple hours and then landed at Don Cafeone for lunch, where I had quinoa and mushroom beef.For dinner the first night, after hiking to see Saksaywaman during the day, we celebrated with more pisco sours at Nuna Raymi. For appetizers, we ordered the crispy homemade chips made from white potato, sweet potato, arracacha and yellow potato, tossed with olive oil, garlic, rocoto (red chili), pisco, parsley, jungle’s hot sauce, spices and tomato.Pretty sure I ordered tenderloin pork with piña colada chutney and garlic mashed potatoes for the main, but it’s been a few months and my memory is getting rusty. It tasted good and I didn’t get sick after, so I was happy!The second day when I was feeling so crappy the night before our trek, we ended up somewhere near the plaza de armas after our tour briefing and I had stuffed peppers and potatoes.After the whole trek was over, we needed to get a quick lunch in Aguas Calientes before taking the train back to Cusco, so I grabbed a deconstructed taco dish. And by grabbed, I mean, we waited quite awhile and almost missed our train because the service was so slow. 😉We did not realize we had purchased special train tickets. Most of our group was heading back later on a train together, but Kay had upgraded us to the “scenic route” that ran along the river on the way back to town. It was a very pretty train ride.Peru Rail also served us a little lunch, which surprised me.I was scared to eat the bread, so I gave it to Kay, but I happily munched on the rest. They served us coffee and tea too, which was welcome after five days without the morning cuppa.The train ride also had a very special service with a terrifying clown who made the creepiest noises, and later on a fashion show was put on by the steward and stewardess. It was definitely different than the Swiss train!Back in Cusco, we met another prospective student from INSEAD at Nuna Raymi for dinner again, since it was good before. The colleague just joined us for drinks, pisco sours, which unfortunately gave all three of us terrible food poisoning the next day.We were flying to Lima for our flight back to Zurich and the food poisoning hit just in time for security check-in. Again unfortunately, the water only worked outside security, so after we got through security, some poor soul had to deal with my repeated trips to the bathroom, and I spent some glorious time half-passed out in front of the bathroom, writhing in pain before we started boarding.

All for nothing too, as the power in the airport failed, so did my stomach, and I ended up losing my breakfast in front of all the passengers for our flight. The only thing classier than puking in a bag while running for the bathroom is having that bag break over the airport floor. Travel at its finest! 😉

Both Kay and I just needed to sleep and recover when we got to Lima. We had a day to explore, but rather spent the whole day and most of the night sleeping the food poisoning off. When we woke the next day with our flight back to Zurich, we had a little hotel breakfast, including broth soup to get our nutrients back up.After shopping and spending way too much, I chanced my stomach on some creamy shrimp risotto, but it was actually so rich that my weakened appetite wasn’t able to handle eating much of it. Tasty though!As were the BBQ chicken wings, which Kay helped me polish off.More from our trip to Peru: