Sunday, 14 December 2014

The BEST Christmas Hacks!

Just spotted this from Facebook.  I know. I hate that place, but a friend posted it, and it's SUPER great suggestions were a few McGyver-ish things even I hadn't thought of.  Yes, that's right. I learned some new and great things today. I can say they are so very awesome!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Passwords. Those Devilish Passwords. Are you safe?

I think the one question pros in IT get asked the most is; "I read about this [Hack/worm/virus/stolen credit card info], should I change my password?"

The answer is YESbut.

How secure is your password choice? How often do you change it? Can you even REMEMBER it?!

I can tell you I don't.  And I don't have to.  Thanks to an awesome software called 1Password.  I have it installed on every single device I own, and it's available to me on the internet even on computers I don't own because I sync the data through Dropbox.  You can use iCloud…sure, but not just yet if you have an iOS 8 device.  Dropbox has never been "unavailable" to me, so there, they have my loyalty.

With 1Password, I remember my one favourite password.  ONE! Thank you from my aging brain!

The latest and greatest feature… Touch ID identification and unlocking. A Fingerprint! Starting with the iPhone 5S and now the 6, I seldom even have to type in that password.

There are a LOT of great features, and it's not the cheapest software out there, but think on this: How much would it cost you if your identity were stolen and you had to clean up the mess that unconscionable thief left behind?  I think my investment is well placed, and the support and responsiveness of the company that developed it, Agile Bits, is outstanding.

Here. Read an article from . No, it's not the most recent article, since I just received notice that 1Password 5's release is imminent and will require the latest and greatest Mac OS, Yosimite, but it covers all the essentials that make the case for WHY you, YES YOU! and everyone you know, need 1Password.

If you're ready to take the plunge, here's the App Store link for iOS. 1Password - Password Manager and Secure Wallet by AgileBits Inc.

I should mention I have no investment, affiliation, nor was compensation or software provided to me. I'm just a massive fan.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Fried Food the Gluten Free Way

Oh dear. I keep forgetting to share how much I crave fried food.

I have a beer batter recipe (somewhere on here) that is fantastic, and now, Gluten Free on a Shoestring has shared hers, I have two fantastic tasty recipes! Uh, oh. That means a fry-off is coming. Guess I'll be pulling out the stretchy yoga pants for this one.

Monday, 8 September 2014

And in other news…

This happened in Edmonton today:

Well, not really.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

How much do you spend on Gluten Free foods?

I track this, supposedly for tax reasons, but I'm a bit of a laggard when it comes to producing visuals.

Our friends at Gluten Free Edmonton have blogged about their expenditures - how much, where and on what specific items.

You can check out all their shopping at their detailed blog post (with charts & graphs oh My!) here!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Gluten Free Dining at Hundred Bar & Kitchen

The Edmonton chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) hosted a supper for members with Chef Cowan at the Century Group's Hundred Bar & Kitchen on June 7th.

What a delicious TREAT! Every course a delight, no one left hungry, and there were leftovers people politely haggled over. ;-P

My friends over at Gluten Free Edmonton did a great job documenting the events of the evening, so I'll let you read their account in their post.

2014 Calgary Stampede Gluten Free Breakfasts

Confirmed Gluten-Free Stampede Events!

Event #1

Sold Out event, but you can sure try to get a ticket!!
Tweet from Mr. Fab (@immrfabulous) I'll be co hosting a one of a kind @AmberApproved breakfast on July 9th at @HotelArtsYYC! Gluten, sugar, dairy free!!…
Free Yoga too! 

Event #2

July 5 10-noon, Marda Loop Community Centre Free for CCA members, $10 family, $5 singles Twitter: @GFyyc More Info

Other events

The site has posted their breakfasts and are will note the GlutenFree ones if they can! (Twitter: @StampedeBreakF) 

If you hear of any events that are GlutenFree - let me know, and I'll post them here!


Not sure there would be GlutenFree at this event… anyone?

First Flip Stampede Breakfast

Time: 07:30 am - 10:30 am / Location: Stephen Avenue Walk between 1 St SW & Centre St
July 3, 2014
Calgary's First Pancake Breakfast of the Stampede season!

This is a free event with great food and entertainment, so come on down and be our guest!

No RSVP required.

2014 Edmonton Gluten Free Pancake Events

The season has begun!! Summer? NOPE! Pancake season!

Here's a list of Edmonton Pancake breakfasts confirmed by Kinnikinnick Foods (Twitter: @GF_Insider)

  • July 17th at the Alberta Legislature - I think this is the Premier's Breakfast for K-Days
  • July 18th at Churchill Square - I think this is the Mayor's Breakfast for K-Days  (I didn't find links for either event yet… I'll update as soon as I do)
  • July 19th fundraiser for the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter, sponsored by Kinnikinnick, Atco Gas, Grimms Meats, and Tim Hortons at  10940 - 120 St NW

It's the CCA's 30th Anniversary as a recognized non-profit in Alberta!! The CCA chapter is the first organized and recognized chapter in the organization and we are celebrating!  On July 19th, join the CCA and as many folks as can fit on the street for a block party! 9am-11am.

The link for the event details: 2014 Pancake Breakfast, and it's going to be one of the CCA's best yet!

Pancakes, sausage patties, coffee, juice and more – all gluten free.  The gluten free pancake breakfast held outside the Kinnikinnick Store - we shut down the street! It is always a popular family event attended by 100′s of people supporting the Celiac Community.  Please support our great sponsors, because without them, this event would not be possible.
Donations for the Food Bank gratefully accepted.
Proceeds to support awareness of Celiac Disease and those that are adversely affected by gluten in our community.
Contact the office for more details at or by phone 780– 485-2949.
Kinnikinnick will have the store open so you can shop for your groceries, goodies and fresh bread!  You may wish to contact the store directly if you would like to pre-order.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread

Do you miss Yorkshire Puddings? Ok, likely you're not a celiac or gluten intolerant person then. Bully for you.  For the rest of us with a little English blood in us, there is (was!) a giant gap at holidays and family gatherings.

At the 2013 National Celiac Convention, they shared with everyone a fantastic recipe for Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread posted on Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer.  It was published in the Celiac newsletter as well.  I'm told in Argentina they are called Cheepa, and they live up to their name!  If you buy your tapioca starch from Real Canadian Superstore or Extra foods, for anywhere from $0.79 to $1.48 you can get a package with enough to make 2 batches of 20-24 puffs.  That is, if you are trusting of the quality and glutenfree purity.  If you invest in a tested product bearing a Gluten Free claim, it will be priced accordingly.

It's a dead simple recipe, and it needs just one special piece of equipment - a mini-muffin pan. 12 or 24 teeny cups. They go on sale for as little as $5.  I have both - one fits in the toaster oven, one goes in the big oven.  Spring for what you can afford, and the non-stick are indeed welcome.  Some brands are more non-stick than others, and I still spray the pan.  Be sure to get spray that IS not the "baking" variety that has wheat flour in it.

IF by chance you have plain shiny aluminum pans, I wouldn't be spending the 5 seconds to consider them - don't! It's agony getting them out no matter how well you grease/butter/lubricate them!

You also don't want to try the full size muffin tin - close that drawer right now!  *NOTE: Although, I have heard some folks have made full sized ones, I have not tested how long that would take or if they rise properly with this recipe.  They may have used a more traditional recipe.

These little clouds of delightfulness are super simple, and pretty much anyone can make these perfectly.  If, perhaps, you forget an ingredient, or mis-measure… well, that's definitely one for the learning experience. You can weigh, measure, whichever you are comfortable with.  

Salt - it's one thing that is the variable here dependant on the cheese you select.  I have omitted it almost 100% of the time, but in some cases, I add a dash or two. A teaspoon… seems much to my taste, and I love salt.

Go ahead, use a blender or a food processor.  I found the blender to be frustrating, but it could just be my blender! I also gave up grating the cheese.  If you are using the food processor, chop the cheese to 1-2" cubes, and just pulse/blitz it until it seems like there are no large bits left. Up to you… your knuckles.


Chapman's Popsicles

I had an opportunity to try the Chapman's popsicles this weekend at the Edmonton International Cat Fest at NAIT, handily delivered by the NOW! 102.3 Radio Trucksicle!

Not only was it a great surprise, it was a delicious, and gluten-free treat! For the record, I tried the blue one… even the gals in the truck said they just received them and weren't sure what flavour it was! Delicious! I am IMPRESSED! The product is gluten free, lactose free, peanut free… generally safe eating. 40 calories - low to no guilt! Natural flavour and colour and I'll say a win!

If you are diabetic Chapman's has two lines; a no sugar added product line, and a diabetic Ice Cream line that is 99% lactose free.

Read more on the Chapman's Gluten Free statement here.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Dried Beans? No Problem!

I'm not a fan of eating the crazy sodium in canned refried beans. Check it out! Some cans have more than a daily recommended serving! And others. Zip. Zilch. NADA. Just crazy.

And it's not hard. Seriously.

So, I've been delinquent about sharing how to use dried beans.  I know I have mentioned previously about the BPA in can linings, with the exception of Eden Organics (available all over, Earth's General Store is one of my favourite places - great prices all the time for them too!).

Dried beans give you HUGE variety that you can't always find canned. You don't need special equipment, but if you're feeling spendy with that tax refund you just got in the mail, go for it. Check this baby out on Some call them fast slow cookers…electric pressure cookers - what evs… I use a 40+ year old stove top pressure cooker (yes, it has a new ring and release valve), when I do pressure cooking.

So over at is a lovely visual instruction on how to go about getting dried beans to use the same day you want them. Quick-Soak Dried Beans in Just One Hour.

Go there.  Check it out.  You might be happy you did.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Gluten Free Waffles and Pancakes

A while back I did up a little post for my friends at Gluten Free Edmonton.

I'm going to update it for everyone in a while, but since people need food ASAP, I'll share the link here so you can start enjoying it.


Gluten Free Waffles & Pancakes Adapted from the Kinnette Pancake Recipe

So, my recent modifications to the recipe -

  1. I have been using the Bulk Barn Gluten Free Flour Blend with a sorghum base for some time now (I wanted more protein and nutritive value). The consensus is that it likely is the Gluten Free Pantry Flour Blend.  Pretty much any Gluten Free flour I've tried has worked for me.  
  2. I usually make the 1/2 recipe for the two of us, and substitute one of the two eggs (or both!) with the ground flax egg replacer method below:

Ground Flax Egg Replacer Method

     1T of ground flax (keep in the fridge so the oils don't spoil)
     3T of warmish water

Mix together in a little bowl/pyrex cup and let it sit while you gather the rest of the ingredients.

I also bring the one egg I use to room temperature while I gather the rest of the ingredients.

3.   Reduce the amount of liquid - maybe my eggs have been larger than usual lately, but I find I need 1/2 to 3/4 of the cup of milk (or other liquid - rice milk works very well) - although on some days, I have used the full cup.  It's up to you entirely how thick you think your batter needs to be… experiment!

4.  I add, uh, a dollop of good Real Vanilla.  If you have a preference for colour, and happen to have white vanilla… it's all good!

5.  The Salt thing… I LOVE SALT! There I said it. BUT! Not in my baking. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get smacked for this.  I know, I know, baking is a chemical process - you have to add salt to break up the fat.  Yeah, nope.  I have yet to have any recipe fail because I chose to omit or drastically reduce the salt. (It's usually a gluten flour swapping issue…)

6.  Get yourself a nice waffle iron with a temperature setting and decent heavy cast metal plates. They range from $30-249. These "set it and forget it" things with indicator lights - I'm not a fan.  I use the indicator light, but only to tell me when the element is on - usually one cycle means a done waffle.  I set our waffle iron to 3.75… it seems to work for us to make nice golden syrup delivery vehicles.

Feel free to add your 2¢ in the comments below! Every tip could help someone else with their success!

Realization - family friendly Adult eateries in Edmonton

For many years, my circle of friends was childless by choice singles & couples. Works for me. Well, until I moved to Edmonton. Then I met cool people who didn't drool about their children. So a whole new dynamic evolved. It also helped that their children weren't horrible screaming whiney rug rats.

Now I find myself on the prowl for eateries & pubs that allow family dining before a certain time. Places we like to patronize on our adult time, local businesses with friendly atmosphere and good menus. And thanks to the AGLC, it's not a standardized time for all establishments.

What I've learned so far, doesn't fit much more than the head of a bottle cap, but it might help some folks find good eats! This list keeps evolving, and please - leave a comment if you know of an establishment that should be added!

-The Pourhouse on Whyte Ave; Kids welcome before 9pm
-Next Act Pub Just off Whyte Ave; before 4pm
-O'Byrnes on Whyte Ave; before 8pm (bonus: now serving from taps at your table)
-Original Joe's before 6 - call & confirm before visiting. Mixed reports, it may have changed.
-Harts Table before 8pm (not targeting family friendly, but approachable)
UPDATE!:  Aug'14-beer Revolution & Glass Monkey. Daravara and Craft Beer Market. Call for hours

-Fergus & Bix before 3pm
UPDATE!:  Vin Room - if they're open, it's family friendly!

I'll keep adding - you keep letting me know who is licensed for what!

St. Patrick's Day Gluten Free Beers & Ciders in Canada (just Alberta,Really)

So you can't drink beer anymore. Wait wait wait - stop pulling on your hair…what's left of it anyway.

In honour of St. Paddy's Day, Canadian Living has produced a nice (Canadian) article (complete with pictures!) of the top 5 Gluten Free Beers. Gluten Free Beers for St. Patrick's Day

In no particular order - I will list them (close to) alphabetically to avoid any conflict until we get to the reviews and ratings blog post - which should be quite entertaining, I'll tell you!

How about I mark my favourites with an (VG)!

  • Bard's Tale (VG)
  • Glutenberg (Red ale, Pale Ale and Blonde Ale) (VG - not as huge a fan of the red)
  • Green's (Canada doesn't seem to have them all, but… Amber Ale, Dubbel Dark & Trippel Blonde) (VG)
  • La Messagère (There are 4 types, but I have only seen Messagère and Messagère Red Ale. Also brewed Messagère Millet & Messagère aux fruits)
  • Lazy Mutt by Minhas *caution - this brand name is not all Gluten Free
  • New Grist by Lakeside (Pilsner) (VG)
  • New Planet
  • Nickel Brook
  • Harvester Brewing from PDX - haven't tried it yet, but $10 gets you a big bottle at Next Act Pub
I've tasted all of the above.  There's really three categories in my vocabulary - Ok, No, and Again please.

Gluten-Free - Technically (legally must be <20ppm as tested) They do NOT agree with me at all, so sensitive digesters beware!

Beers that MAY be considered gluten free, but have absolutely no goal of obtaining certification

  • Efes. A rice beer from Turkey. Available in a pilsner and a dark. I was getting it from a liquor store by the Husky/Mohawk in Wolf Willow on 170th Street when I was over that way often.

Beers in the USA I have tried!
GREAT reference from Co-op Wines and Spirits on Gluten Free Beers, how they're made, and a section on low gluten beers and why they may not be suitable for those who must avoid gluten.

So! Now we have to taste-test as many as we can get our hands on.  If I've missed any, that are available in Canada, please let me know what it is and where you purchase it from.  If we can locate it in Alberta, we'll add it to the list for our future tasting.

In Edmonton, I zip up Groat Road to Sherbrooke Liquor. They have an EXCELLENT selection of beers, ciders and wines, and all the staff are knowledgeable.

Ciders, I haven't truly researched cider well.  There are definitely some out there with gluten in them, and flavourings, natural or otherwise!! Be warned!  Contact the brewer and find out what you can.

I haven't reacted to these (that I can tell) other than some give me the sulphite sinus and the red face… comes with the genes.

  1. Rock Creek Cider - my favourite
  2. Magner's
  3. Sommersby (flavouring alert! But it's sooo tasty)
  4. Tempt ciders (7,8,9 usually found at Next Act Pub)
  5. Foundry
  6. William's
  7. Sir Perry (I love the tiny bubbles, but it makes me stuffy)
  8. Strongbow (I'm not a fan. Too dry for me and dang it's expensive in the bar!)
Check with the staff at Sherbrook - they really have a large selection.  I have tried one that I just couldn't choke down, very British I was told - I thought it had "corked" it tasted so musty, but apparently, that's how it is. If I remember it, I'll share.

One more link I found that has a few interesting items on it… not Canadian, but a start! Glutenista's gluten free beer & hard cider list

Friday, 7 March 2014

Top 10 Gluten-Free Beers (USA) by Gear Patrol

Well, I've been remiss in organizing a beer tasting. Specifically a Gluten-Free beer tasting.

We have some pretty good choices available, however, it's been pointed out to me that my taste is REALLY my own. I definitely like some beers that others despise!

I promise, I *WILL* assemble the beer tasters this spring, and there WILL be a post.

For now, enjoy this review done by Gear Patrol.  There are a couple listed here that you can get in Canada - New Grist (although I haven't tried the Brown Ale), and Omission (which isn't really Gluten Free, but digested and some folks will react - read the ingredients, every time!).

Found another Gluten Free Recipe Blog to love!

Have you been to I'm a I've seen recipes pop up here and there, but I started poking around the site. I have (apparently) 595 recipes in my Evernote notebook, and along with 80+ cookbooks, there's always something new to try, so when it caught my eye - I have to dive in.

I really think you'll enjoy what she's offering.

My first attempt at a recipe will be this weekend - Gluten Free Crock Pot Lasagna!

I'll let you know how it comes out!

Now I'm hungry and it's only 11 o'clock.