Sunday, June 21, 2015

Food - Gluten-free you don't notice & variable muffins

What do you do if your kids (like my twins) can't decide if they want either chocolate or strawberry muffins? Right, you make choc/strawberry ones ;-)

Thanks to my favorite muffin recipe book there's a very easy to alternate basic recipe which allows catering to many different tastes. Like I wrote two days ago I made gluten-free raspberry muffins for my friends who were visiting - they turned out exceptionally delicious and you couldn't tell they were gluten-free!

Today's version was made with spelt flour, just because, and turned out great as well, if I may say so myself...

About Friday's other meal? The gluten-free pasta I used was different in taste insofar as it gave the impression of being fresh made "pasta all'uovo" which was just as nice. The white sauce (aka sauce bèchamel) - worked out like a charm with the flour mix I'd gotten (Alnavit Helle Mehlmischung). The rest was "business as usual" - the veggie sauce, the mozzarella and parmigiano... So, making gluten-free meals isn't as hard as it might sound, which surprised me a lot! Sadly, no pictures as we all went om-nom-nom-gone... :-D

While I'm at it I have a recommendation for a restaurant, if you have restrictions to your diet, be it lactose or gluten. We checked out Zum Wohl, which just recently opened its doors for the first time. Excellent (local) food and drinks, very friendly personnel, beautiful interior which invites families as well as the young hip people. Serves vegetarian as well as flexitarian food. I remember the place being a kind of shady, dark, smelly restaurant before when I lived around the corner and boy has that changed. Highly recommended - kudos to the people who run it! Oh, and also highly recommended if you DON'T have dietary restrictions ;-) I wouldn't necessarily order the Eiernockerl as they are quite different to what you might be used to - but that's just my 2ȼ...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Food - Adventures in (gluten-free) cooking

A very dear friend of mine from the US who's currently visiting with her husband suffers from celiac disease, so having them over for dinner poses an interesting challenge. Look through your pantry - how many dishes and ingredients are gluten-free? Not many, if you leave out all fresh vegetables/fruit and basic ingredients.

Austria and Vienna has changed a lot over the last few years and you can find quite a few restaurants and places catering to different kinds of tastes and preferences. There are things like vegan bakeries which serve the most amazing sweet dishes and treats. Cooking for a special diet has become easier as well and I'm really grateful for that!

My adventure in cooking/baking today will incorporate making (gluten-free) veggie lasagna and raspberry muffins - cross your fingers for me :-) I sadly won't be making the pasta myself but the rest... stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Crafts - Work in progress & fun with the kids

While I haven't written much here I haven't been idle, quite the opposite :-) I've finished a shawl as a birthday present which will remain hidden until the recipient has the thing in their hands, which you will probably understand. All I can say is I'm really proud of it as it features some fickle yarn which doesn't allow for mistakes or even frogging and I hope it really meets the presentee's taste! Pics and details as soon as the cat is out of the bag.

One of the other projects I've been working on is a cozy, snuggly and lightweight jacket for myself. I bought the yarn out of instinct (ahem) at a sale and found the perfect pattern for it via the Usual Channels (aka Ravelry search for projects made with this yarn). The story behind it is a nice one I think... I went to look for the pattern which was only released in a German speaking magazine. I checked online resources and the publisher's website to get my hands on it but to no avail. The issue out of print and completely sold out - not a happy camper! By chance I went to the store I bought the yarn at as it's around the corner and at the off-chance I asked the shop owner if she maybe had some of the back issues of the magazines around? She indeed had the one and sold it to me for less than half of what the magazine initially cost. Me? I was doing a happy-dance all day! So I heartily recommend the store for expertise, great assortment of goods and very friendly staff - Neidhart's Nähkistl in the south of Vienna (23rd district). Should you ever visit it please say the black-clad woman with the twins sent you ;-)

So, about the jacket itself - it's a very basic and simple pattern called "Trapezförmige Jacke" (trapezoid-shaped jacket) from the magazine Rebecca #46. It's my second project which I use the KnitPro needles for (wooden tips, though). So far I'm pretty happy and am looking forward to finishing and wearing the garment.

No pants, just front and back in one piece!

Beautiful dark purple

What else have I been up to... last Sunday it was Father's Day here in Austria. I had the idea to make a custom tee for both my husband and my father, with a saying which sadly only works in the German language I think ("Papa, wir stehen auf Dich" which literally translated means "we stand on you" but actually means "we really dig you". The kids had a blast making the shirts - "dirty" feet and doing artsy stuff :-)

I was surprised the colors turned out better on the black fabric (the second shirt is a dark blue one) but was happy how easy the textile colors were to use. Needless to say both fathers were super-happy with the gifts and proudly wore the shirts right after they got them!