Currently Reading: May 27 edition

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Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted

A great read so far, this book is going into the issue of food fraud on a global scale and how this fraud is taking advantage of the people eating it. Who could’ve realized how much of an issue the name of products are?

America is not the heart by Elaine Castillo

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

Another great read, this book feels all too real to how SF Bay Filipinos are in reality. I could seriously hear the voices of my in-laws when reading this book, complete with the Tagalog and other dialects that I have no idea what they mean. There were some complaints about these not being translated, but it’s easy enough to pull up Google Translate and put in phrases so you know. Otherwise, for an authentic experience, leave it untranslated. 🙂

How To: Make Colonoscopy Prep Easier

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Colonoscopies, the step-child of procedures that no one really wants to discuss or talk about or even get. The one where the prep is far worse than the actual procedure itself. The one where you have to drink some real nasty prep or drink a few litres of fluid. That procedure.

One of the procedures that are actually incredibly important for someone to get in their lifetime. It helps doctors to see, up close and personally, what’s going on in your lower intestines. A pill cam might be able to zoop right through, but you can’t get the same kind of look without doing a colonoscopy.

Getting one as a young Celiac definitely gets comments from your surgery staff. “You’re so young!” said the nurse right before I went to sleep. It’s not my first or will be my last rodeo, folks. It also doesn’t have to be hard!

Since I failed my first prep horrendously, my husband and I looked around for tips and tricks for making the rescheduled exam easier. Here are my tips after the cut.

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How To: Gluten Free Pain au Chocolat

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My petit pain au chocolate (too thick!)

Puff pastry. I never had the opportunity to play with it before I was diagnosed, but thankfully they’re starting to come out with GF puff pastry sheets so you don’t have to suffer through attempting to make it. French Picnic sells a 2-sheet pack of GF puff pastry for $13. I bought mine from a local Whole Foods.

Leadbetters GF French Pinic Puff Pastry

Leadbetter’s French Picnic GF Puff Pastry (from Good Eggs)

It was easy to work with: let it defrost, roll it out (which I didn’t do and regret), cut some rectangles, fill the center and fold upon itself. Brush egg mixture on while you’re doing this.You treat it the same as regular puff pastry and can just follow a regular puff pastry recipe to get the same results.

I didn’t roll my puff pastry out and found that it was way too thick to really eat. It was very buttery and flaky, which I didn’t expect, and found that it was also made from Cup4Cup.

The GF Puff Pastry is pretty expensive but it’s definitely worth it for a homemade gluten free breakfast or treat.

Review: Sims 4 – City Living

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So, if you keep up with The Sims at all, you’ll likely know that a new expansion pack just came out November 1st. If not, surprise! Time to get your wallet out!

City Living has added a lot of new content to The Sims 4, making it a much more interesting game and reminds me of Sims 3 with how open some of the world is. You also get some new skills, jobs, and apartments.

Yes, apartments. Like from 3.


Which can be very, very pricey. You think you could afford the rent and the deposit, but then the furnishings really get you, like below. (Note: you can get the place empty, however I’m lazy.)

Home/apartment traits are also a new thing, which is great depending on what you’re going for. The apartment my current sim lives in has great schools, but unfortunately … much higher chance of multiple children. Which is how she had triplets (seen in 1st screen) in a 2 bed 1 bath apartment. Hrrm.


In addition, you get an open-world neighborhood with the districts. Each one has apartments, a common area where events happen with food stalls, and some kind of a museum or bar or other activity building.

I’ve found the quest to eat as many different foods from the different stalls to be fun. The opportunity for Sims to also learn how to use chopsticks and eat hotter foods is also amusing, especially when you make an Asian Sim. Wouldn’t you know how to use chopsticks? 😉

Just be careful of how much your Sims eat. Apparently they don’t have much self-control for whatever reason.

I would rate this a must buy for the Sims fan. This adds enough content to the base game that it’s worth buying and playing for however many days your stints go. 🙂


How to… Stock a Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen

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updated 12/28/16

Since I was diagnosed last year, I’ve found that Asian recipes are hands down the easiest to convert to gluten-free than many other types of cuisines. A lot of recipes only require some minor replacements, if any, which makes it so much easier to stress out less!

As always, double and triple check the label to confirm gluten-free status. This list is always growing! You’ll also see it’s a lot of Korean stuff… sorry. 🙂 There are also affiliate links for any Amazon products.

Here’s a list of items that are really fundamental to the Asian kitchen:

Tamari Soy Sauce: just to get this off the list, soy sauce is first. There are a few different brands now offering gluten-free, from San J to Kikkoman to others that you’ll find in some Japanese markets. You’ll commonly find San J or Kikkoman at regular supermarkets, though.
Here’s a black-label San-J available on Amazon.
[Fun fact: 조선간장 (Joseon Ganjang) was made from soybeans, salt and water — no wheat!]

Mirin/mirim: [either hon (true) or aji] A must in any Asian kitchen, you will be able to easily find a gluten free mirin/mirim. Not the same as sake, has a lower alcohol content.

Sake: Alcohol. Also easy to find, and should be easy to find gluten free. You will want both mirin and sake.

Sesame Oil: Used in a lot of things, easy to find gluten free.

Gochujang: Red Pepper Paste. This is the toughie. A lot of gochujang is made with wheat nowadays, unfortunately, but is similar to soy sauce in that it was originally GF. There are some more nowadays like Chung Jung One and Wholly Gochujang, but it’s tough pickings. I plan to attempt to make this from scratch soon. [12/28/16 edit: Chung Jung One recently responded to my review on Amazon saying that it’s tested and is GF]
Here it is on Amazon: Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce 7.5Oz.(Pack of 2)

Oyster Sauce: Another one that’s somewhat hard to find, Lee Kum Kee makes a gluten free oyster sauce that looks to be pretty reliable. May be found at Whole Foods or another local crunchy supermarket.

Doenjang: Soybean Paste. The process of making doenjang typically makes soy sauce, this is extremely hard to find GF. Wholly makes a GF version, though. [12/28/16 edit: It tastes just as good as the non-GF version, so buy it up!]
Here it is on Amazon: Wholly Doenjang

Gochugaru: Red pepper powder. Easy to find GF, a lot of bags will be purely the red pepper and nothing else. I use a pepper powder + orange zest mix I found at the Korean market with no issues. Can also make from scratch with dehydrator.

Vinegar & Rice Vinegar: Filipino food uses a LOT of the regular vinegar, and you can’t go wrong having rice vinegar on hand. Both of these are easy to find and GF.

Noodles are another story, which I haven’t had a chance to really look at yet. I’ve seen some japchae noodles stamped with gluten free at the Korean store but haven’t confirmed if actually GF or not.

photo credit: JapChae via photopin (license)