First Day Gluten Free

It’s a fad now, isn’t it? To go gluten free. You can find everything gluten free: crackers, bread, candy… the list goes on. Here is the thing. I am not so faddish. I have done things like the 21 Day Fix Beach body Diet, but really only because it made me make sure I was eating my vegetables.

After being diagnosed with diabetes in 2012, I was subsequently diagnosed with a whole host of other autoimmune disorders. Turns out, one begets another. I went from being a healthy young 24 year old to a walking talking autoimmune disorder: Type 1 diabetes, PCOS, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Alopecia, and guess what else?! An intolerance of gluten.

What? No gluten? No way. We were stationed in Germany and there was no way I was about to give up the dark German bread or the dark German beer. My doctor said hey, you just have the antibody, if you don’t have symptoms, it’s up to you what to do. Perfect, I wasn’t going to stop drinking beer anyway.

Fast forward to the last 6 months. I’m over 30 now. It really does do something to you. All of those things I have ignored have sorta come back to bite me (not the Diabetes, I have been on insulin controlling that little booger). Pardon the TMI, but everyday I had excruciating gas. I mean to say, I would have to get out of bed at night and do different yoga poses while eating activated charcoal like it was candy to find relief.

Over the past couple weeks I have reconsidered the gluten thing. Perhaps, cutting that out would really make me feel better. So, here I am. Day 1 into cutting gluten out of my life. I have sorted through and gotten rid of most gluten containing products (aside from a couple things only the kids eat). With today being Monday our evening meal was not only gluten free, but also vegetarian.

Guess what?! The kids both asked for seconds. I guess I didn’t do too bad cooking from my imagination rather than a recipe. Though, I will have to rework my coconut flour muffins from this morning.

Vegetarian Quiche and Chili Potatoes.

I don’t have a recipe, and didn’t measure anything, but this is what I did:

Quiche: had red bell peppers, onion, garlic and spinach fried in olive oil. Divided the mixture into muffin tin and about one egg per tin. I also apr billed mozzarella cheese on top. Baked at 400 for about 20 minutes.

Potatoes: two russet diced. Cover with olive oil, sprinkle chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder. Make sure all taters are covered and bake 20 minutes on 400, stirring half way through.

#glutenfree #firstday #diabetic #type1 #autoimmunedisorders #foodislife mommalovesfood

Brewers Brothers Pub

Happy Saturday! Last night a friend and I got away to enjoy a kid free night on the town. Since there are so many store fronts, arcades, knic knack shops and claw machine nooks, there was a lot of meandering in and out of places that are not typically “kid friendly.” Many places are up stairs (read: not stroller friendly) or full of shiny things my kiddos would un-shelve in about 5 seconds flat. 

As we set out we knew where we were headed by suggestion of a place to get beer in Dauge. The Nebraska girl in me cheered to find another lady who will drink beer! We headed to Brewers Brothers. 

The front of the pub looked Irish, maybe because it was green, but it was themed more as an English Bar. One of the funny things in Korea is the mishmash of cultures that are thrown together. This place was Irish looking, English feeling, yet, served mostly American liquor. Though not sure which English speaking country it really represented, we definitely enjoyed the food and beer. As well as the ability to sit at the bar without being sidecar to a stroller. 

The Fish and Chips. Of the food they served, fish and chips was highly promoted so my friend and I both gave it a try. Aside from the quirkiness of being served white vinegar instead of malt, the food was amazing. Unlike many foods in Korea, nothing was extremely sweet or spicy. It was what I wanted in fish and chips. The batter on the fish was crispy and light and the French fries…. they were perfectly fried, and salty pieces of heaven. The best part? We were served an appropriate amount of ketchup and tarter sauce for my American taste. If you are a fish and chip fan and find yourself in Daegu, make this a stop on your trip if you want a break from kimchee. 


Now for the real reason we choose this place: Beer. Overall, we had 6 beers. Don’t get crazy, part of the beers we had were a sampler flight of 4 beers. Instead of locally brewed, in-house beers, we were served beer from Belgium, Germany, and America. Many of the light beers were citrusy tasting, which I was not a fan of, but I definitely still drank them. The German weitzen took me back to Deutschland in its own sweet way.  

My favorite of the beers was an American Beer. The Founders porter was dark and thick and a bit like coffee. This USA my kind of beer. I am a bit of a dark beer fan. Give me a porter, stout or dunkles beer and I am a happy girl. 

Overall, this was an awesome restaurant. The variety of beer was great compared to most Korean restaurants and the fish and chips were on point. I wouldn’t say this is a family friendly place though, at least with small kids. It is after all, known for beer. All of the tables are also high top tables with no extraordinarily high baby chairs in sight. 

The restaurant is downtown between the Banwoldang and Jungangno subway station on the red line.

Ubud, Bali Eats and Drinks 

We took the family for a trip to Bali in May for an anniversary/birthday/Mother’s Day get away. It was amazing! We spent most of our time in Ubud, but there are many towns and places to see. There was so much culture, lush greenery, temples and the most kind and accommodating people you can imagine. 

The food was similar to what you find in Korea, lots of spice and lots of rice! Bali is actually know for its amazing rice paddy technology and terraces that provided amazing views. Some are even world heratige sights. 

There are two places I want to talk about. First is Puspa’s Warung. It is a tiny eatery that has awsome food and fun drinks at a more than reasonable price. For less than $12 American, we fed our family of 4 to include house made juices the toddler could not get enough of!

One more thought on the food that even my husband echoed; it all felt healthy. It seems many times on vacation, I end up eating junk food as it’s just easy and often cheaper than fancy restaurants. All the food was colorful and steamed. Rice replaced fries. Fresh juice instead of soda. Portions were actually appropriately sized. There were not Olive Garden portions unless you actually ordered a family meal. The food coupled with constantly sweating actually let to a vacation weight loss rather than gain. That’s a win in my book! 

The second topic is the Luwak Coffee. Coffee cherries are fed to civet cats, which are not actually cats, the beans are fermented in the animal’s stomach and excereated. The exposed coffee beans are washed, dried, toasted and ground. The tour we went on allowed us to take part in this hands on process where no conventional machines are used. The 3 year old thought it was cool he could roast some beans over “big hot fire!” 

After the tour we got to sit down and try (for about $5 a cup) the coffee and an assortment of other coffees and teas. I, personally, was not a fan of the “poop coffee” but had to try it and put it in the life experience bucket. I more favored the ginseng coffee. The husband drank the rest of the cup. 

Of course these are only two of the hundreds, if not, thousands of places to eat on the small island that is Bali, Indonesia. You can find places for next to free or places that weigh a bit heavier on the pocket book, but there certainly is not a lack of options. We even saw a Dairy Queen on the Main Street in Ubud. 

Going to Bali was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I would go back today if I could. It was an enriching and actually relaxing vacation. I could probably write a whole blog on just the chocolate massage I got that made me smell like brownie batter.  But for now, I will leave you with poop coffee and amazingly priced Indonesian fare. 

An Intoxicating Irish Breakfast

Back in 2012, before kids, the Hubby and I took a 2 week trip to Ireland. We rented a car (driving a stick shift, which I wasn’t good at, not to mention on the wrong side of the road for my American sentiment), and took a trip around the island. We even went to Belfast in Northern Ireland where they drive on the correct side of the road and use a different currency. One of the things we had to do while in Dublin though, was visit places distinct to Irish culture: places where booze is made. We visited the Jameson Whiskey distillery which had this awesome bottle chandelier and we got to see the distilling process. 

Not to mention a whiskey tasting was included in the admission price. We also visited the Guinness brewery where, again, a glass of beer was included in the admission. You even get a certificate for learning how to pour a perfectly balanced glass of Guinness. It’s all very scientific. 

While in Ireland we did a lot of eating (can we say carb overload?!) and drinking. I probably left with an additional ten pounds. It was definitely worth it. 

Well, 5 years later and on a completely different continent, we paid homage to our Ireland trip. We woke up to Irish coffee (basically cooled coffee sweetened with brown sugar plus a shot of Jameson, and shot of cream with coffee ice cubes thrown in), and chocolate Guinness waffles. The waffles turned out fluffy and perfectly sweet with the chocolate peanut butter topping. The coffee has a hint of the whisky but was not overly alcoholic.  Though the kids didn’t get to enjoy the coffee, they both had their fill of waffles (don’t worry, the alcohol gets cooked out of the waffles). The preschooler even asked for seconds! The hubby made no complaints and cleaned his plate as well. A perfect breakfast!

Chocolate Guinness Waffles with Chocolate-Peanut butter Sauce 

Yield: 4 waffles

Ingredients

For the chocolate stout waffles

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 Tablespoons sugar

5 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup milk

1 cup Guinness 

2 large eggs

For the chocolate peanut butter syrup

1/2 cup semi-sweet Chililate chips 

⅓ cup smooth peanut butter

pinch of sea salt

Instructions

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Set aside.

Combine the butter and milk in a pot and simmer until butter is melted.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk/butter mix, vanilla extract, beer, and eggs. Whisk until just combined. Let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make the chocolate sauce. Combine the chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each one, until chocolate and peanut butter are melted into each other. Stir in the sea salt, to taste. (This step can als be done in a double boiler which I prefer).

When the waffle batter is done resting, preheat a waffle iron. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Drizzle with the chocolate-peanut butter syrup.

This recipe was adapted from http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2013/10/chocolate-stout-waffles-with-chocolate-peanut-butter-syrup-divineinnyc.html 

#guinness #jameson #breakfast #beer #whiskey #ireland #irish 

Silk Road- Russian Grill Bar

I had always heard stories of the Silk Road. No longer a road to transverse while peddling goods, now it’s a place to stop and enjoy some Russian fare, to include lots of vodka and Russian beer. 

The wrap pictured above was awesome. Made with lamb meat, some Cole slaw style mix and a special sauce I could have eaten ten. The portions are on the small side, so I very well could have! We also got some lamb kebabs that, though a bit chewy, were perfectly flavored. We also ordered beet salad, which while the beets have a natural earthy taste, was cool and crunchy. 

The ambiance of the place is really nice too. There are tables with lounge chairs, bar seating and a little party area painted in vibrant reds and oranges as a sun setting on an almost desert back ground. It’s dimly lit and on the bottom floor. It’s a perfect date night setting. 

I would not recommend bringing children here. I did not see any high chairs, though they maybe have been some I just didn’t see. The atmosphere and the bottles of vodka being served do not make a family friendly in my opinion. I also wouldn’t want to bring a stroller down all the stairs!

If you get a night away, stop by the Silk Road and have dinner. Drink the beer. Relax. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

I searched for Zione in the Waze app and found the restaurant. For some reason it takes you right there! 

Saladdin Indian Pakistan Restaurant 

If you love curry, I have found your resturant. Saladdin serves an assortment of middle eastern food with an assortment of curry, naan and tika just to name a few. 
After a short bus ride you can find yourself within a 5 minute walk to the restaurant. The food was absolutely amazing. You can get single dishes or order from a menu for multiples from 2 to even 8 people. We ordered a meal for 3. It came with 3 drinks (we got OJ for the preschooler, hot Chai for the hubby and a blueberry Lassi for myself), rice, garlic naan, butter chicken curry, vegetable curry, said and tandoori chicken. All of that cost 40,000 won or about $35. It was well worth it! 

The place is pretty easy to find. Take any of the busses on the photo below then get off at Kyungpook National University Athletic Center. 


Next put 79 Daehek-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41544 into your GPS. It will bring you to the opposite side for he entrance but you will see a sign. Go around the flower shop to the other side and you will see the entrance. 


You have to head up to the 3rd floor. We took our back pack diaper bag and a kid sleeping in a stroller up all 3 flights. A little pre-lunch workout. It was definitely worth it. They do have seats for babies, so aside from toting stuff all the way upstairs, it is a family friendly restaurant. If you love Indian food, give it a try! 

Audrey Hepburn Cafe

Do you love Audrey Hepburn? If so, you will love the cafe dedicated to her here in Daegu! 

Not only do they have great coffee, but an assortment of other drinks from teas, and smoothies to flavored vinegars! (I assume these are like kombucha, I didn’t try one). It is also a bakery with some sweet treats. The one thing that is nice in Korea? Their sweets are not nearly as sweet as America. You don’t feel like you swallowed a rock after eating half a brownie. Or the whole thing, I won’t judge. 

If you know someone who loves Audrey Hepburn you can get a lot of coffee related swag for them too! The cups start at about 13,000 won and go up. 

The atmosphere is great. Slow music, soft chatter of couples speaking in Korean or School girls reading. I’m definitely happy I stumbled upon this little gem in the Namgu district of Daegu. 

Maybe this will help you find it.
Go. Enjoy the coffee and the treats. From one coffee lover to another. 

#audrey #hepburn #cafe #snacks #treats 

Mariwhale Macaron 

French food in Asia? Coming to Korea, I thought I knew what most food establishments would serve: kimchi, rice dishes and lots of vegetables. I was right, but there is so much more. One thing I did not expect is all the French backeries, especially macrons! 
There are so many little shops all over the city. After dining at a traditional Australian restaurant (yes, Daegu has an Outback Steakhouse-it’s expensive and everything is as expected: really spicy or sweet), I wanted a little sweet treat and some coffee. 


The macarons are not overly sweet and come in a variety of flavors: chocolate, mocha, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, apple, Hawaiian blue, and some flavors a little on the wild side like red velvet, green tea, and purple sweet potato. 


If you don’t mind an ugly macron, you can get the broken /cracked/halved sweets at a discount. The regular Macroons were 900 won (little less than 80 cents). Broken snacks were 700 won (60¢). 


If you have never had a macron before, give them a try! 
To get to Mariwhale Macron: go to Jungango Station (Number 1/Red line). When you exit the stairs turn around and walk the opposite way. (If you come out of gate 3 elevator, you will immediately see Outback tomyour right.)You will see Outback Steakhouse on the corner. Cross the street. It is on the same side of the street as Outback about a block down. 

“Feel a barbecue in Daegu”

You guys, we found an American eatery in Korea that is (for the most part) legit. As soon as you walk in the smell of BBQ overwhelms the senses. It was almost like stepping on American soil. Not to mention, they had craft beers! Of course being in Korea things are a bit different. The restaurant, Linked, is set up to look like a subway car. The preschooler thought that was pretty cool. Though he was confused why he couldn’t get the in the train. 

We went in and asked for a table for 4. After a few minutes we were seated. They were surprisingly busy for a Monday night. We were brought two menus and shown our options. We got a dinner for 3 served on a large tray. We got to choose three meats and three sides. In Korea, portion sizes are significantly smaller than in the United States. A serving for two at Famouse Dave’s would have fed us all. Here, we ordered for 3. We got smoked chicken (hind quarters), chicken steak (breast), and pork steak for the meats. The sides we choose were French fries (which I might add are the best fries I have eaten since being in Korea), grilled pineapple and a fresh green salad. 

It was also served with rolls. The server told us we were to use the Coleslaw, picked, roll and meat to make a sandwich. We laughed. This is American fair, we know how to eat it. 

Did I mention the beer? My husband and I both had a Kozel Dark. The beer was rimmed in cinnamon sugar, something I have never had before. It wasn’t heavy or coffee flavored as you imagine stouts or porters to be. It was light almost more like an ale. I really enjoyed it. Over all, I really enjoyed this restaurant and will definitely be making another trip here! 

One thing to remember, sometimes things do get lost in translation. But to really find yourself, you must first be lost. 

Linked is located on the second floor. If you put this address into google it will get you close. Next time I’ll be sure to put it in the Waze app. There should be signage outside and if you look up into the building you can see the train car wall above. 

56-1 Gongpyeongdong, Junggu, Daegu, South Korea

Cat Cafe Daegu

My husband loves cats. Loves them! So when we heard about a cat cafe where you can pet and play (but not pick them up) we had to go. I used another’s blog to try to find the location and it was an it confusing. But luckily we are decently familiar with downtown Daegu, so we found the place. It is located downtown by the walk through McDonald’s and the stage where random performances often occur. It is situated in the 4th floor above The Body Shop


This is the street sign directly in front of it.


When you get inside it is 8,000 won for adults and for the 3 year old 5,000 won. The fee includes a drink. They have both hot and cold coffee, tea and juice for the littles. And they have kitties! So many kitties! All types, breeds, size and age. There are flufffy kitties, feisty kitties, and sleepy kitties.


My 3 year old loved just as much as my husband. The one year old, she wanted to remove the kitties ears, so she didn’t get to play with them. There are only a few rules: don’t pick them up, have nice hands with cats, don’t feed them human food and don’t wake a sleeping kitty. Let me warn you, it is in the 4th floor and is not stroller friendly. My husband had to carry it up 4 floors and we left it just outside the cafe as we had our drinks and rubbed kitten heads. For an out of the ordinary adventure, go check it out 🙂


I have uploaded the cafe as a place on the waze app if you need directions. Just search Cat Cafe. I found it easiest just to walk!