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The Best Gluten Free Brownies

Like any sensible person, when asked to bring a gluten free dessert to an event, my mind instantly goes to chocolate, chocolate brownies to be specific. These brownies are so moist, dense and deliciously chocolaty, you don’t even miss the gluten. Not one bit.

Of course, my first thought when asked to bring a gluten free food: Pinterest! But as we all know, we eat first with our eyes. All of the gluten free desserts, looked gluten free. So, I decided to turn a gluten full dessert gluten free by switching up the flour. Instead of wheat flour I use a gluten free one for one flour I can find at the Commissary. It is a bit expensive, but so far my experience of mixing almond or rice or coconut flour by myself, the results tend to be grainy or taste more akin to wood cellulose. This the the flour.

It worked perfectly for these brownies. I tried to make cinnamon rolls a couple weeks ago and they were just simply not the same. These brownies though…. dreamy….

I found this recipe for Double Chocolate Brownies and made it gluten free. I also added a couple steps to the process that (for me) tends to lead to better baking outcomes.

Now for the recipe!

Ingredients

1 c. butter

2 1/4 c. Granulated sugar

1 1/4 c. Cocoa powder

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking powder

1 tbsp. Vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. One for one Gluten free Flour

2 c. Semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9×13 dish, set aside.

2. In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter. When it’s completely melter add sugar and dissolve. I kept it on the heat for about 3 minutes while storing in sugar.

3. Pour sugar/butter mixture into large bowl. Sift in cocoa powder and baking soda. Add vanilla and mix. Add eggs one at a time. Fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.

4. Add in flour and chocolate chips and stir until combined.

5. Pour batter into greased pan (it will be thick!) and spread out evenly.

6. Cook about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out mostly clean. (I like them a tad underdone when I pull them out for the chewiness!).

7. Enjoy! (It’s in the directions, it means you have to.)

If you enjoyed these, drop me a line! Any suggestions? Also, like my Facebook page: Momma Loves Food

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La Salud- BBQ and Burgers

I had heard rave reviews of a great burger and BBQ joint near one of my favorite places in Daegu. We love visiting and strolling near Suseong Lake and this restaurant was just across the street.

Bottom Line Up Front: the food was ok at best and overpriced.

My husband, children and I all ordered a burger. At about $8 a piece I was excited to have a great burger with fries! Turns out, you only get the burger for $8 and an order of fries is an additional $8. I also got a $6 peanut butter milk shake that was ok.

The place was defiantly decorated nicely and was, for the most part, family friendly. They did have high chairs and a ramp leading in for easy stroller access. I didn’t notice a changing table in the restroom, which seems pretty typical in Korea. The staff all seemed kind and helpful.

My complaint, aside from the food being expensive, was the burger for my kids was undercooked. While some people like this, I am not one of them. Especially considering the other two burgers were well done, consistency in the product would have been nice.

If I were to return to this restaurant I would defiantly have to try the BBQ. If you’re going for burgers though, there are many better options.

My Interview With a Dietitian

With her meek smile, light hearted laugh, and only standing about 5’4″ you wouldn’t expect Ana Wolf, Registered Dietitian, to be a force to be reckoned with. Your expectation would be wrong. The name Wolf is definitely fitting.

It takes a certain personality to work with our Nations finest Soldiers, Sails, Marines and Airmen, and Ana has it.

“I’m passionate about food, and I’m not your ordinary dietitian.”

She doesn’t beat around the bush so to speak. Ana has no fear in asking those hard question to get to the root of nutritional issues in the military community. One reoccurring theme is with the daily physical training required by the military, some members believe they can just eat whatever they want. Ana is the one to tell them that is not so.

While she does work with military members, she also works with military families. If a spouse wants to lose weight or even bulk up, Ana can handle it. Kids are picky eaters or have sensory issues, guess what? She can help!

I was originally interviewing Ana to nominate her for a spotlight section in our local Stars and Stripes. I asked what resources she really liked or recommended. One site she mentioned was Super Healthy Kids. I had never heard of the site before. Being Momma Loves Food, this piqued my interest.

Superhealthykids.com provides meal plans, with nutritional information, that kids will be excited about eating as well as community support. Basically, a “how to make vegetables your kids will eat.”

Ana, along with her Chef husband Jason, both mentioned that people are just not eating vegetables. Parents come in asking why their kids don’t eat greens. When the parents are questioned about the vegetables they eat, the usual response resembles something like “I’m a meat and potatoes type of person.”

What?! Wait.. what? Of course. That makes perfect sense. Kids won’t eat vegetables because they never see their parents eat them. That makes so much sense, right? My kids always only want what I am eating. I put the same avocado on their plate, but the piece on my plate taste better! Do I give them the avocado from my plate? Yes, yes I do. Then I take theirs and all is fair.

How to get your kids to eat vegetables? Monkey see, monkey do! Makes sense to me! To get your kids to eat vegetables, you have to bite the bullet, rather the broccoli yourself.

**I want to take a second to thank Ana and Jason for having lunch with me to get an interview. As life with kids is, it was no easy task. Kids are rambunctious, parking is near impossible in korea, especially at a hot soup place in a day over 90 degrees, and we were limited for time.**

I may make another blog just about the lunch portion of trying to get kids to eat, go play (think Korean version of Chic-Fil-A but with hot beef soup and no chicken), wipe hands, order food from people who don’t speak English, get the wrong food, get no food, and on and on and on, just for an interview.

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