It all started last Saturday when I met up with frannycakes for the International Home & Housewares Show. While we didn't eat anything when we were there, we sure had our fill of delicious beverages, starting with Sodastream's new Happy Hour Cocktail mixers. I had Piña Colada and Mary Fran had a Cosmopolitan. Refreshingly bubbly with a fraction of the calories and no hangovers!
|Can you believe this was the very first sodastream beverage I ever had!|
If that weren't enough, we then indulged in cups of rich, flavorful hazelnut and french vanilla coffee from Nespresso's VertuoLine. Add a Vertuoline to my list of items in my dream kitchen. The cup of joe it brews was amazing. The Nespresso VertuoLine coffees are characterized by rich, generous foam called crema - naturally formed during the brewing process, thanks to the Centrifusion™ technology. The result is such an intense coffee flavor.
|Look at that crema forming!|
|How fancy are the Nespresso Vertuoline coffee capsules?|
Perhaps it was that not-so-stellar day of nutrition that set me up for my week-long no cooking adventures.
Since Monday was St. Patrick's day. I picked up Corned Beef and Cabbage from the restaurant in my office building. Not bad. They sprinkled cilantro on the corned beef. Different, but not bad.
Tuesday I decided it was high time to cash in my free meal coupons from Roti Mediterranean Grill's holiday promotion. Roti is really good about trying to prevent cross contamination. When you tell them you want a gluten free meal, they call over the shift manager who will change their gloves and go through the line with you to put your plate together. They keep their gluten free pitas individually wrapped in foil in a separate freezer and heat them on a separate pita warmer. Unrelated from the cross contamination procedures: the garlic sauce is amazing.
|Not pictured: GLUTEN FREE PITA (made for Roti by MyBreadBakery)|
|I love that you can order a burger "Salad Style" and their fries are made in a dedicated fryer. |
In fact nothing else BUT fries goes into that deep fryer.
Friday I met up with friends for happy hour at The Berghoff. I tried the Estrella Daura Damm beer and didn't like it. It was a bit too heavy for my liking, but then again it's a lager. I prefer lighter brews. I also had a bowl of Kartoffelsuppe Mit Thuringer (potato soup) which was amazing. So warm and creamy with soft pieces of potato and thin slivers of sausage. It's rare to be able to eat soup in a restaurant as a celiac and this soup was one of the best I've had. (P.S. If you want to eat amazing gluten free potato soup at The Berghoff with my Chicago Meetup.com group, sign up for our special Prix Fixe Dinner April 23rd!)
Saturday was the first of a two weekend special flavor tasting at Swirlz Cupcakes. They are all set to whip up their ONE THOUSANDTH CUPCAKE FLAVOR and asked their fans to help them create that historic flavor. Submissions were taken on Facebook, Twitter, and in the store, and they narrowed it down to four flavors. Two of those flavors, Banana Caramel Bacon and Heirloom Apple Cheddar, were tested this past weekend. The Banana Caramel Bacon was made gluten free and a Triple Chocolate was made in place of the Apple Cheddar. Once again, Alexandra and I headed out to Lincoln Park to visit Pam & Co. and buy the limited edition cupcakes. They were magical. That Banana Caramel Bacon was a genius idea. The sweet and salty flavors work so perfectly together. If you live in the Chicagoland area, I highly encourage you to visit Swirlz this Saturday, March 29th to try the last two flavors and get ready to vote! Chocolate Blueberry Lemon and Peanut Butter Chocolate Caramel Pretzel (both will be in gluten free!)? YES PLEASE!!!!
|We went splities because we had to try both!|
|THE. BEST. gluten free pancakes ever.|
|California Eggs Benedict with tomato and avocado. I added turkey for good measure.|
Have you ever taken a long break from home cooking? Where's your favorite place to eat out?