La-la-la-la-Lola

Kefalotiri Cheese & Poached Fig Kebabs and Fig Vinegar.
(Sorry for the bad picture…it was delicious, I promise. Just a bit too dark for photography.)

Oh yea. Maybe I really *did* need to spend those hours making lesson plans and designing curriculum for three days out of the classroom…. because really – this has been fun!

I miss my love and pup immensely. That’s the only thing wrong with being at a conference. I wish he were here in the fresh bed linens with the skyline view of Seattle too. Life would be grand.

And all those worries I had about eating? Good grief! What was I thinking! The morning before I left, I made 6 biscuits (this time I added a little parmesan and chopped ham). These were then wrapped into wax paper sleeves and packed gingerly away. While they have been handy for breakfast, I really am *NOT* going hungry.

Since I don’t have a recipe to post, I figured I would just share the things that have worked for me while A-F-L-A-H (Away from love and home).

First: A Care Package packed with love. Yes, that is right – my love gave me a goody bag. Way too much food for the three days I’m gone, but fun to have and share. He gave me a bag filled with a snickers bar, a little love-you M & Ms guy, a Starbucks coffee, some peeps, some Reese’s PB cups, and some cashews. LOVE this guy – he thinks of everything. Really.

Second: Pack something you *know* you can eat that will tide you over BEYOND the sugary-goodness of a care package packed with love.

Third: Tell your travel buddies what you need and help find the places that fit your needs. Out are the “let’s do the pasta bar buffet” places and in are places that made everyone feel better (all natural food bars, etc).

I’ve been able to find:

  • Fabulous peanut sauce over spinach and tofu with steamed rice.
  • Gorgeous fruit plates with cottage cheese for breakfast.
  • A delectable wedge salad with grilled chicken, apples, pears and candied walnuts.

Dinner? Well… dinner tonight was the best yet! We went to Tom Douglas’ restaurant “Lola”. The server was fabulous at helping me find the foods I could eat and checking with the kitchen about the cooking prep.

The best part? The food was delicious!

I’ve inserted a picture for a dish that made my mouth sing. The “kebabs” are made with poached figs, Kefalotiri cheese and fig vinegar. OH MY. Seriously. We had to ordered a second round of these babies because we were so delighted.

I had a lamb “burger” (sans the bun, obviously) and chickpea fries. I thoroughly grilled the waiter about the chickpea fries because I *WILL* be making these at home without a doubt.

We also had “Rainbow carrots with sumac and mint”. Delicious.

Oh, how happy and sated my tummy is tonight.

I think my being gluten free is coming full circle. I was diagnosed a year before we moved 2,000 miles from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest. It was so hard to be invited over to a new friend’s home for dinner…. only to have to explain your “eating issues”.

Thankfully it’s all getting to be second nature for my friends. They get it – and they seek out treats/meals/etc for me that meet my needs. They are good.

In fact, this morning a colleague who is must be dairy-free was reluctant to order the cereal he wanted for breakfast. When I asked him why, he told me that he wasn’t sure the hotel would have soymilk. (Hello? This *IS* Seattle of all places.) Of course they had the soymilk. I think what bothered him most was that he had to assert himself and ask for. He felt like such a bother.

Boy, howdy – do I understand that transition!

Tonight, however, this same colleague sat next to me at dinner and marveled at my questions for the waiter and how I read the menu. I realized that it just takes a little bit more attention and knowledge of how the food is made/prepped.

My dessert (coconut sorbet) showed up with a tulle cookie perched in the middle of it all. I studied the cookie (it was pretty dark in there!) and finally caught the waiter’s eye. He swiftly removed the error (the cookie did indeed have flour, as I suspected) and replaced it with a now “comped” fresh bowl of coconut sorbet. Fabulous.

After eating several meals with me, my dairy-free colleague just smiled. He said, “You know, Kate, I think it’s pretty cool that you know what to ask and how to ask it. I think I’m going to have to do more of that. It was really much easier today with you for my soy milk and our meals together than I ever thought it could be.”

¡Ojalá! (Let’s hope so!)

May your Gluten-free eating (or dairy-free, etc) be fabulous free of allergens and issues.

Happy Leap Year!
-Kate

PS. I’ll be home this weekend and back to baking in no time. I already have the flour and am ready to go with my Adopt-A-GF Blogger (Yea, Natalie!) ideas. Check out Sea’s “Book of Yum” for more information.

5 comments on “La-la-la-la-Lola
  1. I’m so happy you’re having yummy, safe, gf meals while you are gone. The kabobs look great! Your hubby gets an A+ in my book for your care package. He really does care for you and it shows! Now about those chickpea fries….share what you know, girl!!!

  2. P.S. – I give you credit for standing up for your own food safety, and kudos to your co-workers for looking out for you. When I traveled two weeks ago, my coworkers ordered out from Macaroni Grill and didn’t even think about my issues until the following day, when they wanted to go there again and I said no. Thankfully I had my Hormel meal to microwave. You should cherish those co-workers as they aren’t that common!

  3. Seamaiden says:

    Ooh, yum yum! Those kabobs do look great and I MUST have the chickpea fry recipe, if you please, miz gobsmacked!!!

    -Sea

  4. Barb says:

    Those kabobs look like something I want to eat NOW!
    The PNW has some wonderful food fo sho!

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  1. [...] first had these fried chickpeas – my colleagues and I – at Lola, the Tom Douglas’s restaurant we visited while at a conference in Seattle. Since we’ve returned, they have asked me daily [...]

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