Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

glutenfree

Life Things: Baby Shower!

Life ThingsJean ChungComment
babyshower

We had our small gathering/baby shower at our place last Saturday. Our friends came from all over So Cal to celebrate with us! 

We decided to keep this very low key since we still work full time and didn't have much time to plan for lots of decorations and the nursery. We ordered most of the food and prepared very simple dishes at home. 

food
Sandwiches from a caterer. We had so much leftover food that even after we sent guests home with food as much as possible, we still have about a week worth of sandwiches, which Marty has to finish by himself since I can't have gluten.

Sandwiches from a caterer. We had so much leftover food that even after we sent guests home with food as much as possible, we still have about a week worth of sandwiches, which Marty has to finish by himself since I can't have gluten.

I thought about getting GF cupcakes, but we eventually decided to get a gluten free cake with "Welcome Baby Logan" message.

I thought about getting GF cupcakes, but we eventually decided to get a gluten free cake with "Welcome Baby Logan" message.

Favors I made! The safety eyes didn't get here on time so I had to improvise with crochet threads. 

Favors I made! The safety eyes didn't get here on time so I had to improvise with crochet threads. 

Of course, I had the best time opening the gifts!

Of course, I had the best time opening the gifts!

I thank my friends for avoiding pastel blue, and such practical gifts! I had coffee Saturday morning and I couldn't sleep after 2am, so I spent some time in the baby's room looking at each gift again. Can't wait to use them on the baby!

I thank my friends for avoiding pastel blue, and such practical gifts! I had coffee Saturday morning and I couldn't sleep after 2am, so I spent some time in the baby's room looking at each gift again. Can't wait to use them on the baby!

Since Saturday, both Marty and I have been more serious about prepping for the baby. You see that Graco box behind all the gifts? That was our Pack n Play, which we plan to use  as the primary place for the baby to sleep in, still boxed. We have since took it out and put it together. It's so huge! I think it'll have to move out of this room into our master room, so that we can take care of the baby during the night.

Just 5 more weeks!

 

In My Shopping Cart: Holiday Cookies for the Gluten Free eaters

In My Shopping CartJean ChungComment

I cannot believe Christmas is a week away! 

So I'm sure if you're like me, you're getting invited or hosting a lot of parties that involve food. :D

About three years ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I was mostly vegan/vegetarian when out dining before that, and having celiac on top of that was not easy, since a lot of vegan dishes have gluten in it. Some articles I've encountered during my research even said being vegan and eating a lot of those textured vegetarian proteins could trigger celiac disease if you already have genes for it. 

So now I'm technically not vegetarian anymore, although I still don't like to eat meat and stick to tofu and vegetarian dishes at home. These cookies I'm about to share with you are not vegan.

When I get invited to potluck dinner parties, I always bring my own desserts but I make sure that other gluten eaters enjoy them too. I sometimes bake them from scratch but most of the time, I use this mix.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Betty Crocker now has a line of gluten free mix products now and I've tried this cookie mix and the brownie mix. They're surprisingly really good! My gluten eater husband and friends didn't even notice they were gluten free. When I make them, I do add a bit of cinnamon for taste. Other than that, I just follow the instructions exactly, and they come out perfect.

(BTW, did you know Betty Crocker is a made-up character??)

If you want to fancy it up more than that, you can try dipping the cookies in more chocolate and nuts after the cookies are done, like this.

Now on to storebought cookies.

These are chocolate chip cookies from Tate's bake shop. I used to only see them at Whole Foods or Bristol Farms stores but now I see them everywhere, even at Ralph's. 

The cookies are thinner so the chewy factor is pretty low, but they're crispy and very very buttery. I do prefer chewy cookies, but these are so tasty I don't mind. A co-worker brought them to work one day (she's also GF) and the entire team tried and finished the entire bag in one day. 

Glutino Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Glutino Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Hello HOLIDAYS~! I found these at a Whole Foods Market near my home and immediately put it in my cart. I took their regular yogurt-covered pretzels on my trip to Korea and loved it! And these were just as good, but just better because it has small bits of candy cane candies

Glutino also has an excellent chocolate chip cookies (which are GMO-free) and double chocolate cookies. I usually get chocolate chip cookies but for a recent holiday party for my law firm, I tried getting the double chocolate cookies. Chocolate makes everything taste good, right?

Glutino Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Glutino Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Actually this is true. America's Test Kitchen did a whole episode on gluten free baking as well as publish a gluten free cookbook earlier this year. According to their experiment, chocolate is a wonderful ingredient in gluten free baking because gluten free flour mix doesn't absorb all the grease from butter, so they tend to get greasy when they're out of the oven. So adding chocolate and powdered milk helps absorbing those grease. If you want to try baking from scratch, definitely try this. I tried the waffle and cookie recipes, they're closest thing I came to the PERFECT recipe. And now I have the flour mix that I can use for other cooking too! :)

If you have any dietary restrictions, holidays and parties are hard. I'm so glad gluten free diet is becoming "trendy" so that more people are aware of it and manufacturers are kinder to people like me who actually need to be on gluten free diet. 

 

Disclaimers: I am not affiliated with any of the shops or companies I mention here. I'm just like any other yarn addicts who surf around the internet all day long looking for the perfect yarn or accessories to try next. These products I mention are in fact in my shopping cart, at each of the applicable websites. Whether I'll actually buy these or not, we will never know! In other words, no one pays me to write this.

TNNA Recap~!

Jean Chung2 Comments

Here we go! I just uploaded the pics from my camera last night.

Day 1

I left early on Friday. My flight was at 6:15 am from Orange County to Phoenix, and then from Phoenix to Columbus. All flights were ON TIME! yay! I was able to land in Columbus by 3:30pm. One thing that I really took an advantage of on this trip was online check-in for EVERYTHING. I checked into the hotel from my phone at Phoenix airport, so when I arrived, I went straight up to my room. There are kiosks now at the front desk that dispenses your room key, so without having to a single living soul, you can complete the entire trip.

image

What's the first thing I did after taking a quick shower and unpacking a little bit? I walked to the convention center, which was conveniently connected to the hotel at the 2nd floor. YAY A/C!  I got my badge in the mail but still wanted to know how to get to the exhibition hall and where everything else was. Checked in, got my directory, and off I went for some food.

I ate at this restaurant called Knead, which was recommended by few people. Supposedly offers GF options. Wrong. I went and got my dinner (partially my fault for not mentioning that I'm GF but I ordered a turkey sandwich with no bread). It was $12 of some shredded cabbage, bacon, turkey ham, and some sauce on the side. I had a HUGE reaction within 5 minutes of the first bite.  I left, and was determined to look around more for better options. I did manage to walk around the Nationwide Arena area for a bit but honestly, after 10 minutes in the 90 deg weather, my upper body was soaking wet with sweat and hello, I just TOOK a shower. Nonetheless, I had to take a mini shower before bed.

Day 2

image

With my Designer badge!

image

Upon realization that I had to wear something I designed at TNNA, I cast this on 5 days before TNNA (the original sample is with Interweave). I bought the yarn for it during the Yarn Crawl LA, from Twist... Yarns of Intrigue in Manhattan Beach, CA. It's their own line of yarn, handdyed in beautiful colorways. I don't have the label with me right now but I'll do a full posting soon. I asked them whether this particular colorway would be available next year, and they said that this is one of their staple colors.

Upon entering, I see beautiful "quick overview" of the exhibition in one area. Vendor information and their samples.

image

Anzula Yarns.

image

Then I went to see Anne, of Crafty Diversions. She just started her distribution business and sells Ysolda Teague and Miriam Felton's patterns as well as her own.  She revamped her website and logos, and I absolutely loved her booth. So dreamy! Like a California backyard dinner party!

image

And that tree! is actually a dead tree from her friend's backyard. Awesome, isn't it?

image

image

Yes, that's me, playing around hehe.

I knew before I went to TNNA that a South Korean vendor will be there as well. The company's name is Knitlove, but I wasn't able to find them in the directory.

Turns out, they registered the name Hobby & Me. I recognized their booth from far away because of this hanbok (Korean traditional dress)

image

image

I am pretty active in Korean knitting community and they said they heard of me from the online community. :) We ended up having dinner together and walked around the city a bit. They're hilarious and very serious business people. Their yarn, Vincent (3-ply fingering weight) and Vincent Rich (8-ply DK weight yarn) will be available in the US now through distributors. They're working with AslanTrends yarn and plan to host Nicky Epstein in South Korea later this year!

Now onto the food.

I found this indoor farmer's market totally randomly. As I said, I was walking around in the heat on Day 1, and walked past this place. But I just wanted to go back to the hotel by the time I was here so I didn't go in. I did some research that night on my ipad and was determined to try this place again on Day 2.

image

image

image

I was NOT disappointed! I got some apples and Korean-style puffed corn from the Green Grocer (both were very very delicious!) and a small cup of Banana Honey ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, got lunch from Expressly cafe. They made a chicken salad sandwich on the gluten free bread. I also got a salt caramel brownie and a sugar cookie and they were both divine.

When I got out of the market with my sandwich and was ready to go back to the hotel for a nap, the Columbus Pride Week Parade was going on.

image

image

Day 3

Packing! Again!

This was a challenge. Ok, I always like to travel very very very lightly, with least amount of clothes and other necessities.

(shoes: walking shoes, ballet flats, and ballet slippers for inside--hotel floors are disgusting)image

(my bags: 1 briefcase for ipad and knitting stuff and 1 weekend bag for clothes, shoes. I didn't even pack any makeup other than some eyeshadows)image

The problem was I was fortunate enough to score some yarn support and samples at the show. And some sample books. I couldn't fit everything into the bag. The checkout time was at noon, and because I was supposed to meet with other people for designers' meet up lunch, I started packing at 11:30. No chance. Even after I checked out (again, online), I was NOT ashamed to do the repacking in the lobby area of the convention center. I thought about UPS but UPS store was closed. Well, yes I was slightly embarrassed but packing yarns seemed more important.

It was 12:30 and I had missed my lunch with other designers, so as the last resort, I went back to Hyatt and asked the front desk whether they could ship something for me. YES THEY COULD! They found a box for me, I put my yarns and sample books in there, and FedEx'd it. YAY!

Sadly, it was time for me to leave for my flight. I called 2 shuttle companies and they did NOT have any shuttle available for me. I had to take the taxi.

My flight ended up being delayed for 45 minutes, not because the plane didn't come but because Southwest crew didn't show up! We all boarded the plane and literally just waited. Luckily, they had us take a different route so that we could still land in Phoenix on time.

image

I enjoyed a small (or TINY for $3.50) cup of Cartel Coffee Lab at the Phoenix airport, and then was able to come back to OC to see my hubby and doggies. :) ON TIME.

Few more instagram pics from the trip:

image

(John H. McConnell Memorial)

image

Finished it on Day 1 of the show, so that I could wear it on Day 2!

imageCurrent project on the needle: A project for Petite Purls Summer issue, with beautiful yarn from SweetGeorgia Yarns & HiyaHiya Interchangeable needle set (perfect for traveling). I can't tell you what it is yet. :)