"Why does everything that’s gluten-free have to taste like witch’s cookies?"

First of all, Renee got me these pretty amazing “grown-up gloves” for my birthday.  I feel very sophisticated.  A little like Jackie O if Jackie O ever shit herself.  

Also, my boyfriend got me something for my birthday!  A painting of a dog.  Because I love dogs almost as much as I love my boyfriend, and because my boyfriend hates them—so the new compromise is that instead of ever actually getting a dog, we will decorate our home with them.

We’ll see.

Anyway, leading to this dog painting was a trail of gluten-free bars for me to sample and rate here.  Per usual, I will try to be ruthless—with the time-honored, overall conclusion being that my boyfriend is so wonderful that sometimes when I see him I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is love or an actual heart attack.

But about those bars.  Some are better than others and some are poison.  Read carefully.

Larabar Chocolate Coconut Chew

So, first things first: I smelled this and was like, “No I shouldn’t eat that.”  Then I ate it, and spit it onto my boss’s lap.  Thus proving my therapist right when she said I should a.) trust myself and b.) not regurgitate onto my boss.

Anyway, in my unprofessional-but-somehow-employed opinion, Larabar’s Chocolate Coconut Chew tastes like human bones excavated from Pompeii, pulverized, and then mixed with stale dates.  Seriously this might not be actual food.

Here’s another way to put it:

"A rich bouquet of putrid fruit and volcanic ash" ~ an ad I wrote just now for Larabar’s Chocolate Coconut Chew (you’re welcome love Kathleen)

Conclusion: No.  

The Pure Bar

Ugh.  This comes in two forms that I know of: Cherry Cashew (red), and Blueberry Garbage (blue).

I hated both at first.  The blue one especially.  I still hate the blue one but now I eat the red one almost every day—mostly because it is at the front counter of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and a.) I love their coffee, so b.) it’s convenient, and c.) after a while you can get used to anything.  I mean let’s be serious: North Koreans incorporate grass and dirt into their cooking.  I actually crave it now.  

So I guess in a way this is a plug for Pure Organic Cherry Cashew*—but just to warn you it has to grow on you.  I can’t remember, really, what I thought about it before I started swallowing it whole every day but I have a feeling the reaction was something along the lines of:

"Why does everything that’s gluten free have to taste like witch’s cookies?" ~ a (probably unfair) first reaction and (possible) ad slogan for Pure Organic Cherry Cashew Bar by me, for free, you’re welcome.

Conclusion: I guess this is my life now.

Larabar Coconut Cream Pie

Surprisingly good!  I mean, not great, but given that it’s manufactured by the same company that made Chocolate Chernobyl Chew, I’d say we’re making progress here.  What else is there to say, really?  

Conclusion: if you like coconut, and are sick of eating breakfast bars that taste like what my boyfriend might describe as the “inside of a sick man’s inner ass”**—then I say go for it.

NoGii Gluten-Free

So surprisingly good that I ate the entire thing and licked my fingers even though I was already full from eating all the aforementioned trash.  I’m pretty sure I ingested the chocolate peanut butter one, but have also (since) sampled the chocolate mint and like that too.  

Fact of the matter: these taste like normal bars—like delicious, high-calorie, granola bars.  Not like diet bars—not like gluten-free or sugar-free or “let’s put some human poop in them just because they all taste like that anyway and if we don’t some skinny lady might not think they’re healthy” bars.  NoGii bars taste like something you want to eat.  

Conclusion: weird smiling lady, good bar.  Eat me, gluten.

Another day.  Another compromise.***

*stay far, far away from the blue one; it tastes like a marker.

**for those of you following any of the recent plagiarism scandals, this is an example of self-plagiarism.

***I would like to note here that while I struggle to find gluten-free products that taste like real bagels or actual Halloween candy, some people have real problems.  Like cancer.

For those of you who have ever wondered, “What is gluten?” here is a can of it.

For those of you who have ever wondered, “What is gluten?” here is a can of it.

Ah, Mo’z cafe. Nice people, great service—and now it turns out they also have delicious gluten-free snacks to savor with your coffee. The brownies have little marshmallows and are squishy and involve real sugar and I love them.
But my boyfriend would like to offer a dissenting opinion, which is that these brownies taste like the inside of a sick man’s inner ass.  
After saying this, he glared at me for like ten minutes because he figured I know him well enough to’ve guessed he might’ve felt that way, and yet fed it to him anyway.
"Are you out to get me?" he muttered, squinting.
"No! Little Bear, how could I have known it would taste like a sick man’s ass to you?"
"Do you even love me?"
"You know I think we have different palates. Like how sometimes you drink from the pickle jar and the other day I caught you eating my cooking juice."
"You mean that Tupperware thing of olive oil and chopped garlic and onions and habanero peppers we keep in the fridge?"
"Yes."
"That was delicious."
"Right well I think I’m going to give the brownie thing a good rating. Maybe like a billion stars."
Conclusion: my boyfriend bought a great thing and he’s a complicated man and I love him.
PS: As you can see from the above photo, these brownies were made with equipment used to handle gluten products, so someone with celiac probably shouldn’t be shoving them in their face—and that’s my Post Script PSA! Sincerely Kathleen

Ah, Mo’z cafe. Nice people, great service—and now it turns out they also have delicious gluten-free snacks to savor with your coffee. The brownies have little marshmallows and are squishy and involve real sugar and I love them.

But my boyfriend would like to offer a dissenting opinion, which is that these brownies taste like the inside of a sick man’s inner ass.  

After saying this, he glared at me for like ten minutes because he figured I know him well enough to’ve guessed he might’ve felt that way, and yet fed it to him anyway.

"Are you out to get me?" he muttered, squinting.

"No! Little Bear, how could I have known it would taste like a sick man’s ass to you?"

"Do you even love me?"

"You know I think we have different palates. Like how sometimes you drink from the pickle jar and the other day I caught you eating my cooking juice."

"You mean that Tupperware thing of olive oil and chopped garlic and onions and habanero peppers we keep in the fridge?"

"Yes."

"That was delicious."

"Right well I think I’m going to give the brownie thing a good rating. Maybe like a billion stars."

Conclusion: my boyfriend bought a great thing and he’s a complicated man and I love him.

PS: As you can see from the above photo, these brownies were made with equipment used to handle gluten products, so someone with celiac probably shouldn’t be shoving them in their face—and that’s my Post Script PSA! Sincerely Kathleen

Happy birthday to me!!!!1

Also:

"PENGUINO: BETTER THAN PENGUIN MEAT" ~ an ad I wrote just now for Mariposa’s Penguino cupcakes*

*no but seriously they’re delicious go buy all of them.

"A wise man once said that vacations turn your heart into a butterfly."

That’s actually a quote I made up.  

I intended to chronicle some of the better gluten-free meals here, but the whole thing is sort of a rapturous blur.  I’ve decided that the point of vacations is they’re supposed to be sort of fuzzy because you were so relaxed the whole time.  And by that I mean I drank heartily on mine and often to the point of black out.

Suffice it to say (based on photographic evidence) that I ate a lot of unpasteurized cheese.  I ate hard cheese and soft cheese—and this one basically liquid cheese where I remember every bite tasted like a different kind of animal meat.  Have you ever eaten cheese that tastes like bacon?  Well, I have.  And now I can face death squarely in the face without flashing back to a bunch of missed opportunities.

In other news, we took a lot of photos by historic fountains, where we adjusted the perspective so that it would look like I was peeing.  We thought this was hilarious because we were drunk.  

In conclusion, the only thing wrong with vacations is that eventually you have to come home.  As I write this, I am back at work—squarely situated atop my ergonomic “Exercise Ball” and idly wondering how many unnecessary trips I can take to the bathroom without making it look like I have diarrhea.  I just ate this week’s gluten-free snack—something called a “granola plank” ® (creative slant on “granola bar”?)—which was gifted to me by my always generous, always wonderful, boy-“takes me on vacation”-friend.  


It was disgusting.  

But nine million hugs to my boyfriend for setting up so many delicious reference points.


Big news for my heart and stomach!  The boyfriend is taking me to Europe, where I will eat all the things and then write about it here.

And yes I’m bragging.

In other news, during a meeting ten minutes ago I accidentally ate some Spicy Siracha Peas, which it turns out have wheat in them, and now my tummy hurts.  

Bye!

In Which Thai Food Makes Everyone Sensitive

Yesterday my company had a catered lunch.  It was delicious.  There was curry rice and and regular rice, and some sort of beef thing.  Basically all stuff that I could eat, so I ate a lot of it, and kept on going.  

At one point I even had the urge to remove my pants, which were starting to not fit, so that I could eat more.  But obviously I didn’t do that because even though I have no manners and discuss my poop online I am very professional always wear clothes, even in the bathtub.

Anyway, a few hours after lunch, my 4’11” coworker, Christine, kicked her tiny feet below her desk, and posed the following question:

"Is anyone else having weird stomach repercussions from our lunch?"

She said it calmly and pleasantly, even peacefully—and without that tell-tale forehead sweat that communicates gastrointestinal emergency—deftly relaying to the rest of us that she was referring to something far less extreme than food poisoning, and we should not be too alarmed.

"Check," responded Renee, continuing to type away at her computer.  She nodded soulfully.  ”Huge repercussions.”

"I pooped twice just now since we’ve been talking about it!" said my boss.  

I was stunned.  Not necessarily that my boss—a man who wears bow-ties and collects tea-cups—had said the word, “poop”, but because I’d convinced myself that I was the only one in the office who occasionally passed gas into her work slacks.  In fact, up until that moment, I’d been sitting there swelling with Thai food, totally convinced that I would have to go and live in the forest like an animal. 

But it was not so.  I was not alone.  And if gaseousness meant banishment to the woods, then my coworkers and I would form a colony.  Relief bloomed inside me like a smile in the shape of a flower, and then turned out to be another fart.

So, a big thank you to my coworkers.  I know you’re all reading this, since per usual I embedded the above blog post in a seemingly work-related link, reading “Related To This Morning’s Meeting”, and mass emailed it to the entire company.  I love you guys, and next time I find myself curled up in a ball on the floor of a dirty restaurant bathroom, I will think of you, and of this afternoon’s overshare.

Oh, and just an FYI: those links I sent you ten minutes ago are not actually “Very Important Informations Click Here,” but rather YouTube videos of puppies so small they couldn’t possibly be real.

PS so as not to make this seem like too much of a digression from the apparent premise of this blog, I have included the above photo of me hugging my boyfriend’s head.

In Which My Stomach Rolls Over In It’s Grave, Stands Up, and Does a Dance

The love of my life: pictured here chugging a Sierra Nevada Torpedo while presenting me with treasure!

So, I just finished an entire box of Pamela’s gluten-free Chunky Chocolate Chip Gourmet All Natural (gluten-free) Cookies™.  What can I say?  Pamela’s cookies whisper sweet nothings to your tummy and burgle all your self-control.  

I guess the fact that I couldn’t stop once I’d started sort of speaks for itself.  Nevertheless, here are some more thoughts…mostly because I’ve ingested so much sugar that my fingers are moving on their own and I might as well use them to type.

1. IT’S SO GOOD, SOO GOOD, SUGAR IN MY VEINS OMGgggG

Despite being packaged in an aesthetically dated box, bearing a geometric pattern that could very well have been the backdrop for my 1990’s middle school ID photo, Pamela’s gluten-free Chunky Chocolate Chip Gourmet All Natural (gluten-free) Cookies™ are delicious.

3. OMG CALL 911 MY STOMACH IS TOO HAPPY IT’S LIKE A PARTY IN THERE

While eating these cookies my body (and especially my digestive tract) exploded with (figurative) heart-shapes.  Behold!

"Gluten-Free Heart-Shape Explosiongasm"

4. MINE, ALL COOKIES, MINE

Pamela’s gluten-free Chunky Chocolate Chip Gourmet All Natural (gluten-free) Cookies™ lack that chalky taste, are soft without being bendy (which is ideal, because bendy cookies are only semi-permeable, and tend toward a disappointing consistency when dunked in milk), and each one is sized so that I didn’t have to pack my mouth with 3-5 just to “fill up the empty space”, a tendency that commonly results in my boyfriend nervously whispering into my hair while administering the Heimlich Maneuver.  

Thanks Pamela!

Conclusion: No but seriously, I love you, mine. 

Mine, mine, mine.*

*The above sentiment pertains to both my sweet-hearted boyfriend and Chunky Chocolate Chip Gourmet All Natural (gluten-free) Cookies™ (AKA The Best Things Ever on Earth/Even Outer Space…At Least Until I Get Sick of Them and Find Something As Good, Or Better™)

"WELCOME HOME, MY BASTION OF COURAGE, MY BELOVED/BEARDED BOY SCOUT, MY GYPSY KING!  Now get in here and let me hold you." ~ a sign I put on our door the night my boyfriend got back from his aforementioned Man Trip.

Not only did my boyfriend brave the jungles of Ottawa, he also smuggled gluten-free Canadian foodstuffs from there to here for my consumption!  Including CocoMira Maple Crunch, which might actually be one of the best gluten-free desserts ever.

"Why is CocoMira Maple Crunch so good? Because it’s gluten-free but when you put it in your mouth it doesn’t taste like somebody replaced a bunch of the ingredients with ash from their butt*" ~ a possible ad I wrote for CocoMira

To be fair, even when it’s not being compared to a grosser norm, CocoMira Maple Crunch is objectively very good; every single person who I forced to eat it and then regurgitate it back into my mouth so that none of it would be wasted thought so.

Conclusion: my boyfriend got a scarily intense hug, both because of the CocoMira and because I’d missed him.  And then I howled for CocoMira the way a werewolf might howl for the moon**. 

*Butt Ash © : the secret ingredient of most gluten-free products and one of this year’s proud Olympic sponsors.

**No but seriously there is a distinct possibility that CocoMira Maple Crunch has actually turned me into a werewolf.  See above.

In Which Independence Day Leads to Independently Made Gluten-Free Decisions

Happy fourth of July! While my boyfriend is off fighting in the jungle, I am in charge of picking out my own gluten-free snacks, and today I have decided to give Mariposa another try by indulging in like a whole box of their gluten-free chocolate fudge donuts decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles. 

The above video chronicles my honest reaction.