September 30, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: Seabirds Truck

I have a problem, I’m addicted to the Wednesday’s food truck meet-up. I can’t not go. This week I was going to meet-up with fellow Weddingbee blogger Mrs Paisley, but she couldn’t make it. So, I tried to talk my co-worker into going again and she didn’t want to go… Didn’t want to go? It doesn’t compute. The trucks are there, you’re missing out! Anywhoodle, I went alone.

I knew the Seabirds truck was going to be there again and I wanted to try their Gluten Free (and soy free) Jerk Jackfruit Taco.

What is a Jackfruit? Don’t worry, I wondered the same thing. According to Seabirds' website:

"...jackfruit is a very large asian fruit. Its a funny looking thing, huge, prickly and green and grows from a tree’s trunk instead of its branches because it’s so heavy. Quite honestly, I have never tried a ripe jackfruit, so I couldn’t tell you what that tastes like. But we use green jackfruit (not fully ripened) and it is almost tasteless, which makes it a blank canvas to create our own flavor."


Your probably wondering, so is it tasty? Yes, yes it is.

It almost had the consistency on chicken, but more plant like. Seabirds says, "flesh of the jackfruit closely resembles a pineapple in structure" and that really is the best way to describe it. However, it doesn’t taste anything like pineapple.

I really enjoyed these tacos and would totally recommend trying the Seabirds truck and the Jerk Jackfruit taco.

Another big reason I wanted to try the Seabirds truck is there philosophy. Seabirds’ is a completely organic and vegetarian truck. The produce they use is as local as they can find it. I love giving my business to a company with business practices I believe in. I wish more companies would make and effort to buy locally and organic.

September 29, 2010

Gluten Free Almond Butter Criss-Cross Cookies

Let me start by saying, I did not make these, my sister did… because she loves me :) (Not that I couldn’t make them, because I totally will now that I know how good they are). This is very similar to the recipe Lara suggested in the comments of my allergy test post, but with almost butter and Splenda mix.

My sister packed them and gave them to my Dad to bring me in the office. I was supposed to go the my parent’s house on Sunday night for my Daddy’s birthday dinner, but I ended up at home sleeping off a day of tossing my cookies. I felt so badly, because my sister had gone out of her way to make the dinner fit in my new diet and I couldn’t eat a thing. I was so happy to see my Dad bring me to cookies she made, on Monday morning. (And, I’ll be even happier after I take my Dad to lunch tomorrow to make up for missing his Birthday dinner).

How do you make them?

Click Recipe to Enlarge


Is anyone else as amazed as I am that they actually look like cookies? Believe me, they taste like them too, and there is absolutely no flour!

September 27, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: Whole Foods

Have a told you guys I’m back in school again? I think I did. But, did I tell you I have class 3 nights a week this session? I don’t think I did. I have class Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. Meaning I have to lunch and dinner away from home those three nights, which was difficult enough when I could eat whatever I want. However, now that I’m not eating Gluten and other magical ingredients, it’s even more difficult… and costly.

Today I decided to try Whole Foods, there is one relatively close to my office and I figured they have prepared gluten free food, along with other goodies. I may be the last person to have never shopped at a Whole Foods. I’m not going to say I’ve never been to one, I have, but it was always for one thing. I’ve never gone and explored, you know? Plus, the closest Whole Foods is by my office, 30 minutes from my apt… get the idea.

I’m not going to go into everything I purchased. When I get a good list of Gluten Free products I’ve tried and like, I’ll do a post on those. This is about the delicious and reasonably priced pizza I bought for lunch AND dinner. YAY!

The pizza station in the food court type place made personal pizza’s with rice crust – SCORE! They also had a vegan soy-free cheese option, so I didn’t have to waste my one dairy or soy item for the week. I added also spinach and caramelized red onions.

Verdict: Really tasty! The crust was crisp and a little sweet. The “cheese” is surprisingly good, I bought a bag to take home. I ate half of this for lunch and I’m going to eat the other half in a few minutes before I head off to class. I could not be more excited about finding a cheese that is dairy free and soy free :)

September 24, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: Crepes Bonaparte

This past Wednesday I headed over to the parking lot on the corner of Dupont and Teller for another Food Truck Brigade meet-up.

Wednesday was also the day I got my allergy test results back and I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to start my gluten free diet that day or not. Since I hadn’t eat yet, by the time lunch rolled around, I could start my new diet that day. However, I kinda wanted to cheat and start on Monday.

We walked around a checked out all the trucks that were there: Dan Dan BBQ, The Lime Truck, Barcelano On The Go, Dos Chinos, the same cupcake truck, a Chimichurri truck, and Crepes Bonaparte.

Crepes Bonaparte intrigued me the most and after I heard they made it pretty far on that Food Truck show (we don’t have cable so I never got to see it), I jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and hoped in line.

I felt a little guilty, but I figured I could start being Gluten Free on Thursday. That was until I read their menu…
I believe this was God’s was of saying, “Seriously Allison? Start today!” Sign taken, God. Thanks!

It wasn’t hard for me to decide what to order

I’m on a serious Caprese salad kick right now and tomatoes are an “acceptable food”, YAY! Needless to say, I ordered the Caprese Savory Crepe. Gluten Free, of course.

They had a special: 1 Savory Crepe & 1 Nutella Crepe for $7.99, so I also ordered the Nutella Crepe in gluten free.

The problem with taking pictures of crepes is they are only mildly more exciting than a burrito. But tastier, if you ask me. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a crepe, but I really couldn’t tell they were gluten free.

My co-worker, Yolanda, and her husband also ordered from Crepes Bonaparte. Yolanda had the In Da Club (Bacon, Mozzarella, Avocado and tomato) without the tomato.

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And her husband, Ruben, ordered the Southwestern Spice (Spicy Chipotle Chicken, Cheddar, Grilled Onion & Bell Pepper).

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Yolanda wasn’t quite sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised and, Ruben could not stop raving about his crepe.

I’ve never had bad service as a Food Truck and found Crepes Bonaparte to be especially friendly.

I love that they had uniforms and dressed the part with the hats and scarf/ties.

Next week I’m meeting a fellow Weddingbee blogger, Mrs Paisley, and I secretly hope Crepes Bonaparte is there again :)

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - When I found out I couldn't eat gluten for 2 month, you were more than happy to finish off the pizza in the fridge.

2 - You use our iron WAY more than I do. In fact when it broke you were far less surprised because you knew it was on it's way out and I had no idea.

3 - You carry things down the stairs at our apartment for me now to prevent me from falling again.

4 - On Friday nights we save money now by drinking wine on the couch before we go out to dinner. It's also a great time to talk and laugh with you :)

5 - You wear my favorite shirts on Fridays

September 22, 2010

So, I Shouldn’t Eat Beef Liver…

Last week I told you guys about that allergy test I went in for, to see what food I was allergic to, in hopes that avoiding those foods I’d start to feel better. Mainly, no more stomach aches and get rid of this GD cough… and in all honestly to lose some of this stubborn weight.

Well, this morning was my appointment for the results. While I’m excited to announce that I’m not allergic to these three things…

There is one major thing I need to give up for at least 2 months, but then I can introduce it back into my diet sparingly… Gluten. A lot of you commented that you would cry if you had to give up Gluten, and while I’m not trilled about it, I know I can do it. I have a couple friends with Celiac Disease and my mom went Gluten free for a while, so I know a bunch of GF recipes and products. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE me some carbs, but I know this is doable. Especially since it will help me feel better.

Basically, the test (by a company called ALCAT) broke-up all the foods I was tested for (which is most) into 4 groups: Severe Intolerance (red column), Moderate Intolerance (orange column), Mild Intolerance (yellow column) and Acceptable Foods (green column).

It’s kinda hard to read this size, but it says…

I’m Severally Intolerant of Liver (Beef) – Oh darn. I hate liver and I’m not a fan of pate, so if I never eat this again I’ll be O.K. :) I’m supposed to eliminate this from my diet for 3 months and then I can introduce it back in sparingly. No Problem there!

I’m Moderately Intolerant of Apricot, Bass, Buckwheat, Chamomile, Coffee, Cumin, Duck, Lentil Bean, Lobster and Nectarine. The only one of those I eat on a regular basis is Cumin. I LOVE me some cumin… I LOVE me some Mexican food. I’m supposed to eliminate these from my diet for 2 months and then I can introduce them back in sparingly.

I’m Mildly Intolerant of Apples, Avocado, Baker’s Yeast, Beef, Black Pepper, Brussel Sprouts, Cherries, Chili Pepper, Codfish, Crab, Dill, Fig, Flounder, Green Pepper, Iceberg Lettuce, Kiwi, Lamb, Lima Bean, Nutmeg, Papaya, Parsely, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Sage, Soybean, Sweet Potato, Thyme and Turkey. These food I don’t have to give up entirely, I just need to make an effort to only eat them once a week.

The green column I’ll explain in a bit, but right now lest focus on those blue boxes….

The middle box should be treated like the orange column, this means I need to avoid the things listed in that box for 2 months and then I can introduce them back into my diet sparingly. The one I’m going to miss the most now that fall is just around the corner is oatmeal.

The bottom box is treated like the yellow column, so I can have those types of dairy once a week. This one better help me lose weight, haha.

Okay, now the green column. This is the stuff I didn’t show a reaction to, the Acceptable Foods. That’s not saying if I went on a pomegranate eating binge for a couple months it wouldn’t show up in the orange column on a later test though. According to my doctor all foods should be eaten in moderation. Which is where the next page comes in. This is my 4 day meal plan…

On Day 1, 2, 3, or 4 I can eat any food listed under that day. The foods with an asterisk are foods from the yellow column. The asterisk is there to remind me not to eat it again, if I’ve already eaten it that week.

They also gave me this handy dandy list about the size of my wallet of the food in my yellow column.

I plan on writing in the food I need to avoid for 2 months as well.

I’m going to gradually start my new diet today and then start the whole shebang on Monday. I'll definitely keep you all posted on how it’s going and any good recipes I discover in the process.

Would you consider taking a similar test? Do you have an Gluten Free recipes you can suggest?

September 20, 2010

Nidhi Chanani Illustration Giveaway Winner!

First I want to thank everyone who entered this giveaway. I loved hearing which illustrations are your favorite and why.

I’m really excited to announce the winner of this giveaway! I tallied but everyone’s entries in Excel and used to select the winner.
Kim and David with Ohana Photographers were our wedding photographers! I’m beyond trilled to be able to give them the “Early” print Kim chose :)

Kim, email me at to claim your prize!

September 17, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You helped talk me off the ledge when my sister's cake was doomed

2 - You were excited for me to go back to school

3 - You're "not too shabby"

4 - You say I'm nosy, but want hear all the stories I find out about our neighbors

5 - You call me every morning on your way into work

September 15, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: The Lime Truck

This morning on Twitter one of the people I follow (OCMexFood) Tweeted about something I’d only read as a rumor…

Food Truck Brigade!?!? A couple months ago I saw something about a bunch of Food Trucks that met up in a parking lot near my office, but I thought it was just a one time thing. Guys, this is a WEEKLY occurrence. WEEKLY! Every Wednesday from 11:30-2!

I was able to talk my co-worker, Yolanda, into checking out today. She’d never eaten from a food truck and my only experience was with the delicious Kogi BBQ months ago. We were nervous we’d drive over there and no-one would be there or it’s be crazy like the time I met the Kogi BBQ truck.

There were a total of eight trucks there: Seabirds, The Lime Truck, Barcelona On The Go, Komodo, Calbi, Dan Dan BBQ, a cupcake truck, and 1 other truck I didn’t catch the name of.

The location is perfect, most trucks were all around an area of tree cover in the abandoned parking lot.

And a few others were lined up just outside the tree cover.

Yolanda and I decided to eat at The Lime Truck because the line was a bit longer (so it looked popular), in the shade, they accepted credit cards and the menu looked appealing.

Waiting in line we got to see everyone else walk away with their food. This made us even more hungry… meaning we ordered too much food when we got the front of the line.

Yolanda ordered the Pork Flat Iron Steak and I ordered the Lamb Sandwich… together we shared the Carnitas Fries.

Prime Pork Steak with maple apples on a mashed potato pancake: Smelled delicious and according to Yolanda tasted just as good as it smelled.

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Carnitas Fries with chipotle-honey cabbage: They look out of control and they are. These definitely required a fork, but OMG chipotle-honey cabbage is tasty. The perfect blend on sweet and spicy.

Lamb Sandwich with fresh tzatziki – The lamb was ground and mixed with a wonderful blend of spices that cooled off well with the fresh tzatziki.

I’m really excited to head back next Wednesday and try out a different truck. I’ve heard Dan Dan BBQ has kimchi and I’ve always wanted to try that :)

P.S. All these photos were taken with my camera phone, so sorry if they're kinda crappy... really not much different than my normal pics though :-/

Bake-N-Blog: Ming’s Cupcake No. 1

A couple weeks ago I signed up to participate in my friend Jessica (aka Jesstagirl), of Jessica Lynn Writes, Bake-N-Blog. Idea was to get a bunch of blogger to bake a cupcake from Ming Makes Cupcakes and all blog about it on the same day.

I signed up to make Cupcake No. 1…

And, I planned on baking it this past Sunday. The same weekend I also volunteered to make my sister’s birthday cake, a post for another day. Needless to say, there was a LOT of baking going down in my kitchen this weekend.

I signed up for the Bake-N-Blog because A) it sounded fun and B) I promised my CAD class I’d bring cupcakes on the first day of class. “A” keep me honest for “B” and vice versa.

Confession: I didn’t take pictures of my cupcake baking process, a la Pioneer Woman, as instructed by Jessica. Honestly, I forgot. Even more honestly, I had a cake baking disaster the day before with my sister’s birthday cake and I was afraid of any distractions.

If you read my blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed I can never follow a recipe exactly. I always need to switch it up somehow. So, here is a picture of my cupcakes right before I added my own twist…

Here’s the thing, the cake I baked the day before for my sister called for Mascarpone icing. WAY more mascarpone icing than I ended up needing. I felt badly wasting all that mascarpone cheese and sugar AND using cream cheese and more sugar to make Ming’s icing. You see where this is going, huh? Yes, I used the icing from the other cake. It was equally tasty AND kinda “green” of me. Also, instead of adding cocoa powder I grated dark chocolate into the icing and mixed it in. It gave the icing a bit of texture and added flavor.

On top of each cupcake as placed 3 Espresso Pillows from Trader Joe's.

Are you interested in the cupcakes the other bloggers baked? Check out Jessica’s blog for links to their posts.

Thank you Jessica for hosting this Bake-N-Blog!

P.S. These cupcake were a BIG hit with my class. They are super moist (may have helped that I used heavy cream instead of milk) and not too chocolatey.

September 14, 2010

Would You Cry?

About 2 months ago I got a cough. Nothing to write home about, I just thought it was an infection. Simple run of antibiotics and I’d be good as new, right? Wrong. Two months later, the worst of it is gone, but I still have coughing fits and a tickle. I’ve been told it’s allergies, but the medication I’ve tried doesn’t help.

About 4 years ago I started getting stomach aches all the time. I woke up nauseated but not enough to “get sick”. I lived on Saltines for a good month. I lost weight, but it wasn’t healthy… and it wasn’t fun. We discovered my stomach doesn’t digest at the same speed as “normal” people and the problem escalates when I’m stressed. The medication they gave me doesn’t help, so I just have to eat smaller portions when it’s “acting up”.


About a year ago my Mom’s friend couldn’t lose weight, no matter how hard she tried. She wasn’t overweight by any means, but had about 10 lbs she gained and could not lose. She exercised and dieted but nothing worked.

I never really would have imagined all these things could be related. However, recently (like 2 years) I’ve learned and heard about a lot people solving similar health issues by avoiding certain foods. Sure, if you have a cough you shouldn’t be eating tons of dairy. Or, if your having stomach problems try eating BRAT – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Lots of people have heard that.


Would you think these things could be caused and solved based on food allergies? My Mom’s friend had a blood test to determine which foods she was allergic to and lost the extra weight by avoiding those foods. A friend of mine had a similar cough and treated it by avoiding foods.

A couple weeks ago I went to the Dr my Mom’s friend saw and last week I took a blood test to determine my food allergies. I’m hoping (hard) that this test will tell me which foods I should avoid and by avoid those food my cough will get better, my stomach wont bother me as much and, heck, I might loose a little weight.

It takes a couple weeks to get the test results back, so I’ve been compiling a list of foods I think I could and could not give up….

Foods I would cry if I had to give up…


wineI know some are more obvious and others, like the ginger, not so much… what food would you cry over finding out your were allergic to?

September 13, 2010

Giveaway: Nidhi Chanani Illustrations

I’m pretty sure it’s been over a year since I’ve done a Giveaway and for that I’m sorry. *hangs head in shame* But, I’m here to make it up to you with something I’m pretty freakin’ excited about!

Remember my post a couple weeks ago about my high school friend, Nidhi Chanani? Well, she has graciously offered to giveaway a print of your choice to one of my readers.**

There are a couple ways to enter:
1 – Visit Nidhi’s Etsy Shop and comment with which illustration you would choose if you won, and why. (1 Entry)
2 – Follow me (@FrenchieBirdie) and Nidhi (@nidhiart) on Twitter and Tweet the following about this giveaway. Come back and comment with a link to your tweet. (1 Entry)

Art makes me happy :) I just entered to win an adorable @NidhiArt illustration on @FrenchieBirdie’s blog.

3 – Become a fan, or “Like”, Nidhi's Facebook Fan Page and let me know with a separate comment. (1 Entry)
4 – Publically follow my blog and let me know with a separate comment. (1 Entry)
5 – Write a blog post about Nidhi’s art and this giveaway. Leave me a comment with a link to your post. (3 Entries).

Entries (comments) will be excepted until Sunday, September 19th at 5pm PST. Sorry this contest is only open to the US & Canada. The winner will be chosen randomly using and announced, on my blog before the end of the day, Monday, September 20th. All entrants must leave their email address or someway for me to contact them if they win.


**In order to keep it legal around here, I have to let you know that Nidhi is providing the prize for this giveaway and is also giving me a print of my choice for hosting :)

Good Luck!

September 10, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You're trying harder to help me keep the kitchen clean

2 - Every time you have a slice of my banana bread you tell me how good it is

3 - You're silly

4 - You tell me how much Jazzercising is paying off, by telling me how good I look

5 - You're really excited about Halloween :)

Exciting Stuff

Next Monday I’m back in school. I feel badly that I’ve neglected my blog this past break from school, but I’ve needed. Also, I just didn’t have the drive to blog lately. Maybe school with kick start my creative juices? Let’s hope!

Here’s a little hint about some upcoming things, I’m really excited about…


Have a great weekend! And, come back here on Monday for an exciting announcement!

September 3, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You bought me potted daisies

2 - You danced with me at Narda's wedding, and not just to the slow songs

3 - You wanted me to make you a casserole for your birthday instead of something really hard or fancy

4 - You want me to come with you when you got shopping for new clothes

5 - You made the homemade mayo for my aioli on Wednesday

September 2, 2010

I Want, I Need, I Have to Have: Art

In our apartment we have a lot of wall space and we really aren’t using it to it’s full potential… probably because I’m lazy. I have hopes and dreams and all kinds of different ideas for our walls, but when I get home from work, I just want to cook dinner and sit on the couch with Hubs and veg out. You know what I mean?

I really want to do an arrangement of different prints and pictures of my drafting table of things that inspire me and make me happy. When, and if, I get my act together (and get Hubs to patch up the monster holes he put in the wall trying to hang the one picture we do have above my drafting table) I want to get one of these prints by Nidhi Chanani.


Nidhi and I went to High School together. She was a good friend of one of my besties.

I always remember her with a smile on her face. It makes sense her Facebook Fan Page would say, “She creates cute art because it makes her happy - with hopes it can make others happy, too.”

Check out her Etsy Shop and tell me which one is your favorite :)


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