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About Alex

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    Grand Rapids, MI

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  1. Gluten-Free Bread

    Thanks for asking. The adjustment hasn't been as difficult as I anticipated, probably because when not on vacation we seldom eat out nowadays, and I do most of the cooking and all of the baking. I think that any concrete, noticable benefits will happen very gradually, though. I probably won't get to trying out the book until at least sometime in May, perhaps even later. I'll keep you posted. However, right now I'll PM you a great recipe for brownies that I developed. The sensitivity was confirmed via a number of test results, but the primary one came via saliva testing, which revealed a marked IgA (immune) response to gliadin, a main component of gluten.
  2. You're welcome. There are lots more, of course; those are just the ones in the West Loop near Ogilvie. I believe Slurping Turtle is still around, but there are better places in the city for ramen and for Japanese food in general. I also had a very unpleasant experience there a couple of years ago regarding seating, so I've had zero desire to return. For ramen (and yakitori), I'd go to Yusho, in Logan Square. (Here are other ramen places.) For sushi, Katsu, in West Rogers Park, is the way to go. If you're thinking about River North, where the turtle is located, there again are lots of good choices. One of my favorites is GT Fish & Oyster. Best clam chowder I've ever had; everything else is good, too. The same chef opened GT Prime, focusing on meats. Please let me know if there are other cuisines you're interested in.
  3. I just called -- they do indeed go to Downers Grove as well. When you book the ride, make sure to specify which station; Lombard is their default setting, so to speak. When you return, call the hotel from your departure station and tell them the arrival station and time. (FYI, the train from Lombard terminates at Ogilvie Station in Chicago; the one from Downers Grove, at Union Station.) If you take Metra from Downers Grove to Western Springs, right by the station is Vie. I'd definitely go there Tuesday or Wednesday night. Taking Metra from Lombard to Ogilvie puts you in the West Loop, with a stunning array of great restaurants within walking distance: Avec, Blackbird, Sepia, Salero, Girl and the Goat, Nia, etc. -- also the Michelin 3-star, $235-tasting-menu Grace and the Michelin 2-star, $190-tasting-menu Oriole. If you don't want to travel far, Greek Islands is right by the hotel, plus it's open Sunday and Monday nights. It's an outpost of the popular Greektown place.
  4. Your hotel has a shuttle that will take you to a Metra (commuter rail) station, so that's a huge plus. I have several restaurants in mind already, but I want to contact the hotel tomorrow to see if it's just the Lombard station or if the Downer's Grove station is a possibility. If the latter, I have a great recommendation that's just five stops away.
  5. This is great! Which freeze dryer do you have?
  6. Overnight Oats

    We've done it. Dried fruit can go in at the start; fresh fruit and nuts should wait. You can add nutritional stuff, if you like, e.g., ground flax seeds or chia pets, er, seeds.
  7. Gluten-Free Bread

    Much to my chagrin, I recently was diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. (And yes, it was based on actual lab work, not conjecture.) I've been buying gluten-free bread from Costco or a local health food store, but it leaves a lot to be desired -- and I'm not good at expectation-lowering. Last week, at a favorite used book store in Chicago, I spotted Hertzberg and Francois's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. It looked worthwhile, and I already had their glutinous book, so I bought it. Before I start trying stuff out, does anyone have any comments, cautions, observations, etc. about the book?
  8. Food funnies

    R.I.P. Jack Ziegler, long-time cartoonist for The New Yorker. Here's one of his food-related cartoons, one with which I strongly identify.
  9. This. I'm not as virulently opposed to its use as is Lisa Shock, but I employ it very selectively. And I don't use it in dishes I'll be serving to people who avoid caffeine. But then again, I don't serve chocolate to them, either.
  10. Actual espresso or espresso powder? If the former, do you have an espresso machine? If not, I suspect you could substitute very strong regular coffee, but someone with more baking experience could chime in on this. Which recipe are you using?
  11. Yes, very finely ground. A press pot takes a moderatly coarse grind. Drip is somewhere inbetween. Here's a YouTube video from Seattle Coffe Gear that demonstrates the differences.
  12. What andiesenji (and everyone else) said. However, although a typical commercial "espresso roast" is indeed very dark, an excellent espresso can be made from lighter roasts (and often is). Here's a good web page to start with, from Seattle Coffee Gear. BTW, I included that espresso/expresso confusion in a "writing pitfalls" handout I used to give to my students.
  13. Thanks for resurrecting this topic, Mitch. Since my last accounting, nearly two years ago, we've added eight books: Cookie Love A Super Upsetting Book About Sandwiches Asian Ingredients The Flavor Bible Samarkand Bean to Bean Joe Beef Shake, Stir, Pour (by our own Katie Loeb)
  14. Tammy, you may not be aware of this, but Paula Wolfert has quite a history with eGullet and its members.
  15. People here are being very nice and offering appropriate suggestions -- which probably is a good thing, as I suspect you don't want to lose that space. Me, I'd offer a deal to the owner -- my recipes for your debit card and PIN. S/he'd get the message, I hope.