Tuesday, January 31, 2012

stats stat!

If you like stats, graphs, numbers, refresh the ngr home page and you can now view some basic stats!

Your eyes are not deceiving you, its over 72,000 page views!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gluten-free, its the law

There are new legal definitions of "gluten free". Things are changing... in Europe.

Come across the pond I say!

Can you hear me barking USDA & FDA peeps?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best colleges for gluten-free

Here are the top 14 U.S. colleges, ranked by bestcollegesonline.com, that increase awareness and access to gluten-free options.

Some of these are so cool I almost want to go back to school.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gluten in Medications Survey

As part of the FDA study, the NFCA's Gluten in Medications Survey is now live. It only takes a few minutes, and this is valuable data that hopefully will lead to better rules and regulations, including labeling. If you or a loved one had Celiac Disease and/or avoids gluten, please link on over and click yourself some answers.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

not by the hairs of my ginny gin gin

Ever since I tackled tonic water, I have been wanting to attempt homemade gin. Actually, that is a bit of a lie. Several years ago, I got into a rather heated discussion about my adamant dislike of gin. It falls into the category of "it tastes like licking a christmas tree, which I am not into". (see also, pine nuts)

For this reason, I had been seeking out a juniper-free gin. Apparently if you remove the juniper, gin it cannot be. Gin only is if juniper is present. This conversation lead to a quest for an "infused vodka" that contained all of the gin botanicals, sans juniper. We found one, but Four Square. It was ok, but very very very floral, and I say that in a grandma's perfume sort of way; not what I want in a cocktail, ever.

Recently being given a bergamot orange, I got inspired to muck around with centuries worth of fine acohol making. (Bergamot oil and/or peel is what gives earl grey tea its quintessential flavor and aroma.)

"Gin" or "infused vodka attempt 1"
4 cups vodka
1/4 ceylon cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
2 whole allspice berries
1/2 a green corriander pod
1/4 tsp whole cubebs
1/4 tsp grains of paradise
zest of 1/4 a navel orange
zest of 1/4 a bergamot orange

I zested the citrus into the vodka, to aid in it funneling back into the bottle. I didn't use the full peel, because I fear the bitter.

I am hoping that the bergamont will offer up some of the intensity that the juniper usually does. I didn't have any licorice root, so I went with fennel seeds. The cubebs and grains of paradise are hard-to-find spices, but they don the back of the Bombay Sapphire bottle, so I thought since I was out at Christina's Spice Shop, I may as well pick some up and give it a try. The bay leaf isn't on any recipe either, but Knauer's recipe in Gourmet called for rosemary, and since I think that stuff takes like turpentine in large quantities, I thought maybe the bay would bring some earthiness and subtlety to the bottle.

All that is left is to wait and taste.

Monday, January 2, 2012

stagger lee - Crispin cider

I have had Crispin cider before, but I haven't written about it. On the whole, I don't write about products I don't really like. Crispin cider is ok. Its not great, though its better than most I have tried, it just isn't fantastic, and I don't see the point in writing about things that aren't fantastic.

Crispin's limited release of their Staggar Lee, well its worthy of grabbing a pen. The standard Crispin cider is a bit boring, one note, and while it is less sweet than the standard ciders (Magners, Original Sin, Harpoon) its still not a slam dunk. Stagger Lee is beautiful. There are complexities and flavors beyond that of apple. It is not floral, but a little smokey, and the rye barrel flavor really comes out. Its a bit pricey, $5 for a single bottle, but I believe its worth it. There are some subtle flavors that you have to go hunting for to find, so I wouldn't recommend it as a with-food beverage, but it certainly could handle a meal.