Posted in Baltimore Recommendations, Tips and Tricks

Summer Adventures, Part 1

I know I tend to go off the grid somewhat frequently with these posts and I leave you wondering if I’ve abandoned you in your food allergy/intolerance quest. However, it is summer and thus you would think the posts should be coming more frequently again.  Unfortunately for you, that won’t be the case for a few weeks. I’m off on some more adventures! I’m headed to a weeklong service camp with my parish youth group and then I’m headed straight for the airport to reunite with my ACE DC family to celebrate the first of the roommate weddings!! Then it’s off to the Poconos for a few days for some quality time with my mom and sister. So in short, there won’t be much time for writing until around the 4th of July.

So excited to reunite with these guys in 6 days!!
(Side note…how was this 6 years ago??)
…and to celebrate our favorite science-loving roommate 🙂

So in the meantime, I want to leave you with 2 amazing tips to make your allergy-free summer just a little bit better.

1) Keep cool/Avoid the Stove!: I know last summer when I first learned about my newest intolerances, I was using the stove everyday…or sometimes multiple times a day. Believe it or not, there are many things you CAN still eat that won’t require much stove usage. No, take-out is not as much an option as it used to be but there are cooler/”Why turn on the stove when it’s already 90-degrees+” choices.

  • Salads are your best friend. Stock up on veggies, buy some olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, and get creative!
  • Buy pre-cooked chicken. Now this is a tricky option because many pre-cooked chicken options have soy or corn in them. However, Applegate Farms makes great gluten-free, casein-free grilled chicken and certain stores (Fresh Market for one) sells those great rotisserie chickens that are safe…but BE CAREFUL. Most traditional chains’ (Weis and Giant I know for sure) rotisserie chickens contain unsafe additives, namely soy and wheat.
  • Use the microwave. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have great gluten-free, casein-free chicken sausage options that are pre-cooked and thus need a little warming in the microwave. Now I know there is a raging debate about the safety of microwave radiation…but this isn’t the time or place for that debate. If you can find bacon or sausage that just needs a little microwave energy, it can make your summer much more manageable. 
A little lettuce, bacon, red pepper, and avocado can go a long way…
2) Eat Snow Domes!!: Now I apologize in advance to those of you who don’t reside in the greater Baltimore area because this is kind of a tease; but when I’m this excited about something, I just have to share. When I was younger, I knew what snow cones were. They were offered at most church carnivals and school field days. That delicious array of syrups squirted onto ice in various combinations. Then they had the gross version in a plastic wrapper on the ice cream truck that frequented our pool. (The real question is why I kept getting them, thinking each time that somehow it would magically be better than the time before) Well, here in Baltimore, I’ve learned two things: 1) they’re not snow cones, they’re sno-balls (or snowballs…it seems the crowd is split) and 2) every other snow cone in your life will pale in comparison to these delicacies. Seriously, there’s a map and everything: Baltimore LOVES Snoballs. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a few during my second summer in Baltimore thanks to the kids I babysat for, but for all its perks, those icy cups of deliciousness contain a million crazy ingredients, corn being a major one. Thus last summer I had reluctantly accepted that my days of refreshing icy treats were behind me. And then one magical night, everything changed…
I found Fresh Bites Snow Domes. I was enjoying a Thursday night concert/picnic dinner at a local vineyard with some dear friends when one of them returned from the farmers’ market stands with the news that she found a woman selling snoballs that were made with all-natural, homemade syrups. I don’t think I’ve moved so fast toward a vendor in my life. After a brief conversation, I learned that the woman (whom I now affectionately refer to as “my snowcone lady”…I know, I know a little selfish; I’m well aware that she actually cares equally about all her customers) started working on these syrups when her son was young because she didn’t like the idea of feeding him all the artificial ingredients in a sno-ball. Now he’s grown and she’s taken her syrups on the road. Literally. She operates out of a little truck. Her flavors are unique and I can personally attest I have yet to try one I didn’t like. And if you are allowed dairy, say yes to her offer of sweet cream, whipped cream, and/or caramel on top. Especially if you get the apple pie one 🙂
My cherry-lime delicacy 🙂
Baltimore friends, she’s at the Kenilworth Farmers’ market every Tuesday throughout the summer and she also visits various events. She’ll be at the Towson 4th of July parade! (as if you needed another reason to attend) Also, here is her website so you can stay updated on her travels.
Non-Baltimore friends, add this to your “Reasons I Really Need to Go Visit Katie in Baltimore” list.
All right, now it’s time to pack up the car and begin leg 1 of Katie’s Summer Adventures! Until next time: stay cool, stay relaxed, and most importantly, have fun!! 
And on a serious note, those of you who are in the early stages of dealing with your food issues and aren’t feeling so great these days, don’t despair. I was there too, watching/listening in envy to pictures and stories of your friends’ summer adventures while you feel resigned to the couch. I promise, keep up the diligent work, be patient, and you’ll get there too 🙂
All my food for the week in 2 bags…I’m getting better at this 🙂

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