I still look at this building and see a cinema because that is what it used to be in my younger days. I have seen many a film there, cried at Dumbo, danced to Grease and even went on a teenage date to see Chariots of Fire, very romantic eh? Last weekend though I visited the Cosmo Restaurant which it is now and managed to find something gluten free there which was a result.
After last week's blog about the dreaded food allergy booklet I was a little worried. For those who have never visited Cosmo it is a buffet type restaurant with food from all around the world so you can understand when the venue said there wasn't a gluten free menu available but I could look at the food allergy booklet, I thought that this booklet was going to be the size of an edition of War and Peace. There is so much food on offer and for the price of £10 (prices vary) you can eat as much as you like so I wanted to make the most of it. There are Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese dishes to mention a few, as well as British classics so something for every taste. It is like food heaven and the desserts, well my eyes were popping out.
Of course though being on a gluten free diet I was a bit restricted. I had to work out the best strategy on how to use the booklet, was it better to digest the whole list and try and get a few dishes worked out, then go and get my food or just take the booklet with me and plan as I went round. I tended to go for the first option but when I did get to go and choose what I wanted it wasn't available. We chose to eat at lunchtime so I'm thinking that the booklet may refer more to the dishes they put out in the evening. It did make it more difficult to try and sift through what I could eat, but saying that the booklet was really easy to read and clear so I can't grumble at all. The staff were very friendly too which always makes things easy and although I didn't have to ask for any help I'm sure they would have obliged.
I did find a gorgeous Chinese Beef Curry and Rice but a bit devastated from not being able to eat the cakes on offer. I did however find some lovely mango ice cream and there was loads of fruit available. There again with the desserts, they were not all available at lunchtime, I had picked out an Eton Mess to devour but it wasn't there so I presume that may only be available in the evening.
I would definitely visit again so I do give it a thumbs up but would be interested to try it in the evening to see if the dishes vary. Oh dear may have to return for more research, I can here you screaming at me, 'yes Sue from the Brew we need to know'. It's a dirty job eating all this food but go on then if you insist, I'll keep you posted!
Overall it was very nice and had a lovely meal. It's not always about the food and I had great company, a few ciders and a lot of giggles and that my friends you will not find on any menu or food allergy list. I am definitely not allergic to laughing.
Thanks for reading, I will return tomorrow for Autism Support Saturday so take care for now.........
The words I dread to hear someone from a restaurant say when you ask for a gluten free menu 'we don't have one but you can look at the allergy information book'. Yes because I have always wanted to study for a food technology degree before I sit down and eat a meal. It's not so bad if you maybe enquire a few days before the visit and they have a digital copy but to have to sift through every single food item in tiny weeny writing or in a table created by someone using excel for their very first time is not my idea of a good time when out.
I'm sorry but it isn't actually our fault that we suffer from food allergies or intolerances so it would be nice to go to a eatery place and know that they cater for different needs. Some places do have dedicated menus or symbols on the main menu which is great. It's like I've won the lottery or it's Christmas Day when these menus appear, I give a massive sigh of relief that I can actually pick something from the menu like everyone else. Other places have staff who just know straight away what is available to suit individual needs. Now these places need and awareness award or five star rating for not producing the dreaded booklet of doom, it also shows the restaurant may have had some training definitely worthy of big tip!
The other annoying thing is when I want something gluten free and actually do spend half an hour reading through the booklet at all the ingredients that go into all of the meals I realise I am limited to a grilled chicken sandwich with salad and there are no desserts available. That is just so cruel, I mean you would think most people have ice cream but no not always and to deny me pudding after reading all about the food standards industry and what the venue actually have to comply with. I could actually find myself qualified enough to pop on a lanyard and inspect the kitchen.
I'm exaggerating I know but that is what I feel like sometimes. I do actually start to memorise it all too to obviously save me having to read it all again, so I now know every piece of allergy advice for most restaurants now. I suppose you do only have to read it once unless they change their menu but frankly I'm not returning again after the mere mention of the allergy info book. Come on food places, I think there is a lot of cases now where you do need to know your menu and cater for people with restricted diets. It does make a difference, it looks impressive and people will come back and even sing your praises on trip advisor. I would want that if I was a restauranteur.
It's what puts us off eating out sometimes, I feel as though I should be able to just choose from a menu like everyone else and I'm sorry but any place who just offer one main meal and no options for dessert, not even a jacket potato in sight needs a serious word. A jacket potato is like the gluten free lifeline and a Slimming World wonder. It is the emergency security blanket of food when there is nothing else and also because they are nice and filling too.
I suppose there is also the chance that you could guess foods that may be appropriate but that isn't always easy as some sauces have flour in them, some fries and chips are coated in flour so it's a bit of a minefield to guess and not worth taking the risk. It could be life threatening for those with nut allergies or coeliac disease. So maybe a quick read of the information is what we need to do and we shouldn't moan but I do wish it could be easier.
Anyway I'm off out soon for a read of mentioned document so wish me luck, I hope it's in large print and screaming 'eat me eat me I'm gluten free' in big capital letters. A bit of wishful thinking there but I should be glad of having more knowledge than everyone else in the place. There should be a special badge or a sticker to say 'this person is allergy aware' or you can just tell as they are the ones with a lonely salad on their plate. Salad is good, low fat and very healthy so stop moaning Sue from the Brew!!!
Thanks for reading you lovely lot and I will be back tomorrow with Autism Support Saturday.
Take care for now.........
Sometimes you just need some sort of reference and help on what to buy and ideas on tasty things to eat. Well Free From Heaven seems to have all the information you need. Packed with lots of dietary advice for all free from eaters whether you are gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and vegetarian. There are some great recipes and hints on what to buy from the supermarkets.
I don't know about you but sometimes I get stuck in a bit of a rut and tend to eat the same things over and over. I feel the need to break free and cook or bake something different. When baking I like to move away from the traditional but classic Victoria Sandwich and this publication has so many varieties of recipes including very clear photographs that you feel you. could instantly take the food right off the page.
There are features regarding health and including following a free from diet for children. There is a lot to read and good value for money really. This edition pictured was £4.99 and included a supplement on mindful eating with a further 20 recipes. They do advertise some offers for subscription if you would like to receive it regular over a year or 2 years. As with a lot of things these days there is also an app to download so you can read from your device, it is available on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon for the kindle.
There is a Facebook page at:
On Twitter search for @Freefrommag
and for the main website go to: www.freefromheaven.com
What would we do without an app eh? Must admit I use them a lot, I always search for one associated with whatever in life I find myself doing. They are handy though, we tend to search for everything on our phones now. Recipes are so handy on a device, you can save them and just refer back to your favourites items when necessary and you don't have to worry about having space on your shelves for lots of books.
Anyway see what you think to this magazine, give it a go. It is very handy even if you just refer to it now and again. I like to know what new products are being released and what I can expect to find in the shops. I also like that it's not just gluten free and that it caters for everyone.
Hope this helps a little, thanks for reading and I will be back tomorrow for Autism Support Saturday.
Take care for now........
Sometimes you just want a quick baking session without too much faff. My son and I made these lovely gluten free chocolate chip cookies curtesy of Betty Crocker. It's rather like the convenience pack of baking. There is a big pack of the dry ingredients such as the flour, sugar and chocolate chips and all you have to do is add one medium egg and 90ml of vegetable oil. Mix it altogether, spoon some mixture onto a baking sheet and pop in the oven until golden brown. So easy!!!
These mixes remind me of when my boys were very little as they were good to encourage them to bake without having too much measuring in their early days. Of course we then moved onto to more ingredients and measuring as it was always classed as a good maths exercise which I thought was great, even me, who is rubbish with numbers thought it was fabulous how I could be using maths and not really realise.
These packs also mean that if you are not a regular dedicated baker you don't have to stock up on lots of ingredients and store them especially if you don't have too much room in you cupboards. Some of us just casually bake when there is a birthday, party or a charity event so we often buy flour and other ingredients and they just sit there and before you know it you're having a spring clean and realising after one use you have caster sugar that has gone rock hard and baking powder which you've kept shoving to the back of the cupboard and is now celebrating it's own fifth birthday.
They are very tasty cookies and are not doing anything for my diet so the diet starts again when they are gone. Well I would hate to waste them. Betty went to a lot of trouble to put that mix together.
There are other lovely gluten free sweet delight mixes in her range such as:
Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
Gluten Free Devils Food Cake
and a Gluten Free Velvety Chocolate Icing
A very small range but if you do feel a bit more adventurous and can get your scales out there are many more gluten free recipes on the Betty Crocker website at www.bettycrocker.co.uk
Have fun and bake!!!
I will be back tomorrow for Autism Support Saturday.
Take care for now.......
There are those times when you just need a quick meal but you want it free off the bits that make you poorly, diet friendly and just generally healthy. Well Kirsty has it all, yes this lovely lady has created tasty meals that just do all that. She has also made nifty little meals for children too.
Yes Kirsty is a real woman, a Lancashire mum who you may have seen on Dragons Den in 2010. Her son had an allergy to nuts and an intolerance to gluten and dairy and so started on a crusade to produce dairy free ice cream. She then moved onto create ready meals that were healthy and free from gluten, wheat and dairy as we see in the supermarkets today.
I love to see a story like hers, it's so inspirational to see a fellow mum stand up and think, well there's nothing out there good enough so I'm going to make it myself and be successful. Well done Kirsty because these meals are so handy and with being on Slimming World they don't cost me too many syns so I can eat them without feeling guilty.
Just for a low down on the syn value if you are on Slimming World, they are as follows:
Malaysian Butternut Squash Curry with Brown Basmati Rice = 5.5
Pork & Herb Sausages with Sweet Potato Mash = 4.5
Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Basmati Rice = 7
Beef Lasagne with a Rich Bolognese Sauce = 6.5
Thai Chilli Chicken with Rice Noodles = 6
Slow Cooked Beef with Celeriac Mash = 7
Spanish Chicken with Brown Basmati Rice = 9
Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash = 5
Spicy Meatballs with Rainbow Vegetti = 7.5
Kirsty's Kids Kitchen range come in great manageable sized portions for children and classic meals such as sausage casserole, salmon and cod pie, cottage pie, chicken korma, Caribbean chicken, Moroccan chicken, beef lasagne, and lentil and butternut squash pie. Something for everyone and again keeping it healthy for the little ones too.
The meals are available at a selection of supermarkets, I buy mine from Morrisons or Sainsbury's but you can find out where to buy in your own local area by searching on the website at
There is all the information you need on the website and you can read all about Kirsty's story. Give these meals a try and see how you go. You can always leave a comment on here and let me know which is your favourite choice.
Thanks for reading and I will be back tomorrow for Autism Support Saturday.
Take care for now.......