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Celiac Disease: The Gluten Intolerance

Epidemic Sweeping the NationImage

 

 Attention: There’s a cereal killer at large lurking in your pantry! Attacking its victims in the form of upset stomachs, fogginess and fatigue, and even worse! Using four main deadly weapons to prey on its helpless victims- wheat, barley, rye and triticale disguised as crackers, bread, cereal etc. – this assassin has become unstoppable. What’s worse? This criminal creeps up without notice and can trigger a series of further complications including autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and even cancer when left untreated and ignored. The main suspect in question is what we like to call Celiac disease or the intolerance of gluten in the human body. Affecting nearly 1 out of every 100 Americans, this autoimmune digestive disease damages the villi of the small intestine where the absorption of essential nutrients normally takes place. More or less, when an individual with this aliment eats gluten in any form, the immune system responds by attacking the protein so much so that the body is unable to take in the proper nutrients as a result. Those who are diagnosed with Celiac, are forced to change their diets altogether in order to steer clear of the consequences that may otherwise arise in the consumption of gluten.

Just ask any individual dealing with this disease how much of a nightmare it is trying to dodge any food that has been made using gluten ingredients and further finding a replacement that won’t ever come close to what they have been use to enjoying for any fraction of their lives before they were diagnosed. When you’ve been eating sandwiches, spaghetti, and cereal your entire life and are suddenly forced to choose a substitute instead where taste is nearly compromised in the reconstruction process of the main ingredients- you’re subsequently left with a piece of cardboard. Moreover, it seems unfair to pay more for something that has little to no resemblance to the food that has become the bread basket of your diet. Though food scientists have not perfected the art of a cracker that tastes even remotely identical to a wheat based one, the occurrence of more Celiacs has caused the range of food offerings without gluten to expand exponentially especially in the catering world.

ImageThose unfamiliar with the Celiac Disease house a preconceived notion, “if it’s a starch or carbohydrate then it must contain gluten.” This is just not the case! Take potatoes for example. The basic, bare spuds straight out of the dirt have very low levels of gluten, however once you start adding accessories to Mrs. Plain Jane Potato Head such as frying oils and preparation heating mechanisms that may have been cross-contaminated with other food stuffs containing gluten, chances are your potatoes will too acquire the gluten. The same can be said of your run of the mill plain rice- regardless of the type white, brown, or black is always considered gluten free. The danger lies not within the rice, but how it is prepared or the mixes you can find on your grocery store shelf. Many of these deceiving packets contain soy sauce or a wheat based component to act as a thickener when cooking the rice.  In order to make absolute certain that a food in question is, in fact, gluten free it is important to read the package in its entirety. Not just the main ingredients but all that are listed throughout, because any other ingredient used, natural or manmade, can be comprised of gluten based proteins.

Although more food providers such as grocery stores and caterers are embracing the growing trend to supply gluten free food provisions, the actual retail food service industry as seen in restaurants is lagging as a whole. Luckily, caterers, like Y.Lo Epicure Catering, have followed suit with their food supplying counterparts, accommodating clients with dietary standards such as vegan, vegetarian, and the ever present gluten free.Clients who cater through Y.Lo Epicure Catering have the ability to tailor any meal to one that fits the needs of any individual regrettably facing the Celiac disease. Clients can rest assured that substitutes, gluten free, used are of only the highest rated in terms of overall taste and quality. Any way you slice it, falling victim to this up and rising food aversion aliment can be quite the bubble buster, fortunately there are options out there to surrogate what one must avoid in their daily intake.

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Because we are a full-service catering company, we at Y.Lo Epicure don’t get surprised by much these days. We do it all! So when we have been asked to do weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, corporate parties, etc. nothing really makes us raise our eyebrows. But when we got a call from Reed Street Productions asking us to cater their Zombie Run, we had to stop for a second.

“I’m sorry – a WHAT?” I asked.

Apparently this “Zombie” craze has taken over the Country. This company tours major US cities and puts on a 5k run, where you sign up and have to make your way through an obstacle course while Zombies chase you and try to eat your brains and take your “health,” which is latched on to your waist, much like a flag football belt. There are health bonuses you can find along the way to save your own life, and you can choose your own path through the course, but if you’re not careful you could end up running more like a 10K. And if the Zombies get your health flags, you die and they win.

So at this point I’m wondering just how many people really go for this whole thing, and one of the directors, Alyssa Omelie, says to me, “Oh yeah, people love it. It helps to improve their running times. You’d be surprised how fast people will finish a 5K when they are being chased by Zombies.”

And I guess I can’t argue – Over 3,500 people in Colorado alone participated in this thing, 700 of which were zombies. Alyssa says the zombie positions are always the first ones to sell out. They pay a little extra and come early and have professionals do their makeup to make them look good and dead. Live or die, the event is not over at the finish line. No, no. After that, you go to the Apocalypse Party, where runners and zombies unite to enjoy food trucks, live music, and Beer in a festival-like environment.

This particular run was set up at Thunder Valley, a motor-cross cross nestled in the foothills close to Red Rocks. It took an entire week for set-up and I must say it was worth it. The event was literally quite a site to see. But the staff had to eat, and in those terms it was Y.Lo who saved the day. We brought dinner every night to hungry staff members and on event day, we provided breakfast, lunch, dinner and hors d’oeuvres to the staff and VIP tents. Who knew Zombies like to eat things like Homemade Enchiladas, Lasagna, and Stir Fry in substitution of humans? So you can thank us for keeping the Zombies fed so they didn’t go looking for…err….. some other things or people to eat.

Check out more of our pictures at Facebook.com

and if you’re crazy enough to join in the Zombie fun, the appropriately named website is runforyourlives.com

February is here and we all know what that means – Love is in the air! Now I agree that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. But I believe it rings true for women, too! So I thought I would share a very delicious and sweet way to express your love for your Valentine: by making an easy version of one of Y.Lo Epicure’s most popular dishes- Baked Brie En Croute!

Cranberry Almond Baked Brie En Croute

Ingredients:
1 Wheel of Brie Cheese
2 Packages of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 Cup of Dried Cranberries
1/3 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup of Almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Open Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and roll one and a half packages of the dough in to one big ball, then flatten in to a circle shape. Place wheel of brie in the center of the dough. Top with cranberries, almonds and brown sugar. Pull the dough up around the brie to completely encase it. Take the remainder of the dough and roll flat. Use Cookie Cutter to cut out heart shapes. Place on top. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until dough is golden brown (oven times may vary). Serve with puff pastries or crackers and enjoy!

Whew! What an amazing end to 2011! We partied hard, and we’re some of the lucky people because we got paid to do it. Y.Lo Epicure had so many fun events throughout the holidays. We don’t mean to brag (too much), but here is just a small overview of what went on, and you might even get an idea or two for next year.

A “Minute-to-Win-it” Holiday party- there’s nothing like seeing your co-workers try to yank all the tissues from a box using only one hand in only 60 seconds. (Go ahead. Go home and try it, we both know you want to.) This party was also a dance-fest while simultaneously having a special area upstairs for wrapping care packages for the homeless. Party people who give back. We like it!

An upscale house party where the staff got to dress in formal wear too, serving an amazing cocktail concoction called “Santa’s Hat”. Of course we won’t keep it to ourselves:  One part pomegranate juice, two parts champagne, powdered sugar rim on the champagne glass. This was absolutely adorable!

A Private, modest one- bedroom apartment party that turned in to an 80 person blowout. Oh yeah. This person must have had amazing neighbors to go with his amazing view of Denver. Bartending from the kitchen seemed impossible at first, but it turned out to be an absolute blast with some really fun people!

A gorgeous drive to Boulder for a luncheon that dazzled during the day-time with all white linens and silver, glittery snowflakes dangling from the ceiling. As if this wasn’t sparkly enough, guests were blown away by being handed a glass of bubbly as they walked through the door.

A one-thousand person event downtown with three bars, full-service buffet (Provided by yours truly, of course), a DJ and a live band. And how was it? Ah. Maz. Ing. This was a very young crowd who knew how to dress up and get down!

Not a bad run by some folks who started out as a small corporate caterer, right? By the time New Years’ actually came around and most people were ready to go out, we just wanted a NAP! Because as you can tell, Y.Lo Epicure does it all- and we did! But we had an absolute blast gaining all of this experience, and definitely makes us better at what we do every day. Cheers to Partying with you in 2012!

Bah Black Friday Humbug

AH Thanksgiving- you know it’s time when all the signs are present: Moms starting to plan seating arrangements, dads mentally preparing themselves for in-law visits, store displays of stuffing and canned pumpkin galore, and of course – Black Friday adds starting to pop up everywhere. Now I love Thanksgiving and enjoy taking the time to stop and acknowledge all that I have to be thankful for, but this time is also a little clouded for me with angst for what is to come sooner than I am ready- Christmas Shopping.
Like a lot of people, I’m one of those who is making an effort to not be the last-minute Christmas shopper this year. However, I am also constantly struggling to think of new and creative Christmas presents, which I will always maintain as my excuse for late shopping. Anybody with me?
So I got to thinking- what is it that people love this time of year? First thing that pops in to mind: FOOD! What do I do for a living now? FOOD! So do I need to share this light bulb that just went off with you guys? Absolutely.
Y.Lo Epicure does meal plans. Did you know that? One week to one month of them for any number of people. What a great gift idea for that expecting friend of family member of yours! It’s also very thoughtful for the family who has a sick loved one, or the work-aholic that doesn’t have time to cook. I actually have a few of these people in my life right now and voila- Shopping done!
So now that I’m done with a lot of shopping, I can relax and take the time to focus back on Thanksgiving, and letting you know how thankful we at Y.Lo are to have you as a client and friend!
Sincerely,
Y.Lo Epicure

Soup’s On!

Now that it’s officially FALL (where did the time go?) we are starting to add some of our favorite cold weather dishes back to our menu. Yolonda has been busy in our kitchen breaking out her recipes for one of my favorite cold weather dishes… Soup! Something I’m very excited for as I’m starting to find myself searching for Soup recipes to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  At Y.Lo Epicure we have a wide variety of warm amazing soup dishes all of them Homemade and made daily in our kitchen! Our soups include:

Vegetable, Chicken Noodle

Cream Corn Chowder

Baked Potato

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable

Split Pea and Ham

Chicken Tortilla

Asparagus with Herbed Goat Cheese

Broccoli Cheddar

Black Bean & Bacon

They also come with Fresh Baked Mini Rolls and Fresh Baked Dessert. So next time you’re thinking about calling in a lunch order I recommend checking out our Deliciously Comforting Homemade Signature Soups! It’s such a great way to warm up the middle of your work day!

 

 

 

 

Happy Fall!

 

Courtney Hall & YLo Team

 

With Fall in the air the Holiday Season is approaching FAST!!! Which means it’s time to start planning your Corporate and Family Holiday Parties! Let YLo plan your BIG event and make your party the HIGHLIGHT of the SEASON!! Sit back, Relax and Let us take care of everything from complimentary Holiday Decor to an amazing Custom Holiday Menu! We are sure to make your event UNFORGETTABLE and impress your friends, clients, colleagues, and family with our eye-catching displays and our professional and friendly staff! We will gladly help with any arrangements…all you need to do is ask! Get a Jump Start on the SEASON and Book your Event Today!
Holiday Party2
Happy Monday!
Courtney Hall & YLo Team!