Archive for September, 2008

What do the USA, Liberia and Burma have in common?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

To aid in my quest to prepare most of my meals at home in order to save money and to adhere to my dietary requirements, my cousin in England sent me a fabulous cookbook featuring tons of yummy gluten and allergy free dishes.  

Unfortunately, all of the recipes were listed in metric.

According to the United States Metric Association (USMA) the only other countries besides the US that have not officially adapted to the metric system are Liberia (in western Africa) and Burma (also known as Myanmar, in Southeast Asia). But even in these countries metric is used to some extent.

Because of this everyone and everyone that searches the World Wide Web for recipes needs to print this article and place it in the front part of their recipe box. It is only matter of time that you will be searching last minute for a recipe on the web, find one on an overseas website and have no idea how to convert from US weights to metric or metrics to US weights.

Sit back, relax and use this handy-dandy Table of Equivalents and make that Plum Pudding (for the US folks) or Apple Pie (for the rest of the world) with ease… and enjoy!  




oz = ounce                                          

lb = pound                                           

in = inch                                              

ft = foot                                               

tbl = tablespoon                                   

fl oz = fluid ounce                                

qt = quart                                            



g = gram                                              

kg = kilogram                                      

mm = millimeter                                   

cm = centimeter                                   

ml = millimeter                         

l = liter                                                 



US/UK            Metric

1 oz                  30 g

2 oz                  60 g

3 oz                  90 g

4 oz (1/4 lb)     125 g

5 oz (1/3 lb)     155 g

6 oz.                 185 g

7 oz                  220 g

8 oz (1/2 lb)     250 g

10 oz                315 g

12 oz (3/4 lb)   375 g

14 oz                440 g

16 oz (1 lb)      500 g

1.5 lb               750 g

2 lbs                 1 kg

3 lbs                 1.5 kg



US                   Metric             UK

2 tbl                 30 ml                1 fl oz

½ cup               60 ml                2 fl oz

1/3 cup             80 ml                3 fl oz

½ cup               125 ml              4 fl oz  

2/3 cup             160 ml              5 fl oz

¾ cup               180 ml              6 fl oz

1 cup                250 ml              8 fl oz

1.5 cups           375 ml              12 fl oz

2 cups              500 ml              16 fl oz

4 cups / 1 qt     1 liter                32 fl oz.



Oven Temperatures

Fahrenheit      Celsius            Gas

250                 120                  1/2

275                 140                  1

300                 150                  2

325                 160                  3

350                 180                  4

375                 190                  5

400                 200                  6

425                 220                  7

450                 230                  8

475                 240                  9

500                 260                  10


Length Measures

1/8 in                3 mm

¼ in                  6 mm

½ in                  12 mm

1 in                   2.5 cm

2 in                   5 cm    

3 in                   7.5 cm

4 in                   10 cm

5 in                   13 cm

6 in                   15 cm

7 in                   18 cm

8 in                   20 cm

9 in                   23 cm

10 in                 25 cm

11 in                 28 cm

12 in / 1 ft         30 cm


Flour / Chopped Nuts / Bread Crumbs

¼ cup               1 oz                  30 g

1/3 cup             1.5 oz               45 g

½ cup               2 oz                  60 g

¾ cup               3 oz                  90 g                

1 cup                4 oz                  125 g              

1.5 cups           6 oz                  185 g

2 cups              8 oz                  250 g


White Sugar

¼ cup               2 oz                  60 g

1/3 cup             3 oz                  90 g

½ cup               4 oz                  125 g  

¾ cup               6 oz                  185 g  

1 cup                8 oz                  250 g  

1.5 cups           12 oz                375 g

2 cups              1 lb                  500 g


Honey / Jam / Chutney         

2 tbl                 2 oz                  60 g

¼ cup               3 oz                  90 g

½ cup               5 oz                  155 g

¾ cup               8 oz                  250 g

1 cup                11 oz                345 g


Cornmeal / Long-Grain Rice

1/3 cup             2 oz                  60 g

½ cup               2.5 oz               75 g

¾ cup               4 oz                  125 g

1 cup                5 oz                  155 g

1.5 cups           8 oz                  250 g


Grated Cheese (consistency such as Romano & Parmesan)

¼ cup               1 oz                  30 g

½ cup               2 oz                  60 g

¾ cup               3 oz                  90 g

1 cup                4 oz                  125 g

1 1/3 cup          5 oz                  155 g

2 cups              7 oz                  220 g    


Oven Temperatures

Fahrenheit     Celsius

250                 120

275                 140

300                 150

325                 160

350                 180

375                 190

400                 200

425                 220

450                 230

475                 240

500                 260

A Chocolate Cake By Any Other Name

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Driving to my office I was listening to one of my favorite news radio stations here in Boston, WBZ 1030AM –

Thrown into the news, traffic and business updates they have a segment called “Something You Should Know”. The segment today was about food tasting exactly the way we expect it to taste.

Brian Wansink, Professor of Marketing and Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, has found that that when people buy something with a descriptive name like Black Forest Belgian chocolate cake it will end up tasting much better than the same exact product labeled chocolate cake.

This man is onto something.

I learned many gluten free years ago that when offering friends, family (or even myself) anything gluten free, fancy up the name a bit and get rave recipe reviews.

Try it.

You’ll see yourself that my Dad’s infamous “Delectably Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake” – taste way better than Gluten Free Chocolate cake. Enjoy!


Delectably Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake

This rich, flourless chocolate cake and packed with flavor. It’s sure to please the biggest chocolate lovers you know! Check ingredients in all chocolate products for all allergens!
Nonstick vegetable spray (Check label for allergens!)
6 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate – Chopped (Check label for allergens!)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate – Chopped (Check label for allergens!)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water

3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter – cut into 1-inch cubes

6 large eggs

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting (Check label for allergens!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tightly wrap outside of 10 inch springform pan with 3 sheets of heavy duty foil.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.  Spray inside pan with nonstick spray.

Combine both chocolates in large metal bowl.  Set over saucepan of simmering water and stir until just melted.  Remove from over water.  Bring 1 cup sugar and ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water to boil in saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and syrup forms.  Gradually whisk hot syrup into melted chocolate (mixture may look curdled).   Add butter; whisk to blend.

Beat eggs and ½ cup sugar in bowl to blend well, using electric mixer, about 2 minutes.  Use a rubber spatula, and gently fold egg mixture into the warm chocolate mixture.

Transfer batter to prepared pan (batter will come halfway up sides).  Place cake pan in large roasting pan.  Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of pan.  Bake cake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes.  Remove cake pan from water.  Remove foil.  Cool completely on rack.  Cut around cake sides to loosen.  Remove pan sides, Transfer cake to platter.  Dust with cocoa powder and serve.

The Breakfast of the Leisurely

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.  ~John Gunther


There is nothing worse than running late in the morning, hurrying and realizing that I have no time for breakfast. If my day starts out stressed – the rest of my day usually follows suit. Also, I know from experience that if I start out hungry – the hours afterwards are a waste.


The American Dietetic Association says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know this. Yet breakfast is the only meal of the day I seemed to continually neglect.


Having a celiac disease or a food allergy means that planning meals is one of the most significant things you must do; and I do plan practically every one of my lunch and dinners hours ahead of time.  Breakfast is the only meal that I neglect to religiously plan. It is not that I want to neglect it – it’s just that breakfast is the one meal that requires a unique type of planning, since it has to be planned the day ahead due to the chaotic nature of most of my weekday mornings.


The Answer: Arranging quick and easy breakfast items, some that can be eaten on the run if needed, which are also healthy, nutritious and doesn’t cost a bundle. Below I have listed some of my favorite breakfast options. Some are store bought, but others are prepared ahead of time in order to sneak a healthy breakfast into those crazy weekday mornings. 


1.) Van’s Gluten Free Blueberry Waffles: (Gluten free & Dairy free) I love these. If I have time, I eat them “traditional style” heated with syrup, but I also eat them on the run heated and slathered with fresh blueberry jam.


2.) Lean on Me All Natural Quiches: (Gluten free, Soy Free, and Fish Free) This is an all time favorite to throw in my bag and eat once I get to my office. Microwavable in 2 minutes and eaten right from the carton it comes in make these quiches the perfect breakfast to be eaten at the office. They come in a few varieties, but my choice is Broccoli & Cheddar. At 130 calories this is a breakfast that you don’t feel guilty enjoying!


3.) Heaven Scent Natural Foods Crispy Rice & Marshmallow Bars: (Gluten free) Think Rice Crispy Treats! No artificial ingredients, no gelatin, no sodium, vegan and low fat make this treat rock. Perfect for running out the door and need a quick breakfast fix to hold you over until lunch.


4.) Recipes that are currently in the recipe sections that are make ahead favorites include:
  – Make ahead Mini Portable Quiches (Gluten Free, Soy Free, Fish Free & Nut Free)

  These no-crust quiches are like little portable omelets! Use your imagination and try different meats and veggies. Fast & economical breakfast “on the go”. Make these ahead of time and save precious morning minutes too!

  – “You Pick The Trail” Mix (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Fish Free & Nut Free)  This is called “You Pick the Trail” Mix, since the recipe can be adapted to different allergens, preferences or tastes. Omit the nuts, oats, or flax seeds… add in pumpkin seeds, quinoa flakes, or ground flax seed. Get creative… and happy travels!

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