Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sprinkles Cupcakes

I had never heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes before, but as soon as I heard they had gluten free cupcakes I obviously had to try it.  Apparently Sprinkles is "the original cupcake bakery" and has locations all over the country.  The one in New York is located on 60th and 3rd Ave.  I had actually walked past it recently but kept on going assuming they wouldn't have anything gluten free.  Silly me.

Sprinkles has several cupcake flavors which they vary daily.  They only have one gluten free option, red velvet, but don't worry, it's available every day.  While red velvet isn't generally my favorite flavor, this cupcake was quite good.  The cake part was moist, the frosting was delicious, and overall it wasn't too sweet.  I went with three gluten eating friends who all got different flavors and enjoyed theirs as well.

Mine is the one labeled G - as in Gluten Free

I'd say this was a pretty good find.  Maybe too good of a find since it is located at such a convenient location, right by my train to Queens.  With all these new gluten free treats available I'm going to have to start learning some self control, which has never really been my strong suit.  Oops.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gluten Free Potluck and Asian Chicken Salad Recipe

I think I've mentioned before that I'm in the New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group.  If not, I am.  Sunday night we had a pot luck in a nice building on the upper east side hosted by Delight Gluten Free Magazine.  There were lots of nice people and lots of great gluten free food.  Some of the options were fried chicken and biscuits, Mexican lasagna, calzones, various rice dishes, twice baked potatoes, and a plethora of desserts including muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cannoli, a layer cake thing, and coconut balls.  It was all delicious and I accidentally ate too much.

What did I bring you ask?  Since people were asked to RSVP with what they were bringing I noticed the menu was dessert/carb heavy.  There was a severe lack of vegetables so I wanted to bring something healthy but didn't know what until the day before.  Enter again my friend Morgan who mentioned an Asian chicken salad she had made herself.  Perfect.  It was healthy, delicious, and I think other people enjoyed it as well.

Asian Chicken Salad - (I think the recipe is originally from Bobby Flay?)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon (GF) soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (whatever that means)
1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 lb snow peas, chopped (why is lb the abbreviation for pound?)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Mix it all together

Ok so it sounds like a lot of work, all that chopping and all, but here's the trick - buy the pre-chopped stuff.  For real.  I bought the cabbage and carrots already chopped/shredded.  All I had to do was mix together the liquid ingredients, cut up the snow peas, cilantro, and scallions, and shred the chicken I bought already rotisseried at the grocery store.  Don't worry so much about how much of all the vegetables to use, just use what you have.  Easy.  And did I mention delicious?

Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones at Sustainable NYC

Saturday was one of the hottest days of the year here in NYC with temperatures rising above 100 and not a cloud in sight.  My dear friend Morgan told me about a store in the east village that has gluten free ice cream cones and Saturday was the perfect afternoon for us to try them.

Sustainable NYC is a store boasting local, organic, fair trade, recycled, re-purposed, biodegradable, and alterative energy products and gifts for women, men, kids, babies, and pets.  They also have a cafĂ© in the back with fair trade & organic coffee and vegan soups, snacks, baked goods, and ice cream.  I was there for the ice cream, not because it was vegan, but because of the gluten free cones!  In fact, I didn’t even know the ice cream was vegan while I was eating it.  Morgan and I both got peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream.  It was delicious.  Not only didn’t I notice that the ice cream was vegan, but the cone tasted just like a regular sugar cone.  They didn’t even charge me extra for it, I don’t think.

I highly recommend this little treat for any gluten free, vegan, hippie, or regular Joe that isn’t squeamish about trying new things.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gluten Free Vermont: Positive Pie

I was home last weekend and needed to grab a quick dinner.  My brother mentioned pizza and I remembered that Positive Pie now has gluten free pizza!

Positive Pie opened in Plainfield VT many years ago and they opened a second one in Montpelier not long after.  They have several specialty pizzas with silly names like the Green Man (pesto, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, tomato, and mozzarella) and Carcass (pepperoni, meatball, sausage, mushroom, and mozzarella).  We went through a phase of eating a lot of Green Man pizzas and Garden of Eden salads in high school.

I was excited to try their gluten free pizza.  I ordered a personal size (the only gluten free size available) veggie deluxe.  I didn't hold my hopes too high, since most gluten free pizza I've had has only been so so.  This pizza wasn't much different.  It was a thin crust, as is most gluten free pizza, and tasted rice based.  It wasn't bad by any means, and I would order it again.  With all their fun topping choices you are sure to get a pizza you like.  Their regular pizza is also very good if you are going with a gluten eating companion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vic's Bagel Bar

*Update 5/5/13: I recently learned that Vic's is now closed.

Yesterday I read on twitter about a bagel place in NYC that has gluten free bagels.  I was instantly intrigued.  I've had a few gluten free bagels in the last 10 months, but they've always been bought frozen at the grocery store and not very good.  The thought of going into a normal bagel store and ordering a gluten free bagel was oddly exciting.  My google search of Vic's Bagel Bar informed me that Vic's is only a short 4 block walk from my office.  I obviously had to go this morning.

Vic's describes itself as a "specialty bagelry".  I'm not sure bagelry is a word, but it is special in that instead of having different flavors of cream cheese, they have a few basics and then you mix in whatever you want.  It's also special, in my mind, because they have gluten free bagels.  Not only that, but I was amazed to find they have 4 different flavors of gluten free bagels: plain, poppy, sesame, and everything.  This morning I had an everything gluten free bagel with low fat cream cheese.  In with the cream cheese I mixed carrots and green peppers, because I like the crunch of veggie cream cheese, and I like to pretend I'm being healthy.  I also got a medium tea.

Here are my thoughts: it is very exciting to be able to order a gluten free bagel for breakfast.  The idea of adding your own mix ins to your cream cheese is kind of fun.  But, and unfortunately there is a but, the gluten free bagel was very dense - as is the problem with many gluten free items.  Not only that, but the breakfast put me back $7.95.  Yikes.  While I appreciate the fact that they have gluten free bagels as an option, I don't think I'll become a regular at Vic's.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Grandma Dot's (Gluten Free) Pound Cake

This is a half pound cake.  If halving the recipe, bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Ok, so I couldn't quite have the 4th of July without making my mom's pound cake.  This is the cake she used to make for all our birthdays, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July.  This was my first try at making it gluten free, and I'd say it was very successful.

1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups flour (I used 3 cups Bob's Red Mill GF Flour mix and 1 cup rice flour)
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coffee
2 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350
Cream together butter and sugar
Beat in eggs one at a time
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt
Mix the vanilla in with the coffee
Stir the dry and wet mixture alternately into the sugar mixture by hand, beginning and ending with the dry
Pour the batter into a well greased bundt pan
Bake for 1 hour - 1.5 hours

For some reason when I make this cake with regular flour it cooks an hour and gluten free it takes nearly an hour and a half.  Check it after an hour.  Take it out when a knife comes out clean.

Top with berries and whipped cream or ice cream.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

My mom has taught me many valuable lessons.  One of them is that on the 4th of July you eat Strawberry Shortcake.  Another is that if you know you are going to eat a bunch of cake then skip dinner and have cake for dinner.  So tonight I had Strawberry Shortcake for dinner.

My mom's regular recipe is for pound cake.  This cake is delicious.  I was going to make it gluten free, but then I came across this recipe on GF in the City and decided to try it.

2 1/4 cups GF flour (I used 1 1/2 Bob's Red Mill GF flour mix and 3/4 rice flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
2 tablespoons melted butter
sugar for the top
whipped cream

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt
Cut the butter into the flour mixture until small
Add the cream or half & half
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and put on a baking sheet
Brush melted butter over biscuits and sprinkle sugar on top
Bake for 25 minutes
Enjoy with whipped cream and fresh cut strawberries

Mine came out a little wider and flatter than I would have liked, so I suggest forming your dough a bit smaller and taller than mine.
Dough divided into 6 pieces

Finished biscuit

These biscuits are good as strawberry shortcake, but they would also be good with jelly for breakfast.  Enjoy!