Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gluten Free Baking Classes!

Now, in addition to offering baked goods, I'm offering baking classes!  Join me to learn the basics of baking gluten free.  I'll teach you how to make your favorite treats or a few of the basics (chocolate chip cookies anyone?).  Classes are offered for individuals or small groups, so whether you want to master banana muffins on your own or with your friends, I'm your girl.  You'll get to take home the recipes you've learned along with your finished baked goods.

Give the gift of baking.  Know an aspiring baker or someone that needs a little help in the kitchen?  A baking class is a great gift idea!

While I bake gluten free for myself, I'm more than happy to teach you how to bake with regular white or wheat flour.

For more information on baking classes, please email me at anothergfblog@gmail.com

Friday, November 25, 2011

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach is a holiday staple around my house.  My mom makes it every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and sometimes Easter.  I've been helping her with it for years, but it's one of those dishes she doesn't have a recipe for.  This year we noted what we used so I could share it with you.  We used to make it with wheat four, but when I had to go gluten free we switched to rice flour.  It tastes the same.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours.

4 packages frozen chopped spinach
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons rice flour
1 1/4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar

1) Cook the spinach according to the directions on the package.  Drain well.
2) Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft.
3) Add the flour to the onion mixture, whisk until smooth.
4) Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly.  Add the salt and pepper.
5) Keep stirring and allow to thicken slightly, about three minutes.
6) Stir in the cooked spinach and sugar. Heat throughout and serve.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sweet Potato Puree

From allrecipes.com
My mom has made Sweet Potato Puree for the last two Thanksgivings.  They are easy to make, not too sweet, and are a good side dish.  The recipe is right off allrecipes.com.  You can find it here.  I'm using their picture too because I forgot to take one of my own.

We used 6 large sweet potatoes and 2% milk instead of whole milk.  If I was making it on my own I'd probably use skim milk because that's what I have in my apartment.  I'd also probably use a little less butter, just because 6 tablespoons seems like a lot.  Otherwise, this is a great recipe that I'm sure will be making appearances at many of our Thanksgivings to come.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Smart Grain Sage Stuffing

I picked up this stuffing at G-Free NYC.  I made it for our pre-Thanksgiving day feast tonight and I was very happy with it, especially since the gluten free stuffing I tried last year pretty much sucked.

To make the stuffing I started by sauteing up some onion, mushrooms, and celery.  Then, in a large pot, I melted half a stick of butter into a quarter cup of gluten free chicken broth.  To that I added the sauteed vegetables and package of sage stuffing.  I combined it all and then we cooked it right in the turkey.  It started to crumble a little as I was taking it out of the bird, but it held up pretty well.  I'll be bringing left overs of it to our real Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow so I don't have to miss out on Thanksgiving day stuffing.

I can't seem to find a website for this company, but I'd recommend it for any gluten free holiday.

Mashed Cauliflower

I saw this recipe for Mashed Cauliflower on Elana's Pantry.  I love mashed potatoes, but sometimes they can be a bit heavy.  For the pre-Thanksgiving meal we had tonight, I wanted to try something a bit lighter.  This recipe is a nice substitute.  It has a great flavor, is really easy to make, is much healthier than mashed potatoes, and is still a good vehicle to hold gravy.

1 large head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

1. Steam the cauliflower until very tender
2. Put the cauliflower, butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mash (or puree)
3. Top with some more butter and parsley if you'd like

That's it.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow we are off to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving.  My mom wanted to have turkey left over at our house, so we did a pre-Thanksgiving dinner tonight.  The best part of tonight's dinner?  The entire meal was gluten free!

Tonight we had:
Gluten Free Gravy*
Gluten Free Stuffing
Mashed Cauliflower
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Tomorrow we are making and bringing:
Creamed Spinach
Sweet Potato Puree
Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Everything we bring tomorrow will be gluten free as well.  I'll bring left over stuffing and gravy to have with my meal tomorrow.  I'll also bring some gluten free crackers for the appetizers.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I'm very happy that my family is being so accommodating to my needs.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

*I'm not posting a recipe for the gravy because my mom makes it and I honestly don't know how.  I do know she made it gluten free by using rice flour instead of wheat flour to thicken it.

Kinnikinnick Graham Style Cracker Crumbs

I've made my pumpkin pie several more times since that first unfortunate incident without the eggs.  Each time it has turned out great, but quite frankly the process of crushing the the grahams is a bit tedious and I always quit before they are as small as I really want them.

Last week I stumbled upon already crushed grahams at G-Free NYC!  I just made my Thanksgiving pie using these crumbs and it was so easy.  I highly recommend this product for your gluten free graham cracker pie crusts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breakfast in the Airport

This morning when my alarm went off at 6 am for my 9 am flight to Vermont for Thanksgiving, I had no breakfast in my house.  I figured I would find something at the airport, although airports are notoriously bad for their gluten free, or healthy, options. Until recently. Some organic health kick has become mainstream and airports have jumped on board. This morning, right across from my gate, stood CIBO Express Gourmet Market. It was full of lots of organic things. I skimmed the cereal selection with no real hope of finding anything gluten free. And then it jumped out at me - Gorilla Munch cereal! I love Gorilla Munch. Ok ok, it's made for kids, but it's gluten free and delicious. It kind of tastes like Kix, one of my childhood favorites. I've bought Gorilla Munch a few times in the last year.

I got the cereal, soy milk to put in it, some strawberries to put on top, and an ice tea. What a great gluten free breakfast, especially for an airport. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing until I was checking out and they charged me $16.32.  I may have gotten a good breakfast, but the airport got me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough by French Meadow Bakery

I love cookies.  In fact, I kind of have a problem with cookies.  As in, I eat too many of them.  As a result of said problem, I'm not allowed to have cookies in my home.  I try to only make or buy them for special occasions or when I have people around to share them with.  Otherwise, I will, without a doubt, eat them all.

Despite my problem, I love baking.  I've toyed with the idea of opening a bakery for awhile so I can bake for other people.  I have also thought of making gluten free cookie dough so people can bake up fresh cookies whenever they want.

One day I came across French Meadow Bakery online and saw that they have Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
I immediately sent my parents this email: "These people stole my idea!  Are you guys sure you don't want to support me for the rest of my life so I can just bake and hang out?"  It turns out they don't.

I, of course, still wanted to try these cookies.  I was getting together with some friends on Friday and decided it was the perfect time to try them.

Short story short, they were great.  My man friend and I tried a raw one before baking the rest and it tasted just like regular cookie dough.  The baked cookies were just as good.  Even though making your own cookies is easy and fun, I was excited to have hot out of the oven gluten free chocolate chip cookies without any of the work.  So excited that I accidentally ate most of them even though I got them to share with everyone.  Which is exactly why I never bought them on my own.  You should, though, because they are really good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harrison's Restaurant - Hilton Garden Inn State College

I'm in State College for a few days for more business meetings.  I'm watching the whole Penn State scandal unfold on TV as it unfolds outside my window.  Because my meeting isn't until this evening, I was going to drive to Philipsburg to have lunch at the 1921 Restaurant in the Philips Hotel.  I found this place on the Gluten Free Travel Site as well.  Alas, due to the rain and my general laziness, I decided to just stay in my hotel all day.

It turns out that the restaurant in the Hilton Garden Inn where I'm staying also has gluten free options on their menu.  I was unnaturally excited when I noticed this.  I was having a hard time deciding between the Quinoa Risotto, the Mesclun Greens with Rosemary Chicken Salad, and the Modern Waldorf Salad, but the waiter suggested the chicken salad and I was sold.  I was tempted to get a soup to go with it, but decided against it.  They have at least two gluten free soups each day.  At dinner they also have a few gluten free dishes and gluten free pasta.  Having gluten free options is so nice for gluten free guests at the hotel.  I would stay here again just knowing that I could eat safely and well.

I'd also try the Philips Hotel if I was in the area again.  Any one know of other hotels with gluten free eating options?  Not just in PA, but anywhere?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bella Frutteto

Normal people book their hotels near where they need to be.  I book mine near restaurants I want to try (within reason).  I flew into Pittsburgh two weekends ago and I needed to be in Butler the next afternoon for a meeting.  I booked my hotel somewhere between the Pittsburgh Airport and Butler so I could eat at Bella Frutteto, which I found on the Gluten Free Travel Site.

I went to Bella Frutteto on a Saturday night by myself.  I was feeling very brave.  And hungry.  When I finally found Bella Frutteto it reminded me a lot of my parent's restaurant Sarducci's.  It was busy so I decided to eat at the bar and pretended to watch the football game.  The reason I wanted to try Bella Fruttto was because they have a huge gluten free menu.  After much deliberation I ordered the Sausage and Chicken Pasta with a side Spinach Salad.  They were both really good.  I started with the salad which had granny smith apples, gorgonzola, and walnuts.  The pasta had chicken, sausage, mozzarella, and a tomato cream sauce over gluten free pasta.  It was amazing.  I'm craving it again now as I write this post.  If I ever have the opportunity to go back I'd love to try the Harvest Chicken Salad or Balsamic Chicken.

If you ever find yourself within an hour radius of Wexford, PA, I highly suggest you stop by this place.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Legal Sea Foods - Philadelphia Airport

Flying from Philly to Pittsburgh last week for work I found myself with a few hours to kill in the Philadelphia airport.  I decided to treat myself to lunch at Legal Sea Foods because I knew they had a gluten free menu.  It's pretty rare to find gluten free food in an airport, so this was a nice treat.

What wasn't a nice treat was seeing the calories listed for each item.  I know they legally have to do this, but wow is it a downer.  I was only going to get a salad because I didn't want to pay $30 for lunch in an airport, but having to decide between the calories of my meal and the price of my meal was rather unfortunate.  I ended up getting a cesar salad with grilled shrimp.  It was very good and even had gluten free croutons on it.  It also added an extra 1,000+ calories to my day.  (Salads, by definition, should not be a thousand calories!) Like when I ate at Legal Sea Foods in Boston, I was served warm gluten free roles and the manager brought over my meal and informed me that they took my food allergy very seriously.  A nice touch I think.

Then I was off to Pittsburgh.  I made sure to utilize the hotel gym when I got there so I could eat dinner without exploding.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


*I have learned that Relish is now closed.* - March 2013

I found Relish on the Gluten Free Travel Site and made a point of going when I was in Allentown, PA.  They have so many gluten free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I was sad I only had the time to go once.

For such a casual place, the menu is pretty impressive.  For breakfast they have pancakes, french toast, waffles, omelets, and eggs benedict.  For lunch they have numerous salads and sandwiches.  At dinner they add on some appetizers and entrees.

I was bound and determined to get the mac and cheese, and seeing as it was only a side dish, I got the Thai Cobb Salad to go along with it.  The salad had mango, coconut, peanuts, snow peas, and carrots on a bed of lettuce.  It was different and fun.  The macaroni and cheese, unfortunately, wasn't as good as I was hoping for.  It consisted of globby gluten free pasta with some cheese on it.  I was expecting more of a bechamel cheese sauce, but I guess I was just hoping for my mom's mac and cheese and that's not really fair.  For dessert I got some amazing cheesecake to go from Moondance Desserts.

Despite not loving the mac and cheese, there are so many other things at Relish I want to try: blueberry pancakes, eggs benedict, asian pear salad, fresh grilled chicken wrap, southern pulled pork sandwich, pizza, mini potato pancakes, crab cakes, mozzarella sticks, tropical tilapia, pork chops, gluten free ravioli, and pretty much everything else.  I can't wait until my next meeting in the Allentown area.  I'll definitely be stopping by Relish again.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Olive Garden

The second food stop on my Pennsylvania gluten free eating tour business trip was the Olive Garden in Lancaster.  I used to like the Olive Garden ok pre-gluten free.  I was a bit spoiled growing up seeing as my parents own an Italian restaurant and all, but you can't go too wrong with pasta.  Unless, of course, it's gluten free pasta.

The Olive Garden has a gluten free menu, but while their regular menu boasts several different choices, the gluten free menu only has a few: two salads, two pasta dishes that are basically the same, salmon, steak, chicken, or a combo of steak and chicken if you are feeling really wild.

I got the pasta because I wanted to try their gluten free pasta.  It was extremely disappointing.  It seemed as though they made a batch of gluten free pasta that morning and kept it all day long just waiting for someone to order it.  That someone was me, and I was not happy.  Not only was it old, but the portion was small and the pasta fell apart.

While my experience wasn't very good, I'd give the Olive Garden another shot.  Next time I'll try a more metropolitan location where they are more likely to serve more than one gluten free person a week.

Has anyone else attempted gluten free at Olive Garden?  Success or failure?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Deliso Pizza

My first gluten free stop on my Pennsylvania work adventure was Deliso Pizza in Gettysburg.  My man friend agreed to come on this road trip with me, but unbeknownst to us, it was fall weekend at Gettysburg College and all the hotels in town were booked.  After much searching I finally found a room at the Motel 6.  We checked in on a Saturday afternoon and I had to run off to my work meeting.  I left him in a room that felt dirty, damp, and smelled like pool.  The reason for the pool smell was that the indoor pool and hot tub were right on the other side of our room's window.  It was weird, but I had to run.

After my meeting, where the hostess graciously made a full gluten free lunch for me, I picked up my man friend and we went to see the sights of Gettysburg.  We went on a tour of the Shriver House and checked out the National Cemetery where we saw where Lincoln made his Gettysburg Address.

After all this cultural history it was time for some dinner.  We drove a mile or so outside of town to Deliso Pizza.  It is a very casual pizza place where families were eating pizza and police offers were having some subs.  My man friend and I decided to get some food to go.  They had gluten free baked ziti and I was sold immediately.  We decided to get a six pack of Woodchuck hard cider and really make a party out of that old Motel 6.  I was very happy with my baked ziti.  It's just the kind of thing I used to order from takeout before my gluten free days.  I missed it in my life.  Matched with the Woodchuck Cider and Boardwalk Empire on the lap top, it was a very successful evening.  We even went in the hot tub and prayed not to catch the clap.

If you ever find yourself in Gettysburg, PA, I recommend you stop by Deliso for some gluten free baked ziti, or pizza if that's your thing.

On the Road

I have to travel to Pennsylvania a lot for my new job.  Not Philly or Pittsburgh so much as small town America, PA.  In the last month I've been to Main Line, Gettysburg, Altoona, Lancaster, Allentown, Blue Mountain area, and Butler - in that order.  I have a few other stops to make in the next few weeks as well - including Lewistown, Williamsport, the Poconos, and Bucks County.  I've been traveling by planes, trains, automobiles, and buses.  I also took an Amish buggy tour in Lancaster.

Eating on the road can be hard.  Especially gluten free.  Sure its ok to eat some (gluten free) french fries every once in awhile, but really more than once a trip is gross.  I knew I'd be on the road for days at a time, so in preparation I spent several hours researching different places to eat around the state.  I knew which towns I needed to visit so I looked for restaurants near those areas using the Gluten Free Travel Site.  This site is so helpful.  There are thousands of reviews for places all over the globe.  I've done a few reviews myself and I encourage you to add one if you know of somewhere that hasn't already been reviewed.  Without the help of other gluten free folks posting, I'd be eating a whole lot more french fries than I wanted to on these trips.

I was able to compile a list of over 30 restaurants with gluten free menus throughout Pennsylvania using this site.  There were many more listed, but not in the areas I was traveling.   So far I've been to:

Deliso Pizza in Gettysburg
Olive Garden  - a chain, but in Lancaster
Relish in Allentown
Legal Seafoods - another chain, this time I went in the Philly Airport
Bella Frutteto - outside Pittsburgh

Anyone have any restaurant suggestions in Pennsylvania?  Tips for eating on the road?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Moondance Heavenly Desserts

Um, I just had one of these mini cheesecakes from Moondance Heavenly Desserts and had to let you know about it immediately.  Because it was, indeed, heavenly.  The cheesecake part was creamy and delicious.  The pecan shortbread crust was great.  And I'm glad it was personal sized so I didn't eat 16 servings of it.  If all their other products are as good as this one, they have a really good thing going for them.  I highly suggest this little piece of cheesecake heaven.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vermont Gluten Free Brownies

I'm home in Vermont for a few days and loving it.  It's such a change from my daily life in the big city.  While home I generally sit around and do nothing in my pajamas.  My big activities today included two walks and a trip to the Co-Op.  I then proceeded to bake a pumpkin pie and make dinner with my brother.

The Co-Op has a fairly large gluten free selection.  It's where I get the Kinnikinnick graham crackers for the pumpkin pies.  Today I picked up a vermont gluten free brownie.  It looked like this:

And it was delicious.  Way better than I was expecting.  I love the co-op, but I've tried a few different freshly baked gluten free products from there with not much success.  Often they are too dry, too crumbly, and the taste is not worth the calories.  Not the case with this brownie.  It was moist, stayed together, and worth every bite.

I like the idea of this company because it's a mother daughter team from my hometown of Barre.  It makes me think that maybe one day I can start a little gluten free bakery of my own somewhere.  In the mean time, I'm glad these ladies are around making gluten free treats to share with my fellow Vermonters.