Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daisy's Grits in Bryant Park



I stumbled upon the Holiday Shops in Bryant Park recently and was pleasantly surprised by the ice skating rink, shops, and food booths.  I make it a point to go to the Union Square Holiday Market every year and somehow missed that there was also one in Bryant Park.  This was such a nice discovery and to make it even better, I found a booth with gluten free food: Daisy's Grits!

I always look for gluten free signs wherever I am (this is normal, right?).  I was so happy to find a gluten free sign on the booth of Daisy's Grits.  They have many choices including sweet, savory, and even some vegan options. Almost every one of their menu options is gluten free except for the ones with soy sauce.  I tried the Colombian Chorizo with cheddar cheese.  The grits are topped with Pecorino Romano cheese, pepper, chives, bacon (if you want), and a special seasoning.  Basically, they are warm and delicious.  This is a perfect meal to enjoy while you sit and watch people skate or to take home.  They are also very reasonably priced for a meal in midtown.

The Holiday Shops in Bryant Park are open until January 6th.  If you happen to be in Bryant Park in the next few weeks be sure to stop by.  It's worth it!

A Year of Flour

Photo Credit

Last year for Christmas I asked for flour.  Lots of flour.  I was trying to find a flour blend that I liked and wanted to experiment with making my own.  There were recipes I wanted to try that called for several different flours and I didn't have any of them.  I also wanted to try all the different flours I was reading about to get a sense of the different flavors.  But, as many of you know, gluten free flour can be expensive.  Really expensive.  Especially when you want to try 15 different kinds.

So I put in an ask into Momma K for a box of goodies from Bob's Red Mill.  Included was almond flour, coconut flour, millet flour, amaranth flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, oat flour, teff flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum.  I also asked for a bag of Cup 4 Cup.

I set off baking and tried all of these flours in different variations.  The Cup 4 Cup was gone within a few days as it was the first thing I tried.  As I mentioned in my post, I liked it, but it is so expensive I wouldn't normally buy it for myself.

Many of the other flours are gone, but some are resting hardly touched in my refrigerator.  I enjoyed the sorghum, millet, and sweet rice flours the most.  I find the brown and white rice flours the the most versatile.  I tended not to use the starches or xanthan gum because I generally find them unnecessary.

I only flour I really did not like was the amaranth flour.  I only used a little bit of it in two different recipes and I did not like the taste it produced.  The quinoa flour also has a strong taste so I tend not to use that too much.  I haven't found many opportunities to use the buckwheat, teff, almond, oat, or coconut flour.  Who's got recipes for me?

I would like to try this mix from the Gluten Free Girl since I did like the flours she uses in her demonstration, but at the end of the day I'm kind of embarrassed to say that after all my research I still use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour mixed with rice flour for most of my baking.  I found that I wasn't able to create anything as reliable and it seems to be more cost effective than continuing to buy several different kind of flours.

How about you?  What's your favorite GF flour mix?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Caesar's Pasta Review


I recently received some free samples of Caesar's Pasta.  Caesar's has been around for 42 years making frozen pasta dishes with high quality, all natural ingredients.   They recently introduced their gluten free line which includes lasagna, stuffed shells, ravioli, manicotti, gnocchi, and more.

I really loved the meat ravioli.  Ravioli is never high on my list of things I want to order at restaurants or make for dinner, but this ravioli was so good I would definitely buy it for myself.  I have only tried one other brand of gluten free ravioli and it completely fell apart while cooking and then got stuck to my strainer.  Caesar's gluten free ravioli not only tasted great, but it held up really well.

I like Caesar's not only because it tastes good, but also because their meat and cheese come from grass fed cows. Grass fed cows are happy cows.  Happy cows taste better.  It's a proven fact.

Next, I would like to try their gnocchi.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Say It Loud

Gluten Hurts My Tummy Ornament (Round)

I ran across this website today and it made me laugh.  Because yes, gluten does hurt my tummy.  I want this.  I also like this one:

Gluten Free Kisses Only Ornament (Round)

Get it, kisses? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

biPro Whey Protein


Last month the folks at biPro emailed me asking if I'd like to try their Whey Protein.  I like to try new things so they sent me a few samples.  biPro is unflavored, gluten free, carb free, sugar free, fat free, and lactose free.  It is 100% pure protein and doesn't have any added fillers.  I don't generally use protein powder in my day to day life, but two men in my life do.  I figured I'd give it a try and ask them to try it as well to get their expert opinions.

My man friend runs his own personal training company.  Not only does he train people, but he exercises a lot.  (I eat cookies a lot.)  He usually has a protein shake before he goes to the gym.  Here's what he thought of biPro:

"I think the product is good mainly because it's natural in comparison to similar products.  Other protein products are compounded with unnecessary ingredients that don't necessarily digest well.  Although I normally would rather a flavored brand of protein, this one mixes well with chocolate and fruit when making smoothies."

Because he usually just mixes protein powder with water quickly before the gym, he prefers when the powder has a taste.  Conversely, my dad has been searching for a protein powder that does not have a taste.  He had major surgery a year ago that has made it very difficult for him to gain weight (not a problem I am familiar with).  He is very particular and hates sweet drinks.  He has been drinking smoothies with protein powder as an afternoon snack and really dislikes the flavors of the protein powder sold in most stores.  biPro was a good find for him because it is unflavored and easy to digest on his post surgery body.

I love smoothies and decided to mix biPro with one I purchased by work.  I prefer all fruit smoothies rather than the addition of milk, yogurt, or ice cream.  However, I do like my smoothies a little thicker.  biPro thickened my smoothie without the addition of any fat or carbs.  What's not to like about that?

With my samples came a few different recipes for baking with biPro, all of which are gluten free.  I didn't get a chance to try any of them, but I think it's a cool idea.  Overall, I think biPro is a good product for whatever your whey protein needs may be.

Disclaimer - I did not pay for my samples of biPro.  However, everything I said here is true.

Thanksgiving 2012

I didn't take any pictures while I was home.  This is from the summer.
But it is the view from my backyard.  Vermont is lovely.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It's all about food and family.  I like it so much that this year I went to Canada for Canadian Thanksgiving just so I could celebrate the holiday twice.  Around Thanksgiving time most food bloggers post all sorts of new recipes for the holiday.  I didn't because we eat the same thing every year and I love it.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Last year we had to adapt Thanksgiving to be gluten free.  With the experimenting last year, this year was a breeze.  My mom even made me homemade gluten free stuffing this year using Udi's bread since I've never tried a packaged GF stuffing I've enjoyed.  I bought a mini GF pumpkin pie at the local co-op since I really didn't need an entire full size gluten free pie laying around.  It was pretty delicious.  We also had the creamed spinach, sweet potatoes, and mashed cauliflower again.  This year we added brussels sprouts to the menu, which I love.  I also had Almond Nut Thins around for all the cracker and cheese appetizers.

I spent six days at home laying low, eating good food, and visiting with family and friends.  What could be better?

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey - ebook review


Last Monday I got an email from Sibel Hodge asking if I'd like to review her cookbook: A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey.  My first thought was "heck yes".  My second thought was "...what is Turkish food?"  I didn't have to wonder for long because within a few hours I had a copy of Sibel's ebook.

Sibel has dual Turkish Cypriot and British nationality.  She started cooking gluten free for her husband who has Celiac.  I really enjoyed this little anecdote in her introduction about getting to know her husband:

I’m coeliac,’ he admitted sheepishly, just after I’d invited him round for dinner early on in our relationship.

‘Coeliac?’ I gave him an odd look, thinking he was trying to prepare me for some bizarre sexual quirk that sounded a bit dodgy.

Well, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, I can tell you, when he explained to me he had a disease that meant he was unable to eat gluten, not someone who wanted to dress up in lederhosen and be slapped with stinging nettles. Then I thought, unable to eat gluten? That must be really horrible, but how difficult can it be to cater for that? Well, not as easy as I first thought…

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey is filled with funny little notes as well as a lot of great recipes.  It is broken into Meze, Soup, Salad, Egg Dishes, Pasta, Vegetable Dishes, Meat Dishes, Seafood, Dessert, Bread, and Drinks.  I like it because most of the recipes are naturally gluten free.

I couldn't decide on just one dish, so I made a Turkish feast (shout out to my boyfriend who eats everything I cook, even when I clearly have no idea what I'm doing).  I started with a yogurt and cucumber dip served with fresh veggies and individual corn bread.  I love yogurt dip as a dip, but also on main dishes like chicken and rice.  I'm so happy that now I know how to make it on my own.  The individual corn bread reminded me more of corn fritters than of what I would traditionally call corn bread.  But hey, who doesn't like a corn fritter?

I made two main dishes: Aubergine Bake and Chicken Casserole.  Aubergine is what we call eggplant in the US. According to Sibel, eggplants are eaten daily in one form or another in Turkey and North Cyprus.  I haven't cooked with eggplant in awhile so it seemed like a good opportunity.  Both of these recipes call for mozzarella melted on top.  How can you go wrong with melted cheese on top?  The answer is, you can't.

Other recipes I'd like to try include: Hummus, Sexy Cabbage, Bean Salad, and Beetroot Salad.

Overall I like this cookbook.  Sibel is funny and it's nice to have recipes on hand from a different type of cuisine.  A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey is available on Amazon for $4.99 and will be available in paperback soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Halloween Again!



 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Hey Folks.  It's Halloween again except this year I practically forgot because of a little storm named Sandy.  I was supposed to be in San Francisco right now trick or treating with my three year old nephew Gus and 6 month old niece Vivian.  Instead, I was home all day reading and cleaning because flights and public transportation just aren't happening.  Work was cancelled, which is great except that it means I didn't come across any fun sized Halloween treats.  I figured I better re-post my post from last year so you can remember how much I love candy and in case you need a reminder of what candy is gluten free what candy is in the danger zone.  Have a fun and safe day!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fresh Restaurant Toronto

 

I went out to eat twice when I was in Toronto and both times was to Fresh.  That's right, I liked it so much the first time I went back the next morning for bunch.  View the menu here.  Saturday afternoon we went for lunch and I had the Baby Buddha on brown rice and a smoothie.  Sunday morning I had the gluten free vegan blueberry pancakes served with real maple syrup.  These people really know the way to my heart.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bunner's Vegan and Gluten Free Bakeshop - Toronto

As I mentioned in my post about visiting Toronto last weekend for Canadian Thanksgiving, Amanda's sister was nice enough to bring gluten free stuffing and pumpkin pie for me.  She got the goods from Bunner's.  Bunner's is a vegan and gluten free bakery in Toronto.  The stuffing was perfect with my Thanksgiving meal and the pie was perfect for dessert.  I was extremely thankful.

Not only did she buy the stuffing and pumpkin pie, but she also got a cinnamon bun.  Her husband sampled the bun in the car on the way to Thanksgiving dinner and deemed it uneatable.  I sampled it when she arrived and deemed it heaven on earth.  With all the amazing food available I kept craving this cinnamon bun and taking little pieces off of it throughout the night.  I then suavely put it in my purse to take back with me to Padmini's apartment.

When we got home Padmini and I laid on her couch in our lounge clothes and kept talking about how full we were.  The next morning we woke up and had pie for breakfast.  To accompany our pie Padmini had a carrot cake cupcake and I had the remainder of the cinnamon bun warmed up in the oven.  Did I already mention it was heaven on earth?  Let me tell you, it's a good thing there isn't a Bunner's in New York or I would be in big vegan gluten free cinnamon bun from heaven trouble. BIG TROUBLE.

I haven't been to the Bunner's location, but if you are ever in Toronto I highly suggest you stop by for a treat.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving!

Last weekend I went to Toronto for Canadian Thanksgiving.  The fact that it was Canadian Thanksgiving was just an added bonus to the fact that I got to see my three roommates from college.  I transferred to McGill junior year and was very fortunate to land in an apartment with such great people.

This is us in college.
I've seen all three of these ladies several times since college, but this was the first time the four of us had been together since we lived together.  We only got to spend a few hours all together this visit, but it was aca-awesome.  We chatted and saw Pitch Perfect. Go see Pitch Perfect.

Sunday, Amanda's aunt graciously took me and Padmini into her home for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving in Canada is pretty similar to Thanksgiving in the United States in that it revolves around family and eating lots of good food.  Amanda's family is Italian so in addition to the traditional Thanksgiving cuisine (turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, and cranberry sauce), they had focaccia and eggplant parmigiana.

Their Thanksgiving was amazingly nearly gluten free.  I couldn't eat the focaccia, eggplant parmigiana, or stuffing, but I could eat mostly everything else.  They make their gravy with cornstarch instead of flour and her sister got me gluten free stuffing and gluten free pumpkin pie!  Canadians are so friendly.

Not only was the food amazing, but the company was great.  Thanksgiving at my house is all about food and crazy family dynamics and it was very similar at Amanda's.  From the sister of her uncle by marriage that mostly spoke Italian and asked me when I was getting married, to her uncle that said that he too could be stunning with all the bullshit women put on their faces, to Amanda and her brother in law getting into a heated discussion about organic food, I had a great time.  I had such a nice time I'm thinking of inviting myself back next year as well.

Thank you Amanda for having me at your family gathering and thank you Padmini for hosting me.  Thank you Tahnee for being you.  I love and miss you all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Food Bloggers in NYC Meetup at Murray's Cheese

 

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm a member of the New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group.  I've met some really nice people this way and most importantly gotten a lot of good information about Celiac Disease.

A few weeks ago my friend Mallory over at total noms and co-owner of Mile End Bakery decided she wanted to start a meetup for Food Bloggers in NYC.  As a fellow food blogger and friend, I signed right up.  Within just a few days there were over 80 members!


The first meetup was Tuesday night at Murray's Cheese Bar in the West Village.  I'd never been and I'm really not sure why.  Who doesn't like cheese?!  The menu has many different cheeses broken up into: fresh, soft-ripened, washed rind, semi-firm and firm, and blue. They also have several kinds of meats.  If you aren't in the mood for just cheese and meat standing on their own, they also have sandwiches, fondue, mac & cheese, enchiladas, and salads.

I opted to have two cheeses and a meat.  With all the different cheeses on the menu I wasn't sure what to get and let the cheesemonger (yes, that's a real word) choose for me.  I ended up with a Rainbeau Ride Meridian fresh cheese, Ewephoria Gouda semi-firm, and Creminelli Wild Boar Salami.  It was excellent and I really liked the cute slate it was served on.  I would definitely go back.  My picture turned out terribly but Mallory captured a photo of someone else's that was very nice:


Murray's Cheese Bar + Food Bloggers in NYC Meetup

Not only was the food good, but so was the company.  I met a few nice people with food blogs and some that are interested in starting food blogs.  I look forward to our future events.  If you have a food blog and live in NYC, come join us!

Check out Mallory's review on Total Noms and my new blogger friend Rechelle's on Romio.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cereal Envy

I don't know about everyone else, but I really love cereal.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, it doesn't matter the time of day.  Pre-gluten free I ate a lot of cereal: Kix, Cheerio's, Grape Nuts, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Smart Start, Chex, Frosted Mini Wheats, Granola, and the list of delicious cereals goes on and on.  Gluten free me sometimes just stands in the cereal aisle at my local grocery store dreaming and reminiscing.  That sounds creepy, so just kidding (not kidding at all).

One of my favorite cereals was Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds.  You know what the Honey Bunches of Oats site says about it's cereal?  "Bunches of Love".  I want bunches of love!  Instead of feeling badly for myself about not having delicious bunches of love, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  You know what they say, "When life hands you Celiac, make your own Honey Bunches of Oats".  Or something like that.

I came across this cereal at my local health food store:
Perfect!  Then I made half a batch of this granola without the pumpkin and cranberry parts.  Then I just mixed it all together.      I was a bit weary of it dry, but with milk this morning it was pretty good.  Not the same of course, but I felt good about it.  Next time: more honey.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Celiac Awareness Day!


Hey folks.  It's Celiac Awareness Day!  To celebrate, Mallory and I are offering 10% off all gluten free cookies from our super cool online bakery: Mile End Bakery.  Use the discount code CELIAC2012 at checkout today only.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Healthy Living Market and Cafe

I was in Vermont again last weekend.  This time I went for work.  I had to sit at a table in Burlington for several hours and hand out information about my company.  Not my normal job, but I'm always willing to help out when needed...especially when it means I get to go home for free.

Knowing that I was going to be sitting at a table for the majority of an afternoon, I wanted to bring lunch with me.  I went to the trusty Gluten Free Travel Site and searched Burlington, VT.  It was there I stumbled upon a review for Healthy Living Market and Cafe across from the University Mall.  It was a perfect quick stop before I headed downtown for an afternoon on the waterfront of Lake Champlain.

At the risk of sounding like the dorky gluten free person I am, Healthy Living Market was amazing.  They have an entire gluten free section when you first enter the store.  I don't mean a small section of an aisle.  I mean a whole mini store within the store.  It gives G-Free NYC a run for it's money.  Here's a low quality picture I took in my excitement:
You can't really tell how amazing it is from the picture, but they have everything.  What you see here are mostly the dry goods.  There is a row of freezers all along the left hand side with only gluten free stuff.  To the right before the food there is a section with gluten free magazines and books.  In the middle there is beer and behind that fresh baked goods and bread.  Nearly every gluten free product I've ever seen was here.  I even saw (and purchased) the new New Planet beer everyone's been talking about.  I also got the Bakery on Main instant oatmeal I've been wanting to try.  Seriously, this store has everything I could ever want for my gluten free needs.

But that's not all!  That only covers the market part.  They also have a cafe with lots of gluten free goods.  I got a gluten free raspberry muffin that was great.  And then... I was able to order a sandwich from the deli for the first time since I was diagnosed with Celiac 2 years ago!

For those of you that don't know me, this is very exciting.  I miss sandwiches and being able to order them for lunch.  We had to play an icebreaker with the summer interns at my job in June.  Everyone had to write down a t-shirt slogan that describes them and then other people have to guess who's slogan goes with who.  Mine said "I miss sandwiches."  I hate icebreakers.

I wish I could tell you I loved my sandwich, but I wasn't that happy with the bread. I did really really appreciate it though.  They have a hot bar with lots of gluten free options and I hear they even have gluten free pizza sometimes.

If you are gluten free and live within an hour of this place you have to go.  Or, if you are visiting lovely Burlington, VT, make sure to stop by.  Honestly, it's better than Whole Foods.  That's right, I said it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I've Missed You Too

From my backyard in Vermont.

I've been missing recently and it's because of a few different reasons.  First, this was my very busy season at work.  And let me tell you, it was a crazy summer.

Second, well, my brother and I have just about eaten our way through most of the gluten free restaurants in New York City.  Sure, there are some I haven't reviewed.  Some that I had nothing nice to say about.  And a few out there I'm still hoping to discover.  I've also been trying to avoid packaged foods because generally they are not as good for you, and while I'd love to eat them all, I'd also love to  fit into my "skinny" pants again.  The world is full of tough decisions.

Since May I've been to DC, Vermont five times, Montreal, Connecticut twice, Pennsylvania, a boat cruise around New York City at night, Long Island for a day at the beach, two weddings, and a baby shower in the Bronx where the mom had gone into labor the night before and missed her own shower.  I've also had my work emails synched to my phone and basically been working 24/7 since mid June.  There was also a small incident of not having a job and then having a job again a few days later.  Not only is life full of tough decisions, but it's also quite unpredictable.

But here we are again and I assure you, I have been eating all this time.  The nice man overseeing the food at the wedding I went to was able to get me a gluten free plate.  My parents make sure to have gluten free pasta and bread on hand when I get home to Vermont for the fresh pesto from the garden and sandwiches made with lettuce and tomato picked right in the back yard.

I went to my boyfriend's 5 year college reunion in Connecticut.  A college I also went to and then transferred from.  It was a lot of fun and my dear boyfriend called ahead to make sure they would have gluten free food for me.  It was about the nicest thing.  And sure enough, they did.  For every meal there were gluten free options, including a box of these on the table of snacks for the drunk people:
KinniKritters Animal Crackers
Acting like I was in college again, I proceeded to indulge in alcoholic beverages and then steal this box of animal crackers off the table meant for everyone and carry them around all night because I decided they had been bought special for me.  I'm sure they had.

Fast forward to this last weekend and said boyfriend took me on a picnic.  I've been asking him to go on a picnic for the last four years and Friday he suggested we go.  It was great.  I brought sandwiches made on Udi's bread, veggies and hummus, a fruit platter, cool ranch dorrito's, beverages, and more KinniKritters Animal Crackers.  This time I tried the graham style animal crackers, you know, to switch it up. 

Our picnic spread looked like this:


The graham style animal crackers looks like this:
I thought they were good but my boyfriend said, "These are different.  Most of the time your gluten free stuff tastes the same.  But these are different."  I disagree.  In my animal cracker expertise, the KinniKritters Animal Crackers are more like the animal crackers that used to come in tubs:
while the KinniKritters Graham Style Animal Crackers are more like the ones that used to come in the box with the handle:

See?  They each have a different taste.  Both are good, depending on your mood.  Phew, I'm glad I cleared that up.  And thank you for not mentioning that KinniKritters actually call their animal crackers "cookies".  I've been trying to ignore that.

Ok, enough for now.  As I write this I'm sitting on my front porch in Vermont.  I'm wearing long pants and a sweater.  Fall in definitely in the air.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Total Noms Smores


This post isn't about me.  It's about my super cool friend Mallory.  Mallory is co-owner of Mile End Bakery with me and author of the food blog total noms.  She has a cool day job, created our whole website, and takes great photos. To add to her overall coolness, her photo (above) from her post about smores was featured on Food Porn Daily today!  I am so proud.

1) I love smores.
2) Like Mallory's post on smores, I love summer camp.

Smores alone are amazing.  But adding the nutella?  Yum.  She even said it's supposed to have an oreo on there too.  I think that might be putting it a bit over the edge for me, but hey, in the name of research and expanding my horizon (waist line?), I'd give it a try.

Don't worry folks, there are plenty of gluten free grahams and faux oreos out there to make this dream a reality.  If anyone tries it with the oreo let me know your findings!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

GLUTEN for Sale

"Gluten Free" is so hip these days.  It's on everything.  You know what's not normally advertised?  Gluten.  Pure gluten.  Except in Queens.

I was walking down 30th Avenue in Astoria this weekend and passed a Thai restaurant. I picked up one of their takeout menus to check out just for fun.  They have silly sayings next to some of their dishes such as "You got to love this dish" and "The sweet chili paste still rock".  It wasn't until later that I noticed they offer Gluten as one of their topping additions.  You know, like Pad Thai with tofu, veggies, chicken, beef, shrimp, or gluten.

Huh?  What does that even mean?  How do you put "gluten" on top of Pad Thai?  I was feeling a bit sassy so I called to ask.  The conversation went a bit like this:

Lady: Yajai
Me: Hi.  I picked up your menu today and I'm wondering what the "Gluten" is you offer.
Lady: Huh?
Me: It says I can get Gluten on some of your dishes.  What is that?
Lady: You want Gluten?
Me: No, I'm wondering what it is.  It says I can have Pad Thai with Gluten.  What is the Gluten?
Lady: You want Pad Thai with Gluten?
Me: No.  What is Gluten?
Lady: Oh. Uhhh. I think tofu and beans...
Me: Oh...
(Ladies talking in background.  Seems to be some confusion.)
Lady: Oh uhhh...it's wheat.
Me: So you put wheat on the Pad Thai?
Lady: You want Pad Thai with Gluten?
Me: No thanks.

This left me a bit confused but it later occurred to me what they probably meant.  They have mock duck on their menu and I figured it was made out of Seitan.  Seitan is used to make a lot of the "fake meat" products out there and it's basically just a big hunk of wheat protein (wheat gluten).  I.E.: DANGER.

I think it's pretty funny that Gluten is so proudly displayed on their menu.  Has anyone else been offered "Gluten" before?  Are people starting to eat pure gluten just to spite us gluten free folks?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Georgetown Cupcakes


Georgetown Cupcake was started by two sisters in DC who quit their corporate jobs and started a cute cupcake shop in 2008.  For that, I am eternally jealous.  The shop was so cute, and their cupcakes were so good, that they got their own show on TLC.  I've seen the show a few times and they did one episode where someone wanted to special order GF cupcakes.  The sisters didn't offer GF cupcakes at the time, but they stayed late after the shop was closed and all the utensils were cleaned and made a batch of GF cupcakes.  Everyone was very happy.

Fast forward to now.  I was walking in SoHo with my brother recently and walked past a Georgetown Cupcake.  Apparently they just opened a location in NYC.  Remembering the show and how they didn't normally offer GF cupcakes, I didn't bother going in.  A few days later I happened to read somewhere that Georgetown cupcakes does in fact offer a GF flavor: Gluten Free Lava Fudge.  Clearly, I had to try it.

Coincidentally, I was back in SoHo with my brother on Monday.  It was his half birthday (yes, that's a thing) and we decided we needed some cake.  A perfect time to try Georgetown Cupcake!  Let me tell you, the store is adorable and the gluten free cupcake was amazing.  Not only was it amazing (top 3 GF cupcakes I've ever tried), but the staff was so considerate.  They asked if I was ordering the GF because of an allergy. When I confirmed that I was they changed their gloves before handling it and put it in a separate box than my brother's.  Between the cute shop, the delicious cupcake, and the conscientious handling of my cupcake, these people win big time.  Go try them.  Immediately.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wow Baking Company


I was at LaGuardia Airport last week and came across some gluten free cookies from Wow Baking Company in the Cibo Express. They had individually packaged chocolate chip, peanut butter, ginger molasses, and snickerdoodle cookies. I had a hard time deciding between the chocolate chip and the peanut butter but finally went with the peanut butter because it looked so soft and chewy. It was really good.  Surprisingly good for a prepackaged cookie.

When I got home and looked this company up I found they use all natural ingredients with no hydrogenated oils or refined sugars. In addition to individually wrapped cookies they have bags of cookies, cookie dough, and cake mixes.

This was a great gluten free treat to find in the airport. My only problem with it was it was marked as being two servings. Who, besides my dad, eats half a cookie? Other than that, if you see these cookies in the airport, or elsewhere, I suggest you give them a try.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Celiac Awareness Month

May is Celiac Awareness Month.  Good work on making yourself more aware by reading this.

If you think I've been really lazy and haven't been posting lately, you are correct.  I could make up a bunch of excuses, but really, I have none.  I have been writing for other people's blogs though!  In honor of Celiac Awareness month I did a guest post for Gluten Free Globetrotter about my Pennsylvanian travels.  Check it out.

Also for Celiac Awareness Month, Mile End Bakery is offering 10% off all orders by entering the code CELIAC2012 at checkout.  If you haven't ordered cookies yet, now is the time.

Ok, off to the airport now.  Vermont, here I come.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

peacefood cafe


Located on Amsterdam and 82nd, peacefood cafe is a vegan restaurant with many gluten free options.  They describe themselves as having healthy and delicious food with seasonal and locally grown ingredients when available.  I've been a few times and agree that they have healthy and delicious food.  I'll take their word on the seasonal and locally grown part.

I like getting the vegetable plates.  They have japanese pumpkin, chinese eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, choyote squash, kale, and baby boy choy.  You can choose two or four.  Or you can get two with a cup of soup.  Last week I had some butternut squash soup with zucchini and brussel sprouts.  It was really good and I felt good eating it.

Other gluten free options include fluffy quinoa salad, raw lasagna, raw pizza, raw sushi, potato salad, chickpea fries, and vegetable tamales.  There is also a case of desserts with several gluten free options including cookies, pies, and cheesecake.

This bustling casual restaurant has a really friend staff and the kind of owner that will give you samples of smoothies while you sit at the counter reading a book and eating some butternut squash soup.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bloom's


There is a diner two blocks from my job that has gluten free pancakes.  I've never been because diner food, in my opinion, is for weekend brunch or late night burgers.  Neither of which usually happen near my office. But, tomorrow is my 26th birthday and I thought I'd treat myself to some gluten free pancakes for breakfast this morning.  I didn't have high hopes, but these were pretty good.  They were light and fluffy and everything pancakes should be.  My only qualms were the $10 price tag and the fact that they didn't have real maple syrup, but most diners don't.

Bloom's is on 39th and Lexington in Midtown Manhattan.  They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.  Their extensive gluten free menu includes gluten free pancakes, french toast, and gluten free toast to go with egg dishes in the morning.  Sandwiches are served on gluten free bread and burgers are served on gluten free buns.  They also have salads, entrees, and desserts typical to diners.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another Gluten Filled Cocktail Party

Picture stolen from here.

Why is everything at cocktail parties either wrapped in, or on top of, gluten?  Everything.  Except chicken on a stick.  No one likes vegetables anymore?  Cheese?  Meet and vegetables together?

Tonight I was at the same event I wrote about last year, except this year they didn't have the salmon or the tuna.  They did have chicken on a stick though.  How many pieces of dry chicken on a stick can you eat?  More than you'd like to, that's how many.

Ok, I won't complain anymore.  I had a snack before I went and a snack when I got home.  And several pieces of chicken on a stick in between.  Phew, thanks for listening.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Joan's GF Great Bakes



I've been hearing about Joan's for a long time now but hadn't had the chance to try her products until recently.  Not only was I able to finally give her products a try, but I was able to meet Joan in person at Whole Foods a few weeks ago.  I was there for a book signing, but there were also a lot of gluten free vendors around the store giving out free samples.  Joan was one of them and Erin, the leader of the NYC Celiac Meetup Group and author of Gluten-Free Fun, told me I had to go try some of Joan's products.  I'm glad I did!

I sampled Joan's Corn Toaster Muffins, English Muffins, and Double Chocolate Muffins.  They were all amazing.  I ended up going home with the Corn Toaster Muffins and Multi Grain English Muffins.  The English muffins make a great addition to breakfast and the Corn Toasters are a nice evening treat.  Next I'd like to try Joan's pizza.

Not only were Joan's products really good, but she was very nice herself!  Overall, a winning combination.  Nice work Joan, and thanks for the great products!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pappardella

I stole this picture from the internet.

My brother doesn't really go above mid-town Manhattan.  In fact, he generally tends not to go above Union Square if he doesn't have to.  But tonight I convinced him to meet me for dinner on 75th and Columbus.  Way out of his comfort zone, but since we have eaten at most of the restaurants with gluten free menus in the city, it's always nice to have somewhere new to try.

I learned about Pappardella on twitter a few weeks ago and have been excited to try it ever since (see, twitter can serve a purpose).  I've been meaning to eat healthier recently, but tonight I accidentally ate gluten free garlic bread, gluten free bruschetta with a fava bean spread, gluten free pasta bolognese, and flourless chocolate cake with hazelnut gelato and caramel sauce.  Oh, and my brother had the gluten free salmon dish and I tried some of that too.  Oops!  Don't worry, we shared it all but the pasta.

But here's the thing, with all their gluten free options, I had a hard time deciding.  The gluten free menu was huge and covered everything from appetizers and salads, to pizza and pasta, to meat and fish, to dessert.  They use Schar for their pasta, and I'm pretty sure their bread as well.  The gluten free substitutes were pretty good, but next time I would be interested in trying one of their naturally gluten free dishes such as their grilled rack of grass fed Austrailian lamb with caramelized cipollini onions, and creamy parmesan polenta, or the grilled NY strip steak served with a port wine reduction and garlic mashed potatoes.  And after that I'd like to try their pizza.

Go ahead, go to the Upper West side and give it a try.  Then let me know what you think.

Friday, March 30, 2012

4 Ingredients Gluten-Free Cookbook


I was at Whole Foods this week for a cooking demo and book signing by Kim McCosker of 4 Ingredients.  Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham started their cookbook series 4 Ingredients a little over 4 years ago.  The concept is simple: hundreds of recipes with four or less ingredients.  Recently, Kim and Rachael realized the need for a gluten free version and voila, here it is.

I love the concept of this book.  The recipes are pretty basic, but sometimes that's just what you need to get dinner going.  There are over 400 recipes in the gluten free version including condiments and dips, breakfasts, appetizers, light lunches, sides, mains, desserts, drinks, and recipes for kids.

It was fun to meet Kim at the event.  She was very nice, engaging, and gave lots of tips.  I was able to try her BBQ beef stir-fry, guacamole, chocolate covered marshmallows, and another dessert I don't remember the name of.  I'm looking forward to trying the Chicken Tikka Masala made with just chicken, tikka masala paste, condensed GF tomato sauce, and plain yogurt.

The only question I had in the book was about the ingredient gluten free self rising flour.  Apparently, this is something they have in Australia where Kim is from, but not really in the US.  When I asked her about it, she told me to just add a teaspoon of baking powder to a regular all purpose gluten free flour blend to make it "self rising".  Easy.

I've been in a bit of a cooking rut lately and I hope this book is just the jump start I need.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Genius Gluten Free Bread


I've heard a lot of hype recently about Genius Gluten Free bread.  Particularly their sliced white bread.  I've pretty much given up on eating gluten free bread, but I like to try new brands from time to time.  I saw the sliced white bread in Whole Foods today and decided to give it a try.

I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I did not like it.  It tasted like...nothing.  Not only did it taste like nothing, but the nothingness concealed the flavors of the sandwich contents.  Maybe I should have tried their brown bread instead since I like grainier breads these days, but there is something nice about a simple white loaf for sandwiches or toasted with some butter.

Has anyone else tried this bread or their other flavors?  Thoughts?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Main Line Baking Co.


Ok, so my last post was about eating healthy on the road, and this one is about a bakery...oops?  But everyone needs some sweets in their lives, and this is just what I got at Main Line Baking Co.  I have tried a few of Main Line Baking Co.'s treats at G-Free NYC, but this was my first time visiting.

The bakery is very simple and located inside the Wynnewood Train Station in Wynnewood, PA outside of Philly.  They have cupcakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, pound cake, coffee cake, and they even cater.  Everything they have is gluten free and dairy free.  There is nowhere to sit, but it's a great treat for people commuting into Philly - gluten free or not.

I tried a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.  The cupcake was very light (compared to many gluten free cupcakes that are often too dense) and the frosting wasn't too sweet.  I also got a piece of coffee cake to take with me.  They were both very good.

If you aren't in the Philly area, Main Line Baking Co. treats are also offered at other locations in PA, NJ, and NYC.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Eating Gluten Free AND Healthy on the Road - Is it Possible?


I'm on the road again for work.  I try to have most of my meals planned out ahead of time, but there are always a few that I have to figure out on the fly.  This isn't usually a problem, and as I've mentioned a few times, when things get bad I always resort to french fries, although I really prefer not to.*

Even if I've done my due deligence and found restaurants to eat at along the way with gluten free menu items, these restaurants usually highlight gluten free pizza or pastas.  Which is great, but not always so healthy.  My problem these days is eating gluten free AND healthy on the road.

Many gluten free people bring along gluten free snacks when they travel: nuts, gluten free bars, etc.  This is a good idea, but I have this problem where if I have food around me, I eat it.  Knowing this about myself, I tend not to bring extra food along.  If you have more self control than this, I highly suggest you bring some snacks.  But the problem of eating healthy remains.  Yes nuts are good, but wouldn't you like some fruits and vegetables?  I know I would right about now.  Some people even bring a cooler along with these kinds of food.  Also a great idea, if I could just manage not to eat it all at once.  You also have to make sure you are staying at hotels with fridges if you go this route, which is not always possible.

Yesterday I had to figure out all my meals on the fly.  It did not go well.  It started off ok with a nonfat plain yogurt and some fruit at the train station in New York.  Then I took the train to Philly and from there a three hour drive to North Central PA.  By then I was starving and had no ideas for lunch.  I stopped at a rest stop with some of the usual options - burgers, french fries, pizza, pretzels, and coffee.  There was also a sandwich place that offered some salads, but when I checked them out it was brown ice burg lettuce, unripe tomatoes, and weird looking deli meet.  Not exactly my idea of a good lunch.  So, french fries it was.

And then it was time for dinner.  I am in rural PA and there were no restaurants in sight.  More french fries for dinner.  I felt gross, and still hungry.  Sad times.

So, I know it's possible to eat gluten free, but is it also possible to eat healthy on the road?  I'm sure it is, but I haven't quite figured it out yet.  I think for my next trip I need to not only research places with gluten free food, but also restaurants in general that may have some healthy vegetables and protein.  There are probably restaurants around that could give me a decent meal, but I just don't know where they are.

On my last trip I was actually able to construct a healthy dinner out of food I found at a gas station:  Yogurt, fruit and cheese (meant for children...), and veggies and dip.  I tried to find something like this last night but couldn't.

Anyone have any tips on healthy gluten free traveling (besides the obvious answer of gaining some self control and bringing food along)?  Help please.

*Note: Many people choose not to eat fast food french fries for cross contamination and gluten in the oil reasons.  People have gone back and forth on this issue.  Unless french fries are coated in gluten, I personally eat them and have never had a problem.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Wild Tomato



Today is my "blogiversary", as the kids say.  For those of you not so hip and with it, that means I've had this blog for a year today.  That's a pretty long time.  But at the same time, being gluten free is such a part of my life these days that sometimes it's hard to believe I've only been gluten free for a year and a half.

But anyway, I digress from the point of this post.  I'm back in Pennsylvania for work again and I stopped by The Wild Tomato in Harrisburg yesterday.  I learned about it a few months back when I was doing my initial research on gluten free restaurants in Pennsylvania.  I didn't actually need to be in Harrisburg this trip, but I had to drive through the area and was deciding between stopping at The Wild Tomato or Pizza Sorrento in Hershey. Then, I was reading my new issue of Delight Gluten Free Magazine on the train here and they coincidentally had a small blurb about The Wild Tomato from someone in the area and I just had to go.

The Wild Tomato is a small family owned and operated restaurant that does take out, delivery, and catering.  They specialize in pizza, grinders, and pastas.  97% of their menu can be made gluten free.  I tried the Little Italy gluten free pizza.  It was great.  What I especially liked about it was the tomato sauce.  I'd also be interested in trying the Sausage and Peppers pasta and one of the sandwiches.

For those of you that only like to eat at certified gluten free restaurants, this place is certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and seems to really understand and care about food allergies.  Between the good food, friendly staff, and gluten free assurances of this place, I would definitely come back. I suggest you try it too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mile End Bakery


Now's the time for my BIG REVEAL: my friend Mallory over at Total Noms and I have started our own cookie company!  Mile End Bakery offers gluten free cookies as well as cookies made with wheat flour.  We have chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, ginger, oatmeal, nutella, and peanut butter cookies for your enjoyment.  If you can't choose we also offer a sample pack of all six.  They look like this:

Clockwise: Ginger, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Nutella

Mallory makes our regular cookies and I make our gluten free cookies.  Our gluten free cookies are made in a different kitchen with dedicated gluten free utensils and quality gluten free ingredients.  You can order these delicious cookies on our Etsy store.  We ship anywhere in the continental US.

Mallory and I met in college at McGill in Montreal, Canada.  Stemming from our love of Montreal, we decided to name our company Mile End after a cute neighborhood in the city.  I am very excited about this new venture and I highly suggest you give our cookies a try!

You can see us on Facebook here or follow us on twitter here.

And now for a shameless plug: My man friend and I were feeling ambitious at the same time and while I was starting a cookie company, he started his own personal training company.  If you find you are eating too many cookies and need some help to balance it out, check him out at jtwfit.com.

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

All Inclusive Resorts - Gluten Free

This was the view from our room.  It's ok to be jealous.
I just got back from a week in Jamaica.  It's relatively warm in New York City this winter, but compared to the 85 degree days and 75 degree nights of island life, I'm sitting here wrapped in blankets and pouting profusely.  Gone from Saturday to Saturday, it's a good thing I had today to pull myself together before heading back to work tomorrow.

Last year my man friend and I went to Mexico.  It was my first vacation gluten free and I was kind of nervous about it.  I quickly realized that with so many options available at a resort buffet, eating gluten free was easy.  I had a similar experience this year, which is why this post is about eating at all inclusive resorts, rather than Jamaica.

Whether the resort is big or small, they are feeding so many people that there will always be gluten free options.  I don't mean gluten free pasta or bread. That you certainly won't find.  But there will always be a plethora of fruits and vegetables, along with fish, meat, and rice.  This covers lunch and dinner, and for breakfast there are always eggs, potatoes, fruit, and yogurt.

This trip I didn't knowingly eat any gluten or take nearly as many chances as last time.  I still let a few things slide that I wasn't positive on like jerk chicken and curry goat (the sauces being the potential problem), but I didn't get sick once.  I can't speak on cross contamination, and while I'm pretty sensitive and was fine the entire time, this might be a cause for concern for some.  However, the staff at these places are usually pretty great, and if you want to take the time to ask, I highly recommend it.

All in all, with all the food options at all inclusive resorts, eating gluten free is easy.  You might not always get what you want to eat, but at least you aren't going to starve.  Have some lunch and go drink a pina colada on the beach.  No problem.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Le Pain Quotidien


You wouldn't expect to find gluten free options at a place called Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread).  But, you also wouldn't necessarily expect gluten free cookies to taste great and they can (more on that later).

Last weekend I was meeting a friend for a quick lunch before a movie and we decided to go to Le Pain Quotidien near the movie theater.  I hadn't been in years, and I wasn't expecting anything other than a salad, but lo and behold they have a few options for us gluten free folks after all.  I tried the chicken curry salad tartine served on gluten free crackers instead of bread.  It was pretty good.  They also have a six-vegetable quiche served on a gluten free buckwheat crust that I would be interested in trying.  Their salads are also safe without the bread and I bet if you asked really nice they'd give you some of those gluten free crackers with it.  Maybe.

With several locations in New York City, and in other places around the county and globe, Le Pain Quotidien provides another good light lunch option.

Ruby Foo's - Times Square


As I think you know, my brother and I try to go to dinner once a week.  There's an endless supply of restaurants in New York City and we have tried many of them.  These days we tend to eat only at restaurants with gluten free menus.  But, after a year of this, we've pretty much run through them all.  All the ones I'm aware of anyway.

Tonight we decided to try Ruby Foo's in Times Square.  I heard of Ruby Foo's awhile ago but hadn't tried it yet for two main reasons: 1) it's pretty expensive, and 2) I hate Times Square.  Anyone that lives in New York avoids Times Square at all costs.  Full of tourists walking really slowly, there is pretty much nothing a person living in New York needs to do there.

But, wanting to try somewhere new, my brother and I decided to give it a try.  The gluten free menu has three appetizers, three entrees, three sides, and two desserts.  We shared the Chicken Lettuce Wrap for an appetizer and I got the Mongolian Orange Chicken for my main dish.  They were both fine.  I wouldn't recommend Ruby Foo's for people living in NYC, but it is a good option for people visiting the city that may be in Times Square anyway.

I'm always looking for new restaurant suggestions in NYC and elsewhere.  Let me know if you have any gluten free recommendations!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A First Time For Everything - Bread


The thought of making bread scares me.  Regular or gluten free.  It just seems too difficult.  So difficult that I had never attempted it - except for one unfortunate incident with a bread machine in the 90's that I'd rather not relive.

As all you gluten free folks out there know, there is an extreme lack of good gluten free bread.  There is even a lack of decent gluten free bread.  For the past year I took this to mean I just shouldn't eat bread.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I get a craving for a sandwich and I curse gluten while simultaneously having a pity party.

In addition, my brother has been hounding me to figure out to make great bread.  Hounding might be a strong word.  Let's go with encouraging.  So what we have is bad bread, me wanting a sandwich for lunch, and my brother encouraging me to make bread.  Then my friend Mallory sends me an email with a link to the "best ever gluten free sandwich bread".  Ok, this was it.  Time to put on my big girl apron and get to work.

This recipe calls for several things I never use like yeast, almond milk, and apple cider vinegar.  It's a vegan recipe so I needed three "flax eggs" and had to buy ground flax seed.  It also calls for xanthan gum so I finally broke down and bought some.  Normally I would omit it, but if I was going to attempt to make the best ever gluten free sandwich bread, I didn't want to be taking any chances.  Same with the vegan parts.  Could I have used real eggs and milk instead?  Maybe, but I've never made bread before, so get off my back.

Without further ado, here's the recipe from Clean Eating Chelsea.  I copied it right from her site and followed it exactly (mostly).

Best Ever Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetend almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 flax eggs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Instructions:
1. Proof the yeast: Heat up 1/2 cup almond milk and 1 cup water to approximately 105-110 degrees. To do this, I microwaved my liquid for 70 seconds and checked the temperature. Once the liquid is heated, add 1 tbsp. active yeast and 1 tbsp. sugar – give it a quick stir and set aside until foamy (~5 minutes).

2. Make your flax eggs: In a small bowl or mug, mix 3 tbsp. ground flax seed with 9 tbsp. (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp.) water. Give a quick stir and set aside until thickened (~3-4 minutes).

3. Mix your dry ingredients: In a stand mixer bowl, combine 1 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup quinoa flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 2 tsp. xanthan gum, and 1 tsp. salt. Toss for approximately 10 seconds with a spatula or fork to combine the ingredients.

4. Once your flax eggs have thickened, add 1 tbsp. olive oil, 3 tbsp. honey, and 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar to the eggs. Whisk until ingredients are combined and set aside.

5. Make your dough: By this time, your yeast mixture should be foamy. If not, you might have killed the yeast due to the water being too hot. If this is the case, just start over with new yeast! If your yeast is good to go, pour the yeast and the flax egg mixture into the flour. Using a dough hook attachment, set your mixer to low-medium speed and mix for 3-4 minutes.

6. Let it Rise: Pour your dough into a greased 9×5 bread pan, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it hang out in an UNHEATED oven for about an hour. Once the dough has risen to the top of the pan, take the bread pan out of the oven.

7. Cook to perfection: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit once the dough has been taken out of the oven. Cook, uncovered for 45-50 minutes. The outside should be golden brown. Let bread cool completely before cutting into slices.


That's it: bread.  I only let my dough rise for half an hour because it was already well over the top of the pan.  Then, I checked my loaf after 40 minutes and the top was golden brown so I took it out.  This was a mistake.  While the flavor of the bread was good, it was a bit underdone.  How are you supposed to know when bread is done though?

While I think this would be good bread had I cooked it long enough, it is still a bit dense, as gluten free bread often is.  It's more the consistency of banana bread than fluffy sandwich bread.  How do you make fluffy gluten free sandwich bread you ask?  No one has figured it out.  I'm telling you, really good gluten free bread doesn't exist yet.  Sure, there are good ones out there, like my personal favorite, Canyon Bakehouse, but honestly, no gluten eating person is throwing down their bread to eat ours.

My brother has informed me I need to keep trying.  According to him, this is just the first in many bread attempts.  I need to figure out the science of it.  The science, as I understand it, is gluten makes things fluffy.  No gluten, no fluffy.  I'll work on it though.  Maybe.

Muddy Buddies

Their picture was prettier than mine.


I love the Super Bowl. Mostly for the food, drinks, commercials, half time show, and feeling oh so very American. And did I mention the food?

I had the usual nachos and veggies with dip at this year's super bowl extravaganza, but I also made muddy buddies for the first time. I've been wanting to make these for a long time but I knew, without a doubt, I was not to be trusted with these myself. I don't think I've even had muddy buddies since middle school, they certainly never made an appearance at my house growing up, but I just knew I would love them (and eat excessive amounts of them).

Well, I was right. And for good reason. Muddy buddies are delicious, and addicting. I copied the recipe right off the corn chex box. I omitted the vanilla because I didn't have any on hand. I also used the whole box of cereal, because really, why not?


These are a great snack, especially for kids, or adults like myself that are basically kids.  One party attendee said she wanted to pour some milk on them and eat it like cereal.  This is honestly not a bad idea.  However you eat them - enjoy!


Chex Muddy Buddies


Ingredients

9cups Rice Chex®, Corn Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)
1cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2cup peanut butter
1/4cup butter or margarine
1teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2cups powdered sugar


.
Preparation Directions
1.Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2.In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3.Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oh Hi

Sorry I've been missing.  I've been pretty busy with stuff I'm not quite ready to share with you yet.  It's big though, just you wait.  I have been cooking and baking up a storm though.

There are two things I'd like to recommend you make.

First, I made this chicken salad last Monday from With Style & Grace.  I mixed it with greens and had it for lunch every day last week.  It was a nice change from whatever it is I usually eat for lunch.  Next time I'll use grapes instead of raisins.

From With Style & Grace

Next, this weekend I made blueberry scones.  I had never made scones before, but I really like them.  Scones often get a bad rap, but they are perfect with a cup of tea.  They are also, as you may remember, a large part of the reason I got fat in college.  Oops.

From Celiac Teen

Lauren used currants, but I don't like currnts so I used blueberries.  This recipe was another reason I needed a food scale.  If you don't have one, I'm sorry, because I have no idea what this would be in cups.

Ok, back to my busy life now.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gluten Free Oreos


Ok.  I did it.  I broke down and bought a food scale.  I used to be annoyed by all the gluten free recipes posted in grams.  Mostly annoyed because I wanted to make them and couldn't.  And then I asked for 10 different kinds of flour for Christmas and realized that without a food scale I couldn't use the flour in all these recipes that I've been wanting to make.  So now, here's my first recipe in grams.  I'm really sorry.

Oh, it's also my first recipe using sweet rice and teff flour.  There will be many more different flours to come.

I adapted this recipe from the Gluten Free Girl.

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
80 grams sweet rice flour
60 grams white rice flour
35 grams teff flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
10 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg

For the  filling
:
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl combine the flours.  Whisk in the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

3) On low speed, beat in the butter and egg.  It will look dry, but keep mixing, it will come together.

4) Scoop 2 teaspoons of batter and form a ball.  Flatten the dough in the palm of your hand into a round disk and smooth the edges.  Place on prepared cookie sheet.

5) Bake cookies for 5 minutes.  Turn baking sheet 180 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.

6) Beat together all frosting ingredients until smooth.

7)  When the cookies are cool spread some frosting onto one cookie and then top with another.  Repeat.

That's it.  Oreos.