Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Praise for Whole Food's Sandwich Bread

It makes an excellent grilled cheese sandwich!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Product Review: Mommy's Muffins

One of my favorite things about Whole Foods, aside from their fantastic selection of gluten-free products, is that every time I visit, I find something new. My most recent trip uncovered a line of gluten-free baked goods made by a company based in New Hampshire called Mommy's Muffins. All their products are handmade and include cookies, whoopie pies, pizza crust and, of course, muffins. I selected a package of the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins because I am a sucker for the combination of pumpkin and chocolate (really chocolate and just about anything). Usually GF products have to be toasted, but because these muffins looked so moist I decided to skip the toaster and was glad I did. These muffins are moist with a subtle pumpkin flavor and just the right amount of chocolate flavor. I look forward to trying more of Mommy's Muffins' products and I'm excited by the availability of their GF crust at Flatbread Company Restaurants!

Friday, July 24, 2009

SImple Substitution: Blueberry Crisp

Sometimes making a conventional recipe gluten-free is as easy as switching a GF ingredient for a non-GF ingredient. For this blueberry crisp, adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe, I simply made two subsitutions. Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour for the all purpose flour called for in the recipe and Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats for the oats in the recipe. Simple and delicious.

Blueberry Crisp

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup GF All-Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup GF rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Carefully clean the blueberries and spread evenly in your baking dish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and salt, use a fork to cut in the butter. Spread the topping evenly over the blueberries. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It was a good thing . . . Gluten Free Pantry's Angel Food Cake Mix

The Gluten Free Pantry is always a safe bet for baking mixes, easy to follow and always delicious results. Sadly, they've stopped making one of my favorites: the Angel Food Cake mix. I'm crossing my fingers that they're coming out with something even better very soon, but I find it hard to imagine because this mix was SO good. Although denser than conventional angel food cake, the GFP mix had an otherwise pleasing texture and great taste. Totally worth the 20 minutes spent holding an electric beater. Even my brothers, gluten-free-phobes that they are, didn't complain about this cake (I think that means they liked it). So, I'm optimistic GFP has something even better in the works, but in the meantime I'm missing this great product.

Here the GFP Angel Food Cake is shown with lemon pudding frosting, a simple addition that always gets rave reviews.

Lemon Pudding Frosting

  • 1 package lemon flavored instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Beat with electric mixer on high for one minute and only one minute. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken. Frost cake.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Naturally GF: Lobster

It's Maine, it's summer and that means lobster. Luckily, lobster is 100% gluten-free and 100% delicious. I like to enjoy my lobster at home because, let's face it, it's messy and it's just more fun if you're at your own table and can embrace the messiness. Besides, those bibs are never flattering on adults. And, of course, lobster should also be washed down with a beer- Red Bridge is a passable GF option.

And it turns out, cats also enjoy lobster (and being completely spoiled by my mother).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Anello's Gluten Free Cafe

I really, really love this place! Last week a very important occasion (Sarah's 30th birthday!) brought me back to Portsmouth for surprise party activities. It was a perfect excuse to return to Anello's for a full GF lunch. My non-celiac pal, Marla, gamely accompanied me and although we had a limited amount of time, we had a fabulous lunch. First of all, everyone at Anello's is super-friendly and happy to answer questions. Since I'd been looking forward to this visit for about a week, I had my order ready- the turkey rueben. I haven't had anything at Anello's I didn't like, but I was especially impressed by their bread. I ordered the multi-grain and it was delicious! A great texture, a little moist (so rare in GF bread) and had a slightly nutty flavor. Marla also complimented the white bread she ordered with her chicken salad. For dessert: cannolis. Exactly the way I remember them. Great food, great company - all in all, a perfect lunch.

My lunch: turkey Reuben

Marla's chicken salad

Cannoli for dessert!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Product Review: Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse and Jones Dairy Farm

As I've said before, Whole Foods is a wonderful, magical place and a large part of that magic is their Gluten-Free Bakehouse line of products. The product selection is vast, from sandwich bread to pies and muffins. I've never tried anything from the GF Bakehouse that I didn't really like. In fact, many of my favorite GF products come from Whole Foods- I really, really like their Almond Scones and their Sandwich Bread is hands down another favorite.

More recently I've discovered Jones Dairy Farm and their GFCO certified sausage, bacon and other products. They produce over 50 GF certified products available in store and online (their website lists all the GF products). I was surprised, but I really enjoyed the sausage and rice links. And although these are gluten-free, my brothers eat them without complaining- high praise, indeed.

Above, I've combined the two for a yummy breakfast of poached egg on toast with sausage.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Product Review: Stonyfield Farm Yogurt

I'm a big fan of yogurt for bag lunches. It's so portable, healthy, full of calcium (a plus for the lactose intolerant or people like me who just don't like milk) and, most important of all, yummy. I've discovered two brands that are reliably gluten-free, Stonyfield Farm and Yoplait (not all flavors, but many are labeled gluten free). Stonyfield Farm has earned my preference for it's organic-ness, the cute cow on the packaging and it's certified gluten-free status. Almost all their products are certified GF by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and the few that aren't yet will be soon. Which means they're Oikos Greek Yogurt, which I'm very partial to, will be certified GF in the near future! The GFCO certification label is hidden on the side of the yogurt package, and it's appearing on more and more product labels. The GFCO's slogan is "Gluten-free you can easily see!" And it really does make shopping a little easier.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kitchen Experiments: Rhubarb Pie

There was nothing easy about this recipe. It was incredibly complicated, time consuming and frustrating. But, so worth it! This is the best GF pie crust recipe I've tried, the crust has a good flavor and is nice and flaky. Even my gluten-free-phobic brothers didn't complain too loudly. It wasn't easy, but the result were worth the extra effort.

Donna Jo's Dream Pastry
Source: More from the Gluten Free Gourmet

  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch flour
  • 1 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 rounded teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 egg, cold
  • 1 tablespoon GF vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons ice water
  • Brown rice flour for rolling (although I didn't end up using any)
Begin with the crust because the dough has to chill in the refrigerator at least one hour. Blend together the flours, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and Crisco in small dabs until the shortening is the size of lima beans (I went a little closer to cornmeal and didn't notice any ill effects. Of course, lima bean sized shortening clumbs would result in a flakier crust).

Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork, add the vinegar and ice water. Stir into the flour mixture, forming a ball. Knead the dough slightly and divide into two balls. Wrap with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile, assemble the ingredients for the filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour, like Bob's Red Mill
  • 4 cups cut up rhubarb
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • cornstarch
Carefully clean the rhubarb and cut into thin slices, mine were a little too thick and didn't quite cook all the way through, but that would be easily fixed with thinner slices. Add the sugar and flour to the rhubarb mixture. Beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl, add a small amount of cornstarch. Add the egg mixture to the rhubarb and set aside.

Now back to the crust. Roll the crust out between two pieces of lightly floured plastic wrap until the desired size for your pie plate. Using the plastic wrap (and a second pair of hands would be a huge help) carefully place the crust into the pie plate and shape. DO NOT REMOVE THE PLASTIC WRAP UNTIL YOUR CRUST IS EXACTLY HOW YOU WANT IT.

Add the filling and follow the same procedure for the top crust. You'll be able to shape the edges easily with the plastic wrap still in place.

Before putting your pie into the oven, protect your crust from over-browning (because that was A LOT of work!) with a light layer of milk brush all over and aluminum foil protecting the edges. A cookie sheet makes moving easier.

Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Simple Substitution: Red Wine Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes almost two months ago by simply substituting GF flour in a recipe found on We Are Not Martha. I had to try this recipe because it combines two of my favorite food items, chocolate and red wine! Also, they sounded so different and the review from WANM was glowing. Following the WANM recipe (follow the link for the recipe because I'm feeling l-a-z-y), I substituted 3/4 cup white rice flour and 1/2 cup tapioca flour for the wheat flour in the original recipe. I was very pleased with the results: rich chocolate flavor with just a hint of red wine. The chocolate, wine and cream cheese frosting melded together very well. I'm looking forward to another excuse to make these!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Product Review: Gillian's Foods Italian Bread Crumbs

I've been using Gillian's bread crumbs for several years, I especially like the Italian Bread Crumbs because the addition of herbs and spices saves me a step in the kitchen. They're great for coating chicken for quick and easy chicken nuggets and for making meatballs and meatloaf. Since I'm usually cooking for one or two, I make my meatloaf in a muffin tin. The extras are easily frozen and the small "meatloaf muffins" cook much faster than the traditional loaf. I usually toss whatever I have on hand (meatloaf is a great dish for cleaning out the fridge), so the recipe changes each time I make it, but here's the basics (As always, eyeball amounts).

Meatloaf Muffins

  • 1/4 pound ground turkey (or beef, but I like turkey)
  • red onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 palm-full bread crumbs
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large clove garlic
Meatloaf is an easy meal- just mix everything together (just barely, you don't want to overwork your meat) and place muffin-sized balls into the greased muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dining-Out 101: Anello's Gluten Free Cafe

This past weekend I visited friends in New Hampshire. It was a wonderful way to spend the 4th of July: reconnecting with friends and exploring my old stomping grounds. Sunday afternoon, after exploring the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, Sarah and I decided to visit downtown Portsmouth for a sushi lunch. Fortuitously, although it did not seem fortuitous at the time, Portsmouth was very crowded and we couldn't find a parking spot near the restaurant. Instead, we parked further away and had to walk down Congress Street past a little establishment I might not have noticed otherwise. But, the words "gluten free" on the sign caught my attention and much to my delight we discovered a little gluten-free cafe right in downtown Portsmouth. The discovery of Anello's Cafe has secured Portsmouth's place as my favorite city. Anello's Cafe serves a full menu of sandwiches and has cases bursting with delicious looking baked goods. We had our hearts set on sushi, so we didn't stop in for lunch- but were sure to save room for a sweet treat after our lunch. Sarah got chocolate cake which was moist, rich and chocolately. The frosting was an exact copy of the birthday cake frosting I remember from my childhood. They also have full-sized birthday cakes (hint, hint). I got a couple cookies to bring home- the raspberry especially was delicious. I'm looking forward to my next NH trip, I'll definitely be dropping by to try one of their delicious sounding sandwiches.

Sarah's chocolate cake

One dessert case at Anello's, note the cakes in the background

Cannolli shells!

For Steph, GF whoopie pies

These raspberry linzers were delicious

We were generously given a sample of this carrot cake- delicious!
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