July 27, 2009

Please, sir, may I have S'MORE?

I just realized my last few posts were raving about the phenomenal food I made from Jules Gluten Free Flour, and this next post is about to be the same. Honestly, I am in no way affiliated with the woman, I just LOVE her products! They make gluten free baking a snap...literally, I'm like Mary Poppins over here! Anyways...third time's a charm, so this third and final (for now) installment of my love affair with Jules Gluten Free Flour is sure to impress.

I'm on the Jules Gluten Free weekly recipe mailing list, and about a week and a half ago, they ran a special for the graham cracker flour. For $5 you got a sample bag of s'mores graham cracker flour, the s'mores recipe, and free shipping! The email guaranteed the sample bag made 18 s'mores, which I thought was a STEAL! Seriously, a box of gluten free cookies in the store costs more, if not the same. I have yet to find a good gluten free graham cracker for s'mores so I could not pass this offer up.

A few days later I received my little bag of flour and recipe. I was all excited for Friday night to make pizza and s'mores. All I needed was TGIF with Full House and Family Matters and it would be like I was 10 again. Sadly all I could whip up Friday night was the pizza, but Saturday morning I was up and at 'em, rollin' out that dough for graham crackers. (Special thanks to Babs for preparing the dough the day before...the recipe calls for it to "chill" for 2 hours, or in our case, about 20.) I wish I had taken pictures of my crackers prior to consumption - I'm still learning how to document my cooking adventures...as well as how to properly use the camera I've owned for 4 years. They were the cutest little graham crackers, complete with the holes courtesy of a fork.

The batch made about two dozen crackers, some in some random shapes and sizes, but not bad for a first go-round! I met up with Alexandra shortly after and brought along marshmallows and chocolate. We substituted a microwave for a campfire, and the results were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!


Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Pizza. Dream Come True? Yes.

Pizza is definitely a luxury for me. It's not often that I can call in an order and have a warm, delicious, cheesy pie delivered to my door. I can count on one hand the number of restaurants that serve gluten free pizza. Those that are near to my home? Um...maybe one. The closest is probably a 30 minute drive. Exactly.

So when it comes to pizza I need to make it myself. Not necessarily a bad thing, just slightly time consuming. I usually stock up on Kinnikinnick personal pizza crusts and am able to make a little pizza in a pinch. They are quite delicious, but I decided it was time I branch out a little bit.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended the THRIVE Allergy Expo in April and picked up Jules Shepard's Nearly Normal Cooking Cookbook. I did not, however, purchase the All Purpose Flour...that is, until last week. Naturally the first recipe I'm gonna try out is the pizza crust. I did not have dry milk like the recipe called for, but regular milk worked just fine. The rest of my gluten-lovin' family was having BBQ Chicken Pizza, and damn straight Babs and I were going to as well. And did we ever! It was amazing. Babs has had the recipe for years upon years. It calls for a Boboli crust, so although our crust was freshly made and took a bit longer, but was well worth the wait! Look how yummy!

To recreate this work of culinary art, all you need is a pizza crust - pre-made or purchase Jules' book and make your own. From there slather your crust in BBQ sauce, top with diced cooked chicken breast, smother in shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese (I also added gouda for good measure!), and finally toss some caramelized onions on top. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Once out of the oven, feel free to sprinkle some fresh cilantro on for an extra zing! Your taste buds will love you for it.

July 24, 2009

Celiac Disease Center's Thought Leader's Program on YouTube

Check it out! I just received an email passed along from the Director of Development at Columbia University's Celiac Disease Center. They held a conference in June and experts spoke on the following topics:
  • Recent New Information on Celiac Disease
  • Evaluation of Poorly Responsive Patients
  • Why See An Expert Nutritionist for Evaluation of Celiac Disease
  • Nutrition and Vitamin Replacement
The presentations can be accessed at: http://www.youtube.com/CeliacDiseaseCenter

July 22, 2009

5 Minutes + Microwave = Brownie?

Just made a brownie in a mug. Yum! I usually use Pamela's Baking Mix, but I ran out of it. When I went to the THRIVE Allergy Expo back in April, I met Jules Shepard who makes the most amazing gluten free all purpose flour. I finally picked up a bag at Lil's, my go-to place for gluten free everything, this past weekend. Making it with the all purpose flour made quite the difference. Not sure why exactly, but it was delicious! This is the perfect treat for when you're craving something chocolatey, but don't want to make a whole pan of brownies. Plus it's takes 5 minutes tops!

Mug Brownie
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour (Hooray for Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour!)
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar (I used the real thing, I'm scared of Splenda!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa...very decadent!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil (Applesauce)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Water
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mug
- Add Oil (applesauce), Water, and Vanilla Extract
- Mix well
- Pop in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds
- Enjoy, preferrably with a nice, big, cold glass of milk. Yum!

July 21, 2009

Ohh...Starbucks. Why you gotta do me like that?

I haven't really been posting breaking gluten free news, mainly because I feel like I'm always the last to know. When I started this blog back in the day, I signed up for google email alerts for gluten free/celiac related topics, and when I get them I see so many people have already blogged about what's going on in the community. Helloooo...when Elisabeth Hasselbeck got slapped with that lawsuit, I got a million email updates on that one. (Serves her right...never liked her anyways - Ha!)


That was back in the day when I didn't have any followers. Now I have some! Woo Hoo...go me! Thanks to joining FoodBuzz. (and thanks Michelle for the suggestion!) I didn't realize that for some people I was the first to fill them in on some of the greatest gluten free news. That makes me happy. Therefore I will go back to reporting any new findings I come across.

Now for the bad news. Remember how excited I was just a mere two months ago when Starbucks decided to finally acknowledge the gluten free world with a dessert? Well apparently it was some cruel joke, because while they dangled that treat in front of our faces for a little bit, they've decided to get rid of it! Thanks a lot, Starbucks. They are replacing it with a KIND fruit and nut bar. Seriously? Nothing says dessert like a nut bar. That's not special at all. In fact they sell those bad boys in the lobby snack shop of my work. Ugh.

A lot of people have been calling and emailing Starbucks and begging them not to discontinue the Gluten-Free Valenica Orange cake. Triumph Dining has started a petition. Please head over there and sign it. Hopefully Starbucks will think twice and keep it on its menus. Viva la Valencia Cake!

Grab a FREE gluten free pastry at Starbucks today!!

Hurry up...the offer is good only until 10:30am. Get some coffee and FREE gluten free orange valencia cake! Click on the link below to print a coupon!

July 14, 2009

Betty Crocker, I think I LOVE You!

I’m sure every gluten-free person out there knows by now that Betty Crocker makes gluten free mixes. I remember first hearing the news a few months ago and couldn’t wait until they hit the shelves in June.

As luck would have it, I was able to try not one, but TWO of the mixes which the span of a week. The brownies came first. My mom, who also has celiac, had lunch with some friends who were very accommodating to her gluten free diet. The host had special bread, chips, and dessert for her and sent her home with all the leftovers - a bag of Betty Crocker’s gluten free brownies among them. When I took a bite I could not get over how much they tasted like “real” brownies. It was like I had gone back ten years and was eating a pan of brownies from a box mix. Incredible! They were sooo delicious! Moist, chewy, chocolatey, and just downright divine! I will definitely use Betty’s C.’s brownie mix in the future.

Ironically I made brownie cupcakes earlier in the week using Namaste’s mix. I love Namaste, but I wasn’t too impressed with my creations. Maybe it was because I made them in cupcake cups. Maybe I baked them a little bit too long. Maybe it was because I used applesauce instead of oil (watchin’ my figure!) Regardless, they didn’t do much for me. I made them for work and although none of my co-workers are gluten free like me, they all enjoyed them. I made a ton and had about a dozen extra, which between me and Babs, didn’t last very long. She couldn’t stop raving about them. They were good, just not great. Did I mention I’m a Virgo? Damn that perfectionist trait!

My second round of gluten free Betty Crockerness came yesterday. It was my dad’s birthday and while the rest of the group would be eating cake and ice cream, I was not about to let poor Babs and me not have dessert! We bought Betty’s yellow cake mix and I decided to veer from the box directions and healthify our cake. (Helloooo. I ate like 900 brownies last week. I shouldn’t have even been making the cake to begin with!) Instead of the adding the water, eggs, and vanilla to the mix, I just dumped in a can of pumpkin. (100% natural…not the “ready for a pumpkin pie” kind.) I read on Hungry Girl that mixing just those two ingredients adds fiber and cuts fat from the cake without altering the taste. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out with a gluten free mix, but I was ready to give it a shot. The results were phenomenal! This was hands-down one of the moistest, most delicious cakes ever!!! I didn’t think it had a pumpkin taste, but had two slices just to make sure. It was orangish in color, but I frosted it up really nice, added sliced strawberries around the edge, and sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top. I’m not sure of the nutritional information after I slathered it in frosting, but I’m sure it was slightly healthier. I bet it would be tasty with just the strawberries and powdered sugar.

They say third time’s a charm, and I hope they’re right. While we were shopping for some last minute groceries, I noticed our store added the chocolate chip cookies gluten free mix to their inventory which before just consisted of chocolate and yellow cake mixes. Obviously I bought a box. Although I think I’m going to wait a bit before making them. I’ll post a review once I do though. I’ve had too many goodies lately, but I really do hope they saved me some of that cake! *drool*

July 2, 2009

Good Gluten Free News from General Mills!

It's looks like General Mills is loving the attention and praise they are getting from their Chex cereal going gluten free. The Betty Crocker baking mixes they just released this month (I have YET to find them in stores near me!) were a big hit too! They will be coming out with new items soon. Can't wait!

Read more about the news here.

McDonalds Gluten Free Buns?!

Yesterday I read a great blog entry on Be Free For Me 's website about McDonalds serving up gluten free buns in Sweden. Of course afterwards I had to contact McD's and demand gluten free in the USA! I was surprised at the quick response I received:

Hello Betsy:

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's. I am delighted to know you enjoyed our gluten free bun served in Sweden.

Before we open restaurants in other parts of the world, we study the culture to determine local customer preferences. In most cases, we serve not only our standard menu items, but occasionally we try to offer items which reflect that country's culture. For example, some McDonald's restaurants in Japan serve a fried chicken sandwich spiced with soy sauce and ginger; in Germany -- frankfurters; in Canada -- McLobster; in Norway -- a salmon sandwich; and in The Netherlands -- a vegetable burger.

We operate our restaurants on the philosophy that "the customer is the reason for our business." Ultimately, it's our customers who decide what products we offer.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's. We hope to serve you again soon under the Golden Arches.

McDonald's Customer Response Center

Verrrrry interesting. Hopefully enough people will read the blog and drop McDonald's a line to offer gluten free buns in the United Stated. Until then, we'll just have to stick the the salads and bunless burgers.