Friday, October 31, 2008

Last chance for Gluten-Free Halloween recipes

A friend sent me this list of creative and gluten-free recipes from's gluten-free cooking section.  They're a lot of fun.  If you haven't settled on your Halloween feast yet, here's your last chance!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Halloween party

This is third GF Halloween and I've learned a few tricks for Gluten-Free entertaining.  These are pictures of the sugar cookies I mentioned a couple of posts ago -you can see how they turned out!  Also, the cupcakes and brownies are from Pamela's mixes.  
I think Pamela's products are the most consistently good GF baked goods and mixes I've found.  They taste the most like the "real" thing.  My friends, who are not shy about telling me if I've missed the mark, all thought these cupcakes were an improvement over previous mixes I've tried.  Also, they said these sugar cookies tasted like plain old normal sugar cookies (not like potatoes like last time.)  There were high-fives all around.
Of course, I own 20 gluten-free cookbooks, but if I want to save time for things like decorating sugar cookies, then a good-quality mix helps me get there with less stress and more fun.
Sometimes people ask why I don't just buy stuff with gluten in it and serve it alongside my food. Although, I don't expect the world to change for me, my house is a "safe" place for me to eat.  
Trying to police dips, cheese or other spread that could become cross-contaminated would take the fun out of it for me.  One time I brought a risotto to a potluck. I stepped away from the table and out of the corner of my eye saw someone dipping crackers into it. 
If I have the choice, I'd like to avoid even the possibility of cross-contamination.  So, sometimes it means going the extra mile food-wise to make sure that everyone can enjoy the party.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't forget Rebecca Reilly!

Gluten-free-cookbook-goddess Rebecca Reilly will be in town Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, to speak at the North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group meeting.  The meeting is free.
Rebecca Reilly is the author of Gluten-Free Baking.  I just used her quiche crust recipe this past weekend.  Divine!  You can read more about her on the North Texas GIG site.

Date: Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Celiac 101 (newly diagnosed)
           10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Support Group Meeting
Place: Richland Hills Church of Christ

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tasty tweak of Gluten-Free Pantry cake mix

My co-worker, friend and fellow soldier in the war against wheat, Karla,  shared this idea with me.  In attempting to recreate a favorite family recipe, she recently bought a box of Gluten-Free Pantry white cake mix and tweaked it this way:

  • buttermilk in place of the liquid
  • real butter as the fat
  • and added a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar 
  • and two heaping tablespoons of cocoa.  She adds more cocoa might be better
  • Karla used a small cake ban of 9x9 or 8x8
This reminds me of a book which I had chucked as not gluten-free friendly - The Cake Mix Doctor.  Now I wonder if I should look for another copy and give it another try?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gluten-Free roll-out sugar cookies - my defeated foe!

I love making sugar cookies, cutting them out and decorating them with icing for Halloween.  However, last year, was an epic event involving lots of broken cookies and friends who complained the cookies tasted like potatoes.  
The recipe I used, from Bette Hagman's Gluten-Free Gourmet for Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies, recommends using potato flour to roll them out.  
This year, went a lot more smoothly.  I only rolled the dough out to about 1/4" thickness and I used tapioca starch to keep the cookies from sticking to the rolling pin.  Last year, I was determined to try and get them down to 1/8" which lead to a lot of sticking and cookies that couldn't be transferred to a cookie sheet.
I'm going to try using a Wilton glaze icing to reduce cookie breakage even more.  Spreading icing on with a knife was a tricky proposition last year.  I'll post a photo and let you know how it goes!  Good luck in your own cookie endeavors.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Be Free For Me - Gluten-Free Coupon Site

I saw on's Celiac page - it's a site where you can get free samples, coupons and recipes based on your food intolerances.  They let you pick Gluten Free, nut free, soy free, etc.  Also, you can mix or match allergies.  Fun, huh?  Anyway, it sounds pretty cool and they have a newsletter as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is Blue Cheese Gluten Free?

This is one of those questions that keeps me up at night.  Does mold, started on bread, retain evil Gluten?  Or is it like if a cow eats wheat grass and we eat the cow, it's still all cow and it's safe?  Or, like my good friend asked, "Why do you want to eat moldy cheese anyway?  Doesn't mold mean it's bad?"
Luckily, someone with more research than thought experiments has come up with some answers.  I got this from local Gluten-Intolerant-Guru Betty Barfield who got it from cookbook and newsletter author Connie Sarros. (That's a lot of explanation, but this is how you know I didn't make it up myself out of wishful thinking.)

Click here to order and learn about blue cheese.

Once again the question has been asked, "Is blue cheese gluten-free?" Blue cheese is made from penicillin roquforti which, in today's modernized world, most often produces spores in sterile fermenters (not on stale bread). According to Wikipedia, "Blue cheese is a general classification of cow's milk, sheep's milk and/or goat's milk cheeses that has had Penicilliun cultures added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue or blue-green mold. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds have been formed and others have spores mixed in with the curds before they are formed. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cave.

The brand names that come to mind when you say 'blue cheese' are Roquefort (made in the south of France), Gorgonzola (Italy), Stilton (England), Danablu (Denmark), and America's entry, Maytag Blue Cheese. Keep in mind that, while NOT ALL blue cheeses are gluten-free, most are.

Most brands of blue cheese ARE gluten-free (but be sure to read the label each time before purchasing) A few brands that are GF:
  • Cabot
  • Athenos
  • Clemson
  • Rosenborg
  • Boar's Head
  • King's Choice
  • Smoked Shropshire
  • Les Fromages D'Ann Marie
  • Whole Creamery Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Lighthouse Idaho Blue Cheese Crumbles
The following brands of blue cheese are NOT gluten-free:
  • Sargento Blue Cheese
  • Organic Valley Blue Cheese Crumbles
-Connie Sarros

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Candy Corn Kisses look Gluten Free

There was a new scrumptious candy in the office Halloween candy bucket.  Hershey's seasonal Candy Corn Kisses.  I ID'd them and their ingredients, which appear to be gluten free on Candyblog.  If you're up for indulging your sweet tooth, give these a try!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chipotle - A gluten-free oasis

The best thing about Chipotle is that everything there except for the flour tortillas is pretty much gluten free.  So, if you go and get any of the bowls, you're good to go.  Once, I got worried about cross contamination and the server was happy enough to change gloves before making my food, but I've never had a problem eating there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Innocent Chocolate - Gluten and Sugar Free!

Innocent Chocolate has been out for a while, but I was eating some last night and meditating on its rich buttery goodness as well as the fact that only a small square leaves me feeling quite sated.  If you haven't sampled this treat, you can buy it in the freezer section of Central Market or on the Innocent Chocolate website.  As well as being Gluten-Free, it is sweetened with Agave Nectar which has a low Glycemic Index and is safer for diabetics.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brazilian cheese bread Gluten-Free mix

My friend recently came back from a trip to Brazil and brought me three packages of a marvelous delicacy called Pao de Quejio by Yoki.  It actually says gluten free on the top of the bag.  It cooked up a full cookie sheet of slightly-larger-than-golf-ball-sized rolls.  It tasted sort of like if cheese nips were biscuits.  Luckily, I hadn't eaten any dinner before I made them as it soon became apparent that these would be my dinner.  I recommend making them for a dinner party unless you have really strong will power.  You can buy them online here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes: Possibly my dream book

I recently purchased a copy of Carol Fenster, Ph.D.'s book 1,000 Gluten-Free recipes.  It promises everything from Gluten-Free Tiramisu to soft pretzels and ethnic specialties like Naan.  I made the soft pretzel recipe last night.  It delivered on taste, but the look is a little questionable.  I am excited, though to try even more recipes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Momentary carelessness led to hours of discomfort

This weekend, I went to a Greek Food Festival and ordered dolmas - something I normally think of as safe and delicious.  It's grape leaves wrapped around rice and sometimes meat.  I did not double check the ingredients since there was cafeteria-style serving.  It was a big mistake.  I gobbled four of them and a greek salad, which I still think was safe, and about 20 minutes later felt some ominous rumblings in my stomach.  I felt achy and sick for the rest of the day.  
So, just a reminder to not get careless.  I still plan to go to food festivals and try new things, but it's always important to ask questions. If it's a situation where you can't be sure, better to be safe than sorry (for 8 hours) and not eat the food.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finding Gluten-Free food at the fair

I was headed for a day at the Texas State Fair when my boyfriend asked, "what can you eat there?"  What, indeed, in the land of chicken-fried-bacon could I possibly find to eat?  At lunch time, we went to the food court and I was trapped in a sea of gluten.  However, I went from booth to booth picking foods I thought likely to be Gluten Free and asking if they were.  I struck out several times, but landed in Gluten-Free paradise at a stand selling caribbean-style food.  I have to say, my tasty bowl of black beans and rice accompanied by scrumptious baked plantains looked a lot better than my boyfriend's turkey leg.  

Some commonly* Gluten-Free festival foods are:
  • caramel apples
  • cotton candy
  • kettle corn
  • pop corn
  • grilled sweet corn
  • ice cream in a bowl
  • ribbon fries (Where they take a whole potato, slice it real thin and fry it.  Make sure they don't fry the funnel cakes in the same oil!)
  • taffy
  • peanut brittle
*Always double check.  You never know where some modified food starch or a dusting of flour might creep in.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Seasons Snacks - Lower fat, gluten-free cheese puffs

I recently brought these along on a road trip.  I did - don't tell anyone - share a few bites with my chihuahua, but other than that, I snarfed the whole thing.  I couldn't help myself.  This is one of several Seasons Snacks products that is labelled wheat free and gluten free.  They were soooo scrumptious.  I found them at my Kroger in Bedford at Central and Harwood, but if you can't find them locally, you can order them online.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fuddruckers - New Gluten-Free Buffalo Burgers

Last night I was eating at the Fuddruckers in Bedford at 183 and Forest Ridge and saw their new Buffalo burger.  I was intrigued and asked some questions.  Turns out they don't use any filler in any of their burgers - including beef, turkey, salmon and Buffalo.  That was a fun find.  I ate that and a plain baked potato with A-1 sauce and had a very satisfying meal.  They also have an array of salads.  In the past, I've eaten their lemon chicken with great success.  I've never had a reaction after eating there.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gluten-Free potato pasta

Last night I tried out Nuovo's classic potato gnocchi.  It's only one of their many Gluten-Free products.  I just checked and looks like this is well-known in the GF community - if you judge by the blogs.  So, let me add my voice in saying that this is a nice, easy-to-prepare, tasty treat.  One warning, I had gobbled the whole package before noticing it is supposed to provide two servings at 250 calorie each.  Sigh.  At least it was filling!  On Nuovo's site, you can see a wide array of flavors and seasonings, but at Central Market on Hulen in Fort Worth where I bought mine, I only found the classic potato.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Easy, Gluten-Free Thai food from A Taste of Thai

This is an old favorite that I keep coming back too.  Many of  A Taste of Thai's products are labelled Gluten Free.  I love the coconut rice and chicken or tofu marinated in the peanut sauce mix.  There are lots of options, however.  Check out their site!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scrumptious Pear Terrine from Martha Stewart Living Magazine Sept. 2008

This past weekend, I made this naturally Gluten-Free recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine.  It took a leap of faith because it didn't look like this picture until the very last step.  This is a pic I pulled from their website, but mine really did look very similar.  It was quite tasty and I did serve it with the cheese and toasted walnuts as suggested.  I had doubts until I tried a bite and all three flavors merged into a delightful confluence of taste.