Gluten Free Foodies
Celebrate the foods that you can eat!
Gluten Free Holiday Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries … one of my favorite treats and naturally sweet and gluten free!
5 – 6 bars of Theo 75% Chocolate (no soy)
or 1lb. of chocolate chips.
I am so excited to tell you about my friends – Mike and Stephanie’s new restaurant - Mike’s Four Star BBQ . The restaurant just opened on Dec. 2. and it is the talk of the town! They renovated the old filling station on the historic Highway 104 where you can smell the BBQ for miles before you enter the town. Let your nose guide you while your appetite builds! They are open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm.
I must say that Stephanie did an awesome job with creating a fun atmosphere incorporating old tin signs, bright vivid colors, original artwork and they even made the tables with their branding iron and 4 stars! The menu is on a large chalk board at the front counter where you place your order and pick it up. This is a fun casual atmosphere for families and dates that don’t mind getting a little messy with the finger food and sauce.
I met Mike and Stephanie about 3 years ago when they catered a party. They used to participate at various outdoor events including the Bainbridge Island 4th of July celebrations, Kingston and Port Gamble farmers markets and concerts. I would go to see them when I needed my BBQ fix. This is usually a high priority year’round on this Gluten Free Texas girl’s list. So I would hunt them down on a regular basis and became their biggest fan and friend!
It turns out that I can eat Mike’s BBQ because the meats and sauces are Gluten Free!!! Mike is Gluten Intolerant so he knows what it is like to live Gluten Free. He is very well versed in reading labels and knows that it can be hard for Celiacs and Gluten Intolerant people to eat out. He makes the food that he can eat. Yes, his menu does offer regular bread and sandwiches and other items that contain gluten but he is very cautious to keep every thing separate so that he can eat too!
You can order platters of a combination of meats including pulled pork, pulled chicken, beef brisket and ribs. Oh! and the sausage he makes there …is AWESOME … MUST HAVE THE SAUSAGE!! I also love the sauces and am hoping they start to bottle and sell it again real soon … hint hint …
I highly recommend that you swing by Mike’s Four Star BBQ during the holidays and let Mike do the cooking for you. They also do take out so if you are going to a party and need your Gluten Free fix of BBQ to go with you. Tell Mike you want your order “NAKED” or “GLUTEN FREE” and he will be happy to do that for you!
Their phone number is 360 297 4BBQ to call ahead if you would like to reserve a table for a large group or for take out orders.
I am adding a few of my new favorite Gluten Free Cookbooks to my MUST have list. I apologize for such a late posting, so close to the holiday, but I only just picked these books up and wanted to tell you about them right away.
Easy Gluten-Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone
I think the recipes that intrigue me most about this cookbook are the variety of pizza doughs or crust and recipes … yes I said variety!!! Get this … Deep Dish, Thin Crust, New York Style, Chicago-Deep Dish … PIZZA! Actually there are recipes from around the world including - Thai Coconut Cilantro Chicken to Mexican Spiced- Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.
Thank goodness we all know “some people” that thrive on shopping at the last minute! Just don’t forget to tell them that you have a few additions to “your wish list”. Look at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com or your favorite local bookstore like Eagle Harbor Book Comapny on Bainbridge Island.
Last night while I was baking a few things I was thinking about how this year is almost over. I was thinking how happy I am writing this blog and talking to so many people all over the globe. Yes, I actually said globe. It boggles my mind to think that so many people around the globe are living Gluten Free and either have Celiac disease or Gluten Intolerance. I wondered which blog posting was a favorite or helped anyone and why …
So I continued to bake a few more Gluten Free Holiday treats for my neighbors. I decided to use an early Christmas gift from my mom. The gift was a new 8 inch square All Clad baking pan. I love the handles on this pan that make it so easy to get in and out of the oven! I was excited try it out! It is so funny because I used to like to bake … but now I love to bake! Having the best tools and equipment makes it easier as well. Cooking and baking Gluten Free can be a challenge but if you are still trying to think of something for your holiday wish list I suggest getting new baking pans!
I would send an email to your friends and family and let them know that you enjoy cooking and baking Gluten Free. Let them know that because you spend so much time in the kitchen now, there are a few things that you need that would make it a little easier. Include a link to your favorite shopping site like Cookware.com and either tell them specifically what you need or let them choose from a variety of cookware. The prices are discounted so you don’t have to worry about them spending too much. Cookware.com offers everything from All Clad, Le Creuset to Paula Deen. I knew she had a new cookware line and now I know where to buy it! She has some really cute cast iron Gingerbread and Snowman molds that are fun for the holidays. I was just thinking about making some Gingerbread … I will have to add that to my list!
Going along with that holiday gift giving and spirit … I wanted to provide an opportunity to give one Lucky Gluten Free Foodies Follower a gift certificate for $30 at Cookware.com
To enter the contest please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with 1-2 sentences as to what your favorite Gluten Free Foodies posting is and why. A random email will be selected as the winner. The gift certificate is provided by Cookware.com for any product on their site valued up to $30. The contest begins today, December 15, 2009 and ends December 31, 2009. The winner will be contacted via email. I look forward to seeing your emails and good luck!
It’s time for our first Gluten Free Holiday CookieExchange! I can’t wait to see all of the festive varieties of gluten free treats that the foodies have made to exchange.
I will be posting info about the recipes shortly but in the meantime this is just a little treat for the eyes!
I made a gluten free basic cookie and added cocoa. Baked them and then added some melted chocolate and a sprinkle of peppermint crunch!
I call them – Chocolate-Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies.
I also made some decorated shortbread cookies because they are a bit sturdier than a regular sugar cookie. I used Bob’s Red Mill - new shortbread cookie mix and rolled it out thick to cut the cookies. I really wanted to make decorated cookies because I love to see how fun they look decorated. I ran into all sorts of problems with the icing and learned my lesson, thin out the icing and it will dry! Regardless … have fun with it!
Wow! What a week!!! it has been in the teens and 20′s all week and I am done with this deep freeze! I decided today that I need a good, hot and hardy breakfast to kick start my day. My power has been out off and on all week and I have not had access to my buddy – my computer! This breakfast is a well earned treat.
I woke up starving for a BIG HOT GLUTEN FREE BREAKFAST!
So I decided to make GLUTEN FREE FRENCH TOAST WITH DRIED CHERRIES, ALMONDS, COCONUT AND HONEY WITH JONES’ SAUSAGE … what a mouthful!
Mix an egg in a bowl with about a tablespoon of Coconut Milk, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Dunk the slice of Gluten Free bread into the mixture and turn over to allow it to absorb. Put some butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the soaked slice of bread into the pan and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Put 2 frozen sausage patties in a microwave safe bowl with a paper towel on top and cook for 1.5 minutes.
Put the Gluten Free French Toast on the plate with the sausage and top with dried cherries, chopped almonds, coconut flakes. You can use any dried fruit – cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, apricots. You can also add any of your favorite nuts and seeds – pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pumpkin seeds. I like to add either golden honey or agave to make everything glisten and just slightly sweet. Total prep time is 10 minutes. Try to get a bite with everything on it…don’t forget the sausage!
Image by celikins via Flickr
Time is ticking away and the holidays are almost here!
I can’t believe we only have a few short weeks to find a few special gifts. Just in case you not sure what to get your favorite Gluten Free Foodie on your holiday list … I am here to help you!
I have compiled a list of a few necessities that help make living gluten free a little easier and thought I would share them with you.
Must have books – I have chosen these books because I refer to them on a regular basis for sharing information and recipes. They definitely make my life easier and tastier!
The Grain Free Gourmet by Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass
Healthier Without Wheat by Stephen Wangen – I especially think this is a helpful gift for anyone to read because there are so many people that are Gluten Intolerant and may not know it.
The book also helps to answer questions and is a good reminder or tool to have down the road when you might get frustrated.
Gluten Free Nutrition Guide by Tricia Thompson is a great reference book to make sure that you are getting the nutrition that you need daily with meal planning.
You can find similar items at other specialty kitchen stores but I really like the quality of Williams-Sonoma. I highly recommend including a big box of parchment paper with any of these gifts, even if they say non-stick. Gluten Free dough is very sticky and using the parchment paper really helps with clean up and keeps the baker happy!
Commercial Quality Loaf Pan 1lb.
Food Storage – OXO Containers from Crate & Barrel This is just a safe way to store the various flours, nuts and gluten free ingredients.
Other gift ideas that you may not think about – Yoga, Art and Chocolate! I enjoy them all and are really helpful in managing the stress that is associated to living a gluten free lifestyle.
I truly think that these are the saving grace for me some days!
Yoga – Consider giving the some Yoga classes. There is so much planning involved with meals, reading labels and cooking that your mind runs all the time. We all have so many responsibilities with our family, friends and work. I find that Yoga helps me to take time out for myself, manage my pain, restore my energy, soul and just breathe.
Art - Think about supporting a local artist in your community by buying ART. Another idea is to give the gift of art classes. Creativity is something that helps us focus on the fun side of life as we did when we were children. This is very near and dear to my heart because I love to paint, draw, write, cook … anything creative to take a time out from technology!
Chocolate - If chocolate is not the problem but just soy and dairy are …
Why not buy my favorite organic free trade soy free and dairy free Dark Chocolate??!! I really like Equal Exchange because it is one of the few companies that make really good chocolate without soy, that is organic and helps support farmers and their families.
I love the Dark Chocolate with Almonds and the Dark Chocolate with Orange!
Regardless of the gifts you choose this holiday season remember to have fun with it! Any small gesture that you make for someone that is Gluten Intolerant or that has Celiac Disease will greatly appreciate your kind thoughts and support. Even though we are all foodies it doesn’t always have to be about food.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Bread and Cupcakes are a great way to enjoy a fall treat for Thanksgiving or for those who just love pumpkin all year round … like me!
I like to have the bread around in the morning with a cup of coffee or an all day treat for guests when they stop by. The cupcakes are great too because the are individually wrapped and ready to eat or go!
For the Frosting on the cupcakes I just made my
Heavenly Cream Cheese Frosting.
I must say that this combo is to die for …
8 oz. package of Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of butter 2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbs. Nielsen-Massey Vanilla
Mix well with a hand mixer. The frosting will be creamy and the cupcakes will need to be chilled until ready to serve. I use the same recipe for the cupcakes and bread from Rebecca Reily’s cookbook Gluten Free Baking, page 52. This book is a must for your Gluten Free library! You can also add nuts – pecans or walnuts, dates, raisins. It is perfect without too! She uses one of her flour blends, so it is best just to get the book, but the recipe is a basic gluten free quick bread recipe. I would experiment and add about 1 cup of organic pumpkin puree to your favorite quick bread recipe or better yet treat yourself to the book for the holidays!
If you have questions please feel free to email me at email@example.com
I hope you have a safe and delicious Gluten Free celebration with your family and friends!
OMG! I am now a big fan of stuffing!! (Don’t tell anyone but I never liked stuffing pre-gluten free living.) I never understood the big deal with stuffing or dressing … whatever your family calls it. Now I love it! This is really easy and awesome GLUTEN FREE STUFFING with FENNEL AND ROSEMARY SAUSAGE !
Chop up the onion and saute it in a large pan with olive oil until translucent. Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Take it out and put it into a heat safe bowl. Chop up the celery and fennel and add it to the bowl of hot onions so the flavors will meld.