Gluten Free Foodies

Celebrate the foods that you can eat!

GIG Annual Picnic for Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula – Aug. 15, 2010

August 7th, 2010 at 8:43 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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GIG Annual Picnic for Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula Aug. 15, 2010

Gluten Intolerance Group
Annual Picnic for the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula
Sunday, August 15th, 2010
11 – 4 PM

Chetzemoka Park – 900 Jackson Street, Port Townsend, WA

Special Guest will be Mari Cleven, GIG Teen Tag Leader
Bring your family, friends and teens are encouraged to come to meet Mari!

GIG is supplying the Gluten Free Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and Vegetarian Burgers all with Gluten Free Buns!
RSVP by August 12 to
Please bring a side dish or a dessert with a written list of the ingredients used to share with the group. Sue will be looking at it to make sure that there are no questionable ingredients and please be aware of cross contamination when cooking or baking in your home.

Sue Eliot says “Drive north through downtown Port Townsend on Water Street until it ends, then turn left and drive on Monroe up the hill to Blaine. Turn right and it will end at the beautiful little gate for the park. There is parking all along Jackson Street so you don’t have to walk far. We have great facilities there and you can either sit in the shade or out in the sun and go down to the beach for some great treasure hunting. If you would like to bring a blanket or chairs that will enable you to also stay after the picnic for the production of Shakespeare’s Tempest which will be performed on the lower hill in the park. Dress warmly for that.”

Don’t for get to please RSVP by August 12, so we know how much
Gluten Free Food to prepare!
Sue Eliot

Car Pools available for info please contact –
Sue Eliot
Carol McLaren

I know I will be there and look forward to meeting y’all there too!


Gluten Free Foodies

Gluten Free Pizza at Stella’s in Poulsbo!

August 6th, 2010 at 11:50 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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BREAKING GLUTEN FREE NEWS - Stella's Pizza & Pasta has made a big addition to their menu - Gluten Free Pizza! Well, I guess all of my wishful thinking has made it happen ...
When I talked to the owner, Susan Baker,
and asked what was the reason behind this new additon to the menu she said " ... actually one of their best customers at Stella's would bring in frozen Gluten Free pizza crusts so his child could eat out at a real pizza place." Stella's would add their toppings and make the pizza for them. Susan owns both Stella's Italian Dining in Poulsbo and Spiro's Pizza & Pasta in Gig Harbor. She decided that after additional requests for Gluten Free pizza, "maybe it was a good idea to add it and see what happens."

I am thinking they will be very busy after the Gluten Free Foodies hear about this!

As an added bonus from now through September 30, 2010 if you show them this posting you will get $2 off your Gluten Free Pizza!

The crust is thin and sturdy so it holds up to a loaded pizza. They make all of their sauces fresh daily, so they know they are Gluten Free! (Unfortunately the meat sauce is not.) Marinara, Pesto and White Sauce are all ready for the Gluten Free pizza lover to enjoy once again. The menu includes pizza creations like -

Greek Veggie (pictured with fresh the roma tomatos on top!) - Artichoke Hearts, Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms $13.75.

Mediterranean - Pesto, Chicken, Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Feta and Mozzarella (pictured below) $14.75.

White Pizza - Bacon Bits, Spinach, Sliced Pepperoni, Pine Nuts, Black Olives and White Sauce! $13.75. (You had me at Bacon Bits ... !)

These are just $1 more than their regular pizza and are 10 inches. Great deal!

They even have an Oyster and Onion Pizza ... hmm that is something I never heard of on a pizza but who knows?

There are so many more great pizza creations on the menu that you will just have to go to see and taste for yourself. You will not be disappointed. You can actually taste the fresh sauces and all of the layers of toppings. You can also create your own favorite combination!

I have been driving by Stella's at 19980 10th Avenue NE in Poulsbo, every time I go to Central Market. I have somewhat of a chant or mantra that goes something like this ...

Oh please, please, please serve Gluten Free pizza soon!

So I guess the Gluten Free gods were listening and made it happen!

When I walked into the restaurant I was surprised and happy to see such a warm, spacious and tastefully decorated establishment. I felt as if I were walking into someone's home. Fun and creative artwork on the walls, nice lighting and warm rich woods. This is the kind of place where you could hang out with your family and friends for hours and eat really great Gluten Free Pizza!

They also have a Banquet Room with doors. The Banquet Room is available for meetings or events. I asked Susan if there was a fee for the room and she said no fee but the group must make a reservation and order food and beverages! How great is that? I know the Gluten Free Foodies will be meeting there on a regular basis for our monthly meetings!
Stella's Italian Dining - 360 697 4992
19980 10th Ave NE Poulsbo, WA
Spiro's Pizza & Pasta - 253 851 9200
3108 Harborview Drive (downtown) Gig Harbor, WA

Don't forget to bring this posting to Stella's or Spiro's in Gig Harbor to get your $2 off your Gluten Free pizza and tell the you saw it on GLUTEN FREE FOODIES.


P.S. Thank you to "the father and the Gluten Free child" for bringing in the frozen pizza and getting the Gluten Free idea into Susan's mind. Looking forward to seeing you at Stella's soon!
Big thanks to Susan for making a great new Gluten Free addition to her menus!

Gluten Free on the Go!

August 3rd, 2010 at 11:22 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Have Gluten Free treats ...
will travel!

If there is one thing that living the Gluten Free lifestyle has taught me is that you must always take some Gluten Free treats with you.
I usually carry a small red ice cooler with me in the car but I found this cute new bag that is eco friendly and insulated! There is a new trend for stylish brown baggin' it and I just love it! I found this fun bag in Port Townsend, WA on a recent visit. There are various colors, styles and sizes at The Green Eyeshade swing by or check out the website. This one is really great because it is about the size of a purse and other than the fact that it is bright and festive you might not realize it is a "cooler" or lunch bag. I have used mine to take to local outdoor concerts, picnics or anytime I am running errands in the car. The Green Eyeshade also has a vast variety of kitchen tools and supplies that every chef and baker must have or can't find, all at very good prices. I thought my bag was a good deal at $22.
Port Townsend is a great little town on the north tip of the Olympic Peninsula in WA state. There is a really great beach to walk on or relax while reading a book in the Fort Worden park area. The quaint town has great restaurants and shops along the main road. The summertime is busy with outdoor festivals, weekly farmers markets, Wooden Boat Festival and the best Film Festival! I love Port Townsend and it is a must visit if you are traveling in the area!

A side note, my Stanley Thermos is always with me when I am at the beach or an outdoor event. I usually make some hot tea with local wild honey and cinnamon. It is the perfect way to enjoy our Pacific Northwest afternoons and evenings.
Second side note ... sometimes I make Hot Cocoa with coconut milk or Coffee with coconut creamer and French Market Coffee or ... you get the idea ... something special, since it is hard to find a GF and DF drink treat out.
Check out Stanley
for more info on products and where to buy.

So now I bet you are wondering what I put inside these totally cute bags for ... Gluten Free on the Go

I usually put any or all of these drinks either in the freezer or fridge so that at a moments notice I have something to add to the bag to keep it cool without having to use a reusable ice bag. The cold or frozen drinks help to save space. If it is not a hot summer day, a drink in the fridge will last a few hours, in the insulated bag.

Coconut water is a great way to stay hydrated naturally.

Pacific Foods now has Coffee Lattes made with Vanilla or not and is sweetened. It is also made with milk, for those that can drink it. A really good non dairy option is the Chocolate Hazelnut drink, great cold or perfect to add to a coffee for a special treat while you are out ... Iced Chocolate Hazelnut Latte ... order the espresso and add your own! GF, DF and SF

It is so frustrating that coffee shops only offer soy and rice milk. Beware that not all non-dairy options are Gluten Free and Soy Free.

I absolutely love this snack all the time. It is great to put some of the Bakery on Main granola, without oats, into small containers for portion control for quick trips ... or just take the whole resealable bag with you to share. I love the Apple Raisin Walnut but they have other flavors too!
You can find just about all of these treats at GF Joe's Market
in Tumwater, WA or online They offer free FedEx shipping on orders over $100. You can't beat that and from the comfort of your home!

Gourmet on the Go are great little ready made meals if you are looking for a little something more for your picnic or road trip. It even comes with a fork!

Speaking of road trip, stop by GF Joe's on your way out of town to stock up for the trip. Check the site for store hours.

5739 Littlerock Road, SW Suite 103 Tumwater, WA or call for info 360 628 8010.

Gary West - The best Gluten Free jerky! I love the Angus Steak Strips and the Buffalo Strips.

You can order online direct. I suggest that you sign up for their newsletter to receive monthly specials and discounts.

The following products are Gluten Free
Original Steak Strips (all flavors but Teriyaki)
Certified Angus Beef® Steak Strips (all flavors but Teriyaki)
Silver Fork Natural™ Steak Strips
Buffalo and Elk Strips

Kind bars are a great way to have a little sweet and protein from the nuts. I am hooked on the Almond & Apricot with coconut!

Justin's Nut Butters in squeeze packets are the best way to travel with choice. Ok, most of the time I will choose the nut butters with chocolate but they do offer the nut butters without chocolate as well ... just not pictured because I ate them all on the last picnic.

Love love love to add this to a banana or an apple!

Fruit leathers are a great way to have a very small, thin snack when you need a pick me up. I also like to make sure that I have a handful of nuts with them as well, usually almonds or walnuts to balance with protein.

A bit of advice with these, they can be sticky and tricky to open, try to split it down the back side to avoid a mess.

Raw fruit leathers by Kaia Foods are not sticky and very satisfying treats with combinations like Vanilla Pear (my favorite), Goji Orange, Lime Ginger and Spiced Apple - from organic fruit that is dehydrated at low temperatures so the nutrients and natural sugars stay in place.
The other great thing about this company is that they donate a portion of the sales to food aid programs! Kudos to Kaia Foods! Check out their site to buy these and other great products or to find out where you can get them in your local area.

Did you know that Hot Tamales are Gluten Free?
Good treat when you are at the movies and not sure what your sweet tooth wants or just to enjoy anytime for that fresh cinnamonny hot flavor!

How great are these little Hummus Dips from Wild Garden? Look at the label on the top one in the picture, Gluten Free ... Ready to Eat! Perfect size for a snack. Make sure to have some carrots or chips ready for dipping!
You can also find most of these treats at Nature's Market 26011-104th Ave. SE Kent, WA 98030 (253) 854-5395 in the Seattle area. Nature's Market offers over 500 Gluten Free products in store and online. They also have an annual Gluten Free event in the Fall. Look at their website for more info.
There are so many more treats that I can share with you so check back for more soon. In the meantime ... see you outside in the sun having some Gluten Free food fun!

Off to another outdoor concert ...


Gluten Free Dining and Shopping Guides

July 26th, 2010 at 11:12 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Have you heard about the Triumph Guides? The Gluten Free Restaurant Guide, Gluten Free Grocery Guide and Gluten Free Restaurant Rescue Pack - dining cards ?
Well, I am here to tell you they are really great! It is so easy to look up info and to carry with you. These guides are updated annually with such useful information.

In 2004, Ross and Kay Cohen of Philadelphia came up with a great idea while trying to figure out how Ross could live a happier Gluten Free lifestyle. Ross actually avoided social situations around food because it was just too hard to navigate the strict gluten free guidelines to stay healthy. His wife said, "Let's make dining cards to teach restaurants how to make gluten free foods", so that he and others who are Gluten Free do not avoid a social life. They dove right in and began to meet with chefs and restaurants. They also studied labels and cookbooks to discover pitfalls that may occur in a restaurant kitchens. Each of the cards has 3 translations. The cards are laminated and can be folded up and carried in your wallet or purse for easy spontaneous use! The cards explain the gluten free diet quickly and accurately. The 10 pack of cards has 10 different languages including - American, Chinese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese - ready to travel with locally or internationally.

Since those early days, they have also added a gluten free grocery shopping guide that includes 30,000 products with 1,100 brand names. As an added bonus, the gluten free restaurant guide, just released 5th addition, has over 6,500 Restaurants for all 50 States including menus for 120 national and regional chains like Chili's, Red Robin and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill. I was actually very surprised to see Buca di Beppo in there as well!

The Grocery Guide has information from top store brands like Safeway and Kroger, to name a few. The book is nicely organized into sections like grocery aisles - dairy, beverages, baking, canned & packaged goods, cereal, bread & pasta, condiments, sauces, dressings, snacks, baby foods and formulas, frozen foods and meats. There are so many foods and companies that might be new to you or you may have missed because the store may not have tagged the shelf or positioned it in a space that wasn't easy to find. This way you can plan ahead and ask your favorite grocery store if they carry the Gluten Free items you are looking for or order it for you.

I have added an icon link to the sidebar of my blog to make ordering easier. Just click the icon below in this post or on the sidebar for more information. You can order any or all three from this link. The books and cards make a great gift for your Gluten Free Foodie friends and family too!



Gluten Free Foodies BBQ & Music Saturday, July 24th

July 23rd, 2010 at 8:49 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Looking for something different to do this weekend?
Wish you had more Gluten Free friends?
Well, I think I can help you!
Meet us at Mike's 4 Star BBQ in Port Gamble on July 24th at 4 PM.
Look for us sitting outside on the deck enjoying the gorgeous views around the quaint little town of Port Gamble while eating some of Mike's totally awesome Gluten Free pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken or no mayo slaw! Oh ... did I forget to mention the ribs and handmade sausage?! Mike even has a dedicated GF fryer to make some of his famous Old Mill Chips ... just for us! I like to dip them in their perfectly spicy and sweet BBQ sauce.
Mike's Four Star BBQ is located in the old filling station at 4719 NE State Hwy 104
We will be at Mike's until about 5:45 PM and then we will drive over to Kingston to enjoy the FREE Concert on the Cove that starts at 6:30 PM. Bring some of your favorite Gluten Free treats to share for dessert during the concert. Don't forget to bring a folding chair or a blanket to sit on the grassy cove. The concerts are at the Mike Wallace Park next to the Kingston Ferry. If you live in the Seattle area just walk on the ferry to meet us for the concert.
The concerts are organized by the Kingston Chamber of Commerce.
If you have any questions or think you will meet us at both locations or just one, please let me know so I can look out for you and save some space.
Please note each person or family will be paying for your meal at the time that you order. Families and friends are welcome, even if you aren't Gluten Free but curious please feel free to join us for some really great food and music!
Looking forward to seeing you,

Gluten Free Veracruz Cooking and Pairings

July 18th, 2010 at 10:04 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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I had the most amazing dinner and lesson the other night at Mexico y Veracruz Cooking in Pacific Place, downtown Seattle. It was a special event dinner that was sponsored by Cazadores and Corzo Tequila.
I know, when I heard Tequila, I thought ... yikes! I do not like Tequila! I use it to cook but I do not like to drink it. I don't even like Margaritas. I actually hate the smell of it!

I knew this was going to be a hard lesson for me but I thought I would make an effort because my friend, Chef Fernanda at the restaurant invited me to attend the event. I didn't have the heart to tell her ... I hate Tequila! I really only have a cocktail on special occasions.

So the other night, as I was getting dressed, I reminded myself to have an open mind about this special event. I thought, who knows, maybe I might learn something new? When I arrived I gave Fernanda a big hug and we sat down to catch up before the festivities. She also assured me that everything on the menu was Gluten Free, just for me! How sweet is that?! A really handsome and nice waiter, Andrew, came over and introduced himself to me and asked about what type of cocktail we wanted to start the night off. I thought to myself, yikes! how am I going to do this? Both Fernanda and he recommended a refreshing Grapefruit Cocktail with Cazadores Blanco, perfect for the summer. When it arrived I took a small sip and realized this is not the flavor I remembered. This was smooth and floral. I only had a few sips as I ate my favorite freshly made salsa and chips. I get really distracted when this is in front of me. The salsa has roasted tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, onion and I am not sure what peppers. I tried to get the recipe but no luck! The corn chips are perfectly crisp with such flavor. They sprinkle sea salt and squeeze fresh lime juice on them while they are still hot from the fryer. I just about polished off the chips and salsa, the first course arrived. I did notice, however that the combination of the drink with the chips and salsa went really well together. The flavors were fresh and bright.

To learn more about the history of Cazadores Tequila explained by Tania, their Ambassador, look at the info on their website and video. Some interesting things to note, in 2001, Mexico and the European Union ruled that it was forbidden that tequila be produced outside of Mexico. The Western Blue Agave plant is grown in 5 states in the Highlands of Mexico - Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacan and Tamaulipas. Tequila can only be called "tequila" if it has at least 51% Tequilana Western Blue Agave and adhere to the standards of the TRC. If it is less than 100% you will not feel well after consuming it! You will get the infamous worst hangover ever! Cazadores and Corzo Tequila is high end and you will not feel ill but please drink responsibly. She also explained to us that the factory plays classical music during the fermentation process to allow the yeast to thrive. It takes 12 years to grow an agave mother plant, from which the sprouts grow. The Pina, the middle section, is where the juices are extracted. It takes 4 days to cook and process. (Other brands do it within hours, thus poor quality.) They must distill the agave 2 times by law then it goes into a barrel to age and extract the vanilla, chocolate creamy flavors from the wood.

Just then, it was time to sample the Blanco - sip, swirl, swallow and exhale slowly ... wow! ... it was nice and also time for the first course of the meal.

Ceviche! So fresh from the sea, cold, citrus marinated Ahi tuna and shrimp served so beautifully atop an avocado half.

In between, Tania told us about Reposado, made from 100% Blue Agave, rested for over two months in new small American white oak casks. Rich aroma, floral and slightly sweet. It goes really well with - Oranges sprinkled with Cinnamon! It was so good and I was so shocked that it was sweet and creamy, two words I would not think of using when describing ... Tequila!

And now the main course ...
Carne Tampiquena - A northern Mexico favorite from Tampico - Grilled Painted Hills steak served with cheese enchiladas topped with the absolute best mole sauce I have ever had! I think the server said it had 24 ingredients! The creamiest rajas (roasted, peeled poblano peppers and onions) and refried beans were on the side.

Oh my goodness ... let's just say I lived in the moment with this meal. I savored each and every bite. I appreciated all of the flavors from the mole, to the rajas ... and then I realized that my tastebuds were so happy because they had been introduced to something new. Pairings that were not my typical favorites and yet slightly different. Orange instead of lime ... Cinnamon, which I absolutely love, with a variety of peppers, it was as if my palate had a rebirth! I could suddenly taste the various levels of the food, simply citrus to the spice of the peppers. I was so happy that I went to this event. I learned so much about how pairings in different ways with quality beverages can make all the difference in the world to enjoy a meal. So typically we think of pairing beer or wine. I never would have thought of pairing Tequila. I suggest the next time the there is an event like this at Mexico Cantina y Veracruz Cooking that you gather your friends and go! Awesome food, drinks and friends!

Wait ... wait ... we finished off the meal with the most beautiful sugar nest domed flan and a few sips of Cazadores Anjeo, which is aged for 12 months and is just for sipping.
Thank you to everyone for such a lovely evening. I really enjoyed talking to everyone and learning about something that I thought ... I didn't like. I am a changed woman!

Pickles Deli – The Best Gluten Free Sandwiches!

July 7th, 2010 at 11:52 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Eh ... eyes over here please!
I know, I know that sandwich looks absolutely amazing. Forgive me ... that Gluten Free Spicy Italian sandwich looks absolutely amazing! Well it was the best Italian sandwich I have had in like 7 years! Totally stacked so high I could barely take a bite without squishing it down. Actually ... oh! ... that made it even better because all of the juices from the pepperocinis oozed out all over the hot cappicola, pepperoni, hard salami and in with the garlic Parmesan peppercorn dressing ... um ... and the sharp provolone and mozzarella romaine, tomato and red onion! The flavors rolling together like a waves in the ocean ... Oh man ... let's do it again ... more please!

So let's back up and I will tell you how I came across this divine piece of sandwich heaven ...

A few weeks ago I was itchin' to take a short day trip across the water. The weather around here has not been the best and I am so ready for summer sun! On top of it, I just get in these moods where - I just have to go to one of my favorite areas around the Puget Sound to just let the ferry winds blow across my face and through my hair. This trip took 4 ferry rides but well worth it. Anyway, I was looking on line to see what new things were happening on Whidbey Island. I love the little towns - Clinton, Langley and Coupeville on the south end of the Island. So, like I said, I was looking to see if I could find some place cool to eat a special Gluten Free lunch because my birthday was at the end of the week. So I kept looking and then got busy with some other chores. Later that evening I got back on line and opened my email inbox and there was an email from Kim at Pickles Deli in Clinton, WA on Whidbey Island! She very sweetly told me that she had some new Gluten Free bread, meats and cheeses and wondered if I would go out for a visit to try them. I immediately replied with a great big YES please.

I couldn't believe it! I was so excited and so in the mood for a really good loaded sandwich.

So I told her that I would be there on Thursday for a day trip for my birthday. We left early that morning - Mom, Mac and I because it was a family birthday celebration day.

It was very easy to find just a few minutes up the road off the ferry on highway 11042 SR 525, Suite 122 in the Ken's Korner shopping center. 360 341 3940 is the phone number.

Summer hours
Mon. - Wed. 9am-6pm
Thurs. - Sat. 9am - 8pm
Sun. - 11am-5pm

All of the meats and cheeses are Boar's Head and Gluten Free! You can order off the menu and tell them you want the Gluten Free bread. They will take extra care to make sure that the cross contamination is little to none as best as they can. We ordered a side of the potato salad and I am so glad we did. It was almost better than mine.
It was creamy and I think it had cheese and pickles in it, perfectly seasoned. We ended up splitting the sandwiches and also ordered the Classic Turkey and Bacon along side the Spicy Italian. The Turkey Bacon was loaded and a meal in itself. You will walk away very satisfied. The sandwiches also come with a Pickle ... of course!

I was so impressed with Kim and her team. They were all so sweet, calm and fast. Kim said hello to everyone by their name while making their food. She didn't skip a beat! Smiles and all! Kim even was sweet to my mama! One of her friends, Jeff came in to get his daily meal and she introduced me to him. It was a great feeling being there, as if we were family. Pickles Deli has been in business for three years. You can tell by the line that never stopped the entire time I was there. Please contact Kim for more info about her Gluten Free menu, any updates and catering.

While I was in the area I went into the local grocery stores. Star Store in Langley, the other is in Bayview Corner, carry a very nice selection of Gluten Free treats from breads, crackers, meats, chips, cookies and snack bars. The Goose Grocery also has a variety of Gluten Free items in their freezer and snack sections as well. Along the highway in Clinton, the FoodMart also had a great big sign that said "Gluten Free Products ..." so I had to stop and go inside. Great selection of some fun, hard to find things like Pik-Nik Shoestring Potatoes. It actually says GLUTEN FREE on the back of the can!

Go ... have some fun on Whidbey Island and eat at Pickles Deli ...
tell Kim I said ... Hello!

Stay the day, weekend or week with no worries because you can find some good Gluten Free food on Whidbey!


Paella Party – Para Todos Los Gustos

June 28th, 2010 at 5:08 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Have you ever worked so hard for a meal, that by the time you sat down to eat it you were so excited you didn't know where to start? I mean the kind of meal that you just wanted to dive
into - the fire roasted poblano peppers with a bit of smoky tomato, rice, mussels and a big bite of spicy chorizo - all perfectly seasoned by the outdoor fire and glowing with that saffron hue.

Ohhh! well ... let me tell you that my birthday wish came true this year!
My favorite way to celebrate with friends is to cook a really big meal that we can make together. Each guest brought a portion of the ingredients to add to the meal. We arrived at my friend Ana's summer house on Bainbridge Island around 3 pm. Luckily I made a few extra treats to kick start the festivities. More about those later ... but I highly recommend that you feed your guests while making this meal because it will take up to 2 hours. After all this is meal was originally created in Valencia, Spain as a laborer's or poor man's meal cooked over a fire in the middle of the field where they worked.

The name Paella refers to the metal pan that the dish is made in. It has 2 small handles and is somewhat shallow. This type of pan is usually very wide and flat on the bottom which allows for even heating over the fire. I have always wanted a traditional paella pan but do not have one. Luckily for me, my friend Gail let me borrow her two Paella pans. If you don't have one, I would suggest going to The Spanish Table in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. They have everything, I mean absolutely everything that you could ever want or need that has to do with Spanish cooking and Paella. They have Paella pans that range from 22 cm to 115 cm! I can't even imagine making Paella in a 115 cm pan ... but oh how fun would that be?

So we heated up the grill and started to roast the poblano peppers. Once the peppers started to blister on all sides we put them into a paper bag to let them sweat. Then we put the Roma tomatoes on for just a few minutes on all sides. At this point we began to work in shifts, the tomatoes went inside the house with Ana and Cynthia so they could puree them into a smoky sauce. Dave, Marla's husband, helped me with grilling the chicken, just enough to get the flavor started and toget all sides with grill marks. While the chicken was cooking, Sandy was a trooper and cut up 4 big onions - 2 red and 2 white, no tears! When the chicken was done we took it off the grill, put it on a plate, covered it with foil and put it to the side. We added a tad bit more of olive oil, the onions and the chorizo to the pan. I used Isernio's chorizo because it is Gluten Free. I removed the casings and added small pieces, about 1.5 - 2 inch pieces into the pan with the onions. In the meantime, Marla and Gwen took the poblanos from the bag, removed the blistered skin and cut them up. Once the onions were translucent and the chorizo was cooked, we added the poblano peppers. Then the tomato sauce went in and the rice. We used a brown rice but there are various types that you can use. I also added some Pacific Foods Gluten Free Chicken broth to both pans to allow the rice to cook. A traditional Spanish rice for paella is Matiz short grain rice, which you can also purchase at the Spanish Table.

By this time we started to use the other paella pan inside because the big pan was full and took up the space of the grill. Kelly arrived and was put to work with Ana while she was cooking the inside paella. I ran back and forth making sure that both pans were cooking at the same timing. We heated the other pan with some olive oil and added the onions, chorizo, tomato sauce, poblanos and rice and let it simmer. We added the saffron and pimento spices, garlic, sea salt and pepper and covered both pans with foil and waited patiently while the rice cooked. Patience is not one of my virtues ... but the others relaxed and enjoyed the view over the Agate Passage while sipping Cherry Mojitos and chatting. I couldn't wait to dive into the Paella!

About this time, my friend David walked in after running his first marathon in Seattle. Yes, he was actually standing in the doorway and greeted me with a smile after running 26 miles! We got him an icy cold Cherry Mojito and some Cherry Salsa with chips to help him relax and refuel. His timing was perfect because things were just about to heat up!

The time while waiting for the rice to cook is the hardest part for me because as I mentioned it requires patience. Well ... it is the hard part because you want to time it just right to put the chicken, mussels and shrimp in without overcooking or undercooking everything. It's all about timing ... let's just say it worked out!
We added green peas and fresh cilantro to brighten it up. David was the official taste tester and said it was ready. I called everyone to get a plate and paella was served!
It was perfect! As I looked around at everyone eating, I could hear the Spanish music playing and all I could think of is how happy everyone was, especially me. Everyone helped create this beautiful and absolutely delicious meal and had a lot of fun doing it! I think that is what I love about this meal - it is a great way to get your guests involved and chatting about food ... Paella!

We finished the meal off with some Cafe Dulce de Leche Flan that I made. Ana, the sweetheart, brought out a Gluten Free Chocolate Raspberry Cake with a candle and everyone sang

"Happy Birthday ... to me" ...

I have always wanted to have a Paella Party for my birthday and now I can say that we did it. Thank you to everyone who celebrated with me, espcially Ana, for sharing her home with us. Hopefully it is not the last time that we all get together to make some really great food. I love Paella and I love making it. I love that you can add whatever ingredients you want traditional or not. I love that it is Spanish and Gluten Free with all my favorite ingredients - chorizo, poblanos, mussels shrimp, saffron, rice. The best part is ... para todos los gustos ... there is a little something for everyone!

Cherry … Oh Cherry Syrup!

June 26th, 2010 at 9:35 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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So what is one to do when life gives you 20 lbs. of cherries?

Yes, I said 20 lbs. of NW Cherries!

Make lots-o-cherry food and drinks!

This week has been all about pitting cherries, by hand. I started off just cutting the cherries and using my fingers and then got wise to the tool. The first thing I wanted to make is

Cherry Syrup because I thought it would be a great basis for all

sorts of recipes to add a beautiful cherry red color and intense sweet, slightly tart flavor.

It is so easy, once you get past the pitting ...

2 cups pitted NW Cherries
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cane sugar
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey pure almond extract
1 tablespoon of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla paste

Heat the water and sugars in a tall sauce pan.

Keep an eye on it an stir so it doesn't burn. Just as it begins to boil
slowly add the cherries. Lower the heat to a simmer. Stir for a few minutes and cover. Reduce the heat to low to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and recover.

After 10 minutes turn the heat off and add the lemon juice, NM pure almond extract, NM Madagascar Bourbon vanilla paste. Stir well to incorporate all the flavors. Cover and let it meld for 15 minutes.

Take the lid off and let it cool on a rack. Use a funnel to pour into a bottle that has a tight seal. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Great to use to top anything Gluten Free - pancakes, waffles, frosting or use it for drinks.

Stay tuned ...


Gluten Free Birthday Wishes and Eddie Vedder

June 25th, 2010 at 8:28 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Well yes ... another year and ... Oh what a Gluten Free filled year!

I have met so many amazing people this year, virtually and in person. So this morning when I woke up with birthday surprises, besos and bacis (kisses) from Mac (my dog, he's trilingual) and Eddie Vedder ( I heart Eddie) ... I had to share.

Strong cup of coffee in hand and a new little Cherry Bomb cupcake that I just had to make! If you want the recipe send me an email.

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes ... looking forward to a weekend with friends at a Paella Party ... Ole'!

Lisa ... A Very Happy Gluten Free Birthday Foodie!


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About Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie

Learning to live Gluten Free is a challenge. Gathering with like minded people while exchanging ideas, life experiences and gluten free food is more interesting! So I created, Gluten Free Foodies, to support people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerant and other Food Sensitive people by gathering at events and celebrating the foods that we can eat! Do you have a Gluten Free question you want the answer to? Feel free to send me an email at Original blog - After all, didn't Erma Bombeck once say ... "I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food."

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