Can you believe August is just around the corner? Time has quite literally been flying by lately, especially because I have been spending many weekends out of town for business trips, weddings, graduations, and even a lovely vacation to the beach. It has been a wonderful few months to be sure, but has reminded me of how difficult it can be for those with food allergies to eat on-the-go in an unfamiliar city. A friend sent me the infographic below about ordering gluten-free food across the country, and it seemed too timely not to share. Enjoy it and look forward to more posts soon!
[You can also view the graphic on The Huffington Post]
On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I came across one of their newest items: an all-purpose gluten-free flour. I’m always excited to see brands coming out with new gluten-free products, especially in the baking department, so I was particularly happy to have this new option at one of my favorite grocers. And bakers on a budget will appreciate that the flour is only $3.99 per bag, which is relatively inexpensive for a g-free flour mix.
The back of the flour bag contains two recipes, one for apple-cinnamon muffins (pictured above) and one for pancakes. I tried both of the recipes over the past few weeks, and though I still have lots of experimenting to do with this new mix, I can say that my experience so far has been great. I even tried it in the oatmeal cookie recipe I recently posted, and liked the taste better than Bob’s Red Mill (sorry, Bob!). So stay tuned for more recipes using this new gluten-free flour!
Love making these pancakes for breakfast!
P.S. – I recently read an interesting article about how Trader Joe’s sells other companies’ name-brand foods at a lower price. And when I asked one gluten-free friend what they thought about the TJ’s g-free flour, they said it seemed very similar to King Arthur’s all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (which sells for nearly $8 per box). This blog thinks so, too. I’ve never had the King Arthur flour, but now I’m definitely curious to test for a comparison.
Have you had the chance to try this flour yet? Let me know what you think so far!
With all of the snowquester hype earlier this week, I wanted nothing more than to put on my pj’s, brew up some tea, and bake a batch of cookies. I mean, what else is a girl to do on a cold night with an impending snowstorm?! So on Tuesday night, I decided to try something new: gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies.
I can already hear some folks saying, “But wait a hot minute, I thought oats weren’t gluten-free!” Well, the story there is a bit complicated, but the short answer is that oats are gluten-free, so long as they are certified to not be cross-contaminated with other glutinous foods.
These cookies were also an interesting experiment for me because it was one of my first times eating oats after I cut out gluten several years ago. I’ve had some cookies with gluten-free oats in the past, but never to the quantity of this batch. Though I’ve tried to exercise some will power and introduce new foods like this slowly into my diet, I have to admit that I scarfed down a few cookies as soon as they came out of the oven. I ended up not getting sick from the oats (yay!) but I definitely plan to be less ravenous with future food introductions. Continue reading
More to come on these tasty Trader Joe’s gluten-free pancakes soon!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Brett Gerson, the genius behind Cat Lady Cookies. Brett is a DC-based, gluten-free baker who dedicates her kitchen to making delicious homemade treats that are free of gluten and other common allergens including nuts and soy.
When I first met Brett, I was so excited to chat with someone who could relate to my experiences as a gluten-free girl in DC. We had so much common in everything from exploring the gluten-free restaurant scene, to navigating the health issues surrounding food sensitivity, to trying to find new ways to enjoy cooking with a restricted diet. It was so great to have this reminder that I’m never alone on the gluten-free foodie journey – and it was an all-around fun conversation filled with laughs and exchanges of new recipe ideas!
Besides being an awesome person, I can also say that Brett’s baked goods are simply amazing. Case in point: When we met up, Brett and I shared a laugh over how difficult it can be for our friends (boyfriends included) to appreciate good gluten-free baking…except the occasional time when it tastes like “normal” food. Well, Brett was kind enough to give me a generous sample of her chocolate chip cookies after we met, and I admit that I couldn’t resist having one (or maybe two…) on my trip home. Let me tell you guys: these cookies were unreal. They really tasted like “normal” chocolate chip cookies! They were rich, buttery, and didn’t fall apart like so many gluten-free cookies do. All I could do was enjoy each bite and wonder “how does she do it?!” – because my cookies are never this good! Continue reading
This past Saturday, I was able to escape the Inaugural craziness in DC and visit with some friends in Annapolis. It was a great chance to relax enjoy some of the amenities of suburban life – including a spacious kitchen. That night, we had a wonderful meal of steamed mussels, grilled salmon, and roasted vegetables, followed by key lime pie for dessert. I had never made a key lime pie before but had been craving it all week, so I was glad everyone let me indulge and try it out!
The pie itself is lactose, soy, refined sugar, and gluten free – yet still reminded me very much of the key lime pies we would eat on vacation in Florida when I was younger. I will say that this pie was definitely better cold the next day as opposed to hot out of the oven, but I suppose that’s typical for key lime pie. The citrus flavor had me thinking about the warm months ahead, and made me excited to make key lime pie again soon (maybe with some meringue?!).
So without further ado, here’s the recipe:
Happy New Year! I hope you all have had a lovely start to 2013. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me between my birthday, Christmas, and holiday travels, so I have lots of updates I want to share with you:
The day before Thanksgiving, Pete and I had a great time at Medium Rare in Cleveland Park with some of our good friends. If you’ve never heard of the restaurant before, it features a pre fixe menu of salad, steak, and french fries. I learned about Medium Rare in a blog post from rockstar diaries, and though I was a little let down that the meal wasn’t all you can eat, the two portions of delicious steak and perfectly crispy fries is enough to keep me coming back. I can’t wait to take my family here when they visit from out of town!
Also in Cleveland Park, Ripple is sure to become one of my favorite new bars. They have a great drink menu and some of the nicest, most knowledgeable bartenders and wait staff I have ever met (shout out to the waiter with the gluten-free girlfriend!) – and the lemony tequila drink they made up for me was quite tasty. Looking forward to getting back there soon!
And have I ever mentioned how much I love Chix? It’s my go-to restaurant in the U Street area and they’re soon opening up a location downtown, which will make it my new favorite lunch spot while I’m at work. Also in the U Street Area TCB (The Coffee Bar) which could very well become my new go-to place to drink tea and get some work done on the weekends.
This year, I was lucky enough to have three Thanksgivings to attend: an early one in St. Louis with Pete’s family, one on Thursday here in DC (featuring my first experience cooking a turkey!), and then another on Saturday with my family in Virginia. Below is a slideshow from the events, along with links to some of the allergen-friendly recipes I enjoyed!
What did you have for Thanksgiving this year?
Turkey: we had a pre-brined (15 lb!) turkey from Trader Joe’s, though I want to try my own brine next year. Also, Alton Brown’s instructions and videos on cooking a turkey were a huge help.
Gravy: For gluten-free gravy, I simply whisked 1-2 tablespoons of brown rice flour with about 1/2 c. drippings until it began to thicken, and then sprinkled in some salt and pepper.
Green beans with bacon – yum!
Spiced Lemony Brussles Sprouts – for something a little different.
Dairy-free mashed potatoes: After peeling and boiling the potatoes, I combined them with plain rice milk, olive oil, salt, and pepper with a hand mixer until I reached the perfect texture.
Tayler-proof Pumpkin Pie
Now that grilling season is coming to a close, I have been looking for new recipes that can be done indoors and have different flavors than my usual go-to dinners. One of my new favorites is lemon baked chicken from Ina Garten, which includes a tasty combination of white wine, lemon, and garlic. Even though I’m typically not a fan of citrus-y entrees, this has become both a weekday staple and something I enjoy cooking for guests.
My advice here is to not skimp on the garlic, and to zest and juice the lemons ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to do so when you’re mixing the ingredients together. Also, something I love about this recipe is that you can use pretty much any part of the chicken, depending what you’re in the mood for or what’s on sale at the grocery store. Continue reading