Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Udi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Udi's GF Cinnamon Rolls

I haven't had a cinnamon roll in years. I figured Thanksgiving was a great time to give these a try since these are not something I would buy for myself otherwise. For a frozen cinnamon roll with icing that comes out of a plastic baggie, these are pretty good. I did put them in the microwave for about 20 seconds with the icing on top to heat them up and melt the icing a bit. The flavor of the dough is great, doesn't taste gluten free, but it's a bit dry and the edges kind of hard. The icing was clearly dairy free, a little too spicy for my liking but good. This is probably my least favorite product of Udi's, but that's not necessarily a bad thing because I LOVE all of Udi's products. These I just like, and probably won't buy them for myself again. But then again, I probably won't buy any brand of cinnamon rolls. I do plan on making them myself someday though so keep any eye out for that post! Now, if only Udi's would come out with onion bagels... that would make me very, very happy.

Overwhelmed with Options

I don't post a lot of recipes here anymore. In the beginning I was always cooking (or more likely, baking) something new and exciting. Lately I've been all about quick and easy and convenient ::cough Chipotle cough:: and I have not been doing nearly enough cooking at home. The problem is, I have SO MANY recipes that I want to try that I get overwhelmed and just go with the same old staples. I have over 700 blog posts tagged in my reader, Carol Fenster's cookbook of 1,000 recipes plus a bunch of other cookbooks and new blog posts are popping up every day. It's crazy!! Also, I have a hundred variations of the same recipes. How many recipes for onion rings do I really need anyway?? I'm going to try to plan a recipe a week to get started. Since I typically cook for one and I'm not home every night, one recipe usually gives me 3 or 4 nights worth of food and depending on the recipe I can freeze it for later. Plus I have to keep my costs down. But I think that cooking at home will help me tighten up my food budget anyway. So... where do I begin??

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recap

T Day 1

My third Gluten and Dairy free Thanksgiving was a success. My Mom is the Thanksgiving Goddess so I mostly leave it up to her but I try to have plenty of extras on hand since I usually stay with my parents for a couple of days. I took Wednesday off from work to go down and help Mom prepare. She basically makes all the traditional fare, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, green beans, corn, gravy. Apple and pumpkin pies for dessert. She's good about modifying some things for me but in general, it's up to me to make sure I have things to eat. My favorite parts of Turkey Day are the stuffing, gravy and apple pie. She made the gravy with cornstarch so that I could have it and it was sooooo good.

Our favorite stuffing is Stove Top so I've been on a mission over the last couple of years to re-create it. I came pretty close this year:


I used Udi's bread, onions, celery, garlic, chicken stock and Bell's seasoning. It didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped. It was a little dry and crumbly, I prefer a more cakey texture like the original. When it came time to serve it up, I ended up mixing an egg with some water, mixing it into the stuffing and cooking it longer. This definitely helped. I will definitely modify this recipe next year to see if I can get it just right.

For as long as I can remember I've been helping my mom to bake the apple pie from a Betty Crocker recipe from her old school, orange 3 ring binder cookbook. It's a basic, traditional apple pie recipe. I could use a gf pie crust and make it the same way but this year I ran out of time. I bought a Whole Foods GF Bakehouse apple pie. It's not dairy free but that's ok. It was delicious.

Apple Pie

I have a lot to be thankful for and this Thanksgiving was awesome as always. The most important part - the family. I am very lucky to have such an awesome family!! Lots more family events coming up in December and of course Christmas is now only a month away! More posts to come, Happy Holidays everyone!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Gluten and Dairy Free

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Ahh the holidays. It's the time of year when I feel like if I consume so much as one more sugar crystal I might explode. Yet I keep eating... and telling myself it will be January 1st soon enough. This is the first time in over 6 years that I've worked in an environment with a lot of people. A lot of people that love to celebrate. With more sugar. Any day is a good day for an ice cream party, thank goodness I can't eat ice cream. But wait, they got me Italian Ice!

Today was our Thanksgiving Dessert party. The best way to not feel like an outcast at the party is to make something that I can eat. They all know it's gluten free but everyone was nice enough to try them anyway. How could you not want to try these, look at all the chocolate!! They were a big hit, thumbs up all around and the pan was almost totally polished off. It made me feel so good!! And they were so easy to make!

I'm not sure where I got this recipe so I'll post it here, hopefully I haven't stolen it from anywhere too concerned about copyright infringement... if so, send me a message and I'll take it down!

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Squares ~ Gluten and Dairy Free

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (I used Better Batter)
1 T. pumpkin-pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (I used Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread)
1 ¼ cups sugar (I used 1 cup)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (This is a LOT of chips. 10 oz would be fine)

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: Amy's Gluten and Dairy Free Burrito

Amy's GF DF Burrito

I loooooooove Mexican food, which is a really good thing because it's such a gluten-free friendly style of cooking. I just recently read that my favorite Mexican restaurant from my hometown has a GF menu so I can't wait to go back! I also spend a fortune at Chipotle... Of course (GF) burritos and tacos aren't really the best authentic Spanish cuisine but I still love them. Anyway, I heard that Amy's had come out with gluten and dairy free burritos so I was really excited to try them. I was even more excited when I saw the box in my regular grocery store freezer buuuuut it was empty. Empty!! I guess there are more gf/df people around here than I thought.. that also happen to love burritos. Then I was in Whole Foods the other day and what do you know, there they were and they were on sale. SCORE! I grabbed two.

Once I was ready to eat one I read the cooking instructions, I know that Amy's foods tend to be better when cooked in the oven but I was hungry and it takes almost an hour to heat up a (very small) single burrito. I went the microwave route for the first one. As expected, it tasted good, but was a bit rubbery and dried out. So the next time I cooked it in the oven. And waited. For 40 minutes. For a snack sized burrito. But hey, it tasted pretty good this time!! The sides did split during both cooking methods but I eat them with a knife and fork anyway. I obviously added some salsa and guacamole (my favorite!) on the side which were a nice compliment. I would definitely keep a couple of these in the freezer.

I have some more posts coming soon, I just baked some pumpkin chocolate chip bars, I am eating Canyon Bakehouse bread for the first time this week, and of course I'll tell you all what's in store for Thanksgiving dinner. This can certainly be a tough time of year for us with all the temptations out there but if we're smart and plan ahead it can be just as fun and delicious for us too!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm still here!!

Steak Sub

Well, it's been a while! I miss this place and all you guys out there. The new job doesn't really allow much time for blogging so I've fallen out of the habit. I've been thinking a lot lately though about wanting to get back to it. I actually really want to write a post about the quality of gluten free bread nowadays. Wow have we come a long way baby!! That picture above, almost makes you think I've been snacking on a sub from the corner sub shop right? Tasted like it! That's a Schar sub sandwich roll and oh my gosh is it delicious. They come with instructions to bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes and enjoy. I haven't had a steak sub in soooo long so when I saw these at the store this is the first thing that came to mind. I LOVE subs and miss them and when I saw these rolls I knew exactly what to do.

Currently my favorite breads are Udi's, Schar, and this local bakery called All Can Eat. I buy a loaf of All Can Eat Multi-Grain bread each week and generally have 2 slices toasted with an egg over-easy for breakfast each day. I love it! Long forgotten are the days of that awful "gluten-free" smell coming from the toaster. I am going to attempt to make gluten free stuffing for Thanksgiving again this year and this time I plan on using Udi's white bread. Lately I've been craving a Joan's English Muffin but it looks like they've fallen out of the market, I'm sure because they are so expensive. There are just too many great alternatives out there, I wish Joan would come down on the price so that she could stay competitive! Those really are my favorite English Muffins.

Anyway... hopefully I'll get some more posts up soon. Other than breads I haven't been eating anything new and/0r exciting. I've noticed that Stop & Shop is really stepping up their game, now carrying Udi's! They are also carrying Amy's GF/CF burritos but are selling out like hot cakes, I want to try them!! Also, anyone know where I can score a box of GF Bisquick?? Can't find it anywhere!!