Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ikea Love

I'm new to Ikea. Denver doesn't have one yet, and we just discovered one near our new home in Texas. It reminds me of the 30 Rock episode where Liz tells her ex-boyfirend that they will never have an Ikea in Cleveland. "You can't deny the good people of Cleveland an Ikea!" Denver will have one in the next couple of years though, so no worries.

But I digress...  

I was elated to discover that Ikea sells a bundle of almond torts that are naturally gluten free! They start at about $4.50 and go up near $5. They have flavors that include a raspberry cheesecake torte, blueberry torte,  milk chocolate, dark chocolate and Daim. This last one is my favorite by a long shot, and it has Daim Swedish toffee bits in it . I think it's pretty similar to a Heath Bar. It totally rocks.

Not all of the flavors are that great. I didn't like the buttercream in one of the torts that they sold in the cafe. I didn't see it for sale in the Swedish Market section, but they had it available by the slice in the restaurant, and it was a simple almond cake with yellow buttercream. It was quite bland. The strawberry and blueberry are about middle ground for me, but I definitely enjoyed all of the chocolate ones!

A word of caution--check the boxes for "Gluten Free", as a select few of their cakes and torts are not GF.

I'll be keeping this in mind for our next party, and I won't have to make so many desserts!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Triumph Dining Book!

Have you heard about the new Triumph Dining Restaurant Guide that just came out? They are on their 5th edition now, and I consider it a must-have when trying to navigate gluten free dining. It has saved me many-a-time while traveling. Plus, now that we have moved to Texas, I have had to start all over in finding safe places to eat. Back in Denver, a lot of places were very aware and friendly about making sure they had something that could accommodate a GF eater. In the DFW area, well, not so much. I can't say enough good things about this book!

The Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide is set up by state, so if you are in a new area (or an old area), you can find all sorts of places that will accommodate you. They have chain restaurants and small hole-in-the-wall places. This edition has added 1,511 more restaurants! There are now over 120 gluten-free menus from the nation’s most popular chain restaurants, a 50% increase from last year. This includes Wendy's, Chili's, Panera, and 117 other gluten free lists in the new guide as well.

As a sponsor, Triumph Dining has sent me a discount code for free shipping on your book, so if you want to check it out, you can get free shipping! Just enter coupon code MK958 in the shopping cart area.

This code expires August 25th, so jump on it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So I bet you are just chomping at the bit wondering who won the giveaway, huh? Well I suppose I can tell you now :)

First off, since Olivia tried to cheat by adding another comment (haha), I had to take it out of the drawing. I made sure that everyone who had told me they are following me got 2 entries, and those who did not say they are following me got one entry. By my calculations, this totaled 20 entries. The winner is...


He said "We would probably use the $60 toward the purchase of a nice vacuum sealer for food, etc. We could buy food in bulk quantity and vacuum seal it for later consumption. Not only would we save money in the long run - but have fun too."

Well congratulations, and I hope you have fun with your new vacuum sealer :) Please contact me at meglutenfree (at) gmail (dot) com so that I can send you your gift certificate! Hooray!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Awesome Giveaway!

I have a giveaway today...hooray!

Who wants to win a $60 gift card valid for over 200 CSN online stores, which include products like cookware (my favorite!), children's products, dining room sets and pet supplies? You do? Well then here we go!

All you have to do is tell me what you would buy with your $60 and why....that's all I want to know! You can get an extra entry if you follow my blog...just leave a separate comment for me telling me that you followed me (this includes all you folks who already do follow me)! Here's a link to see all of the stores you can shop at!

Now to the nitty gritty..... This giveaway is open to folks living in the US or Canada. You must spend all of your $60 in one order; you can't break it up. You can enter up through August 7th at 5:00pm Central Time. I'll pick a winner and post it up for all to see!

Make sure you come back to see if you won!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Professional Baker With Celiac


I was recently asked by a fellow Celiac baker if it is OK to bake with gluten as long as she stands at an arms distance from the mixer and washes her hands thoroughly afterwards.

I get asked this question very frequently, and I think it's a question that a lot of people have. I have spent a long time thinking about and researching the subject, and I think I have an answer.

I have learned that it supposedly not possible to absorb gluten through your skin. It's OK to touch something with gluten, however, once you touch your face, you are at a high risk for contamination. I myself don't like to risk it. I prefer to use latex gloves while working with gluten (I really try to avoid the situation at all costs though), and I throw them away once I've finished working.

Secondly, flour particles go airborne very easily. We have all experienced the explosion of flour when turning the mixer on too fast, or when patting our hands together and the flour puffs up in your face. It is so easy to breathe in gluten particles and get sick from them. If you must work with gluten, then I would recommend wearing a surgical-style mask. Nevermind looking good in the kitchen, right?! Ha!
So there you go! What do YOU think about this?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Which Recipe Takes The Cake?

Please head over and vote for my recipe in the Marx Foods recipe Contest! My Homemade Chewy Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe has been selected as one of the favorite Marx Foods recipes! Please head over to their site and vote for my recipe!!

Click HERE to head over to the voting site!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Homemade Chewy Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day, I blogged about a boxed chocolate chip cookie that I spiced up with some cinnamon and Marx Foods Organic Aji Amarillo Peruvian Chile powder . I was thinking that it would be fun to develop my own perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie from scratch. Not only did I finally make the perfect cookie, but I spiced it up again! I am really excited about the final product. Hopefully you are, too!

These cookies are thin, chewy, and soft! We made them last night, and they are still soft today!

Homemade Chewy Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: approx (45) 3" cookies

8 oz unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar (preferably homemade, recipe follows)
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Milk
2 Cups Rice Flour
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 tbsp Potato Starch
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Marx Foods Organic Aji Amarillo Peruvian Chile powder, or to taste
(directions for making chile powder can be found HERE)
3/4 tbsp Cinnamon, or to taste
pinch of Salt
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars together until the mixture is thick and pale, and the sugar is dissolved. Add the egg one at a time, incorporating one before adding the 2nd. Add the milk. Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and add them into the butter mixture slowly. Once the dough is cohesive, add the chocolate chips. Taste the dough to determine of you would like to add more spice.

Spoon the dough onto baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack.

If you prefer to omit the spices to have a more traditional cookie, replace them with about 2 tsp of vanilla.

***Please note that pregnant women or the elderly should avoid tasting the raw dough, as it contains raw egg.***

*Homemade brown sugar is really easy to make! Pour about 4 cups of sugar into a food processor, add approx 1 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses and buzz the food processor for about 3 minutes, or until all of the sugar is coated and turns brown. Please feel free to add more or less molasses, depending on how dark or strong you want it.
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