Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Daily News

According to the September, 5th issue of the Daily News New York, going Gluten-Free is the hottest new trend.  For me and anyone else that cannot tolerate Gluten, I hardly call this a trend.  But more and more people based on diet alone are switching to gluten-free.

My boss passed this group of articles to me back in september.  It has taken me a while to blog about it.  When she passed it to me originally I thought I had to blog this immediately, but alas, my schedule did not permit, so here I am now.  Better late then never.

The headline read: Daily News New York Eats...Never Say Diet...
Why is going Gluten-Free so deliciously easy

I'd say hardly.  First off, going gluten-free is so not easy, so don't let these easy breezy catch phrases fool you or make you think you are doing something wrong.  LOL, it is a journey.

What I liked about the article was that everyone reads the daily news, and for those that are un-familiar or need more understanding this article was great.  It's an eye opener for any ignorant person who don't understand the disease.  I like that going gluten free is becoming common.  That makes it easier for me to dine and shop.

Recipes included:

Greek Style Lamb
Mixed Berry Muffins
Poached Eggs with Spinach and Garlic Yogurt Dressing
Puffed Corn Snack Mix
Papaya Cooler

The pics were mouth watering.  It was a great spread.  To find this article click HERE.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie


Fruity Pebble Crispies

Another great find in my fashion mags was a cluster of articles baking with kids cereal.  This cereal just happens to be gluten-free! It's not one of those bland cereals that your children will hate, it's Fruity Pebbles.  This cereal has been around for a long time, and for a long time it was gluten-free.  This is a safe cereal for your kids.  I also found this in the Feb. 2011 issue of InStyle Magazine.  This is a colorful festive treat that's great for groups or on the go.  Who can go wrong with bars? 

Serves 8-10

1 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
11 cups Fruity Pebbles crunch  (see below recipe)
2 sprigs fresh thyme or lemon verbena for garnish

1.  In a microwave, heat marshmallows and butter on high in a large microwave-safe bowl for 2-3 minutes, stirring intermittently with a wooden spoon until mixture is completely melted and smooth.  

2.  Pour Fruity Pebbles Crunch on top of marshmallow mixture; stir until cereal is coated.

3.  Spread 1/2 inch layer of mixture into a greased 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan; allow to cool completely.

4.  Sprinkle with thyme or lemon verbena leaves, torn into small pieces.

5.  Cut into rectangles and serve

**a very blurry picture!  So sorry, my camera was acting up!!

Fruity Pebbles Crunch Recipe

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
4 3/4 cups Envior Kids Cereal (original recipe called for Captain Crunch, and Captain Crunch is not gluten-free-I swapped a cereal that I know will lend itself to this recipe), lightly crushed with hands to half the volume.
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt  (that's a lot in my opinion, but you as the taster can gauge what you need)
4 tbsp nonfat milk powder


1. Heat oven to 275 degrees.  2. Melt butter In a microwave-safe bowl (about 45 seconds).  3.  Toss dry ingredients to distribute evenly.  4.  Add melted butter and toss again so ingredients adhere to one another.  5.  Spread 1/2 inch layer of mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  6.  Bake for 20 minutes until it begins to brown.  7.  Remove from oven, cool completely, and break into dime-size clusters before using.

Enjoy!  xoxo Julie


Cocoa Pebbles Crunch Marshmallow Cake

So I found this recipe in the Feb. 2011 issue of In Style Magazine.  It looked so good I could not pass up the opportunity to convert it and then blog about it.  This is a decadent piece of cake on page 212 of the magazine.  It makes my mouth water.  It makes me think I would want to eat cake every day for the rest of my life...It looks that good.  It's a 3-layer chocolate cake made with Cocoa Pebbles!  Then topped and sandwiched with marshmallow fluff.  Superb! and lucky for us Gluten free.  And how is it gluten-free you ask? Well, for starters I merely replaced what "called" for "cake rising flour" to a medley of GF flours that make up a blend.  Or and a surefire never fail GF all purpose flour.  That works every time!  Then I added Xanthan Gum because that is a necessary ingredient and a must have for gf baking.  Anywhere from 1/8 tsp - 1/2 tsp will do just fine.  And the rest of the ingredients including the fluff and the Cocoa Pebbles are gluten-free.  **What is xanthan gum?  In it's simplest terms it holds the cookie together or shall we say keeps the cake from crumbling.  GF flours lack the ability to hold themselves together like wheat flour.  It's that simple.  You need it.  For us though, it is a separate entity from the gf flours.  Sifting is a great way to combine the dry ingredients and thoroughly mixes in each of the ingredients and it evenly distributes the xanthan gum.

Converting is easy if you are familiar with baking.  If you are not it's all about Trial and Error.  Trial and Error are your new friends.  Being new to going gluten-free or starting to bake gluten-free can by well...frustrating.  So Trial and Error come along to help you out.  Help you experiment with the new lay of the land.  With Trial and Error by your side you can create mistakes that turn into masterpieces.  And sometimes Trial and Error will bring you baked goods that taste like bran.  It's happened to me.  But my lesson was learned.  Making mistakes in baking only help you become a better GF Chef!

Serves 8-10

1 oz. (aprox 1 square) 72% semisweet chocolate-make sure you choose a gf brand like dagoba.  Hershey is GF too.
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
4 tbsp, plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup, plus 1 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato flour (or use All purpose GF flour w/ xanthan gum) (or an even mix of corn starch and potato starch xanthan gum)
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
3 6" springform cake pans
Nonstick baking spray (like PAM-not the baking PAM)
4 cups cocoa pebbles crunch, loosely packed (see recipe below, crunch is a separate recipe)
1 16 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 cup whole milk (also can use almond milk or soy milk)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  2.  In a microwave oven, heat chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl (about 40 seconds), stirring every 15 seconds, until melted.  3.  Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar.  4.  Incorporate eggs.  5.  Mix in oil, buttermilk, vanilla and melted chocolate.  6. Scrape down sides of bowl; add flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and Xanthan gum.  7.  Mix on low speed until batter is smooth.  8. Spray cake pans with nonstick spray.  Divide batter evenly among pans; use back of a spoon to smooth tops.  9.  Bake cakes for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  10.  Cool cakes in pans.  Unlock and remove sides of 2 pans.  Leave one locked and reserve for bottom layer (this keeps cake sturdy as you add layers on top).  11.  In a large bowl, mix Cocoa Pebbles crunch and 1 1/4 cup fluff.  12.  Brush bottom layer with milk; top with crunch/fluff mix.  13.  Place next layer of cake on top; repeat step 12.  14.  Place final layer of cake on top; spread with remaining fluff.  15.  Refrigerate overnight.  16.  Before serving, unlock and remove bottom pan (use knife to gently separate pan from cake.

Cocoa Pebbles Crunch Recipe

4 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 3/4 cup Cocoa Pebbles cereal, lightly crushed with hands to half the volume
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp non fat milk powder

Instructions for crunch:

1.  Heat oven to 275 degrees.  2. Melt butter In a microwave-safe bowl (about 45 seconds).  3.  Toss dry ingredients to distribute evenly.  4.  Add melted butter and toss again so ingredients adhere to one another.  5.  Spread 1/2 inch layer of mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  6.  Bake for 20 minutes until it begins to brown.  7.  Remove from oven, cool completely, and break into dime-size clusters before using.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Serafina's

Hooray for Serafina's!  This great Italian eatery which has many locations (UES, Midtown West, UWS, East Hampton and Brazil), known for their amazing pastas and great drinks now serves up Gluten-Free Pasta!!  Woo hoo!  I'm so excited because prior to being gf I would always eat there, but then when I was diagnosed I concluded that it would be Chicken Paillard going forward.

Last week I was there for a post holiday party with my co-workers and we went to Serafina.  I was about to order the Chicken when I suddenly noticed that the menu mentioned GF pasta.  I was so shocked and excited that I took a picture of the menu!  Under the pasta section of the menu in bold lettering it says "We Have Whole Wheat Pasta and Gluten-Free Pasta".  WOW.

In NYC alone, this eatery has three locations.  One is located on in the 50's on Broadway, another is located on the Upper East Side and the last on 49th Street near Barney's on the west side.  And it's latest baby? Opening in East Hampton Long Island.  Fantastic!

GF Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Ricotta Cheese/Basil

For those of you who have not tried Serafina's GF pasta, you are definitely missing out!

xoxo Julie