Monday, October 31, 2011

Best Gluten-Free Pasta Brands

These are the brands that are always in my household on a regular basis.  When I went GF, I found Bionaturae and fell in GF pasta love.  And I really only liked that brand for a while.  Later on in life I found Tinkyada Spagetti.  Yum! So good.  

And most recently I have fallen for De Boles rice pasta and tonight?  I tried Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta, and that is by far my ultimate fav!  What I like about Ancient Harvest is that the spaghetti never looses its structure and does not get mushy!  The taste of the quinoa is quite spectacular and I will now keep this as a staple in my home.

De Boles is also a fabulous brand, and lately have been eating a lot of it.  However it is made from rice so if you are sensitive to rice this would not be the brand for you.

These top 4 brands do not get mushy or soft or taste extremely different from the real gluten-thing.  I find with these pastas this is as close as you are going to get.  They are my favs.  

De Boles

Ancient Harvest Quinoa



Enjoy! xoxo Julie 

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Top Mexican Gluten-Free Restaurants

Top  Favorite Gluten-Free Friendly Mexican Restaurants in NYC

Enjoy! xoxo Julie 

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Diablo Royale Restaurant

I do not suggest anyone that is gluten-free go to this restaurant!  

There are not many restaurants these days that I can't get a gluten-free dish or worry about major cross contamination but this spot really does take the cake.  Or shall I say non-Gluten-Free corn chip...Oh no wait!  It's not corn, it's flour! AHHHHH!

I had a birthday party on sunday at Diablo Royale, a tiny Mexican Saloon in the heart of the West Village. My friend Felicia always chooses these spectacular divvy spots (like Fish, Garage and others), so I didn't think twice when my friend told me that she had notified the Manager that I had Celiac and couldn't have gluten.  No problem.  She said they were going to change anything on our shared menu that had a flour taco/chip with 100% Corn.  I was psyched!, because this spot was family style.  So I sent my friend a list of questions to ask the chef:

Are the corn chips 100% corn?

Are the corn chips made in house or outside of the restaurant, if so what are the exact ingredients and what does the labeling say?

I cannot eat: flour, wheat, bread, thickeners, Sauces with gluten, fried and breaded foods...

Are the taco's 100% corn?

Do they dust anything with flour?

How big is the kitchen, and is there an area where they can cook my dishes separately?

Do the sauces have flour? wheat? bread crumbs? thickeners?

Are the potatoes dusted with flour?

Those were the basics.  I got confirmation on everything from my friend and was ready to go.

I arrive and there are cinnamon dusted chips on the table.  I ask the waiter to ask the manager to see if these are gluten-free.  I actually see him speaking to the manager.  I got the go-ahead!  Yeah! I downed 3.  Super psyched, Score!  ...

"Wait what?  these are not gluten-free?? Your waiter said you confirmed!! I just ate 2!  I'm going to get really sick!! Why would he confirm!!?? Ahhhhh!.  Crap.  I was able to spit 1/2 of one out...But down that gluten went, and it was definitely more then 1/8" of a teaspoon.  Great!.  Ugh.  The waiter was not apologetic and instead he said "well I hope you don't get sick".

Honestly, it was the last thing I needed.  Do I really want to feel horrible for what could be up to a few weeks?  And break out, stomach issues, hives/rashes, all over body itch and the whole nine yards?.  I can tell you I was so beyond annoyed.  He followed by saying " I know, I know...we were informed of the gluten thing".  Obviously they didn't even take it seriously.  

Everytime thereafter a dish came out I had to ask the waiter if they could confirm everything that was served was 100% corn.  Their waitstaff got really annoyed with me and one host in particular was very short.  I said " I have an allergy, I need to speak to the manager".  It was only once out of the few times I had questions that the Manager even came over to me.  That's poor manners in my book.

And I didn't eat the potatoes either, I didn't want to risk if there truly was flour dusted on them.  My Spanish language card from Triumph Dining would have come in handy!! 

There was also another dish on the table...French Toast with fruit.  The waiter mentioned, "well you can have the fruit just push the french toast to the side".  I was like um! I don't think so!! That's contaminated!

So, I do not recommend this spot.  And what a shame I love blogging good things about the restaurants I eat at, but as much as I love to spread the great gluten free word, I also like to advise my fellow readers of the shady non gluten-free spots you should NOT frequent!

For other GF Friendly Mexican Restaurants check out:

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Maple Raisin Cookies

Yummy yum yum!  I love baking with this mix!! I like to be creative when adding in my "add ins", my "extras".

This time I added Tahitian Vanilla extract, maple syrup, bittersweet chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, xanthan gum and raisins.

The mix is King Arthur.

First I prepare what the mix calls for: water, butter, eggs, the mix and vanilla extract.

Then I wii out my special tahitian vanilla pure extract.  It gives it a little kick.

Then I take out of the fridge the unsalted butter, 1 stick.  I soften it in the microwave and begin to follow instructions for this mix.  This mix comes plain.  No chips, so be prepared to add in your own special stuff.  

Before I added the extras I added in 1 tbsp. maple syrup, 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, 1tsp tahitian vanilla extract and I mixed well with an electric mixer.

Then I added in 2/3 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
Almost 1 cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 box of raisins

Masterpiece!! They came out sooo good!  And as an added topping for Halloween? or any holiday? Add Betty Crocker Whipped or Buttercream (gluten-free) icing on top of the cookie and top with a second cookie making cookie sandwich! For Halloween?  Beat in 1-2 tsp. black food coloring or orange food coloring.

P.S.!! Microwave the cookies for about 12 seconds before serving (without the icing).

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie
Have a spooktacular Halloween!!

Halloween Spiked Cocktails

**found in InStyle Magazine October 2010

Black Shadow
serves 1

1 lemon wedge
sanding sugar
1 shot potato vodka mixed with 2 drops of black food coloring

1.  Moisten rim of martini glass with lemon, coat with sugar (sanding sugar) and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2.  In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, shake vodka.
3.  Strain into a chilled glass

Kiss Of Dealth
serves 1
Prosecco or champagne
Maraschino Cherry
Fill a champagne flute with cold bubbly.  Garnish with a cherry.

Sweeney Todd
serves 1

3 oz. concentrated mango juice
5 drops of red food coloring
1 shot of tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. cranberry juice
3 drops black food coloring (plus 3-4 additional drops)
1 white rock candy swizzle stick

1.  Pour mango juice into a high ball glass; stir in red food coloring. 
2.  In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, cranberry juice and 3 drops food coloring-Shake
3.  Strain tequila mix into a glass, pouring slowly over back of a spoon to create a floating layer above juice.
4.  Brush remaining black food coloring onto candy swizzle stick.  Let dry for 10 minutes before serving.  Place on top of glass.

Have a spooktacular Halloween! xoxo Julie

Berry Broomsticks

**found in InStyle Magazine October 2010

Serves 12 (makes 36 skewers)

10 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
Brown raffia for broomsticks (try MJtrimmings)
1 pint blueberries, raspberries or blackberries

Chocolate Sauce:

1.  In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate, stirring constantly
2.  Pour in condensed milk, continuing to stir until combined
3.  Add regular milk and mix until smooth
4. Pour into a serving dish
**If you do not want to use whole milk, try soy milk, almond milk, buttermilk or low fat milk


1. Cut a piece of raffia into ten 1 and 1-half-inch lengths.
2.  Bunch cut pieces together; tie one end with another piece of raffia
3.  Knot securely and trim
4.  Insert a long toothpick in middle.  Repeat steps 1 to 3 for each broomstick.
5. Skewer 3 berries per stick

**you can also use a mix of all berries combined!

Enjoy! Have a spooktacular Halloween!!
xoxo Julie

Silver Dusted Moon Brownies

**found in InStyle Magazine October 2010

Serves 12 (24 Brownies)

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract (try Tahitian Vanilla or Mexican Vanilla-It gives it a sweeter taste)
4 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cups GF all purpose flour (try Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 sheet of vellum for stencil 
Powdered Sugar (Confections Sugar)

**the original recipe calls for silver sanding sugar, but I am not 100% sure that something like that is gluten-free, so I offer confections sugar which will do the same trick and taste better.  This recipe is covered gluten free.

If you don't have vellum, wax paper will do.  And if you don't have a utility knife, then scissors or an exacto knife will do, if you don't have confections sugar, colored sugar will do.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 13x9 inch baking pan (flour with gf flour).  Set aside.

2.  Place a metal bowl into a pan and barely simmering water; put in both chocolates and butter; stir until melted.

3.  Stir in sugar and vanilla then add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Incorporate salt and flour into batter, then fold in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula.

4.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (for gluten free baking it may be less, check after 15 minutes).  

5.  Allow brownies to cool completely in pan before slicing into 24 square pieces with a sharp knife.

6.  To make stencil, use a utility knife to cut out a crescent-moon shape in a small piece of vellum.  Place stencil over each brownie and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie
Have a spooktacular Halloween! 

White Ghost Smores

**found in InStyle Magazine October 2010 and converted.

Serves 12 (24 Smores)

2 cups GF Graham Cracker crumbs (try The Grainless BakerEnjoy LifeKinnikinnick or Jo-sef)
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
3 cups GF white chocolate chips
1 10.5 oz. bag of mini marshmallows

1.  In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, butter and egg yolks.  Mix thoroughly.  
2.  Press mixture evenly into a greased 12 x 17 inch baking tray; place in refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
3.  Melt chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously.
4.   Pour melted chocolate over graham cracker mixture; spread evenly
5.  Return tray to refrigerator for another 30 minutes, or until chocolate hardens
6.  Cut out rounds using a cookie cutter or an upside-down drinking glass.  Set aside.
7.  Place about 30 mini marshmallows in a microwave-safe dish, and heat on high for 15 seconds.
8.  Spoon melted marshmallows over 6 cookies at a time, continuing to melt small batches of marshmallows until all cookies are covered.

Enjoy!! Have a spooktacular Halloween!!
xoxo Julie

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How To Make An Edible Gluten-Free Halloween Necklace

**Found in InStyle Magazine, October 2010

You don't have to be a gluten feene to eat licorice!  No..out there in the world of gluten free markets and health food stores you can actually find amazing gluten-free licorice!  

For some diagnosed with CD or a gluten-intolerance it was the cake, cookies, pie and pasta that made joining the gluten-free world even harder.  For me it was black licorice.  I love licorice!  Passionately.  I do.  And when I went gluten free and was reading ingredients at markets, I saw the first ingredient in licorice: wheat starch.  Ugh bummer!  Eventually I got used to it, and stopped looking for licorice...but every now and again I would find a random brand at the market and hope it would be gluten-free.  Of course after turning the package over and reading the ingredients it wasn't.  And then I'd be disappointed all over again. I kept thinking why is there no gluten-free licorice?  But alas there is!  And with that gluten-free licorice you can make your very own candy couture licorice necklaces!! Right in time for Halloween!  It's so spooky chic!

First.  The gluten-free licorice.  My 2 favorite brands are Orgran and Candy Tree.  I have found Candy Tree Licorice at Health Smart Murray Hill NYC (they always have their flavors in stock), and  Orgran Licorice (an Australian brand) can be found at  Both are amazing and totally different.  Orgran is a molasses based licorice and Candy Tree uses natural fruit juices.  Both taste like licorice.  Orgran licorice tastes more gourmet, but Candy Tree is great for kids!  Orgran is great for the adults.  When I was a kid I hated black licorice.  Yuck.  Now I love it and miss it!  When I buy it GF I eat the whole bag.  Therefore, I only allow myself to have it on special occasions like Halloween.

Then there is another international brand like Licorice International (GF)-Check them out.

Ok so now you have your licorice!  Let's begin the edible craft project:

What you will need:
A darning needle, a toothpick, butcher's twine, half a yard of 1/2 inch wide black satin ribbon, sharp scissors, 27 purple and 4 black licorice sticks (or any colors you desire) and 8 short Australian licorice pieces.
Arrange: Lay out the form of your necklace on the table and cut the pieces down to size.
Assemble: Use the toothpick to poke a hole through each piece of licorice, and 3/4 inch from the top.  Thread the darning needle with twine and string the licorice.  Tie a big, thick knot on each end and trim twine.  Cut the ribbon in half.  Tie each half around the end pieces of licorice and secure tightly.

Now, how super fab is this crafty spook project?  This is from Instyle Magazine from exactly 1 year ago!  Super clever!! Love it!

If anyone decides to make this delicious chic GF Licorice beauty feel free and post pictures of your GF creations!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Candy Caution List

There are always going to be candies that you should use caution with.  There is so much that offer gluten-free ingredients which is great, but what about cross-contamination?  You have to be careful.  Below is a list compiled by many of the great bloggers out there.  I found this post while googling and I find that these lists ALWAYS help.

Use Caution:
Air heads (manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour)
Brach's Autumn Mix (milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soy are present on the equipment)
Brach's Candy Corn (milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soy are present on the equipment)
Brach's Mellowcreme Pumpkins, Branch's Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn, Brach's Milk Maid Royals Nougats (milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soy are present on the equipment)
Chuckles (packed on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy ingredients)
Farley's Harvest Mix and Candy Corn (packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy ingredients)
Hershey's Nuggets-There is no indication that there is gluten, however some people are sensitive to these chocolates
Russel Stover's Assorted Chocolates (products have been produced on shared equipment with wheat, tree nuts, eggs and peanuts)
Spongebob Squarepants Gummy Krabby Patties products have been produced on shared equipment with wheat, tree nuts, eggs and peanuts)
Trolli gummy candy sour trite crawlers (packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of mik, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and or soy protein)
Wonka Nerds (made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg)
Wonka Sweet Tarts
Wonka Mix-ups
Wonka Monster Treats (Sweet Tart Skulls, bones, spooky nerds, howlin laffy taffy (made in a facility that also processes wheat)
Wonka Giant and Mini Chewy Sweet Tarts
Wonka Sweet Tarts

Enjoy! And remember do not cheat!! It's just not worth it

xoxo Julie

Gluten-Free Candy List

Well, well...In one week it will be my FAVORITE holiday of the year!  Halloween!! And what I would want nothing more is to help others celebrate this holiday gluten-free.  Below is a fabulous list of gluten-free candy!! yay! that should help you have a gluten-free spooktacular Halloween.  I have found quite a few great lists and I am combining them and sharing them with you and your children!


3 Musketeers Mint w/ dark chocolate bar and fun size
Act II Popcorn Balls
Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
Applehead, Grapehead, Cherryhead

Alberts Iced Halloween Pops
Almond Joy fun size bars (manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts)
Baby Ruth fun size and bars
Barrels of Candy by Treat Street
Bazooka Big Mix (includes bubble gum filled candy, candy chews, and bubble gum filled lollipops)
Betty Crocker Fruit By The Foot Wicked Webs Berry Wave Mini Feet
Betty Crocker Halloween fruit flavored snacks (including Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups and Mini Rolls)
Butterfinger original and fun size
Big League Chew
Blow Pops
Bottle Caps
Bubblicious Gum
Bubble Yum Bubblegum

Black Forest Gummy Tarantulas
Black Forest Gummy Fun Bugs Juicy Oozers
Bubble Lollipop and gum
Candy Checkers (Target)
Caramel Apple Pops (By Tootsie Roll)
Charleston Chew original and fun size
Charms Blow Pops and Blow Pop Minis
Charms Fluffy Stuff Spider Web Cotton Candy
Chewy Atomic Fireballs
Chewy Lemonheads and friends

Charleston Chew-bars and mini
Charms Blow Pops (milk and soy may be present)
Charms Candy Carnival Package (Blow Pops, Sugar Babies, Zip A Dee Mini Pops, Sugar Daddy, Sugar Mama Caramel, Tear Jerkers Sour Bubble Gum, Blow Pop Bubble Gum)
Charms Fluffy Stuff
Chewy Lemonheads and friends
Cracker Jack carmel coated popcorn and peanuts
Disney Halloween Candy (jelly beans, gummies, candy bracelets and candy characters from Cars, Tinkerbell and Toy Story) **Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, milk and soy**
Dove Pieces (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter milk chocolate, caramel milk chocolate)
Dots Gumdrops (including candy corn flavored, Ghost Dots (assorted fruit), at Bat Drops 
Double Bubble Bubblegum "milk and soy may be present"
Dum Dum Pops (including Shrek pops and all other Spangler Branded Candies.  They are made in a dedicated facility)
Farley's Kiddie Mix (includes Smarties, Sweet Tarts, Now and Later, Jaw Breakers, Super Bubble Lolli-pops)
Hershey's Bliss (Milk chocolate, Milk Chocolate w/ Almonds, Milk with Meltaway Center, White Chocolate with Meltaway, Milk Chocolate w/ Raspberry Meltaway and Dark)
Hershey's Kisses-Candy Corn flavored, Caramel, Caramel Apple flavored filling, Milk Chocolate with almonds and special dark
Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars and snack size (manufactured and processed on the same equipment as almonds
Hershey's Milk Chocolate w/ Almonds
Hershey's Mr. Goodbar funsize
Hot Tamales
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (all flavors)
Jelly Belly Candy Corn (be careful with this, Most brands are NOT gluten free)
Jolly Rancher hard candy, doubles candy, fruit chews
Junior Mints fun size -milk and eggs may be present
Kelloggs' Spongebob Squarepants fruit flavored snacks
Kraft Jet Puffed Boo Mallows and Ghost Marshmallows
LifeSavers Gummies including Big Ring Gummies, Sweet n Sour and Scary Assortment
Lifesavers Hard Candy and Pops
Lifesaver Gummies
Mike and Ike
M&M's except pretzel
Mallo Cups
Marvel Heroes Candy Sticks (Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine)
Melster Peanut Butter Kisses
Milk Duds
Mike and Ike
Mounds Dark Chocolate fun size and regular (Manufactured on same equipment that processes almonds and peanuts)
Mr. Goodbar
Necco's Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses (contains peanut and soy.  Manufactured in a facility that also processes tree nuts, milk and eggs)
Necco's Sky Bar 4 in 1 chocolate bar
Necco's Candy Hearts
Nestle Milk Chocolate fun size bars
Nestle Raisinets (made on equipment that also processes peanuts)
Nik-L-Nip wax bottles with juice
Now and Later
Nestle Gobbers
Nestle Nips (both sugar free and regular)
Oh Henry

Palmer Peanut Butter Cups
Pez Candy
Pop Rocks
Razzles Candy Gum
Reese's: Fast Break Candy bars, Peanut butter cups, Reese's Pieces
Rolo chocolate covered caramels
Rain-Blo Bubble Gum
Runts-regular and chewy
Snickers Fudge Bar
Surf Sweets Organic and Natural Candy
Tart n Tiny's regular and chewy
Tic Tacs-and low calorie!
Trident Gum

Skeleton Pops
Snickers "may contain almonds"
Sour Patch
Sugar Babies
Sugar Daddy Caramel pops
Super Bubble Gum
Swedish Fish
Sweethearts (conversation hearts including forbidden fruits from the Twilight Saga)
Tootsie Pops
Toostie Rolls
Transformers Candy Mix (Gummy shields, fruit chews, candy shields and gum rocks)
Wack-O-Wax lips and fangs
Wonka Chocolate Laffy Taffy
Wonka Pixy Stix
Wonka Laffy Taffy
Wonka Roopes
Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
York Peppermint Patties
X-Scream Mouth Morphers Fruit Gushers

There is more to come so stay tuned this weekend!!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Socca Is Gluten-Free

Socca is a crispy pancake made from chickpea flour (and or garbanzo flour).  These flours are made from ground chickpeas.

Socca is generally gluten-free, but there are some recipes that call for gluten, so double check.

I first found out about Socca while I was in Nice, France last year.  I must say going to France, not knowing the language and then trying to ask for gluten-free options was quite difficult.  I was lucky to find a pizza parlor that only made GF Socca!  How psyched was I?  I may have put on a pound or two, but I was super excited to have found a spot where I did not have to worry.

Enjoy! xoxo

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Goat Town Restaurant

Well this is the restaurant that Jennifer Esposito wrote about in her blog.  What where her words? That they understood what gluten was and that she had this amazing chicken dish and the sorbet was dairy free and gluten-free.  I had to check out this menu and it has occurred to me after reading the mouth watering options that I MUST make a ressie here.  I don't know how this restaurant slipped on by, because I did not know about it, but now I am intrigued.  I also saw a quick mention on buckwheat pancakes.  I cannot even remember the last time I sat down at a trendy spot in NYC eating pancakes.

Check out Goat Town located at 511 E. 5th Street, NYC (212) 687-3641

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Jennifer Esposito Speaks Celiac Disease

One of my favorite actresses!  She has played such great characters and all my favorite cancelled shows like Samantha Who and varying other ones I can't remember the names of, but remember her character.  Well we all knew Jennifer was gluten-free, I had done a post on her a while back-a brief post.  But now after 2 years of her diagnosis Jennifer is getting smart.  Jennifer cares about the gluten-free world.  She wants to educate those who are unaware or struggling with the same disease.  My step-sister sent me a post from Grub Street on Jennifer, Celiac Disease and eating gluten-free.  It's definitely worthy to check out, as she reviews a very gf friendly restaurant in nyc called Goat Town.  I think I may need to make a ressie!  

In addition Jennifer will have her very own line of gf products.  I think this might be a very worthy product and no, not because Jennifer is an actress or a celebrity...more because of her diagnosis.  When you are diagnosed with CD or have a gluten-intolerance it feels really good to know you are not alone out there and that there are others who care and want to help.  I just spent some time on her blog before I decided to write this.  It's called Jennifer's way.  I love the blog.  There are not many posts yet because it is fairly new, but I see a lot of potential.  I read Jennifer's story, and just reading it makes me want to reach out.  Her story is so well written and reminds me of similar situations I went through myself.  I'll never forget going to trillions of doctor's for what seemed like a decade if not more and remembering all doctor's looking at me like I was crazy, telling me everything was fine and nothing was wrong, or it was in my head, or it was this or that, but never CD.  

It takes a lot of courage to rise above all doctor's that tell you everything you believe or think about your body is in fact wrong.  It takes strength to rise above and know your body and listen to your body, even if an "expert" is telling you otherwise.   

Interested in what Jennifer eats gluten-free?

Enjoy! xoxo Julie 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Socca Adventures

Chickpea Flour (aka garbanzo flour, besan flour) is one of the many gluten-free flours.  In addition it is nutritious because its base is made from chickpeas.  I use chickpea flour in my chocolate chip recipe.  

Today I ate Socca for lunch (chickpea pizza) good.  It was a mini pie topped with tons of veggies.  The dough is thin and crispy.  But in every bite you tasted the oil.  Delicious, but...That got me thinking to calories...I wondered how many I had consumed.  

It also got me thinking about my chocolate chip cookies...I am going to have to assume my recipe must be very fattening.  ; )

So I called Nizza, a casual italian eatery in Chelsea that has quite a few Socca options on their menu (not to mention a very NICE gf menu).  I was put on hold for a while.  I would assume whomever answered the phone was baffled by my question "Do you by any chance know the ballpark amount of calories in your socca? your gluten-free pizza?".  In return i received a "Pls. hold".  Eventually another gal got on the phone and advised she didn't know, but what she did know is that their Socca uses about 1 1/3 cup of chickpea flour, 3 tablespoons of regular olive oil, water, sometimes cheese and veggies, or whichever version ordered, its toppings.  It seemed like such a small amount of ingredients...

Great help! I knew from that info I could google each one separately and find a possible answer.  I googled chickpea flour.  I was surprised to see a whopping 356 calories per 1 cup of chickpea flour!  No way!  Not surprised because chickpeas are higher in calories, but I was not expecting that.  I also googled recipes on Socca.  And found great ones!  Check it out.  And a few more to follow Bruschetta Style Socca or try the South Beach Diet Socca Pizza or Vegan Socca or Bon Appetit Chickpea Socca

Stay tuned for my review on Nizza along with delicious pictures!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Magnolia Bakery-Cream Cheese Frosting

Another amazing frosting recipe from Magnolia!  I swear by these recipes, this is my go-to book for icing when I bake!!

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat well.  Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy.  Cover and refrigerate icing for 2-3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

Makes enough for one 2-or 3-layer 9-inch cake

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Icing

If you are a New Yorker or live in New York you MUST know about Magnolia Bakery!  Sadly, it's not gluten-free, but some of their recipes are and the rest? You can convert.  Most icing does not use flour, but you'd be surprised, as some do!  

This is one of my favorite recipes and I always make this with some sort of variation on cupcakes and cakes!  It's the perfect buttercream icing recipe!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, or cocoa extract, or chocolate extract, or orange, lemon or cinnamon extract or even and what I usually use is fresh fruit juice like fresh lemon or orange juice-(then it really tastes like a fruit)

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla (or which ever ingredient for the "extract" you choose.  On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.  You may not need to add all of the sugar.  If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.  (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.)  Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes

Note: If you are icing a 3-layer cake, use the following recipe proportions:

1 1/2 (3 sticks) unsalted butter
8-10 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp. extract or fresh fruit juice

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shaved Vegetable Salad

**found in Food and Wine Magazine-Michael Symon uses this recipe for Thanksgiving as a tangle of multicolored veggies tossed in a light dressing.

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 small celery root, peeled and very thinly sliced cross wise
1 small golden beet, peeled and very thinly sliced crosswise
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium carrots, very thinly sliced crosswise
6 radishes, very thinly sliced crosswise
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped dill
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ounces feta cheese, sliced

1. Preheat then oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 7 minutes, let cool.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the celery root, beet, onion, carrots and radishes.  In a small bowl, whisk the garlic with the lemon juice, oil and dill and season with salt and pepper.  Add the dressing and feta to the sliced veggies and toss well.  Transfer to platter, garnish with the almonds and serve. 

The toasted almonds and dressing can be made 1 day ahead.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old Fashioned Apple Pie

**found in Food and Wine Magazine

Coverted by moi!

I have never found so many tears in my life as I did today while reading Food and Wine Magazine.  Super excited as I am, I must blog about this Thanksgiving themed issue!  Now of course most the recipes are not gluten-free, but that doesn't mean you can't make them gluten-free!  And the ones that are gluten-free are great recipes that just happen to be naturally and sinfully delicious gluten-free.  So let's get started.  I have at least 15 new recipes to share and all of them are super fabulous for Thanksgiving dinner.  Like everyone else in our boat I know that the holidays are the worst when it comes to enjoying this feast.  Easy when you didn't have to worry about gluten, but now? Ugh, what a buzz kill.  Seriously!  Too much worrying on this holiday with breadcrumbs, thickeners, gravy, and breads.  Fear not!  I am prepared this year thanks to Food and Wine Magazine and all the fabulous cooking magazines out there, it's time to feast!

I am first going to list a few amazing pies.  Since I am a working woman I have been busy and I'm sure there are many of you out there like me who don't have time to make the crust too, so I will list for you a few to die for baking crusts from mixes that you can use, and simply apply the below fillings to your already made gf pie crust.

GF Pie Crust Mixes:
Pamela's-You will purchase their bread mix and follow this recipe
Bob's Red Mill Bread Mix has a great Pie Crust recipe on the back of their mix
Kinnikinnick Foods GF Frozen Pie Crust
Gluten-Free Bakehouse from Whole Foods Market

Old Fashioned Apple Pie Filling

3 pounds apples, such as Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Cortland or Jonathan-peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup of GF all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into small dice
1 large egg beaten
2 tbsp. turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

1. In a bowl, combine the apples with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add the lemon juice and toss well.  Let stand for 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves slightly.

2.  Scrape the apples and any juices into the pie plate and dot with the butter.  Cover with the top crust gently (top crust layer will come from pie mix) and gently press the edges together.  Trim the overhanging dough about 1 inch and pinch to seal.  Fold the dough rim under itself and crimp decoratively-Brush the pie with the beaten egg and spring with the turbinado sugar.  Cut 3 small gashes in the top of the pie to vent the steam.

3.  Bake the pie on the lowest shelf of the oven for 30 minutes at 365 degrees and bake the pie for 40-45 minutes or longer until the fruit juices are bubbling through the steam vents and the crust is deeply golden on the top and bottom; cover the pie loosely with the foil halfway through baking to keep it from getting too dark.  Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Make ahead: The cooled pie can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Rewarm before serving.

Apple Cider Cream Pie Filling

Filling and topping:

2 Cups Apple Cider
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1.  In a medium saucepan, oil the cider until its reduced to 1/2 cup about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and let cool.  Whisk in 3/4 cup of the sugar, the sour cream and salt, and then whisk in the eggs.

2.  Pour the custard into the pie shell.  Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the custard is set around the edge but the center is slightly jiggly.  Let pie cool completely.

3.  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon until firmly whipped.  Mound the cream on the pie, cut into wedges and serve.

Serve with baked apple slices

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Udi's GF New Products!!

Extra, Extra read all about it!  Looks like Udi's is up to more gf goodies!  New products on the shelves are GF Chocolate Chip Cookies, GF Millet-Chia Bread, GF Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and GF Snickerdoodle Cookies!


Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Pamela's Easy Pie Crust

Pamela's mixes are some of my favorite products!  No matter how you make them or what you add, these recipes always come out delicious and rich.  For an easy printable version click HERE.

Easy GF Pie Crust

1 bag (3 1/2 cups)  Pamela's GF Bread Mix (there is no yeast in this recipe)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled
8 tbsp. shortening, chilled
7-8 tbsp. ice cold water

yield: 2 x 9" pie crusts or 1 double for apple pie crust

In a bowl cut chilled button and shortening into Pamela's GF Bread Mix with two knives or a pastry knife until small pea sized pieces form.  Slowly add water until dough comes together, not sticky.  Add 1 tsp. additional water if dough is too dry.  Do not over handle the dough.  Roll out half the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap.  Peel off top paper and invert into a lightly greased pie dish.  Peel off second sheet and fix crust edge.  Bake on lower rack of oven on bottom rack for about 35-40 minutes unfilled at 350 degrees, or bake with pie fillings at the same directions as above.  Pie crust can be kept frozen and thawed for later use. 

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Quinoa-Is this a Gluten-Free Grain?

Right on time, my GFLiving latest magazine issue came in the mail a few weeks ago.  I have been putting it off for a while because I have been so busy.  But today was the perfect day to sit outside during lunch and read.  In the last few months I have been hearing about 2 grains that are believed to possibly have gluten cross-contamination.  Rice and Quinoa.  Rice has been having a large debate for a while now, with certain studies showing cross-contamination.  There are two thoughts here.  Some believe it is ok and others do not.  It is however stated that rice is considered a gluten-free grain.  Now that rice is out of the way...It should not shock me that Quinoa is in the spotlight...

Lately I have been hearing quite a bit about Quinoa.  Is quinoa gluten-free?  Is there cross-contamination by wheat?  There has been a lot of scruitney about Quinoa and the end result?  Quinoa is considered a gluten-free grain.

So where is this scruitney coming from?  There is one Kosher group worried about this.  The New York-based Orthodox Union, the world's largest Kosher certification agency says its inspectors have found traces of wheat and other grains mixed with quinoa.  In addition increased demand for quinoa has persuaded farmers in Bolivia and Peru who previously grew wheat or barely to plant quinoa too. 

Now for those that remain skeptical, there are brands that produce quinoa that label their boxes gluten free such as Ancient Harvest Quinoa who produce their quinoa or farm their quinoa in cetain areas of Bolivia that support gf farming and avoid cross-contamination.

For those who are gluten-free, a new study just published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research confirms that quinoa is a gluten-free grain. And is therefore suitable for those on the gluten-free diet.

If you would like to know more about this please check out your latest copy of GFLiving Magazine, page 14 for Amy Ratner's story.  If you do not subscribe to this magazine check it out online.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beet Salad w/ Agave Drizzle

Copyright© 2011 Julie Rosenthal. All recipes cannot be copied without owner's permission. All Rights Reserved.

How gorgeous was it yesterday in NYC?  A wooping 82 degrees all day long.  The sun shone through my windows and made me feel like Summer was here again.  Even if for a visit, I could feel the sun touch my face and it felt surreal. 

Yesterday was a great day to relax, I could feel the vitamin D shine through my windows while I went about my day.  It was lovely.

Around mid afternoon I got hungry, but I wanted something healthy.  I didn't have time to go to the market so I had to use what was already in my house.  I had canned artichokes and beets.  I went with beets.
I toppled them on my plate in a tower like stack and took shavings of a semi-soft cheese and placed each slice around the plate.  I then grabbed my light brown agave syrup and drizzled about 1 tablespoon at the top of the tower and around the plate.  I put it in the microwave for about 1 minute, a bit under and I was ready to eat my snack.

I have to admit that the agave syrup was a great element to this snack.  As I would usually use a lemon or orange wedge for dressing, this sweet element brought a nice touch to the flavor of the beets.

Beets w/ Agave Drizzle

1 can of beets (but only use half)
1-2 Tbsp. Agave Syrup (Light Brown)
1/2 Laughing Cow Mini Baybell Cheese

1.  Stack the beets at the center of the plate, with the slices of cheese.
2.  Microwave for under a minute (aprox 40-50seconds)
3.  Drizzle Agave syrup
4.  Serve immediately

Enjoy immediately

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Beauty & Essex

It's no secret that Beauty and Essex is one of my all time favorite restaurants in NYC.  Located in lower Manhattan a trendy, artsy dig behind an old vintage pawn shop lay another fantastic Chris Santos Restaurant.  Famous for its champagne bar in the ladies bathroom and all time great sharring dishes, this lovely dig also has an amazing GF menu including salty fries!  A place, where yes the fries are gluten-free and not cross-contaminated.  I have sent so many people to this restaurant!  My previous POST on this fine restaurant was last year when I took a friend of mine out for her birthday.  I wrote in detail the decor, the friendly and gf savvy wait staff, drinks and menu pics and I was there yet again and took some great pics of the GF dishes we had and I wanted to share them.

                                 Yellowtail Crudo Avocado-MOUTH WATERING
                                 Salt and Vinegar Fries-AMAZING!
                                 Rosemary Fillet-Sliced
Sashimi of Tuna-Tonnato Style
                                    Pressed Chicken with Polenta

If you are in New York City make it there!!  It's one of my favorites!! xo!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

GF Japanese Rice Cakes

Another great Japanese snack!  Light, flakey and crunchy!  I found these at Food Emporium in NYC.  So good that you'll eat the whole bag!  Luckily they are individually packed in sets of two.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Hazelnut Butter Spread

Sick and tired of peanut butter?  Why not try a different spread?  After going gluten-free I did enough research to figure out that there were more options to eat then just the typical options I was so used to.  When I was not gluten-free it was super easy to have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  Then I got the news and I was worried about finding options.

It wasn't until after 5 years of being diagnosed did I even embark on GF bread.  They all tasted funny, and heavy and grainy.  It was disgusting.  I had decided since I wasn't a huge bread eater that I didn't need to have it in my diet.

Then last year Katz sent me some of their breads and cookies to try and blog.  I said yes, but I had my doubts.  I thought it would NEVER taste like regular bread and it was probably going to be disgusting and I would have to blog nicely about something so gross.  Ah quite the contrary!  Katz opened my world to gf bread.  I was shocked when I received the fluffy, spongy and light GF breads.  I had gotten a multi grain version and challah.  They were FANTASTIC.  I remember standing in my kitchen thinking "here goes nothing" and taking a bite, only to find out that it was unreal in the best way possible.  I couldn't believe it!  And from then on, I invited certain brands of GF breads into my life like Canyon Bake House, Udi's, Rudi's and Katz.  These breads became a household staple in my freezer.

So every now and again I would have a peanut butter sandwich or an egg sandwich or just with a slab of butter.  That got old real fast.

I wanted other options so I went marketing and came back with Almond Butter, other various nut butters and apple butter.  Those were good too.

A few months ago I went to another health market and found Chocolate Hazelnut butter by Justin's.  These spreads are made by a company called Justin's Nut Butters.  I figured let me try it, could be good.  There were a few flavors and they came in these small packets.  Each spread was very rich and easy to spread, they tasted more like a dessert sandwich.  Tasty.  I then started making finger sandwhiches and started serving them at afternoon tea parties and gatherings.  What a hit!  These spreads come in small packets and/or jars and there are great flavors too!  Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Peanut, Honey Almond, Honey Peanut, Classic Almond, Classic Peanut and Maple Almond.  Their nuts are the finest from California and they also use the finest chocolates.  There is only 80 calories per serving.  If you are looking for something a bit sweeter and more of a guilty pleasure try their Peanut Butter Cups

These spreads are gluten-free and dairy-free, however not nut-free.  These spreads are also all natural which makes this something you'd want to feed your household with.  They also have a great website and misson statement.  They believe in going green and giving back.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

POPCorners! The New Popcorn Chip Snack

Lately I have been writing a LOT about snacks.  Essentially snacks are what makes the day go by a little more fuller.  When it comes to eating gluten-free I find that the meals are easy and its the snacks that leave you pondering where and what for that day.  Where am I going to find gluten-free processed snacks and what processed snack will I eat that have some kind of nutritional value.

PopCorners are another GREAT snack to much on that are gluten-free.  Woo hoo!  Actually, my brother who is only 16 has been educating himself on the gluten-free diet, he is such a good sport.  He is not gluten-free but every now and again he will text me his latest gluten-free find.  And if I have not had it before I will make sure to try it with him.  After all he did discover Tates GF chocolate chip cookies, Skinny popcorn and a few other gluten free processed snack options.

And why did he find them before me?  Because he's a teenager, and kids and teens thrive on processed snacks!  So rock on Gregster and thanks for the tip!!

PopCorners has a few great flavors to say the least...White Cheddar, Kettle, Butter, Cheesy Jalapeno and Sea Salt.  I have tried the Sea Salt and White Cheddar Flavor.  My brother loves the Kettle, and the Cheesy Jalapeno?  I really want to try that one!  Oooh-Spicy! 

Another great trait about this snack is that it doesn't have that scary no taste taste that most  people assume gluten-free comes with.  It just happens to be gluten-free.  So all your children and their friends can enjoy this snack without feeling deprived or left out of the group.

PopCorners gives you the option of two snacks.  Popcorn and Chips.  Combine it and you have PopCorners; a triangular shaped chip that looks and smells like smashed popcorn. 

PopCorners are great but more calories then Pop Chips, and these two are different.  I prefer to eat less calories so I opt for a different snack, but PopCorners area delicious, kid-friendly and a great source of fiber.  Send your gluten-free child to school with some tasty snacks just like Popcorners.  You will be happy you did.

Interested in using PopCorners in your recipes?  Then check out this LINK.  Covert some of these recipes and add in these chips like Pop's Meatloaf and Sea Salt Fillets.  Yum!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Le Pain Quotedien

Guess who has GF Macaroons?  Le Pain Quotedien!  It's a French chain restaurant that is usually found in work areas around Manahattan and other neighboring states and even across the US in California.

But be careful!  There is definitely cross-contamination!

Click HERE for various locations in New York, California, Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Red Mango

I have done quite a few posts thus far on Red Mango, one of my favorite frozen yogurt spots that has signs all over their parlors on being gluten-free.  I love this spot.  I'm always stopping at my nearest location when I am visiting the rents in Long Island.  My favorite location is in Wheatley Plaza, Roslyn.

Last time I was there I was so happy to see oodles of flavors like Coconut, Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Original, Coffee and others and always with a plethora of toppings.

Nix the toppings right?  Because they are probably not gluten-free, but actually some are.  But not the good stuff right?  Not the cookies or the sprinkes.  Wait, hold up!  What's that you say?? The cookies are gluten-free? Say what?

Word on the street and with the Manager of that location (not all locations carry this), that there is a young lady that started a gluten-free cookie and bakery company with her mom, both of which were diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  An Italian family that knows how to cook and bake gluten-free, these cookies MUST be good.  And boy are they!  Sooo good!  I bought the cookies while I was there along with their gingerbread and pumpkin loaf, yum!

So there you have it.  You can eat your frozen yogurt and cookies too!

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie