Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tate's GF Brownies

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So OMG! I am totally psyched!! One of my favorite bakery brands Tate's now has GF brownies!!  I have been loving the Tate's GF chocolate chip cookies which are sold almost everywhere in NYC, like Food Emporium in Murray hill and various places in Long Island as well as other locations, and especially their actual bakery in South Hampton, Long Island.  So I just went to their website and it turns out they have GF brownies!! They must be good if those cookies are so good!  A non-GF friend of mine shared those GF cookies with his friends and they couldn't believe that the cookies were gluten-free!  So I must assume that the brownies are to die for!! Can't wait to try those babies!! Yay!! For all of you chocolate lovers out there this brownie might be your dream brownie!

Tate's Bake Shop Brownies

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chance Meeting, GF Restaurants And A Lil Tale Bout Red Lobster

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So another local chain has hit the jackpot!  Red Lobster finally serving meals that do not contain gluten.  But not just gluten, other allergens that many others have issues with.  Red Lobster has joined the ban wagon of chains supporting a gluten-free lifestyle.  Woo hoo.!!

And to think I didn't even know about this till last night!  I was out for dinner with friends and met a fantastic spunky girl whose sister has Celiac Disease and was diagnosed after college, after years and years of mis-diagnosis (sound familiar?).  

It was a random chance meeting, as a friend of mine felt our next table was being a bit too rowdy.  (We are so old!).  I live in a college neighborhood and therefore a loud table would obviously be expected.  Our next table was a group of loud girls and guys enjoying their Friday night out with shots and beer.  Due to my friend's complaint the girl (who wasn't drinking) immediately went over to our waiter and asked to buy us a round of shots.  She then came over to apologize to us, which was very nice and so un New York City.  ( I am a true New Yorker, but what I can admit is that we are not the warmest bunch).  When we passed on shots, an appetizer and anything else she tried to offer, she went to the waiter and inquired again about dessert and the waiter mentioned I was Celiac.  This restaurant knows me well and are great with the gluten-free lifestyle and knowing about Celiac Disease.  It is called Nana Sushi.  

So delighted to hear this she immediately came over to our table again and we started chatting about Celiac Disease, gluten-free, gluten-free blogs and getting her sister diagnosed.  In her family her Aunt (Mother's sister) also has the disease, and her family is always looking for new spots for her to dine at gluten-free when she visits NYC.  Of course I told her to come and visit my blog, how could I not advertise my own blog? ha ha.  But I also mentioned and gave shout-outs to a few great spots in the city that her sister can enjoy worry-free!!: Bistango an Italian eatery in Murray Hill, NYC, Tu-Lu's Bakery on East 11th Street, in the East Village (this bakery has dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and other allergies and is all made in a gluten-free facility), Lili's 57 a Asian eatery on W. 57th Street, its sister restaurant also an asian eatery (that actually has gluten-free spring rolls!!) Lilli and Loo on Lexington/60's,   a great pizza/Italian little divvy joint that is known for their pizza, pasta, breadsticks, desserts, panini's, gf beer and more!! in the West Village called Risotteria and another fabulous Italian spot that is family style on the Upper West Side in the 70's called Sambuca.  These were the few off the top of my head.

So we traded gluten-free knowledge in our chance meeting, and I said "Isn't it funny how this turned out!?"  I love meeting other people who have friends or family or are themselves gluten-free.  It is a lovely community no matter where you are and where you come from, we had a commonality and that brought us together.  She wasn't a New Yorker, actually from Boston or just outside which is why she mentioned Red Lobster after I mentioned Outback Steakhouse, which has a HUGE gluten-free menu including TWO gluten-free brownie sundaes!!! So she gave a shout-out to Red Lobster and this info was news to me as I had no clue!! I had once went to Red Lobster back in the day in Palm Beach, Florida and it was great, but this was prior to my diagnosis.  Glad to hear things have changed around that chain!!  And glad to hear that the Boston Red Lobster is fantastic too, since they are known for their seafood!!  She also gave a shout-out to PF Changs another Asian chain that apparently has some real good lettuce wraps!  ( I have been there and I can attest to their great gluten-free menu too).

While we are at it, in Murray Hill Bare Burger also has a fabulous gluten-free menu!! Great burgers and fries.  Yes you heard me fries!.  And GF buns! Or if you don't like that you can get it in a lettuce wrap like I do.

Have a great super fabulous day!  It's GORGEOUS outside!!

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie

Monday, May 7, 2012

Domino's Pizza GF Crust w/ A Catch

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I have been noticing a LOT of posting through Facebook and other social media websites that Domino's Pizza has come out with a gf crust.  I was super excited to see this!! Because Domino's is a major chain nationwide. I thought Great!!!  But there is a catch!  A big catch.  Domino's is saying that this pizza is made in the same ovens as their gluten pizzas, and are ONLY suitable for those with a gluten-sensitivity!! And therefore NOT suitable for people with Celiac Disease.

What is that?  Half-ass GF pizza?  Yes, I agree it is a start, but a half-ass start.  So those that really suffer from the actual disease can't even enjoy this pizza.  I am not sure what the point of that is.  So I think this pizza should be called Gluten-Sensitive Pizza rather then Gluten-Free Pizza.  Let's not get those two confused!! We are too smart for that by now, with all of the research done on Celiac Disease in this decade.  Let's not take a step backwards and make mistakes we may have made before knowing so much.  I mean really.

The gluten-free crust is made in a facility where there is gluten present, like the ovens.  There is a lot of cross contamination.  So I say, Celiac's, newbies, people that think it might be ok, please steer clear because you WILL get sick, and that is NOT worth your precious time!!.

Please click here for article and video from The Huffington Post.

The article fights for those with a gluten-sensitivity, as mentioned there are at least 18 million Americans who are gluten-sensitive.  But this is a huge gray area.  How can you determine how sensitive you are when ordering this gf crust?  Are you a little sensitive?  A lot sensitive? Medium sensitive?

The National Foundation For Celiac Awareness does NOT recommend this for people who suffer from Celiac Disease.

The Domino's video states that there is a small trace of gluten in their crust.  They say it's almost "0" percent, but there are still traces.  So even though Domino's is stating that there crust is gluten-free, I think gluten-free should be and mean 100 percent.  Not almost 100 percent.

Please also note that not EVERY location carries this gluten-sensitive pizza crust.  Please check with your location.

See Domino's Facebook Page for FAQ on the difference between Celiac Disease and a Gluten-Sensitivity.  Please do NOT disregard the disclaimer!!!!

**I am using "kid friendly" labels for this post because I want all parents to see this post and know that a child with Celiac Disease cannot have this pizza.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Sunday, May 6, 2012

GF Strawberries On A Log Sitting By A Campfire

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**Serves 2

It all started with a box of strawberries.  Well actually, it started with my friend coming over.  I told her I'd make her dinner.  I was feeling experimental and I wanted to cook.  It's no fun cooking for yourself, although I do that all the time, It's always nice to have a taste tester besides yourself.  You could end up being bias.  He he he he!

So Marci came over and I made 3 courses, but as you know and can tell from my blog, dessert always should go first, it is most exciting.  

After the two courses I figured fruit would be a happy medium, it's sweet and healthy.  So out of the fridge came the box of strawberries.  But then I got in the experimental mood, and I thought what else do I have in my kitchen that I can add to strawberries? Hmmm...I had GF dark chocolate morsels, popcorn, Agave syrup, skim milk and coconut macaroons oh and I almost forgot! Shish Kebab sticks. (always have those in the house!! You can make any kind of shish kebab from meat to fruit or even a brownie kebab-there is so much you can do with a shish kebab stick-This my mother taught me, as she ALWAYS had these in the house-probably because she had a BBQ.  I don't, but I still have the sticks).  I could work with this.  I had butterscotch too, but that may have been over kill.  (But if making this for kids, I'd add the butterscotch morsels and melt those too).

So I told Marci I changed my mind, and within a few minutes, I'd say about 10-15, I had an entirely new and delicious creation!  Yay!!  Now don't be afraid to get your hands dirty!!, We are creating here, and cooking is like art.  Something you start with may end up being something entirely different in the end.

1.  On a plate I sprinkled a bit of Skim Milk-about 1/8-1/4 cup.  This is to wet the plate, give it some moisture before you lay down the dessert.  You don't want to add too much, because you don't want anything to be soggy.

2.  After you wash the strawberries cut them in half and put about 7-8 pieces on each shish kebab stick.

3.  Place the strawberry shish kebab stick in the center of the plate, and allow the the milk to wet the strawberry kebab.

4.  In a separate custard cup pour about 1/8-1/4 cup dark chocolate morsels and put in microwave for one minute at a time until thoroughly melted.  (If put into microwave for too long mixture becomes clumpy and hard).  Once melted, pour thin strands of the chocolate over the kebab and the plate.

5.  Pour a small amount of light Agave Syrup (found at any market) onto the kebab and plate as well.

6.  Separately take one GF coconut macaroon and microwave for about 5-10 seconds.  Put macaroon into another custard cup filled with a small amount of skim milk.  Mash the macaroon with the skim milk until you have a soaked clumpy mixture (nothing too soggy, so don't use too much milk).  Cut the mixture in half and with a spoon, place part of the mixture on each plate off to the side near the kebab.  Thinly slice 1/2 strawberry and place on top of the coconut mixture and sprinkle some melted dark chocolate onto the coconut mixture as well.

7.  Sift a bit of confections sugar onto the kebab.  (This step can be left out if desired)

8.  Last but not least take a few popcorn morsels and sprinkle those on the plates as well.

**You can substitute DF milk or Lactaid for the skim milk.  And you can sub in GF Kosher dark chocolate morsels for the dark chocolate if you need this to be kosher and/or dairy free.

Although there are many steps to this dessert it is quite effortless!  And tastes so super good!!

Copyright© 2012 Julie Rosenthal.  All recipes cannot be copied without owner's permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Gluten-Free Cafe and Danna Korn

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This one particular location of Food Emporium never has as much gluten-free foods as their other locations, total bummer, but they are getting there.  Look what I found in the freezer section of the 3rd Avenue/32 St. location!! A gluten-free frozen dinner by Gluten-Free Cafe, and it is certified gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Cafe has a variety of gf options such as Sesame Bars, various Entrees such as pastas, Asian noodles and various chicken dishes, and a variety of GF Soups.  Gluten-Free Cafe offers on their website a page called Certified for your trust which explains exactly what certified means and Fortified for your health which explains exactly why vitamins are so important in a Celiac's life, the roles vitamins play and expert findings/articles/journals you can read for research and gain knowledge.  In addition there is another page that explains what Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and Dermatitis Herpetiformis is.  Many do not know the difference or are curious.  You can find that information here.  You can even get or access Danna Korn's books on Celiac Disease, and Children with Celiac Disease.  Danna Korn has been known as the Gluten-Free Guru and is the author of Living Gluten-Free For Dummies as well as other books such as Kids with Celiac Disease and Wheat-Free, Worry-Free.  She has also been seen on ABC's 20-20 as well as been featured in many magazines.  Danna is also the founder of GlutenFreedom (a consultation service) as well as the founder of R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids-which is a support group for families of children on a gluten-free diet.  Danna has been researching Celiac Disease since 1991 when her son Tyler was diagnosed with the condition.

And this is all on the website for Gluten-Free Cafe.  I really like seeing gluten-free products that have pages or links on their website that can educate readers on their level of dedication and their knowledge of the diet and the disease.  Some brands go the extra mile, and in this day and age, the extra mile really counts.  Information gets you that much closer to what you need to know and how you can navigate the lifestyle.

I am not one to ever eat a frozen dinner, but if you are a fan or are in a bind and need something quick that is in fact gluten-free this dinner may be for you, and you don't have to go to a specialty store to get it!

xoxo Julie

GF Kosher Matzoh

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Well, I do admit that this post is a bit late, being Passover is over and all, but I had to share with you, my readers, this amazing brand of kosher and gluten-free matzoh.  My mom had it at her Passover Seder, and by golly it was sooo good!! My mom and I are the only ones who share a gluten-intolerance/Celiac Disease and everyone else attending was chowing down on this delightful cracker.

So for your next Seder, always know that there are GF matzoh brands out there just right for your GF Seder!!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Red Mango GF Signage

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There is nothing better then having something completely spelled out for you.  That way there is no misinterpretation of any kind.  Certified gluten-free means certified gluten-free.  Well said Red Mango/Wheatley Plaza location in Greenvale, Long Island!!  Well said.

xoxo Julie

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chef Julieta Ballesteros's Dream Cocktail-Sangria

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Nothing like a nice icy cocktail on an outing celebrating Cinco de Mayo!! Also found in Glamour Magazine, May 2012 Issue.

The Dream Drink: White Sangria

In a large pitcher, combine 1 cup white grape juice, 1 cup pineapple juice; 1 cup Kettle One Vodka, 1/2 cup St. Germain or sub in Ginger Ale; 1 1/2 bottles white wine, 1/2 bunch mint leaves, unchopped; 1 cup total chopped grapes, apples and pears; and 1 tbsp. whole pink peppercorns (optional).  Chill for 1 hour.  Serves 6.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Chef Julieta Ballesteros's Salsa de Chipotle and Guacamole

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Another Cinco de Mayo classic found in Glamour Magazine, May 2012 issue

"Whether you make them hot or not, these two dips are guaranteed to go fast!".

Salsa de Chipotle
Serves 6

6 medium-sized plum tomatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp. for pan
1/4 Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo (we like La Morena, available at most grocery stores)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half, and place them on a baking sheet (for easier cleanup, wrap pan in aluminum foil first).  Season with salt, and place in oven.  Roast for 1 1/2 hours.  In a medium pan, heat 1 tsp. oil, and saute onion and garlic until golden brown; set aside.  When tomatoes are ready, put them into a blender.  Add onions, garlic, cilantro, and chilies.  Blend on slow speed, and add salt.  Gradually increase speed while adding oil, and process until smooth.  Serve with chips or as a sauce on tacos.

The perfect Guacamole
Serves 6

5 Hass avocados, pitted
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped Spanish onion
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 pickled jalapeno pepper, minced, plus 1/4 cup cider vinegar (recipe calls for regular vinegar)
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime

Toss everything in a bowl.  Mash, and salt to taste.  Serve with corn chips.  And enjoy!!

Easy Everyday Mexican...Ballesteros' easy ideas for what to do with...Salsa!
1.  Pour on a grilled-cheese GF sandwich
2. Toss with stir-fried mushrooms, peas, peppers, and onions; add a side of rice
3. Add 1 tbsp. chopped olives and 2 tbsp. lime juice to each cup of salsa, and serve over poached shrimp.

1.  Cut into strips, toss with 1 tsp. oil and salt, and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes.  Use instead of croutons.  A great gluten free way!
2.  Fry until golden brown, then top taco fixings for tostadas

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Julieta Ballesteros's Tacos!! GF

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Another fabulous find in Glamour Magazine, May 2012 issue.  Chef Julieta Ballesteros of Crema Restaurant knows her Mexican cooking!! And this just happens to be naturally gluten-free! Yeah!!

Tacos de Carne Asada
Serves 6

1 cup Pico de gallo (recipe below)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. flank or skirt steak
6 four-inch corn tortilla's 
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed or drained
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, cut into 6 slices
6 lime wedges for garnish

To make the pico de gallo:

5-6 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped Spanish onion
2 tbsp. chopped red onion
1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper, chopped
4 tbsp, chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of Salt
Salt, to taste

First mix pico de gallo ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Make a paste with chili powder and oil, and rub onto meat.  Grill steak (or cook in a lightly oiled grill pan) until medium rare, about 2-3 minutes on each side; slice diagonally.  Heat tortillas in the microwave (about 20 seconds).  Spread beans on top of each.  Add steak, pico de gallo, onion, cilantro, and avocado, and serve.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Bobby Deen's Mac and Cheese GF

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**found in March 5th, 2012 issue of People Magazine, converted GF

Well, well, nothing like finding a fabulous easy recipe in People Magazine from a famous Southern Cooking Channel Star!! I love those finds!  Especially Mac n Cheese.  Now with most of these mainstream recipes, most likely the pasta used will not be gluten-free and in this case the bread crumbs as well, but don't fret my dear readers, a simple gf pasta and bread crumb conversion is all you need.  Even if you are a newbie to the Celiac world, you are a smart cookie, well a smart gluten-free cookie.  Experiment, because most likely you will create a fabulous recipe and wow your friends and family. (On the off chance your newly converted recipe is a total bust, just try again, because we have all been there, myself included).  Now the trick is of course, is to find the really good gf pasta brands and bread crumb brands, rather then the soggy ones.  Because those soggy brands are out there!! I know you have tried them, and believe me I have too!  Yuck!

Recently I tried to get a friend of mine to go to NYC's Risotteria Restaurant for some great gluten-free pizza and pasta.  She said, and I quote,   "Ew Julie, I am not going to a gluten-free restaurant, no offense but I'm sure it's gross".  I said, "Girl, don't dis the Gluten-Free!! Don't knock it, because some of it out there rocks beyond".  Judgemental I say.  So Judgey.  (By the way, for those of you who haven't tried Risotteria you are so missing out!!).

Any who, back to Bobby Deen.  For those of you who don't know who Bobby Deen is...well he is a star on the Cooking Channel and Paula Deen's son!!

This recipe is called Guiltless Cheese Mac and it makes 8 Servings

2 cups uncooked GF elbow macaroni (this is where you will substitute for gluten-free.  Try brands like Bionaturae GF Elbow Pasta or  Le Veneziane GF Pasta's (they don't have elbow, but this in an amazing corn pasta that has many other shapes and worth using) or Schar GF Pasta or any other brand you may desire, gluten free of course!
3/4 cup shredded cheese (3oz)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (3oz)
1/2 cup skim milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (16oz.) bag of frozen peas, thawed
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower
1/4 cup soft bread-crumbs-and for us this will be GF bread crumbs.  Try Aleias GF Bread Crumbs, or Gillian's GF Bread Crumbs or Glutino GF Bread Crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Prepare macaroni (or desired pasta being used) in a large dutch oven according to package directions.  Drain well; return to Dutch oven, cover and keep warm.
3. Combine cheeses and next 8 ingredients in a bowl.  Stir mixture into warm macaroni; spoon into 1 1/2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle crumbs on top.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

And don't forget to tune into Deen's show "Not My Mama's Meals" Airs Wednesdays at 9pm on the Cooking Channel.

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Asia De Cuba Restaurant CLOSED

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Sad to hear a great restaurant with a fabulous gluten-free menu has closed.  Asia De Cuba located in NYC/Midtown East is no longer with us.  (Other locations in various states still exist).

Total bummer.

xoxo Julie