Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tollhouse Bars

I am going to a pumpkin carving party tomorrow. I made pumpkin roll (pumpkin sponge cake with cream cheese filling) for my friend who requested it. I wanted something I could eat too. So, I decided to try to make Nestle Tollhouse bars using gluten-free flours.

Now I have to confess, I have been having quite a bit of success lately using gluten-free flours as substitutes in recipes. I made delicious oatmeal cookies a couple of weeks ago and my fussy "I don't like gluten-free stuff" hubby gobbled them down.

My trick? I have been using Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix blended with coconut flour and almond flour. I like Pamela's much better than Bob's Red Mill which I think has a strong flavor and can be grainy.

I made the Tollhouse bars exactly as the recipe called for except for the following flour substitution: 1 1/2 cups Pamela's baking mix, 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/4 cup almond flour. They turned out terrific -- I don't think you could tell them apart from the original recipe. Try it, and enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Noodles & Company - GF Menu

If you didn't know it already (I didn't) Noodles and Company has a gluten-free menu that includes rice pasta. You need to ask for it at the order counter but they have a separate menu.

I loved Noodles because they have a good pad Thai which is gluten-free with its rice noodles. It was only when I mentioned this to the cashier that she pulled out the gluten-free menu and told me I had many more options at Noodles than just pad Thai.

I did not ask about preparation though, so I can't be sure if they use different water to cook the pasta. If you are a celiac you will need to inquire before ordering. Yeah, another dining option!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tears in Costco

Sometimes you are just caught off guard. Your defenses are down and you don't realize a whammy is headed your way. It happened to me at Costco on Sunday. It was innocent enough . . . my hubby and I were walking through Costco picking up a few things we needed (and a few we didn't) when we wandered by the Morningstar Farms vegetarian sausage patties. I caught a glimpse of them and immediately got a little teary and a lot feeling sorry for myself.

I originally had to give up these tasty little sausages about three years ago because they contain soy and soy had really started causing me tummy troubles. But they also contain gluten so even if I could eat soy, I now couldn't eat them because of the gluten. And that makes me sad because I like them. And that makes me sad because it is one more example of something I can no longer eat and enjoy.

After that experience, I got to thinking about whether anything gluten-free has lived up to its gluten equivalent - and I can't think of anything. Don't get me wrong, I bless Udi's and Rudi's for their gluten-free breads. I am thankful for quinoa and rice pasta. Gluten-free waffles are tasty and convenient. But if you put any of those next to their full wheat counterparts and I am afraid they would lose, big time.

And so my pity party continues as we move towards the holiday season. I won't be able to eat the pumpkin cake I am making for a friend's birthday later this month. I won't be able to eat stuffing and rolls and dessert at Thanksgiving. I won't be able to eat my very tasty Christmas cookies that friends beg for every year. Well, I guess that isn't fully true. I am grateful I am not celiac and so I can eat a little something gluten every once in a while and feel okay. But who is ever happy with one Christmas cookie? I guess I will have to be happy with it. And grateful that there are ever expanding gluten-free options available to me. I am working on it, really!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I am in love with GF Bisquick!

I discovered gluten free Bisquick after getting an e-mail from the company talking about their new gluten free products (the cake mixes from Betty Crocker are awesome.) I found it in King Soopers a few weeks later.

So, why am I in love? Because it makes the tastiest gluten free pancakes! I am on my second box of the stuff and I don't even like/eat pancakes that often. I also used it to make a cobbler topping for a peach cobbler but since the package doesn't have a recipe for cobbler, I had to wing it a bit. It came out fine (I just added a little sugar to the drop biscuit recipe).

I have yet to try any other recipes on the box - how can I when I am addicted to the pancakes? Last night I made one big pancake for dinner, lathered it with almond butter and then drizzled pure maple syrup on top. Yum!

If you want to try it too, look for it next to the regular Bisquick in the baking isle. It is a much smaller box, but worth it!