Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Share the love on Thanksgiving
It's that time of year again... cooking becomes a major endeavor, company comes over or you're heading out with dish in hand to celebrate with others. But for GF folks like us, it's just a little stickier, isn't it?
What should you bring to the dinner party?
What if you don't get to it first and it's contaminated?
Can you ask others to prepare an entire meal that is GF just for you?

I have learned that I prefer to cook at home for the holidays. What about you?

I don't mind cleaning and having everyone at my place since I know I can regulate what is GF and what is not, and there isn't much that is not. When I cook, I keep it all GF. Nobody knows the difference and that way we are assured that it will be a healthy holiday.

Last year I brought a dish that I knew Daughter and I could eat to a Thanksgiving meal, but when it was placed on the table with all the other gluten items and spoons were shared freely, we were done. We did get to it first, luckily, so we had our share, but seconds were not an option.

This year, we're eating at home once again and feeling safe and comfortable. We're serving roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, Quorn roast for the vegetarians and a turkey breast for meat eaters, GF pumpkin pie and a GF apple crisp Daughter has decided she wants to make. It's a simple, GF meal we can all enjoy.

I hope your day is lovely, filled with family and friends, and relaxing. Remember to be cautious if you're eating outside your home. And if you're cooking at home, take time for a glass of wine and a hug with guests. Don't spend all day in the kitchen if you don't have to.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gluten Free in Arcadia

The apples are ready

It's Autumn, which means it's chilly and lovely outside. These days, I want to run out of the house and grab a cup of coffee and a muffin on my way. But finding a coffee shop that meets all my needs, in Arcadia, is not easy. There's one on every corner, sure. Finding one that is local and not a chain is a little more difficult, but Arcadia seems to be doing pretty well in that department lately. But add to that the need to find something gluten free to munch on at any of these coffee shops and you're pretty lucky if you can find something other than a piece of fruit. Sure, Starbucks had a wonderful gluten-free orange cake for a split second, but for some ridiculous reason they stopped carrying it. The only thing GF there is chips or fruit these days.

Enter the Coffee Lady Cafe. Nestled in a strip mall on the SW corner of 40th St. and Indian School Rd., this tiny shop offers great coffee (quick and hot in the morning), sandwiches and soup. After talking with the owner about the lack of GF choices, she ran out and bought Udi's muffins, bagels and bread. Awesome! Now, a place to grab a muffin and coffee on the run.

Be aware that there is not a separate toaster at this time. Get your muffin or bagel microwaved and have them change gloves and surfaces when making sandwiches. They are still in the beginning stages of having GF products, but the owner is more than willing to work with the GF community and is receptive to all suggestions.

Stop by and say hello, grab a muffin and try the Creme Brulee coffee, yum.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cupcake Heaven!

Lovely Little Cupcakes
I've been dying for cupcakes lately. Probably because everyone is eating them these days and I can't seem to find one that really tastes like non-GF cupcakes from the old days. But at the park recently, a mom showed up with cupcakes for her daughter and they were fabulous. GF and chocolate, what a combo. After raving about them and saying how hard it is to find a good GF cupcake, I expected to get a long, drawn-out recipe I would dread getting involved with. But all she said was," I used the Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix." No way!

So, I decided to give them a try. I bought the mix at Safeway on sale for $3.69, which means I got a lot more cupcakes for my money than from a fancy shop.

My friend and I are throwing a wine and cheese party for the gals tomorrow and this was the perfect time to try out some mini cupcakes. Oh my, they are so lovely. The cake is moist and light, just enough chocolate and not overly sweet. Just what I've been looking for. I'll try the White cake next and see how that goes, but I can't imagine them being any different. I also found some mini cupcake papers in Safeway also. Aren't they cute?

Cupcakes Ready for the Ladies

Just follow the directions on the package, which calls for 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of butter and 3 eggs. I used some lovely farmers market eggs. Normally, I tweak the recipe and add a little of this and a little of that. Not this time. I decided to try it as is for the first try. Good idea, I can't imagine what I would do to them.

The frosting is just something I bought in a can that sprays, which tastes adequate and sweet. I put just a small flower on top of each to keep the sweetness at bay. I suppose my next project is to make my own frosting. I love whipped cream frosting, maybe I'll try that next.