Archive for January, 2011
Nope, that’s not a typeo up there in the headline. The Kitchn, a segment of Apartment Therapy, is yet another place online where we’re seeing more and more gluten-free recipes popping up. We’re especially intrigued by the recent recipes:
Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps & Kale and Quinoa Pilaf menu (good superbowl food!)
Peanutella (OMG, are you kidding?! We are so there.)
Asian Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Pork (just sub tamari for the soy sauce called for in this recipe to make it GF)
There is a search & sort function of the recipes listed on The Kitchn, but might we request a GF tag, Kitchn folks? Pretty please?
Once upon a time we ate a cookie called a cow pie and deemed it good. Many years later, we converted this cow pie into an easy, no-bake gluten-free treat and included it in our cookbook, Dig In: Sweets. This recipe has been floating around the web (see here and here, thanks girls!), so we thought we’d share with you a page out of our book. Literally.
Vegans, we love these cookies just as much with non-dairy butter and coconut milk in place of the regular butter & milk…give ‘em a try!
We’ll assume you know us well enough to know that we’ve never met a cookie we didn’t like. (Or a surprise toffee cupcake delivery from Bliss Bakery, which we received yesterday. Yay for cupcake deliveries!) So we’re eager to see this cookbook, Gluten-Free Cookies: From Shortbreads to Snickerdoodles, Brownies to Biscotti — 50 recipes for Cookies You Crave, hit stores March 2011.
The book description sounds like something right up The Lab’s alley: “Indulge in ginger molasses cookies just like Grandma’s, perfectly tart lemon squares, butter and sugar cookies that melt on your tongue, rich and fudgy brownies, decadent and unusual varieties for entertaining and gift-giving, and a whole range of other perfect treats. The recipes in this book are designed to create the very best, tastiest cookies that just happen to be gluten-free.”
We’re ingrigued…explore more on Luane Kohnke’s website!
Maybe you’ve heard a thing or two about how the FDA has been gearing up to create gluten-free labeling regulations. Maybe you’ve been hearing that for a long, long while (like since 2008). If you’d like to see the FDA finish these labeling rules & regulations, read on for North Bay Celiacs‘ letter and call to action for the celiac community:
Hello to all in the national celiac and gluten-free community,
I eat gluten-free and I VOTE!
The Food and Drug Administration is over two years late publishing the gluten-free labeling rules mandated by Congress in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection of 2004 (FALCPA). The rules were due by August 2008. Congress needs to press the FDA to act, and the FDA needs to get the job done.
We are tired of wondering if the food we buy is safe and tired of waiting quietly for the FDA to get around to doing its job. The FDA has had over SIX YEARS to study this issue. Enough!
The American Celiac Disease Alliance is urging everyone to act now. It takes just a couple of minutes to use their website to automatically send emails to the Food and Drug Administration and Health and Human Services (both run by women!), and your Senators and Representative in Congress.
Beth Hillson, President of the American Celiac Disease Alliance, writes, “Let’s show our strength by shouting out how important this is to us. Tell the FDA to finish the GF Labeling regulations. Tell them that people with celiac disease require safe, gluten-free foods. Tell them to finish the FALCPA Labeling Rules NOW.”
Go to http://www.capwiz.com/celiac/home/ to send emails or letters today. You can use their letters or write your own.
Forward and post this link on every celiac and gluten-free blog, list and group. FDA, GET THE JOB DONE!
I would like to thank the American Celiac Disease Alliance (http://americanceliac.org/) for organizing this effort and providing this service for free, and encourage everyone to support ACDA with a donation.
About a month ago, The Lab’s presence was requested for lunch. If you know us very well at all, you can probably predict our response, which was, in essence, “Say no more. We’re there!” This was a lunch hosted at the renowned Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates in Santa Rosa, Calif. But it was no ordinary lunch meeting. It was an olive oil tasting; a delicious 3-course lunch prepared by KJ’s own Chef Eric; a gluten-free brainstorming session; a get to know the team responsible for taking what was once part of the wine-making wastestream and upcycling it into usable – no, strike that – deliciously edible oils and flours. This forward-thinking team is SonomaCeuticals. In part with a well-chosen group of scientists ranging from chemists to food scientists hearkening from Napa Valley College and U.C. Davis, the aim is to make the most of the wine-making process, and that means thinking outside the wine bottle. As it turns out, the wine-making process creates a lot of desirable “waste,” from which essential oils, cosmetics with a naturally high SPF factor, naturally soothing cremes that suppress yeasts (buh-bye diaper rash!), dies, flours, cooking oils, and paper products can be made.
Maybe you’ve run across Marché Noir Foods in Los Angeles, Calif., who, for the past decade, has been peddling (literally – check out their sweet culinary cruiser with mini kitchen sidecar!) Cabernet Sauvignon flour as well as a selection of pastas, brownies and other baked goods made with Cab flour, but there’s still a lot of room for growth in this product industry, especially here in wine country where wine waste is one. big. giant. glut.
With that knowledge in the fronts of our minds, we jumped right into tasting the 8 varietals of grapeseeed oils including White Reisling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon. We all know that olive oil can range in flavor, and that coconut oil is a completely different experience from avocado oil. But grapeseed oil? C’mon, how much can one varietal differ from another? A lot, we discovered. As we tasted, we realized that the flavors ranged wildly. Some were nutty (Reisling), others were buttery (Chardonnay), still others were grassy (Zinfandel) and mushroomy (Syrah). Most surprising was the sweet, tropical-bordering-on-banana flavor profile of Pinot Noir.
(can’t you just see us rubbing our greedy little baking mitts together in anticipation of trying out some of these oils in the kitchen?)
With a new understanding of everything that grapeseed oil can be, we began our discussion of what grapeseed flour can contribute to the gluten-free market. Since many of the grapeseed flours are still being created and undergoing testing, we weren’t able to try each of the flour varietals the way we were able to test the oils, but the entire 3-course lunch incorporated Pinot Noir grapeseed flour. We weren’t complaining:
Pinot Noir grapeseed flour bread
Crusty exterior, soft and airy in the middle with a defined cell structure. Real bread!
Liberty duck breast with wild rice cake, mustard greens with shallots, herb duck sauce
Crispy-skinned duck over wilted mustard greens atop an earthy, nutty rice cake (think small pancake with whole grains of rice within).
Pork chop with fennel apple salad, braised cabbage and handmade strozzapreti pasta from pinot noir grapeseed flour
Bone-in pork chop over a bed of perfectly toothy pinot noir grapeseed pasta. It’s been a really long time since we’ve had fresh pasta and we probably could’ve eaten an entire bowl of this stuff. Not just because it’s been so long, but because the flavor and texture of fresh-made pasta was remarkably authentic.
Dark chocolate souffle with warm créme anglaise
Served warm and high with a generous pour of créme anglaise.
In the near future, you’ll be able to have your own experience of WholeVine Products’ grapeseed flours, oils and cookies. Until then, the best way to wrap your tastebuds around some of these tantalizing flavors is to book a Wine and Food Pairing over at Kendall-Jackson. Be sure to mention you’re interested in the gluten-free pairing. They’re well-equipped to handle this request, whether you’re restricted by a gluten-free diet or not. Plus, you’ll be able to have your own experience of these new flours and flavors.
To Chef Eric and the entire team who hosted lunch: we thank you for a thoughtful menu and the opportunity to taste some of the products that are yet to hit retailers’ shelves! Keep us posted, we’re eager to see your progress. Consider our tastebuds tantalized.
We always get a warm fuzzy feeling inside when we see fellow GFers take it upon themselves to help other GFers.
Yah! Go team GF!
GF in SF is a fantastic resource for gluten-free restaurants, bakeries & products available in the San Francisco Bay Area. So if you’re in San Francisco – or if you’re planning a trip to San Francisco any time soon – this site is a MUST SEE. Look for gorgeous photos, clear & organized categorization of eateries and their neighborhoods, and recipes.
Readers! Have any of you seen this new Betty Crocker Gluten Free Recipe Collection? It’s available starting this month – both online and in select grocery stores – and we’re dying to know what it’s like (we haven’t found it yet in our neck of the woods). According to the Betty Crocker write-up, the magazine features “280 easy and delicious gluten free recipes” which were developed with the help of Jean Duane, Alternative Cook, who has a fair amount of gluten-free and dairy-free cooking under her belt. We hear that many of the recipes use GF Bisquick (new on grocery store shelves!) and Betty Crocker GF cake mixes as the base, and that the recipes range from banana bread, dinner rolls, homemade pizza (cover recipe), apple pie, apricot muffins with almond streusel topping, cornbread, sugar cookies, waffles, cinnamon scones, gravy, and sandwich bread.
Now c’mon. Dish. Tell us what you really think.
Photo by Kevin Hewitt
One of our good internet pals is Gluten-Free Mike. He has a great perspective on dining out gluten-free, and he’s in the public eye more than ever as the necessity for the gluten-free diet grows. Take, for instance, this article from MSNBC published this week announcing that Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are now offering “a new series of menus with different dishes specifically created for guests not only with celiac disease but also diabetes and heart disease, as well as for guests on macrobiotic, raw and vegan diets.”
Mike is quoted throughout the article, and he’s careful to stress the importance of having a dialogue with the chef or the server in the restaurant to ensure all of the ingredients are, in fact, gluten-free: “Identifying appropriate dishes ‘is just about asking the right questions and making the right choices,’ he explained.”
Locally, look for gluten-free baked tofu with bean noodles at Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa in Sonoma, Calif. But if you’re a frequent traveler, we hope you’ll report back on your experiences at Fairmonts around the world!
Well here’s some potentially good news for GFers across the nation: Subway is testing out a couple of gluten-free items to potentially add to their menu. Woo! In addition to the possibility of including a sandwich roll and a brownie to their gluten-free repertoire, Subway would also be training their sandwich-making artists on the art of keeping foods and utensils separate, so, for instance, the knife used to cut a gluten-free sandwich would be pre-wrapped and designed for single-use only. We don’t like the impact this has on waste generation (more trash, really?) but we do like that there’s a visual cue for someone ordering a GF sandwich (wrapped knife = gluten-free knife).
The Subway restaurant chain is currently testing two gluten-free menu items in the Dallas and Tyler, Texas markets. The trial options roll out Jan. 10.
According to celiac.com, the gluten-free rolls and brownies will come prepackaged and individually wrapped. Sandwich Artists in those two markets will be trained on how to cut the roll with a pre-wrapped knife for one use only.
Also, to further avoid cross-contamination, that same Sandwich Artist will prepare the order from beginning to end, ensuring a 100-percent gluten-free meal.
Subway has long offered items and information for allergen-sensitive customers, and includes a comprehensive chart on its website outlining ideal options for those who stick to a celiac diet…
…Many quick-service chains are embracing gluten-free menu options in light of a growing awareness of this disease. In early 2010, for example, Burger King Corp. released a “Gluten-Sensitive List” which features food on the chain’s menu that doesn’t contain wheat, barley, oats or rye.
The increased rollout of gluten-free items not only appeals to a broader consumer base, it may also be a necessity, as lawsuits have been filed against chains for not disclosing gluten’s presence in products.
Ultimately, having a gluten-free component decreases the risk of making some customers sick, which is why it continues to be listed as a restaurant trend to watch for in 2011, according to Technomic research.
. . .
Here’s to some lunch-breakin’, road trippin’ sandwiches in the near future!
Remembering the care free days of summer camp is a bit of a Wonder Years moment for us. We know, we know…it’s a challenge to even think about how good summer feels during the dead of winter, but try to feel the sun on your skin. The smiles exchanged with the cute girl/boy across the lake. The swimming, the singing of campy camp songs, the making of new & lasting friendships, the popsicle stick crafts. Some kids with severe food allergies may never experience summer camp, but since 2007 the Taylor Family Foundation has been dedicated to providing an authentic summer camp experience for kids aged 9 – 17 who have been diagnosed with Celiac disease.
Camp is held just outside of Livermore, Calif. amidst rolling hills and shady oaks. If your child might be interested in this experience (sidenote: when will there be a Camp Celiac experience for adults?!), registration for one of two weeks of camp begins soon – February 1, 2011 – online at celiaccamp.com.
Week 1: Thursday, July 21 – Monday, July 25
Week 2: Monday, July 25 – Friday, July 29*
Campers may attend one week of camp only, and priority is given to campers from northern California and/or northern California campers who have never attended Camp. Campers from northern California may register anytime between February 1 and February 14, 2011 and will be given equal priority. Registration for counselors also opens on February 1, 2011. Counselors can sign up for one or both sessions. Priority is given to non-parent counselors restricted to a gluten-free diet (Camp Celiac is always in need of male counselors…any takers out there? Even better if you’re an MD – male or female – available for Session 1!).
Summer camp, here we come!
*This second week of camp is designated for returning campers in case they want to attend the same week as their camp friends; however, campers may designate either week as their preference.