Posts filed under ‘kids’
Remember coming home from school when you were young? Chances are you were absolutely STUH-HARVING from all that play on the playground, and dinner felt like an impossibly distant promise. That’s when your mom would pull out a beige, waxy sleeve of Ritz crackers, slap some peanut butter on a few, sandwich them up, and give you the richest, most appreciated snack of the day.
Keep that memory close, because — chalk it up to nostalgia — we wanted to create a recipe that captures the buttery crispness of the Ritz cracker. We haven’t found anything quite like it on the gluten-free supermarket circuit, and, hey, there are millions of kids coming home from school starving. Every single day! Let’s give ‘em something good to eat…
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Gluten-free butter crackers
Light, flaky and incredibly crisp, these butter crackers won’t last long in anyone’s house!
See why the measurements are in weight
xpandex Expandex® (1/2 cup)*
80 g brown rice flour (1/2 cup)
30 g sweet rice flour (1/4 cup) + more for dusting
10 g granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
4 g coarse kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon) + more for sprinkling
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and put a third sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Set aside.
Pulse flours, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add cold butter and pulse in 1-second intervals 8-10 times or until mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. With machine running, add 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream through feed tube until mixture just comes together, adding more cream by the teaspoonful if mixture looks dry. Dough should come together into several clumps, but it will look smooth and hold together when crimped in hand.
Sprinkle third sheet of parchment with sweet rice flour and turn dough out from the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle dough with a little more sweet rice flour and gather into a ball. Flatten slightly and roll out to an even 1/8-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. If dough sticks, sprinkle with the smallest amount of sweet rice flour possible to prevent sticking. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or a 2 1/2-inch glass, cut rounds out of rolled out dough and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Regather dough and repeat the rolling and cutting process until all the dough is used.
Place baking sheets in freezer for 15 minutes, then remove from freezer, brush lightly with egg yolk mixture, and sprinkle each cracker with coarse kosher salt to taste. Place baking sheets in middle of oven and bake 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time, until deep golden brown in color. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Crackers will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*Expandex® modified tapioca starch is a revolution in gluten-free baking. It enhances the texture and appearance of bakery applications so those living a gluten-free lifestyle can enjoy the foods they love.
photo illustration by notion:creative
If you’re one of the millions — maybe even billions — of people who celebrates Easter, you will most likely have eggs coming out your ears for the next few weeks. And — fun fact — did you know that eggs cook beautifully in the microwave? They do. And that is one of The Lab’s most tried-and-true standbys, especially for quick on-the-go breakfasts.
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Get the bread toasting while the egg cooks in the microwave, and in about 3 minutes flat you’ll have a piping hot and delicious egg sandwich to get your day started on the right foot!
2 slices gluten-free bread of your choice
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk or milk alternative
salt & pepper to taste
1 slice deli turkey breast
1 slice cheese of your choice
nonstick cooking spray
butter to taste
Begin toasting bread. Meanwhile, coat a small rectangular or square tupperware with nonstick cooking spray (use a tupperware that is slightly larger than the bread you’re toasting). Crack eggs into tupperware, add milk and salt & pepper, and whisk to combine.
Cook egg in microwave for 90 seconds on high power or until fluffy and cooked through (cooking time varies in the microwave, so keep a close eye on your eggs the first time you try this).
When bread is finished toasting, butter lightly, place cheese on buttered slice of toast, top with turkey breast, cooked scrambled eggs, and second piece of toast.
Viola. A breakfast of champions.
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Or if you wanna get fancy, try poaching your eggs in the microwave! Bon Appétit recommends this method: Fill a 1-cup microwaveable bowl or teacup with 1/2 cup water. Gently crack an egg into the water, making sure it’s completely submerged. Cover with a saucer and microwave on high for about 1 minute, or until the white is set but the yolk is still runny. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to a plate.
hot diggity dog illustration by notion:creative
Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. So as the baseball season is ramping up, we find it our civic duty to inform our readership of the ballparks that offer gluten-free food options. Gluten-free hot dogs and hamburgers and fries and beer, oh my!
Aramark heads up most parks’ food concessions, and it’s hard not to give them props for debuting what was believed to be baseball’s first gluten-free concession stand at Coors Field in Denver, Colo. (GO TEAM CELIAC!) That was back in 2009, and we’re now starting to see the ripple effect of that single gluten-free concession stand as other ball parks begin including GF options that include hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries & chips, cookies & brownies, and, arguably most important of all, gluten-free beer.
The Gluten Free Lab’s home team is the band of misfits, the San Francisco Giants, who we have supported since even before they won the world series in 2010. But going to a game just got more appealing since there are now gluten-free hot dogs available at AT&T Park! A quarter-pound GF hot dog (Saag’s) can be purchased for $7.75 from the Budwiser Brew Pub in Promenade Section 112. GF kettle snacks and GF Redbridge Beer are also available. And let’s not forget about the second annual Celiac Disease Awareness Night, which is scheduled for Monday, June 6, 2011 at 7:15pm (more deets here). Last year ticket-holders were presented with a gluten-free sandwich and samples from gluten-free vendors like Miglet’s Cupcake Shop and Mariposa Baking Co. Pica Pica Maize Kitchen was also there, serving up samples of mini arepas. There was gluten-free beer from Redbridge and a raffle.
If you’re not in the San Francisco Bay Area and are curious about ballparks in your neighborhood that are serving up some gluten-free fare, The Savvy Celiac has put together a great list with links to each concession stand’s offerings, which you can view here.
Batter up! Let’s join the rest of America and watch some ball!
You’re probably seeing a lot of hoopla around the GF sector of the internet about The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally, a movement started by Shauna James Ahern (aka The Gluten Free Girl). It’s kinda taking the GF baking world by storm because it so precisely standardizes the results of a recipe. Imagine always making a recipe and having it always turn out! Or following a recipe for the very first time, knowing for certain that it will be amazing and delicious. (Fun fact: Gluten-Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America, the cookbook a fellow Lab gal got me for my birthday, uses weight measures…and you gotta figure the CIA knows their schtuff!) In essence, the ratio rally is urging folks to eschew their measuring cups in favor of a scale so that gluten-free baking becomes simpler, more reliable, and more flexible.
Measuring flours on the scale is SO easy. Simply watch the digital readout as you pour. Stop when you reach your target weight. Easy-peasy!
Because everybody measures differently (some scoop from the bag; others spoon the flour from the bag into the cup; some level off; others round), results are imprecise. Add to that the unique conditions of your household (dry or humid? warm or cold?) and you have one wide range of possible results for that loaf of bread you’re laboring over! The scale eliminates the spectrum of possibilities by ensuring your brown rice flour weighs in at 60 g. Just like the recipe calls for.
Let’s say you’re out of tapioca starch, but you don’t find that out until you’re mid-way through a recipe, and darnit if you don’t have any in your cupboard. Cooking by ratios allows you to easily sub out said tapioca starch with the same weight of another starch, like potato starch. To once again reference The Gluten Free Girl:
Each gluten-free flour has a different weight per cup. For example, 1 cup of millet flour weighs 120 grams. 1 cup of sorghum flour weighs 127 grams. 1 cup of teff flour weighs 158 grams. 1 cup of sweet rice flour weighs 204 grams. Try substituting potato starch (192 grams per 1 cup) for cornstarch (128 grams per 1 cup) and you will have a heavy baked good, dense and tasting terribly starchy.
With the idea to explore weights more in my usual baking habits, over the weekend the mood struck for a classic cake I used to make waaaaay-hay-haaayyy back in the day before I turned GF. Half chocolate, half vanilla, it’s the perfect snack cake to whip up in the afternoon, or right after dinner. Yup. It’s that quick (and you gotta love that!). Moist and spongy, this gluten-free version never tasted so good.
Black & White Cake
2 teaspoons sweet rice flour
4 tablespoons salted butter
150 g granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons GF vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
30 g tapioca starch (~1/4 cup)
30 g chestnut flour (or substitute same weight of sorghum flour) (~1/4 cup)
35 g sweet rice flour (~1/4 cup)
60 g brown rice flour (~1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
20 g unsweetened cocoa powder (~3 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon GF almond extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray or butter and dust with 2 teaspoons sweet rice flour.
Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high for 30 seconds or until butter melts. Add sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add vanilla and eggs, stir well. Stir in the buttermilk, salt, and baking soda. Place the bowl on your scale, set the tare weight to zero, and set the weight unit to grams (or kilograms, depending on your scale’s settings).
Pour the tapioca starch directly into the egg mixture, watching carefully as the measure reaches 30 g, then set the tare weight back to zero. Repeat with chestnut, sweet rice, and brown rice flour. Stir just until blended (do not overstir). Spread half of batter into prepared pan, then place the bowl back onto the scale, setting the tare weight back to zero. Add 20 g unsweetened cocoa powder and almond extract to remaining batter; stir well with a whisk. Slowly pour the chocolate batter over batter in pan, spreading to ensure full coverage over the vanilla batter.
Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 9 squares and serve.
Well maybe our last post, which announced that Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles are now gluten-free, didn’t speak to you, but surely we all miss the snap, crackle, and pop of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies? C’mon…who doesn’t love the classic rice crispy treat, especially when following our homemade marshmallow and rice crispy treat recipe! Alas, Gluten-Free Rice Krispies are due out late May 2011. Fellow GF blogger, Gluten-Free Optimist, wrote directly to Kellogg’s inquiring about this rumor…read what Kellogg’s had to say about her inquiry here (rest assured, the rumor is true).
The Gluten Free Lab’s penchant for sweets is pretty apparent. If one were to browse through all of the posts we’ve put up over the last couple of years, one might make a pretty solid bet that a majority of the posts are recipes for or product reviews of something sweet. Plus we have a sweets cookbook full of our own delicious gluten-free dessert recipes available for purchase on this website, sooo…yah. We’re sweet on sweets.
But our opinion on “sugar cereal,” as mom used to call it, holds some real weight. Sugar cereal was a treat reserved for special occasions only. Sometimes sleepovers, but always on birthdays. When my birthday rolled around, I would lovingly and lingeringly peruse the cereal aisle, weighing the options of my favorite sugar cereals against the promise of a free prize that may or may not enhance my overall sugar-cereal-eating experience. Since mom was doing the household grocery shopping whilst I made my decision (which generally was a lengthy process), I had a lot of time to weigh my options carefully. I’d finally meet her at the checkstand, my decision firm and my sweet tooth aching. So get ready to hear our inner kids’ cry of “boooo-yea” because two of Post’s classic Pebbles cereals – Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles (introduced to the Post cereal family in 1971, incidentally) – are now gluten-free! As in: this is the only version of this cereal now available. As in: there are no taste compromises Post could see in making this cereal out of entirely gluten-free ingredients in a certified gluten-free facility. As in: we wish it were our birthday yesterday so we could go pick up a box of this cereal and grin ear to ear while eating bowl after bowl (mom: take note!).
We’d say this release of Pebbles (and Pebbles Treats!) significantly ups Team Gluten Free’s score. We still may not be winning, but now we’ve got Fred Flinstone in our corner.
Photo by Karen Friis
Last year the San Francisco Giants made baseball history by winning the world series for the first time since their move from New York to San Francisco in 1957. They were the underdogs; the surprise winners; the group of misfits who pulled together and made. it. happen. Kinda fitting that AT&T Park — the Giants’ home stadium — is hosting the second annual Celiac Disease Awareness Night on Monday, June 6, 2011, because even though it’s become worlds easier to be a Celiac, we’re still the underdogs of society trying to find our own path to health while maintaining our regular interactions with society.
So come celebrate the underdog! Enjoy watching the SF Giants play the Washington Nationals, drink Redbridge beer, snack on Mariposa Bakery goodies, attend a special pre-game party with other Celiacs. It’ll be a darn good time.
Monday, June 6th, 2011
7 o’clock p.m.
AT&T Park, San Francisco, Calif.
contact Karen Friis: kdfriis (at) aol (dot) com
We loooove getting packages here at The Gluten Free Lab! And last week we got two: One from Mama Baretta (more about that soon, stay tuned), and another from TIA’s Bakery, pictured above, which is a gluten-free, soy-free, wheat-free facility out of California making yummy baked goods like peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, almond tea cookies, macaroons, grandma’s chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, german chocolate cake, tropical banana cake, chocolate bean brownie and nana’s orange cake. For starters, this all sounds really good…and what’s more: all of the ingredients are high-quality, all natural, and preservative free, making for rich, flavorful goodies.
We didn’t receive the entire catalog of TIA’s Bakery products (which means we’ll be looking for the rest in our neighborhood grocery stores, ‘cus we want to try EVERYthing. You know. To remain in-the-know.), but here is our recap of the goodies we tried:
Black Bean Brownie
This brownie comes packaged in an individual serving, and the texture is not the typical dense slab of brownie, but rather a lighter — almost mousse-like — experience. Bits of nuts provide an additional layer of texture and flavor, while the coconut flour adds some interesting complexity. Trust us when we say there is absolutely no hint of bean in this black bean brownie!
Grandma’s Chocolate Cake
Inexplicably, this is a vanilla cake frosted with chocolate pudding, and the moment we tasted it we were in heaven. Moist with hints of coconut, and topped off with a perfectly balanced chocolate icing, the sweets-fiend in us wishes we could find this in a full size cake as opposed to the generous single-size serving.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (vegan)
These vegan cookies come in a small box of 5. They have a sort of “raw” vibe in that they’re not a cakey cookie, but rather a dense and moist cookie. Very chewy with lots of oats, and a generous smattering of pecans & raisins.
Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan)
These vegan cookies, like the oatmeal raisin cookies, come in a small box of 5. They are chewy and moist with a mild peanut butter flavor.
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TIA’s Bakery products are available nationally, generally in the freezer section (which is a boon to consumers, because it means we won’t be buying stale products off the shelves!). To find out where to purchase, click here.
Wild Goat Bistro is cute. As in cuh-UUTE like a European bistro, all warm & glowing inside at nighttime, fellow diners not far (but just far enough), a friendly and just-attentive-enough waitstaff, an exciting menu to ogle (and it really IS ogle-worthy: many options are gluten-free!), yummy specials and a select list of $19 bottles of wine. Our meal went something like this:
TO START: Slow Pork
braised pork shank, simmered garbanzo beans, Spanish chorizo, Mediterranean spices. AMAZING. And available in a full-size dinner portion, too!
TO DRINK: The Goatfather
one of the handful of $19 bottles of wine available. A totally drinkable wine, perfect for pairing with this bistro-style meal.
GREENERY: Farmer’s Market Salad
shredded beets, carrot & broccoli strips, goat cheese, black raspberry herb dressing. A basic salad made nice with the bits of freshly shredded veg.
PIZZA: Fog Lifter
tomato sauce, spicy fennel sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, Pepperoni, Mozzarella. A smallish pizza for the price ($13.25 plus a $2 up-charge for the gluten-free dough), but excellent topping-to-crust ratio. Crispy around the edges, bready and airy toward the middle. This pizza would please both schools of pizza aficionados with its nod toward the crackery-crust and the doughy-crust.
FEEDING THE SWEET TOOTH: Fig Ginger Cake
a tall slice of deliciousness with a flavor akin to spice cake singing with the sweetness of figs, balanced with the subtle presence of ginger, and iced with just the right amount of frosting. This cake did not seem gluten free. And that’s a good thing.
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If you go, be sure to take charge of your own experience. Even though we know that some of the gluten-free sweets and breads are prepared by Bliss Bakery and Mama Baretta (both of whom take great care to ensure a safe gluten-free experience), ALWAYS ask how your gluten-free items are prepared and tailor your ordering to your own level of comfort and tolerance.
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Open for lunch daily 11:45 – 3, and dinner Sunday – Tuesday 5 – 8, Wednesday & Thursday 5 – 8:30, Friday & Saturday 5 – 9:30. 6 Petaluma Boulevard North A5 (in The Great Petaluma Mill), Petaluma CA 94952, 707 658 1156