Monday, July 26, 2010

Product Review - Cinnamon Raisin Mochi

I spotted this packet of mochi in the refrigerator section of my local Whole Foods. Mochi is made of rice paste and molded into shape. Mochi ice cream is something I'm familiar with from Japanese restaurants, but I've never tried it on its own. The directions looked easy enough, so I took a chance. Apparently, Grainaissance makes several flavors of mochi, but all they had at my store was raisin & cinnamon.

The mochi was a little difficult to cut, but a heavy, sharp knife helps. The squares will puff up and grow larger in the oven, so make sure you have some distance between squares on the cookie sheet. Mine just barely touched in some places. I think next time I would cut them just a tad smaller.

There are many ideas for mochi fillings and toppings online, but since I had flavored mochi, I opted for a simple powdered sugar icing. Just mix about a tablespoon of milk into a cup or so of powdered sugar. The end result reminded me of a chewy danish.

I think these are a cute and quick breakfast treat. A pretty decent gluten free donut substitute, if I do say so myself. Don't we all need more donut substitutes? 

Lilit Cafe

Every Sunday afternoon, I hit up my favorite brunch spot, Lilit Cafe. This weekend we try breakfast and realize this isn't just a great gluten free sandwich shop, but an all around winner. I may have been tired and still recovering from Saturday night's activities, but Lilit always has something to start my day off on the right track. Elise ordered the French Toast (gluten free, so I could try it) and I ordered a breakfast sandwich. We each had dessert, because we just cannot escape that place without a scoop of gelato or a fabulous gluten free cupcake! They also have a menu for those who don't need to worry about a gluten free diet. My roommate asked me to order some Stuffed Shrimp and Caprice Salad to go, and Brandon enjoyed a Chicken Parmesan sub. They have quite the selection!

Elise's French Toast with Organic Maple Syrup

Bacon, Egg & Cheese on Gluten Free Bread

Pineapple Sorbeto

Gluten Free Coconut Cupcake 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gluten Free Crab Cakes & a Product Review

Since I live in Maryland, it's about time I learn to make crab cakes. I've lived in the state for eleven years now, you think I would have given it a whirl by now! So I took a stab at a gluten free version of the Maryland favorite. They turned out really great...I'm so proud! 

16 oz fresh crab meat (do NOT use fake crab, it is not gluten free!!)
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I used corn meal based crumbs...something with more texture)
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tsp garlic
1 TBS Mayo
1 TBS Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 lemon's worth of juice
olive oil 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Try not to over mix so there are plenty of lumps of crab left in the cakes! Form 6-8 patties and chill for about an hour. Coat a frying pan with a shallow layer of olive oil and cook patties on medium heat until golden. Flip patties and do the same on the other side. 

Serve with salad and lemon slices. 

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

I went a bit crazy at Whole Foods this week and picked up a ton of products to try out. I stocked up on quick and easy items, so you can look forward to lots of entries about new products. I love to try everything that's out there to get ideas, add some variety and learn what to stay away from. I grabbed these gluten free chocolate chip cookies from the freezer section. This is pre-cut cookie dough just like I used to get back in my gluten eating days.

These are fairly large cookies and I was crossing my fingers that they didn't spread as much as regular cookie dough does. They didn't spread out at all, only puffed up slightly and turned golden brown. The smell of fresh baked cookies filled my apartment...I have missed that smell! 

As soon as they were cool enough, I took a bite, and I wasn't really pleased. Dry, crumbly cardboard filled my mouth and I was pretty disappointed. I plated the cookies and decided to come back after dinner to try again. My next bite was much more pleasant. These are not the soft, chewy homemade cookies I'm used to. They're supposed to be crunchy. Once I realized their true texture and they were completely cooled, I could enjoy them for what they were. I ate a couple after dinner and a couple the next day as a snack. Overall, better than most pre-packaged cookies I have tried and not too shabby! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Egg Drop Soup & Chicken Fried Rice

The motivation behind this dish originally came from my need to make something without bacon or cheese for once. It actually took quite a while for me to think of something without either of my favorite ingredients. Obviously, I have a problem. I need a bacon/cheese detox! Then my mind started to wander and I began to wish I could just order Chinese take out. Ah-ha! Maybe I can't just dial up take out, but I could make it at home for half the price! The egg drop soup was surprisingly quick and easy. I will be making this again soon. It would make a great lunch, and maybe in the future I can try to make some gluten free fried noodles to go with it!

2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 TBS water
4 cups chicken broth (make sure its GF)
2 TBS cornstarch
1 scallion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger 
dash of salt

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add chopped scallions, ginger and salt. Add cornstarch to 1/2 cup of water and dissolve before adding to the chicken broth to thicken. Scramble eggs with 2 TBS water. Remove broth from heat and slowly pour in the eggs while stirring with a whisk or fork in a clockwise direction. Stir faster for thin ribbons of egg or slowly for thicker strands.

Egg Drop Soup

For the Chicken Fried Rice, it helps to cook the rice the night before or use leftovers. The rice needs to be cold to avoid clumping. You can also use leftover chicken and vegetables. I used peas and carrots this time. 

2 cups cold white rice
1 small onion
1 TBS butter
1 egg + 2TBS water
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
about 1/4 cup veggies 
2 scallions, chopped
2 TBS GF soy sauce (La Choy is a good brand)
black pepper
2 TBS olive oil

Melt butter in large skillet, scramble egg with water and add to pan. Create a thin layer (like an omelet) and let cook for a few minutes. When the egg is cooked, cut into strips and remove from pan. Heat oil in pan and sauté onions to soft. Add rice, soy sauce, veggies, scallions and black pepper and cook together for a few minutes. 

So much better than delivery! 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cheese Steak

Here it goes....I have a confession: I had never eaten a cheese steak before being diagnosed with Celiac! Shocking, I know. So I can say with confidence that I have no clue what a real Philly Cheese Steak tastes like, but I do enjoy the idea. It seems that soon after I was diagnosed these things started popping up everywhere and all I could do was sit nearby and pout as my friends devoured them and exclaimed, "wow! this is amazing!". Even though I can't have the real deal, I thought it would be a good idea to try to recreate something similar at home. Heck, I don't even have to take a three hour road trip to eat this one! Sounds great!

The Butcher at Whole Foods was fantastic. I wasn't sure what kind of steak to use, so I just asked. He said he liked to use Sirloin and went on to explain how he would slice it (thin, and on a diagonal, leaving out any gristle). I ended up with just over a pound of steak and it worked famously.

These cheese steaks were wonderful. I know I don't have much to compare it to, but if you're looking for a fairly easy weeknight dinner and you aren't anywhere close to Philadelphia, these turned out really great! I served these with Ore-Ida steak fries for a truly filling dinner.

I'm not sure how the Kinnikinnick hot dog buns work with hot dogs, but they were perfect for the cheese steaks. If you can't find these, you could probably use any gluten free bread substitute. I used Velveeta cheese since I had leftovers from the mini quiche and I think it worked out really well since it melts so nicely.

thinly sliced Sirloin
green pepper
Velveeta cheese
Kinnikinnick GF hot dog buns (or other GF rolls)

Slice all veggies and sauté with olive oil. Brown steak. When steak is done, lay slices of cheese on top of sections of steak, cover with a lid and allow to melt. Defrost buns in microwave and cut lengthwise. Layer buns with mayo, steak and cheese and then veggies. Serve warm! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mini Quiche

Sorry for the long break...bloggers need vacations too! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Mine was spent with friends near Rohoboth beach, DE. There will be plenty of gluten free vacation meal pics to come, but alas, that is another entry. For now, I want to talk breakfast.

I have grown so sick of fruit and yogurt for breakfast that something had to be done. I didn't think quiche would ever be an option, but decided to take on the challenge. I just wanted something warm, different and easy to grab for work in the morning. These mini quiches will do the trick. I've never had a better quiche, let alone a gluten free one! I got about 12 quiches out of this recipe, but next time I would double it so I could share.

1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
5 oz Velveeta cheese 
1/2 cup butter
2 TBS water
2 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup swiss cheese
2 TBS water
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup crumbled bacon

Put flour, Velveeta and butter into a bowl and cut until crumbly.

Add water and form dough into a ball.

Put this into the fridge for an hour (this is when I made my bacon and thawed my spinach), then press into greased muffin tins.

Now for the filling!! Beat eggs with half & half and salt. Then add swiss cheese, spinach and bacon and mix. Spoon filling onto crusts and bake for about 20 min or until amazing!


Feel free to replace any of the filling ingredients and let me know how it turned out. I think I would like to try ham & cheddar or a veggie quiche with mushroom and onions next time!