Saturday, July 31, 2010

Celebrate Bastille Day with "Go Ahead, Honey, It's Gluten Free!" July Roundup

July is the month we celebrate the red, white and blue, but while the rest of the country focused on hot dogs and ice cream, gluten free bloggers were dreaming of escargot and eclairs. Yes, this month we celebrated the French, and what is the best thing about the French? Well the food of course! From sweet pastries to custards to rich savory indulgences and virtuous salad, who says French can't be gluten-free too?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Peach almond swiss roll ice cream cake with brown sugar ice cream and coconut "fudge"


If you haven't noticed I make and eat a lot of ice cream. As a kid I would come home from school and literally eat a pint of ice cream for an after school snack. I would even create my own flavors by mixing add-ins into the store bought ice creams. I guess that is where not being able to absorb calories comes in handy. Since going gluten-free I can't eat that much ice cream any more, but I still enjoy creating my own flavors. So this months Daring Baker's Challenge was right up my alley. 

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner, July 25, 2010

Recently I dined with four neurosurgeons at Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA. We were presented with a beautiful pristine piece of chicken, and the four surgeons looked puzzled at the cut. Apparently it was anatomically incorrect, and Jason realized this was an application of a new revelation to him - meat glue.

Yes, those pristine cuts are actually trimmed pieces of meat, "glued" together using an enzyme called transglutaminase. Recently we received a sample of Activa from Ajinomoto. Jason gave it a go this Sunday dinner using a leg of lamb and a leg of pork. The result is picture perfect (if anatomically incorrect) cuts, without the unwanted sinew or excess fat.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Two whoopies go Asian: Sesame toffee whoopie pies and introducing the whochie

When a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition heads to the far east, can it possibly be good? Well we've seen whoopie pies take over the internet. This inside out cupcake cookie hybrid has been turned into all sorts of things, from chocolate and peanut butter to pumpkin to matcha. Like cupcakes the options are endless, so the boys and I had a great time brainstorming options of playing with this goodie. I did nix the tomato whoopie pie, and they did suggest grasshopper - with real grasshoppers for crunch. Hey they think outside the box. But we did come up with two winners.

The first, a gluten-free chocolate cake embraces a sesame buttercream stuffed with English toffee. The dark chocolate and bitter sesame are a wonderful foil to the sweet buttercream, and the toffee adds just the right crunch. For extra texture, the tops are dipped in caramelized sugar and sesame seeds.

But we couldn't stop there. What we came up with next is a revelation in whoopie pies. Mixing together mochi cake with whoopie pies we have a wonderfully moist, rich and slightly chewy whoopie pie. And it's naturally gluten free. This is like no other whoopie pie you have had, so I can't call it a whoopie pie. It deserves it's own name, so we renamed this goodie the whochie.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Zest Gluten Free Bakery, San Carlos, CA

We're in a gluten-free renaissance. I try a lot of gluten-free baked goods coming new to the market and while some are wonderful some are hardly worth eating. Sometimes I wonder if the market can sustain the bakeries, each seeming to offer what the next one does. But Zest Bakery, a new gluten-free bakery in San ,is doing what Northern California does best, highlighting the flavors of the season with fresh organic goodies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday Dinner, July 18, 2010

We eat happy meat... Before I get comments from folks that don't believe any meat is happy, let me explain. I have a very soft heart and while my boys didn't even flinch when we told them where meat came from, I am more inclined to feel bad for Wilbur the pig. I decided that if I was going to eat meat, I needed to eat meat that was treated well and I wanted to waste not. What I found out is that I really like grass-fed meat, much more than grain fed, and I love offal (but that is for another post)...

We get our meat now from Marin Sun Farms, as part of their Community Supported Agriculture program. Each month we get a box full of lamb, beef, goat, chicken or pork. (By the way, I absolutely love goat - you should try it if you have never done so). Jason is our meat expert, and he prepares it sous vide, grilled, braised, roasted, and this week for our Sunday dinner...smoked.

First of the season heirloom tomatoes from Mariquita Farm
Balsamic reduction, feta, smoked almonds

Friday, July 16, 2010

Udi's Bakery Gluten-Free Muffins

Udi's Bakery is a miracle worker when it comes to bread. The hands down winner of our sandwich bread tasting, they have managed to make a flavorful and even light sandwich bread. One of the few gluten-free breads that I find worth eating. They do more than bread though and recently I was given the opportunity to try two products, the Double Chocolate Muffin and the Lemon Streusel Muffin.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nut Butters, Beyond Peanut Butter: Daring Cook's July Challenge

We are nut-heads here. It is yet another food I have learned to love as a grown-up, but my kids never went through that phase. They will eat nuts roasted and salted, dry roasted and raw. Anything in massive amounts. One time we thought Aaron had ingested gluten, until we found that the missing pound of pecans was the likely culprit of his tummy ache. Nut butters are at home here...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gateau Saint-Honore

I need to invent a device that would allow me to experience the sensation of eating something when someone else eats it. I would make millions, and then all the treats I make my husband eat vicariously would be enjoyed that much more. He likes sweets, but not as much as I do. So, the beautiful spreads of French pastries in the windows of the hundreds of patisseries I've drooled over don't tempt him like they do me...but alas I am the one that can't eat them.

In honor of Bastille Day, I am hosting a French food theme for this months Go Ahead, Honey, It's Gluten-free. In the true spirit of the event, I let me Celiac son, along with his little brother peruse my French pastry text and pick out anything he wanted me to make gluten-free. And what he wanted was the Saint-Honore's Cake. Above the cakes with layers of chocolate mousse or fancy designs...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

In the summer there is nothing quite as refreshing as strawberry lemonade, but I have been on a cupcake kick lately and wanted to re-create the beverage in cake form. So, today without a lot of jammering about the post, lets just present the recipe for moist tangy strawberry lemon cupcakes, filled with fresh strawberries and "lemonade" and topped with super silky lemon-strawberry french buttercream swirl. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Dinner, Happy Fourth of July

It's the Redcoats vs. the Patriots today at our Fourth celebration. We wanted to dive back into our roots, and rediscover hot dogs and ice cream (OK, the latter we never lost our love for). So we paired our American dog against a British counterpart. OK, I nixed the plain British cuisine in favor of new national flavor of Britain - Indian inspired curries.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Introducing "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free" for July: Ooh La La Bastille Day!

I think I was born to be French. Last year as some of you know, our family parked in the south of France for a couple of months. I was in heaven. I have such fond memories of strolling in the village cheese shop to find the most pungent cheese I could, drooling over the pastisserie windows and forcing my husband to eat them vicariously, and devouring the many fantastic chocolates to be had. And living there gluten free wasn't too bad either. 100% buckwheat crepes were common, as was socca, a wood-fired olive oil and chickpea flour pancakes. The restaurant chefs took pride in their work, and knew exactly what went into their food. They were more than happy to whip up a wonderful creation.

So this month let's celebrate with the French by mixing up some French cuisine - gluten free of course. Whether it be savory quiches, or sweet mousses, or even fancy pastries, it can be enjoyed gluten-free.

Share your French creations by submitting your creation to me at sheryl at by July 27th, 2010 and I will post the roundup by the end of the month.