Monday, August 30, 2010

Eat Real Festival, 2010


Eat Real Festival 2010, Jack London Square, Oakland, CA

Street festival food usually bores me and I rarely partake, even before I was gluten-free. (The only exception were those funnel cakes. I loved those.) The Eat Real Festival, this past weekend in Oakland's Jack London Square, is the exception to the rule though. It redefines street festival the way that so many new ventures have been redefining street food. Organic, sustainable, and/or fresh made street food is the rage these days, and I couldn't be happier. Take me to a festival where all bites are $5 or less, and I am a happy camper.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chestnut Dark Chocolate Frozen Petit Fours


I have to admit I was skeptical about this cake, because I generally don't like frozen butter cakes - even brown butter cakes. But Aaron declared this a gazillion thumbs up and I got to use my chestnut cream from France.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grilled masa: Oh the things you can make


There are a million shapes you can make masa. Hey it is like playdough right? But it tastes so much better. This weekend we picked up some fresh masa from Primavera at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's market (along with their very tasty chicken mole tamales). We put the cast iron griddle on the grill and heated it up for some masa creations.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Banana fig blueberry cocoa nib studded cobbler: On the grill


Every year I miss fig season. I see them in the stores and think, "Not today, but next time I will buy the figs." This is silly, because I love figs. And by the time I finally get ready to buy figs, with the perfect dessert in mind, they are gone. Poof... Fig season is too short. I was not going to be thwarted this year, so I scoured the farmer's market yesterday for figs, picked up a pint and set off to make dessert.

This week I also picked up some gluten-free Bisquick. Yes I know this doesn't sound like me. Boxed mixes? But I had heard so much about it, and looking at the ingredients I saw that I couldn't replicate it with my own mixes. They use modified potato starch, and of course the modification they use is a trade secret. It makes sense though. Potato absorbs liquid well, making moist baked goods. I assume they modify it to aid with structure as well, without creating the chew that tapioca starch creates.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daring Cooks August 2010: Chili Cheese Fry Pierogi


Aaron has two theories about food. Everything tastes better with bacon and everything tastes better fried. With these pierogi I proved him wrong.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Dinner, August 15, 2010


How do you keep three kids entertained during the slowest car I have ever experienced? Well, verbal iron chef of course!

This weekend I was insane enough to cart my three boys alone to Reno for an event. Between construction, accidents and those mystery traffic slow downs, it was a VERY long trip for mommy. The kids were tired and grumpy and we weren't moving. I had to think of something...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sampling Bay Area's gluten-free cupcakes: a blind taste test

Row 1: Amia, Miglet's, Gluten-free Gourmet
Row 2: Let them Eat Cake, Taste of Happiness, Sprinkles
Row 3: Crave Bakery, Cups and Cakes, Grandma B's 

When the cupcake shops that are so ubiquitous now started popping up in the Bay Area, I would gaze in envy. I loved the idea of being able to taste a small portion of creative cake flavors. It had been long enough since I had had a lot of cake, that I didn't know for sure that this fad would be the holy grail of dessert. But cupcakes were so adorable it was enough to make me gawk longingly at the shops and even attempt to shove some cakes down my very cupcake neutral husband for tasting.

Now some intrepid gluten-free and conventional bakeries have taken on the gluten-free cupcake, and with so many offerings in the Bay Area we no longer have to miss out. The field is numerous enough it was ripe for a blind tasting, so eleven brave tasters donned their pens and tasted their way through 27, yes 27, different gluten-free cupcakes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Dinner, August 8, 2010


You know you are a die hard food lover when your six year old son runs up the stairs excitedly to say, "Mom! I made a lego meat tenderizer." Sure enough he had made one, (plastic) blades and all, just like our Jaccard... He has now made plans for an entire kitchen set, including a Lego Vitamix, Lego dumpling press, and Lego  . I couldn't be prouder!

But tonight no Lego's were harmed to bring to you Sunday dinner. This dinner is true iron chef style, made with what we had in our CSA box and I especially loved the bean dish. The smoked chicken broth married perfectly with the creamy Rancho Gordo beans and parsley root.  If you haven't tried parsley root, you should. It is a wonderful, slightly sweet, fresh flavor.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Exploding (literally) Banana Split Ice Cream and Gluten Free Peanut Ice Cream Cones


Ice cream cones are a bit problematic in my house. Isaiah loves them and always wants his ice cream in a cone, leaving Aaron frustrated he can only have a cup. He inhaled the cone presented to him at a fundraiser for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness by Gelato Noci, which uses only gluten-free cones. And now he wants them even more. Often when we go out for ice cream we get a couple of scoops in one bowl and share, shattering Isaiah's cone dreams and Aaron just looks at him like "Get over it, you get to have cones sometimes."

Well, since Sunday was all about kids, what about making the most playful ice cream I could think of along with gluten free ice cream cones.

What is playful ice cream you say? Why anything with pyrotechnics say my boys, and since I wouldn't risk oral third degree burns I have to turn to the next best thing. Pop rocks. Yep that exploding candy can be used in ice cream, and it makes an awfully fun cone. To do so, you just need to coat them in a water resistant barrier, like chocolate. Then it is the perfect mix-in. However, the ice cream is most tingly the day it is made.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gluten free ravioli: Kids' request


It's a perfect Northern California sunny Saturday morning. The older boys are at karate, and I am running with Gabriel. One of the many walkers I pass is a grey haired couple, that smile and say, "Hello, Mom!" All of the sudden I just want to smile. Why? It was the way they said Mom, joyful and proud. It reminded me how important my role as a mom is, and so in celebration, this Sunday dinner was all about my kids. Jason was on call, so it was just the boys and I and they got to choose the gluten-free experiment - ravioli.