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October 26, 2012

Highlights of a Gluten Free Girl's Week 10.26.12

Happy Friday friends!!!! I wanted to share a few gluten free things that made me smile this week. Have a great weekend! 

I became a member of The Gluten Free Global Community If you or someone you know is gluten intolerant make sure to direct them to this list of gluten free blogs. It is an amazing resource for everything gluten free all over the world. Check out the button on the right side -----------------------> Thanks Carol for putting together and maintaining the list!



I received a gluten free shout out on Instagram from a girlfriend. It always makes my day when I get a gluten free tip from a friend. How would I navigate this gluten free life without you guys? Thank you, you are all always looking out for me :)



We enjoyed one last "summer" BBQ. It heated up over the week, so we decided to heat up the BBQ one last time. Boy, I'm glad we did! We enjoyed cedar plank grilled salmon, and roasted yellow squash and green beans. Delicious!

 I cannot believe The Gluten Exchange reached 20K hits this week. It's inspiring to see this blog transforming into a go-to for gluten intolerant individuals and Celaics across the world. Just sharing my story one day at a time and hoping to make the gluten free transition a little easier one post at a time. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity and stopping by my little piece of gluten free heaven.


Last BUT certainly not least, enjoyed Fro Yo at Tutti Frutti in La Jolla. My coworkers and I took a little fro yo break during a crazy work day. As always I enjoyed vanilla yogurt with crushed butter fingers and fresh strawberries. All Tutti Frutti yogurts are gluten free with the exception of Cookies & Cream and Cinnamon Bun NSA.

October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Rice Krispie Treats


Snap Crackle Pop Pumpkins! Continuing the Halloween treats this week, I spotted this fall twist on the classic rice krispie treat on Home Stories A 2 Z and couldn't wait to share with family and friends. I even took a batch into work, and my coworkers loved them! These were super simple to make requiring only 5 ingredients (butter not shown below). I followed the Kellogg's Rice Krispie recipe on the side of the gluten free rice krispie box and added red and yellow food coloring until the mixture turned a bright orange. Once the cereal was the correct pumpkin color I rubbed butter over the palm of my hands and rolled the cereal into balls. A great tip from Beth at Home Stories A 2 Z is that it is important to add more butter to your hands between each pumpkin ball. Once the rice krispie ball/pumpkin was set, I cut a Tootsie roll in half and placed the cut side down into the top portion of the pumpkin ball. Last but not least, I added green icing leaves to each side of the Tootsie roll.Thanks Beth for sharing a great fall recipe!

October 22, 2012

Red Velvet Vampire Brownies


It's that spooky time of year again! Gooey eye ball cake pops, human brain pasta, witch's fingers and other eerie edibles fill the dining room table. There are numerous creepy food lists online, so I don't feel entirely weird adding these to the gross assortment of Halloween foods.

I referenced the recipe on Food Network.com after discovering it on Cupcakes and Cashmere. I am excited to debut my newest gluten free Halloween eerie edible finger food- Red Velvet Vampire BrowniesLast week I decided to take an easy, instant gluten free brownie mix from Trader Joe's (one of my go tos for years) and add a terrifying twist. I simply added the required amount of red food coloring to the brownie mix and then wiped up the ingredients for the cream cheese topping and layered over the brownie batter.

How scary are these?!?!? They're PERFECT for creeping out your Halloween guests! I guess for any other holiday it would have been a baked treat gone bad, but there is something about these gooey little bites that scream a haunted scene out of a chilling movie, perfect for this frightening time of year.

I have seen mixed reviews on Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownie Mix (TJ's gluten free product list) both from celiacs and individuals who are not gluten sensitive. Being a Celiac myself, I enjoy TJ's easy and convenient brownie mix. Yes, it is not the BEST brownie mix out there, but I appreciate a baking mix that I can add a few ingredients and have a moist, chewy chocolate treat in 30 minutes. It's only $3.99, aka the cheapest gluten free brownie mix I know. It doesn't require any speciality ingredients, just the mix, an egg, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup water and you're off to brownie heaven.  I especially enjoy a quick mix when I'm not in the mood for doing a ton a dishes and taking a few hours of concentration to get the recipe exactly right. Some days, I want to just take a baking back seat. :) 
*TJ's Gluten Free Brownie Mix Tip*

Although I like my brownies gooey, over the years I have determined that Trader Joe's Brownie Mix turns out the best when the brownies are baked for the entire time, if not longer than the suggested time on the back of the mix bag. Even though I am tempted every time to pull the brownies early, the brownies are moist and spongy when fully cooked. 



Ingredients:

Brownie Layer
1 package Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownie Mix + required ingredients 
(egg, vegetable oil, ad water) 
Red Food Coloring

Cream Cheese Layer:
1 egg
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract

October 18, 2012

Rudi's Fiesta Taco Salads



I love Rudi's gluten free product line. From the sandwich bread, to the pizza crusts and all the BBQ breaded essentials from hot dog to hamburger buns, I enjoy Rudi's products for every breaded meal occasion.

Last summer I took one of Rudi’s staples, the Multigrain Sandwich Bread, and turned one of our family favorites into a gluten free delicious dish- Rudi’s Fruit Spring Delight, check it out HERE!

When I heard Rudi’s was launching a gluten free tortilla line, I could not wait to use one of my favorite and SUPER easy kitchen gadgets. OK, so it might not be a gadget, but it is awesome! The tortilla shell salad bowl mold, purchase a similar one HERE. I had tried other gluten free rice tortillas, but each tortilla broke when I tried to mold it into the shell. So instead of a eye appealing salad bowl, I usually ended up with a salad bowl turned nacho dish. Not that the nachos weren't tasty, I just once again felt like why can't I just enjoy a taco salad with the same great taste that is also as aesthetically appealing as a traditional flour tortilla bowl? Mexican food has always been is one of my go to’s, but even with a majority of the dishes easily adapted using corn tortillas there are a few option that are still off limits when dining out, burritos, and taco salads are first come to mind.

With the addition of Rudi's Gluten Free Fiesta Tortillas, burritos and taco salads were the first on my list to try. These tortillas are a perfect blend of red bell pepper, jalapeno, onion and garlic flavors. Not to mention contain 4 grams of fiber per serving. These mini taco salads are perfect for an outdoor fiesta, a simple weekday meal or perfect containers to hold your favorite dips for a football party!


Ingredients:  Whole Grain Flours (Sorghum, Brown Rice, Corn, Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, Teff), Corn Starch, Tapioca Flour, Rice Flour, Water, Canola Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Evaporated Cane Juice, Cultured Dextrose and Maltodextrin, Salt, Baking Powder (Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch), Guar Gum, Malic Acid, Red Bell Pepper Powder, Jalepeno Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Carrot Granules, Parsley Flakes, Apple Cider Vinegar, Active Dry Yeast



The tortillas didn't even crack under pressure!

Ingredients
    Rudi's Gluten Free Fiesta Tortillas 
    Oil
    1 pound ground beef
    4-5 tablespoons taco seasoning
    1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
    2 cups shredded lettuce
    Sliced avocado
    Sour cream
    Red, yellow or orange sliced bell peppers
      Toppings to choose from (not shown):
      Salsa
      Sliced tomatoes (cherry are my favorite)
      Green Onions
      Fresh Cilantro

      Instructions
      Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F. Spray each tortilla mold with a non-stick cooking spray. Place a tortilla on a paper towel, brush oil over both sides until well coated, don't forget the edges! Carefully place tortilla into salad mold. Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges turn slight brown. While tortillas are baking, brown beef in a large skillet. Once brown, add taco seasoning and stir. Drain grease. Fill taco shell bowls with lettuce, beef, cheese, and toppings of choice.Makes 4 taco bowls



      Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery Contact 

      3300 Walnut St., Unit C
      Boulder, CO 80301


      Consumer Hotline: 877-293-0876
      Phone: 303-447-0495


      Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery website
      Follow Rudi's on Facebook or Twitter


      Thank you Rudi's for taking an everyday item for most and allowing Celiacs to enjoy, once again, some of the dishes we use to miss most!

      October 16, 2012

      Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Dropped Cookies


      Is it wrong to enjoy 3 warm pumpkin chocolate chip cookies right when they come out of the oven with a cold glass of milk? Let me answer- of course not!!! Cause I did last week and I am proud of it! The more the merrier :) I found this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on Gluten Free With A Purpose and thought what could be more perfect? The recipe combined two of my favorite fall baking ingredients, chocolate and pumpkin. The recipe calls for Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour, a blend of gluten-free flours from potatoes, sorghum, tapioca, garbanzo and fava beans. The cookies were soft, chewy and were the perfect treat to kick off Fall Baking! Another fall cookie I just can't get enough of, thank goodness the recipe only makes 12 cookies, I can't afford to have anymore sitting around the kitchen. Enjoy!

      October 12, 2012

      Highlights of a Gluten Free Girl's Week 10.12.12

      Happy Friday! Fall is officially here- it even rained on my way to work yesterday! As the week draws to end I want to share a few gluten free highlights from the past few weeks that have put a smile on my face. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
       

      {Gluten Free Display at Sprouts}

      Look at that beautiful gluten free display! My dad, sister and I went on a recent grocery shopping trip to Sprouts. We were all very impressed with the store, the layout and the importance placed on gluten free goods. I really appreciate when stores dedicate specific sections to gluten free shoppers. It's a win for the grocery store as I tend to buy more gluten free products simply because they are all in one area. I notice new products and splurge on others that are not on my list. I am surprised I didn't buy the whole display! Click HERE to find  Sprouts location nearest you.


      {Enjoyed blogging gluten free while riding the train}

      Last weekend I decided to avoid the Los Angeles traffic on the 405 and take the Amtrak train to Santa Barbara. I met Mark for, can you guess? A weekend in wine county. Santa Barbara is a beautiful town, perfect for weekend getaways. I can't wait to share my gluten free finds, post coming soon. But in the meantime, check out our wine, cheese and gluten free Crunchmaster cracker spread. Crunchmaster is one of my favorite crackers that I always pack for road trips to wine country. 




      {Gluten Free soy sauce at my favorite sushi restaurant in Rancho Bernardo}

      Our family celebrated my parents 35th wedding anniversary at our favorite sushi spot, Akai Hana in Rancho Bernardo. We enjoyed our favorite sushi rolls, a few glasses of plum wine and the company of one another. My parents have been going to this sushi hot spot since before I was born. It is always so nice to be greeted by your first name and get our favorite spot at the sushi bar with Hero as our sushi chef.  Cheers to my amazing parents and to many more wonderful years together!


      {Enjoyed Gluten Free Pick Up Stix for dinner}


      Although Pick Up Stix does not offer a gluten free menu, I did determine they offer a gluten free option. The Pad Thai dish is rice noodles in a sweet & sour sauce with green onions, egg, peanuts and sprouts, served with chicken, shrimp or vegetables. Soy sauce is not used in preparing the ingredients. Both chicken and shrimp options are fried in corn starch rather than wheat. This was my first dining experience at Pick Up Stix and I have to admit I am very pleased with the service and knowledge the employees had in regards to gluten and the concern of cross contamination. With any meal outside the walls of our kitchen we always run the risk of getting sick, but I am happy to say, I had a positive gluten free dining experience. 


      Even after a busy few weeks, I have managed to find some time to bake some of my favorite fall treats. Stay tune next week- featuring a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Drop Cookie. You'll understand why fall is my favorite season after sinking your teeth in these pieces of fall heaven. 

      October 4, 2012

      ACDA Action to Advance FDA Gluten Free Labeling Rule

      The Gluten Free Community needs YOUR help! I received the below email from the Celiac Disease Foundation. Please take the time to sign the petition (green link below) to encourage high level officials to understand the importance and need for FDA labeling.

      Celiac Disease Foundation

      IMPORTANT NEWS! 
        
      ACDA Action to Advance FDA Gluten Free Labeling Rule
        

      Dear Members,

      You can help support the action of the ACDA in their goal to get the FDA moving forward!

      Since the passage of FALCPA in 2004 the ACDA has sought ways to garner attention for, and movement on, the gluten-free labeling rules.
      Today, we took advantage of an opportunity which will elevate the issue in new ways. 
       
      The White House has a process for citizens to share their concerns or issues via an online open petition. Petitions which garner a pre-determined number of signatures, are reviewed and responded to by Administration officials. 

      At this point in the regulatory process, high level officials MUST get the message that the celiac community NEEDS these rules. The petition process will help us convey that message and provide additional visibility for the issue. 

      Please go to the ACDA homepage, read the background information about the petition, follow the link to sign it, then share the link/information through your respective networks.
      The rules are within our grasp, this has the potential to put them squarely in our hands.
      Thank you for your support!!