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October 28, 2013

Gluten Free Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats




Ingredients:


For the yellow ring

4 1/2 cups gluten free rice krispies cereal
5 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
Yellow food coloring


For the orange ring

2 3/4 cups gluten free rice krispies cereal
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
tablespoons butter
Red and yellow food coloring


For the white center

2 cups gluten free rice krispies cereal
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
tablespoons butter


Also needed:
2 8-inch cake pans
Non-stick cooking spray
Spatula
½ stick of butter (to grease your hands)

Makes 16 candy corns


Directions:

1. In a large saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Once butter has melted completely, remove pan from heat and add 5 cups mini marshmallows and stir constantly until marshmallows have melted. Add 3 drops of yellow food coloring and stir till combined. Once yellow food coloring is incorporated add 4 1/2 cups of the  rice krispies to the marshmallow mixture approximatelly 1 cup at a time stirring consistently with a buttered spatula.

Divide the yellow rice krispies in half between the 2 8-inch pie pans. Wipe butter on both of your hands to prevent the krisipie mixture from sticking to your hands. Create a “ring” around the outer edge of the cake pan, approximately 1-inch thick. Work quickly as the mixture becomes harder to mold as it cools.  See image below:



2. Repeat the same process in step 1 with the correct amount of ingredients for the orange ring and then the white center. 

*For orange layer: add 1 drop red food coloring and 2 drops yellow food coloring

Once the 3 different colors have been pressed into the pan allow to cool for at least an hour. Mine sat over night and were VERY easy to remove from the pan. When it is time to cut into the candy corn triangles shape, take a knife and saw around the exterior of the circle and then flip the pan over on a wooden surface. Tap the pan to allow the rice krispie mixture to fall onto the board. With a sharp knife, cut the circle in half and then into quarters  and then once more to create the triangle “candy corn” shape. 

October 25, 2013

{Restaurant Review} Fig Tree Cafe- A California Eatery & Gluten Free Paradise


One of my favorite ways to spend part of my weekend is dining outdoors, and luckily for San Diegan residents, we can pretty much enjoy this simple pleasure year round. There is something about the combination of fresh air, delicious food and great company that can't be beat So you can understand my excitement when Fig Tree Eatery invited me to their NEW Liberty Station location to try their gluten free menu. Fig Tree has an amazing outdoor space furnished with wooden tables, ample shade and is situated between blooming vines, trees and a serene fountain. The ambiance in itself was enough to wow me, let alone their menu. Fig Tree specializes in farm to table plates with both vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The menu clearly marks various selections made from the freshest, local produce. Their eggs are 100% natural from a family owned ranch in Ramona. Their Pacific Beach location was 1 of only 21 restaurants in San Diego to receive the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) award in 2011 for offering humane-raised menu options. Fresh is always best!


Last Saturday the weather couldn't have been more perfect for October to dine outdoors. We arrived mid day to enjoy their extensive menu and I was practically drooling over it. We were warmly greeted by Kylie, who was well versed in the gluten free diet and explained the menu and all the OPTIONS they offered for a Celiac. Yes, that's right, I said OPTIONS! So many dishes caught my eye, from the GF Cinnamon Raisin French Toast topped with fresh berries, for ONLY $7.95, (no extra charge for gluten free bread upgrade, I think that is the first time I have ever heard that), to the Breakfast Sushi, 3 thick bacon rolls w/ rice + scrambled eggs + scallions + plum sauce & a side of mango salad for $11.95.  OR one of their numerous Egg Benedict options OR a side order of the Man Candy, thick bacon + brown sugar + paprika for $4.25, EVERYTHING sounded so good!


I guess I forgot to mention 1 minor detail of the perfect outdoor dining experience, the fresh air, food and company AND a refreshing drink in hand. Insert the Blackberry Bliss- a blend of sparkling wine + vodka + muddled fresh blackberries + mint served in a mason jar. Very refreshing, to sip on and screams "it’s the weekend!"! Mark, not wanting to be upstaged with my eye catching beverage decided on Daddy's Pepper, a mix of vodka + soda water + jalapeno + mint + lime + strawberries. I have to admit this is the first time I have seen Mark with a "fufu" drink in his hand, but that's between you and I.  What do you know, he ordered a second. Another drink combo I am anxious to try on my next visit is the Caffeine sampler- a flight of a latte, mocha and Mexican mocha at 4 oz. each! There is also an antioxidant shot flight of goji, mangosteen, and acai. And for all of you beer lovers, Fig Tree carries Bard's Gluten Free Malt Beer. 


I devoured the Portobello Mushroom Panini, GF bread crumb crusted Portobello mushroom + wild arugula + cilantro hummus + goat cheese + jack cheese + balsamic glaze on gluten free multigrain bread. It was an easy choice as our waitress mentioned it was one of their most popular sandwiches. For all their sandwich options, guests have a choice of French fries, garlic French fries, Greek salad, regular salad or tomato soup ALL gluten free! I opted for the garlic fries and Mark was so excited to hang out with me the rest of the day :) Their gluten free bread is from Dena's Gluten Free in Escondido. They carry both gluten free mutigrain as well as gluten free cinnamon raisin, which is delivered fresh each week. Kylie, our wonderful waitress, even offered a free sample of the GF bread. The gluten free bread was thin and fluffy, flavored with pumpkin and sunflower seeds with a crispy crust. Plus, unlike most gluten free breads, the texture was just right, not overpowering the sandwich but gave it that added crunch while balancing the bold flavors of the goat cheese and hummus spread.


Even though we had breakfast earlier that day, Mark couldn't take his eye off of the Meatloaf Hash, 3 eggs any style + spinach + diced meatloaf + pesto + house potatoes. with your choice of bread. Gluten Free multigrain or house baked focaccia bread. He cleaned his plate! I sneaked a little bite and was surprised with how flavorful the combination of eggs and meatloaf was. I can't wait to make it back for a breakfast entree, the bennies look delicious, luckily my Saturday this week is open.


Although none of their desserts are gluten free, the kitchen quickly wiped up an ice cream delight that satisfied my sweet craving.  A mountain of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate chips and fresh cut strawberries, and yes I ate it all. 


Hours
7AM- 3PM breakfast/lunch 7 days/week
4PM-10PM dinner/wine bar 7 days/week



Thank you Fig Tree Eatery for taking  the time and effort to differentiate gluten free options from the rest of the menu. Being a Celiac myself I can’t stress enough the sense of relief I get when I know  a restaurant has taken into consideration dining guests with dietary restrictions. I know I can speak for all gluten free San Diegans when I say “Thank You!” I can’t wait to be back! How about this Saturday?


October 23, 2013

Snooze A.M. Eatery- Gluten Free Gem In Del Mar, CA



A few Sundays ago I made Mark wake up at 7AM. Sounds totally rude on a Sunday, right? Well I had a good reason, I wanted to try Snooze A.M. Eatery, a Denver based restaurant that just opened their doors in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center in September. I had heard great things about their location in Hillcrest, but had yet to venture south to try it out myself. 




After being overwhelmed (in a good way) with the extensive menu, I finally narrowed my decision to the french toast. Luckily at Snooze, everything thing on their menu can be made gluten free EXCEPT the potato pancakes. Another great perk about Snooze's extensive menu is that you can mix and match any item,  add any side, or customize your meal to your taste. I also experienced a sense of relief when our waitress mentioned that all gluten free versions are served on blue plates, just another step Snooze takes in assuring their guests their meal is made with a Celiac in mind. So you can tell from the pictures below the OMG! French Toast was AMAZING! I devoured every bite, I mean how could you not, each gluten free slice was stuffed with mascarpone and topped with vanilla creme, salted caramel, agave soaked strawberries and toasted coconut.  OMG, is right! The name says it all. 



Then ONLY 1 week later, we went back on Sunday. This time I savored the Pancake Flight, your choice of 3 pancake flavors, I opted for the Strawberry Field (sweet corn pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, mascarpone whipped cream, strawberry-honey and candied almonds), Blueberry Danish (Buttermilk pancake topped with Blueberry coulis, sweet cream and almond streusel surrounding a center of lemony cream cheese filling!) and Chocolate Chip trio and WOW, I don't know what else to say, except WOW, OMG, in heaven! Basically I am speechless, delicious flavor, awesome combo and no compliant over here! 


Snooze, is an amazing addition to Del Mar. The service has been superior, each waitress understanding of my gluten free needs, and attentive to my order. We have enjoyed each meal on the patio where we can bring Rvca, Mark's American bulldog to dine with us. She definitely enjoys the "bacon fairy" aka another thoughtful and pleasant waiter serving bites of bacon to the dogs dining on the patio :). Even though the wait can be long for a family or large group, we have had no problem/wait by sitting on the patio and enjoying our morning coffee in the fresh crisp air. 


Hours: Mon-Fri 630am -230pm, Sat-Sun 7am-230pm
Phone: 858.703.5300
Email : Eggme@SnoozeEatery.com 
Twitter: @SnoozeAMEatery

Thanks Snooze for catering to those with dietary restrictions.  I know I surely appreciate your dedication to our lifestyle. Be sure to check out Snooze, it is a happening place with gluten free options GALORE!

October 17, 2013

My #GFF (Gluten Free Friend)




My #GFF is my boyfriend Mark. We have been together for 4 years, and he has been supportive every step of the way. My gluten free journey has had its ups and downs, but he has made the hard days doable and the good days even more wonderful. Mark has attended a number of gluten free conventions and expos with me: the Celiac Disease Foundation's Annual Education Conference & Food Faire, San Diego's Gluten Free Expo, and the Celiac Awareness Tour, just to name a few.  His desire to learn and educate himself on Celiac disease is more than i could ask for. Mark has made my diet his responsibility, just as much as I have made it mine. 

Taste testing gluten free beers


Even though gluten free does not define who I am, it is a big part of my life and having someone who understands the severity and causes, makes each meal/outing less focused on what I can't have and a greater understanding of my options. 

There has been several occasions where I have felt overjoyed to have someone so dedicated to my lifestyle.  The one occasion which sticks out the most in my mind was his company's Christmas party last year. Even though the dinner was suppose to be a surprise for the employees, Mark insisted on knowing where the party would be located and contacted the restaurant ahead of time to explain my dietary needs. The effort he put forth to ensure my dining experience went flawlessly was above the rest. He is constantly looking out for my well being. I couldn't asked for anything more in my BF, let alone my GFF. This gluten filled world is no match for Mark and I, we are in this together and nothing can get in the way!

xoxo Mark's GFGF (Gluten Free Girl Friend)

October 3, 2013

Gluten Free Oktoberfest in San Diego!


What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think October? Oktoberfest, right?!?!?! Well typically I opt out of enjoying festivities centered around beer, but this year I am happy to announce that has changed. Thanks to Atherton Baking Company and Annie's Gluten Free Grub, gluten free San Diegans will be able to partake in their own gluten free festival. On Saturday, October 19th from 5:30-9:30 attendees can enjoy gluten free beers and ciders, sample numerous gluten free foods, meet other gluten free individuals living in San Diego and enter for a chance to win great gluten free stuff! Hope to see you all there! All proceeds for the event go to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. 
See you there!