Monthly Archives: July 2011

California Pizza Kitchen Goes Gluten-Free, Baby

Hooray!

I’ve only eaten at California Pizza Kitchen a few times, so it’s odd how excited I am that they are now serving gluten-free crust for their pizza. But you know, as CPK goes, so goes . . . In ‘N’ Out? I know, it’s a stretch. But in the meantime — I’m eating pizza this weekend. I dare anyone to stand in my way.

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Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants

Cooking for God: Gluten-Free Communion Wafers

In my third, and final installment of Cooking for God I’m going back to my roots. My Protestant — with some Catholic relatives and summer camps thrown in — and a little bit agnostic, roots. Which is why it wasn’t my first thought when I was diagnosed with celiac, but eventually I got around to, “What the heck do people who need to consume the body of Christ do in times like this?” Coming from the Bible Belt I just assumed you suffered on a weekly basis. You know, for your sins. But it turns out there are celiacs who pray to more than the porcelain bowl, and I’ve heard rumors about these people making their own host. They take it to their local parish, and voila, they’re back in the game. So I gave it a try.

It’s actually an incredibly simple recipe that only requires that you own something that can really whisk up olive oil and water. I suggest my favorite latte tool. Or milk frother, or whatever you want to call a battery operated mini-whisk. Singing, “Oh, Holy Night” as you froth is totally optional, but recommended.

After you loosely mix in the gluten-free flour, you’re going to want to lay that dough out on a cookie sheet. I find the best way to flatten gluten-free dough is either with a well-oiled spatula, or a sheet of parchment paper pressed lightly into the dough. Either way, it’s not totally easy so you might want to say a prayer before you try to get a nice thin layer of dough on the cookie sheet.

To make sure you can get some good cracker action, perforate the dough with a fork or a knife (I used a knife) so you’ve got a lovely pattern like this. Then you’re just breaking off wafers and ready to have your own gf service right there in your kitchen.

This is my son, who devoured these crackers, aka, wafers. He’s looking over his shoulder to make sure no one from his future Jewish pre-school is watching as he enjoys washing away his sins.

Please note, I did not force any man or woman of the cloth to bless my crackers. That would be sacrilegious.

Here’s how you make your own communion wafers. Continue reading

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I Ate That: Gluten-Free Cupcakes That Rule

Sometimes battling celiac disease is really, really, hard. Like, I have to eat five different types of cupcakes, hard. I know! You are so glad you aren’t me, right? I know cupcakes are on the downhill slide of trendiness, but I was cupcake before cupcake was cool. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a picture of me on my third birthday chowing down on yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Take that, trend-setters. And that is why I’ve been searching for a magic gluten-free cupcake for the last six months. Guess what, readers? I’ve found some. Woot!

I’m the person that came out of anesthesia and announced to my GI doc that I would be eating a Magnolia cupcake at least once a year, probably on my birthday. He totally shut me down, and I realize now it was for my own good. I mean, who wants to spend their birthday in the toilet? After you’re well out of your 20s, anyway. So I bravely went to Babycakes, in downtown LA. I picked up every option at Whole Foods, Erewhon, Trader Joe’s (actually, Trader Joe’s just has brownies. Need to step it up, TJ), and finally found not one, but two cupcakes worth freaking out about.

The best gluten-free cupcakes, that money can buy and you don’t have to make yourself, are . . . Continue reading

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Cooking For God: Gluten-Free Mormon Gravy on Savory Swiss Steak

Welcome back to Cooking For God, gluten-free style. When my mother-in-law brought me back a Mormon cookbook from Utah I thought, what in the heck am I going to do with this? My Mormon friends don’t seem to require their own cuisine. But I have now seen the light and realize how much I can really use this cookbook that is inspired by the great culinary gifts from, “. . . Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.” (Downtown Europe?) Which means this cookbook is the exact same kind of food you would find where I grew up —¬† lily-white Oklahoma, buckle of the Bible Belt.

Naturally, I was very familiar with the variety of meat type recipes I found between the pages of Mormon Cooking: Authentic Recipes, but I bypassed Country Beef Pie and settled on Savory Swiss Steak, which I then smothered in Mormon Gravy. Good choice? Lord knows.

The best thing about the Savory Swiss Steak recipe, is that it required so few ingredients. What you see above, is basically what you need. The toughest thing about this recipe was finding a round steak, aka, chuck steak in Los Angeles. No one even knows what that is in produce-heavy Southern California, so I had to grab a ribeye. People seriously need to learn about chicken fried steak up in here.

This is what Savory Swiss Steak looks like cooking. Yes, it smells that way too. If you need me to break it down for you, that’s the smell of your neighbor’s house around 1pm on a Sunday afternoon. And that’s what it tastes like too. Which is why I felt the need to smother in Mormon Gravy.

Turns out Mormon Gravy is exactly like Protestant in Oklahoma gravy, but with one secret ingredient: paprika! I just blew the lid off Mormon Gravy.

So if you want to live like the Mormons, or the rest of the white people in America who are of mixed white ancestry, try these recipes at your next Sunday supper. Continue reading

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Cooking For God: Gluten-Free Challah

Oh, Lord. I’m trying to figure out how to celebrate religion through food this week, so I’ve got a lot of God-inspired recipes coming your way. In fact, a triptych of God recipes, if you will. You know this is going to be challenging because of the whole “bread of life” thing, right?

First up, gluten-free challah! Because ever since my daughter went to pre-school at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, those kids can’t get enough of the official bread of the Sabbath. She brings it home every Friday, and my son basically rips what’s left out of her hands and devours it and asks for more. The kid wasn’t even two years old and he was begging me for “challah” — with the Hebrew inflection. I’m not even Jewish, but my kids obviously are.

Lucky for me, the amazing Chef Toby Berkow of Cooking School 101 was dedicated to helping out a celiac during her most recent class at WBT on making your own challah. That’s right, Chef Berkow, who is also a fellow mom at the school, helped me make gluten-free challah. Here’s how all that went down. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Protein Drinks Are Going to Make Me Skinny Again

The sad fact¬† of celiac disease, is that apparently you don’t magically lose all that carb weight when you stop eating gluten. In fact, I was recently told that on average, newly diagnosed celiacs gain 20 pounds. NOT cool. Granted dropping 10 pounds in two months because I was sick sucked, but hey, I could fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes so . . . bonus? Gaining it all back is a huge, huge, bummer. Sure I could blame the gluten-free donuts, or the gluten-free beer, or maybe even the gluten-free deep-fried Kool-Aid, but I’m choosing to blame this random factoid told to me by a virtual stranger.

Which is why when the people at Svelte, a gluten-free, non-dairy protein drink sent me some samples to try I thought, why not? I could stand to lose a few and what’s better than a liquid diet? I’ll tell you what’s better, gluten-free fried Kool-Aid. But still, it’s time for me work it, people, so I asked an in-the-know friend what one does with a protein drink, exactly. Apparently you work out, then drink a protein drink to help build back that muscle, which in turn helps you burn fat more effectively. Additionally, he was stoked about Svelte because most protein drinks are not gluten-free. So there’s that!

I’m going for it. My new exercise plan includes re-commiting to my workouts with Richard Simmons, and when I’m at home doing this awesome routine: Continue reading

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Most Incredible Giveaway & Gluten-Free Muffin Recipe of ALL TIME

Want to win a trip to Portland, Oregon? (Who doesn’t?) How about Scotland? How about a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats and a spurtle? Now I’ve got your attention.

I admit it, I’ve got a thing for Bob’s Red Mill family of flours and grains. So much so it’s freaking my husband out, and if he ever meets Mr. Red Mill, he might just challenge him to a duel for my affections. So it is with great pleasure that I invite you, my gluten-free readers to enter a contest that has multiple prizes sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. And all you have to do is demonstrate your favorite recipe using Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. Videotape your efforts, and you can win HUGE.

You see, last year the Bob’s Red Mill team won the Golden Spurtle in the world porridge making championship in Scotland. They’re competitive like that, and they want to win again so they’re looking for your help. Got a great recipe you make with Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats, or gluten-free oats, like I do? Shoot a video, upload it to the Spar for the Spurtle site, and you could win a trip to Portland, Oregon for the cook-off! If you kick some steel cut oat butt there, you’ll be asked to join the team and travel to Scotland for the championship. I want to go to there, don’t you?

But wait, there’s more! For being a fabulous reader of Gluten Is My Bitch, you also get your very own prize just for entering the contest. Continue reading

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