Monthly Archives: January 2012

What I Would Write About If Not Gluten

I Can Write About Stuff!

Like most of the world, a little over a year ago I had zero gluten knowledge. I knew Elisabeth Hasselbeck had Celiac disease, because I know everything about Elisabeth Hasselbeck, but beyond that I was unclear on what it all meant. Yet, the minute I was forced to drop my baguette and pick up some rice flour biscuits, I threw myself into the gluten-free world of fun. So much fun.

The fact is, if I’d never been diagnosed with the sprue, not only would I weigh about 90 pounds right now and never leave my bathroom, I would also be writing an entirely different blog. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it? In addition to my “Wow, I look great at only 90 lbs!” blog, I’m pretty sure these four blogs would exist right now too. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Super Bowl XLVI Menu to Impress Your Friends & Enemies

Apparently if you live on the East Coast this 2012 Super Bowl is a HUGE deal. Maybe even if you don’t live there, but enjoy the American football. I don’t know about all that, but I do know how to make some amazoids Super Bowl snacks that are also gluten-free. Your celiac friends who also enjoy that kind of thing, will totally thank you, and nobody else has to know your little wheat-free secret.

Frankly, it’s not that difficult for an appetizer-loving, fried food, dipping sauce eating, kind of gal to pull together a gluten-free menu for a sports event. In fact, I call this menu “Gluten-free Sunday afternoon at home with the family.” That’s how much fun we are over here.

So pull out your deep fryer, and strap on your feedbag! This is how you go gluten-free while enjoying the Giants beating the crap out of the Patriots. (So I lived in New York for a long time, I can’t help but take a side here. Even though I really, really, really, don’t care. Really.) Go, Giants! (No, really.)

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Buddha’s Belly & Firefly

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the pictures taken while I was overly excited about dining out and getting my gluten-free on. Jeez, these are NOT good. Because when I’m dining out, I usually just shovel food in my mouth then remember to take a picture after I’ve chowed on half of my pork chop. Or in the case of Firefly, have one too many specialty cocktails beforehand and forget how to use an iPhone camera. But the important thing is that I’ve found two new (to me) restaurants that are easy for this celiac to dine in, and they are both super-duper rad. Hooray!

Just in time for the Chinese New Year, Buddha’s Belly is a Asian-ish joint in Hancock Park and Santa Monica (and they also just opened in Thousand Oaks!) that has its very own gluten-free menu. See? Continue reading

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Jell-O Shots Are Naturally Gluten-Free, Party People

Even though I’ve already graduated from college  — twice — this weekend I found myself making up a batch or three of Jell-O shots in my kitchen. It confused the kids and made my husband a little nauseated, but the fact is Jell-O is gluten-free, vodka is gluten-free, as is tequila and bourbon. So it was really only a matter of time before this happened.

However, I was spurred on by the awesome Giuliana over at Lovely Healthy, who came up with this great idea for us to both kind of do our thing, yet in tandem. Giuliana is this amazing, yet allergic, blogger who is all about making delicious, allergy-friendly, healthy recipes, and I’m the gal that will enter that BBQ rib eating contest, as long as it’s gluten-free. Hence, me doing the Jell-O shots and Giuliana turning this concept into healthy, organic, and probably sugar-free. She’s a pro like that.

I, however, am going full-on Jell-O and teaching you all something you may not know: There is an art to the Jell-O shot. You can go straight vodka and be all boring about it, or you can shoot for the moon. I chose, not unlike beloved American poet Robert Frost, to take that road less traveled. Which means, I got creative and made three different varieties of Jell-O shots including the Margarita-ville, the Raspberry Bourbon Fun Times, and the Sorority Girl Lemon Drop. From these combos:

Not so much a recipe as a delightful pairing recommendation for the raspberry, lime, and lemon varieties of the gelatin dessert that wiggles, I’m also going to give you the 411 on which ones are the MOST.

My better half and I taste tested these, and this is where I totally out him as a girly-man. Let’s just say that one of us taste tested these with a spoon, and one of us shot these suckers straight down our throat. What this also means, is we had conflicting opinions on the “best” Jell-O shot based on the fact that we chose very different delivery methods. (Note: You should never, ever, eat a Jell-O shot with a spoon. Ever. Seriously, what’s up with that?)

I personally thought the raspberry-bourbon Jell-O shot was the best. The lime and tequila number tasted like an incredibly sweet margarita in a good way (the hubs agreed), and the lemon and vodka one was your classic lemon drop. The man in my life decided the lemon drop one was the best (it totally wasn’t unless you’re pledging), then the margarita version, and he kind of gagged on the raspberry bourbon. But I’m telling you — raspberry bourbon is a winning combination.

For reals, here’s how you do it. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Spinach Dip Is Surprisingly Challenging

I don’t know about you, but I could eat appetizers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I love me some small plates and that’s why this whole lack of crackers and bread can be so confounding. And also why  I carry gluten-free crackers in my purse AT ALL TIMES. I don’t care if I’m “that lady,” I’m determined to enjoy pre-meal snacks wherever I wander.

When I decided to whip up some spinach dip, on account of all of the unpronounceable ingredients in any store-bought spin-dip, I also thought it would be a great way to get my app on in a gluten-free way. WRONG.

You know what has tons of unnecessary gluten inside? Soup mixes. You know what has tons of soup mix in it? Spinach dip. So I had to buy a gluten-free soup mix. This one –

Unfortunately there are a lot of chunks that don’t just “melt down” when you mix it up with dairy and spinach. So I would recommend putting this particular brand of onion soup through a food processor before you add it to your mixins. I also had to deal with the fact that it was very low sodium. Which is all healthy and stuff, but also means you need to add some extra salt to this recipe. Like 2-3 teaspoons of salt. Which also means, you probably shouldn’t add “soup mix” to your regular rotation for dinner unless you want a little hypertension in your life.

Still, gluten-free spinach dip! YUM.

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Gluten-Free 4-Alarm Chili for The Slow Cooker Challenge!

When someone offers you a challenge, you’d better take it. You don’t know when they’ll offer again, and you don’t know how much glory could come your way if you won said challenge. So I’m all over The Naptime Chef, Big Girls, Small Kitchen/Small Kitchen College Slow Cooker Challenge. Also, I’m lazy and like to just throw things in a pot and let it do all the work for me.

If you like robots too, you should head on over to one of those amazoid websites and enter to win a gorgeous Breville Slow Cooker or stunning Delonghi Slow Cooker. You’re going to be slow cooking all winter long, and thanking these people for ever existing in the first place. Because you know what you can cook in a slow cooker? EVERYTHING. But especially, gluten-free chili.

There are a few things that could make your chili non-gluten-free (because I know you’re wondering). Some people throw in thickening agents like gluten-filled flour or masa, or like the recipe I use — beef bouillon cubes. If this recipe becomes your favorite, like it should, always check those bouillon cubes for gluten-freeness, because most of them are not. Maybe try this one –

I don’t know what makes chili go off with two-, three-, or four-alarms, but I’m pretty sure four-alarm is the best, so that’s what I’m calling this delicious, flavorful, hearty FOUR-ALARM chili. Also, I’m from Oklahoma and Texas, so you have to believe me when I tell you anything about chili.

Did you know chili was originally invented when a pioneer child played a practical joke by filling up the beef stew cauldron with hot peppers and a variety of beans she’d previously been using in her (illegal) poker rings? Naturally, that child was traded to the Native Americans in exchange for maze, yet everyone agreed that little girl had greatly improved upon the boring beef stew that everyone was — quite frankly — sick of anyway.

That’s totally not true, but if I insist, you HAVE to believe. You must also believe in the deliciousness of this gluten-free chili. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Buffalo Wings for the Big Game — Yeee-Freaking-Haw!

Here it is:  I hate football. I know about a dozen of you, out of two dozen, just clicked off but it’s true. However, there ain’t no party like a Super Bowl party when it comes to the food. Plus, the bonus is that I can totally zone out because I do not know, nor do I care, how that game even works. Pass the nachos and gluten-free beer, please!

I don’t see why if you’re having a Super Bowl or play-off party, or random good time, you can’t just make it gluten-free. So I decided to try my hand at a party standard — the gluten-free Buffalo chicken wing. I thought it was time to attempt frying chicken post-diagnosis — but only in miniature — and doing so gives me a chance to check out that Better Batter everyone is talking about on those super fun gluten-free forums. Do you know what else has gluten in it, according to these chat room forums? EVERYTHING. But not these fly ingredients -

But here’s something I didn’t know, that actually turns out to be true. Buffalo wing sauce is made with butter. Butter! I mean, I’ve only had Buffalo wings like once or twice in my whole life. All right, once or twice until that Buffalo Wild Wings went in next door to my apartment and I had a newborn to entertain for my entire maternity leave. Babies lo000ve big screen sports, and I had to make a purchase to allow my little dude to watch the NBA play-offs. (He does not like Kobe Bryant, by the way. I know, who does, right?)

I’m not a Buffalo wings aficionado, if you will. Yet I do have one piece of advice for you: Buffalo wings are not a meal. Please don’t eat a huge plate of Buffalo wings and call it dinner, you will pay for that on the back-end. My other piece of advice is that you invest in a deep fat fryer. All the cool kids are doing it. Continue reading

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