Monthly Archives: November 2012

Gluten-Free Christmas: Booze & Apps

Well now, doesn’t that look all Christmas-y? We trimmed that tree, and enjoyed some festive snacking yesterday so now I’m going to tell YOU how you can start your winter holiday season off with a gluten-free bang. Of course it involves booze and snacks. Of course it does.

One of my fave holiday snacks is the gluten-free cracker topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and chives. It’s incredibly simple, and you’ll want to eat the entire plate-full. I recommend you share, but you don’t always have to take my recommendations as you are your own person and I respect that.

Next, I thought I’d get crafty while fantasizing about how many Pinterest shares I would get and did these Gluten-Free Peppermint Pretzel Sticks™. Not shockingly, my attempt at culinary craftiness did not go as smoothly as I anticipated, so this is exactly how many Gluten-Free Peppermint Pretzel Sticks™ I wound up with, instead of say, 50.

I tend to lose patience when I’m getting crafty also, which is just another reason I’ll never be a Pinterest star. Later I realized a nice ribbon around the shot glass would have really nailed it. Sigh. Still, I ate an entire shot glass full of white chocolate and peppermint covered pretzels. Eat your failures, people. Eat ‘em up. They are delicious.

Anyhoo! There are so many fun things you can make for a tree trimming party. I just did three, however, and one of those thing was an incredibly strong cocktail, the Sazerac. Kind of like an Old-Fashioned, but without the gooey cherries, and with a lemon twist, a classic Sazerac can be served over a giant ice cube (you have those, right?) or straight up in a martini glass. I will say it goes very well with a shot glass full of Gluten-Free Peppermint Pretzel Sticks™.

Here’s how you can pair those yummy things together and fill yourself with some holiday cheer.

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How to Cook Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Turkey Two Ways

Okay, so this is chicken. Because how many turkeys was I supposed to make in one month? Really?

Turkey. It’s the elephant in the room, that is actually a bird, that you eat. The least exciting, yet most important, part of your Thanksgiving meal; attention must be paid. Especially for those of us who have the sprue, because turkeys can be easily contaminated with that devil gluten, and you’ll wind up in the bathroom all night long and not because Aunt Sylvia called you a fat communist again during Thanksgiving dinner.

So take care when prepping that hulking bird, and remember two important things:  Always gluten-free your stuffing; and skip the flour for crispy turkey skin. Now, how about you check out two delicious ways to prep that turkey? One of which, is almost like practicing medicine! Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Fondue is CRAZY Good

Maybe you just don’t have enough pumpkins at the ready for your gluten-free Thanksgiving meal. Pick up one more and fill it with cheese. Go get it. I’ll wait.

Yep, I’m talking about cheese fondue in a pumpkin pot. Holy crikey, it’s good. Because what’s not to like about melted cheese baked in a pumpkin. And it’s actually not that hard, making me think this could be a really fun fall party staple. You basically clean out that pumpkin, and start to layer your gluten-free bread, cheese, and roux. Like this -

Don’t forget to save those pumpkin seeds and roast them up with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Then you’re all, “I used every part of this food! I rule!!!”

As for your dippin’s, I happened to have an extra steak lying around so I just went full heart disease and plunged that steak into my fondue, along with some gluten-free toasty bread, and a few vegetables. It’s especially lovely when you scrape the sides of the pumpkin and get cheesy pumpkin goodness. You know what? You can also just take a spoon to this and sit in front of your TV all day. Whatevs.



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Ultimate Gluten-Free Holiday Gift Guide, For Real

They’re here! The holidays are all lined up and ready to kick your butt. And if you have a gluten-free cooking, food loving, slightly neurotic on your holiday list like my family does, you might want some gluten-free gift suggestions. Ten, in fact.

Okay, eleven. As there seems to be a very special gluten-free book available for pre-order on Amazon.

Of course, you have to wait until May 7th to enjoy that holiday gift. Which means it’s really more of a May Day gift. If people celebrated May Day by going heavily into debt. Still — !!!!!!!!!

So in addition to that delayed gratification, here’s what everyone wants under their tree and/or menorah this year. Swearsies. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Thanksgiving: Snacks!!!

There’s that one part of Thanksgiving day when you’ve got the turkey cooking, and are an hour + away from starting the sides when your tummy gets a little rumbly. Me? I could eat cheese and gluten-free crackers all day, every day. But some people like a little variety in their noshing. Bring on the Snackens!

After trying a variety of gluten-free appetizers because hey, it’s my job, I decided on these three super delish munchies that don’t compete with your turkey and variety of ‘taters. The maple pecan popcorn was already gone before dinner, and the spiced nuts would have been had I not hidden them from myself. (Spiced nut tip:  Use blanched almonds for a more intense flavor.) These three yummerific treats are going to be very popular amongst the gluten-loving and the gluten-hating. Heck, you can throw these holiday-friendly snacks out anytime between now and the new year and feel totally like a gluten-free bad ass. Which is what I feel like right now as I finish off my gluten-free crostini with pesto. Bad. Ass.

Try ‘em, you’ll like ‘em!

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Gluten-Free Thanksgiving: Almond Crown Pie

What’s up, Thanksgiving? You’re right around the dang corner somehow, so it seems I’m going to have to start eating like it’s already here. Why? As a service to you good people, that’s why. So poke an extra hole in that belt and get ready for even more gluten-free holiday recipes!

First up, a crazy delicious gluten-free almond crown pie. Something I had never heard of until I tried to figure out what in the world to do with this impulse buy I found in my cabinet.

Most people grab some puff pastry and go to town with this almond filling, but sadly there is no gluten-free puff pastry as of yet. (Hello, gluten-free food companies, get on that!) Instead I found a few recipes for this delicious almond crown pie thing and gluten-freed that bad boy.

Per usual, I simply purchased a pre-made gluten-free pie crust because I am NOT going to do it myself. Nope, can’t make me. After I finished this sweet and nutty wonder,  I realized it was basically a pecan pie but with the hot nut on the block — the almighty almond. The crown comes in when you line the crust with row of whole almonds (first row seen in the photo above).

Interestingly enough, I did not even notice the row of almonds when I sliced into this sweet piece of heaven, but it’s a cute idea, yes?

Here’s how you can change it up at your pie table.

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It’s Gluten-Free Breakfast in America

Good morning, Americans! Last night was quite exciting, was it not? No matter if your guy won or lost, you’re probably rocking a hangover. What’s better than a ham, cheese, and egg  sammy? Gluten-free, natch. Yet again, I turned to my BFF, Pinterest for a fantabulous idea in the kitchen. (Side note:  Why do my photos never look as amazoids as those on Pinterest? Oh, right. I suck as a photog.)

My family enjoyed these gluten-free ham, egg, and cheese muffins of love early this morning because kids don’t stay up late for election returns and speeches, nor do they understand that we just “fell back” and they can sleep in for an extra hour. Silly kids. Pair these cheesy blobs with a strong cup of coffee and you too are ready to get up and embrace our new, but still the same, President Barack Obama. Woot!

Here’s how to soak up the celebratory and/or conciliatory alcohol in your gut.

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Gluten-Free Election Night Recipes: Ohio Specialities That Swing

artwork by Esme Goldman

We’re only a day away from the U.S. Presidential election, everybodys, and it’s all about Ohio.  Let’s throw a gluten-free election party that  can help you get inside the minds of those people who hold so much sway over our nation and its future. What makes those good people tick? How do they fuel their voting fingers? So I asked a few friends of mine who hail from the Buckeye State, and holyohmygods, you guys — people in Ohio eat CRAZY stuff. And they’re going to pick our next president! Daaaaamn.

Out of all of the options (tomato juice and chocolate chunks in the middle of your ice cream, anyone?) I settled on three:  Skyline chili, buckeyes, and the purple cow. Ohio, you’re kidding me.

Let’s start with the purple cow. My Okie grandma loved a good Coke float, but I understand if root beer floats are much more popular nationally. This immediately allowed me to relate to those Ohioans from Geneva as they pour on the grape soda over ice cream during the Geneva Grape Jamboree every year. Except, when my local showed up he explained it’s actually GRAPE JUICE people pour over ice cream. Umm, I’m sorry but that’s gross. I say, as I finish my carbonated purple cow for breakfast.

As an expert pretzel buckeye maker, I was also shocked when my Ohio friend, Abe, came over and sadly told me that real buckeyes are only the peanut butter mixture covered in chocolate. That whole pretzel thing is just fancy-ing it up. Sigh. So while I thought I was nailing a couple of Ohio traditions, I was actually butchering them. Abe  insisted I was improving on the two, but he’s just one nice fella’. Maybe like all of those Ohioans? Who love health care and hate curtailing women’s rights? I hope?

All of the input I received from Ohioans explained that Skyline chili is an acquired taste, yet one that is insanely popular around the state and beyond. As a Texas chili cooker my snob-o-meter went off when I read about some of the ingredients in this all-beef tomato based recipe. We’re talking cinnamon and chocolate, people. But that’s not even the biggest shock to those of us who grew up on chunks of beef and jalapenos. After the chili is all cooked, it goes on top of spaghetti, is smothered in cheddar cheese, chopped onions (optional), and crumbled saltines. CRAZY. Crazy, good, actually. Which is what I said after shoving some in my gullet. This much -

Yes, this is what your table should look like tomorrow night if you want to feel what Ohio is feeling. Personally, we already ate it up because we live in California and the election will be decided before we even finish our commute home from work. Still, get out there and vote people! May the best Democrat win.

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Gluten-Free Bitches Get Stuff Done

Gluten-Free Crispy Soft-Shelled Crab, Anyone? This Time, With No Pooping!

Oh man, you guys, I have had a gluten-free experience of epic proportions. As in, I kind of changed the world. Or rather, ummm, one restaurant in Los Angeles. Sure I didn’t do it on purpose and was more the result of a temper tantrum than a thoughtful discussion on the advantages of eating whole foods, but still.

You may remember how excited I got when I learned how to enjoy gluten-free sushi again at Katsuya in Studio City. Which is why I was not at all worried when my mother-in-law came to town to treat her children and their lucky spouses to dinner before we enjoyed The Book of Mormon as it landed right smack in the middle of Hollywood. Because Katsuya has another branch in that family tree in that neighborhood as well, one that looks like it comes from Vegas, but still — same thing, right?

Totally not.

Let’s make a long painful story short. As I was being seated in the flashier Hollywood sushi joint, I asked the hostess about a gluten-free menu. That nice lady informed me that my server could fill me in on gluten-free options. My server, however, had other plans. Plans that included alternately snapping at me and refusing to acknowledge that I existed. Before I could even process her claims that there was nothing I could eat, followed by her admonishment that she “never said that,” my sister-in-law was in full protection mode and turned to me and said, “Let’s get out of here.”

But all I could hear was the inside of my head screaming “We can’t miss Book of Mormon!!! We can’t miss Book of Mormon!!!” After all, I’d already tried to get into two other area restaurants and they were booked. This isn’t Theatre Row in NYC. When you dine pre-theater in LA, you take a right outside the restaurant you’re in and you’ll wind up having cigarettes and bottle of Thunderbird for dinner. So I took a big breath, and tried to have a discussion with my server about what I might be able to eat at the restaurant that apparently puts wheat vinegar in all of their rice and sous vides every cut of meat with soy sauce. It turns out, there were a few things on the menu the chef could turn gf, and so I ordered all of them. Or so I thought.

Clearly I’m not making this long story short. So I’ll skip right over the violent illness that followed and stuck with me for three days, and the three weeks of being not quite right on account of all the gluten I ate at Katsuya in Hollywood. As I tend to do, right in the middle of a massive stomach cramp I got crazy. Instead of stripping naked and telling my husband he should remarry quickly after I dropped dead, I composed an especially angry email to the press department of Katsuya. And what followed was nothing short of amazing. Continue reading


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