Tuesday To Do List — what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list…

 

 

  •  I spy a new gluten-free line at Coborn’s grocery stores — celiac sista is especially excited because there is one right down the road from her in MN. Their baking headquarters is in St. Cloud, MN. They even make donuts! (adding those to my request list next time I see the fam!) From celiac sista: “The chocolate chip bars with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips are *just* like the Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies!” The husband wasn’t as excited as me about this review… he of course *could* eat a Little Debbie anything right now if he wanted to so we can’t consider his thoughts. 😉

 

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(photo from Coborn’s Instagram) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(photo from celiac sista’s kitchen table)
  • Before you buy the new GF Cheerios… be sure to read the latest from Gluten Watch Dog. I will confess: I spied, bought, and tried both honey nut and regular Cheerios and survived, BUT now I’m a fraidy-cat and probably won’t buy them again until things change. I probably got lucky and it is one of the riskiest moves I’ve made as a celiac, but wanted to be honest with you. The way they are currently testing makes me nervous. My fingers and toes are still crossed that they make changes and improvements for the future. Stay tuned…

 

  • Anyone tried Do-Rite donuts? GFFs (gluten-free friends) from Milwaukee are making the trek down to Chicago for these babies — and it is on my to-do list as well!

 

  • And while we’re talking traveling for good gluten-free food — add Bunky’s in Madison to your list. Headed there soon and will have a hard time deciding between pizza and lasagna. Not to mention the LIST of options from their list of gluten-free pastry and cakes!

 

  • Been wanting to try homemade tortillas for a while — as soon as the temps cool down a bit (I’ve been eating cold, garden fresh veggies like it’s my job!) I’m all over these tortillas from my girl Jules. 

 

  • When I was home in MN, we had a super sub night — I kid you not, one of THE best subs I’ve ever had, gluten free or not. Try one out on Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery hotdog buns like we did…

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(also buy some of this Strongbow with honey, loving it!) 

 

 

  • SAVE the DATE: the Wisconsin GF Expo is coming up! Saturday, September 26th from 10-3 in West Bend.

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Until next week, my friends….

 

 

My week in photos: the view from here.

xmascactus

As you know, I find joy in the little things in life — like my Christmas Cactus that is taking bloom this week. Everyone in our family got part of the plant from my grandparents’ home, after they had passed away, and I look forward to the blooms every year. (which come just before my grandma’s birthday in March, not at Christmas) 🙂

photo 1 Have you had the soft pretzels from Molly’s GF Bakery? We heated them in the oven with some Penzeys Pizza Seasoning and dipped them in Mid’s pizza sauce, our new go-to pizza sauce.

photo 5

We made a big blue pot of chicken noodle soup this week with Jovial Egg Noodles — by far THE best pasta we have tried for soup. Made the soup on Saturday and ate it all this week for lunch. The flavor was enhanced each day and the noodles were firm until the last bowl.

photo 2

If you are looking for the perfect pasta for soup, try Jovial. (you can read my review of their other noodles here, along with an easy Tuna Noodle recipe) They were kind enough to send pasta samples for everyone at our Gluten-Free Get Together 3rd Anniversary party last month — thanks, Jovial!

photo 2

Tis the season of citrus! I can’t seem to get enough oranges, grapefruits, and clementines lately. We had a surplus and decided sangria sounded like a solution. 😉

photo 3

The whole Food section of the Journal Sentinel was a gluten-free feature — and I made the front page! You can see the JSOnline version herephoto 2

The husband was pretty excited. (me too, what an honor!)

photo 5

I’m trying to incorporate more tea and a little less coffee into my mornings — this was a honey-lemon-ginseng blend, but I’d love to hear what you tea experts are drinking, looking for suggestions.

photo 5

After using up all the oranges in the sangria, I was out of luck for my New Grist having an orange slice. The husband suggested a lemon, noting that most of the beers I drank pre-GF went with a lemon slice. He was right! (yes, I’m admitting it)

photo 3

The “giving thanks” jars got a seasonal makeover — any other jelly bean fans out there? It’s my spring weakness. Be sure you get the gluten-free ones. Here is a mini list, waiting on some of the more extensive ones to hit the web this week.

Speaking of giving thanks… we got dumped on with snow last week and I can’t help but feel sorry for the custodians that are out there shoveling, one of the women in our building uses a cane some days, yet was out there breaking her back, so I wanted to do something. I show my gratitude best with food. photo 5

These Powdered Sugar Doughnut Muffins from Elizabeth Barbone were a hit with the custodians, they were thanking me all week. And now we can all give thanks to Elizabeth, who was willing to share the recipe with you!

photo 4

When you do make them (and you really should, for Easter maybe, or this week?) take my advice and do a re-sugaring before serving. I also sprinkle cinnamon into the powdered sugar for a twist. photo 2

PS: dry erase markers work well for the ever changing labels on your storage jars.   photo 1

Powdered Sugar Doughnut Muffins

       From, “How to Cook Gluten-Free” by Elizabeth Barbone (Lake Isle Press, 2012)

Dry Ingredients
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking power
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg

1 package (1 pound) powdered sugar

Procedures

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to
350ºF. Lightly grease the cavities of a mini muffin pan with nonstick
cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the wet
ingredients and whisk to combine. The batter will be thin.

3. Fill the muffin cavities about half full. Bake for 20 to 25
minutes, until the muffins are golden brown.

4. While the muffins are baking, fill an 8-inch square baking dish
with the powdered sugar.

5. Remove the muffins from the oven and working in batches, place them
directly into the powdered sugar. Gently roll the muffins in the sugar
to cover them. The steam from the hot muffins will make the sugar
stick to the muffins. Remove the muffins from the sugar and tap off
any excess. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Store in an
airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Makes about 24 muffins. Yield varies depending on pan size. (All mini
muffin pans vary slightly.)

+Sarah’s Notes: I have never used a whole bag of powdered sugar, instead I just put some scoops into the bowl/platter and then keep adding as I need more, but to avoid waste. My mini muffin pans make almost double what the recipe says, but as she points out, muffin tin sizes varies. (and who would complain about more muffins!?!) Try sprinkling cinnamon in the powdered sugar if you love it as much as I do. EnJOY them with a cup of coffee or tea. 

photo 3
Don’t they have the cutest stickers for your coffee at Stone Creek Coffee? Before Mamasita headed back home, we had a day of errands, including a “coffee break” in the car wash. 🙂
Keep calm and enJOY your week!

{a gluten-free thanksgiving}

This week I hosted our Gluten-Free Get Together event at Rochambo on Brady Street. (where they serve up goodies from Molly’s GF Bakery)

Mixed things up this month, instead of a dinner, we got together for dessert and after dinner drinks to talk all about the upcoming holidays and how to survive them gluten-free style.

It’s easier than you think. I promise.

But I don’t want anyone to miss out just because they couldn’t make it over to the east side, so I thought I’d share everything here with you.

A couple of years ago, I shared some of our family favorites— Grandma’s cooked rice, scalloped corn, and cranberry salad. Some of those will be served up again this year, but not everyone eats a traditional meal (which I kind of dig!) for Thanksgiving.

Maybe you’re serving things up paleo style. If you are, head over to see Paleo Parents (authors of Eat Like a Dinosaur) for a complete menu plan that includes vegan options.

Not cooking at your place? Here are some resources to help educate your family. They usually mean well, but who would every think you could get glutened at a table of mostly gluten-free food, when you were being SO careful? (happened to me last year at the in-law’s)

Whatever the case, I want you to have a safe, happy celebration — as I always say, we are in the golden age of gluten-freeness… more options than we know what to do with.

I took a peek around the web at some of my favorite bloggers’ sites and came up with a list of recipes for you to check out. (I know we’ll be making some of them at our family Thanksgiving!)

Recipe Round-Up from ‘Round the Web
  • A twist on pumpkin pie — these Creamy Pumpkin Bars from Joy the Baker are on my “I’m SO making these” list. (just have to substitute GF flour mix — remember 5 oz of gluten-free flour mix for each cup of all purpose flour called for — and some certified GF oats.
  • And if you’re on an apple kick, you could make this super simple apple struesel chex mix from my “GF 101” class this summer — the post is full of info you can use, if you’re a newbie.
  • TWENTY loaves of GF bread, a breadbasket of choices from Shirley at gfe.

To get things started, I pulled together (in 30 minutes) two simple recipes that you can make with pantry staples.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon & Sugar Pretzels

I got this idea from a new favorite blog, One Good Thing by Jillee — it’s in my Google Reader now, and you should add it too. It’s not just food, she posts something new everyday that is clever, time saving, or just plain fun for everyday life.

I adapted it to fit what I had, you will notice that her recipe uses oil, feel free to use that instead of the butter for a dairy-free version. And aren’t her cute printed bags the best? I might have to make some and give these as gifts. They were a hit at our GF Get Together.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon & Sugar Pretzels 

Adapted from One Good Thing By Jillee

 

  • 1 bag gluten-free pretzels (I used Glutino, but they seem to have changed their recipe… I’m missing the old one.) 
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Add the bag of pretzels to a large bowl and pour melted butter over them. Gently stir to evenly coat all of the pretzels.

    Shake the cinnamon & sugar mixture over the pretzels and toss or gently stir to completely coat. Spread the pretzels out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 for 30 minutes, stirring at least twice during the bake time.

    Remove from oven and cool — or if you’re like me, taste test a few while they are still hot, but be careful. 🙂 They can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

    Thanksgiving Chex Mix

     

    Gluten-free snack mixes are a crowd pleaser at family events. Fun to make and familiar to all, (not to mention a cinch to prepare!) family and friends will be munching on this mix by the handful. Make a double batch so you have enough to eat on the car ride to grandma’s.

    gluten-free thanksgiving chex mix

    Adapted from chex.com

    2 cups honey nut chex                            ¼ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

    2 cups cinnamon chex                            1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

    2 cups corn or rice chex                          2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1 cup mixed nuts                                      ¼ cup butter, melted

    In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. After melting the butter, (about 30 seconds or so, but watch it!) stir in the vanilla.

    In a large bowl, (one that will fit in your microwave) combine all of the cereals and mixed nuts. Pour the melted butter and vanilla over the cereal mix and stir to coat entirely. Add the sugar & spice mixture to the cereal mix and stir gently to coat each little piece. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, stopping to stir after each minute. (I did mine 4 minutes, you want it to start browning, but NOT burning, that is not a good situation.)

    Spread out the mix onto a baking sheet and allow to cool. (again, you should taste test some while still warm, just because you can)

    ************************************************************************************************************

    After our GF Get Together, I decided to just mix the two (pretzels and chex mix) together — why didn’t I think of that BEFORE the event?

    I’ll be serving the two together from now on.

    I like to call it Cornucopia Chex Mix.

    Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from mine. Are you celebrating at home this year (safe!) or traveling for the holiday? Feel free to shout out ANY tips you have for other newbies to help them have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

    I’ll try to sneak back over here soon and post the recipe for the pumpkin pie I’ll be making for my celiac sista this year — in the mean time, have a lovely weekend. I’m off to celebrate my 15 year “friendaversary” (and the bday) with my BFF, out in Denver.

    Go eat! 🙂

     

{a gluten-free wedding story}

Last month we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.

My husband went waaaaaay above and beyond and planned a weekend getaway to Green Lake, WI — we stayed at the most beautiful place, Angel Inn Bed & Breakfast. (I’ll be writing more on that soon.)

One.whole.year.

Seems like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle.

When I look back now, I remember the day being absolutely perfect. (despite some day of  stress that we could have done without) And that’s how I will always remember it.

I thought it might be helpful to some folks (like my GF friend, Melissa, who was recently engaged — congrats!) to tell you all about planning a gluten-free wedding.

(more…)

*JOY to my world*

If you’re following along over on Facebook, you know that my laptop has been playing some funny games with me lately — basically, it works when it wants to.

Frustrating.

I’m not so much a patient person, so you can imagine (we are really spoiled in our advanced technological world) how long I am able to sit here and watch my little “rainbow beach ball” on my Mac just swirl and twirl — letting me know it’s in the process of doing something — what this is, I do not know.

It lasts about a minute before I give up and close the computer.

My tech-buddy at UWM tells me I just need some more “gigs” of RAM. No big deal, right? (luckily they are a tech store and can tell me exactly what to order for it, and then will install it for me)

So, it’s in the works. Just another waiting game.

Since I can’t really mess with photos to edit them right now, and because the semester is underway and my schedule is changing, I thought I’d put “Friday Photos” to rest for a bit. (it was a year of all those pics, hope you enjoyed it!)

Instead, I’ll try to (once little Miss Mac is fixed) post more often — about whatever is going on in my life. Some recipes, places I’ve been, restaurants I’m trying, all the good stuff you’ve been coming here for — and while we are on that topic, THANK YOU all for being here. I appreciate your comments more than you know. This gluten-free community is such a sweet place to call home.

You bring me joy.

Other things that bring JOY to my world:

  • getting to meet Elizabeth Barbone (finally!!) in real life last night — what.a.gem
  • seeing all of your faces each month at the GF Get Together events… Mark got some great shots of y’all last night… and I’ll post them as soon as I can.
  • having fresh Mock Rye bread from Molly’s GF bakery — filling it full of chicken salad and devouring it… before even taking a photo
  • having my sister-out-law (Ms Krista Crocker, crazy cake extraordinaire) at last night’s GFGT… she was just amazed at our little community — she has been one of the most supportive people in my GF adventures — love her.
  • Crispin Cider in a box — just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop that sucker open and celebrate! (maybe this weekend on our anniversary getaway?)
  • having my guy, “Mr. Celiac in the City” be my chef, photography assistant, (patiently, while dinner is getting cold) baked-goods tester, and perfect partner (who I love more than cupcakes) at my side for all of my adventures — we are celebrating our 1st anniversary this weekend with a surprise getaway that he’s been planning — more details after the weekend… and a “GF Wedding Story” post on planning a gluten-free wedding.

Have a wonderful weekend — full.of.JOY.

(this photo was already in my media library on here — otherwise it would have taken 34 minutes to upload!)

PS — What would YOU like to see in my upcoming posts? More recipes, baked goods, anything that involves chocolate, healthy-easy-peasy meals, more restaurant reviews? Leave a comment and let me know! 

{springtime lemon bars}


Despite the too-low-for-my-liking temps in Milwaukee the past couple of weeks, there are still signs of spring.

Aren’t those yellow tulips lovely? (one of my favorites) 

I’m a sucker for anything yellow — it’s been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. Have you seen the Pinterest board from our wedding? It’s everywhere these days, yellow is back.

Hello, yellow. 

Maybe that’s why I gravitate towards anything made with lemon. Cakes or cookies, grilled asparagus or beverages. Love me some lemon.

This was my first attempt at lemon bars.

Ever.

I had never made them, even before going gluten-free. Which seems so silly considering how much I like them — Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery makes some killer lemon squares (they made them for our wedding) that you should get your hands on if at all possible.

But I may have given them a run for their money with these.

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Gluten-Free Lemon Bars 

                                                                       Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

For the crust

  • 1 ¾ cups gluten-free flour mix – I used C4C, but you can use any pre-made mix, or play around with flours and starches, a little of several different kinds works best
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar, plus a little extra to shake on top
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter(1 ½ sticks), cool room temperature, cut into pieces, plus a bit extra to grease the pan

For the filling…

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  •  ⅔ cup lemon juice, strained (I used 2-3 larger lemons)
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt

For the crust… Pre-heat oven to 350. (make sure you adjust the rack to the middle) Lightly butter a 9 x 13 pan. Then lay two pieces of parchment paper in the pan — crossed over one another — lay one down lengthwise, then the other widthwise on top. (is that a word?)

In your food processor, pulse the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in your butter and blend for a few seconds, then continue to pulse it until mixture is light yellow and looks kind of like corn meal. Sprinkle the meal mixture into the parchment lined pan. Then, using your fingers, press the “dough” out into the pan in a ¼ inch layer, but push it up to about ½ inch on the sides — this is making a nice little crust, and you’ll want the sides a little higher up so when you pour the filling in, it stays put. Put it in the fridge for about a half hour, then bake until golden brown, 20 minutes-ish.

For the filling… While you’re waiting, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in a bowl, and then stir in your lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt.

And then… Reduce heat in the oven to 325 degrees. Give your filling another stir to combine it all again, and pour it right onto the warm crust. (this is key, you want to pour it on there shortly after taking it out of the oven). Bake it until the filling feels pretty firm when touched, you don’t want it still liquid-like, about 20 minutes or so. When you take it out of the oven, put the pan on a wire rack and cool it down for at least a half hour.When it has cooled, you can pull it out of the pan by grasping the pieces of parchment paper to lift it right out and unto a cutting board where you can cut it into pieces and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Any other lemon bar first timers out there? Or have you been making something like this for years?

Friday Photos: in like a lion

Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.

I survived the dreaded prep for the colonoscopy/endoscopy — now just waiting to go in, so figured I need to get this post done before I’m drugged up and start typing my deepest secrets.

Work has been crazy for Mark lately, (what’s new right?) which means I’ve been doing most of the cooking — luckily for me, Carrie  from Ginger Lemon Girl hooked me up with recipes to try for her new book, so the menu wasn’t so hard. After I pulled off those little quinoa cakes on Sunday, he thought he needed his turn in the kitchen.

Of course he had to show me up.

Asian barbecue glazed salmon, butter and tarragon brussels sprouts, and beet soup with fried shallots — served up right with a Crispin

On Monday night around 9:00, I decided we needed some sweet treats for our two year anniversary celebration of Gluten-Free Get Together events happening on Tuesday at Marty’s Pizza in Delafield. There wasn’t much in the cupboard, but I did have Cup4Cup gluten-free flour mix and a package of chocolate chips and coconut, so I went from there.

Nothing fancy.

I took the recipes right off the back of the bags and just substituted the C4C mix.

chocolate dipped macaroons 

chocolate chip bars

They both turned out perfectly. Not bad for a last minute decision and no idea where I was going with the late night baking adventure. I saved a few for Mark (he loved them both) and then plated them up for the crew.

Most of them were gone before our pizza arrived.

Smiles all around.

Especially those of us who enjoyed a Lakefront New Grist or two. That’s my soul sister, Kristi. Isn’t she beautiful? She’s a big gluten-free advocate — she supports us and the beer we drink.

*Note: There was a team of beer drinkers for that line of bottles.

We had all kinds of treats, including these new chips from Food Should Taste Good — sometimes salt & vinegar chips have malt in them, but not these.

I’m going to eat them after my procedure.

Ok, enough looking at food, (I’m sooooo hungry) and the nurse says it’s time to go.

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I had this post almost done, ready to hit publish, and then they wheeled me off. After sleeping most of the day, (and waking up to a world of white outside) I’m back to put the final touches on it — everything went well, my mother-in-law got me home safely. I thought I was going to want a huge meal after not eating anything of much of substance since Wednesday, but instead I woke up craving cold fruit.

The fridge was pretty bare, but I managed to whip up a big smoothie with frozen strawberries and apple juice.

It hit the spot.

Tomorrow my buddy Al and his wife Peg are coming down to visit — we have a yearly tradition of celebrating Peg’s birthday by hitting up the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market and then lunch. We’re going to stock up at the market, then Maggiano’s for some Italian.

Al runs the Gluten Intolerance Group of East Central Wisconsin. He’s also been busy working on getting Dr. Rodney Ford to Wisconsin in October — looking forward to that presentation. (and some catch up time with good gluten-free pasta tomorrow!)

And Sunday I’m heading down to check out the brand new gluten-free store in Racine — Greater Grains, located inside Careers Industries.

Oh, and Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery is now shipping! Perfect news to end the week.

Has anyone been down to Greater Grains yet? Are you going to try out Molly’s shipping?

I have a little buddy in South Dakota that would love some treats.