pan toast with an iced café au lait

You might be thinking this seems like a silly post. Who doesn’t know how to make toast? But once you get over that and make this pan toast for yourself, we’ll see who was silly for questioning all of this.

While I was in Denver, it made my day to whip up breakfast for my new-mama-friend. If you are an expert on toast, then you might be an expert on newborns too, and sometimes they don’t allow you to get things done around the house.

Like eat breakfast.

So I was happy to be there helping out — although I couldn’t always soothe the little one, (I was no help at feeding baby girl obviously) I could help fill her mama’s tummy.

I fixed up a clean-out-the-fridge-scramble with black beans, avocado, tomato, cilantro and cheese and thought the Udi’s bread (fresh, not frozen — so soft) would make a tasty toast companion.

My plan was to make the toast in the oven, since toasters aren’t GF friendly in others’ homes, but Mel had other plans for us…

Mama Mel: “Have you ever had pan toast?”

Me: “Nooooo…. what’s pan toast?”

Mama Mel: “It’s just like regular toast, but you just put some butter on it and make it in a pan instead. My grandpa used to make it for us all the time, it’s so good!”

Me: “Um, yeah. You had me at butter, let’s have that.”

Grab your bread and butter.

Spread a little on each side of each slice. (you don’t have to go overboard here, but you most certainly could)

Then just cook it in a pan, (like a grilled cheese) browning each side — and making the kitchen smell pretty darn good.

Scramble up your eggs with last night’s quinoa salad leftovers…

and dig in!

And if you’re lucky enough to have some of Ann’s Hometown Jam for your pan toast? Consider it a good day.

To make that good day even better, let’s add in an iced cafe au lait, yes?

Iced Café au Lait

  • Coffee cubes, made the night before (just got a mini tray from Bed, Bath & Beyond, loving the lil’ cubes) 
  • Milk of your choice
  • Smidge of sweetener (optional – I used agave)
 Fill glass with coffee cubes, add sweetener and top glass off with milk.
What do you think? Going to try some pan toast? Bet it would be good if you added some cinnamon to the butter. 

Friday Photos: the week before detox

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


I for one have had waaaay too much sugar in the last month.

As in, if I were to work out — I would be sweating cookies, whoopie pies and Hershey’s peppermint kisses.

This weekend will round out my gluttonous (not glutenous) holiday fun, followed by some serious changes around this house. Not the kind where you count every calorie and weigh in each day, but just eating sensibly. Whole foods with a serious cut back on sugar and treats. It wouldn’t hurt to lay off the chips either.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a year in review — complete with a new list for 2012, just like last year. Same Sister Laura, same kind of crafternoon with a page of plans for the new year.

For now, my week in photos.

I ate at Beans and Barley three times this week. What the what? Yes, three. A lovely lunch with my list-making-sister-from-another-mister (tuna salad plate) , a quick take out lunch that my husband grabbed for us (tuna melt on Udi’s bread) and a replenishing breakfast of pesto eggs to even things out. Would you believe I only snapped a picture of one of the meals? Slacker, I know.

Crafting takes a lot out of me, so chips were needed. Digging these Terra chips — thanks for leaving them, Laura!

More important than the plates of cookies was the food served up for Christmas. Mark does most of the cooking for family events, which is the only way he would have it. But because of his recent surgery, he was on limited duty. *cough* So he was taking it easy and only stepped in for the most important parts. (it’s hard to get him to sit still, but he had a few sous chefs, and we got it done)

Maple glazed pork with smoked paprika from Cook’s Illustrated

(at first my body didn’t recognize the green, leafy items… it had been a while)

I dined at Screaming Tuna twice this week. I’ve kind of been on a roll with eating out, do you think that’s why yoga pants have been my only wardrobe choice lately?

It took a server and two chefs to finally settle the debate of the miso soup — it is gluten-free. Although I chose not to eat it because there wasn’t a clear answer at first. The chef came back again later and let us know that they no longer use soy sauce in the broth because so many people have been coming in with gluten-free needs. So they are listening. Score one for us!

And not only did I get to catch up with other GF girlfriends, but we had the sweetest addition to our group… how cute is she? Little miss isn’t gluten-free, (her mama is) but she does suffer from Crohn’s Disease, so she knows how tummy troubles go. But you would never guess she is “suffering” from anything, there’s always a smile on her face. The chef whipped her up some grilled chicken breast “sushi” rolls and she held her own with the chopsticks, a real pro.

And to finish out the week, I spent this morning in the kitchen. My plan was to test out some cheddar garlic biscuit recipes for our NYE festivities. I started with this recipe from Elizabeth Barbone over on Serious Eats — she does a “GF Tuesday” feature there and I look forward to see what she’s working on each week.

Let’s just say I won’t be needing to try any of the other recipes.

Want minis? No problem. Just use a cookie scoop to make these — they will be perfect for the kiddos, or for the adults to justify eating five.

Either way, you’re going to want to make these soon. (to make them cheddar & garlic, just add 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the mix) And if you’re doing a detox like me, I would make them before you start that little adventure… you’ll want seconds.

What are you up to today? Are you off this week, or watching the clock tick until the weekend begins? 

gluten-free croutons & creamy avocado dressing

This is the situation inside my freezer door.

It’s no secret that I’m an Udi’s fan. From the first time I got my hands on some Udi’s, I’ve been talking and writing about them. They helped get me through my meatless-week. This egg-lovin’ girl would be lost without them for my breakfasts. Shortly after they made fondue fun, I even had the pleasure of eating at their cafe in Denver.

I heart Udi’s.

Get it?

Got it?


So you can understand how my freezer door gets filled up with the ends of my loaves of bread. Same idea as the story I told you about my mom keeping black bananas in the freezer. No wasting around this house.

What do I use them for?

I’m so happy you asked.

Sometimes I tear them up and toss them in the food processor to make bread crumbs. Much cheaper than buying them at the store, and they can stay in the freezer for a long time. (use them for meatloaf, breading for chicken, magnificent meatballs that your friends make for you, all kinds of things)

But today, they were transformed into croutons.

Don’t you miss croutons sometimes?

Now you can make your own at home. In no time.

And while you’re at it, go ahead and make some creamy avocado dressing for your salad too. This was an on-the-fly dressing that turned out perfectly. Not a salad fan? You could dip chicken strips in it. Use it as a glaze for chicken, fish or any protein really. Eat it out of the container with a spoon… I’m not promoting that, just saying you could do that, if you really wanted to.

Gluten-Free Croutons & Creamy Avocado Dressing

Cut ends of loaves into large cubes. (or smaller, whatever makes you happy) Place in bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Squeeze a little lemon juice on them too. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other spice blend you are craving. I used some that a dear friend brought home from Italy. Toss to coat and spread evenly on baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown.

I didn’t add exact amounts for this, because it is such a versatile recipe. You can just use one slice of bread if you would like. Same process, and then toast the croutons in your toaster oven. If you have fresh herbs, use those. Modify it to fit your needs.

For the dressing:

1/2 avocado

juice from 1/2 lime

small handful green onion

1 tablespoon plain yogurt (you can omit this to make it dairy-free, it will still be creamy from avocado)

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder — season with the amount that makes your taste buds dance

Combine all ingredients using emulsion blender, until nice and smooth. Creamy. Oh-so-good.

See that rub on the chicken? My friend Katie was kind enough to send me some samples of gluten-free products from Wild Tree. This is the Chipotle Lime Rub. A little tangy, a little kick to it. (you could also put a couple of pinches of it into the dressing) They have a whole list of gluten-free products for us. Go check out her page.

Then come back here and tell me your favorite salad combo. My salad: romaine, red lettuce, red peppers, black beans, green onion. What’s topping your greens?






Gluten free at the Milwaukee County Farmers’ Market

After the regular growing season ended in our family garden, produce at the store just didn’t cut it. Luckily, we have the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market.

A hidden treasure we discovered last year. Remember? I even did a post about it. I share with you, it’s what I do.

I’m making the rounds again at the market this year. Bringing friends along to experience meeting the actual farmer who planted, cared for and harvested the foods.

Speaking of friends…

It’s Linda, from Cocina DeLeon. One of the sweetest ladies I know. She’s doing her thing at the market. Handing out samples of her naturally gluten-free enchiladas. (I have some of the spinach and black bean ones in my freezer at all times.)

She was kind enough to pass on my info to a woman from the market. To find out what gluten-free items they might have for us. See? So sweet. A gem.

This is part of the email I received:

...aside from meat, poultry, charcuterie, produce, honey, sorghum, maple syrup, herbs, coffee, artisan cheese, organic milk, wine, hard cider and distilled spirits, we have a broad spectrum of Wisconsin specialty food producers who feature high quality gluten-free products.

Lucky. That’s what we are.

And that’s why I’m doing another post on the winter farmers’ market. So you know what to look for when you go!

Like the happy crew from Wisconsin Soup Company. Making handcrafted soups from local farmers’ produce. Several of their soups are gluten-free.

And two of those marked with a “G” were available to sample. Hot, tasty soup.

The Cream of Mushroom was lovely. Rich with flavor bursting in each spoonful. This was my first time, in three years of being gluten-free, that I tasted a cream of mushroom soup that made me want more.

I’m digging these folks. Fun, friendly and offering safe soups that awaken the taste buds? Yes, please!

You can find them at the winter market for now, then at some outdoor locations in the spring. (go show them some gluten-free love)

Want to know what else you can get at the market?

(none of the beer and pretzel ones though…but you know that)

Don’t you just love samples? Gone are the days when we can cruise through the grocery store and try the pizza samples, but you won’t feel left out at the winter market. All kinds of things to try.

Do me a favor? Try the sea salt ones. You can thank me later.

You don’t see that kind of sign everyday.

  • And then there are the eggs. You guys know how much I love my eggs. I tend to talk about them often. Give them to me poached, fried, scrambled, omletted, (yes, I make up words from time to time, who doesn’t?)  hard boiled, deviled. I’ll take them all.

Especially beautiful, farm-fresh ones like these:

Put them on some Udi’s bread with Usinger’s sausages and some red peppers, and you’re all set.

Or, for dinner, over flank steak and mushroom sauce. (from those very same mushrooms pictured above)

There is something for everyone. And there are plenty of fresh, whole foods that are naturally gluten-free as well.

Go often. Go early. (I recommend an 8:00 arrival for best selection and you can grab coffee from Valentine Coffee, brewed right there in front of you, at the market… amazing coffee, can’t get enough!)

Will I see you there in the morning?

No meat? No problem. (more on the gluten free meatless week)

When I told friends and family I was doing a meatless week with some fellow food bloggers, their first question was, “WHY?”

Many found it hard to believe that I would willingly give up meat for any amount of time. (especially during cookout season in Wisconsin)

But I was determined to make it through the week.

And I did.

It was easier than I originally anticipated. The perfect opportunity to dig out my favorite quinoa recipe which I posted last week. And a chance to finally make the Asparagus Pizza with Summers Past Pesto from Peef and Lo over at Burp! Where Food Happens. You remember them… they were the champions of the Gluten Free Challenge a couple of weeks ago. Champs in my eyes. Read all about Peef and Lo’s successful gluten free weekend, if you haven’t already.

I have been saying since the day they posted it that I would convert it over to gluten free. The crust was the only thing that needed converting, the rest of the ingredients were good to go.

It was a cool morning with a light lake breeze. Not too hot for the oven to be at such a high temp. Because I didn’t have any frozen crusts on hand, I took a recommendation from a reliable member of my gf-team. I used Gluten Free Mommy’s recipe for homemade pizza crust.

It does seem like a long list of ingredients, but once you have been baking gluten free for a while, you just have these bags of Bob’s Red Mill flour hanging around.

I have to be honest with you. I was not a huge fan of this crust. It was beautiful when it came out of the oven and I was thrilled to see the golden brown color. But it had tapioca flour in it and I can’t seem to tolerate that flavor. (I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and taste) This has happened with other recipes too. It just gives them that “gluten free” flavor. For those who do eat gluten free, you might know what I mean.

It was fluffy in the middle and crispy on the edges, looked beautiful, it just wasn’t my favorite recipe. (but a gluten-eating taste tester thought it was great) Now I am on a mission to find a substitute flour that works for this recipe, then try it again.

Had a little fresh mozzarella in the fridge.

Although I would have been happy to, I did not eat pizza every day last week. This open-faced Caprese style sandwich is sort of pizza-like though, isn’t it?

When you have Udi’s gluten free bread on hand, it’s hard not to use it.

I ventured out to eat a couple of times during the week too. Gluten free and vegetarian at Stir Crazy in Brookfield. Several of their sauces can be made gluten free and their Market Bar is full of veggie toppings.

Do you have a favorite meatless dish? Leave a comment and tells us about it!

(and if any other gf-friends aren’t fans of tapioca flour, tell me that too, and what you substitute)