Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Planet Beer: A Review

 

I loved the comments on this past post about gluten free group meals. It seems I’m not the only one that has an amazing family!

cbe said...

Yes, I do sometimes feel like a hassle... In the worst moments, it will sometimes make me stay home rather than risk being a bother or having to eat my bag of trail mix and explain gluten intolerance for the millionth time.
But then there are people like your family who take care of you anyway, and that means the world. My dad will usually show me what he's done before he serves the food ("See - here's your special cutting board, and I read this jar of spices..." etc.). It's amazing. And it means SOOOO much!

Sam said...

Supportive family is great! My in-laws made Thanksgiving all gluten free for me, and I worked with my mom and my grandma to make Christmas all gluten free. During Christmas dinner my aunt and uncle were surprised to find the meal was gluten free. They said they had thought I was starving having to be GF. :) They aren't worried about me anymore!

 

Kathleen said...

It's nice to have in-laws who understand. My husband's family is Latin American, so most of their food is corn or rice based, with few gluten products. This year my sister made a gluten free Christmas cake for dessert. My son ate so much at dinner that he didn't want the cake and the rest of us scarfed it down!

And Farty Girl thanks for the non-food related comment Smile

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Remember that really awesome Christmas present from my hubby?

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Woo hoo! Well last night was the taste test and….

Beer lovers rejoice!

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These are real beers!

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3R Raspberry on the left, Tread Lightly Ale on the right

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The Raspberry was definitely my FAVORITE, although the Tread lightly was really good too. BUT when was the last time you had a flavored beer?! It reminded me a lot of an Abita Strawberry beer I tasted…3 years ago?!

The 3R Raspberry is smooth, clean but with a hint of fruitiness. Just the tiniest bit of fruit flavor with only a bit of sweetness. SUPER REFRESHING! Love it!

And at 22 oz.

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there was more than enough to share! (Or not)

The Tread Lightly Ale is such a great beer…you’ll think it has gluten in it!

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My first comment was “It tastes like a REAL beer!” As opposed to fake beer…I know, I know. But it has such an amazing flavor. I mean, I LOVE Redbridge. A lot. BUT it always ends up being a little sweet and having that sorghum tinge. Tread Lightly has neither. Crisp. Smooth. Beer-y. REFRESHING!!

Want New Planet Beer?

ME TOO!

BUT….bring in the disappointed groans

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and only sold in Colorado. Sad smile FOR NOW. I’m completely confident that this beer will get a larger distribution if that’s where New Planet wants to take it. I understand the beauty of being small, so I support them. PLUS I totally intend to bribe Think Outside the Breadbox to send me more 3R Raspberry.

So that’s my review! And just in case I didn’t already make you jealous enough…I’m gonna rub salt in the wound. I enjoyed my beer with a GIANT slice of

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Mellow Mushroom gluten free pizza

I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I love you; I promise. Come visit me and I’ll take you out for pizza and beer. Or PF Chang’s, your call! Red heart

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Collini Christmas Supper

 

For the past few years, Parrish’s brother Morgan and his wife Liz have been gracious enough (and brave enough) to host friends and family at their house for Christmas supper. I look forward to it all week because BOTH of Parrish’s brothers are AMAZING in the kitchen. Remember too much pork?

This year the Collinis decided to go Italian, and I’ll admit I was disappointed. Italian means pasta, bread, meatballs…all of which aren’t typically gluten free. Hesitant, I asked Parrish to breach the subject, and see if I should just bring my own food. With a house full of mouths to feed, that last thing I wanted to do was be a bother.

Do you ever feel like that? I mean my gluten free diet is definitely high maintenance, and while I appreciate my family and friends making adjustments for me, I get scared that I’m a HUGE hassle.

So Parrish asked his brother if I should plan on my own, and he said absolutely not. He had bought gluten free noodles, and he was fully prepared.

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Was he ever. I had my own individual bowl of gluten free noodles with FRESHLY MADE pasta sauce. Nothing like fresh made pasta sauce that had been cooking for 6 hours. Served with GLUTEN FREE buffalo MEATBALLS!! The meatballs were amazing. I wanted to crawl inside and live there. forever. they were delicious.

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I thought about licking my plate….several times.

And I’ll be honest with you guys, it really touched me. My family had a house FULL of folks, and they took the time to make food that was safe for me to eat. But it shouldn’t surprise me. Parrish’s family has always been accommodating to me being gluten free. :) Can you tell I love my in-laws?

My vote is Italian every year!

After Christmas supper, Parrish and I did something…CRAZY! We went to our neighborhood bar and played pool.

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We were literally a block away from our house when I suggested it. I figured, that as a newlywed couple, we’re only going to have a few Christmases without kids…so why not!

The bar was surprisingly busy, but we played a few games and had a great time! By the time we left around 9:30, it was just starting to snow. So we took Max on a snow walk.

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White Christmas in NC!

Little did we know, it was just the BEGINNING. You may have heard about the snowstorm that hit the east coast. We go off pretty easy compared to others, with only around 5-6 inches.

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Tonight we’re getting gluten free Mellow Mushroom to have with our New Planet Beer! Look for a review tomorrow! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all was GF

 

Catching up on posts during Christmas?

Merry Christmas to Gluten Hates Me

Christmas Cheesecake

For as long as I can remember, my family has had a Christmas Eve party. Growing up we looked forward to it for months because it meant that we got to eat an entire meal of just snackies! Similar to Snacksgiving, but with WAY more of a spread.

Remember last year? Recap post here. Well this year was WAY better. Both my sisters were in town, my twin bro, my BIL, and ALL my nieces and nephews, including ‘Lil Gluten Loves Me. I was so excited that our whole family was together, that I thought we needed something special. :)

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Matching snowflake aprons!

My mom made her famous punch again, and my brother brought a little something special to fill our cups with joy.

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G Sake. And it was good! However my brother and I did have a disagreement about caramel coloring in ginger ale. Are you guys aware of this controversy? My brother has completely cut it out,  but I find the research to all say that it could be safe and some say that it is safe. It’s one of those grey areas, just like maltodextrin. Anyway, back to punch.

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It was dope. We’re calling it Sake it to me Punch. Big improvement on last year.

Another big improvement on last year, is that this year, EVERYTHING was gluten free! The entire spread.

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Including my contribution, Creamy Tangy Pasta Salad. One can mexicorn, one bottle creamy italian, one jar banana peppers, and one bag GF noodles. Simple!

My bestie also made my brother his favorite GF sausage balls, and GF ham roll ups.

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My sister, always a jokester. Blog interference. Classic.

It was so nice to be able to enjoy everything that was being offered, and without the fear of cross contamination. I even brought Glutino crackers instead of Nut Thins, so that my bestie could partake; she has a severe nut allergy.

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However, EVERY.SINGLE.CRACKER. in the box was broken! Cracker fail.

But it didn’t really matter. The night was perfectly unperfect.

Does your family have Christmas Eve traditions? Maybe you also have an entire meal of just snackies? :)

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I’m off to hopefully buy a new vacuum cleaner! Parrish and I are thinking about adding to our Fur Family, but we need a new vacuum first! I want The Animal so bad!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Cheesecake

 

In September, my twin brother made the decision to go gluten free. He had been going back and forth with the decision, but after my wedding and a conversation with my auntie, he decided to give up gluten for good.

Since he lives on the West Coast, we don’t get to see each other that often, so each time we do it’s special. When he told me that he was coming for Christmas, I knew I wanted to recreate something really tasty. Something he would love.

Christmas Cheesecake

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I’ve had a few gluten free cheesecakes, but always sans graham cracker crust. They’ve all been great, but it really is all about the crust. Good thing Kinnikinnick makes awesome gluten free graham crackers.

I followed this recipe here. I thought about doing something fancier, like an egg nog cheesecake or a chocolate one, but upon second thought, classic seemed best.

I used my food processor to pulverize the crackers

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in to crumbles.

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It took exactly one box of gluten free graham crackers to make

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the 1 1/2 cups of crumbles you need for the recipe.

I followed the recipe to a tee. It really wasn’t very hard. I mean, what’s hard about FOUR blocks of cream cheese with vanilla and egg?

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Pretty easy.

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In the end, I think I may have over cooked it just a little bit, but the results were still…

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Mouthwatering-ly delicious. Creamy, tart cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust. The perfect dessert, completely gluten free.

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I’m loving the discussion going on in the comments section of this post. Anyone else have ideas, tips, or thoughts on dealing with getting glutened?

We’re snowed in here in Durham, so we had to cancel our beach trip :( But we’re making the most of it with a movie marathon and possibly some “snow cleaning”. Just like spring cleaning…except colder. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to Gluten Hates Me

 

Who hates gluten and has the best husband ever?

Me!

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Best Christmas ever!

My sweet husband is the bestest, most sweet husband ever. A few months ago, I told Parrish about a gluten free beer company out of Colorado named New Planet. I really wanted to try their beers, but alas, they are only sold in Colorado right now. And for all of my readers outside the US, Colorado and North Carolina are not close enough for a day trip to buy beer.

But guess what was under my tree this morning?

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New Planet gluten free beer!! Parrish arranged it all. I can’t wait to try them! Anyone else tried them? I’m pretty excited…and yes they are chilling in the fridge as I type.

Also in the picture above, you may notice a very snazzy laptop to the left. That would be my second Christmas gift from Parrish! A new laptop!! Or should I say, a new blogging and facebook machine. :)

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it on the blog, but up until this post, I have been blogging on what is DEFINITELY considered a DINOSAUR of a computer. What should typically take 5 minutes would take 20, and loading pictures was near impossible. Not to mention that a week ago the power cord stopped working, hence the lack of posts.

The exciting thing about my new computer, besides being lightweight and what I would consider “fancy”, is that it has Windows 7. I’m still making my way through the training videos, but so far it seems really neat. Lots of cool little gadgets. Got any tips or tricks? Send them my way!

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There is a possibility for a white Christmas here, although speculation of the amount is pretty wide spread. But I do know that there is a box of Udi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls in the freezer calling my name!

I hope you’re all having a very Merry Christmas!

Posts coming up: Gluten Free Cheesecake, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and All was GF, A Collini Christmas Supper, and Beach Trip!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pepper What?

 

I hate to say that I am STILL SICK! Not near death, but my body seems to really love this head cold. It’s holding on and going strong, with mucus and cough to boot. But the show must go on, and I’ve been working non-stop. Thanks goodness for Jeanine! Since I’m not producing any good recipes….just snot….Jeanine is here to save the day! Enjoy!

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Jeanine has been a diagnosed Celiac for nearly 3 years. She resides with her husband and 2 children in rural Manitoba, Canada, where she is a stay-in-the-kitchen Mom. You can find her blogging her kitchen adventures over at The Baking Beauties. While you're there, please download the FREE Gluten-Free Holiday Baking e-book that Jeanine compiled, with the help of many other bakers. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!

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Hard Peppernut Cookies

These cookies have been made in my family for as long as I can remember. Every Christmas season we would have these hard little spicy cookies. I have not enjoyed them since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and to enjoy them again this holiday season is amazing. This recipe can easily be multiplied, if you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups corn corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups bean flour mix (see note)
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose gluten-free flour (see note)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, combine all ingredients until well mixed.
  2. Roll dough into logs, about 1" thick. Place rolls on wax paper lined cookie sheets, and freeze until solid.
  3. Remove the logs from the freezer only as you use them. Cut them into slices, about 1/4" thick.
  4. Place on PARCHMENT LINED cookie sheets (this is important, as they will stick if you don't do this), and bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for 20 minutes (or until golden brown).
  5. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
  6. These cookies can be stored in an air tight container on the counter for weeks.

NOTES:

Bean Flour Mix - 2 cups Garfava Bean flour, 1 cup Sorghum Flour, 3 cups Cornstarch, 3 cups Tapioca Flour. Combine all ingredients in a large zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended.

All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix - 4 cups superfine brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not flour)
2/3 cup tapioca starch. Combine all ingredients in a large zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmasy Cookies

 

These past few days I have honestly been to H-E-double hockey sticks and back. I mean you know you’re really sick when you can’t even update your facebook status to say that you’re sick. Suffering from some sort of cold/flu/make me wanna die virus, I have never felt worse.

And I’m sure it goes without saying that dry toast and ginger ale don’t make for much of a blog post. (Although Udi’s Whole Grain is the only thing I’ve eaten for days) Luckily, I have some great holiday cookie posts stored up to share you guys! Including this guest post from Rachel, using THIS ingredient which you all KNOW I love. Enjoy!

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Hi! My name is Rachel and January will mark six years gluten-free. My symptoms began in college, the usual digestive issues coupled with a terrible hive-like rash, and going gluten-free has changed my life for the better. My healthy body has allowed me to become a much better runner. This year I completed a half marathon and I’m planning to train for a full marathon next fall! My diet is much healthier than before and I’ve become a much better cook since I now have to adapt my favorites to fit my diet. My blog, http://lifewithnotwithout.blogspot.com/, is all about celebrating the positive aspects of living gluten-free, I hope you’ll stop by!

Christmas cookies have always presented a challenge. It’s impossible to perfectly replicate a gluten-filled cookie, but I’m trying my hardest to come close! I originally planned to remake a family cookie recipe gluten-free for this guest post, but then I was struck with inspiration! I anxiously await the Christmas season for the arrival of Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, white chocolate and peppermint – yum! It occurred to me a version of Peanut-butter Hershey Kiss Cookies with sugar cookie base and Candy Cane Kiss center would be delicious and very Christmasy, perfect for Marlow’s guest post.

In my experience, gluten-free baking demands a wide variety of flours. The more, the merrier. I’m particularly partial to this combination of brown rice, white rice, tapioca, sorghum and millet flours, but you could also substitute the flours and xanthan gum listed below for 2 ¾ cups of a gluten-free flour blend.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

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½ cup brown rice flour

½ cup white rice flour

½ cup tapioca flour

½ cup sorghum flour

¾ cup millet flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 package Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 335 degrees.

First, sift together all the flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Next add the flour mixture. Once combined, let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

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Roll ½ tbsp measure of dough to form a ball, place on a greased cookie sheet and smush slightly (this will help the sprinkle stick). The cookies will spread a little as they bake, so be sure to leave space between them. Once your sheet is full, sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar (I alternated red, green and plain). Bake for about 8 minutes.

This is the important part: it’s imperative you place the kisses on your cookies as quickly as possible (otherwise they’ll harden). If you’re cooking multiple sheets at once, I’d recommend enlisting an assistant. Once the cookies come out of the oven, place a kiss in the center of each cookie and press down slightly.

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Allow to cool for at least five minutes on the sheet and then move to a rack. The kisses will be melted, so move them very carefully!

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We made a batch of these Sunday and they’ve been steadily disappearing from the container all week, a sure sign on a hit. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Start to a Perfect Day

 

There are certain ingredients to a perfect day off, and dependent on the time of year, those ingredients can change. BUT on a winter day like today, when it is 20 degrees outside, and the wind is blowing bitter cold air, I know exactly how to start a perfect day.

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Monday’s episode of Gossip Girl

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Candy Cane Kisses

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And really hot coffee with WAY more cream than you would normally allow yourself

That’s how I’m starting my morning :) Super cozy and super SLOWLY. Just what I needed after working a 9 day stretch. And since today and tomorrow are my last days off until Christmas Day, I really need to soak it up.

And slow mornings are so rare, I may even have myself a second a cup of hot coffee. Plus I really love my mug. I’m always wishing for snow. Just like this past Saturday:

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We had ourselves a little snow surprise. It was the perfect amount. It didn’t stick to the roads and it was gone by Monday!

Alright off to start Gossip Girl! I hope you’re having a wonderful day off or on!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Do as I say…

 

…not as I do.

Friday night I made a common mistake. And friends, I’m still paying the price. I was glutened, and I knew it was happening. It was such a silly thing…here it goes.

Parrish and I had plans with some friends in Carrboro to go see a show. We made a date to meet up for drinks at one of our favorite restaurants. Since it was soon after I got off of work, we decided to have supper there as well.

I have eaten at this restaurant over a dozen times. Each time was delicious and completely gluten free. And I pretty much always order the exact same thing. I order the steak frites without sauce (the sauce has blue cheese) and no salad because the dressing is actually MADE with beer. Each time I order I always mention, “and could you let the chef know that I’m allergic to wheat and gluten. Just so they know. Thanks”  I always add in “wheat” to my little spiel; I find that it helps give the kitchen a visual! :)

But last Friday I ordered my order, asked for no salad and no sauce, but skipped the spiel.

I have NO idea why. Maybe I was tired. Maybe I was starving. Maybe I felt too safe. Who knows. But it was just plain stupid…and it was just the beginning.

And so my meal was delivered to me with the salad. Amazing what will happen if you just say you wouldn’t like it, not that you’re allergic. (Reminds me of a certain Sex and the City episode regarding some parsley)

Stupid decision number two: I didn’t send it back.

What was I thinking?!

I pulled the salad off the plate, any food touching the salad, and then literally wiped the plate clean. And even after I wiped it, I still didn’t let my food cross the border. Like that made any difference!? Really?

Ugh. Glutened. And once again, it was my own dang fault.

Fogginess? Check. Diarrhea Everything? Check. Bloating? Check.

But no migraines, so I’m happy for that. 

So to cheer us all up. I thought I would share our Christmas tree!

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Cozy

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Flashy

We went a different route this year, and only used our decorations that are gold, bronze, burnt orange, and deep purple.

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I’m really loving it this year. I think it’s the biggest tree yet!!