Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm on a roll, or Arepa

I just have to let you all know if you haven't tried it out yet, you are certainly missing out. I had my doubts but I was ever so surprised and delighted. Eleanor's Bake Shop in Salt Lake City is the best. Their arepa sandwiches are delightful and ever so tasty. I stopped in today on my way into a work meeting and it was worth every bit of effort in getting lost and finding the place. Its location is tricky to find but map it first or call for directions.  I tried out their Chicken Salad Arepas. It was full of flavor, creamy chicken, grapes, onion, cranberries, celery and a hint of cinnamon. It was perfectly paired with the slightly sweet taste and soft texture of the arepa. Needless to say their Apple Streusel Muffin was amazing. No doubt I am already planning my next work meeting close by so I have an excuse to drive the 40 mins  up and stop by.

(801) 563-7466

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Have New Favorite Pizza

Gluten Free and Fabulous
Pesto Margherita Pizza

I tried out this pizza for the first time tonight and it was soooo good I had to blog about it right away. The crust was crispy and chewy and the flavors were big and delicious.  I especially loved the pesto sauce instead of traditional ragu. This is a great way to go for a ready made pizza that you are sure to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas by French Meadow Bakery

I just tried out French Meadow's Gluten Free Tortillas and they were soft, elastic and not gritty as compared to traditional corn tortillas. They don't have the fullness of flavor as do regular fresh flour tortillas from my local Mexican restaurant but they are a great alternative for people who don't like the taste and texture of corn tortillas.

To prepare wet a paper towel and ring out moisture so it is only slightly damp. Wrap tortillas in paper towel, put on glass plate and cover with an up-side-down glass plate. Place in the microwave on High for 30 secs or until tortillas are good and steamed. I would suggest doing this even if you will be cooking them in an enchiladas casserole so that they wrap nicely and don't crack or crumble.

Their products are no longer available on their website, only in stores. They do have a store locator so visit: for more information.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How to Make your Gluten Free Bread Taste Better

My most favorite Gluten Free Bread is hands down Udi's White Bread, but as I spoke with people at the Gluten Free Expo some of them complained that it was still dry and crumbly so I want to provide some tips and tricks I use to make it the best possible.

I freeze my bread and use it as I need it. Refrigerating bread can cause it to dry out and it doesn't last as long as it could in the freezer.

To prepare bread out of the freezer I warm it in the microwave on a glass or paper plate for 20-40 secs till it becomes soft and pliable. Be careful not to over heat the bread so that it loses all of its moisture. I let the bread sit for a minute to cool down before making a sandwich.

For bagels, English muffins or especially dry or crumbling baked goods I cover with a up-side-down bowl to "steam" the bread.  After ward I finish it off by slightly toasting it.  Toasting creates a bond on the outside of the bread that locks in the softness and keeps your bread from being mushy.

Even if you have fresh baked bread it make still be helpful to zap it in the microwave for 10 secs.  Any bread make with rice flour has a tendency to absorb and lock up any moisture making it taste dry. You need to heat it up to help it release and redistribute that moisture.

Lastly, if you happen to go to Jason's Deli to have a GF Sandwich made on Udi's bread, my suggestion would be to have it toasted or see if they will zap it in the microwave for you. It will go a long way to soften up the bread and make it more enjoyable.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Favorites from the SLC Gluten Free Expo

The Gluten Free Expo in Salt Lake City was a great event. Thousands came enjoyed the many booths. I handed out over a thousand Gluten Free Directories as well as visit with hundreds of people who were in search of better gluten free options. Here are some of my Favorite things from the show:

- Sweet Cake Bake Shop
This tasty delightful bakery ships anywhere in the U.S. They are located out of Utah so if you are in the area you need to stop by. They had delicious soft and chewy sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies.

- Eleanor's Bake Shop
The things I loved from this bake shop were their cake pops.  At their bakery location they have sandwiches made on Arepas. If you are in the area of 9000 S. in Salt Lake stop by for Lunch, Dinner, & Dessert.

- 123 Gluten Free
Mmmmm, let's just say their pan bars (a.k.a. divinely moist spice cake) are swoonful. Add some cream cheese frosting and its heaven.  They also make many other mixes which I am trying out. I am interested to see how the biscuits turn out.

- OMGF! Flour
I was impressed by this flour. Its a GF flour blend you can use in place of regular flour in recipes. The banana applesauce muffins they made were so fluffy, soft, and moist. Three critical characteristics of great tasting baked goods.

- Irresistibly Gluten Free Cook Book
If you do nothing else but make the waffles in this cookbook you will be thrilled. I have made the waffles several times in the past two weeks. Even the non-GF'ers in my house absolutely love them. I also love this cookbook because it has the basic simple foods that you really miss when beginning a GF diet. The flour blend is so simple and the ingredients are considerably easy to find.  Had I know about this inspired flour blend 10+ years ago, I would have saved my family many meals filled with brick like breads and baked goods. This cookbook is a staple for any GF'er.

- Biaggi's Italian Restaurant
Just thinking about the Chicken Alfredo they served at the Expo makes me smile. Each bite was a piece of happiness. I can't wait to go and taste it again. (Just ask my family, I haven't been able to stop talking about it.) Their restaurant is located downtown Salt Lake City, Utah at the Gateway Mall and if you have Celiac you have to try it. They use Tinkyada pasta (my favorite) which has a great texture and flavor. Their sauces were flavorful and their chicken was grilled and delicious.

- Pirate's Booty
I was pleasantly surprised by this. They make healthy non-fried snack options. They were enjoyable and my kids loved them. They are low in fat and calories so you can enjoy, feel healthy and not guilty.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cafe Pancake Breakfast at Home

Of all the pancake mixes I have tried to-date, Kinnikinnick's Waffle and Pancake mix is absolutely the best. I love it because even the picky Gluten Eaters in my family love the taste, texture and flavor of the pancakes and waffles.

You can find their mixes online, or at The Good Earth

Picture from Kinnikinnick

Gluten Free Directory

If you are attending this weeks gluten free expo stop by and get a Gluten Free Favorites Food Directory.

Check back soon to find the directory online.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gluten Free Expo in Salt Lake City October 9th

Come stop by our booth at the gluten free expo. We will be selling the most diving marble chocolate brownies from Blossom Fine Foods among other delicious tasting gluten free items.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gluten Free Zuchini Bread

Posted at:

I love this time of year, the weather starts to cool and garden harvests are abundant. When I was out for a run I picked up a zucchini from a neighbor who had a sign up next to a chair piled with zucchini that said "FREE" and it was a good thing I was pushing the jogging stroller so I didn't have to lug it all the way back under my arm. I couldn't wait to get home and mix up some bread. I think you will enjoy it too!

Zucchini Bread

Cook Time: 50-60 min.
Bake: 350 degrees F
Makes: 2 Loaves

Wet Ingredients Bowl:
3 C Shredded Zucchini (keep the peel on but it its a large zucchini you may want to scoop out the seeds in the center)
1 2/3 C Sugar
2/3 C Oil
2t Vanilla
4 Eggs (crack into separate small bowl so you catch any egg shells before you mix with other ingredients)
1/4 Applesauce


Dry Ingredients Bowl:
1 1/2 C GF Flour
1 C Brown Rice Flour
1/2 C Cornstarch
2t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder
1t Xanthan Gum
1t Salt
1t Cinnamon
1/2t Cloves


Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet. Grease loaf pans with cooking spray and divide mixture evenly. Cook on center rack. 50-60 mins. or till a knife can be removed cleanly from center of loaf.

Remove from oven. Use knife around edges and turn onto cooling racks. Once cool enough to handle store in gallon size Ziploc bags. Keeps well out on counter top for a few days. Don't refridgerate. It will cause the bread to dry out. If necessary, store bread longer by slicing and covering with plastic wrap before placing in Ziploc bag and then into the freezer.


Chocolate Chips:
Add 1 Cup chocolate chips into batter for some added sweetness! I prefer semi sweet because they stand out more. Milk chocolate can sometimes be too bland to make an impression.

Cream Cheese Spread:
My favorite way to eat zucchini bread is to whip 1 bar of cream cheese with 1/4 C soft butter and a few tablespoons of powdered sugar. It makes a delicious spread to compliment the sweet cinnamon flavor of the bread. Enjoy!!

GF Flour Mixture:
6 C Rice Flour
1 C Tapioca Starch
2 C Potato Starch

Saturday, August 21, 2010

7 Best Basics- Gluten Free Starter Pantry Items

Stock your pantry with these basic items that can transform into a number of dishes. These Best Basics are the best tasting Gluten Free foods to help ease your transition to living Gluten Free.

1- Udi's Bread (White or Whole Grain)-
If you've just recently been diagnosed with Celiac, you don't know how truly lucky you are that there is now great tasting gluten free bread available. Ten to fifteen years ago there were very few options and tough crumbly rice cakes for sandwich bread. This is a must have item and keeps very well in the freezer. Zap it in the microwave for 10 secs then flip and another 10 secs. (For two slices I do 20-25 secs, flip and 20-25 secs more.) It is soft, fluffy, chewy and delicious.

2- Tinkyada Pasta-
This pasta has great texture and flavor. Though it can be cooked longer than corn pasta, it tastes best when you take it off the heat a little more on the al dente side (translation: take it off the heat and strain it when it is still just a bit under cooked.) It cooks up nicely and it is so good even the non-gluten free eaters in my home eat this willingly. It comes in a variety of shapes, including noodles for lasagna3- Health Valley Cream of Chicken Soup-
Many quick and easy meals/casseroles call for Cream of Chicken soup (which contains plenty of gluten) so keep this on hand. Something to consider is that this soup is not as thick as the condensed even the non-condensed Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup so be sure to either add less moisture in the other ingredients or mix in a half bar of cream cheese so give it more fullness.

4- Authentic Foods Gluten Free Flour Mixture-
Unless you are big into cooking from scratch and have lots of space for 5 gal. food storage buckets, this is a great go-to flour mix. It is created from a variety of flours and condtioners to help it react closer to tradional All Purpose flour. Add this in cup for cup for traditional flour for your favorite recipes. Try out the Biscuit recipe and replace this flour for the GF Flour and Cornstarch.

5- Udi's Pizza Crusts-
Keep these pizza crusts in your freezer for those nights your craving pizza. If you are all out of pizza sauce and mozzerella, top with some olive oil or butter, italian seasonings, garlic powder, salt and parmesean cheese, bake for 8-10 mins. and you will have some great bread sticks.
Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Pizza- Use BBQ sauce in place of traditional marinara sauce. Top with chicken (canned or other) and cheese, bake and enjoy.

6- Gluten Freeda Cookie Dough-
This frozen cookie dough is a great go to item. It makes it nice if you are the only GF person in your home, though you might find it disappearing because even Non-GFs will be wanting a bite.
7- Kinnikinnick Pancake&Waffle Mix-
Keep this mix on your shelves and you will not be missing a trip to IHOP. The pancakes come out soft and delicious. There is no worries of dry, crumbly cakes because this mix provides a great texture to both waffles and pancakes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gluten Free Frozen Burritos

There are times where life is busy and I wish I could just pop something easy in the microwave and have a meal ready to go. So I was ecstatic when I found out the both Gluten Freeda and Amy's have both recently come out with Gluten Free Burritos in multiple flavors. You can order them online or often times I order them in bulk through my local health food store. The tortilla on the Gluten Freeda is very similar to a corn tortilla but still has good flavor. I haven't been able to get my order in for Amy's burritos yet, but I am crossing my fingers that the tortilla on those burritos is more like the normal flour tortilla I crave. Still I can't complain because a healthy gluten free microwave burrito is wonderful!

I ordered a whole case of Amy's Burritos and they were delicious. I tried out the bean and cheese. It had great flavor and though their tortillas shell isn't just like a traditional flour tortillas, it is still very good!

Gluten Free Dining Guide

Here is a link for the Gluten Free Dining guide:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chocolate Mint Gluten Free Cookies

If you love Chocolate and Mint you have to try Gluten Freeda's Mint Python cookies. They are a chocolate cookie with bits a chocolatey mint chips. They will cure any craving for Girl Scout Thin Mints.

See the link below to find out ordering information:

Blossom Fine Foods - Beverly Hills Cakes (Gluten Free Bakery)

If you live in any where near the Wasatch Front in Utah you have to try Blossom Fine Foods Chocolate Marble Brownies. (Previously Beverly Hill's Bakery)/ They can be found at their bakery at 902 E Logan Avenue in Sugar House (Salt Lake City, UT) or if you are lucky enough you may be able to find them in the specialty frozen section at your nearest grocer.

They are rich, creamy, yummy and just plain delicious with a hint of almond and vanilla. These brownies will delight both Celiacs and non-Celiacs alike.

Click here to find there contact info. and ordering information:

The Best Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll

I have spoken of the Island Bakery in Sarasota Florida before, but I failed to mention that they have the best Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll that I have tried to date. The texture is soft and chewy and it comes with a yummy cinnamony frosting that melts over the top of the hot roll. It warms ups nicely in the microwave and makes for a delicious breakfast or filling treat.

You can order them online at:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gluten Free Kids

If you have kids that eat Gluten Free you know that its a challenge; it takes duel effort.

Here is a list of some great Gluten Free Snacks that are tasty & kid friendly:
- Annie's Homegrown Bunny Cookies, Cocoa & Vanilla

- Annie's Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks

- EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bars. They come in Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Berry.

- Kinnikinnick cookies, Montana's Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps, Graham crackers, and more..

- Gluti-No Crackers, come in a variety of flavors. Comparable to Ritz but not as buttery and flaky but still good.

The great thing about all these products is that they hold up well, so if they have to survive a couple weeks in a ZipLoc in the Diaper bag its not a problem and they still taste great.

And for those special occasions:
- Charlotte's Bakery Chocolate or Vanilla Cupcakes (they come in either a 3 or 6 pack)
(These are great for birthday parties. They freeze well, so when your child has a party to go to, just pull on out of the freezer and send them on their way.)

Tips for GF Living for Children:
Recently my children caught something nasty from a pool on vacation, but my daughter just couldn't get over it. I know that she is mildly sensitive to gluten, especially foods like shredded wheat and granola, but otherwise she doesn't usually have any difficulties. Since the disease she caught had wreaked havoc on her intestines her doctor suggested temporary Gluten and Lactose sensitive as a possible cause. I have been GF for 9 years so I have a pretty good system for survival for me, but for kids its a different story.

Tricky Food Situations You Might Not Have Thought Of:
- Snacks at friends house, even at relatives houses
- Sleep overs
- School snacks and lunch
- Field Trips
- Birthday Parties
- Fast food lunch (no more chicken nuggets from the drive thru)
- Ice Cream & Cones

Since I wasn't in the habit I didn't think through all the possible road blocks to providing a Gluten Free lifestyle for my daughter. Kids can be more skeptical and picky especially if you make they try something that is not good tasting. After being GF for a week she stayed overnight at a relatives house and even though I had told them, told her, and sent food with her, it was still easy to forget. Its like you need a badge for them to wear for the first few months that says "Feed Me only GF".

Peer Pressure:
Even after 9 years of being GF I still feel that peer pressure to eat something I shouldn't. Strange I know. People have a hard time remembering your food allergies so you need to kindly remind them. If you are going to a dinner party, remind them, or offer to bring something. And never feel obligated to eat something with gluten, even if they slaved away all day to prepare, because its you that has to live with the consequences. This is what I struggled with the most when I began my Gluten Free journey. I used to be the one willing to eat or try anything. You could say I was part of the clean up crew, but I feel so much better when everything is in sync. And your friends will remember better when you stick to your guns and refuse.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pizza Night

The weekend is almost here so if your aching for a good pizza night here are my reviews to make sure your GF pizza experience is something to be desired.

Now for tonight I am reviewing pre-baked crusts only because, to be honest, I have yet to taste a good pre-topped pizza crust.

If you really need a suggestion for a pre-topped pizza pie Amy's Rice Crust Pizza is decent.

Pre-Baked Pizza Crusts:

Pros- Where to start. I really enjoyed this crust. It wasn't to thin, just right, somewhere between about 1/8" & 3/16". Great flavor and texture even when it is reheated the next day. The floured exterior keeps it from getting soggy and the crust comes out crispy and chewy. Two important elements in a good pizza. Makes great cheesy bread sticks.

Cons- I wish it was all topped and ready to go in the oven so I could eat it more often.

Pros- Its dusted with corn meal on the underside so it absorbed excess moisture making for a crispier bottom. Its got a nice taste and texture. Price is bearable.

Cons- Recently they have gone from a round to a square shape because they have automated their manufacturing line. Now it make help drive down cost over time, but it causes a few problems for consumers.
- Silly as it may be, kids don't like to feel left out and its just not the same to eat a square pizza or a strange asymmetrical triangle. Sometimes its just nice to feel normal.
- On a more serious note, because of the square shape it make it difficult for the pizza to cook evenly. It makes it difficult to thoroughly cook the center. So if you want your pizza bottom more crispy you will have to make a sacrifice and have burnt crust corners.
- Also the way the package the crust, once they are frozen sometimes them weld themselves together so when you pull it apart you lose that critical outer skin which keeps the sauce from turning the inside into pasty mush. As Alton Brown would say, "That's not good eats."

Pros- Its gluten free....

Cons- The texture is spongy and unless you have some cornmeal on hand the bottom comes out soggy. I have had a package of this in my freezer for two years. I ate one, and haven't used the others since. Its not completely horrible, but when there are better options out there why bother.

Charlotte's Bakery

Pros- Since its baked local to the Wasatch Front and isn't frozen it is less likely to be crumbly. Pretty good flavor and easy to chew (which is saying something for some of the clay pigeon like crusts I've had before).

Cons- Its a bit too sweet and it seems no amount of time under intense heat is able to make it crispy. It goes from soft to burnt. It doesn't have the chewiness to it that is desired of most pizza, it is more just soft....(which is commendable at least.)


The winner is Udi's with Kinnikinnick as the runner up.

Once upon a time the options for gluten free pizza were almost no existent so when a recipe came along calling for bean flour I took the chance to make a gluten free pizza to share with family and friends. But we should have ended the party early because pizza + beans = don't equal a good time. Beware of the bean flour.....The End.

Cooking Suggestions:
Last but not least here are some cooking suggestions and tips.

For a crispier crust:
Place cookie sheet by itself in oven to preheat. Next take a piece of tin foil lightly coat with cooking spray and place pizza on top. Once oven has pre-heated quickly pull out cooking sheet and place tinfoil and pizza on top and place it back in the oven. This will help to "sear" the bottom of the pizza like you would for searing steak.

Cheesy Bread:
Growing up there was this place called the Pizza House and their cheesy bread sticks were to die for. They came with a side of special dipping pizza sauce. Then the owner was deported back to England and it was no more than a memory. So now instead of pizza every time I have more of a "deconstructed type" of cheesy bread sticks with sauce on the side.

First coat your pizza crust with a thin layer of butter. Sprinkle on garlic powder, onion powder, salt (a little more on the salty side but remember the cheese will also add some salt), a titch of pepper, and some Italian Seasoning. Next on goes the parmesan cheese then a combination of white pizza cheeses. Preferably a blend containing mozzarella and asiago.

Place in the oven and baked till golden and bubbly. Heat sauce separately. Then dip and enjoy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Travel + Gluten Free = Rough Times, but not any more....

Just a few short weeks after I was diagnosed with Celiac I took a trip to Disney World with a club from school. It was challenging to say the least to find filling and satisfying food options on the go. The GF bread I brought with me went moldy with in a matter of days in the humidity and to sum it up I was miserable.

Now years later I had a much better experience when I ventured down to Siesta Key, Florida. Just a few miles from my condo was Island Bakery a Gluten Free bakery and cafe. I can't quite explain the elation I felt every time I entered and could order pizza, sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and muffins that were absolutely delicious and all gluten free. They even have chicken pot pies as well as fruit pies available, not to mention the chocolate layered torte. It was strange for me to order a sandwich and be able to eat the bread too. I could enjoy ordering anything I wanted off the menu and didn't have to worry about how I would be feeling later.

Check and Re-Check

Have you ever bought a food that was conveniently marked "gluten free" on the label in the back only to purchase it the next time and notice that it is no longer gluten free?

If a food isn't made specifically to be Gluten Free then there is so guarantee that every batch of product produced will be gluten free. The ingredients and suppliers or even the factory where it is produced can change, altering the gluten content of the product.

This happend to me recently with the Veggie Crisps sold at Costco. The first several times I bought this product they were marked gluten free but recently their gluten content has changed. I might not have noticed it on the label but my stomach noticed and now I will be sure to check and re-check.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Udi's Bread My Love

Words cannot express the joy I feel when I can pull GF bread out of the freezer and get a soft, airy, springy, delicious, make you eat every last crumb kind of bread.

I had seen the Udi's website a while back but just recently found the bread available at the local health food store. It lived up to its promise and beyond. I am seriously considering a road trip to their bakery/cafe in Denver so I can enjoy the goodness in its freshest form.

Check it out here: