Friday, August 26, 2011

Gluten Free Birthday!

In two short weeks, it will be the Bug's birthday!  Like any good preschool mom, I've been brainstorming what birthday treats to share with her class.

A year ago, I made cupcakes.  This is still an option I guess, but the Bug isn't gluten free yet our house is.  So it seems silly to waste expensive GF flours on twenty cupcakes for kids that could eat the alternative.  Add to that a classmate with an egg allergy, and it gets even more complicated.

Fortunately, a trip to a local theme park gave me an idea...  Marshmallow pops!  Kind of a peep on a stick. Plus, the Bug can help me dip and decorate, which she LOVES.

They are GF, easy, and a big hit with all.

Marshmallow Pops:

GF Marshmallows (we used Campfire)
Wilton Candy Melts (GF per a call to the company)
GF decorating crystals or jimmies

Melt candy melts according to directions.  Dip sticks into the coating and then into the marshmallows.  Coat marshmallow one at a time and sprinkle with sugar (this was the Bug's job).  Set out on parchment paper to dry.  Wrap with cellophane and deliver to happy classmates!

Smore's Variation...  Half dip marshmallow in chocolate melts then dip in honey nut chex pieces or GF graham crumbles.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Recently, at a dinner party, I had a revelation.  The plate of yummy risotto in front of me was naturally gluten free.  Not only that, it was something I could serve without having to highlight the fact that anything our poor unsuspecting dinner guests are served is gluten free!

I've always been intimidated by risotto.  So, I set out to make it for the first time.  I adapted a recipe from Epicurious, and was thrilled with the results.  This simple bacon risotto paired amazingly with seared scallops and wilted spinach.  Best of all, it was an easy twenty minute meal.  Yes, you do have to stir it the whole time, but even this carpal tunnel mama had no issues there.  So, you can do it too!

Bacon Risotto

1 cup Aborio Rice
4 tbsp Butter
1 tsp Minced Garlic
2 1/2 cups Broth (I used chicken)
1/2 cup White Wine
6 slices Crisp Bacon (or really ANYTHING, get creative)
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan (optional)

Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic.  Add rice and stir until it seems to absorb the butter.  Now, add the first cup of broth.  Stir the risotto frequently allowing it to absorb all the broth.  Add the remaining liquids a cup at a time until the risotto has that fabulous creamy texture we know and love.  When all has been absorbed, pull the risotto off the heat and stir in the remaining butter along with the bacon and parmesan (if using).  Enjoy!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Even the dog is gluten free...

Poor pitiful pup.  In the last four months, she seemed to be the only one who got to have glutenous foods in the house.  Sadly, those heady days are coming to an end.  Our dog, Chumley, and the Bee have a very sweet relationship.  "PupPup" was her first word and she loves to run up and pet Chums whenever she can.  Chums loves her back and gives Bee more kisses than anyone else.  Between kisses and dog biscuit crumbs, we've discovered that Chums is making the Bee sick.   Whaa whaa whaaaaaaa...

This weekend I whipped up some super easy GF dog treats.  This recipe is adapted from one found on the whole foods website.  Despite the despondent expression above, Chums approves.

Gluten Free Dog Treats

1 Banana
3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
2/3 Cup GF Oats
1 Cup Almond Meal (Trader Joes has big bags for $3.99) 
A few shakes of dried parsley
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  When combined, drop by rounded spoonful on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  If desired, flatten cookies with the back of the spoon.  These treats do not spread, so the finished product will come out of the oven looking like they went in.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Store in an air tight container.