Monday, August 29, 2011

Let's Do Gluten Free Sugar Cones

I can't even really remember the last time I had ice cream in a cone.

In my PCD days I always ordered my ice cream on a cone. I never order it in a cup or any other way. If I had the option I would get that huge ass waffle cone.

After my celiac diagnosis all of that changed. It was always ice cream in a cup and that's it.

I've seen GF ice cream cones before but they were always super expensive and I just figured they would taste crappy so I never bought them.

These were bought for me as a "gift."

And what I mean by "gift" is that family members often see something GF and buy it for me and surprise me with it at a family meal. "LOOK I BOUGHT YOU SOMETHING RANDOM GLUTEN FREE!"

Everyone is always really excited.


These were a gift and they are awesome.

They taste like gluten full sugar cones. They are only a tiny bit smaller then a traditional sugar cone.

Stuff like this just makes me super happy. It helps me feel nearly normal and like I can enjoy everything that everyone else does.

Verdict? YUMMY!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gluten Freeda Ice Cream Sandwiches

I got a glimpse of these in the frozen foods case at my local health food store a few weeks ago. At the time I was in picking up non-perishables and didn't have time to run home and drop these babies off.

Next time, I gently whispered to them.

Because? Um, ICE CREAM SANDWICHES? Yeah thats always on my list.

I went back last weekend and picked these bad boys up.

I do absolutely zero research on them and just trust that even if they aren't great its still an ice cream sandwich.

The second I took my first bite I knew this was the best decision I ever made in regards to an ice cream sandwich in my entire life.

The cookie is delicious. It actually reminds me of an Oreo but a little heavier which is perfect to hold in all that yummy ice cream.

These are amazing! I only had the vanilla but I think they come in other flavors.

Verdict! YUMMY!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rudi's Sandwich Bread

I've been hearing about Rudi's for a at least year. For a really long time I thought that people were just confusing Udi's and adding an R to it. Due to me thinking that everyone else was too stupid to remember Udi's I never thought to look for Rudi's bread. Eventually I did realize that Rudi's was its very own separate company with fantastic reviews and plenty of people calling it "best GF bread EVER!"

Best GF bread ever?


This I HAD to try.

The texture of the bread is lovely. It is reminiscent of those yummy honey wheat breads I used to get PCD.

I LOVED those.

They were always amazingly delicious with this little touch of sweetness.

Rudi's has that lovely bit of sweetness but I don't think that its from honey, It has more of a molasses taste and the bread is delicious with honey ham or honey turkey.

The bread is perfect from the package and needs no toasting to taste amazing!

Verdict? YUMMY

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oops I Got Glutened Again.....

When I was first diagnosed I got glutened constantly.

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't understand how gluten can lurk in dangerous, random places. You know, like some restaurant makes chili with a roux or the waitress forgets to leave the croutons off your salad and you get some banging cross contamination.

I think we've all been there.

But now? Now? I know better. I know all the scientific terms for gluten ingredients, I know the questions to ask and generally what is safe and what has got danger zone written all over it.

I, clearly, have gotten cocky.

Saturday night I went out to a new restaurant. I order a side salad instead of fries with my burger. Asked if the burger meat contained any fillers or was it all burger - all the responsible things. I told the waitress I was allergic to wheat (this is a place where it was pretty obvious the staff was hired for being pretty not smart.)

My meal was fine - no bun on the burger, no croutons on the salad. I figured I was all good.

My burger tasted a little odd but I thought maybe it was the cheese so I yanked that off. Nope, burger still tastes odd. I grab the waitress and ask "is there anything added to meat?" Again she tells me no - OH but we do but beer in with the burger meat.

Crap and I just ate half of this burger. I would've gotten into it with her but it just didn't seem worth it. What I learned was that I'm never eating there again and that I absolutely cannot assume that the server knows anything ever.

This whole situation got me thinking about food labeling.

The foods we purchase in the grocery store are supposed to list the "big allergans" on their labels. Why aren't restaurants required to do this? Is it an idea of hiding behind proprietary information? Is it because their wholesalers won't tell them whats in stuff and they don't ask - or is it too hard to check out everything on their menu?

It just seems to me that the effort that it would take for a restaurant to list out allergans on its menu would go along way with good will. It's not like I'm the only celiac in my town and I'm sure I'm not the only celiac who has been to that restaurant and gotten sick.

It's just seems that its time for things to change. The overabundance of items in our diets have turned simple foods into death traps. And the food industry as a whole should be responding appropriately. .

Friday, August 19, 2011

Enjoy Life! Semi Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks

There is a high level of skepticism in my family whenever I announce that something is "dairy free."

I'm not sure what they think its going to taste like but I'm guessing they think it will taste like dirt or garbage or something. So when I announced I have made gluten free cookies dairy free - no one wanted any part of it. 

Until I started forcing people to eat them - mostly with severe guilt trips. 

Then you would hear "OH YUM! THIS IS DAIRY FREE???"

These chocolate chunks are no joke. They are large and in charge - they are like four chocolate chips lumped together. They melt great and taste awesome!

Verdict? Yummy!

Enjoy Life! did send me chocolate mega chunks to review. However, I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review - these really are awesome!!!

Enjoy Life! Double Chocolate Crunch Granola

I really haven't touched granola since my diagnosis.

There was all this back and forth about oats and are they okay or not?

Then came the line of gluten free oats - which turned out to not really be gluten free....

So yeah - granola - kind of a danger zone.

But this right here - no oats at all.

The little crispy, crunchy bits are made from brown rice. Totally 100% safe!!

When I was first tried this I was taken aback because it didn't have the kind of taste I've come to associated with granola. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The taste is more like if someone let cocoa pebbles bake a little bit longer and then rolled them up with luscious chocolate chips.

These definitely satisfy that deep chocolate craving and I think these would be amazing as marshmallow treats.

Verdict? Yummy

I have to disclose that Enjoy Life! did send me this granola to review - however I am under no obligation to provide a favorable review I really did think this was tasty :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Grainless Baker Hoagie Rolls

I come from the land of hoagies. Every deli & pizza place around here boasts the "Best Hoagies in South Jersey" or "The Best Hoagies Outside of Philly" I typically just pout and order my "Best Hoagie" with no bread on a bed of lettuce - and could you change your gloves first please? And put down some wax paper? Thanks, you guys are the best!

PCD I loved ordering Italian Hoagies with lots of oil & vinegar & extra spice. There was this amazing Italian Deli across the street from my high school (I think it has since moved) and it made the best hoagies I've ever had. Interestingly enough they never self-proclaimed themselves the best of anything. Everything was fresh and the had the most yummiest hoagies rolls I've ever had. I've been able to accept that the chances of me every having a chewy perfect roll again are very slim (unless a genius food scientist who loves bread gets diagnosed with celiac then all bets are off) but I'd still love to be able to bite into a good hoagie roll. 

I'm happy to say that The Grainless Baker has not disappointed yet again. These buns are delicious once dethawed and do not need to be toasted. Which means you could grab one and go to your favorite sandwich joint and enjoy a tasty hoagie on a roll! Nothing bad about that!

Verdict? Yummy - and I'm ready to go so far to say that if you see a product by The Grainless Baker it will absolutely be fabulous. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Grainless Baker Hot Dog Buns

There is nothing that screams summer like cookouts - especially grilled burgers & hot dogs. Nothing makes me happier or makes my mouth water more then the smell of a grill. Since I was diagnosed with celiac summer cookouts just don't have the same excitement. While burgers & hot dogs can be good without a bun there is just something wrong with eating grilled meat sans bun. 

For years I've struggled with cookout goodies. This year I've found the joy that is Udi's Hamburger Buns
but have been extremely unlucky in acquiring their hot dog buns. I've always really enjoyed The Grainless Bakers baguettes so when I came across these guys I figured they were worth a shot.

Until I came across these buns I had no idea that The Grainless Baker even made hot dog buns. A few years back I had tried another brands hot bog buns (for the life I cannot remember who made them) but they were terrible. They were like three times the size of a typical hot dog bun - it was just WAY too much bread and it just made me sad.

These are unbelievable. The best part? NO TOASTING! They are delicious straight after thawing. It seems that more and more companies are now getting on this bandwagon of letting us actually enjoy bread products like a normal person.

Verdict? Yummy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, 44-Ounce Units (Pack of 4)

When I was first diagnosed I had a really hard time finding all purpose flours. There were a handful available at my local health food store but I wasn't necessarily all excited about the prospect of gluten free baking. On the rare occasion that I ventured into gluten free baking the end results would be such a crumbly, messy disaster that it just didn't seem worth it. 

For many years I just lived out my existence without any hand baked goods. As gluten free flours started to become more prolific I gave Bob's a shot. 

What I've always like about Bob's is that it does create a decent end product. The baked good doesn't fall apart and it never weighed 25 pounds. My only issue with Bob's was the garbanzo bean flour. The rub with bean flours is that they provide the protein necessary to give a plump chewy product but the aftertaste is heinous. 

I've since stopped using Bob's for any sweet baked goods. I find its fine for making breads and the like but is a definite no-no for sweeties. 

Verdict? Okay for breads not so much for sweeties

Monday, August 1, 2011

Conte's Gluten Free Gnocchi

I came from an area where pasta flows like water and in any given mile you will pass by at least 5 Italian restaurants. Being GF around here can be dicey - especially when you miss things like raviolis and gnocchi.

PCD I didn't eat a copious amount of gnocchi. I had a casual relationship with this type of pasta. We would occasionally see each other and I would coat it in vodka sauce and peas and go to town. When I was diagnosed I made a lot of assumptions about my diet going forward. My first assumption was that all good tasting pasta, bread & pizza was out the door and my second was that my food would only be fresh fruits & vegetables.  My days of going out for large dishes of pasta, crispy garlic bread and lots of red wine were over.

This little bag of love up there told me different. It's not just a bag of gnocchis - its a bag of possibilities. Contes has done something pretty amazing. The gnocchi is light and the pasta is chewy without being rubbery, too dense or gross. These little puffs are heaven sent.

Verdict? Yummy!