Two Rivers Cider | Triumph Dining Product Review

Two-Rivers-Cider-Co.-200x200Blood Orange, Huckleberry, and Pomegranate are not typical flavors you’ll find in a cider but at Two Rivers Cider Company in Sacramento, California, those are just a few of the fruits they pair with apples to make their award-winning, gluten-free, preservative-free ciders. It’s no wonder that they have the reputation as one of the most adventurous and innovative cideries anywhere in the world. From bourbon-barrel aged cider to ones made with smoked apples and jalapeños, Two Rivers Cider Company is different.

Original Hard Apple Cider is made from 100% fresh pressed apple juice from Barsotti Ranch. It is a medium dry, slightly tart and effervescent drink with a strong apple aroma. The Blood Orange Cider is hands down the best fruit-fused cider I have ever had. It is light, not-too-sweet, and crisp. Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Roasted Chocolate Cake | Triumph Dining

sachertorte-austrian-chocolate-cakeRoasting, although basic, is an easy way to develop flavor in your food. In the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate, roasting is a necessary and important step that removes the bacteria and bitterness from the bean and develops the more familiar, chocolate flavor that we are used to tasting. If you tried a cocoa bean before the roasting process, you would find it would taste a lot different than the delicious chocolate we all know.

Even though cocoa powder comes from beans that have already been roasted, roasting them again after they have been crushed into a powder helps release even more flavor and builds layers which you can definitely taste in the finished product. Click to continue reading »

California Pizza Kitchen | Triumph Dining Review

7586b6b3b8b75b307c86d64a1d2987e2California Pizza Kitchen has gluten-free pizza! Does this sound like old news? It is. Sort of. Back in 2011 CPK introduced a gluten-free pizza crust to their menu but did little else to ensure its offering was gluten-free and they got panned (no pun intended). After all, most of us know by now that having a gluten-free crust isn’t all that’s necessary for a pizza to be gluten free.

If the pizza isn’t made with a gluten-free crust, in a dedicated area, cooked in a dedicated oven and topped with fixings that are free of cross contamination – it can’t be safely considered gluten free. Sometime after announcing their offering in 2011 CPK pulled it off their menu.

Now they’ve gone about things properly. This time around they’ve worked with Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) to develop a new gluten-free crust and create a safer cooking environment. Gluten free pizzas are made in a dedicated part of the kitchen with separate ingredients, trays, cutting boards and utensils. Food prep is done with clean hands and new gloves. The pizzas are cooked in dedicated pans that have a lip so they avoid touching anything else. The gluten-free crust is dairy free and made mostly of rice flour, potato flour, tapioca, salt, olive oil and cane sugar. A bamboo pick is inserted into each pizza to label it as gluten free. Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Cocoa Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

pancakesIf you are one of those families that eats breakfast together every morning because the evenings are just too crazy with sports / homework / showers then this recipe may turn into one of your favorites. It’s a little sweet for breakfast every day but it is a good enticement to get everyone out of bed and to the table on time.

This pancake is also great with chocolate sauce, confectioner’s sugar or bananas sautéed in sugar and butter. Here it’s served with a fresh raspberry sauce.

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds

• 1⁄2 teaspoon psyllium husk powder

• 1⁄4 teaspoon chia seeds

• 11⁄4 cups gluten free all purpose flour without added gums* (7 ounces)

• 3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder (3/4 ounce)

• 1⁄2 cup almond flour (1.8 ounces)

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

• 11⁄2 cups milk

• 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan

• 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar Click to continue reading »

Daura Gluten Free Beer | Triumph Dining

4pk+bottleFor any gluten-free beer lovers out there, have you tried Daura? Created by Spanish company, Estrella Damn; based in Barcelona, it’s quite the hit amongst the gluten-free community in the UK and Europe. The popularity of this de-glutenized gluten-free lager is now growing on this side of the pond. I’m seeing it more and more in bars and in the beer aisle of grocery stores.

Daura is a barley-based beer. Barley? Yes, that barley. However, and this is pretty cool, the company uses a brewing system to remove the gluten! Daura then tests the product to ensure it’s safe for gluten-free folks to drink and it tests below 3ppm of gluten, way below the new FDA accepted limit of 20ppm. It is the first Spanish beer to guarantee a gluten level of under 3ppm and they have won multiple international beer awards for taste and quality. Click to continue reading »

Restaurant Review: Grease Box in Oakland, California

Lizzy Boelter, the chef-owner of Grease Box , a gluten-free Southern restaurant in Oakland, California, opened her restaurant for the same reason many other gluten-free people do – lack of options. Her goal was to make quality food without additives to emulate the effects of wheat gluten.

Grease Box is a cute little spot in a quiet neighborhood. The restaurant’s website bills the food as “gluten free, gum free, weird shit free, locally and sustainably sourced, and AWESOME.” Boelter was after the deep-fried, gut-busting cuisine of her native Louisiana, but healthier, in a way that would highlight the amazing local, seasonal produce that northern Californians have access to. Most importantly, in spite of the gluten-free stipulation, she wanted to serve real food.

Grease Box’s signature dish is skillet-fried chicken. It’s very good and is made with chickpea flour and millet flour.

You can also stop by the restaurant for a full breakfast of pancakes, egg dishes and baked goods. Other items on the menu are Texas-style beef brisket with house-made barbecue sauce and whiskey-jalapeno pork ribs. Sides include red okra fries, sautéed greens and cubes of salted watermelon.

Gluten-Free Tin Foil Dinners | Triumph Dining

0abc4ec06c4c563d42a039e6100f6c11The suffocating summer heat has passed in many regions leaving in its place leaves turning colors, cool mornings and nights, and weather perfect for light jackets. This is a great time of year to go camping. If you find yourself camping and in search of some easy foil dinners, here are a few new ones to try:

Salmon with Artichokes and Kalamata olives.

Double up foil. Set piece of salmon on top. Douse with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, salt, marinated artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives. Fold the foil into a tightly sealed tent and grill on medium heat for 15 minutes. Click to continue reading »

Cider Brothers | Triumph Dining Product Review

beer_271447It’s not very often that two 5th generation vintners stray from their family’s craft to start their own business ventures, but that’s just what two brothers from Lodi, California did when starting the Cider Brothers company. Michael and Paul Scotto create gluten-free, craft ciders produced from a five-apple blend of Golden Russet, Gala, Fuji, Red
Delicious, and Granny Smith apples.

It is with their wine-making knowledge that the Scotto brothers craft their various ciders, making them aromatic and well balanced. The apples they use are cold pressed and then the juice is fermented for 9-10 days three times, each with a different champagne, wine or ale yeast, depending on the types of flavors they are seeking to gain.

Cider Brothers currently have four craft ciders available: the William Tell Hard Apple Cider, the William Tell Pinot Grigio Apple Cider, the Pacific Coast Hard Apple Cider and the Pacific Coast Pinot Grigio Apple Cider. Both Pacific Coast Ciders are branded under the parent company name, Pacific Coast.

The William Tell Hard Apple Cider is crafted from apple juice and other natural flavors. It is dry and tart with some champagne-like qualities. The William Tell Pinot Grigio Apple Cider is 85% cider and 15% California Pinot Grigio. Right from the pour, you can distinctly smell the white grapes thanks to the process the brothers invented called “Frost Fermentation.”

The Pacific Coast Hard Apple Cider is a very light yellow, slightly sweet cider with a bright carbonation and a dry finish.

The Pacific Coast Pinot Grigio Hard Apple Cider is also made with a base of 15% California Pinot Grigio and a finish of their apple cider, which adds complexity and body that a cider normally wouldn’t have. It’s perfect for any wine drinker or craft cider drinker as it pairs just as wonderfully as a normal Pinot would with food.

Each 22-ounce bottle retails for $8.99. Click here to see where you can buy the cider near you.

GeeFree | Triumph Dining Product Review

geefree_franks_in_a_blanketUnexpected guests used to stress me out because I have never been good at entertaining. Either something ends up burned or I feel I have ignored my friends. Luckily, I now have a box or two of GeeFree’s frozen appetizers on hand as they are easy to cook, gluten-free and a big crowd pleaser.

My favorite items are the Spanakopita and the Franks in a Blanket.

The Spanakopita is spinach and feta cheese inside a flaky pasty shell. Yes, that’s right, a gluten-free puff pastry made from potato starch that’s every little bit as delicious as it’s non-gluten-free counterpart. Spanakopita is one of my favorite Greek-style snacks and even works for a light lunch, plus kids will devour them up without even giving the spinach a second thought. Click to continue reading »

A Question for the Gluten-Free Gurus | Triumph Dining

 

labelsDear Gluten-Free Gurus,

Over the weekend we celebrated a milestone event and had many people to our home. One of our guests walked in and immediately asked which of the foods on the buffet were gluten-free. There were lots of fruit options but it hadn’t occurred to me to label which other items met specific dietary needs.

This begs the question – what is a good host or hostess’s responsibility to offer a variety of dietary options? If you go with the Dear Abby belief that a host or hostess is on the hook for making their guest comfortable and seeing that they have a good time then you would absolutely do this. However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a buffet table at someone’s home with foods labeled “gluten-free” or “dairy-free”.

What would have been the right thing to do?

Sincerely, Miffed Hostess

Click to continue reading »