Monthly Archives: December 2009

Gluten-free Appetizer Recipes for New Years Eve

FRITOS_SCOOPS___Corn_ChipsOK – we’ve made it through most of the holiday season, but there is one more celebration to navigate gluten-free style in 2009. New Years Eve is an exciting evening for many people but for those of us who have to avoid gluten, the celebration can become a game of dodging gluten land mines. Here are some tips to help you survive the last holiday extravaganza of the year.

If you’re attending a party where you know the host well, it should be fairly simple for you to find out if anything they are serving is safe for you to eat. If you don’t know them well, you might be more comfortable eating a little something before the party and taking several gluten-free things to nosh on during the evening. Keep in mind that celebrating with good friends should be the focus of the evening. As long as you bring great food for yourself, you won’t miss eating what other guests are enjoying.

New Years Eve party food tends to be heavy on the appetizers but many of them are likely to contain gluten. Take some tasty apps of your own and share them if you like. If you do take a dish to share, consider separating some of your own treats from the main serving dish so that no gluten serving utensils can contaminate your otherwise safe food. It’s unfortunate that a misplaced spoon can actually ruin the night for party guests with food intolerances.

Below is my favorite simple appetizer recipe to take to parties. One of the best things about it is that you can buy all the ingredients in a regular grocery store. It’s super easy to make and people always ask for the recipe – whether they eat gluten or not!

Cheesy Corn Dip

  • 2 cans Del Monte Mexi-Corn (drained)
  • 2 cups Mexican style shredded cheese (reserve 1 cup for topping)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Chopped jalapenos (to taste) *I use about 2 tablespoons

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients well – except 1 cup of Mexican style cheese.
  • Put mixture into a lightly greased baking dish.
  • Top with e reserved cheese.
  • Bake approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Serve with Fritos Scoops corn chips and/or celery sticks.

Here are some other great gluten-free recipes from the gluten-free blogosphere, including one for vegan, gluten-free eggnog!

Enjoy New Years Eve whether you stay in or go out. And remember to enjoy some great gluten-free food no matter where you celebrate!

Special thanks to my friend Melisa for this amazing recipe that everyone loves!

Recipe: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

100_1398It took me over two years to convert my husband’s family recipe for pumpkin bread to be gluten-free. I tried several different flour blends and finally by adding a little applesauce, the gluten-free version was at least as good as the old gluten favorite. When a gluten-free food avoider we know asked for the recipe (he thought it contained gluten), I knew my job was complete!

If you have your own gluten-free flour blend, feel free to use it in this recipe. I’ve found two products that make this bread amazing. One of them is Beth’s All Purpose Flour from Gluten Free Pantry. That flour blend is widely available in health food stores, Whole Foods and some mainstream grocery stores. The other flour, Jules Gluten Free, is less available but sold online and in some stores. It is simply amazing flour that works incredibly well in most any gluten recipe!

Janes Family Pumpkin Bread Recipe (gluten and dairy free!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin
  • 3 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2/3 cups water
  • ½ cup unsweetened natural applesauce

Instructions:

  • Combine eggs, sugar and oil.
  • Add pumpkin and mix well.
  • Sift (or whisk) together all the dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.
  • Add water and applesauce and mix well.
  • Pour in two lightly greased loaf pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour.
  • Bread is ready when toothpick (or long wooden skewer) inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Variations:  If using the Jules Gluten Free flour, add and extra ¼ tsp. of baking powder. Add raisins and / or nuts to the recipe if you like. Fold in any additions gently right before pouring the mixture into the loaf pans. In the beginning I used about 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum in this recipe but one time I didn’t have any on hand and the bread still turned out perfectly. After that I left it out on purpose. It’s expensive stuff so I might as well save it for when it’s needed.

The recipe can be cut in half for one loaf and the bread freezes very well. We usually heat this bread up in the toaster oven and dab a little butter on it but it is perfectly delightful without being heated at all. Like most good pumpkin breads, it goes nicely with spreadable cream cheese as well. One of my chocoholic friends puts tiny chocolate chips on a slice of the bread and heats it in the microwave until the chocolate melts. No matter which way you serve it, this bread is wonderful and no glutenoids in your life will ever miss the gluten!

Easy Gluten-free Brunch Casserole

IMG_0101It’s super easy to make a delicious gluten-free casserole for breakfast or brunch. This is particularly handy to make when you have company or are a guest at the in-laws house during the holidays. Instead of worrying about making a gluten-free crust for quiche, call your crustless quiche a casserole and no one will miss anything!

To make an egg casserole, you need some eggs, milk and cheese. Everything else is optional and should suit your own personal taste. Scallions, mushrooms and spinach work great as the veggies and for meat loves, turkey or pork sausage and bacon add extra protein. Make sure you choose gluten-free meats, though more of them seem to be gluten-free than not these days. There are plenty of safe brands listed in our Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide.

If you’re using veggies and meat, saute them in a tiny bit of canola oil until done and allow everything to cool while you whisk the egg mixture. How many eggs you use depends on how many people you need the dish to feed. We use five eggs for two of us which allows for left overs. Ten to twelve eggs works for a crowd. Add some heavy cream if you have it, or skim milk with a little sour cream if you don’t. The amount of milk is based on how many eggs are used. About ½ cup works for five eggs and a cup will do for double that.

Spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray. Place veggies and meats (if using) in bottom of dish. Whisk eggs and cream or milk/sour cream and then mix in shredded cheese. Pour mixture over veggies and meats. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes, depending on pan size and thickness of mixture. The casserole is ready when it pulls away from pan edges and it starts to lightly brown on top. Allow to cool at least five minutes before cutting.

Serve with fresh fruit and gluten-free muffins or toast for breakfast. When serving the dish for brunch, a nice side salad and hash browns work nicely. Kroger’s hash brown patties are now marked gluten-free. Ore-Ida’s gluten-free list includes some hash browns but none of the packages are labeled gluten-free in our area yet. Many hash brown patties contain wheat, which is clearly listed in the ingredients.

Another way to make this casserole is to use a muffin tin instead of a large baking dish. Spray the muffin tin well so the mini “egg muffins” don’t stick. Both those and the casserole freeze quite well. Thaw them in the refrigerator and heat in the microwave when ready to eat. The “egg muffins” are great if you’re traveling out of town by car and can take a cooler for food. When you get to your destination, you’ll have a ready made gluten-free breakfast in case your hosts serve a breakfast that’s heavy on the gluten.

The main thing to remember is that there are really no rules for making this kitchen sink type casserole. Use what you have and what you like. If you love seafood, consider using some bay shrimp with  artichoke hearts and parmesan cheese. For a casserole with a Mediterranean flare, use feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, black olives and some pesto chicken. Have fun with your creation and most of all, enjoy eating and sharing it with family and friends!

If you’re having turkey this week, make sure and check out our left-over turkey recipe post. Happy holidays everyone!

Figo Pasta in Atlanta Now Offers Gluten-Free Pasta!

IMG_0019Figo Pasta is a locally owned local Italian restaurant with eight locations in the Atlanta area. Several weeks ago, the restaurant started offering a gluten-free menu but when I confirmed that they were serving corn pasta, I incorrectly assumed it would not be worth trying. Just recently I posted about the amazing pasta Le Veneziane, a corn pasta made in Italy that someone talked me into trying. The Le Veneziane is out of this world delicious and their fettuccine is now a staple in our pantry!

After my excellent experiment with the other corn pasta made in Italy, I realized there might be a reason to check out the offerings at Figo Pasta. Finally, when a gluten eater I know said he thought the gluten-free pasta at Figo was excellent, my decision to give it a try was cemented. We made plans to see the wonderful DaVinci exhibit at the HIGH Museum with friends before having lunch at Figo Pasta.

On an unseasonably cold day in Atlanta, we trekked into the city to the HIGH and later headed to the Virginia Highlands location of Figo for lunch. There is parking for that location behind the building and there is a sign directing Figo patrons where to park. Once inside the warm inviting space, we found a rustically decorated Italian-type bistro. Guests place their orders and pay at the counter up front and then seat themselves. The food is delivered as it’s ready. Since all the sauces were marked gluten-free on the menu, it took me a while to decide on my order. Finally, I chose the 4 Formaggi (four cheese) pasta. My husband ordered gluten-free pasta with Ragu’ alla Bolognese sauce. We also got one large salad – Spinaci e Caprino – to split.

IMG_0017Our salad arrived quickly and we enjoyed the mixed greens with goat cheese and raisins. The dressing was one of the best I’ve had in a while but there was just a tad too much of it for our taste. My husband prefers no dressing and I prefer my dressing on the side so we’ll order that way in the future. I could tell by the flavor of the dressing that the olive oil they used to make it was not your run of the mill olive oil.

When our entrees arrived, they both looked lovely and the portion sizes were very nice as well. Of course, the look of the food means nothing if it doesn’t also taste great. The first bite of my delicious pasta dish left me feeling a bit uneasy, as if I’d been served gluten pasta by mistake. Then I remembered that as it was served, the manager confirmed that both my dish and my husband’s were gluten-free. Also, like most corn pasta, there was a slight yellow tone to the pasta.  My husband thought his pasta was great but would have preferred a heavier sauce with it. His sauce was a bit heavy for my taste. 

During out visit, I had the pleasure of meeting Sandro Romagnoli, the owner of Figo Pasta restaurants. He is from Italy and therefore he’s extremely concerned with the taste of anything he offers his guests. As he explained it, he would not offer a dish that he didn’t feel was good enough for him to enjoy. The way Sandro decided on which gluten-free pasta to use was by doing blind taste tests himself. When he could not figure out which pasta contained gluten and which one was gluten-free, he had his answer. He tried the most popular gluten-free pastas on the market and not surprisingly those didn’t make the grade.

If you know any Italians, you know they are serious about food. Just as in Italy, they prefer using real ingredients and the making dining experience pleasurable in all ways. Sandro lives up to his heritage and deserves to be proud of the food he’s serving to the gluten-free community. There are many companies jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon to make a quick buck. In the case of Figo Pasta, several long time customers found out they could no longer tolerate gluten. Wanting to keep his loyal customers happy, Sandro got to work on figuring out how to do that, while not compromising his principles about serving wonderful tasting food. The statement from the Figo Pasta website (below) says it all. 

Though we do not like rules, we have one simple one. If you do not LOVE the dish you have selected, please let us know and we will make you another one. And we will keep making new ones till you are in love with your meal.

 

 

Presently, Figo Pasta does not offer any gluten-free desserts and there is only one gluten-free appetizer. Many of the salads are safe and the dressings are made in house. If you are in or around the Atlanta area, treat yourself to a wonderful gluten-free meal at Figo Pasta. For about $10, you can enjoy a gluten-free pasta dish. The upcharge is only $1 for gluten-free pasta, also the lowest I’ve found in this area. In these trying economic times, it’s nice to be able to enjoy a  delicious gluten-free meal that offers such great value!

New Gluten-free Bakery in Atlanta!

sallysbakeryCookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sally's Bakery

Recently, something very exciting happened in Atlanta. Our first gluten-free special order bakery opened! Sally’s Bakery opened its doors to rave reviews on December 14th in Sandy Springs, GA. Their facility is 100% gluten-free and the talented bakers at Sally’s make buns, English muffins, chocolate chip cookies, pizzas and various breads. Several items are also free of dairy, soy and eggs so those of you with multiple intolerences are not fogotten at Sally’s Bakery. One thing that is not missing from the goods at the bakery is great taste! 

Though I’ve not tried the take and bake pizzas or chocolate chip cookies from the bakery yet, my bet is that they are as tasty as the other items that owner Bonnie and her daughter Sally have created! The bakery uses high quality ingredients in their products and that is really reflected in the taste. There are several great gluten-free breads available, including but not limited to, pumpkin and banana quick breads. In the summer I can envision the bakery possibly making some other seasonal breads like zucchini and strawberry.

sallysbakeryTheWorksPizza

The Works Pizza from Sally's Bakery

My favorites from the bakery are the C.R.A.W. Bread, the Pumpkin Bread and the Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins. The Hamburger Buns from Sally’s Bakery were enjoyed by Atlanta Gluten-free Dinner Club members back when Bonnie, the owner, first started her baking business. Everyone raved about the buns and suggested that Cheeseburger in Paradise, where the event was being held, should offer Sally’s buns with their burgers!

The opening of this bakery is extremely timely since the holidays are upon us and not everyone has time to bake their own bread or treats. Hopefully everyone in the area will make a trip to Sally’s Bakery soon. We can no longer complain that we don’t have a gluten-free bakery in the ATL! Now the gluten-free community has to support this great effort by Sally and Bonnie and everyone else that made this venture possible. 
Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins from Sally's Bakery

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins from Sally's Bakery

 

Presently, the bakery is a special order business. Customers can all ahead and place their orders and pick it up 24-48 hours later. Each day there will be some extra goods to sell to walk-in customers but when they’re gone – they’re gone. If you don’t place an order before dropping by the bakery, be sure to stop in early so you won’t miss them! During my visit I snagged an extra mini pumpkin loaf along with my pre-ordered English muffins. The sweet cinnamon flavor of the English Muffins is perfect with a smear of cream cheese! I’m excited to be able to have one of these treats during our visit to Tennessee this week!

Sally’s Bakery will begin accepting internet orders for shipping on January 4th, 2010. The bakery’s products freeze quite well if you want to stock up on them for future use. Just thaw them out when you’re ready to eat them and enjoy. The positive response by the Atlanta gluten-free community to Sally’s Bakery has been both exciting and heart warming to witness. If you’re in the Atlanta area, drop by Sally’s Bakery and check out their great gluten-free goodness! For those outside the area, remember that online ordering is available on January 4th, 2010!

Hours for Sally’s Bakery (holiday hours are posted on the website):

  • Monday – Friday / 10 am until 6 pm
  • Saturday / 10 am until 2 pm

Sally’s Bakery is located at 5920 Roswell Rd., Suite 108A, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Phone : 404-847-0211

Special $15 Gluten-free Meals at Ted's Montana Grill!

IMG_0014On a recent visit to Ted’s Montana Grill, I was delighted to find that their special $15 dinner menu offered some gluten-free options! At our Ted’s location, the special menu offers a salad (several gluten-free dressing choices) and an entrée with two side dishes. Both the the Delmonico steak (beef or bison) and Cedar Plank Salmon are gluten-free on the $15 menu  here. Many other great dishes are also on the full gluten-free menu. There is supposed to be one nice bound copy of the menu at each location but they can print up extras in the back if you go in with other gluten-free diners.

The beef Delmonico steak that I ordered comes with mashed potatoes and green beans or broccoli. However, at Ted’s the green beans contain gluten (don’t ask me how) and I don’t care for broccoli. Luckily, the server checked with the manager and they allowed me to sub out asparagus for my vegetable choice. There was no additional charge for the special request, which is not always the case when you are offering from a discounted menu in the first place. Though not listed on the gluten-free menu, many months ago the manager at our location confirmed that the pickles on each table are gluten-free. They are wonderful and made in house!

IMG_0012The dinner salad was basic but quite fresh and the cream vinaigrette dressing was particularly tasty. I’d not had it there before. Most of the dressings at Ted’s are gluten-free - read the gluten-free for all the options.  Remember when ordering a salad anywhere, to remind the server to write ‘no bread or croutons’ even if you are ordering from a gluten-free menu.

My meal arrived more quickly than I’m accustomed to when ordering steak since I like it more done than rare. The plate was nicely presented and offered nice portion sizes of everything on it. The asparagus was cooked perfectly – not under or over done even slightly. As always, the mashed potatoes tasted homemade and were delicious. My steak was cooked to perfection and in fact, it was the first steak I’ve ever had at Ted’s. I’ve had a burger without a bun and their fabulous Brick Chicken dishes, but never a steak. For $15, the special menu meal is an exceptional value – at least in our area. The quality ingredients used and the company being so ‘green’, also adds extra value for me.  

Though dessert is  not included as part of the discounted menu, the gluten-free choices are Haagan-Dazs ice cream, Shakes and Root Beer or Coke Floats. My husband had to finish some of my meal so I certainly had no room for dessert. If I really had a hankering for something sweet we could have scooted over to Bonefish Grill (in same shopping center as our Ted’s) for their incredible gluten-free Macadamia Nut Brownie or Creme Brulee. The decadent brownie at Bonefish serves two by the way!

For those of you who have not been to Ted’s in a while, their revised gluten-free menu includes French fries. They are absolutely delicious! Always confirm the restaurant has a dedicated fryer before ordering fries when dining out anywhere. As I watched plate after plate pass by our table with delicious smelling onion rings on it, I could not help but think how easy it would be for Ted’s to make gluten-free onions rings in the dedicated fryer. Our server did not know how long the special $15 dinner menu would be in effect, but she guessed that it would be offered until very early in January 2010. If there is a Ted’s Montana Grill near you, it’s definitely worth checking to see if the same deal is offered at your location!

Gluten-free Thankfulness: Top 10 List

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"It's Not Fruit Cake" from American Gra-Frutti

Even though Thanksgiving has passed, this season offers us the opportunity to be appreciative of all the things that have come about over the last year. The gluten-free community has so many exciting things going on that it’s hard to keep up with them all.

Not everything has been wonderful, but the positive things that have happened in 2009 far outweigh the negative. white_bread_picThe number of excellent products that are now available in the Atlanta market, and many others, is quite high. This list isn’t conclusive, but it contains some of the highlights that changed many people’s lives – at least in the Atlanta area – for the better in 2009.

  • Kettle Cuisine – delicious frozen gluten-free soup line with several dairy free options as well.
  • Bella Monica – tasty frozen pizza made with organic high quality ingredients. People in the Raleigh, NC area can also dine at the Bella Monica restaurant.
  • Betty Crocker – gluten-free mixes available in most mainstream grocery stores nationwide.
  • American Gra-Frutti– wonderful gluten-free cakes, coconut drops and Pimento Peachtree cheese spread. The cakes and drops are also dairy free!
  • Pamela’s Products – introduced Jiffy-type cornbread mix.
  • Jules Gluten Free – wonderful all purpose gluten-free flour that works in most gluten recipes.
  • The Grainless Baker – introduced the first Cheese Crackers that taste like gluten cheese straws.
  • Udi’s Gluten-Free – rolled out exceptional breads, muffins and pizza crusts line. Bagels are being test marketed in the Denver area Einstein’s!
  • Progresso – started labeling several of their soups gluten-free and stopped adding MSG to all their soups.
  • General Mills - introduced LiveGlutenFreely, the first gluten-free website from a mainstream top 5 food company. 

In the words of Dr. Cynthia Rudert, MD (celiac specialist in Atlanta), it’s a great time to be a celiac! Please let us know what you are thankful in the gluten-free world these days.

Gluten-free Gingerbread Houses for All!

Photo copyright A&J Bakery

Photo copyright A&J Bakery

For many families, making gingerbread houses are a holiday tradition. But when someone in the family can no longer eat gluten, particularly a child, this special cooking/craft adventure in the kitchen can be a potentially harmful activity.

Most of the gingerbread house kits you’ll find at the store will be made with wheat, making them off limits to the gluten-free set. There is at least one company that sells gluten-free gingerbread house kits. We might not be able to pop into our local craft stores and pick one up, but we can order an unassembled house online.

gingerbrdscaled_320x240

Photo copyright A&J Bakery

A&J Bakery in Rhode Island sells assembled houses (pick-up only) and kits that can be shipped. The Allergen Friendly House Kit from this bakery is free of gluten, wheat,  tree nuts, peanuts, soy, egg, dairy, and sesame. They are made in a dedicated nut and gluten free facility.

The ready-made, all edible gluten-free gingerbread house from A Bountiful Harvest bakey can be shipped. This bakery is located in TN and therefore is a 1-2 shipment from most parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Many talented gluten-free bakers love experimenting with different flours to come up with amazing gluten-free treats! For those of you who want to bake your own gingerbread house parts from scratch, we found a few recipes that might interest you.

  • Gingerbread House Heaven offers up a gluten-free version of this classic holiday recipe. They also sell forms and related items to bake up the perfect gingerbread house.
  • Check out the creation from Only Sometimes Clever blog. It won 1st place in a gingerbread house competition! Here is the recipe used for the house parts.
  • The Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom blog offers up this gluten-free ginger cookies recipe to make a darling gluten-free gingerbread house. Notice the location of the door – too funny!

Jules Gluten Free Graham Cracker/Gingersnap mix can be used to make gingerbread house parts. The amazing Jules Gluten-Free flour works pretty much the same as wheat flour in most recipes so the Gingerbread Cookie mix is likely an excellent product as well.

If you’re the only one in your home that eats gluten-free and want to help your kids with their gingerbread houses, just remember to wash your hands often, or wear food service gloves, when working with gluten gingerbread house parts. They tend to be crumbly and can easily contaminate a gluten-free item you’re snacking on while working on the building project. Experts report that as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon of gluten can cause a reaction so it doesn’t take much to make yourself sick from cookie crumbs.

Trader Joe’s and Pamela’s sell exceptional gluten-free ginger snap cookies so if you just feel like a ginger cookie but don’t need to build a gingerbread house, grab a bag or two of these excellent cookies to have on hand during the holidays. The cookies go perfectly with a hot cup of tea or mulled cider during these cold winter months.

It is not necessary to give up your special holiday traditions just because you can’t eat gluten. You might have to change a few things up but you can most definitely figure out how to convert your favorite holiday activities to fit your gluten-free life!

Top 10 Gluten-Free Gifts for 2009

A few weeks ago, we asked what topped your Christmas list this year. From your suggestions (and a few of our own), we’ve gleaned the top 10 gluten-free gifts that are sure to be a hit this holiday season. So whether you’re shopping for the Celiac who has everything or you’re gluten-free and your relatives are still nagging you for your wish list, we’ve got you covered!

1. Gluten-Free Cooking Class


Ever wanted to channel your inner-Rachael Ray but don’t know how to hold a knife? Cooking institutes, restaurants, grocery stores, and universities all over the world are offering public courses in cooking gluten-free. Here are a few with 2010 schedules; do a quick google search to find an option in your hometown:

University of Michigan
Sorrentinos Restaurant Group (Canada)
Natural Gourmet Institute in New York
Price: Varies from Free to $125/day


2. Bread Machine


Our local supermarket charges $4.29 for a loaf of gluten-free bread. And the health food store down the street charges even more, $6.29. So, for the second year running, a bread machine made our list of top 10 gluten-free gifts. You can bake a loaf of bread with less than $1 worth of ingredients. If you go through a loaf every 2 weeks, a bread machine will pay for itself in a year. Just toss in the ingredients and the machine does the rest.

We found one model that features a special, gluten-free cycle, which essentially speeds up the bread-making process to prevent air bubbles created by yeast from escaping during the rising period. The manufacturer claims it yields a fluffier, lighter product compared to gluten-free bread made on a regular cycle, and reviewers seem to concur. But other models that include thumbs up from gluten-free reviewers are also listed below. As an added bonus for all you cat lovers out there, most machines have little window so your kitty can peek inside and watch the action. Kay’s calico used to love watching the knead cycle.

Breadman TR-875 Breadmaker, $129.99
Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine, $189.99
Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker, $129.99


3. Restaurant Gift Certificate


Longing for a night on the town free from gluten hassles? We have a book full of restaurants that cater to the gluten-free community, many of which offer gift certificates. Call your favorite find out if it offers gift options, or check out these chains which offer gluten-free menus and gift cards:

Outback Steakhouse
P.F. Chang’s
Wildfire
Price: Your Choice


4. Gluten-Free Baking Cookbooks


Baking is a science, but gluten-free baking takes it to another level. You might feel like you need a PhD in chemistry to bake bread that’s chewy and moist (not crumbly). Fortunately, you can find lots of great recipes online, but it’s hard to separate the from the duds. When using expensive, gluten-free baking ingredients, it helps to have tried and true recipes on hand so that you don’t waste your time and money. Our readers and editors recommend:

1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes, by Carol Fenster
Gluten-Free Baking Classics, by Annalise G. Roberts
Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America, by Richard J. Coppedge Jr. and George Chookazian
The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread: More Than 200 Wheat-Free Recipes, by Bette Hagman

All Prices are under $30


5. KitchenAid Mixer or Accessories


Whether by choice or necessity, I know a lot of gluten-free bakers out there. It’s just too much of a hassle, and too expensive, to always buy pre-packaged gluten-free baked goods. We often have no choice but to make things from scratch or go without. This is the most expensive gift on the list, but any baker will swear it’s totally worth it. I got my first one for Valentine’s Day from my husband. I would have rather gotten it for Christmas and some romantic chocolates for Valentine’s Day, but I’m not complaining…

Already have a Kitchen Aid Mixer? Check out the neat beater blade accessories with silicone scraper edges. You won’t have to scrape down the side of your bowl as often. Just make sure that you buy the right size for your mixer.

KitchenAid Mixer, $239.99
KitchenAid Beater Blade, $16.99 and up


6. Bun Pans


Here’s another gift for the baking enthusiast in your life. You can find fresh or frozen gluten-free sandwich bread at almost any supermarket, but buns are harder to find — and eating a big, juicy hamburger on a wimpy bread slice is not fun, nor practical. The whole thing just falls apart! And eating hot dogs in a square bread slice is just, well, square. Now you can make your own hamburger and hot dog buns. Freeze them and thaw when the weather warms up and you’ve fired up the grill.

Chicago Metallic Hamburger Bun Pan, $26.27
Chicago Metallic Hot Dog Roll Pan, $26.85


7. Gluten Test Strips


You probably have this gluten-free thing down by now, but you can’t live in a bubble. Whether it’s a business meeting, family function, or spontaneous outing, we all find ourselves eating food that was prepared by someone else. For these occasions, use our Triumph Dining Cards or these rapid result gluten tests. You simply mix a sample of the questionable food to a gluten extraction solution and allow the solution to be absorbed onto the test strip for 10 minutes. They’re sensitive enough to detect levels of gluten as low as 10 parts per million. They’re a little pricey for everyday use, but worth it for peace of mind, especially at large gatherings like weddings or conventions where you don’t have access to the chef.

EZ Gluten Test, $25 and up




8. GF Restaurant Guide…or Grocery Guide


Ok, we admit it. This one’s a bit shameless, but with with over 40,000 guides sold,  our products belong under any gluten-free tree. Over the past five years, our team has spent countless hours researching and updating our bestselling guides and dining cards in an effort to make living without gluten easier for everyone. Let’s face it, you’ve got to eat, but trying to find gluten-free options at your regular grocery store or favorite restaurant can be daunting. Our guides help people find gluten-free restaurants and also list brand names of store products that are gluten-free. Team up with us, and we’ll have you eating gluten-free and loving it through the new year.

The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide, $19.95
The Essential Gluten Free Restaurant Guide, $23.95
Triumph Dining Cards, $18.95


9. Premium Rice Cooker


With bread largely out of the picture, rice takes center stage on the gluten-free plate. This cooker is made by a company in Japan, where rice is eaten every day. Yes, it’s expensive, but every Japanese household has a premium rice cooker for a reason — it makes better rice than the cheaper ones. If you eat rice almost every day like we do, this is a wise investment. Bonus: it also makes fabulous steel-cut gluten-free oatmeal. (Not sure what gluten-free oatmeal is? Read our article on it.) Before I go to bed, I throw in 1/2 cups of steel-cut gluten-free oats in the morning, a handful of raisins, and a tablespoon of ground flaxseed for its omega-3s, and 2 cups of water. Then, I just set the timer and press cook. Freshly-cooked oatmeal is ready at 7 am sharp the next day.

Zojirushi Rice Cooker, $140



10. GF Magazine Subscription


You can find lots of great information online, but there’s nothing like holding a glossy magazine in your hand. There are several to choose from:

Gluten-Free Living ($34 for 1 year, 4 issues) delivers hard-hitting gluten-free news. They were one of the first to break the news that distilled vinegar is indeed gluten-free.

Delight Gluten Free ($18 for 1 year, 4 issues) is the newcomer, and they are more cooking-centric. Each issue is packed with lots of yummy recipes and pictures.

Living Without ($23 for 1 year, 6 issues) delves into the complexities of life with various food allergies. It’s a great pick for someone struggling with multiple sensitivities beyond just gluten.

Special Gluten-Free New Year’s Eve Dinner in Atlanta!

Shed at Glenwood Bar (Jason Crawley Photography)

Shed at Glenwood Bar (Jason Crawley Photography)

The Shed at Glenwood is a hip restaurant in a older, revitalized part of downtown Atlanta. The menu offers fresh, organic foods prepared in very creative ways. In the summer of 2009, the restaurant hosted the Atlanta GF Dinner Club for a brunch event. The special menu included Maine blueberry gluten-free pancakes and quiche with a wonderful savory gluten-free crust! The Chef used Gluten-Free Pantry pie crust for the quiche and Pamela’s pancake mix. Those items are not on the menu and were created only for the dinner club event.

The food is incredibly delicious at The Shed at Glenwood and the décor reminds one of a trendy spot in California. The sleek bar serves up plenty of specialty cocktails, making it the perfect spot for the downtown set to meet friends after work. Desserts selections are very creative and usually include something interesting for gluten-free patrons.

The Shed at Glenwood has several ‘regulars’ who can’t eat gluten so they decided to offer gluten-free options for their New Year’s Eve dinner this year. The price fixe menu includes three courses, all of which have a gluten-free selection. This very special event menu has something for everyone – gluten-free diners and glutenoids alike!

Shed at Glenwood NYE Dinner Menu: (bolded selections are gluten-free without modifications!)

1st Course
Belgian Endive Salad, Apple, Blue Cheese, Toasted Pistachio
or
Roasted Beet Salad, Vermont Goat Cheese, White Balsamic
or
Beef Tonque & Bread Salad

2nd Course
Gulf Oysters, Lemon & Black Pepper
or
North Carolina Trout, Oregon Black Truffle, Caper Egg Sauce
or
Eggplant Terrine, Ricotta, Pine Nuts

3rd Course

Beef Tenderloin, Wild Mushrooms, Maine Lobster
or
Pan Seared Duck Breast, Parsnips, Spicy Cranberries
or
Ricotta Ravioli, Georgia Pecans, Brown Butter, Sage

4th Course
Glass of Segura Viudas Pinot Noir Brut will be served with your Dessert Course

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Orange Anglaise
or
Apple Brownie, Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
or
Housemade Ding Dong

Be sure to make your New Year’s Eve reservations soon if you’re in the Atlanta area and want to enjoy a gourmet and delicious gluten-free meal at the Shed at Glenwood! Gluten-free diners are always welcome there. Just note your gluten-free needs when making a reservation any time of the year. If you miss the NYE dinner, the restaurant is open on New Year’s Day at 4 pm.

Because the food is real and fresh, the Chef knows what’s in each dish. Interestingly enough, he never uses flour for his reduction sauces. The helpful staff can help steer you in the right direction when ordering a gluten-free meal. The Shed at Glenwood is dedicated to providing safe, yet creative gluten-free meals to their customers that request them.

Please note this is NOT an Atlanta GF Dinner Club or Atlanta Metro Celiacs event.