Recipe Friday: Gluten-Free and Fancy

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, a holiday that always stresses me out. It seems like lots of people try to have big, blow-out, memorable evenings — and the effort that goes into planning far outweighs the fun they wind up having.

Accordingly, I thought we’d go for the opposite type of recipe today: recipes whose deliciousness far outweighs the planning required for them. Pumpkin Spice Waffle Cookies from The Daily Dietribe and Chocolate Espresso Angel Food Cake from Real Sustenance. Added bonus, they both look quite fancy: perfect for impressing someone as we start 2012.

Aside from their prettiness, these two recipes have very little in common. Well, except that they’re gluten-free. And isn’t that all that really matters?

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Gluten-free Beer! (or as they say in Latin: Nunc Est Bibendum)

photo borrowed from Freshdaily's Toronto blog

A festive post for a festive week. I know many of us typically think of Champagne when we think of New Year’s toasts — but that’s not what today’s post is about.

Many of us also like beer. Or, at least, liked beer until we had to go gluten-free (you certainly had a lot to say about that last year when I wrote about beer, including some of your favorite gluten-free finds). The gluten-free beer market continues to boom. Happily for us all, in addition to established gluten-free beers like Bard’s etc., more and more established brewers are dipping their toes (and more) into the vat. What’s more, new breweries are setting up, dedicated solely to beers for the likes of you and me.

Dogfish Head, the well-loved craft brewer making, “off-centered stuff for off-centered people,” first tried out a gluten-free beer in their brewpub in Rehoboth, Delaware. It did so well that they’ve gone ahead and bottled it for our far-flung enjoyment.

The brew, called Tweason’ale, has a sorghum base but also includes strawberries and buckwheat honey. It will be released 4 times each year, starting in January, and come packed as 4 12-oz bottles.

If you’re in Canada — Toronto, specifically — you don’t just get a new gluten-free beer, you get a gluten-free brewery. Snowman Brewing, spun from a home brew, is now getting its own nights at Burger Bar in Kensington Market. Not too much info available on the brews themselves, but according to the article their gluten-free brews won this years All About Ales awards in the strong ale and the brown ales categories. The awards are given to amateur brewers by the Canadian Amateur Brewers Association, and it’s notable that Snowman’s entries beat out the gluten-containing competition.

Which gluten-free beers are you loving lately?

Recipe Friday: Easy as Cherry Pie

It’s the day of Christmas Eve Eve. Hooray!

If you don’t have your recipes set, may I suggest you have a look at these?

This week’s recipes from Iris and Brittany may seem incongruous to the season, but I thought amidst all the gingerbread and eggnog you might be looking for a splash of something bright and summery: cherries.

‘Tis the season for frozen or dried cherries rather than fresh — but with these recipes for Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cherry Pie, you’ll be transported back to warmer weather. Plus, added bonus! an extra pie crust recipe, for filling with whatever your hungry heart desires.

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Blood Type Diet: Should Celiacs Care?

Food PyramidI don’t know how you feel about horoscopes, but I tend to regard them with suspicion — even though they are sometimes eerily accurate.

I feel similarly towards the concept of a blood type diet. The idea that my blood would somehow dictate the foods that are potentially healthy/hurtful for me, well it makes me raise an eyebrow.

Mainstream science seems to scoff at the concept as well, admitting that none of the advice is potentially harmful (there is no blood type that thrives on whipped cream and corn syrup) but citing a lack of studies proving any specific benefit to the concept.

And yet…well, it’s interesting.
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Gluten-free latkes, not just for Hanukkah

We threw a little party this weekend, just a casual excuse to get together with all those people you love but somehow never get a chance to see enough of. And an excuse to make latkes.


Sorry, didn't get a picture of the latkes. Did get a snap of the laser dreidel.

Ah, the humble latke. Harbinger of the Hanukkah holiday, holder of my heart, heavy with … apple sauce and sour cream. Some things just can’t be alliterated.

You certainly don’t have to celebrate Hanukkah to enjoy the traditional foods: those of the fried variety. The central message of the Festival of Lights, too, is apt regardless of your beliefs: it’s a time to celebrate the way that sometimes, despite all indications that you have less-than-enough, it turns out that you’re able to make it last until better times.

Tomorrow night is the first night of Hanukkah this year; if you aren’t sure what to make for dinner, may I suggest the latke?
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