Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 Gluten Free Holiday Gift Guide

1. Bread Srsly Gluten Free Sourdough: This bread made me think I died and came back to life in a world where there is no gluten, only perfect sourdough bread. Sadie, the owner, even sells gift packages with baby jams. Baby! Use code glutenfreeblondie for free shipping, and order before December 14th for holiday delivery. 
2. West Elm Textured Dip Bowls: I use these for EVERYTHING, except maybe dip. Go figure. They're perfect for appetizers, desserts, a few bites of reheated leftovers, and I even keep one on my nightstand to catch trinkets. They also come in metallic! Oooooo festive. 
3. Gluten Free Kitchen Floursack Tea Towel: How's this for a subtle reminder to keep gluten THE HECK AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN? :) Also vegan and paleo versions. 
4. Custom 'Screw Gluten' Keychain or Necklace: Tiffanie will stamp these keychains or necklaces with whatever you want. Seriously, whateeeeever you want. I chose 'screw gluten', but you can also opt for more... colorful language. $25 for any custom keychain (plus shipping), and $30 and up (plus shipping) for custom necklaces. You can place custom orders on her website, or by emailing her: Check out her Etsy shop to see the variety of shapes/sizes. Order by December 16th for holiday delivery. 
5. Gluten Free Cooking Class: With a quick google I found this list of gluten free classes in the NYC area, including a few classes at Haven's Kitchen in Chelsea. How about a gluten free cupcake & decorating class?
6. Pappardelle's Dried Gluten Free Pasta: Do you believe your eyeballs at all those different kinds of gluten free pasta! Until Pappardelle's I would have bet you about bazillion dollars that gluten free dark chocolate pasta and gluten free lemon basil orzo did not exist. Pair a few varieties of pasta with a jar of sauce, olive oil, or a big, pretty serving dish. (Home Goods will have all of the above for cheap.) Use code GFBLONDIE for $2 off your online order.
7. Wild Friends Flavored Nut Butter Packets: Stocking stuffer alert! I keep a packet of this nut butter (usually vanilla espresso almond butter and chocolate sunflower seed almond butter) in my purse along with a banana. Perfect when you're feeling hangry. Use code HOLIDAY25 for 25% off of your order. 

1. Sur La Table Marble Pastry Board: Because gluten free food (and any food) looks prettier on a big ol' slab of marble. Aaaand now you know that I don't have marble countertops. Love me still? 
2. Gluten Free Flour Blends: My favorite is Cup4Cup (dying to try the new Wholesome blend!). For an all-purpose flour blend that's free of the top 8 allergens, try BG Bakes. It's made by my friend Kait who is an actual bubble-girl, and makes the best protein muffins in all the land.
3. Pee-your-pants Funny Gluten Free Books: Erica and April are two of the funniest gals on the Internet, who also happen to have Celiac disease. Their books are Celiac and the Beast, and Gluten is my Bitch, respectively. I wish someone had handed me both of these books when I was diagnosed with Celiac. Sounds more fun than crying over medical brochures, no?
4. A Badass Ring Honoring their Favorite Gluten Free Food: I rock one that says Nachos, which are my other true love in life. Some other winners are Cheese, Hot Sauce, Burger and Sweatpants. (I know sweatpants aren't a food but I love them anyway.) Last day for custom orders is December 10th. Place all other orders by December 18th, and use code gluten for free shipping! (C'mon - who else lol'ed at the promo code.)
5. A Wildly Inappropriate but Hilarious T-Shirt: This one doesn't require much explanation. Plus, 100% of the profits go to charity, which is, might I say, fuckin' awesome.
6. Cookies Con Amore Gluten Free Italian Cookies: These classic Italian cookies are the kinds that you probably wouldn't make at home, and would stare at longingly in a bakery display. (Been there.) The assortment pack includes a great variety, and is perfect to put out around the holidays. Use code AMORE4GFBLONDIE for 20% off your order. 
7. Gift Card: I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you that gluten free food is NOT cheap. Choose a grocery store that carries a variety of gluten free options (Whole Foods or Trader Joe's), or  pick up a gift card for their favorite gluten free restaurant. (Hint hint: Pala Pizza.)

Happy gluten free gifting! Anything awesome that I missed? 

BTW, feel free to buy me ALL THE THINGS.

Disclaimer-smishclaimer: no bribery involved in the making of this gift guide. I 100% dig every single thing on here from the bottom of my gluten free heart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

No-Cook, Last-Minute, EASY FREAKING PEASY Dessert Recipe: Pumpkin Pudding

We have two days people. TWO DAYS.

Quick - add instant vanilla pudding mix to your shopping list. And maybe a can of pumpkin. You've probably got everything else.

Since pumpkin is my most favorite of all the pies, I want it pretty much every week during November and December. But gluten free crust is expensive/annoying, and pumpkin pie takes some time to make and bake.

This pumpkin pudding tastes JUST like pumpkin pie filling, and takes like, negative time to make. Really. Your day will get longer by 5 minutes - it's miraculous.

Any day but Thanksgiving, I end the night with a little nightcap bowl of pumpkin pudding topped with a modest dollop of whipped cream. Then I cover the modest dollop (and the entire bowl) with a solid inch of whipped cream. Finally, I eat it with a tiny baby spoon because it makes me feel dainty.

On THE day, you know the one with the turkey, I put my fancy-pants on and incorporate the pumpkin pudding into a trifle. Which I think means just layering stuff in a glass dish. Ooooohhhhh. Aaaaahhhh. 

In the past I layered pumpkin pudding, crumbled gluten free gingersnaps, and fresh whipped cream, then topped it with some chocolate stars that Martha Mom had laying around. The trifle tastes even better if you assemble it the day before, which would be TOMORROW. Deep breaths. Followed by big swigs of champagne. You've got this.

Recipe: Instant (ok almost instant) Pumpkin Pudding

- I've made this into a trifle by layering the pudding with crumbled gluten free gingersnaps and fresh whipped cream. See it here!

Ingredients (makes about 5 1/2 cups of pumpkin pudding)
1 one-oz box fat-free, sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix
2 cups cold skim or low-fat milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree 
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Garnishes (optional)
Whipped cream
Grated nutmeg
Shaved chocolate

Prepare the pudding according to package instructions. If you're using Jell-O brand instant pudding, whisk packet of powder with 2 cups of cold milk for 2 minutes until set.

Wait about 5 minutes so pudding is fully set, then use a rubber spatula to mix in pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Pumpkin pudding is best after chilling for a bit, but can also be served immediately. 

Top with any garnishes you'd like, such as whipped cream, grated nutmeg, cinnamon, shaved chocolate, crumbled gluten free cookies, etc. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recipe: Apple and Cranberry Studded Stuffing with Quinoa and Sausage

Oooohhh good god I've been eating stuffing every day for the past week and a half.

Let's call it pre-gaming.

I'll give you this: it's not the worst problem to have. Now I'm just that much more excited for mashed potatoes (I LOVE POTATOES) and pumpkin pie. Usually stuffing is the first thing I pile on my plate at Thanksgiving, but I have a feeling my priorities will be just a weee bit shifted come Thursday. (BTW Mom please still make stuffing because I will definitely cry without it even though my body is now 80% made of bread cubes.)

Last week I was REALLY craving stuffing for dinner. It was nice and chilly in New York (though today it was 60 or something wonky like that), and a big, warm tray of apple-cranberry stuffing sounded just so perfect to curl up to. Spoiler alert, it was.

I wanted it to be a little more filling and a little less bread-y, so I swapped half the bread for a cup and a half of cooked quinoa. Um. Experiment gone right. You don't quite taste the quinoa - it kind of mushes in with all of the other ingredients, but it definitely adds some bulk without having to double up on the bread. Gluten free stuffing mix costs an arm and a leg (plus another arm and maybe an index finger), so I was also pretty glad to only have to buy one package. (I used Whole Foods brand, but I just saw that Trader Joe's carries gluten free stuffing mix! Gosh I just love 'em.)  

The rest of the recipe is the exactly as my mom makes it every year. In fact I shared it a few years ago, but this variation was worth providing to the internets as well. Whether you go half quinoa or all bread, don't mess with the cranberries, apples and sausage. They really make this stuffing something special, worth making year over year, and even for dinner the week before Thanksgiving. 

Recipe: Apple and Cranberry Studded Stuffing with Quinoa and Sausage
[original recipe from Gluten Free Blondie / Bon Appetit]

- If you use unseasoned stuffing mix OR are cutting up and toasting your own bread cubes, double the amount of poultry seasoning and sage. (So use 2 teaspoons each.)
- To make your own bread cubes: remove crust from 1 loaf of gluten free bread. Cut each slice of bread into cubes. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cubes of bread should be dried and crisp, but not browned.
- I like to cook my quinoa in chicken stock instead of water to impart more flavor.

Ingredients (Serves 12-16)
.5 to 1 lb pork sausage, removed from casing (all one flavor, or combo of sweet and spicy)
1 medium to large yellow or white onion 
2 cups chopped celery (about 8 stalks)
8 to 10 oz. gluten free herbed stuffing mix (if stuffing mix is NOT seasoned, see Notes)
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
2 apples, cubed (peel on; about 2.5 cups)
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried sage
½ tsp black pepper
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock (gluten free)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9” baking dish (glass or metal) with cooking spray, and set aside.

Place a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, place sausage in pan and begin to break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for about 5 minutes, continuing to break up with the spoon. Once the sausage has released some of its fat, add the chopped onion and celery. Cook for another 10-12 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the sausage is completely browned. Add 1/2 cup of the stock to the pan, and deglaze by using the wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat. If there is a lot of excess fat (enough to pool in the corner if you tip the pan), pour it off.

If you’re using a big enough pot, you can do the rest of the mixing right in there. If not, scrape the sausage and veggies into a very large bowl.

To the sausage and veggies, add the stuffing mix, quinoa, apples, cranberries, poultry seasoning, dried sage and pepper. Gently toss all of the ingredients together so they’re evenly distributed. Slowly add 1.5 cups of the broth. Carefully toss once more.

Scrape all of the stuffing into the greased baking dish. Spread evenly, and pack down the top a bit. Slowly pour the remaining 1/2 cup broth evenly over the stuffing. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the top of the stuffing is lightly browned and crisp. (For an extra crispy crust, broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it!)

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