Great news! Pamela’s just launched three new gluten free baking mixes and we’re hosting a giveaway for ONE lucky reader (GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED)! Just leave a comment describing your favorite homemade baked good recipe by this Sunday (April 14th) at 7pm and we’ll choose a winner at random. Here’s some info about the new products included in the giveaway, so far we’ve tried the oatmeal cookie mix and it was fantastic.

Artisan Flour Blend is a cup-for-cup replacement for wheat, made without leavening or sugar, and is 100% free of wheat, gluten, dairy, soy and corn.

Oatmeal Cookie Mix is made with oats certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization and is a dependable foundation for your favorite mix-ins like coconut and walntus.

Sugar Cookie Mix – Roll & Cut delivers pliable dough that home bakers can roll out to make buttery shortbread cookies, or even a sugar cookie pie crust.

*must have a US mailing address to qualify.

Apr 012013
 

Gluten free bakeries and specialty services have been popping up all over the bay area this past year. The more people that swear off gluten, the more that want the wheatless goodies. Good thing we don’t all have to swarm Mariposa (we still love them) or the freezer section at Whole Foods for a gluten free cookie anymore. Now there are countless places to get your carb fix, and some even deliver.

Motek Treats is a brand new gluten free baking service that was launched by a young couple who have an affinity for whipping up gluten free treats made for delivery. Unique items like parmesean boule, cinnamon babka, specialty cookies and chocolate covered matzoh crackers are adored by their customers. After tasting an assortment of their treats, it’s safe to say that the fresh pasta, parmesan boule and the peanut butter nutella cookies absolutely must be included in your order.  Their handmade pasta boiled up in 3 minutes and had the most wonderful texture. Get your Motek treats here!

 

Flour Craft Bakery, the the first free standing 100% gluten free bake shop in Marin opened last week in downtown San Anselmo and we welcome it to the community.

Flour Craft is selling more than their hand crafted granola found at most bay area Whole Foods and gourmet markets. Artisan cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies, scones, and brioche are all made on location with the highest quality ingredients (they’re a member of Marin Organic). Granola and yogurt parfaits, home-made quiche, custom pies and cakes. There is so much I need to try. It has been challenging not to stop in every time I drive by, but I will admit I’ve indulged in their bread pudding, strawberry scones, sugar cookies and a loaf of their bread. It has all been fantastic. I’ve been to a lot of gluten free bakeries folks, this one is a keeper. Gluten free and vegan? they’ve got options.

 

 

Two months ago I became an organic farmer. Less than two years ago, I was working as an apparel designer in San Francisco hunched over a desk sketching garments that would be manufactured in China and shipped to department stores all over America wrapped 3 times over in plastic and cardboard.

Of course, this site is about gluten free food, so I hesitate to detail the nuances of my transition from desk to farm. In short, it was time for a big change. I took this road trip I’ve told you about, and made this movie, and now I’m farming on a beautiful hillside in Novato with a team of amazingly smart and enthusiastic people. The Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden is owned and run as a team effort by the College of Marin and Conservation Corps North Bay. The 5.8 acre farm is only in its fourth year of existence, yet the crops and gardens are already thriving. With a strong backbone of individuals who have dedicated their lives to sustainable farming (including a pioneer of the organic farming movement), the Indian Valley Farm is becoming an unrivaled educational resource in the bay area. Every day we harvest fantastic certified organic produce that’s sold to the community from our farm stand and nearby restaurants looking to support local organic agriculture.

I’m telling you all of this because I plan to start posting once in a while about things I do on the farm and talk about amazing processes like composting and bee keeping and how to grow beautiful red russian kale and what fresh pressed olive oil from our beautiful young tuscan olive trees tastes like.  All of this in between the usual features of restaurants and bakeries and recipes I love. Thank you so much for following along!

Do any of you live in the North Bay? Stop by the Indian Valley Organic Farm on Wednesdays year round between 10am and 3pm for organic produce at the farm stand.

 

When you’re not feeling like mixing seven different types of flour together, having a great baking mix or two in your cabinet can just about save your sanity. You want to make a pizza but you’re sick of pulling cardboard-like crusts out of the freezer at the grocery and the last two gluten free pizza crust recipes you tried from scratch did not work. This is where Jessica Kahn’s new company kitch+table comes in.  Jessica spent the past couple years experimenting with recipes for the gluten challenged, and I’ve been lucky enough be do some of the taste testing along the way. The brand new company just launched with two fool proof gluten free mixes that everyone should have on hand.

kitch+table’s pizza crust mix is the closest thing I’ve had to deep dish pizza in almost a decade. Most pre-made gluten free crusts tend to be on the thin side, so it’s refreshing to take a bite of pizza where the bready part is really there. It’s so easy to make, especially if you’ve got a stand mixer.

Gluten free or not, kitch+table’s double chocolate brownie mix has to be one of the best brownie mixes you can buy. You, nor your friends would ever know the difference. I’ll let the above photo take it from here.

Both mixes are reasonably priced and available for purchase at http://www.kitchandtable.com/

Aug 152012
 

Finally, a good gluten free wrap. Gosh, that took a while. Every wrap I’ve tried in my 7 years of celiac has been either hard and chewy, or flaked off into dust as I ate it. Oh and corn tortillas? they don’t count as wraps. Rudi’s spinach tortillas have great flavor and texture, there’s actually some nice elasticity to them that allows them to function like a normal wrap. Before you fill it with your favorite ingredients, make sure to heat it up for a few seconds in a hot frying pan on each side, it helps to soften it (careful not to heat it too much or it will turn into a giant potato chip). Roll it up and eat it immediately or wrap it in foil and pack it in your lunch bag, they keep really well that way.

The above chips are Kettle’s Honey Mustard Potato Chips (gluten free).

Where to buy Rudi’s wraps: I know you can find them at Sans gluten free grocery in San Rafael, but I haven’t seen these things at Whole Foods. Let me know if you notice them in other stores in the Bay Area!

 

I expressed how easy it can be to prep and cook fantastic gluten free meals when camping with limited resources in a previous post. Still, it can be completely daunting to head for the woods with a camp stove and cooler if you’re ill experienced, or just aren’t prepared. Already on the road? it’s difficult to pick up specialty items like gluten free bread, crackers, pasta, or soy sauce because not every small town along the way will be health savvy. In fact, most aren’t. Before you’re stranded by the campfire with nothing but canned soup, remember to pick up the basics at your local Whole Foods or gluten free grocery section, it’s always easy to buy fresh fruits and vegetables along the way.

On a recent excursion to Tahoe National Forest in our ’93 Ford camper van, we packed the mini fridge full of farmer’s market produce and filled our cabinets with snacks before leaving town. The following 4 days of meal prep were worry free. Some highlights of the weekend (aside from floating down the South Yuba River and morning swims in Scott’s Flat reservoir) included a caprese salad with seared eggplant, french toast topped with homemade granola, ripe organic peaches & vermont maple syrup, and tortilla soup with summer vegetables. So now let me ask, why are you eating instant oatmeal and canned chili if you’ve got the space and the means to make something better? When I’m roughing it, food is one of my greatest pleasures. After a long hike or day at the lake, I’m dying for a good meal with real ingredients.

What you’ll need to create your campground kitchen (and these are the absolute basics):

Propane camp stove (unless you’ve got the luxury of a camper with a built in stove top)

2 quart sauce pot with lid

8-10″ non stick frying pan or cast iron skillet

A good sharp knife for chopping

Spatula

Cutting board

Cooler w/ ice packs (or a mini fridge, again if you’ve got the camper)

Battery powered lantern and candles

Utensils, plates, bowls

Now that we’ve got the kitchen set up, it’s easy to throw together simple recipes like you would at home.

Watch for future posts with recipes and more info on gluten free camping and backpacking.