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.

 

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.

 

Just across the street from Fairfax’s grassy town park and weekly farmers market sits the modern wine bar and restaurant, 123 Bolinas. A definite player in the slow food movement, 123 Bolinas has everything from seasonal organic veggies to sustainable wines and close ties with farmers in the region. The intimate restaurant feels upscale at first glance, but it’s relaxed inside. The pretty interior lighting, reclaimed wood furniture, and large windows overlooking the nearby park make for one of the best restaurant atmospheres in town.  123 Bolinas doesn’t specifically cater to celiacs, but the waiters are knowledgable about every ingredient and will even have the kitchen whip up something special if the menu that night doesn’t suit your dietary needs. Check the chalkboard for seasonal small plates like grilled peaches, chevre and procuitto served over rocket greens, or order something more substantial like the pan seared rock cod with summer stew, turnip, and sweet peas.

 

There can never be too many peaches in my kitchen during July and August. I’d say about a quarter of the cash I bring to the farmer’s market goes into the hands of the organic peach guy. Here’s a little something I threw together with a few of them this week.

Peach Pie with Crumble Topping and Flaky Almondy Crust:

The Crust:

3/4 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)

2 tbs tapioca starch

2tbs potato starch (not potato flour)

2 tbs sorghum flour

10 tbs unsalted cold butter

1 egg

1 tbs apple cider vinegar

2 tbs sugar

1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flours, sugar and salt). Chop cold butter on a cutting board and add to dry ingredients, incorporating it in with a pastry cutter or your hands until dough becomes more uniform and butter chunks are no larger than the size of peas. Form a well in the mixture, crack the egg inside and drizzle in the cider vinegar. Stir clockwise with a fork starting in the center and working your way out, mixing until dough forms a soft ball (you may need to use your hands for this too). Place the ball in a layer of parchment paper and flatten it out a bit. Stick it in the fridge for 1 hr- overnight before rolling out. When ready to roll out: remove from fridge and let rest a few minutes. Flour the counter and your rolling pin. Carefully roll out crust and place into greased pie dish. Don’t feel bad if the crust doesn’t land in the pie dish in one piece (there’s no gluten gluing the thing together), sometimes it works beautifully, others it takes some piecing together once in the pie dish, result of finished pie will be exactly the same.

The Pie filling:

4 or 5  ripe organic peaches, sliced & chopped (some people like to peal their peaches, I prefer not to).

a handful or 2 of organic blueberries (you could play around with other in season fruits)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tbs brown rice flour

1 tbs tapioca starch

Whisk flours, sugar, and cinnamon together and set aside. Combine chopped peaches and blueberries in large bowl, stir in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Crumble topping:

1/2 cup almond flour (Bob’s Redmill)

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 stick of butter, melted

a handful of oats (I used Bob’s Redmill GF oats)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch of salt

Combine dry ingredients, mix in melted butter and stir until crumbly texture is formed. Sprinkle over pie filling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake pie approximately 35-40 minutes (until peach filling bubbles up and crust browns). If crust or topping browns too quickly, cover with foil.

Let cool a few minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.