Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of the day, Maria and I tried three very different recipes that featured chocolate and are sharing them with you below. All are easy to make and good to eat any day. Think of them as gifts that keep on giving! Both sources for the recipes (Taste of Home
and The New York Times
) offer other gluten-free recipes on their websites. White Chocolate Popcorn DeluxeServings
: 8 small Preparation Time
: 15 minutes plus cooling Cooking Time
: none Ingredients
8 cups air-popped popcorn
1/3 dried cranberries or other dried fruits
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon butter Directions
Put popcorn in a large bowl. Melt white chocolate and butter together; stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Add cranberries, walnuts and salt. Spread onto a cookie or baking sheet lined with waxed paper or a silicone baking pad and cool.
Place in airtight containers to store, or in colorful cellophane bags that tie to give as gifts. Adapted from Taste of Home 2012.
Chocolate Pots Servings
: 4 or 5, depending on size of dessert dishPreparation Time
: 15 minutes plus chillingCooking Time
: none Ingredients
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash of salt
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream and fresh mint for garnish Directions
In small pan, combine egg, sugar and salt. Whisk in cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches 160ºF. and coats back of a metal spoon. Remove mixture from heat and whisk in chocolate chips and vanilla until smooth. Pour into small dessert dishes and refrigerate for at least eight hours, or overnight. Garnish with the whipped cream and fresh mint. Adapted from Taste of Home 2012 (Pots de Crème).
Shulman’s Gluten-Free Muffins
In January, Martha Rose Shulman published an article in The New York Times
called “A Hodgepodge of Muffins, All Gluten Free
.” Shulman is The Times’ Recipes for Health
editor and author of the book The Very Best of Recipes for Health
and many other cookbooks (available on Amazon).
In her article, Shulman included recipes for five muffins; Maria and I immediately made her Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins. They looked like dark chocolate and tasted like yellow banana. I would have eaten all 16, but I had an attack of generosity and gave some of them to a friend. For your enjoyment, we are including this muffin recipe below. We will report on the other muffins in another posting. All of Shulman’s muffin recipes are in grams, as she believes that results are more consistent if you use grams and scale your ingredients using a digital scale.Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins
16 (1/3 cup batter for each)Preparation Time
: 20 minutesCooking Time
: 30 minutes Ingredients
75 grams (approximately 1/2 cup) buckwheat flour
75 grams (approximately 3/4 cup) almond flour
140 grams (approximately 1 cup) whole grain or all-purpose gluten-free flour mix*
32 grams (approximately 6 tablespoons) dark cocoa powder
10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking soda
3.5 grams (rounded 1/2 teaspoon) salt
100 grams (approximately 1/2 cup) raw brown sugar or packed light brown sugar
75 grams (1/3 cup) canola or grape seed oil
120 grams (1/2 cup) plain low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
330 grams ripe bananas (peeled weight), about 3 medium, mashed (1 1/4 cups)
115 grams (about 2/3 cup) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped
*For the gluten-free flour mix, Shulman used 98 grams (about 2/3 cup) brown rice flour, 28 grams potato starch and 14 grams cornstarch. Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Oil or butter muffin tins or use liners. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Pour in any bits that remain in the sifter.
2. In another large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment beat together oil and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated, then beat in yogurt or buttermilk, vanilla and mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients and mix at low speed or whisk gently until combined. If using a mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, fill muffin cups to the top. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes, until a muffin springs back lightly when touched. Remove from the heat and if the muffins come out of tins easily, remove from tins and place on a rack. If they don’t release easily, allow them to cool and then remove from tins.
Shulman says that these muffins keep for a few days out of the refrigerator, for a few more days in the refrigerator and for a few months in the freezer. Best eaten warm. Maria and I are planning to add nuts to the batter next time, and perhaps a little chocolate icing with some gluten-free sprinkles for a brunch. Adapted from The New York Times, article by Martha Rose Shulman, photograph by Andrew Scrivani
Let's us know if you try these recipes and how they came out for you! (Susan)
New Book on Baking Allergen-Free Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts
by Colette Martin
The Internet is humming with reviews on a new book about allergen-free baking. Colette Martin has produced an excellent reference book to use with other cookbooks that are long on recipes, but short on the science of baking without the foods in her title. You will be marking pages to reread as you learn how to bake products that multi-allergy families can safely and happily eat. The book will be helpful to home bakers who are new to baking for food allergies and intolerances, as well as to those of us who have been baking for special diets for years.
Martin became an expert on how to bake allergen-free when her son Patrick was diagnosed in 2001 with allergies to wheat, milk, eggs, soy and peanuts. As she modified her recipes to eliminate the top eight food allergens and gluten, she discovered her own intolerances to wheat and soy. On her blog, Learning to Eat Allergy-Free
, Martin shares research, recipes, products and tips on eating allergen-free and gluten-free. She is a contributor at Forbes.com and LivingHarvest.com, on the Board of Directors for the Kids with Food Allergies Foundation and a member of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network and of the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.
Since the primary audience for this book (her first) is busy parents, Martin includes short “Crash Course” sections with concise information on baking topics and techniques, from using baking soda and powder, to creaming and to proofing yeast. These sections should help you avoid some kitchen disasters, or at least understand what when wrong and how to fix it.
Maria is a scientist by training, so she particularly likes the in-depth information on the functions of specific ingredients, how they contribute to traditional baking and how to make substitutions that work. We are both fans of the baking lessons and lab that moved us along from simple batters, to thick batters, to dough and to those all-important comfort foods and snacks.
Martin offers basic recipes, plus details on customizing and varying recipes. Her emphasis is on courageously experimenting with ingredients and exploring new foods, like amaranth, hemp milk and coconut oil. In addition to the home baking advice, Martin discusses shopping for and storing ingredients like flours and oils, adapting gluten-free baking mixes for allergen-free results, troubleshooting and modifying traditional recipes.
Martin wanted to share the secrets she learned as her family’s allergy-free baker to help you make baked goods your whole family will enjoy. With this book, she has provided a practical resource for understanding how to bake well with food allergies. To see one of her recipes, go to Bob’s Red Mill
, which received permission from Martin’s publisher to reprint her Mixed Berry Crumble recipe. If you live in Georgia, Maria and I are available for taste testing and we will bring the tea! (Susan)
Maria and I recently went to a gluten-free cooking class in Atlanta, Georgia (US) that was sponsored by our local GIG chapter and taught by Beth Hillson. Beth is a chef and cooking instructor who founded the Gluten-Free Pantry and created the pantry’s gourmet baking mixes. She is the food editor for Living Without
magazine and editor of a weekly free e-newsletter for www.glutenfree.com
. Beth’s latest cookbook, Gluten-Free
has more than 175 recipes from family favorites to gourmet goodies.
She prepared the following recipes during our class: broccoli cranberry salad, focaccia, potato and cheese pierogi and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Beth told our class that her three favorite gluten-free flours are amaranth, quinoa and sorghum (in that order). She also uses millet flour. She likes amaranth flour for pizza and pie crust. For cake flour, her formula is 1/4 cup of corn flour for each cup of Bob’s Red Mill All–Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix. For pastry flour, she combines 1/4 cup or two tablespoons corn flour for each cup of her own basic blend. She likes Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour brands of gluten-free flours. Gluten-free Pantry’s brand of all-purpose flour contains salt and xanthan gun, so she does not recommend using it in her
focaccia recipe.Beth’s Basic Flour Blend
• 2¾ c
ups rice flour
• 1¼ cups
corn or potato starch
cup tapioca starch Other class tips from Beth included the following:
• Use cookie (aka ice cream) scoops of all sizes for cookies, muffins, mini-muffins and other goodies.
• Make sure the oil sprays you are using on your pans do not contain wheat flour.
• Don’t put yeast on top of your salt when you are making breads; the salt will burn the yeast.
• For yeast breads, begin with all ingredients at room temperature.
• For food demonstrations, leave nuts out of recipes in case your audience includes people with nut allergies.
• Protein flours have stronger flavors and will produce darker crusts and cookies.
• Use Earth Balance or butter in your baking. Earth Balance is salty, so decrease the salt in your recipe if you add it. Cookies made with Earth Balance will spread more and brown less.
• For sweeteners, Beth likes stevia in the raw, coconut crystals and date sugar.
Baked goods made with stevia in the raw will bake faster and shrink; decrease
baking time by five minutes. Use 1/2 to 3/4 of stevia in the raw as you would
sugar in a recipe. Date sugar will make baked items darker.
• Get a Beater Blade with a flex (scraper) edge for your Kitchen Aid mixer so you do not have to stop mixing to scrap down the sides of the mixer bowl.
• To add some “glue” back into gluten-free recipes, Beth uses xanthan gum, guar gum, agar-agar or potato flour. Substitute one tablespoon of potato flour for 1 teaspoon of agar-agar or xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is going up in price so this is a useful substitution.
• Use plastic wrap to press focaccia dough into the pan, and leave the plastic wrap on top of the dough while it is rising.
• Pipe cream cheese and other frostings onto cupcakes using a disposable plastic decorating bag instead of a cloth icing bag. It will work better.
• Calm the flavor of raw onions by soaking them in cider vinegar for a few hours.
Maria and I suggest you read some of the reviews on Amazon before purchasing either the beater blade or the disposable decorating bags. Reviewers had mixed comments that will inform your purchasing. The beater blades come in various sizes and styles to fit specific models of Kitchen Aid mixers. The decorating bags are also called icing, pastry and piping bags.
We are giving you a link to Beth’s pie crust recipe and sharing her Fabulous Focaccia recipe that she made for the class, adding fresh rosemary and garlic for her seasonings.
Beth’s Dairy-Free Flaky Pie Crust (makes one 9-inch crust)Recipe uses a high-protein flour blend that includes amaranth flour.
BETH’S FABULOUS FOCACCIA**
: 8Preparation Time
: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes to riseCooking Time
: 20-25 minutesINGREDIENTS
• 2½ cups Basic Blend (see above)
• 1/2 cup potato flour
• 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• 4½ teaspoons instant active or active dry yeast
• 1¼ cups warm water (105° to 110°F)
• 4 large eggs
• 1/4 cup olive oil or herb oil*
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese or cheese substitute
Lightly brush a 9”X13” pan with olive oil. In stand mixer bowl, combine flours, xanthan gum, salt and yeast. Briefly beat to blend, using paddle attachment. Combine water, eggs and oil and add to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 10 minutes. Press dough into prepared pan. Let rise in warm, draft-free area for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush top of dough with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cut focaccia into strips and serve warm.
*For herb oil, combine 1/4 cup olive oil with a blend of fresh or dried herbs (e.g.,
oregano, rosemary, thyme) and crushed or finely chopped fresh garlic or garlic
powder to taste.
**From Gluten-Free Makeovers
by Beth Hillson, GIG of Atlanta Cooking
Class, March 24, 2012 Please let us know about any creative versions of the focaccia recipe that you
develop. (Susan and Maria)
Photo by: Taste of Home
Do you need one more dessert for your gluten-free Easter week dinners? Are you looking for a task that will keep your kids or grandchildren entertained? Well, Taste of Home Holiday
lastest email has got the cake for you. It only has four ingredients, which can be bought or made gluten-free, and will be fun to decorate. Here is the original recipe, with our suggestions for modifying it:
Peeps Sunflower Cake
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes with all store-bought ingredients
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes plus decorating time
•1 package (18 and 1/4 ounces) yellow or chocolate cake mix
•12 cans (16 ounces each) chocolate frosting
•19 yellow chick Peeps candies
•1 and 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Purchase gluten-free versions of each ingredient. The cake mix, Peeps and chocolate chips will be easy to find. Betty Crocker has a Rich and Creamy Chocolate Frosting that is gluten-free, and you will probably be able to find other gluten-free frosting brands.
Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and waxed or parchment paper-lined 9-inch round baking pans. Cool cake layers for 10 minutes before carefully removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Level tops of cakes. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Without separating Peeps and curving slightly to fit, arrange chicks around edge of cake for sunflower petals. For sunflower seeds, arrange chocolate chips in center of cake.
Maria and I love good chocolate, so we suggest you make this dessert using our Ancient Grains or Black Bean Chocolate Cake recipes (both posted on this website). For each recipe, make two cake layers; since the Ancient Grains cake is small (6 inches), you can cut back on the amount of icing and decorations. You might want to make enough cake layers to have a decorating contest with the kids, with winning and consolation prizes. You could do single-layer cakes for the contest and post photos of them on your Facebook pages for comments. And then for next Valentine's Day, you can get pink heart-shaped "Peeps" candies and do it again!! (Susan)
is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. The organization provides information and recipes for us to start each week with healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. Its goal is to help us reduce our meat consumption by 15% to improve our personal health and the health of the planet. Going meatless once a week may reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, according to the organization. It can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Visit Meatless Monday’s website for information on adding healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives to your diet each week. If you do eat meat on other days, the organization strongly recommends grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible. In my part of Georgia (US), I can get “free” chickens and a cowshare of beef from my local Loganberry Heritage Farm
. You probably have farms near you that sell healthy beef and chickens with great, forgotten flavor.
Meatless Monday’s search engines produced nothing for the keyword “gluten free,” but many of their recipes are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free with substitutions. Here is an example of what you will find –a recipe perfect for spring and the first heating of the outdoor grill. DIJON GRILLED ASPARAGAS AND ONION
10 minutesCooking Time:
6 minutes, until tenderINGREDIENTS Dijon vinaigrette•1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
•1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
•Salt and pepper, to taste
Grilled asparagus and onions
•1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
•1 pound spring onions, halved lengthwise
•1 tablespoon olive oil
For Dijon Vinaigrette
Whisk the sliced shallot, vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For Asparagus & Onions
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Toss the trimmed asparagus and halved onions in a large bowl with the tablespoon of olive oil, making sure all ingredients are evenly coated.
Place the asparagus spears and spring onions onto the heated grill, putting the green portion of the spring onions on a cooler part of the grill. Grill, rotating every two minutes or so for about six minutes, or until the asparagus are tender. Plate asparagus and onions on a large platter. Drizzle with the Dijon Vinaigrette and divide into eight portions. Note that this recipe does not have any protein in it. You may want to serve the dish with a protein source such as quinoa, beans or eggs.
Let us know if you like this recipe or any others that you try from Meatless Monday’s recipe collection. (Susan)
March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day and even though I attended an Irish cookery school last year, I am not cooking. Instead, I am going to the Crimson Moon Cafe
for dinner and a Celtic music concert with three friends. The café is located in Dahlonega, GA (US), a mountain town that is the home of the first gold rush in the US. Lucky for me, the cafe staff is well-educated on a gluten-free diet. Jamie Laval, a Celtic violinist and a US Scottish Fiddle Champion, is performing. Visit his website (http://www.jamielaval.com
) to listen to his music while you are cooking Irish foods or enjoying an Irish coffee.
Whether you are “Irish for the day or Irish all the way” you may be interested in some of the gluten-free Irish recipes on the websites we have listed below. We get the sites’ free e-newsletters, which often have good recipes that are naturally gluten-free or that can be converted easily to gluten free.Allrecipes
Search on “gluten free and Irish” and “Irish” to find recipes like these: Irish soda bread, eggs, stew, potato candy, roast leg of lamb with rosemary, colcannon, corned beef and cabbage, Irish Cream Cream Brulee and Irish Cream Truffle Fudge.Site features
: free e-newsletters, personal recipe box, calculator for adjusting serving sizes, how-to and recipe videos.Frontier Natural Products Co-op
Search for article “Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Fare” and start cooking the recipes that are gluten free. These include recipes for potato dishes, spinach and other greens, colcannon and coconut chocolate mint custard.Site features
: sell wide range of natural products in categories of herbs, spices, foods, teas, body and bulk. Have Irish Breakfast Tea and Irish moss, Simply Organic gluten-free certified products and other gluten-free baking and cooking ingredients. We buy
alcohol-free vanilla extract from the co-op.My Recipes
Search for St. Patrick’s Day Recipes to get Luck O’ the Irish Menus, Eat Green for St.
Patrick’s Day and how to make green beer. Look under the “Healthy” tab at the
top of the page for a gluten-free section.Site features
: a Free Weekly Specials Newsletter
filled with recipes, seasonal menus and special features, personal recipe box and menu finder.Taste of Home
Look for St. Patrick’s Day Recipes under the Holiday & Celebration Recipes category. Pick Irish recipes and create your own menu with appetizers, main and side dishes, desserts, drinks, green foods, plus decorating and entertaining ideas. Site features
: has a Special Diet section, but it does not include gluten-free diets. A search for “gluten free” will give you only 50 recipes, but there are more recipes on the site that are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free easily. You will also find cooking techniques videos, cooking school information and contest information.Please let Maria and I know if you try any recipes from these sources that you like. Now, go put on some green, use some natural green food coloring in your gluten-free beer and find yourself a pot of gold coins, or at least some golden Irish butter or cheese.(Susan)
Happy Valentine's Day from us. Recently I took a candy making class that was part of a senior enrichment program at a local church. To celebrate the holiday, we are sharing some of the class recipes. The instructor, Norma, has been a chef, caterer, restaurant owner and candy maker at our local Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen in Northeast Georgia (US). Her boss (David Jones) at Hansel & Gretel wrote the book Candy Making for Dummies
, which has more than 100 recipes plus candy tips and tricks.
In the class, we made pecan pralines, corn flake candy, rocky road candy, bonbons with coconut centers, no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, pecan clusters, mendiants and chocolate truffles. All of the recipes were gluten free, but Norma’s chocolate supplies (dark, milk and white) were processed in a plant that also processes wheat. Therefore, I could only taste the products that did not have her chocolate as an ingredient or were made with the gluten-free chocolate that I brought with me. That means I didn’t get to eat the store-bought, gluten-free, heart-shaped pink and white marshmallows that we dipped in Norma’s dark and white chocolate and decorated with sprinkles. They were very pretty.
Here are three of the class recipes: one for peanut butter balls, one for pecan pralines and one for corn flake candy. All are easy to make, but not healthy, so eat and share in moderation with all your Funny Valentines. PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
30 pieces Preparation Time
: 40 minutes with resting time Cooking Time
: None INGREDIENTS
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 pound melted gluten-free chocolate for dipping
Stir together sugar, peanut butter and butter until well mixed. You can mix by hand or with an electric mixer. Shape mixture into one-inch balls, placing them on a baking sheet covered with waxed or parchment paper. Let balls sit for 20 minutes until drier. When drier, drop balls one at a time in the melted chocolate. Using a fork, remove balls from chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Place dipped balls back on waxed or parchment paper and let stand until dry. Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.NOTES
Norma got this recipe from Food.com
. Elizabeth Barbone included a similar recipe in her cookbook, Easy Gluten-Free Baking
. She calls the confectionary “No Bake Peanut Butter Balls” and uses different proportions for the ingredients, and different directions.PECAN PRALINES
15-20 piecesPreparation Time
: 15 minutesCooking Time
: 15 minutesINGREDIENTS
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup half-and-half
1/3 stick butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups whole or chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients except pecans in heavy saucepan. Stir mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low and continue to stir.
Spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn’t melted. You can also wipe down the sides of the pan with a damp paper towel. Cook until mixture reaches 238º F. to 241º F. on a candy thermometer or soft ball stage. Stir in pecans. Remove
from heat. Stir until mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Drop onto parchment paper, using a spoon or scoop. Let cool. NOTES
Norma got this recipe from Food Network
. Larger pecans can be chopped; smaller pecans can be left whole. These pralines have a smooth texture, not the grainy one that you sometimes get with pralines. CORN FLAKE CANDY Servings:
3 dozen Preparation Time
: 20 minutesCooking Time
: None INGREDIENTS:
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup or other liquid sweetener like agave nectar
12 ounces peanut butter
6 cups gluten-free corn flakesDIRECTIONS
Heat sugar and syrup to boiling, making sure all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter and add corn flakes, mixing well. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto waxed paper or parchment paper. Let cool.We’d love to know if you try these recipes furing the year and how they work for you.
Maria and I recently posted an overview article on Tasting Table
, a free daily publication that delivers “the best of food and drink culture to adventurous eaters across the country.”
This posting is a follow-up one to the first Tasting Table posting, and is intended to give you a sample of the type of information we read and use and forward to friends from the company.We have fun sharing the information, and feel like perfectly “normal” foodies when we do it. Dining In:
For 2012, Tasting Table is launching a new feature series dedicated to the art of entertaining. The year starts with a casual gathering of friends as an antidote to holiday excesses. On the menu are glogg, lamb daube and chocolate mousse with elderflower whipped cream. For the lamb, you will need to use gluten-free products for the flour and baquette, but the glogg (a Swedish mulled wine) and the dessert recipes are gluten-free as written. Tips are included on wine and atmosphere. Chefs’ Recipes:
Every week Tasting Table sends us recipes from well-known chefs; many of these recipes are gluten free, or can be made gluten-free easily. The recipe I plan to try next is Pinto Beans with Kale and Adobo Sauce, which was adapted from Tyler Morris, the executive chef at Rye restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. These beans can be served as a side or for a stand-alone lunch.Dining, Local and National Picks
: Tasting Table publishes an email for food lovers in five cities each day around lunchtime. The cities are New York City (NYC), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Did you know that Nonna’s Table in NYC
stocks gluten-free pasta? And that Sean Brock, chef of Husk, a fairly new Charleston restaurant that has been receiving national attention, has gluten-free menu options? Maria and I had brunch at Husk last spring with my daughter and two friends. The menu focuses on regional cuisine. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.(Advance reservations are a must!) Traveling Table: Atlanta:
We read all about Atlanta’s inaugural Food & Wine Festival, held in May 2011, and then opened up a crib sheet of local pit stops that we can tell our Georgia visitors to try. We had no idea that Hector Santiago, chef at Pure Vida and a
former Top Chef show contender, had tried a Latino sandwich shop. Maria and I
love his gluten-free tapas, which we think are good enough to have landed Atlanta on Tasting Tables’ list of 2011 Best Weekend Food Trips. Alas, the only Southern cities included were Asheville and New Orleans.If you check out Tasting Table, please let us know if you like it. (Susan)
One of the fun email memberships that I have is for Tasting Table
, which is a free daily publication that delivers “the best of food and drink culture to adventurous eaters across the country.”
Each weekday, Tasting Table sends its foodie members a story related to dining out, cooking at home, cocktails, wines, chefs, etc.
Does Tasting Table specifically target our gluten-free community? No, but many of the recipes are naturally gluten-free, or can be modified to be gluten free without a lot of effort. For example, Tasting Table is now offering a free digital cookbook with 12 recipes from its Sous Chef Series
. Each recipe was adapted for the home cook in its Test Kitchen. Nine of the recipes are gluten free as written;three call for flour, bread crumbs and soy sauce and one salad calls for farro, but you can make easy substitutions with gluten-free products. Farro is a variety of hard, non-hybridized wheat kernel that has been grown and used in Italy for centuries. Maria and I are planning to use quinoa, rice or gluten-free pasta in the farro salad recipe.
Tasting Table, which published its first daily email in 2008, considers itself unique because it makes epicurean recommendations that are "authentic, trustworthy and actionable.” The company says you can get the most from its information services by taking the following steps: Keep Current With Dining Dispatch:
to keep you current on food news in your neighborhood, it reports on openings, closings and other major updates in the Dining Dispatch [URL] section at the bottom of its local-edition emails. Use Its Short List Cheat Sheet
: Also at the bottom of its city edition emails is
the Short List, your quick guide to where its editors are eating right now, and
a handy cheat sheet for when you need to find a last-minute dinner spot. Build Your To-Do List
: When an article piques your interest, just click the red “Save This” button at the bottom of the article to store that recommendation to your personalized To-Do list. Access your personal list anytime by clicking “To-Dos” in the navigation bar at Tasting Table
. It even keeps your list organized by category: Dining, Wine, Drinks, Cooking, Travel and More. Take It To-Go
: Download a free iPhone application, Tasting Table To-Go, to take your To-Do list with you, to access the Short List cheat sheet, to read articles from the archives or to use a map to find Tasting Table recommendations near your current location. Plan Ahead With Weekend Menu:
Each Thursday, city editions publish a Weekend
Menu, which rounds up the best culinary events happening in multiple cities. From street fairs to wine tastings to cooking classes and beyond, it previews the weekend’s upcoming events so you can plan ahead. Follow Your Stomach With Flight Plan
: Once monthly, the National edition publishes food news from international food festivals to regional wine pressings and more. Get Social
: It’s not always fun to dine alone. Take advantage of the share buttons at the bottom of every Tasting Table email to forward an article to friends, or to post
to your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ feeds.
Tasting Table offers eight city editions, plus a national edition. Its city editors publish local picks daily in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. When you join Tasting Table, your zip code is used to suggest the closest edition to your hometown, but you can add other city editions in case you want information from other locations.
For an extra helping of Tasting Table, you can sign up for two specialty editions with your membership: Chefs’Recipes Tasting Table
: Chefs' Recipes shares exclusive recipes from
buzz-worthy chefs around the country, adapted for the home cook. Every recipe
is thoroughly evaluated in Tasting Table’s Test Kitchen. Top Shelf:
Once a week, Tasting Table Top Shelf delivers the latest trends, cocktail recipes, ingredients and spirits shaping liquid culture from coast to coast.
By now, you have either lost interest in this posting or are thinking about signing up. Give it a try! It is free and you can always cancel your membership if you don’t think the emails are useful, or decide your email inbox is too full. As for me, I am happily sharing Tasting Table’s Fifty Best Bars story with friends in Atlanta and other cities that made the list. Maria and I are hoping for reports back on which bars have good gluten-free beer and bar food. (Susan)
This salad is too pretty to eat, but make it anyway. It’s delicious, and will give you an excuse to stroll through your favorite international Farmers’ Market sipping fair trade coffee as you select additional ingredients to add.
Gluten-Free Pomegranate Salad
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: none, except for toasting pecans
3-4 ounces freshly toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350º F. Put whole or chopped nuts onto a baking sheet and place in oven for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing gently from time to time and watching closely to prevent burning. Cool before adding to salad.
· 2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons Balsamic or Sherry vinegar
· 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
· 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
· Salt and freshly ground pepper
· 5 tablespoons plus one teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Mix first four ingredients together and then whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
· Selection of lettuces, watercress and rocket leaves (if available)
· 3 ripe Fuyu persimmons (look for little, firm persimmons)
· 3 ripe d'Anjou or other pears
· 1 lime, freshly squeezed
· Seeds from ½ pomegranate
Wash and dry the greens and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Cut the persimmons and pears into 1/4 inch slices. Put slices into a medium bowl and sprinkle with lime juice. Add pomegranate seeds and toss gently.
To serve this salad, toss the greens in some of the vinaigrette and arrange greens on eight plates. Toss fruit mixture lightly in remaining vinaigrette. Arrange on top of greens and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Serve immediately before the vinaigrette turns the greens limp.
This salad looks great on a serving tray for a family style dinner or a buffet. Adapted with permission from Ballymaloe Cookery School recipes. (Susan)