Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Merriment, Pumpkin Pie disaster, and Gluten Free Cafe review!

I managed to achieve the seemly impossible! I made it through Thanksgiving without getting sick! The food was absolutely delicious, I definitely gorged myself to the maximum! The gluten free stuffing (anyone ever wonder why some people call it "dressing"?) that Brandon's mom's friend Nancy made was absolutely phenomenal. I brought the leftovers home with me. :) One person tried it unknowningly, and said afterward that they couldn't even tell it was gluten free. Some of the close-minded comments that were flying kinda irked me a bit, but I got over it quickly. If they want to shut themselves off to trying new and fantastic food just because it's "gluten free," then that's their problem. That's why I always get a kick out of cooking everything gluten free, and no one evens knows! That's how my wedding is going to be....muahaha.

I had my fair share of pumpkin pie depression yesterday. I normally bake a gluten free pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but this year I did not. I took pie last year, and there turned out to be, like, 10 pies there. So I didn't bother this year. I had to pain-stakingly listen as everyone talked about how good the pumpkin pie was. Ugh, it was torture. Pumpkin pie is very close to the top of my Favorite Things EVER list. So today, I defrosted my pre-made Gluten Free Bakehouse pie crust, and decided to make myself a pie!

I was sooo excited. I could already see myself slicing myself a very generous portion of this delicious pie. Then, as I took the pie out of the oven to test for doneness, I thought, "You know, they sure don't give you a lot of edge space to hold this sucker..." and then BAM! My beautiful, delightful, pumpkin pie slipped out of my oven mit covered hands right onto the open door of my oven! I started crying. Seriously. I was so desperate for my pie, I felt my Thanksgiving just wasn't complete without it. This is what it looks like:

I appreciate your tears of empathy for me. Brandon, of course, saved the day by telling me the pie would be just as delicious mangled as it would be in perfect form. So I resisted the urge to throw the damn pie against the wall in anger. I will eat the pie. It still sucks though.

For lunch today, I tried a new frozen meal I found at Whole Foods the other day (coincidentally when I was buying my gluten free pie crust).

Gluten Free Cafe Fettuccini Alfredo.

I have never heard of, nor seen, this brand in the store before. I LOVE fettuccini alfredo, so I decided to give it a whirl. It's simple enough, poke some holes in the plastic, cook for 3 minutes, remove plastic and stir, then cook for another 2 minutes.

I thought it was pretty good. The noodles seemed a little mushy, they sort of lost their definition during cooking. They were very soft, but tasted good. I thought the whole meal tasted sort of buttery. And even though you all know my love for Glutino brand products, I have to say this was much, much, MUCH better than their penne alfredo or whatever it was. That was just gross. So while I can't report that this frozen meal was life-altering, I can say that it is good enough in a pinch, and I would buy it again. They also have other flavors, so you might wanna check those out too.

Now I must get back to writing my research paper on Celiac disease. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I am excited to hear about everyone's gluten free celebrations!

To say that I am a little nervous for the Thanksgiving feast this year would be an understatement. This is my first entirely gluten free Thanksgiving, and I'm eating surrounded by gluten-filled food. I am incredibly sensitive now (I got miserably ill from a shared stick of butter) and I'm so worried I am going to get sick. It almost seems inevitable for things to get cross-contaminated somehow. On a good note though, this is when you realize just how incredible the people in your life are. Brandon's mom is not stuffing the turkey, she's cooking the stuffing in a separate pan. Her friend is also bringing gluten free stuffing! It's amazing, really. I don't expect anyone to alter their meals just because I can't eat something. I can't say how appreciative I am when someone goes out of their way, just because they want to. I guess you could say that I am really thankful for all these wonderful, understanding, and accomodating people in my life!

So my plan of attack for the day is this: I am taking my own gluten free gravy. I am going to watch spoons like a hawk. Any double dipped spoons, and I will not be eating the dish, gluten free or not. I'm going to stick to the basics: turkey, gluten free gravy, mashed potatoes (made from real potatoes, not flakes). And I'm going to avoid sticks of butter! Good luck to everyone not attending an entirely gluten free thanksgiving!

Something else I am thankful for this year: my wonderful fiance! Yes, we got engaged! Last week was our 3-year anniversary, and in a perfectly-devised, surprise plan, Brandon proposed! I was shocked! We're getting married at the beginning of April '09, so we have just over 4 months to pull together a (gluten free) wedding! I have spent a week scouring for a gluten free wedding cake! I have found a place miraculously down the street from the wedding site! It honestly is a miracle because I only found 2 places in all of Arizona that offers gluten free cakes, one of which is over 2 hours away and I'd have to transport my own (incredibly expensive) cake. We pick up our sample gluten free cake on Tuesday! I am so excited! I'll be sure to share all of the gluten free details with everyone!

Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

You might wanna reconsider that Hershey's chocolate bar.

I don't know about everyone else, but this really bothers me. I'm staying away from their products from now on. Turns out their products aren't real milk chocolate anymore, but some sort of fake chocolate. And according to these articles, they won't tell consumers what exactly it contains. They can't even label them as milk chocolate anymore due to FDA regulations.

Please read these articles. I think it's important for people on a gluten free diet to know that they may be consuming some sort of mystery chocolate.

Hershey's "Kissables" No Longer Legally Considered "Milk Chocolate"?

Hershey Responds: Consumers Love Our New Fake Chocolate!

And for a complete list of Hershey's products, go here.

Fake chocolate? That just gives me the heebie jeebies. It says that Milk Duds have been this reformulated version for years now, which is interesting because the last time I ate Milk Duds, they really upset my stomach. I even googled them to make sure that they were gluten free, which I read that there were, but who knows if that was pre-reformulation or not. It's better just to stear clear, in my opinion.

What do you think about this news?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snickers Layered Ice Cream Cake. You're gonna wanna read this.

This weekend, I created Heaven on Earth. Out of the figment of my imagination came a beautiful an idea so grand, that it can only be described as: OMG, THIS IS F'ING AWESOME.

It is true my friends, what I am about to share with you will forever change the way you view ice cream cakes. The next time you make your favorite cake or cupcakes or cookies or any delicious baked treat you will think, "You know, this is good, but it's not a Snickers ice cream cake." Trust me, this is so good that you will have to give it away to friends and family or you will sit and eat the whole thing by yourself.

This is absolutely, positively, sinfully delicious. And gluten free!

So now that I have inflated my ego to the point that I think I am a Ice Cream Queen, I will share with you the story of Creation.

Brandon's dad was moving this past weekend to our small little town. I decided to make him a housewarming gift that could be eaten. I asked Brandon what his favorite dessert was. Pie? Cake? Cookies?

Vanilla bean ice cream.

What the hell was I supposed to do with ice cream?!? How boring.

I knew his dad liked Snickers, and I also knew that we had some left over from Halloween. So the wheels started churning...what could I make the crust out of? Hmmm...

Snickers Layered Ice Cream Cake

1 bag of snack sized Snickers
2 gallons Vanilla bean ice cream, softened
Fudge topping
Caramel topping
Chopped nuts
8-inch springform pan. (I think mine was an 8 1/2)

Unwrap all the Snickers bars and throw them in a food processor. We had to do two batches because they all wouldn't fit in there. Grind them up really good. Pour it into the bottom of the springform pan. Spread it out and smash them down. This is your crust. (Oh my, this is too good to be true already, huh?). Spread out a layer of the softened vanilla bean ice cream. I made my ice cream layers probably a 1/2 inch thick. Put a piece of foil under the bottom of your pan to avoid leakage. Put it in the freezer for an hour or two, or until the ice cream is hard. Spread out a layer of fudge. You might have to microwave it a bit to get it to spread, but not too much! Or it'll melt your ice cream and that'll be messy. Individual layers, we're going for here. Not a goopy mess. Put that back in the freezer for an hour or two. Spread out another layer of softened ice cream, aaaannnndddd back into the the freezer. Next is the caramel layer. Into the freezer, it goes. And finally, one last beautiful layer of ice cream. Put it back into the freezer, covered with tin foil (to avoid those little ice crystals that suck so bad) and then top with the chopped nuts right before serving.

When you're ready to eat it, take it out and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes, so it'll be easier to cut. Remove the outer ring of the springform pan to cut it and serve. But put the ring back on after you're finished cutting though because the caramel just oozes out in all its yummy, flowing glory. P.S. Leave the foil underneath this whole time, it'll save you a lot of sticky clean up.

You will probably want to serve slices smaller than say, a piece of pie would normally be because this is intensely rich and delicious. And glorious. Oh man.

So we took it to Brandon's dad's new house, and it went over marvelously. I took a bite and my inner child was dancing gleefully. Everyone LOVED it. Definitely a crowd pleaser.

Sorry, I do not have any pictures of this now infamous dessert, I did not have my camera with me. Feel free to throw stones at me because I am also mad at myself for not taking any.

Guess I'll just have to make another one, right??? :-)