Monday, July 20, 2009

Kinni-Kritters Animal Cookies

I am just going to come right out and say it. I’m not going to beat around the bush or give you some long winded story about how these have been sitting in my cabinet for probably a year or more--ignored because I was convinced they would be terrible. I had no basis for expecting these to be awful other than the fact that I’ve had bad experiences with other gluten free “cookies.”

Kinni-Kitters Animal Cookies. Perhaps you’ve seen them. They look like this:

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These are surprisingly FANTASTIC. They are my new favorite (way to go, Kinnikinnick, because your gluten free chocolate dipped donuts were my former favorite. Well played.)

End of story.

(By the way, I am using these as a crust for a cheese cake. I’ll let you know how that goes.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hidden Valley Ranch Crunchy Cheddar Chicken

I first found this recipe on the Hidden Valley Ranch website (see recipe here) and drooled on my keyboard. This is a favorite recipe in our house, and is very easily converted to gluten free. It is also a no-fail, which is an big win in my book!

Here is what I changed from the original recipe:

First off, I use chicken breast tenders instead of chicken breasts. Personal preference. I like the flavor balance (flavor balance? Look at me getting all food blogger on you, lol) better with the tenders. The chicken doesn’t over power all the yummy goodness you put on it. Major plus side. It is also guaranteed to be cooked all the way through. I hate it when you get those chicken breasts that came from chickens that drank too much Muscle Milk and spent to much time at the Birdie Gym because I can never get them to cook all the way through! (I ALWAYS forget to pound them out, always. Never fails.)

Secondly, I obviously substitute gluten free corn flakes (mainstream corn flakes contain barley malt thus, not gluten free). These are what I used:

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Thirdly (is that a word?), I don’t mess with all the measuring nonsense. I like to taste the cheese so I put lots of it. I like them a little spicy so I add about half of my grinder of pepper. I make it all look proportioned to the other ingredients on a plate. Looks good:

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Lastly, and the hubbo would say most importantly, I like to use “the good Ranch.” AKA not the store bought, pre-prepared Ranch in a bottle, but the Ranch you make with the seasoning packet. We’re Ranch snobs and that’s just the way we like it. This still tastes fantastic if you use the Ranch from the bottle.

So here’s how simple this all is. Combine crushed gluten free corn flakes, shredded white cheddar cheese, and salt & pepper (to taste) on a plate. On another plate, create a little Ranch swimming pool for all your chicken tender friends. Dunk the tenders in the Ranch, then put one side down in your crumb mixture, covering only one side. Place the tender crumb side up in a baking pan. After I have all the tenders coated and in the pan, I take whatever is left of the corn flake mixture and sprinkle over top, because I like mine crun-chay! It almost looks like an odd casserole when it’s done…

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They are individual tenders in there, swears. I had to cram them in there because I accidentally grabbed the smallest of my baking pans. But after I had half of the tenders in there I was committed to using it.

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Resist the urge to lick your fingers when you have all those cheesy corn flake crumbs all over your fingertips. You’ll have to trust me on this.

Put in in the oven at 350 degrees. Since the tenders are smaller than the breasts, I start checking them around 20 minutes for doneness. They typically take around 25 minutes.

Sorry, but I don’t have a picture of the finished product…it’s in my belly. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Donuts

The days of being deprived while being gluten free is O-V-E-R, folks.

I've had a running list in my head for as long as I've been gluten free of foods that I really, really miss. These are foods that I thought I'd never be able to enjoy again, mainly because I've never tried a substitution that I didn't spit out or throw out.

Within the last several months, I have found the gluten free version for ALL of them. Bread? Check. (Gluten Free Creations Honey Oat Bread.) Bagels? Check. (Gluten Free Creations. A-MA-ZING.) Cookies? Check. (Cookies From Home, and, more conveniently, Betty Crocker's new GF mix). Donuts?

I have been on the prowl for gluten free donuts. Donuts, like bagels, are something that I just refuse to make myself. Too difficult and tedious. And despite my LOVE for Gluten Free Creations (seriously love, love, LOVE them), I ordered their cinnamon sugar donuts and they were GROSS. It was like eating a churro-flavored kitchen sponge. It was nasty, and I threw them out.

I finally stumbled upon these little gems in my grocery store this weekend:



Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Donuts. And, as you can see in the picture, they are also wheat free (obviously), dairy free, and soy free. My best friend Michelle (@ Gluten Free Gluttony) did a positive review on these a while back. Ever since then I've wanted to try them.

They were a pricey at $7.99 for the box of 6 small donuts. But I've been obsessing over donuts, so I gave in.

I made one this morning for breakfast, and for the record, they do not photograph well:


Straight from the freezer, you microwave them for less than a minute (took longer than the package stated) and then devour. They are dense, but not so bad that it ruins your donut experience. The flavor is good and the chocolated coating is very sweet! I sighed my relief and appreciation after the first bite. Finally. A good donut.

These donuts are delicious and will definitely satisfy any donut craving you might have. At the price, I probably will not keep these around all the time--just as a special treat. But you can bet that I'm not sharing the last five. :)