Friday, February 20, 2015

Gluten Free and More Magazine: January/February 2015



















Check out Gluten Free and More's January/February 2015 issue for an article I wrote on the importance of zinc. The issue also includes  Food Blogger's Best Recipes that includes my blog! And decadent chocolate recipes that you can make all year long.

If you have a subscription for Gluten Free and More magazine you can  sign in to see the full issue or sign up HERE to get a year of digital access to all the articles.

A big thanks to  expert nutritionist  Geri Brewster  who gave me her thoughts on zinc, expert editor Alicia Woodward and the gifted photographer Kendra Alexis for shooting the photo of me for the food bloggers article.




Saturday, February 14, 2015

Amore di Mona Gluten Free Vegan Assorted Chocolates






















My husband loves to surprise me with gluten free sweet treats on Valentine's Day. Lucky me to   be given this beautiful box of luxury chocolates from Amore di Mona. Theses certified  gluten free, vegan chocolates are 80% cocoa and free of peanuts, nuts, eggs, soy, dairy, corn and sesame. They are also non-GMO, organic and diabetic friendly! The connoisseur collection box  has  eight flavors--carmela, dark chocolate, carmela with cranberries, dark chocolate with currants, carmela with cherries, dark chocolate with crunchy coffee beans and carmela with crunchy coffee beans. Although the kids loved selecting from the assortment--they quickly learned to avoid the ones with the espresso beans on top. Which is good because the coffee bean flavors are absolutely my favorite.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

VitaClay Slow Cooker--A Non-Toxic Slow Cooker without Aluminum or Teflon



















"Do you know of any slow cookers that are made without aluminum or teflon" is a question I have been asked repeatedly over the years. It took me a while to find a non-toxic slow cookeer, but the VitaClay VM790 Smart Organic Multi-Cooker/Rice Cooker made from from brushed stainless steel with a unglazed clay pot looks like the the best slow cooker out there. Not only does it do everything a slow cooker does, but it also can be used to make yoghurt or coconut yogurt.

I haven't bought one (yet!) I would have to make room and somehow part with one of our other electronic appliances. Perhaps I should give away our hardly used cotton candy machine to make room for this slow cooker! Another review (and photos!) to follow when I get my hands on a VitaClay VM790 Smart Organic Multi-Cooker!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Kitchen IQ Knife Sharpener Review















The Kitchen IQ Knife Sharpener is easy to use and will sharpen the dullest knife to a honed perfection. "There is nothing more dangerous than a dull knife" I always say. Dull knives are a hazard because of the extra force you have to make when cutting. A sharp knife means less effort. Cutting, slicing and dicing will be easier and faster--and safer. 

Although I was trained to sharpen my knives on a stone and put an edge on the blade with a rod, the Kitchen IQ sharpener is more exact and definitely quicker than sharpening knives by hand. There are two settings available on the Kitchen IQ knife--asian and european. If you don't know if your knife is asian or european you can call the manufacturer. In general asian knives are sharpened at an angle of 17 degrees and european knives are sharpened at an angle of 20 degrees. This sharpener would also make a great gift 



Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gluten Free at Fresh & Co in NYC


















 


Fresh and Co. opened on my corner a few weeks ago and there is an amazing selection of gluten options available—naturally gluten free salads, freshly prepared quinoa or rice bowls, hot soups, desserts and snacks. 

Most amazing and unique about Fresh and Co. is the process they use to cook the quinoa bowls which involves minimal cross contamination! The servers take a clean pan and shredded cabbage or kale and they steam it with a  few tablespoons of water. Yes. Water. Fresh water. Next they sautéed the veggies and at the end they add chicken or steak. Finally they finish the bowl with whatever sauce you want and pour the freshly sautéed dish over quinoa or rice. 

There is also a “market table” if you want a quicker meal. For the market table you choose whether you want a base of quinoa or rice pilaf, then you choose two sides and a meat. My nine year old loves the market table with rice, two sides of brussel sprouts and chipolte chicken!


There are several gluten free dessert options at Fresh and Co. including a hemp brownie and a power up snack of dried fruit, nuts and chocolate.


If you need a fast and fresh meal, Fresh and Co. is a great option. To find a location near you visit the Fresh and Co.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NYC Snow Day 2015

From the snow piled on the stone wall outside my window, it looks like about 10 inches--enough to make NYC a winter wonderland for sledding but not enough to be the blizzard that was predicted. Bill DeBlassio’s canceling school and imposing a 11 pm curfew of non emergency vehicles was absolutely brilliant as it allowed them to plow the streets so things are manageable today. I was laughing out loud when the mayor responded to a reporter asking “what about food delivery bikes?’ at a press conference last night on the curfew.  "a food delivery bike is not an emergency vehicle,” said the mayor.

I love snow days as much, if not more, than my kids. Not having to wake up at 6:15 to schlep around the city in the dirty, gray snow getting kids to school is a real  treat for me. It gives me time to make coffee in my one cup press, fry hash browns in the waffle maker and make a bacon/tomato omelet for breakfast without feeling like I am going to snap from the stress of having to be out the door at 7:15 am. 


My son is sick with a cough and a fever under several fuzzy  blankets on the couch in the living room watching TV wearing his  Knick's snow hat. A sick kid is always is always a perfect excuse to do absolutely nothing. I am still hoping for another snow day when we can enjoy the snow and sledding. Fingers crossed for a real blizzard or at least another 10 manageable inches and another snow day. 




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cupcakes and Gluten Free Baking Blunder























Well, you can see my New Year's resolution to give up sugar is going very well. My last three posts have all been sugary treats! Maybe I should rebrand my blog to be "Gluten Free Desserts That I Really Shouldn't Eat."

Feeling very deprived when his class had brownies today, my son requested that I make cupcakes. I rallied to make these vanilla cupcakes with a Martha Stewart Italian Meringue Buttercream. My son ate a total of one unfrosted cupcake then ran away to play basketball--so I am left with 23 mini cupcakes. 

Some of the cupcakes are filled with dairy free "nutella"--which I had in my fridge from the last time he asked me to make something that he was missing out on only to decide he didn't really want it anyway. The creamy, chocolate filling inside the vanilla cupcake with sprinkles are a great combination and a nice surprise. 

The truth is as tasty as these cupcakes look, I made a mistake when I was baking. Instead of using my regular flour blend, I used a premixed gluten free flour blend and I did not notice that the blend had xanthan gum in it until the batter was completely mixed and I noticed it was stickier than usual. So, the recipe had twice as much xanthan gum as it needed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU USE TOO MUCH XANTHAN GUM?

If you use too much xanthan gum in a cake or cupcake recipe, often the final baked item will deflate as soon as it cools. You will get a crater like shape in the middle. Instead of a lofty cake it will look like someone dropped it on the floor and it fell. The texture will also be affected. These cupcakes taste chewy--kind of like a vegan cupcake. Since xanthan gum is very gummy, they don't have that light and airy feel of a cupcake but a chewy texture. 

I am sure the extra xanthan gum is the reason I am left with 23 cupcakes to eat! At least I got a photo.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donuts in NYC!



After one bite of the gluten free cinnamon sugar donut from Bluestone Lane Coffee, I quickly stopped eating it and put it back in the parchment paper bag. I really didn't believe the not too sweet but very moist and tender donut was gluten free. On my way home, I went back to ask the manager about the ingredients to double check. Yes. This cinnamon sugar donut is, in fact, gluten free! 

The donuts are made by Sans Bakery and you can find them at Bluestone Lane Coffee  at the retail locations listed below. Interesting to see that Bluestone Lane does not have any signs on the gluten free items--but they keep all the gluten free items on the top shelf separate from the gluten containing pastries--so they obviously know what they are doing in terms of cross contamination. Although they physically separate the items from items that contain gluten, the lack of signage is actually quite nice. It slows the line down the little because you have to ask what everything is but it adds to the old fashioned personal experience. And for those who want to see the ingredient list and verify the gluten free status of the items there is a nice binder available which lists all the products and ingredients. 

Bluestone Lane Coffee also serves an avocado mash sandwich and they have Sans Bakery gluten free bread (that is also dairy free!) that is available by request. I didn't get a chance to try the avocado mash sandwich but nice to know that they have gf bread--and they look fabulous. WOW, IS THE COFFEE AT BLUESTONE LANE GOOD and they have almond milk and soy milk available for vegan and dairy-free coffee drinkers. 

Bluestone Lane Coffee caters to everyone in a subtle and sophisticated way that feels ahead of it's time and very classic at the same time. 

BLUESTONE LANE COFFEE LOCATIONS in NYC...

Bryant Park
Corner of W 43rd & 6th Ave


Midtown East
805 3rd Avenue (bet. 49th and 50th St)
New York, NY 10022
Located in the Atrium of the Meredith Building 

Financial District
30 Broad St.
New York, NY 10004
Enter via back of building on New Street (corner Exchange Plc)

West Village
55 Greenwich Ave.
New York NY 10014

(corner of Perry Street)


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

No No's Chocolate Candy-- Gluten Free Vegan M&Ms?!?













I always say "I can make anything gluten-free, dairy-free except M&M's and croissants." So I was thrilled to see an ad for these No No's chocolate candies which looked similar to M&M's on my Facebook page.

The chocolate candies are made with nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and egg-free ingredients so they are safe for everyone. In addition they are made with all-natural flavors and colors. 

Looking up the product online--I could see that I wasn't the only one who missed m&m's! 1,155 people donated to the kickstarter campaign and pledged $47,895 to help Premium Chocolatiers to  market. Which is a real testament to how many people on restricted diets miss M&M's.

After 7 years of being gluten free and dairy free I don't even remember what M&M's taste like--but I still miss them which prompted me to order No-No's immediately.

There are two versions--Chocolate No No's and Peanut Butter No No's.  Here are the reviews...

First, my daughter was disappointed with the overall look of the candy. "I knew this candy was too good to be true. No artificial colors? That's hilarious." she said eyeing the slightly off color of the candy which looked more muted than the photo on the label.

My kids, who prefer mainstream candy that is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, wouldn't touch them because of the slightly off beat look. But perhaps my kids who can eat skittles and starbursts and tic tacs aren't the market for candy with out artificial color. No No's would be perfect for kids on special diets who can't have artificial colors. And amazing for younger kids who haven't developed a taste for brightly colored mainstream candy.

"They are pretty good." said my friend Jill Hopler, who is a chef. "They look like beads. They aren't that sweet--which I like. They don't taste like an M&M's--but they are good."

I really enjoyed the Chocolate No No's and the Peanut Butter No-No's. In fact, I really had to make myself take these photos before I finished them.

Premium Chocolatiers also make a No Whey Candy bar which is a vegan, nut free candy bar. No Whey bars would be a great candy bar for halloween for kids with allergies to trade in their Milky Way bars! TheNo Whey mini bars which are available on Amazon here.

THANK YOU to Premium Chocolates for bringing No-No's and No Whey bars to the gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan community. And another big thank you to all the people who donated the money to help get No-No's off the ground. It's an impressive effort by so many people. 






Friday, January 9, 2015

28 Day Body Reboot with Laura Bonarrigo!






















My friend Laura Bonarrigo is an amazing wellness coach and she is launching a 28 day Body Reboot program starting January 19th which includes daily coaching, accountability and support plus meal plans, grocery shopping lists and recipes--INCLUDING THE RECIPE FOR THESE AMAZING PROTEIN POWDER COOKIES!!! Yes--the recipe for these  AMAZING and DELICIOUS cookies are part of her 28 day Body Reboot! (It is a great program for people who want a reboot who love to bake!)

I was lucky enough to sample these crispy and satisfying cookies at a January Planning Retreat coaching program Laura did today. The surprisingly delicious cookies are packed full of  Arbonne's vegan, gluten free protein powder and almond butter so they are both sweet and satisfying.

Check out Laura Bonarrigo's Facebook page HERE to find out more about  her 28 day Body Reboot program or to find out more about Arbonne essentials vegan and gluten free vanilla protein shake mix!