This is my Gluten Free Christmas List: Third Edition

These are a few things I’d love to have, and I think would make great Christmas gifts for any Celiac out there. For more ideas see my 2011 gift guide and 2010 gift guide!

1. Gluten free kitchen art

I’d love to have this hanging in my kitchen some day!

2. Red Apple Lipstick

When it comes to beauty products, lipstick is one thing that you must make sure is gluten free. I sampled this lipstick at the DC gluten free expo and loved the “Flirt With Me” shade. Get a special deal when you order from Delight Gluten Free Magazine!

3. Gluten free gingerbread house making kit

I’m way too lazy to attempt to make one of these on my own, so this kit from Sensitive Sweets is perfect!

4. Bard’s Homebrew gluten free beer kit

Now, I wouldn’t say that Bard’s beer is my favorite (because, obviously that honor goes to Omission beer). But the idea of brewing your own beer at home is pretty rad (especially for those people who can’t find gluten free beer in their area).

What did I miss? What’s on your gluten free Christmas list? 

My Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark is a winner!

My recipe for Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark will be published in the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness‘ Online Holiday Cookbook! The recipe contest stipulated that you had to use Crunchmaster gluten free crackers in your recipe. I decided to try a sweet dish, since it seemed like the majority of people would be making something savory. This bark would be a great option to bring to a holiday party, or give as a gift. I’m still chipping away at mine, and it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.


Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark
IMG_1155
Ingredients:

3/4 package Crunchmaster original crackers
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
a few pinches of sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk, but you could use any kind)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raisins

Directions

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
2. Preheat the oven to 350F
3. Line the bottom of the sheet with crackers, filling about 2/3 of the sheet

crunchmaster

4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar, cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
5. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over crackers. Spread in a thin layer to cover.
5. Bake for 15 minutes
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with a spatula.
6. Sprinkle with pecans and raisins, push into the chocolate lightly with spatula.

Place pan in refrigerator to cool completely. Break into pieces and keep in the fridge.

So excited to see the rest of the winners’ recipes!

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

1. Meridian Pint is hosting a Crispin Cider dinner on 12/4

I love me some hard cider. The chefs at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights are going to be pairing five Crispin ciders, including the new Bourbon barrel-aged release “Bird On A Wire” (bring it on!), with gluten-free seasonal dishes like steamed bronzini with kaffir lime and lemongrass. Plus they’ll have lavender honey goat cheese cake for dessert.

I’ll be there, and you should come too!

You can purchase tickets on Eventbrite here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4804647831

2. A new DC gluten free restaurant-rating blog launched

I’m all for spreading the gluten free love to every inch of the District, so I’m excited to see a new blogger who is providing rankings and reviews of restaurants in DC from a celiac’s perspective. Check her out at out Glutie Foodie!

3. The Gluten Free Muffin Man is now selling in Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant 

Pick yourself up a walnut date bar or cookie at Columbia Heights Coffee from a new gluten free baker in town: The Gluten Free Muffin Man!

Anything else going on around this fair city that I should know about? 

Find DC gluten free eats on my Facebook page!

I’ve taken the plunge: I started a Facebook page! So often I’m out to eat, or just roaming around DC and I find great gluten free food that deserves to be shared! On the page I’ll be posting pictures and news specifically for my gluten free folks in the DC area. I’m excited to see what happens!

And thanks to my first two followers, Sue and Hope! 🙂

Click here to Like Gluten Free in DC on Facebook!

Click to Like!

 

Goldilocks Goodies

I’m not writing this post just because Emily, the baker/owner of Goldilocks Goodies, is the sweetest ever. I mean, it’s part of the reason. But she is also one of the only gluten free bakers in DC, so she would deserve a post even if I didn’t love her.

Emily uses high-quality ingredients and imaginative recipes to make some delicious baked goods. Like these adorable gingerbread men:

Or these herb flatbreads that I used to sop up some homemade soup.

Yesterday I picked up a slice of chocolate gingerbread made with candied ginger from her stand at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market (every Saturday from 9am-1pm until December 15th).

I’ve also had her cookies: chewy, simple, and addictive.

She’s now selling jars of gluten free baking mixes (would make a great holiday gift).

Find out where to buy her goodies in the DC area on her website.
Order online.
Find Goldilocks Goodies on Twitter.

Why I’m Omission Beer’s biggest fan

If you follow me on Twitter, you can probably tell that I’m slightly…ok completely, obsessed with Omission Beer. I love it so much I actually bought stock in the company. Craft Brew Alliance (BREW) owns the popular beer Redhook, as well as all of the Widmer Brother’s and Kona Brewing Company beers. Currently Omission makes up only a small part of their sales, but if the rapid increase in availability in DC is any indication, it will continue to grow as demand for great-tasting gluten free beer increases. You heard it here first people: Omission is the new Redbridge. Only better.

A few weeks ago I was invited to an event at Churchkey hosted by the great folks at Omission. Churchkey provided some great gluten free appetizers (tater tots!) and the beer was flowing as I got the chance to talk to the passionate staff (many who are celiac’s themselves) at Omission. I even spent 20 minutes talking to Rob Widmer himself (star shock). He was so gracious, and listened to me jabber about gluten free beer.

So, why is Omission my favorite gluten free beer? A few reasons:

  1. Taste: Most importantly, this beer tastes great. It doesn’t have an aftertaste like sorghum beers do, it’s not too light like a cider, and everyone who has tried it has loved it – gluten free or not.
  2. Tested: Something truly unique about Omission is that every single batch is tested by an independent lab using the R5 Competitive ELISA for gluten content. You can actually go to their website and look up your beer using a serial number on the bottle to see the test results. That is real commitment to the celiac community.
  3. Availability: I swear I’m seeing Omission pop up in a new store every week. It’s now in three stores right by my apartment. Since Redhook is such a popular brand, if you request it at your local liquor or grocery store, it’s fairly likely that they should be able to order it for you. Picture below is from Sherry’s Liquor in Woodley Park. which just got it in.

Where to find Omission in Washington DC: 

  1. Churchkey (Logan Circle)
  2. Bier Baron (Dupont)
  3. Whole Foods P Street (I’m guessing most Whole Foods carry it)
  4. Fuel Pizza and Wings (multiple locations)
  5. Madhatter (Dupont)
  6. Mellow Mushroom (Adam’s Morgan)
  7. Thunder Burger (Georgetown)
  8. Old Dominion Brew House
  9. Cleveland Park Wine and Liquors (Cleveland Park)
  10. Sherry’s Liquor (Woodley Park)
  11. Manhattan Market (Woodley Park)

Check out the interactive map on their website for updates.

In conclusion, I love Omission beer. I will drink it in a house; I will drink it with a mouse; I will drink it in a box; I will drink it with a fox. 

Get some.

Cheers!

Crios loves celiacs

This weekend I had brunch at the recently-opened Crios Modern Mexican in Dupont. Crios is the sister restaurant to one of my other favorite places for hangover brunch: Scion. It’s also conveniently located right next door in case you wanted to do some kind of brunch-crawl.

Our waiter was adorable, and also very knowledgable about what menu items were safe. How much of a relief would it be if you saw this on every menu you opened?

Nearly the entire menu is gluten free, but I went with the huevos rancheros and yucca fries. The waiter said that the chorizo and yucca hash was his favorite, so I think I’ll try that next time, only made with the soyrizo (which he confirmed is also gluten free and made in-house).

Yucca fries are so amazing. Soft, slightly sweet, salty and spicy. We ordered a second round for the table so we could continue to fuel ourselves through the flowing $13 bottomless mimosas. The huevos rancheros were spicy, cheesy, with a perfectly crispy tortilla bed.

If you’re into flan, they have coffee and coconut versions for dessert.

Crios Modern Mexican
2120 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037

Boston gluten free eats

I was recently in Boston for the weekend, and I was able to find some great gluten free food, especially in the semi-crunchy Cambridge area. In no particular order, my favorite places were:

1. Tavern in the Square

I went here to watch the Michigan football game, since it’s the local alumni bar. They also happen to serve Bard’s and have a gluten free menu (winning!) I got a huge plate of nachos, and it was the perfect way to watch a Michigan victory!

2. Stone Hearth Pizza

This place is right up my alley: local ingredients, unique gluten free beer, and great gluten free pizza. Their menu is marked with what items are gluten free. The beer I tried is called Celia, brewed by The Alchemist Brewery. Not my favorite, as it’s a sorghum beer, and therefore tastes a bit like grass. But it wasn’t horrible.

The pizza was stellar though – chewy with that stone-fired taste. Although the crust was a bit burnt, I kind of liked it better that way. Mine was topped with a butternut squash sauce, fontina, and sage.

4. Veggie Planet

This place served me the best lunch I’ve had in quite awhile. You can take any of their entrees and put it on top of brown rice or coconut rice, giving us celiacs tons of options. I had the weekly special, which was butternut squash, beets, feta cheese, basil, and a fennel apple puree (the real star). It came out piping hot and I scarfed it down.

5. Violette Bakery 

While walking around Harvard’s campus, I happened upon Violette Bakery at a farmer’s market. They had so many sweet and savory options, but I just had to have a gluten free danish with homemade blueberry preserves. I haven’t eaten anything like this in six years: heaven.

How good does this look?

6. Uno Due Go

Move over Panera, there is finally a fast/fresh lunch place that is celiac-safe! Gluten free sandwiches, pizza, and soups are all on the menu. The staff was very knowledgable and took my sandwich to a separate area to make it. I can’t say that it was the best sandwich I’ve ever had (the roll was a bit dry), but it was nice to have so many options.

I also got a Congo Bar, which was superbly buttery and riddled with chewy, chocolatey, coconutty yummies.

And thus concludes the story of how I ate my way through Boston. So much fun to try out new places! Any other recommendations of places to check out in Beantown? 

Pulpo: all you can eat and drink brunch

Last weekend I had an utterly delightful brunch at Pulpo in Cleveland Park. It was delightful for three major reasons:

  1. They have gluten free eggs benedict.
  2. Our waitress knew what was up.
  3. All you can eat. All you can drink.

After getting a mimosa in hand (you can choose unlimited bloody mary’s, mimosas, champagne, and I think mixed drinks or beer as well), I informed the waitress that I can’t have gluten. She didn’t even blink an eye – just assuredly said, “No problem,” and helped me choose a few dishes. It was so extraordinary to have a waitress who was confident in her ability to navigate the menu and answer any questions I had.

Pulpo is a Spanish tapas restaurant, so all of the plates are shareable. I started with patatas bravas with garlic aioli. Perfectly spiced, greasy in a good way, and there was a surprise red sauce in the bottom. Couldn’t stop eating this.

Then I ordered smoked salmon benedict. Really unique in that it’s served on a pile of soft rice, which was almost at a thick risotto-like consistency. Then the egg yolk and hollandaise mix with it and makes it really rich.

To round out the meal we ordered some grilled podran peppers. These were also served at Churchkey when I was there last, so I’m declaring them the new “it” pepper.

I left with a full belly and it was worth way more than the $25 for this brunch. The laid back atmosphere, stellar service, and gluten free-friendly food will definitely bring me back here often!

Pulpo
3407 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC

French Meadow Bakery breakfast pizza two ways

This week I had the opportunity to try out the gluten free pizza crust from French Meadow Bakery as a part of a recipe campaign run by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. French Meadow has a variety of gluten free products available on their website, and their products come shipped to you packed in dry ice and totally frozen (even after a FedEx delay mine was solid as a rock!).

The recipe that I was testing out was for “Breakfast Pizza”. Besides my patented hangover pizza, this isn’t something that I would normally make, so it was great to try something new!

Since the gluten free pizza crusts come in a package of two, I made one with more traditional toppings, and another one with a healthier spin.

Classic breakfast pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 medium potato, shredded and squeezed in a towel to remove moisture (or use 1/2 cup of frozen hashbrowns)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Topping of your choice (most would love bacon, I added spinach to half)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake crust for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, set aside.
  • Cook hashbrowns over medium heat in buttered pan for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Layer crust with hashbrowns, egg, cheese and toppings.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes on the middle or top rack, until cheese has melted.

Sweet potato and pesto breakfast pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato, mashed
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or 3 egg whites), scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 T. pesto
  • red onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake crust for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, set aside.
  • Scramble eggs, mixing in pesto at the end.
  • Layer crust with mashed sweet potato, egg, cheese and onions.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes on the middle or top rack, until cheese has melted.

I had a slice of the sweet potato one for breakfast this morning at the office and the crust held up great in the fridge over night. The crust is about 1/4 inch thick and a bready and chewy consistency. It kind of reminds me of the crusts that were included in the pizza lunchables that I loved as a kid. Because they’re made with rice flour they have a bit of sweetness to them. It also took me 20 minutes from start to finish to make both of these pizzas, so you can’t beat the convenience of having the crust pre-made!

As a part of the recipe campaign, French Meadow is giving away  two gluten-free prize packs! You can enter to win by submitting the form on the NFCA website. They will announce the first winner on Friday, October 26, and the second on Friday, November 2.

Enter the giveaway here.

You can also find more recipes using French Meadow pizza crusts on celiaccentral.org. I’m so excited to see what the other bloggers tried out!