Friday, December 10, 2010

The Common Man

**UPDATE: The Common Man restaurants DO have a printed gluten free menu - just ask your server, and yes! they have Redbridge!

If any of you live in New Hampshire, I'm pretty sure you've heard of the Common Man restaurants. I love them. Especially in the winter. It's so cozy in there. There's always a huge fire roaring and I love the atmosphere (there are a few of them in NH, and they're converted barns).

Anyway - I was waiting for my husband last night while he was at a meeting and he dropped me off at the Common Man Windham because I had to do a few hours of work & needed wi-fi. Got a great little table in the bar overlooking the fire, ordered a glass of wine & got to work.

On a whim I asked if they had Redbridge - which THEY DID. So then I got one of those! I wish I had asked first, oh well. Then I got an order of their homemade potato chips - YUM. I don't think they have an actual printed gluten free menu, but when I'm there I usually get a steak & baked potato so I'm usually good, but next time I will definitely ask.

I so love it there.

Actually - the Common Man Inn up in Plymouth, NH is where we got engaged :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Gluten Free Shepherd's Pie.

It's been coooooold lately here in the northeast and all I want to eat is comfort food. I hadn't made Shepherd's Pie, um, ever? --- so I decided to go for it. I quickly found one of Rachel Ray's 30 minute meal recipes here -- and let me tell you, this is GOOD.

I made a few modifications to the recipe - but the way this recipe is set up is quick & easy and it really tastes delicious. I almost doubled the amount of mashed potatoes on top because they're my favorite. I also added some celery and finished off the top with a little cheese, nixed the parsley and did not include an egg in the potatoes. I also cooked the carrot/onion/celery a little bit longer so it would soften a bit more.

Have I ever mentioned how much me & my husband eat? Evidence:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sandwich while working...

Oh Udi's. You're so great, and you really are living up to your ad campaign, "We're Bringing Sandwich Back" - because for me, you really are. Ooh, and did you all enter to win Udi's bread for a year?!?! If not, do so here.

Side story --- I work in a pretty big ad agency and sit close to the catering women who organize all of our fabulous parties/events/meetings. They now know I'm gluten free because DAILY they come around with extra sandwiches, muffins, donuts, cookies, etc from meetings and I say NO every time –– unless it's chips, or ice cream - the latter is pretty rare though. They finally asked and I explained i was GF.

Anyway - they had a request for a meeting last week with someone who was GF, and I was all over it - I picked up a few bags of UDI's for them to have out at the meeting, and they did a meat & cheese platter, fruit, chips, etc to have out, along with regular bread in a separate basket to make your own sandwich. Apparently it was a big hit (OBVI) but I would have loved to have been in that lunch meeting & seen that woman's face when Udi's bread was in front of her!

Thursday, December 02, 2010


I PIGGED OUT on Thanksgiving. I am not lying, here is the evidence (my plate):

I know, it was a lot of food. And I had seconds a few hours later. yikes. Anyway ---- We went for the traditional Thanksgiving this year. Nothing too fancy or out of the ordinary, just the classics. It was awesome. Mashed potatoes, green beans amandine, TURKEY of course, we made gluten free gravy with Better Batter all purpose flour mix, mashed sweeet potatoes with marshmallows on top (which we left under the broiler just a half a minute too long, so it was a little burnt - but delicious), and of course - STUFFING.


Seriously - pre-gluten free days I could've cared less about stuffing. Weird right? Same goes for bread baskets on the dinner table and even pizza. Pre-GF, those were not things I cared about, and then, sure enough, I can't have 'em, and I want them!

Here's how we made our stuffing:

One loaf of Udi's GF bread cut into cubes & toasted in the oven.

We chopped up some fresh sage, and some thyme:

With a generous helping of butter, onion & celery:

Added the toasted bread, into the AMAZING-smelling mixture, with some chicken broth. Side note: did you know Progresso chix broth is gluten free? I didn't till I looked at the box!

Here it is after being well mixed (YUUUM):

And after we warmed it in the oven before serving... I'm seriously drooling looking at all the pictures again. I'm definitely making stuffing again soon, not just this once-a-year business.

My sister & I divvied up the leftovers -- I tried to make a lot so it would last us at least a few days -- and mine were gone by the Tuesday after. It was a lot of good eating, I could barely eat the gluten free pumpkin pie that I bought (which wasn't great anyway).

You'd think after a day of massive eating, I'd go super healthy & detox for a few days after, yeah, I don't think so. The next morning we broke out the GF Bisquick:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dinner Party

A couple of weeks ago I had my four of my best girlfriends over for dinner.... We were celebrating the approaching birthday of one, another's adorable baby who is now 3 months old, and the other two were visiting from not-too-far-away, but still too far to see them all the time.

I love when the girls come over for dinner. It gives me an excuse to pull out as many wedding gifts as possible, and make everything a little fancy because you KNOW the girls will enjoy it, whereas the boys could really care less.

I found this adorable birch centerpiece to put a vase of flowers in, and I pulled out my linen table runner, and my multi-colored clothes napkins and set to cooking.

To start we had some cheese & crackers and some delicious lamb chops in a cranberry chutney with port (recipe here). Sounds heavy, but it was just a bite, and they were SO good. Of course there was red wine - ooh, and another wedding gift, this fabulous pitcher from C+B filled with lemony water.

We tried not to fill up too much - as dinner included the following:

- Brusell sprouts with smoked uncured bacon that I splurged on at whole foods.
- Food & Wine's Creamy Polenta with a Wild Mushroom Ragu - made with marscapone, yum, it only called for 1 tbsp, but we added more.
- Petite filets (another splurge from whole foods) that I marinated in red wine, evoo, garlic & salt & pepper, then cooked on the grill
- GF Rosemary & Thyme Against the Grain baguette, toasted (also regular baguette, as I am the only one GF)


There was dessert too, but I didn't take any pics! I'm so bad with remembering to take pictures.

The company, food & wine were all perfection. I love girls nights.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

turkey day is tomorrow...

I have been so busy at work I haven't had time to blog about the fabulous girls dinner party last weekend and the amazing meal we made, or the yummy shepherd's pie I made the other night, but I will! Later this weekend ;)

I'll try to take some pics during our Thanksgiving feast as we have some delicious GF items we will be making --- I'm sure you all do too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Quick & Easy Chicken Soup

My husband has been sick a couple times this fall already (knock on wood, NOT ME!) and he loves when I make him this chicken soup. I change it up everytime based on what I feel like adding, or what's in my house, etc.

My local grocer sells these rotisserie chickens for $3.99 which is such a fab deal - and I usually put most in the soup, and then can save the rest for whatever (sandwiches, chicken salad, etc)

Here's how I do my soup:

One swirl of EVOO in a large pot, then throw in cut up carrots, celery, onion. Let those soften for a bit, then throw in a can of no salt added tomatoes diced or crushed, whatever you like. Then add in chicken stock, crushed red pepper (husband loves spice, and even more when he's sick), parsnips, fresh thyme, crushed black pepper, a spoonful of Dijon mustard (I know, weird right? but a good addition!) I then let this boil & cook for a while till the parsnips are soft. Then I shred the chicken off the bone & throw that in, and sometimes throw in some cannellini beans, or a little GF pasta, or some rice -- whatever you feel like! I love that about soup! Just be sure if you're adding rice or pasta to have more liquid than you would think to add.

Then serve! I usually sprinkle a little parm or pecorino on top. Perfect for a cold dreary night, which is exactly what we're getting tonight in the northeast!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New GF product obsession: Canyon Bakehouse

OK everyone. I found a FANTASTIC new gluten free product at Whole Foods last week.

I was walking through and happened to go by the regular bread section and saw the words "Gluten Free" looking at me on the shelves. Not in the freezer, but out in the open. I hadn't heard of this product - and had to try it. I grabbed Canyon Bakehouse's GF San Juan 7-grain bread and their GF Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia.

I am already on my second loaf of the 7-grain bread. It's amazing.

Now -- I've been a huge Udi's fan for a while -- and I definitely still love it. But what I love about this bread is that it has whole grains, is thick and spongy like I remember read bread feeling, and it tastes absolutely amazing.

I've noticed recently that my Udi's has been a bit dry and crumbly. Just look at this toast:

My husband actually made me an egg sandwich this morning for breakfast and I had to ask him if he was SURE that this was my gluten free toast and not his - for real!

I was actually a little hesitant because I don't usually like bean flours -- I have WANTED to like bean flour because I know that are more nutritious, but I've always thought they gave a weird soapy taste - but not here!

I also bought the Rosemary Thyme Focaccia which is sooooo yummy. I had it as toast, and actually I ate some leftover meatsauce from last week with hunks of this bread. My husband also loved it and was mad I was hoarding it without sharing (haha), here's a not great pic of it from my phone as a snack at my desk:

Anyway - I'm obviously a fan! I would LOVE IT if they would reach out and let me host a giveaway so I can let some of you try this product! Especially if there is not a Whole Foods near you - although, you can order online, here.

Next on my list is to try there White Bread, Cinnamon Raisin, Hamburger Buns! Basically, all of their products.

OH -- the prices weren't bad... Online in the store 1 loaf is $4.99 -- I believe I bought it in the store for about $5.29 -- so comparable to Udi's.... Also - here is a quick side by side of the nutritional facts for Udis vs Canyon Bake house:

Click on graphic to read at full size

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snyder's Gluten Free Pretzels!!

WOW -- Just heard about this today! Snyders has gluten free pretzel sticks! I hear they cost less & are crunchier than Glutino's version. I also checked out the calories here, and that is definitely better than Glutino's! Only 1.5 grams of fat and 110 calories for 30!

There is a full review here, on Triumph Dining.

Found these in Whole Foods this weekend!

They are good! The bag was like half the size of regular pretzels (why do they always do this?!) but it was a very good, 'normal' price, even at Whole Foods.

They are REALLY crunchy - like almost too crunchy, but have an excellent flavor. They were also smaller than I envisioned for some reason -- but are making an excellent snack at work today. yay!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bolognese from Florence

I wanted to share with you all this fabulous recipe I learned to make years ago while I was doing a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I took a weekly cooking class while I was there - and this was one of my favorite things!

Over the years I've evolved the recipe, and I change it slightly each time I make it - it's ALWAYS good, it's pretty hard to mess this up. I usually do this on a Sunday since it takes a while, and needs to be looked after, but you can make a ton & keep to eat throughout the week! It's an excellent leftover!

This is more of a Ragu than a 'sauce' - it's very meaty, and there is definitely more meat than tomato - so if you're a vegetarian, this is just not for you.

You begin by finely chopping (or use your food processor) 2 medium onions, 3-4 peeled carrots, and 2 celery stalks, also known as the mirepoix. I personally like a few more carrots because I like the sweetness it adds to the ragu, and less celery - so go with what you like.

Sauté these in a little olive oil until onions are translucent... If you used the food processor this goes pretty fast. Then add your generously salted & peppered meat. This time, I used a mix of ground beef and ground pork - about 3.5 lbs. Sometimes I just use beef. FYI, it does NOT work with turkey.

Anyway - add the meat and mix in with the mirepoix, cook until meat is no longer pink, medium-high heat - add in 1 small can of tomato paste, mix it thoroughly, then add about a cup of dry red wine. Let the wine cook down.

Next add in 1 large can & 1 small can of crushed or diced tomatoes. (When I learned in Italy, they used the cans of whole tomatoes in sauce and let them cook down, but I find it easier to use the already diced or crushed tomatoes). Then add in as much chopped basil as you like.

Let cook on medium/medium-low for around 3 hours.

Here is is after about 45 minutes of cooking, still soupy:

As it cooks you will need to stir every so often. You'll start to see the amount of liquid become less & less as it cooks after a couple hours - add in beef broth to the mixture and let that cook down.

This little menace was circling the whole time I was cooking:

At the end it should not be 'saucy' at all, and you'll notice if you taste as you go, that the flavor will be much more rich than when you first started. Here it is cooked way down at around 3 hrs:

Serve over your favorite GF pasta (penne or spirals are best for this meaty ragu) and sprinkle a little pecorino romano on top & serve!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick & Easy Bruschetta

I was at Whole Foods and saw Against the Grain's Rosemary Baguette and decided it would be fun to slice it up and make some easy bruschetta.

Originally it was for company on Friday night, but I ended up making it on Sunday afternoon when the entire house smelled delicious for a bolognese sauce I was making, and having to wait a few hours for it to cook!

I cut up a vine-ripened tomato, half of a red onion, and a few basil leaves, mixed them in a bowl with a touch of olive oil, and added a little to the top of each sliced piece of baguette (the only problem with these are the sliced pieces are teeny tiny, and there are some big holes so it's easy for tomatoes to fall through)... I sprinkled a little pecorino romano on top, and put them in the toaster oven at 375 for about 10 minutes.


And it held off our growling stomachs until the sauce was ready to eat! That post is coming tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Risotto — Two ways

For some insane reason, I used to not really like risotto. Not sure what was wrong with me, but I came around, especially after going gluten free.

It's not as hard to make as some people think, AND there is no heavy cream or cheese involved in the making of risotto that gives it that super creamy texture. It's just that way naturally! You may have all known this, but my husband actually asked to watch me make this because he did not believe that I didn't put a pound of cheese or two sticks of butter in when making this.

Last night I made Butternut Squash Risotto. Soooooo good. I was going to include pancetta, but didn't have any so I cut up a little canadian bacon and threw that in there.

Let me apologize NOW for these horrific pictures. I have a ton of recessed lights in my house, but I'm always cooking late and cannot figure out how to get good pics -- anyone? anyone?

Anyway - I roasted the butternut squash for about an hour at 400, and started the risotto while that was still roasting. When the squash was done I cut it up and added it in right at the end along with the canadian bacon.

A couple weeks ago I found some packets of dried mushrooms on sale and bought them with Mushroom Risotto on the brain and voila:

This also came out great. I had a mixture of dried mushrooms including oyster, porcini, shittake, and morels. You bring the dried mushrooms to a boil and cook until soft - then put aside making sure to keep the broth.

Both came out great - not sure if there was a favorite - they're both so good. And I adapted both recipes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, of course.... If you want the full recipe let me know.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I made such a delicious dinner last night (if I do say so myself) and it was all things I already had in the kitchen, which I love!

I was browsing some blogs yesterday and saw Liz's fall inspired recipe for Stuffed Squash, realized I didn't have all those ingredients, then found this on Food, and figured I could sort of combine those recipes, plus what I had already to make this:

Allie's Stuffed Acorn Squash
(serves 2)
1 acorn squash
a bit of butter & maple syrup for squash
1 package ground turkey (sausage would have also been great)
1 onion
2 carrots
1 large celery stalk
1/4 cup sweet corn
1 crush garlic clove
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2-1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp (or more) cinnamon
Pecorino or whatever cheese to sprinkle on top
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Cut acorn squash in half, remove seeds, place on pan with a dab of butter and a bit of maple syrup in the halves. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

In skillet brown turkey (or sausage) with a bit of olive oil. Remove meat, then sauté chopped carrots, onion, celery (I think an apple might be good mixed in here too!), with garlic. Add white wine to deglaze pan and let cook down for a bit. Put turkey back in, mix, then add half the chicken stock. Let cook for a bit, then add in cooked brown rice, sprinkle in cinnamon, salt & pepper to taste, the rest of the chicken stock and let cook.

Then stuff the halves with the delicious filling, sprinkle with pecorino - YUM.

I enjoyed mine with a Redbridge watching Glee :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eataly — NYC

I was in NYC this weekend for a friends birthday and had been hearing and reading so much about Mario Battali's Eataly, that I just HAD to go. I knew it would be a mob scene, and it definitely was. But it was pretty cool to check out. I would recommend going NOT on a Saturday, or in a few months when the hype dies down.

Inside Eataly

I was mostly interested in getting gelato, cured meats, and some cheeses, if I wasn't gluten free, I'm sure my list would have been: fresh pasta, pizza, and panini, but the other stuff is just as good, and less calories! We managed to find a table with a server and ordered a sampler board that looked like this:

Umm, YUM, all the things I was looking to get! It was really good. They served with a fig, some honey, and oil - and also served with fresh baked bread (which I obviously did not partake in) and to top it off we each got a glass of Bastianich Rosé that was quite good. I would have gotten another glass, but there was no way we were getting the waiter back. Oh - and you can just walk around and shop & buy things, so we also got a container of bistecca was was cooked to PERFECTION. It was $20 for not that much, but totally worth it - my mouth is watering thinking of it.

I had my eyes on the gelaterria, but there was a huge case of desserts and there were at least 5 delicious looking items that were clearly labeled gluten-free. I almost got the tiramasu, pictured, but figure on my return visit I will go for it.

Oh, and PS - they were selling white truffles in there for $2500 a pound!!! Yikes!

Monday, October 18, 2010

GF Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

It's been ages since I've posted! Work has been crazy, been traveling quite a bit for fun and work, and now I think things are getting back to normal!

I've been cooking quite a bit since the weather has gotten cooler, I'll be sure to share!

My favorite thing I've made in the past two weeks? These babies:

Umm, yum. Look at how light & fluffy there are too! We had a TON of apples from going apple picking, and after making an apple cake (that didn't turn out that good actually) and an apple pie, these sounded like a great idea - and they were. Sooo good. I'm not sure why I never thought to make this before?

We used the Gluten Free Bisquick, then chopped up the apples into little pieces, sprinkled them on the cakes, then sprinkled a little cinnamon mixed with sugar on top, like so:

I am definitely making these again in the very near future.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baltimore/DC this week

Hey all! I am at the airport waiting to fly to Baltimore, I am there till Wednesday then heading to DC until Saturday.

Any GF food recommendations?

I will be in the Fell point area in Baltimore and staying in the Dupont Circle area in Washington.... Let me know! Thanks!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Gluten Free Bisquick Review

Review: AMAZING.

More to come + pics .... had these GF pancakes for breakfast today & they were simply delicious! Fluffy, light, excellent pancake taste, no gluten-free weirdness. YUM.

I'm slightly torn though - I still love Kinnikinnick pancake/waffle mix - it's sweeter, not as fluffy - as well as Better Batter's mix, which is definitely fluffy & good flavor - although this mix is hard to get my hands on.

We shall see.... Do you guys like this mix? Have you tried it?!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Altoids not gluten free?!

How did I not see this before?? I pulled out this little tin of altoid minis i found and Wheat maltodextrin is the third ingredient, ugh.

San Fran - Bristol Farms

Thanks again to Susan who gave some great suggestions while in San fran!

I was walking around the Union Sq area and the Westfield mall and came upon Bristol Farms, and found this:

Woo hoo! Always wanted to try French Meadow Bakery gf bread and here it was! Perfect for breakfast in the room!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hey All.... I'm heading off on Sunday for a week of work-travel...Luckily, I'll be in San Francisco the whole week, not too shabby!

Not luckily, though, it will be LOOOONG days at various locations around the city.

They will be feeding us the whole time (Kraft service style - will probably be a variety, but i'm guessing i'll be eating a lot of salads & chips), but I'm planning on bringing a loaf of Udi's and a handful of Lara Bars -- any other suggestions?

I don't think it will be a huge issue because I'll be staying right downtown (already googled & found GF pizza within a few blocks of my hotel) - but I'm just slightly worried about the days.

What is some good food-on-the-go that will keep me full?