Thursday, December 29, 2011


I feel like I've been hearing about Pinkberry for a long time, but I finally had it yesterday, and I see what all the hype has been about. YUM.

I got the coconut yogurt with raspberries, strawberries and mango. The coconut yogurt is SO GOOD. Highly recommended - and all of their yogurt is gluten free.

There is a Pinkberry in Boston in the Prudential Mall.

(ps - the mochi topping is NOT gluten free, it has wheat in it! check out their site for all nutrition and allergen information)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New gluten free bread find

Genius by Glutino's Multigrain Sandwich bread mainly caught my eye due to its 'normal' size. I am a big Udis fan, but sometimes I just wish the slices were bigger!

This loaf has nice big thick slices and tastes really good - like, normal bread. It's also very light, no dense brick-like bread here.

I keep looking for bread that has a little more nutrition in it - I'm not sure this is it. But it's good!

This bread would probably make excellent French Toast.

Have you tried Genius? Did you like it? Better than Udis?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beer Braised Beef in a Marsala Mushroom Cream Sauce

I've been really into Pinterest for a while now keeping track of design things I like, house decorating ideas, and just as a source for inspiration, but only recently did I start seeing a lot of food & great-looking recipes. I have since made a YUM folder on there, and my list of things to make someday gets longer.

So last week I saw this picture of Beer-braised beef with the marsala mushroom cream sauce and knew I had to make it right away!

The original recipe is here. It's a little involved, not exactly a week-night dinner, unless you have more time than me, but I made this last Sunday and it made the house smell delicious!!!

I followed this recipe pretty closely (for a change), and made the following:

Beer Braised Beef (recipe below)
Mashed Potatoes - original used buttermilk, I just made regular
Marsala Mushroom Cream Sauce (recipe below)

Beef Braised Beef


1 (2-1/2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast

Kosher salt and ground pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter gluten free all purpose flour)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced thinly

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 (12-ounces) bottles lager beer, I used Redbridge

3 beef bouillon cubes

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 6-inch sprig rosemary ( I think this was supposed to go in the beef mix in the oven, but it didn't say to, so I forgot, I ended up just using it as a garnish on top)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Cut the beef in large 2 or 3-inch chunks. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Place the beef in a ziplock bag and add the flour. Seal the bag and shake the beef until each piece is dredged and coated in flour. Add three tablespoons vegetable oil to a large heavy duty pot and heat over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on all sides, and then transfer to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot and add the onions. Cook the onions for 20 minutes until they are soft and slightly caramelized. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, beer, and bouillon cubes. Bring the mixture to boil, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Add the beef and the juices from the plate back to the pot and give everything a good stir. Cover the pot with a lid and place it in the oven for 2-1/2 hours.

Marsala Mushroom Cream Sauce


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms (actually I used more crimini than white)

8 ounces sliced white button mushroom

3/4 cup Marsala wine

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

3 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and pepper


In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are barely cooked through. Add the Marsala wine and cook for 5 minutes allowing the wine to slightly reduce. Stir in the heavy cream and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the mushroom sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Here's all of it coming together:

Finished, plated meal shown at very top. I was very fancy and added the rosemary as a garnish. Mainly because - the recipe called for rosemary and then it was never included in the recipe, weird right? So I figured I'd put it on top, and the aroma of the rosemary before eating this was a nice added bonus.

The beef was so tender and flavorful! It was a soupier mixture than I thought it would be -- but I used a slotted spoon to arrange the plate --- and when we saved leftovers we got rid of most of the liquid.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Blue Moon Grill - Wakefield, MA

Saturday morning I felt like going out to breakfast, so I hopped on Google to look for a new spot, and found the Blue Moon Grill because apparently they had gluten free pancakes - umm, sweet.

The menu doesn't mention anything about gluten free - but we decided to head over and try it out, it's only about 10 minutes from my house.

It's a tiny little place and we liked it immediately. The menu is awesome - I should have taken a pic of it - I wanted EVERYTHING. I was going to just get straight pancakes, because, well, when else can you get pancakes outside of your home?

But, with the help of the waitress who told me their hollandaise sauce was GF, I went with the Eggs Benedict served on gluten free silver dollar pancakes. That's right. Diet be damned!

Here it is:

And here's what I did to it:

Friday, December 09, 2011

BVI Vacation

(This from the balcony of our house - no joke)

My husband had surprised me for our 2nd Anniversary with a trip that he had fully planned & booked to the British Virgin Islands - specifically Tortola - with our good friends for the Thanksgiving week.

I mean, clearly he's the best (and I really hate the planning & logistics/flights part of it). I was shocked and suuuuuuper excited.

Anyway - it was amazing, obviously... the weather was incredible, it was soooo relaxing, and it was a really beautiful island.... but I wanted to talk a little about eating gluten free in the Caribbean. Let me just say, it wasn't that easy.

We were staying in a house - which was great, so we did quite a few meals there. I went down there with a loaf of Udi's, a bag of Tinkyada pasta, a handful of Luna Protein bars and LaraBars, and I brought a bag of Better Batter flour just in case.

Good thing too! Tortola doesn't exactly have a huge selection of groceries. We were shopping first in Road Town, and the pickin's were slim. Although, when we were in Soper's Hole Marina, we found a grocery store there that actually had a few GF items - but if you're going, it's really best to just bring a few staples.

I tried to stick to simple easy items - grilled fish, salads with no dressing. But somehow - I got sick a few times. I ordered fish with rice one time, and I'm pretty sure most places use a packaged rice mix that contains gluten - so I stayed away from that. We were on a full-day sail, and we docked near this permanently anchored boat/restaurant called Willy T's for lunch - I had a great piece of tuna, and it came with rice, my husband figured he'd go ask the chef if he knew if it was GF or not, sure enough - he came back fuming, he got in a fight with the dude because the chef said "what's with this trendy shit"... nice. Whatever though - I was on vacation, on a boat eating lunch and wasn't really phased. I told my husband to calm down. it was fine, I didn't eat the rice.

We did one other 'fancy' night out at this really cool restaurant called The Sugar Mill, actually, we did Thanksgiving there. I didn't opt for the turkey - it came with stuffing & gravy - who wants turkey in 85 degree heat anyway -- but went for a grilled fish option and salad. For some reason, I was really sick after eating. ANNOYING. After that I vowed not to eat out anymore.

It was semi-pathetic, but I was fine, when we were out to lunch one day I ordered a plain salad, and had a pb & j udi's sandwich in my purse that I ate under the table! Ha! I really didn't care, I was so happy to be in the sun and not at work! Ahhh, gluten free travel.

I mean, look at our sunset:

And my husband in the water:

Yeah. Who cares about food really? And rum punch by the way - is gluten free ;)

We had to head back to St. Thomas for a night because of flights - and we stayed at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef - and I had an easier time eating here, although, it was only 2 meals, but the place we went for dinner - Havana Blue, knew what gluten free was and they were on top of it.

**UPDATE: Kate commented below and let me know there is a store in Road Town called Nature's Way that offers many gluten free products, open every day except Saturday.