Archive for November, 2010

Design Your Own Cereal

Posted in GF product, online shopping, vegetarian on November 30th, 2010 by Betsy – 3 Comments

I love cereal.  Yes, it’s always fun to have a gluten-free cinnamon raisin English muffin as a treat, but I just can’t get enough cereal.  In fact I give my cereal great thought in the morning and I end up combining lots of different cereals to make my perfect mixture of fiber, flavor, and textures.  I think it takes me longer to make my bowl of cereal than scrambled eggs.  I enjoy combining Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise and Cinnamon Chex.  I top it with raisins, flaxseed meal and a little homemade granola.  The cinnamon Chex adds some sweetness but I still get good fiber from the flax and Mesa Sunrise.  (We celiacs need to make sure we get enough fiber in our diet.)

Gotta love the logo!

Gotta love the logo!

Going along with my love for cereal and cereal combinations, I’ve discovered this website: Custom Choice Cereals

I still have not sampled their product, but I’m loving the idea.  You get to pick the combination of ingredients. They ship it to you.  Custom Choice even sells gift cards for the holidays.

Cereal + dried fruit + nuts = yum

Has anyone tried this product yet?  Thoughts?  What would you pick for your cereal combination?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24th, 2010 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

In addition to The Week, Vanity Fair and Bon Appetit, David and I also get a subscription to The New Yorker. In my perfect world, I would read that magazine cover to cover each week, but I feel like by the time I look at the cover, a new one’s already arrived in my mailbox.

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The issue of The New Yorker that I never miss though, is the “Food Issue,” which came out last week.  I particularly enjoyed the article by Laura Shapiro, entitled, “The First Kitchen,” about Eleanor Roosevelt’s mediocre cooking in the White House.

I couldn’t help but laugh at this cartoon, even though it’s making fun of me.  (See bottom left of cartoon.)  I’m happy to be gluten-free for my fourth Thanksgiving and thankful for my families for accepting and accommodating me.  (At least I’m not on a cleanse, right?)

new doc_1

These are a few of my Favorite Things

Posted in product, TV, Uncategorized on November 23rd, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Yesterday, Oprah hosted her last ever ‘Favorite Things’ episode.  (I’m wiping a tear from my eye as I write.)  It was such a monumental occasion: Gayle was in the audience and Steadman even watched from the control room.  (Only the third taping Oprah’s man has ever attended.)

Oprah's Final Favorite Things

Oprah's Final Favorite Things

I know that everyone has their own opinions of Oprah, but I love her.  I always have, always will.  I don’t care how wealthy she gets or how much of the media she controls.  She’s awesome.  I’m amazed at how much she’s overcome, her success, and the ‘O’ empire that she created.  She’s confident, powerful, opinionated and professional.  I’ve watched Oprah for years and I will miss those wonderful afternoons where I happen to be at the gym when Oprah’s on the air.  (Who am I kidding?  Now that I have DVR, I record it everyday.)

This 25th and final season has been particularly great.  Some highlights include: the entire cast of The Sound of Music (including Julie Andrews), Gayle and Oprah camping in Yosemite, Jon Stewart, and of course, her two episodes ‘favorite things.’

Oprah & The Sound of Music Cast: Two of my Favorite Things

Oprah & The Sound of Music Cast: Two of my Favorite Things

Yosemite or Bust

Yosemite or Bust

Sadly, I wasn’t the beneficiary of any of Oprah’s gifts, but I did fall for the marketing genius that is Oprah’s favorite things.  I now desperately want an iPad, a Le Creuset cookware set (well, I’ve always wanted that, now I just want “Oprah’s Set”), and a Volkswagon.  Oh, and throw in some Garrett popcorn (yes, it’s gluten-free) and a Black Eyed Peas CD too.

All good things must come to an end, I guess.

Who Am I?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22nd, 2010 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Who am I?  I’m Jean Valjean!  (Cue inspirational music and Javert raging.)

Oh, wait…no I’m not Jean Valjean.

That's not me.  It's 2-4-6-0-1

That's not me. It's 2-4-6-0-1

I realized the other day that it’s been over a year since I wrote my “About” page on Gluten Freedom.  We’ve had a few things change in our life since I first wrote my bio on Gluten Freedom.  I figure my readers don’t frequently check my “About” page, so I thought you might like to read my latest updates and get to know me a little better.  Click here to check it out.

P.S.: I’m a terrible singer, but I sure do love musicals.

les-miserables

Let the Countdown Begin…

Posted in cooking, GF product, local food, meals, side dish, Uncategorized, vegetarian on November 18th, 2010 by Betsy – 4 Comments

T minus 7 days until Thanksgiving supper…

Turkey Day  is happening at Casa Metcalf this year.  Yep, that’s right; David and I are hosting his family.  I can’t wait to host everyone in our new house and have an excuse to cook.

So, what are we making this year?

turkeygrill

Turkey on the grill: David did such a great job with the turkey last year, so I see no reason to change the preparation method.  Also, grilling our bird, frees up our oven for more baking.  David plans on brining our bird 24 hours in advance.  David has also mentioned covering the turkey with bacon while grilling.  I won’t argue with that.  After much debate, we went with a fresh turkey from Publix.  I had grand plans that we would get a local turkey, that lived a happy and freely roaming life, but the price tag was too steep ($120!!).  Does that make me an awful person?

Brussels sprouts: I just can’t get enough of those little bites of goodness!  Maybe with a little pancetta?  My friend, Hannah, tried brussels sprouts with grapes recently, something I saw in Real Simple.  I’m interested.

turkey cranberry

Canned cranberry: I could attempt making cranberry from scratch, but I’ve always preferred the canned version as I grew up with the oddly smooth cranberry on orange slices.  Fortunately, canned cranberry’s GF.

turkeymashedpot

Mashed Potatoes with baby red potatoes, skin on.  I love the texture the skin adds.

turkey squash

Butternut Squash (my mother-in-law’s recipe)

Stuffing: This is adventurous, and we’ve never GF stuffing before, but we’re going to try a recipe, substituting Sally’s Sandwich Bread for real bread.  Of course our stuffing will have sausage in it!

turkey pies

Apple & Pumpkin Pie (Thank goodness for Whole Foods’ Gluten-Free Bakey Pie Crusts)

I will be serving (but not making) pecan pie and dinner rolls, courtesy of Sally’s Bakery.

I’ve also learned that when hosting Thanksgiving, it’s not just the actual Thanksgiving dinner that you have to think about.  The Metcalves will be with us from Thursday through Sunday, so just a turkey and some cranberry won’t last us.

Here are some other items I’m going to make to keep our bellies happy when the last bit of turkey has been consumed and there’s no more pie left for breakfast:

turkey granola

Granola and pumpkin bread for breakfasts and snacking

Chicken chili for lunches, once the leftovers run out

Honey mustard chicken for a weekend dinner.  It’s just so easy.

What are you planning for your Thanksgiving feast?  What are your favorite gluten-free holiday recipes?

A Little Thanksgiving Help From Sally’s Bakery

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event, GF product on November 16th, 2010 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Are you hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving this year?  I am!  David’s family is joining us in Atlanta for the holiday and we can’t wait to have a gluten-free Thanksgiving feast in our new house.  While I’m going to make most of the items myself, I’m looking to Sally’s Bakery to supplement my own culinary goodies.  I’ll be ordering their pecan pie and some dinner rolls for our feast and of course sandwich bread for turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving.

Sallys Bakery Logo

Don’t be daunted by the thought of gluten-free holiday entertaining.  Check out what Sally’s is offering for the holidays and make your special orders:

Sally’s Bakery Holiday Menu:

9” Pumpkin Pie – $12.99 – As a holiday staple, this favorite will round out your Thanksgiving meal or make a great breakfast the next day…if it lasts! – Our pumpkin pie is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Owner, Sally Owings, showing off one of her amazing pies

Owner, Sally Owings, showing off one of her amazing pies

9” Pecan Pie – $14.99 – Our best ever pecan pie is a must have in our house.  No one will ever know it’s gluten free.  We’re using fresh south Georgia pecans to top this pleasantly sweet southern favorite. – Our pecan pie is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Cornbread – $9.99 8×8 square – Our cornbread is a gluten free version of our grandmother’s old-fashioned southern recipe made with eggs and buttermilk.  The only thing missing here is the iron skillet!  It’s perfect for making stuffing or toasted with warm soup. – Our cornbread is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Yeast Dinner Rolls – $5.99 package of 6 rolls – These classic yeast dinner rolls will be a great addition to your holiday menu and are sure to melt in your mouth. – Our dinner rolls are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs.

These additional offerings will be available from Monday, November 15th through Wednesday, November 24th by special order.  Place your order by phone, via email, using the contact form, or in person!

And…perhaps some muffins for breakfast later in the weekend:

Chocolate Chip Muffins – $5.99 – These moist muffins, made with an applesauce base and a hint of cinnamon, are perfect for anyone who likes a little chocolate in their life.  Vegan chocolate chip so these muffins are dairy free. – also free of gluten, and eggs.  Contains soy lecithin.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – $5.99 – If you’ve had our banana bread, then you’re sure to love these muffins.  They’re made with the same moist and flavorful batter but we’ve added vegan chocolate chips to spice things up! – free of gluten, dairy, and eggs.  Contains soy lecithin.

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins – $5.99 – These muffins are similar to our chocolate chip muffins but are more decadent with the addition of good old-fashioned cocoa powder.  Chocolate for breakfast… yes please! – These muffins are free of gluten, dairy, and eggs.  Contain soy lecithin.

Almond Carrot Muffins – $7.99 – These muffins are the only item on our menu completely free of any refined sugar.  They’re similar to carrot cake but much healthier!  With just the right mixture of almond meal, agave, and a hint of cinnamon, they are sure to please your palate. – Our almond carrot muffins are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs.

Stay tuned for more details on what I’m making for the holiday!

Living Without Magazine Features Atlanta as Travel Destination

Posted in advice, Atlanta, local food, reading, Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized on November 15th, 2010 by Betsy – 12 Comments

Guess What?  The most recent issue of Living Without Magazine (Dec/Jan) features Atlanta as its travel destination.  Of course, you and I know how many awesome gluten-free options Atlanta has, but the rest of the country might not realize the plethora of restaurants that go above and beyond to help out those of us with special dietary needs.

IMG_0157

You can get a teeny glimpse of the article by clicking here but you have to purchase a copy for yourself in order to read the entire article, and see if there are any spots you’re missing.  You can find Living Without on shelves at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.

Friends and Readers, gluten and non-gluten eaters, who don’t reside in Hotlanta, this should give you even more reason to visit ATL.  If the Real Housewives, the music industry and Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full, weren’t enough to get you down here, all of these yummy food spots, should finally twist your arm.  The only trouble will be to decide where to go once you get here.

Oh, and one more thing…I wrote the article.  Yep, I’m pretty pleased as punch about it.

IMG_0159

Yup, that's me, a 'Contributor.'

Gluten-Free Discovery

Posted in GF product, vegetarian on November 12th, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

On a recent trip to Starbuck’s, something caught my eye.

No, it wasn’t the fact that the calendar had barely reached November, and they were already serving hot beverages in holiday cups.

Really?  It's not even Thanksgiving!  I do love the holiday cups though.

Really? It's not even Thanksgiving! I do love the holiday cups though.

Nope, I wasn’t salivating over their pumpkin scones, the most missed item from my gluten-eating days.

It was that little basket in the corner where Starbuck’s keeps their pre-packaged, and sometimes, gluten-free snacks, like Lucy’s Cookies.  In that little basket I noticed the Food Should Taste Good chips that I love so much.  But there was something new sitting next to the sweet potato chips…a new variety of Food Should Taste Good chips: “White Cheddar.”  How have I not seen this flavor before at Kroger or Whole Foods?

White Cheddar: Made Exclusively for Starbuck's

White Cheddar: Made Exclusively for Starbuck's

I then looked closer at the bag and saw Exclusively Made for Starbuck’s on the label.  Genius.  Marketing genius.  So of course, I bought a bag.

While the Sweet Potato Chips will always be my favorite (now that they no longer make cinnamon), I must say the white cheddar were a nice afternoon snack and a good change to my usual salty snacks of choice.  Paying $1.50 for a small bag of chips is a bit pricey, but since the white cheddar are only being sold at Starbuck’s, my guess is that I won’t find a more economical price.

FoodShouldTasteGoodLogo

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted in baking, recipe, Uncategorized, vegetarian on November 10th, 2010 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Yes, it’s pumpkin time again.  It’s been over a week since I last wrote about baking with pumpkin, so it’s time.

pump final

Last week, I went to a South American wine tasting and was given the task of bringing a dessert.  Of course my first idea was, pumpkin cookies!  Sometimes I wonder if I’m pushing too hard on the pumpkin thing: maybe not everyone sees pumpkin as the ideal sweet treat.  But, I went ahead and made the pumpkin cookies.  Sure, it would have been easier to make a batch of Betty Crocker GF brownies, but it’s fall and we need pumpkin.

When I made these cookies, I wasn’t sure what the response would be.  I brought a few to my friend, Jen, who assured me that she liked them.  (I didn’t actually see her eat the cookies though, so I wasn’t sure how truthful this statement was.

So, at the wine event that evening, I was nervous as to how these oddly shaped orange balls would go over with everyone else, especially the guys in the group.  My pumpkin doubts were quickly wiped away, as the pumpkin cookies were devoured.  I would watch a person eat one, then grab another, and a little while later, another.  I couldn’t believe how quickly they were disappearing!  I had to make sure I got my fill of the goodies before they ran out.

Success?  I think so.  They’re not the most beautiful cookies, but they were a crowd pleaser.

pump mixer

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1/ cup amaranth flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. xanthan gum
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. nutmeg
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 cup chocolate chips

Mix flours, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder and spices in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients (flours, etc.) to creamed mixture; mix well. Add chocolate chips; mix thoroughly.

pump bowl

Drop by teaspoons onto well-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutesor until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets while warm and cool on racks. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.  Enjoy!

Note to Gluten-Eaters: If you want to make this recipe with gluten, just use 3 cups of regular flour in lieu of the other flours and omit the xanthan gum.

Any more pumpkin ideas for me?

pump pan

Hearty Roast Chicken

Posted in recipe on November 8th, 2010 by Betsy – 4 Comments

The most recent issue of Atlanta’s Finest Dining Magazine has just hit shelves.  Pick up your free copy and check out my latest article, about making roast chicken.  This is a favorite recipe of mine in the winter months, as it’s super easy to make and looks beautiful, surrounded by roasted veggies.

You can also find the article online: Meals from a Gluten-Free Kitchen

roast chicken 1

I’ve included the roast chicken recipe below for my devoted readers:

Winter Roast Chicken (Inspired by Barefoot Contessa, via my sister-in-law, Heidi): Serves 3-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole (4-6 lb.) roasting chicken
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Sprigs of thyme and rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • Assortment of root vegetables, chopped into relatively equal sizes (I like to use red potatoes, baby carrots, and rutabagas)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.  Remove any chicken giblets from the inside of chicken.

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Brush chicken with melted butter.  (If you would like to make this recipe dairy free, use olive oil instead of butter.)  Sprinkle outside and interior of chicken liberally with salt and pepper.  (You won’t over salt it, I promise.)  Place herbs, garlic and lemon into the cavity of the chicken.

roast chick raw

Put chopped veggies and onions in roasting pan and toss with two tablespoons of olive oil.  Spread veggies around pan and place chicken in middle of the pan.  (It’s important that you put the chicken breast side facing up so that the skin of the chicken will crisp nicely.)

roast chick whole

Cook for 80-90 minutes, or until the juices run clear.  Once or twice during cooking, toss the vegetables in the roasting pan.  Remove from oven and separate veggies and chicken, covering both with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving with meat.

Serve with a beautiful salad and you have yourself a gourmet (and gluten-free) meal. Happy Holidays and Happy Cooking!

roast chick pieces