Posts Tagged ‘Barefoot Contessa’

Name that Show!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19th, 2011 by Betsy – 7 Comments

I’m beginning to talk with some folks about trying to pitch a show that involves traveling with food allergies/sensitivities to the Food Network and the Travel Channel.  Picture Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations but a little sweeter and not as many f-bombs.

As we begin the planning process, we’ve been brainstorming locations, ideas, and most importantly…what the heck to call the show. We want people to be able to tell the premise of the show by seeing the title.  We just can’t seem to figure out one that’s quite right.

So, I’m enlisting your help on this one…

I would love your ideas for names for a show that involves the following:

  • Travel
  • Gluten free
  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Dining
  • Culture
  • Hiking, site seeing, touring

So give me your ideas, please!

Here are some of the suggestions I’ve gotten so far…

  • “Planes, Trains, and Autoimmunity”
  • “Gluten Tag” (If only we were filming in Germany!)
  • “Fearless Foodie: Traveling with Food Sensitivities & Allergies”
  • “Eating without Fear
  • “Betsy Metcalf: Your GF BFF”
  • “Fork in the Road”
  • “Unrestricted Appetite”
  • “Off the Wheaten Path”
  • “The Gluttonous Gluten-Free Goddess”
  • “Glutenless Maximus”
  • Betsy Metcalf: The Food Savvy Traveler

I love creative minds at work!  Keep the ideas coming.

My Culinary Inspiration...Barefoot Contessa (I think she and I could work well together on the Food Network, don't you?)

Birthday Celebrations

Posted in baking, cooking, recipe, travel on April 1st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

The day before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, I celebrated my (yikes!) 29th birthday.  As I spent the day feeling special, and well loved, we had no idea that in less than 24 hours, natural disaster would occur.  It’s a bit eerie to reflect on my birthday and how wonderful it was and how unaware we were, but I’m thankful we didn’t yet know what was to come.

bday cake2

The morning started in the best way possible, with gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes.  The commissary on base sells Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix so Alden stocked up.  Chip didn’t want any of this nonsense of sugar at breakfast, but Rob, Alden and I enjoyed the yummy pancakes.  At home we use Pamela’s for pancakes, but Bob’s worked really well too.  They were a little thick but Pamela’s can be that way too.  (I prefer my pancakes to be thick and cake like as opposed to thin and crispy.)

Birthday morning hug from Chip

Birthday morning hug from Chip

Rob took Chip to the zoo on my big day so Alden and I had a lovely morning out, shopping at Homes in Yokosuku.  We bought bento boxes, chopsticks, nautical striped shirts (just make sure to buy two sizes bigger) and pencil cases.  Pete accompanied us and did very well on his first shopping spree.  We swung by the naval base on the way home to buy wine, People magazine, M&Ms, and other necessities.

For my birthday dinner, Alden made the most delicious chicken tikka masala.  I’ve mentioned before that chicken tikka masala is one of my favorite meals, but I’ve never made the dish from scratch.  Alden used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and even put her fish grill to work for cooking the chicken.  Tikka is actually the perfect Japan dinner because it doesn’t require an oven.

bday tikka2

Alden did all of the work and served us a delicious, yummy dinner.  Perfect.  The only thing that made the evening better was dessert!  Alden’s friend Lauren, who lives on base (translation: has an oven) made me a gluten-free birthday cheesecake.  I had only met Lauren once before but she spent an entire morning making me a cake.  Her kindness meant so much to me and the cake was such an unexpected treat.  Needless to say the cheesecake was divine.  Lauren used pecans in the crust which really added a nice texture and distracted from the often dense, gluten-free baking mix.  She used Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for the filling.  (I’m going to get the actual recipe for the crust and filling from Lauren and will report back to you.)  We enjoyed our cheesecake while watching Top Chef. Perfect!

Pete & my birthday cake

Pete & my birthday cake

And, as if all of the festivities weren’t enough, Rob and Alden gave me a wonderful birthday gift.  My very own ramen bowls, chopsticks, and chopstick holders.  It’s fitting that the bowls are decorated with rabbits as 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, marking my historic trip to Japan and the birth of my nephew Peter “Rabbit.”  (Get it?)

bday bowl

Thank you, Alden, Rob, Lauren, Pete and Chip for a wonderful birthday and a great trip to Japan.  I wouldn’t take it back for anything.  Seriously.

PS: After the earthquake, tsunami warning and evacuation, Alden and I decided we should be eating cheesecake at every meal.  So true.

Birthday Chicken Tikka Masala (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)


Chicken Tikka:

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 serrano chile (ribs & seeds removed), fresh minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

For the chicken, combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing so it sticks to the chicken.  Put chicken on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.  I a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger.

For the sauce, heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering.  Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala.  Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in cream and return to simmer.  Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from oven’s source of heat) and heat broiler.  (Note: for those in Japan, cook chicken in fish grill.)  Using tongs, dip chicken in yogurt mixture, coating chicken in a thick layer of yogurt, and put on wire rack of oven in a foil rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan.  Broil chicken between 10 and 18 minutes, when the thickets parts are 160 degrees.  Flip chicken halfway through cooking.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce.  (Do not simmer chicken in sauce.)  Stir in cilantro, taste, add needed salt, and serve.

A great recipe that is naturally gluten-free, tested by Cook’s Illustrated’s test kitchen, and delicious.  Enjoy!

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


  • 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

Blueberry Muffins & Childhood Memories

Posted in baking, local food, recipe, Uncategorized on June 1st, 2010 by Betsy – 3 Comments


Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, my summers were full of adventures outdoors, on both land and water.  At the time I had no idea how unusual it was to have a dock in your back yard that provided hours of entertainment for my brother and me.  We repeatedly threw sticks for Sadie, our chocolate lab, into the creek, watching her belly flop after them.  We caught jelly fish in our crab net, and watched their tentacles dry out on the dock.  Weekends involved day trips on our boat, with the big decision being, “Do we go to the seaside or the bayside?”


We lived in the middle of nowhere.  It took 20 minutes to get to school, to the grocery store, and 90 minutes to reach the nearest mall.  Besides the post office and a boat ramp, the only places within 20 minutes of our house were farms.  One of the summer activities for my brother and me was going to the local blueberry farm just down the road, in Hacksneck.  You could pick your own berries and pay as you picked.  My brother hated blueberries (and most foods besides peanut butter) so the farmer would pay Rob to pick for him.  (There were probably some child labor laws violated in this exchange, but the farmer’s wages seemed like riches compared to the penny my mom paid us for every Japanese beetle we gently picked off of her rose bushes.)  We happily spent an afternoon on the blueberry farm, picking away, until our buckets were full and we grew tired from the summer sun.



This blueberry farm from our childhood still exists today, but has new ownership and a new name, Mason Beach Fruit Farm.  You can still pick and pay for only 75 cents a pint.  That’s quite the bargain.

After our trip to the farm, Mom and I would wash the blueberries and set to work on a batch of blueberry muffins.  It’s funny.  When I was little I loved picking blueberries, and making blueberry muffins, yet I always scoured the batch for the muffin that contained the fewest blueberries.  I preferred the cake aspect of the muffin as opposed to the fruit.  I even remember asking my mom if we could make one in the batch without any berries.  In my old age, my taste buds have thankfully flip flopped and I have grown to love these delicious bites of blueberry goodness.  Now I immediately pick out the muffin that contains the most blue and purple spots before David can select his.


When I saw the first of the season blueberries recently, I immediately thought back to my childhood on the Eastern Shore.  The activities that I associate with this piece of fruit flooded my mind as I planned what to make with the blueberries: Driving down the road to Hacksneck in our very dusty, grey, Chevrolet mini-van. Rob and I riding on the farm’s ATV after we bored of picking berries and grew tired of the heat.  Being in the kitchen with my mom, watching her drink her afternoon tea, while enjoying a blueberry muffin.


How does food make us so nostalgic?  I’m not sure, but I love it.  The memories and emotions that come to mind from seeing a pint of berries are amazing.  What are your favorite summer food memories?

muffins 2

Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s barefoot contessa at home)


  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ tablespoon and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick, unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (plus more if you like to go heavy on the berries)
  • ¾ cup sugar (plus one tablespoon for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin tines with paper liners.  Spray with PAM.

Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Stir to make sure they combine well.


In another bowl, combine the milk, eggs and melted butter.  Make a hole in the middle of the dry mixture, pour the wet mixture into the well and stir until just combined.  Don’t worry if the mix is lumpy.  Add the blueberries and sugar.  Stir gently to combine.



Spoon the batter into muffin cups to fill liners  In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining tablespoon of sugar.  Sprinkle on top of each of the muffins.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until you can cleanly pierce with a toothpick.  Makes about a dozen.




Spring Break 2K10 Continues

Posted in advice, cooking, travel on March 9th, 2010 by Betsy – 3 Comments


Sun, books, writing, cooking, and rest. Glorious vacation. After a few days in Naples, Florida with Jen I’m feeling totally relaxed and in the groove of vacation. We wake up with no alarm, eat breakfast with a beautiful view of the water, gather our things and head out for a few hours of writing. Yes, it’s a total nerd fest. We spend most of the morning writing and drinking coffee. Around noon we head home for lunch, and then an afternoon of sun and books. The big decisions of the day include, pool or beach and which book to read? Lots of great conversation during and in between all of these. A late afternoon “wog” (walk/jog) followed by cocktails, appetizers and delicious gluten-free dinner. Perfect day.


Our gluten-free menu this week:
“Smorgasbord” of appetizers including hummus, Farmstand carrots, dates & parmesan, chips & salsa


Gluten-free pizza (Bob’s Red Mill) with pears, goat cheese, rosemary and caramelized onions





Farmstand salad mix with watermelon radishes, pears, red onions, & dried cranberries


Barefoot Contessa’s Roast Chicken with onions, rutabegas & sweet potatoes

GF Fusili pasta with tomato sauce, garlic, ground turkey, onions and oregano

Betty Crocker Gluten-free Brownies

Tonight’s my last night in Naples. So sad. For the final night, we’re going out on the town for dinner in Old Naples at Café Lurcat. So we’re not being totally anti-social this vacation. We even went to hear live music at the beach club the other night. We didn’t dance, but we enjoyed watching the odd (and most likely drugged) man dance. (See photo below.)


Each gluten-free vacation gets easier and easier for me. I continue to learn more about traveling gluten-free and how to stay healthy away from home. Of course it helps to have a gluten-free travel buddy who likes to cook just as much as I do.



Cookbooks I Love

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21st, 2009 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

When we moved from Virginia to Atlanta this summer, we left a lot of our books behind in Virginia.  I could not bear to part with my beloved cookbooks though.  My cookbooks fill up the kitchen and pantry in our very tiny apartment.  My friend, Mary Stuart, couldn’t believe how many I own as she helped me unpack multiple boxes of cookbooks last summer.

I’ve learned so much from the pages of my cookbooks.  I feel like I know some of the authors personally, as I’ve made many of their recipes and read their thoughts and philosophies on cooking.  I even refer to them by their first names (especially Ina and Heidi) as I pull these old friends off of the shelf.

Are you looking for any last minute holiday gifts for a friend or family member?  I think cookbooks make great gifts as they are useful, and can reflect your interests.  I love how cookbooks have identities of their own, based on the writing, photographs, and personalities of the authors.  I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite cookbooks that I love using in my kitchen.  Who knows, maybe some day I’ll be asking you to buy my own cookbook!

best rec

The New Best Recipe: Made by the folks at Cooks Illustrated, the authors of this cookbook experiment in their test kitchen to find the best recipe for many traditional favorites.  I’ve used the ‘thick and chewy’ chocolate chip cookie recipe as a guide to creating my own and I love their ‘oven fries.’  While there aren’t beautiful photographs in this cookbook, there are great illustrations for ‘how tos’.  The explanations are very clearly written and I love their discussion of why certain procedures and ingredients work better than others.  They explain everything from ‘shaping burgers the right way’ to ‘cleaning your food processor.’  I pull this cookbook off the shelf whenever I have questions about how to make something.  It’s a great guide in the kitchen.  The authors actually just came out with More Best Recipes this fall. I haven’t check that one out yet.


Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking: This vegetarian cookbook has provided me with many delicious meals and ideas for vegetarian cooking.   Swanson also writes the blog 101 cookbooks which also offers great ideas in the kitchen.  I’m not a vegetarian, but this is one of my most used cookbooks.  I love her chapter titles, including, ‘Cook by Color’ and ‘Know your Superfoods,’ as opposed to the typical cookbook structure. Swanson writes a lot about using different grains, which is great for us gluten-free folks.  (I usually still have to make some substitutions but she has great explanations of different grains.)  Heidi’s Chunky Lentil Soup is one of my favorite winter dishes.  After the holidays, I’m going to make her ‘Do it Yourself Power Bars.’


Sara Foster’s Fresh Every Day: If you’ve been following Gluten Freedom, you know that this is one of my favorites and go-to cookbooks.  Founder and owner of Foster’s Market in Durham, NC, Sara Foster makes beautiful food with fresh ingredients.  Foster’s recipes are all ‘doable’ and cooks of all levels can find delicious things to make here.  She also gives tips on how to use leftovers to ‘reinvent’ new meals and provides ideas for which side dishes go well with her entrée recipes.  Some of my favorites include Foster’s ‘Red Wine Braised Chicken with Onions and Thyme’ and ‘pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies.’


Frank Stitt’s Southern Table: Frank Stitt owns three restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama.  His cookbook is beautiful and has many unique recipes.  His recipes tend to involve a lot of ingredients, so I might purchase Stitt’s cookbook for one of my more culinarily ambitious friends.  If you like southern food, this is a great choice.  I only wish I used this cookbook more, so hopefully you’ll see some of his meals on Gluten Freedom in 2010.


The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Last but not least, is Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.  Besides Joy of Cooking, this was the first cookbook that I owned.  I love all of Barefoot’s cookbooks, and yes, I own them all,  but this one is my personal favorite, maybe just for old time’s sake.  My sister-in-law, Heidi, introduced me to Barefoot Contessa through her Perfect Roast Chicken and it is truly perfect.  David and I have been referring to Barefoot for recipe ideas throughout the last 5 years.  I love pulling this book off the shelf because it’s stained with red wine and bits of food and reminds me of many fun and delicious meals created with Ina’s help.  Definitely a well used cookbook!

You might have noticed that none of these cookbooks are specifically gluten-free.  These chefs use many recipes that are naturally gluten-free and I’m yet to find a recipe in one of these books that I can’t modify some in order to make it gluten-free and still delicious.  Tweaking recipes just makes the kitchen that much more of an adventure!

What are your favorite cookbooks?  I’m always looking for new ideas and recipes so please share your top choices with me.

Barefoot’s Beef Stew

Posted in cooking on November 17th, 2009 by Betsy – 7 Comments

I love Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.  Her recipes are simple and use fresh ingredients.  Besides Joy of Cooking, Barefoot Contessa was my first introduction to the cookbook world.  Barefoot made me feel welcome in the kitchen and that I could actually make food, even good food.  Laid back and no frills, Barefoot’s show is always fun to watch and I love it when she talks about her husband, Jeffrey.  For those of you that haven’t seen the show, Jeffrey works in the city during the week and comes home to Nantucket on the weekends.  Jeffrey’s favorite meal is roast chicken, so she usually makes him roast chicken on Friday nights.  Barefoot’s roast chicken became one of the first meals that David and I started making when entertaining and we agree with Jeffrey, that it is one of the best meals!  Ina films the show in her home in the Hamptons and she’s always hosting awkward dinner parties and get togethers with her local friends in the Hamptons, such as the florist, the local butcher, etc.  She usually has a theme to each episode, or just “Friday Night Dinner with Jeffrey.”  Visualize Mr. Rogers meets Julia Child and the neighborhood is East Hampton.


Recently I made delicious, beef stew using a recipe from Barefoot Contessa’s back to basics cookbook.  While the recipe is a bit labor intensive at the beginning, your work is complete way before the meal is ready.  You can wash your dishes, and then relax while the stew cooks.  It’s quite a filling stew so I just served it with warm, homemade cornbread.  We had some people over for dinner and everyone got seconds; it’s that good.  In the following recipe, I made a few changes to Ina’s recipe but for the most part, it’s true to its original form.


  • 2 ½ pounds good-quality chuck beef, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle good red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups flour (I used white rice flour)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped, yellow onions (about 2 onions)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 1 pound small potatoes, quartered
  • 1 14.5 oz. can beef broth (I just found out that Progresso’s broths are GF)
  • 1 large branch fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen peas

Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves.  Cover the bowl and marinate in fridge overnight.  (It’s so worth doing this!  It makes the meat really flavorful.)

Brown the bacon in a large sauté pan for 5-7 minutes on medium heat.  Transfer bacon to Dutch oven, using a slotted spoon.

To prepare the meat, put the flour in a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper.  Lift beef out of marinade and discard bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade.  Dredge the beef cubes in flour mixture, shake off excess flour.  Brown the meat in the same sauté pan you used for the bacon.  You’ll need to do this in batches.  Turn the meat to brown on all sides.  Put finished meat into the DO.   Repeat with next batch.  (You might need to add a little olive oil to the pan if it starts to dry out.)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.


Lower the heat in the sauté pan to medium-low, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, adding more olive oil if needed.  Add minced garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for five more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add veggies to the Dutch oven.  Add 2 ½ cups of wine marinade to the sauté pan.  Cook over high heat to deglaze the pan.  (This is how you get all of the delicious flavor from the beef and bacon bits left in the pan!)  Stir and scrape up bits with wooden spoon as it cooks.  Add beef stock, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.


Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the DO and bring it to a simmer on medium heat.


Cover the pot and put it in the oven for two hours, until meat and veggies are tender, stirring once during cooking.  If the stew starts to boil (not simmer), decrease heat to 275.

When the stew is done, discard the rosemary branch.  Ladle one cup of juice into a bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons of rice flour.  Pour it back into stew, stir gently and simmer for 3 minutes, until thickened.  (You don’t even have to do this step.  Sometimes I add the flour, sometimes I don’t.)

Stir in frozen peas, season to taste.  Enjoy!


I made this stew in the morning and just let it sit for the rest of the day, until serving it that night.  I think stews and chilis get better over time, so just letting it sit and reheating later is great.  It also gives you more flexibility as the chef!  You can even make it a couple of days in advance.


Don’t feel like you have to follow this recipe exactly.  Last time I made it, I added a couple of chopped tomatoes as well because I had them around the house.  I’ve used red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes.  Thyme would also go well in this recipe.  This beef stew also freezes well.

Let me know what you like to put in your beef stew or if you have a favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe!

You can’t always go out to dinner…favorite recipes

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18th, 2008 by Betsy – 1 Comment

While the husband and I love to go out to dinner, we like to cook even more! Even since I was diagnosed with celiacs, we still use ‘normal’ cookbooks because there are so many delicious recipes out there that are naturally gluten free. Our three favorite cookbooks are,

- The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Ina Garten) The husband’s sister, Heidi, introduced us to the world of Barefoot! While all of her cookbooks are great, the original is our favorite. Her perfect roast chicken is so simple, easy and amazing! (Just skip the 2 tsp. of flour.)

- Super Natural Cooking (Heidi Swanson) Given to me by Heidi, this cookbook is vegetarian and uses many different (non-gluten grains) in its recipes. My personal favorite is the chunky lentil soup. It’s so hearty and perfect for the upcoming cold months. Serve it with GF corn bread and it’s a great dinner.

- The New Best Recipe (Cook’s Illustrated) The husband gave me this cookbook for Christmas last year and it has over 1,000 recipes. For example, the writers experiment with the best ways to make oven french fries and they tell you what the best method is. Lucky for us, the fries are GF and so good! You don’t even need a frier to make them!

Both of our lives are hectic and busy, so taking the time to prepare meals together is one of the things we like to do most. In this blog, I hope to share some of our favorite recipes with you in addition to just reviewing restaurants because for the celiac, eating at home is always the safest and most comfortable place to eat!