Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

American Gra-Frutti: Product Review

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, GF product, local food, Uncategorized on September 26th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

You may have seen American Gra-Frutti at your Atlanta Whole Foods or perhaps at a Braves game, in the gluten-free concession stand.

Did you know they’re a local, Atlanta company?

Did you know they are a 100% gluten-free bakery?

Did you know they make a variety of vegan treats?

Well, now you know!  You should check American Gra-Frutti’s website out and learn more.  Recently, they sent me a bunch of treats that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying.  And the ones I can’t yet get to, like a loaf of bread, I just stuck in the freezer for a later date.

This isn’t your typical bakery folks…sure, they have cupcakes, breads, and muffins but just wait, there’s more.  American Gra-Frutti makes two of my favorite items that I have not had since I was diagnosed with celiac FOUR years ago!

#1: Cheese straws: If you grew up in Virginia, like me, or anywhere in the south, you probably share my love for cheese straws.  I freakin’ love cheese straws.  They remind me of the holidays, of the gift baskets my parents always received from their students, and of course, they remind me of cocktail time.  American Gra’Frutti’s cheese straw crackers are so good, I had to keep a close watch on them because David wanted to devour every single one of them from the moment the package was opened.  They’re that good.  Perfectly cheesy, crispy and with a spicy kick.  Just the way I remember them.  And reasonably priced!

#2: Graham crackers: These crispy, sweet treats can be enjoyed a variety of ways (peanut butter and nutella?) but they are best when used for the sandwich of a s’more.  Since we got our package of graham crackers, David and I have started making s’mores all the time.  They’re the perfect dessert, especially now that we’re heading into the cool weather months.  We’ve been cheating a little and just heating up our marshmallows over the grill.  Still delicious!  American Gra-Frutti’s graham crackers hold together perfectly with s’mores, and yes, you can fit two jumbo marshmallows between two of them.

You can order American Gra-Frutti through their website or at the Buckhead Whole Foods.  Where else have you found these treats?

Next time I’ve got my eyes on the carrot cake!  Thank you, American Gra-Frutti for safely making delicious gluten-free food.

PS: Their flat bread with hummus is currently my favorite afternoon snack…

More GF Options in Norfolk: Carolina Cupcakery

Posted in bakery, dessert, GF product, travel, Uncategorized on August 7th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Another place I checked out while in Norfolk was Carolina Cupcakery.  This delicious sweet spot, on Colley Avenue, makes a variety of cupcakes to accommodate special diets (vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, etc.)  For their gluten-free cupcakes they use a rice and tapioca flour blend.  The woman I talked to was extremely knowledgeable about gluten-free and told me that they make their GF cupcakes at their Chesapeake location and they have a designated area of the bakery and equipment to use for these items.  They arrive at the Norfolk store already packaged individually so no cross contamination to worry about.  Good work, Carolina!

After a day of unpacking boxes, everyone deserves a treat, right?  I tried the variety with vanilla cake, chocolate chips and chocolate icing.  So yummy!  I love icing but it was a lot of icing, even for me.  My brother will love this place once he arrives.  I really liked the texture of the cake and the taste of icing and cake…it wasn’t a fondant type of icing.  (I’m not a big fan of fancy cake…I want something that tastes freshly made, for a high school bake fair, not an “over the top” wedding reception, if you know what I mean.)  They have multiple varieties so it’s nice to have choices!

I really enjoyed this sweet treat and I’ll absolutely be returning to Carolina Cupcakery when I head back to Norfolk for a visit.

 

 

 

 

Carolina Cupcakery: Colley Ave.

Carolina’s Cupcakery – 2019 Colley Ave. #102 – Norfolk, VA – 757.531.1548

Summer Cooking Ideas

Posted in cooking, recipe on June 22nd, 2011 by Betsy – 4 Comments

Running out of dinner ideas?  Are you in a “cooking funk?”  I feel that way sometimes…that’s when I find myself eating sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts three nights in a row.

Here are some recipe ideas to get your creative juices flowing (and your stomach rumbling):

Roasted Beet Salad

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Pesto

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Egg Strata with Turkey Sausage

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Salmon on the Grill

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Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Spinach & Pecans

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Tomato Pie

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Summer Squash Casserole

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Peanut Butter Crispy Treats with Nutella

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Peach & Blueberry Crisp

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What are you making in your kitchen this summer?  I would love your ideas to bring some creativity to my kitchen.

Happy Cooking!

My Rice Krispies Say “Gluten Free”

Posted in GF product, recipe, Uncategorized on June 6th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

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When I was first diagnosed with celiac, I initially assumed that Rice Krispies would be gluten free.  I quickly learned (thankfully) that they are not.  It seemed to me that Rice Krispies could be easily made gluten free, being that their main ingredient is rice, not wheat.

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Fortunately, the folks at Kellogg’s have figured this out too, and have just released a gluten-free version of their beloved Rice Krispies.  They still make regular, glutenous Rice Krispies, so make sure that you pick up the “Snap, Crackle, Pop” box that says “Gluten Free” on the front.

Kellogg’s nicely sent me a complimentary box of the new Rice Krispies to sample so of course, I skipped right over the bowl of cereal and began making Rice Krispies Treats.  On the Rice Krispies website, they have recipes to try.  If you’re going for the traditional treats that we grew up with, just make sure that the marshmallows you’re using are gluten free.

I was inspired by some treats I’d seen on one of my favorite blogs, Eat, Live, Run as the ingredient combination seemed to good to be true.

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  • Peanut butter…check
  • Honey…check
  • Nutella…check

I just couldn’t resist!

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It had been so long since I made or ate Rice Krispies treats so I had forgotten that you don’t even turn on an oven when you make them AND you don’t have to break out the Kitchen Aid either.  This simple recipe gets a bit sticky but requires very little labor and prep time.  An easy treat to bring to a summer picnic or pot luck dinner!

Peanut Butter Crispy Treat Nutella Sandwiches, from Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural, creamy)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup, plus ½ cup of Nutella
  • 5 cups gluten-free Rice Krispies or other GF brown rice cereal
  • Cooking spray

Combine PB, honey and 1/3 cup of nutella in microwave safe bowl.  Mix and microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and heat for another 20 seconds if still not melted.  Add Rice Krispies to the mixture, 1 cup at a time.   (You’ll think it’s too much Rice Krispies but it will work.)

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Spray a large pyrex or casserole dish with cooking spray and add your yummy mixture.  Cover and put in the fridge to chill, for at least 45 minutes.  (The longer you have, the better.)

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*At this point in the process, you could cut up your treats and enjoy them, just like this.  Or you can add the next steps for even more chocolately goodness.

Cut treats into 2 x 2 inch pieces and cover half of them with Nutella.  (I found that I needed more than ½ cup, but maybe I was just generous.)  Top with the other pieces and serve.

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The gluten-free version of Rice Krispies tastes exactly the same to me as the ones from my gluten-eating days.  The GF krispies hit shelves last week, and are selling for the same price as regular Rice Krispies so pick up a box when you see them.

What do your Rice Krispies say to you?

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?

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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?

Going off the Grid

Posted in Atlanta, baking, cooking, recipe, travel on August 24th, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

We’re moved into our new house and have an amazing opportunity to travel for a few weeks before David starts his new job.  I’m sad to leave our home but excited for the adventures that lie ahead in the next few weeks.  Life is rough, right?  We’re leaving today to head west, where we will spend a couple of weeks camping, exploring and seeing friends in Wyoming and Montana.

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Our new porch!

I’ve decided not to take my computer with me, which will be weird but I’m happy about it.  I think it will be good (and freeing!) to get off the grid for awhile.  (Who am I kidding?  David will have his fancy new computer and I’ll still have my Iphone so ‘going off the grid’ might be a bit of an exaggeration.)  That’s all to say that I probably won’t be updating the blog very often for the next few weeks, but don’t worry, I’ll be taking lots of photos and eating yummy meals that I’ll be ready to report back on in late September.  In the meantime, here are some recipes from the last year if you’re looking for some cooking ideas:

Savory Bites:

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Black Bean Chicken Chili

Roasted Pork Loin Wrapped in Pancetta

Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Baked Butternut Squash

Lentil Soup

For Your Sweet Tooth:

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blondies

Cinnamon Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

Granola

See you soon!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Gelato!

Posted in Atlanta, local food, vegetarian on July 23rd, 2010 by Betsy – 7 Comments

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Nothing says summer like gelato.  This wonderful treat reminds me of my study abroad during college.  Traveling through England, Spain, France and Italy, our trio of girls would search all day for the best gelato.  It was so hot in Italy (sort of like Atlanta right now) and gelato was the best way to cool off after a long day of sight seeing.

I love gelato and it should be naturally gluten-free, right?.  Unfortunately, most gelato places offer glutenous flavors, such as cookies ‘n cream and others that contain crumbly toppings that easily contaminate the gluten-free flavors.

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Recently, David and I discovered Paolos Gelato in Virginia Highlands.  I walked in a noticed immediately that none of the flavors screamed ‘gluten.’  (No cookies ‘n cream, no cookie dough, etc.) Good sign.  I then asked the woman working about whether their flavors were gluten-free.  She didn’t know so she asked another guy.  (Possibly the manager?)  He asked if I had celiac and he said his best friend has celiac and eats their gelato all the time.  Hurray!  (Just make sure to tell them you want your gelato in a cup, without the cookie.)

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Paolos is a great new discovery and the perfect spot for an after dinner treat on a summer evening.  We went the other night and it hit the spot.  (David lost a bet so he owed me dessert.)  My favorite flavors are the mint chocolate chip and straciatella.  Delicious!

Does anyone know of any other good gluten-free desserts in Atlanta?

Paolos Gelato – 1025 Virginia Avenue Northeast – Atlanta, GA 30306-3523

Peach & Blueberry Crisp

Posted in Atlanta, baking, cooking, recipe, Uncategorized on June 24th, 2010 by Betsy – 3 Comments

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It’s hot in Altanta.  Really hot.  I’m sure there are better ways to describe this weather, but the only word that comes to mind is brutal.  The heat hasn’t broken either.  Despite the mini-rainstorms, it hasn’t been enough to side track these crazy temps.  It continues to be hot…and brutal.

On Monday, after a sweaty afternoon of running errands  (Who knew it could be so sweltering just to run errands??), I came home to find a bag full of Georgia peaches outside my door.  My wonderfully generous friend, Maury, left me this beautiful treat.   What is a better answer to heat and high temperatures than making a peach crisp?

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Is it a crisp?  Is it a cobbler?  I’m not really sure.  I tend to use those words interchangeably, but I’m sure there’s a proper distinction.  (I do know, however, that it’s not a pie.)  I created this recipe on the spot and I made sure to write down what I did so I could share it with you.  I love the combination of GF oats and chopped pecans.  It’s the perfect crunchy duo with the soft, tender peaches.  I’ve found in the past that it can be difficult to find the proper ratio between fruit, crisp topping, and butter.  Too much flour and oats, makes it too dry, too much butter makes for a soggy crisp/cobbler.  Sort of like Goldilocks, I want it to be just right.  (Our girl, Goldilocks was eating porridge…Crisp is much better!)

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Peach & Blueberry Crisp

  • 8 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • (Really, any combination of fruit works.  These are what I had on hand.)
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ T. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 T. cold butter, chopped into cubes

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter an 8 x 8 pyrex dish.

In a bowl, mix peaches, blueberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar.  (I add the sugar last to eyeball just how much I need.)

In another bowl, mix flours and brown sugar.  Add oats and pecans and mix.  Then add butter and mix with dry ingredients.  (A food processor can be helpful for this step but I was feeling a little lazy.

Pour fruit mixture into Pyrex dish.  Spread evenly throughout dish.  Add flour mixture on top of fruit.  Spread evenly.  (It will look like you have too much but you want it to be thick.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until fruit starts to bubble.  You can make this ahead of time and then just reheat for 10 minutes before serving.  (I think it gets better over time.)

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Serve warm.  Of course everything tastes better with vanilla ice cream.  Mmm…just right.

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Making Trash with Gluten Free Chex

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11th, 2009 by Betsy – 2 Comments


Good news! Rice Chex are now officially gluten free, as General Mills has replaced barley malt with molasses in the recipe. Chex also mentions on their website that they actively prevent cross contamination and have tested their Rice Chex for gluten. Thank you, General Mills!

While it’s always nice to have yet another cereal option, I’m even more excited about the fact that I can make one of my favorite and easy to makesweet snacks: Trash.

Yes, the name is a bit odd, but it’s oh so good! You may remember this chocolate, peanut butter, crunchy treat from your childhood, but if you’re not familiar with this simple recipe, you should definitely try it.

Recipe for Trash:

1 stick butter
12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter
9 c. Gluten Free Rice Chex
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 white kitchen trash bag (new & clean)

Melt butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter in 3 quart saucepan. Pour cereal into a large bowl. Pour chocolate mixture slowly over cereal. Gently fold mixture over until all the cereal is covered.

In a medium size trash bag pour 1/2 of the powdered sugar. Put cereal mixture on it and pour in the rest of the powdered sugar. Tie top of bag securely and gently shake bag until each cereal is covered with powdered sugar and chocolate. After cooling, place in an airtight container. Will keep for several weeks.

Enjoy!

A Local Treat: The Dairy Godmother

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7th, 2009 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Today I was craving a delicious frozen treat and I remembered a cute and yummy frozen custard shop in Del Ray called the Dairy Godmother. Since I hadn’t been to the Dairy Godmother since I was diagnosed with celiac, I wasn’t sure exactly what ingredients go into the custard so I decided to email them directly. Within 15 minutes, I had a response from the Dairy Godmother and it was great news!

Here’s the email I received directly from Liz, the owner of the Dairy Godmother:

The custard and sorbets ARE gluten-free.We often have gluten-free cookies such as macaroons and marshmallows that we make.We usually have gluten-free cones as well.

My kids could not have dairy or gluten when they were small so I am very conscious of having something for everyone.

I have quite a few requests for gluten free items. Sometimes the flavor of the day has cake or something with gluten in it so the customer should ask if it has gluten but the gluten is not hidden. It will say “with vanilla wafers” so that people who are used to checking will not be surprised.

Thanks a bunch for asking, Liz

I always love such a confident and thoughtful response! Needless to say I went to the Dairy Godmother last night and it was just as delicious as I remember from my pre-celiac days. I kept it simple, ordering just the chocolate and I brought my own homemade gluten free granola as my topping. While they have M&Ms as a topping I think I’ll just bring my own, out of fear of cross contamination with other toppings. The marshmallows and macaroons looked yummy so I’ll have to go back and try them!

Every day The Dairy Godmother serves chocolate and vanilla custard, but you can check out their adorable website for the flavor of the day. The Dairy Godmother is a great local spot with lots of personality. When you’re looking for a summer treat, The Dairy Godmother is the perfect stop, regardless of whether or not you’re gluten free!

www.thedairygodmother.com

The Dairy Godmother
2310 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
703.683.7767

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