Monday, August 27, 2012

Pizza and brownies

I tried a new gluten free pizza last week, from Jojo's in Mechanicsburg. The sauce and toppings were great. The crust was similar to most of the places around here. To date Wild Tomato still holds the best crust; well best gluten free pizza hands down award! And I am not just saying that as they are awesome enough to send out a thank you card !! But this was still enjoyable and I would get it again.
I also gave Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Brownie mix a test drive. I have to say, not because it's super easy to find in a grocery store, that I prefer it to the better batter brownie mix. The Better Batter was still damn good. But there was something about that Betty Crocker one that was impossible to tell the difference between it and a glutinous one. It was just scrumptious. And I toped it with peanut butter chips :-) , as we all know, peanut butter and chocolate are one of the greatest pairings known to man!
There are a few places popping up on the gluten free registry for gluten free pizza that I am curious to try. Unfortunately, just because it shows up on there doesn’t mean you can find any info on it when you go to their website. It also doesn’t mean they will reply to your email requests citing said discrepancy. *grumble* but I am still totally looking forward to checking them out.

On a non food related note, we went over to my grandfather's house to look around a bit, take it all in. It was the first time I was able to be in there without all the drama and really take it all in. I can't begin to describe the heartache of seeing a garden that was so meticulously and expertly cared for all those years, weed ridden and so sad looking. To see the house that my grandfather built (designed, whatever) for his family, to be in the process of being gutted for resale, just tears through me. I look in a room and see visions of memories past, and am filled with joy and sadness all at the same time. I went through, room by room, just to try and make peace with all that has happened there. Seeing the room where my grandfather passed away all but brings me to my knees. And I will say that, it makes me extremely uncomfortable that Dad now has that bed. It doesn’t bother him and my aunt though it would be good for Dad with all his spinal issues. While I appreciate her actually doing something considerate for my father, it gives me the hebee geebies. The room across the hall from that in my grandfather's house is where my grandmother passed away. During her final months of battling cancer I think she stayed in that room from time to time. That whole end of the house just hurts too much to be near.
I think what makes this all the much harder to handle, aside from the fact that my grandfather is no longer here, is that this is all happening so soon. Grandpa has only been dead for 2 months, well as of tomorrow it will be 2 months. To see his house almost empty, it just happened so fast.

I guess that is enough emotional rambling for now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mmmm mmmm Bisquick!

My box of Gluten Free Bisquick had a recipe for chicken fingers on it that I decided to try.  Ken and I agreed that we will be having this again!  Very tasty, light and crunchy.   I cooked them a little longer then the recipe called for, but I like my breading crunchy.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
cup grated Parmesan cheese
teaspoon paprika
teaspoon salt or garlic salt
boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
eggs, slightly beaten
tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
    Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika and salt in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken strips into eggs, then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over chicken.
      Bake 12 to14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center

      Wednesday, August 15, 2012

      Love trying something new!

      So, while dealing with the comical, but yet almost typical "What do you want for dinner" back and forth Ken and I go through ( though not near as fun as mom and dad's,  "Where do you want to go dear?"   "I don't know, where do you want to go dear?"   "It's up to you dear."   "No, no, no, it's up to you dear."    And so on.) .  I decided to finally make the Maifun noodles I bought a few months ago and make up a modified version of their peanut sauce on the back and add some chicken, and viola!
      Totally yummy new meal :-)

      Peanut Chicken Maifun 

      Maifun Noodles (or Gluten Free Angel Hair Pasta)
      4 chicken breasts chunked and cooked in salt and pepper.

      ¾ C peanutbutter
      3 T Gluten Free Soy Sauce + a splash
      2 T Sugar
      3 T Sesame Oil
      2 T Vinegar
      6-9 T Chicken Broth (depending on the thickness you want)

      Mix sauce together and toss cooked noodles and chicken insauce and serve

      Next time I may try a dash of cayenne pepper or pepper flakes for just a touch of heat....

      Tuesday, August 14, 2012


      So I keep on my quest to check out places, and quite honestly, see how educated they are. Almost anyplace has something gluten free. However, not all places are educated as to what that is. Take Ted's Bar and Grille, I asked if they had any items on their menu that are gluten free. Their reply was all of this , "No sorry."
      That was it. Now, I can see their menu online, I am certain some of the salads are safe, although we know how much I just love salad . There are several items I am sure are or can be made gluten free with a little care. But their response says all I need. Never gonna go there.
      Now I tried some quinoa pasta the other day, the garden pagoda's and they were tasty! With some vodka sauce, parm cheese and some of the Glutino pizza crusts I repurposed as garlic bread, mmmm mmmmm GOOD.
      Also, a friend gave me some gluten free cheese curls to try. Now, yes, they have sponge bob on them, but they were light and tasty. I would buy these.
      I am excited. I am going with a friend at lunch to get some take out from Bangkok wok, which previously advised many of their dishes are or can be made gluten free, including my beloved pad thai. J Soooo stoked!
      Also, the last batch of cookies came out great :-)

      Thursday, August 9, 2012


      I met up with some coworkers to try a new place that lists gluten free items, Flinchy's. I tried their GF Pizza, as I try all pizza J it wasn't bad. It was not a frozen crust so I was happy, and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I think it just needed some more flavor. Maybe a little less cheese too. I think Wild Tomato is still my fave gluten free pizza J they got it right!! I could actually go for some right now…..
      I will go back to Flinchy's though, as they actually have several items available that are gluten free. A large chunk of their menu actually. So there is plenty for me to keep trying J

      Saturday, August 4, 2012

      Chocolate chip cookies

      So on Pinterest I started following Nicole Hunn, and her blog  I even purchased her book through Amazon.   She promotes a product I praised before, Better Batter, and it's in a lot of her recipe's.  I followed her chocolate chip cookie recipe today, to see if I could prevent the very loose and crumbly , yet tasty cookies from last time.  And you know what?  It worked perfectly.  They are delicious and not falling apart.  Before they were spreading out very thin and just didn't hold together very well.  Incidentally, the crumble were excellent on ice cream, just sayin....
      So I highly recommend following her and her recipes.  She really has been doing the gluten free for a while and has done a lot of the experimentation and documentation that makes it easier for us newbies.   Hopefully I will feel brave enough to try one of her bread recipe's, after I am done savoring the bread I got from Betsy's Bakery.  That Raisin Cinnamon bread is just MMM MMMMMMM Good!

      Friday, August 3, 2012

      Betsy's Bakery

      I did finally make it over to the new Gluten Free and Vegan Bakery, Betsy's Bakery, in Camp Hill. Nice thing is, they had a Living Social deal , so I got $14 worth of goodies for $7. Score! I tried their chocolate chip cookies, snikerdoodles, peanut butter covered brownie and cinnamon raisin bread. I love the bread and have had it for breakfast all week. Both cookies were good, but I have to say, the snikerdoodles have my love more. The brownie wasn't bad, it did however crumble when I would try to pick it up. It was my least favorite thing, but everything did TASTE good. I will be back. They had some cupcake samples which were delicious!

      Wild Tomato, you had me at hello

      There are certain things that just aren't the same when made gluten free. They aren't bad, but they aren't what you know and love. Pizza has been that for me. For all the pizzeria's that have been kind enough to make a gluten free pizza, I have noticed they are all generally the same premade, frozen dough. Which while not the same chewy goodness I love, still allows me an avenue to eat pizza. And then I decided to try Wild Tomato's gluten free pizza last night, as they have a lot of items on their menu that are gluten free, subs included! It arrived, and my very nice delivery lad informed me that they make the dough there. Their manager has Celiac's and stuff is made fresh daily, or every other day, as demand dictates. So I opened it up, saw a lovely looking pie, and then….I tasted it. Oh my! This is what has been missing! A real dough! And the sauce and flavors were great!!! I am sold! I can't wait to try more from this place. Ken tried their Meat-A-Ball Sub and was a fan too. Sometimes, it's a good thing to break out of your comfort zone! Thank you Wild Tomato, we will be in touch again soon!

      Wednesday, August 1, 2012

      Olive Garden, you made me sad

      So we went to the OG for dad's bday dinner. I asked, twice, for the gluten free menu, which is admittedly small. I ordered the Penne Rigate Pomodoro with chicken. I was underwhelmed. The pasta had been sitting under the heat lamp for a while, judging by its chewy, leathery texture. The amount of chicken was laughable. The flavor was good, and that was its saving grace. I think next time I will try their salmon or steak, as a solid piece of meat will surely be better than the scant amount I had and those don't involve pasta that could be overdone.