Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Giotti's and Zinco

I finally tried Giotti's in Harrisburg.  I got my standard, pizza.  It was OK.  I am not rushing back for it but the pasta dishes looked amazing so I believe I will be going back to give those a try.  

I also have been testing out some coconut waters and this chocolate one from Zinco is like
yohoo!  I liked it, willget  again :-)0

Official BBQ

Ken and I have been craving some BBQ and he found this place not to far from us called Official BBQ and Burgers .  I contacted them and got a very nice reply back.  I am very excited to try their food! 

Thank you for contacting us, we have a wide range of gluten free items on our menu.  I have attached a copy of our allergen informational menu for you.  We recently started carrying Heisler's Ice Cream as well, and all the flavors (except cookie dough) are gluten free.  

Also, we were recently listed onfindmeglutenfree.com, if you aren't familiar with this website, it may be a really great tool for you! 

Hope to see you soon!


Cauliflower Bread Sticks

I have to admit, I have been waiting for months to try this and finally made the time to do it.   It was really yummy.  I think next time I would add some garlic, as it makes everything better :-)  I really was pleasantly surprised by the chewy texture.  It is close to a bread chewiness which I have sorely missed.   I shared these with a few people and everyone seemed to like them.

Cheesy Cauliflower “Bread” Sticks


  • 4 cups cauliflower "rice" (see below)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided (I used the Kraft 6 cheese Italian blend, it was great)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • Marinara sauce for dipping


  1. Begin by turning 1 head of cauliflower into "rice." To do this, wash and clean the cauliflower and cut it into chunks (remove the core- is that what you call it?). There are several ways to "rice" cauliflower. You can use a food processor and pulse it until it's a "rice" consistency, or you can use a box grater. Alternatively, you could use a knife to finally chop the cauliflower until it looks like rice. An average head of cauliflower should yield about 4 cups of cauliflower "rice."
  2. Microwave the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower "rice" in a clean dish towel and squeeze as hard as you can to remove any excess water. It may look like all the water is removed, but definitely don't skip this step as there is hidden excess water.
  5. Once the cauliflower rice is drained really well, dump it into a large bowl. To the cauliflower rice, add 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 egg slightly beaten, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  6. Stir the mixture well.
  7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Spoon the cauliflower mixture onto the pan and use your hands to form it into a 8 1/2 x 11 inch rectangle (eyeball it- think piece of paper size)
  8. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or even longer until the crust is golden brown and firm.
  9. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Then top the crust with remaining 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning.
  10. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  11. Cut into "breadsticks" and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Chicken Parm "Meatballs"

I found this on Pinterest and couldn't wait to try it.  These were yummy!  Now, I had some left over breading in the freezer from the Mother's Day meal, as I honestly double to triple any breading recipe as I like it coated!   And I used that left over instead of what is listed below, but it's not that completely different.  It worked really well.

Chicken Parmesan "meatballs"

·1 cup Ian's Gluten Free panko
·1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or more)
·1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
·1  egg
·1 pound ground chicken breast (or dark meat)
·1/2 cup diced white onion  (I used dried onion flakes)
·2 cloves garlic, minced
·1 tablespoon dried oregano
·6 fresh basil leaves, torn (my grocery store was out, I used dried)
·1 pinch salt and pepper
·16 small mozzarella cubes, cut from a block
·2 cups  marinara sauce of your choice

1.    Preheat oven to 400 F.
2.    In a small ziploc bak, combine the panko, half of the Parmesan cheese, and the olive oil.  Set aside.
3.    In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. Then add the chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, the remaining Parmesan, basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
4.    Lightly coat a  muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a couple of tablespoons of the chicken mixture in each well. Nestle a cube of mozzarella in the center of the mixture. Pat the chicken over the cheese to completely cover it.
5.    Sprinkle the panko/Parmesan mixture on top of each chicken mound, lightly pressing it into the meat.
6.    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the panko is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. If needed, you may broil the panko to further brown it.
7.    Let rest 5 minutes. Then using a knife, lightly loosen each cupcake from the muffin tin.
8.    In the meantime, warm the marinara sauce in a small saucepan.
9.    Serve meatballs with warmed marinara

Walnut and Rosemary Oven Fried Chicken

I am way behind here, so lets start off with Mother's day I made mom this crusted chicken recipe I had from Cooking Light a few years ago that she liked.  I adapted it to be Gluten Free naturally.  

Walnut and Rosemary Oven Fried Chicken


1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk  (I tend to use a smidgen more just to thin it out a bit)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • (6-ounce) chicken cutlets (I have used regular chicken breast and pounded them to within about a quarter inch of their life.....)
  • 1/3 cup Ian's Gluten Free panko  (even though you spice it up, I use a mixture of the regular and Italian)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (If you know me, you know I just throw a bunch of cheese in there)
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper $
  • Cooking spray
  • Rosemary leaves (optional)


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. 2. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
  3. 3. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
  4. 4. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hellloooooooooo Pillsbury

When I went gluten free , I had to give up some of my favorite go-to's, like Pillsbury crescent rolls which I could make just about anything with.  Seriously, I was a crescent roll whisperer.   And when I saw that they have now three gluten free "doughs" cookie, pie/pastry and pizza, my head has already started going nuts.   I can't wait to get my hands on these and give them a shot.   The pizza dough especially, as it could fill in for some of my old crescent roll recipes……

Really? You NOW reply to something?

After the whole El Rodeo fiasco I decided to email some of their other locations AND Fiesta Mexico as I heard they were better as customer service.   I got a reply back from the Fiesta Mexico inquiry, and the email reply was sent from elrodeopa......so I guess they own both and got tired of my inquiries.  However the reply is half assed and has me no closer to wanting to go to any of these places.

From:            elrodeopa@yahoo.com
Subject:         RE:%%SITENAME%%; Gluten Free

We do have things you can eat

Sent from Yahoo! Mail for iPhone

From: Alicia
To: <elrodeopa@yahoo.com>;
Subject: %%SITENAME%%: Gluten Free
Sent: Wed, May 8, 2013 12:25:41 PM

This is an enquiry e-mail via http://www.fiestamexicopa.com/ from:

Hi there,

some coworkers and i were thinking about coming to your restaurant after work this month.  I have a gluten sensitivity and wanted to know if anything on your menu is or can be made gluten free. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gluten Free Snacks


Frito Lay

Snyders of Hanover

El Rodeo, waste of time

Some friends wanted to go to El Rodeo in Harrisburg for our after work get together.  So I did my traditional email asking if they had any items that are or can be made gluten free.  I sent the first email two weeks ahead of time.  I sent the second email a week later.  No replies.   We arrive today, and I was totally happy that my waiter was a perfect English speaking lad, thinking this would eliminate the language barrier as some of the staff are VERY authentic and have a bit of a language barrier.   I was sadly mistaken.  After he looked at me confused he said he had no idea what gluten was.  I explained it.  He  tried half assedly to guess at the menu.  He had no desire to check with the kitchen and no desire to care.  I even brought the print outs and said that they had not replied, he said they don't check it.  So I had a glass of wine and that was it.  I know there are options there, but I need someone who can be intelligent enough to either find out the information or ask enough to understand the situation.  I have seen some places where corn chips are mostly corn but have some wheat flour.  I need answers not assumptions.  No plans to go back ever.   So disappointing, especially since I have seen comments in forums where people have said they have gone to an El Rodeo in the area and had luck.