Thursday, December 8, 2011

HomeMade Pizza Company

So this new pizza place opened up near my neighborhood, and as usual, I rarely pay any mind since I can't eat the regular pizzas, what's the point. Until one day while walking passed the shop, I saw, posted in a big white banner -We also carry GLUTEN FREE PIZZA. Stop the press!

Immediately, I text'd my husband to to let him know dinner that night would be PIZZA! I bought a regular pie for him, and a gluten free pie for myself.

About HomeMade Pizza Company

The idea is a bake-at-home pizza. So they make the dough, you look over their menu and pick your toppings, they prepare it for you and off you go to bake it in your own oven at home. At first I thought it was silly, until I had my first bite. Seriously if you think about it when you order a pizza for home delivery, it never comes as hot as you would get it if you were to eat it at an establishment. But in HomeMade Pizza Company's eyes, every time you bake one of their pizzas at home, it's right out of the over so you will ALWAYS experience that succulent hot crusty and cheesiness goodness. Great concept!

So far they've opened locations in Illinois, D.C./Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York. They've been so successful that I wouldn't be surprise if they continued expanding and opening in more States. So keep a look out.

Below is the gluten free pizza I ordered - it does come with instructions on baking.

Not sure why this photo came up sideways.

I ordered mine with peperoni, onions and cheese

Fresh out of the oven...MMMMMM!

A closer look. I love it when the crust gets crunchy and toasty

Sliced and ready to be eaten.

Almost forgot, they use rice flour to make the pizza dough. For more information, contact HomeMade Pizza Company.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all my gluten free friends out there. I'm sure the kids are psyched about getting out there and filling up their bags full of free candy. Or if you're the gluten free adult, you're probably wondering what's safe for you to enjoy as your Hallow's treat.

Below I'm sharing some of my favorites approved gluten-free candies safe enough to enjoy. Some of the candies hold sentimental value for me, I'm sure you have your favorites too.


Brach's Candy Corn
Warning: Eating just one leads to eating 100 of these sweet corns.
Charm's Blow Pops
Not only do I love the taste and the gum at the center, I love that it colors your tongue depending on the flavor you're eating. Very Willy Wonka-ish, specially when I would stick my purple tongue at the kids.
3 Musketeers
I used to think it had to be eaten in 3 bites because it was the way the 3 Musketeers ate it. Don't ask...I have no idea where in my childhood I picked that up. Maybe from one of my big brother's "stories" he loved to fill my head with.
Reeses's Peanut Butter Cup
This is my ultimate Achilles heel. When we were all kids, my cousins and I would go over our candy inventory and this was the only candy I would not trade which would unfortunately escalate into hair pulling and yelling matches. Until my grandma took all the candy away. So yes, this is the one candy that would cause mayhem in our home, but it was worth it.
Other gluten free friendly candies include: jelly beans, Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy, Mr. Goodbar, Baby Ruth, Fruit Chews.

For a complete listing of all candies that are gluten free friendly, visit The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Autumn Apple Crisp

A few weeks ago we went apple picking with family, and needless to say it was a good time despite the drizzling rain. Apples taste the same wet or dry (smile). So now that my kitchen is well stocked with apples I've been baking and eating apples for the past month. A good thing I love apples, just as much as I love this Apple Crisp! Which I made at our cousin's kitchen after our apple picking adventure. It got rave reviews.

I've seen so many recipes for an apple crisp and delighted when a friend, Marcia sent me a recipe link for a gluten free version at Elana's Pantry. I adjusted only the filling to make it more juicy.  Now top it off with your favorite ice cream, and drizzle it in caramel or dark chocolate (my pick), and you have a piece of heaven on a plate. My favorite thing about baking with apples, is the sweet aroma that warms up the kitchen and the heart. It's no wonder the kitchen is the place most people gather in.

Ready to be baked

I know it looks dark in spots but believe me it tasted so freaking good

Autumn Apple Crisp:
Serves 6 

For the crumble crisp part (Courtesy of Elena's Pantry):
2 cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
½ teaspoon nutmeg 
⅓ cup grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)
½ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a smaller bowl, combine oil, agave and vanilla
Stir wet ingredients into dry

For the Apple Filling (Bambola's Kitchen, that's me):
5 medium apples, peeled, sliced, then chopped in half width-wise 
1 tablespoon of gluten free flour - Chestnut flour worked great too (thanks to Laurie for this)
2 Tablespoons of Lemon juice
1 teaspoon of ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoon sugar (I used coconut sugar, try it, you'll see its exactly like  brown sugar)

 In a second large bowl, toss the apples with g.f. flour with the lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon and sugar.

Place apples on baking dish* and then the crumble crisp topping over the apples
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 50 minutes on low rack
When apples are soft and their juices bubble, remove cover and bake 10 more minutes to brown crisp

* If you have a glass baking dish, Elena recommends to bake in a 7x11 inch Pyrex baking dish or an 8x8 inch Pyrex baking dish and I wholeheartedly agree. It just bakes this recipe better.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Champagne Grape Loaf

Two Sundays ago my area was under threat from Hurricane Irene. The heaviest part of this storm happened during the early hours of the morning while we all slept. When I woke up, it was still raining and there were winds but the house was not flooded thank God.

Our State was still considered under an emergency and since all roads were still closed and some flooded, I was happy to remain inside my house and do something I enjoy, bake!

A week earlier before the storm my coworker Christina mentioned to me about champagne grapes and how her brother loves to bake them in a cake. I had never baked with fresh grapes so I decided to hunt for these tiny sweet grapes which are only in season for a very limited time in the market. Seriously, blink and they're gone.
Three Sisters Organic Champagne Grapes

I used ingredients I had handy in the house since I couldn't leave the house, plus even if I could leave the house, all business were shut down no thanks to Hurricane Irene. I'm glad I had bought these Champagne Grapes a couple of days prior to hurricane.

I've used Pamela's flour in the past to make pancakes, I used the leftover flour for my loaf.

The result of this impromptu hurricane bake was delicious. I brought some to share to Christina who also agreed the Champagne Grape Loaf was tasty. 

Needless to say, this taste best while eaten warm. I buttered a slice for myself, and often enjoyed it as an afternoon snack or for breakfast.

 *Tip after you've blended all your ingredients together then add your grapes at the end and use a big spoon to blend grapes into the mixture.

Champagne Grape Loaf
Makes 8-10 slices

1/4 cups of coconut oil, or 4 Tbsp.melted butter
1/2 cup agave or honey
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Pamela's Flour (Baking & Pancake Mix)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
  I used pecans
1 1/2 cup of Champagne Grapes
1 cup of water (use more until the mix looks mushy, like the photo above).

Mix all ingredients, and add the Champagne Grapes at the end. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Use a loaf pan if you own one.

 Thank you Christina for recommending these grapes to me. I can't wait to bake this again, but I'll gladly wait forever and never for a hurricane.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Turkey Legs a la Reinassance Faire

With all the renovations we have going on at our "new" house we've had to make a few sacrifices this summer, like giving up summer to renovate. Not that we both don't mind since any homeowner can attest it's worth the time and investment. But when the temperatures heat those high numbers, with no A/C at the house, it can get testy. 

Anyway, Enzo (my husband) and I on occasion make a pilgrimage upstate New York to the New York Renaissance Faire. Once we arrive, he makes a bee-line to the turkey leg booth. He might even eat two or three in between the silly performances and the Jousting. I have to admit they are flavorful and I'm pretty full and satisfied after eating just one turkey leg.

So since he can't make it this year to the Renaissance fair for his turkey leg, I brought the turkey legs to him.

I shot him a text earlier to let him know what was on today's dinner menu, and he responded back "OH YEAH!"

The key here for oven roasting these legs is (amazingly) water. Yeah, water! Something I learned the hard way.

4 Turkey Legs
Cook time 2 hours
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Use your fave rub on turkey legs. I used kosher salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and a little Mrs. Dash.
Before covering with tin foil, pour about 1/4 of water in the pan.

Cook for one hour, then remove tin foil and turn turkey legs over, see and smell the juices at the bottom of the pan! Scoop and pour a little bit of it on the turkey legs. Then return to the oven for one more hour, this time without the tin foil.

And that's it! Ye olde Turkey Legs.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cucumber Summer Salad

I cannot believe how fast this summer is flying.

Speaking of flying, my father-in-law, aka Pappa Tony, has an amazing garden which have bloomed so many tasty vegetables that their flying from the garden into our mouths.

I love how sweet and juicy his cherry tomatoes come out every year, but my favorite summer vegetable is the cucumber, and Pappa Tony's veggie garden grows an abundance of these crunchy watery goodness. The best part is during summertime I don't bother buying it at the market since I find bags of cucumber (and other veggies) sitting on my kitchen table that Pappa Tony leaves for me and my husband to enjoy. The feeling when I see this is like a mini-Christmas in Summer.

Everyone has their favorite way of prepping a quick salad with cucumbers and here's mine. I sometimes play around with the salad dressing, depending how creative I want to be, I'll make my own balsamic vinaigrette (see below for ingredients) or if I want to eat and run, I'll toss it with fresh lemon juice and salt. That's it.

Cucumber Summer Salad

Scallions or green onions
Cherry tomatoes
Basil or Cilantro, whatever herbs I have on hand.

My Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Shake all of the ingredients together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 7 days; bring to room temperature, then shake vigorously to recombine before using.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Little Yummy Balls- date and almonds

For Laura, everyone needs a goodhearted Vegan in their lives

If you know me, then you know I have a very sweet tooth. So much so that I turn to this healthier alternative to sweets, specially when I'm trying to watch my weight, it is summertime now which means tank tops and bathing suits. These little yummies are rich and fudgey, and leaves my sweet tooth satisfied.  I brought some to work to share and the feedback was wonderful. After one bite one friend demanded I make some for her dinner party.

Depending what size you roll these you can make 12-15 balls:

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raw carob powder
1/2 maple syrup
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Place almond in food processor and grind it until coarsely ground.  Add the dates, and pulse until both ingredients are well combined. Add carob power, syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Process until mixture is well blended and thick.

Roll into balls with your hands (like making meatballs). Then drop the balls and coat in coconut. Place in freezer until hardened, about an hour or less. Then Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coconut-Lime Rice

"Put the lime in the coconut, you drank them both up..." - Harry Nilsson
Summer time is just around the corner, but in my kitchen it's already summer time. I shopped earlier today and stocked up on limes, lemons, coconut juices, shredded coconuts, watermelons, can tell what my mindset is.

Here’s a flavorful dish that will transport you to the Caribbean islands with a simple bite. One of my all time fave rice dishes, Coconut-Lime Rice. The coconut flavor yells "where's the beach" and the lime just keeps you refreshed.

Coconut Lime Rice
  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice
  • 3 cups Water*
  • 2 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • ¾ cups Fresh Cilantro, Minced
Combine rice, water, oil and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes. When done, add and mix lime juice and cilantro. 

Ideal pairing: fish, or on it's own.

Enjoy GFF!

*If you want to turn up the volume on the coconut flavors then do what my mom does, she uses coconut milk in place of water. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

My favorite way to enjoy veggies is roasted. In her recent  book, The Kind Diet, author and actress Alicia Silverstone recommended trying roasted brussel sprouts because it "taste like popcorn". I'm a huge popcorn fan, so I gave it a try and loved it. I've since roasted brussel sprouts a bunch of times, and each time I try it with a different twist. But the best way is simply with oil and salt. Very quick to prep.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
I use about a pound of sprouts. Cut and remove the hard stems (bottoms), then I slice the sprout open (like photo above). In a cookie sheet lay out the sprouts face up, spray over each sprout with vegetable oil, then sprinkle each with salt and pepper. About 15-20 minutes in an oven or toaster oven at 425 degrees.

Savour GFFs!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dark Chocolate and Orange Cake

Here's a classic combination - dark chocolate and orange. Since this is a flour free recipe the results are a yummy fudge- like cake. Which makes this cake one of my all time faves.

You could use store bought orange juice, or squeeze it and use fresh orange juice which is what I did. It's Orange season now so there's no shortage of them anywhere. Serve with espresso or coffee, my husband enjoyed it with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Cake
Makes 6-8 slices

*You will need an 8-inch spring form pan.
3/4 cup of powdered sugar (or 1 cup of coconut tree sap sugar)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
*1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur) - optional
1 tablespoon of hot water
Dash of salt
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 8-inch spring form with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment or wax paper and wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil. 

Place sugar and and eggs in a bowl and beat with mixer at high speed for 7 minutes. Combine cornstarch and cocoa in a small bowl; set aside. Place juice, liqueur*, water, salt and chocolate in a small glass bowl; melt with double broiler or microwave for one minute. Stir and make sure chocolate is melted. Add cornstarch mixture and whisk until smooth.

Slowly combine egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Scrape batter into the prepared spring form pan, and then place that pan into a 13x9 inch baking pan; adding hot water to the larger pan, about 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until top is set. *The water in the pan allows the cake to rise and remain moisture as it bakes.

Remove cake pan from water; cool for 5 minutes and loosen cake, let cool before removing it from the spring form pan. I usually let it chill for 4 hours in the fridge so it can set.

I used powdered sugar for decor.

Enjoy GFFs!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chicken and Bean Chili

Happy New Year to you all! So happy for the long weekend, it gave me a chance to catch up with many things including blogging.

Yesterday I whipped up this crazy delicious chicken chili. My husband had mentioned that he was never a big chili man, but last night I witness him help himself to seconds, thirds and fourths! There's a certain satisfaction when a dish hits a home run. We both took leftovers to work for lunch, he made sure I measured it out evenly making sure I didn't take more than him.  Ha! 
For leaner and lower calorie purposes, I switched the ground beef to ground chicken, a move that I was nervous about but this gamble paid off in spades! The hubby asked that I make this chili again in the summer time as a topping for hot dogs! He's such a fan now of chili. Hallelujah!

Chicken and Bean Chili
Makes about 10 servings:
2 chicken (or Turkey) sausage links (I used Applegate Farms)
1 lbs. pound of ground chicken 
1 1/2 cup of chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (7 oz.) can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (optional - for spicy chili) 
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup of dry red wine
28 ounces of less sodium beef broth
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 tablespoons of masa harina  (corn flour)
2 (15-oz.) cans of pinto beans
2 (15-oz.) cans of black beans

Heat a heavy pot (Dutch oven pot if you own one) over medium hight heat. Add sausage to pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, saute until browned. Remove sausage from pan and add the ground chicken, saute for about 8 minutes or until it's cooked, then remove from pan.

Add onions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, if you plan to make this a spicy chili, add the chipotle chiles*. Add the sausage and ground chicken, tomato paste, and the next 6 ingredients to pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, beef broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add the masa harina, stir, then add the beans and cover. Reduce heat, let simmer for another 20 minutes then get ready to enjoy.