Gluten-Free Chicken Quesadilla

Last weekend, Casey and I enjoyed one of our favorite quick lunches, chicken quesadillas. I have been meaning to take a photo or two of these in the past, but I never remember until its too late and they are gone.  Luckily this time, I remembered before they were in my belly.

Gluten-free chicken quesadilla, up close and delicious

These are really easy to make, I make mine on the gas grill, which really melts the cheese and gives them a nice charred look. I also took the time to make us a margaritas.

Chicken Quesadilla with drink.

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State College Celiac Support Group with Anne Roland Lee

Casey, Hailey, and I attended last night’s Celiac Support Group Meeting featuring guest speaker Anne Roland Lee from Schar Foods.  It was great to see such a huge turnout for this meeting too.  Thanks to all those that helped get the word.  Anne brought lots of free Schar Foods samples for the group to try out too.

Anne Roland Lee spoke about, “The Nutritional Aspects of the Gluten Free Diet”.  She spoke about some really interesting topics that Casey and I haven’t thought about, such as the topic of how a celiac might not be getting the nutrition that they need.  I didn’t think about it, but she mentioned how many of the gluten-free flours aren’t fortified like the glutenous ones, which are regulated by the FDA to be enriched.  This might be one reason Casey is still often fatigued… maybe Casey needs additional supplements to counter the less nutritious gluten-free flours… we’ll see.

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Anniversary at Cayuga Lake

Casey surprised me this year with a trip to the finger lakes in NY for our 8th anniversary. This time she found a lovely B & B located in Senaca Falls, NY.

The B & B was VanCleef Homestead owned and operated by Carol and Brent Gibbs.  The B & B was very clean, relaxing and inviting.  Carol served up an unbelievable spread of delicious breakfast foods, including several items there were gluten-free.

Before hitting the trail and sampling wines, we ate lunch at the Ginny Lee located next to Wagner Vineyards.  This is a great place to catch a bite to eat, the food is great and the price is right!  Its also a great place to pair a Wagner wine or beer with some food.

Casey wanted us to visit some different wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.  We visited the following wineries on this trip:

For dinner on our first night in the NY finger lakes region, we ate at Suzanne’s.  This place is great; beautiful view of the sunset, excellent food, and great service (including staff that knows what gluten-free means).

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Jules Shepard Gluten-Free Cooking Demo

Tonight I attended a Gluten-Free Cooking demo class by Jules Shepard.  It was sponsored and organized by the State College Celiac Support Group.  The turnout was pretty good; I think there were like 30 people at the event, many familiar faces as well as many new faces.  One woman made the trip in from Pittsburgh for the demo!

Jules did a great job and showed how easy it can be to make great tasting gluten free foods.  Jules brought already made items (day before) and also showed how to make each of these items live during the demo.  This was great because we could sample each item a day after it was made… as many celiacs know, most baked goods don’t taste that great the day after you make them.  Her items were all very delicious that she had made he day before.

Jules Shepard Demonstration

Jules Shepard Demonstration

So you are probably asking yourself, what did she prepare / demo?  Well she demonstrated how to make bread in a bread machine, pierogies, graham (like)  crackers, and finally a two-layer birthday cake.  All of which were very good.  The graham crackers were the best gluten-free ones I had ever had, light and crisp!

It was also nice to hear her talk about how you could vary the recipes to get different results… like how to make ravioli using almost the same recipe as the pierogies(for the dough).  I also enjoyed hearing about bread machines and makes me want to bust mine out of the closet again to start making breads.

At the end of the evening, she had a raffle and the group attendees could win one of three items: cake batter, graham cracker dough, or pierogi dough.  I won the cake batter, so I will be making that tomorrow night!  I also bought one her books: Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating.  I definitely enjoyed the demonstration and encourage those of you that are near one of Jules’ demonstration locations to attend!

Thanks to Natures Pantry for providing water and the space for the demonstration.  Thanks to Karen from the State College Celiac Support Group for initiating and organizing this event.

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Gluten-Free Stromboli

I finally got some photos taken of a gluten-free stromboli that I made for dinner one evening.  I used the same recipe that I use for my gluten-free pizza.

  1. Make the pizza dough following the pizza recipe instructions
  2. Spread it out onto a large piece of parchment paper, just like in the my pizza recipe instructions, except make the entire thing flat, no extra dough needed around the edge for a crust.
  3. Cover spread out dough with your favorite topping stuffers (veggies, meats, cheeses)
  4. Pick up one edge of the parchment paper and fold it over to the other side.
  5. Now push the dough together around the edges to create a sealed stromboli.
  6. DON”T try to pull the parchment paper away now, wait until it is cooked
  7. Place stromboli into the oven to bake (on a pizza stone works best)
  8. After 5-8 minutes, its time to flip it, so very carefully flip it over onto its other side
  9. After another 10 minutes, its time to take it out and enjoy
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State College Celiac Support Group with guest Lisa Lundy

Tonight I attended the State College Celiac Support Group meeting.  Lisa Lundy, author of Super Allergy Girl, presented a guide to Allergy and Gluten Free Cooking to our group.  It was really nice having Lisa come speak with our group and it was nice to finally meet her .  If you remember from one of my Allergy Free White Cake post, she suggested a recipe to try when I was making the allergy free cake for my friends daughter.

Lisa’s presentation was good. I was surprised to learn just how many studies have been done and the amount of research being associated with Celiac Disease (CD) in the past few years.  It is obvious that CD is main stream and more people are becoming aware of it.   I appreciated her taking the time to come visit with our group.

Tonight’s meeting had an attendance of 22 people, of which 4 faces were at the meeting, hope those individuals enjoyed the meeting.  Heidi stated that we now have 50 people on our groups yahoo list server, woohoo!  This is pretty awesome.

Product Samples at the meeting tonight included:

  • Allergy Free Homebaked Goods – Thanks Lisa Lundy
  • GF Betty Crocker mini iced chocolate cupcakes – Thanks Janelle
  • GF Bread, Graham Crackers, and Cheese Crackers – Thanks Grainless Baker
  • Living Without Magazines (April/May Issue) – Thanks Living Without and Ken for making the effort to get the free copies

It was a great meeting and thanks again goes out to those that helped make it happen.

Speaking of Celiac research and awareness… tomorrow (3/18) there are two seminars happening in Happy Valley:

  1. Penn State University’s Food Sciences Department will be having a seminar tomorrow afternoon @ 4:30pm; Celiac Disease: How Nutrition Can Go From Joy to Nightmare, presented by Alessio Fasano, MD, professor of pediatrics, medicine, physiology; and director, Mucosal Biology Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
  2. The Mount Nittany Medical Center is also having an educational seminar tomorrow night @ 6:30pm; How to Identify A Clinical Chameleon: A Focus on Celiac Disease,  also presented by Alessio Fasano, MD.  If you can make it, check it out, besides its FREE (for a fee you can go early 6pm and enjoy a gluten free buffet).
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Gluten-Free Stuffed Pasta Shells

Some of you may have saw my tweet the other night about Casey making gluten-free stuffed shells for me and I wanted to share a photo of them.  These are really good.

Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells

Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Tinkyada Brown Rice Grand Shells Cooked
  • 4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups favorite pasta sauce

Cooking Temp and Time: 350F for 35 mins

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Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

So over the weekend I tried a cinnamon roll recipe from another one my gluten free cook books, Gluten Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberg.  Casey was especially excited to try out this recipe since I found a forum post with photos of the process and results.

As with most recipes in the Gluten Free Kitchen, the flour combinations are extremely simple using common flours available at most local grocery stores.

Anyhow, below is a photo of the finished product.  If you get a chance try this recipe out, you won’t be disappointed, and be sure to follow the instructions on the forum post. The post author showed a sweet trick (thanks to Alton Brown) to rolling the dough so that you don’t have to touch it by hand.

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Allergy Free White Cake

I am trying to make a cake for my good friend’s daughter.  She has many food allergies, including wheat, eggs, and dairy.  I tried one recipe a couple weeks back and wasn’t pleased with the texture of the end product, it had great flavor, but it was very dense.  I just had to find a better recipe.

I have been reading about whacky cake recipes online and how they were popular during the depression when people didn’t have extra cash for things like milk and eggs.  I actually remember these cakes from my days in grade school.  The whacky cake recipes produced cakes that were great tasting and very moist.  Now, if I could just  fine one catering to a gluten free diet, I would be set.  After several nights looking, I finally found one, Kathy P’s Wacky Cake recipe.

Tonight I tried out Kathy P’s Wacky Cake recipe and was very pleased with the results!  The cake was very moist and wasn’t dense.  The cake was still heavier than a traditional cake, but that’s to be expected when cooking gluten free.  I also managed to get a tiny taste when I trimmed down the crown of the cake for stacking it.  The taste was also yummy, score!

I also bought some Cherrybrook Kitchen Vanilla Frosting (completely allergy free).  I guess I can’t have it all… the  frosting was extremely thick and almost like glue.  At one point, I thought it was going to rip the top off the cake when I pulled my knife across it.  On a plus side, it had good flavor, but working with the frosting was a nightmare compared to normal frostings.  I think I am going to need to try and make a frosting from scratch so I can get the right consistency.

The important part is that I finally found the cake recipe I am going to use.  Thanks Kathy Przywara, your recipe is going to make a little girl very happy for her 3rd birthday!

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Unos Chicago Grill – Gluten Free Pizza

I remember reading about how Unos Chicago Grill is offering gluten free pizza.  We were all over in Altoona today, which just happens to have a Unos and it was dinner time, so we stopped.  I made sure to ask the host if they offered the GF pizza, and she said yes sir.  Score!

Casey and I shared a GF Cheese Pizza and the kids had regular personal cheese pizzas.  Unos GF cheese pizza came very quickly, almost as quick as the kids.  Unos GF Cheese Pizza was a very thin crust, much thinner than Corinado’s and extremely thing compared to my gluten free pizzas I make at home.  Unos GF Cheese Pizza had decent flavor and I would most likely have it again when traveling with the family.  The price was decent too:  $10 for a 12-14 inch pizza.

So if  you are out and about on travel, and looking for a decent GF pizza, give Unos a try.

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