Pie Party!!

Today was a busy kitchen day. I decided last minute to participate in a pie party being thrown on twitter and Facebook by baking a pie or two. Now I'm not usually big into baking but there has been a craving rolling around in my head ever since it was posted by Brian over at Fire and Salt. You see, he made crack pie a while back... around the holidays maybe and I've been wanting to make it ever since.

Crack Pie borrowed from Brian @ Fire and Salt

I'll have to admit I haven't bitten into it yet as I just ate dinner and don't have room at the moment. I do plan however for this yummy looking pie to become my victim, unwilling or no later this evening. I'll come back and update my findings after I sample.

My husband and I dug into this pie later in the evening and I must say... WOW (he even left a comment below so you know this pie had something to say.) So yummy, crisp yet ooey gooey melt in your mouth good. Brown sugar, butter and oat flavors shining through making each bite delectable. This is a dangerous pie my friends and I believe is quite accurately named Crack Pie, not only for its characteristics but because one bite and you're addicted. Please make this at least once in your lives. You won't regret it.

I also decided to make a peach pie today. Fruit pies are fairly simple: five to six cups of fruit, some sugar (I used brown for this) a bit of cornstarch to help fight runniness and a dash of nutmeg. I have to say that the hardest part of a good fruit pie for me was the crust, I've since solved that issue and have a go to. I use a vinegar pastry (You can find it in Bette Hagman's The Gluten Free Gourmet, pg. 146.) and it is so yummy, it works for both sweet and savory pies. To get a little more browning I dabbed the crust with a bit of milk.

Peach Pie with a vinegar pastry crust.

Quick Tip - Grilling

When your dinner is cooking on the grill as it oftentimes is in the summer, stick an extra chicken breast or two on for salads later. If you have kids grill an extra couple of hotdogs, if they are like mine a bbq'd dog is preferred to one boiled or microwaved and they cook up in a snap.

What are some of your favorite time saving grill tips? I'd love to hear them.

Wild Veggie - Product Review

I admit I've been lax in posting lately. I'm eating wonderful tasty gluten free foods and I haven't been sharing them with you. I apologize. Sometimes life just grabs you by the hand and as much as sitting down to blog is always on my mind I somehow haven't gotten around to actually doing it. This is a post I should have had up a long time ago, its a product I really enjoyed and found very versatile so I'm going to share it with you now.

Wild Veggie, the Souper Drink asked if I would like to sample their product and of course I said yes. I love trying new things and this particular item hit home with me. You see, my husband and son do not eat their vegetables... ok, its a real struggle. I've purchased The Sneaky Chef books and while a couple of the recipes worked ok for us the boys were somehow able to tell something was a little off and didn't quite like them. So this product, a vegetable puree that I could do almost anything with sounded right up my alley. I received a sample of their carrot, red bell pepper and broccoli products.

The first one I tried was the carrot, I opened the container and was hit with a wonderful smell; fresh, sweet and crisp. Unlike my home attempts to make a carrot puree this was smooth and frankly wonderful to work with. I made a couple of smoothies with it, added it to some tomato sauce, and I even ate a few spoonfuls straight out of the container feeling great the entire time knowing that I was getting nutritious healthy veggies into my family without the fuss I usually get.

I loved the Wild Veggie red pepper, it truly tasted like a bite out of a fresh bell pepper. It has a vibrant red color and the smell was fantastic. I added it to hummus and surprise surprise boys, I snuck it into my gluten free enchilada bake! It added a lot of color, subtle flavor and my husband who doesn't like the pepper family at all said it was delicious this way. This one I would definitely pick up again.

Unfortunately the broccoli flavor is still in my freezer (which is how the product comes when you order it, frozen). I like broccoli in my stir-fry's and raw dipped in various sauces but I'm not a big fan of broccoli flavored things. I do have plans to mix it into a veggie dip and maybe a soup somewhere down the line I simply haven't had opportunity to.

If you have opportunity I would say to try this product out. It has so many uses and truly is very fresh and easy way to add a kick of flavor and nutrition to your meals.

Fun things to share, coming soon.

I just returned from my very first cruise ever! So much fun. It was a Disney cruise to Alaska and I just can't say how much fun we had. This is of course a pre-courser post as I'll share more in the next day or two about my gluten free experience on the Disney Wonder.

If your weren't you shoulda been....

So, I pretty much made the best roast ever tonight. A gorgeous medium rare rump roast done in a clay pot. Perfectly seasoned, wonderfully tender meat and vegetables and the juices made for the best gravy I've EVER managed to put on a plate (even before going gluten free.) So I suppose what I'm saying is, if you weren't at my house for dinner tonight, you should have been.

Winco is coming along!

I'm very happy to say that Winco (an employee owned company serving the Northwest) is coming right along when it comes to carrying gluten free goods. They've got the Betty Crocker mixes, Bob's Red Mill is also on the shelf, Chex cereals in droves, and now they've added Udi's to the list. I was so happy to learn that I can go to the bakery freezer (where the pies are kept) and get many Udi's products; muffins, breads and pizza crust. Thank you Winco for making my grocery shopping that much easier.

Dessert...? Oh, yeah.

The last few years I've slowly had my craving for all things salty turn into something more of a sweet tooth. I don't mind of course, I enjoy cookies and chocolate, ice cream and fruit. There are many many options for a quick goodie when I need something to tickle my taste buds. Over this winter I've found some very worthy of praise recipes shared in the gluten free community so I thought I would in turn share them with you.

I'll start with What's Gaby Cooking, this is one special lady and I love the feel of her blog, its full of spunk and life. She doesn't blog gluten free exclusively however she does post a winning gluten free recipe on occasion. I've made two of her cookie recipes so far and will make them again and again.

The first reminds me of a cookie that I used to get whenever I could get my hands on it. A molasses cookie, that's right. The big one from Starbucks, I loved that cookie. Gaby's recipe filled the bill for me, however I did find that melting the butter as she calls for landed me a very spread out cookie, no mater how long I chilled the dough. So, I don't melt it, I just let it get a little less than room temp and had no problems. I will say that this cookie tasted great flat or fluffy.

I also made her salted caramel bars, wow. Those were good... messy but good (I may not have heated the caramel enough, I was at a very soft ball stage). Very rich so I would suggest if you make them, share them as you will be hard pressed to finish them off yourself. The shortbread cuts the richness of the caramel just enough to make these really shine. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of these as they went quick, however her's do them much more justice anyway just take a look here. I served them at our New Year's Eve party. Now while the recipe Gaby has posted is not stated to be gluten free all you need to do is replace her shortbread recipe with your own gluten free one and you are on your way.

Another blogger I follow regularly, Shauna aka Gluten-Free Girl has many many wonderful things posted all the time, two cookbooks (that I still haven't managed to snag yet) and a way with words that will have you enjoying the little things in life just as much as she does. I had a huge bag of lemons I bought for a New Year's Eve party we threw and afterwards many lemons left over. What should I do with them, lemon bars! I hadn't had a lemon bar since way before I stopped eating gluten, I love lemon bars, why the heck hadn't I made any since. Shauna not only has a great recipe on her blog, it incorporates ginger and wow, what can I say. Watch out ladies and gentleman, if you make these delectable treats you won't be able to stop at just one.