Friday, July 23, 2010

Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Donuts

Last week I tried Kinnikinnick's donuts for the second time. The first time was about a month ago, chocolate glaze via a friend. The first couple bites were ok, I wasn't jazzed and I don't blog about stuff I dislike, it seems like a waste of my time and yours. So I was ready to write them off, but as I was finishing the round, I noticed that the side of the box indicated they were best when warmed. I heated up the last bite and the whole flavor changed. It went from a stale, rice-y, Entenmann's knock-off to a thing that tasted good.

So I figured it was worth purchasing a box of my own and try them warm.

They were better than I thought they could be. I toted home the cinnamon sugar variety, warmed them for a few seconds in the microwave (after they defrosted in the fridge overnight) and they tasted like autumn. The cake-like texture, cinnamon and sugar, they were almost a cider donut. There is a part of me that is glad that they cost almost a dollar a donut, otherwise I would be in bigger trouble. THEY ARE SO GOOD!

RECALL - DeBoles Kids Only! Gluten Free Tubettini

DeBoles® Nutritional Foods, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls One Lot Code of DeBoles® Kids Only! Gluten Free Tubettini Corn Pasta Due to the Presence of an Undeclared Allergen, Lot Code 30JUN11D1
Company Contact:

Mike Miller,

July 21, 2010 – DeBoles Nutritional Foods, Inc. announced that it is recalling one lot code of DeBoles® Kids Only! Gluten Free Tubettini Corn Pasta because it may contain undeclared whole wheat alphabet pasta. People who are allergic to wheat run the risk of an allergic reaction, which may be serious or life-threatening if they consume the recalled product.
The recalled lot was distributed to stores nationwide and through internet orders.
The product comes in a cardboard box, 8.5 ounce, with a clear plastic window. The expiration lot code is on the top of the box and the UPC Code 087336638305 appears on the bottom of the box. No other lot codes are affected. This recall only affects:
Deboles kids only! gluten free tubettini corn pasta
Lot code: 30JUN11D1

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mysterious Health Issues - NYT Blog

I have yet to meet a single person who was diagnosed with celiac disease that did not have at least one other health issue/complication. Yes, it's anecdotal, but its important to remember that if you aren't feeling well you are not crazy. It is easy to feel like a canary in a coalmine, and Jonathan Papernick's blogpost reminded me that with a compromised immune system, its not all in ones head.

Getting closer to getting it right - PANCAKES

There are very few pancakes I have met that I haven't immediately fallen for. I am talking about that annoying in public swooning with a mouth full of far too much food, eyes rolling back in ones head and the inevitable over-consumption and desire to loosen a belt. While my love is great, I feel strongly about pancakes. Buttermilk trumps all, and chocolate chips have no place. Fruit in pancakes really only works when its wild blueberries that are in the batter, not sprinkled onto a flapjack before flipping - inevitably some of them burn and make part of the delicious stack taste bitter. I want mine to be served to me immediately, I desire the first few moments were the outside is a little crisp, before the steam gets to them and makes them flaccid. A small amount of butter and real maple syrup is all that is really necessary, though I cannot resist eating one or two while the others cook; all under the guise of making sure they are good for others, of course.

I do my best not to use this space to bitch about why there aren't more/better/cheaper/easier gluten-free substitute foods out there, or to complain about bad products, which is why I haven't said much about pancakes. Up until now, my attempts have ended in horrible disasters. One tasted like cardboard, others had a rice crunchy and a few more firmed up and were more frisbee than breakfast. I started my quest free-styling, not measuring, just assuming I knew what I was doing. I did not. Then I attempted several recipes, from books and whatnot, but they always had a slightly off flavor. The last batch tasted good, but made me feel ill; I believe my tapioca days are numbered. So I opted to switch things up again, using more corn and potato starches to lighten and balance the rice and some millet for color and a little flavor. The results were good enough to serve to guests!

Slightly Vanilla Pancakes

1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup milk (I used almond milk, but go for what you like)
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine dry ingredients and stir together.
2. Add in the wet and whisk until well blended. The batter should be a little thick.
3. Pour onto a hot griddle.
4. Flip only when the bubbles start setting on the edge of the pancake.

Next up - buttermilk. Do you have any solid buttermilk pancake recipes?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Grog

Sometimes the urge to get the hell out of a city is grand. After a hot day at the beach, only snacking on cherries - the best fruit in the world - a substantial meal was in order. The Grog in Newburyport is a restaurant with history and a gluten free menu. Dating back to the 19th century, there is now a bar, lounge, live music, fireplace and free take-one/leave-one library that lines the dark-wood back wall.

The gluten free menu was surprisingly inclusive and listed onion rings, ONION RINGS! To be fair, they were not fantastic, they were really oil-logged, but they were crisp and real and I ate them all. We also shared the broiled haddock (slightly over cooked) but served with really delicious smashed potatoes and the farmers market sausage, which was a delicious surprise. The more than generous portion was grilled, and filled with peppers, tomatoes, cheese and spices, really well balanced. It came atop some decent potato salad (I really hate potato salad, so I am not going to knock it), and a slice of watermelon. The fish also came with some oily weird corn on the cob, which was pushed aside.
Portions were really giant, easy to share and the food was good. My only regret was not trying this place sooner!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gluten Free Flour Blends

I have had it with gluten-free flour blends. My rage takes two forms: printed in cookbooks and those that line grocery store shelves. Both come with the guise of "making gluten-free baking easy" by eliminating the need to own, scoop and measure 4+ ingredients to approximate all purpose wheat flour. In theory, this is a nice idea, but in practice its the gf equivalent of having a box of Jiffy Corn Mix on your shelf for all your baking needs, corn muffins and everything else included. Its bunk. First of all, its incredibly egotistical and presumptive to declare that you have created the be-all, end-all gluten free mix. While you may have concocted a hodgepodge of flours and gums that works for some things, by no means have you solved all of my gluten free cooking and baking needs. The ones in the store I can write off as annoying, expensive and a waste of time. The ones that litter the pages of gluten-free cookbooks... WHO DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU ARE?!

So you wrote a cookbook, and developed a flour blend, so what. You think you are so awesome that I will never again in my entire history of me eating want to maybe just maybe use another cookbook?! You think that I am going to make up a batch of your product and only cook out of your book for the rest of my eating life? Wrong-o buck-o. I have nothing wrong with the idea of this, but for those who say only use your book for inspiration and then end up doing math an scrap paper all over the kitchen trying to determine how much xanthan gum is really necessary to hold pancakes together because it seems like your flour blend indicates such a small amount its really not worth doing the minuscule math for (all in British volume scoops rather than sensibly BY WEIGHT) but knowing sans gum these pancakes will never be cakes, just crepes... why do you do this to me?

If you want to make up your own flour blend, put the proportions needed next to your "so-and-so's-better-than-everyone-else's-gluten-free-flour-mix". Otherwise I am putting you back on the shelf, right next to the boxed mixes.