Friday, September 30, 2011

Because sometimes, you just get hungry...

If you read our blog even semi-regularly, you know that we bake, and cook, a LOT. Nearly 4 times a week, we would say. Now, we make the time for it because we love it and it is a passion, but we're not ignorant enough to think that every Celiac and Gluten-Intolerant individual has the ability to cook and bake gluten-free as often as we do. With the busy lives we all lead, sometimes taking an afternoon and baking homemade
granola bars and gluten-free cheese crackers to eat as snacks all week just isn’t possible. No way.

That said, we have compiled a list of the Celiac Sister’s “Top Ten” foods to grab on-the-go, and many of these are healthy enough and filling enough to eat as a breakfast or lunch replacement. These foods aren’t only available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, oh noooo. They are all available in our local grocery stores…imagine that. There’s nothing better than INEXPENSIVE buy-it-and-eat-it foods when you’re a Celiac. It’s something of a luxury when you eat this way, when you have this lifestyle. We hope you enjoy these wonderful products as much as we do!

Chobani Yogurts. A whopping 13 grams of protein per cup, and
it is SO creamy and delicious. Our favorite is the 2% Pineapple. Delish.
Cracker Barrel cheese sticks, sharp and extra sharp. We love to get these when
we're out shopping and can't afford to stop and get something to eat...mmm!
Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie? An idiot, that's who! (I'm just
kidding)...but these ones are pretty darn tasty, chewy and sweet. 

These are one of our guilty little pleasures. Certified gluten-free
and they make us feel like we're little kiddos again. We love them!

You can still get candy at the checkout. Relax.
Junior Mints are processed in a peanut, tree nut, and gluten-free facility.
Thank you Tootsie Roll for thinking of our little tired villi.
Okay, let's be honest. These chips are so salty...and
sometimes, a girl just wants SALT, am I right?!

Lemon Larabars. Full of raw food - fruits, nuts. YUM. And good for you...we
all want to eat more whole foods, and  this is a great way to get them.

So I like to channel my inner child. This is Erica here. I love chocolate
milk and I don't mind telling you. Delicious and certified gluten-free. 

Sweet, salty, and so satisfyingly crunchy.
You have to try them for yourself. Yummy.

We saved one of the BEST for last...ohh, these chips are so delicious.
These are literally the best chips on the planet. They actually taste like sweet potatoes.
They can be used as a cracker, too...they are thick and crunchy and sweet and perfect.
Just buy them.
Such a great munchie for the car!

Enjoy, loves. Happy munching, snacking, and eating on-the-run.


The Celiac Sisters

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bagels? Real bagels? No WAY.

As a Celiac, there are some things I had given up ever eating again. Pizza is one sad casualty of Celiac disease...honestly, I have yet to find a pizza dough that mimics my old "wheaty" favorite...if any of you find one, please comment or email me. :) I'd LOVE to find one.

Another thing I never felt I would eat, and really enjoy ever again was bagels. I love bagels, they are doughy, chewy, crunchy on the outside when you toast them, slather it with cream cheese. Yum.

Well, I was wrong. Today, I made bagels...and they came out way better than I could have imagined. They were REAL, boiled and baked bagels. 

It was incredible. I nearly cried. 

No I didn't...not really. But I was smiling. And you deserve to smile here's the recipe. 

Do not be put off by the boiling...super easy, and it only took 15 minutes to finish all 12. It's not a big to-do.

The "Real Deal" GF Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

4 1/2 cups Jules "Nearly Normal" GF flour
3 Tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used Roasted Saigon Cinnamon...yum.)
3/4 cup raisins (TIP: I plumped mine in 1 cup boiling water before adding them. Made all the difference!)

Tip: I used my KitchenAid for this process. I think you could do the kneading by hand and it would be fine...but just so you know how I did it.)

Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour with sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon. Add water and melted butter; the mixture will be the consistency of a batter. Gradually add the 3 remaining cups of flour until mixture forms a stiff dough. Fold in raisins by hand, kneading softly to incorporate. Cover and let rise for 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the 1 T. sugar and 1 t. salt to the water. Have a pair of tongs handy to flip the bagels while boiling. 

After dough has "risen" (it will not rise much, being such a dense dough), shape bagels by pinching off 12 balls and poking a hole in each ball, gently forming a ring, like so:

Poke a small hole in each ball of dough.

And work it into a ring from there.

And there you have it! A little raw bagel!
Next, when all the bagels are formed, it's time to boil!

Drop one bagel at a time into the boiling water.

Boil 3 minutes. FLIP. Boil another 2 minutes. Remove.
Boil 4 bagels at a time - boil for 3 minutes, FLIP the bagels, and boil for another 2 minutes. Remove, drip excess water off the bagels, and place on cookie sheet (that has been greased with cooking spray). Do this until all bagels are boiled.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden brown. I lo-broiled mine for 3 minutes to get that golden-brown look!

375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Until golden brown.
Cool on wire racks. Store 'em in ziploc bags in the fridge to keep them fresh longer. 

But they probably won't last very long in my house...I give 'em 3 days. TOPS.

Shmear 'em with cream cheese and eat 'em up, baby. 


Side view.

Store 'em! Refrigerator is best for GF baked goods.

Look at that beautiful golden brown!

Enjoy, loves.


Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm still alive...and I'm in love with these brownies.

Hey all. Erica here.

I just haven't blogged anything in nearly a month...don't mind me. This is precisely what I told myself I'd try not to do, but here I am, feeling rather sheepish.

In my defense, life has been busy and crazy. 1/2 of the Celiac Sisterhood, my dear sister Cait, finally had her liver transplant scheduled for October. That alone has kept us moving and our minds reeling.

But in the midst of the chaos, in the midst of the nerve-wracking anxiety, worry, and all the unknowns...I have my little kitchen. Through this trial, I think my kitchen has been a sort of lifeline for me. Why? The kitchen is the one place I feel in control. Completely. I know food...specifically, gluten-free food - like the back of my hand. It is my escape.

Softened butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla make a velvety buttercream every time. Brown sugar, butter, flours and vanilla make cookies...any kind you please.
Flours, sugars, flavorings, baking chocolate, pumpkin...these things don't change. I mix cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and a few more staple ingredients, and before you know it you have a pumpkin cheesecake (like the one sitting in my fridge as I type this!)

Today, I needed an escape, I guess. Sometimes, I guess I don't even know why. I baked all afternoon after work. I tried two new things, I was feeling brave I suppose.

First, I made these.

I prepared them per the package directions, adding just 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips. Then I made my espresso buttercream and topped them off with a thick layer of this velvety espresso love. Pure HEAVEN. This is the first brownie mix I have had since going gluten free back in February that is actually comparable to Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines wheat versions. Seriously fudgy and decadent.