Monday, November 29, 2010

Easy Salad to Start a Meal

One of the easiest and delicious ways to start a great meal is with a caprese salad.  Simply buy fresh mozzarella, beefsteak tomatoes, and fresh basil.  Slice and drizzle with olive oil, season with a touch of salt and pepper.  Easy salad to make but it will be sure to impress!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap: Stuffed!

Thanksgiving is one of my new favorite food-fest holidays.  And since I made very similar meals to the ones I've posted last year on here, I didn't feel the need to bore you with the same recipes.  However, I did add some new tricks to the dishes and those I'd love to share.  Our menu included a brined 11 pound turkey, mashed potato casserole, stuffing, steamed broccoli, and pumpkin pie.

The biggest improvement was on the mashed potato casserole, where I used a potato ricer to get the mixture even creamier than usual. 

I used a new pie crust, for the pumpkin pie which made me nervous, but it came out even better than the Whole Foods gf pie crust I usually use.  Gillian's GF pie crust had a much nuttier taste to it, and tastes more similar to a graham cracker crust than the buttery flavor of the Whole Foods brand.
Add some homemade whipped cream (1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, sugar and a touch of vanilla extract, blended with handmixer until creamy) and you are all set!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gearing up for Football: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Be warned...after reading this post, you will be completely inspired to make this dish...and then you, just like those who have already eaten this, will become addicted.  It is a serious problem amongst my group of friends.  So of course I'd love to share this with you, but just were forewarned!

Buffalo chicken dip

Eat with tostitos....larger chips are better since the dip is thicker.

1 rotisserie chicken (or 4 cooked chicken breasts) shredded
1 cup franks hot sauce
1 cup marie's blue cheese
2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Add shredded chicken and franks to a skillet and combine over medium
Cut in both packages of cream cheese until completely melted and
Remove skillet from heat and add blue cheese.  Pour dip into a casserole
dish and top with cheddar cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until
cheese is melted on top.  Serve with chips, carrots/celery.....or just eat with a spoon :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Doughnuts: the icing on the cake

I have to give a big shout-out to Babycakes in NY for making me super-duper happy on my wedding day by supplying us with my fav - gluten-free doughnuts!! They worked with my mom to plan out the best way to showcase the doughnuts, and they wound up with my very own doughnut tower of the raspberry powered doughnuts.

It made the entire cake cutting ceremony stress-free and happy for me....and my husband even joined in the fun by sharing the doughnut with me.  We got engaged at Babycakes bakery, and it was great to include the doughnuts in our wedding as "icing" on the cake (pun intended!).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meatballs and Spaghetti

Another day - another dinner.  Last night - meatballs and spaghetti.  I tried a new kind of pasta since I wasn't able to get to Whole foods to buy my normal GF spaghetti - brands like Schar or Tinkyada.  I used instead Hodgson Mill's brown rice pasta.  I found it to be very good with the sauce, but it definitely took longer to boil and was higher in starch than the ones I've used in the past.

I did also mix the ground beef with some Alesia's bread crumbs and one egg to make the mixture more flavorful and moist.

First I pre-heated the oven to 325 degrees.  Then I combined the meat, breadcrumbs and egg in a bowl and heated a skillet on the stovetop with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once it was hot I rolled the beef into balls and added to the skillet.  After a few minutes (until they were brown on one side) I turned them so they browned evenly on all sides.  Next I prepped them to go into the oven.  I like using a cookie drying rack that sits above a broiler pan so the meat drippings would fall through the grates, but the meat would not stick to the bottom of the pan (and also the meatballs remain round).

While the meatballs were cooking (about 20-25 minutes) I cooked the pasta on the stovetop and heated up the sauce.  My husband likes to make his own sauce (he is Italian) so we added onions, garlic to the skillet that I browned the meat in, then added it to a small saucepan on the stove with some tomato paste and red wine.  Added in some fresh tomato chunks and some canned sauce to give a good consistency.

Topped it off with some Parmesan and voila! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Resolutions, Shmerolutions

Ok so as you can all see, I haven't been good at keeping my new year's resolution to write on this blog!  As it turns out, I was quite busy, with moving apts and then wedding planning, along with keeping up with my challenging role at a start-up company.

To bring you up to speed, the wedding was FAB and all the hard work paid off.  You can view some of the pics here at the photographer's website.

After vacationing in Greece for the honeymoon, I came back to a more peaceful NY, or so I thought.  That was until I found out that my company merged with another, with rounds of layoffs (me being included in that bunch).  So while it's a new chapter for my career, it is a great time for me to focus on the blog, considering that I am now home in time to cook meals for my new husband...I'd love to share with you all the yummy meals that are of, course, Gluten-Free.

First up, last night's meal: Braised Short Ribs.

I found this recipe online and I have to say it was quite easy and delish!  I used my 6qt. Mario Batali dutch oven to prepare this meal and bought the ribs from  I paired this dish with quick cooking Polenta, which I did on the stovetop (following the instructions on the box) and added in some large shavings of Parmesan cheese, to add to the creaminess.

3 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs , trimmed of excess fat (see note and technique below)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions , peeled and sliced thin from pole to pole (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 medium garlic cloves , peeled
2 cups red wine (see note)
1 cup beef broth
4 large carrots , peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cold water


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking. Add half of beef and cook, without moving, until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn beef and continue to cook on second side until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke. Transfer beef to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and meat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. (If onions begin to darken too quickly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to pan.) Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it browns on sides and bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, add wine and simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth, carrots, thyme, and bay leaf. Add beef and any accumulated juices to pot; cover and bring to simmer. Transfer pot to oven and cook, using tongs to turn meat twice during cooking, until fork slips easily in and out of meat, 2 to 2½ hours.