Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heat Wave Support System

Sometimes it's just an EMERGENCY.

I really miss the green tea flavor.

A Haiku:

Pinkberry, I need you now.
Mango, strawberry
Blueberry or coconut.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cashew Butter Truffle

This is the kind of chocolate that keeps you awake at night. It would have kept me up, except I was pretty worn out from all the dancing - oh yeah, this wedding I went to? It had a six piece Balkan brass band. Excuse me.

The bride's lovely and talented friend was commissioned for three desserts - a cardamom tart, something else with gluten that I sadly ignored, and these cashew butter truffles. Each delicate orb was nestled in a little paper cup, resting on a fresh rose petal.

Christine Manoux's Cashew Butter Truffles

[modified from a Charlie Trotter recipe]

1 cup raw cashew butter
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup (good) cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla seeds scraped from vanilla bean
1 tablespoon tamari
cocoa nibs, or other dry coating

-Combine and process all ingredients (minus nibs) in a food processor until smooth.
-Transfer to a shallow container and refrig for at least 4 hours.
-Using small spoons or other implement, scrape filling to make small balls.
-Cover/roll in the nibs to coat.
-Keep refrigerated as they are very soft.
-Eat with friends!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In 'n' Out Burger

I was in California last weekend for the Wedding of the Century. Friends from near and far came together to eat and dance and laugh and cry (only a little...) and celebrate our dear friend's joyous occasion. After days of stringing garlands and arranging placeholders and carefully applying liquid eyeliner... we deserved a hamburger.

One of us was a native (Californian) and knew just what we needed. A super cheap (!) tasty and not disgusting version of fast food. I had my burger "protein style" which means it is nicely wrapped in lettuce, served with tomato and onion in a little baggie so you can eat it with your hands. I especially appreciate this after 4 years of cutting a burger with a knife and fork and eating it like meatloaf.

It's the little things, really.

The menu is really short, and the fryers are only used for french fries! Which makes them....gluten free! Also, it's California so the tomatoes are red and tasty, not refrigerated and mealy as we are used to on the East coast.

I also had a strawberry milkshake. It was a holiday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gluten-Free Grumps

Bitching and moaning in three parts:

1. I went out of my way this morning to see if the fancy coffee shop by my house had any gluten-free muffins. At a previous visit I had been made aware of the availability of a gf muffin at breakfast hour. They did not have any. "We have VEGAN muffins" the girl said to me, "but they're not gluten free." In other words, they have "weird" muffins, just not my kind of weird. Thanks.

2. Whole Foods did not have any Udi's bagels today OR yesterday. Lunchtime. Disaster.

3. I am being sent to retrieve a cake for a coworker's birthday. Nothing like lugging a melting ice cream cake through the blistering heat - WITHOUT GETTING TO EAT ANY OF IT AFTERWARD.

I am now accepting whiny complaints in the comments section:

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Thing I Cooked

A sweet idea from Gluten Free Girl & The Chef: to conjure up that earliest memory, in the kitchen, wielding power and wooden spoon for the first time! I couldn't pinpoint the occurrence - so I went straight to the source (and emailed my mother). She said:

Definitely it was chocolate chip cookies. You made them with Dad while I was at an art class. You insisted you knew the recipe and they were really good (if a little dry) except you forgot the butter - so the next day they were like little rocks!!! I think you were in second grade? You were so proud of yourself (as you should have been) and crestfallen when they turned into rocks. The whole thing exemplified many facets of your Dunn personality. Stubborn insistence that you knew what you were doing and the strength of character to plow ahead and do it. You must have been even more sure of yourself than Dad as he (who knew nothing) went ahead with it. It didn't matter about the rocks, because you both had such a good time and as I remember it there was flour all over the kitchen when I came home, It was when the kitchen counters were still 70s orange and we had the stool for you to sit on. Does that help?

Yes, yes it does. In fact, I hardly remember that at all. The incident that sticks out in my mind was the time I made "everything" cookies, giggling to myself as I added ketchup, ranch dressing, and pepper to the dough. They came out hard, like biscotti, and - believe it or not - did not taste horrible! I remember hiding upstairs as my father came home, hungrily shoving two into his mouth, declaring them delicious. Perhaps that was the first time I realized - with a little confidence, it's hard to screw up food.

Friday, June 11, 2010

DANGER: Pickled Ginger!

OK so sushi is like, my favorite thing, right and (usually) totally gluten-free and safe and easy to find and omnipresent and inexpensive and everything I love. Right? And like I don't even miss the soy sauce because the pickled ginger is so good? Right? And the wasabi? So anyway my friend and I are making dinner tonight and we are going to make vegetarian sushi, and I said, "Can I pick something up, I am at Whole Foods" and she said, "Get some seaweed" and I said, "Where the hell is that" and she said, oh never mind, the point is, I READ THE INGREDIENTS IN THIS PICKLED GINGER:

What are we going to do? I would appreciate any feedback on this depressing discovery.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today I was thinking that the saddest thing about being gluten-free is no longer pizza. There are endless options, all over the city! Take this billboard, for example!

Maximo Pino, on Sixth Avenue at 13th street.

Then, Grubstreet announced some new pizza locations, amongst them a pizza chain called zpizza. Anyone been there? Apparently it's all over the country!

Then I discovered this frozen pizza (looks good) at Whole Foods. Bella Monica - who's tried it?

The saddest thing about being gluten-free now? Bagels. I can have them at home - Udi's are the best - but when you're late to work and tired and all you want is a hot coffee from the coffee cart and a fattening cream cheese slathered orb of joy? Or when you live in New York and just want to indulge in the chewy culinary specialty of your city? With olive cream cheese? Enough.

Ginger Masquerade Ball

I mean, yeah I like gingersnaps. I also like: dogs, telephones, the availability of Kleenex when I need it, pens... my point here is that there are WAY TOO MANY GLUTEN-FREE GINGERSNAPS on the market. Ever wonder why? Because ginger makes everything taste good. Much harder to add garbanzo bean flour to a chocolate chip cookie and have things turn out well. Dessert falafel. No thank you.

Therefore, Nana's "cookie bites" taste good. They also fall apart if you don't put the entire thing in your mouth at once. The texture is like a soft sand cake. Which could be a good thing, if you didn't have teeth - hey, something for everyone! I mean - I ate all of them. But I am over spending money on pre-packed baked goods that leave a gritty pile of crumbs all over my desk.

Moving on, I bought the bag of Duane Reade brand gingersnaps for my plane ride to California. They were fine. They "snapped," as per their name. They crunched. They tasted exactly like the Trader Joe's brand of gf gingersnaps, which is to say, good, and as they should. My glutenous correspondent sampled some while we relaxed on the hotel bed - and went back for seconds, and thirds.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fancy Schmancy Breakfast Parfait

Things are getting a little gray here at the old desk. One has to do one's best to keep one's spirits up. The best things in life, I believe, are those things which combine elements of 'fancy' with elements of 'lazy'. I have invented the breakfast treat which fits those requirements.

Ingredients: blackberries and yogurt and dry cereal - mash up the berries in the yogurt, layer them with the cereal in this tall glass. Note: blackberries are great, but they weren't sweet enough with plain yogurt. There should really be a honey jar in my office kitchen. There isn't.

My favorite regular cereal right now is still Mesa Sunrise, and not just because of the silly name. I have also been enjoying the gluten-free granola from Bakery on Main Street - it was on sale at Whole Foods for $5.99. They have a few flavors - I have been munching on the "Extreme Fruit and Nut" flavor, which has hazelnuts in it. YES. PLEASE. It's actually too good, which is why I've switched back to regular cereal. I tend to eat all the best granola nuggets right away, leaving a bag full of sesame seeds by Friday morning.

An early model of the parfait, with Bakery on Main granola.

Monday, June 7, 2010

That good, huh?


Alright, then! Fine! Next time I get kale I'm making chips!

[From a (now defunct, it seems) natural foods store on Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kamikaze Margarita: Dos Caminos

So... I quit my job. I immediately required a frozen margarita at an outdoor location. I immediately required the ancient, healing properties of guacamole. Dos Caminos, at the corner of West Broadway and Houston (though there are a few locations throughout the city) offered the most convenient oasis from my desert storm of resignation.

We went for the pink ones, 'cause, you know, it's summer.

A few notes about this restaurant. 1. It is not that cheap 2. The man next to me ordered something which looked like a bowl full of garlicky spinach. Sticking out of the green pile was a slim piece of paper marked - "ALLERGIES". If I had not been kamikazing my way through this pink antidote, I would have leaned over and asked him more about his dietary concerns - and his experience with the server. All I can tell you is, it looks like they take an allergy seriously. There are benefits to eating at an institution with $12 margaritas.

-Guacamole texture (soft and smooth)
-Tomatillo salsa ("I want this flavor in my mouth forever", said my Glutenous Correspondent, and I agreed)
-Sharing the taco platter (three tacos, $12, side of rice and beans)
-Outdoor seating
-When a woman, walking past in a dress like a shredded rubber tire, tripped and broke her six inch heel, and put on a sort of cockeyed catwalk performance for all the diners.
-Now that I have quit my job I expect to have more time for GLUTEN FREE BLOGGING.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And now, for something completely...HEALTHY

Steamed vegetable lunch from Spring Street Natural, conveniently located near my office. Usually this comes with seaweed - I usually opt out. Sometimes, if I am feeling indulgent, I ask for an extra side of the tahini dressing. So. Good.

The rest of the food is fairly bland, but the portions are huge and can make for two lunches. I like this meal because it's vegetarian and dairy-free, too. Sometimes a girl just can't have cheese in her lunch. (Sometimes.) I have also ordered the taco salad - without the homemade tortilla chips (fried on premises with other wheaty things.)

The restaurant uses tamari instead of soy sauce, and because it is one of New York's first health food restaurants, the staff is pretty accommodating!

[For a health food restaurant, though - I wish they had better packaging. That is one serious plastic dish.]

Self Control Happens at the Grocery Store

..and not at my desk. Here lie the remaining bunch of chocolate macaroons from Whole Foods. Goodbye, small friends. See you later, just over the top of my favorite jeans.

I haven't bought this yet because I know who I am.

Hi. My name is... Temptation. I'm here at your local Whole Foods and I am glossy and sticky and shiny, and also like the jealous queen's mirror, YOU CANNOT STOP LOOKING AT ME.

I resisted, and instead bought the Whole Foods brand chocolate macaroons, which are under $3 for five, crunchy, deeply chocolatey, and satisfying.

Who here has eaten these puppies? Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? Concerns?