Monday, August 8, 2011

Fresh From Elizabeth's Kitchen Cookbook Review

Fresh from Elizabeth's Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-Free Recipes
Fresh from Elizabeth's Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-Free Recipes

     Where to start, where to start...
     I received this beautiful cookbook Friday.  Excitedly, I stayed up until midnight marking off all the recipes I wanted to try.  I got up bright and early Saturday morning, stopped by the farmers market and local grocer to buy all my supplies.  By 10 a.m. I had donned my apron and started cooking.

     I started with the Gingerbread Waffles with Cinnamon Poached Pears.  My kids flocked to the kitchen and wouldn't stop commenting on how great it smelled, and the  "When can we eat?" questopms began.  ( That was the most frequently asked question all day.)  By the time they were ready, and plated, they were gone.  I couldn't bake these up fast enough.  They were scrumptious!  Truly a gingerbread lover's delight!  My kids have now put it on the menu to have at least one night a week.

     Next was Grilled Chicken with Pomegranate Chipotle BBQ Sauce.  Because we have so many little hands reaching for food, bite size portions are the way around here.  I made this using chicken wings.  This BBQ sauce is tangy with just a hint of smokey heat.  It is was good!  (Just don't forget to salt and pepper the chicken before saucing it, like I did.   I spiced mine up afterwards and it was all good!)

     Asian Veggies in Tamari-Seasme-Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce was next on the list.   I cheated a bit here.  The recipe called for freshly chopped veggies.  I used a bag of our favorite frozen veggies with fresh bean sprouts and napa cabbage added at the end.   I loved this recipe because it tasted good and was quick to hit the table.   Ten thumbs up!  

      Cheddar Drop Biscuits were next to be made.  Now, it has been a long time for me, but I swear these little tender nuggets reminded me of Red Lobsters Cheddar Biscuits without all the greasiness, but all the wonderful taste.  These are fantastic biscuits!  I have made them everyday since I received the book.  The kids can't stop asking for them.  I made these dairy free with the Daiya cheese alternative and you wouldn't know the difference.  The other great thing about this recipe is that it is quick to make, about 15 minutes to whip up.  This recipe is a now a permanent addition to our dinner time meals.

     After all that cooking the sweet craving hit.  I made the Cranberry Ginger Pound Cake and the Lemon Tea Bread.   The pound cake was a pleasant change of pace from the norm.   It wasn't overly sweet and I enjoyed the taste of the ginger and cranberry together.  I have only one kid who will eat cranberries in family, and we both agreed that it was really yummy.  It was tender and delicious.

    The Lemon Tea Bread was a taste of heaven.  It was so good I ran two pieces over to a  friend.  This gluten friend could not believe that it was gluten free.  This bread reminded me more of a cake than a bread.  What makes this bread extra special is the glaze.  The glaze reminds me of lemonade.  When you pour it on top of that hot bread it just soaks it up.  Oooooh my...the whole bread just melts in your mouth.  Confession - I am addicted to this Lemon Tea Bread.

     That was the end of cooking on day one.  I was tired, and happily full.
The next day......

     .....was Mojito Chicken. 
     I have never had a Mojito anything in my life, but the photo of this chicken made me wanna try.  It was a real palate pleaser.  My kids tasted it and talked about how much they loved it, while they reached for seconds.  Next time I am going to throw it on the grill.   I have just two left over pieces that I plan on making into a grilled panini tomorrow!  Yum!!  

     The Quinoa Tabouli was a real treat.  My kids have never had anything like it.  It got mixed reviews. Maybe it is more of an adult dish, I am not sure.   Most of my kids thought it was a little too tangy. I loved the recipe but for everyone else's taste buds, next time I will cut the lemon juice in half.  That said, I really liked this dish, and plan on making it again.  I loved all the fresh veggies in it.  This one is a keeper.  I would take this to any picnic or potluck.

     Lastly, the Sweet Potato Gratin reminded me of my mother's sweet potato pon (without the marshmallows on top).   This was a winner all the way around in my house.  It can be made egg free, which I did.  Being a Southerner,  I like my pon a little sweeter so I added a little more sugar, and it was perfect.  I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.  The Pecan Cinnamon Topping added a nice crunch to the fluffy sweet potatoes.

     The Final Decision: 
  •  I am thrilled to have this cookbook on my shelf.   I wouldn't hesitate to buy two copies, one for me and one to give as a gift.  There wasn't anything I cooked that I didn't like.   That is a rarity.  
  • I like the arrangement of chapters.  For instance, Chapter Three is soup and salads.  A perfect pairing if you are making a light dinner for yourself.   Chapter Four is Family Dinners, again this chapter offers you a complete meal.  The chapter has a mix and match of options. If you don't want to think about planning dinner at all,  she has that covered too with several suggestions in the back of her book.  Meal planned! 
  • I used The Pure Pantry Pancake and Baking Mix to make the Gingerbread Waffles but if you are allergic to corn products, the flour blends in her book have no corn. 
  • If the recipes can use substitutes, it is noted.  She has included some recipes that have egg free, or dairy free options. 
  • I am still looking forward to making the Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Biscotti and Carrot Ginger Soup and Carrot Cake many more.  

     Stay Tuned!!!! 
      I have most of the above mixes and plan on trying them. 
 Don't want to have a sugar rush all in one day.

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