Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Question and Answers With C4C's Lena Kwak

Photo from C4C

Today is all about getting to know Lena a little better. 
 It is always good know the chef that is cooking in the kitchen! 
 Read on!

Lena, you were named in the Forbes 30 under 30: Food and Wine picks.  What an honor!  Do you feel that you are in the stride of your career, that you have finally arrived, so to say?

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to begin this journey. I try not to revel for too long, in any one moment because it feels like I’ve only just begun and there are so many opportunities ahead.

You have developed a top rate, gluten-free flour, C4C, and you yourself are not gluten intolerant.  In developing C4C flour, what have you learned about the gluten free allergy community?

It’s been exciting to discover the gluten-free community is a dedicated and passionately loyal crowd. I may not be gluten-free, but I’m grateful they have embraced C4C with open arms. I’ve received so many positive emails from people sharing stories of how Cup4Cup has changed their lives for the better. It still surprises me how much of an impact it has made and you guys only inspire me to continue working harder.  

Take a peek behind the scenes of this chef’s busy life!

The most rewarding part of being a chef....

For me, as I am sure it is for many other chefs, it is most rewarding to put my heart and soul into cooking. Presenting a dish you have put a lot of effort into, requires vulnerability. It is so rewarding when someone takes a bite of whatever it is that you have made and just beams with excitement, awe or joy. It’s that look that makes you sigh with relief and satisfaction.

When I have free time, I...

Free time -what is free time? I’m just kidding. Whenever I do have a moment away from work, I try to escape to the beach. Even in the cold weather, the scenery brings me peace of mind.

The most used appliance in my kitchen...

My food processor. It slices; it dices; it purees. I love it.

My biggest guilty food pleasure....

I am almost ashamed to say, but I am such a salt fiend. Salty, crunchy snacks are my kryptonite. Potato chips, tortilla chips, crackers –unfortunately, I do not discriminate.

A tip for working with gluten-free flour...

I recommend using a scale for more precise results. It is so important to ensure the accuracy of volume measurements when baking.  

Also, be fearless in using Cup4Cup to experiment with your favorite recipes. It is so fun to hear people enjoying food they haven’t had for a while.

When I throw a dinner party, a must have on the menu is....

That’s difficult to say because there are so many. I have shared some of my favorites from a recent dinner party here:

·      Deviled eggs with pancetta, sage and caviar 
·      Scallop and white truffle custard 
·      Fresh uni Carbonara
·      Light seasonal salad
·      Cheese with classic accompaniments like local honey, membrillo and nuts
·      I like to serve a plate of my favorite chocolates, like salted caramel squares to nosh on after all the feasting.

Thanks so much Lena for sharing your time and a bit of your self with us here at Raising Allergy Kids.  It was great to get to know you a little better and we wish you much success in your career.  We love your C4C flour!

Thank you, Deborah. It is such a pleasure following your own successes with gluten-free cooking and we look forward to all the culinary adventures that lay ahead. Happy 2012 to everyone.

We are always looking for feedback with C4C – so please don’t hesitate to visit us at and to give us your thoughts and pick up some great new ideas, from fellow busybodies like Deborah.

Monday, February 27, 2012

C4C Buttermilk Chicken Recipe

Photo by Carole Blymire

Who doesn't love good fried chicken!  
In preparation for our upcoming posts from Lena making Whoopie Pies with C4C flour, I thought we should start the week off right with this Buttermilk Chicken recipe that was featured on the The Martha Stewart Show.   It was adapted from the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook by Thomas Keller.
Oh Yum!

 3 cups C4C flour 
 1 (2 to 2-1/2 lb.) free range chicken  
1/8 cup garlic powder 
1/8cup onion powder 
2 teaspoons paprika 
2 teaspoons cayenne 
2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 quart buttermilk  
Peanut or canola oil for deep frying 
Fleur de sel or fine sea salt 

For the Brine
3 lemons 
6 bay leaves 
1/2 bunch of parsley 
1/2 bunch of thyme 
1/4cup clover honey 
1/2 head of garlic 
1/8 cup peppercorns
1 cup salt 
1 gallon water

1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients. 
2. Bring to a boil for 1 minute and stir to ensure the salt dissolves. 
3. Remove from heat and cool completely. 
4. Cool and completely chill before using. 
N O T E : Brine will last up to 3 days, refrigerated.

For the Chicken
1. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 breast quarters, and 2 wings. 
2. Place chicken pieces into cold brine and refrigerate for 12 hours (no longer or the
chicken may become too salty). 
3. Remove chicken from brine (discard brine) and rinse under cold water. Remove any
herbs or spices sticking to the skin. 
4. Pat dry with paper towels and allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for 1-1⁄2
hours or until it comes to room temperature. 
5. Using a large pot (6 inches deep) fill pot with no more than 1⁄3 of the way up of oil.
Heat oil up to 320° F. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Line a second baking
sheet with parchment paper. 
6. Meanwhile, combine all the coating ingredients together and split into large bowls. 
7. Pour the buttermilk into a third bowl and season with salt and pepper. 
8. Set up your dipping station: one bowl of chicken pieces, one bowl of coating, one
bowl of buttermilk and a second bowl of coating. Transfer to parchment lined pan. 
9. Coat the thighs and legs first and lower into hot oil carefully. Fry for 2 minutes and
then carefully move the chicken pieces around in oil and continue to fry, monitoring the oil temperature and turning the pieces as necessary for cooking, for 11-12 minutes until the chicken is a deep golden brown.
10. Make sure to transfer fried chicken pieces skin side up and let them rest on cooling rack while frying the remaining chicken pieces. Season with fine sea salt.
11. Turn up the heat of the oil to 340° F. Meanwhile, coat the chicken breasts and wings. Place pieces into hot oil and fry wings for 6 minutes and chicken breasts for 7 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and season with fine sea salt. Turn off the oil.
12. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. Add the fresh herbs to oil (while it is still hot) and let them cook and crisp for a few seconds. Remove from oil and arrange over chicken to serve. 

Want to serve that chicken with those waffles!  Head over to C4C Cheddar Polenta Waffles Recipe.  And while you are there look around their recipes.  They have some delicious recipes available!  Like you can make these wonderful Bacon-ComtĂ© Biscuits to go with that fried chicken!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Blogger - C4C's Lena Kwak!!!! Yeah!!!

We are just tickled pink to have C4C's Lena Kwak stop by this week and be our guest blogger!  She will delight us with  a session on Whoopie pie's!  Oh how I love a new recipes!
Will we also have a Question and Answer session with Lena, and get to know her better.  Then you can ask Lena questions and she will personally answer you back!

Here is a short introduction to 
Who is Lena Kwak?

As a Research and Development Chef at The French Laundry, Lena Kwak is responsible for testing a wide range of edible innovations, ranging from foie gras bon bons to seawater sorbet. It was her creation of a gluten-free brioche
and the tearful response it inspired in a dinner guest that led to the establishment of C4C, or “Cup for Cup” with Chef Thomas Keller in the Spring of 2010.
After graduating Rhode Island’s Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute in 2007, Kwak served as a private chef and director of her own catering company, dishing out five course meals and cooking lessons. She landed in California while pursuing an internship to satisfy her interest in nutritional science. A single assignment to devise a gluten-free version of Keller’s famed salmon cornet, led her to develop a proprietary flour blend that became the foundation for their new company.
Since launching C4C in August of 2011, Kwak remains committed to guiding its evolution, developing healthy and innovative food products for a conscious new generation.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Banana Muffins - Gluten, Dairy, and Egg Free

I saw this recipe from Everyday Food and couldn't resist
adapting it to make it gluten, dairy, and egg free.

1-2/3 cup Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (spooned into measuring cup)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp dairy free cream cheese (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cup mashed overripe bananas ( about 3-4 medium bananas)

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, and sugar.
In a large bowl beat sugar and shortening together.
Beat in bananas, cream cheese, pumpkin, and vanilla extract to sugar mixture. 
Add half the flour at a time, beating until well incorporated.
Fold in chocolate pieces.

Scoop dough into lined muffin pan.

Bake at 350˚F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Cook's Notes
***In the original recipe it called for 6 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chopped.  You can use, that instead of the chunks if you desire.  
***I make these as muffins instead of a loaf because it avoids a soggy undercooked center.   If you don't want a traditional round muffin, you can use a square muffin pan like this one here 
Fat Daddio's 12-Cup Square Muffin Pan .
***If you are rice free, I tested these with Cybele's Bread Flour Mix and they worked wonderfully.
A chocolate delight!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Vegan and Soy Free Cheese by Galaxy Nutritional Foods

On February 14, 2012 Galaxy Nutritional Food had a press release about there new Vegan Shreds. 
The new product will be in the 
US health food stores at the beginning of April 2012.

Galaxy Nutritional Foods is introducing a corn starched based, non GMO, no preservative, or added 
sugars, gluten free cheese substitute.   TheVegan Shreds will come in Mozzarella and Mexican Flavors. 
They have been working for over a year to develop a cheese
that the company touts that,
"melts, stretches, and tastes like real cheese. "
and in the words of Jerry Schwatz, the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing,
“We really understand the vegan and food allergy markets and wanted to develop a soy and dairy free shredded product that acts like real cheese.  Our new Vegan Shreds are unique because they eliminate two of the most common food allergens while maintaining a superior taste.”
    For all of those that can have corn but not soy or dairy, this may be a good alternative. 
 I am eager to test this one out to see how it tastes and melts. 
If you would like to read the whole press release you can click here!
They are also FAAN walk sponsors ! Yeah!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gluten Free King Cake Recipe Or Order One!

King Cake Baby
   Mardi Gras is around the corner and I have my King Cake Baby
but haven't had time to actually make a cake.

    If you are like me and can't seem to find time, 
here are some great sites to make or buy a King Cake.

Need a recipe?

For a twist, King Cake Cookies from Fat Free Vegan blog

Need to order a cake?


If you are in Georgia stop by 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Well Known Gluten Free Flour Mixes

The world is full of gluten free blends these are just a sample of the most well known.

Carol Fenster:
 Bean Flour

3 cups garfava bean flour
2 cups potato starch
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sorghum flour

Classic Flour
1 cup rice flour
1/2-3/4 cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour

Bette Hagman:
Classic Flour

2 cups rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch/flour

Four Flour Bean Blend:

Feather Light
1 cup rice flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 Tbsp. potato flour

Cybele Pascal :
Gluten Free All Purpose Mix
  4 cup brown rice flour
   1 2/3 cup potato starch
   2/3 cup tapioca starch

Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix
1-1/2 cups millet flour
1-1/2 cups sorghum flour
2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch

Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

Mock Better Batter
recipe from Nicole Hunn:

1-1/3 cups super fine brown rice flour
 1 cup +1 Tbsp white rice flour 
2/3 cup tapicoa starch 
1/2 cup potato starch  
2-3/4 tsp potato flour  
2 tsp xanthan gum  
2-1/2 tsp pectin 

**Note:  Nicole's recipe is found here on her website!   It is written in grams and with using a kitchen scale.  The one thing is that flours have different weight.  If you find that using the cups and teaspoon measurement above don't provide you the results you like, do try it in grams.  Precision measurement makes a better and consistent loaf and I like it for this recipe.  
Also, her recipe is a great replica of Better Batter, but it doesn't cook up her bread recipes exactly like Better Batter but is perfect in cookies and such.
A GREAT recipe if you can't get it where you live, but I still recommend the real thing.  It makes awesome bread!

Mock Cup4Cup by Nicole Hunn

Click here for her Mock Recipe

**I loved these tips on baking breads Ginger Lemon Girl**

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken- Gluten Free, Soy Free, Corn Free

I saw this recipe on Pinterest the other day and just had to try it.
Photo From My Kitchen Snippets
 This recipe is adapted from My Kitchen Snippets.

I made the sauce two ways because some us are allergic to soy.
To make this soy free us the coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Additionally, I made this with pork and it was just as scrumptious.
This dish was a huge hit in our house.

3 pieces of chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp GF Soy Sauce  or  Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos 
1 Tbsp of gluten free chicken broth 
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup GF all purpose flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (if you are avoiding corn, otherwise use cornstarch)
Salt and pepper to taste 

3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce (I use Trader Joe's, it is corn free, gf)
2 Tbsp GF ketchup
2 Tbsp  honey
1 Tbsp GF Soy Sauce  or Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos 

  • In a bowl mix soy sauce, broth, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.  Add cubed chicken and let marinate for at least 1 hour.  
  • In a bowl mix flour and arrowroot starch.  
  • Coat each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and set aside to fry.
  • Heat oil for frying.  Fry chicken until golden brown.  Depending on the size of your chicken cook for 4-5 minutes. (I used a deep fryer and fried it at 340˚F for about 4 to 5 minutes.)
  • Drain chicken on a paper towel lined dish and repeat until all the chicken is fried.
  • In a sauce pan, mix all the sauce ingredients together and bring to a boil.  Let the sauce thicken a bit.
  • Remove sauce from heat.
  • Place your fried chicken in a bowl and toss with the sauce. 
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Serve over warm rice. 

Cook's Notes:
You can mix up the sauce ahead of time and boil it right before serving.
The author of this recipe notes that you can use bone in chicken, chicken thighs, chicken wings, or even pork ribs for this dish.
I add just a few stalks of steam broccoli to the this dish.  More like a garnish, like they do at Chinese restaurants.

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Corn Free Version

Oyster Sauce - Gluten Free, Corn Free, Soy Free

Oyster Sauce is a thick salty/sweet sauce that is an ingredient in many Asian dishes.    I searched on the internet for homemade oyster sauce, because I wanted to avoid corn and soy.   I combined several recipes that I found and came up with my own.  
Below I have listed the alternative ingredients depending on your allergies ( soy vs no soy, or corn vs no corn). 
 I loved how this one tasted as compared to the store brand, Lee Kum Kee  Oyster Sauce.   Now I do have to admit that I didn't have time to go through the whole process of boiling chopped oysters and pressing through a sieve, so I cheated and used  a bottle of clam juice instead.  If you have time and money to prepare the oysters then this would certainly be more authentic, and recommended. 

3/4 tsp  Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos or Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch 


  • In a small saucepan add all of the ingredients except arrowroot starch.
  • Let simmer on medium heat until it begins to boil.  Stir occasionally.
  • Remove 3 Tbsp of sauce from the pan and place into a small bowl.  Whisk in arrowroot starch. Add arrowroot mixture back into saucepan that is slowly boiling.
  • Stir until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Pour into an airtight container.  Refrigerate.
  • (Not sure how long this will keep in the refrigerator.  I used it the next day.)

For those who don't want a seafood influence I found this recipe at
I haven't tried it but you could also make this soy free and corn free by using the following adaptions:

1/2 -1 slice of ginger grated
2 Tbsp  Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos or GF Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
1-1/2 Tbsp water
Add all the ingredients together and microwave it for 30 seconds.  ( I think I would prefer to simmer it on the stove and add the arrowroot at the end, like above.)
Ingredients in the clam juice.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Everything Bread Dough Revisited

Recently Allergy Mother of Three wrote in asking if my Everything GF Bread Dough could be made without using a bread machine.  
The answer is yes! 
I decided to try some alterations besides just using a stand mixer.  I also decided to try my favorite all purpose gluten free flour, Better Batter.  It already has xanthan gum, so I omitted it when I made the bread.  I also omitted the dough enhancer and had great success. 
Below is the original recipe with the directions for using a stand mixer.  This time I made small pita bread rounds. 

Wet ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons canola oil

Dry Ingredients:
1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon dough enhancer (optional)
2-1/2 teaspoon yeast


  • In a stand mixer pour 1/2 cup warm water and sprinkle on yeast.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, sugar, and salt. 
  • Fit stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Add egg replacer, oil, and the remaining 1/2 cup of the water to the yeast.  Mix on low, and slowly add flour mixture. 
  • Beat for 3 minutes on high.  

  • Shape the dough into small flat bread rounds (or flat rectangles for flat bread). 
Brushed with an herbed garlic oil, sea salt, and rosemary.

  • Let rise for 15 minutes in a warm draft free place.
  • Bake at 350 ˚ F for 15 minutes or until done.  


Free Box of Better Batter Brownies this Friday - Feb 10, 2012

I saw this in my Better Batter Newsletter this week and wanted to share!

Free Brownie Friday - February 10thHave you been waiting for the right time to try out ourFudge Brownie Mix? It doesn't get more right than Free Brownie Friday! This Friday (February 10), simply place a package of brownie mix in your cart at and use the code "FreeBrownieFriday21012" at checkout to get $7.50 off your order. Shipping charges will still apply. Your cart may also include any additional items, but only your first box of brownies will be discounted.

Yeah!  What a great way to check out their brownie Mix!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cake Swirled Brownie - Gluten Free Dairy Free Egg Free

A simple, quick dessert that is a real no brainer.
 Mix up your favorite cake and brownie mix.
Swirl and bake! And Viola!  Dessert!

Mix up your cake batter and fudge brownie mix according to the package.
First, spread your brownie mix in your pan.  
Drop about five dollops or so atop the batter.
You will have left over cake batter.  
Swirl with a knife, back and forth and all around. 
Bake at 350˚ for about 15-20 minutes, or until done.
The toothpick should could clean.
The cake looks like peanut butter doesn't it?
Slice and serve.  Wish I had had ice cream.  
Super Yum!

*Cook's Note:  I used Ener-G Egg Replacer to replace the eggs in the cake mix. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Decadent Soap for a real Foodie - Perfect for Valentine's Day!

I love to support my farmer's market and other local companies that hand craft their products.
I happened upon Vizzn Soap Company right here in my back yard in Spotsylvania.
The owner Nichole makes all her soaps, a tradition passed down from her mother.  How cool! 

I tried a sample pack of Vizzn Soap and oh my!  This stuff was wonderful!
 It didn't hurt that her soaps look like scrumptious desserts either!

Look at these yummy pictures of her soaps:
Vanilla Cupcake Silky Sweet Slice

That slice of soap looks so real!

Lemon Pound Cake Slice
 What a beautiful soap!  At least it wouldn't add calories to my waistline.

Vizzn soap also carries soaps and salts for detoxifying and sore muscles.
Here is just one: 
Clean Fight Detoxifying Body Soap
This soap has activated charcoal, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils.

I could go on and on about the uniqueness and beautiful products she produces but lets peek at the ingredients.

In my sample pack there was:

Plain Jane soap - distilled water, coconut oil, palm oil, rice bran oil, olive oil, sodium hydroxide and doesn't contain any fragrance or color.  This one is perfect for those sensitive to fragrance or color.  Even without fragrance or color, this soap has its own refreshing smell.  

Silky Sweet Soap - distilled water, coconut oil, palm oil, rice bran oil, olive oil, sodium hydroxide, cosmetic grade colorants, silk, fragrance oil.   

These soaps were fantastic.  It left a light fragrance without being over powering.
If you want to put together a beautiful Valentine's Day gift, check out her website at
And to think these chocolate slices are soap!
And what about the prices?  The prices are very competitive with other hand crafted soaps (I checked out the prices and compared it to other handcrafted soap on Amazon) and they accept Paypal.

I am going to order a cake slice and put it on a white dessert plate in my guest bathroom!
It will add a beautiful touch!