Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wegman's Gluten Free Product Review - Brownie Mix

If you have a Wegman's near you, then you probably have heard that they started their own line of gluten free products.

To promote their new product in our area, they gave out coupons for FREE  gluten free products!
I picked up their elbow pasta
and their double chocolate  brownie mix!

Of course I had to review their brownies first.  Pasta seems so blah next to chocolate!
Here is what is in the mix in case you have multiple allergies.

The brownie mix was  pretty standard.  It called for adding butter and eggs.
I opted to add oil instead of butter to cut out the dairy.  

A little different from most gluten free brownie mixes is the packet of soy free dairy free chocolate chunks.  You partially melt these with the butter (oil).   Then you add the melted chocolate to the mix.
Reminds me of the Duncan Hines Double Fudge Brownie mix with their packets.  

You will notice that the batter was extremely thick, like a heavy paste.

I added a few nuts because I love nutty brownies.
 I baked it according to the package, being sure not to over bake them.

They were delicious!  Oh my, they were good!!!  
If you are just gluten free these brownies are worth it!  They cost $3.49 here, which is a very competitive price and actually comes in lower than many other brownie mixes.  
  It was super yum!

The Report Card

Yum Factor (taste):  A
Texture: A
Price: A
Ease to make: A 

Definitely worth buying!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you to all you are serving
 and those who have died for our freedom.  
God bless you all!

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Better Batter Ingredients - An Update on presence of corn in the xanthan gum

I love Better Batter and I use it all the time. 
  I wanted to post this update about it containing corn. 
 Brandsmom from my GFCF yahoo posted this letter from 
Better Batter about corn being present in the xanthan gum ? 
 Check out their response below:

Please read below for our statement about corn in our products and
xanthan gum in our product:

Enclosed you will find our statement on Xanthan Gum - this statement
guide should be helpful to you both in determining if our product is
appropriate for your needs and in general knowledge for other products
utilizing xanthan gum.

Here is the information about the xanthan gum used in our products.
Xanthan Gum is present in all formulations produced by Better Batter.

We are also including information about other potential corn presence
our products:

If you have any further questions after reading our statement, please
free to ask!


Our current supplier predominately uses sugar beets in the growth
of the xanthan gum. However according to their representatives "from
to time, corn is used as the growth medium,, dependent on time of year
beet-sugar availability." Our supplier does not *guarantee* sugar beet
only production at any time, as this is dependent on avalability.

Here is the information received from our supplier regarding xanthan
from corn:

"Our xanthan gum is classified as 'corn free' according to US Federal
regulatory guidelines."

Further from the producer:

Xanthan gum derived from corn is not derived from a corn source with
protein content, but is instead derived from corn-dextrose. Corn
a highly refined product, contains no protein. The gum, once grown, is
further refined. No trace proteins remain. This process is similar to
distillation of alcohol or vinegar from gluten-containing grains
(distilled products have been declared safe by all reputable celiac
certifying agencies and medical establishments).

Information received from our supplier lists this product as protein
demonstrating no protein content. The manufacturer of our xanthan gum
indicated that this is a completely protein free product and should be
labeled corn free. Third Party Lab tests have historically confirmed
presence of any form of protein in the gum.

Anecdotally, Our many corn sensitive customers have reported no
to using our product over the course of 5 years.

Please note: Although our all-purpose flour and pancake mixes can be
classified as corn-free, we do not *guarantee* free-of status for
derivation from corn because our supplier does not guarantee it will
always provide sugar beet derived xanthan gum. You will need to use
discretion when deciding whether these products are appropriate
for your needs.

NOTE: Our brownie mix contains cornstarch and would not be appropriate
your needs.

We are federally certified with a very strict HAACP program for the
prevention of cross contamination of all allergens.

Warmest Regards,
The Staff at Better Batter

Monday, May 14, 2012

Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Shreds-Product Review

Whenever I hear about a new cheese on the market I wonder, will it really taste like cheese, or will it become like a pile of dried hard twigs on my pizza.  
I have had that happen!

Then I tasted Daiya Cheese.  It melted and didn't turn into hard sticks when baked.
Now, there is a new cheese in town.
It's dairy free, casein free, and soy free!
Totally a big deal for our family because we have a child that is soy free and we
didn't have a suitable cheese substitute.

This new cheese is from Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Mozzarella and Mexican Style Shreds.
  The most important cheese test questions must be asked:
Does it melt?
It sure does!  
Does it stretch?
Yep.  It does what I call short stretches.  
Nothing will ever do those long stretches like real cheese.
Does it taste good?
It does!  

I received two bags of cheese to test in my kitchen.
The first thing I made was lasagna.
Look at the way it melted on that tomato sauce!
Yum!  And I got nine others who would back me up on that.

I made cheese on toast
(as it was so affectionately called in my house growing up.  Everyone else calls it cheese bread.)
This cheese made the perfect toast,  just brush the bread with garlic oil before adding the cheese.

The Verdict: 

This cheese is great as a component in a dish, but don't be shy to let it shine as a main ingredient.
This cheese has great taste and melts soft and smooth.  
 I also used this cheese to make loaded nachos, and mac and cheese and they both turned out fabulous.
And if any of you out there were bummed because you read all those great reviews and recipes that used Daiya, don't pout any longer.  This cheese is the perfect replacement for those of you who can't use Daiya's shreds because of soy. 

Here's our Report Card:
Taste: A
Melting: A
Compares to other dairy free cheese: Excellent

Move over Daiya Cheese, this cheese offers great taste without the soy!
Cheers for those of us that are soy free!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homemade Gluten Free Tortillas

We cannot look toward Cinco de Mayo without tortillas!
Tortillas are great for so many dishes...  enchilada casseroles,
 taco salads, burritos, soft tacos and more. 
 I couldn't resist tweaking this homemade flour tortilla recipe.

2 cups GF all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup water

In a medium bowl mix flour, salt, and add shortening.

With a fork, cut in the shortening.

Add the water and mix until the dough comes together.  
I ended up using my hands to bring the dough together.

Pinch off dough and roll into balls.  
Roll each ball out with a rolling pin on a Silpat Mat.
.(if the dough sticks flour the surface and rolling pin well.)

I don't mind ragged edges, but if you want a perfectly round tortilla,
 you can use the plastic lid of a #10 can.
The size of a coffee can lid.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.  
Place on a hot skillet and cook until it is lightly brown and bubbles. 
It takes about 1-2 minutes per side.

Place cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer.

Roll out and cook the remaining tortillas.

I like to cut mine into strips after they are cooked,

 and deep fry them for 1 minute.

Use them as the base for a taco salad.