Friday, February 25, 2011

Product Review: Enjoy Life Soft Baked Cookies

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Cookies
From left to right: Double Chocolate Brownie, Lively Lemon, Snickerdoodle

Free of wheat, gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish products!

Double Chocolate Brownie
Sorghum Flour, Brown Pure Cane Sugar, Date Paste, Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/orSunflower Oil), Juice Concetrates (Grape, Apple, Pear), Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Liquor, Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter), Water, Natural Process Cocoa Powder, Natural Rice Dextrin, Vanilla, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Rosemary Extract.

Lively Lemon
Sorghum Flour, Brown Pure Cane Sugar, Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower and/or Sunflower), Juice Concentrates (Grape, Apple, Pear), Lemon Granules (Evaporated Can Juice, Rice Flour, Rice Syrup, Non-Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Tumeric Concentrate, Salt), Date Paste, Unsweetened Applesauce (Water, Apples), Natural Rice Dextrin, Ground Flaxseed, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Natural Lemon Flavors, Water, Salt, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Sorghum Flour, Brown Pure Cane Sugar, Date Paste, Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil), Juice Concentrates (Grape, Apple, Pear), Natural Rice Dextrin, Water, Ground Flaxseed, Vanilla, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Cinnamon, Rosemary Extract.

Overall Score
Five out of five stars!

I sampled three of the flavors available - Double Chocolate Brownie, Lively Lemon, and Snickerdoodle. All three were perfection! The Double Chocolate Brownie tasted like a delectable bite of brownie freshly cooled from the oven, complete with little tidbits of yummy chocolate chunks. The Lively Lemon were a perfect balance of tangy fresh lemony flavor and just-sweet-enough. These almost tasted like they were soaked in fresh lemon juice and would be a wonderful complement to a hot cup of tea on a snowy day, or a frosty glass of iced tea (with mint, of course!) on a hot summer's day. The Snickerdoodles tasted just like I remembered from my childhood - sweet and vanilla-y, with more than a hint of cinnamon that was just enough- a glass of milk is all one needs to feel content. Interestingly, there is sorghum flour in these cookies, and even though I don't care for it, I had no idea it was there! Hands down, five stars! BC

Enjoy Life does it again! Creating great-tasting snacks that take "allergy friendly" to a whole new level! My favorite is the Double Chocolate Brownie which, at 65 calories per cookie, is the perfect afternoon snack, lunchbox addition or light dessert! Chocolatey with little pockets of chocolate chip deliciousness! KG

Of the three cookies the best, texture-wise was, for me, the Lively Lemon (although trying to decide between those and the Double Chocolate Brownie was next to impossible). Now, Snickerdoodles will forever be etched in my mind as a more flat cookie with crisp edges and soft centers, so these were different that what I am used to, but it was nothing the taste didn't make up for! Overall, the textures for the three flavors was consistently excellent - moist, tender crumb, and virtually indistinguishable from cookies made with wheat flour. The texture of these cookies is something professional and home bakers alike can strive to achieve. BC

Soft and just the right amount of chewy, these cookies are the perfect soft-baked bite of dessert. The Brownie is just as a little brownie bite should be; the Lively Lemon is packed with little chunks of sweet and tangy lemon. KG

A nicely sized 6 oz. box of cookies won't last long enough for storage to be an issue, but if you purchase them by the case like I just might, the boxes are small, and the inner wrapper keeps the product utterly fresh. Also, Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chip (which we didn't review here) come in individual serving-sized 2-cookie pouches to send in school lunches or to toss in purses or backpacks - a great idea for what will sure to be a much sought after treat! BC

The perfect sized cookies in an easy to store shelf-stable package, as Becky reminds us, the Snickerdoodles are also available in two-by-two packs for school lunches, taking to the office, etc. KG

Widely available in grocery stores across the U.S. and Canada, Enjoy Life also has a convenient website that makes online ordering a breeze!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Perfectly paired with our hot sandwich recipes featuring Udi's Gluten Free Bread and some really unique flavors! With winter weather still being felt across the nation, warm up and hunker down with the ultimate comfort foods...

Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 pounds mushrooms, reserve 4 mushrooms and chop the rest
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 shallots, minced
5 cups cream
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon chives, minced
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

Select and set aside 4 nice looking mushrooms for garnish.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add chopped mushrooms and shallots to the pan and saute for 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cream and stir, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 more minutes.

Transfer small batches of soup to a food processor and puree. Return to the pan and add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Reheat the soup. Cut the reserved mushrooms into 1/4" slices and toss them in the lemon juice. Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with mushroom slices, chives and parsley. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Granola - #1 Gluten Free! voted by Real Simple Magazine in their February issue! They taste-tested over 91 varieties of granola and selected ours as the winner in the Gluten Free category - wahoo! Check out the whole review here.

Available in 3 flavors (Cranberry Cashew, Apple Almond and Raisin Almond), our granola now has nationwide distribution - check out our Store Locator to find a retailer near you (or of course, order through!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Product Review: Sof'ella All-Purpose Baking Mix

Sof'ella Sour Cream Coffee Cake
The Review

White Rice Flour, Navy Bean Flour, Cornstarch, Tapioca Starch, Vanilla Powder (Dextrose, Vanilla Bean Extractives), Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum.

Overall Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

I made pancakes, a much anticipated treat, and the first I'd tasted since going gluten free. Plain with no "trimmings" the pancakes had a definite aftertaste which I believe can be accounted for by the inclusion of navy bean flour. The vanilla powder flavoring counteracted the aftertaste a bit, but not enough to completely mask it. A pat of butter and some maple syrup helped the palatability, but the after-taste was still present, no matter what I tried (and I tried three different flavors of jam after the syrup). I'm not sure this would be my first choice of mix when making pancakes or waffles, but it's an alternative when something else isn't handy. Of course the navy bean flour contains terrific nutritional value, so each cook will need to decide what's most important. BC

For this review, I prepared both pancakes and a Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe included with the mix. For the pancakes, I did notice a distinct aftertaste- but promptly did away with it by including (a lot of) chocolate chips. Whoops. The taste is not overpowering and for me, it wasn't even that distracting (so maybe my chocolate chip to pancake ratio was a little high) but still... they were pretty good! And, as Becky reminds us, Navy Bean flour is a really healthy ingredient and, much like flax, I can handle a little healthy getting in the way of my pancake inhaling erm, eating...

As for the coffee cake, the taste was hardly noticeable! There was a bit of a taste, but I'm 99% sure it was from my nutmeg and not the mix -- similar incident a few recipes ago. Either way, the coffee cake had no such aftertaste but could use a little bit more brown sugar in the crumb topping. Maybe not the best coffee cake I've ever tasted EVER, but perfect for a short-notice breakfast or brunch! KG

WOW - the pancakes I made cooked up exactly like those made with wheat flour! They were moist, light but dense (who knew that was possible?) and cooked like a dream. As they were cooking, the pancakes even filled with little bubbles that popped as they were cooking, just like the pancakes from my old-style cooking days. My mother's rule of thumb was always five bubbles popped and they were ready to turn, and I'll be darned if that wasn't the case here as well! Lightly browned, moist and tender - a great texture overall! BC

Pancakes - epic! Fluffy and light and bubbly and deep enough to wrap my chocolate chips in a nice big hug - I would call this a win. The coffee cake was unbelievably moist without being dense (see photo above) - with air pockets and crumbs and awesome baked in a cake pan. KG

Inside the box is an inner paper bag to preserve freshness, and this is handy for easy re-sealing. The box holds 1 lb., or approximately 3 1/3 cups of mix, so there's enough for several weekends' worth of pancakes or waffles. BC

Amen! But the package is kind of disappointingly small... with only 3 1/3 cups in the whole box, you can only really make one recipe + pancakes/waffles with a single box...KG

Available through the Sof'ella website for both commercial and wholesale orders. Also available in some specialty food markets nationwide with a growing distribution weekly!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Eggs Benedict

This week's featured recipe is Eggs Benedict, the foundation for the perfect brunch for two -- or ten!

Eggs Benedict
Serves 4
8 slices of gluten free french bread, toasted**
8 thick slices of gluten free ham, precooked and warmed
8 poached eggs
Hollandaise sauce

Prepare gluten free hollandaise. Place 2 pieces of toast on each plate. Lay one piece of warm ham and 1 poached egg on each piece of toast. Spoon hollandaise sauce equally over each portion. Serve immediately.

Hollandaise Sauce
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
White pepper

Cook egg yolks and 1/3 of the butter in the top of a double boiler, stirring rapidly over boiling water until butter melts. Add 1/3 more of the butter, stirring rapidly. Continue process until all of the butter is melted; the mixture will thicken. Stir constantly.

Remove pan from water, stir in lemon juice, 1 tsp at a time. Stir in a dash of salt and pepper. Heat again over boiling water, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. If sauce curdles, beat in 1-2 Tbsp boiling water.


**Have some gluten free french bread prepared. Cut diagonal slices and toast. OR use slices of Udi's Gluten Free Bread OR Kinnickinick English Muffins - yum!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu Monday: Quick Weeknight Meal

Happy Valentine's Day from Glutenfreeda!! For ideas for tonight's special meal, be sure to read last week's post! This week we are featuring a quick and easy weeknight menu, ready to please the whole family - picky eaters included!

On the menu...
Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops with Shallots & Mushrooms (pictured, above)
Champ (Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions)
Blanched Green Beans
Chocolate Cups (pictured, right)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hale's Kitchen: Hunter's Valentine Lava Cakes

This month, Glutenfreeda's budding young chef Hunter Hale shows us how to make Chocolate Lava Cakes, just in time for Valentine's Day! Perfect single-serving desserts, these decadent cakes come together as easy as pie and are a great way to impress and pamper that special someone this weekend!

Chocolate Lava Cake

2 oz. semi-sweet gf chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream

For cake
Unsalted butter or gf non-stick cooking spray for ramekins
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup gluten free flour mix (we love Jules All-Purpose Blend)
Fresh strawberries for garnish


Add chocolate and whipping cream to the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until all is melted and blended. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill. When chilled, scoop chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula and form into 6- 1" balls.

Place balls in a small bowl and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray 6 ramekins with gf non-stick cooking spray.
Add 4 oz. chopped chocolate and butter to the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until melted and blended; remove from heat. Add eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla to a medium bowl and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until pale and thick. Fold melted chocolate and flour into egg mixture until all is blended.

Spoon batter into ramekins. Place 1 chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin. Gently press ball to bottom of ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a small knife along the edge of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Top each lava cake with sliced strawberries. Serve immediately.

**For an even easier option, use store-bought gluten-free chocolate truffles in the flavor of your choosing and simply press into the batter as you would our chocolate centers!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Coffee Mousse

The perfect make-ahead Valentine's Day (or any occasion) dessert, these chocolatey, espresso infused mousse cups are rich and decadent! With just the right ratio of chocolate to coffee, these dessert cups can be dressed to impress with whipped cream and chocolate curls, with enough caffeine to get you through the evening, without being up until the crack of dawn.

Chocolate Coffee Mousse

6 ounces gluten free bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons coffee
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla flavoring
3 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons coffee
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold heavy cream whipped cream
1 ounce gluten free semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated for garnish

Heat 1 inch water in a large skillet over low heat until bubbles form along the bottom; adjust the heat to maintain the water at this temperature. Combine 6 ounces of gluten free chocolate, unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons coffee or water, and gluten free vanilla in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in the water bath and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the water and set aside.

Whisk egg yolks, 3 tablespoons coffee, and 3 tablespoons sugar together thoroughly in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in the water bath and, whisking constantly, heat the mixture until thick and puffy, like marshmallow sauce. Remove from the water bath and whisk thoroughly into the melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until the peaks are stiff. Using a large rubber spatula, stir one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites.

In another bowl, beat 1/2 cup cold heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Gently but thoroughly fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Turn mousse 6- to 8-ounce individual cups.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream. If you wish, sprinkle with 1 ounce grated gluten free chocolate.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Product Review: Better Batter Brownie Mix

In addition to bringing you a brand-spanking-new product review this week, I would also like to introduce you to our new format! Instead of our traditional style - i.e. one person reviewing a given product each month to be published in the magazine and shared with our readers - we have decided on an innovative new approach: two reviewers taste-testing a different product each week! You all know me, Kelsey, as your blog mistress and product-reviewer, but now you will also have the chance to hear from Rebecca Collins as we share a new review each week!

Kelsey Ganes, 2010A little bit more about me...
I'm a 20-something college grad, living gluten free for almost 8 years (wow, has it really been that long?!) who has always had a passion for food & cooking and a recent interest in food photography. I have been with Glutenfreeda, unofficially, for a few years now and officially your e-mistress (blogger, Facebook-er & Twitter-er) for six months - I am passionate about our company (of course!) and the world of gluten free living in general. I live in the Seattle area, a great hotspot for gluten free activity (many of you may know Shauna aka gluten free girl, another Seattleite) which has, in no small way, impacted my world view.

A little bit more about Rebecca (Becky) Collins...
I'm a gluten-free mom to a gluten-free teenager, who lives in rural
upstate New York. I come from a family of foodies - there are even a
few professional chefs tossed into the mix - but none are gluten free.
While they watch in fascination, I've been exploring the gluten free
world with growing enthusiasm, and my passion for good food (in every
sense of what "good" means) has been a steep learning curve, with a
growing number of successes in the kitchen. I'm helped greatly by
some great new product lines, and a huge wonderful network of gluten
free friends, and I love being able to share what I've learned so I
might be able to bring good food to some more gluten free tables!

Better Batter Brownies

The Review

As always, Better Batter comes through with an authentic-tasting product! Rich and chocolatey, but not too much of either - no strange aftertastes (you know what I'm talking about...), nothing but pure brownie deliciousness! I even took a half-pan down to my coworkers and while everyone agreed they weren't "quite like normal", they were gone within the hour with rave reviews! KG

It was virtually impossible to tell the difference between
wheat-based brownie mixes, and Better Batter’s. The infamous “gluten free
aftertaste” was nonexistent. A gluten-eating family member ate the
majority of the pan before he asked, “Uh, is this gluten free?” when
he realized I was eating them, too! These are even comparable to a
scratch recipe batch of brownies from an old cookbook I used before
going gluten free – truly delicious! BC

So, I followed the directions for cake-like brownies (one more egg, basically) and they came out just as I had hoped. Brilliant direction-reader that I am, I ended up using a too-big baking pan and they came out a little thin, but perfectly cooked, moist and delicious! My only, albeit quite minor, complaint is that they stuck to the bottom of the pan despite ample greasing and I felt like a good percentage of chocolate-goodness was stuck to my pan and spatula rather than my fingers! KG

I followed directions for the chewy brownies, rather than
the cake-like ones. I used two eggs, and baked following the
directions on the box to the tiniest detail. They cooked up
perfectly, with soft-but-crispy edges, and a deliciously moist and
chewy center. There was no grit typical of some gf mixes, and the
texture matched the taste – perfection. BC

Shelf-stable as always, the box is a little on the large size (though not inappropriately so), but storage is no different than any other cake or brownie mix. KG

This mix is in a box similar in size to a typical brownie mix
– easy storage, even if purchased by the case, which I plan to do next
time, since they’re so yummy, and since gluttony reigns when these
brownies come out of the oven. BC

Better Batter is available in some specialty and grocery
stores nationwide, and through the Better Batter website. While store
availability is still growing, the best place to be sure to purchase
the mix is through the website (check the website for stores in your
local area). Because of its popularity and deliciousness, however, it
is sometimes out of stock! BC

Menu Mondays: Valentine's Day Dinner

Enjoy the most romantic evening of the year at home with this year's Valentine's Day menu, featuring a few favorite, romantic recipes for a flawless evening.

On the Menu...
Green Apples with Crème Fraiche & Smoked Trout
Mixed Greens with Gorgonzola Herb Dressing
Filet Mignon with Sauteed Mushrooms & Port Sauce (pictured above)
Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
Asparagus & Leeks
Chocolate Crème Brulee with Caramelized Bananas (pictured, right)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks the beginning of the most important Chinese holiday - the lunisolar New Year. Lasting for 15 days, this annual festival begins on the first day of the new month and ends with the Lantern Festival, welcoming spring. With themes of happiness, wealth and longevity, this is a very family-oriented holiday featuring beloved traditional recipes. Here are our interpretations of some of these classic dishes....

Peking Duck
Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls (pictured above)
Fried Mushroom & Leek Spring Rolls (pictured at right)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

With spring right around the corner, fresh asparagus is cropping up in grocery stores across the country! With the subtle sweetness of the cream cheese and the saltiness of the prosciutto, every part of this recipe accentuates the bright flavor and crisp texture of fresh asparagus.

Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

4 ounces whipped gf cream cheese
24 asparagus spears, cut to 3" from tip of spear and blanched
1 clove of roasted garlic
Pinch of fresh ground pepper
12 slices of proscuitto, cut in half crosswise

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic and pepper. Mix well.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread cream cheese mixture on each slice of proscuitto. Wrap a proscuitto slice around the center of two asparagus spears. The cream cheese mixture will allow the proscuitto to stick to itself nicely. Place each bundle on a baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Roasting Garlic: Cut about 1/4" off the top of a head of garlic to expose the cloves. Rub head all over with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

For the best presentation, select small to medium spears.