Monday, February 19, 2018

Spiked Seltzers Gluten Free and some New To Me Ciders

I was excited to see the Spiked Seltzer water trend starting to gain some ground, mostly because a lot of them are gluten free. For once it's an alcoholic canned beverage that is not a malted beverage at heart! They aren't overly sweet and even a bit dry, they make great mixers or even just on their own. Check these out next time you're heading to the bar, or game night at a friends house!

Honestly these come down to flavor preference I've noticed, the all have rather the same taste profile otherwise, there isn't a huge difference, and what's great, They're All Gluten Free!!!

Truly - I haven't found the blood orange yet, but colima lime is tasty!
White Claw - My favorite is the black cherry, but that one fits more in my flavor pallet. 
Shell House Spiked Seltzer Water Trader Joe's - Only two flavors got pomegranate to try, it's ok, and cheaper than the others on the market.
Bravazzi - This was interesting as it's a spiked Italian Soda. It's more fizzy and flavorful, and honestly this one is the flavor winner for me. 



The other one upping their game is the cider manufacturers with new flavors. The Rose trend has hit cider and it makes me happy! Cider for me tends to be sweet and taste like apple juice... I like the flavored ones, and these hit the mark for me. One thing I noticed when I was in Southwest Michigan last year is how many wineries are now making flavored ciders! I was trying as much cider as I was wine. 
2 Fools Cider is "local" to Chicago, being produce in Indiana. 
Blake's Hard Ciders are "local" and from Michigan, they're great cause they too have flavors other than plain apple, and they are unique in flavor and taste. 
Angry Orchard is great cause you're bound to find it in quite a few places and markets. It's the most common to find when dinning out or traveling. I do like them a LOT better than Woodchuck Ciders or even most of the Ace Ciders. But they're all options you can find gluten free!


 


Keep in mind These are Hard Ciders, Not Cider Beers. Cider Beers like Redd's Apple Ale ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE! Nor or most of the Hard Root Beer or Hard Soda's Like Henry's Hard Soda. They are malted beverages, and not gluten free.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tata's Perogi's Gluten Free Polish Food!

Being mostly Polish we'd indulge on some Perogi's and Paczki's every so often, especially when Lent would roll around each year. Perogi's were the hardest for me to give up, they were so tasty and had so many options, plus it was the strongest connection to my "culture" that I had for Polish Food. I was so excited when I saw an ad for Gluten Free Perogi's. I honestly didn't believe it at first. So I went in specifically to question them on if this was true information. I was so delighted to find out it really was!

Tata's Perogi Opened in 2016 in Elk Grove Village, I discovered them towards the end of the summer 2017. After talking with them about gluten free, what flavors they had, I brought a bag of frozen ones home. You'd have thought I was bringing home a bag of gold, I called my dad to tell him, I called my brother, I posted it on Facebook and told all my local GF friends where I got them, needless to say, I was excited! I made them the way my family always made perogi's fried with a lot of butter. They didn't disappoint! 

A few months went by, and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and wedding planning we didn't get over there until recently again, when I had a long rough week at work and wanted comfort food, I convinced my fiance we'd go pick up food to go. He got a Gluten-full perogi sampler, and I got a Polish sampler with the perogi's sausage and potato pancakes, and some extra potato pancakes on the side. It was Heaven in a to go container! Not only was it delicious but it made me feel much better and less stressed out. 


For me the great part is we'd always do Perogi's for Friday's in Lent since we're not big "Fish eaters". So I can go back to enjoying Friday's in Lent and get some Potato and Cheese perogi's and some potato pancakes and be happy! The restaurant itself is a small "dive" with about 10 tables, cute decor and lots of Polish food options. I've made my parents curious to check it out. It's hard finding good Polish food, but especially in the suburbs, and Tata's is spot on for me. With flavor options, and menu choices they get 4 dragonflies from me for variety, and amazing food.~


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Quick Chicken 1 Pan Dish

This was so easy to make, I'm shocked I didn't think of this sooner. Great quick 1 pan dish for dinner. Feel free to add other ingredients for other tweaks. Spinach is a good extra to add to this as well.

Ingredients: 
1lb Chicken Breasts
1 teaspoon of Chopped Garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
Dash Paprika
1/4th Brick of Cream Cheese
1 Cup chopped Mushrooms
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Directions: 
Grill the chicken so it's fully cooked. While the chicken is grilling, saute the mushrooms with the garlic and vegetable oil. Once the chicken is cooked, add the chicken to the pan with the mushrooms and garlic, add the Onion powder and paprika to the pan and cook until fragrant. Chop the cream cheese into smaller cubes and place in the pan with the chicken and mushrooms. Stir until all the cream cheese is melted and well mixed up. You can add more cream cheese if needed for more "sauce". I also tend to mix  this up with different seasonings depending what flavor I'm looking for that day.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Here is a great, dump and go casserole for after work. I made this the first time and didn't add much seasoning, the 2nd time I spiced it up. What's great is you can add any savory seasonings of your choice. Finding good gluten free cream soups, heck gluten free cream soups in general are impossible. I used Imagine broccoli cream soup this time. You will need a 9x13 baking dish and some foil for baking. It seems like a lot to make this, but it's really not.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs chopped raw chicken
1 Cup uncooked rice
1/2 a brick of cream cheese
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar cheese
1 Bag frozen broccoli 
16 oz Cream soup
1/2 Cup Water 
1 Teaspoon garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
Dash Onion Powder
Dash cayenne pepper 
Cooking Spray


Directions:
First off spray the bottom of your pan with Pam (Or like spray) Pam Original, (non-baking spray) is gluten free. Next you want to chop up your chicken, and set it aside. Mix the cream soup, cream cheese and water together and pour into the casserole dish. Next place the chicken, rice and broccoli in the dish and mix it up real good. Add in your seasonings, plus any others you like to add to chicken. Next mix in the cheddar cheese and sprinkle the top with any extra. Make sure to cover Tightly with foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour. After popping this in the oven I decided to do my workout/yoga session, I had 60 minutes to spare!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Gluten Free Empanadas


I love these, but they are time consuming from both finding the mix to making them. But they are super tasty and everyone asks for them come the holidays so I’m going to try and make time to make these more often thru the year. They do freeze well so you can stock up on these and bake as needed. You can choose pretty much any filling for these, I like steak and green pepper with mozzarella, buffalo chicken with blue cheese or spinach and mushroom with cheddar.

Ingredients- Dough:
2-3 boxes of Chebe Focaccia Mix.
2 TBS olive oil,
4 TBS milk
1 cups strong shredded cheese (Like cheddar or similar)
2 large eggs

Filling & Directions:
You choose, I like canned chicken, shredded with Franks Buffalo Sauce for quick recipes. Steak and peppers using Steak-Um’s and diced peppers. Prepare the filling and place off to the side to cool so it’s easier to handle. I put a pinch of whatever cheese at the bottom and place more filling on that, and fold over to seal and close off the ends with a fork.

Prepare the dough based on instructions on the box. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a large cookie cutter, or large cup to create a circle piece of dough. Slightly flatten with your hands before you place filling on one side of the circle, so that you can seal them in half moon shapes. 

Freeze until you’re ready to consume, or bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. If frozen, bake for an additional 15 minutes or until they look nice and crispy. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Gluten Free in Vegas, Again!


Another Successful trip to Vegas! I have to say I love visiting Vegas, for more than gambling. Though I’m starting to gamble more and more on each trip, I love how there is so much to do in one area. This year was a bit rougher since I sprained my ankle pretty bad a couple weeks back, but I was hobbling along pretty good at this point.


We had several very tasty meals and found more places that we ended up loving after this trip. My first was making sure I got some In-N-Out Burger! Now that they are on the strip (Linq promenade) we could make it there w/o an Uber. Their protein style burger (Wrapped in lettuce) and Fries Animal style were so good. Greasy and bad for you, yes. But TASTY! I ate there 3 times all together on our trip, the 3rd time my fiancĂ© asked if we could go back because it was so good the first time we went (the 2nd time I went w/o him). While Wahlburgers is close by too, In-N-Out is quicker for ordering and eating. The last time we went to Wahlburgers it was a 45 minute wait for lunch at 1:00! We really wanted Quicker food this time. 


Yardbird Southern Table and Bar is located inside the Palazzo in restaurant row (Between the Venetian Casino and Palazzo entrance). There is no separate menu for gluten free, but I talked to the gal at the counter and our waitress, for the scoop. They have a separate fryer for the Gluten Free Fried Chicken! Yes Fried Chicken! They also have several GF appetizers and side dishes. The chicken was so good and crispy, and a huge serving. You get 4 pieces for chicken, that with Brussels sprouts and Farmers cheese with Watermelon I felt like you’d have to roll me out of there, it was all so good! It does take about 30 minutes to make so go early, you’re going to be there a while.


Grand Lux CafĂ© in the Venetian & Palazzo. We were meeting friends there, and couldn’t find them. Turns out there are 2 locations to this restaurant, in sister hotels. One in the Palazzo the other in the Venetian, so confusing but very tasty. We ate at the one in the Venetian both times, it’s right at the back of the casino. Their menu has designations next to the gluten free dishes and they have everything from breakfast to late night options. We ended up eating her before our flight home the last day as well as had dinner a couple nights earlier. Both times the servers were very knowledgeable about gluten free substitutes. 



One night we opted to do something different and went for Chinese food. I read several shining star reviews of Wazuzu in Encore, so we decided to check it out. It wasn’t a huge menu for gluten free, but it had a few options we liked, like Sweet and Sour Chicken and Panang Curry Chicken. We split both and got a couple sides of brown rice. OMG SO TASTY! This totally hit the spot and made us happy. It’s located right on the Casino floor and was not busy, so we got right in on a Friday night at 7:00. It probably helps that Encore is further away from all the hustle and bustle of the main part of the strip. I totally recommend checking it out. 

At the Airport I wanted to grab a snack, I'm glad I did as our flight had some issues getting out and we sat on the tarmac for some time before they figured out stuff. That had our plane coming in to Chicago after 9:00 and for where we live, after all the quick eat places close. I found this box of Cheese, grapes and crackers. The crackers unfortunately are Gluten-ful, BUT wrapped in their own packaging making this safe for me to eat. I gave the crackers to my gluten eating travel partner while I ate my own crackers with the cheese and grapes.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Wine Gummies!

This is a new party favorite of mine, and it's pretty easy to make! I got some Lego silicone ice cube trays for Christmas. So I used those this time. I do have a kit for making Snoopy gummies that I've used previously also. The one thing I wish I did have for these is an eye dropper to make this less messy, but a deep ladle of a spoon works too. 


Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Wine of your choice.
2.5 TableSpoons (or 2.5 packets) of Knox Gelatin
1/4 cup white Sugar

Directions: 
Place 1/2 cup of wine in a sauce pan, and heat on medium heat. Be sure wine gets warm, but does not boil. While wine is warming pour in the gelatin mix, being sure to whisk the entire time so the gelatin doesn't start to clump while pouring in.
Once all the gelatin is mixed in and dissolved into the wine mixture, start slowly adding in the sugar, again maintain whisking the mixture so the sugar doesn't clump. Keep doing this until the liquid is clear again and not clumped with sugar. 
Some more sparkling wines will get a foamy residue at the top, that's fine, that will show up in your item but doesn't change the taste. 
Once your liquid is clear not cloudy, turn off the heat and quickly spoon the mix into silicone molds. Or if you have an eye dropper, you can use that to fill the molds. You must work quickly cause the mix will start to harden once the heat is removed. 

Place the molds in the fridge for 20-25 minutes before you remove the shapes from the mold to serve. They can be kept in the fridge or at room temperature. The ones below were in the fridge about 30 minutes before removing them from the mold and placed in a bowl for serving. Be sure if wine has not boiled they will have alcohol in them, so please make sure to only serve to the adults at your party!