October 25, 2011

Apple Cobbler!

After going apple picking upstate this weekend, my boyfriend and I were determined to whip up a delicious GF apple cobbler! This recipe is my own recipe as inspired by my Nana, my Mama, and my man's Mama. It isn't all that bad for you and it is absolutely DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself. Here it is:

The Filling:
6-7 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced (like this. We used a variety of apples that we picked at the orchard)
1/2 cup brown sugar (we used organic)
2 tbsp. all purpose GF flour (I use Better Batter, which is quite amazing - you can get it online or, if you live in NYC, you can get it a G-Free NYC)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. butter or butter substitute (we used Earth Balance, which is sold at Trader Joe's and Fairway)

The Topping:
2 cups all purpose GF flour (Better Batter)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup gluten free oats (you should be able to find these at any health food store - if you are not a very sensitive celiac then you don't need to worry about getting oats that are certified GF)
1/3 cup melted butter or Earth Balance
3/4 cup skim milk (we used organic from TJ's)
  • Preheat oven to bake at 375
  • Mix all of the filling ingredients except for the lemon juice and Earth Balance
  • Lightly spray a deep baking dish with non-stick baking spray (we used a dish that was approximately 10"x 10" and 3" deep)
  • Put the apple mixture into the baking dish, top with butter/Earth Balance and lemon juice (distribute evenly over the top)
  • Mix all topping ingredients, put on top of apples and distribute evenly
  • Bake for 25 minutes
We topped it with some freshly made whipped cream, which was amazing. Ice cream would also be good, although this cobbler is yummy by itself so you don't need to top it with anything!!

Enjoy!! I'll be enjoying mine for the rest of the week, if it lasts that long. Happy fall!

:) The Celiac Seal

July 21, 2011

Sprinkles Cupcakes!

I was recently in LA visiting one of my besties (who happens to be a dancer as well) and as dancers who love to eat (a lot), we felt it necessary to take a trip to Beverly Hills to visit the original Sprinkles Cupcakes. Their latest development is a gluten-free red velvet cupcake marked with a little red "G", available every day of the week. It was pure magic. You all know how much I love Tulu's, and I have to say this cupcake gives Tulu's a run for its money. Luciky for us NYC based Celiacs, a location recently opened on the Upper East Side at 780 Lexington Avenue (between 60th and 61st). You can also order online through their website if you wish. So go and get your cupcake on!!
:) The Celiac Seal

G-Free NYC

HELLO! Obviously I have been a bit MIA. I've been busy recovering from my shoulder surgery, dancing and singing all over the place and being a college graduate. After a trip to a magical Mecca of gluten-free goodness this afternoon, I felt like I just had to share.
G-Free NYC, on the Upper West Side (85th between Columbus and Central Park West), is pure heaven. They have gathered the best of the best GF products and put them in one place - my favorite Le Veneziane pasta, Tulu's baked goods, Gluten Free Pantry baking mixes, IT'S ALL THERE under one little roof. As I write this I'm eating a perfectly delicious Tulu's cupcake that I picked up from G-Free's refrigerated section (I'm lying a little, the cupcake was finished a few lines ago, didn't even make it this far).
More posts to come! I have made some discoveries in the past few months!

The Celiac Seal

February 16, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

This yummy, naturally gluten-free cookie was created by French pastry chef Fran├žois Payard. He's got a bakery on Houston street!

What you need:
  • 2 3/4 cups walnut halves
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spread the walnut halves on a large-rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until they are golden and fragrant.

2. Let cool slightly, then transfer the walnut halves to a work surface and coarsely chop them. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 320. Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. In a large bowl, whisk (or combine in an electric mixer on low speed) the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt followed by the chopped walnuts. While whisking (or once you change the speed to medium), add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not overbeat or it will stiffen). **

4. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks. Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

**I like to add in a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate chips - about a cup or so. Also, depending on your preference, you may want to use less walnuts than the recipe calls for. Maybe no walnuts at all and just chocolate chips for gooey chocolate blobs of heaven with no nutritional value whatsoever!

:) The Celiac Seal


February 2, 2011

Le Veneziane Pasta

Miracle of miracles, I have found the best gluten free pasta, possibly on the entire planet. I have tried more types than I can remember, and while Tinkyada and Gillian's make a good product, the Italians have swooped in and succeeded brilliantly, as expected, in providing a fantastic pasta. Le Veneziane pasta is made out of corn flour, cooks wonderfully (without that weird gluten-free milk water that you have to rinse off of the pasta), comes in a variety of classic Italian pasta types, looks, feels, and TASTES LIKE NORMAL PASTA! My verdict on the top three gluten-free pastas as of now is as follows:

Numbah one: Le Veneziane
Two: Gillian's
And three: Tinkyada

Buy it on Amazon here and go eat a huge bowl of pasta! Try it with Pesto or Alfredo sauce. (Above it is shown with my family's home-smushed tomato sauce....I think that recipe will have to remain a secret mainly because you have to be partially insane to actually do it).

:) The Celiac Seal


January 30, 2011


Ok, yes, this is kind of a cop-out because tacos are usually a gluten-free food. Just a reminder that Old El Paso taco shells and taco seasoning are Celiac-friendly! Go make some of these and whip up a pitcher of margaritas!

:) The Celiac Seal



This is an easy and delicious pasta sauce, especially wonderful in the summer when my Dad uses our homegrown basil. Since it is not even remotely close to summer, we can just make ourselves some pesto and pretend we are in the sunny and warm place the basil came from that is so NOT HERE.

So, here's what you need:
  • 2 cups of cleaned basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • about 1/8 tsp salt (to taste)
  • about 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 or a bit more grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
In a food processor or blender, layer the ingredients: garlic, nuts, some basil, some oil, salt, more basil, oil, cheese. It doesn't hurt to dice up the garlic before hand and tear up the basil leaves a bit to give the processor/blender an easier time. I never measure out the olive oil, I just put it in as necessary to sauce-ify the basil and co. Push the button and watch it go! Serve with some not-too-hot pasta and ENJOY!

:) The Celiac Seal


Alfredo Sauce

This recipe is courtesy of Gourmet. It is absolutely delicious and easy-peasy to make.

Here's what you need:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (I like to use Pecorino Romano)
  • Throw 8-9 ounces of pasta in a pot and cook it up, save 1/2 cup of pasta water for the sauce.

    Meanwhile, bring cream and butter to a simmer in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat, adding 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

    Add 8-9 ounces of pasta, 1/4 cup reserved water, and cheese to sauce and toss. Add more cooking water if necessary.

    Enjoy this not-so-low-fat but SOOOO delicious bowl (or two) of pasta!

    :) The Celiac Seal


    January 29, 2011

    Chocolate Mousse

    I was recently challenged to a mousse-making competition, and although my challenger put up a good fight, this mousse is quite a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to Mom's recipe book! This is a staple of our family holidays.

    What you need:
    • 8 oz semi sweet chocolate pieces
    • 2 Tbsp water
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
    • 6 eggs separated
    • 1 Tbsp dark rum (Meyer's is a good one)
    • 1/2 Tsp vanilla
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    Melt chocolate and 2 Tbsp water in double boiler. When melted
    stir in powdered sugar; add butter bit by bit. Set aside.

    Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored (about 5 minutes). Check on your pot of chocolate and make sure it is still thoroughly melted - if not, reheat it to melt it again. Gently fold the chocolate into the bowl of egg yolks. Stir in the rum and vanilla. Set aside.

    In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in 2 Tbsp sugar and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.

    Gently fold egg white mixture into chocolate yolk mixture. Pour into individual dishes and chill for at least four hours. Serve with whipped cream if desired (I added some crushed peppermint in the above picture, it was Christmastime).

    Like I even need to say it with this one, but nonetheless: enjoy!!

    :) The Celiac Seal


    Mozzarella and Parsley Risotto

    I have made this for many a dinner party and it is always a hit! Naturally gluten-free (and DELICIOUS), this is a great dish for the gluten-free and the gluten-full. This is very similar to the Spinach, Butternut Squash and Ricotta Risotto that I posted earlier.

    What you need:
    • about 5 cups of chicken broth
    • a significant amount of white wine (1/2 cup, according to the recipe)
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 1 tbsp. oil
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1.5 cups arborio rice
    • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (Polly-O works the best. Fresh mozzarella doesn't quite work with this recipe)
    • another tbsp. of butter
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan. In another large saucepan, heat the butter and oil. When melted, saute the onion for a few minutes until it is soft (NOT brown). Add the rice and coat in the oil/butter/onion mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of white wine and stir until completely absorbed. Continue to add the chicken broth and wine in 1/2 cup increments until the rice is soft (about 40 minutes or so). It's up to you to decide how much wine vs. chicken broth to use. I tend to drink wine while cooking with it, so I end up adding more than the 1/2 cup to the risotto as my hand gets heavier ;)
    When the rice is tender (finally) add the mozzarella, tablespoon of butter, parsley and parmesan.. Stir to combine. Bellissimo!
    :) The Celiac Seal

    December 10, 2010

    Peppermint Meringues

    This is a variation of Nana's Forgotten Cookies, so revert to that post for the full recipe. This version was kind of a mess, but the meringues ended up yummy and festive so I am sharing. Instead of the teaspoon of vanilla, use a teaspoon of peppermint extract and hold the mini chocolate chips. Line up some regular sized semi-sweet chocolate chips on a wax paper lined baking sheet and put a bit of the peppermint batter over each chip. Swirl in some red food coloring with a toothpick if that strikes your fancy. Cook in the oven as usual, for 30 seconds in 350 degrees and then overnight in the turned-off oven.

    Now, the trouble is, peppermint oil (which I think is in just about every version of peppermint extract) makes the meringue batter thin out, so it's quite a disaster trying to get it to behave and not drip all over the place. Apparently, though, it is possible, and I'm excited to serve them at our Christmukkah party this weekend!
    :) The Celiac Seal


    Ok, yes, salmon is naturally gluten-free so this technically is not a GF revelation - or is it? This recipe is super easy, delicious, and, of course, Celiac friendly! Thanks to Margaux Guyonneau, who made this for us when she came to visit the city. So, here it is:
    Preheat the oven to 375. Make a little basket out of tin foil and put a nice fresh salmon steak in there. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt and pour in some olive oil and white wine. Put a few thin slices of butter on top of the fish, then chop up some onion and parsley and throw that on in. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice. Add whatever strikes your fancy! Maybe rosemary instead of parsley, maybe hold the butter (obviously that is never the route I choose to go...). You can also use different types of fish but will have to adjust the oven heat and cooking time accordingly. Pop your fishy basket in the oven and after 30 minutes check to make sure it is cooked through. That's it!

    This is delicious over rice. I made some good ol' Carolina rice cooked in chicken broth instead of water and added some chopped parsley to the cooked rice for an easy rice pilaf. Enjoy!!

    :) The Celiac Seal


    November 30, 2010

    Nana's Forgotten Cookies (aka chocolate chip meringues)

    My Nana always had tricks up her sleeve to make us smile, and she continues to do so even though she is no longer physically here. My mom and I stumbled across this easy, sweet gluten-free recipe the night before Thanksgiving and had to make a batch. MAKE THESE OVERNIGHT. This is key for Nana's version of the meringue. What you need:
    • 2 egg whites
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 6 oz. package of chocolate chips
    • a pinch of salt
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the salt and egg whites until stiff. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until VERY stiff. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop the batter in small amounts onto wax paper lined cookie sheets. Put the sheets in the oven, close the door, and slowly count to 30 (yes, really. This was pretty funny, Patty and I standing in front of the oven: "oooonnnnneee....tttwwwwoooooo...."), then TURN OFF THE OVEN. Leave the cookies in there overnight and do not even think about opening the oven door (Nana's actual words are "DO NOT OPEN DOOR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE." This is serious, under no circumstance may you open that oven door!). Don't forget about your treats in the oven the next morning!! You can do a lot with this recipe - add fruity flavors, add food dye to make little kids (or big kids, for that matter) excited....Go crazy!

    Enjoy. Thanks Nana-a-lan.

    :) The Celiac Seal


    Spinach, Butternut Squash & Ricotta Risotto

    Finally, risotto. This is a versatile staple of my gluten-free diet. There's nothing like a nice large pot of hot risotto to cure a case of the winter blues. This is a version of the basic Risotto alla Ricotta recipe in my FANTASTIC risotto book by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman (thanks mom). What you need:
    • about 5 cups of chicken broth
    • a significant amount of white wine
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 1 tbsp. oil
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1.5 cups arborio rice
    • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    • 1/2 cup washed and finely chopped spinach leaves
    • 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan. In another large saucepan, heat the butter and oil. When melted, saute the onion for a few minutes until it is soft (NOT brown). Add the rice and coat in the oil/butter/onion mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of white wine and stir until completely absorbed. Continue to add the chicken broth and wine in 1/2 cup increments until the rice is soft (about 40 minutes or so). It's up to you to decide how much wine vs. chicken broth to use. When I made this batch I was drinking the wine while cooking, so I ended up putting quite a bit into the risotto (it was deeeelicious!). Anyways, while your hand is about to fall off from all of the stirring, boil the butternut squash until it is soft (10 minutes or so), then cut it up a bit so it is ready to go into the risotto. When the rice is tender (finally) add the ricotta, spinach, squash and parmesan. Stir to combine. Bellissimo!
    :) The Celiac Seal

    Annie's GF Mac and Cheese

    This is an easy GF meal to whip up when you're feeling lazy. Yummy organic Mac&Cheese by Annie's. Another good boxed Mac&Cheese option is the Trader Joe's brand - same idea, rice pasta with the powdered cheddar cheese sauce of childhood.
    Happy Eating!
    :) The Celiac Seal


    GF Cornbread

    I am posting this extraordinarily late, considering Thanksgiving is obviously The Cornbread Holiday and it happened over a week ago. I think it's safe to say that cornbread is delicious throughout the seasons, so here it is! I used The Cravings Place's mix, which I got from The Gluten Free Mall . I made the sweet version with organic honey. The consistency is decent, although it is a little bit grainy (I almost got away with convincing my 14 year old sister it was in fact not gluten-free, but she called my bluff. The other gluten-full members of my family didn't have any complaints, though). Go break some (corn)bread!
    :) The Celiac Seal

    November 21, 2010

    Gluten-Free Pantry: Muffins!

    It's been a bit of a rough week (I will spare details). The solution? GF chocolate chip muffins, of course. I used Gluten-Free Pantry's muffin and scone mix, purchased at Mrs. Green's. You should be able to find it in your local health food store. Here's what you're looking for:
    I mixed in some dark chocolate chips and sprinkled the tops with sugar in the raw (a la Starbucks). They were super easy to make and delicious fresh out of the oven. They lose their moisture within a few hours of making them (they are gluten-free, after all), but if eaten immediately they are excellent GF muffins. The more mix-ins, the better the slight GF aftertaste is disguised. I will be on the lookout for other mixes to try!
    :) The Celiac Seal

    November 15, 2010

    GF Cinnamon Coffee Cake

    I made this for myself Sunday morning, mainly to avoid reading Ulysses, and I am blogging about it now, mainly to avoid writing a paper (ok, thinking about writing a paper) about Ulysses. Also - and more importantly - because I love myself a nice GF breakfast treat!
    I bought the mix, made by The Cravings Place, from The Gluten-Free Mall - this is a FANTASTIC resource. You order things online and within a few days gluten-free goodness is delivered to your door. This mix had a lot of good reviews so I decided to go for it. It's pretty yummy! The cake itself is a bit dry and gummy (it is gluten-free after all) but the crumble topping covers that right up. I added an extra tablespoon of butter and about 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the crumble topping recipe - there was no way that wasn't going to taste good. It was nice and easy to make and I've already eaten half of it by myself! It's best fresh out of the oven.

    :) The Celiac Seal


    November 14, 2010

    John's of 12th Street

    This was a surprise discovery! Those are the BEST! I went here for my wonderful friend Jenna's birthday last night. I checked out the menu online and expected to be eating a salad - this place is a good old fashioned New York Italian restaurant, meaning there is a LOT of gluten involved. But, when we got there Jenna told me she read online that they had gluten-free pasta, and although it wasn't advertised anywhere (except for on the very bottom of the vegan menu where it says "gluten-free options available upon request"), they did in fact have it. Of course I was jumping up and down. I had a delicious penne carbonara and was in heaven. Thank you John's of 12th Street for your unsuspected providing of gluten-free goodness. This secret spot is on 12th street between 1st and 2nd ave, just off of 2nd. Right near my house, perfection.
    :) The Celiac Seal


    November 12, 2010

    Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

    Gluten-free is going commercial! I found this Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix at the grocery store down the block and of course had to try it. They were easy to make and delicious! I threw in some dark and white chocolate chips to encourage the moisture and add a little more to them. My roommate and I have been eating them all week!
    :) The Celiac Seal


    GF Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    THESE ARE THE BEST. They taste like peanut butter cups in cookie form (I am so, so sorry if you are allergic to peanuts). This is thanks to my mom's friend Eileen Riccardi, who brightened up a rainy June morning in Connecticut with a batch of these naturally gluten-free and delicious cookies.

    What you need:
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1 cup chocolate chips
    • 1 cup peanut butter (the consistency is best if you use a commercial peanut butter - I use Jiffy natural creamy. If you want to go organic, they will still be good but not quite as ooey gooey and delectable.)
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda

    Easiest recipe ever, right? Just mix everything up in a bowl, then roll into balls and line up on a cookie sheet (I like to put a piece of parchment paper down, makes for very easy clean up). Cook them at 350 for about 10 minutes, then let them cool and viola! This will make about a dozen cookies. I usually double this recipe, and if it's going to be a rough week, I quadruple it. Enjoy! These are my favorite!

    :) The Celiac Seal