For a long time the only way to enjoy a good gluten-free cracker was to make a batch yourself. And, to be honest, I still prefer the taste of homemade. However, I love that there are more good prepared options on store shelves. It just makes living gluten-free a little easier. The other day I was excited to try Wellaby's . . .
I have a confession. Over time I've liked Ener-G and Glutino gluten-free pretzels less and less. I don't know what happened to our relationship. But over the last year or so, they just haven't done it for me.
When I heard the Snyder's of Hanover--a real *pretzel* company--was going to offer gluten-free pretzels, I was excited! Would their pretzels be better than the gluten-free pretzels that have been on the market seemingly forever? . . .
When you are on a restricted diet, excitement about food often comes down to the little things. This explains why I almost shouted, "Oh my goodness! OATMEAL!" in the middle of a grocery store in Massachusetts.
Ten years ago, when I started teaching gluten-free baking classes, oatmeal was on the "no-no" list. How things have changed! Now companies are offering gluten-free oats. However, most of these gluten-free oats are "old fashioned" oats. This means they take some time to cook. Not great if you are in a hurry. . . .
I'm always on the lookout for new gluten-free cereal. And while General Mills was a game-changer by offering Chex varieties gluten-free, there still isn't a ton of options in the gluten-free cereal aisle. But things are getting better!
While on a day trip to Massachusetts, I noticed a box of Nature's Path Organic Whole O's cereal. Packaged in a yellow box with a picture of a bowl of "o" cereal on the front, the box reminded me of Cheerios. Could it be? A gluten-free Cheerio cereal? A box quickly found its way into my cart.
The price for a box of gluten-free cereal wasn't too bad. I paid . . .
During a day-trip to Williamstown, MA, I spotted boxes of Goldbaum's "Sugar Cocoa" Ice Cream Cones on display at a grocery store. I grabbed my husband's arm--hard--and said in a hushed whisper, "They have gluten-free sugar cones." I didn't wait for his response. I rushed over to the display and put two boxes in my basket. . . .
I remember, not so long ago, when pre-made gluten-free ice cream cones were impossible to find. They were out there, sure, but they were really expensive. Plus, when you were lucky enough to find a box, most of the cones were broken. This has changed! . . .
As I sit down to write this overview of the Betty Crocker mixes, I find I am filled with mixed emotions. When I heard that General Mills would be launching a line of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Mixes, I was excited! What a great way, I thought, to introduce gluten-free baking to those who might be nervous about tackling it.
And who better than Betty Crocker to do it? I must admit something here, folks. I grew up eating Betty Crocker cakes mixes (Duncan Hines, too!). While my mom baked almost everything from scratch, she used mixes for cakes. If I close my eyes, I can almost taste those cakes. Fragrant and damp. The taste and texture of a box cake mix is really unlike any other. Therefore, I was excited to see if Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Cake mixes would taste like their traditional, wheat-based mixes.
But before we get to the taste test, I need to talk a little about my own expectations and reactions to the mixes. . . .
When I first started baking gluten-free, about 11 years ago, I never would have imagined that gluten-free eaters would be including oats in their diets. Boy have things changed! Now gluten-free oats are available and companies are starting to use oats in gluten-free products.
During the recent Price Chopper event in Lake George, one of the vendors handed me a box of "Glenny's Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin" cookies and said, "Try these I think you will like them."
It always makes me a little nervous when people "think" I will like something because, honestly, they often miss the mark. (With the exception of my husband. He knows pretty well what foods I will enjoy.)
The box of "Glutino Gluten Free Vegetable Crackers" had been sitting on my desk for some time. For some reason, I wasn't moved to tear into the box. Perhaps it was the three tomatoes pictures on the front cover. Tomato-flavored crackers? Hmmm, I wasn't sure if they would be any good. So on my desk they sat.
It all started with Lilli and Loo--that great, gluten-free friendly restaurant in NYC. One day, while waiting for a meeting with my publisher, my husband and I grabbed a quick lunch at Lilli and Loo. Greg ordered Pad Thai. At the risk of sounding like a culinary-bore, neither of us had ever eaten Pad Thai. It was one of those dishes that we kept meaning to sample but never got around to actually eating.
Finally, the opportunity to eat Pad Thai presented itself. This is a wonderful dish, made with rice noodles, chicken, eggs and a flavorful sauce. From the first bite, Greg thoroughly enjoyed it. (It goes without saying that I sampled a few, okay, several, bites of Greg's lunch. I had to agree, it was tremendous.)
I headed home and attempted to make homemade Pad Thai. My results were good but, honestly, it was a bit of a pain to make from scratch. I made it a few times, mostly on a Sunday night, and then forgot about the dish.
One day, at Price Chopper, I noticed Thai Kitchen's Pad Thai Mix boldly proclaiming that it was "Gluten-Free." I put the box in my cart. Now I had to find out if it was any good. . . .