Friday, April 30, 2010

Piece of Cake Bakery Portland, OR

We were on a bakery frenzy in Portland. It was vacation and how else were we to gain the standard 5 pounds from our vacation? Hence my recent diet. Piece of Cake Bakery not only makes GF cakes but also vegan and sugar-free cakes. Of course I was only interested in the GF cakes.

Not everything in this bakery is GF and be warned that the items labelled wheat free ARE NOT GF, they use spelt flour for these cakes. For the GF options they had about 8 cakes to choose from and we picked out 4 to try.

I went straight for my main love of chocolate and chose the chocolate raspberry cake. My boy liked the pink frosting so he chose the marionberry cake and Hubby picked the carrot and apple rum cakes. They all tasted great (even the carrot cake and I'm not a carrot cake fan) and had a wide variety of cake flavors which we enjoyed. We did prefer the cakes from New Cascadia Traditional but I wouldn't turn one of these down.

Piece of Cake Bakery is located at 8306 SE 17th in Portland, OR.

Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I've been trying the different frozen pizza crusts that are available in our area and there are quite a few. Kinnikinnick, Glutino, Rustic Crust (at Lee & Dad's), Udi's (at Oat St and Lee & Dad's), and some others I can't remember. I haven't hated any of them and most of them are thin and easy to get crispy. They taste fine and are nice to have on hand for a quick pizza for dinner.

I'm only going to talk about my favorite one so far and that's Udi's Pizza Crust. I think it's the thinnest crust and crisped up nicely. I baked it on the bottom rack of the oven and we all loved it. I had to force myself to stop eating it. I'll be keeping these on hand for nights I want pizza but don't have the motivation or time to make the crust from scratch, like tonight. Yum! I also love that they have a homemade look to them, they are not perfectly round but have some character.

Deschutes Brewery Portland, OR

Knowing that the Deschutes Brewery in Portland has a GF beer on tap AND has a GF menu to eat from we just had to do lunch there, how could we resist? I was initially excited about the sweet potato fries they had on the menu, we so rarely get to enjoy fries outside of the house, until I read the note applying to the *. It states the fries (and wings) are prepared in oil which is also used to cook products containing gluten. So they really aren't GF due to cross contamination and I personally don't think they should be on their GF menu but at least they say something.

We all (well the adults anyways) started off with a beer and Hubby and I got their GF option which was a blonde. The GF beers have bands put around them so everyone knows it's GF and that was nice to see. It was too light for Hubby's and my tastes so we didn't get a growler but we did at least enjoy having a beer on tap. What I'd give for a dark GF beer.

For our meals we planned to try out their GF buns and I had promised my boy that he would get a burger with a bun. He just wanted the bun of course. My waitress informed me they didn't get their GF bun shipment on time and only had a limited number (for awhile I thought this number was 0), turned out to be only two left. We wound up ordering 2 burgers with GF buns and 2 burgers with no buns. I did cut mine in half so Hubby and I could do half a burger with a bun each. The buns were really good, not too dense or thick so we enjoyed what we had.

I ordered the roasted garlic burger and it was yummy, too much for me to eat at lunch but that's another story. We did enjoy ourselves and will probably go back the next time we're in Portland. Deschutes Brewery is located at 210 NW 11th Ave in Portland, OR.

New Finds & Reviews

I like sneaking to the various grocery stores around town without the kids, this way I can scan the aisles better and see if there are new products to try. Here are a few things that got me excited when I saw them AND they taste great.

Applegate Farms Genoa Salami

This salami is free of gluten and nitrites. I never thought I'd get to have salami again but thankfully Applegate Farms knows some of us avoid nitrites. It has a great flavor and I splurged with some tasty cheese to go with. You can find this at Rosauer's in their cheese area on the way to Huckleberry's Market.

De Boles Rice Pasta & Cheese

I have never seen this box of mac & cheese before and when I saw it was GF I had to pick it up. I was skeptical at first because the noodles were tiny and it makes a white mac & cheese rather than yellow but it was very good. Both of my kids scarfed it down and kept asking for more, it will be a nice option for variety when I need a quick meal for them. I found this at Smith's.

Nesquik Chocolate Syrup

My kids love having chocolate milk when we get home at the end of the day and I've been using AH!Laska since that's the only brand I've found free of High Fructose Corn Syrup. We ran out so I planned to pick some up at Lee & Dad's but they were out, I about died since the kids were expecting chocolate milk. In my panic I grabbed the Nesquik syrup to see if it was free of HFCS (I knew Hershey's wasn't) and saw that it was, then I looked at the front of the bottle and noticed the large statement of being free of HFCS. I'm so observant. It tastes great and flows like "normal" chocolate syrup, the AH!Laska, which we like, is kind of boogery in texture. Not sure how else to describe it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another Bread Fail

Even though I'm still on my diet I saw this recipe from The Baking Beauties awhile back and figured I'd give it a try, not only could we have some yummy bread but I could also post something, a double win! Sunday afternoon I whipped this together while the kids were napping and then I lost track while it was rising to find it overflowing my bread pan. No panic yet I just started baking it instead. It didn't turn out, see....

Obviously it's not the prettiest loaf in the world but a pinch of it tasted good so I thought maybe I could salvage it and tried to get it out of the loaf. Here's the result of that.

Even less pretty. The kids and I kept eating crumbs here and there and I decided I'd be resourceful since it did taste good so I made overnight French toast with it. Why can't the overnight French toast pictures every look appetizing? That was delicious and it didn't matter how unattractive this loaf was afterall.

I'll give it a try later but my weekends are busy with travel and guests for awhile so it wont' be any time soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Cascadia Traditional - Gluten Free Bakery in Portland

I have a lot of reviews to post and there won't be much for recipes because I'm on a diet for the time being and the meals I get aren't very exciting. Don't get me wrong I love eating fruits and vegetables but without sauces involed there's really not a recipe to post. The family is getting our standard dinner options and those are all posted here so please bear with me.

This review is the one I'm most excited to post from our vacation to Portland, OR. I'm very good at making people check out gluten free options with me when I'm in a new area and I'm so glad we made the trek to New Cascadia Traditional. How many 100% gluten free bakeries do I get to see? None except for this one! When we walked in the door I told my boy that he could have anything in here and he gets to pick what he wants. My excited 3 year old passed up delicious looking cupcakes to get a cookie. It made him happy and was soft and delicious so why not?

These are the treats from our first visit, yes that means there was a second visit. Hubby picked the white cake with raspberry filling and an oatmeal raisin cookie. My boy chose a chocolate chip hazelnut cookie, my girl chose the cupcake, and I chose the sticky bun. My favorite was their cake, it's so moist and so delicious. No hint of GF there plus their icing is fantastic.

I almost forgot about their bread from all the goodies that caught my eye but once I saw it I knew I needed a couple loaves. I picked up their sourdough and cheddar bread. They tasted really good but are still GF bread so on the dense side.
Our last day in Portland Hubby wanted to go back for more of the cake but unfortunately they didn't have it. We should have called ahead and ordered one. Our "compromise" was these two delicious cupcakes and of course more cookies for the boy.

On top of what we got they also offer bagels, pizza crusts (including pizza you can buy there to eat), challah, and tart amongst other things. I must say that their prices were also great, I expected to pay quite a bit for what we got but it was surprisingly cheap, can't beat that!

This bakery is very well worth the drive downtown to pick out your favorite treat and it will be a new must when we're in the area. They are located at 1700 SE 6th Ave in Portland, OR.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Udi's Bread & The Children's Museum

I apologize for being MIA the past couple of weeks. We had a fantastic vacation to Portland, OR (I have reviews for their gluten free bakeries) that took up all of my time before, during, and after. I think I'm back into our normal routine so I'll be posting again.

I am happy to say that we have a new GF bread in the area and I couldn't help but try it since I've heard such good things on the interwebs. Lee & Dad's IGA carries 2 of the Udi's breads in the freezer section (by the other frozen GF items) and their pizza crust. I've heard you can also now get Udi's at Oak Street Natural Market.

I let it sit on the counter until it was no longer frozen and promptly ate a slice. It's good. The inside is nice and springy while the crust has a nice chew to it, I couldn't get enough of the crust. It doesn't need to be toasted near as long as my homemade GF bread and it browns nicely in the toaster. The only downfall is the loaf is on the small (short) side but that won't stop me from keeping it in my freezer. The cost was $4.79 (ETA it was increased to $5.29 in May) for the loaf and I didn't think that was bad. I also saw that Lee & Dad's now carries Gluten Free Mama products. You can find them next to the Bob's Red Mill flours.

I took the kids to the Children's Museum on Saturday and we had a really nice time. The only reason I'm posting about it is because my boy seemed to have a reaction while he was playing with the lentils at the sensory table. After he had been playing with them for awhile he complained about them hurting him. His neck and tummy (two areas where they had touched his skin and the dust had gotten on him) were red and he kept scratching them. I took him to the bathroom to rinse off and then kept him away from the lentils. I don't know if the table and toys didn't get washed after the barley was in them or what but we'll be staying away from that table in the future.