Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gluten Free Cooking Class & Updates

Olivelle is offering a Gluten Free Italian cooking class in June. If you are interested in attending call 522-9100 and have your credit card available for payment to reserve your seat. Here are the details.

Gluten Free Italian
Monday, June 28th 6-8 PM

Gain confidence in the kitchen with a gluten free lifestyle while not feeling deprived. Even gluten tolerant people are going to be jealous of the dishes we create. Grilled Polenta Bruschetta, Homemade Pasta (gluten free of course) with a Vodka Cream Sauce, Summer Berry Galette. $35 per person.

An update on Udi's bread, can you tell I love this stuff :) Bonanza in Billings has it and they will sell it by the case, 8 loaves per case, for a cheaper price. Lee & Dad's IGA in Belgrade will also sell the bread by the case for a cheaper price, just ask for Sheila if you have any problems. ETA, You will need to order it and can do it at any cashier checkout. They place the orders on Monday and the breads arrive on Wednesday.

At Home EZ Gluten Test

My package of EZ Gluten test strips arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to give them a try. The directions are very clear and it seems like a lot at first but it's easy and made me feel like I was back in Chemistry class. In fact I enjoyed doing these tests so much that I did three of them and plan to do another tonight.
This is what the packet contains, don't let it intimidate you, it's a lot of fun.
The first thing I wanted to test was the Trix Swirls. The directions state you need to wash your hands and work on a clean surface. If what your testing isn't already finely ground, like a flour, then you need to grind it up. They include a measuring spoon to scoop the food sample.
Place the food sample in the vial with the testing solution, put the lid on and shake that puppy for two minutes. You can see the Trix Rabbit is excited about the results.

The solution needs to sit and settle for five minutes before pipetting the liquid and placing 10 drops in the test tube.

Put the EZ Gluten test strip in the solution and walk away for 10 minutes.

You can see from the test strip for the Trix Swirls they are gluten free, woot!

I didn't know what else to test so Hubby suggested his Extra gum. I was pretty sure it was GF and didn't know if testing gum would work but I gave it a try.

The results show Extra gum is gluten free!

I felt like a pro at this point so I decided to test a Post cereal and grabbed the Fruity Pebbles.

You can see from this picture that the test results came back negative for gluten, another win!

Even though these test strips aren't cheap I'm glad I bought them and was able to put my mind at ease. That alone is worth the cost.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kettlehouse Brewery, Gluten Free Beer

I spotted this fantastic article online about the Kettlehouse Brewery in Missoula working on a gluten free beer. Yes! They have made a Seeley Axe White (ha!) beer brewed with Sorghum but until they can do testing for gluten proteins in the beer they are stating it's "gluten reduced". I understand them wanting to cover their butts.

I think this is great news and deserves a lot of support from the beer drinking GF community. If you happen to try a glass of it please let me know what you think of the beer and if you have any reactions.

The Kettlehouse Brewery is located at 602 Myrtle Street in Missoula.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gluten Frustration

Hubby had a saliva test done to see if he has any issues with soy, egg, dairy, or gliadin. It didn't click in my head that gliadin was gluten antibodies because I was so worried I'd have to cut out eggs or dairy, like it's the end of the world or something. He got his test results back and he has a small reaction to dairy that shouldn't cause us too many problems, I want him to eliminate it from his diet for a couple weeks and then we can bring it back to see how much he can handle. But the result that made me feel like an utter failure and just punched me in the gut was his high SIgA level (anti-gliadin antibodies) stating he is reacting to gluten. We of course knew he had issues with gluten but these levels are saying he is getting gluten in his diet, I think. So where and how?

Our house is 100% gluten free and I felt like I had this under control, until now. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out where he's getting it and purchased some EZ Gluten kits to test some questionable items in our house. My main worry is projected at the Trix Swirls and my boy is not happy about this stating that he's been fine when he eats them. I also want to test the items that are GF but made in a facility that also processes wheat, it may be a small amount but enough to affect Hubby. These tests aren't cheap and since I thought the shipping was expensive (especially when topped with a handling fee) I wasn't willing to pay for quick shipping so it will be about a week before we get them.

I did a little bit of searching online and found a forum where people that were GF stated they had been GF for 10+ months and still showed high levels of IgA. Hubby did eat gluten for his blood test the end of last summer so that put me on another internet search. I looked up more info and found this chart showing the correlation of a GF diet and Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) levels. The longer an individual was on a GF diet the lower the AGA levels went. So it could take months to years for these levels to drop even with a GF diet. I could be way off base on this but I'm hoping his levels just haven't had enough time to drop but will over time. This would be a relief because then I can feel confident that our house is GF.

Anyone have experience with this?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Joe's Parkway in Bozeman & Other Updates

I found myself at Joe's Parkway in Bozeman yesterday looking for cheese, they have a great selection by the way, and was pleasantly surprised to see they carry some gluten free products. Here's a list of a few things I spotted and this can be a great resource for the college students since it's just across the street from campus.

Gluten free pastas
Gluten free pizza dough mix
Gluten free bread mix
Kind bars
WOW cookies (The WOW brand is also carried at Bonanza in Billings)

The prices were comparable so if you haven't been in awhile, or ever, stop by. It's a nice local gem. I had to peel myself away from the spice and sauce area, too tempting.

I also wanted to note that Rosauer's Huckleberry Market now carries the Udi's bread and pizza crusts in the frozen section. Hubby and I tried their blueberry muffins and they were good, so good we both ate two instead of the planned one. Their webpage states that The Co-op carries their stuff along with Rosauer's in Missoula and Good Earth Market in Billings.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Pretzels

I read online about a week ago that Glutino has come out with GF chocolate and yogurt covered pretzels. They haven't hit the shelves in most places and I haven't seen them here yet but they did get me craving chocolate covered pretzels. I had to find a recipe and my taste buds were happy I did but my hips, not so much. I played with this recipe a bit and it leaves a lot of combinations. The best part is it's fast and gives a great snack both kids and adults will love.

Chocoalte Pretzels

Adapted from All Recipes

48 GF pretzel twists
1 package of Hershey's Kisses (chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, hugs, or peppermint)
1 package of M&M's (chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter, peanut, or almond)

Preheat your oven to 275 F. Lay the pretzels on a cookie sheet and then place a kiss on each one. Heat in the oven for 2-4 minutes or until the kiss is softened. Remove from the oven and place a M&M on each kiss pressing down lightly to spread the kiss on the pretzel. Cool in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes and enjoy!

Do a flavor combo of the kisses and M&M's that sound the best to you. I made two combos and they both tasted great. One was a caramel kiss topped with a chocolate M&M, this was the favorite in the house but after I made them I realized the caramel kisses have HFCS in them so until I find a HFCS free option we won' be having this combo again. Boo! These only needed about 2 minutes in the oven.

The other combo was a chocolate kiss topped with a peanut butter M&M, also a delicious duo. These needed 4 minutes in the oven.

I think these will be on the to-make list for the kids' birthday parties.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

WOW Cookie Dough Review

This is a delicious find from Portland that I have to share with you. WOW gluten free ginger molasses cookie dough that you can keep in your fridge or freezer and use when the craving hits. I didn't expect much from this little package but I had fun with the kids making them. My boy rolled the dough in sugar for me and then I flattened them with a fork before popping them in the oven.

Once these babies came out of the oven we were all in heaven. They were so good and the best part was the little chunks of ginger that were scattered in the cookies, mmm. I'll have to give that a try with some homemade cookies one of these days. We devoured these and my son couldn't get enough.

I haven't seen the dough in Montana but I did see that Oak Street Natural Market carries pre-baked WOW cookies in their freezer section. I'll just cross my fingers and hope we see the dough in our area soon.

Gluten Free Cider Reviews

One adult beverage that us gluten freer’s can usually have is hard cider. Be sure to check the ingredients list for any cider you want to purchase and if it states it has malt in there just put it down and walk away carefully. We've been marinating our steaks with GF cider and it gives it a fantastic flavor. I’ve found some cider’s that are GF and here are our thoughts on them.

Blue Mountain Cherry Hard Cider

This is a delicious cider that has a nice sweetness to it but not overly sweet. You can find this in Missoula at The Good Food Store and at The Coop in Bozeman.

Henney's Still Cider

I believe we found this in Missoula at The Good Food Store and it's a good cider with a medium sweetness. The bottle is a little bland but the important part isn't.

Sam Smith Organic Cider

This is a gluten free cider that is not on the sweet side. There is tartness to it at first and Hubby thinks it has more of a beer after taste. I didn’t mind it but it’s not my favorite, I guess I prefer the sweeter ciders. I found this at Lee & Dad’s IGA and it’s also in Missoula at The Good Food Store.

Woodchuck Draft Cider – Amber

This is my favorite cider, it’s the sweetest one out of this group and is very smooth. You can get this at Albertson’s in Belgrade so I would think it’s at most Albertson’s in the area. It's also at Lee & Dad's and Rosauer's.

HardCore Crisp Hard Cider

This is in the middle on sweetness, it’s not as sweet as the Woodchuck but still sweet and definitely sweeter than the Sam Smith Cider. I like that it’s a little lower in calories than the Woodchuck. I found this at Lee & Dad’s IGA and Rosauer's.

Hornsby’s Crisp Apple Hard Cider

This is a tasty cider and has a good sweetness but not overly sweet. I assumed I wasn’t going to like it for some reason but found that I actually enjoyed it. It goes down easily and doesn’t have a tart after taste. This is available at most grocery stores and gas stations.

When we were in Portland we found some pear cider that was really good so if you ever spot that be sure to grab a pack.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ZPizza Update

We were in Billings this last weekend and picked up some GF pizza from ZPizza. I'm happy to report that no one had cross contamination issues and it was delicious as always. Yeah! Hubby commented that he forgot how good the pizza was and said it would be nice if they were in Bozeman. I just heard today that they are hoping to open a location in Bozeman next. Fantastic!

Their downtown Billings location is opening later this month at 116 North Broadway. It's refreshing to know that they take GF needs seriously and I highly recommend them for a GF pizza fix.