Grocery Shopping-Part Two

While on a “sprint shop” through the grocery store, this new gluten-free Ronzoni box caught my eye on the store shelves.


Ronzoni’s regular pasta is in a blue box, so this yellow really differentiated the gluten-free version.  Other food purveyor’s have done this, for example Belle and Evans has blue and black boxes differentiating the gluten-free from the regular variety.

What struck me about the Ronzoni is that it was on the shelf with all of the wheat pasta and not on the “free-from” shelf that is a stand alone section of the grocery store.  Chex Cereal and GF Bisquick are also with the regular mixes and cereals as far as I can see in my area grocery stores.

I am not sure who has the advantage…do the brands in the gluten-free section have the advantage?  I know where the location of the gluten-free section, or the dedicated “free-from” shelf space, is in all of my stores and I frequent these sections with great regularity to stock up.

Or, do the brands sitting at eye level in the regular grocery aisles have the advantage?  If I want the DeLallo Orzo or the Le Veneziane Farfalle, I know where to find it.  But, because that yellow box just happened to be on the store shelf I was walking down for canned tomatoes, it caught my eye and I bought it.

All in all, it is great to see new products on shelves wherever they may be in the grocery store.  I just want it to be easy to find them!

Kendall Egan

Hard to Get GF Foods

There are a few succulent, mouth watering dishes, usually deep fried and battered, which are next to impossible to get in a restaurant on a gluten-free diet.  Onion rings, tempura and fish & chips are some of my favorite examples.  When I saw eggplant at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, my brain went right to Eggplant Parmesan which is another one of those dishes that is hard to get gluten-free anywhere else but your own kitchen.

After I saw them, I had to have eggplant parm.  I went totally “Giada” and made everything from scratch, using some of the ripe tomatoes and herbs from my miniscule four planted pot garden!

First step was cutting and salting the eggplant to get out the extra moisture.  My mother used to tell me this was to drain the eggplant of some chemical that made your mouth itch…no clue if that is true or not.

My gluten-free bread crumbs worked beautifully.  I buy them from an Italian deli because they are “house made” gluten-free bread crumbs and are really better than anything else I have used.  But, any gluten-free bread crumb mixed with enough Parmesan cheese is going to form a savory crust.


The battered eggplant rounds are then fried up in a pan with hot oil.


I like to drain excess oil on paper towels.


Next up was preparing my extremely fragrant tomato sauce…we love garlic in this household.  I am so relieved that garlic is gluten-free because that would have constituted a real hardship if I had to give it up.


And the finished product ready for eating!


Ironically, the celiac refused to eat it and had a bowl of cereal.  My two pickiest eaters both tried it and my daughter had a second helping.  I am so excited because there is enough leftover for me to have it for lunch today.

No one needs deep fried foods on a regular basis, but it is so worth it when you prepare fried and battered foods as a treat.  Yum.

Kendall Egan


Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping

I ran to the grocery store yesterday for enough provisions to get me through the weekend, just enough for two dinners, a couple of lunches and Monday morning breakfast.  With four big kids, my usual trips to the grocery store are counted a workout since the cart is so heavy.

It dawned on me at the checkout counter how easy grocery shopping had become.  Back in the day, I had to order gluten-free food in bulk and store it. Or I went to the one grocery store that carried gluten-free food and my freezer would be stuffed to the gills with gluten-free food and not much else.

Now, I can go to one store and pick up my week’s provisions for both the gluten-free and the regular diets in one fell swoop.  Into the cart go Udi’s hot dog buns, right next to the potato flour hot dog buns that my daughter likes.  Four loaves of bread tossed in, two contain wheat and two do not.  And, since I saw the new Pillsbury Gluten-Free Dough at this store, I threw it into the cart along with regular pizza dough…we will grill up some pizza later on this week!

My freezer actually has room for frozen berries and ice cream now, something that we never used to have on hand. Not that we really need ice cream in the freezer all the time, but it is nice to have a frozen dessert in the summertime.

As awareness for special diets continue, I hope the “free-from” shelves at the grocery store continue to be stocked with gluten-free alternatives.  It makes life on a gluten-free diet so much easier.

Kendall Egan

Make Room for Dessert!

We had a family dinner last week at Sam’s of Gedney Way in White Plains prior to my daughter’s departure for a semester in Australia.  This is a lovely restaurant with a gluten free menu and it did not disappoint.

At the end of the meal we were all pretty stuffed, but took a little look-see at the dessert menu anyway.  Right on the menu was a “Nutella-Gluten Free” option which was a “coconut walnut macaroon cake layered with nutella mousse and chocolate caramel glaze.” Whoa…it is not every day that gluten-free cake is a dessert option in a restaurant.  Typically the only gluten-free offerings are ice cream, sorbet and whatever custard that works with the style of restaurant….flan, creme brulee or panna cotta.

So even though my celiac had minutes before professed that he could not eat another bite, he said he could find room for this creation!

GF cake #2

This photo does not do it justice, but there were six forks attempting to dig in for a little taste. The cake was a wonderful mix of flavors and textures and the celiacs implored the group to order their own desserts.

I am not sure the other four people in my family appreciated the novelty of ordering cake for dessert in a restaurant but my son enjoyed every bite.

Kendall Egan

“Woot-woot” for this cracker!

I think it tastes like a Wheat Thin and that is a huge compliment from me.  2013-07-17 08.56.42

I found these at Costco and figured I would give them a try.  I love this company, Food Should Taste Good.  They have taken the chip category to an entirely new level and even the ones that they ended up dropping…I think the chocolate chip was dropped…even those were totally inventive.

I paired this cracker with a spicy Greek yogurt dip when I got home from Costco and totally ruined my dinner with the “just one more” philosophy of snacking.  I told my celiac that they tasted like Wheat Thins, which only brought on the Family Guy “WH-weat” Thins pronunciation but no glimmer of taste recognition.  He has never had a Wheat Thin.

So to those of you who thought you would never taste a cracker like a Wheat Thin, try these Food Should Taste Good Brown Rice Sea Salt Crackers.

Kendall Egan

The United Nations of Condiments in my Fridge

Sriracha chili sauces

Sriracha chili sauces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I was shopping at Trader Joe’s last week and picked up a bottle of sriracha to read the ingredients.  Everything lead me to believe this was a gluten-free condiment so I brought it home.  Lately, I have read about sriracha everywhere as the new “it” condiment for food.


I did a quick Google search to figure out which country would be joining my already crowded refrigerator…stay with me here.  Sriracha is commonly found in a couple of varieties, one is a Thai and one is Vietnamese.  It has a nice fire that builds after the first few tastes, but is not so painful that you are gulping milk to cool the burn.   It really is for pho or a quick kick to noodle dishes, but I used it on roasted potatoes.


Sriracha is the name for a Thai hot sauce name...

Sriracha is the name for a Thai hot sauce named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of central Thailand, where it was first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants. It is a paste of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. This version is made by Huy Fong Foods, Inc., in Rosemead, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sriracha joins the condiments in my refrigerator from all over the globe:







Soy Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

Ketchup, Mustard and Mayo

So I have the US, Mexico, the Middle East and Greece, and a bunch of Asian companies covered in my refrigerated United Nations of condiments.  All of the varieties in my refrigerator are gluten-free.

I need a little bit more European representation and something from India…although I ALWAYS have a frozen Palek Paneer entree in my freezer!

It is incredible to me that these wordly condiments are part of my normal repertoire of good things to eat. I am so happy that all of these are gluten-free because variety is the spice of life!

Kendall Egan

Gluten-Free Baked Goods Do Not Linger!

I have never professed to enjoy baking, nor do I feel like a competent baker, but my gluten-free baked goods never linger for a long time on the counter top.  The mixes and flours are so delicious today that I proudly serve gluten-free desserts or baked goods to anyone.

I had purchased blueberries and then my husband picked up blueberries at Costco.  There was absolutely zero chance that these berries were all going to get eaten before they dissolved into a soupy mass of fuzzy, green-slime, moldy berries, so I needed to bake.  Muffins would not use enough of them so I went with a cobbler.  Basically, I used the regular Bisquick cobbler recipe with the Gluten-Free Bisquick mix.   This was my cobbler after I let it cool for 15 minutes.


The rest was eaten the next day for breakfast.

On Monday, I had three brown bananas so during my lunch hour I made banana bread.  I have become so spoiled by pre-mixed gluten-free muffin mixes that I was a little nervous about making banana bread with gluten-free flour, not a muffin mix.  Clearly, I did not mess anything up because the kids come in the front door from camp and work between 3-6pm every day and not much of the banana bread was left by the time dinner was served!

banana bread

So I will continue to bake gluten-free and my family will continue to enjoy all the wonderful quick breads and desserts that taste delicious with or without gluten!

Kendall Egan

Digital Detox-Is a GF diet a must?

Today’s New York Times Style Section has an article entitled “Coming Clean at Camp” which is about an adult camp experience to get away from your 24/7 digital existence.  One guy talks about his numb hands from his use of phone, computer, tablet and other devices and sadly I can relate to that!

This camp give adults the opportunity to reconnect face to face and escape from Twitter feeds for a weekend.  Mah-velous idea.

The funny part, for me anyway, is that the meals served at the camp are vegan and gluten-free.  Really?  Eating GF is part of a digital detox?  That strikes me as completely goofy.  And the rich part of the story is that eating vegan, giving up meat, was the hardest part for campers.  I would have wagered on bread being the hardest thing to give up but what do I know.

These people aren’t addicted to gluten, they are addicted to their tech toys.  One guy said it was the longest he had been away from his email and cellphone since 1997…I’ve been away from gluten longer that that.

I am looking forward to a break from relentless email and computer use as I leave my publishing job…one week from tomororrow.  Maybe I should go to digital detox camp…at least the diet would be a no brainer, singing campfire songs in tune would be a very big challenge.

Kendall Egan

Strawberry Shortcake

My birthday is in April, which is long before strawberry season in a natural growing environment.  Berries are available all year long from Chile or California greenhouses, but back in the day my request for strawberry shortcake for my birthday dessert was tough.

There would be some wildly expensive strawberries available and then my mother would have to fill in with a compote made from frozen berries.

My celiac son’s birthday is in June…which is prime strawberry season.  This year I suggested strawberry shortcake as a birthday dessert and he agreed.  I knew I had a box of gluten-free Bisquick and a recipe for the shortcakes so all I needed was a trip to the farmers market for real strawberries.Image

Real strawberries to me are the small ones that are red fleshed, juice dripping little sugar bombs.  The big ones grown in greenhouses have deceiving red exteriors with white flesh and zero flavor.  Real strawberries produce a bucket load of juice if you just cut them up and sprinkle the smallest amount of sugar on them and then let them sit for a couple of hours.

I baked up the shortcakes, let them cool and then sliced them in half.  I made fresh whippedImage cream, assembled the individual shortcakes and served them up.  My mom used to make one big strawberry shortcake concoction, but it was unwieldy to cut into slices.These little cakes were so easy to slice and serve!

Maybe now my celiac has a favorite gluten-free dessert that is perfect for the season!

Kendall Egan Image