Stop eating my GF cookies! Or not….

My daughter walked into the family room munching on chocolate chip cookies .  “Those are mine, aren’t they?” I asked.  She responded yes, added that she loved them and piled on with a “they don’t cost more than regular cookies so just buy these.”

I had purchased gluten containing chocolate chip cookies at Trader Joe’s so that she would leave the Trader Joe’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookies alone.  She prefers the gluten-free variety.

That is how far gluten-free food has come.  And to be perfectly honest, I don’t care if everyone in the household eats the gluten-free snack foods.  The brands I buy aren’t loaded with unpronounceable ingredients, so while they do contain sugar and fat, they aren’t chemical food.

Back in the day, there was a significant price premium for gluten-free food.  It is still more expensive, but prices have come down as the supply has expanded.

I am going to start doubling up on the gluten-free brands and just put them in the snack cupboard, not the gluten-free cupboard.  My daughter has two gluten-free friends and she used to eat their gluten-free pretzels because I would not let her take the gluten-free pretzels from home!

I think the time has come to liberate her food choices and let her eat my gluten-free snacks if those are the brands that she prefers.

Kendall Egan

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Gluten-Free Ramen!

Is this a big deal?   I sure think so.

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There was always the comfort of cheap ramen in my pre-celiac diagnosis days.  When I was living on a starting salary in New York City, my food budget included days of living on NYC “dirty water” hot dogs (lunch = $1) and those packages of ramen noodles (dinner = $1).  Rent chewed up most of my income, gym membership and happy hour specials consumed the rest.

Ramen in recent years has gone upscale with restaurants dedicated to noodle bowls, but I have not seen any gluten-free noodles.  I had a craving for ramen while preparing a Cup of Noodles as I worked at a high school basketball concession stand recently!

Thai Kitchen has their rice noodle soups, and while they are quite fragrant and flavorful, they are not filling.  When I saw the Lotus Foods Ramen in the New York Times Dining section, I was very eager to try this product.

Lotus Foods is a company that I have admired for a while. I met representatives more than once at various food expos around the country.  Prior to sampling their products at these shows, I had no idea that rice was so varied in terms of color, texture and taste.  They have a huge selection and a great corporate ethos.

I have not seen the Lotus Foods Ramen in stores yet, but I am on the lookout at my favorite gluten-free shopping spots!  While I am sure it will cost more than a buck, I am hoping they are as delicious as I presume they will be.

I will have to introduce them to my son and hope that he develops a love of GF Ramen.  In three years he goes off to college so I am starting the mental list of great GF dorm foods.  If he likes the ramen, it goes straight to the top of this list!

Kendall Egan

Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn

How can something so simple to prepare be so darn good?  We received a bag of chocolate drizzle popcorn in a Christmas basket from a local store and as everyone in my family shoved aside the cookies and munched happily on the popcorn, I thought to myself that this would be an easy after school snack.  Plus, if I used dark chocolate it could even be considered “healthy.”

I have recently joined a women’s networking group that meets at Chocolations in Mamaroneck, NY so I was able to buy dark and milk melting chocolate at the last meeting.

I prepared a huge batch of drizzle popcorn yesterday and it was as easy as 1,2,3…melt chocolate, pop the corn and drizzle the chocolate on the popcorn.

Chocolate was melted slowly on low heat in the microwave and then transferred into my “pastry bag” for drizzling.popcorn_melted choco

As you can see, my pastry bag is indeed a plastic sandwich bag and snipping a small hole at the point yields a perfect drizzling machine.

popcorn_pastrybag

Spreading the popcorn on cookie sheets in a single layer ensures a dab of chocolate on almost every kernel.

popcorn_plain

Finished product sits on the cookie sheets until the chocolate hardens.  Then it is go time!  Break it all up and start snacking.  Store the rest in an airtight container…but there probably won’t be a lot to store if you are feeding a crew.

Kendall Egan

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Happy New Year and Happy GF News!

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This was the news from our high school and middle school on the first week back from school.  The food service group had done a soft launch of gluten-free sandwiches prior to the holiday break as a test run.  My son was asked to try it and give feedback, which he did and it was positive.

I am just delighted not to pack lunch every day anymore.  He could always buy an egg omelet on Fridays, which he did, but the pressure was on to have gluten-free goodies for a packed lunch the rest of the week!

An the even bigger bonus is that when the cafeteria does a wrap, he will eat some lettuce in it.  If I were to put lettuce in a wrap, he would say lettuce is disgusting.  I will take whatever magic or special vegetable fairy dust the food service providers put on the gluten-free wrap to get something green in that kid.

Happy start to 2014 for me!

Kendall Egan