Monday, March 12, 2012

Vacation is all I ever wanted!

What's the best part about being a college student in spring?? SPRING BREAK! WOO!! I am going away for 3 days with my boyfriend! We are spending a day in Connecticut at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, and then we are heading down to Truro, MA. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the layout of Massachusetts, Truro is on Cape Cod, almost all the way to the end of the hook.

But I know what you are thinking. "It's really hard to eat gluten free! Especially when you go on vacation because you may not be familiar with the area!" Well that's where the research comes in!! I called down to Foxwoods a few days ago and asked if they could recommend a place for me to eat while I was staying there. First the recommended California Pizza Kitchen. While that is all well in good, after recent findings that their gluten free pizza, wasn't REALLY gluten free, and has made a number of people sick, I feel that I would be comfortable eating at another establishment. I was then told that the Veranda Cafe offers an extensive gluten free menu, so there is probably where we will venture to.

As for our trip down to Cape Cod, that might be slightly easier. We will be staying with my grandparents in their house (in which you can see the beach from your dinning room seat!!) and therefore there will be a kitchen made available to me. My grandparents, however, do not eat gluten free, so we will have to make a pit stop along the way. Lucky for me, Cape Cod is one of the highly populated health food areas in all of Massachusetts, so finding gluten free food should not be a huge problem. In fact, we pass a Trader Joe's about a half an hour before we get to my grandparent's house, so we will most likely stock up on goods there. This is handy not only for my gluten free diet, but Andrew is a vegetarian, so we can make sure we both have plenty to eat. We'll probably grab a treat for my grandparents too. Who doesn't love a treat from Trader Joe's??? :)

So for all of you who are on vacation this week, please remember to be safe, and have lots of fun!! I'll report back more on my vacation on Thursday morning!! There will be pictures and everything!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bagel Chips and Bruschetta!

YUM! Two things that I had completely given up hope on. Then I found these super tasty Bagel Chips by Glutino. Although Glutino makes some rather stale products, when a product needs to be stale/crunchy, they are pretty much right on target! The first bag of bagel chips I got, I downed with a container of hummus. One box is exact for 1 8oz container of Joseph's Garlic Lover's Hummus if anyone was wondering....

Then I decided to start cooking with them!! I stayed within my month theme of vegetarian food with it. There were some recipes on the back of the box, and after playing around with one of them in the kitchen, this is my version of it:

1 box Glutino Bagel Chips
3 Ripe Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your broiler on high. Arrange the bagle chips in a single layer on the baking sheet. Slice tomato into large sections, and carefully remove the seeds. Dice the tomatoes and add them into a bowl. Mince the garlic, chop the basil, and add to the tomatoes. Add olive oil, and mix well. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the bagel chips. Place under your broiler for 7-10 minutes. Make sure to keep your eye on them, as they can burn really easily! Enjoy warm.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe! I liked it very much, and can't wait to serve it at my next party!! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Simple Salad

There are just some days that ones doesn't really feel like cooking much...unfortunately, one still has to eat. So what's to do? On a college budget, most rely on fast food. unfortunately, with a gluten free diet, that is pretty much out unless you want a burger patty with some veggies on top (Believe me, it's as disgusting as it sounds). So what to do? Whip yourself up a salad! All you need are a few base ingredients, and you can add whatever you would like to it to make a tasty flavor combination!

Just start with a bed of greens. That's it. You can choose what kind of greens you enjoy. They come in theses handy bags that are all ready to be tossed into your bowl right in the produce section of your favorite grocer!

Here are some suggested topping combinations:

Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, feta, and a vinaigrette
Leftover grilled chicken, parm cheese, Cesar dressing
Eggs, bacon bits, and ranch dressing
Leftover taco meat, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, and ranch dressing

There are an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to salad, and they can be quite satisfying with the right ingredients. It's also a good way to use up some of those leftovers that have been chilling in your fridge. So be creative and have fun with your salad!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

For the Month of March

I've decided to do a new thing, where I will feature a cookbook each month, and try to do a number of recipes from it, but with a gluten-free spin! This month, I've decided to do The Vegetarian Bible: From the Earth to the Table.

I got this book recently at Barns and Noble because my boyfriend, Andrew, is a vegetarian, and my range of vegetarian recipes was very limited. I am hoping this book will be able to provide me with recipes that the both of us can enjoy.

This is something new I am trying out with the blog, so please let me know what you think about it as the month progresses!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cooking Idol: Julia Child

Julia Child has been somebody I have admired for a long time. She is fearless in the kitchen, and a kind and strong woman. She got her start in France when her husband moved the two of them there. She hadn't cooked much, they often went out to dinner, and Julia was becoming bored in this new country she didn't know very well. Her husband suggested that she should try a new hobby. She tried many different things, including hat making and bridge, but none of them seemed to be a good match for her. One night, over dinner, her husband asked her, "Well, what do you enjoy doing?" "Eating!" She replied. The next day, while walking the streets of Paris, she saw the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. She immediately joined, and found her passion for cooking.

Years later, after studying at the school both in classes, and privately under a number of master chefs, she joined a woman's cooking club and befriended Simone Beck. The two of them realized that there was no such thing as a french cook book for American women, and immediately started writing.

Later, Child moved back to America, finding a home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She tried forever to get her book published, being rejected numerous times by companies. Finally, Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published, and almost immediately became a best seller. A cooking show was soon to follow, along with a number of other books including My Life in France.

I adore Julia Child, and someday would love to go see the country and taste the food that inspired the passion of cooking in her. I recently obtained a copy of her book, My Life in France. I will post a review of the book as soon as I finish with it! Bon Appetit!

Back to the Basics: First Meal

So last week, Chantal came over and we got to work on cooking lessons! We started with a simple recipe, and it turned out really well! The recipe follows:

Pasta with Chicken Sausage

1 lb uncooked pasta
1 package Chicken Sausage (we used chicken and feta sausage)
2 cans peeled, crushed tomatoes
1 onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced

Bring a pot of water, that has been generously salted to a boil. Add the pasta, and let cook till tender. In a pot, set on medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and onion and cook until onions are translucent. Strain the tomatoes, and add them to the pot. cover and cook until the tomatoes are tender. With a masher, crush the tomatoes thoroughly, and add spices. In a pan, brown the sausages on each side. Slice the sausages, and add them to the sauce. In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix in sauce, serve, and enjoy!

This took us around a half an hour to make, and it turned out fantastic! Chantal and I had a lot of fun, and I hope that we will have fun continuing this journey! I hope you all enjoy the recipe!