Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ging Recommends! Canyon Bakehouse has lots to offer the gluten-free community

Somtimes around The GFinGF mansion, it's like Christmas. I get packages of goodies I don't even expect.

One such package came after a Twitter party a few weeks ago. The box was filled with sample breads and muffins from Canyon Bakehouse in Loveland, Colorado. I was pleased to receive this merchandise from them to sample. 

What is it about Colorado and the gluten-free market? Some of the best gluten-free food and people I know come from Colorado. I guess that is why I'm looking so forward to my trip to Denver this August.

Canyon Bakehouse has an assortment of breads and muffins that are gluten-free and baked in a dedicated gluten-free facility. The brainchild of Josh and Christi (she has Celiac, so she knows) Skow, onwers, and Ed Miknevisius, master baker and owner, Canyon Bakehouse's goal is to offer present healthy and tasty breads to a market that desperately is calling out for it.

Without question, they have succeeded. Their 35 plus years of experience really show in this product line. 

I want to write specifically about two of their products, the ones that significantly filled a void in my gluten-free diet.  They also have San Juan 7-grain Bread, Moutain White Bread, and Cranberry Crunch Muffins in the line. 

First, the Cinnamon Raisin Bread is absolutely delicious. I made a peanut butter and raisin bread sandwich, and it was good right out of the plastic bag for lunch. The bread keeps well in the fridge, and it is soft and edible when room temperature. Unlike the other raisin breads I've tried (and you know which ones of which I speak) it doesn't require toasting - though it is divine toasted. I am waiting to soon make my favorite sandwich on it -- a grilled cheese and bacon on raisin bread. I just don't have any bacon....

Here's the label with dietary information.

Ah, but it's the Rosemary & Thyme Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread that I think is the star of this line. EVERY RESTAURANT LOOKING FOR A GREAT DIPPING BREAD -- HERE IS YOUR PRODUCT. Honestly, I wish Maggiano's, Carraba's, and all those Italian places would place a bulk order. This stuff is TO DIE FOR. Delicious doesn't begin to describe it. It's crusty and soft in the middle. It's filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. I served it to some gluten-eaters, and they thought it was just like the stuff they usually bought. And yet, it tastes yeasty and home baked in every bite.

I can't say enough about that Focaccia Bread.  I wish I had more of that focaccia bread.  I need to order some of it really soon.

At issue, of course, is where it is sold. I am told it is available at Whole Food Stores across the country, especially in Colorado --  but best of all, it is sold online. The cost is very reasonable -- each product is $4.99, which is very reasonable. You'll find the online order forms here.

The products, by the way, store in the refrigerator very well (I noticed no issues when making the focaccia bread) and they also freeze well.

Kudos and congrats to Canyon Bakehouse for enriching the gluten-free bakery line.

Much love, and focaccia to all...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Under Construction

I announced a few weeks ago the great news that Randy is moving to Milledgeville, and that I was in need of changing my blog name. I'd like to announce that my friend Sandra (MarylandCeliac on Twitter) suggested the new name -- Gluten Free in Georgia, Finally!-- as the new name.  I'd actually thought of that myself, and she was the first person to suggest it, so we agreed.  Soon I will send her a GF Cookbook to thank her for that. 

Honorable mention goes to my BGFFF Jennifer Harris for "Dr. Ginga's Wild Ride." I mention this because, indeed, it's about to be a wild ride. And because Jennifer, she really does know me....

I am happy to announce some more changed to my blogs today. 

First, I decided last month that it was time for me to leave the BlogHer network. You'll see I no longer include their ads on my page. I wrote the publisher Jenny Lauck a letter to say that, while I admire and appreciate all BlogHer does, there are some rules in their system I find myself in disagreement with.  One happened a couple of weeks ago, when I was asked not to republish an article, even though I had full right under both Fair Use and Fair Comment and Criticism (by law) to do so. It's their policy this not happen.  I understand that, and I complied.  They didn't censor me -- I just didn't follow their rules. Fair enough. 

As I made this decision, I also applied to be a journalist for Examiner.Com. Their rules are specific, too, but I like that I have a great deal of leeway about the kinds of things I can write about.  I am officially the "Milledgeville gluten-free food examiner."   Please bookmark me and follow my exploits. I'll also be tweeting and Facebooking my posts from there (as I do from here). It's a more journalistic endeavor, which is true to my roots. I like that a lot.

I'll not abandon my blog here -- I've had it too long, I need this space for MY personal vents and fun, and I like to offer a space for candid and thorough product reviews (again, something I could not do on BlogHer because of the ad sponsorship).  But what I'm going to be doing over the next couple of weeks is combining my blog "Ging Recommends!" back into this blog.  I'll keep the crazy format and pictures (Everyone loves my lobstah picture. Of course it stays).

Combining, indexing, and revamping these blogs will take a little while, though.  First, I'll be moving the product reviews over here, and they'll all be headlined "Ging Recommends!" Those will continue here immediately.  

But the look and sidebars and information will be changing.  I appreciate your patience while I birth this new blog baby, or rebirth it, perhaps. Depends on your vision.

I'd like to thank Examiner for picking me (and Jennifer for recommending me) and I'd especially like to thank BlogHer for what it does. I'll continue to be a fan -- Shirley GFE will still be there, after all....she does the recipe work I love so much. 

Stay tuned, folks. It's going to be fun, I hope.  OK, I promise?

Much love, Ging

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicken and Dumplins, Dumplin'

I have always loved Chicken and Dumplings -- a fine, traditional Southern treat to be sure. Of course, we pronounce it Dumplins -- the same name we use for a fluffy little kid with apple round cheeks -- hey, dumplin!  I got called dumplin' a lot as a little kid.

My favorites were those made my Mrs. Nation, the lovely lunchroom lady at Alice Street School and later Center Junior High School -- oh, and at church on Thursday night supper nights. She made the fluffy dumplins, and she was a dumplin' of a lady herself.  Yum.

I also loved (don't cringe) Sweet Sue Chicken and Dumplings, in a can.  They were the flat dumplings kind -- thick and smooth, tasty.  My Daddy and I ate those all the time -- I don't know ANYONE else in the world who likes them, though. So they were always a guilty pleasure.

For most of my adult life, I made chicken and dumplings by cutting up biscuits (Hungry you know who) or making drop Bisquick biscuits and floating them in chicken soup. OK. Lazy.

And then, I watched Alton Brown Friday night.....

I have to admit that I have missed this southern delicacy a lot since going GF. So much so that when that dish (I think he's a cutie) Alton Brown did chicken and dumplings two ways the other night, I just knew I had to make them.

His recipe for Chicken and Drop Dumplings was what I wanted to replicate. So here's what I did.  I served it to friends for Easter dinner -- even the gluten-eater among us thought it tasted good.

I thought the dumpling as I made it tasted a lot like a Matzo ball -- but it was all I could have wanted. Delish.

Here's the recipe:
One whole chicken, cooked in water til it falls from the bone, picked, and liquid strained
Two pounds chicken tenders, cooked in three quarts of stock (your choice)
One onion, chopped
Two bay leaves
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, to taste. 
One package of frozen mixed veggies
6 T. butter or stick margarine
One cup stock from your soup
One cup gf flour mix with 1 t. Xanthan gum added (or a cup of Pamela's mix?)
1 t. salt (I might add a little more next time).
Two eggs
LOTS OF PEPPER (the best garnish -- AB and I agree).
Bring butter and stock to a boil, add flour mix and salt, and beat it by hand til it is crumbly in the pan. Remove from heat.  Add one egg at a time, beating it well until the egg is incorporated completely. You can use the small mixer for this, or you can  use a spoon. Next time I'm going to use a spoon -- the mix climbed the mixer and got a little messy. But it worked out. 
(and yes, this is close to a class Pate a choux recipe, as AB would tell you.  I am wondering if it would work to make a GF cream puff...)  
Bring the strained stock and chicken (I left it all in the pot, though AB put the pulled chicken aside) to a nice bubbling boil (not a a rolling boil).  Drop the dumplins in by the teaspoon one at a time. DO NOT STIR. Let them drop in the soup, and then cover and cook for about 10 minutes. DO NOT STIR. When they're floating on the top, they're done. DO NOT STIR. 
Scoop out dumplins into a serving dish, then fish down and add chicken and stock. 
Season with lots of black pepper. It's a must. Really.

Much love,