Hey, summer isn't over yet, is it? I think there are weeks and weeks of food times to be had between now and the fall. And here are some gluten-free products that will make it happy!
Background: In June, my friend Gluten Free Dee orchestrated an impressive BBQ package that was sent to a variety of gluten-free bloggers. It took time for me to try the elements of the package, and I'm happy to report some incredible finds in the package.
First and foremost, I am more than glad I know about Ethel's Edibles. The Hot Blondie Bar was decadent and delish, but it was the Pecan Dandy Bar that really got my southern blood flowing. For years before becoming gluten-free, we made something called pecan tassies -- and this tastes as good as the last one I ate. It is incredible. Here's a good looking picture for Ethel's website. The owner, Jill, has become someone I tweet @Ethelsedibles and if you're on Twitter, add her. But more importantly, get some of these. They are melt-in-your-mouth delish. Better than any pecan pie I can bake. Seriously.
(we ate them too fast to photograph. This is the photo from the website.)
To order Ethel's Edibles, check here.
And no. I'm not doing Weight Watchers Points on this, but I think I still lost the week after eating them. Small blessings....
A second component of the cookout package is actually a product I tried last year, but I feel like they taste different now. Maybe it's my challenged GF palate, but the Canyon Bakehouse Hamburger Buns really appeal to me. I saw the lovely Christi Skow, owner of Canyon Bakehouse at the National GIG Conference, and I told her how much we enjoyed a burger bash one night with the buns. I am in the midst of trying to perfect a GF Krystal Hamburger, and I had my attempt on this bun. But it is a hearty bun, fresh from the bag. In fact, we held them for a day on the counter, and it was soft and tasty.
My picture of Randy's dinner that night. Aren't those buns beautiful?
I've written before about how much I love Canyon Bakehouse's focaccia bread . I happily add their buns to this. I'm pretty picky about hamburger buns, and these are not only good, but they have a decent point count on Weight Watchers. Five points for a hefty bun is pretty good!
To make that burger taste good, I dunked it in Burt Ameral's Five Star Marinade, which is free of everything except tangy taste. It was very spicy, though it has no oil, fats, or gluten of any kind. That same day, I also marinated chicken quarters in the marinade for 24 hours, and it made a very moist smoked chicken. The marinade would probably be called a "mop sauce" in BBQ country, but it doesn't matter what you call it, as long as you call it good. And it is.
You can contact Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org
The only thing in the Five Star Natural Marinade some gluten-free people might find problematic is the listing of "spices" with no delineation of the actual spices. This is not so much an allergan issue than an issue of taste. If you don't like, I don't know, coriander, and there was coriander in it, you would want to know in advance. But it is also a proprietary blend, so I totally get that point. I want more than ever to marinate a loin of venison in this marinade (or as we call in Georgia, deer meat) but I'll have to wait til huntin' season. Which I will. This marinade has a great storage and shelf life.
Two of the products in the package were both alcohol related. One was three bottles of beer by New Planet Beer , a craft beer made in Colorado. Because I can't drink because of chemo shots, I did the next best thing -- I gave them to my beer-drinking friends. Here's a comment from my friend @GFMuse.
I enjoyed the beer's light and slightly floral taste. I found it quickly overpowered by strong flavored foods, so I opted to enjoy it by itself. It had the flare of artisan beer that I've missed in the world of gluten free ales. I love the name of the brew and that a share of the profits go to trail restoration projects. I'll definitely be looking for a case of this the next time I'm shopping for beer.
Photo from their website.
My friend @gf_elle actually agreed with La Muse, which leads me to this conclusion: this is a beer for beer drinkers who want to enjoy a good, artisan beer! And I am jealous as heck that I couldn't try it. (I gave the third to a newbie, and I suspect she's happily sipping it somewhere....) It's not in Georgia yet, but here's where you find it.
The Top Shelf Ultra Premium Cocktail Mixers are still on my counter. Can I say how delicious they look? I'm hoping to pass them around my testers on a future gluten-free gathering. That I just haven't splashed them on ice is a testimony to my willpower. I love margaritas and lemon drops, two of the flavors I have to taste some day in the non-chemo future. I am inspired by owner and fellow celiac Craig Franzblau's story, and as one who is sensitive to all things glutenous, I appreciate his dedicated facilty and dedication to our needs. According to his information, he also has a grape distilled vodka that has gotten a 94 rating from the Tasting Panel Magazine. Way to go!
Much love, and Happy GF Dining!