Aug 22, 2010

Gluten-Free Bisquick: Reviews and Tips

The new gluten-free Bisquick is showing up in stores and several bloggers have posted reviews. Surprisingly, the box is very small and only contains 16 ounces.

According to some reviews, making pancakes following the recipe on the box does not yield good pancakes. Read this review from Jennifer Harris, the Gwinnett Gluten-Free Food Examiner, who prefers Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix.

Heidi Kelly posted wonderful recipe tips for gluten-free Bisquick on her blog, Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom. She discovered that the secret is not to use the recipe on the box. Kim Bouldin, Gluten-Free is Life, enjoyed blueberry scones she made with gluten-free Bisquick.  For tips on making pancakes, waffles, and biscuits, read these FAQs from Bisquick.

Aug 17, 2010

New Gluten-Free Mini Dessert at P.F. Chang’s

When I ordered the irresistible gluten-free Chocolate Dome at P.F. Chang’s tonight, the waiter informed me that they now have another gluten-free dessert. It is a mini Triple Chocolate Mousse served in a shotglass and the bottom layer is a flourless cake. The price is only $2.00. I didn’t try it, but it looked delicious.

I spoke with the manager for more details and to confirm that it is gluten-free. She said it took them many tries to perfect this dessert, and they wanted to add another gluten-free dessert for a long time. She said it may not be available nationwide yet. The best part is that now people who order P.F. Chang’s For Two, a four-course menu which has some gluten-free items, can have a gluten-free dessert, since it includes two mini desserts.

Looking to reduce your sodium intake at P.F. Chang’s? I recently began requesting that they cook my Moo Goo Gai Pan in less sauce than usual because I want reduced sodium. The result is still an awesome taste, but very little sauce, and I no longer find myself thirsty all evening after eating it!

Don’t forget to register for a Warrior card to save 10% each time you go to P.F. Chang’s. View the gluten-free menu here.

Update: August 26, 2010 - I tried the new gluten-free mini dessert.  Yes, I ate at P.F. Chang's two weeks in a row after not going all summer.  Shockingly, before my daughter and I ordered, the waiter correctly recited our orders from last week.  That is an impressive memory!

The top layer is like the Chocolate Dome, the middle is mousse, and the bottom is a thin cake.  The top two layers are great, but the bottom layer wasn't as good.  With the small spoon provided, it took several bites to finish and it was satisfying. However, I prefer the Chocolate Dome.

A note of caution: P.F. Chang's has two mini chocolate desserts that look very similar on the top, but only one is gluten-free. The Great Wall cake mini dessert is not gluten-free and it has chocolate chips on top. The gluten-free mini has chocolate shavings on top, but not chocolate chips.

Aug 16, 2010

Dr. Vikki Petersen Responds to the Today Show Gluten-Free Segment

A recent segment on the Today Show called, “Gluten-free: Diet fad or healthy option?” stirred up a lot of emotions in the gluten-free community. You can watch the segment here, but the better and more informative video to watch is this one from Dr. Vikki. Does a gluten-free diet cause weight loss or weight gain? Dr. Vikki has the answer.

Aug 7, 2010

Bill Clinton is Allergic to Wheat and Dairy

Apparently, back in 2007, Bill Clinton's allergies were discussed on some television shows, including the Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show.  After a lot of Googling, I found an article in the USA Today from 2007 which confirms his allergies. 

"Cooking for Clinton was often a challenge because he had allergies to chocolate, dairy and wheat flour, the chef says. But Clinton could be voracious when it came to desserts."

Chelsea's wedding cake contained both butter and chocolate, so it is unlikely that Bill Clinton was able to enjoy a slice.  For more details about Chelsea's gluten-free wedding cake, view the cake photos, and watch these Access Hollywood videos

Aug 6, 2010

View Photos of Chelsea Clinton's Wedding Cake

Entertainment Tonight has several photos of Chelsea's enormous and elegant wedding cake.  The cake was indeed gluten-free, but it was not vegan!  That is very unfortunate considering that there are bakeries in New York, like Babycakes, that can make a yummy cake that is both gluten-free and vegan.  Is it a new wedding trend to match the cake to the dress?

"The sweet treat was reported to have sat four feet tall and was made with 360 organic eggs, 50 pounds of sugar, 45 pounds of gluten-free flour, 30 pounds of butter and bittersweet chocolate, and was decorated with about 1000 sugar flowers!"

Aug 5, 2010

Gluten-Free Junior Olympian Wins Gold Medals

You may remember my blog post several months ago called, “Fourth Grader with Diabetes and Celiac Disease Qualifies for the Junior Olympics.” Well, this amazing young athlete, Sage Donnelly, won five gold medals in kayaking in the Junior Olympics recently held in North Carolina. She lives in Carson City, Nevada. Read all the details here.

For the past two months, Sage and her parents have been on the road, living with their four dogs and a cat in the family van to compete in kayak competitions throughout the West. This was the first year they traveled back East to compete.

Sage is only ten-years-old, but she has already accomplished a lot. Hopefully, we will see her in the Olympics when she is older! Here is some advice from Sage.

If you have a disease or anything, you should not give up your dreams.

This is an impressive video from May 2010 of Sage practicing.

Aug 3, 2010

Access Hollywood Videos: Bill Clinton’s Gluten-Free Lunch and Inside La Tulipe Desserts

Bill Clinton had lunch on Friday, July 30 at Gigi Trattoria, where he enjoyed a flavorful gluten-free buckwheat gnocchetti pasta. The pasta dish is shown at the end of this Access Hollywood video.

Bill Clinton reportedly lost 30 pounds and it is not clear whether his diet included gluten-free items. However, a gluten-free diet is not a weight loss diet or a trend. It is the only treatment for celiac disease, an autoimmune disease.

Watch this video about the making of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding cake. Although a photo of the cake isn’t in the video, La Tulipe Desserts shares more details about the all-natural gluten-free cake that was nine tiers and four feet tall! In an article in The New York Times, the wedding planner talked about the other gluten-free items, but didn't mention who made them.

"The wedding cake was gluten-free, as was the bread. So were the chocolate-chip cookies in the straw welcome bags in the guests’ hotel rooms."

Update from People on August 4, 2010: 

"As for the food, the cake was a four-foot, nine-tier masterpiece of vanilla sponge cake, layered with dark chocolate mousse. It was gluten free, and the chefs Maarten and Frances Steenman, owners of La Tulipe Desserts, gave PEOPLE an exclusive look of their creation.
For many more inside details of Chelsea Clinton's lavish wedding, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday"

Aug 1, 2010

Who Made Chelsea Clinton's Gluten-Free Wedding Cake?

The media has been buzzing about Chelsea Clinton's vegan gluten-free wedding cake, which is estimated to be $11,000.  She has a "gluten allergy" and has been vegan since she was a teen. According to The New York Times, La Tulipe Desserts in Mount Kisco, New York, made Chelsea's gluten-free wedding cake.  The reception was catered by St. Regis Hotel and included vegan and gluten-free items. 

La Tulipe Desserts, a European patisserie, is not a dedicated gluten-free bakery, but they do sell some gluten-free products, including award-winning macaroons. Here is some information from their website.

"We can create any custom size, flavors, and style for your special day. Anything is possible. Imagine it and it is yours..."

"Our flavorful ingredients are almost all organic and come directly from original sources around the world — vanilla beans from Haiti, pure lemon and orange essences from Italy, Marcona almonds from Spain, chocolate from France, Lubecker marzipan from Germany.

And that’s just what we import. We buy fresh, seasonal organic produce and honey from local farmers, and we choose it ourselves. Those fruits in your dessert taste fresh – picked because they are fresh – picked.

From start to finish, every creation at La Tulipe Desserts is an individual work of art. No mass production, no prepackaging, no artificial anything. Just premium, hand-selected ingredients prepared by artisans. We invite you to taste the difference."

A photo of Chelsea's cake hasn't been released yet, but some photos from the wedding can be viewed here and in this AP video, which mentions the vegan gluten-free wedding cake. She was a beautiful bride in her Vera Wang dress!