Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | February 18, 2010

Around Town

Since moving to Phoenix, my friend Jess has blessed me with the knowledge of great restaurants, bars, and stores in the valley.  She’s lucky to live close to this hip little marketplace on the corner of 16th and Bethany Home Rd. called Luci’s Marketplace.  I finally made the trip up there to try some of their gluten-free offerings.  I’ve spoken with Luci about their connection with Gluten Free Creations Bakery before and GFCB never disappoints.  I had the egg and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel.  Sure you can buy the bagels in the store, take them home, defrost and toast them.  But it’s just so much better when someone else does all this for you!  Luci’s offers gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m dying to have a few of these sandwiches:

The Naughty Nurse Roasted red pepper, artichoke, avocado & mozzarella topped with pesto, hummus, and a balsamic glaze.

Say Cheese Gruyère cheese & tomato.  Served with a creamy tomato dip.

Yes. Please.

In the spirit of staying on my toes with the gluten-free happenings in AZ, I’ve recently been spending a lot of blog time on a fellow GF-er who’s right here in Phoenix as well.  Gluten Free Frenzy is a great source for all things gluten-free here, and she loves giveaways!  Who doesn’t!? Her latest is for a company called Namaste, which offers allergen free mixes.  I can always use a pizza mix!

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | February 11, 2010

No Direction(s) Needed

I just had the best pancakes ever.  One of those blow-you-away-why-isn’t-anyone-here-to-share-this-with-me meals.  I have to admit there were no photos taken.  The above shot is from The Hungry Runner.  Fitting because the pancakes this morning were the healthy post-workout type.

I’ve mentioned before my obsessive ways that often prevent me from starting to bake or cook something.  I generally scrutinize and reread directions over and over.  I am proud to say that I am a pancake direction reader no more.  The first time I considered this path was a couple of months ago.  I was visiting my friend Lisa in Tucson, and she was crafting gluten-free pancakes for us to enjoy.  Trader Joe’s makes a wonderful GF mix, free of nuts, dairy, corn and soy.  And it’s actually made with brown rice flour, unlike many GF mixes on the market which have white rice flour, cornstarch, and all other things refined.  She went about making brunch without measurements, or instructions!  To think, something done off the cuff…lovely.

So today, vegan gluten-free pancakes.

3/4 c (ish) GF Trader Joe’s pancake mix

1 Tbl  (or so) ground flax

3 chopped pitted dates stirred in

That’s it!  No milk, no oil.  Add water to the mix, and stir to dissolve lumps.  The mix was quite runny at this point so I left it to sit for about a half hour and proceeded to piddle about the apartment. Meanwhile, I had a small sauté pan heating on low.  Then it was pancake business as usual. Lightly oil the skillet and cook until lightly brown on each side. I topped these babies with cinnamon apples from work.

No direction for the day off.  That’s progression.

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | February 4, 2010

Stop Thinking

…And start Making

Doing

Being

Much of the time, I am a person full of ideas, notions, and intentions.  The problem I often run across is while I think think think about all these things I want to do, I just never get around to moving forward.  Part of this issue comes from my immense inability to make a decision.  If I were in an interview where they ask you profound questions such as “What do others say about you?” or “What’s your biggest strength?”  I would beseechingly shout out that I am a failure when it comes to decisions.  Of course, you can never really say truthful things during these interviews…you’d never get any jobs!

Strangely, this fear of beginning something is daunting in the world of cooking and baking.  I am always concerned with messing something up.  Funny part: I went to culinary school!  Did the infamous Le Cordon Bleu thing and still have an asinine fear of wrecking the outcome of kitchen experiments.  I’m working on it, I swear…

But moving forward, today I finally made my own Larabar.  Inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie months ago, I finally took the plunge.  The result:  success!

These little guys were so simple, and perfect when you need a snack.  I try to avoid refined sugar and processed goods, so I’ve leaned heavily on the expensive Larabar for months.  No more!  I am my own bar maker!  You can use any combination of nuts, and any adds-ins, but typically the bars are only a few raw ingredients.

Cinnamon Roll Larabars

1/4 c raw almonds

1/2 cup packed dates (I had deglet noor dates)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

dash of ground flaxseed

Put all ingredients into food processor, and whiz until blended and sticky.  I rolled a few balls, and the rest I put into a plastic baggie to replicate the bars.  Easy and wonderful!

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | January 21, 2010

And lastly…The Best Gluten Free Pizza

Picazzo’s…

The winner (in the valley).  Yummy toppings, delectable crust.  Giant skillet cookies….

Posted by: GlutenFreeGypsy | January 21, 2010

The Best

Weekends

Finish long work week.  Head to Jess and Jim’s for BBQ.  Drink lots of vodka tonic.  Eat great food, enjoy funny conversation.

Go to Tucson.  Have dinner with Lisa.  Meet Dad and Laura for drinks and local dive Irish Pub.  Drink too much with dad over deep conversation.

Go hiking the next morning and enjoy the company and the exercise.

Persuade Lisa to drive to Phoenix.  Round up Jess and head to Goodyear and two-year bday celebration.  Shamelessly indulge in Eegee’s.  (Tucson thing.)  Shop at huge classy TJ Maxx, hike on Mars, then begin drinking by four…seeing the trend…

Round up the boys for The Vig.  Wake up, head to La Grande Orange.  Search for Lisa’s fave Lululemon clothes at Scottsdale Fashion Square and then the Biltmore.  Feel cheesy for having to tour the malls.  Delight in the splendor of sharing time with friends 🙂

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