Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Did you know CHOP Steakhouse & Bar has a Gluten Free Menu?

We've been meaning to try out CHOP Steakhouse & Bar for a long time.  We've 'almost' gone a few times but plans always changed.  This time for Amanda's birthday we made it happened.  We called in a reservation to the West End and called in some baby sitters and made it happen.

We were happy to hear there was a Gluten Free Friendly menu.  It certainly helps make choosing your meal a bit easier.  I have to admit, the menu was not perfect, it seemed to miss some obvious gluten free items like a baked potato, but that was sorted out with the advice we always give,, ASK QUESTIONS.  Gluten free menu or not, not sure, just ask questions.

CHOP treats the gluten free menu like an allergy.  I recommend saying it is 'severe' then the manager handles your order.  The waitress we had was pretty good, didn't have a full understanding.  However, we were still comfortable because she was responsible and asked the kitchen staff when she was not sure, or when she didn't sound sure.

Amanda ordered the Steak and Lobster with loaded baked potato and for an extra $5 turned it into a CHOP Experience by adding a really amazing Cesar Salad with no croutons (soups and other salads available) and side vegetables.  For dessert we ordered a creme brule.

The steaks was done to perfection.  No complaints at all and the Lobster just delicious (yes I snuck some of Amanda's.  The steak and lobster used a top sirloin cut, so I ordered a New York strip steak.  Another really nice cut of steak done to perfection.  The loaded baked potato was really tasty, made up of fresh crispy bacon.

We don't often eat out steak dinners, because they can be expensive, but we knew after the meal and good experience, that we would be back for another special occasion.

 What dish have you tried from CHOP?

Chop Steakhouse & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Easy Peasy Gluten Free Breakfast

It is sometimes easy to over think gluten free meals; what's in the sauce? What is in the seasoning? what if what if what if?  Right?  Frustrating.  Sometimes the answer is right in front of your eyes.  This is one of my favourite weekend meals I like to make the family.

Simple right?  Bacon, eggs, and a hash brown seasoned with salt and pepper.  Not to mention a fruit smoothie.  All naturally gluten free, bacon is typically not seasoned, or stuffed to worry about gluten being an ingredient.  Seasoning the potatoes with salt and pepper will go a long way with flavour.  And no bread?  ya, no bread, you already have the potato as a carb, and fully loading yourself with a fruit smoothie anyway. 

Is there an easy breakfast you like to make?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Who needs a Shamrock Shake when Kinnikinnick has these treats ready for St. Patrick's Day?

So here are some new items you'll find in the Kinnikinnick bakery in time for St Patrick's day
  • grasshopper tarts, 
  • shamrock crunch cake, 
  • blueberry cake, 
  • grasshopper pie 
  • mint and blue berry cookies

Kinnikinnick recently sent these to us for a little taste of St. Patrick's day and we thought "Wow! How are we going to taste all this?". It was time to call over some friends for a little sampling.

Even with some friends over we couldn't finish all these treats, but had a fun time eating some great treats. Kinnikinnick certainly nailed their mint flavours and what i would describe as a mint mousse. They basically took their mousse and applied it to the tart, whoopy pie and grasshopper pie.

The shamrock crunch cake was the best for me. It had the same mint filling in the layers, but I think it was a bit more creamy that moussy, and had crumbled cookies around the edges to give it that crunch.

The blueberry cake was nice as well and one of our guests favourite treat. The cake was the most moist between the two cakes. That's probably because of the rich blueberry jelly that was made for the cake.

Be sure to call ahead and make sure these items are in stock before your next visit.

Kinnikinnick Foods on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gluten Free Egg Pasta by Jovial

It is not often we try new pasta's because they can be such a hit and miss.  But this gluten free egg pasta by jovial, imported from Italy really caught our attention.  We found this at Winners (so you never know if you'll actually see it again).  You will never guess what happened when we made this pasta for the first time.

It was perfectly delicious!  The pasta was so smooth, I don't think i've had a pasta so smooth and silky.  The pasta also held the next day without breaking up or getting mushy.

Below we made an shrimp alfredo pasta with the juvial gluten free pasta.  We used a gluten free pasta sauce, added some shrimp and peas and carrots.

Lassonde, makes a line of gluten free sauces.  This is a pasta alfredo sauce that we used for the pasta above.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gluten Free Cookbooks are a plenty!

It seems that gluten free cookbooks are everywhere these days. If you know of a new, hot chef in the media (particularly American media) it seems that they have either a host of Gluten Free recipes in their new book or they have put out a new cookbook devoted entirely to eating Gluten Free. Now, some may ask "Is this not a good thing?". I can only speak for myself here and as a blog is entirely based on my/own opinions, but for me I can say that I do appreciate that there are always more new and different products and cookbooks out there that are Gluten Free. That being said I know also that there's nothing quite like taking an old family favorite and rejigging the recipe to make it gluten free. Even better and more important is that feeling you get when that old family favorite in gluten free form is just as good if not even better than you remembered it to be!

I want to share another new cookbook that I stumbled across while watching Chef Jason Roberts on the Rachael Ray show. He himself is gluten intolerant and therefore the entire cookbook is filled with gluten free recipes. The book is called "Good Food Fast! Deliciously healthy gluten free meals for people on the go" by chef Jason Roberts with Stacey Colino.

Since you just never know without perusing through a cookbook on your own if you will like or dislike it, I always start by trying to take it out of the public library. Yes, when it's a new release you will most likely be on the waiting list before taking it out, but for me that is a wait I am willing to accept. I do not like spending the money on a new cookbook only to find that I do not like any of the recipes. I took out this cookbook because one recipe in particular really caught my attention. If one recipe from a cookbook works out to your satisfaction, then aren't you more willing to try others in the same book? I know I sure am.

Here is the recipe from Good Food Fast by chef Jason Roberts that caught my attention. And while I admit that I have not yet had a chance to try this recipe it is certainly on my list of new recipes to try soon. Happy Gluten Free reading!

Sicilian Chickpea Stew

(serves 2)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, leaves removed and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup dry white wine or verjuice*
1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
4 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
6 large chard leaves, stalk removed and roughly shredded
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 * Verjuice is an un-fermented green grape juice that can be found in specialty food stores (according to the author)

1) Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium health and then add onion, carrot, celery, garlic cloves, and fennel seeds. Cook the vegetables slowly for about 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Add the paprika, orange zest and juice, and white wine or verjuice, and cook until liquid is reduced by almost two thirds.

2) Add chickpeas, tomatoes, chard, and parsley. Finish with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Allow dish to sit and steep away from heat, covered, for 20 minutes before serving.

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