As you’ve probably already noted, I am a huge Chicago Cubs fan. I bought my tickets and I was ready to go to the Cubs/Rockies game in Denver, all that was left was to start singing “take me out to … Continue reading
Yes, the great Northwest. If Chicago is for foodies, then the state of Washington is for those of you who like your food and adult beverages. My brother is a graphic designer and owns his own business, Fresh Bread Design. He works almost exclusively with distilleries and breweries in the area north of Seattle as well as some in Seattle. So I had the inside track on what was amazing to sip on while in Washington. And it was a fun time!
I love flying into Sea-Tac on a clear day, the views are amazing! I arrived at a good time in the morning and my dad and brother, Scott, picked me up just in time for lunch. Since we had plans on going to Ghostfish Brewing Company when they opened at 3pm, we had time to kill. Scott found a little fish and chips place that had a dedicated fryer for gluten free foods. I loved the fact that he did research ahead of time, read reviews and planned this for us. It meant so much!
The fish and chips place that we went to was called Emerald City Fish and Chips. It may not be the biggest place to eat but it packed a punch! It turns out that they only batter their items in a Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free batter so the only things that aren’t gluten-free are their sandwiches. It was awesome getting a great meal and knowing it was totally safe!
We then headed downtown-ish Seattle. We parked close to Ghostfish Brewing but Scott wanted to take us to Letterpress Distilling. It was a gorgeous, sunny fall day so we walked there. Letterpress is right around the corner from SafeCo Field, home of the Mariners and they currently make vodka and Limoncello. Their vodka is super smooth with a hint of vanilla at the end, very enjoyable. The Limoncello was smooth as well and lemon-y but not overpowering. More like a lemon drop without too much sweetness. We also got a tour of the facility which was really cool!
Ghostfish was a place I was DYING to go to. They brew only gluten-free beers and it was awesome to get to go to a brewery and drink a beer! Since I’d never been there, I had a flight and my brother and dad shared a flight with other flavors. I’d never had a saison before and fell in love with the light flavor with a hint of flowers. Just a beautiful blend! The other flavor, much to my surprise, that I loved, was the stout. I’d never been too much of a stout fan, it’s usually got too much of a coffee flavor for me, but this one is less coffee and more chocolate. Wow! Talk about a beer you can sip and savor! Needless to say, we took some beer home with us.
A couple of days later we ventured to Anacortes. If you have never been there, go visit. It’s a beautiful sea town with a marina and fresh sea air.
We ate breakfast at the Calico Cupboard. They have many gluten-free items including thick, fluffy pancakes for breakfast and carrot cake (my favorite!) and cookies to take home. I didn’t get a picture of the carrot cake the next day but it made for a great breakfast! On the way home, we stopped at a store and picked up a bottle of Ground Breaker Dark Ale. This was also a great beer with a full flavor. Not as deep as a stout, obviously, but had a great finish to it.
That Saturday was our “Tour day”. Scott took mom, dad and I out to see a couple more of his clients. Our first stop was Temple Distilling. Temple, for the time being, makes gin. Disclaimer: I’m not a gin drinker. I always think that someone put Lysol in my drink. Not Temple’s London Dry gin. Super smooth, no bite, it might make me a gin drinker. Put it into a gin and tonic and…wow. So good. You have to try it to believe it, really. They also just released a Navy Gin which is a bit more potent. (I’m also a photographer and the next day Scott and I did some publicity photos for Temple, they turned out so good! Sorry, a little self promotion).
After Temple we headed to Elemental Hard Cider. Elemental does all gluten-free hard ciders and MANY flavors. They also have lunch which is all gluten-free sandwiches. Whoa…lunch and cider and it’s all gluten-free? I’m in heaven! I decided to go with the classic grilled cheese and it was amazing. But the ciders…oh, the ciders! From a classic dry apple to cherry to spiced apple to spiced pumpkin to acai…these are just a few flavors. And they just introduced a root beer, not for the kiddos to try! All of them are so good but the acai was bottled and I took one home with me. The root beer was to be bottled a few days after I left so I may have some mailed to me. It really was hard to pick a fav but I loved the spiced apple or the spiced pumpkin. Two distinct flavors and perfect for fall!
It was an amazing trip and I had a great time visiting family too, it wasn’t all about the beverages. My family is super important to me and I got to surprise my 4 1/2-year-old niece and my 2-year-old nephew. Spending time chasing them around was so precious to me. Seeing my brother and sister-in-law and having time to hear about their future was amazing as well. It’s so hard being so far away…but the memories of this time helps get through to the next time.
I love baking and got this love from my mom. She and I would spend time in the kitchen making cookies, bread, anything that could be baked. When dad was diagnosed with Celiac, she went above and beyond to copy favorite recipes so that he would still have the foods he loved. She also discovered new recipes that have become favorites.
This is one of those recipes: chocolate chip scones. If these are at a breakfast, they are sure to be gone in a second. I love making this recipe because it’s quick and easy…perfect for a brunch!
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES
2 cups Bisquick® gluten-free mix
1 cup chocolate chips (I use mini chocolate chips for more chocolate per bite.)
1-1/3 cups whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper or use a nonstick cookie sheet.
In large bowl, mix Bisquick mix and chocolate chips. In a measuring cup, mix whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extract. Stir into Bisquick mixture until soft dough forms, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons additional whipping cream if necessary.
Divide dough in half. On a surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix, pat each half into a 6-inch round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove parchment paper with scones to cooling rack.
1/4 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract
1 cup gluten-free powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk or water
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle half the icing over warm scones. Sprinkle with almonds. Drizzle with remaining icing.
Each scone is approximately 250 calories each but for a special occasion or for a brunch this is a perfect treat. These scones also freeze well if you are looking to make them ahead of time. I make them without the frosting as I feel they are sweet enough with out it.
The Bisquick baking mix can also be used for your favorites such pancakes, waffles and even pizza crust. It’s great to have on hand so you can make your breakfast favorites!
This week we decided, at work, to start rotating and each Friday we take a little “brunch break” at work. Not only does this give us a little break in the morning but each one of us gets to make something and share the recipe with the rest of the bunch. One of my co workers was searching recipes and kept asking “can you have this?” and “can you have that?” Of course when it comes to biscuits, pancakes and so many other breakfast foods, they are off limits for me. The poor girl was trying so hard and I kept having to say no.
She then said “I don’t know how you do it, I would starve.” Interestingly enough, when I asked friends what things they heard the most when you’ve explained your gluten free diet, the most common were “how do you do it?” and “you can’t eat anything.”
I will start with the question. You do it because you have to. Believe me, this isn’t something that I’d choose. I do miss eating pancakes at a restaurant, biscuits and gravy on a buffet and egg rolls. Oh, how I miss egg rolls. But it’s something that is necessary for me to live. To not live in pain. To remain healthy. You read labels, all of them, because wheat is hidden in so much.
Then to “you can’t eat anything.” Well, if you mean you can’t get a Big Mac from McDonald’s, then yes. Not that I’d eat that if I could…nasty. You can eat, you just have to do research and, yes, it does take time and effort. But I eat, I eat a lot. You just learn what you can and can’t have. You learn to shop around the outside of the grocery store, which is typically the healthiest choice anyway. I eat lots of brown rice, quinoa, veggies and chicken. I get creative. And yet, I don’t look all skin and bones.
I feel bad for my co workers and anyone else that tries to cook for me. Some of my friends have become experts in reading labels, in asking and, when all else fails, in sending me pictures of the labels of foods I may eat at their homes. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it’s done because it’s needed. And that’s how I do it…the short version!