Sunday, January 31, 2010

Random Stuff

First, let's talk about pancake mixes. Now we all know there a lot of them out there in the universe of gluten-free options. My favorite far and away is Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix. It makes the most heavenly pancakes and waffles. And here is a tip if you want extra incredibly, stupendous pancakes.....instead of 3/4 of a cup of water, add 3/4 of a cup of whipping cream (not whipped). The pancakes are so creamy and good you would swear that you were revisiting your life before celiac disease. I have visions of the pancakes my Mom used to make on cold mornings. She would give each of us a fluffy stack of deliciousness that was not to be taken lightly. And so it is again for far as I am concerned, Pamela's mix is outstanding in it's field! Try and see if you don't agree.

Next, lets talk about the Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes that came out last year. First, the brownie mix. I think it is quite tasty. I always add a cup of chopped walnuts (sometimes 1 & 1/2 cups.......yeah, I love nuts), and I always frost them with Duncan Hines milk chocolate die for! I brought them to a function and never said a word about them being gluten-free. One of the guests commented on the fact that they tasted just like her Grandmother's brownies. I was quite pleased with that comment and I never told her any differently. Now about the chocolate chip cookie mix........not so good (as is). But, as I have found with most gluten-free mixes you need to add more to them to give them the zip that they almost always need. I follow the directions on the package, but then I add to it 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of walnuts, 1 additional egg, 2 more tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of plain M&Ms. The cookies are wonderful jewels of sweetness when they are done and they have substance and are not dry and blah! Just in case they aren't sweet enough, I drizzle some melted white chocolate over them or milk chocolate. I gave these as gifts this Christmas in my cookie tins and people loved them and mention of the gluten-free factor to them. I will talk about the Betty Crocker cake mixes next time.

A note about Applebee's: They cannot accommodate celiacs very easily. I am pretty sure that most all of their meats are injected with gluten of some kind and of course almost everything they have on their menu is dipped or fried in some type of wheat product. Their wait staff knows very little about our issues. The only safe things I have found on the menu are the sides of broccoli, baked potatoes and a hamburger patty that you must insist has no seasoning or additives. Not much of a selection for us. Perhaps if we start complaining to them they may have a change of heart, but I wouldn't count on it.

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