One of my recent gluten-free discoveries are the wonderful cookies from WOW Baking Co. They are a company out of Kent, WA that creates their delicious cookies in small batches. Whatever they do, they have captured the essence of a gluten-laden cookie in a gluten-free form. Their Snickerdoodle cookie is an extremely decadent treat that makes me crave more and more of them. They are a nice big cookie........no flat, crumbly cookies here. This is a cookie you can wrap your hand around and get into! The Oregon Oatmeal is pure genius. It has dried cranberries and dried apricots encased in a marvelous and satisfying oatmeal cookie that in a healthy kind of way does remind you of Oregon......moist and chewy....yum! The peanut butter cookie is above reproach and that is saying a lot. They have other flavors; lemon, chocolate chip, and molasses ginger. And I have heard their brownies are astonishingly good. You can find these treats in the frozen food section of the Health Mart at Hy-Vee Stores. They sell them individually and they also have mini cookies in little plastic tubs to purchase. I am quite certain that if I bought the tubs of cookies I would eat them all in one sitting.....consequently I only buy one cookie at a time for a special treat! http://www.wowbaking.com
Another recent astonishment has been the local finding of Graeter's Ice Cream at my Bakers Store on 132nd and Maple. Now I have a friend back east who used to describe in glorious detail the creamy, custardy flavors of this ice cream. She told me people ordered it from all over the world and had it shipped to them........I was somewhat skeptical, because I consider myself somewhat of an ice cream snob. I search out gourmet ice cream like some people look for a good book........hard to find but so worth the time and effort. The Graeter family has been making this ice cream in Cincinnati since 1870......I think they have it down pat. They make their ice cream in small batches as well.......are we seeing a trend here? They make it by what they call a French Pot Process. And in many cases (depending on the flavor) they drizzle their own homemade dark chocolate slowly into the ice cream.......the result is hard to describe.....but not hard to eat. Most flavors are gluten-free. The most inspiring flavor I have found is the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. I have been known to serve this elegant ice cream for dessert for dinner guests and they always say the same thing...."this is the best ice cream I have ever eaten". I saw Graeters participate in an ice cream showdown with another family owned company on the Food Network, and Graeters won, hands down! I would recommend that the next time you need to have an ice cream fix that you run to Bakers and try Graeters....this stuff isn't cheap...about $4.99 a pint. But imagine how much it would cost if you had to have it shipped to you:) http://www.graeters.com.
Another nod to Ron Popp of Wheatfields. I stopped by the other day to see what was new and they had gluten-free kolaches! I had a blueberry one and it was just heaven! Who would ever think in a million years that I would eat a kolache again....I have said it before and I will say it again.....Ron Popp you are my hero. http://www.wheatfieldscatering.com
Wave Bistro - I must give Kudos to this new discovery........Wave Bistro. I probably have driven by the place a hundred times and never even gave it a glance. A friend suggested we have dinner there and I went with some misgivings since they didn't have a gluten-free menu. But not to worry, when we arrived I informed our waiter of my celiac issues and he was completely knowledgeable and was able to point out many dishes on the menu that would be gluten-free.....no kidding, he knew what he was talking about! I tried the Lemon Creamy Almon Shrimp not knowing what to expect. I couldn't believe the wonderment of the dish. It was indeed creamy and crispy and flavorful and delicate and heavenly all at the same time. I have never had a dish quite like this but I will definitely be having it again. It surpassed my expectations and was just fabulous. I also tried the Miso Chilean Sea Bass....oh my again words are hard to choose to describe this dish. I try not to order Chilean Sea Bass often because it is after all an endangered fish, but damn my conscience I could not help myself. And boy was I glad that I had no conscience that night. This fish was delicate, refined, melted in your mouth, and was probably the best Chilean Sea Bass I have ever experienced. They had other entrees that I did not try that were safe for me; Medallion of Pork Tenderloin.....the mind boggles, Salmon Roulade and actual desserts I could eat. I had a chocolate mousse torte that made me swoon. It was a layer of milk chocolate, a layer of white chocolate, and a layer of darke chocolate that was all married together in the most decadent of ways. It was silky and heavenly and very much the special ending to a very special meal. I highly recommend this Bistro to everyone......celiac or not.
Will Spring ever arrive.........hope "springs" eternal......get it?????