November 12, 2019
Hello, GFF Friend!It’s official—we’ve entered my favorite time of year to talk food, so let’s get right into the subject at hand: Thanksgiving. If you’ve read my newsletter for a while, you know that Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because, rather than commercialism, it focuses on preparing and sharing a meal with people you love. In fact, it’s been such an important part of my family’s traditions, I talked about it at my mother’s recent celebration of life. Part of my adoration is for the meal itself. We always cook the “Thompson Turkey.” Though unbrined, the meat is impossibly moist. But it’s the stuffing that’s truly a transformative dining experience. And the accompanying mahogany brown gravy, which gets distinctive tang from reduced apple cider. How good is it? Let me put it this way: when my father was alive, he would bring his own gravy boat to the dinner, fill it as much as I would allow, and guard it with his life. For decades, we served the turkey with sides of steamed green peas, butter-and-cream laden mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. But in recent years, I’ve branched out, embellishing the feast with items we developed for GFF or that arrived with friends. And of course gluten-free pumpkin pie. If you’re game to adventure-cook this holiday, I highly recommend my traditional Thompson-Turkey feast. It’s actually not hard to make. It just takes some time to gather and mix the stuffing ingredients and you have to baste the bird every 15 minutes. If you’ve got your own traditions to follow and simply need some exciting additions, scroll down for a selection of epic Thanksgiving sides and desserts.
Happy Reading and Eating!
Thanksgiving Recipes that Deserve a Place at Your Table
The Best GF Cornbread Mixes
There are lots of GF cornbread mixes on the market. But some are waaaayyyy better than others. We baked our way through a bunch to bring you our favorites. Find them here.
October 23, 2019
Hello! It’s been a while. Thank you for your patience and for the many kind emails. Grieving is hard. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can scroll to my last entry to read all about it.)
But fall is here, which means it’s officially food season, and I want to make sure you’re armed with recipes for all your festivities. So you’ll be hearing much more from me for the rest of the year—and beyond!Luckily, while I took a hiatus from newsletters, we continued adding new recipes and articles at gffmag.com. Following are some highlights to whet your appetite.
This Season’s Must-Have Cookbook
Award-winning Cannelle et Vanille blog author and longtime GFFcontributor and friend Aran Goyoaga has a new cookbook. Click here to find out why I recommend you add it to your bookshelf and get the three recipes shown below.
There are tons of recipes by Aran Goyoaga on gffmag.com, including one of my all-time favorite roast chicken recipes. But the Crispy Chickpeas with Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, and Greens, Flaky Caramelized Onion and Fennel Biscuits, and Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Citrus Cake are fresh from her new cookbook.
You’ll also find our gluten-free guide to Washington, D.C. If you find yourself in the nation’s capital, use it so you can focus your efforts on seeing the sights rather than sweating your dining options.
The Best GF Pretzels
We recently taste-tested every brand of gluten-free pretzels we could get our hands on to bring you a list of the best bets available nationwide. Check out our roundup to get recommendations, see if your favorites ranked, or discover who’s making irresistible peanut butter-stuffed (or chocolate stuffed!) pretzel bites.
Oh, and hey—are you following GFF on Instagram (@gffmag)? If you are, you’ll find daily inspiration and recipes. And if you want to see what I do when I’m not eating (hint: it’s essentially seeking live music and nature and stalking my cats), you can find me at @erikalenkert. Happy Reading and Eating!
August 6, 2019
Dear GFF Friend:
I have always intentionally kept GFF Magazine a world where we can all enjoy, share, learn, and feel included without being bogged down by the hardships of life. But on July 1, my legendary mother, Faith Winthrop, passed away due to human error after what should have been a simple surgery. I tell you this only to explain my long silence. For me, grief has been a wide, deep retreat, with not much of an appetite, which seems ironic since everyone wants to heal me with food.
My mother is the reason I became a food person. She raised me to love the thrill of finding the next great restaurant, food product, and ingredient, and the joy of cooking for others and sharing what you know in order to help make people’s lives better. She showed me how it’s possible to build your own rich community by surrounding yourself with magical people, often at the dinner table. She came to and/or starred in many GFF photo shoots, tasted and commented on recipes as we developed them, and always encouraged me to fearlessly pursue my passions. She loved GFF and all that it stands for and her influence on it is everywhere. Now that I think of it, GFF has always been an ode to my mother and the values she passed on to me.
For better or worse, Junior Editor Viva and I were long scheduled to explore the gluten-free good life in Europe this summer, starting on July 15. Considering my options, I reluctantly surmised that mourning over fresh tomatoes on the Greek islands and gluten-free pasta in Italy were as good ways as any to feel my way through this. So that’s where we have been and where we are now. If you visit our Instagram page (@gffmag), you’ll see the deliciousness we’re encountering. Next up after Italy are a few spots in Ireland and a final stop in Amsterdam.
If you want to travel but are afraid for your health, I am here to tell you that traveling is good for the soul, and you can absolutely get by GF pretty much anywhere if you are savvy and do a little homework. (We offer insight into that here on gffmag.com, too.)
I feel fortunate to be having this experience right now, away from home and everything I know. It’s giving me time to reflect and to remind me why every moment of life is worth savoring, especially with people you love. Plus, there’s a heck of a lot of great food out there, not to mention kind, generous people making and offering it. Food is a way to connect no matter how far from home.
So, as we venture onward, please forgive me if it takes a little time to get back in the email groove. I am having a hard time putting cheery words to paper at the moment. But we are continually adding more recipes, product reviews, and articles on gffmag.com, and there are already hundreds of recipes—many inspired by my mom—that are worth making and sharing with your loved ones, and they’re all easily searchable, too.
I’ll be in touch soon. Until then, thank you for continuing to be part of the GFF community. It’s a special one and I’m so grateful for you.
Enjoy the rest of summer, and please scroll down to see some summer recipes you can make right now.
Finally, in the words of my mom, Here’s to Life (turn up the audio if you click the link).
Recipes to Make Right Now
July 4, 2019
Dear GFF Friends, my mother, the irreplaceable Faith Winthrop, passed away on July 1 after unexpected surgery complications. Please bear with me while I take time to grieve and heal.
June 16, 2019
With Junior Editor Viva out of school, summer is officially here at our HQ/house. For me, that means sneaking in work and exercise between shuttling her to camps and social events and attempting to take is slow, or at least slower while loading up gffmag.com with plenty of summer flavor for you.
To that end, I just uploaded our updated guide to Maui. Sometimes I collaborate with local experts to write our destination guides. But not for Maui. I first visited the island in high school and was so enamored, I moved there the day after I graduated from college. No job. No place to live. Just a few hundred dollars in the bank and a dream of days on the beach and nights making quick money as a waitress/bartender. I’ve lived there twice since then, visited 25 times, and am always to impressed by the gluten-free hospitality at every turn. In fact, Maui is one of the most gluten-free friendly places I’ve been in the U.S. It’s obviously also one of my favorites. Should you get a chance to visit, follow my lead.
You can also find a guide to my favorite place I’ve ever lived–Los Angeles. Another gluten-free friendly destination, it’s got everything you need for a perfect vacation, so long as you shack up near the area you want to explore or brace yourself for inescapable traffic that accompanies venturing further afield.
Want some summer recipes to try?
Make our grilled peanut butter chicken. I can’t get enough of it.
Our roasted asparagus and oat berry salad is one of my favorite recipes we’ve ever published, and it’s fantastic for picnics.
Also, an anytime recipe that’s sure to be a huge hit with pretty much everyone: sticky, moist, and delicious gluten-free cinnamon rolls!
Happy Reading and Eating,
June 9, 2019
After seemingly endless seasons of fog and rain in San Francisco, it turned from winter to summer overnight yesterday with temperatures hitting close to 80 degrees. The anticipation of sunshine on our shoulders was so palpable, I could practically feel the whole city rush out into the light of day to welcome our first natural dose of vitamin D in months.
As luck would have it, I had planned to attend one of Kendall-Jackson winery’s farm-to-table dinners on the most perfect night of the year. So, two friends and I piled into the car, windows down and music blaring, and took the two-hour drive north to Sonoma wine country.
The experience was as you might imagine: endless amounts of wine, meandering among the vines, one impossibly long, shaded table flanked by vegetable gardens for the 150 or so attending guests, and endless platters highlighting the bounty of the estate and talents of the culinary team served family style.
As a band played familiar pop tunes beneath a majestic tree, people had so much fun, they actually did “the wave” with their wineglasses, toasting in a stream of undulating glass-clinking from one end of the table to the other.
These are the moments I live for. When people stop their busy lives to gather around the table and connect. When the food and wine is exceptional and my skin glows with the warmth of the dipping sun, it’s that much better.
I’ll be asking K-J’s chefs for some of their wonderful recipes from the evening so I can share them with you. But meanwhile, I love the idea of a simple gathering with chilled wine and a platter of self-serve deliciousness. I’m sharing a few options below, should you find yourself ready to celebrate the alfresco season with friends over a carefree meal.
Happy Reading and Eating and don’t forget to scroll for recipe ideas!
May 28, 2019
For me, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial commencement of outdoor entertaining season. So, even though here in San Francisco we’re just beginning to emerge from a seemingly endless season of rain and fog, it’s obvious summer is on its way. And with it comes lots of opportunities to cook and eat outside as well as venture out into the world, hopefully safely GF.
Five years after launching GFF Magazine, I continue to be amazed at how much easier it is to be GF on the go these days. Last weekend, at Napa Valley’s outdoor music festival BottleRock, the fancy food tents boldly and beautifully listed GF, DF, and other important dietary information on their posted menus (see below). It was a welcomed shocker. And the ribs were great (though these are my favorites).
But what happens when you don’t have clear guidance? Being GF shouldn’t stop you from seeking adventures near and far. But it should inspire you to arm yourself with information and tools to eat well and safely on the road. If you need tips on how to travel in GF style, check this article out.
Also important is preparing for airline travel, which we learned firsthand when we went to Europe two summers ago, were delayed five hours on the tarmac, never received our ordered GF meals, and missed our connecting flight–all without an ample stash of GF foods. This summer we’re headed that way again and will be sure to take our own advice for GF airline travel.
Meanwhile, we’re excited to start cooking with seasonal ingredients and taking the party outside. If you are too, check out our collection of picnic-perfect recipes.
Happy Reading and Eating!
May 18, 2019
“Let them eat cake!”
Marie Antoinette’s famed quote ran through my mind as I sat down to write you about what’s new at GFF. There’s a not so subtle reason: we’ve been testing cake (and biscuits and more) to bring you our latest batch of recipes. And since I test at home and I’m a household of two (me and Junior Editor Viva), when cakes are made, and remade to achieve perfection, there is A LOT of cake to be had. (My editing left hand, Cindy Rice, tests at her home in New Jersey and shares my sentiment.)
Our new recipes this week–which are part of an exploration of millet flour by our alternative-baking bestie Alanna Taylor-Tobin–indeed let you eat cake. Or more specifically a wonderfully wet-spongy gluten-free, dairy free tres leches cake and a perky, buttery lemon sheet cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. It also affords you access to flaky, ricotta and chive biscuits. You can see photos of the recipes above and find the article and recipe links here.
Ironically, according to Brittanica.com, that famous Marie-Antoinette cake quote, which was the queen’s alleged response to being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread, was not about cake at all. They say she actually declared, “Let them eat brioche!” But hey, we have a gluten-free recipe for that, too.
Happy Reading and Eating!
May 7, 2019
It’s never a flavorless week at GFF HQ! We’ve been puttering around the kitchen to bring you something I’ve been personally craving these days—recipes that integrate more vegetables into breakfast, courtesy of our amazing GF friend Aran Goyoaga. You can see pics of the recipes above, but let me tell you, I made the rhubarb toast again yesterday and seriously can’t stop returning for more of it. Never mind the bread. I’ve succumbed to spooning up the syrupy, tangy-sweet rhubarb with a scoop of the cashew cream. Add some granola (my all-time favorite granola is this one, which I’m making again today) and you’ve got a dream breakfast, snack, or dessert.
I’m also particularly excited about the broccolini and fried eggs tostada, especially because of the included cassava tortilla recipe. I never think to make my own, but these wholesome gluten-free tortillas are so easy and delicious, I have no reason not to make them. Now, with this recipe, neither do you.
With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, there’s more reason to think about making delicious breakfasts, and we’ve got plenty more. You can check them out here.
But if you’d prefer to show your love by baking, you can knock Mom’s socks off with the following recipes. That’s a promise.
Happy Reading and Eating!
April 30, 2019
Spring is super busy here at GFF HQ. Junior Editor Viva and I just ate our way through LA for spring break (guide coming soon, but a few highlights below), and we’re busy testing recipes here so we can share more fresh GFF goodness with you. Meanwhile, there are so many reasons to cook and eat!
With our new site and the ongoing additions of well-tested and well-loved gluten-free recipes, you can use our recipe search to find anything your GF heart desires. You can also share your GFF cooking prowess now that we have added the ability to comment on all our recipes; please ask questions or let others (including us) know what worked for you, how you modified a recipe, or what you liked or didn’t like.
Scenes from Our LA Nosh
And hey–want to see the key GFF team? You can do it here. Have a great week and I’ll back
April 15, 2019
I type this from Reno, Nevada, home to a variety of low-slung casinos and Junior Editor Viva’s volleyball tournament. Events like this—where you’re camped out in a parking lot all day between matches, eating convenience foods—remind me how important it is to know about great grab-and-go GF products. That’s why I’m committed to adding hundreds of product reviews to this, our brand new gffmag.com site. We try every product that comes our way and only feature the very best of them. We’ve added a lot of new favorites this week, so check them out to discover great breads, cookies, pastas, and more.
It’s been a busy week in other ways since our relaunch of gffmag.com. We’ve added about 30 more recipes, and we still have about 400 to go before we’re caught up.
But that doesn’t mean we’re resting on our laurels.
Here’s what’s brand new this week:
As we head into our Spring Break, we’re also facing Easter and Passover, two celebrations that give reason to prepare and devour outstanding food. Hop on over to some of our recipe section to find some foods for your celebrations.
Here are a few for Passover:
Roasted Winter-Spiced Chicken (you can easily double or triple the recipe)
Double Orange Flan
Chocolate Chip Macaroons
Dairy-Free Chocolate Pot de Crème
White Chocolate Bark with Pistachio, Rose and Raspberry
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Grilled Meyer Lemons and Black Olives Recipe
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Smashed Potato Eggs Benedict with Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce
Pecan Banana Bread
Don’t forget you can always see what’s new on gffmag.com and what we’re up to by visiting this page!
Happy Reading and Eating,
April 3, 2019
It’s exciting here at GFF HQ. We’re in the process of making the transition to a primarily digital publication, serving up new recipes, product reviews, and articles to our online readers and sharing our entire recipe library with GFF Members on this site. (We will have all the library content up by the end of April, if not sooner.)
And, it’s SPRING! Finally! Our Northern California winter has been so wet, I’ve actually had to plan meetings around whether flooding roads may stop me from getting to my daughter, Junior Editor Viva, when school lets out.
On the literal bright side, the mountains of Marin and Napa counties are verdant, the cherry blossoms lining my San Francisco neighborhood are in full bloom, and spring produce is beginning to brim in our local markets.
This, of course, gets us right into the kitchen, and that’s where the West Coast GFF core team and I are as I write this. We’re developing and photographing new super-simple spring dinners, including the salad below, which I’m officially obsessed with, and soft pretzels to tote to your baseball games or just eat right out of the oven. (Evidence below!)
We’re also out and about. I just feasted on totally amazing fried chicken at San Francisco’s brand new all GF/DF Little Gem on Union Street. Their second location is more restaurant-like than their Hayes Valley location, with table service and hip-hop music. Below is a shot (with poor lighting) from my visit, and if you’re inclined, you can make their ridiculously creamy-good GF/DF lemon custard right now.
I also made a dash to stunning Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and get this–they are WAY GF friendly and knowledgable in all their restaurants. Plus, they serve the most incredible GF beer and bacon almonds. You can bet we’ll create a copycat recipe soon!
Meanwhile, our East Coast-based editor, Cindy Rice, just paid a visit to Modern Bread and Bagel, Manhattan’s new GF destination. Their bagels are everything they should be—chewy, dense, perfect, and served with house-made schmears. If you’re in the neighborhood, definitely go.
The rest of the time, I’m doing what I always do—hustling to hit deadlines, managing my teen daughter’s incredibly robust social life, planning my next travel adventure (next up: a GF Europe adventure, and we’ll bring you along), and getting dinner on the table. Following are a few of my favorite go-tos that help me do that with ease. If you try them, let me know if they become yours, too. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading and eating with us and check back often to see what we’re up to.
P.S. Wanna learn more about us? You can do it here.
Erika Photo Emma K. Morris