September 14, 2021
Hello and Happy Autumn. I hope yours is starting off well. I’m here in San Francisco, thinking about chicken.
When I first started working in the digital media back in the days of the “dot-com boom,” I was told that the three most popular search terms on the internet were “chicken,” “hair,” and “sex.” Not all together, thank goodness. At the time, my thinking was that a heck of a lot of people are seeking good ways to cook chicken…and determine their next hairstyle…and, well, whatever else!
We’ve come a long way since then. Today, when I researched top Google search terms globally, none of the above even made the top 100. The highest three ranking honors went to “youtube,” “facebook,” and “whatsapp web.”
But I’m still confident there are plenty of people looking for the best ways to cook chicken. So I wanted to share the following recipes with you. The recipes themselves are brilliant, but more important are their cooking methods. Trust me and read all of these before you make another chicken dinner. Once you know these cooking tactics, you can apply them to all of your chicken recipes with vastly improved results.
Don’t like chicken? All’s not lost! Make one of my all-time favorite halibut recipes or take advantage of the last throes of summer tomatoes with this epic, painless, vegan, GF recipe for Tomato-Cucumber Gazpacho. Or just scroll to dessert!
Best Baked Chicken Ever
When we shared this recipe with PopSugar long ago, it was the most popular recipe they’d ever shared. Read it and you’ll think it’s too easy to be as special as it is. After all, it requires just two ingredients, chicken and salt. But here’s the thing: the one-two of salting the chicken well in advance and then cooking it at first under the broiler and then at a low temperature results in chicken that’s simultaneously impossibly crispy and juicy. While this recipe calls for a whole deboned chicken (highly recommended), I follow the directions when making chicken breasts or thighs with equally wonderful results. Get the recipe
To-Die-For Brick Chicken
Oh, this recipe. I make it ALL. THE. TIME. Why? Because it’s a one-pan whole-chicken meal that feeds a family, delivers ridiculously tasty chicken and even tastier potatoes and caramelized red onion. Learn how to crisp the skin in the pan, add yummy vegetables to the bottom, and cook it to perfection and you can alter this recipe to create all kinds of amazing meals. Get the recipe
Perfectly Poached Chicken
Poached chicken may sound and look boring, but it’s the foundation for many delicious dishes! Want to add shredded chicken to any salad or to a GF quesadilla or chicken salad? Poach it and you’ll avoid the dry unpleasantry that often comes with baked or roasted chicken. Or just follow this entire recipe. With Amaranth Rice and Fish-Sauce Citronette, it’s a next-level lunch or light dinner. Get the recipe
If you’ve got a pan, a chicken breast or chicken tenderloin, an egg, and some GF bread crumbs or flour, you’ve pretty much got what it takes to make a delicious chicken-fried steak or chicken milanese (think chicken fingers, but as a steak!). This recipe shows you how it’s done, using GF bread crumbs and herbs. It also includes a recipe for a wonderful salad with herbed vinaigrette. But if you do nothing but make the chicken, you’ll learn how to make something that’s eternally customizable; for example, if you add lemon-caper-butter sauce and you’ve got chicken piccata or add some grated parmesan to the breading and top with a generous snowstorm of shredded mozzarella cheese and serve over a puddle of warm marinara sauce and—voila!—you’ve got chicken Parmesan. Get the recipe
You can find a gazillion whole roasted chicken recipes online. But what about chicken legs? They’re hearty, affordable, forgiving in the oven, and make great leftovers. This recipe shares a delicious Indian-spice marinade, making this crowd-pleaser even more pleasing. Get the recipe
And now for something totally different and chicken-free…DESSERT!
Coconut Cardamom Rice Pudding with Pineapple-Kiwi Topping
Summer may technically be behind us, but we can still enjoy sunshine flavors. This recipe is another one that can be easily modified. Make it DF by subbing unsweetened coconut cream for cream. Try different seasonings, like cinnamon, nutmeg, or both. Switch up the topping or skip it altogether. Or just make this awesome dessert as instructed. It also makes for a great breakfast. Get the recipe
August 30, 2021
Nothing says backyard cookout deliciousness like a fresh, bubbling fruit pie. So, never mind that this newsletter points you to a fantastic, easy, crowd-serving red berry pie made in a sheet pan and extra flavorful thanks to a punch of lime juice. The real gem here is its crust recipe. Versatile, easy to work with, and made from a handful of common GF ingredients, it’s the one to turn to every time you want to make any kind of pie forevermore.
Of course there’s more, just in time for Labor Day. We all have our favorite grilled main courses. One of mine, which I’ve shared before, is Peanut Butter Chicken. But I find it harder to round out the menu with sides that keep effort down, feed crowds, and impress all at once. So, to take the labor out of your weekend cooking, I’m sharing some easy-pleasy side dishes, too, plus a fantastic carrot cake from my friend Heather Hardcastle of Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe (with outposts in Marin and San Francisco, California). She’s got a beautiful new GF cookbook out, and this must-make cake recipe is in it.
Red Cabbage and Fennel Slaw with Horseradish Vinaigrette
A winning combo of crunchy vegetables, herbs, and spicy horseradish, this vibrant salad has a touch of mayo, which means it can’t sit out all day. But no matter! Pair it with a sandwich or grilled meat or chicken and It’ll disappear quickly anyway. Get the recipe
So simple, so pretty! This three-ingredient recipe can be made on a grill or a grill pan. But best of all, it results in decorative disks that can partner with pretty much anything. Get the recipe
Crunchy, colorful snacking is a fun part of backyard dining. If you’re serving anything spicy, add some refreshing pucker with these pickles. Get the recipe
Classic Carrot Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing
Here carrots, nuts, and warm spices are baked into a moist but sturdy cake. Paired with creamy vanilla-bean cream-cheese icing, it’s truly perfect for any occasion. Get the recipe
Red Berry and Lime Pan Pie
Nothing says “casual summer party” like this gorgeous. rustic pan pie. Loaded with sweet, juicy berries and topped with an impressive-but-simple buttery lattice-style crust, this pie has it all. Get the recipe
August 18, 2021
I hope you and yours are doing well. It’s super weird here in San Francisco. I personally know five vaccinated people who have Covid (not bad cases, but still!). And with the opening and closing of businesses every time a staff member tests positive, it’s obvious that nothing will “be back to normal” anytime soon. Plus, it feels like summer’s coming to a close before it’s barely begun (thanks, San Francisco fog).
Still, there’s much to be grateful for. Flowers are blooming. Farmers markets are overflowing with epic summer produce. And most celebratory after a genuine hell year, kids are returning to school.
In fact, as I type this, my junior-editor daughter, Viva, who critiques all the recipes we create at GFF to let me know if they’re “kid approved,” is milking the remains of the season by hosting a sleepover. In celebration, I’m about to whip up fantastic and oh-so-easy GF crepes. They always kick off the day with joy, and right now I’m all for that!
Below, in step with the coming of school, I share more joy-inducing recipes for snack, lunch, treats, and weeknight dinner. All are kid (and adult) approved, easy-to-prepare with simple ingredients, and truly worth making. I hope they bring you and your family some edible happiness as we continue to navigate these tiresome times.
Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
Who doesn’t love a good chicken parm? It’s a reader favorite here at GFF. Crispy breaded chicken, tangy sauce and gooey cheese—yum! It’s so comforting and satisfying for the whole family after a long day at school or work. This version comes together in about an hour, but half the time is hands off. Use chicken cutlets or thin-cut chicken breasts for quick, even cooking. Get the recipe
Gluten-Free Chicken Sandwiches with Green Goddess Dressing
I like to remind readers about this recipe from time to time because it really is a next-level sandwich with little effort. I made it last week and again remembered what rich rewards come from pounding out and pan-frying chicken (do it once, then refrigerate and use it for a couple days) and layering it with homemade green goddess dressing, crunchy cucumber, and more. Sub the chicken for roasted portobello and you’ve got a vegetarian option! Get the recipe
Smoky Manchego Popcorn
Not just for movie night, this popcorn is one of my favorite anytime snacks. It’s loaded with flavor, works well with any type of shreddable cheese and is totally addicting (you’ve been warned!). Get the recipe
Vegan Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I must admit I’m obsessed with these amazingly delicious, rich and buttery cookies. Oats and tahini add substance, fiber, and nutrition, but I’ve also substituted whatever I have with fantastic results. Plus, gooey bittersweet chocolate chunks and flecks of sea salt make them irresistible to kids of all ages. Get the recipe
July 28, 2021
Hooray! Now that corn is in season, we all have better chances of shucking store- or farmers-market-bought ears with confidence that the revealed kernels will actually be plump, juicy and deliciously corny rather than the off-season sad, thirsty tease of what could be. Still, the annual period in which corn is at its sultry, sweet best is fleeting, and it’s happening pretty much now. To take advantage of the annual harvest, I happily share with you the following corn-centric recipes.
Cheddar and Corn-Flour Dutch Baby with Roasted Sweet Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
Yes, this dish is gorgeous. But better still, it’s whipped up easily on the stovetop for breakfast, lunch, or a light supper, and it’s a fantastic showcase of bright summer flavors. Get the recipe
Split-Rail’s Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto, Corn, and Anaheim Chili Pepper Recipe
She ain’t much to look at, but this pasta with a simple, spice-kissed homemade pesto is truly delicious. Bonus: iit comes together in about the same amount of time as it takes to boil water. Get the recipe
Cherry-Berry Corn Flour Cobbler
Okay. So it’s not exactly a corn recipe. But it IS so totally summer, easy, and made with corn flour. Plus, it’s just ridiculously good. Get the recipe
Want more corn recipes? Try these!
Indian-Style Grilled Corn (it’s got feisty seasoning!)
Pasta with Corn and Tomatoes (you’ll learn how to make and use corn stock!)
Chilled Sweet Corn Soup with Red Bell Pepper Puree (the perfect hot-weather dish!)
July 16, 2021
Hello GF Friend!
I have a confession: I’m not really a fruit person. Apples aside, I usually forget how tasty and satisfying it is. I suppose that’s easy enough at other times of the year. But it’s impossible during summer. This is when strawberries actually taste like strawberries, raspberries reward with infinitely more than a cute rosy look, blackberries beg for purple-fingered plucking, and blueberries boast the undeniable sweetness of the season. Bursting with seasonal ripeness, berries are simply irresistible. Even moreso when they’re gathered at a local farmers market or garden.
In celebration of the berry in all its summer splendor, I share with you fantastic berry recipes that are ripe for making right now!
And hey! Here’s another sweet treat: our friends at Schär have partnered with us to offer you a FREE SNACK BOX! Scroll to the end of this newsletter and follow the link to a quick, fun game and a guaranteed special delivery straight to your home.
Happy Reading and Eating!
Farmer Chiarello: Bourbon, Blackberry, and Tea Cocktail
This lightly caffeinated, slightly sweet bourbon cocktail screams relaxing afternoon by the pool. No pool? No problem. Make a batch, invite some friends over, pour over ice, and you’re instantly on vacation. Get the recipe
Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Berries
Brightly-colored, ripe berries make this salad as delicious as it is pretty. Creamy avocado, crunchy toasted almonds, and a lively poppy-seed vinaigrette balance the sweetness. Arrange the salad on a large platter for maximum wow factor. Get the recipe
GF/DF Lemon Custard with Glazed Blackberries and Flaxseed Crumble
You won’t believe how creamy-tangy this GF/DF custard is. Topped with sweet glazed blackberries and crunchy, wholesome flaxseed granola, it’s flat-out fancy, not to mention memorable. Try it and I promise you’ll be wowed. Get the recipe
A simple, rustic crust that can be used for any dessert tart effortly coddles sweet, juicy berries in this stunning presentation. Use any berries during summer or try the crust with apples in the fall. Get the recipe
GF/DF/Vegan Peach and Blueberry Crumble Recipe
Ah, the crumble. So easy. So satisfying. So summer. This one combines two luscious summer fruits and a crunchy, cookie-like topping. The recipe uses a gluten-free flour mix, so there are just a few ingredients required, and it comes together quickly. A scoop of dairy-free or regular ice cream takes it over the top! Get the recipe
July 16, 2021
Hello! It’s full-blown summertime, so let’s talk one of the season’s greatest stars: the tomato!
Summer tomatoes are a totally different fruit than the mealy, pasty grocery-store versions available year-round in supermarkets. You know what I’m talking about: bursting with juicy real-deal tomato-ness, naturally vibrant, full-flavored, and incredibly diverse in color, shape, and taste thanks to the many varieties. Better still, they’re the most versatile fruit. So, now’s the time to take full advantage with the following recipes that celebrate the glorious summer tomato! Bonus: they’re so quick to make, you can get in and out of the kitchen quickly and get on with summertime freedoms.
Happy Reading and Eating!
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fig-Balsamic Reduction
This show-stopping recipe is a fancier version of a traditional Caprese salad. The simple dressing (only three ingredients!) helps push it to star status. Use any kind of tomatoes, but for best results, make sure they’re fresh, ideally local, and lip-smacking ripe. Get the recipe
Tomato, Basil, and Gruyère Tart
This beautiful, crowd-pleasing, oh-so-impressive tart has a crust that is so easy to make and tasty, you’ll want to repurpose it for other savory summer tarts. A simple filling of tomatoes, gruyere cheese, and pesto is a classic summer combo, for good reason. Get the recipe
Seed-Studded Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Refreshing and colorful with satisfying crunch, this salad turns a few fresh ingredients and pantry staples into an affair, be it a snack, light lunch, or side, all made lickety-split. Get the recipe
Party Hummus with Herbed Olive Oil and Tomatoes
This elevated hummus is an easy party-worthy appetizer. It can be made wholly from scratch or with store-bought ingredients. Serve it with gluten-free pita, crackers, or bell pepper slices. Get the recipe.
Roasted Cod, Potatoes, and Tomatoes
For this simply elegant roasted cod dinner, tomatoes are roasted with garlic, herbs, and briny olives while the cod cooks atop potatoes with just a pat of butter and sprinkle of capers. Since the recipe uses only two parchment-lined baking sheets—clean up is a breeze! Get the recipe.
July 8, 2021
It’s hot! BBQ season is in full swing in most parts in the country, the country is “opening up” (I even saw two movies last week—in a theater!), and more people are gathering. This calls for cool, crowd-pleasing side dishes that are as delicious as they are simple to make. So, this week I’m tossing you some fantastic summer salads. Bonus: they travel well or can be made in advance!
Shaved Summer Squash Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Corn
Vegetable gardens and farmers markets overflow with fabulous produce this time of year. This pretty, tasty and textural raw salad shows off three summer favorites. Use multi-color cherry tomatoes for more color pops or use all yellow for a sunny, monochromatic vibe. Get the recipe
Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad
Use mostly pantry staples and whatever herbs you have on hand for this wholesome salad. It’s packed with fiber and protein, easy to prepare and is a great make-ahead option because it gets better as it sits. Make extra because leftovers are perfect for a light, satisfying lunch. Get the recipe
Grilled Zucchini with Pistachio and Mint
In this addictive, incredibly simple dish made on a grill pan or grill, Arab-Sicilian flavors of pistachio, vinegar, and mint transform humble zucchini into something shockingly special. Get the recipe.
Shaved Snap Pea Salad with Toasted Almonds and Whole Citrus Vinaigrette
Here, thinly sliced snap peas with a bright, citrus dressing are elevated by tgrated hard-boiled egg, pecorino cheese and toasted Marcona almonds. Substitute regular almonds if you have trouble finding Marconas (though they are available at most grocery stores). To travel with this salad, keep all elements in separate containers, then combine them just before serving. Get the recipe
Berry Shortcakes with Whipped Crème Fraîche
For a quick to-go dessert, make a batch of these easy biscuits, macerate some berries, and whip up some crème fraîche. Store all ingredients separately until it’s time to serve. For an even quicker dessert, skip the biscuits and top your favorite berries with this tangy whipped crème fraîche. It’s genius—and special enough for a party! Get the recipe
June 12, 2021
I hope you and yours are well. We’re gearing up for summer here, with a few road trips and aspirations of fun in the sun. But before that, we’ve got an important holiday ahead: Father’s Day!
Every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I wonder: why is it that media usually suggests that Mom wants breakfast in bed and flowers on her day and Dad wants barbecue and gadgets?
I suppose stereotypes exist for a reason. For example, I’m a mom and I would prefer my family slide a tray of morning goodies and a gift certificate to a spa under my resting nose than ply me with grilled meats and a state-of-the-art spatula in the afternoon. (Though I’ll happily accept either or both!)
But I’m a focus group of one and we all have different tastes and preferences. So, this year, in honor of all the unique, deserving Dads out there, I present you with a variety of edible ways to show him you care, be it with a breakfast bounty, a sensational supper, or a make-and-deliver edible gift.
And hey, if you have no celebrations planned or no one to celebrate, you can always make these for yourself! They’re worth the effort, and so are you!
Vanilla-Glazed Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts
Homemade GF doughnuts? Heck yes! And easier than you think! So, for the morning-person Dad, surprise him first thing with delicious GF doughnuts and a mug of his favorite hot beverage. Bonus: you and he can split the leftovers! Get the recipe
GF Pasta with Prosciutto-Cream Sauce and Petite Peas
Fast, elegant Dad dinner? Here it is: GF spaghetti with prosciutto- and pea-dotted cream sauce. Get the recipe
GF Caramelized Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tatin
Whether for brunch, lunch, or a light dinner (add a salad), veggie loving dads will be delighted with this insanely tasty tart. Get the recipe
Mixed Grill with Salsa Verde
May 24, 2021
Outdoor dining season begins with Memorial Day! And with it come the joys of gathering friends and family for casual, alfresco meals. This year, it’s feeling especially celebratory. So, I thought I’d gather a few wonderful, crowd-pleasing dishes that can be made or at least prepped in advance and work well when sitting out at the table for a while.
Also, we partnered with one of my all-time favorite bread companies, Canyon Bakehouse, to spread the word on some new, awesome products being released just in time for summertime fun. Click here to 1) learn what’s new (hint: they’re essential for cookouts), 2) discover the differences between their stay-fresh and frozen bread selections, and 3) find out where to score a $1.50-off discount coupon for all their buns and rolls!
Ready, set, feast!
Braised and Glazed Spare Ribs
I love these ribs because they’re super juicy and delicious. Plus they have a tangy-easy sauce that’s made from the rub mixed with the cooking juices and vinegar. Rub and refrigerate the ribs the day before (or an hour before cooking), then stick the ribs in the oven or on a covered grill for 2 hours the morning of, and your main course practically makes itself. Get the recipe
Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Berries
This salad is so festive. Just look at it! I wish you could taste it from here, because the tangy-sweet poppyseed dressing that accompanies it is fantastic. Keep the salad in the shade, spray the avocado slices with a little lemon juice, and serve the dressing on the side, and this star salad will keep at the table longer than it takes to get devoured! Get the recipe
Torta Sabiosa (“Sand Cake”) with Balsamic Strawberries and Whipped Crème Fraîche
A cross between an angel food cake and a pound cake, this fluffy, heavenly cake is so light and delicate, it’s a miracle it holds together when sliced. But thank goodness it does. . . just long enough to make it into your mouth. Made ahead of time and served with the berries on the side, it’s an epic serve-yourself dessert. Get the recipe
May 19, 2021
With vaccinations spreading across the country, schools wrapping up for summer, and practically everything opening for business, schedules and social opportunities are suddenly going from the slow lane to the superhighway. It’s enough to give a person whiplash! It made me wonder. After a year of stress baking, cooking projects, and hibernating and a bounty of new reasons to get out of the house, are you ready for quick meals that you can whip up, enjoy, and move on? If so, browse on, because that’s what’s on the menu for this week’s newsletter!
Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini with Quinoa and Feta
This dish with lemon-kissed dressing and pine-nut crunch is so satisfying, it’s easily a meal. But once you taste how delicious it is, you may just want to add it as a side to your Memorial Day menu, too. Don’t worry if you don’t have a grill; a grill pan works great! Another thing: this recipe is as much a method as it is a dish; substitute any veggies you wish or swap rice for the quinoa and it’s still awesome! Get the recipe
Miso-Glazed Gluten Free Soba Bowl
This humble meal has astounding flavor and texture thanks to miso, honey, beef broth, ginger, and roasted broccoli and sweet potato add texture. Make sure to use gluten-free soba noodles (some contain wheat) or swap for brown rice pasta or GF ramen noodles. Get the recipe
Roasted Sausage, Peppers, and Fennel
Who doesn’t love a sheet pan supper? This one is one of my favorites because the sausage pairs beautifully with the caramelized flavors of roasted peppers and fennel. Get the recipe
Sautéed Salmon with Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Sherry Vinaigrette
It takes just seven ingredients and about 20 minutes to create four-star results with this magical recipe taught to me by a James Beard-winning chef friend. Make it once and it’ll earn a place in your dinner rotation. Get the recipe
Strawberries and Brown-Sugar Sour-Cream
Growing up, this was one of my favorite desserts: mix sour cream and brown sugar in a bowl, dip fresh strawberries in, and eat! It’s still good enough to inspire me to scoop bites of the sweetened sour cream straight from the bowl. But if you want to be fancy, you can serve the sour cream and brown sugar in separate little bowls, then dip the berry first in the cream and then in the sugar. Get the recipe
May 5, 2021
There’s so much to celebrate this week, I’m popping into your inbox again with some Mom’s Day thoughts.
I’ve never been a fan of going out to eat for Mother’s Day. Restaurants are crowded, staff wants to turn tables to accommodate the throng, and all I really want is quality time with my family, albeit ideally without having to work for it.
If you’re a mom and feel the same, forward this email to your family and tell them which recipe(s) to cook for you. Or, if you’re honoring a maternal figure in your life, use the recipes below craft a tasty, totally GF breakfast, dinner, tea cake, or cocktail in her (or his) honor. Finally, if you’re on your own, take a moment to appreciate yourself for caring for you. (It’s a never-ending job!) Then do something extra nice for yourself, maybe even in the kitchen!
Along with a little elbow grease, all you’ll need to add is love, and that happens naturally anytime you make something for someone. Here’s to momming, being mommed, and people everywhere who have helped us feel nurtured.
Cardamom-Spiked Pink Panther
If you’re looking to toast Mom, yourself, spring blooms, or the growing sense of freedom sweeping the nation, here’s a lively, refreshing, and very pretty cocktail that will add to the cheer. Get the recipe
Shiitake Mushroom, Bacon, and Gruyère Frittata
A gift that keeps on giving, this frittata ups the classic Gruyère cheese and bacon ante with fantastic mushrooms, and leftovers can become next day lunch or dinner. Get the recipe
Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with Charred Tomatillo Salsa
This nearly effortless, elegant salad can be made on the grill or in a grill pan. Regardless, the steak needs to marinate for a couple of hours, so plan ahead. Also, you can easy sub store-bought salsa verde for an even easier but still special lunch or dinner. Get the recipe
Lemon Blueberry Tea Cake
Perfect as a drop-off gift or a “C’mon, let’s hang out over tea and a treat!” moment, this luscious loaf cake with a lemony glaze turns teatime into a celebration. Get the recipe
May 3, 2021
Happy Reading and Eating!
Happy Food Allergy and Celiac Awareness Month and upcoming Cinco de Mayo! We’ve got lots to celebrate, so let’s get started!
With epic, cheap log-like burritos and fantastic street-style tacos available all over town, Mexican food is integral to most San Franciscan’s diets year-round. Still, I’m happy to use Cinco de Mayo as yet another reason to revel in the soulful, rustic, comfort-food that is Mexican cuisine. So I present you with some of my favorite, easy Mexican dishes. Make any of them for a party or for dinner or snacks on the fifth of May or any day. GF beer or margaritas optional.
I fell in love with this refreshing, unexpected, and totally gorgeous carrot-juice and citrus margarita while on vacation in Mexico. You can have the same love affair in your own home! Get the recipe
Chili-Spiced Jicama Sticks
The quintessential healthy snack or cocktail food, this one is super easy to make and bursts with flavor and texture. It goes great with GF beer and tequila, too. Get the recipe
Chicken Enchilada Pie
I’ve been making this dish (about to be enjoyed by a younger Jr. Editor Viva and her friend Pearl) for more than 30 years. It doesn’t look so great in photos, but boy does it make up for it in flavor! A gooey, creamy melange of chicken, cheese, sour cream, corn tortillas, and canned green chili sauce, it’s the ultimate Mexican comfort food. It’s also so easy to make, it can be whipped up for dinner on even your busiest day. Want enchiladas instead? Roll up the filling in steamed corn tortillas (I do it quick in wet paper towels in the microwave), fit them snugly into a baking dish, cover with canned enchilada sauce and cheese, and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling! Get the recipe
Gluten-Free Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies
Buttery and nutty, these mini snowball-like chocolate Mexican wedding cookies are festive, gorgeous, and lightly spiced with cinnamon. Get the recipe
April 1, 2021
Sometimes I feel like I’m writing from within a vacuum. Here in San Francisco, I’m practically jumping out of my skin with excitement. Restaurants are open! Live concerts are being announced! Covid cases are extremely low! Schools are reopening! But elsewhere Covid restrictions are getting tighter. Cases are going up. Schools have announced no opening at all until the fall. On the flip side, for others, life has gone on mostly as usual this whole time.
What strange times we live in.
Despite alternate realities, I think we can all agree that spring continues to be joy-inducing. Warmer weather! Sunshine! A growing bounty of fresh ingredients! Daffodils and tulips! Reasons to celebrate like Passover, Easter, and Spring Break!
I enjoyed a fantastic Passover dinner last weekend that included an untraditional savory cauliflower kugel. It could easily become something I make and enjoy frequently. It’s already DF, but if you use GF matzo meal, it’s GF. Skip it or sub pork dust and it’s keto, too. Whatever you do, triple the herbs!
My friend Alanna Taylor-Tobin (aka The Bojon Gourmet) and I bantered about Passover-friendly grains (I consulted my rabbi neighbor to be sure), while she was crafting her stunning selection of Passover desserts that could easily be Easter superstars too. Find ‘em, including this no-bake chocolate tart, here.
And of course there’s Easter. We celebrate pretty much everything at our house, so I’m filling a purple basket with GF treats for Junior Editor Viva, and pondering what to cook (better late than never). This brought me to our Easter and Passover recipe roundup by my invaluable right hand and editor, Cynthia Rice. It still holds up, Covid references and all.
So, what to cook next? Browse the links above for great holiday ideas, then scroll on for other recipes I’m really into right now.
World-Class Lasagna Bolognese
There is no way for you to know just how amazing this recipe is unless you come over to my house for dinner or make it yourself. Since I can’t host at the moment, you truly must make this dish. It will ruin you for lesser lasagnas for life, but it’ll also teach you how to make the paramount version, so who cares? Don’t be scared by the long ingredients list. Read my notes on how to simplify the recipe, if you’re feeling lazy, then adjust the recipe accordingly and get cooking. Get the recipe
Springtime Mezze with Tzatziki and Spiced Labneh
I can never resist a good nosh platter, especially when it’s equal parts healthy and satisfying. This one requires little more than the ingredients, a grill pan, a bit of mixing of sauces, and a few minutes at the stovetop. Get the recipe
Another easily modified recipe, this no-cook blender breakfast is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, it’s kind of like a fully loaded sorbet breakfast without the steep cost of store-bought versions! Make the blended base and top it as you please.
Perfect GF Cinnamon Rolls
Have you tried these yet? I can’t think of a better way to welcome Easter Sunday. Or any day, for that matter. Get the recipe
March 2, 2021
It continues to be a confusing time. Throughout the entire winter in San Francisco, we’ve been unable to raise a glass, fork, or voice within the comfortable environs of our world-famous dining rooms or lounges, all of which were banned from welcoming guests.
Meanwhile, I’ve chatted with friends in Florida who are on their way out for dinner and drinks without limitation, while other friends in Texas describe days without heat, water, or any sign of relent. It’s like we’re all living in alternate realities. And none of them is all that awesome.
One place where I continue to find unity is around food and the joy of feeding others. It’s the reason I love cooking and forwarding you recipes so much. Sharing a meal is literally and emotionally nourishing!
This week, our beloved restaurants are slated to begin indoor dining again, with limited seating, of course. This small step toward normalcy is a big sign of hope and the promise of much-needed revelry.
Plus, I regularly track down chefs after a particularly outstanding GF meal and get, test, and refine their recipes to share with you.
In honor of all the restaurants that serve us and elevate our dining GF experiences, I’m happy to share with you some of my favorite recipes from beloved restaurants. Bonus: they’re very easy to make!
Bistro Don Giovanni’s Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
I’ve had this recipe in my back pocket for 20 years, and it’s been on the famed Napa Valley restaurant’s menu longer than that! Elegant, ridiculously delicious, and just as good as a first course as it is an entree, this is one of my favorite salads EVER, and it was in my very first cookbook, The Last-Minute Party Girl. Please enjoy this salad and make your way to the restaurant if you find yourself in NorCal Wine Country! You’ll find owner Giovanni Scala at the host stand, and everything on the menu is outstanding. They also offer GF versions of their excellent pasta dishes. Get the recipe
Foreign Cinema’s Five Spice Duck
Foreign Cinema is one of my very favorite restaurants in San Francisco. Every single thing owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark do is done with love, expertise, and thoughtfulness. Plus, the dining room is one of the sexiest in town, period, and they have a large centerpiece courtyard that plays 35mm films on a huge wall. (You can even get an old-fashioned drive-in speaker at your table, if you wish.) Another standout: the recipes they write are easy and offer in world-class restaurant results. I’d never made duck at home before trying this recipe. Now, when I want to be effortlessly fancy, I make this recipe; it’s truly everything. Don’t like duck? Try their superb Caesar salad. Get the recipe
Delfina’s Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary and Pistachio
Are you making Brussels sprouts as often as I am these days? So many recipes have you roast them. This one, by famed chef San Francisco Craig Stoll of Delfina Pizzeria and currently-on-hiatus Delfina Restaurant is done on the stovetop and made extra exquisite by finishing it with a simple reduction of everyday sherry vinegar. Get the recipe
The Riddler’s Tater Tot Waffles
Alas, San Francisco’s Champagne bar called The Riddler did not make it through the pandemic. But its legendary tater tot waffle lives on through this recipe, which, believe it or note, calls for nothing more than frozen tots and a waffle iron! The toppings turn the indulgence into a gourmet experience, but heck, what’s not to love about a tater tot waffle?! Get the recipe
Bistro Don Giovanni’s Butterscotch Pudding (aka The BEST Butterscotch Pudding Ever)
I have to circle back to Bistro Don Giovanni for this dessert recipe. It’s a true mind-blower by Executive Chef Scott Warner. It is so good, it defies description. Seriously. The only thing I will say is that it is RICH! Skip the accompanying pumpkin seed brittle or make it, because why not! Either way, I promise this grownup version of a childhood favorite will forever change your idea of great butterscotch pudding. Get the recipe
January 31, 2021
Recently, I was surprised to discover that one of our current top-trending recipes is our GF tempura. Not that it’s unworthy. I just didn’t imagine that many home cooks were rolling up their sleeves to prepare any version of the deep-fried Japanese specialty, never mind a gluten-free one.
But there IS good reason it’s trending.
Our GF tempura recipe is from my friend, guitar-playing mentor, and James Beard Award-winning chef, Hiro Sone. He gave it to me several years ago, and I know its awesomeness is achievable at home because I tested it, as I do every recipe we feature.
But it had been quite some time since I made it. So last week, I revisited the classic and was so shocked by how fast and easy it is to make, I figured I really had to tell you to make it as soon as you can. Here’s why:
- That batter is made with 6 very common ingredients.
- You can batter and fry anything you want. (I just did shrimp, broccoli florets, onion rings, eggplant slices).
- Cooking takes under 1 minute per batch.
- It’s every light, crispy thing tempura should be, including incredibly delicious.
- It seems exotic and fancy, but it unquestionably easier than most meals you make.
In other words, you can make an epic Japanese tempura feast in about 20 minutes from start to finish and you don’t even need to be confident in your cooking!
I hope the above is enough to convince you to give it a try.
If you do, here are a few notes:
- Salt the tempura generously after you fry it.
- Make more than you think you’ll need.
- Use a small pot and fry in smaller batches if you want to conserve how much oil you will have to discard after frying.
- Serve the tempura solo or with a dipping sauce; you can whip one up by simmering together some GF soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine), and, if you have some, GF dashi granules. I skipped ‘em and it was still great. Serve the sauce with a bit of finely grated daikon if you want, too!
Ready to delight yourself with some awesome tempura?
Get the recipe and get cooking!
January 20, 2021
Happy Halfway Through January!
The air is crisp, the days remain short, and, like many of us, I continue to work/play/sleep/eat from home. Thankfully, this has inspired me to find and revisit favorite cozy foods that are equal parts nourishing and comforting, not to mention easy to prepare and enjoy as leftovers.
A significant step up from the same old go-tos, these dishes have been bringing me joy, both in the preparing and in the eating.
If you’re ready to rev up your everyday cooking, start with any of these delicious recipes.
Moroccan Lamb and Pumpkin Stew
I forgot how satisfying stew is! Make a batch, refrigerate, and the flavors only enhance. This gorgeous version features lamb and pumpkin, plus a number of everyday spices that create exciting layers of flavor with every bite. Get the recipe
Roasted Salmon with French Lentils and Arugula
I’ve made this recipe twice in the past week. The first time, I realized I’d benefit from doubling the lentils so I could snack on them throughout the week. Regardless, the salmon is silky and the lentils have richness thanks to their simmering in chicken broth. A splash of vinegar at the end brings nice balance to this perfect any day meal. Get the recipe
Kabocha Squash Souffle
When I was growing up, my mom occasionally made a savory cheese soufflé for dinner. I was always excited by the celebratory nature of it. Soufflés, though easy to make, give off an air of fanciness. This one ups the game, adding squash to the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Add a side salad and you have a sensational vegetarian dinner. Get the recipe
DF/GF Lemon Custard with Glazed Blackberries and Flaxseed Crumble
The first time I tried this dessert from San Francisco’s GF/DF Little Gem restaurant, I knew I had to know how to get such a creamy, lip-smacking lemon custard without a drop of milk or cream. Thankfully, they shared the recipe. Even more exciting, the custard requires just six ingredients, half of which you probably already have in your kitchen. Ready to try it and fall in love? Get the recipe
January 10, 2021
How’s your 2021 going so far?
I’ve been pulling up, so to speak, by sticking with my new self-care practices. They include meditation, daily exercise in nature, guitar, writing in my journal, way less screen time, and eating mostly plant-based (including my vegan hot chocolate).
If you were around in March when I discussed the diet that helped me lose 10 pounds (I gained it back on Covid-inspired GF cookie dough indulgences), you know some of my go-to recipes. But as I began this year, I needed some additions. And I’ve found them! I’m sharing a couple below, and trust me, they’re worth making whether you’re trying to make dietary changes or not.
Also, after my invitation to vent last newsletter, a reader kindly wrote and asked for healthy snack recommendations. I get the plight. When hunger hits, it’s nice to grab wholesome foods that satisfy. But to do this requires you already have such munchies on hand. So, I’m including a list of some of my favorite easy snacks below. Will you share yours with me? I’d like to create a page on gffmag.com that lists all our great ideas so we have an abundance of inspired snack ideas. Send any and all my way at [email protected].
Happy Reading and Eating and Stay Safe Out There!
Winter Vegetable Velouté (aka Creamy, Dairy-Free Cauliflower Soup)
Never mind the caviar. You can use it if you’re feeling fancy. But the real luxury here is the soup itself. Impossibly velvety and flavorful, it’s filling yet light, healthy yet decadent, and keto and vegan friendly (for vegan, use vegetable broth). I made a big pot at the beginning of the week and warmed up bowlfuls for snacks, lunches, and dinners (add my house salad). I’ll be making more today. Join me! Get the recipe
Roasted Carrots with Hummus
Roasted carrots are amazing by themselves. Add a fabulous, fast homemade hummus recipe and it’s the grand slam of snacks. Make extra, refrigerate it, and snack on demand! Get the recipe
Fast, Healthy, Satisfying Snacks
- Tofu with GF soy sauce: Combine in a bowl and eat!
- Grilled vegetables: Grill a bunch in a grill pan and refrigerate for easy snacking; you can chop them and put them in salads too or use them to make the above quinoa salad.
- Apples with peanut butter (my daughter adds chocolate chips)
- Celery and store-bought hummus, charred carrot hummus, or white bean dip.
- Blistered shishito peppers: throw a tiny bit of oil in a pan, sear them for about 10 minutes with the occasional flip, salt, and eat!
- Hard-boiled or deviled eggs
- Egg salad
- Tuna salad
- GF crackers and cheese
- Chocolate-mint green smoothie: Blend half a banana, a big handful of spinach, a handful or mint (or mint extract), enough almond milk to combine, and about a tablespoon of cocoa nibs.
November 27, 2020
Have the holidays begun? It doesn’t really feel like it here in chilly, Covid-restricted San Francisco. But, as I mentioned in my Thanksgiving-recipes newsletter, I’m seeking normalcy though cooking our traditional feast. (I’ll also make our fave Chicken Enchilada Pie using leftover turkey.)
After that, it’s full-blown soup season, where I make a big pot on weekends, refrigerate a few servings for easy weekday eating, and freeze some for last-minute future meals.
In case you’d like to join me, behold some comforting brothy meals worth making.
Also, definitely open our next newsletter, which will drop December 1. It’ll kick off our annual GFF Great 15-Day Giveaway, where we’ll give away a whopping 78 prizes from some of our very favorite brands. Our cookie roundup will follow shortly thereafter.
Happy reading and eating and I hope you and yours are healthy and finding the fun where you can.
If you’re cooking turkey this year, you’ll have a nice carcass to use to make your own bone broth, which we know is good for your health.
Making it is as easy as plopping the bones in a pot with water and a little vinegar, so you have no reason not to give it a go. Besides, what else do you have to do? Get the recipe
Or check out our traditional Chicken Broth recipe. Sub turkey and it’s turkey broth!
Oh, how I love tortilla soup. It manages to be somewhat light yet hearty and loaded with all the comfort flavors of Mexican cuisine. Plus, it’s a perfect football-watching food. (And you can add leftover turkey!) Get the recipe
Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup
Yes, it’s gorgeous. But this thick, Thai-cuisine-kissed soup accented with curry paste, coconut milk, and lime is also delicious and vegan! Bonus: you don’t need to be a fancy chef to make your own version look this good. Get the recipe
French Onion Soup
Is there anything more irresistible than what is essentially drinkable caramelized onions? Just typing these words makes me want to rush to the kitchen and start a batch. Get the recipe
Miso Soup with Noodles
Weeknight-easy, totally cozy, vegan, and delicious, this soup delivers pleasing, layered flavors and diverse textures with minimal effort. Isn’t that what we all need right now? Get the recipe
Gluten-free ramen? You bet! Get the recipe
October 12, 2020
As we head into entertaining season and what-the-heck-can-I-make-for-dinner-in-a-hurry season, I need to talk paella with you.
Or more specifically, I feel compelled to share with you my all-time favorite, most trusted recipe for weeknight meals and 20-person feasts. GF chicken piccata aside, it’s the dinner recipe I’ve probably made the most in my life and it’s never let me down.
The real win is in sharing with you why this paella can become one of the most influential, customizable, time-saving, palate-pleasing recipes in your culinary arsenal.
So, here’s what you need to know about 1) why if you make this dish once, you’ll do it again and again and 2) how you can rely on it to become your own, totally affordable custom specialty that can work for dinner for two or 20.
Oh! And if nothing I can say will convince you to turn your attention to paella, there’s always wonderful GF desserts, so read on!
Seafood Paella with Baby Back Riblets
What’s So Special About This Paella
- Paella is all about the broth you cook the rice in. The majority of the recipe is making the broth. Chop a bunch of vegetables, simmer them in chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make vegan), puree the results and you’ve got magical paella broth. But here’s the kicker: If you triple the broth ingredients and freeze extra broth in single-recipe portions (i.e. 4 cups), you can later thaw frozen broth to prep fancy-pants paella dinners in less than 15 minutes. Paella after work? Last-minute paella? Impressive dinner without sweating it? Easy!
- The rice you use is important. If you want your rice to be fantastically tender but toothsome and crispy-edged like all great paella dishes, you must use paella rice. It’s not the same as arborio rice. It’s paella rice, and it’s available at gourmet markets, online, and in markets that carry specialties from Spain.
- Once you understand the function of the broth, rice, and toppings, you can customize the hell out of your paella recipe. For the additions, this recipe includes hard chorizo (kind of like salami—it adds a salty/savory element), pan-seared baby back ribs, and shellfish. But they could easily be raw cubed chicken and shrimp, chunks of boneless raw fish, or a bounty of sautéed mushrooms. The broth flavor profile can be completely customized too; modify the ingredients and it can be a mushroom broth or a seafood broth; most important is that the broth tastes delicious and full-flavored (make sure it’s well salted; adding it to rice mellows the intensity).
- Paella can be cooked in any kind of oven-safe pan. Paella pans exist and are impressive if you want to plunk down a wide, huge platter on the table. But cast-iron, stainless-steel, or other oven-safe pans work too, so don’t feel you need fancy equipment to make this dish.
- This dish can be inexpensive or more expensive; it’s up to you! The broth is made with mostly cheap vegetables. The saffron is an investment, but a worthy one, and its cost is spread across many, many meals. What you add to the broth and rice is up to you. Keep it frugal or blow the budget. Either way, it will be fantastic as long as you add enough salt. Like most dishes, if your paella tastes bland, salt it and it’ll come to life.
Get the Paella Recipe
Orange-Pistachio Upside Down Cake
Shockingly moist with elegant looks and fantastic nut-and-citrus flavor, this easy-to-make dessert is destined for dinner-table stardom Get the recipe
GF Vegan Chocolate Chip Almond-Butter Cookies
After 10 days of heightened oppression here in California thanks to extreme heat compounded by wildfire smoke, I find myself marveling at our ability to adjust. And to feel gratitude. As of late at my house, the less we have access to, the more we appreciate what we have.
I’ve never been more grateful for the privilege to go outside, to go inside, to stay cool, to feel the sun on my face, to see blue sky, or to breathe clean air. Likewise the ability to find joyful distractions, like a good book, a morning walk, socially distanced cocktail hour, or food and football.
I hope you’re doing well, finding fun where you can, and can make your days a little tastier with the following recipes, whether they’re enjoyed while rooting for your favorite team, snacking with people you love, or treating yourself to home-cooked nibbles.
Oh! The image above? That’s an unfitted compilation image of one week of air quality at my house, captured by a neighbor.
Party Hummus with Herbed Olive Oil and Tomatoes
While it’s a vegetarian appetizer, I sometimes use this as a one-dish snack meal. (I love snack meals!) Loaded with protein and veggies, it can be made vegan by skipping the yogurt.
Bean and Cheese Baby Bell Bites with Avocado Crema Recipe
These bite-size poppers are so easy and cute. But you can also add cooked ground turkey and stuff and roast larger bell peppers for a light meal. Get the recipe
Smoky Manchego Popcorn
Turn everyday popcorn into an event with this simple, delicious recipe that’s great for football, movie night, or after-school snacking. Get the recipe
Thyme and Sea Salt–Souffléd Potato Chips
Why make your own potato chips, you wonder? First, it’s fun. But more important, the texture and flavor are fantastic.
Yes, you can buy store-bought crackers, but these are special. Plus, it really is easy and satisfying to make your own. Add your favorite cheese to the dough or don’t. You’ll find these go great with cheeses, dips, and snack trays but are delicious enough to eat solo. Get the recipe
Salted Chocolate Coconut-Flour Blondies
These blocks of goodness go quick, so make more than you think you’ll need; extras make perfect afternoon pick-me-ups. Get the recipe
Though it’s now common to find fresh corn shucked and wrapped as a four-pack even out of season, I’ve been waiting patiently for the moment the favorite summer side has its official annual moment in the sun. Between now and late September is it. This is when the vibrant textural vegetable is at its sweet, crunchy-soft best and begs to be eaten on the cob, in salads and sides, or even as a dessert component.
Growing up, corn was a celebration at my house in San Francisco. We had actual corn plates that cradled one cob snugly yet had enough room so I could spin my corn in its butter drippings gathered beneath it as it rested. We had corn holders, too, which we plugged into each cob end so we cold hold our corn daintily. They didn’t prevent messy hands, but they helped make corn-eating an event.
These days, I don’t have any fancy corn serving utensils. But that doesn’t make my annual enjoyment any less satisfying, especially if I employ the following corn recipes, most of which come from fantastic restaurants I miss being able to visit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
GF Pasta with Corn and Tomatoes
You won’t find a more corn-centric summer dish featuring homemade corn stock, pureed corn, and roasted corn partnered with summer’s extradelicious tomatoes. If you want to up your corn game, start here.
Sweet Corn Soup with Red Bell Pepper Puree
This velvety five-ingredient, vegan chilled soup maximizes the deliciousness of summertime’s starring crop by simmering corn kernels with their cobs. A tangy, optional finishing swirl of red bell pepper puree adds gorgeous contrasting flavor and color. Get the recipe
Indian-Style Grilled Corn
This impossibly simple, traditional preparation makes gnawing on summer’s favorite side dish a transcendent experience. Get the recipe
Sweet Corn Cakes
These moist, light, pudding-like pan de elote sweet corn cakes are made in a cupcake pan. Serve them upside down and topped with ice cream for the perfect summer-meal finale. Get the recipe
“What month is it?”
Last Saturday, I asked my daughter this question in earnest.
With days blending into months, my only clear reminders of where we are in the annual calendar are two things: warmer weather and summer fruit.
But what great reminders they are. Thanks to them, and their incitement of vacation attitude, even now, amidst all the seemingly ever-escalating madness, there are ways to find joy and respite.
For me, most of them have to do with getting outside and into nature, wherever I can find it. In San Francisco, that’s meant early morning climbs to the top of nearby Twin Peaks, long evening walks on Marin County’s Stinson Beach, and urban adventure at my favorite local haunt, the Botanical Garden. (Highly recommended if you come this way.) I bring a picnic and sometimes a cocktail or two, amble mindlessly along the winding, verdant paths, and lose myself in the moment.
In fact, the forced “grounding” of this year has taught me that you don’t need to go far to take a “vacation.” Stepping outside of the day-to-day responsibilities and surroundings can be just as rejuvenating and even thrilling.
Summer fruit similarly fosters a sense of freedom and lightness. Delicious fresh from the earth or tree, served cool, at room temperature, or grilled, its juicy, celebratory nature is a party for the mouth.
So, with the July 4th fireworks already echoing through my neighborhood this week, a plate of berries by my side, and a small gathering in my yard today in honor of my mom, who left this earth one year ago today, I share with you fantastic fruit-forward treats for your table.
What’s a bostock, you ask? Think of it as a cross between French toast and an almond croissant. Brushed with sweet vanilla syrup then topped with almond cream that puffs in the oven, it’s an epic brunch star, especially topped with crunchy sliced almonds and juicy apricot slices. Get the recipe
Red Berry and Lime Pan Pie
With an easy, fantastic GF crust, fantastic sweet-tangy flavors that only get better as they sit, and a lot to go around, this is the pie to make for summer fun. Get the recipe
Grilled Peaches with Cardamom-Honey Yogurt
Dessert or breakfast—take your pick. This guiltlessly decadent gluten free treat makes the most of summer’s juicy, sweet fruit any time of day. Bonus: it’s easily made DF if you sub DF yogurt or ice cream. Get the recipe
Summer Berry and Rose Water Parfait
The classic, elegant summer dessert of berries and cream are elevated with this parfait, thanks to the use of a homemade custard (yum!) and rose water-kissed whipped cream. If you want to up your summer dessert game, this recipe is the way to do it. Get the recipe
I don’t know about you, but I have never appreciated outdoor dining as much as I do these days. Partly by necessity (we’re still on lockdown here in the San Francisco Bay area, so outdoor visits are all we’ve got) and partly because the weather here has been amazing, alfresco eats have become my mainstay.
Last weekend, I made the Grilled Peanut Butter Chicken I shared with you recently. Along with showcasing exceptional, layered flavors thanks to various spices, it’s great for feeding a crowd because it uses affordable chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks), is easily prepped in advance, and waits patiently in the fridge until you’re ready to grill. I backed it up with Blackberry-Almond Brown-Butter Cakes because they’re yummy, can be made ahead in bulk in cupcake tins, and are effortless to transport. (Add a few raspberries and you have a more red, white, and blue dessert!)
Now that July 4 is headed our way, I’m thinking of my next grand alfresco meal options and sharing with you some of my favorite ways to feed a crowd.
Happy Reading and Eating and I hope you and yours are hanging in there.
My daughter, Junior Editor Viva (at left), is now nearly 15, but we still love this deliciously modern take on the warm-weather classic. For a grownup 4th of July party version, add vodka and sub bubbly water for the 2 cups water and garnish with a couple of blueberries and raspberries. Get the recipe
Grilled (or Pan-fried) Clams with GF Buttered Breadcrumbs
Fabulous starters don’t get simpler than this one. It requires a handful of ingredients, five minutes of prep, and eight minutes of cooking and it’s plenty fun to eat. Get the recipe
The Main Course
Grilled Skirt Steak with Charred Tomatillo Salsa
This delicious gluten-free steak salad with fingerling potatoes covers all the bases of entree, salad, and side—and it’s easily doubled to feed a crowd! Get the recipe
Burrata and Grilled Vegetables with Arugula and Basil Oil
Allow me to introduce you to your new summer-dining best friend. Easy to make and booming with seasonal flavor, it’s a grilling recipe you’ll reach for again and again, with or without including burrata cheese. Get the recipe
Iced Coconut Cream with Tapioca Pearls
An exotic cross between tapioca pudding and sweetened iced coconut milk, this refreshing gluten-free dessert is simultaneously unusual, approachable, and totally captivating. It’s also great for crowds and can be made Independence-Day specific by adding a bit of red or blue food coloring to some of the servings. Get the recipe
Homemade GF Ice Cream Cones
You don’t need special kitchen equipment to make these cones. Just bake, shape, let cool, and fill with your favorite ice cream! Get the recipe
I hope your Mother’s Day was pleasurable. Junior Editor Viva gave me a beautiful journal, stunning drawing, and a heartfelt soliloquy that brought me to tears, and we took a long drive, found our way to excellent takeout GF burgers and fries and even donuts, and ate them in a parking lot where there was enough traffic for some “people watching.” But the day still hung heavy with the absence of Mom. “They” say the first year is the hardest. I hope that’s true.
Regardless of my special circumstance, these feelings of missing seem generally apropos —as do the unexpected ways in which we find solace.
The other day I stumbled upon a decade-old, 10-minute recording I made on my phone during a trip to Cappadocia, Turkey. It captured the twilight sounds of a friend and I dining at a rooftop restaurant tucked into the majestic, otherworldly terrain. As I closed my eyes and listened to the recorded Call to Prayer echoing through the canyon and our waiter describing how to break open the ceramic pot that contained our “testi kabob” entree, I found myself there, reliving the moment. It was magical.
As we continue to shelter in place, I’m more and more compelled by journeys of the mind. Old photos, saved voicemails, yellowed letters, archived emails—they all give me the opportunity to venture back through some of life’s most beautiful moments. Though there are plenty of downsides to our current status (too many to name, honestly), our situation does provide ample time for romantic reflection.
I’m interested to discover what memories I will affectionately revisit from this time once it’s the distant past. I’m certain some of them will be about cooking and meals shared with my daughter. With this in mind, I’m sharing recipes that I hope become your flavor sojourns worth revisiting. They’re dishes that I found so startlingly good while traveling, I begged for (and got) the recipes. Alas, the testi kabob isn’t included—I haven’t gotten desperate enough to start making my own cooking pottery . . . yet.
Be well and reach out if you need anything and I’ll be back soon with thoughts on a tasty Memorial Day weekend.
Oh! And our giveaway blitz on Instagram is wrapping up, but you can still enter to win a fantastic prizes until midnight on May 14. Check them out here.
Travel at Your Own Table
Flora Farms Farmarita (Mexico)
An exciting, refreshing twist on the margarita, this tequila and carrot-juice Farmarita cocktail, served at the fabulous destination restaurant Flora Farms outside of Cabo San Lucas, is a tipsy ray of sunshine in a glass. Get the recipe
The Fairmont Kea Lani’s Edamame Hummus (Hawaii)
This edamame hummus has been an obsession since I first tried it at Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani resort nearly a decade ago. There, they serve it for us GF folks with big, round rice chips that we break into chards and devour. But this delicious dip can be served with pretty much anything, including rice crackers or just a spoon. Get the recipe
Scoma’s GF Fried Calamari (San Francisco)
I had never made fried calamari before I went GF—or for nearly 20 years after that. But once I tasted the GF version of the salty-chewy-crispy appetizer at San Francisco’s blue-chip seafood restaurant Scoma’s and found out that I could make it at home with epic results, I braved the seafood counter, bought calamari, and got down to business with this recipe. You’ll be shocked at how easy it is. Get the recipe
Perfect GF Fried Chicken (San Francisco)
Now seems like the perfect time to try new recipes, especially this one, which promises the very best GF fried chicken and no need for a deep fryer! From one of my very favorite San Francisco restaurants, Firefly, it’s panfried and impossibly good. Get the recipe
Almond-Blackberry Brown-Butter Cakes
Junior Editor Viva and I discovered these glorious single-serving gluten-free almond cakes last summer at the fantastic GF- and vegan-friendly Amsterdam restaurant, Piqniq. Owner/baker Paulien Gmelig, kindly shared this recipe with us. Try it and swoon! Get the recipe
I don’t know about Cinco de Mayo this year. A Zoom party with synchronized tequila shots or margarita cheers doesn’t sound that exciting—unless you’re sheltering in place with a festive brood. But you know what is beguiling regardless? Mexican food! Rustic, soul-comforting, vibrant, and delicious, it’s a fiesta for the taste buds whether you’re celebrating a holiday or just trying to decide what to cook next. So, behold some of my favorite Mexican recipes for the fifth or May or any day—tequila shot optional.
When I was 21, moved to Maui, and became a bartender, this cranberry-kissed tequila concoction was my drink. But beware. It’s pretty, perky, and potent. Get the recipe
Baby Bean and Cheese Bell Bites with Avocado Creme
These cute little stuffed bell peppers take seconds to prepare and even less time to devour. Good thing you can make a ton of them anytime, as they’re just as good as an appetizer as they are an after online-school snack. Get the recipe
Grilled Short Ribs Tacos
This recipe is a twofer—half of the ingredients go into the perky quick-pickled onions. But the secret weapon is the ribs preparation. It calls for just three ultra-common seasonings, oil, and ribs and produces lip-smacking, finger-licking results that can be used for tacos or just plopped on a platter and devoured. You won’t find a simpler taco pleasure than this one. Get the recipe
Carnitas-Style Pulled Pork
I’m a sucker for pulled pork. The juicy, rich, layered flavors are only half the reason. The other is its preparation: combine a few ingredients in a baking pan, pop them in the oven, and out comes ready-to-shred for-tender hog heaven.Plus, it’s perfect on tacos with simple toppings and easy to make extra and freeze it for future use. Get the recipe
Double Orange Flan
The wiggly, jiggly, rich and creamy dessert that is flan gets an extra layer of deliciousness with the addition of citrus. Get the recipe
Mexican Hot Chocolate
The beverage of my San Francisco childhood gets a grownup makeover here with the addition of heavy cream (or plant-based cream) and bourbon. Talk about a reason to say Olé!
How’s it going? Have you settled into a shelter-in-place groove yet? For me, the pendulum has swung somewhere between my ambitious, be-my-best-self meditation and workout-inspired start and my week of cookie-dough-diet wallowing. So, I’m lingering toward the middle for the moment.
This means I’m finding routine (Boy does that help!), getting back to a more well-balanced diet and sleep schedule, discovering new ways to connect with friends, and, perhaps most important, stepping away from screens and the never-ending news updates. Another big pick-me-up: taking a shower, getting dressed, and blow-drying my hair! The occasional social-distance cocktail hour doesn’t hurt either.
So, what’s on the menu this week? How about an incredibly easy vegan flatbread supper that can be modified any which way and has a base of only four everyday ingredients? I’ve also included a few happy hour ideas, because it’s time to create our own causes for celebration; consider whipping them up, getting dressed, and toasting to life, even if you’re solo. (That said, you can make and enjoy them as snacks anytime.) And finally, two baking projects: phenomenally moist and tasty chocolate cupcakes made with cooked quinoa instead of flour and a fabulous apple tart that’s so easy and stunning, you may end up whipping it together many times over the coming weeks and beyond.
Oh! Also, don’t forget to check our list of great GF companies that are shipping now. We’re adding more as we discover them and updates include tasty, fresh NY-style bagels, decadent mug cake mixes, gorgeous gourmet waffles, crackers, breads, and more.
Wishing you health and peace as we forge onward into the shared unknown.
Fast, Delicious Dinner (or Lunch!)
Chickpea Flatbread with Caramelized Onions
Don’t be deterred by its modest brownness. This is a fabulous flatbread. Its base is crafted from chickpea flour, oil, water, and salt. If you’ve got those four ingredients, you have flatbread. Here it’s gussied up with caramelized onions and a few herbs. But you can add anything you want, not to mention top it with a simple salad. As such, it’s a satisfying entree made in less than 15 minutes. Get the recipe
Creamy Smoked Trout with Radishes
Another simple food celebration, this spread is made from smoked trout (sub smoked salmon if you like!), cream, chives, and a handful of pantry items you probably have on hand. Serve it with radishes or try GF crackers (find our favorites here), Belgian endive leaves, watermelon radish disks, or toast. Get the recipe
Lots of cheese and a little of this and that result in a zesty Mexican-style fondue that can be scooped up and savored with GF tortilla chips. Get the recipe
Need cocktails to go with the snacks? Try these:
Black Manhattan Cocktail
I used to leave Manhattan cocktail-making to bartenders, but necessity is the mother of invention, so I’ve gotten pretty good at is as of late. They’re delicious and celebratory and go down a little too easy. But hey—I’m not driving anywhere, so… Get the recipe
Pink Paloma Cocktail
This traditional Mexican cocktail mixes punchy tequila with perky grapefruit juice, bubbly water, a kiss of sweetness, and a salty rim. Get the recipe
Let’s Get Baking
Apple Tart with Salty Caramel Sauce
Oh this tart. The crust alone is worth the excursion. It’s SUPER simple to make, way delicious, and can be a base for any number of pies or tarts. (It calls for chestnut flour, which you can substitute with more almond flour or another GF flour.) Then there’s the filling. It’s APPLES decoratively laid out and sprinkled with a bit of sugar and dots of butter. SO EASY! I’ve made this with and without the drizzled salted caramel sauce and crafted a vegan version with equally epic results. A project? Not really. It’s too simple, but it’s fun to make and easy enough that you can hand over the job to the kids. Get the recipe
Quinoa Chocolate Cupcakes
A few years back, I ventured to the coastal mountains of Baja, Mexico, and found GF heaven at the utrachic, laidback alfresco restaurant at Flora Farms. Their chefs kindly shared many recipes, including one for a ridiculously moist and delicious chocolate cupcake made with cooked quinoa instead of flour. It still blows my mind every time I make it. Get the recipe
Are we there yet?
I know. We’re so NOT there yet, it’s not even funny. It reminds me of life with a newborn. Hours tick by, days come and go, you have no idea what happened, and suddenly weeks have passed.
I’m finding it hard to focus these days, which explains my lack of newsletter in time for Passover. Forgive me. I spent it attending a Zoom seder and eating Indian takeout and too much cookie dough. It was anything but the norm, but such is life in the time of corona.
Yesterday, I also discovered BevMo was delivering in San Francisco two hours or less, so Manhattan makings, a six-pack of GF beer, and a bottle of white wine were promptly no-contact delivered to my door. There’s no underestimating the value of a wide variety of coping mechanisms.
Speaking of, what are you doing to pleasantly pass the time? We traded our one big completed puzzle to a neighbor for another one—properly quarantining it first, of course. We started taking elective online classes yesterday, after it was announced my daughter’s school would not reconvene at all this school year. I take a daily midday bath (perfect private time), continue to manage our community help group (it now has 200-plus volunteers!), and cook and clean a lot more than I want to.
That said, I enjoy food projects more than ever. They’re not remotely the same as cranking out mundane meals. In fact, today, Junior Editor Viva and I will make GF fried wontons, potstickers, and wonton soup. We can do all three easily because they all use the same GF wrapper recipe.
When I look back, I know one of the blessings of this time will be my memories of sequestering with my 14-year-old daughter. Our uninterrupted, inescapable time together has made room for the type of playful, sweet, loving interaction I’d never imagine possible with a teenager. We do puzzles, cook, watch scary movies, argue, make up, read, take walks, declare our love for each other, clean the kitchen, and start all over again. Every single day. I’m savoring every morsel of it because I know, like our Shelter in Place mandate, this too shall pass.
I hope you and yours are safe and healthy and are finding ways to keep it that way. Today I’m sharing some recipes for Easter, everyday dinner, food-making fun (Focaccia! The aforementioned wontons!), and rhubarb upside down cake, which looks as delicious as it tastes. Also, if you’re in need of provisions, don’t forget to check our list of GF companies that deliver now. We’re updating it regularly.
Easy Easter Recipes
These recipes for crisp chicken legs with root vegetables and chocolate, olive oil, and citrus cake are just two of the tasty offerings you can make with easy-to-find ingredients. Browse Awesome Easter Recipes
For Dinner Tonight
Creamy Butternut Squash Spaghetti with Fried Sage and Walnuts
Comfort food doesn’t get more comforting than this gluten free pasta recipe. The “sauce” is a clingy, thick, and wholesome puree of roasted butternut squash and roasted garlic thinned with a bit of chicken stock. Optional garnishes of fried sage and walnuts are worth including, if you have access to the ingredients. Get the Recipe
Fun Food Projects
Four-Star Gluten-Free Focaccia
It’s incredibly fun to press well-oiled fingers into the dough of this focaccia recipe from famed Del Posto restaurant in NYC. It’s not as much fun fighting over every last piece, which you will definitely do once you discover just how amazing it is in flavor and texture. Get the recipe
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
It may look fancy, but all you need to do to make this gorgeous cake is lay rhubarb at the bottom of a cake pan, pour cake batter over it, and slide it into the oven.
Whew! We’re into week three of our new at-home existence in San Francisco, and can I just say I’ve never cooked (or cleaned) so much in my life? Suddenly, I’m the kitchen, the restaurant, the snack bar, and the vending machine. Can you relate?
Because it’s harder to get groceries these days and I’m not excited to join the crowds, I’ve been digging into the darkest shadows of the pantry for ingredients. It’s kind of fun using the old and making space for the new. Plus it forces creativity at a time when I can (and often do) fall back onto easy foods like nachos, my mom’s house salad, or chicken piccata.
Speaking of creativity, just the other day I found myself out of GF breadcrumbs and in need so I toasted GF bread heels then ground up and pan-fried them with a bit of olive oil and salt to make homemade breadcrumbs. (Try it—so easy and yummy and they keep in an airtight container for a while!)
I’d love to hear and share your creative cooking solutions during this time as well as ways to repurpose items you’d otherwise . Send any and all ideas (and any photos, if you like) to me at [email protected]. I’ll put the ideas into an article to share with the community.
I hear there’s a lot of baking going on. So much so that there’s a run on yeast and flour. I’m lucky because since we test so many recipes at my house, I have a full case of random GF flours. But I handed my packets of yeast to a desperate neighbor who couldn’t make challah without my stash. I didn’t feel a great loss; I have several loaves of GF bread in the freezer and we’re a chocolate chip cookie house. So long as we have the makings for those, we’re pretty much set.
With all of this in mind, this week, I’m hoping to make your GF shelter-in-place life a little easier with:
- recipes that rely on cupboard classics, canned (or dried beans)
- a resource guide for GF food companies we like that are currently shipping food
- two fun baking projects—luscious butternuts squash lasagna rolls and our crazy-delicious, sticky-finger-inducing cinnamon rolls.
Wishing you and your family health, safety, and fun in the kitchen.
7 Delicious Recipes Using Canned (or Dried) Beans
Whether social distancing due to COVID-19, staying home in bad weather, or just too [fill in the blank] to make a trip to the grocery store, beans can come to the rescue if you have these tasty recipes. Score Killer Bean Recipes
Gluten Free Companies that Deliver During COVID-19
It ain’t cheap to get your GF must-haves and treats delivered, but if you want to know where to order the good stuff during this time of scarcity and cravings, we’ve made a list for you! See Who’s Shipping
Butternut Squash Lasagna Rolls with Spinach Cream Sauce
You don’t have to layer lasagna noodles to make an epic pasta casserole. With this verison, you roll up a bit of filling in a single noodle, then bake it in a casserole with other rollups. Easy, fun, and instant single servings, too! Get the Recipe
Perfect Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
Remember these? Maybe you saw them and thought … Some other time. Well that time is now! If you’ve been craving authentic pull-apart cinnamon rolls the way they’re supposed to be and have access to ingredients, drop everything and make these treats. Make Chewy-Gooey GF Cinnamon Rolls
These are the strangest of times.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been wildly distracted since things got crazy in San Francisco about 10 days ago. For the first several days I couldn’t stop following the news and Facebook. But I also wanted to help, so neighbors and I organized a task force to aid our most at-risk community members and began home-delivering groceries and medications. We are now 100 people strong and very efficient (Write me at [email protected] if you want a template for rolling out something similar in your neighborhood.). I also, of course, stocked up on provisions; apparently rather than toilet paper, I am a broccoli hoarder.
But I’ve also been mindful about fostering new habits for optimal mental and physical health. Right now, it’s easy to feel like we’re waiting for an invisible tsunami. Perhaps we are—medically and economically. But I’ve had some practice in avoiding “future tripping,” and so along with washing my hands, social distancing, contributing to solutions as best I can, and accepting the things I cannot control (Hello, financial uncertainty.), I embrace the words and thinking of Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now. There’s peace in recognizing that in this very moment, “Nothing is wrong right now.”
What else helps? Getting a daily dose of fresh air and nature. If you can safely and responsibly find some, I highly recommend it. Ditto exercise. Online yoga is way better than no yoga, and lunges, squats, and pushups can be done anywhere! Zoom or FaceTime Happy Hour sounds hokey but it works—with or without alcohol; we all need human connection, especially now.
And music! I’m enjoying perusing a Facebook page one of my neighbors started that’s gone viral: Quarantine Sing-a-long; each day she posts a new song for the world to sing, and people everywhere are posting their renditions. It’s heart-warming humanity at its tear-inducing finest. (Who knows, you might see me, Junior Editor, Viva, and my guitar there sometime soon.)
And then there are projects, which are much healthier ways to pass the day than to follow the latest scary news. At my house, we’ve started puzzles, deep house cleanings, movie marathons, home spa days, and of course cooking. I’ve mentioned before that cooking has healing, meditative qualities. It also allows us to feed ourselves nutritious food that strengthens our bodies and our immune systems, stock our pantry and freezer for the days ahead, keep busy and creative, and treat ourselves.
We’re also researching every gluten-free food company that is shipping food right now and will share that with you soon. If you know of websites you think we should consider, let me know ([email protected]).
There’s enough stress going on in the world right now, so as we move through these weeks ahead, I’ll refrain from sharing every broccoli-hoarding excursion. Instead, I plan to focus on helping elevate your day through recipes—specifically fast, wholesome meals; recipes that use pantry staples (How many cans of beans and bags of rice did you grab?); good stuff to make in bulk and store; and fun, if not a wee bit challenging food projects (because really, what else do you have to do right now?!).
If there’s something specific you’d love from me, drop me a note and I’ll do my best to oblige.
Finally, if you’re sheltering in place with family or friends, don’t underestimate the healing properties of slinking to your room for some solo time with GF beer, chips, and a movie or a stack of GF brownies and milk. Self-care comes in many forms. I have a hunch we’ll discover all of them over the coming days.
Take care of yourselves and each other, be well, stay home, and get cooking! Below are a few super tasty recipes to get you started.
Oh! And if you want to know how long your toilet paper stash will last, there’s an app for that!
Dinner: Roasted Salmon with Lentils and Arugula
One thing that doesn’t seem to be in short supply is seafood, not surprisingly since restaurants are closed and seafood purveyors still need to offload their catch. If you’re not a fan of seafood, skip it and make the lentils. They’re delish enough to be a dish in themselves. Get the recipe
Snack: Miso Hummus
I can’t find hummus in stores anymore. But really, who cares? It’s sooooo easy to make from canned chickpeas! This recipe adds a touch of savory excellence a la GF miso. But if you don’t have miso, you can skip it along with the toasted sesame oil and adjust the lemon and salt to make perfectly excellent regular hummus. Yes! Get the recipe
Fun Food Project: The Ultimate Cake
Here’s the thing about this eastern European cake by James Beard Award nominee Michelle Polzine. It’s super fancy and the most personally impressive one I’ve ever made, yet it’s surprisingly easy to make since the cake layers are made from just one easy-to-handle sheet-pan cake. Get the Recipe
Hi and Happy March!
A lot of my friends have been asking me about a specific set of recipes I’m making these days. It’s all due to the backstory. So let me share.
My mother’s surprise death last summer was the finale of five very hard years. I gave myself the rest of 2019 to unabashedly grieve (as if I had a choice), but promised to pull myself out of the nosedive starting on day one of 2020. My goal? To be cliché, was to live my best life.
I had a plan: Seriously learn guitar. Take art classes. Spend lots of time in nature. Get in top shape, mentally and physically. Meditate. Lose the 10 pounds garnered over the hard years. Generously and actively cherish the loving souls in my life. Be selective in how I spend my time and who I spend it with. Drink less. Volunteer more. Be creative. And eat mostly super healthy because it makes me feel good.
I’m an all-or-nothing person so I didn’t ease into it (gray areas don’t work for me). I started everything full throttle on January 1. And guess what? It worked.
I’m still riding the grieving process, but it’s evolved; I feel deeper joy for life than I ever have, despite the sadness. I’ve dropped 10 pounds, am playing tons of guitar and I’ve been drawing, exercising, meditating daily, and doing everything else I set my mind to.
Along the way, I came to rely on a collection of plant-based recipes that excite and satisfy me yet keep me on track—because all of it–the energy, emotional stability, and resolution–is greatly influenced by what I eat.
I’m sharing all of this with you for three reasons.
First, I’ve included my core magic reboot recipes below.
Second, we all go through hard times and it’s good to have some ideas to help you get through them; I’ve found that relentless self-care is the only path forward. If you need some inspiration, let me be it (or write me for some words of encouragement).
Third, I’ve never felt better; eating superclean with the reasonable permission for a burger and fries, the awesome brick chicken recipe I made last night, or decadent dessert, has me so energetic, I feel like I’m vibrating on a totally different level—with boundless energy and an equally limitless zest for life. And that’s even while enjoying one or two mugs of vegan hot cocoa every day (see recipe below)!
Whether you need your own reboot or just want to add a few delicious plant-based, joy-inducing recipes to your repertoire, check out the following options. They also happen to be so easy, you can make and eat them on the spot, which is what I often do, even in the midst of an at-home workday.
Also, don’t forget to browse gffmag.com regularly. We’re always posting new, awesome GF recipes and reviews.
Thanks reading and more new (not all plant-based) tastiness coming soon.
Roasted Cauliflower with Caper Vinaigrette, Walnuts, and Golden Raisins
I invited a bunch of famous food bloggers to my house recently and they loved this recipe. I make it at least once a week now and sometimes eat a whole recipe by myself for lunch!
Get the recipe
Gomae (Japanese Blanched Spinach with Mirin-Sesame Dressing)
The traditional Japanese spinach salad has gluten. This one doesn’t. And it’s fantastic and ridiculously simple to make.
Get the recipe
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chia Vanilla Pudding
This recipe is fresh from my Maui trip. The wonderful Fairmont Kea Lani, which has the hands-down most bountiful selection of GF options at their daily breakfast buffet (see my Instagram for details), offered bottomless containers of this every morning. Good thing, because I couldn’t stop eating it. Thankfully, they shared the recipe, and—get this—it is prepped in 5 minutes with 4 ingredients. That’s my kind of breakfast/snack/dessert. (It’s also customizable. Just yesterday I stirred in some unsweetened cocoa powder and a little extra liquid, and lordy, it delicious!)
Get the recipe
Happy Vegan Hot Cocoa
This super dark and rich chocolate beverage has become my afternoon treat. Like Every. Single. Day. It’s so wholesome, I don’t feel bad having more than one cup. Try it and forgive me for your next obsession.
Get the recipe
Ah, Valentine’s Day. Depending on your perspective, it can be the best or worst commercial holiday of the year—not to mention expensive and stressful if you’re clamoring for restaurant reservations, beautiful bouquets, just the right gift, or someone to share the day with.
I’m pretty sappy, so I love Valentine’s Day. I don’t wait for an excuse to text my friends and family and tell them I love them, and I’ve recently taken to sending video or audio serenades, sometimes accompanying myself on guitar. (So dorky! So fun!) But February 14 is an opportunity to delight someone, or many people, with something absolutely free—thoughtful acknowledgement.
Thoughtfulness can come in the way of an original or copied poem, a sweet note (like a list 10 quirks you love about the recipient), a handmade gift, or, yes, a dorky serenade. At its best, it includes some insider knowledge that hints to the recipient that you “see” them.
Whatever form it takes, I truly believe that genuine, heartfelt acknowledgement is the gift of all gifts—and it’s totally affordable and never runs out of stock!
This year I’m sticking with the Dork theme and penning love notes on those kids’ Valentine’s cards that come two dozen a box (I got ones that feature cartoon llamas blowing bubbles of all things). I also bought socks that say “Shut Up” to give to my teen daughter so that whenever she wants me to listen and not say a word (which is often, and it’s hard for me), she can hand me one of those socks and I’ll literally “put a sock in it.” (Totally serious.) Now that’s thoughtful acknowledgement!
Oh! And I’ll be delivering my penned sentiments and socks with a side of homemade edible amore. Because food really is love, especially when it’s made for you by someone who loves you.
In case you’d like your expressions of love to include food and need some ideas, I’m sharing some wonderful recipes you can make. And hey—self love counts too, for Valentine’s Day and everyday. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself. Whitney Houston (and before that George Benson) was right about “The Greatest Love of All.”
BREAKFASTS OF LOVE
The Girl and the Fig Ricotta Pancakes
Yes, there are a gazillion GF pancake recipes. But this one. Well, it’s beyond the beyond. I discovered it while dining in California’s Sonoma Wine Country a few years back and the restaurant, the Girl and the Fig, kindly shared the recipe. It calls for Pamela’s baking and pancake mix (which I always have on hand anyway), but the secret is adding butter and ricotta cheese to the batter and adding butter to the pan, which results in wildly fluffy cakes with mouthwatering crisp edges. If you decided to include the accompanying (ridiculously good) orange whipped mascarpone and apple butter, make it and drain the ricotta cheese the night before, store them both in the fridge, and you can create an epic Lovers’ Breakfast in mere minutes. Get the recipe
Citrus Salad with Pistachio Dukkah and Mint
Yes, she’s a looker. But the real seduction of this simply elegant fruit salad is the unexpected flavor and texture of the topping (crunchy spice mix, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds). With juicy, vibrant citrus fruits, the combo stars on its own as a light breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. But if you want to go full-on food love fest, it pairs well with the aforementioned pancakes. Get the recipe
DINNERS TO LOVE
Chickpea Flour Flatbread with Arugula, Red Onion, Goat Cheese, and Olives
This gluten free chickpea flour flatbread hails from the South of France, where it’s called socca and is served as a simple appetizer, perhaps with cold tumblers of rosé. But it also makes for an easy, satisfying gluten free vegetarian main dish, which can be topped with anything that suits your fancy. Get the recipe
Plant-Based Gratin with Beet and Fennel and Mint-Coconut Cream Sauce
When I first tried this vegan gratin, I thought it was a side, but when I couldn’t stop eating and devoured my half of the dish, I concluded it’s an entree—and a mighty fabulous one at that. Plus, it’s sooooo pretty. Get the recipe
Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake
This creamy, tangy cheesecake is made in a loaf pan, so it is the perfect size for an intimate gathering, with leftovers you’ll be glad you have. Besides, you’ll learn how to make a fantastic GF chocolate crust, classic cheesecake filling, and tart sour cream topping combined with bright swirls or raspberry chia jam. Hello lover! Get the recipe
White Chocolate Bark
The beauty of white chocolate bark, besides the fact that it’s so yummy, is you can make it in minutes and garnish it with whatever you want. This recipe includes pistachio, rose petals, ground dried raspberry, and the occasional macaron (buy or make your own), but you can top yours with essentially anything you like. Get the recipe
GF/DF Valentine’s Cookies
I’m inclined to remind people of this recipe on occasions that call for tasty, sturdy cookies that are easy to decorate and are free from dairy and gluten. These are the ones that everyone can eat at the office or school party and you can cut them into any shape you want, including hearts. Write sweet messages on their pink or white fondant toppings or frost them and be happy. Whatever you do, recipients will be grateful. Get the recipe
Confession: I’m a fair-weather football fan. When I was a teenager and Joe Montana was the QB of my hometown football team (the San Francisco 49ers), I went to (actually, in truth, snuck into) all the home games. Away games were spent in a local park called The Grove, where some fun, industrious friends stacked a dozen or so TVs into a freestanding wall, plugged them into the municipal electricity for multiscreen views, and threw epic tailgate parties with grillables and too many kegs to count.
At the time, I loved the game. Maybe I liked the boys, too. And I surely loved the food. Football food and beer were too much fun to pass up.
Other than my daughter’s volleyball games, I don’t watch sports much these days. But when my hometown teams head to a championship, my childhood passion resurrects from the deep. Now that the Niners are in it to win it this year, I’m especially looking forward to the Super Bowl. But honestly, it’s pretty fun every year because no matter who’s playing, there’s always delicious food and socializing.
With a festive Sunday in mind, I’m happy to share with you GF super bowls, super platters, and super snacks that are absolute Game Day (or any day) crowd-pleasers. And, as you know, there are also more enjoyable gluten-free beers on store shelves than ever! Scroll on to find our faves.
GAME-DAY GRUB: APPETIZERS
Charred Peppers with Herby Ranch Dip
So festive, so simple, and so delicious, these little finger foods are as flavorful as they are colorful, especially with their herb-heavy ranch dip. You can add some crudités (broccoli florets, carrot sticks, celery) for variation, if desired!
Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey Meatballs
By one of my very best friends and GFF right hand, Eric Lundy, and an all-time favorite party food of my amazing editor and bestie Cindy Rice (who also serves them as an entree over quinoa with steamed broccoli and extra glaze to drizzle), these meatballs are balls of edible divinity.
Yes, nachos never disappoint, but if you want a new, sophisticated twist on the cheesy, GF finger food, this sausage-studded version showcased by Junior Editor Viva is it.
MAKE-AHEAD MAIN COURSES
Half time is when the huddle moves to the buffet table. Fill it with one or two entrees that are made in advance so you can enjoy the real-time play-by-plays of the day.
Turkey Chili (Plus a Link to Vegan Chili!)
One of my favorite crowd-pleasing dishes for group sporting events is a big pot of chili, like this turkey chili I make regularly for Jr. Editor Viva. Plunk it down with some bowls, spoons, and small bowls of garnishes, let people add to it what they like, and get on with having fun. That’s my kind of party.
Want a crazy-good vegan chili? Get it here.
Skirt Steak with Charred Tomatillo Salsa
Now’s the time to break out the indoor grill pan to make this dish winter friendly. Boil the potatoes, prep the salsa, and marinate the steak in advance (skip the avo if you can’t find a good one), then fire off the steak right before service and everyone scores!
What’s For Dessert?
Hello! They’re called the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER for a reason.
Gluten-Free Beer 101
We taste-tested dozens of gluten-free and gluten-removed beers to help you skip the funky and go straight to fabulous. See if your favorite GF and gluten-removed beers made the list here (and if it’s not, let us know what we’re missing in the comments area!).
How’s your 2020 going? I’m a bit of cliché at the moment, doing my best to “live my best life” as I enter the new year. I started a clothed figure drawing class (hard!), am eating primarily plant-based for the moment, and am avoiding booze until I’m inspired otherwise. So far so good.
Interestingly, this has led me to a lot of soup making. As I type this, I’m devouring a bowl of off-the cuff vegan creamy broccoli soup, which is delicious but flat-out ugly. And I mean a kind of gloppy pea-soup-style ugly that makes me happier to make and eat it than to show it to you. I’m also roasting and eating a lot of cauliflower—sliced into thick steaks, coated with a thin layer of olive oil, sprinkled with salt, and roasted for 30 minutes at 450F, it’s so good, you know? (Plus a whole head is under 200 calories. Unabashed snacking—GO!)
Anyway, I am thinking of soups and how perfect they are. Take wholesome ingredients, combine them in a pot over some heat, let the stovetop do the work, and voila—many meals that keep in the fridge or freezer and are reheated with a press of the microwave start button. (I just now filled my second bowl of Ugly Soup.)
So, I’m pleased to share some wonderful soups with you today, including a rib-gripping bean soup I’ve been obsessed with for years.
Enjoy, and stay warm and cozy. It’s cold here in San Francisco, Junior Editor Viva has a flu and has just missed her first volleyball tournament of the season, and I’m thinking of moving on to a cup of almond-milk hot cocoa. It’s plant-based, after all.
Happy Reading and Eating,
Lion’s Head Meatball Soup
More simply known as chicken (or pork) meatball soup, this brothy concoction has it all–deliciously seasoned meatballs, healthy greens, and noodles.
West African Peanut Soup
Listen. If you haven’t tried peanut soup and can eat peanuts, you truly must make it. it’s luscious and peanuty and includes chicken, but it can easily be made vegan. Make it once and you’ll definitely make it again.
GF Orzo and Bean Soup with Chili Oil
Don’t pass this soup by just because it’s brown and doesn’t pop with vibrant color. Here’s why: This soup is EVERYTHING. Vegan. Comforting. Filling. Healthy. But most of all, it’s insanely fantastic right down to the last finger-licking, pot-scraping drop
UGLY-TASTY, SUPER SIMPLE VEGAN, CREAMY BROCCOLI SOUP
Soak 1/4 cup raw cashews in warm water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium pot over medium heat, sauté 1/2 a yellow onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. 3 to 4 cups broccoli florets and chopped broccoli stalks. Drain and add the cashews along with 4 cups vegetable broth. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender, season to taste. Enjoy.
Hi GFF Friend!
I don’t know if you took my advice and made the charred carrot hummus I recommended last week, but I made it yesterday for a snacky lunch and was reminded how completely mind-blowing the flavor is. (Seriously. Try it.) And it’s healthy and vegan? C’mon!
But more than that, as I scooped the first velvety spoonful into my mouth, I felt a sense of elation, like I’d just given myself an edible love letter. That’s the beauty of cooking—the process of making something nurturing feels like a gift you’re giving to yourself, and to others, if people are eating with you. Then there’s the fundamental bliss of devouring something truly delicious. Double gift!
Smithsonian Magazine recently published an online article that said a scientific study suggested the mere act of cooking and baking can make you feel better. I dug a little deeper and found that the study was by the Journal of Positive Psychology and it was about the mood-lifting benefits of “everyday creativity as a path to flourishing.” Cooking and baking are indeed creative. When you cook, you are a creator! You make something, even if you are following a recipe.
Charred carrot hummus aside, below I’m sharing with you another dish that makes my mood, and that I strongly suggest you try it at home: crispy-juicy brick chicken with caramelized onions and potatoes. With looks that are glamorous enough for company and ease that makes it weeknight-friendly, it’s worthy of repeat appearances. Not feeling it? I’ve shared three more recipes that’ll elevate dinnertime.
But let’s not forget dessert. Tis the season for splendorous, Meyer lemons. Use ‘em or lose ‘em.
Happy Reading and Eating!
Brick Chicken with Potatoes and Onions
Heavens is this 8-ingredient recipe delicious. The juices from the chicken settle onto the potatoes, garlic, and onions while they cook, caramelizing them along the way and infusing them with unctuous, irresistible melt-in-your-mouth flavor. This is one of those recipes where I shamelessly scoop out every last bit of pan drippings, sometimes with my fingers and straight into my mouth–when the pan is cool enough. And you don’t even need a brick to make it! Get the finger-licking recipe.
Not feeling it? Try these alternatives:
Italian Beef Stew with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (comfort food defined)
Black Bean Taquitos (vegan and sooo yummy that I sometimes I just make and eat the black bean filling)
Broccoli with Turmeric Curry and Raisin Chutney (skip the chutney and add cooked rice and you have an exotic 9-ingredient dinner).
Don’t Forget Dessert!
Meyer Lemon Tart with a Must-Have GF Crust
Meyer lemons are in full force at the market, which means it’s the optimal time to make a Meyer lemon tart! This recipe comes complete with an easy, awesome crust recipe you can fill with anything you like, and the five-ingredient filling, a Meyer lemon curd, can also be served like pudding–in single servings topped with a bit of whipped cream and granola.
Happy New Year!
Sorry I didn’t write sooner, but I was stuffing myself with good food, drink, and company in Los Angeles. (If you’re in the neighborhood and get a chance, go to Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch, which is where I am in the photo above, flanked by my dear friend Sugar Nerd and daughter Junior Editor Viva. It promises an impossibly charming and a relaxed afternoon of leisure, food, and fun.)
Now I’m back and doing what everyone else does—setting some goals for myself for 2020, including eating well, playing more music, and embarking on studio art.
Whether healthy eating is on your list or you simply want some satisfying, wholesome options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’m sharing some of my favorite go-to health-minded recipes with you. Also, if you need a reminder as to why you need to seek out fiber on a GF diet, you can find it below. Happy Reading and Eating and wishing you an epic, delicious 2020.
TROPICAL TURMERIC SMOOTHIE
Pineapple and mango inject lively island flavor into this sexy-healthy turmeric smoothie recipe, while turmeric lends anti-inflammatory perks.
CHARRED CARROT HUMMUS
Get ready for your next food crush. Seriously. This velvety, crazy-good sweet and savory blend of charred carrots, tahini (sesame paste), lemon, and spice is lighter and more nuanced than chickpea hummus. It’s one of my favorite dips ever.
POACHED CHICKEN WITH AMARANTH RICE AND FISH-SAUCE CITRONETTE
Don’t be deceived by the ultraclean look of this poached chicken recipe. It’s a healthier version of the Thai-by-way-of-China dish called khao mun gai, and it’s got a fantastic salty, savory sauce.
THE BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH (PLUS A RECIPE)
Bone broth is incredibly easy to make and it’s waaaaay cheaper than buying it at the store. Learn more and get the recipe here.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FIBER ON THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET
Wheat products have more fiber than GF products, so it’s important to get your fiber elsewhere. Learn more here.
At my house, the tree is up, the menorah is out, our Elf on the Shelf is making mischief nightly, and I’m trying to finish my shopping, recipe planning, and card sending so I can lean back and enjoy the season.
Of course that includes baking. I love giving edible gifts. I’ve told you my year-round go-to gift is my favorite granola. It’s beyond addictive. But it’s cookie season so I thought you’d appreciate a collection of fantastic cookie recipes, many of which are GF and DF and all of which are divine. May they bring you and your loved ones great joy this season.
Also, if you’re in need of some GF gifts to give or get, check out our food-lover’s gift guide, which includes shippable must-have foods, cookbooks, GFF goodies, and more.
Now, grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa and read on, and don’t forget to enter our Great 14-Day Giveaway; it ends this Saturday at midnight and it’s loaded with great stuff!
I’ll be back with more holiday recipes soon.
LET’S BAKE COOKIES!
Spiced Cocoa Polvorones Cookies
Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cookies, call them whatever you want. Just bake these balls of GF goodness! With rich chocolate flavor and a hint of spice, they’re pure pop-in-your-mouth enjoyment.
There’s more than one way to decorate gingerbread cookies. Men, women, stars, balls, sandwich cookies, it’s all good with this recipe for GF great gingerbread (it also includes a gingerbread house pattern!).
Vegan Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Jewel-toned jam lends festive flair and delicious contrasting flavor to these easy thumbprint treats.
Almond Meringue Cookies
You need just four ingredients for these beautiful, portable meringue cookies that are DF, GF, and can be easily customized to be espresso meringue cookies, chocolate-dipped meringues, and more!
Chocolate Candy-Cane Crush Cookies
The classic seasonal combo of chocolate and peppermint come together in this pretty, festive, mint-kissed chocolate cookie.
Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
Did I have you at “brown butter”? No matter! This versatile, wonderful recipe results in sturdy, buttery cookies that can feature fillings, sprinkles, powdered sugar, or just an accompanying glass of milk or tea.
Food Lover’s Gift Guide
Want some tasty gluten-free gift ideas for yourself or loved ones? We’ve compiled a gift guide for you and your GF friends.
Catch you next week with more tasty news, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
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 I 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 [email protected].
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