Archive for June, 2014

Checking Out Morris East at Bedford West

I’ve heard fantastic things about the downtown location of Morris East, and it’s been on our wishlist for quite a while. We had a chance to visit the Bedford West location last weekend and were not disappointed.

We arrived at the restaurant (located off of Larry Uteck Drive) at about 6 p.m. and were seated right away. (We were surprised at how quiet it was for a Friday night, but it picked up before we left.) Michael ordered a Morris East Fire Tap (a blend from Garrison Brewing, $6) to drink while I chose The Redhead, one of their signature cocktails ($10). We looked over the menu, which states that all pizzas can be made gluten-free with a $3.50 upcharge for the crust. We asked our server about other options as well as the size of the pizzas. All of their salads can be made gluten-free, as can their potato chip starter, charcuterie board, dips, and flatbread. Main meal options vary by the night, as does their gluten-free status (although a wood-fired steak is a permanent feature and can be made gluten-free).

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What’s For Dessert? Gluten-Free Turtle Brownies!

Why We Love It

We love a good brownie! This recipe takes brownies to a whole new level with caramels, nuts, and extra chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 1 package gluten-free brownie mix (enough for an 8×8 or 9×9 pan)
  • Ingredients called for on brownie mix box
  • 25 gluten-free caramels, unwrapped (we used Kraft caramels)
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 cup gluten-free semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans or peanuts

Method

  1. Heat oven and prepare brownie mixture as directed on box. (We recommend a 350° or 325° oven.)
  2. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan. Spread about 2/3 of the brownie mixture on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. While the brownie mixture is baking, place the unwrapped caramels and whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about two minutes on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Remove the brownie base from the oven. (Leave the oven on.) Drizzle the caramel mixture over it. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips and half the nuts over the caramel. Then, drop the remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls on top of the chocolate chips and nuts. (It will probably appear quite sparse, but don’t worry – it all bakes together nicely!) Finally, sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips and the nuts over the brownie mixture.
  5. Place pan in the oven at 325° for an additional 20 minutes, until brownie mixture appears dry on top.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

Tips

  • Carefully read the ingredient list on packages of nuts as they are often cross-contaminated with wheat. We used Barbour’s coarsely chopped peanuts.
  • The original recipe calls for Betty Crocker gluten-free brownie mix, which is currently only available in the U.S. (not in Canada). However, if you can get your hands on some we highly recommend it!
  • Why not make it à la mode with a scoop of ice cream? We enjoy Chapman’s line of gluten-free ice cream.

 

(Source: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-turtle-brownies/1a7ee612-1484-4352-92b1-c6765aff186e)

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Gluten-Free Father’s Day Menu!

Father’s Day is this weekend, and we’re planning a fun, casual evening for both sets of parents. Our dads love comforting party food, so we’ve whipped up an easy menu that will perfectly complement your favourite gluten-free beer.

Appetizer

To start things off on the right foot, serve Potachos as a fun appetizer! Simply warm up some gluten-free kettle chips on the oven and top with bacon, melted Cheese Whiz, chopped tomatoes and green onions, and whatever else you can think of.

Another family favourite is this Buffalo Chicken Dip. Serve with gluten-free nachos for a delicious snack.

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Vinland Offers a Great Getaway

Several months ago, I read an article about Vinland, a small restaurant in Portland, Maine that uses all-organic ingredients sourced locally. We had a chance to visit it on the long weekend, just as ferry service from Yarmouth was starting back up again. (Vinland is just a few blocks from the ferry terminal, making it an easy choice for Nova Scotian visitors!)

Reservations are highly recommended at Vinland, and I understood why when we got there. It is quite a small space, seating less than 50 people. The atmosphere is upscale yet casual, making it a comfortable spot to hang out and enjoy a good meal. That was our first surprise. The second surprise came when we asked our server about gluten-free options. She informed me that the kitchen does not use gluten at all. The only item that may not be safe for Celiacs is the oats, as they cannot guarantee that cross-contamination doesn’t happen during its growing and processing. (That being said, always ask your server about gluten-free options and make sure they’re aware of your needs.)

With that in mind, we ordered some drinks to start. I chose the Queen James, which featured a local cider with blackcurrant liqueur. Michael had a local, organic beer from Peak Brewing Company. We also decided to have the appetizer on special: charred ramp with duck egg and truffle salt.

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Taste Testing Cup 4 Cup Flour!

Several weeks ago, I finally managed to snag a bag of Cup 4 Cup flour at Jane’s Gluten-Free Foods in Moncton. (We purchased their regular gluten-free flour blend, but Jane’s also offers their pizza crust mix and a pancake/waffle mix.) I’ve heard great things about this flour but this was the first time I’d seen it in Canada. This blend is made up of the usual ingredients (cornstarch, white and brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum), but it promises a smooth texture and the ability to substitute it one-for-one for regular wheat flour. My hopes were high, especially since the three-pound bag cost $19.99.

I decided to test it out on my mom’s chocolate chip recipe, which is quite similar to the one on the bag of Cup 4 Cup flour.

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