Monthly Archives: May 2014

Gearing Up for Gluten-Free Expo 2014

May 30, 2014 | Leave a comment

Gluten-Free Expo 2014

We’re gearing up for the Celiac Disease Foundation’s Gluten-Free Expo in Pasadena on June 7 and 8, 2014. This event is a great opportunity for gluten-free folk to learn the latest in healthy living, try different gluten-free products and connect with other celiac people.

We’ll bring samples of our entire line of Glutenetto products. So please stop by our booth 105, say hello and have a cookie with us.

Over the past few months, we’ve attended several gluten-free events and have made some great friends among the other exhibitors. We’re so impressed with the gluten-free community.

Here are some folks who we think are doing gluten-free right. They share our dedication to making delicious products that you won’t believe are gluten-free. Give them a try!

Bard’s the Original Sorghum Malt Beer

bards-beer Bard’s is a great tasting craft bear that just happens to be gluten-free. It’s brewed 100% with malted sorghum and contains no wheat, barley, rye or oats. The brewers are two “ardent beer lovers” who were diagnosed celiacs and wanted to create a product that was as good as anything produced by traditional craft brewers. It’s a lighter beer with a great taste.

2Good2B Bakery & Cafe

2good2b-cafes 2Good2B has cafes in Encinitas and San Diego that serve 100% Gluten-free, Corn-free and Soy-free food. It was founded by Diana Benedek, who suffered from a variety of health challenges that cleared up when she stopped eating gluten, corn and soy. We got to know these folks at the Gluten-Free fest in San Diego and became big fans of their baguette, especially paired with hummus.

World Gardens Cafe

world-gardens-cafe Gluten-free cuisine delivered to your door (in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona)! We met Executive Chef Ravi Harryram at the Gluten-Free fest in San Diego and enjoyed his delicious natural gluten-free lasagna (high praise coming from Italians!). After going gluten-free himself, this Chef from Trinidad and Tobago realized that gluten was in almost everything you use to cook including sauces, bases, seasonings, etc.

The gluten-free foods that he found were flavorless, so he started working with marinades and rubs to correct the issue. Through research and practice, he was able to expand to dairy-free and soy-free options as well.

Maninis Gluten Free bread and pasta

maninis-pasta-logo3 MANINIS® GLUTEN FREE is a company whose products were developed by a mathematician mother and a chemical engineer father. Their mission: develop good tasting and nutritious rice-free, gluten-free whole grain products for their five-year old daughter diagnosed with celiac disease. They base their products on ancient grains and make bread mixes and pasta.

Califia Farms

califia-almond-milk-unsweet This California-based company makes a delicious almond milk which goes great with our cookies! It’s all that Nonna drinks these days. We also enjoy their Double Espresso Iced Coffee. Both are dairy and soy free.

 

Five Italian Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

May 23, 2014 | 2 Comments

Mother's Day Cookies

In Italy, Father’s Day is celebrated several months earlier than in America. Papa is honored on the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, which falls on the 19th of March. Families prepare traditional meals and, of course, cookies!

Here are some delicious and delightful Father’s Day gift suggestions with an Italian twist.

Italian brunch

Our family Father’s Day tradition is to give Papa a delicious start to his day. That leaves the afternoon free for him to play games with the children and grandchildren, go for a walk, watch baseball or take a nap!

Here are a couple of simple, healthy and flavorful recipes that are idea for brunch:

Don’t forget the coffee! We’ve been enjoying Sightglass Coffee, roasted in San Francisco.

For dessert, our Ricciarelli cookies are naturally gluten-free and come in both chocolate and orange/almond flavors.

A nature hike

After a long winter, June is a perfect time to get outside. If your father enjoys rambling, find a nearby trail, prepare some sandwiches and pack a field guide so that you can identify animal tracks and birds along the way. It will create memories for you and him.

For lunch on the trail, we’ve had our eye on the John Oliver Sandwich from Penelope Cafe in New York. It combines goat cheese with an olive tapenade on a cranberry walnut bread. It’s hearty, sweet, nutty, briny and creamy all at once and perfect for the trail.

Simply toast a couple of slices of Cranberry Walnut bread, spread goat cheese on one piece, olive tapenade on the other and sandwich them together.

Here’s an Italian Cranberry Walnut Bread recipe from the good folks at Italian Food Forever. For gluten-free Dads, check out the Crusty Boule recipe on Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and make the following substitutions:

  • Use 1.5 cups dried cranberries and 1.5 cups dried walnuts instead of the olives.
  • Use zest from 1 orange rather than rosemary.

Apricots are in season and would be a nice complement. Don’t forget to pack some bandanas or cotton napkins and some water.

A bottle of Grappa and a red rose

A red rose is the traditional flower of Father’s Day and grappa is a uniquely Italian digestif. Since the Middle Ages, this unaged brandy has been hailed as a cure for almost everything. Italian men traditionally drank it in osterias, communal man caves, where they gathered to chat, play cards, smoke, snack and the like.

Made from the grape byproducts of wine-making, Grappa is a fiery way to end a meal, drunk either as a shot on its own or added to an espresso (in which case it’s known in Italy as a caffè coretto, or a “corrected coffee”).

The best grappa comes from the Friuli, Trentino and Veneto regions—all near the Austrian border. Expect to spend $50 or more for a good bottle.

Bocce

Bocce is an ancient game that was embraced by the Roman Empire and enjoyed by nobility and peasants alike. Traditionally, Italian men of all ages play bocce informally in the village and cafe. Bocce clubs and courts can be found in most American cities with an Italian immigrant population.

But you can also play on Papa’s lawn. Playboule has a bocce set on sale for Father’s Day.

A box of cookies just for Papa

Papa is always on hand to dispense sweetness to his children. He deserves a box of sweetness all his own. We’ve created two Father’s Day cookie assortments (gluten-free and regular) that feature some of our most popular and favorites. Wedding cookies, nonna, biscotti, ricciarelli, polentine: they are all there.

Introducing Gluten-free Wedding Cookies

May 22, 2014 | Leave a comment

Mother's Day Cookies

Everyone loves an Italian wedding cookie. It’s one of our biggest sellers and we felt that folks who are gluten-free should be able to enjoy this nutty delicacy as well. We’re delighted to introduce a gluten-free version of this traditional Italian shortbread cookie. As with all of our Glutenetto cookies, our objective was to make our gluten-free Wedding Cookies taste so good that you won’t miss the wheat. Here’s how we did it:

The Hallmark of a Good Wedding Cookie

A good wedding cookie should have a rich, but subtle flavor. The dusting of powdered sugar should give them a delicate rather than overwhelming sweetness. You should be able to taste the nuts with a hint of lemon and the texture needs to be crunchy but moist.

Adapting our Wedding Cookie Recipe

We adapted our wedding cookie recipe which is already a bit unusual because it uses pecans rather than almonds. The pecan is an American nut and one which we fell hard for when we moved to the States. Pecans a bit more oily than almonds and that gives our wedding cookies extra tenderness.

Baking Our Gluten-Free Wedding Cookies

Getting the right texture proved the toughest challenge when creating our gluten-free recipe. We make a  proprietary blend of gluten-free flours which includes rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and white sorghum flour. Each cookie has a different personality, so we must alter the quantity of the blend used in each recipe.

Perfecting the texture for our gluten-free Wedding Cookies took a lot of adjustments to the flour and moisture. After a good bit of experimentation, we believe that we’ve hit upon a recipe that is so good that you won’t be able to tell that they are anything other than a traditional Italian wedding cookie. We’re now taking orders for our gluten-free wedding cookies and would love to hear what you think.

As always we’re taking suggestions for new Italian cookie flavors you’d like. Just drop us a line or join the discussion on our Facebook page!

Learn more about our Gluten-Free Italian Cookies

To learn more about how we approach creating gluten-free Italian cookies, check out our blog post on Gluten-free cookies: how we make them taste so good.