Friedman’s

hello hello hello!!!

It has been wayyyyyy too long since I blogged anything!! I’ve missed blogging but school has been kicking my booty so I haven’t gotten around to putting up any new stuff.

It’s been about four weeks since I got back to school from my spring break and I am somehow still in deep denial that I have to be doing work (shiver). A regular workload for a week of a chem major is about three lab reports, a problem set, at least one homework assignment, and the occasional quiz/exam (so basically I never stop doing some kind of work). When I need the occasional distraction from all of this, I can think about this bomb meal that I ate at Friedman’s over break.

We went to a NY Rangers game in the city on one of my blissful, schoolwork-free days home, and we needed a place to grab some food before the game. We referred to the handy dandy Find Me Gluten Free app to see what was close to Madison Square Garden and we found Friedman’s, which had rave reviews. My dad and I had actually been to their Friedman’s Lunch location in Chelsea Market a little over a year ago when we visited the Whitney Museum of American Art, where I got a delicious grilled cheese with tomato soup and tried my dad’s amazing fish tacos, complete with cute little gluten free marker flag:

 

When we got to the Friedman’s restaurant only a couple blocks away from MSG, the first thing we asked about was their gluten free options. They told us everything (yes, I said EVERYTHING) except one item on the menu (the matzo ball soup) could be made gluten free. They told us the owner’s daughter has celiac so they are all very well trained in how to deal with a gluten allergy (which you can read about on their website). It was almost overwhelming to have a whole menus worth of options to choose from. Lucky for us it was happy hour meaning half off appetizers, so we got two! There was no way I was seeing vegetable potstickers on ANY menu without getting them, so that was app number one. Number two was the Korean chicken wings, because, well, chicken wings.

 

I think when I ate these I died and went to heaven. The potstickers were sooooo good—so  crunchy, so flavorful. There was a Sriracha aioli drizzled over top of the potstickers, and a ginger soy dipping sauce, and just the combination of everything together was amazing. The Korean wings were equally as heavenly. They were so crispy, as a chicken wing should be, and the SAUCE you guys. It was a sweet chili glaze, and I could have licked it out of the bowl. The theme of the appetizers for this meal: crunchy and delicious.

After the apps, I was almost too full to even eat my regular meal. But we power through for good food. I really wanted the chicken and waffles, just because I’ve never actually eaten chicken and waffles and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Unfortunately, their waffle maker was broken 😦 BUT I still wanted some good ol fried chicken. So instead of a waffle, I got mac and cheese which is a pretty good tradeoff.

 

AND THE HEAVEN CONTINUED!!! The fried chicken was perfectly crispy, as expected after the perfection of the chicken wings. The pieces of chicken were huge, but I did my best to work my way through it. Sadly, the breading did not stick to the chicken too well so it started to fall off, but either way I was a happy girl. The mac and cheese straight up blew me away. The pasta was perfect, the creamy combination of cheeses was decadent, and the crispy breadcrumb topping provided a great crunch. I wish I had an endless bowl of this mac and cheese right now, I would never stop eating it.

I literally can’t believe how amazing Friedman’s was. I expected it to be pretty good based on its reviews, but I never would’ve expected it to be that good. I would go back here in a heartbeat, and I expect this to be a new regular spot for our visits to the city 🙂

Friedman’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus for their Herald Square location

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Chebe Cinnamon Rolls and Breadstick Mix

Being diagnosed with celiac makes a girl miss some things. Like what, you ask? Here’s a list:

  • Soft fluffy bread
  • Real pizza (although I’ve found some acceptable substitutions, like this and this)
  • Deli subs (it’s just not the same to make my own)
  • Really giant burritos (like Chipotle, just a good ol’ flour tortilla stuffed with a ridiculous amount of food)
  • Freshly baked bagels
  • Broccoli Cheddar soup in a bread bowl from Panera
  • Classic Chinese dumplings (these fill the void, but I miss being able to order them from Chinese restaurants)
  • Ice cream cones

And finally, I miss cinnamon rolls and breadsticks (like good, Olive Garden breadsticks). Which leads us to this post! I was so excited to find both of these from Chebe in the grocery store.

chebe gluten free cinnamon rolls

So cinnamon rolls. The classic ooey gooey sugary roll of goodness that everyone loves. Let’s start off with how they’re made. You combine the mix with 3 tbsp oil, 2 eggs, and 2 tbsp milk. Then you knead the dough all up, roll it out with a rolling pin, and spread it with 1 tbsp of butter and sprinkle a mix of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp butter onto it. Then you roll it all up, cut it into pieces, and bake them in muffin tin cups for 16-18 minutes or until nice and golden brown. I was told that this process was quite unpleasant and a lot of work (I didn’t make them myself, my lovely mother made them and they were ready when I woke up, which is the best way to wake up in the morning). The mix doesn’t come with any icing to drizzle on top, which is an essential part of cinnamon rolls, so we made our own with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tbsp milk.

chebe gluten free cinnamon rolls

Please don’t be fooled by the slight ugliness of these cinnamon rolls. They taste much more beautiful than they look! They did end up being much tinier than I expected them to be, just because I always think of the giant gluten rolls that I used to eat. These were more like cute lil bite size cinnamon rolls. They were really good and nice and soft, but just a tiny bit too sweet for me, but let’s be honest, thats how cinnamon rolls are supposed to be.

chebe gluten free breadsticks

Next up is the breadsticks. Not only are these breadsticks, which I miss dearly, but they are garlic onion breadsticks, which makes them ten times better. These were also a little bit of a hassle to make. You combine the mix with 2 tbsp oil, 1 cup shredded cheese (they say sharp cheeses are best, but we used a combo of Mozzarella and Parmesan Romano), and 2 large eggs. Then you blend in exactly 1/4 cup milk, and knead the dough with your hands until it’s smooth. I want to emphasize exactly 1/4 cup because it is going to seem like you need more because it looks dry, but trust me, it will come together! Next you divide the dough into twelve pieces and roll them into 7 inch sticks. We also added a step of sprinkling some grated parmesan and garlic powder on top of them. Then you put them into a baking sheet, bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned, and enjoy!

chebe gluten free breadsticks

These are awesome. I couldn’t stop eating them. When I saw how thin I had to roll them I was worried they would be crispy crunchy breadsticks instead of soft fluffy breadsticks. But they ended up being perfectly crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. Not only was the texture wonderful, but the flavor was also fantastic! Nice and cheesy and garlicy and delicious. These are great to pair with a nice bowl of pasta to soak up some sauce. But I was just eating them as a snack because they were so good.

Chebe also has some more dry mixes that I will definitely try now that I know how amazing these were. These cinnamon rolls and breadsticks were able to fill the space of two foods I’ve been missing, now on to finding the rest on my list!

Find Chebe products near you

Simple Mills Banana Muffin Mix

It’s been a while since I wrote a new product review, so here you go!

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for a good muffin at breakfast time. Especially a fresh, warm, just out of the oven muffin. Simple Mills Banana Muffins totally hit the spot. These muffins are not only super yummy, but also healthy! They only have the best, most simple (get it, Simple Mills??) ingredients in them. The ingredients are almonds, organic coconut sugar, arrowroot powder, organic coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. So not only are they gluten free, but everything in them is just naturally gluten free. This is also true for all Simple Mills products—they are all naturally gluten free, and all almond based. They’re even made in a dedicated gluten free facility!

Simple Mills Banana Muffin Mix

I wanted to add a little something extra to them, so I added about 1/3 cup of chopped pecans. It was nice to get little bits of crunch in the muffin. As for the muffin itself, it was so delicious! As I said in my King Arthur Flour GF Muffin Mix review, it’s not very easy to find muffins that aren’t dense and dry. But these were a different kind of awesome from the King Arthur Flour muffins. While those were fluffy and chocolatey, these were perfectly moist and nutty and banana-y.

simple mills banana muffins before and after

Simple Mills also has plenty of other products! As far as muffins go, they also have chocolate and pumpkin muffins (I have the chocolate mix in my pantry ready to be baked and devoured). They also have mixes for chocolate chip cookies, bread, pancakes/waffles, pizza crust, and vanilla cake. You can visit the Simple Mills website to look at these mixes in more detail, as well as the ingredients they use and where you can find products near you. I will definitely be trying more of their products in the future, but for now I will just enjoy my banana muffins.

simple mills banana muffins

 

Whipped Crêperie & Dessert Bar

As promised, here is my review of Whipped!

So, as I said before in my Gaetano’s review, we had a not-so-great dinner there, but it led to an amazing dessert here, at Whipped Crêperie & Dessert Bar! Actually, on our way to dinner I spotted this little place and instantly became sad because I missed crepes and thought there was no way they had anything gluten free. But then, at the end of dinner, I checked Find Me Gluten Free to help decide whether we would have dessert at the restaurant or if there was anywhere nearby with something sweet. That is when I saw that Whipped has gluten free crepes. This was at the same moment that our waitress came to our table and asked us if we wanted dessert, and I said with a little too much excitement (and a little aggression), “NO.

So we walked over to Whipped and sat down and ordered our crepes. Most of the crepes can be made gluten free, but obviously not the ones with cookies or graham crackers or anything obviously gluten-y in them. If you’re not sure if something in the filling is GF, always ask. I ordered the Classic (strawberries, bananas, and Nutella) and my mom got the Monkey’s Choice (bananas, peanut butter sauce, and walnuts).

crepes

Classic & Monkey’s Choice

These crepes are sooooo good! The filling was delicious, the crepe itself was amazing, even the whipped cream was great! The Nutella/peanut butter sauce was both on top and inside, and man it’s just so damn good! Also, they are huge. It doesn’t seem that big when you get it, but once you start eating, it’s very filling. There was no way me or my mom were finishing these! We ended up taking the rest of what we had home and giving it to my dad (have food leftovers? Give them to my dad, he’ll take care of that). If I’m being picky, the only annoying thing about them was that they were a little tough to cut through so you have to use a knife, but that’s probably because the GF crepe batter is thicker than the typical gluten-filled crepe batter.

We visited a few weeks later after another dinner in Red Bank, and now that we knew how filling they are we ordered just one for me, my mom, and my dad to share. This time we got the Mixed Berries crepe, which has strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. We also added Nutella for $1 extra, which was totally worth it. The second time at Whipped was just as fantastic as the first! And seriously, aren’t these crepes just so pretty??

mixed berries crepe

I really love this place so much. It’s so unique; I’ve never seen another restaurant with gluten free crepes. They don’t just have dessert though, they also offer lunch crepes (which sound weird to me but they’re probably good) and breakfast crepes, as well as Belgian waffles and other breakfast foods. I’m dying to try one of the breakfast crepes with Greek yogurt, mixed berries, granola (which I do have to ask to make sure it is gluten free first), and honey, but that would require me waking up and being ready early enough to actually do it.

I’m so happy we discovered Whipped, and this will definitely become a regular spot for me. I can’t wait to go back!

Link to Whipped menu

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Muffin Mix

gluten free muffins

My first post of 2016! Yay! I hope everyone’s New Year is going great so far.

Now, it’s time to talk about muffins! Who doesn’t love a good muffin? I love using King Arthur Flour GF Muffin Mix, because the mix is just for plain muffins, so you can add whatever you want to them to personalize and make them delicious! There are endless possibilities with this mix. This time, I got the idea for these chocolate muffins from the King Arthur Flour website, specifically their recipe for Chocolate Breakfast Muffins. So here is how I made them!

What you’ll need:

  • One box of King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Muffin Mix
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter (or oil)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk*
  • 1/4 cup espresso*
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • sparkling white sugar for topping (optional)

*The recipe called for espresso powder, but we didn’t have that on hand so I used brewed espresso. Because of this, I had to adjust how much liquid was in the batter and use a little less milk (usually 1 cup). If you do have espresso powder, use 3/4 teaspoon and use the full cup of milk.

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375° and line your muffin pan with muffin cups
  2. Stir together the melted butter, eggs, mil, and espresso. Add the mix and cocoa, and whisk until it’s nice and smooth, then add your chocolate chips
  3. Fill your muffin cups until they’re almost full, and sprinkle sugar on top
  4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean
  5. Remove the muffins from the pan, cool for 5 minutes, and enjoy!
gluten free muffins

Before & after

These muffins were ridiculously good. They were so soft and fluffy (like seriously, do you see how puffy these things got???). A lot of the time, gluten free muffins are pretty dense and look deflated, but not these little guys. They are light and pillowy and chocolatey. The only bad thing was that I really couldn’t taste the espresso, but maybe that would’ve been better if I’d used espresso powder or just a little more brewed espresso. Overall, this muffin mix is fantastic, and definitely my favorite way to make muffins!

gluten free muffins

Recipe: Zucchini Bread!

We have a garden in our backyard, and every year my dad grows zucchini. By the end of the summer, we have a ridiculous amount of these things. And they’re not just normal zucchini; for some reason the ones we grow are massive. On average, a zucchini is usually somewhere between 6 and 10 inches. However, some of ours are almost double that!

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Since we always have so much zucchini, we are constantly looking for things to do with it, whether it be zucchini parmesan, zucchini fries, grilling it as a side dish, or just giving it away to friends and family. But zucchini bread is definitely one of my favorites. You can eat this bread for breakfast (which is what I do), or you can put some frosting on it and make it a dessert! No matter what you do with it, it’s guaranteed to always be delicious!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of grated zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Domata GF Recipe Ready Flour)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or you could substitute all purpose gluten free flour if you have a nut allergy)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, only if your flour blend doesn’t already have it
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (or if you don’t have that around, whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I don’t like nuts in my bread so I chose not to add these)

Making the zucchini bread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°, and spray 3 mini loaf pans or one standard 9-inch loaf pan (which is what I used) and set aside.
  2. Put your shredded zucchini in some paper towels and gently squeeze out any moisture. Fluff your zucchini with a fork and set aside.
  3. Whisk together your GF all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, add your brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and nuts. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and beat until combined. Fold in your grated zucchini, and if you’d like you can reserve a little bit of it to sprinkle on top of the loaf.
  5. Pour your mixture into your pan and sprinkle on the reserved zucchini. Bake for 35-40 minutes*, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully turn out the loaf to cool completely on a rack

*I think this recipe was really meant for 3 mini loaves, so when I made it in the 9-inch pan it took longer—about 20 minutes more.

bread2

The before & after

This zucchini bread is so amazing and the taste of vanilla and cinnamon are so delicious. I ate this every day for breakfast for as long as it lasted (which wasn’t too long), and it was also a great snack. The best thing about it was that it was a wonderfully tasty way to get rid of our hoards of zucchini!

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