Tips on Hosting a Gluten-Free Brunch

Gluten-Free Brunch

This summer I hosted two brunches with some of my favourite people at my new apartment. I find brunches are a great options as they are quite easy to prepare and I find them to be a more relaxing form of entertaining. My number one tip when hosting any event, whether it is a brunch or cocktail,  is to keep everything gluten-free when possible as it minimizes stress and any risk of cross-contamination. When everything is GF I can fully relax and enjoy brunch. I like to take advantage of an opportunity to break bread with friends (GF bread of course) without having to be anxious about what has touched my eggs. Gluten-free food and great company makes for the perfect get-together in my books.

The last brunch I hosted had gluten-free pastries from Le Marquis, egg muffins with cheese, fruit, smoked salmon, bacon, cheeses, coffee, tea, fresh juices and of course mimosas.

Here is a link to an easy egg muffin recipe http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/egg-muffins-clinton-kelly. These egg muffins are fool proof and you can add anything you have on hand like veggies and cheeses. They are also a good option as a snack or light meal during the week.

Gluten-free brunch

gluten-free egg muffins

Gluten-free brunch

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Gluten-Free Latkes for the Holidays

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I am obsessed with Latkes, also known as potato pancakes.  In my books they are the perfect gluten-free treat. There is little better in the world than fried potato. I love to make traditional ones around Hanukkah and also love to make impromptu thrown together versions for breakfast throughout the year. Latkes require only a small amount of breadcrumb or flour so it is easy to substitute in a gluten-free alternative. I like to just grate some potato, remove the excess water, add some onion (I also like green onion) and whatever gluten-free flour you have on hand and fry it all up. It is always delicious and your whole house will smell like latkes! (this is both good and bad)

Be careful most latkes you buy at the store or that are homemade are not gluten-free friendly (unless you have a friend like mine who always makes sure to use gluten-free flour- Thanks Ari!).

Before starting to cook I highly recommend watching this video detailing how to cook the perfect latke on bon appétit:   http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/no-soggy-latkes

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Gluten-Free Latkes

Makes about 24 medium-smallish latkes

  • 4-6 large potatoes peeled or unpeeled (russet are recommended but I use whatever I have on hand)
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix (any gluten-free mix will work)
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2 tsps baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • grapeseed oil or other preferred oil for frying

Preheat oven to 300 F to keep the latkes warm after frying.

We were a little lazy and chose not to peel our potatoes, the recipe works either way.

In a food processor or with a box grater grate the potatoes and onions. Transfer to a large kitchen towel or cheese cloth and twist to remove all the excess water. Repeat several times. The more water you remove the crispier your latkes will be.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and onion and mix well  with your hands.

In a large frying pan heat the about  4 TBSPs of the oil over medium high heat. You will need to add more oil throughout the cooking process.

Working in batches add  big spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing with your spatula to flatten. Once the latkes are browned on both sides remove to a plate with paper towel. The latkes will cook at different speeds. Put the cooked latkes in the oven on a plate or wire rack to keep warm while the others are being prepared.

Serve with this homemade applesauce (store bought will also work just fine). I also love mine with sour cream, smoked salmon and chives.

This recipe was inspired by this recipe from bon appétit.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this a year have a Latke party, you won’t regret it!

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The Easiest Homemade Applesauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

apple_sauce_gluten_free_compote_pommes_sans_gluten_1I have no idea how I have never made applesauce because it is ridiculously easy and tastes way better homemade than store bought. It was scary easy and the only annoying part for this lazy girl was peeling and coring the apples. I am a lazy cook and I am now converted to making apple sauce. I was getting concerned that I was never going to use all the apples I bought apple picking back in September (I only eat green apples as is) and thought this would make the perfect side to Latkes for my birthday/holiday girl night with one of my favourite ladies (recipe for the Latkes to follow soon).

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apple_sauce_gluten_free_compote_pommes_sans_gluten_3Homemade Apple Sauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Makes about 3 cups of apple sauce (I would recommend doubling it)

  • 3 pounds apples peeled and cored (2-3 apples are a pound depending on their size and any kind of apple will do)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (you can use water if you don’t have any on hand)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (can use less or more depending on your preference, I used a full teaspoon this time)

Throw all the ingredients in a medium to large sized pot and cook the apples for 25 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally. Once they are cooled puree them in a food processor or blender (I used my Nutribullet and only pulsed it for a second). That’s it!

Store in an airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge. Can also be frozen.

Amazing as a snack, with latkes or on its own.apple_sauce_gluten_free_compote_pommes_sans_gluten_4

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Gluten-Free Brunch at Café Souvenir

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Café Souvenir on Bernard Ouest is a great bet for gluten-free brunch in Montreal. They have several gluten-free brunch options, including toast. They also have several build your own breakfast options. I ordered 2 eggs with gluten-free toast, gluten-free potatoes (their roasted potatoes are always gluten-free) and bacon. My date also had a gluten-free plate including a delicious omelette with green onion, chèvre and bacon with a big bowl of café au lait.

This spot was definitely worth the detour as they are more aware of celiac disease than many other brunch places in Montreal.

Their brunch menu can be found here:
http://bistrocafesouvenir.com/cartes/brunch.pdf

Café Souvenir

1261 Avenue Bernard, Montréal, Québec H2V 3M8
(514) 948-5259

http://bistrocafesouvenir.com/

Accommodates gluten-free: Yes

Price: $$

Gluten-free menu: No

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The Best Gluten-Free Pancakes Made with Bisquick

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The Gluten-Free Bisquick mix continues to surprise me in the best way possible. I made the pancakes from the recipe on the back of the box and they were amazing. I’m pretty sure they were the best gluten-free pancakes I have ever eaten. While most gluten-free pancakes tend to be dense these were light and delicious and tasted super normal. I used butter instead of oil and almond milk. Also, I found it took more milk than the 1 cup in the recipe to get the right consistency. These were too easy to make, just add milk, an egg and a little butter or oil and bob’s your uncle!

I definitely recommend getting your hand on this mix and making these pancakes for the people in your life that have had to eat one too many not-so good gluten-free pancake breakfasts. These will make up for the dry and dense gluten-free pancakes of the past.

I have only seen this mix so far in the gluten-free section of the IGA on St-Catherine.

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Perfect Buckwheat Crepes (Gluten-Free)

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crepes

I love these buckwheat crepes. They made the perfect brunch for my best friend and her new husband. The recipe below is perfect as is, no changes here. I love Gluten Free on a Shoestring and wish I was a little more patient and innovative when it came to gluten-free baking. I would love to one day make everything on the site! For now I can make crepes!

This recipe makes a great savoury or sweet crepe, it’s quite neutral so fill it with whatever you fancy or top it with lots of maple syrup 🙂

http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-buckwheat-crepes/

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Healthy Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

2014-01-28 15.09.15I have been dying to try this simple recipe for baked cookie dough oatmeal that I adapted from one of my favourite healthy baking websites. The original recipe made them look like cakes but because I am inpatient and insist on eating my food hot mine worked out better kept in the ramekin. This recipe tastes like a decadent cookie but is super easy to make, pretty healthy and makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert. It is also really easy to play around with the ingredients and try different combos, baked oatmeal is hard to screw up. In my books anything that is this yummy, easy, comforting and falls into the healthy column is a definitely a winner.

How have I gone my whole life without trying baked oatmeal!?!?

Ingredients

These proportions make 3 to 4 small ramekins full of oatmeal. You could also bake it in one large dish.

  • 1 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (I like Cream Hill Estates)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 or 4 TBSPs maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind) or water
  • a few handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • Optional: chopped nuts, coconut flakes and cinnamon (pecans and almonds worked well)

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and distribute into 3 or 4 ramekins (depending on their size). It is not necessary but you can coat the ramekins with a little coconut oil or vegetable oil. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until set and then increase the heat to broil for several minutes for a crispy top or just continue cooking them for a few more minutes (the cookie time really depends on your oven and how crispy you would like your top to be).

Enjoy this filling and delicious treat right out of the oven. Perfect for this cold weather we have been having. It can also be made ahead. I kept mine in the fridge for 24 hours before baking and they tasted exactly the same.

Note: If you would like it to come out as a little cake make sure to coat the ramekin with a little oil (I prefer coconut) so it will release once cooled.

Inspired by this great blog Chocolate Covered Katie that features amazing healthy version of almost every dessert imaginable, many being gluten-free.

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