Monday, January 21, 2019

Gluten-free fried onions

This post should have gone up in December, but I found myself overwhelmed during the holidays.  Everyone probably feels this way, but a kitchen remodel thrown into the mix really took it's toll on my holiday spirit and energy level ;)


   
For many years, I made homemade fried onions for my traditional green casserole.  I'd found a few gf brands of onions, but none were good enough to buy twice.  Last year I finally found a decent tasting shelf stable fried onion - Loeb's - at Publix.  They were packaged in a bag and are now in a plastic jar.  Either way, the onions were a suitable substitute for the French's brand of fried onions many of us grew up with.

Then, last month, an email from findmeglutenfree announced the availability of several brands of fried onions just in time for the holidays!  I noticed that the Sprouts brand was listed so that's the product I decided to try.  They are possibly the exact product from Loeb's as the ingredients are exactly the same (onion, buckwheat, vegetable oil and salt).  However, for some reason I can't pin down, I prefer the taste of the Sprouts product.  Aldi has a similar product which I'll probably try eventually.  So far, nothing tastes just like the French's brand, but that's okay.  That product has a form of sugar in it which, like many people, I can do without.


PRODUCT NOTE:  buckwheat is in fact, not related to wheat - nor is it a grain.  It's plant based and is completely gluten-free.       

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Best gluten-free "Ritz" style cracker!

I'm a cracker person....always loved Saltines and Ritz crackers with cheese, or spread or even plain old butter!  So when I had to give up gluten crackers, I went on the hunt for "real" tasting crackers.  Twelve years later, I'm still on said hunt.  There are many really tasty crackers available today.  Absolutely Gluten-Free, Crunchmaster and Schar all offer some really good options that gluten eaters can also enjoy.  However, until recently the Ritz style cracker has eluded me. 

In the past, I've often ended up with six or seven boxes of crackers in my pantry at one time.  Clearly, no one needs that many crackers so I took a break from trying new brands for a while for a couple of  years.  That break ended two weeks ago when I decided to check out the tiny GF section in a Publix that is not our normal store.  Low and behold, there was a product from Lance (you know - the company that makes the silly-small peanut butter and cheese sandwich style gf crackers) marked "NEW" and the photo on the box look exactly like a Ritz cracker.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try them so into my basket they went!  I ended up getting to try them for almost nothing due to a random act of kindness.  The person in front of me in line gave me a gift card worth over $3 (what was left after they checked out) and the crackers were maybe $3.59.

Unfortunately, when I opened the bag of crackers, the small size of the round disks was a shock.  I shouldn't have been surprised since the above mentioned sandwich crackers are also way too small.  The good news is that this new plain cracker pretty much taste like a Ritz cracker!  There is a very slight sandy mouth feel which is the only sign they're not a "regular" cracker.  Due to the buttery flavor and perfect crunch, I can get past that sandy feature.  I would prefer they cost twice and much and be twice the size they are...but I'm probably alone in that wish ;)

If you like Ritz crackers, but can't have the real thing anymore, the Lance brand is definitely worth trying.  I've only seen them at Publix, but they're apparently sold at Target as well. 

Fresh crust (from pre-made dough) at Hearth Pizza Tavern

Ever since something changed with the Blue Moon gf crust (at least at the Sandy Springs location) and the same thing happened at Crust in Al...