Monday, July 21, 2014

Cookbook Giveaway Winners Announced!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on last week's post about the release of Gluten-Free Family Favorites! We selected three winners at random. They are:

  • Whitney (7/14 8:55pm)
  • Cindy (7/15 6:09am)
  • Susan C. (7/15 10:31am)
Congratulations to the winners! If that's you, please email us ( with your full name and mailing address, and we'll get a copy of the new cookbook out to you ASAP.

Happy Monday!

–Pete and Kelli

Friday, July 18, 2014

Applewood-Smoked Turkey

When you're married to someone for long enough (more than a decade for us!), inevitably there will come some instances of gift giving in which a gift for "you" is actually a gift that benefits "us." And when you love to cook together in the kitchen as much as we do, that's even more the case, from our Vitamix blender to our Lodge cast iron skillet to our Vev Vigano stainless steel stovetop espresso maker.

But, by my own admission, there may be no more egregious example than when I gave Kelli a cast iron smoker box for our grill for Mother's Day one year. For a while it sat idle and unused in one of our kitchen cupboards, but this summer we're making the Summer of Smoking. Kelli bought bags of different wood chips (applewood, hickory, you know the usual suspects) and we've been smoking up a storm.

It's been a real pleasure. We're developing wonderful new flavor profiles our grill has never produced before, and we're excited to share them with you, starting with this applewood-smoked, dry-rubbed turkey tenderloin. Doesn't your mouth water just looking at the golden-brown goodness in the photo above?

Applewood-Smoked Turkey
Makes 2 pounds

2 one-pound turkey tenderloins
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
2 cups applewood chips

1. Combine the salt through the paprika, rub down the turkey tenderloins with the spice mix, and let sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. (Pull the turkey out of the fridge when you preheat the grill.)
2. Add the 2 cups of applewood chips to your smoker box or to a tin foil packet with holes poked in it.
3. Turn the burner on one end of your grill to high and place the smoker box over that burner. When the wood chips begin to smoke, reduce the heat to medium. (Depending on the strength of your grill, either leave the other burners off or turn them to low. You want to maintain your grill's temperature around 250 to 300 deg F.)
4. Place the turkey tenderloins on the grill grate on the opposite end of your grill. (If your grill has an upper rack, place them up there.)
5. Give your turkey time to smoke and cook low and slow, flipping once after 20+ minutes. Use a meat thermometer to periodically check their internal temperature. When they reach 165 deg F they're done! (About 45 minutes total.) Pull them off the grill, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then slice and serve.


–Pete and Kelli

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gluten-Free Family Favorites Is Now Available!

Today is an exciting day for us. It's when we—at last—get to joyfully announce the release of Gluten-Free Family Favorites! It's the equivalent of hosting a big family celebration ... doing the menu planning, the grocery shopping, the food prep, the actual cooking, setting the whole spread out on the dining room table, and finally saying "Mangia! Bon appetit!" Except the process takes about two years from start to finish and is far more exhausting. Yet here we are!

If you've followed this blog from the beginning—and even if you've found your way here more recently—you've watched our family grow. We began as a young married couple, and in subsequent years added a child, and then a second, and now a third. In parallel, though not in tandem, we also added books: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking's 1st and 2nd editions, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes, and now Gluten-Free Family Favorites.

We think this latest is perhaps our most important book. Let me tell you why.

Meeting a need for families

In the years since Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking was first released, we've periodically but ever consistently received emails from parents telling us stories about feeding their gluten-free children and families with our recipes. It's deeply gratifying to receive such notes. But over time we've sensed an aching void in the gluten-free cookbook world. Yes, you could cook for a family, including children, out of pretty much any cookbook. But scant few have specifically addressed gluten-free children and their families. This one, of course, does, including with familiar kid classics such as pancakes, soft pretzels, chicken fingers and fish sticks, and ice cream sandwiches. There are 75 recipes in total, spanning the gamut from breakfasts to snacks and sides to dinners to sweet treats for dessert.

Empowering children

Gluten-Free Family Favorites is about more than putting food on the table your kids—gluten-free or not—will love to eat. It is about getting them in the kitchen with you... gluten-free flour in their hair, dough under their fingernails, and wide grins on their faces. You see, we firmly believe that in an era of ever busier schedules and commitments, time spent together as a family in the kitchen is time well spent. Plus, the confidence your gluten-free child develops in the kitchen translates into other aspects of their life, where they'll have to confidently navigate sometimes difficult social situations when being gluten-free could be a challenge: class parties, play dates, sports and other extracurricular activities, etc.

Setting an inclusive table

We know what it feels like when you're welcomed at a dinner table where the food is safe to eat... and we know what it's like when you're the odd one out. It's tempting to think of that as a binary state—you're either in or out, you're either gluten-ous or gluten-free. But those of us in the gluten-free community know how many shades of gray there are. So often gluten is just one of several dietary restrictions. That's why we developed and tested as many modifications to each recipe as we could to—beyond gluten-free—also make a recipe free of corn, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, refined sugar, etc. and any combination. Consider it the Top Eight Plus. Every recipe has the necessary modifications right there on the page, plus there's a handy quick-reference table in the back of the book so you can, at a glance, tell whether a recipe is naturally free of an allergen or can be modified to make it so.

Comprehensive yet concise information

Going gluten-free can have a steep learning curve. If you're already on the other side of that curve, you probably still remember what those first days, weeks, and months were like. If you're just starting out, there are a number of great resources available to help you through the transition. The introductory section of this book is one of them. It's comprehensive yet concise (in our estimation, an admirable pair of qualities!), with sections on gluten and gluten-free 101, setting up a gluten-free kitchen, food and kitchen safety basics for kids (and adults), navigating the supermarket (not to mention federal labeling laws and third-party GF certifications), and tips for reducing your gluten-free grocery bill. It's all in there, and in true Goldilocks style, not too much or too little.

We've said previously of Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking that if you cook from its pages, it's like you're cooking with us. It's not so much a collection of recipes for a cookbook as it is a collection of our family's recipes that happen to have been assembled into a cookbook. Our personal copy is dog-eared and frayed and messy in the way a well-worn and often-used cookbook should be. We cook from it regularly, if not daily.

The same can now be said of Gluten-Free Family Favorites. Though our personal copy—one of the first off the presses two short weeks ago when it arrived in our mailbox straight from the publisher—has barely had time for the ink to dry, it's already showing signs of beloved use. We hope that it finds a similar place in your kitchen.

The title of this blog has been our most fundamental perspective on food and cooking since basically Day One: cooking with no gluten is no problem. That's just as true when it comes to feeding your gluten-free child or an entire gluten-free family. Let Gluten-Free Family Favorites be your guide to help make your kitchen and dining room table whole again.


And to celebrate GFFF's release, we're giving away three copies, one in honor of each of our children. Just leave a comment on this blog post—a recipe you're excited to try, your family's gluten-free story (briefly). We'll randomly select and announce the three winners one week from today, next Monday, July 21. Good luck!

–Pete and Kelli

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cherry Coconut Cream Tart

For Californians, what the California Cherry Board calls "the sweetest six weeks of summer" has come and gone. They're referring, of course, to peak cherry season, which for California typically starts in mid-May and lasts through late June. But for other parts of the country, including cherries grown in Washington State, peak season comes just a wee bit later ... as in, now.

Cherries are one of the few fruits still tied almost exclusively to their season. You can go to the grocery store and buy an apple or an orange or a banana pretty much whenever you'd like. Not cherries. They come into season like a flash flood—suddenly, and in great volume. And just as quickly they recede. Thus when they're in, you need to act. So make haste and get this tart going this weekend! You won't regret it. Otherwise, you'll be left wondering "what if" until next year...

Cherry Coconut Cream Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart

1 baked 9-inch GF tart shell (such as this one, minus the cinnamon)
1 pound whole sweet cherries, pitted
Cream from one 13.5oz can full-fat coconut milk*
1 teaspoon GF pure almond extract
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

* Leave the can in the refrigerator overnight. Then using a can opener, open the bottom of the can, pour off the liquid, and what you're left with is the cream.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
2. Arrange the pitted cherries in the bottom of the cooked tart shell, and place the prepared shell, still in its tart pan, onto a baking sheet.
3. Whisk together the coconut cream, almond extract, sugar, and salt.
4. Pour the coconut mixture over the cherries. Pop any air bubbles that form on the surface.
5. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is set.


–Pete and Kelli

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Roasted Beet Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

There are lots of landmarks—official and unofficial—that signal the arrival of summer: Memorial Day, the solstice on June 21... But believe it or not, in Colorado, those dates can actually seem too early for summer. In the high country of the Rockies, the nights still dip down close to freezing temps, the snowpack is still thick, and the rivers run swollen and icy with growing snowmelt. By the Fourth of July, however, there's no question that summer has truly (and finally) arrived.

And nothing tastes like summer quite like a salad such as this. It combines a subtle sweetness and earthiness from roasted beets, mild tartness from the strawberry vinaigrette, fresh crunch of jicama, bitterness of arugula, and a handful of other ingredients to make a fresh salad that epitomizes the season. It's perfect to complement whatever you might be grilling for this holiday weekend.

Roasted Beet Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings


For the salad:
2 beets
4 cups arugula
1/2 jicama, cut into "sticks"
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp cilantro leaves

For the dressing:
1 cup strawberries, stems removed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
2. Cut the top and bottom off the beets. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place in a pan.
3. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, until a knife inserts easily into the beets. Allow to cool.
4. Peel the beets by rubbing the skin off and slice into bite-sized pieces.
5. Combine the beets, arugula, jicama, pecans, cheese, and cilantro leaves.
6. Prepare the dressing by putting the strawberries, vinegar, and olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth.
7. Dress the salad and serve.


–Pete and Kelli

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fari-"not"-a (Italian-style cast iron pizza)

If you're like us, you love your pizza. It continues to be a weekly tradition in our household. Our girls like certain kinds of pizzas, but we enjoy changing it up and introducing variety. We're always looking for ways to make a familiar food feel new again.

Enter this week's recipe. One month ago, we posted a recipe for traditional farinata, made with chickpea flour and topped with pesto. It brought us right back to Italy, where we first had it. In fact, we've made it again since and brought a batch with us for lunch when we went camping over Memorial Day weekend.

Today's recipe, which we're cheekily calling fari-not-a, is like a pizza-farinata hybrid child. It borrows the techniques of making farinata (an oven-heated cast iron skillet, generous olive oil, and a wetter dough) with a more pizza-like dough recipe that uses our Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend instead of chickpea flour.

Though the photos make the edges of the crust look burned, trust us that they're not. They're a delightful sweet spot of crispy and chewy. Pesto or herbs, fresh-sliced tomatoes, and burrata (a richer melting cheese based on mozzarella but with added cream), plus a sprinkle of kosher salt to make the flavors pop, had Kelli declaring it the best pizza she's ever had. I'm pretty sure we've said that before about other pizzas, so let is simply be an indication of how much we enjoyed this new recipe, and hope you do, too.

Makes one 10-inch pizza

1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup (125 g) Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup pesto
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
4 ounces burrata/fresh mozzarella
kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 500 deg F and place a cast iron/heavy oven-proof 10-inch pan in the oven to heat up.
2. Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and leave for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture will look thick and foamy.
3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the activated yeast mixture and stir to combine.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the liquid mixture and stir to combine.
5. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Tip the pan to coat the entire bottom and pour in the prepared crust. Spread with an oil-coated spatula to make as smooth as possible.
6. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the crust. Spread the pesto on the crust and top with slices of tomato and pieces of burrata.
7. Return to the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and cook until the cheese is melted and brown in places.
8. Remove from the oven and slide out of the pan. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, cut, and serve.


–Pete and Kelli

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Celiac Connection

Four generations
I recently wrote about how my mom was diagnosed with celiac disease in her mid-60s earlier this year. The more I think about our family's medical history, though, the more I wonder if she's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

No, I can't point to a long list of family members and say that they all exhibit some of the "classic" symptoms of celiac disease. But here's what I do notice: across the three—and now four, with my kids—living generations of family members, you'll find a wide range of non-celiac medical conditions that all have statistically significant correlations with celiac disease. Thyroid disease. Addison's disease (an autoimmune endocrinopathy). Osteoporosis/osteopenia. Diabetes. Crohn's disease. Colon polyps. Dementia. Irritable bowel syndrome.

That's quite the list, isn't it? Though here's the thing... With some exceptions where a family member has multiple conditions, most members of the family have a single, primary diagnosis with one condition or another. For example, one family member has a Crohn's diagnosis but none of the other conditions in the list. Nor does any given condition have a pattern of repetition either within or across generations. Again using the Crohn's family member as an example, no first-degree relatives and no one from the previous two generations has had a Crohn's diagnosis.

If you looked at the family and our broad medical history from the outside, you'd be tempted to see these various conditions as isolated and unrelated cases popping up in one particular family without a common cause. Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with Crohn's disease? No? Ok then.

And as one family member who's a registered nurse will rightly point out, there are many risk factors and causal influences in any particular family member that could explain a particular condition. That person is a good case in point. She has flirted with osteopenia (bone density loss), and though there's a confirmed medical diagnosis of a condition that could help to explain it, that person is also a) female, b) older, c) petite/lightweight, and d) doesn't have much opportunity for high-impact, weight-bearing exercise. All four of those things are risk factors.

I'll be the first to admit that the litany of medical conditions in my family could be nothing more than the sort of list you'd inevitably build when you compile several generations worth of diagnoses. On the other hand, I also must entertain the possibility that—like in a good crime movie where seemingly unrelated characters and plot lines actually converge—my family's medical history might have a hidden, common thread, and celiac disease could be the Rosetta Stone.

There's a French writer and philosopher, Rene Daumal, who in Mount Analogue wrote, "You cannot stay on the summit forever, You have to come down again... So why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below; But what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, But one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up."

For me, celiac disease awareness is the summit that offers the view to see the possible connections between myriad and seemingly unrelated other conditions. Without that awareness, you'd be stuck down low in the valleys without the broad view. When you see the world, of even just your own family, through the lens of celiac disease, it's like a veil has been lifted from your eyes and you start to see the possible health links everywhere.

It's not that celiac disease directly causes all the other conditions, though that may be true in some instances, but rather that they all potentially share some common root cause—a genetic predisposition, leaky gut/intestinal permeability, etc.

It wouldn't at all surprise me if other family members also turned out to have celiac disease. But perhaps even more so, as researchers learn ever more about the human gut—and how factors like its balanace of microflora and the permeability of the intestinal walls influence the rest of the body—I suspect we'll begin to see more and more connections between "unconnected" medical conditions. In the meantime, I'm left with a hunch and a curiosity: Is there more than meets the eye in my family's medical history? Or, as I've cautioned others against and yet possibly have fallen victim to myself, have I become a celiac hammer looking for a nail?