Monday, November 19, 2012

R.I.P. Twinkie


Big News!!! Hostess to cease producing Twinkies (and other beloved snack cakes). For those who eat gluten free, we said goodbye to Mr. (or is it Ms.?) Twinkie long ago.  But this week at the Kosherfest trade show in Secaucus, NJ, I received the good news that Shabtai Gourmet, a gluten and peanut free company,  is going to begin producing gluten free Twinkie-like snack cakes. Adding to their amazing repertoire of Ring Ding and Yodel-like cakes.  You can soon enjoy this iconic American treat even if you are gluten free (and they are also kosher for Passover).

Other great products tasted at the show include a truly outstanding gluten free (and kosher for Passover) baguette by Eytan gourmet. A number of years ago I became smitten with their outstanding gluten free brownies, and hope to buy their breads soon.

Another interesting baked good company at the show was My Dad's Cookies, which offered a selection of bakery style gluten free cookies, including black and whites, linzer tarts, and a Milano-style cookie. They really looked like the "real" thing.

Manischewitz has expanded their gluten free offerings and has come out with red velvet macaroons to add to their myriad of flavors. They have a macaroon mix wherein you can make your own macaroons at home. I saw the potential in this product to be used for a crust for pies or cheesecakes.  Experiment, I'm sure you will find many new uses for this new product.

My all time favorite of the show this year were Naturale-Boon, high end chocolates from Australia, available online in the U.S. They are available in pareve (non-dairy) and dairy varieties, and are as beautiful as they are delicious. Their homemade caramels are buttery and out of this world! In addition, Boon puts out a soy chocolate milk that reminded me of Yoohoo in glass bottles.
BOON Chocolates
For a quick fix on the go, there are The Simply Bars. Low calorie, vegan, gluten free and kosher. Need I say more.

I love the brown rice that's precooked and in individual bowls by Minsley. I buy them at Costco. Now I discovered they also make quinoa in the same sort of packaging. What a great idea for lunches at school or the office. You can have it with a salad, or bring a leftover piece of chicken, fish and veggies to mix in with the ready to serve quinoa.
This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to make a stuffing themed quinoa salad. It can be served warm in lieu of stuffing, but I prefer quinoa cold. If you want a great bread stuffing, I suggest using cubed gluten free hot dog buns, as they have the most crust surface area and hold up better in a stuffing than sliced gluten free bread.

Festival Fall Quinoa Salad or "Squiffing"

2 cups prepared quinoa (1 cup raw), cooled
1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
2 stalks scallions, finely chopped

1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard, optional
2 Tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, gently mix together salad ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad. Toss well to coat. 

Cover and chill until ready to use. May be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

Serves: 6-8

*To toast nuts: Spread out in  a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F degrees for 6-8 minutes, turning several times. Allow to cool.