Showing posts with label cookbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookbooks. Show all posts

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 (info@nogluten-noproblem.com) 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

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.

Giveaway!

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Introducing Gluten-Free Family Favorites!


After breaking our near-total blogging radio silence last week with a race report from the big ultramarathon in the Alps, we're thrilled to announce one of the main reasons we've been largely MIA for the last two months. We've been (very) hard at work wrapping up our newest cookbook:

Gluten-Free Family Favorites: The 75 Go-To Recipes You Need To Feed Kids And Adults All Day, Every Day

As our own family has grown (with a new addition expected in just six weeks or so!), and as readers of this blog and our previous cookbooks have reached out with messages about feeding their own kids, we've felt more and more compelled that parents and families needed a trusted resource to feed their kids great gluten-free food. But when we looked around, we saw scant few gluten-free cookbooks specifically dedicated to kids and families. That had to change.

And so more than a year ago we began the process of crafting this new cookbook. It really embodies two equally important and interrelated themes: featuring recipes that kids will love to eat and that are designed to get kids cooking in the kitchen with you. That last part is crucial. This is about more than putting a meal on the table. It's about teaching children good eating habits that they'll carry into adulthood, about building a healthy relationship with their food, and about building their confidence in the kitchen, so that they'll feel empowered to ultimately navigate potentially challenging social food situations, whether at school, a party, or intramural sports and other activities.

We've included kid-friendly, allergen-friendly, and/or healthier adaptations of some of our popular recipes from the blog and previous cookbooks (such as pizza), plus oodles of new recipes, including:

  • breakfasts (sweet potato pancakes, French toast sticks, hot cereal)
  • snacks (granola bars, cinnamon chips with fruit salsa, graham crackers)
  • dinners (pesto mac and cheese, spanakopita hand pies, chicken teriyaki)
  • familiar classics (fish sticks, meatball subs, grilled cheese)
  • tasty treats (monkey bread, waffle cones, thumbprint jam cookies)

There are 75 main recipes in all, each with a full-page color photograph and each of course gluten-free. Every recipe, as much as possible, also includes modifications to make it free of dairy, egg, corn, soy, peanut, nut, and other major allergens, as well as vegetarian or vegan.

The book also includes sections with tips on reducing your family's gluten-free grocery bill, understanding the gluten-free diet and new labeling laws, and food and kitchen safety for kids.

It's due out in late spring 2014 from The Experiment.

Thanks for your patience and continued support! We're so excited to finally be able to share the news and to get back to regular blogging. It's been too long, but fortunately our European trip gave us plenty of inspiration for new recipes you can expect to see here in the coming weeks.

–Pete and Kelli

Friday, March 2, 2012

Grain-Free Baked Goods & Desserts


Today's cookbook review is LONG overdue. We originally intended to post it just before Christmas, but then we dropped off the face of the earth for two months or so, and so here we are. Our focus in this review is Grain-Free Baked Goods & Desserts by Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut.

We first met Kelly in person—and tasted her baking—at a small blogger get together at her house back when we were still living in Colorado. The island in her kitchen had an inviting tray of slices of her marble cake. It was quite tasty. I thought then—as now—that Kelly's take on gluten-free ingredients and baking methods were pretty innovative.

Grain-Free Baked Goods & Desserts offered a chance for us to try her ingredients, methods, and recipes in our own kitchen. The book is self-published (though you'd never know it from the high quality), with layout handled by her book designer husband Andrew. It's about 100 pages long, with 80 recipes, and nearly 40 food photos (with some additional technique and family pictures). All of the recipes are grain-free, gluten-free, and casein-free. Many are egg-free. (Some that use eggs use a lot of eggs.)

The cornerstones of Kelly's recipes are coconut flour, almond flour, and soaked navy or Great Northern beans. Like Amy Green's Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Kelly uses alternative natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar and stevia.

Her recipes are written in an unconventional format, though they'll be familiar to anyone who frequents her blog regularly. Rather than listing all of the ingredients for a recipe, and then the method/steps/procedure, Kelly integrates them. Each progressive step of a recipe also lists the ingredients you'll need for that step. This takes some getting used to, especially when assembling all the needed ingredients for a recipe in advance.

Now, on to the food:


First up, we made the Prairie Waffles. They were dense and spongy, with a very eggy taste. In our Belgian waffle iron, they tended to go from moist to very dry in a heartbeat. They were best eaten hot and very fresh. They sucked up maple syrup. Although they looked great, their taste and texture weren't as successful for us as some of Kelly's other recipes.


Next up we made the Rosemary & Garlic Rolls. The dough was initially much too wet to form the dough into balls as per the recipe, and we had to add some extra flour to get it to a workable consistency. The resulting rolls were very dense. The flavor of coconut flour was most prominent for us. The flavor of rosemary was pretty weak, and the garlic almost nonexistent. The rolls had a subtle sweetness to them, rather than being a truly savory dinner roll.

With this recipe, we found ourselves sometimes desiring more specific information. For example, one of the final steps instructs you to "Bake for X minutes." On what type of pan? What size pan? Greased or ungreased? How far apart should you space the rolls? Will they hold shape or meld into one another if placed too close? (Another recipe had an inconsistent ingredient quantity, noting 1/2 cup coconut sugar in one place, and 1/4 coconut sugar in another.)


Then came Kelly's Pumpkin Spice Cake, which we made into muffins. Unlike the rolls, which were made with coconut and almond flours, the cake was made with beans. Even when fully cooked, the muffins were moist to the point of being squishy. Giving them even more time in the oven may help with that. Because they were so moist and tender, they tended to tear apart as you tried to remove the paper liner. The flavor was good, however.


The muffins were paired with a frosting made with walnuts, cinnamon, honey, and cashew milk. It wasn't the most photogenic of frostings, and for Kelli and me the frosting slightly missed the mark on texture. On the other hand, Marin and Charlotte ate this frosting literally by the spoonful as enthusiastically as they eat traditional, full-fat, full-sugar frostings. They gave it a hearty two spoons up.


Lastly, we made the Coffee Cake. I emailed Kelly in advance of testing her recipes and asked, If we make one recipe from the book, which one should it be? Without hesitation she responded the coffee cake, which was her family's favorite. Kelly's advice was spot-on, and it was easy to see why this recipe was a family favorite in the Brozyna household.

The cake is based on her vanilla bean cake, which is a bean cake that is vanilla flavored, rather than a cake that is flavored with vanilla bean. The topping uses walnuts, ghee or coconut oil, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. The resulting coffee cake had beautiful texture, perfect moistness, good crumb, wonderful flavor. It wasn't just a home run; it was a grand slam. And believe it or not, it tasted even better on days 2 and 3, after the flavors had a chance to meld, than it did on day 1.

We loved this cake so much that we brought some with us as part of our dessert offerings for my family's big Sicilian Christmas Eve celebration. Someone at the party even asked us for the recipe! Since then, we've made the cake again ... a sure sign of our approval of this recipe.

Finally, Kelly's book is a great example of the cross-pollination and inspiration that takes place in the world of food. We write a lot in our cookbooks about family heritage recipes that pass down through generations, and about dishes inspired by friends, and about yet other dishes inspired by our travels. But we also find inspiration and influence in the gluten-free community around us. Kelly has become one of those influences.

What you don't see when we write about testing specific recipes are the broader behind-the-scenes influences. Since first testing Kelly's recipes for this review, there's been a small culture shift in the Bronski kitchen. If you look in our refrigerator and our pantry, you'll still find all the familiar ingredients we cook with so often; you'll still find us making our classic recipes. But in any given week, there's a good chance you also might find beans soaking in our fridge. And I can guarantee that you'll find freshly made almond milk that Kelli whipped up, as per Kelly's instructions. That perhaps speaks as loudly as any discrete recipe critique we might offer.

Conclusion

And so, how do we rate Kelly's book? In the interest of trying to quantify our subjective experience (as we've done for other cookbook reviews), we're using a five star ratings scale, with points earned as follows:

Layout and design = up to 1 star
Is the book appealing to the eye? Intuitive to navigate? Sensibly organized?

Photos = up to 1 star
Are there photos? Are they in color? How many photos are there? Are they good photos?

Recipe quality = up to 2 stars
Most importantly, how good is the food? Are recipes easy to follow? Do they deliver as promised?

Overall impression = up to 1 star
How well does the book achieve its vision?

And so, how does Grain-Free Baked Goods & Desserts rate?

Layout and Design: 0.75 star
Photos: 0.75 star
Recipe Quality: 1.25 stars
Overall Impression: 1 star
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars


Kelly's book has a very specific perspective on gluten-free baking (grain-free, casein-free, alternative natural sweeteners, etc.). She's an innovator when it comes to making "traditional" foods such as cakes and waffles using "non-traditional" ingredients such as beans. For us, some such recipes were more successful than others, and in the case of the coffee cake, we can't sing praises high enough. But the value in her cookbook goes beyond the individual recipes. It is also a window into the Brozyna kitchen, and into Kelly's insights into healthful gluten-free baking. You may or may not find yourself making the recipes themselves day in and day out, but you just might—as we have—find yourself blending almonds and water in a blender on your kitchen counter to make from-scratch almond milk when you never gave serious thought to doing so before.


–Pete

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen


We're just one day away from Thanksgiving! Apart from all of the wonderfulness that it entails, this means that we're also two days away from Black Friday and the official start to the holiday season. Maybe you're looking for gifts for family or friends. Maybe you're hosting dinner parties, or holiday meals, and are looking for new recipes to jazz up your kitchen and dinner table. Well, today we're kicking off a blitzkrieg of cookbook reviews. And we're doing it in style, with The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, by Laura B. Russell

Russell is a former associate editor at Food & Wine cookbooks, the "Gluten Freedom" columnist for the Oregonian, a frequent contributor to Prevention, and a gluten-free blogger. The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen is her debut as a cookbook author. The book was released earlier this year by Ten Speed Press.

It includes more than 120 diverse recipes. Those recipes are divided into sections: sauces and stocks, skewers and snacks, dumplings and savory pancakes, noodles, rice, vegetables and tofu, seafood, poultry, meat, sips and sweets. Approximately every third recipe has a full page color photo. The photos - by photographer Leo Gong - are gorgeous. The layout and photography combine to make this one of the more visually stunning gluten-free cookbooks we've seen.

As Russell notes in the book's introductory section, it includes a range of recipes - those that are naturally gluten-free, those that are GF with simple ingredient swaps (i.e. tamari wheat-free soy sauce for conventional soy sauce), and more elaborate workarounds. The introductory material also includes an extremely valuable section that defines Asian ingredients, some of which may not be familiar to American cooks. Plus, Russell lists their probable gluten-free status (always, usually, sometimes, rarely, never), and lists product manufacturers for GF versions. She also notes whether you're likely to find the ingredient in a grocery store, natural foods store, or specialty Asian market. It makes for an incredibly comprehensive resource.

Throughout the book recipes that call for an ingredient that may or may not be GF are highlighted in red, with a "GF" icon next to it. It's an elegant approach to reminding readers when to be extra vigilant, and one from which other gluten-free cookbook authors could take a lesson.


We started off by making the book's cover recipe, Gingery Pork Pot Stickers. The cover photo immediately reminded us of a food vender, Sister's Pantry, we'd frequent at the Boulder Farmers Market. They sold amazing dumplings, but alas, they weren't gluten-free, and so we hadn't had a dumpling - gluten-free or otherwise - since before 2007 when we switched to the gluten-free diet.

Russell's pot stickers were time consuming and labor intensive to make. This is not a criticism, just a fact of life. We find that often, the more elaborate gluten-free recipes (such as our own tortellini) involve an investment of time and energy. It's the price of admission. Having tasted Russell's pot stickers, the price for this recipe is more than worth it. These dumplings are phenomenal. You'd never know they're gluten-free. The gingered pork has bold, well-balanced flavors. The texture of the dumpling wrapper is sublime - a nicely browned, crisp bottom; moist and tender from steaming elsewhere. The dish finishes with a simple but flavorful dipping sauce (which we made with jalapeno pepper from our garden).


Next up we made the Mu Shu Pork. As with the dumplings, I can tell you exactly when was the last time we had mu shu pork. It was circa 2005, when we picked up an order of mu shu pork from P.F. Chang's prior to seeing James Taylor in concert in Denver, Colorado. This gluten-free version has been a long time coming for us!

With this recipe, Russell hit another home run. It was similarly labor intensive, and so it's something we won't make every day. But it was a real treat, and has earned a slot in our rotation of go-to meals. Our girls loved it, too. Kelli in particular was in heaven. The Chinese pancakes that form the base of this recipe start with a near identical dough as the dumplings, but are treated differently. The pancakes had superb texture - moist, smooth, pliable. The black wood fungus, Savoy cabbage, and bamboo shoots were nice additions to the filling. The seasoned pork was excellent. We agreed that Russell's gluten-free version is better than the P.F. Chang's version we had years ago.

As a matter of personal preference, we would have enjoyed more cabbage in the filling. Also, we didn't use the extra salt called for in the recipe. We made a from-scratch Hoisin sauce, since we couldn't find a GF version at our local markets, and that provided enough saltiness for us. One final note: at the end of dinner, we found ourselves with extra filling, and could have used 50% more pancakes. Even so, the filling was great the next day reheated and served simply in a bowl. (Update: 11/23/11 - Chatting this afternoon, Kelli and I remembered that the girls had eaten at least four of the pancakes before we sat down to dinner. Had we had a full batch of pancakes, the ratio of filling to pancakes would have been perfect. That's also a testament to how good the pancakes are!)


For a final dish (we're testing three recipes from each cookbook we review) we made the Shredded Chicken with Creamy Sesame Sauce. It was significantly easier to make than the previous two recipes. You boil, steam and shred chicken. Whip up the creamy sauce in a blender. Serve over rice noodles or your base of choice. Top with freshly chopped cilantro. Bada bing, bada boom. Done.

The shredded chicken - boiled and steamed in low sodium chicken stock - turned out moist and tender. Tahini paste gave the sauce its rich, creamy flavor, while classic Asian ingredients, such as soy sauce and ginger, rounded out the flavor. For the sake of the girls, we omitted the red pepper flakes from the sauce. The creamy sesame sauce tasted a touch salty by itself, but once we combined it with the chicken and plated it over a bed of rice noodles, everything fell into balance.

I will say that we made a few adjustments to the sauce. As we were preparing dinner, we looked at how much sauce the recipe made, how much chicken we had, and how much rice noodles we boiled up, and decided that we didn't have enough sauce to go the distance. So, we made a double batch of sauce, and also thinned it out with a bit of GF chicken stock from when we boiled the chicken. This gave us a better thickness for tossing with the noodles. No matter how you make it, though, it's a versatile sauce that would go well over chicken (as in the recipe), vegetables, rice, lentils.

Additional thoughts

Overall, we found Russell's recipes to be easy to follow, with specific, accurate instructions that gave results just as her recipes indicate they would. Also, following her advice in the book, we found many ingredients - some of which we couldn't locate anywhere else - at our local Asian market. Of the ingredients that were available at our area supermarkets, many were significantly less expensive at the Asian market.

Conclusion

As both a gluten-free and an Asian foods cookbook, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen is a double-niche book. If you're gluten-free and into Asian cuisine, this book is a no-brainer. It's a must-have for your cookbook collection. Plus, this book has very little overlap with gluten-free cookbooks that are already on the market. It's filling an important void.

As a cookbook, period, it's beautiful. Great photos, great recipes, great layout. Anyone can enjoy the recipes in this book...gluten-free or not.  

In the interest of trying to quantify our subjective experience (for this and future cookbook reviews), we'll be using a five star ratings scale, with "points" earned as follows:

Layout and design = up to 1 star
Is the book appealing to the eye? Intuitive to navigate? Sensibly organized?

Photos = up to 1 star
Are there photos? Are they in color? How many photos are there? Are they good photos?

Recipe quality = up to 2 stars
Most importantly, how good is the food? Are recipes easy to follow? Do they deliver as promised?

Overall impression = up to 1 star
How well does the book achieve its vision? 

And so, how does The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen rate?

Layout and Design: 1 star
Photos: 1 star
Recipe Quality: 2 stars
Overall Impression: 1 star
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

This book is top-notch. The dumplings and mu shu pork especially were ethereal. Don't take our word for it. Make them for yourself. Now. You won't regret it.

For our part, we're excited to continue cooking our way through the book's recipes...

- Pete

Book cover image courtesy the author. Cookbook provided by the publisher.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Foto: Cupcakes Cookbook Giveaway!


As you can tell, it's been a light blogging week for us. We're on the road traveling for vacation. That said, we couldn't resist doing our weekly Friday Foto. But instead of a recipe, we're doing a cookbook giveaway! Why?

Last week we wrote about Charlotte's first birthday (and some party planning tips to go along with it). But we were so focused on Charlotte's special day that we totally overlooked another birthday...that of this blog! Back on July 24, No Gluten, No Problem celebrated its 3rd birthday!

In honor of the occasion, we're giving away three copies of our new cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes, courtesy of our fabulous publisher, The Experiment. (You can also check 'em out on Facebook and Twitter.)

There are three ways you can enter to win a copy. (Best of all, you can "double" or "triple" up on your entries, in order to increase your chance of winning.) Here's how:

#1 - Subscribe to No Gluten, No Problem's Feedburner feed. (If you already subscribe, great!) Then leave a comment in this blog post and let us know about your favorite cupcake flavor, or the cupcake from the cookbook you're most excited to try.

#2 - "Like" us on Facebook. Then "like" or comment on today's status update. (Again, if you already "like" us, super!)

#3 - Follow us on Twitter. Then re-tweet today's entry. (Ditto for if you already follow us.)

You can enter using any one, two, or three of these methods. The giveaway will run through the end of next Friday, August 12. We'll announce the winners on Monday, August 15. Good luck!

- Pete

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes is Here!


It's an exciting week in the Bronski household. Our second cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes, is here! The first copies arrived in our mailbox. If you pre-ordered the book, your copy should already be in the mail to you, too. It's in-stock at Amazon, and brick-and-mortar bookstores (such as Barnes & Noble) should have the book in-stock nationwide within the next week or two. Hooray!

We're terribly excited, and terribly proud, of our sophomore effort. If we put our heart and soul into Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking (which we did), then Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes also contains our blood, sweat and tears. It was a labor of love, but it was also a labor, period. Brainstorming cupcake flavors. Developing and testing (and re-testing) recipes. Taking photos. Writing oodles of useful instructional info. All with our second young daughter often strapped to Kelli's chest, and while negotiating a move from Colorado to New York.

But here we are on the other side of that process, enjoying the sweet, dessert-y fruits of that labor.

Along the way, I'd conservatively estimate that we baked 1,000 cupcakes, and went through 125 cups (15.5 kg or 34+ lbs) of our Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend. I'm not going to even try to estimate how much sugar and butter we used. A lot.


As for the book itself, here's what you can expect:

It includes 50 cupcakes, each and every one of which is accompanied by a full-page, color photograph.

The recipes run the gamut.

There are Classics, such as Vanilla with Chocolate Frosting, Chocolate with Vanilla Frosting, and perennially popular Red Velvet.

There are Fruity cupcakes, such as Mango Mania, Very Strawberry, and Red, White and Blue (a layered cupcake with vanilla, blueberry and raspberry cake batters).

There are Nutty cupcakes, such as Almond Addiction, Hazelnutty, and even Sweet Potato Walnut.

For the chocolate lovers out there, there are Chocoholic cupcakes, including Chocolate Mint (the cover photo), Mocha, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and many more.

There are Filled cupcakes with sweet surprises inside, such as our Jelly Donut cupcake (like a Dunkin' Donuts jelly donut!), Key Lime Pie cupcake, Fruit Tart cupcake, Caramel Apple Pie, and more.

And there are what we call Extraordinary cupcakes that go above and beyond the normal call of cupcake duty. Such as Poached Pearfection, which includes a vanilla bean and white wine poached pear cake, topped with a salted caramel buttercream (modeled after our wedding cake). Or the Snickerdoodle cupcake. Or the Cannoli cupcake, where each cupcake is topped with a genuine, authentic (but gluten-free), from-scratch Sicilian cannolo. Or the Dulce de Leche cupcake.

There's tons of useful frontmatter in the book before you even get to the recipes. Info about different gluten-free ingredients and baking tools. Tips for successful gluten-free baking. Detailed, photo-by-photo, step-by-step instructions for making filled cupcakes, making a great Italian buttercream, and working with a pastry bag and piping tips to create different frosting designs. The recipe for our Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend, including the measurements for both baking by volume (cups) and for baking by weight (grams).

And lastly, there's an informative appendix with detailed information about making dairy-free, egg-free, refined-sugar-free, and vegan versions of our cupcakes and frostings.

We cover a lot of ground. I hope this doesn't come across as boastful. It's certainly not meant that way. We're simply excited and proud...and breathing a sigh of relief now that much of the heavy lifting of writing a new cookbook is done.

You also don't have to take our word for it. Head on over to our sister site, Artisan Gluten-Free, and see what other folks are saying.

Finally, stay tuned for a cupcake cookbook giveaway! In the meantime, thank you for your continued support! This cookbook is for you...

- Pete

Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Foto: Allergen-Free Cupcakes

A cross-section of our vanilla gluten-free, dairy-free cupcake

It's no secret that, when it comes to gluten-free, gluten is often not the only dietary restriction a person faces. We know this, and you've been telling us (we often get emails about suggestions for substitutions or modifications to our recipes). For our forthcoming Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes cookbook, we've gone to great lengths to develop and test various versions of our cakes to meet the needs of the refined sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan communities. An appendix in the book will contain detailed recipe modifications with ingredient substitutions. But we also thought it would be useful for your gluten-free baking in general to have the following "standard" substitutions on-hand.

Refined Sugar-Free Baking
For each cup of granulated sugar called for in a recipe, replace it with 2/3 cup light agave nectar and decrease the liquid ingredients by 1/4 cup, OR replace it with 1 1/4 cups brown rice syrup and decrease the liquid ingredients by 1/4 cup.

Egg-Free Baking
We like using a combination of ground flax meal in water as a replacement for eggs. The typical ratio of water to flax is 3:1, but we prefer 4:1. Use a fork to whisk 1 tbsp ground flax meal in 4 tbsp water for each egg being replaced. Whole eggs and egg whites get replaced equally - 4 whole eggs, 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, and 4 egg whites would all be replaced by 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) ground flax meal in 16 tbsp (1 cup) water.

Dairy-Free Baking
This is a straightforward substitution. Sub dairy-free milk (i.e. soy or almond) 1:1 for cow's milk, and sub non-hydrogenated vegan shortening (i.e. Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks) 1:1 for butter. For buttermilk cakes, you can make a faux buttermilk by making an acidified dairy-free milk. Whisk 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar in 1 cup dairy-free milk. The acid from the vinegar "curdles" the proteins in the dairy-free milk, giving you a kind of dairy-free buttermilk.

Vegan Baking
Simply combine the substitutions for egg-free and dairy-free baking.

Happy New Year!

- Pete

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Foto: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes

Santa arrived about 12 hours early in the Bronski household this year, and he brought us a fabulous present...a completed cookbook manuscript, which we finished and submitted to our publisher just a little while ago! This was a monumental weight off our shoulders, just in time to properly celebrate the holiday.

The photo above is a working cover, not yet finalized, of Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes. The book's official scheduled publication date is June 2011, but we're working hand-in-hand with our publisher to see that it comes out earlier, hopefully sometime during spring. For now, it's available for pre-ordering at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hang out with my ladies, visit family for Christmas, and do a whole lot of nothing for the weekend. Have a happy holiday!

- Pete

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the winning cupcake flavor is... a tie?

Alright everyone. After two weeks of voting, I've discarded the anonymous entries, and tallied the results, and the outcome for winning cupcake flavor is...a tie. Between Red Velvet and Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache. Great choices, both of them! (Other top vote-getters included chocolate peanut butter, turtle, key lime pie, and snickerdoodle.)

So, two of you will receive complimentary copies of the cupcake cookbook when it comes out in 2011! (The books will go to the people who were the first to submit each flavor suggestion...) We'll have a Red Velvet Cupcake, and we're going to tweak the second flavor slightly, and make it Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Sauce. Trust us. It will be to die for.

Thanks everyone for voting and being a part of the cookbook process!

- Pete

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cupcake Voting, Revisited

Okay folks. We're a few days into voting, and I've been very excited to see all of your votes coming in! Keep it up!

But I also have to remind people: I specifically said that you can ONLY vote by leaving a comment for your favorite flavor in the post. I also said that you CANNOT vote by email, text or phone. And yet, I've received at least 10 votes by email. I do not have the time to compile those votes and transfer them to the blog post (I'm too busy baking cupcakes with Kelli!). If you emailed me, your vote will not be counted. Please visit the blog post in the link above and cast your vote there.

Also, if possible, please log in when casting your vote, so we can "verify" your identity. Earlier today, we got 3 votes within 4 minutes, all for carrot cake, all by people listed as anonymous. Look. I love carrot cake as much as the next person. But when 3 anonymous people cast 3 votes for the same flavor in 4 minutes, I get suspicious that someone is trying to skew the results. If that's the case, not cool. The whole idea of the vote is to make you - our beloved readers - a real and active part of the cookbook process.

Keep the voting going! So far, it's looking like a tighter race than I thought it might be, with some unexpected front-runners!

- Pete

Monday, October 18, 2010

Let the Cupcake Voting Begin...

Okay everyone. After two weeks of submitting your favorite must-have gluten-free cupcake flavors, it's time to begin the voting. Check out this awesome list of flavors you submitted, and vote for your favorite by leaving a comment in this blog post. After two weeks, we'll tally the results and post the winning flavor on Monday, November 1!

Remember, this is like American Idol or America's Got Talent... Vote! Otherwise don't get upset when your favorite flavor doesn't win.

Also remember, this is not like AI or AGT... You may only vote once. You cannot vote by text or phone or email. You can only vote by leaving a comment in this post!

Flavors

Carrot Cake
Red Velvet
Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Cream Cheese with Cinnamon/Nutmeg Streusel
Turtle Cupcake (nuts, chocolate, caramel)
Pineapple Upside Down
Lemon
Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate with Fudgy Icing
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Key Lime Pie
Black Bottom Cupcake with Cream Cheese Center
Dark Chocolate with Coconut Center
Lemon Blueberry
Snickerdoodle
Lemon Poppyseed
Butter Pecan
Praline
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Double Chocolate Chip Zucchini with Cream Cheese Frosting
Marble Cake
Gingerbread/Spice Cake with Cream Cheese or Pineapple Frosting

Thanks for all the wonderful submissions! (I list them basically in the order in which they were submitted...) Let the voting begin...

Cheers, Pete

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our next cookbook!

This is the first Monday in more than 5 months that I haven't posted a Physical Challenge update. (That only makes sense, given that the physical challenge itself - the Virgil Crest Ultra - was last weekend.) It seemed only fitting to mark this Monday with another kind of big news. And on that front, Kelli and I are delighted to announce the scheduled publication of our next cookbook! It's due out in Spring 2011, and is coming from The Experiment Publishing, the same folks that brought you our debut release, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking. This time around, we're focusing on one thing: gluten-free cupcakes.

Right now we're up to our eyeballs in recipe testing and photography. But given that the book isn't due out until Spring 2011, why are we telling you now? Because we want you to be a part of the process! What is your favorite cupcake flavor? What "traditional" cupcake is an absolute must-have in a gluten-free version, because life isn't worth living without it? Tell us, by leaving a comment on this post.

We'll compile the responses for the next two weeks, running through Friday, Oct 15. Then, starting on Monday, Oct. 18, we'll open up the list to two weeks of voting by you, the readers of No Gluten, No Problem, running through Friday, Oct. 29. The cupcake flavor that gets the most votes will be included in the cookbook, and the person that originally submitted the flavor suggestion will receive a complimentary signed copy of the book upon publication. The winning flavor will be announced here on Monday, Nov 1. Sound good?

So start your engines, and let the cupcake creations begin...

- Pete

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cookbook Updates

It's been three months since our cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, came out. What a journey we've been on already! There's much to report:

First, reviews have been coming in from far and wide, and much to our great relief, they've been overwhelmingly positive. There's always a moment of uncertainty when an author releases a new book. You hope: Will people like my writing? I now know that this feeling is only compounded in the world of cookbooks. People are going to eat what you right, there's much more at stake than just the writing, and they're going to love it or leave it. The reviews and feedback have come everywhere from publications (Publishers Weekly, Denver Magazine, Long Island Pulse), to other gluten-free bloggers, to Celiac and gluten intolerance support groups, to NGNP readers. You can read what everyone's saying over on our companion website. (The most recent additions are at the bottom of the page...)

Second, we're delighted to announce that the cookbook is already in its second printing, which shipped on January 22, 2010 (and should reach booksellers everywhere over the coming weeks...). We've used the second printing as an opportunity to tweak and update the cookbook here and there. The first edition contained a tiny handfull of typos (a misspelled name here, an incorrect page reference there). Those have all been fixed. We've also made three notable changes to five recipes the book:

1) Two recipes, we've discovered, contained errors - the Bread, and the Brownies. (Those of you who wrote me about how dense the bread was were right... I was originally inclined to chalk it up to regional climate variation, differences in flour measurements, etc. But enough comments came in that we revisited the recipe and discovered that it contained too much flour!).

2) Several months after the book came out, I developed a new and improved version of my pizza dough. True to our "brutally honest - take no prisoners" form of gluten-free blogging, we declared it better even than our own recipe in the cookbook. Well, if you're buying our cookbook, you should have our best recipes. So...the new printing contains updated recipes for Thin Crust and Deep Dish pizza dough.

3) Lastly, we (gasp!) omitted one recipe from the cookbook that was meant to be included: Mediterranean Lasagna.

Now, if you end up getting your hands on the new version of the cookbook, this is all largely irrelevant. BUT, if you own the first edition, you can print out PDFs of the five recipes in question by visiting this dedicated page of our companion website, which hopefully will make incorporating those updates into your edition of the book a piece of gluten-free cake.

And one final word of note: We've been in the media lately (hooray!). Two weeks ago, Kelli and I appeared on Colorado & Company on NBC in Denver where we did a gluten-free cooking demo segment (crepes with Irish whiskey brown sugar sauce) while chatting about the cookbook, gluten-free living, etc. The segment aired live but also broadcast again today. That same week, I was also in the radio studio doing an interview with The Splendid Table. From what I understand, the segment is due to go into national syndication starting January 29, though I don't know on what station and at what time it might broadcast in your area. (Splendid Table episodes are also available to download as a podcast from the website.) Finally, Easy Eats, "the magazine for gluten-free living," did a review of gluten-free blogs for the Winter 2009 issue. They reviewed more than 75 GF blogs, and we were one of four blogs to receive a "gold" rating, the highest rank. Many thanks to you, our NGNP readers, for inspiring us to make this blog the best it can be. Know that we're as committed as ever to live up to our gold standard...

- Pete

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

AGFC Giveaway #2

Last month we gave away a copy of Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, just in time for Thanksgiving. We said we'd do it again in December, and here we are! You know the routine: to enter, email me at pete@peterbronski.com and include "AGFC Giveaway #2" in the subject line. We'll use a random number generator to choose the winner from among all the entries. Deadline to enter is midnight, this upcoming Saturday, December 19. The winner will be announced Monday morning, and we'll ship the book that same day so it'll arrive in time to be under your Christmas tree come the morning of December 25 (assuming you celebrate the holiday, of course. If you don't, the book will arrive by the end of next week!). Please include your mailing address with your email entry so that we can get the book to you ASAP (not to worry...your mailing addresses will be discarded immediately following the giveaway... you won't receive any unwanted mail from us!).

- Pete

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cookbook Giveaway

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, we thought it was high time that we gave away a signed copy of our new cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking. (The book has all sorts of yummy recipes useful for the feast - a brined turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, sausage and corn bread stuffing, and much more...) As with the last giveaway, we'll accept email entries and then use a random number generator to pick the winner.

Please email me at pete@peterbronski.com and put "AGFC Giveaway" in the subject line (also include your mailing address in the body of the email). Entries will be accepted until midnight Friday, at the end of this week. We'll announce the winner and mail a copy of our cookbook on Saturday, so that it will arrive in time for Thanksgiving. Good luck!

- Pete

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Foto: The Book Release

Marin modeling a copy of Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking

I'm bucking the Friday Foto trend today and foregoing a pic of food with an accompanying recipe. Instead, I'm using this space to celebrate the release of our cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking. The book was hot off the presses just in time for us to receive our author copies to bring with us to the Gluten-Free Culinary Summit. Now, a few weeks later, the book is in stock online at places like Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Target. Over the next few weeks, it'll populate brick and mortar bookstores nationwide.

You can check out this page to read more about the cookbook, and to see what some fellow GF bloggers and chefs have had to say about it! In the meantime, you can find us in the kitchen, continuing to develop new recipes that we'll be regularly posting here at NGNP. And, whether you're a long-time NGNP subscriber, or a first time visitor, consider also following us on Facebook and/or Twitter!

Have a great weekend.

- Pete

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our New, Forthcoming Cookbook

Kelli and I are very proud and excited to announce our forthcoming cookbook! It's called Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, and has been in the works for the last few months (we just submitted the manuscript to our publisher yesterday). The last two months in particular have been especially busy, with us feverishly developing and testing recipes (both new and old). The book is due out in September 2009, five short months from now, and is being published by The Experiment, a new publishing house in New York City. The Experiment was founded and is headed up by President and Publisher Matthew Lore, a 20-year veteran of the publishing business.

The subtitle for AGFC is "More than 175 Great-tasting, From-scratch Recipes from Around the World, Perfect for Every Meal and for Anyone on a Gluten-free Diet—and Even Those Who Aren’t." That pretty much says it all, but here's some extra elaboration...

The book has more than 175 recipes, and more than 250 if you count variations and secondary recipes that support the primary dishes. The cooking style (in addition to being gluten-free, of course) is artisanal in the sense that the dishes are largely from scratch, often using fresh ingredients. The recipes span the gamut from breakfasts, to sides, to appetizers, to soups and salads, to entrees, to desserts, to drinks. The recipes also reflect both heirloom dishes from our combined family heritage, as well as our love for travel and diverse ethnic cuisine. As a result, you'll find dishes spanning a range from American comfort food to Italian, Belgian, Polish, Mexican, French, Andean, Cuban, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese (and a few more I'm surely forgetting at the moment). Throughout the book, you'll also find text boxes with all sorts of useful information, including "shortcuts," which offers ways to make the same dish using pre-made, store-bought ingredients (for example, using store-bought GF pasta instead of making your own fresh pasta from scratch at home).

For those that are interested, the book is already available for pre-ordering on Amazon.com!

To all of you - our readers and fellow gluten-free bloggers - we wanted to say a big Thank You. The mutual support and good cheer of the gluten-free community kept us inspired and motivated throughout this process. This will be my fourth book, and from experience, I can tell you that publishing a book is a lot like running a marathon - it requires determination, and stamina, and perseverance, and patience. When you cross the finish line at the end, there's a combined feeling of elation and exhaustion, but you also know that the journey was worth the effort. In this case, the journey was possible in part because of you, and for that, we say Thank You.

On a personal level, this has been a lot of fun for us as a couple. It's only the second time we've worked together as coauthors. Years ago we wrote an article for a small, regional magazine called Life in the Finger Lakes. Our article was titled, "Holiday Haute Cuisine," and was about using Finger Lakes wines in recipes to make a holiday meal (complete with soup, entree and dessert). We had always talked about "doing something together" related to our shared love of food, but that idea sat in limbo until this book project became a reality. Years after we first professed to collaborate, we finally did it!

- Pete