Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Italian Parmesan Garlic Pinwheels/Montello Fine Foods

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cambria, California for the day. While I was visiting I was able to explore the town and after a recommendation to check out West Village I stumbled upon Montello Fine Foods on Main Street (which is owned by Lorraine Montello) after seeing a sign outside that said “olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting today.” After going inside I was immediately greeted by Chuck (who is one of the nicest people you will meet) who told me that I was welcome to taste as many of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar that I wanted to using bread or a small tasting cup. Due to the fact that I am gluten free I used the tasting cup for both the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, which allowed me to fully taste the notes of both. After tasting all of the olive oils and the balsamic vinegars I was pleased to find that I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Unlike other companies, Montello Fine Foods olive oils and balsamic vinegars have no additives, preservatives, or chemicals. I found that all of the olive oils were smooth, fruity, and flavorful, while the balsamic was sweet, thick, and was not too acidic unlike many store bought balsamic vinegars. I was also very impressed with the quality and pricing of all of the products. Montello Fine Foods also has herbs, spices, olives, pastas, sea salts, and beauty products (Olivella). I was lucky enough to discover them and will definitely be back. I could tell in my short time in the shop that Lorraine and Chuck are not only very knowledgeable, but are dedicated to making high quality products. I highly recommend picking up any of their products for gifts.





Although I enjoyed all of Montello Fine Foods, a few of my favorites were the strawberry balsamic vinegar, peach balsamic vinegar, garlic olive oil, basil olive oil, and the smoked olive oil. Since I enjoyed the garlic olive oil so much I decided to make a recipe using it. After reflecting I was drawn to the garlic olive oil and thought that it would work well in a number of dishes that I already make, along with new recipes that I will test out and develop in the future as well. I decided that I wanted to make something that was unique with the garlic oil in order to really showcase the smooth and fruity quality, while still complimenting its garlic notes as well. I ended up making Italian Parmesan Garlic Pinwheels and was very pleased with the results that I got using the olive oil in cooking as well. 

Italian Parmesan Garlic Pinwheels   

    Prep time: 15 minutes   Cook time: 15 minutes Yield: About 8-10 servings   


INGREDIENTS
Gluten free pizza dough recipe (see previous recipe here)
- 3 Tablespoons of garlic olive oil (another flavored oil such as basil olive oil would work well in this recipe also)
-1 teaspoon of minced garlic 
-1 teaspoon of Italian herbs 
-2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (you can add more if you prefer) 
-2  mozzarella cheese sticks (make sure to the cheese is frozen. I recommend freezing the cheese overnight if possible)

DIRECTIONS 
1. Preheat oven to 450 °F.2. Spray a round cake pan or pan of your chose with cooking spray.3. Prepare your pizza dough (make sure you have given the dough at least 20-30 minutes to rise before using it in this recipe). (Note: You can either add the Italian herbs in the dough or on the dough after depending on what you like. I put them in the dough this time). 4. Roll out the pizza dough to about 1/8 inch thick. 5. Spread the olive oil and garlic onto the dough. 6. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese onto the dough. 7. Place the two mozzarella cheese sticks onto the dough so that they are touching. Make sure that your dough is the same size as the two mozzarella cheese sticks. 
8. Slowly roll up your pizza dough tightly. Pinch the ends of the dough to keep the filling from coming out too much during baking. 
9. Put the dough into 8-10 rolls (depending on the size of your dough you may get more or less pinwheels). 
10. Place the pinwheels into your pan. 
11. Let the dough rise again for another 10-15 minutes. 
12. Bake until lightly golden brown about 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven). 
13. Enjoy! 

Until Next Time, 

Monday, July 13, 2015

1st Quality Farm to Families Box Week 5: Queen Pluot Blackberry Upside Down Cake

Just a note for all of my new readers:
1st Quality Produce launched their new “Farm to Families” box last week, which
includes 10-15 pre-selected fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season (and all
grown in California). The box retails for $29.99(or less if you order more!), but
 would cost over $45 if you were to get the same produce at the grocery store.
Not only is all of the produce in the box fresh and sourced from CalJust a note
for all of my new readers: 1st Quality Produce launched their new “Farm to Families”
box last week, which includes 10-15 pre-selected fresh fruits and vegetables that
 are in season (and all grown in California). The box retails for $29.99(or less if you
order more!), but would cost over $45 if you were to get the same produce at the
 grocery store. Not only is all of the produce in the box fresh and sourced from
California, but everything is gluten free of course! The produce does vary from
 week to week, guaranteeing that customers receive what is the most fresh. Not
 only does this box save you time from going to the store (everything is ready
for you in the box when you go to pick up), but you also know where all of
the produce is being sourced from. The “Farm to Families” box is an innovative
 and convenient way to shop for local farm fresh produce.  

Although we live in the 21st century where advancements in technology and 
thought have changed and shaped our world into something very different than 
even 10, 20, or 50 years ago, there are still those "classics" recipes that have stayed 
with us through the test of time. In the realm of baking and cooking there are recipes
that have continued to survive and are passed from generation to generation. I think
 that often classic recipes evoke positive memories involving our parents, grandparents,
old friends, or even just aspects of the past. I know for myself when I think of classic
 recipes I think of mac and cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and pineapple upside down
 cake. However, for myself, like many others who have wheat allergies, we have other
 allergies as well. In my case, I am allergic to pineapple and therefore I am not able to
enjoy a classic recipe on two counts. However, like I discussed a few months ago, it is
possible not to have to go without the recipes that bring back positive memories for us.
 I want to stress a point that I have discovered in my almost seven years of eating
gluten-free, just because you can’t eat the wheat version of something this does not
mean you have to miss out on recipes you love! Therefore, after being inspired by
this week’s Farm to Families box, I decided that I would adapt a classic and make
the recipe pineapple free and gluten free, resulting in this week’s recipe: Queen
Pluot Blackberry Upside Down Cake. 

Using this week’s 1st Quality Produce “Farm to Families” blackberries and Queen 
pluots I made a cake that is not only adapting the classics in the sense that it is taking 
a classic recipe and making it gluten-free, but I also added some other unexpected 
flavored to modernize this recipe as well. A particular trend in modern baking right
 now is using fresh or dried herbs to add an extra depth of flavor to recipes. In my 
Queen Pluot Blackberry Upside Down Cake I add dried thyme, giving this cake a
 twist. I promise you that this cake will be enjoyed by both gluten-free and wheat 
eaters alike.  

 1st Quality Produce Week 4 Box:   





So the real question then becomes now that you have all of this produce, what can you make for dinner? Besides the recipe below, you can use the celery in gazpacho, the eggplant can be used roasted and then added to pasta, grape tomatoes can be used in Garlic Chili Roasted Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salsa (see here), green beans can be roasted with garlic and lemon or used in place of pasta with your choice of sauce as a naturally gluten free alternative to pasta, honey dew melon can be used in fruit salads or wrapped with some prosciutto for a summer appetizer, jumbo carrots can be used to make gluten-free carrot cake, leeks can be used in quiches or pastas for extra flavor, red cabbage is great thinly sliced in coleslaw for added color, spring mix can be used for salads (including my Summertime Sweet Strawberry Salad (see here), and sweet mini peppers can be used to make stuffed peppers or used as a milder alternative for jalapeno poppers.    

Queen Pluot Blackberry Upside-Down Cake  

    Prep time: 20 minutes   Cook time: 40-45 minutes Yield: About 10-12 servings   


INGREDIENTS
- 5-6 Queen Pluots (depending on the size of pan you choose)       
½ Pint of Blackberries (about 12-14 Blackberries)                                                                             
-½ cup of Butter
-1 Cup of White Granulated Sugar  
-2 eggs
-1 ½ Cups of All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (Xanthan Gum must be included)  (I use my homemade mix)
-1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder (Make sure it is gluten-free!)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
-Juice of one medium lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)- (divided) (see below for details) 
-Zest of one medium lemon
-½ cup of Milk (I used 1%)
-1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
-Heaping ¼ Teaspoon of Dried Thyme
-3 Tablespoons of Butter (see below for details)
-¼ Cup of Dark Brown Sugar (see below for details) 

DIRECTIONS 
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
2. Spray a 12 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
3. Wash and slice the blackberries and pluots. Place both in a bowl, along with the juice of half of the lemon and mix so the juice coats the fruit. (This prevents browning). Set aside. 



4. In a heat safe measuring cup melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave for a fewseconds (5-10) and then mix in a ¼ cup of brown sugar.
5. In the sprayed spring form pan, place the pluots in a circular overlapping pattern on the outside of  the pan and the blackberries in the middle. (You can place the fruit in whatever pattern you like).  
 6. In a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) cream together the ½ cup of softened butter and   the white granulated sugar until well combined. 

7. While the mixer is creaming the butter and the sugar, in a small separate bowl crack two eggs. (Although this step seems unnecessary, you will save yourself a lot more time than if you had to fish out shells from the butter/sugar mixture. Believe me on this one, let me just say that I may or may not have past experience with this.) 
8. After the butter and sugar are well combined, with the mixer or hand mixer running, add one egg and mix until combined, then add the second egg until combined. 
9. Turn off your mixer and on a piece of wax paper or a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dried thyme, and the lemon zest.  

10. In a measuring cup, combine the other half of the lemon juice, milk, and vanilla.
11. Turn your mixer back on, and alternating between wet and dry (ending with wet), add the flour mixture (and your milk mixture to the egg, sugar, and butter mixture. (Every once in a while make sure to scrap down the sides of your bowl. It makes a big difference! I didn’t do this for years and I wish I had). 

12. After everything is well incorporated, pour the cake batter over the fruit in the spring form pan.

13. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
 14. Let the cake cool for about 5-10 minutes and then place a plate on top of the pan and gently flip over the cake to reveal the fruit.  
15. Enjoy!  

Are you excited now? Order your Farm to Families fresh produce boxes today (Monday) through Thursday by 3 p.m. Boxes can be picked up Friday (July 17) at 1st Quality Produce, 2445 S. Gearhart St., Fresno. If you have an order of more than 20+ boxes, the boxes can be delivered to your location. If you order 11-19 boxes you only pay $26 and if you order 20+ you only have to pay $22 (get a group of friends, neighbors, or co-workers to order boxes too to get the discount!) For more information, or to order, call (559) 442-1932 (tell them the Gluten-Free Project sent you!) or email info@firstqualityproduce.com.  

Until Next Time, 



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Italian Parmesan Garlic Pinwheels/Montello Fine Foods

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cambria, California for the day. While I was visiting I was able to explore the town and after a recommendation to check out West Village I stumbled upon Montello Fine Foods on Main Street (which is owned by Lorraine Montello) after seeing a sign outside that said “olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting today.” After going inside I was immediately greeted by Chuck (who is one of the nicest people you will meet) who told me that I was welcome to taste as many of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar that I wanted to using bread or a small tasting cup. Due to the fact that I am gluten free I used the tasting cup for both the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, which allowed me to fully taste the notes of both. After tasting all of the olive oils and the balsamic vinegars I was pleased to find that I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Unlike other companies, Montello Fine Foods olive oils and balsamic vinegars have no additives, preservatives, or chemicals. I found that all of the olive oils were smooth, fruity, and flavorful, while the balsamic was sweet, thick, and was not too acidic unlike many store bought balsamic vinegars. I was also very impressed with the quality and pricing of all of the products. Montello Fine Foods also has herbs, spices, olives, pastas, sea salts, and beauty products (Olivella). I was lucky enough to discover them and will definitely be back. I could tell in my short time in the shop that Lorraine and Chuck are not only very knowledgeable, but are dedicated to making high quality products. I highly recommend picking up any of their products for gifts.





Although I enjoyed all of Montello Fine Foods, a few of my favorites were the strawberry balsamic vinegar, peach balsamic vinegar, garlic olive oil, basil olive oil, and the smoked olive oil. Since I enjoyed the garlic olive oil so much I decided to make a recipe using it. After reflecting I was drawn to the garlic olive oil and thought that it would work well in a number of dishes that I already make, along with new recipes that I will test out and develop in the future as well. I decided that I wanted to make something that was unique with the garlic oil in order to really showcase the smooth and fruity quality, while still complimenting its garlic notes as well. I ended up making Italian Parmesan Garlic Pinwheels and was very pleased with the results that I got using the olive oil in cooking as well. 

Italian Parmesan Garlic Pinwheels   

    Prep time: 15 minutes   Cook time: 15 minutes Yield: About 8-10 servings   


INGREDIENTS
Gluten free pizza dough recipe (see previous recipe here)
- 3 Tablespoons of garlic olive oil (another flavored oil such as basil olive oil would work well in this recipe also)
-1 teaspoon of minced garlic 
-1 teaspoon of Italian herbs 
-2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (you can add more if you prefer) 
-2  mozzarella cheese sticks (make sure to the cheese is frozen. I recommend freezing the cheese overnight if possible)

DIRECTIONS 
1. Preheat oven to 450 °F.2. Spray a round cake pan or pan of your chose with cooking spray.3. Prepare your pizza dough (make sure you have given the dough at least 20-30 minutes to rise before using it in this recipe). (Note: You can either add the Italian herbs in the dough or on the dough after depending on what you like. I put them in the dough this time). 4. Roll out the pizza dough to about 1/8 inch thick. 5. Spread the olive oil and garlic onto the dough. 6. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese onto the dough. 7. Place the two mozzarella cheese sticks onto the dough so that they are touching. Make sure that your dough is the same size as the two mozzarella cheese sticks. 
8. Slowly roll up your pizza dough tightly. Pinch the ends of the dough to keep the filling from coming out too much during baking. 
9. Put the dough into 8-10 rolls (depending on the size of your dough you may get more or less pinwheels). 
10. Place the pinwheels into your pan. 
11. Let the dough rise again for another 10-15 minutes. 
12. Bake until lightly golden brown about 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven). 
13. Enjoy! 

Until Next Time, 

Monday, July 13, 2015

1st Quality Farm to Families Box Week 5: Queen Pluot Blackberry Upside Down Cake

Just a note for all of my new readers:
1st Quality Produce launched their new “Farm to Families” box last week, which
includes 10-15 pre-selected fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season (and all
grown in California). The box retails for $29.99(or less if you order more!), but
 would cost over $45 if you were to get the same produce at the grocery store.
Not only is all of the produce in the box fresh and sourced from CalJust a note
for all of my new readers: 1st Quality Produce launched their new “Farm to Families”
box last week, which includes 10-15 pre-selected fresh fruits and vegetables that
 are in season (and all grown in California). The box retails for $29.99(or less if you
order more!), but would cost over $45 if you were to get the same produce at the
 grocery store. Not only is all of the produce in the box fresh and sourced from
California, but everything is gluten free of course! The produce does vary from
 week to week, guaranteeing that customers receive what is the most fresh. Not
 only does this box save you time from going to the store (everything is ready
for you in the box when you go to pick up), but you also know where all of
the produce is being sourced from. The “Farm to Families” box is an innovative
 and convenient way to shop for local farm fresh produce.  

Although we live in the 21st century where advancements in technology and 
thought have changed and shaped our world into something very different than 
even 10, 20, or 50 years ago, there are still those "classics" recipes that have stayed 
with us through the test of time. In the realm of baking and cooking there are recipes
that have continued to survive and are passed from generation to generation. I think
 that often classic recipes evoke positive memories involving our parents, grandparents,
old friends, or even just aspects of the past. I know for myself when I think of classic
 recipes I think of mac and cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and pineapple upside down
 cake. However, for myself, like many others who have wheat allergies, we have other
 allergies as well. In my case, I am allergic to pineapple and therefore I am not able to
enjoy a classic recipe on two counts. However, like I discussed a few months ago, it is
possible not to have to go without the recipes that bring back positive memories for us.
 I want to stress a point that I have discovered in my almost seven years of eating
gluten-free, just because you can’t eat the wheat version of something this does not
mean you have to miss out on recipes you love! Therefore, after being inspired by
this week’s Farm to Families box, I decided that I would adapt a classic and make
the recipe pineapple free and gluten free, resulting in this week’s recipe: Queen
Pluot Blackberry Upside Down Cake. 

Using this week’s 1st Quality Produce “Farm to Families” blackberries and Queen 
pluots I made a cake that is not only adapting the classics in the sense that it is taking 
a classic recipe and making it gluten-free, but I also added some other unexpected 
flavored to modernize this recipe as well. A particular trend in modern baking right
 now is using fresh or dried herbs to add an extra depth of flavor to recipes. In my 
Queen Pluot Blackberry Upside Down Cake I add dried thyme, giving this cake a
 twist. I promise you that this cake will be enjoyed by both gluten-free and wheat 
eaters alike.  

 1st Quality Produce Week 4 Box:   





So the real question then becomes now that you have all of this produce, what can you make for dinner? Besides the recipe below, you can use the celery in gazpacho, the eggplant can be used roasted and then added to pasta, grape tomatoes can be used in Garlic Chili Roasted Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salsa (see here), green beans can be roasted with garlic and lemon or used in place of pasta with your choice of sauce as a naturally gluten free alternative to pasta, honey dew melon can be used in fruit salads or wrapped with some prosciutto for a summer appetizer, jumbo carrots can be used to make gluten-free carrot cake, leeks can be used in quiches or pastas for extra flavor, red cabbage is great thinly sliced in coleslaw for added color, spring mix can be used for salads (including my Summertime Sweet Strawberry Salad (see here), and sweet mini peppers can be used to make stuffed peppers or used as a milder alternative for jalapeno poppers.    

Queen Pluot Blackberry Upside-Down Cake  

    Prep time: 20 minutes   Cook time: 40-45 minutes Yield: About 10-12 servings   


INGREDIENTS
- 5-6 Queen Pluots (depending on the size of pan you choose)       
½ Pint of Blackberries (about 12-14 Blackberries)                                                                             
-½ cup of Butter
-1 Cup of White Granulated Sugar  
-2 eggs
-1 ½ Cups of All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (Xanthan Gum must be included)  (I use my homemade mix)
-1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder (Make sure it is gluten-free!)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
-Juice of one medium lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)- (divided) (see below for details) 
-Zest of one medium lemon
-½ cup of Milk (I used 1%)
-1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
-Heaping ¼ Teaspoon of Dried Thyme
-3 Tablespoons of Butter (see below for details)
-¼ Cup of Dark Brown Sugar (see below for details) 

DIRECTIONS 
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
2. Spray a 12 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
3. Wash and slice the blackberries and pluots. Place both in a bowl, along with the juice of half of the lemon and mix so the juice coats the fruit. (This prevents browning). Set aside. 



4. In a heat safe measuring cup melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave for a fewseconds (5-10) and then mix in a ¼ cup of brown sugar.
5. In the sprayed spring form pan, place the pluots in a circular overlapping pattern on the outside of  the pan and the blackberries in the middle. (You can place the fruit in whatever pattern you like).  
 6. In a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) cream together the ½ cup of softened butter and   the white granulated sugar until well combined. 

7. While the mixer is creaming the butter and the sugar, in a small separate bowl crack two eggs. (Although this step seems unnecessary, you will save yourself a lot more time than if you had to fish out shells from the butter/sugar mixture. Believe me on this one, let me just say that I may or may not have past experience with this.) 
8. After the butter and sugar are well combined, with the mixer or hand mixer running, add one egg and mix until combined, then add the second egg until combined. 
9. Turn off your mixer and on a piece of wax paper or a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dried thyme, and the lemon zest.  

10. In a measuring cup, combine the other half of the lemon juice, milk, and vanilla.
11. Turn your mixer back on, and alternating between wet and dry (ending with wet), add the flour mixture (and your milk mixture to the egg, sugar, and butter mixture. (Every once in a while make sure to scrap down the sides of your bowl. It makes a big difference! I didn’t do this for years and I wish I had). 

12. After everything is well incorporated, pour the cake batter over the fruit in the spring form pan.

13. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
 14. Let the cake cool for about 5-10 minutes and then place a plate on top of the pan and gently flip over the cake to reveal the fruit.  
15. Enjoy!  

Are you excited now? Order your Farm to Families fresh produce boxes today (Monday) through Thursday by 3 p.m. Boxes can be picked up Friday (July 17) at 1st Quality Produce, 2445 S. Gearhart St., Fresno. If you have an order of more than 20+ boxes, the boxes can be delivered to your location. If you order 11-19 boxes you only pay $26 and if you order 20+ you only have to pay $22 (get a group of friends, neighbors, or co-workers to order boxes too to get the discount!) For more information, or to order, call (559) 442-1932 (tell them the Gluten-Free Project sent you!) or email info@firstqualityproduce.com.  

Until Next Time, 



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