Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MetroCeliacs "Ooh La Laaaa" February 2008 Supper Club at Bistrot Margot

Bon Jour MetroCeliacs,

As you know, February is the month of love, and what better way to express that than by a decadent menu of French cuisine that is also gluten free?

Bistrot Margot is a family-owned, authentic French bistro in Old Town that features regional French cooking in an Art Nouveau environment. It is the living dream of chef and owner, Joe Doppes, and is named after his first daughter, Margot. Pictures of daughter Margot adorn the cafe-inspired walls. When entering Bistro Margot, you feel as though you're in Paris at this reliable Old Town hangout, with its deep-red velvet curtains, mosaic-tile floors and Art Nouveau ceiling lamps.

Our group had a lovely booth/table in the middle of the restaurant. The event planner, Michele, was very helpful and enthusiastic about the event and we planned a lovely menu. We had some of our regular attendees and some new members, as well as someone recently diagnosed and fearful of dining out. It was a really active and lively bunch and neither the food nor the conversation ever seemed to wane.

The event was just lovely all around, from the planning meeting, which was more fun than the usual meeting because of the upbeat and hilarious event staff, to the gorgeous and scrumptious dinner and the really ecclectic crowd we had on hand. It was not busy the night we dined there, so we did not experience the crowds for which Bistrot Margot is famous and we could hear each other speak, bonus! We were all surprised by the amount of food served, as you will see below, as well as the amount of flavor in each dish. Everyone had different favorites but everything was at least sampled. Rave reviews from happy guests.


EPINARDS Spinach, Red Peppers, Goat Cheese, Warm Bacon Dressing

"Great salad!" "So happy it is finally here!"

"What's next?"

Mussels Simmered in White Wine and Fresh Herbs

"I am so on this!" "Trust me, I got it."

"I thought I had it."

Main Course

Roasted Tilapia, Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Walnuts,
Balsamic-Brown Butter Sauce

"Whole lotta fish!" "Hmmmmm......"

"Ya gotta try this." "YUM!"

Sirloin Butt Steak Laced with Garlic Butter and Pommes Frites

"Green meat? Really?" "Yeah, no green meat for me."

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"
"I can't believe you ate the whole thing!"

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken, ham and prosciutto, and a cheese such as Swiss or Gruyere.

"Looks like enough" "Any more Chicken over there?"

"I'll fight ya for it."


Mousse Au Chocolat
Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce

Crème Brulee
Classic Sugar Glazed Vanilla Bean Custard

Terrine de Chocolat Aux Framboises
Chocolate and Fresh Raspberry Terrine with Creme Anglaise and Whipped Cream

Gateau Au Chocolat
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglaise, Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

(Sorry, no people shots for desserts, in order to take this everyone was restrained in their seats, then it was a free for all. The desserts were good, I think, I inhaled mine and then it was time to go.)

There was an ample amount of each course, especially the mussels, and everyone left full and happy, we hope. Feel free to leave reviews and suggestions on what you would like to see more or less of on the blog or any suggestions you may have for events. We appreciate all the support and love it when one of our events goes so well. Thank you to all attendees, Bistrot Margot and everyone who stops by to take a look.

Jen and Tanya

Friday, November 30, 2007

Recipes for the October Pot Luck


4-6 apples (I used 1 Jonathan, 1 Fuji , 2 Rome , 1 Winesap and 1 Empire)
1/3 c water
½ c sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice (ReaLemon lemon juice)
2 Tbs butter (Land O’Lakes unsalted sweet butter)
Spices to flavor – I used cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice – I don’t measure.

Peel, core and slice apples into small pieces.
Mix everything in a pot.
Cook (uncovered) on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rebecca J. Loomis

Cheese Puffs a la “manioc”
Brazilian recipe

1 ½ cup of mashed potatoes
4 eggs
¾ cup of corn oil
1 Tb of salt
4 cups of medium cheddar cheese grated ( we use “ Tillamook”)
1 ½ lb bag of tapioca starch ( manioc flour )

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees
Mix all ingredients in large bowl ( you can use an electric mixer to blend )
Use a soup spoon and make small balls. Put on cookie sheets ( 3 at least will be needed) to make approximately 60 balls. Bake for about 18 minutes; check that they don’t get too dry.
These can be frozen and taken out of the freezer directly to reheat in the microwave oven ( a few seconds )

Steve and Nicole Vandervoort


O'Henry Bars

1 stick oleo
6 oz butterscotch chips
6 oz chocolate chips
1 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 heaping cups of Rice Krispies
3 cups marshmallows

Melt the butter and chips, then stir in peanut butter. (I use the microwave)
When cool (this is important or the marshmallows melt), add the krispies and marshmallows.

Put in a lightly buttered 9"x13" pan... and refrigerate (if in hurry, the freezer will rush it)

Cut and enjoy.

Note: I use Hershey’s Butterscotch chips and Nature's Path crispy rice cereal.
I also used Land O'Lakes margarine, Nestles chips, Jiff PB, Campfire marshmallows.

Tanya Davidson


Chicken Curry (or Chicken Coconut Curry)

1 lb (or more) cut-up chicken breast (bite-size or slightly larger) - O Organics (sold at Dominick's) Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast Filets

3 tbsp vegetable oil or clarified butter - Jewel Vegetable Oil - All Natural (100% soybean oil)

1 onion, chopped - Nevada High Desert Onions (3 lb bag purchased)

3 cloves garlic, minced [omitted- my husband isn't a garlic lover]

1 - inch piece of fresh ginger, minced [fresh ginger purchased at Dominick's]

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds [McCormick's Yellow Mustard Seed]

1/2 tsp cumin seeds [Frontier Culinary Spices Whole Cumin Seed]

1 1/2 tsp cardamom [Simply Organic Cardamom]

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander [Simply Organic Coriander]

1 tsp ground cumin [Simply Organic Cumin]

1 tsp garam masala [Frontier Garam Masala Garam Masala: this is a mix of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander]

1/2 tsp turmeric [Simply Organic Turmeric]

1/4 tsp paprika [omitted- forgot to get gluten free kind]

1/4 tsp cinnamon [Simply Organic Cinnamon]

2 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces [fresh purchased at Dominicks]

1 sweet potato, in 1/2 inch cubes [fresh purchased at Dominicks]

1 lb chick peas, cooked or canned [West Brae Natural Vegetarian Organic Garbanzo beans]

1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes [Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes]

½ cup or so of yogurt [or, alternatively, 1 - 14 oz can light coconut milk for coconut curry] [Stonyfield Farm Organic Whole Milk Plain]

Salt & pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to brown. Push onion mixture to the side of the pan and add mustard and cumin seeds to the center. Toast them until they start to pop. Add the remaining spices and cook 2—3 minutes and stir into onion mixture.Add the carrots and sweet potatoes to the pan and stir for another 2—3 minutes. Add chick peas, tomatoes [and coconut milk, if you choose] and stir until ingredients are combined. Let simmer over low heat for an hour. The vegetables should be cooked through and the liquid should have reduced and thickened. If using yogurt instead of coconut milk, stir in well at the very end and cook for about a minute. Serve over rice. [chicken can be omitted for a vegetarian dish]

Rice (serves 4)
1 tablespoon butter [Dutch Farms Wisconsin Select Sweet Cream Butter]
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch diced [bagged onions- see above]
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves [McCormick's Ground Cloves]
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon [Simply Organic Cinnamon]
1 cup uncooked basmati rice [365 Everyday Value White Basmati Rice from Whole Foods]
1 whole bay leaf [McCormack's Bay Leaves]
1 cinnamon stick [Frontier Culinary Spices - Cinnamon Sticks
2 cups water [Chicago tap water, filtered using Brita pitcher]
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium high-sided saucepan set over medium heat. Add onion, cloves, and cinnamon; cook until onion becomes translucent and mixture is very fragrant.
Place rice in sieve, and rinse under cold running water. Add rice to saucepan, and stir so grains are coated in butter mixture.
Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, raisins, salt, and pepper to saucepan. Stir in 2 cups water. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until all water has been absorbed and rice has cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Katie Donnelly

Jenny-style No-Name Cooking

2 Containers of Chavrie Goat Cheese (plain or Herb/Basil)
2 Jars of GF Marinara, whichever brand is on sale and is also GF

Open Goat Cheese container, dump slime on top into sink, rinse sink, trust me on this
Dump cheese into one of those longer glass cooking dishes, not brownie size square one, same width but longer rectangle looking kind
Smoosh cheese down a little bit but do not spread out, just enough to be level with side of dish
Pour the sauce over the cheese

Heat oven to 350 and insert dish on top rack
Wait til you see the middle start to bubble and the edges of the dish start to brown
Take out of over with hot pads, remember hot pads, very important I learned

Eat with Scoops chips, tastes better when watching suspenseful movie

Dish will be hard to clean because of step two, but no idea how to get it cooked through and not gross on the edges. If you find a way, email me and I will update and owe you one.


7 layer bars (minus a few non-gf layers)

7 oz flaked coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
14 oz can sweet condensed milk
8 oz unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 bake pan
Spread 2/3 coconut on bottom. Sprinkle butterscotch, choc chips, peanuts evenly as 2nd layer.
Pour condensed milk over all.
Top with almonds and remaining coconut.
Bake 20 minutes, cool before cutting.

NOTE: I used peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch (and extra choc chips).
I used Nestle choc and peanut butter chips.

I also made choc chip cookies with the Namaste mix.

Simply add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 2 tbs water.

The mix is GF, wheat free and free of soy, nuts, potato, corn, dairy, and casein, but may not be dairy free as I added chocolate chips.
I followed the directions on the box (not hard I know, but I had to try them sometime).

Rachel Segal

Corn Bread BBQ Pizza

Corn Bread

1 cup all-purpose GF flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup shortening
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, xantham gum, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt.
Add the milk, eggs and shortening; beat for 1 minute.
Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan.
Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until bread is golden brown and tests done.
BBQ Pizza Topping
1 pound of Chicken burger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, sliced
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
Cook chicken burger in pan, ground up. Add onion and red pepper and cook until soft. Add Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce.
Add meat/veggies to top of corn bread. Sprinkle cheese and put in oven for 10 min at 425.

Amy Rousseau

These are the recipes emailed to me before the event. There are printed copies available, so if you want one, please email me and I will send it along to you or I can email you this version if you cannot print it off this site.


Jenny and Tanya


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

MetroCeliacs October Pot Luck Meet & Greet

MetroCeliacs October Pot Luck Meet and Greet at Whole Foods

Our October event was a Pot Luck held at the Whole Foods on Ashland, our frequent meeting site as they are so supportive and accommodating. Sometimes all the stars align and an event goes as planned, with an outcome that is even better than expected. That certainly happened here. Often times, people see pot luck and, “eek! what am I going to make???” runs through their heads and they scramble to plan something, stress and then end up just buying a package of something dessert-y on the way there. Or, wait, is that just me? Well, this event had such a broad range of dishes – from appetizers, entrees and desserts to wonderful sides – that everyone left full, happy and impressed (and I know that was not just me!). The crowd was comprised of a lot of our regulars and a slew of newbies, which is always exciting for everyone. We had complicated GF recipes, easy GF recipes and modified-to-be-GF "regular" recipes, what more could we have asked for? Oh, I know, how about some donated GF products from Whole Foods and S’Better Farms? Yeah, who doesn’t love Whole Foods’ baked goods, the crackers they sell and, of course, products from our friend Scott Mandell at Enjoy Life Foods? In addition, we had the best corn dogs ever from Brian Gurin at S’Better Farms. I highly recommend them and the frozen dinners (chicken galore) he donated were also just wonderful. We are awaiting reviews on his pastas, which we had no way to make at this particular event. Thanks to everyone who donated to our meeting!!!!!

Let’s just get this out of the way. I wanted to participate in the pot luck and bring some dish that I labored over for hours, I really did. Anyone who knows me, though, would have been to scared to try it, so rather than risk that, I just brought Chavrie Goat Cheese, which I baked in a pan/dish/foil thing with Marinara Sauce and served with Scoops chips. That’s all I got. Tanya, MetroCeliacs’ other fearless leader, brought her famous, coerced by me at almost any opportunity, O’Henry (or, as I call them, O’MYGOSHTHESEAREAMAZING) bars. As usual, I was face down in the pan by the end of the evening. They are always so very well received. Fortunately, or unfortunately if your eyes are bigger than your stomach, everything that we had at the event was flavorful, had a wonderful texture and was just absolutely delicious. Not a dud in the bunch. We even had enough for everyone to take home some samples of things they liked or else did not get to try due to the aforementioned eye/stomach dilemma.

We started the evening by taking pictures of everyone with their respective dishes…so we know what to request should we ever need treats at a future meeting…hmmmm, I was kidding til I realized that is actually a good idea. Then we made sure everyone had our upcoming events calendar and some other handouts as well as all the recipes.

Now, in addition to being challenged in the kitchen, I am also a bit, well, slow when it comes to technology, so I am going to try post pictures of what everyone made with the event pictures. Then, in a separate blog entry, I will attempt (drum roll please) to post the recipes that were emailed to me (all without a net!). They are also available upon request if you email MetroCeliacs@yahoo.com and let me know which ones you would like.

After we got things settled with the paperwork, put things in the oven and set up the rest of the food mostly by genre, we went around the room and introduced ourselves, telling a little about the dish we brought. Then there was a short little speech by Tanya and myself where we just said who we were and what we do -- for those who were new -- and we talked about upcoming events. We also welcomed any ideas or suggestions for Supper Club places, speakers or topics for future meetings. THEN we got down to the serious business of eating and conversing. The group was lively and we all tried bits of everything, marveling at how the various recipes went well together, how we had all the major parts of a meal represented and how much work everyone did to make this event a success, and a success it was!!!

We are so grateful to Whole Foods, S’Better Farms, Enjoy Life Foods and to each and every member who contributed to our amazing evening. I remember it fondly and often when I am eating peanut butter M&Ms for lunch at work.

Here comes the best part...I hope you ate before you go any further...

Amy's special Corn Bread BBQ pizza
Equal parts tangy and sweet, this is a pizza that satisfies the most diehard BBQ fans as well. The cheese blends the flavors and right when you are finished with a slice, it kicks in and you want more. Amy always contributes something impossible to resist.

Speaking of equal parts tangy and sweet, oh, and cornbread...You would think Nancy is a Texan with this moist, light and smooth cornbread! It was the most surprising dish because cornbread can really be grainy and this was smooth as silk, if silk was made of cornflour. I actually ate it with Amy's pizza and it was the perfect complement to that as well.

Ann and Steve, oh Ann and Steve...Is there nothing Ann cannot do? She contributed her pizza and we had to ask more than once if she was sure it was gluten free? mmmmmmm.... A thin crust that stayed crisp and the toppings varied but were all equally delicious and equally devoured.

The pan says it all, we totally "heart" Jennifer's stuffing and delicious pie. Both treats were moist and rich and soft, displayed with flourish by her dad, a totally good sport. It was honestly stuffing like I remember it being BGF (before gluten free). The pie, well look at it, it speaks for itself. It spoke directly to me a number of times!

Leave it to Steve and Nicole to add some exotic fla-vah to our little group. They brought Cheese Puffs A La Manioc, a brazilian recipe. They were crisp on the outside and doughy and moist and stretchy on the inside. The perfect side dish dinner roll, just the right hint of cheese to make it interesting.

Speaking of spicing things up internationally, what could do that better than curry? Katie and her husband brought a very exciting Chicken Curry and Rice dish. I ate them individually because I was overwhelmed by everything on my plate and they each stand alone very well. Then I was told, you put them together and it is a complete taste explosion, a spice, texture and flavor extravaganza. I finally got it right and it lived up to the hype.

Around this time of year, the right blend spices and texture just says "Fall" and nothing exemplifies that more than some hearty homemade applesauce. Becky was nice enough to bring a big bowl of the most delicious applesauce with big chunks of apples. The apples were so varied, I had not heard of half of them, and it was really exciting to have that mix of sweet and tart and smooth and crunchy. A perfect Fall side dish and also a light and delicious dessert.

One of the best foods in the world is, in my opinion, mashed potatoes. Now, you might think, easy peasy, but Lindsay took an old standard and made it new and just delicious. These were Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and they were mashed and then baked. We had them right out of the oven and when you added the cheese to the potatoes, it was kind of crispy and chewy and stretchy and the potatoes were soft and brought out the cheese flavors. You can't really go wrong with a cheese and potato combo, and this one is sure to energize a normal side of potatoes at any event. Huge fan of this dish and it is easy enough that even I would try it. She did not post with it, so sorry about the dark shot of her, it does not do her or her tasty treat justice.
Speaking of tasty treats and justice, there is no justice in the world that these cookies are possible and all the ones I have ever made have to be classified as "cajun". We had these delicious chocolate chip cookies and 7-layer bars, but without the layers of gluten. The cookies were really good. It is easy to fear cookies because of some of the store brands' aftertaste and weird textures. These were cookies like grandma used to make (if you come from a family that cooks, that is...). The Layer Bars had coconut, so once that info was out there, nothing else really registered for me and I just started piling them on my plate. They were really moist and chewy as well and had that coconut consistency and other subtle flavors that really enhanced the coconut. Both treats were big hits.

There was a lot of socializing, even more eating and second- and third-round-ing, and then we wrapped up some leftovers for people, sent along some of the Whole Foods and S'Better products out to be tested and reviewed, so the rest of the leftovers, what there was of them, got claimed and taken home to be enjoyed again. It was a completely satisfying and delightful evening and we look forward to doing it again in the coming months of the New Year. Thank you to all of the participants. We so appreciate your hard work. I am going to attempt to post the recipes in another blog entry. Otherwise, I can email the word version at your request MetroCeliacs@yahoo.com
Thanks again!
Jenny and Tanya