My friend at My Kids Eat Squid recently tested out Hungry Girl’s two ingredient brownies. It’s so simply I decided to give it a try in a gluten-free version. I used Wegmans store brand chocolate cake mix and a can of organic canned pumpkin (15 oz). Mix this together then divide among 12 greased muffin tins (I used silicone). Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. That’s it. My daughter loves these. I thought they were pretty good. You do not taste the pumpkin at all. It’s a decent low fat brownie for sure, and one that’s super easy to make.
I was well overdue for a visit to Bon Bon’s Gluten Free Bakery at 1298 Orchard Park Road in West Seneca. This bakery has been open a year and a half but I didn’t know about it until recently. Bon Bon’s is a small little store front. It’s all run by one woman, so the hours can vary (check the web site – she recently introduced new summer hours). On the day I stopped in, the case held 3 types of cupcakes; Danish in two flavors; chocolate chip, sugar, and peanut butter cookies; brownies; Twinkies; and spritz cookies. She makes bread, but only on Wednesdays, so we missed out on that. I brought a little bit of everything home to taste.
The baked goods look like they are homemade, and I don’t mean that as insult. The edges on the cupcakes were not perfect and other items had less than perfect shapes. I would rather eat something that tastes great and looks homemade than have a perfectly shaped baked good that
tastes like sawdust. This is real food.
We sampled the cupcakes later the same day. The vanilla cupcakes were good – moist and tasty. The chocolate cupcakes were cream filled I was told when I purchased them. There wasn’t much cream in them, but there was a dab. I was a little surprised that there was almond extract in the frosting. I would have expected a bakery that deals with people with food allergies would want to tell clients there is a tree nut product in their baked goods. I’m not a fan of almond flavoring, but other than that the cupcake was moist and tender and very good. We were pleased.
The peanut butter cookies were absolutely fantastic. The heart shaped spritz cookies were not good in our opinion. Very sawdusty.
I would have loved the Danish, but these had almond extract in them as well. We sampled cherry and apple. They had a wonderful texture – very fine crumbed and tender. The filling was fruity and sweet but not cloying. There was just enough frosting. They could have been winners, except for the almond flavoring.
The brownies were dense and good, however my taste runs to darker chocolate-ly brownies – it was almost a German chocolate flavor. They were acceptable, but the ones from Vin Chet are better IMHO.
It’s great to have two gluten-free bakeries in our area and I hope some more people hop on the bandwagon!
If you go, be aware this bakery is an all CASH business. She will take personal checks as well.
One of my signature special occasion dishes is Peking Chicken, a version of Peking Duck. I’ve been making it for years and it is a family favorite. A whole chicken is roasted at high heat and glazed with a wonderful sauce. I make thin scallion pancakes and create a sauce from the pan drippings. It’s rich and delicious. When I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I thought I would never eat it again (I think I had an entire week of mourning over all the things I thought I would never eat again), since the sauce is made with soy sauce and hoisin. Gluten-free soy sauce is a pretty common find these days, but I had no hope for the hoisin.
On a whim, I looked to see what substitutes I could find and I stumbled on Joyce Chen’s Gluten-Free Hoisin at the grocery store. I bought 4 bottles of it because I was so excited! I made my Peking Chicken recipe for my husband’s birthday dinner. I didn’t even think to taste the sauce and stupidly assumed it would taste like my regular hoisin. Unfortunately, it didn’t and the lovely sauce that makes this dish so divine tasted like vinegar because of it. I hurriedly doctored my sauce by adding more honey, soy sauce and cornstarch and got it to the point where it was ok, but it was not the same. I then tasted the hoisin straight from the jar and realized it is incredibly sour and vinegar-y. I’m disappointed in this brand and will be looking for another option for future dishes. It’s usable, but needs a lot of sweetener to counterbalance it.
You can find my Peking Chicken recipe here. Substitute GF soy sauce and GF hoisin (hopefully you can find another brand!). For the pancakes, Cup4Cup flour worked well, but needed just a bit more liquid to loosen the batter up.
Vin Chet is a name that’s been around Buffalo for years and years, but Vin Chet became The Gluten Free Bakery at its location at 2178 Kensington in Amherst. The entire store is ONLY gluten free baked goods. They also supply several area restaurants with their products (like the Broadway Deli in Lancaster) and Dash’s markets also carry their baked goods (ask your local Dash’s what day they are delivered though – they fly off the shelves).
I’ve been buying baked goods from The Gluten Free Bakery for months now. I encourage you to visit their web site and check out their list of products for yourself. These are the items I give a high rating to:
– sub rolls
– Kaiser rolls (not listed on the site yet, but they have them)
– hot dog rolls
– Italian bread
– premade pizza crusts
– peanut butter squares
– chocolate chip cookies
– coffee cakes
They also make nice assorted boxes of Christmas cookies in December.
I do not care for their donuts, which is a disappointment. Their muffins are made with the same batter as the coffee cakes I think, but somehow they are drier and not as good. I would love to see more variety, some whole grain products, and for them to offer some products that are not all basically made with the same recipe, but despite this, I rate their products much higher than what I can get at the supermarket.
For your first visit, stop in and buy a few items. Once you get a sense of what you like, it’s a good idea to place an order with them since they tend not to have everything in stock every day. I usually email them my order and tell them when I want to pick it up. Sign up for their email newsletter on their site and they will send you coupons.
ALWAYS heat or toast any rolls or bread product for a much better taste and texture.
My all-time favorite carrot cake is Gigi’s Carrot Cake, from Emeril. This is a to die for carrot cake! It’s dense and moist and also just really pretty.
I used Cup4Cup gluten free flour in place of regular flour and it was not noticeable in any way. The recipe says to make 3 layers – I have always made this cake with 2 layers (who has 3 identical cake pans?). If you make this, there is just barely enough frosting, so you might consider making a bit more (I would make 1 1/2 times this recipe so you don’t feel like you have to skimp. The recipe says to add chopped pecans to the frosting, but I prefer to just sprinkle some on top.
If you’re a local Western New Yorker, you know about Perry’s Ice Cream. It’s sold in all of our supermarkets and ice cream stands. I recently had the opportunity to tour their facility and sample some of their flavors. I was impressed by their awareness of food allergy issues. They’re even introducing new lactose free ice cream.
Ice cream is one of those deceptive foods for gluten-free diners because ice cream doesn’t sound like it should have gluten in it, but when you get into flavors that have pieces of cookies, candy, or other foods in them, you can never be sure. Perry’s is very clear about which of their flavors are safe for gluten free diners and for the most part, it’s quite intuitive. Anything with cookies or cake in it is not GF when you’re eating Perry’s, but other than that, you’re likely safe. Here’s a handy guide to GF ice cream flavors when ordering or buying Perry’s this summer (it’s a huge list!):
All AmericanVanilla ice cream with maraschino cherries and black cherry swirls. It’s the perfect flavor for picnics, parades and Uncle Sam’s birthday.
Birthday BashBirthday Cake Flavored Ice cream, Creamy Blue Frosting, and Confetti Sprinkles- All you need for a perfect Birthday!
Bittersweet SinphonyCoffee ice cream with bittersweet fudge swirls and fudge chunks. Perfect for getting over a breakup. And getting back together again. And breaking up again.
Black CherryPink cherry ice cream with black cherries. (Did we mention the cherries?) Ideal for cherry lovers of all ages.
Black CherryAll natural black cherry ice cream with black cherries.
Black RaspberryBlack raspberry ice cream. Whether you have it in a bowl or on a cone, it’s the most delicious way to enjoy berries and cream.
Blue Raspberry Slush PopArtificial flavor added a quiescently frozen confection. 2 FL. OZ. (59.1 mL)
BubblegumTeaberry bubblegum ice cream with gum pieces. Have it at your next birthday party and blow out your candles and a bubble at the same time!
Butter AlmondButter pecan ice cream with almond pieces.
Butter Almond CrunchButter ice cream with butter almond crunchettes. Get your taste buds dancing to the beat of buttery satisfaction.
Butter PecanButter pecan ice cream with pecan pieces. Try it on top of a piece of pecan pie and you’ve sailed away to pecan heaven!
Butter PecanButter pecan ice cream with pecan pieces. Try it on top of a piece of pecan pie and you’ve sailed away to pecan heaven!
Butterscotch SundaeVanilla ice cream with butterscotch swirls and Spanish peanuts. If you’re a butterscotch lover, you’ll go nuts for this classic sundae.
Butterscotch SwirlVanilla ice cream with butterscotch swirls. It’s the fastest way to send your taste buds spinning!
Caramel CashewCaramel ice cream with cashews and swirls of caramel fudge. It’s like a giant cashew cluster surrounded by rich and creamy ice cream. Is your mouth watering yet?
Caramel Cup CrazeCrazy for caramel? This one has your name written all over it. Enjoy vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls and mini caramel cups.
Caramel Praline TurtleCaramel ice cream with caramel swirls, caramel turtles and candy-covered pecan pieces. Take a lesson from the turtle and savor this one slowly.
Caribbean CoconutOne bite and you are in a hammock, under the palm tree on a turquoise ocean beach shore. Savor this delicious blend of coconut rum ice cream with shredded coconut pieces.
Carrot CakeA favorite summer picnic dessert… now in a bowl! Enjoy carrot cake ice cream with cream cheese frosting and walnuts!
Cherry Panda Paws™Cherry ice cream with mini fudge cherry cups and swirls of thick, rich fudge. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the wilder side of life, including sky divers, alligator wrestlers and first graders.
Cherry Slush PopArtificial flavor added a quiescently frozen confection. 2 FL. OZ. (59.1 mL)
ChocolateJust when you thought chocolate couldn’t get any better, there’s Perry’s No Sugar Added Fat Free Chocolate ice cream. An absolute classic.
ChocolateThe ultimate creamy indulgence. It’s perfect with chocolate sprinkles or just on a cone.
ChocolateJust when you thought chocolate couldn’t get any better, there’s Perry’s chocolate ice cream. An absolute classic.
Chocolate is now available in All Natural!
ChocolateLuscious chocolate all natural ice cream.
Chocolate AlmondAdd a little crunch to your day! Enjoy chocolate frozen yogurt with almond pieces.
Chocolate AlmondChocolate Ice Cream with Almonds.
Chocolate Panda Paws™This premium flavor features chocolate ice cream with peanut butter panda paw cups and swirls of thick, rich fudge. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the wilder side of life, including sky divers, alligator wrestlers and first graders.
Chunky Chocolate ChipFeeling funky? Try the chunky. Make your day instantly better with vanilla ice cream and chunky chocolate chunks.
Coconut Almond FudgeCoconut ice cream with chocolate-covered almonds, chocolate chips and chocolate swirls. It’s like a quick getaway to paradise island, mon!
Cotton CandyIt’s a carnival on every cone with this fun blue and pink colored cotton candy ice cream.
Cotton Candy Buddie Bar – ABCABC Artificially flavored cotton candy ice cream bar with sherbet shell. Meets New York State Choose Sensibly guidelines. 3 FL. OZ. (88.7 mL)
Cotton Candy Buddie BarsNo need to wait for the fair or baseball game to enjoy cotton candy! Just grab your favorite buddie and enjoy!
Crème BruleeA cool twist on this hot dessert! Enjoy light vanilla custard ice cream with swirls of caramelized sugar. The only thing missing is half the fat.
Death By ChocolateAttention chocoholics! We’ve put together chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered almonds, chocolate truffles and fudge chips. Do you think you can handle it?
Dragon Fruit Pomegranate SorbetSavor the complex notes of two fruits, dragon fruit and pomegranate, swirled together to create a delight for the senses.
FireballCinnamon flavored ice cream with hot cinnamon sauce and hot cinnamon candies.
Fool’s Gold™Peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter candy swirls and chocolate coated toffee pieces.
French Roast CoffeeGrab a delicious cup o ‘joe any time of the day with this robust coffee ice cream.
French VanillaAdd some “ooh la la” to an ordinary day with this French-style (made with egg) vanilla ice cream.
Fudgie Bar – ABCClassic fudgie bar. 2.5 FL. OZ. (73.9 mL)
Fudgie BarsThe quickest way to lick your chocolate craving. Enjoy Fudgie Bars without the guilt because they’re not only delicious, but they’re low in fat and only 90 calories per bar!
Hot Fudge SundaeVanilla ice cream with fudge swirls and Spanish peanuts. The perfect sundae for a hectic Monday.
Ice Cream BarsNow you can share the Perry’s classic you remember as a kid with your kids. Enjoy creamy vanilla ice cream surrounded by a rich chocolate coating.
Kahlua Almond AmarettoKahlua Amaretto ice cream with roasted almonds.
Lactose Free VanillaVanilla ice cream that is 99% lactose free.
Lemon Pom CherryA delightful mix of lemon and pomegranate frozen yogurt with a swirl of black cherry.
Lemon SherbetThis delicious flavor of lemon is sure to make your taste buds tingle.
Lemon SorbetA refreshing lemon sorbet.
Lime Buddie Bar – ABCABC Vanilla ice cream bar with lime sherbet shell. Meets New York State Choose Sensibly guidelines. 3 FL. OZ. (88.7 mL)
Maple WalnutPerfect for anyone who’s nuts about maple. Enjoy maple walnut ice cream with walnut pieces.
Maple Walnut is now available in All Natural!
Maple WalnutAll natural mouth-watering maple ice cream with walnuts.
Mint ChipMint ice cream with fudge chips. It’s what all the cool kids are asking for.
Mint-Ting-A-LingWhen the phone won’t stop ringing, escape with Mint-Ting-A-Ling. Enjoy green mint ice cream with chocolate-covered candy pieces.
Movie TimePopcorn flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffles.
Muddy SneakersWhite chocolate ice cream with chocolate peanut candies, milk chocolate flakes and caramel swirls. You’ll love letting our Muddy Sneakers into the house.
NeapolitanMake room for seconds with a lighter version of this classic flavor. The only difference you’ll see is in your waistline!
NeapolitanIt’s not a party without Perry’s Neapolitan. Enjoy vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream one at a time or mix all three!
No Sugar Added Fudgie Bar – ABCABC A quiescently frozen dairy confection. Meets New York State Choose Sensibly guidelines. 2.5 FL. OZ. (73.9 mL)
No Sugar Added Rainbow SherbetEnjoy this classic trio of lime, orange and raspberry with no sugar added! It’s a rainbow of flavor on any rainy day.
Orange BlossomEverything’s coming up delicious! You’ll love this combination of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet.
Orange Buddie Bar – ABCABC Vanilla ice cream bar with orange sherbet shell. Meets New York State Choose Sensibly guidelines. 3 FL. OZ. (88.7mL)
Orange Buddie BarsPerry’s famous vanilla ice cream surrounded by irresistible orange sherbet. When you’ve got Buddie Bars around the house, you’ll make lots of friends in the neighborhood.
Orange PineappleOrange you glad we said pineapple? You won’t want to miss this flavor, featuring orange ice cream with pineapple chunks.
Orange SherbetA refreshing favorite. It’s a creamy orange dream.
Oregon Blackberry CheesecakeYou don’t have to head west to find the best blackberries. Just visit your local ice cream stand for cheesecake ice cream with Oregon blackberry swirls.
Panda PawsThis premium flavor features vanilla ice cream with peanut butter panda paw cups and swirls of thick, rich fudge. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the wilder side of life, including sky divers, alligator wrestlers and first graders.
If you like Panda Paws™, wait until you taste Chocolate Panda Paws™.
Panda Paws™This premium flavor features vanilla ice cream with peanut butter panda paw cups and swirls of thick, rich fudge. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the wilder side of life, including sky divers, alligator wrestlers and first graders.
Panda Paws™Vanilla ice cream with mini peanut butter cups and swirls of thick, rich fudge. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the wilder, but lighter, side of life.
Panda Paws™ ExtremeA fun twist on traditional Panda Paws™, with peanut butter and milk chocolate swirls and peanut butter cups.
ParkerhouseShow off your good taste with Perry’s Parkerhouse. Lightly flavored amaretto ice cream with maraschino cherries.
ParkerhouseLight Amaretto flavored no sugar added ice cream with maraschino cherries.
PB Cup CrazeCrazy for peanut butter? You’ll love PB Cup Craze, featuring vanilla ice cream with mini peanut butter cups and swirls of peanut butter.
Peach Fat FreeFat free peach frozen yogurt with peach pieces. It’s summertime in a bowl.
Peanut Butter ChipVanilla frozen yogurt with peanut butter swirls and fudge flakes. It’s the perfect flavor for all of those peanut butter cup fans out there, without the guilt!
Peanut Butter CupThe best Peanut Butter Cup around! Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls. It’s so good that we should have called it “Peanut Better Cup”.
Peanut Butter CupAttention chocolate and peanut butter fanatics! Now you can enjoy this flavorful combination with half the fat. Go on…grab a bigger bowl!
Peanut Butter FudgeWho can resist Peanut Butter Fudge? Not us, that’s for sure! Try our incredible peanut butter ice cream with fudge swirls.
Peanut Butter SwirlVanilla ice cream with peanut butter swirls. It’s the fastest way to send your taste buds spinning!
Peppermint StickCan’t get enough mint? Then grab some pink peppermint ice cream with red and green peppermint candies. It’s a candy cane in a dish.
Pistachio NutPistachio ice cream with almonds. You’ll go nuts for this delicious flavor.
PumpkinIt’s the delicious taste of pumpkin on a cone! It’s a favorite treat for those who can’t wait until Thanksgiving.
Queen Of HeartsDark chocolate ice cream with raspberry swirls and fudge filled hearts.
Rainbow SherbetEnjoy lime, orange and raspberry all at once. It’s perfect for any rainy day.
Raspberry Lemon SorbetSavor the complex notes of two fruits, raspberry and lemon, swirled together to create a delight for the senses.
Raspberry SherbetGet the fresh raspberry flavor in a bowl!
Raspberry SwirlRaspberry ice cream with raspberry swirls. Whether you have it in a bowl or on a cone, it’s the most delicious way to enjoy berries and cream without the guilt!
Raspberry TruffleRaspberry frozen yogurt with raspberry swirls and fudge flakes. Sit back, relax and indulge!
Red VelvetThis classic Southern dessert is a delectable treat, chocolate with a hint a vanilla and cream cheese swirls.
Rocky Mountain RaspberryDiscover new heights with white chocolate ice cream, chocolate raspberry flavored flakes and red raspberry swirls.
Root Beer FloatWho says you need root beer AND vanilla ice cream to make a root beer float?! Our float comes with vanilla ice cream and root beer candy pieces mixed together with root beer swirls.
Rum RaisinRediscover this classic flavor from Perry’s. Enjoy rum raisin ice cream with plump raisins.
Sour Apple Buddie Bar – ABCABC Vanilla ice cream bar with sour apple sherbet shell. Meets New York State Choose Sensibly guidelines. 3 FL. OZ. (88.7 mL)
Sour Buddie BarsSour on the outside. Sweet on the inside. Two delicious flavors to choose from and only 90 calories per Buddie Bar.
StrawberryStrawberry ice cream with real strawberries. It’s the strawberriest ice cream around!
Strawberry CheesecakeCheesecake ice cream with strawberry sauce. Forget the fork, grab your spoon and indulge.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt BarsTake pleasure in a warm summer night with this fresh-picked strawberry flavor – and only 80 calories per bar!
Sunset SherbetRelax and enjoy a Sunset! A deliciously unique combination of pineapple, tangerine and passion fruit sherbets.
Super HeroRescue your taste buds from the dull and boring with cherry bubblegum, lemon and blue raspberry ice cream.
Toasted Almond BarArtificial flavored added vanilla ice cream bar with almond flavored crunch. 3.5 FL. OZ. (103.5 mL)
Tropical NeapolitanSail away on a Bahama breeze with this delicious fruity combo of mango, coconut and pineapple!
VanillaAnything but plain vanilla. This rich and creamy ice cream is a Perry’s classic.
VanillaEverything but plain. This rich and creamy frozen yogurt is a Perry’s classic.
VanillaA guilt-free version of a Perry’s classic! Enjoy rich and creamy Vanilla, with only half the fat and fewer calories.
VanillaAnything but plain vanilla. This rich and creamy no sugar added, light ice cream is a Perry’s classic.
VanillaAnything but plain vanilla. This rich and creamy fat free, sugar free ice cream is a Perry’s classic.
VanillaThe ultimate creamy indulgence. Enjoy this premium, soft serve custard on the hottest days.
Vanilla BeanCreamy vanilla bean all natural ice cream.
Vanilla Fat FreeDelicious vanilla flavor to pair with a dessert or by itself!
Vanilla Ice Cream BarArtificial flavor added vanilla ice cream bar with chocolate flavored shell. 3 FL. OZ. (88.7 mL)
Very CherryCherry ice cream with cherries and fudge chips.
Very Cherry’s formula is new and improved, without high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors!
Watermelon SherbetA customer favorite. Get yours when you can, it’s an instant sell-out.
White ChristmasCurl up by the fire and wait for Santa with a bowl of this mint and white chocolate ice cream with red and green mint flakes.
White LightningDark chocolate ice cream with streaks of thick mint flavored white fudge lightning!
Orchard Fresh in Orchard Park (4050 N. Buffalo Road) is the newest addition to our Western NY grocery scene. I was anxious to get there when I read that their emphasis is on organic foods, with a lot of attention to specialty diets like gluten-free.
It’s really a beautiful store and reminded me a lot of Whole Foods I have visited. There’s a great produce section and lots of new and fun options in seafood (live crayfish and fresh fish flown in from Hawaii daily) and meats (fresh bison and frozen elk, camel, and buffalo).
There is a take out section, but I could not find anything specifically gluten free there – they make pizzas, salads and sandwiches. Some of the salads would qualify, but I was really hoping for some GF pizza! There’s a nice selection of cheeses and some fun areas of the store such as infused oils and varieties of sea salts. There was a display of local Alethea’s candies and chocolate popcorn.
I was pleased to see an aisle labeled “gluten free,” but disappointed to find it had a very small selection of baking mixes, flours, and crackers. As we explored the store, I discovered more GF foods tucked into other aisles. Some of these items have colored shelf tags indicating they are GF, but others don’t, so it’s very hard to find things. There is a selection of pasta (which was no better than Wegman’s), some cookies (including Tate’s GF which was new to me), crackers, cereals, snack food, etc. Some of these items were new to me, but not many. GF soy sauce was tucked into the Asian section without a tag.
In frozen foods, there is a case of Vin Chet baked goods (the largest selection I’ve seen in a store – much more than Dash’s carries) and a selection of Udi’s and Van’s products, which were not any better than Wegman’s sections. I did snag some Glutino bagels. I’ve bought Glutino products before but never their bagels.
Overall, I would say this is a great place to go if you’re tired of the same-old, same-old things at your neighborhood store. It’s also just fun to walk through a new store and explore the different foods they carry (cactus leaves, anyone?). I would recommend walking up and down each aisle to look for the GF items in each aisle. They need to be more consistent with their labeling so that we can find GF foods more easily without having to read every box or package. I’m glad they are conscious of GF needs, and I hope the store will learn to label their shelves better. We did suggest this to a manager while there, so there’s hope!