Buttery Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

I don’t buy redi-made mixes that often, in fact I never bought a gf biscuit mix until last week. This was from Aldi’s; my fav hangout! Cheddar cheese biscuits in the orange and blue box.

biscuit box

You add water, quarter cup oil and a third of a cup of grated cheese, stir and it becomes this slightly weird fluffy white stuff that looks more like cotton batting than anything else. Next, plop big clumps of this mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking pan and pop them into the hot oven to bake.  After about 16-17 minutes out comes the pan.  Each biscuit gets brushed with a mixture you create with an herb/garlic powder that is blended with fresh butter you melted.

cheddar cheese bisquits

They are browned on the bottom and tender. The flavor is buttery and definitely has a garlic vibe going on. We had them with a big bowl of chili with beans I had made for supper.  My guy took home a quart of chili and two biscuits. He wanted more cheesy rolls than two but I said; “Hey, those are my gf biscuits! You can eat any rolls you like but these are mine!” He left happily clutching a bag with all his treats including those two biscuits.   That should tell you they are tasty; Joe does not need to eat gf and he is fairly picky about his bread.  If it passes the Joe test; it is pretty tasty!! cheddar cheese bisquit

They were a couple bucks and the add ins are minimal. I made 11 decent sized biscuits. I froze all but two which were destined for chili consumption the next evening. Totally yummy even if not particularly healthy, white gf flour, sugar,  cheese and butter as major components.  Still, not often I find something this easy to make and this tasty.  I put this in my win win column. Enjoy!

Aldi’s Update February 2018

Today I have an Aldi product update to share.  A few totally unrelated items that I recently purchased and want to comment on.  First, their grapefruit seltzer; ridiculously cheap and mixes perfectly with kombucha tea or fruit juice. The label says PurAqua.  Caffeine and sugar free. Just carbonated water and natural flavoring. Great to have a new flavor choice for a mixer.                            grapefruit selzer

Secondly, their SimplyNature house brand organic fair trade light brown sugar. Soft, moist, great flavor and cheap. And it is organic and sustainably grown by small farmer cooperatives according to their label. Can’t get much better than that.  I am busy using my bag of Aldi’s organic sugar in my baking efforts. It does seem to add a better flavor than regular granulated sugar. It is far cheaper in Aldi’s than in the local Giant grocery. brown sugar

For snacking I am enjoying their Casa Mamita Chunky Salsa, mild version.  It tastes very fresh and is yes, chunky.  They have spicier versions; see picture below! Great with Aldi’s Blue Corn Dipper chips. Clancy Dippers are decent but the blue corn dipper is just amazing in flavor and crunch. Cheaper than what I can find at my big box local grocery store too!

I like their own brand organic ground cinnamon. Great flavor and far cheaper than organic cinnamon usually is.  I wish they would get in even more spices and that they would label them as gf. Ah the typical celiac lament!

Finally, their Red Lentil Rotini is back; I loved cooking with it when I found a box quite a few months ago. I look forward to using it again!  Cheap, organic, high in protein, iron and fiber. Win Win!

red lentil

My friend Josh says I need to work for Aldi’s as I write about them so often…. I write about this company often because their food is wonderful. If there is an Aldi’s near you; what are you waiting for? Great food, great prices and lots that is gf for folks like me who have celiac disease. Enjoy!

Aldi’s Update January 2018

When I see something on facebook that seems problematic for my life, rather than complain…I investigate.  I saw this post which said that Aldi’s wasn’t carrying gluten free foods anymore.  Not something I want in the least. So I contacted the company via their website and was happy to receive a prompt email reply.  They are not ending their line of gluten free foods, just ending labeling things that are naturally gluten free.

I wrote again with a follow up email asking why they keep discontinuing popular things like the tiny orange gf cheddar crackers or their chocolate covered gf pretzels. Today I spoke with a representative who had left me a voice message yesterday to give Aldi’s a call. I was a bit excited thinking they were going to give me some good news on gf products I was missing.  Alas, she listened but talked only a bit and gave no reason why they discontinue things so often. Just repeated that such is their policy. I told her that I have resorted to buying chocolate covered gf pretzels else where but that the Aldi brand  tastes superior and is cheaper so why are they making such a contrary decision: to only offer them once or twice a  year. She had no answer for me but said she would convey my suggestions to the powers that be. Not particularly satisfying…but I did get to voice my issue to an actual representative of Aldi’s. Still, not all that comforting as I am longing for those crisp and tasty cheddar crackers… cheddar crackers

 

Smoked Bratwurst from Aldi’s: Yummy!

 

A day too late for a Memorial Day barbeque, but I’ve been busy and somehow this blog has become a lower priority this May because I am utterly consumed with work, gardening and especially tired due to recovering from my knee replacement surgery. Not writing to share excuses but there they are, regrettably valid.  I’m writing today to share a tasty meat product I found at Aldi’s: smoked bratwurst.smoked bratwurstThey taste so great after you grill them a bit; get those grill marks going and they burst just a bit on the sides, perfect!   We had ours with gf hot dog rolls by Schar; okay but seemed bready to me as I tend to want a thinner bun. I am so over eating a lot of bread these days but a roll to put my wurst in seemed appropriate.  For condiments we had an unusual combination but it worked; spicy whole grain brown mustard, finely chopped Vidalia onion and horseradish from a just opened bottle.  Lots of zing going on and it matches well with the flavor of these brats.

To me they taste like the best hot dogs ever. I had a Nathan’s hot dog the other week and while it was decent; these brats were so much tastier. They are fairly cheap; about $3 for five of these fat brats.  The package even says gf on it; no guessing involved. Great flavor, easy to fry up and super pricing: awesome choice for a bbq.  They are vacuum packed which keeps them very fresh until you are ready to fry these chubby wursts up for a hungry group of friends at your next barbeque. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chips to Munch

If you follow my blog you might notice I haven’t posted many baked goods in the past month. As I mentioned the other week, I had my right knee replacement surgery the first week of March. Due to that I haven’t been able to do much cooking and even less baking.  Just not able to stand around or work hard at anything other than my recovery which is going pretty well these days. I use a cane but in my house I often just walk all on my own. I’ve had lots of company, mostly siblings who came to help me out and to visit our mom who I normally spend time with each week.  This worked out great and now I am on my own.  While they were here people bought a number of things new to me and so I have been doing some product reviews.  Here are two more, both triangular chips and both organic.  In the interest of honesty I should say that throughout my recovery I have been actively seeking not to eat these sort of treats; too fattening/salty/addictive.  I didn’t buy them but I sure couldn’t help myself to try more than a few of each chip.

pink himalayan chipsI love tortilla chips and was excited when my brother bought a bag of Pink Himalayan Salt Red Rice & Quinoa Tortilla Chips by Lundberg in Ca. Everyone likes them but me and my beef is the salt. I guess my salt cutting back regimen for the past year or so is having a serious effect as I found these chips to be way too salty for my tastes.  No one else felt that way; they were noshed on with joy by several of my visitors so get a bag and test them out! Non GMO, gluten free and whole grain…purchased at Giant Food Stores.

popcorners chips

The other snack item I want to share with you are Popcorners, Crispy & Crunchy Popped Corn Chips, by BFY Brands in Liberty NY.  Darn it, but I just love them! No preservatives, no trans fats, not fried, doubled pressed for extra crunch.  I got the variety with some cheddar for flavoring. Thin, crisp but not hard and lightly cheesy: I could eat the whole bag in a day but I have restrained myself so far. These also came from Giant and I love that they have 7 ounces, the other ones were 5.5 so I got another ounce and a half plus they were a bit cheaper so double score on these triangular treats.

More and more tasty gluten free snacks are popping up out there in regular grocery stores; but do read the packaging carefully if you have allergies or want to limit sodium or other sorts of intake. Best not to eat the whole bag at one munching! Enjoy.

Udi’s GF Blueberry Muffins

I have a tiny confession to make; I seldom buy store made baked goods.  I just don’t.  As an accomplished home baker I tend to not be willing to spend a lot of cash on something that I fear will be substandard. These past three and a half weeks have been spent recovering from a total knee replacement which I really needed.  Unable to cook until the last week or so, and just not having any appetite, I haven’t been tempted by much, until a dear friend brought a package of four fat Udi’s GF blueberry muffins as a get well gift. I put them in the freezer as they were still mostly frozen and I wasn’t hungry at that moment.  A day later I thawed one and shared it with my sister who is visiting to help me out; it was kinda large I thought for me with my shrunken appetite.  We warmed it a tad in the microwave and shared our impressions.

udi blueberry muffins

The actual muffins look even better than they do in this photograph!

Karen is not gluten free but she has happily enjoyed my gf baked goods over the past four years, even agreeing that some of my baked items are better gf than they ever were! Russian teacake cookies, for one, which get snarfed up very quickly by company.  Well, the muffin was quite tasty, great texture, not crumbly or gluey which are common failures.  Karen liked it too and was impressed by the flavor and the texture. It was sweet but not overly so and the blueberry flavor was just right; strong but not over the top.  I detected a hint of lemon in the muffin which made me like it even more. The top had a light sugary crust which was a treat too. This sure was a lot of deliciousness in the shape of a muffin and I was pleasantly surprised as, sometimes gf baked stuff can be pretty gnarly.  I liked knowing that someone who doesn’t need to eat gf enjoyed it too so you can serve this to your non gf family/friends without any fear.

A bonus is that they are dairy, soy and nut free if you need to avoid those food categories this is a great breakfast for snack choice.  One muffin has 270 calories which is quite a bit but I tend to eat half for a morning snack and the other half later on in the day so it counts for two snacks in my world.

So, if you like blueberries this muffin is a treat and I wholeheartedly recommend them. I make my own blueberry muffins which are darn tasty if I may brag a bit but if you aren’t a baker, these are an excellent choice. Buy a package and get your yummy on!

Krusteaz GF Cornbread Mix

Folks think cornbread is naturally gluten free.  Not so, many recipes use a blend of all purpose flour and cornmeal and then there is the cross contamination of many flours that one thinks should always be gluten free.  I have made a pretty tasty gf cornbread from scratch using a recipe by Annalise Roberts from her best seller: Gluten-Free Baking Classics, Second Edition. gluten free baking classicsThe recipe was a simple dump and stir and bake with very good results. I used King Arthur’s basic gf flour mix.

 

The other day my sister made some tasty scratch beef chili with beans and she made cornbread using a Krusteaz Gf honey cornbread mix.  Add an egg, some vegetable oil and a cup of milk, stir and pour into a pan. Yes, that was a lot easier than the scratch cornbread I made. It tasted quite decent that night. But the day after the bread had become heavy, almost sodden and the texture turned to mud after a couple of chews in my mouth. Yuck! So, this mix is very convenient, tastes fine just after you bake it but leftovers…not very appetizing.

krusteaz corn bread

My homemade cornbread kept a couple of days with fine flavor and texture.  Everyone talks about how gf bread doesn’t keep but even regular cornbread has a short shelf life.  The mix is a great time saver and perfect if you aren’t into gf baking technique or don’t have the desire to make scratch.  Just don’t expect it to stay tasty for any great length of time.