In case you haven’t heard, retail giant QVC is dedicating an entire hour this afternoon to gluten-free goods. “Eating Gluten-Free – Food & Cookbooks” kicks off at 4 p.m. ET, but we’re giving you a little preview.
I managed to snag two samples of products that will be featured in today’s broadcast: Simply…Gluten-free Desserts, a cookbook by Carol Kicinski of Simply…Gluten-Free, and Shane’s Original BBQ Sauce, a gluten-free bottle of the sauce made famous at Shane’s Rib Shack. Here’s the lowdown:
Holy cannoli. Actually, I think cannolis are the only dessert not included in this ode to sweet endings, but with 150 recipes to choose from, there are plenty of cream puffs, tarts and cookies to keep you busy.
Simply…Gluten-free Desserts is laid out in chapters: Cakes and Cupcakes; Puddings and Custards; even one just for Frostings. Within each chapter, there is page after page of sweet and sinful recipes (brace yourself – your savory side’s about to get jealous). Each recipe includes a little intro from Carol, with some tips or a pleasant story behind the treat, then a list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. There’s even a call out section in the sidebar to note things like “Grain-free” or “Makes 24 cookies.”
Now, they say you first feast with your eyes, and this book certainly takes care of that. The pages are framed with a delicate orange icon and a dash of scrolls along the border. Similarly, the ingredients are highlighted in a pale orange box, which makes them stand out without being distracting.
There’s also eye-poppingly good food photography. My only complaint is that there aren’t more photos speckled throughout the book, because when you come across the snapshot of the Mascarpone Berry Pie or the Mexican Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, all you want is more.
As for content, Simply…Gluten-free Desserts ranges from the classic – Red Velvet Whoopie Pies – to the refined – Apricot Dacquoise – to the downright clever – “Chips and Salsa” (dessert). My favorite entry had to be Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches. It takes two of my favorite foods: ice cream and PB & J sandwiches, and turns it into a gluten-free dessert fit for all ages.
Should you be like me and require some guidance in the kitchen, Carol’s book also devotes an early chapter to “Gluten-free Cooking and Baking,” which includes tips on ingredients, equipment and techniques. For example, “Add Flour in Batches.” (Guilty.) And “Please, please use freshly squeezed citrus juice and freshly grated citrus zest.” (Also guilty.)
With all these helpful tips, the two things I did miss were estimated prep/bake times and a list of equipment needed for each recipe. Those two additions would make it easier to plan for whatever dessert is on my agenda. Then again, it’s simple enough to figure both of those out by reading through the recipe, which is recommended before any baking attempt. (Guilty.)
You can purchase Simply…Gluten-free Desserts by watching the QVC broadcast or visiting simplygluten-free.com/cookbooks
When you’re gluten-free, backyard barbecues come with questions. Have any buns touched the grill? Wasn’t that serving fork just in the pasta salad? Did someone really have to use the same knife to cut the tomatoes AND the rolls?
Fortunately, Shane’s Original BBQ Sauce is a gluten-free option that everyone can enjoy. It’s sweet and tangy, with a bit of a kick for those who like a little heat. The sauce is thick, so it will literally stick to your ribs, but it also pours out smoothly instead of glopping onto your plate.
Should your barbecue be rained out, there are other creative ways to use the sauce. I made a pizza. It was mostly out of necessity: I was fresh out of meat, but I did have a gluten-free pizza crust in my freezer (review of that item coming soon). Determined to put the sauce to good use, I took a cue from ATX Gluten-Free, and topped the crust with Shane’s Original BBQ Sauce, sprinkled on mozzarella and corn, and tossed it in the oven.
The result. Delicious! In fact, my roommate wandered in from work and immediately noted the tasty aroma wafting from the kitchen.
As for the nutrition profile, Shane’s Original BBQ Sauce is pretty standard. The sweet flavor packs on 9g of sugar per serving, and when loaded onto a rack of ribs, that number can add up. Let’s be honest, BBQ sauce isn’t meant to be “lite and healthy,” but at 50 calories per serving, it could actually be a better choice than dousing a plate of greens with gluten-free salad dressing. Everything in moderation!
To find a Shane’s Rib Shack near you, visit www.shanesribshack.com (Check out their gluten-free menu, while you’re at it), and watch for a special deal on Shane’s ribs and BBQ sauce today on QVC!