Honu Kitchen & Cocktails

Last night I headed out to dinner with my fellow gluten free gal Victoria. We headed to Honu Kitchen & Cocktails located in Huntington. I had been meaning to try Honu for a while because Victoria had told me that she can tolerate some of the menu items there.

Honu Kitchen & Cocktails has great atmosphere. We were seated right away (which is always a plus) and I immediately started looking over the menu. They have a great menu in general and my eye went to the small plates and on a stick section of the menu. Originally I was going to get the Thai Chicken which Victoria said was similar to a chicken satay which is delicious! While browsing the menu, our waiter came over to tell us the specials (none of which were gluten free – which is OK) and we ordered our drinks. We decided on the Acai Margarita which they had promoted on Facebook. It is Cabo Blanco Tequila, Triple Sec, Acai Juice and fresh lime. It was delicious! It had a little bit of bite to it from the acai juice but it was still sweet (which is what I like in my cocktails).

I was sure I was going to get the Thai Chicken but then Victoria told me that their calamari was dusted in cornmeal! I was sold! I love calamari and since becoming gluten free, I have been unable to have it because it is always crusted in flour. Victoria went for the Chipotle Chicken salad – one of their seasonal salads which also sounded delicious and it was an entree size so it is perfect for dinner.

Our meals came and they were very good. They calamari is served with a spicy aioli which was perfect for the cornmeal crusted dish. It wasn’t super spicy but it definitely had a little kick to it which was great. I had a bit of the chipotle chicken salad which was also very good. Big pieces of chicken, not too heavily dressed and the vegetables were very crisp.

Overall Honu Kitchen & Cocktails was great and I will definitely be back again!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Advertisements

Almost Famous Mongolian Beef

I have talked about my love of P.F. Chang’s. I could eat there everyday if I could. They have a great gluten free menu! But unfortunately I can’t eat there everyday. But I CAN make my own version of their delicious Mongolian Beef! (which is a part of their gluten free menu!)

Almost Famous Mongolian Beef 

Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup gluten free soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • vegetable oil , for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, chopped

For the Sauce:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.  Don’t get the oil too hot.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then increase the heat to medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

For the Beef:

  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.
  2. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.  Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  3. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s nice and hot, but not smoking.
  4. Add the beef to the oil and sauté until brown. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.  After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels.
  5. Dab excess oil off meat with a paper towel and add to medium saucepan with the sauce in it.  Put the pan back on the oven over medium/low heat.  Add chopped green onions and let sauce simmer until warm.
  6. Serve over white rice or with delicious fried rice!

Even though I can make this at home, I’ll still be heading to P.F. Chang’s often!

ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

We’re Going To Disney World!

I’ve got travel on the brain and I want to head someplace warm. Sure a beach is fine and dandy but I want to go to Disney World and a gluten free guide to ALL the parks would sure come in handy!! Well guess what, I’ve got it! Walt Disney World Food & Beverage has the Walt Disney World All Parks Gluten Free Guide. It takes you through all the parks and gives you a breakdown of each restaurant/eatery with what you can have to eat!

I definitely have to give Disney HUGE HUGE kudos on taking gluten allergies and other allergies seriously. Disney is where dreams come true and they are committed to making sure every guest has a magical time, no matter what allergy they may have. No one should be left out of feeling the pure Disney magic.

In 2011, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts received an award recognizing its leadership and commitment in the area of food-allergy awareness by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

Disney’s journey from a provider of traditional food offerings to a leader in best practices for food allergies began 12 years ago when a Disneyland Resort chef received phone call from a mother concerned about gluten-free options for her child. Since that time, Disney has worked to craft an extensive food program that offers meals to suit the needs of guests with food allergies and other dietary preferences.

According to Disney network chief executive officer, Julia Bradsher, Disney’s Parks and Resorts operation has the most extensive program that she is aware of. She adds that the parks have “been doing this for quite some time, so I think they were ahead of the curve.”

Disneyland Resort recently set up a web page that lists comprehensive information to help guests make informed decisions about where they can find food in the parks meets their needs.

The company has also set up a special hotline number where park guests can call ahead with specific food requests. That number is 714-781-DINE.  If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World and would like to call ahead to discuss special dietary needs, guests may call 407-824-5967. Certified executive chef Bill Orton says that “the resort helps thousands of visitors” with their dietary needs, and handles most needs immediately.

Here is Walt Disney World’s Food and Beverage Gluten Free Guide

Make your next trip to Disney the most magical one yet!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Super Bowl XLVI Champion Cupcakes

The New York Giants won the Super Bowl XLVI with a score of 21–17.

Even though I am a Jet fan, I am celebrating tonight as a New Yorker. Plus cupcakes and football = fun so we all win! 🙂

To celebrate the Giants Super Bowl victory, Blue Velvet Giants Superbowl Cupcakes!

Super Bowl XLVI New York Giant Champion Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 box gluten free white or yellow cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/3 cups canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 bottles blue food coloring
  • 1 toothpick full violet food coloring gel/paste

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cups vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • red nonpareils
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix cake mix, cocoa powder, eggs, oil and buttermilk together, starting with 30 seconds on low speed, then increasing to medium speed for 1 minute.
  2. Add in food coloring and beat for 1 minute more until totally blue and combined.
  3. Pour into 2 muffin tins lined with baking cups. Fill about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the vegan butter.
  6. Add in sugar, 1 cup at a time, thinning out with milk as necessary. Beat in vanilla.
  7. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Congratulations New York Giants!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney. (And proud to be a New Yorker!)

Wild Flours Bake Shop

Another one of my favorite gluten free/dairy free spots.

Wild Flours Bake Shop

I stumbled upon Wild Flours while reading a blog post by News 12 Long Island’s Mary Mucci. She introduced the article by saying she owns a gluten free bakery with her sister in Huntington. Of course, I had to go online and check it out because I live on Long Island. So, I googled “gluten free bakery in Huntington” and up popped Wild Flours. I clicked and was instantly intrigued.

Wild Flours has a wonderful variety of muffins, scones, cookies, brownies and other yummy goodies. They also have pizza on Saturdays, sandwiches, breads and quiches! Seriously a great variety of products.

My first time there (yesterday) I decided to have an Apple Pie Crumb muffin. DELICIOUS! So TODAY, I went back and got 2 apple pie crumb muffins, a chocolate chunk cookie and a chocolate chip scone. When I say this chocolate chip scone is the best scone I have ever eaten, I’m not joking. It’s delicious.

What I love about Wild Flours is not only are they gluten free and dairy free, but they also use a variety of flours to create delicious flavors.

I know my next trip there will be just as delicious as the first. I will be trying their brownie (which was calling my name through the display case today but I restrained myself…we’ll see how long that lasts my next trip there!)

Check them out online or on Facebook!

Wild Flours Bake Shop

11 New Street
(South of Main Street)
Huntington, New York 11743

Azure Chocolat – New York

Azure Chocolat

I am always looking for new places for gluten free/dairy free goodies. One day, one of my good friends from high school told me she worked at a gluten free dairy free chocolate place. So OF COURSE I had to check them out and thank goodness I did! Azure Chocolat is AMAZING! They are all natural and gluten free and DELICIOUS! As they say, “All You Need is Love & Chocolat!”

The shop is so cute! It’s blue and white (two of my favorite colors) and very quaint and it smells heavenly. Literally you open the door and you are hit with the sweet aroma of chocolate goodness.

It’s very good. They your eyes go to the truffle case. Yes. The Truffle Case. They make delicious delicious fresh truffles. They have seasonal truffles and truffles that are always there. Whatever you get, they are delicious. I had the Hot Monkey Love truffle. It’s dark chocolate, banana, whiskey and cayenne, rolled in dark chocolate, topped with cayenne and crushed banana chips. Yea. Did you start drooling a little bit? I did when my friend was describing it to me before I bought and devoured it. Here is a link to some pictures of their magically delicious truffles.

Next are their Chocolat Comforts. From Truffle Brownies, Shortbread Cookies to MY FAVORITE S’Mores D’Azure. Lemme tell you about the S’Mores D’Azure. Its a layer of fresh vanilla rose marshmallow (which they make!) and chocolae ganache sandwiched between two cinnamon honey grahams, smothered in Belgian milk chocolate or dark chocolat. Yea. That’s right. It’s a s’mores smothered in chocolate. HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG!?! It’s delicious. Did I mention they make EVERYTHING BY HAND!

S'Mores d'Azure Bar - GET THIS!

You definitely have to check them out online or on Facebook.

They also make cakes and cupcakes (but you have to call and order those) They made my birthday cake and it was wonderful. 🙂

Seriously. Go there. You won’t be disappointed!

Azure Chocolat
72 Broadway
Greenlawn, New York 11740
http://www.azurechocolat.com
 

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

New Years Eve

It is the eve of New Years Eve which means time to entertain again! Breakout the cookware, heat up the oven and crack open some eggs because we’re going to ring in 2012 big time!

First up, some delicious finger foods.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Gluten Free Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt (I would actually use both – 1/2 teaspoon of each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons buttery spread (such as Earth Balance) melted
  1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt, garlic salt, ground black pepper and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag.
  3. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat.
  4. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
  5. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes  until no longer pink in center.
  6. Serve with you favorite dipping sauces and fresh home fries!

Home French Fries 

This is a super simple recipe for thick cut french fries fried up at home!

Ingredients

  • 2-4 large white potatoes (depending on how many you are feeding)
  • Canola oil or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoning (whichever you like)
  1. Wash and peel potatoes (or wash really well and leave skins on for a rustic look and taste)
  2. Heat up oil in a large frying pot (We have a wok which works great) You want the oil to be HOT!
  3. Slice potatoes into long stripes (I usually cut them 1 inch thick but you can cut them thicker or thinner)
  4. Slowly drop potatoes into the hot oil.
    Fry until golden brown
  5. Place on a plate that has been lined with paper towels.
  6. Season fries with salt, pepper and seasoning of your choice. (I usually go with a little bit of garlic powder). Make sure you season the fries while they are still hot.

Now for some sweets.  How about another cocktail cupcake this time inspired form a classic drink ordered by young and old. A Shirley Temple Cupcake.

Shirley Temple Cupcake

Ingredients

For the Cupcake

  • 1 and 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Cherry 7-Up, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • Red food coloring

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

For the Garnish

  • 12 maraschino cherries with stems
  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with your desired paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttery spread and sugar together and beat, on medium-high speed, until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and alternate adding half of the flour mixture and half of the Cherry 7-Up, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Repeat until the flour and Cherry 7-Up are completely added to the batter.
  6. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mixing well.
  7. Place about 3/4 cup of the cupcake batter in a separate small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice, and red food coloring (to your desired tint).
  8. Evenly distribute the red cupcake batter among your prepared liners, about 1-2 teaspoons per cupcake, gently smoothing out the batter to make sure it is flat.
  9. Once the red batter is in place, evenly distribute the remaining cupcake batter among the cupcake liners, making sure not to mix the two batters.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.
  11. For the Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the buttery spread until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  12. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pinch of salt, powdered (confectioners’) sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice, adding more powdered sugar as necessary for your desired piping consistency.
  13. Pipe as desired onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

You can’t have a Shirley Temple Cupcake without sipping on an actual Shirley Temple can you!?

Shirley Temples 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-UP)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine syrup
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  1. In a highball glass, over ice, combine lemon-lime soda and grenadine. Stir well and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Time for another cocktail cupcake! Here is a Margarita Cupcake

Margarita Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • 1½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttery spread such as Earth Balance, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1½ limes
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk substitute (mix 1 cup of rice milk (or coconut milk) with 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. To ensure that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy, mix the cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons of rice milk. Once mixed, add the rest of the cup of rice milk. Cream of tartar is an acid and will simulate the acidic environment of buttermilk.) – then only use half a cup of the substitute

To Brush the Cupcakes

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting

  • 1 cup buttery spread, at room temperature
  • 2¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the buttery spread and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, it will all come back together)
  6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk substitute  in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
  7. Divide the batter between the cupcake cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
  9. To make the frosting, whip the buttery spread on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

And last but not least a frozen margarita with a twist of cranberry!

Frozen Cranberry Margaritas

Ingredients

  • 1 can (11 1/2 ounces) frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-UP)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup tequila (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  1. In 3-quart plastic container, beat all ingredients with wire whisk or spoon until well blended.
  2. Cover and freeze at least 24 hours until slushy. Serve in margarita glasses with sugared rims

There you have it! A wonderful New Years Eve line up that will have you cheering all night long!

ENJOY!