Dancing in the Kitchen with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

So, I was in Shauna, Danny, and Lu’s kitchen the other day dancing to wonderful music and tasting amazing food. Jealous?!

Yeah, don’t be. I wasn’t actually there. Except, maybe in my mind. πŸ™‚

But, I was tasting some pretty amazing food. And, it sure felt like I had them looking over my shoulder helping me make one of the most delicious (oops! Not supposed to use that word any more, am I?) scrumptious meals I have ever had. Let alone made.

OK, let’s go back to the beginning.

I was reading blogs a few weeks ago. (So, sorry to all my blogging friends that I have been slacking in reading and commenting. Long story.) While reading a post from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, they asked if any of their readers wanted to try out a few of the recipes from their new book (Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes) and blog about them. How could I say no? Or pass that opportunity up?

(I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I’ll bet there are about a million posts like this going up today. In fact, most of you reading this have probably written your own post.)

Anyhoo… (My friend Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom writes that, and I think it’s too cute. I mean, really, cute. Not the sarcastic, I think it’s cute.) They, soon after, received my email (along with the millions of others) saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Pick me! Pick me! I want to make your recipes and write about them. Pick me! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!” And, they, oh-so-diplomatically and oh-so-smartly, said, “Of course, we want all of you to make these fabulous recipes and tell the world about them.”

So, I did. Make the recipes. And, now I am telling the world about them. Or, at least I am telling all of the beautiful people who grace me with your time to read my blog.

And, what fantabulous recipes did they send to me to try, you may ask? (Yes, I wrote fantabulous. In case you don’t know, that is something so fabulous and fantastic that it needs a combination of both words.)

  • Fresh Gluten-Free Pasta
  • Pasta with Anchovies, Lemon, and Olives
  • Seared Shrimp with Garlic-Almond Sauce
  • Chocolate–Peanut Butter Brownies

Oh, yeah! It’s good to be me. Granted it took me a while to make some of these things because I am very new to cooking a lot of stuff. I have never made homemade pasta or even homemade brownies before. But, even though it took me a while to get the hang of making pasta the first time, I know it will get faster the more I do it. And, it was unbelievably amazing. Have you ever had real, homemade pasta? I mean fresh, just-gone-through-the-pasta-maker pasta? Dried, in-a-bag-or-box pasta is not even on the same planet as fresh, homemade pasta. And, the gluten-free recipe they give you in their cookbook is… (I’m running out of adjectives, here.) Oh my God, it’s so good. (She said emphatically.)

Gluten-Free Pasta | glugleglutenfree.com

This is my first attempt, and it turned out this good. (It hasn’t been cooked, yet, in this picture.) Just think of how much better it will look with some more practice. Oh, yeah! I am making this again. And, again. And, again.

Then, there was this. The homemade pasta with Anchovies, Lemon and Olives. And, I don’t even like olives. But, it tasted great in this dish.

Gluten-Free Pasta with Anchovies, Lemon and Olives | glugleglutenfree.com

Gluten-Free Seared Shrimp | glugleglutenfree.com

The other side was the Seared Shrimp with Almond Sauce. This deserves an OMG! Yes, it does. The Little Man, who just turned two, ate half of my shrimp. He turned his nose up at his turkey hot dog, which he normally loves. Looked at my shrimp. (He has never had shrimp, before.) And, said, “Try.” I gave him one bite. He promptly kept grabbing at them on my plate until he had eaten three of them. I only had six to begin with. (Oh, and this was after he had already said he was full and done with dinner.)

And, these were pretty easy. If you have your ingredients ready ahead of time (more on this later), it didn’t take much more work. And, the quote from my mother who is staying with us for a week, “This tastes like a restaurant dinner. Like eating at a really good, but not too fancy restaurant.” I have never gotten a compliment like that before.

Then, there were the brownies. I realized that I have never made homemade brownies before. I always thought it would be difficult. Why else would there be so many boxed brownie mixes? You know what? It’s not. You have your dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Mix them together. Bake. With a box, you have your dry ingredients. Add your wet ingredients. And bake. Not really much different. But, oh-so-different to taste. I mean, homemade brownies are much, much better. If you haven’t had them, please do.

And, these got rave reviews from my mother, husband, and brother-in-law. And, if you like peanut butter, it’s a nice touch. It keeps making me think of the old commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

The only problem I had with these was the fact that I had planned on making these when my husband’s hockey friend (18 year-old) was supposed to show up to hang out (and eat all of the brownies). He didn’t show up, and we HAD to eat these all ourselves. Not really torture, mind you. But, I am still trying lose the last few baby-weight pounds. Didn’t want an entire pan of peanut butter brownies staring at me, whispering, “Eat me. Eat me.”

But, they did. And, I did.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut butter brownies | glugleglutenfree.com

Now, I only got my actual cookbook a few days ago. (You can order yours from Amazon, here. Or, from Barnes and Noble, here.) So, I am still reading it.

So far, the story is beautiful. It is the story of how Shauna and Danny met and cooked together. I am sure it will continue on from there. It looks like Danny has thrown in his tidbits, too. Such as, mise en place, (page 14).

I had always wondered about this. It means getting your crap together all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. I don’t know why it never really occurred to me. I mean, I had wondered why everything was all ready when you watched a cooking show. And, I would start to get a few things ready ahead of time. But, he says it flat-out. “Have you ever wondered why recipes are written with a list of ingredients first?” I think that was one of those “duh?” moments for me. I hope there are more of them in the book. Sometimes I need the sledgehammer to the head for me to finally get something. Thanks, Danny.(Also, not sarcastic.)

So, to sum up. Get Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes. Make the recipes. Read the story. Enjoy the food. Enjoy it with someone you love. Even if that means yourself. If the four recipes that we have tried so far are any indication of how wonderful and delicious (There! I said it.) the rest of this book is going to be, I can’t wait to experience the rest of it. The recipes and the love story.

Thank you, Shauna, Danny and Lu! You are helping to make this gluten-free journey a wonderful adventure.

Now, if you haven’t already…Go buy the book!

And, go check out Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef blog. This is only one of many reviews for recipes from their new cookbook. Check out the other bloggers and the wonderful round-up by Shauna.

What about you? Have you been following Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef? Have you read the book ? Tried any of the recipes? Leave a comment below. Let’s talk about it.

Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!β„’

PPS – If you haven’t already – you can ‘like’ GlΓΌgle Gluten-Free on Facebook.

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23 Responses to “Dancing in the Kitchen with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef”

  1. Fantastic job, Tia. Oh, I mean fantabulous! πŸ˜‰ I’m a hopeless case when it comes to the food blog police using “delicious” at will and making up words as a I see fit. You really did so well making all of Shauna and Danny’s recipes! I love the part about your son saying “try” on the shrimp. You’ve got a seafood lover there now, but you didn’t have to convince me as I’m already a huge seafood lover, especially shrimp, and those look amazing. Seared shrimp and homemade pasta … I’m IN. Add in those brownies and WOW. Such a lovely, mouth-watering collaboration between you, Danny, and Shauna! πŸ˜‰


    • Hi Shirley,

      Thank you. I can’t wait to try more recipes. It is so funny how I have never tasted such good food until I went gluten-free. And, it’s coming out of MY kitchen. I love it.

      Shauna and Danny wrote this book so well. They really make it easy to cook like a chef. I still have a hard time believing that I made all of that.

      I bought more shrimp at the store today. I forgot to write that as my son was eating all of my shrimp I was saying, That’s my boy!” He eats so much good food because we never give him the icky stuff. And, he loves it.

      Tia πŸ˜›

  2. I love your post Tia, I laughed the whole way through! Anyhoo, πŸ˜€ I agree with everything you said and my little ones scarfed down the shrimp! They too, wanted mine and their argument was, “Mom, why would you want to waste these fantastic shrimp on yourself, it’s not like you can taste them anyway!” Touche… (little devils).


    • Hi Heidi,

      Awwww. I’m so sorry. Kids are sometimes a little too honest.

      Glad you liked the post. Yours was wonderful. I loved reading your story. I’m so glad you are doing better since embracing gluten-free completely. (Except that whole tasting thing.)


  3. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones to be able to test try the same 3 recipes. But because I injured my arm I did not attempt the pasta making, but the other 2 are FaNTasTiC!!!! Had my 3 adult children and significant others plus my mom over for supper. Everything was eaten and marveled at. The sauce for the shrimp is going to be tried on a variety of other food, and the brownies made again and again. I haven’t bought the book, but am on my way to do so now.

    • Hi Neva,

      Well, once your arm feels better, gotta try the pasta. It’s so good. I couldn’t believe how good everything turned out. I make recipes from cookbooks, and they are good. But this was crazy-good.

      I’m so glad everyone loved the food. Makes you feel like a rock star, huh?

      Tia πŸ˜›

  4. Celiacs In The House

    What a fun review. I could feel your excitement at the success of the recipes and your sense of adventure as your tried to cook new things. I guess I’ll have to give the homemade pasta a go. So far, I’ve made the bread and son made it once too. The salmon wrapped in prosciutto is addictive and will be on my menus a lot. The Bean Bake Casserole has a Spanish rice in it that I will be making on its own as a spicy side dish. I’m giving away a copy of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and today is the last day to enter if anyone wants to share the adventure with he rest of us who are trying out recipes and reading a pretty special gluten-free love story.

    • Hi Wendy,

      I am guessing that the book you are giving away is an “extra” copy. That is so sweet of you.

      Hmmm… Salmon and prosciutto together. Heaven! I haven’t gotten to the Spanish rice or bean bake casserole. I have to finish this book.

      The pasta is a must, especially if you have never had homemade pasta before. It’s a bit tricky at first, but by the end, I feel like I really had the hang of it. It will be much easier next time.

      I really want to try the bread. All of the pictures I see look so good. And, now that I have lots of flours and a scale, I think it will be in the near future.

      Tia πŸ˜›

  5. Oh goodness, I’m blushing! We are SO happy that the recipes worked for you, and that you pushed yourself to make something that feels unfamiliar. That’s exactly what will happen with this book.

    Your photographs are lovely. And I love anyhoo!

    • Well, thank you so much for putting these recipes out there to make. Even though they feel unfamiliar, the cookbook gives me the confidence to try them.

      Good luck to you! I hope you sell millions of books because everyone needs these recipes. πŸ™‚


  6. Okay, this post totally cracked me up! What a great accolade to Shauna and Danny’s recipes if you say you had never made homemade pasta OR brownies before and both of your pictures look that beautiful!!
    Well done, funny girl! I cannot wait to get busy with all of these recipes myself!

    • Hi Kim,

      I’m glad I made you laugh. Laughing is always good.

      I can’t believe how easy making homemade brownies is. Why are there box mixes? It’s not any easier.

      I am also looking forward to trying more recipes. And, I’m glad I volunteered for this. Not sure I would have had the guts if I hadn’t already committed to it.

      Tia πŸ˜›

  7. What a great post! I love the quote from your mom. And that your son stole half your shrimp. And that you’re now a total fresh-pasta-and-homemade-brownie-making convert. So great!

    • Hi Tara,

      Thank you! And, thanks for stopping by. My son is a total shrimp lover, now. I love it. And, I’m still baffled by how easy the brownies are. Detriment to my waistline. πŸ˜‰

      Tia πŸ˜›

  8. I was reading on various gf blogs reviews about this tasty book . I like her blog & her recipes so much that I also ordered the book!

    Thanks for this tasty revbew!

    • Hi Sophie,

      Good to hear from you. I was surprised at how easy the recipes were since they seemed to be fancy. The taste amazing, too. You will be very happy with the book.

      Tia πŸ˜›

  9. Hi Tia,
    I just got the book, and I have to say that the recipes do look great. Haven’t had a second in my life to try them, but it is a beautiful cookbook. I see that you are going to BlogHer – yay! You are now part of the gluten-free gang! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Alison,

      Well, you are a busy woman. And, that’s just what I know of your schedule. If you ever get the chance, they are good. The brownies aren’t too much work, if your brood can handle peanuts. Or, try no peanut butter.

      I just got a ticket to BlogHerFood a week or so ago. Very excited to go and meet everyone. Just kept trying. Are you going? I hope so. It will be good to see you. I’m going to miss the meeting next month because my dad will be in town.

      Tia πŸ˜›