Tag Archives: dallas food bloggers

A Gluten-Free Food Blogger Brunch (and Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs)


Yesterday, a group of Dallas-area food bloggers and friends got together for our first-ever gluten-free brunch, hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. It was an intimate party (there were five of us), and boy, was it a lovely meal, and an excellent opportunity to meet other gluten-free bloggers. Also attending the brunch was Amy of I Am A Celiac, Kerri of Food Sparks, and Katie, a gluten-free friend that does not blog (yet – we might convince her otherwise).

For those of us with dietary restrictions, sometimes pot lucks and meals at others’ houses can cause anxiety, (will I get sick?) or cause many of us to not eat at all. Not so at this brunch! What a delight to visit and everything is gluten-free! There was certainly an abundance of food.

Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free made cucumber basil water (posted on her blog), which is the most amazing, refreshing drink I think I’ve had to date. Definitely seeing this served in the near future in my house. She also baked up a storm, making two varieties of scones, blueberry crumb bars, (which I loved – even took a few home!) and strawberry muffins.

Amy of I Am A Celiac brought deliciously savory gluten-free jalapeno sausage, black beans and roasted potatoes, and a baked good from the nearby gluten-free bakery (for the life of me, I can’t think of or find the name of the place!).

Katie brought a lovely fruit salad and deviled eggs (complete with homemade mayonnaise!), and Kerri brought fresh juices and some homemade jams – strawberry and raspberry chipotle.

And I brought these.

Basil chicken pesto salad puffs. I used my gluten-free, dairy-free pate a choux recipe, and filled the puffs with chicken salad. I wanted a fresh, unique chicken salad, and since my garden is currently overflowing with basil, I opted for pesto as a main component. I found that Alisa at Go Dairy Free had a dairy-free pesto recipe that was very easy to make. I followed this recipe, and boosted the flavors and complexity with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, apples, walnuts, lemon, and a bit of dijon. I added mayonnaise, but not much – just enough to keep the salad moist and blend the flavors together. Stuffed into the puffs, this salad was bright, slightly sweet, and fresh.

It was most refreshing to enjoy time with fellow bloggers (and fellow gluten-free friends). Spending time with like minds who share the same passions rejuvenates the soul. I returned home with renewed energy and new ideas. We’ll have to get together again soon!

Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs

2 T olive oil

2 lbs chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

1 recipe gluten-free, dairy-free cream puffs

1 recipe dairy-free basil pesto

1/2 c mayonnaise

1 1/2 t dijon mustard

1/3 c sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 c toasted walnuts, chopped

2 apples (I used Fuji, but I imagine Granny Smith would be even better), peeled and diced

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat until shimmering. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute, 5-6 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. (Work in batches if you need to) Remove and set aside. When all chicken is cooked, place in airtight container and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Prepare cream puffs as directed in recipe and allow to cool to room temperature.

Prepare pesto as directed in recipe.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and dice into 1/2 inch dice. Stir together pesto, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard. Toss apples in juice from the lemon. Combine diced chicken, pesto mixture, apples, sundried tomatoes, and walnuts in a large bowl and stir gently until evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut a small hole in the top of each cream puff. Gently spoon chicken salad into each cream puff, filling the entire inside cavity. Chill until ready to serve. (These can be refrigerated for a few hours, but the cream puff will become soft over time.)

Makes 15-18.


Filed under Appetizers, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites and a Food Blogger Potluck

There is never enough chocolate in the world.

So I made these.

Well, actually, I had more excuses than just that. Along with a Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette (which I will share with you later this week), I brought these babies along to a Food Bloggers Pot Luck, hosted by the very lovely Natalie of Natalie’s Killer Cuisine.

This was the first pot luck of the Dallas area bloggers, but we all committed to each other that it certainly won’t be the last! BUNCHES of good food, good company, and lots of picture-taking!

Top row, left to right: Emily and Natalie from The City Sisters, Natalie from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine,  Joy from Joylicious, Jose from Left Field Lengua

Bottom row, left to right: Heather from Heather Bakes, Me, and Kelly from Evil Shenanigans

The food? Oh my, the food! One thing that’s great about getting a bunch of food bloggers together is that there is never a shortage of great cuisine. For some random reason, I was too busy running my mouth (surprise, surprise!) to take as many photos as everyone else, but here was the spread:

Emily brought Corn Fritters with Avocado Crema (should be posted soon on The City Sisters) – I LOVE corn fritters!

Natalie brought a Mediterranean Lentil Salad (posted on The City Sisters) – this was amazing, and reinforced my love for French lentils.

The other Natalie (the hostess) made a delicious fruit salad filled with berries and kiwi with a coconut dipping sauce, an old-school pea salad, and hummingbird cupcakes. The pea salad is on Natalie’s Killer Cuisine, and she’s promised those cupcakes for later this week.

Kelly brought the most gorgeous cake I’d ever seen (check out the photos on Natalie’s Killer Cuisine) and some baked crab cakes that looked amazing. Kelly posted the recipe at Evil Shenanigans. I want to figure out a gluten-free version!

Jose brought some slow-cooked pork shoulder, which was tender, moist, and flavorful. He even brought the crunchy skin to munch on! (Yum)

Heather brought a Tex-Mex style couscous dish. Couldn’t have it, but wow, it looked great!

I brought the aforementioned beet salad. And these.

The recipe for these brownie bites originated from my gluten-filled Best Brownies in the World recipe. I do have to confess, though, that I’ve been making these brownies gluten-free for a while now. Yet I have neglected to share with you. I apologize. No one should be without brownie goodness. So here it is, in all its glory. I present to you: Gluten-Free Brownie Bites.


Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

8 T unsalted butter

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 c coconut sugar (or you can substitute regular granulated sugar)

2 eggs, beaten

½ t vanilla extract

¼ c sweet white rice flour

½ t xanthan gum

1 t cocoa powder (not dutch-process)

1/2 t cinnamon

pinch cayenne

¼ t kosher salt

1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

powdered sugar, for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini-muffin pan or a petit fours pan with oil or butter, or line with papers. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the rice flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and mix until well incorporated. Fill mini-muffin pan or petit fours pan with batter, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes (this will vary depending on how big your “bites” will be). Let cool on a rack and remove from pan.

When brownie bites are cooled, melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring. Turn off heat and dip the bottoms of each brownie bite into the chocolate. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a Silpat. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Sift powdered sugar over the tops of the brownie bites. Try not to eat all at once.

(For regular brownies, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and pour batter into a 8X8 inch pan (greased). Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Omit the chocolate chips and powdered sugar, unless you just feel the need to add them. Of course, you could stir in chocolate chips if making regular brownies – I’ve been known to do that before!)


Filed under Baked goods, Desserts, Gluten-Free