Tag Archives: 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.

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

Dallas Food Bloggers – Meet and Greet

Today I finally was able to meet some fellow food bloggers – live and in person! A while back, Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free organized a Dallas Food Bloggers group. (Amy is amazing at being able to organize things like this – she already has so many events on her blog, such as Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and her latest, a series on gluten-free flours.) A few of the Dallas Food Bloggers (Natalie of Natalie’s Killer Cuisine, Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Karol Wilson – Dallas Gourmet Food Examiner, and me) met for lunch today at Kozy Kitchen, a “cozy” restaurant just north of downtown Dallas that makes clean, simple, fresh dishes using many local ingredients. They also cater to gluten-free diners – in fact, their entire dessert menu is gluten-free.  (It’s so refreshing to be able to look at a menu and not have to mentally limit yourself to 2 or 3 things that are possibly “safe” before the waitress even arrives at your table.)

What do food bloggers do when they go out? EAT, of course! We enjoyed a lovely bunch of dishes:

I ordered buffalo tacos. Ground buffalo on corn tortillas with bacon-blue cheese guacamole and raw cheese. I also ordered a side of sauteed veggies.

Amy ordered a buffalo mozzarella salad. It was a huge salad topped with fresh mozzarella and ground buffalo.

Natalie ordered a delicious omelet, stuffed with veggies – I can’t remember what she had in it – I knew there was asparagus, though!

And Karol ordered a spicy chicken salad sandwich, which looked amazing.

We also enjoyed their cookie monster cake for dessert (I didn’t get a photo), which I could have sworn was not gluten-free. It was addictively good, with a rich cream cheese frosting.

It was so awesome to meet other food bloggers in person. We all have vastly different blogs, but we also share so many things in common. We realize how difficult it is to balance the demands of blogging (yes, there are demands!) and the demands of the rest of our lives. We share such a passion for food. I can’t wait until the next time we get together!

Natalie of Natalie's Killer Cuisine, Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and Alta of Tasty Eats At Home

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals