Monday, September 28, 2015

Irish Brown Bread Recipe

Kayleigh here. On our recent trip to Ireland, Jason and I both fell in love with the warm, soft brown bread served with most meals. While 'Irish Soda Bread' can be found on almost every recipe blog around St. Patrick's Day, it seems this whole-grain, molasses-sweetened counterpart gets no love online. Going off our memories of the taste (and having seen the ingredients in a bread mix once), we set about recreating this.

This bread is definitely best when served warm and fresh alongside a hearty breakfast or sopping up a thick stew. If you have any left over after the first day, I suggest pre-slicing the rest of loaf and freezing it. The bread quickly dries out if left in the refrigerator, and the lack of preservatives makes it last a few days at best on the countertop.

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cups Sweet Rice Flour
1/2 Cups Buckwheat Flour
1 Cup Tapioca Starch
2 ts Xanthan/Guar Gum
1/2 ts Salt
1/3 Cups Rolled Oats (or other gluten free hot cereal like quinoa or brown rice flakes)
1/4 Cups Milled Flax Seeds
3 ts Baking Powder
1 1/2 ts Baking Soda
2 TB Molasses
3 Eggs
3 TB Butter, softened
2 ts Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Milk


1) Combine all ingredients from Brown Rice Flour to Baking Soda in one bowl, and the remaining ingredients in another, then mix both together. Mix thoroughly, to get out all the lumps.
2) Pour into a greased bread pan, then bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to one hour, until the top is browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Alternately, you can use a breadmaker on the 'quick bread' setting.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Safe Travels in Ireland - Dwarf Jar, Beshoff's Restaurant, and Suso Gelateria

(Link goes to their Tripadvisor page. If a website surfaces, let us know and we can update the link!)

Kayleigh here. We stopped in here for a quick breakfast/lunch/afternoon snack (long story) upon seeing a sign in the window advertising gluten free muffins and cakes. At 2:00 in the afternoon, they still had two chocolate muffins that were gluten free, along with a decent selection of cake slices and energy bars. The muffins were sweet and moist, and while we did not try the desserts, they looked fantastic. And the location was great for sipping a coffee and watching all the people walk by on their way downtown.

Jason here. This was a pleasant find for us on our walk in downtown Dublin. When I learned Ireland had the highest rate of celiac disease in the world, I figured there would be plenty of places we could spontaneously stop in at. The reality is, I found no more or less than back home. I ordered a pretty simple chocolate chocolate chip muffin that were separately packaged and looked almost store bought. However, there were other fresh looking gluten free items available that I opted not to get. The chocolate muffin was simply too enticing to pass up after skipping breakfast.

Beshoff Restaurant

Kayleigh here. While I was looking forward to sampling all sorts of fresh fish and chips during our stay, Jason was hardly expecting to have the opportunity. We came across this place after a full day of walking through Dublin with feet sore and minds weary, so we opted to look up a place near the city center instead of poking into pubs and quizzing wait staff.

When we arrived, Beshoff's informed us that any of the fish could be fried with gluten free batter, and would be placed in the chips-only fried to avoid cross contamination. Despite being a fast food joint, they took efforts to keep his food separate during preparation, which was nice to see. Gluten free fried haddock and chips- who would have expected that?

Jason here. Beshoff’s may be my favorite restaurant we visited while in Ireland. They have an impeccable gluten free menu, and take great care not to cross contaminate anything. I seriously never expected to find any gluten free fried foods by this point in the trip. Kayleigh had been raving about fish and chips since way before we visited Ireland, so this was finally my chance to see what all the fuss was about. I ordered the haddock fish and chips after asking Kayleigh for a recommendation.

The French fries were pretty good, but I actually really enjoyed the deep fried fish. It was thickly battered, and I love that deep fried batter taste. I wish I could find this back home.

Suso Gelateria

Kayleigh here. Once we finished up our meal at Beshoff's, we decided to pop into the Gelateria next door and ask about their selections. They pointed out which flavors had cookies or other gluten-containing items in them, and told us we would be safe to order any other flavors in a cup. Make sure they do not add the wafer garnish to the cup at the end, though.

Jason here. Suso had plenty of options to choose from, although I admit I found it a bit daunting trying to figure out which ones were gluten free. Staff was plenty friendly, so if you’re not sure about anything feel free to ask.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Safe Travels in Ireland - McGann's Pub and Bobo's Gourmet Irish Burgers

McGann's Pub

Kayleigh here. On our third night of pub hopping around Doolin, we headed to this busy and bustling pub in search of good music and, hopefully, good gluten free chowder. Like O'Connors pub, we had to put in our food and drink orders with the bartenders, and they relayed our menu questions to the chef. He assured us that the chowder itself was gluten free, but they did not have gluten free bread to serve it with.

Our meals were served not minutes after we had ordered, and Jason was given a small basket of regular brown bread with his soup- It was in a separate plate, so it was not a danger, but it seemed like the kitchen went too fast to make special orders happen.

The chowder was delicious, and the drink selection was extensive, but we did not check to find out if any other menu items were gluten free- I would recommend making sure the whole dish is safe, and avoid making substitutions. The pub gets very busy from 5:00 onwards, partly due to being one of the few pubs that accepts reservations, and the kitchen works like a well oiled machine, pumping out food orders like nobody's business. Even if you only come for drinks and the evening's live music, McGann's is worth dropping by. They have speakers throughout the building, so you can still hear the band play if you're not seated in the right room.

Jason here. I was excited to go out this night and enjoy some live music, after my previous night of drowsiness. By this point I had learned seafood chowder was my favorite Irish meal. I was secretly getting my hopes up that McGann’s would have some gluten free chowder available, so I was ecstatic to discover they did. Naturally, I ordered two bowls before last meal call. Since it may be a bit of wait for music depending on when you arrive, be sure to spread out your meal order and take your time to enjoy the food and atmoshpere.

As Kayleigh mentioned, the chowder was delicious. Just behind Wilton’s this was my second favorite chowder in Ireland. Like everywhere else it was filled with large chunks of seafood.

Bobo's Gourmet Irish Burgers

Kayleigh here. We found this place after leaving the Guinness Storehouse at closing and getting very, very lost on the way back to Kilmainham. The sign out front promised that they could work with any allergens or restrictions, and the menu itself stated 'Ask server for gluten-free options'. As we found out, the chips were fried in the same fried as the battered foods, so they were out, but most of the beef burger were safe as-is if served on lettuce instead of a bun (I'm sure you could bring your own gluten free bun in with you). And since the kitchen was right out in the open, we could see that the bread and breaded items had their own sections on the grilltop, so cross contamination was minimized.

Bobo's is a great option for fast, convenient food, although you may need to order a couple of burgers to get a full dinner. The burger menu is huge, though, and they were very open to customizing and building your own if none of them catch your fancy. Beware, though, that they get quite busy during mealtimes and there are not that many tables, so there may be a wait until one clears up.

Jason here. We wandered around for quite a while before finding a place that mentioned gluten free food. As Kayleigh mentioned the burger menu was quite extensive. However, that’s just about all your find here. It was delicious, although a bit messy as all lettuce wrapped burgers tend to be. I ordered my usual bacon cheeseburger, and enjoyed every bite. It was properly cooked, and had plenty of toppings and sauce which I enjoyed.