Chocolate chip cookies

With the cold weather we have been having here in Gainesville I wanted to do find something that goes well with blankets and a movie marathon, and so I decided to try out some gluten-free cookies.  I found three different types of chocolate chip cookies including a cookie mix, a cookie dough, and premade cookies.  The cookie mix that I found was Betty Crocker’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix.  The cookie dough was Pillsbury’s gluten-free cookie dough.  And the premade cookies are Pamela’s chunky chocolate chip gluten-free and dairy free cookies.  I found all of these cookie varieties at Publix.

First I am going to look at the Betty Crocker cookie mix.  These cookies had an interesting taste to them.  At first they tasted good. Sweet and yummy just like cookies should taste but they have a very strange aftertaste that I had a hard time forgetting.  For taste I gave them a five out of 10.  The texture of these cookies was okay.  They were soft, but a little bit grainy.  They were also very crumbly and so for texture they get a six out of 10.  These cookies were also kind of pricey.  They were $4.59 per box but they did yield a lot of cookies so for price they get a six out of 10.  For availability they get an eight out of 10 because they were easy to find in the baking aisle of Publix.

Next I am going to look at the Pillsbury gluten-free cookie dough.  These cookies tasted great.  They tasted just like regular chocolate chip cookies and they didn’t have any sort of aftertaste.  For taste I gave them a 10 out of 10.  The texture of these cookies was also pretty good.  They were chewy and they were only a little bit grainy and so they get an eight out of 10 for texture.  These cookies were $4.49 for a tub of cookie dough that also makes a lot of cookies, but they were still a bit pricey so they also get a six out of 10. These cookies were also pretty easy to find in the section of Publix with all of the regular cookie dough so for availability they get an eight out of 10.

The last cookies are Pamela’s chunky chocolate chip cookies.  These cookies were also really good.  They had a great taste but it was a little bit bland and so they get an eight out of ten for taste.  The texture of these cookies was good, but it wasn’t my favorite.  They were a bit crumbly and a little dry, but I think that is just because they are not made to be soft and chewy cookies.  So for texture I gave them a seven out of 10.  These cookies were $3.99 per box, which is less than the other two cookies, but they only have nine cookies per box and so for price they also get a six out of 10.  The cookies were also easy to find at Publix.  They were in the Greenwise section with other gluten free snacks and so for availability they get an eight out of 10.

Pillsbury’s gluten-free cookie dough takes first place with 32 points.  Pamela’s chunky chocolate chip cookies takes second place with 29 points.  And last but not least is Betty Crocker’s gluten-free cookie mix with 25 points.

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Good old fashioned gluten-free biscuits

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I decided to hunt down some gluten-free biscuits.  For me biscuits and bread rolls were always one of my favorite parts of holiday meals and so being unable to eat them has been a little sad.  I always assumed that finding gluten free biscuits that actually tasted like biscuits would be nearly impossible and so I never even tried.  But when I decided to set out to find them I was very pleasantly surprised by the results.  In this post I am going to look at drop biscuits made with Bisquick’s gluten-free pancake and waffle mix, Pamela’s gluten-free biscuit and scone mix and a recipe that I found online at www.aroundmyfamilytable.com. For this week I also did something a little bit different.  It has been a while since I last had a biscuit and so I decided to set up a taste panel with one of my roommates, Jenna, and interview her about each of the biscuits.

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First I am going to look at the biscuits that I made using the gluten-free Bisquick.  In last week’s post I used the Bisquick to make gluten-free pancakes and while I was making the pancakes I noticed that the box also had various other recipes on it including biscuits.  After the success I had with the pancakes I was very excited to make the biscuits, but as far as taste I was a little bit disappointed. As Jenna put it they were a little bland, and most of the flavor in the biscuits came from the eggs required to make them. For taste we gave them a six out of 10.  The texture of these biscuits was Jenna’s favorite.  They were fluffy and she said they were pretty similar to regular biscuits so they get an eight out of 10.  At $4.59 for the box of Bisquick I still think that they were a bit expensive, and so for price they get a five out of 10.  And for availability they get an eight out of 10 because they were easy to locate at Publix but I haven’t found them anywhere else.

My next biscuits are Pamela’s gluten-free biscuit and scone mix.  For taste Jenna and I thought that these were still a little bland, but they didn’t taste like eggs and so they get a seven out of 10.  The texture of these biscuits was a little grainy and very crumbly, but it wasn’t bad.  Jenna and I gave them a seven out of 10.  These biscuits were $4.69 for a packet of mix that made one batch of biscuits, which is pretty pricey.  So for price I gave them four out of 10.  I found this biscuit mix at Publix in the Greenwise section however they didn’t have any other varieties and I haven’t found them anywhere else so for availability I give them a seven out of 10.

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My last biscuits I made using the recipe that I found on www.aroundmyfamilytable.com.  Jenna and I both thought that the flavor of these were good, but still a little bland.  So for taste we gave them a seven out of 10.  The texture of these biscuits was less grainy then the others and they had a softer texture and so they get an eight out of 10 for texture.  I made this biscuits using the same gluten-free all-purpose flour from my pancake blog, which cost $6.49 per bag, and I still have flour left over. So for price I give them an eight out of 10 for price.  For availability I give them a nine out of ten because the only special ingredient that I needed was the gluten-free flour and that was pretty easy to find at Publix.

Overall Jenna said that she thought the biscuits were all pretty good, and that if she hadn’t known they were gluten-free she probably wouldn’t have guessed it.  We both think that with a little butter these biscuits could make a great addition to a holiday meal.  That being said, in first place with 32 points are the biscuits from www.aroundmyfamilytable.com. In second place with 27 points are the biscuits made from Bisquick’s gluten-free pancake and waffle mix. And in third place with 25 points are the biscuits made from Pamela’s gluten-free biscuit and scone mix.

The international house of gluten-free pancakes

This week I decided to look at breakfast foods.  And I thought of pancakes immediately.  So I set out to find the perfect gluten-free pancake mix and in the process I turned my apartment into the international house of gluten-free pancakes. I decided to try two pancake mixes, one by Bisquick and one by Maple grove and a recipe that I found on line at glutenfreecooking.about.com.

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A fresh stack of gluten-free pancakes.

So first is Bisquick’s gluten-free pancake and waffle mix.  I was actually really excited to find this because growing up my family always used Bisquick, and so it was nice to find a familiar brand name.  When I tried the gluten-free version I was not disappointed.  The pancakes tasted great and I actually think that I liked them better than Bisquick’s traditional mix.  They had a slightly sweet flavor that was very tasty and so for taste I gave them a 10 out of 10.  The texture of these pancakes was also really great.  The pancakes were soft and light and they didn’t get soggy immediately after adding syrup.  For texture I gave the pancakes a 10 out of 10.  This mix was pretty pricey especially considering the size of the box.  The box is much smaller than traditional Bisquick boxes and it $4.59 it costs over $2 more than traditional Bisquick. So for price I gave the pancakes five out of 10 points.  I was able to find them easily on the breakfast aisle at Publix, but I didn’t see them anywhere else and so for availability I gave them an eight out of 10.

The next pancake mix that I am looking at is Maple Grove’s gluten-free pancake mix.  The taste of these pancakes was okay. There wasn’t anything special about the taste but they didn’t taste bad so I gave them an eight out of 10.  There texture was my least favorite out of all of the pancakes.  They were dense and slightly grainy and so for texture I gave them a five out of 10.  The price was pretty good still expensive compared to regular pancakes but at $3.59 per box the price wasn’t too bad for gluten-free pancakes so for price I gave them eight out of 10.  They were also easy to find at Target in the breakfast food aisle and so they get an eight out of 10 for availability.

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A pancake from the gluten-free recipe I found.

Last but not least I tried a recipe for gluten free pancakes that I found on glutenfreecooking.about.com.  I chose this recipe for its simplicity because as a college student I didn’t want to have to hunt down four different types of gluten-free flours and xanthan gum.   This recipe simply called for all purpose gluten-free flour and a couple other ingredients that can be found in most kitchens.  That being said I think they turned out pretty well.  They tasted good but not great, but I chose not to add the optional vanilla because I didn’t add any to the other two pancakes. That being said I gave them an eight out of 10 for taste.  The texture of these was pretty good they were light and soft, but they were still a little bit grainy.  So for texture they get a seven out of 10.  For the price of these pancakes I’m not going to look at the cost of all of the ingredients because most of them were things I had in my kitchen anyway such as milk and eggs.  Instead I am just going to look at the cost of the gluten-free all-purpose flour that the recipe called for.  I used Pillsbury’s gluten-free multi-purpose flour which was $6.49 at Publix.  But the recipe only called for 1 ¼ cups of flower and it made way more pancakes then the others so for price I am gave them an eight out of 10.  All of the ingredients were relatively easy to find and so for availability I gave them a nine out of 10.

So for the final tally I have Bisquick’s gluten-free pancakes in first place with 33 points. In second place is the gluten-free pancake recipe form glutenfreecooking.about.com with 32 points. And Maple Grove’s gluten-free pancake mix is a close third with 29 points.

Oodles of gluten-free noodles

Today I am going to talk about pasta. To be more specific I’m going to talk about gluten-free noodles. For this post I tried Olive Garden’s gluten-free Rotini, Ancient Harvest gluten-free quinoa pasta and Trader Joe’s gluten-free pasta. Because two of my pastas are just noodles and the third is pasta and sauce I am going to add the price of marinara sauce in the price evaluation.

My first noodles are Olive Garden’s gluten-free Rotini. These noodles are served with marinara and they taste pretty good. The noodles taste just like regular noodles and so for taste they get a 10 out of 10. For texture I gave them a seven out of 10. Most of the noodles were okay but some of them were a bit mushy, and that’s not ideal when it comes to pasta. At $9.99 the pasta is a little pricey for plain noodles and marinara sauce, but the price isn’t too bad compared to Olive Garden’s similar menu items so they get a seven out of 10. This pasta is served at all olive gardens and they have the same noodles with another sauce so for availability I gave it a 10 out of 10.

The Ancient Harvest gluten-free quinoa pasta tasted a little bitter compared to traditional noodles but they still tasted pretty good so I gave them a six out of 10 for taste. The noodles were also a little bit grainy so they get a seven out of 10 for texture. These noodles cost $3.29, but when you add the price of sauce it comes to a total of about $6. This price also includes multiple servings so I gave them a nine out of 10. I found the noodles pretty easily at Publix and they have a couple different variations so for availability I gave them a 10 out of 10.

My last noodles are Trader Joe’s gluten-free noodles. These noodles tasted really good. They tasted just like regular noodles so they get a 10 out of 10. The texture of these noodles was really great too. They cooked well and they were not mushy or grainy so they get a 10 out of 10 for texture too. These noodles cost pretty about the same amount as traditional noodles at $1.99. With sauce the price comes to about $4.50, which is pretty great for those of us with a low budget, so they get a 10 out of 10. I just found these noodles for the first time, and they were a little hard to find at Trader Joe’s because they were mixed in with all of the other noodles. They don’t have any other varieties either so for availability they get a seven out of 10.

For the grand total we have Trader Joe’s gluten-free noodles with 37 out of 40 points, Olive Garden’s gluten-free rotini comes in second with 34 out of 40, and Ancient Harvest gluten-free quinoa noodles come in third with 32 out of 40 points.

The perfect gluten-free pizza

With the middle of the semester in full swing I wanted to talk about gluten-free pizzas because it’s during these very busy weeks that pizza tends to become a staple part of my diet.  So, I wanted to find the pizza with the best gluten-free crust.  This week I tried Domino’s gluten-free pizza, Trader Joe’s Four Cheese Gluten-Free Pizza, and Pillsbury’s gluten-free pizza dough.

I’ll start with Domino’s gluten-free pizza.  The great thing about this pizza is that it is customizable, and it can be delivered.  That being said I think this pizza tasted pretty good.  I was able to get my favorite topping (mushrooms) on it, and so I was pretty happy with it, but the crust tasted just a little bit bland.  Overall for taste I gave it an eight out of 10.  The texture of this pizza was also pretty good.  It is a thin crust pizza and the crust was crunchy, which was nice, but also a little bit chewier than I would have liked, and so I gave it a seven out of 10 for texture.  The biggest downside of this pizza was definitely the price.  A small ten inch pizza is $6.99, but considering that it is delivery pizza I didn’t think it was too outrageous.  So for price I gave it a six out of 10.  For availability this pizza gets a 10 out of 10.  It is available at all of the Domino’s locations, and because you can build your own pizza you can order many different variations.

Next I want to look at Trader Joe’s gluten-free pizza.  This pizza was great. The crust is made with lots of Italian herbs, and it has a lot of flavor, but the pizza has sliced tomatoes on it, which isn’t my favorite, however that is just a personal preference.  So, for taste I gave it a nine out of 10.  The texture of the crust is what really makes this pizza stand out.  In my experience most gluten-free pizzas have a very thin almost cracker like crust, but this pizza has a crust that reminds me a little bit of Sicilian pizza.  It is still a relatively thin crust but it is thicker than most gluten-free pizzas, and the bottom has a really nice crispy texture. The only downside is that it gets soggy pretty fast, so for texture it gets an eight out of 10.  This pizza also has a great price for a gluten-free pizza.  It is $4.99 per pizza, so I gave an eight out of 10.  My only real problem with this pizza is that there are no other varieties of it.  So, even though it was relatively easy to find at Trader Joe’s I give it an eight out of 10 for availability.

My last pizza is Pillsbury’s gluten-free pizza dough.  This dough tasted pretty good, but there was nothing very special about it so I gave it an eight out of 10.  The texture of the dough is very difficult to get just right.  When cooking the dough it is very easy to overcook or undercook it. When overcooked it is very cracker like, and when undercooked it is very mushy.  When done just right it has a chewy texture and so it gets a five out of 10.  The pizza dough only costs $4.99 for a container that makes two very small pizzas or one medium sized one, but you also have to buy all of the toppings for the pizza.  So, for price I gave it a six out of 10.  I found the pizza dough pretty easily at Publix in the section with all of the other refrigerated Pillsbury products, but there weren’t any other variations of the pizza dough and so for availability I gave it an eight out of 10.

In first place with a total of 33 points is the Trader Joe’s pizza.  In a very close second is Domino’s gluten-free pizza with 31 points.  And last but not least is Pillsbury’s gluten-free pizza dough with 26 points.

Chicken nuggets

Although, at 19 years old, I am technically a young adult, chicken nuggets are still a substantial part of my diet. So, ever since I stopped eating gluten I have been on a mission to find gluten-free nuggets. I had heard rumors of gluten free chicken nuggets made by Tyson, but until recently I was unable to find them anywhere. Recently I was able to find three different brands of nuggets and that led me to writing this blog post.
This week I am going to look at Tyson’s Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets, Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets and Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets.
First I will look at Tyson’s Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets. I was so excited when I tried them because they tasted exactly like I remember Tyson’s traditional nuggets tasted, and really you can’t get much better than that. So for taste they get a ten out of ten. The texture was also perfect so they get another ten out of ten. The breading was just right: crispy, but not crunchy. The price was a little bit more then I would have hoped, and they are priced differently at Publix and Target, which is where I found them, but they cost less at Target so I will rate them based on that price. They were $6.29 per bag which is a little pricey for chicken nuggets so I give them a five for price. For availability in Gainesville I give them an eight out of ten. These nuggets were pretty easy to find in Gainesville, but they were sold out in one of the locations that I checked.
The next nuggets are Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets. Now these nuggets are a little bit different because they are whole chicken breast pieces, and they are not made of ground chicken. This is different, but I personally like it, even though they aren’t exactly the same as traditional nuggets. Despite this they taste great and so they also get a ten out of ten for taste. The texture of the breading on the nuggets is great. They are crispy and very satisfying. However because the texture of the chicken is different, they get a nine out of ten for texture. The price is what makes these nuggets really stand out. At $4.99 per bag they are quite a bargain for gluten free nuggets. Because of their budget friendly price these nuggets get a ten out of ten. They get a seven out of ten for availability. They are easy to find in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s and they are never out of stock, however they are only sold at one store in the area.
My last nuggets are the Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets. These nuggets were my least favorite because the taste wasn’t exactly what I expected from a chicken nugget. So get an eight out of ten for taste. They were good but they weren’t perfect. For texture they get a nine out of ten because although the breading was crispy there was a slightly grainy texture to them. These were the most expensive nuggets that I bought this week and to be honest they are not exactly fit for a college budget. At $8.99 per bag I found them to be very pricey and so I give them a three out of ten for price. For availability I give them a seven out of ten because they were easy to find in the freezer section of Target, but I didn’t find them anywhere else.
And for the final tally we have Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets in first place with 36 points, Tyson’s Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets are a close second with 33 points and in third place with 27 points are the Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets.

The best gluten-free crackers in Gainesville

When I became gluten-free one of the foods that I missed the most was crackers.  So, for this post I decided to test a variety of gluten-free crackers. In this post I will look at each type of crackers and rate them based on a set list of categories.  Then I will add up the total points and the brand with the most points wins.  All of the crackers that I tried I found at Publix in the Greenwise section.  The three crackers that I chose are; Blue Diamond Natural’s Pecan Nut-Thins, Mary’s Gone Crackers’ herb crackers, and Glutino’s original gluten-free crackers.

The first brand I am going to look at are Blue Diamond Natural’s Pecan Nut-Thins. For taste I am giving them a four out of 10.  Initially they are very salty, but after you get past the salty taste there isn’t much flavor to them.  For texture I gave them a three out of 10.  They are very light and crispy like rice crackers, and they do not have the same denseness that a traditional cracker would have, which makes them a little bit disappointing. For price I gave these crackers a 10 out of 10.  At $2.99 per box not only are they inexpensive for gluten free food, but they are also inexpensive compared to most regular crackers.  These crackers also get a 10 out of 10 for availability. They are easy to locate at almost all of the Publixes in town, and they also come in a variety of flavors. Overall I give them a 27 out of 40.  These crackers are okay, however I don’t think they are the best substitute for a traditional cracker.

My next crackers are Mary’s Gone Crackers’ herb crackers, and for taste I gave them a two out of 10.  They are very earthy and a little bit bitter.  I gave them a three out of 10 for texture, and for the same reasons as the previous crackers.  They have a light crispy texture that is not exactly what one expects when they bite into a cracker.  For price I gave them a five out of 10.  At $4.69 per box they are expensive compared to regular crackers, but they aren’t really overpriced for gluten-free food.  For availability they get a six because although they are also easy to find a Publix, they do not have many varieties. Overall they get a 16 out of 40, simply because they are not what one would expect from a traditional cracker.

My final crackers are Glutino’s original gluten-free crackers.  For taste I gave these crackers an eight out of 10. They are slightly bland, but over all they have a buttery taste that reminds me of the crackers I used to love. For texture they get a 10 out of 10. They have a nice crunchy texture, and they have the density of traditional table crackers. When it comes to price these crackers were the most expensive at $4.99 per box, so they get a four out of 10.  They were easy to find at Publix, but I could only find two flavors, so I gave them an eight out of 10 for availability. Overall these crackers were by far my favorite, despite the price tag. They scored a total of 31 out of 40 points, and frankly it’s because they taste like real crackers.  And I know for me when I really want cheese and crackers I want it to taste like the crackers I grew up eating.

So in first place with 31 points are Glutino’s original gluten-free crackers. In second place with 27 points are Blue Diamond Natural’s Pecan Nut-thins. And last but not least are Mary’s Gone Crackers’ herb crackers.