A gadget that really works!

Monica and Daria say:

Cutting watermelon into equal pieces can be hard sometimes! How big of a knife do you really need?

Here’s an answer for you!

It’s called Melonslicer!

This handy device with easy grip handles ensures a perfect slice of watermelon every time….no kidding!

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It has stainless steel blades and can slice watermelons, pineapples, cantaloupes, and honeydews up to 11” in diameter. Its easy motion cuts and cores 12 slices every time!

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The only “problem” is….who gets that cool cylinder piece of watermelon in the middle???

 

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We purchased ours at WalMart in New Jersey for $19.99 and have used it all summer.

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So look for it at your local retailer and if you even get to use it once this weekend for your holiday barbeque….no worries….next year you will be so happy!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

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Did you ever try Scallops Scampi?

Monica says:

I cook almost every night. I guess you could say it’s just a part of my day.

When our girls were little we always tried to sit down and eat dinner together if our schedules allowed it. It was the best time of the day….and even though our girls are all grown up and on their own, we still love sitting down to dinner.

Most people have eaten shrimp scampi, but how about scallops scampi?

No, I hadn’t ever heard of it either.

Until….

I was helping my sister Maria clean out her house since she and her hubby were moving. Since I am a recipe addict, I spotted some torn out recipes from magazines and voila!

Scallops Scampi!

The original recipe (from Good Housekeeping) called for a bed of couscous and of course, since we can’t have couscous, I substituted quinoa.

It was easy and so delicious! See for yourself!

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 c quinoa

1 ¼ lbs. sea scallops

1 lemon

I clove garlic, crushed

4 zucchini (8 oz. each)

1 T butter

2 T chopped fresh chives

salt and pepper

Preparation

Prepare quinoa according to package.

Rinse and pat scallops to dry.

Grate 1 tsp of zest from lemon and then squeeze 2 T of juice.

In a bowl, toss scallops with garlic, lemon zest, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Make the zucchini ribbons by taking a vegetable peeler and slicing each zucchini lengthwise into long pieces until you reach the seeds and core. Discard the cores. Set ribbons aside for later.

In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the scallops into the pan and cook 5-6 minutes on each side. Make sure you only turn them over once! When they are done, remove them and place on a plate.

Add the zucchini to the skillet. Reduce the heat and cook with a lid on for 2 minutes making sure you stir the ribbons at least once. Uncover and cook an additional minute or until tender and crisp. Remove zucchini from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice.

Spoon quinoa onto each plate and then top with zucchini ribbons. Place several scallops on top and sprinkle with fresh chives.

What a great dinner!

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Now all we need is to have our girls at the dinner table with us!

But as Bjarne Reuter said, “Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up.”

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

I love zucchini!

Monica says:

I happened to come across a Martha Stewart video featuring quinoa and of course, I had to watch it! So happy I did!

It features not only quinoa, but also zucchini, which is so abundant right now and did I tell you?

I. Love. Zucchini.

So take a quick look and see what  you think!

Zucchini and Quinoa Salad….did I say delicious?

The one thing that I did differently was to base my salad on 2 servings, since I had this little delight in my cupboard!

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 And did you notice something in the upper right-hand corner??

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Cooks in 8 minutes!! Yes, that will help! Thanks, Keen One Quinoa!

So I did everything that the host did except for toasting the pistachios….I just chopped mine after shelling them.

Amazing!

Packed with protein and full of flavor, this salad is definitely going in my “Favorites” file!

Just feast your eyes upon this…

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Thanks, Shira Bocar and Eat Clean videos!

 

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

A lovely little place called Bedford…

Monica and Daria say:

When we tell people that last week we were so fortunate to accompany Monica’s husband and Daria’s dad, Lewie, on his business trip to Bedford, their first question is “Oh, where’s that?”

How is it that this beautiful little gem has not been on our vacation radar?

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The Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa, where his conference was held, is located in western Pennsylvania at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains, just two hours east of Pittsburgh and two hours west of Harrisburg.

What an exquisite place with such a great history!

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Bedford’s seven mineral springs, which boast of healing properties, made it an acclaimed destination as early as 1796. Its reputation grew and throughout the 19th century it became a full-service resort. Celebrated guests, including at least six US Presidents, many senators and congressmen, Civil War generals, and countless other dignitaries, fill the hotel’s ledgers through to the 20th century (the ledgers are on display in the main lobby!).

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Later in the 1980s, the hotel, although listed on the National Register for Historic Places, fell into disrepair and endured major flood damage which forced its closing. Then in 2003, an architectural firm from Richmond, VA, 3north, was commissioned to restore the resort to its previous splendor.

Now the transformation can be seen throughout the property…and what a grand property it is!

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We could seriously have designed a brochure ourselves with all of the pictures we took! The 28-acre site is just incredible! We enjoyed the pool, hiking trails and the great atmosphere Bedford offers.

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Of course wherever we go, we are on the lookout for great gluten-free food and we were not disappointed in Bedford or its surrounding area!

Take a little tour with us as we share some of our food photos….

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A taste of gluten-free chocolate flourless cake to end my meal of a grilled chicken Caesar salad at the Frontier Tavern located on the resort premises….notice that there is no picture of the salad!

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Daria’s friend, Chef Thomas (a present colleague of hers) was employed at Bedford Springs Resort and Spa several years ago, and sent these delights to our room……gluten-free chocolate flourless cake with ganache and a fruit plate….yummy treats to munch on!

It’s so nice to know chefs!!

Dinner at the Jean Bonnet Tavern, circa 1762,….such a historic place that takes you back in time.

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Grilled pork chop with a blueberry/blackberry sauce, fresh green beans, and whipped mashed potatoes.

All gluten-free and oh so tasty!

And we saved the best for last! Our favorite meal, hands down, was at 10/09 Kitchen.

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Here we had the gluten-free brandy mushroom cream soup (packed with wild mushrooms) as an appetizer. Yummy flavor and the perfect temperature!

And then, our amazing gluten-free entrees…

3, 2, 1…

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Lewie had lemon thyme chicken which, of course, was roasted chicken, three cheese polenta, and asparagus.

What great flavor and the polenta was so creamy and delicious!

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Daria had the pan-seared halibut with tri-colored fingerling potatoes, artichokes, and broccolini.

Such a flavor profile! Delightful!

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And Monica had the seared scallops with a forest mushroom risotto and asparagus.

Oh my heavens….it was to die for!

Voted the best entrée of the night by us three!!

Two very happy bloggers, for sure!!!

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The morning we departed Bedford, we stopped at the cutest little place in the downtown called the Bird’s Nest Café & Bakery. And while we didn’t take a picture of our gluten-free eggs and toast, here is a picture of the place.

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Adorable, right?

So if you are looking for a beautiful and quiet retreat… check out the lovely little town of Bedford…now you know where it is!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

Happy National “Eat Dessert First” Month!

Oh my….yummy dessert!

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The thing that everyone waits for at the end of the meal!

It doesn’t matter if it’s chocolate, fruit-filled, or a frozen treat…just as long as it is there to satisfy your taste buds.

We happen to be “chocoholics” in our house so we decided to share our mousse recipe with you to kick off this great dessert month!

It’s relatively easy but needs to made ahead of time in order to set. So that’s the hardest part….remembering to get it made in time for dinner!

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Chocolate Mousse

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup milk (we use Lactaid)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or rum OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold whipping cream
  • Additional whipped cream and raspberries(optional)

Directions
1. Stir together sugar and gelatin in small saucepan; stir in milk. Let stand 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil.

2. Remove from heat. Immediately add small chocolate chips; stir until melted. Stir in liqueur OR vanilla; cool to room temperature.

3. Beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff and then gradually add chocolate mixture, folding just until blended.

4. Spoon into two serving dishes. Refrigerate until set (for a few hours).

5. Garnish with additional whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

 

We rarely make just one recipe of this dessert (honestly, can’t think of even one time). Doubling or tripling it is the way to go….and using ramekins you can fill them to the rim.

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It was the American writer, Ernestine Ulmer, who said, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”

Needless to say, we most wholeheartedly AGREE!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk whisks