Friday, November 25, 2016

FishLips Waterfront Bar & Grill * Gluten-Free

FishLips Waterfront Bar & Grill
610 Glen Cheek Drive
Port Canaveral, FL   32920
Phone: 321-784-4533
Fax: 321-784-4535
fishlipsbar @

We were looking for any place that would be open late and everyone we talked to recommended FishLips as the favorite place. It was certainly the best choice!! They have two floors...and at 10:pm it was very noisy upstairs with the band. So my group chose the much quieter first floor near the windows. Service was quick and cheerful. As someone who lives with Celiac disease I've gotten in the habit of automatically asking for a Gluten-Free Menu. Imagine my surprise when the waitress immediately said 'of course'! She handed me a GF menu complete with appetizers, entrees and even dessert!! I ordered the Chicken Isabella - Grilled Sun-Dried Tomato glazed Chicken topped with fresh Mozzarella Cheese; served with Orzo Salad, Asparagus and drizzled with a Balsamic Reduction - and it was incredible. There were eight of us for dinner and everyone was very happy with their meal. I even ordered dessert to go back to the hotel...just because I could!  Peanut Butter Explosion, a White Chocolate Mousse, Peanut Butter Cups and Chocolate Chunks drizzled with Carmel. It was so good I wished I could go back again for another one.  This is one place on my 'must go back' list next time we travel to Port Canaveral for another cruise.  (Carnival Cruising, Sensation)

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, November 18, 2016

Gluten-Free Bread Pudding

Gluten-Free Bread Pudding

I grew up in a large family...and Bread Pudding was nearly a weekly staple.  In those days raising six kids meant buying day old bread from the bakery.  And buying day old bread meant ending up with lots of bits n pieces of dried breads of all sorts.  My mom could work magic with those stale bits n pieces making the best Bread Pudding with raisins or dried fruit.  And my dad loved his warm from the oven with Hershey's Chocolate Syrup on top.

So when I was told I would never be able to eat bread again...oh, how I mourned for my mom's Bread Pudding. My mom never really had a in a way I never will be able to enjoy her Bread Pudding again.  But I have discovered Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread...and Paula Deen :-)  And I have to add that I really don't like the ends or heel's (as we called them) of any bread.  So I store the first and last slice of every loaf in the freezer until I have a bag full.  Then I pull out Paula Deen's Bread Pudding recipe and get prepared for a trip back to childhood.  She actually has about eight different recipes...and if you know Paula's recipes at all none of them are particularly healthy...but they certain do taste amazing!!

From Paula's Home Cooking
Servings: 8 to 10 servings

2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Gluten-Free Bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

For the sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes. In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.  Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:
Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Gluten-Free Fruitcake

This is another Alton Brown recipe that I’ve tweaked a bit to be Gluten-Free.  I like it because it has none of those candied thingies.  My daughter prefers the Gran Marnier instead of the Brandy…but of course you could use any distilled alcohol that you prefer and it will be Gluten-Free.  Trust me…this is one great cake!!  I’ve managed to convert some of the most difficult Fruit Cake Haters with this recipe.

Gluten-Free Fruitcake

1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
1/2 cup sun dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup Grand Marnier
1 cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 whole cloves, ground
6 allspice berries, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups G F all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
Grand Marnier for basting

Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add Grand Marnier and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to re-hydrate fruit.

Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.  This is the tricky part…because this cake is so dense it’s easy to pull it too soon.  I’ve actually had raw cake when I thought it was done.  Now I opt to leave it in a little longer.  I figure the spritzing done over the next two weeks will compensate for being a little too dry coming out of the oven.

Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with Grand Marnier and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.

When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with Grand Marnier. The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, November 4, 2016

Common Courtesies

It’s the Holidays and parties abound!  It’s a time for visiting with friends and loved ones, and it’s a time for entertaining in our homes.  I grew up with Miss Manners and proper etiquette.  Not only did we learn about respect and common courtesies at home…but we learned them in school as well.  It still amazes me that now-a-days so many of our children never learn these simple tips. So here are some basic Common Courtesies that will help make visiting or entertaining more enjoyable for all.

 ** Respond to your Invitationplease, please, please let your Host/Hostess know if you plan to attend or not…even if it’s to say maybe.  Your RSVP helps in planning for the correct number of guests.  If you don’t respond to your invitation and you just ‘show up’ you’re being more than just rude – and you can’t complain if your Host/Hostess isn’t prepared for you to be there.

 ** Don’t forget to show up if you’ve extended your RSVP make certain you honor your promise.  If life happens and your plans change, notify your Host/Hostess as soon as you become aware you cannot make it or you may be late.

 ** Be on time be respectful, ‘fashionably late’ is not fashionable; it’s downright rude.  Don’t create liars out of your friends and acquaintances - don’t force people to give out fictitious times just because they know you so well.

 ** Bring something to eat or a small gift never arrive empty handed.  Always bring something to contribute.

Special dietary needs:
 ** Bring something you enjoy if you have special needs pay attention and bring something to share that you can enjoy without worry.  Don’t be the one standing by the table shouting, “isn’t there ANYTHING here that I can eat??”

 ** Learn how to say “No, Thank you.” – be respectful, if offered something you can’t eat don’t proclaim loudly, “Are you trying to poison me??”

Using your favorite baking dish:
 ** Mark your possessions for easy return whenever possible, use dishes you don’t mind losing.  If you use a prized possession, make certain you mark it with your name and phone # and don’t be afraid to call a day or two later to claim it.  It’s a perfect opportunity to say “Thank you for inviting me.”

 ** Learn how to say ‘Yes” when someone asks if they can bring something, always say, “YES”!!  Don’t create future monsters - the ones who cause others to complain, “They NEVER contribute anything!!”

 ** Learn how to say “Thank You” when someone offers to contribute make certain you say Thank you, even if it’s something you wouldn’t use in a thousand lifetimes.

 ** Set understandable time frames ‘around 7ish’ is not a true time.  Many a Host/Hostess have actually learned to lie just to get people to arrive on time - saying it’s 7:00pm when the time will truly be 7:30pm. Set an understandable time and stick to it.  There will always be rude guests who show up late...don't punish the ones who do arrive on time by waiting around for them.

Be prepared for some special dietary needs:
 ** Be flexible make allowances for others.  Provide an alternative whenever possible, example:  Juice or water, fresh fruit or raw vegetables.

 ** Don’t be offended don’t push the matter if someone refuses what you’re offering.  Saying, “a little bit won’t hurt you” might just actually kill someone.  Accept a “No, Thank you” gracefully.

Finding someone’s favorite baking dish:
 ** Returning it to the proper ownerif the dish is marked, so much the better - return it as soon as possible.  If the dish is not marked and you don’t hear from anyone within a week or two - well, you’ve just inherited a new dish.  Don’t be upset if someone recognizes it several months later and wants to take it home again.

 ** Never return anything dirty or empty returning a dirty dish is simply insulting.  Returning an empty dish symbolizes a future without prosperity.  It’s customary to place something inside, a small gift or food of some sort - symbolizing a prosperous relationship with the other person.

 ** General rule is simple bring enough to serve at least 6 people, regardless of the number of people expected to be there.  Don’t forget, if everyone brings enough for 6 there will be plenty to feed even 200!!

 ** When do you bring somethingalways when joining a large group, always when visiting a new location, always when meeting new people, always when you’re nervous and afraid you won’t fit in.

 ** When can you get away with NOT bringing anythingif the person you’re visiting is someone you feel comfortable burping or farting in front of chances are real good that you can get away without bringing something to the occasion.  In fact, by then your Host/Hostess will probably EXPECT you to show up empty handed.

 ** When in doubt:  askdon’t be afraid to ask what’s needed.  You may get a desperate plea for something needed or special instructions to blend in with the occasion.  After all, you wouldn’t really want to bring liver and onions to a chocolate party, or wine & beer to a recovering alcoholic.

 ** What to do if you don’t cookthe answer to this one is simple * SHOP :-) There are many delicious ways to fill the need at your local grocers.  Don’t forget to check your own pantry first; you just might have something tucked away in the freezer for a special occasion.

 ** What to do if you’re broke check the pantry first, it’s amazing what you can bring together to make a great dish.  Example:  1lb hamburger, 1 box macaroni, 1 can stewed tomatoes cooked and combined makes a great dish.  It only takes 10-12 teabags and a bottle of spring water to make a gallon of iced tea.

 ** Even more broke how about a bag of potato chips, a bottle of soda, or a box of cookies.  It’s amazing what you can buy for a couple $$ if you shop a little bit.

 ** Just plain destitute Recycle, recycle…in other words, remember that item you received and just couldn’t do anything with??  Chances are good someone else may just appreciate it more than you do. 
NOTE:  Be careful with this one, you don’t want to be the one other people snicker behind their hands about.  “Don’t invite that one!!  They always bring their trash with them!!”

 ** What to do if you're living in a tentGood rule on this one is to keep it simple.  Something that doesn’t require refrigeration or cooking is your best bet.  Believe it or not some of the most appreciated items are fresh fruit, water, or chocolate.

 ** What to do if you’re living in a cavethis one’s pretty extreme, it’s the person with nothing but ketchup in the fridge, along with some unidentifiable green stuff in the corner; peanut butter in the pantry next to a loaf of bread that’s hard as a rock and not a single clean dish anywhere to be found.  What does someone like this contribute??  What does anyone really WANT them to contribute??  Well, if there’s a fruit tree growing in the yard they just might have it covered.  If not, hopefully, there’s a 7-11 on the way!!

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771