We have celebrated the birthdays of almost everyone in our families in the last couple of months. It has been a great time of visiting and catching up with family after a long winter and spring. All of this celebrating took place away from home, which meant a lot of thinking through food arrangements, and of course coming up with good treats that everyone could enjoy. Today, I’m going to share a restaurant we found, and a treat I made, and in Part 2, I’ll share what my sister worked out for a quick, easy, and yummy set of birthday cakes.
For my birthday, we ate dinner out, and I did some research trying to find a restaurant in the Toledo area that we felt confident would work, and we were rewarded big time. We used the Gluten Free Registry and discovered Biaggis Italian Restaurant in Perrysburg. They’ve got a lengthy gluten-free menu (a full-page plus), which I did not expect from an Italian restaurant. Their breads and pastas were also egg and soy-free. I couldn’t believe it. My husband ordered a pizza and a salad and was very pleased. The food off the gluten menu was great too. I will definitely go back there again.
For the next round of birthdays I was really in the mood for lemon bars. It sort of snuck up on me, and I couldn’t get the thought of them out of my mind. So I spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out how to make an egg-free, gluten-free, citrus-free version. After a couple of attempts, I think I’ve finally figured it out. I started by trying to modify an actual lemon bar recipe, but since those have something like 4 eggs minimum in them, it just seemed like too much substitution to work out. Then I started to think about the texture and consistency of the lemon filling in a lemon meringue pie. Obviously, this too is loaded with egg, but for different reasons than the lemon bars. Ultimately, I crossed the lemon meringue filling with a panna cotta recipe, and found my pineapple bars!
A&V Pineapple Bars
Since GF cookie dough is often kind of crumbly, I used the sugar cookie recipe from Gluten Free Gourmet and pressed it into a 9×9 pan.
I baked it for 15 minutes at 350F.
As the crust bakes and cools, heat:
- 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice
- and dissolve in 1 1/2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
Turn the heat to low and stir in:
- 1/4 cup of agave syrup
- 1/2 cup of white rice flour
- 1/2 cup of corn starch
- a pinch of salt (1/8 tsp)
Stir until the filling sets up into a uniform and light consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in:
- 1 TBSP of butter
Spoon the filling over the crust.
Bake at 400F for 40 minutes or until the filling looks slightly toasted.
We liked these very much. They aren’t exactly like lemon bars, but they are close. Keep an eye out as I tweak this recipe more in the future!