Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bencotto Restaurant

During a recent trip to San Diego, I struggled to find "safe" eats..then I found this place (unfortunately, a the day before we left, or I would have been there EVERY day).

Bencotta  is located in Little Italy area of San Diego and offers 2 types of GF pasta (elbow or spiral) and any of their "normal" sauces you wish to put on top.

My choice was the spiral pasta with a gorgonzola and walnut sauce with chicken (added after the picture was taken, sorry). It was really good!

Reservations are recommended, since they do get busy.  We didn't have one, so we ended up at the bar, but that was fine with us as we had very attentive bartenders.  Prices are a little higher (I believe mine, with the added chicken, was about $18).

Strawberry Cupcakes

One of the things I have missed the most since transitioning over to GF is the baking.. it was my "therapy". Any time I needed some stress relief, I would bake (which always made my co-workers and neighbors very happy).

But now baking entails googling GF baked goods and scouring magazines, books and blogs for ideas instead of the good ol' days when I could just choose any recipe and make it.  Nope, gluten free means having to weigh flours and add other things I have never heard of  before like arrowroot and agave syrup.

So my to get back into the groove of baking my first post will be:

Strawberry Cupcakes
(from Delight, Fall 2011)
Yields: 8
1/2 C. coconut flour
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder* 
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
1/4 C. agave nectar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. finely chopped strawberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, agave nectar, and vanilla.
  3. Blend wet ingredients into flour mixture with handheld mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in strawberries.
  4. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean). Let the cupcakes cool for one hour, then frost and serve.

*Tip: While searching for arrowroot powder, I kept finding it in huge quantities, which I certainly didn't need. So after a final stop to my local health food store, I found they had jars of specific powders, etc and she scooped out 1/4 cup of it, weighed it and sold to me that way.  Cost me less than $1 for that 1/4 cup instead of  over $10 for huge bag.