Gluten-free can be quick, simple and delicious. I’ve spent the last two years cranking out recipes to help people create uncomplicated, tasty gluten-free food. (I was once told that my food was too simple for a certain cook’s kitchen…I took it as a compliment. I’ve successfully tasty gluten-free created recipes easy enough for anyone to make.)
It never ceases to amaze me, though, how some people just don’t get it. Have you ever been invited to a friend’s house for dinner and then squirmed when asking her about the menu? It’s a fine line between not embarrassing the hostess when you don’t eat anything she’s cooked and still politely offering to bring something you can eat so as not to increase her workload.
Or what about going to dinner with friends – not to eat because there’s nothing on the menu that works for you – but just to sit and chat with them? With an intimate group of good girlfriends it’s easier to steer them toward a certain restaurant. When it comes to work functions and newer acquaintances, it’s not so easy.
My favorite – the PotLuck dinner. It’s easy enough to bring something I can eat. Some women, though, have a bizarre attachment to whether or not you eat their food. There’s always the Critic who has an opinion about everything on my plate, the Loud Mouth who draws attention to the fact that my plate isn’t as full as everyone else, and there is always someone who insists I’m dieting. (Really??)
I brought a assorted dessert tray to a PotLuck once filled with some of my favorites – Chewy Chocolate Vegan Date Brownies, Blueberry Quinoa Crumble Bars, and Apricot Carob Blondies. Someone made an ugly face across the table about my Chewy Chocolate Vegan Date Brownies after announcing to everyone there that she didn’t like gluten-free food. At least it was her bad behavior and not mine.
So, what does all of this have to do with a chocolate crusted fruit pizza? When it comes to dessert, this couldn’t be easier. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can make this dessert. And it even looks kind of fancy. If you’re not gluten-free and have someone coming for dinner who is, go pick up a box of gluten-free brownie mix at the store. (The boxed mixes contain refined sugar which is why I don’t use them.) If you want to be extra careful about cross-contamination wipe down your counters really, really well, wash the bowls and utensils you’re going to use, and buy a $1.50 disposable brownie pan and bake them in there. You can also ask your friend for advice on preparing safe foods. She’d love to share what she knows with you!
Read this article and this article for more tips on preventing cross contamination. There is absolutely no reason to exclude someone because of their diet. If you’re willing to find a solution, it’s there for you.
Have tips on preventing cross-contamination or how to politely take care of yourself and still participate in food-focused social events? Share them in the comments! This post has been shared at Tip Me Tuesday.
Serves: 8 - 10 servings
- 1 recipe Fudge Brownies or your favorite brownie recipe
- 8 ounces low-fat (neufchatel) cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey or coconut nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- fruit of choice – I used bananas, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
- Bake the brownies as directed in the recipe. I used a 9-inch tart pan and mixed up the brownies with my new handheld KitchenAid mixer. (I love it!) Use whatever works for you – just be aware that using a different sized pan than called for in the recipes will alter the baking time. It took my brownies about 23 minutes to bake.
- Let the brownies cool completely. Beat the cream cheese until light. Add the honey or coconut nectar, vanilla extract, and salt and beat until combined. Spread on top of the brownies.
- Cover the cream cheese completely with your fruit of choice. If you use bananas, dip them in fresh-squeezed lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Lay any juicy, cut fruit such as pitted cherry halves on paper towels to drain. This keeps them from juicing all over your cream cheese.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.