Friday, January 31, 2014

Chebe BBQ Chicken Pizza

We started making pizza with Chebe last summer.  You can read about all of our early experiments with Chebe pizza here.  Since then, I have written blog posts about our Pesto Chicken Pizza and Sausage & Spinach Pizza.   About a month ago, I tried California Pizza Kitchen's gluten free BBQ Chicken Pizza for the first time, and was blown away by how good it was.  You can read my review of California Pizza Kitchen here.  I have been wanting to make one at home for months, but we hadn't made barbeque chicken in a while, until last night.  We made Oven Baked Barbeque Chicken and had enough leftovers to make pizza.  

The key ingredients for all of our Chebe pizzas are Chebe Original Cheese Bread Mix and Organic Valley Mild Cheddar Cheese.  We tried the Chebe Pizza Crust Mix, but weren't crazy about the seasonings in it, so we make our pizzas with the Cheese Bread Mix instead.  I purchase it from amazon or Chamberlin's in Winter Park. 

We love our cast iron pizza pan.  If you don't own one, it is worth the investment.  We tried making Chebe pizza on an aluminum pizza pan and the crust did not crisp up.  Lodge cast iron pizza pans are available from amazon for a very reasonable price.  You can view them here.  We clean our cast iron pizza pan with a rub of salt and water, then season it with a little bit of oil before putting it away.  I store all my cast iron pieces in the warming drawer of my oven, so I don't have to worry about getting oil in my cabinets.  

My new favorite mozzarella cheese to make pizza with is Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella Pearls, because I don't have to slice them, and it's easy to sprinkle them around the pizza.

When using fresh mozzarella on a pizza, it is important to remove some of the moisture before baking, by placing it between two paper towels for at least 15 minutes.  

On the back of the Chebe Original Cheese Bread Mix box, it says you will need 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 cup of shredded cheese, 2 large eggs, and 1/4 cup of water.  I pack my Organic Valley Mild Cheddar Cheese into my 1 C measuring cup.  When I let go, it looks like it is overflowing.  

I like to beat my eggs in a large bowl, then add the cheese and 2 T of extra virgin olive oil or organic canola oil.  I then mix these ingredients well with a fork.  

Next, I slowly add the Original Cheese Break Mix to the bowl, and stir it with a soup spoon

Here is what my pizza dough looks like after I stir in 1/4 C of water.  

I knead it before placing it on my lightly oil pizza pan.  Even though our pan is always seasoned with olive oil before we put it away, I add a little more and gently wipe it with a paper towel before adding my pizza dough.  

With my hands, I evenly spread the dough out on my pizza pan.  

I par bake my crust on the bottom shelf of my preheated oven on 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  It usually comes out with several large bubbles, which I flatten with the back of a fork before adding my toppings.  We have tried pricking it with a fork before par baking it, but the bubbles still happen anyway.

I cut up one of my leftover chicken breasts into small pieces and used my favorite barbeque sauce, Guy Fieri's Bourbon Brown Sugar.  

After brushing on a thin layer of barbeque sauce, I added mozzarella cheese, chicken, a light sprinkle of Parmesan and Romano, and more of the cheddar cheese I used in the crust.  

My whole family really enjoyed our latest Chebe pizza creation.  I can't wait to see what it's like left over tomorrow.

Chebe BBQ Chicken Pizza


1 box of Chebe Original Cheese Bread Mix
2 T olive oil or organic canola oil
1 C of shredded cheese (sharp or hard works best) -- firmly packed
2 large eggs
1/4 C water

1 large cooked chicken breast (I used leftover Oven Baked Barbeque Chicken)
Gluten free barbeque sauce
8 ounce package of fresh mozzarella
Parmesan and/or Romano -- grated
Shredded cheddar


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil your pizza pan.

Place your mozzarella between two paper towels to remove moisture.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs before adding the shredded cheese and 2 T of oil.  Mix well with a fork, then slowly add the Chebe Original Cheese Break mix.  Stir well with a spoon before adding 1/4 C of water.  Mix as well as you can with a spoon, then knead the dough until smooth with your hands.

Place the pizza dough on a lightly oiled 14 inch cast iron pizza pan, and spread it out evenly with your hands.

Par bake the crust on a shelf in the bottom third of your oven for 12 minutes.  Flatten out any bubbles with the back of a fork before adding toppings.

Brush a light coating of barbeque sauce on your pizza before adding the mozzarella and chicken.  Add a light sprinkle of Parmesan and/or Romano, then finish with cheddar cheese.

Bake for another 11 minutes on the bottom shelf before moving the pizza to the top third of your oven and turning it to broil.  Broil for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbly and perfectly browned.

Loosen your pizza from the pan with a large spatula before carefully sliding it onto a serving platter or pizza pan to slice and serve.

You can view other Chebe pizza ideas in my Pizza Experiments blog post here.

Recipe and Product Notes

If you are using chicken that wasn't cooked in barbeque sauce, you might want to toss it in a little bit of sauce before adding it to the pizza.

FYI -- The package states that Chebe Original Cheese Bread Mix is free of gluten, soy, corn, rice, potato, yeast, peanut/tree nuts, egg, iodine, and sugar.  It is certified gluten free and non GMO.  It contains manioc (tapioca) flour, modified manioc starch, dry milk, and iodine-free sea salt, making it grain free as well.

We buy our Romano and Parmesan in the cheese section of Whole Foods.   I purchase Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella Pearls from Publix.  Organic Valley Mild Cheddar Cheese can be found in either store.

For more information on Chebe and where it can be purchased, you can visit Chebe's website here.

CPK's Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Pizza is topped with BBQ sauce, smoked gouda, red onions, cilantro, and Nueske's applewood smoked bacon.  I always ask for the onions to be left off, but I love their use of gouda, cilantro, and bacon.  I might have to make a CPK version of my BBQ Chicken Pizza the next time I make it.  

Gluten Free Events in Orlando in 2014

Last night, I received two separate messages from two different people asking if I was going to the Gluten-Free Living Conference and the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention, so I thought it might be a good time to write a short blog post about these upcoming events in Orlando.

The Gluten-Free Living Conference is taking place at the Doubletree by Hilton at the entrance to Universal Studios Orlando from April 4th to April 6th.  On Friday, April 4th, the Gluten-Free Living Conference is conducting a Blogger University, with classes for bloggers on how to improve and refine their blogging skills.  The $75 tuition fee includes two-day admission to the Gluten-Free Living Conference show floor.  Speakers at Blogger University include Amie Valpone (The Healthy Apple), Jules Shepard (Jules Gluten Free), Amy Leger (The Savvy Celiac), Amy Ratner (editor of Gluten-Free Living) & Aubrey Everett (managing editor of The Writer).

If you are not a blogger, you can purchase a one or two day pass to attend the Gluten-Free Living Conference on Saturday and/or Sunday.  A one day pass costs $15 if you pre-register, or $20 at the door.  A two-day pass for April 5th and 6th is $20 if you pre-register, or $30 at the door.  Children ages 3-12 are just $5.  You can view all the great speakers and events being held at the Gluten-Free Living Conference here.  This is the first large-scale gluten-free show to be held in Orlando.  I look forward to seeing you there!

I was asked to write a guest blog post for the upcoming Gluten-Free Living Conference.  You can view it here.

I am also super excited to be attending the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention at Disney World's Coronado Springs Resort on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014.  Designed for those with food allergies and Celiac disease, this event was created to highlight and celebrate awareness, while providing samples, demos, workshops, information and more.  If you purchase tickets online, the prices are $11.24 for adults, and $6.12 for children, including fees.  At the door, if available, tickets will be $15 for adults, and $5 for children.  One of the hosts of this event is my friend Sarah from Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW.  You can view more information about the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention here.

I hope you all are as excited about these events as I am!  Here are some other helpful links for you:

Gluten-Free Living Conference on Facebook

Food Allergy & Celiac Convention on Facebook

Food Allergy & Celiac Convention on Twitter

Update -- The Gluten-Free Living Conference was so much fun!  You can view my blog post Gluten Free Food Finds at the Gluten-Free Living Conference here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Oven Baked Barbeque Chicken

I love when my husband cooks BBQ chicken on his Big Green Egg, but during the work/school week, Mitch rarely grills, because the girls and I are hungry and ready to eat when he gets home from work.  

I purchased these massive chicken breasts during The Fresh Market's $2.99 Tuesday sale.  I'm never sure whether I should say I bought two or four chicken breasts.  Before shopping at The Fresh Market, every store I bought chicken at sold chicken breast halves, but they are never labeled that way.  

Oven baked barbeque chicken is ridiculously easy to make.  Pour some barbeque sauce in an oven safe dish, add the chicken, then add more sauce.  Prep work is done!  

30 minutes later, you will have amazingly juicy barbeque chicken.  This would be a great way to cook chicken for my BBQ Chicken Wraps.  You can view the recipe here.

Today, I used Stubb's Sweet Heat barbeque sauce.  It was a little too spicy for my girls, and I didn't care for it much myself.  We had some Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce in the fridge, so my daughters dipped their chicken in their favorite sauce to tone the Stubb's down a bit.  I bought Stubb's at Publix because it is certified gluten free and didn't have sugar or high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient, like so many others.  I like the taste of Sweet Baby Ray's, but high fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient.  

I much prefer Guy Fieri's Bourbon Brown Sugar sauce, but I only had half a bottle left in the house, and I am saving that for BBQ chicken pizza tomorrow night.  The first ingredient in Guy's sauce is tomato puree, and it contains no major allergens.  This sauce absolutely rocks!  Best BBQ sauce ever!  The only problem is that I have never found it in a store in Orlando.  I purchase Guy's Fieri's Bourbon Brown Sugar Sauce in bulk from

I sometimes cook barbeque chicken in my Crock Pot, but I much prefer this recipe for tender and juicy chicken.

Oven Baked Barbeque Chicken


3 or 4 large chicken breasts (or should I say chicken breast halves)
1 bottle of gluten free barbeque sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Choose an oven safe dish that is just large enough to fit your chicken.

Pour just enough barbeque sauce into your dish to coat the bottom.  Add your chicken breasts in a single layer, and pour in enough barbeque sauce to just cover them.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken reaches 160 degrees.  Allow it to rest in your baking dish for at least 5 minutes, until it comes up to 165 degrees.

Recipe Notes

I bought a kitchen thermometer before Christmas.  lt has been phenomenal for testing the doneness of my meat.  I also use it when baking bread.  You can view it here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Parmesan Kale Chips

Kale was on my grocery list today because I have been wanting to make kale chips.  

I bought this bunch of organic kale at Publix.  

When I use kale in smoothies, I always remove the leaves from the stems.  This is an important step in making kale chips too, because the stems are very bitter.  

I tossed my kale with some extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.

The leaves of one bunch of kale filled two large baking trays.  

I used both Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano on my kale chips today.  I buy my grated Italian cheeses at the cheese section in Whole Foods.  

I have a confession to make.  I ate both trays of kale chips for lunch, right after they came out of the oven!  I will have to make them again soon, so my daughters and husband get to try them.  :-)

Parmesan Kale Chips


1 bunch of kale
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 T Parmesan or Romano cheese (I used a combination of both) -- grated

Optional -- a pinch of two of kosher salt, crushed red pepper flakes, coarse ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 325 degrees and cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Wash and thoroughly dry the kale.  Remove the stems and tear each leaf into bite size pieces.  Place the kale in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.

Spread the kale pieces out evenly in a single layer on your baking sheets.  Bake them for 7 minutes, turn the kale leaves, then bake them for 7 minutes more.

Sprinkle the kale chips with grated cheese as soon as they come out of the oven.

Recipe notes:

I added kosher salt to my kale chips before baking them.  Do not use more than a small pinch or two of salt or they will be too salty.  You can add coarse ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes before or after baking your kale chips.  I sampled a couple of chips with black pepper, and a couple with crushed red pepper flakes.  I enjoyed them both.

If your trays are on two separate shelves in your oven, make sure to switch them after your first bake.  I don't have a convection oven, so I switched and turned the trays to ensure more even cooking.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pesto Chicken Pressed Wraps

Today, I just couldn't decide what I wanted to make for dinner, but I knew it had to be something easy after 5 loads of laundry, my Be Our Guest blog post, and helping my daughter Emma put some finishing touches on her book report.  While checking out The Fresh Market's January issue of Inspirations, I saw that they make hot pressed wraps.  I had a bag of Toufayan Original Gluten Free Wraps in my pantry, and pesto in the freezer, but no meat until my husband mentioned picking up a rotisserie chicken at Costco.  I then had the idea for a pesto chicken wrap, inspired by my Pesto Chicken Pizza.  

I spread homemade pesto on my Toufayan wrap.  You can view my pesto recipe here.  

I then added rotisserie chicken, San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, feta, Parmesan, Romano, and a sprinkle of kosher salt.  

It was quite a challenge to lower the top of my panini press without the wrap unfolding.  I pressed the wrap down with a knife, lowered the lid, then pulled the knife out.

I love the idea of cooking wraps in my panini press.  I'm sure you will be seeing more hot pressed wraps recipes in the future!

Pesto Chicken Pressed Wraps


Gluten free wraps
Rotisserie chicken
San Marzano or grape tomatoes -- seeds squeezed out and cut in half
Fresh mozzarella
Romano and/or Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt


Heat up your panini press.  Spread pesto on your wrap before adding chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, feta, Romano, Parmesan, and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Carefully place your wrap in a panini press and grill until nicely browned. 

January 27, 2014 Update -- I ate a pesto chicken pressed wrap for lunch today, but used a slice of Boar's Head provolone cheese instead of the fresh mozzarella.  It was just as good as the wrap I made last night!

Be Our Guest Lunch & Dinner - Magic Kingdom

Update - You can view my most recent Be Our Guest review here

Our first dining experience at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom took place last January.  I called for hours on the first day that advance dining reservations were available to book dinner reservations. If you want to go to Be Our Guest for dinner, you should book your ADRs 180 days ahead of time.    

Dining inside the Beast's enchanted castle in the new Fantasyland is an experience that should not be missed.  In my opinion, as far as ambiance goes, it is the most impressive restaurant in Disney World.  At Be Our Guest, you will dine on French-inspired fare in one of three themed rooms.  If you are not able to get reservations for a sit-down dinner, make sure to stop in for the quick-service lunch.  

Last January, we dined in the West Wing for dinner.  This room contains the famous enchanted rose from the movie and a portrait above the fireplace that changes between pictures of the Prince and the Beast when lightening strikes.  I loved this room, but it can be a little chilly, and might be scary for younger children.  My dinner experience started with GNI gluten free rolls.  They were heated perfectly, and I quickly ate two, leaving the one lone roll you see in the picture.  The chef I spoke to said about 90% of the dinner menu is gluten free, and the rest can be modified to make it gluten free.  

After reading great reviews about the potato leek soup, I had to try it.  It did not disappoint, and I continue to order this soup every time I visit Be Our Guest for lunch.  

For an entree, I ordered the pan-seared salmon on leek fondue.  It was very good, but after my husband raved about his pork chop, I decided I would would have to try the pork with a side of pommes frites the next time we dine at Be Our Guest for dinner.

For dessert, I ordered the Lemon-Raspberry Cream Puff, which is filled with lemon custard.  I don't remember having problems with it that night, but I will never be ordering this dessert again.  It's gluten free and sugar free.  I spoke to a chef yesterday about the ingredients, because I noticed that I was not feeling well after eating at Be Our Guest for lunch when I ordered the cream puff.  Well, it turns out that it contains maltitol and sucralose.  Sucralose is in Splenda, which I have completely eliminated from my diet after reading some disturbing articles about it.  Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that can have some pretty nasty side effects that you can read about here.  Because I have experienced all of those side effects, I will not be eating the lemon-raspberry cream puff again.  I have had the same reaction to the OMG...It's Gluten Free Sugar Free Fudge Brownie, which is served at various Disney locations, so I will be avoiding that as well in the future.  Thankfully, many restaurants carry the OMG...It's Gluten Free Fudge Brownies with regular sugar, and they are delicious!  

Lunch Review

Yesterday, we dined in the grand ballroom for lunch.  Be sure to check out the beautifully painted ceilings and the snow that is falling outside the windows.

The line for the quick-service lunch can be pretty long, so we usually arrive around 10:30.  My kids are always ready to eat by 11:00, so this works out well for us.  I love to order at the self-serve kiosks, but yesterday I was directed to a cast member who took our order.  At the self-serve kiosks, you can choose to see all the gluten free options on one screen, which makes ordering very easy.  The cast member that helped us yesterday definitely did not mention all the gluten free options that are available.  After you order, take the rose you are given to your table so the cast members know where to bring your food.

When I asked for three bowls of soup, the cast member who took our order mentioned leaving off the bread and the cheese.  It turns out that he was talking about the French onion soup, but we wanted to order our favorite potato leek soup.

My daughters and I each had our own bowl of soup and shared the braised pork, which is described as eight hour slow-cooked pork with mushrooms, onions, carrots and bacon, served with mashed potatoes and green beans jardiniere.  This dish is amazing!  The pork is so tender and flavorful.  The green beans were cooked perfectly and the mashed potatoes were delicious!  

I foolishly ordered the lemon raspberry cream puff, which seems to have shrunk in size in the past year.  The chef I spoke to yesterday told me that they have raspberry and lemon-lime sorbet available, even though it is not on the menu.  If you are interested in the sorbet, just ask to speak to a chef.  

Here's a look at the lemon custard on the inside of the cream puff.  

We often have lunch in the Rose Gallery, which is usually only open for lunch.  There are Beauty and the Beast themed portraits on every wall, and a beautiful rotating music box in the middle with Belle and the Beast dancing.

Other gluten free lunch options include the tuna nicoise salad and the quinoa salad, which are both dairy free as well.  I have not tried the tuna, but the quinoa salad with green beans, potatoes, olives, roasted bell peppers, golden beets, and tomatoes, is very good.

I had the carved prime chuck roast beef sandwich on gluten free rolls last spring.  I have heard that it is now being served on a tasty millet bun.  I am sure some of the other sandwiches are available on gluten free bread as well.

From now on, after eating at Be Our Guest, I will be heading over to Aloha Isle for a pineapple Dole Whip for dessert.  It has been a favorite of mine since our first trip to Disney World in the late 70s.  You can read my review here.  

March 16, 2014 Update

Yesterday, we ate lunch at Be Our Guest and I took some pictures of the gluten free options that are available on the menu.  Gluten free entrees include the Tuna Nicoise Salad, Quinoa Salad, Carved Turkey Breast Sandwich on Millet Bread, and the Carved Prime Chuck Roast Beef Sandwich on Millet Bread.  

The Potato Leek Soup and French Onion Soup (no cheese or crouton) are also gluten free options.  

Gluten free items on the kids' menu include the carved turkey sandwich on millet bread, Feast a la Beast (slow-cooked pork with sauteed green beans and mashed sweet potatoes), grilled cheese on milled bread and tomato soup, and pommes frites (french fries).  

I ordered my usual, the braised pork with mashed potatoes and green beans.  It was as amazing as usual and well worth the 30 minutes we waited in line to order our food.  

I was a little jealous that the rest of my family got to try the new Master's Cupcake, which has the grey stuff (a cookies and cream panna cotta that has been whipped into a creamy dessert) on top of a chocolate cupcake.  I enjoyed some vanilla and chocolate soft-serve at Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies instead.

February 15, 2015 Update

Starting February 25th, you will be able to make lunch reservations for a fast-casual meal at Be Our Guest up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463) or by using My Disney Experience.  Walk-in's will still be accepted for lunch, based on availability.  Lunch hours are 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.

September 30, 2015

Be Our Guest recently adopted an allergy-friendly dinner menu, which lists options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  Gluten free options include:
  • Tapioca dinner rolls
  • Appetizers - potato leek soup, garden salad with champagne vinaigrette, mussels provencal
  • Entrees - grilled strip steak with seasonal vegetables and pommes frites, pan-seared chicken breast with seasonal vegetables and fingerling roasted potatoes, thyme-scented pork chop with seasonal vegetables and fingerling roasted potatoes with red wine jus, pan-seared salmon with seasonal vegetables and fingerling roasted potatoes, layered ratatouille
  • Desserts - raspberry sorbet, lemon-raspberry cream puff (a no sugar added dessert)
All of the entrees listed above are safe for people with milk, egg, soy, peanut, and tree nut allergies.  The three appetizers are also egg, peanut, tree nut, and soy free.  All of the appetizers and entrees are free of fish/shellfish except the mussels provencal and pan-seared salmon.  You can view a picture of the menu on The Celiac Pack's blog.  

You can read my breakfast review of Be Our Guest here.  You can read more about Be Our Guest, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Be Our Guest?