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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas...

I will be away for the Holidays so I wanted to take the time to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope that as you gather with family and loved ones you will embrace the special time spent with them, to hold the memories close in the coming years.

I also hope Santa leaves you all that you ask for. My list is small this year. My greatest desire it to be able to move back home to be close to my family and all those I love...I miss the large family dinners, the grab bag gifts, and watching the eyes of the little ones twinkle as they see gifts under the tree.

Good health, good friends, and peace, is at the top of my list. My husband and I no longer exchange gifts, and that is okay with me, as long as those I love are safe, happy,  and healthy.

So whatever you are wishing for this year, I hope you have been nice and not naughty, so your stocking will not been filled with coal :)   However you celebrate.... Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New year!!!

Sharon

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Good afternoon Everyone. Today is another baking day, as I need to get my Christmas cookies baked, and my gift trays assembled. I tried a new gluten free Peanut Butter cookie recipe this morning, once again from one of my favorite standbys, Betty Crocker. I used their Gluten Free BISQUICK pancake and baking mix .

I found the recipe on their home site, and it was a really easy, quick recipe. Just by using the gluten free mix, and adding a few ingredients from my pantry I had cookies in no time at all. Once again I was not disappointed. In fact these are probably the best Peanut Butter cookies I have ever tasted!

I did however tweak the recipe slightly by substituting Splenda's Brown sugar blend mix in place of the sugars called for, as my husband is a Diabetic. The cookies came out lightly browned and are soft and moist. I used regular sugar to make the criss cross design on top and to flatten slightly, but you could use colored sugars as well to make them more festive.

The only disappointment I had was the recipe states that the recipe will yield 2 1/2 dozen and I only actually got 20 cookies from the recipe. I did however use a cookie scoop to make the cookies uniform in size for a more visual effect on the trays, so this may have been the reason. Other than this one minor issue, this recipe will be added to my Christmas cookie list for many years to come. Also from now on, I will double the recipe each time.

If you are a Peanut Butter lover these are a definite must try!

Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten free)

1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
(or omit both sugars called for and use a total of 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend in recipe)
1/2 Cup peanut butter
1/4 Cup shortening
1/4 Cup margarine, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 cups Bisquick Gluten free mix

1. In large bowl mix the sugar, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg. Stir in the Bisquick mix. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. On a ungreased cookie sheet place the balls about 3 inches apart. With a fork dipped in sugar flatten the balls in a criss cross pattern.

3. Bake 9-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

Recipe states that it makes 2 1/2 dozen. I got 20 cookies from the recipe.
You can find other Gluten free recipes on their site at http://www.bettycrocker.com

Have a great wheat free day!
Sharon


   

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School...

Today I was blessed by a friend  through a email with the following poem.  This tragity at Sandy Hook Elementary will not soon be forgotten. Being  myself a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, daughter, and sister my  heart grieves for those who have suffered such a loss. Tears fill my eyes with every thought and image of this terrible wrong doing. I thought I would share this poem with you, and ask that each and every person who reads this post will stop and  take a minute to please pray for those morning the loss of a loved one due to this tragidy.

I do not know the auther personally, but I thank them for touching my heart with such a beautiful gift of words.


Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air,
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say,
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is heaven.” declared a small boy, “We’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same,
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King.
As they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools”,
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran,
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
 Then I  heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”


Written by...Cameo Smith

May God bless each and everyone...
Sharon

 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie Cups...

Hi everyone. Today was my first cookie baking day before Christmas. I am running late with my baking this year, and being my first Christmas of going totally gluten free, it has left me quite overwhelmed to say the least.

I did however run across this great recipe on the Betty Crocker site, and I decided to make it my first attempt of gluten free cookies for my cookie trays this year. I needed something that was going to taste good enough to please my family members who are definitely not gluten free eaters, and for myself and husband who are totally gluten free.

Although it uses their gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix, and is not a recipe from scratch, I am well pleased with the results. Not only was it quick and easy, but tastes delicious. I must admit it took a little more time than conventional drop cookies, but the effort and decorative look of the cookies will look quite pleasing on my gift trays.

The recipe made 54 cookies, and with a quick tip I used, helped to speed the process along.  After mixing the dough I divided the dough in half down the center of the bowl. I used a cookie scoop, leveling the batter to the top of the scoop, then divided the portion into two. So all in all, I got about 12 scoops per side, with two cookies per scoop when divided in half. This was a quick easy way to insure the same amount of dough was used per each cookie.

I also made sure I had all the miniature peanut butter cup candies unwrapped before I started  mixing the dough, as once the cookie cups come out of the oven these treats need to be placed in the center of each cookie cup immediately.

I had found these cute little Christmas cup liners at our local Dollar Tree for the mini muffin/tart pans in which to drop the rolled balls of dough. Aside from rolling the dough balls, and pressing the mini peanut butter cups into the center as soon as they come from the oven, this was a rather quick process, and I was done in no time at all it seemed.

You will find this and other gluten free cookie recipes on their site at http://www.bettercrocker.com but I wanted to share this recipe with you in time for the holidays. The cookies are really delicious and look quite festive. These would be great for a cookie exchange, or as a gift for someone you love. Hope you enjoy!

By the way...If I were rating the results of this mix  and recipe, I would definitely give it 5 Stars!

Gluten free Peanut butter cookies...

1 Box 19 oz) Betty Crocker GF chocolate chip cookie mix
1 egg
1/2 C softened butter
1 teas. vanilla
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
Approx 60 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place the mini paper baking cups in each of 24 mini muffin/tart tins.

In a large bowl mix the cookie mix, egg, butter, and vanilla with a spoon. (I used my hand mixer on low speed)  Stir in the peanut butter. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls (using method I previous mentioned above to divide) Place in the lined mini muffin/tart tins.

Bake 9-11 minutes (I baked mine for 11 Min), or until just lightly browned. Immediately press the unwrapped peanut butter cup candies into the center of each cookie. Cool entire pan on a wire rack at least 5 minutes before removing cookies from tins to a cooling rack. Cool completely and enjoy.

Hope you have a great wheat free cookie kind of day!
Sharon
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kit's Organic bars product review...

 I just realized today how back logged I am with products that need to be sampled and reviewed. So many wonderful companies have been generous enough to send products to be reviewed that it seems catch up is definitely in order. Kit's Organic was kind enough to send me three of their flavored bars to sample and review a while back, so since I needed a quick snack on the run this morning I will talk about their products today.

First lets talk about their Cashew Fruit & Nut bar. When you think cashew, you think nutty, crunchy...right? This was my initial impression also. Now I need to be in the mood for nuts of any kind, especially if I am in a hurry and don't feel like taking the time to chew...

I was pleasantly surprised. Not only with the ingredients on the package, but also with the flavors they incorporated together. Just four ingredients total are blended to make this tasty, filling, and what is a rather healthy snack treat. Organic dates, organic cashews, organic almonds and sea salt. Quite simple ingredients, and also delicious. This bar has only 170 calories. 27g of carbohydrates, 3g of  dietary fiber, 15g sugars and 3g of protein.

I figured that I was going to be overwhelmed with the taste of the dates, being they are listed first on the ingredients list,  but was quite frankly I was surprised. After the first few bites I could taste the flavor of the cashews and almonds, which blended with the texture of the dates quite smoothly. The texture of the bar was smooth, with just the right feel for a good "chew".

The second bar I tried was the Berry Almond Fruit & Nut bar. Wow! The burst  of the Organic barberries and bilberries was quite a experience, and left me wanting more. This bar once again has minimal ingredients. Organic dates, organic almonds, organic barberries, organic bilberries, and sea salt. Except for the smooth chewiness, this tasted like a fresh bowl of berries topped with almonds! This bar has 27g of carbohydrates, 5g of fiber, 16g sugars and 4g of protein.

The third bar I sampled was their Chocolate Almond Coconut Fruit & Nut bar. Quite surprisingly this tasted very close to a Mounds candy bar, but with healthier ingredients, so I got the best of both worlds! The ingredients in this bar were: Organic dates, organic almonds, unsweetened chocolate, organic coconut, organic virgin coconut oil, and seal salt. This bar contains 25g carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, 15g sugars, and 4g protein. Although I enjoyed all  three bars immensely I recommend this bar highly because of my love for anything CHOCOLATE!

The company uses organic ingredients in all their products. Free from the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic chemicals. Ingredients that are not only better for the planet, but also for the body and soul. Their foods are not only free of trans fats, but also hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrups for a healthier life style.

For more information about Kit's organic bars you can visit http://www.clifbar.com The company offers many kinds of bars, all of which are NOT gluten free, although they offer many products that are.

Products that are listed as gluten free:

Kit's Organics....(brand name)
Berry Almond Fruit & Nut bar
Cashew Fruit & Nut bar
Cashew Almond Coconut Fruit & Nut bar
Peanut Butter Fruit & Nut bar

Clif Kid...(brand name)
Fruit Punch
Grape
Mixed berry
Sour Apple
Strawberry
Tropical Twist

Luna...(brand name)
Chocolate
Chocolate cherry Almond
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Cookie Dough
Mint Chocolate Chip

Rating:

Cashew Fruit & Nut bar   5 Stars
Berry Almond Fruit & Nut bar    5+  Stars
Chocolate Almond Coconut Fruit & Nut bar   5+  Stars

Enjoy, and have a great wheat free day!
Sharon






 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pamela's Baking & Pancake mix review...

Hi all. Today I want to share with you a product from Pamela's, their Pancake & baking mix. I pulled the product off my shelf this morning with all intentions of making the Chocolate Chip cookies from the recipe on the bag, but suddenly had a urge for chocolate Chip pancakes, as I hadn't eaten breakfast yet.

Mixing the batter for the pancakes was so easy. Pamela's mix, 1 egg, water and oil...1-2-3...I always use a pastry whisk to make sure I get all the lumps out of the batter. The bag says it will yield 6 - 4" pancakes and that was pretty much spot on. The pancakes were light, fluffy and with a few added chocolate chip morsels, delightfully delicious. Who says you can't have chocolate for breakfast? Baa humbug!!!

This is the second product from Pamela's I have tried, their Anise Almond Biscotti being the first, and I have been well pleased with both. Their products have been formulated and produced to be wheat and gluten free. The products however are produced on equipment that also makes products containing tree nuts, soy, eggs and milk, so if you have any allergies to these products please bear this in mind.

I like the fact that this mix contains almond meal for that extra little added fiber. Ingredients: Brown rice flour, white rice flour, cultured buttermilk, natural almond meal, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, potato starch, grainless and aluminum free baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, potato starch, baking soda, sea salt and xanthan gum.

Pamela's never uses any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives. They also never use high fructose corn syrup. They have statements from all suppliers verifying their ingredients are also non-GMO.  They are currently in the process of preparing to join the non-GMO Project, and are working closely with their vendors to assure the quality and source of all ingredients.

I will be making Christmas cookies soon and plan on using this mix with the Chocolate Chip recipe posted on the bag. Chocolate Chip cookies are a all time favorite of my family, even during the holidays. I will keep you posted on the results. It is nice to have a mix readily available that is so versatile.

I can't wait to try a few of the other recipes on the bag to see if I get the same great results! You can visit their site at http://pamelasproducts.com for more information and recipes. You can also order their Baking & Pancake mix in either the 24 oz size for $8.19, or the 64 oz size for $19.69, on the right side of this post, from gluten free.com. Click on their site button, then click on Pancakes & Waffles listed under the title BAKING MIXES to the left of the sites home page.

 You can also order the mixes from Pamela's home site directly, but be aware you must purchase  multiple bag orders from there. Either way, I hope you try the product, as I believe you will be well pleased.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken & Rice Bake

Its all about quick and easy this holiday season with all the shopping, gift wrapping, and cookie making I will be doing, so I decided to try a new recipe that seemed to look quick and easy. I have never really experienced Moroccan cuisine before, and I am so glad I gave this recipe a try. I may even be searching for more GF recipes in this category as I found the blend of spices quite different and enjoyable.

I found this recipe strange enough, in a Nestle cook book of all places. Except for cooking the rice, which took about 15 minutes tops, and the 40 minute baking time, the recipe was quite easy. It calls for rice and chicken, my two favorite staples, and the flavor combination was really delightful.

The flavors were mild and soothing to the taste, and although  the blend of ingredients for the rice mixture itself seemed strange, each played off  of each other for a comforting, delicious dish. My family enjoyed it as much as I did, and it will be a regular on the table from now on. I hope you will give it a try, and that you will enjoy it as much as we did. Until next post,  have a great wheat free day!

Sharon

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken & Rice Bake

6 C cooked long or medium grain brown or white rice
1 T ground cumin
1 1/2 teas salt
1 teas ground black pepper
1 1/2 teas ground paprika
6 chicken thighs, skin removed
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (12 oz) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk (I used Fat Free)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) petite diced tomatoes, drained
2/3 cup raisins
3 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Combine the cumin, salt, black pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2 teas of the blended spice mixture on both side of chicken thighs. (save remaining for rice mixture).

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the seasoned chicken in the skillet and cook on each side for about 4 minutes until browned.

Combine the cooked rice, evaporated milk, drained tomatoes, raisins, lemon juice and the left over spice mixture in a large bowl. Pour the rice mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place the chicken thighs on top of the rice mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.

This is a filling, quick, one pot gluten free dinner that everyone will enjoy, even the finickiest of eaters....











 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bisquick GF Pancake and Baking Mix...





Good evening all. It is rainy here in Ohio today and I could think of nothing better to have than a comfort food such as pancakes, topped with rich butter and creamy maple syrup.....Mmmmmmm!

I remember my Mom mixing up Bisquick pancakes when I was growing up on those cold damp days of Winter. The whole house smelled warm and comforting while they cooked. Now I can still enjoy that same great taste even in my new gluten free lifestyle.

I must admit that I even like the gluten free mix better than the original. The pancakes are light, fluffy and moist, actually moister in my opinion than the original mix. I also have always loved making Strawberry Shortcake from their mix, so it seems I am in Bisquick heaven at the moment!
I love the ease of working with gluten free mixes, and to be able to stay with a company I have virtually grown up using, is a great feeling.

Although the price is definitely higher for the gluten free version, it is a product I will definitely keep on my shelf. The mix is very versatile, from making pizza crust, chicken fingers, oven baked chicken, pancakes, waffles, biscuits and strawberry shortcakes to cookies.

The ingredients list is fairly short, with words even I can pronounce:
Rice flour, sugar, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Modified Potato starch, salt, xanthan gum.
*May contain soy ingredients.

The mix is distributed by General Mills, which is a sponsor of The Celiac Disease Foundation, and is made in a gluten free facility. This mix also contains no artificial colors or preservatives. The 16 ounce box costs just a little over $4.50 but there is enough mix to make a few of the recipes that are listed on the side of the box.

Mix, milk, oil and 1 egg are all that is needed for sweet, delicious pancakes to enjoy within a few minutes! You can even refrigerate leftovers, if there are any that is, and reheat for about 1 minute in the microwave. Try adding a few chocolate chips before flipping for some added sweetness...and a little added bliss!

*I used Coconut oil to fry these delicate morsels to add more fiber. Although you can smell the coconut scent as they cook, it does not leave any coconut taste to the pancakes themselves.

Rating 5 Stars

Have a great wheat free week!!!
Sharon

 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix review...

Hi everyone. Sorry I was off the web for quite a few days, I came down with a virus and I am just getting back into the grove of things as you can see.
I actually felt well enough today to conjure up some gluten free chocolate cupcakes using one of Betty Crocker's gluten free cupcake mixes. After days of chicken soup and toast I needed a change, and since chocolate is my weakness, I tried a mix I had on hand from Betty Crocker.
You might remember that my husband recently joined me in my gluten free journey a few months back, and although he is not as much of a "sweet' lover as I am, I was actually afraid I wasn't going to even get to try any of these delightful morsels. He asked for one the minute they came out of  the oven, and within a hours time another two had disappeared from the cooling rack as I waited for them to cool enough to ice.
I have to tip my hat to Betty Crocker on this one! Although the mix only makes one dozen cupcakes it was well worth every dime spent...My husband said they were the best cupcakes he has ever eaten, and I have to agree they were as good as he said, when I finally got to try one.
I also used Betty Crocker's Cream Cheese icing to decorate the remaining few, and the blend of flavors was simply divine. The cupcakes were moist, fluffy, and filled with a rich chocolate flavor.
They are as simple to make as any regular cake mix and just as tasty. I am now anxious to try their other Gluten Free products which include a  Vanilla Cake mix, Brownie mix, and Chocolate Cookie Mix. I have a few Christmas ideas for these mixes in mind which I will share with you in time to try for the Holidays! Mmmmmmmm....

Ingredients:
Sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa processed with alkali, tapioca starch, leavening( baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate ) salt, guar gum, soy flour.

Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed these.
P.S. Sorry there is no photo....They didn't last long enough to take one!!!!!!!
Rating 5 Stars 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are Egg Beaters Gluten Free?

Before I had posted the recipe for the delicious Crustless Thanksgiving Pie, which originally called for egg beaters instead of regular eggs,  I had contacted the company to find out if egg beaters were indeed gluten free. Since I hadn't heard back from them in time for pie making over the holiday, I used real eggs, which made the pie come out excellent by the way, but I did receive a email from the company upon my return that I would like to share...
 
 
Sharon,
 
Thank you for your email concerning our Egg Beaters.

We understand how important it is for people who have been medically diagnosed with gluten sensitivity to obtain accurate information about our food to help plan their meals and diets. And we continue to look for ways to meet the dietary needs of our consumers.

Since wheat is a major food allergen, if it is used in the product it would be listed in the contains statement following the ingredients list. The flour used in many of our products is wheat flour and you should avoid these products if you have gluten sensitivities. If any ingredient in the product includes rye or barley, it will be listed in parentheses immediately following the ingredient. Oats do not contain gluten, but they frequently have been exposed to wheat or barley and are not recommended for Celiac patients. If Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, or Spices listed in the ingredients list contain wheat, rye or barley, these ingredients would be listed in parenthesis immediately following the ingredient. Some fermented or distilled products such as vinegar may be derived from wheat. Most of the vinegar in our products is distilled and through the distilling process protein gluten is removed.

Starting January of 2012, we began producing the following brands validated as gluten-free with gluten-free printed on their labels:


-Cocoa: Swiss Miss all varieties
-Egg Beaters: all varieties-Tomatoes: Hunt's all varieties (excluding Pasta Sauces, Tomato Sauces and Ketchup's)
-Orville Redenbacher's: all Ready to Eat varieties
-Pudding: Swiss Miss & Snack Pack, excludes those containing Tapioca

Below is a list of some of our other products that do not contain added gluten*

Category/Brand/Items:

-PAM Cooking Spray: all varieties except PAM Baking
-Hebrew National: all items except Franks in a Blanket
-Wesson oils: all varieties
-Peter Pan Peanut Butter: all varieties
-Popcorn: Act II microwave, Orville Redenbacher jar and microwave, excluding Crunch n Munch and Poppycock
-Spreads: Parkay, Blue Bonnet, Fleischmann's and Move Over Butter
-David Seeds: all varieties
-Tomato Sauces: Hunt's tomato paste and sauces excluding pasta sauces
-Ketchup: Hunt's all varieties
-Reddi-Whip: all varieties
-Ro*Tel Tomatoes (excluding sauces)

*These items have been identified as not containing gluten. They are not currently routinely tested to affirm they contain less than 20ppm gluten for a 'gluten-free' claim.

We always advise consumers who may have sensitivities to recheck the ingredient list on each package. Products are oftentimes reformulated and the ingredients may change. If you have additional questions about your personal dietary needs, please consult your doctor or a registered dietitian.


Christine
Consumer Affairs Representative
ConAgra Foods
Case: 61320050

If you have any questions or concerns about any of their products you may contact them at the number listed (1-877-266-2472) or visit them at this site: http://www.congrafoods.com

Most companies will answer any questions or concerns that you are unsure of, if you will contact them.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Holiday, and as always....Have a GREAT wheat free day!!!
Sharon


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Baking Ingredients...

If you are fairly new to gluten free holiday baking, as I am, then you know how hard it can be sorting and reading through labels on all those baking products needed to make your favorite cookies and other holiday treats into gluten free.. I have added a list of  just a few of the most used  gluten free ingredients needed in making those beautiful Holiday delicacies. I hope the list helps to make your holiday baking a little easier this year, and  that you can use the time saved to spend with friends and family!.


  Jellies, Peanut Butters & Spreads:
  
   Polaner All Fruit
Jiff Peanut butter-all types
Skippy Peanut butter-creamy, crunchy, reduced fat, and roasted honey nut
Smuckers Jellies and Jams
Smuckers All Fruit
Smuckers Natural Peanut butter
Welch’s Grape jelly and jam
Marshmallow Fluff
 
Molasses and Karo:
 
Brer Rabbit Molasses
Grandma’s molasses
Karo corn syrups-light and dark
 
Butters, Shortenings, Oils, Spreads, and Sprays:
 
Cabot Butter
Cabot Whipped Butter
Crisco Oil
Crisco Shortening-regular and butter
Fleishman’s Light Margarine
Mazola oils and sprays
Smart Balance Shortening and Cooking Spray
Smart Balance Buttery Spread
I Can’t believe it’s not Butter, -all types
Benecol spread (reg and light)
Land O Lakes butter-salted, unsalted and whipped (NOTE: light butter is NOT gluten free)
 
Sour Creams, Yogurts:
 
Axelrod sour cream
Cabot Sour Cream-regular and lite
Columbo yogurts-fat free, light, low fat, classic
Yoplait yogurts-original, light, thick and creamy, whips, go gurts, smoothies
Axelrod Yogurt
Dannon plain yogurt-low fat, nonfat, natural
Dannon Dan Active plain yogurt
 
 
Baking Goods/milks:
 
Carnation Evaporated and Fat Free Evaporated Milk
Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
Thai Kitchen Light Coconut Milk
Thai Kitchen Premium Coconut Milk
A Taste of Thai Coconut Milk

 
Sugars and Misc:
 
Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
Domino’s sugar-brown-light and dark, confectionery, and granulated white
Fleishmann’s Yeast
Splenda Sweetener
 
 
Chocolate and Chocolate chips:
 
Hershey’s chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, baking chips
Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa, unsweetened baking bar,
bittersweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips,
semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and baking bar
 
 
Spices and Extracts:
 
McCormick’s extracts (all flavors, pure and imitation)
McCormick’s spices (not blends)
McCormick’s food color
Real Lemon and Real lime juice
Nestles Toll House morsels
Betty Crocker candy sprinkles
Betty Crocker Neon decorating gels
Splenda Sweetener
Durkee Spices
 
Pie Fillings:
 
Comstock pie fillings-all flavors 
Lucky leaf pie fillings
Libby’s pure pumpkin

* As always it is up to the individual to read labels to make sure that products used in recipes posted are gluten free, as companies do change ingredients from time to time.

* Splenda...There are no gluten containing, grain based ingredients derived from wheat, rye, or barley, nor any ingredients derived from oats, used to produce SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose) or the SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. However they do not test their finished products for the presence of gluten.

As always have a great wheat free day!
Sharon

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crustless Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie...


Ingredients:


1 - 15 ounce can Libby's Pumpkin puree...not pie filling
1  - 12 ounce can Carnations fat free evaporated milk
3-  egg whites
1 tsp  Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves)
2/3 C Splenda for baking

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Prepare 9" glass pie dish by spraying with Smart Balance cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth and well blended. Pour mixture into prepared pie dish.
Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes; reduce oven to 325 F and bake for additional  45 minutes, or until a knife  inserted in the center comes out clean.

 Allow to cool completely for several hours before slicing.

* Splenda...There are no gluten containing, grain based ingredients derived from wheat, rye, or barley, nor any ingredients derived from oats, used to produce SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose) or the SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. However we do not test our finished products for the presence of gluten.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Gingerbread Cake

It is 4:44 in the morning and although I am tired I just can not sleep with all the thoughts running through my mind. My husbands job has brought us to sunny Tennessee and I will be here for two weeks, of which one has already passed.

I am not an early bird by nature, but since my husband is working twelve hour days, up at 3 AM each morning, and we are staying in a RV for the duration of the visit, it is hard not to be woken during his morning routine of getting ready for the day. I prefer to stay up late and sleep in, not the case as of late!

I decided instead of tossing and turning that I would simply post on the blog. Since I haven't had my computer up and running for over a week I have much catching up to do. I have hundreds of emails to sort through and answer, and I find that the products I need to sample and review will all have to wait until I return home, as RV life is somewhat of a challenge when it comes to cooking!!!

My first attempt at baking a pre-made GF pizza in the tiniest of ovens

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Katz Gluten Free storm and shipping update...

Hi all. I just received this email from Katz and thought I should share with those of you who have possibly placed orders.

To all our valued customers:

Unfortunately
Katz Gluten Free has been affected by the Storm that has passed through the Northeast.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Glass Rooster Cannery...

Glass Rooster
A few weeks back I stopped at the Glass Rooster Home Cannery on one of my grocery shopping outings. I had passed the Cannery many times over the past few years and just never took the time to stop. Shame on me! It was definitely not what I had expected it to be at all. I had pictured a store filled with jars and jars of preserved foods for sale, and found a rare hidden gem instead. It is actually a Licensed Kitchen with a clean, inviting facility for novice and experienced cooks interested in storing a safe food supply efficiently from home grown sources.

I was greeted by Jeannie who was preparing for an Appetizer class, yet she graciously took the time to talk with me and answer my many questions. After explaining what the Cannery offers in the way

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eat..Pray..Love..& Groceries...

Last night I watched the movie "Eat..Pray..Love" with Julia Roberts, who by the way is a beautiful actress. I hadn't seen the movie for quite some time and I was exhausted after a long day in the kitchen tweaking a bread recipe to meet my own personal tastes, and I needed a break. Needless to say every loaf  I had made went into the trash. They were either too moist, to brown, or collapsed while baking.

There is a saying that goes... "Don't believe everything you hear"...well the same could be said for everything you read! How can you print a cook book and leave out important information

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gingerbread cake made gluten free...


Hi all. I have made the gluten free version of this gingerbread cake recipe several times now, tweaking it as I went, to make sure it was something "ALL" ginger lovers would enjoy before sharing the recipe. This makes a 8x8 inch pan and serves 9 generously. It is light, moist

Friday, October 19, 2012

One of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days where you had a million things to do and didn't know where to start? Today is such a day for me.

 I am in the mist of decorating our second bedroom as I found a beautiful watercolor print at our local Goodwill store and just had to have it! It is loaded with shades of green, grape, fuchs's and yellows in every different shade. I finally narrowed it down to selecting the colors for the walls after much deliberation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sun Flour Mills Sugar Cookie review...

It has been awhile since I have reviewed any of Sun Flour Mills products and since I still had a few of their products on hand, compliments of the company, I decided to make some sugar cookies this evening. Christmas is right around the corner and I like to get a jump start on what cookies I will be making for my holiday trays. Since this will be my first year being totally gluten free I need

Monday, October 15, 2012

Plea to women everywhere to have breast exams....

Another sleepless night of many this past week, and so I find myself on the computer once again in the wee hours of the morning.( I threw that "wee" in there as I recently found out my family tree starts in Scotland)  I recently returned from a week of visiting family and find that I have not slept through the night since my return. What was suppose to be a fun visit has turned into many stressful days and nights...

If you have read my profile you will know a little of why I actually started this blog and my wheat free journey. For those of you who are new readers let me tell you my story.

Two years ago during my yearly mammogram they found a dark spot in the back of my right breast. I have been on a two year watch which not only entailed my yearly mammogram, but also a sonogram every six months to make sure there were no changes. Combining what was suppose to be my last sonogram to check up on this situation, and a short family visit, has turned into something just short of a nightmare.

I was excited to be at the end of this waiting period and to get a good report and finally put this behind me and move on....I had no doubt in my mind that everything was going to be okay as I lay on the exam table waiting for the results of the reading. This is how the situation panned out.

Technician: " Okay. Your next scheduled mammogram will be in April. We will send you a reminder in the mail and at that time he wants to have another sonogram done".

Me: " I thought this was the last sonogram needed as it is the end of the 2 year watch? Was something wrong, was there a change in the spot?"

Technician: " Well he thinks possibly there may have been a slight change from the past results, or it could just be a technical issue".

Me: " So your saying it has gotten bigger?"

Technician: " Well he thinks it might be a slight change of maybe 1-2 centimeters, or it could just be a  technical issue. If he thought it was serious he would have ordered a biopsy today".

WHAT THE HECK does that mean???? Now this I know from personal experience that 1-2 centimeters is not something to just overlook as I have a 5 centimeter cyst on my right kidney and know that it is about the size of a lime. So 1-2 centimeters to me IS a big deal!!!

I also feel that if it WAS a technical issue that another sonogram should have been taken then and there to rule out that possibility. This is my LIFE you are talking about!

Needless to say that after the initial shock has finally worn off I will be on the phone with my OB this morning with my concerns and complaints, as I feel this was not handled very well on the professional end of this matter.

I am still stunned in the fact that I was left to walk out the door wondering if I now have a growth inside me that might be becoming a serious issue and was just left ignored like I didn't matter. Maybe I am over reacting...maybe everything is okay...I just want to know!

I urge you women out there to please get your scheduled mammogram. The spot in my breast would not have been found without my having my routine checkup, as I physically felt no lump because it is so far back in the breast. Life is to precious to take chances!

As my profile reads.... I hope this blog will encourage you to take control of your life and live it as it was intended....To it's fullest! I want to be the kind of woman that when my feet hit the ground each morning , the devil says, "OH CRAP, SHE'S UP"! Prayerfully God will give me many more of such days...

I will keep you posted on any new results I hear.
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gillians GF Fusilli pasta product review...

Last night we tried Gillian's Fusilli for dinner with our favorite pasta sauce. I was very pleased with the way the pasta cooked as well as the taste. This pasta is made with  brown rice pasta and is not only free of wheat and gluten's, but also egg free. It is also sodium, fat free and cholesterol free.

Brown rice is the least processed form of rice. It has the bran layer, which gives this pasta a slightly chewier texture. It is tan in color and has a slight nut like flavor. Brown rice grains are also higher in fiber and nutritional content such as oils, vitamin B's and important minerals than those of white rice.

The texture was great and I really enjoyed the flavor of the noodles. I found it to be the perfect texture when cooked and not mushy like some brands I have tried.

Gillian's facility is dedicated to a gluten and wheat free environment. Their site offers many recipes and information about their products and is easy to maneuver on. Their products include Gluten free rolls, onion rolls, sandwich bread, pasta's, bread crumbs, flours, and wheat/gluten free mixes such as brownie mix, cinnamon bread mix and pizza dough mix. They also offer pre-made cookie doughs in Chocolate Chip and Sugar Cookie.

I would recommend this pasta to those who are looking for a great firm hearty tasting pasta that holds sauces well. It also bakes well so it can even be used in casseroles. You will find several of their pasta products at the Gluten Free Mall on this blog or you can visit their site at Gillians Foods

Rating: 4 3/4 Stars
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Castle TV series...

Hi all. I decided to take a break today from product reviews, baking, and everything wheat/gluten free and just share my thoughts. Everyone needs a break now and then where we can just "shut down" life as we know it, and jog off into a land filled with intrigue and love. Dirty diapers, dinner, cleaning, and yes even baking, now take the back seat as we immerse ourselves into the characters lives.

The TV series Castle is this place for me. I have seen many movies in which Nathan Fillion has played, but this series is my fave. When I can't be home to watch the show it is being taped so I can watch it later. I have watched this series every week from the start, intrigued by each and every adventure they are on.

I love how Castle and Kate Becket's feelings for each other have evolved from the very beginning and I have waited perched on the edge of my seat each week to see if this would be the moment they would connect. FINALLY!!! If you are a fan you know what I mean...Right?

I can associate with Castle in the fact that he plays a writer on the show, as this has always been a dream of mine. I am in the process of completing a novel which has been on hold for years now as I need the funds to travel and finish my research, but have not been able to do so to date.

I can relate to the character of Kate as she is doing exactly in life that which she wants to do. I have always been told that "You can't do that" and have always just settled for what I could do! I have had many dreams throughout the years and it seems that each one got kicked to the curb somehow or other.

In my late 20's I finished school with my Managers Degree in Hairstyling, married and started raising a family, so my career was put on hold. Being a stay at home mom I decided to pursue my other passion, that of writing. I decided to take a home writing course for children's books only to be told after submitting my first lesson with my chosen topic being that of a spelling bee, that spelling bee's were basically non existent, and I needed to find a different topic....Funny how the movie Spelling Bee came out many years later!!! Needless to say that ended that phase of my life, so a stay at home mom I was, once again putting my dreams on hold.

A few moments each week of living through someone else eyes I now see life differently. Although I am intrigued by Castle and Kate Becket's characters, if only for a few brief minutes each week, I realize I have been truly blessed in life even while putting my own desires on hold. Maybe my novel will never come to fruition, and owning my own styling salon might no longer be on the table. Yet I look at my children and see the determined, strong headed, compassionate individuals they have become and  I see parts of myself in them. If I had not been a stay at home mom I wonder if they would have turned out differently. I witness daily the love they have for their own children and the desire they have for them to be all that they can be as they grow into unique individuals. Quite like Castle who in the series as a father, wants for his daughter. As parents we all seem to have this in common.

We all have dreams, some come true, some not. Our challenge is whether we let them defeat us or whether we move forward and create new ones. I have no dreams at the present moment but each waking morning brings with it new adventures to be conquered, new sights to see, new recipes to try, new friends and new journeys.

A friend recently sent me a email which at the bottom had this small note..."I want to be the kind of woman that when my feet hit the ground each morning , the devil says, "OH CRAP, SHE'S UP"! ! Maybe I always have been that kind of women and it just took until now to realize it, dreams or no dreams.....

 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Second 'Bread" try...

Good afternoon all. Today is definitely a Autumn kind of day and I could not think of a better way to spend it than inside baking bread. This is my first attempt of the day and as soon as I get the results, whether good or bad, I will be starting experimenting on my second loaf. If this loaf turns out to be what I have been hopefully tweaking it to be, I will make a second loaf of  which I promise to take pictures of and post, along with the recipe for you all to try and enjoy.

I have no idea why I am so obsessed with baking bread lately but I know that I am on a path that will have no end until I find the recipe that will produce the perfect loaf that I have been craving. There are weeds in my flower garden that need pulled, wall painting to finish, and even clothes to wash, but I find myself drawn to the kitchen more and more.

If the truth be told I only have one load of clothes to wash, and the wall painting is not at the top of the list of things to do because we very seldom have visitors as we do most of the traveling when we want to see family. So I guess I have no rhyme or reason to my baking madness other than I want a great loaf of bread!

This is now my husbands fifth week of going gluten free and I have to say I am very proud of him. He actually seems to be enjoying it and keeps looking for new things to try. Not bad for a Italian man who was raised on pasta and bread!

Well the timer is going off so its back to the kitchen. I will let you know later how the recipe turned out. Until then have a great wheat free day, and take time to enjoy the crisp Autumn air...

        Sharon

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ramblings of a bread making maniac...CONTEST.

This post is just ramblings of the past few days and the "bread' attempts that have mostly gone into the trash. I wonder if my Garbage Collector thinks a new family has moved in with all the extra trash he has had to collect lately...chuckle...chuckle...

All I can say is that I am determined to develop that PERFECT loaf of soft, moist, tender, bendable substance, that one calls bread! I think my legs are about to buckle from all the extra time I have spent in my kitchen these past few days and my back is locked into a upright position, but  I press on. I am obsessed it seem! I have reached the point where I am tired of spending upwards of $6.00 or more for what resembles more of  a glued together lump of sawdust, or having to purchase expensive mixes that have tasted pretty good for the most part, but are "not quite there".

My husband is about to question my sanity to say the least at this point! I guess as long as I feed him he will be okay. So on I press. Not only have I become obsessed with bread but also a great cupcake recipe (future contest). I love using rice flours and so my search continues.

If you have a bread recipe you would love to share I hope you will enter the contest. Email me at wheatfreelivingandme@ymail.com with your recipe which must include brown rice flour as one of the ingredients to qualify.The chosen winner will win a  $25 Visa card. ( All recipes submitted must have been personally baked and tested by you) All entries will be tested for taste, texture and moistness, and a the winner's recipe and name will be posted on the blog. Have friends that are gluten free??? Invite them to enter, the more the merrier. The contest ends on October 30th and winner will be announced on or around November 30th depending on the number of entries received.

Good luck and let the baking begin!
 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rice & Raisins...and my new Bread Recipe...

Okay...go ahead and laugh if you must, but I love cooked rice with raisins while still warm from the pan , smothered in milk and sugar. This was a treat my mom use to cook up for my sister and I when it was close to grocery day. It is a comfort food for me when I am feeling down. It seems to put me in a melancholy state, and relax my mind.

Today was one of those days where I needed a lift so off to the store I went to buy my much needed raisins for this dish, as there was none in the house. I also decided to purchase my gluten free flours as I was down to zilch and only have four slices of bread left in the freezer.

Having what I thought was everything on my grocery list I returned home only to find that I had forgotten to purchase eggs, so the bread making is on hold until tomorrow as I have no ambition to leave my house for the rest of the day.

Since I like rice so much I guess that is why I really like the Bread Recipe that follows. It is made with rice flour mainly, has a nice texture, taste, and toasts great. It toasts up crisp with a slight crunch, and I love it slathered with butter and jam! It also makes great sandwiches as it is tender, moist, and does not fall apart. The rise of the dough is one of the best I have seen from previous recipes I have made in the past ....it even has a DOUBLE rise...Because it browns almost immediately I suggest you let it brown for about 10 minutes them cover with foil for the remaining baking time. It makes a huge loaf and I like the fact that this is as fresh as it gets!

I can't remember where I saw the recipe but I do know that the baking time and temperature at which to bake the bread was missing from the recipe! I used the temperature and times that I have used for previous recipes and it came out perfect. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. Drop me a comment if you try the recipe, as I would love to hear your tips and suggestions!!

Have a great wheat free day!

 Rice Yeast Bread

2 Cups Brown rice flour
2/3 Cup Potato starch (not flour)
1/3 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 Cup sugar
3 1/2 teas. Xanthan gum
2/3 Cup dry milk powder
1 1/2 teas Salt
Mix all well in a large bowl and set aside.

1/2 Cup warm water
2 Teas sugar
1 1/2 T yeast
Mix water and sugar together until sugar dissolves. Add yeast and let set until yeast causes mixture to rise and foam.

1 1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup butter or margarine
Put in pan and heat on low until butter melts.

3 Eggs
1 Teas vinegar
Beat eggs until foamy then add vinegar and mix well.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Grease bottom and sides of a 9x5 loaf pan.

In large bowl blend the dry ingredients. Slowly add the butter and water mixture on low speed of mixer. Blend in the egg mixture, mixture should feel warm. Pour the yeast mixture into the ingredients and beat on high speed for two minutes until dough is climbing up beaters.

Place mixing bowl in a warm place covered with plastic wrap and a towel on top for approximately 1- 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Return to the mixer and beat dough down on high speed  for 3 full minutes.

Spoon the dough into a 9x5 greased loaf pan smoothing top with a wet spoon, cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise once again until double in size. Bake uncovered for 10 -15 minutes then cover with foil and bake for remaining baking time of 50-55 minutes.( I baked my loaf a total of 65 minutes from start to finish)

When loaf has finished baking turn out of pan onto a cooling rack. Wait at least 1 hour before slicing.

* I used all Bob's Red Mill flower and Xanthan gum products, Red Star active dry yeast, Carnation instant nonfat dry milk, and Country Crock margarine for this recipe.

This is one of the best home made recipes I have found to date and is really quite easy to make!




 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dad's Gluten free Pizza crust..

Dad's gluten free pizza crust is one of those staples that is great to have in your freezer for quick supper ideas. It is not only wheat and gluten free, but also soy free, casein free, egg free, corn free, and has no preservatives. They are made in a gluten-free kitchen so that they can guarantee you a gluten-free product. They use only dedicated equipment to make their crusts, allow only gluten-free products in their kitchen, and gluten-free companies supply all of the ingredients.

The 10" crusts are Par-baked, vacuum sealed,  and ready to add your favorite sauce and toppings to and then bake. They freeze well also. Keep frozen and thaw before using, or keep in the refrigerator for up to ten days before using.

I found that to get the best results it is best to pre-bake the crust for 5-7 minutes, let cool, then add your favorite sauce and toppings and  finish baking. This crust was firm, chewy, and had a great taste. If you are new to gluten free you will find that most products have a different texture than their gluten laden competitors, but do not be discouraged, it just takes a little while to get use to the difference.

I served this with a salad for dinner and everyone enjoyed. I like having items like this on hand as it makes my life allot easier on those days when I am rushed for dinner ideas.

Ingredients:
White rice flour, water, potato starch, potato flour, tapioca flour, sugar, canola oil, xanthan gum, salt and yeast.

Dad's Gluten Free specializes in pizza crusts and offers first time customers free shipping on their first pizza crust order. Just type in "Try One" in the code bar when placing a first order to try one of their crusts. They accept Pay Pal, MC, Amex, Discover and EChecks as payments making placing a order easy. You will find their product and information at Dad's Gluten Free Pizza Crusts

Rating 4 1/4 Stars






 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Product review...Sheffa Foods Mediterrianean Salad Sprinkles

Hi all. First I must apologize to Sheffa Foods for taking so long to review this fantastic product, and to myself, as it a phenomenal product, and it is I who really was missing out!!! I received this product a while back and it seemed to have gotten pushed to the back of my cupboard and forgotten until today when it resurfaced as I was cleaning my cupboards.

I had some errands to run and on my way home decided to grab a side salad to go with my left over pasta from yesterday and also to try this product for review. All I have to say is... Oh My Goodness ...this salad topping was absolutely delicious. Now I have had almonds, and even walnuts or sunflower seeds on my salads in the past, but the blend of this mix leaves me at a loss for words, which is almost impossible to do! :) It added that extra little kick to my salad, and I felt good knowing I was getting added nutrients along with my fresh greens. I really enjoyed the crunch and flavor it added.

It is a whole natural mix which is Vegan, wheat free, gluten free, contains no MSG's, no Trans fats and no cholesterol. Nuts are loaded with nutrients, contain protein and fiber so they are a good food choice to add to your diet.

The Mediterranean Salad sprinkles contain:
Sunflower seeds, soybeans, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, spices and sea salt. Each nut and seed had its own unique flavor that lends to the mix.

The larger bags come in 7oz sizes and sell for $4.49 each on their . The company now offers a pre-measured 1 oz traveling size that sells for just $.99 that you can carry with you making for a quick healthy snack on its own, or for your own salad toppings.

Sheffa Foods also offers Snack mixes in four flavors, and four varieties of  Savory bars.  Although all Sheffa's products are gluten free they are produced in a facility that handles peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, corn, soybeans and oats, so if you have these allergies beware.

You can sprinkle these on your salads. Top your steamed or sauteed veggies, rice or other grains and pasta's with them. Sprinkle on baked or mashed potatoes, add to plain yogurt, or eat straight from the bag as a healthy snack. This is a definite must have for nut and seed lovers alike!

The company offers free shipping on orders of $65.00 or more in the US. There is also only a standard flat rate of $7.00 per order under that amount. Visa, MasterCard and pay pal are accepted forms of payment for orders from their site.

Rating 5 Stars

You can purchase the Mediterranean Salad Sprinkles and other products from their site at Sheffa Foods

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

XO Baking Co. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting...

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Mix – NEW!

Good morning all. Today my review is about a rich, creamy, chocolate buttercream icing from XO Baking Company. This is one of the best icings that I have sampled and reviewed to date, and it got great rave from family members.

It has a creamy, almost pudding like consistency, and excellent  taste. The flavor was not a overwhelming deep chocolate, but more of a milk chocolate flavor,  and iced well. Although I did not find it firm enough to make flower decorations on my cupcakes it did indeed spread well and maintain its shape.

The directions are quite simple using just  butter (or margarine) and hot water. The directions state using 2-3 Tablespoons of hot water but I suggest starting at just 1 Tablespoon and then adding 1/2 teaspoon increments until you reach your desired consistency, as once it becomes to creamy there is no turning back...The taste was excellent and the icing had a smooth silky texture. I would definitely purchase this icing again but would definitely add less water, as I personally prefer my icing slightly firmer.

The mix will yield about 2 cups of frosting which is enough to frost a one - 9" round layer cake or 20 cupcakes. I actually stretched mine to frost 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients:
Confectioners sugar (sugar, cornstarch), Cocoa powder, Sea salt, Organic vanilla flavor. This product is manufactured in a dedicated gluten free facility that also uses soy and milk. The nice thing about XO products is that they contain no trans fats, are wheat free, gluten free and soy free. I also like the fact that the company offers FREE shipping on orders over $45.00 or more....With the price of gas these days I am all about saving!!!

You can find this icing and their other products on their site at XO Baking Co.

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next post....Have a great wheat free day!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Product review...Namaste Chocolate Fudge Frosting mix

Hi all. I hope you are all enjoying the weather as the last weeks of Summer linger on. I had plans to work in my garden today and weed, but my plans changed as they seem to do quite frequently lately. It seems that this past month I have been away from the computer more than usual with all the family planned trips and I do apologize for not posting as frequent as I would have liked.

Today I would like to review a product from Namaste foods, their Chocolate Fudge frosting mix. I have reviewed several of Namaste's products and was excited to once again sample one of their products.

This mix calls for just 6 Tablespoons of margarine or butter and 3-4 Tablespoons of BOILING water....this is an important key factor. After initially  mixing these ingredients you MUST let the icing rest for 15 minutes to allow the high quality sugar to dissolve, then beat at high speed until smooth and creamy, or you will get a gritty tasting icing. The taste was deep chocolate and the icing decorated my cupcakes nicely. The only draw back is having to wait 15 minutes to "finish" the icing if you are in a hurry.

The icing bag also has a recipe for a Cherry Vanilla Cake on it which I hope to try at a future date around the holidays, along with a recipe for Choconut Cake and Coconut Fudge frosting using their products. The company has many other baking mixes along with Pasta dishes that all are made in a dedicated facility free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn, potato, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy and casein's.

Ingredients:
Brown sugar, Dutch cocoa, rice milk powder, silicon dioxide (added to prevent caking) and salt.

You can purchase their line and view numerous recipes using their products at Namaste Foods. You can also find many of their products at your local grocery store.

Rating 4 1/2 Stars

As always...Have a great wheat free day!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Product review...Better Batter yellow cake mix

Hi all. It is good to finally be back home from all the family activities this past week and catch up on some much needed rest. It was so good to see family and celebrate my grandson's and great grand daughters birthdays but I must admit I felt as if I was the energizer bunny....constantly on the move.

Before I went to visit I had made cupcakes from a yellow cake mix that Better batter was kind enough to supply me with. I have to save they were truly a saving grace for me during my visit when all others were indulging in birthday cake. They were soft, moist and delicious. My grandson who just turned 8 even ate one after indulging in a slice of wheat laden birthday cake and didn't seem to notice the difference, as he ate every crumb!

This mix calls for water OR milk, oil, and eggs. The directions are as simple as can be and for all those at the party who ate one (yes, I shared), they were pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients:
Sugar, rice flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, potato starch, potato flour, natural vanilla flavor, xanthan gum, pectin, sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, salt, turmeric, monocalcium phosphate monohydrate.

Rating: 5 Stars (You can't argue with a 8 year old)

All in all I would say that these cupcakes are very close to the cupcakes of my yesteryear's. You can even make a lower fat Vegan version. ( directions on the box) You can purchase this cake mix along with their chocolate cake mix for $6.99 at the Allergy Free Kosher button to the right. Or you can visit their home site to order at Better Batter  for recipes and to check out their gluten free community. The mixes both sell for $7.50 on their site but if you wish to order the mixes from their "short date" list you can save even more...Decisions....decisions....

I have to say that since I have been so determined to not put one grain of gluten in my mouth anymore that my husband is now on board the gluten free train!!! He has been gluten free for two weeks now and he is really liking the changes in his body. No more stomachaches, and he has even lost some weight.

I hope you are all doing well on your journey also. Until next time....Have a great wheat free day!!!

 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gluten-Free Shopping guide...

Hi all. Well we are back from our trip to visit my husbands family and we had a great time. It is always hard to see all the family in such a short visit but we managed. Tomorrow I will be off on a week long trip to now visit my family. My grandson will be turning 8 and we will be celebrating on Saturday. Then it is off to a second birthday celebration Sunday as my oldest great grand child will be turning 4, where has all the time gone?

Oh....my husband bought me a Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guide by Madison & Madison when we were away...it is the next best thing to sliced bread!!! I don't know how I have managed without it up until now. It definitely has made my life allot easier this past week. You can purchase the guide at http://www.CeceliasMarketplace.com With this book, you’ll get information about all of your favorite brands and gluten-free foods. The guide contains a list of over 45,000 food and drink items. Major food manufacturers like Heinz, Kraft, Del Monte and Frito Lay are all included. Also, the items from your favorite supermarket chains, like Albertsons, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Winn Dixie, Wegmans and more are listed. You’ll be able to quickly look up the information you need within seconds, all with this one handy, compact guide. I love it, and it has made my shopping so much easier as I am sure it will for you. If you are new to the world of eating wheat/gluten free this guide is a must have!

I have several more products that I will be reviewing when I get back from my trip but I wanted to let you know I will be away from the blog for a few days. I hope you all had a great holiday weekend with family and friends also. So until I return and post again....Have a great wheat free week!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Product review...Annies mac & cheese...

Hello once again. I hope you all had a great holiday weekend with friends and family. I had a blast! It was so comforting to be around those I love and catch up on new stories as well as old.

One of the things that also comforts me is a nice warm dish of mac & cheese. I remember growing up on the stuff, it was always a quick, easy, inexpensive meal. It has also always been a staple in my kitchen when my children were growing up, and even now.

Since going wheat/gluten free I have tried many gluten free varieties and have finally found one that meets my taste needs and it is microwavable to boot!!! Annie's Homegrown microwavable mac & cheese. I found mine at our local Meijers store and it cost a little over $5.00 for five single serving packets.

After my first attempt I found that adding a little more water than the directions called for was a quick fix for the dryness and clumping of the noodles . After my second attempt I found that by adding butter to the already cooked noodles before adding the cheese packet, not only made the finished product cheesy and delightfully pleasing, but also kept the cheese from clumping.

I have to admit that this is a great substitute for the microwavable mac & cheese cups I ate before becoming wheat/gluten free. If you do the division it is actually not anymore expensive either, considering it is a gluten free product.

I love the fact that I can still enjoy a comfort food which is tasty and quick for those days when I am frazzled or just to wore out to cook.

Ingredients:
Rice pasta, (rice flour), Cheddar cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, non-animal enzymes) whey, buttermilk, butter, non-GMO corn starch, sodium phosphate, annetto extract for color.
*Contains milk ingredients

Rating: 5 Stars 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Product review...Really Great Food Company's Rye bread mix...

Hi all. The weekend is here and I am almost ready for our family trip. I have my brownies and bread made, and my suitcase is almost packed. I have to finish up a few odds and ends and then  I will be done.

Before I leave for my trip I just had to take the time to tell you about this awesome bread mix I found from The Really Great Food Company. It is a Rye-Style bread mix and I have to say that although there is not a bit of rye flour in the mix  I could not tell the difference!!!

You can make the mix in a breadmaker or the oven and since I like to feel like Suzy Homemaker on occasion I made mine in the oven. Actually I am kind of a control freak when it comes to food these days if the truth be known ...  :-)

Although the recipe calls for eggs I used a egg substitute, and it came out perfect. It toasts to perfection and even a grilled cheese sandwich turned out great. I have to say that out of all the breads I have tried since going gluten free that this is at the very top of my list in texture and taste.

The company offers other bread mixes, as well as cookie and cake mixes, and I am anxious to try them all. If this mix is any indication of the quality of the others then I feel confident I will enjoy each and every one I try. The mixes are formulated by Chef Ann Sammartino who has a degree from the internationally renowned Johnson & Wales School of Culinary Arts. She also suffers from Celiac Disease so she is well tuned into the needs of others who must avoid gluten.

I really enjoyed the texture of the bread. It was dense enough for a good structure but moist enough so as not to be chewy. It rose and browned well, and as I mentioned before, the taste was as close to any of the rye breads on the market that are laden with wheat flour. This is  a real treat in a gluten free world.

Ingredients:
White rice flour, potato starch flour, cornstarch, brown sugar, orange peel, caraway seeds, xanthan gum, salt. (Gluten free yeast packet is enclosed) You can view all their products at http://thereallygreatfoodco.com

Rating 5+ Stars

I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend, so until next post....Have a great wheat free day!!!
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Product review....Butterfly Bakery Mini Blueberry muffins...

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are having a pleasant summer with family and friends. It is sad to see that summer is almost over as it seemed to have passed so quickly! I am looking forward to the last holiday gathering of the season this weekend with family before the Autumn weather soon approaches.

During the cooler months nothing beats a warm cup of tea or coffee and a great muffin to end your evenings. Butterfly Bakery was kind enough to send me a package of their Mini Blueberry muffins to sample, and this morning I indulged in a few, or more...remember, I did say mini...

These are a great little muffin loaded with blueberries and taste, so just one was not enough.They are only 80 calories for a serving of two, with just 6g of sugars. Not bad if you are watching your sugar intake.

Although they are small they pack a punch of flavor. They are soft, moist, and filled with wild blueberries. Although the texture is a little more like a cupcake than most muffins I am use to eating, they satisified my taste buds fairly well. This would make a excellent dessert for a afternoon tea.

Not all of the bakery's products are gluten free but they do offer a selection in this area, along with some sugar free products as well. You can find out more about the different products they offer and the company at: Butterfly Bakery
Ingredients:
100% Teff flour, sugar, eggs, water, soybean oil, wild blueberries, non fat milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, natural flavor, xanthan gum.

Rating 3 3/4 Stars

Have a great wheat free day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Product review...Namaste Vanilla Cake Mix...

Hi all. I hope today is going well for you. I have been baking since early this morning trying new bread recipes, tweeking here and there with different flours, searching for that perfect blend. I have also decided to try a egg substitute as well when baking, as it seems I never have enough eggs in the house when most of my  recent "TRYS" have been dropped in the garbage pail...

I decided to try a Vanilla cake mix from Namaste today as we will be visiting my husbands family in Buffalo over the weekend and I need to be prepared with non wheat ladened items in tow for me to enjoy. There are always desserts galore lining the desert table when visiting and I refuse to be tempted!

This is the second time I have tried this particular cake mix from Namaste since I wasn't pleased with the first results thinking I must have done something wrong. So loaded with a few helpful tips from the company I decided to give it a try once more.

Since we will traveling over seven hours by car I thought it best to make cupcakes instead of a cake as they will travel slightly better. The mix makes 24 cupcakes, enough for traveling, and some for the freezer I thought. I followed the directions to the letter... The cupcakes rose quite well and had a wonderful scent while baking, same as the last time. I took them out of the oven when they were done and left them cool for over a hour. Since I hadn't been pleased with the way the previous batch had turned out I had decided to wait before mixing the icing packet they were also so kind to have sent, untill after I had sampled the results.

The cupcakes were soft and moist to the touch like most of the wheat laden cupcake mixes on the market. However the inside texture of the cake itself was a totally different story. They were moist, but almost had a elastic type texture when you tried to break a piece off. Although the flavor was spot on I just couldn't enjoy the texture in my mouth or the denceness.

This is the first cake mix I have used from this company and although the flavor was good I don't feel I would ever get a  "I can't believe this is gluten free" from anyone I might try to serve these to. They have more of a muffin/bread texture rather than a cake.

Maybe it's me....If you have had a better experience with this mix I would to hear from you. Maybe you can provide a tip or two for me as well as my readers.

Ingredients:

Sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, xanthan gum and ground vanilla bean.

Rating: 2 3/4 Stars

You can visit their home site at Namaste Foods

As always...Have a great wheat free day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Product review...XO Baking Co. Pancake & Waffle Mix...

The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day! Not a day you would expect to have pancakes for breakfast, yet pancakes were on my mind...I recently received a GF Pancake & Waffle mix from XO Baking Co. and I have had a hankering for some soft tender cakes, and today was the day to indulge.

These pancakes were moist, tender, raised perfectly, and were quite tasty. Being that this was the first time I have tried any of the XO Baking products I was quite pleased. I am not the best pancake maker on the planet but I found that I did a fairly descent job this morning. Since I was the only one home for breakfast I had them all to myself!!!

XO Baking products are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility (manufactured in a facility that uses soy and milk). Along with being gluten free the products are also Kosher.  For those of you who live a Vegan lifestyle  XO Baking products also contain no milk or eggs, however they are not certified as Vegan. They are also 100% Trans fat free, and contain no artificial colors or flavors, using only unmodified ingredients.

The owner of  XO Baking Co.,  Lindsey Deitsch, is a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach as well as a  professional chef and baker. When finding she had Celiac Disease herself in 2009 she was determined to produce a product line for  herself, as well as others, that tasted delicious.

Organic coconut flour, high in fiber,  is found in all 16  of XO products. If you need to avoid soy then you will want to check out the companies All Purpose flour blend, Gingerbread Cookie mix, Banana Bread mix and their Cornbread mix which are all also soy free.

The nice thing about XO Baking is that all orders over $45 are shipped FREE!!! I have several other products from the company which I will be reviewing in the future, and can't wait to see if they are just as tasty. I have to say that this pancake mix is as close to the "real" wheat laden versions that I ate for all those years. The taste and texture were spot on. I would recommend this mix to everyone who craves a good old fashioned pancake.

Ingredients:
Premium Cassava flour, unmodified potato starch, pure cane sugar, organic coconut flour, baking powder, sea salt, xanthan gum, organic vanilla flavor.
*Contains Coconut

Rating 5 Stars

To see XO's other products or to place a order visit their website at XO Baking Co.

Monday, August 20, 2012

FRONTIER SOUPS review...

Hi all. Now I do realize that we have several more weeks before Fall will actually arrive, but I like to have a good bowl of soup anytime of the year. Today it was overcast and gloomy, so what could be better than a warm bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, Yum. I received several varieties of soup mixes from the good people at Frontier Soups and was really in the mood to try their Potato Leek Soup, and today was just the right day for it.

Now if you have never heard of the company before, then let me tell you a little about them. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary in business, so I believe that pretty much says it all! They are located in Waukegan IL, and most of the ingredients used in their mixes are grown on American farms. The mixes contain all natural premium ingredients, with no salt, preservatives or MSG added. Thirty one of their mixes are lab tested and certified as gluten free, although the facility is not dedicated gluten free. Along with the soup mixes they also offer dips, rubs and marinades (GF) and a few baking mixes that do contain gluten.

The soup was so easy to make. All I had to add was chicken broth, a few extra cubed potatoes and some heavy cream at the end. The taste was really good. The only thing I would wish is that the pieces of leeks and scallions would have been a little more tender. I will try adding a few more minutes of cooking time before adding the potato cubes next time, as I am sure this will solve the problem.You can also puree this soup the next day and serve cold. It took about 40 minutes from start to finish and a grilled cheese sandwich was the perfect combination. A one cup serving is just 180 calories with 0 sugars, and only 7g in carbs.

Ingredients:

Potato cubes and slices, onion, leek, celery, scallions, herbs.

I enjoyed this particular soup and look forward to trying others in their line in the near future. After all, Fall is just around the corner :( Sorry!!! You can view and purchase their line of products at http://frontiersoups.com

Rating 4 1/2 Stars