Monday, July 8, 2013

G-Free Bran Muffins

 Gluten Free Bed & Breakfast Bran Muffins

2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill unprocessed gluten free oat bran
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour                             1 cup gluten free brown rice flour
1/2 cup gluten free sorghum flour           2 TBSP flax seed meal
2 1/2 t baking soda                          1 t xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil                           2 cups buttermilk
2 large brown eggs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line 2 muffin pans with non-stick muffin liners (I use Reynolds)

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Spoon into your muffin cups and bake 15 - 20 minutes.

Don't skip out on the flax seed meal - its just enough to provide a more complete flavor.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Coffee Flavored Rice Milk Smoothie

6 oz. coffee yogurt
4 oz. vanilla or plain rice milk
4 oz. vanilla or plain soymilk!
1/2 small banana
3 ice cubes
chocolate syrup if desired

Pour all ingredients into a blender or Ninja.  Blend.  Drizzle chocolate on inside of glass.  Pour.  Enjoy!

I love, love, love making smoothies!  I love to experiment with different types of milk, fruits, yogurts and sometimes even nut butters.   I use this amazing Ninja system,  it's much less expensive than a Vitamix and is much nice than a traditional style blender.  I have a smoothie almost daily for breakfast or for lunch.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

I recently made Pamela's Brownie Mix to bring to a friends house for dessert.  I purchased mini cupcake liners which I have never used before.  I had my little guy line them up on a cookie sheet, I sprayed each liner lightly with a gf non-stick spray and spooned in the mix.  I followed Pamela's recipe for the fudgiest brownies and added pecans.  I baked the brownie bites for 10 minutes ate 350 degrees.  They were delicious, a huge hit, portable and no messy brownie pan to clean.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mexican Sweet Plantain Recipe

Mexican Plantain Recipe

Our best friends vacationed in Mexico this past February and our family vacationed in Playa del Carmen, Mexico in March.  We recently got together to celebrate, share photos, trade stories and enjoy a Mexican feast.  My girlfriend is also gluten-intolerant so a gluten-free menu is always on the table when we get together.  They put together a truly delicious taco bar with fresh organic sauteed chicken, pork, steak, shrimp, pico de gallo, Mexican soft cheese, guacamole, salsa, diced red onion and soft, warm gluten-free tortillas.  WOW!  Amazing and delicious.
We contributed Mexican Fruit Salad, Sweet Plantains and Mexican Black Bean dip.  Thankfully the fruit salad and bean dip were delicious, because my attempt at sweet plantains did not go well.
I followed Tyler Florence's recipe for Mexican Sweet Plantains.  The biggest mistake I made was not using ripe plantains.  Although it does indicate in the recipe to use ripe, black plantains, I didn't pay attention and I used green plantains.  They were not ripe, were very hard and dry.  So, unfortunately, the dish didn't turn out so well:(  I will definitely try again and this time, I'll be sure to let my plantains turn black before I even think about cooking them.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mexican Black Bean Dip

Mexican Black Bean Dip

1 15oz can organic black beans rinsed and drained
1 tsp quality olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels(or canned)
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBSP fresh lime juice

Place the rinsed and drained beans in a medium size mixing bowl.  Partially mash the beans, they should remain slightly chunky.
In a medium sized frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sautee onion and garlic for 15 minutes
Add the beans, corn, tomato, cum and chile powder and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the cheese, cilantro and lime juice.

Pour into a nice bowl and serve with your favorite gluten-free tortilla chips.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mexican Fruit Salad

Mexican Fruit Salad

serves 4-6

1 cup chopped fresh mango(if you can find a Champagne Mango - they are delicious)
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 kiwi
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup seedless red grapes
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice(approximately 3 limes)

Wash, peel and slice all fruits as necessary.
Combine the mango, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple and grapes in a large bowl.
Combine orange and lemon juices.  Pour over fruit and gently stir.
Combine honey and lime juice in a mason jar with lid.  Shake until well mixed.
Immediately before serving, pour over salad and toss to blend.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tate's "Gluten-Free"

My family, friends and myself have been frequent patrons at Tate's (formerly Kathleen's Cookies) for more than 20 years.  Tate's is an adorable little bakery in a quaint, upscale village.   I have loved their chocolate chip cookies since I was a teenager.  However, I was somewhat surprised to find in the Fall 2012 issue of "Gluten-Free Living" magazine, that staff writer Susan Cohen chose to include Tate's gluten-free cookies as one of her recommended new products.  I know, because I have been there many times, that all bakery goods are produced in the same small kitchen on shared equipment.  Shortly thereafter I attended the Gluten-Free Expo on Long Island and was surprised that a local vendor was there with Tate's on his table.  I had a somewhat heated discussion with him about the validity of Tate's products being gluten-free.  Then in the Holiday 2012 issue of "Gluten-Free Living" there was a feature article about Tate's gluten-free products stating that their gf cookies are sold nationwide and a gluten-free facility is "in the works" for next year.   I find it truly exasperating.
Yesterday, I went into Tate's and asked them about their facility and manufacturing process.  ALL bakery goods are produced in the same small kitchen, on the same equipment, baked on the same cookie sheets etc.  SO many opportunities for cross-contamination.  I asked if they tested their product to ensure that gluten-free bakery goods are indeed gluten-free, and the answer was no.  AND, the label on the gf products does not disclose that products are made in a shared facility.
I think it is irresponsible for "Gluten-Free Living" magazine to feature and promote a company that is not certified gluten-free.  It is equally mis-leading and irresponsible for a company to label its' products as gluten-free when they cannot guarantee its' gluten free status.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gluten Free Dining in Mexico

Well, we've been home now for a few days after spending 8 days in the gorgeous Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  I've been avoiding writing this post because I simply don't know where to begin.  I've decided that it's important to mention the resort where we vacationed because it is an all-inclusive, family style, eco-friendly resort.  I receive absolutely no compensation from the resort.  My hubby and I booked this trip a few months ago through an on-line discount travel agency.  The Sandos Playacar in Playa del Carmen is an absolutely beautiful, beach front resort with a gorgeous pool and fantastic nightly entertainment.  The food was good, a huge variety to please every palate, but as far as gluten-free, it was a bit of a challenge.  

Gluten-free in Spanish is gluten libre.  Without gluten in Spanish is sin gluten.  The Sandos staff was extremely friendly and helpful, however, I don't think one person we spoke with really understood what gluten/wheat is.  The resort has four restaurants open for dinner where you can make reservations, be seated and served.  There is a cafe that serves cupcakes(none were gluten free) and a variety of coffees, teas, and shakes.  There are two restaurants that are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and are buffet style.  There is a fabulous beach front juice bar - really awesome, a beachfront bagel cafe(nothing gluten free) and a beach front lunch stand.  Everything is all inclusive so you can go anywhere and eat "anything".


We spent our first full day there at the beach, exploring the resort, relaxing and figuring out the lay of the land.  We headed to the beach front lunch stand where there were hot dogs and hamburgers with buns and fixins, what looked like roasted potatoes, and an ice cream machine with cones.  The food is set out buffet style.  I fixed a plate of a plain burger and potatoes for my little guy.  Within two hours he was vomiting violently.  The last time he had an accidental gluten exposure was one year ago(when he was at a Scout meeting) and he also vomited suddenly, quickly, violently but within minutes, bounces back and feels "fine".  Prior to going gluten-free he NEVER vomited.  I think his body is more sensitive now that he has been strictly gluten-free for just about two years now.  Needless to say, I was devastated that I had made that error and exposed him to gluten.  I'm still devastated and worried about the long term health effects of gluten exposure.  Trying to find the silver lining, it did serve as a good reminder for him of what will happen if he does have gluten.  But I still haven't forgiven myself.
Anyway, the food.  We chose to mainly eat at the buffet style restaurants as there was a great variety to please all five of us.  My little guy dined on lots of fresh fruit, yogurts, fresh juices, hot rice cereal, lots of jello, plain grilled chicken and cups of ice cream.  A really lean and healthy diet.  But for an energetic, growing boy with days full of swimming, hiking, horseback riding on the beach, atv rides through the jungle, river raft rides and nightly live entertainment, he was hungry the entire week!  Thankfully, we had brought a large bag of g-free granola bars, cookies, pretzels etc.  He really needed those extra snacks to help keep him satisfied.  My hubby made out better as he had omelets with veggies and ham, salads full of garbanzo beans, lentils, and cheese, steak, and lots of tropical daiquiris.

We had a fabulous family vacation at the Sandos Playacar.  The kids want to know when we can go back!  I highly recommend the resort, just bring a bag full of g-free goodies with you!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Emergency" Snacks for Mexico

Our family of 5 is thrilled to be heading to Mexico tomorrow for a week!  We are staying at an all-inclusive upscale resort with several restaurants on the property.  I am hoping and assuming that most foods will be fresh, local fruits, veggies, fish and rice.  However, when we venture off property for day-long excursions, I'm worried about accessibility to gluten-free foods.  We don't speak Spanish so, I'm also a bit concerned about translations issues regarding gluten.  Therefore, we are bringing a huge bag full of pistachios, a gf trail mix, dry roasted edamame, a variety of gf bars, fruit pouches and my favorite Justin's nut butters.  Hopefully these provisions will be enough to get my 2 favorite gf guys through a week of snorkeling, cenote exploring, pyramid climbing and zip-lining through Mexico!  I'll be off the grid for the week, taking lots of notes about gluten-free dining in Mexico.  I'll fill you in with lots of details when we return.

Gluten-Free Easter Basket

In an effort to simplify and move away from candy, candy, candy, I chose to fill my little guys' Easter basket with spring themed gifts instead.  I'm really trying to move away from food being the center of every celebration.  I actually found Easter themed Lego online!!!!  Who knew?  I also included a giant bubble wand, a cute little gnome for our "enchanted forest", a roly-poly puppy dog, spring bunny tic tacs, and a Hershey bar.  Simple and sweet.  I hope he loves it :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gluten-Free Ravioli

I love pasta.  I love tortellini, ravioli, angel hair with pesto, ziti, penne with vodka sauce and the list goes on....  However, when my 2 favorite guys were diagnosed with Celiac Disease almost 2 years ago we gave up all pasta completely for a while.  Then we slowly ventured in the gluten-free pasta world.  We tried brown rice pasta first which no one was particularly fond of.  Next came a corn pasta from Canada, which was ok but we didn't love it.  The fact that the price of a box of gluten-free pasta was triple that of "regular" pasta, and considering we are a family of 5 living in a resort community where prices are already inflated, didn't help our pasta situation.  We finally settled on a favorite, Bio-Naturae(which I write about in another post).  To keep costs down, we now only have pasta once a week, and I make 2 pots - regular(whole wheat veggie pasta) for the girls and gluten free for the guys.

Well, my little guy does not like dairy and he's a good eater - not picky at all with a very well rounded gluten-free diet.  But he truly does not like milk, cheese, or yogurt although he seems to have no problem with ice cream:)  But I was desperate for some ravioli and came across Conte's Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli and decided to give it a try.  The Ravioli held together in the pot!  I feared that it would wind up in pieces.  I served it with some fra-diavlo sauce and broccoli on the side.  When my little guy asked what was on the inside, I simply replied "ricotta".  No need to explain that it was cheese:)  He devoured every last bite, asked for more and asked when we could have it again!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dry Roasted Edamame

Although all 3 of my kids love steamed, salted edamame, they do not like the dry roasted version.  However, I love them!  They are conveniently packaged in 100 calorie, lightly salted, snack packs.  They are gluten-free, Non GMO, have no trans-fat or cholesterol and have 11grams of soy protein per pack.

Seapoint Farm's edamame snack packs are a heart healthy, crunchy, taste and satisfying snack to stave off hunger between meals.

With 70% less fat and 40% more protein than peanuts, dry roasted edamame are a healthy and satisfying snack!
Give them a try!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gluten-Free Toaster Bags

Along with our initial Celiac Disease diagnosis, came a brand new, dedicated gluten-free toaster.  Us girls use the "regular" toaster, which is great because my teenage daughter goes through a lot of frozen waffles and bagels with her girl-friends.  And the beautiful, stainless steel toaster is "gluten-free".  However, we seem to be on the road a lot lately.  In the past 2 years whenever we have travelled we typically stay in hotel suites with kitchenettes and bring all of our own food.  This year, with field hockey tournaments, college visits, skiing trips and visits to the in-laws we seem to be on the road quite a bit.  

So, I decided to try toaster bags.  They can be used in a toaster or toaster oven and can even be used to heat up pizza, chicken nuggets or quesedilla.  Most toaster bags can be washed in the dishwasher and can be re-used up to 100 times!  
My hubby and I are both heading out of town in separate directions next week.  He'll be taking the toaster bags with him and giving me his review upon his return home.  I'll let you know what he thinks.

Friday, March 8, 2013

GF Melted Chocolate & Banana Sandwiches

I typically make this decadent dessert once a year when our family is celebrating something special.  It's so easy to make, the kids can help and you probably already have all of the ingredients.
Warm a cast iron griddle and melt a sliver of butter(about a teaspoon).
Place a slice of g-free bread on the griddle and top with your favorite gf chocolate bar.
Slice a banana lengthwise and place over the chocolate.

Cover the bananas with another layer of chocolate bar.

Top with a slice of your favorite gluten-free bread.                

Cover with a grill press.  If you don't have a press, you can wrap a brick with aluminum foil!

Cook for about  5 minutes, flip and place the grill press back on top of the sandwich and cook for another 5 minutes.  Then enjoy with your favorite people!

Sadly I forgot to take a proper photo of the sandwich on a pretty plate and cut in half so that you could see the delicious insides:(  We were just so eager to devour it!  I guess it's a great excuse to make this delicious dessert again - just so I can take the photo:)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Glass Jar Storage for Baking Ingredients

Luv these jars!  I picked up all 3 for less than $15 at our local TJ Maxx.  A wide mouth container makes scooping out a teaspoon or tablespoon much easier. But mostly, I love how they dress up my pantry and make me feel fancy when I'm baking in my pj's.  If your TJ Maxx doesn't carry them, check out these jars from Sur La Table - fantastic!

A Closer Look at Wheat

I recently read an article titled "a closer look at wheat:  Amber Waves of Trouble?" in the January 2013 Taste for Life magazine written by Jane Eklund.  The on-line version I've linked to here, is slightly different.  Take the time to read it - even if you aren't eating wheat - it's more than likely that your loved ones are.  
Eklund states that today's wheat has been crossbred and hybridized to make it drought and and disease resistant and to produce higher yield per acre.  This results in wheat that contains a high level of a starch that dramatically raises blood sugar; a "super gluten" that causes inflammation; and addictive polypeptides that induce cravings.  
Perhaps a Celiac diagnosis is something to be thankful for.  And perhaps we should all be working to clean up our food supply, food production and food processing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

gluten-free "happy pills"

Admittedly, I was inspired for this idea by a photo I saw on facebook.  But I quickly thought that my kids would LOVE this idea and I could easily make a jar of gluten-free "happy pills".  Hopefully this cute idea wont translate to teaching the kids to take a pill(medication) to find happiness.  It's just meant to be a fun treat and may work as a mood shifter when the kids are grumpy - especially my teenager.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gluten-Free Waffle Dessert

I surprised my little guy with a toasted, gluten-free, Van's Apple Cinnamon waffle, topped with a scoop of vanilla yogurt and a bit of dark chocolate sauce for dessert last night!  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gluten Free Waffle Delight!

After nearly 2 years of plain gluten-free waffles, I was so excited to find Van's gluten-free Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry waffles this morning at Stop & Shop!  My little guy is gonna be thrilled!  I think I might surprise him tonight with a warm, toasty waffle with a scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt on top for dessert!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Heart Shaped Marshmallow Treats

My kids and I had fun creating this gluten-free treats for my son's classroom Valentine's Day party.  These treats are simple to make and the kids can be fully involved in the process.

Simply melt some gluten-free chocolate in the microwave.  Dip the marshmallows in the melted chocolate.  Then dip in gf sprinkles if desired and place on wax paper.  

After about 30 minutes add a fun party pick, transfer to a platter and cover with plastic wrap.

Chocolate dipped marshmallows are fun for any occasion - choose a fun shape for your next special occasion. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Post Cocoa Pebbles vs Mom's Best Crispy Cocoa Rice

Before our Celiac Disease diagnosis I NEVER would have served a chocolaty cereal to my kids for breakfast.  We only ate big brand but whole grain, fortified, unsweetened cereals.  However, due to the limited availability of gluten-free cereals on our supermarket shelves and the high cost of gluten-free cereals I gave in to the wallet friendly, easily accessible Post Cocoa Pebbles.  Then, a few weeks ago I came across Mom's Best Crispy Cocoa Rice and decided to conduct a blind taste test with my kids and compare nutrition labels.  The results were surprising!
Can you tell the difference between the two cereals pictured above?  

I asked my kids to rate each cereal on a scale of 1-10 and to describe each cereal.  They did not know which cereal they were eating only Box A and Box B.  My picky eater gave both cereals a 9 1/2 and my little guy gave both cereals a 10.  Both kids said both cereals were yummy.  However, my picky eater said the Mom's Best had a "slightly weird taste".  

Comparing the nutrition facts was very interesting.  Both cereals have the same number of calories with the Post have 10 more calories from fat.  However, both cereals have an equal percentage of total fats,  saturated fats, cholesterol, dietary fiber and protein.  Surprisingly Post has only 10g of sugar while Mom' Best has 13g of sugar.  In addition the Post Cocoa Pebbles had significantly higher amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

So, we'll stick with the Cocoa Pebbles - in moderation of course :-)

Gluten Free Hot Cocoa Mixes & Recipes

 According to the article Cocoa in the August/September 2011 issue of Living Without Magazine, cocoa, when ingested  properly, is a powerfully beneficial food.  The polyphenolic flavonids in cocoa are linked to overall heart wellness, including lower blood pressure, stronger blood vessels and improved cholesterol levels.  Dutch processed cocoa preserves and retains the nutrient benefits of cocoa.  I use gluten-free Saco premium Dutch Cocoa.  So, now that we all feel better about our chocolate consumption, here are a few of my favorite hot cocoa recipes.  I make fresh hot cocoa almost every night about 9 months out of the year as my dessert.

1 1/2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa or Saco premium Dutch processed cocoa 
3 tsp sugar in the raw
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 oz vanilla soy milk
2 oz organic 1% milk

1 1/2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa or Saco premium Dutch processed cocoa
3 tsp sugar in the raw
1/2 cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 oz vanilla soy milk or 4 oz vanilla almond milk
2 oz organic 1% milk

1 1/2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa or Saco premium Dutch processed cocoa
3 tsp sugar in the raw
1/2 cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 oz  lite coconut milk or 4 oz vanilla rice milk
2 oz organic 1% milk

1 1/2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa or Saco premium Dutch processed cocoa
3 tsp sugar in the raw
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 oz coffee flavored soy milk
2 oz organic 1% milk

Be careful if choosing to use a hot cocoa mix.  Both the Starbucks and Nestle brands are manufactured on shared equipment with wheat/gluten.  Ghiardelli does not contain any gluten ingredients nor does it provide an allergy disclaimer on it's label regarding gluten.  However, after diligent searching on-line, I was able to verify that all Ghiardelli cocoa mixes are manufactured in a shared facility with barely malt and Ghiardelli does not test for gluten.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


A salty, crunchy "goldfish" alternative for you gluten-free kids' lunchbox!  

You can order online at Qwackers for $30 for 30 - 1oz. bags.  Qwackers are also available at a limited number of retail outlets and their website provides a retail store locator app.

Happy Qwacking!

Little Soya

Little Soya gluten-free, travel sized, soy sauce packs are perfect for anyone on the go and living a gluten-free life!  Little Soya packs are Non-GMO, have no MSG and are lite sodium.  They are perfect for my hubby to bring to work to flavor rice, snow peas, snap peas, chicken, sushi, etc.  I heard about these several months ago, but only recently found them on the shelves at my Stop & Shop. 
Little Soya packs are great to bring with you when traveling or dining out.  Many Asian or Fusion style restaurants are happy to cook a meal gluten-free, but rarely provide g-free soy sauce - so bring it with you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nature's Path

It's funny how excited I can get over the delivery of a box of gluten-free goodies.  But, it's true and I really do try to appreciate the small things in life:)  Nature's Path was recently running a special: 10% off plus free shipping for any purchase over $30.  So I ordered 7 bulk bags of gluten-free cereal, 3 boxes of gluten free cereal and 1 box of crispy rice "granola" bars for a grand total $64.00.  In the g-free world - I call that a bargain!  
Be careful when placing your order - although all products are organic and Non GMO, NOT all are gluten-free.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting my Gluten-Free Recipes Organized

Before I was a mom of 3, and running my kids yoga business, and volunteering, and dedicating enormous amounts of time to gluten-free research and blogging, I was actually organized.  Not so much anymore.  So, I decided to start the new year off by getting my life organized, including my gluten-free recipes.  I purchased a 3 inch ring binder with a cool graphic and which also has attached pockets on the inside cover.  I also purchased a package of clear sheet protectors and a pack of tab dividers.  I already have a label making machine, from my uber organized days.  
Now that I had all of my supplies gathered and 20 minutes to spare, I simply gathered my recipes, created piles of categories such as desserts(my favorite), appetizers, entrees, etc.  and created a label for each tab divider.
I managed to complete this task a few weeks ago and it has truly made my life simpler.  I no longer waste precious moments sifting through piles of recipes torn from magazines, recipes I have typed, recipes my mom has passed along....  I simply grab my cool, retro print binder and in mere seconds I have the recipe I'm looking for:)

Whether it's a binder or a recipe box - get organized - you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Udi's GF Margherita Pizza

According to my hubby, it's the best store bought, frozen gluten-free pizza he's ever had!  The Udi's pizza was the perfect size for him to enjoy for lunch.  With a small salad, it's just big enough for two to share.  I prefer to make pizza from scratch, but frozen pizza is great to have stocked in the freezer when you don't have the time required to slice, dice, chop, mix & bake a homemade pie.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blogging from Bed

Well, I awoke at 4:30 am on Saturday with a screaming headache and a 102 degree fever :(  Despite continuous medications the fever did not subside for more than 48 hours.  Monday morning I awoke at 4:30 am with an intense sinus headache, was completely congested and had a 102 degree temp despite a regimen of ibuprofen every 6 hours and acetaminophen every 4 hours since the wee hours of Saturday morning.  My hubby and I decided it was necessary to visit the ER to get my vitals checked, get a flu test and get some iv fluids.  What does any of this have to do with Celiac Disease and my blog?  Absolutely nothing, other than the fact that it is now Tuesday evening and I remain bedridden, but am finally able to sit up, think clearly and write a new post.  Luckily I had some posts previously written that I was able to post live, but haven't been able write anything new.  Part of the problem is that I can't get in my kitchen to cook anything.  For the 1st two days of this viral infection I was unable to get out of bed.  I'm now feeling up to venturing out of bed for about 15 minutes at a time, but I'm choosing to confine myself to my bedroom in an effort to prevent my kids from getting sick.  It's too late for my hubby as he has been my primary care giver.  This morning I had to venture out to help my kids get ready for school(the little ones are 10 & 7).  I emerged from my bedroom wearing a face mask provided to me at the hospital, well, the one they forced me to wear and latex gloves.  My little guy looked at me wide eyed with fear, confusion and concern.  I assured him that I was ok, that I was just protecting him and his sister.  I'm not sure he was convinced, but I got them on the bus and crawled back into bed.  I miss my kitchen, miss teaching yoga, miss visiting the library and I miss shopping for gluten-free goodies but most of all, I miss my kids.
By the way, that flu test came back negative, but it's only 60% accurate.  Hmm...

photo courtesy

Gluten Free Sun Cups

Neither of my Celiac guys have a sweet tooth or the need for a daily dose of chocolate, but I sure do.  So, when I came across gluten-free Sun Cups while doing my weekly market shopping, I decided I would test them on their behalf.  Sun Cups are a bit pricey at $2 for a package of 2, but I felt the "research" on behalf of my blog and my CD guys would make it worth while.  I was not disappointed as the Milk Chocolate Caramel Cups melted in my mouth with mouthwatering deliciousness.  I was in chocolate heaven.  The chocolate had a strong rich taste and the caramel was smooth, light and creamy.  
The original Sun Cup made with sunflower butter is simply divine.  
The Mint Cups have a light, refreshing, authentic minty taste.  The mint is not heavy, overwhelming or powerful.  
All of the Sun Cups have a rich, full flavor without being heavy, dense or oily.
Absolutely sunsational!  Try some!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kabobs for Kids

What a fun way to create in the kitchen with your kids!  Kids and kabobs seem to go hand in hand.  Kabobs for Kids by Janna DeVore is written with instructions for both adults and kids, with simple step-by-step directions and great photos.  Most kabob ideas included in this book are naturally gluten free and those that are not can be easily modified.  Chapters include Breakfast Kabobs, Lunch on a Stick, Stick Dinners, Skewered Sweets and ends with a section on Mini Kabobs.  The mini kabobs are great for lunch boxes, after school snacks, or even appetizers.
Recipes range from Waffle Stompers (which I think are great for breakfast after a slumber party) to Caribbean Kabobs.  Another fun idea is Birthday Cake Kabobs - a great way to celebrate a birthday at school.  For gluten-free birthday cake kabobs, I recommend using a dense, most gf cake to reduce the crumble potential.  Caramel Apple Kabobs are a great alternative to traditional fall caramel apples and a lot easier to make and eat!

Somehow, food is tastier when served on a stick.  Kabobs are a fun, creative way to get your kids involved in the kitchen and excited about being creative with their food!  I look forward to finding an interesting variety of skewers and toothpicks so my kids and I can get kabobbing!  I hope to post some creative kabob picks soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Against the Grain

Made in Vermont, by a Celiac family run company, in a dedicated gluten-free facility, Against the Grain products include frozen gluten-free baguettes, bagels, rolls, pizza crust and pizzas.  Against the Grain uses natural, organic, non-GMO, locally sourced ingredients.  The Against the Grain website is user friendly and provides clear, detailed nutritional information and all ingredients used in each product.  They also have a store locator app so you can locate a market near you that carries their products.

I bought an Against the Grain Fresh Rosemary Baguette to try with our gf pasta dinner.  I thawed the baguette on the counter.  Then sliced it lengthwise, spread organic garlic butter on both sides, wrapped it in aluminum foil and heated it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I sliced and served it hot with our pasta dinner.  The consensus at the dinner table was overwhelmingly positive!  Yay!  The crust is just that - crusty.  The texture of the inside was doughy, chewy and delectable.

I highly recommend the Against the Grain baguette and I look forward to trying their rolls next!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Naturally Gluten-Free Slush Buddies

These are the cutest individual slushy makers!  My two youngest kids are crazy over these Slush Buddies!  Santa brought these to our house, but aside from the north pole, you can also order these online ;-)  The Aussie Ice Slush Buddy Slushy Maker is manufactured from food grade silicone, is BPA free and holds 10 oz of liquid.  You can use these with almost any type of liquid with no need for sugary syrups or food dyes.  We've been using lots of organic fruit juices.  The kids are so excited to make slushies every day and it keeps them busy for quite awhile.  The Slush Buddy has to be squeezed 60-80 times to create the slush - so it keeps their hands occupied and builds up their fine motor muscles - which is great for improving my little guys dexterity and pencil grip for handwriting.

Who knew juice could be so fun?!