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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TJ's Brownie Mix

Recently my mom sent me a text informing me that Trader Joe's now had gluten free brownie mix.  I decided to snatch up a package the next time I was grocery shopping and give it a try!

I didn't exactly follow the instructions...but here's what I did
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To the packaged mix - 
(as directed) 
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
(in addition to the directions I added)
some vanilla
a good pinch of cinnamon
a half bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
half a bag of frozen whole blueberries

mixed it all up and put into a greased baking dish (should have been a 8x8 square but I only had a 9 inch round cake pan).  Said to bake for 30 minutes.  Mine needed an extra 8 minutes because of the blueberries!

I let it rest for 15-20 minutes.  

absolutely. freakin. delicious.

This is one of the best "mixes" I've ever used, and I usually avoid them because they taste funny and really don't produce the best results - but these, wow.  I'm happy.  Notice in the photo, just how dark & rich these brownies are in comparison to the semi (yes semi) sweet chocolate chips.  These are really wonderful.  Plus the blueberries just made them even better, I wasn't trying to be healthy or anything - personally, I just LOVE blueberries and chocolate together.  It's one of my favorite combinations.... well maybe after chocolate and peanut butter (it would be a hard decision to make).  

Well done TJ's, well done.

I give this mix my highest recommendation - it's easy, it's adaptable, it's accessible  and it's affordable.  You really can't lose with this one.  Also as a side not it's not only gluten free but it's dairy free also (sans the chocolate chips I added).  

Please please go out and try these for yourself!!


-J ♥

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I think we all have those moments where we hit rock bottom either mentally, emotionally, or physically.  I've been at this place before or at some level but I've managed to get there again physically.  I never realized how much physical fitness can play a role in our overall happiness until I experienced the entire year of 2011.  This was a pivotal moment in my life, I became a runner, and I want to get to that point again. I'm currently in a terrible place, which is hard to admit.  It's affecting many aspects of my life but I'm ready to make some serious changes.

I absolutely must make some changes.  I'm very unhappy with my body right now and I miss how active I was less than a year ago.  Let's be honest - I have an incredible (and expensive) wardrobe that is literally bursting at the seams and makes me so uncomfortable I can barely breathe.  Thank goodness shoes always fit (and purses!).  Even my workout clothes are tight - not a good sign :( 

I've made excuse after excuse for not getting to that place again (my 2011 place) - the main reason being I've convinced myself I can't do it alone.  This is a major issue for me because I became a runner with someone so I conditioned my body and my mind to believe I needed a partner to be able to accomplish my goals.  

I did do amazing things with my running partner, but I also I need to understand that I, I did those things - I put in all those miles, I accomplished goals that I set for myself, and I ran that marathon and half marathons.  Would I have survived training and all those running hours alone?  Would I have stuck with it?  I don't know.  Looking back I can't honestly answer that.  I loved the social aspect of running and I loved running with Jill.... she became one of my closest friends and we will always be friends.

But now I'm venturing out on my own... for the most part.  I'm going to focus on the mental part of running and why it makes us stronger - physically and emotionally.  I want to use running as a personal release, stress reliever, escape and I want it to be enjoyable again.  I want to be excited for my runs, to use it as me time, to get outside and run.

When I started running, it was in a very strange way, not the way most people (at least I don't think so) do it - I started couch to marathon in 6 months - and I think it was more detrimental than beneficial.  I've also never been a runner without "training" for anything.  So now, starting right now, I'm starting from scratch, just to be a runner.  That is my only goal.  I just want to be a runner.  

In the back of my mind of course I'm already thinking about fall marathons or half marathons and of course Boston is always floating around in my head - let's be serious here - even at my fastest I was barely pushing a 10 minute mile (but I'm fucking proud of it!).  Still, I'm just one of those ambitious people that can't help dreaming big and pushing myself to the limit.  

So, I've made a very manageable, do-able, basic, start-from-scratch plan to get me on my way to being a runner again and since I no longer have a daily running buddy to keep me accountable, I'm going to blog about my running adventures here on Saturdays.... just Saturdays so I don't bore everyone! 

I'm excited to get started and begin my new journey!

Always, J

Friday, April 26, 2013

H54F !!

It's Friday, finally!  This has been a LONG week... you have no idea how excited I am that it's finally Friday...and that I survived to see it!  lol

I'm linking up with Lauren...

1: My dear friend Jill and I at Lisa's wedding over the weekend.
2: It only took me until April to bust out my fancy safari pop-up calendar my mother and I found at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art last October...I had tucked it away on my bookshelf for safe keeping and just found it while I was spring cleaning!!  So cute sitting on my desk at work :)
3: This was minutes before the terror of cashew poisoning set in and I had a grueling 36 hour near death experience.  But I did get to celebrate some exciting news with my friend Corinne!!  Yay for her new life adventure!
4: I've had an extremely busy last couple days/ ANY time I've spent at home lately has been uber utilized by Kevin and he's been extra cuddly lately, I'm definitely not complaining!! 
5: My work buddy Lance let me long-term borrow a bike... I'm excited to work this into my fitness plan!  My first time out was pretty fantastic, windy but fantastic!!

I'm participating in my 5th American Cancer Society Relay for Life on May 17th in honor of my father who survived his battle with cancer.  I would love for you to help me with my fundraising goal to support the American Cancer Society and their mission. 

$5 dollar Friday!  Every little bit helps :)

My deepest gratitude in advance.

I'm looking forward to spending some time with my best friend this weekend before she takes a huge life leap and moves to chicago and also some well deserved family time (specifically a road trip!!). 

How was your week??

Always, J 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I promise I will be back tomorrow for H54F

I apologize for the lack of posting lately.... I've been very very under the weather lately. I honestly thought I had been accidentally glutened. Turned out I had a 48 hour brush with death from cashew poisoning. Yes folks, cashew poisoning! Beware!!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Out sick :(

I am out sick today :(

I got horribly glutened last night :(  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

TJ's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Remember when I was in Chicago last fall and told you all about the incredible Tate's chocolate chip cookies??  Well... Trader Joes just released a line of gluten free cookies that are almost identical to Tate's!!

I picked up a package a couple days ago and I can't tell you how excited I was after biting into one of these babies!  They are buttery, crispy, deliciousness!!

The packaging even looks similar.  You really must go get some!!

In all honesty, this package didn't last 48 hours.  I just couldn't resist them!  



Monday, April 22, 2013

Gluten Free info graphic for Restaurants!

Share this with anyone and everyone you know.  Print it off and take it to your favorite eateries!  Spread the good gluten free word!!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013


Happy FRIDAY everyone!!  I'm linking up with Lauren again for H54F!

Here's my week in photo review :)
1: Aroma's down in the old market is just my favorite coffee shop in Omaha - and it's mostly because of all the wonderful people they have there!  Sharon made this beautiful chai latte for me and it completely made my day!! :)
2: Went bowling for a bachelorette party last Saturday night - and I had a blast.  I'm a terrible bowler and don't really enjoy it but this was a chance to meet some new people and just let loose!  Also I somehow ended up with two left shoes (I didn't take the effort to correct it) which I think actually helped my game a bit - I managed to break 71 for my score.
3: Tuesday was national eggs benedict day (in case you hadn't heard) so my friend Hannah stopped by and we teamed up to make a delicious meal - more about this next week - but OH GOODNESS that hollandaise sauce was mind blowing!!
4: I enjoy cross word puzzles more but I decided to challenge myself with a little sudoku to get my brain going.  Well I didn't manage to get too far...I will admit this was a Friday one (in the world herald they get harder throughout the week) - Sometimes I can get a Monday or Tuesday one completed.  Maybe I'll start working harder on these :)

5:  I'm participating in my 5th American Cancer Society Relay for Life on May 17th in honor of my father who survived his battle with cancer.  I would love for you to help me with my fundraising goal to support the American Cancer Society and their mission. 

$5 dollar Friday!  Every little bit helps :)

Thank you deeply in advance. 

I hope you had a great week!  Tell me all about it :)


Thursday, April 18, 2013

GFAF Expo part FOUR

Still thinking back, I cannot believe how many companies are doing dedicated gluten free products!  It just makes me so appreciative, not that we NEED gluten free bread - we can certainly be naturally gluten free but it's so nice to know there are companies looking out for our wants.

San-J is one brand you can't live without.  Personally, I am incredibly over the top sensitive to soy sauce - directly or by cross-contamination.  This is a huge hurdle for me as I desperately love all Asian cuisines.  San-J makes an awesome line of gluten free sauces ranging from basic gluten free soy sauce (and a lite version) to their wonderfully spicy szechuan sauce.  I am very partial to the Thai peanut sauce also but had the opportunity at the expo to try all their flavors!  I am really in love with the sweet & tangy - it would be delicious poured right over rice or with some pineapple chunks & veggies.  YUM.  I'm hungry just thinking about all the possibilities!!   

I don't know if I've ever tried a Glutenfreeda product before - and I wasn't able to at the expo because we stopped by their booth last and missed out on the samples.  However, I'm excited to try this new pocket sandwich rolling out in June 2013.  I was never a fan of hot pockets or anything but it's nice to have a stock of some foods to grab for a quick lunch or on-the-go dinner.  That's just not an easy feat in the gluten free world.  I'll be watching store shelves for these babies!

Did I mention the beer?!  New Planet out of Colorado is producing some of the absolute best gluten free beer on the market.  If you haven't seen this in stores yet - make sure to ask for it.  After all we're heading straight into summer - prime beer drinking time!

Here's a bit more about New Planet (excerpt from their website):

Everyone should be able to enjoy a great beer. When our founder, Pedro Gonzalez, first discovered he was Celiac, he thought his craft beer drinking days were over. What started as a personal quest quickly turned into the launch of New Planet – a business founded on brewing great tasting gluten-free beer that is crafted for you.
New Planet represents a new frontier in gluten-free beer. It’s unlike most gluten-free beers that are available today. Unrivaled in flavor, quality, taste and care…everything a crafted beer should be.
The brand is grounded on what’s good for the earth and for the individual, and is about discovering something better. That’s why New Planet is dedicated to donating a portion of their proceeds to help make the planet better for all of us.

Current Programs

For the past 3 years, New Planet Beer has chosen to support Wildlands Trail Restoration Volunteers.
  • 2010 Recipient: Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Betasso Preserve Trails
  • 2011 Recipient: Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Red Rocks Trails
  • 2012 Recipient: Wildands Restoration Volunteers, High Park Fire Restoration

Our Mission

  • Our purpose is to help everyone celebrate life with a great tasting beer and to do good things for the planet.
  • Our guaranteed gluten-free beers are locally crafted from brewers who bring you great quality and flavor found in small batches.
  • We’re a Colorado based, family and friend owned and operated company and we donate a portion of the proceeds to help our planet.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

GFAF Expo part THREE - Udi's

Udi's is top dog when it comes to gluten free products.  The second I found their sandwich bread, I knew I was going to be just fine - it's absolutely delicious.  The first gf bread you can actually eat plain and use for sandwiches but also delicious toasted, made into french toast, and bread pudding. (an unbelievable feat in the gf world). 

I was pretty excited to see some of their other options out at the expo.  Sometimes I refuse to try something gf because I've been burned before with terrible products and high prices.  I know that wasn't necessarily a concern with Udi's but I was still hesitant when I saw these cookies (below) at the store. 

I've honestly never seen/noticed this pizza at HyVee before, I'm sure they carry it (you can always ask) but I have just given up on gf frozen pizza.  OOOOoooooh goodness this pizza was delicious.  Great balance of cheese, topping, sauce, and a perfectly crispy crust.  I mean this in an absolutely good way... it reminds me of the tostinos pizza we would inhale in high school and college.  But more sophisticated of course and definitely not $0.99 per pizza :)  But hey, we're close - it's the experience and the memory we're going for with pizza!

I hate to admit this, but we went back to this booth at least 3 times just to keep eating the pizza slices.  I should have just asked the lady for a whole one!  I'm excited to check out my HyVee soon and see if I can get my hands on one of these incredible pies!

Now I've seen these cookies/brownie bites before but haven't tried them (HyVee and Whole Foods).  I'm so grateful for an opportunity like the GFAF Expo to be able to try new (new for me & really new) products.  I was blown away by the snickerdoodle cookies!  They were unexpectedly extremely soft - softer than Eileen's Cookies (if you're from around Omaha/Lincoln) and better than your grandmother makes.  These were probably my top pick of the expo and I'm kicking myself for never trying them sooner.  I should have known Udi's only makes the best products!! 

If you visit Udi's website, you'll see a huge variety of gluten free baked goods both sweet & savory.  I give you my personal testament - have no fear, they will be DELICIOUS and most likely better than the glutened version!  



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston

This event has shaken my faith in humanity once again.  My heart goes out to the running community, Boston Marathoners, and all the running fans and supporters.  

*my very first run

*Lincoln half marathon 2011

*Our first 17 miler, in the dark - just the two of us and Coach Dan

*Jill and I the morning of our first full marathon

*TEAM in Training San Diego Marathon team 2011

*St. Louis Rock & Roll half marathon 2011

*Lincoln Marathon 2012

For me, I started running in January of 2011 - couch to marathon pretty much.  I'm not fast but I fell in love with running.  Even after that very first run, I started dreaming of Boston.  No matter your speed or ability - there comes a time when you start to believe in Boston - if you could just train hard enough, just get to that qualifying moment. I've been thinking about it for years now.  Boston has always been my goal.

Boston has been shattered.  The most historic road race of all - a grueling 26.2 miles of endurance, physical agility, and mental fortitude - an accomplishment of a life time.  This is now a place of fear and terror.

I still want to run Boston, it's still on my life to do list.  And I think I want it more now.  To fight the fear and come together with the running community and show our strength.  

Pray for Boston

Pray for the Marathon


Monday, April 15, 2013

GFAF Expo part TWO - Chebe

One of my favorite booths was the Chebe station.  This is one of the very first gluten free products I tried out back in my GFree beginnings.  I have loved their products since first bite.  

Have you tried them?  You can find most of their products at your local Hy-Vee!

I think what I like most about this company, after the food of course, is the history of their company and the source of their gluten free goodness.  

I'm going to go ahead and steal the next part from their website - it's just so interesting you have to read it!  :)

The History of Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

First, a brief translation from Portuguese to English:
     pão = bread
     de = of
     queijo = cheese

Got it?  Now for the history.

Like many great foods in the Western Hemisphere, pão de queijo has its roots in the culinary creations of African slaves. Slaves were often deprived of the 'edible' cuts of the animal and vegetable. Regarding the animal, the tail, the head, the stomach and similar anatomy was discarded as unusable by the landowners (think 'feijoada', another Brazilian specialty that has similar beginnings).  The slaves, having mouths to feed, made due with the discards.
pao-de-queijo-2.jpg           pao-de-queijo-3.jpg

Manioc (a root plant also know as yucca or cassava, and is better known in the US supermarkets as tapioca) was, and still is, a common staple during the Portuguese colonization of Brazil.  This root was peeled, grated, soaked and dried in order to make a wide variety of what are now traditional Brazilian foods. 

The residue of this process, considered inedible by the landowners and others that were better off, was a fine white powder, or starch.  The slaves gathered this residue, made balls and baked them.  Of course, no cheese or milk was added at this point in history.  In short, it was baked starch.
At the end of the 19th century, after slavery ended, other foods were made available to the Afro-Brazilian population.  And in the State of Minas Gerais, the center of the dairy production in Brazil, cheese and milk were added to the balls of starch.  So, with a combination of Afro-Brazilian ethnicity and the agricultural geography of Minas Gerais, pão de queijo as we now all know it, came to be. 

So... there you have it - a little history, a little science, and a whole lot of gluten free goodness!

Next time you're at HyVee - definitely pick up a box.  Chebe will not disappoint!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Oh! How Pinteresting!

Here's another round of my favorites from Pinterest this week! 

This is just a beautiful combination of colors and staging.  Uhhhhh this is my dream living room!

Life of Pi is probably in my top 10 favorite movies, and I just finished reading the book.  Yes, even after seeing the movie I really wanted to read the book - which of course was amazing.

Well wedding season is upon us! It's time to start thinking about gifts and gift wrapping (my favorite part).

These are incredible right? I am dying for some cheetah sperrys for spring!.

This peacock case is just fantastic.

Enjoy!  And happy Saturday :)


And FYI - Thanks to Pinterest and their new format, creating this post involved a ton of HTML code writing, which thankfully I'm actually getting better at :)  Bonus!

Friday, April 12, 2013

H54F !!

Happy Friday!!  I'm linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!

First of all - I've had a pretty fantastic week :)

1). Monday I had lunch with three of my absolute favorite people - and La Buvette never disappoints either.  Their lives will always be more interesting than mine and I just can't get enough of them... the stories, the insight, the history, and the art!
2). This is half, yes just half of my loot from the GFAF Expo laid out on my coffee table.  I promise I'll be posting more about the expo next week.
3). The City of Omaha, in collaboration with the Downtown Improvement District, is working on a wayfinding project - something I feel very passionately about.  I'm trying not to be critical of these signs, but first and foremost notice their height off the ground (yes the photo is tricky to grasp this) clearly indicating these are not pedestrian level signs.  These signs are meant for traffic - of the vehicular nature, not for walkers. Good things will come... but they come slowly and with bureaucracy. 
4). I got a little R&R in at the Mill recently.  Sunshine, coffee, people watching, and a new gluten free cookie line - I couldn't be happier!!
5). My table top garden is coming along nicely.  I had almost given up on the herbs and was close to dumping them when they finally sprouted!  
Bonus pic: This was a pretty monumental moment for me... This was my first run since May 6th, 2012. And even more so - I did four miles ALONE...all by myself and no mental breakdown, negative thoughts, or self-depricating comments.  I did it!  I have never felt more accomplished after a run... I have never ran alone (well) before - I've always had a running partner so this was awesome for me.  Unfortunately the weather here has been terrible since Monday so I haven't gotten back out - ready for Saturday morning!

I hope you had a wonderful week!  

Tell me all about it :)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gluten Free Tips for Kids!

Gluten Free Tips For Kids

Thursday 11th April 2013
Catering for kids on a gluten-free diet can be tricky, so we asked our Facebook community for their top tips. Here are the top 30 tips for kids on a gluten-free diet, we hope they help and feel free to add your own to the comments section below. 
  1. Cooking fresh and if you need to make something with flour there are now gluten free flours out there I have to be careful even when buying gluten free food as sunflower oil is a problem rice bran oil is fab though
  2. Chilli and rice is my little girl's favourite
  3. M&S for sausages and burgers-they even seem to be stocking cocktail sausages all year round now  In terms of cakes, take a 'normal' recipe and use gluten-free flour instead of self-raising/plain (add extra tsp of baking powder to cakes) and they generally work. Get children involved in the cooking/planning of meals too!
  4. My 2 years old daughter is on very healthy diet. I'm always cooking for her, lots of vegetable, fruit, gluten-free bread, pasta, rice and instead of sweets she eats dried fruit and some biscuits from abroad. I haven’t tried baking some cake or biscuit for her yet. She is going to be 3 in June and I would love to surprise her with some cake. Can someone recommend some recipe? Thanks
  5. I cook everything I've always cooked I just do it gluten free now! Think with kids simple is best and get them involved if they help cook it their more likely to eat it
  6. I would recommend the gluten free cook book for kids by Adriana Rabbinovich to anyone with a newly diagnosed child! She says her recipes aren't designed to use prescription blend flour but I use Barkat flour and it works fine
  7. I now use Thai rice noodles instead of the gluten free variety that are available in shops down the Free From aisles. More like the pasta than the Free From variety and cheaper.
  8. My daughter is nearly eight but diagnosed when she was 14 months. I have loads of cook books here but one that is absolutely amazing is 'Phil Vickery's- Gluten Free Baking' - wow....his recipes taste out of this word! And so easy too!
  9. Chicken nuggets-chicken breast dipped in egg then coated in crunched gluten-free cornflakes & little bit of potato flour to help coating stick then deep fry for few minutes-delicious & kids love them xx
  10. In most bookshops you can find gluten free cookbooks, there are also recipes available online. Using specially adapted recipes may be easier if you are not accustomed to baking with gluten free flour.
  11. If you wish to make a cake that doesn't use gluten free flour, you can make a chocolate Swiss roll/Yule log:
  12. Gluten free spaghetti and hot dog sausages. Some brands of hot dog sausages are gluten free and some are not, ALDI and Sainsbury's sell gluten free ones, just check the label. Chop up sausages in to about 1 inch long sections then carefully push the uncooked spaghetti through the middle of sausage; probably about 6-8 pieces of spaghetti per sausage section then cook spaghetti as normal. When it's cooked your kids will wonder how you got the spaghetti through the sausage. My eldest daughter has coeliac disease and absolutely scoffed this and has said it's her favourite meal
  13. DS ready to roll pastry is good as is the Glutafin pastry mix which you might still be able to get on prescription. I really like the Glutafin white flour mix, also on prescription if you are lucky. The sponge cake recipe on the box is the best I've found and makes lovely cakes without having to overdo the baking power. Simple homemade tomato or cheese sauces are also a winner in our house with gluten-free pasta or spaghetti.
  14. I recommend feeding kids REAL food. We start them off with fruits and veggies and they love it. We as a country really need to look at what is going into our food. We have become a culture of quick in everything we do. Let’s back to the basics and cook from scratch. When cooking we have more control over what we feed our children and we can keep them safe from cross contamination of wheat. When eating out follow the same idea of eating real food that is fresh made and not fried. As for a picky eater...Get her involved in picking her own foods and have her help make then meals. Even if she is little giving her a bit of control might help.
  15. I've never had much success with specific GF free baking recipes, I use the recipes I've always used and use GF self raising flour, with extra GF baking powder and a touch of xanthium gum to bind. My son is GF and dairy free, and I bake the same for all of us, my friends do not know the difference!
  16. Buy the original brown bread and turn it into bread cut chicken into strips, dip in egg and then bread crumbs and bake in oven yum yum.
  17. Take a card or info sheet everywhere and let others know in advance always take a treat our two in bag or car as well to avoid disappointment. Also with cake /goodie bag give advice etc to others or get some bits yourself give to host to put in bash like others.
  18. Party foods! Cheese wrapped in ham on a cocktail stick with grapes, pineapple. Chicken legs. Nachos and salsa. Fruit kebabs. Gluten-free bread sticks coated in chocolate. Rice crackers with cheese. Crudités with dips. Anything that doesn’t single them out at their celebration. Any other ideas appreciated
  19. I do buffet food that is all gluten free as well. No difference! Cheese and pineapple, gluten-free sausages on sticks, gluten-free bread sticks and pepper strips with dips, gluten-free chicken nuggets, gluten-free pizzas, chocolate fountains with fruit go down well (messy though), bowl of salad, rice salad, cheese and onion potatoes ( Half a baked potato, scoop out the potato, then mash with cheese and onion, put back into the skin, pop into the oven so the skin goes crispy, yum), loads of cakes you can make for gluten free parties. And as someone mentioned nachos.... delicious! Who needs gluten anyway????
  20. I have been Coeliac for 44 years and my mum was given gluten free flour and left to get on with it. It's great to see what massive progress has been made so that today's children don't miss out
  21. Due to gut problems my son went gluten-free for 6 months. I simply used gluten-free flour in all my regular baking recipes and nobody noticed the difference. Didn't manage to crack bread though!
  22. I totally recommend Slice of Heaven Gluten Free Cakery! My little Coeliac turns 10 today but is away on a school residential all week. I ordered some mine craft themed cakes (70!!) for her and all her friends. I know some will shoot me down and moan about the cost but sometimes it's worth the extra for our children to have normal things.
  23. Homemade gluten-free potato scones, my son loves them
  24. I gave the teacher a gluten-free treat box to keep in Classroom just for those times when kids hand out birthday treats. It seems to be weekly in preps! Now she doesn't miss out.
  25. Hi I used to have to make a meal and hand in to school for my daughter as she wasn’t too keen on packed lunch, then I spoke to the school and just supplied what she liked to eat and they cooked it.
  26. Roll ups - turkey or any thinly sliced meat with cheese rolled up. Or wrap the whole thing in lettuce leaf like a burrito
  27. Re lunches chopped raw veg and hummus, salads with a fork, chicken bits mixed with rice, cold meat/ sausages- think finger food 
  28. Have you asked the school about school dinners? I live in Hampshire and we have a wheat and gluten free menu. Very often my daughter has the same meal as everyone. She has school dinners 5 days a week in the winter and 3 days a week in the summer so she can eat on the fields with her friends. She often takes a dietary special sausage roll or cold pizza leftover from tea the night before!
  29. Our 12 year old can make the nicest gluten-free jam buns & gluten-free scones. She's annoyed that her gluten-free food bought from shop is still more expensive than gluten equivalent so she's taking matters into her own hands (with a little help)
  30. Pancakes - savoury or sweet!! Lush! Can eat them cold in packed lunches/picnics with your favourite filling. There are gluten free tortilla wraps around - which my daughter (aged 7 yrs) loves - can put a bit of sour cream on, tuna, cucumber, scallions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tech Issues

I apologize for no post today - I'm having extreme technical difficulties.  

I am really hating google+ right now and we'll through Picasa in there also.  

Google keeps their damn complicated products but eliminates Reader - I just don't get it. 

Yes, I'm a little angry with google right now.  

I hopefully I'll have something tomorrow :)

Happy Wednesday!


*saw this on facebook recently and I really like it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GFAF Expo Part ONE

There is just so much gluten free amazing-ness to share!  So we'll just take it step by step.  There will be a couple posts regarding the GFAF Expo because I want to make sure I do the entire experience justice!  This post will just be a brief overview of some of the brands.  I'll go into greater detail in the next couple ones.  

1). Lily and I had an absolutely incredible time!  It was definitely worth the drive to Des Moines.  I think we both felt in awe of all the delicious products before us and it was just great to know we could eat anything in there - no questions, no worries just Gluten Free & Easy!

2). Personally, after being gluten free for almost 5 years, I cannot believe looking back how many products there are now and how many brands are available catering to gluten free needs!  We have become mainstream!

3). A huge shout out to HyVee - they are and always have been dedicated to gluten free needs.  Almost every product we saw and tasted is available at HyVee or available upon request.  Can't beat that, plus there's a helpful smile in every aisle!! 

Now, on to details!

The crowd was out of control!  So many excited GFree-er's!  I think they got a much bigger crowd than they were expecting because some vendors ran out of samples before we left - and they still had Sunday!  Hopefully they were able to reload.

The first booth we stopped by was actually a brand I had never come across before, and I scour the stores, gluten free mags, and twitter of course - so I was excited to try their products.  Andrea's gluten free is not only gluten free, but completely nut free also.  We encountered one of our favorite products of the entire expo at this booth - HELLO gooey butter cake!!  I've never had traditional gooey butter cake, but I've seen it on food network.  This gluten free version was mind-blowing!  I think we went back a couple times for additional samples.  And at the very end when we were leaving, Lily stopped by to give into temptation and buy a cake to take home... she got the LAST one.  Total score.  That cake didn't even see Sunday :)

This was another brand I was unfamiliar with - but incredible and one of Lily's favorites in the bread category. Gillian's Foods was sampling a bread product which I can only compare to Schwan's garlic cheese bread!  YUM.  These cheese breads come two to a pack (frozen) and become hot, crispy, and melty cheesy in the oven.  

Crunchmaster is a brand I know and love.  I tasted my old favorites and sampled some I hadn't enjoyed before - I think the roasted vegetable might be my new favorite!

This may have been the highlight of the expo.  We all miss creamy based sauces like white gravy, cream of whatever soup, traditional roux...etc.  Full Flavor Foods has conquered the sauce mix.  I'll admit I was hesitant to try this product because I had visions of a grainy bland soup with a terrible aftertaste.  Nope - absolutely delightful.  I am still thinking about this cream of broccoli soup!!

Probably one of the first companies to go mainstream with gluten free offerings - Kinnikinnick Foods.

Kristy's Kitchen out in full force for the expo.  I really need to order one of their scone mixes - they are spot on! 

I love Van's.... but to be honest, I've only had their gluten free waffles so it was great to sample their chips and some cereal! 

Chebe!!  My favorite booth.  I have loved Chebe breads since the beginning.  I've only recently researched their company and learned all about manioc flour!  I'll share about Chebe in another post :)

What's a gluten free expo without a little gluten free beer - and good beer to boot!  New Planet has an entire line of gluten free beers all available at HyVee of course.  I'm pretty picky about my gluten free beer mostly because they all suck and I'm pissed I can't even remember what good beer tastes like - but they nailed it with this line.  We sampled all 5 brews and I was happy - of course :)  I also really love that this is fairly local - comes out of Colorado.

Whew, that was a lot of information and we just barely got started.  

I'll have more in the next post!