Glutino Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Yesterday, my shipment of Glutino Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Pretzels arrived!  There has been quite a bit of buzz around this new product since the announcement was made in March on Food Biz Daily, so the second I heard they were available for sale on GlutenFree.com, I had to order some.  Sam used to love the Pretzel Flipz back in his gluten days so I decided to wait and let him be the one to open the package and be the first sampler.

Now, Sam is only 6 so his taste-testing and critiquing skills are still rather limited, as is his database of descriptive words, so keep that in mind with his review (it’s a short one, LOL!).

Sam: GLUUUU-TEN, yeah, yeah, gluten!

Translation: The Glutino Chocolate and Yogurt covered pretzels taste just as good as the Pretzel Flipz in Sam’s memory!

Click the following links for ingredient and nutritional information: Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Glutino Yogurt Covered Pretzels.

My review: the Glutino Chocolate and Yogurt covered pretzels ARE good, however, they are kind of pricey after you add in the shipping costs.  I ordered one 5.5-ounce package of each flavor from GlutenFree.com, each retailing for $5.99.  After adding in the $12.00 shipping cost, each package essentially cost $12.00.  I cannot wrap my brain around that, no matter how good they are.  I would definitely buy these again, but I will wait until they are available in local stores.  Until then, I will just keep making my own (with Glutino’s GF pretzels of course!).  There is an added benefit to making my own too…  I have to make them in order to eat them, so there is a built in “self-control” mechanism going on.  When the Glutino Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Pretzels hit my local store shelves, I might be in trouble in the waistline department! 🙂

These are my homemade version of Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels... they are certainly not as pretty and I do not have a Yogurt version! I do have white chocolate though, hmm... 😉

Udi’s Gluten Free Bagels & A Fun Breakfast Treat for GF Kids

A few weeks ago, while on one of my rare grocery adventures (I kid you not, I get lost in label land)! Anyhoo, after a few hours of doing the “Gluten-Free Nancy Drew” thing, I remembered that I needed to pick up some more bread. When I approached the freezer case to get my beloved Udi’s GF Bread, I just about fainted. There they were. The ever elusive, softly whispered, government conspiracy cover-up… UDI’S BAGELS!!

I was so excited, I bought 5 packages!

As soon as I got home, I had to have one, with cream cheese!

The first thing I noticed as I pulled a bagel out of the bag… these are REALLY BIG bagels! They are so big, that I could only eat 1/4 of it! The other thing I noticed is that they do not really taste like the gluten bagels I remember. They are good mind you, but they are not the boiled bagels that I think of; with the crunchy crust and chewy inside. To me, they are the same as Udi’s great gluten-free bread, only in the shape of a bagel (which is a big plus, especially for a 6 year old)! Sam loves the bagels, because they make him feel “normal.” Know what I think these are? A GREAT gluten-free hamburger bun, only with a hole in the middle! Just place a piece of lettuce at the top to keep the condiments contained and wa-la!

Told you they were big! Sam will not eat lettuce on his burger, but it wasn't too messy!

I got this idea from Disney’s Family Fun Magazine, UFO Breakfast Treats!

That's my boy, thinking "outside the box!"

Why can't he be this "neat" with chocolate??

Neither one of my boy’s will eat a hard boiled egg (yet they love egg salad??).

I hope you have a happy Easter or I hope you’ve had a good Passover!

((Hugs)),

Heidi

GoPicnic Ready To Eat Meals Product Review and Giveaway!!

Giveaways are intoxicatingly fun for me, especially when they are products that I absolutely love and that have made my family’s gluten-free life easier and infinitely better. It is difficult for me to rave about a gluten-free product on my blog and leave it at that. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a taste-test is unquantifiable!  😀  So for this giveaway, I am going to bump up the “GF Love,” because thanks to GoPicnic, there will be 3 winners! Woo-Hoo!

TUm, did you know I am a die-hard Dr. Alessio Fasano groupie? I need to start a fan club! 🙂

Check out some of GoPicnic’s Gluten-Free Offerings:

So last month I received a few complimentary ready-to-eat meals by GoPicnic to review on my blog. When GoPicnic contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing their gluten-free products, it was like the answer to a GF mom’s prayer. In case you didn’t already know (especially now that it has been brought to my attention that my “About Me” page didn’t survive my Blogger to WordPress transfer back in September… another item on my “list”!), I am the mom to 2 young animals boys, ages 6 and 2. This is my first year entering into the world of peer influence by means of kindergarten.

Prior to kindergarten, Sam was very chill on food, he ate what I gave him to eat and that was that, no big deal. Now it seems each day Sam comes home from school with a new list of requests for me to either make or find a GF equivalent for him to take in his lunch box so he can be like his little buddies. GF “Lunchables” have been sitting at the top of this list for quite sometime. I had bought the Laptop Lunch system a few years ago for preschool to make homemade healthy “Lunchables,” but now apparently that is just not “the same,” because it is still “mom’s” food!

The day the GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals arrived, Sam was beside himself with pure joy. He decided to take the ExploreMunch meal to school first. ExploreMunch has a Turkey Snack Stick, a White Cheddar Cheese Slice, Baked Snap Pea Crisps, Natural Strawberry Applesauce, a Sunflower Seed Crunch, a Surf Sweets pouch of Gummy Bears, a Temporary Tattoo, Utensils and a Towelette inside. The inside of the box is also loaded with games, jokes and fun food facts! Oscar Mayer’s Lunchables cannot hold a candle to that!

When Sam came home that day from school, he COULD NOT stop talking about how cool his GF “Lunchable” was, and how all his friends really liked his tattoo! No one in my “real” world really seems to “get” the true impact of that. This was such an emotional moment for me (especially since I was the obvious celiac gene donor), that I am actually fighting the tears again as I write this! The simple fact that Sam can have a special treat like this in his lunch box means more to me than all of the other very useful ways to use these meals:

  • Take them on an airplane (BTW, we should all start contacting the airlines and ask them to carry the gluten-free version of these!),
  • To stash in the car (non-summer months) for unexpected hunger pangs,
  • Throw in your backpack while going on a long bike ride or hike,
  • To take camping,
  • I think this would be a great thing for college students to have.
  • Emergency preparedness.

Heck, I could have used one of these when I was in the hospital after having Luke because the HOSPITAL could not accommodate my gluten-free needs!

GoPicnic meals do not require refrigeration, so this is a great item to keep on hand in your car for you or your kiddos in the event of a gluten-free food emergency!,  Yea!!!

GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals contain none of the following:

  • No Trans Fats
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup.
  • No Added MSG.
  • No Artificial Flavors or Colors.

In addition to the gluten-free meals, GoPicnic also has many meals that are suitable for people who have other dietary needs like Halal, Kosher, Vegan, and Vegetarian diets (as well as mainstream meals that contain gluten ingredients).

So here’s the skinny on the contest, and since this is such a fabulous product I know you are all paying attention!

Each of the 3 winners will receive a 3-pack of GoPicnic ready-to eat meals! You are guaranteed one meal of your choosing, the other two will be based on availability.

Follow this link to the GoPicnic website and sign up to receive the email updates (follow the link located at the top of their page). Even if you do not win, there are great sales each week and you will get a heads up on those.

After you sign up for the newsletter, just leave a quick comment on my site about what you are happy to see in GoPicnic’s ready-to-eat meal lineup (or even what you think is missing).  Remember, all of these folks are entrepreneurs and we need to encourage their creativity, so any suggestions/ideas/criticisms need to be forthcoming so they can adjust to their market…meaning US!!! 🙂

I am adding a new “twist” to this giveaway. You can “earn” bonus entries if you do any (or all) of the following things:

  • Follow @GoPicnic on Twitter, then shoot me an email at heidikelly13@gmail.com to let me know you did this (1 bonus entry).
  • Tweet about this contest and include a link to this page on Twitter, be sure to include @adventuresgfmom in your tweet (2 bonus entries).
  • Become a Fan of GoPicnic on Facebook then send me an email at heidikelly13@gmail.com to let me know you did this (1 bonus entry).
  • If you are the author of a blog, mention this contest in one of your posts and include a link back to this page (2 bonus entries).

I will use a Random Number Generator to pick the 3 winners on Monday, February, 8, 2010.

Good Luck! 😀

GoPicnic is also offering my readers a 20% discount on orders until February 24, 2010, when using the promotional code GLUTENFREE at checkout!

Better Batter Gluten Free Flour Review and Giveaway

I am so excited about this! Back in December I received a complimentary sample of Better Batter Gluten Free Flour to review on my blog. It arrived on Christmas Eve, just in time to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning! I made the Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Clone recipe that I found on the Better Batter Website. As I was rolling out the dough for the cinnamon rolls, I had to stop and just enjoy rolling the “real” dough between my fingers. I never thought I would ever experience that feeling again after my celiac diagnosis 5 years ago.

When the boys came down to see what “Santa” had brought the most amazing thing happened. They could smell the cinnamon aroma coming from the kitchen and they pitter-pattered right past all the loot and asked me what I was making. As I pulled the tray of hot gooey cinnamon rolls out of the oven, their eyes grew about an inch. We took a pause from the impending chaos of opening presents and just sat at the kitchen table and enjoyed our fluffy pillows of warm cinnamon goodness. The only sound that could be heard was of little lips smacking with delight. Our gluten-free life is now complete, there is nothing that we cannot have if we want it bad enough (Better Batter even has a recipe for GF Filo (or phyllo) Dough and GF Pizza Rolls… like the Totino’s Pizza Rolls!). This is a very powerful thing for me (and hopefully for Sam) because knowing we can have something if we want it, makes sticking to a permanent dietary regimen a lot easier to accept and embrace. I don’t know about you, but for me, if I know I cannot have something… it just makes me want it all the more (even if it is something I didn’t normally eat pre-gluten free, like Twinkies!). We were so into the cinnamon rolls that I forgot to take a picture!

I have also made the Cinnabon Clone Cinnamon Rolls (click here for the vegan version of the recipe), and I do have a picture to show you:

I was so impressed with Better Batter’s Gluten Free Flour, that I ordered a 25 lb. bag of flour before I was even finished with my sample package! That 25 lbs. is now gone too… it “left the building” a week after I got it! Mike just ordered me another 25 lbs. today! 🙂

I also made Pigs in a Blanket using Better Batter’s Super Versatile Bread Dough recipe.

This is where most of my 25 lbs. of Better Batter Flour went! My husband can eat his entire body weight's worth in one sitting and Mike is not a big eater (he is 6'5" and 180 lbs., he is a pretty thin guy!). I have a ton of these in my deep freezer, ready to pull out when needed!

Then there was the Better Batter Flour Tortillas! Oh my gosh, these are the best! I wholeheartedly believe they taste better that the store-bought glutinous flour tortillas. Not a doubt in my mind. They are super easy to make and by making your own, you can easily sub out the lard or fully and partially hydrogenated oil that is in Crisco. I used Spectrum Shortening which is non-hydrogenated.

Real Chicken Soft Tacos have re-entered our gluten-free meal time! WOO-HOO!

We have also made GF Breakfast Burritos, Huevos Rancheros and Burritos! Yum.

The dinner rolls I made came from a recipe I found on Recipezaar, I wanted to try out the Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour in other recipes to see if it worked just as well. So far, so good!

Check out the Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies I made yesterday:

And the Gluten-Free “Nutter Butter” Cookies:

I think they taste just like Nabisco's, even if they don't look the same! 😀

And this has been this biggest seller of all to me: Gluten-Free Puff Pastry! Yes, you heard me right, GF Puff Pastry…

Now, please keep in mind that I have never made Puff Pastry in my life, gluten-free or otherwise! Another thing to keep in mind is that this was not well thought out by me in advance. I am quite often driven by impulse, a sidekick companion to my ADD. There are positive sides to this trait of mine and some not-so positive sides. One positive? I can watch the movie Julie and Julia (GREAT movie by the way!!) on a Sunday night and wake up on Monday morning ready to tackle GF Puff Pastry, having not taken the time to think it through and risk talking myself out of it! The downside? I can get so involved in a project like this that I completely miss an appointment! I am currently working on some tactics to overcome this issue of mine and I think I will start by taking some wardrobe advice from Flava Flav (I might even do the hat!). Just call me Flava GF Mom! 😀 :

See what I mean? ADD tangent! Back to the GF Puff Pastry…

I watched an online video of Michele Richard and Julia Child making the gluten version of puff pastry and followed another blogger’s (Irina at Pastry Pal) tutorial for making glutenous puff pastry. Okay, so as I am sitting here writing this post, and copying links from the Pastry Pal’s blog to show you where I got my inspiration, I just happened to go to Irina’s home page and guess what I found? A recipe for Nanimo Bars that are gluten-free! The Nanimo Bars recipe was part of a 2010 Daring Baker’s Challenge hosted by Lauren of The Celiac Teen! Apparently, Irina has a wheat sensitivity and is going to be making more gluten-free recipes! That is either total dumb luck on my part or we really do live in a small world!

This is my first attempt at Gluten-Free Puff Pastry using Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour

For comparison purposes, here is Irina’s gluten puff pastry from the Pastry Pal Website:

This is Wheat Based Homemade Puff Pastry that Irina of PastryPal.com made.

My Gluten-Free Puff Pastry is not quite as “poofy,” as the wheat based puff pastry but I am not willing to chalk that up to it not having any gluten, not yet anyway. Right now I would say the “poof-lite” outcome is due to operator error. I am going to keep practicing to see if I can’t make the GF puff pastry equally as puffy as the gluten version. Outside of the puffy factor, the taste was AMAZING! I used it last night to make Chicken Pot Pies (using a Rachael Ray Recipe), check it out:

I made a bunch of these and put them in individual foil pie plates and froze them! Homemade Gluten-Free “Fast Food!”

One last example. I really miss Shrimp Gumbo. Pappadeaux’s Shrimp Gumbo to be specific. I cannot find a “copycat” recipe anywhere to do a “GF recycling.” I know it has a really dark base but every time I have tried to make a dark roux using different GF flour blends, it always comes out a light beige, at best. I found a recipe for Dark Roux on the Better Batter website:

Better Batter Gluten Free Dark Roux

Not quite as dark as Pappadeaux's, but much more visually appealing than a white gumbo! It was yummy! 😀

I also use Better Batter GF Flour in my Gluten-Free Magic Mix, which I use in my gluten-free condensed soup recipes.

But don’t just take my word for it, check out Kim Bouldin’s Review of Better Batter Gluten Free Flour on her blog, “Gluten-Free Is Life.”

I will eventually get all of these recipes posted but until then, you have a chance to win a free sampling of Better Batter’s products!

Better Batter Complete Product Sampler Giveaway

The winner of this contest/giveaway will receive a fabulous prize package consisting of: (1) 2.5 lb. package of Better Batter Gluten Free Flour, (1) 2.5 Lb. package of Better Batter Gluten-Free Pancake and Biscuit Mix, and (2) 20 oz. packages of Better Batter Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie Mix!! A prize package worth $24.25!! Woo-Hoo!

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment to this post about which Better Batter recipe you would want to try first should you win. Click here to look through Better Batter’s recipe archive.

In addition to leaving a comment, you need to do one of the following things:

  • Sign up to follow @BetterBatter on Twitter and “tweet” about this contest, including a link to this post. Please include @adventuresgfmom in your tweet so I have a record.

OR

If you are a blogger:

You will need to mention this contest in a blog post (thank you!) and include a link to this post in order to enter.

I will use a Random Number Generator to pick the winner on Friday, February, 5, 2010.

Good luck! 🙂

A Review of Gluten Free Energy Bars: Boomi Bars and Prana Bars by Divine Foods

Gluten Free Dad, here.  Since my skills in the kitchen pretty much end with “turn the oven on to 425,” I’ve been handed some product reviews to complete.  I approach this with some trepidation, because I remember what most gluten-free substitutes tasted like 5 years ago.  Things have come along way since then, and I have enjoyed almost everything we’ve been sent thus far.  So here we go.

This is the first of a series of reviews on gluten-free “energy” bars. Or as we like to call them in our family, “breakfast in Dad’s car when he oversleeps.” Perhaps a better descriptive word would be “Celiac Safe” energy bars since using the words gluten-free can imply, to a non-celiac like me, that some ingredient has been removed from this product to make it gluten free. I do not see any substitute ingredients on the labels of these bars, so I assume they are naturally gluten free, but are also made in a dedicated facility.

We’ll start with Divine Foods.  We received a complimentary package of assorted flavors from the company for review on this blog.  This is the first time we have tried this product.  If you are looking for an old-fashioned crunchy granola bar (the kind you have to chew 187 times before you can swallow), this is NOT the bar for you!

There are three types of bars from Divine Foods: the PranaBar Supercharger “energy” bar, the PranaBar Nutrition bar, and the BoomiBar.  All ingredients are raw except for the nuts and seeds, which according to the label need slow cooking to help digestion.  I appreciate this consideration on their part, because I need all the digestive help I can get this time of year (how much chocolate can a man actually eat in one day?…let’s see!!!).

The regular nutrition bars and the Supercharger bars are flexible but firm.  I can’t describe them as “chewy” either.  They are dense but not in a bad way, just really well packed together (lots of seeds, too).  Though not too sticky, you will probably need to rinse your hands after eating because they will leave a little sticky residue on your fingers, but this was not a big deal to anyone in my family.

The flavors seem well thought out and match the labeling.  How many times have you grabbed something that was supposed to taste like “x” and ended up tasting like…anything other than “x”?  Of course, no one in our family has ever had a goldenberry or goji, so you’re on your own with those (we liked them)!  I think Huckleberry would be a cool flavor: I have no idea what they would taste like, but it would look totally funky on a label…heck, I’d buy one just for that!  Anyway…

We LOVED the Apricot Pumpkin. It was something like an Apricot fruit leather with lots of yummy pumpkin seeds!

They do not skimp on the nuts and seeds! The Pear Ginseng was another favorite.

"I bend but I don't break"...no car crumbs...WOO HOO!!

The BoomiBars seem to have a little more substance to them.  They are still flexible, but most of them have larger chunks of nuts (pistachio, almond, etc.).  So if you want more girth, the BoomiBars are probably the way to go.  They don’t seem quite as sweet as the PranaBars, but that could just be my opinion.  Again, the flavor matches the label on the bar, but the nuts really steal the show with the BoomiBars.  These were my favorite…the flavors seem more balanced to me (a little sweet, a little salt).

BoomiBar boomin' with nuts!!

Overall, these are very good and convenient products.  Since none of us are gym-rats, I can’t really give you guidance on any “pep-up” they provide.  But everyone in our family enjoys the taste and texture (especially that they are not dry like an old-fashioned granola bar), and the size and weight are just right given how dense they are.  There are MANY flavors to choose from, which is good.

As I mentioned, I feel comfortable giving these to the boys as a quick breakfast when we are running late (admit it, you’ve had those mornings too ;-)).  We also keep a few in each car for those in-between trips (school pick-up at 2:45, next activity at 4:00).  It’s not like we can run through a McDonald’s drive-thru!

You can order these directly from Divine Foods and each type of bar comes in a variety pack order.  Once you factor shipping, you’re looking at about $2.00 per bar on average.  They are also available at your local healthy-type grocery store, so if you just want to pick up a couple before you order bulk, try a couple of each.

This Boomi Bar, the Cashew Protein Plus, was Heidi, Sam and Luke's favorite. While made of cashews, there are no whole nuts in this bar.

Heidi told Luke that this was a beige brownie (Blondie) and he couldn't eat it fast enough, but of course, he is 2. We have found that if we can just get our picky eater to try something, he usually likes it, we just have to get past that first hurdle and that is where the distorted truth telling comes into play! 🙂

We will definitely be ordering some of these. We live about 45 minutes from Albuquerque so we are on the road quite a bit and these are perfect, especially for the little messy monsters...no crumbs!

Store-Bought Gluten Free Turkey Gravy Reviews

I have been collecting a few commercial turkey gravies to sample and review. I am including 3 different gravies along with some opinions.

  1. Imagine Natural Creations Roasted Turkey Flavored Gravy
  2. Mayacamas Turkey Flavored Gravy Mix
  3. Allergy Free Foods Chicken · Turkey Gravy Mix

First Up, Imagine Natural Creations Roasted Turkey Flavored Gravy. I found this gravy at my local Sunflower Market. Of the three gravies, we all thought this one had the best flavor and color. The downside though is that it is very thin and runny. My friend Kristen said it best, “if you like your side dishes to be infused with the gravy, then it is good.” For example, when you ladle the gravy on dressing, it “disappears” into the dressing (absorbs into the dressing). Not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on what you like. I just like my gravy to sit on top of the dressing.

Second, Mayacamas Turkey Gravy Mix. I found this mix at my local Keller’s Farm Market. Of the three gravies, this was definitely the saltiest. The smell almost reminds me of the seasoning packet in beef flavored Ramen Noodles (hmmm…might be a future recipe experiment for GF Ramen Noodles!). I was tickled by the difference in the color of the gravy that I made versus the color of the gravy on the front of the packet. I actually do regularly use the Mayacamas Beef Gravy packets for things like Salisbury Steak and we really like it but the Turkey Gravy just doesn’t taste or look like turkey gravy to me.

Third, AllergyFree Foods Chicken · Turkey Gravy Mix. I do not want to be negative but I have to say that this gravy leaves much to be desired. That being said, I LOVE AllergyFree Foods Chicken Nuggets (They are what I use in my McDonald’s Happy Meals…they are simply the best GF kid-style Chicken Nuggets that I have found, they totally remind me of Mickey D’s nuggets, but without all of the bad stuff!). They are marketed under the Stuffin Gourmet name on QVC. I also use their Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch. In fact, it is the only Tapioca Starch I use. The gravy though, (and I triple checked the directions to make sure that I followed them correctly) was the exact replica of what can go SOOOO wrong when adding a starch directly to a hot liquid. B.O.O.G.E.R. B.A.L.L.S. Not a pleasant phrase but descriptive! 😉

When making a gravy with any starch like corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, arrowroot, etc., you MUST make a slurry first or you will get little balls of “seized up” starch that will not go away, no matter how much you stir it.

I know it is small but can you see where it says to add the mix to 3 cups of boiling liquid?

I almost fell over when I saw this. I have always basted my turkey with or put chicken broth in my dressing because I could never seem to find turkey broth. I have found something even better than broth which can be really high in sodium...Kitchen Basics Turkey Stock! I used this along with the cup of water for the AllergyFree Foods gravy mix.

Can you see the little balls of starch? If you use this mix, try making a slurry first! Also, this mix is a bit heavy on the pepper for me, I thought it overpowered the turkey flavor.

A little Alton Brown on the subject of gravy (if you have time, watch it in its entirety, it’s about 10 minutes long but extremely helpful!). Even though he ultimately uses wheat flour, he talks with a food scientist about using different starches, even Arrowroot. Alton also does a demonstration on (what I call a Booger Ball) really is…apparently this will happen with wheat flour too if not prepared correctly!

All-in-all, if you do not like to make your own gravy there are GF options out there. I think even Trader Joe’s has a GF turkey gravy but I have not tried it yet. I am just a Schmidt girl at heart though, and I am partial to the gravy I grew up on. I remember my dad removing the turkey from the roasting pan and laying it across 2 stove top burners, cranking up the heat and adding flour straight into the (non-separated) turkey drippings. After making the roux, he would add water until it came to his desired consistency and then salt to taste. Very simple. I always got to be my dad’s gravy assistant and I took it very seriously! 🙂 To this day, it is one of my fondest childhood memories with my dad.

I still make gravy this way, only I use Tom Sawyer’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is a cup for cup GF replacement for wheat based all purpose flour. I use it to make gravy and pizza crusts (when I need a large pizza for a crowd and Udi’s crusts only come in small). I also use it in almost all of my quick breads and cookies too. I thought I would make a quick note about having Tom Sawyer’s logo and link in my sidebar. I am not a paid representative of Tom Sawyer’s GF Flour nor do I get free flour to promote their product. I doubt they even know I exist out here on the web. I have their logo and link on my blog because I truly believe this is a GREAT GF all purpose flour, especially if you are new to the diet and do not want to invest in a lot of different flours and xanthan gum. The only thing that I didn’t care for was the sandwich bread I made once, but that could have either been the recipe or operator error! Now that I have Udi’s, I do not even mess with making bread anymore! Nowadays I do keep just about every GF flour out there in stock but that is because I like to experiment. I even have Sweet Potato Starch!

Anyway, I remember the first time I made gravy with Tom Sawyer’s back in 2006. I cried like a baby because I reclaimed something from my past that I thought was gone to me forever. It really does work just like wheat flour in gravy. I dump it straight into the hot drippings with zero booger balls and pure Thanksgiving gluten free bliss! Every glutenator that has ever sampled my gravy CANNOT tell it is gluten-free.

Homemade, the only way for me!

2UQCSRQUKYY7

Arrowhead Mills Pour’n Bake Pumpkin Pie

I found this nifty little product at my local Sunflower Market last week. Arrowhead Mills Pour’n Bake Pumpkin Pie Filling. It comes in an aseptic carton, just like chicken broth but it is about half the size! No aluminum can so hopefully no BPA! I used a Whole Foods GF Frozen Pie Crust for this taste test and review. I am a HORRIBLE homemade pie crust maker, but I am working on it because I would really like to quit paying $8 for 2 pie crusts!

Pour n' Bake Pumpkin Pie Filling

All you need for this filling is to add 1 egg to the mix before pouring it into the pie crust.

Bake n' Pour Pumpkin2

As you can see, there is not a lot of filling in the container, you will need 2 containers if you want to fill a Whole Foods GF pie crust.

Pumpkin Pie

Finished Pumpkin Pie

Pie2

One pie filling does NOT adequately fill a Whole Foods GF Pie Crust! See the gap between the filling and the top of the crust??

This is a pretty good pumpkin pie filling. I think the overall body is lighter in texture than the homemade filling I make (I normally use the recipe on the label of Libby’s canned pumpkin). I also do not think it is as creamy and “custard-y” as homemade pumpkin pie filling. It is certainly fast and convenient though! 🙂

Cost breakdown:

$2.39 + tax per box of pie filling ($4.78 + tax for two)

$4.00 + tax for one Whole Foods GF Pie Crust

$6.39 – $8.39 + tax for a GF pumpkin pie using the packaged GF pie filling and pre-made GF crust.

Not cheap being Gluten-Freeis it just me, or do you feel like we always draw the “short straw”?


Ian’s Wafflewich

While I was at my local Whole Foods the other day, I noticed a new GF food to try, Ian’s Maple Sausage and Egg Wafflewich. I go into trying a new (to me) GF product skeptical but with an open mind. I will try anything to see if I can “discover” some new gluten-free godsend, just as I had with the Udi’s bread.

The boys and I came home from the store and opened the box, preheated the oven and waited.

Sam and I held our breaths and crossed our fingers then we took a bite. Well, tried to anyway. I followed the directions to a tee and were disappointed that we could hardly get our teeth into the waffle. It was extremely hard and crunchy on the outside. Wet and crumbly on the underside. We decided to scrap the waffle part and try the sausage and egg. The sausage had zero flavor, it looked like a gray piece of cardboard, and tasted pretty much the same. We didnt even try the egg. It’s like like when someone opens a jug of soured milk then asks you to take a wiff to see if it smells bad. You know it is bad, so why??? Sam gave it a big thumbs down. I second that.

This is a great example of how much progress has been made in the area of gluten free foods. Ian’s has been there for us since the beginning of our journey, (Sam likes the fish sticks), but sadly it doesnt seem as though they have kept up with all of the new products that are out there.

Pizzeria Uno

My family and I took a little trip from Albuquerque to Las Cruces, NM this weekend, where there is a Pizzaria Uno’s (I used to love “Uno’s” back in the day when all of my best childhood girlfriends worked at the “Uno’s” in Columbus, Ohio…many fond memories, (especially of the pizza skins and probably a few too many alcoholic beverages).
I had heard a lot of buzz surrounding Pizzaria Uno’s new and improved gluten-free menu that actually had pizza on it (gasp). I just HAD to go. So, we drove 3 ½ hours for pizza. After I had it, I would drive 10 hours if I had to!

The whole experience was amazing. The staff was kind, informed of the GF diet and how to take the necessary precautions due to the danger for celiacs from cross-contamination. And boy, were they informed! I saw something that I have never seen in the 5 years of dining out gluten-free. The server and the manager delivered our food wearing gloves, to further prevent cross contamination. Gloves!

I was speechless. Really, I almost kissed them. Luka blew them one for all of us!

We all ordered pizza, there were 3 types to choose from, cheese, pepperoni or vegetable. They are thin crust and touted as “individual” sized pizzas. It would easily serve 2 people if you order a salad to go with it. We ordered some of each and we all ordered the Caesar salad too.

Heaven. That’s all I can say, it was that good. I forgot what real pizza with a thin, pliable crust tasted like! I could actually fold it and it didn’t break or fall to pieces in crumbles.

I don’t think we spoke a word at our table until we were finished, which says quite a bit in itself!

A bonus for the grown-ups on the gluten free diet?

Beer. 🙂

I think the best part (besides the pizza, of course) was just talking to the staff and hearing their stories about how children would come in with their parents and experience their very first piece of pizza, ever, at age 5 or 6. You could see how they were affected by being able to share that with their customers.

I wish we had an Uno’s here in Albuquerque…

Well, I guess that is why we have a macked out mini-van…ROAD TRIP!!!

Thank you so much Las Cruces Pizzaria Uno Chicago Grill and Assistant General Manager, Thomas Fry. A 5 star experience in my book.

To view the Uno’s Chicago Grill Gluten-Free Menu, click here.