Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy GF Halloween!

When I was a kid the only thing I had to worry about was crazed strangers shoving razor blades and/or poison into my Halloween candy. As an adult I have to worry about crazed candy companies shoving gluten into all sorts of candy nooks and crannies.

I've been scouring the web to find a good comprehensive GF candy list. I haven't found one that is super comprehensive - ultimately your best bet is to throughly educate yourself about what's safe BEFORE your little buddy goes out Trick or Treating. Now that the disclosure is out of the way here are the lists I've found:

This one I found a bit confusing - it says things like "fun size only" when I know that the full size bar of that particular candy is totally GF.

I feel like this list is better and seems more comprehensive. It's a good "at a glance" kind of list.

Everyone have a safe and fun Halloween!

Happy Halloween -

xoxox GF Yummy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kettle Cuisine Soups & Chili

Once I tasted the Three Bean Chili I set myself on a mission to try every single flavor of Kettle Cuisine that I could get my grubby little hands on. 

I seriously do not understand how they do it. How on earth do they make a frozen soup taste as good (and more than likely better) then fresh, homemade soups? What sort of sorcery and matter of magic is being employed in the Kettle Cuisine kitchens? I can only assume that the cooks have some sort of pact with the Devil that allows them to 1) make sure insanely delicious soup 2) make the soup insanely delicious even though its frozen.

Okay so enough insuinuation that the Kettle Cuisine people are some sort of weird wizards onward to the reviews:

Chicken Chili with White Beans:

This smells incredible and I could not wait to shove my spoon in and inhale the entire bowl. The flavor is amazing and complex and it's got a little kick to it too.

Thai Curry Chicken Cuisine

This is my absolute hands down favorite. This is the most delicious soup I have ever eaten - period. It is BETTER than the homemade soup I've eaten at delicious Thai restaurants. I crave this soup.

Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles

I have had several brands of frozen gluten free chicken noodle and every single one of them was utterly disgusting. I've made my fair share of homemade chicken noodle soups and they are always great - but when you're sick or just want something cozy cooking isn't always an activity that rates high. This will be my go to going forward. Its delicious and the noodles don't explode in the soup and make the soup all starchy. The noodles stay firm the soup is just tasty.

Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans

This was not my favorite. I think the Three Bean Chili is much more flavorful. However this was still really good. Even though I loved the other ones I was still hesitant on this one. Frozen steak just always seems like it will be gross. The meat was fine and tasty and the chili was good - just not as good as the Three Bean.

I'm now on the mission to find the Southwestern Chicken & Corn Chowder, Roasted Vegetable Soup and the Tomato Soup with Garden Vegetables.

Verdict? So far - YUMMY! I'm totally digging on Kettle Cuisine and seriously recommend that everyone try at least one variety!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Nuts! Seed & Fruit Mix from Enjoy Life!

Enjoy Life! was amazing enough to send me out their new product Not Nuts! I was really excited because I love any kind of fruit, nut and seed mix. I practically survive off the stuff. I easily clear a bag of mixed stuff a week.

I thought this was a great idea since I know so many people who are allergic to nuts. As much as I might feel that being gluten-free is hard I cannot even imagine being nut-free. Nuts are in almost everything and nut allergies are terrible and immediately life threatening.

Not only are they nut free they are also free of the wheat, dairy, soy, egg, fish & shellfish. And no worries about cross contamination since Enjoy Life! has a dedicated facility - got to love that!

Enjoy Life! has two flavors in their Not Nuts! line:

Mountain Mambo which contains:
Sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, raisins, apples, chocolate chips (allergan free!), and cranberries.

This was by far my favorite. I loved the combination of the little tiny chocolate chips with dried cranberries and dried apples. You get a little sweet taste with a little salty and just enough crunch with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Beach Bash which contains:
Sunflower kernels, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and apricots.

I love everything in this mix except the dried pineapple. I love fresh, juicy pineapple but cannot stand dried pineapple. I always feel like dried pineapple loses its sweetness and all thats left is sourness. But that's just me - some people love dried pineapple and if you do then you will enjoy this mix. I did like having the taste of dried apricots and cranberries with the crunchiness of the sunflower & pumpkin seeds.

These mixes are both very tasty and are a great healthy little snack. I love that I can get my sweet fix in a healthy way - okay yes, the Mountain Mambo has chocolate but hey - the rest is healthy so it negates the chocolate!

Verdict: Yummy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

The bite is supposed to show you how delicious these are but I think it really highlights my lack of self control.

I don't know about you but to me autumn is all about the smells and tastes that typically personify this glorious season. I love smelling fires, hearing crunchy leaves and smelling fresh fried apple cider doughnuts at every single farmers market/farm/outdoor event. It's enough to drive a celiac mad. For crying out loud we are only a few weeks into fall and these doughnuts are everywhere taunting me. 

Doughnut: "ooooh look at how delicious I am.....don't you want to take a bite?"

Me: "Look doughnut, we both know you are delicious and some Amish lady made you fresh but I can't eat you....even if you are warm and covered in cinnamon sugar that appears to be turning into a glaze due to the freshness and heat."

Then I normally run away, cry and die a little on the inside. 

Not this season I thought. This Fall I will figure it out and make some damn doughnuts myself. 

After a particularly festive Fall day apple & pumpkin picking all the while smelling fresh fried apple cider doughnuts in the air. (They must pump it throughout the farm because there is no reason for that smell to waft a mile away.) I left the farm determined to make some delicious gluten free apple cider doughnuts. 

Luckily I had my 5 pound bag of Jules Gluten Free Flour waiting for me at home. I searched and found this easy recipe from The Food Philosopher. 

I was super intimidated. I had never made doughnuts before and figured that this would be time consuming and probably super complicated. I cleared out my day and pulled out my recipe. 

5 minutes later my dough was ready and I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the oil to get hot enough. 

This was seriously the easiest thing I have ever made in my entire life. Making cookies from scratch is like 50 times more complicated then this doughnut recipe. The best part? You don't have to roll out the dough. This is something I always dread with gluten free dough since it always seems to be problematic. This recipe just has you push out the dough until its 1/2 inch thick. 

My first couple of doughnuts were too thin so I re-rolled the dough and pushed it again and ended up with much thicker doughnuts. I used a biscuit cutter and a water bottle cap to cut out the center. The doughnuts take about a minute on each side and you just take them out of the oil for a moment then dredge them in cinnamon sugar and then shove them in your face. 

This recipe made delicious doughnuts. I couldn't believe how fluffy and cake-y they turned out. I'm not sure if they would have been as awesome with another flour. I find Jules' GF flour to really be the best. It is more expensive but in return you get the most kick ass end product. 

Verdict? Yummy! Don't be scared to try to make them- its so easy and you will be SO happy. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Schar Chocolate Hazelnut Bars

Back in elementary school my mom would occasionally buy wafer cookies and they would end up as my special snack in my lunchbox.

Those were always some happy times. I would break off each layer and eat them separately. I loved them. Left unattended I could polish off almost an entire container.

I feel like I've had gluten free wafer cookies before but nothing that could hold a flame to these bars.

First of all they are like the size of a candy bar. Which was totally unexpected. I figured these would be tiny little cookies - as is usually the case with gluten free stuff. I was very happy to see such a giant cookie! And it's totally covered in chocolate!

The cookie is light as air and it tastes even better than those wafer cookies from my youth. This is like a wafer cookie grown up. The hazelnut flavor is insanely yummy and the chocolate is light - its not too rich or too chocolate-ly. The hazelnut flavor is the real star of this show.

I am completely addicted to these bars. They call to me all the time. So my only warning is that one bite might turn you into a Schar Chocolate Hazelnut Bar junkie - but its clearly the best kind of junkie to be!

Verdict? YUMMY. You will LOVE these!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kettle Cuisine Three Bean Chili

I'm generally pretty weary of frozen gluten free meals and soups. I've had a few negative experiences so I tend to be pretty cautious. 

The other day I was slowly browsing Whole Foods. I really do love food shopping. I love taking time to look at every thing and see if there is anything I've never eaten before. I love trying new things whether its frozen foods or fruit and vegetables. While in my food shopping reverie I noticed the little square boxes of Kettle Cuisine. I thought I had read something about them and figured what did I have to lose?

My gamble was totally worth it. This three bean chili is flavorful and utterly delicious. The chili is spicy and actually tastes homemade. Nothing about this chili tastes like its something out of a cardboard box in the freezer section. 

I cannot wait to try all of the other Kettle Cuisine flavors. If they are anywhere as good as this I can't wait!

Verdict? Yummy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Jovial Fig Fruit Filled Cookies

I can't think of one person I know who doesn't love Fig Newton cookies.

I have always had a serious fondness of that soft cookie shell and that lovely chewy fig filled center.


So yummy and so gluten full.

PCD days I would chow down on Fig Newtons on a fairly regular basis. There was a time in the 90's when they even had other flavors like apricot & strawberry which were equally loved by me.

After my diagnosis I kissed those Fig Newtons goodbye until today.

I was poking around my health food store. I always slowly scan each aisle because they ALWAYS have new stuff in stock - they easily have the biggest selection of gluten free food - when I came across these cookies.

My health food store had the fig fruit filled and vanilla creme filled I naturally gravitated to the fig fruit filled. I had a good feeling.

When I brought my purchases up to the counter the check out girl gasped "these are AMAZING....they taste even better than Fig Newtons!" This was very exciting. Everytime one of the employees at the health food store recommends something it is always perfect and delicious and this time was no different.

As soon as I got home I opened the box. The cookies are perfect little round spheres the cookie is a little stiff but still a little soft - just perfect. The cookie doesn't get crumbly and gross and the fig filling is delicious! The checkout girl was right they are BETTER than Fig Newtons!

Verdict? YUMMY!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Russo's Gluten Free Gourmet Mozzarella Sticks


This is something I have been waiting for since my celiac diagnosis.

I LOVE mozzarella sticks. Always have and can't ever imagine a time when I haven't totally loved them.

When I got diagnosed with celiac I kissed mozzarella sticks good bye. Sure, I could've made them from scratch but its just not the same. I wanted to go out somewhere and order mozzarella sticks or simply pop them in the over and enjoy after 6 minutes.

My dreams came true at the health food store today. I was browsing the back refrigerated section which I normally totally forget exists and I glanced a box that said "mozzarella sticks." I instantly figured that they were probably vegan or organic - there was no way someone was smart and kind and loving enough to create a frozen gluten free mozzarella stick.  I scanned the package and say "Russo's Gluten Free Gourmet" I was in heaven. I ripped open the freezer case and yanked those bad boys out.

The second I got home I ripped open the box. I figured that the mozzarella sticks would be about 2 inches long but nope. These are standard mozzarella stick size. I popped them into the oven. I anxiously awaited 8 minutes. I pulled out crispy, ooey, gooey mozzarella sticks. The coating was crunchy and awesome. They were difficult to pick up so I used a fork. But they are still amazing.

Verdict? YUMMY!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wholes Foods Gluten Free Banana Bread

Is there anything more appealing than the smell of banana bread baking?

I absolutely love banana bread. I know shocking right? It's not like this whole blog is dedicated to my love of all things sugary & sweet or anything. Someone had tipped me off and said that I absolutely had to try the Gluten Free Carrot Cake (yeah, no thanks) and the Gluten Free Banana Bread at Whole Foods.

What really drove this home? The person is NOT Gluten Free.

This definitely demanded an investigation.

On a recent trip to Whole Foods I swung by their refrigerated gluten-free section and picked myself up a loaf. The first thing I noticed was that the bread has that same sticky-cake like outer layer of gluten-full banana bread and the smell was amazing.

I sliced off a piece and popped it in the toaster oven for a minute.


This tasted EXACTLY like gluten-full banana bread.

I proceeded to inhale half of the loaf in one sitting. Not my proudest moment, but definitely one of the yummiest!

Verdict? YUMMY and hopefully you'll have significantly more self control then me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Simple Squares

I picked these babies up from a deal on Gluten Free Deals. For $7 how could I lose?

These are absolutely unlike anything I've ever had in my entire life. They are sweet and savory and somehow or another taste like sweet bread dough but in a really fabulous and amazing way. I realize that is probably the crappiest way to describe the taste of something but trust me its hard to describe the taste of Simple Squares!

They come in three flavors, Rosemary, Sage & Coconut. The squares are made with nuts, honey and loads of natural healthy ingredients. All of the squares are free of gluten, dairy & soy they are also kosher and totally organic.

The first one I ate was the coconut. Honestly, I was a little terrified at the notion of eating a sweet treat flavored with sage or rosemary. I thought they would be slightly sweet and very overpowered with the primary flavor. Fortunately this was not the case. All the flavors play well together and nothing is overpowering. The rosemary, sage & coconut are like whispers in the bar not loud shouts.

Verdict? Yummy!

You can find them here :