Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jason's Deli

We finally took Brittany to Jason's Deli tonight for dinner and I think we've found a new favorite place to eat.  I've been meaning to take her there to try out one of their gluten free sandwiches.  As far as I am aware they use Udi's bread and the staff is well aware of cross-contamination.  We asked about that one.  I was thrilled to see some great choices other than sandwiches on the menu for her.  Next time we are trying the baked potatoes.  HERE is the gluten free menu.

It was such a great deal to take the family there on a Saturday because kids eat free with a paying adult. We are a family of six so 3 of my kids ate for free.  And what kid or grown up can resist the soft serve ice cream that comes with the meal and is also gluten free.  I highly recommend eating at Jason's Deli.  We will definitely be going there again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cracker Jack Carmel Popcorn

8 cups freshly popped corn lightly salted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup (light)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Put fresh popcorn in an extra large bowl.  Have a cookie sheet (with sides) ready to pour the final mixture onto.  Note; if desired 1 cup peanuts may be added to popcorn BEFORE adding caramel sauce.

In medium saucepan mix sugar, butter and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat until boiling. Continue boiling 5 min without stirring. Remove from heat; add vanilla and baking soda. Use a spoon to drizzle over popcorn; stir to coat well. Pour onto a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring several times. Pour onto waxed paper immediately to avoid sticking.  Once cooled, store in an air tight container.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Simply Asia

This is a great option for taking lunch to work.  These rice noodles are microwavable and come in their own bowl.  Very convenient and yummy!  And I love to see the 'gluten-free' label right on the box. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cheeseburger Chili Mac and Cheese

Here is another yummy recipe I found on Rachel Ray's website.  I had to modify the noodles to be gluten free, of course. 

2 tablespoons EVOO -Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1 large onion (It's a little too much onion.  I used half and it needs to be finely diced)
2 tablespoons chili powder
salt and pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 can beef stock
1 pd gluten free noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar (the sharper the better!)

Preheat broiler.  Bring large pot of water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.  In a separate pan brown the ground sirloin.  Then add onion and chili powder, season with salt and pepper and cook until onion is tender.  4-5 minutes.  Add the ketchup, mustard and beef stock to the pot, bring to a bubble and simmer until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes.

While the chili is working, salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta.  Cook to al dente according to the package instructions, then drain and return it to the pot.  Add the chili to the pot with the pasta and give everything a good toss.  Transfer to a casserole dish and top with shredded cheese.  Place casserole under broiler to melt and brown the cheese.  Serve with a simple salad.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Did You Know?

•Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

•One in 133 Americans have celiac disease

•CD affects more people in the US than Crohn's Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons Disease COMBINED.

•95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions

•500,000 new celiac diagnoses are expected to occur in the next 5 years thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease

•10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed.

•17% of celiac patients have an immediate family member who also has celiac.

•Celiac can lead to infertelity, reduced bone density, some cancers, automminue disorders and neurological disorders as well.

•$5,000-$12,000 is the average cost of misdiagnosis per person/per year of celiac, not including lost work time.

•There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
This info was posted on  You can link to it HERE.  These are some interesting facts worth knowing about Celiac Disease.

Taco Rice Skillet

  • 1lb hamburger
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1pkg taco seasoning (be sure it's gluten free)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
  1. Brown hamburger and onion.  Drain fat.
  2. Add sauce, water, rice and seasoning.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer 25 minutes with lid on, stirring occasionally.
  5. Top with cheese, let melt
  6. Top with lettuce and tomatoes
This recipe was easy to make and my whole family thought it smelled great while cooking.  It is definetly a spin from regular taco night.  My husband and I enjoyed it with lots of lettuce and crushed tortilla chips mixed up in a salad.  I'm thinking next time I will add a can of Kidney beans.  Very yummy recipe!

I found this recipe on

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cheesy Hashbrown Hamburger Helper

I spotted this gluten free find at Harmon's and it looked yummy.  Honestly, I am thrilled to have the convenience of a dinner in a box, but these meals taste too salty.  I feel like I need to drink a glass of milk after every bite.  I definitely prefer to make this type of meal from scratch, but we are talking convenience here.  These meals in a box are perfect for my husband to fix the kids on a night when I am at work.   Thank you Betty Crocker for giving us affordable gluten free options that feed the whole family.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies

Look what I made today......

I am still singing praises to Betty Crocker.  Now, if we could just do something about the price on these yummy cookies.  Why do most gluten free items start at around 4.99?  Ugghhh!  At least we are seeing more mainstream brands jumping on the gluten free bandwagon.   These cookies are worth it.  I was figuring the cost breakdown is probably about 50 cents a cookie so you have to savor each and every bite.  I love making a gluten free treat for Brittany when she comes home from school.  The look on her face when I tell her it's gluten free makes me as happy as it does her!

Asian Helper

So I put my husband up to the task of trying out this new product.  This Asian Helper called for ground beef which I thought was a bit odd of a combination.  Beef Fried Rice?  Well the verdict is in.....they loved it!  Even though it required a little more effort by adding in eggs at the end of cooking, my husband was quite capable of making this meal.  Both he and the kids said it tasted really good.  Phew!  Because I bought 12 boxes when it was on sale!  I walked by that aisle at the grocery store last night and noticed that there were plenty more boxes restocked on the shelf.  Yay for Betty Crocker making my life easier at a price I can feed the whole family!  (Or I should say my husbands life on nights that I am at work). 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Asian Helper

I was so exited to find these Gluten Free Asian Helper on the grocery store shelf today.  I wasn't even looking for it and it seemed to just jump right out at me.  Of course I loved seeing a Gluten Free label on the front of the box, but you cannot beat the price either. 
We usually buy the Mrs Leepers brand of gluten free Hamburger helper type dinners, but they are about 4 times more expensive than this.  I had to gather up a few coupons to score an even better deal on these boxes but I feel like even at 89 cents a box, it is a quick and inexpensive dinner. 
I am hoping to try one of these flavors tonight and will post a review on it.  The are both fried rice, one calling for chicken, the other for beef.  I must say that I enjoy making home-made fried rice, but we are talking convenience here.  And being that I work a couple nights a week, this might be a great option for my husband to make the kids for dinner. 

Lunch Box

Packing a lunch box became a little tricky once we went gluten free.  Obviously our choices became limited.  This is pretty much the standard for Brittany.  I would think it would be boring day after day, but she prefers to bring this lunch rather than opt for the gluten free lunch the school will provide. 

Tapioca roll with meat (no cheese for this girl)
Yoplait Strawberry Shortcake
Baked Nacho Cheese Doritos
Oatmeal Drop cookie
Water Bottle

I try to vary things as much as I can.  Usually we have fresh fruit or cheese sticks, but this is usually what her lunchbox has in it.  And notice the sticky note with her carb count.  We are trying to omit our noon day phone call this year by writing down the carbs and including that in her lunch box. 

Nacho Cheese Doritos are not Gluten Free (Ranch flavor is), so Brittany was pleased to find these BAKED Doritos and wouldn't you know it......they are gluten free!

Fruit snacks

Notice the purple label on the bottom right hand corner of the box?  I already knew that fruit snack are gluten free, but it sure makes me happy to see the 'Gluten Free' label on food items at the grocery store. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I must be going nuts lately since I keep posting food with nuts.  
But seriously, this nut clusters are so good.  It's like eating candy. I found this at Costco while looking for the Mrs Mays that used to come in a bag similar.  I give this one two thumbs up for sure. 
I think it was priced around 8 dollars and worth every penny.  I dare you to stop eating it once you start.  Once again, I love that the bag says 'Gluten free' right on the front.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mrs. May's Trio Bars

At Mrs. May's, they're mostly nuts!
 (and gluten free)
 Costco sells these bars in a box of 20.  They are seriously the best fruit and nut bar I have ever had!  They seem a little on the pricey side at about 15 bucks for the box, but that's probably because we can go through a box so fast.  I was a little disappointed with the dry flavor of Nature Valley's new Roasted Nut Crunch bar, but maybe that is because I have been spoiled by this deliciousness.  I really like the fruit and nut combination.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

No bake drop cookies

Both of these cookie recipes are super simple because they are done over the stove top in a saucepan.  

No Bake Chocolate Drops

2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups certified gluten free oats

Mix sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add salt, vanilla and peanut butter.  Stir until melted, then add oats.  Mix well.  Drop from spoon onto waxed paper.  Let cool.

Peanut Butter Clusters

2 cups Sugar
1/2 c milk
1/2 c butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups certified gluten free oats

Combine sugar, milk, butter, and salt in medium pan. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, peanut butter, and oats. Stir until mixture begins to stiffen a little. Drop onto wax paper and let cool.

Be sure to use certified gluten free oats.  I recently bought some in bulk on line from Amazon.  I paid $22.28 for a pack of 4, 32-ounce bags of  Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain, Rolled Oats. And it qualified for free shipping!  It was a great price and no hassle since it showed up on my doorstep. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lip Smackers - NOT gluten-free!

Brittany has enjoyed these chapsticks for years and yet, I am just now realizing that they are not okay.  She has always had a stash of about a dozen lip smackers at any time.  So I contacted the company directly and this was their response:

Dear Jenny:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to Aspire Brands/The Bonne Bell Company. We are always glad to hear from our customers, and we want to help you in any way possible.

The following Aspire Brands/The Bonne Bell Company, products can be used by people afflicted with Celiac disease. They do not contain any gluten containting grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats, amaranth, teff, millet, spelt, and quinoa.

 10-0-6 Lotions
 All Colognes
 Lip Lites Sponge On
 Sponge-On Sparklers
 Shower 2000
 Eye Shades
 Nail Lacquers
 Cosmic Cheeks
 Lash Tints
 Glimmer Gels
 Glitz N Glo

 Liquid Lines
 Pressed Powders
 Lip Burst
 Lip Frosting
 Lip Shake
 All Mascara
 Gel Bronze
 Glimmer Bronze
 Lip Glam
 Face and Body Sparkle
 Liquid Lip Smackers
 Skittles Liquid Lip Smackers
 Eye Pencils and Definers
 Sponge on Glitter Gloss
 Lip D’Votions
 All Clic It Colors
 Glimmer Lights
 Liquid Star Shine
 Lip Definer
 All Vita Gloss Balms and Sponge On
 Blushing Gels
 All Loose Powders
 Cream Concealer
 Jello Lip Balms
 Kiss This Gloss
 All Squeezy Lip Smackers (Clears and Shimmers)
 All Rolly Smackers
 F’Lip Juicees
 Get Glowin’ Eye and Face
 Ice Creamies Sponge On
 Dazzle Dust
 Kiss of Color
 S’ Whirly Shimmer Gloss
 All Vitamin Water Lip Balms and Rolly’s


Original Lip Smackers
Sun Smackers (Including Clip N Go)
Megastar Lip Smackers
Kool Aid Lip Smackers
F’lip Styles
F’lip Glosses
Lip Lites Glossy Tints Balms
M&M Lip Smacker Balms (New Formula with Castor Oil)
Dasani Balms
Pinky Lip Smackers Balms
Skittles Lip Balms (New Formula with Castor Oil)
DPSU Lip Smackers
All Starburst Lip Balms
Color Kiss Lip Balms
Lip Smackers w/SPF

We are always interested in trying to please our customers. We hope that you will continue to enjoy all of our products and again thank you for contacting us.
Paul J Breha
R&D Chemist
Aspire Brands/The Bonne Bell Company

What a bummer!  So I think we will just be sticking to a new favorite that I love...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Bars

Check out this sweet find at my Target store!
And I love the way they put the Gluten free label right on the front of the box.  I paid $2.39 for this box.  It also comes in a Peanut Crunch flavor.  I am so happy to find more regular grocery store products going gluten free. I love to coupon shop and it gives me a little thrill to be able to spend less on these items. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gluten Free Bisquick

I was almost giddy when I found this box at my Smith's grocery store.  I've been keeping my eye out for this one and while shopping for our camping trip I spotted it.  It was next to the flour at my store (ironic huh?)

It did make great pancakes and there are a couple other recipes to try on the box.  I paid $4.99 and the box is about the size of a cake mix.  The cost seemed about the same for other gluten free mixes we buy. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Potato Rounds

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up.  Wash and dry desired amount of potatoes.  Slice each potato without cutting all the way through.   Mix equal amounts of melted butter and olive oil. Brush on to potatoes.  Sprinkle on your favorite seasoning.  I love to use Emeril's Original Essence.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  We love to pull apart the rounds and dip them in fry sauce. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 Tbsp xantham gum
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1tsp baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 2 loaf pans.  Beat eggs and add sugar, oil, vanilla and applesauce.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients and blend together.  Then add the dry mix with the wet ingredients.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Add zucchini and mix until blended.  Pour batter into 2 loaf pans.  Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Creamy Mushroom soup

I cannot resist posting more about Progresso soups after seeing this one today.  I can think of a lot of uses for this Creamy Mushroom soup.  I am thinking of making Hobo dinners with this soup poured on top of a hamburger patty, sliced potatoes, sliced onions and a few carrots.  Wrap it all up in a foil and bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  It is one of those dinners that makes your house smell so yummy.  My go-to for cream of mushroom or chicken soup have been the Health Valley brand, but it is not comparable to the Campbell's brand that I used to use before going gluten free.  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for this soup at the grocery store.  And how good does Progresso's  Chicken Cheese Enchilada soup sound? 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Progresso Soup

Garden Vegetable is by far Brittany's favorite choice of a gluten free soup.  Since we are careful to eat things in portion control to be able to count carbs, I will share a can with her and find it quite delicious myself.  Our second favorite is the New England Clam Chowder.  You can click here and then click on the Progresso tab to see the full list of Progresso's gluten free soups.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Walk To Cure Diabetes

I started this blog because of my sweet Brittany who was diagnosed with Celiac 3 years ago.  But before the Celiac Diagnoses, we were already dealing with another serious disease.  Type 1 Diabetes.

Brittany is a lovable 11 year old girl with great hopes for the future. She enjoys reading, scrapbooking and spending time with her friends. She loves to be spontaneous and has a great love for life. She has learned to be a very responsible person, especially when it comes to her health.

At the age of 7, Brittany was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Her pancreas stopped producing insulin, which is essential to breaking down our food into energy. With out insulin our blood stream fills up with ketones which can ultimately lead to coma and death.

Brittany was fortunate to receive good medical care and is now dependant on insulin to keep her alive. She wears a pump that gives her a continuous stream of insulin around the clock. However, insulin is not a cure for diabetes.

Please join us as we plan to Walk for a Cure to raise money for diabetes research. This is our first time participating and we are excited to show our support for Brittany. The date of the 5K is August 21 and it begins at Wheeler Farm.

If you would like to donate to team BFF's (Brittany's Friends and Family), visit our Walk Web page where you can donate online or see how close we are to reaching our goal:

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Yes, this is what a half eaten Double Double Protein style burger looks like.  YUMMY!  Just be sure to ask for your burger "Protein style" (with out the bun).  I contacted In-n-out on their website and received a prompt phone call back.  Talk about good customer service.  They said ordering it Protein style is the way to go.  The spread is also gluten free.  So eat up!

 We are lucky enough to have an In-n-out within 2 miles from our home.  The ingredients are fresh.  Even the fries are cut immediately before frying in a dedicated fryer.  We have eaten here many times and have had no trouble's, except the super long line.  But hey, its worth the wait!  The secret menu is full of fun extras that you don't find on their menu.  I'm thinking these "Animal style" fries would be fantastic!

An "animal style" fry comes with
2 slices of melted cheese,
spread, and grilled onions on top.

Thai Kitchen

Thai Kitchen's Rice Noodle Soup's are gluten free!  They come in a package similar to Top Ramen, but much better tasting.  The rice noodles are so thin and delicious and the seasonings are incredible.  These have been a real lifesaver for a quick meal in minutes.  I keep a basket full of these on my pantry shelf at all times.  I've bought them on sale at the gluten free store for .89 cents each.   Not too bad for a quick meal.  Their entire product line contains many gluten free choices.  Check it out here and click on diet/allergy information.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1 cup  peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
24 chocolate kisses

Mix until well blended
Roll into 1 1/2" balls
Place on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until slightly cracked
Immediately add a kiss to each cookie center. 
Cool for 5 minutes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cupcake Pebble Treats

I came across this recipe in a magazine and thought it would be the perfect treat at Brittany's birthday party.  I couldn't find this cereal in any of my regular stores yet, but the gluten free store was able to order a couple boxes in for me.  The cereal smells just like a cupcake.  And the girls at the party wanted seconds so they must've tasted great! 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 pkg (11 oz) Post Cupcake Pebbles
1 pkg (10 1/2 oz) miniature marshmallows
1 can (16 oz) ready to spread frosting

Microwave butter in 4 quart microwaveable bowl on High 45 sec or until melted.  Add marshmallows; mix to coat.  Microwave 1-1/2 min. or until marshmallows are completely melted, stirring after 45 sec.  Add cereal, mix well.  Press cereal mixture firmly into lightly greased muffin pans to form "cupcakes", using about 1/3 cup for each.  Cool; remove from pan.  Spread with frosting before serving.  Decorate as desired.  Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a medium saucepan combine the cornstarch, cold water, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and black pepper.  Bring to a boil, then simmer on low until the sauce thickens.

Place chicken in a greased 9X13 baking dish.  Pour sauce over chicken and turn to coat. 

Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes turning pieces over and basting every 10 minutes (Or even every 5 minutes.  The more you baste the better the result).  This creates a yummy layer of sauce on each piece of chicken.  The high oven temp is necessary to keep that sauce bubbling!  I usually double the recipe so I've got lots of yummy sauce to cover even more chicken.

Ham Fried Rice

4 cups cooked rice (cooked with beef broth instead of water)
2-3 eggs
8 green onions
3 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper

Start by cooking your rice.  Instead of using water try beef broth.  This will begin adding flavor to the rice. I like to use my rice cooker for this part.

Next, heat a large frying pan on med-high heat. Heat 1 tbsp of oil, then add the eggs. Scramble the eggs and then remove from heat when they are nearly cooked through.  Add 2-3 Tbsp of oil and then add your cooked rice and ham. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes then add green onions and scrambled eggs. Stir and add 1/4 cup soy sauce.  Once evenly mixed remove from heat and serve.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars

So here's my confession:  I do not have Celiac Disease and I know that the gluten free oats are much more expensive than regular oats, but I can't resist eating these!  I have even made them with regular oats for my other kids, but its not the same.  Even still, I try to baggie them individually and put them on our gluten free pantry shelf so I don't pick at the pan every time I walk by.

1 cup butter (or margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
4 cups certified gluten free oats
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish.  In a medium saucepan melt butter, sugar and syrup.  Stir in the oats and mix until evenly coated.  Last add in the chocolate chips.  Then spread mixture into baking dish and press down firmly and evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool then cut into bars.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I'll be honest.  I haven't had good success at baking gluten free goods from scratch.  I am happy to buy a mix that I know is reliable, but this is even better.  Our local gluten free store carries these cupcakes in their store.  They seem to find their way into my cart almost every time I go.  I prefer to buy the 2 pack since six cupcakes is a  little much for just one person to enjoy while they are fresh, but they were out of the 2 pack.  Brittany loves the chocolate with chocolate frosting best.  And it is the perfect treat to send with her to a party.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Here is something that I try to keep stocked in our fridge.  Once again I love that the container says right on it gluten-free.  Even this Cinnamon Roll flavor is gluten-free.  (After Brittany tried this flavor she decided it was a little lumpy and we won't be buying it again.)  Her favorite flavors are Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Creme.  We stick with the 'light' because it has fewer carbohydrates, therefore better for her diabetes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Carrot Cake

I've made this cake mix several times
and must say that it is consistantly good. 

The batter seems really thin and runny, but it cooks up perfectly. 
And it smells delicious while it is baking.
I paid 4.99 for the mix at the Gluten Free store. 
So good it was worth every penny. 
However, it is only enough batter to fill an 8X8 baking dish.    

I frosted it with Betty Crocker's Cream Cheese Frosting.  Yummy!