Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cookie's BBQ Sauce

I had Cookies BBQ Sauce over the summer after my gluten eating hubby came home excited from the grocery store with it. He was so proud that he found a BBQ sauce that we could all eat that just happened to be his favorite too.

I received an email today from Mike from Minnesota telling me about Cookies BBQ Sauce (Thanks Mike). I love getting emails about stuff to try or letting me know you like the blog.  It was a great reminder for me to blog on it, since BBQ sauce can be a difficult thing to find that's gluten free.

The Cookie's BBQ website does not anything about their sauces being gluten free, however it is written on the back of the ingredients label. You can see what products they offer on their site. I just learned by checking out their site, its made in Iowa.

Schar's Crispbread and Hot Onion Dip

I found a recipe in my son's school cookbook I wanted to try and thought I'd use the Schar's Crispbread with it to see if it was all I hoped it would be.

The Crispbread is a weird  unique cracker/bread substitute. My husband thinks it tastes like a communion wafer for the Catholic church. While it does leave that sort of blah aftertaste that a communion wafer does its more "airy" in texture. It has almost no flavor and what it does is more of an after taste.

This might be better with peanut butter or maybe some lunch meat piled on it, similar to a rice cake sandwich. The pieces are small they are rectangles that fit in my outstretched hand.  I can't say it was "bad" because it wasn't, it was just not what I was hoping it would be. I was hoping for more of a Melba toast texture and flavor.

Anyway, I made a hot onion dip to go with the crispbread. It was very easy and it is a good tasting recipe. If I were a gluten eating girl, I'd pair it with chunks of bread or something yummy like that, but sadly I am not.

I ended up eating two pieces of crispbread with it, then switching to corn tortilla chips but finishing my serving with kettle cooked potato chips. The Potato Chips were my favorite thing to eat this dip with, the salty chips just added what it was missing for me.

The Dip Recipe is from the Harrison Hawks Cookbook - I made this recipe scaled down because I cannot eat that much. It's a lot of dip scaled down.

1 onion finely chopped
1pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4c mayo
3/4 C Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Grease 8x8 glass dish, mix all ingredients in prepared glass dish and bake for 15 minutes til bubbly. Serve while still hot.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Twisted Bakery Pumpkin Muffin Mix

I tried this mix today, but I am not a muffin baker. I like to eat muffins and have muffin tops, but I hate making things like cupcakes/muffins, they just seem like too much work.  I decided to try to make pumpkin bars. I used two 9 inch round pans.  They turned out great. My house smelled fantastic while these baked.

I had to add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1/3 cup water and 1 can of pumpkin.  I thought these were reasonable additions to the mix and things I normally have on hand, so it wouldn't add to my grocery bill on top of what I already spend.  I was given this mix to review so I do not know how much it costs. The manufacturer's site sells them for $7, but I am pretty sure Hy-Vee isn't that high.

I made a pan with homemade cream cheese frosting and left one pan plain.

I took some to a gluten free coworker, Patti. She got to try the pumpkin bars while they were still warm. She liked the flavor and liked that there was no after taste. She noticed like I did that there is a "springy" texture to the finished product. It's not a texture that kills the whole dish, but it is different than what I am used to in a bar.

My glutenous husband and son both liked the finished product. My husband preferred the frosted version and my son liked the plain bar (I wasn't about to give him frosting before bed).

Overall it was a tasty final product. It's a product I would purchase to make when I need a dessert to take with me to a holiday meal/party. It can be purchased at "my Hy-vee". They have lots of different mixes to choose from, something to fill every one's needs.

Hy-Vee West Kimberly - Gluten Free Friendly

I stopped by the West Kimberly Hy-Vee today (2200 W Kimberly Rd in Davenport,IA) today and dropped off a few more fliers for this blog to help get the word out that reviews of products can be found here. I got to see my go to gal, Teresa and visit with her a bit and she introduced me to Molly, the dietitian. She was very nice.

 I always call Hy-Vee on West Kimberly "my hyvee" and its full of "helpful smiles in every isle" just as their slogan claims, especially in the health market. The Hy-Vee on West Kimberly in Davenport has the biggest gluten free section I have seen at any store in the QCA. Don't forget to check the gluten free freezers they are in the same freezer section as regular frozen foods but they have the doors labeled Gluten Free. If there is a specific product you want that is gluten free, ask them they are happy to find it for you or try to order it. They do gluten free tastings the last Monday of every month.

Check out their store website for recipes and directions to the store along with many other resources. Hyvee - West Kimberly

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal - Bob's Red Mill

I have had the Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal sitting in my cabinet for a while. I haven't tried it until today because it takes a while to cook and most mornings I would rather get 20 minutes of extra sleep rather than make sure I have a hot breakfast. Today I was up earlier than I needed to be and thought it's a chilly morning and I'd love a hot breakfast.

I pulled it out of the pantry and read the back. The instructions are to boil 3 and 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 tsp of salt - when it's boiling, add 1 cup of the cereal. Turn it to low and cover, cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally. It makes 3 cups of the cereal. HOLY COW, I can't eat 3 cups of gluten free hot cereal in the morning, so unless you are making it for a family I would 1/2 or even 1/4 that recipe. I did it in 1/2. I brought 1 and 2/3 cup of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. I added 1/2 cup of cereal from the bag and mixed it well with the boiling water. I covered it and turned it down to low for 5 minutes, stirred it, recovered it for another 5 minutes. After the allotted 10 minutes of total cook time I stirred it again and thought, oh my, there is no way I can eat this much. I dished out 1/2 the pan into a bowl and added a TBS brown sugar and a drizzling of honey and stirred that in letting it really get mixed well.

Realize I was a bit nervous at this point. I can see that it is "gritty" for lack of a better word and that it appears to be made from corn, which is good. I hate Oatmeal! I was forced to eat it as a kid, never liked it then, still don't like it now. I can choke it down if I have to, but its my least favorite breakfast food and not one I would ever request. I was concerned this hot breakfast was going be like oatmeal.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was good, no not good, great. It was sweet and even the texture was easier to palate than oatmeal. I am thrilled to find a hot breakfast cereal I can make on my days off, it still takes too long to make on days I work and there isn't a microwave option, so until I have a stove at work, I will have to just settle to make it on my days off.

It's definitely worth trying and its reasonably priced at around $3 for the bag. It makes A LOT!!!

Gluten Free Pretzels

Snyder's of Hanover now makes their delicious pretzels with a gluten free option. They taste like real pretzels. They are full of buttery salty goodness. They are little pretzel sticks. They pack a powerful crunch that's almost as loud as the "organic" bag - I couldn't believe how loud the bag was when I tried to quietly eat them. I guess I will just have to share. I got them at Hy-Vee W Kimberly for about $3 a bag. They are addictive. Will be a great addition to any weekend football party to give an option to those who are normally left out of the "football snacks".

Friday, September 24, 2010

An Easy Microwave Breakfast

I made a simple gluten free easy breakfast at work today. I made a ham and cheese omelet in the microwave!!

I used a Ziploc Steam Bag and cracked two eggs right into the bag then squished them to break the yokes. I then put in a handful of cut up tavern ham from the Hy-Vee deli. I added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and zipped up the bag. I then squish it around to get everything egg coated and put it in the microwave. I cooked it for 1 minute and 45 seconds and it was done. Dumped it out onto the plate and topped it with a bit more cheese and salt/pepper to taste (I checked the eggs after 1 minute and moved things around so they didn't get over cooked in any spots).

Easy to get a hot egg breakfast even at work with only a microwave to work with. I would guess this meal cost me about $1.

Ice Cream Cones

A friend of mine from work gave me a few of these to try. They are the Goldbaum's Cocoa Sugar Cones.  I tried them with Hy-Vee Cherry Nut ice cream. They weren't bad. They were sweet and added some tasty crunch to the ice cream, but they left a "gluten free" aftertaste. My friend ordered them from the Gluten Free Mall

I have since tried the gluten free version of a cake cone that Hy-Vee carries and I was disappointed, they left a gross taste in my mouth that completely overrides the ice cream. I was given those to try by the same friend, she seems to be on an ice cream cone hunt. Keep searching Patti, we haven't found it yet!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Heinz Gluten Free Products

Who knew that Heinz offers more gluten free products other than those that are naturally gluten free. I was very excited at the QC Celiac meeting to learn that Heinz has a whole list on their site that tells you all of their products that are gluten free and what country it pertains to. I was excited to find that a few of the SmartOnes frozen meals are gluten free. I use frozen meals a lot at work because its easier and cheaper than eating out every day. So check out their site and see if you too can find gluten free things to help make your day a little bit easier.
I did pick up a couple of the Smart Ones I had remembered were gluten free from the meeting, but I'm sure to pick up a couple more since there are a handful on the list.

A link to their gluten free product list can be found by clicking Heinz at any time in this blog.

Gluten Free Sensation's Sugar Cookie Cut-Out Mix

I have wanted to try these for a couple weeks, but kept forgetting to pick up almond extract, which it says right on the box not to leave out so it's got full flavor. The box only contains the powdered mix, you are required to add butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. It does not make a lot of cookies. I mixed up the dough by following the directions then rolled it out and cut bats and ghosts. They fell apart a couple different times taking them from the cutting board to the cookie sheet. I cooked mine about 10 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees. I let them cook on a rack, but there were a couple that were crumbly or broke coming off the pan.

I mixed up cream cheese frosting by the recipe provided on the box. While frosting them a couple of them broke apart which was frustrating since I'm not a good froster anyway! I tried the cookies both with and without frosting. They are good. They have excellent flavor and the cream cheese frosting compliments them well.

My husband and son who are both able to eat gluten liked them too.

Pinocchio's Pizza in Milan 9/21/10

I tried Pinocchio's Pizza yesterday afternoon. They use a wood fire oven, so the pizza has a wonderful flavor. They offer a small gluten free pizza. All toppings are NOT gluten free so you need to talk to your server for some of the topping combos to make sure you order gluten free. The gf crust only comes in size small. Its $10 for a pizza. It was a good pizza. I wasn't careful with my toppings so I did end up getting sick. I ordered the one with sun-dried tomatoes, I'm not sure what actually made me sick. I would definitely go back to Pinocchio's and try another type of pizza. I did find the regular pizza's a bit pricey (I had to get my husband one) a medium sausage and pepperoni was $17.  The offer other things like soups, salads and sandwiches.

Pinocchio's is located at 119 1st Ave West in Milan, IL  - it's easily accessible from all of the Quad Cities.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo

I just made quite possibly the best quick pasta dish ever. The longest part of the job was cooking the noodles. I love meals that are fast and easy, but healthy and easy to make gluten free at the same time.
Every single product I used was either fresh or plainly labeled gluten free.

I put a pan of water on for my husband's glutenous fettuccine noodles and a small pan of water on for my gluten free noodles, both at the same time. I added a little bit of salt to the water. While the water was brought to a fast boil I quickly sliced an orange bell pepper and put the slices inside a Ziploc steam fresh bag with McCormick's Garlic salt and oregano leaves. I microwaved that bag for 2 minutes.

While the bell pepper was being steamed I chopped fresh garden tomatoes from my garden.  I placed the noodles in their separate pans to keep my stuff separate from my husband's. While the noodles were cooking I chopped up some Hormel Oven Roasted, hand carved chicken (found in the lunch meat section). I placed all of the contents of a Classico Jar of 4 Cheese Alfredo Sauce in a large bowl and added the chopped chicken, tomatoes, and bell pepper and popped it in the microwave for 2 minutes.  I stirred it after two minutes and put it back in for two more minutes. At this point my noodles were done so I drained them first to eliminate the problem of cross contamination.  I put my noodles in a separate bowl and drained the gluten noodles for my family.

As I took the sauce/goodie mix out of the microwave I dished out the amount I'd want on my noodles and mixed it up. I'm not a huge Alfredo fan, but one bite and this quickly become my favorite pasta dish. Over all it took me about 15 minutes from start to finish,. It was heaven. Hope this helps someone on a night when  a fast meal is needed.

Iowa State Celiac Conference

The Iowa State Celiac Conference is coming up!

When:  October 2nd, 2010 
Where: Cedar Rapids, IA
Time:    7:30 a.m to 4 p.m.

For all the information on who will be speaking and other helpful information about the conference check out the QC Celiac's site. It has a link listed on their calender with all the details needed for this event.

You can pre-register by using the following form.

Conference Registration Form

Wow, I felt so welcomed...

I went to the QC Celiac's Group meeting last night at Genesis West. I was immediately impressed that there were lots of people there. Several people started talking to me right away and asking questions, it was great.
There was a table of gluten free goodies to try and the recipes to take if you liked it. My favorite was a pumpkin cake, it was so tasty and I was thrilled that everything on the table did not TASTE  gluten free.

Becky, the leader, was very nice and full of information.  I love that the meeting has an informal feel to it, but is led by Becky, she was happy to have questions/answers from the people that attended.

The meeting lasted about an hour and half. I even "won" a bag of Bob's Red Mill Quick Oats at the end of the meeting. I left with several recipes and informational brochures.

It felt great to be surrounded by people who know what it's like and have been where I have been with my body's battle against gluten. I told my husband when I got home, I felt like I finally found somewhere I belong, with people who understand why I cannot have the goodies at Thanksgiving and who understand why I'm so paranoid to eat out at restaurants.

I cannot wait to go to the next event, which I will be posting information as I get it on here for those like me who just need to be surrounded by others who understand how difficult it is to find a good place to eat with food that is safe and tasty.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bistro Sensations

We love these Chicken Sausages. Bistro Sensations offers many different flavors of chicken sausages that can be grilled, cooked on the stove or microwaved. They offer some that are spicy and some that have a sweet flavor to them. The only place I have found them is Walmart. They run about $4 a package. We have tried every kind they offer and so far haven't been disappointed. Our family favorite is the Habanero and Monterrey Cheddar cooked with fried potatoes and peppers. Give them a try if you are looking for something different! They are reasonable calorie wise and the packages clearly states GLUTEN FREE.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

QC Celiac Group - Meeting is coming up!

I was recently contacted by the leader of the QC Celiac Group, Becky Wentworth and invited to join the group at one of their meetings. I look forward to being able to go to the next meeting as long as my schedule works out. I wanted to give everyone the link to their site and the details on the meeting.

QC Celiac Support Group
Genesis West (1351 W Central Park)
Pavilion 2 Conference Center
Next Meeting is September 20th at 7 p.m.

Becky told me this meeting is sharing information and asking questions. It will be nice to be around others who suffer from similar issues that I do in regards to my gluten intolerance. They welcome celiacs, people who suffer from GI (gluten intolerance) and DH (dermatitis herpetformis) as well as people who suffer from a gluten sensitivity.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tinkyada Pasta

 I have tried the Tinkyada pasta in the form of spaghetti noodles and decided to give it a try in the form of Lasagna. The pasta has to be cooked, there is not a "no boil" option on the box, but since I was already cooking other things anyway it didn't seem like a big deal to me. The pasta is good, but I can tell its gluten free, there is just something lacking in the flavor.

 I will continue to buy the product because texturally it is good and taste is okay. The lasagna was fantastic. Did you know that Classico sauces are gluten free? They are wonderfully labeled as gluten free right on the back. I love it when companies make life easier by putting those two little words with huge meaning right on the label!

Fusilli Pasta by Schar

I was asked to try this product by Teresa at Hy-VeeW Kimberly at the Tasting, so I tried this gluten free pasta last night for dinner. I was thrilled with the results. This is the first pasta that I have tried that tasted like "real" pasta. I made homemade mac n' cheese, it was perfect to pair this pasta with that. I have tried corn, brown rice, and quinoa pasta however none of them compare to this pasta. Each one of those left a "taste" depending on the main ingredient behind even if it had sauce on it.

I boiled the noodles for about 8 to 10 minutes and then drained them, while they were draining I tried a plain noodle, it was so good I made my glutenous family try a noodle and both of them liked it.

My Mac N Cheese recipe with this pasta from Schar is:

Two handfuls of noodles (great measuring eh?)
1/4 cup milk
2 TBS butter
1 cup of favorite cheese
topped with crushed Potato Chips

I even tucked a stray turkey dog into the batch, it was very tasty!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gluten Free Tasting at Hy-Vee West Kimbelry

I was thrilled that the gluten free tasting fell during a time when I was off work. I was even more excited to get to try new products!! My go to gal, Teresa, was there manning the tables when we arrived shortly after the tasting began. As always she was very pleasant and helpful and giving me great information on which products to try. 

They had Pop Crickle a new popcorn product out with 4 different kinds to try, all of them were tasty. I really liked the Sweet Heat and the Triple Crunch. They were very affordable at $2.89 a bag. I bought two bags. Pop Crickle

 I also got to try Pop Chips. Teresa opened a bag of the Salt and Pepper flavored ones. I liked the flavor, but I was expect more of a chip. It was so light and airy it was nothing like a chip and more like a crisp. Texturally I am not a fan of Pop Chips, but you should try them because they offer a healthier version to potato chips and they offer lots of flavor choices. Pop Chips

I also tried RiceWorks Chips which I already know I loved! They are made from brown rice and are delicious and addictive. I also tried a couple kinds of granola made by Gluten Free Sensations it was very tasty and would be fantastic on yogurt.

The tasting was a great opportunity for me to visit with my gluten free guru's at Hy-Vee and try new products they are putting on their shelves as well as stocking up on my favorites. They offered 10% off Health Market Products purchased today too.  I will be sure to post the next gluten free tasting. Today's fit perfectly into the calendar since today is Celiac Awareness Day.

Envirokidz Gorilla Munch Cereal

I went to the Gluten Free Tasting at Hy-Vee West Kimberly tonight and was given the EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch to try since I haven't really done any cereal blogs. I don't generally try any new cereals because they are expensive to try if I don't like it, I'm out $4-$5. 

I decided to also give a little bit to my 5 year old who is able to eat gluten without any issues. He loved it. He tried it dry first and liked the few bites he had. I then put some in a bowl for me with milk (yes, it was my dinner). My first thought was wow, this tastes so much like Cap N' Crunch it's fantastic. The more I ate it the more I liked it. It was texturally great. It was similar to Cap N' Crunch in that way too. The flavor is not too sweet, but not bland either. It's healthy too!!

I would happily pay the $4 for this box of cereal. I will get mine at Hy-Vee on West Kimberly, but there are many options available online and at mass retailers to get this cereal into your shopping cart. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

HYVEE Gluten Free Tasting

Hyvee West Kimberly in Davenport, Iowa is having a gluten free tasting in the Health Market on Monday, September 13th from 3:30 p.m - 6:30 p.m. Check out several different gluten free products and get to try them before you buy them. The opportunity to try gluten free products before you buy them doesn't happen very often, so stop by and try some new products.
HyVee West Kimberly is Located at 2200 W Kimberly Road in Davenport, Iowa. It is on the corner of Pine Street and Kimberly Rd. My go to girl for everything gluten free at this store is Teresa. She's always full of information on new products and any customer reviews on gluten free products, so stop and say Hi to her too.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thai Kitchen Instant Noodle Soup

I tried the Thai Kitchen's Instant Noodle Soup for dinner. I tried the Bangkok Curry Flavor. I cooked it in the microwave like the package advised and since it only requires 1 cup of water I used an over sized coffee mug. It ran over the cup in the microwave and made a mess even though the water was only to the middle of the cup.

I followed the instructions and cooked it for 3 minutes. It was so hot I had to let it sit for about 8 minutes for it to cool down enough to eat. It's basically flavored water and rice noodles. It tasted good, but is not very filling. Its a quick meal/snack depending on how many calories you eat. They are pretty low in calories, but some of the Thai Kitchen products are high in Sodium. The packages are expertly labeled with gluten free and reduced sodium. It was quite cheap (less than $2) to purchase and can be found at any grocery store, its usually in with the Asian foods.

Would I buy it again, yea, but only for a quick meal/snack. I have to be in the right mood to eat it. It reminds me of Ramen Noodles.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Famous Dave's

I went to Famous Dave's with my family. I have eaten there since going GF and have gotten sick every time. This time I was going to make an effort to eat gluten free. When we were seated I asked if they had gluten free options and was told yes, they'd get me the "book". I got a look on my face as I grinned at my husband who was a little surprised they had options.

 When the server returned with the "book" I was immediately disappointed, it wasn't a gluten free option it was literally a book of all the food ingredients in all the foods they offered. I thought I could work with it and I started to peruse it. I was quickly brought out of my gluten free illusion by the fact that everything had wheat and soy in it and many things had MSG in them. I was bummed. If I was going to eat and not get sick that would mean I couldn't have anything with MSG (because that effects me like gluten) or wheat, which left me with the option of a salad without meat or sauce and a baked potato not the "loaded" version.

I chose to order what I wanted and paid dearly for it. While I appreciate the attempt. I know the possibility of cross contamination is very high due to everything containing barbeque sauce, wheat or MSG. I hope the attempt will be put more into practice to offer a few items to those people who suffer, but at this time if I were wanting to make sure I did not get sick from my gluten intolerance I would not go to this restaurant the options are beyond limited and the temptation to eat whatever you want is off the charts. In Davenport you can walk next door to Carlos O'Kelly where they do offer a large selection of gluten free options and not get sick.

Udi's Double Chocolate Muffins

I can describe these muffins in one word. Heaven. They are moist and tasty. They do not have a "gluten free' taste to them. They taste like a bakery muffin. I eat mine with a glass of milk and was very satisfied. I ate one for breakfast and felt full. I can't wait to try another flavor. The downside is there are only 4 muffins in the package. The price is a bit steep, but since its like a bakery muffin, if I think about it in that mindset the price is right on with a bakery. I got a package at Hy-Vee on West Kimberly for about $5. They are found in their fabulous gluten free freezer section where they offer many Udi's products.

If you go to Udi's website and sign up for their newsletter you can get a $1 off coupon. They do offer the ability to order from them directly and they offer the ability to order in BULK if you have the storage capabilities. Check it out  Udi's