Posted in Product Reviews, Snacks

Wellaby’s Crackers – Classic Cheese

Wellaby’s Web site

I am rating this product ♥♥ with a score of 14 out of 20.

Appearance:  These hexagonal shaped crackers are large, measuring almost 2 ½ inches at the widest point.  Good size for appetizers.  They come in a plastic tray with two sections, surrounded by a silver sleeve in a cardboard box.  Despite all this packing, there were still quite a few broken crackers.

Flavor:  This cracker has a very mild cheese flavor.  My first thought when I tasted this was – Cheese-its, which were one of my favorites before going gluten-free.  These crackers have a similar flavor, but not nearly as intense.  Much like my beloved and missed Cheese-its, these also leave an after taste if you are eating them by themselves. 😉

Texture:  Thin, crisp, lightly salted and crunchy.  This cracker is sturdy, it would easily hold up to your favorite dip.  These also do not crumble into small pieces after taking a bite.  Being large and crunchy makes it perfect to top with spreads, meats, cheeses etc.

Price:  Average for a gluten-free product.  I bought these at my local Jewel store.  They were $3.59 for a 3.9 oz box, but I caught a sale and got them for $2.99.  If you were buying these for party appetizers you would certainly need two boxes.  In quantity comparison, a box of Carr’s® Table Water® Crackers is 4.25 oz.

My thoughts:  I was surprised by the flavor of this cracker.  It was subtle, cheesy but not over done.  I checked the label and it indicates Edam cheese.  On their Web site, I see that they have mini-crackers which I would imagine would be a great substitute for my Cheese-its!  A very nice selection of flavors to choose from as well – Feta, oregano & olive oil, parmesan & sun-dried tomato and rosemary & onion.

The cost of this product would prevent me from keeping my pantry full of these; however, I would most definitely buy them for appetizer dishes when having company.  Overall, a really good cracker, I look forward to trying the other flavors and products.

Great facts:  Family run company.  No risk of cross-contamination with these as all their products are made in a dedicated facility that solely produces and develops gluten free products.

Live and LOVE gluten-free!

My disclaimer in case you are wondering:  I do not receive any money from the manufacturers for my product reviews.  Some of these products I’ve received a sample direct from them to try them out and give my opinion. Others I’ve purchased myself in local stores to satisfy my curiosity in finding good and tasty gluten-free foods.  I will try to remain neutral, informative and will always be truthful, although you may notice I tend to get a little carried away when I really like something……..

Posted in Appetizers, Gluten Free Recipes

Basil and Roasted Pepper Bites

Makes 25 Appetizers

1 package (2.5 ounces) thinly sliced ham
3 tablespoons garden vegetable cream cheese spread (from 8-ounce container)
1 package (2/3 ounce) fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup roasted red bell peppers (from 12-ounce jar), patted dry
5 pieces (5 1/2 inches long) string cheese

Stack 2 slices ham on work surface; pat dry with paper towel. Spread evenly with 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cream cheese. Top with basil leaves to within 1 inch of top edge. Cut pepper into 1-inch strips; cut to fit width of ham. Place pepper strips across bottom edge of ham. Place cheese piece above pepper on basil leaves; trim to fit.

Beginning at bottom, roll up securely. Wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 5 rolls. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Unwrap rolls; place seam sides down. Cut each roll into 5 pieces with sharp serrated knife. If desired, pierce each roll with 5 evenly spaced toothpicks before cutting.

Note:  Please make sure your ham and your cheese are gluten-free. I do not use packaged ham, I get my ham from the deli, a brand that I know is gluten-free and sliced on a different slicer.

I found this gem on Glutenfreely.com.

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes

Grilled Chile-Lime Chicken

2  teaspoons grated lime peel
1/4  cup lime juice
2  tablespoons olive or canola oil
2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2  teaspoon sugar
1/2  teaspoon salt
1  small jalapeño chile, seeded, finely chopped
1  clove garlic, finely chopped
4  boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 lb)

To make marinade, in shallow glass or plastic dish, or resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix all ingredients except chicken.

Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. Add chicken to marinade; turn to coat. Cover dish or seal bag; refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Cover and grill chicken over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).

NOTE:  Because everything is fresh, it is naturally gluten free.  This is an excellent dish that you can marinate and freeze, for a quick meal later on.

I found this recipe on Tablespoon.com by Eat Better America.  Yummm!

Posted in Candy, Product Reviews

Black Ace Red Licorice

Since going gluten-free one of the biggest things I miss is LICORICE, specifically Twizzlers – sorry all you Red Vine fans, Twizzlers was where it was at!  Sadly since the very first ingredient is wheat, I can have them no more.  😦

Gluten-free licorice is not easy to find in stores and I have been on the hunt for a GOOD replacement.

I am rating it ♥♥ with a score of 13 out of 20.  In all fairness, the price significantly reduced its overall rating.

Appearance/size:  The small, bite-sized drops (about the size of a dime) make them very easy to eat.  They are in a bag, inside a cute little box.  It would be nice if the bag was resealable so if you were being strong, you could seal them up without worrying about them getting stale.

Flavor:  Wonderful flavor that gets stronger and fruitier as you chew!  Taste comparison – a little nugget of Hawaiian punch in your mouth.  Yummmmm!  🙂

Texture: Extremely chewy, sticking to every possible crevice in my teeth.  Uggh!  Think taffy or worse.  I suppose you can look at it this way – it kept me from eating a whole box in one sitting, so good for my diet!

Price:  I bought this 5 oz box at a local candy store for $6.50.  Expensive!

Overall, this would not be my choice for a licorice fix.  Flavor was great; texture just didn’t work for me.   I’ve had this box for about 3 weeks now and there are still a few left……..this is unheard of for a sweet-tooth like me!

The hunt continues………..in the mean time Live and LOVE gluten-free!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Sweets

Banana Nutella Muffins

This recipe is FABULOUS!

Original muffins:

My gluten-free version:

 

2 cups GLUTEN-FREE flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon GLUTEN-FREE vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in hazelnuts.

Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.  Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella on top of each muffin. Swirl with a toothpick. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve.

NOTES:  Baking soda is naturally gluten-free.  Nutella is gluten-free!  Yogurt is naturally gluten-free, but because of additives, please check the label.  PLEASE CHECK your vanilla, not all extract is gluten-free – McCormicks is good, I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract which is gluten-free but a little pricey.  I really like Pamela’s Baking mix for all of my sweet baking and have found that I can use it as a cup for cup exchange in all of my old tried and true recipes.  Also check your non-stick cooking spray – not all are gluten-free!

In this gluten-free version……..I did not swirl in the nutella.  The muffin has a banana bread texture…a bit heavier but very moist.  I use very dark bananas so the batter is darker than usual.  This muffin was excellent and I will be making this again!

A big shout out to Diane Krejci Sullivan who found this recipe at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/).  I modified it to make it gluten-free.  Thank you Christina for an amazing recipe.

Posted in Product Reviews, Snacks

Dazzles – Gourmet Oven Baked Corn

So the other day I received a package with two different flavor Dazzles – Butter and Caramel Corn.  Here is my review:

I am rating this product ♥♥♥♥ with a score of 18 out of 20.

http://buydazzles.com/index.html

Appearance:  Bite size pieces without all the cracks and crumbs you often see with chips.  While I doubt it there will be leftovers, the packaging has a zip top so that you can store them without worrying about them getting stale.

Flavor:  The butter flavored ones are very tasty, with a hint of salt (not too much like some of the store-bought puffed corn) followed by a nice buttery wallop.  The caramel corn was smooth with a buttery, sweetness that made you want more.

Texture:  The butter flavor corn melts in your mouth.  You don’t even need to chew if you don’t want to.  The caramel corn first has a crunch then a burst of sweet followed by melt in your mouth.  No hulls to get stuck between your teeth either.

Price:  This was the only bummer.  It is $5.00 for a 12″ bag of these treats (plus shipping).  However, it is understandable that having gourmet flavor choices with premium ingredients (which you can taste in every bite, especially the caramel), it is expected to be higher in price than some other snacks.

Above are all the facts I found to be true.  Now here are my thoughts – I feel this snack is worth the $5 a bag.  When I tasted the caramel corn, it actually made me close my eyes for a second!  🙂  True story.  It tasted like something that my mom might have made in her kitchen.

I checked their website to see what other flavors they offered and almost fell off my chair.  I figured that there must be some mistake in the gluten-free listing.  I actually CALLED them to verify that ALL of the flavors were gluten-free.  I spoke to a woman, who for the life of me I can’t remember her name, but she was super nice and very patient with me.  I am sure she thought I was a nut because I asked her repeatedly about gluten in different flavors and she assured me that everything they make is gluten-free.   Check out some of these flavors – Garlic, Nacho Cheddar, Three Chili White Cheddar, Jalapeño Cheddar, White Cheddar, BBQ, Ranch, Cinnamon Krunch, S’mores, Moose Krunch (chocolate, caramel and butter) Yesss!!  Seasonal flavors (not in season now but I will have to keep an eye out for them):  White Chocolate Raspberry  and White Chocolate Irish Cream – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  Hecky yeah!!

If you’ve been gluten-free for any length of time, you know how hard it is to find FLAVORED snacks that are not laced with gluten.  This is a great find for us!

Here are a couple more awesome facts that I REALLY appreciate about this product:  This corn is NON GMO!  There is NO MSG!  There are several no sugar added flavors so this is a great snack of diabetics too.  

Go check out this site right now and get yourself some and enjoy a snack with me!!

Live and LOVE gluten-free!

My disclaimer in case you are wondering:  I do not receive any money from the manufacturers for my product reviews.  Some of these products I’ve received a sample direct from them to try them out and give my opinion. Others I’ve purchased myself in local stores to satisfy my curiosity in finding good and tasty gluten-free foods.  I will try to remain neutral, informative and will always be truthful, although you may notice I tend to get a little carried away when I really like something…….. 😀

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Snacks

Coconut Flour POWER COOKIES!

These cookies are NO SUGAR ADDED, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, & packed with POWER, duh!

Wet Ingredients:
2 Whole Eggs
2 Egg Whites
2 TB Melted Coconut Oil
1 medium sized mashed banana
2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Liquid Stevia   (optional: but I used about 10 drops)

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground Flax
1/4 cup Protein Powder of choice (I used sunwarrior)
2 tsp Baking Soda
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Optional Add-ins: Dark Chocolate Chips, Raisins,
Dried fruit, coconut, etc…

Easy Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix wet ingredients together

Add in Dry Ingredients

Mix in your optional add-ins

Form into cookie shapes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet

Bake @ 350 Degrees for about 13-15 minutes

Let cool, if you’re patient enough & ENJOY!

I found this awesome recipe at:  http://powercakes.net/   which is a blog from Kasey Arena who among other things happens to be gluten free.  Thank you Kasey!