Thursday, October 7, 2010

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

I know that I have confessed this in the past.  I spend way too much money on groceries.  In fact, our grocery bill has now exceeded our mortgage payment!  Yes.  I hate to admit it, but it's true.

The funny thing is, that even though I seem to buy an awful lot of groceries, I sometimes seem to have trouble putting it together for dinner.  Dinnertime is most always a stressful time of the day.  There's helping with homework.  There's making sure piano and violin lessons have been practiced.  Sometimes there's after school appointments or activities.   I don't mind cooking, but let's face it, some nights I'd rather just go out to dinner!  Since we try to only go out on the weekends (for both health and budget reasons), going to restaurants in the middle of the week isn't really an option.

I started several months ago making a weekly menu plan and grocery list to help me focus a little better.  While it did seem to help me get dinner on the table a little easier, it really didn't help with my budget.  I still find myself running to the grocery store at least two to three times a week.  And, of course, every time I go into the store, I come out with more items than I went in for.

I have tried to cut our grocery bill several times in the past.  I even took an adult education class on how to save in the grocery store a few years back.  I cut coupons.  I shop the sales.  I joined BJ's Warehouse Club.  Still, I believe I'm spending way too much.  I'd much rather spend that money on other things.  Like paying off bills or the new cell phones my family wants or the trip to Disney that I want...

Last week, I saw the Economides family on the Today Show.  You may have heard of them.  They are America's Cheapest Family.  With their new book, they claim to be able to help you Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half.  OK.  So.  I took the bait.  I bought the book.  I'm already trying to apply some of the techniques they discuss.  I'm only a few chapters into the book.

I started this week by taking an inventory of everything already in my pantry, freezer and refrigerator.  I sat down with my inventory and my recipe binder and made up a meal plan for the month of October using things I already have on hand.  Then, I made a grocery list of the items I need to buy to fill in the menu, plus breakfast and lunch items, paper products, cleaners, etc.  I looked through the store flyers and decided to go to two stores that had the best prices for the items I needed.  I settled on Walmart (for the majority of my list) and Green Grocer (for my gf items and because I had a $2 off total of $20 coupon to use).  I assembled my clipped coupons.   I grabbed my calculator.  I headed out to shop!

One of the ideas in the book is to put a shopping basket into the shopping cart and put all of the "impulse purchases" in the basket.  Since I almost always pick up extra things when I shop, I decide this was a good way to keep track of what I'm buying that's not on my list.  It really did help me stick to my list.  I had just one item in the basket at check-out.  That was one Enjoy Life Choco Boom Boom bar!  I wasn't putting that baby back!!!  A girl has to have her chocolate, right?  
Since I used a pre-printed grocery shopping list (check-box style), I missed a few items in the store.  I'm used to writing my own, listing items in the order they are arranged in the store.  It will probably take a while to get the hang of it.  Or, I may re-do the list to make it easier.  In any case, this means I will have to make another trip to pick up the items I missed.  I'm guessing I will have to make a small trip each week to pick up perishable items like milk, eggs, fruit...etc.

Also, since I don't have an extra freezer, I couldn't buy a lot of "freezer foods".  As it is, my little freezer is stocked to the max.  I hope that I've planned my purchases wisely so that I have enough to last the month.  I guess we will see.

My total at Walmart after coupons was $127.11.  At Green Grocer, it was $18.25.  So, my grand total for today's trip was $145.36.

Now.  I must admit.  This was a lot of work.  It took me most of the afternoon yesterday to get things together, over an hour shopping and then another 45 minutes to get everything put away.  I even bought a large package of chicken breasts and a huge package of ground beef that I had to split up into freezer bags when I got home.  I don't usually do this, but after checking the unit prices per pound, I could see quite a big difference in the cost.  I'm guessing that with practice, the whole process will go faster.  At least I hope so.

I'd love to hear any money-saving tips you all might have to share...

I hope you all have a great, gluten-free day!  :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My New Favorite Shampoo

I know.  I usually write about food.  However, in this post, I decided to tell you about my new favorite shampoo.  Yes.  Shampoo.

It's called Desert Essence Organics Hair Care Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo.  There are so many reasons I love this shampoo. 

First, I love the smell of lemon shampoo.  This shampoo reminds me of a shampoo I used as a teen called "Lemon Up".   Does anyone else remember it?  It was right up there with "Gee Your Hair Smell Terrific" shampoo! OK.  So I'm really dating myself now.

Second, I have really oily hair and this gets it soooo clean!

Third, it's Organic and clearly marked "Gluten-Free"!

I found this shampoo at The Green Grocer market in Clifton Park, but you can also check it out at

I like it so much, I may go back and buy the conditioner!

Have a great gluten-free day!

*Please note:  I do not work for Desert Essence or have any other affiliations with this company.  I just really love this product!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gluten-Free Bisquick Oven Baked Chicken and Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries

It sure was a busy, busy summer.  I let a lot of things slide.  My housework.  My diet.  My blogging.

So, now it's fall.  Back to housework.  My diet.  My blogging.

I just have to tell you about the dinner I made tonight.  It was that terrific.

I decided to make the Oven Baked Chicken recipe on the Gluten-Free Bisquick Box.  I have made this once before and it was so good that I just had to make it again.  You can view the recipe here.  They also have a lot of other really yummy-looking recipes on their website that I'm going to have to try!

I used chicken thighs instead of a whole, cut-up chicken.  I also added some red pepper to the flour mix to try to add a little zip to the batter as the batter alone is a little bland for our taste buds.  I think next time, I would add even a little more, although it was very good just the same.

I even tried taking the skin off of one of the thighs before dipping to see if the batter would still stick to the chicken.  It did, although I must admit, I liked the taste of the chicken with skin on much better.  Again, maybe with more seasoning, this would be a good, lower fat option.

After the first 35 minutes were up, I flipped the chicken per the directions and threw a baking sheet with New Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries in the oven to bake with the chicken for the remaining 15 minutes.  These are really good and are marked "Gluten-Free" right on the bag.  Now, if you have some sweet potatoes, you can make your own sweet potato fries very easily yourself, it's true, but these are a nice, quick option if you don't mind the extra ingredients in them.

Behold.  A quick, easy, delicious Sunday night dinner.

If you haven't tried Gluten-Free Bisquick or Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries yet, you should!

Have a great gluten-free week!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vacationing Gluten-Free in Cape Cod

If you know me, you know that I love Cape Cod.  I've been visiting the Cape almost every summer since, well, before I was born!  That's 40....and then some years!

Anyone who has been there, knows that fried foods are a way of life on the Cape.  Fried fish, fried clams, fried onion rings, fried everything!  I even had a fried Snicker's bar before I was gluten-free!

When I was first diagnoses with Celiac Disease two years ago, I wondered how I would ever enjoy going to restaurants on the Cape again.  I am pleased to say that navigating the restaurants on the Cape is becoming easier and easier for us non-gluten eaters.

This year, we visited several restaurants with gluten-free menus we had visited in the past, along with one new one.

The first on my list of "old stand-bys" is Seafood Sam's in South Yarmouth.   This is a counter-service, fried food eatery.  They do not have a gluten-free menu.  However, I have been successful in the past ordering any of the broiled dinners without crumb topping and a baked potato.  This year, we visited this restaurant twice, because my gluten-eating daughter loves their kids' fried shrimp.  My husband and I ordered the "Sam's Broiled Platter for 2".  It came split on two plates with the sides separated so he could have his french fries, while I had a baked potato.  It also comes with Newburg Sauce (which I don't think is gluten-free and didn't eat) and cole slaw.  It's a bargain at only $19.95 for two and a lot of seafood!

The next restaurant on my list is Chatham Fish and Lobster Company in Chatham.  We visited this fresh fish market/counter service restaurant last year for the first time and I couldn't wait to get back there this year!  All and I mean ALL of their fried items are gluten-free.  I can't get enough of their crunchy, delicious seafood.  And talk about fried onion rings!  My mouth is watering thinking about it!

Last year I ordered fish fry.  It was excellent!  This year, I decided to order the Fried Clam Strip Platter.  As my tween daughter would say, OMG!

If there was one restaurant in the whole world that I would want if I were alone on a desert island, this would be the one!

We also ordered the Fried Shrimp Platter and shared both platters between the three of us.  It was plenty of food!

I just love this place!  I really liked the huge lobster in the front yard too!

Oh, and the "Celiac Friendly" sign on the door!

Another restaurant we visited was Sam Diego's Mexican Cookery and Bar  in Hyannis.

Mexican food on the Cape?   Si, Senior!!!  This awesome place has wonderful food and a relatively new gluten-free menu! (The menu is NOT on their website...I wish it were so you could see all their wonderful menu items!)

I apologize for the glare on the picture, but the service was so speedy that I didn't have time to get it right!  LOL!

I ordered the Gluten-Free Chips and Salsa right off the bat.

Then, I ordered their Gluten-Free Chili Con Carne...

Look at that cheesy goodness!!!  Uh oh...drooling on my computer keys!

Then, I ordered the Gluten-Free Classic Cheese and Pepper Quesadillas.

Well, I couldn't finish all this food!  It was soooo yummy good!

Are you hungry yet?  I have more to go!!!  LOL!

The one cloudy, sprinkly day of our vacation, we decided to head of to Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis to do some retail therapy.  We stopped in at Not Your Average Joe's for lunch.  This is the third year we have eaten at Joe's.  The first time, well, there wasn't much on their gluten-free menu.  It was your standard, plain hamburger on a bun with salad menu.  This year, I was pleasantly surprised to find way more offerings.  Including GLUTEN-FREE ONION ROLLS with olive oil/red pepper dipping sauce!  Whoa!!!

And, if you do order the hamburger, I'm guessing you'll get one of these buns with it!  :)

For my lunch, I ordered the GF Grilled Chicken Salad.  Instead of the Creamy Ranch Dressing, I ordered the Lo-Cal Zinfandel, which was excellent and also GF.

We also visited BZ's Mexican Pizzeria in Dennisport.  I apologize, I didn't bring my camera to this restaurant, but they have EXCELLENT gluten-free pizza.  The best part is that it's made on site and you can choose from many toppings!  I ordered mushroom and ground beef.  Mmmmmm.

Last, but not least, I can't visit the Cape without ordering at least one boiled lobster dinner!  We went to The Lobster Boat, which is a tradition in my family.  They do not have a gluten-free menu, but I've never had a problem eating here.  The twin lobster special is what we always is well, lobster!

I hope you have enjoyed my little gluten-free tour of Cape Cod!  I can't wait to go back again next year...or sooner!  LOL!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Question: How do YOU heal your belly when you are "glutened"?

It's been a busy week.  It was the last week of 4th grade for my daughter.  Which means the last week of freedom for mom until September, so I was busy getting "things" done before school was out.  I don't think I finished half of the "things" on my list.  Mostly because I felt sick.

This seems to happen every few months and lasts for a week or more.  The belly ache.  Feels like someone put my intestines in a vice and keeps cranking it tighter.

I can never really pin down the reason it happens.  Did I get glutened?  Was it the greasy burger I ate?  Am I eating out in restaurants too often?  Is it stress?  Am I allergic or intolerant to another food?  I don't know, but I'd sure like to figure it out.

So, this week I began the task of writing down everything I eat.  I probably began too late to figure out the source this time, as I already had the belly ache, but I'm hoping that eventually I can find the answer.  I've read that corn gluten can be a problem for some Celiacs or maybe dairy (I already use soy milk).  I'm also trying to cut out (or at least down) on the diet soda.  Yes, I know it's bad for me, but I have trouble giving it up.  :(

I've been downing the Pepto Bismal in the meantime and trying to eat very carefully.  I need to heal my tummy and feel better.  Which got me to thinking....what do other Celiacs do when they get glutened?

So here are my questions for you all...

When you get glutened, what do you do to feel better?  What do you eat while you're healing?  What medications if any do you use?  How long do your symptoms last?

I would love any advice you may have to give.

Thanks.  And I hope you are having a great gluten-free weekend!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Two Gluten-Free Surprises for Mom on Father's Day!

Ok.  I admit it.  I've been slacking on the blog posts.  I'm blaming it on spring fever and a little bit of writer's block.

I did have two great surprises today.  We decided to take my husband out for lunch for Father's Day.  He chose Outback Steakhouse because, well, what's Father's Day without a little steak anyway???  I was happily looking over my gluten-free menu when the waiter brought over the little loaf of gluten-filled, brown bread.  When my husband told him not to put it in front of me, the waiter said "Oh, sorry.  Would you like a loaf of gluten-free bread?"  Wow!

Outback had served gluten-free bread in the past.  Then they took it away.  I blogged about it here.  Well, now it's back!  I'm not sure that it's the same bread that they served before, but it was really good.    It's lovely to have bread with my 6 oz. Special Steak, baked potato and green beans.  Thanks, Outback!!!

My second surprise was later, when we decided to go out for soft ice cream.  One of the pleasures of summer is going to The Country Drive-In on Crescent Road in Clifton Park.  This is a very busy spot in hot weather and if you can find a parking space, you are in luck!  We have been known to circle the lot many times on crowded nights, only to drive away without our ice cream!  :(

Today, it was the middle of the afternoon and not terribly crowded.  I ordered my usual.  Small hot fudge sundae with fat-free, sugar-free yogurt.  Today's yogurt flavor was "Very Berry".  We stepped back from the window after placing our orders and there it was.  On the window.  Right there in front of us.  "Gluten-Free Cones Now Available Upon Request."    NO WAY!  (I think I actually heard a choir singing in the background..."AHHHHH")  The world is definitely changing right before our very eyes.  Now, I'm not much of a "cone person", but you'd better believe that next time we go, I will be ordering one of the gluten-free cones!  Just because I can. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trip to Whole Foods

If you are lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, you probably already know what a great store it is.   Unfortunately, the nearest Whole Foods to where I live is 2+ hours away!

On our way back from Boston earlier this month, I made sure we made a stop at the Whole Foods in Framingham, MA.  I even brought an empty cooler to transport my goodies in!  I had never been to a Whole Foods before and just had to check it out.

I was really happy to find several gluten-free goodies that aren't carried in the stores back home.  These goodies included:

Bell & Evans Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets - Our local Price Chopper used to carry these and I really miss them!  I can't even imagine why they stopped.  They sure beat McDonald's so-called nuggets.

Bell & Evans Gluten-Free Italian Style Chicken Patties with Mozzarella - Had never seen these before!  I served them with pasta sauce...they were yummy.

WF Bakehouse Gluten-Free Sundried Tomato Bread - Was pretty good, but a little dense, which is fairly normal for packaged gluten-free bread.

WF Bakehouse Gluten-Free Almond Scones - Loved these!

Udi's Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread - I left the best for last...

I couldn't wait to try the Udi's bread.  I have heard so much buzz about it on many, many gluten-free blogs.  Let me tell you...hands-down, this has to be best packaged, gluten-free bread on the planet.  I am in LOVE.  I have tried it plain with butter.  I have tried it with peanut butter and jelly.  I have tried it grilled with turkey and cheese.  If I didn't know better, I would really think there was gluten in this bread.  It is so fluffy and springy.  I have only one regret in purchasing this bread....I ONLY BOUGHT ONE LOAF!  I have considered ordering more on their website, but I calculated the shipping and it was around $17.00!  Yikes!  I may just have to do it though, I'm not sure how long I can live without my new love.  I'd also like to try their bagels and pizza crust...The WF in Framingham only had bread.

I'm already planning another trip to Whole Foods on our way to (and maybe from) Cape Cod this summer.  There just happens to be several on the way! 

Note to self:  Get a bigger cooler!  (Even if it means I have to leave my suitcase behind!  Who need clothes, anyway?)  ;)

Have a great gluten-free day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

24 Hours in Boston

I was so lucky this past weekend to spend Mother's Day in Boston.  Even though it was very rainy on Saturday afternoon when we got there and very cold and windy on Sunday, we had a great time!

While we were in Boston, we had dinner at Legal Seafoods, Long Wharf.  We stayed at the Boston Marriott, Long Wharf and it was literally right across the street from our hotel.  It was a good thing because right at 5:25 pm, the skys opened up and the monsoon came down!  (If you were watching the Red Sox/Yankees game on tv, you know this because the game was delayed!)  Our reservations were for 5:30, so we ran as fast as we could across the street.  We were drenched...but after the food came, we just didn't mind at all!

The view from our hotel window. 
Legal Seafoods has the blue covers over the outdoor dining tables.

Legal Seafoods has a very extensive gluten-free menu.  I started out my meal with gluten-free dinner rolls.  These were soooo delicious, I didn't even need butter.  Fresh and hot from the oven, crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside.  Wishing I had asked who made them!

For my main course, I ordered Sea Scallops, baked potato and steamed sugar snap peas.  The scallops were fried in chick pea flour!  They were very light, tender and EXCELLENT.

To top off the evening, I ordered the Chocolate Mousse.  Oh my, oh my...

I was really sure I had died and gone to creamy, dreamy, chocolate heaven.

I have to say that since going gluten-free, this was one of the best dining experiences I have had.  If you live near a Legal Seafoods...I am soooo jealous!  If you are ever visiting a city where there is a Legal Seafoods...make sure you visit! 

In my next post, I will review some gluten-free items I bought at Whole Foods on the way back from our trip!

Have a great, gluten-free day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eating Gluten-Free at 99 Restaurant

I was nicely surprised today when my mom and I were out shopping and we stopped in for lunch at the 99 Restaurant.  I had heard that they had a gluten-free menu, but hadn't been in to try it until today.

While it's not an extensive menu, the gluten-free menu has enough items on it to satisfy.  There are salads, hamburgers, complete with gluten-free buns, dinners, such as prime rib (Sunday after 4pm), broiled sirloin tips, NY strip sirloin, top sirloin steak and salmon.  There is a choice of sides which include garlic mashed potatoes, baked potato and loaded baked potato (after 4pm), seasonal vegetables and french fries.  I asked if the french fries are fried in a dedicated fryer and was told that they are!

I ordered the Mushroom and Cheese Steakburger with french fries.  The gluten-free bun was, I believe, a rice flour and tapioca bun.  I know I have had these buns before, it tasted a lot like Gillian's Foods Plain Gluten-Free Hamburger Bun, I'm not totally sure and I didn't ask.  The burger was a lot bigger than the bun, which was fine with me.  The fries were very tasty!  The only complaint I really had was that the burger was a little underdone for my taste.  I ordered it medium-well and would probably order it well done next time.  I apologize that I didn't get a picture to share, but I didn't really plan on going out to lunch, so I didn't bring my camera.

Another restaurant to add to my gluten-free list!  If you have tried 99's gluten-free menu, I'd love to hear your comments!  If you haven't, it's time to check it out!  :)

Have a great gluten-free day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This April weather has sure been crazy!  This afternoon, I was busy baking cookies when I looked out and saw that it was sleeting!  What the?  It's about 46 degrees.  One more day of cold and then temperatures are supposed to be up in the high 70's! 

Now, back to the cookies!  I've been trying to buy less processed items at the store lately.  It's hard.  Especially when you have a daughter and husband who are used to all the yummy snacks you can buy in the cracker and cookie aisle!

I decided to bake some gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies.  Yes, they still have sugar and butter in them, but at least I can pronounce what's in them!

I used the recipe from the Bob's Red Mill website.  I have used this recipe before and the cookies come out wonderful.  I make a few modifications...

1.  For the GF All Purpose Baking Flour, I use Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix.
2.  I do not add the Baking Soda or the Xanthan Gum as Pamela's already has them in it.
3.  Instead of the 1 cup butter, I use 1/2 cup Butter plus 1/2 cup Organic Unsweetened Applesauce.  It cuts out some of the fat and makes them even healthier!

I use a cookie scooper that's bigger than a tablespoon, so I only get about 3 dozen cookies.

These cookies are a little crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy and sweet on the inside!  I had one to "test" the batch and ended up scarfing down two more!  My daughter ate three for her after-school snack. 

If you love oatmeal raisin cookies, you must try this recipe!

I'm off to put the cookies away now, before they are all gone!!!

Have a great, gluten-free day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's in Your Fridge?

I've seen several posts about this lately.  There's whole blogs devoted to it.  Pictures of peoples' refrigerators.  Strange, but true.  You can check one out here.  Or here.  So, not to be left out, I decided it might be fun to take a picture of our fridge.  I've posted pictures of our freezer before, but never our fridge.

Now, keep in mind that this is grocery shopping day, so it's way more stocked and a little more organized than on other days of the week.  Well, maybe it's not THAT organized.  I'm trying to do better...

Since watching "Food, Inc." and reading Michael Pollan's book, "Food Rules", I've been really trying to buy more local and organic produce, whenever possible.  I found a lot of organic produce at the market today however, none of it was local.  I did buy organic tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, broccoli slaw and pears.  Most of this produce is coming from Mexico this time of year, although some was from California.

I have begun my small, veggie container garden in the house and already have some green beans!  I also planted yellow pear tomatoes and pickling cucumbers.  It's a little tough to plant too many things as I have limited space and sun!

I plan on hitting some farmer's markets soon.  I'm also sure that the local produce will be filtering in to the grocery stores soon as well.

I came home from the market to a kitchen full of unwashed dishes.  Our dishwasher has been doing some odd things the last couple of weeks.  At first, I thought it was just our very hard water.  I tried everything to clean the dishwasher out, but the dishes are still coming out like this:

Pretty yucky, huh?  So, needless to say, I've been handwashing.  Ack.  The repairman comes tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will be my last day of sore back and pruney hands!

After washing all the dishes, I decided to use some of the produce I purchased and make a pasta salad for dinner.

There are no measurements to this recipe, I just throw stuff in!  I love these kind of recipes!

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Garden Pagodas Gluten-Free Pasta, cooked according to package directions
Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half longways
Cucumbers, cubed
Black Olives (I forgot I bought the Jumbo babies are huge!)
Vermont Cheddar Cheese, cubed
Olive Oil/Vinegar Based Dressing, to taste  (I used Ken's Light Northern Italian w/ Basil and Romano, it's gluten-free!)

You could also throw some gluten-free meat, but I didn't this time. (Like cubed ham, turkey, chicken or Hormel Turkey Pepperoni, for instance)

Mix all ingredients together, chill and voila!

I will probably serve it with hot dogs and grape jello for dessert.  Yes, I know, Michael Pollan wouldn't approve.  Although, the last rule of  "Food Rules" is:

"Break the rules once in a while."

Gotta love a book like that!

P.S.  Have you signed the "Food Revolution Petition" yet?  If not, you should.  You can click on the link above left...

Have a great, gluten-free day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gluten-Free Icy Treats

We've had some really nice, warm days so far in April.  Of course, as I'm writing this today, it's cold and rainy, but I prefer not to talk about that!  LOL!

When it's nice weather and my daughter plays outdoors, she loves to have an "ice pop" when she comes in.  It's always nice to have a treat in the freezer for her and her girlfriends.

I've been noticing that more and more items are being marked "gluten-free".  Every time I go into the market, I find something new.  I always get a little excited when I see an item, clearly marked as gluten-free!

This week, I came across two icy-cold treats that I new my daughter would like.

First is Philly Swirls Cups.   We have bought these in the past, but I never noticed the Gluten Free labeling on the box.  They are also Dairy, Peanut/Tree Nut, Egg, Soy and Fat Free.  They also just added CANDY SPOONZ!  You should have seen my daughter's face when she saw those! 

I really like these little frozen cups of ice.  They remind me of the Italian Ices I used to buy from the Ice Cream Truck in the Summer.

They come in different flavors like Rainbow, Sunburst, Tie Dye, Hurricane, Bananaberry and Cotton Candy.

This week I also found Del Monte Fruit Chillers Frozen Fruit Sorbet.  I had totally missed these before.  They are in the aisle with the applesauce and canned fruit!

From the Fruit Chillers Website:

"One serving of Fruit Chillers sorbet contains 3/4 servings of real fruit.  It does not contain high fructose corn syrup. Each serving of Raspberry or Strawberry Fruit Chillers sorbet contains 100% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. Each serving of Mango and Peach Fruit Chillers sorbet contains 150% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C."

It's hard to see it in my photo, but the box is clearly marked "GLUTEN FREE".

They come in Frosty Peach, Artic Strawberry, Glacial Mango and Polar Raspberry.  Fruit Chillers also come in Strawberry Snow Storm and Grape Berry Blizzard Tubes.  (I need to find those grape ones!)

The peach sorbet is really yummy!  I'm not much of a sorbet gal, I usually head right for the ice cream, but I would definitely buy these again. 

So, if you are looking for a cold treat on a hot day, these will surely hit the spot!

Have a great, gluten-free weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Allergies, Neti Pots and a Review of Gluten-Free Balance Pure Bars

I can't believe it.  I was so busy last week that I didn't get to post anything.  Doctor's appointments, Spring cleaning, yard work, shopping.  So much to do and so little time!  I'm having trouble keeping up.  Now, my daughter has a cough that just won't quit.  I'm hoping it's just allergies and not another bout of walking pneumonia!  Thank goodness for school vacations and cough medicine with codeine!  LOL!

It's definitely the season for the neti pot!  I think that it is possibly the best invention that ever was.  I use it when I start to get that sniffly, headachy, allergy feeling.  I can't take allergy medications because they give me heart palpitations, so this is a godsend for me.  It really, really works.

For those of you who have never used o a neti pot, here is a quick little video on how to use one.  I know, it looks gross, BUT IT WORKS.  I wish I could get my daughter to try it, but being 10 years-old, I don't think it would go very well.

While I was at Price Chopper yesterday, I found two new Balance Pure Bars or at least they were new to me.  Berry Berry Chia and Chocolate Cashew flavored.  Bonus...the Chocolate Cashew flavored bars were on sale for $1 each!  Score!  These new Balance Pure bars are clearly marked Gluten-Free.

Each bar has 170 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber.  The ingredients are: Evaporated Cane Juice Inverst Syrup, Cashews, Soynuts, Dates, Cocoa, Soy Protein Isolate, Peanut Oil, Salt.  If you have a nut or soy allergy, these are not for you...

Ok.  I have a confession to make.  It is 12:15pm on a Wednesday afternoon.  I am still sitting here in my pajamas, writing my post, eating the Chocolate Cashew Balance Bar.  There.  I feel better now.  And the bar is really good!

I'm going to throw one of these bars in my purse for emegencies and they will definitely be nice to bring along on road trips.

Now, I have a question for all of you.  Does this happen to you?

I am in water bottle washing hell.  I'm being so careful to be environmentally correct, that I find myself endlessly washing everyone's water and coffee bottles.  In the morning they are filled and taken off to work and school, only to return to the sink in the evening, waiting to be washed.  Over and over and over.  Like Groundhog's Day! 

I leave you now, with a picture of my daughter, taken over the weekend at Lake George, NY.  Ahhhhhh....

I hope you all have a wonderful, gluten-free day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Honest Tea. Gluten-Free....Honestly!

I love soda.  Recently, I've been trying to cut back on my beloved soda.  Not because I've fallen out of love with it, but because I know that it's probably not the best drink choice.

As far as plain water goes...I'm not a fan.  I'm sorry, I'm just not.

I've tried flavored waters, sports drinks, seltzer and juice.  Nothing floats my boat.

Until now.

I've found a new love.

It's called Honest Tea.  I picked up a bottle of Pomegranate Red Tea with Goji Berry at Honest Weight Food Co-op last week.  I wasn't expecting much because, well, I also don't care for iced tea very much.  Bottled ice teas are usually way too sweet for me and most of them have caffeine, which sends my heart into a pounding frenzy.

Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!  This tea was amazing!  The bottle states "Just a Tad Sweet" and they are right.

Honest Tea is USDA Organic, Gluten-Free, Caffeine-Free, Certified Fair Trade, No GMO's.  It is sweetend with organic cane sugar and organic honeybush and chock full of antioxidants.  There are only 70 calories in the whole bottle!  Wow!

The down-side is that it costs a bit more than soda.  My single 16 oz. bottle was $1.65.  I might have to dig a little deeper to support my new "habit".  ;)


I would also like to mention that Heidi Kelly over at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom is running a contest to win a free Easy Lunchbox System.  This lunchbox system looks amazing!  Head on over to Heidi's blog and check it out!


Have a great, gluten-free day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Belly Aches, Viruses and Gluten-Free Chicken Soup

March seems to be "going out like a lion" in our household.  My husband came down with a flu-like virus last week while he was out of town and still hasn't fully recovered.  Over the weekend, my belly decided it wasn't having any of it, so I've been on the Aciphex, Citrucel and Imodium diet ever since.  Then, to top it all off, I just returned from picking up my daughter from the school nurse's office.  It seems she may have caught whatever it is that my husband has.  *deep sigh*

So, I did what every good mother does when the family isn't feeling up to par.  I made chicken soup.

I've made this recipe before.  I don't really have any exact measurements to follow.  Just a handful of this and a pinch of that.  I like it that way.  I don't usually make big batches to freeze, although you definitely could, just use a bigger pot and add more stuff!  ;)

My recipe goes something like this.

In a saucepan, heat some olive oil.  Throw in some chopped celery, carrots and onions and saute' until soft.

  Add some minced garlic and a box of gluten-free chicken broth.

Throw in some pre-cooked chicken.  I used some of a roaster chicken I had bought on sale, cut up and put in the freezer for just such an occasion.  I put the rest back in the deep freeze to use at a later date.

Add some gluten-free noodles, any kind you like.  I used Bionaturae Gluten-Free Spaghetti.  I broke it up into pieces before throwing it in the pot.  Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.

You can also add a bay leaf, if you can find it in your spice drawer.  I couldn't.  (Note to self:  Do SOMETHING about that spice drawer!)

Let it all bubble away until the pasta is cooked.  Serve nice and hot so that you can breath in the steam!

Hopefully, with a little rest, plenty of fluids and my homemade chicken soup, the family will be back to "normal" soon.  (Whatever that is! LOL!)

Have a great gluten-free day!