Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow and Peanut Butter Cookies

It's the last week of February! Wow! How time flies! We finally are getting the snow we should have been getting all two days! We have a foot on the ground this morning and are expecting another 4-8 in the next 24 hours. I'm OK with it. As long as we don't lose power!!!

As always, when the weather is cold and snowy, I like to bake something yummy. I decided to try a recipe my mom had copied from our local news station, Capital News 9. They have a "Cooking At Home" segment with Dan Eaton. I always giggle a little when I see his last name, "Eat- on". Easy to remember! LOL!

It is a "naturally" gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe and requires only FIVE ingredients. No special flours. Ingredients most folks have on hand in their pantry!

You can find the recipe here:

I made my cookies bigger than Dan made his and so I only got about 16 cookies. But they are GOOD! You really do have to follow the directions though, and don't try to move the cookies off of the cookie sheet before they are cool! They are very fragile.
My daughter smelled the wonderful, peanut buttery smell when she came home from school yesterday. She scarfed down one cookie before going out to play in the snow and had two more with hot cocoa, when she came in. Of course, I had to test a couple as well! ;)
This recipe is a "keeper"!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Letter From Walmart Regarding Great Value Brand Gluten Free Labeling

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! My daughter and I made these delicious milk chocolate-dipped strawberries! They were out of this world!!! I wish we had made more! We also made sushi, which were delicious, but not very pretty or picture-worthy. ;)
A few weeks ago, I bought a box of Great Value Brand Au Gratin Potatoes at Walmart. I had bought these before and never noticed that while the box clearly states "A Gluten Free Food", the allergy warning says "May contain wheat". I was perplexed. So, I emailed Walmart. Here is their response.
Thank you for your message.
Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for your contacting us regarding our Great Value Au Gratin Potatoes. We recognize the importance of labeling gluten-free products appropriately and apologize for the confusion caused when a secondary allergen warning is placed on a product labeled "gluten-free." It has come to our attention that a small number of Great Value products contain both a gluten-free label and a statement indicating that the product "may contain traces of wheat.
"While the products contain no gluten or gluten derivatives as part of the ingredient list, they are processed in plants where products containing wheat are also processed. Although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) allows a product to be labeled "gluten-free" if it contains less than 20 parts per million of prohibited grains, it is not our intention to confuse customers. To that end, we are reviewing labeling on all "naturally gluten free" products and will take appropriate remedial actions.
The health and safety of our customers is paramount. Should you have any concern about a "gluten-free" item purchased at Walmart, please return it to your local store for a full refund.
If you have any additional questions about the product you have purchased or if we can be of any further assistance, you may contact us by visiting and clicking on the contact us link or by phone @ 1-877-505-2267. For future questions regarding product ingredients, nutritional facts, preparation instructions and more, click the grocery link at
Miranda Wright
Great Value Customer Contact Team
I was very pleased with their response. Especially the fact that they are reviewing the gluten-free labeling and hopefully will clarify the cross-contamination information.
I have eaten several of Walmart's Great Value Brand items and haven't had a problem and now that I have clarification, will probably continue to do so.
Thanks, Walmart!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Review of Gluten-Free Multigrain Puffins Cereal

Another Winter week gone by and very little snow has fallen in Upstate NY. We only have about a 1/2 inch on the ground. Very strange for mid-February! It has been brutally cold, though. Highs only in the 20's most days with bitter wind chills.
I'm very excited about the Winter Olympics starting tonight. I've been watching the "Today" show all week and it's making me wish I was in Vancouver! Well, maybe we will visit sometime when it's a little warmer. The last time I got the bright idea to go to Lake Placid, NY for Valentine's weekend, several years ago, it was 30 degrees below zero when we woke up in the morning! We were afraid our SUV wouldn't start...thankfully it did. Lake Placid is a beautiful place and we had a great time, but I swore I never wanted to be that cold again...EVER!
Now, getting down to my review of New Barbara's Bakery Gluten-Free Multigrain Puffins
I had heard about this cereal from my friend, Kimberly. She had written to Barbara's Bakery to find out if the oats in the Multigrain Puffins were truly gluten-free. You can read Barbara's Bakery's response to Kim here.

When I saw this cereal in our local Hannaford market yesterday, I was really excited to try it! It's sometimes hard to find anything gluten-free that is "whole grain". Most gluten-free foods are made with rice, corn or potato. So, that explains my excitement in finding another multigrain item!
Puffins Multigrain Cereal is Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Low Sodium, Vegetarian, Whole Grain, Fat Free with No Artificial Flavors, Color, or Preservatives. There are also No Hydrogenated Oils, Trans Fat or Cholesterol. It is also Kosher! Along with all of this, it is fortified with Vitamins C, and D and has Calcium and Iron. Wow! Score!
This cereal has 110 Calories, 3g of Fiber and 0g of Fat per 3/4 cup serving. 2 WW points.
This cereal was simply delicious! It's crunchy and sweet and hold up well in milk. I hate cereals that go all squishy when you put the milk on them! LOL! The best part is, I didn't need to put any sugar on this cereal. It is sweet enough right out of the box! In fact, I'm thinking it would be great just by the handful for a snack!
My daughter, Amanda, loved reading all about Puffins on the back of the box. She wants to "Adopt-A-Puffin". I think it's a really cool idea!
I have a feeling that this cereal will be on my grocery list permanently! :)
I hope you all have a great time watching the Olympics and a wonderful Valentine's Day Weekend! XXXXOOOOO!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This & That Plus Two Gluten-Free Food Reviews

With all of the cold weather we've been having in Upstate, NY the last few weeks, I felt I needed a little bit of Spring, so I bought this organic basil plant at the grocery store yesterday. Isn't it pretty? And GREEN! Let's hope I don't forget to water it...I have a habit of killing indoor plants! So first, I have to tell you about my favorite breakfast. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. I add raisins, ground flax seed meal, a little real maple syrup and then top with Almond Butter, fresh blueberries and some Lite Vanilla Silk Soy Milk! Heaven, sheer heaven! I've been trying a lot of the new gluten-free items I bought last week at the market. Some have been good, some not so good. Here's the run down: Glutenfreeda Gluten-Free Vegetarian Bean & Cheese Burrito I'm not a big burrito lover, but when I saw this in the freezer case, I decided to give it a try. It's not too bad calorie and fat wise, only 4 Weight Watcher's points. The bonus is that it can be microwaved for a quick lunch or snack. The burrito had a nice flavor, not too spicy and had lots of yummy beans, rice and corn inside. I had this for lunch and it did keep my tummy happy for quite a while. I would definitely buy this item again. Che'be' Gluten-Free Sandwich Buns I totally had my expectations up for this one. The picture on the box looked so delicious! Not to mention that there are cheese in these buns! The calories and fat are a little high for this one. One "bun" is 6 Weight Watcher's points. Well, right away when I opened the package, I wondered how these little white frozen discs could turn out like the picture on the cover. So, I put one in the oven. I set the timer for 35 minutes, which was way longer than it took to cook my Sunshine Burger. I could have timed it a little better!

What came out of the oven looked NOTHING like the picture on the box. It was a hard, brown, heavy disk of "bread". When I bit into it, it had a rubbery, cheesy middle. I was not impressed at all. I think a Frisbee would be tastier. I was wondering if I did something wrong. Has anyone else tried these? I would love to hear all about it.

I will review some of my other purchases in my next post... Until then, have a great gluten-free week!