Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm A Celiac's Magic Five Layer Bars!

Pam Jordan of I'm a Celiac is a super busy working, running, gluten free blogging and speaking mom of three who's niche is delicious, fast family meals. She's written yet another ebook just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, called Easy Gluten Free Holiday Recipes.

You'll find great tips for not getting "glutened" while eating out. The recipes are quick and easy and everything sounds delicious.

Appetizers, main dishes, sides and desserts are all laid out for you and there's a list of resources in the back. Easy Peasy.

The recipe that jumped out at me was the Five Layer Magic Bars. I used to love the similar bars my grandmother used to make. For some reason I've never tried to make them gluten free. Pam's genius idea is using gluten free gingersnaps instead of graham crackers. 

Even with the quick crushing and chopping of nuts these came together in about ten minutes. They are decadent and awesome.

The photo shows them after cooling about an hour, still warm and a little gooey and oh so yummy. After another hour they were cool enough to hold together into beautiful, perfect squares.

A batch will definitely make it to the Thanksgiving dessert table this year. 

Pam is kind enough to share her recipe from Easy Gluten Free Holiday Recipes here!

Pam's Five Layer Magic Bars

2 cups of GF ginger snaps
1/2 cup of butter, melted
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 casserole dish. Place the GF ginger snaps in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour the crushed ginger snaps into a bowl and combine with the melted butter. Firmly press into the casserole dish for the first layer. The second layer is condensed milk over the ginger snap layer. Theird comes the nuts, fourth the chocolate chips and the fifth layer is the coconut flakes. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Check out Pam's site and book and follow her on Facebook, too.

Don't forget to enter to win two great products from gfJules HERE.


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway!



I am so excited to take part in The Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway! Jules Shepard has done so much for the celiac and gluten-free community. She's authored books and co-founded 1in133.org to advocate for issues like gluten-free labeling. In 2007 Jules founded her original company as a single mom and sold great gluten-free mixes.

Shirley at Gluten Free Easily first introduced me to Jules' products a couple of years ago. Her products and ebooks were all great. Unfortunately, there was an ugly separation from her partners who still operate under her original name. 

Jules is now starting from scratch with her new hubby. To help get the word out and make sure you know about gfJules.com, Jules is doing a great giveaway for you!


Jules was kind enough to send me a package of her cornbread and cookie mixes to try. The cornbread choice was a purely selfish one. I love it but my guys have never been crazy about it. Well, everyone here absolutely loved it. The texture is light and the flavor is amazing. I had some for breakfast with butter and honey from our bees and it was just as good as it was the night before. I've already ordered a "Value Box" tonight if that tell you anything.


The cookies are wonderful, you can bake them soft and chewy as I prefer or give them a couple of extra minutes for a thin, crispy cookie that my hubby loves. Sometimes gluten free cookies have a grainy texture and taste like rice. Not these, the flavor is well rounded and the texture is perfect. 

Would you like to try these two products? Of course you would! 

So leave a comment below. For additional entries, please go and "like" gfJules on all of her social media:

Instagram and/or sign up for her 

Let me know is a separate comment that you have connected with each.

On December 1st the winner will be announced!

So please spread the word and stay connected with Jules at:

 


Monday, November 10, 2014

GFJules - Gluten Free Thanksgiving with Jules EBook!

I'm so excited to share this amazing Thanksgiving ebook with you! 

Gluten Free expert Jules Shepard is sharing her newly updated 60 page ebook with us absolutely free if you download it before November 13th.

I've already downloaded my copy and love it. I think you will, too. 

Are you a guest at someone else's home this Thanksgiving? Jules has loads of tips. Are you hosting? Again, Jules has you covered.

There are delicious looking photos and recipes for the entire Thanksgiving spread and Jules has added a planning checklist to keep you on track. Even substitutions for other allergies are included. And so much more.

The link to the eBook page is www.gfjules.com/shop/gluten-free-thanksgiving-ebook/

Your code is: gfjules54601c422cb45

After you put the eBook into your cart on the gfJules site, you can just copy this code from this page and paste it into the box next to the orange "Apply Coupon" button in the gfJules cart. (You can also paste it into the 3rd box at the top of the Checkout page). They hit "Apply Coupon" and the $12.95 price will be deducted instantly, making the book available for immediate download. You'll see Download File: Gluten Free Thanksgiving EBook in red. Click it and start reading!

Hurry because this free offer expires on November 13th!

I'm looking forward to receiving two of Jules' yummy products soon and can't wait to tell you all about them.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

b.good - healthy, local, delicious and gluten free


b.good is a restaurant we fell in love with on a recent trip to Portland and Wiscasset Maine. We visited the Portland store at least three times in our five days in Maine. The other two days we were in Wiscasset.

The Portland, Maine store employees were friendly and helpful in keeping our food gluten free and so delicious. The six of us tried just about every gluten free item on the menu from burgers to salads to kale and quinoa bowls. Everyone absolutely loved everything. Especially awesome are the kids meals. We loved it so much it just didn't seem worth the bother to look up other safe restaurants.

The photo on the right is our last visit up in Maine. Loved the brick and the photos of the local farmers.

So the wait for the Raleigh store seemed ever so long. But open it did last week!

Chris, Joe and I went on Friday for lunch. This was their second day open and the line started clear across the restaurant. We obviously were not the only people anxiously waiting for them to open. The line moved quickly and the young man taking our order was friendly and capable. He quickly told us the couple of items we couldn't have and assured us the rest were safe.

The look of the Raleigh store is fresh and new and the farmer photos are local to our area. I was happy to later hear that JMF Photography took their photos.

We ordered and found a spot at the counter in front of the window to sit.  While I all but stopped drinking sodas years ago, at b.good I indulge with their outstanding Maine Roots soda. My family loves lots of their flavors but I always get the root beer. It's just like what we had growing up ages ago - creamy and perfect.

The guys' burgers and my chicken sandwich were perfect. The toppings are fresh and local, as are the burgers and chicken breasts. The veggie patties are house made and vegan (but not gluten free).

But the fries are amazing. If you're gluten free you know what a big deal safe gluten free fries are but at b.good you can get sweet potato or regular fries. Both are absolutely awesome.

The next day Marc, Marie, Aiden and I ran in for lunch. We arrived just before the doors opened and by the time they did open there was another family waiting with us. Several others filled tables before long.

The crowd Friday at lunch was definitely a work crowd and the Saturday lunch crowd was mostly young families. Steve Woodward, the owner said he was pleased with the lunch turnout but also pleasantly surprised by the dinner crowds, many of whom live in the apartments above the restaurant. How convenient would it be to just pick up dinner and take it right upstairs?? It seems a perfect location for everyone.

Marc and Marie ordered burgers and I ordered the spicy avocado lime kale and quinoa bowl.  It was my first b.good bowl and I ordered it as a healthy and maybe lighter choice. It was such a great combination of fresh veggies with a very spicy and flavorful sauce that I have a new favorite. So fresh and satisfying.

One thing I really love about b.good is their kids meals. Our sweet Aiden loves to eat and Marie and Marc feed him real, whole foods. The kids meals at b.good live up to their requirements and Aiden loves them.

Saturday he enjoyed a bunless turkey burger (freshly grilled and juicy) and a side of veggies. He loved the tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots and kale.



Aiden - so happy and busy with his kid's meal.

It's so nice to be able to walk into a restaurant and know that we can all enjoy healthy, local and delicious food without a worry about gluten. I can't recommend b.good highly enough.

Happily shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten Free Easily!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies


For the last year I have been making Elana Amsterdam's brownie recipe. It is so perfect in taste and texture and since calls for an entire jar of almond butter it's got a good protein to carbohydrate balance for us. Everyone who tries it likes it, it is simple and fast to make so I haven't tried another in all that time. I usually cut the honey a bit and the end result is still sweet and delicious. They also tend to stay moist and pack well without getting crumbly, unlike some I've made with gluten free flours.

Elana's Pantry is such a great resource and while I have given many of my cookbooks away, I hold on two of Elana's. They are carefully written and everything I have tried has turned out perfectly.

Yesterday I used peanut butter and upped the cocoa for a little change. While the almond butter gives a mild flavor in the original recipe, the same amount of peanut butter really jumps out. The extra bit of cocoa seemed to balance it nicely. I like to sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top to dress them up a bit instead of mixing them in the batter.

Because almonds are a high salicylate food making Elana's recipe with almond butter is Feingold stage 2, this peanut butter variation makes them a Feingold stage 1, gluten free, casein free treat.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

16 ounces     Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
1 1/4 Cups.   Honey (yes, 1 and 1/4 Cups)
3/4 cup        Cocoa
2 large.         Eggs
1 teaspoon   Vanilla
1 teaspoon    Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or Sea Salt
1/2 cup         Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Mix everything together except the chocolate chips. I use my KitchenAid and it takes just moments. Spread into an un-greased 9 x 13 baking pan and bake. In my oven it usually takes 35 to 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

This recipe happily shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten Free Easily.

Feingold information can be found HERE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Primal Food & Spirits

The Raleigh Gluten and Allergen Free Expo kicked off with an amazing blogger/vendor dinner the night before the expo at Primal Food & Spirits in Durham. Primal welcomed the very large group in their private room and overflow in the dining area.

Chris and I were fortunate enough to attend the dinner. The ample private dining room was nearly full by the time we arrived so we sat in the dining area with Nikki Everett's awesome family and with vendor Stephanie of SAF Organics and her husband Ken of JMF Photography.  (Nikki is the amazing woman who coordinates the GFAF events all over - check the expo site to see when one will be near you).

I could say so much about Primal but I think that photo of the bucket of bread says it all! When was the last time you had delicious gluten free bread at a restaurant? Sometimes its the little things that mean the most and make you feel welcome.

We all ordered off the menu which could not have been easy for such a large group but our server made it look simple. Chris and I shared Crab Cakes with citrus cabbage slaw and orange aioli. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I've had crab cakes since it had been a long while before I had to go gluten free.  Every bite was perfection. If I could order only one thing at Primal from now on, this would keep me happy.



Chris' fish was melt in your mouth good. Fish isn't my forte and although I grill, saute and bake it a couple of times a week I can never get it to this level of perfection.

The veggies were crisp and flavorful and the almonds were a perfect bit of crunch and flavor.

I had the veggie lasagna which was a really delicious layered dish of veggies and cheese. No pasta to get in the way of the fresh flavors.

After dinner Chris ordered a pot of French press coffee and we each picked a dessert. At this point we were both very content and probably should have skipped or, at the very
least, shared a dessert. The dessert
options were just too tempting.

Chris had the berry tart and it was sweet and creamy with a crispy crust and piles of beautiful berries. I chose the flour-less chocolate torte.

I have a beloved old recipe for a flour-less chocolate torte that I have been making for decades and it's the recipe I gauge others by. If you had me do a blindfolded taste test between the two, I don't think I could have told the difference.

It was dense and oh so chocolaty without being cloyingly sweet. Just exactly the way I love it.

So we finished our meal completely stuffed to the brim and happy. Our dinner companions were charming and interesting and we can't wait to go back to Primal Food and Spirits.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feta & Kalmata Cheese Spread




This Feta Kalmata Cheese Spread is so simple and delicious.

It's great on crackers, melts into warm crispy bread, tops a salad, makes an instant creamy sauce on hot veggies, can be mixed into mashed red potatoes and more.

The briny soft cheese, salty olives and seasoning adds layers of flavors and makes just about anything taste amazing.

Because it's so simple your ingredients matter. Use your favorite Feta, most flavorful olives and best olive oil.

Feta Kalmata Cheese Spread

14 ounces Feta in Brine
6 to 8 Kalmata Olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Oil Oil
1 teaspoon Organic Oregano, dried
Dash Organic Garlic Powder
Dash Black Pepper

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mashed. Use right away, but the flavor improves as it mellows.

Tonight I'll be spreading it over some delicious focaccia.

Next time I make it I will likely add sun-dried tomatoes and some chopped artichoke hearts. I think that spreading that combination over a partially baked pizza crust would be awesome.

Don't forget to enter to win a pair of tickets to the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh on August 9th! Comment on this post to enter.

Enjoy!

Happily shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten Free Easily!