Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Product Review of Perfect Bar; The Joys of Being a Grandma!

Summer is fleeting away and I have been busy with family reunions, trips, and family events.  It is amazing how time flies in the summer and it always does.

Last spring, my husband presented a seminar for some employees, and the owner of the company and his wife were truly kind and giving.  She took note that I had to eat gluten-free food, and provided me with a box of Perfect Bar gluten-free snack bars in place of the granola bars they served to the others for a snack.  So thoughtful!

(Photo Source:  www.perfectbar.com)

These Perfect Bars were pretty tasty.  I am rating them at 7 out of 10 because the texture was thick and pasty.  These bars are more like a cereal bar than a light granola bar, and that may be the reason the texture is heavy.

Isn't it wonderful that there are now several gluten-free granola bars on the market?  Great Value Granola Bars are delicious, along with several Nature Valley Granola Bars, like Peanut Almond & Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Nut, and Coconut Almond.

I can't close this post without stating how joyful it is to be a Grandma!  We have one granddaughter who is four years old and has brought so much happiness to our family, and now we have another granddaughter who is three days old!  Isn't she darling?  I feel that family can bring the greatest joy we can experience in this life.

"Bernadine Healy, in a commencement address, gave this counsel: “As a physician, who has been deeply privileged to share the most profound moments of people’s lives including their final moments, let me tell you a secret. People facing death don’t think about what degrees they have earned, what positions they have held, or how much wealth they have accumulated. At the end, what really matters is who you loved and who loved you. That circle of love is everything, and is a great measure of a past life. It is the gift of greatest worth.” 11

"Near the end of his life, one father looked back on how he had spent his time on earth. An acclaimed, respected author of numerous scholarly works, he said, “I wish I had written one less book and taken my children fishing more often.”

"Time passes quickly. Many parents say that it seems like yesterday that their children were born. Now those children are grown, perhaps with children of their own. “Where did the years go?” they ask. We cannot call back time that is past, we cannot stop time that now is, and we cannot experience the future in our present state. Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Product Review of Mom's Place Gluten-Free Corndog Mix

I know hot dogs aren't the most nutritious food in the world, but every once in a long while it is fun to have one.  I always spend the extra money and get all-beef hot dogs.  They are worth the money.  My daughter and son love corn dogs, so it was fun to find this mix.  We loved the taste and I am rating the mix at 9.5.

Preparing these corn dogs was difficult for me, however.  I couldn't get the batter consistency correct.  It wouldn't stick to the hot dogs properly, and I had to press it around the hot dog.  Then I tried adding more water with the hope that it would work better, but it didn't help and made it worse since it wouldn't adhere at all.  It was worth the struggle though, and even though the corn dogs aren't as pretty as the gluten kind, we didn't care. :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Product Review of Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix...and My Cinnamon Roll Recipe

It was fun to try a gluten-free cinnamon roll mix.  My daughter made these and did a great job. Maybe it was so much fun because she made the rolls and I didn't have to do it. :) The rolls are tiny (about 3 inches in diameter) and the texture is quite dense, but they have good flavor.  I am rating them at 7. We added a glaze and it improved the flavor greatly (to 8.5).

Click on the link to a blog post from one of the authors of  the "Our Best Bites" cookbook, who tried out my cinnamon roll recipe and posted it on their blog back in 2011.  We love this recipe and hope you will enjoy it as well (enough to buy my cookbook). :)


Also, go to this link to check out my ebook:


Friday, April 24, 2015

Comparison of Gluten-Free Pizza

Pizza!  Our family loves pizza!  I enjoy and frequently make my pizza recipe in my cookbook. However, I am happy that there are several brands of gluten-free pizza in my grocery store now and at Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Restaurant, which comes in handy if I am going out of town and need a quick meal for our kids.  It doesn't come without a price, though.  The average price for these pizzas was around $8-10, and the pizzas are quite small.

Here are the pizzas we tried:

Chef Anthony Russo's:  Rating 6.5

Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Gluten-Free Pizza:  Rating 8.5

Amy's:  Rating 7

Udi's:  Rating 7

Freschetta:  Rating 9.5

In our opinion, Freschetta is the winner for sure!  It has a great flavor, though the crust is slightly chewy.  In addition, I need to clarify that I am pretty sure this pizza compares very well with a Little Caesar's pizza, but not with my distant memory of what Pizza Hut pizza tastes like.  For a gluten-free pizza, it is quite tasty.  My daughter (who can eat gluten) commented that it tasted as good as a gluten pizza.  As you may guess, I am still partial to my homemade pizza recipe, found in my cookbook on page 164 and in my blog post of 9-24-14. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Product Review of Glutenfreeda Gluten Free Pizza Wraps; Recipe for Pizza Tortillas

These little pizza wrap is high in price and not worth the money.  I am rating it at 6.  The flavor wasn't great.

I love the convenience of the ever-increasing variety of products in the freezer of many grocery stores that are gluten free. However, I think I will stick with Tortilla Pizza made at home.  These are quick and easy to make, and our kids love them! :)  See the recipe below, which is from page 162 in my cookbook, along with some other great tortilla wraps.

I hope you enjoy it!


Top a corn tortilla with spaghetti sauce, pepperoni or bacon pieces, cheese, and other desired toppings. Put another tortilla on top and fry in small amount of olive oil on both sides until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Cut into pie-shaped pieces and serve warm.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Product Review of Mission Gluten-Free Tortillas

"This quesadilla is the best thing ever! It's something I could walk around in public with...and not be ashamed." :) 

These are the words of our college-age son about a quesadilla he made with Mission Gluten-Free Tortillas.  We were giddy when we tasted these since they look so much like flour tortillas made with gluten.  These tortillas may not be as flavorful as corn tortillas for some recipes, like Quick Chicken Tortillas in my cookbook, but they are great with cheese melted in them.  The texture is good, though slightly gummy (consequently you may want to separate these with paper towels when microwaving since ours stuck together when we microwaved three of them at a time).  The flavor is great, but there is a slight aftertaste. 

I am rating them at 8.5 out of 10.  It is fun to have these tortillas as another option for occasional snacks, even though these tortillas aren't a powerhouse when it comes to nutrients.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

My daughter took this photo of the beautiful rose that my husband so kindly gave me for Valentine's Day.  Yesterday, I stopped my busy time of dinner preparation to smell the rose.

I jokingly said to my daughter, "OK...I stopped to smell the roses.  I can check that off my list of things to do."  We laughed, yet we thought about how it is important to take time for the joyful things of life, even though we are working hard to accomplish the things on our list.

So, maybe having yummy peanut butter bars to snack on for a few days isn't a major thing to do to bring joy in my life, but sometimes simple things like that can add up to a happier day.  :)

Here is a recipe we adapted from the Six Sisters' Stuff cookbook (they had graham crackers in their recipe).  The Kix* cereal substitution worked very well in place of the graham crackers and added a flavor that made it taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Bar.  Delicious!

Gluten-Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups crushed Kix cereal
1 cup, plus 4 tablespoons peanut butter, divided
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Step 1:  Place Kix cereal in a re-closable bag (Ziploc-type) and crush it with a rolling pin.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter, Kix cereal (be sure to measure after crushing it), powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended.  Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch pan.

Step 3:  In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the remaining peanut butter at 50 percent power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.  Spread over peanut butter layer.

Step 4:  Refrigerate at least one hour before cutting into squares.  Makes 15 thin bars.

*Kix cereal doesn't have a gluten-free label on the box, but the ingredient list makes it appear to be gluten free.  We are quite sensitive to gluten and Kix cereal doesn't make us sick, but use it at your own risk.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review of Annie Chun's Pad Thai Noodles; Recipe for Pad Thai

In my cookbook, I have a recipe for Pad Thai that I really enjoy.  However, the Tinkyada noodles I have used for the recipe haven't been quite the same as the noodles I have eaten as I have ordered Pad Thai at the Thai restaurant we have nearby. The Tinkyada noodles taste good, but have been a little too thick for this recipe.  I was excited to find Annie Chun's Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles on the shelf in our grocery store.  They are just your basic noodle, yet I like the thin cut.  I am rating them at 10 out of 10, since there is nothing wrong with them...though they aren't a powerhouse of flavor since they are just plain noodles. :)

Here is the recipe from my cookbook for Pad Thai:


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pkg. Tinkyada® Fettuccine Noodles or Annie Chun's Pad Thai Noodles
2 tablespoons fish sauce
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon sesame or peanut oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon lime or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 cup cooked shrimp
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves

1. Slice chicken into cubes while slightly frozen. Fry in cooking oil.

2. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Combine fish sauce, brown sugar, sesame or peanut oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

3. Remove chicken from frying pan when fully cooked.

4. Beat eggs and scramble eggs in frying pan. Add garlic and shrimp and sauté for several minutes.

5. Add bean sprouts, cooked noodles, chicken, and sauce mixture. Before serving, stir in peanuts and cilantro.

...and here is a link to buy my cookbook on amazon...so you can find lots of other tasty recipes. :)


Friday, January 16, 2015

Review of Sticky Fingers Bakeries Gluten-Free Scones

While my sister was visiting with us over the holidays, she brought this mix for us to try out.  It sounded so inviting to actually have scones that I must admit I was quite disappointed to realize that they are more like a biscuit.  The instructions state to "drop batter by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheet."  The taste was quite good, though the texture was quite heavy and dense.  I am rating them at 7 out of 10.