Monday, August 29, 2011

Kind Bars

I am always trying new snack bars. I go through phases where I think I found my snack bar "soul mate" and that I will never eat another brand, but then I cheat...right now, I am having a serious love affair with Kind Bars. Why? Because Kind Bars treat me so well. I have tried a variety of kind bars and right now, these are the ones I am really digging...
Do you guys like Kind Bars? If so, which is your favorite one?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

INTERVIEW & BOOK REVIEW! The Food Allery Cookbook: A Guide to Living with Allergies and Entertaining with Healthy, Delicious Meals- By Carmel Nelson and Amra Ibrisimovic

I must be honest, I was pretty concerned when this book reached my hands...

It is challenging enough at times to make delicious foods that are free of gluten and this cookbook takes it to the next level; it eliminates all allergens.  However, Amra and Carmel have found the perfect harmony of flavors without needing to sacrifice our health.

My favorite dishes in The Food Allergy Cookbook are:  Roasted potatoes, Risotto, Barbecue Chicken Legs, Barbecued Sloppy Joes( I used Udi's Buns and ground turkey as a substitution) and the chocolate mousse.  I am dying to make the Coconut Creme Brulee and the Forgotten Cookies.

I love how  Carmel and Amara write about kitchen tips (something I have written about), traveling, and I also really like the holiday menus.

If you have Celiacs or multiple food allergies, I highly recommend this book.

Also, I am really excited to share with you  my interview with the authors, Carmel Nelson & Amra Ibrisimovic!

Amra, did you find it difficult to make Bosnian food allergy free? What Bosnian dish was the most difficult to replicate?

  It is very hard to make Bosnian food allergy free, because most of the dishes are made with fillo dough type of pastry. That is hard to replicate with gluten free flour mixes.

Carmel, since you discovered your plethora of food allergies later on in life, what childhood food do you miss the most? Have you been able to replace that in an allergy friendly way?

I’ve always had a sweet tooth and I miss the decadent desserts from restaurants. Now I just try to make them to suit my allergies. They may not be as fancy, but my sweet tooth is still happy.

• What are your favorite dishes in the cookbook?

Carmel:I eat a lot of salmon as it’s readily available in Alaska in the summer. I can go to a local creek and haul it in, make a fire, and cook it right there creek-side! I also eat a lot of fresh fruit, salads, and an occasional burger. I love trying new meats, particularly local game, like moose, caribou, bear, or reindeer (all part of living in Alaska). What I often do is cook the meats in typical American fashion but with the allergy-free spin, e.g. roasted moose stew.

• Which dishes took the longest to perfect?

By far, the dish that took me the longest to perfect was the cinnamon rolls. I’m a huge fan of cinnamon rolls and I was converting the recipe from a yeast based wheat recipe to a quick bread gluten free recipe. I had tons of failures on that! It took about 6 months to perfect the cinnamon rolls, but I wanted to ensure they were ooey-gooey and cinnamony good!

I found your “Traveling with Food Allergies” chapter to be most helpful; do you have any travel horror stories to share with my blog reader to help them prevent any glutening mishaps while they travel?

For me, the biggest issue with traveling has been the accidental exposure to dairy, which causes me the most sickness. Gluten is usually easier to identify, but dairy tends to be more hidden in foods, particularly in airport restaurants using pre-packaged foods and staff not knowing the ingredients. Getting sick on an airplane at 10,000 feet on a 6 hour flight is no fun!

I had such a great time reading your cookbook and cooking from it. The way that the menus were spaced was very helpful. Was it difficult to select what went into the cookbook? How many recipes did you have to pick from?

We were actually creating recipes up until publication date (and have continued to do so, working on book number 2 right now). I have no idea how many recipes total we had to pick from as we tossed some away since they contained some allergens like nuts (which both of us can eat).

Thank you both for the opportunity to interview you and your book is really helpful and insightful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pop Chips

I am always on the hunt for great office snacks or additions to my packed lunch (see this past post if you need help). I am becoming a big fan of POP Chips. They are a snack that are rather low in calories, full of flavor and they usually satisfy me until I make it home. I have found that out of the varieties that I have tried, the BBQ is my favorite.

Which is your favorite POP Chip favorite?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bolthouse Farms Hazelnut Latte

I appologize for the sideways photo, I was too busy gulping this fabulous drink to really focus on my photgraphy skills. However, I suggest that you try this delectible coffee. I downed it in the car one morning and I was bummed that I didnt purchase two. I love hazelnut flavor anything so I was pretty sure this would be love at first sip before I even tried this. I was right. I am stoked to try other flavors by Bolthouse Farms and share them with you soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Treehouse Bakery

At the GFXCon I had the opportunity to meet Corianne Sizemore and her staff from Treehouse Bakery. I took home the samples of the adorable mini-cupcakes (one of my ultimate indulgences!) and I could not wait to try it. 

Seriously, look at this packaging.
I asked specifically about how they prevent cross contamination and they prepare the gluten free items first and in a separate area in order to avoid getting us cross contaminated.

The cupcakes were so adorable I almost didn't want to dig in and ruin the cute factor...I said almost...

Here is the scoop:

Chocolate Cupcake: My favorite cupcake! It was rich,moist and sinful! I honestly wish that I had about a million more of these in my house waiting for me to indulge in. SO DELICIOUS!

Mesquite Mocha Cupcake: I love Mocha flavored anything, so naturally, I adored this flavor. It was the culmination of flavors was perfect!

Vanilla Cupcake- This was delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Strawberry Cupcake- I liked this one a lot and it had a great strawberry after taste.

All the cupcakes are vegan. The ones I are are obviously GF, I would eat every single one over again! They were that good. I totally recommend the Treehouse Bakery and I hope that you like them as much as I did.

Monday, August 15, 2011

GFXCON: Thoughts, praise and a big Thank You to Kristin Carey!

I am so happy I was able to attend the  the first ever GFXCON! Didn't attend? Don't worry! I have it on good authority that there will be more! There was so much to do at this Gluten Free Convention that there was never a dull moment. There was not only the Expo, there was also Conferences, Cooking Demonstrations, and a dinner to close out the night. I missed some of these events due to scheduling conflicts but in the future I know that I will not want to miss out on the fun!

Who is the mastermind behind the GFXCon? Kristin Carey. Why does her name sound familiar? I have mentioned her prior; she is the owner of Nourish. She is incredible. She keeps bringing fourth new ways for the GF/Dairy free/Soy free/Vegan/Vegetarian/Allergen free communities together in exciting ways. This Conference was the perfect blend of food,education, and fun. I want to thank Kirstin Carey for creating such an all encompassing  Conference.

That said, I am a big supporter of all the GF conferences, I think we (Celiacs), should go to every conference  available to us. The more of us that show up and give the GF lifestyle a face; the more conferences that will appear in your area. This is better for us as consumers. Keep that in mind...

Back to the GFXCON:

This is what the GFXCon looks like when you enter. There were a lot of Vendors and they were all very informative. There was not one that was unfriendly. It was great to see familiar faces like Julia from Julia's Bakery!

I sampled a ton of delicious foods, drinks and tried a lot of new beauty products. Most of the tables looked like this:

This is the Udi's table. I have spoken about my love of Udi's many, many, many times on the blog. A lot of the tables were set up like the Udi's table. Had I not been chatting so much with the awesome vendors, I would have taken more pictures. I am sorry, I was having such a great time and learning so much that I neglected to take photos.

 At the bottom of the post, please check out some of the links I have included for you to look at.  Additionally, I will be posting a lot of new great reviews of products from companies that I wouldn't have otherwise known about, had I not gone to the Expo.

I also met some amazing bloggers! One that I have followed for years and one that I now am excited to read! Please check out these two awesome blogs:

Stephanie- I read her all the time when she was SkinnyJeans! She was so kind and I was very excited to meet her. I love it when readers come up to me and she was very personable. Please check out her latest blog.

Ken-Ken was so nice and he is GF. He is your go to guy for sustainable living the GF way!

While I was at the GFXCon, I happened to catch three speakers. I saw Dan Maakastad, Sous Chef from Nourish, Kirstin Carey, Owner of Nourish and Dr. Kyle Collins from Upper Cervical. Each speaker brought something very interesting and unique to the table. Dan talked about Grain Free cooking, Kristin talked about how to travel without having to worry about getting sick and Dr. Collins spoke about Eliminating toxins.

The Expo made me very hungry! So before I made my journey home, I ventured to Nourish and ordered a meal to go. 
Teriyaki Wild Rice Bowl with ground beef added. Delish! Also, I love the blackboard quote they have displayed.
I had a marvelous time. I cannot THANK everyone that made this event possible enough. I cannot wait for the next one. I was in the best mood all day because of it. I loved the GFXCon!
Every vendor there was great, please check out these websites because I think that they are amazing:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughts on GF in the workplace

My Lunch for work
I have ditched the busy life of a Stay At Home/Freelance Writer Mom. Yes,by the way, that a pretty taxing existence.  I decided to rejoin my old comfort zone of the daily 8 to 5 and since this is my first time being gluten free in the work force; I was pretty nervous about it. It seemed silly,but I was. I have now been working for a little while and I have seemed to manage pretty well. I will let you all know how things progress in my new gluten free working environment as they go. But here is what I have done to keep from getting glutened at work.
  • I pack my desk full of snacks to ward off hunger. Right now, I have gf protein bars and baby carrots...and chocolate. Let's not discuss the chocolate.
  • I pack my lunch daily. It not only saves money, but my lunch is made at home in my kitchen that I can guarantee is pretty free of cross contamination. I know what is in my food.
  • I researched the local restaurants in the area for my gf options in case I do want to splurge one day and eat out. I know where my nearest gf pizza is, where the closest Sprouts is, etc. This is important to make myself feel "normal". I may not want to eat the same types of foods everyday. After all, variety is the spice of life and being gf shouldn't make me want to be different from anyone else.
  • If I drop food on a surface at work, it goes in the trash. I mean, this should just be common sense but sometimes I think we forget. Crumbs are everywhere and so if I drop something somewhere, I trash it.
  • I don't share food. I get offered food all the time at work, usually it isnt gf so I decline. I dont accept food that is gf but already opened. I never know if it has already been crossed-contaminated. The only time I will accept is if it is just opened and I can make sure that I wont get glutened.
Those are the tips that I have so far. What are your gluten-free tips for the work place?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Don't Forget! GF EXPO THIS WEEKEND!!!!

Gluten Free eXpo & Conference (and Party)!

Here are the details:

Gluten Free eXpo & Conference (and Party!)

WHEN: Saturday, August 13th, 10am – 10pm!

WHERE: Optima Camelview Village Event Room & Nourish restaurant. Corner of Scottsdale Road and Highland Ave, North of Fashion Square. (see map at bottom of page) 7147 E Highland Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

WHY: This one-day-only event will impact your gluten-free, healthy-living life more than any other event you’ve ever attended.

HOW: There are several events you can attend. Attend one or attend them all! It’s your choice!

Space is selling out! Go to the website to sign up!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This photo is from our anniversary, and yes, I am happy. We bought these gf mood stabilizing drinks. They are called "I am Happy". I don't remember anything about the company but the drink tasted like grape and we were happy...Happy to be together, happy it was our anniversary and happy to be alive. Was it the drink? You decide! It is gf! Bonus!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gluten Free eXpo & Conference (and Party!)

I went to dinner with Steve at Nourish recently for  another delicious meal. Pictured above is my Turkey sandwich with fresh mozzarella cheese added and sweet potato fries. DELISH! Anyway, I saw Kristen, the owner and we discussed an event that I had known about for a little while and I wanted to share with you...

Gluten Free eXpo & Conference (and Party)!

The greater Phoenix area now has two Expos to learn more and Celiacs and the gluten free lifestyle and I cannot be more thrilled. I am so excited to attend this event! 
Here are the details:

Gluten Free eXpo & Conference (and Party!)

WHEN: Saturday, August 13th, 10am – 10pm!

WHERE: Optima Camelview Village Event Room & Nourish restaurant. Corner of Scottsdale Road and Highland Ave, North of Fashion Square. (see map at bottom of page) 7147 E Highland Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

WHY: This one-day-only event will impact your gluten-free, healthy-living life more than any other event you’ve ever attended.

HOW: There are several events you can attend. Attend one or attend them all! It’s your choice!

Space is selling out! Go to the website to sign up!