Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Enjoy Life's NEW Dark Chocolate Chips and Double Dark Chocolate Cookies - Gluten Free

Have you tried those NEW Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate morsels?  They are heavenly straight out of the bag!  I had to stop myself from snacking on them and make these double dark chocolate cookies for the kids.  Enjoy Life has scored another hit with these dark chocolate morsels!  Super Yum!!

1-2/3 cup of Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate morsels, divided
1 cup Better Batter flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup palm shortening
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 flax egg (3 Tbsp hot water mixed with 1 Tbsp flax meal, let sit for 10 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325˚F
Melt 2/3 cup chocolate chip morsels in a microwave safe bowl. 
 Heat every 30 seconds and stir until the chips are melted.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat shortening, brown sugar, and sugar until creamed.

Add flax egg, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract until well blended.

Stir flour mixture in until blended.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of morsels. 

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes.
Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Broccoli and Rice Casserole - Gluten Free, Dairy Free

This casserole is super easy!  Mix all the ingredients.  Bake and viola! 
If I don't have frozen broccoli on hand, I often steam fresh broccoli and it works fabulous!

2 (10oz) packages frozen chopped broccoli
Cream of mushroom soup, recipe below
2 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8oz) package of Daiya Cheddar Cheese or cheese substitute
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Cook broccoli as directed on package and drain.
  • Mix together broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, rice, onion, cheese, and salt and pepper.  
  • Place in a greased 9"x13" dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Cream of mushroom soup
1-1/2 cups of mushrooms, chopped
6 Tablespoon extra light virgin olive oil
6 Tablespoons sweet rice flour*
1-1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup hemp milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tespoon dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute the mushrooms in the 2 tablespoon of oil.  Set aside. Heat the  6 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add the sweet rice flour.  Stir the flour until it has abosrbed the oil.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth a little at a time, constantly stirring and adding a little more chicken broth until all of it is added.  (*Note that at first the flour absorbs the broth and forms a ball.  However, as you keep adding liquid it will expand and loosen up.)  After all the chicken broth has been added, slowly add the milk.  The mixture will be thick.  Stir in the mushrooms, onion powder, thyme, basil, and salt and pepper.  

Cook's note:  If you are like me.  I sometimes don't stir fast enough as I add the broth.  I wind up with a lumpy soup.  I give mine a whirl on high in my blender for just a few moments and it is smooth; no lumps!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Enjoy Life's Baked Chewy Bar - Product Review

Two years ago in November of 2011, I reviewed Enjoy Life's Chewy Bars.  Back then they had undergone a major overhaul compared to when I first tasted their bars.  Today, almost two years later, they have again improved their bars, with the inclusion of ancient grains.  Let's see how they did during our taste testing....

Cocoa Loco
Cocoa Loco bars still ranked number one in our house.   I found this time (and this was just me - my kids didn't notice) that it was a little gritty.  That wasn't true before, but overall it still tasted good.

Sunbutter Crunch

Sunbutter Crunch bars were the families second favorite.  This really was a great bar!  Great texture and equally great taste.  We all loved this one!

Mixed Berry

The Mixed Berry Chewy Bar , for me was the biggest improvement.  This one really reminded me of a gluten granola bar.  Before, this bar didn't have much taste.  Now, I can actually taste the berries and it tastes like I imagined it would.  The family gave this one a thumbs up!

Caramel Apple

The Caramel Apple Chewy Bars have improved in taste and texture.  It was far better than its predecessor.  However, it still didn't really work for me.  I am not a big apple fan, so that may be part of it.  But in fairness to the product, it had a great texture, not gritty, and it did taste more like apple this time.  Previously none of my kids liked it and now three out of nine liked it.  So that is improvement!

The Verdict:
You can pick up any of these bars and really can't lose.  The taste is great and it is convenient for lunches, hikes, or to toss in your purse.  This bar really competes with their gluten counter part granola bars.  I love the fact that it contains the ancient grains.  We have been trying to include more of them in our regular diet, so I was pleased to see them in this bar.  I am glad to say that Enjoy Life is keeping up in taste and healthiness.  Another round of winning product by Enjoy Life!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I got this recipe from a friend and just had to make it gluten free.  These are awesome pancakes!  You can make substitutions if you can't have dairy, using a dairy free cream cheese and dairy free milk.  I ran out of regular cream cheese and used strawberry cream cheese and they were heavenly!  For those kids that couldn't eat dairy, I just topped them with syrup.


for the Pancakes:
1-1/2 cups of Better Batter Flour 
(be sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup)
2 cups of dairy free buttermilk
(add 2 Tbsp of vinegar to your favorite 2 cups of dairy free milk)
*thin more if you like your batter thinner
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil 

for the Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup coconut oil ( or butter if you can have dairy)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

for the Cream Cheese Glaze
1/2 cup butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla


To make the Cinnamon Filling:
Mix the three ingredients together.  When I stirred my ingredients together, the oil and sugar separated.  Don't work you can just drop it onto the pancake.  If you use butter instead you can place the ingredients in a ziploc bag, snip off a corner, and pipe it onto your pancakes if you want to make beautiful swirls.

To make the Pancakes:
Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry, stirring them together until everything is moistened.

Heat your griddle over medium to low heat. You don't want these too cook too quickly, and you won't want your cinnamon to burn. If you aren't sure, use less heat on your first pancake and adjust from there.

Drop pancake batter on greased griddle and then using a spoon or piping bag add your cinnamon filling.  Create a cinnamon swirl with a fork. Wait until the pancake has lots of bubble before you try to turn it.  The cinnamon filling will melt before you end up turning them.  Plate them when cooked and smother with cream cheese glaze! YUM!!!

To make the Cream Cheese Glaze:
In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter and cream cheese and then stir together. Whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add a little milk to create desired consistency. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wanna Be GF Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

I found this wonderful recipe on Zenbellyblog.com .  I did a little tweaking to fit our allergies and they are awesome!  I made these egg free and subbed out almond four with hazelnut flour because of our allergy to almonds.

1 flax meal egg*
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 T coconut oil, melted  or extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups hazelnut flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg replacer, maple syrup and oil.
  3. Add the tapioca starch and hazlenut flour and stir until well combined
  4. On a piece of parchment paper, place your dough. 
  5. Place another piece of parchment on top and roll out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Remove the top piece of parchment and score the dough into 1/4 inch squares for cereal. 
  7. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the dough with the mixture.
  8. Slide the dough with the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Turn down the oven to 325˚ and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until crisp. **Watch them, they can cook quicker if you rolled them thinner or if they are not rolled evenly.  
  10. Allow to cool, then break apart at the score marks.
  11. Store in an airtight container. 
Cook's Notes:  
To make a flax meal egg, use 1 Tbsp of flax meal added to 3 Tbsp of hot water and let sit 10 minutes before using. 

New Enjoy Life's Decadent Soft Baked Bars - Product Review

Enjoy Life has a new product line of  soft baked bars.  With a company that has so many great products that we enjoy - their cookies, chewy bars, and granola, it was a resounding yes when they asked our family to review this new product.
* For your convenience, I included the ingredients so that you can check your allergies to see if they fit your needs.

Let's get started reviewing our box of goodies!

S'mores Soft Baked Bar:
These bars tasted good but we were hoping to see those white fluffy marshmallows, and chunks of graham cracker.  Honestly, it reminded me more of a chocolate rice bar. 
How good did it rate?  
It was a split in our house.  Out of the six kids, half thought they were awesome, and the other half thought that they were "just good".
Collectively we gave it a" B+".

Cinnamon Bun Soft Baked Bar:
We couldn't wait to dive into these bars.  To our surprise, we were sorely disappointed.  These bars tasted nothing like a cinnamon bun.  We tasted the cinnamon and not a lot else.  
How good did it rate?
It was an unanimous - "Not good!"  
This one failed for us.

Cherry Cobbler Soft Baked Bar:
This bar had lots of cherry taste, but for some reason it still lacked the "umph" for us to say it was a great bar.    It was not spectacular, but not bad either.
How good did it rate?
Two kids out of the six liked it.  I probably wouldn't buy it unless one of my kids asked for it.  
We gave this a "C".

Chocolate Sunbutter Soft Baked Bar:
This bar was a GREAT bar!  We ate this whole box and were looking for more.   
How good did it rate?
We ranked it high on our list.  It was our favorite, hands down.  This one I would definitely buy!
It gets an "A"!

These bars remind me of an energy bar or LaraBars.  They can definitely be a "go to" snack that will fit in your purse and average about 140 calories per bar.  Overall, we really enjoyed the chocolate baked bars the most.  You can buy the Enjoy Life Decadent Bars, Chocolate Sunbutter and the Enjoy Life Decadent Bars, S'mores at Amazon if you can't find them in a store near you. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gluten Free Food Storage Plan for the Year

I have been working on my food storage for years, buying a little a time and buying a few extras when they are on sale.  I came across this wonderful woman's website at Prepared LDS Family.blogspot.com .  I modified her list to fit my gluten free lifestyle.  I snuck in toiletries scattered throughout different months.  I  also included different options for egg replacers so that I always have different egg substitutes I can use on hand, along side real dehydrated eggs for those in the family that can have those.  I also put flours on the list that would enable me to make Cybele Pascal's gf flour mixes if I needed to, even though I buy Better Batter Flour regularly.  And as for water, I try to buy a case of water a month, and two if they are on sale.  

In these times of job loss and crazy health care reforms,  I feel the need to be more diligent about being prepared.  It would be scary to be caught with my pants down and not enough food.  

The list below helps me to take small steps and think about one week at a time.  I hope that it can help you do the same.  And if you don't have the money to do everything that a week lists, then cut it down and just pick up one item.  Something is always better than nothing.  

Also, I like to go to the farm and do my own pick-your-own fruits and vegetables.  This helps me get a year supply of strawberry jam, and can and store vegetables.  It also builds great family memories!  

Remember to keep this post up on your iphone so you can check what you need to buy for storage for the week.  Be sure to make modifications to the list for your needs and what you cook regularly.   

Good luck to you and getting prepared! Just in case lean times come!

Focus: Beverages
Week #1
6 tubes of toothpaste
Week #2
24 oz pkg Penzeys Hot Cocoa Mix (http://www.penzeys.com/)
Week #3
24 oz powdered drink mix or herbal teas
Week #4
4 lbs Dari Free Powdered Milk
Week #5
3 x 64 oz bottle juice
Focus: Breakfast Foods
Week #1
3 boxes gf breakfast cereal
Week #2
5 lbs Mc Cain’s oatmeal 
Week #3
2 lbs gf pancake mix and 32 oz pancake syrup
Week #4
8 oz powdered eggs 
Focus: Tomatoes and Pasta
Week #1
12 x 8 oz tomato sauce and 6 x 6oz can tomato paste
Week #2
6 x 15 oz canned tomatoes and 1 jar salsa
Week #3
4 lbs dry gf pasta and 2 boxes of gf macaroni and cheese
Week #4
1 package walnuts 1 package of pecans 1 package of hazelnuts
Focus: Soup/Tuna/Beans
Week #1
12 cans of beans and 2 packages taco shells
Week #2
12 cans of tuna or salmon
Week #3
10 cans of coconut milk
Week #4
3 cans of prepared soup and 1 jar organic pickle relish
Focus: Condiments/Spices
Week #1
refill spices, 3 oz of dry onions, aluminum foil
Week #2
1 of each gf teriyaki, gf soy sauce, and gf worcestershire sauce
Week #3
2 bottles of vinegar and 1 bottle of hot sauce
Week #4
2 bottles ketchup, 2 bottles mustard, 1 gf BBQ sauce
Focus: Grains
Week #1
10 lbs millet flour and 3 bags of potato starch
Week #2
10 lbs rice and 3 bags of tapioca starch
Week #3
10 lbs brown rice flour and 1 bag of flax meal
Week #4
2 cooking spray, 2 toothbrushes and 2 dental flosses
Focus: Summer Foods
Week #1
2 boxes of gf crackers, 2 bags of chips
Week #2
1 box of gelatin and 2 deoderants
Week #3
12 food bars, 1 box/bag popcorn 
Week #4
2 lbs of honey and 2 lbs of agave syrup
Week #5
4 oz lemon juice, 4 oz lime juice, 1 box of egg replacer
Focus: Fruits and Vegetables
Week #1
12 cans/jar fruit 
Week #2
12 cans/jar vegetables
Week #3
8 oz dehydrated fruit and 16 oz of dried raisins
Week #4
6 cans of chilies and 6 can of mushrooms
Focus: Meat and Potatoes
Week #1
6 x 12 oz cans of canned turkey or chicken
Week #2
6 cans of canned meat
Week #3
12 pack of soap
Week #4
4 lbs of potato flakes, slices, etc
Week #5
2 x 24 oz spaghetti sauce
Focus: Oil and Fats
Week #1
6 lbs beef/corned beef/ or jerky
Week #2
24 oz vegetable/olive oil etc, and 1 lb of shortening
Week #3
1 x 28 oz peanut butter/ almond butter/sunflower butter
Week #4
12 oz Enjoy Life chocolate chips and 4 oz baking cocoa
Focus : Holiday Baking
Week #1
1 x 15 oz can pumpkin and 2 x 14oz cans gf broth
Week #2
2 lbs brown sugar, 1 lb powdered sugar and 10 lbs white sugar
Week #3
1 set of vitamins you take and 2 gf pizza crust mixes
Week #4
15 lbs gf flour mix( Better Batter) or other gf flour - sorghum, 
Focus : Baking Basics
Week #1
2 bottles gf vanilla extract, and 4 oz instant yeast, 
Week #2
1 gf brownie mix, 1 cake mix, 1 gf cornbread mix
Week #3
15 lbs gf bisquick mix and 6.5 oz salt
Week #4
5 oz baking powder, 4 oz baking soda and 4 oz cornstarch/arrowroot

Monday, May 6, 2013

GF Sesame Noodles

I found this awesome recipe from The Pioneer Woman and wanted to make it immediately!  With only 7 minutes for my noodles to cook and mixing up the sauce while they cooked.... I made this dish in under 15 minutes!    I love quick dinners and this one was fast and delicious!  If I didn't have to wait for the water to boil it would have been done in 7.  This recipe was easy to tweak and make gluten free!  And I couldn't resist adding some left of chicken that I had made myself earlier this week!  YUM!

1 (12 oz) package of gluten free noodles of choice ( I used King Soba Sweet Potato Buckwheat Noodles )
1/4 cup of tamari soy sauce, wheat free
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp organic toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chili oil
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 whole green onions, sliced

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Save 2 Tbsp of the hot pasta water.
In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, and olive oil.  You will whisk in the 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water right before pouring onto your noodles.
Drain your noodles and rinse with cold water.
Place noodles in a bowl and toss with your sauce until well coated.
Sprinkle with green onions and eat!