Thursday, May 20, 2010
Hope everyone can make it out; I'm excited to see what they have in store for us!
Go here for more information.
Friday, April 30, 2010
So here's all the winners:
Michelle and Lauren
And yes, I said there would be 5 winners, but only 4 people entered! So I guess the last winner is...me!! Hooray! :)
To all the winners: Please email me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org or if on Twitter, please send it to me in a DM! I hope you all enjoy your free gluten free waffles/pancakes/french toast sticks! I know I will. :)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
May is Autism Awareness month at Sprouts and in honor of that, they are offering 25% off all gluten free products starting April 28th and continuing until June 2nd!!!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Well, I have exciting news to fill everyone in on. We all know how I LOVE Van's gluten free waffles, right? I have a SERIOUS love affair with the mini's, especially! I adore them and am never without a box in my freezer. I have been informed that Van's will be updating their packaging!! Here is a sneak peek for everyone:
Love it!! I want to assure everyone that just because the package is changing, does not mean the delicious goodies on the inside are changing! I know too well (see the Milky Way incident) that those of us who are gluten free need to be incredibly wary and suspicious of any potential reformulations! But nothing is changing, other than the amazingly enticing picture on the front!
Keep an eye out for this new package! They should be slowly rolling out in stores anytime now or within the next couple of weeks. Van's has also launched a new website and a blog so check it out here!
Okay, now down to how you can WIN a free (yes, FREE) coupon for a box of Van's products!!
To enter to win you can do any of the following:
1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me which of Van's Products is your absolute FAVE! Perhaps the mini's like me? Or the gluten free apple cinnamon waffles? Maybe their gluten free french toasts sticks? Or maybe you just can't narrow it down and you love them all!!
2. Post on your blog about this giveaway and link back here! (please leave a comment or drop me an email at email@example.com with a link to the post)
3. Tweet the following: RT @GF_Steph Van's Super New Packaging & enter to win a FREE coupon! http://tinyurl.com/3x5x47d
4. This is for the super faithful: Send me a pic of yourself holding a box of your favorite Van's product! If you do this, you are so hardcore that I will give you TWO entries!
Hurry though, you'll only have until THURSDAY, APRIL 29TH at midnight to enter!! On Friday, I'll choose FIVE WINNERS and announce them here! So don't forget to check back!!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I heard about these gluten free frozen burritos from Glutenfreeda a while back on Twitter. I knew they were going to be in Sprouts, but I could never find any. Finally, I found the Vegetarian Bean & Cheese and the Breakfast Burrito at the Sprouts in South Chandler, AZ. Not long after this amazing discovery, I found out they were also being carried at Gluten Free Country Store, as well as the Chicken & Cheese burrito.
The first burrito I tried, and my favorite, was the Vegetarian Bean & Cheese burrito. I’m sorry I don’t remember how much I paid for each exactly, but I think it was around $3.
Along with beans and cheese, this burrito also includes organic corn and rice, which was a lovely surprise! I really enjoyed both of those ingredients in the burrito. It helped make it a little more substantial as a meal.
The burrito itself doesn’t photograph well, but I know that I am always curious about the look of foods I haven’t tried. Texture is everything! So here it is, fresh from the microwave:
These are very simple to make: cut off one end of the package and microwave on one side for 1 minute, then flip to the other side for another minute (give or take depending on your microwave). Then fight with the package to get the burrito to slide out and on to your plate (it likes to stick). Or I guess you could probably grab some scissors and cut the package. It’s almost embarrassing that I didn’t think of that solution until now. Ha.
Texture-wise these are awesome. The tortilla is unlike any other gluten free tortilla I’ve had. It is very soft and not unlike it’s wheat-y predecessor. Flavor-wise, this burrito was good. I liked it, however, I did feel it was a little bland. Nothing a little salsa and sour cream couldn’t fix though!
I tried the Chicken and Cheese flavor and I liked it. Though the chicken wasn’t really overly noticeable. The breakfast burrito—well, I was not a fan whatsoever. I recommend skipping that one unless you’re one who needs to learn firsthand from your mistakes. :)
I love to have several of these in my freezer for something quick to grab to take for lunch or for nights where I just can bare the thought of cooking anything.
Glutenfreeda definitely accomplished something wonderful when they created these gluten free burritos!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
These cheesecakes are something that I had no idea even existed. So imagine my surprise and delight when I found them at Gluten Free Country Store!
Pamela’s makes these mini cheesecakes in three different flavors: Original, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Zesty Lemon. Each sell for $4.99. I am a big fan of anything lemon flavored so I decided to give it a try first.
I could barely wait to get through my dinner before I wanted to tear into this. I shared with my husband because I feel the size is a little too big for one person.
This cheesecake was fantastic. There was absolutely nothing wrong that I could find. It was rich, thick, creamy, and flavorful. The lemon was very prominent, but not overpowering. The crust is made from gingerbread, which I was slightly concerned about beforehand. I am not a gingerbread fan. However, when you are eating it, you can’t really taste it. There was probably only a few times that you could really taste the bite of the gingerbread. But for a non-gingerbread loving gal such as myself, it wasn’t terrible at all.
I really loved this cheesecake and will definitely be buying it, and the other 2 flavors, in the future!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Great news for everyone who lives in the Phoenix area! On Saturday, May 22nd, there will be a gluten free expo at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel! Below is their flyer with all the info:
You can also check out their website for more information. I am very excited for this and will definitely be checking it out!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I have been silently pining for Conte’s gluten free cheese ravioli for a while. I found them on the internet probably close to 2 years ago. I tried to order them online, but quickly aborted that mission when I found out that shipping would be more than I make in year. I refused to EVER pay more for shipping than the actual product, and so, I lived without ravioli for 2 loooong years.
If you asked me what I missed most since being gluten free, ravioli would have be right at the top of that list. It’s one of those things that you just can’t make yourself without it being a HUGE production. Rolling my own pasta dough and stuffing it myself? No thanks. I was not interested in that at all.
That brings us the the present. The present is where I think I peed myself a little when I found Conte’s gluten free cheese ravioli in the freezer at Gluten Free Country Store. I was so excited. I think I skipped over to it, but I’ve sworn Gary to secrecy as to that embarrassing act.
Wait. Ah, whatever, we’re friends, right?
This pasta could not be any easier to make. You take it straight from the freezer and drop it into simmering water. Let it cook for about 8 minutes or until done.
Top with your favorite pasta sauce. We used Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic pasta sauce. Deeee-lish.
I really liked these ravioli’s. They were a little pricey ($8.99 and I think there were 12 good sized ravioli’s in the bag) but after waiting 2 years and crying over shipping prices, I was more than happy to pay the price. My only real complaint? I thought the texture of the pasta was kind of gummy. I’m not sure if I cooked it right though. I’ll have to go for round 2 to see if I get different results.
Have you tried these? What was your experience with them?
Friday, March 12, 2010
Well, I’m back. I’m back from being unofficially “unplugged” for a while. It wasn’t intentional and it wasn’t planned. But lately I haven’t had a chance to do much blogging or even twittering. You guys do not even want to see my house. Ever seen Hoarders? Yeeaaahhh.
Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But if someone reports me to Adult Protective Services, I am NOT going to be a happy camper.
So what have I been up to? Well, besides the obvious (work), I’ve done housework, laundry, caught up on all the Real Housewives of OC drama, and judged the latest minor for their bad decisions on 16 and Pregnant. I’ve gone to Target and had to look in my cart and remember what the HELL I was spending so much money on (Why does that always happen?). I picked out a new kitchen sink and faucet and supervised while my husband installed them. I’ve watched the new Lady Gaga video and decided that while weird, I can’t deny that she is also totally awesome. I drove half way across the world to take a blood test when my doctor’s office threatened to withhold prescription medications. I’ve made this gluten free velvet cake, and then threw it away because it just wasn’t as good as the ones from what was once Short N Sweet. I made chocolate dipped fruit and decided that yes, white chocolate was put onto this Earth from the heavens to go into my belly. I hung out with some of my favorite girls, like, EVER, and learned that Sprinkles in Scottsdale has gluten free red velvet cupcakes (that, no, I have not tried yet). I tried the new gluten free pizza at Barro’s. I’ve eaten at Chipotle 4 out of 5 days of the week and set a NEW personal record. To off set some of this eating, I’ve done Yoga a few times with the FABULOUS April from Simplicity Yoga and have loved it and wished my schedule allowed for more frequent Yoga-ing. I also introduced April to all that is gluten free at Picazzo’s because apparently she has been living under a rock. Somewhere between all of this I’m managed to bathe and remember that my husband and dogs still exist.
I’ve also gone to Gluten Free Country Store.
Can you spot the chihuahua in the picture? Ooooooh, I love hidden picture games!
That is the result of my latest trip to Gluten Free Country Store. You guys, I have a problem. I just get so excited to buy and try new gluten free food! Every time I go there, there is always something new to try and ALWAYS something I’ve been dying to try! I love love LOVE that store!
So here’s the breakdown:
Josef chocolate animal cookies
Glutenfreeda’s Instant Oatmeal
Conte’s cheese ravioli, potato and onion pierogies, and lasagna
Gluten Free Creation plain bagels
Pamela’s Zesty Lemon Cheesecake
Udi’s pizza crusts
The Craving Place double chocolate chunk cookie and muffin mix
Udi’s white and multi grain bread (<3)
Udi’s blueberry muffins
A lot on this list I haven’t tried before so I am very excited!! Obviously, I have a lot of reviews on tap, so stay tuned!! If you just can’t stand the suspense and don’t want to be tied to your computer all day checking my blog for updates (ha), you can sign up for email updates OR subscribe to my blog in a reader. Check out the side bar to the right to choose whichever option works best for you!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I wanted to share with everyone this very important update about Short N Sweet bakery since my last post was about their incredible gluten free products.
Here is the latest newsletter from Julia:
State of the Sweets Address
Transition to Gluten-Free dedicated Bakery-Temporary Hiatus
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your outpouring of support! You are my Gluten Free warriors!
As many of you know, I have been pushing for the bakery to go all Gluten Free. I began this journey 1 year after my diagnosis...my quest to create great tasting Gluten Free products, so good that people wouldn't know they were Gluten Free. Fast forward to 2 years later and I believe I have a few of the best tasting Gluten Free products available.
My business partners were beginning to see why going all Gluten Free was so important to the Celiac community as well as myself. My husband Mike and I were going to buy them out and turn Short N' Sweet into a dedicated Gluten Free facility. We wanted a place that was so great tasting that it didn't need to scream "GF" but all GF people would know it was and the non-GF people would just think it tasted great.
Out of the blue, our business partners came back and said they wanted to keep Short N' Sweet as a non-GF bakery and we would never be truly gluten-free. I REFUSED to be told that a Gluten Free only bakery could not make it and that Gluten Free was "just a fad"! Try telling my disease that "it's just a fad". I immediately began my search for our next location. As the days went on, relations between myself and my partners became unmanageable and I was unable to remain at Short N' Sweet. The timing of my departure could not be more challenging as I was featured in the newspaper this week as well. Here is a link if you missed the article: http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/2010/02/17/20100217short-n-sweet-bakery-gluten-free-tempe0219.html
I am committed to providing superior gluten-free products at reasonable prices to the gluten-free community that is responsible for all my success. I am no longer willing to compromise in the service of my customers. However, I know how many people have grown to depend on my products and it saddens me to let anyone down. I appreciate all your support and the success of the products that has ultimately led to this split with Short N' Sweet and I promise to be up and running as quickly as possible. The great news is that this time the bakery will be all mine and ALL GF!
I will send out updates as soon as they happen to all that have subscribed to this newsletter and thanks to all of you that have helped me spread the word already. It is a pleasure to serve the Celiac community that I am so proud to be a part of and this hiatus is just a bump in the road as we find new and better ways to serve our customers.
Thank you again for everything, see you soon!
Questions? please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Short N Sweet is a bakery in Tempe, AZ that is run by Julia, a celiac, and her husband. They offer several gluten free baked goods, such as chocolate chip cookies, muffins, cupcakes, bundt cakes, and even custom cakes and gift sets. But their claim to fame? Gluten Free cinnamon rolls.
I first heard of Short N Sweet bakery after Julia followed me on Twitter. Intrigued, I did a quick google search, which turned up very positive reviews. I also read several glowing reviews on Gluten Free Registry.
Shortly there after, I found out that they were being carried at Gluten Free Country Store in Gilbert (if you haven’t had a chance to get down there yet, you really need to move it to the top of your to-do list. They have ALL the best gluten free goodies there!). And, like so many other reviews of these cinnamon rolls, Gary (from GFCS)—whose opinion of gluten free products I value almost as much as my own—had wonderful words for them that may or may not have been in all caps and ended with exclamation points.
I bought 2 of these little ditties when I was at his store. They sold for $4.99 and are in the freezer section. They come frozen, and silly little me took them home and put them directly into the freezer.
But Stephanie, you say, what’s so wrong with that?
I know, young grasshopper, I was once as naive as you. The fact of the matter is, these will not survive your household long enough to necessitate remaining frozen. Go ahead. Trust me. Just put them in the refrigerator.
Long story short—I need Short N Sweet Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Addicts Anonymous. I ate those two cinnamon rolls before they even knew what hit them.
And then I had the itch. Whoa, whoa—not that kind of itch (p.s. go see your doctor). I wanted more. Nay—I needed more. For me to continue my journey through this life I needed to get more gluten free cinnamon rolls from Short N Sweet bakery—STAT.
So this past weekend, I asked (read: TOLD. DEMANDED. THREATENED TO BEAT HIM UNTIL HE CRIED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL) my husband if we could make a quick stop at the Short N Sweet bakery while we were out running errands. Conveniently located at Elliot and McClintock! We were in the area! (I planned it that way..ha)
I had the pleasure of meeting Julia and her husband when we stopped in and we chatted for a bit. Such wonderful and friendly people! They told me all about their products and their cautious baking techniques. At present time, they do bake non-gluten free items. I feel comforted that Julia is a Celiac herself, and therefore takes all the precautionary measures to prevent cross contamination. However, soon they will be converting their bakery to ENTIRELY gluten free. YAY!
And finally…we meet again…like star crossed lovers who overcome all the odds…
Each gluten free cinnamon roll comes in a microwavable container.
Here (above) is what it looks like straight from my fridge. Huge schmear of cream cheese frosting on top. Pop the top a bit and then toss it in the microwave. I microwave mine for about 30 seconds, just until the frosting is melty.
And I wait. Anxiously. With baited breathe.
Opening this is almost as good as opening presents on Christmas morning.
Oh, sweet, sweet cinnamon goodness. Bestill my heart. These gluten free cinnamon rolls are positively out of this world. Did you hear that? OUT OF THIS WORLD. The texture of them are so absolutely perfect. No grit. Not chalky. No bizarre after taste. Soft. Fluffy. The cinnamon to sugar ratio in perfect harmony.
I typically enjoy each cinnamon roll with my husband. I usually employ the technique of eating faster than him so I end up getting more than half. Heh Heh. I’m not much of a food sharer (and by “not much” I mean, “I turn into a rabid dog that will eat your face if you even look at my food”). But these are a very, very sweet treat, so share I must.
Now I just need to work on my cinnamon-sugar mustache:
It’s a dirty job.
Here is all of the info on where to pick up some of these Short N Sweet Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls for yourself:
Short N Sweet Bakery (click here for their website)
1805 E Elliot Rd Suite 106 (SE corner of Elliot and McClintock)
Tempe, AZ 85284
(By the way, if you stop in, tell ‘em I sent ya! They have a sweet referral program)
Or, as with SO many other amazing gluten free products, you can get their cinnamon rolls (even other Valentine’s Day themed treats) at Gluten Free Country Store.
3345 S Val Vista Dr, Suite 101 (202 Santan freeway and Val Vista)
Gilbert, AZ 85297
And while you’re there, grab a bag of the chocolate chip cookies from Short N Sweet. You won’t regret it!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The survey is to help a new gluten free online store provide the gluten free community with what they want! Make your voices heard!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I have eaten a LOT of really bad gluten free pancakes. I’ve tried a few different mixes and a couple of recipes, all ending in disaster.
I recently decided to give gluten free pancakes one final shot. I’ve had mostly good experiences with Kinnikinnick products so I tossed their gluten free pancake and waffle mix into my cart at Sprouts.
This mix is so easy. One cup of mix, 3/4 cup milk (or water), 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon of oil makes 4-5 regular size pancakes.
Ooooooh, delicious little bubbles! Almost ready to flip..
Perfectly golden brown and I guarantee no one will notice they are gluten free. Visually, they are exactly the same as regular pancakes. The cook the same, and even the texture looks the same.
But how do they taste?
Oh. My. Gosh. They are divine!
The gluten free pancakes I’ve tried before were hard and rubbery. And they tasted weird. It was like someone put syrup on a hockey puck and put it on the plate in front of me. But not these Kinnikinnick pancakes. They are light, fluffy, and airy. Not at all dense and no funky taste! They are only lightly sweet, except of course, when I drown them in syrup. In short, they are the perfect (gluten free) pancakes.
They are exactly how I remember pancakes to be. Victory!
Monday, January 18, 2010
So this is all that I got at Sprouts tonight during their Gluten Free Jubilee sale! All gluten free items in the store are 25% off so, of course, I took advantage! I was actually really surprised because they were sold out of a lot of things! I might go to a different location before the sale ends on January 20th to get some more Udi’s gluten free bread and some Kinnikinnick pancake and waffle mix. Oh, and their donuts. And maybe some more animal cookies just for good measure. :)
Have any of you gone to Sprouts this week for their Gluten Free Jubilee? Did your pile of stuff look better or worse than mine?
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
While I was on my quest to find Udi’s gluten free bread in Sprouts, I was going to every Sprouts that was on my drive home from work. At my third stop in one night, I was thinking, “Udi’s or BUST!!” and told myself that I would not be purchasing anything THIS time (because the other two times I was walking out with everything BUT Udi’s).
At my third stop, I found some serious SCORES! One of these scores was Caesar’s gluten free frozen pasta entrees. They had three different ones:
And lasagna. (not pictured because I didn’t buy it)
I was so excited because I am a gal who loves her some pasta stuffed with cheese, smothered in tomato sauce, and then smothered in cheese again.
These little babies weren’t cheap though. I’ve since lost my receipt but I remember paying 5-6 dollars for each of these. Not cheap.
They are, however, delicious! The pasta is great and not at all funky. The cheese filling is, well, it’s cheese filling. Is there anything wrong with that?!?! And the tomato sauce is very good too, though sometimes it did sort of hit me that it was kind of sweet. They were easy as pie to make (which I don’t get because is pie ever really easy to make?)—you just cut a slit in the plastic and microwave for 7 minutes.
This is the photo of the manicotti. I know, the picture totally makes it look unappetizing. I’d show you a picture of the stuffed shells too, but honestly it looks exactly the same. Lol. There is literally nothing different between the two of these except the shape of the pasta.
I really enjoyed these and am happy that they are close enough to me that I could purchase them again. I think they are perfect when you are in a pinch – when you have no idea what to make for dinner, or when you’re tired of the same ol’ cheese and crackers routine for lunch at work. The only down size is that they are pretty pricey. I’m a cheap-o, so I definitely won’t be purchasing these for an all-the-time sort of meal (which my butt appreciates).
I got these from the freezer section of the South Chandler Sprouts (Queen Creek and Alma School) in Arizona, and so far, I have not seen them at any other location.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Stop what you're doing. Now, go throw away all those gluten free bread mixes in your cabinet. Shred all those recipes you've printed from the internet for gluten free bread. Dig into the depth of your freezer and banish those frozen loaves to the garbage can.
I have found the end-all, be-all of gluten free bread. Udi's has created a product that will change the way you think about gluten free bread and will keep you coming back for more. Forever.
First of all, I have to give a big shout out and HUGE thank you to Gluten Free Steve for introducing me to the miracle that is Udi's gluten free bread. Thanks Steve, for spreading the word to the gluten free community about this spectacular product!
If you live in Arizona, I have fantastic news for you. Sprouts is now carrying Udi's gluten free bread in their stores!!! I have been stalking 3 different locations since the announcement was made by @udisglutenfree on Twitter on December 22nd. And today, a seemingly unassuming day, turned into the happiest day of my life. Today, I found the bread in the freezer section at Sprouts, and to top things off, it was on sale, a mere $4.49 a loaf (which is cheap for GF bread).
Udi's gluten free bread is sold frozen at Sprouts and can be thawed at room temperature. Once thawed, it is amazingly shelf stable. No refridgeration needed. You could refridgerate if you wanted to, but you won't have to. This won't last long enough in your house. But if you're skeptical about how fast you'll devour this bread, I'll ease your worries by saying you could easily leave this on your counter, fully defrosted, for 2 weeks and it'll still be soft and delicious (and not moldy) on day 14.
When your loaf first thaws, I guarantee you'll be amazed by how soft the loaf is. You'll pick up the package and squeeze--and the bread will actually give, much like those, ahem, mainstream wheaty breads. I've never known a gluten free bread to not feel like a brick. Then, you'll open the package and grab a couple of slices. The texture will blow you away! Light, airy, little holes all over!
But then, and here's the kicker. No really, you won't believe this. This is practically unheard of when it comes to gluten free bread.
You won't toast this bread. You will bypass your toaster all together. Sorry little guy, you won't be needed as much anymore.
You will go straight for the mayo and mustard, or for the peanut butter and jelly. And you know what? You'll take a bite of your finished sandwich and you will die. DIE. Because can you remember the last time you had untoasted bread? The last time you had a gluten free grilled cheese sandwich that didn't taste and feel like your Kraft cheese slices were stuck between two sponges? The last time you had just plain ol' toast with jelly in the morning? The last time you had a BLT? (*swoon*). No, you probably can't remember, and neither could I.
But Udi's has changed this gal's gluten free life. And it could change yours too!
If you're in Arizona, make it a priority to hit up a Sprouts and pick up a loaf or two. Or, if you live elsewhere, visit the Udi's website and see about ordering it online (p.s. their muffins are magnificent too). You could also talk to them on Twitter at @udisglutenfree and see if they are carried anywhere close to you. Heather at Udi's is incredibly helpful and friendly, so don't be afraid to say hello!
Oh, and WHEN you try this bread, let me know what you think! I've never been this excited about a gluten free product ever.
**** Updated to Add:
Gluten Free Country Store in Gilbert, AZ is also carrying Udi's products!!! AND they are carrying more products than Sprouts!
They have Udi's gluten free whole grain bread, blueberry muffins, lemon streusel muffins (which are amazing), and their pizza crusts (which I have heard people RAVE about)! So, if you want more selection go see the great folks at Gluten Free Country Store!