Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giveaway Winner: Rodelle Vanilla Prize Pack

And the winner is:

catherine agnes (comment #14)

Congratulations! You were e-mailed on 11/30/10; please reply to my e-mail within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Special thanks to Rodelle for sponsoring this giveaway!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Innocent Indulgence - Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan Specialty Desserts


My family recently sampled a few of the decadent desserts from the Arizona based company by the name of Innocent Indulgence.  We were curious to see if the gluten free, raw, vegan specialty desserts pictured on the Innocent Indulgence website could possibly taste as amazing as they looked.

Here are the desserts we sampled:

Raspberry Bliss "Cheesecake":  This smooth and creamy dessert was a favorite with 4 out of 5 of my family members.  It has a slight coconut flavor and a fresh, tart  raspberry puree to top it off. 

Gingerbread Cookie: If you have never had a raw cookie, the texture is different (more dense), but the flavor is still familiar.  The gingerbread came with vanilla cream to spread on top which complimented it perfectly.  My tween age son liked this the best.
Mochaccino "Cheesecake": Silky smooth and rich, the mocha flavor really shines through on this tasty dessert.  My husband and I liked this better than the kids because the coffee flavor does not appeal to their young palettes yet.  This was one of my personal favorites, which surprised me as I don't normally gravitate towards coffee flavored foods.
Cocoa Nib Squares: As with the gingerbread cookie, the texture of this raw cookie is more dense than a baked cookie, but still delightful.  The cocoa nibs are so crunchy and flavorful that this was a definite winner in my book, and my son loved it too.
Like what you see?  Even more tempting choices are available on the Innocent Indulgence website.

If you are looking for gluten free desserts that can actually be considered good for you... look no further!  Made with fruits, nuts, agave nectar and other healthy ingredients, Innocent Indulgence is sure to please.  A must have for your holiday dessert table!

About the Chef:

Alisha Chasey MS, RD, CNS began Innocent Indulgence after her discovery that changing her diet to more alternative healthful choices made her feel better.  She now prides herself on creating and sharing health conscious specialty desserts that are gluten free, raw, vegan.  By not baking her desserts, the fiber and nutrition in each carefully chosen ingredient remains intact in the finished products.

Buy it:

Order Innocent Indulgence desserts to serve at your holiday gatherings or as a thoughtful gift.  All desserts are shipped frozen, and can be stored in your freezer for optimum freshness prior to serving.  Contact Innocent Indulgence for a shipping quote.

In store pick up is available in Phoenix Arizona by appointment only.

Stay connected:

Sign up for the Innocent Indulgence newsletter.  You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received samples for review purposes courtesy of the product company and/or it's PR company. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coming December 1st to 10 Gluten Free Blogs... The Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x 10 (with Goodies for Children)!



Win 1 of 10 holiday gift bags loaded with gluten-free goodies & treats for
Celiac children, plus signed copies of Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?


Katie Chalmers, Author and Illustrator of the unique new book,
Mommy, What is Celiac Disease? is offering (think: perfect gift!)
the “Gluten-Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x10!” to 10 lucky winners.

Photo of prize will appear on participating blogs Dec. 1st. Expect it to include tasty gluten-free foods from Schar, Pamela's Products, Nature's Path, Chebe, Snyder's of Hanover, Mary's Gone Crackers, plus some fun & sweet surprises for kids.  

Myself and 9 other gluten-free/celiac bloggers will be hosting these giveaways on the following websites from Wed. Dec. 1 - Wed. Dec. 15, 2010:

Accustomed Chaos – Devan
http://www.accustomedchaos.com/

Adventures of a GF Mom – Heidi
http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/

Be Free For Me – Kathleen
http://www.befreeforme.com/

Celiac Family – Heather
http://celiacfamily.com/


Gluten Free Betsy – Betsy
http://www.glutenfreebetsy.com/

Gluten Free Easily (gfe) – Shirley
http://glutenfreeeasily.com/

Gluten Free is Life/CeliacDisease.com – Kim
http://www.glutenfreeislife.com/

Gluten Free Philly – Michael
http://www.glutenfreephilly.com/

Gluten Free Taste of Home – Cinde
http://www.glutenfreetasteofhome.blogspot.com/

Simply Sugar & Gluten Free –  Amy
http://www.simplysugarandglutenfree.com/

Contest Rules:

•    All 10 of these contests are open to residents of the USA. Only the Accustomed Chaos contest is also open to Canadian residents.
•    All 10 contests begin on Wed. Dec. 1, 2010 and will end on Wed. Dec. 15, 2010 at 10pm EST.
•    Entry requirements will vary between bloggers. Please follow their directions to enter.
•    One entry allowed per blog. Entrants can only win once total within all 10 giveaways. If anyone is chosen more than once as a winner, another winner will be chosen so everyone only wins once.
•    One winner per household.
•    Winners with valid entries will be selected at random. The winners will be announced and notified via email and must reply within 24 hours to claim. Otherwise, another eligible entry will be chosen, in order that all prizes will arrive before Christmas. So please remember to check your email on Dec.16th.
•    If any of the 10 prizes do not arrive before Christmas because of any unforeseen holiday mail rush problems, the USPS, Katie Chalmers and hosting bloggers will not be held accountable.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received a book for review purposes courtesy of the author (review to post at a later date). I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Giveaway Winner: 101 Gluten Free Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes Cookbook

And the winner is:

qtpies7 (comment #13)

Congratulations! You were e-mailed on 11/26/10; please reply to my e-mail within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Special thanks to cookbook author Stacey J. Miller for sponsoring this giveaway!

Exciting News from Shabtai Gourmet Gluten-Free Bakery!



I am happy to share this exciting press release on behalf of Shabtai Gourmet Gluten Free Bakery; my family absolutely loves their amazing gluten free, dairy free treats:

Shabtai Gourmet Gluten-Free Bakery Wins Best New Kosher for Passover Product at Kosherfest's 2010 New Product Competition!


Gluten-Free Yidels Devils Food Mini Chocolate Swiss Roll Wins Best new Passover Product at Kosherfest New Product Competition 2010. Shabtai Gourmet is a dedicated gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, soy free, lactose free, casein free, corn free, and kosher bakery. Shabtai ships his gluten-free sweets across the United States & Puerto Rico.

Shabtai Gourmet Gluten-Free Bakery Wins Best New Kosher for Passover Product at Kosherfest's 2010 New Product Competition
Woodmere, NY, October 19, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Shabtai Gourmet Gluten Free Bakery has just won the Kosherfest Best New Passover Product Competition for the 4th time. This time the winning item was their Gluten-Free Yidels Mini Swiss Chocolate Rolls. The judges couldn't stop raving about this new item when they first saw and tasted it - one judge said he devoured the sweet in 1 bite.

The super mini roll concept was developed by Shabtai while making sampler packs for the kosher, organic, and natural food trade shows. This new item from Shabtai Gourmet Gluten Free Bakery is not only gluten free, but also Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Lactose Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, Certified Kosher & is also Certified Kosher for Passover. Retailers are dedicating more shelf space for Gluten Free Foods and allergen free foods sections in their stores. In fact dedicated Gluten Free Food Stores are popping up all over the country, and only carry gluten free products.

In past Years Shabtai Gourmet has won best new product with some of their other items, such as their Gluten Free Devils Food Ring Ting Cupcakes, Gluten Free Bell Ring Cakes, & their unforgettable Marzipan Sushi.

Some other delectable allergen friendly desserts baked by Shabtai are his: Gluten Free Honey Cakes, Gluten Free Rainbow Cookies, Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cakes, Gluten Free Jelly Rolls, Gluten Free Brownie Bites, Sponge Loaf Cakes & so much more.

Many of Shabtai's baked goods contain no-hydrogenated oils, no trans fats, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, are all natural, and baked with organic ingredients.

You can find Shabtai gourmet Gluten-Free baked goods at fine health food stores and supermarkets all year round. You can also purchase Shabtai Gluten-Free items @ www.shabtai-gourmet.com or @ www.glutenfreemall.com.

You can use their store locator to find the nearest retail location to you at http://shabtai-gourmet.com/?page=locator

Look for Shabtai products at Wegmans, Shoprite, ACME, King Kullen, DAG NYC, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Woodmans, Mrs. Greens, Key Food, & Best Yet Markets.
You can also find Shabtai Gluten Free Baked goods in select Bloomingdale's stores on the East Coast.

In the weeks prior & during the passover holidays you can find Shabtai Gourmet baked goods at over 35 Supermarket Chains throughout the country. Look for their Kosher for passover symbols listed on their packaging.

Shabtai Gourmet supports various celiac support groups all over the country. Contact them to get involved in your local gluten free event - www.shabtai-gourmet.com (516) 374-7976.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post.  The company featured in this post is a sponsor of this blog.  The decision to post this information was voluntary. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, gluten free Thanksgiving!

Giveaway: Gluten Free, All Natural, "My Lip Stuff" Lip Balm 6 Pack


I am hosting a giveaway for a gluten free, all natural, "My Lip Stuff" Lip Balm 6 Pack on my Freebie Fairy product review & giveaway blog!  Click here to be re-directed to my Freebie Fairy blog and follow the easy entry instructions (please do not enter here).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giveaway Winner: General Mills Live Gluten Freely Product Box

And the winner is:

lollimom (comment #65)

Congratulations! You were e-mailed on 11/22/10; please reply to my e-mail within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Special thanks to General Mills for sponsoring this giveaway through MyBlogSpark!

Cookbook Review: Cooking for Isaiah - Gluten Free & Dairy Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals


A few weeks ago General Mills invited my family to attend an exclusive cooking demonstration in Seattle by Silvana Nardone,  author of the recently released Cooking for Isaiah cookbook.  The cooking demonstration was actually part of Silvana's Cooking for Isaiah book tour, in which she illustrated how to use gluten free Chex cereal in one of the recipes.  My family had the pleasure of tasting such delicious treats as stuffed shrimp scampi, cornbread stacks with spicy greens, and double chocolate Chex pie.  Both the shrimp and cornbread recipes are included in the Cooking for Isaiah cookbook, and they tasted amazing!

Cooking for Isaiah author Silvana Nardone and me.
I received a copy of Cooking for Isaiah to bring home, and was impressed with the unique spin that Silvana has applied to easy family friendly recipes.  All of the recipes in the book were created with Silvana's son Isaiah in mind; she had to learn to prepare gluten free/dairy free recipes that he would enjoy when he was diagnosed with food intolerances.

I am looking forward to trying more of the recipes in Cooking for Isaiah; if they are even half as tasty as the recipes that my family sampled during Silvana's cooking demonstration, then I know my family will love them!

Visit Silvana's Dish Towel Diaries blog for links on where to purchase Cooking for Isaiah.  Be sure to check out the great gluten free recipes posted on Silvana's blog too!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received a press invitation to the author's Seattle cooking demonstration from General Mills, and a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes courtesy of the author. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giveaway & Cookbook Review: 101 Gluten Free Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes


Microwave coffee mug cake recipes have been circulating for years, but this is the first collection of gluten free microwave coffee mug cake recipes that I have seen.  In her new book 101 Gluten Free Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes, cookbook author Stacey J. Miller shares a myriad of single serve quick-cook cake options.

Author Stacey J. Miller says:

"We began creating microwave mug cakes to satisfy our craving for quick snacks that wouldn't inflict a week's worth of leftovers on us. Thus, the original 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes was published, and the adventure began.

And now the adventure continues.

Our readers' enthusiastic reactions to our microwave mug cakes motivated us to reach beyond the original concept. We sensed a theme. Readers kept saying, "These recipes are wonderful, but are there more healthful alternatives? And is it possible to bake gluten-free microwave mug cakes?"

Our response to our readers' suggestions is 101 Recipes for GLUTEN-FREE Microwave Mug Cakes: Healthier Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes. The book offers a wealth of delicacies that nearly everyone (exempting true kitchenphobes) can easily and quickly prepare.

All you need is a microwave oven, a mug, a saucer, and a mixing bowl. The book provides a mix of recipes, that, in addition to being gluten-free, include snacks that may have one or more of the following properties: no added eggs, no added dairy products, no added sugar, or no added oil."

My thoughts on this book:

Because it seemed like the perfect autumn choice, my family prepared The Great Pumpkin Microwave Mug Cake recipe.  We agreed that it was tasty, not overly sweet, and easy to prepare.  We topped it off with a little whipped cream, which complimented the pumpkin cake perfectly.   

If you've never made a microwave coffee mug cake, I should point out that the texture of the finished product is very different from a cake that has been baked in the oven.  The main difference is in the texture; microwave coffee mug cakes do not have a delicate crumb, they are almost chewy.  This isn't bad, it is just different. Also, in my opinion coffee mug cakes are best eaten warm.

This book has so many recipes that there is something that will appeal to every taste.  My kids get a real kick out of making their own individual cakes in the microwave.  They especially love it because they can all choose their own flavor (no arguing over flavors... yippee!).  Some of the ingredients in the recipes may not be items you normally have on hand, such as baby food and flavored yogurts, but those items are easy to find at your local market.

The bottom line is, it is pretty cool to be able to whip up a warm gluten free treat when the urge hits you, and this fun little book helps make that possible.

BUY IT:

Click here for links to purchase this book online.

WIN IT: 

(1) Lucky Freebie Fairy follower will WIN a copy of the 101 Gluten Free Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes cookbook (retail value $16.95).

TO ENTER GIVEAWAY (#1 is a mandatory entry):

1) Become a Freebie Fairy follower (must follow PUBLICLY via Google Friend Connect in the side bar of this website) AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me if you have ever tasted a coffee mug cake. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES (each entry comment must be entered separately to be a valid entry):

2) "Like"my Gluten Free Taste of Home page on Facebook. (3 entries)

3) "Like" my The Freebie Fairy page on Facebook. (1 entry)



4) Blog about this giveaway linking it back to my Gluten Free Taste of Home blog AND the gluten free page of the 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes website. Please LEAVE ME A COMMENT with THE LINK TO YOUR POST or it will not count. (3 entries)

5) Follow Gluten Free Taste of Home on Twitter AND tweet the giveaway; LEAVE ME A COMMENT (with your twitter link) telling me you did it. (one entry per tweet/RT; DO NOT EXCEED (1) TWEET/RT PER HOUR!)

6) Follow my Freebie Fairy blog on Twitter. (1 entry)

7) Grab my Gluten Free Taste of Home button and display it on your website/blog (copy the html code for my button from the sidebar of this website and paste the code into your website), and LEAVE ME A COMMENT with a LINK to where you pasted my button. (1 entry)

8) Vote for Gluten Free Taste of Home on Picket Fence Blogs (click the "We're on the Fence!" button in the sidebar of this blog to vote). (1 entry)


9) Follow my Freebie Fairy blog PUBLICLY via Google Friend Connect and LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you did it. (1 entry)

*GIVEAWAY OPEN TO US & CANADA*

Giveaway ends on Friday, November 26 at 7:00 p.m. PST (entries received after this time will not be posted). Winner will be selected by random.org. Winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

*REMEMBER... please leave your e-mail address with EACH entry so I can contact you if you win.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes courtesy of the author. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Best of luck!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gluten Free Taste of Home Interview on the Welcome to My Kitchen Blog!


I've been interviewed for Feature Me Fridays on Sheila's Welcome to my Kitchen blog!  Click here to check out the interview and one of my easy, tasty gluten free cake recipes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway: General Mills "Live Gluten Freely" Product Box!

As you know I am a big fan of General Mills and their dedication to offering great tasting gluten free convenience foods and resources for the gluten free community.  If you haven't already had a chance to try some of their best selling gluten free products, here is your chance to WIN them!

You could WIN this General Mills "Live Gluten Freely" product box!
My family enjoyed everything in the Live Gluten Freely product box...

We savored Saturday morning pancakes made with the new Bisquick® Gluten Free Original Pancake and Baking Mix.  The pancakes were light and fluffy, just as they should be! For speedy week day breakfasts my kids all but devoured the crunchy, sweet, Honey Nut Chex® Cereal (I was lucky to get one bowl)!

My tween age son is just becoming interested in baking and made fudgy brownies using the Betty Crocker® Gluten-Free Brownie Mix (he even mixed them with the Betty Crocker® Red Serving Spoon we received!).  My family ate the whole pan in one night; we are brownie hounds, and these are really good brownies!

The Betty Crocker® Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix was transformed into a dozen delicious cupcakes, which my daughter's frosted using the Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy Chocolate Frosting.  My youngest daughter is dairy free, so we left a few cupcakes plain and she topped them with homemade dairy free chocolate glaze instead.  This was a fun project for my girls, and the whole family enjoyed the tasty results! 

For a quick week night meal, I mixed together some dry Betty Crocker® Potato Buds® Mashed Potatoes and fresh chopped herbs from my garden to make a crispy coating for Tilapia fillets (I got this idea from Food Network).  If you want to try this, simply salt and pepper your fish fillets, dip fillets in beaten egg, and then press the Potato Bud/Herb mixture onto the fish.  Heat oil in a skillet until hot but not smoking, and cook each side only until golden brown.  Transfer fish to a metal rack set on a baking pan to catch drippings, and finish off in a 375 degree oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork (time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish; mine only took 5 minutes).  Easy, healthy, delicious, and of course gluten free!

My kids adore fruit snacks and went gaga for the Betty Crocker® Fruit Flavored Snacks Variety Pack which contains Fruit Roll-Ups®, Fruit Gushers®, Fruit by the Foot®.  This fun selection brought smiles to my kids faces, and they have been enjoying them as an occasional sweet treat.

The Peanut Butter Cookie Lärabar® Snack Bar made a perfect healthy school snack for my daughter.  She said that it it kept her satisfied until lunch time, and has asked me to buy more.  I am always happy to provide my kids with wholesome snack options like Larabar Snack Bars.

LIVE GLUTEN FREELY:

The Live Gluten Freely website offers many wonderful gluten free recipes, as well as gluten free resource links.  You can even purchase a Live Gluten Freely product box exactly like the one being given away in the photo above and have it shipped to yourself or to a loved one as a thoughtful gift. The Live Gluten Freely product box also contains gluten free recipes, coupons and information.

BUY IT:

Click here to purchase a Live Gluten Freely product box directly from the General Mills Live Gluten Freely website.

WIN IT:

(1) lucky Gluten Free Taste of Home follower will WIN a Live Gluten Freely product box as shown in the photo above containing: Betty Crocker® Gluten-Free Brownie Mix, Betty Crocker® Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix, Mix Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy Chocolate Frosting, Honey Nut Chex® Cereal, Bisquick® Gluten Free Original Pancake and Baking Mix, Betty Crocker® Fruit Flavored Snacks Variety Pack - Fruit Roll-Ups®, Fruit Gushers®, Fruit by the Foot®, Peanut Butter Cookie Lärabar® Snack Bar, Betty Crocker® Potato Buds® Mashed Potatoes, Betty Crocker® Red Serving Spoon, Coupons, and More!
.
TO ENTER GIVEAWAY (#1 is a mandatory entry):

1) Become a Gluten Free Taste of Home follower (must follow PUBLICLY via Google Friend Connect in the side bar of this website) AND visit the Live Gluten Freely website; LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you now follow me PUBLICLY, AND tell me what gluten free product you would most like to try from the Live Gluten Freely website. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES (each entry comment must be entered separately to be a valid entry):

2) "Like" my Gluten Free Taste of Home page on Facebook; LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you did this. (1 entry)


3) "Like" my Freebie Fairy page on Facebook; LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you did this. (3 entries)

4) "Like" Live Gluten Freely on FacebookLEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you did this. (1 entry)

5) Blog about this giveaway linking it back to this blog post AND the Live Gluten Freely website. Please LEAVE ME A COMMENT with THE LINK TO YOUR POST or it will not count. (3 entries)

6) Follow Gluten Free Taste of Home on Twitter AND tweet the giveaway; LEAVE ME A COMMENT (with your twitter link) telling me you did it. (one entry per tweet/RT; DO NOT EXCEED (1) TWEET/RT PER HOUR!)

7) Vote for Gluten Free Taste of Home on Picket Fence Blogs (click the "We're on the Fence!" button in the sidebar of this blog to vote). (2 entries)

8) Grab my Gluten Free Taste of Home button and display it on your website/blog (copy the html code for my button from the sidebar of this website and paste the code into your website), and LEAVE ME A COMMENT with a LINK to where you pasted my button. (1 entry)

9) Follow my Freebie Fairy blog PUBLICLY via Google Friend Connect and LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you did it. (1 entry)

10) Follow my Freebie Fairy blog on Twitter. (1 entry)

*GIVEAWAY OPEN TO US ONLY* (Sorry, prize cannot be shipped to P.O. boxes)
Giveaway ends on Monday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. PST (entries received after this time will not be posted). Winner will be selected by random.org. Winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

*REMEMBER... please leave your e-mail address with EACH entry so I can contact you if you win.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; the product, prize pack, information, and giveaway have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Best of luck!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Attended the Gluten Free Summit at the General Mills Headquarters in Minneapolis!

The General Mills Visitor's Reception Area
When I started my Gluten Free Taste of Home blog a year and a half ago, I never dreamed it would take me to the General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis Minnesota, to serve as a voice for my daughter with Celiac Disease, and the greater gluten free community.  Unbelievably, that it precisely what happened!  Myself and 9 other gluten free bloggers were invited to attend a gluten free summit on behalf of General Mills.  Danna Korn, author of the book Kids with Celiac Disease and Founder of the R.O.C.K. support group has been working with General Mills developing their gluten free division, and was given the responsibility of choosing a group of gluten free bloggers to travel to the General Mills headquarters for an intensive one day gluten free summit.  By some amazing twist of fate, she invited me.

The gluten free bloggers and General Mills staff members at the gluten free summit.   I'm in the back row, 5th from the left. This photo was taken in the Betty Crocker kitchens by Jill of the Hey, That Tastes Good! blog.  Thanks Jill!  
It was a whirlwind of a trip, flying from my home in Washington to Minneapolis early in the morning and finally arriving to the hotel in the late afternoon.  I had the privilege of visiting with relatives from Minnesota that I haven't seen in over twenty years in the two spare hours between arriving at the hotel and meeting up with the other bloggers and General Mills staff.  What a gift that was!

The gluten free bloggers all attended  a "get to know you" dinner at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano in Minneapolis later that evening.  Gluten Free bread, pasta, pizza, and even chocolate cake was served to the gluten free bloggers.  I tried the gluten free pizza, bread, and chocolate cake; all were quite good, with the pizza being my favorite of the three.  Dear Biaggi's, please open a location in the greater Seattle area soon!

Here are the gluten free bloggers who attended the gluten free summit at General Mills:

Amanda from A Few Short Cuts

Lynn from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Jill from Hey, That Tastes Good!

Shirley from Gluten Free Easily

Linda from The Gluten Free Homemaker

Amy from The Savvy Celiac

Rachel from The Crispy Cook

Cinde from Gluten Free Taste of Home (that's me!)

Maureen from Hold the Gluten 

Vanessa from The Celiac Princess

and

Shelly from the Minneapolis Chapter R.O.C.K support group

It was my sincere pleasure to be in the company of this amazing group of gluten free bloggers!  I was truly sad when I had to say good by to them!  They are all dedicated, strong women, with a true passion for making a difference in the gluten free world.

I am not at liberty to say much regarding General Mills' plans for their gluten free division yet.  What I can tell you is that General Mills has shown genuine interest in servicing the gluten free consumer in more ways than one.  They were eager to hear the opinions of the gluten free bloggers at the summit, be it positive or negative. Being that General Mills is the 6th largest food company in the world, it is exciting to imagine the magnitude of the impact that their involvement in the gluten free community could bring.  As soon as I am at liberty to share more details, you will be the first to know. :)  For now, you can visit General Mills Live Gluten Freely website for gluten free recipes and resources.

Oil Painting of "Betty" herself,  from the Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis.  This was one of a series of framed oil paintings of Betty Crocker from the 1940's all the way through the present.  I chose to post this particular photo because this is the image I remember from my Mom's Betty Crocker cookbook when I was a girl; it takes me right back to my childhood (bell bottoms and all).
What I can share with you now is that I had the unique experience of baking with my fellow gluten free bloggers in the Betty Crocker Kitchens!  You may remember from past posts that I have been a Betty Crocker fan since I was a little girl.  In fact, back in the 1970's when I was in elementary school, I was crowned the "Betty Crocker Coupon Queen."  Seriously.  I still have the trophy to this day! If your scratching your head wondering how that came about, let me explain. My Sunday school class had a contest to see who could collect the most Betty Crocker Coupons for the church.  My Mom was an avid Betty Crocker consumer, and as a result I brought in the most Betty Crocker coupons.  In addition to receiving a big trophy, a handmade paper crown adorned with plastic spoons and forks was placed upon my head.  I was queen for a day.  A proud, 7 year old, plastic-fork n' spoon-crown-wearing queen. :)  From that moment forward, I have always felt bonded to Betty Crocker.  

Left to right: Linda from The Gluten Free Homemaker, Shirley from Gluten Free Easily, and I baking gluten free desserts in the Betty Crocker kitchens.  The Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes and the new Gluten Free Bisquick were the core ingredients used in the recipes.  
A big hello to my new gluten free blogger friends, I miss you and hope to see you again! Also a huge thank you to all of the wonderful General Mills staff and gluten free summit organizers who gave me this unforgettable opportunity to be a part of something very special.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post, nor was I compensated to attend the gluten free summit.  The opinions I have expressed are solely my own.  Others who attended may have different opinions.  General Mills paid for my airfare, ground transportation, lodging and meals for the purpose of having me attend the gluten free summit.  Airport parking, baggage fees and meals at the airport/airplane were paid by me.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide - 5th Edition


Here is something I am grateful for... Triumph Dining has taken the time (2,000 hours to be exact), to locate and list 1,500 restaurants around the United States offering gluten free menu options in their new book The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide -  5th Edition.  With this handy guide, I can quickly look up restaurants that I am interested in to see if they can accommodate my daughter's gluten free diet, (even when my family is traveling!).

Thank you Triumph Dining!  I really appreciate you taking all of the leg work out of the time consuming task of searching for restaurants that serve gluten free food.  Now I have more time to spend eating gluten free meals with my family, instead of searching for them. :)

Where to buy:

Click here to order your copy of The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide -  5th Edition from the Triumph Dining website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received a complimentary copy of the The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide -  5th Edition  for review purposes courtesy of Triumph Dining. The opinions I have expressed are solely my own; I was not required to post a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giveaway & Review: Rodelle Vanilla, Baking Essentials & Spice Blends


One of the secrets to superb tasting baked goods is to use high quality, pure vanilla extract.  In my opinion,   Rodelle has one of the finest collections of gourmet vanilla products available.

About Rodelle...


"What sets Rodelle Vanilla Extract apart? Vanilla extract gets its rich “vanilla” taste and aroma from the vanilla bean’s primary flavor component, vanillin. Vanillin is a natural flavor component found on high quality vanilla beans, the higher the vanillin, the better the quality. The vanillin content of pure vanilla extract is easily measurable, making vanillin a useful quality indicator for profiling fine vanillas. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extracts have set the bar for vanillin content, offering a pure vanilla extract with one of the highest vanillin levels on the market.

It’s a fact. All vanillas are not equal. Rodelle Vanilla Extract is a superior vanilla product that delivers a superior end result.

Rodelle vanilla products are certified kosher, gluten-free and are made with natural cane sugar. Look for Rodelle vanilla products in your favorite grocery store!"



In addition to producing Pure Vanilla Extract, Gourmet Vanilla Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract and Alcohol-Free Vanilla Extract, Rodelle offers harder to find vanilla specialty products such as Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Vanilla Sugar and Vanilla Paste.

I experimented with adding Rodelle vanillas to some of my existing recipes, such as my Gluten Free Orange Glazed Almond Cake and my Gluten Free Coconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting to see if I could taste the difference.  I was surprised that there really was a notable difference in the vanilla taste.  The taste of Rodelle vanilla was lovely and harmonious with my recipes, never artificial or over-bearing like some lesser quality vanilla extracts can be.

If you haven't tried baking using vanilla beans, you should consider it.  Vanilla seeds are scraped from the inside of the bean, and added to recipes for the most intense, pure vanilla flavor possible.  Check out this brief video which shows exactly how it's done:














More Than Vanilla...

In addition to vanilla, Rodelle also produces a line of fabulous gourmet baking essentials such as a rich Gourmet Baking Cocoa, Lemon Extract and Almond Extract.  I sampled the Gourmet Baking Cocoa several times in my everyday cooking and baking and I was pleased with the tasty results.  Rodelle says their Gourmet Baking Cocoa is "Responsibly sourced from the premier growing regions of West Africa, our baking cocoa is European Dutch processed for rich flavor and appearance. Our cocoa contains one of the highest levels of cocoa butter on the market, ensuring superior chocolate flavor."  I agree that it does indeed have a richer chocolate flavor than other baking cocoas I have used!


Rodelle also makes a lovely Herbes de Provence spice blend, which they describe as "The perfect blend of thyme, fennel, basil, savory, and lavender, Herbes de Provence add flavor to grilled meats and fish. Add it to cassoulet or vegetable stews." I recently simmered Rodelle's Herbes de Provence into some homemade vegetable soup; it was so aromatic that my husband came into the kitchen to see what the great smell was!  The taste was comforting and unique, which I think the lavender is largely responsible for.  I am looking forward to incorporating this interesting spice blend in more of my recipes.


Where to Buy:

Click here to find out where to buy Rodelle products near you.

WIN a RODELLE Prize Package!


Just time time for holiday baking, (1) lucky Freebie Fairy follower will WIN a Rodelle prize package containing the following items: Herbes De Province, Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Organic Vanilla Extract, Pure Vanilla Extract, Gourmet Bourbon Vanilla Sugar, and Gourmet Baking Cocoa.


Here's how...

TO ENTER GIVEAWAY (#1 is a mandatory entry):

1) Become a Freebie Fairy follower (must follow PUBLICLY via Google Friend Connect in the side bar of this website) AND visit the Rodelle website; LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you now follow me PUBLICLY, AND tell me what item you most want to try from the Rodelle website. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES (each entry comment must be entered separately to be a valid entry):

2) "Like" my The Freebie Fairy product review & giveaway blog on Facebook. (3 entries)

3) Follow Rodelle on Twitter. (1 entry)

4) Blog about this giveaway linking it back to my Gluten Free Taste of Home blog AND the Rodelle website. Please LEAVE ME A COMMENT with THE LINK TO YOUR POST or it will not count. (3 entries)

5) Follow Gluten Free Taste of Home on Twitter AND tweet the giveaway; LEAVE ME A COMMENT (with your twitter link) telling me you did it. (one entry per tweet/RT; DO NOT EXCEED (1) TWEET/RT PER HOUR!)


6) Like Rodelle on Facebook. (1 entry)

7) Vote for Gluten Free Taste of Home on Picket Fence Blogs (click the "We're on the Fence!" button in the sidebar of this blog to vote). (2 entries)


8) Grab my Gluten Free Taste of Home button and display it on your website/blog (copy the html code for my button from the sidebar of this website and paste the code into your website), and LEAVE ME A COMMENT with a LINK to where you pasted my button. (1 entry)

9) Follow my Freebie Fairy blog PUBLICLY via Google Friend Connect and LEAVE ME A COMMENT telling me you did it. (1 entry)

10) Follow my Freebie Fairy blog on Twitter. (1 entry)


*GIVEAWAY OPEN TO US & CANADA*

Giveaway ends on Tuesday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m. PST (entries received after this time will not be posted). Winner will be selected by random.org. Winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

*REMEMBER... please leave your e-mail address with EACH entry so I can contact you if you win.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received complimentary Rodelle Vanilla products for review purposes courtesy of Rodelle. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Best of luck!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giveaway Winner: $45.00 Outback Steakhouse Gift Certificate


And the winner is:

Tanya904 (comment #35)

Congratulations! You were e-mailed on 11/5/10; please reply to my e-mail within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Special thanks to Outback Steakhouse for sponsoring this giveaway!

I would also like to thank everyone who entered this exciting giveaway... it received over 500 entries!  WOW!
 
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