Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Chocolate Day

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Day!! It's time to celebrate!

Here are a few options for some delicious gluten-free goodies, all with some fantastic chocolate!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Chex Muddy Buddies

Cocoa Pebble Treats

Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Pie with Chocolate Crust

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Ideas on How to Save on Gluten-Free Groceries

So I just made my post about some gluten-free staples and how to find discounts, then went to check out my friends gluten free blog and today she had posted a link with a similar topic as well. So apparently being BFF we are on the same brainwave :) So for more ideas on how to save while shopping gluten-free, check out her post. She, as always, has some great ideas and tips!

More Gluten-Free Grocery Discounts and Savings!!

In my previous post about Shopping both Savvy AND Gluten-Free I promised to give you some more tips on how to save money, and still get great gluten-free staples. Three gluten-free items I could not live without are Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, and Rice Noodles. Throughout my posts you will see many recipes using these three ingredients. They are basic ingredients I incorporate into a lot of my gluten-free cooking. And I have recently had my eyes open to these and numerous other gluten-free items available at most Asian markets.

At my chain grocery store a pound of Rice flour or Tapioca is typically about $4, sometimes even more. At a nearby Asian market 1 lb of Tapioca flour is only 89 cents!!! Talk about savings! Rice flour was less than $1.50 per pound. And now for Rice Noodles…at the grocery store I can usually get about a 14 oz box for typically $4 as well, at the Asian market I have found a wide variety of gluten-free stir-fry rice noodles for anywhere from 69 cents (for 16 oz.) to $1.69 (for 28 oz.). Such a steal of a deal!!

And the extremely wide variety of noodle types and sizes has inspired me to get creative and find some fabulous ways to include rice noodles into more meals…all of which have been loved by both gluten-free eaters and non alike. (I will post some of these recipe options in the near future.)

So I really want to recommend finding a local Asian market and checking it out! I have found some great snacks and treats as well that are rice based opposed to the commonly wheat based snacks found in traditionally American products. It has not only been fun and has also cut my grocery bill significantly!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pamela's Gluten Free Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix

I have recently posted about Pamela's Gluten Free Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix, and how to purchase it at a discount. So I figured I should probably highlight some of my favorite things to do with the mix. First off Pancakes and Waffles...simple and delicious! Biscuits…amazing! And Chocolate Chip Cookies…fabulous, but of course me being me, I wanted to take them to an even higher level of deliciousness, what I am now going to call GABulous!! (corny?...yes!, cheesy?...of course!, Blameless self-promotion?...why not! :) 

So here is what we will call Pamela’s GABulous Gluten-Free cookies….

½ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp almond flavoring
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Mix
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup butterscotch chips
½ cup chopped pecans

With egg beaters, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, then the almond flavoring. Beat together. Add Pamela’s mix, followed by chocolate and butterscotch chips, then the pecans. Mix thoroughly. Place spoonfuls of cookie dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Makes about 20 cookies. Bake on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Original Version from recipe on the package:

½ cup butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Mix
1-1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

And as always, the best part about these cookies…easy! I know there are a lot of Gluten-Free gourmet bakers out there using 6 different flours and specialized sifting techniques, but when I am craving a sweet treat, I need easy, simple, and ingredients that won’t make me run around town finding the right specialty flours. And that’s what is so great about a versatile gluten-free baking mix…I stock up, have it on hand, and can just grab and bake, without having to have planned ahead, ‘cause let’s face it, sometimes the sweet tooth is calling, and just can’t wait two hours for an answer! So try the original or try my adaptation, and let me know what you think!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gluten-Free Rice Krispies Treats Here I Come…

Look’s like Kellogg’s is catching up to good ole General Mills. They now have Gluten-free Rice Krispies!!

I can’t wait to try them. And if you don’t know where to find them, just click on this store locator.

And here is a recipe for a cute treat…I think I might make them into orange balls for Halloween pumpkins (just add orange food coloring to the marshmallow mix) and then make Jack O’Lantern faces with M&Ms.

I’m excited!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shopping Both Savvy AND Gluten-Free

With Extreme Couponing, discount divas, and shopping websites a plenty, finding a way to save a buck or two is definitely on our minds, especially with the so called “economic downturn”…which basically just equates to less money in your pocket and higher prices at the store. And unfortunately, a lot of the manufacturer coupons do not consistently apply to gluten-free items. Because let’s face it, the more prepackaged, and preserved it is, the more likely it is to have traces of wheat, barley, or malt. So how do we as gluten-free consumers get our hands on grocery discounts on a regular basis?? Solution… I have long been a lover of, some people might even say we are BFFs. I am all about their lightning deals, great discounts, free shipping, and convenience of delivery. Over the past year Amazon has increased their wide variety of delicious gluten-free groceries. And not only are they frequently cheaper than you can find at your local health food store, if you sign up for Subscribe and Save, you will save an additional 15%!! Not sure what on earth I am talking about? Let me break it down…

At my local grocery store Pamela's Gluten-Free Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix (which I LOVE) is regularly one 4lb bag for about $17.50. On lovely I can get that same bag for $12.75!!! And if I choose to do Subscribe and Save (where Amazon renews my order in an increment I choose (Which can be anywhere from monthly to semi-annually)), I save an additional 15% and that amazing versatile mix is knocked down to a highly discounted $10.84 per bag!!! That is about a 40% discount off my local grocer’s price! Now that is some savings to shout about!

Still not convinced?? Okay, try this example…who out there loves Glutino Gluten-Free Crackers? I know I do! They are by far my favorite crackers, but they are pricey!! At my grocery store the Glutino Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers are $4.99 for a pretty small box. I buy them, because I love them, but I always feel guilty that I paid that much money for them. But once again, Amazon has come to the rescue. They have these crackers for $3.33 each. But don’t forget Subscribe and Save, where I save an additional these crackers are only $2.83 per box!! Almost half the price of my local store! Discount achieved and buyer’s guilt removed!

The same type of awesome discounts can be found with gluten-free breakfast bars, cookies, other baking mixes and the list literally goes on and on. Plus Amazon is good enough to send me emails whenever they have gluten-free sales because they know that’s something I like! So convenient! And how their great programs are setup I never pay shipping, get my items in a couple of days, and enjoy the great tastes and great savings. So whether your local store has poor gluten-free selections or just higher prices, I highly recommend checking out so you can get fantastic gluten-free specialty items, without giving up your entire bank account!!

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve on ways I put more Gluten-Free items on my shelves and still manage to keep more money in my pocket, but since this post is already extremely lengthy, check back next week and I will give you some more ways to cut your gluten-free grocery bill…after all, I am the gluten-free guru :)

(I added in some links to hopefully help illustrate the great gluten-free deals available)

Gluten-Free Awareness

October is often recognized as Celiac or Gluten Free Awareness month, so in honor of this I want to share probably my all time favorite story of gluten-free ignorance. One of my best friends also follows a gluten free diet, so at her wedding reception she had two tables of refreshments. One filled with typical bite size treats, and a separate smaller table with a sign stating that these items were “Gluten-Free”. I admittedly was excited to try the delicious looking goodies, but my excitement was nothing compared to that of the couple behind me. They were ranting and raving how excited they were that all of these sweets were somehow “Glutton-Free” and therefore must be healthy versions! So they loaded…and I mean loaded… up on “glutton-free” brownies, “glutton-free” cake, and “glutton-free” cookies….10,000 calories later I did not have the heart to tell them that “Gluten-Free” was unfortunately not the same as “Glutton-Free”…hopefully they figured it out before their next trip to the grocery store….I can just imagine it….”Honey did you know these chocolate covered glazed donuts are glutton-free? I don’t know how they get purely healthy items to taste so good!” :)