Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Review

I found the new Krusteaz Honey cornbread at the store this weekend.    I have heard great reviews on their pancakes so I thought this has to be good too.   Although good  I was not impressed nor am I willing to put this in my pantry for back up cornbread.

It is very simple to make homemade cornbread and it’s fast and a good dish to make in little to no time at all. But on with the review………..

The Krusteaz cornbread mixed well, poured well and baked up very nice and I was so very hopeful this would be good.  I just couldn’t get past the after taste.   Food should not have an aftertaste, it should continue to taste like what it first did as it entered your mouth.   I am thinking its the blend of flours they use, I am not sure but it wasn’t pleasant.   So I put it to two tests.

Test 1:  Honey!  Honey makes everything better right?   well yes but not in this case, the aftertaste was to pungent that I literally ate half and threw the rest away.

Test 2:  Smothered it in chili dog.   This worked for about 3/4 of the meal until that after taste started showing through.   Up until then it was perfect pair of sweet, salty, spicy, meaty, corn bready goodness.  That made me sad that the after taste showed up.

So over all, I am very sorry but I will not be buying this product again. Would I eat it again, yes maybe if it were free.   I am still trying the other items though, I like the brand and I think they have potential and I would love to try them down the line perhaps if things change in their cornbread formulation.

I am not writing off the other products, I just haven’t tried them yet.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Allergy free

Corned beef has been in the slow cooker all day, (two slow cookers since we are serving 6) the cabbage softened in the corned beef juices and potatoes and carrots have been pressured cooked in juices.  I have my Irish Soda Bread, and my green cookies already to go.  Bring on the celebrations!

Corned beef is simple you just open the package from the store and plop in your slow cooker and cover with water and let sit on low all day long!

After the corned beef is done you take it out and keep warm while your cabbage stews in the juices until done.

Take veggies (our favorite is red potatoes and carrots) and place in pressure cooker with some corned beef juice and cook until done.

My Irish Soda bread is an old favorite and you can find it here: Irish Soda Bread Recipe.

My cookies are the basic Chocolate chip cookie recipe (use your favorite) with an added box of Pistachio pudding for a green color.   The pudding makes it moist and the flavors are terrific.

We are going to be eating good tonight!

Contains NO gluten, dairy or soy!

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QuestBar Review

My mouth has died and gone to heaven!  

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I am enjoying this little beauty right now!  My mouth is exploding with flavors and the gluten free graham crackers in this are just divine.   Today was my first day trying the smores and I have  cookies and cream for my next taste adventure. I am one happy person right now literally, these make me smile!

I discovered these quest bars in January however my daughter liked the cookie dough so I just started buying those by the box and then ventured out to some other flavors recently.  Although I do not like them all (just not my taste but they may be your favorite) I love most of them.

First off they are filling and most the times when I need a bar it is because I am on the go for a meal and need something to replace that.  At 180 calories I have to remember to go back and eat more but honestly I forget sometimes as I am 100% satisfied until its time for my next meal.

They have 20 grams of protein.   My body personally thrives on protein and the more the better so sometimes when I am lacking my protein intake I grab one of these as a snack to help boost my intake.   Getting my protein has never tasted so good.

13 grams of fiber which is why I suppose they are so filling however I don’t keep track of my fiber but if you are then this is good.

I don’t do sugar, no honey, no corn syrup no tapioca syrup, high fructose what ever you want to call sugar that isn’t natural.   If I do a sugar, I use stevia, erythitol or Xylitol.  All other sugar subs cause extreme issues with me not to mention weight gain, and awful side effects so when I saw this I was excited.   it has sucralose which made me hesitate for a little, I actually waited over a month before I got brave enough to try it.   But the sucralose is so minimal that I have not had any side effects whatsoever and I haven’t gained a single pound  (okay I lost some but that’s okay, that comes from when I forget to add more to my meal than just a bar).  So I am okay with the sweeteners in this product.

The taste in these little things are simply divine to put it simply!   I eat it very slowly with a cup of coffee and I feel like I have cheated in the worst way by indulging in such sweet chewy flavorful goodness.   My mouth is watering just thinking about the bar that was sitting before me when I started writing this post.  I could easily go grab another but that would be an over kill on pure joy on my body’s senses.

What about the other products? Quest products

I have only tried the bars, but they have protein powders, (really thinking they should put the peanut butter and chocolate one together as a swirl mix), they have chips, they have pasta, they also have peanut butter cups.    Why haven’t I tried these?   Well all my store carries is the protein bars and protein powder so I am limited on just grabbing something to try.   Soon I hope to try everything!

I would love to try everything and let you know how it is but for now all I can vouch for is the bars but oh what a review that is!    I am not kidding when I say if I were stranded on an island I would want to be stranded with a life time supply of these bars in a variety of all their flavors!   Now If I knew I was never going to get off that island and I would die there then of course I would say give me unlimited pastries and donuts (after all why be healthy at that point right?).   Oh and don’t forget the coffee that would be my beverage of choice for either one.

If you haven’t tried one – Go do so right now.  My gym carries the bars, and my local GNC.  You can also find them on Amazon and right from Quest nutrition.    There is no excuse not to get one.

Oh there is one word of warning:   they are sooooooooooooo addictive!  Sorry that is the downside.

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Shrimp Soup

I love finding soup recipes in magazines; my problem is I can never follow the direction. They are either lacking on ingredients or lacking on the taste. After tweaking I usually find a recipe I really like, the shrimp soup for example. This turned out wonderful, but after serving it to the family paired with a grilled cheese (because you can’t eat a tomato based soup without a grilled cheese, just can’t be done) I was wishing I had not as this would have been a nice lunch for me all week long. Now I have to go to the store and buy all the ingredients again.

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Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 cup instant brown rice
Pinch or two of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of water*
1 can creamed coconut milk
2 bouillon cubes, vegetable (or 4 if using small cubes)*
8oz tomato paste*
2 lbs. baby cocktail shrimp
2 tbsp. lemon juice (real lemon juice or juice your own)

In a large soup pan put the olive oil, onion, pepper, garlic and sauté. Cook until the veggies are soft. Add all other ingredients except shrimp and let simmer adjusting seasoning to taste. Add in shrimp and cook until done about 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook or shrimp will get rubbery.
*Instead of water you can replace with vegetable stock (I added water then didn’t like taste so added bouillon)
*if you like chunks of tomato add 15 oz. crushed tomatoes instead of paste (I have a non-tomato chuck eater)
I will be making this again and again. Tomatoes and shrimp are two of my favorite things in soups.  This time however the large pan will be all mine.

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Gluten Free Star Bread

I am sure you all have seen the you-tube videos and recipes how to make the Nutella Star Bread, if you have not here is a link: Star Bread

Two problems, We cannot have gluten nor Nutella due to food allergies and auto immune disease (Celiac)  but we really wanted this Star bread.

Well I guess that means we make our own!

Finding a pizza dough that would be sturdy enough to roll out and roll thin (no elastic in gluten-free bread) was rough but we managed by adding a little more flour to the Bob Red Mill gluten-free pizza mix and I will tell you it was not as thin as what they did so ours turned out a little denser and a little harder to twist.

For the Nutella we replaced that with a chocolate peanut butter called Dark Chocolate Dreams.

Was it good?   well it may not have looked as pretty as the video but it tasted great!  And since its St. Patrick’s day next week I had to try to make a 4 leaf clover using the same technique.  I free-handed that one so it’s not as neat looking but still tasted great!

If I can make this, anyone can make this, it was really very simple.    It took my daughter and I no time at all rolling it all out spreading and twisting.    It may look intimidating but it really isn’t at all.

You should try your own.

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Gluten/Dairy Free Shamrock Shake

thwho doesn’t love the shamrock shake from McDonald’s?    I love them but I don’t love the ingredients!   I read this recently and it really made me think about what I was buying.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/15/shamrock-shake-calories-nutrition-ingredients-mcdonalds-st-patricks-day_n_2885415.html

Mostly I have made these at home and have done it with several different recipes:

put all in the blender and mix

1.   use 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of vanilla ice cream, 1-2 drops peppermint essential oil, 2 drops of green food coloring.  Top with whipped cream and a cherry. (add more milk or more ice cream for your favorite consistency)

2. Chocolate chip mint ice cream, milk and mix.  top with whipped cream and cherry if desired.  If your mint ice cream isn’t already green you can add food coloring.

3.  Dairy free, Oh so delicious vanilla or mint ice cream, small amount of coconut milk and mix.  if using vanilla add in some peppermint essential oil or flavoring and green food dye or leave it dye free.  Its the flavor not the green that makes it good.

4.  Want to get really creative?  make your own ice cream for the base of this dessert.   Can’t beat the flavor on that!

Now you don’t have to drive all the way down to McDonald’s or other fast food just to have your St. Patrick’s Day Shake.

Enjoy.

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Chocolate Covered Gluten Free Oreos

Ever see those chocolate covered oreos at bake sales and thought to yourself “wow I would love to try one of those”   its sort of like deep fried Twinkies at state fairs; you know they are so bad for you but you want to try them but you can’t ever try the good things because you can’t eat stupid gluten!   ARGH as my pirate grandpa use to say.

So my son and I bored over spring break decided to do something about the oreo situation with ingredients we had in the house and whipped up in a matter of minutes the cutest little treats.   Seeing that it was close to St. Patrick’s Day we decided to make a few of them Holiday themed.

It was so easy I could have let him (9 years old) do it all by himself.

Ingredients:   Enjoy life Chocolate chips, Gluten Free oreo type cookies, Popsicle sticks (makes for easy dipping), some leftover green candy melts used for my pretzel Christmas tree project, and green m&m’s from my son’s recent dairy reintroduction challenge and parchment paper.

1. Place a  Popsicle stick in between the GF oreo type cookies 2. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between to get the right consistency.   3.  dip your cookies and let the excess drip off.  4. place on parchment paper and put a green m&m in the center or what ever color theme you are going for. 5. place in the fridge to harden. 6. melt a small amount of colored candy melts to drizzle over the top of each. 7.  Enjoy!

It could not have been more simple.  If it was complicated in anyway you would not see me posting here.  This is literally something I can whip up in 10 minutes time on any occasion.   I feel bad I waited as long as I did to do this but I was honestly thinking it would be more difficult and time consuming and messy.

Mess was a breeze I simply gave the dipping dish to my son who licked it clean and all was good.   To see his face when I told him he could have the rest of the chocolate made my whole day.

Now on to the twinkies…………..nah just kidding that I know would be time consuming and really not worth the trouble.

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Irish Soda Bread – Gluten Free

Irish Soda bread is a St. Patrick’s Day favorite but I am going to let you in on a little secret.  9 years ago when I started my Gluten Free journey  I couldn’t make bread to save my life.   I had so many flops that I was dubbed queen of the failed loaves.  however We had one heck of a thanksgiving our first year because I turned all those failed loaves into stuffing cubes.

Months down the line I gave up cooking your traditional yeast, I have to rise type breads and found a recipe for an Irish soda bread.   It looked good so I tried it minus the raisins/currents and for the next year or so this was our staple for breads.  Since we loved a french bread type bread anyway this was a great sub. (you can add cinnamon and raisins for a cinnamon bread which was also good)

So If you are not Bread Savvy yet with the yeast breads give this a go  or enjoy the traditional way for your St. Patrick’s Day feast this year.
3 cups gluten free flour blend (I use Tom Sawyer of course)
3 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry currants or raisins (if you are making it traditional style, omit if you just want bread)
1 1⁄3 cups buttermilk (for milk sub use almond/coconut milk and add 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
Directions

Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Stir in currants/raisins and milk of choice.
Combine until well blended.
Dough will be sticky. Use GF flour to make it easier to work with
Shape into an 8″ round loaf.
Place on un-greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

Note:   Shape into a french bread loaf for french bread, or put into a bread pan for a traditional loaf of bread.  You can also make mini rounds for sandwich rolls.  

Now you have a bread to enjoy.

Let me know how it turns out for you.

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Olivia’s Gluten free Stuffing Review

https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.607988892241363310&pid=15.1&P=0

Olivia’s has a few products that looked good.   There are croutons and stuffing.   Since I am not a big fan of salads I chose the stuffing to review.  I love stuffing year round but I am a more of a make your own type person when it comes to stuffing, after all it is easy as can be to do.   But I also like convenience and if I don’t have everything prepared I thought this would be a fun product to grab and use.

first thing is the recipe on the back says to add sauteed onions and celery.  Well heck if I was going to do all that work I would just do it myself but again I was going for convenience here.

lets break it down real quick then I will add in some things I found helpful:

1.   Taste:   Yes it was there, it was a very flavorful stuffing but not sure if it was on its own or because of the the wonderful sauteed veggies you got to put in.   I am going to say the flavor would be there regardless.  I love sage and this satisfied my sage craving.

2.  Texture:  both good and bad, there were a lot of crumbs and small pieces of bread so of course when you added chicken broth you got both flavored bread cubes and soggy crumbs.  the mixture together made for a good combo of both.  I wasn’t pleased nor unhappy with the texture.

3.  Convenience:  Yes it was very easy to grab from the pantry throw some canned chicken broth on and bake.    I loved that all the seasoning was there and all I did was open, dump, pour, bake and eat.   Figuring how much broth was needed was bothersome, see tips at the bottom.

4.  Would I get it again:   Yes I believe I would if the price was right.  Again I can whip up my own box of pre-made stuffing mix in no time and flavored to the way I like it.

Conclusion:  if you are not able to make your own stuffing and need some some for dinner (no its not stove top brand like by any means) this would be a great thing to have in your pantry.  I personally can’t handle the high price of something I can make for a fraction of that.

Tips!   I sauteed up onion, celery and mushrooms.   You also need to put it in a big bowl and add 1 cup of broth and let sit (stirring occasionally) to see how moist you want it then add as you go.   It takes awhile to soak in.  I think I spent 30 minutes on this process, but end result I got the stuffing just the right consistency for my family.  Taste it and make sure you don’t need to add any seasoning, I personally did not.

But………………It takes no time to keep your own bread crumbs in the pantry.  Anytime I have the butts to breads that no one will eat, a failed loaf with useable parts, a loaf that is just getting too old to taste fresh. I cube them and I freeze them until I have a large batch.  when I have enough I season and dehydrate or without a dehydrator in the oven on low low heat until they are croutons.   I then use them as such, croutons or stuffing base.  I have also been known to grab them and grind them for coatings to food and binders in meatloaf. I also buy loaves of bread just to keep dried seasoned bread cubes stocked in my pantry.   They can be used for so many different things.

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Funfetti Frenzy

This is a review from Alysha’s kitchen.

It’s not often that I get to relive my childhood in such a delicious fashion. Most of my favorite treats are off limits due to the dreaded g-word. So when I found Pillsbury’s gluten-free Funfetti cake in my local Wal-Mart, it took about half a second before the box was sitting in my cart. In my daze I accidentally bought Betty Crocker rainbow sprinkle frosting, which is good as far as store-bought goes, but I have to admit I was disappointed when I got home… I wanted this to be a pure Pillsbury experience.

I decided to make a double layer cake because I’m practicing the art of layers and frosting cakes so they are pretty. I’m making my own wedding cake in August so I need all the practice I can get. It’s a work in progress but I’m certainly getting better.

Now, something you need to know is that when I make a box cake I never follow the instructions. Pillsbury has two recipes to follow, one with whole eggs and one with egg whites. I went with the whole egg recipe because the Funfetti I remember had that gorgeous, rich yellow cake color to it. It tasted just as buttery and rich as it looked too so naturally I wanted to try to copy that cake from my memories.

The recipe called for three eggs but I put four. It called for 1/3 cup of oil but I used 1/3 cup of butter flavored shortening. It wanted water; I used milk. I also licked the spoon but I don’t think that was in the recipe at all, something about raw eggs or whatever. I always make my box cakes this way (batter sampling included). I think it makes them better, especially the gluten free ones. A trip in the oven at 350 degrees for half an hour and I had myself two 9 inch cake layers that literally smell like birthday parties.

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The layer that was a little too full did sink a little after this picture. I learned that this cake does not hold up well to the concept of layer. A 13 by 9 pan would have be much more appropriate.

I didn’t get too fancy with the frosting, I just gave it a thin layer all over. I was more interested in practicing a new method for making frosting roses I found on a different food blog. Check out this link for more information: http://natashaskitchen.com/2013/05/10/how-to-make-easy-frosting-roses-a-video-tutorial/

I should have refrigerated the frosting or used a proper buttercream to make these roses as they sort of melted into rest of the cake but I covered them with sprinkles to hide the imperfections. Sprinkles make everything better right? Here is the finished product.

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Now to the part you have been waiting for… the actual review! The cake was very moist and delicious. The layers, I’ll admit, were a bad idea because it was a bit too soft but that soft cakey texture was exactly what I was looking for. It looked and tasted just as rich and buttery as I was hoping for. My fiancé even skeptically asked if it was really gluten free after the first bite. That response is what I always hope for when someone tries my baked goods. In short, this cake was everything I remembered about the Funfetti cake of my childhood, which is rare for a gluten free version. Hats off to you Pillsbury!

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