Ians Southwestern Chicken – Review

Ian’s is a brand I usually have on hand in the freezer for my son.   Being that he only has a list of 15 its he will eat (he has come a long way from the three items he would eat a mere 3 years ago) we stay well stocked on the fish sticks and chicken nuggets.   My son is a sight, smell, touch, type of eater, so I never could pull one over on him by serving another brand of fish sticks or chicken nuggets although we are making great breakthroughs.

I mainly started buying them since those two items are the only things that I ever find in my stores which is why I haven’t tried more of their products.  Ian’s however has a large variety of items and I would love to try them all.

however that being said I was not impressed with the new item I found.   Southwestern chicken.   It looked good on the package and I imagined in my head how wonderful and juicy these would taste based on the other two products I have eaten.  I was so excited.

Big let down.

first lets see a photo; this is what it looked like as I took it out of the box. IMG_4277

Okay not a big deal, it was frozen, lets just cook this food up and see what it becomes………..

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okay a little better but you can even see from the photo (I cooked exactly how they told me to) how dry this is and well it tasted like nothing.   Dry tasteless chicken.  I managed to get one piece down then had to douse the rest in ranch dressing just to tolerate.   Yes I ate it because it was all I had for dinner sadly.

I have to state again I love Ian’s, (the two things I have eaten and yes I still want to try the rest of their products) but this I did not enjoy at all.    My son took one look at it and gave me the gag sign but that isn’t saying much it didn’t look appealing in the least.

Sorry Ian’s but I will pass on this one but do look forward to one day seeing your other items in my stores.    How about sending more of a variety to Alaska so I can try them.   I thought for sure when my local health food store expanded I would see some items but no luck this is the only new item I have found.   Big Sigh, sometimes it sucks to live clear in Alaska where people think we still live in igloos.   Well okay we do but that is only in the winter months, in the summer there are wooden huts.

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Canyon bakehouse Gluten Free Bread – Review

I actually did not set out to review this bread.  I found it at my local Safeway store and I thought what the heck I will give it a try.   It was the first time I have seen it and I hope I continue seeing it.   I have heard people raving on this bread forever but since I found Franz bread I honestly thought there could be no better.   Don’t get me wrong Franz is a wonderful soft bread and I still like it but can I tell you a few things about Canyon Bakehouse bread?   (I have to go get a napkin because there is some serious drooling going on; yes over a piece of bread)

Basically I bought this out of curiosity to see what everyone was raving about.  Some people rave about other brands and well I find them equivalent to eating cardboard.  So here it goes, this is what I want you to know about the bread:

1.  It smelled like bread, It felt like bread, in fact I was a little puzzled how gluten bread-like it was that I had to go read the ingredients and then even thought to myself what if it was marked wrong somehow?

2.  I made a ham and cheese sandwich and the first bite brought back memories I didn’t know I had from 10 years ago when I use to eat gluten bread.   I have honestly never bitten into bread that reminded me so much of real gluten bread.   Other brands are soft, delicate and edible without toasting but with each bite I went back to pre-celiac days.  So I thought clear back to childhood and a light bulb went off, I had to test this bread to the full limit!

3.   My childhood test of bread.  As a child sometimes we just got a piece of bread with dinner.   My favorite thing to do (don’t judge me) was to wad it up into a little ball and nibble on this almost raw tasting dough ball.  Of course leaving the crust.   I did this to the Canyon bread……………………………whoa, I have not done this in forever.  No other gluten-free bread has ever been able to do this.

3.  test two, I toasted it and buttered it and dipped it in hot tea.    When I am sick there is nothing better than hot tea and toast and this is something I have not been able to enjoy in the last ten years as much as I have tried.   This was perfect……………I am almost crying at how perfect this was.

BUT WAIT!   CHECK THIS OUT, HOW PERFECT IS THIS?  Its sugar free……….Oh yes it is.  Water, brown rice flour, organic agave syrup, tapioca flour, whole grain sorghum flour, xanthan gum, cultured brown rice flour, extra virgin olive oil, eggs, whole grain amaranth, sea salt, yeast and natural enzymes.   What?  oh my gosh the perfect bread for my diet.

Anything from here on will just be a bread coma rant about how much I love this bread and how I feel like a little girl again back before I couldn’t have gluten.  I have eaten so many pieces in so many ways today and I could die a happy person right now.

How can a bread make a person that happy?   Oh it does, it so does.

Here is a picture of the sandwich and the dough balls, after that I ate it so fast and said the heck with the photo give me my bread…………I was like a kid in a candy making shop making this and that and that and this, and well there may no longer be a loaf of bread in my fridge now, but I don’t care.

“shuddering” this was so good!

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Fig Bars – Reivew

Marin Food Specialties makes a fig bar.   I would love to link you to their site but for some reason they do not have a direct site to reference.  In fact I can’t find them anywhere which is concerning because I absolutely loved this product.  I found them at my local Health Food store.

This is the only info I could find.  If you have any other info please contact me so that I can link to them.

MARIN FOOD SPECIALTIES INC.

PO BOX 609.3800 BYRON HIGHWAY BYRON,CA 94514-0609 USA ATT DORIS BRUMFIELD P:9256346126 F:925 634 6240

Anyway, they make this amazing fig bar.

Its hard to think of a food that don’t bring back memories so like most other foods; I recall my momma buying fig newtons on special occasions and we all sat around and enjoyed them.  She had her coffee we had our milk.  It was a treat for sure.

I have tried Pamela’s figgies and honestly I thought they were awful.  they were dry, crumbly and there wasn’t just a regular fig bar, they were all these variations of flavors with fig.   I just want a soft, delicate, fig only bar.   When I found these I grabbed them right up and the put them to the test.

1.   Taste………..Yup they were just plain fig cookies with a cake like crust and the closest darn thing to Fig Newtons I have ever tasted.   They went down real smooth with a cup of coffee.  First cookie I enjoyed with my eyes closed getting the full effect of that little fig cake that brought me back to childhood.

2.  Holding up………I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt to Pamela’s Figgies since perhaps I just got a stale bunch so as hard as it was I divided these New fig bars up and put some in the freezer and some in a bag in the pantry.  two weeks later I went back to them.  still soft, non crumbly, ultra delicious fig bars.   The freezer batch after thawing on the counter were the same way.   So I have determined these are the real deal fig bars and nothing will cross my lips for that old fig newton fix than these little cookies right here.

Do you miss Fig Newtons?   Search no more (well unless you can’t find these in stores then you might have a hard time searching online) these fig bars will satisfy your craving.

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MIlton’s Gluten Free Cracker Review

I recently had the privilege of trying out some of Milton’s Gluten Free Crackers.   I had 4 varieties I tried in various ways.  They were Cheddar Cheese, Crispy Sea Salt, Multi-Grain, and Everything.

First off I need to give you a warning about these crackers.   they are addicting.   I found myself almost not wanting to put my bag of Crispy Sea Salt crackers down.   I did because sadly I had to share these with 3 other people.   2 of us have to eat gluten-free the other 2 do not and so its important for me to get their opinion on things since they are able to eat mainstream foods and can give me a better perspective on how they compare to normal gluten foods.

Lets start out with what I found most interesting;   The crunch factor.   I almost don’t want to say these are a cracker, but they are not a chip either.   It’s a nice combo of both worlds.   Light flaky, crisp, tasty, and addicting.  Its like not being able to just eat one chip addicting but its cracker like attributes make you want to go get some dip or cheese to put on them.   Although I found eating them plain was quite appealing.

I put these in my purse, in a lunch box, and with our meals.   We found they held up quite well in travel and they paired well with many things.

some of the highlights of this little cracker/chip are they are certified gluten-free, non GMO, no high fructose corn syrup, no peanut or nuts, no trans fat and they are baked not fried.   They are also Orthodox Union Kosher and only have 130 calories per serving which was actually a pretty good serving size.

The Everything cracker had 7 whole grains and seeds like sesame, caraway, poppy and quinoa.   it was 13 grams of whole grains.  This was fun to pair with soft cheese and humus

The Cheddar Cheese cracker is made with organic cheddar cheese, brown rice and gluten-free oats.   it’s also 13 grams of whole grains.  This was best paired with tomato soup and homemade salsa

The Crispy Sea Salt is just plain and simple with a dusting of sea salt and has 16 grams of whole grains.   Not sure how something so simple can be so good.  this I had a hard time pairing with anything as I just wanted to eat it plain since it was that good but it worked well with dips and cheese too.

The Multi-Grain has 7 whole grains and three seeds similar to the everything crackers but has 12 grams of whole grains.   This paired well with soft cheeses, humus and cheese dip.

Among 4 people there was plenty to share and test with a variety of things like dips and cheeses and in soups and I do believe at one point they got put in the middle of a ham and cheese sandwich.

Over all impression was “these were great” with two thumbs up.

They passed the taste test for being good (addicting good), they held up well in lunches, purses and on the go and they paired well with almost anything we tried them with.  Of course most crackers do but let’s go back to the fact this is more than your basic cracker,  it is a mix between a chip and cracker.   Not too often do yo find a light flaky almost buttery cracker that is gluten-free.

I have already found these in my stores and purchased more.

Try them for yourselves, I don’t think you will be disappointed

If you want to see where you can purchase them click here

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Feel Good Foods, Vegetable Egg Rolls – Review

My Birthday food finds are almost to an end.    There have been great reviews and not so great reviews but I had fun trying them all.

Today’s treat is Feel Good Foods Gluten-Free Vegetable Egg Rolls.

Looking at their site they have 6 items, 5 of which I have never had but would love to try!   What I did try was the Vegetable Egg Rolls,  and I found them to be very yummy however there were a few small issues.

The cooking instructions are bake or pan fry, I am a rebel so I deep-fried.  This made the outside crispy and flaky, just exactly what I was looking for.   My taste buds tickled from the pure joy of the richness of the crust.  However I think deep-frying made the insides just a little mushy.   They were good just a little soft which made it not 100% enjoyable.   I would love to try this again baked, maybe……..again the outside being crisp and flaky was so enjoyable.

I found the taste spot on as far as an egg roll goes, (I did not use a dipping sauce. It would actually be nice if they included a little pack of dipping sauce) but it was a little heavy on the sodium, which is why I didn’t dip it as the dipping would have been gluten-free tamari.

As far as nutrition goes its pretty normal for a processed food.   90 calories per egg roll (there were three in a package) no saturated fat or trans fat but oops I deep-fried so I just made them not so healthy.   the sodium is 400 so I ate a total of 12000mg of sodium.   It was my birthday so it was worth it to have an egg roll.  Carbs were 16mg per egg roll and the protein was 2mg.    Not a bad lunch but I will be drinking a large glass of water to flush some of the sodium out.

This really hit the spot with my egg roll craving.  That is my biggest criteria for passing my taste test so I give this a thumbs up and I would purchase again.   Sadly my store doesn’t carry all of their products so a review of the other foods may be non existent.   But I think I can say they would all be pretty good.

I sure have enjoyed my birthday food haul this year.   Can’t wait for all the other products to hit my stores.

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Birthday Donuts – Katz Review

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me!  I found another type of donut at my local Natural food store this past week when I went birthday shopping.  I was so excited I did a dance in the aisle.   I don’t find many Katz products up here, although I wish I would.

I don’t get to natural food store as often as I want because its a drive for me and well I hate driving.

BUT………………………

I found me some glazed donuts!  oh yeah.

I bought the glazed and of course I had to buy the powdered sugar ones too.   I have told you how much I loved those powdered sugar ones.   My son brings donuts to school to keep in the freezer so that when there are parties he grabs his two donuts.   however our local store here only carries Kinnikinnick donuts and while they use to be a good brand for donuts the quality has just gone down hill. (small, dense, dry)   So I will be investing in several boxes of Katz to keep in my freezer for him to take to school next year.  This year I actually let him have the rest of my birthday donuts to take to school and he just ate the kinnikinnick ones he had saved at school.    He deserves good donuts for parties just like I do, and Katz are just good donuts.

here are the reviews of the Katz and the Kinnikinnick donuts that I already did but I must add to it since I have now tried the glazed…………………………..big sigh, these are so good, I have a hard time explaining my joy of eating them.    Lets just say I give a little bow to Katz for some amazing products.

Katz Review

Kinnikinnick review

The negative:   Katz I really wish you would ship more products to Alaska.   I appreciate the addition of the glazed donuts but I want all the donuts, (I am a die-hard donut fan, it’s what we always eat on our birthdays, sleepovers, special occasions)  I would really love to sample all you have although that might make me sad if I couldn’t buy them here on a regular basis. I know you would sell all your products up here so well.  In fact there were only two boxes each of the donuts left in the freezer.

now the yummy part, check this out

IMG_4092 IMG_4094 IMG_4096And by the way, I licked this plate clean.

Donuts, Oh dear donuts, how I love you.  Let me compare you to a mid summer day.  Oh who am I kidding there is no comparison donuts are just awesome!

I am a food lover from my head to my toes.    Sometimes I wonder what life would be if I were not Celiac.  Oh the foods I could try.   But I am so happy that there are some really good gluten-free foods that I can rave about, just wish there were not so many I complain about as well.   Again this just proves to me that you can do processed gluten-free that tastes good, has flavor, good texture, that is moist and soft so why do these other companies not care to do the same?   It blows me away.   They could make a fortune, and I know I am not the only foodie out there with dislikes on some of the things I have tried.   I hear them complain, I hear their dislike and I just sigh wondering why it has to be like that.

Oh well I have one donut of each kind that I saved for just me, I think I will go treat myself right now.

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Antonina’s Mini Cupcakes – Review

My birthday is Sunday and I treated myself to some treats I found at my local Natural food store.   I was more than pleased with my finds especially the mini cupcakes.

I absolutely loved these little mini cupcakes by Antonina’s. I have not tried their muffins, loaves or cakes but I can probably assume they are just as yummy. I have tried a couple of flavors in the mini cupcakes and so far I think carrot is my favorite.
These moist, flavorful beauties come in the cutest little pack of three mini cupcakes. Each cupcake is two very big bites or three little but chocked full of goodness bites. It is the perfect amount of sweetness to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Portion sized just perfect so that you don’t over indulge but indulge enough to feel like you are cheating on your gluten free diet. I do believe these are that good. (Remember I haven’t had gluten in over 9 years but these are moist and soft nothing like normal dense, dry gluten free processed foods)
At my local Natural food store they were $2.50 for one container of three mini cupcakes. The container keeps these all nice and cozy so that they don’t get squished everywhere. I thought this would be the perfect occasional surprise to put in my child’s lunch, for picnics, to keep at school for surprise birthday parties, for lunch on the go, to throw in your purse or lunch box, long plane trips, car trips, the list is almost limitless.
If you have not tried Antonina’s, you really ought to give them a little taste next time you find them in stores. I am interested in trying more of their products, but my stores are limited on what they carry on foods. I find that odd that they carry some products but not all the products of certain brands, but that is a whole other blog post.

If you seriously if you want a moist, rich, not going to crumble everywhere and indulgent dessert or treat pick up a little pack of mini cupcakes. You will not be disappointed.

If I had a negative on this product the one thing I would change about these is the soy flour but I am willing to deal with it for the wonderful little cupcakes.

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Glutenfreeda Original Gluten-free Flour Tortillas/Wraps

I found some Glutenfreeda gluten-free flour tortillas.  I am a sucker for a burrito.   If you go back to my earliest posts you will probably see that for the first two years after being diagnosed Celiac,  any time I drove past a Taco Bell I would break down and bawl.   Not just little tears but literally cry my eyes out.  This is how addicted to basic bean burritos I was and frankly it has been a quest ever since to find one that is comparable.  So I was so very excited to see a new product I have never tasted.

I went on Glutenfreeda’s site however did not find any information on this at all about the tortilla.  So either it is so bad they took it off the market or its so new they don’t have it on their website.  I am going to bet by my taste test its the first posibility, it is off the market.   If I am wrong I am sorry you have to taste this.

After I sat down and taste tested this, I thought to myself wasn’t there other products from this company I didn’t like.  Well yes there was.   I test each product individually as a company in my opinion can really hit gold on one product and still flop on another.  So I didn’t even go look or think about other reviews until it was all over and just so you have the info too here is my other review of the Glutenfreeda Hotpockets.

I always go into a review with the highest of hopes and perhaps that is my problem.  however these were non-GMO, dairy free, gluten free, no trans fat and well they looked good.  The ingredients were simple and minimal and only 100 calories for 1 tortilla.   Sounds good right?

first off I found these in the frozen section, and so I brought them home and let them defrost naturally and slowly in the fridge.   However unfrozen they were still out of shape, hard as brick and unbend-able. (perhaps I am picky but a tortilla should be able to wrap around the food its going to hold.)

Thinking perhaps maybe they dried out a bit in shipping (we do live in Alaska and it has a long ride to go) I put it in the microwave wrapped in a wet paper towel and put it on 10 -20 seconds.  It got warm and softer but not bendable and so I dealt with the fact that I would have a  broken tortilla in which everything would fall out.  But at this point I am going for the taste because I can deal with the mess.  OH NO.  Sorry  let me gulp some coffee because this tortilla was the equivalent of eating plastic wrap.  Very thick plastic wrap.  No flavor, not tortilla like texture, no nothing, I did not even get the slightest feeling of eating a tortilla.  No tortilla in it at all.

You know the saying if it quacks its a duck.   Sorry it looked like a tortilla but it wasn’t a tortilla!  No way no how and the remainder went into the trash.   No one would eat it, and trust me I have some taste testers in my family that would eat just about anything however these went straight to the garbage.   $10 in the trash!   trash, trash, trash.

Big Sigh…………I just don’t enjoy the flavor, texture, product this company puts out.   Not sure why its so hard, so many companies do a good job.  It may not be the same as the gluten product but at least its edible and enjoyable.    I don’t want an exact copy of something, I just want something I can enjoy.   Sadly this was something I can’t, won’t and will never enjoy.

Very disappointing………….two thumbs down and a belly ache to go with it.

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Review: Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice soup Mix by Laurie’s Kitchen

During a stint of illness my darling husband found and brought home some Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup Mix.   The thought was very nice but since I have not had this brand before I wanted to save it until I felt better so I could give it a proper review.   Several times I looked at it in my pantry and read the recipe on the back for gluten free biscuits and drooled a little.   But first I wanted to do the soup.    Biscuits will be next.

I never have seen this brand but after looking on line she has a few things that are gluten free and I applaud anyone who will take the time for those of us who have no choice but to eat this way.   I always give a Kudos to those companies regardless of if I like the product or not

So lets get right down to it.   There are two packages which make two cups of soup each.   I left one package for biscuits later and made one pouch for my lunch today.   Directions say use water and I will admit you might want to do that to get more of a soup consistency.  I used almond milk because I always mix my cream soups with milk vs water.  It was just the way my momma did it and I have always done it that way.  What I got was a very thick creamy soup.  more of a dipping soup actually.   Oh this would be very good with a warm soft gluten free french bread.

One issue I had with this is the soy, I normally don’t do soy at all but I was so proud of my husband for finding this and thinking of me I decided what the heck.   Also I was looking at the nutritional facts and I am seeing 140 calories and 670 sodium, not all that bad for a processed food until I saw that there are 5 servings per the 2 cups per package so I am consuming 700 calories and 3350 mg of sodium if I eat the whole bowl and yes you can taste that sodium. I love my salt, oh how I love my salt (I have been accused of salting salt when I cook I am that bad) but this is a salty soup which makes me think it would do so much better in a biscuit or as a dip.

Moving on I love wild rice however even after cooking according to directions (remember I used milk instead of water so this may have something to do with it) they did not cook.   I was excited to see wild rice, then I was sad as there was hardly any wild rice in the package then I was happy again as the wild rice never cooked so I bit into hard pieces of rice in each bite.  Not very appealing and I thought I wonder what they will taste like in the biscuit, but that’s another post.

So Basically lets get right down to the over all taste, was it good?  well it was a thick creamy salty chicken soup. First bites were awesome but one would want to eat in moderation with the sodium and really after about 10 bites you feel like you have swallowed an ocean.  I am Sorry #Laurie’s Kitchen but perhaps you should really cut down and by cut down I mean at least 1/2 the amount of sodium you add.  I think minus all the salt it would be an awesome soup/sauce or whatever you would like to do with it.

Before I write them off all together because I won’t be eating this as a soup again I want to try the biscuits.  I really can imagine these in a biscuit.  it would be like a dumpling my momma would cook in her chicken noodle soup. That is what I am picturing in my mind when I am tasting this soup anyway.

what are your thoughts, have you tried this soup or another one of her products?  I would love to get some opinions.

Kudos again for making a gluten free product………now lets cut the sodium just a bit please because unless the biscuits are amazing this product will not be in my pantry for future use.

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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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