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.



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:

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.


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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What to do with Leftover Potato Chips…..

Leftover potato chips, is there such a thing? If it were me eating them the answer would be NO however I have a kid who gets potato chips in his lunch every day and always without fail brings me home ¼ of the bag with chips that have been crushed. He won’t eat the little bits so I guess it’s up to me to find a way to use them.
Waste Not Want Not my momma always told me. We grew up where one didn’t waste food. This bothers my family to no end since in the last 20 years we never really had to want for anything. My kids don’t understand what it means to go hungry unless of course they just didn’t feel like eating what I cooked.
Anyway I take his chips and I put them in my mini food processor and I give them a whiz. I keep these in the freezer as I buy organic chips and well like any chip with the oil it will go rancid. If I get a big stash and don’t feel like I will use it soon enough I vacuum pack it and put it in the deep freeze. But there are many good uses for crushed potato chips.
Here are just a few:
Note: some require more course type chips so don’t whiz them in your food processor until you know what you are using them for. I have both course and fine in my freezer.
1. The most obvious is to put them atop of your casseroles.
2. Use them as a breading for fish, chicken, pork chops, etc…..
3. Add them to chocolate chip or any cookie.
4. Put them in your peanut butter and honey sandwich. Sweet and salty.
5. Add it as a crunchy topping to your ice-cream. Sweet and salty combo again.
6. Put them in your tuna salad sandwich
7. Put them into brownies
8. Potato chip bark, melted chocolate bark with added potato chips, spread on wax paper.
9. Use them as a binder in meatloaf, but omit the salt as the chips have enough
10. Make caramel spiced apples and use the potatoes on top as a salted crunch effect.
11. Top your tomato soup with them or any soup.
12. Potato chip fudge, there is lots of recipes online
13. And Last but trust me there are a million more – Top your Macaroni and cheese with them!

What do you do with your leftover potato chips?

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Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Currently there are two brands of Graham Crackers on the market already-made that I know of.  I like to do 4 things with my grahams,   eat them, frost them with frosting, make smores, and make mini mock gingerbread houses with them.

1.  Kinnikinnick, which puts out a nice tasting graham but they are so delicate that making a graham cracker house (vs gingerbread for our allergy kids) is impossible and trying to frost them is hard.  so they are great in a pinch but not my first choice.

2.  Schar,   they are more sturdy and are great to be frosted and the shape works well with the gingerbread house and smores.    My first choice as of now.

3.  Homemade is always good too.  here is a recipe.

However I just got news that there will be a new Graham on the block.   Remember the old graham crackers and they came in flavors like cinnamon and sugar and I believe there was a chocolate graham?  Its been so long really.  These new ones from Pamela’s will come in all the varieties as well.   I am so excited and can’t wait to try them. (yes all of them)

Graham crackers bring back memories.  when I was sick momma gave me graham crackers, when getting my braces tightened I lived on grahams and milk for about a week.  Special treats would be frosting between two grahams and of course all the smores while camping.   As an adult I still go back to my childish needs for that graham cracker and although the two brands previous mentioned are good they never cured my craving for the good old fashioned honey maid grahams I grew up with.

Click here to see:

The New Graham Cracker on the Block!

Lets hope these are yummy delicious and that I can find them at my stores soon so I can share a review with you.   Also check out some of Pamelas other products, we have mixes in our pantry now that we use all the time.   There are some things I have not tried as I have never found them in my stores but have never really been disappointed with anything so far.

If you try them before I do will you let me know how they are?  Products to Alaska are sometimes slow.

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Product Review: Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I found this cute “little box” that was from absolutely gluten free that contained a cauliflower crust pizza.   It was flour free so it was something I could eat right now being grain free.  I was super excited and shelled out $9.99 for it.


1. Value:  not worth the price I pay for it in Alaska.  If it is cheaper where you are I might suggest a try but I will not again pay that much, not until the initial shock of taste/texture/cost wears off.

2. Amount:  I got three little hockey puck sized pizzas.  they were cute but it was more like a snack than a meal.  Just keep that in mind, you will want something to go with this.

3. Taste:  It was a good taste, all the taste of a little mini pizza, the cheese was there, the sauce was there, a slightly crispy (see texture) texture was there but the salt………….oooh  I downed a glass of water immediately as the salt was just way too much for me to handle.  I felt like I had just gargled and swallowed a salt water rinse.  That was not pleasant but I am glad it didn’t hit me too bad until it was almost gone.

4. Texture:  I wasn’t sure what to expect with the cauliflower crust.  but the directions said 400 degrees so the pizza got brown real fast.  Only thing was it got crispy on the outside but the crust inside was a mushy mess.  so it was sort of like a soggy bread texture.  I was able to handle it but not something I would really want again any time soon.

5.  Over All:   if someone gave this to me, I would definitely eat it again. It wasn’t bad but it was small, expensive and a little mushy.   I did enjoy trying it however and who knows maybe I will try it again one day.

Do you have any thoughts on this pizza?   Have you tried it?

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Mardi Gras

I am a little late posting for this but its still here for next year.   Looking for some GF ideas for Fat Tuesday??  I have never been nor do I attend any parties but I know my readers do.

Its Fat Tuesday, Here is an easy GF (possibly DF) King Cake
King cake
Note: this is a great treat every day of the year; we have incorporated this into baby showers, birthday parties, retirement parties, office parties, bible studies, coffee dates with friends. Simply hide anything small in it for someone to find for a special prize or that person must throw the next party etc….
This takes a lot of prep time to do it from scratch. You know my motto, if it isn’t easy peasy I don’t do it. I use gluten free boxed cinnamon bun mix to make things easier without much difference. You can use your favorite mix; I have also used French bread mix with added cinnamon and sugar. Once you add in all the goodies it all tastes good. (I have also just done regular cake mix and have had great reviews. The king cake is versatile and many people do it cake like, bread like, or cinnamon bun like, it’s a matter of taste)
There are many fillings so pick your favorite (two are listed below). Then roll out your dough to make a rectangle (remember you are putting this in a Bundt pan so make sure its long enough to form a circle and wide enough to go around your filling. Don’t forget to place the miniature item inside before baking. Once baked according to the mix then pour on some icing and sprinkle with the colored sprinkles. Yellow, green, purple,
Cream Cheese Filling: 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (16 ounces total) -1 egg – 3⁄4 cup sugar – 1⁄8 teaspoon salt – 2 teaspoons vanilla
Cream Cheese Plus filling: Filling: 4 ounces (half of a large block) cream cheese – 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon – 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained, and patted dry on paper towels – 1/2 cup pecan halves



Party wisely!

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Enjoy Life Brand is Changing!

Change can sometimes be good and other times it can be bad.   I am not entirely certain what this change from Enjoy Life Products will be, I am a little apprehensive right now.

First its stated that they want to improve flavor and the availability in stores.   I agree to the availability sometimes I have a hard time finding their products and we love the candy bars and the cookies go into the lunch box each day.  Their chocolate chips are the only chocolate chips I will use and I buy them up when I find them.

This is where I am scared!  I love Enjoy life, I don’t always like when people say they are improving the taste as it isn’t always an improvement in my opinion.   They are keeping the same strict processing policies and for that I am extremely thankful.

I will update you more on this as it progresses and hopefully I will be able to review some of the products that are new and improved or new to the company.  But for now I will buy up all I can because I can’t live without those candy bars, chips and snicker doodle cookies.

To read more about their changes click here:

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Gluten Free Cheerios

Who remembers Cheerios?   These are the first cereals introduced to most babies as finger foods or they were in my home.  I loved them before all the different flavors came out.

Camping trips I use to roast them with butter and garlic salt or seasoned salt or for a dessert sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  We learned math counting them then eating them.   We practiced hand/eye coordination by placing them on Popsicle sticks and yes we have even put them on Christmas tree limbs so that santa could turn them into full size donuts.

Cheerios are amazing.

Now they are even more amazing with the new announcement from General Mills that all flavors will be Gluten free starting in July.   They are hoping to have them in all stores by the end of September.

I am excited!

From General Mills:

The challenging project took the grit of one General Mills inventor who believed in the project from the start. That was years ago, about the same time that Chex cereal was moving toward becoming gluten-free.

But yellow-box and four other varieties of Cheerios – Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted – will  become gluten-free and be on store shelves soon.

Oats by nature contain no gluten. But it’s another matter for the oats on your table to be declared gluten-free under the Food and Drug Administration’s strict guideline.

Then along came Phil Zietlow, a long-time General Mills employee, described as “an exquisite inventor.”

“Phil brought to the game extreme grit and persistence in the face of difficult circumstances,” says Mark Boyd, General Mills research and development technology  manager. “He thought of a way to make our oat supply gluten-free.”

Because oat and barley kernels are nearly identical in size, they’re difficult to separate in the manufacturing process. Zietlow worked on finding a way.

Traces of gluten 
The key ingredient in Cheerios - oats – are gluten-free.

But before oats are transported by rail they often get mixed with small amounts of other grains such as wheat and barley that contain gluten – a protein in grains that helps food maintain their shape.

Mingling can also occur in the farmer’s field, through the use of harvesting equipment or during transport.

To be considered gluten-free, a product must meet FDA requirements.

“We know there are many consumers – as much as 30 percent in the U.S. – who avoid gluten. And, people are looking for more gluten-free options for cereal. So it’s important,” says Jim Murphy, president of our Big G cereal division.

We found a way to sort ‘em out.

‘Eureka’ moment

With full commitment from the company, a General Mills team built a test system shortly after gluten-free Chex debuted.  Soon, the team succeeded in separating oats from gluten-containing grains.

The process needed to be tried in a larger operation. The team proved the test in that environment as well.

So General Mills began construction at the current location that is now devoted to the new oat separation process.

“Making the cereal gluten-free is another stamp that we have put on Cheerios,” says Keith Pullman, manager of the location. “Cheerios is as pure as the driven snow, and we can now bring the benefits of oats to even more people – whether a parent of a celiac child or a grandparent who is gluten sensitive.”

Feb. 12, 2015

About three million Americans suffer from celiac disease, a disorder that impacts the small intestine when gluten is eaten. Gluten is a natural protein found in common foods like wheat, barley and rye.

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Sweet Spot Minis

Just in time for Valentines, but Hurry!

*Feb 7th is the last day to order for valentines.

I found this cute little etsy mini donut shop while doing my usual snooping around for gluten free items.   this company stuck out to me for several reasons.

1.   They are from Pueblo Colorado and although I know I have been in Alaska for 23 years I still call CO home as that is where I was raised.

2.  They offer the cutest little donuts I have ever seen and each one just enticed me to take a bite of them.  I could so blow my diet on these little beauties. My son would love the peanut butter chocolate ones or the sprinkles, I personally couldn’t decide I would have to buy a variety pack of 6 each.

3.  they offer gluten/dairy/soy free donuts.  Vegan actually but they will make them gluten free for $2 more.  (disclaimer:  they will be made in the same facility as gluten so CC would be a factor but they take every precaution to bake and send you healthy donuts, and I trust that they do)

You seriously have to check out their site.   you can find them on instagram under sweetspotminis and their etsy site is

Valentines is just right around the corner and St Patricks after that and well do you really need a holiday to enjoy a bunch of little gourmet donuts?  Seriously I could eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner on any regular day of the month…….oh wait I do but these little beauties all wrapped up as a gift to your someone special would just make you the worlds best gift giver.

Try them out and let me know what you think.   I have not ordered them yet but when I do I will be sure to send out a review and I know it will be mmmmmmmm yup loved them, mmmmmmm oh yeah these were good.  Almost too pretty to eat but I forced myself…………

Your welcome by the way!  Enjoy.

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Schar’s You are my hero!

Schar’s has done it again.   I just love this company.   From their cookies, crackers, breads, pastas and now to this!!!!! (a big excitement is I didn’t know they had snack cakes…..I am so on the lookout for these now)

Drum roll please!

Bring on the croissants!  and the hazelnut filled croissants!

If you have celiac disease most likely you have missed the rich buttery flaky bread called croissants.    This will most likely bring me back to my days of youth when my boss use to go for coffee and bring me back a chocolate filled croissant.   Loved that man and loved that croissant.    Croissant at my dinner table is something I have missed over the past 9 years and something I have not been able to re-create to my liking.

Thank you Schar for doing this for the celiac community.  We love you.

Please check out their website and all they have to offer.   they have saltines that when you put butter on them, they melt in your mouth.  (sorry another childhood memory)  every thing they make is just delicious.

I do wish all their products were also dairy and soy free so my son could enjoy them all but he enjoys most things especially a warm ciabatta roll while camping with eggs and bacon.

Although I haven’t tried all their products (there is just some I have not seen in my stores up here…Ahem bring me those snack cakes) I have tried most and I am never disappointed.  Celiac or not these are just plain good and I have heard reviews from gluten eaters alike that love these products.

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Valentines Day – Safe Candy


Valentine’s Day is filled with chocolates, and candies and treats that are so unsafe for those with food allergies. Class party’s holiday after holiday gets exhausting and frustrating and the older my allergy kid gets the harder it becomes to just turn your head to all the good things people have.
I work very hard to give him everything that everyone else has, fancy cupcakes for birthday parties, cookies, cake, and chocolate molds. We do donuts for breakfast and pies, ice cream alternatives for desserts but yet it gets harder and harder.
This year I found some great websites, some I have tried and some I wish I could try but really I can’t always justify the cost since shipping to Alaska is so outrageous.
I hope you find something for your little food allergy kiddo on these sites. And if you have any to add please let me know. I am always on the lookout for anything that is free from Gluten, Dairy and Soy.
My main wants are m&m type candies and cheese puff balls like the cheap ones you get at Walmart in the big barrel plastic tubs, also goldfish crackers and frosted animal crackers with sprinkles. I could list a bunch more but I know it will never ever come to pass.
Of course many main stream products you will find will be gluten/dairy or soy free most but not all three together. I wanted to compile a list of some not so well publicized or main stream products for you to look at.
Amanda’s Own: Love this site, love the chocolate. They were the first ones I found and that year my son actually got his first chocolate Easter bunny. He was so thrilled words can’t even describe. What I love about Amanda’s is her themes. Every holiday she has something, hearts, bunnies, Santa’s. So your child or your special person can actually have candy for the holiday like everyone else and still be safe. They do more of a dark chocolate which I am a milk chocolate type of gal but when there is no dairy you kind of take what you get.

Indie Candy: I have not tried this company personally although I know friends who have (not in Alaska) so I know they are good by their reviews. They break things down in categories for allergies. There is one for GFDFSF which is perfect for me. From rocky road fudge to truffles there is just so much to choose from. Rock candy and gummies along with suckers is just a few. They even have boxed heart chocolates. Oh I wish I could try some. They do shipping but it is still $12 and well I do plan on ordering from them one day, just not right now. But it’s on my list of for sure!!!! I really want that box of valentine assorted candies for $30 that is safe!!!! I could drop a few $100 on this company very easy with all the offerings they have for allergy free.

Divvies: I found these guys while searching but I have not tested any of their offerings or have heard anyone who has gotten their stuff. The options for our allergies are limited but there is some chocolate pops and candy bars. Nothing fancy sticks out to me however for those with fewer allergies there may be more. I would still love to try some of their stuff just because that is who I am, I try companies and if I like them well they have me for life as a customer, but not sure I will get around to these guys anytime soon.

Spangler brand: I included these guys because they have a few things we can eat. We keep a stash of dum dums in our pantry for desserts and in my purse and in my car. They are great for little treats when they just can’t have anything else like the tootsie pop at the bank drive in window or the free hard candy at the hardware store etc….

Enjoy Life: These guys are my heart and soul when it comes to chocolate. I just wish they would expand with holiday candies! We do their cookies, and candy bars and chips and our new favorite mega chips. I use these guys most often as they are found in my local stores. I store their candy bars at school for special treats, cookies are in his lunch every day and I bake and melt the chips into molds for my own candy creations. This valentines Day my son is getting enjoy life chocolate shaped like Legos. Love love love these guys and I go crazy myself over the rice crisp bar.  I don’t think we are ever without enjoy life in our home.

Coracao confections: this is another company I would love to try all their stuff but alas will not be able to for a while. It really comes down to cost; some chocolates I can find in my stores but others are all on line but one day this company is on my to buy from list as well. What I love about them is they state “We make healthy versions of your favorite junk food chocolates a long with new life experience flavors. Everything is made with unroasted cacao and the most pure & organic ingredients possible. It’s also dairy free, gluten free, soy free, low glycemic and most importantly, soul satisfyingly DELICIOUS!” Oh how I wish I could review them ….sigh….one day maybe!

Olivia Chocolatiers: they have some interesting looking chocolate. Mainly bars but it looks mighty fine. I have not tried them or have heard reviews but I would if I could.

Chocolate Emporium: they have lots of neat chocolates from barks, bars to gummies and they have them in shapes for all the holidays. I have not had the pleasure of trying any of their chocolates but add this to the list of ones I want to try one day. Chocolate covered fruits and nuts and chocolate lollipops just sounds like things that should be going into my tummy. My heart skips a beat just looking at all the yummy things.

Soy Free Sales: Although their selection isn’t very large they have chocolate chips free from all 8 major allergens (wish they would do a butterscotch chip like that). A company that works that hard gets my thumbs up. I haven’t tried them and probably won’t since some have milk it is a cute little business that I wish the best of luck to so that they can grow and offer more in the future.

Now for some of the more main stream places that offer allergy safe foods, not all safe but if your kiddo just suffers from one or two allergies you might try some of these guys. I know there is a lot more but for now this is what I have.
Feel free to let me know of other companies, websites or products that would pertain to this.

Enjoy and stay safe this Valentines!

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