Archive for July, 2009

Friday Favorite: Goldbaum’s Gluten Free Ice Cream Cups

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

I love ice cream, but since going gluten-free my ice cream lovin’ life just hasn’t been the same.

There’s something about having to eat an ice cream in a cup. It seems just too proper. I decided it’s the cone that makes the ice cream rip-roaring fun. I miss the drips. I miss the mess. I miss the bottom falling out of the cone. I miss licking as fast I can.

I miss my ice cream cones.

That is why I was so very excited to find Goldbaum’s Gluten Free Ice Cream Cups at my local Stop & Shop supermarket.

They come in a box of 12 cones, wrapped in two separates packs with 6-cones in each. Me? I put one of the 6-packs in my car, for those Dairy Queen type of days, and the other 6-pack in my cupboard for my late night “I Can Eat An Ice Cream Cone So I Am!” type of nights. 

Hurray to Goldbaum’s for making all gluten-free summers a little sweeter… drips and all.

FREE Coupon for a Box of Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Baking Mixes… Try them for FREE!

Thursday, July 30th, 2009



General Mills is offering a FREE coupon for any one of their new Betty Crocker gluten-free baking mixes!

To redeem your free box, call General Mill’s customer service number at: 1-800-446-1898, which is the same number listed on the Betty Crocker boxes. Then, at the main menu press “4”.

The representative will then ask for your zip code, and if you / your household is gluten-free or limiting gluten, where you normally shop for gluten-free foods, and your address. General Mills promises not to sell or share this info.

According to General Mills, this offer is good until further notice. EXPIRED! The coupon will be sent to your home from General Mills within 2-3 weeks. It is good for one (1) box of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Baking Mixes (There are four types: Yellow or devil food cake mixes, Chocolate Chip Cookies or Brownie Mix – Read my reviews to see which ones I liked the best!)

Enjoy! And, as always… Be Free!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

If you’re looking to add a little excitement to your snacking habits give Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips a try.

With flavors like Olive & Caper, Multigrain, Sea Salt & Lime, and Pepita & Spice, Laurel Hill Tortillas jumped out at me while strolling down my local grocers snack aisle. The crisp & clean look, as well as the prominent Gluten Free wording right on the front of the packaging had me stopping my shopping cart right in my tracks. 

These tortilla chips are so good I just had to share.

So far I have tried the Olive & Caper and the Sea Salt & Lime varieties. Both are excellent, with tangy and unique flavors. Next up is the Pepita & Spice, which I can’t wait to try. 

Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips are not only gluten-free, but nut-free and all natural. The Laurel Hill company is also a family business that spans 3 generations that has been around since 1965.

The Laurel Hill logo is, “Share the pleasure of good food”. So, in the spirit of their mantra they are sharing with one LUCKY BeFreeForMe member a mixed case of their tortilla chips.

How do you win?

Easy! Just reply to this blog and tell us how you “share the pleasure of good food” (Me? I get to taste test and monitor BeFreeForMe’s recipe section – tough job, I know!).

One random winner will be chosen. All entries must be submitted by Sunday, 08/02/09, by 12:00 midnight EST.

Good Luck… and as always…

Be Free!

The British Beer Company: Out-of-this-World Gluten-free Food with a Right-at-Home Atmosphere!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

When a friend told me that our local British Beer Company (BBC) pub had recently come out with a gluten-free menu, I was hesitant to say the least. When I think of British food the thoughts of gluten-ridden dishes such as fish and chips, pasty pies, Yorkshire pudding and Ploughman’s lunches come to mind, polished off with a mug full of frosty off-limits beer.

However,  I was thrilled when I checked out the British Beer Company’s website and found a downright extensive, packed to the hilt, full-fledged gluten-free menu. BBC’s gluten free menu currently offers six (6) appetizers, including Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms and homemade hummus; Ten (yes 10!) entrée tantalizing salads such as Wensleydale Chicken & Pear Salad topped with cheese, peas, caramelized walnuts, dried cranberries and fresh veggies; Three (3) types of gluten-free wrap sandwiches (Yes… sandwiches!); several entrees and burgers; as well as over a dozen pizzas made with gluten-free dough!

I quickly made plans with my friends and headed over to the BBC. It was phenomenal! My first visit I had the Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, and it was … heaven! The 12” crust was perfect (chewy on the inside and with a lightly crunchy crust) and the toppings plentiful and gooey. This pizza is an absolute must-have for anyone that is gluten-free and having “real pizza” withdrawals. I can’t wait to try more of these pizzas – they were that good!

After my first visit I immediately made plans to return a second time. This visit I ordered up the Prime Rib Wrap. The consensus: The gluten-free wrap had just the right softness, not stiff and breaking apart, even while being jam-packed with the tenderest beef, lathered with horseradish sauce, and topped with lettuce and tomatoes. I requested the Cheddar Mashed Potatoes as my side, and they, along with the crispy half-sour pickle were awesome too. I also met the restaurant manager during this visit, when he came to our table after my gluten-free meal was served to make sure everything was perfect – which it absolutely was.

Although the gluten-free food at the BBC is out of this world – the atmosphere and décor of the BBC made me feel right at home. Its corner pub familiarity made it a comfortable and welcoming place to be. Although the BBC is technically a small restaurant chain (which was founded in 1997 and currently has 8 locations – with two more to follow soon) this pub could have been located on the backstreets of London with its one-of-a-kind antique fireplace and superbly hand-crafted in London mahogany bar.  

And the gluten-free beer? Take your pick from two selections – the St. Peter’s Sorghum Beer, which comes in a full 1-pint bottle, containing no wheat or barley and brewed in the UK or the crisp and fresh New Grist Beer made from sorghum and rice extract.

I happily ordered my gluten-free beer and when it arrived, I lifted my mug high, smiled, and toasted the BBC for a job well done!


Buy me some peanuts & Cracker Jacks… and gluten-free beer?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

It looks like MLB is starting to take note that celiacs and other gluten free folks are baseball fans too!

Aramark, a leader in providing food services to stadiums and arenas, as well as health care institutions, universities and school districts, and businesses has confirmed that they are putting a gluten-free confession stand in Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.

The gluten-free concession stand will carry hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, burgers, brownies and yes folks, even gluten-free beer!

My thoughts? This is a homerun for the gluten-free community!

Hot-diggity! I’m going to start “the wave” here in Boston… I think in our enthusiasm all of us celiacs could get this wave going coast-to-coast!

Friday Favorite: Boar’s Head Horseradish Sauce

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

This week’s Friday Favorite is once again another favorite condiment: Boar’s Head Pub Style Horseradish Sauce. Why? Because condiments make life fun!

This gluten free sauce is just the right consistency, not too thick, yet not too thin. It is perfectly creamy and can be used as a spread, dip or sauce.

My favorite ways to use this horseradish sauce is to spread it on lettuce wraps layered with thin sliced roast beef, cheese and onions; smothered on top of a cheese burger; or used as a coating before I grill chicken breast.

Plus, with only 15 calories per teaspoon, and flavor that allows a little to go a long way, it is a great alternative to mayo or other high-fat alternatives.

Boar’s Head horseradish sauce is spicy though, so it is not for those folks that stick to more mild-tasting condiments. But if you like it spicy, pour this stuff on for a fantastic gluten free kick!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Omega Smart Original Nutrition Bars

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Featured this week on BeFreeForMe’s WIN-It-Wednesday is a nutrition bar that I recently discovered – Omega Smart Original Nutrition Bars.

Not only do these bars have some yummy flavors (Pomegranate Strawberry Colada, Banana Chocolate Chip, and Carrot Cake – which are my favorites) they are also a smart choice for breakfast, snack or mini-meal since they are so very good for you!

These nutrient dense bars are made of whole foods. So when I grab a Carrot Cake, Cinnamon Apple or Raisin Spice bar for a breakfast-on-the-go, I know I’ve made a smart choice since I stay satisfied and full right until lunchtime.

Some other great features of the Omega Smart Original Nutrition Bars are:

– Gluten free (made in a designated GF facility and all ingredients are certified GF)
– Egg free
– Dairy free
– Casein free
– Cholesterol free
– Rich in antioxidants
– Low glycemic (Good for those diabetics following a low glycemic diet)
– No refined sugars
– No trans fats
– Bars contain 2,000 grams of Omega 3’s

Note: The Banana Chocolate Chip & Pomegranate Strawberry Colada Nutrition bars are also soy & nut free. The Pumpkin Spice is also soy free.

Two (2) LUCKY BeFreeForMe MEMBERS will win a box (12 bars) of Omega Smart Bars of their choice! (Note: The winners can pick any combo of the Omega Smart Original bars!)


How can you win?

Easy! Just reply to this blog and tell us what flavor Omega Smart Bars sound the yummiest to you and/or your smart tip for eating or living gluten / allergen free! (Mine? Use your gluten free diet or allergy to explore & try new foods you’ve never tried before!)

You must enter to win before Sunday, 07/26/09 at 12:00 midnight EST.

Good Luck, Be Smart and, as always…

Be Free!

FREE PASTRY at Starbucks – Tomorrow, July 21st (HURRY before they run out… or are discontinued!)

Monday, July 20th, 2009

For those of you that haven’t tried the new gluten-free Orange Valencia Cake at Starbucks, this is the chance to try it for FREE (with the purchase of selected beverages)! Print your coupon and present it to the barista upon ordering. On another note, these cakes are being discontinued soon, and replaced with Kind Fruit and Nut Bars, as seen on Nancy Lapid’s blog at

This deal is good tomorrow morning, 07/21/09, in participating US stores from opening until 10:30 AM.

Make sure you read all the fine print at the bottom of the coupon. Most important, the Starbucks at airports, travel plaza and Barnes & Nobel cafes will not be participating. It also notes that supplies are limited. So bring your gluten-free appetites early to the Starbucks closest to you!

Let us know what you think of the Gluten-free Orange Valencia Cakes once you try them… will you be sad to see them go? Will a nut and fruit bar satisfy your sweet tooth?

Bad Advice from Dear Abby: Invite those with Food Allergies Over Less Often!

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

My mouth dropped when I read the advice Dear Abby gave to a woman wanting to know the etiquette on inviting a guest over her house for dinner who has food allergies.

Abby’s advice: Invite the person over less often!

This is the actual copy of the question and answer in the Dear Abby column on Friday, July 17, 2009:

DEAR ABBY: Our daughter’s landlady — I’ll call her Martha — has become very close to our family. Martha and her husband are included in most of our family’s social events.

My problem is Martha is allergic to garlic and cannot eat anything cooked with it.

Abby, we are Italian. We grew up eating garlic and cook just about everything with it. My husband and I are locking horns over the fact that I feel it’s an imposition to be expected to accommodate one person by omitting a key ingredient in a dish. When you’re cooking for a lot of people who are accustomed to the way certain foods are prepared, I feel it is inconsiderate for someone to expect me to leave an ingredient out. What do you think? — MAMA “MIA” IN N.Y.

And Abby’s answer…

DEAR MAMA “MIA”: I think you should prepare a garlic-free extra dish for Martha — something not too difficult to make, like a salad — or invite Martha over less often.



Here is the most widely syndicated newspaper columnist in the world, whose column is published in about 1,400 newspapers worldwide, and has a daily readership of more than 110 million people – telling someone to invite a close family friend with food allergies over less often! I actually had to go back and read this over and over again, very slowly, to make sure I didn’t miss something and I read it correctly.

Even Abby’s advice to make something “not too difficult” for the close family friend, “… like a salad” is also an insult! To invite someone as a dinner guest and then offer just a “simple” salad, while everyone else is feasting on a huge Italian meal is just wrong! Shame on you Abby. I think you need to start reading Miss Manners column regularly.

What advice should Abby have given to MAMA “MIA” in N.Y.? Here are a few tidbits I think she should have passed along:

– While making your Italian pasta sauce make a small sauce pan of your delicious sauce san the garlic. You don’t need to make a second garlic-free version of every single dish you are making, but since you invited Martha for dinner, but make sure you offer Martha something more than just a salad. Martha is your guest (and your friend) and will surely appreciate the extra efforts.

– When you invite Martha for dinner, ask her to bring one of her favorite dishes that she can enjoy and everyone else can share with her too. Who knows… maybe everyone will enjoy her garlic-free dishes as well!


And lastly MAMA “MIA”, chances are that you, or someone in your large family, will someday become aware that they also have some type of food allergy or celiac disease. So you may want to start thinking now about how you can make some changes to those accustomed to recipes!  (P.S. And don’t worry gluten-free pasta isn’t all that bad!)

What do you think Abby should have given for advice?


Note: I gave Abby my two-cent worth and you should too! Email her today! Note: In the body of your message refer to the 07/17/09 column and the advice she gave to MAMA “MIA” in NY.

Friday Favorite: Honeycup Mustard

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

It’s funny how condiments can make a gluten free or allergen free world that much… well, happier! Condiments can make the sometimes ho-hum world of gluten or allergen free living come to life.

This week’s Friday favorite is another old standby for me. Honeycup Mustard is the sunshine in my gluten-free pantry. Plus, the usefulness of this mustard makes it a staple that I can’t live without.

Honeycup Uniquely Sharp Mustard is gluten free, egg free, sesame free, nut free, dairy free, plus kosher. It is perfect smothered over chicken before baking or used as a dip for gluten-free pretzels.

My favorite though is as a topping for deli meat, cheese and veggies that is wrapped in large leaf lettuce. It gives just enough “zip” to turn it into a satisfying and tasty sandwich alternative.

Who needs the bread when a condiment like this can steal the show?

If you want to find out more about this mustard, or order some for yourself, you can find it at their distributor, World Foods or call the folks at Stone County Specialties at (416) 447-9664.

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