Archive for September, 2013

Friday Favorite: Silk Fruit & Protein Healthy Juice Blends

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

If you’re looking for a quick breakfast on-the-run check out Silk’s new Fruit & Protein drinks.

A juicy-creamy-fruity blend of goodness, these juice & soy based drinks are a great source of calcium and Vitamin D, contain a full day’s supply of Vitamin C and 5 grams of protein.

They are also certified non-GMO, are dairy-free, lactose-free, casein-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and free of MSG.

They come in three flavors: Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana and Mango Peach. My favorite is the Strawberry Banana and I like to blend it up for a smoothie and frothy breakfast drink. And for an added fruit bonus, I toss in a handful of sliced bananas and strawberries.

This week’s Friday Favorite goes to Silk Fruit & Protein Healthy Juice Blends because they make never having to miss breakfast again easy! Just grab yourself a glass… and you’re good to go! Congratulations!

Friday Favorite: Brown & Haley Almond Roca

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

This week’s Friday Favorite is for all of you that have a sweet tooth. It was love at first bite after trying my first Almond Roca. The kind of love that you want to tell the world about.

Almond Roca’s are bite sized crunchy chocolates that are to die for. So many toffees and crunchier chocolates are packed with gluten, but Almond Roca is gluten-free. So all of you gluten-free toffee lovers can rejoice!

My favorite flavor is the Almond Roca Buttercrunch Toffee, but other flavors of the  Buttercrunch Toffee include Cashew Roca, Mocha Roca and Candy Cane Roca.

All these sweet reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Brown & Haley’s Almond Roca Buttercrunch Toffees! Cheers!

Want to buy? Check out this link on and take advantage of FREE Shipping!

Win-It-Wednesday: Sweet Cravings Cookbook… 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Kyra Bussanich

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Have you ever paged through a cookbook and tagged almost every single page? Have you ever adoringly gazed at the photos of  sweet gluten-free treats? Or have you ever been beside yourself with giddiness on  finding a recipe for a dessert that you once loved but haven’t had in years since you had no idea how to make it gluten-free?

These are the reasons why I was so excited, giddy and mesmerized while paging through the new cookbook from Kyra Bussanich, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle.

If the name Kyra Bussanich sounds familiar to you it could be because she was the first gluten-free baker to not only appear on – but WIN – the Food Network’s hit Show, Cupcake Wars.

Let’s think about this: Here is a gal that lives the gluten-free lifestyle and bakes gluten-free who is competing  against traditional bakers that use “regular”  flours… and she WINS! Yup… SHE WON!

That means that her gluten-free confections went up against the “real thing” and beat them, hands-down, in the competition. =)

And that only means one thing: Kyra Bussanich’s gluten-free dessert recipes are deliciously awesome and worth trying! And 50 of them are included in this new cookbook. Some of the many that I cannot wait to try include: Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Truffle Crispy Rice Bars, Cannolizella (yup… gluten-free Cannolis!!!), Linzer Bars, Mexican Chocolate Baked Alaska, and of course, her Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes (and since I’m from Boston, I’m “wicked excited” about trying these!).

All of these sweet reasons are why I am super-excited that Kyra has graciously offered four (yes, 4!) lucky BeFreeForMe dessert lovers a chance to win their very own copy of the Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle cookbook!

Two (2) winner will be randomly selected from all comments / entries received before Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST), and two (2) more winners will be selected from all comments / entries received between Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM (EST) and Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST).

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us what dessert you miss the most since going gluten free? (Me? CANNOLI’S!)

Good luck, remember to always keep your cravings sweet, your dreams full of gluten-free desserts! … and as always…

Be Free!

Want to purchase the Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle cookbook? Check it out here on and save! (As of 09-17-13… Only $12.98 AND free shipping if you place an Amazon order for more than $25. How sweet is that?!)  =)

Friday Favorite: Karma Wellness Water

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
The two things that I need to remember every day is to 1.) Drink more water, and 2.) Take my vitamins. Two very, very simple things that for some reason I always seem to forget!

That is why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Karma Wellness Water, a gluten-free product that transform water into wellness! Why? This water is pack with 110% (or more) of the recommended daily allowance of seven essential vitamins: A, B3-Niacin, B5, B6, B12, D, and E. And unlike other “vitamin waters”, Karma Wellness Water contains three to six times the active ingredients of competing brands.

I also love the super-cool cap on each of these bottles of water.  The patented, one-of-a-kind KarmaCap delivers the goodness direct into the water by pushing the cap and infusing the vitamins and nutrients directly into the water. This keeps the vitamins at a maximum potency and at their peak of freshness.

My favorite flavor is the Raspberry Guava Jackfruit, but other flavors bursting with vitamins, superfruits & antioxidants include: Acai Pomberry, Coconut Pineapple, Passionfruit Green Tea and Orange Mango.

Getting my water AND getting my vitamins in a tasty refreshing gluten-free drink are the reasons why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Karma Wellness Water. Congratulations!

My gas grill copped an attitude: Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders Wrapped in Basil & Smokey Bacon

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Last night I was forced to face the hard-cold reality that summer is indeed over. Just as the days are getting shorter and the evening air a little nippier, the unthinkable happened: My Weber grill ran out of gas.

Yup… it ran out of gas. Just like that. As if to say, “I’m through. I’m done. Let that damn lazy oven do something around this place. Get your creative forces in high-gear, Kathleen. It’s September and I flippin’ quit.”

What a smartie-pant  troublemaker  that Mr. Weber can be.

Plate of raw chicken in hand, I wandered aimlessly back to the kitchen, turned the good ole’ faithful oven up to 350 degrees, opened up the refrigerator door and stood staring. Pondering. Begging my creative juices to start flowing.

I wasn’t ready for this. Where were the days of al fresco dining on the patio, laughing and tan with my margarita in hand while waiting for the gas grill to do all the work and basically cook dinner for me?

And just like the autumn leaves that are getting ready to descent, my next dinner creation creatively fell into place one delicious ingredient at a time. Chicken Tenders Wrapped in Basil & Smokey Bacon. Yum.

And for Mr. Weber? Yes…  I will be attacking his grates feverishly with a hard wire-brush this weekend (payback time, baby!). And maybe, just maybe, I’ll let him get all fired-up once again this year since I decided I can take the back-talking attitude especially when I have my faithful oven by my side.

And after all, a hot toddy on the patio while dinner is cooking is a perfect addition to a cool Autumn evening.

Chicken Tenders Wrapped in Basil & Smokey Bacon

1 ½ – 2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken tenders (to yield about 1 dozen tenders) – about 4” long

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Several slices of smoked bacon

Approximately 1 dozen fresh basil leaves, larger sized – washed and patted dry

One dozen green onions (the longer the better!) – washed and patted dry

Optional: Red Pepper Jelly, as a side for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Over medium heat, in a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally until almost done through. About 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, place the bacon slices on top of a paper towel lined microsafe dish. Cover the bacon with a few more sheets of paper towels and microwave for about 3 minutes or until bacon slices are cooked about ½ way –  so they are still soft and pliable,. Remove from microwave, drain excess grease and let drain on clean paper towels.

On a large baking sheet, place the chicken tenders. Top with a basil leave, and wrap with a slice of bacon. Hold in place by wrapping with a green onion and tying a “knot” to hold.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with a side of red pepper jelly, if desired.

Serves 4.

Friday Favorite: Glenny’s Gluten-Free Fruit & Nut Bars

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

This week’s Friday Favorite is an all-natural bar that is made with fruits & nuts: Glenny’s Classic Fruit & Nut Bar. Made with only non-GMO, gluten free and dairy free ingredients this bar is packed with fiber & protein.

The ingredients are simple: Raisins, peanuts, honey, apricots, brown rice syrup, crisp brown rice, walnuts, dates, Brazil nuts and sunflower oil. That’s it. Nothing artificial.

I love that these bars are low-sodium and also contain no corn syrup. They are perfect for breakfast & snacking, and are just the right size for slipping into a backpack or purse. Other flavors include Cherry & Almond, Cranberry & Almond and for the real nut lovers, Cashew & Almonds.

Packed with nuts and fruits, and good for you ingredients are why this week’s Friday Favorite on is awarded to Glenny’s Whole Fruit & Nut Bars. Congratulations, Glenny’s!

Want to buy? Check out these links on

Glenny’s Whole Fruit & Nut Bars

WIN-It-Wednesday: Pearls Olives To Go… a perfect gluten-free snack!

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

This Win-It-Wednesday on  is sponsored by the Musco Family Olive Company and features the newest addition to their family of products: Pearls Olives To Go.

Just in time for back-to-school, these yummy, convenient & gluten-free 4-packs of single-serve olives are a great toss-in addition to lunch boxing, snack time, and before sporting activities.

Each of the single serve cups are full of large California black pitted olives. They are only 40 calories per pack, have an easy peel lid and contain no liquid (Yes… NO liquid!). They are also gluten-free and GMO-Free.

Convenience at your fingertips!

These single-serve packs are also great for the adults too. I love snacking on these mid-day and also while driving between meetings (yup… no water = no spilling!). They are also great as a “side” with my gluten-free sandwiches… who needs fattening potato chips when you can have a side of olives instead!

Healthy yumminess at your fingertips!

And it’s no wonder that Pearls Olives tagline is: “Fun at your fingertips!” Kids (and let’s face it… adults like me too!) can help but be tempted to have “olive fingers” while snacking on these little orbs of goodness. That is why the Musco Family decided to have a contest to discover the best “Olive Fingers” photo. The contest is featured on the Pearls Olive’s Facebook page, so make sure you check out their page for more details!

And lucky for all of us, Pearls Olives has also graciously offered six (yes, 6!) lucky BeFreeForMe olive lovers a chance to win a package of their Olives To Go for this Win-It-Wednesday! Three (3) winner will be randomly selected from all comments / entries received before Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST), and three (3) more winners will be selected from all comments / entries received between Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 12:00 AM (EST) and Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST).

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us how you (or your family) has fun at your fingertips… is it riding bikes, hiking, having a movie night, playing charades? (Me? A couple of my girlfriends along with gluten-free Chinese take-out equals instant fun for me!)

Good luck, remember to always keep fun at your fingertips and make sure you grasp ahold of it as much as possible! … and as always…

Be Free!

Follow Pearl Olives on Facebook to for more contests, news, updates, and special offers!

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