Archive for December, 2013

Friday Favorite: Party ‘tizers Dippin’ Chips

Friday, December 27th, 2013

I found a great new certified gluten-free chip this week that will be perfect for New Year’s Eve appetizers… the Dippin’ Chip by Party ‘tizers.

These chips are sturdy like a cracker, yet crunchy like a chip… so they are the perfect “vehicle” to hold any topping (think provolone wrapped prosciutto and pepperoncini; or goat cheese mozarella wrapped in basil with roasted red peppers) or for a dip (like hummus, salsa or guacamole).  These must-try snacking treats are perfect for snacking, munching and dipping.

The Dippin’ Chip flavors are awesome too: Veggie (the perfect combination of kale, spinach and carrots), Three Bean (made with black beans, red beans and adzuki beans) or my favorite, SuperGrains (A blend of Quinoa, Amaranth and Black Sesame).

These certified gluten-free chips are also cholesterol free; contain no tran fats, MSG, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives; and are all natural & vegan.

All these dippin’ good reasons are why this week’s  Friday Favorite is awarded to Party ‘tizers Dippin’ Chips. Congratulations!

Friday Favorite: Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

It’s tea time! And this week’s Friday Favorite is being bestowed to one of my favorite tea blends… Bigelow’s Vanilla Chai Black Tea.

I love vanilla… and I love chai… so it’s a no-brainer for me that when these two flavors blend together the result is a smooth and tasty tea.

This gluten-free tea is sweet, yet spicy, at the same time. Made with a  blend of black tea, exotic spices and a touch of vanilla make this a perfect cup of tea.

I also love that this Vanilla Chai Tea comes in teabags OR K-Cups!

This is my new favorite tea to cozy up with… and for that reason, this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Bigelow Tea’s Vanilla Chai Tea. Congratulations!

Want to buy the tea now? Check out these links on and take advantage of FREE Super Saver Shipping!

Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea Bags

Bigelow Vanilla Chai K-Cups

‘Twas the Night Before a Gluten-Free Christmas

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Have you ever thought about what the classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” would read like if Santa was gluten-free?

Read on, enjoy & feel free to share!

~ Happy Holiday Wishes from

‘Twas the Night Before a Gluten-Free Christmas

(Adapted by the Elves at

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature ate gluten, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas knows glutens a scare;

The kids were nestled all snug in their beds;

With visions of yummy gluten-free breads;

And Mom in her apron, and I my chef cap,

Headed down to the kitchen, hoping baking’s a snap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

It scared me so much… I dropped the gluten-free batter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Spilling more of the batter… it’s now gone in one splash!

The mess in the kitchen splattered to and fro,

Made me realize l lost all my gluten-free dough.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a sleigh full of gluten-free bread… Oh dear!

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he “GET’S IT!” – St. Nick?!

It sounded quite funny, when I heard him exclaim,

As he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Joan’s! Now, Glutino! Now Kinnikinnick and Udi’s!

All But Gluten, Canyon Bakehouse, Food For Life, and Rudi’s!

You feature the sandwich! You really make it all!

Now slice away! Slice away! Slice away all!”

It was gluten-free bread…  I wanted to cry!

They meet the challenge, and I let out a sigh;

So up to the housetops the loaves they flew

In a sleigh full of gluten-free goodies, it’s true.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The gluten-free bread I needed no proof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed warm and fuzzy, he was all red and white,

And he said “I have gluten-free loaves, it’s alright!”

A bundle of bread he flung on his back,

It was like an Amazon order right there in his sack!

With a quick wink of his eye and a fast twist of his head

My kitchen disaster was nothing to dread;

He was happy and positive, a jolly good elf

And I realized then things were good for myself;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,

Then turned to me with a little odd smirk,

He left gluten-free bread and a need to wonder,

I don’t need to bake it… that was my blunder!

He sprang to his sleigh, and gave the team a call,

And away they flew with their gluten-free haul.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight –

“I’m gluten-free too, and I ‘GET IT’ all right!”

Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Raisin Sticky Bun French Toast

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The boys were out plowing again this weekend, and I wanted to make them a breakfast that was extra special, really sweet and totally unexpected when they arrived home, cold and hungry,  after being out  working for most of the night.

So into the cupboard & fridge I went and pulled out all the ingredients that are the most comforting, warm and heartening to me: Cinnamon, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cream cheese, butter and brown sugar. Then, without a doubt, I decided that the perfect breakfast would be Cinnamon-Raisin Sticky Bun French Toast.

Made out of the soft and cinnamon-y Udi’s Cinnamon-Raisin Bread, this French Toast adds a sweet, yet tangy, twist on an original French Toast recipe. The brown sugar in the bread’s egg wash makes for a caramelized edged finish on the perfectly toasted slices, while the cream cheese infused butter dollop creates a hint of tang that offsets any extra sweetness.

This recipe is delicious and a sure hit for any day…  No snow storm required.


Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Raisin Sticky Bun French Toast

Ingredients for the French Toast:

6-8 slices of Udi’s Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

4 eggs

¼ cup milk

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon of Brownulated (pourable) brown sugar (I use Domino’s)

Butter, for skillet

Maple syrup – I use real maple syrup from Vermont (for drizzle)

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Infused Butter:

2-ounces Cream Cheese

1½ tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk


Additional Cinnamon for sprinkling on top of dollop

Crushed Pecans, for topping


In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and brown sugar. Melt a pad of butter in a well heated frypan. Dip the Cinnamon-Raisin bread into the egg mixture until well-coated on both sides, and place in the skillet for about 1-2 minutes each side until browned and warmed through.

To make the Cream Cheese Infused Butter, beat the cream cheese and the butter together in a small bowl. Add in the vanilla and milk, and continue to beat until well blended. (Note: you can make this ahead of time, just keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use).

Serve the French Toast on a plate with a drizzle of maple syrup and dollop of the Cream Cheese Infused Butter. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, or crushed pecans, if desired.

Dig in. Enjoy.

Serves 3-4.

Friday Favorite: Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Crackers

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

This week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to one of my holiday favorites. Mediterranean Lentil Crackers. These crackers are the perfect choice for those holiday appetizers that call for a cracker for dipping, crunching and snacking.

I love that these Lentil Chips are a good source of protein, low in fat, and are certified gluten-free. Plus… they are positively delicious and go great with crackers, hummus, dips and more.

The Mediterranean Chip Lentil Crackers come in four delicious flavors: Cracked Pepper, Rosemary Herb, Tomato Basil, and my favorite, Sea Salt.

Full of flavor, protein and good health are why this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Chips. Congratulations!

Win-It-Wednesday: “Extraordinary Vegan” and “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes & Cookies” Cookbooks

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Just in time for the holidays, our Win-It-Wednesday is all about good cooking and good baking! This week sponsor is Book Publishing Company, the publishing company for these two incredibly awesome gluten-free and vegan cookbooks that are being featured.

These Win-It-Wednesday’s prizes will get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen. The first cookbook is “Extraordinary Vegan” by Alan Roettinger. With 30 years of cooking experience, Alan shares tons of his culinary wisdom so we all can cook, and eat, deliciously healthy!

There are over 100 recipes using plant-based foods that will open your eyes (and your taste-buds!) to a whole new world of vegan living. His cooking style and tantalizing recipes will make you want to take chances in the kitchen that you have never taken before. All the recipes in this cookbook are also gluten-free. Some of my favorite recipes include the Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Salad, Spicy Minted Slaw, and the Pears in Pomegranate Juice.

This cookbook is perfect for those planning on making the upcoming resolution of eating and living a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.

The next cookbook prize is “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes & Cookies” by Laurie Sadowski. If you’re looking for some awesome recipes for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free cakes & cookies you have to check out Laurie Sadowski’s newest cookbook “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes & Cookies”.

Laurie Sadowski, a food enthusiast with celiac disease (who is also a vegan) wrote this cookbook to share with us her sweet side of baking. Her newest cookbook is a collection of to-die-for cakes, cookies, bars and squares – all of which are perfect for those with celiac disease / a gluten-free lifestyle, dairy allergies, egg allergies, and also a vegan-life style, ADHD and autism.

Just looking at these recipes make me want to dig out my baking pans and rolling pin. They range from the decadent (Triple-Chocolate Layer Cake or Two-Bite Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cupcakes, anyone?), to the traditional (comfort foods like New Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake or Autumn Apple Cake with Cider Sauce), to the dinner-party daring desserts  (Molten Lava Mini Cakes with Raspberry Sauce or Hazelnut Biscotti, to name just a couple).

I really like this cookbook because there are also a lot of tips and tricks to make gluten-free baking a success… something we all can use every so often. =)

Also… take note!!! This Win-It-Wednesday will be featured for a THREE week period… so make sure that you enter each week for THREE chances to win! The FIRST WINNER will be randomly selected to win a cookbook of their choice from the entries received before Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST, a SECOND WINNER  will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 11:59PM, and a THIRD WINNER will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, December 25, 2013 and December 31, 2013 at 11:59 PM … SO – make sure you enter THREE times to win!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and let us know which one of the two cookbooks you would like to win (Me? It’s a toss-up! The sweet side of me says, “Go for the cakes and cookie cookbook”, while the healthy side says, “Do it! Go for the scrumptious vegan / gluten-free cookbook!” Ahhhhh… such a toss-up!)

Good luck, eat healthy… but remember that cookies and cakes are good once in a while too =) … and as always …

Be Free!

Note: Want to order these cookbooks? Check out these link on The Extaordinary Vegan and The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes & Cookies: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Gluten-Free Holiday Ideas, Tips and Recipes

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has given those of us on a gluten-free diet the best gift in the world this holiday season… the Gluten-Free Holiday Tips & Recipes feature on their website.

This series is about everything gluten-free during the holidays. Whether you are newly diagnosed, or you’re a seasoned veteran of the gluten-free lifestyle, this holiday feature is worth checking out.

Here are some of my favorite parts of this series. Make sure that you click on the links to check them out:

Tip of the Day: I LOVE this! Everyday a new tip or trick on enjoying the holidays gluten-free is featured on the NFCA website and on their Facebook page. Contributed from fellow bloggers, health professionals or the team at the NFCA team, you can think of this feature as advice from your best GFF’s (gluten-free friends)! The result? A ton of sharing and idea-swapping that will have you looking forward to the next day’s tip!

Gluten-Free Holiday Blogger How-To’s: In this feature, I and a group of gluten-free bloggers have shared our best holiday how-to’s. Find out how-to save money while on a gluten-free diet during the holidays, how-to travel during the holidays gluten-free style, how- to pull-off a delicious gluten-free dessert, how-to survive the holidays as a gluten-free newbie… and more!  (Note… this How-To feature is sponsored by Crunchmaster. And speaking of saving some money… Check out this link for a $1.00 OFF coupon on a Crunchmaster product!)

TONS of Holiday Recipes! A whole bunch of gluten-free holiday recipe resources are featured on the NFCA website. Some of my favorites? The NFCA Pinterest Board featuring holiday recipe ideas (CAUTION: Do not look at this board if hungry!) and the NFCA Holiday Recipe Box which is jammed packed with tons of gluten-free holiday dishes.


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