Win-It-Wednesday: Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn Snacks

September 22nd, 2015

Do you remember eating Cracker Jack’s as a kid? The sweet popped corn jumbled with the salty peanuts… and who could forget the prize nestled at the bottom of the box? Cracker Jacks were one of my all-time favorite snacks as a kid.

That is why I was so excited to find Popsalot Popcorn snacks! I like to nickname Popsalot “Cracker Jacks for Big Kids.

The concept of Popsalot is a lot like Cracker Jacks… the sweet glazed popcorn co-mingled with savory nuts. But the difference is in the “big-kid” flavors and tastes of Pop A Lot. Some of the flavors include: Southern Surprise: Air-popped popcorn and slow-roasted pecans nestled in pecan infused caramel; Honolulu Aloha: Air-popped popcorn and slow-roasted macadamia nuts nestled in macadamia infused caramel; or the Brazilian Samba: whole roasted cashews and air-popped popcorn folded in cashew-infused clandestine caramel.

The intricate flavor combos and blends of Popsalot will have you hooked at the first bite, PLUS all of the Popsalot varieties are certified gluten-free… which  beats any prize at a bottom of box!

On my last shopping excursion I picked up extra bags of my beloved Popsalot for this WIN-It-Wednesday prize on BeFreeForMe.com!

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win a TWO bags of Popsalot Gourmet Snacks. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, September 30 and Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn looks the best to you (my favorite? The Southern Surprise… I love the pecans and caramel!) Good luck, look for the prize in everything… and, as always …

Be Free!

P.S. Join me in following Popsalot on Facebook and Twitter!

Win-It-Wednesday: Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit

September 8th, 2015

If you ever thought about canning, but thought it was too hard or complicated you need to hear about the Home Canning Discovery Kit from Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball Canning Jars.

Once a couple of years ago, I tried canning. But it was difficult to know where to start, what recipes to try and how to navigate the jars full of veggies and fruits in and out of the boiling water without burning myself, breaking the jars or making a mess.

That is why I am so excited that Jarden Home Brands sent to me their new Home Canning Discovery Kit along with a cookbook packed with tons of fabulous canning recipes (Caribbean Peach Chutney, Zesty Zucchini Relish or Sweet Apple Cider Butter anyone?) .

The folks over at Jarden Home Brands are the experts when it comes to canning and preserving. I love the way they make things so simple and basic. There’s no getting overwhelmed! The have a super website that has everything you need to know about canning fruits and veggies. The website goes over it all…  from getting started with canning, recipes, figuring out how much pectin (a naturally occurring carb found in fruits and veggies that aids in the gelling of your jellies and jams) you’ll need, and more.

The Home Canning Discovery Kit includes three (3) jars for fresh preserving with the lids and bands, a Beginners Guide Book to Canning and Recipe Booklet and the super-duper patent pending canning rack with lifter. The kit makes canning super easy and effortless.

I LOVE the canning rack and lifter. It makes lifting the cans in and out of the boiling water stress-free. Plus, it is small enough to store compactly and neatly… so there is no cumbersome contraption that I have to find cabinet space for. (And if you’re like me… my cabinet space is precious space!)

This past weekend I had an overflow of cucumbers in my garden, so I dug out my family’s super easy Classical Pickle Recipe and made several jars of Dill Pickles (for the recipe, photos and how-to’s make sure to check out my blog post!) This recipe is a great recipe for beginner canners, since it is simple to prep and assemble.

And… lucky for us… Jarden Home Brands is sponsoring this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com!

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win The Home Canning Discovery Kit packed with three canning jars, recipes and how-to’s, along with the nifty Canning Rack with lifter, that I love so much! One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what you would like to try to can (is it pickles, salsa, relish, jam or jelly?) or what canning recipe on the Jarden Home’s FreshPreserving.com website looks the best to you (Maybe it’s the Apple Jam, Antipasto Relish or Bread & Butter Pickles?)

Good luck, Remember if you think you Can, you CAN! And, as always …

Be Free!

Easy Canning: Classic Dill Pickles

September 8th, 2015

If I can… you can too! Today I tried my hand at canning and discovered that it is so easy… and fun!

My Grandmother and Mom use to can when I was a little girl. I remember enjoyed fresh tasting “right out of the garden” fruits and vegetables in the middle of the winter – and there is nothing in the world that beats it.

So, today I dug out my family’s tried and true Classic Dill Pickle recipe and with the help of my Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit, and an overabundance of pickling cukes from my garden, whipped up several jars of dill pickles in no time.

If you have never canned before, and are looking for a quick and easy recipe look no further than this recipe. It is quick, easy and convenient… and gluten-free! No mess, no fuss and a great way to enjoy fresh garden cucumbers all year round.

Classic Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

3 to 3 ½ pounds of pickling cucumbers

4 cups of water

4 cups of white wine vinegar

½ cup of sugar

1/3 cup of pickling salt

6 tablespoons of dill seed

Optional: 6-12 garlic cloves, halved

Directions:

Wash cucumbers well and cut off ends. Stand cucumbers upright next to canning jar to measure how tall they need to be to allow for 1/2 “ of space at top of jar. Cut to measure. Next cut the measured end of the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters for “spears” and cut end of the cucumbers into ½” “chips”.

In a large non-stick, enamel or stainless steel pot combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.

Wash six to eight pint sized canning jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Rinse well.

Next place the cucumber spears and the chips into jars, arranging loosely and making sure that there is a ½” headspace at the top of the jars.

Add about 1 tablespoon of dill seed to each jar, along with 1-2 halved garlic cloves, if desired. Ladle the hot vinegar/sugar mixture into each jar, maintaining the ½” headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean dry cloth, place lids and hand tighten (not too tight!) the bands on each jar.

In a large stockpot boil water (enough to cover the jar with 1” of water). Once boiling place the jars in water (I love using the Handy-Dandy Ball plastic canning rack with lifter) and boil for 10 minutes (starting the 10 minute timer once the water returns to a boil).

Remove jars from water, place on wire rack and let cool. Once the jars are completely cool tighten bands. Let sit for 1 week at room temperature before serving.

Win-It-Wednesday: Glutenetto Artisanal Italian Wedding Cookies by Cookies con Amore

August 25th, 2015

Finding a good gluten-free cookie can be tough. And finding a good gluten-free cookie beyond the “basic” varieties of the traditional chocolate chip and oatmeal, and the like, can be even tougher.

That is why I was so very excited to find Glutenetto Artisanal Italian Cookies. Reminiscent of the traditional Italian cookies that my great-grandmother, Nonna, used to make, these cookies and I were in love at first bite.

These cookies are made by a company named Cookies con Amore. The company was started by two childhood friends that lived in Italy and moved to the states. The love of the cookies their grandmother’s baked led them to the world of entrepreneurship, and eventually starting Cookie con Amore, in California in 2005. The company has grown to more than 20 employees, but all orders are still baked with love and in small batches at the company’s 8,000 square foot bakery in Vista, California.  Their philosophy is, “… great Italian cookies are a result of fresh, quality ingredients, a commitment and passion for excellence, love, and a desire to create a memorable taste experience that will leave you wanting more.”

The gluten-free Italian cookie varieties that Cookie Con Amore make are:  Ameretti, Bisconttini, Cuccidati Fig Cookies, Assorted Linzers and my favorite, the Wedding Cookie. All the gluten-free cookies are Certified Gluten-Free.

I love that Glutenetto Wedding Cookies are perfectly traditional.

These melt in your mouth cookies are made by using fresh ground pecans rather than almonds in the shortbread. Add to that a bit of lemon zest and sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar – and you have a delicious gluten-free cookie, that makes you want more and more. I buy them all the time… and bought two extra boxes for the two lucky winner’s of this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com.

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win a 6-ounce box of Glutenetto Artisanal Italian Wedding Cookies. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, September 2 and Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what Glutenetto Artisanal Italian Cookie variety looks the best to you.  Good luck, enjoy cookies everyday… and, as always …

Be Free!

P.S. Join me in following Cookie Con Amore on Facebook and Twitter!

Win-It-Wednesday: Figueroa Brother’s Coconut Caramel Squares

August 11th, 2015

This week’s Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForme.com is super, super sweet!

Every once in a while I like a little sweetness in my life. One of my favorite types of candy is caramels, but unfortunately many, many brands contain gluten.

That’s why I was so over-the-top excited when I found these little squares of sweetness… Figueroa Brother’s Coconut Caramel Squares.

Packaged in a one-pound bag, these gluten-free caramel squares contain a flavor burst of sweet caramel and creamy coconut milk. The flavor combo is out of this world. It kind of reminds me of an old time favorite, Goetze’s Bulls Eye Caramels, those swirled caramel candies, which I haven’t been able to enjoy since being gluten-free, since they are packed with gluten.

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win a 1-pound bag of Figueroa Brothers Coconut Square Caramels. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, August 19 and Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us something sweet in your life  (Me? My two dogs… Sadie (Boxer) & Bruschi (Puggle). Good luck, keep things sweet… and, as always …

Be Free!

Win-It-Wednesday: Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Wasabi Edamame Snacks

July 28th, 2015

I’ve been a fan of Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame for a long time. These dry roasted Edamame are a crunchy, tasty and healthy way to add more protein in your diet… all while enjoying a perfect snack.

I’ve tried all three of the varieties, including the Lightly Salted, which are great as a snack or a salad topper; the Goji Blend, dry roasted edamame mixed with Goji berries; and my new favorite, Wasabi, which adds a nice spiciness and kick to snacking.

I love that these all-natural dry roasted edamame contain simple all natural-ingredients. The Spicy Wasabi variety only has three ingredients – soybeans, sea salt and wasabi powder. So there’s no hidden ingredients – only all-natural goodness.

And not only are they packed with protein, they also contain all 8 essential amino acids and add no cholesterol or trans-fats to your diet. Plus all of the Seapoint Farms dry roasted and frozen products are gluten-free.

These super snacks are also versatile, since they make a great addition atop your salad or added to your favorite homemade trail mix. Make sure to check out all the recipe ideas on the Seapoint Farms website.

I was so excited to find my new favorite snack, the Spicy Wasabi Dry Roasted Edamame, in my local store so I picked-up an extra two boxes to feature on this week’s Win-It-Wednesday giveaway!

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win a 100 Calorie Snack package box of the Wasabi Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, August 4 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, August 5 and Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us your favorite healthy snack-on-the-run. Good luck, keep snacking healthy… and, as always …

Be Free!

P.S. Want to buy Seapoint Farm Dry Roasted Edamame? Check out this link on Amazon.com

Friday Favorite: Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 23rd, 2015

I had lunch with my God Mother last week which was a special treat.  I haven’t seen her for years, but we started exactly where we left off, chatting and gabbing hours away about everything and anything.

But her presence wasn’t the only treat of the day. She brought along a gift of Tate’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies for me.

For those of you that haven’t tried these cookies yet, you must. These thin, crunchy cookies taste like homemade.  Eating just one is almost impossible. They are just that good!

And best yet Tate’s has more varieties of gluten-free baked goods that I can’t wait to try including,  double chocolate cookies, ginger zinger cookies, and gluten free brownies. All of Tate’s Bake Shop gluten free items are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility and are certified by the Celiac Sprue Association.

Thanks to my wonderful God Mother, Kay, I was bale to discover Tate’s Bake Shop’s gluten-free cookies! All of these wonderful reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Tate’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies! Congratulations!

Win-It-Wednesday: XO Baking Company Gluten-Free Pound Cake Mix

July 14th, 2015

When I was a little girl my Mom would always bake up her soft, buttery and moist pound cake. To this day, I can still imagine the thick buttery slice, topped with fresh ripened berries and a dollop (well, okay… more like a scoop) of homemade whipped cream.

For years after being diagnosed with celiac disease and being on a gluten-free diet I have been dreaming about this little slice of heaven.

And thanks to discovering the XO Baking Company Gluten-Free Pound Cake Mix my dream has once again come true.

All of the XO Baking Mixes are Certified Gluten Free through the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO).  This means that they test every one of their products to ensure that they are safe for those with a gluten intolerance, sensitivity or celiac disease. The mixes also contain no milk or eggs and are Non-GMO.

And as well as Pound Cake the XO Baking Company also offers other delicious gluten-free baked goods including an All-Purpose Flour Blend; Breads, such as Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread and Pumpkin Bread; a new Blondie Mix; Pie Crust Mix and also a Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.

I was so excited to find the XO Baking Company Pound Cake Mix in my local store, so I bought an extra two boxes to feature on this week’s Win-It-Wednesday giveaway!

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win a package of XO Baking Mixes moist & delicious Gluten-Free Pound Cake Mix. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what XO Baking Company Mix looks the best to you! Is it the New Blondie Mix, the Banana Bread Mix, the Pound Cake Mix, or even the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Mix? Good luck, keep your dreams coming true… and, as always …

Be Free!

P.S. Want to buy XO Baking Company’s Gluten-Free Pound Cake? Check out this link on Amazon.com: XO Baking Company Gluten-Free Pound Cake Mix

Friday Favorite: Bare Crunchy Apple Chips

July 3rd, 2015

This week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to a company that allows you to get your “apple a day” the crunchy way!

Bare Crunchy Apple Chips are a great way to incorporate fruit into your diet one crunch at a time. The 100% natural apple chips are gluten-free, fat-free and are only 50 calories per pack. And the best part? Each package contains one apple!

I love the way that they are baked, contain nothing artificial, and have no added sugars. The only ingredient: Apples. Pure and simple!

I eat my Bare Apple Chips as a side with my lunchtime sandwich (who needs potato chips when you have these gems?) and also as a mid-day snack.

Perfect anytime, convenient and tasty are the reasons why this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe.com is awarded to Bare Crunchy Apple Chips! Congratulations!

Win-It-Wednesday: NEW! Urban Raccoon Paleo Grainless Snack Bars

June 30th, 2015

When Urban Raccoon Snack Bars sponsored a Win-It-Wednesday contest on BeFreeForMe.com a few months back the contest was a hit! These high-quality snack bars made in small-batches with only good-for-you ingredients were a welcome change and the reviews that were received from BeFreeForMe.com readers were impressive!

So… when Brad Indoe, the Founder of Urban Raccoon asked to sponsor another WIN-It-Wednesday contest on BeFreeForMe.com featuring their newest product our answer was an enthusiastic YES!

The new bars that Urban Raccoon has come out with are Grainless Snack Bars. These bars are not only gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO, low sodium and vegan, but also Certified Paleo by the Paleo Foundation.

I tried these bars and I was hooked. The soft texture of the bars had to dreaming about them for breakfast and for snacking. There are two flavors… the Grainless Coconut and my favorite, the Grainless Almond Cranberry.

I love these bars because they are soft and cookie-like… yet, they are nutrient-dense. Packed full of good-for-you ingredients like almonds, cashews, coconut, dried fruit, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, these bars are a healthy choice that will fill-you-up and keep you satisfied since they contain the perfect balance of carbs, fat and protein.

I love to grab one of these bars for breakfast while I am on-the-go. In fact on these Urban Raccoon Paleo Bars contain 7 grams of protein, which is more protein than in one large egg!

And for those of you steering clear of refined sugar, these bars are sweetened with only natural sweeteners like Coconut Nectar, a lower glycemic natural ingredient binder that is essentially the sap of the coconut tree, and Maple Syrup, made on Brad’s family farm. These are just two fine examples of Urban Raccoon using only the best and highest quality natural ingredients.

Urban Raccoon has once again proved that good things do indeed come in small batches!

And lucky for us, Urban Raccoon Grainless Paleo snack bars are sponsoring this Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com!

A total of two (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe.com members will be randomly selected to win a prize pack of these small-batch, gluten-free and paleo snack bars.  One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, July 8 and Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what Urban Raccoon Grainless and Paleo snack bar looks the best to you! Is it the Grainless Coconut? Or the Grainless Almond Cranberry?

Good luck, keep it healthy & tasty… and, as always …

Be Free!


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