Archive for October, 2009

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Have you noticed the words “Gluten Free” showing up on grocery products a lot more? You’re probably familiar with the Betty Crocker baking mixes that showed up in the baking aisles of grocery stores this summer. Now, Betty Crocker is labeling their fruit snack products as “Gluten Free.” Honestly, I haven’t found any brand of fruit snacks that contain gluten, but I always check ingredients just to be sure. And, it’s always reassuring to see those two words clearly written on a boxed product.

I recently received some of the Betty Crocker fruit-flavored snacks to review. They arrived in a “Simple Joys” prize pack. The package included a box of Create-A-Bug fruit-flavored snacks and a box with a variety of fruit snacks, along with some fun toys. My kids were ecstatic to receive the box, and they devoured the fruit snacks as quickly as I would allow. Each individual package of the Create-A-Bug fruit-flavored snacks contains enough chewy bug parts to create at least one bug. It may even have two heads and three tails. 🙂 The kids played briefly with them, but really were more interested in eating them than making the bugs. We’ve also tried the Create-A-Dino fruit-flavored snacks we found in the store, and had the same reaction.

Gluten Free Fruit Snacks Prize PackThey make great snacks to throw in a lunch bag or your purse because they don’t crumble or melt. They would even make great snacks for a Halloween or birthday party. Can’t you see these in a goodie bag for a dinosaur or ladybug birthday party? Fun.

Would you like to try the fruit snacks and receive a Simple Joys prize pack? Enter our giveaway today.

To Enter:

  • Simply leave a comment telling me which product interests you the most.
  • Get an additional entry by telling friends about it online. Spread the word about the contest by posting a message on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or email. Then, come back here and leave another comment telling me where you shared it.


  1. Leave your comment(s) no later than midnight (ET) October 24.
  2. Make sure you leave your name and email address so I can contact you if you win. (Don’t put your email address in the comment, just where it’s asked for in the comment form below.) I won’t share your information with anyone, nor use it to contact you, unless you are the winner.
  3. The winner will be chosen using

Good Luck!

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Chicken Vindaloo

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IMG_4534My husband found this jar of Vindaloo Curry Paste while looking for some special ingredients for another recipe. When he brought it home, I was pleasantly surprised to see the words “Gluten Free” under the list of ingredients on the label. I knew he had checked to make sure it was gluten free, but it’s still nice to see it in print. Nice to know that the company who makes it, had taken the time to check their ingredients and put it on the label.

IMG_4322xSo, now that I had the curry paste, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It sat in our pantry for months before I finally decided to give it a try. Using the recipe on the label for Shrimp Vindaloo as my inspiration, I came up with the recipe below for Chicken Vindaloo. It has become a favorite meal for my husband and me. The curry paste makes it a very quick and easy meal. And, the strong Indian flavors are a nice break from the mild dishes we normally make to satisfy the taste buds of everyone in the family. This dish is definitely too spicy for my kids, so I either pull out some of the chicken for them before I add the sauce, or just heat up some leftovers for them.

Patak’s has a whole line of products, and quite a few of them are carried at our grocery store (Wegmans). If you can’t find them at your grocery store, you can get them on Amazon. And, now I have found that their website has a lot of recipes, too. Chicken Tikka Masala may be next…but wait, those Onion Bhaji’s look fabulous, too. Did I mention that on their website, you can search for recipes by the main ingredient, heat rating, type of dish, difficulty to prepare, and time it takes to prepare? What a great resource for those of us who love Indian food in the restaurants, but don’t have a lot of experience cooking Indian food at home.

Chicken Vindaloo Recipe


1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/3 Cup vindaloo paste
1 Cup chicken broth


  1. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, and place in the skillet. Brown the chicken on both sides, and then remove the chicken from the skillet.
  2. Now put the chopped onion in the same skillet and cook until tender and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute, or until aromatic.
  3. Add tomato and stir in the vindaloo paste. Once well combined, add the chicken back into the skillet and stir, making sure the sauce covers the chicken.
  4. Pour in a cup of chicken broth and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve it over basmati rice.

Additional Notes:

  • This is a spicy dish, but it’s not too hot. Adjust the amount of curry paste to your liking. The first time we made it, we used 3 or 4 TBSP of the paste and were surprised it wasn’t very hot.
  • I’ve also used a 15 oz.-can of diced tomatoes with green chiles instead of a fresh tomato. It turned out really good.

For more gluten-free chicken recipes, check out this week’s Friday Foodie Fix at The WHOLE Gang.

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Menu Plan Oct 12

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Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week. She chose apples as the theme ingredient. What great timing. I’m sure she chose them because they are in-season and are perfectly ripe right now. The kids and I have been eating apple slices for snacks and with our lunch all month. My husband has an allergic reaction to raw apples, but is able to eat them cooked. So, I’m hoping to bake some apples this week with a little cinnamon and brown sugar for a yummy treat.

Monday – Pulled Pork Sandwiches
I’ll be slow-cooking a pork shoulder, then adding BBQ sauce. Serving with sweet potato fries and a tossed salad.

With no afterschool activities planned, I thought I’d experiment and try making pupusas. I’ve had the flour sitting in my pantry for months staring at me every time I opened it. I may even put some of the leftover pulled pork in them. Serving with avocado salsa and leftover tossed salad.

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken
Chicken simply seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled. Serving with rice and baked apples.

Thursday – Fish and Chips
I’m hoping to make fish and chips, if I can find a good gluten-free recipe. Serving with peas.

Friday – Leftover Buffet
Time to clear the leftovers out of the refrigerator.

Saturday – Pizza
I think I’ll try another recipe for gluten-free pizza crust. Serving with broccoli.

Sunday – Pork Chops with Black Beans
Serving with rice.

Need more menu ideas?

Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.

Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

Categories : Menu Plan
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Banana Coffee Cake

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I also have a revised recipe for this coffee cake that is dairy-free and uses slightly less sugar.

IMG_3831xThis is not your typical coffee cake. Thanks to the banana in the recipe, it is very moist and stays that way even after a couple days. Great for breakfast, brunch, and snacking. I’m submitting it to The Gluten-Free Homemaker for a blog carnival of gluten-free breakfast foods. So, if you’re looking for more gluten-free breakfast ideas, check out this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten-Free?”

Banana Coffee Cake


Filling Layer:
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter:
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 Cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare  a 9″ cake pan by spraying with oil.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt) and then mix into the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  5. Add bananas and milk. Stir well.
  6. Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the cake pan.
  7. Spoon in the filling and gently spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth and even.
  8. Pour the remaining batter over the filling. It doesn’t need to cover the filling completely.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • This also works in a 8×8 baking pan.
  • You can also add chopped nuts to the filling.
  • This cake also freezes well. I have wrapped and frozen individual portions, so that we can take out one at a time and heat it in the microwave. Great morning treat to grab-and-go on the way to the office.
  • You may also want to consider this gluten-free recipe for breakfast meetings, tea parties, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.
Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
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Menu Plan October 5

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mpm121jpgI don’t know about you, but I already have Halloween on my mind. The weather is cooling off and the stores are stocked with pumpkins, costumes, and Halloween goodies. I made my trek to the stores last week to check out the Halloween candy and posted a list of gluten-free candy. This week, I’m going to the pumpkin farm where my daughter and I will eat apples and kettle corn, pick out pumpkins, and go on a hay ride with her preschool class. Now I just need to get out the decorations and decide on costumes for the kids. Fun! Hope you’re enjoying the season, too. Here’s what we have on our menu this week:

Monday – Chicken Fajitas
Seasoned chicken cooked with onions and peppers and served in corn tortillas.

Tuesday – Tilapia
Haven’t decided yet if I’m going to make Parmesan Tilapia or bread it (gluten-free, of course) and bake it. I’ll serve it with rice and steamed asparagus.

Wednesday – Roast Beef
I found some frozen beef in the freezer this weekend, that needs to be cooked or thrown out. I’m planning to put it in the crockpot. Instead of throwing the potatoes in with it, I think I’ll just bake them. Serving with broccoli.

Thursday – Tomatillo Chicken Stew
When I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to try it. I just can’t believe it’s taken me this long to put it on the menu. I’ll serve it with corn tortillas or maybe some corn bread.

Friday – Cheeseburgers
Serving cheeseburgers (my daughter’s favorite) with green beans (my son’s favorite) and fries (everybody’s favorite).

Saturday – Chicken Vindaloo
I made Chicken Vindaloo last month and my husband and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t as hot as I was expecting it to be, but it was still too spicy for the kids. So they get leftovers while my husband and I try refining the recipe a little.

Sunday – Leftover Buffet
Time to clear the leftovers out of the refrigerator.


Superfoods is the theme for the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week. Thanks to Manda at Asparagus Thin for hosting. She always has creative dishes on her menu, and this week is no exception. Thanks also to Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness for continuing to organize this fun and useful weekly event.

Need more menu ideas?

Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.

Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

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