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GF Halloween CandyIt’s almost Halloween, and there will be a lot of candy at our house soon! We will meticulously sort through the candy, check my Gluten-Free Candy List, and weed out the pieces with gluten. We usually give the gluten candy to family, friends, and/or co-workers who can tolerate it. My kids are used to the drill since we’ve been doing it ever since they started trick-or-treating. They don’t seem too bothered by the ritual of diminishing their stock of candy. (And I like the idea of excess sugar going out the door!)

However, I know of some families that do other things to make their kids feel better about losing out on some of their sugar rush. Some families buy back the candy from their kids — giving the kids a few dollars — so the kids feel like they are getting something for all their trick-or-treating efforts.  Other families trade the candy for toys or trinkets, or other special treats. They may even keep a supply of their kids’ favorite gluten-free candy to trade with on Halloween night.

Here’s another idea: How about trading the unacceptable candy with some gluten-free cookies? You can, of course, make your own. But there are also lots of options at the grocery stores these days. These are some of the cookies we’ve tried recently.

 

GinnyBakes

GinnyBakes

These cookies were sent to me to sample. And although they look and smell very good, I had to have my family taste them for me. Yep, they are made with real butter, and since I can’t have dairy, I had to let my family enjoy them without me. (GinnyBakes does make a “Dreamy Vegan Delight” vanilla cookies, which are dairy-free.)

In addition to being made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, GinnyBakes takes pride in the fact that their cookies are made with organic ingredients and no GMOs.

My family tells me that they were very good. Some in the family preferred the Chocolate Chip, while others preferred the Coconut Oatmeal. The Chocolate Chip cookies are crispy and buttery, but didn’t fall apart in the packaging. The Coconut Oatmeal Bliss Cookies are bite-size “ginny minis”. They have that traditional oatmeal cookie taste with chewy little raisins and a touch of cinnamon. I’m told that they did not have a coconut flavor. My husband enjoyed the small packages that he could take to work for a snack. Each bag contained six little cookie bites. You can also purchase to-go packs of the larger cookies, with two cookies per pack.

Where to Buy? Find these yummy cookies at your local retailers, at GinnyBakes online, or at Amazon.

 

Nostalgic Cookies

NostaligicCookiesAll the cookies made at Yossi’s Nostalgic Bakery are gluten-free, dairy-free, Vegan and Kosher. In addition, they do not contain GMO’s, preservatives, corn, or oats.  My kids had to fight me to try these. These are old-fashioned style cookies, as you can see from the picture. The kids enjoyed them, but not as much as I did. I loved the unique flavors and the small size of the cookies. The cookies were not crisp and crumbly, as you might think. Instead, they had a soft, almost chewy, crumb.

The cookies all came packaged individually, which would be perfect for trading with the kids on Halloween! It would also be great for adding to lunch boxes, or keeping in your purse for a quick snack. I can even see keeping a bowl of these sitting on a desk or kitchen counter to share with friends and co-workers. My kids were a little less adventurous about the flavors. They preferred the chocolate sandwich cookies. I enjoyed the variety of the flavors. I didn’t get to try them, but the Pumpkin Spiced Linzers would be great to share with friends and family this season!

Where to Buy? Find these cookies at retailers in select locations, at Nostalgic Cookies online store, or at Amazon.

 

Enjoy Life Cookies

EnjoyLifeCookiesEnjoy Life is a brand I can really appreciate. It’s hard to find chocolate that is dairy-free, but I can always count on Enjoy Life for allergen-friendly chocolate chips (minis, mega chunks, and now regular size morsels, too). Enjoy Life’s products are also free of the top 8 allergens — so no gluten, dairy, or nuts — which makes it great for school parties where there are always a variety of allergies to manage.

I only have a picture of the Soft-Baked Cookies here, but we’ve also enjoyed the crispy, crunchy variety they make. In fact, I think I like the crunchy cookies better. The soft-baked cookies are cake-like in texture. Almost like a brownie, but not as rich and fudgy as you would expect a brownie to be. They are small — only one or two small bites and it’s gone!

Where to Buy? Find these at your local retailers (Enjoy Life convenient store locator). Or purchase online at Amazon or other online retailers.

 

*GinnyBakes Cookies and Nostalgic Cookies were sent to Celiac Family free of charge to sample and provide an honest opinion to Celiac Family readers. If you have tried any of the cookies mentioned above, I invite you to leave your own opinions in the comments below.

Other Cookie Reviews by CeliacFamily

Animal Cookies

Animal Cookies

Mi-Del Cookies

Mi-Del Cookies

Pillsbury Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Cookie Dough

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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GFPumpkinsPumpkin is the theme for the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week. Pumpkin is a terrific source of anti-oxidants, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, and minerals. Perfect for supporting your health during the season, right? It also has a great seasonal flavor and color to add to your meals.

So, what are you doing with pumpkin this season? Roasting? Stewing? Steaming? I found some great online sources to give you (and me!) some additional ideas.

Directions for cooking your own fresh pumpkin:
Roasting a pumpkin at The Pioneer Woman
Baking, Boiling, and Microwave methods for cooking pumpkin at All Recipes
Slow-Cooker method at Practical Stewardship
Steaming and Boiling directions at About.com’s Southern Food

Pumpkin Breakfast
Bacon Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes by Silvana at Food & Wine
Pumpkin Biscuit Blossoms
at Gluten-Free Palate
Pumpkin Coconut Chocolate Muffins at A Healthy Life for Me
Pumpkin Donuts at Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Pumpkin Spice Muffins at Elana’s Pantry

Pumpkin Desserts
Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Pudding Cake at Oh She Glows
Pumpkin Pie Roundup of over 40 gluten-free recipes at All Gluten-Free Desserts
Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies at Land O Lakes
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake at Gluten Free Easily
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Chip Cookies at Boulder Locavore

Pumpkin Dinners
Crockpot Paleo Pork and Pumpkin Chili at Primally Inspired
Crockpot Pumpkin and Maple Pork Tenderloin at The Skinny Fork
Pumpkin and Chicken Baked Pasta at Simply Quinoa
Pumpkin Chicken Chili at I Breathe…I’m Hungry…
Pumpkin Chili at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Pumpkin Enchilada Casserole at Angela’s Kitchen
Pumpkin White Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers at Avocado Pesto
Steak Chili with Pumpkin at Liv Gluten-Free

Pumpkin Drinks
Pumpkin Pie Martini at Simply Gluten-Free
Pumpkin Smoothies at Incredible Smoothies
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte at Beard & Bonnet

More Pumpkin Recipe Links
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds at Simply Recipes
Edible Pumpkin Pie Play Clay at Fun at Home with Kids
Pumpkin Gingersnap Protein Balls at Body Balance
Spiced Pumpkin Granola at Against All Grain

Don’t forget to check below our menu for more gluten-free menus, meals, and ideas for including pumpkin in your meals.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Flank Steak

Flank Steak

Cilantro Rice

Cilantro Rice

MondayChicken Nuggets, Fries, Green Beans

Tuesday – Crockpot Pumpkin and Maple Pork Tenderloin, Rice Pilaf, Sautéed Spinach

Wednesday – Chicken Taquitos with Shredded Mexican Chicken, Avocado Salsa

Thursday – Flank Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli

HalloweenPumpkin Chili, Cornbread

Saturday – Pumpkin Enchilada Casserole with leftover chicken and Cilantro Rice

Sunday – leftovers

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Corn-Free
Melissa has a Rustic Pumpkin Soup with Bacon on her menu this week.  Mmmm…sounds delicious! She is also planning for Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Spaghetti Bolognese, Hamburger Soup, Beef Stew, and Beef and Cabbage Soup this week.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
Elisabeth says she prefers butternut squash and sweet potatoes to pumpkin, but she has it on her menu this week anyway. She’s making Pumpkin Ice Cream, Shirley’s Crustless Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Waffles. For dinner this week, she’s making Spaghetti and Meatballs, Veggie Soup, Vegan Nachos, Smoothie and Popcorn, Sweet Potato and Bean Enchiladas, and Pizza.

Check back later to see who else may be sharing their gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for Pumpkin this week.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us next week for sharing gluten-free menus and gluten-free Breads.
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme.

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura at OrgJunkie.com 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
Comments (4)

GFFennelFennel is the theme for the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week. Fennel is new to me. Well, not exactly new. I’m familiar with the mild licorice or anise flavor. And, I’m not new to using Fennel Seed in recipes. But, I can’t recall ever buying fresh fennel. So, I figured it was about time I tried it.

I went looking for some inspirational gluten-free recipes, and I found plenty of them online. Some of the recipes I found call for fresh fennel, and some call for using fennel seeds. I even found some recipes that were a a little surprising. I’m looking forward to trying some of them this week and throughout the season.

Recipes using fresh, raw fennel:

Recipes that cook fresh fennel:

Recipes with Fennel Seeds only:

Don’t forget to check below our menu for more gluten-free menus, meals, and ideas for including fennel in your meals.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Easy, Hearty Gumbo

Easy, Hearty Gumbo

Hot Dogs in Pizza Dough

Hot Dogs in Pizza Dough

MondayWhite Chicken Chili with rice

Tuesday – Greek MeatballsFennel, Cucumber, and Mint Salad

WednesdayGumbo with Rice and Garlic Bread

Thursday – Fennel and Sausage Pasta Salad

Friday – French Bread Pizza, Celery, Fennel, and Green Apple Salad

Saturday – Pigs In a Blanket with leftovers

Sunday – Bacon-wrapped Chicken Tenders, Caramelized Fennel and Onion Risotto, Roasted Broccoli

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Gluten Free Always Blog: Gluten-Free
Melissa has a delicious menu lined up for this week. She’s starting the week with Smoky Chipotle Chili Cheese Mac, Mongolian Beef, and a Rice Bake. She’ll continue the week with Bean and Cheese Enchiladas, Salmon Patties, Honey Lime Chicken Tacos, and a warming Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
Elisabeth says she doesn’t use fresh fennel, but has used fennel seed to season sausage. For dinners this week, she’ll be making Paleo Pumpkin Waffles, Easy Clam Chowder, Sweet Potato and Bean Enchiladas,  Chipotle Copy Cat Beans and Rice, and Pizza.

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Corn-Free
Melissa is working with a tight grocery budget, but still manages to come up with tasty, filling meals. This week it will be Rustic Bacon and Pumpkin Soup, Slow-Cooker Sloppy Joe’s, Chicken Pot Pie, Paleo Chili, Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili, and Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Check back later to see who else may be sharing their gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for Fennel this week.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us next week for sharing gluten-free menus and ideas for gluten-free meals with Pumpkin.
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme.

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura at OrgJunkie.com 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
Comments (7)

ApplesThe cool fall weather blew in this weekend at my house, and all I can think of is warm, comfort foods. Fortunately, with Apples as the theme for the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week, that fits right into my menu plan.

This week I’ll be eating raw apples for snacks and salads this week, but I’m also cooking it up — Sautéed Spinach with Apples and Onions, Chicken and Apple Sausage, Pork and Apple Curry, and Honey Apple Cider Glazed Salmon. Yum!

I also found lots of Breakfast and Dessert recipes I need to start trying (double Yum!):

Don’t forget to check below our menu for more gluten-free menus, meals, and ideas for including apples in your meals.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Red Potato & Green Bean Salad

Red Potato/Green Bean Salad

Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns

Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns

Rainbow Apple Salad

Rainbow Apple Salad

Monday – Pork Chops with Sautéed Spinach with Apples and Onions from Vegalicious

Tuesday – Chicken Apple Sausage with Red Potato and Green Bean Salad

Wednesday – Hamburgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli

Thursday – Angela’s Pork and Apple Curry with Jasmine Rice

Friday – Honey Apple Cider Glazed Salmon, Rice, Spinach

Saturday – Pizza, Rainbow Apple Salad

Sunday – Beef Stew, GF dinner rolls

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Gluten Free Always Blog: Gluten-Free
Melissa is still thinking about Sweet Potatoes this week, and said she used them to make soup and Sweet Potato Pie. [again, Yum!] On her menu this week, is Amish Ground Beef and Noodle Casserole, Honey Rosemary Chicken, Sweet n Sour Chicken, Baked Tacos, Chilaquiles, and Southwest White Chili.

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Corn-Free
Melissa spent some time over the weekend stocking her freezer, so she has half of her meals already prepped this week. Her family will be enjoying Cabbage and Beef Soup, Beef Stew, Paleo Beef and Veggie Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, and Italian Wedding Soup. Stop by MomsPlans.com for all the recipe links.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Anything: eating without Gluten, Dairy, Peanuts, Oats, or Meat
This week, Elisabeth is planning to make Apple Dumplings and Apple Cider Donuts. She’s also working on a recipe with Apples and Sweet Potatoes. Can’t wait to see it. Her dinners this week will be Omelets with Veggies, Lentil Potato Soup, Chicken Nuggets and Butternut Squash Nuggets, Cauliflower Alfredo, Sweet Potato/Bean Enchiladas, and Pizza. Find all the recipe links at her menu post this week.

Check back later to see who else may be sharing their gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for yummy Apples this week.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us next week for sharing gluten-free menus and ideas for gluten-free meals with Fennel.
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme.

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura at OrgJunkie.com 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
Comments (3)

FFCornDogs

Gluten-Free Corn Dogs are a Treat at my house. A treat for the kids because they love them. A treat for me, too, if they are pre-made and frozen, so I can offer them for a quick meal at my house. ;)

I have made my own gluten-free corn dogs. They turned out very tasty, but took some time and effort to get them just right. It seems simple enough: You dip and coat hot dogs with cornbread batter, then deep fry. But, sometimes it takes a little practice at getting the batter to stay on the hot dog, the hot dog to stay on the stick, and frying it with the stick.  Anyway, that’s another story. This story is about the new Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs you can find in the freezers of your local grocery stores.

FFCornDogBoxI was recently contacted to try the new Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs. In case it isn’t clear by the Foster Farms brand name, these corn dogs are made with chicken franks. The chicken franks are “double-dipped in a honey-crunchy” cornbread batter. And, Yes!, they are as good as they sound. I baked them according to the directions on the box. From frozen, 18 minutes at 350º F. (For faster results, you can microwave in 40 seconds or deep fry for 9 minutes. Those are times for cooking from frozen. If thawed, cooking times are even faster.)

FFCornDogHow did they taste? Great! The hot dog was tender, not too chewy, and had a good flavor. The cornbread coating was lightly crunchy on the outside but still soft on the inside. The cornbread coating is also lightly sweetened. Really yummy. My daughter was a little hesitant to try it, but once she did she wanted another one. So did my son. They had to stop at two corn dogs each because I didn’t cook the whole box, which contains 12 corn dogs.

Now for the ingredients. Like I mentioned, these corn dogs are made of chicken. There are no added hormones or steroids. No trans fats. And, each corn dog contains 7 grams of protein and 180 calories. Each corn dog also contains 530 mg of sodium (22% of the recommended daily value). You’ll find sodium phosphate, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, and the dreaded sodium nitrite on the ingredients label. Also contains soy and egg.

Would I buy them for my family? Yes, on occasion. I’m not going to go looking for them to add to our menus on a regular basis. However, it would be nice to have in the freezer for those crazy nights when I really need something quick and easy for dinner. Something my kids could fix for themselves. And, wouldn’t this be an easy item to cook for a kids’ birthday party or a play date? Something everyone could enjoy. You don’t even need to tell your guests that it’s gluten-free because they won’t know the difference.

It is important to note that these are Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Foster Farms also makes Gluten-Free Breasts Strips and Gluten-Free Breast Nuggets now, too. If you’ve tried any of them, I’d love to know what you think.

 ***The Foster Farms Corn Dogs were sent to me free of charge to share my honest opinion with CeliacFamily.com readers.***
Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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