Archive for Giveaway

Scroll down for the details about the Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x10. But first, I want to tell you about an exciting new children’s book.

Explaining Celiac Disease to a child (and even adults!) can be difficult. So, when I was recently introduced to a new children’s book that explains Celiac Disease, I was anxious to read it and see how the author approached this subject with her own child. My son was so young (18 mos) when he was diagnosed, that I didn’t need to tell him a lot about it in the beginning. His knowledge about Celiac Disease has grown gradually, as he got older and was better able to understand it. It gave me time to understand it myself, and think about how to approach the subject with him. By the time my daughter was born, a few months later, we had already switched our household to being completely gluten free.

As my kids got older, we did have conversations (and still do) about Celiac Disease, gluten, and how to deal with school, friends, restaurants, and other outings dealing with food. For us, the acceptance and understanding of being gluten free was a natural process because we dealt with it as new situations were presented to us. My children don’t know any different. We don’t lament over it, we just deal with it as a natural result of our intolerance to gluten. They are not embarrassed or uncomfortable about it. And I’m happy to say that they feel confident enough to tell friends about it and to ask about the gluten content in food before eating it. So, I don’t think that part of being diagnosed has been difficult for us.

I have, however, known other families who were diagnosed when the kids were older. They had already developed favorite foods – favorite gluten foods. Before the diagnosis, they were able to eat any snacks, lunches and treats at any party, event or restaurant without having to question the ingredients. For these kids and their families, I think the transition is more difficult. The parents are often overwhelmed by the experience. They are immediately forced to face it all: explaining it to family members, teachers, friends, cafeteria, restaurants, etc. This new book may be the first step to helping families accept the diagnosis and treatment, and see it as a happy alternative to an otherwise unhealthy life.

“Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers is a children’s book that is beautifully illustrated and written as a dialogue between a mother and daughter. And to be honest, at first I was a little uneasy with the dialogue format. I read so many books to my children, that I guess I was expecting a story book. But, instead, I found this book to be a thoughtfully written suggestion of how to introduce and explain Celiac Disease to a child. Perhaps it will help you and your family members better understand Celiac Disease. It includes questions and answers about what Celiac Disease is, what gluten is, what it does to the body, and what that means for the family. As I read the book, I was drawn in by how the mother creatively explains Celiac Disease to her daughter in a language and terminology that a young child can easily understand. I was surprised by the detail that was put into describing the physical effects on the body. But, it is not a medical book. It was all explained in language that is appropriate for young children. And best of all, it is written with a very positive, loving voice that embraces the diagnosis and sees it as an opportunity to thrive.

My final thoughts? I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to explain Celiac Disease to a child 3-10 years. I think it’s probably too detailed for a younger child to understand. However, even if you have younger children, it would be a good book for parents to read. It certainly gives you ideas about how you can continue to explain the disease to them as they get older. Older children may also be interested to read it as a first step to understanding the disease. I feel like it is written for younger children, with analogies to nature and playground equipment. So, older children may not find the references to playground equipment very exciting, but they will be able to relate and easily understand the comparisons.

Buy the book. If you have children, grandchildren, or other young people who are curious about Celiac Disease, you can buy the book at Katie Chalmers’ website. Buy one for yourself, for friends, and maybe one to donate to your school’s library and the public library. It would be an easy way to introduce friends and classmates to Celiac Disease, and hopefully, help them gain a good understanding of what gluten free means. Perhaps it will even impress upon the teachers how important it is for children with Celiac Disease to remain gluten free. It isn’t just a diet of choice. For Celiacs, it is a necessary diet for a healthy life. [I do not get a commission for these sales. I simply think it is a worthy investment for increasing awareness about Celiac Disease.]

Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway x10! Not ready to buy the book? Or, maybe you like the idea of having multiple copies to give to other family members. The author of the book, Katie Chalmers, has put together a fabulous giveaway with fabulous gluten free products. Celiac Family and 9 other blogs will be hosting the same giveaway over the next two weeks. One winner will be chosen from each blog. You may enter the giveaway on each of the blogs to increase your chances of winning, but you can only win once. Several companies that make gluten-free products have donated items for the giveaways. Just take a look at all the good stuff in the giveaway.

Giveaway Goodies. Contents may vary slightly, but each winner can expect to receive the following:

  • Signed copy of “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?”
  • Schar 123 Milly PlayMais- dice game & biodegradable natural toy activity brick set
  • Schar products: Cheese Bites, Chocolate -or- Vanilla Sandwich Creme Cookies, Hazelnut Wafers
  • Pamela’s Products: Single Serve Pancake Mix, Single Serve Brownie Mix, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookie two-pack,  Tablespoon/teaspoon measuring spoon, kids sized t-shirt- color will vary
  • Nature’s Path: Peanut Butter Panda Puffs & crispy rice bars- flavors will vary, $1 off coupons
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers: one of the following: box of cookies -or- crackers -or- Sticks & Twigs
  • Snyder’s of Hanover: bag of gluten-free pretzel sticks
  • Chebe: pizza crust mix -or- all purpose bread mix
  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes: one bag of soft peppermint candy sticks
  • Stuffed teddy bear: colors may vary
  • Holiday pencils, eraser, holiday notepad & plastic snowman cereal bowl
  • Large holiday gift bag & small holiday gift bag & tissue paper- will need to be assembled to give as gift

Where to Enter. Be sure to visit each website below for another chance to win the fabulous prize pack! (But remember, you can only win once.)

Accustomed Chaos – hosted by Devan

Adventures of a GF Mom – hosted by Heidi

Be Free For Me – hosted by Kathleen

Celiac Family – enter below in the comments

Gluten Free Betsy – hosted by Betsy

Gluten Free Easily (gfe) – hosted by Shirley

Gluten Free is Life – hosted by Kim

Gluten Free Philly – hosted by Michael

Gluten Free Taste of Home – hosted by Cinde

Simply Sugar & Gluten Free –  hosted by Amy

Finally – How to Enter the Giveaway!

  1. Simply leave a comment on this post telling me about the gluten free product that helped you the most when you first started on the gluten-free diet. (It can be a food, a cookbook, book about Celiac Disease, or maybe even a friend.) Or, if you aren’t on the diet yet, just tell me which of the prizes interests you most.
  2. You can receive bonus entries for letting your friends know about the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Just be sure to come back and leave additional comments below letting us know where you mentioned it.
  3. Make sure when you’re leaving a comment, that you put your email address in the appropriate box so that I can contact you if you win.
  4. The giveaway will run from now until Dec. 15, 2010; 10 pm EST. The winner will be chosen using The winner should respond within 24 hours after being contacted by email. If I’m unable to contact the winner, another winner will be chosen. We’d love for the winner to receive the prize before Christmas, so that you can enjoy the goodies during the holiday.
  5. Good Luck!

Additional Rules for the Gluten Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x10!

  • All 10 of these contests are open to residents of the USA. Only the Accustomed Chaos and Gluten Free Easily contests are also open to Canadian residents.
  • All 10 contests begin on Wed. Dec. 1, 2010 and will end on Wed. Dec. 15, 2010 at 10pm EST.
  • Entry requirements will vary between bloggers. Please follow their directions to enter.
  • Entrants can only win once total within all 10 giveaways. If anyone is chosen more than once as a winner, another winner will be chosen so everyone only wins once.
  • One winner per household.
  • Winners with valid entries will be selected at random. The winners will be announced and notified via email and must reply within 24 hours to claim. Otherwise, another eligible entry will be chosen, in order that all prizes will arrive before Christmas. So please remember to check your email on Dec.16th.
  • If any of the 10 prizes do not arrive before Christmas because of any unforeseen holiday mail rush problems, the USPS, Katie Chalmers and hosting bloggers will not be held accountable.
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Bisquick Pancake Prize Pack Winner

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Thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, blogged, and announced the giveaway on Facebook. There were so many great ideas for using the new gluten free Bisquick:

The winner of the Bisquick Pancake Prize Pack, who was chosen by, is Gretchen (comment #116). I love that Gretchen was thinking about making gluten-free Russian Tea Cakes for her mother-in-law. Bisquick Gluten-Free is a great product for people who want to bake gluten free for friends and family. But, as a precaution, please be careful to avoid any cross-contamination if you are baking in a kitchen that also uses any gluten-containing ingredients. I would recommend using parchment paper for lining baking sheets and pans. For mixing, I would also recommend using metal spoons and glass bowls that have been thoroughly scrubbed of any possible traces of gluten.

Other Giveaways. I wish I could send samples to everyone who entered, but of course I can’t. You can however, enter another contest. But enter quick as these two are expiring soon!

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Dessert Mixes Giveaway Winner

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GF Dessert GiveawayWe have a winner for our Betty Crocker Dessert Mixes Giveaway! Angela Winesburg (comment #81) is the winner of the Betty Crocker Sweet Treats prize pack. She will be receiving all four varieties of dessert mixes, two FREE coupons for any of the varieties, a grocery tote bag, magnetic grocery list and pen. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway. Congratulations to Angela!

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This giveaway is now closed.

GF Dessert GiveawayA few months ago, I received a box with all four of Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Dessert Mixes. You did know that Betty Crocker now has Gluten-Free dessert mixes, didn’t you? They started showing up in grocery stores in June (2009). They are shelved with the regular baking mixes in the baking aisle. So, don’t expect to see them on the shelves/aisles with the other gluten-free mixes. You’ll have to go searching through the regular cake mixes in the baking aisle to find them. Or, make sure you enter the giveaway contest below, and maybe you’ll win a box of all four of them. 🙂

I’ve been a little slow to review all of the mixes, but I’ve had fun trying some new recipes with them, too.IMG_4013x The Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix was as good as any brownie mix I’ve ever made, gluten or no gluten. They were just as you would expect them to be — full of rich chocolate flavor, moist, chewy, and wonderful. I actually decided to bake them along with another favorite gluten-free brownie mix, so I could taste them side by side. I couldn’t even tell you the difference. I could tell a slight difference in look. But really, they were both too similar in taste to be able to tell the difference. The big difference was in price. Betty Crocker’s price for GF brownies beat the other GF brand by at least a dollar.

IMG_4123xGluten Free Yellow Cake Mix. I was so happy to see that Betty Crocker was including a yellow cake mix with their line of gluten-free dessert mixes. Over the past four years of being gluten free, I have discovered that a GF yellow cake mix is difficult to find. I have no problem finding a chocolate cake mix, but yellow is another story. I used the BC yellow cake mix to make a batch of cupcakes to have on-hand for surprise celebrations. We had to try a few of them, too, and they were good. They had a very nice, soft and fine texture. My husband and I detected a slight tang? or strange taste, but did not find it offensive at all. My kids didn’t notice anything strange and devoured them right away.

I always keep some cupcakes in the freezer so they’re ready to go for unexpected celebrations. These were great before I froze them, and just as good after I defrosted them. I usually frost the cupcakes, then freeze them in a plastic container. Once they are frozen, I wrap each one with plastic wrap and put them all in a zip-style plastic bag to further seal them. Then, back to the freezer they go. When we need one for a birthday celebration, we pull one out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap while it’s still frozen. Then place it in a plastic container to defrost.IMG_4821x

Recently, I discovered that the Yellow Cake Mix is also great for making Poppy Seed Bread (Cake). Make some up to give to your gluten-free (or not gluten-free) friends for the holidays. It’s quick and easy, and you can freeze them until you’re ready to eat them or give them away. The recipe makes three small/mini bread loaves or one large loaf.

IMG_4340xGluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix. The chocolate cake was really very good. I think it’s better than the yellow cake, but being a chocoholic I may be a bit biased. The cake was moist, and very chocolaty. What’s not to like about that? It makes a very good cake to use for cupcakes and birthday cakes.

Betty Crocker has a page on their website dedicated to recipes using their gluten-free mixes. I tried their recipe for Zucchini-Devil’s Food Snack Cake using their chocolate cake mix. Since the other members of my family don’t care much for walnuts and pecans in food, I replaced the nuts in the streusel topping with mini chocolate chips. I didn’t really care for the topping, but the rest of the family thought it was great. The cake itself was very moist and yummy.

IMG_4079xGluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. To be honest, I can’t even remember ever making cookies from a mix. Even when I was a kid, I always made them from scratch. But, these cookies were good. We ate most of them warm, just out of the oven. I thought they cooked up a little flat, but they were soft and chewy with a little crispiness on the edges, which I like. They also seemed a little grainy, but that didn’t stop us from eating them all. The best part of these cookies is that they were mixed up, baked and ready to eat within 30 minutes! Now that I like! My conclusion? I might keep a box of BC GF Cookie Mix to have on hand for quick snacks or chocolate chip cookie cravings. But, in reality, I would probably make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

I also used the cookie mix to try another gluten-free recipe from the Betty Crocker website: Ooey-Gooey Rocky Road Bars. These were definitely ooey, gooey, and rich! They were too difficult to cut while they were warm. If you decide to make these, make sure you leave time to let them cool completely. Or, just grab a spoon and dig in. If I made them again, I would probably try baking them in a 8×8 pan instead of a 13×9, so that the cookie was a little thicker. I would also back off on the amount of chocolate chips (I can’t believe I just wrote that.) and put just enough marshmallows on to cover the top.

So, how do the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes compare in price? Well, compared to other gluten-free mixes, the cost ($3.99 at our grocery store) is very good. However, don’t compare them with the regular mixes with gluten, which you can probably get for $1.99. In addition, the gluten-free cake mixes only make a one-layer cake. Don’t expect to bake a two-layer birthday cake with only one box, like we used to do with regular cake mixes with gluten.

My final thoughts: The brownie and chocolate cake mixes are excellent, the yellow cake is very good, and the chocolate chip cookies are good. I am happy to have the option of buying gluten-free dessert mixes in the grocery store. I wish they were a little cheaper, but at least they are comparable to prices of other gluten-free mixes. And, I don’t have to pay for shipping! I know I’ll keep some mixes in my pantry, for those times when I need to make a dessert quickly. Have you tried them? What did you think?

I have a box full of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes to give away to one lucky reader. This Betty Crocker “Sweet Treats” prize pack (pictured at the top) includes one each of all four of the dessert mixes, two Free coupons for any of the varieties, a grocery tote bag, magnetic grocery list note pad, and pen to make shopping easier!

To Enter:

  • Simply leave a comment telling me which product interests you the most and why. Include a quick review of one of the mixes, if you’ve tried it.
  • Get an additional entry by sharing a recipe you made with one of the dessert mixes.
  • 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.


  • Leave your comment(s) no later than 11:59 pm (ET) December 11, 2009.
  • 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.
  • The winner will be chosen using

Good Luck! and Good Baking!

Thanks for all of your entries. The winner (comment #81) has been chosen. This giveaway is now closed.

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Fruit Snack Giveaway Winner

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Gluten Free Fruit Snacks Prize PackWe have a winner! Andrea (comment #60) is the winner of the Betty Crocker Simple Joys prize pack. She will be receiving two boxes of fruit-flavored snacks from Betty Crocker along with a light-up yo-yo, a game of Pick Up Sticks, and a frisbee. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway. Congratulations to Andrea!

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