Archive for Product Advisory

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.




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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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 readers.***
Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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Ghost Meringue Cookies

It’s officially fall! I love the cooler weather, the festive times, and the promise of family gatherings for the holidays. It’s also that time of year for ghosts and goblins and witches…Oh, My!

These Meringue Cookies are a favorite for holiday parties. And, I’ve submitted them to SavingStar for their recent recipe contest. They compiled recipes from 20 bloggers and are asking all readers to vote for their favorite. Check it out and vote for my Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Festive Meringue Cookies. >>>Be aware that the recipes in the contest are not all gluten-free recipes. But, go ahead and vote for my Gluten-Free Meringue Cookies. 😉 <<<

Win a $50 American Express Gift Card.
Vote for Your Favorite Recipe
to Win $50 American Express gift card! — 20 Favorite Recipes from 20 Food Bloggers @SavingStar. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the SavingStar post to enter your vote. You have until the end of September (2014) to place your vote.

(For full disclosure: If my recipe wins, I get a gift card, too.)

Want to see what else you can make with meringue?

Snowman Meringues


Christmas Tree Meringues

Christmas Trees

Meringue Duckies

Meringue Duckies


Categories : Giveaway, Newsworthy
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I was recently contacted by Christi Silbaugh, one of the authors of “Gluten-Free Made Easy” and asked if I would review her new gluten-free cookbook. Just reading the title “Gluten-Free made easy” made me anxious to read it and give some of the recipes a try.

At First Glance.
This cookbook is a paperback book with at least a dozen gluten-free recipes in each category of Breakfast, Finger Foods, Pasta and Pizza, Main Dishes, Sides and Sauces, Soups and Salads, Breads, and Desserts. There are plenty of recipes to tempt your taste buds.

This book begins with lots of good information and resources about being gluten-free: answers to common questions, flour blends and cake mixes, easy ingredient substitutions, favorite products, where to shop, etc.

The cookbook is well-organized and features many recipes with full-page, 4-color photographs. Sometimes I receive cookbooks to review, and only find a few recipes that I really want to try. Not so with this cookbook. It is full of gluten-free recipes for everyday eating. Many of the recipes have few ingredients and simple instructions. Love that!

The Recipes.

  • The Mole Chicken was a nice change for our family. It wasn’t too spicy, and we enjoyed the chocolate flavor.
  • The Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken was deliciously crisp and moist.
  • Pollo Pasta Primavera and Linguine Carbonara are on our menu this week. Can’t wait to try them!
  • Simple Spanish Rice and Mexican Black Bean Chili will be on our menu next week.
  • My kids have requested Cinnamon and Sugar Donut Holes and Banana Snickerdoodle Muffins, so we’ll be making them soon, too!

There are several recipes in this cookbook that are similar to our own family favorites, so I know we’ll enjoy the many new ones we find in the book, too.

The Tips.
I love all the tips scattered through the book: Make Your Own Pancake Mix, Snacks in a Snap, Lunch Box ideas, Purchase or Prepare (tips for saving time and money), Making Treats for a Gluten-Free Friend, and more.

There are a lot of great gluten-free recipes in this book! It would be a great cookbook for anyone on a gluten-free diet. And, it gives a lot of information that would be helpful to someone new to the diet, as well as someone who wants to cook for their gluten-free friends and family members. The only downside for me, is that a lot of the recipes call for dairy — butter, cream, milk, etc. — which my body can’t tolerate anymore. Of course, I’ve gotten pretty good at making substitutions, but it would be nice to have recipes that had already been tested with dairy-free alternatives.

Where to Find It.


Categories : Books, Product Advisory
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BacktoSchoolBreakfastSince writing about Gluten-Free Breakfasts a few weeks ago, I’ve had a couple more ideas I wanted to share with you.

Don’t forget to take your vitamins!

I’m surprised I didn’t even think about vitamins when writing about Back-to-School Breakfast ideas. So many people take supplements or vitamins in the mornings, especially kids! I neglected to mention it, probably because we haven’t been taking vitamins at my house until recently. With my kids getting so busy in sports, I realize that I really need to make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need.

HKvitaminI was intrigued by Hakuna Matata, a chewable multivitamin and natural fruit and veggie supplement.   Healthy Pride Supplements was nice enough to send me some samples to try out on my kids. (I hate paying big bucks for vitamins, just to find out the kids won’t eat them!) I tried the vitamins, too. I prefer the chewable vitamins because I think they’re easier on my tummy.

The great thing about these vitamins is that they are gluten-free, wheat-free, and egg-free, with no artificial colors or sweeteners. They also do not contain meat, yeast, starch, or preservatives. And, check out the natural sources of all the vitamins and minerals:

  • FRUITS AND BERRIES: strawberry, banana, raspberry, melon, pineapple, black currant, apricot, cherry, tagerine, kiwi, grape, apple, tomato, peach, papaya, guava, and mango.
  • VEGATABLES: broccoli, carrot, spinach, beet greens, asparagus, onion, garlic, alfalfa, barley grass, artichoke, peas, and summer squash.
  • ALGAE: spiralina blue-green algae, klmath blue-green algae, chlorella, kombu green algae, and cytoseira green algae.
  • Other ingredients: Dextrose, orange juice flavored crystals, natural flavors, stearic acid, turmeric color, magnesium stearate, silica, citric acid, alfalfa juice and carmine color.

So what was our final analysis? We like them! They aren’t bitter, and don’t upset our tummies. I LOVE all the natural ingredients. I like to think that my family is eating healthy, but sometimes I worry that we aren’t getting enough of the good stuff.

Where can you buy them? You can order the vitamins online or through a select group of stores and pharmacies. For more vitamin options, check out the list of the Top 100 Children’s Vitamins, as reported by


Chex Gluten-Free Oatmeal

I happened to notice in the grocery store this month, a new arrival — Chex Gluten-Free Oatmeal. I grabbed a box to check it out, then noticed another shopper grabbing a box. She said it was really sweet and her kids loved it. So, I bought it, and took it home. My kids never did get to try it. My husband and I ate all of it.

The shopper was right: It is sweet. Maple Brown Sugar sweet. Just like the packages of instant oatmeal we used to eat when we were kids. Each box contains 6 individual packages. You simply pour the cereal into a bowl, add 2/3 cup water or milk, and microwave for 90 seconds. Yum!

I have only seen the Maple Brown Sugar variety in the stores. However, I found Apple Cinnamon and Original flavored varieties at Amazon, if you’re interested.  You may find them in the cereal aisles at your store. I’ll be watching ours to see if they arrive. A variety pack might be nice. :)

Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavor. Each pouch/serving: 170 calories, 0.5 g saturated fat, 180 mg sodium, 12 g sugars.

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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