Archive for Product Advisory

I’ve got more gift ideas to give to friends and family who are following a gluten-free diet. I told you last month about some new  ideas for gluten-fee cooks: cookbooks, calendar, and magazines. Now, I’m thinking about food gifts. This is something that is not always easy to find for people who are gluten-free. In the past, you’d have to make it yourself, package it, and deliver/ship it. But now there are some options to make your holiday shopping a little easier. Here are some that I found online.

GF Baking Mix Starter Pack

GF Muffins and Cupcakes

Holiday Dinner Box

Gluten-Free Food Packages

Gluten-Free Palace has a variety of gift boxes and baskets with gluten-free cookies.

Gourmet Gift Baskets has a selection of gift baskets with gluten-free food products — cookies, crackers, chips, dips, etc.

I Can Have That! offers gift baskets that are tailored to your special diet needs. You can order, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, or free from any of the other major allergens. And right now they’re offering free shipping on orders over $65. Enter coupon code “Holiday 2012″ at checkout now through Dec. 19.

Jules GlutenFree. In addition to her books, and the occasional cooking class, Jules also sells gluten-free baking mixes online. She has a great variety of products that would be a wonderful gift for someone new to the gluten-free diet or a seasoned baker. Some of the product packages change with special deals being offered. But, you can’t go wrong with the Starter Pack. If you purchase quickly (because supplies are limited), you may even be able to purchase the Cookie Tree Building Kit.

Gluten-Free Cookie Box

Katz GlutenFree is a gluten-free bakery that ships delicious gluten-free goodies: Breads, Muffins, Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Doughnuts, etc. Everything is baked in a dedicated facility that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. They have also put together some gluten-free gift packages that I’m sure would be appreciated by celiacs and others eating gluten free. With their wide variety of tasty treats, you’re sure to find something to send to your loved ones.

Nuts.com - Assuming there are no nut allergies in the house, these are a great option. This site sells a lot more than just nuts: sweet treats, dried fruit, snacks, and baking supplies. Check out their gluten-free page of products to get started.

Saratoga Gift Basket Company offers several gift baskets with gluten-free treats, snacks, dessert items, etc.

So Lucky is an online business that prepares and ships gluten-free food and gift packages. The gluten-free food products are thoughtfully put together in fun themes. The So It’s Time to Entertain Holiday Box includes Emily G’s Cabernet Sauvignon jam, Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix, 2 Turkey Gravy Mixes, 2 Suss Cinnamon Apple Caramels, Namaste Spice Cake Mix, Glutino Multigrain Crackers, and a seasonal dish towel. Check out all of their products at SoLuckyGifts.com.

Other Food Packages that may be Gluten-Free – Check labels and/or with Customer Service before purchasing.

Harry and David – They offer a variety of food gift packages and many include gluten, so I recommend that you order their delicious fruit.  They have a variety of fruit presentations from which to choose. Some of the baskets in their holiday fruit gift collection do come with products that contain gluten, so order carefully.

Hickory Farms – We’ve eaten products from Hickory Farms in the past with no problems from gluten. However, they don’t claim that all their products are gluten-free. So make sure you confirm with the company that what you’re ordering is gluten-free. Or, to be on the safe side, you can’t go wrong with a fruit and nut basket.

Wines – Most people in the gluten-free community consider wine to be gluten-free.

Wines Country Gift Baskets – To avoid gluten, I would stick with ordering just the wine. They ship wine to most states, but check before you spend too much time placing an order. They also sell holiday wreaths and decor, which make nice gifts.

Wine.com – Another site that ships wine, champagne, and gift products. Check out the holiday wine sets, but avoid the food and candy products that may contain gluten. They sell a group of “green wines” that use sustainable, organic and/or biodynamic practices. They also sell accessories for wine and entertaining.

 

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Here are some fun ideas for gifts to give to those who cook and live gluten-free. Great for someone new to the gluten-free diet, but also good for the seasoned gluten-free cook because I’ve included cookbooks and products that are new this year!

Calendar with Gluten-Free Recipes

Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang created this fabulous monthly calendar with gluten-free recipes for 2013. There is a wonderful recipe printed on each calendar card with beautiful full-color photos. On the back of each card is easy-to-follow directions for making the gluten-free and dairy-free recipe, along with suggestions for making it vegetarian, vegan, and paleo.

I love the small size of it (a CD case). Perfect for stockings or easy shipping! You can order it directly from Diane’s website, where you’ll also find a list of the recipes and more details about it.

Cookbooks for a Busy Gluten-Free Family


The The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carrie Forbes was just recently released. I haven’t seen the book myself, but I’ve tried many of Carrie’s recipes from GingerLemonGirl.com, and I’ve always had good results with them.  What busy family couldn’t use a good slow-cooker recipe to help them manage a week filled with a myriad of activities? You can order the cookbook directly from GingerLemonGirl, or on Amazon.


Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love–Fast! is another cookbook designed to help busy families manage a gluten-free diet. The author, Nicole Hunn, includes tips for advance meal prep, kitchen shortcuts, and make-your-own mixes to get meals on the table fast. And like her first cookbook, this one also provides inexpensive solutions for a complete gluten-free meal. But what really gets my attention is those gluten-free glazed chocolate doughnuts on the cover! Must try soon.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cookbooks

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen written by Denise Jardine provides recipes that are dairy-free, as well as gluten-free. It has a nice variety of recipes for cheese and sauces including a Creamy Macadamia and Pine Nut Cheese, a Mustard Cream Sauce, and a Spicy Peanut Sauce. A few more recipes that got my attention, but I haven’t tried yet, are Crispy Pizza Crust, Chocolate Orange Pudding and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

The Spunky Coconut Dairy-Free Ice Cream Cookbook: Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Written by Kelly Brozyna, also author of the blog The Spunky Coconut. These recipes are made with coconut milk, cashew nut milk, and/or hemp milk using a blender or an ice cream maker. What a variety of flavors: Blueberry Lavender, Roasted Banana, Spiced Apple Tea, as well as the classics Chocolate and Vanilla. Order this and other cookbooks at The Spunky Coconut Bake Shop or on Amazon.

Paleo Cookbooks

This year, I’ve been trying to include more Paleo-friendly meals into my diet. The paleo diet is free of all grains, so it is also gluten free. My husband and I both felt great after being on the diet for just a week. We aren’t ready to commit to it full-time, but I am making some small changes to our meals to make more of them paleo-friendly. You, too, may be interested in some of these cookbooks.

I purchased Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids this year. It was written and created for families with young kids. My daughter loves the story in the front of the cookbook that tells about how the author’s family transformed their health and lives by learning to “eat like a dinosaur.” It embraces the paleo diet and has lots of fun recipes to get the kids engaged in the diet, too.


Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle This author also has a blog at Balanced Bites. She is a certified nutrition consultant who writes in this book about how good food can improve your health. This is not just a cookbook. It is a guide to the paleo diet that explains it in detail, including foods to eat and foods to avoid. It gives instructions for grocery shopping, gives tips for eating out, explains how to regulate your blood sugar with food, and provides lots of great recipes.


Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: Real Food for Real Life This is a follow-up to her first cookbook Everyday Paleo and her children’s book Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship. Like so many paleo books, this book focuses on how to improve your health by making good food choices and staying active with your family. There are lots of full-color photos of the recipes. And, I love that she’s included recipes great for families with kids — slow-cooker recipes and “fruity creations and treats.”

Magazines

You didn’t know there were magazines specific to the gluten-free diet? Yep, in fact, there are several now! When buying a subscription for a friend, why not order one for yourself, too?


Simply Gluten Free Magazine is the newest of the gluten-free magazines, just being released this fall, in time for the holidays. It’s a bi-monthly publication created by the multi-talented Carol at Simply…Gluten-Free, this magazine is sure to include her delicious recipes and beautiful photographs that are always tempting. Must get a subscription to this one! You may also be interested in her cookbooks: Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts and Simply . . . Gluten-free Quick Meals.


Delight Gluten Free Magazine does a great job of keeping its readers up to date on the latest news and trends for the gluten-free lifestyle. It publishes six times a year and provides gluten-free recipes, articles and tips for living gluten free. With editors and writers that continue to be engaged in the gluten-free community, it is sure to have information relevant to anyone eating gluten free.


Living Without Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine, addresses a variety of food allergies and sensitivities, including gluten-free and dairy-free. It provides delicious new recipes in every issue, as well as articles and tips about living with food allergies. You’ll read about new studies and topics to address with your doctor.

Categories : Books, Product Advisory
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Earlier this month, I mentioned in my review of Mi-Del cookies that I give my kids’ teachers a small care package of gluten-free snacks at the beginning of the year for them to store in the classroom for my kids. These are not meant to be the snacks that my kids get to eat everyday. (I send my kids to school each day with gluten-free snacks and lunch.) The snacks in this care package are there for backup reasons because sometimes snacks and treats are offered in the classroom that aren’t gluten-free. And having these in the classroom makes sure that my kids are not left out of any last-minute activities involving gluten. For example:

  • Probably the most common situation: A classmate brings in cupcakes, cookies, or treats to share with the class for their birthday. My son chooses a package of cookies out of his gluten-free package.
  • The class earns a reward (popcorn) for good behavior or reaching a class goal, but the teacher isn’t sure if it’s gluten-free. My son gets a bag of popcorn or chips out of the gluten-free package.
  • The teacher creates a project that involves building something with pretzels or crackers, but forgets to tell us in advance. My daughter gets out her gluten-free pretzels or crackers to use instead.
  • My daughter’s snack or lunch didn’t make it to school and the cafeteria doesn’t offer anything gluten-free. My daughter can eat from her GF care package if I’m unable to bring it to school.
  • It is perhaps unlikely, but should an emergency situation arise and the school is on lock-down, I know my kids will have something they can eat without getting sick.

What’s in a Gluten-Free Care Package? I like to choose self-contained, single-serve, small packages of gluten-free items that won’t spoil in the teacher’s cabinet or desk. I also try to present it to the teacher in a small container that is easy for them to store. A large zip-style bag, or medium size plastic container clearly labeled Gluten-Free for my son or daughter seems to work well. Here are some items that we have used for this purpose:

Sweet Treats:

Salty Snacks:

Fruit Snacks:

Rice, Granola, or Energy Bars:

Communicate with the teacher! It’s been my experience that most teachers are familiar and comfortable with this arrangement. However, I  strongly suggest that you discuss it with the teacher before sending a small care package of food to school. This may not work in all classrooms or for all teachers. Along with the package of food that I provide to the teacher, I like to attach a brief note to remind the teacher what it is for, and to please let me know if at any time during the year it needs to be replenished.

Make it easy on yourself. Our family is fortunate to live in an area with gluten-free snack items available at our grocery stores. If this isn’t the case for you, you can order some items online. A single box of the Schar sandwich cookies with your student’s name clearly written on it would do the trick. Or, perhaps a small bag of your child’s favorite candy would work for you.

More occasions to use a gluten-free care package. All of these items would also be great gluten-free additions for a gluten-free lunch, a gift to send to college students, and for a travel pack.

Do you do something similar? Please feel free to add any other ideas in the comments.

 

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Aug
20

MI-DEL Cookie Winners Chosen

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The three winners of MI-DEL cookies were selected, contacted, and confirmed.

Congratulations to

Thanks for entering the giveaway. Your MI-DEL cookie coupon is in the mail!

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This giveaway is now closed.

We have a little more than three weeks before my kids head back to school this year. So, thoughts of packing snacks and lunches for my kids is on my mind. I’d like to tell you that I only make homemade gluten-free cookies and snacks for my kids. But the truth is I also purchase gluten-free snack products at the stores. Sometimes we just need something quick and easy.

Mi-Del sent me some coupons to review their gluten-free cookies. Mi-Del gluten-free cookies are not new to my family. In fact, Mi-Del’s Arrowroot Animal Cookies were the first gluten-free cookies I purchased when my son, a toddler at the time, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. With no gluten-free goldfish or graham crackers to eat, we used these arrowroot cookies for snacks on a regular basis. Then, after moving to a new state, we couldn’t find them in the stores near our house, and so we adjusted to other cookies and brands.

Last year, we found something new from Mi-Del: We found this cute little box of individual packs of S’mores Cookies. We love these! The box contains five individual 90-calorie packages of little bite-size cookies. They are chocolatey and crunchy with a little marshmallow flavor baked in, too. It’s really nice to have some snacks that you can just grab and go, but it’s even better for having shelf-stable treats that the kids’ teachers can store in their classrooms for unexpected needs. (Unexpected classmate birthday celebrations and class food projects that aren’t gluten-free do come up during the year.)

Since Mi-Del sent us some coupons, the kids and I went looking for some different Mi-Del cookies to try. We wanted to try the Chocolate Caramel and the Chocolate Sandwich cookie varieties listed on the Mi-Del website, but never found them in our local stores. We did, however, find the Pecan Flavored Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Ginger Snaps. And the kids were happy to be the taste testers. :)

My son’s favorite was the Pecan flavored cookies. This was my first time trying Mi-Del’s Pecan flavored cookies, and my first thought about them was that they reminded me of vanilla wafers. They certainly aren’t the same as Nilla® Wafers (which aren’t gluten-free), but if you are looking for a gluten-free substitute, I suggest you give these a try. They are about the same size, but perhaps not as crisp, and a little darker in color with a mild taste of pecans and molasses.  They make great cookie sandwiches. Just add some peanut butter, frosting, or ice cream between two of them.

I knew that my daughter’s favorite would be the Chocolate Chip Cookies. Like me, she is a lover of all that is chocolate. Honestly, these are not my favorite chocolate chip cookies, but we do buy them on occasion. I prefer to make my own chewy chocolate chip cookies.

And what about the Ginger Snaps? Well, Mi-Del makes really good ginger snaps. My nieces and sister-in-law (who don’t follow a gluten-free diet) love them. I think the flavor is a little too strong for my two cookie eaters’ sensitive taste buds. I personally think these, as well as their Cinnamon Snaps, are great for making crusts for pies, tarts, and cheesecakes. Just crush them up and use them in your favorite recipes.

Allergens and Ingredients. Mi-Del states that their “Gluten-Free products are routinely tested using the ELISA method to ensure gluten-free status as determined by the World Health Organization.” I know many Celiac Family readers are also sensitive to other grains and allergens, so you may be interested to know that the gluten-free flour used for these cookies is a mixture of corn flour, soy flour, potato flour, rice flour, corn starch, potato starch and xanthan gum. The Chocolate Chip and Pecan Flavored cookies also contain egg and milk. The Ginger Snaps contain egg, but have no dairy ingredients listed.

My final thoughts on the cookies. These small cookies are perfect for snacks. They aren’t chewy nor too crispy, but somewhere in between with a tender crumb. They don’t break too easily, so you can pack them in lunches without getting a lot of broken pieces. And the price is reasonable for purchasing gluten-free cookies in the stores. The S’mores bite-size cookies are a little more pricey because of the extra packaging. If you are not familiar with Mi-Del cookies, please be aware that Mi-Del does make cookies that are not gluten free. So, make sure you are purchasing the cookies that are clearly marked “Gluten-Free” on the packaging!

This giveaway is now closed.

FREE Cookies Giveaway. So, now that I’ve told you what my family thinks of them, what do you you think? Do you want to try them yourself? Mi-Del gave me some coupons to offer to Celiac Family readers. Each coupon is good for one FREE Mi-Del product. Mi-Del’s website also has a product locator that can tell you where to find their products near you.

  • To enter, simply leave a comment below saying which product you would purchase with the coupon. Check out Mi-Del’s gluten-free products on their website to see all the varieties they make gluten free.
  • 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 an additional comment below letting us know where you mentioned it.
  • 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.

Three Winners will be chosen using a random generator. Each winner will receive one coupon to redeem at your local store for any Mi-Del product up to $4.00. All comments/entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm EDT, Friday Aug. 19. The winner should respond within 48 hours after being contacted by email. If I’m unable to contact a winner, another winner will be chosen. Good Luck!

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