Aldi, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . .

Y’all are aware of the fact that I love Aldi, and I thought I might share a few¬†of the reasons why with y’all!! ūüėÄ

1) Gluten Free Products

Aldi has a line of Gluten Free products called LiveGfree which regularly has awesome products that are comparable to other well known Gluten Free products, for less!

Here are a couple of comparable products:

2) Cheap Organic Fruits and Veggies

I got asparagus for 99 cents a package last week. I think that’s an awesome deal!

Here are some recent deals on organic produce at my local Aldi:

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3) Kale Veggie Burgers

I LOVE these. They’re really yummy, and they’re Gluten Free. But just as a warning: they’re processed on equipment that processes wheat. So, if you’re super sensitive to cross contamination, or have celiac disease, I wouldn’t risk it. However, I’ve had them for multiple meals over the past week, and haven’t had any problems. The only downside is that they’re a Special Buy (only available for a short period of time) which means I need to stock my deep freezer with them before they’re gone. Ha!

4) Prices for Milk and Eggs are always reasonable

I don’t drink milk, but I use it to bake with, and Aldi’s milk is currently $1.99 a gallon. Also, eggs are only $1.49 a dozen. Last summer they went as low as 69 cents.

5) Special Buys in General

Everything from Dried Mango to Towel Racks, it can all be a special buy and appear at random intervals at the store. Keep your eyes peeled because all kinds of fun stuff could be headed your way.

That’s just a few of the things I love about Aldi. Do y’all shop there? What are some of your favorite things?

Have a Tremendous Thursday y’all!

Love,

Olivia

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Dinner Idea

IMG_4341Want dinner on the table in about 15 minutes? Well, grab a pack of LiveGfree Cheese Ravioli from Aldi (they’re on sale to clear out extra stock from the special buy) and follow the instructions, while your water is boiling, pour a jar of pasta sauce (I used Classico) into a pan to warm. About five minutes into cooking your raviolis, throw a bag of steamable asparagus (I used Season’s Choice from Aldi) into the microwave and cook according to directions. Serve your ravioli with your sauce, and a side of asparagus. It turns out rather pretty. See:IMG_4347And from the side:IMG_4348Hope this helps y’all find an easy dinner to add into your meal plan for the week!

What are some quick Gluten Free dinners y’all love? Let me know in the comments!!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday, y’all!

Love,

Olivia

Aldi LiveGfree Chocolate Cake Mix Review!

Today I’ll be reviewing Aldi’s LiveGfree Chocolate Cake Mix! It’s part of the Special Buy from last week, but it should be in your store until it runs out of inventory! The packaging looks like this:

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My sister made it into cupcakes with fresh strawberry frosting . . . so tasty! I think they turned out absolutely lovely! ūüôāIMG_3964Onto our review!!

Texture: Texturally, these are awesome. Perfectly moist and fluffy, almost to a fault because the fall apart quite easily if kept room temperature. We found that letting the sit in the fridge for a little while helped a lot!!

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Price: $2.99 which is pretty great when you consider it was supposed to make 12 cupcakes, and made 22 cupcakes, and it is a little more than a dollar savings in comparison to what’s available at Walmart. So, that’s always a perk! ūüôā

Flavor: Fantastic. Really chocolatey without being overpowering. Also, the taste is consistent throughout the cake. The addition of strawberry frosting created a really tasty flavor profile for the cupcake overall! ūüôā

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Overall: This was an awesome cake mix with great texture, flavor, and value. I really liked it, and am planning to go stock up on some before my local Aldi runs out of these special buy mixes!

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Have y’all tried any of these special buy LiveGfree products? If so, let me know what you tried, and how you liked it in the comments!

Have a Tremendous Thursday!!

Love,

Olivia

LiveGfree Banana Muffin Mix . . . a product recommendation!

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If y’all have yet to see the new Special Buys at Aldi within the LiveGfree line, then you’re missing out. We stopped in yesterday to see all the new products, and picked out a few to try . . . including the Banana Muffin Mix.

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I whipped these up this morning. All I did was follow the directions, and after pouring the batter into six of the muffin cups I added in about a cup of chopped, toasted pecans, to make the last six banana nut muffins, but then there was extra batter. So, I ended up with 14 muffins. Six banana, and eight banana nut.

IMG_3880These muffins are absolutely delicious. They were perfect for breakfast, and would make an awesome addition to any brunch. ūüôā

They are dainty and moist, with excellent flavor. I also liked that it made more muffins than the expected yield.

Overall, these are fantastic, I’ll definitely go stock up on more, and hope Aldi will add them into the permanent LiveGfree line! Also, y’all should try them. They’re really tasty.

Have a Stupendous Saturday!

Love,

Olivia

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread

Remember how I said I had too many jalape√Īos for the Copycat Chuy’s Jalape√Īo dip? Well . . . I decided to take a couple of those extra peppers, and make Cheesy Jalape√Īo Cornbread!

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Would y’all like to make some too? Here’s what ya do:

  • Dice up one jalape√Īo pepper.
  • Take the other, and cut it in half. Dice the end half, and cut the other half into rings. (Like the picture above.)
  • Mix the peppers into one box of Aldi’s LiveGfree Gluten Free Cornbread Mix.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Pour the whole mix into a pan or iron skillet.
  • Sprinkle the top with a 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Place the jalape√Īo rings around the top. It’ll look like this:¬†IMG_3801
  • Bake according to the directions for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

Then . . . it should look like this:

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After it cools for five minutes, slice into squares and serve!

We paired ours with chili. See:

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I hope y’all enjoyed this post. If you end up making this, let me know in the comments!

Have an awesome day!!

Love,

Olivia

Homemade Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Whether you’re looking for ways to fulfill your sweet tooth cravings, making a special breakfast, or simply want to make your kitchen smell divinely delicious . . . (kinda like walking by Cinnabon — only gluten free!) this is the recipe is for you! ūüôā

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Ingredients:
1 box Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix (I used¬†Aldi’s LiveGfree)
1 teaspoon Yeast
2 Large Eggs
8 tablespoons Butter, divided in half
¬Ĺ cup warm water
¬ĺ cup¬†Sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
¬Ĺ teaspoon Vanilla

Glaze:
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400¬į and butter a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix your pizza crust mix, eggs, yeast, 4 tablespoons of softened butter, warm water and ¬ľ cup sugar. Let rise for 10 minutes covered with a dish towel.
  3. While your dough is rising . . . mix your sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Put your glaze together in a 2-cup Pyrex measure.
  4. Roll the dough out on wax paper, shaping it into a rectangle of about a ¬ľ-inch thickness. Spread with 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle your cinnamon/ sugar/ vanilla mixture onto the surface of the dough.
  5. Roll the dough up over the filling tightly and slice into 12 equal pieces. Place in your buttered pan. Allow the rolls to rise at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and bake 10 additional minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and drizzle your glaze on the warm rolls. Serve immediately.

This recipe delivered the most incredible gluten free cinnamon roll I have ever had. Going past bakeries can be a huge downer when living a gluten free lifestyle. Making these at home completely eliminates any pain I’ve ever felt when passing by Cinnabon empty-handed. Super delicious!

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Hope y’all have had a wonderful Saturday!!
Love,
Olivia

Easy Peasy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

IMG_0915A little back story here, I’ve always loved Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but have never¬†once made it. In fact, my family has never made it. ¬†EVER. Yesterday, everything happened to line¬†up. We happened to have all the ingredients, and I made Pineapple Upside Down Cake for the first time in my LIFE. It was delicious, so I figured I’d share the recipe with y’all! : D¬†So, here we go!!

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 Cup of butter
  • 1 Cup¬†PACKED¬†brown sugar
  • 1 Can of sliced pineapple in 100% Juice. Separate the fruit from the juice, and set the juice aside.
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 Jar of Maraschino Cherries without stems, drained
  • 1 box of Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix (I used¬†Aldi LiveGfree)
  • Eggs and vegetable oil based upon the instructions for your cake mix.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt your butter in the oven in a 13″x 9″ pan.
  3. Combine brown sugar and butter in the pan, resulting in something similar to this:

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 4. Flatten out the butter and sugar mixture.
5. Place the pineapple and cherries into your butter and sugar mixture. It will look like this:
IMG_0917  6. Mix together your Yellow Cake Mix according to directions on your box, but instead of using the full amount of milk, use the reserved pineapple juice and the 3 tablespoons of milk.
7. Pour cake mix over the pineapples and cherries, it will look somewhat like this:
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8. Put your cake in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Make sure that it’s done clear through, and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven, it’ll look like this:

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¬†¬†9. Once it’s set, flip onto a plate or serving tray. Voila!
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10. Cut into pieces and serve!

IMG_0928I hope y’all enjoy it! My taste tester panel¬†(which includes folks who aren’t Gluten Free)¬†said there was no weird or different taste to it based upon its Gluten-Freeness. ūüėȬ†

Happy Baking!!
Love, 
Olivia

My Take on LiveGfree Gluten Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Okay, so in recent news, the¬†LiveGfree Sandwich Cookies¬†were a solid 3.5 out of 5. The cookie part was yummy, I dare say it tasted more chocolatey than regular Oreos. So, why only a 3.5, you ask? Well, it’s the creme’s fault. Flavor-wise, it was fine. Not identical to regular¬†Oreos, but fine. The texture was sandy, which didn’t totally ruin the overall experience, but definitely made it less enjoyable. Oreos are supposed to be fun to eat–not like eating something that fell out of your beach bag and into the sand.

Overall, I would eat them again. But I’d probably leave off the creme, which is usually my favorite part. They’re not fantastic, but they’re not horrible. They’re just, eh. I was terribly disappointed as I’d had high hopes for these cookies, and these kind of dashed those. ūüė¶ Though maybe I’ll use them in a chocolate cream pie as the crust . . . hmm . . . that’s a great idea! Off to get some of the ingredients as soon as I finish this little post!

By the way, if you eat them the wrong way (whole, as opposed to twisting the top off, then eating the creme and second cookie together) 
they taste FAR better, and it assists in canceling out the sandy texture. 

Well, ya win some and ya lose some.

What have y’all’s most disappointing Gluten Free product tests been?
Let me know in the comments, and have a fabulous day!
Love,
Olivia

Blank vs. Blank (Part 1)

Hey y’all!

What are you up to today?

I’m getting some work done and doing some recipe testing. Wanna guess what the next food tutorial will be? Let me know in the comments! ūüėČ

Anyways, onto the title of this post, I know y’all are thinking “Blank vs. Blank!? Has she lost her ever-loving mind? Aren’t there supposed to be brands or products there?” Well, let me explain.

This is the very first part of a series I’m starting comparing two Gluten Free products at a time based upon three criteria: Taste, Quantity and Price. After that, I’ll give each product an overall rating on a scale of 1 to 5. ¬†At the end, we’ll compare them overall and declare a winner!
Sound good?
Good.
Here we go!

So, what products are dueling this week, you ask?
Well . . .

On the right side of our ring, coming in at a whopping 4.5 ounces are Crunchmaster’s Rosemary & Olive Oil Multi- Seed Crackers!

Taste:¬†¬†These are alright. Nothing to write home about, but if you want a vessel for specialty meats and cheeses, these will get the job done. Flavor is good, but could use more oomph in my opinion. Also, they have a funny aftertaste to me. Also a slightly styrofoamy texture. (Yes, I did just create the word styrofoamy) ūüėČ

Quantity: The serving size states there is about four servings per bag, and a serving is 14 crackers. So, you get about 56 crackers in a bag. Not bad. I just wish more of those were whole crackers. They seem to break easily, and you end up with quite a few broken crackers.

Price: I think we get them for between $3 and $4 at Kroger. Per cracker, that rounds out to about $0.06 each.

Results:¬†Overall, these are mediocre crackers. There’s just something strange I can’t quite put my finger on. Yet if they were the only crackers I had available, I’d probably deal with it and eat these.

Score: A solid 2.5 out of 5

On the left side of our ring, weighing in at 4.25 ounces is our competitor: the LiveGfree Gluten Free Rosemary & Olive Oil Multiseed Snack Crackers.

Taste:¬†These have a far bolder flavor than the Crunchmaster version. I don’t NEED specialty cheeses and meat to eat these. I like them all by themselves. Flavor is great and texture is far better.

Quantity:  The bag says about 4 servings of 11 crackers. So, you get around 44 crackers in a bag. I wish more were whole crackers. They break easily, and you do get quite a few broken crackers in this bag as well.

Price:¬†$1.49 at Aldi!¬†$1.49!!¬†Yippee! Which totals out to about $0.03 per cracker¬†(half of the other brand’s cost per cracker!)

Results: These are far better crackers, in my opinion. They have far more flavor, far better texture, and they are cheaper.

Score:¬†4 out of 5. If fewer crackers were broken, they’d have earned a 5; no questions about it!

And, the winner is . . .

Aldi LiveGfree Rosemary and Olive Oil Multiseed Snack Crackers!

Here’s why:¬†

  • Better Texture
  • Bolder Flavor
  • More Cost Effective Overall

Tune back in soon for more posts! 
You never know what you’ll find. ūüėČ

One last thing. What are y’all’s favorite Gluten Free Crackers? Let me know in the comments! ūüėČ

Have a fabulous Friday!!
Love, 
Olivia

Aldi (Part 2): What’s a “Special Buy”? + New LiveGfree items

Ah . . . Special Buys. I have a love/hate relationship with these. There’s nothing worse than finding a product you adore and having it go away after a week. At the same time, if it weren’t for Special Buys, Aldi wouldn’t have the¬†LiveGfree¬†line of products.¬†¬†(Originally introduced in May as a Special Buy, this line has been brought back by consumer demand and is now permanently available in all Aldi¬†stores as of today.)¬†

Aldi is does a fantastic job in communicating with their consumers, and I wholeheartedly recommend following them on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with them and show some love they richly deserve.

So, what is a special buy anyways? 

Well, let me explain. Every week Aldi releases a limited line of products, from quinoa to chain saws. The product is available at their stores until it sells out and more new stuff is brought in the next week. So you need to get there when the Special Buy starts, or you may miss it altogether.

So, why in the world are we talking about Special Buys at Aldi? 
Well . . . 

This week Aldi’s Special Buys include some fun products in the LiveGfree line!
Let’s look into¬†those, shall we?¬†

1) Gluten Free Cracklebread
It’s a cracker! It’s a¬†flatbread! It’s CRACKLEBREAD! Haha. So many puns possible for this. Anyways, it will available in Original or Sun Dried Tomato, and should be a fun snack addition! Maybe with Havarti you can find at Aldi too? ¬†$2.99 for a 3.5 ounce package.

2) Gluten Free Soup
So, I’m not a huge fan of noodle soups, but I’ll try this for y’all, ’cause I love you and want to be able to do an honest review. Anyways, they’ll have it available in Veggie Noodle and Chicken Noodle. $1.69 for a 15-ounce can.
3) Gluten Free Sandwich Cookies
Please taste like¬†Oreos. Please taste like Oreos. PLEASE TASTE LIKE OREOS! That’s all I have to say about these. Flavors available are: Chocolate or Vanilla Creme. $3.29 for a 10.5 ounce package.
What are you most excited about in the LiveGfree Special Buy Line?
You should be able to get these products at your local Aldi today!

Happy Tasting!

Love,
Olivia