Snackity Snacks

Today we’re going to talk about some quick and easy Gluten Free snacks. Specifically I want to highlight things that would be easy to toss in your bag, eat on the go or have with you in case there’s no safe (gluten-free) food wherever you’re going. By the way, all of these opinions are my own. No one asked me to promote these products. I just really like them all. Without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we?

1) GoPicnic Boxes: 
These have quite a few Gluten Free options for BreakfastLunch, and Snacks. We’ve bought lunch varieties of them before and eaten different components as snacks. They’re great to keep in the car for a quick meal on the go or just a boost of energy during the day. The one pictured below is my current favorite. If you can’t find these at your local grocery store, try Amazon. We got them at Target.

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2) Pamela’s Products Whenever Bars:
These are great. They aren’t dry and crumbly like most Gluten Free granola bars, and they’re decent sized. My personal favorite is the Blueberry Lemon flavor. Y’all can find them on Amazon or in your local Kroger store, which is where I find them. 😉
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3) Pirate’s Booty, Aged White Cheddar:
This stuff is really great. I don’t know if y’all have tried it yet, but you should. SUCH a great snack! I buy it at Kroger, and sometimes can find it at Aldi, but you can find it on Amazon as well. 😀
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4) Annie’s Gluten Free Bunny Cookies in Snickerdoodle:
Random tidbit, I’m obsessed with all things Snickerdoodle flavored–including these cookies from Annie’s Homegrown. They’re so delicious. They’re cute, and they’re Gluten Free. What more could you want? I’ve bought them from Target, but you can find them on Amazon as well.
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5) GoGo SqueeZ Apple Cherry:
Okay, I understand that my snack choices are looking a wee bit like a 5 year old’s, but those kids know what they’re doing when it comes to snacks. I’m not kidding. This applesauce tastes like cherry pie, which is pretty cool. If you don’t like cherry pie, (which may hurt our friendship, but I’ll get over it) 😉 they have a bunch of other flavors. Find those here. I get them at Target, but if you don’t have a Target close  . . .  (and I am so sorry for you if that’s the case) you can find them on Amazon!
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6) Larabar Mini Bars:
I personally love Larabars, but I usually only eat a whole one in place of a meal. So, what to do when you want a Larabarfor a snack? Buy the minis, obviously. Plus they’re adorable, which is a HUGE factor in snack choosing, right? I buy them at Target or Kroger. You can find them on Amazon too! 😉
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7) Crunchmaster Grammy Crisps:
If y’all have read my blog for a while, you know I wrote a review on these. If you’re new here, I wrote a review on these y’all!! Find it here. 😉 I love them and think they’d be yummy with my next featured snack. I bought them at Ingles, but I am sure you could find them on Amazon . . . oh wait, you can. ‘Cause I found them for y’all. You’re welcome! 😉 I love these, and they’re great with cream cheese, or. . .
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8) Justin’s Honey Almond Butter:
I’m in love with Almond Butter. Between it and Sunbutter, I could honestly have little to no use for Peanut Butter. This Almond Butter would be great on the snack above or on celery. Goodness, it’d be great alone. Find It on Amazon, or at Target.
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Hope y’all have found some great snack ideas!

Happy snacking, y’all!
Love,
Olivia

WOW Baking Company Is the BEST!

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Okay. This is more of a product recommendation than a review.

Do you see where it says, “You won’t believe these are wheat & gluten- free?!?” Well, do you? Because it is the honest to goodness truth. I love these, and so does every person I’ve introduced them to.

The VERY BEST thing about WOW (With Out Wheat) Baking Company is that they have TONS of cookie flavors in addition to cake mixes, and tubs of cookie dough.

My very favorite flavor is the Lemon Burst, with the Snickerdoodle cookies coming in at a VERY close second. I’ve also tried the Peanut Butter cookies, which were okay, and the Ginger Molasses which were not so great.

I’m looking forward to trying the newest flavor: Key Lime White Chocolate Cookies!

Oh, and for fall, they have Maple Squares. Um, hello. I need these in my life! 😉

Here are all their bagged cookie flavors:

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I have a deep appreciation for what WOW Baking Company has done for the Gluten Free Community, and I hope y’all will give them a try!

By the way, all opinions expressed in this post are totally mine. WOW Baking Company has no clue I exist . . . yet. I do truly  love their products!

Let me know which flavor sounds best to you in the comments below!

Have a great day!!
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. 😉 

Happy Baking!!
Love, 
Olivia

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 + 1 teaspoon sage separated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion (dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3/4 can of pumpkin
  • 2 oz of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons of parmesan reggiano
  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, once melted add in the teaspoon of sage, the garlic powder and the minced onion. Let butter boil and begin to brown.
  • Once light brown, add in the half and half, whisk to combine.
  • After half and half and butter are combined, whisk in half of the canned pumpkin along with your cinnamon, and cumin.
  • Once that’s combined, whisk in the cream cheese, then blend in the rest of your canned pumpkin.
  • Whisk in your chicken broth, then your evaporated milk. Add in the cheese and remaining sage.
  • Whisk all together until smooth and creamy. Let simmer for ten minutes, and whisk again before serving over any pasta dish. . .

One idea might be Pumpkin Ravioli. I may share the recipe on the blog here soon, but it needs more recipe testing.

To go with our fun fall recipe, comment below and tell me your very favorite fall activity!

Hope y’all enjoy, and Happy Fall Y’all!
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. 😦 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! 😉

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) 😉

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. 😉

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

Have a fabulous Friday!!
Love, 
Olivia

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’ve reached 1,000 unique page views in a week! Oh my goodness! ONE THOUSAND UNIQUE PAGE VIEWS! 
Y’all! Little old me had an idea a little less than four months ago to share my experiences living Gluten Free.
Lazy old me procrastinated, and didn’t really put effort in until September 16th. But then I started blogging everyday, and Y’ALL started reading what I wrote! I’m so so thrilled, and want y’all to know that this is just the beginning!

So, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your love and support. I really couldn’t do this without all of you.

*****In honor of my first 1,000 unique page views, here’s the first post I ever wrote for Livie’s Gone Gluten Free on July 2nd of this year.

I love Dunkin’ Donuts.

Strange way to start a blog about gluten-free living, I know.

But, I do. Really.

Let’s get some perspective here:
When I was 10 years old, I had my very first Blueberry Cake Doughnut from the aforementioned gluten dealer. It was delicious, and a love affair was born.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year, I had suspected I had a gluten intolerance for awhile. I finally bit the bullet instead of another bagel and decided to eat gluten free. Early on my suspicions were confirmed; Gluten was NOT my friend. So I ditched that selfish witch for new friends like these: Lemon Cookies and Blueberry Waffles.

But something was still missing. I wanted my old friend the Blueberry Cake Doughnut back. I’m sure I could attempt to copycat the deliciousness of the Blueberry Cake Doughnut into a gluten free treat. But what if I’m in a hurry? Homemade doughnuts aren’t a quick food. Though delicious, the average homemade doughnut takes at least an hour to complete. Frankly, I’m a sucker for the convenience of the heavily accented Indian man telling me to “Come to window,” at my local gluten baked goods dealer. It takes all of three minutes to pull up, order, be told to “Come to window.” Pay and leave. What homemade doughnut gives you that level of convenience? NONE! So, now that I’ve thoroughly proven how lazy I am, let me explain why I have rekindled my love for the glutenous baked goods dealer.

Do you see that beautiful liquid on the far left? The one with the blueberry label? THAT my friends is crack in a cup. It’s literally the greatest thing I have ever drunk. And, to top it all off, IT TASTES JUST LIKE THE BLUEBERRY CAKE DOUGHNUT!!! Oh my goodness y’all! You need to go try it, now. It’s the bomb, and I see MANY more in my future. AND, in case it wasn’t great enough that it tastes delicious, the large at my local gluten dealer is 99 cents. Yes, you read that right. Just 99 cents.

It’s the best discovery I have made so far this summer, and their straws are adorable. Slightly reminiscent of this favorite store of mine.

Thank you Dunkin’ Donuts for your blueberry sweet tea! You scored some major points with this one.

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

You Are Not Alone: 10 Celebrities Who Live Gluten Free (Part 3)

Back in 2010 I watched The Next Food Network Star faithfully.

It was so fun! I loved watching as the contestants completed challenges and feeling like I got to know each contestant.
I pledged my allegiance quickly to Aarti Sequeria. She had a fantastically bubbly and vivacious personality. She was warm and full of life. I absolutely loved her. So, I sat on the couch, in a house many moves ago, and excitedly celebrated her win of the show. I was so thrilled that Aarti would have her own show, and  I could learn how to cook Indian food, something I’d always wanted to know how to do.

Fast forward to June of this year. . . I was looking up a recipe for Lassi when I remembered my “old friend” Aarti, and thought, “Hmm, maybe she has a recipe for Lassi.” After a few quick Google searches, I found a Youtube video  with her explaining how to make Lassi, and I was on my way. Which was great, but then I went to Colorado for a month and had no need for Indian food tutorials.

In fact, she’d completely slipped my mind until I was looking into different Gluten Free Celebrities for my series last week, and found out Aarti went Gluten Free back in 2010. You can read her opinion of her lifestyle change here. She also figured out how to make Gluten Free Naan. Yum! I plan on making it soon, and I’ll definitely tell y’all what I think. 🙂

Now, if you are thinking, “Oh my word, there is NO way this girl has anything else to say today,” you’d be WRONG. I have one more little tidbit of information.

Aarti has a cookbook coming out.

In fact, IT COMES OUT TODAY. I’m just a wee bit excited in case you can’t tell. I cannot explain to you how amazing I think it will be, nor can I wait to get my copy of it. In addition to having an eclectic sampling of recipes, the cover is pretty. I mean, who doesn’t love pink floral designs all over a book? I certainly do!
So, check out her cookbook, or her blog, or her twitter. Let’s show Aarti some love on the day of her cookbook release, shall we?

Have a great day, y’all, and be on the lookout for more blog posts on Gluten Free Celebrities!

Love,
Olivia

You Are Not Alone: 10 Celebrities Who Live Gluten Free (Part 2)

So, we’ve talked about a couple Gluten Free celebrities already, but let us continue our list shall we?
8) Meg Cabot
The famed author of The Princess Diaries books  (which inspired the well-known movies with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews directed by Garry Marshall) was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. You can read about her initial take on her diagnosis in her blog post The C Word from April of 2008.
So, I’ll leave you with a bit of “wisdom” via the words of Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldi“Please don’t crush my soy nuts!” (a gluten free snack, by the way!)
That’s all for now!
Check back soon for more Gluten Free celebrities!
Hope y’all have a SPLENDID day!
Love,
Olivia