Easy recipes, fun reviews, and silly chatter from three
gluten-free, additive-free, and wholesome eating kids!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gluten-Free Goodie Bags Preview!!!

We can't wait until Monday! That's when our Gluten-Free Awareness School Event is taking place! Momma Chef will be reading The Celiac Kid to 60 children, talking to them about a gluten-free life, and providing them with Gluten-Free Goodie bags!!

That's acutally what we will all be doing this weekend, assembling the bags!

Want a peak at what will be inside each one??

Isn't that just AWESOME!!??

In the beginning we were just going to try to find one gluten-free cookie and perhaps an informational pamphlet but so many wonderful places donated items that we ended up with all these amazing items!!

We will post more details about each and every item after the event, but we were just so excited about how they look that we wanted to post a quick preview!

Thank you to everyone that has supported us!

Also, don't forget to enter to win free organic palm shortening HERE!

Review: Nana's Cookie Company

We were so excited when Nana's Cookies said they would send us some samples for our Gluten-Free Awareness Event! (Which is this Monday - Woot!) Sister Chef was the most thrilled because they are her favorite gluten-free cookie. She prefers soft cookies and Nana's are really soft, moist, and chewy! AND...they are only sweetened with natural fruit juice, so they are the perfect cookies for her!

When the box came in and Little Chef saw all the flavors he started yelling "Can I try them all? Can I try them all? We thought he meant "Can I try one of all the flavors?" So we absentmindedly said yes....and turned around when we heard him squealing and found him trying to gather up every single cookie in his arms!

We sure know why he wanted to claim them all, they are delicious. The Gluten Free cookies are free of ingredients that cause many food allergies, including corn, soy, dairy, eggs, casein and wheat! And as mentioned, no refined sugars!

It was hard to put them away to save for our event...we wanted to put them away in our tummies!
We did let the Junior Chefs taste one of each flavor, as promised!

Gluten Free Lemon Dreams:
These were Sister Chef's favorite, she asked right away if we could buy a couple boxes to keep on hand for lunches and snack. "They are so soft, yet sweet but not too sweet and I love the lemony taste! I bet they would be awesome with some homemade ice cream. They remind me of lemonade or lemon drops."

Chocolate Munch:
These were Little Chef's favorite, he's all about the chocolate! "They are soft! I like the way they feel in my teeth and they don't stick. The chocolate is so, so good! I want these everyday, for forever and ever! How do they make them so soft? Can we ask them? I bet if I smile really nice they will tell me..."

Berry Vanilla:
These were Brother Chef's favorite. He said "They are so smooth and great with almond milk. They don't stick in my throat. They would be good on a picnic."

Next time you are at the store look for these or you can buy them ONLINE!
Don't forget to check out their website HERE!

Thank you Nana's Cookies, we can't wait to share these with the school children!

~The opinions written here are ours. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post & were not under any obligation to give a positive review of the product.~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Local Review: Rafferty's Pizza

When I found out that a local pizza cafe, Rafferty's Pizza, was now offering gluten-free pizza, I was really excited! It's very, very rare that we get to eat out and when we do there are not that many options...finding gluten-free, wholesome foods at restaurants is not always easy.

I contacted Rafferty's Pizza and asked them if they would like to participate in our Gluten-Free Awareness School Event and was thrilled when they said they would provide us with gift certificates and menus for our goodies bags!! What a special treat that will be for all the school children at the event!

Little Chef and I stopped by the cafe today to pick up the items and while we were there they treated us to lunch so we got to test out the gluten-free pizza, which was so much fun for Little Chef because he's currently obsessed with all things Leprechaun!

Before we even got out of the car Little Chef saw a leprechaun on the sign and he started yelling "Let's eat there so I can find his gold!!!" As soon as we walked in we were greeted by.....a leprechaun!

Little Chef eyed the pot in his hands for a long time before finally saying "I don't think his gold is in there, all I see are menus. He's trying to trick me!"

The manager and staff were very courteous and polite. I was impressed with their knowledge of what gluten-free options they offered. They really took time to make sure we were happy with out order and did not rush Little Chef when he couldn't quite decided what toppings he wanted on his food - there were so many choices!

They offer a size small, gluten-free crust which is 10 inches and you can either choose your own toppings or order one of their specialty pizzas. I was also told that you can order the pizza unbaked so that you can take it home to cook or for $5 you can also buy just the gluten-free crust so you can take it home to make your own pizza. Wonderful options!

They have a large selection of fresh toppings for their pizzas and salads. Little Chef loves salad so he was happy when he found out that he could also build his own salad. He ordered his own salad and pizza and we were just about to head back to our table when he saw the cookie display. Uh oh. He asked if he could have one but I told him they had gluten in them. He made a face but I reminded him that we had our own gluten-free cookies in my purse and he was happy again. We found a booth in the corner and sat down to wait. Little Chef decided to wander around a bit looking for gold. He looked inside plants and under tables but had no luck. He even looked in the bathrooms. lol (Which were really clean by the way.) The whole restaurant was really tidy and comfortable. Soft music was playing and the other guests were talking quietly so I think it would be a safe place to bring Brother Chef without causing him to have a sensory overload, so we'll have to bring him some time soon.  Little Chef also checked out the game corner and had fun driving a race car.

He came back to the table when his salad arrived. It was massive and the vegetables were really fresh and crisp. (There is nothing I hate more than soggy tomatoes but these were in tip top condition.)

He was very content with his salad and kept telling me how good it was! In fact, when the pizza came he didn't even look up, just said with a mouthful "I'll eat the pizza when I'm done with this yummy salad!"

The pizza looked and smelled amazing! It's been a long, long time since I've had pizza that wasn't made by my own hands so I was drooling in seconds. The first bite was pretty heavenly! The crust held together perfectly and had a satisfying crunch to it. The sauce was wonderful and there was a good amount of toppings. I was hooked but what did Little Chef think?

He said "I like it! I like the salad better but I like this too." He ate that huge salad and three pieces of pizza so I'd say he enjoyed it quite a bit.

All in all it was a great experience. The service was amazing. The food very tasty and the ingredients were of highest quality. The dishes, facilities, and restaurant were very clean and the atmosphere relaxing. We will definitely be back as I think it's the perfect family friendly place to eat. In fact Little Chef asked me "Can we bring everyone back soon? And we can all pick our own salads!"

Before we left he walked up to the leprechaun, stared at it some more, and finally started taking all the menus out so he would check to make sure the leprechaun hadn't hidden his gold under the menus! :-)

Thank you Rafferty's Pizza for supporting our gluten-free awareness event and for the amazing gluten-free lunch! Our only advice would be to consider offering some gluten-free cookies so that children who order the gluten-free pizza can have a dessert too.

Readers: If you would like to try their delicious pizza they have 5 locations in Minnesota: Brainerd, Nisswa, Crosslake and Grand Rapids. Check out their WEBSITE for more information. 

~The opinions written here are ours. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post & were not under any obligation to give a positive review of the product.~

Sunday, March 27, 2011

*OVER* Review & Giveaway: Tropical Traditions!

So many readers were interested in learning more about Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening that I decided to host a review & giveaway of the product!  

What is Palm Shortening? "Palm shortening is derived from palm oil.. In its natural state, palm oil is a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with most of the unsaturated fat being monounsaturated fat. Palm shortening is palm oil that has some of its unsaturated fats removed, giving it a very firm texture, and high melting point. The melting point of our Organic Palm Shortening is 97 degrees F., making it very shelf stable. It is NOT hydrogenised, and contains NO trans fats! It is great for deep-fat frying and baking, and is not prone to rancidity. Since it has been separated from some of the unsaturated portion of the oil, it is colorless and odorless, and will not affect the taste of foods like Virgin Palm Oil does."

When the shortening arrived I had no idea what to do with it...because I had never, not once, used shortening before! I had always thought of it as such an unhealthy oil that I had never tried it. My mind was having trouble understanding that this shortening was a healthy option!  So, I tried to think of what I could use it for for and some memories popped into my head of when I was a child and my mother would bake. I remember greasing the pans for her with shortening. I got excited because I have been trying to find a more natural replacement for Pam.

I opened the container while we were making dinner and it looked just like shortening, very white and no odor to it. I smeared it all over the griddle and was satisfied with how well it worked, nothing stuck and the oil did not affect the flavor of the food. I am happy I can use it to grease all my pans now!

I had just cut up some potatoes for Jojos as was about to pop them in the oven when I thought "Hmmm, "real" Jojos are deep fried not baked, which I don't want to do, but I wonder how they would turn out if I coated them in a little of this shortening?" So I did. I melted about 1/4 of oil, added herbs and spices, and tossed that with the potatoes. When they came out of the oven they looked amazing! Normally our baked Jojos are a little dry but these were fluffy, crispy, and moist! The kids went nuts over them and begged me to make them like that every time.

Want your own Organic Palm Shortening?

Win it!
Tropical Traditions is giving one Junior *Gluten-Free* Chefs reader a gallon of Organic Palm Shortening!

Mandatory: Go to Tropical Traditions catalog of recipes, find one that looks good, and leave a comment telling us why that recipe looks the most interesting to you.  Your comment will be entered into the contest.  

Giveaway ends on 4/11/2011. I will use random.org to choose a wining comment. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to their winning notification before another winner is chosen. Open to US and Canadian residents. Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this Tropical Traditions sponsored blog giveaway.

Optional bonus entries
May be completed after the mandatory entry. Leave a comment for each task completed.

*Follow Junior GF Chefs on Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
*"Like" Junior GF Chefs on Facebook (1 entry)
*Follow @TropTraditions on Twitter (1 entry)
*Follow @JuniorGFChefs on Twitter(1 entry)
*Tweet this contest   (1 entry per day)
*Subscribe to Junior GF Chefs via reader. (1 entry)
*Blog this giveaway (5 comments and leave link)
*Post this giveaway on your facebook (5 comments and leave link)
*Posy this giveaway on any giveaway site ( 5 comments and leave link)
Good Luck!!

ALSO: if you ever decide to place an order at Tropical Traditions you can receive a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book! When you checkout and choose “Referred by a Friend” and enter our
User ID: 6683520 on your first online order, the book will be automatically added to your order!
(When you fill in your account information, there is a place to choose "How did you hear of us?" In the drop down menu, you will choose "Referred by a friend." Underneath this will be a place that says: "Referred by (User ID):" with a place to type in our Tropical Traditions user ID, which is: 6683520)

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided us with free samples of these products to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quick Tip: Green Eggs

"You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may, I say."

We just some raw eggs and some collard greens in the blender, and then we just scrambled them on the griddle!

I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Mary's Gone Crackers - Love Cookies

Are you getting as excited as we are about our upcoming Gluten-Free Awareness Event?!

Today we got a box in from Mary's Gone Crackers, they sent us three different kinds of cookies for our event, and we were blown away by these cookies! The taste, the flavors, the ingredients....my goodness we could write a whole book about the amazing ingredients!!

The first thing we noticed was that they use coconut sugar, as opposed to cane sugar! This was wonderful news for Sister Chef because cane sugar, and all High Glycemic foods, really affect her. We switched over to coconut sugar ourselves a few months back and have been amazed with what a great sweetener it is. Sister Chef was excited to see store bought cookies that she could go nuts on and not worry about her blood sugar levels. Other revolutionary ingredients they use are; palm fruit oil, tapioca syrup, coconut oil, prune extract, chia seeds, quinoa flakes, ramon seed flour, yellow split pea flour, and ginger root puree! These are cookies that you will feel 100% good about giving to your child.

They are also organic, kosher, non-gmo, wheat-free, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, no hydrogenated oils, no trans-fat, Made in the USA, and infused with love! How can you go wrong with that....you can't!

Little Chef was a tad overjoyed when he saw all the cookies and tired to dive into them without opening the packs first...he said he didn't have time to waste so was just going to gnaw his way though to the cookies!

After he calmed down we let the kids each taste a cookie before putting them away, in a hard to find place!!, to save for the event.

Junior Chefs' Opinions!
  Sister Chef: "I tried the Ginger Snap and thought it was really good, had the right amount of spice. I think it would be good if you had a tummy ache. I love that there is no cane sugar, so I could eat more than one and not be worried...if I wanted. These didn't have that "gritty" taste that lots of other gluten-free cookies have." 
Brother Chef: "I had the Double Chocolate. I liked the chocolate chips. I could have one in my lunch everyday and be happy. I bet my friends at school will like them too."
 Little Chef: "I ate the No Oatmeal Raisin! I think it's a trick because it taste like oatmeal but you can't see the oatmeal! The raisins are so soft and yummy but there is no oatmeal so you can't say it's an oatmeal cookie you have to say it's a NO OATMEAL cookie! It was good and tricky. Was it invisible oatmeal?" (Hah, he was a little obsessed with the no oatmeal title.)
Daddy Chef: Daddy Chef was so impressed with these cookies that he asked for his approval to be noted too! :-)

Next time you are at the store looks for these on the shelves or you can order them online at Amazon.
We can't wait to share these with the children at the boy's school!

~This item was sent to us for review purposes, the opinions written here are ours. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post & were not under any obligation to give a positive review of the product.~

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Celiac Kid WINNER!

Congratulations Kathryn!

I will contact you so we can mail you your new book!

We've all been dealing with summer colds but hope to be back to posting more as soon as we've recovered!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Video Review: Mi-Del Cookies!

We've been fans of Mi-Del for a long time, they've been in business making all natural cookies since 1947!

A store about 35 minutes away carries a few different kinds of their gluten-free cookies so we've always got them on hand. We don't eat them every day of course, they are a once-in-a-while treat for the kids as they do have sugar and grains in them but when the boys have birthdays or parties to go to they love taking Mi-Del cookies instead of our homemade ones because they taste and look like an average cookie.

Here's what Mi-Del says about their gluten-free cookies:

"MI-DEL gluten free cookies set the standard for gluten-free snacking and taste. All to often, gluten free cookies are a compromise in flavor and texture. Not MI-DEL. Try our gluten-free cookies and we think you will be pleasantly surprised at the full, rich flavors and snappy bite.
MI-DEL Gluten-Free products are routinely tested using the ELISA method to ensure gluten-free status as determined by the World Health Organization.
Try our gluten-free cookies and we think you will be pleasantly surprised by their amazing taste."

And we agree 100%, they taste pretty good.

So of course we were so thrilled when they offered to send us their cookies for our Gluten-Free Awareness Event for our local school!

We'll let Little Chef show how exciting it was to receive the cookies in our first Video Review!

We had acutally never seen these flavor before, but he recognized the logo!

Look for these at your local health food store or buy them online at AMAZON.

We can't wait to share these with the children in the boy's class! What child wouldn't want to try a S'mores cookie??

Despite Little Chef's adorable plea for the whole box of cookies, we did have to save them for our event but we did let the kids all share one pouch as a taste test. 
Junior Chefs' Opinions!
Sister Chef: "What a fun flavor! I get tired of plain cookies sometimes so this was a nice change. I like chewy cookies better but these were pretty good."
Brother Chef: "These would be great in my lunches! Yum!"
Little Chef: "They are little just like me! And crunchy! And chocolatey and marshmallowy and I want S'MORE!" 
Guest Chef: (Sister Chef had a friend over and she tried one also.) "I like them. I can't tell they are healthy and they are pretty sweet. "

~This item was sent to us for review purposes, the opinions written here are ours. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post & were not under any obligation to give a positive review of the product.~

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

*ENDED* Book Review & Giveaway: The Celiac Kid

Stephanie Skolmoski sent us a fun package! A copy of her new book and 60 bookmarks! We are so thrilled to have these items for our Gluten-Free Awareness Event we are putting together for our school!

When Little Chef saw the cute package he was so excited and yelled "Who is that superhero?!"

When we told him it was all about a superhero who is just like him, his eyes got really big and he screamed "READ IT TO ME!"

The book starts out with a boy talking about how he is just a regular kid, he loves to play, build, etc but he does have an arch rival...gluten. He mentions foods that he can eat and that there are some foods he can't but that his parents find him replacements so it's not that hard. He explains the disease in very clear, easy terms that a child would understand. He talks about how he handles school events, and birthday parties, and family get togethers. And he ends with a very positive message about himself!

The illustrations were very bright and cheery and Little Chef was in awe. He really, really enjoyed the book. He loved the drawing of what gluten is the best, we think the visual aid helped him a lot, gluten is no longer just a word but something he can see in his mind now. Ever since we first read the book he's been a lot more accepting of the fact that he can't have certain foods. He's also asks us to read it to him every day!

We know his classmates are going to love this book when we read it to them next month!

Brother Chef also read the book and thought it was great! He really related to the child in the book and said he liked the pictures. He's also looking forward to having the book read to his classes.

If you would like your own copy it is very, very affordable...only $7.95! You can purchase it through the author's site: HERE

or at Amazon HERE.

Or you can....

*ENDED* Win it!
Stephanie is giving away a copy of this book to one lucky reader!!!

*To enter to win you must leave a comment on this post, this will give you one entry.

For extra entries:
Leave a comment for each task completed. 
*Follow @TheCeliacKid on Twitter (1 entry)
*"Like" The Celiac Kid on Facebook (1 entry)
*Follow Junior GF Chefs on Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
*"Like" Junior GF Chefs on Facebook (1 entry)
*Follow @JuniorGFChefs on Twitter(1 entry)
*Retweet the following:  I entered to #win @TheCeliacKid  book @JuniorGFChefs ! http://tinyurl.com/45zzfpn (1 entry per day)
*Subscribe to Junior GF Chefs via reader. (1 entry)
*Blog this giveaway (5 comments and leave link)
*Post this giveaway on your facebook (5 comments and leave link)
*Posy this giveaway on any giveaway site ( 5 comments and leave link)

Good Luck!!

Giveaway ends on 3/24/2011. I will use random.org to choose a wining comment. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to their winning notification before another winner is chosen. Open to US residents. 

~This item was sent to us for review purposes, the opinions written here are ours. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post & were not under any obligation to give a positive review of the product.~

Monday, March 14, 2011

We have a winner!

The winner of our  Tropical Traditions Giveaway is: jencroley
who said...
"I am subscribed to the sales newsletter and would love to try the coconut chips - Yum. Thanks!"
Enjoy your coconut flour and coconut oil!

2 fun announcements!

1. The sweet Terry over at Giveaways, Giveaways, Giveaways made us a button! Look over at our right sidebar and you see the code for our button, which you can paste on your own blog if you are a fan! Thanks Terry!

2. We are planning a Gluten-Free Awareness Event at our local school!  The boys have been mentioning that their friends are always asking them about their lunch and why they can't have certain foods so Momma Chef decided it would be fun to speak at their classes to explain a little more about gluten. An author of a children's book is sending us her book to read to the children and bookmarks to pass out and several different gluten-free cookies companies are sending treats for the kids to taste!

We are also working on Gluten-Free goddie bags for the students, so if you have any ideas for what we should include let us know!

We will be doing reviews of each company as their items arrive and then will do a fun post with photos about the actual event, which will be taking place the first week in April! We can't wait!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gluten-Free Birthday Cupcake Tower!!

It's Sister Chef's Birthday!
But her party isn't until this weekend.
Which bothered Little Chef...."She has to have a cake TODAY! Not later, it's not her birthday later, it's her birthday TODAY!"
We tried to tell him that Sister Chef was going to have a lovely cheesecake and fancy appetizers at her party in a few days and didn't mind that she was not getting a cake today.
We reminded him that we had put a candle in her pancakes and let her open one gift.
But no...."Birthdays need cakes so I going to make her one! When she get home from school there WILL BE CAKE!"

So momma chef gave in and said they could use the new cupcake stand she had found at a thrift store, for one dollar!

She quickly regretted that decision because the stand took forever to assemble together...Daddy Chef usually does all things that require parts and instructions. She finally got it though!

We used our Chocolate Chip Banana Cake recipe because Little Chef loves mashing bananas.

Putting liners in the muffin tin is fun too!

While the cupcakes were in the oven Little Chef learned all about patterns.

Once they were done they looked so yummy!

We usually eat theses plain, like a muffin.

But of course birthdays require frosting! (melted dark chocolate chips)
And natural sprinkles too! 

Then we put them on the cupcake stand and it was perfect, they just screamed "Birthday!"

And Little Chef was happy.
And Sister Chef loved the surprise from her best bud.


Who says a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, corn-free birthday has to be boring? 
Not us! 

And there were tons left over so we put those in the freezer so we can have our gluten-free cupcake tower at the party too!

Happy Birthday Sister Chef!

For more Slightly Indulgent Tuesday go HERE!