Celiac Awareness Month Round-up {Awareness, NFCA PSA, and New Product Spotlight}

Celiac Awareness Month Round-up

I apologize now for an extremely long post but I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases for this round-up including spreading awareness to current and future dietitians, PSA from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and new gluten-free products.

Raising Awareness

For the last several years I have celebrated Celiac Awareness Month and raising awareness of Celiac Disease by hosting giveaways on this site. This year however, I wanted to do something different. While giveaways are awesome, fun, and it gets people involved I wanted to focus more on the awareness aspect of this month and help educate those around me. As many of you know I am currently pursuing my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian and am honored to be completing my internship at NewYork-Presbyterian. In case you didn’t know, NYP is one of top six hospitals in the country and number one in New York. NYP is connected to two incredible medical colleges; Columbia University and Cornell University. Columbia is also home of one of the best Celiac Research Centers in this country, Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. While my awareness event has no direct connection to the center, it is amazing to be in connection with them through the hospital.

I debated on offering giveaways for quite a while leading up to this month and finally decided that I think it would be more beneficial to spread awareness and knowledge to those around me…current and future dietitians. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t have a dietitian available to me and my doctor wasn’t the most knowledgeable in the area of celiac – she saw my results, said what I had, and said no more pasta or bread. That was all. Everything I learned, I learned on my own by way of Google, books, and some amazing bloggers out there. They were the ones that kick started my desire to start Creative Cooking Gluten Free and then to pursue the filed of Dietetics. I wanted to help people understand they can have these items, just more creatively. I also have the desire to help not only those with celiac but with other gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, etc. I love the challenge of creating meal plans and recipes for those with multiple food allergies. My degrees in Culinary Arts and Culinary Nutrition go hand in hand with my studies in Dietetics…you can’t have one with out the other (at least that is my philosophy). I wanted to share with those pursing this field and also have a desire and passion for helping people gluten-free resources including educational materials and samples for them to try and be able to give a 100% honest feed back to a patient when they ask “do you have any suggestions on products?” “what is the best gluten-free…on the market”. We need to know these things because despite what some say, celiac disease is real, not a fad, and not going away.

Each month in our internship we have a Class Day, where all 32 of the interns come together and we have various sessions on topics in dietetics. May being celiac awareness month was the perfect month for me to share with this captive audience. I reached out to about 50 gluten-free companies, explaining what I wanted to do and who my targeted audience was, and asked if they would be willing to send some samples to be included in the “swag bags” that would be given to the current and future dietitians. Several responded that they had received too many requests, which is no surprise being that it was celiac awareness month, however the responses I received were overwhelmingly generous! I received samples, full sized products, educational materials, coupons, and more. This celiac community and their desire to help educate and raise awareness continually blow me away.

I recruited some help from a few of the other interns to help me put the “swag bags” together – we made a total of fifty to share with the current interns, our directors, and current dietitians at the hospital. The response was overwhelmingly positive and many great conversations were started because of this.

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(Celiac Awareness Month Swag Bags – ready to be handed out to current and future RD’s)

IMG_5777(NYP’s 90th & 91st Class of Dietetic Interns)

Thank you to all who helped make this event possible – I couldn’t have done this with out you and your extreme generosity.

Check out these mail deliveries I received! I seriously couldn’t even sleep in my room after the last shipment arrived.

It is always a pleasure to work with all of you on my blog over these last several years and I love that I have had the privilege to meet many of you at the last two Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expos in Secaucus, NJ. Looking forward to working with all of you again, and hopefully seeing you soon. Without you, none of this is possible!

Seriously, Celiac Disease – PSA from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Celiac Disease is serious…seriously it is! It is an Autoimmune Disease, not just a diet. It is not a fad diet created by Hollywood to make you lose weight. The gluten-free diet is the ONLY treatment for those with Celiac Disease. There is not cure. There is no magic pill to take. This is real life.

Do you have celiac disease and trying to figure out how to talk to your family members about being tested? Head on over to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ site for important information, tips, and talking points and watch their PSA called Seriously, Celiac Disease HERE.

talk. tell. test.

New Gluten Free Product Spotlight

Here are some new gluten-free items worth checking out:

New from I Heart Keenwah: Quinoa Puffs (featured below, Aged Cheddar and Sweet Chili) – delicious little bits of goodness and loaded with 5 grams of protein per serving.

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Snyder’s of Berlin: Variety of Gluten-Free Chips – great for all the summer BBQ’s that are coming up.

Walkers – Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies. I remember this brand of shortbread cookies from when I was little. Learning a few months ago that they had come out with a gluten-free line of them, I was rather excited as it brought back some childhood memories of a hot cup of tea and shortbread cookies with my grandmother. The gluten-free line comes in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Ginger & Lemon (sounds amazing to me!), and Pure Butter (below).

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Luna & Clif Bars – in case you missed it ALL Luna bars are now Gluten-Free!! Check out the new offerings from both companies below…the dark chocolate almond from Clif is so delicious and perfectly fits in my lab coat pocket!

Outdoor Adventures {Fly Fishing in Maine}

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Roach Pond – Kokadjo, ME

Below is a bit of our awesome adventures of fly fishing, exploring, and hiking around Moosehead Lake, Maine.

Every year my dad and his best friend George head up to Maine’s North Woods to go fly fishing for a week. Last summer dad asked if Bryan and I would be interested in going fly fishing for them at some point and we both said yes. Me more quickly than Bryan, but that was only because he had never really been fishing much, never mind fly fishing. I on the other hand love it and have fished quite a bit with my dad over the years, but it had been too long since I last fished.

Bryan and I had not been on a vacation in three years, since we moved to Rhode Island and he began law school. Between school and having no money, vacations or even weekend getaways have been out of the question. So, needless to say this vacation was much-needed and appreciated. If I haven’t mentioned this before, my dad is pretty amazing. He treated us to this wonderful week away in the woods, but also built each of us fly rods to take on the trip with us. Bryan is a Penn State graduate and dad built him a Penn State rod – blue blank, with white and blue wraps, and the PSU logo…it’s pretty amazing. As for mine it was everything I wanted…a green blank, with green and silver wraps. This was the second rod my dad built for me, the first one he built several years ago which also came along on the trip. The first rod was named “Jenny Sue” and this was the rod I caught my first brookie on!

Part of our vacation and adventure included a float trip with John from Maine Guide Fly Shop. Our original trip was planned for Sunday, but with the weather and the raising of the water levels it just didn’t work out so it was changed to later in the week. The ideal level to have the water at is 4,000 cfs…on Sunday it was close to 8,000 cfs. Dad really wanted us to be able to take our trip on the East Outlet Kennebec River but in order for that to happen the water had to be at 4,000 cfs on Thursday morning and if it wasn’t we would take the hour and a half drive past Kokadjo and fish the West Branch Penobscot River. We didn’t care either way, we were just happy to be there.

Day 1 – Saturday June 8

Bright and early we headed up to Rockwood, Maine where we stayed at Lawrence’s Lakeside Cabins. Lawrence’s is owned an run by Bob Lawrence. This is also where my dad and grandfather stayed when then went moose hunting in 1994. Bryan and I got to stay in Cabin 1 (one bathroom, one bedroom with a full/queen bed and a set of bunk beds on the second floor, and a small kitchen and living area on the first floor). The second I walked in I was taken back to my childhood. It was like walking into my grandparents house…same curtains, smells, walls, etc. I think this is why my dad loves coming and staying here every year. For me it was also pretty amazing for me to be staying and walking where my gramp was all those years ago. One night we had Bob over for dinner and he was kind enough to bring some photos of my dad and gramp with their moose from the hunt.

On the way up we stopped at Cabela’s to pick up a rain jacket for me because the forecast was pretty wet for the week. The next stop was lunch next to a lake in Dexter, ME. Two more stops stood between us and the cabins…the first was Indian Hill. Indian Hill is a decent sized grocery store/sporting goods store/shoe store/clothing store…seriously it is all of these things and seemed to be the main source of employment in Greenville.

One of the things I noticed when driving through all of these towns was how depressed they were. Houses pretty much falling down. There weren’t many places for employment – most of the shops were closed down and/or for sale along with many of the houses. It was sad to see the quality of living up there. It was a little bit of a culture shock…I felt like one of those “city people”. I think it hit me a bit harder than expected because I know places like that exist both here in the U.S. and abroad and I have spent plenty of time in places like that abroad but not to this extent in the U.S.

After getting settled in we headed out to test the waters and get our lines wet.

Although we were staying in cabins which were pretty rustic – we had full kitchens, refrigerators, etc., plus dad and George brought the wine…lots of it! And we had plenty of good food for the week…our first nights meal was risotto with shrimp and spinach. Surprisingly I didn’t take any photos of any of our meals! Sorry, just know that they were all delicious.

Day 2 – Sunday June 9

This was supposed to be the day of our float trip but again the high and fast waters prevented us from going so instead we put on the waders and rest of our gear and headed to Kokadjo (population…no many to fish the Roach River. The weather turned out to be not that bad, there were a few moments of some drizzles but nothing major. The water was still flowing pretty quickly even at the Roach, but we made do and found some spots to fish for a while. Dad and George gave Bryan and I some pointers and we were on our way to catching fish…or at least we hoped we would be. We got some bites but the ended with in water releases. Over all the fishing wasn’t the best that week due to the weather and the raising and lowering of the water levels but it was an amazing time and when we did catch our first fish of the trip it was just perfect.

While driving up to the Roach River dad was pointing out where he and my gramp had got there moose and as he says this I’m thinking “oh gramp please show me a moose” and sure enough a little further down the road there is a mother moose (cow) and her two week old baby (calf). It was AMAZING. These were the first moose that Bryan and I had seen in the wild. Thanks gramp!

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Day 3 – Monday June 10

Today we stayed a bit closer to home and fished the West Outlet which was right down the road from where we were staying. I sadly woke up with major sinus pressure and I am one of those very unfortunate people that also gets the dental pain with my sinus pressure. I only have one filling and dear lord can I feel it when sinus pressure begins. If I could I would probably rip the left side of my jaw out completely. So my morning of fishing was cut a bit short, but before that I caught my first brook trout…brookie! It was beautiful and had the spawning colors but sadly was released before a photo was shot. Not long after I caught a few more and we got a picture of one of them. Such a great feeling when you hook a fish. I’ve been fly fishing for striped bass and tuna before and let me just tell you that is awesome! The fight that they put up just exhilarating. This was a whole new type of rush. They may be fairly small fish compared to the bass and tuna but you still feel them (plus you are using a much lighter rod).

As dad and I were heading to the general store in Rockwood to find some sinus medicine for me, we were driving along Moosehead Lake and dad with the ever amazing ability to spot birds and wildlife, says look, there’s an eagle! Bryan has been dying to see one of these in the wild – he has only seen one at the zoo so he had high hopes of seeing one. Sadly though he was not with us when we saw this. As dad says that I go to try to get my camera from the back seat but couldn’t. As I turned back around the eagle swoops down, puts its talons out and grabs a huge fish from the lake then takes off. I so badly wish I could have captured this. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed, and so happy I got to see it with my dad. Bryan was a bit bummed that he missed this awesome sighting, but lucky for him he saw an eagle later that day soaring above him as he fished.

After a little while, I headed back to the cabin to get some rest and had high hopes that this pain would go away…it didn’t, not for another 3 or so days!

Day 4 – Tuesday June 11

I took it easy again today due to the pain. Bryan and I drove around a bit and went into “town”…Greenville is the next town over and is about 30 minutes away. That is where Indian Hill and other little shops are. There isn’t a whole lot in Rockwood besides the general store which also acts as a gas station. It has two pumps which may or may not work…no lie.

We took our cameras with us and shot some photos of dad fishing and of the Mason’s lodge. Overall it was a laid back day, which was much-needed.

Day 5 – Wednesday June 11

We were back on the rivers fishing today. Still in a ton of pain and still taking anything and everything I could to get rid of this pressure and pain. Tomorrow was our float trip day and I would have done just about anything to not be in pain for that. It was raining again and we were keeping our fingers crossed that the water level would have been fine for us to fish the East Outlet but it wasn’t. Tomorrow we would head to the West Branch instead.

Today we fished the West Outlet and the beach of the East Outlet. We all caught more fish today and it gave Bryan and I another chance to practice casting our rods in preparation for tomorrows trip. After fishing for a bit in the morning we headed back to the cabins for lunch and fished the beach of the East Outlet later that day. Everywhere we fished was absolutely beautiful, peaceful, and zen like. Up in this area of Maine there aren’t all that many people…moose out number humans 3:1. So with few people come few cars and mush less noise. You kind of get lost in nature up there.

After a day of fishing in pretty crummy weather I thought homemade gluten-free corn fritters would be a nice touch to dinner. I had brought up some gluten-free “all-purpose” flour and some rubs that Adam of Fein Tasting Foods sent me. I used their everything rub in the recipe and it turned out great! It has a good hint of cinnamon in it and I think it would also go well in an apple fritter.

Below is the recipe for my gluten-free corn fritters…hope you enjoy them. Many people deep fry fritters but you can just as easily shallow fry them (like I did) and these are easy to make especially when camping.

Corn Fritters

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1 Cup                        Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1/2                            Teaspoon Xantan Gum (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
1/4                            Teaspoon Baking Powder
2                                Eggs (or 1/2 cup Eggbeaters)
6                                Tablespoons Milk (Cow, Soy, Nut, or Hemp)
1                                Tablespoon Feiny’s Everything Rub
1/2-3/4 Cup           Fresh Corn (you can use canned if fresh is not available, just drain and rinse well…add as much or as little as you would like).
1/2                            Teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/4                            Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat fryer to 350•F or in a medium skillet add 1/4-1/2 cup oil and heat over medium heat to shallow fry instead of deep frying.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Slowly add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Drop batter by the spoonful and cook until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  7. Do not over crowed the fryer or pan.
  8. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined dish.
  9. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Hold in a warm oven at about 200•F if needed.

Chef Notes: The above recipe (flour, baking powder, eggs, and milk are a basic fritter recipe – you can add any number of ingredients such as crab (which would work great with the Chesapeake Bay Rub, also from Feiny’s Fine Foods), diced apples with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar in stead of the salt and pepper, etc.

Day 6 – Thursday June 12

The day we have been waiting for…our float trip.We were up and out of the cabins by 5:45 to make the 2 hour journey to the river. Holy bumpy back roads batman! It was like off roading but on a road.

We were originally supposed to go on Sunday with Chad (from Maine Guide Fly Shop) but he had a trip booked for Thursday so we went with John Wood (he has a website launching soon so check back for that). John was probably the best person for Bryan and I to have. He was down to earth, shared a very similar sense of humor, he graduated with a degree in culinary arts, and his wife is a judge…seriously it couldn’t have been a better fit. I also believe he is a long lost relative to my dad…similar is so many ways.

Dad and George went with the guide they always go with Ian and Bryan and I got into Johns boat and started down the West Branch Penobscot River. This river was beautiful beyond words. We went down river and fished for about 3 or so hours then pulled over to the side of the river, got out and had lunch together with dad, George, and Ian. These guys bring it all…we had tables, chairs, a grill. They made us cheeseburgers for lunch. It was wonderful just pulling over to the side of the river and having lunch in such a beautiful location. I ended up bringing a sandwich just in case and ate that instead. I’m sure I would have been fine having a burger but I didn’t want my sandwich to go bad.

John gave us pointers and is a great instructor. He not only explained different techniques but also showed how to do them. For someone like me who is a hands on learner, this was a perfect match. We talked (well he and Bryan) about law, food, nutrition, different diets, etc. We truly couldn’t have asked for a better day or a better guide. Bryan keeps saying that when we go back we are requesting him. I agree 100%. If you are ever interested in a fly fishing adventure up there check out the Maine Guide Fly Shop and ask for John! Thank you John for an amazing and unforgettable trip.

Day 7 – Friday June 13

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Mt. Kineo from the dock

Sadly this is our last full day, tomorrow we leave bright and early to make the trek home. Bryan became in awe of Mt. Kineo, which we could see from where we were staying and really wanted to go over there so we decided that today would be a good day. We got up fairly early and packed some of our stuff up a bit before heading over.  The shuttle ran every other hour and was less than a 10 minute boat ride over.

Bryan had done a little bit of research on Mt. Kineo and hiking it. Mt. Kineo has an elevation just shy of 1,800 ft. At the summit is a fire tower, which sounds really cool, but if you are two people who are beyond afraid of heights this just maybe the scariest thing you have ever thought to do. The information that Bryan found said that there are four trails and one, The Indian Trail, boasted “the most scenic views” so we went for that one. It also said that it had some parts that were close to the cliff (key world being close). We are hiking up just fine…Bryan way better than I am because lets face it my legs are way shorter than his and stupid me didn’t think to bring an inhaler with me on vacation so I had to pace myself to be on the safe side. There were gorgeous views on this trail, over looking the golf course below and Moosehead Lake which surrounds it. We found some great spots to stop and take a few photos.

There was however one point that my short little legs almost failed me. As I said, I’m afraid of heights…terribly afraid of heights and parts of this trail were close to the cliff. How about it is the cliff. A nice drop straight down about 700 ft. It has been raining on and off the past few days but the day before was nice and sunny so we assumed some of this would have been dried up…it wasn’t, at all. We get to this one steep slippery rock that even Bryan has a little struggle with getting up, and here I am trying to find footing to get up it, but couldn’t. The move I moved to try to get my footing the closer I was getting to the edge. My heart was racing needless to say and it only worsened when I looked up and saw the look on Bryan’s face. He was trying so hard to have a clam voice and lead me up the rock but his facial expression said it all. I eventually made it up with very shaking hands. I ended up pulling my knees up and crawling up the rock. Later Bryan said he almost cut the strap on his bag so I would have something to hold onto. It was quite scary. I am happy I made it up for many reasons but one was just after that spot was the most beautiful lookout (aka resting spot) ever.

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We continued the hike up to the summit/fire tower which was only about another 15-20 minutes. Being brave little people we climbed to the top of the tower, and amazingly took a few photos before descending. I still can’t believe that either one of us make it to the top and then back down.  My whole body was tense and shaking after that adventure. The view was out of this world and worth every step.

I also took a video with my phone

On the way down we took a different trail, The Bridle Trail which is considered more family friendly, less strenuous, and pet friendly. This trail definitely didn’t have the scenic views that the Indian Trail had, and was way more muddy. Lots of puddles of fresh spring water coupled with plenty of mud and slippery spots. A much easier trek down than up that is for sure.

We met a few sets of hikers on our way down and advised them not to take the Indian Train down due to the steep slippery rocks.

I am so happy we did this hike and got to see all this beauty. Can’t wait to go back and do it all again!

If you would like to see the rest of my photos from the trip you can view them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennyjene/sets/72157634132721510/

As I mentioned above I didn’t take any photos of our food (except the fritters) but below is a list of foods that we had during our trip, all of which are perfect for camping our outdoor adventures. It’s great to have a little camp stove or grill if you do not have access to a cabin with a stove.

Hoping to have at least one more outdoor adventure this summer…where and when? Who knows, but I’m sure it will be a great time. Hopefully Penny can come along for the ride.

Strawberry Chia Scones {Product Spotlight}

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I’m going to attempt a new feature on CCGF – I’m not 100% set on the details just yet but here is what I am thinking.

  • Either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly I am going to do a product spotlight.
  • I do a bunch of reviews on the blog already but I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite thing.
  • These products are not necessarily going to be a food item, they may be kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, etc.
  • I plant to talk about the item, the pros, cons, how to utilize it, etc.
  • I just want to have fun with this and share with all of you my favorite items.
  • I started working at a natural foods store with tons of gluten-free options, many of which I have never tried so I thought I would incorporate some of those items as well.

What do you all think?

Below is my first product spotlight…

Pamela’s Biscuit & Scone Mix

By: Pamela’s Products

I love Pamela’s Products – it is one of my favorite packaged gluten-free goods. Lately I have been making my own flour blend to use but this is one that I would definitely go out and buy, especially her pancake mix (I’ll be taking that with me next week when we are fly fishing in Maine for a week). Below is a little bit of information about Pamela’s Products:

Here are some of the reasons why Pamela’s stands out from the crowd:

  • High quality sugars including, fruit juice, agave, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup and molasses create better tasting, decadent food.
  • The palm shortening is made from the most healthful part of the palm and is sourced from companies with fair trade and environmental stewardship track records.
  • Our nuts are from American suppliers to ensure freshness and quality.
  • Minimally processed grains like certified gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet and sorghum are used whenever possible to provide the benefits of whole grains they offer.
  • Sweet creamery butter (non-rBGH of course) and the highest quality monounsaturated safflower oil are used. Pamela’s does not use low quality oils.
  • The cardboard used in our packaging is made from recycled materials and are recyclable. Soy ink is used in all cardboard printing. We continue to seek additional sources of recycled materials.
  • We are in the process of changing our plastic trays to 100% recycled material.

What we leave out is as important as what we put in:

  • We never use any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives.
  • We never use high fructose corn syrup.
  • We have statements from all suppliers verifying our ingredients are non-GMO.  We are currently preparing to join the non-GMO Project, and are working closely with our vendors to assure the quality and source of all our ingredients

Biscuit and Scone Mix Ingredients: Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Sorghum Flour, White Rice Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Grainless & Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potato Starch), Natural Evaporated Sugar, Sea Salt, Guar Gum, Baking Soda.

Allergy Information: Free of gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy*, nuts*, soy*, corn,

*=depends on if you use butter or a butter alternative, and if you use almond or soy milk.

Pros: easy to follow directions with several recipes listed on the package itself. No sugar in the mix so you can add as much or as little as you want (I didn’t use much). You can use whatever ingredients you wish making your biscuits or scones either savory or sweet.

Cons: Can’t find it in a store near me but will contacting them to carry it.

How I used it: After reading the recipe options on the packaged (which all sounded delicious) I wanted to try my own thing. B went to the store yesterday and picked up two packages of strawberries that were out of this world delicious. So I thought of making a fresh strawberry and chia seed drop scone.

Strawberries are a good source of folate and potassium, and very good sources of dietary fiber, Vitamin C and manganese. Chia seeds are amazing little things. In just one tablespoon they pack 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids! These are also great in smoothies, yogurt, and other baked goods.

These are delicious! I can however see why they say to use dried fruits in the recipe on the package…the fresh fruit makes it a bit sticky and uneasy to cut so I just made them into drop scones…don’t know if that is a real thing but it is now!

Strawberry Chia Scones

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1 Package of Pamela’s Products Biscuit & Scone Mix

8 Tablespoons of Butter or Butter Alternative (Earth Balance), Cold

1/3 Cup Wholesome Sweetener Organic Sugar

1 Cup Almond Milk

3/4 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds

Follow directions on package – however when mixing in the fresh fruit mix by hand to prevent the fruit from becoming over mixed.

Place rack in top third of oven and pre-heat oven to 375°.

Combine dry mix and sugar. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Add milk. Add strawberries and chia seeds, mix until well incorporated. Take two large spoons and scoop scones onto a prepared baking sheet (either greased or parchment lined.You can sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar before baking if you wish. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool slightly and enjoy.

These came out moist and delicious! Hope you enjoy this recipes and give this mix a try. So versatile…you can make savory scones or biscuits as well!

*I was sent this mix from Pamela’s Products for a review – I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Gluten-Free Mini Corn Dogs

Bryan loves corn dogs and for many years I would even take a bite of one of them.  It was a texture thing to me…I always thought that the corn bread batter would be soggy and mushy and I wanted nothing to do with them.  When Bryan came to visit me in California we picked up a box for him (they weren’t gluten-free), but when he left I still had half a box…they ended up in the trash. I told him at some point I will give them a try.

A few months ago I as fortunate enough to sample some of the Applegate Farms new corn dogs – they were delicious!! To my surprise the coating was crunch and not soggy at all. Ever since Bryan has been asking for me to make some…he would really love them to be full of gluten but he’s a good sport and eats what I make.  Maybe I’ll surprise him and make some regular ones for him anyway.

Yesterday I decided to make some mini corn dogs just to see how they would come out.  I found a recipe in a magazine that seemed pretty simple but it had NO corn in it at all.  How can you call it a corn dog with no corn?? To me it must have corn in it and Bryan loves them with a little bit of crunch to them so I came up with the following recipe.  Please note that this recipe will continue to be worked on…they came out pretty good (to my standards) but Bryan wants more corn flavor to them so I will be posting an updated recipe at some point. 

These would be great for: a quick snack for your kiddos, or an app during super bowl!

Mini Corn Dogs {Gluten-Free} (please see notes for how to make them with regular flour)

1 Package Mini Beef Franks (14oz)

3/4 Cup Pamela’s Pancake/Baking Mix Gluten Free (Or 3/4 cup regular AP flour)

1/2 Cup Gluten Free Corn Meal (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Egg

1/2 Cup cold water

  1. In a medium bowl mix together Pamela’s Baking Mix (or your favorite Gluten Free AP flour, or regular flour), corn meal, egg, and water.
  2. Remove the franks from the package and pat dry with a paper towel (the batter will stick better when they are a bit dry).
  3. Take a toothpick and insert it into the frank about 1/2 – 3/4 of the way, set aside and continue with the remaining franks.
  4. In a medium sauce pan heat about 1 – 1/2 inches of oil to 350° (If you have a candy thermometer be sure to use it…that way your batter wont get too dark too fast, if not just test a few franks until the desired color is reached – golden brown).
  5. Dip franks in the batter – it is not a perfect dip, you may need to move the frank around a little bit to get it all covered.  You don’t want it to be too thick because you want it to cook on the inside as well as the outside.
  6. Add three-four franks to the pan, turn often to brown all sides evenly.  Cook each frank for 30-45 seconds (it’s really quick!)
  7. Remove corn dogs and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Repeat this process until all the corn dogs have been cooked.
  8. Serve with your favorite dip – I love it with spicy mustard!

Again, this recipe will be a work in progress so check back for an update in the near future.

Whenever Bars (Pamela’s Products) Review and Giveaway!

UPDATE: 12/10/11 10:20 am – Giveaway has ended – The lucky winners are Karin A. and Cathi (please check your e-mails)!   Congratulations to you both and thank you to all who entered.

Have you heard of or tried the new Whenever Bars that Pamela’s Products released in October? I was asked if I wanted to give them a try – of course I said yes, I love Pamela’s Products! Plus with school I am always on the go and always looking for quick, delicious, convenient and gluten-free items to throw in my bag – these bars meet all of those requirements.  I actually ate these as breakfast bars and they are absolutely delicious.

The bars come in four different flavors: Oat Blueberry Lemon, Oat Cranberry Almond, Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut and Oat Raisin Walnut Spice.  At first I wasn’t so sure about the Oat Raisin Walnut Spice because I’m not a huge fan of raisins but they ended up being one of my favorites.  The flavor combinations that Pamela’s Products have created are perfect.  I especially loved the Oat Blueberry Lemon…delicious! I also really enjoyed the addition of the chia seeds in them.

The bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, low in sodium and cholesterol, and are sweetened (primarily) with agave nectar and coconut sugar. Each box contains 6 (six) individually wrapped bars.

I’ve also included the press-release that was sent to me.  I think you will all really enjoy these bars.  Great to send with your kiddos to school, purse, brief case, or school bag (if  you are in school like I am).  The bars were filling and satisfying.

I need to add these to my Amazon wish list!

The extremely generous and wonderful people over at Pamela’s Products has offered the following prize package to TWO of my readers!

1 Box – Oat Blueberry Lemon Whenever Bars

1 Box – Oat Cranberry Almond Whenever Bars

1 Box – Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut Whenever Bars

1 Box – Oat Raisin Walnut Spice Whenever Bars

1 Package Baking & Pancake Mix

To enter to win one of two prize packages scroll to the bottom of the post to see the entry rules!

NEW GLUTEN-FREE WHENEVER BARS FROM PAMELA’S

MAKE ON-THE-GO SNACKING EASY AND HEALTHY

Nuts, Fruit, Chia Seeds and Chocolate Make These Bars a Standout

UKIAH, Calif. – October 12, 2011 – Setting the gold standard in gluten-free baking since 1988, Pamela’s Products is launching a new line of snack bars inspired by their loyal customers. Whenever Bars are soft and chewy, gluten-free, whole grain bars that are as delicious as they are healthy and convenient.

Pamela’s gluten-free certified Whenever Bars come in four delicious flavors: Oat Blueberry Lemon, Oat Cranberry Almond, Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut and Oat Raisin Walnut Spice. The line is making its way to store shelves nationwide with an SRP of $4.99 per box, five bars per box and they are also available on Amazon.com.

“Whenever Bars are our first on-the-go gluten-free snack,” said President and Founder Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, a third generation natural foods entrepreneur and baker. “I wanted to create a great tasting snack that anybody can enjoy wherever, whenever. They’re made with simple, real ingredients such as cranberries, blueberries, raisins and dark chocolate so you’ll feel satisfied, not hungry, after you eat one.”

Only the highest quality ingredients are used in Pamela’s Whenever Bars, including gluten-free oats, almonds and walnuts. The addition of chia seeds gives the bars a significant Omega 3 essential fatty acids and dietary fiber boost. They’re also non-dairy, low in sodium and cholesterol, and lightly sweetened primarily with agave and coconut sugar. With nine grams of whole grains per serving, the bars meet the Whole Grain Council’s requirements for wholesome grain servings and include the council’s stamp on their packaging.

If anybody knows what it takes to produce a great tasting gluten-free product that everyone can enjoy, it’s Giusto-Sorrells. She’s honed her gluten-free baking expertise with delicious, simple, wholesome ingredients and a lot of patience during her more than 20 years in the business.

About Pamela’s Products

Since 1988, Pamela’s Products has created some of the best-selling gluten free products on the market, including Traditional, Organic and Simplebites Cookies, Biscotti, Baking Mixes and Ready-to-Eat cakes, found in natural food and grocery stores throughout North America, as well as online. For additional information about Pamela’s Products, including recipes, baking and allergy information, visit www.pamelasproducts.com.

Entries are open until Friday December 9th at midnight! Each person can enter up to SIX separate comments (see above guidelines). The two winners will be chosen on Saturday December 10th using random.org – the winners will have 24 hours to respond via e-mail with their contact information.  If I do not hear back within the allotted time frame, another winner will be chosen. The prize package will be shipped directly to the winners from Pamela’s Products. Giveaway is open to all who are residing in the contiguous United States.

1) Head on over to Pamela’s Products website and come back here to leave a comment  letting me know which bars you would like to try the most. (Mandatory)

2) Head on over to Pamela’s Products website and let me know which of the recipes listed on the Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix you would try first. (Mandatory)

3) Like Pamela’s Products on Facebook (Optional)

4) Follow Pamela’s Products on Twitter (Optional)

5) Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook (Optional)

6) Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (Optional)

All of the opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  Pamela’s Products generously supplied me with samples to review and are sponsoring this giveaway to two lucky readers! Photos and log are courtesy of Pamela’s Products.  

Good luck to all who enter!