The Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway: gluten-free flour mix & sandwich bread

1/13/15 WINNER UPDATE: congrats to Cindy and Nicole — you both get to choose either the bread mix or the all-purpose flour mix. Please contact me within 24 hours at celiacinthecity@gmail.com to claim your prize! (if I don’t hear from the winners, I’ll draw again!)

 

2015/01/img_0856.jpg
________________________________________________

You know how you feel when a company has products you love and then stops making them? The worst. Right?

But now think about if THE person who came up with those products left the company (because her whole heart is with the gluten-free community and she refused to settle for nothing less than the best for us) and started a NEW COMPANY and is re-launching her amazing products, but the old company was still out there using her name? Confusing to say the least. Frustrating for those who just want that darn product they love.

That’s what’s been happening with our friend Jules Shepard from gfJules™  formerly Jules Gluten Free — she is no longer with that company and does not endorse those products, yet they are still selling the products with her name and logo on the package. (until March, pursuant to the legal settlement)

The most confusing thing for most people is that there is a Living Social deal being circulated (and even shared by local GF peeps) for the old products and people get excited about the deal, not realizing these are not Jules’ products.

I was just talking with another GF friend about Jules’ new mixes and she was so excited to try them, but had the same reaction as many others, “it’s just confusing — I don’t know which ones to buy!” (she had also seen the Living Social posts selling the old products, thinking they were the new ones)

So that’s where you guys come in!

We need to spread the good word about THE gfJules and her new product line.

gfJules gluten free mixes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(don’t you just adore the new packaging?)

And what better way to do so than to have you guys try them out for yourself — it’s GIVEAWAY time! Before I give you the details, check out some shots of us LOVING the goods we made with the flour mix.

Graham eats gluten free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made my Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting for Thanksgiving and my twin nephews were fighting over them!

Cooper eats gluten free cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His response when I asked for a little bite? “Noooooooooo!”

IMG_8224

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cookies lasted one day. ;)

IMG_8166

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mix is a combination of finely ground flours, which I love. It worked well in several different cookies, but also as a thickener for soups. I’m adding it to my short list of GF flour mixes I rotate through for baking. It’s CITC approved!

And my girl Jules doesn’t joke around, she has the highest standards:

  • All gfJules products are free of the Top 8 food allergens
  • All gfJules products are made in a dedicated GF and allergen-free facility
  • Jules’ flour is non-GMO
  • 7 of Jules’ 11 mixes are non-GMO (the others are at least 96% non-GMO)
  • gfJules flour & mixes are available in 2 sizes
  • If you don’t love it, and we can’t find a way to help you love it, then we’ll refund your purchase price

And the sandwich bread? My oh my. You need this bread!

gfJules gluten free sandwich bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can think of nothing better when the thermometer reads -2 than a big bowl of soup with a thick slice of warm bread like this to dip into it!

There was NO way I was waiting for it to cool — can you blame me with a rise like that of golden gluten free goodness?

gfJules gluten free sandwich bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also used it for breakfast sammies and the husband could not get over how good it was.

IMG_8348

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8361

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight from the mouth of Mr. CITC:

  • “This is the best gluten free bread has ever been!”
  • “It’s so squishy. Not dense. Actually fluffy. There’s a fair amount of air pockets relative to others and it rises to a ‘real’ size, not a mini loaf.”
  • “We should just start the weekends making a loaf and use it for everything.”

This is serious stuff. A non-GF, very-picky-about-his-bread, real life review. You read it here, folks.

But don’t just take our word for it, you can WIN your own right here!

TWO lucky winners will receive either the sandwich bread mix OR the all-purpose flour mix pictured above in this post. (two winners, each one gets to decide on one box of gluten-free goodness) 

Here’s how:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me the first thing you would make on that delicious bread, or the first recipe you’d tackle with the flour mix. (please leave your email address so I have a way to contact you) 

That’s it. You don’t have to like 324 pages or follow 23 people on IG, Twitter, or MySpace. I just want to know what YOU would do first with your prize.

I won’t lie though, I would LOVE for you to go check out the new gfJules site. Need recipes? Click HERE. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — just go show her some GF love from MKE. She is one of the sweetest, kindest, most sincere people I have met in the GF community. She’s a VERY big deal (read my previous post on her HERE) but you would never guess how big of a deal from hanging with her. She’s down to earth. And she goes to bat for this community all.the.time.

Let’s show our gratitude by spreading the good word about THE gfJules — if you see those Living Social deals for the “other” company, SAY SOMETHING! I did. And I’ll keep doing it. Join me!

*Contest runs from today through January 13th at 10pm CST, with TWO winners being announced as an update at the top of this post. Winners will have 24 hours to contact me with their mailing address and then will receive a shipment with the prize from my friend Jules herself. 

gifts for your GFF (gluten-free friend)

Each year around this time, I get emails from my own friends and family as well as readers or random new friends who have found my site while searching for gluten-free gift ideas for loved ones — what DO you buy a GFF?

Santa… get ready!

Just diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

  • First things first, a new toaster.

Bella Dots Gluten Free Toaster

How about one of these fancy toasters from Bella Housewares?

“Gluten-free bread requires the right conditions to toast. Many gluten-free breads are more dense than regular bread – and a regular “toast” setting means crispy on the outside and cool/frozen on the inside – then, by the time it’s toasted throughout – edges are burnt. In order to get an ideal toast for gluten-free bread, BELLA Housewares developed a “Gluten-Free” setting for its latest collection, Dots 2.0.”

Story.of.my.life.

I got rid of our toaster the day I was diagnosed and never looked back. Although we do have a toaster oven up north at our cottage (where we have space!) that is dedicated as gluten free, I haven’t replaced the gluten-crumb-filled one — so let me tell you what a glorious gift it was to receive the shiny, red one to try out and share with all of you! I am L O V I N G it! No more fighting with the aluminum foil roll in the morning when I’m half awake and haven’t had my coffee yet. You can take gluten-free goods (bread, waffles, bagels) from the freezer straight to the toaster and the gluten-free setting will warm it from the inside out, still giving you a toasted outer edge, but no longer having a frozen middle and burnt outsides from re-toasting three times.

Who knew I missed my toaster so much?! Find them online or at Target right now for $24.99 and get toasting!

  • Have bread, will travel? You don’t have to miss out on morning toast or bagels when staying with family or at a hotel during the holidays — get your GFF some travel toaster bags!

Does your GFF love to cook and bake?

  • My very first baking book was Easy Gluten Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone — still one of my all time favorites and I’ll be using it for Christmas baking again this year. (really, anything from Elizabeth is worth adding to your gift list!)

Can’t celebrate *with* your GFF in person, but want to send something safe and sweet?

  • Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery in Pewaukee, WI will ship right to their door. (they are a nut-free facility and can also do dairy-free) Be sure to include in your shipment: mint brownies, Mexican wedding cookies, lemon bars, and gingerbread cut outs.
  • Sweet Ali’s in Hinsdale, IL has become an addiction. They will love you forever.
  • Tate’s Bake Shop has more gift basket ideas than you’ll know what to do with!
  • My holiday go-to is from our local friends from Abigail’s Originals — THE best cut out cookies. Ever. Go. Order. (they are so affordable!)

photo 3-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe your GFF wishes they could cook, but feels just as happy to hang in the kitchen and watch? (or sip cocktails?!)

  • Start with the Arctic Chill muddler. For Old Fashioneds, Sangria, or maybe minty mojitos for New Years Eve? There’s a lifetime warranty AND it’s the top rated muddler on Amazon, you can’t go wrong. We are putting ours to good use on any cocktail you could even think of muddling fruit in!

photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Make them a hot cocoa bar — an easy-peasy DIY gift that everyone can appreciate. (even more so if you throw in some RumChata!) You don’t need quite this crazy spread, but after hosting our GF Get Together holiday party and cookie exchange last year with a hot cocoa bar, I already had ALL the ingredients to package up some downsized versions for gifts, it was perfect!

photo 5-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t have to be food related. Many of the things on my wish list are found in the same aisle and have nothing to do with the kitchen:

  • I am in love with EO products — they are having a 30% off sale right now that you don’t want to miss! (it is so much easier to just see the “certified GF” icon for those of us who constantly read labels for a living…and their products are AH-mazing!)
  • I’m an EOS junkie. I can’t help myself. The coconut milk is my new fave. You can find them pretty much anywhere: Target, Walgreens, the grocery store. Stocking stuffers!

Here’s hoping some of these gifts find their way to YOU this holiday season — and if you’re STILL looking for ideas — stop back TOMORROW for a giveaway you do not want to miss!

xoxo

Red Apple Lipsticks presents: Christmas Collection 2014

There’s a super sale on gluten-free makeup starting tomorrow from our friends at Red Apple Lipstick. 

Before I go into detail about how much I LOVE their products, here’s what you absolutely need to know, even if you don’t read any further:

  • Sale runs 11/17-11/24 (and it’s a private, VIP sale so just REGISTER HERE and you’re all set and will be enjoying the goods before the general public)
  • I know, I know, registering seems like a lot of work, but it’s not! You just enter your name and e-mail and then they offer you a buy-one-get-one offer you don’t want to miss.
  • Use code CITC for a 22% discount on your order — this is better than the VIP monthly discount! 
  • All products will be guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas!
  • The Christmas Collection is AH.mazing! (don’t just take my word for it, check out the “look book” by clicking HERE — aren’t they all just stunning?!)
  • They are having their sale early this year to allow their employees to enjoy time off for the holidays. That alone makes my heart sing and motivates me to support this company that supports their own.

It’s no secret that I am a BIG fan of every single product I have gotten my hands on from Red Apple Lipstick. And the new Christmas Collection is no exception.

You should have seen me when I opened the package from them — it was like Santa had read my mind and delivered!

red apple lipstick christmas collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much as I wanted to keep them all to myself… I had to share with some of my girls!

red apple lipstick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just look at my best gal Katie — she can pull off ALL of their bold colors with such ease. She’s glowing in Back to the Fuchsia. (remember you can see all of the colors by view the look book HERE.)

red apple lipstick back to the fuchsia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s my soul sister, Kristi in Gypsy Soul. (fitting, yes? my soul sister in gypsy soul) ;)  She was impressed by the color, but even more so by the texture — when she first put it on she said, “oh, it’s so smooth.” She is my go-to girl for all things makeup, (she did my makeup for our wedding) so when she’s impressed, you know it’s good — and I’m pretty sure I will have her hooked on RAL after this sale.

red apple lipstick gypsy soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And me? I’m a Red Apple girl. I just am. Not because they send me free goods to try out and tell you about, that’s a lovely perk of being a blogger friend with Andrea and Jay, but because they make quality, gluten-free products that make me feel beautiful. And although I get to try some things for free, I also place orders with them throughout the year using my VIP code they send each month.

I don’t have to worry about reading their labels. I know they are safe: no petroleum, no animal bits, no gluten, soy, dairy, corn, harsh chemicals or GMOs.

And they’re good people. Down to earth. They want you to be happy. (they give a ridiculously generous SIX month money-back guarantee on their products) And they moved their sale up this year to be sure their team is home with their families for the holidays. That may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me and my family who watch our mama work every single year during the holidays, it is a VERY big deal and I admire the gesture.

red apple lipstick Ooh la la

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wake up with Ooh La La and coffee. (my favorite lipstick color of the new collection) And the eye shadows? Oh my minerals. They are gorgeous! And on days when I’m feeling lazy I at least grab my Mint 2 Be gloss and The Lash Project mascara — there are two new glosses in the Christmas Collection. (read all about The Lash Project HERE and then add that to your cart!)

 

Now… when YOU wake up tomorrow … GO SHOP at www.redapplelipstick.com  and use code CITC to save 22% on your order through November 24th. What are you picking out first? Lipstick, gloss, shadows, or one of each?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

news flash: finds & photos

I know, I know — you’re waiting for one of these posts to be a recipe, right?

 

I’ve got some things up my sleeve. Don’t you worry. But for now, let’s catch up on what’s happening around the web and the gluten-free community.

 

Snacking on: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest TJ’s and buy them. They are $3.99 at the one here in Glendale, WI.

gluten free candy cane joe-joe's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been waiting six Christmases for these. (and they are on my list for Santa)

gluten free candy cane joe-joe's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road trip find: Erbert & Gerbert’s gluten free subs. I first had them in Sioux Falls, SD last summer. (bread was softer there, better made sammie) But they also have them at their other locations and have a separate area in the back where they make the subs, store separate GF ingredients, and totally avoid cross contamination.

photo 1 photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New-to-me product: BFree wraps. I first met the BFree team in Chicago at the GF Expo last year and was a big fan of their breads. I found these wraps at Sentry in Delafield — which you should check out, their GF section is insane — and have been using them for breakfast burritos. They stay together, even full of ingredients. They aren’t your typical flour-like tortilla, they are wraps, pliable and a great vehicle for holding all the goods.

BFree gluten free wraps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you made my Jalawhoppers yet? They are just like the ones at Jose’s Blue Sombrero. When you have leftover taco meat, they are a no-brainer. (and Lincoln approved.)

Jose's Blue Sombrero copycat Jalawhoppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving menu: it’s underway! I’ll be at home in Minnesota with my family for a whole week, hanging with my mamasita as she recovers from surgery. That means I’m teaming up with my celiac sista to make a feast. (and it also means I’ll be spending the week in yoga pants sipping tea and watching the entire DVD collection of Downton with my mama!) :)

Check out this post on a GF Thanksgiving, and then this one on our traditional family favorites. And don’t forget the pumpkin spice cookies! 

gluten free thanksgiving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift to give: Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions – A Tale of Being True to Your Tummy by my blogger friend Claudine Crangle of Gluten Free Gift. 

517fQ-4WwGL

From the publisher…

 “Most sheep will eat almost anything they come across, whether it’s good for them or not.

 Woolfred, however, has a delicate system. He cannot eat dandelions. It i   isn’t fair — the other sheep can eat whatever they want. He knows what will happen if he eats them, but still all Woolfred can think about is dandelions, dandelions, dandelions!

Eventually, Woolfred discovers that focusing on what’s missing can mean not seeing the good things in life…even when they are right in front of you.”

I will be giving one to my GF nephew for Christmas, and many more might find this in their stocking.

 

Gluten Free in Milwaukee Happenings
  • Our friends from Sweet Ali’s bakery will be doing tastings at all of their Metro Market locations on Friday, November 14th:  9-12 at the Bluemound store, 9:30-12 in Mequon, and 1-3:30 in Milwaukee.  Note that the times may vary slightly depending on traffic times. If I were you, I would go to them all. We’ll be up north, but please go for me and eat no less than three cupcakes. ;)
  • The November GF Get Together will be at P.F. Chang’s on Wednesday, November 19th — RSVP now via the Facebook invite. (and start thinking of cookie recipes for our holiday cookie exchange party in December, it will be the week before Christmas.) Remember to use hashtags #glutenfreeinMKE when posting to social media so others will see the posts and the options in our area when they go looking for Gluten Free in Milwaukee.

 

Today kicks off birthday week for me — yes, at this age, you get a week to celebrate. Our friends at Transfer spoiled me with a brownie yesterday, heated to perfection. When you go in, make sure to check it Danielle is working, she has been our favorite server for years and she will always take good care of you. I think 29 (again) is going to be a great year!

Transfer Pizzeria gluten free brownie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EnJOY your weekend!

xoxo

NEWS FLASH: finds & photos

pumpkin spice latte gluten free

 

 

 

 

Hi.

What’s new?

 

A Gluten Free Halloween

Join in on the Teal Pumpkin Project to celebrate an allergy friendly Halloween with non-food treats.

For more non-food Halloween treats from 100 Days of Real Food, click HERE.

Looking for traditional treats? HERE is the gluten free Halloween candy list.

 

Gluten Free in Milwaukee #glutenfreeinMKE

The new BelAir Cantina location is now open on Downer Avenue. (just four blocks from my office at UWM = DANGEROUS!)

Gluten-Free Mondays and Wednesdays at Transfer happen every single week: no up charge for GF pizza or apps and 2 for 1 taps of New Grist. Join us THIS Wednesday for our October GF Get Together at Transfer.

I have told you guys in the past about my love for the minestrone at Sala, (also near UWM) but I may have a new favorite — their Pumpkin Sage soup is my go-to lately.

pumpkin sage soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW to the collection:

Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking Irresistible classics in 10 ingredients or less! by Chrystal Carver, photos by Mary Bernsen.

photo 3-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chrystal was kind enough to send two copies of her new book to give away at our monthly GF Get Together events — the GFF (gluten free friend) who won last month was thrilled at the idea of simple recipes with ten ingredients or less. And if you’re joining us this month (RSVP here) you will have the chance to win the second copy!

I know many of you will love Chrystal’s definition of an “easy” recipe: 30 minutes or less to prepare, less than an hour to bake, and has 10 ingredients or less. Sweet and simple, yes? ;)
Any time a new baking book comes out, I head straight to the table of contents to see if there is a chocolate chip recipe. You’ll be happy to know her book does have a chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe and with just nine ingredients! We made them up north when some non-GF friends were visiting, and they gobbled them up — even before I could snap photos, shocking, I know. We also used them for ice cream sandwiches that weekend.
The other recipe I made was the apple crisp. Good news: Chrystal is sharing her apple crisp recipe with all of you!

Before I share the recipe, let me tell you a little “keeping it real” baking story from my kitchen: I forgot the flour. Yes. The entire 1/2 cup of flour that is called for in the apple crisp recipe. I had it out, measured, ready to add into the ingredients, and then I forgot it. I thought the topping seemed kind of off, but figured it was a new recipe, and who was I to judge? I realized my mistake when it was almost done baking and I pulled it out of the oven to find a pretty liquidy situation in the baking pan. Then it dawned on me — I didn’t add the flour!

I was determined to save it though, so I did at a few sprinkles of GF flour mix and kind of mashed it in with a fork, I didn’t want to mix it all together, but it did help soak up some of the extra liquid. I then just cooked it for longer than called for and the apples softened up and the topping came together just fine, it even got a crispy on top — it was delicious!

So there you have it. I mess up in the kitchen all.the.time. But I keep baking. And you should too.

Why not start with this simple recipe for apple crisp?
gluten free apple crisp
applecrisp2

APPLE CRISP
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 8

INGREDIENTS

4 medium granny smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend*
1/2 cup gluten-free quick oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened

METHOD
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Position the oven rack in center of oven. Lightly spray or grease a 8x8x2-inch square pan.
Spread apple slices evenly on the bottom of the pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Evenly sprinkle the topping over the apples.
Bake for 30 minutes or topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. If desired, serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Store at room temperature.

*For this recipe, Chrystal uses her all-purpose gluten-free rice flour blend that has been prepared in advance. Rather than making a whole batch, you can scale it down to ¼ cup white rice flour + 2 tablespoons tapioca flour + 2 tablespoons potato starch.

SARAH’S NOTES: After realizing I had forgotten the flour, I did add some Pamela’s GF baking mix on top and mashed it down with a fork and it turned out just fine. I may just omit the flour in the future and just cook longer to absorb liquid. I am going to try it with coconut sugar next time. In her book, Chrystal uses garbanzo bean flour in one of her flour mixes, I am not a fan of the distinct bean flavor it has, so be sure to try out this flour first to see if you like it before making a whole batch of the flour mix.

This book really is sweet and simple — perfect for someone new to GF baking or for kiddos who like to help in the kitchen.

Bake on!

 

NEWS FLASH: finds & photos

 

Hello. Hi. Hola.

Remember me? ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are eeeeeeeeasing into fall over here.

Mostly by eating as much Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake from In Johnna’s Kitchen that our tummies will hold.

 

gluten free pumpkin cinnamon cake

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gluten free pumpkin cinnamon cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gluten free pumpkin cinnamon cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gluten free pumpkin cinnamon cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go.make.this.NOW.

gluten free pumpkin cinnamon cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin seems to be the theme pretty much everywhere you look. (don’t bother buying your PSLs, make them at home!)

DIY pumpkin spice latte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it’s probably time to bust out the Pumpkin Spice Cookies with RumChata Cream Cheese Frosting, yes?

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with RumChata Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tired my hand at making pumpkin scones and although I was happy with how they turned out, I’m still working on the recipe.

Here’s a sneak peek…

photo 2(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo 1(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after posting those photos on Instagram, my best gal Katie (spreading JOY as she always does) gifted me a fancy scone pan! Now accepting taste tester applications.

photo 3(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need another excuse to add pumpkin to your routine? Add it in with Greek yogurt, granola and apples in the morning!

photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you’re more of a salted caramel in the fall kind of person — you’ll be happy to know you can find Sweet Ali’s Bakery salted caramel cupcakes at all Milwaukee area Metro Markets! (other flavors too, including red velvet)

photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for GF events in Milwaukee? (remember to use hashtag #glutenfreeinMKE)

  • THIS weekend our friends at Bacchus are hosting a Gluten-Free Cider pairing dinner. Read all about it HERE.
  • Empty Bowls Milwaukee is happening NEXT weekend and they contacted me about having more GF options for our community — let me know if you go!
  • I have started a private Milwaukee GF Get Together Group on Facebook — if you live in the area and would like to be part of this group, email me celiacinthecity[at]gmail[dot]com and I will add you. That way you won’t miss out when Facebook only allows a small percentage of you see my regular posts. It is a friendly community where you can ask questions, post about new products, share recipes, etc. And to keep seeing my CITC posts there, be sure to like posts, add comments, and interact to keep the status updates and photos coming.

 

Other things I’m snacking on now — these cute little “dunker” minis from Ginny Bakes. Loving the coconut oatmeal combo!

photo 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news — it’s HONEYCRISP season! I wait for this all year… even more so when you have the cutest best buddies to share. (check out my twin nephews’ first time with a “real,” meaning whole and not cut up, honeycrisp apple.)

photo 4(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shine on, my friends.

photo 5(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo

 

 

 

 

MONSTER BARS

Each time I head home to Minnesota, my mamasita goes out of her way to have gluten-free treats waiting.

This time was no exception — and she outdid herself by taking a family favorite cookie recipe (Grandma G’s Monster Cookies) and made them into bars.

Easier. Less work. More time to sip coffee together. (or White Russians with coffee cubes)

20140729-223018-81018272.jpg

Make them with your mama. Surprise your honey with them. Take some to a neighbor as a random act of kindness.

And speaking of kindness… can we cut the food judging already? Whether you live free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, corn, or any other intolerance or preference (vegan, paleo, no food dyes, etc) can we just let that be? Can we pretty please lay off the negative comments on bloggers’ pages and sites judging their (FREE!) recipes and photos? Eat how you eat for you and your family right now at this moment in time and let that be enough. Let others do the same. Fight the urge to start typing a comment before you stop to think, “this isn’t how I choose to eat, but how would I feel if MY mama made me a special treat and random strangers felt the need to criticize it?” If you still feel like typing that comment? Just don’t. Be kind.

And make these bars for breakfast, dessert, or any time that makes you happy. Add less sugar or more chocolate — I won’t judge. ;)

20140729-221225-79945716.jpg

MONSTER BARS

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar will work too)
1/2 cup brown sugar (experiment with less sugar if you’d like)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s (mini, regular, peanut, peanut butter, any!)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups certified gluten free oats

Preheat oven to 325°.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl to combine. Spread into jelly roll pan or large baking sheet with edges.

Bake at 325° for 15-20 mins. (you can use other pans as well, just adjust baking time and don’t let them get too crispy!)

Cool.

Cut.

Eat.

EnJOY!

 

*These goodies are linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays — check out ALL of the awesome recipes each week!

Gluten_Free_Wednesdays_150