Eat Like a Dinosaur : A never-had-so-much-fun-in-the-kitchen book review (and giveaway)

*This giveaway is now closed — thank you to everyone who commented! The winner is…. KAREN, who said, “I see many great reviews of this cookbook and I would love to have one, I have just discovered the Paleo diet and this would help alot!” Congrats, Karen — please send an email to: to claim your prize!


I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Eat Like a Dinosaur a couple of months ago, and am finally getting around to talking more about it.

I’ll start out by just getting to the point — go out and get yourself a copy.

There has been plenty of chatter in the gluten-free world about following the paleo diet. Also referred to as primal or real/whole foods. I was intrigued by it all, so I started following along on some of the blogs and Facebook pages: Balanced Bites, Paleo Parents, (also known as Matt and Stacy, the authors of ELaD)  PaleOMG, Mark’s Daily Apple, to name a few faves.  (Next up in the reviews is Practical Paleo from Diane, over at Balanced Bites.)

Like I said, I was gifted a copy of Eat Like a Dinosaur, from their publishing company several months ago, but because my “dinosaurs” are in Minnesota with their mama, my celiac sista, we had to use Skype to introduce them to the book.

One of the first chapters is actually in storybook form, about a little boy who went from pizza Fridays at school to a very different way of eating (like a dinosaur…and liked it!) – thanks to technology, I was able to read it to them and get them tuned in to the idea of trying some new eating habits.

This summer they came to stay with us for a week, so we dove into the book on the first day, and worked our way through it during their stay. (and their mama was busy trying out some recipes at home too — like this Spaghetti with Meatballs dish, made with spaghetti squash.)

training my sister to take a photo of all her meals too


Jovial gluten-free pasta & sweet treats

This week is spring break at UWM, so technically I am off. No classes to interpret, my arms and hands are taking a much needed rest. (for the most part) I am sneaking in a bit of work to make up for my time off next week — for our honeymoon! Can hardly wait to plant my feet in the sand, bust out The Hunger Games with a side of fruity drink, and spend some much needed time with my guy.

I used to spend spring break in Denver every year, with my BFF. (and I still do sometimes) Every single time, we would make “tuna noodle,” our specialty since our college days in La Crosse. It was usually accompanied by grilled chicken breast and a side of garlic bread — you know, to keep things simple.

When I started eating gluten-free, we sort of ditched the tuna noodle. Yes, a sad day in Denver.

Mostly because we’ve moved on to bigger and better things… like husbands that cook for us. 🙂

And because Denver is such a gluten-free haven, we tend to check out the options for dining out more often these days — and there are plenty of them, see for yourself here.

Another reason we don’t really do the tuna noodle route anymore is because gluten-free pasta can be kind of finicky. You have to cook it perfectly. Otherwise it is complete mush that falls apart, or too hard to even think of using for a cold salad.

But then Jovial pasta came along.

And tuna noodle is back, baby!

This is big news for me and my girl, Mel. Guessing there will be a little head tilting laugh or two, to celebrate.

Tuna Noodle ~ Gluten-Free Style

1 package Jovial pasta of your choice

1 package tuna 

1-2 handfuls of peas – Yes, very technical measuring here. I love me some peas. 

1 stalk celery, diced

Hellman’s mayo – This varies. You can lightly coat, or really sauce it up, it’s up to you!

Smidge of mustard (optional)

Cheese of your choice, cubed or shredded (optional)

Salt and pepper

Prepare Jovial pasta according to box instructions. Set a timer for yourself. When it comes out perfectly cooked, you’ll be happy you did. While pasta is cooking, add all other ingredients into a large bowl. You may want to hold off with the mayo until you see how much pasta you have, or add some now, and a little later too.

When pasta is cooked, rinse with cool water, drain and add to the bowl. Stir to combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to your liking. If you have will power, allow it to chill in the fridge before serving. If you are anything like me and Mel, eat it out of the bowl. (What? We use separate forks.)

*Remember with any recipes I put on here — they are a guide for you. Feel free to mess with them and make them your own. You know your dietary needs best, so feel free to substitute whatever ingredients are best for you. Whatever makes you so happy, it calls for a head tilter.


The friendly folks at Jovial sent me several different pastas to try and they were kind enough to send sample size bags for everyone at our Gluten-Free Get Together event too. (they’re good people like that)

We were impressed with each dish we made — and we cleaned out the freezer, using the last of our red sauce and yellow sauce from garden tomatoes last summer. You don’t have to take only my word for it, Jovial was awarded the honor of grand prize by Cooking Light magazine in their Gluten-Free Pasta category. 

Capellini with fresh basil, garden red sauce

Penne Rigate with Spinach and Yellow Garden Tomato Sauce

This poor post has been waiting “in queue” since December, you know, when I was eating cookies pretty much everyday for breakfast? I’ve toned down the sugar and replaced it with real food, but these cookies were pretty tasty. And I’m human, I still have sweet treats from time to time — the fig fruit filled cookies were hands down our top choice.

Just like Fig Newtons, but gluten-free of course.

Now figs aren’t for everyone, I get that. And don’t you worry — they have other options too. Ones that include chocolate.

(either vanilla or chocolate cream filling — the chocolate/chocolate were a close second to the fig)

So there you have it, another GF staple to add to the pantry.

Jovial will not disappoint.

Have you tried Jovial pasta or cookies yet? What did you think? And is anyone else still using up tomatoes from their freezer? 

Lists of Links: my guy’s birthday edition

Did you miss the first post about my obsession with lists? No worries — you can find it here.


This is my guy.

It’s his birthday today. (Happy Birthday, Babycakes!)

So I thought it might be fun to do a “lists post” in his honor. He is behind our most creative endeavors in the kitchen and is the official taste tester for any baking I do.

Any time there is an event, you’ll find him at the source of all things cooking.

(he makes a mean burger and an even better flank steak, and barbecue chicken -it’s all about the brine, baby- is my top request when we’re up north with the big grill)

We spend as much time as possible together in the kitchen — no, that’s not our kitchen. I wish! But someday we’ll have an island like that in our kitchen. (we do have one up north, but a three hour drive for dinner would be a little excessive)

Others like to get in on the fun too — he and his brothers, brothers-in-law and nephews roasted two whole pigs for his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party, with him running the show.

When he’s not cooking (and the temperatures are right) he’s on his bike.

Pretty good guy, yes?

He’s got great taste too — for food, clothes, accessories, you name it. He would make a killer personal shopper.

So today, in honor of his birthday, here’s a gift for you.

Mark’s List of Links

  • His go-to place for recipes — Cooks Illustrated. They will never let you down. Ever.
  • Who knows his favorite food? (it’s this) And thanks to an embarrassing game at my bridal shower, I now know too.)
  • The very first night he cooked for me, he made me crème brûlée. He makes it pretty much perfectly with this little tool. 
  • Almost as important as the main dish is cocktails. His all time favorite? Old Fashioneds. But in the top five has to be the Moscow Mule, they go in these.
  • If there is a way to incorporate sriracha into a dish, he’ll find it. So this cookbook was perfect for him!
  • The iPad comes right into the kitchen with us — so this mount should be on the list for his next birthday, yes?
  • If he had to pick where we were going for dinner tonight? Probably here. A top pick of ours in Milwaukee.
  • The crowd pleasing dip he could whip up with his eyes closed? Artichoke dip. You can grab our recipe here. 
  • He doesn’t joke around about food. If you ask for a snack, he’ll show up with something like this little plate of fun, in under 10 minutes.

So there’s a little peek into the world of my guy.

I’m a pretty lucky girl.

Friday Photos: RP’s Gluten-Free Pasta

Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.



Because this genius forgot her camera at her in-law’s last night, I had to dig deep for some photos for this post. I’ve been meaning to tell you about this pasta I took for a test drive, so instead of a picture of the 37 lb turkey we feasted on yesterday, you’ll have to settle for this.

RP’s Gluten-Free Pasta

I met the friendly folks from RP’s Pasta at the GF Expo in Madison this summer — they were sampling their pasta, with just a little olive oil. Simple. Full of flavor on its own. (I bought two, and they were sweet and gave me an extra one to try!)

Add some garden tomatoes, balcony basil and a little parmesan and life is good.

Or with oven roasted tomatoes, olive oil,  peppers, onions and leftover ham.

It takes just minutes to make and if you have some red sauce in the freezer, you’re in luck — dinner is served.

And they aren’t just another company looking to make a buck off the gluten-free label, the owner actually started the GF line of pastas when a friend of his could no longer eat regular wheat pasta. (yay for us!) They are located in Madison but you can find their products at Whole Foods and other stores as well, just check out their store locator.

Up next is making more of our own pasta with our new attachment for our KitchenAid. Guessing it will be a tad easier than the last time we made pasta and rolled it out by hand. But for now, I’ll take a package of RP’s for an easy weeknight meal.

Do you have a go-to GF pasta? Do tell.

Friday Photos: 11/11/11


Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.


barely keeping my eyes open, it’s been a long day. productive, but long. so this Friday Photo post is a quickie. good night, friends.

our often repeated weeknight meal – roasted chicken and vegetables. 

and one that’s not repeated, but can work when there’s not time to cook, when you’re traveling, or if you have kiddos who just want “regular” mac n’ cheese. (found it at the GF Expo in Madison – easy to doctor up)

a whole tray-o-treats from Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery for our all-GF taco night with family

how I spent my morning

the recipe is all yours, if you’d like it. 

forever grateful for those who gave their lives, and those who continue to serve. 

thank you. 

Schroeter’s Gluten Free Bakeshop – South Milwaukee, WI

I gave you a little sneak peek at the goods from Schroeter’s Gluten Free Bakeshop in an earlier post, here is a more in depth look at the newest wholesale GF bakery on the block — right here in Milwaukee!

The whole Schroeter family eats gluten-free (even their dog!) and have for years. They set out to find recipes to replace their family favorites. And after years of experimenting, they are ready to share their creations with you.

We all need a basic chocolate chip cookie in our lives don’t we? And my dairy-free friends are going to want this one — not only GF, but DF too. (Dad Schroeter is dairy-free too)  There is a hint of salt that balances out this sweet treat. A little twist on a traditional recipe. One that my girl Molly thought was just genius.

The same day I got my hands on these goodies, we had a dinner date out at the farm. (that’s where Molly came in) But she wasn’t the only taste-tester on the “panel.” This was serious business, so I called in an expert — you’ve seen my little buddy before here and here. He’s pretty much all grown up now and he knows his cookies.

Schroeter’s Bakeshop has a customer for life.

The cookie I am still thinking about today – and wishing I had more of right now – is the lemon sugar cookie. The butter flavor comes through in your first bite with a subtle taste of lemon.

This recipe would make one heck of a Christmas cut-out cookie! Hint, hint Schroeter fam. And no one would even guess that they are gluten-free. Let’s just say they went over well with our “raters.”

And last, but most definitely not least — the whoopie pies.

My husband reported these as his top pick. (so much so that when I went to take pictures of them, there was only one left) When you bite into them, the creamy frosting filling squishes out the sides a little. This means you are doing it right.

These fun little whoopie pies are gluten and dairy-free. And a crowed pleaser. The kind of dessert you could take to a party and then find the hostess in the kitchen licking the plate clean. That good.

Don’t you worry, I’m not keeping them all to myself. You can pick them up now at the Gluten-Free Trading Company’s Chase Avenue location in Milwaukee, or contact the bakery via their website — they aren’t a walk-in type bakery at this point, but I am sure we’ll be seeing their products at your neighborhood grocer soon. Better yet, ask your store manager to carry the products right now!

Things are just getting started for the Schroeter family, and I can’t wait to see what comes next — best of luck to you on this new adventure!

Crunchmaster crackers: a gluten-free staple.

I’ve told you before that I get text messages and emails from family and friends all the time with the latest and greatest gluten-free items they have found at the grocery store. Each and every one of those messages puts a smile on my face. Life is hectic. I’m the sister that has to hang up as soon as I head into a store because I can’t handle being on the phone and pushing my cart around at the same time — but my super-mom-celiac-sister? She can be on the phone with me for over a half and hour and then say, “don’t mean to cut you off, but I have to go through the check out”

As in… she’d been on the phone with me the entire time she was shopping. You have to multi-task when you have kiddos, I get that.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Shopping. Hectic life. Grocery store. Picture mail. Smiley me.

My point is that it means the world to me to have friends and family take time out of their crazy lives to first of all even notice something that is gluten-free, and then to take the time to send me a photo with a message — you all know who you are. Many thanks!

By far THE most common picture I get is of Crunchmaster crackers. The text typically says something like, “these are AWESOME, have you tried them?” or “I’m sure you’ve already had these… they are so good!”

They are also the most common gluten-free item that my peeps have stocked up when they know I’m coming over.

super simple snack with hummus 

There are always mama’s-to-be in my life and one of them recently told me that they are her go-to cracker during pregnancy. (she’s not GF, but obviously has good taste in snacks!)

They are rolling out new flavors all the time, my current favorite: Roasted Vegetable. Closet thing to those little wheat containing crackers I used to love. The ones with a hint of sea salt are simple, light, and can pretty much hold any cheese or dip. And they are perfect for the chicken salad I rave about from Cocina DeLeon!

The folks at Crunchmaster sent me some of the newer flavors to try recently, we are big fans… to be honest, we haven’t had one we yet that we don’t like! (my one and only complaint is how crunchy they are, and yes, I realize that is part of the name, but that’s my one beef with gluten-free crackers — I miss the flaky, buttery ones. that’s all.)

You can rest easy because they are certified gluten-free crackers, and some are sugar and dairy free too for my peeps with other dietary needs.

Need ideas for topping your tasty treats from Crunchmaster?

How about:

  • my sister’s easy-peasy chicken salad: a can of Hormel chicken, tomato, cucumber, mayo, salt/pepper and a little ranch.
  • some local made, Wisconsin cheddar
  • dipping in fondue 
  • paired with any kind of hummus

Or if you want to get even more creative, check out their website for recipe ideas

You can find them at most grocery stores these days. In the Milwaukee area: Pick n’ Save, Sendik’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, and I’m sure other places as well. They have a handy little store locator on their website that you can use too.

And while you’re on the website, fill out your information to stay up to date on new products and discounts — you actually get a $1 off coupon that you can print right away.

Have you tried Crunchmaster crackers? What are you topping them with these days?


wool dryer balls: a farewell to dryer sheets

Raise your hand if, like me, you enjoy doing laundry.

Come on now, raise it high. Be proud. (or at least keep me company)

It’s time consuming, I know. But there is something to be said about a load of freshly washed laundry, straight from the dryer.

Is anyone still reading?


You’re probably thinking, “yeah, okay, we get it… you like laundry… where’s the recipe?”

I debated stepping outside of my normal routine to write about something non-food related. I wasn’t sure if you’d like it. I was over thinking. Over analyzing. It’s what I do best really. (just ask my husband) But I decided to just go for it. Write about a product I found at the gluten-free expo in Madison a few months ago… and hope you still come back. (to sweeten the deal, there’s a coupon code!)

From the moment I saw these Willow Store wool dryer balls, I was intrigued. I have seen other people use those plastic ball things in their dryers — which are loud! Not my style. It seemed like a pretty big claim that these wool balls could take the place of dryer sheets and reduce drying time significantly.

But did they ever!

Hence my farewell to dryer sheets. Since the first time I used them, I’ve been raving about them to everyone who is willing to listen. They just make sense. Especially for those of us who are constantly reading labels and concerned that our daily use item (cosmetics, lotions, etc.) may contain gluten, or other ingredients our bodies do not tolerate well.

Things I’m loving about wool dryer balls:

  • made from natural felted wool
  • they really DO reduce drying time (by almost half, in most cases)
  • NO chemicals, which means no extra film of yuck on your clothes
  • they last for years — saving you lots-o-cash on dryer sheets!
  • they come in cool colors, but won’t bleed onto your clothes
What’s not to love, right?
Ok, there’s one more thing. My new friend Catherine, who started up The Willow Store, and who was so very kind to send me these dryer balls to try out, is giving you guys a deal! Just use the code CHANGE at check-out to save yourselves 10% off your order.
Easy-peasy. Head on over to the the store and take a look around. They also sell all kinds of baby related items like cloth diapers, which at one point in life I thought was a crazy idea, but am now considering for my kiddos someday. Stock up for the upcoming holidays, like my smarty pants soul sister is planning to do. (I like to steal her ideas, so if you get these for Christmas, act surprised.)
*sigh of relief*
I made it through a non-food post — what do you think? Do you dig changing things up from time to time? Want food only? (no shame in that) Or could go either way? Leave a comment so I know you survived the post too.

Peeled Snacks: simple. gluten-free. happy snacks.

**UPDATE: Congrats to KRISTEN (aka globalite76) for winning the give away from Peeled Snacks! Contact me at to collect your prize!


One of the perks of having a blog, is that from time to time, companies contact me, wanting to send samples of their products to try. I am typically a little hesitant.

But with good reason.

Over the last couple of years, I have been sent some not-so-tasty treats to try… and they have gone in the garbage. They don’t even make the blog. And there are mixed feelings around the blogging world about this. Some feel you should share the good and the bad, and don’t get me wrong, I do that too. But with limited time to spend blogging, I prefer to share with you the things that I love. The products I will go out and buy again. The ones I want you to try too.

I’ve been slacking off a little with my “Celiac in the City Suggests” category, so when the folks from Peeled Snacks contacted me, it was perfect timing. I had seen the products at Starbucks, but had not tasted them yet. And you know me, I’m always on the lookout for new snack options.

To be honest, I usually pass on dried fruit. It’s usually lacking in flavor, you know, tastes kind of blah.

But not these!

Farmer’s Market Trio: apple, cherry, raisin

It says right on the package, “gently dried” and “nothing added,” which is what I love about these. Just fruit, no added anything. And not shriveled up kind of dried, just gently. They are still soft and chewy.

And when you open the bag?

It smells like fresh pineapple.

*warning: these are highly addictive*

But don’t you worry, these come in one-serving size packets. Perfect for those who may have issues with portion control. (this girl)

And they’re not only at Starbucks — you can find them at Costco locations in the Midwest now, as well as other grocery and convenient stores. I’m going to be carrying them around in my work bag, and now you can too. The generous team over at Peeled Snacks is going to send an Organic Fruit Picks Variety Pack to one lucky reader!

To enter yourself in the random drawing:

  • Take a look around, check out their different flavors, then come back here and LEAVE A COMMENT below, telling me which flavor you just have to try. Are you a Pine-4-Pineapple like me? Or a Banan-a-Peel? Whatever makes you smile, leave that flavor below.
That’s it. Easy-peasy right?
*If you would like some additional entries in the drawing, you can:
For each of these, you will get an additional entry in the drawing. Please leave a separate comment for each one. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, August 24th at 8PM CST. For US residents only. 
Snack on!

A BeUdiful day: a gluten-free cookout with Udi’s

We’re finally seeing signs of spring in Milwaukee.

Which means it is time to bust out the grill — and what perfect timing, Udi’s is coming out with gluten-free hotdog and hamburger buns! (you may have even found some at a store near you already)

I have these super-crazy-cool friends over at Udi’s that were kind enough to send me a sneak peek of what’s to come. (*thanks Jillian*) Not only buns, but Ancient Grains bread too.

They had the hotdog buns out at the GF Expo in Chicago last month. The same expo where I finally got to meet Heather from Udi’s, in real life. And not only Heather, but also Gluten-Free Betsy!

I like to share the love, so we made time for a family cookout to let the other people on our little family “team GF” taste the goodness too.

Look at ’em. They look just like “regular” buns don’t they? Not teeny-tiny.

We were all about the meat for this cookout — but they would work just fine for veggie burgers too. (I’m a big fan of the Southwest ones from Sunshine Burger) And since the cookout, I’ve used them for shredded beef with peppers and onions too. Or you can make it a chicken sandwich by checking out the Italian Marinade over on the Udi’s site.

We tried out the classic & whole grain hamburger buns and the classic hotdog buns. Two thumbs up from everyone who had them. Not that they had to be heated, but we toasted them up on the grill first.

You’re going to want to get these for cookout season. Trust me. Good stuff.

If you check out the Udi’s site, you can get a coupon for a $1.00 off the new products!

So, not only did Udi’s make the cookout perfecto, they’ve been making my breakfasts more interesting too. In the upcoming months, you are going to be seeing Ancient Grains breads from Udi’s.

I have a feeling I’ll be making my egg sandwiches more often. But not to be limited to use for breakfast only — this bread made one amazing grilled cheese.

Want cheese that melts evenly? Try shredding it — works like a charm.

Paired up with my guy’s homemade chicken noodle soup? Aww, yeah!

And if you aren’t already keeping their bagels around, you really should. Loving the cinnamon raisin ones lately.

What about you guys — what are you going to be grillin’ for your Udi’s cookout?