Wednesday, February 27, 2013

GFAF Expo in Chicago April 20th & 21st

Windy City here I come!  I'm so honored, blessed and pumped to be going to the Gluten Free & Allergen Free Expo in Chicago as an OFFICIAL BLOGGER!!!  Watch out Chicago here comes!  I even get to set up a blogger table to meet people and sell stuff.  

The GFAF Expo is the largest and fastest growing GFAF consumer event in the US.  There are five expos this year all over the US.   The Chicago expo will have over 120 vendors and over 7,000 attenders!  It will also feature classes and cooking demonstrations. 

Here are the event details!

April 20-21, 2013
9am Early Bird Admission $35 for adults $10 for kids
10am-4pm Open to the Public $20 for adults $5 for kids

The Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center
1551 Thoreau Drive North
Schaumburg, IL 60173

You can purchase tickets online here.  

This will be an awesome opportunity to taste and buy Gluten Free products.  To learn more about previous GFAF Expos go here and read other bloggers' reviews.  

I will be walking around trying yummy food, meeting people and will share it all with you on Twitter and Instagram!

If you are in the area and can make the Expo I would LOVE to meet you!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekly Menu February 25th

Happy Monday All!  I hope you had a great weekend!  Our daughter's 4th Birthday party was a hit and the cake balls were devoured by all.  When I told the guests they were Gluten Free no one believed me!  Success!!

This week's menu is pretty typical with the highlight being Friday with some friends coming over!  I hope to wow them with my GF slow cooker lasagna!

Monday - Sausage and Peppers served with GF pasta

Tuesday -  Mexican Shepherd's Pie topped with GF cornbread - One Dish Meal

Wednesday - Chicken with white Sauce in the slow cooker served with rice and steamed veggies

Thursday - One Dish Wonder - One Dish Meal

Friday - Crock Pot Lasagna served with salad 

Saturday -  Leftovers

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bone Suckin' Sauce Review

Living in NC BBQ is a hot topic.  To clarify for my Northern friends, BBQ is a type of food not something you do in your backyard on Saturday we call that a cookout.  Typically BBQ is pork, beef or chicken cooked slowly with amazing sauce.  The sauce is an area that people fight over around here.  Half the state swears by tomato based sauce while the other half only uses vinegar based sauces.  In my opinion both are very good.  There are large competitions where people stay up all night slowing cooking pork shoulders and sometimes whole pigs!  This is called a pig-pickin.  No lie - it is a cookout with a whole pig, head and all, slowly cooked on a grill.   If you ever get invited to a pig-pickin go!  The food and sides will be amazing but don't I say I didn't warn you about the actual pig!

So now back to BBQ Sauce.  I've never gotten into making my own sauces for such cooking events so I lean toward prepackaged brands.  I had heard of Bone Suckin' Sauce from some local people but had never picked up a jar before.  Turns out they are a local NC company with a number of tasty GLUTEN FREE products!  I was contacted by them to try a couple of their sauces and even some nuts!

I started with the Bone Suckin' Sauce and decided to try it on pork chops.  For the slow cooking part of BBQ I turned to the slow cooker.  I put 4 pork chops, a bunch of veggies and about 1/2 cup of sauce in the slow cooker for 4 hours on low.  The result was a very flavorful dinner!  The sauce is a mix of tomato and vinegar.  It leans toward the sweet side as well.  This was hit and we will use it again on other dishes.

Next I tried the Earth Family Teriyaki Sauce in some chicken stir fry.  I used my basic recipe but marinated the chicken in the sauce for a few hours before cooking.  This really brought the flavor out.  It also is on the sweet side so I added some GF soy sauce to add some salty flavor.  I've used it twice now for stir fry and it has come out great both times.

I ended my product testing with Wine Nuts.  I know so fun!  I love wine and I love peanuts why not put them together!?  I tried the Merlot flavor since I prefer red wines but they have four other flavors to include margarita mix.  They have actually won awards for these nuts!  They are roasted peanuts cooked in merlot wine and rolled in salt and sugar.  When you first eat them you get the salty/ sweet mix, then the subtle wine flavor sets in.  They are a fun snack and would be great for an afternoon on the porch with a nice glass of wine.

They make a bunch of other products like beef jerky, salsa, candy and popcorn.  They also do fundraisers if you have a need for GF products for school or church fundraisers.  All their products can be purchased online if you don't see them in your local stores.


Disclaimer: I was given these products to try.  The photos and opinions are my own.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekly Menu February 18

Happy Monday all!  We have another fun week in our house with our oldest turing 4!!!  So we have party planning to do and party treats to make.  I'm going to be making these awesome Cake Balls which are always a crowd favorite!  

Monday - Beef Non-Stew - One Dish Meal!

Tuesday -  Corn Dog Muffins with GF Mac n Cheese and steamed veggies

Wednesday -Pepperoni Bake topped with Tall Papa GF Bread Crumbs and served with green beans

Thursday - Mexican Chili in the slow cooker - One Dish Meal!

Friday - Dinner with family at Village Tavern.  Great GF menu!

Saturday -  Birthday party!  Leftovers for dinner if I'm still awake after party fun :) 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bacon Ranch Cheddar Puffs

I am in love with making puffs for breakfast, dinner and general snacking!  My first attempt was the Bacon Cheeseburger Puffs.  AMAZING!  The kids really loved these and they heated up well for breakfast the next day.  Today during nap time I had some left over crispy bacon and decided to experiment   Three of my favorite flavors are bacon, ranch and cheese - why not mix them!  So I whipped up a batch of Bacon Ranch Cheddar Puffs!  The result were very tasty, moist puffs!  They taste like a bacon and cheese biscuit with ranch!  The kids loved these too!

This recipe is a great base - just add whatever you enjoy most!

What You Need:
3 pieces of cooked bacon chopped up
3/4 cups of GF Bisquick 
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp GF Ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley) You can use more if you want a stronger ranch flavor
1/4 cup of milk

How to Make It:
Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together all the ingredients except the milk.  Slowly add in milk until you get a mixture that will stay together but you still want it kind of dry.  You aren't looking for pancake batter consistency. 

Scoop into small balls and bake for 12-14 minutes.  Makes 12 puffs.

Post linked to Gluten-Free Homemaker's Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekly Menu February 11

Happy Valentine's Day week!  I hope your week is filled with chocolate and those you love!

Monday - Pork Loin in the slow cooker - use this recipe as a guide, use GF soy sauce (didn't make it last week). Side of summer veggie tian.  This dinner was AMAZING!  The house smelled heavenly and the food was fantastic!  This meal looks super fansy but it was very easy to make.

Tuesday -  Pasta Bake 

Wednesday -Greek Yogurt Strawberry Pancakes  These were such a big hit last we I'm doing it again!

Thursday - Take out for a late romantic dinner with the Hubby!

Friday - Chicken nuggets, tater tots and green beans

Saturday -  Shepherd's Pie 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

We are breakfast food lovers in our house!  I can serve breakfast food items for any meal and everyone is all smiles.  I often make breakfast for dinner because its fast and easy to make Gluten Free.  Recently we have been trying to up the protein intake of our girl twin cause she is small, less than 5% for her age small!  To compare twin brother has six pounds on her!   The Dr. said to have her eat Greek Yogurt.  She is doing pretty well eating it but I can tell she is getting tired of me shoveling it down her throat so I've been trying to find new ways to incorporate it into her food.  She loves pancakes so I figured why not make Greek Yogurt Pancakes?!  We had blueberry and strawberry greek yogurt in the fridge and the toddler wanted to try strawberry so I went with it.  I have to say these were a hit!  We all scarfed them down!  Gluten Free Greek Yogurt Pancakes = AWESOME!

What you need:
1 6oz container of GF greek yogurt - I used strawberry
2 eggs
1.5 cups of GF Bisquick
3/4 cup of milk
a splash of GF vanilla

How to Make it:
Heat up your griddle and lightly grease.  In a bowl whisk together the yogurt and the eggs. 

 Then mix in the Bisquick, milk and vanilla.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter on the griddle.  

They took about 3 minutes per side.  Recipe makes 13 pancakes.  Serve with fresh fruit or syrup!

The texture and consistency of these were great!  Not cakey but pretty thick.  The flavor had a hint of strawberry but it wasn't overwhelming.  I can't wait to make them with different flavored yogurt!

This post is linked on Gluten-Free Wednesdays,  Gluten Free Fridays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weekly Menu February 4th

You can tell it has been one of "those weeks" when I don't get our weekly menu up until Wednesday!  Life is just busy and we are trying to stay afloat.  Plus our Internet was down for a couple days so I was going through withdrawals.  Amazing how much you depend on the Internet for everything!  Since I'm running behind I actually have pictures to post!

Monday - Beef Stroganoff - I use this recipe as a base but adjust it to make it GF.  Served with green beans and GF pasta

Tuesday -  Greek Yogurt Strawberry Pancakes - these rocked!  I'll post recipe soon

Wednesday - Sweet and Sour Chicken in slow cooker - use GF soy sauce and added carrots

Thursday - Baked Chicken

Friday - Pork Loin in the slow cooker - use this recipe as a guide, use GF soy sauce

Saturday -  Eating Out :) 

Sides: steamed veggies, tater tots, and green beans  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Charlotte, NC Gluten Free Expo April 13, 2013

The 4th Annual Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expo is April 13, 2013 in Charlotte!  I've been the last two years and have loved it!  I'm super pumped to go this year and see old friends and try new Gluten Free products.  I will be live tweeting the event and will blog about all the goodies offered.  If you are in the area it is worth the trip and I'd love to meet you!

April 13, 2013

10 am - 4 pm

The Blake Hotel
555 South McDowell Street 
 Charlotte, NC 28204
Tickets are only $10.00

Carol Kicinski  from Simply Gluten Free
Lisa Stimmer Certified Gluten Practitioner

Read about my past visits to the Charlotte Expo

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