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Oct 31 2014

Review: Gluten-free Italian Cookies con Amore

You know those old fashioned cookies that people eat during the holidays that are off limits to us? Yes…those….the pretty Linzer heart-shaped cookies, wedding cookies, biscotti…..those cookies we have become accustomed to seeing and turning away.

I am happy to report that I was sent these exact cookies to review, and they were all gluten-free, and tasted just like they should taste – delicious!

Cookies con Amore have a dedicated gluten-free line of cookies, Glutenetto. Cookies con Amore was generous enough to send me a gift box of cookies to sample, and when they arrived in the mail, I think I screamed because I was so excited these were all safe for me to eat. No matter how many years I have been gluten-free, I still get giddy when I am able to eat something that is usually off limits. And these cookies were definitely giddy worthy.

I usually prefer to make cookies from scratch, but these are an exception. These cookies are beautiful, and they taste as good as they look. You can order them by the cookies, or the assortment box, which makes a perfect hostess gift over the holidays, or a gift…just because – whether they are gluten-free or not. They are available online.

Cookies con Amore makes the following gluten-free cookies:

  • Raspberry Linzer
  • Wedding
  • Amaretti
  • Pignoli
  • Chcolate Ricciarelli
  • Orange Ricciarelli
  • Assorted Biscotti
  • Nonnine
  • Reginette
  • Polentine
  • Cuccidati

These are the real deal, and I give them a huge thumbs up!


Oct 31 2014

Review: HEB Gluten-Free Brownie Mix

My dad, step-mom (Christy) and little sister moved to Austin, TX earlier this year. After grocery shopping, Christy informed me that HEB had a line of their own store brand gluten-free items and was kind enough to send me a care package full of them earlier this week. The package contained all sorts of different mixes, pasta and a protein gel. 

While I was waiting for the Trick or Treaters to come by last night, I preheated the oven and began to make the HEB Gluten-Free Brownie Mix. The directions on the back of the package are very simple, making this a perfect project for kids to help out with. 

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The batter is a little thick, so it took some patience to spread in the pan, but otherwise everything went according to plan. 

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Brownies straight out of the oven and ready to be consumed! We let them cool for 10 -15 minutes and then cut into 12 squares. After they cooled completely, I froze them so Jon can take them back to school with him on Sunday, but I did manage to sneak a small piece so I could make sure they were okay. These are exactly the kind of brownies that I love….dense and fudgy! If you want cake-like brownies, bake a chocolate cake! I am really glad that I stuck these in the freezer or I may have been tempted to have them for breakfast. 

HEB is a grocery store chain located in 150 communities in Texas and Mexico. Have you tried any of the gluten-free mixes from HEB? If so, do you have a favorite? Make sure to watch for our reviews of the other mixes in the coming weeks. 


Oct 30 2014

Review: Nutorious Nut Creations Pumpkin Palooza

When I was at Costco earlier this week I spotted a new-to-me snack called Nutorious Nut Creations Pumpkin Palooza. I was immediately interested, as I love most things pumpkin and ’tis the season, right? Costco sells their products in large or bulk packages, so this is a 20 oz bag (or 19 servings) of yumminess!

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Nut Creations Pumpkin Palooza is gluten-free and is made with almonds, pecans, walnuts and spices.

Ingredients:

Walnuts, almonds, sugar, pecans, egg whites, butter (pasteurized cream, salt), spices, pumpkin powder (pumpkin, maltodextrin, corn flour, sunflower lecithin), salt.

This snack is not only amazing, but very addicting, too! I had hard time keeping my hand out of the bag while I was sitting here writing this review. If you can make the bag last long enough, try the Nut Creations on oatmeal, yogurt, salads or ice cream. It would also make a great stocking stuffer!

Nutorious Nut Creations are also available in the following varieties:

  • Almond Cranberry Orange Nut Crunch
  • Almond Blueberry Lemon Nut Crunch
  • Almond Cherry Vanilla Nut Crunch
  • Cherry Vanilla Va-Voom
  • Blueberry Lemon Meringue
  • Cranberry Orango Tango
  • Oo La La Original

Find Nutorious Nut Creations at Costco stores across the US and a few select other stores.  I plan on looking for some of the other varieties next time I hit Costco. Have you tried Nutorious Nut Creations? If so, which variety?


Oct 29 2014

Review + Recipe Gluten-Free No Bake Cheesecake

Saturday I made Jon a No Bake Cheesecake with the Mi-Del Gluten-Free Graham Style Pie Crust. The recipe came on the backside of the label and was very simple to prepare. I think the hardest part was refrigerating it for four hours before serving! We kept looking in the fridge, checking on it like it was a turkey with a pop-up thingy to let us know when it was done.

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It’s finally ready! Fortunately the four hour mark fell right after dinner, so we wasted no time digging in.

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This pie didn’t disappoint! The filling was flavorful, though not as dense as traditional cheesecake, which I am sure is due to the “no bake” part. The crust held up to the heavy filling and was identical to what I remember regular graham cracker crust being like. Jon polished off the entire thing before he headed back to school on Sunday evening.

No Bake Cheesecake (recipe courtesy of Mi-Del label)

Ingredients:

1 Mi-Del Gluten-Free Graham Style Crust

1 8 oz. package cream cheese at room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 oz. heavy cream

1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, add sugar, mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well.

2. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks begin to form. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until peaks form; do not overheat. Fold whipped cream into prepared mix from large bowl.

3. Spoon into Gluten-Free Graham Style Crust

4. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.


Oct 28 2014

Review: Matt the Miller’s Tavern Polaris

I had the opportunity to try the new Matt the Miller’s Tavern on Gemini Place (Polaris) this past weekend. I ate at the Dublin location four years ago and didn’t have a great experience, so I was hoping this one would be better. 

The gluten-free menu is pretty extensive and has some unique menu items on it, including flatbread pizzas! I was a little concerned about cross-contamination, but was assured that the kitchen was well-versed. I even asked about the Hot Buffalo Wings on the Matt’s Starters menu. The wings are baked so they are not in contact with gluten-containing food in the fryers. 

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I had a hard time deciding what I wanted, but finally settled on the Wild Mushroom Flatberad Pizza. 

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Outstanding! The crust is made by Around the World Gourmet and brought in by Matt the Miller’s Tavern. The flavor and texture of the crust paired perfectly with the toppings on my flatbread. I also had the Chopped Salad to eat along side of the flatbread and it was delicious. I look forward to dining at Matt the Miller’s again in the near future. 

Matt the Miller’s has three central Ohio locations in Dublin, Grandview and the Polaris area. They also have a location in Carmel, Indiana. Have you dined gluten-free at Matt the Miller’s Tavern?