Getting to Know You

I saw this on another blog today and thought it would be a lot of fun to share here and to learn about some of my readers.  I feel like you guys know a lot about me or more about me than I know about you.  I would like to know more about my readers.  🙂  So, I will start with this list and then you can copy & paste your answers in the comments section.  🙂

I Am – a strong woman, wife & mother
I Want – to have completed a marathon by this time next year.
I Have – two beautiful children & a loving husband.
I Wish – the economy was in a better place.
I Hate – cancer
I Fear -death…dying before my kids.
I Hear – the news…storms are on the horizon
I Search – for new gluten-free foods all the time!
I Wonder – what the world will be like in 25 years.
I Regret – some of the things I did 15 years ago.  If I went back to change them though, my life would be different today.
I Love – my family
I Ache – for those in pain
I Always – kiss my kids & hubby good night before bed.
I Usually – talk to my sister at least once a day
I Am Not – the type of person to be late..punctuality is one of my biggest OCD habits!  LOL!
I Dance – with my daughter
I Sing – whenever the mood strikes me.
I Never – say never

I Rarely – watch TV during the day or summer.
I Cry – too much! LOL!  I am very emotional.
I Am Not Always – the most organized, though I try.
I Lose – my keys in my large purse all the time
I’m Confused – when I have to help my son with his algebra! LOL!
I Need – a good massage from my hubby.
I Should – get up & change my laundry.
I Dream – of opening my own gluten-free restaurant/bakery one day.
I hope– that my kids have a good school year…they start next week.
I feel– for my sister….she is having a rough pregnancy with twin boys.
I appreciate-all my friends, family & readers.  🙂

What lessons have you learned this year? I can do anything that I want to do if I put my mind to it.  Attitude is the key.  A positive attitude can change your whole experience.  Why be miserable when you don’t have to be? 

Now, here is a blank copy for you to cut & paste.  You can fill as much of this out as you want or as little.  I can’t wait to read more about you all!

I Am –
I Want –
I Have –
I Wish –
I Hate –
I Fear –
I Hear –
I Search –
I Wonder –
I Regret –
I Love –
I Ache –
I Always –
I Usually –
I Am Not –
I Dance –
I Sing –
I Never –
I Rarely –
I Cry –
I Am Not Always –
I Lose –
I’m Confused –
I Need –
I Should –
I Dream –
I hope-
I feel-
I appreciate-

What lessons have you learned this year?



I finally found the very elusive PB & J Lara Bar!!!  WOOOHOOOO!!!  Thanks to Raisin Rack for having it in stock, as well as every other Lara Bar flavor.  They rock!!  As a matter of fact, I have all 3 new flavors in the house right now!  I will try them all and then report back. 

I am going to dinner tonight at a new restaurant.  This place is new to me, not new.  They supposedly have a gluten-free menu.  I am super excited & can’t wait to report back to you guys! 

2 of the 3 winners of the Fiber One giveaway have not contacted me.  Elissa & Marybeth, please email me at to claim your prize!  If I don’t hear back by midnight on Friday, I will choose 2 more winners. 

When I went into my daughter’s school today, I saw a print out sitting on the desk in the office.  I asked the secretary if she has Celiac.  She told me that she didn’t, but  a student does.  Also, they think her daughter may have Celiac.  She is in college & has been having all kinds of issues.  I told her a little about the testing & gave her the link to my blog. If you are reading, I hope your daughter can get to feeling better!  Please let me know if I can help!

Have a great night. 

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Van's Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes Recall

Just a quick alert for all my gluten-free readers out there.  I got this from the news this morning:

Van’s International Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Wheat, Gluten, Milk and Egg in Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes

VERNON, Calif., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Van’s International Foods has issued an allergy alert and is voluntarily recalling the following product: 12.4 ounce package of frozen Van’s Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes with the lot number listed below because they contain undeclared wheat, gluten, milk and egg in the product.

People who have allergies or sensitivities to wheat, gluten, milk or eggs may run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

The 118 cases of recalled Van’s Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes may have been distributed in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Idaho and Hawaii, through retail outlets that include but may not be limited to Whole Foods, Wegmans, Giant Carlisle, Sprouts and Martins. The distributors and the retail customers involved have been notified.

The product comes in a 12.4 ounce package which is beige with an orange stripe on the top and a triangular blue gluten-free call-out in the upper right-hand corner with the lot number 200060629B1 located on the side flap of the box. The “Best if used by” date is March 30, 2010 also printed on the same flap.

    Package UPC           Description -     Lot #             Best if Used By
                           Retail Label                        Date
    ------------          -------------     -----------       ---------------
    0-89947-60604-9       Van's All         200060629B1       March 30, 2010
                          Natural Wheat
                          Free Homestyle
                          Pancakes, 12.4
    ---------------       --------------    -----------       ---------------

“Our customers have trusted Van’s with their special dietary needs for more than 20 years, and their health and safety are our first priority,” said CEO of Van’s International Foods, Eric Kufel. “Van’s has immediately implemented advanced quality procedures above and beyond what we already have in place to ensure the continued safety of our products.”

The voluntary recall was initiated immediately after a packaging operator error, limited to one shift, was discovered. The company has immediately reinforced its Quality Assurance and Packaging procedures and believes that the problem was a one-time incident. Consumers who are allergic to or have sensitivity to wheat, gluten, milk or eggs, should not consume this product. Consumers should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund or send the box top with the printed lot number to the address below to receive five free coupons for any Van’s waffle, pancake, or French toast stick product 12.4 ounce or smaller.

    Van's International Foods, Inc.
    Attn: Wheat Free Pancake Product Recall
    3285 East Vernon Avenue
    Vernon, CA 90058

Consumers with questions may contact the company at (303) 848-6013 or via email at . For more information on this recall, please visit for details.

The Food and Drug Administration has been notified of this voluntary recall.

    Media Contacts:
    (817) 329-3257 (24-hours)
    Suzanne Miller,
    Alexandra Elliott,
    Tracy Aiello,

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SOURCE Van’s International Foods

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Yucca Root = Naturally Gluten-free

Do you know what kind of food I like best?  The kind that is naturally gluten-free and minimally processed.  I think chocolate fits in that category, but I am not talking about chocolate today.  Don’t worry, chocolate still holds  a place in my heart.  😉 

I have seen various posts in the blog world about the yucca root.  I hadn’t heard of it before and was intrigued.  I saw that the yucca was being cut into fry shapes and then baked in the oven.  I have posted numerous other veggies that I like to eat like fries, so why not yucca?  Yucca is also called cassava.  Yucca is actually very familiar to those of us on a gluten-free diet.  It is known as one of the most widely used gluten-free flours, tapioca!  Yucca has a mild flavor and can be used in place of potatoes in  soups, dumplings, stews, gravies & more. 

I chose to peel & bake/roast my yucca root last night to go along with my BBQ chicken breasts.  Once I peeled the yucca, I laid out on a baking sheet that I sprayed with Pam and then sprayed the root itself with Pam.  You could toss with EVOO & spices, too.  I then seasoned with just salt & pepper, as I wanted a good idea of what the yucca itself tasted like.  I baked at 400 or so for about 20 – 30 minutes, flipping after about 15 minutes and then checking every 5 minutes after that.  I have to say that this is one of my new favorite forms of fries!  Holy YUM!!  The yucca fries had a crispier outside & a potatoey (is that a word?) inside.  Super mild flavor.  I dipped them in Organic Ketchup, but they would be good dipped in all kinds of sauces…..Frank’s Red Hot, Honey Mustard, BBQ, etc. 



I can see adding yucca to my list of produce that I buy weekly now.  Very nice change of pace and delicious, too!  Interested in the other fries that I have made?  Here they are:

Let me know if you give yucca root a try & how you end up preparing it.

What is your favorite homemade fry?


New article up on the Examiner


Upcoming blog stuff:

  • Lots of new product reviews.  I have some fun stuff to try out & report back to you all on.  I can’t wait!  🙂
  • Interview with a gluten-free marathon runner getting ready to run her 14th marathon in a couple of weeks! 



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One Lovely Blog Award

Cheryl at Gluten-free Goodness tagged me for  “One Lovely Blog Award“. 🙂  I was very honored to be tagged for this award.  Thanks Cheryl!! 🙂  Now, it is my job to tag 10 blogs which I find are deserving of the “One Lovely Blog Award“.    These aren’t all necessarily gluten-free, but other blogs that I find informative in one way or another & really enjoy reading.

  1. Angela at Oh She Glows – Angela has some awesome recipes & is a baker that hopes to be making gluten-free bars to add to her bakery very soon.
  2. Andrea at Off Her Cork – Always has fun & nutritious meals to blog about.  I get great ideas from Andrea.
  3. Katrina at Gluten-free Gidget – Very creative gluten-free cook.  Love the new puppy!!
  4. Jay at The Gluten-free Post – Jay has great information on his blog.
  5. Erin at Gluten-free with a Purpose – Erin is always making the most mouth-watering desserts!  I love this week’s “Tuesday with Dorie”….Applesauce Bars/Cake with Frosting
  6. Jenn at Jenn Cuisine – Jenn is an amazing cook & photographer. 
  7. Amy at Simple Sugar & Gluten-free – I love reading Amy’s recipes & learning how to cook without sugar, too.
  8. Ali at The Healthy Hostess – Ali has some great healthy recipes on her site. 
  9. Anna at Anna’s Eats – Anna is new to the blog world & I love reading her posts of what she eats & how she navigates her food world with allergies.
  10. Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom – Heidi always has great, helpful information on her site.  I love the post she just did yesterday….a recipe for Condensed Cream of Tomato soup.

If I have tagged you, you can tag a number of blogs yourself or just simply accept that you have “One Lovely Blog“.  🙂  I enjoy reading them all.


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Happy Birthday Gluten-free is Life!!

August 12, 2009 was the 1st birthday for my blog!!  I have had a great time in the past year writing about all things gluten-free and sharing my experiences with my readers.  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite posts & recipes from the past year with you. 

Most popular posts over the past year:

I look forward to blogging for another fun year!!  In this coming year I have a couple of big events coming up.  I am running my first half marathon in October & if that goes well, I will run a full marathon in May 2010.  I hope to bring lots more gluten-free information to all of my fabulous readers.  If you know of a product or a restaurant that I haven’t reviewed and would like me to, please let me know!  I am always open to suggestions!  🙂 

Most importantly, thank you to all of my readers. 



Also wanted to say a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Gluten-free Homemaker!  Linda is also celebrating 1 year with her gluten-free blog. 


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Fiber One Giveaway Winners

Okay, the time is here!  Are you all excited?  The winners of the Fiber One giveaway by My Blog Spark are:


Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

8	13	10

Timestamp: 2009-08-17 20:49:39 UTC

Elissa who said:

I love chocolate…Reese peanut butter cups are my favorite

Marybeth who said:

My snacking pleasure is: Tastycake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes! Mmmmm

Missy from Missy Maintains who said:

My guilty snack pleasure is cookiesn cream ice cream!!

Congrats to all 3 of you!!  Please email me: with your mailing information. 

Thank you to everyone who entered this contest and to those who read my blog!  🙂 




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Menu Plan August 16, 2009

10 days.  Anyone know what happens in 10 days?  School starts!!!  Yes, the day that has most parents dancing  in the streets and that most kids dread – the beloved first day of school.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my Back-to-School post.  This week has us running around getting things done for school.  Jon picks up his schedule on Tuesday, Hannah has an open house next Sunday.  I am going to try to fit in last pool and Zoo visits and maybe even head someplace to go blueberry picking! 

I bought lots of new, fun produce to cook with this week. Yucca root, red beets (to roast), acorn squash & spaghetti squash. (I have had the last 2 before, but I am doing new things with them). 

Sunday ~ Grilled chicken, baked sweet potato with cinnamon & Fage, fresh green beans & okra and salad

Monday ~ Mexican Pizzas (black beans & avocado for me; ground turkey for the kids), Cilantro/Lime Rice, corn & salad.

Tuesday ~ Honey Baked Lentils in Acorn Squash and large salad

Wednesday ~ Mediterranean Tuna Pasta (recipe to come this week), asparagus & salad

Thursday ~ Chicken Parmesan, quinoa pasta, broccoli & salad

Friday ~ Homemade Bob’s Red Mill mini pizzas (each picks their own toppings), veggies & salad

Saturday ~ Bday party & I have a fun night planned with a friend and some other GF peeps! 

Baked Goods

Pamela’s Bread


Peach Cobbler

Cheryl over at Gluten-Free Goodness is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap & the ingredient of the week is peaches!  I love peaches!!  I like to chop them up for my cereal bowls, top my waffles with them, top my cottage cheese with them, top my Greek yogurt with them.  I really do love them.  I am going to attempt a peach cobbler this week, too! 😉  Thanks for hosting, Cheryl!!

Also, don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for lots more menu plans. 



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Back-to-School: Gluten-Free Style

The new school year is upon us and having a child that has to eat gluten-free makes it all a little more stressful.  Fortunately over the past couple of years, things have become a little easier. 

Jon is entering into 8th grade, his last year in middle school.  How did I get old enough to have a child that is almost in high school?  The nice thing about this age is that there is not the worry of class parties with gluten-filled goodies from home being brought in to be shared.  Every once in a while, they will have a food party of sorts and I will send something in for Jon.  I usually ask him what he prefers.  Sometimes it is just a snack like yogurt or a Think Thin bar.  He doesn’t always have to have the equivalent of what the rest of the kids are having….that doesn’t seem to bother him. 

Even though Jon is well versed on the gluten-free diet and is old enough to explain to his teachers that he can’t eat gluten, I still send out an email at the beginning of the year so that they are all aware.  I not only do this so that they know that he can’t eat certain things if they have them in class, but so that they understand that if he is sick due to a potential incident with gluten, they don’t give him any trouble.  You can find an example of the letter/email that I send here and please feel free to use it and modify it to fit your needs.  Gluten Intolerance Group is another site that has all kinds of publications that may be useful this time of the year. 

Now, onto the fun stuff.  School lunch.  Jon is not the only child in his school with Celiac Disease.  Last year there were 7 or 8 and at least 1 staff member that I was aware of.  Because of this, the cafeteria staff is somewhat aware of the needs of the needs of those on a gluten-free diet.  I have not felt comfortable enough yet to give this route a try, though now that Jon is older, I may let him try it out this year.  I will meet with the head of the cafeteria & base my decision on his/her knowledge & explanation of how they plan to accommodate his needs. 

Packed lunches.  This is what we have been doing for the past few years that Jon has been on the gluten-free diet.  There are several different things that Jon will take for lunch.  Whenever I mention a sandwich, we are using Pamela’s Gluten -free bread mix that I make weekly. 

  • PB & J (I toast the bread, let it cool, then spread each piece with PB and put the jelly on top.  This helps keep the bread from getting soggy from the jelly).
  • Turkey or Ham & cheese
  • Mac & Cheese in the thermos
  • Spaghetti & meat sauce in the thermos
  • Deli roll-ups (roll up cheese in deli meat..could use cream cheese, though Jon doesn’t like it)
  • Pepperoni & cheese (Hormel regular & turkey says “GF” on the package)

Side items

  • yogurt (Yopliat custard style Light says “GF” on the side)
  • chips (we do Lay’s Stax or Lay’s Potato Chips)
  • Blue corn chips & salsa
  • applesauce (I do natural w/ added cinnamon)
  • fresh cut fruit (whatever is in season, though Jon is picky)


  • GF Cookies
  • GF brownies

Other ideas

  • Salads w/ a protein (grilled chicken, steak, salmon, tuna)
  • tuna salad w/ GF crackers
  • Carrots & celery w/PB or AB
  • Cream cheese w/ celery
  • dried fruit
  • fresh fruit
  • Lara Bars, Pure Bars, Kind Bars, Think Thin Bars
  • Greek yogurt + fruit + dried cereal or GF granola
  • Cheese & GF Crackers
  • GF Pasta or quinoa salad (add beans like chickpeas or black beans for protein)
  • Apples or other fruit with PB or AB
  • hard boiled eggs
  • nuts or trail mix
  • fruit leather (Trader Joe’s has a great 100% fruit, no sugar added variety)

There are countless options out there, you just have to get a little creative.  For more fun ideas, visit this site for 30 more school lunch ideas.  They aren’t all GF, but they can be modified to fit your needs. 

Jon does buy milk or yogurt from the cafeteria and as I mentioned above, I hope to be able to give him a little more freedom this year and hope I can get the cooperation from the cafeteria staff. 

I hope that this was helpful to you.  I wish everyone a safe & happy 2009 – 2010 school year!

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Exciting News on the Horizon

As I was surfing the net looking for information on gluten-free flours, I just came across this awesome website by Conagra Mills and their new product Ancient Grains.  Ancient Grains is a new gluten-free flour blend that will soon be available to commercial bakeries & manufacturers!  How exciting is that?  Sadly Ancient Grains won’t be available to buy at your local grocery store, but hopefully in some of the products on those very shelves soon! 

The other day I mentioned Champagne Grapes in my post.  I have been enjoying these numerous ways, but I think my fav, by far, is on my salad.  Here is a picture of the most awesome salad I had the other night:


If that doesn’t just look like Summer, I don’t know what does.  In that salad was:

  • Spring Mix
  • chickpeas
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • pine nuts
  • feta cheese
  • champagne grapes, the star!
  • Light Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing finished this off perfectly & helped bring together all the amazing flavors.



  1. Don’t forget to enter my Fiber One 50 Calorie Yogurt giveaway. 
  2. Green Dog Wine is running a Turtle Mountain giveaway.  Stop by to check it out!!!  Turtle Mountain makes a Coconut Milk PB Swirl Ice Cream that I am dying to try!!  PICK ME, PICK ME!!!!
  3. Back-to-school post should be up by this weekend.  I have been diligently working on this. 😉


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Nature's Path Winner

Thanks to all who entered the Nature’s Path giveaway this week!  If you didn’t win this giveaway, no worries, I am running another giveaway for Fiber One 50 Calorie Yogurt gift bags this week!  There will be 3 winners for this giveaway!!! 

I used the Random Number Generator to choose the winner.



And, the winner is…………….


Stephanie’s comment:  Panda Puffs, the poor (wo)man’s version of Barbara puffins. Mmmm…. would love me some of those.

Congrats to you, Stephanie! 

Stephanie, please email me your mailing information



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