Gluten-Free Bisquick Prize Pack Giveaway

I know there are a lot of you out there that have been waiting to get your hands on the brand spanking new Gluten-Free Bisquick. Well, I have some good news for you all – together with Bisquick & MyBlogSpark, I am offering up a super cool prize package that includes a box of the Gluten-Free Bisquick.

bisquick gf packaging

There are so many recipes on the Gluten-Free Bisquick site! Strawberry Shortcake, French Apple Pie, Pizza Crust and more. Of course you can make pancakes, too, and that is what this prize package is all about. For more information on how to use GF Bisquick, make sure to “Like” Bisquick on Facebook. Tips & tricks for cooking & baking with GF Bisquick can also be found here.

bisquick-4 web

Not only can you make mini-pancakes with the cast iron pan (called a Swedish Platt Pan), but you can make your own designs with the pancake pen! The Swedish Platt Pan is used to make tasty Scandinavian Pancakes. The recipe will be included with your prize package. And I don’t know about you, but I love spatulas like this. There is a place for a wider spatula and monster pancakes or pizzas are it!

I bet you want to know what you have to do to win this package now, right? Just follow the simple steps below. Only the first comment is mandatory to enter. Each additional step you complete earns you an additional entry! Ready?

1. If you win, what would you make with the Gluten-Free Bisquick?

2. “Like” Gluten-Free is Life on Facebook.

3. Tweet about this giveaway making sure to include “@kbouldin” and “#myblogspark”

4. Share on your blog or Facebook page and then post a link.

This giveaway will run through Sunday, October 3, 2010 at midnight. Good luck!!!

Click here to print a coupon for $1.00 off any Bisquick product.

**I received the prize package above courtesy of Bisquick & MyBlogSpark free of charge.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

When I got my October 2010 issue of Cooking Light in the mail this month, I stopped in my tracks as I drooled over the Peanut Butter Banana Bread on the front cover. I knew right then & there that I would have to make that bread – and soon. Peanut butter & bananas are a classic combination. Elvis loved peanut butter & banana sandwiches, so I have no doubt that this bread would be a favorite of his.


One of the reasons that I love Cooking Light is that they take decadent foods and make them healthier. Some people get scared when they hear the words “healthy” and “food” together in the same sentence. Healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring food. As I often preach about the gluten-free diet – a diet is what you make it. There are so many wonderful, healthy foods out there; sometimes we just need to take our blinders off to find & experience them.

This recipe is so simple! With roughly 200 calories, 4.7g protein, 7.4g fat and almost 2g fiber per slice (16 slices per loaf), pair this with a bowl or a piece of fruit and an egg or egg white and you have a nice start to your day.

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups) (I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Cooking spray

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk (I used skim, but almond milk should work just fine)
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 bread pan with Pam.

2. Measure out flour (using a kitchen scale is key), flaxseed, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all spice. Combine in a bowl & set aside. Chop peanuts and set aside.

3. Mix first five ingredients together with a mixer on medium speed. Add sugars & blend well.

4. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Stir in peanuts.

5. Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes or so. Toothpick should come out clean. Oven temperature is key here – if you don’t have a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside your oven, consider buying one. It will be the best $10 you ever spend. I found out that my new oven was 25 degrees off. Now I can adjust and not over or under cook anything.

6. The original directions say to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack & then remove the bread from the pan. Being the rebel that I am (Ok, maybe I just forgot), I let my bread cool completely & then removed it from the pan. This worked just fine for me. I didn’t even need to run a knife along side of the edges.

7. Combine the powdered sugar, milk & peanut butter in a bowl with a whisk until smooth; drizzle over the bread.

8. Hide Serve bread.

This is the link to the original, non-gluten-free recipe.

This recipe completely exceeded my expectations. I love peanut butter and I love bananas, but I had no idea that this bread would leave me drooling for more. The only thing that could make this bread better? Chocolate. Either dark chocolate chips or maybe even a dark chocolate peanut butter glaze instead of just using peanut butter in the glaze. I bet that Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa would be an excellent addition to that glaze!

Warning: Lipton Onion Soup Mix

As I have mentioned many times in the past, it is imperative to diligently check labels on every product you buy. It doesn’t matter if you have been buying this product for the last 10 years and it has been gluten-free that whole time. The fact of the matter is that ingredients change. Manufacturer’s change suppliers or formulations to make their products better and inadvertently make a gluten-free product no longer gluten-free.

Case in point – Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix. This product has been gluten-free for at least the past 4.5+ years, but as Tiffany Janes mentions here, they have reformulated the product and it now contains barley. The barley is clearly marked on the package, so just be sure to check the label. As Tiffany mentions, there may still be old products out there that are gluten-free, just be cautious. If you are now left in a bind, check out this copycat recipe that you can make at home.

I know that I have been lax on more than one occasion when I have been in a hurry. I do always check when opening a product, but not always when I purchase it. So far I have been lucky and haven’t had to make any return trips back to the grocery store.

Weekly Menu Plan & Addictions

I think I have a problem and it has to do with pumpkin. I have had 3 pumpkin lattes from Caribou this week. I purchased and sampled Woodchuck’s new pumpkin cider. If this keeps up, I may need an intervention. I haven’t even started on the pumpkin baking yet! LOL!

I am vowing to make 80% of my menus this week. Last week I failed miserably. The week turned crazy and I got cranky. Cranky, crazy mom does not cook well. Fortunately I had some gluten-free convenience food samples that we needed to try to help me through. Watch for those reviews in the next week.

Here we go…

Sunday – Rotisserie Chicken, sugar snap peas, sweet potatoes & salad

Monday -Fish Fry, baked fries, broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Mexican night – Chicken Nachos or Mexican Pizzas, corn & salad

Wednesday – Bourbon chicken, zucchini, brown rice & salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner, fruit & toast

Friday – Pizza night!

Saturday – Leftovers (we will be painting several rooms, so I will be in no mood to cook)

Baked Goods

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Pumpkin something


Week in Review:

Joan’s GF Great Bakes is running a special.

Gluten-free Fall – fun recipe!

Book review: “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?”

There was a recall on pork sausage for undeclared wheat.

Franklin Park Conservatory is offering a gluten-free cooking class.

King Arthur Products are now in Meijer stores.

Heidi makes gluten-free mozzarella sticks!

If you happened to miss the webinar last week “The Gluten-Free Effect on Athletes”, you can now view it here.

Review: Glutino Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Back in May I had the opportunity to sample Glutino’s Chocolate Covered Pretzels. I was in heaven! Since then, I have been coveting the yogurt covered version, but have not been able to find them locally yet. I know that several online venues sell them, however, the shipping cost seems really high to ship pretzels. As I mentioned in my review, it is $12 to ship 2 bags of pretzels.

Glutino has been around since 1983 when it expanded it’s presence in the USA’s gluten-free food industry. Glutino acquired “Gluten-free Pantry” in 2005 and the company’s products can be found in stores across the US. Glutino’s mission statement:


The Glutino & Gluten-Free Pantry Mission is to provide a healthy lifestyle to all those with Celiac Disease and those who follow a gluten-free / wheat-free diet.

Glutino & Gluten-Free Pantry are the two brands of gluten-free foods made with the goodness of home. You can trust Glutino & Gluten-Free Pantry to use quality gluten-free ingredients, so your family can enjoy great tasting 100% gluten-free meals that fit today’s busy lifestyles.

We are sensitive to the often over-looked population of allergy sufferers and cater to their needs for healthy, delicious products.

Keys to Glutino & Gluten-Free Pantry:

Quality, Service, Trust, and Variety

When I received the yogurt covered pretzels, I dove right in. I didn’t stop to take pictures – I had lost my mind! They were melty from the summer heat, so I tossed them in to the refrigerator and stood right outside the door thinking that might speed up the solidifying of the yogurt. A few minutes later, I couldn’t take it, I tore into the refrigerator to claim my treat. I was not disappointed. The balance of sweet & salty was like a well choreographed dance in my mouth. It was unfortunate that I had to share this bag, but I knew that I couldn’t sing the praises if I didn’t share the love. After serving these to non-gluten-free people, as well as Jon, it was decided that we need to find a local store to carry these, STAT!

The Glutino chocolate & yogurt covered pretzels can be purchased on or in some stores across the US. I have yet to see them here in Columbus and I have been looking. I feel like a nut job scour the aisles for these pretzels. Can you imagine how hard it will be to contain my excitement when I do find them? I sure hope there is no hidden video footage of that anywhere.  Editing to add that I was just informed that these pretzels should be available at the Columbus Whole Foods locations by the end of the month!

Anne Steib, another blogger from, shared her opinion of the Glutino pretzels here.

Weekly Menu Plan, Pumpkin Lattes & Winners

Busy day today at the GFIL household. Kids are out of school (Fair day/curriculum day). I love that they make up days and reasons to have a 3-day weekend. You don’t see that happening in the middle of the week.

I got a chance to try the pumpkin latte from Caribou Coffee yesterday and it was nothing short of spectacular!! Even better than that place that starts with an “S”, ends with a “S” and has “tarbuck” in the middle. Now I need to make sure not to overdo the pumpkin lattes! HA!! They also have a white mocha pumpkin latte. OMG……if you have a Caribou near you (haha, that rhymes), GO!!

Now, on with the plan…

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, roasted sweet dumpling squash, broccoli & salad

Monday -Fish Fry, baked sweet potato fries, green beans & salad

Tuesday – Taco salads with black beans & corn

Wednesday – Grilled chicken stir fry with zucchini, peppers & mushrooms and salad

Thursday -Turkey burgers, baked potatoes, roasted carrots & salad

Friday -Pizza and salad

Saturday -leftovers

Baked Goods

Cookies of some sort

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin blondies


The winner of my Hometown Seeds contest is…….

September 18th, 2010 at 11:03 am
I “like” you on Facebook – Diane Bennett Bramos. Thank you!! This looks great!!

Congrats Diane!!! Please send me your information so I can get it over to Hometown Seeds. 🙂

Thank you to all who entered!!


23rd Annual Celiac Conference in Columbus on October 30, 2010.

P.F. Chang’s adds a new dessert to their amazing GF menu!

Molly Woo’s continues to impress with gluten-free dishes.

Gluten-free grocery shopping on can help cut down those high costs.

Clean Cravings product review. This pizza is amazing!

Caribou Saves the Day and a Winner

Have I ever told you all how much I love Caribou Coffee? Not only do they have a rockin’ cold pressed iced coffee, but the baristas are some of the nicest out there. After pouting about Starbucks and my pumpkin spice latte, I found that Caribou had one on their menu, so I sent an email to check the gluten-free status. Let me share the email that made my day yesterday:


Thanks so much for your email!

All of our flavor syrups (including pumpkin), coffee (including espresso) and milk are gluten free, so enjoy the pumpkin latte!

I hope this helps and please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.
Thanks and have a great day!

Caribou Coffee Customer Relations

AHHHHHHHHHH!!! THANK YOU, Caribou!!! Thank you for making my day. 🙂 I see a PL in my very near future. In fact, I may have to make a detour at some point today to get one.


Now, onto the winner of the Ian’s Giveaway. Thank you to all who entered. Now, without further delay, the winner is…..

September 9th, 2010 at 9:05 am
I like GFisL on FB

CONGRATS!!! Please send me an email at with your contact information so I can forward it to Ian’s.


Didn’t win this giveaway? No worries, you can enter my current giveaway for a kitchen sprouter or another fun giveaway coming up next week.

Have a great weekend!!

Starbucks Pumpkin Latte Update

As suggested in my Pumpkin Spice Latte Fans Beware post, I emailed Starbucks to get the ingredient list from the pumpkin spice syrups. This is the response that I received:

Hello Kim,

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

Our Pumpkin Spice Syrup that is used in the ‘regular’ and ‘skinny’ drinks contains the following:


Sugar, Condensed Nonfat Milk, Sweetened Condensed Nonfat Milk, Annatto (E160b, Colour), Natural and Artificial Flavours, Caramel Colour (E150D), Salt, Potassium Sorbate (E202, a preservative).


A little additional information that may be helpful or neat is that one pump of syrup contains approximately 20 calories.


I hope that I have been able to provide you with some useful information.


If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.

Warm Regards,

Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)

All in all, the only ingredient that I see that could contain gluten would be the “Natural & Artificial Flavors”. While wheat is required to be called out on labels by law, rye, barley & oats are not. It is not likely that the flavoring contains rye or oats, but it certainly could contain barley malt flavoring. My opinion is that it is not likely that the ingredients have changed and this product has been gluten-free in the past. Does that mean I am going to drink one or say that I think it is safe for others on the gluten-free diet to drink one? No.

On my last post Jenn suggested a way to make these at home.

Well, you can always make your own Probably healthier that way too! I don’t think they are very complicated to make, as long as you can make a homemade latte. I think all you have to add in to a standard latte is some pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice etc.), and then sweetener of your choice – you should be able to do a pretty decent copy cat at home where you can make sure of its gluten-free ness

I am lazy when it comes to this stuff, but I guess it will all depend on how bad I want a PSL! Another option would be the pumpkin spice creamers made by International Delight and Coffee-Mate. New England flavored coffees are gluten-free and have a pumpkin spice version, in addition to a couple of other great fall flavors. Caribou Coffee has a pumpkin latte on their menu right now. I have an email out to them to verify the gluten-free status. I will make sure to update with that information when I get it. I have a feeling that it is gluten-free, but want to make sure before I try it out.

Hometown Seeds Review & Giveaway

Recently I had the opportunity to review a really cool product. Linda, from Hometown Seeds, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in trying out a sprouter. I loved the idea of this! How cool would it be to grow sprouts in my kitchen?

logo-hometown copy

I received a 3-Tray Kitchen Sprouter and organic alfalfa seeds. I read over the instructions and found that I should be able to grow these without killing them. I have a horrible track record when it comes to plants, just ask my mother-in-law (Hi Mary!). I spread the seeds out, as directed, on the 3 trays and then stacked them up like a tower. I added water twice a day to the tray on top and watched it slowly drain down through the trays. Hannah really enjoyed watching this whole process. This would be a really cool activity for elementary school classes, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts to try! The sprouts only took approximately 4 days to get to this stage.


Look – I did it!!!


We really enjoyed eating these on our sandwiches, wraps & salads! The kids weren’t crazy about them, but I am just happy they tried them. I loved knowing exactly where these sprouts came from – my own kitchen. I didn’t have to worry about any chemicals or contamination that could have occurred during the growing or processing stages. I love the GMO statement from Hometown:

Hometown’s Safe Seed Pledge

Seeds are the core of our business and vital to life on our planet. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. We pledge that we will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds. We are not confident in the safety of GMO seeds and therefore will not sell them to our valued customers. We believe they are being released for public use prematurely. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds.

Hometown Seeds sells vegetable, flower, and herb seed packets, focusing on small quantity home gardeners. There is a wealth of information on their site about the gardening process (something I really should read through thoroughly for future gardening attempts). The seeds can be purchased securely on their online store.

Now, the fun part – Hometown Seeds has offered to give 1 lucky reader a 3-Tray Kitchen Sprouter and packet of organic alfalfa sprout seeds!

Here is what you need to do to enter. You can enter up to 3 times, but must leave a comment for each entry:

1. Visit the Hometown Seeds website & tell me what seeds you would buy.

2. Follow me on Twitter.

3. “Like” Gluten-free is Life on Facebook.

The giveaway will run until Midnight on Sunday. I will announce the winner on Monday. Good luck!!

**In the spirit of full disclosure, I received the products mentioned above free of charge from Hometown Seeds. The opinions voiced in this blog are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything. Click here to read my full disclosure statement.


Sorry that I have been MIA the past few days. Allergies have gotten the best of me, but I believe that I have it all under control. I invested about $30 at Walmart in 2 new (to me) products.



I had been depending on Zyrtec to help me out, however, I could not function in the zombie-like state that it put me in. Enter Neti Pot & Allergen Block. I chose both products for a couple of reasons. First, they were both recommended to me by other people that I trust. Second, neither contained any gluten or medication that could cause any nasty side effects!

I was really creeped out by the thought of using the Neti Pot, but desperate times call for measures. I put on my big girl panties and ventured into the bathroom to use the Neti Pot. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared that it would be. It was no worse than learning to breath properly while swimming. 😉 The result? WOW!! I was shocked at how much clearer my head was! Not only that day, but for several days after. The box recommends using 1 – 2 times per day, which I haven’t done yet, but am working on. It has been about 4-5 days and I am definitely seeing the need to repeat this. The most important piece of information I have to share – do not ever use plain water with the Neti Pot. Make sure to use the enclosed solution in the water. This cost me just under $13 at Walmart. Click here for a $2 off coupon on a NeilMed Neti Pot.

I had never heard of the Chloraseptic Allergen Block until my friend Lisa, of Lisa’s Blogety Blog, mentioned it. I have to admit that I was skeptical, but desperate. I believe that we have another winner! I have been using this in combination with my Claritin, Zaditor and Flonase with decent results. It is really easy to use, just rub a pea size dot of the gel between 2 fingers and then rub on the outside of your nostrils & then between your top lip & nostrils. This can be used every 4 – 6 hours. How does this stuff work? Here is some information from the website:

How does Chloraseptic™ Allergen Block work?
Allergen Block works by helping to block airborne allergens before they enter the nose, so your body does not have to fight them once inside your upper respiratory system.

Why do we care if allergens have positive or negative charges?
Opposite charges attract. The Chloraseptic™ Allergen Block gel carries a charge which is opposite the charge that an airborne allergen carries. Since opposite charges attract, Chloraseptic™ Allergen Block acts like a magnet and helps to trap the oppositely charged allergens on contact, much like an air filtration system works.

So, there you have it. The Allergen Block cost me just under $15 at Walmart.

Make sure to stop by tomorrow – I have another super cool giveaway starting up! Also, there are only 2 days left to enter my Ian’s Giveaway, so make sure to head on over & enter!

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