Recipe: Chocolate Heath Crunch Cake

I have seen this cake called many different things.  Betty Crocker calls it “Better Than Almost Anything Cake” and has many similar recipes called “Better Than Sex Cake”.  I don’t care what you call it, the cake is awesome!  How can you go wrong with chocolate, caramel & Heath Bars?  Not only was this cake delicious, but it was very easy to make, too.  I had all of the ingredients on-hand except for the caramel sauce.  When I was browsing the topping/dessert sauce section of the grocery store, I went about my business as I usually do – by reading labels.  I had not looked into which sauce I would buy before going to the store because I had been in a hurry.  I figured if worse came to worse, I could call from the store or use my Smartphone to research it.  Imagine my surprise when I was reading the label of the first jar I picked up and it said “gluten-free” right on the front!  Funny thing is that I had scoured the back of the label and was unsure, so turned it around and if it had been a snake it would have bit me!  I love products like this!  The sauce was made by Mrs. Richardson’s and was actually Butterscotch-Caramel as opposed to just caramel.  Sounded good to me, so I went with it. 


***I apologize for the photo quality – I had to take a picture while I could!

Chocolate Heath Crunch Cake

1 box Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Devil’s Food Cake (eggs, water & butter that the box calls for)

12 –17 oz Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel Sauce

1 cup Cool Whip

1/2 bag of crushed Heath Bars (sold by the bag near the chocolate chips)


1.  Bake cake according to directions on the package for an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan.

2.  Once cake has cooled slightly, but is still warm, poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon about 1/2 inch apart across the cake.

3.  Pour butterscotch caramel sauce over the holes & top of the cake.  Once the sauce has absorbed, cool the cake for at least 2 hours.

4.  Top with Cool Whip and crushed Heath Bars.

5.  Serve and enjoy.  Makes 9 – 12 servings, depending on how big or small you make the pieces. 

This cake was a huge hit for dessert on Christmas day.  Not exactly traditional, but may become a tradition.  My step mom’s brother said “Skip baking cookies and just make this again!”.  LOL!  I guess it was good! 



If you haven’t taken the time to enter my thinkThin giveaway yet, click here to get busy! 

Review & Giveaway: thinkThin Crunch Bars

I have always been a fan of thinkThin Bars for Jon.  Not only are they super portable, but they are gluten-free and do a great job of holding him over until he can get his next real meal.  Another bonus, they don’t get smashed in his hockey bag!  The protein bars are great sources of protein with approximately 20 grams of protein, depending on the variety.  The newest product from thinkThin are the Crunch Bars

*Image courtesy of thinkThin

The Crunch Bars come in three different flavors:

  • Mixed Nuts – Ingredients: Peanuts, soy crisps (soy protein isolate, tapioca starch), almonds, chicory root extract, cashews, maltitol, brown rice syrup, honey, soy lecithin, natural flavors, salt. Contains peanuts and soy.
  • Mixed Nuts & Chocolate – Ingredients: peanuts, soy crisps (soy protein isolate, tapioca starch), almonds, coating (maltitol, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, sodium caseinate, dairy oil, soy lecithin, natural flavors, salt), chicory root extract, cashews, maltitol, brown rice syrup, honey, soy lecithin, natural flavors, salt. Contains milk, peanuts and soy.
  • Mixed Nuts & White Chocolate – Ingredients: Taste the nutty flavors of peanuts, almonds and cashews with a hint of honey and covered with delicious white chocolate for a sweet lower sugar treat for the whole family. With 70% less sugar and 80% more protein than leading fruit and nut bars, our crunch bar is a good source of fiber and a naturally delicious snack you can feel good about.

What I liked about the Crunch bars was that they still had a significant amount of protein in each bar.  Not as much as the thinkThin Protein Bars, but more than some of the other fruit & nut bars out there on the market.  Each Crunch bar has 10 grams of protein.  I have been trying to keep an eye on our sugar intake lately as well, and these bars have only 3-4 grams of sugar per bar, which is 70% less than some of the other bars.  Now, I am sure you are wondering how they taste and the answer is fantastic!  I love the crunch of the nuts and the chocolate or white chocolate adds a nice sweet finish to the bar without making it overly sweet. 

The new Crunch Bars can be purchased in stores across the US, on the thinkThin website or on Amazon.comClick here for coupons to use in your local stores. 

Giveaway Information

Three lucky winners will receive a 10-bar box of crunch, 10-bar box of protein and 3 of our bites boxes! All you have to do to enter to win is tell me how you are planning to “think thin” in 2011.  The contest will run until Thursday, December 30, 2010 at midnight

For additional entries, you may complete any or all of the following.  Please leave a comment for each one completed so that I can easily count entries.  ***Multiple entries increase your chance of winning, but you can only win once.  If your name comes up twice, I will choose the next person in line

1.  Follow me on Twitter.

2.  Follow thinkThin on Twitter.

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

4.  “Like” thinkThin on Facebook.

Good luck to you all!! 

Thanks to Rachel at thinkThin for the Crunch bars and for partnering with me to offer this giveaway to my readers.  My bars were provided to me free of charge.  The opinions in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

364 Days Until Christmas

364 Days Until Christmas are the words that just came out of Jon’s mouth.  Seriously?  He was joking, as both he & Hannah had a very nice holiday.  We had all kinds of awesome gluten-free food, including a new cake that I made from a recipe that I found on Live Gluten Freely.  We found a new recipe for Frosted Sugar Cookies that have to be some of the best I have ever tasted. 

The kids got some really fun stuff – Hannah got Just Dance 2 for the Wii and that is a serious workout!  Nothing like having fun and exercising at the same time! 


I think this smile says that someone had a nice Christmas. 


Our menu plan this week will consist of a lot of leftovers and pantry foods, as none of us seem to be able to tear ourselves away from our new toys.  I got a new laptop, which was much needed with as much writing as I do.  Additionally, we have over $150 in Mellow Mushroom gift cards and Jon seems to be addicted to their gluten-free pizza. 

Sunday – Grilled Chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli and salad

Monday – Salmon, basmati rice, asparagus & salad

Tuesday – Mexican pizzas, refried beans, corn & salad

Wednesday –Spaghetti and marinara sauce, eggplant, green beans and salad

Thursday – BBQ chicken breasts, cheesy potatoes, okra & salad

Friday – Pizza and salad

Saturday – Pork & sauerkraut – Happy New Year!


Make sure to stop back by tomorrow for a new giveaway!! 

Crunch Time and a Winner

As a friend just pointed out on Facebook – there are only 2399 minutes until Christmas! ACK! I have been very productive this week and even ended up making some Chocolate Chip Cookies for the kids. I found that it is much more fun to make cookies because I want to as opposed to feeling obligated to by my own ridiculously crazy standards. Hannah and I went to see Santa yesterday and finished up the Christmas shopping. Now I just have to wrap every.single.present and clean. I am fortunate that my mom and step dad will be arriving today. I can foresee my mom and I having a wrapping party that may or may not include some wine. 😉

Before I sign off for my busy day, I do want to announce the winner of the Katz giveaway. Remember that while the giveaway has ended, you can still enter the raffle!! The drawing for this raffle will be on January 3rd, 2011. To enter for this raffle, please enter at the Katz website, not here on my site.

True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 50

And the winner is….

Denise Frankljn
December 18th, 2010 at 8:15 pm
I have never tried this product. I am intrigued!

Congrats Denise!!!! Please email me at with your contact information so that I can pass it along to Katz.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Review: Ian’s Natural Foods Cookie Buttons & Wafer Bites

Ian’s Natural Foods has a wonderful variety of gluten-free (and allergen-free) products on the market. One of the hardest things about starting the gluten-free diet is being a kid and having to start the gluten-free diet. Kids are naturally picky eaters (or many of them are), so finding foods to replace the old standbys can be tough. This is where Ian’s comes in. The products that Ian’s makes are geared towards kids’ taste buds.

Ian’s has a couple of new (or newer) products that I have just been able to sample. Cookie Buttons & Wafer Bites.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Buttons: You’ve never had cookies like Ian’s Wheat-Free/Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Buttons before! These bitty buttons are the perfect addition to your lunch box or soccer bag and come in individual bags that are all your own—and it’s a good thing because you won’t want to share! Plus, they are made without wheat or gluten. So even kids with food allergies can enjoy them! You’ll love the taste, and your mom will love the all-natural ingredients!

Wafer Bites: Perfect family snack or lunchtime treat. Wafers are covered in milk chocolate.

We were really excited to dig into these snacks. I opened the Cookie Buttons first and was immediately reminded of Cookie Crisp cereal! What a flashback! I loved the crunch!! Even Hannah, our non-gluten-free child, loved these!

I had high hopes for the Chocolate Covered Wafer Bites and I am sad to say that I was not impressed. Maybe it was the combination of chocolate & a wafer cookie? I don’t know. The wafer was flavorless and the chocolate had an odd aftertaste. I had several other people (both gluten-free and non-gluten-free) sample these to see what they thought of the bites. They all had pretty much the same opinion that I did.

Ian’s products can be found online at or in stores across the US. Have you tried either of these 2 products from Ian’s? What did you think?

***These products were supplied to me free of charge by Ian’s Natural Foods. The opinions stated in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Permission & a Menu Plan

I am overwhelmed. Big surprise, huh? I haven’t wrapped a single Christmas gift and still have a few odds & ends to pick up. Hannah hasn’t seen Santa yet and it has been snowing the whole month of December and the poor child doesn’t have snow boots that fit. She does have some snazzy, sparkly boots from Justice, but they were obviously designed for looks, not comfort or keeping her little girl feet dry. I haven’t made a single cookie or piece of fudge. I put this enormous amount of pressure on myself to do way more than any human being could handle and then end up disappointed and frustrated when I can’t accomplish it all.

Am I really piling too much on my to-do list or am I not utilizing my time wisely? I honestly believe it is a little of both. How do I solve this and still end up feeling good about what I did accomplish? I have been thinking a lot about this. I have pondered many different scenarios. What is going to happen if I don’t make Christmas cookies or fudge? I can tell you one thing, Aaron won’t get mad that we have multiple different kinds of cookies stuffed in our extra freezer for the next 6 months. Will I miss my favorites? Yes, but I’ll have to accept the fact that it isn’t always possible to have everything that I want. I have what I need. I am going to give myself permission to not try to “do it all” over the next 2 weeks. I am going to concentrate on spending time with my family, wrapping presents and getting the things done that really need to be done, such as taking my daughter to see Santa and buying her some snow boots, not the things that would make me appear more Martha Stewart-like.

After I gave myself permission to knock a bunch of items off of the to-do list that is in my head, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt like I had given myself a gift – the gift of time. Time to do what I need to get done and a little left over to relax. It is true that I work well under pressure, but I don’t like how that makes me feel.

Fortunately I have a pumpkin pie in the freezer that I made at Thanksgiving time. My recipe makes 2 pies and there was no reason that we needed 2 at Thanksgiving, so in the freezer it went! For Christmas day dessert, I am using a new recipe that I found on Live Gluten Freely that uses the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Devil’s Food Cake. I will make sure to let you all know how that turns out. I am simplifying my meal plan this week and enjoying the ride.

Sunday – Holiday dinner with girlfriends

Monday – Spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans and salad

Tuesday -Taco Tuesday

Wednesday-Burgers, baked potatoes, asparagus & salad

Thursday-Pizza and salad (and that pizza may just come from Mellow Mushroom 😉 )

Friday-Ham, brown rice, baked potatoes, carrots, broccoli, salad, pumpkin pie

Saturday – Christmas dinner at my Dad’s house


Sending out a big CONGRATS to Anna – Anna won my Gluten-free Holiday Giveaway Galore.

Want to enter a fun giveaway from Katz? Click here for more information.

Discounts being offered by Around the World Gourmet.

Gluten-free foods becoming more abundant in stores.

Katz Grand Raffle and a Giveaway

I was very excited to be contacted by Shmully of Katz Gluten Free a few weeks back to see if I was interested in sampling a couple of their new products. I almost jumped out of my chair! Of course I wanted to sample the Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes and the Vanilla Rugelach. In addition to the two new products, Shmully was kind enough to send me any 2 of their products that I chose. I opted for the Oat Challah Rolls and the Marble Cake.

**Images courtesy of Katz Gluten Free

The cupcakes disappeared so fast that I didn’t have a chance to snap a picture! They were quite possibly the best cupcakes ever!!! Chocolate cupcakes frosted with chocolate frosting dusted with sprinkles – YUM! Even my non-gluten-free daughter raved about these! I think that the price point is very reasonable at under $6 for 6 cupcakes. Great to keep in the freezer for school functions or to pack along for a picnic.

The Vanilla Rugelach did not disappoint. We are huge fans of the cinnamon and the chocolate varieties as well. These remind me a lot of the Polish pastries, kolache (I am sure I spelled that wrong 😉 ).

Want to order some Katz Gluten Free goodies? Now is the time to get those orders in – there is free shipping on all orders over $30! What a great time to stock up!

As they did over the summer, Katz will have a Grand Raffle which everyone is able to join! The Grand Prize will be a huge box, containing one of each product Katz has!! The drawing for this raffle will be on January 3rd, 2011, on To enter for this raffle, please enter at the Katz website, not here on my site. 🙂 I am going to do a giveaway below, but it is not for the Grand Raffle. To keep up with Katz, make sure to follow them on Facebook & Twitter.

Ready for some more fun now? Katz would also like to offer their scrumptious Sample Pack for my readers. How cool is that? All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me if you have tried any of Katz Gluten Free products before. If so, which one is your favorite? If you wish to do any of the following, you will earn one extra entry for each option completed and comment left. Leave a comment for each one you complete.

1. Follow me on Twitter.

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

3. Subscribe to Gluten-free is Life emails.

My giveaway will end on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at midnight. Good luck!!!

****Products were supplied to me free of charge. My opinions and comments are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Shrimp Tacos & Such

The other night I was running around in circles. I had to unexpectedly take Jon back to the doctor (love The Little Clinic at Kroger), pick up Hannah’s friend, take them both to gymnastics, go get Jon’s prescription filled, grocery shop, pick Hannah and her friend up, take said friend home, come home and unload groceries. I didn’t even get a chance to think about feeding myself until after 9:00 PM. After taking one look at my tired & frustrated face, my amazing husband offered to cook some shrimp for me! I took him up on that and went to work brainstorming about what I could do with my shrimp.

I finally decided on Shrimp Tacos. I have been thinking about them for a while and that was the perfect night to put the plan into action. I already had some sautéed kale in the refrigerator, so all I had to do was heat up the corn tortillas and cut up some lime & avocado.

Aaron sautéed the shrimp in some basil infused olive oil from Lucini. When the shrimp were finished, I went to work assembling my tacos. Corn tortilla, sautéed kale, shrimp & avocado. Squeezed a little lime juice on top and paired with a salad. Super simple and fantastic!!! I wish I would have taken a picture to show you all, but I was so tired and cranky, it was all I could to do get that food into my stomach.

***picture courtesy of Lucini

I reviewed several products from Lucini earlier this year. They have some very unique products, such as the Cinque e Cinque mix. Definitely worth taking a glance at.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Snowy Menu Plan

While we don’t seem to be getting as much snow as some places in the Midwest, we are getting enough. It began raining last night and wasn’t supposed to turn over to snow until noon today. Guess what, they were wrong. We noticed the change between 9:00 and 10:00 AM this morning. Now our backyard looks like a winter wonderland. They are predicting 1-3 inches, but at the time I posted this, we are already over that and the storm isn’t supposed to end for 12+ hours yet.


Along with snow and cold weather comes illness. Jon was the innocent victim this past week with a sore, headache and cough. He is still fighting it. I took him to the Minute Clinic earlier this week to make sure it wasn’t strep. He just has a nasty virus. Poor kid! He did manage to play hockey this weekend, sick, and they won all 3 games. They are now 4 and 0 in their season!

Since I didn’t hit the grocery store today, I will me be creating meals from the pantry & freezer this week. I did have Aaron pick up some milk and fresh produce yesterday, but we skipped the weekly trip today. I have been in my jammies all day and I am loving it!

Sunday – Shrimp, kale & Schar pasta with salad

Monday – Steelhead trout, coconut brown rice, green beans & salad

Tuesday -Taco Tuesday – salads or Mexican pizzas this week

Wednesday -BBQ chicken breasts, baked potatoes, broccoli & salad

Thursday -Dinner out with a friend/leftovers for the family

Friday -Pizza (make your own pizza) night & salad

Saturday -Breakfast for dinner

Baked Goods

Christmas cookies


Don’t forget to enter the Gluten-Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x 10!! Only 2 more days!!


Weekly Recap:

Gluten-free Weight Loss Webinar

My favorite Chebe products.

Schar cookie review.

Gluten Free Deals

Gluten-Free Food becoming more abundant in local stores.

Holiday Baking Company offers Christmas menu.

Weird Combinations

Do you ever put certain foods together that other people would cringe at? I used to have all kind of interesting combos when I was a kid: my Grandmas meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy & peas all mixed up and chili and mashed potatoes topped with cheese are just a couple that stand out in my head. My sister still eats one of her childhood favorite combinations – Doritos and applesauce. I don’t think I have ever tried that, or not that I recall. I may have blocked it out. LOL! Anyway, I don’t judge, as to each his own.

The other day I was craving a tuna melt. I meandered into the kitchen and started to pull out the ingredients to create my meal and realized I had no base for the melt. I had run out of my Food for Life English Muffins and Trader Joe’s French Rolls. Clearly I was slacking in the gluten-free grocery department or eating too many carbs – maybe a little of both. I began to brainstorm about what I could use for the base. Did I want to bake? Not really. I just wanted to eat. I spotted my corn tortillas in the refrigerator and a light bulb went on – tuna melt tostadas! This turned out so good that I may be using this as a new standby in my lunch line up!


This turned out even better than I thought it would! I would absolutely make this again in a heartbeat!

Tuna Melt Tostadas

2 corn tortillas (most are gluten-free, but please double check the label to make sure)

Cooking spray

1 single serving pouch of tuna (I used the 2.5 ounce Bumble Bee)

1-2 tsp Hellman’s Canola Mayo (says “gluten-free” on the jar)

1 tsp sweet pickle relish (I used Meijer – says “GF” on the jar)

1 squirt French’s Spicy Mustard (Trader Joe’s is good, too)

Cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 – 400 degrees.

2. Combine tuna, mayo, relish and mustard. Set aside.

3. Place corn tortillas on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spray tops of corn tortillas with cooking spray.

4. Bake tortillas until they start to brown & get crisp.

5. Top tortillas with tuna mixture and cheddar cheese. Broil until warm & melty.

6. Enjoy!

You can mix things up and add other ingredients to your tuna mix – celery, Sriracha, Red Hot, etc. Be creative!


What is the weirdest food combination you have ever tried? Do you have one that you eat on a regular basis?


If you haven’t already entered the giveaway that I am hosting along with 9 other bloggers, make sure to do that now! Click here for more info.

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