Weekly Menu Plan–Thanksgiving Week 2013

Busy week ahead.  The kids are only in school for two days, snow is on the way and my mom arrives tomorrow!  Getting ready for the holiday isn’t just about cooking and/or baking, it involves cleaning.  The quickest way to plow through chores is to divide and conquer.  I wanted to make it fair, so I used my empty Glutino Instant Baking Mix container to hold folded up slips of paper with different chores written on them.

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It’s the luck of the draw!

Monday – Spaghetti with marinara and salad

Tuesday – Pot roast, potatoes, carrots and salad

Wednesday – Leftovers or take-out

Thursday – Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, salad, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and carrot cake

Friday – leftovers

Saturday – Turkey pasta Alfredo and salad

Weekly Recap

Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash Pie

Review: Sam Mill’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

New Holiday products from Glutino & Dr. Lucy’s

Have a great week!


Product Review: PR Bars

Refueling on-the-go is a way of life these days.  In a perfect world we would be able prepare a meal to refuel after every hard workout, but we all know the world is far from perfect.  The next best thing is a bar you can eat on-the-go that is packed full of the important nutrients your body needs.  PR Bars are a tasty, easy way to get those nutrients.


More about PR Bars:

•Provide endurance (optimal energy)
•Perfect ratio of protein, carbs and fat
•Stabilizes blood sugars
•Excellent taste
•Eight different flavors
•The official bar of Team USA

PR Bar is the Official Performance Nutrition Bar Licensee of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team. PR Bars are an all-natural, gluten-free product formulated to sustain energy. Each bar has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat which optimizes performance by controlling blood sugars and using body fat for fuel. Whether you are training for your first Olympic Games or training for your first 5k, let PR Bar help fuel your dreams!

The eight different flavors of PR Bar are:

  • Yogurt Berry
  • Chocolate Peanut
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Iced Brownie
  • Peanut Butter Granola
  • Granola Oatmeal Raisin
  • Apple Pie
  • Double Chocolate

I had the opportunity to taste the Yogurt Berry and Chocolate Peanut PR Bars and really liked them both.  One of the best things about PR Bars is they don’t contain any sugar alcohols!  They taste awesome and have a great texture, too!  The bars do a great job refueling me after my workouts and keeping me full until I can get a full meal. 

PR Bar has generously offered to give Gluten-Free is Life readers a discount on their orders placed on or before November 30, 2013Simply visit the website and enter code: GLUTENFREEISLIFE to receive 15% off of your order. 

*PR Bar provided a free sample of their product for this post. My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own.

Review: Bake Me Happy Gluten-Free Bakery

First, welcome to Hump Day and post #1500 on Gluten-Free is Life!  I would never have imagined when I started writing my blog 5 years ago that I would still be writing today.  Thank you for reading daily, weekly or whenever I get around to posting.

When I was growing up I always thought I would move out of Columbus, Ohio and move to someplace more exciting.  I am not sure where I thought that might be, just that I knew that place wouldn’t be Columbus.  Well, here I am twenty-eight years after first moving to Columbus in 1985.  I did move to Dayton with my mom for a few months, but other than that, I’ve been here. You know what?  I can’t think of any other place I would rather be.  Sure I complain about the cold, but I am sure I would complain about something wherever I was.

Columbus, the capital and largest city in Ohio, has a lot to offer:

In addition to all of those great things, Columbus has some pretty fantastic places to shop and eat gluten-free.  Sure, there are the typical chain stores and restaurants, but it is the local shops that really stand out.

One of those places is Bake Me Happy Gluten-Free Bakery.  On top of a super-cute name, the baked goods are first class.


Bake me Happy offers a wide variety of gluten-free baked goods, including some that you may not have had since going gluten-free.

  • Twinkies <—Yes, I said “Twinkies”
  • Slow Burner Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Gigantic Oatmeal Crème Pies
  • Ham, Cheese & Chive Scones
  • Blueberry Goat Cheese Scones
  • Coconut Almond Mini Chocolate Chip Scones
  • Sugar Cream Pie
  • Chocolate Cream Pie
  • Sour Cream Apple Pie
  • Double Crusted Apple Pie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (Seasonal)

I had the opportunity a few weeks back to meet owner, Wendy Miller Pugh, tour the dedicated gluten-free kitchen and take home some samples.  I am very impressed with the facility and each and every product I tried.

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Sweet & Spicy!

Bake Me Happy products can be found in the following places in Columbus:

They can also be picked up on Thursdays and Fridays at the Bake Me Happy kitchen location at 250 W. Dodridge St., Columbus, Ohio 43202 (and by special appointment).  Please allow 7 days notice for pie ordersEmail Bake Me Happy for more information.

If you live in the Columbus area or happen to be visiting, make sure to add Bake Me Happy to your “must try” list.  Wendy is just as sweet as her baked goods and I think you will quickly fall in love, just as I did.

*The products mentioned in this post were given to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Weekly Menu Plan–November 11, 2013

Before I get started with the menu plan I want to take a moment to thank all who are currently serving and have previously served our country.  I am not only sending thanks to those veterans, but to their families, too. 


Thank you!

Monday – Burgers, baked steak fries and salad

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake and salad

Wednesday – Take-out

Thursday – Grilled chicken salads

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner or take-out

Weekly Recap

Don’t forget to enter to win a stuffing prize package from Rudi’s Gluten-Free…only 3 more days to enter!

Canyon Bakehouse products now in Target Stores

University of Chicago offering free Celiac Disease screening

NFCA Webinar: Holiday Special: Gluten-Free Baking

Udi’s introduces pumpkin muffins

Have a great week!


Rudi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing Giveaway

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so now is the time to start thinking about your meal plan.  Will you make the same dishes you do every year or will you try something new?  For the most part I find that it is fairly simple to make all parts of our Thanksgiving dinner gluten-free, with the exception of the stuffing, rolls and pies.  In the past I have used gluten-free cornbread in my stuffing, but this year I have something even better up my sleeve….Rudi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing!


More about the stuffing:

Rudi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing is an artisan inspired gluten-free stuffing that is perfect to bring to any holiday table for the whole family, gluten-free or not. Made from the bestselling Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain & Original breads and blended with a perfect amount of savory spices, it is a perfect match to any holiday meal.  The stuffing can be prepared in about 5 minutes and is dairy, soy and, of course, gluten-free.  Unlike other Rudi’s Gluten-Free products, our gluten free stuffing is a limited time only program available while supplies last for 2013 holiday season.

The stuffing can be prepared in 5 minutes, as the package says, but I did things a little different.  I used Rudi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing in my stuffing recipe.  This recipe is the one my mom has been making since I was a little kid, so it means a lot to me that I can make it gluten-free.

Savory Sausage Stuffing

1 package Rudi’s Gluten-Free Savory Herb Stuffing

2 cups gluten-free chicken broth

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

8 oz. mild sausage, crumbled & cooked

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter and cook onion and celery over medium heat until translucent. Stir in poultry seasoning. Mix well. Stir in cooked sausage crumbles.

3. Heat chicken broth to boiling, remove from heat and stir in stuffing mix and sausage, celery and onion mix. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer to oven-safe dish, cover and bake for 30 minutes*.

5. Enjoy!

*Stuffing can be stuffed into a turkey as opposed to baking alone in a dish.

Rudi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing can be found in Costco and natural food grocers nationwide!  Remember, this is a limited-run product, so don’t wait to get yours!  Rudi’s Gluten-Free has offered to give one lucky reader a stuffing package worth $90 (pictured below)!


All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below.  Comments must be made on this blog post in order for your entry to count. Continue reading

CPK Gluten-Free = The Real Deal

It is such a relief to sit down in a restaurant and have the entire staff understand what eating gluten-free truly means.  In order to safely offer a gluten-free menu, each and every employee that is involved in the process must be educated about that process.  California Pizza Kitchen has done just that by partnering with the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) to take gluten-free pizza to a whole new level. 

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From the October 16, 2013 press release:

The four gluten-free pizzas are prepared using strict procedures set forth and approved by the GIG, including a certified gluten-free crust and other ingredients verified by California Pizza Kitchen’s suppliers as gluten-free. GIG will also conduct regular site inspections and audits to ensure all guidelines are being met.

“We are excited to expand our product offering to provide delicious and flavorful pizzas to guests who are affected by Celiac Disease or may suffer from gluten sensitivities,” said Brian Sullivan, SVP of Culinary Development for California Pizza Kitchen. “Through this partnership, we can now offer guests the opportunity to dine with confidence and an understanding that we have followed the strict guidelines set forth by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Over the past several months, we’ve unveiled several new initiatives that are all part of the next chapter at California Pizza Kitchen and the addition of our gluten-free pizzas is another great example of the culinary direction in which we are headed.”

The Gluten Free Food Service (GFFS) certification logo, an industry program of GIG, will be displayed on all California Pizza Kitchen menus to indicate the independent verification of quality, integrity and purity of food preparation policies, education and standards. Any of California Pizza Kitchen’s pizzas may be made on a gluten-free crust for an additional $2.00, but due to current kitchen space, only the pizzas listed above can be prepared using GIG’s certified procedures.

“We look forward to partnering with California Pizza Kitchen as the company is committed to maintaining strict policies to ensure that guests are served quality pizzas that meet our gluten-free guidelines,” said Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director, Gluten Intolerance Group.

It is important to note that currently only four CPK pizzas are on the GIG certified menu.  Those pizzas are:

· THE ORIGINAL BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA – Our legendary BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, red onions and cilantro. Add Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon for even more flavor.

· PEPPERONI – A combination of rustic and spicy pepperoni, fresh Mozzarella and wild oregano. Add white truffle oil to incorporate a unique element to America’s favorite pizza.

· MUSHROOM PEPPERONI SAUSAGE – Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, torn basil, Mozzarella and wild oregano.

· MARGHERITA – The classic. Italian tomatoes with fresh Mozzarella, basil and Parmesan.

I have had the new gluten-free pizzas several times over the past few weeks.  I have been really impressed with the staff each time through the entire process.  When the pizza was delivered to the table by the staff member, I was assured that all precautions were taken to prevent cross-contamination.  The first couple of times the edges of the crust were a little crisp, so the next time I ordered, I made sure to mention it to my server so the kitchen staff would keep a close eye on the pizza as it was cooking.   


First visit

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Most recent visit

The pizza came out just perfect!  The server explained that the gluten-free pizzas take a little longer to make, so if they are too close to the center of the pizza oven, the edges may burn.  The pizza didn’t just look perfect, it tasted perfect, too!  Perfect crust, perfect toppings.  I am thrilled with the lengths CPK has gone to for the gluten-free community.  They obviously take “gluten-free” seriously.

Hopefully more establishments will take note and go to the same lengths.  Kudos California Pizza Kitchen…this is the real deal!

Gluten-Free Halloween 2013

Every year around Halloween there is that one candy that the kids just have to have.  It’s all the rage and this year that candy seems to be these Caramel Apple Pops.

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The concern, of course, is are they gluten-free?  Do you see the little circle in the bottom right-hand corner?  It says “peanut-free” and “gluten-free”!  Awesome! I really, really love these companies that clearly label the package “gluten-free”, but always read the ingredient list to double check. 

Keeping track of the gluten-free status of Halloween candy can feel like a full time job.  Thankfully there are websites like MyGlutenFacts.com that update their lists for each big candy season. the 2013 Halloween Candy List can be found here.   

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Holiday Gluten-Free Sampling at Raisin Rack

The holidays are right around the corner.  You can deny it all you want, it won’t stop it from happening.  Instead of dreading the holidays and all of the meals that come along with them, try embracing them.  I have been there…navigating the holidays gluten-free can be challenging, but knowledge is power, right?  Plan and prepare.  Feel empowered. 

Raisin Rack has the largest selection of gluten-free food in Ohio.  Where else can you browse three large aisles of gluten-free products?  I don’t think there is anything they don’t carry! 


The Holiday Sampling takes place this coming Saturday:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

10:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Westerville and Canton stores

If you live in the Canton or Columbus area, make sure to take advantage of this Holiday Sampling day if you can. This is a great way to taste some phenomenal gluten-free products and get ahead of the game.  Gluten-free doesn’t have to be taste-free!

Jules Gluten Free Thanksgiving e-Book

It is almost that time of year again.  The weather is getting colder and the holiday decorations are starting to make their appearances in stores.  Halloween is a short 12 days away, so there is no better time to start planning your Thanksgiving meal. 

Jules Gluten Free has a special deal through Wednesday, October 23, 2013 offering her famous Thanksgiving eBook for free!  The e-Book has been updated for 2013 and contains 29 gluten-free, dairy-free recipes for Thanksgiving meals.  More about the e-Book:

Thousands of people have turned to Jules to help them make their Thanksgiving celebrations their best ever. Whether you’re hosting guests, or are attending someone else’s affair, Jules will reduce your stress and increase your enjoyment.
Jules’ updated and expanded 60-page Gluten-Free Thanksgiving e-Book has 4 pages of holiday tips, a 6-week planning timeline, a page of bread-baking tips and more than 20 delicious, gluten-free recipes that will please both gluten-free and gluten-full eaters alike.
It’s not too early to start planning! Grab your copy of Jules’ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving e-Book today!

Recipes include:

  • Traditional Stuffing
  • Corn Bread Stuffing
  • Turkey & Gravy
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Apple Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • And many more…

Jules is an invaluable person in the gluten-free community and a wonderful all-around person. If you aren’t familiar with Jules, take a few moments to get to know her.

To take advantage of this amazing deal, visit the Jules Gluten Free Deal of the Day page and scroll all the way to the bottom. 

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