Thursday, January 28, 2010

Product Review: Cherrybrook Kitchen Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

I was hoping these cookies would make a good travel snack or a snack to send to nursery/preschool with the kids. No good. They are way too hard and the kids can't really eat them without milk. (My kids can't anyway--older kids should be fine). They taste pretty good and stay together well though. My only real criticism is the hardness. Buy them for your 6 year old but not your 3 year old. They also have soy lecithin so be cautious of that if your children have problems withs soy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Have a Gluten-Free Big Mac in the United States

Lately I have been craving the taste of a McDonald's Big Mac. Strange, I know. You'd be amazed at the kinds of things you crave after living your whole life eating whatever you want and then suddenly having to restrict your diet significantly. So I finally broke down and found a way to satisfy my craving. (It was expensive and probably a one-time deal, but I thought I'd share it anyway).

First, I found some Schar Classic White Rolls in my local Wal-Mart (only one of our two Wal-Marts have a gluten-free section). I took them to the McDonald's across the street and asked them to make me a Big Mac using my own bread. The manager was happy to comply and used three rolls to make 2 burgers.

Here is my suggestion--because gluten-free breads are more dry and fall apart more easily than regular breads, use less bread. It was better when I just used one roll and left out the middle portion of the bun. Also, ask them for extra sauce to offset the dryness of the roll. With those small suggestions it made a perfect Big Mac! I was quite pleased with the result.

As for my review of the rolls, I would say if you are craving the rolls you used to eat at your favorite restaurant--these will not satisfy. They are too dry and too thick for that. However, if you are craving a burger, chicken salad sandwich, or other item that you typically put condiments on it is an excellent choice. It stays together well enough and tastes pretty good.

Ingredients: water, corn starch, rice flour, palm oil, sugar, guar gum, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lupine protein, yeast, salt, psyllium seed husk (vegetable fiber), diacetyltartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of edible fats

(May contain egg and soy)

Schar Pizza Crusts

This was $8 for two pizza crusts. It's a little pricey, but not nearly as pricey as paying $15 for the same size of pizza (but only one) at Pier 49. I crave pizza on a regular basis and this is a quick and tasty alternative to eating out. I have really been impressed with the quality of gluten-free products that are becoming available! Bon Apetite!

(Unfortunately it does have milk so my son can't eat it--but my daughter and I can).

Ingredients: water, corn starch, rice flour, potato starch, glucose syrup, yeast, guar gum, mono- and diglycerides of edible fats, potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, glucose, whey protein, salt, tartaric acid, citric acid

Kinnikinnick S'moreables Graham Style Crackers

These crackers get five stars in my book! They are a pretty good imitation of what graham crackers really taste like--and they actually taste really good. There is no strange texture or chalky rice-flour taste in them. They are sweet and tasty and were a big hit with my kids! I am so excited to be able to bring these along on our family camping trips so Barrett (and I) will no longer be left out of the Smore tradition. Another bonus is I now have the means to make my own "graham cracker" pie crust!

Ingredients: Pea starch, non hydrogenated shortening(palm fruit and/or canola), potato starch, brown rice flour, brown sugar,sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, water, rice bran, sugar, blackstrap molasses, honey, glucose,vanilla, salt, sodium bicarbonate, pea protein, pea fibre,guar gum, inulin, soy lecithin, mono calcium phosphate(May contain traces of eggs and tree nuts).