Monday, December 29, 2014

Heart Disease and You

The holidays are typically a merry season where we spend lots of time with family and friends exchanging gifts and tasting delightful treats and just enjoying each other's company in general. It is this time of year that reminds us of how much we are loved and how full and blessed our lives are. Part of what I love so much about the holidays is that it brings family and friends together. The days are easy-going and full of laughter and yearly traditions and games. The nights are spent in front of the fire and lights of the Christmas tree with a warm drink remembering past holidays and adventures from other times in the year and viewing seasonal movies or home videos. Part of being able to enjoy this season year after year with one another is taking care of ourselves and staying healthy. So, while you are together with those you love, take the time to talk to one another about something that affects us all - Heart Disease. Heart Disease kills over 30% of our population every year. 

It is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States. 

All of us know someone affected by heart disease whether it is something as simple as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, or diabetes or something more complicated like a stroke or heart attack. Did you know that 80% of strokes and heart attacks are preventable? Learn statistics to find out if you’re at risk and what you can do to protect your heart and live a longer, healthier life and enjoy more holidays with friends and loved one!

If this image is hard to see click here

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Foster Farms Giveaway winners!

Thank you to all the people who participated in the Foster Farms #gluten-free corn dog giveaway on my Facebook page! I am happy to announce the winners of a coupon for a free box of their very own!

1) Rick N Kimberly A.
2) Meaghan H.
3) Kim F.
4) Susan N.
5) Karen C.

I posted on my Facebook page for the winners to please send me their e-mails so I can have the company contact them for their address for the voucher. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do and they bring back wonderful memories! If you didn't win, please know that the product can be found in multiple different stores nationwide! Here is a list of places to find them:

1) Safeway (Von's, Randalls, Tom Thumb)
2) Kroger (Fry's and Smith's)
3) Raley's
4) Lucky
5) Albertsons
6) Giant Eagle
7) Woodman's
8) Copps/Roundy's
9) Schnucks
10) Food Lion
11) HyVee
12) Marsh

If I didn't name a place in your area, feel free to contact the company at 1-800-255-7227 for help finding a retailer in your area. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Giveaway!!

Recently, I was contacted by the fabulous people over at Foster Farms to trial their new gluten-free corn dogs. I have made corn dogs myself in the past (see recipe here) but it usually take a lot of time and effort. My husband and I used to have Fair food Fridays during the fall where we would make different types of our favorite fair foods that were gluten-free but when I started doing pageants that tradition stopped for awhile. Also, since moving to South Carolina my kitchen isn't as big as my old one, so I have had to downsize some of my cooking utensils and my big fryer went with it.

That being said, when I found out that a well-known company was putting out their own version of a gluten-free and dairy-free corn dog and they wanted to send me samples, I got really excited. Corn dogs are one of those things that reminds me of being a kid when everything was easier. My mother used to treat my sister and I to corn dogs (or cheese dogs, remember those?) at the mall if we behaved. Not the best food for a balanced diet as an adult, I will admit, however, there is just something about the taste of a corn dog that makes me feel like everything will be ok. Occasionally, as a celiac, I need that, don't you?

As part of my excitement and the generosity of the company, they sent me a sample to taste (Check out the picture below) as well as five coupons for a free box of corn dogs if you enter my giveaway! These corn dogs are certified gluten-free by GIG, contain less than 10ppm of gluten per serving, and feature a 100% chicken frank dipped twice in a honey crunchy batter. What's not to love?!

Check my Facebook page to enter. Simply tell me your favorite memory associated with corn dogs or your favorite way to eat them in a comment under the post. You must also like the Foster Farms Facebook page but as soon as you do both things, you're entered!

Winners will be announced Sunday evening!! Good luck!

Monday, January 6, 2014

January Product of the Month

After cooking for what feels like two months straight, I've been looking for some easy yet healthier meals for me and my hubby. On nights when we have both had busy days, I am grateful for Perdue's new gluten-free chicken tenders. They are easy to make, taste great, and don't have any ingredients I have allergies too!

The directions call for cooking them for 10 min but my husband likes them crispier so I flip them after ten minutes in the oven and put them on for ten minutes more. I guess it just depends on your preference. I get them at our local Harris Teeter in Charleston but have also found them at Publix in the Atlanta area.

Alternatively, Tyson has a gluten-free chicken tender as well. However, the Tyson version has soy oil in them so I am unable to eat them. I have also heard through people on my Facebook page that the Tyson ones don't taste as good either so that makes me feel like I'm not missing out. :)

I add a side of two vegetables and/or brown rice for a quick dinner that my husband and I both love. I have also paired these with my Vegan Mac & Cheese which I know can helps appease a picky crowd!

Friday, January 3, 2014

January Recipe of the Month

I promise I didn't intentionally pick a recipe that appears complicated to start of the year. However, this Vegan mac n' cheese, made with a cashew cream sauce, is worth any trouble you may think it may cause. I promise, as long as you have the ingredients and a good food processor, its actually pretty easy! Since I am dairy-free along with being gluten-free, vegan recipes are something I have enjoyed learning how to work with. My older sister [who eats only 5 different foods (actually foods not food groups) like chips, hot dogs, ketchup, bread and ham] loved this recipe so much she requested it for her birthday. My younger sister had no idea there was no actually cheese in it until I told her it was vegan. Then she was really confused that didn't stop her from eating a second helping.

The original recipe that inspired me from called for miso paste (which is a soy derivative) but I am allergic to soy so I omitted it and I don't think it really affected the recipe at all. It also called for truffle oil but since I forgot to buy it (and my sisters would probably hate the flavor anyway) I omitted it as well. So here is my humble version:

Vegan Mac & Cheese


  • package gluten-free macaroni noodles, cooked (I use Tinkyada)
  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 1 + ¾ cups almond milk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt


1) Place cashews in the food processor and finely grind (just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste). Set aside. **I recommend raw chases because the will grind better. If they are roasted already with an oil the sauce may turn out to be a bit grittier**
I then add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and salt in the processor and pulse another time or two until well combined.

2) In a heavy saucepan, combine milk and oil. Bring to a simmer over high heat and then add the cornstarch slowly while stirring. (The original recipe added the cornstarch before heating and it clumped on me the first time so I added it after heating the second time and it thickened perfectly.) After the mix simmers, decrease heat to low heat, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until cornstarch dissolves.

3) Once the cornstarch and milk/oil mixture is heated, add to the food processor (the Ninja has a little opening so you can blend and add at the same time) and pulse or blend to combine well. This is when I add the lemon juice.
Alternately, you can add the dry cashew mix to the saucepan with the wet mix and whisk well. Just don"t forger to add the lemon juice.

4) Once the sauce is combined and smooth add the cashew cheese to the macaroni noodles, and serve.

I added the Perdue gluten-free chicken tenders (which are my product of the month for January) for my sister's birthday meal (because she loves childhood meals like this). I also added a side of steamed broccoli so I could feel a little healthy about it. Neither of my sisters ate any broccoli but my mom and husband appreciated it. Hope you enjoy yours!