Friday Favorite: Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel Topping

November 20th, 2014

As a topping for ice-cream, a drizzle on your favorite pie, or even as a dip for fresh fruit, Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel topping is the perfect gluten-free pantry item to make any dessert extra special.

I love the rich, buttery sweetness of the caramel. And if you are a fan of other types of toppings, no problem! All of Mrs. Richardson’s topping are gluten-free. So take your pick and enjoy not only the Butterscotch Caramel, but also Mrs. Richardson’s Hot Fudge, Butterscotch, Strawberry, Chocolate Lovers or the Fat-Free Caramel or Fat-Free Hot Fudge on top of your favorite dessert.

For all of these yummy reasons, this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Mrs. Richardson’s toppings. Congratulations!

P.S. Check out my Gluten-Free Apple Spice Cake with Creamy Butterscotch Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting using Mrs. Richardson’s … delicious!

Win-It-Wednesday: “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers

November 18th, 2014

If you have a child in your life that has celiac disease there is a perfect book for gifting this Holiday season: “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers.

Explaining celiac disease and the gluten-free diet to kids can be tough. That is why this book is a god-send. This one-of-a-kind book is gracefully & eloquently written by a Mom who has celiac disease. Both the author, Katie Chalmers and her daughter, Morgan, were diagnosed with celiac disease a little over 5 years ago. Since that time they have learned to embrace, and make the best, out of living gluten-free, and they share their experiences and sunny outlook in this kid-friendly book. (Looking for more inspiration? You need to check out Katie’s blog!)

Katie’s book encompasses what celiac disease is and what the gluten free diet requires in language that children can understand, all the while encouraging dialogue for additional questions. A must-have for any child with celiac disease, this book is also a must-read for any elementary school story hour that has child with celiac disease in the classroom… making it also a perfect gift for teachers that they can use year-after-year.

I love that  “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” empathizes the positive, rather than the negative, attributes of a gluten-free diet. However, in no way does this book sugar-coat this disease. Instead “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” puts a positive spin on a serious subject that many children may find difficult to understand and accept.

All these reasons are why I am so very excited that “Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?” by Katie Chalmers is this WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor on BeFreeForMe.com.

A total of two (2) BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win a copy of “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?” One winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, November 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST, and another winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, November 26 and Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?

Easy?

Reply to this blog and let us know who you would give this book too if you won OR how you look at the sunny side of being gluten-free. (Me? I have met so, so, so many awesome people because of my celiac diagnosis, and I also find myself eating more fruits and vegetables which has resulted in discovering local farmers markets and expanding my own backyard garden).

Good luck, Keep the sunny side up… and as always,

Be Free!

P.S. Want to learn more? Follow Katie on Facebook & Twitter and check out her fabulous blog. Want to buy this book for a Holiday gift? Buy it now on Amazon.com.

Friday Favorite: 180 Degrees Trail Mix Crunch Bars

November 13th, 2014

Gotta love a bar with a good crunch! And top that crunch off with a burst of fruit and you have yourself a 180 Degree Trail Mix Crunch Bar.

I love that these gluten-free, kosher, 100% vegan and all natural bars have a totally different texture than any other bar I have tried. They have a really crunchy, call it actually crispy, snap that is surprisingly tasty and perfect for breakfast or snack time. 180 Degree Snacks achieves this perfect crispy crunch by oven baking the bars… delicious!

These bars come in two varieties including, Almond Cashew, and my favorite, Cranberry Pomegranate. 180 Degrees also makes other products including Clusters, Nutty Rice Bites and a Trail Mix Crunch.

Congratulations to 180 Degree Snacks for making a perfectly crispy and crunchy gluten-free bar and for being awarded this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe.com! Cheers!

Friday Favorite: McCormick’s Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning

November 6th, 2014

It’s Taco Night once again in gluten-free households across the country! How about that all my gluten-free amigos?

Thanks to McCormack spices and seasonings all of us gluten-free folks out there can enjoy tacos, burritos, enchiladas and even a gluten-free Grilled Fajita Salad or a Seven Layer Fiesta Dip thanks to the folks over at McCormick.

The new Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning contains natural spices such as chili pepper, cumin, paprika and oregano. It is also free of MSG, and has no artificial flavors. Other new gluten-free items that McCormick makes are Chili Seasoing Mix, and Brown and Turkey Gravies.

So break out those gluten-free taco shells, and fill ‘em up with taco seasoned ground beef and all your favorite gluten-free fixins’! Congrats (and Gracias!) to McCormick for being named this week’s Friday Favorite!

Want to buy now? Check out this link on Amazon.com and take advantage of FREE Super-Saver Shipping!

Win-It-Wednesday: Cabot Creamery Legacy Cheese

November 4th, 2014

GREAT NEWS for all of you Cabot Cheese lovers out there!  Cabot has a new line of cheeses that taste out of this world (and inspired from different parts of the world!)… the Legacy Cheese line.

This yummy trio of cheeses was inspired by century old cheese-making techniques from different parts of the world… in honor of the European roots of the Cabot farmers’ ancestors.  And like all other Cabot cheddars, the cheeses in the new Legacy line are naturally gluten-free and lactose-free.

The Legacy line has three unique and distinctive varieties:

Alpine Cheddar: My personal favorite! A creamy cheddar and nutty Parmesan blend, this cheese has that nutty “crunchy” or slightly granular texture distinctive of cheeses influenced by Swiss & Italian cheese-making traditions. Try one slice and you’ll see why this is my new favorite Cabot cheese variety.  A must have for any cheese board…  also pairs well with sweet Italian Prosecco and a few of your best friends!

Farmhouse Reserve: This Artesian grade cheddar cheese is quintessential New England. Aged for 18 months this New England classic is an Extra Sharp cheddar that is bold and creamy, and a must-try. When I eat this cheese I like to “melt” a bit in my mouth… it’s like tasting a fine wine… flawlessly balanced, well defined and lush. You haven’t tasted cheddar like this before!

White Oak: A classic British style cheddar, the White Oak cheddar has a subtle caramel sweetness with slight oaky hints. Smooth and composed this cheddar is similar to the Cabot’s Clothbound Cheddar with the perfect balance of sharp & smooth. With nutty flavors and aromas, this cheese begs to be used for snacking and in recipes. Oaky & buttery in every bite… What’s not to love?

And please feel free to check out the Cabot Creamery website to find some great recipes, discover all of the gluten-free products they offer (please note that all of the Cabot products are gluten-free with the exception of the spreadable cheddars – due to their sourcing they cannot guarantee these spreadable cheddars are gluten-free. However, all other Cabot products and ingredients have been “researched and verified to be gluten-free and are produced in a gluten-free environment” according to the Cabot website).

All these wonderfully cheesy reasons are why I am so excited that the sponsor of this Win-It-Wednesday is Cabot Creamery!

Four (Yes…4!) lucky winners will each win a prize pack of the new Cabot Legacy items. Two (2) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST, and two (2) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, November 12 and Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 11:59PM EST. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?
Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell which new Cabot Legacy cheese looks the best to you… the creamy & nutty Alpine? The flawlessly balanced Farmhouse Reserve? Or the sharp & smooth White Oak? (I know, I know.. it is so hard to pick!)

Good luck, remember to smile and say “CHEESE!” every single day, and as always,
Be Free!

Want to hear more about Cabot Creamery’s contests, recipes, new products and more? Make sure you sign up to become a Cabot Insider, and also follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Gluten-free Apple Spice Cake with Creamy Butterscotch Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

October 30th, 2014

If you’re looking for a delicious, but easy, made-from-scratch cake that combines all the yummy flavors of the Fall you have to try this Apple Spice Cake that is topped with a creamy Butterscotch Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.

The cake is easy enough, since it is made with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend and applesauce, rather than fresh apples. No need for numerous measurings, peeling, coring and parings.

And the frosting… oh good lord… the yummy frosting. The creamy tartness of the cream cheese, is blended ever so delicately with the sweet Butterscotch Caramel to create a sweet and tangy frosting that is worthy of eating on its own. I made this cake in a tube pan, and was left with an abundance of frosting left over to enjoy by the spoonful (or you can make it in a sheet pan for a more traditional cake.) Any way you bake it or slice it, the result will be true yumminess.

For extra Halloween fun, top the cake with a handful of gluten-free caramel corn. Your goblins will gobble it right up!

Apple Spice Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease the pan and set aside (This cake can be made in a 9” tube pan or sheet pan )

Ingredients:

1 cup of granulated sugar (sifted)

½ cup (one stick) of butter (softened)

1 egg

1¾ cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour blend – sifted, with about 1/8 of a cup set aside

1 cup of golden raisins (or brown raisins if that is what you have on hand)

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup of slightly sweetened apple sauce

¾ cup of walnuts (Slightly crushed. Note:  Easily crush the walnuts by putting them in a ziplock bag and press gently with the back of a serving spoon)

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Slowly add in the sugar and continue to blend until light and fluffy. Next beat in the egg until blended.

In a small bowl, place the raisins and dust with the 1/8 cup of the gluten-free flour blend. Toss to coat. Set aside.

Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and clove to the remainder of the gluten-free baking mix. Slowly add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and beat until well blended. Place the applesauce into a microwave safe bowl and heat about 1 minute in the microwave. Add the apple sauce to the batter, and beat again until just blended.

Next, add the flour-dusted raisins and the nuts into the batter and beat, on low speed, until blended.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Watch cake carefully. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When cool, remove cake from pan and frost with Creamy Butterscotch Caramel Cream Frosting. Top with a drizzle of Butterscotch Caramel Sauce and a sprinkle of Caramel Corn, if desired.

Creamy Butterscotch Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough frosting for a 2-layer cake.

Ingredients:

8-ounces of Cream Cheese or Neuchatel Cheese – softened

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) or butter – softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup of Butterscotch Caramel Sauce /Topping, plus extra for drizzling over the top of the cake once frosted (I used Mrs. Richardson’s which is gluten-free!)

1-pound box of Confectioners’ Sugar (sifted)

Directions:

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and the Butterscotch Caramel sauce continue to beat until well blended. Next slowly add the sifted Confectioners’ Sugar to the mixture and blend, on low speed, until mixed. After all the sugar is blended, put blender on high speed and blend for another 3 minutes.

Friday Favorite: Mediterranean Snacks Hummuz Crackers

October 30th, 2014

Thin, crispy, crunchy and perfect for snacking. Mediterranean Snacks Hummuz Crackers are a shoo-in for this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe.com since they are an all-around perfect crispy snack.

These wafer thin crackers are perfect for dipping into your favorite hummus, dip or spread. Made with chickpeas flour these chips are a good source of protein that are oven-baked to crispy perfection. They are also non-GMO.

The flavors are tasty too: Roasted Garlic, Roasted Red Pepper, and my favorite, Olive Tapenade.

Congratulations to Mediterrean Snacks for being named this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe.com! Grab yourself a handful and enjoy the crunch!

Friday Favorite:Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Apple Blueberry Granola

October 23rd, 2014

Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola is a quick and easy breakfast that is loved by all.

Packed with whole grain gluten-free oats, it is a perfect way to start your day and fill your belly. I love to sprinkle some on top of my favorite yogurt or cultured coconut milk, or even enjoyed traditionally by being poured in a bowl and enjoyed topped with milk and fresh cut fruit.

Another bonus is that this crunchy cereal is easy to find, since it is carried by most major grocery stores.

All of these reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Bob’s Red Mill’s Whole Grain Apple Blueberry Granola – Congratulations!

Win-It-Wednesday: Nouri Bars

October 21st, 2014

I love when the food I eat is good for me. But as an added bonus, it’s also awesome when the food I eat also does good for others.

An example of this? Nouri Bars.

The Nouri brand really raises the bar when it comes to makes healthy, gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO bars… For every bar sold a child in need is fed a hot meal. So this bar is not just wholesomely delicious, but a “socially conscience” snack. Curious to find out more & see how this all works? Make sure you check out this link on their website and find out how buying Nouri Bars can save lives.

And if doing good isn’t enough, these 100% real fruit and nut bars also taste good too. Nouri Bars come in three delicious flavors: Apple Cinnamon Spice (ingredients: organic dates, hemp protein, organic agave nectar, apples, organic cashews, cinnamon, organic vanilla extract); Chocolate & Creamy Cashew (ingredients: organic dates, hemp protein, organic cashews, organic cashew butter, organic agave nectar, dark chocolate chips, organic vanilla powder) and Peanut Butter & Wild Cherry (ingredients: organic dates, organic peanut butter, cherries, peanuts, organic pumpkin seeds, hemp protein, organic vanilla extract, sea salt).

These bars also are made only with organic ingredients and have no preservatives or flavorings.

In a nutshell, these fruity and nutty bars are super-delicious, good for you and good for others. What’s not to love?

All of these reasons are why I am nuts over Nouri Bars as being this week’s Win-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe.com. Two lucky winners will each win a prize pack of Nouri Bars! Yay for us!

One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, October 29 and Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 11:59PM EST. So – make sure you enter to win two times! (And please… only two times!)

How can you win?
Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us what Nouri Bar flavor looks the best to you (Me? Apple Cinnamon Spice) OR tell us a way you “do good” for yourself or for others (Me? Here are two things. For myself: I always have breakfast; and for others: Once the holidays come I vow that when I see a Salvation Army Bell Ringer I’ll contribute all the change in the wallet.)

Good luck, always keep things simple and good… and of course, yummy! And, as always,
Be Free!

Make sure you follow Nouri Bars on Facebook , Twitter & Pinterest!

Friday Favorite: Ian’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Buttons… Allergen-Free!

October 16th, 2014

If you’re looking for a little tiny snack with a big punch reach for a bag of Ian’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Buttons.

These tiny chocolate-packed cookies are perfect for the kiddo’s little fingers or for the big kid’s afternoon snacks.

I also love that you can pop a few of these crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookie Buttons into your mouth and have a tiny bite-sized cookie to satisfy any sweet tooth, without the super-sized calories!

These cookies are also allergy friendly and are now certified peanut free. Each box contains six (6) convenient 1-ounce individual portions which make them perfect for lunch boxes, to sneak into your purse, or for after school snackswhile you’re on the go.

All of these allergen-friendly and tasty reasons are why these Ian’s cute-as-a-button cookies are being awarded this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe.com. Congratulations!


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