Monday, October 29, 2012

Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes

What else am I going to do being stuck inside all day due to Hurricane Sandy's arrival...BAKE, bake and bake!  In the event we loose electricity I would like to have some homemade sweets lurking.  So yesterday while waiting on a 45 minute grocery check-out line I grabbed a Betty Crocker Devil's Food chocolate cake GF mix and two boxes of confections sugar and figured that would definitely do.

Although...I like to make my own icing-nothing store bought because it gets soft and it tastes so artificial, so I (uh oh, lights just flickered big time-that made me nervous)! to make Magnolia's recipe for Buttercream icing.

I added some brown food coloring to get a toffee color for the icing and I added Glutino's GF Chocolate Wafer cookies as well as Mi-Del's sugary Gingerbread Men GF cookies atop the icing.

I used to take a pastry bag and ice the tops of the cupcakes, but if you want to save time, and I certainly did today, I used a ice cream scooper and lightly plopped the icing onto each cupcake.  It came out really nice.  (You want to get an metal ice cream scooper that is on the small-medium size otherwise it's way too much icing for one cupcakes).

**You can also make these for Halloween!  Just change the decorations, but keep the brown icing.

And then I taste tested, and these were REALLY good.  You should try making them.  Yum!!

P.S.-For my New York followers and email subscribers-Be safe during this storm!!!

xoxo Julie

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gluten in Medications

Dear everyone!

Please be careful when taking generic vitamins.  As we all know different manufacturers ingredients/thickeners and fillers can be different from the branded versions.  I of course know this, but when my pharmacy tells me what they order for me is gluten-free I obviously want to trust them, because hey they are pharmacists and I would assume as a medical professional they do the research.

But alas, this was NOT the case with mine.  Sad face.  It only took me about 3 days to realize that the generic brand (Paddock) given to me was NOT gluten-free.  I did a ton of research on the web, and even called them directly.  I explained the situation briefly and asked how they could assist me.  They didn't know what to do with me, and transferred me to a voice mail.  I realized I would never get an answer from them.

After the research I did on the Internet I saw many other people posting about gluten in the Paddock generic vitamin supplements-mentioning that they too had gluten issues after consuming their products.

On most GF Drug lists it mentions that Paddock for Ferrous Gluconate does not detect levels of gluten. So I thought for a moment that I was safe and that my symptoms were not from this pill.  But the mere fact that my diet had not changed in months also led me to believe that this pill was the culprit.  

But after 2 days of digesting this pill my hair started to get thin again and a bit was falling out.  Not a huge amount, but enough that my red flag went up in my brain.  Besides stomach issues which I had too much of after consuming this product, my 2 most immediate symptoms of gluten detection are hair loss and acne breakouts.  !! Ugh! In addition I had been told by my doctor that Ferrous Gluconate has some serious side effects of (not to be gross) constipation.  So I was prepared to take additional magnesium and other supplements if necessary.  But I also never encountered this issue, instead it was the opposite.  That too was also a major sign for me.  

For many with Celiac or a gluten-intolerance, those who digest gluten often have this issue.  There are others out there who do not, so symptoms may vary, but if you notice a change like I did you need to immediately take precaution.

Seriously, my hair was looking SOOOO good the last few months!  And now? Here we go again.  After just 3 pills I stopped.  But now it's going to be about 1 month for my hair to restore.  That's what usually happens.  Not a total set back, but enough of one.  It's just annoying.

I wish these generic manufacturer's would list allergens on their packaging.  Wishful thinking I suppose, but for the time being doing the leg work on your own is a MUST.

Walgreen's brand of this vitamin supplement IS gluten-free and states it on the packaging.  I just ordered it from their website.

To be honest he last thing I felt like doing was researching for HOURS on this product trying to figure out if this was gluten-free.  So I made the mistake of trusting that this med was probably gluten-free and took it anyways not knowing 100 percent the situation.  No I shall suffer the consequence.  Boo!  But now I know for the next time...a sudden negative change in my body needs to be immediately researched.  We only have one body!  And CD or a gluten-intolerance is serious shit!  Not to be messed around with or taken lightly.

Remember when gluten enters our system it deteriorates our insides, our intestines and our ability to fight disease and sickness.  Therefore the more gluten in our systems means its will be easier to get sick and harder to get rid of it.  And who needs that right before Flu season?  Certainly not me!

Sometimes I forget I am my best source to knowing what is ok and what is not ok for MY body.  A pharmacist, a doctor or any medical professional only knows so much.  You have to always remember to listen to your body, myself included.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Mix Smackdown

I found this picture on Facebook through Bon Appetit.  This picture is great!  And can be super inspiring for your Halloween party whether it be a party for your kids or for you!

There was no recipe, so I will offer my favorite brands for "make your own gf pizza crust" and you can take it from here.

If you use fresh mozzarella from a ball or soft fresh Burrata then you will easily be able to make the ghost cheese shapes.

My Favorite "Make Your Own Pizza Mixes"

Have a spooky Halloween!! Enjoy xoxo Julie

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Eye Ball Cake

Halloween is just around the corner!  Being that is is my favorite holiday I shall continue to blog devilish treats till Halloween Day.

Recipe can be found on Pamela's Website.

Have a spooky day!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Turkey Cheddar Cheesesteak

A tasty sandwich!  The Food Network's Jeff Mauro puts a gourmet spin on a schooltime staple: The Cheesesteak!

*Found in Us Magazine, September 17th, 2012 issue

Yum!  So let's do this gluten-free.  I converted the recipe to use GF hot dog buns instead of regular hot dog buns (and you can also use other breads such as hamburger buns, baguettes and Challah).  Try brands like Udi's and Rudi's and Katz.

For those of who do not know Jeff Mauro, he is The Sandwich King on The Food Network.

Turkey Cheesesteak With Cheddar

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound smoked turkey, sliced and chopped
1/4 pound Wisconsin yellow cheddar, sliced thin
4 GF hot dog buns
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced

1.  Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add turkey and lightly brown.  In skillet, divide turkey into four portions.
2.  Place two cheddar slices on each portion.
3.  Open the buns and place over the cheese.  Let sit until the buns warm up.
4.  Flip the sandwich with a spatula.
Top with carrots and peppers

Enjoy! xoxo Julie 

What's New At Rudi's?...

New tortillas!! That's what, and not just in one flavor!!  They are soft and pliable tortillas.  Yum!!

There are:

Plain Tortillas (soft and pliable tortillas)

Spinach Tortillas


Fiesta Tortillas (A spicy mix of red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic flavors)

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

What's New At Udi's?

I was browsing their website and noticed new products!!

GF French Baguettes! Yum!!


Whole Grain and White dinner rolls!  Love!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recently I went to a friends par-tay and had this amazing, super fabulous spinach artichoke dip.  Hard to believe it was gluten-free, because most dips contain gluten thickeners or flour, but this one was so superb that I insisted my girl JKap send me the recipe!  She used many cheeses and no mayo, since she hates mayo.  And I must say it tasted so much better!  Bravo JKap!  She used frozen spinach but I bet that fresh spinach would be better which is what I bought for when I make it.  I'm psyched!  She also used canned artichokes, so it won't take a five star chef to be able to make this great recipe.  

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

13.75 oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fat-free Greek Fage yogurt
1/2 cup of Laughing Cow Cheese (this is where the mayo used to be)
2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
4oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and shallots.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.  Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted.  Serve right away.

Can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator before baking.  Makes about 3 3/4 cups.

Baking Tidbit-Don't have a food processor?  Do what JKap did and just mash it together with all your might with a baking utensil.  That works too!

Enjoy! xoxo