July 2014 Love It, Like It Leave It

What a whirlwind July has been. Between traveling to Tennessee, extra hours at work, extra meetings, weekend obligations and vacation Bible School, July has come and gone before I knew it. I hope your July was as fun filled and as memorable as mine has been! There has been some memorable new tastes as well!

Amy's Sandwich Rounds - I bought these while I we were in Tennessee on vacation. My step mother had never really been to a Whole Foods before, and I wanted to open her eyes to the gluten free possibilities!
We decided to have a picnic lunch at a local park, so loaded up on lunchmeat, fruits and veggies, hummus and bought these so my dad and I could make little sandwiches.
And these were AWESOME! There are 8 in a box and I love that they come packaged in sealed packets of 4. I never use 8 pieces at one time, and these prevents freezer burn. I am also becoming more and more pleasantly surprised by gluten and dairy free options that really taste like REAL bread. They're soy free too! There are definitely something I want to buy again if I can find them around me.

Walmart Deluxe GF Mac N Cheese-

I'm not always a big fan of Walmart for all sorts of reasons. But I will have to admit that their Deluxe Gluten Free Mac and Cheese was amazingly delicious. My 13 yr old niece who considers herself a bit of a mac and cheese connoisseur really enjoyed it, and she doesn't even eat gluten free.
The rice pasta had little ridges in it, which was great for holding on to the sauce. And the sauce....it's that cheesy sauce packet like you find in the Velveeta mac and cheese. No need to add milk or butter, just cut the top of the pouch and squeeze.

It was because of the sauce packet that I chose to put it into the "Love It" category. Originally I was going to put these in the "like" category because it's not the healthiest thing for you. But I live in a city with lots of poverty, and this is like a whole meal in one box that doesn't require any real measuring. All you have to do is find a way to cook the pasta and dinner is served. Speaking of meals, there is a A LOT of pasta in this box. This box easily provides 3 GOOD sized portions.

Viola Fe Fudgy Brownie
Some may not think it's fair that I put my friend's brownie in this category. I'm sure they just think I'm biased and I'm trying to promote my friend.
But seriously, it was amazing. There hasn't been a thing that my non-gf husband hasn't liked that she has made. And you know that sometimes people say that chocolate is better than sex? Yeah, this brownie proves it. AND it's made while whole grain flours like teff. Amazing. Stupendous. Wow. Yeah, y'all need to try this brownie.  You can find her products at Sweet Peaces Vegan Cafe at the Flint Farmer's Market or you can order by emailing her at violafe@aol.com. Do it!

Like It  
Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix  - I agreed to make a dessert for my nephew's 13th birthday. I had bought a BUNCH of these mixes which had been on sale at Big Lots for $1.25 on a limited time offer. (Although I haven't been back since then, so I should check to see if they're back!)

They're easy to make, the mixes are readily available, and they were a hit with the whole family. (Except the birthday boy who was too busy playing to eat one.) I did make one alteration and use an extra egg as suggested by my husband's aunt who makes them for her grandson, who has celiac disease.
This is why I'm putting them in the "like it" category, because that brings the egg count to 4 eggs, and they don't really rise very much. When the box says 12 cupcakes, it means it if you want them to be a good size.

Leave It 

 SPAM & Roasted Potatoes in Gravy - One of the members in our support group told me that she had found these at the store and that they were labeled gluten free. Not all of the SPAM meals are gluten-free, and the gluten free statement was not a "certified" statement from GIG, NFCA, or CSA.
It was hot and quick in a pinch when we had another meeting on another night where we didn't really have time to make dinner. It was good in a pinch. Would I buy it again. Nope- at 400 calories for a tiny serving, I'd be better off having peanut butter toast with two fried eggs and an apple.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Rice Flour blend - While the cake mix was good, the rice flour blend was not. I used them to make waffles and pancakes, which is one of my "standard" tests for a flour. While the waffles weren't bad, they weren't great, and the pancakes weren't good either. (My niece wanted "Rainbow Waffles," and I attempted them. Lots of work. Won't be making them again, but seeing the smile on her face was worth it.)  I think I'm going to stick with my Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.


Snapea Crisps- Bought these at Whole Foods for our "picnic." MAJOR disappointment. Based on the imagery on the bag, they were not at all what we expected them to be. Won't be buying these again. Thank goodness they weren't more than $2, which is rare at "Whole Paycheck' as it is often known.