apple cupcakes: Creative & sneaky twist on gluten free (or not) boxed cake

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When it comes to school, I have realized there is a lot that children with food allergies can get isolated from.  I make Hunter his own cupcake for every party, but he misses out on that special character, design, toy, etc... that everyone else gets.  For the first 2 weeks of October, the theme was apples.  I decided to supply the class with apple cupcakes to celebrate the end of the theme.  Of course, I had to stick with my "sneaky" traditions, but no one seemed to notice the sweet potatoes in their yellow cake cupcakes!   Print apple cupcakes: Creative & sneaky twist on gluten free (or not) boxed cake   Ingredients Boxed cake mix (I used Hodgson Mills yellow cake mix) ½ c. sweet potato puree (boil sweet potatoes then puree with 1-2 TBSP water) 1 snack size applesauce 1 cup water (for added sweetness substitute some water for apple juice) ½ c. brown rice flour 3 eggs cupcake liners (preferably red) decorating: raisinets or tootsie rolls, … [Read more...]

@smarties: Making Halloween less scary for those dealing with food restrictions #IamASmartie #cbias

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Holidays are exhausting especially when dealing with food restrictions.  Label reading is just as important for Halloween. While many people have varying tolerances to their offending food(s), we have to avoid products containing gluten & any products that were processed in a facility with gluten.  Also, I have an allergy to peanuts, so I avoid it on my own. Below I have taken a few snapshots of popular candy to show the norm when it comes to candy packaging: may contain or contains allergens. Thankfully there are companies like Smarties that  provide a perfect candy for Halloween parties, school events and trick or treating being that they are gluten free, allergen free, vegan, individually wrapped and tamper evident.  Even if you don't have any food restrictions, I think it is important to consider having allergy friendly options for those who do.  The boys' school hands out smarties a lot usually with an "I am a smartie!" label.  My boys enjoy Smarties and it makes it … [Read more...]

Spooktacular date night: Celebrate Halloween w/ Scream 4 from @redbox (recipe & ideas included) #CouchCritics #cbias

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It's Halloween & you finally have your little ghosts & goblins to sleep. Back in college, we might have went to a costume party, but no one to watch the kids.  Now what?  Date Night at home! Step#1: Grocery Shopping: Wal-Mart is a great one-stop shop!   While shopping for supplies for date night, I stumbled upon something of use in the popcorn section...Who doesn't love a deal? While looking for snacks, I found out if I went for the Smart Pop! over the movie theater butter popcorn that I could get 2 free redbox movies.  While it is not stated anywhere, please note that the popcorn codes are only for use at Wal-Mart Redbox Kiosks. Step#2: Setting the mood: This differs for everyone, but we went with some elegant yet disposable dishes.  Yes, disposable! Clean up after a long day isn't exactly a priority on my to-do list.  Also, we added some led candles for moodlighting.  For example, check out your local Wal-Mart's party supply or seasonal section for some … [Read more...]

“Fun in the Kitchen” #blogmania2011 #giveaway (value $300+): Live at noon (est)

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The day has arrived!  Blogmania "Fun in the Kitchen" is here! I have compiled some brands to bring out your creative side in the kitchen.   I am not going to spend a lot of time talking since I know why you are all here... (If you want to learn more about the sponsors see #blogmania2011 posts here) Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker (approx. value $175)   Riega Foods Gluten Free Package: 12 cheese sauces + 1 box of each cereal   Glass Dharma $25 e-gift certificate     Carapelli Olive Oil Trio Better Batter (Choice of Gluten Free Brownie Mix, Seasoned Flour, or All purpose flour) & $25 via Paypal! You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway. To check out the other awesome blogs involved... Disclaimer:Prizes will be selected via Rafflecopter, winners from my blog will be announced within 72 hours,the winner will also have 48 hours to accept their prize. Please note that Great Contradictions, Blogmania or the … [Read more...]

Find out what’s to love about @RiegaFoods #glutenfree #blogmania2011 sponsor

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About Riega Foods A healthy lifestyle and trustworthy food is more than just a business strategy for Riega Foods – it’s a personal mission.  A number of our friends and family, including founder Brad Gampper’s wife, suffer from allergies and other food-related health issues.  Riega Foods was founded with the purpose of providing the finest and best tasting foods for family, friends and others with dietary needs. Riega Foods is a family owned business located in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We are dedicated to providing flavorful, high-quality and all natural foods that we’re proud to share.  We are committed to quality manufacturing processes that ensure all of our products can be enjoyed without worry.  If it says “Riega” and wears the “Gluten Free” stamp of approval, then you can be sure that every production lot has been quantitatively tested to ensure gluten free authenticity of under 20 ppm in every bite. You can find our products at many natural/health food stores, … [Read more...]

Check out this #blogmania2011 sponsor: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker

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Zojirushi Corporation began operation more than 90 years ago with the launch of its first glass-lined vacuum bottle - setting an industry standard for new vacuum insulation technology in an everyday household product and firmly establishing itself as a company which uses cutting edge technology to bring comfort, ease, vitality and affluence into the lives of its customers worldwide. Improving customers' quality of life through creation of innovative products remains the heart of Zojirushi's corporate philosophy. Based on this philosophy, Zojirushi has used its advanced technologies to develop an impressive household lineup over the past nine decades: indoor and outdoor products tailored to meet the needs of today's active lifestyles; easy-to-use and convenient rice cookers; compact and attractive electric water boilers; beverage dispensers elegant enough to use in the living room; and a variety of stainless steel vacuum bottles that are perfect for all types of outdoor activities … [Read more...]

@glassdharma glass straws w/ lifetime guarantee? #blogmania2011 sponsor

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About glass dharma Hello, my name is David Leonhardt. I’ve been a lampworker (glassblower) for over 10 years. My wife, Gail & I recently moved from the Sacramento, CA area, to our dream of living on the Mendocino Coast. I started doing some work for a local glass shop in town and noticed that the owner had glass drinking straws for sale. I had never heard of these before and I am always intrigued by something made out of glass that I hadn’t thought of.  I was struck by the unique elegance in such a simple item. I immediately recognized that here was a partial solution to our “plastics problem”.  Now, granted, there are a lot more plastics in our world than just drinking straws, but bear with me a minute and let me put things in perspective ... As of March 2008, McDonald’s serves an average of 52 million meals PER DAY!  (Per their website) How many of those served do you think were given a plastic straw?  I hope it is becoming obvious just how big of a problem these … [Read more...]

Shopping at @Walmart for boxed meals: what options are there for gluten free? includes healthy twists too! #cbias

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The ease of grocery shopping at mainstream stores seems to go in waves as far as gluten free living.  Recently, we were shopping for some boxed dinners for convenience.  In the past, Betty Crocker was really the only option with 3 choices: chicken fried rice, beef fried rice, and cheesy hashbrowns.  We are a mostly homemade household.  However, boxed meals or convenience mixes can be a great way to have "take-0ut" like foods minus the cost and inconvenience of going somewhere to get it.  With a family of 5, we usually have to make 2 boxes to feed my growing boys as a result I like to use some "sneaky" cooking to make a box meal go further. Click here to watch my thismoment to see our shopping experience, cooking, & more Now in the mainstream boxed dinner section our only option is Betty Crocker Chicken Helper Chicken Fried Rice. It just so happens to be our favorite!  It starts with... To make our meal stretch further for our hungry family of 5, I make it "sneaky" Steam … [Read more...]

DIY using @elmers glue spots: no carve Pumpkin ideas #GlueNGlitter #cbias

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Carving Pumpkins can be fun, but with 3 children under the age of 6 it is an ordeal.  Their patience runs thin while waiting, they want to help, etc...  Carving pumpkins also is something that either needs to be close to Halloween or you have a rotten pumpkin to greet you shortly.  Using Elmer's glue spots & painters markers can give you the perfect Fall look and preserve your pumpkin unlike carving.  I have created an easy family project to help you get the most out of your pumpkin using Elmer products and other craft supplies found at Wal-Mart. pumpkin (real or fake) black pipe cleaners: 5 per spider googly eyes (any size or style) Elmer's CraftBond glue spots (thin medium) 5 Pack Elmer's Painters Markers Elmer's Metallic Painters Marker Elmer's Jumbo  3-D Glitter Paint Pens  Directions: Create a spiderweb on the pumpkin using metallic Painters Marker Once spiderweb is dry, use Elmer's 3-D glitter paint pens to add as much detail as you like. … [Read more...]

Why @SodaStreamUSA would make a great addition to #blogmania2011 + Berry Slush recipe #imabzzagent

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Last January I had the pleasure of doing a review for Sodastream. Here is my reaction in the first review:  We now use Sodastream on a daily basis.  There are so many different options from regular soda, diet, & natural that do not include high fructose corn syrup.  My husband is a fan of the energy drink. As well as, our guilty pleasure has always been coke with lime; using cola zero and mywater lemon-lime, we are able to make a delicious alternative.  Even if you aren’t a pop drinker, this is still a gadget to consider.  My favorite sodastream drink is juice spritzer using sparkling water and whatever juice we have available.  As well as, Sodastream now has Mywater, which is an all natural,unsweetened flavor enhancer (Click here to read the complete review or to see the sparkling grape juice recipe), so what are our thoughts 9 mos. later... We still love it!  The SodaStream machine is easy to use and with places like Bed, Bath, & Beyond featuring SodaStream flavors, … [Read more...]