Monday, May 2, 2016

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers Review

I already count myself as a super fan of Simple Mills. Their line of paleo-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free baking mixes make clean eating effortlessly delicious. Recently, they expanded their product line to include almond flour crackers, which totally had me biting at the bit to give them a try. 

What's really cool about these new crackers is that they were crafted with care to be both delicious and good-for-you, as the company's baking mixes are. With minimal ingredients, and quality baked into every bite, these are not your ordinary pantry crackers, and are definitely an upgrade to any snack break. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Naked Lunch at Mom's Organic Market Review

When it comes to gluten-free friendly grocery stores in Baltimore, there's quite a few to choose from, which makes shopping a treasure hunt of sorts. One of my favorite places to shop though is Mom's Organic Market, an independent chain of stores whose focus on food includes a lengthly list of ingredients they have banned from their shelves (see those here) and a commitment to stocking locally produced items and a 100% dedicated produce department.

Typically I shop at the Lutherville location north of Baltimore, but is definitely not their best location in the area. While it has an pretty darn good selection, it's a bit on the smaller size. When Mom's announced that their newest Baltimore area location would be coming to the recently renovated Rotunda shopping center in Hamden, it was practically Christmas morning in my world, and I eagerly anticipated it's grand opening. This past April, the magical day finally arrived, and I got to check out the new store- including Naked Lunch, an organic cafe offering in-store eats. Naturally, I had to check them out to see if they were just as amazing as the new grocery store.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Baking Month: Dollop Gourmet Frosting

When it comes to gluten-free baking, I almost never opt for frosting atop my gluten-free baked goods. Most of the time it is dairy containing, and even if dairy-free or vegan, it's usually a turn off. After all, vegan frostings tend to be too stiff, too sweet, and too distracting from the baked goods they sit atop. 

Before discovering Dollop Frosting, I had all but lost hope that I would ever be able to use store-bought frosting to dress up my brownies, cookies, and more. Every jar of frosting I picked up before was so chalk-full of sugar and weird additives that I just assumed a clean, gluten-free, vegan version was just a dream.

Luckily, dreams do come true and a frosting product really is out there that is allergen-friendly and actually performs perfect as a spreadable, soft, and entirely worthy of being a sweet treat in it of itself. In four distinct, yet versatile flavors, reviewing Dollop turned into an exercise in creativity, which required me to think outside the jar and dream up frosting-worthy creations.

April Baking Month: Caly's Kitchen Review (Part 2)

To access part 1 of my Caly's Kitchen review, click here.

In my previous review of Caly's Kitchen, I reviewed the amazing banana bread and divine vanilla cake mixes from this allergen-conscious company. In this review, I'm diving in to their cookie mix line up with a review of three selections: chocolate chip, oatmeal chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle. 

What's really cool about Caly's Kitchen is that is was born out of a real family's struggle to find delicious baked goods that satisfied gluten and non-gluten eaters alike. The mixes are also allergen friendly, making it easy for those with multiple allergies or intolerances to join in on the fun. 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Baking Month: Dutch Country Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Mix

There are very few items on my gluten-free wish list- products I used to love as a gluten-eating kid that I long for now. However, topping that list is the ever elusive soft pretzel. Thick, chewy, and dotted with course salt, nothing quite satisfies like one of these doughy treats, especially when dipped in mustard- a la ballpark style. 

I found bakery-made soft pretzels in Philadelphia on my visit a couple years back, which filled the gap, but also were a rare treat I couldn't enjoy all the time. I've tried frozen offerings here and there to no avail and am terrified by gluten-free soft pretzel recipes I see online that call for dozens upon dozens of ingredients in multiple, complex steps. 

However, when I stumbled across Dutch Country gluten-free soft pretzel mix at Jungle Jim's Market in Cincinnati, my hopes were suddenly renewed. Could this simple-to-make mix be the answer to my years long search for gluten-free soft pretzels? As one of my most anticipated product reviews during baking month, I couldn't wait to roll up my sleeves and put the mix to the test.
Monday, April 25, 2016

April Baking Month: The Bald Strawberry Ginger Cookie Mix

This installment in my baking month line up is a uniquely Floridian one, as the company behind this baking mix is the Bald Strawberry, a Melbourne cafe and bakery that I have frequented and fallen in love with. On my latest visit, I picked up a bag of ginger cookie mix to bring back with me to Maryland, a little bit of home.

I waited until April to give the mix a go during my annual focus on all things baking and baked goods, and couldn't wait to see how it would perform. While Ginger cookies are typically thought of as a staple of winter, the cooler-than-average spring in Maryland proved to be the perfect backdrop against which to bake up a batch of these spicy-infused cookies. 
Sunday, April 24, 2016

April Baking Month: Caly's Kitchen Review (Part 1)

After recent illness has sidelined my reviews of baking mixes during baking month, I'm finally back on track and ready to share more reviews of baking mixes. 

This post is the first a two-part review of Caly's Kitchen mixes, which are gluten, potato, soy, and preservative free. The company was founded by a mom who wanted to develop baked goods that rivaled the gluten-laden ones off limits for her celiac daughter. What resulted is this line of celiac-safe mixes with an eye for those with multiple allergies. In the lead up to baking month, Caly's Kitchen generously sent me some mixes to sample, so I couldn't wait to put them to the test in my dorm kitchen. 
Friday, April 22, 2016

April Baking Month: Lilly's Bake Shop

Because I've been sick the past couple weeks, my intentions to showcase all things baking this month have been sidelined a bit, as I have featured a lot of baked goods in recent posts. I do have a couple posts in the works to finish out the month strong, but have one more baked good post to throw in because of the timely nature of this featured company and their delectable products. 

With Passover occurring during April, I stumbled across an amazing display of gluten-free baked goods at my local Wegmans, incredulous that they had a dedicated display laden with macaroons, seven layer cake, and other treats that were certified gluten-free and Kosher parve, which means they are dairy-free too. Although I wish I could have bought more than two treats to try, I also knew that I couldn't possibly sample all of the sweets on display. As such, I picked up a chocolate roll and rainbow cake to sample for a baking month feature, eager to see if the cakes would taste as good as they looked. 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April Baking Month: Bread SRSLY Review

One of the most elusive gluten-free items out there is real, authentic sourdough bread. Because it's baking month, and national sourdough bread day occurred earlier this month, I finally broke down and ordered a sampler from Bread SRSLY, a San Fransisco-based company whose mission is bringing gluten-free vegan sourdough to the people. I have had my eye on this innovative company for awhile now, and was so excited about the prospect of sourdough entering my life again. 

As I waited eagerly for the bread to arrive to my campus mailbox, my expectations grew ever higher because sourdough bread used to be one of my very favorite foods. Could this authentic San Fran sourdough really hold a candle to my beloved memories of gluten-filled baguettes?
Friday, April 15, 2016

April Baking Month: My Grandpa's Farm (Giveaway)

When it comes to baking mixes, I like mine to be made with quality ingredients, which means I make sure that I can pronounce every ingredient on mixes I buy. When I was looking for new-to-me brands to feature as a part of Baking Month, I stumbled across My Grandpas' Farm on Amazon and fell in love with their focus on gluten-free, organic, and top quality baking mixes.

When I approached the company to partner up for a feature, they generously agreed to send me a sample of three of their mixes, which took the pressure off of me to choose from the multiple varieties of bread, cake, pizza, and pancake mixes the company makes. Not only did I receive samples, but I also received extras to giveaway to you, my readers. Once the shipment arrived, I couldn't wait to put the mixes to the test.