Product Review: JamFrakas Bar

I have been a fan of Lara Bars, made by Humm Foods, for quite a while.  I was very excited to hear that Humm Foods had come out with a new product, JamFrakas Bars, a bar geared towards kids.  I know that I am technically not a kid, but I am in my head. ;)  I was at Trader Joe’s last week and ran across these bars.  I bought the Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp and the Peanut Butter Blisscrisp.  They were both very, very tasty.  Small and only 120 calories, but perfect for kids.  They are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.  They also have no HFCS!  Nice little treat to keep in your purse or car in case of emergency hunger pang with no GF food available.  :)  Now, if only they made a larger version for us bigger kids. ;) 

Here is something I didn’t know….General Mills has acquired Humm Foods!  You can read about it here.  General Mills is one of those companies that I support because they will not hide gluten in their ingredient list.  :) 

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Menu Plan Monday ~ January 4, 2009

Here we are in the year 2009.  The first week of the year has proved to be a little rough for us.  Both Hannah and I had the stomach flu last week on New Year’s Eve.  Needless to say, there wasn’t much celebrating going on here.  Now, as I write this, Jon has the stomach flu.  He told me last week when Hannah and I were sick that he wanted to get the stomach flu on Monday (the 5th), so he could have another day off of school.  Well, the kid got his wish.  Poor thing!  This week we are concentrating on getting back into the groove. 

Cheryl, over at GF Goodness, is hosting this week’s GF Menu Swap.  The theme this week is soup.  I don’t think I have ever made soup before, so it is a huge coincidence that I have Crockpot Taco Soup on my menu for the week!  Don’t forget to check out Org Junkie for some other great menu ideas.

Sunday ~ Spaghetti with meat sauce, steamed broccoli and salad.

Monday ~ Grilled Chicken, oven roasted red-skin potatoes, sauteed spinach & salad

Tuesday ~ Salmon, quinoa, salad & veggies

Wednesday ~ Herb Pork Loin Roast, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Veggies & salad

Thursday ~ Going to the Fish Market for my birthday (it is actually the 9th, but my Dad is leaving town, so we are celebrating early)

Friday ~ Crockpot Taco Soup & salad

Saturday ~ Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries & Salad

 

Baked Goods for the Week

Brownies from the 1, 2, 3 Gluten-Free Mix

Something baked from the Carol Fenster 1,000 GF Recipes Cook Book…haven’t decided what yet, but need to fulfill my goal of making 1 item per week out of this book.

New Year’s Day Food Traditions

Each year on New Year’s Day I eat pork & sauerkraut for good luck.  Well, to be honest, it isn’t only for luck, I happen to really like pork & sauerkraut and don’t get to eat it that often because I am the only person in my family who will touch it.  :)  So, I use NYD as an excuse to cook my pork & sauerkraut and stink up the house, as my family puts it.  Yesterday, as my pork & sauerkraut was cooking, I began to wonder about other New Year’s Day Food Traditions and came up with all kinds of traditions when I googled for info on it.  Gotta love google.  What did we do before it was around?  I am editing this post to add another fun Food Traditions Article. Next year I may want to give Hoppin’ John a try or maybe some version of Black Eyed Peas with Rice or Quinoa.

One of my favorite things about pork & sauerkraut is that is it naturally gluten-free!  WOOOHOO!!  There are many different ways that I have made pork & sauerkraut, but the  easiest way has got to be in my crock pot.  I use a couple pounds of country style pork ribs (nice & fatty….don’t worry, you’ll work it off, remember your resolutions?), sauerkraut (I prefer the kind you find in the refrigerated meat section as opposed to the canned stuff and I won’t be making my own any time soon…YUCK!), salt & pepper and a little touch of brown sugar if I feel like it, I did not yesterday.  Believe it or not, I am all sweeted out, I think.  BTW, I remember when I was little, maybe around 10 or 11, my parents making their own sauerkraut. What a process that was. It stunk too, obviously. I honestly would prefer not to think about how it is made. ;) I started by browning my pork ribs in a frying pan sprayed with Pam….no need to add extra fat with oil, there is enough already.  I seasoned the pork with S & P.  I turned the crock pot on low and added half the bag of sauerkraut.  Once the meat was browned on both sides, I added to the crock and spread the rest of the kraut on top.  I added more S &P  and this is where you would add the brown sugar if you wanted to.  I cooked on low for 8+ hours, until the meat was falling off of the bone.  I served over Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.  I didn’t take a picture.  I considered it, but there is really nothing attractive about pork & sauerkraut, it just tastes amazing!  LOL!  Use your imagination here. God gave you a brain for a reason.  Since I was the only one who ate this, I froze half to have in the next few weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my pork & sauerkraut, but not every night of the week for several weeks. ;)  I did get Hannah to try the pork, sans kraut, and she really like it, dipped in ranch, of course.  Whatever works. 

So, what did you have for New Year’s Day dinner?  Do you eat the same thing each year on New Year’s Day?  Any good recipes for Black Eye Peas or Hoppin’ John? 

Review: Glutino Harvest Corn Loaf Bread

I have heard good things about this bread, so when I was at my local health food store a few weeks back, I decided to give it a try.  It wasn’t cheap by any means ~ $5.89/loaf.  I was out of bread at home and thought now was a good time. 

I got home and toasted up some of the bread in my toaster oven.  I made a deli turkey, cheese, lettuce & tomato sandwich out of the bread.  I dove right in.  The bread was not horrible by any means, but it wasn’t fantastic either.  I was more than a little disappointed.  Maybe my expectations were too high?  I don’t know.  I normally eat Pamela’s Wheat Free Bread that is made from a mix.  I make it in my bread machine.  So, maybe I am just spoiled.  I served this bread to my son, not telling him how I felt about the bread.  He said the same thing I did.  The next day I served him a grilled cheese sandwich on it and he said it was much better that way.  So, apparently just toasting the bread isn’t enough.  You apparently need to spread butter on it and then grill it.  It would probably also work well with french toast or stuffing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

Gluten-Free For Me ~ A Gift From Grandma

This year for Christmas, Grandma Linda sent Jon some gluten-free goodies from Gluten-Free For Me.  This bakery sent a wonderful Holiday assortment of goodies for a very, very decent price. 

Here is a picture of Jon with all of his goodies:

The cookies were all so soft, tasty and not crumbly in the least.  A nice surprise for a gluten-free cookie.  The muffins were amazing, the rolls…YUM!  We have the Lemon Cranberry bread in the freezer still, just waiting to be eaten.  I think the most enjoyable treat was the gluten-free chocolate roll.  OMG….it was TDF!  Seriously, when I was growing up, chocolate roll was my all-time favorite dessert that my Grandmother (Mom’s Mom) made for family functions.  I had never attempted to make this GF, mainly b/c it seems like it would be a big mess! LOL!  Anyway, we brought this dessert to my Dad’s house on Christmas Day and shared it with our family there.  It was so moist, chocolately and delicious.  I will definitely be ordering from these wonderful bakers again.

I wish they were closer to us so we didn’t have to have them ship the food, but, oh well, whatever we have to do to get our chocolate roll!  LOL!

Thanks again, Mom, for such a wonderful gift! :)

Happy New Year! Time For Those Pesky Resolutions Again!

In years past I have never been big on resolutions.  Why would I resolve to do something, then not follow through, only to end up feeling disappointed in myself?  Well, because it doesn’t have to be that way, that is why.  Instead of making a broad resolution, such as “I am going to get in better shape” or “I am going to exercise”, I turned that around into specific steps I was going to take to reach that final goal.  And, that final goal is one that will be on going for the rest of my life, not for just a year.  What steps am I going to take to keep myself healthy, to keep in good shape, to feel better all around?  That is more what my resolutions have been about in the last year and will be this year, versus what I had done in years past. 

It worked well for me in 2008.  I had resolved to continue to exercise 4-5 days per week, to increase my muscle tone and decrease body fat.  Another part of that resolution was to not lose weight or too much weight in the process.  That can be a slippery slope for me, as I have suffered from and eating disorder (anorexia) in the past.  For the first part of 2008, I exercised at home, using my Gazelle (no laughing, please ;) ), strength training with 8 lb and 10lb weights and running on occasions.  In May 2008, I joined a gym for the first time and loved it!  Okay, so we did join the recreation center in 2000 and never went once.  That was a colossal waste of money.  So, when my husband heard I was joining a gym this time, he laughed.  He doubted that I would go.  Well, I proved him wrong and impressed myself in the process.  I went at least 5 days per week, except when my surgeon made me take 5 days off, from May until the end of the year.  WOOHOO!!  I was able to decrease my body fat from over 20% to 16.7% in that time with only losing under 5 pounds overall.  I also went from barely being able to run any distance at all to running 7.1 miles in 69 minutes one day last week! 

So, this brings me to my resolutions for 2009.  I have 3 total.  The first being that I am going to continue on this exercise path and expand on what I am doing.  I want to add some variety to minimize injury.  I have recently had some ankle & knee pain, and while I am loving running, it is proving to be too much for my joints.  So, that has led me to look into the group fitness classes.  GASP!  These have always intimidated or even scared me in the past.  I am always worried about making a fool out of myself because I am severely lacking in the coordination department.  Yes, I was a gymnast for 10 or so years, but that was a long time ago.  So, this year, I resolve to try out some of the group fitness classes at my new gym, starting with spinning today.  :) 

Resolution #2.  I am going to make one new recipe per week from my brand spanking new cookbook, Carol Fenster’s 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes!  I received this as a gift from my sister.  :)  I realize that if I make one recipe per week for a year, I will only be through 52 or so recipes, but it is a start.  Of course, there may be weeks where I make more than the 1 recipe.  I wanted my goal to be reasonable and more importantly, attainable. 

Resolution #3.  I am striving to keep my house more clean and picked up.  This is an ongoing battle and I think that I am going to have to start by getting rid of a bunch of junk.  I do pretty well with our first floor, the floor where we spend the most time.  This floor includes our kitchen, living & family rooms and play room.  The places where I have the most problem with junk & clutter is the loft/office and basement.  They are catch-alls for the stuff that I move off the first floor.  I have gotten better with the loft, but the basement is a mess.  I also need to weed through the toys in the playroom, though they are not unmanageable and I do watch 2 toddlers, so getting rid of all of the baby toys isn’t realistic.  Also, keeping up on dusting, vacuuming & sweeping is another tough one.  Yes, this all happens on the main floor, but while I mean to get to those other places, it doesn’t always happen as soon as I would like

So, there you have it.  My resolutions for 2009.  I look forward to keeping tabs on myself here and updating you all occasionally.  Putting it in writing seems like it will make me more accountable.  :) 

I wish you all a Happy & Healthy 2009!

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