Apr 18

HUGE Spring Giveaway

In honor of some much needed Spring weather, several bloggers and Etsy shops have teamed up to bring you a wonderfully massive Spring Giveaway. I think we are all a little tired of the long, cold, snowy weather! So, I hope this giveaway gets everyone geared up for Spring-time!

{Bloggers}
Alyssa from Frosting at Midnight
Amy from Love and Hot Chocolate
Jessica from Gluten Free Boston Girl
Emma from It’s Emma Elise
Rachel from Makeshift Munch
Alicia from Mom’s Don’t Say That
Kelli from The Sustainable Couple
Albion from Albion Gould
Karen from The Missing Niche
Together, the bloggers are donating a $50 Sephora gift card, a $25 Amazon gift card, two gardening books to get you ready for Spring, and a chicken recipe cookbook.

{Etsy Shops}

Pair of monogrammed rain boots from Puddles N Rain Bows
Gold sequin hanger from Mrs Marcie Handmade
Short sleeved monogrammed tee from iHeartMonogramming
Personalized necklace from Yvonne Boutique
Scarf from Amy Anne Apparel
Monogrammed sweatshirt from Savvy Monograms
Acrylic state necklace from Kelly and Pavel Design
Butterbeer soy candle from Bubble and Geek
Monogrammed rain jacket from The Initialed Life
Southern shirt from Rebel Rags Boutique
Assorted bath accessories from Bubblecakes Boutique
Gold Sequin Letter from Miss Poppy Design
Cheetah print headband from Blakelysbows
Monogrammed pullover from The Preppy Seahorse
Owl shirt from Free Bird Cloth
Handmade soap from Pink Parchment Soap
(3) 5×5 carnival prints from Sherman Photography
Tablet Case from Day of the Thread
Bangle set from Heart2Heart Shop
Monogrammed baseball cap from The Eager Elephant
1 sweet tea and 1 oatmeal soap from Sweet Scarlett Soap Co.
Aztec camera strap from Phat Straps
Assorted headbands from Angelika Gale
Custom license plate from Your Style Studio
Signature Necklace from Mackenzie Treasury
(8) eye shadows from To Me With Love
Handmade Disney inspired candle from Walter and Rosie
Handmade bag from Salato
Bracelet set from Frosted Willow
Bullet jewelry item from Altogetherlvly
Mermaid sweatshirt from Soul Clothes
Monogrammed button-up shirt from Two Broads Apparel
Bullet stud earrings from Ricochet Rounds

This massive giveaway will be open from Thursday April 17, 2014 until Sunday April 20, 2014 at midnight eastern standard time. All entries will be verified. Winner will be notified via email (consider adding frostingatmidnight@yahoo.com to your safe list). The winner will have 48 hours to respond and claim the prize or another winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

No Comments

This entry was posted in Giveaway and tagged on 18 April, 2014.

Apr 18

Friday Find: Three Great Cookbooks and more from Robert Rose

250 Best Meals in a Mug: Delicious Homemade Microwave Meals in Minutes by Camila V. Saulsbury

Meals in a Mug are perfect for when you’re dining alone, pressed for time, or don’t want to heat the kitchen on a hot summer day.  They offer a convenient and budget-friendly way to eat delicious and healthy meals.

250 Best Meals in a Mug features individual-sized recipes that are super easy to prepare. At first I was expecting a cookbook full of dessert recipes, as these have been the only meal in a mug recipes I’ve come across online. But I was wrong. The book has recipes for everything from breakfast to lunch to late-afternoon snacks and hearty dinners. And all it takes is a quick zap in the microwave and you’ve got yourself a satisfying meal!Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.41.11 PM

Not all recipes are specifically gluten free but I had no problem substituting gluten free all-purpose flour in the place of flour, or gluten free soy sauce for regular soy sauce.

Some of my favorite recipes from 250 Meals in a Mug are:

I had a few mishaps with food overflowing from the mug. To avoid this, Camilla includes a chapter called “Mug Smarts” that outlines what type, size and shape mug to use for best results, which I should have read first.

Spinach, Chickpea and Feta Pasta Recipe

The salty, creamy, slightly briny flavor of feta adds an assertive edge to this
Greek-inspired pasta, though milder cheeses (such as shredded Monterrey Jack
or Swiss) are also fine. You’ll need a 16 oz. mug for this recipe.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In the mug, microwave spinach on High for 1 to 2 minutes or until thawed and warm.  Using the tines of a fork, press down firmly on the spinach and drain off excess liquid.  Transfer to a small plate or bowl.
  2. In the mug, combine macaroni, salt and water.  Place in the microwave atop a doubled paper towel.  Microwave on High for 2 minutes.  Stir.  Microwave on High for 3 minutes.  If the mixture appears dry, add 1 tbsp. water to the mug.  Microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
  3. Stir in spinach, tomatoes and chickpeas.  Microwave on High for 60 to 90 seconds or until heated through. Let stand for 1 minute, and then stir in feta.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tips

  1. Opt for bags, as opposed to boxes, of frozen chopped spinach, as it is easier to remove small amounts at a time.
  2. Add ¼ tsp. of your favorite dried herbs or herb blend such as basil, oregano, Italian seasoning with the feta.
  3. Freeze the remaining tomatoes and chickpeas in separate small sealable freezer bags.  You can freeze the entire amount in one bag, or portion out ½ cup per bag (for the tomatoes) and 1/3 cup per bag (for the chickpeas) so that they are recipe-ready.  Be sure to label the bags with the contents.  Store for up to 3 months.  Defrost in the refrigerator or microwave before using.
  4. To make this recipe gluten-free, use quinoa macaroni in place of the macaroni and decrease the final cooking time in step 1 by 30 seconds.
  5. Prep Ahead Option: Measure the spinach into the mug; cover and refrigerate (decrease the cooking time in step 1 to 30 seconds).  Measure the macaroni and salt into a small airtight container; cover and store at room temperature.  Measure the tomatoes and chickpeas into a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate.  Measure the feta into a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.26.23 PM

250 Best Meals in a Mug: Suggested Retail Price $24.95. Available on Amazon for $17.48

125 Best Chicken Recipes by Rose Mary

125 Best Chicken Recipes is back in print! This best selling book illustrates just how versatile chicken can be.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 4.01.13 PM

In today’s busy households, chicken has become a standard meal for people— myself included— who want really good, healthy food in a hurry. With 125 Best Chicken Recipes, you can enjoy dozens of different ways to prepare delicious and inspired chicken dishes— all in record time.

Whether you use a skillet, saucepan, oven, or grill, most of the recipes can be prepared in 20 to 30 minutes. Not only are the recipes quick, but they require just a few ingredients using flavors from all parts of the globe, from Europe to India.

The recipes feature a complete menu, as well as helpful make-ahead tips and shopping suggestions. Also included are 50 easy recipes for appetizers, salads, side dishes and desserts. For delicious chicken recipes, and to shake up your boring chicken routine, there is no better book than 125 Best Chicken Recipes

Easy Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipe

In supermarkets there are plenty of good frozen Oriental vegetables — all cut and ready to cook. They make this delicious stir-fry a breeze to prepare.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large wok or heavy skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and hot pepper flakes; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until it changes color. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add vegetables to the wok; stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in stock. Cover, reduce the heat and steam for 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soya sauce, hoisin, cornstarch and sesame oil. Pour over vegetables. Return chicken and any juices to the wok; stir-fry until vegetables are glossy and the sauce has thickened. Serve immediately over rice.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.46.27 PM

125 Best Chicken Recipes: Suggested Retail Price: $19.95. Available on Amazon for $17.89.

 

Crohn’s & Colitis Diet Guide, Second Edition by Hillary Steinhart and Julie Cepo

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 7.36.05 AM

Diet is a huge priority for anyone living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The authors provide crucial guidance for families, friends and caregivers too in helping to manage IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) symptoms.

This updated second edition, in a very informative and easy-to-understand manner, provides all the necessary guidelines regarding the specific foods that might cause problems, as well as 175 delicious and nutritious recipes that can be enjoyed without compromising this difficult condition.

The reliable answers from one of North America’s top gastroenterology teams cover everything from the facts, causes, and symptoms of IBD to the latest and most relevant information on drug therapies and surgical therapies — in an easy-to-understand format.

With its informative charts and graphs the additional 25 new recipes provide sumptuous breakfast ideas like Banana Cinnamon Quinoa Waffles, comfort foods like Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole and vegetarian favorites like Eggplant Pilaf and Asian-Style Baked Tofu.

Although I do not have Crohn’s or Colitis I have IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome), in addition to my gluten and dairy intolerances, and following a strict diet, very similar to this one, is the only thing that keeps me feeling good.

The recipes include gentle ingredients as well as explanations why a specific ingredient is used. Each recipe also comes with a nutrient table covering calories, fat, fiber, protein and carbohydrates. I believe that Crohn’s and Colitis Diet Guide would be well worth having by anyone that is stricken with these diseases. The recipes are simple and the ingredients could be found in any pantry or local grocery store.

I also like the nutrition tables. I don’t eat dairy and included is a chart on how to get calcium from nondairy from non-dairy products.

Crohn’s and Colitis Diet Guide: Includes 175 Recipes: Suggested Retail Price: $24.95. Available on Amazonfor $19.05.

Disclaimer: Robert Rose provided a copy of 250 Best Meals in a Mug, 125 Best Chicken Recipes, and Crohn’s & Colitis for this review.  I was not paid for my review and all my opinions are my own.

No Comments

This entry was posted in cookbook, Product Review and tagged , on 18 April, 2014.

Apr 17

Healthy Habits Kitchen Review & Discount Code

It’s not always easy to come up with new and exciting recipes, and let’s face it; the last thing I want to do some nights after a long, stressful day at work is cook. Ordering out is easy but it’s not always the healthiest option. One way to kick this bad habit of ordering takeout when I don’t want to cook—or don’t have any idea what to cook— is Healthy Habits Kitchen.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.47.48 PM

Healthy Habits Kitchen provides nutritious meal kits made from scratch with plenty of gluten free options, delivered straight to your door and ready to be cooked, so you can make a convenient, quick dinner at home.

Healthy Habits Kitchen’s philosophy is simple: they do all the recipe creation, meal planning, and prep work to make dinner easy. They are turning the idea of convenient, quick dinner on its head by providing the tools and information to keep staying on the right path easy through convenient, wholesome meals made from scratch.

They slice and dice vegetables, mix sauces and balance flavors. Then they send fresh, freezer-ready and homemade meals to you perfectly portioned, ready to cook and enjoy. Skip the shopping and chopping, just cook, and get a meal on the table quickly and easily.

Healthy Habits Kitchen uses fresh ingredients and whole foods sourced locally whenever possible. Meals are packed with nutrients, flavor and creativity.  Preservatives, artificial flavors, colors and dyes are never used, and only chicken without Antibiotics and growth hormones make it into Healthy Habits Kitchen meals.

How it works:

  1. Select meals from the menu.
  2. Choose pick up at the kitchen in Wellesley or delivery.
  3. Receive your meal kit with all items prepared to cook.

Each meal has easy to follow instructions, and each kit comes with containers and packets portioned according to the recipe instructions. All you need to do is follow a few steps to cook everything, and dinner is on your table in 10 and 30 minutes—no knives, cutting boards or other kitchen mess. I only had to use two pans to make my meals.

I received three meals to review, which I was super excited about. Meals come in 2 sizes small and large. Small meals serve 2 people eating hearty to 3 people eating healthy; large meals serve 4 eating hearty to 6 people eating healthy.

The meals arrived packaged in an insulated cardboard box with ice packs. The meals were completely frozen when I received the box.

IMG_7344

It’s recommend to defrost kits in the refrigerator overnight. Just take the components out of kit to speed up the time to thaw. The small meals easily thaw overnight but large meals may lake 24 – 36 hours to defrost depending on your refrigerator.

Blackened Tilapia with Jasmine RiceIMG_7365
Tilapia fillets are rubbed with a mix of spices, and then pan grilled and topped with a squeeze of lemon juice. The meal kit came with three pieces of tilapia and plenty of spice mix and rice. I loved the vibrant flavors of the spice mix and how easy and fast (only 10 minutes!) it was to make such a tasty meal.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 2.07.46 PM

Coconut Red Lentil Curry with Jasmine Rice

This vegetarian dish is so full of flavor! The coconut milk adds a silky richness to this South Indian-style meal. I was again blown away with the restaurant quality of this meal. Made with fresh ginger, onion, garlic, curry powder, jalapeño, and coconut milk, this meal was bursting with flavors.

IMG_7399

It was just as good as any curry dish I’ve ordered at a restaurant, but much healthier. I could really tell just how fresh this dish was. I loved the addition of edamame. Not only does it add protein, but a nice crunch to an otherwise soft and tender lentil dish.  I was happy with the portion size, and it easily made three meals.

IMG_7395

Pomegranate Walnut Chicken with Brown Rice

Based on a Persian dish Fesenjan, this dish features a sweet and tart sauce of pomegranate juice thickened with ground walnuts. In 33 minutes we had a delicious chicken dish and brown rice ready for dinner.

IMG_7349

We really liked the sauce; it had a great flavor and a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. This meal was definitely not big enough for three. We wish there had been more chicken just for the two of us.

Nutritional Information is based on 3 meals

Nutritional Information is based on 3 meals

Meals contain a maximum of 400 calories per serving, less than 30% fat and no more than 800 mg sodium. But don’t be confused; this is NOT a diet plan. Healthy Habits Kitchen uses whole foods that taste delicious, while providing portion control and nutritional information so you can tailor meals to your diet.

Healthy Habits Kitchen takes food allergies very seriously. Each meal kit is labeled with ingredients and allergen information can be found on the website so you can make the right decisions for you and your family.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 2.14.02 PM

You can easily switch out sides to accommodate for gluten allergies. If you need or prefer something else, just let make sure to let them know what replacement side you’d like in “special instructions” when you check out.

It’s important to know that they are not a dedicated facility. They do take steps to minimize cross-contamination, such as sanitizing tables in between meal preparations. However, the best thing to do is to treat them like your average restaurant and always let them know about any allergies.

Meals are cheaper than going out to dinner (starting at $18.99 for a small meal kit) and a great option if you work late and want a healthy meal that tastes homemade without all the hassle. Healthy Habits Kitchen has provided me discount code to give to my readers. Save 15% off your first order with code GFBOSTONGIRL.

Do you use a meal service or have you ever used a meal service?

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.
Healthy Habits Kitchen on Urbanspoon

No Comments

This entry was posted in Meal Delivery, Restaurant Review, subscription, Wellesley and tagged , , , on 17 April, 2014.

Apr 16

#LaceUp365 – New Balance Celebrates 25th Year Partnership with Susan G. Komen

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.57.42 PM

I’m not sure if you all remember when I took a class at Barry’s Bootcamp in November, to join New Balance in their campaign to celebrate the 25th year partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Well this past Saturday I joined New Balance at North End Yoga to once again honor this milestone and those affected by breast cancel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Starting November 1, 2013, supporters have been dedicating their daily workouts to a breast cancer survivor featured each day on newbalance.com by tagging social media posts with the #LaceUp365 hashtag.

 

Before the event, I was sent a pair of pink Limited Edition Komen 3190 Women’s Running shoes and a few pieces of yoga apparel from NB’s Lace Up for the Cure Anue line.

IMG_7320

I absolutely love my new bright pink sneakers, which I’ve been wearing proudly to the gym and on my runs— finally it’s spring and I can run outside again! The 3190, which just launched this month, features the Komen Running Ribbon on the mid-sole and the tagline “Let’s Make a Cure Happen” on the inside of the tongue.

IMG_7322

The Komen Bliss Shell Tank ($37.99) is super comfy, light and airy. The Walking Jacket ($49.99) not only wicks sweat while I run, but also resists wind and rain. The Spree Capris ($59.99) are sleek, soft, and super comfortable. The ergonomic flatlock seams ensure there’s never any bunching and a temple yoke at the back complements your shape. Great for yoga, and also great for running.

IMG_7328

IMG_7375

New Balance will contribute 5% of the suggested retail price of sales from the Lace Up for the Cure® Collection with a guaranteed minimum donation of $500,000 each year to Susan G. Komen® through 2014.

You too can join in by dedicating a daily workout to a breast cancer survivor. Whether it’s someone featured on the new Balance website or your own family member or friend, all you have to do is get involved is workout and use the #LaceUp365 hashtag!

Who are you dedicating your workout to?

Visit New Balance to learn more about how you can get involved with the Lace Up 365 program.

photo 6

No Comments

This entry was posted in Boston, event, fitness, North End and tagged , , , on 16 April, 2014.

Apr 15

Boston Strong Giveaway

On Monday, the Boston Marathon returns to the city. This year has been a challenging one for Boston, but I have never been more proud of where I live. In honor of the Boston Marathon and our resilient city, I’ve partnered up with a few other amazing Boston bloggers to host this awesome giveaway.

marathon giveaway prizes

ONE: Runner’s charm from Jessica’s Gifts // TWO: Handmade candle from Wicked Candles // THREE: Beautiful print from A Gier Design // FOUR: Boston skyline cards from Loose Petals // FIVE: Boston neighborhoods print from ShopDesignFixation // SIX: Boston necklace from Tessie’s Vault // SEVEN: Fenway Park soap from Scented Soap by Karen // EIGHT: 8×10 Boston print and card from JHill Designs // NINE: Marathon route print from Union Jack Creative

One GRAND PRIZE winner is going to receive ALL NINE of our awesome prizes, and four other readers will each win a print from A Gier Design!

A big thank you to my amazing co-hosts:

marathon hosts

How to Enter: It’s Simple! All you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter Below. This Giveaway will end on April 30, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 Comments

This entry was posted in Boston, Giveaway and tagged , on 15 April, 2014.

Apr 15

Freedom Foods Gluten Free Cereal Review

Eating clean isn’t always easy. So often gluten free products are laden with sugar and fat to compensate for texture and flavor. But now, from the Land Down Under, comes a tasty, nutritious, and allergen-free line of cereals.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.14.26 PM

Freedom Foods has been around since 1990 but is very new to the United States. They set a high standard for themselves.  They aim to create delicious food that is free from the “stuff” that your body doesn’t need— gluten, nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, fructose, soy, yeast, GMO’s, and artificial flavors. Yes you read that right; this cereal is truly allergen friendly.

IMG_7173

Not only are Freedom Foods free of gluten and dairy, but the company puts an emphasis on creating high quality products that are lower in sugar and sodium, rich in nutrition (added vitamins and minerals), and a good source of fiber.

So what does the cereal taste like?

Maple Crunch

The first cereal I tried was the Maple Crunch. A crunchy blend of rice, corn and whole grain sorghum, and sweetened with pure apple juice and maple-flavored syrup, Maple Crunch is a tasty and nutritious start to any day. I really enjoyed this cereal, I liked the subtle maple flavor and it held up well in milk. While this is no health food, it does have a bit of fiber (3 grams) and the sugar is not too bad with 7 grams per serving.

IMG_7206

TropicO’s

This fruit flavored cereal in the shape of rings, is made of rice, corn and wholegrain sorghum. Freedom Foods TropicO’s are a healthier version of the popular Fruit Loops.

Sweetened with only natural things like sweet potato extract and gardenia flowers add fun and different flavors. This cereal was super sweet with 8 grams of sugar per serving (12 grams in fruit loops). I aim for a cereal with 6 grams of sugar or less. But Jeremy loves this one and he’s been eating it every morning. It has a slight chemical taste when eaten alone, and tastes much better in milk.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.39.38 PM

Proteen-Crunch
Pro-Teen Crunch is made with a mix of chickpea, rice and corn and flavored with all natural banana flavor. Chickpeas are naturally high in protein and give this cereal 5 grams of protein per serving. Not a high protein cereal, but better than most cereals out on the market. What is even better is the  8 grams of fiber per serving, and that, in my book, really matters.

IMG_7304

I really enjoyed this cereal and love the banana flavor – which sounds weird but it tastes great.

Ancient Grain Flakes

A crispy blend of sorghum and buckwheat, Freedom Foods Ancient Grain Flakes are a good source of fiber (5 grams) and low salt. Unlike many other cereals, Ancient Grain Flakes are a true super food. Ancient Grains have been consumed around the world for thousands of years; the Aztecs relied heavily on these superfoods for strength & endurance!

IMG_7302

The flakes have an overpowering buckwheat flavor that I did not enjoy.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.50.44 PM

Rice Flakes

These crispy and airy flakes of rice and psyllium and naturally flavored with pure apple juice.  I was drawn to these because they were low in sugar (4.7 grams) and had 3.5 grams of fiber per serving, but I was disappointed at how bland it was. It tasted like nothing. It wasn’t bad, it just had no flavor.

IMG_7269

Corn Flakes

The Corn Flakes were much better than the Rice Flakes. A Delicious and crispy blend of locally grown corn and psyllium, in the form of golden flakes. Golden syrup is the secret ingredient where the golden color comes from.

Two other varieties are also available: Cocoa Crunch and Rice Puffs.

With a dedicated facility, Freedom Foods can assure us that their products are free from the allergens listed and boasts that they are one of the few factories around the world that is free from wheat, barley, triticale, sesame seeds and nuts. Freedom Foods also ensures that their growers and suppliers only produce allergen-free ingredients. The standards that Freedom Foods uphold are so stringent that they even mill all the ingredients themselves just to make sure there is no risk of cross contamination!

Freedom Foods can be found at Roche Brothers and on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

No Comments

This entry was posted in breakfast, cereal, dairy free, nut free, Product Review, Soy free and tagged , , , , , , , on 15 April, 2014.

Apr 14

Product Review: Breads from Anna Gluten Free Mixes

Last October I attended the Healthy Villi’s Gluten Free Expo and tried for the first time, Breads from Anna. I remember loving the breads; the taste, texture, consistency were all incredible. But since then I have not been able to find Breads from Anna in any of my local grocery stores.

IMG_7208

So when I received a box of six mixes last week, I was beyond thrilled. I was so excited that I got baking right away!

Anna’s first baking mix, the Original Gluten, Soy, Nut, and Rice Free Bread Mix, was introduced in 2004. As her business began to grow she found that many people with Celiac Disease also had other food allergies they needed to manage. In response, Anna has developed a complete line of 12 gluten and allergen free baking mixes that are sold on-line and in hundreds of stores and bakeries all over the world.

Breads from Anna line of gluten free items include 12 mixes:

All products are all natural, Non-GMO, Kosher certified, gluten free, soy free, rice free, and nut free. Many of the mixes are also free of corn, dairy, potato, and yeast. None of Anna’s products are made with refined sugars, rice flours, fillers, additives or preservatives.

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 10.19.53 AM

Anna sent me the following mixes to try and review: Pumpkin Bread, Banana Bread, Yeast Free bread, Black Bean Brownie, Pie Crust, and Maple Pancake and Muffin. All were super easy to make.

The bread mixes were by far my favorite. Each one was flavorful and had amazing texture. The loaves rose beautifully without yeast— all three bread mixes I made were yeast free.

The pumpkin bread was a deliciously spiced bread with a moist and smooth texture. It was not grainy or crumbly like many gluten free bread mixes I’ve tried. My dad also loved the pumpkin bread and didn’t even realize at first that it was gluten free!

IMG_7244

The banana bread was also a hit; Jeremy really liked this one. It was also moist and had a great banana flavor.

IMG_7308

The yeast free bread was also a winner. I don’t have a bread maker but it came out just fine cooked in my oven. The taste was amazing and made excellent sandwich bread. I also cut a few thicker slices to make French toast and it held up quite nicely to the egg and milk mixture.

The black bean brownies were a big disappointment. I did not like them at all. I was surprised because the breads were excellent. It is optional to add chocolate chips or walnuts, something I did not do and wish I had. Perhaps it would have tasted better with the add-ins.

The maple pancake and muffin mix made great pancakes but not so great muffins. The flavor of the muffins was not the issue. The consistency of the muffins was similar to a non-fluffy pancake, if you can imagine that. And the mix is just not sweet enough to be muffins, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t eat a lot of sugar!

IMG_7219

But, as pancakes the un-sweetness was perfect. The pancakes were not very fluffy, but rather they were pretty flat. The texture was ok but the taste was still pretty good.

Anna provides recipes online for each of her mix for those of you who like to experiment. For example the pumpkin bread mix can be used to make the pumpkin bread recipe provided on the box, or muffins, zucchini bread or carrot cake. The black bean brownie mix can also be used to make ice cream sandwich cookies or peanut butter cookies. You get the picture.

Anna’s mixes are sold throughout the United States and online at Anna’s or Amazon. To find a location nearest you click here. Prices range from $5.99-$9.49 (most items are $7.49).

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

1 Comment

This entry was posted in Baking, Bread, dairy free, Kosher, Muffins, nut free, Product Review, Soy free and tagged , , , , , , , on 14 April, 2014.

Apr 12

Wine and Chocolate: Making the Perfect Match at the Boston Wine School

Photo courtesy of the Boston Wine School

Photo courtesy of the Boston Wine School

Last Saturday night I attended a “Wine and Chocolate: Making the Perfect Match” class and dinner at the Boston Wine School in Allston, to indulge in some incredible pairings of two of my favorite guilty pleasures.

IMG_7289

Clockwise from top: Valrhona “Perles 55% cocao, Rhone Valley, southern France; Callebaut Milk Chocolate 49% cocoa, Belgium; Lindt bittersweet Chocolate, 49% cocao Kilchberg, Switzerland; Valrhona “gran Cru Terrior” Manjari Dark Chocolate 64% cocoa, Rhone Valley; Taza “Chocolate Mexicano-Cacao Puro” Organic Stone Ground Chocolate, 70% cocao.

If you’ve never been to the Boston Wine School, it’s a very cool space. Exposed brick walls, a giant blackboard filled with wine facts, and a small kitchen, make it an ideal place for private parties of all kinds. They make wine fun and interesting, for groups of 12 to 50 people. Here you learn about wine— what you like, what you don’t like, and how to talk about it so you can impress your friends at your next dinner party.

IMG_7298

We arrived a little early and mingled with other guests while enjoying a few appetizers and 90 Cellars Prosecco.

IMG_7278 IMG_7283

IMG_7279

Erica, a wine expert and wine enthusiast, taught the class. During the class we were taught the origins of the wines and chocolates— from classic European and South American chocolates to romantic wines like St. Amour— and compared the characteristics that they both share. Along the way, we were shown which chocolates best accompany a specific type of wine and vice versa.

IMG_7275

The class was about two hours long followed by dinner and more wine. We tasted five chocolates with five wines. From milk chocolate to 90% cocoa and Riesling to Rijoa; it was heavenly.

IMG_7286

2013 St. Antonius Kreuznacher Kronenberg Kabinett Riesling

IMG_7297

Lindt “Supreme” Dark Chocolate, 90% cocoa, Kilchberg, Switzerland and Cow’s & goat’s milk blue cheese, Valdeon, Spain

The food was delicious, a bit cold, but tasty nonetheless. They can accommodate for gluten allergies, vegetarians, and other dietary restrictions. Just make sure you mention this when you purchase your ticket and/or follow up with one of the managers so they can assure you will be all set when you arrive.

IMG_7295

We also learned about the 7-S method of wine tasting: see, sniff, swirl, smell, sip, swish, and spit, although I did not partake in the last one. I learned so much during this class and I feel so much more knowledgeable about wine and how to talk about wine, I will surely impress my friends next time we get together.

The Boston Wine School would be a great spot for your next private event. From wine receptions and interactive tasting classes to dinners and wine pairings, the possibilities are endless and prices start as low as $50 per person.  If you are looking for a fun and different idea for your next birthday party, an engagement party, reunion or corporate event you should defiantly check out the Boston Wine School.

They offer a variety of classes all year round from Wine Tasting for the Complete Novice, Wine Tasting Tour of French wines, to a Night In Spain class and dinner, chocolate and cheese pairings, and whiskey and beer tastings; there is something for everyone.

Do you love wine? Which class sounds most interesting to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to this class. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

 

No Comments

This entry was posted in Alcohol, Allston, Boston, chocolate, class, event, Restaurant Review, wine and tagged , , , , , , , on 12 April, 2014.

Apr 11

Jerry Remy’s introduces New Athlete Menu {Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Vegan}

Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill, located on Boylston Street in the heart of Fenway, has just launched a new “Athlete Menu” which includes items suitable for anyone on the Paleo diet, vegan or gluten free. The new menu will add to their vegetarian and gluten-free fare with a focus on those who work hard and play harder.

“You play hard and you want to eat healthy, which isn’t that hard. Jerry Remy’s has created choices to suit your lifestyle and keep lookin’ good. But you don’t have to be an athlete to try the new menu. It’s for anyone that loves fresh, tasty food and cares about you fuel your body.”

The new menu was created for Boston customers who are fit and enjoy an active lifestyle, who eat healthy and want to eat healthy even at sports bars. It’s exciting that a restaurant has created a menu specially geared towards the active and athletic, and what’s even better is that everything is (or can be done) gluten free!

The menu features items you wouldn’t think a sports bar like Jerry Remy’s would ever offer, such as a quinoa taboulleh wrap, salads, and black bean burgers. To learn more about the gluten free options available at Jerry Remy’s, click here to read about my gluten free dining experience in December.

The Athlete Menu

Last week I had the chance to sit down with owner John Mascia and try some of the items of the new menu.

Kale & Crisp Apple Salad: Massaged kale, carrots, jicama, toasted almonds, cucumbers, avocado, celery, green onions, red peppers tossed with lemon vinaigrette. The salad was light and fresh, topped with fresh avocado and apple slices.

IMG_7242

Honey Roasted Pork Belly Tacos: Seared crisp pork belly over pico de gallo, fresh avocado, grilled pineapple, and sprigs of cilantro served in a lemon wrap with lime wedges served in a lettuce wrap.

IMG_7251

The pork belly was tender and flavorful. With a layer of meat, a nice layer of fat, another nice layer of meat, another nice layer of fat, and a thin crispy layer on top that crackled when I bit into it; it was just delicious. We were impressed with the flavors and freshness of everything in this dish: from the meat to the cilantro to the pineapple.  The lettuce wraps were flimsy and my ‘’taco’’ broke apart so I had to eat it with a fork in knife, but that did not take anything away from the dish.

IMG_7249

Black Bean Burger: Spicy chipotle & blackberry glazed vegetable patty, with green leaf lettuce, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise, mustard corn relish & smoked cheddar cheese served on a gluten free potato bun.

IMG_7235

The burger was moist and well seasoned.  The mustard corn relish was spicy and gave the burger a nice kick. The cranberry aioli was sweet and added a different zing to the burger and was a nice balance to the spicy relish.

IMG_7233Flat Iron Grass-Fed Steak: Churrasco marinated & grilled, served over a healthy bed of grilled vegetables & sauced with chimichurri. The beef is pasture-raised locally in Brimfield, MA by River Rock Farm. It’s dry-aged 28 days, all natural, hormone free and antibiotic free.

IMG_7255

 This was my favorite dish of the night. The steak was cooked to perfection and the chimichurri was incredibly fresh with a slightly overpowering mint flavor, which I actually really enjoyed.

No dinner is complete without a cocktail, or should I say “Paleotail”?

IMG_7254

Paleo Bellini and Stairclimber Margarita

Paleo Bellini: All natural peach puree topped with Prosecco.  I could have drunken these all night, it was that good. So refreshing.

Stairclimber Margarita: Tequila, fresh squeezed limejuice, and club soda— nothing more. The margarita was not my favorite: a bit disappointing for a margarita lover. It was both too watery and too strong.

Although the chili is not on the Athlete’s menu, I did learn that they use Redbridge gluten free beer to make it. And if you want a Caesar salad, with croutons, no problem! The croutons are made with gluten free potato bread. Gluten Free bread and wraps are also available for the sandwiches, and the grill is 100% gluten free.

The roof deck, that overlooks Fenway Park, just got a brand new retractable roof that will make it the perfect place to be— other than actually being at Fenway Park— on game days, rain or shine.

IMG_7227

Jerry Remy’s is not your average sports bar. Not only do they have a gluten free, paelo, vegetarian and vegan menu, the food is not what you would expect to find at a sports bar, it far exceeds any expectations we had.

Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge, with the exception of gratuity, which we happily paid for the great service. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Jerry Remy's on Urbanspoon

4 Comments

This entry was posted in Alcohol, American, bar, Boston, burger, Fenway, Kenmore, Restaurant Review, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on 11 April, 2014.

Apr 10

Click Espresso Protein Drink Review & Giveaway

CLICK Espresso Protein Drink®, known as the coffee lover’s protein drink™, is a frappe-licious, nutritious, all-in-one, coffee protein drink mix that boosts your energy, burns fat, and curbs your appetite so you can keep CLICK’n throughout your day!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 6.21.23 PM

“With 25 years of industry experience in health and wellness, we launched a small chain of women’s fitness center in California winning many excellence awards.  Many of our members, who wanted to lose weight, did so by skipping breakfast, reducing calories, or making poor nutritional choices leaving them frustrated by their lack of success…To support our members, we needed a better alternative to the growing use of sugar based energy and coffee-house drinks.  Our simple solution – a delicious, all-in-one, espresso coffee and protein drink – that gives you the confidence you are doing something good for yourself one CLICK at a time.”

The company was founded by Greg and Beth Smith after seeing the need of many of their clients of an alternative and healthy breakfast.  CLICK is a great solution for early morning gym goers, or us early morning runners, who need something quick before going to work.

CLICK provides the protein the AND caffeine you need to start your day. Packed with nutrition, each serving of CLICK is just 120 calories and contains 15 grams of protein, a double-shot of gourmet espresso coffee, and 23 vitamins and minerals. It is gluten free and has no artificial colors or flavors.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 6.21.33 PM

CLICK is great as an all-in-one breakfast meal replacement, mid-day, appetite curbing, pick-me-up snack, and with CLICK’s unique coffee protein combination, CLICK is great for pre or post workout support.

CLICK sent me four different flavors of their protein drink to try: Mocha, Caramel, Vanilla Latte and mocha decaf, plus a shaker with a stainless steel whisk ball.

IMG_7236

Caramel is the newest flavor of CLICK. It is rich but not overly sweet. It’s decadent, but without the guilt, and a perfect post early morning workout drink.

The powder mixes very well. It’s not grainy or clumpy, something I often find with protein mixes. Rather, it was very smooth and mixed in less than the recommended 25-30 seconds.

IMG_7340 IMG_7341

The only flavor I did not enjoy was the Mocha decaf. This was also the only flavor I made into a blended ice drink. So I don’t know if this has anything to do with it or not. You can also enjoy CLICK hot. I have not tried it hot yet, but when I read that it got me excited.

CLICK comes in 14-serving canisters and single serve packets. Click contains milk and soybean. Produced on equipment that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, egg, wheat, sesame, and shellfish.

Now it’s time for the Giveaway! One lucky reader is going to win a CLICK starter pack! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on April 16, 2014 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

And if you don’t win the giveaway here’s a $5 code off your next order:

IMG_7241

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

30 Comments

This entry was posted in Beverage, Giveaway, Product Review and tagged , , on 10 April, 2014.