Sep 22

Product Review: MIRA Stainless Steel Lunch Jar

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One way I save money is by packing my own breakfast and lunch for work every day. Not only does it save me money, but gluten free options can be limited in my neighborhood. And this is where MIRA’s stainless steel lunch jar comes into play.

MIRA’s high-quality insulated food jar from keeps your healthy, homemade, and delicious lunches and snacks hot for up to 5 hours or cold for up to 10 hours in this insulated jar.

The 10 oz capacity jar has a heavy-duty feel, with a premium grade 18/8 entirely stainless steel interior. The outside is a pretty rose pink color with a brown lid that twists in. It is secure and leak-proof.

Now that the weather is getting cooler I’m back to eating oatmeal for breakfast. So I decided to test out my new jar this morning. I made rice and tested how long it would stay warm. Two hours after putting the hot rice in the jar it was still hot. Five hours later it was warm.

I can see myself using this all winter long for making oatmeal before work, hot soups for lunch, and warm drinks. The jar can also keep food cold for up to 5 hours. This will be perfect for the beach next summer! Keeping fruits and lunches cold at the beach without bringing my over-sized cooler is nearly impossible. But now I can simply pack it in my MIRA jar! Can’t wait!

The jar is also BPA free and contains no phthalate. The 10oz (300ml) capacity makes this insulated lunch jar the perfect size for a filling snack or a lunch side. MIRA also makes a variety of jars from 5 oz. to 16 oz. The wide mouth and tapered body makes this container easy to eat from and easy to clean.

So what are you waiting for? Take back lunchtime with something fresh and delicious, packed in a MIRA food jar. Mealtime is about more than just eating, so enjoy it! You can purchase this 10 oz. MIRA jar on Amazon for $22.95— 53% off its retail price!

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.

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This entry was posted in Product Review and tagged on 22 September, 2014.

Sep 21

Gluten Free Options at URBAN SPACE Garment District // September 15 – October 17, 2014

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UrbanSpace and The Garment District Alliance have launched a month-long food fest in New York’s famous Garment District.

This fall, a group of New York’s most talented chefs and makers will line Broadway, from 41st Street to 39th Street, with a staggering spread of edible delights.

“UrbanSpace Garment District is a showcase for New York City’s extremely talented and diverse food community,” says Eldon Scott, President of UrbanSpace. “We’re thrilled to welcome many of our vendors from past markets as well as some new partners, and look forward to bringing new dining options to one of the city’s most bustling neighborhoods.”

Serving creative, exciting bites with plenty of gluten free options. From paella to pad Thai, and macaroons to gelato, gluten free eaters will not go hungry.

Gluten Free Options:

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Café Patoro is a NYC food company devoted to sharing the warmth and cheesiness of the famous Brazilian “pão de queijo,” a small cheese-flavored, gluten free tapioca roll. Flavors vary from the original to maple bacon, pesto, and jalapeño.

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Palenque homemade Columbian food offers gluten free quinoa and corn arepas with delicious vegetarian and meat options.

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Palenque Homemade Columbian on Urbanspoon

Bangkok B.A.R. is an unadulterated Thai concept, selling real authentic street foods of Thailand sourced from the largest green market in New York City.

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Gluten free options include Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai and curry. They are super knowledgeable about gluten free and the food is delicious.

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Onigiri by Tampopo is making Japanese rice balls available with 6 different fillings. The gluten free and vegan options are noted on their menu.

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Fittering Away Lemonade is reinventing lemonade with fresh, balanced, not-too-sweet drinks made with fresh fruit and herbs.

ginger, strawberry basil, and peach mint lemonade

ginger, strawberry basil, and peach mint lemonade

Frittering Away on Urbanspoon

The Baking Bean is an oven-to-door online bakery specializing in hand-made, all-natural desserts and sweets — like gluten free macarons available in seasonal flavors. Right now you will find Apple Pie, Blueberry Cheesecake, or Chocolate and Grand Marnier.

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The Paella Shack by Barraca is serving up authentic Spanish paella and tapas made with local ingredients.

Gelato Ti Amo was created by three gelato-loving friends in Tuscany. The ingredients in its gelati are top-notch: the best Italian milk, pistachios from Bronte, peak-of-the-season fruits, and gluten free of course.

UrbanSpace Garment District will run from September 15, 2014 to October 17, 2014.

Disclaimer: I received a press pass to taste items from the market vendors. I was not paid for my review, and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Barraca on Urbanspoon

 

Gelato Ti Amo on Urbanspoon

Bangkok Bar on Urbanspoon

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This entry was posted in Garment District, market, Midtown, New York City, Restaurant Review, Times Square and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on 21 September, 2014.

Sep 20

Product Review: Fruit Infusion Pitcher by Kitchen Frontier

I love my new Fruit Infusion Pitcher! It makes drinking water so much easier and fun! I fill the middle tub with fruits and herbs and let it sit overnight and each time I have a wonderfully flavored water drink that lasts me for days! The water is clean; fruit pieces and pulp do not get in it, so each sip is clean and refreshing!

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Tips: When using the infuser cut citrus fruits into wedges that can easily fit into the core, berries can go in whole, except large berries like strawberries and some black berries.  Fill core with a pattern of fruits, citrus and herbs so it will taste good and look nice.

It is super easy to clean and maintain. The infuser insert removes easily and is easy to clean. The infuser stays in place when you pour. It doesn’t move around and make a mess like some infusers I’ve seen.

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Fruits don’t have to be replaced everyday, I’ve kept the same fruit in the pitcher for 5 days and the water still retained its fresh flavors. On the 6th day I noticed that the water didn’t taste as fresh or strong. It depends on how fresh the fruit and herbs you are using are, but they should last 5-7 days.

This fruit infusion pitcher is BPA free and does not contain harmful chemicals found in some plastics. It is also shatterproof and break resistant.

Health Benefits:

My friends love the fruit pitcher. Every time we have company I make a different drink and they are all so impressed. From the attractive design and cool concept, they all love it.

Kitchen Frontier is a premier brand offering stylish, innovative, and high quality kitchenware products. You can buy Kitchen Frontier’s Fruit Infusion Pitcher on Amazon for $22.99 (usually $35.99).

What’s your favorite fruit/herb infusion combination?

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.

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This entry was posted in Product Review and tagged on 20 September, 2014.

Sep 20

Gluten Free Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe {Vegan}

Monday marks the official first day of fall, but carrot season has already begun. Living in NYC means I can go to a farmer’s market every single day if I wish. And right now carrots are everywhere. And they are one of my favorite vegetables, so versatile and nutritious.

Now that nights are getting cooler I decided to make soup for the first time in months. Colorful and fragrant, this carrot ginger soup is a light and soothing soup, and a delicious way to use up all those carrots!

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Carrot soup with ginger is a nutritious low fat soup recipe with just a touch of sweetness and a touch of spice. The fresh ginger adds a hint of heat and flavor, but it’s not too overpowering.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the carrots with 1½ tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the carrots for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
  2. While the carrots are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the stock, ginger, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
  4. When the carrots are tender, add them to the broth and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove the ginger and thyme spriggs.
  5. Puree the soup with an immersion until smooth. Add ground ginger if you want an extra kick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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This entry was posted in dairy free, nut free, Soup Recipes, Vegan and tagged , , , on 20 September, 2014.

Sep 19

Abe’s Market // The Online Marketplace for All Natural Products with Over 1000 Gluten Free products

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Abe’s Market is an online marketplace for great natural products. They connect buyers seeking amazing natural products with the people who make them. There’s no need to prowl the Internet for a broader natural product selection than can found at your local market. At Abe’s Market, you can get all your natural product buying done in one place.

Abe’s Market sells everything from food, health and beauty, to home goods, fashion and pet care. Abe’s Market sells over 1000 gluten free products.

Looking for casein free, vegan or fair trade products? Abe’s Market carries plenty of those too and makes it easy to search by the qualities you are looking for.

I love Abe’s market. They carry some of my favorite gluten free brands— Enjoy Life Foods, Pamela’s Products, KIND, Mediterranean Snacks, Two Mom’s in the Raw, and so many more. It’s also a great way to discover new products and prices are often times equal to, if not better, than my local grocery store.

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My latest order of gluten free and all natural products

Too often today, we buy products without knowing the origin of the products. At Abe’s Market you can discover fantastic natural products while having the unique opportunity to learn the story behind them— straight from the products’ creators. This valuable background goes beyond what can be found on a label. Who makes the product? What’s in it? Where is it made? How? You can even chat directly with sellers to ask specific questions so you know that you can trust and be comfortable with the products you bring into your home.

Abe’s Market offers free shipping on all orders over $29 and has sales and promotions all the time.

Disclaimer: I received a credit towards Abe’s Market. I was not paid for my review, all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This entry was posted in market, Product Review and tagged , , , , on 19 September, 2014.

Sep 18

Product Review: Priority Chef Knife Sharpener

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Are you tried of your knives dulling and having to buy new knives? Well, if you’re like me, then you’re answer is yes. I’ve bought two knife sets in the past 4 years, and they weren’t cheap.

I was recently given the opportunity to test Priority Chef’s Knife Sharpener. I was amazed. In seconds my dull knives were sharp again! Jeremy has been loving the new tool and has sharpened all our knives.

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The Priority Chef Knife Sharpener retails for $39.99 BUT is available through Amazon for only $17.95. Not only a great price, but well worth it! P.S. This price won’t last long, so if you want this knife sharpener order now before the price goes up!

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.

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

Sep 17

Love With Food introduces a Gluten Free Box

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Last month Love With Food launched a new Gluten Free box. Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all natural gluten free snacks delivered to your door every month! Each box contains 8-12 gluten free products. The items included in the box will be both single serve and full size portions and may include snacks, ingredients, cooking mixes, beverages, and more.

For every box sold, Love With Food donates a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry.

I just received the August box and was so excited that it included some brands I know and love, along with products I haven’t tried before.

So, what’s in the box?

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Butter Crisp Love Ginnyminis by Ginnybakes: I do not like butter-flavored cookies but I do love Ginnybakes other cookies. All ginnybakes products are organic and non-gmo.

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Redwood Smoky BBQ Multigrain Chips by Lundberg Family Farms: Enjoy the smoky flavor of these gluten free, vegan non-GMO chips made with organic brown rice, quinoa, garbanzo beans, chia, and flax seeds.
Lollipops by YumEarth: These guilt free organic and vegan lollipops come in flavors like Googly Grape and Strawberry Smash.
Nutty Rice Bites with Blueberries by 180 Snacks: These crunchy bite-size crispy clusters make a great summer snack with the addition of sweet blueberries at only 70 calories per serving.

Toasted Coconut Chips by Dang: These coconut chips are my favorite and I eat them right out of the bag! Perfectly crunchy and lightly sweet, they will vanish before you know it!

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Apple Crisp JunoBar by BumbleBar: This healthy, protein packed and fiber-rich bar is made with organic and non-GMO ingredients.
Gluten Free Granola by Boulder Granola: I’ve had this granola before. It is not my favorite but it’s made with organic nuts, seeds, and gluten free oats.
Cookie Mix by Jules Gluten Free: This cookie mix allows you to customize your cookies by adding your favorite treats. Whether you prefer nuts, chocolate or peanut butter, it doesn’t matter; this mix will work for all kinds of cookies.

Terra Sweets & Beets Chips by Terra Chips: The rich color of the beet chips match its bold luscious flavor, with a hearty crunch and no sugar added these chips provide 3 grams of fiber per serving.

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The price of the Gluten Free boxes will depend on the length of the plan that you choose:

Each box will earn you 20 points. Love With Food Points can be used like currency to purchase full-sized products featured in their Online Shop.  For every 1000 points you rack up, you’ll earn $10 towards any full size product order. Once you have enough points, you can redeem your favorite tasty treats! Woo-hoo! There are other ways to earn points too, including: referring friends, writing product reviews, sharing recipes, and signing up with your Facebook account.IMG_9166

 

What a great way to discover and try new products before shelling out money on something you’re not sure you will like or not. Sign up today to try the new Gluten Free box from Love With Food now!

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This entry was posted in organic, Product Review, subscription and tagged , , on 17 September, 2014.

Sep 16

Bluelife Spiral Vegetable Slicer Product Review

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I recently had the chance to try a new Spiral Vegetable Slicer from BlueLife. This spiral slicer is really cool and I’m loving it. BlueLife’s Spiral Vegetable Slicer quickly transforms raw whole foods into long thin strings.

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It’s been great when I make vegetable spring rolls, always a family favorite. The slicer cuts my carrots and cucumbers into thin strips I can easily use to make the spring rolls.

I’ve also made zucchini noodles using the fresh zucchini from my mom’s garden. Zucchini noodles are a great substitute for pasta, and perfect for cold summer noodle salads.

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The Slicer fits perfectly in my hand and is easy to use. The Slicer has two size options: 2x3mm and 3.5x5mm, one on each end of the device.

There is a little “waste” left over since all the of the carrot/zucchini/cucumber/etc. does not get used. When you get down to the ends of the vegetable , it’s hard to turn without cutting your finger. But not all is lost, I use the ‘’waste’’ in my salads, eat them with hummus, or save them to makde another dish another time.

Not only is the BlufeLife Spiral Vegteable Slicer easy to use it is also safe to use and easy to clean. It comes with a cleaning brush so you can reach the ‘’hard to reach’’ area. And it is small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer!

Made from Japanese stainless and resistant steel, the Slicer will not rust and is dishwasher safe.

The BlueLife Spiral Vegetable Slicer makes the perfect sizes to create vegetable stir-fries, pasta dishes, salad brighteners and so much more! It is available for sale on Amazon for $19.80 (originally $39.90).

If you are looking for an easy way to julienne vegetables, or an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your meals, this Vegetable Slicer is a great way to start!

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.

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This entry was posted in Product Review and tagged on 16 September, 2014.

Sep 15

Gluten Free Review of P.F. Chang’s

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If you can believe it, I had never been to P.F. Chang’s before last month. I know, I know this popular Chinese chain restaurant has dozens of locations, with two in Boston, but I just hadn’t been!

My first experience was mediocre at best. We went on a Sunday night to the Prudential location. From slow service, to bland food, and never getting that water refill we asked for, we didn’t have the best experience.

I reached out to P.F. Chang’s after our visit to let them know about my disappointment with the service, gluten free entrees, and restaurant (did I mention the fruit flies and bug at our table?). The Guest Relations manager I spoke with was extremely apologetic and sent me a gift card and asked that I come back again, as a way to make it up to me and regain my confidence in P.F. Chang’s.

So, last night we gave them another shot. This time we went to the Park Plaza location and had a much better experience.

What I do like and appreciate very much is P.F. Chang’s awareness of food allergies and the precautions they take to ensure and provide gluten free meals.

All Gluten Free items are served on a special plate with the P.F. Chang’s logo. These menu items are either gluten free as prepared, or modified to be gluten free. Serving them on special plates lets everybody know these are gluten free dishes, not to be confused with gluten filled dishes.

According to P.F. Chang’s website, the following ingredients are used in P.F. Chang’s gluten free sauces: chicken broth, oyster sauce, rice wine, sugar, water, wheat free soy sauce, and white pepper. The marinades for beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and scallops are gluten free and contain cornstarch. The soy sauce on the table is not gluten free, but simply ask your server for the gluten free soy sauce and he/she will bring it to you.

Like I said before, my first experience was not that great but we did enjoy two of the dishes we ordered, so it was not all bad.

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CHANG’S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Our signature appetizer. Wok-seared chicken, mushrooms, green onions and water chestnuts served over crispy rice sticks with cool, crisp lettuce cup.

The wraps were delicious and there was plenty of the fillings. My only complaint is that we ran out of lettuce wraps—there were only 4 or 5 small pieces of lettuce— and we had to eat the rest with a fork. That didn’t bother me too much, but it would have been nice to have a few more wraps.

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GF MONGOLIAN BEEF
Sweet, soy-glazed flank steak wok-seared with scallions and garlic.

Jeremy and I loved this dish. It was by far my favorite dish. I thought it was absolutely delicious, full of flavor. The meat was tender and the sauce was delicious.

Unfortunately everything else we tried was mediocre.

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GF SINGAPORE STREET NOODLES
Light curry sauce with thin rice noodles, sliced chicken breast, shrimp and fresh vegetables

There was very little sauce and tasteless. I added gluten free soy sauce just to give it some kind of flavor. According to a friend the gluten free version greatly differ from the regular Singapore Street Noodles on the menu. Very disappointing.

GF BUDDHA’S FEAST
Asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots, served steamed.

This dish was basically steamed vegetables on a plate. No seasoning and no sauce. The regular menu description describes this dish being served in a savory soy sauce, steamed or stir-fried. I’m not sure why they couldn’t use gluten free soy sauce.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon

On our second visit last night we ordered the lettuce wraps and Mongolian Beef again since we had enjoyed it so much the first time. We also tried:

GF CANTONESE-STYLE LEMON CHICKEN
Fresh, crispy whole chicken breast sliced and drizzled with warm lemon sauce and served with chilled broccolini salad.

When was the last time you had crispy chicken at a Chinese restaurant? The chicken was fried in some sort of lightly battered goodness (I’m assuming corn-based) and instead of pouring the sauce over the chicken and making it soggy, they drizzled the plate with a little lemon sauce and the rest was served on the side. This dish was ot too heavy and had a delicious citrus taste.IMG_8243

 

For dessert, it was after all my birthday, they brought us the:

GF FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE DOME
Decadent, rich chocolate cake served with fresh berries and raspberry sauce.

It was rich and it was decadent. We shared it but couldn’t finish all of it.

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The drinks were pretty good too. Not very strong, but very flavorful.
ASIAN PEAR MOJITO
Bacardi Limón and fresh mint with a hint of pear

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MOSCOW MULE
Russian Standard Vodka mixed with our House-Made Ginger Beer

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P.F. Chang’s nutritional information is available online. I really like when restaurants make the nutritional information readily available, and easy to find.

I’m glad we gave P.F. Chang’s a second chance. It’s nice to have an option for gluten free Chinese food and I know I will be back again!

Have you been to P.F. Chang’s? What is your favorite gluten free dish?

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon

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This entry was posted in Back Bay, Boston, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , , on 15 September, 2014.

Sep 14

The Essential Gluten-Free Cookie Guide by Triumph Dining

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Who doesn’t love cookies? Cookies are easy to make and great for sharing. But that’s not always the case when you have celiac or a gluten intolerance. The Essential Gluten-Free Cookie Guide, by Brianna Hobbs, makes it possible for everyone to enjoy cookies!

This Essential Guide is the all-inclusive, one-stop shop to gluten free cookie baking. The book includes 50+ recipes that are packed with all the information and tips you need for baking the perfect gluten free cookies.

It includes recipes for all your favorites: Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies, Fortune Cookies, Dark Chocolate Brownies, Giant Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon Bars, Gingerbread Cut-Outs, and all the frostings and fillings to go along. From dropped, rolled, and cookie bars, you’ll be able to make a range of cookies for any party or occasion.

The Guide is also filled with all the information and useful tips you will need; such as when to use melted butter vs. softened, what part of the egg to use to make your cookies have the perfect texture, how to store your cookies to keep them soft and fresh (even in the freezer).

You will learn how to prepare wonderful gluten free cookies you never thought possible and will the Guide give you the knowledge to create your own.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle Cookies

The book is available in hard copy ($16.95) and a Kindle Edition ($9.99) with full color pictures for almost every recipe!

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.

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This entry was posted in Baking, cookbook, cookie, Product Review and tagged , , , on 14 September, 2014.