Nov 23

Gluten Free Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops



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With another snowy and cold winter predicted for this year, I am preparing early. Taking vitamin C pills [almost] daily, when I remember (!), stalking up on cough medicine and Pine Bros throat drops.

Ulysses S. Grant was President, the population of America hovered at 39 million, and the telephone was still a pipe dream, when in 1870 J. Herman Pine hung out a confectionery shingle on 8th Street above Walnut in Philadelphia and, along with his brother, sold their first batch of what they called ‘Pine Brothers Glycerine Tablets.’ In an attempt to relieve his own sore throat and those of his family members, Mr. Pine, a former German confectionery maker, determined that by combining the soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia, he could sooth and mitigate the mild discomfort of a sore throat. Add in some natural flavoring and a sweetener and voila, Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops were born.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops are available in four flavors: Lemon Citrus, Natural Honey, Wild Cherry, and Black Licorice. In 2015-2016 they plan on releasing a new flavor— Lemon Citrus. The original recipe has not changed since it was first introduced to the public over 140 years ago.

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The texture is unlike any other cough drop I’ve had. It’s smooth and, well, a “soft drop”.  They are not chewy, but dissolve smoothly to form a coating, soothing syrup down my throat.

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All drops are gluten free and only 5 calories per drop. Please note, Pine Bros are manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and tree nuts. The only thing I don’t like is that the licorice flavor uses artificial coloring, so I don’t think I’ll ever try those.

Pine Bros products are available nationwide at CVS, Rite Aid, Safeway, Kroger,
or at your local drugstore or supermarket, and can be purchased online.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in Product Review and tagged on 23 November, 2015.

Nov 19

November is Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month

In honor of November being Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, I’ve partnered with Foster Farms to share some things I wish other people knew about living a gluten-free life.

What is Gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale.  Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Basically, it binds starches together.

Why do people go on a Gluten-free Diet? A gluten-free diet is the only way those diagnosed with celiac disease, an antoimmune disease, can receive relief from their gastrointestinal symptoms.  People with non-celiac gluten intlerance or sensitivity do not have damage to their intestinal lining. However, they experience headaches, bloating, fatigue, or diarrhea after eating foods containing gluten. As a result, they find that a gluten-free diet improves the quality of life. 

Wheat is commonly found in breads, baked goods, soups, pasta, cereals, sauces, salad dressings, and roux.

Barley is commonly found in malt, food coloring, soups, malt vinegar, and beer.

Rye is commonly found in, rye bread, such as pumpernickel, rye beer, and cereals.

Triticale is a newer grain, specifically grown to have a similar quality as wheat, while being tolerant to a variety of growing conditions like rye. It can potentially be found in breads, pasta, and cereals.

Gluten is often used as an inexpensive filler or thickening agent in many food products and can be hidden in many unsuspecting products. Make sure to always check labels and ingredient lists.  

For those who do not have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, they do not think twice about the pot they use to boil water, the plate they put food on or even the shelf where grocery items are stored, but for people with celiac disease, these every day considerations can be a virtual mine field. That’s because gluten can show up just about anywhere in our food supply chain — even if it’s not intended — from growing to processing to preparation and consumption. When a person with celiac disease eats foods or products that contain gluten, it triggers an autoimmune reaction in which the intestines are damaged and nutrients cannot be absorbed for use by the body. Cross-contamination — when a gluten-free food comes into contact with gluten — is a common concern for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. But there are ways to reduce the risk:

Thanks to the increasing selection of gluten-free foods, it has become far easier for people with gluten problems to eat healthy diets and find good tasting alternatives. Unfortunately, not all the foods being marketed are healthy. Some are high in saturated fat or cholesterol. Others may be high in calories but contain very little in the way of nutrition. So, just because something is gluten free does not mean it is healthy (another common mistake many non-celiac people think!)


What is the one piece of advise you would share with other who are new to the gluten free diet OR with people who do not know about gluten free?



This entry was posted in Restaurant Review and tagged on 19 November, 2015.

Nov 18

C*Perfect Skin Organic Foaming Face Cleanser is Gluten Free

This Organic Foaming Cleanser from Sweetsation Therapy will be a favorite of anyone. The Foam delivery of the product (rather than a liquid form) makes it very gentle on the skin, and making it ideal for all skin types. I’ve tried a fer products from Sweetsation Therapy now, and this is by far my favorite. 


You only need to use a small amount and it removes everything; make up, sunscreen, etc. It does not dry my face out at all. My face actually feels so refreshed after I use it, and I love that the ingredients are all natural and organic. 

The proprietary combination of Papaya, Strawberry, Apple, Banana and Vitamin C help to keep your skin soft and clear. 

Ingredients: Purified Water, Saponified Organic oils of Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower), and Organic Castor Seed, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Guar Gum, Juglans regia (Walnut) Seed Oil , Organic Argania spinosa (Argan) Oil), Pyrus Malus Extract (Apple), Citrullus lanatus Extract (Watermelon), Fragaria vesca Extract (Strawberry), Musa spp Extract (Banana), Carica Papaya (Papaya), Organic Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Organic Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile), Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Organic Litsea cubeba (Litsea) Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Organic Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp), Citric Acid, Rosemary Seed Extract.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


This entry was posted in organic, Product Review, skin care and tagged , , on 18 November, 2015.

Nov 17

Workaholics Coffee Sampler Pack Review & Giveaway


The Two Rivers Coffee company has created an array of brands that cater to many different tastes. Each one of the TRC brands has its own unique identity and its own story of how, why, and for whom, it was created and because of that, each resonate with different people for different reasons. I recently had the chance to try the Workaholics line of coffee and I’m excited to share it with you (plus there’s a giveaway!)


Workaholic Single-serve coffee pods come in creative flavors inspired by the Comedy Central shows! So fun! Brews such as Take it Sleazy, Let’s Get Weird, Fully Torqued, Half Christmas Blend and Straight Grizzly, are actually quite tasty and wake me up in the morning.

So what do the flavors mean exactly? 

This is perfect for any Comedy Central fan and would make a great gift for friends, family, or yourself! And you can purchase each flavor in a 12-pack size ($10.55-$11.10) or in a sampler 72-pack size ($40.19, that’s just $0.56 for each cup of coffee! Think how much you’ll save from buying coffee each morning before work!) 



The K-cups are compatible with Keurig original k-Cup brewers; not compatible with Keurig 2.0 Brewers. 

Now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will win a 72 count sampler pack!! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  This giveaway will end on December 3, 2016 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


This entry was posted in Beverage, Giveaway, Product Review and tagged , , , on 17 November, 2015.

Nov 16

MEET A NEW FAMILY OF TUNA -Tonnino’s offers a better tuna for a better you


Tonnino Gourmet is bringing a new kind of tuna to your family’s table—100% yellowfin fillets, caught in the wild and jarred by hand, dolphin-safe, rich in Omega-3s with low mercury levels. Available in seven delicious varieties of flavor, each contains only the finest cuts of tuna for exceptional appearance, texture, and taste you can enjoy straight out of the jar. Once you realize just how tasty tuna is supposed to be, there’ll be no going back to the can.

It’s been a staple in the American pantry: drained albacore, punched up with some mayo and seasoning for classic salads, sandwiches, and casseroles. But now there is a more sophisticated way to enjoy tuna, as Tonnino is tempting taste buds and bringing foodies everywhere to change their tune. Tonnino Premium yellowfin tuna features innovative flavors and high quality ingredients, combined to make a delicious and healthy product not to be missed. Each distinct in taste and personality.


Tonnino classic, Italian-style, yellowfin is soaked in the purest olive oil and perfectly adapts to your favorite recipes. For an even fresher flavor, Tonnino low-fat fillets are submerged in spring water to spruce up any salad, a perfect addition to any healthy diet. For a more Italian experience, Tonnino fillets with oregano in olive oil offers a blend of delicious tropically-grown herbs and spices, ideal for pasta and pizza—and perfect on its own, as well. With its flirtatious hint of spice, our tuna fillets with jalapeno in olive oil will make your palate blush and bring any Mexican dish to life. Another Mediterranean delight, Tonnino gourmet tuna fillets with garlic in olive oil is deliciously versatile. The addition of capers takes things to another level, perfect for spreading on a bagel or instant canapés.


I bring lunch to work almost everyday. Tonnino Tuna over greens was delicious, healthy, and satisfying.

As people are learning to taste with their palate and their conscience, becoming increasingly aware of where their food comes from and that its production is socially and environmentally responsible, Tonnino wants to know that it’s safe. Tonnino can certify and guarantee that fishing has not harmed any other species, only selecting small sized yellowfin tuna with low levels of mercury. Hand packed in glass jars for quality you can see and taste, Tonnino offers convenience without sacrificing sophistication. Can the idea of canned tuna and try Tonnino! Tonnino ($7.99) is available nationwide at Whole Foods, Fairway, Central Market, Wegmans, etc. Click here to find a retail location nearest you. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in Product Review, Seafood and tagged , , on 16 November, 2015.

Nov 13

Uncle Steve’s Organic Pasta Sauce Review & Giveaway


Supermarket shelves are lined with jarred pasta sauces. When it comes to pasta sauce, you get what you pay for, and quality differs tremendously between the lower priced and the more expensive sauces. Store brands and many main stream brands on the market cost about $3-$4 per jar. But when you reach for the jars that cost $7-$10+ there is a huge difference in taste and ingredients. Unfortunately, sometimes eating healthier means spending more money, but when it comes to pasta sauce it is something I am 100% ok with spending more money.

The more expensive sauces are made with cleaner ingredients and taste that much better. I can never go back to  Ragu, Preggo or Hunts. And once you taste Uncle Steve’s Pasta Sauce you won’t be able to either. 

Best known for his role of Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos, Steve Schirripa was born in Bensonhurst to a Jewish mother and Italian father, and the actor/producer is known among friends to be an excellent cook. His line of pasta sauces came about after Steve cooked for friends in TriBeCa at a dinner party where all the guys had gotten together. One of the guests loved his sauce so much that he encouraged Steve to bottle it, and he did, and that is how Uncle Steve’s Pasta Sauce was born. 

With three flavors available, Tomato Basil, Marinara and Arrabiata, each tomato sauce is hand crafted with organic Italian whole peeled tomatoes, organic fresh onions, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic fresh garlic, sea salt, and fresh organic spices, and bottled right here in New York.

Certified USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, no sugar added and vegan, Steve offers truly authentic tasting and fresh sauces, that meet my criteria for a good pasta sauce. 

The Marinara is my favorite. The simplicity of this sauce makes it a versatile base for many Italian dishes. And Jeremy loved the Arrabiata sauce, a spicy marinara. “Arrabiata” loosely translates to “angry mood,” a name inspired by its spicy taste and goes well with any plain pasta, chicken or steak. 

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Pasta sauce is naturally sweet (tomatoes contain the sugar fructose), and Uncle Steve’s does not add sugar, which is not really needed but added by so many lower-end brands. Next time you buy a jar of sauce, look at the ingredients and make sure there is no added sugar. Better yet, just try a jar of Uncle Steve’s Pasta Sauce instead!

Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties sauces are available for sale in jar sets of 3. Each jar is priced at $7.99, which we think is well worth it in my books. I’d much rather pay a little more for quality sauce. And like I said before, some sauces with equal caliber can cost $10 or more! This is a good price. 

Now for the giveaway!! One lucky reader will win a Survivor Gift Basket that includes 1 jar of Uncle Steve’s organic Marinara Sauce, an Uncle Steve’s “Survivor” t-shirt, and a bamboo spoon. To Enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below. 

survivor desc

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on November 27, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to US residents only. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.



This entry was posted in Giveaway, Kosher, organic, Product Review, Sauce, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , on 13 November, 2015.

Nov 12

Living Now Gluten Free Organic Quinoa Pastas


Living Now is more than just a brand of great-tasting, non-GMO, certified gluten free, allergy-friendly foods. Living Now is a way of life for anyone with food sensitivities. Living Now focuses on natural and organic grains, flours, mixes, and pastas that are big on flavor but free of the eight major common allergens. Living Now products lets you enjoy the foods you love without the ingredients that don’t love you.

I was introduced to Living Now’s new line of pastas last month at the Gluten Free & Allergen Free Expo and I was very impressed with the texture and consistency. The new pasta, available in penne, macaroni, and spaghetti, tastes the way real pasta should taste with delicious flavor and the right texture.


Living Now Pastas are made with a simple and wholesome combination of organic quinoa, amaranth, and rice and are made without wheat, corn, and other common allergens. So you can rest easy knowing your new favorite pasta is not only safe but good for you as well. Living Now wholesome pasta is also made without GMOs or additives, and is produced in a dedicated allergy-friendly facility.

We loved the taste and consistency of this pasta. It was not grainy and it did not ger mussy or disintegrate after being topped with sauce. 

Quinoa Penne Pesto and Caulifower
A recipe the whole family can enjoy! This recipe is free of gluten and corn, allergy-friendly, and has a low glycemic impact.
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  1. 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  3. 3 cups spinach, chopped
  4. 2 cups basil, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. ¼ tsp black pepper
  1. 1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 2) Place cauliflower on sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes or until heads are golden brown.
  3. 3) In a food processor combine spinach, basil, roasted cauliflower, garlic, salt and black pepper until coarsely ground.
  4. 4) Slowly drizzle in Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil until fully incorporated.
  5. 5) Toss with 1 box of cooked Quinoa Penne and enjoy!
Gluten-Free N-Y-C


You can find Living Now pasta at leading grocery stores and health food stores across the country. You can search by product to find a location nearest you. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


This entry was posted in dairy free, nut free, organic, pasta, Product Review, Soy free and tagged , , , , , on 12 November, 2015.

Nov 10

Gluten Free in Charleston, SC


Last weekend Jeremy and I went to Charleston, South Carolina. I had no idea what a foodie town it was until we got there. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to eat gluten free in the south, and if that was really on their radar yet. But I was plesanlty suprised to find so many restarants with gluten free menus, and servers aware of what “gluten free” means; such a relief! 


Here is a recap of the restaurants we went to in Charleston. 

Shrimp & Grits from Low Country Bistro

Shrimp & Grits from Low Country Bistro

Lowcountry Bistro serves high quality food, using the freshest and most local ingredients possible, combining both modern-creative and traditional southern styles of cooking. The menu offers farm to table Lowcountry food; a casual mix of Creole, French, Southern and comfort foods. This is one of the few restaurants that offers Lowcountry gluten free food. Gluten Free options include shrimp and grits, jambalya, seafood, crab dip, salads, and more.

Low Country Bistro Gluten Free Menu

Low Country Bistro Gluten Free Menu



Toast Restaurant is hailed as a must-eat by the NY Times, which is evident by the line out the door at all hours of the day. Luckily we didn’t have to wait that long to be seated [20 minutes]. While Toast does not offer gluten free bread, it has plenty to choose from; eggs and hash, omelettes, salads, side dishes. We decided to eat here not only because everyone recommended it to use, but they also had crab omelettes, and I was on a mission to have crab while in Charleston! 

Crab Omelete

Crab Omelete

Note: They have a shared fryer and cooking surfaces. 

Sticky Fingers is a Memphis style-barbecue chain restaurant with many gluten free options to choose from. Here you will find wings (baked if you specifically ask, so they don’t fry them in the gluten fryer), meat platters (chicken, pork, brisket, ribs) and a variety of southern sides and sauces on the separate gluten free menu. We had the ribs which were messy and delicious and so tender from slow cooking on-site over aged hickory wood, that the meat fell right off the bones! 


And all 5 Sticky Finger sauces are gluten free! 


Black Bean Co. is a fast casual restaurant, which they refer to as “Energy Food” offering natural, organic, and vegan friendly food, with many gluten free options. For lunch one day I had a delicious salad with goat cheese and Italian-style tofu with a citrus vinaigrette. 

Mixed Greens with goat cheese, pecans, avocado, and tofu

Mixed Greens with goat cheese, pecans, strawberries, avocado, and tofu.

Joe Pasta uses Tito’s Vodka in many of their drinks, and indicates which drinks are gluten free. Tito’s Vodka can also be substituted for other vodkas. We had brunch here on our first day in Charleston. I had a vegetable omelette, and we both had Ultimate Bloody Marys.


And of course we just had to have pralines while we were in Charleston. You can find pralines at dozens of places, but we loved the chocolate and pumpkin pralines from River Street Sweets on King Street. 


Other restaurants with Gluten Free Menu

Restaurants with Gluten Free Options

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Next month we are going to New Orleans and I am looking for gluten free suggestions. If you have any, please leave them in the comments section below. 


This entry was posted in Charleston, Restaurant Review, South Carolina, Travel and tagged , , , on 10 November, 2015.

Nov 09

Dr. Lucy’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Today I am excited to share with you [again] one of my favorite gluten free cookies; Dr. Lucy’s Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies. 


When Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her child had severe food allergies, she got down to some serious medical research—in the kitchen. What began as a mother’s tasty recipe for her child has today developed into a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations.

Lucy’s line of gluten free products include cookies and brownies. Available in a variety of delicious flavors – with everything from Chocolate, to Cinnamon Thin, Maple Crunch and more – Lucy’s cookies are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and made without wheat, dairy milk, butter, eggs, casein, peanuts, or other tree nuts. Every flavor I’ve tried I’ve loved! 

With less than 130 calories per serving— 3 cookies!—, Lucy’s cookies are the perfect option for any midday snack or nighttime treat. I also like that the sugar content is ‘relatively’ low, as opposed to 20 grams or more in most gluten free desserts.


The Chocolate Chocolate Chunk cookies are rich, delicious and the perfect mix of chocolate with more chocolate! Made from simple, old-fashioned, nutrient-rich ingredients, with only 45 calories per cookie, this new flavor will help you eat smart and enjoy at the same time! The texture is nice and crunchy, but not rock-hard, with a nice crumble-factor.


All of Lucy’s products are made in a dedicated bakery where they incorporate key standards you and your family can count on:

Lucy’s products are available in over 7,000 stores across the U.S. & Canada For a complete list of retail locations click here.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


This entry was posted in cookie, dairy free, nut free, Product Review, Vegan and tagged , , , , on 9 November, 2015.

Nov 06

Namaste Foods Gluten Free Baking Mixes Review Giveaway


Namaste foods is a small (but growing!) manufacturer of fine foods that contain no wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, casein, peanuts or tree nuts. I’ve been a big fan of Namaste foods quick & easy meals for years. At least once per month Jeremy and I make Pasta Pisavera or Taco Pasta. But it wasn’t until last month at the GF&AF Expo did I discover that Namaste foods also makes delicious baking mixes! IMG_2858

Namaste’s offers a variety of breakfast basics, including:

And cookie, cake & dessert mixes: 

I had no idea they offered so many products – they also have soups, pizza crusts, and seasoned coating mixes – and I was thrilled to learn all about them last month. After the expo, Namaste sent me a few products to try out myself and I couldn’t wait to get baking! 

Namaste’s facility contains no wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, peanuts or tree nuts. It is their attempt to try to eliminate any chance of cross-contamination so you can enjoy Namaste Foods products worry-free. They do not use GMO ingredients in any product and all Namaste Food products are Kosher Certified. Aditionally, all products are made with only all-natural ingredients, no preservatives, and are vegan friendly.

Knowing gluten free products are expensive, Namaste has made an effort to make them more affordable for you. You will find that most Namaste Foods mixes have a significantly higher yield than other brands. For instance, all cake mixes make TWO rounds as opposed to one, making each purchase a better bang for your buck. 


Namaste Foods knocks it out of the park again with their baking mixes! The taste, texture and consistency of the gluten free cookies were spot on. The cookie mix is so versatile, just like many of Namaste’s other mixes. On it’s own, this cookie will taste like your favorite sugar cookie, and also make delicious snicker doodle cookies (my favorite!). Or get creative and add dried apricots and macadamia nuts, chocolate chips or peanut butter chips, or any combination that pleases your palate! 

I also like that these cookies are not loaded with sugar. While most cookies have upwards of 20 grams of sugar per serving, Namaste’s gluten free cookie mix only has 9 grams. 


Cookie Mix Nutritional Information

Once again, Namaste Foods is a trusted gluten free brand that keeps things tasting great, while also using the best ingredients. 

You can find Namaste Foods at natural food stores nationwide and at a growing number of grocery stores throughout the United States and Canada, including Fairway and Whole Foods. To find a retail location nearest you click here.  

And now for the giveaway! One lucky reader will have the chance to win two Namaste gluten free baking mixes! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on November 12, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to US residents only. Head over to Instagram for more chances to win! 


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


This entry was posted in Baking, cookie, dairy free, Giveaway, Kosher, nut free, Product Review, Soy free and tagged , , , , , , on 6 November, 2015.