Southern Comforts Gluten Free Cornbread and Chili

October 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

As the chill of Autumn and Winter set in, southern comfort foods start sounding very good to me.

At your local grocery store, there is a good chance you will find these gluten free cornbread and chili items, a meal to love, cheaper and healthier than fast food. Preparation time is short at 20 minutes for everything.

I haven’t yet found any canned gluten free chili that I like better than Stagg CLASSIC Chili with Beans. I think some of Stagg Chili have wheat, so make sure to read the label and that you are getting the right one, in this case, the CLASSIC.

Usually, I buy Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix at WholeFoods, which I also use in my pancakes mixes.

With an urgent cornbread craving, I found Hodgson Mill cornbread mix at my neighborhood Safeway market. My husband and I ate all the cornbread muffins I made without delay, so yes, this brand is delicious too.

The meal is easy to make. The chili you just heat up in five minutes on the stove or microwave. The cornbread requires mixing a few ingredients (the mix with egg, milk, oil), scooping into a square pan or muffin tray, and baking. Buttering each muffin cup fully with my finger makes the muffins pop out easily.

[Click on brand name links above for INGREDIENTS on the label.]

* Please note that some chili and cornbread mixes do have wheat or white enriched flour in their ingredients, so always read the ingredients on these canned and boxed foods labels. When it says “Gluten Free” on the label, as these products do, it makes shopping much easier.

Gluten Free Ravioli — Fast and Easy

September 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products


I love ravioli and Conte’s Pasta Gluten Free Spinach and Cheese Ravioli definitely meet my requirements for deeee-li-shuzsss !  These are so good. I can close my eyes and feel like I am in an Italian restaurant.

Takes 10 minutes all together. This is the fastest easiest meal for when I am feeling lazy and don’t want to spend much time cooking. 

I will teach you a few ways that I prepare them.

First, boil the water. When boiling, put in the ravioli. Stir GENTLY, these ravioli are not sturdy. Keep your eye on them and the water — not too hot and forceful because they easily break open. Remove them as soon as the look like they are going to burst. Takes about 8 minutes. Follow the directions for the first time and adjust to your own stove.

Pictured above is my lemon sage ravioli preparation. I put a swirl of olive oil (and butter, optional) in a small saucepan. Add garlic (chopped or powdered), salt, pepper, and half a lemon squeezed. In this case, I have added some sage leaves I clipped from my plant to my light lemony sauce. It takes a few minutes to heat up. That’s it. Pour it on your ravioli.

An even easier and simpler version is to not cook the above sauce and just put the ingredients directly on the ravioli. One less pan to clean!

Optional Ingredients I add when I have them are:

Chicken (boiled or fried). Broccoli, I toss in the boiling water with the ravioli at the beginning. Shrimp, I toss in the last two minutes with the ravioli. You can fry all kinds of sliced goodies in a sauce pan, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, sausages… and add those ingredients on top of your ravioli. This all natural Cucina & Amore Bruschetta Artichoke spread tastes great heated up and added as a sauce, pictured aside… you can thin it with some cream, butter, or olive oil. Or you can use a classic pre-prepared jar of pesto sauce or tomato sauce — all are easy and great with Conte’s Pasta Ravioli.

Click to see and read the Conte’s Pasta Ravioli INGREDIENTS and full NUTRITIONAL FACTS.


How to Find Safe Healthy Gluten Free Lotion, Face & Skincare

May 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products


With Celiac Disease, gluten, when ingested, affects the digestive tract primarily, with a chain reaction damaging systems from the inside outward to other organs.

Even though skin is technically a different organ separate from the digestive tract, sometimes gluten, wheat, barley, or rye products also affect people’s skin negatively when directly applied. Maybe a person has an allergy, not connected to Celiac Disease. For me, I get itchy and red. If someone has a severe allergic reaction or auto-immune response, they may blister.

If only it was as easy as reading the ingredients, like with food, to avoid the ingredients that are damaging to us personally.

Many lotion and skin products do not fully disclose their ingredients and make me burn and itch. What can we do to keep ourselves safe?

Maia, a dear trusted (and brilliant) friend of mine started her own skincare line called Sweet Science. From her we can learn a lot. Here are some questions I had for her.

1. What inspired you to take the fearless jump into creating face skincare products? 

I got into it because I have always been a skincare fanatic.  I was a trend shopper for many years. I bought and used EVERYTHING on the market.  I got really tired of not getting the results promised on the package. I also was becoming frustrated because I was spending top dollar on “Natural” skincare that went bad very quickly and was also totally ineffective.

2. What are the ingredients that you see in so many lotions and skincare products that make you cringe and why?

Dimethicone is one ingredient that I will not use on my face or my line.  It is a silicone and those coat your face for up to 5 days! Silicone is a synthetic polymer derived from a naturally occurring element, silicon. Silicone is very difficult to remove, if not impossible, it just has to wear off.  Any ingredient with a “cone” at the end, I do not use those in my line.  They are now being connected with tumorous growths. If you avoid them for a couple of weeks, you will be amazed.  Your pores shrink, you stop breaking out, the random dry spots clear up, your skin balances out.  Its a very deceptive ingredient, silicone.

3. I love your Sweet Science product line because it is honest, fresh, natural, and priced fair. I see that there is wheat germ oil in some of your products. Can you tell me about your products without any wheat, barley, rye, or gluten in them, products that would be safe and of interest to my readers? What are they called and what is their function?

We have a Vitamin C Serum Complex that is absolutely the best!  I have friends who are makeup artists at MAC and Tom Ford and they can’t believe the difference it makes. It fades melanoma and discolorations because we use the best Vitamin C (called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate)  and combine it with niacinamide. It totally works!

     Yes, I have that one and I love it.

4. How are your products different from similar products? 

There is nothing similar to Sweet Science.  We are the only brand available that has the actives kept separate.  I believe it’s the future of skincare. It’s not a gimmick. It’s the best way to get the best results for your skin.

5. Why are freshly mixed actives important?

Actives are what make the product produce results. Scientists isolate new, great actives all the time and they work!  But actives degrade over time when they have been mixed in an aqueous formula, namely water. Big name companies often manufacture products years ahead of time, so by the time you buy it, it’s basically lost all it’s effectiveness. That’s why, with my products, you mix the elements together yourself when you receive them for a longer lasting more effective solution. It takes under 5 minutes and you have a product that serves its function.

6. Since you dove into skincare, what is the most important thing you have learned that you wish everyone knew?

High price doesn’t necessarily mean a better product. I see the most overpriced stuff with terrible ingredients. Just because it comes in an expensive bottle or has some fancy packaging, consumers think it’s going to change their skin for the better.

I recently got some samples from a brand that everyone knows, really expensive and they WILL NOT list their ingredients anywhere.  That’s a red flag for sure. But I had to test it. I had to! The stuff was good for a day or so, I looked good, but after about 3 days, I broke out and my skin looked terrible.  The product was swimming in dimethicone. I went back to using just my line and my skin went back to normal.

7. What can we do to buy safer cosmetic and skincare products?

We all know we get a better product from the smaller farms who actually care about what they grow and have some accountability to the people. Why shouldn’t you think the same way about your skin?

When you buy from smaller skincare lines, like with your organic local foods, you have access to speak with the owners who are passionate about what they do and want their customers to be well and happy. The smaller the product line, the better the odds of getting a safer more effective product from someone who cares.

Look for skincare products at your local farmers’ markets and local health food stores. Seek products made in your town, or state, or province, or even your own country is a good start. Try to buy products made closer to home, when possible. I know lots of people live in regions where, due to harsh weather or sparse population size, many items have to be imported. is one place I sell my product online. There are many websites that cater to small run businesses.

Thank you Maia for enlightening us on skincare.

Thank you for having me.


Trader Joe’s New Gluten Free Flour

April 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Trader Joe’s has come out with a delicious and low price gluten-free flour on their Baker Josef’s line.

The ingredients are: Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour.

Click on Nutrition Facts for more details.

Simple and tasty, this versatile gluten-free flour is perfect for a straight replacement of enriched white flour (wheat) in recipes.

I was impressed with how good this flour tasted in my simple pancakes recipe.

If you or your guests are intolerant to gluten, wheat, or have Celiac Disease, the new Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour is a reliable flour to have in your cupboard, ready to use for any recipe that requires flour.

Not only is this gluten free flour an acceptable and functioning replacement for white flour, I think the taste is superior too.

My Heart Goes To Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery This Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Eating Out, Gluten Free Products


For the gluten-free love of your life, I suggest you get a delicious Valentine’s Day treat from the Mariposa Bakery. Mariposa Bakery is local to San Francisco and Oakland, but they do mail many items within the United States!

Pictured here are their Valentine’s Day chocolate donuts, distinguished by their sugar heart sprinkles. They taste like Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake or a rich chocolate cupcake. Like any donut, this is more of a dessert than a start-your-day kind of healthy breakfast.

Mariposa also has, on any given day, a wide assortment of cookies and cakes too. You can call and special order for birthdays or other celebrations.

The main thing I buy are the plain frozen pizza crusts that I prepare in full at home; I will write in depth about that in another article.

Mariposa has some great lunch options as well (pizza, beetloaf sandwich, salad, etc). Everything is delicious here. You can’t go wrong.

I came across Mariposa for the first time many years ago when I was getting my old Volvo serviced. Someone had put a Montclair Auto Tech flyer on my Volvo for their autoshop. They turned out to be the most honest, affordable guys, and I got to hang out at the gluten-free bakery next door… and the wine shop one more door over. It was a three-for. Getting a car tune-up had never been so fun!

In those early days, there were not very many customers or employees at Mariposa. It was quiet.

Over the years, a few other competing gluten-free bakeries popped up in the area with high prices and not great products; they came and went.

Meanwhile, Mariposa Bakery blossomed into a beautiful big prosperous business. These days, they are always busy, have lots of friendly employees, and ship out boxes of products too.

They opened up a convenient storefront at The Ferry Building at the end of Market Street in San Francisco, great for commuters and tourists.

Mariposa Bakery has given me many years of joyful eating. Their prices are only slightly above mass-produced foods, and therefore quite reasonable for freshly baked gluten-free food. Since the day I found them, I have felt blessed to have them in my life.

You can find Mariposa Bakery at:

5427 Telegraph Ave, Unit D3
Oakland, CA 94609
tel: 510-595-0955
Monday-Friday 9-6
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 10-5


One Ferry Building, Suite 32
San Francisco, CA 94111
tel: 510-595-0955
Monday-Saturday 8-6
Sunday 10-5



A New Pure Cider for the Holidays

December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

possmann_pureciderA new gluten free cider jumped off the shelf at me: Possmann Pure Cider from Germany. The name, packaging, and product are in perfect harmony, elegant and simple.

On a white label with silver and gold lettering, Pure Cider’s stylish modern packaging is like a Kubrick futuristic movie or an Apple Macintosh store. Not new, Pure Cider boasts 130 years of heritage. That’s just what I like: old and new, classic with a modern edge.

I feared Pure Cider would be a hard bitter cider that I wouldn’t like, but it turned out to be a nice sweet flavor similar to Martinelli’s non-alcoholic cider. Martinelli’s is what was always given to the kids in my family on holidays, so Pure Cider brings a positive association with its flavor.

Gluten Free Possmann Pure Cider has 5% alcohol.

The bottle reads: “Simply pure enjoyment from the rich flavor of German apples ripened for the full summer, then picked, pressed and fermented to cider according to the traditional Possmann recipe. Cheers from Frankfurt. ”

I am not sure where you can find Pure Cider in the USA. It is probably easier to find in Europe. It immediately sold out at my store. It is a bit expensive at $9.99, as it has a long journey to make to get to California. At $2.50 a bottle, it is still cheaper than buying a drink at the bar.

If you can find it, Possmann Pure Cider is a nice light gluten free alcoholic beverage to have at your holiday and New Year’s Eve parties. Plus, Pure Cider will look nice next to the champagne and confetti.

Quest for the Perfect Gluten Free English Muffin

September 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

As you quest for the perfect gluten free English Muffin, I will help you by comparing the two gluten free English Muffin brands, Glutino and Food for Life, to Thomas’ English Muffins (the holy grail of English Muffins for Americans).

Glutino’s English Muffins have  a yellow-orange color and when cut open, look like a fluffy light bread. But if you close your eyes, the light taste and texture in the mouth is more similar to Thomas’ English Muffin than the Food for Life brand.

The Food for Life brand of gluten free English Muffin, I enjoy, but I know it is not for everyone. It is a heavier bread and a more pasty taste and texture. The Food for Life brand looks just like a Thomas’ English Muffin, but does not taste like one. As I said, I like it, but it is not for everyone.

The Glutino brand is more of a crowd pleaser, but the ingredients are less healthy.

Click here to see Glutino’s English Muffin ingredients made in Canada.

Click here to see Food for Life’s English Muffin organic ingredients made in the USA.

When it comes to gluten free organic flours, as Food for Life uses, the flavor result can be unique and an acquired taste.

Both English Muffins require some skills to defrost and toast to just the right taste. If the Food For Life English Muffin is not heated long enough, it tastes really bad. So don’t give up on it, maybe you need to warm it longer. Both brands I defrost in the oven on Bake 375. The Glutino brand, after defrosted, I cut open and toast with butter on Broil. The Food for Life brand, being heavier and thicker, tastes better closed with butter inserted, otherwise, it just gets too hard.

I have tried a variation of delicious organic toppings. Butter. Butter and cream cheese. Butter and a fried egg. Butter, cream cheese, avocado, and smoked salmon.

SUMMARY: If all you want is gluten free and good taste, go with the Glutino English Muffin brand. If you are nostalgic for the English Muffin look, want to be as healthy as you can be, and don’t mind trying new flavors, go with the organic FoodforLife brand.


Gluten Free Yogurt Pretzels by Glutino

August 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Manifesting thoughts into the physical world is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to gluten free yogurt-covered pretzels.

I was walking through the grocery story, eyeing some yummy looking yogurt pretzels in the bulk bins area, but I knew I couldn’t have them.

Lo and behold, when I came to the snacks and cookies isle, there it was, my very own gluten free yogurt pretzels put out by Glutino!

Glutino makes lots of tasty sweets. I’d say their sweet stuff rocks this world. They have all kinds of crazy good cookies. That is what Glutino does best.

The yogurt pretzels hit the spot.

Pretzels are junk food, my dear friends, and eating them in excess will cause weight gain, so don’t make a habit out of eating these. The yogurt gluten free pretzels are perfect for a party or special treat.

If it is you alone purchasing these bad boys, I recommend putting them in a jar to keep fresh so you don’t feel the need to eat them all at once.

Yogurt Gluten Free Pretzels INGREDIENTS are: cane juice, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, yogurt poweder, soy lecithin, corn starch, potato starch, palm oil, sugar, sea salt, cellulose gum, sodium bicarbonate, yeast extract, sodium acid pyrophosphate, citric acide, sodium hydroxide. ALLERGIES, CONTAINS: soy and milk, possibly nuts.

Gluten Free Flours

August 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

What Gluten Free Flours Can I Use to Replace White Enriched Wheat Flour in my Recipes? What’s in Gluten Free Flour? What are the Ingredients?

Other than in bread, pizza crusts, and buns, I don’t miss white wheat flour at all.

When prepared well, I prefer the taste of gluten free flours much better in pancakes, cookies, and pastas.

At WholeFoods or online, you can buy these gluten free flours:


is the best and easiest all around to slip into and replace wheat flour in any recipe.
INGREDIENTS: White rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, guar gum, salt.


I also use this a lot in pancakes. I use 1/2 of Bob’s Cornbread Mix and 1/2 Gluten Free All Purpose flour to replace the white flour in the recipe. The cornbread mix makes things a little thicker and fluffier than regular gluten free mix. The cornbread is also great on its own. And Bob has a Gluten Free All Purpose Flour too.
INGREDIENTS: whole grain cornmeal, potato starch, whole grain
sorghum flour, evaporated cane juice, whole grain corn flour, tapioca
flour, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate,
cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), sea salt, xanthan gum.


I use the Arrowhead Mills Brown Rice Flour, but I haven’t tried this All Purpose Flour yet. They also have a Pancake Mix and other mixes. Sounds good. Organic ingredients!
INGREDIENTS: organic whole grain brown rice flour, organic potato starch, rice starch, organic potato starch, rice starch, organic whole grain sorghum flour, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch), sea salt.


is so yummy, I worry about how healthy it is. You may find Gluten Free Bisquick in main stream grocery stores. The biscuits from this mix are the best!
INGREDIENTS: Rice Flour, Sugar, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Modified Potato Starch, Salt, Xanthan Gum

** TIP: Recycled tomato sauce glass jars are excellent for getting your flours out of the plastic bags and into glass for safer storage and easier usage. Makes it more attractive to look at as well. **


the easy one

the fancy one

What’s With The Gluten Free Label Craze?

June 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

People who don’t understand what gluten does to the human body are bothered by the Gluten Free label craze. If you don’t understand and don’t care to know, don’t worry about it. These products were always gluten free. It just means they were not made with white enriched wheat flour, barley, or rye. It’s just like labeling something as Dairy Free or Vegan. It doesn’t mean anything except for what ingredients are in it and what ingredients are not in it.

For people who must eat gluten free for their mental and physical well-being, the Gluten Free label is a way to quickly go food shopping without having to read all the ingredients every time, which is time consuming.

It is a strange feeling to be the odd ball out all your life, and then all the sudden, you are the cool kid.

That’s how it feels suffering from Celiac Disease before it was in the public conscious. Thirty years of extreme pain and awful symptoms… with doctors, family, and associates calling you a crazy hypochondriac… and now everyone wants to be in the Gluten Free club?

What happened in the past few years to cause this gluten free explosion? I don’t know. I guess the Internet. With everyone comparing notes, I can only guess that people figured out their gluten intolerance on their own, without doctors, but from the Internet. I happen to figure it out the old fashioned way, from a health magazine.

As a kid, not aware of how to eat healthy, naturally I gravitated towards sugary things that tasted good and so did my mother.

I have to admit that Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles were of my favorite childhood cereals. To walk down the grocery aisle and see them labeled with an enormous blue tag GLUTEN FREE this month, I nearly fell over… and bought them, of course.

Like many products, Pebbles have always been Gluten Free, but now they are labeling it to get the Gluten Free market.

What is shocking to me is that for huge food companies to be changing their labels, that means millions of people around the world have been suffering in silence, just like me. That is heavy. When you suffer some unknown ailment, you feel very alone and alienated.

Physically, mentally, and socially, eating gluten caused the kind of suffering that makes a person want to die, and there were millions of people who felt this way, apparently, millions of people who probably still feel this way because they are unaware of their sensitivity to gluten? That’s just crazy to me.

As the food markets clearly have become hip to the problem, I wonder, have the doctors????

Many mock the gluten free thing when they themselves are suffering, like members of my own family.

By the harassment I still get from the public in casual conversation, I know that the public does not understand how seriously people are affected by gluten, how it is not just a fad but a serious life threatening condition, like cancer or being allergic to bee stings or nuts or intolerant to dairy. People don’t get it yet.

To be honest, even I used to mock people’s various strange eating habits. Back in the day, before I understood my problem, I met many people who ate wheat free. They never explained it to me in a way that made sense to me. They pretty much only said that wheat made them feel tired. Feeling tired didn’t seem like a good enough reason to change one’s entire diet, so I disregarded something that would have changed my life.

There are so many products coming out with Gluten Free labels, it is just astounding. To me, that screams that this is a huge global health problem that lots of people are suffering from gluten.

These old products coming out with Gluten Free labels, I just want you to know, they haven’t changed their recipes. These are products like Cocoa Pebbles were always gluten free. They are just trying to make sure that Celiac Auto-Immune Disease sufferers and gluten intolerant people know they are gluten free and keep buying their products.

Avoiding gluten is one issue. That prevents the stomach aches, the diarrea, the constipation, and all the crazy headtrips that come along with malnutrition.

Avoiding sugar and processed foods is an entirely different thing. Sugars and processed foods like cereals cause blood sugar problems that can also make you crazy, cause anger, irritation, disorientation, fatigue, and diabetes, to name a few.

Eating things like Cocoa Pebbles occasionally won’t kill you. But if you eat them every single day for breakfast, gluten free or otherwise, the sugar and preservatives are not good for your long term health.

My personal goal is to eat as healthy as possible. Part of being healthy is to not completely deprive myself from things that also make me happy. Happiness goes a long way in health. Strive for natural organic whole foods, but if you want something not healthy sometimes, don’t make a big deal about it. Just do it and go back to the regular healthy routine, organic greens and natural proteins.


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