Thursday, July 26, 2012

Product Review: Crunchmaster Multi-Seed and Multi-Grain Crackers

 I was given the opportunity to review Crunchmaster's Multi-Seed Original, Multi-Seed Roasted Garlic, and Multi-Grain Crisps Original. My favorite cracker in the gluten free world is Crunchmaster's Multi-Grain Crisps....sooooo it wasn't hard to twist my arm into reviewing other flavors of their product.
     I wasn't disappointed at all with the other flavors. They too, are super yummy. The Multi-Seed crackers are alot like the Multi-Grain Crisps, to me. However, the Multi-Seed are about double or triple the size. I like their size alot better. They are great for dipping and scooping. I wish the Multi-Grain Crisps came in the larger size (Hint, hint Crunchmaster!! )
(L to R: Multi-Seed Roasted Garlic, Multi-Seed Original, and Multi-Grain Crisps)

The Multi-Seed Originals were amazing paired with the Crunchy Chicken Salad that I made yesterday.

I decided to taste test all 3 flavors of crackers with a little wedge of cheese. They were all yummy.

Plate of the 3 types of crackers and a wedge of yummy cheese. So GOOD!

      If you are looking for a great gluten free cracker give Crunchmaster a try. They are super yummy. I'm really looking forward to two new products they have coming out soon. They are introducing Cheddar Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps coming up in August!! I'm excited to try those. The company said they would send me some for a review soon. So look for a review of their new products coming up hopefully next month!! Get excited!! In the mean time, pick up a box of their crackers to enjoy!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blueberry Pineapple Dump Cake

     I know, I know, I have posted TWO recipes today. You are probably wondering if I have gone nuts or something!?!?! Well, the truth is..........yes! Just kidding! Honestly, I had the oven on to bake the chicken for the yummy Crunchy Chicken Salad. I figured that while I had the oven on, I may as well try out this amazing cake.

Blueberry Pineapple Dump Cake
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, in juice
1 (20-ounce) can blueberry pie filling
1 C. Fresh Blueberries, (optional)
1 Gluten Free box yellow cake mix
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour the pineapple with the juice into the bottom of the pan. Spread it out evenly. Spread the blueberry pie filling over the crushed pineapple. Evenly distribute the fresh blueberries over the pie filling. Pour the cake mix over the top. Spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the pecans over the cake mix. Pour the melted butter over the top of the entire mixture (don't stir) Bake for 30-45 min. or until lightly browned and bubbly.
I love a cake that requires no stirring!

Dump the pineapple in the pan, spread it out.
Evenly spread the blueberry pie filling over the pineapple.

Be sure your blueberries are washed.

Drop the fresh blueberries down onto the pie filling.
Top with the cake mix and pecans

Pour the melted butter over the cake mix and bake at 350 for 30-45 min.
It should be brown and bubbly like this when it comes out of the oven.
Serve it up warm, even with some vanilla ice cream if you dare.


     This cake is a hit! I will be making it again soon. It was super easy to make and tasted soooooo good. I hope that you like it too!! Enjoy!


Crunchy Chicken Salad

     It has been sweltering hot here. When it is hot I do not wish to eat. Nothing sounds good, nothing looks good. I decided to try making some chicken salad. I remembered that my Grandma made chicken salad once from a recipe that came from the Hays House in Council Grove, Kansas. The Hays House is known for being the oldest continuous restaurant west of the Mississippi River. It was built in 1857. They serve all sorts of gluteny home cooked foods. (end of history lesson)
     I can't remember if Grandma asked the chef for the recipe, or if they have recipe cards available for purchase in the establishment. Either way, Grandma made their chicken salad and it was yummy. SO I decided to look online and see if I could come up with it...and low and behold I found the Hays House Crunchy Chicken Salad Recipe on the Kansas Magazine website.
     My recipe isn't exactly like their recipe, but it is inspired by their recipe for chicken salad. I hope you enjoy it.

Crunchy Chicken Salad

5 C. Cooked Chicken, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 C. Celery diced into small pieces
1 C. Pineapple tidbits, drained
1 C. Red Seedless Grapes, cut into halves
1/4 C. Toasted Pecan Pieces
1 C. Plain Greek Yogurt
1 C. Miracle Whip
1 tsp. Seasoning Salt

In a large bowl combine the chicken pieces, celery, pineapple, grapes, and toasted pecans. Mix until combined. In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and mix until coated. Chill in the refrigerator.

Serve on bread for a sandwich, on lettuce for a salad, or with gluten free crackers.

Wash all the veggies and get ready for won't take long though

Dice the celery into small pieces

Cut the seedless red grapes into 1/2. If you are serving this to little kiddos, you may want to cut them into even smaller pieces so that they aren't a choking hazard.
Add the pineapple tidbits, I even cut them into 1/2, but you wouldn't have to.
Add the toasted pecans. (to toast nuts, bake at 350 for 5-10 min. until slightly browned and have a toasted flavor. Watch them carefully so they do not burn)
Cut the chicken into small chunks.
Combine the dressing ingredients.

Mix the dressing into the other ingredients until everything is well coated with yummyness.

Serve well chilled with gluten free crackers.

I hope you enjoy my chicken salad recipe. I tried to make it a little more "healthy" by using greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Also, it is something that won't heat up the house too much during this intense heat wave we have been going through. Oh, and it also tastes pretty darn good! Enjoy.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

People said "It's hot enough to bake cookies out there" I did.

    The people said, "It's hot enough to bake cookies out there!!" I did. This experiment is what results when it is SUPER hot out, too hot to go anywhere or do anything fun. I decided to do a little car baking. Yes, you read it right. I used my car to bake cookies.
     Our temperatures here have been HORRIBLE, sizzling, steaming, scorching, and grossly HOT! Today's predicted high temperature is 106 and that doesn't count whatever the heat index makes it FEEL like. I decided it was entirely too hot to go anywhere or do anything. I was also super bored after making this decision. I opted to make my own fun at home........
     I made my favorite cookie recipe Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip . The only thing I did differently than normal was that I used mini chips instead of regular sized. I also made sure that the cookies were uniform in size on the pan. I flattened them down to about 1/4 in. with the back of a spoon so that they could cook well in the sun.
I used a small baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. I dropped teaspoon fulls of dough onto the tray and then flattened them with the back of a spoon. I would say they were not more than 1/4 in. thick.

I then took the tray out to my vehicle. I put a dark colored towel down under the baking sheet (I didn't want any damage to my dash and the dark color should draw in more heat). I also put my indoor/outdoor thermometer sensor by the baking sheet so that I could keep track of the baking temperature.
I closed the doors, made sure the windows were up and....ready, set, BAKE!

This is the cookies at 1 hour into cooking....they look a little fluffier.

So my indoor/outdoor thermometer idea didn't work out so only recorded the temperature to about 140 deg. and then it started reading OF.L.....I guess that means HOT. If I did this again I would go and buy an oven thermometer.

2 hours into cooking
I opened the car door to check the cookies at 3 hours and they were solid feeling so I figured they were done. Their coloring didn't change much, so you can't judge by the coloring.
Car cookies are yummy, not exactly the same as oven cookies, but you can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter no matter HOW you cook it!

So if you are bored and it is hot now have an activity to try!! If nothing else, it will make your car smell amazing, just like fresh baked cookies!!

Tips for making "car cookies"
1) The temperature outside needs to be at least 95 deg. (the temperature in your car will be 20-40 deg. hotter, possibly even more depending on your interior color)
2) Use a towel or hot pads under the baking sheet to protect your dash from any damage
3) Park in a spot with FULL sun.
4) Make sure the cookies are pretty flat so that they bake more easily in the sun
5) Cooking will take 2- 3 1/2 hours depending on the temperature. Check your cookies every hour or so to see how they are progressing. Their coloring won't change much, texture is what will change.

I hope you enjoyed my silly and fun hot day experiment!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Country Manor Mixes: Product Review

     I was recently introduced to Country Manor Mixes. A friend had brought three packages of dip mix back from her vacation in Minnesota. I was excited that they were gluten free. I decided to contact Country Manor and see if they would like to send out some product for me to review. They were more than happy to do that.
     Country Manor carries a variety of Dippin' products. They have dessert mixes, spreads for bagels or dessert, dipping oil mixes, fruit dips, and veggie/chip dip mixes. They have a great variety. I would say that just about everybody could find a flavor that they would like to try.
     I have chosen two of the products that I was sent to talk about today. I have chosen the BLT Mix and the English Toffee Cheesecake Mix. The BLT retails for $4 and the English Toffee for $6 on their website.
BLT Dip Mix from Country Manor Mixes

     Alright, let's talk BLT Dip Mix.....
     The BLT Dip Mix required 1 C. Sour Cream and 1 C. Mayo added to the package of Dip Mix. All I had to do was stir that all together and chill for a few hours or over night. I loved that the dip was simple to make. I was a little leery of how the mayo would taste in the dip, but it was great. I would definitely make this dip again. I dipped gluten free bagel chips into it, tortilla chips, and even pieces of lettuce. It was very yummy.

     The second mix was the English Toffee Cheesecake Mix. The package says that the mix can be made into a cheesecake, cheese ball, or dip. I decided to make mine into a cheese ball. However, after mixing the ingredients, it was far too soft and fluffy to form into a cheese ball....soooo it ended up being a dip. I had no problem with it just being a dip.
To make this mix it required a package of cream cheese and a container of cool whip. Easy Peasy.
I mixed the cream cheese with the dip mix first. Then I folded in the cool-whip.
My dip is a little too fluffy to make a cheese ball....oh well :) Still tastes yummy!
I dished up a little of the English Toffee Cheesecake Dip and topped it with some crushed English Toffee Candy Bar pieces. I used Mi-Del Arrowroot Animal Cookies for my dippers.

The result was YUMMYNESS!

I would love to make this again sometime. It was very good. I would love to try it in a pie shell next time. I would also like to figure out how to make it thick enough for the cheese ball, because that would be AMAZING rolled in the English Toffee Candy Bar pieces (my original plan for using the mix ha).

     Country Manor sells their mixes online and they can also be found in some stores. Look for them and check them out. They are yummy!!