Monday, December 8, 2014

Gluten Free Spicy Sausage Balls

Tis the season of office parties, family gatherings, and having friends over for supper. And I don’t know about you guys, but all too often these Holiday Festivities are gosh darn FULL of GLUTEN.

And not just crackers or cookies, but the classic holiday favorites that you may have previously loved.

One of my favorites: Sausage Balls.

Maybe it’s a Southern thing, but I stinkin’ LOVE Sausage Balls! Pork, Cheese….what’s not to love?

When I first saw Gluten Free Bisquick a few years ago, I instantly thought of Sausage Balls.

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My friends, that was a smart thought!

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Gluten Free Sausage Balls are a cinch to make and are positively delicious! Serve them with a honey mustard dipping sauce and friends, you’re in heaven!

Gluten Free Sausage Balls

You’ll need:

1 pound ground sausage (I suggest using Spicy – it gives the recipe a real depth in flavor)

1 cup Gluten Free Bisquick

1 block (8 oz) Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar

1/4 cup chopped chives (You could use scallions, but I would mince)

1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (Start with 1/2 and see if you need a bit more liquid to get the ingredients to meld)

Start by handmixing all the ingredients in a large bowl. You want to get the ingredients fully incorporated, so this may take a few minutes. I started out with 1/2 cup milk but had to add another 1/4 cup to get all the gluten free Bisquick to meld.

Yes, your hands will be disgusting. It’s worth it!

Roll the dough into small one inch balls, and place on a greased cookie sheet. I suggest a cookie sheet with raised sides if you have it. The sausage will express a bit of grease, so you don’t want it to leak in to your oven.

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Bake the balls at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. You want the balls to be golden brown on top without burning the bottoms. So check it at 25 minutes and if you can go an extra 5 minutes do it.

Serve hot! And….with mustard. I’m telling you. Delicious.

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The best part of this recipe? You can prep ahead of time!

You can make the “dough” a few days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Or you can roll out the balls and freeze them before baking!

Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

GIVEAWAY–Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten Free Goodies

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you all had a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend….hopefully without gluten! Parrish and I enjoyed Thursday together with my parents, and we topped off our delicious meal with gluten free pumpkin pie. Definitely not a bad way to end a day!

And now I’m so so so excited because it’s OFFICIALY my favorite time of year. I LOVE Christmas!

When I came home from work on Friday, Parrish surprised me with a HUGE Christmas tree! It’s even bigger than this beauty from last year:

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And I’m enjoying my morning coffee out of my FAVORITE holiday mug:

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He’s so happy!

So it must be time to start giving gifts right? Good thing I have the perfect gift for everyone on your Gluten Free Gift List….including YOU!

One lucky Gluten Hates Me reader will win a Holiday Gluten Free Gift Basket from Tate’s Bake Shop.

When Tate’s contacted me and asked if I would like to host a giveaway, I jumped at the chance! Their Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are HANDS DOWN my favorite ever! I was so excited to see them included in the Gluten Free Giveaway Basket!

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In this basket: Three HUGE packages of gluten free cookies.

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Gluten Free Ginger Zinger Cookies – Crispy, Buttery and bursting with hunks of crystallized ginger.

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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love ALL of the cookies, but I think the Chocolate Chip are still my fave. They’re delicious dipped in milk and they make the BEST ice cream sandwiches. I paired mine with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream – YUM!

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Also in the basket, a Gluten Free Fudgy Brownie, Gluten Free Blondie, and a package of Gluten Free Peppermint Cookie Bark.

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So good!!! I wish I had taken a picture of the Gluten Free Blondie but I ate it so quickly and enjoyed it so much…that I forgot! Bad food blogger.

I love that Tate’s Bake Shop treats are baked with love in a dedicated GF facility, using only the freshest premium ingredients. They're tested for gluten content by a national lab and are certified by the Celiac Sprue Association. I never worry when I buy their products.

Want to win a Gluten Free Gift Basket of your own?

Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten Free Gift Basket Giveaway

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this blog post answering this question: What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie?

The winner will be chosen Friday, December 5th at 6pm.

Can’t wait to win? Tate’s Bake Shop has graciously given Gluten Hates Me readers a 20% OFF Coupon – valid through December 16th.

Simply use the coupon code: gfblog14 at Tate’s Bake Shop  and take 20% off your purchase of any Gluten Free Gift Baskets.

You can also follow Tate’s Bake Shop on all your favorite social media outlets to stay in the loop on future deals, discounts, and new products!

Tate’s Bake Shop on  Facebook

Instagram & Twitter: @TatesBakeShop

And yes, if you buy a gift basket for a friend or family member, you should DEFINITELY buy one for yourself! Tis the season right?!

Good luck!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let’s Eat Gluten Free on Thanksgiving

Oh Thanksgiving.

How you scare us all with your plethora of pies, stuffing, rolls, and breaded onion casseroles.

So how can you Eat, Drink, and Be Merry with all those gluten landmines?

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Especially if the cooking is out of your control!? Eesh! It seems a little daunting, no? But hopefully with a little support and preparation, you can enjoy Thanksgiving without worrying about gluten coming to get you!

Help Me, Help You: If you’re spending the holiday with close family and friends, then help them create their gluten free menu. Let your family know the ingredients that are safe for you. Provide a list with gluten free cooking stocks or better yet, give the cook a few boxes. Give them the gluten free bread for the stuffing. Whatever you can do to inform and help will make it easier on everyone.

The Early Bird..: gets the ingredients! Show up early. Help in the kitchen. That way you’ll know what ingredients are in what items, and you can even help substitute to keep it gluten free.

Get Cooking!: Offer to make a side item or dessert. That way you’re helping lighten the load and ensuring you can eat that offering!

Show up Packing: When all else fails, make your own gluten free version of items you’re unsure of. Order a few inch thick slices of Boar’s Head turkey from your local grocer. I’ve been known to bring my own cupcake to a birthday party…..

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and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my own dessert to Thanksgiving! Make sure you can enjoy your favorite part of the holiday – whatever that is.

Stick to Veggies: Mashed Potatoes are cool without the gravy. Greens and such should be cool. Cranberry Sauce? Check!

But most of all, don’t forget: it’s not about the food.

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Make new traditions for Thanksgiving that don’t involve stuffing and gravy. Create healthy habits that will be good for you and your family!

Still looking for gluten free foods to help you celebrate? Click the photos below for the recipe!

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savory

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Power of Persuasion

Another early morning for me thanks to pregnancy insomnia, but you want to know the craziest part: the past two days I’ve actually enjoyed it!

Parrish is traveling for work, which means that I have the house all to myself. So when I wake up at unnatural hours, I can embrace it. And….write a blog post two days in a row!

Yesterday and today I have crawled hoisted out of bed and let the dogs outside while I make my treasured morning cup of coffee and toast two slices of gluten free waffle.

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I’m telling you guys, that GIANT batch of waffles is paying off – I am in love with having fresh, homemade waffles in less than 2 minutes.

After the dogs have finished their business, I get back in to bed and start my morning off suuuuuuuper slow and for me, that’s just as good as sleeping in. I’m still giving my body rest but I’m not fighting the fact that brain is awake.

Which has also helped my mood. So much of how I feel these days is based on perspective and projection. For example, I made the decision last week to stop being brutally honest when everyone asks me how I feel.

Because here’s the thing: EVERYONE asks pregnant people how they feel. It’s just one of those small talk topics – I’m not even sure they actually care. And what I noticed was that when I was honest, it didn’t feel good to tell my tales of woe. Instead it just felt like wallowing.

So now I’m saving my true feelings for close friends and family who are here to support me when I tell them that if I throw up one more time I might scream, or that some days my belly feels so tight that I think it might pop. For everyone else, “I’m doing good…today.”

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And just saying that out loud has honestly started to make it feel true. In my daily life I interact with TONS of different people, so I say that “I’m feeling good today” or “I am so blessed to be having a healthy pregnancy” around 20-30 times a day. Call it the power of persuasion or fake it till you make it, but I will never stop being amazed by the power of words.

Fear is a story we tell ourselves.

That simple fact shattered my life the first time I heard it because at that point, I had been living in fear for years. I was afraid that I would never lose the weight that I had gained, that I would never be a truly happy person deep down, and from that fear sprang doubt in myself and my abilities.

For me, Zumba brought me back to life.

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It shook me up and exposed a confidence in myself that I hadn’t felt in such a long time. The more I exercised, the more I felt like feeding my body properly. The more I fed my body properly, the happier I became. The happier I became, the more weight just fell off.

In this pregnancy, I’ve had to scale back my workouts tremendously. No more bootcamps that make you nearly puke (in a good way) or long runs with Parrish on the weekends. I’ve had to put that part of myself on hold. I can still exercise, just not in the same way.

But what I’ve realized is, I still need to tell myself that I am a kick ass athlete. I need to feel confident in myself and my abilities – now more than ever actually because I have to get a baby out of my body pretty soon…..

So much about how we feel about ourselves, is what we tell ourselves. I love this quote:

I couldn’t have said it better myself First Lady!

So I’m choosing to feel better about myself, even when I can’t use exercise to get me there.

Want to read more about My Journey through weight loss? Find those posts HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Homemade Gluten Free Freezer Waffles

Happy Monday friends!

Did you have a good weekend? Hopefully the weather cooperated with your weekend plans – we had a cold but sunny weekend. Too bad today’s weather didn’t follow suit! It’s a chilly and RAINY day here in Durham but I guess it could be worse, it could be snow!

Once again, I had a great balance of work and play over the weekend – here’s hoping I can keep that balance up through the holidays.

I started Saturday morning off slow with a GIANT stack of gluten free waffles:

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It was my first time using the King Arthur’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix and I mistakenly didn’t realize that the directions are for making the ENTIRE BOX! So I had more than my fair share of waffles. Luckily, they freeze beautifully – So I’ve been toasting up a few triangles since Saturday.

I really like the King Arthur mix! Have you tried it?

After breakfast it was time for a bit of work, followed by brunch with dear friends! Complete with adorable mugs…

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and tasty gluten free treats from Daisycakes!

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Yes. I am completely spoiled – I am so blessed with amazing friends…and Daisycakes!

After brunch, I had a bit more work through the afternoon. Luckily I was able to relax for the rest of the night and get in some much needed snuggle time with Max and Hazel.

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I’m trying to soak up as much one on two time with these snuggle bunnies before Baby Ravelli makes his arrival. Hard to believe that I have anywhere from 8-12 weeks left in this pregnancy – CRAZY!!

Sunday started bright and early with work. During the holidays, my organization hosts sales at area churches to share Fair Trade Goodies with a wider audience. I had my homemade gluten free freezer waffles to power my morning and a gluten free grilled cheese to get me through lunch.

After working for most of the day, I headed over to MOH’s house for Baby Ravelli’s Durham Baby Shower!

Complete with Hand-knitted Bunting:

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Burp Cloth Crafts:

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and completely adorable Onesies to paint:

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So much fun! In fact, I had such a good time and spent most of the night laughing so hard that my throat was raw last night! That’s how you know it was a good party – when your face hurts from smiling and your throat hurts from laughing.

And now it’s Monday. Time for more work but not before I finish my morning coffee!

Happy Monday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gluten Free Sweet Treats

Happy Monday friends!

Did you have a good weekend?

My weekend was a good mix of work and play. AND much like Friday’s post, I had some yummy new gluten free foods – I mean, what better way to highlight a weekend right?!

Saturday started out pretty early. I’m dealing with some weird insomnia, and sometimes I stay in bed and try to ride it out and other times I just get out of bed and start my day.

So my Saturday started at 4:30 in the morning, but I took the opportunity to catch up on the latest episodes of Parenthood, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy! Paired with a Chai Tea Latte, it ended up being a relaxing morning before Parrish and I headed off to a breastfeeding class.

After baby school, I rewarded myself with a sweet seasonal treat:

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Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Candy Cane Joe-Joes! Essentially a peppermint version of an Oreo. My first taste wasn’t love at first bite. Much like other gluten free Oreo substitutes, you can taste the gluten free starch. BUT dipped in Vanilla Almond Milk, these were heaven. LOVE!

I woke up Sunday morning feeling super rested – I slept in until 7:30! Yippee! After puttering around the house, I headed to work for the day. Little did I know my sweet friend Diana had left me a treat at work:

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Absolutely LOVE AT FIRST BITE! Angie’s Holidrizzle Iced Gingerbread Kettle Corn. Yum! I LOVE Boom Chicka Pop, I wasn’t surprised that I loved this holiday flavor.

Found at Fresh Market, I was so excited to try this seasonal popcorn. I’m telling you guys, I am OBSESSED with seasonal food! I am basically every marketers favorite consumer; just slap a candy cane or holiday cookie on the package and I’m sold.

I loved the popcorn and can’t wait to nibble on it all week. It was nice to start my work day on such a high because it got pretty low as the day went on.

I had taken my current favorite, Pacific Brand Vegetable Quinoa Soup, to have as a quick lunch. It’s loaded with quinoa and vegetables and it requires no prep! But halfway through my bowl, a twig of sorts (why does that happen in vegetable soups?!?!) got caught at the back of my throat. So I gagged. And then gagged again. And then threw up all of my soup.

So frustrating! I am so tired of having food aversions and a quick trigger gag reflex. Plus, tomato based soups aren’t great coming back up. Let’s just leave it at that.

I finished out the work day and headed home to throw myself a tiny pity party. At this point I just feel like I have been sick and pukey for so long, I’m talking SEVEN ridiculous months, that it feels like it will never end. Which, as someone who loves food, is not easy.

Luckily my supportive husband wasn’t going to let me wallow and he surprised me with Baby Ravelli’s all time favorite:

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Gluten Free Tavern Double Cheeseburger from Red Robin. So good! And after going a few hours on an empty stomach, it really hit the spot!

Speaking of stomachs, do you know what has surprised me the most about the baby bump? The bloating! As a gluten free person, I am well aware of bloating from food. I mean, my Vermont trip really summed that up right?!

But as a pregnant person, my digestive system has really slowed….like to a glacial pace. So I may wake up with the belly on the left, but I end the day with the belly on the right:

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Crazy. (The belly gets bigger but the hair gets better Winking smile)

Luckily pregnancy bloat doesn’t come with the same side effects as gluten bloat! And I get adorable kicks and punches with this belly – with gluten belly I just get upset stomach and migraines.

I’m trying to be better about drinking more water, as this helps my digestion tremendously. But with holiday hustle and bustle at work, it’s hard to remember!

Do you guys have any tips or tricks for remembering to drink water when you’re busy?

AND what’s your favorite seasonal food?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gluten Free Shopping at Target

I LOVE finding new gluten free products!

You would think that after all these years since my diagnosis, that the excitement in the grocery aisles would have worn off – but not for me! I still get excited….and yes, I do still squeal when I see a really good product.

This past weekend at Target, I let out quite a few squeals when I found some of my favorite gluten free products on the shelves for the first time. No more driving 30 minutes to the big fancy Whole Foods!

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My absolute FAVORITE Veggie Burger: Hilary’s Eat Well and the Veggie Bites! I LOVE these burgers! You prepare them in your toaster, how easy is that?! And instead of being full of soy and strange meat substitutes, Hilary’s are full of real, whole food! Soy Free, Gluten Free, and full of veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.

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Alright, so this picture is super blurry…..but it’s still exciting! I love Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal for on the go meals and snacks. I first found these at my local coffee shop and was impressed with how easy they are to make. Just pour boiling water in the cup, cover with the lid, and wait – then eat! I like to keep a few on hand at work for early mornings when I’m rushing around and lose the time to make breakfast at home.

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Do I even need to explain why I love these toaster waffles?! PUMPKIN!! All day, everyday!

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I first heard about LIVE Kombucha Soda from my gluten free friend Chandice and I was so excited when I saw them at Target!

Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been missing my occasional cocktails and glasses of wine, so it’s been nice to have a fun drink to treat myself to. I love the different flavors of LIVE soda, but I’ll admit that I can only drink half! They’re a bit too sweet for me, but it actually works out perfectly because I get to share with Parrish!

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My last find at Target: FAMILY SIZE Chex! Bonus: Each box is only $3.99!!

My favorite way to start the holiday season: indulging in Chex Mix!! So the Family Size box comes in handy. This past weekend I made a batch of Chocolate Caramel Chex:

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and Traditional Chex Mix:

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for a work party. So good!

And no, I wasn’t paid or asked to blog about gluten free grocery shopping at Target….I’m just that excited!

What about you?

Have you found a gluten free product lately that got you excited?