Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Game Day Chili Party with Vegetti

Autumn aka College Football Season is by far my FAVORITE. I love watching games outside in the cooler weather and tailgating with comfort food.

So when Vegetti contacted me about throwing a dinner party full of spiralizing fun, I immediately knew what I would do.


Making a big pot of delicious chili is super easy. There are tons of great recipes, but my personal fave is the Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili from Iowa Girl Eats.

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While the chili was simmering, I got to work on spiralizing a few different toppings for my guests to choose from. I had decided to try two different crispy potato options, which I knew would be easy enough in the oven. Then for a challenge, I chose a third option of crispy onion straws.

For the potatoes I used two large russets and two large sweet potatoes. The russets went through the Vegetti perfectly. The sweet potatoes, being a bit harder, gave me an arm workout!

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After the spuds were spiralized, I lightly tossed the curls in olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I spread them evenly on baking sheets covered in parchment paper and let them bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

The results:

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Deliciously crisp potato curls, thinly spiralized to perfection! I topped the russets with chopped scallion post baking for an extra kick.

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Guests could lightly or generously top their chili with potato curls,

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but most of us found ourselves using the chili as a dip and going back for more!

The potatoes were a big hit BUT the Crispy Buttermilk Onion Straws stole the show!

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The key to spiralizing onions: small onions! I specifically chose onions that would fit the Vegetti, giving me the perfect spirals.

After spiralizing the onions, I placed the thin straws in a bowl of buttermilk and let them soak in the fridge for an hour. After soaking, I tossed the straws in my favorite gluten free all purpose flour ( Equal Measure ) until they were well coated.

In a large pot, I heated 4 inches of vegetable oil over medium high heat. I fried the onion straws in small batches, letting them cook until the batter was crisp and golden. I transferred the onion straws from the oil and onto a cookie sheet lined with cooling racks while I fried each batch. To finish them off, I lightly sprinkled the straws with salt.

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These did not last long. They were delicious dipped in the chili:

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or just devoured by the handful!

The best part of the food was surprising folks when they asked for recipes by handing them their own Vegetti!

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Ontel provided me with enough Vegettis to share, and I loved giving these away to friends. Plus, we ended up needing a second batch of potato curls half way through the big game – so I was also able to demonstrate how easy it is to use.

Thank you Ontel for hosting my Game Day Chili Party!

Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation towards ingredients to host a dinner party featuring The Veggetti® and additional Vegettis for guests from Ontel.

Want more information about cooking with a spiralizer? Read my first post using the Vegetti here, including a recipe for Zucchini Noodles Pad Thai.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza–A Review

I have always been a sucker for Thursday night TV.

I am a HUGE fan of The Office, and I love Parks and Rec too. I used to look forward to Thursdays, and would even plan special meals to enjoy while watching my favorite shows. ( #totaldork )

This fall, I once again have Thursday nights to look forward to! Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder are my current obsession – lucky me that ABC lines them up together. And even luckier for me, Parrish had a work dinner last night, leaving me with the TV all to myself!

My special meal:


A new-to-me frozen delight!

I had seen the gluten free Freschetta pizza on Instagram, and was actually surprised when I saw it at my local Harris Teeter. Everyone I knew that had tried it had picked it up at Costco.

My first impression: Wow! It’s big!

My second impression: Holy crap! It’s EXPENSIVE!

At nearly $12, this pizza ain’t cheap!

Luckily, I was in that haze of hunger you get after a long day of work and threw the pizza in my basket without much further thought.

When I unwrapped the pizza at home, I was a little surprised by some bald spots:


It seemed that the sauce was a bit sparse, but I thought it might travel a bit once it cooked. The cheese to crust ratio was great, so if anything I knew I could dip it in a bit of pizza sauce like a breadstick if it still had bald spots after cooking.

I decided to just leave the pizza as is with just cheese, but I think this would be a great pie to customize at home!

The results after baking:


Not bad! It still had some bald spots with no sauce, but I dipped it in pizza sauce on the side.

The flavor was great – the crust was crispy – the cheese….




Just the way I like it Smile

Overall, this is a great gluten free option – especially for sharing.

Udi’s Gluten Free Pepperoni is still my favorite, and I think it’s the perfect size for 2 people. Served with a salad, you can call it a meal. Plus I LOVE their sauce and Nitrate Free Pepperonis.

The Freschetta can definitely be shared, and you’ll still have a few slices leftover for lunch the next day.

Way to go Freschetta!

Have you tried the Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza?

What was the price where you shop?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gluten Free Ramen Two Ways

Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t really had any pregnancy cravings. And honestly, I don’t even know if my sudden urge for Ramen is a pregnancy craving….I craved foods before I was pregnant too!

It started back in the summer. All I could think about was that delicious broth soup that is served as an appetizer at Japanese Steakhouses. I was determined to find a recipe that mimicked those flavors AND added enough veggies and protein to take it from appetizer to main dish.

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So what about Ramen?

I was in Whole Foods a couple weeks ago, and spotted this new to me broth in the freezer section:


Nona Lim Miso Ramen Broth

Total impulse buy!

I wasn’t sure how I was going to use the broth, and I was disappointed that my local Whole Foods didn’t have the Gluten Free Nona Lim Noodles BUT I still snagged the broth.

I chatted with MOH about what I should use and as luck would have it she was free for supper that night. Our experiment was definitely a success!


Nona Lim Miso Ramen Broth with Caramelized Mushroom, Sautéed Bok Choy, Gluten Free Rice Stir Fry Noodles, and Fresh Scallion


I loved the broth! It was light but still flavorful. Next time I will use less noodles, more bok choy, and add pressed tofu.

When I bought the broth, I also bought a second package of Gluten Free Ramen:


Ramen on the brain! Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen


Much closer to those cheap packs of Ramen you ate in college, I wish I had had the time to add veggies to this soup pack. The seasoning pack was a bit too strong, and I think the addition of the veggies would have helped. I loved the noodles though, so I might give this one a second try.

Overall, I am pleased with my two impulse purchases. That type of shopping doesn’t often work out for me!

What about you? Had any impulse buy successes lately?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hands Down BEST Gluten Free Dessert EVER

Happy Friday friends!

Funnily enough, this post started with “Happy Monday friends!” and then pretty much sat in my draft box until today. This week really got away from me – work was busy, busy, busy, and Parrish was out of town. Tis the season I guess.

It stinks that I just now found the time to write this post though because I have been DYING to tell y’all about my Baby Shower in Upstate South Carolina last weekend!

Not only was it filled with all the Fall Festive touches that I love:


AND a coffee bar (yes please!) complete with homemade coffee creamers:


But my two sisters and my Mom really hit it out of the park with the food! All gluten free of course.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting:


and two new-to-me treats from Bumbalooza:


Banana Bread Mix which Bestie used to make Mini Banana Bread Muffins and Gooey Oatmeal Bars – both were AWESOME!!!! And locally made in NC – bonus points!

The Banana Bread:


was super moist and flavorful! In fact, I’ve been munching on these ALL WEEK and they’re still moist! I will definitely be making a batch of my own again!

And the Oatmeal Bars. Oh y’all. THE OATMEAL BARS were INSANE!! SO GOOD! Seriously. Buy them. Make them. Enter them in to a Baking Competition and WIN – these Oatmeal Bars will blow your mind.


Multiple folks asked bestie for the recipe and were shocked that these came from a mix.

I’m not going to comment on how many dozen squares I ate….. but the great thing is that the bars are dense and rich, so you can cut them in to small bite size pieces and they’re perfect. Plus you don’t feel so indulgent because the bites are so small!

In addition to the sweets, my sister Susan made tasty Mini Hotdogs and my Mom baked Gluten Free Sausage Balls – neither of which lasted very long!

I’m sure my pregnancy hormones have something to do with it, but honestly friends, just reflecting on my baby shower makes me a little weepy. I am so incredibly lucky and blessed to have such a loving and supportive family.


But even more, Baby Ravelli is so lucky. He’s going to be surrounded by so much love. AND laughter! He will have Great Aunts that hug him tight; grandparents that will listen to his stories – no matter how silly they are. He will have cousins to run and play and grow with. He will be so loved.

When I found out that I was having a boy, a piece of me shed an invisible tear for the super cute girl’s clothes I wouldn’t be needing. BUT after my shower, I am now convinced that baby boy’s clothes can be just as cute!

I mean…. seriously LOOK at this tiny cardigan:


Squeal!!!!! It’s so cute!!!

And with that, have a happy Friday and a great weekend!


Do you LOVE Cabot Cheese as much as I do?  Don’t forget to Enter the GIVEAWAY for FREE Cabot Cheese!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FREE Cabot Cheese and Race with Baby Ravelli

As a Cabot Fit Team Member, I love every opportunity I get to combine two of my passions:
Running and CHEESE!
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And now we can all be Cabot Fit together!
In the month of October, Cabot Cheese is hosting a VIRTUAL race to help fight hunger, and inviting you to join us for a good cause!
35% of your registration fee is donated to Feeding America and one lucky runner will have $1200 donated in their name to their local Food Bank! Cabot is even donating $100 in my name to my local food bank here in Durham!
So….Baby Ravelli and I were hoping that you would join us in running!
The details:
  • You choose your distance: 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon
    Baby Ravelli and I will be running a 5k!
  • Sign up to run at CabotVirtualRace.com
  • And because running a race is mostly about the bling, you’ll receive a finishers medal!
  • Share your love for cheese: First 100 runners to register will receive a Cabot Fit running shirt!
  • Post race, Cabot will select 1 lucky runner to make a $1200 donation in their name to their local food bank
  • I’m raffling a Cabot Legacy Collection Gift Box on the blog so sign up below! Winner will be selected at end of the month (Oct 31st at 12PM EST).
Running with Cabot has a SUPER special place in my heart. I first found out that I was pregnant 2 days before my trip to Vermont, so I ran my first Cabot Race with Baby Ravelli!
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I’d be lying if I said he didn’t slow me down, luckily he’s totally worth a slower run time.
A few weeks later I ran my second race, an 8K, with Baby Ravelli and got quite possibly the BEST EVER finishing photo:
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Bahahahahahaha. Seriously y’all. Sheer joy to be finished but I KILLED that race.
My race this October will be….the slowest of the three this year but I’m okay with that. I’m just excited for the opportunity to run with Cabot, run with you guys, and to work towards ending hunger in all of our communities!
Oh Cabot. You guys are the best – you care about others and you make the best darn cheese EVER.
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Now, about that FREE CHEESE!
Simply Enter Below – The winner will be chosen October 31st! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 3, 2014

Gluten Free Sugar Biscuits

The best recipes, in my opinion, are the old ones.

Tucked in the back of dusty wooden recipe boxes, yellowing pages ripped from magazines or scribbled notes passed from generation to generation – these recipes stand the test of time.

But you know what, as gluten free folks we don’t always get to enjoy those recipes. Most of those recipes aren’t safe for us to eat and reworking the ingredients can’t always be done.

Lucky for us, Gluten Free Bisquick helps us recapture some of those old recipes, particularly one of my all time faves:


This recipe lives at Bestie’s house and it was passed to her from my Mom. We aren’t sure of the exact age but we believe it to be at least 20 years old. In fact, when you look up this recipe online, the ingredients are different.

When we make this recipe, we leave out the pecans. Bestie is allergic to pretty much all nuts and honestly I’m not a huge fan of pecans. We had tons of pecan trees growing up and I think I ate one too many covered in dirt. So without the pecans, I like to call these Sugar Biscuits.

Simply follow the recipe above but substitute Gluten Free Bisquick. It’s as easy as that! The butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the muffin tin gives the biscuits an incredible crust, while the applesauce keeps the dough moist.


For our most recent batch, Bestie made mini Sugar Biscuits and I loved them. Super pop able!

Also, I just want to throw it out there: I’m thinking about testing a batch of Pumpkin Sugar Biscuits. I’m thinking about subbing the applesauce for pumpkin and the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice. I’ll report back with success or failure!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To My Mama with Love

Since starting this blog oh so many years ago, I haven’t really held back.

I have pretty much made my life an open book on the internet – detailing for you guys the good times and the bad times - not just with food but with everything.

I reflected on the illness of my paternal grandmother and her passing. I told you all when my grandfather passed away, and when Parrish lost his father. Losing a loved one is never easy, but writing about here always seemed to help.

But something changed when I became pregnant. I started to feel…..closed. I didn’t want to overload you guys with daily pregnancy news, and in putting on that filter, I noticed myself leaving more and more of my daily details off the blog. And while I never intentionally hid anything, the past few weeks have left me feeling less than genuine.

Sunday night I lost my last grandparent. My maternal grandmother – my mama – left behind her broken and damaged shell and claimed her heavenly spot. It was one of the saddest and happiest moments in my life.

Sad because I lost an incredible force in my life. Happy because her suffering was over and because I know without a doubt that she was ready to go. Sad because Baby Ravelli won’t get to meet his Great Mama, but happy because of the great Christian legacy that she left behind for him.

My Mama was one of the sweetest people I know, second only to my own mother, who learned from the best. She loved her family and more than that, she loved Christ.

She is the most faithful person I know. She wore her faith on the outside; It was in everything and everyone she touched. She prayed without hesitation – it didn’t matter where she was or who was witnessing, if she felt moved to talk to God she did.

She touched your leg when she laughed. It didn’t matter how far away you were sitting, she laughed with her whole heart and touching you was part of it. She cared for her grandkids, and I’m lucky to call myself one. She loved you unconditionally, but she wasn’t going to sugar coat the facts. She was trustworthy beyond measure, and she made hands down the BEST hotdog chili.

She was loved by so many, and I know that I’m not the only one anticipating the day when I get to see her again. When she meets me in heaven, with those sparkling blue eyes, and we both get to tell Jesus that she is one of the main reasons that I’m there. 

All my love. Amen.