Sunday, December 27, 2015

Meal Delivery Services

So I haven't posted in a while.  Life has been crazy.  It's mainly because I've been down and out, I had some health issues with my pregnancy and all I wanted to do was rest after work, can you blame me? Then my little Kid Z came early at the beginning of December!  She's so tiny but adorable!  Kid X and Kid R are really excited about their new sister.
When you are expecting, you get so many cool deals.  One deal I got was to try a home delivery meal service.  I figured that I'll be out of some income for a while due to maternity leave and I don't want to drag the new baby out to the store(or 3 kids for that matter!) So I signed up for a free box from Hello Fresh.  I chose the 3 meal 2 person option. It's $69 a week for this option which is about $9.99 per serving. This is typical for what it would cost to go out to eat or have takeout plus way healthier than fast food!  Since Kid X is gluten free, I figured he couldn't try most of the meals so I planned for him to have his own dinner while the rest of us tried the box out.  I was surprised to see that Kid X could enjoy some of these dinners without any modifications and they were clearly labeled in the the instructions "gluten free!"
My free box contained Smokey Turkey and White Chili, Rosemary Basted Steak, and Creamy Orecchiette Pasta.  The Chili and the Steak meals were gluten free but since Kid X is also FODMAP free, he was only able to try the Steak which he LOVED!  These meals were fabulous!  They arrived very fresh, the ingredients were packaged in boxes for each meal and the meats were separate and still frozen.  My favorite was the pasta that week, because that dish included Brussels sprouts which I love!  The next delivery I got included Glazed Teriyaki Chicken, Italian Ciabatta Burgers and Fig and Brie Pizza. My favorite meal was the Pizza, so tasty!
With Hello Fresh you can choose 3,4 or 5 meals each week with either a 2 person or 4 person option.  There is the Classic Box, which I ordered or you can choose from the Vegetarian Option.  The only think lacking with Hello Fresh is the option of more choices.  There are only 5 choices each week and no alternatives.  One of the meals each week is a seafood dish and unfortunately I'm allergic to all forms of seafood(but my family is not and would be happy if I occasionally order some seafood for them!)
Hello Fresh gave me the option to gift 4 people a free box or I can post a link for my friends to get $40 off their first box,  When I posted on social media about this, a friend said to try out a different service and gave me a code for a discount off the service.  So the following week I tried Home Chef.
Since I had a code for $30 off my first box, I chose the 4 meal option for 2 people.  My first box included Pan Seared Pork Chops with Honey Fennel Butter, Skinny Chicken Mozzarella, Wood Fired Barbecue Chicken Pizza and Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Steak.  All the meals except the pizza were gluten free.  What I also liked about this service is the side dishes! Most meals have amazing sides! When I served the pork chops, both kids tried the swiss chard and the turnip gratin.  Did they eat the chard? No.  They both took one bite and said it was ok. But they loved the turnip gratin!  I never told them what it was, but they both ate their serving!
With Home Chef you have way more options.  You can do a 3,4,5 and more meal option.  The 4 meal option for 2 is $79.60 per week and I was able to feed 2 adults and 2 kids with it.  What I liked about this service other than the generous portions of side dishes was the options each week. There are 10 options of main meals to chose from and add ons!  2 breakfast options and an option for fresh fruit!  Each serving is about $9.95 and the breakfast options vary.  During the holidays they had some special items to order such as cheesecake and New Years Party Trays at various prices, nothing was over $20.  Home Chef's meals were packed in separate bags and the meat was also separate and still frozen.  Home Chef's packing seemed to be more sturdy with more ice packs then Hello Fresh and the package was definitely heavier.  I'm glad last week was warm and close to our summer weather in Texas to make sure these boxes withstand the heat!  And they did!
Each service provided the step by step instructions for each meal.  Hello Fresh sends a small booklet and Home Chef sends a notebook with the pages included to insert in the book.  I was only missing one item from the Hello Fresh Box and it was some Balsamic Vinegar for the Pizza kit.  That's an item I have so I didn't worry about it.  You need to have salt, pepper, butter and olive oil on hand for most meals from each service, but that was it, all the other ingredients are pre portioned so it's super easy to whip up!  Almost all meals can be made in under 35 min.  I'm pretty sure my husband is happy I'm cooking again!  You can pause or cancel your service at anytime. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for my grocery bill and my bill when we either go out or bring home take out.  Since this past week was Christmas and we had some guests that week, I did have take out on 2 different nights that totaled around $65 so I spent almost more on the 2 meals of takeout than the 3-4 meals from this service.  And the meals in my box were way better than the 2 takeout meals of barbecue and pizza!
I have links to both services for you to trial a box for a discounted price.  Both are affiliate links that will give me a discount on my next order.  Hello Fresh seems to have codes or deals for FREE boxes from time to time, but you do not get compensation for those, they are strictly gifts to friends! And I'm thankful for that because who doesn't like free food?  For Hello Fresh: go to and enter this promotional code to receive $40 off your first box:


For Home Chef go to this link and receive $30 off your first box:

Hope you enjoy these services as much as I have!  I do plan on trying out some of the other services as well and I'll post my review of them as soon as I do!  Have a great New Year from Gluten Free Kid X!  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Gluten Away Fall Online Expo

It's that time again!  The Gluten Away Fall Online Expo.  I love these virtual expos.  I can browse recipes, see featured bloggers, get samples and enter drawings!  This falls featured products include: Enjoy Life, Gluten Free and More, Better Batter, Ener-G, Explore Asian, GF Joe, Go Raw, I Heart Keenwah, Pamela's Products, Wicked Good Cupcakes and Yumari!  Check it out!  It goes on until September 7th! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gluten Away Expo

The Gluten Away Expo happens a couple of times a year and it's 100% virtual!  Tons of gluten free giveaways and discounts.  It takes place between May 1st through May 7th so take your time and browse the virtual booths, check out the websites, and enter to win the giveaways!  There is also a link to get wonderful gluten free kits!  I ordered the May Large Kiddie Kit and a single sample of Krusteaz blueberry muffin mix!  
Check out all the cool gluten free goodness here:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest Austin Texas

Wow!  What an event!  Even though I had the entire family there it's hard to keep up with an active 4 year old when you want to keep talking to each vendor about the products!  I had a great time, caught up with some blogger friends and basically had lunch for FREE!  I wish I had taken some pictures to share or post but I really was running through each booth grabbing a sample, coupon or something!  Kid X enjoyed pizza, brownies, cookie dough bites and his favorite booth, the Enjoy Life one!  He was very excited to get samples of his favorite snack bars!

Here are some of the highlights:
Met Vegetarinmamma and scored a wonderful recipe for Raspberry Breakfast Casserole! (I may just make this for dinner this week!) I'm definitely getting her cookbook in the future!  While Kid X may not be able to enjoy it as much as I will (I was vegan before changing our families diet) I can pretty much adapt anything to his needs at this point!
Freedom Foods: Kid X loves the Tropico's rings.  Free from gluten, nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy and sesame, it's a winner for most allergies and Kid X can enjoy cereal again!
Earth Balance: I know them for their vegan butter and mayo, I had no idea they make popcorn and these wonderful little bites called PB Popps! Vegan, gluten and dairy free peanut butter popcorn! Kid R and Dad loved them!  Kid X doesn't do well with peanuts but I did let him try a bite and her said they were great!
Nogii:  This is a line from Elizabeth Hasselbeck.  I have found the protein bites at costco and put them in Kid X lunch as a sweet treat.  But they make a kid's bar that is like a rice crispy treat!  I'm definitely going to be in search of these at our local stores! Kid X took a sample of every bar they offered! He said," I really love these chocolate bars."
Whole Note Baking Mixes: I can't say I've seen this brand at any local store, but man did they have great waffles and pancakes to sample!  I see they have a pizza crust, crepe mix and several muffin mixes.  So I'll be ordering some of these: I'm really interested in trying the crepe mix!
Way Better Snacks: I recently got some of these snacks in a snack pack from Gluten Away.  So I know these are delicious!  I've tried Sweet chili and Spicy Siracha!  I'm a fan.  My husband really likes them also, so if it's gluten free and he's a fan, it's a WIN!
Smart Flour Foods: An Austin Company, I love their pizza crust!  I usually purchase this as Sprouts, but if you live in Austin, you can get a pizza from Mr. Gatti's  with this crust.  I was also surprised to find that a locally brewery which we are co-op members of, Black Star Co-Op, uses smart flour as well!
Crafted Gluten Free: Another subscription/specialty gluten free box service.  You know I love what Gluten Away is doing, and I am also going to check this one out!  They have an awesome Kids Subscription box full of kid snacks to try!
Brazi Bites: Brazilian Cheese Bread!  I get these often and I love them!  So does Kid X!
Celeste's Natural Kitchen: A local Austin Catering Service, now I can't afford this but she had some amazing paleo pumpkin muffins to try!  I did sign up to win some free meals from her though!  Standard packages start around $300.
Glutino and Udi's: Enough said!  Kid X eats tons of glutino cookies and pretzels.  He even knew what he wanted: honey mustard pretzels.  Udi's has just partnered with pizza hut and we enjoyed a pizza at Kid X's recent birthday party!
Enjoy Life: Kid X's ultimate favorite gluten free snack! Whether it be cookies, snack bars or baking morsels.  I can say he really loves the products!  Enjoy life foods are certified gluten free and free from the top eight food allergens as verified by the Non-GMO project.

There were many booths I rushed by trying to keep up with a 4 year old.  But again many I wanted to go to like last year but didn't get the chance!  A few to mention are local ones, so I can do this anytime like: Austin East Ciders, Blackbird Bakery(her mixes and cookbook are awesome), Sweet Ritual and many more. Red Apple Lipstick is one I seem to always miss: boys have no interest in this!  Next year maybe I'll go both days.  One day for me to go around the booths and the next with Kid X and the family!

The cool T-shirt  picture is a shirt from I'm a Celiac!  Go order one of her cookbooks or how to live gluten free guide books! I have all of them!!  It's a little big but Kid X will grow into it!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gluten Free Sample Kits

A really great thing to do for the picky gluten free kid, is to order a sample kit of products!  There are many different ways to do this: subscription boxes that come monthly, goggling manufacturers and seeing what they might send you to sample, or like I've been doing recently, getting a sample kit of products from Gluten Away!

Ive been following Taylor Miller for awhile on twitter @GlutenAway   He's a teenager living with Celiac Disease.  What struck me is that he is very passionate about health, wellness and nutrition at such a young age.  This gives me so much hope that Kid X will be the same.  He already knows to ask if something has "gwooten" in it and is not easily upset if he can't eat what everyone else is eating.

What I've found so interesting is that for the past few years, Taylor has organized a virtual gluten free expo called Gluten Away Online Expo which occurs a few times a year.  The next dates are April 1st through 7th.  You get Free Admission, there are virtual booths with over 100 gluten free products and huge giveaways!  Some vendors have great recipes posted with ideas on how to use their products. My favorite thing is purchasing a product sample pass that allows you to get samples from vendors shipped to your house!  Just like if you were attending a live event!  I've found products that KidX really enjoys (thanks enjoylife smores bar!) and even some that I won't pick up again!

Kid X is about to celebrate his birthday and we ordered great gluten free cupcakes in a jar from Wicked Good Cupcakes a vendor that was at the virtual expo! So chocolate birthday cake cupcakes are going to be a great surprise!  I usually make his cupcakes, but I've been really busy with my work and essential oil business, so this year, its cupcakes in a jar!

Also for his birthday, my Mom purchased 3 sampler kits from gluten away. The Top 8 Allergen Free Snack Kit(a kit with Enjoy Life cookies and snack bars)  The 16 Bar Sampler Kit( just as it sounds, 16 snack bars from several companies) and The February Sampler Kit (samples of various gluten free products) These samples came in handy for our impromptu road trip for Valentines Day!  I also love being able to put a different snack in Kid X's lunch box everyday!

Thank you Taylor!  It's so nice to see others caring so much and taking the time to educate others on a gluten free lifestyle especially at a young age!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ham: Not Always Gluten Free

I love getting e-mails from  because they have great lists of guides and restaurant menus with gluten free items.  I recently got an e-mail on ham, one of KidX's favorite things. Give him Ham or Bacon and he is in heaven!  (well I think he loves chicken nuggets more) We do go at lengths to purchase certified gluten free ham from companies like Dietz and Watson, or Jones Dairy Farm.  But it's really hard in a local grocery store to find some of these hams.  So check the label and if not, you can always call the manufacturer.  Most hams are inherently gluten free if they don't have a glaze on them, but many are processed in plants that could have cross contamination.  So here are hams on the Gluten Free Ham Listing, one of the listings you can find at Gluten Free Guide HQ!  
Armour Meats
Hams are gluten free, there is cross contamination risks at the processing facility.  Not recommended if you are highly sensitive to gluten.

honey ham
Virginia ham
browned Virginia ham
cooked ham
lite ham
cooked ham and water product
spiced luncheon meat

Boar's Head
All of their meats and cheeses are gluten free.  This is a big list! Some I've never even heard of in my grocery store! 

all natural apple-wood smoked uncured ham
all natural uncured ham
black forest brand boneless smoked ham
bold habanero ham
boneless smoked ham steak
branded deluxe ham (and low sodium version)
Canadian style bacon
cappy brand ham
gourmet pepper brand ham
pesto Parmesan ham
prosciutto do parma
rosemary and sun-dried tomato ham
smoked Virginia ham
sweet slice boneless smoked ham
tavern ham
Virginia brand ham

Bob Evans Grocery
Not my choice by a long shot, but the company says there are two safe varieties they manufacture. 
cubed or diced ham
ham steaks

It's not pork based, but they have gluten free turkey ham! Just a side note, only 2 of their products they manufacture have gluten: meatballs and stuffed frozen turkey. 

turkey ham

Cook's Ham
All of Cook's Hams are gluten free.  This is a really long list with great varieties of ham goodness! I fee like the Buba Gump of Ham typing out this list! 

mini hams
ham medallions
ham chops
ham steaks
breakfast slicked smoked ham
smoked pork chops
original smoked ham
smoked mini pit ham
lean half ham
spiral sliced apple-wood smoked pit ham
hors d'oeuvre ham
carvemaster flat pit ham
premium boneless ham
tradition whole or half boneless ham
semi-boneless ham
skinless shankless hams
steamship ham roast
portioned hams
ham steaks
pork shoulder
smoked pork hocks
smoked ham shanks
smoked pork neckbones
sliced salt pork belly

Dietz and Watson
This company produces certified gluten free ham options! A great option if you can find them in your local stores.

black forest ham
branded cooked ham
all natural uncured classic dinner ham
gourmet lite cooked ham
imported ham
gourmet lite Virginia ham
Virginia baked ham

Hams are gluten free but there is a risk of cross contamination in the processing facility

black forest ham
brown sugar ham
Canadian maple
chopped ham
ham steaks
honey cured 
honey maple
luncheon ham
off the bone ham
smoked pit ham
spiral sliced holiday ham
Virginia baked ham
imported ham
fried ham
reduced sodium ham

Farmland Foods
A very big list as well.  All gluten Free!  I don't think I've ever heard of Bavarian ham! 

bilingual ham and water product
boneless steak ham
honey cured boneless steak ham
cook's ham(30% less sodium version and water products)
sliced ham breakfast
sliced ham chops
honey cured and hickory smoked ham steaks
cook's farmland safeway hams
cook's hickory smoked portion ham
reduced sodium ham steak
farmland Bavarian brand ham
farmland brown sugar
farmland carvemaster flat ham
farmland cooked ham water added
farmland deli ham
farmland julienne ham strips
farmland premium deli
farmland sliced ham
farmland cooked ham with 35% less sodium
farmland country lean brand cooked ham
farmland gold medal brand ham boneless
farmland pit hat
farmland royal danish brand ham
farmland back forest ham
boneless ham steaks
spring hill brand cooked ham

Several ham products and ham deli meat style choices.  

peppered ham
tavern ham
Virginia brand ham
cooked roast pork
imported brand cooked ham
premium cooked ham

Hillshire Farm
AVOID!!  This company doesn't even test for gluten on it's products at this time! 

Holiday Ham
None of their products contain gluten, but they don't test for gluten on their products either.  AVOID!! 

Hormel has many gluten free products.  They do have the potential for cross contamination during processing because they don't test for gluten cross contamination.  However, I have tried the uncured bacon at times when I just have no other choice and Kid X has been ok. 
dublique canned hams
hormel black label canned hams
hormel cure 81 ham and ham steaks
hormel ham patties
hormel back label chopped ham
hormel diced ham, cubed ham, ham steaks
natural choice brown sugar deli ham
natural choice cherry wood smoked ham
natural choice cooked deli ham
natural choice smoked deli ham
jennie-o refrigerated turkey ham
farm john boneless ham
premium tradition brown sugar and honey golden tradition canless honey ham(DON'T USE THE GLAZE PACKET, CONTAINS GLUTEN) 
farmer john bone in hams
farmer john ham steaks original smoked
brown sugar ham
back forest ham
ham roll
honey ham
premium honey ham
smoked ham

Jones Dairy Farm
Jones Dairy Farm has several gluten free options and bacon

all natural cherry hardwood smoked uncured ham slices
ham slices
all natural cherry hardwood smoked uncured ham steaks
dainty hickory smoked ham
whole family cooked ham
bone in fully cooked ham
whole old fashioned hickory smoked ham

Smithfield doesn't have a gluten free list but some ham flavors are gluten free, I won't include them because they can't produce a true gluten free list. 

Wellshire Farms
all of the holiday hams are gluten free(well it's only one on the list)

healthy holiday ham

Of course there are many other companies out there and this list is not 100% comprehensive, just a quick guide to help you at the grocery store to stay safe and reduce your risk of getting glutened!  

Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

It's the most sinful time of the year!  Girl Scout Cookie Time!  While many of you are gorging on Samosas(or Caramel Delights) Dunking your Thin Mints into an ice cold glass of milk, some of the gluten challenged folks out there are just dreaming about them.  Well wait no longer, gluten free cookies are here!  I know they had some last year, but we weren't one of the people that got to indulge in the inaugural trial. And I really wish they had some GF thin mints.....

There are two companies that produce Girl Scout Cookies. My understanding is that it depends on your local Girl Scout Council to make the decision for what bakery they are going with for that year.  Little Brownie Bakers has the Gluten Free Toffee-Tasitc Cookie and ABC Bakery has the Trios Cookie.

So I'm sure many of you were Girl Scouts, but this was one of the times of the year I hated!  My Mother, who was my troop leader, had us at every possible selling place that we could possibly go. While I loved the goal of going to camp, I hated the sale.  Standing out in the freezing cold, dreary rain, and in Texas, it could be HOT sometimes!  I did this from Brownie to Cadet.  I did however enjoy hanging out with some interesting " older boys" from our neighborhood at the local grocery store.  Sheldon, went to our church.  I loved watching him practice bagging groceries when the store was closing, practicing to be the "fastest bagger in the world" and Josh, several years older and lived in my neighborhood in a house that had the same floor plan as ours.  I though it was cool that this older boy would even talk to me, a dorky younger kid, but we did hang out occasionally at the grocery store or even when I was riding bikes around my neighborhood, those were the cool memories of selling cookies. (sorry Mom, I really disliked it, even though camp was awesome!) Oh but I did love Golden Yangles.  They were triangle shaped cheese crackers.  I could eat them by the boxes!  So glad my Mom kept them in the deep freezer and we could enjoy them all year long!

So your choices are Toffee-Tastic, which is the cookies that my local scouts are selling.  They cost me, GASP, 5 dollars a box!!!  I'm told this is actually below the national average, still sticker shock none the less.
This cookie is a dense, buttery and crunchy cookie.  I liked it!  It would go great with a cup of tea, however Kid X though it was a bit too "hard."  It contains milk and soy ingredients so I wouldn't recommend it for multiple food allergies, and is probably why Kid X didn't like it because he's used to dairy free and gf cookies! Rice Flour and Tapioca Flour are the main GF ingredients in this cookie and yes it does have the dreaded corn syrup in it!  Serving size is 2 cookies for 140 calories.

The Trios Cookie is a Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie. I'd still love to try it out(wink wink friends across the country)  it sounds pretty good although Kid X can't really tolerate peanut butter with his FODMAP issues.  
This cookie contains certified gluten free whole grain oats.  It does contain peanuts, milk, eggs and soy.  However, it uses pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup.  Serving size is 3 cookies for 170 calories.  

When everything is said and done, you are supporting your local troops and that is the important thing!  My goal was always to go to summer camp, and I made it every year, even if I thought selling cookies was the least fun thing ever!  Kid X tried something new, and something that we won't be eating everyday.  Kid R is a scout and very excited to get out there selling some cookies.  She's got great enthusiasm and I'm sure she will be selling a lot!  I'm sure this won't be the last box of Toffee-Tastic Cookies I taste this year either! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Ultimate DIY Bundle On Sale Now!

As you’re here, you clearly love the feeling of creating something of your own – and you know that the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment is pretty hard to match.
The great thing about crafting and DIY is that there’s so much to get involved in! You may have started with decorating, or creating gifts, or photography, but there’s this huge world of crafting opportunities out there, and you’ve probably only scratched the surface!
The only problem is… how do you decide which project to dive into next? Not to mention, it can get expensive so quickly, buying more resources, more books, more patterns. What if you had a wide variety of inspiring resources right at your fingertips, but for a fraction of what you would usually spend?

That’s why you need to check out The Ultimate DIY Bundle! It’s your instant go-to library for a whole range of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses. There are projects that the whole family can get involved in – from pet photography and home decor to chalk pastels and sewing.
For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading DIY and crafting bloggers – enabling you to pick a project and jump straight into it with confidence. It’s the perfect tool to skip the information overload and throw yourself straight into a new activity.

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.
You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.
Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…
A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to, a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value), and free, full digital copies of Where Women Create Magazine and Greencraft Magazine ($20 value) from Stampington and Co.

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!
This amazing deal ends in just…

Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Ultimate DIY Bundle

I really enjoy these Ultimate Bundle Deals, The Next one that will be available soon is the DIY Bundle.  While we are waiting for it, check out this mini course of FREE DIY ideas! Written in consultation with MyQuillyn from, this mini-course is intended to inspire folks to rediscover their creative side in 2015. It’s a simple course, and takes them through a short exercise in each of the 4 steps.

In addition to accessing the course, each subscriber will have the opportunity to earn some pretty awesome rewards by sharing it with their friends. These include:

- $5 off the Ultimate DIY Bundle (only 1 Referral)
- A FREE 1-year Subscription to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (Only 5 Referrals)
- A FREE Ultimate DIY Bundle (only 10 referrals) PLUS the free 1-year BH&G subscription mentioned above (Only 10 Referrals)

And on January 21st, each subscriber will be given the opportunity to purchase their copy of the Ultimate DIY Bundle 2015.

The mini-course will only be available for 1 week tops, and we’ll redirect the site to the official Ultimate DIY Bundle site after 11:59 PM on January 20th.

Go Get it for FREE: