Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Summer of Cider

Sadly, along with my diagnosis of Celiac Disease came the death of The Summer of Beer. Sniff.
Luckily, I have found that I LOVE hard ciders and am making my way through the shelves at the liquor store, since that's the only place to buy them in our bass-ackwards state.
 Welcome beautiful nights on the back patio!

Angry Orchard Elderflower is AMAZING. So nice and fruity and so smooth. Love!

But Woodchuck Summer has claimed my top spot in The Summer of Cider. This has a hint of blueberry and is so tasty. Even my neighbor who is not a big fan of fruity drinks liked this one.

But DO NOT try Woodchuck Spring...... I am not a fan. I though the "touch of maple and brown sugar" sounded fabulous, but not so much. In fact, just thinking of it gives me a bad taste in my mouth. Plus? It is not at all appropriate for Spring..... much more so Fall! Maybe I will like it then! 
Any suggestions for me?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gluten Free at Pei Wei

Pei Wei's Gluten Free Sweet and Sour Chicken
with brown rice
(minus onions and green peppers)
Pei Wei has a pretty amazing GF menu (scroll down to the bottom of the link for the GF section)..... there are lots and lots of options! Although my favorite dish, Honey Seared Chicken, cannot be prepared GF, I have switched over to Sweet and Sour Chicken and LOVE it! You'll find several salads, chicken and shrimp dishes prepared either Sweet and Sour or Pei Wei Spicy, Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls, as well as edamame. Even though their proteins are GF, they are still nice and crispy and I found some info on the website that explains how they do it. 
When you order one of our Gluten Free dishes, we dust your choice of chicken or shrimp in potato starch, all of which is Gluten Free, and then cook it in fresh oil.

When cooked in oil, the potato starch gives the protein a crispy texture that also allows the sauce to stick to the protein for better flavor.

They even provide GF soy sauce! Alas, stay away from the fortune cookies, as there is no GF option there! You'll have to do what I do, which is let my kids eat my cookie and read my fortune to me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Things

1. I've been working on a blanket for Will forever, as most of my crochet projects go (I have about a 4 year turnaround time), and one peril of that method is that yarn gets harder to find. My Walmart is no longer carrying Red Heart Super Saver Camo in Desert Camo. I do see some on Amazon, but don't want to pay outrageous shipping. Anyone seen it anywhere B&M?

2. I think I was super busy with little kiddo stuff during the height of the Jon & Kate drama, but I ran across it on Amazon Prime and darn those kids are cute, so I will admit to starting to watch it. I got all the way to the second half of the last season, when all the drama really got going, and POOF, it wasn't on Amazon Prime anymore. Wah!

3. However, I am contemplating a membership to either Netflix or Hulu Plus so that the Mr. and I can watch the first season of The Mindy Project together. I watched it last year, but for some reason didn't share it with him until this year, so we need to go back and watch it together. So maybe J&K is on there and I can FINALLY finish that watching project? Oh, and if you watched TMP episode recently where Morgan remarked lovingly about Jackee from 227, laugh with me too. SO GOOD!

4. I am obsessed with Thymes Naia Body Lotion. Obsessed, I tell you. I ran across a small bottle I'd received in a Birchbox a long time ago, and stuck it in my car, and OMG it smells amazing. I know nothing about details of scents, but Amazon tells me that it has scents of water lily and cyclamen, balanced with hints of citrus and lychee and I call it AMAZING. Has anyone seen this sold B&M?

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Aarrrgggg! A jar of Pineapple Preserves has 1300 Calories!

 Last week I posted about and made Crockpot Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken from TheFrugalGirls.com. Although every single family member loved it (and Mr. Sasha *might* have eaten the remaining sauce all by itself), I must go back and retract my recommendation for this recipe as originally written.

Since the recipe called for the whole jar, I of course used the whole jar. It must have been a busy day- I didn't even glance at the nutrition facts (boo me!).

So if you are going to make Crockpot Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken, replace the pineapple preserves with a jar of pineapple chunks, ran through your blender to make a liquid.

This is what I used- a 20 oz jar of Dole Pineapple Chunks. (And note that I did NOT use the full jar of pineapple or the full container of BBQ sauce- just use your judgment and use how much you would like- you really can't mess this up!)

315 calories for the whole jar? Much better! (And much healthier too!)

And the family loved it just as much!

Sasha Goes Gluten Free At Raisin Canes

NOTE: I spoke with the manager at my local Raising Cane's on 10-07-15, and they are NO LONGER GLUTEN FREE. At all. 

The post below was originally posted in April 2014, when I had spoken with the manager and was told they had a dedicated fryer for their fries and naked fingers to keep them gluten free. A friend recently told me that was no longer the case, so I talked with the manager yesterday who verified they indeed fry everything together now.

I immediately removed the post, but then I realized how many hits it had gotten since being published, and decided to re-publish it to make sure that people with Celiac Disease know NOT TO EAT AT CANE'S.

 Please spread the word. I am sure there is a possibility that other Cane's may still have dedicated fryers, but YMMV, and if they tell you they do, the only responsible thing to do is ask each and every time you dine there to make sure they continue the practice.

Raising Cane's Naked Chicken Fingers
A friend mentioned to me that our local Raising Cane's has unbreaded chicken fingers and also has a dedicated fryer used only for those "naked" chicken fingers and their fries. This week we decided to try it out, and after verifying that was indeed the case with the manager, I indulged.

And YUM! I actually think I liked the naked chicken fingers BETTER than the breaded! There was a nice crispy coating, but it wasn't at all heavy and I felt like I was eating amazingly fresh chicken and not just breading. (I'm talking to you, Arby's!)
The Cane's Sauce is also GF and so good I actually dream about it. So glad to have another GF-friendly restaurant to eat with my family!
This post is not sponsored, I am just a new fan of Raising Cane's!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

A while back, I pinned this very yummy looking pic and recipe for Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt.

The recipe calls for adding 1 tbsp. of creamy peanut butter, 1 tsp. of honey, 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract, 1 tbsp.. of miniature chocolate chips and a dash of sea salt to an individual Greek yogurt cup.

I thought I'd modify it a bit to include my favorite peanut butter alternate- PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter, and clear vanilla extract.

Have you tried PB2? Through a unique process created by Bell Plantation that does not involve the use of any chemicals; over 90% of the fat is removed from the peanut. Essentially the oil is squeezed out of roasted peanuts and what remains is a peanut powder.

I also buy Greek yogurt in the bigger tub since it's more economical than the individual cups.

My modified recipe:
  • 1 cup Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. PB2 powder
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. clear vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. mini chocolate chips
  • dash of sea salt
It's absolutely amazing and a great start to my day!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sasha Goes Gluten Free.... at Qdoba

Qdoba Naked Burrito
My meal contained:
Brown Rice
Shredded Cheese
Salsa Verde
Sour Cream
Last week I did some online research and it looked like I could have a pretty darn good GF meal at our local Qdoba. And as luck would have it, the girl immediately in front of me in line was also a Celiac! She was a former Qdoba employee and shared some great info with me.
1. First, they are glad to change into a fresh pair of gloves for you.
2. Their burritos can be ordered "naked", which means no tortilla.
3. Your have your choice of rice type, beans, and meat. The only meat off-limits is the Ancho Chili BBQ. And all their salsas are GF!
4. Do ask them to get fresh shredded cheese for you- the cheese in the assembly line has been touched while making dishes containing gluten.
5. Their chips are not safe, but I bought a baggie of chips from home to eat with my Naked Burrito.
It was DELICIOUS. I may just go there for lunch again today!
This post is not sponsored, I am just a new fan of Qdoba!