Pre-Made Gluten Free Products – First List

I’ve been sitting here, keeping a list of the gluten-free items we have tried, their ingredients, and whether we liked them or not. My goal is to come up with a list of ingredients (and a percentage of each ingredient) so I can create my own gluten-free baking mix that we will enjoy. Then, I’ll basically use other people’s recipes (like Gluten Free On A Shoestring).

I originally was planning one long post on our findings (please keep in mind that these are just our opinions) but I keep finding new products to try. So, this will be my first post, reviewing what we’ve tried and whether we liked them or not.  I have added all the foods we liked (and would buy again) in my Amazon store (at the top of the page) but all the photos on this page link back to the companies websites.

I know that not only will tastes differ between nationalities but within regions of the United States. Let me preface this to say: I’m basically a displaced Okie (I just felt my Grandma smack me upside the head for using that term). Both sides of my family moved to California from Oklahoma. So, that is the family background on food. My immediate background revolves around being born and raised in California. My favorite types of food lean toward Mexican and/or Chinese. My husband is basically the same way (with more of an emphasis on Mexican food). His mother did more cooking with vegetables than anyone in my family has ever done but deep down, we are both “Meat and Potato” people, with a little bread on the side (oh, if we could find some San Francisco style sourdough bread that was gluten-free, we’d truly be in heaven). So, that’s my disclaimer. Keep this in mind when I review the following items.

The first gluten free product we bought was this:

Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust at Papa Murphy’s:

At first, it was great (not “Oh, this is just like pizza crust” great but edible). Then, the pizza started cooling of and it took on the texture of a flour tortilla that had been heated, then left uncovered (tough). So, as long as you eat the pizza really fast, it’s great.

Then:

Three Baker’s Gluten Free Bread

This bread was crumbly, dry, and tasted like binder paper. Now, to give them the benefit of the doubt, the freezer this was being stored in was bad. The loaf had ice crystals all over it, so that could account for the texture. The taste, however, was not of freezer-burned bread (yes, I have eaten such). The flavor was as if they forgot to add any salt.

The next one we tried was this:

Udi’s White Bread

This tasted just like plain old white bread (though the sliced are just so small). We loved it! One thing to note: the size of these loaves makes them extremely cost prohibitive to purchase for a family to eat. I still have not figured out how a gluten-free family could afford to survive financially on these pre-made foods.

Udi’s Whole Grain Bread

This was alright. The texture was great but the bread itself was a little sweet. If that’s what you like, this is the bread for you!

Next, our ultimate favorite thing yet:

Krusteaz Gluten Free Pancake Mix

OMG! This stuff right here is better than regular pancake mix! If I remember right, this is the only gluten free item (at this point in our tasting journey) that has sorghum flour in it. So, I’m thinking sorghum flour might be best reserved for sweeter mixes, like muffin and pancake (wow, I really want some more right now).

Next:

Food For Life Gluten Free English Muffins (Multi-Seed)

Yuck. These were not only bland but gummy. Have you ever tried making a yeast bread and something messed up and you ended up with something that resembled rubber? Well, that was these, even though they were toasted and drowned in butter.

Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzel Twists:

These are harder than Rold Gold pretzels but not as “break a tooth” hard as Snyder’s typical pretzels and they are good! You can tell they aren’t gluten pretzels but they are close enough to make us happy.

AND last for this list (though we just bought some more gluten-free snacks at Rite Aid Drug Store yesterday):

Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic Crackers

Have you ever had a water cracker? You know, those round almost bland crackers you typically eat with brie? Well, add some garlic to them and that’s what these taste like. They are good (if you like those kind of crackers). I bought hubby some deviled ham and that was really good spread on these crackers.

I hope this list helps a little in your search for gluten-free alternatives. I know the search is helping us and we have been pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of products out there that are gluten-free (I sure wish there was this wide of a variety for low carb foods).  Remember, I have added all the foods we liked (and would buy again) in my Amazon store (at the top of the page) but all the photos on this page link back to the companies websites.  This will make it much easier for me to remember what I have already posted about (and what products I still have to share with you).

Until next time,
Brenda

Third (and Final) Amazon Store

Alright!  I have now setup my third (and hopefully final) Amazon store.  This one is woefully lacking in items listed.  This is my oldest blog and I have used so many various resources throughout the years to get to where I am today that I’ll be surprised if I remember them all.  I will continually add to the list as I remember (and scour my brain, computer, and bookshelves to jog my memory).

As of this moment, it has a list of all the store-bought gluten free items we have tried (and liked).  I have a list going of what we liked, what we hated, and the ingredients of each item.  My goal is to take all that information and figure out the right mix of gluten-free flours that we will like.  Right now, it seems as if there will be two (can’t remember if I’ve already typed that or not in my last post): one for quick breads/pancakes/muffins, etc. and another for bread like foods (you know, white bread).  I discovered that with each product link, I can add my own notes (so, of course, I did with all the products so far).

The other things I have listed are all the knitting and crochet books I have.  Those I also know are not complete lists but I’m pretty sure I’m only missing a few.  I have cookbooks listed and yes, that is not a complete list.  I will also include a list of books on gardening/homestead but my brain’s a bit fried right now so that list is empty.

The link to the store is to the right and along the top of the page (I figured doing a store like this would be easier than a links page, where we know web sites tend to disappear over time).

Also, here’s the link: My Amazon Store.  I won’t be posting an update every time I post something new to the store.  Just know that it’s there: a constant reference list of all the things I have enjoyed and learned from over the years.

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Brenda

I’m Weaving!

Well, after much trial and error (mostly me thinking I was smarter than most others and not having it work at all) I am finally weaving something!

I think I posted this link before but this was basically what I did:

http://www.theloomybin.com/doc/cwloom/

And, of course, I can’t choose something simple for my first project.  This is the pattern (well, it’s supposed to be … now that I have pictures, I’m not sure I’m doing it right but I don’t care!):

http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/birkarcp.html

I’m using just yarn … normal Red Heart (still don’t know the difference between the yarns) and it’s really wide … don’t know what the heck I’ll do with it but I don’t care!  I’m weaving!

And here’s the result:

See the cards on the left?  I made those!  I had an old accordion file and the stiff cardboard on either end was about the same width as the cards I was given.  To make the holes, I made a punch out of the metal nozzle off a large rodent water bottle (we used it when we had a rabbit) like this: I just pulled the metal part out and sharpened it with some files used to sharpen chain saws.  Then, hit it against the cardboard with a hammer and poof!  Perfectly round holes!  🙂

2014-03-18_09-35-14_869

2014-03-18_09-35-23_207

2014-03-18_09-35-23_557

That is a door to a small cabinet that we removed, 2 C-clamps, 1 Knitting needle, a TV tray, a chair, a large bottle of 409, a paint stirrer, bungee cord and paper clamps.  🙂

2014-03-18_09-35-36_595

Radically Cheap: The Story of Pat Delany, Open Source Machine Tools Advocate

Well, this is not only a story after my own heart but the main site?  I could get lost in it for days (if not months)!

http://makezine.com/magazine/make-37/patdelany/

The MultiMachine

About 13 years ago, Delany decided to build himself a horizontal milling machine on the cheap.”

Chunky Cable Crocheted Slippers

Remember when I whined because I couldn’t make this pattern of slippers?

http://www.mooglyblog.com/simple-chunky-cable-crochet-slippers/

Well, guess what?  She has a tutorial video now!  I think I may have to give them another shot!

PVC Pipe Soaker “Hose” Systems

So, I was sent the first link via email and I just think it’s brilliant! This will save us tons of water while watering deep enough to keep the plants in the raised beds we’re going to build happy throughout our hot summers. The first one is for row crops:

http://thewrinkleddollar.com/garden/drip-irrigation.html

And this video lays out how to do this for raised beds!

This guy did this setup but for his containers:

Homemade Corned Beef

I can’t believe I didn’t post about this!  I made homemade corned beef last year, leaving out the sugar and the pink salt, and it was fantastic!  I thought, well, I could make this, then can it so I know exactly where it came from and what was in it.  I haven’t gotten around to canning this because it usually doesn’t last that long!

Anyway, if you are interested (I wanted to see if I could and I did), here is how I did it:

http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/home_made_corned_beef.html

And here is how to can it (ever since I canned that chicken, I prefer raw canning meats):

http://canninggranny.blogspot.com/2011/05/canning-corned-beef-brisket.html

There you go!  Give it a shot (even if you only do one).  It really wasn’t as difficult as my brain said it would be!

Product Review – Lowrey’s Bacon Curls

LOOK! Low Carb Food Storage Item! These are so tasty!

My Atkins Keto Journey

914bb9lu7yl-_sx355_

My mom is a Dollar Store fanatic.  She’s always shopping at this one or that one and gets all excited when a new one shows up.  We eat very specific foods (as you can imagine) so I don’t really shop at those stores (if we ate nothing but cereal and crackers, we’d save tons of money at those stores).  Anyway, she insisted I try Dollar General (a whole mess of them have popped up all over town).  So I went and look what I found!  I had no idea these things even existed!  It’s pork rinds that you cook in the microwave, like pop corn.  For $1/bag, it couldn’t hurt to try one.

So, after sitting there for about a week, hubby decides it’s time to try them.  He puts it in the microwave (which has always been too small for all things cooked in bags like this) and they…

View original post 152 more words

How To Make High Grade Natural Beeswax Leather Polish and Conditioner

This is GREAT!  I’m always running out and what better way to save money (since I have tons of stuff for soap making and haven’t made soap in YEARS) than to be able to make my own!  I hope it won’t make hubby’s work boots catch on fire easier (he’s a welder)!  lol

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-High-Grade-Natural-Beeswax-Leather-Pol/?ALLSTEPS

Tools:
Measuring spoons
Tins for your polish (I’m not a fan of plastic bottles but you can use them)
Pyrex measuring cup
Small pot
Small aluminum pie plate
Wooden spoon
Bamboo skewers (optional)

Supplies;
Beeswax – solid; Protection for leather. Creates a barrier for environmental influences
Coconut butter – semi solid; Conditions the leather surface.
Sweet Almond oil – liquid; Softens the leather internally and replaces the natural oils lost through dying
Castor oil – liquid; Heavier oil that provides the ‘shine’. Can be replaced with mineral oil if necessary.

**Optional**
Pure Ammonia or Alcohol – liquid; Cleans and degreases the surface before polishing. As I mentioned before, the old recipes called for human urine.

Have a Small Space? Grow Vertical!

A friend mentioned that she has a tiny little area to grow any food, so I suggested she grow vertically. I don’t really do this now but may have to since I will be using raised beds this year. I’ve seen so many neat ideas over the past few months that I’m trying to find all the links to share with you (and her). Well, I was going to find a single picture to post here but when I did my Google search (“vertical gardening”) and clicked images I was in awe! There are so many creative ideas out there that I just can’t list them all (so check out the photos yourself here).

This is pretty much what I did when I was growing in containers (I posted pictures of my truck garden in 2011).

And here’s a video with several ideas (that’ pretty much the way the rest of these links are going to be … several ideas in one article):

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/8639243-green-expert-nick-federoffs-tips-on-vertical-gardening/

This one demonstrates how to build a growing “wall” (I love links with pictures or video) AND it’s Popular Mechanics!

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to-start-a-vertical-garden#slide-1

Here are two ways to reuse soda bottles:

DIY: Hanging Plastic Bottle Planter

DIY Vertical Gardening

Here are two ways to use shoe hangers:

VERTICAL VEGETABLES: “Grow up” in a small garden and confound the cats!

Turn a Shoe Organizer Into a Vertical Planter

And two ways to reuse pallets:

diy project: recycled pallet vertical garden

Pot hangers (third example down)

This one has a lot of different ideas (and if you look at the bottom of the second link, she has a few more articles about vertical gardening:

Small Garden Design Idea: Maximize Vertical Spaces

How to Design Creative Vertical Gardens

There are several projects on the DIY Network’s website but this one I particularly like, since you can change it around easier:

How to Grow a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Here are their top 10 vertical gardening projects:

http://www.diynetwork.com/topics/vertical-gardening/index.html

And now, for some eye candy! This looks like Pinterest specifically for Home and Garden:

http://happyhouseandgarden.com/categories/12265/vertical-gardening-ideas