Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Van's First Taste GIveaway

I eat a Van's waffle with peanut butter and honey pretty much every morning before work. It's easy, fast, and fills me up until lunch. A month back, I came across a contest on Facebook and signed up because Van's was giving away samples of some new products. I had completely forgotten about it until my hubby walked in with the mail. He was holding a package which he assumed I had ordered for Iivana, but it was actually my Van's First Taste Giveaway package! I couldn't believe it.

It was packed with three full-sized boxes! It included gluten free snack bars in cranberry almond, say cheese gluten free crackers, and gluten free honey nut crunch cereal. Plus, there was a cute Van's reusable bag that would make a handy little lunch bag.

I haven't seen these products at the store yet, so I'm not sure what they cost. But I will definitely be buying some in the future.

Say Cheese Crackers: These reminded me of Cheez-Its minus the puffiness. They were bite size and I couldn't keep my hand out of the box. I love Schar Cheese Bites, but these are different; they are cheesier.

Cranberry Almond Snack Bars: My first instinct was that these bars reminded me of a soft cookie. I've said it over and over that I love soft, chewy cookies so these bars awed me. I usually stick to KIND bars and Larabars, but these were chewier than my typical go-tos. I really want to try the peanut butter chocolate flavor.

Honey Nut Crunch Cereal: This cereal is a cross between Cap'n Crunch and Cheerios. I ate it in a bowl with milk and throughly enjoyed the cereal. The box suggests adding bananas or using it as a topping on yogurt, which I think would also be divine.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I've taken a four month hiatus from the blogging world. I can't believe that I haven't updated since November and it is already February! But I have a reason...back in November I declared I would blog more, but then something happened. Blogger wouldn't let me upload any more pictures. It said I had used up my photo space. I didn't even realize that could happen! So I debated if it was worth it to pay the monthly fee. However, I've been missing it a little and we've been eating some amazing recipes lately. Justin has been making a couple Paleo recipes a week. So I had an instinct today to try and update with pictures. So far it's working...

Since I have been absent for a few months, I'll do a quick photo recap.

At Justin's work Xmas party

In December, I walked in the commencement ceremony for my master's degree, even though I graduated in the summer.

Over Christmas break, we did a little tour of the midwest. This is me with snow at my grandparent's house in Wisconsin.

We rung in the New Year in Las Vegas!

We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation.

Monday, November 19, 2012


There are limited GF beers (even though every time we go to the store I ask). Ciders can get old quickly because of their sweetest. A nice compromise is to make a Black Velvet, which is a combination of cider and dark GF beer. I talked about my first experiment here. Last weekend, Justin spotted this Brutul (brew tool) at Spec's.

For this combination, I chose Woodchuck Farmhouse Original Hard Cider and Green's Dubbel Dark Ale. My sister, Kristen, gave me this awesome Woodchuck glass from a dinner she went to where they paired food with ciders. For Justin, in honor of Movember, I took out this mustache glass that he received while in a wedding.

I took a picture of Justin with his glass mustache and I pulled up an old photo when he grew a mustache in 2009 to support Movember.

The brew tool worked awesome! It took a minute to figure out what position (close or far) gave the best pour. The closer to the turtle shell, the better. Plus, the turtle's mouth is also a bottle opener!

The perfect pour and mixture!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Amy's GF Pizza

It's Sunday night, and I am thankful that I don't have to work tomorrow. In fact, I have the entire week off for Thanksgiving; it couldn't have come at a better time. This school year has been nonstop! I'm looking forward to sleeping in, catching up on cleaning, going to appointments, and just relaxing. I'm hoping to be able to start blogging regularly again.

I'll start this post off with some football food that we enjoyed yesterday during the MSU game. We had an Amy's gluten free pizza that Justin and I found it at the commissary.

It was a plain cheese pizza that we cooked on our pizza stone. 

But, we decided to jazz it up with some cajun sausage that we had left over from Jambalaya.

 I sliced it up and spread it across the pizza. You could of course add veggies, other meat, or eat it plain.

The pizza cooked up nicely with the sausage and added extra flavor.

We also made a Black Velvet to drink with the pizza. Last weekend we bought a new tool that makes the process much easier. I'll share about that tomorrow! I also had some Wishbone buffalo ranch salad dressing to dip my pizza in (seen here). Overall, the pizza was decent. I think adding to the top of it made it taste better. The crust was thin and the sauce wasn't over powering. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello November

It's hard to believe that it is November already! I feel like it was just yesterday when I was welcoming Justin home and now October is gone too. Last weekend we went to an '80s themed Halloween party. 

My hubby's costume was totally rad: a mullet, glasses, and a laser background! The background was inspired from Pinterest. I took a laser background that I found online and made a poster at Walgreens. We glued it to a box and connected a backpack so he could wear it. We configured the straps of the backpack to go through the back of his sweater so you wouldn't see the straps. 

We dressed Iivana up as a ladybug this year on Halloween. She wasn't a fan of the little hood with the heart antennae, but she did look adorable! (Remember last year, she was Minnie Mouse!)

She enjoyed a new rope toy that was sent from her Grannie and Uelo too. 

Whenever I think of Halloween, I think of beef stew. My mom would make it every Halloween! It was a tradition that I wanted to share with Justin this year so I called my mom up for the recipe. I made it the night before and Justin came home at lunch to put it in the oven so it would be ready for dinner.

It was actually a pretty easy recipe to make too; it just takes 5 hours to cook so you have to plan accordingly. Below, I'll share the recipe. It's my grandma's recipe and makes me think of my childhood. I made one minor adjustment to make it gluten free!

Beef Stew:

  • 2 lbs. of meat (I used precut stew meat. But my mom says she has also used round steak or even sirloin.) 
  • 4-5 potatoes (I like to use a crinkle cutter and cut them into about 1 in. chunks.)
  • 6 large carrots (I used baby carrots and cut them in half. I used about half a 1 lb. bag.)
  • 1 big white onion (cut into rings)
  • 1 small can of peas (I ended up using about half a bag of frozen peas.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • slice of bread cut into small pieces (I used the ends of 2 slices of Udi's bread that I had in my freezer. I cut them into small pieces and it worked great.)
  • 1/2 tbsp. of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. of tapioca (sprinkle in)
  • 46 oz. can of V-8 (use about 2/3 or until all the stew is covered)
Mix all the ingredients together and bake at 250 degrees for 5 hours. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini Wine Tour

This school year has been jam packed with events, paperwork, lessons to plan, papers to check and meetings. I've been staying late and still bringing more work home to complete. It's almost 9:00 and I just finished my lesson plans. This past weekend was a breath of fresh air because we were able to spend the weekend in the hill country. I could leave all my stress and a dirty house to enjoy a weekend in Wimberley.

On the drive out, we always pass a sign for a winery not too far from the property. Justin and I love exploring the various wineries in the area (remember this visit, and this one too) so it was hard to believe we had never been to that one! Justin, his grandparents, aunt, and I decided to check out a few wineries on Saturday afternoon. 

Fawncrest Winery is located right near Canyon Lake. Here is the view from the back porch.

We also stopped at Driftwood Vineyards where they were set to host a wedding. It looked gorgeous!

Another view from Driftwood.

Our last stop was Wimberley Valley Winery. Did you notice the llama in the background? We were too caught up in wine tasting to take any pictures inside the wineries. At least I took pictures of the beautiful day.

The whole crew!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gluten Free Options at Comerica Park

In honor of the Tiger's playing in the World Series tonight, I thought I'd find time to update. Plus, this post relates to my previous one about the Tiger's.

When we were at the game about a month ago there was a rain delay. With all the waiting, I didn't realize I had become hangry (hungry + angry). Luckily, I knew there were some gluten free options at Comerica Park. I had read up on their website about the Brushfire Grill.

I was a little disappointed when I did read their gluten free options because none of them were a meal. My choices were a fruit plate, hummus & veggies, or peanuts!

Although I did smile when I noticed Redbridge!

I opted to order a chicken breast (of course sans bun), a Redbridge, and hummus & veggies. The chicken was served with Lay's potato chips which I could eat. Since I was hangry, I was upset that they served me a bag of pretzel thins with the hummus. In the end, I was thankful to have some gluten free choices especially because it filled my belly and I wasn't sick.

Another FYI, under concessions on their website it also lists other GF choices:
All Sausages and Hot Dogs (without the bun), Chicken Breast, Turkey Leg, French Fries, Peanuts, Popcorn, Nachos w/o cheese (salsa only), Frozen Minute Maid, Redbridge, Beer – Beer Hall


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