food: adventures in gluten free baking

i know i’ve said i don’t want to become one of those “substitution products” people, but i also have a curiosity about this junk.
and sometimes, when things go on sale for $0.99 i become powerless against them.

the heath food store beside my office has been an excellent source of things i need and things that i definitely don’t need.
for instance, when i need a snack, they have raw nut mixes in convenient containers.
they also have gluten free cookies.
see… need vs want.

the health food store also heavily discounts products close to their expiry date.  and this is where i’m most prone to splurge on crap that i really don’t need.
and they definitely suckered me in the other day… so here’s my bounty of baked good mixes and such…

first off, the famed $0.99 muffin mix.


it required me to add an egg, buttermilk, lemon zest, butter & blueberries.
so it was actually pretty similar to the muffin recipe i used to use.

the dough/batter was very thick.  like, i used my fingers to put it into the muffin cups.  but it actually made a “normal looking muffin” for all intents and purposes.
i got 12 small(normal sized?)  muffins from it and they were not bad at all.

the texture is on the crumbly side, but the flavour is pretty good overall.  they are vastly improved by heating them and slathering them with butter.  but really, what isn’t?

the iron test?  my husband ate 4 of them fresh out of the oven with minimal complaints on them… really the texture and “hard to eat with your hands/requires a plate” was the only real issue he had.

so overall, a fun experiment, but i’m honestly not much of a muffin person to begin with, so i don’t think i’d rush out and buy something like this again.

my other discount baking purchases were: a cornbread mix


and a cake mix.


the cornbread mix will get my usual cornbread treatment… meaning i will throw in a shitload of cheddar, chipotles and green onions and that will make anything awesome.
so i anticipate that one going well.  i mean, cornmeal muffins have little flour in them to begin with, so really, how bad could this be?

and the chocolate cake mix will be made and slathered with terribly unhealthy icing and so i also anticipate that one going well.  but i’ll let you know.

my other purchase that day, and the only one i paid full price for is coconut flour:


i’m actually pretty excited about this one. couple reasons…
first off, this and almond flour are the only real “paleo-approved” baking flours that are easy to come across.
and second, i just flat out love coconut, so i’d probably use this product anyways, regardless of any dietary restrictions.

it was not cheap.  i paid $14 for 1kg of it and i have no idea if that’s a good price or a bad price… i’ll admit, i did no research.  mostly because i have no idea where else to get it, and overall i’ve found this store’s pricing to be competitive, so i just assumed this was as well.

anyways, i have yet to crack open the bag, but i’m pretty stoked on some of the recipes that i’ve come across for using it.  people LOVE this shit.  there’s whole blogs dedicated to it.  so i assume i will also adore.


lastly, and maybe this should go in the “shame category” from my previous blog… but holy cracker, i found THE BEST cookies ever.
of course, those assholes at trader joe’s make them.  and they are so freaking delicious it’s not even fair.

they’re so buttery and crispy and they literally melt in your mouth with magic.
you should buy them.  even if you eat wheat.



food: more lazy eating & making it better

remember how you start your day/week/month whatever with delusions of health and all the conviction in the world?  and then you have a crap day at work and it all goes to shit?
yes, this was me last week.

but, all is not lost.  i’ve read my paleo books and decided to test drive it.
my work does this cool 12 week challenge thing where you sign up and upload terrible fat pictures of yourself and alllll your measurements, strength test ect… and then you commit to being all around better in 12 weeks from now.
if you’re the winner, then you get fabulous prizes including some really amazing trips.  so it’s a pretty cool thing.

i did it my first year with the company… but never finished it.
and last year, i was full of excuses and was in a cast.
but now that i’m starting my 3rd year with the company (wow – REALLY? – time flies!) i’m ready to rock the shit out of this challenge.  i’m also considering starting a new blog in addition to this one thats focused on daily updates for the challenge.  not so much because i think it’ll be interesting, but because the judging is 30% based on a written essay and i think that will help my chances.

so, the first thing i’m going to do is try full on paleo for 12 weeks.  there’s a couple reasons why… first off, i think it absolutely has to make me lose weight.  and while this isn’t a “biggest loser” competition… losing a visible amount of weight would definitely help my chances of winning.  also, i’m frankly curious about how this will change my body.
it won’t be a forever change (well, i say this now, but you never know) because there’s just some things that i’d like to keep in my life, even if it is in moderation. (cheese, i’m looking at you)

the second thing is an actual regular commitment to exercise.  moonbeam and i had a sobering moment at rock climbing last week.  where we were forced to accept that aquafit, while getting us off the couch and making us move, isn’t necessarily making us strong and fit.  it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s like step 7 of 100.  so we should really be pushing ourselves a little more.
the weather is the biggest obstacle/excuse right now… i hate exercising outside in the rain or worse, the snow.  infact, if its icy, that’s just stupid and dangerous.  BUT, i do have a free gym that i can see from my window.  and exercise dvds and such. so basically, i have excuses, not real obstacles.

the third thing i’d like to achieve is some sort of really quantifiable thing… like maybe signing up for and actually running a race… or something like that.  something that can not be faked or excused or whatever.  this is to be determined, but i love suggestions.

anyways.  goals, they exist and i’m gonna slay them.


and now, witness my shame of the last week.  lol.
here’s the thing about getting your mind all worked up about “something big on the horizon”… it somehow excuses yourself to make crap decisions in the meantime.  like i have to “get in all the shit i can before i’m not allowed to eat it anymore”.  because, you know, that’s logical.

so… i ate a few things.
first shame: boston pizza’s gluten free pizza crust.
this is my delicious little ‘za below.  definitely better than the me & ed’s experience.  this guy was about $9 and i got it with peperoni, feta (no mozza) and mushrooms.  it was really good.  one of the better, if not the best, gluten free product i’ve had while eating out.
it was small, but a perfect size for a meal.  i’d buy it again.



second shame: my ongoing quest for a good mac & cheese… and we have a winner!
thank you trader joe’s.

not only was their rice mac & cheese only $1.99 for the box, but it tasted like delicious kraft dinner-esque garbage fake cheese and i loved every minute of it.
the search is over, the king is crowned.  all bow down to the winner.

(also – who are they kidding with this “serves 4” garbage?  a box of mac & cheese is a meal for one.  always has been, always will be.)



and my final shared shame…
the soda pop.

i have a mad lust for root beer.  proper root beer.  don’t try and give me that barq’s crap.
for me, when i read the bottle, it must be made with pure cane sugar.  no high fructose corn syrup, thank you.
but really, i love all the craft brewed soda pops.
and the other day, i found this…


remember the pop shoppe?
my husband waxed poetic over this for an hour, i swear.
apparently there used to be an actual pop shoppe by his house and they used to buy crates of them and $.25 a bottle.
sadly, i paid $2.50 each for these fuckers, but it was definitely a taste of my childhood.