Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You'll Love this Heart-Healthy Valentine's Day Treat from @Luvcrunchmaster

Having trouble viewing this email? Click Here
Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Keep Valentine's Day Simple, Sweet & Gluten Free. On Valentine's Day, you should be able to indulge in sweets without counting calories. That's why we asked Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple to whip up a delicious, guilt-free, gluten free dessert.
The Healthy Apple
Gluten Free Fruit Tart. Crunchmaster Cinnamon & Sugar Grammy Crisps and a generous helping of raspberries combine for a satisfyingly sweet flavor – and all without gluten or dairy!
Get Recipe
Crunchmaster Cinnamon & Sugar Grammy Crisps Store Locator Latest News -
$1 off your next Crunchmaster cracker purchase. Download coupon.
Crunchmaster | 2134 Harlem Rd, Loves Park, IL 61111 | 800-896-2396
To unsubscribe from all future emails click here.

Visit Us at

©2013 Crunchmaster and TH Foods, Inc. All rights reserved.

Greenway Farmers Market This Saturday!


Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

Meet Your Vendors:

- Babe + Sage Farm
- East Georgia Produce
- Elm Street Gardens
- Evergreen East Farm
- Forest Grove Farm
- Fort Creek Farm
- The Little Farm
- Salamander Springs Farm
- Sparkleberry Market Garden
- Sparta Imperial Mushrooms
- Southern Swiss Dairy
- Three Centuries Farm

Directions to the Greenway:

Coming from downtown Milledgeville, take Hancock St/GA Highway 22 east toward Sparta/Sandersville.  Turn right into the gravel driveway (there will be signs) just before the Oconee River bridge.  Follow the driveway to the parking lot, vendors will be set up along the walking trail.

Save the Date!

February's Greenway Farmers Market

Saturday, February 16th from 9 am til noon
What kinds of exciting meals will you be cooking this time next week?  Hopefully they will include some of the best sustainably-grown food in middle Georgia from your favorite farmers at the Greenway Farmers Market!  Your favorite middle Georgia farmers and producers will be at the Oconee River Greenway this Saturday, February 16th, from 9 am til noon with the best locally- and sustainably grown food in town.  You can expect great sustainably grown winter produce and mushrooms; pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, and eggs; hormone-free and antibiotic-free milk, cheese, and other dairy products; hearth-baked artisan breads and other baked goods; and handcrafted jams, jellies, and preserves.

The Greenway Farmers Market will continue on the third Saturday this month and next before going weekly this spring!  So, save the date and don't forget to come next Saturday, February 16th from 9 am until noon at the Oconee River Greenway and be sure to stock up for the month!

We Love Our Farmers!

And we know you do, too!  To show your love for the farmers and farmers market, we're holding a contest to see who can write the best farmers market-themed Valentine's poem.  Entries can be submitted here at our facebook page until Friday, February 15th at 6 pm.  A winner will be announced later that evening and receive a $10 gift certificate to the farmers market!  Two entries per person will be accepted, more details on the Greenway Farmers Market facebook page.  Here is a good example, courtesy Ginger Carter Miller, to get your creative juices flowing:
Roses are red,
Kale is bright green,
I love our market,
The food's really keen!

Interested in Volunteering at the Market?

If you are interested in learning how to become more involved, be sure to stop by the market table for more info.  We need volunteers to help run the market table, set up and take down signs on the day of the market, help with marketing, fundraising, playing music and other market day activities, and organize activities for kids.  If you love your farmers and want to give back, please stop by the market table to learn how at the market next Saturday!
Copyright © 2013 Greenway Farmers Market, All rights reserved.
You have been invited to join this list.
Our mailing address is:
Greenway Farmers Market
Highway 22 at River Bridge
Milledgeville, Ga 31061

Add us to your address book
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thrifty Thursday -- how to assess savings


Because I worked through my coupon notebook the other day, and sorted my coupons for the next two months, I thought about if being a couponer actually really saves me anything. I want to share today I worked out some pretty special savings on products I actually needed as well as products for my world -famous stockpile.

This was my first shopping trip this month.
So here is my strategy:

First, I go through the store checking the day's markdowns. I found several well-priced organic markdowns for products I really enjoy – silk protein drink, gluten-free veggie burgers, organic cheese. In the back markdown rack, I found gluten-free chocolate Chex cereal still with many weeks before expiration, breathe right strips for a quarter a pack,, and tea. I also found some excellent salami, artisan cheese, a little produce, and even some cocktail sauce. These items were all half-price, And that isn't even reflected in the beautiful receipt attached.
Then there are my manufacture coupons. One thing I dislike about Kroger is it will not allow you to use a coupon on a marked-down item. I would have only saved one dollar more, but it's still a dollar. Best coupon of the week was for Colgate toothpaste – I got three tubes for free. I also saved on frozen vegetables, dishwasher tablets, dish soap, and Worcestershire sauce.

Add to that the reduced weekly sale items. i. bought lunch meat, frozen vegetable Blends, and canned fruit -- that took off another $18.

All in all, I got 58 items for $62 and I saved roughly 60% off the projected total bill, or about $100.

I spent two dollars and two hours to put together the coupons for the whole shopping trip, and I saved a dead president!

If you're wondering how I choose coupons, I do have a strict rule: I will not buy a product that is not gluten-free or healthy, and I won't clip coupon for something I won't buy. I rarely stray from this process.

One thing I did see today that I've never seen before – Kroger sells stalks of celery for $.79 a pound. I needed about three big stalks for something I'm cooking this weekend – they cost me $.18. You really can't beat that!

I was reminded of one thing Today – that idiotic show about extreme couponers has made it tough for thoughtful, frugal couponers like me. I am not shelf clear, and I don't want the store to owe me money when I'm done. I just want the help coupons bring to our food budget. I also think it is unfair that stores don't allow coupons on markdowns. But I'll deal with that another day.

Much love,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thrifty Tuesdays with Ging! My Single – cup adventure @cvsextracare and @teavana

A lot of people have been asking me how I prepared for retirement and insured that I had enough money to stoll have fun on my teachers retirement check. Well, one thing I became more than a year ago, was thrifty. Frugal. A Couponer. Not cheap, per se, nor a hoarder, but i think about what I spend. True, I have no material wants right now. But I changed the way I do a few things around here, and it has made a really big difference. I decided to share my thrifty tips on Tuesday. Here's the first one! Today's thrifty tip involves those wonderful single-cup coffee makers that take those little tiny K cups. An article I read in October suggested that people who use these machines generate extra plastic and spend about $1.60 for every single cup of coffee. Now, that's cheaper than your local DubcamBucs, But it is still expensive. To me It is not cheaper to make a big pot of coffee and save the leftover coffee. And let's face it, these little brewers are perfect for people like me who just want one cup of coffee, or one cup of tea at any given time. I really wanted the ability to make one or two cups of coffee or tea every day. So I began my research on these little coffeemakers. I Still have an awesome electric coffee maker and press coffee maker for when I need more coffee. One was a wedding present, and i got the other one off the SALE LIST at Georgia College. Backstory: I've wanted one of these coffeemakers for years, and I even bought one and returned it about eight years ago. Research in hand, I began to look around the market. Yes, every store had one. But I was especially drawn to the new machine by Mr. Coffee, which has, or so it says, K-cup technology. In fact it says on the front it's made by Keurig. Regularly priced about $30 less than a Keurig model, it was a enticing deal around Thanksgiving at $70. But on cyber Monday, my CVS alerts had the Mr. Coffee brand single-cup brewer on sale for $50. Because I am a devoted CVS shopper, I had a Free shipping coupon, as well as a 25% off coupon that could be used for a product purchase. In the end, I think I paid About $35 for this little machine. And, it came with free samples. It holds travel containers, and it is also very easy to clean. My next purchase, also at CVS, and also this time with a 20% off coupon and extra bucks, was a package of four reusable, refillable K-style cups. These can be filled with your own tea or coffee, and brings the cost down to almost nothing. I Got this packet for about, well, Free, because it was seven dollars, and I used my extra bucks. One thing I love about CVS is it allows coupon stacking. It's easy to take off a store coupon, a manufacturer coupon and a discount in one transaction. I think everyone who has one of these machines should consider getting a set of the small cups and making custom blends of coffee, tea, tea, and cocoa. it's really easy to do. (In addition to receiving samples of K-cups for Christmas presents, I also found an impressive assortment on the markdown racks after the holidays.) I've also learned the trick to using custom teas – like those from Teavana, one of my favorite stores, in the refillable cup. Put your tea mix in the small cup, and run just a small amount of hot tap water through the filter to moisten the tea mix. Then close it and place it in your machine. I also put lemon slices in the Bottom of my tea cup or mug before I run the cycle. Then, after the tea brews through the machine, I float the small plastic cup in the cup for just an extra minute, and I put it back in the machine. Usually I can get two full-bodied cups of tea out of a 1-tablespoon portion. I then compost the leftover tea. When I use a Chai mixture in the cup, I can make a delicious chai latte with just a couple of splashes of almond milk or cream if I'm feeling a little crazy! Better then the little cups, since they have added sugar and other preservatives. Way cheaper than the five bucks it would cost me in town – yes even in Milledgeville, we have fancy expensive Chai. Total cost for my single cup adventure – maybe $40 in pure cash. And I've already made up the difference in just a few weeks of using it. Happy Tuesday! It's Rooibos chai time for me! Xoxo Ging

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gourmet Valentine’s Day with Vanilla

 I really love this brand of Vanilla, and I think these treats would be delicious -- they sound very straightforward to make, too.


Make it a Gourmet Valentine’s Day with Vanilla  
Waukegan, Ill. (January 31, 2012) – What does the perfect Valentine’s Day treat consist of? Vanilla – even most chocolate confections and desserts use vanilla to enhance the chocolate flavor.
“Vanilla is often the overlooked and underestimated ingredient in recipes, yet it has a rich history and hundreds of complex flavors,” said Shauna Sever, author of Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques. “I recommend using high-quality pure vanilla, such as Nielsen-Massey, for the best results.”
Edible gifts are a go-to for many Valentine’s Day gift-givers, and are even more heart-felt when homemade. Sever recommends including vanilla in these Valentine’s Day treats, and keeping them sweet and simple. Ideas include:
  • Combine one cup maple syrup with two teaspoons of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to top off a sweet Valentine’s Day breakfast.
  • Make a traditional meringue recipe and instead of piping dollops, spell out LOVE. Add Nielsen-Massey’ Pure Orange Extract for a splash of flavor.
  • Whip one cup of heavy whipping cream, adding two teaspoons of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Coffee Extract and 2 tablespoons sifted confectioners’ sugar for a lovely touch to a morning cup of Joe.
  • Create a kids lunchbox surprise by adding a teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste to peanut butter for an extra sweet PB&J.
For a more intricate dessert, consider making the Vanilla Nougat Candy Bar Bites recipe below. This vanilla-infused sweet is sure to delight everyone’s valentines or they can be boxed up and given as a homemade gift to all loved ones!

Vanilla Nougat Candy Bar Bites

From Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever
Makes about 2 dozen 1 inch bites
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), melted
¼ cup finely chopped salted nuts*
* Use whatever kind of nuts you like. Salted peanuts and almonds are especially good for a candy bar effect.
  • Lightly coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line it with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment, too.
  • In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat, stir together sugar, 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, and salt. Boil until the temperature reaches 238°F.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium speed until they hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour half of the hot syrup into egg whites, beginning with just 1 to 2 tablespoons and then gradually pouring in the rest (adding just a little syrup at first warms up the egg whites and prevents them from scrambling). Immediately return saucepan with the remaining hot syrup to medium-high heat and bring to a boil; continue beating egg-white mixture until thick, with the consistency of marshmallow crème, then turn off mixer.
  • When the syrup temperature reaches 275°F, turn mixer on at medium speed and slowly pour in syrup. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 10 to 12 minutes, until mixture is very thick, heavy, and beginning to lose its gloss; the bowl should be cool except for the very bottom. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and spread it into the corners with lightly oiled hands or an offset spatula. Let set at room temperature until completely cool and firm, about 2 hours.
  • Invert nougat onto a cutting surface and remove the parchment. The slab should be sticky side up (the side that was exposed to the air while setting should be dry and not sticky when touched). Cut into 1-inch squares and place squares sticky side up on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Pour melted chocolate into a small zip-top bag. Use scissors to snip off the corner of the bag. Drizzle a bit of chocolate over each nougat square and sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 5 minutes, before serving.
If the egg whites hold soft peaks before the syrup temperature reaches 238°F, stop the mixer—you want the whipped whites to be ready and waiting for the syrup, not the other way around.
This soft nougat is the perfect base for all kinds of creative confectioneries. Flavor it as you like (peppermint holiday nougat, anyone?), fold in dried fruits and nuts for a riff on Italian torrone, or use it as inspiration for your own homemade candy bars.

About Shauna Sever
Shauna Sever is The Next Door Baker. With her easy, fun and accessible approach to baking and entertaining, she inspires both the pastry proficient and baking-phobic alike to tie their apron strings and head into the kitchen. With her first cookbook,  Marshmallow Madness! from Quirk Books published in February 2012; Her second cookbook;  Pure Vanilla, a popular food blog named one of the top 50 food blogs by; and the launch of Bake Sale Bakery, a small batch baking and dessert catering business, Shauna is matching her skills and her passion to make baking accessible to everyone.
Before pursuing a career in the food biz, Shauna graduated with a degree in Journalism from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.  After working as an investigative reporter, a television host and correspondent for the likes of  Extra and TV Guide Network, Shauna decided to follow her sweet tooth into the world of baking and desserts. Soon after, she launched her blog and became a recipe writer for a Michelin-starred chef, and continued on as a TV host for food-related segments.

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
# # # 

One month in: A reflection on retirement

The most asked question/repeated comment in my life right now concerns the joys of retirement. A month has passed already. Wow. The ability to retire and take care of my health is such a blessing, you can't know. I know this was the right decision.

I've learned a lot in the first month. Ive also come up with a plan that I'm trying to stick to every day. And you know what happens when you make plans? God says, "HA!"

In this first month, I've had to deal with medical issues, medical bill mistakes, coordination of my retirement check, and other general amounts of paperwork I've also gotten my new home office space in order, and I've started to work on my blog again. I've worked on some PR projects (pro bono) and have also written a lot of letters of recommendation. And I've spent a lot of time streamlining my mail, unsubscribing from lists, etc. That is a lot of hard work, let me tell you!

my little corner of the world

I set three rules for myself in retirement. I got the idea for this from my Daddy, who has been retired for almost 30 years!

1. Get up every morning and do what needs to be done. For me, this is usually some kind of house chores to keep Casa Del Whack running. On Tuesday and Thursday it means conveying Jeffrey to work in the morning. Mostly it means keep busy doing stuff. I have a to-do list that is quite impressive :-) And it isn't all done yet.

2. Get some kind of exercise every day. For me this was supposed to include aquacize, but that has been delayed sadly by various colds, flus, and infections. Instead, though, I've been walking the dog every day, and generally keeping busy.

3. If I don't feel well, truly don't feel well, it is OK to rest. And I have. I no longer have to feel guilty about being sick.  I felt that for almost three years, and I don't now. If I can't make something, then I don't.

This, oddly, has been the most difficult part of retirement -- giving myself permission to do what I need to do to reclaim my health.  That means rest. And I still am largely exhausted most of the time. For instance, I spent 5 hours the other day riding back and forth to Locust Grove, and when I came home, I slept for three hours. I did very little to exert myself, but everything still tires me out.

I've also been cooking, freezing, canning, and preparing food.
Magnificent Mushroom Ragout on gluten-free Pasta

Most of my bizarre culinary exploits are chronicled on Facebook. Im still there a lot, and also on Twitter, but I've dumped LinkedIn. Simplicity.....

Right now, my biggest challenges are getting the paperwork together to see a new specialists at John"s Hopkins. There is a specialized vasculitis clinic there, and they have giant cell arteritis trials that I might be a a good candidiate for.

Here are some additional answers to questions I've been asked:

1. No, I don't miss teaching per se, but I do miss my students, colleagues and friends on campus. But they know how to find me, and I them. I really don't miss bikers running over me on the sidewalk, skateboarders on the sidewalk who try to hit me, and students who are just rude to people and the lovely GC Campus. Today is actually the first day I've had a twinge of missing teaching class -- I always always love the day after the Super Bowl for the advertising discussion. (And in this order: Dodge Ram, Taco Bell Old People, Clydesdales, Oreo, Pistachios). And GoDaddy, I HATE YOU.

2. I was really worried that my retirement check wouldn't be enough to live on. Turns out it's just fine. I'm good.

3.  Yes, I'm still crazy coupon/stockpile/markdown lady.  That makes no. 2 work even better.

I hope you have a great day, week and month.  I sure hope to!

Much love,

Friday, February 1, 2013

@Coke Superbowl Ad - A Nutritional Perspective

No one wants to think about Super Bowl ads -- and the Super Bowl -- this way.  But this fascinated me. Thanks to CalorieCounter.Com for the information.

from the news release.

On Monday, back at the water cooler, millions of Americans will be comparing notes on this year’s Superbowl commercials. One big topic of conversation may be this one from Coke:

Rachel Berman, registered dietitian and Director of Nutrition for, a free health and wellness website with more than 5 million members, questions some of the claims made in this ad. She applauds the efforts of the company to create mini cans, remove soda from school vending machines, and other steps they’ve taken to reduce the calories and sugar in their beverages. However, in reaction to Coke’s sound bite, “…all Calories Count no matter where they come from”, she explains that not all calories are created equal.

Sugary drinks are a leading cause of weight gain, including an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, soda contributes 6% of calories to our diets, which is more than anything else we eat or drink. A 12 oz can of soda is equivalent to 40 grams of sugar or 8 teaspoons. The American Heart Association recommends less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 for men.

Have you found @rudisglutenfree Soft and Fluffy?