Category Archives: Food

A Look at the Downtown Grocery Outlet and a Giveaway

Grocery Outlet Collage

As you may have seen in  a previous post that I did, there is a new Grocery Outlet in Downtown Fresno! It moved into the space that was previously occupied by Fresh and Easy. I got a chance to go out and check out the new Grocery Outlet at its Grand Opening! I got a chance to take a tour of the store and have a chat with the owner!

Owner Chris Caillier may be new to Fresno but he is loving it like a native. Caillier relocated to Fresno from Seattle in order to open his first Grocery Outlet and immediately has gotten involved with the community! Of course they had all the local dignitaries out at the Grocery Outlet but his community involvement goes beyond that.  The Grocery Outlet has started with Edison High School. A group from Edison was at the Grand Opening selling hot dogs. Also they are donating money and getting involved with the Jovante Woods Scholarship. There will even be an event near the end of June!

The Downtown Grocery Outlet is also going to be supporting the Muex Home that is right across the street. They will be supporting the Muex Home by working with supplying them with goods for some up coming fundraisers. I am personally a big fan of the Muex Home myself, as I have great childhood memories;). I think that this Grocery Outlet will be a great asset to Fresno and especially downtown.

I also got to tour the store and was quite pleased! In addition to seeing lots of great priced products, including a bunch of gluten free and organic items, I learned 3 very great things about Grocery Outlet! (Ok, I think they are great;)

1) They have a dedicated line of gluten free pasta that is packaged just for them! Which means it is a standing order so they should always have it!

2) Our area Grocery Outlets get all their produce from OK Produce here in Fresno! So when you shop their produce you are shopping local!

3) You know all those great deals on durable goods they always have? The dishes or knives or As Seen on TV stuff? Well, I have always been slow to buy any of those just in case there is something wrong with them. Well, don’t worry about that! Grocery Outlet has a 100% guarantee on all returns. And you can return it to any Grocery Outlet, regardless where you buy it! And there isn’t a time frame either. You can can return anything as long as you have a receipt!

I am still really excited for the Downtown Grocery Outlet! And to celebrate I have another $25 gift card to give away!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I was given a gift card to compensate my time. All opinions and thoughts are mine.)

Week 1 of the #LivingNowFoods Challenge


WP_20140522_11_34_14_ProI am so excited! I recently got chosen to be one of 15 Ambassadors for the 30 day Living Now Foods Challenge through Mamavation! They issued a 30 day challenge (and compensated me) to go gluten free with the help of a giant box of their fabulous products. As many of you may know, I am already gluten free and so I was really excited to get a chance to discover these awesome products!

Starting this week (and continuing for the next 3 after) I will do a round up of a few things and recipes that I have made with the Living Now Foods products! Then on July 2, 2014 there is going to be a fabulous twitter party to wrap up the challenge.

So lets get to the food!

WP_20140529_18_23_04_ProMy first adventure with Living Now Foods was with Living Now’s Tapioca Flour. I made my ever popular Brazilian Cheese Rolls to go with a dinner of roast and broccoli! The great thing about Brazilian Cheese Rolls is that it gives you a bread type component to go with meals! When we first went gluten free we missed dinner rolls. And while these aren’t super bread, they are cheesy and delish! The tapioca flour is the key ingredient in these rolls. It is a great starch! The 1 think to remember is (at least with this recipe) you heat up the liquid and allow the starch to hydrate.

My second adventure is a completely new recipe I created with Living Now’s Quinoa!  I am not super used to dealing with quinoa but it is a complete protein and really good for you. And I had been craving all the flavors of a traditional Caprese salad so I put together this spring themed Caprese Quinoa! The quinoa was super easy to deal with! I just used my rice cooker with a 2:1 chicken stock to quinoa and set it on white rice. It was that easy!

WP_20140529_18_40_35_ProAnd last but not least for this week is a little dessert! I made chocolate chip cookies using the Living Now Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. I was blown away that this cookie mix was dairy free, soy free, egg free, and nut free in addition to being gluten free. They were super easy and had a great chewy texture! I will be honest, I may like my home made chocolate chip cookies better but these were pretty tasty! They are great to have on hand for quick treats. They are also the perfect thing to have on hand if have people in your life that have any of these allergies! A super clean mixing bowl and baking sheet and you can make them a clean and uncontaminated dessert!

So that is this week’s adventure! If you want to keep up on everyone’s experience just follow the hashtag on Facebook! Since I have already made the gluten free switch I am challenging you all! Can you substitute 3 meals a week with gluten free alternative? What are you biggest gluten free challenges? Let me know and maybe I can take them on for you!

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for this piece but all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone!)


A New Grocery Outlet Grand Opening & a Giveaway

Logo-Low Res

I know that I was not alone in my sorrow when the Fresh and Easy at Tulare and R closed here in Fresno. But a new Grocery Outlet opened this week in its place. I am so excited because there are always great deals to be had a Grocery Outlet!  And to celebrate there is a big Grand Opening this Saturday (May 24th)!

The festivities will kick off at 7am where there will be free coffee and treats along with free reusable bags for the first 500 customers. At 10am they are bringing out the Wheel of Bargains where you can spin and win (until 3pm). Then from 11am to 3pm there will be free face painting!

If you are there between 11am and 2pm you can get a $1 hot dog and drink. All proceeds will benefit Edison High School Athletics! You also should check out their facebook page before you go too. There may or may not be a deal to be had over there;).

I am going to go check it out and I hope to see you all there. And to get us all excited for the new store, Grocery Outlet is providing a $25 gift card for one of my readers. Just enter in the Rafflecopter! There will be lots of opportunities for entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to enter and check back for another giveaway with my write up on the new store!

(Disclosure: Grocery Outlet provided me with a gift card to go shopping and with gift cards for giveaways. But all thoughts are mine!)

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

gfree chocolate chip cookiesDid you know that May 15, 2014 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? It is and I am hard pressed to think of a more delicious holiday. As many of you know, I am gluten free but that doesn’t prevent me from eating way to many chocolate chip cookies! They just happen to be my Delectable Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!

And what would any holiday be with out me nerding it up a little bit? I found this great activity you can do with your kids to teach  them all about mining with chocolate chip cookies. You just need some common kitchen items and chocolate chip cookies!

And lets not forget the invention of chocolate chip cookies by Ruth Graves Wakefield. I found a great little piece that talks about the happy accident that resulted in the creation of everyone’s favorite cookie. I think it is a great lesson to kids. We have to try. Even if we fail we may succeed as something new!

unnamedFor all you gluten eaters (like my kids;), Mrs Fields is running a geeky chocolate chip cookie special..

They have Angry Birds cookie cakes and Angry Birds cookies & milk boxes just in time for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. And during May 15th-20th, there is a 20% off coupon these and any of their treats on their site. Use code NCCCD to get the discount!

Now, if you will excuse me. I have to make some cookies!

Geeky Cereal

Geeky Cereal

Remember the days of toys and prizes in your cereal? Come on, I am not that old. You have to remember? Ok, remember your parents talking about it then;)? Well, for a limited time General Mills is bringing it back in a fabulous and geeky way!

For a limited time (until April, 2014;) General Mills is putting 4 limited edition Justice League comics in boxes of their cereal! And on the back of the boxes are cardboard costume pieces that the kids can cut out. There is even a 5th Justice League comic book that is only available at Target stores.

My kids love cereal to begin with. It is a special treat we do once or twice a week. And of course I have comic book lovers for children too! (ok, I and my husband are comic book lovers too) And don’t worry, the comic books aren’t swimming among the cereal. There is no racing to the end of the box. The comic books are in a plastic bag next to the bag of cereal. These are real comic books too, not some super short promotional drivel that doesn’t have a plot. My kids (and I) totally love them!

So if you are a cereal eating, comic book family make sure that you run out and get a few boxes while there are still limited edition comic books to be had!

I rarely, ok never, include the actual press releases I get from companies but this was so cute that I have too.

(Disclosure: I received samples to review. All thoughts are mine.)

Tyson® Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets, Yes Gluten Free!


(I received compensation from Tyson® Foods for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.)

My poor kids. A few years ago I and my husband went gluten free due to gluten intolerance. And while I think it has been over all better for my kids too I still feel bad. Why? Because on my lazy nights, where it is just me and the kids, I can’t make them the fun, easy, treat-like meals I used to make. A big one is chicken nuggets. I didn’t do it all the time but when the husband is working late, I love popping in nuggets and fries into the oven for an easy dinner! But alas, being gluten free means those nights were always gluten free pasta and alfredo sauce. But no longer thanks to the opportunity I received to try Tyson® Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets!

Tyson Foods has created a fulfillment of every gluten free child’s dream! You all know that I loved the Tyson® Gluten Free Grilled & Ready® Chicken Breast Fillets for great family meals and that they are gluten free. But I had no idea that Tyson Foods has the line of Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets and Chicken Breast Strips!

Tyson® Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets are 100% white meat and all natural like you would expect with Tyson Foods. They are also super easy to make even though they are gluten free! Just throw them on a baking sheet for about 12 minutes with a flip half way through. That is it! And they come out as perfect chicken nuggets!

No sub-par texture or taste that some gluten free products have. My 10 year old daughter declared them better than McDonalds nuggets! The kids didn’t realize they were gluten free and wanted to know what I was going to get to eat for dinner. When I said I was having nuggets and stars they were concerned that I was going to make myself sick. I almost had to show them package to prove that these were gluten free.

WP_20140323_17_24_40_ProI have to say a last thing that really impressed me about Tyson® Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets. It was the price. I was expecting them to be about 10 dollars and at my Target they were about $6.50. And that is for enough nuggets to feed my 4 kids and myself. We paired them with Target’s star tater tots and broccoli. So our entire meal was about $10 and that is cheaper than fast food but actually gluten free too!!! Did I mention that the tater tots cook at the same temperature so I could make everything at once;). Anything to save time!

So the NerdFamily ruling is 10 stars! We highly recommend them and will be getting them again! This is a kids pleaser and a mom one too;).

(I received compensation from Tyson® Foods for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.)

#Ad 15 Minute Gluten-Free Spring Chicken and Grits

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.


Life is busy for everyone so dinner can’t take very long. But being gluten-free, it can be hard to find pre-made or quick recipes. When I walk through stores like Sam’s Club I tend to see a lot of pre-made and frozen food that I just can’t eat because it isn’t gluten-free. Even pre-made meats often have gluten in the seasonings. So I was stoked to get an opportunity to pick up some of Tyson Gluten Free Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets in the freezer section! And I developed a super yummy and super quick gluten-free recipe to go with them. It is super easy but there are a few things going on at one time. But hey, you gotta multi-task if you want a fabulous and nutritious meal on the table in 15 minutes. This is also a great meal to bring the kids in to have help you!

Sam's Club Freezer Section

Before we jump into the recipe! The Tyson Gluten Free Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets comes frozen but is already seasoned and is so good! It is in the freezer section at many Sam’s Clubs right now. If you want to try it out before you buy it, you may have an opportunity! Many Sam’s Clubs are doing a sampling of Tyson Gluten Free Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets March 6, 2014 and March 8, 2014. You can check to make sure your Sam’s Club is included.

2014-03-03 17.33.37

Spring Chicken and Grits
Serves: 6 Time: 15 minutes
6 Tyson Gluten Free Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets
16 oz Sliced Mushrooms
1 lb Asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbl butter
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
7 servings Quick Grits (according to package instructions)
1 cup of shredded cheese


Ok, this seems like a lot but I am going to walk you through, step by step, getting this all on the table. So we are going to basically have 3 streams of action going but I promise, you can do it!

1. Put 3 Tyson Gluten Free Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets on a plate and cover them with a paper towel. Put them in the microwave for 4 1/2 minutes.

2. Put 1 tablespoon of both olive oil and butter in a skillet. Turn the heat to medium and drop your sliced mushrooms in, stirring every 45 seconds or so.

3. Turn on the water and salt in a pot for your instant grits and bring it to a boil.

2014-03-03 17.51.58

4. After the mushrooms are cooking for about 2 minutes dump your asparagus in. Stir it frequently.

5. About this time take your plate of chicken out of the microwave and put in your second set of 3 Tyson Gluten Free Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets. Cover with a paper towel and microwave as the last set.

6. Now the water should be boiling and dump your grits in, stirring as you do it. Cover, reduce the temperature to low, cook for 5 minutes while stirring as needed.

7. While your mushrooms and asparagus are still cooking, cut up your chicken into cubes.

8. We are almost done, hang in there! Toss 2 cloves of chopped garlic (or 2 teaspoons of the prechopped stuff), 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt into your mushrooms and asparagus.

9. As soon as your grits are done slowly stir shredded cheese into them.

2014-03-03 18.07.04

10. Stir your chicken into the asparagus and mushroom mixture.

11. Serve by placing grits on the plate and top with the chicken mixture!


(Disclosure: This is a paid post but all opinions and recipes are mine! Thanks #CollectiveBias for the opportunity to create this #CookItGF recipe! #Cbias )

Crio Bru Review: Brewing Cocoa

Crio Bru

This last week I was so excited to receive some samples of Crio Bru to review. This is a cocoa beverage that is brewed in a coffee maker just like coffee grounds. This intrigued me to no end!

Here is the gist. They roast and grind the cocoa beans then you brew it in your coffee maker (be it drip or press).  The beverage is 10 calories, unsweetened and gluten free. You can even reuse the grounds! You just had half again of new to go with it.

Ok, so that is all the official stuff. Lets get  into my actual experience.

First off, there are brewing instruction on the back of the package that are similar to coffee. It calls for 2 tablespoons per cup. But I recommend brewing it however you brew your coffee! I like weak coffee and I found it a little strong and bitter for my taste. I then brewed it according to my wimpy coffee standards and it was perfect!

This should be sold for fragrance in addition to taste! My kids were so disappointed that the smell was not a sign of baking. And it is quite tasty too! Each variety really does have its own taste! The Cavalla was sweeter to me with hints of coconut. The Maya reminded me of those really high quality truffles with hints of spice with the sweetness of vanilla to balance it.

This is a really delicious way to meet your chocolate cravings and to relax. I highly recommend it. I am even contemplating switching out my coffee (now that is dedication;).

Have you tried Crio Bru? I am curious to what you all thought! Let me know in the comments! Anything you are curious about that I didn’t mention? Leave your questions in the comments and I will let you know!

*Update: You can get this online or at a few shops in the Midwest.

(Disclosure: I am a participating Influencer at The Entertainment New Media Network. I have received free product for review to facilitate this post. I was not compensated for this review and all expressed opinions are strictly my own.)



Gluten Free Flour Blend

glutenfreeflourblendOk, originally this was posted on some Utah based Gluten Free site but I can’t find it anywhere. I have just seen different versions of this blend. This is the one I have used and liked so far. A big reason I love so much is that you can pick up almost all the materials (not brown rice flour) at the Asian market for cheap, relative to other gluten free things;).

3 cups white rice flour
3 cups brown rice flour
2 cups potato starch (not flour)
1 cup tapioca starch

I get the white rice flour for 99 cents a pound, potato starch, and tapioca starch for $1.49 a pound (I think) all at the R&N Market at Cedar and Herndon but any local Asian market where you are at should the best prices. Then I got the Bob’s Red Mill Rice Flour Brown, 48-Ounce (Pack of 4) for $21.68 (which is a lot of brown rice flour).

I mixed it together and leave it in a bin!

Delectable Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

gfree chocolate chip cookies
Going gluten free has had some downsides but great chocolate chip cookies made from scratch isn’t one of them. Seriously, these cookies are so good that many haven’t known that they are gluten free! And you don’t need a mix to make them so they are cheap to make them. The flours are 2 rice flours you can get cheap at any Asian grocery!

I make them ahead of time in a triple batch and freeze them as dough balls. Then bake them off fresh to get the best texture and shape.


Dry Ingredients

1 1/4 cups White Rice Flour
1/2 cup Sweet Rice Flour
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients

3/4 cup (or 1 1/2 sticks) Softened Butter
1/4 cup White Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 bag (about 2 cups) Chocolate Chips


Cream butter then add both sugars and cream together in a consistent mixture. Then add the eggs 1 at a time, followed by the vanilla. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together with a fork. I don’t feel sifting is needed (because all the dry ingredients are already very light) but mixing them together is a must! Then slowly blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by adding the dry ingredients in small batches. Due to the powder like dry ingredients, there will be a little blowing of flours no matter how careful you are. So be prepared to wipe it up when you are done;). Then blend in the chocolate chips.

You can bake these immediately at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes but they tend to spread. To give these gluten free cookies a great shape and texture I recommend scooping them out and freezing them before baking them. Then you bake them frozen at 375 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.

I make these 3 batches at a time and scoop them all out onto a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer. Remember you don’t need to leave much space because you are freezing them and there isn’t any spread in that;). I then put them  into single baking servings  portions in quart freezer bags. I find 14 cookies are a good batch for us. Then I store them in the freezer and bake as needed.

These seriously pass for cookies full of gluten;)!