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Gluten Free Foods That Taste Good! Udi’s Gluten Free Review

udis-gluten-free-main-logoWhile no one in our little family is specifically eating gluten-free, we have plenty of friends and extended family who do have that specific dietary requirement.  The challenge has been finding foods that meet that gluten-free need but still taste good enough that those who are not gluten-free don’t mind eating.  I had always heard great things about Udi’s and even picked up a package of their gluten-free chocolate muffins when we had a gluten-free lunch guest.  They were AMAZING (and should really be called cupcakes due to all the moist chocolaty goodness in my opinion).

 

My family recently had the opportunity to try a much bigger selection of Udi’s Gluten Free  goodies thanks to Udi’s and The Motherhood.  I was blown away by the variety of different products Udi’s offers.  We received bagels, bread, muffins, pizza crusts, chips, tortillas, cookies, and granola.  Right away, my family zeroed in on the cookies and asked if they could try the Snickerdoodles and Brownie Bites.  That was the last I saw of them (the cookies, not my family).  My 9 year old actually proclaimed that he liked the Udi’s gluten-free Snickerdoodles better than the “glutenful ones”. (I’ll bet you didn’t know that “glutenful” was a word, did you? Thanks LJ!)

udis gluten free granola bar

I tried the Ancient Grains chips next and immediately fell in love with the jalapeno cheddar ones (although they ALL are delicious).  They would be perfect with a little guacamole but I actually enjoyed them plain and right out of the bag.  As we worked our way through the bread, muffins, and bagels, I loved the fact that they didn’t taste *different* from any of the products we typically eat.  Actually, a few of them were even better.  I would never have guessed that they were gluten-free if I hadn’t seen the package.  I would totally feel comfortable serving  Udi’s treats to any guests, gluten-free or not.

udis gluten free chips

Learn more and connect with Udi’s Gluten Free on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.

 

 

Five Reasons My Family Loves Papa Murphy’s Pizza

papa murphy's pizzaThis school year is seriously kicking my butt.  I love that LJ has so many interests and has signed up for a wide variety of activities, but I am constantly in a state of anxiety worrying that I forgot to get him tot he right place at the right time and getting a fresh and delicious dinner on the table is becoming a bit of a challenge on several nights each week.

Not to mention that these activities seem to all fall on the same days – Tuesday seems to have taken the brunt of it lately.  We have exactly 45 minutes between when I pick LJ up from DI practice (an after-school academic club) and when he needs to be on the basketball court for that practice.  Since sitting down for a family dinner is a priority, I’ve been trying to get a little creative with meals.  I’ve pretty much exhausted my small stash of crock-pot recipes and honestly, LJ is not a fan of many of them. (Can we say super picky eater???)

Recently, we were invited by Papa Murphy’s and Mom Select to try one of Papa Murphy’s new pan pizzas.  If you are not familiar with Papa Murphy’s, they have a Take ‘n’ Bake style menu where you design your pizza (or try one of their yummy signature creations) in the store, they put it together for you, and you take it home to bake and eat.  I have to confess that we have been a huge fan of Papa Murphy’s ever since they opened in a neighboring town, but this was our first pan pizza.  Why are we such big Papa Murphy fans?

1)  The pizza is made fresh – right in front of you.  I have found that the more involved LJ is in the creation of his meals, the more likely he is to eat it.  He loved watching the Papa Murphy’s folks build our pizza piece by piece and I loved seeing how fresh all the ingredients were as they went on our pie!

papa murphys made to order

2) We get to eat at home and so we save on all those little extras that add up quickly – beverages, dessert, etc.  How many times have you gone out to eat and then been shocked at home your spent beyond the main entrees?  Eating out can be a budget buster and we love that we know how much the bill will be before even walking into Papa Murphy’s.

3) The pizza a hot and fresh when it hits our table.  Yes, you can absolutely take any restaurant meal to go to try and achieve the savings I talked about in #2, but it doesn’t feel like much of a bargain if the food is cold and/or soggy when you sit down to eat it.  We don’t exactly live out in the sticks, but I am always disappointed by how much the food has cooled by the time we get home to eat it.  Since you are baking Papa Murphy’s pizza right in your own oven, it is hot and delicious when you put it on your table.

papa murphys hot and fresh

4) I can fit it into my schedule.  If I only have 45 minutes between activities, I can’t order food from any place that might be running late.  I love that I can pick up a Papa Murphy’s pizza at my convenience, pop it in the fridge, and then cook it when I am ready.  Can we say convenient???

And the biggest reason why I love serving Papa Murphy’s pizza???

5) Everyone in the family loves it!!  Even picky eater LJ loves Papa Murphy’s pizza.  Like I mentioned, we have always been fans, but the new pan pizza is particularly delicious.  The crust bakes up just the right combination of chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside and even though the size we bought said it fed 2 – 3 people, we all ate until we were full and had leftovers.

papa murphys pizza picky eater approved

Thanks to Papa Murphy’s and Mom Select for providing us a delicious pizza to review and enjoy.  You also helped us create a delicious, relaxing family dinner during a hectic, activity-filled day, and you just can’t put a price on that!

Caza Trail and Grove Square K-Cups – A Review #sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sturm Foods, Inc. I received a promotional item and product samples as a thank you for participating,

If you know anything about me, you know that I love my coffee.  In fact, I’m pretty much non-functional in the morning until I’ve had a least a cup.  That’s probably one of the reasons why I’m so in love with my Keurig machine – it’s easy enough to use so even I can do it in my morning stupor.  Since I am the only one in my house who drinks coffee, I love the ability to make a single cup quickly and easily.

caza trail k-cup

The trick with the Keurig is making sure that you are using a high quality coffee.  I thought I had tried just about all of them by now but was excited to try the Caza Trail and Grove Square K-Cups that Mom Central sent over.  I received a box of Caza Trail dark roast coffee as well as the holiday variety pack of Grove Square hot chocolate and Grove Square Cappuccino.  The hot chocolate contained several flavors – peppermint, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.

While the dark roast coffee was perfect for my morning cup of joe, the cappuccino was great for my midafternoon pick-me-up.  And each flavor of the hot chocolate was a welcomed warm up after being out in the cold, shoveling the driveway for the umpteenth time.  Considering it’s not even officially Winter for a few more days, we have certainly had our share of winter-y weather and having a great selection of hot beverages on hand has come in very handy!

peppermint hot chocolate

While I haven’t been able to find these selections in my local store, Amazon has a great selection of both Caza Trail and Grove Square K-Cups and for a very reasonable price!  Plus, one Wisconsin Mommy subscriber is going to receive a box of Donut Shop K-Cups for themselves.  If you are not yet a Wisconsin Mommy subscriber, hurry and get on the list here before I randomly pull a winning name (and be sure to watch your email on 12/20 for a possible winning notification!).

 

It’s not too late to get those holiday cards out! #TopoftheMantel #MC #sponsored

cardstore logoI participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Cardstore. I received complimentary cards and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I mentioned before that I was going to get a chance to try out Cardstore this year for my Christmas cards.  As usual, I wound up waiting until the last minute (sigh).  I guess some old habits are hard to break.  I had a particular shot in mind that I wanted to use and it required a trip downtown with LJ, so it kept getting put off.  Normally, I would be freaking out about getting the cards ordered, shipped to me, addressed, and then standing in that dreaded line at the Post Office.

Instead, I sat down at my computer about 30 minutes ago and now my cards are all done.  Yep – Cardstore was just as easy as promised!! Once I had downloaded the pictures off of my camera, I selected the perfect one, uploaded it to Cardstore and added the appropriate message. Next, I uploaded all of my addresses from the Christmas card list I had in a Microsoft Work Database and clicked the option to have Cardstore address and mail my cards for me.  (The address upload process was actually really easy.  As long as you can import your addresses into an Excel spreadsheet, you can easily upload them.  If not, just type them in once and then save them for super easy use next year!)

Cardstore has their Hi!Rewards program so that you can earn points toward your future purchases.  You can earn points by purchasing cards, scheduling cards, connecting your social profiles, uploading your address book, and lots of other things.  Another great Cardstore feature is the ability to set up birthday reminder emails.  No more forgotten birthdays in your future!! Of course, you can design one of a kind birthday (and other occasions too) cards right in Cardstore and they will send those out for you too.  (And if you are a planner, you can design them all at once and schedule them to be sent just before each person’s birthday!)

Need some extra holiday cash?  Mom Central and Cardstore are currently running a great giveaway on the Mom Central Facebook page, with chances to win ten (10) $50 Amex Gift Cards and one (1) grand prize of a $300 Amex Gift Card!  That could come in very handy, right??

 

 

SoundFreaq Sound Spot Delivers Great Sound (and Looks Great Doing It!) #MC #SoundSpot #sponsored

Wireless Speaker SoundfreaqI participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Soundfreaq. I received a Soundfreaq Sound Spot to facilitate my review.

Most of music lives on my iPhone these days.  Since I grew up in the time of cassette tapes and even vinyl records, this still kind of amazes me.  I love how easy to access my music is with all of the new technology, and especially how easy it is to get crystal clear sound without wires.  I wrote a while back about how much I love my Soundfreaq SoundStep and I still use it daily. (In fact, I love it so much when I heard my parents were in the market for a bluetooth speaker and were planning on buying another brand that costs quite a bit more, I pointed them toward the reasonably priced SoundStep and they purchased it instead and love it!)

There have been a few times when I have wanted to use my SoundStep but either didn’t have room for it or felt that it didn’t look the best with the decor in the living room.  SoundFreaq must have been reading my mind because they’ve come out with the perfect solution – the Soundfreaq Sound Spot! The Sound Spot has all of the great sound I’ve come to expect, but in a smaller and more attractive profile.  It’s smaller size makes it super portable and I love that it comes in a ton of colors!

I received two Sound Spots to try out. One is white with a wood front (perfect for my kitchen)

soundfreaq sound spot wireless speaker

 

and the other is solid black and goes perfectly in my office.

wireless speakers

 

With an almost endless combination of colors and finishes, you can definitely find one that will go with any spot in your home.  The fact that they contain a rechargeable battery coupled with their small size and light weight mean they are super portable and could easily follow you outside as well.  I know mine will be resting poolside this summer!  The only thing I would change would be that I would love to be able to stream to multiple speakers from one device to create that “through the house” effect.  That option is only available if you connect the speakers together with the enclosed cord.  Someone who understands tech better than I explained to me that this is actually a limitation with Bluetooth technology, not with the speakers.

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