Sunday, July 28, 2013

Product review time! El's Kitchen Snaps and Medleys

A few weeks ago, I volunteered to write a review on Amazon for a new gluten free product in exchange for free samples. Yesterday, my samples arrived.
I've never been asked to write a review for a product before, so this was a bit of a first for me, but, happily, it turned out to be a product I have no problem supporting.  My samples came from a new company called El's Kitchen. They are running 2 new gluten free snack lines and I got a sample from each.
The first sample I got was from their Snaps line.  This is a line of bagel chips.  This line is free from gluten and wheat, eggs, nuts, peanuts, dairy and soy. It is also free of trans fats. It comes in a 4 oz bag and each 1 oz serving has just 90-100 calories.
They come in 3 different flavors, original, garlic and herb, and cinnamon sugar.
The sample I got was for the cinnamon sugar snaps. I have to say, they were very good bagel chips. It has been a while since I've had "traditional" wheaty bagel chips, but, from what I can remember of them, these were spot on. And it had some great flavor. Not too sweet, but a very good blend of cinnamon and sugar.
I had my non-gluten free husband try these as well and he really liked them as well. That is saying something as he often has flavor or texture issues with some of the gluten free products.

The second line of snacks they are offering are called Medleys. This snack contains a mixture of corn nuts, flax seed corn chips, pretzels, potato chips and bagel chips.
This line also has 3 flavor options: original, cheddar and the sour cream and onion. This line comes in a 5 oz bag and each 1 oz serving varies from 140 to 150 calories per serving.
I got the sour cream and onion flavor as my sample from this line and oh boy, did we like this. Hubby and I really, really liked this one. Really our only complaint was that we wanted more, which is a good thing for the company. :)
The flavors and textures of the various components blended very well together, and the flavor blend wasn't overpowering. It was just really very good.
This line contains no trans fats, no eggs, nuts or peanuts.

These products are currently available via and are retailing there for $5.12 per 4 to 5 ounce bag. That might seem a bit much (and really it is..) but, sadly, that's about typical for gluten free products, and is actually better then some prices I've seen.
This was a good enough product that I feel comfortable recommending it to anyone who is looking for a good, crunchy snack. It won't be joining our "regular" line up, but it is going to be watched and ordered once in a while.

** Note: The only "payment" I received for this was my free samples, in exchange for which, I agreed to write a review on I liked the product enough, and had wanted to start doing some reviews on my site, that I took it upon myself to write my review here as well. **

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Because we all need cookies from time to time:

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used the Enjoy Life brand.)

I've been thinking about making cookies for about a week or two, but just never quite seemed to get around to it. The last few weeks have been busy with everyone in and out and visiting for the summer and then the holiday.
Tonight, I had just put dinner in the oven (meatloaf...) when my husband called to let me know that he had a stop to make tonight and would be about a half hour later then usual, which meant dinner would be delayed, which meant I needed to pull the meatloaf back out.. But I had this nice, warm oven and some extra time, so, cookies!

These are very simple and quick cookies. I've seen several variations on the grain free peanut butter cookies online, but, well, I really like chocolate, so we needed to make some modifications..

I started by measuring my cup of sugar and a cup of peanut butter into my mixing bowl. I like chunky, and that's what I had, so that's what I used. Any peanut butter or other nut butter works well for this.
Then I decided to add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, my vanilla and the egg. I mixed these until they were well combined, then I added my chips and mixed those in as well.

Then I scooped them onto my baking stone. I used my 1 tablespoon measure and made rounded balls. Once they were all places, I gave them the traditional peanut butter cookie crosshatch.
And into the oven they went, while I peeled potatoes for mashing.

They baked for about 10-15 minutes at 350. They tend to run closer to 15 minutes for me, but some of the other pages I've seen this posted on calls for 10, so watch your first few batches and adjust the time to suit your oven and altitude.

Out to cool then try not to eat them all before dinner :)
Yield for me, today: 17 cookies