Archives for July 2011

Enjoy Life Foods: New Chocolate Products

Enjoy Life Foods is one of my favorite brands. All of their products are allergy friendly, free from top eight allergens… and other common allergens as well. They use only dedicated gluten-free and nut-free facilities and maintain strict standards to ensure that their products are safe for people with food allergies. The company was founded in 2001 with the goal of making “delicious products that just about everyone can EAT FREELY!” I believe they have done just that.

When Enjoy Life Foods contacted me and asked me to taste test a couple of their new products I jumped at the opportunity. I’m sure I would have enjoyed any of their products, but I was super excited that these were both new chocolate products. How could anyone turn down chocolate? Ever since my food allergy diagnosis (wheat, soy, and corn) Enjoy Life is the only chocolate I ever buy. I know it’s safe and it doesn’t taste any different from “normal” chocolate.

The two NEW products they sent me were Double Chocolate Crunch Granola and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks. Typing that makes me feel like I might need another chocolate snack!

Package arrival

First I tried the granola. Honestly, I was a little worried that all that chocolate in a breakfast would be too sweet, but it really wasn’t. It was definitely super chocolaty without being over-powering. They granola is crunchy enough that it didn’t get all soggy as soon as I poured the milk on it. It was a filling and satisfying snack… just yummy!

GranolaGranola with milk

Then I tried the chocolate chunks. I had a hard time deciding what to use them in first, so in the end I went with the the picture on the package as my inspiration, blondies. I mixed a handful of chocolate chunks into my gluten-free batter, added another handful on top, and into the oven they went.

Baking blondies

We tasted some of the chocolate chunks plain while we waited. My non-allergic family said they tasted great. My chocolate-loving mom tried a few extra just to make sure they were really good. These were mother approved!

Mom testing chocolate

I have no complaints, the blondies were very yummy. I would love to use this chocolate again in future baking.

BlondiesBlondieDessert timeMe eating dessert

Thanks for the treats Enjoy Life Foods! And thanks for making so many great, safe products that I can enjoy! I can’t wait to see what else you come up with in the future.

Project: Office Relocation – Part One

The projects continue around our house. They are equally exciting and exhausting. I really do love the opportunity to get things organized. It’s amazing to find what things we have shoved in drawers or in the back of closets that we have no reason to keep. I think our trash man might start to hate us. We have had several garbage days with abnormally large piles waiting for him. And we’ve only lived here a few years… it doesn’t seem possible to have accumulated so much junk already!

Our home office used to be located in one of our spare bedrooms. Although it was working out as a nice setup, we now want to be able to use that space as a bedroom for when we become foster parents. So, we decided that the best place for our new office space is in our master bedroom. Our bedroom is pretty big so there is plenty of space for our desks, it’s working out quite nicely.

Step one involved choosing a paint color for the bedroom. I guess this wasn’t actually a necessary step, but it seemed like a good time to go ahead a paint.

Paint choices

Since we had to rearrange our furniture layout in order to accommodate the desks, it was now or never. There is now way we would have wanted to move out even more furniture to paint in the future. Now that its done I’m glad we did the painting, but it sure was a lot of work! I moved all the small items out of the room to make for a very cluttered hallway.

Cluttered hallways

Then I used lots of sheets and blankets to cover up our big pieces of furniture. I love our bedroom furniture! There was no way I was taking chances with getting paint on anything, every little part was well covered.

Ready to paint

Our room was extra tricky to paint because it has vaulted ceilings. We had to borrow a taller ladder to reach the top of one wall. Kinda tricky to concentrate on painting when you’re that high off the ground. Once I got the first, big wall done I knew I liked the color I chose. It’s definitely dark enough that you notice the color without it being too dark and feeling like a cave. I really thought hard about the color, especially since we now spend so much of our time in here.

First wall done

I had been planning on doing all of the painting myself. I finished with all the priming in one day. That night I was so sore and worn out, I knew there was no way I could paint again the next day. Jesse was so excited to move the computers in that he wasn’t willing to wait the extra recovery day so he decided to do the paint coat himself. It’s just as well, he did a very nice job.

Me paintingJesse painting

While he painted the top coat, I worked on painting all the outlet covers. Those are always fun to paint. Plus it makes such a huge difference to have them matching the walls in the finished room.

Painted outlet covers

Check back soon for Office Relocation – Part Two, pictures of our finished office spaces…

Namaste Foods: Breakfast for Dinner

I love having breakfast for dinner, don’t you? Last night I finally tried a new recipe for pancakes that I had been wanting to make for a while now. I used my favorite brand of baking mixes, Namaste. I can’t even remember the last time I had pancakes. Back when I was a kid I used to be able to eat as many pancakes as Dad could make. Dad’s pancakes are THE best… super light and fluffy. And although these weren’t as good as Dad’s, they were still pretty darn good!

Pancake mix

As always, Namaste mixes are super easy to make. I added only two eggs, some oil, and some water. I also added some of the blueberries that I picked myself for extra fun. The only down side was that they weren’t as thick as regular pancakes, I guess because of the lack of “normal” flour. They gave new meaning to the phrase flat as a pancake. So the blueberries didn’t really have enough room to sink into the pancake like they were supposed to, but they still tasted the same.

Blueberry pancakes

I added oh-so-yummy pure maple syrup on top. I’ve been spoiled my whole life with only ever buying pure maple syrup. It may be a lot more expensive, but it is definitely worth the price. And now I have an excuse to only ever buy the real stuff because I can’t have the ingredients in the fake stuff.

Maple syrup

And… guess who else had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast for dinner? Jesse isn’t a huge fan of pancakes and would usually need more protein and calories in a meal, but since he wasn’t feeling too well last night it worked out okay. Plus I’m pretty sure this is only the second time since we’ve been married that we’ve had breakfast for dinner. That’s just sad! Especially since there is nothing to not love about pancakes.

Jesse eating pancakes

Are you craving some pancakes yet? Maybe you should put them on the menu for tonight!

Yummy pancakes