February 18, 2011


Kitchen Tip: Clean as You Go

Kitchen Tip

This week’s kitchen tip comes to us courtesy of Ellen of Gluten Free Diva.  Her tip is to clean as you go.  Ellen says,
“My mother always taught me that if you clean up as you move through your cooking prep, it will make for a much lighter load of cleaning when you're finished cooking. Works like a charm every time!”
I have found this tip to be true for myself, but I don’t always do it.  I think the key is giving yourself more time.   When you are in a real hurry, you don’t take time to clean as you go.  This tip is especially helpful when you a cooking a really large meal, but it’s nice to have less clean up in the end any time you cook or bake .

blue question mark
Do you usually clean as you go or leave it all to the end?


February 17, 2011


February’s Clean Kitchen Update

Clean Kitchen
February’s challenge is to clean your range or cook top and oven.  I got a start on mine last weekend.
First, I wiped out the oven and started the clean cycle.  I used a two hour cycle because it wasn’t very dirty.  After it finished and cooled, I wiped again to remove the ash that is left from the cleaning.

While the oven was cleaning, I worked on a couple of other things. My smooth cook top is cleaned regularly in order to avoid build up, so that wasn’t on my to do list.  I started with the controls which are on the back of the stove.  I removed the knob and washed them thoroughly, then washed the whole surface behind them.  Simple Green proved to be useful for the job. 

stove - dirty knobs
stove - clean knobs
I also removed the drawer that is under the oven and emptied it’s contents.  There wasn’t much that needed to be removed as far as what I keep in there, but the drawer itself did need a good cleaning.  Then there was the matter of the floor under the oven.  I started sweeping up the dirt when I remembered to take a picture for you.

stove - dirt under
Still to be done:
I cleaned the area under the stove, but I’m still hoping my husband will help me pull the stove out this weekend.  I do not have spill guards between my counter and stove, and I’m sure there is some cleaning that needs to be done there.

Also, I want to work on cleaning the oven window.  I’ve always hated the way oven windows get dirty and have found them difficult to clean.  Many times, the offending dirt is inside two pieces of glass and can’t be accesses without taking the door apart.  I finally gave up some time ago on have a perfectly clean window, but this one can be improved with a little work.

stove - dirty door
blue question mark
Have you made any cleaning progress this month?


February 15, 2011


Gluten-Free Wednesday 2/16/11

Gluten-Free Wednesdays2

Hi everyone!  I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day.  Thanks for visiting my blog and checking out Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

Giveaways: This week (because I love you so much) I have two great giveaways:  Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread (ends Wednesday night) and Handy Gluten-Free Crab Cakes.  Both are great products.

Monthly Challenge:  February’s challenge is to make a loaf of gluten-free yeast bread.  I have been behind on this challenge, but I did make a loaf of bread yesterday.  It was okay, but I need to keep working on it.

Last Week’s Highlights:  I was pleased that we had several bread recipes submitted last week.  Be sure to take a look if you missed them.
Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread – Wheatless Foodie
Udi's White Bread Copycat Recipe – Extraordinary Life
Amsuka's Teff Bread – Amsuka’s Gluten-Freedom
Sophie's Light Brown Teff Bread – Sophie’s Foodie Files
My Submission:  This week’s recipe is a sweet treat that is sure to please.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
The Carnival:  If you’re new, please read the guidelines.  Don't forget to leave a link back, and thanks for participating!



Handy Crab Cakes – Review & Giveaway

When I was contacted by Handy to review their gluten-free crab cakes, I was thrilled.  I hadn’t eaten a crab cake in many years because I never made them myself, and those I could purchase in stores or at restaurants were not gluten free.  Originally, these crab cakes were not dairy free, but the company listened to consumers and now they are!  Not only that, they are certified gluten free by the GFCO, which gave me confidence that they were safe to consume.

I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed eating these crab cakes.  They contain large chunks of crab meat, have nice flavor, and hold together well.

crab cakesThe crab cakes are shipped frozen, and the price listed on their site includes FedEx 2nd day air shipping.  They can also be found locally in some locations, which greatly reduces the cost.  The biggest drawback to these crab cakes is their cost.  Even with shipping, $69.99 for a box of 6 is out of most people’s price range.  If I’m going to spend that much money for a special treat, I would rather go to a restaurant and have some one else do the cooking.

My son who works at a university concession stand informed me that they charge $9.75 for a single crab cake on a bun, and the crab cake is smaller and not as good as these Handy crab cakes.  That does put it in perspective a little bit, but you are paying for the convenience and cooking in that situation.

Shirley of gluten free easily also reviewed these crab cakes.  She received a response from Kevin Voisin or Handy International regarding the pricing.  I would like to quote it here:

“Crab Cake Pricing

There is no doubt that the least expensive way and best way to enjoy our crab cakes is to buy them locally from a grocery store near you. Far from competition, we see local retailers as essential partners in supplying the gluten-free community with the great food products they want and need. You can find a list of retailers who carry the product near you by visiting http://www.glutenfreecrabcake.com/pages/buy-locally .

The shipping involved in getting the product direct to a consumer’s door certainly adds to the pricing, but we thought it was important to give the entire gluten-free community access to this product right away – even those located far from our retail outlets. We included shipping in the price of every package so there were no hidden costs to you.”
Another thing that surprised me about these cakes is that although the company is located in Salisbury, Maryland, they do not use Maryland crabs as I naturally assumed they would.  The crab cakes are a product of Thailand.  This issue was also addressed in the response Shirley received.

“Ingredients from Thailand

These cakes are made in Thailand where fresh blue crab meat is available year round which gives us the best flavor and also sufficient supply. Fresh blue crab meat is not available in the U.S. year round and the supply is limited.

We subject ourselves to independent testing by Silliker, a top inspection firm used by Whole foods and Costco. Handy’s plants have received Silliker’s gold certificate – an achievement only the top 10% of inspected companies achieve. Handy is also a founding member of the National Fisheries Institute’s Crab Council, a groundbreaking group focused on creating a more sustainable seafood offering, and works diligently to provide the most consistent high quality products the crab community has to offer.”
I am impressed with the communication this company has provided.  Kevin Voisin even responded to several comments in Shirley’s post.  The crab cakes they originally sent me were not dairy free, and they were quick to send me a package of the reformulated version.  They have been terrific to work with.

In conclusion, I thought the crab cakes were delicious, and I would happily eat them again, if the price was right.

The Giveaway
One winner will receive a Gluten-Free Taster package containing 6 gluten-free Handy Crab Cakes.  You must have a shipping address (no PO Box) within the continental US or Hawaii. 

To enter, you must leave a comment on this post.  If you receive this post by email, you need to click over to my blog and leave a comment.  Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Please include an email address in your first comment.  Up to four entries per person:
The giveaway will end on Saturday, February 19th at 11:00 pm eastern time.  After the winner is contacted, I will announce the winner on my Facebook page.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with crab cakes free of charge.  The opinions in this post are my own.

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