Thursday, August 4, 2016

Skinny and Company Coconut Oil Beauty - Product Review

If you have been following here for a while you know that I am on a constant quest for the best allergen-free skin care. For me, that means products that don't contain wheat or soy proteins, or chemical sunscreens. If I use them I may break out in a rash, and I will be itchy, for sure. Preservatives and fragrances also sometimes cause problems. So I was very excited when Skinny and Company asked if I wanted to try their coconut oil beauty products. Yes, yes, yes! They sent me a complimentary samples of the facial oil and body butter, along with some good oil coconut oil (for baking, cooking, eating).

Skinny and Co's coconut oil products are 100% raw, cold-pressed, and never heated above 97 degrees.

I have been using the beauty products for about a week, and I am thrilled with them. I must point out that they are expensive (as beauty products go) but a little goes a long way. You will need far less facial oil (just a few drops a day) than the dollop of traditional cream products you might use.

You will also notice that the products truly are oils. Even though they start solid (but on a warm day they might melt) they will liquefy quickly as soon as you touch them. No worries though, just rub them in and go.

I know what you're thinking... they must be greasy, right? Nope, not at all. Within minutes your skin absorbs the oil, leaving it soft and smooth.

I must point out that the body butter combines coconut oil with almond oil, therefore inappropriate for those with tree nut allergies. But for me, these products are winners!

To get 15% off your Skinny & Co. order, use code: SKINNYCO15. I plan to try the shampoo bar and the lip balm next!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels Now Made in a Peanut-Free Facility – And a Giveaway

A box full of pretzels arrived the other day, from Snyder’s of Hanover. “Ooooh, pretzels, can I have some?” asked DH. “Not until I take pictures and do my review,” I replied. That’s a standard response in my house.

Disclosure: Snyder’s of Hanover sent me pretzels for review, and is sponsoring this giveaway and blog post.

My husband didn’t even notice that the packaging said “gluten-free,” and he definitely missed the big news. Yup, there’s news! Take a look at the labels:

In addition to the certified gluten-free labeling on the front of the package, check out the “no peanuts” label near the ingredients label. That’s right, these pretzels are now made in a completely peanut-free facility. Woo-hoo! And kudos to Snyder’s!

Note that I received only gluten-free pretzels in my package but Snyder’s also makes traditional wheat pretzels,  also produced in a peanut-free facility.

It’s important to note that Snyder’s pretzels never “contained” peanuts; i.e., the ingredients list never listed peanuts. But making the production facility completely peanut-free means the risk of cross-contamination has been minimized and makes these snacks safe for just about anyone or anywhere. Send them to school with your child in a peanut-free classroom or take them on an airplane without worries about your own child or the person sitting next to you.

And the best news is that they taste great! The formula hasn’t changed – you will still be eating the best pretzels around.

Now you can try the new pretzels too! Snyder’s of Hanover is giving away a product prize pack and a $25 VISA gift card to one lucky winner. Enter here:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share, share, share (use hashtag #PretzelsBaby) and spread the #PeanutFree news!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Raise a Pint Recipe Contest – Chocolate Dipped Frozen Dessert Sandwiches

The sound of the ice cream truck means summer is truly here. I remember standing on the corner with a quarter (yup, it was a long time ago) trying to decide – should I get the chocolate dipped ice cream bar, the ice cream sandwich, or the chocolate ├ęclair bar? For sure, my choice would include chocolate.

When Alisa Fleming of Go Dairy Free asked me to participate in the Raise a Pint Dairy-Free recipe showdown (sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free), I knew that I wanted my treat to bring back some of that nostalgia, but I also wanted it to be easy to make. Who wants to heat up the oven in the middle of the summer? So I picked some of the my favorite allergen-free products to create this treat.

Make these allergy-friendly ice cream sandwiches using off-the-shelf ingredients! Gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly!

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Dessert Sandwiches

This recipe makes 6 sandwiches

1 pint So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Frozen Dessert (Any flavor may be used, I chose cookies and cream.)

1 box Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies (Any flavor may be used, I chose Double Chocolate. You may substitute any homemade or off-the-shelf cookie you prefer – flat, crispy cookies will work best.)

1 bag dairy-free Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life or Pascha semi-sweet chocolate chips are my choice.)

2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Shortening (If you need to avoid soybean oil, substitute Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks.)

Let the frozen dessert sit at room temperature until slightly softened (20-30 minutes).

Line a small baking sheet with parchment. Line up six pairs of cookies.
(If you are using Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies there will be fourteen cookies in the box – save two to create the crunchy topping, if desired.)

Slide the frozen dessert onto a cutting board (if it doesn’t slide out of the container it isn’t soft enough yet). Slice the frozen dessert into six slices. Trim the larger slices so they fit the cookies.

Place one slice of frozen dessert between each pair of cookies – keep the flat side of the cookies on the inside. Trim and/or smooth the edges as needed. Use any extra frozen dessert to fill gaps. Refrigerate for at least two hours. The ice cream and the cookies should be completely frozen before dipping.

When you are ready, make the dipping sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons of shortening in a small saucepan (or double boiler) over low heat. Add the chocolate chips (the full package) and stir until completely melted. Let the sauce cool for about 20 minutes. (It should still be warm but not hot when you dip the sandwiches.) If the cookie topping is desired, crumble the remaining cookies. (Be sure to do this prep step before dipping the cookies – the chocolate coating will freeze up quickly after you dunk.)

Take the frozen sandwiches out of the freezer and dip them in the sauce. This can be very messy so I recommend having a wet paper towel nearby. Dip the treats on all sides and around the edges. Return the dipped sandwiches to the baking sheet. If there is any chocolate sauce remaining, pour it over the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle the crumble cookies on the top of the sandwiches.

So easy to make these allergy-friendly ice cream sandwiches!

Return the baking sheet to the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store sandwiches that won’t be eaten soon in an airtight container in the freezer.

Did I mention this is a contest? Here’s the scoop…

Watch for amazing recipes by 21 talented bloggers, authors and recipe creators in this summer’s Go Dairy Free recipe contest, sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free. The entrants will use So Delicious Coconut Milk Frozen Desserts or Cashew Milk Frozen Desserts to create the Coolest and Creamiest treats. All recipes will be shared between July 10th and July 24th (follow the hashtag #RaiseAPint on Twitter and Instagram), and then you will be able to vote on your favorites, including my entry into the Coconut Milk section!

Starting on July 25th you will be able to vote on the Go Dairy Free Facebook page. The recipe contest winners will be announced in August, and will include two $500 grand prize winners and two $250 runner-up winners.

Along with the contest, you can join in the #RaiseAPint Event, which will run from July 11th to August 5th. During this time, So Delicious will award 20 entries with an ice cream party prize pack. Simply share your moment on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and be sure to use #RaiseAPint! Full details here.