Sunday, December 28, 2014

Free Ebooks for a Better New Year 2015

         Year 2015 is just a few days away.  I'm sure you are also busy planning on how to work on your goals for the coming year too.  

         Today, I found some free ebooks that can help us get started with our New Year's resolutions. From natural homemade cleaners, to home decorating, healthy eating, running (my latest hobby) and money management, I'm hope you'll get some great ideas and information from these.  

          Download one or all of them now before the prices go up.  

          Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

- Roz

(Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure here.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BearHug Delicious Vegan Cookies Giveaway

      Christmas is just a few hours away. Since I can't personally hand you a gift for being super nice this year, I've teamed up with BearHug Bakery to send some treats to two lucky friends.  Isn't that sweet?

     Just a little introduction, BearHug Bakery is a local business (Yay New Jersey!) that makes delicious vegan cookies.  I met this husband and wife team last November at a vendor show and they gave me some delectable Double Chocolate Chip cookies to try.  As you may know, I'm not new to vegan cookies.  Since my children tested positive for food allergies, we've all looked around for safe treats.  

         Below is the photo of the cookies they gave us.  Due to my children's multiple food allergies, they custom made a gluten free version of their bestseller just for us.  

        As you can see, their vegan cookies look so much like (or even better) most regular cookies. The top is quite crunchy while the inside remains soft and chewy.  It is not overly sweet and is packed with so much flavor. You wouldn't miss the eggs, butter and even dairy found in traditional cookies. Since they don't use any preservatives, we can all be sure that each piece is freshly made.  

         Here's their second flavor, Almond Mayhem.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to taste these because our home is nut free.  Ah! Things a food allergy mom does.   Anyway, with exception to almonds, BearHug Bakery is free of peanuts and other nuts.  I'm sure some are doing a happy dance now.  

         Are you getting excited already?  Now for the giveaway.  Two lucky readers will each get a dozen of BearHug Bakery freshly baked vegan cookies of their choice  --- Double Chocolate Chip, Almond Mayhem or mixed right on their doorsteps just in time for the New Year's Party.  

           What are you waiting for? Grab your chance for some cookies now. This is open to US residents only and will end on Dec. 25 11:59 pm EST.

           Merry Christmas!

- Roz

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Note: I received products from this company to review.  Please see my full disclosure here.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

TheFrugalistaMOM's Food Allergy Coupons Giveaway

      A few more weeks and 2014 is over.  Can you believe it?  It may sound a cliche but the year did flew right before my eyes.  

       Before I get caught up with the holiday rush, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being with me throughout the year.  Your company has inspired me to continue writing (which I love so much), experiment in the kitchen for new recipes and enjoy food allergy safe product hunting and testing (a task that I'm beginning to be fond of).

      I confess maintaining a blog is not an easy task.  Though I can't run out of content to share, the posting process is always a struggle. As the kids grow older, I realized the hard way that their food consumption exponentially increases. Thus, extra time must be allotted in the kitchen. Ah, if only there's a way, I could cook and blog at the same time.  Any ideas?

       To be really honest, there were times too when I thought about not blogging anymore.  Between the cooking, shopping, mommy duties and personal goals, it is quite a challenge to carve that coveted writing hour.  During those I consider dark moments,  I would receive a question from a reader about a recipe, a company would reach out for me to review their new food allergy friendly product or a random follower will send me a quick thank you message.  These simple gestures remind me that I must have been doing something right.  It reassures me that I was put in this position by God because He has a mission for me.

     Thank you so much for sticking with me this year. I really appreciate all the support and kind words you keep on sending me.   You have not only made our family's food allergy journey more bearable.  In fact, you all helped me looked more on the brighter side of things.

       To show, how much I appreciate you, I'm starting a series of giveaways this month.  To start with, I'm giving away a part of my coupon stash to one lucky follower to enjoy.  It's over $20 worth of coupons!  Some of it are even subject to an amount match (depends on where you shop).  I'm pretty sure it will come handy.

Coupons included are:
       Ian's Natural Foods, Dole Garden Soup, Plentils, Ola! Granola, Purely Elizabeth, Freedom Foods, So Delicious, Soy Joy and Raw Revolution.

        This giveaway is open to US residents and will end on Monday (December 15, 11:59 pm EST).

         Good luck!

- Roz 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 2014 Reading List

      It's going to be a busy month.  Between the holiday preparations, shopping, parties and longer nights, I'm sure we would all need some quiet time to stay sane.  

      If you are a big reader like me, a good book will always help me calm down and lower my stress levels.  For this month, I chose books which not only inspire but give me new ideas for the coming new year.  


Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business

         This book by Gene Simmons is not only enlightening and amusing. It's also filled with practical and most of all honest tips.  Just in time for 2015's New Year's resolutions.  

L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food

          This cookbook by Roy Choi is not only filled with easy to follow recipes, it also has tons of real life lessons he learned along the way.  An inspiring story of hard work, dedication and crazy good food. 

Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater

       This memoir by a respected food critic gives a new perspective on food and weight issues.  I can't wait to have a 2 hour undisturbed date with this book. 

          This book by Daphne Oz contains easy to prepare and healthy recipes, entertaining ideas and tips for modern living.  

        There you have it my friends.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I really would love to finish all of these books this month.  

          How about you?  What's on you reading list? 

- Roz

(Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure here.) 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Italian Gluten Free Dinner by Schar Giveaway

     With the crazy holiday schedule, I'm sure a nice gift basket will definitely brighten anyone's day. Right?  

      As an official member of Schar's blogger team, I'm happy to be one of the sponsors of their Holiday 2014 Giveaway.  This year, they are giving away some necessities for an Italian dinner which includes:

         * Schar crunchy, savory gluten free croutons
         * Schar Bonta d' Italia gluten free fusilli and penne
         * Schar gluten free Ladyfingers (yup dessert too!)

        Are you excited?  Click the link to enter
        Hurry up!  There are 22 days left to join.

        Good luck!

- Roz

(Note:  Though I'm part of Schar's blogger team, I'm not compensated for this post or giveaway.  I just love them!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sweeter and Healthier Desserts with Monk Fruit in the Raw

       We're on the last stretch of 2014.  You know what that means right? The holidays are here and let the baking marathon begin. 

     For those who have been extra good about their weight loss and management the whole year  (certainly not me!), this time of the year is said to be the most challenging. Though most studies mention that the average weight gain during this period is just one pound (really?!), my weighing scale often disagrees and shows 5 -10 lbs every year.    

         Anyway, if you also have a sweet tooth like me, I'm sure you will like this new sugar alternative called Monk Fruit in the Raw.  I've seen this product in the store shelves a while ago yet never really have the courage to try it. When Moms Meet asked me to review it, I became really excited.

        For starters, Monk fruit in the raw is a wholesome, zero calorie sweetener made from real monk fruit.  What exactly is a monk fruit you may ask?  Well, it is a vine ripened fruit that is native to Asia. This fruit is said to be twice as sweet as the regular table sugar.  Also known as luo gan huo, this fruit was believed to be first harvested during the 13th century by Arhats or "Enlightened Ones" which translates to Monks in English.  

       Monk fruit in the Raw is made from the extract of monk fruit blended with other sweeteners such as dextrose.  It is naturally vegan, kosher and gluten free.  It also doesn't contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols or molasses.  

The Test

       For this review, I received a baker's bag of Monk Fruit in the Raw and a box of Monk fruit in the Raw Packets to try. 

       Honestly, I am not a big fan of sugar alternatives because most brands have a strong after taste. This after taste not makes tea or other drinks very bitter, it also leaves a soapy or chemical flavor. 

       My experience with Monk Fruit in the Raw however, was surprisingly pleasing.   It tasted so close to real sugar.  If not for the finer texture, I won't be able to distinguish it from the real thing. Regarding my issue with aftertaste, Monk fruit in the Raw had the slightest hint of bitterness.  With coffee and black tea, it is almost undetectable.  

      As most of you have already figured out, I bake lot at home.  To make my baked goods healthier, I often substitute half of the required amount of oil with fruit purees.  I never dared to use sugar alternatives because of the numerous horror stories I've heard and read.  For this review, I challenged myself to actually use Monk Fruit in the Raw bakers bag to bake.  

        Since the makers recommended to replace just half of the required sugar, I followed.  I tried using it to make my Pumpkin Oat Muffins last Thanksgiving.  Though the end product didn't rise as high as the usual, the muffins still tasted really good.  The texture was also close to what we always had.  The best part is that, it didn't have any bitter aftertaste.  To my delight, none of the four kids detected any change in the recipe.  

       To sum up, I have to say that Monk in the Raw is one of the better sugar alternatives we currently have in the market.  It works really well on baked goods which people with diabetes would appreciate.  If you are watching your sugar intake, this product will be your friend.  

          Happy baking!

- Roz

(Note: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.)

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