Tag Archives: giveaway

A Winner is Announced

Now it’s time to giveaway the following Namaste products:

Which includes:

Namaste Giveaway Tote
3 Namaste Foods Products
Namaste Grocery tote
Copy of our Simple Pleasures Cookbook
Copy of Living Without Magazine
Assorted recipe cards

…And the winner is:

Iris from the Daily Dietribe! Congratulations! :) I will be emailing you shortly!

Thank you to all of you who entered the giveaway!

Leave a comment

Filed under Baking, Food

Vegan Gluten Free Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes with Raw Cashew Icing

Have you ever tried to make a non-sugar laden birthday cake? Me neither. This past week my family had a mini celebration for Mr. Bean’s birthday and I wanted to make something special that everyone in my family could enjoy. (To be honest, I also wanted to make a birthday cake to participate in the Daily Dietribe’s Gluten Free Birthday Cake Challenge. I’m a huge fan of the two birds with one stone thing.) In previous years, I’ve made some quite pretty birthday cakes (including this awesome one for Mr. Bean), but they all have too much sugar for what I (and my family) can handle:

FIL’s Roughriders Birthday Cake
Friend’s Birthday Cake
Mr. Bean’s Birthday Cake
Birthday Cake for Coworker’s Daughter
Sister’s Birthday Cake
First Birthday Cake
Jesus’ Birthday Cake

I didn’t think about it for very long – shocking I know as I usually scheme for a while before making something – but I decided to take this family friendly Happy Day Cake up a notch and add a raw cashew icing. (For what’s better than raw cashew icing? Not much.) I could have made this into a cake, but I wanted cupcakes as they are so much easier to transport and people can put on variable amounts of icing to their taste.

How did they turn out? Quite well, in my opinion. They had a nice crumb, weren’t too sweet (I reduced the amount of sugar from 1 1/3 c. to 1/2 c. plus a banana) and received rave reviews from my family.

Vegan, Gluten and Soy Free Blueberry Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.

1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. each rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
scant 1/2 c. oil (I used a combination of canola and grapeseed oil)
1 c. rice milk (put 3 tbsp aside for egg replacer)
2 tsp. egg replacer mixed with 3 tbsp of the rice milk
1 banana, mashed
1/2 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12 muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. Sift flours, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix in oil and milk – beat for two minutes.
  4. Add “egg,” mashed banana, lemon juice and vanilla and beat.
  5. Mix in blueberries until distributed in batter.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit in pan for a few minutes. The cupcakes will deflate a bit, but that is okay. Remove from pan and onto a cooking rack.
  8. Enjoy!

Note: The original recipe is made in a cake, so if you want this to be true birthday cake, divide the batter between two parchment lined 8″ circle cake pans and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the cake is set.

Raw Cashew Icing

Makes about 1 c. of icing. Based on this recipe.

3/4 c. raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for a few hours
1/4 c. water (or enough so it blends well)
1 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch salt

  1. Drain cashews and place in blender.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth. I used my magic bullet – given the quantity and the consistency, it worked very well especially compared to my last experience using it!
  3. Place in fridge and cool for a few hours before using.
  4. Spoon it onto the cupcakes and try not to eat it with a spoon!

What is your favourite kind of birthday cake?

Linked up to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop 51 and Seasonal Sundays.

26 Comments

Filed under Baking

Namaste Baking Mixes Review and Giveaway

A while ago I was approached by Namaste Foods to review some of their gluten (plus dairy, soy, nut, corn & potato) free baking mixes. Since I had actually seen their products at one of the health food stores around here and how they are so allergy friendly, I was happy to accept! In addition, I also realize that sometimes there just isn’t time to make something from scratch, so having advice on what mixes to get is helpful!

I was encouraged to choose one sweet and one savoury mix: I chose their Pizza Crust mix and the Biscuits, Pie Crusts and More! mix.

Lately I’ve been trying to make my own pizza crusts as I don’t like paying huge amounts of money for two small crusts and I wanted vegan crusts, but with little success. The yeast crusts take too long and taste too yeasty and the non-yeast ones I’ve tried have had separation anxiety with my non-stick pan and wouldn’t stay together. So, when the opportunity to try Namaste’s pizza crust, I was quite excited. Fortunately it did not disappoint.

The mix was very easy to make – all I had to do was add water and oil, mix, spread out on a pan and bake. (Much easier than trying to wrestle to flatten pizza dough, wait for it to rise, and to struggle to cut it only to have the pizza crust taste too yeasty!) As a precautionary measure, I decided to make this crust on parchment paper so that it wouldn’t experience similar separation issues (causing me issues!) as past attempts.

The crust itself was very tasty and the added herbs were a nice touch. It cut fairly well and stayed together very well, even when it was cold! I wished that it would have risen slightly more, but the crust made a very good thin crust. I’m glad that it turned out as the mix makes two crusts! (In case you’re interested, this is what I put on the pizza: spread with tomato paste, sprinkle with italian seasonings and fresh parsley, cover with ham, spinach, thuringer sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, pineapple and mozzarella cheese (optional).)

Since I’m still not eating eggs, I wanted to choose a mix that didn’t necessarily need them. Once I saw that they had a pie crust mix, I knew I wanted to try it as I believe that one of the hardest tests for gluten free baking is to make a pie crust that doesn’t fall apart immediately or doesn’t need a chain saw to cut.

Fortunately, I was very impressed with Namaste’s pie crust mix – it cut easily and didn’t crumble. The original recipe called to press the crust into the pan, but since Mr. Bean wanted a saskatoon berry pie for his birthday, I wanted to roll it out so I could have the traditional two-crust berry pie. After many frustrating attempts, I’ve found the best way to roll out pie crust is between two pieces of plastic wrap. As you can see, it rolled out very well as there were essentially no cracks in the top crust – almost unheard of in my experience with gluten free pie crusts!

I didn’t roll it out as thinly as I could have as by the end I had to exert a fair amount of pressure, hence the very large edges. Even so, I made double the recipe the mix gave me so I could have two crusts, but it made enough for about 3 pie crusts. The crust itself had a good texture – not quite as flaky as its gluten and dairy filled counterpart, but I can’t complain because it held its form very well. It was quite tasty, too – usually the pastry part of pies is my least favourite, but I found myself secretly enjoying breaking off the edges and eating it plain. Mr. Bean was also very impressed with this pie and he is looking forward to the pie I am going to make with the remaining dough!

The filling was adapted from the frozen berry pie filling from the Joy of Cooking. I didn’t quite add enough tapioca starch so the juices didn’t thicken up as much as I would have liked. It was very tasty regardless.

Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling

5 c. frozen saskatoon berries
1/2 c. sugar
4 tbsp. of tapioca starch
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil or melted butter (if desired)

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Defrost berries only so that they all separate easily. Place berries in a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugar, tapioca starch and salt. Stir until berries are covered.
  4. Pour into the pie crust and cover with the top crust. Pinch edges of the crust together in any desired manner.
  5. Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat down to 350F and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting.
  8. Enjoy!

Now for the giveaway!

What you will win:

Namaste Giveaway Tote
3 Namaste Foods Products
Namaste Grocery tote
Copy of our Simple Pleasures Cookbook
Copy of Living Without Magazine
Assorted recipe cards

How to win:

  • Leave a comment below

For additional entries, you can:

  • Subscribe to my blog/rss feed and leave a comment to let me know (or if you already do, just leave a comment saying that!)
  • Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook or twitter (leave a separate comment for each)

This giveaway is now closed.

This giveaway is only open to the US and Canada! Sorry to my international readers! A winner will be drawn using random.org on June 14th.

Thanks for participating and good luck!

*I received both the pizza crust and biscuits, pie crusts and more mixes as well as a grocery tote and recipe cards in exchange for this review.*

48 Comments

Filed under Baking, Food

A Winner is Announced!

The winner of a copy of the Joy of Cooking is:

contest winner

#12 – Kelly!

Thank you to everyone who entered  my giveaway! It was a lot of fun – maybe I’ll have to do it again! :)

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Cookbooks and My First Giveaway!

The other day Mr. Bean and I headed over to the bookstore and I picked up two new cookbooks:

Rest assured that we are not currently pregnant or autistic,  but this book is full of recipes that are all gluten and casein (a milk protein that my brother and mum are allergic to) free. It is quite an interesting read as it gives examples of how changing such a child to a GF&CF diet affects them. Plus, having healthy kid-friendly recipes around when we finally do have kids is always a bonus.

This cookbook is different from any of the cookbooks I have – it has full coloured photos for the majority of the recipes, it uses a variety of flours to make some pretty tasty looking things and the author doesn’t use soy unlike many other GF baking cookbooks.

Given that it’s our first anniversary on Sunday, I recently reached the 600 comments marker, and that I like you all and cookbooks so much, I want to giveaway a copy of my favourite multi-purpose cookbook, the Joy of Cooking.

It is packed full recipes, information on ingredients and techniques of how to do various things. (Like temper chocolate or how to make the burnt sugar in creme brulee without a blow torch or how to stack a wedding cake – you can tell which sections I use the most!) Mr. Bean’s favourite thing is all the diagrams of all the various cuts of meat. It’s good for both the novice and more advanced cook.

To enter, comment below! Please make sure that you leave your email so that I can get a hold of you. If you’d like an extra entry, post about this giveaway and link back here!

The giveaway closes on August 30th. Good luck! :)

What is your favourite cookbook?

47 Comments

Filed under Baking, Food