Taste Test Tuesday: Gluten-Free Sweet Note Bagels

If you haven’t noticed already, Nick and I love food, and we love grocery shopping and finding new products, or things to try. And if it’s vegan, or vegan and gluten free, then it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll buy it. On a recent trip to one of our favorites, Mom’s Organic Market, I snagged a bag of Gluten-Free Sweet Note frozen bagels.

Sweet Note Bagels

I wasn’t really sure what to expect because gluten free can sometimes mean dense, dense, and more dense. Don’t get me wrong, gluten free has come a LONG way over the years, but when you make something gluten free AND vegan, you can sometimes have a big, fat failure.

The directions were simple: keep frozen, and when ready to eat, microwave for about 60 seconds, cool slightly, and then slice and toast. After slicing mine, I decided to add a thin layer of Earth Balance and broil under the broiler until crispy and toasted. After it cooled a bit, I added kite hill chive cream cheese, a sautéed piece of tofu, and Follow Your Heart American Cheese. I must say, I made myself a pretty epic bagel sandwich.

Sweet Note Bagel Sandwich

The bagel was delicious! It was a little more dense than traditional, but not in a way that was off-putting. It was chewy, carb-y, and wonderful! They have quite a few flavors, but my store only carried the plain. I’m looking forward to trying one again soon with some peanut butter because, according to Nick, peanut butter makes everything better.

If you’re vegan and gluten free, or just trying to cut your wheat or gluten intake, I’d highly recommend these bagels! So far, it seems they are an East Coast thing, but you can order them online. I can’t wait for Lil Sis to visit again so she can try them. She is a woman after my own heart who LOVES carbs as much as I do! ;)

Taste Test Tuesday: Enjoy Life Muffin Mix

After snagging a few of the new Enjoy Life mixes, I couldn’t wait to try them! Sunday morning seemed like the best time to bake muffins because who doesn’t love lazy Sunday mornings? (I just love night church!) I decided to mix in about 3/4 cup of frozen blueberries because I love blueberries in pretty much anything. The directions were super simple – add water and oil to the mix, stir in any mix-ins and bake!

Enjoy Life muffin mix - 1

I had to bake them the full length of time because I added in quite a bit of extra moisture with the blueberries, but they were worth the wait!

Enjoy Life muffin mix - 2

These muffins were AMAZING! They were soft, flavorful, and great with a nice smear of Earth Balance. Any leftovers stay best in the fridge, and they don’t lose any of their flavor or texture. I love being able to make muffins from scratch, but this mix is great to have on hand. You could get really creative with flavors and mix-ins! If you have the chance to try this mix, I’d highly recommend it!

Review: Shortstacks Gluten-Free Vanilla Pancake and Waffle Mix

I’m always on the look out for new vegan and gluten free items. Mostly because I know that it’s important to my Lil Sis (who recently went vegan – YEAH!), but because let’s face it – I don’t need to be eating as much wheat and overly processed grains as I easily could. I picked up this mix at my local Target store, and was excited to try it. There is no powdered milk in the mix, and there are both traditional and vegan options on the back. Besides, who doesn’t like pancakes or waffles?!

Shortstacks GF vanilla

To make up to 6 pancakes (I’m assuming on how large or small you make them) you use 1 cup of the mix, 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla coconut) and 2T of oil (I used coconut). I followed the mixing instructions and the mix quickly became a DOUGH. Not a batter. I was a little confused because it said to ladle the mix onto the hot griddle. I wasn’t really sure how to ladle on a glob of dough. Nick mixed in a bit more milk to no avail, and tried to cook them as best as he could. They came out like a flatbread. Maybe it would have worked better in a waffle iron? (I didn’t want to wait for the waffle iron to heat up) While the flavor wasn’t overly bad, it also didn’t blow my mind, and I didn’t really get the vanilla flavor at all. I’m not ready to throw out the towel just yet, but I have to say I was pretty disheartened when I was really looking forward to pancakes for breakfast! I can’t really say how their traditional mixes work, but this gluten free one needs a bit of work.

Weekend Fun

After having various members of our family here to visit over the past month, Nick and I are finally back into a regular routine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to have people stay with us, but it’s also nice when it goes back to normal life, too! (as boring as that may be ;) ) This past weekend, Nick and I didn’t have a single thing on the calendar, so the weekend was free to explore and have fun!

Saturday morning we left shortly before 9, and headed off towards Rockville, MD. I had done a search online to find the elusive pumpkin Dandies, and my search showed that Dawson’s Market in Rockville had them in stock. (the finder also said that a store in Leesburg had them, but they didn’t, so I wasn’t holding out much hope) While they didn’t have pumpkin Dandies (sob!), they did have a bunch of other great things, so I grabbed a couple of the Enjoy Life mixes that I’ve seen floating around on social media, and online. I snagged the pizza crust, brownie mix, and muffin mix. Those were the 3 that they had, and I’m excited to try them all! Since we were so close, we decided to swing by Roots Market in Olney, MD because that place is a vegan heaven! They have sooooo many great vegan options! And! THEY HAD PUMPKIN DANDIES! And gluten free earth balance mac & cheese! Woo hoo! We had just been there a couple of weeks previous (while on our way to BWI to pick up my bro-in-law from the airport) and they hadn’t had either item. So, of course, we had to stop by a new Whole Foods on our way home! They didn’t have anything we can’t get here at home, save for a bag of vegan, locally made, dog treats! It was a day to get a treat for everyone!

Here a just a few of the goodies we scored!
Haul of goodies!

Yesterday ended up being a beautiful day and so we took off to Alexandria for Doggy Trick or Treating! I know, I know. We totally THOSE people. But you know what? We don’t care! It was so much fun! We stopped at The Dog Park for our goodie bag and map of stores that were giving out treats for Halloween. While we didn’t have a costume for Olive, she did wear a festive space bandana (from her BarkBox) that got a lot of positive comments.
Space Pup

We walked around for over 2 hours gathering treats from over 25 businesses in Alexandria. Olive met tons of dog friends, got loads of pets, and came home with a bag chock full of treats! Oh, and Nick and I had a lot of fun, too. Before heading back to the car we stopped for a family picture. I’m pretty sure Olive’s face says it all. She was worn out!
Awkward Family Photo

It didn’t take long for her to relax in the car on the way home, either. Isn’t she the cutest?! Oh, and if you notice that funny scar on her leg, that’s from her stitches she had to get a few weeks ago. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time with a playful pup at the dog park. She’s all healed up now, though, and even when she had the stitches, she didn’t let anything stop her from having fun!
Worn out pup

It was a fun weekend! We ended last night with a great night at church, homemade mac & cheese, and “Homeland”. Couldn’t ask for better!

How was your weekend?