Holiday Guest Post Round-Up, Shabtai Review, and Giveaway

The Little Man and our Christmas Tree

** UPDATE** This contest is now closed. Please see below for the winners.

The holidays are flying by at lightning speed.

Again.

Just like they always do.

YIKES!

But this year I decided I was going to be prepared. I actually started making my Christmas presents in September. That’s right! September! If you read my post about homemade limoncello and other presents to make, you will know I had to start that early to get the limoncello ready in time. (By the way, it’s amazing!)

I also decided that I was going to do my first-ever guest post series. The theme was gluten-free holidays. Well, due to my own crazy life, as well as the crazy lives of my wonderful guest bloggers, the posts were a bit sporadic. But I kind of liked it that way. Like a dash of seasoning here and there. So, I have decided to do a round up of the lovely recipes that they were gracious enough to offer to my readers in case you are looking for any last minute holiday ideas. They had some great ones. (And I will throw in a couple of my own, just because I can. It’s my blog!)

In addition, this post will contain a review about the new Shabtai Swiss Chocolate Roll. The lovely people at Shabtai were so sweet to send me one for review. But, not only did they send me one to review, the have offered a “sweet” giveaway to you. But, you will have to keep reading to find out what and how…

Holiday Guest Post Round-Up

First, let’s remember those fabulous women who were so kind as to offer great recipes and writing. We had Gluten-Free Gigi and her decadent Halloween Cupcakes. And, these chocolate cupcakes are good for anytime. Not just Halloween. Just use a little red and green frosting for Christmas. Or many colors for New Year’s Eve. Chocolate! It’s what’s for dinner! Uh? That’s not right. I mean… It’s what’s for …ANYTIME! There. That’s better.

Crustless Pumpkin Streusel Pie

Then, Kim from Cook IT Allergy Free gave us a peek into her holiday life with her Crustless Pumpkin Streusel Pie and Uncle Norm. What a fabulous take on a pumpkin pie. And, it sounds much more tasty to me. Plus, Uncle Norm just cracks me up.

Gluten-Free Crustless Fudge Pie

Next was Shirley from gfe – gluten-free easily. She gave us Crustless Fudge Pie – The Clark Kent of Pies. Oh, yeah! Superman, tights, Clark Kent… Oh, excuse me. Wha-? What was I doing? We were talking or something.

Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Kim at Simple Ginger gave us Christmas Cookies back. I think a lot of you have realized that you miss regular Christmas cookies, but it didn’t occur to you until the holidays rolled around, and you realized that you couldn’t have them. But, now you can. Kim’s recipe and step-by-step photos and instructions are a wonderful help.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

And, last, but not least, was Iris from The Daily Dietribe. She gave us Sweet Potato Biscuits. Iris has been working so hard on her studies and finals, but she was able to give us this amazing recipe. The light, fluffy goodness just makes my mouth water.

Golden Beet, Persimmon, and Pomegranate Salad

I had a few of my own holiday recipes, in case any of them sound good to try out. There was Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins; Christmas Lasagna; Golden Beet, Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad; and Ginger Cake Cookies.

Maybe one of these recipes can help with an idea for the holidays we have left in this year. Or maybe something to try out in the new year.

Shabtai Swiss Chocolate Roll Review and Giveaway

It fell apart due to shipping, but it still tastes great.

Speaking of New Year, I think I have a way for three of you to ring in the new year very “sweetly”. The wonderful folks at Shabtai sent me a few goodies to try, including their Swiss Chocolate Roll. I must say, I really dig this roll. It is light and creamy at the same time.

And, I hope I don’t offend anyone at Shabtai, but I really mean this in a good way. It kind of reminds me of a very large Ho-Ho. Yes, the Hostess Ho-Ho. So, I decided to do a little bit of research. Did you know that the Swiss Roll has been around for a long time but was not created in Switzerland? It originated in Central Europe. And, the actual ho-ho was invented in a bakery in San Francisco in 1967. And, it looks like it was based on the Swiss Roll, not the other way around.

In addition, I am not the only one that feels this way. Check out this review by Gluten-Free Steve, and another review by Hold the Gluten. (That giveaway is closed, but…read on.)

Anyway, the point is that Shabtai made these wonderful rolls gluten-free for you and me. And, they have not just chocolate but also, raspberry and apricot. AND… they are giving away one of each of these rolls to three of you wonderful people.

Now, it is cutting it down to the wire, but Shabtai will do their best to get these to you by New Year’s Eve to celebrate the new year. If, for some reason, the post office can’t get them to you before the first of the year, you should have them soon after to start your new year.

So, here’s what you need to do to enter this giveaway. Just leave a comment below telling me which roll you would be most pleased to receive. We will pick three winners by December 27th at noon PST with a random number generator. This way we can get those rolls out to you as soon as possible. Just be sure to leave your email address at the prompt in the comment area so we can contact you as soon as possible. (The address doesn’t show up when you click “post a comment”.)

There are bonus entries, if you so choose.

~Post about this giveaway on your blog and/or share it on Facebook. Leave a separate comment here saying that you did.

~Tweet about this giveaway using @GlugleGFree and @GlutenFreeBakes. Leave a separate comment here saying that you did.

~Subscribe to Glugle Gluten-Free via reader or email (upper right-hand corner of page). Leave a separate comment here saying that you did.

~“Like” Glugle Gluten-Free on Facebook. Leave a comment here saying that you did.

~“Follow” me on Twitter. Leave a separate comment here saying that you did.

~“Friend” me on Facebook. Leave a separate comment here saying that you did.

~“Like” Shabtai on Facebook. Leave a comment here saying that you did.

~ “Follow” Shabtai on Twitter. Leave a comment here saying that you did.

You can go to Shabtai’s website to take a look at all of the products they offer, too. Some yummy looking stuff. And, by the way, their items are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Their products are also peanut-free, casein-free, lactose-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and corn-free. They are even kosher. Some products do contain eggs, though.

That’s it. Enter away. Leave a comment below. Do what ever bonus entries you want. Just be sure to leave a separate comment for each, since that’s how I will get the numbers for the winners. If you already follow or like, go ahead and leave a comment saying that you already do. That counts.

Have sweet dreams of Swiss Rolls dancing in your heads. I plan on this being the last post until after Christmas, so please have a happy holiday. See you after the craziness festivities are over.

Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!

PS – If you like this post and want to receive notices whenever a new recipe/review/rambling, etc. goes up, sign up for email updates in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

**Update** Thanks to all of those who entered! Congratulations to the winners – Michelle, Linda, and Liz! I have already emailed you for your addresses. I really hope you enjoy your Swiss Rolls. I am posting the picture of the numbers chosen by random.org. I excluded my own comments to arrive at the comment numbers.

How to Peel a Pomegranate in 5 Easy Steps

Pomegranates are probably my favorite food. I could live on them. But, they have one major flaw. Peeling them.

They have this tough skin that gets hard as a rock if, God forbid, you leave them too long before getting around to peeling them. Try to peel that thing off without popping a bunch of the little packet of sweet, juicy flavor around the seeds. Thus, staining anything it touches. Good luck!

And, speaking of stains. The stains my fingers get from trying to peel these things drives me nuts. My fingers dry up and turns a pale, orangey color. Um, why?

I know I could get the seeds in a little container in the store, but that just seems so lazy and wrong.

And, I have heard several times that you just cut it in half and hit it with a wooden spoon. Then, all of the little seeds pop out like beautiful, red, magic rainfall. I’ve even seen Nigella do it on her show. I tried it, and I just ended up mashing the pomegranate and having little red dots all over my kitchen. It was a pomegranate massacre. Should have had a white chalk outline around it and called CSI. Not really the outcome I was looking for.

So, if you are not a pomegranate whisperer, like I am not, I am going to share with you my technique for getting those pesky, but oh-so-tasty seeds out with as little hassle as possible. And, hopefully, as little stains as possible. Either red or orange.

Step 1 – Don’t cut the pomegranate in half. Score it. Take a sharp knife and score the skin around like you would be cutting it in half, going around the top and bottom. (It’s easiest to go around the little nib at the bottom.)

Peel a pomegranate – Step 1.1

Peel a pomegranate – Step 1.2

Step 2 – Put the knife in the top to separate the top where the skin is thick


Peel a pomegranate – Step-2

Step 3 – Gently pull apart to separate the two halves.


Peel a pomegranate – Step-3.1

Peel a pomegranate – Step-3 .2

Step 4 – Score each half in half (so you have quarters) on the outer skin. And gently pull it apart.


Peel a pomegranate – Step-4.1

Peel a pomegranate – Step-4.2

Step 5 – Get a big bowl of water. Use it to help you get the seeds out. Just have your hands in the water with the pomegranate quarters. Bend them back a bit and gently scrape out the seeds with your fingers. (I know scrape isn’t a gentle word, but I couldn’t think of another one to mean the same motion. Just be gentle.)

The bowl of water is especially helpful if you have an older pomegranate that has tons of yummy seeds but a skin that might as well be made of titanium. The water helps to make the skin more pliable to work with, as well as preventing the weird stains the skin causes on your fingers. Not a fan of those stains, if you hadn’t guessed.


Peel a pomegranate – Step-5

Then, after the seeds are out, just sift through them to make sure you get rid of the icky ones and keep the good ones.

Done!

Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!

PS – If you haven’t already – you can ‘like’ Glügle Gluten-Free on Facebook.

PPS – If you like this post and want to receive notices whenever a new recipe/review/rambling, etc. goes up, sign up for email updates in the upper right-hand corner of this page.