Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios have officially hit the shelves.

Taste Test: Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Good Morning lovelies!

I come to you on this bright Monday morning for my initial impressions of Cheerios latest flavor – Pumpkin Spice. (limited edition of course).

Last week I told you about the new flavor that I almost picked up but hesitated getting because, well I’m not a pumpkin person. Yesterday I headed to the grocery store to pick up fruits and snacks for work and when I saw the Pumpkin Spice Cereal display, there were only 4 boxes of the limited edition Cheerios left. So needless to say I had to get a box.

I’m munching on the Cheerios now as I type so this is a real time review and all good taste testers know that the best way to find out if Pumpkin Spice Cheerios – or anything for that matter – are worth the hype is clearly a taste test.


Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios have officially hit the shelves.

Initial thought….they just taste like Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Which makes me wonder, is there any pumpkin at all in these? According to the ingredients, pumpkin, specifically pumpkin puree is the 6th ingredient for these lil oats (Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Corn Starch, Canola Oil, Salt, Pumpkin Puree, Refiner’s Syrup, Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Trisodium Phosphate, Nutmeg, Cloves, Annatto Extract Color, Natural Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.) so we know it is IN there. 

Don’t get me wrong I like them because I like the Apple Cinnamon flavor. I was worried that I would not like these because as I mentioned I am not a pumpkin person and really don’t understand the PS (pumpkin spice) hype. It is worth noting that I am eating these without rice milk at my desk so the taste may be different with the addition of your choice of milk.

I will definitely finish the box and I MAY buy another box (if it isn’t sold out) to try some recipes with. I can see these making a good trail mix or gooey treat with marshmallows or even as a crust and/or crumble to an apple pie.🙂 who knows!

see you back here on Wednesday!




Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios have officially hit the shelves.

Peter Piper Picked a Pair of Perfect Pumpkins

Happy Wheatless Wednesday! It is ALMOST Fall. Yes I said ALMOST because I am not ready to give up Summer and the first official day of Autumn isn’t until September 22nd so personally I think everyone needs to quit rushing Summer out the door with her hair still wet from the pool. But I am in the minority on this because everyone from shopping emails to almost everyone on Facebook and Twitter are all a buzz about Fall.


Do you smell that?

It’s coming. Dear lord, it’s COMING!

Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING is coming. In fact…I think it is already here! (dun dun DAH!!).

Yes it is that time of year where everyone looses their minds over Pumpkin Spice everything. Now, I am not a HUGE fan of pumpkin. I don’t like pumpkin pie. (Apple ALL DAY!) But I can’t say no to pumpkin bread/muffins, pancakes, cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds and tea. My FAVORITE Fall tea is Celestial Seasoning’s Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Black Tea. OMG. I will be stocking up on that for sure. Other than those few things, pumpkin is just not my taste.

But with pumpkin spice season comes new pumpkin spice products. The first new product that I came across today was Limited Edition Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.


Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios have officially hit the shelves.

As you know, Cheerios has several flavors that are gluten free. I was pleasantly surprised to see the orange box at the grocery store today and almost picked up a box. ALMOST. I am hesitant because:

  1. As previously mentioned, not a massive pumpkin fan
  2. What if I hate it and now have a whole box sitting in my pantry?

Now of course I could absolutely love it so I will head back to the grocery store next week to pick up a box and I will let you know the results.

Then there is, of course, pumpkin spice coffee. Specifically the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) from Starbucks. While I certainly did not visit the mermaid to pick up my cup, I AM intrigued by something Starbucks posted today…the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino. Yes friends, a FRAPPUCCINO! Now, I hate coffee. Sorry, hate is a strong word. I really dislike coffee. The only times I have coffee are long drives but even then I try to just do black tea and if I don’t get enough sleep and I feel like I really really need it to make it through the day. The smell of coffee great. Coffee ice cream, love it! Coffee Coffee..not a fan. HOWEVER upon doing some quick research, I discovered the Pumpkin Spice Sauce – as Starbucks is calling it – contains milk so alas, I cannot enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Frapp.

I will start making pumpkin muffins in the coming weeks and try those Cheerios too. Until then, enjoy the end of summer. She is still here for another 15 days. Make them count




Taste Test: Baked by Melissa

It finally happened. I went to Baked by Melissa.

After a 20 block walk to work (it was a gorgeous day in the city) I decided to reward myself with a treat. That treat turned out to be 6 lil MACARONS! Yes I know, in my recipe rut post I said I wanted to try the gluten free cupcakes. Well…here is the thing. The only gf cupcakes I could get at the Baked by Melissa store closest to me (Columbus Circle 975 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019 between 57th & 58th – cutest lil shop) was the assorted 25 pack. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cupcakes BUT at the time I was only looking for a little treat (yes I know the cupcakes are small) and I was on my way to work & didn’t want to bring in cupcakes that wouldn’t be enough for the whole office.


Before my impromptu visit, I contacted the store to ask if all the stores carried the gluten free delights and a Customer Happiness Representative (yes that is what they are called and I love it) called me back to let me know that all the locations carry the assorted 25 pack of gluten free cupcakes. If you want the gluten free cupcakes a la carte or in smaller packages, you can only do that at their Gluten Free Baked by Melissa location in the Fashion District (526 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10018 between 38th & 39th). Rest assured I will be checking them out soon.

For my walk reward I decided on a 6 pack of macarons and tried two flavors – red velvet and snickerdoodle.

Adorable packaging = excited customer.

Out of the two, red velvet cookie was my favorite but I liked the snickerdoodle filling better. I’ve never been much of a cream cheese person even was I was eating dairy. Every time I made red velvet cake or cupcakes, I always went with a chocolate or vanilla/buttercream frosting. I KNOW I KNOW blasphemy!


They are light, fluffy and perfectly bite size. I easily could have had these in 2 bites because they are so small but I managed to finish in 4…the last two MIGHT have been 2 biters lol.

HIGHLY recommend the macrons. I know I will be visiting Baked by Melissa again to try the other flavors and visit the Fashion District location to FINALLY have those famous cupcakes without gluten.




Recipe Rut

Happy #WheatlessWednesday lovelies.

Today, I am in a recipe rut. Actually, I’ve been stuck in this rut the whole month (as evidence of a rather empty blog). Nothing I have seen has jumped out and said MAKE ME AND MAKE ME DELICIOUS!

Working non-stop is also not helping me cook at home enough, and I have been ordering out at work and I have found quite a few places that have gluten free and dairy free options for me which is great! I am working on complying a list of places near my office (around Columbus Circle NYC) that have affordable gf/df options so check back for that!

I ALSO want to try out some new products and desserts and I have my eyes set on two. Baked by Melissa Gluten Free Cupcakes and Cookie DO NYC. I mean cupcakes and cookie dough HELLO DELICIOUS! There is a Baked by Melissa down the street from my office and I have yet to go in so that is coming soon as well.

Bear with me as I try to get out of this rut, try some new things and bring you yummy new content. Until then stay hydrated (it is HOT outside! I love it but there have been a few scorchers), stay inspired and stay beautiful.




Happy Thursday everyone!

Recently I started a new job and with that comes some food questions? Does the cafeteria have options for me? Is there a restaurant nearby that has some gluten free options? What about the snack machine? There lies an important question (at least for me). What about snacks? At my old office I had my own desk so I could keep snacks and goodies underneath it. Now I don’t have my own desk so stashing snacks away is not an option.

I love to snack. Sweet, salty, savory (ok mostly sweet haha) but I do like to snack. Snacks are great to give you a little boost of energy and keep you going through the day. Earlier this week I ran into a little snag where I did not have snacks at the office. There was an engagement celebration at the office and with that comes cake. Not one cake but two. Slices are being cut and my boss says, “Kwegyirba come get a slice!” before another one of my bosses says “Wait, Kwegyirba is allergic to wheat,” to which she replied “That’s right I forgot!”

Now I am very used to not taking part in cake eating at celebrations where I did not bring a sweet for myself. With a surprise mini engagement celebration, it was just that, a surprise so I did not have provisions lol. Later that same day, someone came back from vacation and brought back goodies which prompted another gathering around the table. One of the interns said “Oh well you can have another piece of cake” and I said “Oh no I can’t, I’m allergic to wheat and dairy” to which she replied “OH WOW! Wait, so what can you eat?” Lol. So I began to explain how there are a LOT of things I can still eat and listed some and then returned to my snack-less desk.

Which brings me to my point. What are some good snacks to bring to work? For me, it’s usually some kind of fruit or a muffin if I have baked that week. My new favorites have been Food Should Taste Good Chips, specifically the sweet potato, guacamole (yes guacamole and it is good) and my favorite, multigrain. Gluten free, dairy free, simple ingredients and just a good chip. If you haven’t checked them out take a look at their website here because they are great!

Nature Valley has also entered the gluten free arena with 10 new products – 6 nuts bars and 4 protein bars. So far, I have tried the Peanut Crunch Roasted Nut Crunch Bar (try saying that 10 times fast) and the Simple Roasted Peanut Honey Bar. Now of the two, I prefer the Peanut Crunch Roasted Nut Bar. Be careful with the protein bars because some of them do contain milk. You can check out the new Nature Valley Gluten Free line here.

My other go-to snack is an oldie but goodie. General Mills Gluten Free Chex . Put them in a baggie and you are ready to go! Need some more advice? Check out PopSugar’s 10 Gluten Free Snacks Under 150 Calories!

Go forth and snack confidently!





Peanut Butter Fudge

Happy Thursday loves! Yes I’m a day late for #WheatlessWednesday BUT right on time for #ThrowbackThursday.

Thanks to Good Morning America’s Facebook page, I was reminded that is it National Fudge Day! (gotta love a food holiday!) So in honor of all things fudgey and throwback Thursday-y….I present a treat to satisfy your fudge craving. Peanut Butter Fudge.

But wait Kwegyirba! (You must be saying to yourself) This isn’t a chocolate recipe. I know I know BUT who doesn’t love peanut butter! (Unless you are allergic, sorry) This recipe is quick, simple and maybe JUST maybe will become your new fudge favorite

Peanut Butter Fudge

Adapted from Food (an Alton Brown recipe)

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 ounces unsalted vegan butter, plus more for greasing pan (Earth Balance is the best. There are more and more dairy free butters coming out each day but Earth Balance is definitely my favorite)
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (Peanut Butter & Co. is my go-to AND they have a great variety of flavors. White Chocolate Peanut Butter HELLO DELICIOUS!)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (make sure it’s gluten free!)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • parchment paper
  • 8×8 inch pan

Time to get fudgy!

  1. Combine the Earth Balance and peanut butter in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  3. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Use caution when removing this mixture from the microwave, it will be very hot.)
  4. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
  5. The mixture will become hard to stir and lose its sheen.
  6. Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.
  8. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. (or you know, 3 days because you are going to gobble this stuff up!)

The hardest part of this recipe? Waiting 2 hours for the fudge to cool🙂

Happy Baking! (or in this case refrigerating since no actual heat besides melting the butter and peanut butter🙂 )

Summer Sips

Happy #WheatlessWednesday loves! Also HAPPY SUMMER! It’s June!!! YAY!!! Summer (and Spring) are my favorite seasons and with warmer weather comes cool cocktails.

Now anyone who knows me knows I have two go to drinks, Malibu Bay Breeze and Amaretto Sour. Both sweet and simple and almost impossible for a bartender to mess up. But having only two go to drinks isn’t very exciting. Now with a gluten/wheat allergy comes figuring out what you can and can’t have when it comes to booze. I’m not a dark liquor girl by any means so for me that nixes a few things (although a Dark & Stormy is delicious!)

So before you head out to the bar, having some gf booze knowledge is key. From cider to vodka and rum, ordering at the bar doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Here are a few suggestions!

Gluten Free Hard Cider Brands

Ace Pear Cider

Angry Orchard

Crispin Cider

Magner’s Cider

Smith and Forge Hard Cider

Spire Mountain Draft Cider

Strongbow Cider

Stella Artois Apple and Pear Hard Cidre


Woodpecker Cider

Gluten Free Vodka

I have never been a huge vodka drinker but a lot of bars use a variety of vodkas in speciality cocktails and behind the bar, so getting familiar with a few brands can be very helpful.

Blue Ice Vodka

Bombora Vodka

Chopin Polish Vodka


Cold River Vodka

Devotion Vodka


Famous Vodka

Fleischmann’s Vodka


New Amsterdam

Smirnoff Vodka

Three Olives

Tito’s Vodka

Gluten Free Tequila Brands
When tequila is made the traditional way with a blue agave plant is naturally gluten free!

1519 Tequila

1800 Tequila

Don Julio Tequila


Jose Cuervo

Patron Tequila

Suaza Tequila

Gluten Free Rum Brands

Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum

Bacardi (only Gold, Superior, 151, and flavored)

Bayou Rum

Bundaberg Rum

Captain Morgan Rum

Cruzan Rum

And guys don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know! Drinking something that may make you sick is definitely not worth it! Ask you bartender or good ol’ GOOGLE!

Here a two Malibu cocktails that I haven’t ordered at the bar before but are quick to make at home!

Twisted Pink
What You’ll Need:

1 part Malibu
1 part Cranberry Juice
1 part Grapefruit Juice
Pour all the ingredients over cubed ice in a highball.
Stir to mix and chill. Then garnish with a twist and a wedge of grapefruit.

Sun Splash
What You’ll Need:

1 part Malibu
1 part Pineapple Juice
1 part Pink Grapefruit Juice
Stir all the ingredients on rock ice in a highball glass.
Garnish with a twist of grapefruit and a pineapple wedge.




Baked Coconut Shrimp

Happy [LATE..I know] Wheatless Wednesday!

Here is an oldie but delicious goodie! Baked Coconut Shrimp!🙂

Baked Coconut Shrimp



  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (FRESH shrimp) You can get
    it deveined with the shells on and take the shells off yourself or deveined and peeled but definitely use FRESH shrimp, not the pre-cooked stuff.
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a little more depending on how much kick you want. I like it a little spicier than most!)
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy
  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Rinse and dry shrimp with paper towels. Mix cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bow; pour coconut flakes in a separate shallow bowl. Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge it in the cornstarch mixture, then dip it in the egg white, and roll it in the coconut, making sure to coat the shrimp well. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  3. Bake the shrimp until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center and the coconut is browned, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the shrimp halfway through.

Plump shrimp with sweetened coconut with the hint of cayenne – perfect with a baked potato, or mashed potatoes and another one of your favorite sides!





Taste Test:Sugar Cookies

Happy #WheatlessWednesday my sweets!

It is time for a taste test! Today’s culinary treat on the plate is King Arthur’s Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix. Now confesstion time. I bought this mix a while ago…like maybe almost a year ago. Ok I bought November 9,2015. I was shopping for muffin mix for Thanksgiving time, found their GF pumpkin bread mix (which btw I did not care for at all, but that is a story for another post) and saw the (then) new GF sugar cookie mix was on sale. SO naturally I bought two.

But I never made them. Why? They take a little more time than the other GF King Arthur mixes. The dough has to set in the fridge for a least two hours. Which I totally understand and is very important but I just put off making them.

Fast forward to last week. I had a somewhat stressful afternoon at my part-time job and what is best to curse stress. Wine. Ok not ALWAYS wine but if not wine then sweets. Opened my pantry searching for something to make and there in the back, next two the powdered sugar, was the sugar cookie mix. So I decided to give it a whirl and Snapchat the process. (follow me on Snapchat EKCroffie..I’m fun🙂 )

Like all the King Arthur mixes, the sugar cookie mix is very easy to follow. You can make roll out cookies or drop cookies. I went drop. Drop cookies = a lot of (vegan) butter. I’m talking 10 tablespoons of it. Trust me, do it. Just do it. Make sure it is nice and soft and do it.

Once you get over the butter shock, the rest is very straight forward.

I split my dough into two like the directions said and then when it was time to roll them in sugar, I decided to make one into sugar cookies and the other into snickerdoodles rolling the dough in sugar with cinnamon AND NUTMEG! (very happy I added the nutmeg for a little extra spice.)

Now as you can see, I did not use a cookie sheet because at the time I did not have one. That day while the cookies were in the oven I popped over to Amazon and bought a set of three for $10. I have not broken them in yet but soon my darlings soon. So I put my cookies in the oven, set the time and waited. (Well shopped and waited).

As you can see, my cute little circles because bulky blocked with rounded edges but STILL tasty.

Several things I probably could have done differently:

  1. Smaller balls.
  2. More space between ball.

Other then some spacing issues, the cookies came out delicious. As expected, those 10 tablespoons of Earth Balance really made the cookies tender and gave them a nice buttery flavor that I think complimented the cookies.

Overall I was very happy with this mix and because I did buy two boxes, I will be making them again but this time with smaller balls.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!




Food Network Remix -Indonesian Ginger Chicken

Happy #WheatlessWednesday loves!

A few days ago I was planning my meals for the week and found that I had a lot of ginger. A LOT. Ginger is one of my favorite roots/spice to use. The spice it gives to foods is amazing. So upon discovering lots of ginger waiting to flavor something delicious it was time to head to Fairway for some other groceries, mainly some protein. Which meant one thing…

Chicken. It is my go to protein and it can be used so many ways and with so many flavors. PLUS Fairway was having an awesome sale so it was a win win.

Once home, it was time to find a recipe. Normally I would just grate the ginger over the chicken with some salt, pepper and either rosemary or thyme. But this time I wanted to try something new. Cue googling “Ginger Chicken Recipes” Out popped a few Food Network recipes, one of them being Indonesian Ginger Chicken from Ms. Ina Garten circa 1999, from yes her show Barefoot Contessa. Sure I was 9 when this particular episode aired but that’s neither here nor there.

What I love about this recipe is the fact that there aren’t a lot of ingredients, it’s easy to follow and it starts by marinating the chicken which may be my favorite way to flavor chicken. Plus this easy was SUPER easy to convert to gluten-free because I was only changing one thing – the soy sauce.

Let’s get started.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Food Network Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, quartered, with backs removed (now I used drumsticks and it was fine)
  1. Cook the honey, gf soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted.
  2. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce.
  3. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  4. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees F.
  6. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the sauce is a rich, dark brown.

Now, I left my chicken uncovered for 45 minutes because I wanted a little more of a char on my chicken and it was perfect. The chicken was nicely flavored and there is no need for any additional salt because of all the gf soy sauce. The ONLY thing I wish was that it was a touch sweeter. I feel like the soy sauce overpowered the chicken just a bit but it was still delicious.

Pair with rice, carrots, parsnips or your favorite side dish!