Blake’s All Natural Foods Review and Giveaway

Hello from soon-to-be-snowy Buffalo!  A chill is in the air and our long winter is soon to be upon us…156561_600

Of course, with two wood stoves and lots of wood cut and ready to burn, we keep it quite cozy around here for these 6+ chilly months. That being said, we still need our comfort food and quick meals on busy nights. Some of our easiest and yummiest go-to meals for jam-packed, wintry nights are waiting just inside the freezer. It’s a relief —when you have no energy to make dinner — to find these meals that just need to be baked before satisfying the whole family’s tummies.

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This is where Blake’s All Natural Foods come in with their “carefully handcrafted, made-from-scratch” gluten-free shepherd’s pie and chicken pot pie….

Screen shot 2015-11-03 at 11.01.58 AM The main thing you need to do is plan ahead for baking time (375 degrees for 40 minutes for the shepherd’s pie, and about 50 minutes for the chicken pot pie.) And if your family has really large appetites, add a quick side dish. Other than that, just pop these in the oven and go get some stuff done til the timer rings. My entire family can attest that both of these GF meals are delicious, hearty and satisfying.

IMG_2089Blake’s gluten-free chicken pot pie boasts a tasty cornbread top crust and savory gravy, is healthy and filling (especially for a kid) and nice and chunky… As I said, there is just a top crust, which I love. It’s the perfect balance between crust and filling…

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As you break through the top crust with your spoon, you find generously sized chunks of potatoes, white meat chicken, tender peas and carrots in a light gravy…

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It makes for a very satisfying meal on a cold night, especially with a quick side like veggies, pasta or bread. Here is the nutritional information:

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Blake’s shepherd’s pie is equally tasty. After you fluff up those mashed taters, you’ll feel like you’re eating a freshly cooked, homemade meal.

IMG_2073The taste and texture of the sweet corn, mixed with the savory, mildly seasoned ground beef and warm potatoes is the perfect combination.

IMG_2082I don’t know what else to say except my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Here is the nutritional information:

Screen shot 2015-11-03 at 10.07.29 AMWe tried the “all natural” versions of these meals, but they are both also now available in organic!  And, although I haven’t been able to find it locally, Blake’s hearty beef stew is also gluten-free — and looks amazing!

You may also notice that the packaging has changed since we took these pictures, as this post, like others, has been a long time coming, and we have eaten Blake’s many times since then. Regardless of the packaging, what hasn’t changed is how delicious and wholesome these products really are. To learn more about Blake’s, please visit their website. To find their products near you, check out their handy store locator.

Now for the giveaway!  Four lucky winners will win FOUR FREE PRODUCT COUPONS each, courtesy of Blake’s (offer good up to $5.99 retail each item). There are 16 of these coupons to split between 4 of you.

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To enter, just comment below and let us know what you currently do for last-minute GF meals for your family on super-busy nights. That’s it. You don’t need to share it or tweet it or like anyone else’s page or do any of those annoying giveaway requirements other blogs have. Just comment below before midnight on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Then I’ll randomly pick 4 winners, email them and mail them their prizes once they get back to me with addresses. If I don’t hear back from anyone within 24 hours I’ll pick another name to replace them. Easy as chicken pot pie!  🙂


Disclaimer: Blake’s initially sent me 4 free products to try for this review but I have bought many more on my own since then.  I only promised an honest review and was not compensated in any other way. Opinions are my family’s and my own.
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For much more in between posts, follow me on Facebook and Twitter,
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Gluten-free Pumpkin Cheesecake

IMG_0275Last week I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry that wasn’t yet spoken for, so I asked people on my Facebook page what they thought I should make with it. One idea from Kate B. really tickled my fancy, especially since she included the recipe, so I tried it the other night. My whole family went crazy for it — plus my brother-in-law, who is a cheesecake fanatic. It’s the perfect blend of pumpkin pie and cheesecake flavors, and was gone before we knew it…

The original recipe was for this double layer pumpkin cheesecake from AllRecipes.com, but I made some changes to it, which you will see noted below in bold type:

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust (To make a gluten-free crust, I used an entire bag of Pamela’s Extreme Chocolate Mini Cookies, crushed, plus 2T butter and a sprinkle of sugar, mixed together and patted into place. You can do the same thing using GF graham crackers if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (I used ginger instead)
  • 1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed (I just put a dollop on each piece for those who wanted it, as opposed to covering the whole thing)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside. (I didn’t do this last step — I just mixed the batter all together w/ the below ingredients, instead of removing a cup and putting a white layer on the bottom. Either way will work.)
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool (very important) then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

This is the first cheesecake I ever made, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how well it turned out. Will definitely make this again….  Enjoy!