Rio2 Family Movie Night

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on July 21, 2014

in Reviews

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group, Pop Secret and Fox Entertainment, but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #PopForRio2

My kids were super excited when I surprised them with a family movie night this weekend! While they were up cleaning their rooms, I got everything ready to go, so this is what they came downstairs to see on our coffee table:

Family Movie Night with Rio2 and Pop Secret. Did you know Pop Secret popcorn is gluten-free?

Not everyone in our family had seen the first Rio movie, so at Wal-mart I actually bought the DVD two-pack with Rio and Rio2. They had a super deal that I couldn’t pass up on the 2-pack. We watched Rio on a weeknight this week, but I didn’t tell them I had bought Rio2 also. Then on Saturday night I surprised them all with the Rio2 movie and Pop Secret popcorn for a family movie night.

It is really rare for me to sit and join them to watch a movie, so my boys kept asking, “Are you really going to watch it with us?” [Enter Mom guilt here!] Let me tell you, I realized I’ve been missing out by not watching movies with my kids more often. My youngest snuggled with me the whole time! My 10 year-old practically stopped breathing several times as he was laughing so hard. I got such a kick out of watching him!

Both Rio and Rio2 were fun family-friendly movies. I definitely recommend seeing them both! I loved the themes of bravery, love and family throughout Rio and Rio2. Watching the movies together was time well spent and convinced me that we need to have more movie and popcorn nights! On a week where both my son and I were sick, this was the a great way to spend a Saturday night together.

I have to include this pic of my kids. Can you tell they liked the movie? Totally enthralled! The only time they tore their gaze away was to get another bowl of popcorn!

Kids enthralled with Rio2

This wouldn’t be a post fit for a food blog without mentioning the food – movie theater popcorn! I don’t know about you, but as a celiac, I’m very wary of ordering popcorn at the movie theater. Even if the ingredients are gluten-free, there is way too much risk of cross-contamination from employees touching hot dogs and pretzels there for me to be willing to take the risk. Why risk it when you can just make popcorn and enjoy a movie at home?

Pop Secret Popcorn is gluten-free

Pop Secret microwave popcorn is gluten-free! Here is what they say on their website: For gluten/soy, all popcorn is free of glutens from wheat, rye, oats and barley. However, all of our products do contain corn gluten (modified corn starch). Our microwave flavor providers have also assured us that our flavorings are gluten-free as well. My readers with nut or peanut allergies will be glad to know that the popcorn is produced and packaged at a facility that is free from tree nuts and peanuts too.

While they had a variety of Pop Secret flavors, I picked the movie theater style for a fun treat. It did not disappoint! We polished off two bags between the 4 of us and that was with me cutting my youngest off after 3 full bowls! I have a feeling my kids will be asking me to pop the other bags of popcorn for snack soon. We also enjoyed munching on plain M&Ms for another safe, and colorful, treat!

If you are heading to Wal-mart to pick up the Rio2 movie and Pop Secret popcorn, look for a display like the one below. I found it back by the movie section at my store. You can also print off a coupon to save $1.00 on any Pop Secret popcorn! (while supplies last)

Rio2 Family Movie Night

Have you had a movie night with your family lately? I’d love to hear what you watched! If you haven’t picked up your own copy of Rio2 yet, I’d recommend it as a great choice for a family movie night.


3 Bay Area Gluten-free Bakeries you don’t want to miss!

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on July 14, 2014

in Gluten-free Travel

3 must visit Bay Area gluten-free bakeries. If you are planning a trip, make sure you get to these!

I’ve never been so blissfully full as when I visited three incredible gluten-free bakeries in the Bay Area all in one day! Last month, when I was on my way to the CDF Conference, I planned a long layover in San Francisco so I could bakery hop. My partner in crime, Charissa, ended up needing to work at her new job, so she sent her husband to pick me up at the airport and visit the bakeries with me. Patrick & Charissa own and operate Zest Bakery, which I’ll get to later, as it was our final stop on the bakery hop, so enjoying treats at gluten-free bakeries was right up his alley too!

Let’s begin our gluten-free Bay Area bakery tour:

Three Bay Area Bakeries You Shouldn't Miss

Our first stop was Mariposa. I had the pleasure of trying a few of Mariposa’s amazing baked goods last summer during a quick trip to San Fran with my family. That time I visited their little location in the Ferry Building on Pier 1 and was super impressed with their cinnamon rolls and hoagies. I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while, so I knew they had started baking croissants, so those were top on my list to try. My hilarious chauffeur, Patrick, drove us to their main Oakland location.

I loved the huge, open bakery. Check out all the goodies in their long cases. There were also tables and shelves all over with more of their treats all packaged up nicely. I could have poked around there for an hour, but honestly, once I set my eyes on the ham and cheese croissants, I was done browsing. The employees were friendly and helpful, and warmed up my croissant for me. It was SOOOO good! I never thought I would eat a good croissant again since my celiac diagnosis. If I lived near Mariposa, I’m quite sure I’d be stopping in there every week for one!

Check out Mariposa’s website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also order items to be shipped to you!

3 Bay Area gluten-free bakeries you shouldn't miss, including Miglet's

Our second stop was Miglet’s Gluten-free Bakery in Danville, CA. On a previous trip I fell in love with their doughnuts, but alas, on this trip they were almost all out of them. I had one doughnut and then got a variety of cupcakes to go to try later. Charissa and I dug into the cupcakes that evening. The chocolate almond cupcake (upper right in the collage) and the chocolate chip cookie cupcake (middle right in the collage) were my favorites. They were all gorgeous! I loved the added toppings on the cupcakes. If I lived near Miglet’s, this would be our Saturday morning destination for doughnuts, and where I’d pick up a special cupcake for a friend!

Check out Miglet’s website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

3 Bay Area gluten-free bakeries you need to visit, including Zest Bakery.

Our final stop was Zest Bakery. After becoming friends with Charissa this past year, and rooming together at several events, I’ve just been dying to get to her bakery. It did not disappoint! I actually pre-ordered a few items that I was dying to try, like a maple doughnut (I wanted to lick all the icing off that thing- so good)!  Charissa made sure the quiche they made that day didn’t have any onions, so I could enjoy it and boy was it good! The triple berry muffin was without a doubt, the best muffin I’ve had in my life, gluten-free or not!  I wished later that I’d bought a half dozen to take with me! Another favorite treat was their Almond Cake. It was seriously amazing, and if I hadn’t eaten the last one they had, I would have bought more for later. It was simple and sweet and just so good! If I lived near Zest, I’d show up with my laptop and munch on muffins, quiche and almond cake all day while I blogged!

Check out Zest Bakery’s website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also order items to be shipped to you!

If you have a trip to the Bay Area coming up, I highly recommend you hit at least one, preferably ALL of these bakeries! I’m already dreaming about the next time I can get to them!

Special shout-out to my terrific hosts on this Bay Area gluten-free bakery tour! Patrick was an awesome and hilarious foodie to tour with. Charissa was awesome to arrange everything and help me taste test many of the items we bought that evening.

Hosts for my Bay Area gluten-free bakery tour

Disclaimer: Visiting all of these bakeries in one day will probably result in a sugar high and a few pounds of weight gain, though I thought it was so worth it! :)  All opinions are my own. I bought everything on my own dime, none of this was sponsored.


Linking this post up at Gluten-free and DIY Tuesdays and Gluten-free Wednesdays.


CeliAction Clinical Research Study Looking for Participants

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on July 12, 2014

in Celiac Disease

The following post is sponsored and written by CeliAction. I am sharing it for informational purposes only so that my readers with celiac disease can consider participating.

Celiac Clinical Research Study - Call for Participants

Managing celiac disease may be more than just a gluten-free diet.
A clinical research study called the CeliAction Study is researching if an investigational drug – which would be taken as a supplement to an attempted gluten-free diet – improves any symptoms of celiac disease.
You may qualify for the CeliAction Study if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with celiac disease by a healthcare professional
  • Are attempting to be on a gluten-free diet
  • Have experienced at least one moderate or severe symptom of celiac disease in the past month

If you participate in the CeliAction Study, you:

  • will be able to maintain your current diet restrictions
  • will be provided with study-related care at no cost
  • Do not need medical insurance to take part
  • May be compensated for time and travel
  • Will help advance medical research for celiac disease

To learn more about this research study and see if you qualify, visit or call 1-855-3333-ACT.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge Bars {Gluten-free}

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on July 10, 2014

in Bars & Brownies

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge Revel Bars- These are great for potlucks and parties!
This recipe for gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal fudge bars makes a huge pan of treats, which makes it perfect for bringing to potlucks and parties. I always come home with an empty pan! These gooey, fudgy bars are so good, no one will know they are gluten-free.

Have you ever had revel bars? That’s what these are, but I asked around and hardly anyone I knew had ever heard of revel bars, so I left it off the title. I remember having revel bars for the first time when I was a little girl. My best friend Alyson’s mom always made the best desserts, and I remember sampling a revel bar in their kitchen one day. A few years ago, I suddenly remembered them and started looking for recipes. I tried several and ended combining them and then adding my own spin of peanut butter in the filling to get these, which I think are pretty perfect!

You know I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter together in desserts. It really is my favorite dessert combo. When I’m craving this combo, I either make peanut butter brownies, buckeye brownies, Reese’s brownies, swirl cookies, or these peanut butter oatmeal fudge bars.

These bars are really easy to make, using ingredients you probably already have in your well-stocked gluten-free pantry. For the oats, I have several brands that I’ve tried and love. I recommend Gluten Free Prairie Oatmeal (from Montana), or the Wyoming grown GF Harvest Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats or GF Harvest Gluten Free Organic Rolled Oats both available from Amazon.  As always, it is important to use a really good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (not one that contains bean flours)! I’ve tested this recipe successfully with both Gluten Free Mama’s and gfJules and recommend either one.

You’ll drop the dough in little mounds over the peanut butter fudge layer. This is what the finished pan of gooey treats looks like after baking, before you cut them up:

Pan of Gluten-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge Revel Bars - Perfect for potlucks and parties!

Seriously, make these soon! Your family and friends will thank you!

Linking these up at the following round-ups, which are great places to find new recipes: gluten-free & DIY Tuesdaysgluten-free Wednesdays with gluten free easily and The Gluten-free Homemaker; and gluten free Fridays,

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge Revel Bars {Gluten-free}
Peanut Butter + Chocolate + Oatmeal = YUMMY
Recipe from:
Recipe type: Bars & Brownies
Serves: 32-36

  • 2½ cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2½ cups good gluten-free all-purpose flour*
  • 1¼ tsp. xanthan gum (omit if your flour already has xanthan added)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter or non-dairy alternative
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif Natural)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. You’ll be using an ungreased 15×10″ jelly roll pan.
  2. In a medium/large bowl, stir together gluten-free oats, gluten-free all-purpose flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. With your mixer on low, add oats/flour mixture and mix until completely combined. Set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, condensed milk and peanut butter. Cook, stirring, over low-medium heat until chocolate and peanut butter have melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
To assemble bars:
  1. Pat ⅔ of the dough into an ungreased 15″x10″ jelly roll pan. Tip: To make this easier, either wet your fingers before pressing down on the dough, or use Saran Wrap sprayed with a little cooking spray to press down on the dough.
  2. Spread chocolate/peanut butter mixture evenly over dough.
  3. Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop small portions of dough scattered over the chocolate layer.
  4. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Chocolate layer will still look moist.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Cut into squares and serve!
  7. Store in an airtight container at room temp or in refrigerator. I also freeze remaining bars for lunchbox treats.

Please use a good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour. Avoid blends with bean flours or mainly rice flour as they yield a gritty or bad-tasting product.
Brands I recommend are Gluten Free Mama and gfJules.

Get what you need for this recipe on Amazon:

Some links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you do decide to purchase something at Amazon or another retailer after following my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.


Guest Post: Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats

June 23, 2014
Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats guest post

I’d love to introduce you to my blogger friend Sarah. I guest posted on her blog a few months back and am so happy to have her here sharing her favorites here today with you all. The recipe photos that Sarah posts always have me about to drool! She is a wonder in the kitchen […]

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CeliAction Study

June 19, 2014

The following post is sponsored and written by CeliAction. I am sharing it for informational purposes only. Even when you try your best to stay gluten-free, you never know for sure if something you’ve eaten has been cross-contaminated or mislabeled until after the fact. Most people with celiac disease can relate to accidentally ingesting gluten […]

Read more…

CDF Conference and Expo 2014 Recap Part 2

June 17, 2014
CDF 2014 Expo Recap

I already told you how great the Celiac Disease Foundation’s National Conference was, now I get to tell you about the awesome Expo!  The Expo started immediately after the conference on Saturday and continued on Sunday as well. There were so many gluten-free companies represented as well as great speakers. Some highlights: Dr. Fasano gave […]

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CDF Conference and Expo 2014 Recap Part 1

June 14, 2014
CDF National Conference

I was blessed to be one of the official bloggers for the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) National Conference and Expo this past weekend. This is an annual event that I’ve wanted to attend ever since my diagnosis in 2010, but the first year it worked out for me to actually go. I am so glad […]

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May 2014 Favorites

May 31, 2014
May 2014 Favorites

Some highlights from May: I was featured over at The Savvy Celiac. I loved sharing my story over there, along with some tips! My hubby and I spent the majority of our spare time this month researching and test driving vehicles. Last weekend, we finally settled on a 2008 Toyota Highlander! I’m still missing my […]

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Mama’s Gluten Free Onion and Sesame Hamburger Buns {dairy-free too!}

May 29, 2014

Today I welcome my friend Rachel, aka Gluten Free Mama, with a fantastic guest post and recipe for us. If you’ve missed having great hamburgers, you’ve got to try these easy homemade buns from Rachel! Summer means BBQ and BBQ means burgers! For good burgers, we need great tasting gluten-free hamburger buns. Mama made Gluten-free […]

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