Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway

Real Jules - REAL GOOD Giveaway



Note: There is a giveaway at the end, so don’t rushing off.

Most of us know Jules Shepard, if not personally, then through her advocacy she’s done for the gluten-free community through 1 in 133, her Blog Talk Radio show – Gluren-Free Radio, or her gluten-free products. She started her own company in 2007 and left the company ten months ago. In leaving the company, she had to leave her company name behind as well. If you want to know more, read Shirley’s post here.

Jules has re-launched her products under a new name, gfJules™. With that re-launch is some confusion about where you can buy her products from her and not her former partners. If you’re one of the confused remember this, look for her smiling face (pictured above). If it’s not on the website or the box, it’s not her.

When Jules contacted me to be part of her Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway, I knew my answer would be yes. My only problem (other than real life getting in the way) was her flours and mixes all have some type of corn in them and I still have to avoid corn. Luckily, she has gfJules Instant Gluten-Free Oats – “certified tested” before arrival for processing, upon arrival, and after processing.

gfjules4The oats arrived while I was out of town and it was another week and a half before I laid eyes on the adorable box that Chaz left next to the coffee table. The box says, “Open me. Happiness is inside.” Okay it doesn’t really say that, it just says that to me. Here’s some of the happiness created by the contents of the box:

Pumpkin Maple Bacon Oatmeal

Pumpkin Maple Bacon Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Oat Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Oat Sandwich Cookies

Blueberry Oatmeal

Blueberry Oatmeal

I did grind some oats into flour to make gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, but I a substitution in the recipe that flubbed the batter and what I got wasn’t quite pancakes…or photo worthy food. It was still good though.

See what some mutual friends shared about Jules for the Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway:

Shirley Braden (gluten-free easily) – Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway & Free Gluten-Free Holiday eBook

Johnna Perry (In Johnna’s Kitchen) – Gluten-Free Cut Out Cookies: Do You Want to Build A Snowman?

Linda Etherton (Gluten-Free Homemaker) – Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway + Free Thanksgiving eBook

Thanks to Jules, 2 winners will win 1 box (2 pounds) of gfJules Instant Gluten-Free Oats each. Just comment below to enter. For more entries, follow Jules on one or more of her social media sites: gfJules FB page,@THEgfJules onTwitterPinterest BoardsGoogle +Instagram and/or free weekly recipe email. At the end of your comment, tell me which site(s) you are following her on. The giveaway will close at 8pm EST January 14, 2015.

Gluten-Free in Ventura: Brophy Bros.

Brophy BrosI didn’t tell anyone we were going to be in town since we went to L.A. to help Dawn, and babies really don’t give us a timetable until they’re ready to arrive. Once everyone was home, I announced on Facebook that I was in town. This led to my uncles giving me a hard time for not saying anything. Because uncles.

We arranged to have lunch with family, meeting up with everyone at Uncle Ed’s girlfriend’s house, where fruit, cheese, veggies, and dip waited for everyone. And mimosas. Can’t forget the mimosas. It is a must to have at least one drink when I’m with my family.

Brophy Bros 2We drove together to Ventura Harbor Village for lunch at Brophy Bros. This is one time I did not get to do research ahead of time. Sometimes I don’t have that option when I’m with family. Luckily, our server and the kitchen were amazing. I gave them my list of food allergies and they worked with me on what is and could be safe for me on their menu.

Brophy Bros 3Chaz and I started with Oysters. They were East Coast even though West Coast are better (in my opinion). But I never turn down an oyster (unless it’s coated and fried in gluten) and I never met an oyster I didn’t like.

Brophy Bros 4I chose the Shrimp & Crab Salad without dressing. The dressing had soy in it. Of course. Soy and corn are in just as many things as gluten and I hit the trifecta. But, I’m used to eating salads without dressing so it wasn’t a loss. The actual win in this is the crab. So sweet. It was the second time having crab after being deprived of the succulent crustacean for a year and a half. Anyone want to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”? That was in my head with each bite I took.

My crazy cousins. I love them.

My crazy cousins, Clutzy & Pipsqueak.

I would go back without hesitation.Brophy Bros 5

Mind Blowing Hot Cocoa

Mind Blowing Hot Cocoa


Looking at my note, written in a buzzed state outside a bar in the Highlands of Louisville, I questioned my sanity:  bacon, bourbon, hazelnut hot chocolate.


Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what Johnna and I were talking about when that idea came to me. After some bourbon and moving on to hard cider, you stop questioning things and just write down the ideas that you think are genius because you know you’ll never remember them if you don’t.

I thought I was far from genius as I tried to puzzle out how I would pull it off.

Bacon. Bourbon. Hazelnut. Hot Chocolate.

Seriously. What the hell?

I know I like to put bacon in my food like:

Dairy-Free Corn Chowder

Grain-Free Bacon & Veg Quiche

Kitchen Sink Pasta

Pumpkin Maple Bacon Pancakes

I thought this idea went too far because I couldn’t figure out how it should be done. It only took me eleven months to figure it out. Candied bacon.

This may be more steps than you want for hot cocoa, but it is worth it. You will need Hazelnut milk, which you can make with Hazelnut Butter. This is not necessarily easily available and where most of your prep time will be if you make it yourself. The end result is heavenly though. Mine came out fluffier than you would expect a nut butter to be.

This is not dairy-free because of the whipped cream I used. I can’t make coconut whipped cream because of my allergies, but I think it would work well with this. If you can’t have dairy or coconut, there are lots of nut whipped cream recipes online. And if you can’t have nuts try marshmallows! I prefer marshmallows in my hot cocoa, but because of my corn allergy I need to make my own and I wasn’t up to the task when I developed this last week. I had a lot of other things on my plate.

I’m pretty sure you can make the candied bacon with coconut bacon if you are vegetarian or vegan. I’m guessing some of my followers will be trying it with candied bacon and letting me know.

Candied Bacon

2 teaspoons honey (or pure maple syrup)

½ teaspoon bourbon

2 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper. Mix together the honey and bourbon. Lay out bacon slices on the tray and brush half the mixture over the bacon. Turn slices over and brush remaining mixture on the other side. Bake for up to 30 minutes or until bacon is browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool before chopping into pieces.

Hazelnut Butter

3 cups hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Spread hazelnuts evenly on a baking tray. Roast them for 10-15 minutes, turning the tray halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place hazelnuts between two towel and rub together to remove the skins or place in paper bag and rub them together in the bag. Remove as much of the remaining skins as possible and place the nuts in a food processor. Add a pinch or two of salt if desired. Process the nuts until you have a creamy nut butter consistency, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Creamy Hazelnut Milk

4 cups  filtered water

4 tablespoons Hazelnut Butter

Add ingredients to a blender and blend on high for a at least one minute. Transfer to an airtight liquid container and store in the refrigerator. Shake before using.Mind Blowing Hot Cocoa 2

Mind Blowing Hot Cocoa

1 ½ cups Creamy Hazelnut Milk

1 – 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or Dutch processed cocoa)

1 tablespoon raw local honey or pure maple syrup (or other sweetener of your choice)

1 teaspoon maca root powder (optional)

1 ounce bourbon

Whipped cream (of choice)

Candied Bacon, chopped

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add cacao powder, mace root powder, and sweetener of choice. Whisk together until well-incorporated and allow to continue to heat. Add in bourbon and remove from heat, whisking together before pouring into a mug. Top with whipped cream then candied bacon.