Miscellany: Coffee Flour and Gluten-Free Pastry Demo

Guess what? That fruit that’s usually discarded when coffee beans are harvested is now

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credit: coffee flour.com

available as a gluten-free flour! Dan Belliveau, one the Director of Technical Services at Starbucks, came up with the idea to salvage the wasted fruit his company calls coffee flour (it doesn’t really taste like coffee, though). It’s full of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber, so it’s a healthy addition to gluten-free baked goods. In addition to providing a unique, new healthy ingredient for people interested in healthy diets, harvesting the fruit will provide jobs and new sources of income for people in some of the most poverty-stricken places in the world. The flour is not available in brick and mortar stores, though, so I just ordered some from Nuts.com. It’s also available from Marx’s Pantry for the same price per pound, but Marx’s pantry charges $12 shipping (vs $5.99 for shipping from Nuts.com). I’m not here to sell anything to anyone; I’m just super excited about the find and want to share the info!  Continue reading

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

IMG_3981At midnight last night, June 29, 2016, gave way to June 30th, 2016. In a continuing cycle set forth from time’s beginning, one day gave way to the next. Today, like the the day before, and the day before that, and so on, is a blessing. Each day teems with life and where life exists, hope exists, and in this hope resides blessing. Always. Remembering the blessing every morning is an important way to begin the day, even during times of negative stress (as opposed to the positive stress caused by such things as getting married, having a baby, getting a promotion). I once heard a priest refer to the burden of hope. Hope contains the idea that one’s life can be better, and the improvement may require action on one’s part. Introducing a recipe for gluten-free sourdough blueberry muffins by referencing such transcendent notions as blessings and hope may seem strange; however, these things are tangentially related. Continue reading

Open For Business: ATX Ultra Eats Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Muffin Mixes

We’re finally ready to sell our delicious muffin mixes! We’ve been working toward this goal for a long time, but we have cacao orange spicefinally arrived. Please visit the ATX Ultra Eats website and see what we have to offer!

For those of you who follow this blog, to whom I am so grateful, please keep visiting this blog site. I will keep this blog going as a separate interest of mine. It will remain a blog devoted to the gluten-free lifestyle. It will not turn into a vehicle for ATX Ultra Eats business. Our business website has its own blog, and its own Facebook page, for such purpose. Now that we have our business started, I hope to return to a more normal routine in which I can get back into the kitchen to cook dishes for which I can share the recipes on this blog. I do miss being in my kitchen!

Packaging for ATX Ultra Eats Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Muffin Mix Finalized: All Three Flavors

cloudsplitter

Although I run barefoot on pavement, I decided to wear my Luna Leadville huaraches and some lightweight Injinji toe socks for this race. The Cloudsplitter website described the course as very rocky, and cold, wet weather was predicted for the day of the race.

We’re getting closer to having our delicious, healthy gluten-free, grain-free muffin mix available for sale! The packaging for all three flavors of our mixes is finally complete and ready to send off to the printer! I had to put the process on hold for a little while so that I could concentrate on training for and running the Cloudsplitter 50k, which was held October 4th in Elkhorn City, KY. What a wonderful experience that race turned out to be! Susan Howard, the race director, did a wonderful job organizing the event (which also included distances of 100 miles, 100k, and 25k). The volunteers were awesome! Although the course was extremely challenging, it was beautiful and the weather was perfect. I would definitely run it again! Finding gluten-free options for meals on this particular trip, however, was very difficult, but that’s fodder for another post.

For this post, I want to present the beautiful packaging for ATX Ultra Eats Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix:

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new packaging 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for our Cacao Orange Spice Muffin Mix:

new packaging 3

new packaging 4And for our Sunburst Muffin Mix:

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new packaging 6

Work on the official ATX Ultra Eats website is currently underway, and soon we will be up and running. Our muffins are SO delicious; I can’t wait to make them available for everyone to try!

When Life Gets Busy : Cheat With These Gluten-Free Products

If we’re to be honest, and one always usually wants to be honest, home-cook meals and dishes are far more satisfying in flavor and quality than yogurt blueberry 2processed or mass-produced foods. At times, however, life gets so busy that one has little choice but to save time by purchasing ready-made foods. Thankfully, we in the United States are blessed with a variety of good quality ready-made foods that, although they might not measure up to home-cooked standards, are fairly tasty and healthy. I’m taking advantage of our fortunate selection of convenience foods while work on my ATX Ultra Eats website content and training for the Cloudsplitter 50k take up the majority of my time (I am endorsing these products of my own volition – I am not receiving any compensation from any of the companies whose products I mention in this blog post). Cloudsplitter is in just under three weeks away now, and my running mileage is currently at about 60 miles a week. I’m not under any illusion that my high mileage and hill work will help me finish that 50k in an impressive time, but the arduous training does help with the illusion that I’ll actually feel strong when I do finish! To keep up with my training, regardless of how well it will help me survive complete Cloudsplitter, I do have to take in some quality calories. Ironically, working on my muffin mix business is partly what has kept me from finding time to bake the muffins I usually keep in ready stock in the freezer for my quick pre-run breakfast.My fallback breakfast is yogurt mixed with dried blueberries and shaved chocolate. Continue reading

ATX Ultra Eats: Gluten-Free, Grain Free Muffins Almost Here!

I am so very excited to announce that the packaging for my new muffin mix is completed. It’s a lovely design, and I am thrilled with the way it turned out.

atx packaging 3

I have found a kitchen in a gluten-free bakery in which I will be hand-packing my muffin mixes in small batches. My website is in the process of being designed and will be ready as soon as I can get all the content ready for the wonderful, talented people at Envision-Creative Group who have helped me with my logo and my packaging. Very soon, my muffin mixes will be available online and in a few small independent retail stores in the Austin / San Antonio area.

I have so much to be thankful for as I near the launch of my muffin mix, and so many people for whom to be thankful. I could not have gotten this business this far by myself. First, I thank my God, from all blessings flow, and my Savior Lord Jesus Christ, from whom my life flows. I thank my husband Phillip, whose constant love and encouragement gives me the courage to keep going, even when I’m mired in that swamp of despondency that threatens to paralyze me when I hit those inevitable roadblocks that halt the progress of any new endeavor. He has willingly, without complaint, made sacrifices to help me achieve my dream; a more supportive husband cannot be found. I thank my children Jacob, Christopher, and Elizabeth, as well as my daughter-in-law Cynthia and my son-in-law Michael, who give me unending support and invaluable feedback as I work toward making my business a reality. I thank my mother, whose belief in me gives me energy, and who will be giving her time to help me carefully hand-package and label each bag of ATX Ultra Eats gluten-free, grain-free muffin mix. I thank my sister Karen, whose naturally optimistic character brightens my spirit when the details of starting a business dampen it. My dearest of friends Lisa and Gwen deserve special thanks for putting up with my brainstorming, my angst, my highs, and my lows while on long runs, through emails, and through text messages; they constantly express their confidence that my dream of offering delicious, healthy muffin mixes to people who desire them will become a reality. Lisa, especially, encourages me by envisioning my business as a success already, even though it has yet to make its appearance on the market.

I am grateful to all the people who know business who continue to help me navigate through this world of business to which I am so unfamiliar. I thank Margo Fuentes with ACCION, who has sweetly and patiently helped me with the nitty-gritty numbers and details that go into managing the financial end of a business, as well as the details of marketing and other such elements of business. I offer many thanks to Margie Cabello-Roller of Gaia’s Light S A, for taking time to direct me to resources so helpful toward starting my business: especially for directing me toward Margo. I am grateful to Deke Foxhoven, my attorney, who helped me to officially form my business, and has patiently answered my legal questions. The ladies at Sweeten CPA have been wonderfully responsive and kind in helping me to understand and handle the book-keeping and tax matters with which business owners must deal even before a business begins selling its product, and I am especially grateful to Christiana who encourages me as well as reconciles my accounts every month. Finally, I give thanks for Sarah, Kyle, and Stephanie at Envision-Creative Group, who have patiently, kindly, and enthusiastically guided me through this world of branding that is so very new to me. I know the qualities for which I want my business to stand, but I had no image in mind by which to express those qualities when I formed ATX Ultra Eats. Sarah, Kyle, and Stephanie completely understood what I tried to convey to them in words  – my mission in offering my muffin mix, the quality for which my business stands, and the sense of place I want my business to exude – and created images for my logo and packaging that accurately capture the essence of my business. Sarah, the creative energy behind my logo and packaging, deserves special thanks for her excellent and powerful creations.

I want everyone to have easy access to healthy grain-free alternatives to muffins made with the common rice flour / starch mixes on the grocery shelves. I have also developed recipes for use with my muffin mix other than just muffins (such as gluten-free, grain-free pancakes and cookies) and these recipes will be on the ATX Ultra Eats website as soon as my website is up and running. I am looking forward to introducing three delicious, healthy, and unique gluten-free, grain-free muffin mixes very soon!