Friday Finds: Sweet Freedom Baking Book Review & A Giveaway

by Maggie on September 24, 2010

It’s my party and I’m celebrating with a review and a giveaway!

I am so happy and so astonished that it’s already my one-year blogging anniversary.

I am very thankful for everything this blog has brought to my life in the past year.  When I began blogging I had no idea what direction this blog would take.  Want proof?  Check out my first blog post here!

It was Pete who pushed me to start a blog.  He’s always been my number one fan – maybe it’s because I’ve totally spoiled him and made sure that a gluten-free diet means only one thing to him: yummy.  Actually if you asked him, he’d definitely say that he’s never eaten better.

I am so thankful, firstly to my friends and family.  I appreciate your blog comments, your emails telling me that you passed my blog onto a friend, and your curiosity about the blogging world I live in. I especially love that you’ve tried my recipes.  It means so much to me.

I am also thankful for all of my blogger friends.  I can’t believe how quickly we’ve all become friends. I don’t know what I’d do without your guidance, your support, your virtual laughter, and of course your blog comments. All of you make me feel like I’m doing something outside of raising two beautiful babes.  You feel like my colleagues who help keep me sane.

Lastly, I must thank my loyal and faithful readers.  YAY!  I have readers.  I am so honoured that you follow me, read my posts, try my recipes, ask me questions, and leave me comments.  You help to give this blog purpose, focus and direction. So keep leaving me comments and I will keep blogging.

Ricki Heller’s Sweet Freedom

To celebrate this big anniversary (it’s a relief to get the first one under my belt) I’m teaming up with Ricki Heller, the awesome blogger behind Diet, Dessert, and Dogs.

Ricki is also the author of the baking book Sweet Freedom. I bought my copy about 5 months ago and just got a chance to play with it recently. It’s been fun! Sweet Freedom contains recipes that are wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free.

Some of the recipes in this cookbook are not gluten-free but each time I came across a recipe with spelt flour I simply substituted with my gluten-free mix and everything tasted delicious.

Ricki’s book includes a chapter titled Ingredients and Other Baking Notes. It is so helpful, not just for baking with her recipes, but for adapting some of your own. I love a cookbook that I can read from cover to cover. Ricki’s is perfect for this because she offers so much information on each and every page. It’s just the perfect amount.

My favourite part was the section on egg replacers. I miss the simplicity of baking with eggs. When I read a recipe that has 4 eggs I become envious. Ricki’s section offers great tidbits about what ingredients you can use to replace eggs, and how much of each ingredient to use. Fantastic!

The Recipes

The first recipe I made was the Ultra Fudgy Brownies.  I used these to make dairy-free Vanilla Brownie ice cream.  Oh my goodness, these were delightful.  I saved a few in the freezer and they were such a good treat after a long morning day.  Right out of the freezer!

The next recipe I made were Ricki’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudgies.  Pete immediately said, “Hey, these taste like Fudgeeos.  That’s a pretty darn good compliment considering these are MUCH healthier!  These little treats go well paired with a cold glass of unsweetened almond milk.  I saved and froze half of the batch for later.  Later turned into about 3 days. We just couldn’t resist.  I even ate a couple of them right out of the freezer (are we seeing a pattern here?)  I did find them a little dry, so next time I would reduce the amount of gluten-free flour mix that I used.

The last recipe I made was Ricki’s AMAZING butter tarts, aptly titled Butter Tarts, Glorious and Free (of Eggs and Dairy).  Oh dear Unrefined Sugar Goddess.  Thank you for blessing us with Ricki Heller.  They are amazing.  Gooey, sweet, and flaky all in one bite.  I modified Ricki’s pastry recipe and it turned out perfectly as a gluten-free tart crust.  I see an apple pie in my future!  My Mom is a butter tart lover (and maker) and she practically drooled over the phone when she called to rave about the gooey, buttery, slightly sweet tarts I sent over for them to test (my Dad, bless him, will eat anything baked in an oven).  Okay, I could go on and on about Ricki’s butter tarts but I must wrap things up!

There are many recipes that I still want to try.  One that I will be trying as soon as possible is the Dark and Decadent Chocolate Pate.  Pete and I went to Toronto for our anniversary this summer and we had a vegan chocolate pate that was TO DIE FOR.  This is why I MUST. MAKE. RICKI’S. PATE.

As you can see, I loved the recipes I chose from Sweet Freedom.  I found the recipes were easy to modify, the instructions were clear and helpful, and it’s a great cover-to-cover read.  Mine’s already loaded with highlighting and notes.

The Giveaway

Ricki is generously donating one copy of Sweet Freedom to one of my lovely readers.  I am going to donate a copy as well so TWO of you have the chance to win.

Here’s how to enter my Sweet Freedom giveaway:

1.    Tweet about it and include the hashtag #MaggieAnniversary so I see your entry.
2.    Leave me a comment telling me what you’d like to see more of on my blog.
3.    Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know that you did.

Contest closes Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 12am EST .

Just so you know: I bought a copy of Sweet Freedom and was under no obligation to do a review of the book.  I just had to share it with all of you lovelies.

Want to read more about Ricki?
Read Amy’s review of Ricki’s new e-book Desserts Without Compromise at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Read Kim’s review of Sweet Freedom at Cook It Allergy Free.

And of course you can check out Ricki’s blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs where you’ll definitely get to know Ricki and her two cute pups!

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie September 24, 2010 at 7:32 am

I tweeted about the giveaway 🙂


Stephanie September 24, 2010 at 7:33 am

I love that you post recipes that are dairy free and gluten free! That is what I would like to see even more of here 🙂


Ricki September 24, 2010 at 8:09 am

Wow, Maggie, I am seriously blown away! Thank you so much for this incredible review–I am so glad you enjoyed the recipes as much as you did (and I’m a freezer-nabber, too). 😉 Your photos are so enticing! I have a feeling you will enjoy the pate (my hubby’s favorite dessert). 😀 THANK YOU!

And HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! Congrats on your accomplishment with this blog, which is a fabulous resource for me. And I know what you mean about the blogging community–I seriously couldn’t do without all the amazing people I’ve met as a result of my blog in my life.

And just one question–does this mean comments on this page don’t count as entries to the giveaway?


Maggie September 24, 2010 at 11:25 am

Hi Ricki – Thank you, it was my pleasure! Such great treats in that book of yours. I can’t wait to check out the e-books. Comments on this page definitely count in the giveaway – see item #2! I’ll obviously exclude you 🙂


Tim September 24, 2010 at 8:24 am

I tweeted at


tahearn at roadrunner dot com


Noelle September 24, 2010 at 8:27 am
Noelle September 24, 2010 at 8:29 am
Noelle September 24, 2010 at 8:30 am

I found out about your blog through Ricki so I look forward reading more since I am focusing on more gluten-free baking and cooking. Thanks a bunch!


buttercup caren September 24, 2010 at 8:36 am

yay!! Celebrate good times, come on!! 😀
Happy blogiversary Maggie! I always enjoy visiting your blog, and look forward to more years ahead! I enjoy posts about baking, about little tidbits of your life, so basically – more of the same!
What a fabulous giveaway, too. I would love to learn to be a better ‘Free’ baker. 🙂


buttercup caren September 24, 2010 at 8:37 am

I also tweeted about the giveaway! 🙂


Miki September 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

Sounds like a great book! I have to eat gluten and caesin free so new recipes and cookbooks always intrigue me. Keep up the good work on your blog and congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!


Miki September 24, 2010 at 8:53 am

Also leaving a Facebook comment for you!


LaTeaDah September 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

I would love to see more gluten free recipes on your site! 😀


Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free September 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

Maggie – I already have her book so don’t enter me – but I wanted to say HAPPY, HAPPY Blogoversary!! I am so grateful that you’re a part of my life…you enhance it in so many ways. Sending hugs and wishes for a fabulous year that will exceed your wildest dreams!!


Katie September 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

Happy Blogoversary Mags! I guess family can’t enter right? Darn! Oh well, I will steal your copy I guess! Good for you – I’m so proud!


Ashlie September 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

I don’t tweet, so I guess I can’t enter the give-away. I just wanted to say Happy Blogoversary! I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now. I found you through Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. I love everything about your blog, especially the sure name :). Keep up the great work – we all benefit from it!


Maggie September 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hey Ashlie – Thanks for commenting! You’re entered in the giveaway just by commenting! And if you’re on facebook you can enter again by mentioning the giveaway! Good luck!


Marla Y September 24, 2010 at 10:53 am
Marla Y September 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

I would lvoe to see more sugar and gluten free recipes. Thank you.


Kim - Cook It Allergy Free September 24, 2010 at 11:03 am

Maggie, I already have her book, obviously too, so do not enter me. I am just wanting to send you a big Blogiversary Hug!!! Congrats on an amazing first year! And major Kudos to Pete for giving you the push! And major Kudos to you for the gusto and the amazing blog that you have created! So happy for you!
And what a great review of Sweet Freedom! Ricki should be proud of this book. It has earned rave reviews!!!
Hugs to you, my friend, on what you have accomplished!


Carrie September 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

Found your blog via Amy Hock-Green’s site, and wow! I want to go home to bake something right now!! Congratulations on your blog-iversary!


Gluten Free Betsy September 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

Happy Blogiversay! This book sounds fabulous. I tried doing the candida diet earlier this year and felt so much better. I need to get back on it and cut out a ton of sugar…this book would definitely help!!


thursday September 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy blogoversary!!!


Jules September 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

Happy blogiversary happy blogiversity happy blogiversity haaaaapy blogiverary!

Congratulations Mags! I love your writing, your recipes and your pictures (oh and you 🙂 )!

xo Jules


Zoe @ Z's Cup of Tea September 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Happy blogoversary/blogiversary, Maggie! 😀 (How do you spell that word?) And many more happy blogging years to come!

With love,


megs September 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Congrats Mags! I can’t believe it’s already been a year. Time really does fly.
Proud of you.xx


Allison September 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I just tweeted!

I love that I get to learn about healthier options from your blog. As you know, I’m not gluten free, but I’ve tried and LOVED many of your recipes. I just look forward to discovering more new ways to eat foods that I would never eat (e.g. chocamole — that’s what we named your chocolate avacado pudding in our house!). Happy Blogiversary!


Allison September 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

And now I’ve shared on Facebook!


Cecelia September 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Happy 1st year Birthday.Love your sight.
Left a massage on Face Book.
Keep it up for another year.


Miz Helen September 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!! You have a great blog that I enjoy visiting.
Best Wishes


Annie September 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Happy Blogiversary Maggie! I’ve loved reading all your posts over the past year (it makes me feel like we still live around the corner from one another) and I’ve DEFINITELY enjoyed testing some of the recipes! Your double chocolate cookies make a regular appearance at our place. 🙂

PS As you know I’m twitter illiterate, is there something (such as yelling out my window haha) that I can do to replace this part of the entry?


Nikki September 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I would like to see more sugar free recipes maybe using stevia?


Nikki September 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I also posted this on twitter!


Nikki September 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

And I posted it on facebook, thanks!


Nikki September 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Oops, I meant to say and or rice syrup. We don’t use sugar or agave or maple syrup which is why I want this cookbook so bad:)) But I meant to say I would like to see you use either stevia and or rice syrup in recipes. Generally when a recipe calls for sweetener we cut it in half and use rice syrup or a combination. Thanks!


gfe--gluten free easily September 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Such a great post, Maggie! Terrific review of Ricki’s book with so many recipes you made (scrumptious … all of them) and this post is so YOU! 🙂 I loved the part about “dear refined sugar goddess”! That goddess has brought us a lot of wonderful folks, hasn’t it? Even you!



gfe--gluten free easily September 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm

And, if you didn’t figure it out, the point of all that was to say not only great review and post, but happpppy anniversary!!! 😉



joan September 24, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Happy anniversary! I’d love to see even more of the lower carb sugarfree recipes, especially more stevia flavored recipes. Thanks so much-hope I win a copy of this wonderful book-


How To Bake A Crocodile September 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

I am just starting to live GF and blog about it too (though I’ve been blogging on my regular blog for a long long time now). I just found your blog but would love to read bread recipes. I have long loved baking gluten full breads and pies and am on a quest to learn as much as I can about baking both gluten free now.


Maggie September 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

@How to Bake a Crocodile – Thanks for stopping by! I have a few bread recipes on here and one more in the works! I love playing with bread and pies too. In search of the perfect crust! Good luck! I’ll check out your blog now. Thanks.


mom September 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Yes I am a butter tart lover and I come from a long line of butter tart lovers!!! Both of your grandmothers made yummy butter tarts-different recipes but each exceptional in their own way. Your butter tarts were runny (an important criteria as far as this butter tart lover is concerned), the pastry was perfect, they were lovely and sweet and left you wanting just one more. A 10 out of 10 Maggie!!! By the way, Happy Blogiversary. Proud of your accomplishments!!!
mom xxxxxxxxx


Elizabeth September 27, 2010 at 7:20 am

Wow! This book looks great! I am corn free, soy free, gluten free, and refined sugar free. This book would be a great addition to my kitchen!


jamie September 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

congrats! one is year is an amazing accomplishment 🙂 i have only recently discovered your blog, but i very much enjoy coming here for gfree and dairy free recipes! i tweeted about your giveaway- inlcuded @maggiesavage with the hashtag, since i have protected tweets and wanted to make sure you see it 🙂 @strokegirl.
thanks for all your tasty, gorgeous effort!


Zoe September 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm

My girl Thursday sent me over here after sharing a GF recipe for whoppie pies with me. I’m so excited about trying your recipes! And I’m so excited because it seems a lot of your recipes are also vegan, and my partner is vegan. And I’m so excited because I came over right when you’re having a give-away! So much excitement! 😀
I live internationally so if you don’t want to send that far just take me off the list, I understand!


Carol, Simply...Gluten-free September 28, 2010 at 7:01 am

You don’t need to enter me, I just wanted to officially say Happy Blogoversary!


CH September 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I would love this cookbook! Thanks for all the work you do on your blog. It is so fun to read!


janet September 29, 2010 at 6:28 am

You have a great website already but I’d love to see more whole grain recipes. 🙂


Barbara September 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

I would love to see more caesin free recipes on your site!


Maggie September 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

You’re in luck Barbara! We have to eat (or should I say drink?) casein free so that’s all you’ll see on here! Make sure to sign up for my email updates so you don’t miss a recipe. Good luck with the giveaway!


Jenny October 10, 2010 at 2:28 am

Love your blog. All of you bloggers have saved me from living on salads since being diagnosed with Celiacs. When I was told I couldn’t eat sugar or gluten anymore I about lost it – those are my two favorite food groups! But I NEVER EVER would have guessed how much better I would feel. I never suspected that my food was making me sick. So thanks to all of you that put your journeys out there for people to learn from. One suggestion I make to everyone though – I need snack food! Quickie things that I can pre-make and go. I am a big grazer. I think I could live off granola bars and milk : )


Maggie October 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Thanks Jenny. It is so amazing how much better we feel once we start healing our tummies! I agree, it is so shocking to learn how much food effects us. It’s incredible. I’ll work on some snack food for you! I do have granola bars and lots of muffins/snacking breads. Thanks for stopping by Jenny!


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