Friday, December 18, 2009

Gluten Free GingerBread People with Egg Free Royal Icing

I have decided to take it easy on myself this year. I realized that I just don't have the time or the energy to make a ginger bread house, then I patted myself on the back and said "that's OK". However, I did still want to post my egg-free royal icing recipe, so we decided to make gingerbread people instead. For this I did not even need to create a recipe, I borrowed this wonderful recipe from Janeen at Mom's Food Allergy Diner, which is egg free, dairy free, gluten free, and nut free. I didn't have any Bette Hagman's Gourmet Light Flour Blend so I had to play with the flours a little bit. My final flour blend was:
1 ½ c Sorghum flour
1 c Tapioca starch
1 ½ c Rice flour
½ c Cornstarch
½ c Potato flour
This is a whole cup more flour than the original recipe called for, but it worked well for us. It could be the humidity or the altitude, who knows. After baking the gingerbread people, the girls decorated them with egg-free royal icing. So, here are our little gingerbread people (the ones who haven't been eaten yet) saying "Merry Christmas everyone"!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas From Our New Home!

A dear old friend of my husband came to visit this week. He is an amazing photographer, and I finally got some pictures of my new house. This (among other things) is what has taken so much time away from my blogging for the past 5 months. It is finally starting to feel like home though. Isn't it beautiful all covered in snow? It is a whopping -9 degrees here this morning. It was freezing all weekend, but we still managed to get our tree too. Thanks again to our friend for taking these pictures for me!!! These are just snapshots. If you want to see some of his truly breathtaking nature photos you can find him at .


Friday, December 4, 2009

Egg Free Royal Icing

I have been holding on to this recipe for a year. Actually, I lost it when my hard drive died and was thrilled to see that I had posted it on another site so I was able to get it back. The other site, by the way, is , and has amazingly detailed descriptions of several other egg free royal icing recipes. I made my icing thick. It was strong enough to assemble a gingerbread house and was hard as a rock by the next day. It also tasted good! You can thin it out a little if you want drippy snow-like icing for the roof, but I don't know how long it will take to harden. I wish very much that I had pictures to show, but we don't have any working cameras in the house. If I can get a decent picture with my disposable camera, I will post it later. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

1 c Powdered sugar
1 T Ener-G egg replacer (dry)
1 t Cream of tartar
1/8 t Xanthan gum
2 T Water (approximately)

Blend all dry ingredients together. Add water slowly until desired consistency is reached.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Broccoli Rissoto

I thought I had already posted this recipe, but I have searched my site and can't find it anywhere. It must have been one I was about to post when I lost my hard drive. I usually make it dairy free for Emily, but here I have added a little cheese at the end to add some protein for Nikki. I just make a full batch, then take half out, and add parmesan to the remaining half. I have been using Wolfgang Puck's Free Range Chicken Broth in a lot of my cooking lately. It tastes wonderful, and I contacted the company and was told that it is free of gluten, dairy, and eggs, (and of course nuts). I can't remember if it has soy and my package is gone so I can't read the ingredients right now, but they assured me that when you read the ingredients there will be none of the top 8 allergens hidden under such titles as "natural flavorings". All major allergens will be stated.

1 c Uncooked arborio rice
2 T Olive oil
2 T Dairy free margarine (for soy free, omit margarine and add 2 more T olive oil)
1/2 c Chopped onion
2 c Chopped broccoli
4 c Chicken broth (one 32 oz box of Wolfgang Puck's Broth)
1/4 c Parmesan cheese (optional)

Saute onion and broccoli in olive oil (and margarine if using) for about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir for another 2 minutes.
Stir in one cup of broth and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until broth is absorbed (mine took 8 minutes). Stir while cooking to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Stir in another cup of broth and continue stirring and cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes, once again until broth is absorbed.
Add another cup of broth and do the same.
Stir in the last cup of broth and continue stirring and cooking until most broth is absorbed and rice is soft with a creamy texture.
Add salt and pepper to taste and at this point add parmesan cheese if desired (If cheese is used this will of course contain dairy). For a "cheesy" taste without the dairy you can also add a T of nutritional yeast which is also fairly high in protein and B vitamins. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hello Again

I've missed you! Have you ever fallen so far behind on something that the thought of picking it back up again was frightening and overwhelming? I have been thinking about blogging constantly but I just don't know where to begin. We spent the entire summer trying to buy a house with one mishap after another, but we have finally bought our first home and are starting to settle in. between the house and my new job I have been relying on old recipes and not really creating any new ones. I thought that maybe I was done with this whole recipe creating/blogging thing...but times are changing...
Until now all of my recipes have been created for my youngest daughter Emily who has the most food allergies. No one else in the house really eats "Emily's food", it has a stigma. My oldest daughter Amanda was allergic to milk when she was a baby, but she seemed to outgrow it. This past year, however, foods with dairy have started to make her mouth itch and give her stomach aches, so she has been avoiding it for the most part.
A few weeks ago my middle daughter Nikki had her allergy tests done and (drumroll) she is allergic to wheat! I had suspected this for a while but was unwilling to face it. Nikki is a vegetarian and has been eating nothing but pizza, pasta, cheese sandwiches, and Goldfish crackers for a long time. She has had "Emily's food" and doesn't care much for it. We are in the process of working hard to change her diet, but every once in a while we still have a "she's going to starve to death" moment. Nikki is eating rice pasta and we just found a local pizzeria that has gluten free pizza on Mondays, but she is desperately longing for the texture of wheat. Also, Nikki tested negative for peanuts, which I thought was odd, and I told her not to go running out and eat a of course she did! I got a call from the school. She was violently ill, throwing up for an hour, then sleeping for two days. I'm thinking the peanut result was wrong!
To sum it all up, it looks like I do need to get back to the drawing board and create some new recipes for ALL of my girls. I don't know when it will happen, I think my muse is on vacation. In the future some of my gluten free recipes may contain eggs and dairy to improve the texture for Nikki and also to provide a little more protein for her. I will try to remember to post a little warning on these recipes ( not that you aren't all pros at reading ingredients!). All of my old recipes will still be here too for those of us that are on more limited diets. Well, here's hoping that I will be back before another three months has flown by! Thanks for sticking with me!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Broccoli Salad

I had a hard time naming this one, and yes, my creative conclusion was
"broccoli salad". The flavor is a lot like cole slaw, but it also has a slightly Asian feel due to the sesame seeds. By the way, I didn't use plain sesame seeds in mine, I used Eden Organic's Seaweed Gomasio because that's what I had laying around. Also, I haven't tried this, but I'm thinking that you could avoid the soy by leaving out the Vegenaise and it would have a more genuine Asian flair...but you may need a little more liquid of some sort.

½ c. Vegenaise
¼ c. Agave nectar
¼ c. Rice vinegar
2 T. Toasted sesame seeds
½ t. Celery seeds
½ c. Dried cranberries
1 Bag of Mann's Broccoli Slaw
1 Head of broccoli
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the head of broccoli and put it in a bowl with the broccoli slaw and the dried cranberries. Mix the Veganaise, agave nectar, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and celery seeds. Pour it into the bowl of veggies and stir well. Add a little salt and pepper. Chill for an hour or so to let the flavors combine. WOW, that was easy (and yummy too)!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yummy Gummy Bears by Surf Sweets!

The Surf Sweets company contacted me and asked if I would like to review their products on my blog. (Well of course I would!) I said yes, and shortly thereafter received a generous box of treats to sample. As a matter of fact, there were so many different candies to try that I kept putting it off because I wanted to be able to devote some time to the sampling. I finally found some time and rounded up three children. E is 7 and has multiple food allergies, N is 13 and a vegetarian but she eats "standard" gummies anyway despite the fact that they have gelatin in them, and K is 13 and has no dietary restrictions whatsoever.

I have before me now four very detailed reports and I am trying to figure out how to organize my review. Let me start by saying that Surf Sweets are mostly organic, with the percentage of organic ingredients used ranging from 87% to 97%. They are made with real fruit juice and natural colors, and provide 100% of the RDA for vitamin C. All of the candies are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, and made in a completely nut free facility. Most of the treats are also vegetarian because they are made with pectin instead of gelatin.

So, here is the list of candies that we got to try:

Vegetarian: Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Fruity Bears, Gummy Swirls, and Sour Berry Bears.

Non-Vegetarian: Gummy Bears, and Gummy Worms.

Please use the link at the beginning of this post to see pictures of everything and to get more information.

The textures were just as I'd expect. The Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms were springy and bouncy just like they should be. Everything else had a texture that reminded me a lot of those orange slice candies. It's a softer more jelly-like texture.

As for flavor, we had varying opinions but I'll try to combine them.

Jelly Beans: very very sugary sweet.

Sour Worms: I thought they were the perfect combination of sweet and sour, K said they weren't sour enough.

Fruity Bears: These truly reminded me of the "fruit slices" candy, fruity and sugary.

Gummy Swirls: These had a nice sweet and fruity flavor too, but more than that they are pretty. They look and taste like swirly gumdrops and would be wonderful for decorating cakes and such.

Sour Berry Bears: Way too sour for N, E, and me! N actually spit hers out. K LOVED them!

Gummy Worms: Taste just like gummy worms only a little more tart.

Gummy Bears: These were the hands down favorite of everyone! The taste and texture was incredibly similar to traditional gummy bears, but these were even better! You can really taste the fruit in these.

All of the candies were deliciously fruity. I definitely recommend grabbing a bag and trying them when you get a chance. Hopefully my brief summary above will help you find the one that's just right for you. Thank you again to the Surf Sweets company for thinking of me. The girls and I truly enjoyed your sweets!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Egg-Free Potato Salad On A Rainy Spring Day

I have always considered this to be a "German style" potato salad, but after doing a little research I found that theirs almost always has bacon in it. I may be trying that version next since Emily loves bacon. This salad, however, was created for Nikki, my vegetarian. As you can see it is a beatiful day for eating outside. Everything is green and smells of fresh rain. I picked some chives from my garden and sprinkled them on top of my salad (since the girls don't allow onion IN the salad). Chopped red onion would be really, really good in it too... personally, I love onions!!! OK, enough about onions, here's to spring and the beginning of salad season!

6 Medium sized red potatoes
½ c Chopped Kosher dill pickles
½ c Chopped celery
½ c Sliced black olives
¼ c Dill pickle juice
2 T Reserved black olive juice
2 T Rice vinegar (or any preferred vinegar)
1 t Dried dill weed
½ t onion powder
½ t Salt
A couple of grinds of black pepper
Bring 1” of salted water to a boil. Add whole potatoes and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium. Boil for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. You want them to have a little resistance when pierced with a sharp knife, but you don’t want them to feel “crunchy” in the middle. Remove potatoes from heat, drain them, rinse in cold water, and drain again. Put them in the fridge to cool.
While the potatoes are cooling, chop up the pickles, celery, and olives. Take out the potatoes and chop them into bite size pieces. Put them into a medium bowl. Add the pickles, celery, and olives, and all of the remaining ingredients on top. Stir everything together with a sort of “folding” motion. It can take a little while to get everything incorporated without mashing the potatoes. A little mashing is good, however, it gives the potato salad a hint of creaminess.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Say Hi To Sophie

This is my niece's daughter Sophie. I can't believe she's 15 months old already and I'm just getting around to introducing you to her. I've never met her in person because they live so far away. Sophie was born on Emily's birthday and has the same allergies plus soy. I am writing this partly to welcome her and her family to our allergy community, but also to ask for help. We used to avoid soy and I remember how hard it was. As soon as we found out we could have it, all of my soy-free knowledge flew right out the window. Her allergies are wheat, eggs, milk, soy and peanuts. If any of my fellow bloggers out there have recipes for this set of allergies, would you please leave your info in my comments box? Any comments or suggestions for toddler foods would be greatly appreciated too. Thank you all!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries-Allergen Free (unless, of course, you are allergic to strawberries...or chocolate)

I am not a candy maker by any stretch of the imagination, and yes, I've seen prettier, but I'm still darned impressed with myself right now. :)

Several weeks ago my amazing daughter Amanda had to take a HUGE advanced placement European History test, you know, the kind where they search you and take all of your belongings as you enter the room. She was not even allowed to have a water bottle, and had to be "escorted" to the restroom. It was a scary test! I thought she deserved a reward when it was all over so I bought her some chocolate dipped strawberries. She shared them with everyone...except Emily who couldn't have them. I said "I can make some for you, it should be pretty easy". Well, the funny thing is that making them WAS easy, finding the time to make them wasn't. Three different times I bought a basket of beautiful strawberries, came home and put them in the fridge, and by the time I had a day off to make them they were not pretty anymore. Well here they are Emily, finally, I'm sorry it took three weeks to make them!

6 Beautiful strawberries

1 c Allergen free chocolate chips (I usually use Enjoy Life brand, but I just discovered FMV brand-super cheap- at Fred cheap I guess they couldn't afford to put milk in them...YAY! FMV does have soy lecithin, Enjoy Life does not have any soy)

2 t Spectrum brand Palm shortening

1/2 c Allergen free white chocolate chips

1 t Spectrum brand palm shortening

Put your chocolate chips in a tall narrow plastic cup with the 2 teaspoons of shortening and melt in the microwave on medium setting, stirring about every 30 seconds. I would be more specific but every microwave is different. Mine actually has a "melt chocolate" setting. You can, of course, do this the traditional way with a double boiler, but I like to keep things simple. Also, having your chocolate in a narrow and tall glass makes dipping simple and minimizes waste. Cover a plate with parchment or waxed paper. Grab a strawberry by the top and dip about 3/4 of the way into the chocolate. Lay it with the prettiest side up on the plate. Continue until you are out of chocolate or out of strawberries. Place in the fridge until chocolate is hard.

The white chocolate drizzle is optional and I actually found it to be a little trickier than I expected. Add the other 1 teaspoon of shortening to the white chocolate chips and, again, melt in whatever way you are most comfortable with. Allow to cool slightly (that's the part I had trouble with). Transfer into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip a tiny corner off of the bag and use it to "pipe" the white chocolate drizzle over the top of the strawberries. Enjoy!

A little side note here... I made this recipe soy free with my niece's beautiful baby girl Sophie in mind. Sophie is allergic to almost everything Emily is plus soy. I know that a lot of my readers are allergic to soy and so I do tag all of my recipes that are soy free. If you go to my "labels" on the right side of this blog and click on "soy free" the recipes that come up should all be free of gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, beef, and soy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's A Working Mom To Do?

No, seriously...What? How do you people do this? I used to be offended by the term
mom" when I was a "stay at home mom" because I felt like it implied that those of us staying home weren't "working", but I realize now that there is a difference. Now I have my full time job at home AND I have to spend 9 hours away from home too. I have no time to cook, much less create recipes and write about them. So anyway, I came home from work the other day, Emily was hungry, and I had nothing prepared. This is how it went down...
Open the fridge... "hmmm let's see, we have some leftover steamed broccoli from last night, here's some white rice from the Chinese take out we had on Sunday, and a block of Emily's, cheesy broccoli rice!" So I melted about 1/4 of the block of cheese with 1 tablespoon of margarine in the microwave. I threw in some salt, pepper, onion powder, and a little nutritional yeast for good measure. I added the broccoli that I had chopped up, and the rice, and stirred it all up, then threw it back in the microwave for another minute. Voila, dinner! Technically a side dish really, I did give her a hot dog too for protein.
I just want to take a moment to tell all of you parents out there dealing with food allergies how amazing you are. Weather you are a mom or dad, working outside the home or not, weather you are creating recipes or researching allergy blogs and cookbooks, constantly reading and interpreting labels, always with your child's health foremost in your mind (and those of you doing this for yourselves too) every one of you is a hero! My thoughts go out to you today and I am sending you all a great big virtual allergen free hug!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life Changes

Not much cooking going on this month, as I am working part time now and we are looking to buy a house, not to mention having to show this one. I actually broke down and spent $5.00 a box for Amy's Kids Meals Baked Ziti (my links aren't working so I'm going to do this the long way... ) Emily LOVES these. As far as I know this is the only Amy's Kids Meal that is vegan and gluten free, but it does have almonds, sunflower seeds, and soy. It's a little rice pasta in red sauce with soy cheese, broccoli, gluten free faccocia, and a little apple crisp. It is yummy! My 13 year old will be babysitting Emily while I work so I am going to have to have a lot of quick and easy (probably frozen) meals on hand. It may be time for ME to call on all those wonderful allergen free mommy blogs out there!!! So anyway...we haven't found a house yet but we are renting right now and the owner is selling this house, so the move is imminent. I am very slowly starting to clean house and pack up things that we really don't need out. This poster has been hanging on my wall for a year now, Emily made it in kindergarten. I just love it so much, everything about it! I love the artwork, her design and choice of colors, but of course I also love her awareness of her allergies. It is posted on there, in my opinion, with a sense of pride. It is time for the poster to come down now, but it is definitely going in her memory box! :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken "Stroganoff"

Were I to make this again for Emily I would leave out the onions, the mushrooms, and the fake sour cream, HOWEVER... in my opinion this recipe is better! I guess it's designed more for adult tastes. I can't blame her, when I was a kid I couldn't stand onions or mushrooms either. So last night, after I took this picture, we spent 5 minutes picking out all the onions and mushrooms before she would eat it. As for the fake sour cream, I didn't even put it in. I just know that it would have had more of a richness if I had. I guess what I'm saying is that here we have two recipes in one. For a basic chicken in cream sauce (which was still delicious, don't get me wrong) leave out the onions, mushrooms, and fake sour cream...For a dish that is more like a true stroganoff follow the recipe below.

3 or 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2" strips
8 oz Sliced crimini mushrooms
1 Yellow onion cut into strips
1/4 c Dairy free margarine
3 T Sweet rice flour
2 c Chicken broth, warmed
2 t Chicken bullion safe for your allergies (1 cube of Harvest Sun brand)
1/4 c Dairy free sour cream alternative (like Tofutti
Cooked gluten free noodles

Melt about 1 tablespoon of margarine in a large frying pan over medium-high heat . Sautee chicken strips for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add mushrooms and onions and cook while stirring for another 5 minutes. Set aside.

Dissolve bullion in warm chicken broth.

Melt 1/4 cup of margarine in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in sweet rice flour and whisk until creamy. Slowly pour in about 1/4 of the broth while whisking until fully blended. Continue adding about 1/4 of the broth at a time, whisking until creamy after each addition. boil and whisk for about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream substitute.

Add the chicken, mushroom, and onion mixture to the sauce. Stir well and simmer until heated through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve over noodles (or rice) if desired. I was trying to go for an egg noodle effect, so I used broken up Tinyada lasagne noodles.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sloppy Turkey

I couldn't resist the title. One of the first allergen free cookbooks I ever owned had a section on eating extremely alternative foods, and one of the recipes in it was called "sloppy goat". Every time I think of it I truly laugh out loud. I get a mental picture of a very messy goat eating lunch! I have yet to find anyone who thinks it is as amusing as I do (sigh).

I have been too busy to cook lately, much less post recipes, so my next few "recipes" may be very simple, not to mention few and far between. There's nothing wrong with quick and simple dinner ideas either though, right?

I made this specifically for Emily, so it is a sweet and kid friendly version. If you prefer you can make it even easier and just use "Manwich". I read the label and the only allergen I saw was soy, but I didn't call the company so I can't make any guarantees. Emily won't eat "Manwich" because she doesn't like "things" in her sauce (bell peppers, onions, and such). This version is sweet and spicy, yummy and messy, as you can see in the picture...although she does seem to be licking her fingers rather daintily. :)

1/2 c Safe barbecue sauce
1/2 c Ketchup
1/4 c Water
1 1/4 lbs Ground Turkey
Allergen free hamburger buns

Crumble and brown the ground turkey in a large frying pan. Mix the barbecue sauce, ketchup and water together. Add the sauce to the turkey and simmer long enough to reduce and thicken to the desired consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve on fresh baked or reheated buns. If you have leftovers you can freeze the sloppy joe mix as well as the buns, then when you need a REALLY quick and simple meal...there it is!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hamburger Buns

These are obviously not as soft and fluffy as the cheap white buns you get at the store, but they are comparable to whole wheat buns. These buns are best if used the same day they are made. If you have leftovers freeze them immediately, then when you are ready, microwave them for a bit and they soften right up. If you like your buns toasted, that will work great too.

1 Bag of Pamela's Wheat Free Bread mix
2 Eggs worth of prepared Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 c Oil
1 1/3 c Warm water

Pour the warm water, oil, and prepared egg replacer into a mixing bowl. My own special way of knowing if the water temperature is right...I stick my finger in it, the water should feel like my daughters head when she has a low grade fever (I know, I'm an odd duck). Add the baking mix, then the enclosed yeast packet on top of that. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium-high for 2 minutes.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the dough out in half cup blobs. I used a large spring action ice cream scoop. You should have about 6 or 7 buns. Wet your hands with warm water (or you can coat your hands with oil) and pat down the blobs, shaping them if needed, until they are round and about 1" tall. Re-wet/oil your hands before doing each one.
Put the buns in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until doubled in height.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are golden and buns sound hollow when you thump them. Cool completely, then slice across the middle with a sharp serrated edge knife.
These are perfect for burgers, but they're awesome when used for deli style sandwiches too!
Enjoy :)
P.S. Don't forget that you can buy Pamela's bread mix by the case (6 bags) through my Amazon link which is to the right. I go through about 2 bags a week and I find that it is much cheaper to buy through Amazon. The trick is to order an inexpensive book, or something else you have been needing or wanting, along with it so that you get free shipping. ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Egg, Dairy, and Gluten Free French Toast

This is one of the recipes I lost when my hard drive died, but I think I've got it pretty close to the original. My pictures may be blurry and amateur for a while, my oldest daughter lost her camera and I am taking my own pictures again. This recipe does not need to be gluten free. You can use any kind of bread, although a sturdy bread works best. I will first post the recipe for flax egg replacer because it can also be used in other recipes. It is good for binding and moisture retention, but does not help with rising.

Flax Egg Replacer:

Bring 1/2 c of water and 1 T of flax seed to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. There are a few ways to do this. If you don't mind the seeds you can use whole seeds and just leave them in. If you don't want the seeds in you can strain them out, but it is a little bit of work. I opted for the third choice which is to grind the seeds first and leave them in so they are just not as noticeable.

French Toast:

1/2 c Water and 1 T Flax seed as prepared above
2 Eggs worth of prepared Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 c Soy milk
1/2 t Vanilla extract
1 t Cinnamon
About 3 slices of bread-We use Pamela's Wheat Free Bread Mix bread

Preheat a well oiled frying pan to medium-high.
Whisk soy milk and Ener-G egg replacer into flax seed egg replacer. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon.
You are now looking at a pretty thick goo. Instead of simply dipping your bread in the mixture like you normally would this will require more of a spreading action. I laid my bread into the mixture and flipped it over, then used my hands to spread it around and sort of massage it in. Yes, this is messy, but if your in the right mood it's kind of fun. Wipe off any excess glops.
Place in the frying pan and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side. If your toast is browning too quickly turn the heat down. Oil pan before each new piece.
This only makes 2 or 3 pieces, so if you are making more simply double the recipe.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Allergen Free In-A-Pinch Pancakes

Ughhh! I ran out of my
"Cravings Place" pancake mix, and here it is Sunday morning...
we have to have pancakes! This is the recipe I threw together. It's possible that it could be improved upon, but for now Emily is plenty pleased with this recipe.
I do apologize for the lack of recipes here lately. Somehow, when I lost all of my recipe files on my computer (even though I have most of them here too) it felt like I lost a little piece of me, and a little confidence too. It is a very difficult feeling to describe, but I feel almost like I have forgotten how to bake allergen free.
At any rate, I'm ready to start again. Here is our pancake recipe. Next I am going to try to remember my french toast recipe...I can do this. Right?

1/4 c Tapioca starch
1/4 c Potato starch
1 c Rice flour
1/2 c Sorghum flour
4 t Baking powder
2 T Granulated sugar
1 1/2 c Water
2 t Vinegar
2 t Vanilla extract
2 T Oil (safe for your allergies)
2 T Applesauce

Preheat griddle to medium-high heat.
Combine all of the dry ingredients and sift or whisk together until well blended.
In a separate container whisk together all of the wet ingredients (everything remaining).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined and smooth.
Oil your griddle with margarine or oil safe for your allergies. Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle and cook for a couple of minutes. It's time to flip when: bubbles stay open after they pop, edges look dry, and you can see a slight golden color on the bottom of the edges where they meet the griddle. Flip pancakes and cook for another minute or two. Adjust heat if necessary. My griddle usually gets hotter the longer it is on, so I start out at medium-high, and by the last pancake I am at medium.
I served these with very naughty nitrate filled bacon, it's just sooo yummy.
Thank you all for sticking with me through my recent struggles, hopefully I will get back in the swing of things soon!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

I'm back! I know, you probably didn't even miss me, but I missed you. My computer died, and I mean DIED, about a week ago and we just got it up and running again. I had to replace the hard drive and use 15 recovery disks just to get it back to original factory settings. Yes, we lost everything. My daughter's thousands of pictures and all of my recipes that I hadn't yet posted my cake recipe...are possibly gone forever. :( I know, I know, I should have saved it all! The funny thing is that whenever someone would say "make sure you back up anything important", I would say "we don't have anything important on our computer". I never really realized HOW important the pictures and recipes were until they were gone.

Anyway...on to a happier subject! Emily and I put three names into a hat for our blogiversary drawing with the intent of drawing two, then we looked at each other and thought "this is silly!" Therefore, I would like to announce ALL THREE of our winners!!! Congratulations to SisterCooks at , Krista , and Joy at ! I will be contacting you all by email later. Thank you for participating and for helping me to celebrate my first year here. Have a fabulous allergen free day everyone!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

So, it's a little late, but NOW I feel like celebrating. Will there be cake? Yes! Finally! I will be posting that recipe next. Will there be presents? Of course! I am holding my first ever give away drawing. I have seen other bloggers do this and I think it's a fabulous idea! I have met so many wonderful people in our allergy community this past year. All of you have encouraged and inspired me more than you can imagine, and I want to thank you for being a part of my life. In addition to my thanks, and a great big virtual allergen free hug, I want to give you presents! There will be two separate drawings for which Emily will be pulling names out of a hat...maybe even a party hat. The first is for a bag of Pamela's Gluten Free Bread Mix (formerly known as Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread Mix, and quite frankly I'm sad that they changed the name), the second is for a bag of Tinkyada rice pasta (you choose the shape). If you are interested please leave the name of your blog if you have advertising...and your email address in my comments section, and let me know which item you would like to try for (both would be fine). Also, if you are not comfortable leaving your email here for all to see, you may send it to me at . If you win I will contact you for your address and to find out what kind of pasta you would like. The drawing will be held Monday, March 9th. Best of luck, I'd send them to everyone if I could! Once again, thank you all for joining me on this journey. Here's to another spectacular year!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Emily!!!

Is that a great picture or what? That is a picture of the candy and silk rose petals being released from the fabulous pull string pinata that the girls and I made for the party. Emily decided that she wanted a fairy theme and since we were on a budget this year we had to get creative. I bought a couple of 88 cent school folders with pictures of the Disney Pixie Hollow fairies on them and we used them to cover a cereal box (and decorate the walls). Then the girls added some tissue paper flowers to the sides, and Emily suggested a little skirt around the bottom made of silk rose petals. I tied many, many ribbons to the top for strength, then punched holes in the bottom and tied lots of ribbons on to the lower flaps to be pulled later. Next we filled it to the brim with candy and flower petals, and I hot glued it shut. (I think I may have also prayed at that point that the whole thing would actually work when the time came...and my prayers were answered!) Here are some pictures of the pinata after it had been opened and I laid the empty carcass out on my kitchen table.

We also played a home made game of "Pin The Wings On The Fairy" that looked like this.

Last, but certainly not least, we all decorated our own cupcakes...always a crowd pleaser! Emily had her cupcake which, by the way, I think I am almost ready to post the recipe for. Everyone else had Betty Crocker cupcakes. We used Duncan Hines Vanilla frosting and Dark Chocolate Fudge frosting, both of which are dairy free. Here is the birthday girl decorating her cupcake.
I want to thank everyone again for your kind words of encouragement. You were right, the party was great! HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank You :)

I got so many comments and emails on that horrible post I wrote the other day that I thought instead of responding in my comment box I would put it out here for all to see...Thank you! I was overwhelmed by the encouraging responses from all of my friends. Friends I have never met and yet now I realize that our friendships are not any less real. I am so thankful to have our online allergy community and support network. I read all of your comments and emails yesterday and then I had a good long, cleansing, therapeutic cry. It was just what I needed. I feel renewed and revived and ready to face a new day. As recipes go, however, I am still having a dry spell. I have plenty of foods for Em, but in order to feel vital I need to create NEW things. So, as usual, I am taking requests. If anyone has a dish that they want to see transformed into allergen free I'd love to hear from you! Thank you again everyone, truly!
Allergen free hugs,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Caution...Depressed Blogger Ahead

This is not the post I had hoped to be writing. This is supposed to be a big month for me. I started this blog one year ago and I thought I could write a whole post about my one year blogiversary. I enjoy creating allergen free recipes, I get excited about posting them, and I love hearing from my readers so much...but here it is my one year anniversary and I find myself burned out and tired. I just don't feel like celebrating.
Emily's birthday is next week too. I had planned on developing the perfect allergen free cake by now. I had given myself a whole year to figure it out. I was going to be the most amazing chef ever with my gluten free, egg free, dairy free cake that looked, tasted, and felt just like "the real thing"! The cake is getting better, I will admit, but it's still not what I want it to be. It's not ready to post. We will be having cupcakes this year...Emily with hers, and everyone else with Betty Crocker.
Then there is her party. My husband lost his job last month, then got hired by another company, only to find out that they too are closing their doors. I have been looking for work since September, but apparently staying home and taking care of allergy ridden children for 10 years doesn't look impressive on a resume. I know I should just take a deep breath and relax but I don't want a bunch of strangers in my filthy house. I don't want to feel like I should apologize for the home made pinata or the lack of toys in the goody bags, and especially not for the allergen free food! I just don't feel like celebrating.
Remember way back when I started this blog and I said I would be doing some venting? Well I've been having so much fun that I never really had anything to vent about. Now I do...thank you for listening. Gosh this feels so wrong. Everything I have said here is so opposite of what it was supposed to be. This should have been my happiest, most fun, and excitement filled month ever, and I really am sorry that I just don't feel like celebrating. Maybe next month. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes- GF/DF

The simple solution to "cheesy" scalloped potatoes would have been to melt Emily's fake cheese and pour it all over them. The problem with that, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, is that Emily's fake cheese doesn't smell very good. As a matter of fact, her sisters insist that the smell of it makes them sick to their stomachs. Well, the last thing I need is for the people Emily admires most to be telling her how "disgusting" her food is! Because nutritional yeast has been described as having a cheesy/nutty flavor I thought I would give it a try. I tasted these myself (even though I am a gluten and dairy eater) and I thought they were quite delicious, and best of all they smelled good too!

4 to 6 Medium sized red skin potatoes
4 T Dairy free margarine
3 T Sweet rice flour
1 ½ c Warm chicken broth
½ c Soy milk (or other milk alternative, another 1/2 c. chicken broth works fine also)
1/8 t curry powder (optional)
1 t Onion powder
2 T Nutritional yeast
½ t Salt
Pepper to taste

Grease a medium casserole dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the potatoes into ¼” slices and put them into the casserole dish. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt the 4 T of margarine over medium heat. Sprinkle in the sweet rice flour. Stir and cook for one minute. Add about ¼ of the warm broth and stir until smooth. Continue to add broth, a little at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition. Add the Milk substitute and again stir until smooth. Stir in curry powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute while stirring.

Pour the sauce over the potatoes and toss until potatoes are all coated.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chicken Cordon Bleu

I know that Chicken Cordon Bleu is supposed to be oozing with cheese. I thought about replacing it with fake cheese, but there really aren't any good swiss cheese substitutes. Honestly, if you get a nice flavorful ham, you won't even miss the cheese. Sorry about the shadows in the picture, I had to take it myself. I've learned a lot from amanda, but I don't think I will ever be the photographer that she is. :)

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Thinly sliced ham, enough to fill chicken
1 Stick of dairy free margarine, melted
about 1 c of Gluten free bread crumbs

Grease a baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

There are two ways to go about preparing your chicken. My favorite way is to place a chicken breast in a gallon size ziplock bag and pound it until it is about ¼” thick, then roll it up. The other way is easier, simply slice your chicken breast across the middle and open it like a sandwich. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Place the ham inside. If you are rolling it then do so now and secure with a toothpick, otherwise just close your “sandwich”. Dip it in the melted margarine, making sure that every bit is covered, then fully coat with breadcrumbs. Place in baking dish. Repeat with each piece of chicken. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumbs over the top and drizzle any remaining margarine over that.

Bake for approximately one hour, or until chicken is fully cooked.
P.S. Don't forget to take out the toothpicks!!! (oops)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

I linked back to my breadcrumb recipe, I feel like a pro! :)
My husband's family is Italian, so I've been making meatballs since before Emily was born. The original recipe calls for beef and lots of garlic, both of which Emily can not have. If you make these and you are able to have garlic then add a little garlic powder to the meatballs themselves, and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic to the sauce. Also, these are best when simmered in the sauce for a couple of hours, but if you only use a few at a time (like we do) then freeze the meatballs without the sauce so they will be easier to portion out later.

1 ¼ lbs Ground turkey
½ t Salt
¼ t Black pepper
½ t Onion powder
¼ c Gluten free bread crumbs

Mix well. Roll into walnut sized balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pour a jar of allergen free marinara sauce into a large pot. I'm on a pretty tight budget right now so I used Hunt's canned sauce. I've never used canned sauce before but it was actually pretty good. If you are using garlic then crush a couple of cloves into the sauce now. Add the meatballs and stir them in. Simmer on low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. Serve over your favorite pasta. We use Tinkyada rice pasta.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gluten Free Bread Crumbs

Well here I am making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and thinking "oh I should post this", meanwhile my chicken cordon bleu recipe is waiting in the wings, and I realized that I really should have my breadcrumb recipe posted somewhere on this site since I use them so much. I mentioned bread crumbs in my turkey meat loaf recipe, but this will be a post that I can link back to every time I use them. So here it is...

Basically you are just using whatever bread you normally eat. We make our bread from Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free mix (available through my Amazon store to the right). Emily doesn't usually eat the heels, so I cut them off and dry them overnight on the counter. If I cut her bread into shapes, like her flower hamburger buns, I set the scraps out to dry too. If you don't have extra heels or scraps then by all means you can just dry out a few slices of bread. Also, if you are a more sanitary person than I, and you don't like the thought of your bread sitting out all night, you can bake it in a low temperature oven until it is completely dried out.

Now that your bread is dry, we are going to grind it into crumbs and add some seasonings. Put the bread into your blender with some salt and pepper and whatever dried herbs and seasonings your little heart desires. OK, OK, you want a recipe??? Here is a VERY general guideline. Tonight when I made breadcrumbs for Emily I measured what I put into them for the first time ever and this is what I came up with...

1 c Breadcrumbs
½ t Salt
¼ t Dried basil
½ t Onion powder
A couple of dashes of dried oregano
A couple of grinds of black pepper

Blend all together in blender, pulsing or shaking when needed, until it reaches a very fine crumb.

I would definitely add garlic powder too, if Emily weren't allergic to it. Now you have dried, seasoned bread crumbs that you can put into an airtight container and keep indefinitely, adding to it whenever you have more to add. I have found so many uses for it now that I make sure I never run out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If You Can't Join Them, Beat Them!

Hmm...That title sounds a little violent. It was supposed to be a twist on the old saying "if you can't beat them, join them". You get it, right? Anyway, the point here is that as much time and effort as we put into trying to eat what everyone else is eating, it's really great when we get to have something that's even better. I have read many stories about mom's who worry that their child will be lonely and isolated at the school's peanut free table, only to find out that it is now the "popular" table and their friends are fighting over the limited number of seats. My heart sings with joy every time I make something for Emily and one of her friends asks "can I have one?". My post this week is not so much a recipe as a revelation I finally had. I have been trying to make gluten free, egg free, dairy free hamburger buns that are soft and fluffy for a few years now with no success. I have made buns that are good from Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free bread mix, but for a child who has had the cheap fluffy white buns before it's just not the same. let's go with that...not the about better? Do you know how to make just about anything better to a 6 yr old girl? You turn it into a flower! Yes, it was that simple. I took 2 slices of bread and cut them with a flower shaped cookie cutter. Emily LOVED it! I could just hear the other (imaginary) 6 year old girls saying "can I have a flower bun too?"! I have done this a few times now and, although I didn't do it for this picture, I have found that you can make it more bun-like by using the 2 heels of the loaf of bread. We throw on a turkey burger, some Vegan Rella, some fixin's, and voila! Happy, happy 6 yr old girl eating her flower burger

P.S. Don't forget to save the scraps for breadcrumbs :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chex Party Mix- Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Peanut Free

I had planned on posting this recipe for New Years but I haven't been able to get at my computer for a week. Things have been a little frantic around here. Santa brought mice for Christmas thinking that maybe a very small animal would not be so allergenic...Santa did not know that you can NOT buy peanut free mouse food! So my latest mission is home made mouse food (sigh). Then, on New Years day, our power went out for 6 hours due to insanely scary winds and our internet, telephone, and cable TV went out for 24 hours. Anyway, today the kids go back to school, the power is up and running, and the mice are fed :)
So here it is...better late than never.

6 c Rice Chex cereal (Rice Chex are gluten free)
1 ½ c Gluten free pretzels (Glutino)
6 oz can Blue Diamond honey roasted almonds (or pumpkin seeds)
1 bag Ricepod crackers (about 1 cup?)
6 T Dairy free margarine
2 T Worcestershire sauce ( Lea and Perrins is gluten free)
1 ½ t Herbamare season salt (or plain salt or other season salt)
1 t Onion powder
2 T Brown sugar

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Melt margarine in large roasting pan in oven. Stir in Worcestershire, seasonings and brown sugar . Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container. Happy New Year!!!
P.S. I'm actually thinking I should try to "market" this mouse food. I don't know how many others have been faced with this problem. If anyone has any thoughts or comments as to weather or not this is a needed product I'd love to hear from you.