Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mini Gingerbread Houses With Egg-Free Royal Icing (Top 8 Allergen Free)

It seems like every year we have less and less time for the fun crafty things at Christmas. These were our quick fix answer to "gingerbread" houses. We used Kinnikinnick's S'moreables Graham Style Crackers (these do carry the warning "may contain eggs" because they are made in a facility that uses eggs, but we have never had a problem with them). They are very small, the finished houses are only about 2 ro 3 inches tall. Also, we found that cutting the squares with a knife, rather than trying to break them, gave us cleaner lines. We assembled the houses with the thick version of my egg-free royal icing  and let them harden for about an hour. Then I made a thinner version of the icing and added some food coloring (we were out of red). I found some Skittles in the cabinet, so we threw those on too...these were the epitome of a last minute, "let's see what we have in the cabinet", fun, Christmas project. I hope everyone is having a wonderful, beautiful holiday season... full of love and joy (but free of allergens)!!!

Oh, I almost forgot...
Picked this up at the GoodWill the other day and thought I would share it :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vegan Black Bean Chili

The leaves are changing color, the weather is damp and feels like time for a warm bowl of chili! My chili (as with most of my recipes) is child friendly. That is to say that, although it has onions and tomatoes in it, they are blended in so the kids can't pick them out and say "I don't like these". This chili is vegan, although, as you can see here, we sprinkled a little cheese on it for Nikki who does do dairy. A wonderful vegan cheese alternative, however, is Daiya Cheddar Shreds. My mother has become obsessed with this stuff, It's really good! Unfortunately, Emily fell in love with Vegan Rella a long time ago (which as far as I can tell has gone out of business), and she has never liked any cheese alternative since. We paired our chili with a delicious sweet cornbread. The base recipe can be found here with Karina The Gluten Free Goddess. We, however, left out the green chilies and drizzled a little honey over the top before baking for a sweeter version. It's also really good with gluten free tortilla chips. Yum!


1  Can of allergy safe vegetable broth
1  Can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes and juice
2  Bay leaves
3/4 t  Cumin
1 1/2 t  Chili powder (more if you like it spicy)
1/2  Chopped yellow onion
2  Cloves of garlic
3  Cans of black beans, drained
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put all of the ingredients except for black beans in a large pot and simmer for half an hour. Remove bay leaves. Combine this mixture with 1/2 a can of black beans in a blender and blend well. Pour back into the pot. Add remaining 2 1/2 cans of black beans and simmer for another hour or so, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to desired consistency. If your chili gets too thick you can simply stir in a little water, about 1/4 cup at a time, until it looks good again. Super simple...super delicious!!! Enjoy!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Free Epipens for School!

How many EpiPens have you had to purchase and then discard over the years? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we didn't have to use ours. Still, I have 3 girls, times one two pack of Epipens per year of school, times 12 years of school each...that adds up! Mylan has started a program to pay for school-use-only Epipens, and I am so happy, and so very, very thankful for this, I wanted to share it with everyone! I don't have time to write a formal post, so I have copied and pasted the press release below. To get your free Epipens just follow one of the links below, print the paperwork, get a prescription from your doctor. Take it all in to your child's school, explain it to them, and they can do the rest. The Epipens will be mailed directly to the school. HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL EVERYONE!!! :)
Mylan Specialty Offers Free EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors to Schools Nationwide

 Through EpiPen4SchoolsTM Program, Mylan Helps Schools Better Prepare For Students With Life-Threatening Allergies

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Aug. 14, 2012 -- Mylan Specialty L.P., the fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical business of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), today announced the EpiPen4SchoolsTM program. This effort offers four free EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors upon qualification, which includes having a valid prescription, to public and private kindergarten, elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. The products will be available in the form of two EpiPen 2-Pak® cartons, two EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® cartons or one 2-Pak of each kind. For complete details, visit

The EpiPen4Schools program is designed to help schools have improved access to epinephrine in the event a person experiences an anaphylactic reaction at school. This access is important because epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), which can occur quickly and without warning. According to the food allergy guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if experiencing anaphylaxis, a person should use an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate emergency medical attention. Carrying an epinephrine auto-injector does not prevent patients from having an anaphylactic reaction; hence, patients must remain vigilant of their environment at all times.

“Anaphylaxis is a public health problem and a major safety issue in our nation’s schools,” said Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan. “The EpiPen4Schools program underscores Mylan Specialty’s commitment to helping schools become more aware of the risks of anaphylaxis and become better prepared to respond during an emergency. Each school should have a comprehensive anaphylaxis action plan in place that emphasizes avoidance of the allergen. The plan also should include awareness of the risks, preparedness for an emergency and access to epinephrine and immediate medical care.”

Anaphylaxis causes approximately 1,500 deaths annually, and children and adolescents are among those most at risk. Schools nationwide have made efforts to reduce exposure to allergens in the school environment—a critical first step in managing the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions. While practicing allergen avoidance is imperative, accidental contact can still happen, which is why it is important that epinephrine is accessible.

“As the prevalence of food allergies increases, now affecting an estimated one in 13 U.S. children, so does the importance for schools to be prepared with an action plan in the event of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, ” said John Lehr, CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network/Food Allergy Initiative. “For the millions of children in the U.S. with potentially life-threatening allergies it is critically important for schools to have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand to treat anaphylaxis should it occur.”

EpiPen4Schools aims to provide EpiPen Auto-Injectors so they may be available not only to the students and school personnel who are known to be at risk, but also to those who are determined to be at increased risk.

For this reason, Mylan Specialty encourages each school to develop a comprehensive anaphylaxis action plan, so that students, teachers and school employees:

· Understand the risk of anaphylaxis

· Avoid allergic triggers

· Recognize the signs and symptoms

· Are prepared with access to epinephrine auto-injectors (two doses)

· Know to seek emergency medical care following administration of treatment

About Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that has many possible triggers, occurs quickly, without warning, and must be treated immediately with epinephrine. Symptoms may include hives or redness of the skin, tightness in the throat, nausea, dizziness, breathing problems, a decrease in blood pressure and/or fainting. Anaphylaxis can be caused by triggers such as food, stinging and biting insects, medicines, latex or even exercise. Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. According to the food allergy guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if experiencing anaphylaxis, a person should use an epinephrine auto-injector and seek immediate emergency medical attention. Epinephrine is a naturally-occurring hormone, also known as adrenaline, and it should be available at all times to patients at risk. Failure to administer epinephrine early in the course of treatment has been repeatedly implicated with anaphylaxis fatalities.

About the EpiPen4Schools Program

To participate in EpiPen4Schools, a school nurse or other authorized school representative must visit to download the order and certification form, then fax or email the form with a valid prescription to 1-973-718-4328 or Alternately, school representatives can call 1-973-845-7600 to speak with a live representative.

In addition to the EpiPen4Schools program, Mylan Specialty offers a discount program through which schools can purchase, upon qualification, EpiPen 2-Pak (0.3 mg) cartons and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak (0.15 mg) cartons at a discounted price.

About EpiPen® Auto-Injector

EpiPen Auto-Injectors are used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions. Each EpiPen 2-Pak contains two single auto-injectors, instructions for use and a training device, with no drug product or needle, to help patients become familiar with the administration technique. EpiPen Auto-Injector should be administered immediately at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction. EpiPen Auto-Injector is not a substitute for emergency medical treatment. Patients should call 911 and seek emergency medical attention immediately following administration. For more information about EpiPen Auto-Injector, please visit

Important Safety Information

EpiPen Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you inject into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTRAVENOUSLY. DO NOT INJECT INTO YOUR BUTTOCK, as this may not be effective. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

If you take certain medicines, you may develop serious life-threatening side effects from the epinephrine in EpiPen Auto-Injectors. Be sure to tell your doctor all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. Side effects may be increased in patients with certain medical conditions, or who take certain medicines. These include asthma, allergies, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness or anxiety. These side effects usually go away quickly, especially if you rest.


EpiPen® (epinephrine) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for people who are at increased risk for these reactions. EpiPen and EpiPen Jr are intended for immediate self-administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical treatment after use.

Please click here or visit to view the EpiPen Auto-Injector prescribing information.

Please click here or visit for the EpiPen Auto-Injector patient insert.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.

Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

About Mylan Specialty

Mylan Specialty, a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, life-threatening allergic reactions and psychiatric disorders. The company puts patients first and facilitates efficient, cost-effective partnerships with customers. For more information, please visit

About Mylan

Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service a habit, do what's right, not what's easy and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of more than 1,100 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately one-third of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in approximately 150 countries and territories. Our workforce of more than 18,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. But don't take our word for it. See for yourself. See inside.

EpiPen®, EpiPen Jr®, EpiPen 2-Pak®, and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® are registered trademarks of Mylan Inc. licensed exclusively to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mylan Specialty L.P.

EpiPen4SchoolsTM is a trademark of Mylan Specialty L.P.

© 2012 Mylan Specialty L.P. All rights reserved.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Enjoy Life's Fabulous New Snack: Plentils

Plentils are a wonderful new chip/cracker from Enjoy Life that are made from lentils. These things are amazing! I really don't know where to start. First of all, I am always baffled when companies make dairy flavored products with no dairy.  Plentils come in four flavors: light sea salt, margherita pizza, garlic and parmesan, and dill and sour cream...all dairy free! That's just the beginning though, Plentils are free of all top 8 allergens. I should also mention that they have 40% less fat than regular potato chips (we don't really watch our fat around here, but I know it's important to others). I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to describe the texture of these chips. They are light, airy, and crispy...puffed, with little air pockets...very slightly reminiscent of pork rinds. They are hands down one of the best textured gluten free cracker/chip type snacks I've ever had! The other thing that I absolutely love is that they have intense flavor. I have mentioned before how frustrated I get every time we try a new gluten free cracker and find out that it also seems to be salt free. Why can't celiacs have salt??? These four flavors are all salty and delicious, eating them actually feels indulgent. Wow, I just read over this post and am slightly embarrassed by my obvious love of fat and salt, I might as well go all the way and let you know we eat a lot of sugar too. :) Well, anyway, all the more reason why I should be eating healthier snacks like this. Right?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork (Gluten Free) and Vegan Coleslaw

This meal just screamed summer time outdoor picnic to me...but today it's raining. Fortunately it tasted just as good indoors. I set the crock pot before I went to work. When I got home and picked Emily up from school the pork was ready to be shredded. I showed Emily how to do it and let her take it from there. She REALLY enjoyed it! I think this is her new favorite meal. My original recipe for hamburger buns is HERE , but I made them with Bob's Red Mill gluten free bread mix this time. We have also recently discovered Udi's gluten free buns. They contain eggs, so Emily can't have them, but Nikki can have eggs and Udi's is the first bread she has enjoyed since going gluten free 3 years ago. Also, if you want to skip the buns altogether, we found that Emily actually preferred to just eat the BBQ pork straight out of the bowl. Enjoy! :)


2 to 3 lbs Boneless pork (preferably the “dark meat”, we used boneless country style ribs)
½ c Allergy safe chicken broth
½ c Sweet Baby Ray’s original BBQ sauce (it is gluten free!)
½ t Wright’s All Natural Hickory Seasoning Liquid Smoke (also gluten free!)

Pour broth, BBQ sauce, and liquid smoke into the crock pot and mix well. Add your meat and flip it around a little bit until it is coated with the sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove cover and use two forks to pull and shred the meat. Stir the shredded meat and sauce together. If the sauce is too watery, leave the lid off, turn the crock pot up to high, and cook for another 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Serve as sandwiches or as a main course, it's also very good over rice!


1 Small head of cabbage, shredded
3 Medium carrots, shredded
1 c Vegenaise
1/4 c Sugar
1/4 c Cider vinegar
1/2 t Celery seeds
1/2 t Onion powder

Put cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

Another thought (I've never tried this, but I've seen it on TV), you might want to pile your sandwich up with BOTH pulled pork AND coleslaw...they say it's really good.  :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Surf Sweets Spring Mix Jelly Bean Scones

You are looking at the Grand Prize Winner of the Surf Sweets Jelly Bean Blogger Bake-Off! Can you believe it??? I'm still in shock. The Surf Sweets organic candy company invited 16 food allergy bloggers to enter their organic (and allergen free) jelly bean bake off, and they got 16 amazing enteries...just in time for Easter! Following is my recipe for Surf Sweets Spring Mix Jelly Bean Scones. If you would like to see the other delicious entries, you will find them at

5 T Milk alternative: rice, hemp, coconut, sunflower, etc. (safe for your allergies)
1/2 c Sorghum flour
1/4 c Millet flour
1/4 c Tapioca starch
2 T Sugar
1 1/4 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Baking soda
1/2 t Xanthan gum
1/8 t Salt
3 T Spectrum shortening
1/2 c Surf Sweets Spring Mix of Organic Jelly Beans
1/2 t Vanilla extract (make sure it’s gluten free)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix together milk alternative and lemon juice to create a “buttermilk” . Set aside.

3. Put the sorghum flour, millet flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Stir with a dry whisk until combined. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or mashing with a whisk, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans.Add vanilla extract to milk alternative and lemon juice. Pour 1/4 cup of this “buttermilk” mix into the dry ingredients to make a dough. Stir until just moistened, add the rest of the liquid if needed. Gently knead dough 2 or 3 times until it holds together.

4. Using millet or sorghum floured hands, gather the dough into a cohesive ball and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2" thick circle. Using a floured knife, cut the dough into 4 wedges, pulling them apart slightly.

5. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes.

1 T Milk alternative (or water)
1 c Powdered sugar
1/2 t Vanilla extract (make sure it’s gluten free)
Mix liquids and powdered sugar together until smooth. Apply a generous layer to the tops of scones.

DECORATION: Use leftover Surf Sweets Jelly Beans to press into the icing and decorate in any way desired! (We cut our Jelly beans in half lengthwise so that they would stay on better.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Healthy Gluten-Free Life: Book Review and a Delicious Recipe for Ginger Lime Chicken Bites

I tried to put a link to the book here, but it's not working. If you would like to order The Healthy Gluten-Free Life online through Amazon at a discount you can use my link in my "Amazon Favorites", just look to the right of this post and scroll down (or up) a little bit as needed. It is also available through Barnes and Noble. I know I have given good reviews to cookbooks before, but this one I have been waiting for with great anticipation! The Celiac Maniac was a local bakery that made gluten free/vegan goodies, and their english muffins were outstanding. Unfortunately they had to go out of business, but there is a silver lining. Tammy Credicott (the wife of "The Maniac") wrote this cookbook, The Healthy Gluten-Free Life ...and the english muffin recipe is in it! I asked Tammy if I could post a recipe from the book and she said yes, so of course I knew exactly which one I was going to post (yes, the english muffins!). Then she brought me the book. I started looking through it and, oh my goodness, EVERYTHING looked so good! This is a thick book, full of beautiful color photographs. It contains 200 recipes for breakfasts, main dishes, side dishes, sauces and dressings, lots of yummy baked goods, and drinks. All of the recipes are gluten free, dairy free, and egg free. There are a few recipes with soy and/or nuts, but for the most part they are easily omitted, and when they can't be omitted Tammy gives suggestions for substitutions. The first 43 pages are full of stories, guidance, and lots of essential information including a wonderfully simple guide to the textures and flavors of gluten free flours, egg and dairy replacements, and nutritional info on the foods we cook with. This is a great book for anyone just starting on the allergen free journey and for those of us who still want to learn more. Well, after reading through this book cover to cover, and looking at all of these mouth watering pictures, I came to a will have to buy the book for the English muffin recipe and all the other great recipes in it...I had to make the Ginger Lime Chicken Bites first. The picture in the book kept calling to me (on that note, sorry my picture is so dark, I had lighting issues). We served our chicken bites over Thai Kitchen Stir-Fry Rice Noodles. It was everything I had hoped for, Emily and I gobbled it up and it was soooo good!!! So without further adieu, here is the recipe:


1 T Coconut oil
3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
Juice from one organic lime
2 T Bragg liquid aminos (or San-J wheat free soy sauce or Coconut Secret coconut aminos, also available through my "Amazon Favorites" at right)
1 T Olive oil
1t Freshly grated ginger
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 T Raw organic honey
1 t Granulated onion
Chopped green onions
Sesame seeds

1. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until browned and almost done. About 5 minutes.
3.Add sauce to skillet, turn heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for another 5 minutes, or until chicken pieces are cooked through.
4. Serve with rice or rice noodles, if desired. Top chicken bites with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not Nuts Seed and Fruit Mixes-YUM!

OK, so, I am borrowing pictures from the Ejoy Life website because I wasn't able to get a picture of my Not Nuts fruit and seed mixes before they were ripped open and eaten up. Not Nuts has been around for a while, but their packaging recently received a makover-this is what the colorful new bags look like. I almost felt guilty receiving free samples of the Not Nuts mixes for my review, because I not only have already tried them, but I buy them all the time. We LOVE them! The girls, my mother, and I took a trip to San Francisco last summer and we practically lived on these between meals. I never travel without them! These "trail mixes" are made in a dedicated nut and gluten free facility. They are free of all of the top 8 allergens, they are also free of casein, potato, and sesame, and they contain no sulfites!!! Amazing stuff :)
There are two flavors:

Beach Bash is made with Raw Sunflower Kernels, Dried Pineapple, Roasted Hulled Pumpkin Seeds (Sunflower Oil, Citric Acid, Salt), Dried Cranberries, and Dried Apricots. Beach Bash is my favorite!

Mountain Mambo is made with Raw Sunflower Kernels, Roasted Hulled Pumpkin Seeds (Sunflower Oil , Citric Acid, Salt), Raisins, Dried Apples, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Liquor, Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter), and Dried Cranberries. Mountain Mambo is the favorite of both my girls, of course they always go for the chocolate chips.

I highly recommend keeping a bag in your purse and one in the car for those snack attacks and little food emergencies.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Enjoy Life's Crunchy Cookie Collection

First of all I need to apologize to the wonderful people at Enjoy life, they sent these cookies for me to review a month ago, and I am just now getting around to it. The cookies were delicious, so sadly all I have left to take a picture of are empty boxes. Now I have mentioned many times before that I am not a crunchy cookie kind of girl. For this reason I tried to get my girls to head up this review for me, but all I could get out of them is " I don't know, they're all so good!" It's speaks highly of the cookies, but not very descriptive. So, at this point, I decided to try them myself.
When I did get around to trying them the
Double Chocolate Cookie and the Chocolate Chip Cookies were already gone. I assume this either means that these were the preferred flavors or that my kids are chocoholics (highly possible). I tried the two that were left. My favorite of these two was the Sugar Crisp, although the Vanilla Honey Graham would be PERFECT for making s'mores. Texturally I can tell these are a gluten free cookies, they do have that slight tell tale grittiness, but if you are used to eating gluten free you won't even notice it. The flavors, however, are amazing! With many allergen free cookies all you taste is sugar. The new Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies have wonderfully full and complex flavors. Even the sugar cookie didn't just taste tasted like a sugar cookie. All four flavors were definitely a thumbs up. We also discovered that any one of these cookies makes an awesome "ice cream" sandwich!
I am so glad to see that Enjoy Life seems to be blossoming as a company. I have seen a few good allergen free companies come and go in recent years. Enjoy life is still expanding, and I am even finding it in my less expensive everyday grocery stores now. How great is it not to have to travel 15 miles out of your way to pick up a box of chocolate chips cookies, or worse yet pay double what they're worth in shipping charges?! To the Enjoy Life company...Thank you for this opportunity to review your products and I hope to see more and more from you in many years to come! :)