Monday, December 20, 2010

A Weekend of Treats!

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is bake cookies and make candy. Well this year, being that I am on an elimination diet I pretty much had to ditch all my favorite recipes (there was really no way to alter them without totally changing them). So this weekend I made four tasty treats. I made the kids sugar cookies with sprinkles (these have soy margarine in them, but can be made with Earth's Balance margarine if you avoid soy- sugar cookies aren't my favorite so I opted to use the much less expensive Fleishman's margarine)- this recipe is under my recipe tab- "Crisp Sugar Cookies". Second I made Cybele Pascal's fudge I have never tried any of her recipes before since they call for a lot of ingredients that I don't frequently purchase, but this was a good alternative to my normal marshmellow cream fudge that I make every year. Next I made Food Allergy Mama's Gingersnaps- which are always a hit Finally, I made Food Allergy Mama's Cranberry Chocolate Chip cookies which if you are looking for a festive looking cookie these are great- but I will warn you- once you put them in a container they do get soft (I only made a few and froze the rest of the dough)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our First Milk, Egg, and Nut- Free Gingerbread House

Last night I made a milk, egg, peanut and treenut free gingerbread house for J's Christmas party. The recipe I used was Food Allergy Mama's gingerbread cookie recipe (I did not feel like trying to alter one of my non-allergy friendly gingerbread recipes). I followed the recipe, but the dough was really sticky. I had to add a lot of flour to make it manageable. After adding all the flour, I think it turned out well. The next issue I had was putting the house together. While I could not use a traditional strong icing recipe because of the egg allergy I found another recipe for "edible glue". I boiled 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup corn syrup until it reached 300 degrees- unfornately mine went over 350 degrees and burned, but it still worked as really good food glue. In order to cover the "glue" I outlined the house with a safe icing made of powdered sugar, corn syrup and soy milk. I think it turned out well and my son loved it- he decorate it with snowman marshmellows, skittles, starburst, gummy bears and peppermint sticks.

Namaste Cookie Review

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My older son J had a Christmas party at his preschool today. There are two children in the class (including him) with food allergies. J has milk, egg and nut allergies and the other little boy has a gluten allergy. So in order to make sure that everyone could enjoy the party the other mother and I organized the food. I decided to make cookies and since I am not an expert in gluten allergies I bought a Namaste cookie mix. I had never tried any other their products before but they are free of many of the common allergens. The mix calls for two eggs, oil and water to be added to the mix, so I replaced the two eggs with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. When I purchased the mix I was not aware that it did not include any chocolate chips, but was a plain cookie mix, so I added Enjoy Life chocolate chips to the mix. The cookie mix was very oily and did not really resemble a regular cookie dough. While the cookies tasted good, the texture was a bit grainy and was almost like an oatmeal cookie. Overall, I will probably stick with my regular cookie mix (since I don't need to bake gluten free and since the mix, without the chocolate chips was 5.99) but all the children did enjoy the cookies.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cranberry Scones- Yum!

I found this recipe a couple of years ago in Southern Living magazine and up until now I made it with eggs , butter and milk. Here is my version of the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup fresh cranberries (divided- I like to chop half of my cranberries- but this is totally optional)

1/2 cup allergy friendly margarine (I use Earth's Balance soy free), melted

1/2 cup coconut milk or rice milk

egg substitute equivalent to one egg

Stir first four ingredients together, stir in cranberries.

Whisk together margarine, milk, and egg substitute, then add to flour mixture. Stir just until all is moistened. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Finds at the Grocery Store

It seems like nearly everytime I go to the grocery store I find new items that are allergy friendly to our allergies. It never ceases to suprise me everytime I find something new I thought we would not be able to eat. I think part of the reason that I was meant to go on this diet is so that I would be forced to find more things that my children can enjoy. While I have always tried to make sure they could eat things, I am trying to find additional things for myself since there are a lot of foods that I miss. I went to Aldi last Friday and they have graham cracker pie crust that only contains wheat. Then I went to Kroger and found that Jell-o brand pudding (only the instant sugar-free) had several flavors that did not contain any of the 8 major allergens. I also found that frozen Lenders Bagels (at least the blueberry flavor ) only contained wheat. So on Sunday I decided that maybe I should try making a "cheesecake"- the cheesecake was cheesecake flavored pudding in a graham cracker crust. I made it with vanilla flavored coconut milk and it tasted like a vanilla pudding pie- not like cheesecake. I think that next time I try the cheesecake pudding I will use rice or coconut without vanilla. We also made another trip to Kroger today and I found that there are a few varieties of Pop-Tarts that only contain soy and wheat. So I was not able to try them, but J and Princess R enjoyed them on the trip home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu for the week of November 15th

Well last week I had planned on trying some Christmas cookie recipes and posting them on the blog- well that did not happen. Things have been crazy trying to prepare for our first of three crafts shows on Saturday. We are doing craft shows three consecutive weekends (we are totally crazy) and hopefully we sell LOTS of stuff. Here is my easy menu for the week:

Monday- Spaghetti

Tuesday- Hamburgers

Wednesday- TBA

Thursday- parents

Friday- Ham and Bean Soup

Saturday- Craft show

Sunday- Meat Pies (this is repurposing the spaghetti sauce from Monday, since we will probably be exhausted and not want to cook anything) - use store bought pie crust (I use Pillsbury- it only has wheat and it has been on sale a lot lately!) and stuff individual pies with spaghetti sauce.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu for the Week of November 8th

Well after a weekend when we did not have much planned (we still went to IKEA, church and Kroger) we have a pretty busy week ahead of us. Hopefully the food I have planned is pretty easy. I am also hoping to modify some Christmas cookie recipes so I can enjoy cookies this year with everyone else.

Monday- Enchilada Casserole (from last week but we did not get to it)

Tuesday- Pork Roast

Wednesday- Ribs in the crockpot

Thursday- Bierocks (

Friday- Parents

Saturday- Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches

Sunday- Leftovers

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Menu for week of November 1st

Wow I can't believe that we are already in November! This week I have been frantically looking for J's glasses (they have been missing since Friday) and trying to get a lot of bows finished (we only have 17 more days until the first craft show). I went to Remke on Monday and purchased 24 lbs of lean ground beef (it was on sale) so I will be busy this week freezing it (I freeze it in 1 lb packages) and it should last about 3 months. I have two recipes for the ground beef this week (that way I have to freeze two fewer pounds of meat!)

Monday- Pizza (on a Pillsbury crust- they only contain wheat)

Tuesday- Sloppy Joes, asparagus and fries

Wednesday- Chicken with Veggie Confetti (we missed this last week- the link is in last weeks meal post)

Thursday- parents

Friday- Meatloaf

Saturday- Chicken Fried Pork Chops

Sunday- Mexican Lasagna (http://blog.fatfreevegan/2006/07/mexican-lasagna-or-enchilada-casserole.html)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My New Store!!

I am so excited that I just opened my new hair bow store on etsy, Curly Girly Bow-tique( I am selling hair bows, hair clippies, baby snap clips and korker bows. This started out as just a hobby to make bows for my daughter, but somehow grew into selling the bows. I am planning on participating in two craft shows this holiday and I am currently selling on etsy. I also do custom order, so if you are interested, please visit my shop!

New Baby Snack

Today I took a trip to Whole Foods and saw that they carry Healthy Times Teeting Biscuits. I have wanted to buy these for Mr. T, but I thought I was going to have to buy them online, so I was pleasantly suprised that I can pick them up at Whole Foods along with my chocolate chips. Mr. T has really been taking to table food the last couple of weeks, so I thought he was ready for these. I tried teeting biscuits with my first son, but we had a major issue when his face broke out in hives since the ones he tried contained milk and he is allergic to milk. Healthy Times teeting biscuits do not contain milk, eggs, peanuts, treenuts or soy, but do contain gluten. Anyway, Mr. T loved the teeting biscuits (I was glad I put one of our large shirt bibs on him, because he was a MESS! )

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Did it! I finished the Cincinnati Half Marathon!

I have wanted to run a marathon for several years now, but everytime I thought seriously about doing it I either had an injury or I was pregnant (or just had a baby!). So in May when my husband went to the Flying Pig Marathon expo I saw that they were holding a half marathon in Cincinnati without hills. My husband ran the half marathon of the Flying Pig and about halfway through there is a giant hill. Well I registered both of us for the race and I began training Memorial Day weekend (I have been running almost everyday for the past 10 years and have only missed maybe three-four weeks in those 10 years when I had my three kids and when I started to develop a stress fracture in my foot). Well this morning I finally met my goal and finished the half marathon in 1 hour and 48 minutes. I came in 262 overall and 13 in my age group and my husband ran it in 2 hours and 20 minutes (he only ran five times since May when he finished the Pig, which he said was a really bad idea- he realized he really needed to train for it!) I was very proud of myself since I think that time for an old 32 year old lady who has three kids, one of which I had 8 months ago via c-section. So now I think I may attempt the 1/2 Pig in May (we will see- that hill up Mt. Adams is still not calling my name). But now I can say "I did it!"

Menu for the week of October 24th

Well hopefully we have another calm week like we did this past week. Here is what I am planning on making this week:

Sunday- Beff Stroganoff- we did not get to this so it is a carry-over. The recipe link is posted on last week's menu

Monday- Avocado Chicken Tacos- from $5 Dollar Dinners (

Tuesday- Spanish Rice with Ground Venison

Wednesday- Herbed Chicken on Vegetable Confetti- from $5 Dollar Dinners (

Thursday- Parents house for dinner

Friday- French Dip (this is the plan, but it is contingent on whether I can find onion soup mix that is free of our allergens- I went to Meijer yesterday and the two that they carried had soy and/or milk in them, I am planning on checking Kroger and then if they do not have it Aldi, if I cannot find it, then plan B is Pot Roast with roasted veggies)

French Dip
1 Pot Roast
1 bottle of beer (I am trying it with a non-alcoholic O'Doules)
1 packet french onion soup mix

Place all in a crock pot, cook on high several hours until you can shred beef. Serve on good fresh rolls.

Saturday- Leftovers

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fake Peanut Butter and a Yummy Snack!

This week I have been craving something sweet, but different from the chocolate chip cookies that I make several times a week (I have a sweet tooth but also a chocolate tooth!) While I was at Kroger searching for nutritional yeast in the health foods section (which I could not find) I decided that I wanted peanut butter. They had a couple different kinds, Soynut butter is out since I can't have soy, so I opted for Sunflower Butter. It is really good. It does not taste exactly like peanut butter, but it is really good and tasted very similar, but it does have a little bit of a grainy texture, which if you eat it cooked in something or with something else you can't tell. The next day for lunch I tried it in a "peanut butter" and jelly sandwich, which was really good, but my kids weren't really keen on it. Then Sunday I used it to make Food Allergy Mama's Snickerdoodles- my kids loved these (it took a while to convince J to try them, but after that I could not get J to stop eating them!)
Here is the recipe:
Snickeroos (Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book, by Kelly Rudnicki, page 160)
1 cup dark corn syrup (I only had light so that is what I used)
1 cup sugar
1 (15-ou) Creamy soy nut butter (I used Sunbutter)
6 cups crisped rice cereal
2 cups chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
Spray a 13 x 9x 2 inch baking pan (all the spray that I have found has soy in it so I use non-stick foil to line the pan).
In a medium saucepan boil the corn syrup and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the soy nut butter until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl, combine the cereal and the soy nut butter mixture, press the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Place the chocolate chips into a microwavable dish and heat on high 45-60 seconds, or until melted. Using a spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the batter. Let the mixture cool completely and cut into 1 inch squares.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Menu for the week of October 17th

Thank goodness for slow(er) weeks! This week we have a much needed slow week- that is until Saturday. Saturday my husband and I are running in the inaugural Cincinnati Half Marathon. I have been training for it since Memorial Day weekend (my husband has not really trained much at all- he has run maybe five or six times- he got bored after he ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May). Immediately following the run we have to take J to his last soccer game of the year (we can't miss it since my husband is the coach) then we have a birthday party to go to.

Sunday- Hamburgers

Monday- Slow Cooked Curried Coconut Chicken ($5 dinners:

Tuesday-Chicken Fried pork chops- I am going to bread the pork in panko and then pan fry them

Wednesday- Beef Stroganoff ($5 dinners:

Thursday- Chicken Taco Soup- This recipe is a favorite and really easy!

1 chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 can chicken broth (if you cannot have soy be sure to check your labels!)
1 can chili beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cans diced tomatoes (if you like it spicy you can use tomatoes with green chilies)
2 chicken breasts- cooked and chopped
2 tbsp taco seasoning

In a big pot saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Dump all the other ingredients into the pot and cook at least until hot. Top with tortilla chips

Friday- Spaghetti- my husband and I will be carbo loading this night, on Saturday we will both be running the inaugural Cincinnati Half Marathon

Saturday- Birthday party and marathon day- leftovers or whatever we have the energy for!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu for week of October 10

Sunday- Spaghetti sauce with gnocchi
Monday- Couscous with chicken
Tuesday-Taco salad
Wednesday- Ham and bean soup
Thursday- parents
Friday- Meatloaf (I am very excited about this meal- it is a meatloaf free of eggs and milk, hopefully by Friday we will have a cooler day- we have been having days over 80 degrees, which is not meatloaf weather!)
Saturday- Grilled pork

Meatloaf recipe:
1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
6 tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
dash garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine tomato sauce, bbq sauce and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat mixture until it begins to bubble, stirring often, then remove it from the heat. In a large bowl, add all but 2 tbsp of the tomato sauce to the meat.

Use a large wooden spoon or your hands to work the sauce into the meat until it is very well combined. Combine the remaining ingredients with the ground sirloin; flour, salt, onion powder and ground pepper. Use the wooden spoon or your hands to work the spices and flour into the meat.

Load the meat into a loaf pan. Wrap foil over the pan and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the meatloaf out of the oven and remove the foil and drain the fat.
Using a knife, slice the meatloaf all the way through into 8 slices while it is still in the pan. This will help cook the center of the loaf. Pour the remaining 2 tbsp of sauce over the top of the meatloaf, in a stream down the center. Don't spread the sauce. Put the meatloaf back into th oven, unocvered for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is done. Remove and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fried Food, Yum!

Well I finally made used the McCormick's Beer Batter and Hush Puppy mixes I mentioned a couple weeks ago. I used the beer batter mix to make fish and shrimp and also made the hushpuppies. They were both really good for being free of milk, egg, treenuts, peanuts and soy (they weren't quite Long John Silvers or Captain D, but I never expected them to be!) we used McCormick's cocktail sauce for the shrimp, but I really missed my tarter sauce! I am sure this will be something that we will have again!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Menu for Week of October 3

Sunday- cousin's birthday party

Monday- Fish and fries and hushpuppies

Tuesday- Sloppy Joes

Wednesday-Homemade bread and veggie soup with carrots and fennel from my garden (I have been trying to get two fennel plants to grow large enough to use, I have fertilized them a ton and chased away a very hungry catepillar!)

Thursday- parents for dinner

Friday- Tacos

Saturday- Mediterrean Chicken Quinoa (from the five dollar dinners We have been trying to feed Mr. T baby food for the last couple of months and he won't have anything to do with it. All he wants to eat is paper and anything he can put in his mouth himself. He really enjoyed couscous at my parents' house last week so I am going to try Quinoa on him!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Unexpected suprises at Kroger!

On Saturday I drug my whole family to Kroger (if I have to go to the grocery store on the weekend EVERYONE has to go!) I love going to the Marketplace Kroger because I always seem to find something new, unfortunately there is not a Marketplace Kroger in our county, but three within about 10-15 miles of us. Well I was walking up the aisles and for some reason I decided to look at the ingredients in the McCormick Beer Battered Seafood Batter Mix- I was convinced this must have ingredients we could not have in our house, but after looking at the ingredients the only major allergen I found was wheat, so I was pumped. I decided to try my luck and look at the box next to it, which was the Hush Puppy mix, it only contained wheat as well. Plus on both mixes you don't need to add anything that we are allergic to in our house- major bonus!! I also spotted the Private Selection Japanese Style Panko bread crumbs- all the bread crumbs that I have looked at contain milk, eggs and soy (or all three), well these only contained wheat so now I have a bread crumb option instead of making my own. I am planning on incorporating all three of these into my meal plan for next week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Menu for week of September 25th

Here is the menu for the week (last week we did not have everything as I had planned- we made a trip to City BBQ and that was two meals for us and cereal on our busy soccer practice night so we did not have a couple of the meals)

Sunday- Spaghetti
Monday-Hamburgers and fries
Wednesday- Stew (I am planning to use some of the carrots from my garden- yum!)
Thursday- my birthday we will be over at my parents
Friday- Chicken and Bacon Florentine
Saturday- Sesame Chicken with Bok Choy (this is a new recipe for me- hopefully we like it)

Sesame Chicken with Bok Choy
Robin to the Rescue by Robin Miller, Page 108

1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups chopped bok choy (stems and leaves)
1 medium red bell pepper (seeded and sliced into thin strips)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup sake (rice wine)
1 tbsp toasted seasme oil
1 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bok choy and bell pepper and cook stirring for 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan. Cook until golden brown about 2 minutes per sides.
In a small bowl wisk together the broth, sake, seasme oil, ginger and curry paste, pour over chicken and bring to a simmer. Return the vegetables to the pan, partially cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat top with cilantro and serve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Fisher Price House Party

My House Party was a success! We had four other moms (and two dads!) and eleven kids (all the kids were seven months to four years old) so it was a crazy and loud party! I held the party at 4:00, so I provided snacks (all allergy friendly) the menu was cut up fruit (apples, bananas and cantelope), sugar cookies (milk, egg and nut free- recipe is on my recipe page) and Food Allergy Mama's Spiced Apple Bundt cake ( Fisher Price sent me five toys to keep which included Laugh and Learn Learing Kitchern, Lil' Zoomers Spinnin' Sounds Speedway, Laugh and Learn Learn to Move Music Station, Go Baby Go Stride to Ride Dino and Stack 'n Supruse Blocks Musical Croc Block Wagon. The toys that we were given for the party were geared towards ages 6-18 months, but my two older children (2 1/2 and 4) loved them all and still play with them, especially the Lil' Zoomers Spinnin' Sounds Speedway. I think that this toy was the biggest hit. It is a race track that you can race two little cars on. This entertained every kid at the party and even my 7 month old can operate it! we all had a great time. Thanks Fisher Price!

Menu for week of September 20th

Monday- Spanish rice with ground venison

Tuesday- Grilled Chicken and brocolli

Wednesday- Rachael Ray Pasta (this is actually called Shrimp & Shells with Pancetta & Peas and I substitute bacon for the Pancetta)

Thursday- leftovers??? we have soccer practice and a very busy day

Friday- Kabobs with sirloin, mushrooms, onions and peppers

Saturday- Taco salad for the adults, tacos for the kids

Sunday- Spaghetti with homemade sauce

Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple Crisp

I love fall and one of my favorite things about fall is fresh apples. I have been making applesauce, apple pies and apple crisps for years, but I just discovered this recipe about a month ago and I have to say it is one of my favorite apple recipes!

Classic Apple Crisp

From Better Homes and Gardens http:///

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2/3 cup soy-free margarine (the recipe calls for butter) cut in pieces

8 cups peeled apples, sliced 1/2 inch thickness

1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsbp flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt. With your fingers work the butter into the mixture until it just begins to cling together.

In a 4 qt bowl toss together apples and lemon juice. In a small bowl combine the 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar, tbsp flour, salt and nutmeg.

Sprinkle apples with sugar-nutmeg mixture, then with your hands mix together. Heap into a lightly greased 2 qt baking dish. Cover the top of the apples with the crumb topping.

Cover the crisp with parchment, then foil. Bake in the oven 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and paper and return to oven, bake 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until top is golden and apples are just tender. Let cool 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Menu for week of September 13th

Well I have been MIA for about the last two weeks. Things have been totally crazy with preschool starting, doctors appointments (I think that there have only been a couple of weeks since the baby was born that we have not had at least one doctors appointment per week), soccer, dance class and making tons of hairbows for an upcoming craft fair in November. Anyway, I decided that I should probably should do a menu for this week:

Monday-Country Ribs and beans (I have been planning on making these for a couple weeks, but it just never happened)
Tuesday- Chicken and Bacon Florentine Pasta (this a new recipe for me I found on $5 Dinners)
Wednesday- This will probably be cereal for dinner night (I have my endoscopy)
Thursday- parents
Friday- Grilled Pork Chops
Saturday- Pizza

Monday, August 30, 2010

Review of allergy friendly foods

Last Monday I made a trip to Whole Food for my Enjoy Life chocolate chips and I came out with a couple of new things to try. I ended up leaving the store with three packages of chocolate chips, three boxes of Whole Foods rice milk, So Delicious Coconut milk and Roads End Organics 123'z Chreeze. On Monday I thought with J starting school it would be a nice suprise for him to try mac n' cheese so I made the box of 123'z Chreeze and served it to him, Princess R and made a bowl for myself. Princess R tried one bite and told me it was yucky and J would not try it until I bribed him (this is not unusual for him) and once he did try it he told me he did not like it. I tried it and did not care for it myself. It had a funny taste and odor about it. I saved the rest of it and a couple of days later I added olive oil to it (this was a suggestion from the back of the box), well I don't think that this suggestion helped at all. I was glad to have the ability to buy one box from Whole Foods (I think it was about $2.50 a box, whereas at the local health food store it is priced over $4) before I bought a case of the cheese packets for $12, which I had contemplated doing.

On Thurday I tried the Whole Foods Vanilla Rice milk. It has the same texture and taste as Rice Dream for at least $.50 less a box. The only issue I had with it was this morning when I had a couple of clumps at the end of the box (I think this is a user error, as I don't think I shook the box enough)!

This morning I also tried SoDelicious Vanilla Coconut milk. I was expecting an overwhelming coconut taste, since some of their ice cream has a lot of coconut flavor (which I don't mind since I like coconut). The texture is thicker than rice milk and the price a half gallon of coconut milk is about the same price at Kroger as two quarts of rice milk.

*I was not paid to try any of these products, I purchased all of them myself, with the exception of the coconut milk that the dairy manager at Whole Food let me try for free.

Menu for the week of August 30th

Well we are planning on eatting a lot of leftovers this week (it seems like everytime we have a party our guests don't eat anything and we end-up with tons of food) and visiting our parents for dinners too, which means little cooking for me!!!

Monday- Sloppy Joes (from leftover hamburgers) and three bean casserole

Tuesday- Grilled chicken (on leftover salad) and pasta salad

Wednesday- Taco salad with ground beef

Thursday- dinner at my parents

Friday- country ribs

Saturday- John's birthday dinner with my parents

Sunday- John's birthday dinner with his parents

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Suprise Party!!

Well I have been a bit busy lately throwing my husband a suprise party for his 30th birthday. I started thinking about throwing him a party a couple of months ago and for the last couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of party planning and shopping and I managed to pull off a huge suprise! Here is how I pulled it off. I set-up a golf outting for my husband (John) with the father of my son's best friend from church. Meanwhile, I finished cleaning up the house and set-up everything. I had stored some of the food at my sister and mom's house and in my freezer and my gift/craft area. Since I could not manage to make a lot of my food the day before and hide it from my husband my mom and sister helped with some of the food prep and brought it a couple hours prior to the party. Most of the guests were able to arrive before my husband and they all parked across the street (most people thought it was strange that I told them to park that close to the house, but our neighbors have parties almost every weekend so I thought he would not notice (and he didn't). When he finished playing golf (which he did earlier than I expected) I sent him to the store to pick up some things for "dinner". While John was the the store his friend called him (while he was sitting on my deck) and asked John if he wanted to do something after dinner. He called me to ask if it was okay and then asked if he could ask him to come over for dinner. Of course I said that was fine (since he was already at my house for dinner!) and my hubby called his friend back. I called John back and talked to him until he was about five minutes from home. We all got ready for him and when he walked in I could tell he had no idea it was coming- it took him a couple of minutes to process everything. Somehow I managed to pull it off!
As for the menu most of it was egg, milk, soy and nut free. Here is what we had:
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs (with milk, egg, soy and nut free buns)
Homemade salsa and tortilla chips (and cheese dip which had milk)
Pretzels and Chips
Pasta salad (I made plain pasta without egg and used italian dressing that was free of our allergens)
Three Bean Casserole
Mixed Salad
Chocolate and yellow cakes (I could not eat either since I used store bought icing which is milk, egg and nut free, but not soy free- I did not have the time to make homemade icing)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yeah I am Going to be the Host of a Fisher Price House Party!!

I know this does not relate to food allergies, but my sister and I both applied for a Fisher Price House Party a couple of weeks ago and when I checked my email this morning I found out that I was going to be one of 1000 lucky hostesses! If you don't know what a House Party is let me explain. House Party is a site where you can apply to throw a party based on one of their themes, they are basically having you market a new product to your friends in exchange they allow you to try new products and send you an awesome hostess pack. They want you to invite at least ten friends (I already have ten friends on the list as of this morning and I am sure the invite list will be more than ten). This is my second House Party (my first was a Ziploc Party) and my sister had a Hasbro Game Night party. If you are interested here is their site: I am so excited, for my House Party they are sending me five brand new Fisher Price toys to let the kids try out, and a bunch of party favors. I will update you on how the party went (yea!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu for week of August 23rd

Today was J's first day of preschool, so I have promised to make his favorite meal for dinner (pizza). Here is the rest of what I am planning on having this week:

Monday- pizza
Tuesday- Spanish Rice with deer meat
Wednesday- Grilled pork chops
Thursday- parents
Sunday-Grilled Chicken salad

(I did not quite get through the menu last week- we ended up at Chipolte yesterday and had two days where we just ate leftovers- I had no motivation!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Could I have Celiac Disease?

Over the last three months I have been living with the feeling that something is constantly stuck in my throat. I finally decided that maybe I should have it checked out so I went to see my family doctor on Tuesday. He referred me to a Gastroenterolgist and to the hospital to have an unltrasound of my thyroid (I had the ultrasound to rule out thyroid cancer, since my mother had thyroid cancer). I had the ultrasound yesterday and they found that my thyroid looks fine. I was lucky enough to get into the gastroenterologist today and she told me that I need to have an endoscopy (which is scheduled for mid-September). They are going to take a look and do some biopsies. She told me that she thinks my problem is one of three things: allergies (which she seemed to think that I probably do not have allergies since I don't have the other symptoms related to allergies), a mass in my throat, or celiac. While I was sitting in the exam room I was looking up at the pamplets on the wall and thought, hmmm what if whatever I have could be related to celiac. In case you don't know what celiac disease is an "autoimmune disease where the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eatting gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats". If you are diagnosed with celiac you have to go off of all gluten to allow the intestine to heal, because not avoiding those foods could cause other issues including autoimmune disorders, intestinal cancer, fractures, infertility, miscarriage and oestoporosis. (Google Health)

Ever since J was diagnosed with food allergies over three years ago I always said, at least my children don't have allergies to soy or wheat. Well now Mr. T is allergic to soy and if I have celiac then wheat, oatmeal, barley and rye are out, which is way depressing since my favorite food is pizza and I would not be allowed to eat at any of my favorite pizza restaurants (I might as well never go back to Chicago because my FAVORITE thing to eat there is pizza- they have the best pizza on earth) and bakeries are totally out. I don't know how people handle a wheat free diet- I am totally in love with anything that is made out of bread- doughnuts, pizza, bread, etc... and I cannot imagine anything made without wheat flour could taste good. When I talked to my husband and mother today I asked them what I would eat since I am off of milk, eggs, nuts and soy and they told me that if I have celiac that I should probably stop breastfeeding since I would be restricted from eatting most foods. I want to keep breastfeeding Mr. T as long as possible. Anyway, I guess I should not dwell on that unless I have to cross that bridge.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One of My New Favorite Snacks

A little over a month ago I stumbled over a recipe for soft pretzels (I was looking for a recipe for hamburger buns- which turned out to be awful, and since I have found a couple alternatives that I can purchase). These are delicious and in my opinion taste very similar to a popular mall pretzel franchise's pretzel. You can add salt like the recipe instructs or you can add cinnamon sugar prior to baking, which makes for a really yummy sweet alternative!

Pretzel Rolls

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

2 4/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

7 cups of water

1/2 cup baking soda

coarse salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and sugar, agitating until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly. Add the flour gradually until forming a soft dough that is neither sticky nor dry, adding extra flour if necessary. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and knead until elastic and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Preaheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside.

Bring the water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a medium large saucepan over medium high heat. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a clean work surface. Separate the dough into 8 pieces and kned each until elastic. Shape unto rolls about 3-4 inches long.

Drop one roll at a time into the boiling water. Boil for about one minute, remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until all of your rolls have been boiled. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake until golden brown about 12-14 minutes. Allow rolls to cool slightly before serving, and allow to cool uncovered on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This Week's Menu

Before I went on my elmination diet I planned a whole month's dinner menu. That way I could plan my shopping and budgeting was a lot easier (and I did not need to make "emergency trips to the store). Since I went on my diet, planning dinners is a thing of the past. So, this week I am trying to start planning my menus one week at a time. Here is what I am planning to have this week:

Monday- Baked Salmon with dill and olive oil, steamed broccoli and carrots, fresh corn on the cob

Tuesday- Spaghetti (Princess R has dance class tonight and I already made the sauce and froze it)

Wednesday- Pot roast with roasted new potatoes

Thursday- Spanish rice with deer meat

Friday- Parents

Saturday- Chicken Fajitas (I have a couple of peppers that need to be eatten from my garden)

Sunday- Grilled Pork Chops (but I may try to talk my husband into going to Chilpolte- I saw on a blog that the restaurants in the Cincinnati area are supposed to have free kids meals on Sunday)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to Save Money with Allergies

When it comes to buying food for someone with food allergies, it tends to be a lot more expensive than it is to buy food for someone without food allergies. For example, a gallon of cows milk where I live is usually priced between 1.88 and 2.30, I can buy Silk soy milk for 2.99 for a half gallon, which means a gallon is 5.98, which is a lot better than Rice milk, which is sold by the quart for 1.99, so a gallon is 7.96 (four times more than I pay for cows milk!) So for the last three years I have tried to find ways to cut down on my food expensives, while still purchasing food my children can eat. Here are some of my pointers for making buying allergy free less painful.

1. Watch for sales- allergy free food does go on sale, but it is usually not advertised in the sales circular. I make it a point to always hit the health food section every time I go to the store, because I have found that they often have something on sale that I use, or have reduced foods that are discountinued or close to the sell by date. About a month ago I found Enjoy Life Ginger Snap cookies marked down 50 percent!

2. Cook from scratch- I have started to make myself a lot more food from scratch, first of all it is much better for you, but it is also a lot cheaper.

3. Check labels of foods that aren't in the health food section, they may suprise you! I found out about a month ago, that Krogers sells chocolate chips that J and Pricncess R can both eat (unfortunately they contain soy ;( but they were 1.79 a bag instead of 3.99 a bag.

4. Check company websites for coupons- this has been a huge money saver for me. Here are a few sites that I found coupons:

Silk Soy Milk

Turtle Mountain (So Delicious Products)

Enjoy Life

Whole Foods

(Remember you can stack a Whole Foods store coupon with a manufacturer coupon for even more savings)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Coconut Ice Cream Here I Come!

So for the last month one of the things that I have missed the most has been ice cream (right behind cheese and candy bars). When J's doctor told me today that I could have coconut I was super excited because the Purely Decedent Coconut Milk Ice Cream has been calling my name! We had to make a trip to Kroger tonight for a few things so I went to the health food section and checked out the coconut milk ice cream. There were a few that I could not have, but the one I was really hoping I could have (the chocolate chip cookie dough) did not include any ingredients I am trying to stay away from! So I purchased one pint of chocolate chip cookie dough (which is on sale this week at Kroger for 2.99, normally it is priced over $5!) I took it home and scooped a little into my bowl and a little into J's bowl. J took the tiniest bite of ice cream I have ever seen a child take (J is always hesitant to try new foods, he has been like this all his life, we struggled to get him to eat anything until he was 18 months old). He said he liked it, but wanted to save it until tomorrow. I loved it! It has a coconut taste to it (I am a huge fan of coconut so this did not bother me) and there were yummy chunks of cookie dough and chocolate chip pieces in it. I loved this ice cream so much that I went back to get another chocolate chip cookie dough and a cherry amaretto pint!

Visit to the allergist

Well J had his bi-annual appointment with the allergist today. I was hoping that maybe the allergist would agree to a food challenge test with milk baked in, but he told me that the earliest we would try it would be a year from now, after he turned five. I was really anxious to possibly have him try food containing milk after I read an article in Allergic Living Magazine on breakthroughs in milk and egg allergies Basically the article stated that studies done at John Hopkins have found that 75 percent of kids that test positive for milk and/or egg allergies can safely eat milk and eggs when baked in food for at least 30 minutes at 350 degrees. They also believe that it may help the child to grow out of the allergy. After reading the article I was so excited and hoping that maybe we could try a challenge test.

When I approached the doctor he told me that he would feel better waiting until he was five for two reasons, first J is more allergic to milk than anything and he tested 4.8 on a 5.0 scale, egg whites come in a close third (just 0.1 behind hazelnuts) and he feels that is he waits another year he has a better chance of outgrowing the allergy. We have not seen any movement in the milk or egg white number yet, but he told me that he has had some patients that have no movement while they are toddlers and then around five or six totally outgrow the allergy. Second, he said that he feels better waiting, since he feels J would be able to better express the side affect that he feels at the age of five. So basically I had my bubble burst. But on a positive note he told me that he feels comfortable with me feeding my children coconut and that I can consume coconut, which is considered a treenut, but he told me that 99.99 percent of people with treenut allergies do not have problems with coconut.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pizza Night!

My son J's favorite food is pizza. He has only eatten homemade pizza that my mother or I have made, since I have been too afraid to order it from a pizza restaurant, since cheese is EVERYWHERE! I have decided to switch my dough recipe, since I just found out that my husband does not care at all for it, but really enjoys my mother's dough recipe.

My Mom's Pizza Dough Recipe:
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 1/8 cup flour
1 pkg fast active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil

Combine 1 3/4 cup flour, corn meal, yeast and salt. In a seperate bowlcombine water, honey and oil. Add water mixture to the flour mixture. Mix to mix, then mix at medium speed until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour (add more if needed to make dough soft). Kneed until smooth (about 5 to 10 minutes). Cover and let rise until double, then punch down and cover, let rest 10 minutes.

Here are pictures of my pizza and J's pizza prior to cooking (I totally forgot to take a picture after they were cooked until we were almost done!) I topped J's with homemade pizza sauce (made with fresh tomatoes that I bought at the farm on Monday, garlic powder and Italian herbs) and pepperoni. I topped mine with homemade sauce, pepperoni, red onion, olives, green peppers and Daiya Mozzarella Cheese. Daiya cheese is milk, egg, soy, peanut and treenut free. I purchased it last week at Whole Foods so that J could try cheese on his pizza. The first time he tried it he did not really care for it. This was the first time that I tried it and I did not care for it at all. Oh well- it looks like there may not be any type of cheese on my pizza for the next several months!

Rice Krispie Treats

Today I decided that I would try to make Rice Krispie treats for my kids. I was not quite sure how they would turn-out since the recipe on the box stated not to use tub margarine or diet margarine. The only margarine that I use that is soy and milk free is Earth's Balance Soy Free and it is in a tub, and probably considered diet. They ended up turning out great, just a bit stickier than I remember. I added sprinkles to the top of them (my daughter likes anything with sprinkles), and you could also add Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

Here is the recipe:

4 tbsp margarine

4 cups mini marshmellows (or 40 large marshmellows)

6 cups Rice Krispies

Melt margarine in a pan over low heat, add marshmellows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cereal. Spread in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.

(The original recipe on their site also has a microwave method. I tried this once using Fleishmans Unsalted margarine and it did not turn out well, I would not suggest it when using soy free margarine either)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fresh Homemade Salsa

My children, parents and I made a trip to the farm to pick-up some fresh fruit and veggies today and I could not resist making some fresh salsa. Suprisingly, it is something that my husband, J, Princess R and I all enjoy. I only started making it a few weeks ago after a trip to Chipolte, where everyone enjoyed it.


2 tomatoes, chopped

1/4 green pepper, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1 tsp lemon juice


Combine all ingredients and enjoy with tortilla chips or on a taco salad.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Birthday Cakes with Allergies

Today is my nephews third birthday party. My sister is great, she always tries to accomodate for my kids and is making a cake that is okay for both J and Princess R to eat.

Shortly before J's first birthday I realized that I was going to have to make him a birthday cake that was free from milk (at that point we did not know that he was also allergic to eggs, peanuts and treenuts). At that point I did not know that there were some cake mixes that I could use to make the cakes and instead made him a cake from scratch with soy milk. In fact, I did not know that Duncan Hines make cake mixes safe for my children until after J's second birthday. I was very excited once I found out because making the cake from scratch took me over two hours (including baking, but not including decorating, which took at least another 2-3 hours). Currently, Duncan Hines has 11 cake mixes that are milk, egg, peanut, treenut and soy free (please always check ingredients, because recipes and suppliers are subject to change). Instead of using eggs I substitute Ener-G egg replacer and I make my own icing. Pillsbury makes some icings that are milk, egg, nut and peanut free (not soy), but I prefer decorating with a heavier icing. I have tried several icing recipes, but seem to lose them after every party! Here is the recipe that I used last year:

Wedding Cake Icing

1 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup water
8 cups powdered sugar

Mix shortening, water, vanilla, almond extract and half the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes (it's very important to mix this long). Add the rest of the powered sugar and beat just enough to mix in. Add additional water for desired consistency.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Allergy-free Giveaway at Cincinnati Coupons

Dena at Cincinnati Coupons is sponsoring nine Peanut Free Giveaways

My two favorite giveaways are the epi-pouch and Food Mama's baking book.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My First Cook-out on my Elimination Diet

Well last night I had my first (actually second, but the first I did not really make anything from scratch- all we had was hamburgers, chicken, watermelon, corn and Busch's Baked Beans) cook-out with guests since I started my elimination diet. Here is the menu that we had:

Burgers on the grill (I found Aunt Millie's sandwich rolls, that appear to be free of milk, eggs, soy and nuts.)

Pasta Salad (recipe on recipe page)

Summer Slaw (recipe on recipe page)

Blueberry Pie (recipe on recipe page)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yummy Banana Bread

Banana bread is one thing that everyone in my family loves. J would eat it everyday if I made it for him. Normally I use this recipe to make several muffins and a medium sized loaf.


1 1/4 cups sugar

1 stick Fleishmanns Unsalted Margarine (this is NOT soy free, if you want to make this soy free I would suggest using Earth's Balance soy free margarine)

Ener-G egg substitute equivalent to 2 eggs (4 tbsp water and 3 tsp Ener-G substitute)

3 medium ripe bananas
1/2 cup soy or rice milk
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread pan (9 inch) and set aside. Mix margarine and sugar in a bowl, then stir in eggs until all is blended. Stir in bananas, milk, vinegar and vanilla until smooth. Add flour, soda and salt until just moistened. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until done (I always start at about an hour and check it with a toothpick, but it normally takes at least 1 hour and 15 minutes). Cool completely before slicing.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I never knew I would almost cry over a French Fry

Up until today, four year old J had never had a fast food french fry. This is not because I am anti fast food, but because I know that every fast food fry that I have looked into contains at least one of the allergens that he is allergic to, which is usually milk. However, last night while I was researching restaurants I found out that Burger Kings French Fries do not contain any of the allergens that my children are allergic to! Up until three years ago this would not have been anything that was exciting to me, but now that I have to scrutinze everything that my children put into their mouths this has become a big deal. Unless you deal with food allergies you take foregranted how important this can be.

Once I found out that he could have the french fries from Burger King I decided that I was going to go out and buy J a burger and fries for lunch. At lunchtime I told J that were going to get food from Burger King. He has never been there and kept asking me questions about the restaurant. We got back home and I gave him his burger and dumped some fries next to the burger. He tried one and then would not stop. He loves hamburgers, but did not touch it until all the fries were gone. I was so excited because even with his food allergy he still had this small oppotunity to enjoy one of the fun things in life. I think that J is well beyond his years when it comes to his food allergies. He knows there are a lot of things that he cannot eat that most other people can. He knows that he has special food that his sister does not eat and my husband and I don't eat. He will not take food unless he knows that it is okay for him to eat, so just seeing him enjoy the french fries along wit everyone else was really a special moment for me.

Here are some of the places that I have found that have allergy information on their sites and have some choices that they state are free of milk, eggs, nuts and soy (Please keep in mind that to be safe you should check their site everytime you choose to dine out, since suppliers and ingredients can change).

Chipolte (they state that soybean oil is used in their foods, but is safe for most people) (

Qdoba (

Applebees (

Ruby Tuesdays (

Wendys (

Burger King (

Fazolis (

California Pizza Kitchen (

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Trip to the Nutritionist

This afternoon Mr. T and I visited the nutritionist. (Please keep in mind that if you have allergies, please speak to your health care professional about what you should and should not eat. This is based on my experience and my health care providers opinions.) Since I have gone on an elimination diet I wanted to make sure that I was getting the nutrients that he and I needed. I knew a lot of what she gave me already, since this is not our first trip to the nutritionist and we have been dealing with food allergies for three years. The afternoon that Mr. T was diagnosed with his soy allergy I started doing research and ended up with a lot of questions. I called the allergists office and questioned whether it was okay for me to eat soybean oil, since it is not considered an allergen by the FDA. I was told by the nurse that even though it was not considered an allergen, (unless it was gourmet) that I still needed to stay away from it. I told the nutritionist the nurse told me to stay away from it, and she told me that soybean oil (and broken down casein- which is milk) are in hypoallergenic formula, and that she felt it was safe for me to eat, but that I needed to make the decision for myself. I was also told that soy lecithin is safe for those who have a soy allergy, so that if a food only included soy lecithin it was safe for me to eat. So with those additional ingredients I feel like a few more doors have opened up to me. I am going to try to eat foods with those ingredients, unless Mr. T’s eczema starts to get bad again and then I will cut them out.

Cooking Day 1

This is what I have completed on my first cooking day without soy:

  • Granola with Craisins
  • Blueberry Bread (from Food Allergy Mama)
  • Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars (from Food Allergy Mama)
  • Thai Pork Wraps (Family Circle Magazine)
  • Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Food Allergy Mama)

  • (Most of my recipes will be on the recipes page.)

    I previously tried Food Allergy Mama’s Foccacia Bread a couple days ago and it was delicious!

    Overall, I think that it was a pretty successful cooking day. Some of the baked goods will be frozen for future use.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Elimination Diet Day 1

    In the past two weeks I have been spending a lot of time researching soy allergy and foods that are friendly to soy allergies (as well as milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nut allergies). I have done this over the internet, by visiting stores and of course in my own pantry and refrigerator. I have also moved from the shocked stage to I think the mourning stage. I don’t remember being so sad about my older son’s food allergy diagnosis. When J was diagnosed we were expecting him to be allergic to milk, since he had eczema and had reactions to milk. But when Mr. T was diagnosed we never expected to have a soy allergy diagnosis. Plus soy is in EVERYTHING. Milk is in a lot of things, but soy is in pretty much everything else!

    My first day without soy, milk, eggs, and nuts was last Thursday. As a way of my dealing with everything I spent much of the day cooking. After my work-out on Thursday I decided to head down to the pantry to get a box of cereal for breakfast (since the only open boxes of cereal contained soy). I had reorganized the pantry and made a section of foods that I could eat on my new diet. I went to grab a box of Cocoa Pebbles and decided to double check the ingredients. I had checked them before and thought that they were soy free- except this time I noticed “natural and artificial flavorings” which can be anything, but it can also be code for soy. So I sent an email to Post (since then they emailed me back and confirmed that anything that they produce that has soy will state it on the package). That should have been my first clue that I was not prepared yet- so I looked at the other two cereals that I had- Frosted Mini Wheats and Golden Crisp, which looked to be okay so I enjoyed a bowl of Golden Crisp with my Rice Milk and a glass of orange juice. Normally I snack through the morning but today J had a doctor’s appointment so on the way back home I stopped to get the two older kids something from McDonalds and realized I was hungry and thought maybe I would get a snack- but then I realized that they don’t have anything I can eat that is soy free. I got home and fed the kids and looked around for something to eat- normally I eat a salad or a grilled cheese or leftovers for lunch, but all of those were out so I ended up eating some peas I had shelled from my garden, a half package of raspberries and a half bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Simply Salted popcorn- after that lunch I vowed that I would be more prepared the next day!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Welcome to Too Blessed to be Stressed

    Hello, welcome to my blog. I am a stay at home mom of three crazy, but wonderful children. This blog is designed to bring awareness to living with food allergies and our journey into homeschooling. Right now we are in the planning stages of homeschooling, so main focus of my blog will be food allergies.

    Our journey with food allergies began when our four year old son J was diagnosed at 13 months old. J developed eczema (the weepy kind) when he was three months old. Our pediatrician told us that it could be caused by food allergies, but he would not be tested until he was a year old. We started J on baby food when he was 6 months old but he would not eat any type of baby food- he would not even try it. So since he was underweight at his 9 month appointment the doctor had us supplement his breastfeeding with formula. After J tried the formula he vomited and broke out in hives. At that point we realized he must have an allergy to milk. When he was tested we learned he was not only allergic to milk, but eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, dogs and mold.

    Our two year old daughter Princess R was tested at 10 months, since we already had the family history. Princess R did not have eczema, but she did break out in a rash on her torso when she was 2 months old. Evidently she was sensitive to laundry detergent and the remedy was to put all her clothes through a second rinse cycle and hang her clothes up to dry. When Princess R was tested she was allergic to eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.

    Our little guy Mr. T started getting weepy eczema at a month and a half. I went off milk for a week to see if it would help and put his clothes through a second rinse cycle and hung them up, but his eczema did not get any better. We went back to the pediatrician who prescribed Hydrocortisone and an antibiotic cream, but the eczema was still bad, so at 4 1/2 months he referred us to the allergist. Mr. T was diagnosed two weeks ago with allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and soy. We were told that Mr. T needed to go off all those foods so he either needed to go on a hypoallergenic formula or I needed to go off all the foods he is allergic to. Right now I have opted to continue to nurse him and go off of everything.

    Our family is used to dealing with food allergies and the adjustment while it can be difficult at times, is not as bad as I thought, because there are substitutes for milk and egg products, however most of the milk substitutes have soy in them. So I am researching foods without soy and trying to alter recipes to eliminate soy. I am hoping to post the recipes that I like on the website and also inform about products that I discover that do not contain the allergens that we have in our house.