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.