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.