Chocolate Frosting – Free From Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Peanut and Tree Nuts

I am so excited to share this chocolate frosting recipe! Having to avoid dairy, along with other allergens, has been challenging for me. This is especially true with baking. I spent many hours coming up with a frosting recipe that was not runny, not an “icing”, but was equally delicious as any other frosting. This was it! My kiddo loves it and said it tastes like buttercream frosting (which she can and has eaten). An added bonus; it’s quick and easy to make.

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Special Delivery From Enjoy Life Foods

IMG_6704(1)Have you ever wished that after a busy day of running errands, cooking, and being a taxi-mom/dad, a box you were not expecting would be delivered to your door? What if that box contained delicious goodies that you and your food allergic kiddo could consume? Well, that very thing happened to me! I was not expecting a delivery but a box arrived at my door. Oh the smile on my face! The box arrived with allergy-friendly baking mixes for my kiddo, the sous chef and I to bake, and was such a welcoming sight after a long week. Thank you Enjoy Life Foods!Read More »

HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy – Book Review

Image courtesy of Alison Johansen

I am so pleased to introduce to you a new book that a friend of mine, Alison Johansen, wrote! Alison is the Founder of MotherNoVA, a parenting website about food allergies, allergen-free cooking, motherhood, pediatric health, children’s literature and much more. I am so happy for her! Targeted to preschool and early elementary age kiddos, “HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy” is a wonderful story book infused with a lesson on food allergy* management skills. If your kiddo is anything like mine, once this book is in their hands, they may not want to let it go, even after outgrowing it. My kiddo still has one of her first food allergy books given to her when she was about 7 years old. Now as she is entering the teen years, we have gone through some of her books for donation, and she will not let go of her first food allergy book. Actually, she will not let any of her food allergy books go. And I’m ok with that ;) For your food allergic kiddo, “HumFree the Bee Has a Food Allergy” could be one of these coveted books.

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Nut-Free Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Spread

After several requests, I am sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Spread, a nut-free version of the popular spread. Or as I like to call it, Faux-tella! I should inform you that I am still in the process of perfecting the recipe until I am completely satisfied with the product. Never the less, it still delicious and free from dairy, tree nuts and peanuts as well as gluten. I had a good smear of it on sliced gluten-free bread. And yeah, it’s tasty! Also, you’ll need a blender or food processor. It seems obvious but just thought I’d mention it.

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Amercian Medical ID – Review

American Medical ID Image

It may come as a surprise to some that not only does my youngest daughter have allergies, but I do too.  I have a medicine allergy.  I don’t speak about it much nor do I really think about it.  I’ve been so focused on my children, I haven’t really focused on my health.  That was until last year when it took a violent shove forward (that’s a whole other story).  Now I am forced to pay attention to what’s going on within my own body.  I was recently introduced to American Medical ID.Read More »

Book Review – Patty’s Secret A Tale of a Girl With Food Allergies

I was provided a PDF sample of an adorable book to review, Patty’s Secret, A Tale of a Girl With Food Allergies, written by Leneille Moon.  The illustrations are bright, vibrant and colorful.  Targeted to young elementary age children (I would even read to preschool), the book focus on a young little piglet with food allergies who is just like any other kid.  However, she doesn’t want anyone to know about her food allergies.  She keeps it a secret because she wants to fit in.  That was until an unfortunate event happened at school!  You’ll have to get the book to know what happens.  There is a happy ending!  Finally, towards the end of the book, there are educational pages to include a word search and a brief overview of the top 8 allergens and the prevalence of food allergies as well as a resource for more information on food allergies.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

I’ve been scouring Pinterest and the internet for gluten free, dairy free, peanut free punkin muffin recipes.  At least something that I can use as a base and play with, to make safe for my household.  I finally found it from a blog post written at Nourish-Mint.  I took this recipe and adapted it to fit our dietary needs.  Here’s my version of the gluten free, dairy free, peanut/tree nut and egg free pumpkin muffins*!  Note this recipe produces a pretty dense batter.  It will be thick and will yield approximately 1 dozen muffins.

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Enjoy Life Foods Decadent Bars and Maybe Some Frankenbaking

Wow.  It’s been a while since I’ve post anything!  Things have been very busy here.  So I have a lot of catching up to do!  I have been meaning to write this post for a very long time.  I have been sampling these Enjoy Life Food’s products.  Just love them!  The Decadent Bars are a great mix of soft and chewy yet a crunch of goodness when you bite into it.  It’s pretty much what the box says, decadent.  My favorite has to be the Chocolate Sunbutter.  Which one’s your favorite?

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Gluten Free Microwave Chocolate Cake In a Mug

Introducing, the worst picture I ever took!

My kids love cake. They can eat it on the plane.  They can eat it in the train.  They can eat it in the car.  They can eat it on a… (okay I’m no Dr. Seuss but you get where I’m going with this). So when my daughter asked me to bake a cake after a long, very difficult day last week, and right after dinner no less, I was all, “Say wha?!  A whole cake?! With frosting and such?!”.  So instead, I found a fabulous gluten free mug cake recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring!!  An added bonus, I was able to convert it to be dairy free as I avoid dairy. Here’s the link to the original recipe which has some great pictures:   By the way, this blog is full of amazing gluten free recipes and information!  Check it out when you get a chance.  Here’s the microwave chocolate cake in a mug recipe with dairy free suggestions included (adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s original recipe).

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Freeling Friday – Peanut Free Planet’s Fundraiser to Benefit Kids With Food Allergies on Friday August 9th

Who’s ready for a FUNdraiser?!  Ok seriously, this is one that I am excited about because it’s easy, you help a wonderful cause and get something pretty awesome in return!  On Friday, August 9th, the folks at Peanut Free Planet (and Allerific) will donate 5% of sales to Kids With Food Allergies (a division of AAFA).  Plus, all customers ordering on August 9th will receive a gift bag with dozens of special allergen friendly products!

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So Is It A Food Allergy Or A "Food Allergy"?

I notice the term “food allergy” gets thrown about quiet a bit.  Sometimes it is used in one way, but meant in another.  As a food allergy anaphylaxis mama, this really concerns me.  When I talk about my child’s food allergies, sometimes I am met with the thought that her food allergies are actually intolerance.  That is until I explain she carries an epinephrine auto-injector and discuss her previous anaphylactic reactions.  Another example, and equally concerning, is within the medical community itself.  I have heard doctors who uses the term “food allergy” to describe food intolerance as well.

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How to Butterfly a Chicken and a Recipe for Herb Roasted Chicken

Herb Roasted Butterfly Chicken
Sorry, it’s not the best presentation!

I love to roast chicken.  For one, I can throw it in the oven and not have to constantly stand in front of a stove, stirring and hovering over a pot. Also, it’s tasty and I may have leftovers! Third, when I butterfly a chicken, the cooking time is shorter and I can feed my family quickly. So dinner on a weeknight can actually be done! Here’s how I make it happen:

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Sneak Peek at My Granny Square Blanket

Let me introduce you to my crochet granny square blanket project :)  I started this project when I was very sick with Lyme Disease.  I ended up in bed more days than I was out of bed.  So I wanted to start a project that I can do while laying in bed that was simple and quick.  Granny squares was the answer because I could finish a square rather quickly and set the project aside if I got too tired or my joints hurt, yet feel like I accomplished something.  Additionally, the colors are bright and cheerful.  I specifically chose them because it makes me happy looking at them.  I needed that when I was feeling sick and down.  I may write up the tutorial in a future post once I’m complete.  I cannot wait to sew the squares together and finish!

Section 504 Eligibility Criteria and Reasonable Accommodations

A few years ago, the term “reasonable accommodations” was being used in my own experience during a 504 meeting.  As far as I knew back then, reasonableness was not a standard for students.  I also noticed that even after years advocating, families with children who have food allergies are being denied evaluations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  These parents were being told, “we don’t do that for food allergies” by a single source (usually the nurse, assistant principal or principal) and denied an evaluation or even a review of the referral from a school-based team.  Therefore, I decided to do some research and discuss these topics about what the law states with regards to evaluations and providing access.  So I had to ask myself, 1) “What is the criteria for a child to be found eligible under Section 504?” and 2) “Is it the school’s responsibility to provide “reasonable accommodations” or is it much more than that?”  So let’s look through some of the laws, shall we?  It can get confusing so stick with me!  Please note my disclaimer, I am not a lawyer but I will include links to the information I have found (see Resources below).

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10 Questions I Wish I Asked The Allergist Upon Diagsnosis

I mentioned that I moved blogs right? In my old blog, I discussed how I wished there were things I knew to ask the allergist on that first appointment when my daughter was diagnosed.  Well, I am resurrecting the topic!  Did you ever think back to times in your life and wish, “boy I wish I knew then, the things I know now”?  Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?!  That’s how I felt when my youngest, who has multiple life threatening food allergies, and a recent diagnosis of gluten intolerance, was diagnosed way back when she was about 4 years old.  I was pretty ignorant then.  Not to my own fault (or any parent who’s child is first diagnosed with food allergies) but I was never told about cross contamination or the signs and symptoms of a reaction.  I just assumed that hives were the only symptoms I had to be aware of.   It is unfortunate that some allergists/physicians either don’t have the time in the appointment, or haven’t made that connection yet, to educate the newly diagnosed families how properly manage the allergy, explain the symptoms of a reaction and the appropriate response (like when to use the epinephrine auto-injector).  Anaphylaxis is real and parents/patients need to be educated!  However, I am thankful there are some allergists that do go far and beyond, training the parent(s). It’s just very few that do or may not have the time.

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Are You A Continental or English Knitter? Yes There’s A Difference! [Video]

For those who don’t knit, this question may seem very strange.  Really, I mean, first there’s a difference between knitting and crocheting (one uses knitting needles and the other, a hook).  Now there’s a difference between types of knitting?  Yes!  The difference is in how the knitter holds the working yarn and manipulates it.  One is either a “scooper” (as I call it) or a “thrower”.  The “scooper” is the Continental knitter.  The “thrower” is the English knitter.

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Been Busy But Reflecting on FAAW

It’s been a while since I published a post. I have a lot going on. April-June is one of the busiest seasons for me. So I tend to be less accessible to nearly everyone! However, I did not forget about Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW). Yes it has ended but I have done so much in my community and school to raise awareness. I just didn’t have time to blog :( I hope you all had a very Happy FAAW!

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The New Auvi-Q, a Child’s Perspective and How We Carry It

This is the new Auvi-Q.  It is an audio-assisted, epinephrine auto-injector.  Which pretty much means, it talks you through how to inject epinephrine during an allergic reaction.  As an aside, you don’t have to wait for the audio prompts to start in order to use the device.  You can use it immediately.  When I first heard about this device, I was excited.  However, without actually seeing, hearing and playing with the device myself, it was hard to determine how I truly felt about it.  Well, all it took was for one moment in my life that I will never forget to change everything.

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World Allergy Week 2013

It is World Allergy Week and it is time to raise more awareness to food allergy and anaphylaxis, as a result of food allergic reactions, as a global issue.  Here’s a video created by Professor Ruby Pawankar, of the World Allergy Organization, discussing World Allergy Week.  I find it interesting, as my friend Caroline over at a Grateful Foodie did, the mention of the need for prescribing “adrenaline auto-injectors” (epinephrine, like “Epipen”, “Auvi-Q” etc).  It is a tragedy that there are physicians in the medical field this very moment, who are diagnosing individuals with food allergies, yet not prescribing life saving epinephrine auto-injectors.  However, I have to remember, we are talking “globally” not locally (US).  So, this may be more the case in other countries?  Or am I being ignorant?  That being said, I have come across some moms who have told me that their physician did not prescribe the epinephrine after the food allergy diagnosis, which to me, is risky if not careless.  These incidents were right here in the USA.

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A New Blog and a Recipe for Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Fried Chicken Tenders

9bae1-frychickenHi everyone!  I am so happy with my new blog.  I decided to redesign and reposition my blog because I didn’t feel my old blog completely fit with who I am.  It only depicted a part of me, not the whole me.  Well, this definitely is me!  What do you think?  Do you like it?Before I continue I have to get some housekeeping and “lawyering” out of the way.  Please take note of my disclaimer.  This is my personal blog and information found here is not meant to be taken as medical or legal advice.  Also, I am human.  I make mistakes as any other person.  If I suggest products on my blog, it doesn’t mean that I actually use all the products.  It means I have found some similar products.  As allergy moms go, we always like to share our findings with others in case someone else can use them.  As with anything, check with the manufacturer for allergen safety.  Read my disclaimer.Read More »