Sunday, June 27, 2010

Protein Shake

Baby Bee is tiny, tiny and we worry about her nutrition, her calcium intake, her protein intake, her caloric intake, her weight, and her absorption.  Basically, we worry about everything that does go into her tummy and all the things we wish could go into her tummy.  Our doctor recommended this protein shake for her that is made from a rice-based protein source.  It is free of all of her allergens and seems to taste pretty good to her.  She drinks one shake every morning!

Bulk

Wow!  Is this bag heavy!  Our local health food store allowed me to purchase some brown rice flour in bulk when they received their latest shipment.  No shipping fees!  Now I just have to figure out how to store this stuff! 
Time to bake!!!

Beer bread!
Coffee cake!
It smells so good in here!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicken Tenders

Ok, in case you haven't noticed I am not the Pioneer Woman and this is not tasty kitchen.  This is the allergy free kitchen, and sometimes it is just not that tasty!  It does not have gorgeous edited photos of every ingredient laid out in brightly-colored porcelain bowls.  It does not have detailed photo instructions for the recipe.  Heck, sometimes I don't even have pictures of the food at all.  We are hungry over here!  I do not have beautiful cookware, it would be broken or disappear into the play kitchen with all my strainers.  I cook with between one and three children (with an average of two) screaming and/or clinging to my legs.  Often, I have two helpers peering over the very, very dirty counter tops, with a third trying to climb onto said counter tops.  I spend my cooking time trying to keep one child from picking his nose while stirring (guess who that might be) and keeping up with a very profound conversation from another, while a third is randomly pulling the hair of the person closest to her.  Thank you Bee!  If there is hair in my cooking, it is solely her fault.

Sometimes PC cooks, which is one of the many reasons why we call him Prince Charming.  And, he's actually very good at it.  Give him a skillet and he is dangerous!  We hide in the bedroom until we're called.

Tonight we came out to garlic chicken, but we smelled it long before (and long after) it was done.

You start with our favorite and basic chicken tender.

Chicken tenderloins
1 cup brown rice breadcrumbs
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t pepper
More for sprinkling

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
Combine breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper, and dredge chicken.
Place chicken in skillet of hot olive oil.  This oil needs to be really hot.  You might need to test one first to make sure the oil is popping or you will have some soggy chicken.
Cook for a few minutes, rotating regularly, until tenderloins are brown on all sides and juices run clear when cut.  Place on cooling rack and continue cooking tenderloins in batches until all are done.

(And by the way, PC does not measure anything so these are really ballpark figures, so you'll just have to taste test as you go.)

These are some yummy chicken fingers!



But PC does a variation on these that is a huge hit at our garlic-loving house.

Garlic Chick
2 T olive oil
18-20 garlic cloves crushed (yes, we really use that many)
1 can chicken broth
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
3 T millet flour
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in skillet.  Add crushed cloves and saute until golden brown.  Remove cloves and mash and place in a bowl.
Add chicken broth to hot oil.  Let cook for about 2 minutes.
Add lemon juice, basil, and oregano to skillet, stir, and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add mashed garlic.
Add flour slowly, stirring with each addition.
Add water and stir until sauce thickens.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour this over your chicken fingers and you'll keep the vampires away!

An Argument


Ohhh, I have sat in this chair many times.  I wasn't looking for an argument, but I found several, and paid for all of them.

Let me take you back.....



This is Baby Bee, only a few hours old, resting in Daddy's arms.  If I only knew....this was the calm before the storm.

Bee was a fussy baby, very very fussy.  Bee didn't eat well or sleep.  The pediatrician tried to sympathize with "the tired mommy," but I knew he wrote me off.

When we presented with all over eczema, he stated that it was just that, simply eczema.  He wrote me a prescription for steroid cream and ushered me to the door.  Ok, Bee did not have "just" eczema, she was covered, and her crying was for a very good reason.  I suggested food allergies.  "No, definitely not."  But I really think...What about yeast?  Does she have a yeast infection?  "No, and I will NOT prescribe something for a yeast infection when it is NOT a yeast infection."  I argued that point for a few more minutes.  Then we argued about steroid cream and my not wanting to use it.  (He said I had no choice.)  Then we argued about whether I needed to see a dermatologist.  Finally, I insisted on a referral.  I left.  How many arguments was that?  Four?  And I paid for that....

The dermatologist was no better.  Yes, it was eczema.  Yes, I knew.  This was the one point that I was NOT attempting to argue.  But what about food?  Was food causing this?  We argued.  He laughed.  Then he suggested we present at grand rounds.  We did that and got the same answer.  We met with the pediatric specialist.  Then we had the same food allergy argument.  Wow, I paid two times for that argument.

The follow up appointment was no better.  I brought up the food issue again, asking for a blood test.  I was vehemently denied that test after an argument.  Then I brought up a yeast infection.  We argued over that too. I paid, but I guess I got two for one on that day.  What a sale!!!

So, I tried another pediatrician.  We argued about food allergies, and he finally relented and ordered a test.  This was 4 or 5 months after the initial visit to the pediatrician.  I was going on 7 months with little or no sleep and a baby who was more than miserable.  I think I looked something like this at that appointment:
Yup, I think I would have just ordered the blood test too.  I wouldn't argue with that anymore.  Win number one!

Of course, the test showed multiple and severe food allergies.  I cancelled my next follow up with the dermatologist and started calling immunologist/allergists.  None would take us as patients due to Bee's age of 8 months.  The angry look was coming back.

We met with an ENT who wanted Bee on steroid meds when she turned 1.  Not going to happen.  Argument.  Then we argued about dietary restrictions.  I was told that I could not manage my diet to restrict Bee's multiple allergens.  Yeah, well, we had an unpleasant argument there.  At least I felt like I got my money's worth on that one.

We traveled to another state to see an immunologist.  He was just not that helpful.  We argued about steroid cream and we argued about yeast infections.  We argued about Bee's allergens and if we could actually avoid all of them.  I can, but more importantly, I will!  No point in arguing that one with me.  What a long drive home!

Finally, got in to see an immunologist in our state.  Called and begged and ARGUED on the phone.  Win!  Guess what her first words were..........your baby has eczema and a secondary yeast infection.  Bingo!  No argument there!  That began our road to recovery.  Multiple yeast and other fungal infections, as well as staph infections later, Bee is clear of all infections and has stayed that way for months.  It just took a little argumentation and persistence to get there.

How sad that I had to argue with every provider in order to help Bee.  But even more sad, that they would argue back with me.  Or was it just contradiction?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Secondary Glutenization


We have established that there are many foods Bee cannot eat.  For example, Bee can't eat gluten.  But what if Bee ate chicken which had been fed gluten-containing grains.  Will that affect her as well?  Apparently, I'm not the only one wondering about this issue.  However, whether grain fed animal meat does contain gluten or not, we are free-range, grass-fed, organic kind of people. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Color-Coded

What to do about sippy cups?  They are hard to get fully clean, and if the kids accidentally drink after one another, well, Baby Bee will break out (in the rare instances when the kids eat something that she can't have or if she grabs another kid's sippy cup at church).  So, we are color-coded and use stainless steel canteens.  Easy to clean, no plastic problems (BPA, phthalates), easy to tote around, and they come with different lids-  Sippy for Baby Bee and sport caps for Tiger and Curly.  The kids love them and they do a great job helping Baby Bee drink ONLY from her canteen.  Plus, they are bright, easy to find, and everyone else knows that they are ours, so they don't touch Bee's drink.  Bee has her purple sippy, Tiger has green, and Curly of course has pink.  They even come in different sizes; Mommy has the giant turquoise one!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Incredible Edible Egg

I no longer have any of these little guys in my fridge.  The egg may be incredible, but at our house, it is definitely NOT edible! 

I don't really miss scrambled eggs, or poached eggs, or omelets, or sunny-side up eggs, or eggs at all--except in my baking!!  Have you ever baked without eggs?  No fun!

You have got to find a substitution, and only certain substitutions are appropriate for certain situations.  Confused yet? 

Keep an egg replacement list handy, but also know what job the egg was doing in that recipe-was it for binding or leavening or adding moisture.  And if you have a recipe that calls for a dozen eggs...well...hide that one for now because I don't know of any replacer that can replace THAT many eggs. 

For meatloaf and meatballs and other recipes that need some "binding" I have been successful with ground flaxseed mixed with water.  (1 T flaxseed to 3 T warm water--replaces one egg).

I have done some baking with applesauce and it sure does help add some moisture to what can be dry and crumbly gluten-free baked goods.  Can't try the banana trick, but let me know if that one works.  You can also add fruit juice or other pureed fruits to baked goods for some added moisture.  It can only help gluten-free goods!

My baking buddy is Ener-G Egg Replacer.  Hello breads and cookies!  This is a great replacer when you need some leavening help.

Other popular egg replacement tricks involve tofu (soy!) and powdered milk or other dairy ingredients. 

So far, so good on the egg free fridge over here.  However, I think I miss French toast...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clean Up


How many times did the dermatologist, pediatrician, and allergist ask me if I had considered changing detergents?  Wow!  I think I just started to roll my eyes at them when they began that spiel.  I tried all kinds of allergen free and free and clear and even went without fabric softener or dryer sheets.  No improvements!
This was a little more than a dryer sheet.  But all the detergent-changing and all natural detergent began to add up, so I began making my own.  I also began to make my own cleaning supplies out of total paranoia.  Then I realized how much money I was saving, so I haven't looked back.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Counter Spray
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
several drops of essential oil
I use either lavender or lemon because of their antibacterial properties but tea tree is antibacterial as well, it just doesn't smell as nice. 
Place in spray bottle and shake well before each use.

Disinfecting Cleaner
1/2 cup borax
1 gallon boiling water
Mix together and add essential oil after allowing to cool.
Place in spray bottle and shake well before each use.

Floor Cleaner
1 cup vinegar
1/2 washing soda
1 T vegetable oil based liquid soap
2 gallons hot water
Essential oil-I like orange or lemon
Combine well to dissolve washing soda, and mop away!

Laundry Detergent
1 quart boiling water
2 cups bar soap (grated)  I use Fels Naptha or Ivory.
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

Add grated soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Pour soap into large pail and add borax and washing soda and then stir well.  Add two gallons of water and stir until mixed.  Refill all your old detergent containers.  Shake up the container well before each use, as the detergent will gel. 

Dishwasher Detergent
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup citric acid
1/4 cup coarse salt
Mix together and use 1 Tablespoon per load.  Add white vinegar to the rinse aid. 

Glass Cleaner
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 T cornstarch
1 quart warm water
Put in spray bottle and shake well before each use.

Happy cleaning!

Monday Memories


This past spring I had the bright idea to take my children to the dairy classroom at our fairgrounds.  Someone please tell me why I thought that was a good idea.  Why? 

Let me set the stage:  We had just moved to a new state.....Texas.  We were living in a rent house, still half-packed, boxes everywhere.  We were working to buy a house.  Tiger had the brilliant idea to potty train and little Bee had had more allergic reactions in one month than I can count on one hand, and maybe two.  I guess I just wanted a Texas experience-you know farming and cows and such.  And the fairgrounds, what better way to experience "Texas."  Right?

I think there were a hundred school groups there, waiting and waiting and waiting, for the door to open to take you to somewhere beyond that door-to the mobile dairy classroom.  The "dynamic, fun, and educational" dairy classroom, the one that comes complete with a "milking parlor" and REAL cow!  It must be great!  It's dynamic!  It is FUN!  Errrr, ummm........ok.

So, we get to the classroom which is a giant green carpet that is pretending to be grass.  In front of us is the cow, all boxed into the nifty trailer, with the dynamic, exciting, and FUN speaker--a really old, crusty farmer guy.  GREAT for kids!  He spent 30 minutes propagandizing our children about the benefits of milk.  You CANNOT live without it apparently.  Then he put on the milking machine, two seconds later, he had milked one drop, and it was basically over.  He opened the floor for questions and millions of bewildered children started at him, bored out of their minds.  At this point in the lively presentation, Tiger began to dance around on the rug and Curly began to squeal.  I saw a dark puddle seeping from under Tiger.  Curly began to shriek something about pee pee and accident and I made a hasty exit, from the SECOND ROW!  As we ran toward the bathroom, several wonderfully sweet ladies were thrusting a fuchsia-colored drink in my children's faces.  They called it "strawberry milk."  No way!  Even if we could drink milk, that concoction does not even qualify.  In the future, I shall avoid all things dairy, especially when dairy and dynamic are together, because is that even possible?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shopping Guide

I do not like to shop--for anything.  Never have, never will.  However, shopping for groceries wasn't too bad...........until now!! 

Last week, I had a meltdown in the chip aisle.  I was looking for some plain kettle potato chips to use for breading for Baby Bee's chicken strips.  They were out.  EVERY OTHER BRAND had either sesame, corn, or milk!  Can you make a potato chip without milk?  I bet I could!  But, most companies don't care to try.  I threw some bags of chips back on the shelves.  It did make me feel slightly better. 

I've had coconut yogurt meltdowns.  And rice milk meltdowns.  And tapioca starch meltdowns.  I could keep going....

Why is it that one store carries one thing I need, another store carries two others, and the third store has four things I need.  Can I please just shop at one??  Nope!  That would be too easy!

But I heard this book is supposed to help minimize your shopping nightmares and meltdowns.  Did I mention my birthday is coming soon?  A massage would be nice too..........

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coconut Bliss

Who can argue with dark chocolate?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seven Stages



When we were first discovering Baby Bee's allergies, I started in denial.  From there I think I traveled through the "seven stages of grief" more than once.  I denied the presence of the allergies and I denied their severity.
If she only eats a little something that only has a tiny bit of wheat...............
This will go away soon, by a year she'll be eating normal foods............

Then I progressed to guilt.  I analyzed the entire pregnancy and delivery and every moment afterward.  I thought back on every sickness I or Bee had experienced.
I ate didn't eat well enough during the pregnancy.........
If only I hadn't had the flu while pregnant......
If I had nursed longer or waited to introduce solids until later........

Next, anger.
Why my child? 
Why doe she have to suffer?
Why can't she be normal?
Why can't we just have our lives back?

Utter hopelessness and depression followed.  I had slowly begun to accept the reality of Bee's situation and I quickly learned that no one else understood.  When I tried to explain to friends or when I panicked each time someone fed their child a Cheerio within 50 feet of Bee, well, let's just say I began to feel alone quickly.
Why could no one understand and why did no one believe me?
There was no one to talk with, and I was surprised by the lack of compassion shown by doctors and others I encountered.  I was "over reacting" and she would just "grow out of it, right?"  I knew the truth that I didn't want to accept, but others..........

Then I finally began to drag myself upward and I realized that we could handle this.  I had no choice; Bee was depending on me.  Suddenly everything seemed a little easier.  I was the only one who could help Bee, and I would do just that.

I launched into my reconstruction efforts and slowly made daily changes.
No more peanuts in house............check
No more eggs............check
New cookbooks..........check
New snack foods..........check
I made lists and searched websites and began to feel informed.  I found friends who had been down this road; I found support and encouragement.

At last, I finally feel like I have hope.  Bee may never outgrow many of these allergies; some may be for a lifetime.  And I've learned that's ok.  Our life will never be the same and our normal looks so very different.  I cling to each small improvement, each milestone, and every kind and compassionate word.  I especially cling to the compliments of how beautiful Baby Bee is, because for a time she looked less than human.

But more than anything, I cling to the hope I have in the Lord and each smile from little Bee.


She depends on me and puts her unfailing trust in me, and I know on whom I can depend.  What peace!

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is an everlasting Rock."  Isaiah 26: 3-4

I have made the journey, and now I can revel in hope.

"And now, Lord, what do I wait for?  My hope is in you."  Psalm 39:7

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cookies

Mmmmmmmmmmm, don't drool on your keyboards!  Place an order!

Moo is Bad For You

If you open my fridge, you won't find milk, butter, cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, buttermilk, whipping cream, half-n-half...........I miss it!!  But not nearly as much as PC. 
So what to use instead??

Curly has her almond milk in the fridge--chocolate and vanilla.  She is not a rice milk girl and she has to keep her milk up high on the table so Bee can't get it.
Bee has rice milk and coconut milk.  We try to alternate between the two.  I've heard of hemp milk and if I can find it, we might try some.  And no, you can't get high from hemp milk.

Instead of butter we use vegetable shortening or coconut oil.  I've heard of a product by Earth's Balance that is a vegan spread but I haven't seen it yet.

Bee enjoys coconut yogurt and ice cream for a sweet treat.  Even Curly and Tiger enjoy those.  The rice yogurt wasn't quite as popular around here.

There are ways to make your own "buttermilk" and other dairy subs

We've tried rice "cheese" but it wasn't the same.  Maybe we'll try that one again since we've gone without the real deal for a while.  But next on our list is to try this "cheese."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cookie Monster

Bee is a cookie fanatic.  She is our cookie monster!  So, I tried out a new cookie recipe on her.  Success!

Probiotics

Are probiotics the answer for those with food allergies?

Our doctor feels that they can do nothing but help at this point and he agrees that Baby Bee's intestinal track is out of whack!  So, he put us on a dairy and soy free probiotic-which can be pretty tricky to find.  So far so good and no reactions.  We'll keep it up for a few months and see if we notice any changes. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Peanuts


Should they ban peanuts on flights???  After our experiences, I think I would have to say, yes.  Unless, of course, all flight attendants are armed with Epi Pens......  What would you do in mid-air if you had an episode of anaphylaxis?

While it doesn't seem fair to ban peanuts, airplanes aren't equipped with rescue measures and doctors.  You can't just take an ambulance ride to the nearest ER.  (And before you hop on that ambulance, know that they charge you transport fees AS WELL AS mileage--at $15 a mile in our lovely little town).  So, while it would be ridiculous to ban peanuts from every establishment, when you are confined to a seat in an airplane next to someone who is ripping open their third bag..........well, that's a problem.  And allergy parents can agree, this issue should be addressed.  I can avoid the ballpark and even those peanut-shells-on-the-floor restaurants.  But if we have to fly somewhere, what would our options be?  This is one option, and not one that I would accept, and I'm not the only one who thinks this is unfair.



I think I'd rather just drive............with an ice chest full of coconut yogurt and allergy free chocolate cookies and many, many books on tape for the kids.............and maybe earplugs for me.  But if you're braver than I, then check out this site for some travel tips.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Snacktime

Baby Bee's favorite snacks are squeezie applesauces from Plum Organics.  They come in either fruit alone or fruit and veggie blends.  Revolution Foods also makes MashUps which are similar.  My little pouches hang out in the diaper bag and go everywhere with me for snack emergencies.  And they are perfect in the car!

Links

List of products that are allergen free. 

Collection of allergy free recipes.

More cooking help.

Even more recipes.

Gluten-free bloggers!  The Gluten Free Goddess and The Gluten Free Mommy

Here's an allergy free blog.....and the first entry is the type of flour blend that I use (when I don't make my own) and the second entry is our favorite cookies.  Yummy!

Then and Now

Here are some before and after pictures to show you how far we've come:


Then


Now

Websites

Here are some helpful links in learning about food allergies or finding a support network.

Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network  You can join for recipes and support.  They also have some helpful articles about understanding food allergies.

Kids with Food Allergies is a site for parents who are managing their children's allergies.  You can join the site and participate in their forum for ideas and recipes. 

Allergic Child has many helpful articles and a recipe section.  There are also many shared stories of parents detailing the food allergy experience of their children. 

Vickerstaff Health Services has many informative articles about allergies and allergy testing.

Food Families

Well, we're learning that not all food allergy tests are completely accurate.  We've had a positive blood test and then a negative skin prick test for the same food and we've also had the reverse.  Our doctor said she will just take our word for it if we're concerned about foods, but trial and error is very scary.  So, we're going to go with the food families and begin learning which foods are related and which foods have possible cross-reactions with other foods.  By avoiding foods in the same family as foods that we know are allergens we are hoping to reduce some of her reactions.  I use the article from the Calgary Allergy Network to make my lists.  They list foods by name as well as by food family. 
Here is another website that details food families.

After reading through the articles, I think I've discovered the cause of Bee's rash last week--Quinoa.  Bee's face looked rashy last week and I could never figure out what she had eaten that was different.  Quinoa was one of the only "different" foods she had eaten that week.  Quinoa is related to the legume family, so no more Quinoa for Bee.  Thankfully the reaction was only a slight rash with a few hives, but Quinoa will need to be avoided for now.  But hopefully that will be outgrown in a few years!
Here is rashy Bee:
Thankfully the rash went away quickly this time.  No more Quinoa!!!
And yes, my children are playing outside in jammies.  Why not?

Cinnamon Rolls

Using my Allergen Free Guide to Baking I made Bee some cinnamon rolls-and myself too since I was really missing them!  They are not an easy thing to make but they were sooo sooo yummy!  I will have to figure out the dough because mine was like sticky goo.  The cookbook said to roll out my dough but that wasn't about to happen.  With much extra flour I was able to shape the dough and somewhat roll it up.  My rolls weren't pretty but were great and disappeared fast!

Spicy Honey Chicken

Around here we like honey..........go figure.  So here is Baby Bee's BBQ Chicken

2 t. garlic powder
2 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. red pepper

Place in large ziploc, add chicken, and shake to coat.

6 T honey
2 t. cider vinegar

Combine and stir.

Broil or grill chicken, basting with sauce.  We often save some of the sauce, boil it with some potato or tapioca starch to thicken it, and use it for dipping.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bee Eats Pancakes

This is Bee enjoying her first ever chocolate chip pancake.  She went on to eat three whole pancakes!  By herself!  This is the mix that PC used--he's in charge of all things on the griddle!


The Cravings Place

Another brand that I'm looking in to for pre-maid mixes is the Cravings Place.  So far the only thing I have tried is the coffee cake but it was yummy!!!  Tasted nearly normal!

Allergy Free Chicken Noodle Soup

This is another favorite with the little ones.  I add tons of veggies to it and call it "Rainbow Soup" and I can get them to eat every bite!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and add:
3 garlic cloves diced (or more---we love garlic)
chopped carrots
chopped celery
chopped bell peppers (red, green, yellow, and orange)
1 chopped onion
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs

Saute until fragrant about 7-10 minutes. 

Chicken broth
Cooked chicken
Tinkyada pasta
Salt, pepper, parsley, and basil

Add chicken broth--you will need enough to more than cover the veggies.  (I always end up having to add more...)  Simmer until veggies are tender.  In the meantime, cook pasta.  Drain and rinse pasta and then add to pot with cooked and diced chicken.  Add salt, pepper, parsley, and basil to taste. Comfort food! And Princess Approved!

Cookbooks

I was so at a loss when starting our journey.  I had no inspiration for recipes and did not know where to begin.  Enter The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook.  Hurray!!!  Foods that I could cook and with very few modifications.  And the few that I tried were very good!  Beer Battered Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Marsala, Pancakes, Breaded Chicken Cutlets. Chicken Pot Pie.  My kids have eaten every one so far and so has PC--without complaining!  A great resource!

But what about baking?  To bake gluten free is hard enough, throw out dairy and that is getting complicated, but take away my eggs!  Yuck!  Gooey, sticky, runny, crumbly....you name it and I can bake it!  Thank goodness for The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by the same author.  I've only tried a few muffin, pancake, and cookie recipes; I have yet to branch out to the breads, cakes, cupcakes, and pastries.  But the few things I have made have disappeared quickly.  The Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies lasted about 12 hours.  Every time PC tried to eat one little Bee stole it away.  It was her very first homemade cookie!  I should have taken a picture but I was too busy eating them!
Wait....I found a picture....only one cookie is missing.  Shhh!!  I had to test them first!


Another resource that I'm just beginning to work through is The Complete Book of Gluten-Free Cooking.  Now, it does have recipes with eggs and dairy but some of them I can substitute and some recipes don't call for eggs.  The Sorghum Bread does not call for eggs and it is amazing!  Baby Bee enjoyed her first piece of cinnamon toast the other morning.  She was thrilled!

This was about the same face I got when it was all gone.....

1-2-3 Gluten Free

I discovered these mixes which are gluten free but they list allergy free cooking options on the box and have additional recipe options on their website.  And the few mixes that I've tried have turned out really well!  So, when you're in a pinch and need to throw something together quickly or don't feel like measuring out a special flour blend, try one!

And if you aren't sure about a recipe or need some further guidance, call them!  I've talked with them on more than one occasion about substitutions and they were very helpful and knowledgeable.  The mixes might be hard to find but they are showing up in more and more stores.  I've been requesting that our local store begin carrying them--and within a month or two--they will!

{Allergy Free} Meatloaf



So I thought meatloaf would be impossible without the eggs.....not so!  Here is Bee's favorite meatloaf!

Meatloaf

1 lb ground round (or ground bison)
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
 brown rice bread crumbs (I think I probably use a little less than 1/4 cup)
1 heaping T of minced onion
1/4 cup Ketchup (Muir Glen is a safe brand for us)
a splash of plain rice milk

Mix together and form 5 small loaves.

8 oz can of tomato sauce


Spray pan with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of the pan with a small amount of tomato sauce.  Place loaves in pan.  Baked covered at 350 for 30 minutes.  Use the remaining tomato sauce and mix with brown sugar to create a paste.  Baste the loaves with the paste and bake covered for another 20 minutes.

 Mmmmmm.........Yummy!  Doesn't this make you hungry????

Garlic Pasta

We were getting a little tired of our regular spaghetti so we branched out.  We made garlic pasta and the kids ate every bite. 

Cover the bottom of a skillet with olive oil (the amount really depends on how much pasta you are going to cook)
Finely dice several (I use a LOT) of garlic cloves and a red pepper (and any other veggies)

Saute the garlic and veggies in the olive oil until the garlic begins to brown.

Add pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil....and a little salt

Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse, then toss with the olive oil. 

Simple and oh so good!

Our Favorite

One of our favorite brands around here is Enjoy Life.  Bee cannot live without their cookies and if she sees the box in the pantry she begins to scream, "That! That!"  Tiger and Curly love their bars, but the bars have sunflower butter in them so they are off limits for little Bee.  And they have chocolate chips!!  Heaven!  And chocolate bars!  Bliss!

Pasta

I love pasta and I cannot live without it. AT. ALL.  Therefore, I searched for the best gluten and corn free pasta out there.  And I found it............Hello, Tinkyada!  And I even like saying it!

It takes longer to cook than regular pasta but it is sooooo worth it!  It is not mushy (yuck) or sticky.  The nonsticky factor is what sold me.  Every other brand I have tried sticks together in a giant noodle clump.  So, Tinkyada is a winner for me.

You can even order it in bulk off Amazon where it is cheaper than buying it from a health food store. 
 
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