Wednesday, October 23, 2013

{Allergy Free} Ginger Cake with Caramel Icing

My husband gave this a 6 on a scale from 1-5.  The kids gave it a 100, 37, and 18 on that same scale.  I'm not sure what that tells me - other than it was a huge hit.  The entire cake was gone in 20 minutes.  We had to take a family walk afterward!  
 Hello Fall!  Ginger and Caramel?  Yes!  The icing is absolutely awesome and the cake will melt in your mouth.  I ate way too many pieces!

1 1/4 cup flour blend
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1  3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup Earth Balance Soy Free softened
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T rice milk
2/3 cup rice milk whisked with 1 tsp lemon juice

Grease a bundt pan.
Mix all ingredients together in mixer on low.
Once incorporated, mix on medium for 2 minutes until batter is smooth.
Pour into the bundt pan and smooth the top.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched.
Turn out on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the icing.

Caramel Icing
heaping 1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 T vanilla hemp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Stir the Earth Balance, brown sugar, and hemp milk together in small saucepan.
Stir over low heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
Pour over cake.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Allergy Free Cinnamon No Bake Cookies

Cinnamon No Bake Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
1/2 cup vanilla hemp milk
1/2 cup No Nut Butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups gluten free quick oats

In medium saucepan combine sugar through milk.  
Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture begins to boil.
Let boil for 1 minute without stirring and then remove from heat.  (or at least 2 minutes if you make these using "regular" know the kind with real dairy)
Immediately stir in the No Nut Butter and the vanilla extract.  
Then mix in quick oats.
Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Chill in fridge for several hours until set.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{Allergy Free} Coffee Cake Muffins

This might be our new favorite Saturday morning treat.  They were so yummy.  My hubby declared that they were "amazing!"  It's the combo of the sweet and salty topping......perfection!

1 cup flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy Free, softened
1 container plain coconut yogurt (Greek style)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk

Struesel Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup Earth Balance Soy Free

Combine flour through baking soda in small bowl and set aside.
Cream the Earth Balance, yogurt, and vanilla.
Add egg replacer mixture and mix well.
Then add sugar and mix until smooth.
Stir in the flour mixture just until moistened.
Spoon into greased muffin pan.

Prepare the topping:
Combine all the ingredients for the topping in a shallow bowl.
Use a fork to cut in the Earth Balance until everything is well blended.
Sprinkle over the top of each muffin.

Bake at 350 for 16 minutes or until tops spring back.

Makes 12 muffins.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Allergy Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Orange Frosting

Summer may be over but I wasn't quite ready to give it up.  Anyway, it's still 80-90 degrees outside and feels nothing like fall.  So, we made some strawberry cupcakes for an end of summer treat!  They were yummy!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Orange Frosting

1 2/3 cup flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
2/3 cup sugar
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T rice milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries

Cream Earth Balance and sugar in mixer on high.
Add egg replacer mixture and beat until well combined.
Add half of flour mixture and beat on low.
Add orange juice.
Add remaining flour mixture.
Fold in chopped strawberries
Spoon into greased muffin tin.
Bake at 375 for 16-18 minutes.
Let cool completely.

1/2 cup Earth Balance
2 cups powdered sugar
1 T orange juice
orange zest (optional)

Cream Earth Balance and slowly add powdered sugar while alternating with orange juice.
(Add more juice or powdered sugar as need to achieve a creamy, spreadable consistency).
Fold in orange zest if desired.
Pipe onto cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Little Blog Construction

Yes, I'm still here.  I still feel like we're recovering from our move this summer and with the start of school this fall.........we have been busy at our house!  Of course, it doesn't help that my hubby is in the final stages of graduate school.  Because of our busy schedule lately, I've been trying to simply keep afloat and I haven't been experimenting with any new recipes - I just want something that I know works!  So, new recipes will be back soon, just not right now. 

In the meantime, I'm working on cleaning up some things on my blog and making pinable images of my recipes to share on Pinterest.  I'm also going to be doing some behind-the-scenes organizing of the blog pages and the posts.

I'll be back when I feel like I can breathe again.  I do have some new recipes to share that I made several weeks ago.  I also have some stories to tell about Bee's most recent allergic reactions.  She had 2 reactions in 2 weeks!  That was not a fun time!  And I will have to write about our upcoming appointment with our allergist.  Yes, we see her in November and we'll be doing testing.  We're praying for better results and maybe some outgrown allergies! 

So, know that we're still here; we're still allergy free; we're still busy looking for new recipes; we're still working to keep our kids safe.  The blog might be a little quiet, but enjoy some of the older posts and a few of our favorite recipes. 

You might need some Taco Dip for game day......
Or you might want a simple Baked Chicken recipe for a school night....
You could make some Gingerbread Donuts to celebrate fall.....
You should definitely make some Granola Bars for an after school snack....
Or you could have a treat of some Maple Oatmeal Cookies.

You can read a little about how we're trying to Teach Independence and Food Allergy Awareness
You could see why I Fear Doctors after our food allergy experiences
You might want to read about How Donuts Ruined My Day
Find out what's inside our Food Allergy Emergency Kit
And you could enjoy a much needed laugh as you reflect on life with food allergies!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Allergy Free Orange Muffins

Orange Muffins
1 cup hemp milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 container coconut yogurt
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T rice milk
1 cup Earth Balance, melted
3  1/2 cups flour blend
1  1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup sugar
1  1/2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup orange juice (plus a few extra Tablespoons if needed)
2 tsp orange zest

Whisk together milk, orange juice, coconut yogurt, egg replacer mixture, and melted Earth Balance.
In a separate bowl mix the flour blend through salt.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Fold in orange zest.
Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 18 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.
Once cool, pour the glaze over each muffin.

Makes 18-24 muffins.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Teaching Independence and Food Allergy Awareness

One of our goals is to teach Bee to take responsibility for her allergies.  One day she will be somewhere without me and she will have to be her own advocate.  The thought of that absolutely terrifies me.  But I know that she will grow up and she will have to be responsible for her allergies, health, and safety.  I'm not exactly sure how we're going to teach this independence.

I want her to understand the seriousness of her allergies and know that all it takes is one little bite.  I want her to recognize that there are no second chances and that her allergies will be something she deals with on a daily basis.  However, I don't want her to live in fear either, paralyzed to go places or enjoy new experiences.  Where is the balance?

So, not only do I worry about her food allergies, I worry about how she will handle them herself and how I will teach her.  But I was encouraged just last week -

My husband took the kids ice skating.  He loaded them in the car with their skates, jackets, and heavy socks.  They backed out of the driveway and a small voice from the backseat piped up, "Don't forget the Epi!"  Yes, little Bee has heard me say this phrase about a million times in her little life.  And now she has taken responsibility for reminding others to see to her needs.  Since that day, I have heard that phrase from her every single time we walk out the back door. 

I don't forget her Epi and I remember that one of the most important things I can do is to model actions and words for my kids.  They are always watching and they have learned the importance of taking the Epi with us just from watching us.  So, I think we've discovered step 1 in teaching Bee to be her own advocate.  We can do this!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pure and Peanut Free

Here's a great post about living with food allergies for all the wonderful allergy parents out there!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Allergy Free Chicken Veggie Soup with Red Potatoes

Chicken Veggie Soup with Red Potatoes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb chicken, cooked and diced
8 cups chicken broth
4 red potatoes, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup broccoli florets, diced small
diced baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in oil until translucent.
Add in the garlic and saute for just a minute or two.
Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken broth, potatoes, and carrots.
Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender.
Add in the broccoli and cook for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in spinach to wilt.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Allergy Free Pea Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pea Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1  1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup No Nut Butter
1 cup flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips - Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Cream Earth Balance and sugars until creamy.
Add egg replacer mixture and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add No Nut Butter and mix well.
Add dry ingredients and stir gently with spatula.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake at 375 for 10-11 minutes or until just golden brown.
Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Allergy Free Crockpot Taco Dip

Crockpot Taco Dip
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning
Beef broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (I put mine in blender) - or you could use 1 15 oz jar of salsa
1 onion, diced
tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef and drain.
Add in 2 T of taco seasoning with 2/3 cup beef broth. 
Let simmer until most of broth is absorbed.
Put pinto beans in food processor and process while adding some beef broth and 1-2 T of taco seasoning.
Place ground beef on bottom of crock pot.
Layer diced onion on top.
Next, add the black beans.
Then spread the tomatoes on top.
Spoon the pinto bean mixture over the tomatoes and spread evenly.

Cook on low for 5-7 hours.

You could also add some Daiya cheese on the pinto beans with some crumbled tortilla chips on top for more of a casserole dish.  But we like ours as a dip so we keep the chips on the side.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Allergy Free Lemon Pepper Marinade

Lemon Pepper Marinade

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients inside large ziploc bag and shake well.
Marinade chicken for an hour and then grill!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Allergy Free Oatmeal Zucchini Muffins

Oatmeal Zucchini Muffins
2  1/2 cups flour blend
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1  1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tsp egg replacer whisked with 8 T rice milk
3/4 cup applesauce
1/8 cup vanilla hemp milk
1  1/2 cups shredded zucchini

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg replacer mixture with the applesauce and hemp milk.
Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Fold in the zucchini.
Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 for 20-22 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
Makes 18-24

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'm Still Here!

No, I haven't given up the blog.  I'm still here.  We're still managing food allergies.  We've just had a few big changes around our house lately.  We've moved to a new house and we're trying to get settled and plan for our new school year.  So, I've had to take a short blog break to get reorganized.  But I'll be back with some new recipes soon.  I'll also be reorganizing my other recipes and adding pinnable images for Pinterest. 

We have a new house, new kitchen, and we'll have new recipes coming soon!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's Not a Joke: Food Allergy Awareness

FARE has launched a new campaign to raise awareness for food allergies.  Here's their newest video clip:

You can read more about the awareness campaign and find more information on their website.

Have you experienced bullying due to food allergies?  Thankfully we have not experienced extreme situations, just clueless or careless people who brush us off or make snide comments.  I've only cried a few times.........and I'm sure these situations will happen again.  I'm just so thankful for those who are so gracious about our allergies. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Allergy Free Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

I call these cupcakes.  We ate them as muffins - at least I tell myself that since the kids ate them for breakfast.  They are light and summery with a perfect balance of blueberries and lemons.  I ate 5........shhhh!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
3 cups flour blend
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T rice milk
1 cup rice milk whisked with 2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup rice milk
zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup blueberries tossed with 1 T rice flour flour

Whisk together flour blend through baking soda in large bowl.
In separate bowl, whisk egg replacer through lemon zest.
Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
Gently fold in blueberries.
Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.
Let cool on wire rack.

Lemon Frosting
1/2 cup Earth Balance
2 cups powdered sugar
zest from 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice

Cream Earth Balance.
Add in powdered sugar and lemon zest.
Mix on low.
Add in lemon juice and mix on medium until frosting is creamy and smooth.

Makes 24 cupcakes.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Great Unknown

With food allergies I battle a fear of the unknown.  I dread walking into new places, experiencing new situations, and meeting new people because I don't know what we'll be facing or how others will react.  I don't like not knowing what the outcome will be.

I'm terrified of others cooking for us.  I don't know how conscientious they are.  I don't know how aware they are of cross contamination.  I don't know if they truly understand the severity of food allergies.  I don't know how well they can read labels.  I don't know what their kitchen is like and how clean it is. 

I am always afraid that an ingredient on a label will be missed.  Not all foods have large allergy labels or lists of common allergens.  I'm afraid that I won't know one of the alternative (and tricky) names of our allergens.  I'm afraid of foods that aren't labelled, which is why I don't like anything homemade.  I just can't be certain of what's in a product. 

I don't know what it's like behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen.  When I'm assured that Bee's food will be cooked separately and that they've handled allergies before and that I shouldn't worry, I still do.  I don't know how aware all the chefs and cooks and servers are.  I don't know if our specific instructions will get lost in translation as they are passed from person to person.  I don't know if they are following every precaution. 

But most of all I fear not knowing all of Bee's allergens  Many of her allergens we've discovered through trial and error.  That's never a good way to discover allergies.  We've tested multiple times and tried hard to avoid foods that are cross-reactive, but some of her foods didn't show up on tests and some of her allergens took us by surprise.  We've had ER visits that taught us new allergens and made our list longer. 

I have so much fear that we still don't know her full allergy list.  What if there are more things?  What if we're missing something?

I also fear that Bee will develop new allergens.  I fear that the doctors will not know the best course of treatment.  I fear because there is no cure.  Food allergies are really an unknown.  No one can explain the significant rise in food allergies over the years.  No one has found a cure or even a reliably effective treatment.  No one child's food allergies and symptoms are like another.  There is just so much unknown in the world of food allergies.  And walking in the unknown is scary. 
fear of the unknown

Monday, May 20, 2013

Food Allergy Documentary

There's a new documentary about living with food allergies!  Guess what I'll be watching this week??

I'm Not Nuts: Living with Food Allergies

Friday, May 17, 2013

Etiquette and Food Allergies

Last week I was very sick with some type of virus.  I have no idea what exactly was going on.  I had fever/chills/muscle aches/sore throat/total exhaustion/coughing.  I spent several days on the couch or in bed.  The day I started to feel a little better I lost my voice.  For 4 days, I croaked and whispered and tried to talk.  When you have 5 small kids, you really really need your voice.

Ohh, and during this time we were finishing up paperwork for our new house and working with the landlords of our current rental.  Lots of phone calls (hard to make with no voice) and lots of emails with papers to sign.

Let's just say it was a totally crazy, crazy week!

On Thursday, I spent the day in my jammies (and my kids did too).  We played around the house, watched movies, ate snacks, and did puzzles.  It was a quiet day.  During our quiet afternoon the door bell rang.  I grabbed Punkin and headed downstairs to peek out the door.  There was a woman standing on our porch with something shiny in her hands.  She was also knocking on the door.  I had no choice but open the door (or let her wake up Ladybug).

It was my neighbor.  A neighbor I've never really met before.  She had in her arms a large foil casserole dish with a note taped to the top.  She explained that her church had been encouraging members to focus on blessing and reaching out to others.  That week the challenge was to bless her neighbor.  She chose me.

I thanked her profusely and chatted with her for a minute before I headed back inside.  When I shut the door I looked down at my drooling Punkin in my arms.  I was wearing my stained and spit-up covered tank top, dirty pj pants, and sporting hair that had not been washed that day.  I didn't have one bit of makeup on and my entry way was full of boxes and tubs that were being packed up.

I looked like a sleep-deprived, disorganized, mom of 5 little people.  Now, I know that's exactly what I am, but I sure don't like to look like it!  I looked absolutely awful.

I put the casserole dish on my counter with a huge feeling of guilt washing over me.  Here is my sweet neighbor who doesn't know me except by sight (she's seen me wrangling all 5 kids on our walks around the block) and she brought me dinner.  She has no idea that we can't eat that dinner.

What do you do in this situation?????

Here's my food allergy etiquette advice.

Talk about food allergies as much as possible with those that know you.  The ones who do know your family will know about your allergies and will be aware of your limitations.

For those who don't know you, you have to decide if it's an appropriate time to educate them or to just smile and move on.  You can take a break from the soapbox once in a while.

There are times to educate about the allergies and there are times to just say thank you and keep going.  I chose the latter with my neighbor.  I'm not going to see her much as we are moving in a few weeks.  She would have had no way of knowing about the allergies and she won't be cooking for us again (at least I doubt it) so it's not important for her to have our allergy list.

But I sure felt guilty with a giant cheesy lasagna on my counter.  There was no way I could throw her homemade lasagna in the trash!  So, I called some friends and chose to give it away to another family and pass the blessing on.  Her thoughtfulness blessed us and her food can bless another family.

I sent Prince Charming over the next day with a card the kids drew for her.  He brought along Ladybug (who can't talk) to tell her thank you.  We decided not to mention the fact that we weren't the ones who enjoyed the lasagna.

Food allergies sure put us in awkward situations!  How do you take food into your house that has some deadly ingredients?  How do you know when to explain about the allergies and when to let it go?  What do you do in a situation when others try to bring you food?

Refusing food can make you seem ungrateful and taking food that you cannot eat will make you feel guilty (and can pose a safety hazard).  It's a no-win situation! 

I need a food allergy etiquette guide!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free Resource

Here's a resource I recently discovered for those who are gluten, dairy, and egg free.  There looks to be some good recipes on the Fork and Beans website but I really love the info on gluten free grains!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Allergy Free Lemon Donuts

My kids want donuts every weekend, so I have to come up with some new varieties.  Here's our new summertime donut recipe - Lemon Donuts!  They are so light and fluffy and lemony! 

Lemon Donuts
1 cup rice milk plus 2 Tablespoons
4 Tablespoons plain coconut Greek yogurt
3 cups flour blend
1  1/2 tsp xanthan
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
1 cup sugar
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T rice milk
zest of 1 large lemon

Whisk milk and yogurt together and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, xanthan, baking powder, and salt together.
In mixer cream the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy.
Add egg replacer mixture and lemon zest.
Add the flour mixture and milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture.
Mix until just combined - don't overmix.
Spoon into greased donut tins.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, or until donuts spring back when touched.
Cool on wire rack.

2 cups powdered sugar
lemon juice

Whisk in lemon juice until a pourable glaze forms.
Drizzle over donuts.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Punkin Update

In March we made the 3 hour drive to take Punkin to our immunologist.  During our 4 hour appointment, we saw a resident, our doctor, our dietician, and 4 different nurses.  It was a long day!

What did we learn?  I don't feel like we learned much.

Punkin was allergy-tested and everything was negative - not even a little bit positive.  Her skin test showed nothing!

So, we learned that she has eczema - which we already knew.  But we don't have a real reason of why hers is so severe.

We don't have a very exciting action plan other than lots of cool tub soaks, lots of lotion, keeping her cool, using a humidifier, and using even more lotion.

I think I'm still in shock that her test results were negative.  I'm just not sure how confident I am with those results.  She's so much like Bee with her symptoms and yet the doctor believes she has no allergies. 

We'll keep on with our tub soaks and lotion regime and the we'll go back in November.  I'm hoping to have some type of answer.  It's discouraging to hear that she has eczema with no real reason as to why.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Allergy Safe Nail Polish

When you parent an allergic kiddo, everything can pose an allergy risk.  I'm a little paranoid about nail polish but we've found a great natural alternative.  We love Piggy Paint at our house and it's safe for all my girls!  It's all natural and water-based with no harsh chemicals.  I even let Bee paint my nails with it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Food Allergies, Sports, and Activities

We want our kids to be involved in activities.  But is there an activity without food?  Even with sports, there is always the snack brought after the practice or the game or the team get together at a local restaurant.  I am just not excited about sports.

There's also the added element of the outdoor sports.  With those we have to worry about the outdoor allergens and the heat.  Both of those factors can cause severe eczema flares in Bee.

So, I am concerned about the heat, bugs, pollen, dust, and food involved with most sports.

We've had to be a little creative with regard to our activities.  Right now, our kids are involved in 2 things - violin and ice skating.

Violin is indoors.  Yay!  You don't eat while you play!  You don't even get food near your violin.  Perfect!  Bee is loving violin lessons and she's slowly learning to play on her strings.  We have bi-weekly group lessons with our studio and all the kids play together.  Each week the kids have individual private lessons.  I love that they will have a foundation in music and will always be able to play an instrument.

Ice Skating is also indoors!  What I love about ice skating is that it's cold in there!  Bee can wear her warm and comfy clothes and can skate to her heart's content.  There is no food on the ice and everyone is covered up so that no one is directly touching Bee.  As long as we avoid the snack bar, we stay safe at the rink.

And we have swimming during the summer time.  Bee does well in swimming pools as long as she showers afterwards and uses lotion.  Swimming keeps her cool as well.  We try to go to the pool first thing in the morning so we avoid all the birthday parties and people who bring food to the pool area.

Can I admit that I'm glad we don't do soccer and baseball/softball?  I don't want to sit out at the fields every Saturday morning in the wind or the heat.  I don't want to be out late at night for practices or games. I don't want to battle the bugs!

Food allergies dictate our activities and the eczema limits us too.  But we can participate in a few things.  I've found that carefully choosing only a few activities is the best way to go for us.   

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Babies and Eczema

Well, lately I sometimes feel like I'm reliving the nightmare of when Bee was little.  Punkin has eczema, spits up a lot, and sometimes has tummy troubles.

I've made sure that I no longer sneak gluten and dairy-filled snacks but we're not sure what else could be bothering her.  This means a visit to our pediatrician and a referral to our immunologist at Texas Children's.

For now we're doing tub soaks, lotion, and we might have to try an elimination diet if her skin doesn't clear up soon.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Allergy Free Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Here's a fast and easy weeknight dinner with only a few ingredients!  It was simple and yummy!  All the kids loved it and I enjoyed my chicken over a spinach salad!

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
1 T olive oil
5 garlic cloves minced
4 T brown sugar
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper

Salt and pepper each side of the chicken breasts and place in a foil lined baking dish.
Heat olive oil in skillet and lightly brown the garlic cloves.
Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
Pour over chicken in baking dish.
Bake at 425 for 20-40 minutes (or until juices run clear).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

News from the Hive

Our Hive has some news!  We are moving!  (I'm actually not excited about it........)  

Here's the scoop:

We live in a rent house and we were planning to renew our lease.  We just learned that our landlords want to move back into our rent house.  That means that we're going to have to move out this summer!

We are in the middle of house hunting for another house in one of the nearby neighborhoods.  So, the blogging might be a little sporadic between the packing and the moving.

We think we'll be moving sometime in June.  Moving with food allergies is not at all fun!

I hate house hunting with food allergies.  Why?  

  • Because we have to wander through houses that have pets or might have food out or might be dirty or might have tons of air freshener stinkiness!  All of those things can bother Bee!  (We often have to go as a family since we don't have someone to watch the kids and my hubby and I both need to see the houses).  So, the kids get to go along on our trips and we keep a careful eye on Bee at each house.  It does give us a good indication of how she'll do in the new home though.

  • Because it's hard to cook when you're in the middle of moving and packing.  When you don't have many options for eating out safely, you cherish your kitchen and home-cooked meals.  Cooking when your kitchen items are packed is really tough.  I hate trying to plan meals, get things cooked, or pick up our standby meal of Chick-Fil-A.  Moving means unhealthy and quickly planned meals.  

  • Because something might get overlooked in the midst of all the moving plans.  I'm afraid I'll forget something or misplace the Epi Pens or forget to read a label carefully.  Moving makes me lose my mind!  But I can't let that happen because I've got to keep Bee safe and not lose track of the kids during the craziness!

So, I think I've just discovered a new fear - moving with food allergies.  I'm afraid that I'll forget something or miss something or be less vigilant because of the chaos surrounding me.  And that's just not an option for us.

By the end of our move I hope this will be true of us:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Date Night

We had the chance for a fun date night for our anniversary last month.  So, what do food allergy parents do on date night?

First, we had my parents (and my grandma) here in town to watch the kids.  They are experienced allergy grandparents and are careful of our extensive allergy list.  The kids stayed in the hotel with them - where the chef is also aware of Bee's allergies.  He cooks some things special just for her.  So, the kids were taken care of and we had our first child-free date in a long, long time!

We went to a nearby restaurant and had a wonderful dinner together - filled with lots and lots of dairy and gluten and things made with eggs.  My favorite part of the dinner?  All the cheese!!!

Truffle oil fries with fresh parmesan cheese?  Yes please!!

And we even ordered mac and cheese.  That will always be one of my favorite foods - especially when it's made with Gruyere cheese!

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