Monday, December 28, 2015

{Allergy Free} Crockpot Potato Soup

Crockpot Potato Soup

1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 T garlic, minced
3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4-6 cups chicken broth (I think I used closer to 5)
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups rice milk
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste

Add onion through pepper to crockpot and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
Scoop out portions of the soup and put in food processor and blend.
Put the processed soup back in crockpot.
Whisk together rice milk and whisk flour and then pour mixture into crockpot.
Cook on high for another 30 minutes, allowing soup to thicken slightly.
Add in paprika and salt to taste.
Serve with bacon bits and green onion.

Adapted from Budget Bites

Monday, December 21, 2015

{Allergy Free} Sugar Sprinkled Gingerbread Muffins

My new Christmas time breakfast! Gingerbread in muffin form!

Sugar Sprinkled Gingerbread Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour blend
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
3/4 cup vanilla hemp milk
1/4 cup sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin tins.
In mixing bowl, mix Earth Balance through egg replacer mixture.
Mix well.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour blend through salt.
Add flour mixture, alternating with hemp milk, just until combined.
Scoop into muffin tins (they will be full) and then sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, December 14, 2015

{Allergy Free} Pea Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Squares

These are a perfect afternoon snack combining chocolate and pea butter. My kids tried to eat the whole pan!

Pea Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Squares

1 cup pea butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Line 9x9 pan with foil and spray well.
Melt pea butter and honey over medium heat until smooth.
Stir in salt.
Over low heat stir in oats until well combined.
Remove from heat and fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan and press down with spatula.
Place into fridge until bars set.
Cut into squares and serve.
Keep any leftovers in the fridge or they will become very sticky.

Monday, December 7, 2015

{Allergy Free} Soft Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T vanilla hemp milk
4 cups flour blend
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 cups powdered sugar
4 T water
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degree and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In mixing bowl combine Earth Balance through vanilla and mix until smooth.
In separate bowl combine flour blend through pumpkin pie spice and whisk.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until blended. No need to over mix.
Scoop in Tablespoon-sized balls onto cookie sheet.
Dip the bottom of a small glass in sugar and press down on each cookie to slightly flatten.
Bake 8 minutes.

To make glaze, mix all 3 ingredients together and whisk well.
While cookies are still warm spoon a little glaze on the top of each and use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly over the cookie.
After 5 minutes move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
The glaze will harden once the cookies are cool.

Store covered.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Monday, November 30, 2015

{Allergy Free} Smoked Paprika Corn with Bacon

This was a side dish for our Thanksgiving meal this year. My kids all loved it. But who can really argue with bacon, anyway? It make everything better!

Smoked Paprika Corn with Bacon 

1 package bacon
4 Tablespoons Earth Balance Soy Free
48 oz frozen corn or 6 cups of fresh corn kernels
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
fresh chives, diced

Dice the bacon and fry in deep-sided skillet until crispy.
Pour out the bacon and drain off the fat, reserving about 2 T of the fat in the bottom of the skillet.
Put bacon bits on a paper towel and cover to save and use as a garnish.
Add the Earth Balance to skillet and melt over medium heat.
Add corn, paprika, and salt.
Stir well.
Cook for about 10 minutes or until corn is hot.
Serve topped with the bacon bits and diced chives.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Daughter Has Food Allergies Just to Annoy Me

My daughter was born with life-threatening food allergies.

Really, she did this just so she could bother me. She wanted grocery shopping to me a nightmare. She hoped that I would have a nervous breakdown every time I tried to cook a safe dinner. She is just one of those kids who does everything in her power to be annoying. And with food allergies, she's definitely winning!


A little selfish?

A lot wrong?

Food allergies is a medical diagnosis of a life threatening condition. No one can control it. No one can cure it. No one can even treat it.

You get to live your entire life in total fear of your allergens as you carefully avoid them so that you don't die.

But clearly my daughter just does all this to make her parents crazy.

At least that's what Healthline thinks in their article.

Food allergies are just something that kids do to slowly kill their parents on the inside. It's just a huge inconvenience and a total pain to have to deal with. And it's all your child's fault!

Why is it socially acceptable to make fun of food allergies?

What if the article were slightly different and mentioned other health issues?

For example, "Your child has cancer just to bother you."
"Your child was born with that medical condition just to get attention."
"Your child was born with special needs in order to break the bank with the cost of the special medical equipment that they require."

Don't kids do these things on purpose just to annoy their parents? According to Healthline, having food allergies ranks in annoyance next to your child waking up extra early on weekends and falling asleep in the car right before you reach your destination.

No. It's absolutely inappropriate to equate any type of medical issue to the silly and immature things that kids do like leave a trail of food all over the house or refuse to take a family picture.

It would never be socially acceptable to state that your child's cancer diagnosis or diagnosis of special medical needs was orchestrated by the child just to annoy you. You would never, ever think of blaming the child for their medical problems.

That is utterly heartless.

Any parent with a child who has received a type of medical diagnosis knows that the diagnosis feels very unfair but cannot be blamed on anyone, least of all that child.

When will food allergies be considered a serious diagnosis that is unacceptable as the brunt of jokes?

Monday, November 9, 2015

{Allergy Free} Chicken Potato Chowder

I'm back with another fall soup recipe. My kids loved this soup! It is creamy comfort food with lots of potatoes.

Chicken Potato Chowder

1/3 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
1 onion, diced
6-8 carrots, peeled and diced
5 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup rice flour
4 cups chicken broth (or more as needed)
3 cups rice milk
8 yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste

Melt Earth Balance in large pot over medium heat.
Add onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until soft.
Add thyme and cook for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the rice flour and keep stirring for about a minute.
Then stir in chicken broth and milk.
Continue stirring until soup is slightly thickened.
Add potatoes and chicken.
Simmer on low until potatoes are tender.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with parsley on top.

I will admit that I didn't measure all of my ingredients well as I was cooking, so you may need to use more liquid to make sure the potatoes are covered.
This makes one giant pot of soup so I had leftovers for another day!

This recipe is adapted from the one posted at Damn Delicious

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How Food Allergies Taught Me to Cook

When we first got married I wasn't much of a cook. Actually, I couldn't cook at all. I could pour a great bowl of cereal and turn on the oven for a frozen pizza. However, I didn't do much actual cooking.

During our first year of marriage I started attempting to cook a few things. I collected recipes and read through some cookbooks and began to experiment. I usually spent much of my cooking time on the phone with my grandma to ask her questions like, "What does it mean to cream butter and sugar together? What does it mean to fold the ingredients together? How do I broil this? What does 'al dente' mean?"

As you can see, I had a lot of questions. I even watched YouTube videos about how to chop and prepare certain foods. Over time I did learn to cook a few meals and I could successfully put homemade dinners on the table.

Then we had our little allergy baby. Now I had to cook without eggs, gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, coconut, avocado, banana, melons, pineapple, and any type of seed. Basically, I had to start over from the beginning with an entirely new set of cookbooks. But this time I had no one to ask for help.

Going out to eat was never an option for our family anymore. This meant that I had to shop for some crazy-strange ingredients like xanthan gum and stay in the kitchen until I made something a little bit edible.

The first year of learning to cook for Bee I had many more failures than successes. I spent lots of time crying in the kitchen over ruined meals. I slowly found a few recipes that were not only edible but actually fairly tasty. Once we had a few favorites, I made those same meals over and over again until we were all so tired of them that I was forced to try something new. Then the cycle began again with lots of failures before eventual success.

I loathed cooking and dreamed of going out to a restaurant to eat. I hated the pile of dishes in the sink every single night. Grocery shopping was a tearful adventure to find something, anything, safe for Bee to eat.

After several years we have built our own recipe book that is filled with some family favorites that are safe for everyone to eat. Cooking is no longer a nightmare and I've started to enjoy the challenge of making delicious and healthy food for our family.

Food allergies taught me how to cook. Before our diagnosis, I could cook a few simple meals but now I can step far outside of that box and make meals from scratch. I have confidence in the kitchen. And best of all, our family eats healthy, fresh, unprocessed foods. We don't have the option to use nearly any processed food as they all contain at least one of Bee's allergens. So we spend most of our time in the produce section finding fruits and veggies to combine with a protein in order to make a complete meal.

Food allergies have been a little bit of a blessing in disguise for our family. They've brought us together in the kitchen in order to overcome the challenge of finding food that we can all enjoy. Now my husband helps me cook dinner on most nights and even my older children step into the kitchen and assist with cooking. We try new foods and eat only fresh foods.

I can bake bread, make rolls, whip homemade icing, whisk a roux, pan sear meats, and saute veggies. I've learned some basic cooking skills thanks to our food allergy diagnosis. Now my family eats homemade meals every night and we bond together while creating and trying new recipes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

{Allergy Free} Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

My kids love baked oatmeal. I think they would eat it every day. This recipe is definitely their new favorite! It probably helps that I call it "oatmeal cake" so they think they are eating cake for breakfast. I do what works!
This is a yummy fall breakfast that can be made the night before and simply baked the next morning. It's so easy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

4 cups rolled oats
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 and 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup vanilla hemp milk
4 T olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Stir dry ingredients together in large bowl.
Add wet ingredients (including chocolate chips) and mix well.
Smooth into a greased 11x13 baking dish.
Bake at 350 for 24 minutes.
Turn off heat in oven and let oatmeal sit in closed oven for 20 minutes.

*I make the oatmeal the night before and keep it covered in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Published Book and a Funny Story

So, I have some exciting news to share with you! I have a published book about our food allergy journey with Bee. You can find the book, Hives in the Kitchen, on Amazon. Within a few weeks you can purchase the book to read on Kindle.

But before I tell you more about the book I have to tell you the story behind the book.

Did you know I was writing a book?

Neither did I.

Feel free to be as surprised as I was when I found out.

Last week, my hubby quietly slipped a cute book into my hand. It looked quite a bit like my blog design and even had the same title. Just before I angrily asked him who was stealing my ideas, my eyes glanced at the bottom of the cover. My name was printed across the bottom. I quickly flipped through the book and recognized the typed words from my journal. This was my book.

You see, my blog, Hives in the Kitchen, had an unpublished side of it. I had written about our journey when Bee was a baby, yet I never published it for anyone to read. It was personal and written mainly so I would never forget about the challenges we had overcome. One day I wanted to be able to read through it with Bee so she could know her own story. I hoped it would help her take her food allergies seriously and also take ownership of her diagnosis as she learns to advocate for herself. But mostly I prayed it would provide hope for her as she faced the future. I wanted to communicate how we had advocated for her as an infant with the hope that she would tirelessly advocate for herself and others with allergies.

So, to sort through my thoughts and my emotions on days when I felt especially discouraged about the allergies, I wrote about the past. I cried out tears of frustration as I typed every word and somehow my heart felt more settled and I was once again ready to step into my role as advocate and care taker.

My husband had seen these pages detailing our journey and we often read them together to rekindle our hope and to encourage us in our prayers for a cure and for healing.

I never planned to do anything with those pages, really. They were so close to my heart and I couldn't imagine anyone else wanting to read the details of our journey to find a diagnosis for Bee.

My husband always felt differently. He wanted me to publish the little journal as a book for others who were also dealing with food allergies, believing that others could benefit from reading about the misdiagnoses, challenges, and emotions that filled the first years of Bee's life. I never believed the writings to be good enough for anyone to care to read. Whenever he mentioned publication I just nodded and said, "Maybe someday..." However, I never thought that "someday" would ever arrive.

Well it is that "someday" now. As an early Christmas present my husband had the story about Bee published into a small book that we can share with our friends and family and with others who are walking their own food allergy journey. I will always believe that the story is not "good enough." However, despite any imperfections I pray that it will be an encouragement to others who face the same diagnosis.

The book details Bee's early symptoms as a baby as well as the multiple misdiagnoses given us by the various doctors that we visited. It includes the stories of Bee's first allergic reactions and our quest to find a doctor to support us as we worked toward healing her little body. The book is also filled with my thoughts and how the allergies impacted me as a mother - the fear, frustration, anger, discouragement, and loneliness that followed me through those early years. However, the book ends with hope in finding support through friends, family, and doctors as well as peace in discovering a new normal in our family - a normal that is now our life while managing the multiple life-threatening food allergies of our daughter Bee.

Linked up with Hip Homeschool Moms

Monday, October 26, 2015

{Allergy Free} Sausage and Potato Soup

This is a yummy and easy fall soup. My kids love anything with potatoes or sausage so I really couldn't go wrong. The original recipe called for wilting some spinach into the soup (which would definitely add some much-needed color to the soup). If I'm brave I might try that, but my kids will probably complain about the slimy green things in their food. Oh well! They did give the soup high marks and my big kids even had second helpings.

Sausage and Potato Soup

1 pound ground sausage
1 pound ground bison
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken Broth - enough to cover (probably at least 5 cups)
2 pounds diced yukon gold potatoes
Spinach 2-3 cups (optional)

1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
1/4 cup rice flour
2 cups rice milk

Brown the sausage and bison until no longer pink.
Drain the meat and put back in pot.
Add garlic, onion, and spices and cook until onion is translucent.
Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Add diced potatoes and cook until tender.

While potatoes are cooking make the roux in a separate pot.

Melt Earth Balance.
Stir in the flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes.
Slowly add in the rice milk while still whisking constantly.
Continue whisking until the sauce has thickened.

Once the potatoes are tender, pour the creamy roux mixture into the soup.
Simmer on low heat until the soup is slightly thickened.

*At this point you could toss in a few cups of spinach and let it wilt while the soup simmers.
One day I will do this. Maybe when I do not have toddlers. For now I'll just be happy to serve them a spinach salad on the side.

This recipe is adapted from the one found here at Damn Delicious

Friday, October 23, 2015

{Allergy Free} Cocoa Waffles

This is our new Saturday morning favorite waffle. The kids call them "hot cocoa waffles with snow." They are a perfect winter time breakfast!

Cocoa Waffles

2 1/2 cups flour blend
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups rice milk mixed with 2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour blend through brown sugar in one bowl and whisk well.
Add rice milk mixture and olive oil to dry ingredients and blend well.
Fold in chocolate chips.

Spray waffle maker well and follow directions for your waffle maker.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar when done.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

{Allergy Free} Hamburger Stew

The weather turned cold again and we needed some stew to warm back up. Never mind that it's only in the 50's, we pretend that it's a deep freeze and we hibernate with hot stew and warm cookies. My kids even helped me make this dish, and it was delicious and filling - and very easy!

Hamburger Stew

2 pounds ground beef or bison
2 medium onions, diced
2 cans stewed tomatoes, blended
6 large carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup wild rice (or any long grain rice)
3 cups beef broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Brown the beef with the onion in a giant pot.
Add the remaining ingredients into the pot and simmer for 30 min to an hour.
You may need to add more liquid as it cooks down, just add some water until the stew is the desired consistency.

Adapted from the recipe at Taste of Home

Thursday, February 5, 2015

{Allergy Free} Hot Chocolate Cookies

These are my favorite cookies ever. Eat them straight out of the oven for the gooey marshmallow and warm chocolate drizzle. These are heaven. I actually had to kick everyone out of the kitchen so we would stop eating them. Both trays of cookies were gone in seconds. 

Hot Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 T hemp milk
marshmallows cut in half (you need 1/2 of a marshmallow for every cookie) I used 12 marshmallows.
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
2 tsp Earth Balance

Cream butter and sugar well.
Add egg replacer mixture and vanilla extract.
In separate bowl mix flour blend htrough baking powder.
Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
Add in milk and mix.
Chill dough for 30 minutes (don't skip this step or cookies will spread while baking).
Roll doughs into Tablespoon sized dough balls and put on cookie sheet.
Gently press thumb in middle of each cookie.
Bake for 7 minutes.
Pull out of oven and place 1/2 of a marshmallow in each center, return to oven, and bake for 3 more minutes.
While cookies are cooling melt the chocolate chips and Earth Balance in microwave for 30 second intervals. (If this chocolate seizes up, melt some more Earth Balance and slowly pour into the chocolate while stirring until the chocolate is smooth).
Pour chocolate into ziploc bag, snip the tip of one corner, and drizzle across cookies.

I ended up with 24 cookies. It was not enough! Next time I will double the recipe.

Adapted from A Latte Food

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Day Banana Bread Made Me Cry

It's silly actually. However, banana bread was one of my absolute favorite foods right after cheesecake and lasagna. I rarely get to eat those foods anymore, much less make them in my own kitchen. I miss them lots and lots. But Little Bee is worth more than my favorite foods so I plod forward in our allergy journey trying to forget my favorite foods of the past while finding new ones.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend on the phone and somehow my secret love of banana bread came out. I don't even remember what was said. I just made a passing comment about one of my all-time favorite foods and then we moved on.

Last weekend our friends came over to play at our house. They brought their van full of kids with lots of noise and laughter. As they came through the door the mom quietly handed me a small bundle, "I knew that nuts were not safe so I didn't use any." I stood looking at the small foil-wrapped gift, bewildered. Then I looked at her in total confusion. She laughed and said, "It's banana bread that I made today."

Then it dawned on me. She remembered our totally random and very short discussion about banana bread and she secretly brought me a gift. And she made it nut free so I would feel safer while eating it.

I grabbed the still-warm loaf and hid it on a high shelf in the kitchen.

After our friends left and our kids were in bed, my hubby and I brought out the sacred loaf and some paper plates. He cut me several slices and we hid in our bedroom to eat the contraband.

I had not had banana bread in at least 5 years. It was ridiculously good and worth every minute of the later clean up when I scrubbed counters and wiped away every trace of crumbs.

The next day I ate the rest of my little loaf. And I sat in bed and cried.

It may have seemed like a little loaf of banana bread but it was actually much, much more. It was a friend who, although she does not fully understand our allergy issues, has compassion on another mom and her crazy secret desire for banana bread after 5 years. It's remembering one little comment. It's simple friendship. It's just the little things that mean so much to an allergy mama who feels guilty for craving the unsafe allergy foods.

Yes, banana bread can bring you to tears. It's so good to have friends who have compassion even on this crazy allergy mom.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

{Allergy Free} Sonoma Chicken

I took this recipe and made an allergy free version and it was perfect over an arugula salad. Since the weather is in the 60's right now, I thought I'd try a lighter dish. This will be one of my summer salads! 

Sonoma Chicken

1 rotisserie chicken with the meat cut off the bones and then diced (or 1 package of chicken cooked in the crockpot and then shreded)
2 cups red seedless grapes cut in half
5 stalks celery sliced very thin
salad mix

5 tsp honey
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup Veganaise 
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.
Add in chicken, grapes, and celery and toss.
Serve over a salad.
Keep in refrigerator. 

*If I could I would totally add poppyseeds to the recipe but unfortunately all seeds are out for us right now.*

Adapted from the recipe at Sweet Little Bluebird

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

{Allergy Free} Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

Oh my. These were wonderful! I love Texas sheet cake and these cookies did not disappoint. They are moist and perfectly drenched in chocolate icing. I might be addicted.

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup flour blend
3/4 tsp xanthan
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

1/2 cup Earth Balance
2 T cocoa powder
3 T milk
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together Earth Balance and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in egg replacer mixture and vanilla and mix until well blended.
Mix in baking powder and salt.
Turn mixture to low and slowly add in flour blend and xanthan gum. Dough will be thick and sticky.
Heat chocolate chips in microwave for 1 minute. Stirring after 30 seconds.
Mix melted chocolate chips into the dough.
Drop by Tablespoon-sized mounds onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 7 minutes until cookies just appear to be set. Do NOT overbake.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.

To make icing:
Combine Earth Balance, cocoa powder, and milk in saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk until completely melted.
Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar.
Place cool cookies on jelly roll pan and pour the icing over them. Let them sit until the icing cools and sets up.

Makes about 24 cookies. Next time I will be doubling this recipe!

Adapted from Cookies and Cups

Thursday, January 22, 2015

{Allergy Free} Mongolian Chicken

I will eat any form of chicken and rice and this Asian inspired dish is now a new favorite of mine. My kids happily cleaned their plates.

Mongolian Chicken
1 package chicken breasts cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup olive oil
2 green onions, sliced (which I didn't have on hand but I definitely wanted to add next time)

1/2 cup coconut aminos
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp olive oil

In saucepan heat together all the ingredients for the sauce with 1/2 cup water.
Heat over medium heat until sauce thickens slightly (about 5-10 minutes).
Set aside.

In large bowl combine chicken and cornstarch.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through about 1-2 minutes.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
Empty the skillet and add chicken back to it.
Over medium heat slowly pour the sauce over the chicken and toss until chicken is evenly coated.

Serve over rice and top with green onions.

Adapted from the recipe at Damn Delicious 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

{Allergy Free} Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

The top is crisp with the cinnamon streusel topping but sprinkled with gooey chocolate chips. It's especially good when served warm (or reheated).
My hubby said this tasted like a combination between a cinnamon pancake and a chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

2 1/2 cups flour blend
3/4 tsp xanthan
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance
4 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 6 T rice milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup rice milk whisked with 1/2 T lemon juice

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup flour blend
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp xanthan 
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1 cup chocolate chips

Grease and flour two round cake pans. (Yes, do flour them or your cake will stick).
Make streusel by combining all streusel ingredients and blending together with a fork until it is crumbly. Set aside.
In mixing bowl slowly beat flour blend through salt.
Beat in Earth Balance until mixture is crumbly.
Add egg replacer mixture, vanilla extract, and rice milk mixture.
Beat until fully combined and fluffy.
Pour half of mixture into the two cake pans, dividing evenly between the two pans. You will need to carefully spread the mixture out to cover the bottom of each pan.
Sprinkle the two pans evenly with half of the streusel mixture. 
Pour the remaining batter over the cakes, dividing evenly between both pans. Carefully spread the mixture out to the edges of the pans.
Sprinkle with the remaining streusel and the chocolate chips.
Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes.
Remove and let cool.

Adapted from Shugary Sweets

Thursday, January 15, 2015

{Allergy Free} Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Muffins

These are wonderfully moist muffins that taste like fall. They are the perfect blend of pumpkin and spice and the perfect twist on a snickerdoodle. My kids pronounced them to be their new favorite muffin.

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour blend
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T rice milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple juice

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 

Stir flour blend through sugar in mixing bowl.
In separate bowl whisk pumpkin puree through apple juice.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just blended.
Pour into greased muffin tins.
Sprinkle each muffin with topping. 
Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove to wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from the recipe at Bakeaholic Mama

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

{Allergy Free} Peppermint Cupcakes

These were the fun wintry-tasting cupcakes that my daughter took to a Christmas party. The entire class loved them - especially the crushed candies in the icing.

Peppermint Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour blend
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups rice milk
6 tsp egg replacer whisked with 8 T rice milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Combine flour through salt in bowl and whisk well.
In a smaller bowl mix together the egg replacer mixture with the rice milk.
In mixing bowl cream the sugar and Earth Balance until well mixed.
Add in peppermint extract and mix well.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the rice milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
Mix well between each addition.
Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 18-23 minutes.
Let cool on wire racks.

I used this icing to top the cupcakes - Peppermint Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Note: These are best when eaten the same day that they are made. When they sit overnight they tend to get a little "gummy" and the crushed peppermint candy in the icing softens.

Recipe inspired by Mallowmint Cupcake recipe 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

{Allergy Free} Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

I love snickerdoodle cookies but I don't love baking them. Cookies seem so time consuming to place on the cookie sheets and then bake the sheets one at a time. I guess it's one of the downfalls to having only one oven in your house. So, I'm always looking for a faster way to get some sweets to my table-enter the cookie bar. Only one pan to bake and they taste just like a soft, gooey, snickerdoodle cookie!

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

1 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
2 cups brown sugar
3 tsp egg replacer whisked with 4 T hemp milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 2/3 cups flour blend
3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/8 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Cream the Earth Balance and sugar in large bowl.
Add the egg replacer mixture, vanilla, and salt and mix well.
Add the baking powder, flour blend, and xanthan and mix until just incorporated.
Spread in a greased 9x13 pan with greased spatula.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping mixture.
Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes or until just set.
Let cool before cutting. (It will still be somewhat gooey and moist).

It's best eaten while still barely warm and gooey.  Yum!

Adapted from Back for Seconds blog

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

{Allergy Free} Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are wonderful, chewy, moist cinnamon chocolate cookies. The pumpkin flavor is not very pronounced but the combination of cinnamon and nutmeg are yummy with the chocolate-especially when the cookies are still warm!

We decided to have a family movie night and we needed something to snack on during our show. Even though it was almost 60 degrees during the day, it was still fun to pretend that it's winter and time for some spiced-filled treats. I'm embarrassed to say that we ate an entire plateful of cookies!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour blend
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 cup Earth Balance Soy Free
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp earth replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Stir together flour blend through ginger in large bowl.
In the mixing bowl, beat Earth Balance, brown sugar, and regular sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the egg replacer mixture and vanilla and blend well.
Then add the pumpkin and blend well.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Let batter rest for 10 minutes to let oats absorb moisture.
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack.

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