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You see, my blog, Hives in the Kitchen, had an unpublished side of it.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
Content © Hives in the Kitchen | Design © 2012 Laura Jane
Unauthorized use of this site's design or code is strictly prohibited