Tres Leche Cake

Invite your friends over for this sponge cake, soaked in 3 milks, topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix

Make your own gluten free flour mixture at home. It is really simple to make and it's texture is smooth. You can substitute this equally for regular wheat flour.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Start your day with this easy and moist quick bread, topped with cinnamon sugar.

Monday, April 14, 2014

100 Easter Basket Ideas For Food Allergies



Do you want to make adorable Easter baskets for your kids but struggle with what to fill them with? In this post, I want to share with you some of my ideas but I would love for this post to be interactive, a community where we can all share our ideas.  So if you read through these and have ideas that you are willing to share, please do so.  We would all love more ideas!



These cover many ages and interests.  Mostly non food ideas but also some treats, free of top 8 allergens.  (As always read the labels to make sure they are safe for your unique situation)


Non-Food Ideas:


Flower seeds (planting them, makes for a fun activity that afternoon)

Gardening gloves/tools

Kites

Giggles Fun Dough. http://www.gigglesfundough.com

Small stuffed animals

Matchbox cars

Army men

Small plastic animals/ dinosaurs

Sand toys (you could even do a whole theme using the sand pail as the Easter basket)

Diving sticks

Swimsuit

Flip flops

Goggles

Golf balls

Tennis balls

Super bouncie balls

Journal (create a Thankfulness Journal for each family member and start recording all the things you are thankful for)

Coloring crayons

Colored pencils

Markers ( Mr Sketch smelly markers are the latest hit around our house)

Construction paper

Stickers

Pencils

Pens

Mini clipboards (often in Target's dollar section- work great for drawing in the car)

Erasers

Craft books

Maze books

Dot-to-dots books (I love the extreme dot-to-dots for older kids)

Sudoku book

Word find book

Cross word puzzles

Rainbow loom bands

Small craft kits (Michaels often carry fun ones)

Cross-stitch kits

Little sewing kits

Story book

Bookmarks 


Side walk chalk

Bubbles (or Mega bubbles for older kids)

Cards or small travel games

Rubiks cube

Small jigsaw puzzles

Scratch Art books

Glow sticks

Hats



Cute socks

Sunglasses

Headbands/ hair accessories / hair brush

Nail polish

Water bottle

Lotion (allergy safe)

Fun toothbrush

Bath bubbles/ fizzes (make sure they are safe)

Bath toys

Paints
Paint by numbers

Small Lego sets

Trading cards

Little toys/ transformers, dolls....

Doll accessories

Umbrella

Fairy gardens

Jump rope

Earrings

Watch

Small speakers

Mini tapes

Duct tape fun

Kids magazine subscription

Beach towel

Parachute army guys

Pinwheels

CD

Movie - anyone see the movie Frozen?  ;)

Flashlight / lantern

Mini kids binoculars

Firefly catching net and container

Punch balloons

Small Nerf guns

Small water guns

Water balloons

Treats:


Gum

Pascha Chocolate http://paschachocolate.com

Surf Sweets Jelly Beans & candies http://www.surfsweets.com

Enjoy Life Chocolate bars http://www.enjoylifefoods.com


Enjoy Life Plentils (come in single serving as well) http://www.enjoylifefoods.com

Little bags of potato chips

Mini bags of microwave popcorn

Suckers (like Trader Joes Organic Pops- no artificial coloring)

Fruit Jellies (like Trader Joes- no artificial coloring)

Fruit strips ( like Trader joes natural fruit wraps - no artificial coloring)

Beef Jerky (like Trader Joes Natural Beef Jerky)


Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks ( these are my favorite for Easter because they are cute little bunnies!) http://www.annies.com/products/fruit-snacks/

Freeze pops (organic-no artificial colors) http://internaturalfoods.com/brands/cool-fruits-freezer-pops.html

Juice boxes

Raisin boxes






















Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top 10 Allergy Free Valentines


Are you looking for a crafty, creative valentine to make with your kiddo?  A non-food valentine or at least a valentine that if free of the Top 8 Allergens? 

Well, hopefully you will find an idea or two here or get inspired to create your own.  These are my Top 10 Allergy Friendly Valentines and I'm glad I didn't have to choose which one to do.  My kids got that job and now they can't wait to share them with their classmates. 

 1.  Rainbow Loom Valentine - found at Stitch Craft Creations.  There is also a really cute Olympic Valentine on this site.


2.  Bubbles Valentine - found at Made To Be a Momma


3.  Mustache Valentine - found at I Can Teach My Child


4.  Magnifying Glass Valentine - found at Dandee Designs


5.  Valentine Pencil - found at Raising Up Rubies...which by the way I cannot wait to spend my night looking at her blog...super cuteness!!!!


6.  Finger Light Valentine - found at Haley's Daily Blog



7.  Glow Stick Valentine - at The Teacher Wife



 8.  Star Wars Valentine - found at Stitch-Craft


9.  Bouncey Ball Valentine - found at The Crafting Chicks



10.  Freezie Pop Valentine - Josie has fallen in love with penquins recently, it may be all of the cold weather getting to her.  She wanted to find a penguin valentine.  We found this cute little penguin valentine that says "Let's Chill" and made them into a freezie pop holder.  They are free of the Top 8 Allergens but do contain food dyes.  Health food stores often carry freezie pops without artificial coloring (however, they may be seasonal).  My little girl was so excited to make these and the freezie pops were not easy to find since we live in the middle of a winter wonderland, but I was on the hunt.  After a several stops, one of our grocery stores had the big box of 100 in the back of the store...whew! 


Ok...so I have a couple more valentine's to share with you...

11.  Olaf Valentine - we found this adorable idea/printable at One Creative Mommy.  To make them allergy friendly...we used gluten free pretzels and Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips.  The candy corn did contain egg whites so Mom put those in after my daughter did the rest of the assembling.  Another nose option without eggs is using an orange gummy candy and cut it in the shape needed. 

Confession time:  Anna was extremely excited about passing these out.  We sat together and assembled them all and then while speaking to our school nurse, she very kindly reminded me we can't pass out homemade treats.  DUH!  Oh my word, I felt just horrible.  I felt bad that Anna couldn't pass them out to her class but felt even worse, that I, the mother of a severely food allergic child and food allergy advocate who knows better, almost brought these in, which would have been against the rules.  Rules they have established to try to help protect kids with food allergies during class parties.  I guess we all make mistakes from time to time.  I'm so thankful she reminded me before we brought them into school.  This almost-oops has given me more compassion for families without food allergies and the efforts they make to help protect kids with food allergies.  And on the bright side, we had a whole bunch assembled that we could share with the school office staff and they were tinkled pink about them. 


So what did Anna do?  Thankfully, we had a ton of freezie pops leftover, so we used those with her valentines.  It was a great learning experience for myself and my daughter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Grandparents Day & Chocolate Donuts

Anna and Josie have been anxiously awaiting Grandparents Day at school.  All the kids in their grade spend weeks practicing songs and speaking parts, getting ready for this special day to honor their grandparents. 

The big day is finally upon us.  After their little concert, they get to have donuts and do some activities together in their classroom. 

The girls brought their own gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free homemade chocolate donuts with chocolate glaze topped with, who could forget, pretty sprinkles!


The girls had their outfits picked out a couple days in advance and both wanted their hair done special for the big day.  I just love that!


So off they went for a big fun day!

Since we have to keep things real between us...

I have only one donut pan, so I baked the first six donuts and could hardly get them out of the pan.  I was so disappointed.  They just crumbled apart.  So for the rest of the batch, I added a few things to the remaining batter and thankfully, they turned out.  I am working on the recipe, but will post it when I get it just right.  At least the broken up, first round still tastes amazing!  Just need to grab a fork and dig in! 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Double Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate and cream cheese?!  Yes, please!

Try these moist chocolate cupcakes ASAP!

Thanks to the old, familiar crazy cake recipe,
these gluten free, egg free cupcakes are a breeze.

Bring these to your next celebration and everyone will be pleased.

Cupcakes

3 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (recipe here)
2 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 t vanilla extract
2 T white vinegar
3/4 c coconut oil, melt before measuring (or canola oil)
2 c cold water
1 1/2 c Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners, then spray with cooking spray.
2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together well.
3.  Make 3 holes in dry ingredients.  In one hole, pour vanilla.  In another hole, pour vinegar.  In the third hole, pour oil.  Pour cold water over the whole bowl.   With a whisk, mix just until completely blended.  Gently stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared muffin tin, about 3/4 full.
4.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, in a convection oven.  (Or 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, in a regular oven).
5.  Remove from oven, remove cupcakes onto wire rack to cool.
6.  Frost when completely cool.


Frosting

1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla

1.  In mixer bowl, add cream cheese and butter.  With paddle attachment, mix on high for approximately 5 minutes until the mixture becomes fluffy.
2.  Mix in milk and vanilla.
3.  Mix in powdered sugar, half at a time.

* If not set firm enough to your liking, you can add more powdered sugar or you can try refrigerating the frosting.

Frost your cupcakes!

This recipe has been shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Gluten Free Fridays.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pumpkin Dessert


Pumpkin Pie's closest relative is this gluten free, egg free Pumpkin Dessert.  It is a fun little fresh take on pumpkin pie.  You can make this a day in advance and just refrigerate until ready to serve.  Prepare it in a 9 X 13 pan or into little punch cups for portable individual servings.

This hard-to-wait-for delicious dessert, will be on our family's Thanksgiving Day menu.

Pumpkin Dessert was a huge hit in our house when my mom made it growing up and now it is a big hit again while we make it gluten free.

Thanks to Enjoy Life's Crunchy Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies, the graham cracker crust is a snap to make.  This is actually how I always make "graham cracker crusts."  So anytime you need to make a gluten free graham cracker crust, remember this simple and flavorful one. 

Crust:

1 1/2 c crushed Enjoy Life's Crunchy Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies
1/3 c butter, melted

1.  In a ziploc bag, crush the cookies with a rolling pin.  Or you could pulse the cookies in a food processor.
2.  In a medium bowl, pour out the crushed cookies.  Add the melted butter.  Toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moist from the butter.
3.  For 8 X 8 pan:  Place buttered crumbs into bottom of the pan and gently pat down.
For individual servings, place a spoonful of crumbs into the bottom of a punch cup and gently pat down with a fork. (This whole recipe will make approximately 18 individual cups)
4.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Pumpkin Filling:

30 large marshmallows
1 c pumpkin
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t salt
1 c whipping cream

8 oz tub Cool Whip

1.  In a large pan, add marshmallow, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Over low heat, stir constantly until all the marshmallows have melted.  Turn off heat and cool for 1 hour.
2.  Gently fold in whipping cream.  Then, pour over completely cool crust.  Refrigerate.
3.  Top with Cool Whip just prior to serving.


If you'd like to make a 9 x13 pan, then double the crust, filling and cool whip.

Enjoy!


This recipe has been shared on Gluten Free Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Easy CrockPot Applesauce



This recipe is so simple, I cannot complicate it by adding words. 

So in honor of the simplicity of this CrockPot Applesauce, here is the delicious, hard-to-stop-eating, recipe.

Homemade Applesauce

approximately 20-25 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 slices
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and stir.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve warm or cold.

Simple.

Delicious.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Apple Fritters

 One of my favorite memories as a little girl was getting some one on one time with my Daddy.  I was the youngest of four.  When my older siblings went off to school and I was still too young to go myself, my Dad occasionally brought me with him to the donut shop in our small town.  We would find a spot at the counter and sit on swivel stools.  Dad usually ordered an apple fritter and coffee.  I would get my donut and while Dad read the paper, I would spin on my really fun swivel stool.  He would introduce me to his friends as his, "Baby Girl."  Apple Fritters to this day evoke that memory of Dad taking me out for donuts.  As we try to create special moments with our children today, I wonder what moments will forever hold a special place in their hearts.


My Mother-in-law often shares one of her special memories of her mother.  Her mom would use left over bread dough to make what they called "flapjacks."  Not pancakes but somewhere between a donut and a fritter.  They are very similar to the delicious New Orleans Beignets.  She would drop the extra dough in hot oil, fry them, then toss them in cinnamon sugar.

One day when my mother-in-law was visiting, we decided to see if we could make them, using my bread dough recipe (for The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread).  Since I had some of the dry bread mix already prepared (I like to make several dry mixes ahead of time and store in baggies to make bread making super simple and fast when I need some), it literally took just a few minutes to make.  The expression on her face was sweet and rewarding as I watched her become flooded with memories with a simple taste.  We had done it!  It brought such joy and satisfaction to watch her enjoy each bite, filled with memories, especially because we had pulled it off with gluten free dough!  And I have to say these are AMAZING!  When I put the plate full in front of our kids, Noah took a bit and said, "Mmmmm!  Delightful!  These are great!"  And that is music to any momma's ears.

I cannot wait to add these as a new family tradition on holiday mornings.  They are so quick and easy, even quicker than muffins.  A real special treat!



Prepare The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread dough in mixer with 1 t cinnamon.  Stir in one large (or  two small) apple, chopped into small pieces.  Cover the bottom of your pan with about half an inch of coconut oil (or cottonseed oil).  Heat oil tip when you drop a drop of water in it, it really dances.  Using a two spoons, drop about 1/4 c dough into oil and spread it out as you drop it.  Allow to fry just until the edges start to turn light brown as above, then using a fork, flip them over.  It will only take a few seconds, ok, maybe closer to 15-20 seconds, so don't walk away or get distracted or they may burn.


After they flip, allow them to fry for just a few more seconds until the other side is light brown.


When both sides are lightly brown, remove from oil and place on a plate covered in paper towel so some of the oil can absorb into the towel.


Then transfer the warm fritters into a cinnamon sugar mixture to toss and cover (if using cinnamon sugar).


Or if you prefer, place them on a wire rack, with wax paper underneath, to drizzle with glaze and let them rest until you finish frying up the rest of the fritters.



Call everyone to the table and serve them warm.

Apple Fritters 

*Make sure dry ingredients are at room temperature before starting

3 c Paula's GF Flour Mix - see below for her recipe
2 t xanthan gum
1/2  t sea salt
3 T sugar
1 t dry yeast
1 t cinnamon
 2 t coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 1/2 c + 2 T warm water

1 large apple, finely chopped (or 2 small apples)
1 c coconut oil (or cottonseed oil) - approximate measurement

Cinnamon Sugar mixture:
This can be very flexible depending on how much cinnamon flavor you like.  I usually mix together about one cup of sugar with 1 1/2 t cinnamon.

Glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 T milk (or rice milk)
Add more milk 1/2 t at a time if you like your glaze thinner.

1. Combine Paula's GF Flour Mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, dry yeast and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
2.  In mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and warm water together and then add the dry ingredients. Mix on high for 2 minutes, this activates the yeast. It should resemble a thicker cake batter.  Gently stir in chopped apples.  Set dough aside.
3.  Cover a plate with paper towel to transfer cooked fritters onto.  Also, place wire racks on top of wax paper.
4.  In dutch oven, heat oil to cover bottom of pan about half an inch deep.  Heat oil til it is hot enough to make a drop of water really dance and snap.
5.  Using two spoons, spread roughly 1/4 c dough into oil.  Allow to cook until the edges are lightly brown, which will take less than a minute so don't walk away.  Flip over with a fork and allow to cook on the other side until lightly brown.
6.  Remove from oil and place on paper towel to allow oil to absorb into the paper towel.  Then, toss in cinnamon sugar and place on wire rack (or place on wire rack to drizzle in glaze).
7.  Serve warm and fresh!


Paula's Gluten Free Flour Mix (this makes enough for 2 loaves of bread plus 1 extra cup)

1 1/2 c. millet flour
1 1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1 c. potato starch
1 c. arrowroot powder 

If you are wondering what else to use this flour mixture for, check out these other great recipes and related posts...
 
The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread
 
Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Dinner Rolls

The Cost of Making one loaf of The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread


I have shared this recipe on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays.