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.

Friday, December 21, 2012

SunButter Truffles



Peanut Butter Truffles are my all time favorite holiday treat!  The combination of chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar, Rice Krispies and coconut make a party in my mouth.  This year was the first time I've made them since Anna was diagnosed with a nut allergy.  I used SunButter instead of peanut butter and am thrilled to say she loves them too!  Welcome back little Truffles!

1 c Sunflower Seed Butter
2 c powdered sugar
1 c coconut (If you omit the coconut, then make it 3 c Rice Krispies)
2 c Gluten Free Rice Krispies
1 stick butter
1 package almond bark or Enjoy Life's chocolate chips

1.  Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, coconut and Rice Krispies.  Pour butter over mixture and stir will.  Refrigerate for one hour.
2.  Shape into small balls and refrigerate again.
3.  Dip into melted chocolate and set on wax paper.



This recipe is shared on Gluten Free Fridays

I top mine with a Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drop from Trader Joes.

Makes about 2 dozen.





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Puppy Chow - Gluten Free, Nut Free and Dairy Free!



When I was back in high school, one of my friends brought a treat to share during one of our classes.  I'll never forget her walking into the classroom, carrying a pillow case, taking out handfuls and eating what she called Puppy Chow.  Puppy Chow?!  She was eating dog food?!  I was kinda grossed out by the idea.  Then she told me it was NOT dog food and that I would like it.  When she said peanut butter and chocolate, that was all I needed to hear to get me to try her sweet treat covered in powdered sugar.  Whoa!  It was in instant favorite! 

I've been making Puppy Chow ever since then, mostly around the holidays.  Since my little girl's diagnosis of food allergies, I have changed the recipe to be Nut Free, Gluten Free and Dairy Free.  It is one of my kids' favorite holiday treats.  Since it is so easy to make, it is one of the first recipes they helped Mommy make when they were toddlers.

1 c Sunflower Seed Butter
1 c Enjoy Life's Chocolate Chips
4 c Corn Chex
4 c Rice Chex
2 c Powdered Sugar

1.  Melt the Sunflower Seed Butter and chocolate chips together, stir well.
2.  In a really large bowl, pour mixture over Chex and stir carefully.
3.  Add powdered sugar, cover bowl with lid securely and shake.  Or if you don't have a really big bowl with a lid, you can put the powdered sugar in a 2 gallon ziploc bag, then add the chocolate covered chex.  Seal the bag and shake to coat in powdered sugar.
4.  VOILA!  Yum!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Cookie Cutouts



Old Fashioned Christmas cookies stir up Christmas memories.  My mother, shared some of her old cookie cutters, ones that we used together years ago and now I get to use them with my little ones.  This recipe is gluten free, egg free, nut free and full of classic sugar cookie buttery flavor.  These cookies can be made in advance and frozen until ready to serve. 

If you are looking for a gluten free & vegan recipe, click here.

Cookies:

1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg (1 egg = 1 1/2 tsp dry Egg Replacer plus 2 tbsp water)
1 t vanilla
3 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (or if using a different gluten free flour mix, make sure there is xanthan gum in the mix or else you will need to add it)
2 t baking powder

1.  Cream butter and sugar, on low beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour and baking powder a little at a time. Do not refrigerate. Dough will not roll if cold. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Sprinkle work surface with a couple drops of water then lay a sheet of wax paper down (the water will keep the wax paper from sliding, while rolling the dough).  Flour work surface, shape dough into a disc and sprinkle with flour.  Cover dough with another sheet of wax paper.  Place your roller on top of the wax paper.  Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cookies to baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
3.  Bake 7-8 minutes at 400.  Transfer to wire rack to cool after a couple of minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack before icing.

Icing:

6 c powdered sugar
1/4 c milk (or your favorite milk substitute rice, coconut...)
1/4 c light corn syrup
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
   * assorted food coloring (if you are looking for dye free coloring, I use India Tree's Natural Colors)

1. Mix together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Add corn syrup and vanilla extract.  Mix until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more milk or water.
2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity.





Recipe shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Fridays. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

And the winner of the Christmas book giveaway is...

Laura Chapman!  Congratulations Laura!  Your book be get mailed ASAP.  Thanks all for participating in the giveaway for this nice little book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Time For a Christmas Giveaway!



That's right friends, get excited! One lucky reader will receive a autographed copy of "The Family Book of Advent: 25 Stories & Activities to Celebrate the Meaning of Christmas" by Carol Garborg.  Carol is a parent educator, author and speaker.  You can visit her website FaithFamilyStyle.com by clicking here.  This would make a great gift or a great addition for your family.

You can enter your name in the giveaway up to 4 times by doing each of the following...

Entry #1.  Leave a comment at the end of the post telling us your family's favorite holiday tradition.

Entry #2.  "Like" Hope's Kitchen AND  "Like" FaithFamilyStyle on Facebook.  THEN, come back here and leave a comment below letting me know you "Like" both.

Entry #3.  Share this post on your Facebook pageTHEN, come back here and leave a comment below letting me know you "Shared" the giveaway news.

Entry #4.  "Follow" Hope's Kitchen's boards on Pinterest.  THEN, come back here and leave a comment below letting me know you "Follow" Hope's Kitchen on Pinterest.

Comments (entries) will be closed Saturday, December 1st at 8 pm CST.  The winner will be posted shortly after.  Please be sure to check back to see if you won, or you can Subscribe via Email to get posts delivered to your inbox.

Each year during the Christmas season, I find myself wishing I had a little devotional for our family.  Something intentional to draw us together and focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  My intentions are always high, to add my own activities or crafts in with a reading but I never seem to get around to it and my kids just keep on getting older, while I keep dreaming and not implementing.

Carol sent me her new book and I'm thrilled to share it with you.  She has done a great job of writing a meaningful message, a creative activity, a thought provoking question to ponder and a prayer for each day, from December 1st to Christmas Eve.  Some days there are a couple activity options.  You can pick one activity and save the other one for next year.  Or you could just pick the one you have the supplies for or will work best for your family.  One of my favorite things about "The Family Book of Advent" is that there is a supply list in the back of the book.  I was able to look over the list and see what items I don't have, in order to make myself a list of items I needed to purchase.  That made it so simple to get prepared for the whole month of activities, in just a few minutes.


The book has three recipes included and are allergy friendly.  One of the days suggests creating a new family tradition of making homemade hot cocoa together, then gathering around your Christmas tree to share memories of happy times, funny times, or maybe even sad times.  For example, "I remember when..." or "My favorite Christmas memory was when...".  Included is a recipe for homemade hot cocoa.  Yep, Martha Stewart like homemade hot cocoa.  This was a fun new idea to me!  I've always just bought the mix to add to hot water.  We are all out of the dry mix so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to make it from scratch which is probably much healthier anyways.  The recipe calls for marshmallow creme which contains eggs so we had to skip that ingredient.  Instead, I added a few regular sized marshmallows and stirred the cocoa until they melted.

Top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream, crushed candy canes or Enjoy Life's Mini Chocolate Chips (free of the Top 8 Food Allergens) or both.   If you have a dairy/milk allergy, you might want to try Thai Coconut Milk whipped into cream.  My sister Brenda's wonderful instructions are below.

To make Thai Coconut Milk (Dairy Free) Whipped Cream:
Place can in refrigerator until well chilled.  Being careful not to shake the can, remove it from the refrigerator.  It will solidify on top.  Take that part out of the can and whip it with a sweetener of your choice.

"The Family Book of Advent" can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Christianbook.com.

Disclosure:  I have been given one copy of "The Family Book of Advent".  All review opinions are my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Story: Part Two


These photos are of Baby A.  Baby B always hid from the camera.
Noah named our girls Peek and Boo.
(To read the first part of Our Story click here.)

With the diagnosis of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) at 20 weeks, I was put on bedrest.  My parents drove up from Kansas so my Mom could move in to help us.  My husband so graciously supported me in what I needed, including wanting my Mom by my side.  Thankfully, they have a great relationship.  Mom helped with so many things.  She took care of Noah (2 years old), did laundry, cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped, and even sent Dan off to work with breakfast and lunch (which I'm sure he thought was quite a treat since I don't do that). 

I wondered how on earth I was going to be able to handle laying on the couch all day every day (minus doctor appointments).  As a mom of a toddler boy, I was used to running around all day. Somehow just knowing that it was "my job" to keep my 20 week old girls safe helped me to stay down, even despite the aching bursitis in my hips.  The health and safety of our little girls was completely out of my control but this was the one thing I could do to help them.  Noah, who was always quite independent, quickly became a snuggler and wanted to do his activities near Mom.  It's amazing how little ones can sense when something is wrong.  We spent a lot of time together by the couch coloring, reading books, doing puzzles, listening to music and watching movies.

Our babies had their own amniotic sacs but shared one placenta.  Their blood vessels in the placenta were connected, transfusing fluids between the two babies, unequally.  Baby "A" was referred to as the recipient twin  because she had too much fluid in her sac, which caused pressure on her heart.  Baby "B" was referred to as the donor twin, she had very little fluid in her sac, thus had difficulty growing.  The earlier you develop TTTS in your pregnancy, the worse your chances of survival or healthy babies.  Getting diagnosed at 20 weeks is considered early and made their odds of survival slim.

After getting diagnosed, I hit the computer hard.  Researching as much as I could about TTTS.  I had heard of it before and seen babies diagnosed late in pregnancy, while I worked as an RN, in a Special Care Nursery.  The mama nurse in me was on a mission to understand TTTS the best I could.   Many family and friends brought meals over including my sweet co-workers who faithfully brought meals twice a week and would often stay to visit.  Their faithfulness, endurance and thoughtfulness showed me the love of my heavenly father in such a tangible way.  Noah was always eager to greet them at the door, with guitar in hand and sing them some of his favorite songs like, "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin or "Marvelous Light" by Charlie Hall.  I'll never forget him standing by the door, strumming his guitar that was as big as he was and singing such big words, with no reservations.


Appointments went from a couple times a week, to daily ultrasounds and then weekly echocardiograms with the pediatric cardiologist to monitor Baby A's heart.  With each appointment we went in for, we didn't know if our babies would still be alive.

At 26 weeks, we had our second amnio reduction done.  During an amnio reduction, the doctor goes into the amniotic sac with a long needle to remove the excess fluid.  Removing the fluid is an attempt to control the excess fluid in Baby A's sac which would hopefully help relieve some of the pressure on her heart.  Baby A was showing tricuspid regurgitation, a beginning sign of heart failure.  Baby B was showing some absent end diastolic flow, where the blood flow through her umbilical cord would basically stop coming to her.   Unfortunately, the fluid removal during the amnio reduction did not help enough.  Our doctor referred us, out of state, to one of four fetal surgeons in the US, to look into a surgical treatment option.




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Warmest wishes to each of you and your families as you give thanks today! 
Happy Thanksgiving!
With Love,
Melanie and family


Monday, November 19, 2012

S'mores Chex Mix



If you are looking for one of the fastest snacks to make, you came to the right place.  Chex cereal is often on sale for some great prices around the holidays.  I stocked up last week when I went to the store.  While I was emptying out my grocery bags, I thought hmmm...chocolate chex could make a yummy, sweet chex mix.  I had recently bought micro marshmallows (think the size inside cereals) and was looking for ways to try them.  Thus, S'mores Chex Mix was created last week and was a BIG hit when the kids came home from school. 

Chocolate Chex Cereal
Micro or Mini Marshmallows
Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Simple.  Quick.  Fun.  Sweet.  Delicious.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies: Reader's Recipe Makeover #2

I love old cookie cutters!   This one was my Mom's that we used when I was a little girl.  What a cute little gingerbread man!


 An old friend recently sent me an email asking for help making one of her family's traditional holiday cookies gluten free.  The recipe came from an 1950's cookbook and the recipe is called Wagon Wheels.   They taste very similar to the Gingerbread Cookies I grew up with so for the sake of the recipe title, I will call them Gingerbread cookies.  My friend's Mom always doubled the recipe and made the cookies before Thanksgiving.  She cut half of them into turkeys for Thanksgiving and the other half she used Christmas cut outs.  Talk about one wise lady!  Baking cookies for Thanksgiving knowing that half of them will be ready for Christmas.  That is so smart and efficient!  So that is exactly what I did, half of them I made into little turkeys and the other half became little gingerbread men.  I'm going to freeze the gingerbread men and pull them back out for goodies in December.  And to decorate the little turkey's you could use little candy corns for tail feathers (if you are not allergic to egg) and a red hot for the turkey's eye.  Press them in gently when the cookies come out of the oven.




 The recipe was actually quite simple to convert.  Since the original recipe did not use egg, all I needed to do was substitute the flour.  You need to let the dough refrigerate for 4 hours or more, so plan accordingly.  I made my dough one evening and then rolled them out the next morning.

1/2 c shortening (I used the Spectrum brand)
1 c sugar
1 c molasses (I prefer the mild flavored molasses)
1/2 c water
4 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (you will need to add xanthan gum if your mix doesn't already contain it)
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice

sugar to sprinkle

1.  In a medium bowl, combine shortening and sugar.  Mix well.
2.  Stir in the molasses and water.  Set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.  Whisk together.  Then, add the sugar and molasses mixture.  Stir well.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 4 hours or more to chill the dough.
4.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
5.  To keep the dough from sticking, I like to lay out a sheet of saran wrap or wax paper, sprinkle it with GF flour, place the dough shaped into a round disc on the flour, then top with sprinkled flour.  Then, cover with another sheet of saran wrap or wax paper to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.  Roll out cookie dough, remove covering saran wrap or wax paper.  Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutters.  Transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle cookies with sugar.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to finish cooling.  Make about 4 dozen cookies.








Our Story

     Our food allergy story is a part of our family’s bigger story.   I want to share the whole story with you, so I will be writing this over a few posts.
     As each November rolls around, I find my thoughts drifting back to 2005, just seven years ago.  It seems perfectly fitting for me to share Our Story with you during the month of November.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, our hearts begin to reflect on all we are thankful for.  I am thankful for my family.  
     Seven years ago, we were expecting our second baby. Our son, Noah, had just turned two and he was going to get to become a big brother.  Would it be a boy or a girl?   What would his or her name be?  Would they have blond curly hair like Noah’s?  We were so excited to welcome this new little one into our family.
     When I went in for my 16 week appointment, my doctor asked if my dates could be off.  I told her there was no way, I was absolutely certain of our dates.  She asked me to come back later that week to get an ultrasound.  I had a suspicion of what she was thinking, and suggested "how about if I come back later today for the ultrasound?"  The idea of waiting and wondering for several days did not sound fun.  Thankfully, they scheduled me to come back in that afternoon.  I called my husband, Dan, and told him I needed to have an ultrasound to "check my dates.”  I tried to make it sound like it was no big deal so as not to alarm him.  I was really trying to convince myself that this wasn’t happening.  He caught me off guard when he said he was going to leave work and would be there in a little bit for the ultrasound.  Noah and I went back to the doctor’s that afternoon for the ultrasound.  After getting situated on the table, the ultrasound tech said, "There's the heart beating...and there's another one."  I was speechless.  Was this really happening?  Two babies?!  There was a knock on the door.  It was Dan.  I was in shock, so I asked the tech to tell him.  She showed him the heart beating and then the other one as well.  Dan’s jaw dropped. 
     During the next 4 weeks we shared the news with family and friends while I tried to process the news for myself.  The idea of twins had always scared me.  I didn’t think I could handle it.  Twins sounded overwhelming.  I am a person who enjoys quiet, peace, order, organization and control. You know the kind.  I like my towels all folded in the same direction, the dishwasher loaded a certain way, my closet organized by length of sleeve and color all on white hangers.  I knew my world was about to be turned upside down.  I was going to have to let go of striving for a neat, organized house.  Little did I know, just how much stretching God had in store for me.  A season of growing and trusting was on the horizon.  It took a LOT of soaking in.



     With our first pregnancy, we did not want to know if we were having a boy or a girl because I love surprises.  We decided to wait.  I thought of it like, not wanting to open a Christmas present until Christmas morning.  However, after finding out we were going to have twins, we decided that was enough of a surprise and now we wanted to know their gender.  So at my regular 20 week ultrasound appointment, we found out we were having 2 girls! My OB told me we needed to go to see a specialist, a perinatologist, because there were some concerns about their size discrepancies. 
     Off we went to meet with the perinatologist.  As he sat so seriously behind his desk, he told us our babies had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a rare syndrome that occurs in less than 0.1-0.9  in 1,000 births.  The prognosis was poor since it presented itself so early in the pregnancy.  The doctors were going to do their best but admitted that there is still so much to TTTS that they do not understand.  I was to go on bedrest from here on out and they would monitor the girls weekly.  The appointment was somber.  I went from feelings of shock, to begging God to save both of our little girls.
   If you would like to learn more about TTTS, click on the links below.  http://www.tttsfoundation.org/medical_professionals/what_is_ttts.php or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002562/   

  Our Story will continue next week. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce


Quick and easy peasy!  That's what this flavorful spaghetti sauce is.  Let your crockpot do the work.  The original recipe is from Taste of Home and I have adapted it to our family's needs and taste buds.

1 pound ground beef (or Gluten Free Italian Sausage)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) petite diced tomatoes (sometimes I blend these up first since my little ones don't like chunks of veggies)
3 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 T packed brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t dried basil
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 t salt
1/2 t dried thyme

Trader Joes Corn Spaghetti noodles (or your favorite gluten free noodles)

1.  Brown beef and onion, drain fat.
2.  Combine all ingredients in a crockpot.  Stir.  Cover with lid and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
3.  Remove bay leaf before serving.  Serve over cooked gluten free pasta.  My new favorite gluten free pasta is Trader Joes Corn Spaghetti noodles at just $1.39 per bag.  It is not starchy like rice pasta and is the closest to regular wheat pasta in taste and texture.

8 servings.




Recipe shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Bread


2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cinnmon
3/4 t cloves
3/4 t allspice
1/2 t salt
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c coconut oil, melt before measuring
1 c tart apple, peeled and chopped (like Granny Smith)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease loaf pan (I used Kelapo's Coconut Oil Cooking Spray).
2.  In medium bowl, whisk together flour through salt.  Make a well in the center.  Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, applesauce and coconut oil.  Pour into flour ingredients.  Stir just until combined and gently stir in chopped apple.  
4.  Pour into prepared loaf pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes then remove bread from pan and allow to finish cooling on wire rack.  

Glaze:

1 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 T milk (or rice milk)
1/2 t vanilla extract

Stir to combine, then drizzle over slightly cooled bread.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Dip and my little pumpkins




Trick or Treating this year was so much fun and yet so sad too.  Some friends invited us over to Trick or Treat with them around their neighborhood.   The kids had a great time and got a LOT of candy.  When you have food allergies, Trick or Treating can be challenging.  Our kids always do a great big candy exchange after each holiday where they get candy.   They dump their piles on the floor and do lots of trading.  It has worked great because Noah gives away his candy with food coloring.   Then, Anna gives her peanut, egg and wheat candy away.  They do a great job looking out for each other.  Josie generously shares her candy with Noah and Anna, giving them what is safe for them.  I love watching them work together, sorting it all out.  

Last night, I was feeling a bit sad for Anna.  This year she has spacers in her mouth and the orthodontist says, "No sticky candy".  So no eggs, no wheat, no nuts, and now nothing sticky either.  When I looked through her big stash last night, I discovered she was only able to keep about 1/4 of what she got.  I wondered, does she think Trick or Treating is pointless?   Going door to door, getting candy that she can't even eat.   But my husband reminded me, she was the last one out Trick or Treating.  When Noah and Josie had had enough and came home, Anna wanted to go to a few more houses with Dad.  

Our orthodontist does a Candy Buy Back Program.  We brought candy in to her office today, and the kids got paid for the candy they didn't want.  Then the office sends the candy (with notes from the kids)  to our soldiers.  Talk about a win win!  I told them what a blessing this was for our family, especially with food allergies.  You might want to check around your neighborhood and see if a dental office or doctor office is doing a similar program.

I need to share this tasty little treat with you...Pumpkin Dip!  The original recipe is from Cooking Light but I have changed the quantities.  This goes great with apple slices or I bet it would be good with graham crackers too.  

8 oz 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese (1 block)
2/3 c packed brown sugar
2/3 c canned pumpkin
2 1/2 t maple syrup
1/2 t ground cinnamon

Mix together well with mixer at medium speed.  Cover and chill before serving.  Mmmm...delicious fall treat!
 





Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coconut Oil Cooking Spray



Thank you Kelapo for sending me a sample of your Coconut Oil Cooking Spray!  Friends, this cooking spray is amazing!  I am so excited about it and let me tell you why.  There seems to be a lot of talk now days about the benefits of using coconut oil, here is an article in Shape Magazine discussing the possible benefits.   It contains no trans fats and is high in omega-3 fatty acids.  I have been using Coconut Oil in my baking since discovering Erin McKenna's Babycakes Cookbook.  Surprisingly, it is a great egg substitute as long as there are only 1-2 eggs in the original recipe.  It works great in muffins and quick breads and is actually the oil used in my favorite gluten free, egg free bread recipe.  I love that Kelapo's products are organic and certified "Fair For Life" by the IMO Fair Trade Program!  I am hooked.  If you try this, let us all know what you think too.

Way to go Kelapo and thank you!



Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last week, my kids had a day off of school that was filled with doctor appointments.  To add in a little fun in our day, we went out to Culver's for lunch.  I let the kids have a scoop of custard for a treat.  Since the custard contains eggs, we were going to head to McDonald's for Anna to have ice cream too.

For maybe the second time in her life, she told me she wished she didn't have food allergies.  I told her,  "Me too" and we are doing the best we can and praying for her too.  She is always a tough cookie about her allergies and really accepting of them.  But, like any of us, sometimes we just have to be real and express that allergies stink.

While driving, she asked me if she could have bananas on top of her ice cream.   So we decided to head through Dairy Queen's drive through since they have banana sundaes.  Then, she asked if she could have bananas AND strawberries.  I told her she had to pick one.  I ordered her banana sundae, drove up to the window and the high school boy who was holding her sundae asked, "Do you want any other toppings on this, like maybe strawberry?"  What?!  How did he know?  When have you ever had anyone ask if you want an additional topping, for free, and then have it be exactly what you were wishing for.  He had no idea about our previous conversation but he blessed Anna in such a big way.  I wanted Anna to treasure this moment and realize it was like a big hug from God.  We don't have answers to why she has allergies but we do know that God loves her deeply.  God does not change and neither does His great love for us.

Onto today's recipe post...
These are the best Gluten Free, Egg Free cookies I've ever made.  They are soft like a little pillow, and taste like a little magic in your mouth.   My husband who doesn't even really care for pumpkin, LOVED these! 



2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (or use your GF flour mix + xanthan gum)
2 t baking powder
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda

1 c canned pumpkin (or puree)
1 c sugar
1/2 c coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 flax gel egg (1 T finely ground flax seeds whisked with 3 T warm water, let sit about 10 minutes)
1 t milk (if you have a dairy allergy, substitute with rice milk)
1 T vanilla

1 c white chocolate chips (if you have a dairy allergy, use Enjoy Life's Chocolate Chips instead)

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.  I used Kelapo's Coconut Oil Cooking Spray.  (Read more about this cooking spray in tomorrow's post)
2.  In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Whisk together well.  Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
4.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Then, stir in white chocolate chips.
5.  Drop by spoonful (or use small cookie dough scoop) about 1 inch apart, onto cookie sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes.  Let cool 5-10 minutes, before transferring the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.

Makes 37 cookies (when using my small cookie dough scoop).

Adapted from a recipe found on Sheknows.com

This recipe has been shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays, Cybele Pascal and Fireflies & Jellybeans.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank You!

You all have overwhelmed me with your support of Hope's Kitchen.  Thank you for voting!  Hope's Kitchen made the Circle of Mom's Top 25 Food Allergy Blogs of 2012.  I am so grateful!

If you haven't had a chance yet to visit Circle of Mom's Top 25 list, you should soon.  It will be a great resource to you and others you know with food allergies/sensitivites.  The diversity of the blogs listed is impressive.  I know I found a couple new blogs I plan to follow and hope you will find some more too. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Buttery Apple Crumble

Apple season always draws to mind some great memories of my childhood.  Every fall, my family would pack up into our station wagon and drive to the Minnesota River Valley area.  The trees along the bluffs were full of vibrant fall colors.  We would go to a little, family owned, apple orchard and pick apples for the day.  We were equipped with ladders and apple picking bags.  My sister and I would get to eat an apple while we were picking and we would see how far down the bluff we could get apples to roll.  The orchard was quite rustic.  The restroom was even an old wooden outhouse (that was not a favorite part of my memories).  By the end of the day, the back of our station wagon was filled with apples galore.  My favorite thing Mom made out of the apples, was her Apple Butter.  Now, that I'm thinking about it, my mouth is watering.  Mom, I need that recipe! 

This Apple Crisp has become our family favorite!  The original recipe is from Cooking Light's September 2003 issue and I have adapted it for our family.  Cooking Light's version calls for whole wheat flour to provide a little nutty taste without using nuts.  So I substituted used Gluten Free flour and ground flax seeds to replace it.  The result is delicious.

1/2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (or use your favorite GF flour, it doesn't need xanthan gum)
1/4 c ground flax seeds
1 1/4 c Gluten Free Oats
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter, melted
2 t vanilla, divided
1/2 c apple cider
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t cornstarch
dash of salt
10 Haralson apples, cored, peeled, sliced
cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, flax, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Whisk together well.  Add butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Stir with a fork until moist.
3.  In a large bowl, combine 1 teaspoon vanilla, apple cider, sugar, cornstarch and the dash of salt.  Whisk together until sugar is dissolved.  Then, add the apple slices and toss to coat.
4.  Spoon apples into 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle with crumbly oat mixture.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with drizzled caramel, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream!

Shared this recipe on Allergy Friendly Fridays.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Enjoy Life Free E-Cookbook

Good Morning friends!  How about starting off your Monday morning with a free ebook cookbook from Enjoy Life?!  It is filled with 71 recipes that are free of the major 8 food allergens.  The recipes include egg replacement, pancakes, doughnuts, mac-n-cheese, meatballs, whoopie pies and so many more.



I tried the pancake recipe.  The recipe said it would make 6 medium pancakes.  I doubled the recipe and it ended up making 8 pancakes, roughly 4 inches in diameter.  When I finished the recipe, my batter looked more like the consistency of cookie dough, so I added extra milk to make it more like pancake batter.  It was a little dense.  However, I had a little helper and it was probably stirred a little more than it should have been.  They tasted great and I was impressed with their appearance too.  This was the first gluten free, egg free pancake recipe that I've made, where you actually know when to flip them, like the regular version.  The little bubbles appear, telling you it is time to flip.   I will try this recipe again.  Next time, chocolate chips might get added to the batter.

Here is how the pancakes turned out :)

The idea of a "tapioca egg" is interesting to me and I look forward to trying that idea in other recipes.  The next recipe in their ecookbook that I want to try is the Enjoy Life "Moon Pies."

So enjoy your Monday morning with an Enjoy Life FREE ecookbook!  Just click here.  Thanks Enjoy Life!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Apple Pie


If my Mother-in-law had me pick my favorite dessert of hers, my answer would always be her Apple Pie.  In fact, have you ever had something homemade that was so good that you just couldn't order it in a restaurant anymore because it wouldn't taste as good?  My girlfriend's chinese cooking has also done this to me.  Since I've tried her homemade fried rice, restaurant fried rice just isn't as good anymore.

But anyhow, back to pie.  This Apple Pie is classic.  Normally, I don't eat pie crust but this one is so tender and full of flavor.  It's actually the Crisco crust recipe.  If you are not confident making pies, check out their video and pie making tips.  They are really helpful. 

My pies might not be pretty yet, but someday my friend I hope to figure out how to make the beautiful fluted edges that my mother does so easily.  For now, I'm happy when the crust doesn't fall apart when I transfer it to the pie pan.


The crust:
2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix  
1 t salt
3/4 c Spectrum Organic Shortening
5-6 T  ice cold water

1.  Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl.
2.  Using a pastry blender, or 2 knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture is coarse with pea-sized crumbles.
3.  Sprinkle 5 T water into the flour mixture.  Stir with a fork.  Add 1 T water, if necessary, to make sure the dough sticks together, forming a ball.
4.  Divide the dough into 2 halves and form into balls so that one dough ball is a little larger than the other. 
5.  To prepare a rolling surface, lay down some saran wrap then sprinkle with flour.  Place the larger dough ball flattened into a disc on floured surface and sprinkle a little more flour on top.  Then cover with another sheet of saran wrap and start rolling.  Roll until a couple inches larger than your pie pan.  To transfer the dough, carefully remove the top saran wrap.  Then gently roll up the crust on bottom saran wrap, flip upside down and unroll onto the pie pan.  Now, carefully remove the saran wrap that is on top of the crust in the pan.

The Pie Filling:
1/2 c Corn Chex or Gluten Free Cornflakes, crushed
6 c Haralson Apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon (adjust to taste)
Butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Sprinkle the crushed cereal over the bottom pie crust to cover.
3.  Place apples on top of the cereal.
4.  Sprinkle with sugar, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
5.  Top with a couple pats of butter.
6.  Then roll out the smaller dough ball and transfer it on top of the pie.  Trim the crust and press the edges together.  Using a knife, cut a few little slits in the center of the crust for air to escape.  Bake 50-55 minutes or until you see a little juices on the side of the crust.

Tip:  Lay a sheet on tinfoil (edges creased up) or a cookie sheet on a rack under the pie rack, to catch any juices that bubble over.


Thanks Gluten Free Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free WednesdaysCybele Pascal @ Allergy Friendly Fridays, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Gluten Free Fridays and Show and Tell Saturdays for letting me share this recipe on your site.  These blogs have a great collection of allergy friendly recipes.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dinner Rolls


When I look back, knowing what I know now, it is a wonder to me how my Mom prepared a huge, all homemade Thanksgiving dinner single handedly.  Maybe us kids helped her a little but maybe we "helped" by making it take even longer too.  That I don't remember, but I do remember her being up early, apron on, and very busy.  The table was pretty, the food was delicious and we got to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with Dad.

One of my favorite additions to our meal, was always Mom's homemade cloverleaf dinner rolls.  She had a technique down to making them and I can't wait to try and make them this year with her as my teacher.   In the meantime, these dinner rolls are little less pretty but still quite tasty.  When Mom and I get together, we will use this same recipe and attempt to make them into cloverleaf rolls.  Ok Mom?  All I did to make these tasty little guys, was use my favorite Gluten Free Bread recipe.


*Make sure dry ingredients are at room temperature before starting

3 c GF Flour Mix - I used 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
2 t coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 1/2 c + 2 T warm water

1. Grease and dust with GF flour an 8×4 loaf pan.  Heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Combine GF Flour Mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, and dry yeast in a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3.  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.
4.  Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with a tea towel.  Turn OFF the oven and set the covered bread in the warm oven to rise. Carefully shut the oven door.
5. The bread will take about 30 min. to rise to just below the top of the pan.  Take the bread out carefully and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
6.  Place bread in preheated oven and bake 45-55 minutes.  After the first 10-15 minutes, tent tinfoil over the bread for the remainder of the baking time to prevent the crust from darkening too much.
7. Test the bread with a toothpick. After you’ve removed the bread from the oven, immediately rub the top with butter. Remove loaf from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
8.  Let cool completely before cutting.   This makes a big difference on how well it will slice and stay together.



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 





Paula also recommends this recipe for dinner rolls...
  If you let the dough sit a bit longer after you’ve mixed it, it will thicken to the point that you can scoop the dough in a muffin-sized scoop and drop it in rows of three. Leave a bit of room in between them, maybe a 1/2 to 1 inch or so.
Use a 9×13 cake pan that has been greased well. Let them rise about the same time – enough to get just to the top of the pan. Cover them with tin foil for the first ten minutes just like the bread and bake them the same amount of time and at the same temperature.

When I made these Gluten Free Vegan Dinner Rolls, as soon as it was done mixing (step 3.), I just spooned a little dough into greased and floured muffin tins, filling them about 1/2 way.  Then continued with the directions above starting with 4, covering them with a tea towel and letting them rise in the 200 degree preheated oven, turned off for 15-20 minutes, then follow the rest of the directions above.  

A great dinner addition, warm homemade dinner rolls :)  Thanks again Paula at WholeIntentions.com!



Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange Honey Butter

Pumpkins Biscuits

This weekend was full of pumpkin treats.  For breakfast yesterday, I made Tessa the Domestic Diva's Pumpkin Pancakes and added White Chocolate Chips. They were amazing!  We had one extra and I saved it for a snack later in the day.  Oh man!  It was so good cooled, almost like a cookie.  Next time I make these, I will double the recipe to plan to save some for snacks and to send with the kid's lunches.  For the chia meal, I substituted ground flax seeds (1 T ground flax, whisked with 3 T warm water, let sat about 10 minutes) and I used rice milk.

Pumpkin Biscuits


In the afternoon, I baked Pumpkin Biscuits with the leftover canned pumpkin.  This recipe was always one of my favorite Cooking Light recipes.  It was easy to adapt the recipe to make it safe for our family.  All I needed to change was the flour.  And when you top them off with the Orange Honey Butter...Mmmmm!!  These biscuits would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Note:  I mix my own flour at home (called Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix)  but if you buy a package of gluten free flour mix at the store just make sure it has xanthan gum in it.  If it doesn't, you will need to add 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons xanthan gum to your 2 c flour.

2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
3 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 c chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c canned pumpkin (I use Libby's)

1.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through the nutmeg.  Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal.
3.   In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and pumpkin.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead lightly and roll dough to about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness.  Cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
4.  Bake at 450 degrees for 11 minutes or until golden.
5.  Serve warm with Orange Honey Butter.

Orange Honey Butter
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c honey
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (grated orange rind)

Mix together well.

This recipe share on Mealtime Mondays, Tasteful Tuesdays, Gluten Free Fridays and Show and Tell Saturdays.









Circle of Moms

Circleofmoms.com compiles a list of the Top 25 Food Allergy Blogs each year.  This list is a great resource of food allergy blogs and could be very helpful to you.  Hope's Kitchen is still pretty new, but would love to be added to that resource list.  If you would like to help me get added, vote for me by clicking on the little badge below.  There are just a few more days to vote (you can vote once a day) and voting ends of October 17 at 4 pm.  That's all folks!

PS.  See you again tomorrow morning for easy Dinner Rolls.

Thanks!  Happy Tuesday!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole


This hotdish (yep, I'm from the midwest) is a great comfort food.  I found this recipe on Cooking Light and have adapted it.  Next time, I might try it in my dutch oven or a corningware dish.  But I have to say, somehow the 9 x 13 pan makes the casserole look a bit fancier.

This recipe can be made ahead of time.   Enjoy!
 
2 c cooked chicken breast, chopped
2 c (about 7 oz) uncooked corn spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces (Gluten Free- I used Trader Joe's)
1 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 c gluten free chicken broth
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 boxes Pacific Foods Cream of Chicken soup (Gluten Free) or to make your own see below
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, noodles, red bell pepper and onion.
3.  In a separate bowl, stir together the broth, salt, pepper and cream of chicken soup.  Add the soup mixture to the chicken mixture and toss.  Pour into baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with cheese.
4.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.


To make your own Cream of Chicken Soup:

3 T butter
3 T gluten free flour
2 c (or 15 oz can) gluten free chicken broth

1.  Melt butter in pan, add flour and whisk together until smooth, about 1 minute. 
2.  Slowly add broth, while stirring with whisk continuously until thick and bubbly.



Shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fireflies and Jellybeans, and Gluten Free Fridays. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cornbread Muffins



When you try these you won't believe there are no eggs and no gluten in them!  These muffins are such a hit with our kids (ok... and me too!).  My family loves to top them with honey or maple syrup.  Try these Cornbread Muffins with Chili, Taco Chili, Best Ever White Chili, or Chicken and Rice Soup.

1 c cornmeal
1 1/4 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour
1/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

1 1/4 c milk (I've used rice milk successfully as well)
1/2 c olive oil
2 T white vinegar
1 T corn syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2.  Grease 8 or 9 inch square pan or muffin tins.
3.  Combine dry ingredients.  Stir in the wet ingredients, just til moistened.  Pour batter into pan.
4.  Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Shared on Gluten Free Fridays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays and Tasteful Tuesdays.  These blog parties are full of allergy friendly recipes.









Monday, October 1, 2012

Taco Chili

The air is crisp, the fall leaves crunch under your feet and you walk into your home to the wonderful aroma of chili all ready for you in the crockpot.   Cool weather and crockpots seem closely related.

This Taco Chili recipe is one of our family favorites.  It is so simple to make and full of flavor.

1 # ground beef, cooked and drained (or ground turkey works too)
1 package of taco seasoning mix (I use McCormick's Original Taco Seasoning)
30 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies (I use Rotel's Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies or Rotel's Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro)
32 oz tomato sauce 
15 oz red kidney beans
15 oz can whole kernal corn

Combine all ingredients in crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.  Top with cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream.

This Taco Chili goes well with Cornbread Muffins or tortilla chips.


Thank you Tasteful Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Fireflies & Jellybeans, Gluten Free Fridays, Be Different Act Normal, Made By You Mondays and Allergy Free Wednesdays for letting me share this recipe!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cookie Dough Bites


When I was a young girl, my sister and I loved making cookies.  The cookies were great, but we loved munching on the cookie dough.  I'm not sure how many cookies actually got baked.



This is just a simple little idea, if you too have a hard time resisting the cookie dough.  Maybe you want to cover them in chocolate completely for little Cookie Dough Truffles or maybe you want to make them into the ever so cute cake pops.  After rolling your favorite cookie dough recipe into little balls, you might even want to freeze them for another day.  That way you can have fresh, hot cookies right out of the oven with little effort.  You can do this with your favorite cookie recipe, I used my Grandma's Double Good Double Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I melted our favorite chocolate chips with just a little coconut oil.  Grandma's recipe makes so many cookies that I have enough for baking, Cookie Dough Bites or Truffles and enough to freeze a dozen or two for another day.  Next time, I might try an Oatmeal Cookie with white chocolate chips and drizzle melted white chocolate on top.  What cookie recipe will you use?

Thank you Fireflies & Jellybeans and Gluten Free Fridays for letting me share this yummy treat!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome to Hope's Kitchen AFAA (MN Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association) attendees!

Thank you AFAA for inviting me to your conference to do cooking demonstrations from Hope's Kitchen.   The recipes I shared were The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread, Banana Bread and my Grandma's Double Good Double Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Checking my mic


Welcome to all of you who attended the AFAA conference last weekend.  I was so thankful for the opportunity to share with you.  Hopefully, you learned a trick or two and are ready to try out a recipe.  I'm so glad you stopped by to visit.  Make yourself at home and have a look around.  If you would like to "follow" my blog, you can sign up on the right as 1. A follower (if you have a blogger account) or 2. By email if you would like to be notified by email each time a write a post or 3. By RSS feed (if you have an account).  I try to post 2-3 times a week and am so glad you let me share with you a few of my favorite recipes last weekend.  You can also click on my Pinterest button if you would like to follow my Pinterest boards.  Coming soon...you will also be able to follow Hope's Kitchen on Facebook.  Thanks again for stopping by, I'd love to hear from you!  You can contact me either by leaving a comment at the end of a post or under the "about" tab you will find my contact info.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken Lasagne




This hearty, rich lasagne makes a wonderful dinner for these cooler days.  Serve with a lettuce salad and make your own garlic toast out of your favorite bread.  I made this recipe often before food allergies entered our home.  I had not made it in years, because I had not been able to find a gluten free cream of chicken soup for the recipe.  Until recently, thanks to  Pacific Foods for coming out with a collection of condensed soups.  I have found these soups at Whole Foods, and at my local co-op.  You can also purchase them online.

Sauce:
1/2 c onion, finely chopped
1/4 c green pepper, finely chopped
2 T butter
1 box Gluten Free Pacific Foods Cream of Chicken Soup
2/3 c skim milk (or rice milk)

1 box DeBoles Rice Lasagne noodles (I boil for just a couple of minutes before layering)

16 oz fat free cottage cheese
8 oz low fat cream cheese, cubed
2 1/2 c cooked chicken, cut up ( I use leftover rotisserie chicken)
3 c (12 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
2.  Saute onion and green pepper with butter until tender.  Stir in soup and milk.  Turn off heat.
3.  In another bowl, mix the cottage cheese and cream cheese together.
4.  Lightly cover pan with sauce.  Layer 1/3 of the noodles, then the cottage cheese/cream cheese mixutre, chicken, sauce and then cheddar cheese.  Repeat this layering two more times.  End with the cheddar cheese on top.  Sprinkle with parmesan.
5.  Bake uncovered at for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly.

This recipe can be assembled the day before.  Just cover and refrigerate, then the next day, remove the cover and bake.

Thank you Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays for letting me share this recipe!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Banana Split La La Palooza!


Bridgeman's Restaurant opened their first Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor in Minnesota back in 1936.  This family owned hot spot is known for their La La Palooza Challenge, an 8 scoop ice cream sundae!  As a kid, that sounded like such a fun idea to me.  Now as an adult, that sounds like a tummy ache waiting to happen.  But...not when it's shared with your whole family!  So as summer came to an end and our kids finished their summer bridge books (workbooks to prepare for the next school year), we decided to reward them with this family sized ice cream sundae.

Bananas
Your favorite Vanilla Ice Cream (my favorite is Breyer's Natural Vanilla-just 5 familiar ingredients)
Caramel ( We use Smuckers)
Hot Fudge ( We use Smuckers unless you want to make your own)
Strawberry Sauce ( I made my own for waffles and refrigerated the rest for this, click here for the recipe I used from Taste of Home)
Whipped Cream



Friday, September 7, 2012

Minnesota Food Allergy Conference & Expo


On September 22, the Annual Food Allergy Conference and Expo will be held in St Paul, MN.  I love attending this conference each year.  The conference is open to professionals and families interested in food allergies and related conditions.  It is full of knowledgeable food allergy and celiac speakers.  Each year I learn so much.  There are also companies with samples, displays and sometimes coupons for their product.  Last year Sunbutter was there with several great samples to bring home.  I don't know about you, but whenever I find a new allergy friendly product on the market I get excited about it. 

There are also roundtable discussions and networking.  A couple of years ago when I went, I remember being on a mission to find a good brownie recipe that would be gluten free and egg free.  I met another gal there who told me about Enjoy Life's cookbook.  It didn't take me long to buy that handy resource and in fact, our family's favorite frosting recipe is from that cookbook.  It is their strawberry frosting, made with fresh strawberries.  Meeting new friends that are also living with food allergies is so valuable.  If you are thinking of attending this conference, the cost is $35 for an individual registration.  It is $60 after Saturday, September 15.  There are also CEU's for teachers and nurses available.  To register for this event, follow this link. 

If you know of other conferences/expos occurring in other areas, please leave a comment below.  We would love to hear about it.  Also, if you have ever attended a conference that you would recommend, please share that with us.