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.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Our son, Noah, doesn't really care for traditional birthday cakes.  Noah is allergic to artificial food coloring/dyes so when he does have cake, he has to scrape off the frosting.  A few years ago, Noah asked if he could have shakes instead of cake for his birthday and the shakes have stuck ever since.  He loves them and his friends love them too!  With a summer birthday, shakes are a sure hit!
We had shakes for his birthday party and I made a homemade Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake for our family celebration.  He used to love Dairy Queen cakes but they have food coloring and wheat in them so we make our own sensational hit! 

The recipe I adapted comes from a dear old college friend, Jodi Stilp (Who BTW also blogs.  Her blog is called Sole Sisters about running, faith, family and should check it out!) 
Do you have any smells that trigger memories?  Every time I make her Hot Fudge Sauce recipe, I remember having great conversations in Jodi's kitchen, with her standing at her stove, stirring the hot fudge and the amazing aroma filling the air.  I think of her now every time I make the fudge or cake.  Her original recipe was a Buster Bar Dessert (which my "DQ Peanut Buster Parfait Loving Mom" would love - she is not allergic to nuts).

Warning:  The Hot Fudge Sauce is dangerously yummy!  Temptations of eating the hot fudge by the spoonful may be irresistable.  Not that I would ever do that!

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 can evaporated milk
1 c chocolate chips
1 stick butter
2 c powdered sugar
1 T vanilla

1.  Pour evaporated milk into saucepan.  Add chocolate chips, butter and powdered sugar.  Stir constantly over medium heat.  Bring to boil and let boil until it thickens.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then, stir in the vanilla.  Allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the cake.

Ice Cream Cake

2 pkg Schar Chocolate O's Cookies, crushed
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 gallon ice cream, any flavor, softened
Trader Joes' Cocoa Pearls, optional (A photo of this crunchy addition is at the end of this post)
Hot Fudge Sauce
1 pkg cool whip (or homemade whipped cream)

Grease 9 x 13 pan.  Spread crushed cookies evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Then, pour melted butter over the cookies to create the crust and pat down gently.  Spread half of the softened ice cream over the crust.  Next, pour the cooled hot fudge sauce over the ice cream.  Sprinkle generously with Trader Joes Cocoa Pearls (optional).  Freeze for approximately an hour.  Top with the other half of ice cream, then "frost" with cool whip and sprinkle with more cocoa pearls for decor.  Freeze again until ready to serve.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Trader Joes Cocoa Pearls
These cocoa pearls provide a similar crunch and taste to the crunch layer in Dairy Queen's Ice Cream Cakes, but they are gluten free!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fruit Birthday Cake

Do you have a hard time trying to make a safe birthday cake?  Check out this creative, healthy, allergy friendly birthday cake a friend of mine made for her little boys birthday!  Genius right?!  This cake gets a standing ovation from me!  I just love it when people use their creativity to make healthy look so fun!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Giggles Fun Dough: Review & Giveaway!

Hello again, dear friends!  I was on an unintentional blogging vacation.  The past couple weeks have been full of fun with my kids, from sun up to sun down.  Ok, not exactly sun up, which I am really thankful for!  I really love summer!  The pace is slower, we are outside more.  A lot more.  And I get to spend so much time with my kids!!  I hope you are all having lots of fun with your families and friends as well.

When Anna got diagnosed with her wheat allergy, our old friend play dough had to leave our house.  I didn't want to let Noah and Josie play with it and not Anna.  Plus, it left behind a lot of residue.  Not just on the table and fun tools but it gets everywhere.  So we decided to say goodbye to our old friend.

Fortunately, we quickly found Moon Dough and it was a safe option (call the company to find out if it is still safe and safe for you).  Boy oh boy, I thought play dough was messy.  Moon Dough takes the cake.  It is lots of fun but very messy!  In fact, it quickly became something I confined to playing outside at the table to make clean up a little easier.

When Anna started Kindergarten, we met with her teacher to explain her allergies to her.  She boosted my confidence in having her in someone else's care, when she told me she was going to remove play dough from her curriculum for that year.  Even for her other half day class.  She said she didn't want to risk any residue in the classroom.  And as you can imagine, that made my heart so happy.  I wouldn't have to worry about that culprit.  However, I really wished I could have given her an allergy friendly option.  There just wasn't a allergy friendly play dough around (besides homemade).

Not long ago I heard about Giggles Fun Dough.  Giggles is an allergy friendly playdough!!!  That's right folks, it's time to celebrate!!  I am over the top excited about them.  I seriously wished I could give the founders a big hug!!  Play dough can come back into our home.  Now I just wish I hadn't gotten rid of all our cool play dough tools.

Giggles Fun Dough was created for a young girl with celiac by her Mom and her Aunt.   It is gluten free, free of the top 10 allergens, has no artificial colors or dyes, fragrance free and made in a dedicated facility!  They generously sent us a sample of their product to play with and review for you.  It feels and plays like Play-doh.  Giggles Fun Dough is missing the "not so pleasant" smell of Play-doh which is a plus for me.  In fact, I don't even noticed a smell!  Our kids had a blast playing with it!

It will last about a year in it's original container at room temperature.  They are based out of Canada.  Currently, you can pre-order Giggles Fun Dough through their campaign for delivery this September.  Perfect timing for back to school!

Three cheers for Giggles Fun Dough!!!

One lucky reader will win their very own Giggles Fun Dough package!  Enter below with the help of easy peasy Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's Raise Our Hands for Anaphylaxis Awareness

 Julie Bowen has partnered with Mylan's the Get Schooled In Anaphylaxis website to help get the word out about anaphylaxis.  This site is a great resource to learn how you can help keep your children and classmates safe. 

When it comes to food allergies, education is crucial!  When I hear parents at schools complain that they can't pack their children certain foods because of a classmates food allergies, I know it is really because they are uneducated about it.  But that can change if we all speak up and help. 

Everyone needs to be educated because anyone could be in a situation involving anaphylaxis.  Be prepared.  Equip yourself, your children's teachers/aides and classmates, caregivers, Sunday School teachers, neighbors, relatives and friends.  Get Schooled In Anaphylaxis includes information on signs and symptoms, allergic triggers, food allergies, anaphylaxis in schools and a wonderful resource library.

Exciting News

You could help your school district win one of four $15,000 educational grants by Raising Your Hand for Anaphylaxis Awareness.  The four school districts with the most Hands Raised by October 1, 2013, will win one of the grants.  You can vote once a day.  The first time you vote it takes about 2-3 minutes to sign up, but then each time after that takes just seconds.  Spread the word to your community. 

Even if you don't win a grant, I still see it as a win win situation.  More people are hearing about and learning about anaphylaxis which is a really GREAT thing!  Share it on your facebook and twitter accounts and spread the word.

I am proud to be an ambassador for Get Schooled In Anaphylaxis initiative and am "Raising My Hand for Anaphylaxis" for my daughter, Anna's life-threatening food allergies.