Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crock Pot Chili

One of our traditions is to have Chili on New Year's Eve. Normally, it is the chili is PERFECT. It is easy to throw in the crock pot and let it cook all day until you are ready to eat. It makes a lot and is a crowd-pleaser. With all of the toppings, your guests can make it any way they want AND as hot as they want (I like my chili BLAZING hot...but others in my family think I'm crazy :)

Crock Pot Chili

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

Wick Fowler's Chili Mix (Use 1/4 of red pepper,1/4 of paprika / do NOT use salt packet/ mix masa w/ 1/4 c. Hot water & mix in at the end to thicken if desired...but this can be omitted)
*Ingredients in Wick Fowlers Chili Mix: Chili Pepper, Masa Flour, Salt, Onion, Cumin, Paprika, Red Pepper, Oregano, Garlic.
Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit (Use 1/4 of cayenne pepper /do NOT use salt packet/ mix masa w/ 1/4 c. of HOT water & mix in at the end to thicken if desired...but this can be omitted)
*Ingredients in Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit: corn masa flour, ground chili peppers, salt, garlic, cumin oregano, onion, paprika, cayenne pepper
2-3 lbs. stew meat (cut into small bite size pieces) *I have found that it is easier to cut meat if it is partially frozen.
1 bunch of green onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (cored & seeded) * if you want more heat, add the core in! Watch though, it can get HOT quickly! If some like it hotter, you can serve chopped jalapenos on the side.
1 green bell pepper
4 or 5 cloves garlic, pressed
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
2-15 oz cans chili beans (OR you can use dried kidney beans and cook them according to the directions on the package if you prefer)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire (contains fish and sometimes soy...omit if needed)
pinch of sugar
salt to taste (this is optional)

Put all ingredients (except chili beans) in crock pot on low for 8 hours. Add beans the last hour. If you want your chili thicker, add the corn masa (and follow the directions on box) towards the end. *Also, I have found that cooking the chili with the lid off during the last hour, thickens it up. Serve w/ corn muffins or corn bread

Optional Toppings
avocado, diced
onions, chopped
chopped jalapeno
green onions (scallions), chopped
cilantro, coarsely chopped
Frito's Chips
Tabasco or Hot Sauce

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Need a Ham Bone?

If you are wanting to make the Ham and Bean Soup, but do not have a ham bone from Christmas; did you know that you can buy a ham bone at Honeybaked Ham (which is safe) for only $5.99? (and they have a ton of ham on them...perfect for soups). I love this option, especially if you are craving some soup but do not feel like cooking or buying a ham. Thought I would pass this information along...

Click HERE to find a HoneyBaked Ham Store near you
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Ham and Bean Soup

This soup makes great use of the leftover Christmas ham and is comfort food on a cold, winter's night. It is an inexpensive, healthful meal that makes a big pot, so you will have leftovers.

Ham and Bean Soup

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

1 honeybaked ham bone (or other ham bone that you have)
10-12 cups cold water
1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. celery chopped
1/2 lb. crinkle cut carrots
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp.cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt n' spice (or salt and pepper to taste)
juice of one lemon
1 - 20 oz bag HamBeens 15 bean soup

The night before soak beans according to directions. Cook Ham bone in large pot for 1-2 hrs. till ham falls off the bone. Let it cool and separate ham from fat & gristle. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Skim fat from broth (pour through fine strainer or chill and skim top off). Drain water from beans, rinse; Add 10-12 cups of cold water (depending on how thick you want it; I don't like it too thin) & ham broth to large pot with beans. Bring beans to boil, reduce heat & simmer covered for about 2 hours. After beans are done, add onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, seasonings, lemon juice & HAM. Simmer for another 45-60 min. or until carrots are tender. (they take the longest to cook)

Don't have a Ham Bone? CLICK HERE

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Save That Ham Bone!

If you had ham or you bought HoneyBaked Ham for Christmas...SAVE THE HAM BONE (and that extra ham of course). I have an awesome Ham and Bean soup that I am going to be posting! Stay Tuned...:)

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Mint Thins

Merry Christmas! I wanted to share one more fun cookie recipe with you before you are sick of looking at cookies :) These will remind you of those yummy mint Girl Scout cookies. They are super easy to make and the are really good.

Mint Thins

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish
*Could be wheat free if you used the right cracker


1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

about 36 crackers (I love Back to Nature Classic Rounds because they do not have trans fat or other junk in them..BUT they do have you can pick your favorite wheat free cracker to substitute for this recipe).

1 safe peppermint candy cane (or dinner mints) crushed


Microwave chocolate in a small microwaveable bowl. Make sure to do it a little at a time, so you do not burn the chocolate. Stir until completely melted. Blend in extract.

Dip crackers in melted chocolate, completely coating crackers (I gently set one side in the chocolate, and then flip it over into the chocolate). Place on waxed paper covered baking sheets; sprinkle with safe crushed candy.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baked Beans

We are busy in the kitchen making all of our food for an early Christmas Eve. Baked beans might be a weird combination for most to have with Christmas dinner, but our tradition is to have the Honeybaked Ham, baked beans, pasta salad, my grandmother's potato salad (which is FULL of allergens), tons of appetizers, lots of sweets, Rudolph Slush and Apple Cider. We do not do a fancy sit down dinner, we just grab plates, fill them up and continue to pick and eat throughout the night (since we do our activities on Christmas Eve). On Christmas day, we open stockings and have all of the leftovers...which is day of cooking, and the next day you are off. Hope your holiday cooking is going GREAT!

Baked Beans

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

3 31 oz cans of beans or you need about 90 oz beans
*I sometimes use Bush's Vegetarian beans

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup molasses (Grandma's molasses unsulphured original is Gluten Free)

2 Tbsp Worcestershire (this contains just omit if you need to)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

a squirt or two of ketchup

* optional: you can put a 3 slices of bacon on top

*just half recipe if you want to make an 8x8 pan of beans

Combine all ingredients, and put in a 13x9 pan. Lay bacon on top (if using) and bake at 325 for 1 hour.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Questions about Honeybaked Ham

Wow...the Safe Honeybaked Ham post is popular! I got a question from a reader asking about the ingredient in the ham, Sodium Lactate. I agree, that initially it looks like it might be from milk. BUT, after a little research with Honeybaked Ham Company AND better yet, FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) I found out that Sodium Lactate DOES NOT contain milk protein and need not be restricted by someone avoiding milk. go buy your Safe Honeybaked Ham!!! :)

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rompin' Rudolph Slush

Don't you love the name (I am sure the kids will love it too)? My aunt made this one Christmas Eve when I was young, and it has been part of our tradition ever since. I don't think our menu would be the same without Rudolph Slush. This is such a fun, yummy drink!

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

Rompin' Rudolph Slush

1 ripe banana, sliced

12 oz can of orange/pineapple juice concentrate (or other combination that you like)

12 oz can of orange juice concentrate

A couple handfuls of frozen or fresh strawberries

1 two liter lemon/lime flavored carbonated beverage

In a blender (or food processor) combine banana, pineapple/orange juice, orange juice concentrate and strawberries. Process until smooth. Pour into a shallow dish. Cover and freeze at least 5 hours. To serve, pour (or scoop) slush into a punch bowl and add the 2 liter of Sprite. Mix together well before serving. Serve in pretty glasses :)

*Instead of pineapple/orange concentrate, you can use any combo that you like. Example: strawberry, orange, banana, etc.

Here's to making Christmas traditions!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

My friend Nicole made these, and I was so excited to find out that the recipe can easily be changed to be safe for Brody. These are so pretty and taste delicious!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

2 cups of safe flour (or regular flour if you can have it)
Pinch of salt
2 sticks (or 1 cup) of safe butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp safe vanilla extract
1 1/2 c mini semisweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is Allergen Free)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Whisk flour and salt together in a medium bowl
2. With a mixer, beat butter, sugars and vanilla until smooth. Reduce speed and add flour to mixture in 3 batches. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake until golden 45-50 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
3. With a sharp knife cut shortbread into 36 rectangles
4. Melt remaining chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Dip each cookie into chocolate and shake off excess. Transfer to waxed paper and let stand 10 minutes.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows

I have posted a few recipes with marshmallows and one of my readers asked me which ones I use. I use Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows (see what Be Free for Me Blog says about them). Even though they are safe for my son, I just hate that they have some unhealthy stuff in them. I tell my kiddos they are a "sometimes" treat.

BUT...I might have a solution...why not make your own marshmallows? How fun! You could even use little cookies cutters to make them into fun shapes. I'm LOVING this idea! Plus, you know what is going into it...EVEN BETTER!

Make and Takes has the recipe for homemade marshmallows and the steps on how to make them HERE. Need some Dairy Free hot chocolate to go with your marshmallows? Check out The Food Allergy Mama's recipe HERE. Stay Warm!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am making this for dinner tonight. A friend of mine, Kristen, who lives in Florida shared this Cuban dish with me almost 6 years ago and we love it. The ingredients are convenient and it is a quick meal to throw together.

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 large cans of tomato sauce
3/4 cups red wine or cooking wine
1/2 tsp cumin
green olives, they are called Spanish Manzanilla Olives, stuffed with pimento (eyeball it, add as many as you like...they give the dish a great flavor).
cooked rice (enough for 4 people)
4-5 small red potatoes, peeled, cooked and cut into chunks

In a large pot, brown sirloin and drain. Add green pepper, onion and garlic, cook until tender. Add tomato sauce, wine (or cooking wine) and cumin. Cook the potatoes in the microwave for about 5 minutes or until tender and add them to your meat mixture. Cook on medium heat and let flavors come together for about 30 minutes. Cook the rice. Serve the meat mixture over rice.

Cook some sweet plantains (they are found in the frozen section...Publix brand is inexpensive and they are good) to go with this meal...yum.

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Last night, we got a group of neighbors together for a hayride to look at Christmas Lights and have smores around the fire pit and some hot apple cider. Did you know that smores can be safe?

Kinnikinnick Smoreables Graham Style Crackers (Allergy Alert: may contain traces of eggs...I called, and the graham crackers are baked in the same oven as products that contain eggs, so they have to put this disclaimer on their packaging. BUT, if you or your child is alright with baked eggs, then this product is a go). These are Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Casein and Nut Free).
Safe large marshmallows
*If you or your child can have wheat, Honey Maid Honey Grahams would work.

SMORES!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My darling Clementine....

Have you had one of these babies? They are awesome! There are SO great; perfectly packaged by God. They are easy to tote around (while finishing up last minutes Christmas shopping), easy to peel and seedless, did I mention SEEDLESS! Open it up and eat! Healthy and easy, that's what I love...AND Kroger has a 5 lb box of Clementines on sale for $4.99 (until next Saturday 12/19). I will be buying these for our long trip to North Carolina. Tip me off if you find them cheaper elsewhere.

My darling Clementine....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Safe Chex Muddy Buddies

Ginger shared with me that Chex Muddy Buddies can be made safe. I LOVE food, and I LOVE holiday food, but after looking at most of our Christmas recipes, they are FULL or allergens. So, we are trying to find ways to make the recipes we love safe for Brody.

Chex Muddy Buddies

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

9 cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex®, or a combination
1 cup safe semisweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a good one)
1/2 cup sun butter (or soy nut butter if you can have soy)
1/4 cup safe butter or margarine
1 teaspoon safe vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1.Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2.In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, sun butter and safe butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3.Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

This recipe is from Chex
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Peppermint Meltaways

Here is a blog worthy recipe (if you like peppermint). After searching for safe cookie recipes for Brody, trying some out (YUCK!!!! YUCK and MORE YUCK!), this one is worth sharing with you :)

Peppermint Meltaways

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish


1 cup of safe butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp safe vanilla extract

1 1/4 safe flour (or regular if you can use it)

1/2 cup corn starch

Glaze Ingredients

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons safe butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon safe peppermint extract

1 to 2 tablespoons rice milk (or soy milk)

safe candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed


Combine safe butter, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon safe vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (30-60 minutes).

Shape rounded teaspoons of dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely

Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. To make glaze, combine powdered sugar, safe butter, peppermint extract and enough safe milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Immediately sprinkle with safe crushed candy.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hot Apple Cider

It is COLD today..BRRR! It got me thinking about a crockpot full of hot apple cider. YUM! I love having these ingredients on hand throughout the winter. Another makes the house smell wonderful while it is cooking.

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish

64 oz container of fresh apple cider (in the produce section) or apple juice
2 pt 100% cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice (not from concentrate)
1/2 cup lemon juice (I used the bottled kind from Whole Foods, but you could use fresh)
1 cup natural sugar (it is less processed than regular, white sugar)
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours (it tastes better the longer it cooks). Before serving, remove allspice, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Store leftovers (after cooled) in a container in the refrigerator and then pour single servings and heat in microwave.

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Spiced Apples

This is a side that we love! It goes great with pork, baked chicken, you name is GOOD! It is basically a homemade, chunky applesauce served warm (you could always serve it cold if you prefer). The kids love it and it is really yummy mixed into some oatmeal the next morning...that is, IF you have any leftover :)

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

Spiced Apples

1/2 cup honey
1 cup water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4-6 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced)

In a medium skillet, combine the first 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until slightly thickened. Add the apples; simmer, uncovered until apples are just tender, stirring gently.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chicken Asparagus Rollups & Fruity Rice

This is a yummy, healthy meal that is easy enough for any night but looks extra special for entertaining. My friend Mary made this for us and we LOVED it!

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish


1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

coarse salt and pepper

3 tablespoons apricot jam

1 tablespoon lemon juice

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 5 ounces each)


1. Fill a medium skillet halfway with salted water; bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for minutes. Drain in colander; rinse with cold water. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat a grill to medium. Cut six 12-inch piece of kitchen string. In a small bowl, stir together the jam, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.

3. Pound each piece of chicken about 1/4 inch thick and season with salt and pepper; place skinned side down on a baking sheet. Divide the asparagus into 6 equal portions and place each portion crosswise in the center of a chicken cutlet. Roll up each cutlet and tie closed with the kitchen string (or you can use two toothpicks to hold together). Brush the rollups with the jam mixture; season with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer the chicken rollups to the grill, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes.

Fruity Rice


1 cup rice cooked

2 carrots, shredded (about 1 cups)

2 tablespoons finely chopped dried mango or apricot

Stir in shredded carrots and dried fruit. Mix together and serve alongside the chicken asparagus rollups.

This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray

Tip: in order to get ahead, you can assemble the chicken up to 5 hours before grilling

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cranberry Orange Bread

This bread is great as a "breakfast bread" or as a dessert. Either way, it is full of holiday spirit with bright red cranberries.

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

Cranberry Orange Bread


2 cups safe flour (or regular flour if you can have it)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup applesauce (this is a substitute for 1 beaten egg)

1/2 cup orange juice

grated rind of 1 orange

2 tbsp of safe butter melted

2 tbsp hot water

1 1/2 cup raw, whole cranberries


Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar in large mixing bowl; set aside. Mix applesauce with orange juice, rind, safe butter and hot water. Fold wet mixture into flour mixture until blended. Do NOT beat. Gently fold in cranberries. Mixture will be THICK! Spoon into a greased 9 x 6" loaf pan or 3 mini foil loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes (for large pan) or 45 minutes for 3 mini-loaves.

*Mini loaves of cranberry orange bread wrapped in pretty festive cellophane would make a great treat to give as gifts to teachers, etc.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Roast Chicken & Garlic

Whole chickens used to scare me. Even now, I cringe as I tie the legs back :) I will bake chickens when they go on sale though (the sale price motivates me, I guess). I roast two at a time to make sure there are plenty of leftovers (to use for another meal or freeze). The oven is already working, why not make it work for you (2 times)?

Roast Chicken & Garlic

*I make 2 chickens when I do this, so keep this in mind for ingredients

*This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish


1 roasting chicken (5 1/2-6 1/2 pounds)

2 whole heads garlic, unpeeled

1 small bunch of fresh herbs, (I use whatever is in my garden: oregano, rosemary, sage, etc...Fresh and FREE!)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1 medium carrot

1 stalk celery


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken (sorry..this is the part that grosses me out). Rinse chicken with cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat from chicken.

2. Slice off top quarter of each garlic head to expose garlic cloves. Separate cloves and discard loose papery skin but do not peel cloves. Place 10 cloves in the cavity of chicken. Stuff your fresh herbs in the cavity of the chicken. Tie ends of legs together using cotton string. Rub outside of chicken with salt, black pepper and paprika (this always make me laugh as I feel I am giving my chicken a massage :)

3. Coarsely chop carrot and celery. Place in a baking dish (I use the Pampered Chef Rectangular Baker and Rectangular Stoneware Lid/Bowl (looks like Pampered Chef is not selling these any more, but you can get one on ebay pretty cheap)....LOVE IT!!!!!) Place chicken over vegetables. Lift wing tips up toward neck then tuck under back. Sprinkle remaining garlic cloves around chicken.

4. Bake chicken 1 hour and 15 minutes. Carefully remove Lid/Bowl if you are using something like this (I am sure foil would be similar) Continue baking 15-30 minutes or until Meat Thermometer registers 180 degrees in meaty part of thigh and juices run clear. Remove chicken to cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before carving.

5. Meanwhile, remove garlic cloves from baking. Gently squeeze the flesh from skins of 6 cloves into a saucepan. Using a colander, strain juices from baker into a small bowl, discard vegetables. Skim fat from juices and discard. Add remaining juices to mashed garlic in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Carve chicken into thin slices, serve sauce with chicken.

I serve this with a fresh veggie (a green one would be yummy, like green beans) and garlic mashed potatoes.

This recipe is from The Pampered Chef Main Dishes

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original

Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original is a milk, egg, wheat, nut free cereal (it has soy) that is "made on equipment that manufactures products containing wheat." I called the company the beginning of my allergen free journey with Brody and was told that Original Puffins are manufactured on a completely different side of the factory than products containing wheat and that they have strict manufacturing practices. Due to this information, I felt Puffins Original were save for Brody. They are shaped like Captain Crunch cereal but are less sweet and have much more natural ingredients.
This has been a great snacking food for him also; perfect size.
Customer Service
800-343-0590 x1032
*Call and ask for some coupons

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Honeybaked Ham

Click HERE for an Update on Honeybaked Ham

I am SO excited! Honeybaked Ham has been a part of our family Christmas tradition since I can remember. I called Honeybaked Ham (customer service) and found out that their ham is allergen free! I was so worried about what they were going to say was in the glaze...but we are in the clear...HONEYBAKED HAM FOR BRODY...and us, of course :)


Statement from Honeybaked Ham: our hams our free of the common allergens: dairy, soy, gluten and nuts

Yay Honeybaked Ham!
Customer Service

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When in Doubt...use the Epi Pen



After our incident on Thanksgiving, we read about anaphylaxis and symptoms on FAAN and spoke to a nurse at our allergist's office. We found out that we should have used the Epi Pen Jr. for Brody's severe allergic reaction to milk last Thursday. We are thankful that he is alright, but we should not have used the albuterol (breathing treatment/nebulizer) to treat his breathing difficulty. We were told by our allergist's office that the albuterol (or inhaler) can "mask" the symptoms of a severe reaction, giving you less time to give the child the treatment he really needs, which is the Epi Pen (or can even block the airways in some cases). I praise God that this wasn't the case for Brody, but we definitely know now...

We learned a couple of things since this incident:

1. When in doubt...GIVE the Epi Pen: it can't hurt your child, but he could die if you don't give it and he needed it. We have one with us at all times, and we just filled a prescription to have one kept at my parent's house also. If there are ANY signs of difficulty breathing...GIVE IT!

2. After you administer the Epi Pen, go to the nearest emergency room (in our case, it would be Vanderbilt Children's). Let professionals who have the right equipment and medicine take care of your child (I even called my insurance company to make sure that the ambulance ride would be covered under our insurance plan). Things can go from bad to worse quickly and you don't want to be riding in your car if that does happen.
*You can administer a second does of Epinephrine after 10-15 minutes after the first dose, if necessary.

3. Have an emergency plan: we were looking at our son having problems breathing (wheezing, labored breathing, nostrils flaring, stomach sucking in, acting lethargic) and trying to make decisions on what to do. The environment was stressful. We needed to have an emergency plan so everyone was on the same page and there were no questions about what should be done. NO SECOND GUESSING!!!! Every minute (or second) counts when your child is having a severe allergic reaction. Please speak to your loved ones/caretakers about what to do if your child ingests an allergen and is in their care. Make sure they know that you WANT them to administer the Epi Pen and call 911.

Again, our Thanksgiving incident makes our heart sink when we talk about it and we hope that it never happens again, but if it does, things will be different and we will be confident about what action to take.

*One more thing (that we learned from this): if your child ingests an allergen OR you THINK he has ingested an allergen, the wheezing is NOT asthma, but a reaction from the food allergen...give the Epi Pen and follow the rest of the emergency action plan.

Take some time to fill out your emergency plan and talk to your loved ones about it. We wish that we did...but again, we are thankful that things turned out ok (it did scare us to death though).
We have decided to not have cow's milk in our house due to the severity of Brody's milk allergies. Brock (my non-allergic child) is switching to a milk alternative. Hopefully this will help avoid an accidental switch in cups, or little brother "stealing" milk :)

When in Doubt...use the Epi PenSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Corn Muffins

Corn Bread Muffins

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish


1 1/4 cups corn meal

1 1/4 cups safe flour (you can use oat flour by grinding up old fashioned oats)

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups rice (or soy milk)

3 tbsp. oil

1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


Mix all of the dry ingredients. Add rice milk, oil, vinegar and mix well. In a greased muffin pan, (I used a mini muffin pan because my kids like the corn bread bite-sized) fill each cup full of corn bread batter. Bake at 400 for approximately 8 minutes.

*For regular sized corn muffins bake at 400 for 20 minutes

*For corn bread, pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake at 400 for 25 minutes

*If you want moister corn muffins, throw in a 8.5 oz can of Golden Cream Style Sweet Corn (Ingredients: corn, water, sugar, modified corn starch, salt) and a few drizzels of unprocessed, all natural, local honey. These were REALLY good!

This recipe is from Sophie Safe Cooking

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Day Reaction

I was sitting in the living room with the kids and in-laws watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, drinking a cup of coffee and browsing through the Black Friday Ads, when Brock asked me for a cup of milk. After he drank some, he sat it on the coffee table and I continued doing what I was doing. A few minutes later, I catch Brody from the corner of my eye with a cup to his mouth; realizing what he was trying to drink I grabbed it and saw milk on his face, running down his shirt and all over the carpet. I was sick.

Within a few minutes, Brody had hives on his face where the milk had touched and even on his finger (I was wondering, did he drink some? How much?). We immediately gave him Benedryl and watched him. He was itching and started sneezing. He got congested and started having problems breathing. We decided to give him a breathing treatment (We gave it to him because he was wheezing). I called the doctors office...closed. As we were watching him, I was gathering my stuff in case we had to go to the ER. It scared me to death. After the breathing treatment, his breathing calmed down and we got him to fall asleep on my mother-in-law. I can handle hives, it is the breathing that really scares me.

Well, things are back to "normal" around here. I am cooking and getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. Note to self...don't have milk (or anything else Brody is allergic to) too close to Brody.
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Perfect Apple Pie

This recipe is from my mother-in-law, Ingrid. She is always in charge of making the apple pie for Thanksgiving. This year, she tweaked it a little to make it safe for Brody.

Perfect Apple Pie

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

6-7 large Granny Smith apples (or 10-12 small ones), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup natural sugar (less processed than regular sugar)
2 Tablespoons flour (or GF flour)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
Pastry Crust for 2 crust, 9 inch pie. We used Wholly Wholesome pie crust from Whole Foods (contains wheat) (Publix or Pillsbury pie crust has only has wheat) Lisa cooks, shops and dines allergen free has an allergen free pie crust you can make
2 Tablespoons safe butter
*1 Tablespoon of lemon juice if apples are not tart enough

If apples lack tartness; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour and spices; mix with apples. Line 9 inch pie plate with pastry. Fill with apples mixture; dot with safe butter. Adjust top of crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 50 minutes or till done.

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