Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
= ready to go to a birthday party!
We were invited to go to a birthday party and I had everything ready in my freezer to pull out a safe dessert for Brody. Quick and Easy....
- I had a batch of previously frozen chocolate cupcakes made with pumpkin (allergen free)
Allergen Free Cupcake
This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish
Any cake mix you like and that is safe for your family
1 can of 100% pure pumpkin
Mix ingredients and bake at 350 for approximately 15 minutes
- I had a batch of homemade frosting that I had made and froze in a freezer bag. I just defrosted it a few hours before the party and took out what I needed to frost the cupcake and threw it back in the freezer. Ready to go for next time!
Buttercream Icing (recipe from Sophie-Safe Cooking)
1/4 cup Earth Balance
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp rice milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat margarine with a mixer. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and mix well. Add rice milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add enough of the remaining powdered sugar to make the frosting a good consistency for spreading.
- Throw some sprinkles on that allergen free cupcake and you are good to go! I put it in a small Tupperware container so it didn't get messed up and Brody was able to eat along with the other kids, and I wasn't in the kitchen making ONE cupcake for him to have at a party.
*Did you know that Whole Foods has sprinkles that do not have dyes in them but are colored with natural colorings (example: beet juice for red/pink sprinkles)? These are found in the bakery. They make them right there. I was told not to apply the sprinkles liberally because if there are too many you can taste the natural coloring. I think this is AWESOME!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
This video is GREAT! Share it with those you love...
Food allergies are not only bothersome, they can be downright deadly.
Three Warning Signs of Food Allergies:
- Skin irritation
- Tingling in your mouth
- Swelling in the throat and difficulty breathing
Give it a second and the video will come on...if not, go HERE to see it from the Dr. Oz website
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Valentine's day is will be here before you know it!
Nashville TN 37205
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
This information was updated by Cracker Barrel on 1/03/10 and it must be from a handbook and on the bottom of the page, it says Quality Assurance.
The following food can be recommended for guests who are allergic to milk
- Breads: Sourdough Bread (regular and wheat), Westminster Crackers
- Apple Bran Muffins
- Eggs (fresh shell eggs only); Egg Beaters and Eggstrod'naire contain milk
- Grilled Meats: Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Grilled Chicken Tenders, Hamburger Steak-be careful to prevent cross-contamination from pancakes and breads other than sourdough, from cheese or from butter and margarine used to grill other foods.
- Dip Items: Meatloaf
- Side Items: Apple Sauce, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Turnip Greens
- Tossed Salad, Grilled Chicken Tender Salad or Country Chef Salad (without Cheese, Egg and Croutons)
- The Following Salad Dressings do not contain Milk: Honey French (regular & fat free), Honey Mustard (regular & fat free), Thousand Island (regular & fat free), Reduced Calorie Italian
*All fried items should be avoided due to cross-contamination from the cooking oil.
The following foods can be recommended for guests who are allergic to eggs
- Breads: Biscuits, Sourdough Bread (regular and wheat), Westminster Crackers
- Grilled Meats: Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Grilled Chicken Tenders, Hamburger Steak, Ribeye and Sirloin Steaks-be careful to prevent cross contamination from Pancakes and French Toast
- Dip Items: Roast Beef and Gravy, Chicken and Dumplings, Turkey and Gravy
- Side Items: Apple Sauce, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Turnip Greens
- Tossed Salad, Grilled Chicken Tender Salad or Country Chef Salad (without Egg, Cheese and Croutons)
- The following Salad Dressings do not contain Egg: Honey French (regular & fat free), Fat Free & Reduced Calorie Italian, Fat Free Ranch, Fat Free Thousand Island
*All fried items should be avoided due to cross contamination from the cooking oil
Wheat (Glutens) Allergens
The following can be recommended for guests who are allergic to wheat
- Eggs and Grilled Meats: Bacon, Sausage, Grilled Catfish, Grilled Chicken Tenders, Hamburger Steak, Ribeye and Sirloin Steaks-be careful to prevent cross contamination from Pancakes and French Toast
- Side Items: Apple Sauce, Carrots, Corn, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Turnip Greens
*All fried items should be avoided due to cross-contamination from the cooking oil.
Cracker Barrel does not cook with peanut oil and does not add peanuts to any of our menu items. The core menu items are peanut free. Please carefully check all labels for any promotional items, weekly specials, and regional menu items.
The items that are in bold are safe for Brody (milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat) as long as there is no cross contamination.
Many of the mothers at the FAAN meeting this week also expressed that they have had a good experience at Cracker Barrel and managers have went as far as to bring out labels on items for the parents to read to ensure that it was safe for their child. It is nice to know Cracker Barrel has some safe options, especially when you are traveling. You know you are going to drive by a ton of Cracker Barrel's on your way to your destination. Just hope that you get a manager who goes out of his/her way to accommodate and make you feel comfortable about how the food is being prepared.One more thing I will add: on the back of my paper the manager put the label for the White Sourdough Bread. I figured I would just add this information since I had it.
White Sourdough Bread: ingredients: flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, potassium bromate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin), water, sugar, corn oil, potato flakes (dehydrated potatoes, mono and diglycerides, sodium acide pyrophosphate, citric acid., A natural mixed tocopherols [a natural source of vitamin E] added to protect freshness), salt.
One more safe eating out option to add to the list!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I ran to Kroger before making dinner. I was making sloppy joes and needed tomato paste. I buy tomato paste all of the time and know that it is safe. I was in a hurry, grabbed the tomato paste and came home to prepare dinner. As I was dumping the tomato paste into the sloppy joes, I saw what looked like black flakes. I began searching for the expiration date because I thought it might be expired because it looked weird to me...not my usual tomato paste. The expiration was fine, 2011. I then started to put it together and looked at the front label...ITALIAN TOMATO PASTE. Ok, so that weired stuff I realized was oregano...so I flipped to look at the ingredients on the back and I read that it contained MILK. Oh yes, there was CHEESE in the Italian tomato paste. Are you kidding me??? (FYI: It was Kroger Italian Tomato Paste...stay away, I repeat...stay away if you have milk allergies).
I was thankful that I realized the mistake before I serving it to Brody, but was disappointed that my safe sloppy joes were no longer safe. This just made me realize...you can never be too careful and always read labels before you dump your ingredients in...even if you think it is safe, or it has been safe in the past. Manufacturers change ingredients all of the time OR like me, you can buy the wrong type.
Milk hides in a lot of ingredients that you would never think of....boullion cubes and some seasonings just to name a few...it is crazy!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sit Down Restaurants
- Bonefish Grill-(Cool Springs)-cook to order/aware of food allergies
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill-cooked to order/aware of food allergies
- Outback-cooked to order/aware of food allergies
- P.F. Changs-cooked to order/aware of food allergies
- J. Alexander’s-Layne has had a good experience with them
- Cantina Laredo-Ginger recommends
- Bahama Breeze (Memphis, Atlanta)-while traveling we dined here and had a wonderful experience
- Cracker Barrel-the manager gave me a list of options that would work with my son’s allergies
- O Charley’s
Tips for Dining Out
- Call the manager in advance and ask if they can accommodate with the food allergies and let them know when you are coming in to dine. Get their name and ask if they will still be on shift. If not, ask what manager to speak with when you arrive.
- Try to go at a time when it is not too busy (when the restaurant first opens or at an odd time is great since the manager will have more time to spend with you and the kitchen will not be slammed…this means less chance of a mistake/cross-contamination).
- Tell your server about the food allergies
- Ask to speak with manager (if you have the name of the manager, that is even better) once you are seated at your table.
- Hand a Chef Card (there is one on FAAN, HERE) to the manger so he can give to the chef so he/she has a hard copy of the allergies that they avoiding while cooking
- Thank them…Thank them…Thank them (make sure to give your server a good tip)
- Grab (or ask for) the manager’s card and follow up with an email thanking them or even email corporate to “brag” on the manager/restaurant if they have done a great job (mostly likely, they will remember you when you go in to dine again)
A quick Bite to eat
- Honeybaked Ham-ham and turkey are free of the common allergens: dairy, soy, gluten and nuts. They are also open for lunch (coupon HERE). There are also coupons in the inserts in the paper sometimes.
- Tossed (Cool Springs)-dairy free/gluten free tomato basil soup and salad options.
- Garlic Jim's (Cool Springs)-gluten free pizza/have non-dairy cheese available if you pay extra
- Red Robin-Layne has had a good experience
I am certain there are many more restaurants that are safe and/or accommodating in our area. The most important thing to do is get online, look up the menu, find out if there is something that looks like it could be safe and give them a call to make sure. It would be disappointing to get to the restaurant only to find out that nothing is safe to eat or the staff is not accommodating. You will get a feel for it on the phone if they want to take care of you and make sure the food is safe.
I have some of these restaurants and others under Safe Options for Eating Out
*Bonefish Grill, Outback and Carrabba’s Italian Grill are affiliated and more than willing to take care of those who have food allergies. Again, just mention to your server and the manager when you arrive.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
*If you go, I would speak with the person preparing your lunch and tell them about the food allergies.
I was told at the Honeybaked Ham that I go to, that the meat is sliced on a different slicer than the cheese (which is awesome!); but just make sure, you can never be too careful.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
More uses for your leftover sauce?
- meatball/sausage hot subs
- baked ziti
- use as pizza sauce for a homemade pizza
Saturday, January 2, 2010
When I found out Brody had food allergies, I thought, "That's it, I am not going to be able to save money when food shopping; I am going to have to shop at Whole Foods." I returned most of my unsafe, unopened, non-perishable food to Publix (they were so great about it). I went to Whole Foods looking for safe food for myself (since I was nursing at the time) and for Brody. I was SO overwhelmed by having to shop milk, egg, wheat and peanut free. The first time I went to Whole Foods, I don't think I bought anything. I just walked around writing down prices and feeling sick to my stomach. I ran into another mom who pointed out safe butter (Earth's Balance) and we exchanged information (We now keep in touch. It is funny the instant connection you make with others who have to deal with food allergies). Once I started processing the whole food allergy thing, I started finding products (this is how Allergen Free Please started) and realized that if I cooked mostly from scratch, I could control exactly what was going into the food (obviously this cannot be done for everything...and that is why I found go-to products, but try to use coupons when I buy them).
The Sophie Safe Cookbook (free of the top 8 allergens) got me thinking about the family recipes that I had that I could change ingredients and cook for my family. She has great recipes in her book.
Back to coupons....you can buy good, allergy safe food (Muir Glen, which has organic tomatoes, paste, and sauce has coupons out all of the time...I am able to get some of these products for almost free when the company puts out their $1 off a Muir Glen Product coupon). My favorite site that has a bit of everything is Southern Savers. Jenny matches up coupons/products and stores for you. You can even print your list right from her site. IT IS AWESOME!
I buy two newspapers a week for my family. I try to find out which place is selling them for $1 (or I buy them on Monday at the Kroger near my house because they are $1). The "rule" of couponing is to buy a paper for each person in your family, but for right now, two works for us.
I cut out the coupons that I KNOW my family will use. We try to avoid high fructose corn syrup, MSG, trans fat, dyes and of course egg, milk, wheat (we do give Brody some wheat now and he is doing great with it) and peanuts. I save tons of money each week and buy healthy food for my family...coupons are not just for junk food...PROMISE! I get Soy milk coupons, frozen vegetable coupons (great for soups), salad coupons, orange juice coupons, etc, not to mention paper products and toiletries. Now wouldn't you use these? By time grocery stores double the coupons (most up to .50)...you have paid for your paper and much MORE!
Another frugal tip...I have found that Kroger has a great selection of safe food in the organic section for my family. They double coupons up to .50, which makes the price come down quickly. I find safe food for Brody all of that time that has been marked down as "manager's special" and I am even able to find organic meat marked down (getting ready to expire), put it in freezer bags and freeze it for later use.
The Thrifty Momma matches up Whole Food Deals if you shop there (click on categories at the top of the page and then scroll down to Whole Foods). I will run into Whole Foods for my Kid's Fish Oil, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for baking and any other deal I can score. Don't forget that Whole Foods has the Whole Deal book of coupons that you can combine with a manufacturer's coupon if you have one.
Buy the newspaper this Sunday...there is going to be a ton of coupon inserts. Clip your coupons, head over to Southern Savers for all the details on how to get started and start saving money in 2010!
My favorite (not all grocery deals) site that I love for all kinds of deals is Hip 2 Save!
Friday, January 1, 2010
Also, head over to Be Free For Me and leave a comment to win a Sweet Alexis Gift Pack, full of a variety of egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free cookies, muffins, breads and cake (A $50 value!). Two readers will win, so you have an even better chance! You have until Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 by 12:00 midnight to put in your entry.
Take a minute to read the story behind Sweet Alexis....it made me misty-eyed while reading. Again, I am always so encouraged by moms who don't wallow in their children's food allergies, but get out there and make a change...SO AWESOME!