Category Archives: Holidays

Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is coming up very soon! We don’t make much of a hullabaloo about the holiday, but I do like to acknowledge it and do a little something special with my kiddos.

So, what can you do to celebrate an allergen free holiday that revolves around chocolate and sweets that are generally laden with milk, soy, nuts, wheat, etc. without breaking the bank? I have a few ideas 🙂

* Let me preface this by saying that we home school, so I don’t have to worry about classroom safety and such.*

  • Make your own chocolates using melted Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips in a chocolate mold or free form on wax paper. (Free of the top 8 allergens, and very tasty, woo!) Put them in a pretty box and you’re good to go!
  • Make Valentines for each other.
  • Give your kiddos a flower and a special Valentines stuffed something.
  • If you have a good wheat free flour mix for cookies or if you can have wheat, make some cookies together and cut them into heart shapes. Then color some sugar and sprinkle it on top to make them pretty and sparkly 🙂 (I think Maya would LOVE this one) Ooo, or drizzle them with the melted chocolate chips I mentioned earlier. Or both! Mmmm, possibilities…..

This is by no means an exhaustive list, if you have any other ideas, please do share! I’d love to hear what you and yours are doing for Valentine’s Day 🙂 I think I’m going to be searching for a good wheat substitute to make the sparkly cookies I mentioned!

So what do you have planned for Valentine’s Day?

 

I Present: The Cupcakes

We had a lovely birthday celebration yesterday! We enjoyed family, laughed  harder than I remember laughing in my life and ate some really good food!

I used the Divvies Famous Chocolate Cupcake recipe that I found on Allergic Kid a while back when she reviewed the Divvies Cookbook (sigh, I so want that cookbook), along with a fantastic chocolate buttercream frosting from Epicurious. We then covered them in sprinkles and topped each with a Maraschino Cherry. Divine!!!!!! Oh, and by the way, this is all VEGAN! Totally safe, and nobody even knew they were egg and dairy free!  Woo!

We made the cupcakes up on Tuesday afternoon so they would have a day to sit. Trust me, let them sit a day, the flavors will meld and become even more delicious and it’s then that you can’t tell they’re vegan.  It’s pure awesomeness.

I took a lot of pictures of these things, but my point and shoot simply couldn’t portray the simple beauty. I hope you can see from the picture at least somewhat how gorgeous these cupcakes are.

My suggestion: Go make these! The recipe is super easy, you will love it, and so will all your family and friends. (as long as they like chocolate and/or cake of course ) 😉

Happy Baking!

~Lindsey

 

Time For Birthday Plans!

Clipart picture of a yellow birthday cake with eight purple candles on top with a pretty red and green decoration on the frosting, Click here to get more Free Clipart at ClipartPal.com

How do you celebrate the birthday of a completely non allergic sibling of your very allergic kiddos? Well, it can be as complicated or as easy as you make it. Over the years I’ve learned how to make it enjoyable, non stressful and safe. Here is what we do!

I ask the kiddos what they want to eat on their birthday and let them choose the baked good and the dinner.  Jesse was very sweet about what he chose. He requested something for dinner that everybody could have, even Maya. Unfortunately we can’t really do that completely, but this is what we can do.

Jesse’s Choices

  • Chocolate cupcakes with cherries
  • Grilled Burgers (Daddy makes the best burgers, truly, they are amazing)
  • Fries

My Plan

  • Divvies Famous Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing and a cherry on top with sprinkles. (Butter will be Earth’s Balance buttery spread, it’s amazing)
  • Burgers for us and Maya will have a grilled portobello mushroom rather than a beef patty.
  • Fries are easy since potatoes and oil are on the safe list again 🙂

Last year Daddy took him out to IHOP for breakfast. That breakfast was talked about for months! We discussed maybe repeating the performance this year with some alteration.  We might take him out for lunch to get some pizza or similarly cheesy food.  (We being a relative term) He kind of gets the short end of the stick being right in the middle of two very dairy allergic kiddos, so we like to treat him when we can.

This is what works for us as far as Jesse birthday food goes; simple, sweet, and totally yummy!

What do you do to celebrate birthdays around food allergies in your home?

Vegan Hot Chocolate

I used this recipe to make my own chocolate syrup so my kiddos could have some yummy hot chocolate and chocolate milk. Oh my goodness yum! It tastes just like the kind you get in a certain squeeze bottle 🙂 It really and truly does. Also, it’s super easy, really cheap and pretty quick to make!

To make hot chocolate with it:

2-3 tbsp Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1 c milk of your choice (sweet almond is fantastic, though I’m sure soy would be fine too)

Mix syrup and milk in medium sized mug. Heat in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir well and enjoy!

Super simple right? Oh, quick note, I used plain white cane sugar for mine, and it still turned out great!

Whirlwind November

Well, lots to talk about today! In Sweet Pea news, she definitely has eosoniphilic esophagitus. She is on medication for it, finally, YAY! We are to eliminate all food allergens from her diet, which is tough. We have to figure out exactly what they are. I think grain is a trigger for her, so I tried a buckwheat pancake recipe. It was a worse trigger than wheat. I’m hoping to speak with her allergist soon so we can figure out what all is going on with her little body. Good news: as of now, she can still chew her food! Yay! I was so worried we’d have to go elemental. Right now she’s good though. We have a follow up on the 8th of December to discuss everything.

Moving on, Thanksgiving. Oh dear. Our concept was a great one, but the prep and planning was not so hot. I didn’t plan this year, as I was completely consumed with Sweet Pea’s stuff. We had 19 people come to our house to eat a Thanksgiving dinner. Wow right? We decided on burgers for Thanksgiving as that’s the easiest way to feed everybody without much modification. Let’s just say that I took scrupulous notes and learned a ton.

This month has just blown by with all of our medical stuff and Thanksgiving! Sunday we’re having a family birthday party for Sweet Pea and Tuesday is the real thing. She’ll be six years old! She has requested brownies and gingerbread cookies for her bakes goodies 🙂 I love that!

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your holiday weekend!

~Lindsey

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake (Vegan)

Instead of going the candy route for our Halloween celebration we made cake. It’s delicious and all of my children want it for their birthdays. I would recommend baking this a day ahead of time as it tastes much better if it sits for a day. It’s harder to tell it’s vegan. 🙂 I ended up just icing the top and middle because my attempt at making powdered sugar from scratch and using it in frosting turned into a grainy mixture that refused to stick to the sides of the cake. I’ll be working on finding a suitable corn free powdered sugar recipe that I hope to share soon 🙂 Oh, one more thing! I used palm oil shortening to grease my pans for flouring, but my cake still stuck to the sides. I’m having trouble finding a dairy free, soy free, corn free version of shortening or oil that works well. If you have any ideas, please share! Thanks! Okay, now for the recipe.

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 10 oz package enjoy life chocolate chips

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp vinegar (I used rice vinegar to make it corn free, worked great)

10 tbsp oil, or 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup (4 tbsp = 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F.Combine dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips thoroughly in large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until smooth. DO NOT BEAT!!! Pour evenly into 2 floured cake pans. (I used 8 inch rounds) Sprinkle with chocolate chips, half a bag for each pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Most cake recipes call for letting it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Make sure it’s completely cool before you ice it! Enjoy!

Halloween and Multiple Food Allergies

What do you do? How do you celebrate with multiple food allergies that are in EVERYTHING processed? Well, I plan to make stuff myself. We don’t go trick-or-treating due to safety issues.

Instead, we hand out candy at our door. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to have fun here at home this year. It seems that our recent allergy diagnosis is going to send me into the realm of candy making. I’m going to start simple and see what happens.

My plan:
Peanut butter balls, marshmallows and maybe raisins dipped in melted chocolate. Enjoy Life has a chocolate chip that’s safe! Yay! There’s also a recipe for making your own over at Heavenly Homemakers. I might have some warm apple cider to go with the yummies 

One more thing! Remember, when dealing with multiple food allergies, simple celebrations can be just as fun and cause so much less stress!