Pancakes with Molly

Molly is such a great little sister. She adores her big brother, she wants to do everything JT does and be with him all the time. She misses him like crazy while he is at school. At 3 years old, Molly doesn’t fully understand JT’s allergies, but she knows on some level that certain foods will make him sick and she is very careful about it. She knows that she has to be thoroughly cleaned up after meals and that it’s not OK to share food with JT. What I don’t think she realizes is how much she is missing out on because of JT’s allergies, although I’m sure that won’t last forever. We all have to make some sacrifices to keep JT safe. I realized recently that Molly has never been out for breakfast. With JT’s egg allergy being his most severe, we don’t go to any restaurants that serve breakfast, even for lunch. So after JT went off to school today my Mom and I took Molly out for her first restaurant breakfast and she loved it. She got pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse with whipped cream and syrup and chocolate milk. I also order her a scrambled egg with hopes that she would give it a try (our house is egg free) but she wasn’t interested, and since today was about doing something special for a special little girl that was just fine with me.

Forgot to snap a picture this morning, but here is the best little sister around!!

Forgot to snap a picture this morning, but here is the best little sister around!!

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April Vacation Muffins (Allergen Free)

I woke up on this first day of April vacation wanting to bake some muffins with the kids. It’s not something we get to do very often with school all week and the weekends busy with soccer and chores and family. So before even heading to the kitchen I was promising the kids banana muffins and they were just as excited to help with the baking as they were to eat the muffins. I knew I would have to do a little research for an allergen free recipe or a “normal” recipe that I could adapt. But I also knew I would need the bananas so I went to the fruit bowl…to find it empty. No bananas!! You can’t make banana muffins without bananas. Luckily, I’m good at improvising. (actually…I lie. Usually when I try to improvise while baking I end up with a huge flop, but not this time, so let’s just pretend)

So here is my recipe for “April Vacation Muffins” or “Strawberry, peach, a little applesauce and a tiny bit of banana muffins” They were delicious and moist and not too sweet. If I had thought I would have any success with these I would have taken some pictures of my adorable little bakers. Oh well, next time…I’ll definitely be making these again!

April Vacation Muffins

6 Tablespoons of Olivio coconut oil spread (you can use any dairy free “butter”)
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 (stage 3) jar of baby food bananas
6 Tablespoons of applesauce
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons rice milk
About a cup of diced peaches and strawberries (I used pre-chopped frozen fruit, thawed)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease muffin pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream together “butter” and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together all other ingredients except for the fruit. Once mixed add creamed “butter” and sugar to the mix and mix some more. Now gently fold in the fruit. Pour into muffin pan and bake about 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!!

Egg Free Easter

All holidays have changed for us, at least a little bit, due to JT’s food allergies. Easter is no exception especially since JT’s most severe allergy is to eggs…and eggs and Easter just go together. I remember feeling totally overwhelmed on the first Easter after JT’s allergy diagnosis. On top of hosting dinner for about 20, I thought I wouldn’t be able to give JT the things I grew up with on Easter. But I learned very quickly that with just a few changes we could be safe and still have a fun day with family. And the changes that we’ve made don’t take anything away from our Easter celebration. In fact, most of them are welcome changes. Like the fact that there are NO chocolate bunnies in the house. Do I miss egg shaped peanut butter cups? Yes. Would I eat an entire bag of Cadbury mini eggs if you put it in front of me right now? Yes! So, in the end, the lack of chocolate is really a good thing. So instead of focusing on what we can’t do, here is what my kids STILL get to do for Easter, even with JT’s food allergies.
The kids still get some yummy treats, they especially love Starburst jelly beans and egg shaped allergen-free rice krispie treats.
JT and Molly still get Easter baskets (that are filled with much less candy than they would be if JT didn’t have any allergies). I like to try to focus on a theme for each kid, like dinosaurs or princesses, it helps me to keep from buying way too much stuff.
The bunny still fills and hides plastic Easter eggs. They are filled with things like fruit snacks, stickers, temporary tattoos, coins and glow in the dark stars.
And we still decorate Easter “eggs”! This year we are making this adorable paint chip egg garland. I’m letting the kids decorate the eggs with glitter glue first and then I’ll string them up. In the past we’ve covered plastic eggs with glue and tissue paper and made embroidery floss eggs.

It’ fun to try to come up with something new and creative each year. Are you avoiding eggs this Easter? What tips do you have to share?

Here we are at Easter 2012!

Here we are at Easter 2012!

allergen free slow cooker meatballs

Allergen free slow cooker meatballs.

1 lb. ground turkey

1/2 Cup panko breadcrumbs (You can also use crushed rice krispies for wheat free. Or if you are able to have italian breadcrumbs use them and omit the next 6 ingredients.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1-2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 large (or 1 small) onion, chopped

1 jar pasta sauce ( I used Classico fire roasted tomato and garlic)

1 can crushed tomatoes

1/2 can tomato paste

1 green pepper sliced thin (optional)

In a bowl mix ground turkey, breadcrumbs, salt, parsley, pepper, onion powder, oregano, basil, garlic and onion. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs. In the slow cooker mix the jar of pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and pepper (if desired). Place the meatballs into the sauce and cook on low for about 6 hours.

I’m no photographer…but here they are in the crock pot.