Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blessings and a Break

It has been a true honor to share these last few months with you. Writing for you has given me back a voice that I didn't realize was lost going through each day as my angel's mom.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement.  I hope that you take time to reflect upon the blessings that you have been given during this past year .  I pray that you will find Joy this holiday season and blessings throughout the next year.

As 2010 comes to an end, I will be taking off some time to celebrate this special season with my family.  I will be back at the beginning of the year so, keep your eyes open for new posts.  I can't wait to share with you the fun that we had over the holiday and the new things that we discovered. 

May God bless you with Peace as you head into the new year.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Fruit Tray

Fruit Trays are a great filler at any holiday gathering.  They are a healthy, adaptable, make-ahead addition to any table.  This Christmas, I am making a fruit tray for our buffet and I thought that you might like to see how it turned out.

Start with a large tray or plate (actually, in this pic I used a box with 4" sides then lined it with parchment paper).  Cut your fruit into easy-to-manage pieces.  For example, cut the grapes into small groups of 4-5 grapes still on the stems and cut the melons into small wedges (about 2-3 bites worth), keeping the skins on for an attractive appearance.  Then group the fruits on the tray so that they are easily picked up.  Try to vary the colors so that two fruits of the similar colors are not placed near each other.  Also, try not to offer too many kinds of fruit on the same fruit tray.  If there are too many kinds of fruits, the tray looks jumbled to the eye.  Three to four types of fruit are enough.  If you want to offer other fruits, it is better to start another platter.  Then, refrigerate the prepared trays until the event.  These trays can be made ahead 1-2 days.  Remember to cut  bananas and other fruits at the last minute since they turn brown.  Bon appetit!

Aebelskiver Cookware

Aebleskivers (or Ebelskivers) are small spherical donuts similar to what we might "donut holes" in the United States.  Aebleskivers have been eaten by the dutch for generations.  Traditionally the donuts might be dipped in a jam or sprinkled with sugar, although today many are commonly stuffed with apple pieces.  Throughout the world,people make donuts similar to the aeblskiver.  Some cultures form them as the Danish do while others deep fry them like in the United States.  One thing is certain, whatever form you use to cook them, they are fun to eat.
While many traditional donut recipes deep fry well, our allergy-friendly version does not.  To make many of the donut or Aebleskiver recipes we offer on our website, you will need an Aebleskiver pan.  There are a number of vendors so I thought that I would give you a review of two with which I am familiar:

Aebleskiver Pan by SCI/Scandicrafts, Inc., sold at
Put plain and simple, I like the price of this pan.  For someone who wants to try making Aebleskivers, this is a great starter pan.  Having said that, I have two concerns that I must mention.  1- This pan is made of cast iron.  Although cast iron cooks and heats wonderfully, when using it with rice flour, the donut has a tendency to stick.  By using more oil, properly seasoning and caring for the pan, this problem can be minimized.  2- Cast Iron pans often come from the factory pre-sesoned using a soy, corn or vegetable oil.  Without contacting the company directly to find out this information, I can not recommend this product with good conscience.  Having said this, if these oils are not a problem for you, it would be worth trying this product. has an exceptional return policy.  If you find that the pan is sticking and not working well with the rice flour batter, you can always return it.

Ebelskiver Pan by Nordicware, sold at
This is the pan that I use at home.  The non-stick coating ensures a smooth texture so I do not have to worry about the rice flour batter sticking. However, the price of this pan is a draw-back for those who have not bought into the world of Ebelskiver making.  For this reason, I don't recommend this pan for everyone.

Regardless of which pan you choose, the creative cook will find their Aebleskiver pan regularly on the stovetop.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cranberry Filled Ebelskivers

We have come up with a recipe for a fun little donut that is both delicious and allergy-friendly.  Traditionally, this Danish donut was cooked at Christmas time.  This version, filled with cranberies, is a wonderful way to usher in the holiday season.

Cranberry-Filled  Ebelskivers

1/2 C rice flour
1/2 C cooked rice
1/4 C brown sugar
1T rice oil
Ebelskiver pan

  1. In a blender, place the first 6 ingredients.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Heat your Ebelskiver pan on medium heat until pan is hot. 
  3. Place a 1/4 t oil in the bottom of each hole in the Ebelskiver pan then fill each hole with batter. 
  4. Drop 1/4 t Dressed-up Cranberry Sauce in the center of each donut and then top donut with just enough batter to cover the filling.
  5. Watch the heat on the pan at this point so that the donuts do not cook too fast (they'll be raw) or too slow (they won't be crispy).
  6. When the dough is brown on the edges and looks dryer on the top, use a small silicone spatula and a wooden chopstick or long toothpick to turn the donuts over.
  7. Add more oil if needed to make this side crispy then cook until brown.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Just before eating, sprinkly Ebelskivers with Homemade Powdered Sugar
NOTE:  Ebelskivers taste best when eaten immediately.  But, if the Ebelskivers are needed at a later time, you may re-heat them in a 400 degree oven until they re-crisp and sprinkle with the Homemade Powdered Sugar at that time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Powdered Sugar

While living overseas, I had a difficult time finding powdered sugar.  So, one day, a dear friend and I decided that we could make it ourselves, and so we did!  This little adventure cost us one coffee grinder which we burned up in the process....lesson learned there.  But, I am now truly greatful for that lesson because I make my own powdered sugar to use on my angel's goodies.  Here is how we did it:

Homemade Powdered Sugar

1 C white sugar
1 new coffee grinder  or Magic Bullet with the flat blade (see NOTE)

  1. Place sugar in the grinder.
  2. Turn sugar on and run for about 20 seconds then stop.
  3. Start again and run for about 20 seconds.
  4. Continue this until you have completely ground the sugar into a powdered form.
  5. IMPORTANT:  If you start to smell smoke from the grinder, turn off and let engine rest before beginning again!

NOTE 1: A coffee grinder that has been used for spices or coffee will flavor the sugar which may not be bad if that is what you want!

NOTE 2: Special thanks and sincere apologies to V for the use of the first grinder and to IK for the fun that we had!  God bless you, V.   I, those times are dearly missed.

Roast Pork with Pear and Cranberry Pan Sauce

I found the recipe in one of those coupon inserts that come in the mail.  I didn't think much of it at the time that I removed it but now, I wish I had remembered where it came from.  This recipe is fabulous and very allergy-friendly.  The "Pan Sauce" looks like gravy and, although I wasn't crazy for it alone, it really popped when you ate it with the pork.

Roast Pork with Pear and Cranberry Pan Sauce

2 lbs. pork loin or pork tenderloin
2 T orange zest, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T thyme, minced
1 T kosher salt
3 pears, quartered
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 cup chicken broth
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine zest, garlic, thyme, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Remove pork loin from packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. rub the salt mixture all over the pork loin until well coated.
  5. Place the loin into a roasting pan with pears and onions and roast until internal temperature is between 150- 160 degrees. (approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour).
  6. Remove pork loin from pan.  Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. Put the pan drippings and the vegetables into a blender.  Blend on high until smooth.  Add chicken broth to achieve desired consistency. (I tried to substitute water and it really lacked something in taste.  It definitely needs broth or pan drippings.)
  8. Stir in the dried cranberries and spoon sauce over medallion slices of pork.  Serve.

Monday, December 20, 2010

KFA's Confusion to Confidence

It seems like I have recently had more people than usual contact me about their child's newly diagnosed food allergies.  I am always sorry that they must deal with this but glad that they are helping their little angels feel better.  Food allergies are not the end of the world but they do shake the world as you know it.

Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) released a new version of From confusion to Confidence: KDA's starter guide to parenting a child with a food allergy.  Whether you are a veteran parent of a child with a food allergy or a parent just beginning to deal with this change in your life, I think that you will find this guide helpful. 

With the holidays here and the challenges that food allergies place upon us at this time of the year, take time to review this guide of the basics.  Encourage friends to take a look and make themselves more aware of what it means to be around a child with food allergies.  This guide is easy to read, and easy to index.  It anwers questions like, "What happens when your angel has a reaction?",  "Where did these allergies come from?",  and "What do you feed your angel?".  It is a great starting point for anyone with questions about food allergies.

Have a great holiday and try to be allergy-free!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Day Meal Plan

Each year, on christmas Day, we prepare our food buffet style.  I sit out everything that we need to enjoy the day. With schedules all amuk from the holiday excitement, I decided years ago that a Christmas Day buffet at home was the way to go.  I prepare the food the day before or that morning in a way that will allow people to eat when they are hungry. I try to put out a variety from fruit to sandwiches to the obligatory sweets.  As people stop by to wish us well that day, I never have to worry whether the food is ready or the coffee is hot.

With the holidays now here , I thought that I would post the holiday menu that I have been working on.  I just can't believe how quickly the year has flown by.  It seems like just last week I was getting my angel ready for the first day of school.  I am sure that this menu will adjust itself as Christmas Day approaches.  I will add links as I prepare the recipes so that you have all you need to make any of these dishes.  I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday. 

Christmas Day Meal Plan
Roast Pork with Pear and Cranberry Pan Sauce
Cranberry-Ginger Wild Rice
Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Edward and Sons Holiday Giveaway

Edward and Sons sent me a box of samples that I thought you might enjoy trying as you gear up for your holiday feasts.  There are two boxes and two winners for this giveaway.  Here is what is in each box:

NOTE:  As always, be sure to check individual products for any allergens particular to your family.  You may click each link then on the link next to each product for a complete list of ingredients.

Box #1:
Quick Gravy contains soy

Box #2:

To enter, post a comment at the botom of the post entitled "Edward and Sons Holiday Giveaway" telling me how you would use the ingredients in these boxes.  You may enter up to two times; once for each box. Have fun!  Winners will be selected Tuesday, December 14, 2010.

More Details:
  • Entrants may not participate with multiple e-mail addresses. Any entrant who
    attempts to enter with multiple e-mail addresses, under multiple identities or uses
    any other device will be disqualified from participation in the promotion and all
    entries submitted by that entrant will be void.
  • Two winners will be selected from all eligible entries at the time of drawing on Tuesday, December 14, 2010.
  • The winner will be notified via the My Angel's Allergies blog, Facebook page, and Twitter handle.  In the event that we are unable to contact the contestant within 48 hours of the first notification, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected. 
  • This giveaway has not been sponsored by, endorsed by, nor is affiliated with Edward and Sons.
  • All entries and participants are subject to these rules and those set out in our Contest and Giveaway Rules.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snack Match: Macaroni and Cheese

A snack match is an allergy-friendly snack that nutritionally and/or visually resembles a popular children's snack.


This week's snack is: Macaroni and Cheese

Snack Match substitute: Vegetable Pasta Toss



This recipe was frequently made by an American team member while I was working in Central Asia.  This person was a wonderful cook and, unbeknownst to her, the reason that I learned to eat tomatoes. She would make this dish with tomatoes, pepper and sausage for our meetings.  Not wanting to pick them out, I would eat them.  To my surprise, I started to like them, and even crave them each spring.  This dish is a simple, healthy lunch.
Broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, bacon
Vegetable Pasta Toss

1/2 bag of rice pasta or macaroni
Any combination of safe vegetables like:
  • 1/2 crown of broccoli, chopped and par boiled
  • 1/2 bell pepper, julienned
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly julienned

 1/2 lb ham, prosciutto, or crispy-fried bacon (omit for vegetarian option)
2 T oregano or other safe Italian spices
2 T garlic powder, adjust to taste
rice oil
  1. Cook 1/2 package of pasta per package directions just to al dente.  Strain and place in a large bowl.
  2. Toss pasta with rice oil to coat.
  3. Add vegetables to the pasta.
  4. Cut ham or prosciutto into 1/4 inch cubes or crumble the bacon and add to the pasta.
  5. Add oregano and garlic powder to the bowl of pasta. Toss.
  6. Taste.  Adjust seasonings and add salt if needed.


Chopped beets make it pink.

NOTE 1:  I have heard complaints from people who tried rice pasta.  I have never had any problems with it and have actually come to prefer it over regular pasta.  The brands that we use are Trader Joe or Tinkyada.  We tend to use Tinkyada the most because they such a wide variety of shapes.

NOTE 2:  Boarshead prosciutto does not contain any allergens including corn products, dairy products, soy products etc.  The prosciutto di parma only contains pork and salt.  The other prosciutto contain pork, salt, and pepper.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bacon Roasted Pumpkin

This recipe started out as a Thanksgiving accident.  I began the day with the intention of making Caramelized Pumpkin.  However, the day got away from me and I suddenly realized that I was out of time and pans.  I threw through this together using similar ingredients and baking it in the oven.  To my surprise, it was the talk of the table.  This came as a shock to me since I hadn't tasted it yet.  Imagine my surprise when I was "wowed" by my own dish! 

For this dish, you may buy your favorite winter squash or just use any of the pumpkins that have been decorating your house for fall.  The punch is from flavoring with the bacon so don't skimp thinking you'll save calories.  These pumpkins need that moisture as they slowly roast. 

Bacon Roasted Pumpkin

3 pie pumpkins, or approximately 1 medium to large pumpkin
1/2 lb. bacon, uncooked
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 C honey
1/4 C maple syrup
3T brown sugar
1 T thyme
1 T salt
rice oil
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut open the pumpkin(s) and remove seeds. 
  3. Carefully remove outer skin of pumpkin. 
  4. Chop pumpkin into 1-inch pieces and place in roasting pan.
  5. Cut bacon into small pieces and add to roasting pan.
  6. Add remaining seven (7) ingredients to the roasting pan and toss.
  7. Coat lightly with oil and toss.
  8. Cook slowly until pumpkin is soft and onions are translucent - approximately 1 - 1.5 hours.
  9. Remove from oven and serve.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preparing Children for Food Gatherings

With parties at home, at school and with friends or relatives visiting, this is an important time of the year to think about your allergic child's safety.  It can be quite overwhelming. 
Here are helpful hints that have helped me prepare my angel to manage food gatherings:
  1. Let your angel know what to expect at the gathering.  Who will be there and what types of foods they might see.
  2. Tell them where they can find safe food and drink. 
  3. Point out anyone from whom they are allowed to accept food.  Our policy is that we may not accept food from anyone other than mommy or daddy so that we don't have any confusion.
  4. Remind them not to eat food from guests without showing it to you first.
  5. Teach your angel the language that they need to politely manage food situations.  Teach them specific phrases to help them identify safe foods and refuse food. 
  6. If your angel is given food that they can not refuse, tell them to immediately bring it to you for approval.
  7. Show your angel where the restrooms are so that they may safely wash their hands when necessary.
  8. Remind them to wash their hands before eating to avoid cross-contamination.
  9. Review what your angel should do if they are not feeling well or if they eat or touch something unsafe.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cleaning House: Part 2

As I type this update about my dirty little "dump" room, I am struck by how utterly symbolic it is.  I am rushing around to clean my "dirty" room because my in-laws will arrive soon.  While they are here, I can't just shut the door and pretend they don't notice its condition.  I mean, these guests aren't just dropping in, they are living with us.  In fact, not only did I have to clean the room but I also had to clear out the closet.  After all, they need a place to hang their hat, don't they?  I had to throw away old things, condense others and make room for them in our lives.  But, I just can't help but think, why don't I just invite them in and let them live with us among the mess.  Why can't I just let them help me clean it up?  After all, they love me and they accept me for all that I am - good and bad.

The room is clean and I feel some relief.  It is organized and ready for my guests.  I am thankful a good friend who helped me get it all done.  However, even with this work behind me, I can't stop wondering why I feel the need for it tot look perfect before she comes.  And, I can't stop wondering if I am this way with God, too.   How often do I rush make myself look pretty in the places that are easily seen, while God is waiting to move in my unclean heart? 

It is sometimes hard to admit that we have dirty rooms that need attention and even harder to admit that we could use some help cleaning them up.  So often, God waits patiently while we tidy up the mess deep within our hearts.  Sometimes we hide behind work or holiday traditions without stopping to acknowledge the Spirit behind the celebration. As Christmas approaches, it is time for me to stop and assess my heart.  It is time for me to look inwardly at the parts of my heart that are hidden from others;  the parts known only to God.  It is time for me to ask myself, "Is my heart ready for a Guest? Am I ready to bring someone else into my life just the way that I am?  Am I ready to stop hiding behind the mess that is inside me and, instead, spend time with the One who can best help me clean it up?

While my husband is thrilled that I cleaned my room, he continues to tell me that his mom could have helped me while she is here.  He reminds me that everything does not have to be perfect for her because she is really here to spend time with us just the way that we are.  Spending time with them is more important than how the house looks....and I know that he is right.  Just as I would never tell my in-laws that they can't visit, I can't say, "No," to God.  He knows me and loves me and I want to spend time with Him.  As a dear friend helped me clean my house and my room today, I was reminded to let God do the same in my heart. 

As we prepare for this Christmas season, let's not just decorate and dust alone.  Let's make room in our hearts and lives for our Guest.  Let's make Jesus a part of our preparations and our celebration.  Let's truly make it a celebration to remember.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No-Potato Chive Latke

For those who may not be able to eat other Hannakuh treats, these allergy-friendly latkes are a perfect alternative that everyone can enjoy.   It is a perfect appetizer, breakfast, or side dish.  No one will ever know that you made them without potato.  The secret to their success is rest.  Once the batter is mixed, it must rest for at least 30 minutes before frying to a light, crispy brown.   A plate of these latke with a side of honey is a sweet treat for the soul.

No-Potato Chive Latke

1 C cooked short grain rice
1/2 C rice flour
2 T chive or green onion, finely chopped
1 T rice oil
1 t salt
1 t dill
1 C water
rice oil for frying
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until just mixed.  Do not over-mix.
  2. Allow batter to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour enough oil in a skillet to cover the bottom.  Turn heat to medium or medium-high.
  4. When the oil is thoroughly heated, ladle batter into the pan and gently press to flatten.  Keep your ladle in a bowl of water to prevent the batter from sticking.  If the batter begins to stick to the ladle, just dip the it in the water again.
  5. Cook the latke until light brown on one side.  Watch your heat and only turn them one time.  If the latke cook too slow, they will be hard on the inside or too fast and they will be mushy. 
  6. Once the latke have cooked on each side, place them on plate with a paper towel to cool.
  7. Serve with honey or my Pear Sauce.
NOTE:  Rice flour doesn't perform well on iron skillets.  I find that this batter does best in a non-stick skillet.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snack Match: Fruit or Veggie Puffs

A snack match is an allergy-friendly snack that nutritionally and/or visually resembles a popular children's snack.

This week's snack is:  Fruit or Veggie Puffs

Snack Match substitute: "Dusted" Fruit and Veggie Bites

This Snack Match is for the newer babies in the bunch! I used to make these for my little angel when she was just starting on finger foods.  Many moms use the puffed fruits or veggies but that wasn't an option for us.  The inspiration came from to "dust" chopped fruits and veggies with cereal so the little ones can pick it up easier. 

"Dusted" Fruit and Veggie Bites

1 banana, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C Rice Chex cereal
  1. Steam carrots until soft enough for baby to eat without easily falling apart when picked up.
  2. Grind cereal into a fine powder or "dust".
  3. Toss fruits and veggies in the cereal powder.
  4. Place in small bowl that is easy for the little one to manage.
  5. Refrigerate to preserve freshness.
  6. Best eaten immediately but the babies don't seem to mind eating the brown fruit.  My angel happily eat it even after it had been in the diaper bag for hours!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cleaning House: Part 1

This week is a busy one.  I am getting ready for my MIL and nephews to visit.  They will be here for six (6) weeks, so, my mind is spinning with all that needs to be done.  Aside from the usual dusting and laundry, I have set my eyes on cleaning out my office.  My office is the "dump" room.  You know, that room where everyonemakes crafts, repairs toys, shelves books, wraps gifts, and stores all other things that have no home.  Pair that with the reminants of this morning's scissor practice and it looks like Broadway after the Yankees won the penant.

I am sharing this with you in hopes that I am not alone.  We all have our dirty "dump" room, closet, or drawer....don't we?  We all have that one place which we hope our guests never see.  We just close the area off and pretend that no one notices.

For 3 years, I have overlooked the condition of this room, whittling away at the mess whenever possible.  But, in the house of an allergic angel, this will not do!  As you probably know, allergy rule #1: The house should be clean and clutter free.  I need floors that are clear enough to sweep and desks that aren't piled too high to dust.  Rooms like my office harbor dust mites, cockroach feces and mold even though you can't see it.  This pile of papers and  unnecessary clutter is like a breeding ground for environmental allergies and it needs to be cleaned. 

So, before my dirty little secret room is revealed to my MIL (since she doesn't speak English, I am hoping she won't discover my secret here), I am cleaning up this room.  My plan is to separate the work into little jobs that take an hour or so to complete.  By devoting an hour here and an hour there to this task, I hope that the room will be cleaned by the time my guests of honor arrive.

the Plan
Hour 1:  Put teaching manipulatives into their files
Hour 2:  Store baby clothes   DONE
Hour 3:  Remove the old computer. DONE
Hour 4: Shred  DONE
Hour 5: Clean the floor.  DONE
Hour 6: Organize the angel's desk.
Hour 7:  Put away unfinished sewing projects.  DONE
Hour 8:  Sort paperwork.
Hour 9:  File papers "temporarily" stored in boxes and on shelves
Hour 10: Dust, sweep and make sure that everything is back in its place

I have 4 days.  Can I finish?
I'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Bites

This appetizer should really be called "Thanksgiving on a Cracker".  Use your Thanksgiving leftovers to make tiny bites full of the good flavors of Thanksgiving.  Serve these alongside a bowl of soup or by themselves.  This quick to make snacks will satisfy you after a long day of shopping.   Yum-my!

Thanksgiving Bites

12 1-inch pieces thinly sliced turkey
3 T cranberry sauce
1/2 C cooked, seasoned pumpkin or sweet potato
12 Onion Garlic Brown Rice Snaps
  1. Mash up cooked pumpkin or sweet potato.  Leftovers from Thanksgiving work great.
  2. Spread the mashed pumpkin, sweet potato (or even pumpkin pie) on an Onion Garlic Brown Rice Snaps.
  3. Top cracker with a slice of turkey and a dallop of Dressed-up Cranberry Sauce.

A special thanks to Edward and Sons for the Onion Garlic Brown Rice Snaps sample.  They were my inspiration.

And thanks to the "Thanksgiving crew" for your help.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dressed-up Cranberry Sauce

Growing up, as many did, I thought that all cranberry sauce needed to be sliced.  Imagine my surprise when someone introduced me to traditional, chunky cranberry sauce.  I was in love.

I was taught that traditional cranberry sauce had 4 cups cranberries, 2 cups sugar, and 2 cups water.  But, everyone knows you should get dressed up for a dinner party.  So, my sauce is a dressed up version of the old classic. 
Dressed-up Cranberry Sauce

6 C fresh cranberries
3 1/2 C sugar
zest of 3 oranges
juice of 3 oranges
1/2 C water
1 t ginger
1/4 t salt
  1. Wash cranberries in a large bowl of water removing any that are spoiled.
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a pot.
  3. Turn on medium heat and stir.  Allow to come to a simmer.
  4. Stirring periodically, cook until the cranberries pop and the sauce is bubbling (around 5 minutes).
  5. Turn off heat.  Taste and add more sugar at this point, if needed.
  6. When the sauce cools, it will thicken.
  7. Chill to allow the flavors to blend.
  8. Serve hot or cold.
You may make this sauce just before Thanksgiving and it will last through Christmas.  Or, for those of you who have mastered the art of canning, you may can this to last throughout the year. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin No-nuts with Maple Glaze

Throughout November, I have been working on a recipe that I was calling Pumpkin Muffs... Muff-cakes.... Muffies.... etc.  As often as I changed the name, I altered the recipe.  I changed ingredients, cooking methods and even gave up altogether a few times. 

This weekend, I hit the jackpot and, although the verdict is still out, I think it is a winner.  Make the batter the night before so that they are ready to cook when you wake up. Hot from the pan, you won't want to share these little treats!

Pumpkin No-nuts with Maple Glaze

1 1/2 C rice flour
1 1/4 C pumpkin, cooked and mashed
2 T brown sugar
3 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1 T oil
1 C water
1/4 t ginger, grated
zest of 1 orange
1/2 C orange juice

Ebelskiver Pan  (may be purchased at Williams-Sonoma or

1 C powder sugar (see note for corn-free version)
3 T maple syrup
1 t water

Pumpkin No-nut Instructions:
  1. Place all No-nut ingredients in a blender.  Mix until batter is smooth.
  2. Refrigerate batter overnight. 
  3. Heat Ebelskiver pan. 
  4. Place 1/2 T oil in each Ebelskiver hole followed by 1 T batter. A 1 T scoop like the one from Pampered Chef, make prettier No-nuts and help the batter cook more evenly.
  5. Allow No-nuts to cook on medium heat until the bottom is crispy brown and the center of the tops are uncooked (see the picture below). DO NOT touch these until ready to turn.
  6. Using a tiny silicone spoonula and a wooden chopstick, quickly turn each no-nut. 
  7. Allow no-nuts to cook until they are brown and crispy. 
  8. Remove from pan and stack on a plate.
  9. Drizzle with Maple Glaze and serve immediately.
NOTE:  If you do not have an Ebelskiver pan, you may just pour small amounts of batter onto a well-greased, non-stick skillet.  It is harder make theese flat cakes crispy but my angel didn't seem to mind!

Maple Glaze:
  1. Place ingredients in a small bowl and stir until they make a sauce.
  2. Drizzle over stack of No-nuts or serve along side for dipping.  If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, heat in the microwave very briefly to loosen it up.
NOTE:  Standard powdered sugar has should not be eaten by those with corn allergies.  There are corn free versions available which generally use tapioca starch as an anti-caking agent.  However, my angel is allergic to both of these.  It is not hard to make your own powdered sugar in seconds.  Place white sugar in the bottom of a dry, powerful food processor or grinder (a blender may even work).  I use my Magic Bullet for this.  Pulse or grind until you have fully powdered sugar.

Test batch of No-nuts
I thought you might enjoy seeing what one of my early batches of No-nuts looked like.  I am not even sure which trial this was but I just love how inconsistent the results were.  Can you see the blob in the upper left corner?  My angel was begging to eat that! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snack Match: School Thanksgiving Feast

The school's Thanksgiving Feast plate
A snack match is an allergy-friendly snack that nutritionally and/or visually resembles a popular children's snack.

This week's snack is: Rolled Turkey, Roll, Corn, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream, Apple Juice

Snack Match substitute: Rolled Turkey, Crackers, Dressed-up Cranberry Sauce, Orange Ginger Pumpkin Muffies with Maple Glaze, Water

With over 50 food allergies, all of the foods that my angel eats come directly from my kitchen or my control.  In fact, if you follow my blog, you know that there is a difference in which brand of meat or which flour we use because of factory cross-contamination or additives.  So, when it came time for the school's Thanksgiving Feast, I had a challenge to match their "snack".

The final result was a plate that didn't look much different than that of the other children.  You can see details about the menu and links to my recipes on my blog entitled "A Thanksgiving Feast Fit for a Kid".

Snack Match Thanksgiving Feast
 Some things to note about this plate, the Pumpkin Muffies with Maple Glaze that you see on the plate are samples from a recipe that I am still working on.  My angel ate the failed samples from a trial run of the recipe.  Also, while the other children had apple juice, I opted out of the apple juice because my angel was already eating so many other ingredients that she can only eat in limited amounts (pumpkin, cranberries, and orange).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Garlicky Cauliflower Buds and Baby Brussel Sprouts

I can thank a dear neighbor in Chicago for introducing me to brussel sprouts.  Each Thanksgiving, she cooked up a big dish of onions and garlic with brussel sprouts.  So, AR - this interpretation is dedicated to you!

Garlicky Cauliflower Buds and Baby Brussel Sprouts

1 pint baby brussel sprouts,julienned
1 head cauliflower
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 C water
1/2 t salt, adjust to taste
1 T rice oil
  1. Break or chop cauliflower into tiny pieces. Rinse.
  2. Place rice oil in bottom of a large sillet with a lid.  Heat.
  3. Add ingredients to the skillet and stir.  Cover.  Cook on medium heat. If the water evaporates before brussel sprouts and cauliflower have steamed, add water and cover again.
  4. When ingredients have cooked to a bright color, uncover and increase heat.  Check the taste at this point and adjust salt.    Cook until water evaporates and vegetables are done.
NOTE:  I like to cook the brussel sprouts and cauliflower separately to allow for a prettier presentation.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fun with Turkey

Turkey is one of those meats that we really only eat in my house at this time of the year.  I am not sure why that is because, although I always complain that it makes me hungry, my hubby and daughter think it is "the best". 

So, I made my call to Boarshead to verify ingredients then took my early morning trek to the neighborhood grocery.  I gave them the story, "My angel is allergic to everything in this cooler. Do you have a clean slicer that was broken down and thoroughly cleaned last night?  Do you have an unopened package of Boarshead Premium Lower Sodium Turkey?  Are you willing to open it?"  Feeling sorry for this young man, I continue on and finally buy 2lbs of sliced turkey to put in the freezer although I only need 1/4 of a lb  (I always feel sorry putting these guys through this and figure that is better than having to do this very often).  "I am set for the next millenium," I thought, as I put the turkey in my basket.

With all of this turkey in hand, there is no need to ask what we had for lunch!  My angel and I began using what we had on hand to have a little food fun.  We mixed dried cranberries with sticky rice and kneaded it into a ball which we formed to shape a mouth.  We sliced some baby beets to make "eye plops" and put pieces of dried mango for the pupil.  The remaining stip of mango was used for a nose. Then, we rolled up slices of turkey, delicately placing it around the top of the plate to make what I thought was hair.  "Voile! A happy little girl," I said.  "A girl? That's not a girl, momma.  That's Little Red Hen!"  Said my angel.  We smiled and laughed then gobbled her up!

I really never thought that such an impromptu moment with that sleepy turkey could bring such a memorable moment for us.  I know that there are lots of fun things you can do with turkey or you can just roll it up to dip in your cranberry sauce.  But, sometimes, it is just those simple moments that bring the greatest joy.  Go make memories and let me know how your luncheon turkey is adding to the fun!

NOTE:  Boarshead Premium Lower Sodium Turkey contains: turkey breast, water, salt, sugar, and sodium phosphate.  It is corn-free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and egg free.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Thanksgiving Feast Fit for a Kid

This week we are busy preparing for the fun and food that comes with Thanksgiving.  The menus have been set and the ingredients are being purchased.  Our first feast will be at school - a Traditional Thanksgiving Feast.  While there may not be a giant turkey at the center of this table, all of the elements that make up a traditional American Thanksgiving Celebration will be represented. 

As the teachers prepare this feast for the other children, I am busy matching it with allergy-friendly alternatives that will safely portray Thanksgiving for my angel.  Over the next few days, as I experiment with recipes and remember how to make older ones, I will post what I am the results so that you too can create an allergy-free Thanksgiving Feast Fit for a Kid.

The Menu

Rolled slices of All Natural Smoked Turkey by Boarshead

NOTE:  The school's menu will consist of Turkey rolls, Cranberry Sauce, Rolls with Butter, Corn, Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bacon and Chive Rice Balls (Jumok bab)

Ju-mok bab is a Korean picnic food.  In its most basic form, it is exactly what the word means, a "rice ball".  Historically, jumok bab would be taken to work, when traveling or on a picnic.  Nowadays, these rice balls are made with vegetables or meat mixed in so that they truly are a balanced meal on the go.

Here is the version that I most often make for my family:

Bacon and Chive Rice Balls (Jumok bab)

4 cups cooked short grain rice
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 lb bacon, crispy fried and crumbled
1/2 carrot, finely diced and par boiled (optional)
2 baby bella mushrooms, finely diced(optional)
2 T rice oil
salt, to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout the rice.  Add salt and taste.  Now is the time to make any adjustments to the meats, veggies or salt to ensure the flavor that you like.
  2. Place about 2 T of the mixture in your hand and squeeze.  The rice should stick together.  If not, add a little more oil and test again.  If you are still having trouble getting your rice to stick, add a little more rice.  Sometimes, if there is not enough rice or too many veggies/meat, the balls will fall apart.
  3. Once the mixture is ready, wet your hands slightly and begin forming balls.  Place 2 T of rice in your hand and squeeze until it sticks together.  Turn and squeeze the rice until it forms a ball.  The balls may be as large or small as you would like.
  4. Place the balls in a container and continue until all of the rice is used. 

NOTE 1:  There is a frozen short grain rice which can be microwaved to readiness for those who need a quick and simple cooked rice. 

NOTE 2:  Korean women wear gloves while forming the jumok bab.  I find the gloves to be a nuisance and use my bare hands or plastic wrap.  Whichever method you use, be sure to wash your hands well before beginning.  This rice is sticky and whatever is on your hands will end up in the ball, ultimately altering its flavor.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brown Rice Snaps

I can't adequately express to you the excitement, disbelief, and amazement that I feel as I tell you about our new favorite product - Edwards & Sons Brown Rice Snaps.
As you know, in our house, everything is done the old fashioned way.  We don't buy many pre-made ingredients and so I only endorse a handful of food products.  Well, this one is our newest fav!

When we first began dealing with foods and allergies, we found this product.  However, the store where we purchased them quite carrying them.  We didn't have a product name and only knew what the package looked like.  We tried other stores but with no luck.  To our surprise, we recently happened upon them again.  This time, being much wiser in dealing with food allergies and products we fed them to our angel with reservations.  To our suprise, we had no problem.  I couldn't believe it.

This morning, I started the day by searching the Edward & Sons website then calling customer service.  Two things shocked me: 1- their full disclosure of each product's ingredients on every label, and 2- the easy access to allergen information, both in the plant and in the product.  In fact, the information is so straightforward on the website that the customer service representative did nothing more than clarify their policy on cross-contamination.  It is so unusual to find a compay with such a high level of product transparency that I find myself in disbelief.  I am both relieved and worried all at the same time.  Can it be possible that this company has even one product that my child can eat safely?  Indeed, it is!

While the crackers that we bought the first day, Edward & Sons Plain, Unsalted Rice Snaps probably won't work for us (there are nuts processed in the same plant on the same line), because of this companies easy to access information, I was able to find a product that will.  This was the first time that my angel remembers eating a cracker and everyday asks for more.  As I type this with tears in my eyes, I am scared and excited by the possibilities that one little cracker brings.  My angel will eat crackers that look and taste like those of other children.  She will know the crispy joy of a ham and cracker snack.  And, most importantly, she will safely enjoy the variety of tastes and textures that most of us take for granted. 

Thank you, Edward & Sons!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Eczema: Our solution defines eczema as: 
an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions which become scaly, crusted, or hardened
As I understand eczema, it is not curable but rather controlled or managed and is a common problem for many people with allergies.

Even before we knew of my angel's allergies, we began managing the eczema.  I guess that should have been a clue of what would later be in store but, as a new mom, I had no idea!  I had never seen eczema and I didn't know what caused it.  My sole concern was that my little angel's skin would be scarred forever by the little rashes that we battled daily if I did not find a solution.

I spoke with doctors, friends and family but none of their suggestions adequately managed my angel's condition.  So, I began my own search in books and on the internet, to find a solution.  By piecing together information from an endless variety of sources coupled with weeks of trial and error, we came up with a regimen that works for us.  When I asked the doctors about our ideas, they were familiar with the various elements of our routine but didn't know of anyone who had tried it all.  Once we began the following the routine regularly, we slowly notice improvements.  We first noticed that the irritations were not increasing before we actually noticed some healing.  After following the routine religiously for a few months, we began to receive comments from medical professionals about the good condition of our angel's skin.  At that point, it would have been hard for anyone to know that our angel had eczema, even under careful scrutiny.  And, as long as we followed this routine and managed her diet, we controlled the eczema.

While this regimen is a little time consuming and a bit of a burden, we felt that it was worth the effort to ensure that our angel would not be have scars from the eczema nor feel uncomfortable from the itchiness which accopanied the eczema.  We are not doctors and encourage everyone to share this routine with their doctors. Other friends, to whom we have recommended this regimen, have found success and also found the effort worth the while.  I hope that you find the same to be true for you.

Eczema Contol Regimen

1-Don't use soap or any scents to bathe. Cetaphil for sensitive skin (usually in a pump jar) seems to work well for hair and skin. Don't use warm water....just room temperature....warm water dries the skin.

2-After bath, don't dry your angel, just put hydrocortisone 1% (I like Aveeno with aloe) where needed and cover head to toe with aquaphor, paying special attention to knees elbows, wrists and ankles. Don't use lotions, they dry the skin. Creams are good but petroleum jelly based products seem to work best. Some recommend not using hydrocortisone on the face but I did it sparingly and had no problems.

3-The aquaphor and other petroleum jelly based products soemtimes clogged the pores on my angels face.  So, I often used a cream such as Cetaphil cream or Serave on her face.  I found that the lotions dried the skin more than creams or petroleum based products so I steered away from lotions.

4-Do this religiously every night or 2-3 times a day if the eczema is really bad. Some recommend not bathing unless needed, I thought that the cetaphil bath actually helped.

5-Be aware of products that contain things that might irritate like grains, soys, lavender etc. Your angel can react to allergens on skin or if it gets in their mouth. Read all labels paying special attention to the inactive ingredients.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

$25 e-Gift Card Giveaway

Whoo-hoo! I just love giveaways!

I have a $25 e-giftcard from that I would like to give one of our lucky followers. 

Here is how you may enter:
  1. "LIKE" My Angel's Allergies on Facebook.
  2. "FOLLOW" the AllergicAngel on Twitter.
  3. "Follow" our blog publicly at
  4. Have a friend LIKE or FOLLOW us on one of these methods.  Then, have that friend post a comment on this blog entry ($25 e-Gift Card Giveaway) telling us your name and where they linked to us (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, or our website).  If they are a new follower or friend, then we will enter you in the contest one more time!

More Details:
  • Participants may enter the contest one time for each of the four methods explained above.  Entrants may not participate with multiple e-mail addresses. Any entrant who
    attempts to enter with multiple e-mail addresses, under multiple identities or uses
    any other device will be disqualified from participation in the promotion and all
    entries submitted by that entrant will be void.
  • One winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries at the time of drawing on Thursday, November 18, 2010.
  • The winner will be notified via the My Angel's Allergies blog, Facebook page, and Twitter handle.  In the event that we are unable to contact the contestant within 48 hours of the first notification, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected. 
  • This giveaway has not been sponsored by, endorsed by, nor is affiliated with
  • All entries and participants are subject to these rules and those set out in our Contest and Giveaway Rules.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dad's Famous Onion and Mushroom Steak Topping

My dad loves to cook a version of this to put on his steaks, rice, and eggs.  As any good southerner would, he makes it rich with sticks of butter and worschester sauce.  My version is a little bit healthier and also allergy-friendly.  I hope you like it.

Dad's Famous Onion and Mushrom Steak Topping

1 onion, julienned
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1-2 containers of bella mushrooms, sliced
1 T salt
3 T oil
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a shallow pot, preferably enameled cast iron.
  2. Heat ingredients on medium-low heat and allow to cook slowly for 30 minutes to one hour until the ingredients have softened to a sweet taste.
  3. Alternatively, if you are using an oven safe pot, you may place the pot in the oven to cook for one hour.
  4. Adjust seasoning.
  5. Serve warm over steaks, rice, and potatoes.

NOTE 1:  You can alter the ratio here to suit your taste preferences.  When my husband is eating this, I increase the mushrooms.  When it is just my angel and me, I decrease them.  If I am eating by myself, I ditch the mushrooms altogether!

NOTE 2:  I prefer enameled cast iron because most cast iron companies pre-season their cookware in the factory with either soy, corn or vegetable oil.  If you are sensitive to any of these oils or ingredients, you should be careful.  See my review of Le Creuset enameled cast iron for more details.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: Oval Dutch Ovens by Le Creuset, Enameled Cast Iron

I was recently given the opportunity to review a piece of cookware for  While excited by this opportunity, I am not at ease with "selling" anything.  I knew that I only wanted to review a product if it was meaningful and heartfelt.

With that on my mind, I set off to the kitchen to cook for some dinner guests.  I wanted to cook my dad's famous mushroom and onion topping for our steaks.  However, the pot that I would usually use was too small for the amount that I needed to cook.  As I reached for my "go to" pot, a 5qt Dutch oven by Le Creuset, I realized how versatile this pot is.

This dutch oven is what I would list as one of my kitchen essentials.  I have both a 5qt braiser and a wide mouth dutch oven.  While I swear by both of these, if I had to choose one, it would probably be the wide mouth dutch oven.  Made of enameled cast iron, this dutch oven goes from stove or oven to table then to the sink for easy clean-up.  I use it for everything from roasting chicken to braising vegetables.  I love, love, love this dutch oven! 

While the price is nothing to joke about, this dutch oven is well worth the expense.  With proper care, it will last a lifetime.  This dutch oven will be a piece of cookware that you can pass on to your children.  If you don't already own one of these, consider adding it to your Christmas list - I don't think you will regret it.  If you already own a Le Creuset enameled cast iron product or have purchased a product from, I would love to hear about your experience.

You can purchase any of the Le Creuset products at  You may also become fan of on Facebook ( or follow on twitter(!/cooking).  They frequently offer contests and feebies to those who follow them.

TIME: What the world eats

As I make plans for Thanksgiving dinner, I found this collection of food photos particularly interesting.  These are pictures of what people around the world are eating.  They are the things that you might find in pantries around the world.

As I flipped through these pictures, the pictures of American food was alarming.  How much of it was pre-packaged or delivered?  How few fresh fruits and vegetables were in the diets of these families?  How similar are the diets of these families to that of my family?

TIME: What the world eats, Part 1

If this isn't awakening enough, there is a What the world eats, Part 2

With a home full of food allergies, what we eat is often different from those around us.  Most of our food is made the old-fashioned way - from scratch.  Food very rarely comes from boxes or cans and is never pre-made.  There are few short-cuts in our house.  It is utterly important for my family that I know how food has been prepared.  I need to know even the smallest details about what ingredients were added, where they were cooked, and what they have touched. 

Because of this, the food in my house is as close to what you would find in nature as they would be if you grew them yourself.  I often forget what other families are eating.  I sometimes feel so clueless to discover how often families eat out or how much of their food is wholly or partially prepared outside of their home.  My husband has always been a beacon reminding me that fresh fruits and vegetables are a delicious addition to any meal or snack time.  And, I believe, this is what has always encouraged me to fill our table with homemade foods even before we discovered our angel's allergies. 

This is why these photos intrigued me so.  I couldn't help but wonder how different are we from other American families.  Help me out:

What are you eating?  Even if your family doesn't have allergies, how close is it to its natural state before it enters your kitchen?  What does a balanced diet look like in your home?

The pictures posted by TIME caused me to reflect on my habits and I hope that they will do the same for you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Snack Match: Granola Bars

A snack match is an allergy-friendly snack that nutritionally and/or visually resembles a popular children't snack.

This week's snack is: Granola Bars

Snack Match substitute: Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars

These bars are perfect snacks for kids to make by themselves or with a little assistance.  They would even be a great classroom cooking project.  I hope you enjoy them!

1 C Rice Chex cereal
3 t honey
2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
1 t dried cranberries (or other safe dried fruits in small pieces)
1/4 t rice oil
2 individual Silicone cupcake holders or very small glass dishes

  1. Place Rice Chex cereal in a sandwich size ziploc bag.  Crush the cereal leaving no large pieces.
  2. Pour cereal into a bowl and add honey, sugar, salt, and dried cranberries.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Place oil inside each cupcake holder and spread it around bottom and sides. 
  4. Put 1/2 of mixture into each cupcake holder and push down lightly to compact mixture.
  5. Place holders on a microwave safe plate.
  6. Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and allow to cool until just able to handle.  DO NOT leave in bakeware too cool completely or it will stick.
  7. Turn bars out onto a plate and allow to finish cooling.
Makes 2 individual sized bars.