Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eat your Rainbow!

Spring is the perfect season to teach kids about healthy eating.  As rainbows fill the sky, show them how to eat a rainbow. 

The phrase "eat a rainbow" is one that is now used to teach children to eat a variety of vegetables.  By eating foods of different colors, the children will naturally eat more vegetables, balance their diet and get the variety of vitamins that they need to grow.  At our house, I try to get the kids involved in this process.  We shop, plan and cook our rainbow.  We play color games at dinner and we put strange, new plants in our salads.  We have fun with the colors, textures and tastes of the kitchen in spring.

This picture is a dinner we recently made after visiting a nearby farm.  What colors can you find?  Can you find the flowers in our salad?  Keep an open mind and try this with your kids.  I bet you will be surprised at what they'll eat!

Here are some ways that you can encourage your kids to eat a rainbow at every meal:
  • Have your children help you plan the meal. Challenge them to include as many colors of the rainbow as possible.
  • Celebrate one particular color of the rainbow by serving only foods of that color!  Do this once a day for a week and you will have covered them all!
  • Serve everyone's plate and then see if they can find the colors of the rainbow.
  • Prepare a meal omitting one color of the rainbow.  Ask everyone which color of the rainbow is missing.  Then see how many foods of the missing color they can name in one minute.
  • Place all of the food for the dinner on the table.  Have everyone serve themselves and name the colors as they fill their plate. 
  • Go to the grocery or farmers market and choose foods of every color then eat them for dinner.
  • Plant a garden with foods of every color.  As it grows, eat your rainbow!
  • Let people form a rainbow shape on their plate using all the foods of different colors.
Whatever you do to have fun "eating your rainbow" this spring, remember....

Think out of the box.  Try something new.  Eat something that you never imagined liking.

Have fun!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Snack Match: Sugar Snaps

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

This week's snack is: Sugar Snaps

Snack Match substitute: Homemade Sugar Snaps

Homemade Sugar Snaps

3 C puffed rice
3/4 C sugar
2 t salt
  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan.
  2. Add rice to the pan and toss.
  3. Sprinkle sugar over the rice in the pan and toss to ensure even distribution.
  4. Continue stirring until sugar caramelizes on the puffed rice.
  5. Pour Homemade Sugar Snaps into a bowl and shake to prevent clumping.
  6. Allow to cool before eating.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Herb-Crusted Seared Tuna

I crusted and pan-seared tuna for dinner tonight.  I tried three different crusts and this one was the unanimous favorite.  Crusted with an Italian herb paste, the strong herbs balanced the rich taste of the tuna.  I served it with a side salad and rice with chives mixed in but this tuna is a winner all by itself!

Herb-Crusted Seared Tuna

1 C Rice Chex
1/2 C fresh parsley
2 t garlic powder
1 t dried thyme
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1 filet of sashimi grade tuna
rice oil

  1. Blend the first 6 ingredients in a Magic Bullet or food processor until they form a powdery paste.  You may need to stop the machine to unclog the blade. 
  2. Pour mix onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Cut tuna filet into pieces of about 1 inch diameter.
  4. Pour rice oil over the tuna pieces then dredge them in the herb mix coating the tuna on all sides.  It may be necessary to gently press the paste against the tuna.  It is ok if it goes on thick but try to coat all sides evenly.
  5. Refrigerate until about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. When ready to cook tuna, cover bottom of pan with rice oil.
  7. Heat oil on medium high heat.
  8. Place the filet in the hot oil and cook for about 30 seconds.  If you prefer your tuna more done then you may leave it longer or if you prefer it rare, you may heat it for less.  Do not overcook this high quality tuna.  It truly tastes best when only slightly cooked.
  9. Remove and cut on an angle.
  10. Serve over rice or a salad.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roasted Salmon with Lemon and Dill

I am always on the look-out for delicious allergy-friendly recipes.  The folks at Southern Living posted this one today and I can't wait to make it! 

Roasted Salmon with Lemon and Dill, Southern Living 2011

Replace the peas with chopped asparagus and omit the pepper on the fish to create an allergy-friendly recipe!

I will post pictures after we cook this one but until then, I would love to hear your how it turns out for you.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Honey - Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

It is the second Friday in Lent and time for fish!  This week, Salmon is on the menu.  With its high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and low levels of mercury, this fish is one worth eating.  I cooked this dish on the stove and then in the oven but with grilling season knocking on our doors, it is also a dish that would cook well on your Weber!  You can serve this dish with almost any rice, quinoa or couscous. But, it really shines with a Black or Red Rice. 

Honey-Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

1/8 C brown sugar
1/4 C honey
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
2-3 T rice oil
1 1-lb salmon filet
1 t salt
1 t garlic powder

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl to form a glaze.
  3. Cut the salmon filet in to serving size portions.
  4. Sprinkle the top side of the salmon filets with 1 t salt and 1 t garlic powder.
  5. Heat an oven safe skillet on the stove top on medium-high heat.
  6. Generously grease the bottom of the skillet with rice oil.
  7. Place the salmon filets skin-side up in the hot skillet.
  8. Allow to cook without touching until the fish easily comes up from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Remove from fire, flip the fish and pour the glaze over the fish pieces.  If the glaze will not pour well.  Microwave for a few seconds to melt it slightly then finish pouring it over the fish.
  10. Place the skillet in the oven until the fish flakes apart and glaze begins caramelizing.
  11. Remove from oven and serve over Black Wild Rice with Sauteed Rainbox Swiss Chard.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard

I think that swiss chard is often a forgotten jewel.  It is easy to grow, easy to cook and easy to eat! Throughout most of the US, swiss chard grows easily in gardens and containers. Then, on those nights when you need an easy-to-cook vegetable, head to your garden for a few sprigs of swiss chard.  These beauties cooks faster than others greens like mustard or kale and are sweeter to the taste.  In fact, their taste is so mild that your kids won't know that they are eating something healthy!

Rainbow Swiss Chard

2 bundles baby rainbow chard (one bundle if fully grown)
1/2 onion, julienned
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste
rice oil

  1. Rinse the chard well to remove any sand.
  2. Coarsely chop.  If the stems are thick, chop them more finely.
  3. Heat a little rice oil in a skillet.
  4. Place onion in the skillet and cook 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
  5. Add wet rainbow chard to the skillet and place the minced garlic on top of that.
  6. Lightly salt to help the cooking process.
  7. Toss to coat with oil and evenly mix in the onions.
  8. Cover and cook over low until the onions become translucent and the stems begin to soften.
  9. Uncover, turn up the heat and cook until greens and onions slightly caramelize.
  10. Remove from heat.
  11. Taste and salt, as necessary.

Canteloupe Rainbow

I am not sure why I didn't think of it, but Jello is a great choice for allergic kids!  I'm not talking about the pre-made ones that you buy in the little cups, but the boxes that you can buy in the grocery aisle, add water and you have an instant sugary treat!

This summer I made the Jellin Melon Snacks found on Kraft's recipe website.  They were a huge hit with the kids!  Some kids ate just the jello, others ate just the melon, but in the end, most ate it all! 

For St. Paddy's Day, I decided to make a Canteloupe Rainbow.  And it turned out beautifully.  Then, to top it off, I poured the extra Jello in a Pyrex casserole dish and ended up with Rainbow Jigglers for slicing with a knife or for cutting with St Patrick's Day cookie cutters.  It was fun, fun, fun!

Canteloupe Rainbows

1 large canteloupe
1 pkg red jello mix
1 pkg orange jello mix
1 pkg yellow jello mix
1 pkg green jello mix
1 pkg blue jello mix
1 pkg purple jello mix
9 C boiling water mix
6 C cold water mix
  1. Wash the canteloupe then cut it in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Scoop out some of the pulp from the center of the canteloupe leaving about one inch of pulp all the way around.
  3. Sit each canteloupe half in a bowl.
  4. In a Pyrex measuring bowl, place the contents of the red jello packet.
  5. Add 1 1/2 C boiling water and stir until dissolved.
  6. Add 1 C cold water to the boiling water mix and continue stirring until completely dissolved
  7. Pour a thin layer of the jello mix in the bottom of each canteloupe leaving enough room to add the next 5 layers.  Use the remaining jello mix to make the Rainbow Jigglers recipe listed below.
  8. Refrigerate the canteloupe halves for about 1 1/2 hours or until jello has solidified.
  9. Once congealed, remove the jello from the refrigerator.
  10. Repeat steps 4 - 9 for each color of the rainbow in the order that they are listed above.  Be careful when adding each of the next layers.  If the jello mix is too hot, the colors will blend instead of creating a layered effect.  Also, I found it was better to ladle the jello into the molds rather than to pour it.  This also helped prevent mixing of colors.
  11. Once the layers are all in place, refrigerate for 6 hours to allow the mixtures to completely congeal.
  12. To serve, slice the canteloupe half into wedges.  The rainbow wedge in each canteloupe slice will look different.  Kids can try to find the different colors and guess which color their wedge is missing.
 Rainbow Jigglers

1 pkg red jello mix
1 pkg orange jello mix
1 pkg yellow jello mix
1 pkg green jello mix
1 pkg blue jello mix
1 pkg purple jello mix
9 C boiling water mix
6 C cold water mix
1 large Pyrex casserole dish

  1. In a Pyrex measuring bowl, place the contents of the red jello packet.
  2. Add 1 1/2 C boiling water and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add 1 C cold water to the boiling water mix and continue stirring until completely dissolved
  4. Pour the jello mix into the Pyrex dish.
  5. Refrigerate the jello for about 1 1/2 hours or until it has solidified.
  6. Once congealed, remove the jello from the refrigerator.
  7. Repeat steps 4 - 9 for each color of the rainbow in the order that they are listed above.  Be careful when adding each of the next layers.  If the jello mix is too hot, the colors will blend instead of creating a layered effect.  Also, I found it was better to ladle the jello into the molds rather than to pour it.  This also helped prevent mixing of colors.
  8. Once the layers are all in place, refrigerate for 6 hours to allow the mixtures to completely congeal.
  9. To serve, dip the entire dish into warm water and allow it to melt the layer of jello that is touching the dish. 
  10. Once ready, place a cookie sheet on top of the dish and invert. 
  11. Allow the dish to rest inverted until all of the jello has fallen out of the dish to create one large sheet of rainbow jigglers.
  12. Use a knife to cut the jigglers into cubes or slices which contain all the layers like a rainbow and serve.
  13. Or.....for a little fun, let the kids use cookie cutters to press shapes in the jello.  An adult should help to remove the shapes from the slab, though since it can be a little tricky.
NOTE:  The jigglers recipe works well alongside the canteloupe recipe.  After making a layer in the canteloupes, pour the remaining jello mix in a Pyrex casserole dish to make the Rainbow Jigglers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Slow-Roasted Pork with Braised Cabbage

I found this great recipe for Roasted Pork and Potatoes on but we are a no potato house.  I cooked the meat without the potatoes and served it up with rice and Sauteed Cabbage on the side.  De-e-e-e-lish!

This dish worked so well without the potatoes that I wondered how it would fair witout them in the slow-cooker.  Homerun, again!  Here is my slow-cooker version of's Roasted Pork and Potato recipe.

Slow-Roasted Pork with Braised Cabbage

1/3 head of green cabbage
1/4 head of red cabbage
2/3 onion
1/2 t garlic powder
salt, to taste

1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3-4 lbs.
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 1/2 t dried thyme
salt, to taste

  1. Slice cabbages and onion into thick, julienne-style slices.  If these are cut too thin, they will cooke too fast and have no flavor once the meat has finished cooking.
  2. Spread the sliced vegetables around the bottom of the slow-cooker.
  3. Sprinkle veggies with 1/2 t garlic powder and a little salt.  The salt will draw water out of the cabbage so do not overdo it.  You can always add more after cooking.
  4. Rub the pork loin with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme then sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place the pork loin on top of the vegetable mixture.
  6. Pour about 3 cups of water into the slow cooker, being careful not to pour it over the meat.  The water should cover the bottom of the cooker, coming up the sides no more than 1/2 inch.
  7. Close the slow-cooker and leave to cook for 8 hours on low heat.  Be careful not to open the slow-cooker during cooking as this extends cooking time by at least 30 minutes while the cooker builds up heat again.
  8. When finished, remove the pork loin and slice to serve.
  9. Serve pork and cabbage over rice.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grilled Stuffed Cabbage

Thank you Paula Dean for this great recipe - Grilled Stuffed Cabbage!  With a few adjustments, this recipe became allergy-friendly and equally delicious.

Another Grilled Stuffed Cabbage

1/2 lb sliced bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1 C cooked rice
1 medium green cabbage
1/2 C salt, divided into two equal portions
1/4 C garlic powder

  1. Place a vary large pot of water on the stove and begin heating it to boil.  This pot must be large enough to fit the entire head of cabbage and replace the lid.  There must also be enough water in the pot to cover the cabbage until it just begins to float.
  2. Cut the bacon slices into 1/4 inch pieces.
  3. Cook the bacon and onion until just beginning to brown but still soft.
  4. Remove the bacon and onion from the pan.  Reserve the drippings.
  5. Mix the bacon and onion with the cooked rice.
  6. Leaving the cabbage whole, remove the core to create a cavity at least 3inches in diameter and deep enough to fit the filling without perforating the cabbage head.
  7. By now, the pot of water should be boiling.
  8. Slowly pour 1/4 C salt into the water.  Be careful that it does not boil over.
  9. Place the cored cabbage in the pot of boiling water and cover.
  10. Cook about 5 minutes.
  11. While the cabbage cooks, crumple a piece of aluminum foil into a ring just large enough to hold the cabbage in an upright position.
  12. Now that the cabbage is a bright green color, carefully remove it from the pot.  Allow the water to drain from the inside of the cabbage.
  13. Place the cabbage on the aluminum ringwith the hole facing up.
  14. Blot the outside of the cabbage with papertowels.
  15. Lightly baste the cabbage with the drippings from the bacon.
  16. Sprinkle the cabbage with salt and garlic powder.
  17. Fill the cabbage with the bacon mixture.
  18. Preheat grill.
  19. Place the cabbage and its ring stand on grill.  Close the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes or until brown.
  20. Remove from the grill and cut into wedges to serve.

NOTE:  Par boiling the cabbage head ensures that the cabbage is cooked to complete doneness.  If you do not have a sensitivity to uncooked cabbage, you may forgo this step entirely.  In that case, you will need to cook the cabbage longer on the grill.

Monday, March 14, 2011

St Paddy's Day Fun

This week is full of fun things to eat and do as we bring on the "Luck of the Irish" and celebrate St. Patrick's Day this Thursday.  I am starting the week with some fun craft ideas from my favorite web source

For St. Patrick's Day crafts, printables and even jigsaw puzzles, check out the St Patrick's Day page on  We've already tried the origami and fused bead!  I would love to see some of your give these a try and post me your results.  Our favorite activities were:

While making this Shamrock, there were a few clarifications that I would make to the instructions:

Step 1- If you do not have origami paper, you may cut 2 squares from a regular piece of office paper.  Then cut those squares into 2 equal size rectangles.
Step 2- When you fold the paper back on itself, you are forming one of the clover leaves.  Clovers are symmetrical so that fold should create 2 roughly equal size triangles.
Step 4- These two folds create the thinner triangles that make up the shamrock.  The two folds back should be roughly the same size.  However, this is your chance to compensate for any misfolds from Step 2 in order to create symmetrical leaves.  So, flip the shamrock over as you decide where you will make your fold to control the shape of your final shamrock.
Step 9- I didn't do well gluing these together.  I, instead, punches small holes in the point of each leaf and the stem.  Then, I threaded them onto a small, green paper fastener and pinched it closed.  This worked beautifully.
Finally, this activity may challenge your youngest angels but with your help they can do this, too.  In fact, my angel's first shamrock looked better than mine!  If your angel hasn't learned to fold, yet, this is the perfect activity to help them with that necessary skill.  You may help them decide where the fold should occur and they can press the fold into the paper.  Voila!  Success!

The St Patrick's Day Suncatcher (a particular favorite of my angel)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Intolerance or Love - You Choose

For those of you who did not see my FB post this week about the little girl in Florida and the parents protesting because their children have to take extra steps to prevent an allergic reaction, let me share with you a brief history so that I may provide you an update.

Earlier this week, parents of children in a Florida Elementary School protested and picketed because their children have to wash their hands and rinse their mouths before going into a classroom. At this school, there is six year old girl who is deathly allergic to peanuts. Per the doctors recommendations, the teacher has the c hildren wash their hands and rinse their mouths before entering the classroom. This is to prevent cross-contamination in case one of the non-allergic children ate a food which contained a peanut product.

This story has been plastered all over the news, the family has been threatened, the little girl can not return to her school and they have not been well-represented in the media.

THE UPDATE: A fellow blogger,, has been keeping the allergic community abreast of the situation. She is in direct contact with the allergic family in an effort to provide support. Here is the most recent update via her website:

A Little More Education by has some clear suggestions for those of us who would like to show our support for this family and this cause.

Take time to read this, spread the word, and pray for this family. This could be any of our children. What is your angel's weakness? Is it allergies? Maybe your angel has a short attention span and needs to sit at the front of the class, forcing others to sit behind? Perhaps your child sometimes makes poor behavioral decisions and the teacher takes class time to correct it? Does this mean that you will be next? Where does the intolerance end and where does the love begin?

I know my answer to that question. What's yours?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oven-Fried Tilapia

This recipe is a definitely a family favorite.  As soon as these tilapia come out of the oven, my family drags chairs to the counter and hovers like vultures.  So, get your family in the kitchen and cook this easy dish together for a delicious Lenten treat!
Oven-Fried Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets, wash and dry
1/2 onion, julliene
rice oil
garlic powder
2 C Rice Chex
  1. Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil.  If you do not have a jelly roll pan, you may also use a glass casserole dish just be sure to grease well with rice oil before beginning step 2.
  2. Spread onion on bottom of oven safe pan.  Drizzle with oil.
  3. Sprinkle one side of fillets with garlic and salt.  Place on top of onion and salt. 
  4. Flip fillets over and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder to taste.
  5. Place rice chex in a large plastic bag and crush until they reach a bread crumb-like consistency.
  6. Add 1/2 T salt and 1 T garlic powder to the bag and mix.
  7. Sprinkle mixture over the top of each fish to create a small mound.  Drizzle topping with oil.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool slightly.  Using a large spatula, transfer the fish to a serving plate. 
NOTE 1:  Catfish, trout or bass fillets would also probably work well.

NOTE 2:  While these are best eaten straight from the oven, I think that they could be frozen.  To reheat, you would sprinkle them with the Rice chex mixture and reheat them in ta 400 degree oven.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Making of a Blogger

These pictures were taken by my angel through the course of one day.
Per my angel's request, I am posting them....enjoy!

Through the Eyes of an Angel




The Leaf

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Almost Banana's Foster

Laissez les bons temps rouler!  Happy Mardi Gras to all y'all down in the Big Easy! Here is a recipe tom help you celebrate!

Banana's Foster Risotto

1 C Arborio rice
1T rice oil
1/2 C apple juice or cider
3 T Honey
1 T maple syrup
2 t brown sugar
4-5 C hot water

2 bananas
2 T rice oil
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C apple juice or cider
1 t salt

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add rice and Stir until coated evenly with oil.
  3. Deglaze with apple cider.
  4. Stir in honey, maple syrup, and the 2 t brown sugar.  For those who want it a little sweeter, you may increase the maple syrup to 2 T and the brown sugar to 1 T.
  5. While stirring, begin adding hot water one ladel at a time. Adding the water in small increments allows rice to release starches and develop a creamy texture. Add the next ladle of water once you can swipe the spatula along the bottom of the pan leaving a clean trail.
  6. Continue adding water until the rice has absorbed the liquid, cooked al dente, are held together by the cooking liquid, and do not look dry. Don't forget that the rice will continue cooking so it is better to undercook it when in doubt.

Banana topping:
  1. Cut bananas in half then slice in half lengthwise.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar and salt in pan.
  4. Stir until melting.
  5. Place bananas in face down pan.
  6. Cook until sugar begins to caramelize on the banana flip and cook next side.  If bananas are small, they will sometimes cook before the sauce thickens or caramelizes.  Watch carefully so they do not burn or turn to mush.
  1. Spoon risotto into a bowl.
  2. Top with two banana slices.
  3. Drizzle with sauce.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Snack Match: Green Eggs and Ham

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

This week's snack is: Green Eggs and Ham

Snack Match substitute: Do these look like Green Eggs and Ham to you?

These Green Eggs and Ham are not at all what they seem!  In fact, they seem more like a trick the Cat in the Hat might pull himself.

Books by Dr Seuss are a fun and common way to study rhyming with children but for an allergic child, "Green Eggs and Ham" day may not be a favorite.  If your child is allergic to eggs, it could mean being pulled from class or having an allergic reaction; both of which are memorable but neither of which are prefereable. 

For this special day, I made Green Eggs and Ham that are more healthy and equally as fun to eat!

Goodies in a red box I did hide 
Let your angel guess what's inside. 

This day can be fun for your angel, too. 
Do these look like Green Eggs and Ham to you? 

Attach a poem to bring the theme home
Now, your angel won't feel alone!

Have no fear, any poem will do
For it was written by YOU!

Do these look like Green Eggs and Ham to you?

3 broccoli florets, steamed
1 C rice flour
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 T salt
1T rice oil
1 C water

apricot jelly
Ebelskiever pan

Canteloupe, mango or other yellow-ish fruit or vegetable
2 oz. ham, sliced thick
small melon baller
small plastic or glass food storage box
Red Box or paper to wrap a box

  1. If your broccoli is not already steamed, place your broccoli in a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for one minute to briefly cook them. Uncover and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the next five ingredients in a blender and blend until there are no lumps.
  3. Pour half of this mixture into another bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the cooked broccoli to the blender and blend until the batter is green and the broccoli is fully chopped and barely noticeable.  Set aside.
  5. Place your ebelskeiver pan on the stovetop and turn to medium-low.  Allow to preheat.
  6. Once the pan is hot, place a teaspoon of oil in each cup in the ebelskeiver pan.
  7. Using the white batter, follow steps 8-13 to make the first batches of ebelskeivers.
  8. Using a ladle, pour about 1 T batter into each indention on the pan; enough to fill the cup to about 3/4  full.
  9. Place 1 tsp apricot preserves in the center of each ebelskeiver.
  10. Watch the ebelskeivers cook and adjust heat as needed.  You want these ebelskeivers to cook low and slow.  The bottoms of the sbelskeiver should not brown much and the batter needs to solidify before flipping them. 
  11. Once the batter has solidified, flip the ebelskeiver.
  12. Allow the ebelskeiver to cook on this side about 1 minute, ensuring that the pan is not hot enough to scorch the sugary preserves.
  13. Remove ebelskeivers from the pan to cool.
  14. Once you have used up the white batter, it is time to make the green ebelskeivers.  Using the green batter, follow steps 8-10 omitting the apricot preserves.  Instead of apricot preserves, slowly cook the ebelskeivers until the center of the ebelskeiver is the only part which remains uncooked. 
  15. At this point, flip the ebelskeiver and cook for one more minute.
  16. Remove ebelskeivers to a plate and cool.
  17. Once the green ebelskeivers have cooked, examine them.  These ebelskeivers should have cooked in such a way that there is a hole in the center.  If they did not, you will need to scoop out a center part.  Also, sometimes, a piece of batter will cover the hole when these ebelskeivers are flipped.  If so, remove that part and discard.  The green ebelskeivers should look like a half sphere with a hole in the center.
  18. To make the center of the "green egg", begin by peeling your canteloupe, mango or other yellow fruit.  I find it easiest to cut the fruit in half and place it cut side down on a cutting board.  Then use your knife to cut away the skin.
  19. Using the small end of a melon scooper, scoop out a few circles of the yellow fruit.  This will be the "yolk" of your "egg".
  20. To asseble the "Green Eggs and Ham", place the ham in the box to one side.
  21. On the other side of the box, place an apricot ebelskeiver.  The apricot at the center should resemble the center of an egg.
  22. To each side of the white "egg", place one green ebelskeiver. 
  23. In the center of the green ebelskeivers, place a piece of yellow fruit.
  24. Once assembled, your "Green eggs" and ham should resemble the picture above.
  25. Close the food storage box and place in the red box or wrap with red paper.
  26. Write your own poem on a piece of paper or print the poem below on cardstock.
  27. Attach the poem to the red box and serve.

Ode to Green Eggs and Ham
by The Allergic Angel

This is your snack
In a red pack

Do you think its a yam?

Do not mistake
For it surely will break

Then you'll be in a jam

Thing 1 and Thing 2
Can't come to the rescue

For they know nothing of...
Green eggs and Ham!

NOTE:  The poems found on this page are original and written by The Allergic Angel!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fish on Friday

I grew up in a part of the country where, each Friday throughout the season of Lent, Fish was served on Friday.  You saw it in restaurants, schools, was as common as burgers in summer.  I still have vivid memories of the fish patties served in school every Friday leading up to Easter.  Oh how that fried fish smell lingers in the mind!
The "Fish on Friday" tradition is one still celebrated, mostly by Catholics, throughout the 40 days of Lent.  Lent is a Christian season beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter.  As best that I remember, the Catholics were called to eat fish on Friday as a means of fasting in preparation for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

While my family does not celebrate the Fish on Friday tradition, we do make it a healthy habit to incorporate safe fishes into our diet throughout the year.  And, as our way to remember this season of sacrifice, I will be posting fish recipes each Friday throughout Lent.
I hope that you enjoy these recipes and even add ideas of your own.  Here are some fish you can look for this month: Tilapia, Tuna, Sea Bass, Catfish, Salmon, Cod

Here are a few of the recipes we have featured for Lent:

Herb-crusted Seared Tuna
Roasted Salmon with Lemon and Dill
Honey and Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon
Oven-fried Tilapia

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tips for flying safely with food allergic angels

My angel has flown since 3 months of age, earning angels wings for 3 round-trip flights before the 1st birthday!  With spring break looming in the near future, many families will also be thinking about traveling with their angels and we are no different.  But, just as with any other allergic child, with air travel, also comes the worries.  "What will they touch?"  "What did the people in this seat before you eat?"  "Did anyone nearby eat a nut?  Did anyone drop a nut?" 

However, by planning ahead, our angel has flown and does fly safely.  While this is not to say that everyone is ready for this challenge, that every flight is equally safe, or that every allergic person can do this.  But, it does say that many can and do.

Here are someof the things that we do to fly safer.  I hope that it helps you, too.
  1. When making your plane reservations, try to schedule the first flight of the day and speak directly with reservation specialists.  Often, airlines are willing to make the first flight of the day a  nut-free flight.  Often, planes are cleaned overnight and so the first flight is one where no one has flown.  That means, no one has eaten nuts on there yet, either.  So, talk with airlines and try to get on the first flight as a nut-free flight.
  2. Try to get seats where the allergic angel is not sitting directly next to a stranger or someone who might have eaten  nuts before getting on the plane.  That means, perhaps a middle seat between mom and dad or a window seat with the parent in the middle (or on the aisle in the case of a 2-seat configuration).
  3. When making reservations, notify the reservation specialist that you are flying with a severely nut allergic child so that they may note that on the reservation.  Have the reservation noted that you would like no nuts served 3 aisles in front of you and 3 aisles in back of your seat.  On that note, if you are able to get seats 4 aisles behind the bathrooms then you will increase the nut-free zone.  So use the planes layout to your advantage when choosing your seats.
  4. Take at least 2 sets of Epi-Pens.  Some people recommend  a pen for every 20 minutes of the flight although I usually just carry a set for her and a set for me.
  5. Load up on travel Benedryl packages.  Benedryl has always gone a long way for controlling my angels reactions.  We have had reactions on planes, although I don't think that it is from an airborn allergen but rather something that she touched.
  6. Plan your food and decide how you will travel with it.  It is often a good idea for severely allergic travelers to bring their own food.  While security limits liquids, you may bring solid foods without a problem.  Also, in case of problems, it is a good idea to bring a note from the doctor explaining the allergens so that security is aware.
  7. Bring LOSTS of baby wipes!  Do I need to say more?
  8. Take sufficient food in case there is a problem during travel.  Whether your are stuck on the runway or the plane is diverted, food can be an issue. Bring along emergency food so that the allergic angel can eat regardless of the situation.
  9. When you check in at the airport and/or gate, verify that the note about the food allergies is on the reservation and the proper percautions have been taken.
  10. At the gate, ask the agent if you made board early to prepare your allergic child's seat for a safe flight.  I have had some agents tell me, "no" but most are more than happy to help.
  11. When boarding the plane, remind the head flight attendant about the allergy and request that the "3 aisle rule" be used to keep nuts as far away from your child as possible.  It is best to do this as you are settling in or boarding to ensure that the proper precautions are taken.  Then, at snack time, watch like a momma hawk to see that the agreed upon requests have been followed.
  12. In your seat, wipe down the area thoroughly and cover the seat with a crib sheet (if needed).  This is an extra precaution to avoid cross-contamination.
  13. Consider bringing your own car seat or a CARES seatbelt for the child to use.  I believe that small children need more restraint than the standard airline seatbelt. While using your child's car seat may actually provide a more allergy-free seat for them, I do not want to lug it through the airport nor sit next to it on the plane and my angel isn't too excited about spending a long flight stuck in her car seat without much wiggle room.  So, I wipe down the exsisting seatbelt and use a CARES seatbelt for airplanes.  It loops around the seat, attaching to the planes seatbelt to form a five-point harness.  Frankly, I love my CARES and I wouldn't tfly without it.  For more info about the CARES seatbelt, see their website: 
  14. Once your angel is settled in, you just assume the mother hawk position, watching and wiping as you go.
It is important, however, to remember that flying with food allergic angels is always risky.  Each family must make their own decision based on how much risk they are prepared to take relative to the benefit of the flight.  As parents of allergic children, we are called daily to weigh the risks and benefits of each activity.  Whether it is visiting the playground or going to the grocery store, we have to look risk in the eyes and decide which way to go. We are the parents and our children are watching.   Each step that we take and each choice that we make shows our children how to live a safe but full life.  We are the parents and we must balance our desire to preserve our child's life with our child's desire to explore it.