My daughter, Jazlyn, is anaphylactic to egg, dairy, peanuts, and tree nuts. When she was first diagnosed, I found it very difficult to find recipes and foods that didn't taste like "allergy" food. Over the last 15 years I have had a lot of fun developing and changing recipes so that they are safe for her. I love to share my recipes so that other families can realize how yummy "allergy" foods can taste. You don't have to sacrifice taste or your favorite foods, you just have to rethink how to make them. I made a promise to Jazzy that I would do my very best to find a way for her to eat any food she wants to try. So far I have been able to keep that promise. I hope your family enjoys these recipes as much as we do.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Egg Free, Dairy Free, Nuts Free Christmas Cookie Recipes 2014

Since it's Christmastime again, I thought I would do a post of our favorite Christmas cookies. Each year we like to try a few new varieties, but we also have our favorites that we make throughout the year and especially at Christmas. Since my girls love to bake, we like to make one or two different kinds each week starting after Thanksgiving. We eat some of them fresh, then I place the rest of the batch in Ziploc bags and place them in the freezer. They stay yummy but they aren't all eaten at once and we can enjoy them longer. My grandmother always had a freezer full of cookies for us, now my girls have them too. Plus, it is easier for me to resist them in the freezer. I guess it's out of sight out of mind. I also do this with unfrosted cupcakes so that Jazlyn always has a dessert for birthdays, get-togethers, or just because.

Our Cut Out Sugar Cookies must be made each Christmas because the girls look forward to cutting them out and decorating them. Plus, they know since they are more work they don't get them as often. If you ask the girls, they would say that this is their favorite cookie.

The Chocolate Fingers are another requested cookie. Again, they are more work, but the girls love them so much.

Daddy's Favorite Cinnamon Cookies. The name says it all. My husband isn't a big sweets person, but he loves these cookies.

My husband and I love the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are crispy on the outside with a slightly chewy center.

The girls love the cookies above, but they also love the Simply Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies because they like rolling them in the sprinkles and they like the soft texture.

The Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect when you need chocolate.

The Sunbutter Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies are my dad's favorite cookies. I love the different flavor that the Sunbutter gives them. I also like the texture of the oats for something different.

The Soft Drop Sugar Cookies are wonderful because they have a cakey texture and provide a different kind of cookie.

These Chocolate Drop Sugar Cookies are a yummy change to the traditional sugar cookie.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome to Holland

This beautiful poem was shared with me shortly after Jazlyn's life threatening food allergies were diagnosed. When I am feeling down about Jazlyn's allergies, I turn to it to remind me to enjoy this parenting journey no matter what that journey is. In fact, I feel like our lives have been enriched because of the allergies. I don't know if we would have chosen homeschooling. That decision alone changed the entire course of our family. Even if her allergies disappeared today, I would still choose homeschooling. I love having my girls with me, I love watching them learn, and we created so many memories through the field trips. Without the allergies, we also wouldn't have met some amazing friends and we wouldn't have as many memories in the kitchen. I love cooking and baking with my girls. I love coming up with new recipes to give Jazlyn lots of yummy foods. Does it get difficult? Yes! However, I love our family and our life together.


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Egg Free, Dairy Free Creamy Sausage and Rice

This is a creamy, simple casserole.

Creamy Sausage and Rice

1/4 cup dairy free margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups soy milk
1 pound sausage, casings removed and browned like ground beef
2 cups uncooked instant rice, cooked

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour then whisk until completely moistened. Slowly add the soy milk, whisking constantly, until combined and the sauce has thickened. Add the sausage and rice. Cook and stir until heated through and thoroughly combined.
*  If you would like this casserole a little crispier on the top and bottom, you can place all of the ingredients in a sprayed 9x13 baking dish then bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
*  A can of peas or corn can be added to the casserole if desired.