Archive for December, 2011

Moving – Please follow me!

This is a note to let you know that one of the changes I am making to this blog for the new year is to move from here at wordpress to blogger. My new address is I hope you will follow me there. I will keep this blog open, but will no longer be posting on it after today. All new posts will be done at my new address. Please add my new address to your favorites list or follow me through Google Friend Connect or sign up for email subscription.

I’m hoping to be able to do so much more with this blog in the new year and I felt that I could accomplish more of what I want to accomplish at my new address with blogger. Please come on over! I hope to do a giveaway celebrating a new year at the new blog address, so don’t miss out!!


December 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Easy Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats {Dairy-free}

I have come across several flavors of marshmallows this season and it has been fun making several different treats with them for the holidays! Flavored marshmallows open up a whole new world of sweets! Here’s one my kids have been enjoying:

Easy Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats {Dairy-free}

3T Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread {It’s dairy-free!}

1 bag of gingerbread marshmallows {I get mine at Walmart}

6 cups Rice Krispies

Melt buttery spread in medium saucepan, stir in whole bag of gingerbread marshmallows. Stir continuously until melted. Stir in 6 cups of rice krispies making sure to mix well.

Pour into a greased 13×9 inch pan. Let sit until cooled. Cut into gingerbread man shapes! Enjoy!!


And, did you read about the Stained Glass Marshmallow Roll I posted around Thanksgiving? This time I used the Peppermint Mallows by  Jet-Puffed that I found at Walmart….Can’t wait to try these!!

December 22, 2011 at 11:49 am 1 comment

Sugar Cookie Icing {Dairy-free, Egg-free}

I can’t tell you how long I’ve looked for a perfect allergy-free sugar cookie icing. A lot of them have dairy in them and then I found one without dairy and realized I had no corn syrup. So after some research on substitutions, I came up with this icing. I will use it from now on! It’s the perfect consistency and tastes yummy, too!

Sugar Cookie Icing {Dairy-free, Egg-free, Vegan}

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp Smart Balance Light (or Earth Balance buttery spread – they are dairy free)

1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar (I may have used a heaping Tbsp just in case)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Food coloring, if desired

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until powdered sugar is moistened. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add additional tablespoons of water to reach desired consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired.

December 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm 3 comments

Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies {dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free}

If you are looking for a perfect allergy-free sugar cookie, look no further! This is the best one I’ve made and I’m sure you will love it, too. I made these for the first time last year and my girl just loved them. I am busy baking today for all the parties my girl has and will be sharing several recipes with you. I hope you find them useful and yummy, too!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies {dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free}

(Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies)

  • Ingredients
1 cup butter or margarine2 cups sugar1 Tbsp vanilla2 Tbsp cornstarch

5 cups flour (divided)

1 cup buttermilk or dairy-free milk alternative, soured with 1 tsp vinegar

2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt

  • Instructions
Mix together butter or margarine, sugar and vanilla. Add cornstarch. Alternately add the buttermilk, 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in additional 2 1/2 cups flour.Chill well. (Approx. 3 hours)Roll out on a floured surface and cut out. Sprinkle tops with sugar (or colored sugar, sprinkles, etc).Bake at 350 °F for 8-10 min depending on size.

This is what the dough looks like when it’s been chilled long enough. It is very easy to form and not very sticky.
 Here is my girl decorating her first few cookies!

When baked for 8-10 minutes the cookies turn out perfect! They are not even brown on the edges which means they are just firm enough and still soft on the inside.

December 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Chocolate Donut Muffins {dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan}

I’ve been busy baking today for my girl’s Christmas parties this week. This one may be familiar to you because I posted it here awhile back. It is my go-to recipe when I need a donut for my girl. Tomorrow at school, her class is having donuts and chocolate milk while they watch The Polar Express so, of course, she needed a substitute. These turned out delicious and look so yummy, too! I can’t wait for her to try one when she gets home from school.

You can get the recipe here. I changed one thing and it turned out to be a great change. *Let the donuts cool for several minutes before tossing them in the powdered sugar. If the donut is too warm when the sugar is on them, the sugar melts. These turned out perfect today! I think you’ll like them.

December 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

A Lesson on Perspective

Today was decorate-the-gingerbread-houses-at-school-day. I volunteered to help with this because my girl was just a bit nervous about knowing which ingredients she could/could not have and after I went to the classroom and the mess of icing and candy pieces began to escalate, I was so glad I had gone. My girl was so excited to be elbow deep in bright colored candies and I was glad I could be there to monitor the situation. Thankfully, the decorating went off without a hitch and all the kiddos had a blast. I enjoyed being there with those kids who are all so very different from each other, but wonderful and special in their own ways. (Even though, I might have been dreading the mess!!) When I picked up my girls from school this afternoon, C had her gingerbread house in tow and she was greatly looking forward to getting home and eating some of that house. It seemed she had forgotten all about our little discussion about how it was not something she could eat because of the icing that contains egg whites. So, when I gently reminded her of that, there was a major emotional breakdown. This is really the first time she’s ever gotten so upset (outwardly) about her allergies. Mega tears were flowing in the backseat from the sheer disappointment of not being able to eat such a beautiful and visually appealing treat that she worked so hard on. I let her vent her frustration for a second and then asked her, “Does God make mistakes?” Of course, her answer was NO. And then I asked her, “Did he make a mistake by allowing you to have food allergies?” Her answer, at first, was yes and then we talked about how God cannot make a mistake – never has and never will. He allows everything in our lives for a reason….even things we don’t think are right for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God…according to His purpose.” Even a 6 year old can begin to understand that God knows what’s best for us and always has our best interest at heart. And while the tears were pouring and the sobbing was in full force, I sat there in the driver’s seat praying she will one day outgrow these allergies, but also wondering what else I could say to help her put this in perspective. Then, I pulled off my exit and sat at a red light where homeless people are almost always standing begging for money or food and I could see just enough under the bridge to see others taking shelter there. I pointed them out to my children and showed them what they had never noticed before. There are real people all around us who have no food or home. When put in perspective, food allergies seem so much less of a burden. The fact is, the focus doesn’t need to be on what we can’t have, but what we already have that, quite frankly, we don’t deserve. God has blessed us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask for or imagine {Eph 3:20} and THAT is what we can be thankful for.

December 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm 1 comment

Don’t just survive the holidays (and holiday food)…THRIVE!

Christmas is rapidly approaching and with this time of year come lots of Christmas parties and get-togethers with the main attraction being FOOD! Just in the next 7 days, my girl has an event involving popcorn, two Christmas parties at church and school and the traditional (and somewhat dreadful) gingerbread house building at school. All of those things involve food and most of them are foods that are very risky to her health. At this point, I can do one of two things. 1) Avoid it altogether and have her feel isolated and feed her fear of being around those things or 2) Do everything in my power to know what foods will be at what event and make alternatives for her to bring with her so that she can participate like a normal child and teach her to thrive in her environment regardless of food allergies. I’m choosing to do the latter. Her whole life we have been striving to maintain a sense of normalcy for this girl and show her that while she does have potentially life-threatening food allergies, it is possible to be able to enjoy every event and situation involving food. Our ‘normal’ isn’t the same as everyone else’s ‘normal’, but we do our best to help her blend in and thrive. It’s very important to us to teach her that while it is absolutely necessary for her to avoid certain foods, she can have just as much fun as everyone else and not be afraid.

So, here are some practical tips for surviving the wonderful holidays and all the food that comes with it!

1. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE. Compile a list of all the parties/events that your child will be a part of and make a detailed list of each menu. Mark the items that he/she can have and then make allergy-free substitutes for those items which he/she cannot have. If your child is old enough to understand, then go over the lists with him so he is aware of all the substitutes.

2. GIVE STUFF! Volunteer to bring items for school parties/church parties and sign up to bring items like cupcakes or cookies (or whatever your child cannot have) and bring an allergy-free type for the whole class. There are some things like graham crackers that my child can only eat certain brands of, so in that case, bring only that brand or ask the teacher if she can specifically request certain brands to be brought.

3. GIVE TIME! Volunteer to help at the parties so that you can monitor the food situation. My child is old enough to know certain things that she can/cannot have, but I know that she is much more comfortable to partake if I am there. When she doesn’t know if an item is okay, she will just refrain from eating it. I know some kids may not have that kind of self control, but your child might.

4. HAVE A LITTLE CHAT! Communicate with the teacher(s) as the time draws near for the party/event to remind her of your child’s specific needs. Send a note in on that day, as well, reminding her. You can also have your child wear allergy alert jewelry or a sticker/pin stating his/her allergies so that even volunteers can be on alert. My girl will be wearing her necklace on the days of her parties/events.

5. LAST BUT NOT LEAST! In case of gingerbread house building, find out the exact ingredients that will be there and deal with it appropriately. The ‘glue’ that my girl’s teacher is using to stick the house together has meringue powder in it and that is an absolute no-no for my sweet girl. So, we are going to have her use gloves while putting these houses together. And then I have checked into all the ingredients and sent in some of the ones where my girl needs specific brands. After all that, we know of one ingredient that she cannot partake of and she is aware of it. So, she’s feeling pretty excited about building herself a little gingerbread house with the rest of her class. And I have to say that this momma is at peace with it and looking forward to seeing what my artistic girl comes up with!

I’m planning to post a few Christmas recipes coming in the next few days, so stay tuned! And I have some plans in the works for the new year on this blog! Exciting days ahead!

December 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

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