Welcome to ABC's and Allergies! I hope you will enjoy some of my thoughts and experiences with allergies and homeschooling, and try out some of my recipes. I have found a new passion for creating excellent meals that are free of Mandie's allergens, and are so yummy no one realizes they are "allergen free". I am also passionate about raising awareness of food allergies, and raising money for FAAN.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted From: “Vegan Lunchbox” by Jennifer McCann (www.veganlunchbox.com)
1 cup plain canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
½ cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp flax meal
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup gluten free oat flour
½ cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour (we use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Kroger Value Brand chocolate chips)
Cinnamon Sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper muffin cups and spray cups with nonstick spray.  Set aside.  Put the pumpkin, water, oil, flax meal, and vanilla in a blender or food processor and process on high for at least 1 minute, until light in color and well blended.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add the pumpkin mixture and mix w/a wooden spoon until well blended.  Fold in the chips.  Spoon the batter into the muffin tin to make 12 muffins.  Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then use a spatula to gently lift each muffin from the muffin tin.  Finish cooling on a wire rack.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup pumpkin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 eggs or 2 Tbsp. flax meal dissolved in 6 Tbsp. hot water (let stand 5 mins.)
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup gluten free oat flour
1 cup sorghum flour
½ cup gluten free all purpose flour*****
1 12oz package chocolate chips

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  If using flax, combine with hot water and let stand.
2.     In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, sugars, baking soda, and xanthan gum until combined.  Add eggs or flax gel and vanilla, scraping sides of bowl as needed.   Beat in flour until well combined.  Add chocolate chips and beat until just mixed.
3.       Using a small cookie scoop or two teaspoons, drop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are still soft on top but do not collapse when you touch them.  Immediately remove cookies from baking sheets onto a wire cooling rack.

***** You can substitute 2 ½ cups of any kind of flour for the flours I used and the cookies still turn out perfectly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Salmon Patties and Tartar Sauce; Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Tonight I made a meal that is an absolute favorite in our house - salmon patties, boiled potatoes, and green beans, served with a side of homemade tartar sauce.  The salmon turns out crisp on the outside, and melt in your mouth flaky and tender on the inside.  The combo of the hot salmon and cold tartar sauce is not to be missed. 

Salmon Patties
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup reserved juice from salmon
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh dill, or 1 tsp. dried dill
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 14 3/4 oz can salmon, drained and flaked
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs***
1 Tbsp. cooking oil of choice
1 recipe Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)

Drain the salmon, reserving the liquid.  In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, onion, dill, parsley, and pepper.  Add salmon and bread crumbs; mix well.  Form mixture into patties.  Preheat oil in a grill pan over medium high heat.  Cook patties for about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy on the outside.  Serve hot with cold tartar sauce.
  ***  For gluten free bread crumbs, put a few slices of your favorite bread in a blender or food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form.  You can dry the bread in the oven before making crumbs.

Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup miracle whip salad dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. dried or fresh dill

Combine everything in a small bowl and chill before serving.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
(modified from Living Without Magazine, Oct/Nov 2010)
Makes one 10 inch pie

1 (15 oz can) pumpkin
1 cup dairy-free vanilla flavored milk of choice
2 Tbsp. corn oil
3 Tbsp. brandy or bourbon or spiced apple cider
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs or flax goo (2 Tbsp. flax meal dissolved in 6 Tbsp. hot water - let stand til gelled)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a 10 inch pie pan.  Mix together all liquid ingredients in one bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Slowly pour dry ingredients into liquid, stirring to combine.  Then beat until totally combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Place pie in preheated oven and bake 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-45 more minutes or until a knife inserted into pie center comes out clean.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal

2 cups old fashioned oats (we use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
1 cup pumpkin
4 cups water
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. vanilla
Optional toppings: brown sugar, flax meal, toasted pecans or walnuts, dried cranberries, milk of choice, etc.

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Boil, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Topped with brown sugar, flax meal,  pecans, dried cranberries, and almond milk.

VARIATIONS:   Applesauce Oatmeal: add 1 cup of applesauce (I use homemade, chunky w/lots of cinnamon) and 2 Tbs. of cinnamon and 1 Tbsp. nutmeg. 
Blueberry Oatmeal: 1 cup pureed blueberries, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Also good with pureed pears or peaches.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Due to the kids food allergies, especially the severity of Mandie's, trick or treat is not really safe for them.  I'm not even too crazy about letting them go collect candy and trade it for safe or a toy as many food allergy families do.  Last year we decided do a family Halloween party, which all three kids talked about all year and could hardly wait to do again.  The kids get to dress up and play in their costumes all day, and watch whatever kids cartoon Halloween movies we've found for them.  This year was a Pooh Movie and some other one about a square pumpkin.  We tried to get Legend of Sleepy Hollow for them but it was rented.  I guess that's what you get when you look for movies on the afternoon of Halloween!

Instead of buying costumes this year, or making them (which I just didn't have time to do), we told the kids to go through the dress up box and their clothes and be creative.  Here are the results: a ballerina, a pirate ninja, and batman.

For their treats this year I found cute bags at the local video store.  Mom and I went to Streator Kroger and found some fun treats to fill the kids bags.  I had a couple of Halloween themed coloring books (one with stickers, one with crayons), and we got them each a carton of orange juice, a cup of diced peaches, a cup of mandarin oranges with cute little spoons in the lids that folded up, an Enjoy Life Foods Boom Choco Boom bar, a couple of Clif Kids Twisted Fruit ropes, a few mini boxes of raisins, and a box of ginger candies.

The kids bags looked super cute when they were done!

At dusk the kids went out to the north yard to find their treat bags, which their daddy had hidden.  Bud also dressed in his camo and hid, waiting to spook the kids.  Unfortunately for him this year, Truman's dog Shelby figured out his hiding place and gave him away.  The kids still enjoyed seeing where Daddy had been hidden, and got a picture with him.

After they found their bags, they came inside and had a treat (they chose their juice and oranges) before watching another video while Mom and I got the table decorated and got dinner ready.  We made a "spooky" meal of Dragon Brains (spaghetti), goblin fingers (steamed asparagus), bones and bats (gf breadsticks), and eyeballs (knox blox made w/juice).  We drank goblin's blood (cranberry juice and gingerale), and had Harvest Day Cake for desert. 
Here are the recipes for dinner:

Dragon Brains (Spaghetti)
2 boxes gluten free spaghetti of choice (we used DeBoles Rice with Flax)
2 lbs ground italian style sausage, or ground meat of choice
1 onion, minced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, chopped (we used one yellow and one red)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 quart of marinara sauce of choice (we use home canned)

Sautee ground meat, onion, garlic, and peppers.  When they're halfway cooked, add the tomatoes and beans.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta and combine with contents of skillet and marinara sauce.  Heat through and serve.
Bones and Bats
(Thin Crust Pizza dough recipe from Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking by Peter & Kelli Bronski)
3/4 cup warm water (about 115 degrees F)
1 Tbsp. agave or maple syrup
2 1/4 (1 pkg) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. freshly minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups Artisan GF Flour Mix***

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine the warm water, agave or maple syrup, and yeast in a large bowl and let stand until the mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, xanthan gum, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic.  Mix in the flour to form a dough that is soft but not sticky to the touch.  Using aluminum foil, form desired shapes, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and spray with oil.  Press dough into shapes.  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise 20 minutes.  Bake for 20 minutes, unitl done to the touch. 
  *** Artisian GF Flour Mix
1 1/4 cups brown rice or gf oat flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. potato flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum

Eyeballs (Fruit Juice Knox Blox)
4 envelopes KNOX brand unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold fruit juice (we used V8 Splash Strawberry Banana)
3 cups fruit juice, heated to boiling

Heat 3 cups of juice in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice in a large bowl; let stand 1 minute.  Add hot juice and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Pour into 13x9x2-inch pan.  Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.  To serve, use a melon baller to cut scoop out balls and put in a bowl.
Dessert was my Harvest Day Cake.

So, this is how we enjoyed Halloween.  What did you do?