Allergy Friendly Easter Egg Hunts

We LOVE egg hunts!  There are always a million and one Easter egg hunts in our neighborhood every year.  The neighbors have one, the church has one, the school has one…the list goes on.

I still remember the first church egg hunt we attended.  My son was able to pick up as many eggs as he could find and stuffed them in his cute little basket!  But all he got to keep was the plastic eggs.  It was anyone’s best guess what kinds of candies were inside those eggs and what the ingredients were, so they were off-limits.  It took a little of the fun out of the whole experience to see so many other kiddos ooohing and ahhhing over their treasures while my son had to wait until we could get home and I could switch out the “bad candy” for allergy-friendly candy.

What is a mom to do?  If you don’t like the situation, change the variables!

The next year, I served on the egg hunt committee for our church along with our entire Sunday School class.  Because my family and one other family in the class had children with food allergies, we added a new component to the egg hunt that year.  And it went a little something like this…

Every child who came to the egg hunt was asked to bring a dozen stuffed eggs to contribute  for the hunt.  The families of our Sunday School class only brought two dozen non-food stuffed eggs each and they were set aside in a special bin at the “Official Egg Trading Booth.”  When it was time for the begin hunt to begin, the kids ran wild and started hoarding eggs!  After the hunt was over, children with food allergies were invited to come to the egg trading booth to trade their candy-filled eggs for some special non-food stuffed eggs.

I’ll admit, I think we knew the kids with food allergies would LOVE that they got to go home with real egg hunt treats, but we had no idea the children without food allergies would want in on the action too!  Everyone wanted the non-food eggs because of the stickers, erasers, tattoos, and other cool stuff inside.

Last year, even several of the community egg hunts followed suit and either had an egg trading station or used only non-food stuffed eggs.

Get involved in your neighborhood, church, or community egg hunt this year and spearhead the effort to include an egg trading station or use only non-food stuffed eggs.  Yes, it is another thing to add to your to do list, but the inclusiveness your children will feel and the happiness they will bring home from the event is the real treasure!

Egg-Free? Now You Can Dye Easter “Eggs” Too!

When my child was first diagnosed with food allergies, egg was one of them.  Thankfully, he has outgrown that allergy.

Still, I remember how hard it was to find good allergy-friendly substitutes and I definitely remember how challenging Easter would be every year.   Afterall, the entire holiday revolves around eggs.  Granted, plastic eggs work just fine.  But what about making those memories with your kiddos as you dye a dozen beautifully colored Easter eggs?  That was a little harder to find a substitution for…until now.

Take a minute to check out this product called EggNots (https://www.eggnots.com/Products/EggNots/).  What a simply egg-cellente idea!  It is perfect for those families with egg allergies.

Now those with egg allergies can safely join in the Easter egg fun!

Words To Live and Create By

If you follow me here on the blog or on social media, you already know I was blessed to attend the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin during the last weekend in February.

As a gluten-free gal with celiac disease, this kind of event is a dream come true for my stomach!  Although I’ll admit to spending a fair (okay fine…the whole time) taste testing, I met some amazing authors that made me smile with their positivity and creativity.

It’s just not fair to keep that kind of find to myself, so I’m sharing it here with you!

 

Gina Meagher

The Food Allergy Mom and Gina Meagher

Gina Meagher is the author of There Is Something About Gina.  From the moment I met Gina and heard her speak, I knew she was a perfect fit for my message of can-do positivity that I promote here on the blog.  Her book is a personal story about learning to flourish with diabetes and celiac disease.  Gina was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 17 and celiac disease at age 32.  This truly amazing lady’s story focuses primarily on those two diagnoses, but I found so many nuggets of wisdom that I still found applicable to the food allergy journey as well.  Here are just a few that Gina was gracious enough to let me share:

  • “…the disease is just something you happen to be living with and not who you are.”
  • “…although diabetes and celiac disease are part of who I am, they have little to do with what I am about.”
  • “…if you can’t change your situation, you can change your reaction to it.”

It was just a pleasure to read Gina’s book and love her message.  Honestly, I think you would too.

 

Pam Jordan

Pam Jordan

Pam has written a gluten-free cookbook that utilizes basic ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry.  She’s such a sweet lady and passionate about helping others on their gluten-free journey.  She’s also the author of a Gluten-Free Family Approved Recipes cookbook and www.imaceliac.com.  Her cookbook has a beautifully written summary of Pam’s personal story and highlights several of Pam’s favorite gluten-free products.  The recipe categories include breakfast items, appetizers, main dishes, slow cooker and freezer meals, side dishes, and desserts.

The thing I most love about Pam’s cookbook is that I’m easily able to substitute in items that are not only gluten-free, but also allergy-friendly for my son.  I’ve already made a few items from the cookbook and they were a hit with the family.

Pam was kind enough to let me share the following recipe from her cookbook with you.

Parmesan Porkchops

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1/2 cup GF bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (combine shredded and grated)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup GF flour
  • salt and pepper
  • seasoned salt
  • garlic powder

How To Make It

1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Put flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.  Put parmesan, GF bread crumbs, seasoned salt and garlic powder in a second bowl.  Put the egg in a third bowl.

3.  Pat the chops dry with a paper towel.  Coat chops in flour, egg, then parmesan mixture.  Let rest while you heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.

4.  Brown the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side.

5.  Then bake on a greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

Tips:  This could easily be topped with GF red pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese and served over GF spaghetti noodles.

Sounds delicious!  I can’t wait to make it.  Thanks so much, Pam, for all you do!

 

Chrystal Carver

Photo by Mary Bernsen Courtesy of Crystal Carver

Photo by Mary Bernsen
Courtesy of Crystal Carver

Met this wonderful lady while touring booths at the Fest.  She has such a positive, can-do attitude and I love how that translates in to her work in the kitchen.  Chrystal is the author of Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking:  Irresistible classics in 10 ingredients or less and glutenfreepalate.com!

Photo by Mary Bernsen Courtesy of Crystal Carver

Photo by Mary Bernsen
Courtesy of Crystal Carver

To have a book full of recipes that is 10 ingredients or less AND gluten-free is pretty darn impressive.  But to have a collection of simple recipes that does all that and still looks decadent enough to serve at a baby/bridal shower, family reunion, game night, holidays, and a dozen other special occasions is truly amazing.  To give you an idea of what you will find in Chrystal’s book, the recipe categories are as follows:  Cakes, Cupcakes and Breads; Cheesecakes, Pies and Tarts; Cookies; Brownies and Bars; and Frostings.

In addition to a written out ingredient list and baking directions for each recipe, there is a beautiful full-color picture of the final product.  I’m a visual person and really appreciate this feature.  It helps me decide on the right recipe for the right event…and it’s a check point to make sure my creation looks how it’s supposed to!

While the recipes are gluten-free, they are not nut-free.  That said, I’ve already made an item or two from the book and was easily able to substitute allergy-friendly ingredients that work for my son and I.  (And let me just say, the Lemon Bars ar c-r-a-z-y good.  They didn’t last two days in our house.)

Before getting to the recipes, Chrystal does a fantastic job of covering gluten-free baking basics, different kinds of gluten-free flours, binding agents, and tons of other baking tips and techniques.

Chrystal is graciously offering you a free look at her Lemon Bread recipe.  It’s the perfect spring recipe and would even be perfect for Easter!

Chrystal Carver’s Lemon Bread

Chrystal Carver's Lemon Bread

Photo by Mary Bernsen Courtesy of Crystal Carver

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 70 minutes
SERVINGS: 12
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup sugar for the glaze
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Zest from 1 large lemon
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
METHOD
  • Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Position the oven rack in center of oven. Grease a 4 ½ x 8 ½ inch glass loaf baking pan; set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • In a separate medium mixing bowl, mix eggs, milk, oil and lemon zest. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir only until they just come together.
  • Pour batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack.
  • In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and lemon juice. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove from the microwave. Stir till sugar is dissolved.
  • Evenly spoon the lemon sugar glaze over the top of the lemon bread. Cool completely before slicing.
  • Store in an airtight container.
*For this recipe, Chrystal uses her all-purpose gluten-free rice flour blend that has been prepared in advance. Rather than making a whole batch, you can scale it down to ¾ cup white rice flour + 6 tablespoons tapioca flour + 6 tablespoons potato starch.

 

Thanks to all these amazing ladies and all they do for the gluten-free communities!  It was honor meeting each of them and I hope you are inspired by their work!

 

Gluten-Free Product Round Up

If you follow me here on the blog or on social media, you already know I was blessed to attend the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin during the last weekend in February.

As a gluten-free gal with celiac disease, this kind of event is a dream come true for my stomach!  Here are some of my favorite gluten-free finds I just had to share with you!

*Please be advised, the below product reviews are for gluten-free products only.  Some of the below products DO contain one or more of the top 8 allergens.*

King Arthur FlourKing Arthur Food Truck

  • Offer both gluten-free and non-gluten-free baking mixes
  • Products offered:  GF Chocolate Cake Mix, GF Brownie Mix, GF Multi-Purpose Flour, GF All purpose Baking Mix, GF Scone Mix, GF Yellow Cake Mix, GF Banana Bread Mix, GF Bread and Pizza Crust Mix, GF Cookie Mix, GF Pancake Mix, GF Doughnut Mix, and GF Muffin Mix
  • Products carried online and at select stores (I buy mine at H-E-B)
  • *I am a HUGE King Arthur Gluten-Free fan and use it as a direct substitution for any recipe I’m making that calls for flour.  My entire family (even the picky ones) love these mixes.  To date we tried all of the following and LOVED them:  Chocolate Cake, Multi-Purpose Flour, All Purpose Baking Mix, Yellow Cake, Banana Bread, and Muffin Mix.

 

Udi’s Gluten-Free

IMG_4892

  • Products offered:  GF breads (loaves, rolls, burger/hot dog buns, bagels), GF tortillas, GF cookies, GF granola, and GF frozen meals.
  • Products are carried online and at select stores (I buy mine at H-E-B)
  • I am a devoted Udi’s fan.  I think their sandwich bread is one of the best gf varieties out there.  I always have a couple of loaves hiding in the freezer.  An Udi’s grilled cheese sandwich is pretty darn hard to beat!

 

Enjoy Life

The Food Allergy Mom and Enjoy Life's Katie Brunk

  • Products are free-from the “top eight” allergens: wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish (products are also made without casein, potato, sesame and sulfites)
  • None of their products contain genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  • Products contain no artificial anything and instead contain natural ingredients like quinoa, buckwheat, and honey
  • Products Offered:  Soft Baked Cookies, Crunchy Cookies, Cereals, Seed & Fruit Mixes, Chewy Bars, Decadent Soft Baked Bars, Baking Chocolate, Chocolate Bars, Plentils, and a new line of do it yourself baked goods will be arriving soon
  • Products carried online and at select stores (I buy mine at H-E-B)
  • My family and I are also HUGE fans of Enjoy Life!  It’s something my son and I can actually share together.  My favorites are the crunchy cookies and seed and fruit mixes, although we love almost all their products.  To see a review of Enjoy Life products go to the Search bar on the right of my blog and type in Enjoy Life.

 

Bona Dea

The Food Allergy Mom and Bona Dea

  • Based in Austin, Texas
  • Free from gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, and eggs  (Allergen statement:  Produced in a dedicated facility free of gluten, wheat, milk, soy, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts.)
  • Made with all non-GMO ingredients and Organic Whole Grains
  • Products offered:  Outrageous Oat Cookies, All Purpose Flour, Positively Pancakes, Marvelous Muffins, and Scrumptious Scones
  • To date, I have only used the Outrageous Oat Cookies mix.  I made them for my family and they were gone in only three days!  I’ll let that statement speak for itself!  :)
  • I was fortunate enough to meet some of these gals in person at GFFAFest and they were so kind and gracious!  So excited to find this new product!

 

Freedom Foods (North America)

  • Brochure shows products to be free from:  gluten, nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, and sesame
  • Products are produced in an allergen-free facility
  • There is 3rd party external validation testing as well as a full supplier compliance and audit program
  • Products offered:  Cereal (8 different kinds), Quick Oats, Pancake Mix, Pancake Mix with Quinoa, Smudge Cocoa Spread
  • Products carried online and at select stores (H-E-B carries them)
  • I did try a sample of the Maple Crunch Cereal and felt that it was a decent cereal.  It had a nice crunch to it and I love the options they are giving consumers.  Not only do can we eat allergy-friendly cereal, we can pick from several flavors!
  • The only drawback about this product is that it contains chickpea/garbanzo flour which my son is allergic to.  However, for those without that particular allergy, Freedom Foods might be a good fit.

 

American Gra-Frutti and Marilyn’s Gluten-Free Gourmet

IMG_4868

  • Products made fresh by skilled bakers
  • Products contain no trans fats, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors
  • The representatives at this booth were kind enough to share some samples of their A-M-A-Z-I-N-G cheese straws (in three different flavors including Cheddar and Jalapeno) and Bubble Bread Mixes (Original, Rosemary & Sea Salt, and Garlic & Herb)
  • I fell in love with the Cheese Straws…really loved them!  The Bubble Bread is fantastic as well…not to mention easy peasy to make and bake.
  • The only drawback to this product is that while they do use careful manufacturing procedures, they do produce mixes with nuts and ground nuts.  Although I can safely eat these mixes with celiac disease, I do not feel it is something my son would be able to safely eat.  *In fairness to the company, I did ask about the nut processing and they were very gracious to walk me through it…for which I am grateful and sincerely appreciate their openness and honesty.

 

Brazi Bites

  • Certified Gluten-Free
  • Non GMO
  • Trans-Fat Free
  • Sugar-Free
  • Products include:  Brazilian Cheese Bread (Garlic Asiago, Original, Jalapeno Pepper Jack, Bacon Cheddar Parmesan
  • These cheesy little bites are a piece of heaven.  I could hardly believe they were gluten-free.  I loved them!

 

Taylor Made Gluten Free Bakery

  • Products are gluten-free
  • Products carried online and at select stores (I buy mine at H-E-B)
  • Products include:  Banana Bread, Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cinnamon Roll Bites, Cornbread, Cream Puffs, Hamburger Buns, Lemon Bar Pan, Multigrain Rolls, Mutigrain Bread Loaf, Pumpkin Bread, Rosemary Garlic Pizza Crust, and White Bread Loaf
  • I have taste tested the Brownie, Pizza Crust, and Hamburger Bun and truly loved them all.  Once I ran out of pizza crust I even used a burger bun as pizza crust and it was delicious!  I will definitely be purchasing a few more of these products from my local H-E-B…I’m especially excited to find and taste test the Cinnamon Roll Bites.
  • My FAVORITE thing about this company and that they are so near to Aggieland.  Gig ‘Em Aggies!

 

Happy Gluten-Free Eating!

 

Will We Be The Reason The Helpers Quit?

A week or so ago, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with two major news stories:

Minutes later, the fallout began and it hasn’t yet stopped.

The blogsphere is buzzing and some people are drawing a line in the sand and telling you to choose a side.  More than a few went so far as to question the intelligence and loyalty to the food allergy cause of those that support any of the above companies.

That’s when I decided.

The nay-sayers may kick and scream to be heard, but no matter how loud they are- they certainly don’t speak for me.

There is no better feeling that sitting down in a quaint establishment filled with deliciously rich smells that tease the senses and knowing that I can safely eat gluten-free.  For me, P.F. Chang’s is one of those establishments.

I love that I can dine there and have a whole gluten-free menu to choose from.  And it’s not just an item or two that is gluten-free, it’s the works.  They offer gluten-free appetizers, entrees, and even desserts.  Do I think that they charge higher prices for gluten-free versions of menu items?  No.

To be honest, even if they did charge a tiny bit more it wouldn’t offend me.  I pay more everywhere I go for gluten-free food, why should a restaurant be any different?  I’m so grateful for P.F. Chang’s genuine efforts to create a gluten-free menu…to lovingly include those of us with gluten dietary restrictions so that we are able to eat out with friends and loved ones.  Thank you, P.F. Chang’s.

Let’s switch gears to the Enjoy Life Foods…

Before I continue (and in full disclosure), if you look to the right of my blog you will see an Enjoy Life Preferred Blogger badge.  It is a badge that I put on my blog months ago to show my appreciation for the company for all that they do to accommodate those individuals and families with food allergies.  I am not paid or compensated in any way for displaying my badge on my blog.

Enjoy Life Cookies

Now that we have that out of the way…let’s get one more thing out in the open.  I STILL support Enjoy Life Foods with my business and my trust.  I’m appreciative for all that they do.

As an individual who is gluten-free with a child who has multiple food allergies, I am forever grateful to Enjoy Life foods for creating so many delicious products that my son and I can safely share together and that are free of the top 8 allergens.  Many of their products are also highly portable which makes them a Godsend during trips and vacations.  (To read my uncompensated reviews of their products type in Enjoy Life in the Search box to the right.)  Thank you, Enjoy Life Foods.

I’m blessed to have met both Joel Warady and Katie Brunk of Enjoy Life Foods in person, and am so impressed by their dedication and commitment to their company and products.  Personally, I think that with the increased cash flow and reach that Mondelez provides, Enjoy Life will be able to both expand their existing product line and make it more accessible to the public.  In fact, just this weekend Enjoy Life tweeted they will be releasing a new baked goods line in the coming months.  I have no reason to believe the company’s commitment has changed.  And I know their heart for the food allergy community hasn’t.

You know that line in the sand I mentioned in the beginning of my post?  I just crossed it.  Well, let’s be honest…I backflipped over it.

Am I telling you to support P.F. Chang’s?  No.  But, yes, it is definitely my personal choice to do so.

Am I going to tell you that you have to support Enjoy Life Foods?  No.  It is absolutely my personal choice to support this company with my business, but it doesn’t have to be your’s.

The food allergy community is blessed to have access to a wide variety of allergy-friendly products online and in supermarkets near and far.  We are so blessed that we have individuals who work tirelessly day after day to give their best in medical research and product innovations that serve the food allergy community.

What I will tell you is that if we demand perfection (of which there is no such thing) from someone and they know they can’t provide it…they won’t even try.  This concept applies to medical research, dining establishments, and even allergy friendly products.  Imagine how differently our world would look if no one tried.

So to all the naysayers, I don’t want to be the reason people and companies quit trying to help us, the gluten-free and food allergy community.  Do you?

Nine New Friends You Just HAVE To Meet

Despite the icy roads and crazy cold Texas weather, I had an amazing time at Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin today!

GFFAF Austin

These were the lovely ladies I shared my blogging booth with!

The Food Allergy Mom and Erin SmithThis is me with Erin Smith.  If you are wondering about traveling gluten-free, THIS is your gal.  Follow her at Gluten-Free Globetrotter and Gluten-Free Fun!  She is a wonderfully kind and amazing lady!

The Food Allergy Mom and Lauren PechacekThis lovely lady is Lauren Pechacek, an AllerCoach.  Had such a great time visiting with this sweet lady who is passionate about helping those with food allergies!

I also had the pleasure of meeting a few wonderful ladies, I would love to introduce you to.

The Food Allergy Mom and Debbie AdlerLove, love, love this lady, THE Debbie Adler of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes and author of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats:  Allergy-free and Vegan Recipes.

The Food Allergy Mom and Gina MeagherThis is my new friend, Gina Meagher, the author of There is Something About Gina.  She was kind enough to autograph a copy of her book for me today and I’m looking forward to reading it.

There were booths and booths and booths of fabulous gluten-free vendors.

Here are some new friends I made today.  I’ll be blogging about their products in the coming months.

IMG_4868

The Food Allergy Mom and Bona Dea

The Food Allergy Mom and GF Jules (1)

There were also a few old friends I really enjoyed visiting.

King Arthur Food Truck

The Food Allergy Mom and Enjoy Life's Katie Brunk

SUCH a wonderful time today and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.  So blessed to be a part of this event!

Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest Austin – Happening Right Now!

I’m here at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest Austin.  Where are you?

GFFAF Austin

Come out and see all the fantastic companies and resources that are here to help you!

Pillsbury Funfetti Gluten-Free Cookie Mix: A Product Review

It was Friday morning when I strolled down the aisles of my local H-E-B looking for a sweet treat to serve at my daughter’s play date.  Usually I try to make homemade goodies, but when I spotted a new product on the shelf, Pillsbury’s Funfetti Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Mix, I thought it would be the perfect snack.  That AND it would be perfect opportunity to taste test and share the results with you!

This is what the box looks like.  Although I can’t remember the exact price, it was under $5 and quite a bit less than the competition.

IMG_1118

Making the cookies was a snap.  I only had to mix in butter and one egg with the prepared mix.  Then you drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper on my cookie sheet).   *It is important to round the cookie dough as you put it on the cookie sheet, unless you don’t mind wonky looking cookies.

Below is what they look like fresh out of the oven.

The cookies don’t change much in appearance other than flattening out a bit.  The box advises to bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes but I baked mine for closer to 11 minutes (it can be a little tricky to tell when they are done since they don’t brown on the edges).  The box also advises for you to let the cookies cool for two minutes after coming out of the oven before removing them from the cookie sheet.  They aren’t kidding…wait at least two minutes or the cookies will fall apart.

The cookies taste sinfully buttery and sugary.  The funfetti didn’t add any real texture or flavor in my opinion…it’s more of an aesthetic than anything.  I loved that the mix was so easy to assemble and could be whipped up in around 30 minutes or less, but I wasn’t wowed by the taste.  The first cookie was good, but by the second cookie it was overwhelmingly sweet and left a strange after-taste in my mouth.

Although all the kids ate a cookie yesterday, when I asked if any one wanted another today for a snack, everyone politely passed.

Bottom Line:  This is not a product I will be buying again.  I much prefer Pillsbury’s refrigerated gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough.  All the same, I do appreciate Pillsbury’s efforts to cater to the gluten-free market and will continue to give their other gluten-free products a try.

To read more about my reviews on other Pillsbury products, find the search box on the right side of the page and type in Pillsbury.

Ticket Giveaway: Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest Austin

**GIVEAWAY UPDATE:  Congratulations to the GFFAF Austin ticket winners, Grace Matlock and Charla Turnbow!**

 

Living Without’s Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest is coming to Austin on February 28th and March 1st of 2015.  I’m going to be there and would love to meet you!  Keep reading for more information on how two lucky individuals can receive weekend tickets to the Fest courtesy of the folks at Living Without’s Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest.

Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest Austin

  • Where:  Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX
  • When:  Saturday, February 28th and Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 10am – 4pm
  • What:  Great opportunity to mingle with others who have food restrictions, be inspired by compelling guest speakers, and sample delicious products provided by exhibitors
  • Who:  For a full lecture description of the below mentioned presenters, read about it here

Saturday Lectures:

Erin Smith – Gluten-Free Globetrotter: How to Plan Your Gluten-Free Vacation
Debbie Adler: Finding Abundance in a Food Restricted Life
Dr. Samantha Brody – Gluten-Free 101
Laura Bryne Russell – Identifying Gluten in Common Asian Ingredients
Brandy Wendler – Mental Health & Your Gut

Saturday Demonstrations:

Bona Dea Baking Co. – Easy AM Hot Breakfast Options
Kristine Kidd – Whole Grain and Naturally Gluten-Free Baking
Beth Hillson/Jules Shepard/Erica Dermer – Open Forum Discussion/Live Webinar
Udi’s/Glutino – Learn Some Creative Cooking and Baking Ideas Using Glutino’s Pretzels!
Jules Shepard – Homemade Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas
Karen Morgan – Debunking the Myth of All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

Sunday Lectures:

Erin Smith – Gluten-Free Globetrotter: How to Plan Your Gluten-Free Vacation
Debbie Adler – Finding Abundance in a Food Restricted Life
Dr. Samantha Brody – Gluten-Free 101
Brandy Wendler – Mental Health & Your Gut

Sunday Demonstrations:

Bona Dea Baking Co. – Easy AM Hot Breakfast Options
Kristine Kidd – Whole Grain and Naturally Gluten-Free Baking
Beth Hillson – Make Friends with Your Bread Machine
Udi’s/Glutino – Learn Some Creative Cooking and Baking Ideas Using Glutino’s Pretzels!
Jules Shepard – Homemade Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas
Karen Morgan – Debunking the Myth of All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?  I’m already a little star struck at all the amazing authors and bloggers that will be part of this event.  I’m particularly excited about meeting Debbie Adler of the gluten-free bakery, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes.  She is such a sweet and down-to-earth gal, not to mention a whiz at baking gluten-free.  I loved her cookbook, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes.  Check out my review of her cookbook here.

I’m so honored to be invited to take part in the blogger’s booth, mainly because it means I get to meet all of you!  Two lucky individuals could receive one weekend ticket to Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest Austin.  To be eligible, simply  comment on this post with the name of your favorite gluten-free and/or allergy-friendly treat.  The giveaway ends on Friday, February 15, 2015.  Two names will be chosen at random to receive one weekend ticket to the 2015 Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin.  Individuals whose names are picked will be notified on or by Monday, February 16, 2015 by email.

Good luck and hope to see you there!

Eat Your Way Through The Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is a mere few days away and people are getting down to business…planning the party menu.

The thing I love about the big game is that you don’t have to be a football fan to watch.  You can be there just for the commercials.  You can be there just for the half time performance.  You can be there just for the food.  It’s a win-win for everybody…except one of the contending football teams.

I’ll be honest.  I’m not a big fan of either team, but I am a fan of Russell Wilson and his outspoken faith, so I’m rooting for him to win.  Does that count?

Instead of a big party, it will be just the four of us on Sunday night carrying on the tradition of my husband’s family…finger foods galore for the duration of the game.

Here is what’s for dinner (and maybe dinner the next day or two after) at The Food Allergy Mom’s house:

Super Sunday Super Bowl Menu

  • Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris:  And without the alcohol, it’s really just frozen strawberries, water, and a non-alcoholic mixer thrown together in the blender.  It’s delicious and something the kiddies can enjoy too!
  • Grilled shrimp:  We buy them de-veined, peeled, and ready to go.  Before cooking we let them marinate in a concoction of cilantro, lime, lime juice, and oil for a couple of hours.
  • Wings:  You can find dozens of variations of crockpot recipes for wings and we have one all picked out!  All I can say is that we’re from the South so it will involve lots of BBQ sauce!
  • Chips and Guacamole:  One of my favorite brands of chips is On The Border tortilla chips and I pair it with homemade guacamole (mashed avocados, finely chopped tomato and onion, and salt and pepper to taste).
  • Veggie tray with cheese cubes:  Whether you buy the pre-made version or assemble your own veggie tray, it is the perfect healthy addition for your table.  If we do buy the pre-made version, I choose to make my own dips (my kids love it when I mix sour cream with salsa for a tangy dip).
  • Tortilla wraps:  We’ve made these in the past with everything from bologna and cream cheese to rotel and cream cheese.  To make them gluten-free friendly, I use gluten-free corn tortillas.
  • Chocolate-covered strawberries:  There are all kinds of ways to make these, but if you’re starting your menu planning today for Sunday and need chocolate fast, I simply melt my favorite brand of chocolate chips and dip the strawberries.  Works like a charm!
  • Cake balls:  This is a new one for us.  My daughter received a cookbook for Christmas and we are making these for the first time.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

In order to effectively work off all that food, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to run triple the yards they run in the actual game.

How about you?  What are you cooking up at your house for Super Sunday?