Tag: Dessert

Egg-Not Nog!

egg not nog 2

With the holiday season in full swing and Christmas only 3 days away what is more appropriate than posting a review of one of my all-time favorite holiday cocktails?  Who doesn’t love egg nog?  Since our children are deathly allergic to eggs, and we have not kept them in the house for over 7 1/2 years we drink “Egg-Not Nog.”

I tried to make my own “Egg-Not Nog” several times last year during the holidays and failed miserably.  I could not re-create the consistency and texture of the egg nog I grew up drinking as a kid.  With all of the entertaining, baking, running around, etc. that we do during the holidays I decided to cut myself a break and buy store bought egg-not nog this year. 

My husband and I conducted a taste test last night of So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog and Silk Nog.  I poured 1 oz. of good quality spiced rum into each cocktail glass filled with ice, then added 4 oz of nog to each glass, stirred and topped off with a pinch of ground nutmeg.  The rum could certainly be substituted for brandy or bourbon if you prefer a different flavor.

Egg not nog

If you are a nog lover I have to say that both the Coconut Nog and Silk Nog were delicious!  The coconut nog has a thick smooth consistency more similar to the egg nog made with real eggs.  It has a subtle hint of coconut that is not over powering and amazing nutmeg flavor which blended well with the rum.  The Silk Nog was a bit creamier in texture and flavor.  Although it lacked the nutmeg in the ingredients,  I just made sure to stir the pinch of nutmeg into the Silk cocktail completely.  Both products are great paired with liquor or by themselves.  My personal vote is for the So Delicious Limited Edition Coconut Milk Nog!  I think it’s a real winner and delicious stirred, shaken or alone (my son loves it!)

Enjoy your Egg-Not Nog and holiday cheers to you!

 

Small Town Allergy Mom is Interviewed During “Live Podcast”

Just prior to Halloween on October 24, 2015, I was interviewed by Sean Miller at the Petoskey News Review for the “Teal Pumpkin and Food Allergies” live Podcast.  Please click on the link below to listen to my live interview and learn more about food allergies in general.

Enjoy and thank you for your listening support!

http://www.petoskeynews.com/podcast/

 

 

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

I cannot imagine a Thanksgiving meal without pumpkin pie for dessert.  I have had several requests for my pumpkin pie recipe which I have borrowed.  My go-to for the last several years is from Kelly Rudnicki’s  The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book.  Her pie is easy to make and definitely a crowd pleaser!  I however, cut corners a bit and use the store bought Pillsbury pie crust or Spartan brand.  If you want to make everything from scratch I have also included her pie dough recipe below.

Oh and do not forget to top each individual sliced piece of pumpkin pie off with a dollop of So Delicious Coco Whip!  You can read my review of the product here:  http://smalltownallergymom.com/2015/06/18/vegan-whipped-cream-finally-a-1st-for-our-boys-boy-is-it-so-delicious/

Enjoy!

pumpkin pie

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

½ recipe Best Pie Dough for 9 inch pie

1 ½ c. silken tofu, whipped in blender until creamy

¾ c. packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. good quality vanilla extract

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)- I use organic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fit chilled pie dough into 9 inch pie plate and trim dough to form a rim. Crimp with fingertips. Line dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until crust is very light brown, about 15 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. In the large bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine ½ c. whipped tofu, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, spices and canned pumpkin  Add remaining 1 c. whipped tofu and beat well. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate and bake 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 50-60 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature on wire rack, then refrigerate.

BEST PIE DOUGH

¾ c. cold dairy free shortening (buy in stick form, and cut into small pieces)

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. all purpose flour

4-5 T. ice cold water

 Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Add chunks of shortening and pulse a few times until mixture is crumbly. Add water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until dough just comes together. Transfer mixture onto floured board, and divide into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour or frozen up until one month.

 

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Halloween Party Treats

pumpkins

Halloween is finally here and like every other year we are hosting our annual Halloween Open House.  Because we live north of the 35th parallel and right on Lake Michigan, the weather can be pretty cold for trick-or-treating.  Our friends usually stop by our house throughout the night to warm up, give their kids a break from trick-or-treating, and to enjoy the special Halloween treats and baked goods I prepare every year.

My boy’s favorite Halloween treats, in addition to my donuts, are my Chocolate Pretzel Rods with Sprinkles.  They look really cute and are always a huge hit!  Plus, they are dairy, egg, and nut free.

Ingredients:

Gordon Food Store Pretzel Rods

1 bag of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

A few containers of your favorite Halloween sprinkles.  Make sure they are free of allergens

pretzel 3

Preparation:

  1. Cover a few cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add about 1/3 of bag of chocolate chips to a glass bowl;
  3. Microwave chocolate chips for 60 seconds then stir constantly;
  4. Microwave again for about 40 seconds and then stir repeating this process until all of the chips are melted.
  5. Take a pretzel rod and use a spoon to add the chocolate to it, spooning off excess chocolate.
  6. Gently roll the rod into the sprinkles that you have poured onto a plate.
  7. Repeat until you make desired amount.
  8. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens, place rods in a festive glass or mug, serve and enjoy!

pretzel 1

pretzel 2

Marshmallow Olaf Party Snacks

IMG_2108

My boys and I recently visited my sister, brother-in-law and their two small daughters.  We celebrated my niece’s 2nd Birthday and of course the theme of her part was the movie “Frozen.”  I helped my sister make these adorable “Olaf” marshmallow snacks and they were so cute I have decided to share them with my viewers.  They are completely allergen friendly and I chose to use Glutino pretzels (GFree Pretzels fron Aldi’s also work) which are not only gluten-free, but dairy, nut and egg free too.  I have found over the years that many of the mainstream pretzel brands are manufactured on either “shared equipment” with peanuts and tree nuts or processed “in the same facility” as peanuts and tree nuts. Additionally, I used the Enjoy Life Chocolate chips as the eyes and buttons.  Kraft marshmallows and most generic brands are safe as well.

You could also modify these to look like ghosts for a Halloween party treat!

Ingredients:                                                                                                         Prep Time: 45 min

1 bag of Glutino Mini Pretzel Rods (or another allergy-friendly brand)

1 bag of marshmallows

Carrots cut into tiny wedges to be used as the “nose”

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Plastic sticks used to assemble the snowmen

I recommend adding each ingredient above to a separate bowl in order to make the assembly on the Olaf’s easier. 

  • The first step is to add the marshmallows to the plastic sticks;
  • Stick 2 pretzels into the middle marshmallow for arms;
  • Add the chocolate chips to the top marshmallow for eyes and then a few for buttons;
  • Finish off your Olaf by adding the carrot wedge for his nose.

Kids love this party snack and enjoy!

~Erika

FIELD TRIPS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES

skulbus

My boys have now been back in school this fall for about 4 weeks and today is their first field trip to the high school football field for a Homecoming Pep Rally.  Looking back a few years when my oldest son was in kindergarten, I remember feeling quite a bit of anxiety leading up to his school field trips.  Its silly to think about the stress these school functions caused me but I’m sure most parents of kids with food allergies can relate in one way or another to my elevated anxiety levels on the subject. Even though I chaperoned almost all of the field trips,  I think most of my stress came from thoughts about my son riding on the bus and the potential of food that had been left on the bus prior to him riding it, and/or allergen oils on the bus seats.  Additionally, the is an added element of stress knowing that your child may not be as close to he hospital in case there is an allergic reaction.

In preparing my children for today’s school outing I referenced a very helpful checklist provided by FARE at www.foodallergy.org.  I have included this helpful checklist in the “Food Allergy Folder” I prepare for each of my children’s teachers at the beginning of each school year.  It’s a wonderful reference guide and I hope you will find it helpful to ease your mind while your children are safe and enjoying their school field trips.  ~Erika

Field Trip Tips

For Parents

  • Keep yourself up-to-date on upcoming special events in your child’s school. The more time you have to plan ahead, the better.
  • Remember that you and your child’s teacher need to work together as a team to keep your child safe.
  • Role-play with your child and practice what your child should do if a reaction is occurring.
  • Often times children are reluctant to mention that they’re having symptoms of an allergic reaction for fear of creating a scene. Teach your child to be persistent. In the event of a reaction, rapid treatment is essential.
  • After the event, briefly call or meet with your child’s teacher to discuss what went well and what, if anything, should be changed in the future. Be sure to give praise for a job well done; a thank-you note reinforces the idea of teamwork and builds a positive atmosphere.

For Educators

  • Update the food-allergic student’s Food Allergy Action Plan. Ask the parents to review the plan you have on file and note any updated information. Also ask parents to check the expiration dates on any medications.
  • Review the Food Allergy Action Plan with regard to the upcoming event. Find out where the nearest hospital is and discuss how a student would be transported there in case of an emergency.
  • Brief the staff and chaperones that will be supervising students during the event or trip. Identify the food-allergic student, discuss what foods must be avoided, explain the symptoms of an allergic reaction, and review the Food Allergy Action Plan. Designate a staff member to check the safety of any food served to that student.
  • The day of the event or trip, carry the food-allergic student’s medications wherever the student goes. In the case of a severe allergic reaction, known as “anaphylaxis,” speedy access to medications can be the difference between life and death. Keep all staff and chaperones informed about who will be carrying the student’s medications.
  • Carry a cell phone to place emergency calls, if necessary. Make certain all staff and chaperones know where the phone will be kept.
  • Take all complaints seriously. If a food-allergic student notifies the staff that he or she is not feeling well, compare the symptoms with those listed on that student’s Food Allergy Action Plan. If the student is having an allergic reaction, activate emergency procedures immediately. Remember, if epinephrine is administered, but not needed, the student may experience increased heart rate and nervousness. If epinephrine is needed, but not administered, the student may experience a severe or fatal allergic reaction.

Vegan Whipped Cream Finally a 1st for our Boys & Boy is it So Delicious!

I was visiting Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday during a quick overnight trip downstate. One of my favorite things to do when in the “big city” (which thankfully I’m able to do about once a month) is to go shopping at Whole Foods.  I  love looking for for new allergen- friendly food products that may not be carried or yet introduced into our local organic co-op that I love and support.  I’ve been very skeptical of the Whipped toppings that are vegan and on the market due to lack of positive reviews, not to mention taste.

I purchased So Delicious’ Whipped Coco Topping yesterday and brought it home for a family taste test. Our boys dipped fresh strawberries into the whipped topping and it was oh SO DELICIOUS!

Mind you this was the first time EVER that my children have had anything even remotely close to Whipped Cream and it definitely fit the bill! They loved it and I completely endorse this product for fluffiness, flavor, just the right amount of added sweetness and it’s going to be a crowd pleaser in our dairy, nut and egg free home!

Thank you So Delicious Coco Whip for giving us yet another amazing allergen- friendly

 product that every kid should be able to dip freshly picked strawberries into during the summer months and so much more!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes by Popular Demand!

Chocolate Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes- By Popular Demand Here is my Recipe Finally!

I have literally made these at least 50 times & people cannot tell they are vegan because they are so moist! Taylor’s classmates rave over these cupcakes and beg me to make them for his classroom!  These are a crowd pleaser for sure!

I like to use organic ingredients other than the confectioner’s powder. The organic confectioner’s powder takes about 20 minutes to beat using a Kitchen Aid Electric Stand-Up Mixer and even then, I couldn’t get all of the lumps out! Use Domino or another brand— you will get a fluffier and lighter result without all of the lumps! I’m a bit of a perfectionist in the baking department…lots of trial and error with vegan baking!

Enjoy & Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup soy milk (or any other dairy free milk, if not nut free you could use Cashew or Almond Milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or white distilled vinegar if you have on hand)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (vegetable oil works just fine as well)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular (Hersey’s is not contaminated w/nuts)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
    2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.  Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain.
    3. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
    4. Frost and enjoy!

CREAMY VEGAN BUTTERCREAM VANILLA FROSTING

  1. 1 Cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread Vegan Margarine – both soy and soy free work the same
  2. 2 T. Soy Milk
  3. 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 1/8 tsp. salt
  5. 2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  6. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the margarine, soy milk, vanilla and salt until incorporated. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for 4-6 minutes until light and fluffy. Feel free to add more sugar to taste as some recipes call for up to 4 cups of sugar. I think 2 cups are sufficient and taste delicious!