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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Chocolate Milk Shakes {Dairy-Free}

Original Post January 2013

Do you ever find yourself in the mood for chocolate milk shakes even though your house has a milk allergy?

Because my husband is notorious for this craving. "Do we have ingredients to make milk shakes?". Happens about once a month. Is he not the only who does this?

But no worries, I'm an expert at dairy-free chocolate milk shakes now. And I'm not talking just any old chocolate milk shake. I'm talking the whipped cream & cherries on top kind of milk shakes. The full nine yards. 

What an incredible treat despite those pesky allergies. No wonder he craves it regularly.

To make these, I grab So Delicious Coco Whip (think Cool Whip gone dairy-free) at Hy-Vee and cherries at Aldi. Although, I would love to someday try the natural cherries from Natural Candy Store.  

For the ice cream, I use So Delicious Coconut Vanilla if I'm in a hurry. Or I make our own homemade dairy-free vanilla ice cream. It takes about 30 minutes in our gel ice cream maker.

If I make my own ice cream, I let it firm up a little longer in the freezer after it's done churning, usually about 15 minutes.

Next, the ice cream goes into the blender along with a splash of dairy-free milk and some Hershey syrup. I've been known to use our homemade chocolate syrup instead, if I have it on hand.  

Divvy out the milk shakes, giving yourself the largest portion because you worked hard for this, and top with the whip and cherries. Watch your family gawk over your amazing creation and enjoy the sound of slurping straws as they try to savor every last drop. And plan on making this again soon because they are going to ask.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with Go Veggie! Parmesan {Dairy-Free}

Original Post January 2015

Spaghetti with meat sauce is one of our go-to dinners. We have it at least twice a month as it's quick and easy for busy nights like ball practice or Bible study.  

We have used Target brand or Aldi Organic spaghetti sauces because they don't contain corn syrup. But now I'm dabbling in making our own in the crock pot with garden tomatoes or canned tomatoes. See recipe below.

The real star here, though, is our dairy-free GO Veggie! Parmesan. Our whole family likes it as Jeff and I think it's pretty darn close to the real thing taste-wise.

With almost every spaghetti dinner now, the boys remind us to get out the Parmesan, and it's almost like we aren't allergic to dairy on those nights!  ;)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Taco Lentil Soup {Dairy-Free}

The other night my dinner plan got tossed due to a busy day, and I had to come up with Plan B at 5 pm. Putting together a meat dish was out so I used some dried lentils and some fresh chicken broth made the night before to throw this soup together. It took about an hour total to make. But with only one pot and 6 simple ingredients, I felt like I had the night off.  

To say that this dish was a hit would be an understatement. We had no leftovers, much to my dismay. I love reheating soup for lunch! And this would reheat so well. Soup is always better the second day after the flavors meld overnight. What a pity that it was all gone.  

But what success that Miles and Jeff each wanted three bowls! And even our picky little Graham chowed down one full bowl.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party ~ Food Allergy Safe

Oftentimes people ask how to do allergy-safe birthday parties, and since I have a "few" under my belt...I thought I would share one of our favorites. The outdoor scavenger hunt.

For my son's fifth birthday a few years ago, we celebrated with about 8 families and over a dozen kids. And everything turned out safe and fun.

We simply served juice, water, and cupcakes and the children went home with treasures of trinkets and candy. The event was held at a quiet public park that we used for free so the whole thing only cost about $50. 

Quick Service at Disney World with Food Allergies

If you haven't heard the recent newsflash, our family went to Disney World for the first time. And ATE OUT! If you live with food allergies, you know what a big deal this is.

While we've already posted about our experiences at the reservation restaurants, I had to make a separate post about our one quick service experience. It was so wonderful, and really unbelievable. This deserves its own post.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cheddar & Garlic Biscuits {Dairy-Free}

Hey friends! If you caught one of my Facebook live videos this week, you may have heard some talk about dairy-free cheddar biscuits! Many were interested in how I was going to pull this off. And the bonus is that they are egg-free as well. SCORE!

I simply used dairy-free Daiya cheddar shreds with this recipe. Being a super simple gal, I was inclined to skip the butter, garlic, and parsley topping, but I didn't. I should have gone with my instincts, though, because my youngest thought these were too rich. Too rich? So if you like biscuits that are "too rich", this recipe is for you!  The rest of us thought they were mighty tasty. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Eating at Disney World Restaurants with Food Allergies!

Oh my goodness, you guys...I could not write this post about our recent trip to Disney World fast enough. But I also needed some time to first digest the wonderful time we experienced.

Seriously, I'm completely obsessed now. I never, ever thought that Disney would be that "magical" for my family. But it was, and mostly for the safe food and incredible food staff. We can't wait to go back now!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Allergic Asthma Article

As many of us realize, allergy and asthma can go hand-n-hand. We definitely deal with both in our house. Here is a simple and comprehensive infograph recently put out by Allergy & Asthma Network. And you can actually see it bigger and better on their site. Head on over to read about statistics, triggers, strategies, and more

Leave a comment and let us know your best strategies for allergic asthma.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Nice 'n CLEAN Hand Wipes ~ FARE Sponsor

The temps are cooling and the trees are changing here in the Midwest. That means it must be time for weenie roasts, pumpkin patches, and fall festivities galore! Boy, does my family love this time of the year.

The apples, pumpkins, and cool fresh air are beckoning us out for lots of fun. And with food allergies, we have to get ourselves packed and prepared for the expected AND the unexpected adventures that await. 

Included in my son's epi bag this fall are his epinephrine injectors, inhaler, safe snacks, glow sticks, tissue, and to-go wipes. 

Nice 'n CLEAN Wipes are conveniently packaged to fit in bags, purses, and pockets, and will help ward off cold and flu germs this season. In addition, they are proven to remove 99% of peanut proteins on hard surfaces!

In fact, Nice 'n CLEAN is the exclusive wet wipe sponsor and proud supporter of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). Together, Nice 'n CLEAN and FARE are working to raise awareness around ways families can help protect their loved ones from food allergens no matter where they are.

One percent of all purchases of Nice 'n CLEAN Antibacterial Hand Wipes are also donated to FARE to help advance their education and advocacy work in communities across the country.

You can purchase these wet wipes at CVS, HEB Supermarkets, Harmon, Family Dollar, and other major food, drug, and discount stores. To learn more about Nice 'n CLEAN's full range of high quality wet wipe products for your whole family, visit their website

And actually, you can enter to win 4 packs of compact Nice n' CLEAN Antibacterial Hand Wipes right now, as you are packing your own fall outing bags. 

This post is sponsored by Nice 'n CLEAN and the thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Hearty Buttermilk Oat Pancakes {Dairy-Free}

Original Post 12-14

These are Jeff's favorite pancakes, and he makes them for the boys every Saturday.  They contain oats, the batter is unusually thick, and these certainly fill up our growing boys.  We usually need to double this recipe for our family of four as it's a pancake throw-down every weekend at our house.

On Instagram I was asked what pan he uses because they truly do turn out this beautiful. It's a raw cast iron griddle that we got online for about $15. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Zucchini Cakes {Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, & Wheat Free}

Original Post Aug 1, 2011

Well, this is ONE way to eat your zucchini!  And it's a great way.  Hot, fried zucchini cakes right off the skillet.  You won't even realize you are eating a vegetable.  And hopefully your kids won't, either.  ;)  

I Googled some zucchini cake recipes and kept coming up with zucchini, egg, and flour concoctions. So I decided to invent my own easy wheat-free and egg-free version. The general taste was sort of like hash browns, and the whole family loved them.  

Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to let you know we also have recipes for Zucchini Bread, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, Zucchini Brownies, and Double Chocolate Zucchini Cookies.  Basically, let's have a zucchini fest.  

Now onto zucchini cakes!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {Dairy-Free & Egg-Free}

Original Post:  10-31-10

These are a wonderful allergy-friendly treat that everyone will enjoy and are a fall favorite around here.  I have tweaked the recipe a few times to get it a little healthier.  I hope you don't mind. These also won a Silk Fall Recipe Contest once.  :)

The last time I made these muffins I did a whole can of pumpkin instead of just one cup, ooooops! Remember, one can makes TWO batches.  

And even though muffin wrappers can be adorable, I have fallen in love with the ease of m new USA Muffin Pans recommended by Humorous Homemaking.  No liners, no sticking, easy clean, and safe for your family!  You may want to check those out, too!   

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chicken Soup {Dairy-Free}

Original Post:  12-16-10

Pssst, big secret here. The very best way to make a tasty chicken soup is to make your own broth, and it's really pretty simple to do. Not to mention, homemade broth is super nutritious. My husband always raves about my soups, but it's really the homemade broth he has to thank. I do very little work besides dumping ingredients into a pot. 

But if you want to use store-bought broth, see if Swanson's is still dairy-free. I haven't used it in ages so I can't confirm. Will someone leave a comment and let us know? Thanks!

Our chicken soup is often made from the leftovers of a roasted chicken.  

But this recipe is very versatile.You can use leftover turkey instead of chicken. 

You can also add cooked noodles or rice to make it more filling. I personally leave those out for myself because they make me sick, but Jeff adds them in for the boys and himself. Personalized bowls!

If you aren't making this soup from leftovers, simply throw chicken breasts into a crock pot along with veggies, spices, and broth and shred the chicken once it's cooked. Easy! 

I've tried some thick, hearty chicken noodle soups but my family seems to like this basic recipe best. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dairy-Free Caramel

Original Post 10-29-08

Let's talk dairy-free caramel. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? 

But it's not. We have used a dairy-free caramel recipe from Dog Hill Kitchen for years, and it's super versatile. The recipe can be used for syrup, dip, covered apples, and candy caramel, depending on the temperature you reach. 

Our favorite way to eat this caramel is probably as a dip because it's less messy and doesn't take as long to cook on the stove. 

I actually bought a candy thermometer just for this recipe years ago, and it was worth it. My family looks forward to homemade caramel every fall.  

Try this caramel in homemade lattes, too. Mmmmmm...

If you give this recipe a try, let us know how you like to use it! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Easy Caramel Popcorn Balls {Dairy-Free}

Original Post  10-30-13

For an allergy-safe Halloween one year, we decided to try progressive fire pits on our block. One house hosted hot dog roasting, one house had smores, and our house served up hot apple cider and popcorn.  

I just planned to make bags of our yummy coconut oil popcorn, but at the 24-hour mark before a holiday I tend to get crazy motivated in the kitchen. 

So instead of settling for plain popcorn, I started playing around with a caramel sauce to coat the popcorn in. Once I tossed the popcorn in the sauce, and after a few minutes of cooling, I realized the consistency was perfect for popcorn balls. 

What I appreciate about these is that there is no corn syrup. 

If you don't want to mess with making popcorn balls, you can just leave the popcorn loose and simply tossed in the caramel sauce.  

I love using our stove top popcorn recipe for this because if you do it correctly, most all of the kernels will pop.  And that's good when you are making popcorn balls...less chance of biting into an elusive kernel.

This recipe calls for no corn syrup AND no candy thermometer. Perfect.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Apple Cider Donuts {Dairy-Free & Egg-Free}

What an incredible treat I have for you today. Apple Cider Donuts made as simply as I could make them...while also being dairy-free and egg-free.

Here's the deal. I've been taking my kids to the pumpkin patch year after year and each year I have to tell my sons they can't have the apple cider donuts. I also tell them no to the apple cider slushies, but we solved that problem this year, too! Because of our food allergies, we have to pass on food and drink made by others. 

Finally, I decided it was time to treat my boys to this delectable seasonal treat. I buckled down and figured out how to make it at home. 

The real verdict was my husband giving them a taste test, and he was im-pressed. As good as the pumpkin patch, he said. I'll TAKE it!

Here's what's great about this recipe. One, it doesn't call for much apple cider, but still tastes incredibly apple-ish. Two, I used applesauce as egg instead of a easy. Three, the only spice you need is cinnamon. I saw so many recipes with nutmeg, cardamon, cloves, etc. Everyone at least has cinnamon, right? 

This batter can be baked in a variety of pans. Use a donut pan, a muffin tin, or a mini muffin tin for adorable "donut holes". As long as they get lathered in dairy-free butter, cinnamon, and sugar...nobody is going to care what shape they are. 

This recipe makes a dozen regular size donuts. 

Let's get to this recipe, friends. And trust me, you will want to make these asap.  

EASY Apple Cider Slushy {Dairy-Free}

Ok, you guys. Are you ready for this difficult recipe? Because let me tell you, it calls for one ingredient. 

I know, is it even legal to blog about a one ingredient recipe? I'm going to take my chances...because my kids thought I was awesome for making this two days in a row for them. 

Made popular by pumpkin patches all across the U.S. (maybe?), I bring to you the one-ingredient apple cider slushy. 

We are headed to a pumpkin patch tomorrow, and it always breaks my heart to tell the kids I'm not sure if the apple cider is safe. Dairy contamination? Who knows...we are very conservative about stuff like that.

So I decided to make some of our own slushies for the first time, before we head out to fall festivities tomorrow. And it worked, it totally worked. 

Seriously, just buy a gallon of safe apple cider. And pour a few glasses into plastic cups and freeze them for a few hours. Then dump the semi-frozen apple cider into your blender and blend it up into a slushy. If you let it freeze too long, it will need some liquid cider added to it. Even my Vitamix couldn't handle the cider 100% frozen without any liquid. You will get the feel for it, there are no measurements really. 

Just blend frozen apple cider, adding a little liquid apple cider as needed, until it starts churning like a real-life slushy machine. 

I didn't add water or ice-cubes as I figured who wanted a watered down slushy???

And there you have it. The one ingredient slushy perfect for this time of year. I know, it's revolutionary, really.

Leave a comment and let us know if there are other kinds of slushies we can make in our blender!  

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Pan Smores {Dairy-Free}

Original Post:  2/1/13

Move over rice crispy treats, there's a new cereal treat in town and we are in LOOOOVE! Enter...Golden Grahams Pan Smores.

I originally got this recipe off the box of Golden Grahams. We make these allergy-free by using dairy-free chocolate and butter, but friends and family never know.  

Every time I make these pan smores for a get-together the entire pan gets eaten, and people often ask if they are truly dairy-free. And for the recipe, peeps definitely want the recipe. They taste that darn good. And "normal". 

You will want to whip up some pan smores asap, trust me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Easy Apple Cider Using Cinnamon Syrup

Original Post: 10/27/11

Are you hosting a large Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas gathering and want to serve hot apple cider on the cheap? After all, one gallon of apple cider can run about $5 and the spices are another $5 per gallon.

Or you can go a less expensive route by making your own apple cider using apple juice and cinnamon syrup. 

I discovered this trick when researching a Starbucks caramel apple cider recipe so if it's good enough for Starbucks, it's good enough for me.  :)

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water
Stir together the white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir in vanilla extract and water. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Continue to boil and stir until mixture thickens to syrup consistency. Remove from heat. Use about 1/4 cup of cinnamon syrup to 64 ounces of apple juice to get the best apple cider flavor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting {Dairy-Free & Egg-Free}

Original Post:  11/4/09

When I made our first dairy-free pumpkin bars back in 2009, we used Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting from a tub, and I was thrilled with the results. But now that so many more dairy-free products are on the market, it was time to try my hand at homemade cream cheese frosting...using dairy-free cream cheese!

I had GO Veggie cream cheese in the refrigerator, and it worked beautifully. I couldn't stop eating the icing, actually, and I don't even like dairy-free cream cheese normally. So yeah, you may just want to give this a try soon. Dairy peeps may not even notice it's milk-free. 

Halloween with Food Allergies {Dairy-Free}

Original Post 10-14

Are you curious how to safely do Halloween with food allergies? I was sure stumped in our early years. 

But after 10 years of Halloweens with food allergies, I now have a few tricks up my sleeve. And we always have a safe and fun day. Maybe you will find these ideas helpful, as well.

Open House
Typically, we stay close to home and have a crock pot soup and light dinner set for the night. Grandparents and neighbors stop in with safe treats. Neighbor kids come hang out. We trick-or-treat for maybe an hour, but the rest of the night is just hanging out with friends at the house. The kids love the chance to run around outside in the dark yard with glow sticks, and we have a fire pit going for neighbors and guests to enjoy. In general, a safe laid back night with family and friends is our aim.

After we go through all the trick-or-treat candy, the kids trade milk-free snacks to Miles. And then we offer the kids money or a new toy for the bulk of their candy. It's never really about the candy for us.

Here are some other suggestions for a safe Halloween.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies {Dairy-Free & Egg-Free}

Original Post:  3-12-11

Who doesn't love homemade chocolate chip cookies? And there's no reason why food allergies should keep you from indulging in this classic treat. We've been making them allergy-safe for years. 

And hey, this egg-free cookie dough can be consumed raw! Say what?!  

Replace the called-for egg with flax eggs and you add some healthy omegas. Bonus!

The cookies in the photo were actually made by my son when he was just nine. Not too shabby, eh? He followed the recipe below and chose to use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks instead of chips. To which I say, you can never have enough chocolate! 

Enjoy with a glass of your favorite dairy-free milk, of course!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Allergic Living Magazine and Newsletter

How would you like a magazine dedicated to all things allergy? Well then, you should check out Allergic Living. They send out free email newsletters that I find very helpful and you can subscribe to receive four or eight actual magazines in your mailbox each year.

Leave a comment and let us know if you subscribe to Allergic Living and what you find most helpful.

Photo Credit: Allergic Living