Friday, March 30, 2007

Nut Butter Cookies

This is another one of those recipes of which there are several variations in my cookbooks, online, and elsewhere. I don't know who created the original recipe, but, thank you!

Nut Butter Cookies

1 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Optional: two cups dairy-free chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, or a combination
Note: Depending on what type of nut butter is used, 1/4-1/2 t. salt may be needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix nut butter, sugar, and eggs in a bowl with a wooden spoon until blended. Add salt if needed. Stir in optional ingredients, if desired. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookie bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Note From an Allergic Child

(Cheese, Cow Milk)

"Mama, give this list to whoever takes care of me. Then they'll know what I can't have."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jobby Job?

So, now that I've asked about your babysitting experiences, let's move on to other work-from-home scenarios. What works/worked? What didn't?

I'm not talking about being the next Mary Kay Ash, I'm just curious about doing something part-time from home again. Besides my lucrative blogging career, that is.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta

A recipe? On a food blog? How odd....

Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta

small onion, minced
one garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 package frozen artichoke hearts or one can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 pound shrimp, frozen, fresh, whatever

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes. Add all the other ingredients except the shrimp. Simmer, covered, for ten minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is thawed and/or cooked. Serve over pasta. I like Barilla Plus.

For a vegan, non-shellfish version, use vegetable broth, double the amount of artichokes, and omit the shrimp.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


(Pronounced: Ran-DOH-may) I'm stealing the name of my college friend Kenyon's specialty of the house for the title of this post.

Katherine does not have walking pneumonia. Yay!

I just noticed one last pile of snow on the devil's strip in front of our house, then I looked closely and realized it was TWO DIRTY DIAPERS that had been out there since our trash collection day (MONDAY). It's official: we're white trash.

Things I've done for free lately that I used to do for pay (Boy, does that sound wrong.):
Edited a speech
Proofread website content
Edited and critiqued a manuscript
Written content for a website
Written an article for a newsletter

Finally, Katherine and I invented a recipe yesterday.

Ladybugs on a Log

Celery sticks
Nut butter

Spread nut butter on celery sticks and top with Craisins.

Meme? Moi?

Theflyingmum has tagged me for my first meme: seven songs I'm listening to. She will drag me into the 21st century, slowly but surely. ;)

  1. At Christmastime, my Aunt Jenny sent us Mike and Peggy Seeger's American Folk Songs for Children, and we've been listening to it in the car ever since. Katherine likes "Bought Me a Cat," Eli bounces around to "Who Built the Ark: Noah, Noah," and I have "Who's That Tapping at the Window?" stuck in my head a lot. Like right now. I'd love to get the accompanying book to go with it.
  2. Jenny also sent us The Ultimate Lullaby Album, which is a beautiful collection of classical music. Maybe if I listen to "Summertime" enough times, Spring will arrive.
  3. I am never very far from my Judybats CDs, but it looks as if their reunion plans have crashed and burned. I'll link to former lead singer Jeff Heiskell's new release instead, which includes songs like "Gasoline."
  4. "Adrift" - Who else have I loved since college? Barenaked Ladies. Scott got me the deluxe addition of Barenaked Ladies are Me, which includes the Barenaked Ladies are Men disc.
  5. Shameless plug for Idiosympathy, my future brother-in-law Jarred's band! Here's a link to their song, "Run Me Over."
  6. I like all of The Be Good Tanyas music, but my all-time favorite song, especially in the Spring, is "The Littlest Birds."
  7. I'm going to leave number seven blank for now because Scott is making me a mix to listen to when I go walking. Wonder what's on it? "Whip it up, baby..."

Who would I tag? Hmm, maybe if I tag Mark, Kathryn, Jarred, and Emily, they'll all start blogs. What are the chances?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sick Cures for Sister Katherine

We have an ill little girl in our house today. Some of our favorite "sick foods" are:
  • Bananas
  • Whole wheat toast with soy margarine
  • Hot juice: one to two parts juice (usually apple) to two to three parts water, microwaved for 60 seconds
  • Apple cider, hot or cold, sometimes with cinnamon
  • Crackers (Or, as they're known in our house, "crackies.")
  • Popsicles
  • Applesauce, warm or cold
  • Pastina: star-shaped pasta cooked in chicken broth, drained, and seasoned with soy margarine and salt
What are the specialties of the house for the under-the-weather people in your home? Did anyone else have a grandmother who made Jello water (Jello dissolved in hot water, drunk before it jelled)?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Squash Cakes

A. A term of endearment
B. Something you'd read about here or here
C. A way to cook discounted, frozen, winter squash

Squash Cakes

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 twelve-ounce box of frozen winter squash, thawed
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line muffin tins. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Mix together the squash, oil, eggs, and spices. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chips, nuts, or raisins. Pour into the muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes. Frost with icing or glaze, if desired. Makes 18 cakes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Linky Loo

It is snowing here. SNOW-ING! Started out as rain, turned to ice, now snow. Sigh.
Eli decided to celebrate this change in the weather by biting his sister. Good times.

Luckily some nice people have cheered me up by linking to this site. Thanks to Go Dairy Free and Health Gazette!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Free Trees and Plants

It's nice to know that spring has sprung in other places, if not here.

(This was a couple of days ago. Now it's mostly mud with a little snow.)
Soon it will be our turn. Time for free trees and plants! And, if you're lucky like we were, a free swingset.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Potato Pudding

I really enjoy old cookbooks. They're fun to read, and I've had good luck finding recipes in them that can be easily adapted to dairy free. Maybe it's because they don't use many pre-packaged ingredients?

One of my current favorites is the Wisconsin Country Cookbook and Journal, by Edward Harris Heth. It used to belong to my mom, but she found it too frustrating. It does have vague instructions like "moderate oven," "seal in a casing of rye bread dough" (no rye bread dough recipe is included), and "serve with a rich cream sauce." But I like how it reads like a seasonal journal; I find it comforting. I'm trying to translate some of the recipes into more current terms. Here's his recipe for potato pudding, greatly adapted.

Potato Pudding

2 cups hash brown shreds, thawed
1 cup carrot shreds
1 cup onion, chopped or grated*
2 tablespoons soy milk
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons soy margarine

Mix the potatoes, carrots, and onion in a small, greased casserole dish. Toss with the soy milk and salt and pepper. Dot with the soy margarine. Bake, covered, at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.
(My kids like this with ketchup. )

*Chopped onions are more visible, but you can taste them less. Grated onions blend into the potato shreds, but you can taste them more. Pick whatever way your family likes their onions.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hot Chocolate

Looking for a way to get some enjoyment out of the latest, hopefully the last, snowfall? Need something to help you get over shopping for a bridesmaid's dress? ("Let me see if I can find this in your size. Barb, can you get me this dress off the mother of the bride rack?")

May I suggest hot chocolate?

Hot Chocolate, adapted from a Hershey's recipe (dairy free)

2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, depending on how chocolatey you would like it to be
dash salt
1 cup vanilla soy milk
marshmallows or marshmallow creme, optional*

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a large mug. Heat the soy milk in the microwave on high for 90 seconds or until hot. Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture in mug, stirring until well blended. Top with marshmallows or marshmallow creme, if desired. Makes one serving.

*I got the idea for using marshmallow creme from a Diane Mott Davidson novel. It's a nice whipped cream-type replacement for dairy-free cocoa.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Declarative Statements

I am happy to provide dairy-free snacks and meals for my daughter at school, playdates, parties, and any other social events for the rest of her life.

I do not expect You, Parent of Katherine's Classmate, to provide a dairy-free snack for your child's school birthday party. This is why we keep dairy-free cupcakes in the school freezer.

If You would like to provide a dairy-free snack, as the teacher has been encouraging people to do, I will be happy to give You a list of easy options with a small margin of error: Popsicles, Jello, fruit snacks, dairy-free cake mix You can find at the local grocery.

If You bring a snack and assure me You purchased all of the ingredients I recommended, and I let Katherine eat it, and she has a mild allergic reaction, this is MY FAULT. I should never cave under guilt or social pressure if my gut is telling me not to let Katherine eat something. I do not hold You responsible. However, if You are standing there watching her face break out in hives and her eyes swell shut while I panic, I would really appreciate an "I'm sorry." Not because it is your fault but because this is one of those niceties that greases the wheels of society. I know this might not make sense to You, but please try it. We are going to be seeing a lot of each other the next 13 years, and it would really help me out.

Just Added:
If You show up with cake baked from a mix I have never purchased, or a homemade something about which I cannot verify the ingredients, I will not let my daughter eat it. If You see this as rude, I'm sorry. (You see what I did there? Even though I'm really not sorry?)
I don't appreciate Your efforts.
I wanted You to go to a lot of trouble and expense for nothing.
I think it's funny to send people to the natural foods store.
I will let Katherine try it, just to see.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


It's snowing, again. I've been on the phone all morning about field trips, meals for a new mom, and quotes for a new roof ($6000?!?!?!). The rest of my mind is wrestling with an issue I don't know how to write about yet.

Instead, let's have a poll. All of these hypothetical events happen in a classroom where there are always allergen-free snacks available for the allergic classmate. You are providing a treat for the class in honor of your nonallergic child's birthday.

1.) If you made a treat for your child's class and went to the trouble of making it allergen free for a classmate of your child's, how would you feel if the allergic child didn't eat it?

2.) If you tried to make it allergen free but accidentally included a wrong ingredient, how would you feel if the child's parent or the teacher said the child can't eat it? Even though you went to the natural foods store and spent money on fancy ingredients?

3.) How would you feel if you successfully made an allergen-free snack but forgot to bring the list of ingredients for the teacher or parent to check, and they decided not to give it to the child?

4.) If the allergic child ate a snack that you honestly thought was allergen free and the teacher and or parent approved it, how would you react if it wasn't and the child had an allergic reaction?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


While it may seem to the casual observer that we eat mostly baked goods around here, (and we do eat our fair share), we also consume fruits and vegetables. It's true! I just don't do much to them. "Choose which piece of fruit you want with lunch." "Here's your salad with oil, vinegar, and almonds." And pretty much every cooked vegetable is either microwaved or sauteed in olive oil and served with salt and pepper. Not very exciting, recipe-wise.

But sometimes, say at Thanksgiving or Easter, I want to be fancy. For those occasions, I use Road's End Organics Shitake Mushroom Gravy mix as a cream of mushroom soup substitute. Because I am a recovering cream of mushroom soup addict. I know, it's not good for you. But it's so good. Especially in any church-supper type of casserole.

So now I have a creamy, mushroomy sauce to use as God intended: to hide vegetables. Two of my vegetable side dish recipes are on the Road's End Organics website. No, I'm not credited on the site, but they're mine, I tell ya, mine! Enjoy.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Milk Jugs, All Kinds

If your preschooler is going to be doing a craft at school involving a gallon milk jug and she gets hives if you so much as touch her skin with a dairy product, kindly provide her teachers with a water or cider jug for her to use instead.

If a person asks you, repeatedly, how much longer you are going to breastfeed, and you've tried all of the funny/cutesy "about 5 more minutes" answers as well as the informational/boring/preachy "I'm hoping this helps him avoid food allergies/I'm home all the time and am able to/it's still working for both of us" answers, punch her in the face.

No? Wrong answer?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

One Banana, Two Banana...

What's your favorite way to use up really, really ripe bananas? We like muffins, and also:

Banana Fritters
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
salt, optional

Mix ingredients together and drop by the spoonful into/onto a hot, greased skillet or griddle. Cook until browned on the first side, then flip and cook until browned. Make the fritters small, or they'll fall apart. Dust with cinnamon sugar or confectioner's sugar. Makes about 10 baby cakes.

Your turn. Keep in mind, I have seven bananas slowly rotting on my kitchen table.