Monday, March 31, 2008


Hey! Where have I been? I've been here, with my lists of seven. (I'm altering the rules, Ria.)

Seven aliments of the House of Hatfield:
1. stomach flu
2. ear infections
3. sinus infection
4. thrush
5. common cold
6. diaper rash
7. RSV scare (not RSV, another virus)

Seven dairy-free recipes we've enjoyed recently*:
1. Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs (renamed "Celebration Rolls" for Easter breakfast because the marshmallow "disappears" and they're empty when you cut them open. You know, like the tomb.) Also, if you're looking for more Easter/Springtime brunch ideas, check out Alisa's recipes.

2. Fruit Pizza (made with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese instead of dairy cream cheese for Eli's birthday)
3. Country Fried Steak and Gravy
4. Bubba's Beer Biscuits (I'm sorry, all of you Paula haters--We like her recipes.)
5.Back to School Sloppy Joes
6. Split Pea Soup (made with leftover Easter ham)
7. Lady Brownies
*Replace all butter with dairy-free margarine, of course.

Lady Brownies by Paula Deen
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I do 1/2 applesauce, 1/2 oil)
4 eggs
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
11/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend together the sugar, oil, (applesauce,) eggs, cocoa, and vanilla. Add flour; mix. Add nuts; spread into greased 13x9-inch pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Seven books I'm reading a page of whenever I have a second:
1. The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook (Um, obviously.)
2. Birth
3. The Baby Book
4. The Soul's Code (An unlabeled gift I received in the mail. From my brother-in-law, maybe? )
5. A nonfiction political book. I'm trying to stretch, here.
6. Eat, Pray, Love
7. Felicity's Cooking Studio (This is Katherine's, but I'm really enjoying it.)

Off to do dishes and laundry before our next pediatrician appointment....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We Heart Eat n' Park

Here's my eleventh-hour entry for the awesome Food Allergy Blog Carnival that Rational Jenn keeps up and running. I am happy to be included as a whenever I remember to send in a link.

This week's theme is "Restaurants." I'd like to take this opportunity to recognize Eat n' Park, a Pittsburgh-based chain that is very allergy-aware. I thought I'd written about them somewhere before, but I can't find a link at the moment. Maybe it was on someone else's blog. Anyway. Focus, Nowheymama!

Eat n' Park is just excellent. They have had Silk soy milk on their menu for at least two years, and the staff is very knowledgeable about what ingredients the menu items contain. We usually order the salad or breakfast bar for Katherine because she can eat many of the items on either one. If we worry about cross-contamination, the server will bring a serving of a bar item straight from the kitchen to Katherine. Also, if a usual bar item is missing (like apple butter, for instance) they will bring her a serving of it at no extra charge.

I wrote to them awhile ago to ask about which of their menu items would be safe, and they sent me an email saying that they didn't want to publish any information on their website until they were absolutely sure it was correct, but they told me the items that they were certain were dairy free. I noticed that their website now has a gluten-free menu listing.

My only complaint is that the Smiley cookies (that they give to every child 10 and under) are neither dairy nor wheat free, and they don't have an alternative treat.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Anyone Else?

Centerpiece by Katherine and Gramma

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We celebrated on Saturday with boiled dinner and green cookies. Mmmm....

I answered some questions that were asked during my maternity leave in the last post, and I didn't mean to leave anyone out. So, any questions you'd like me to answer? Fire away.

I'll get you started with a fun fact. The number one search for this blog is "Star Wars birthday party." True story.

Pistachio Pudding Cookies*

1 cup Bisquick baking mix
1 small package instant pistachio pudding
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until the dough forms a ball. Shape dough into one-inch balls. Place about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a fork, as you would with peanut butter cookies. Bake until the edges are light brown, about eight minutes. Makes about two dozen cookies.

*Most pudding mixes are dairy free, and so is Bisquick. This recipe is from my junior high home ec. class, although I'm sure you could find a million variations of it online.

[Edited to add: Do NOT use sugar-free pudding mix. Just ask Swistle.]

Thursday, March 13, 2008


1. How are the preparations for the Pillsbury event going? --MyBuddyMimi

Very well, thank you! (And there is still time to vote for Scott's recipe!) Scott's even been on local TV. We'll be going to Dallas in a month so he can compete and I can laze around the hotel with only a newborn to keep me company. Aaahhh.... [Edited to add: Yet another photographer came to take pictures last night. Good thing I cleaned the kitchen.]

2. Helen's birth story? --Mommy Daisy and Saly

My induction was scheduled for 7 am on January 25, so my mom and my sister arrived at our house at oh-god-thirty (as my grandmother would say). Mom stayed with the kids, and Scott and Emily and I headed to the hospital. Because I love my particular OB/GYN, we had to travel to a hospital about 30 minutes away from our house, yet a different thirty-minute-away hospital from the one where Eli was born. So, three deliveries, three different hospitals. Anyway, we arrived and a very nice woman checked me in, saying, "In just a few hours, they'll be calling me with the registration information for your baby." Yeah....
We went to the maternity ward and after answering a billion questions, my lovely nurse, who looks like my college roommate, started the Pitocin. (Also, my doctor checked in before he went into surgery.) Aaannd, they upped the Pitocin and kept upping it all day long. By mid-afternoon, I was one or two clicks away from the highest level, and... nothing. My doctor stopped back in and prepared me for the possibility of stopping the Pitocin, letting me rest overnight, and starting again in the morning. Because of my earlier experience, this did not thrill me. The nurses and dr. kept asking if I wanted an epidural, but what little contractions I was having were not painful at all, and if I had to stay overnight, I didn't want to be coming off an epidural. So, we waited. (Emily and Scott are old pros at waiting around the hospital, so they came armed with books, movies on the laptop, and money for the cafeteria.)
Around 5:30-6 pm, my doctor came back in and checked me, and I'd made it all the way to three centimeters. He said we could wait overnight, or he could break my water. "Break it!" The contractions immediately became stronger, and yes, I wanted an epidural. The anesthesiologist was on his way in to the hospital to give an epidural to another woman; he'd see me after her. Did I want other pain meds? I decided I didn't at the last second. They tend to make me really loopy, and I didn't want to be out of it. Instead, I got to have lots of undulled Pitocin contractions. The anesthesiologist came to see me around 8ish. The night-shift nurse (who was awesome) checked me before he began, and I was at 4 cm. By the time he was done setting up the epidural, it was 8:45 pm. The nurse checked me again and said, "You're at 10 cm!" Me: "????" They hurriedly called the dr. and started bringing in all kinds of equipment and supplies. At a little after 9 I was told that the dr. was in the building and that I could go ahead and push. I pushed 2-3 times, and Helen was born at 9:17 pm.

3. Enough of this baby stuff. How about some new recipes and dairy-free content, Girlie? --Various

Dairy-Free Meat Pie (from my neighbor, Tracy, who is a saint)

1 lb+ ground beef
2/3 lb pork sausage (Tracy recommends Jimmy Dean.)
Brown meat and add a sprinkle of minced, dried onion. Drain off fat, reserving about 1 tablespoon.
Mix together with:
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sage
black pepper
Set aside.
To the 1 tablespoon of reserved pan drippings, add:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
1/2 cup water
Boil down for a few minutes into a gravy. Add the gravy to the meat mixture. Put the filling in a double-crust pie (Pillsbury refrigerated crust is dairy free). Brush the top crust with egg white and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. (Optional, of course.) Bake at 425 for 40 minutes.

Tracy delivered it to us assembled but unbaked, so we could cook it when we wanted to. We served it with applesauce and green beans. It is sooo good. I can't wait to make it myself.

I've made some new dairy-free contacts over the past couple of months, or rather they've contacted me. Say hello to WEGO Health, Whey Out Chocolate, Boys Rule My Life, and The Boy Loves to Read, who reminded me that I need to order some Mabel's Labels for the fall.