Thursday, October 29, 2009


I bought a case of soymilk at Aldi today, as I often do. Ounce for ounce, Aldi soymilk is almost exactly half the price of Silk soymilk where I live. As I was leaving, an older gentleman stopped me to ask question after question after question about my case of soymilk. "What does it taste like? Why do you buy it? Is it good for you? I bet it's low in cholesterol and fat, right? You know, I had a neighbor in Texas who drank soymilk...." This exact same scenario happened the last time I bought a case of soymilk. Today I had an impatient toddler with me and was late for preschool pick up. And yet I COULD NOT not answer him, or just say, "Dude, it's wicked cheap. Go buy a quart and try it for yourself."

I had the same problem at second-grade orientation. I simultaneously resented being introduced as The Allergy Mom (my college friend D. suggests "Allergy B*tch on Wheels" as a more appropriate title) and being asked questions about ALL food allergies ("Are the pretzels I have at home processed in a plant with peanuts?") and yet could not SHUT MY TRAP when other parents were complaining about the new food allergy policies.

OBVIOUSLY, I don't mind talking about food allergy issues. I want our local stores to keep carrying dairy-free items, so the more people who buy them the better the chances of that happening. I want other parents to understand my daughter's situation. But I'd also like to go pick up a carton of soy yogurt and not have the lady in line behind me and the teenage checkout person play Twenty Questions with me about it.

I don't even know what my point is. Do you feel like the spokesperson for an issue? How do you handle it? Maybe I should start wearing a lapel pin:

I drink soymilk and you should, too! If you want! Or don't! Whatev! I gotta go.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do you watch the Today Early Show?

I don't, and my neighbor told me that there was a dairy-free cooking segment on either yesterday morning or Monday morning. Did anyone see it? She couldn't remember the chef's name. I've been searching on NBC's site for about 10 minutes and have given up. That site is not organized at all, and if I have to sit through one more cooking segment clip with Kathy Lee Gifford bellowing things like: "VINO!", I'm going to be reaching for the vino.


EDIT: Marianne found it! On The EARLY Show! Thank you, Marianne! Oh, how I wish you were still blogging.... The recipes are for the lactose intolerant, but they all appear to be completely dairy free.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Odds and Ends

Christina has a birthday giveaway going on through Friday, October 30th. You could win two great cookbooks! (I own both these books and highly recommend them.) I won her last giveaway and am currently enjoying this cookbook and looking forward to this one arriving today! Thank you, Christina!

A friend of Alisa's designed this cool, circular, year-round poster calendar. Someone needs to get this for me my children for Christmas.

image courtesy of Earth Cycle Calendars

Scottish Twins and Marie each gave me a blog award. Thank you both!

Imagine my surprise when I found a Swistle gift package waiting on my porch the other day! Imagine my surprise when I found that my camera batteries were dead and I couldn't photograph it! But I'm sure you can imagine the richness: Shirts for Helen! Dishtowels! A Mother-in-Law Mug! Measuring spoons! Measuring cups! Lots and lots of paper goodies! A book! A pencil! Thank you, Swistle!
Edit: Swistle has a giveaway going on at her review blog right now.

Food Allergy Assistant found a recipe for homemade candy corn that she made dairy free.

And if you want some creepy Halloween reads, Beck is (fictionally) killing off beloved children's characters on her blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Corn Chowder

Katherine would take chicken noodle soup in her lunch every day if it were up to her. Here is our neighbor's attempt to add some variety. The notes are hers. I can't wait to try it.

Corn Chowder

4 cups water
2 packages of dry, dairy-free chicken noodle soup mix
1/2 C - quick cook rice (if you use regular rice, you have to cook it a lot longer)
1 Tbs - dried minced onion
4 cups of soymilk (you can use powdered soymilk)
1 can creamed corn
2 cups cut up, cooked chicken

Bring water to a boil. Add soup mix, rice & onion. Cook til noodles & rice are tender, about 20 min. Add milk, corn and chicken. Heat through stirring frequently but do not boil. This freezes well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Who receives a copy of Vegan Lunch Box Around the Worldto review and makes Beet Salad as her first recipe from the cookbook? That would be me. Because people want to know about the beet recipes! Or because you all have taught me to love beets, and this is the best pickled beet recipe I've tried. (The secret? Ground caraway seeds.)

Since then, I've used several of Jennifer McCann's fabulous international lunch ideas and have fallen utterly in love with her Boston Brown Bread Muffins. I am always especially interested in vegan baked goods, as adding meat to main dishes isn't an issue for us, but baking with dairy sure is. As Beck said when asked about lunch ideas, "...I generally just look at old Vegan Lunch Box posts for ideas, substituting 'pot roast' for 'tofu,' of course." Exactly.

My only complaint about Vegan Lunch Box Around the Worldis passages like this, "One of the biggest shocks I had when I first turned vegetarian was discovering where gelatin came from: the boiled bones, skins, and tendons of animals. Yuck!"

Yes, it's gross. Yes, authors are entitled to their own food choices and being able to write their books the way they want. But I think there are ways to put forth one's ideals without making some non-vegans *cough*my husband*cough* feel defensive and turning them off of a great book of recipes.

I've been a fan of Jennifer's blog for years. She inspired us to buy the Laptop Lunch system. Once I experienced her second cookbook in person, I used a little birthday cash to buy myself the first Vegan Lunch Box, too.

This review was written for Go Dairy Free.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wicked Treats

Just in time for Halloween, the lovely Alisa sent me a copy of Hannah Kaminsky's newest e-cookbook, Wicked Treats. That young woman is a recipe-writing MACHINE, I tell ya. In it are recipes for:

Ghostly Vanilla Fudge
Jelly Bites
Peanut Butter Fingers
Rice Crackle Bars
Tootsie Chews

All of the recipes are vegan, and therefore dairy free. They are also gluten free, and Hannah includes directions to make them soy free.

I cannot wait to make homemade Tootsie Rolls Chews for a child who has never had one!

The e-book is available to download here for $3.

Edit: Peanut butter is in just one of the recipes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fat Talk Free Week

It's Tri Delta's Fat Talk Free Week again. Here's their video for this year. My post about last year's video can be found here.

I find this program to be so inspiring, both as an individual and a mother of girls.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Surf Sweets Gummy Treats

Fruit snacks have been my go-to food allergy emergency snack/dessert item for YEARS.

Gummy treats:
  • look like candy
  • come in cute, portable packages
  • have expiration dates that are months away
  • can ride around in the bottom of your purse or diaper bag for months and never become: stale, crumbled, squished
  • are dairy free
  • are recognized and accepted by your child's peers
  • do not carry the disappointment/stigma of Mom's Purse-Smashed Carob Flax Seed Bars
I know what you're going to say. "But, Blah blah blah cavities blah blah blah corn syrup blah blah blah fruits of the devil blah!"

Now we don't have to fight anymore because Surf Sweets just released a line of naturally sweetened, corn-syrup free gummy treats. And! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly treats produced in a dedicated nut-free facility. I first heard of them from Kelsey, and when Alisa offered a chance to review them for Go Dairy Free, I shoved the other reviewers out of my way. Virtually speaking.

2.75 oz. package

We sampled:
Gummy Bears
Sour Berry Bears
Sour Worms
Jelly Beans

The Gummy Bears taste just like, well, gummy bears. The Sour Berry Bears and Sour Worms are not quite as sour as the usual Sour Patch Kid-type treat. Two of my children don't like sour candies and they liked these. The third child wished they were a bit more sour. Also, the sour candies have a firmer consistency, like those candy citrus slices your great-aunt always gave you when you visited her. The jelly beans are the consistency of regular jelly beans, with really fresh fruit flavors. They have several other new candies available, too. They are all vegetarian and some are vegan.

.9 oz. package

Gummy Bears: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Gelatin, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate,Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Colors Added (including Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Annatto),Natural Flavors, Organic Sunflower Oil, Carnauba Wax

Sour Berry Bears: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Asorbic Acid, Colors Added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate), Natural Flavors.

Sour Worms: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Citric Acid, Pectin, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Colors Added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors.

Jelly Beans: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Colors Added (including Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors, Confectioner’s Glaze, Carnauba Wax, Organic Sunflower Oil.

The candies are all available in 2.75 oz. packages. Suggested retail is $1.99.
The Gummy and Sour Berry Bears are also available in .9 oz packages. Suggested retail is $.79.
Amazon has some good bulk deals here.

This review was written for Go Dairy Free. Images courtesy of Surf Sweets.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coffee Mug Cakies

Image courtesy of Gluten-Free Essentials

I am a sucker for gift baskets and gift sets, especially ones people put together themselves. This is one of the reasons I was happy to receive samples of Gluten-Free Essentials' Hug in a Mug cakes. Wee little gluten-free and dairy-free mug cakies!

The cakes come in two chocolate varieties and two spice cake varieties. Chocolate Craving and Spice of Life are sweetened with sugar, and Chocolate De Lite and Spice De Lite are sweetened with Fructevia. You add one egg and 2 T applesauce to the cake mix, mix well, and microwave it in the mug.

Our family preferred the sugar-sweetened varieties to the Fructevia ones, and Chocolate Craving was our favorite flavor. One cake is big enough for two to three people to share. The texture of the cakes is the texture of a low-fat cake. DO NOT think that you can fix this by replacing the applesauce with oil. Ahem.

I think these are cute for gift baskets, Halloween treats, stocking stuffers, or to mail to a GF/DF college student. They would also be handy to take to a family function if you're not sure what the desserts will be. "Aunt Carol, may I please borrow an egg and some applesauce?" But, they are $3.99 a piece! If I wanted to make a dairy-free mug cake at home, I would alter a recipe like this one, and if I wanted to make a gluten-free mug cake at home, I would try this recipe.

Chocolate Craving: Sorghum flour, rice flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, guar gum, corn starch, baking powder, salt.

Spice of Life: Sorghum flour, rice flour, sugar, baking soda, guar gum, corn starch, baking powder, salt, spices.

Chocolate De Lite: Sorghum flour, rice flour, Fructevia, cocoa, baking soda, guar gum, corn starch, baking powder, salt.

Spice De Lite: Sorghum flour, rice flour, Fructevia, baking soda, guar gum, corn starch, baking powder, salt, spices.

This review was written for Go Dairy Free.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day

It's Columbus Day! I forgot about having all of the children home today! We're going to celebrate Katherine's day off by making Banana Brownies from her Nintendo DS cooking game. I am also going to make a half batch of Relish, Sauce, and Chutney--All in One Day from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. We used those sauces so much last winter.

Two of my oats-based recipes were featured in Go Dairy Free's Sweet Sundays column yesterday.

One Frugal Foodie is hosting a huge Dairy Free Market gift basket giveaway!

I received an email from Oliver's Labels concerning my review and your comments about their allergy labels. Debbie writes, "We read all the valuable feedback and comments and it prompted us to launch our newest design - a bright red 'food allergies' icon. It's perfect for kids with multiple allergies and it's an attention-grabbing stop sign shape.
As always, feel free to use the 10% off coupon when shopping on!" [SAFETYFIRST]

I am very glad that Oliver's Labels listened to the concerns of food allergy parents. However. I think that having the icon say "food allergies" and not list specific allergies is too general. And, I still think it's not as noticeable as an entirely red label. What do you think?

Just added: GardenMama has a giveaway going on right now, too!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


  • My college roommate had her first baby yesterday! She and her husband named their daughter Cecelia, which I LOVE. Everyone is fine.
  • Helen is sick and just licked my face, so you can see where that's going to go.
  • Scott and I played matchmaker for two of our friends last night and are now, you know, wondering when we'll be invited to the wedding and mentioned in the toast.
  • Courtney Cox-Arquette is now on my poo list. Life is so hard for celebrities. (Thanks to Janeen for the link.)
  • It's time to dig out the winter gear and figure out what fits which kid and what we need to buy. *sigh*
  • Have you signed your preschooler(s) up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library? I just did, and you should, too. FREE BOOKS for children through age 5! One free book a month! The program is available in the US, Canada, and the UK. [Edit: If it's not yet available in your area, suggest it to your local United Way or other organization.]

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Odds and Ends

Five more videos have been posted in the Children's Hospital series, "A Cure for Food Allergies?," including an interview with Ming Tsai. After Kelly Rudnicki posted this interview with Ming, I apologized on Facebook for saying I always thought he was a bit of a tool. Might as well do it in front of the whole world. Sorry, Ming. You're doing great work for food allergies.

Speaking of Kelly, her cookbook is out! I think she should let someone review it for Go Dairy Free, don't you? *cough*

I had a wonderful birthday, complete with a huge birthday cookie, sparkly earrings from the kids, and two new books! Perfect.

Oh! Also, I indexed all of my recipes. So you can, like, find them. See the sidebar.