Friday, June 13, 2014

Egg & Nut Free Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake

I'm going to be taking a break from my blog for a little as I am days away from having my baby!  I know I will be busy taking care of baby girl and spending time with my family.

I thought I'd leave you with this yummy and classic chocolate sheet cake recipe before I head out. It's the perfect dessert for your summer parties, potlucks and BBQs.  No one will even guess it is egg free!

I'll be back soon!  Enjoy!

Egg & Nut Free Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake
From Egg Free Bakery

½ cup butter   
½ cup shortening 
4 tbsp cocoa 
1 cup water 
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a saucepan mix together butter, shortening, cocoa, and water over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring til smooth. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and sugar.  After butter mixture has come to a bowl, remove from heat and pour mixture over flour and sugar mixture.  Mix well.   Add buttermilk, soda, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and mix well.  Pour into a greased 10 x 15 inch pan.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  5 minutes before cake is done baking, prepare frosting.

½ cup butter   
4 tbsp cocoa 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
6 tbsp milk 
4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter; add cocoa, vanilla and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar.  Mix together until smooth.  Pour frosting over cake while still hot.  Let cake cool before slicing and serving.  Yields about 2 dozens servings

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quick & Easy Dinners

Just as important as it is to learn how to replace allergens (like eggs) in cooking and baking, it's also important to learn how to cook in general as eating out and eating prepackaged convenience food may not be an option for those with food allergies.  It is not for us in our family.  With Baby #3 on the way, I've realized I am going to need to have some quick and easy dinners up my sleeve for when I turn into new-baby-mom-zombie.  Cuz pulling out a frozen pizza or going to McDonalds isn't happening in this family.  And we can only eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese so many times.

There are SO many neat ideas and recipes out there.  I've come across some great tips that have helped me prepare freezer meals.  Some things that are handy to have in the freezer for us are: 

cooked shredded chicken
cooked ground beef
rolls/hamburger buns (they only keep for 1 month though)
pizza dough
pizza sauce
alfredo sauce
cookie dough  :)

to name a few.  One neat tip I found that I am trying now that we are approaching summertime is to assemble uncooked meat and freeze with a desired marinade.  When ready to cook, remove from freezer a day or two in advance to thaw.  It will marinate as it thaws and then just grill as instructed.

As I've been preparing for our new little one to come, I've been stocking up my freezer with a few of these things:  (Free of eggs, nuts, soy, mustard and legumes)

Crockpot: (Meat from these dishes can be cooked & then frozen, or you can assemble uncooked with seasoning ingredients & freeze.  When ready to eat, throw in the crockpot all day)

Freezer/Make Ahead:
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Baked Chicken Strips (watch out for a recipe to come soon)
Italian Meatballs (with or without sauce) serve over pasta or in hoagie rolls with mozzarella 
Pizza Dough + Pizza Sauce 
Pork Chops with Garlic & Herbs
Hamburger Patties
Italian Lasagna Rolls (omit egg) 
   *Be sure to slightly under cook pasta noodles if you are going to be freezing
Freezer Burritos (omit beans, if necessary)

*Soups are another good freezer/make ahead meal.  I haven't made any because we are heading into summer and "soup season" is so totally over.  But these are some good ones to try freezing:

Creamy Tomato Soup
White Chicken Chili

Breakfast Freezer Meals:

Quick & Easy: (For nights when you are short on time-- or energy.  Make even quicker by using cooked meat from freezer)

Beef Tacos (with this tasty homemade taco seasoning)
Spaghetti with garlic & oil (also from Food Allergy Mama's Easy, Fast Family Meals Cookbook-- you can beef it up by adding diced chicken or ham) 
Chicken & Veggie Quesadillas (once again from Food Allergy Mama) 
Pizza Burgers
Hawaiian "Pizzadillas" 
Regular Roast Beef Sandwiches 

This list is going to be a work in progress and I will add things as I come across them, but this is what I have for now.  Feel free to add suggestions or links in the comments if you've found something that has worked well for your family.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Egg & Nut Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Summertime! It's almost here (and so is my due date!!)  We are getting antsy for watermelon, running through the sprinklers, bbqs and of course, delicious frozen treats like ice cream.  My favorite summertime treat- in any variety.  I already have two egg and nut free vanilla ice cream recipes on my blog, (here and here) but chocolate is another staple ice cream flavor.  I like this recipe from Cuisinart.  It's chocolate-y and easy to make.

Find the recipe for Chocolate Ice Cream at Cuisinart

Since I like my ice cream more on the Coldstone side of things, here are some possible mix-in Ideas:

Possible Mix-in Ideas:

-Chopped Frozen Brownie Chunks
-Chopped up Oreo Cookies
-Mini Marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and/or fudge sauce
- Add Peppermint extract with either brownie chunks, Oreo cookies or Andes creme de menthes chips

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Finds + Egg & Peanut Free Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Due to my son's nut allergy I hadn't been able to bake with anything other than chocolate chips.  Until now!! I had been considering ordering some baking chips from Vermont Nut Free Company, but honestly, ordering online is not really my thing.  Until recently, I hadn't discovered that Guittard brand chocolate is made in a peanut free facility. Hence my Friday Find. Hooray!  I stocked up on a bunch of Guittard butterscotch chips and vanilla chips while at Winco the other day.  I can't wait to bake with them all.  The first item on my bucket list was to make these Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies.  I remember loving them as a kid and they are still just as delicious. 

Egg & Nut Free Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
From Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1-2/3 cup Guittard Butterscotch Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter, shortening and cream cheese until well combined.  Add sugars and mix well.  Add vanilla.  Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix until until combined.  Add oats and chips.  Drop dough by tablespoonfuls on ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets.  Roll each piece of dough into a ball and flatten slightly with your palm.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.  Yield about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy 2 year Blog-a-versary!

Thinking back on our food allergy journey it's been QUITE the journey!  I keep holding out hope that maybe my boy will grow out of some of his allergies, but the older he gets, the less I feel that he will.  Good news is we've got this food allergy thing figured out and under control.  We've learned how to cook and bake around his food allergies and how to handle school and birthday parties.  I try hard to make my boy feel like he isn't missing out on anything.  Two years ago I decided to start this blog to share recipes I had successfully converted with others.  To mark my 2-year "blog-a-versary", here is a round-up of some popular posts and some of my faves:

First up:  The Top 5 posts of all time


Now:  5 of my all time Favorites


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Homemade BBQ sauce (Mustard Free) + Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs

We dated for awhile, then I took a break and looked around.  That's when I realized how good I had had it before.  So we gave it a second chance, fell in love and committed to a long-term relationship.  

No, I'm not talking about a line from mine or anyone's love life.  I'm talking about BBQ sauce!  I had been on the search for a good homemade BBQ sauce.  Something that was mustard/soy and whatever else free so that my boy could have it.  I tried a couple recipes and decided this was my favorite!  It does take a little time, but it makes so much you can store it in the freezer and use it all summer long.  Great for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ grilled chicken legs and any other recipe you can think of that calls for bbq sauce.

Homemade BBQ Sauce (Mustard Free)
From Egg Free Bakery, adapted from Annie's Eats

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Egg Free Coffee Cake Mug Cake

It's been awhile since I've made me a good mug cake.  I was on a kick for there for a bit a couple years ago.  Mug cakes are the perfect, portion controlled dessert.  I LOVE coffee cake and after trying a couple of different recipes for a cinnamon crumb/coffee cake mug cake, I decided this one was my favorite! The original recipe lists the egg as optional, but I chose to add some applesauce to add a little more moisture and fluffiness to it.  

{P.S.  Did you know it is Food Allergy Awareness Week?  --actually the whole month of may is food allergy action month--  Check out FARE's website for ideas on how to promote awarness}

Egg Free Coffee Cake Mug Cake
From Egg Free Bakery, slightly adapted from Pretty Prudent 

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp sour cream
a few drops of vanilla extract
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Streusel Topping:
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
In a mug or ramekin, soften 1 tbsp butter in the microwave (5-10 seconds).  Stir in sugar until well combined.  Add applesauce, sour cream and vanilla.  Add flour and baking powder and mix just until combined.  Smooth top or batter.  In another small bowl, mix together streusel ingredients until crumbly like sand and sprinkle on top of batter.  Microwave 1 minute, give or take 10 seconds.  Remove from microwave (it will be HOT).  Let cool a few minutes before eating.  Yield 1 serving.