Friday, September 26, 2008

Banana Ebelskivers

This is as close to nirvana as it gets at our house. It requires an Ebelskiver pan but will also work as a yummy pancake recipe. The texture is light and fluffy. The Ebelskivers are a lot like little donuts. If I made these every day, there would be no complaints from the kids. Addictive...

1 tablespoon butter
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup Gluten-Free flour mixture (from Connie Sarros cookbook, preferably)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
powdered sugar

Melt the butter. In a medium sized bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, milk and melted butter into the banana until well mixed.

Sift the flour mixture, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt over the bowl with the egg mixture. Whisk the batter until smooth. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips.

Preheat an Ebelskiver pan over medium heat, for approx. 1 minute. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of shortening to each pod of the pan. When melted, add approx. 1 tablespoon of batter to each pod. I use a small ice cream scoop (#50) and it comes out really clean. When the batter starts to bubble, flip with a fork. Continue to flip to avoid browning. Let cook about 3 minutes total. Remove to a plate and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

They will go quick! You should continue doubling the batch if you are cooking for more than 4 adults.

If you are using this recipe to make pancakes, use the batter to prepare over a skillet, as you normally would.

This recipe was adapted from Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults by Connie Sarros.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Snacks to pack!

We are always looking for easy snacks to take with us on our adventures away from the house. Here are some of the things that we love...

Rice Cakes (lots of options)

Pirate's Booty (veggie booty for those with dairy allergies)

Rice Crackers (non-sesame versions)

Boxes of Organic Raisins

String Cheese or Baby Bell

Fruit Crisps (Brothers-All-Natural, sold at Costco)

Potato Chips or Potato Crisps (Brothers-All-Natural, sold at Costco)

Tortilla Chips

Cold Cuts

Snap Peas, Carrots, Celery Sticks, Sliced Cucumber

All kinds of sliced fruits, blueberries are especially easy

Snacks by Ians and Glutino (large variety found at Whole Foods)

Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks

Snapea Crisps (Ella's favorite)

Veggie Chips (the kind without wheat flour)

Rice Crispie Treats (for special occasions)

Puffed Rice Cereal (for Milo, especially)

Rice Chex

Gluten-Free Pretzels

Gluten-Free Animal Crackers (this saves us at the zoo!)

Juice Boxes (organic) and Milk Boxes (2% milk or whole, only organic)

Gluten-Free Muffins that I make ahead and keep in the freezer

Monday, September 22, 2008

Facts & Fiction

Here are some of the most common myths regarding food allergies. There are many articles about this topic to be found on the Internet, but this one covers the basics...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Our latest addiction... Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Popovers

I got the recipe from Gluten-Free Quick & Easy by Carol Fenster. I would post the recipe but I think that if you are interested in this you should go buy her book. It is fabulous. But if you are my friend, e-mail me and I will be happy to pass it along!

Ella loves to help me get everything ready! Milo was helping by supporting the ladder that Ella was standing on.

I think that the delicious, tender popovers were well received by all. Ella likes hers, especially with apricot preserves.

Croque Monsieur

I happened into this one night when I was looking for a late snack. It may not be for Ella to eat (because of the egg) but Gabe and I sure enjoyed it!

2 Slices Wheat/Gluten-Free Bread (my favorite right now is Whole Foods' 365 Gluten Free Sandwich Mix)
2 thick slices of good quality ham
2 slices of Swiss or Gruyere cheese (large enough to cover bread slice)
2-4 large eggs (depending how many you want on your sandwich)
unsalted butter

Preheat Oven Broiler to high setting.

Preheat an oven proof skillet, over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and fry eggs to desired doneness, making sure to keep them separate from one another. Season with salt and pepper and remove from pan. Butter one side of each of the bread slices. Place buttered side in pan. Top with cooked egg(s), 1 slice of ham per slice of bread, and top with cheese. Allow cheese to get slightly melted. Check to make sure bread is crispy and golden brown. Remove from range and put into pre-heated oven. Broil for approx. 3 minutes or until cheese starts to get brown and bubbly. Serve with favorite brown mustard. Enter Nirvana!

Serves 2

Cornflake Pork Tenderloin

Here is a current favorite around our house. Ella especially loves to help me make it, as she enjoys pounding the meat.

1 Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1/2" slices
3/4 cup wheat-free flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup egg substitute or 2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups finely ground cornflakes (I use a food processor)
1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
lemon wedges and fresh parsley (for garnish)

Place a slice of tenderloin in a thick plastic bag. Pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until evenly thin, approx. 1/8". Repeat for all slices and plate.

Place the flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Place eggs or egg substitute in a low bowl. Blend with a fork. Combine cornflakes and Parmesan cheese in a third dish. Add a pinch or two of coarse salt.

Take each of the pork slices, dredge in flour, dip in egg mix, and cover with cornflake/cheese mixture. Cook in a frying pan, preheated with oil over med-high heat. Cook each side for approx. 3-5 minutes. Allow crust to reach a golden brown before flipping. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Ella likes hers with ketchup!

Join us on November 16!

We will be walking to raise money and awareness about what it is like to live with the threat of food induced allergies. Please join us for what is sure to be a beautiful afternoon!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Well, Ella and I could not have picked a better time to have food allergies. Luckily, there are many options out there for us. Ella is allergic to wheat, eggs (except in baked goods), soy, all tree nuts, peanuts and sesame. She is extremely allergic to pistachios, especially. When I became a Mom, I also became a baker. Now I am busy trying to find recipes that can easily be substituted for Ella's favorite baked goods. In going through this process, I have discovered a few cookbooks that are fantastic. And many that are not. Here are my suggestions...

Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Gluten-Free Quick and Easy by Carol Fenster, Ph. D.

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults by Connie Sarros

I am also in love with the following products and would not be able to survive without them...

Any and all brown rice pastas

Tapioca, Potato, Brown Rice, White Rice, Sweet Rice and Sorghum Flours (I did not even know that these foods existed two months ago)

Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Pancake Mix (also dairy-free and nut-free)

Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Brownie Mix (also dairy-free and nut-free)

Corn Tortillas

Corn Flakes (who knew that they would save my life?)

Authentic Food's Blueberry Muffin Mix

Brown Rice Cakes

Glutino's Gluten-Free Frozen Pizzas

Mi-Del Arrowroot Animal Cookies (Thank you, thank you, thank you!)

Pirate's Booty

Let's Do Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones

It may seem like I have a lot of sweet choices on my list. But hey, I have a 3 year old. Sweets are a part of our lives! I will add to this list later, but I just wanted to take a moment to sing some praise!

Spitting Mad

Recently, I was reading an article on about a little girl who has food allergies. It was talking about her limitations and how one restaurant has started hosting an allergen-free night so that people like her can enjoy a great meal away from home. The little girl is very close to my daughter's age, so I was immediately drawn in.

Following the article were a bunch of comments and one of them, in particular, has got me spitting mad. It was from a woman named "Amanda" who has a daughter that only likes to eat peanut butter sandwiches. And her school is nut free, so she was complaining about what an inconvenience it is for her to have to follow the rule. She believes that if her daughter cannot eat PB&J's, it violates her civil liberties. So she has decided to send her daughter to school with one of these sandwiches, every day, even though there are children in her class that have peanut allergies. She thinks that parents should "Just deal with it!" After reading this venomous insanity I found myself getting so mad that I could barely breathe. What a horrible, selfish person. How is it possible that someone could be so vicious and uncaring? And I cannot imagine what values she must be teaching her daughter. Not to mention the fact that she is greatly endangering the lives of other children by being so callus! I am not a violent person but I can promise you that if I ever meet this woman, I might just hurt her. My day was consumed by rage. And after much introspection, I decided that I needed to do something to stop people like her. Now I am inspired to do what I can to raise awareness of this dreadful disease. And I want to commit myself in every way that I can to find out why there are more food allergies now, than ever before.

Let me make it clear that I fully understand how annoying it must be inconvenienced and to not be able to send your child to school with their favorite food. Why does your child's right to eat a PB&J trump my daughter's right to be able to go to school? It is not as if somebody has decided that they do not like the color blue, therefore no one can wear blue to school anymore. We are talking about something that could endanger the lives of other people. Because of this, I think that parents who do not follow a school's no-nut policy should not be allowed to send their child to that school. If for no other reason, it is a liability issue. Maybe they should send their child to a private school that allows them to be able to eat their beloved sandwich. And really, is it so hard to find an alternate to PB&J's? Why do parents think that their kids will only eat pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and PB&J's? Yes, kids are picky eaters but you have to at least TRY to find something else for them to eat. Maybe something that is nutritious? Ella does not have a severe peanut allergy, although she is allergic to them. It would not be a catastrophe for us if she had exposure to peanuts. BUT I understand how dangerous these allergies can be and for that reason alone, I am willing to think outside the box.

Thank you, Amanda! Hopefully there are many more of you out there. My new mission in life is to teach you some compassion! And maybe then, we will have a better world for our children.