Saturday, April 24, 2010

Strawberry Cream Cheese

Ella will be turning 5 this week and so are many of her friends. Our calendar is full of a endless series of birthday parties for the next several weeks. Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending a all girl tea party. Ella was a little anxious about the event because she tends to roll with the boys and she could not possibly imagine why no boys were being invited. When we arrived, we found it to be a very dignified event. Girls were wearing pretty party dresses, as they calmly, patiently waited in line to have their hair done and temporary tattoos applied. Classical music played. A table was filled with plates of food; little finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, vegetables, salads, pitchers of juices, and a bowl of chocolate chips! There is no question, Ella was most excited about the food. And it was a feast. The girls were seated and served, official tea party style. Zorayda, the mom of the birthday girl, made special sandwiches for Ella to eat that were wheat and nut free. And then she cut them into shapes (hearts and stars) and festooned them with beautiful purple flowers. The sandwiches were strawberry cream cheese, turkey with cucumber and strawberry jam with banana slices. Ella was beside herself! She was thrilled to be able to sit at a table and eat the same things that her friends were eating. We were touched by the effort that Zorayda made to make Ella feel comfortable. It was a very special afternoon.

Ella has been talking about it all week. Before the party, she had always refused any kind of cream cheese. But I encouraged her to try the sandwich as it was prepared for her and she LOVED it. So much so, that she begged me to make her some to have on sandwiches for school. This is my recipe for the Strawberry Cream Cheese. We also used it on celery sticks and made "butterflies" with GF pretzels (for wings) and dried bluberries (eyes). Yummy and addictive...

Strawberry Cream Cheese

(1) 8 oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (optional)

Whip the cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the strawberries, gradually and incorporate into the cream cheese. Slowly add the sugar. Mix well. Taste. If you wish, you may add more sugar or omit it entirely, depending on your taste.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Probably won't last that long! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We FINALLY moved! My mind has been buzzing all over the place and I seem to fall asleep before I hit the pillow each night. Crazy tired. But I am really happy with the new place. The kids are having so much fun. Living in the Hills did not offer much in the way of play space for them. Now we have a yard AND a swing set. And a garage to hold their bicycles and a driveway to ride them on. The best part for me, is that I now have a big kitchen, fabulous appliances and lots of places to keep my allergy free baking supplies. Guess I need to get busy testing recipes to blog about. Ella's birthday is in a couple of weeks. She has already told me that she wants a lemon cake with raspberry filling. So I will be figuring that one out in a jiffy.

Last night we had our first family dinner in the house... grilled chicken, falafels, tzatziki, salad. Ella was annoyed with me because I had wheat pita for us and offered her corn tortillas. I guess I cannot win every time. But we did also make homemade strawberry lemonade and wheat free chocolate chip cookies. Maybe I am not so bad, after all.

Tomorrow we are going to a tea party themed birthday party. The host (and mother of Ella's friend) has been so kind to include all our her dietary needs. The are making butterfly shaped sandwiches and she bought some special rice bread for Ella. And I am bringing along some GF pretzels so that she can make some celery butterflies with her friends. BTW... BIG kudos to Ralph's Grocery Store who is now stalking Glutino GF Pretzels. And they are A LOT cheaper than Whole Food's!

As we get settled, I will have much more to report. Hope you are all having a fabulous spring!