Why we're here...

The quick version :) We are a family of 7 (plus 5 if you count pets, sadly now 3) living with severe food allergies (thus far dairy and beef, thinking the baby might add some to the list) and as vegetarians (mostly vegan, except pastured eggs occasionally), organically, and I generally attempt to do everything as quickly and easily as possible (think one bowl everything!).

The long version... This journey officially started one Saturday in April (2011) when my husband decided to let me (his very pregnant wife) "sleep in" and took our 18 month old son downstairs. The minute I fell asleep again they came back up, my husband said that Jake seemed tired again and wanted me. Byebye sleeping in. We settled back in bed, Jake on top of me, I dozed for a minute and opened my eyes admiring my boy. He sleepily opened his eyes and threw up all over my face, head, back (no idea how), pillows, you get the idea! To which I said "Change Jake, I'll be in the shower!" At which point my husband admitted "oh I gave him milk". At this point we knew only that he didn't like milk.

When I told his doctor this story in passing at his 18 month appointment she felt that was an unusual reaction and he should be seen by an allergist. Jake had never touched a milk product willingly, but we figured maybe an intolerance or preference. Clearly we were wrong when I brought him to be tested and the doctor said "he's allergic to milk". By the look on his face he did not think I was entertaining when I replied "Oh come on, that's ridiculous". Thus... I had to remove milk from his diet, as well as my own because he was still nursing. Which at first was tough due to my unnatural obsession with ice cream, but there are enough milk substitutes to deal with that. However, later this summer he was still having symptoms. Brought him to get tested once more and found he was allergic to eggs as well (again my "Are you kidding?!" was met with a quiet smile). (2014 Update: he's fine with eggs now, his milk allergy severity has sky rocketed, as well as a new beef allergy. and too many environmental allergies to list! But seriously, who cares if he cannot own a horse!)

Moral of this, I had a lot to change in the cooking department! I attempted to use vegan recipes. Thus, these recipes were born, and further, this website. Apparently allergies are occurring more and more but it is very difficult to find recipes to accommodate. My goal is to help that cause by providing ways to work around that and still eat well (and by well, I mean food that my chicken-wing-addicted-husband-who would-never-eat-anything-that-grows-in-the-ground-if-his- obnoxious-wife-does-not-nag-him-until-he-gives in- will actually eat. (2014 Update-This man has become a near vegan at home for his little man! He's a fabulous father! However, I learned quickly to cook for him!)

2016 update! we now have four children ages 6 to 6 months. Only one has confirmed allergies, but it's looking possible that this may increase by one or two (currently we are just watching and waiting :) Please don't take our peanut butter away!!

2018: We now have 5 children. The oldest is 8, and still seriously allergic to milk, and beef. Youngest is 3 months. and no other confirmed allergies. but the 2 year old can not eat bananas, though sadly she loves them. the baby throws up constantly... but who knows:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Sweets and Sweeties...

After an early morning of painting (thanks to a Valentine present of paint)...

What does one make for Valentine's Day for a family diverse in it's pickiness and it's allergies? Well, apparently two things. Individual heart apple pies (which will not happen again for a looong time!) AND these, fabulous and easy cookies...

Delicious Allergy Free Oatmeal Cutout Cookies


3/4 cup Earth Balance (or butter)
3/4 cup organic sugar
1t vanilla
1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T warm water (the warm helps to make it goopy) (or an egg )
3 T Rice milk (or alternative)

blend in:

2 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

stir in:
1 cup oatmeal

Dough will seem very crumbly, use your hands to make a ball. Add a touch more flour or milk if needed. I refrigerated for about an hour, but that's not necessary. If you do, however, it will seem like the dough will not stay together, roll it out, it will.  Roll about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until dough just seems dry.

I frosted by dumping confectioners sugar in a bowl (didn't measure), cut in earth balance and then added rice milk until it looked right :)

My only mistake was thinking a two year old would actually decorate cookies. i quickly learned when i found him sucking on the sprinkle shaker. Seriously, the child ate about a pound of sugar, including what he decorated. I am not kidding when I say that he dropped his cookie on his tray and frosting did not get on the tray because he had so many sprinkles. Let's just say it made for a very loud, warp speed hour. But, he was thrilled with the pink icing and sprinkles, and I was thrilled that I found peppermint sprinkles!

And I was thrilled with my kids and a wonderful husband (and pets of course!) who brought me some type of lemur looking animal with huge eyes that the baby loves! Or maybe it was all the sugar....

P.S. Thank the Lord for all his blessings! and for the person who made the paints washable!

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