Easy Peasy Peppers & Popsicles-TWO Allergen Free Recipes

As soon as I start typing this the kids are going to wake up, but for now they are still asleep so I’m hoping to squeeze out a quick post with some yummy new recipes.

A couple of weeks ago the fridge was getting bare, and I didn’t have time to go to the grocery.  We were having pork chops, and the only veggie I had in the fridge was 4-6 random bell peppers, mostly red, orange, and yellow peppers.  With no veggie dip or hummus in sight, I tossed them in a frying pan with some oil and started cooking them down a bit.  That was going to be pretty boring, and I eyed some quinoa in the fridge that had already been cooked.  Hhmmm, toss it with the peppers?  Definitely!  Still, this was going to be pretty bland, so to kick it up a bit I threw in some garlic salt and some dried parsley for flavor (& color).  Once the peppers were tender, I through in the heaping one cup of quinoa, added the garlic salt and parsley and stirred it all up and I got this….

IMG_4710I wish I was a food photographer, but I’m not.  I made this again just a few nights ago and we paired it with roasted chicken this time….

IMG_4711

So, to make this side dish you’ll need….

IMG_4708Ingredients:

cooking oil of your choice, roughly 4-5 tablespoons

4-6 bell peppers (pick your fave colors_

2-3 tsp garlic salt

3-4 tsp dried parsley

1 heaping cup of cooked quinoa

salt & pepper to taste

Cook the peppers in the oil until soft, add everything else and stir to coat the peppers in the quinoa, garlic salt, and parsley-that’s it!

Now let’s make a dessert-homemade popsicles!  I’ve researched several homemade popsicle recipes recently and some of them are pretty involved, but I like easy.  I wanted an orange creamsicle-type popsicle.  I looked at a recipe, decided it was too involved, so I grabbed what I had, plus a little sugar.  This were incredibly easy to make.  As in, 5 minutes-ish of dumping, mixing, pouring.

IMG_4712Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups orange juice

1 small container of vanilla yogurt (we used coconut milk yogurt, but you could use dairy or soy yogurt depending on your allergy needs)

2-4 T sugar, depending on your sweet tooth.  The more sugar, the more creamsicle-like, less sugar was more like frozen orange juice

Throw these ingredients in the blender

IMG_4713

Then pour into your popsicle mold and stick them in the freezer.

IMG_4714

Do these in the morning so they’re ready in the late afternoon and evening when you just need something to cool the kids (and yourself!) down.  To get the popsicles out once they are frozen, run warm water over them and they’ll come right out.  Here’s a picture of Nathan and little sis enjoying the popsicles.  Nathan is soaking wet because he loves to run through the water with his new swim goggles while I’m watering my flowers.  Little sis likes to stay dry 🙂

IMG_4720        IMG_4723

So there you have it-two incredibly easy-peasy summer recipes that are kid friendly (yes, Nathan ate the peppers!) .

What are your favorite summer, allergen-free recipes?  Have you ever made up a recipe that turned out really well?

Advertisements

An Allergen Free 4th Birthday Celebration!

Today has been pretty relaxing for a change!  This whole past week I have been preparing for N’s 4th birthday party.  Like all parents, I absolutely am in shock that he just had his fourth birthday!  It seems just like yesterday that I was holding him for the first time, unknowing all the parental ups and downs that were to befall me in just four short years ahead.  Here’s a picture from N’s 1st birthday where he’s eating his first dairy and egg free cupcake.  It’s crazy to think that is all he’s ever known.  I am comforted to know that  he loves his cupcakes and I make sure that he always has a safe one at every party we attend.

IMG_9947

Since then I have tried many recipes, gotten comfy (as in not so crazy-nervous) in the allergen-free world, and have become used to throwing great parties with yummy food that is ALL safe for N.  My brother (the one who named my blog!) always asks, “Everything is safe for N, right?”  This time it was everything except the mayo, which I don’t find as a huge threat to him.

Alright, let’s get this party started, and let me tell you what we served for N’s 4th birthday!!

He LOVES Disney’s Cars Movie, and that was our theme!  I wish I could say all of these decorations and accents were my idea but they’re not.  I am lazy and always scrambling, so I hopped on Pinterest and found some Over Achiever Moms who had already designed all of these things and done the hard work for me.  Follow me on Pinterest if you want to see those things.

Our menu for the party was sloppy joes, salsa, guacamole, corn salsa, tortilla chips, watermelon, veggies & dip (hummus and soy based ranch dip), and homemade Ranch seasoned (dairy free) Chex mix.  We also had Rice Krispie Treats and, of course, cake!  The cake was a Cherrybrook Kitchen mix, Nathan’s request.  To wet our whistle we had unsweetened tea, lemonade, and good ‘ole water.

Check out this spread….

IMG_4620

IMG_4621Did you catch the stoplight theme for my tortilla chip dips?

IMG_4625

IMG_4624

IMG_4630

IMG_4628

I just LOVE these labels I found to customize for our food!  Not that food needs to be labeled, but it was just fun!  Are ya hungry yet?  Cause I am!  My husband and I are munching on leftovers right now 🙂  Mmmm, chips & corn salsa!

Here’s a picture, too, of our fun “road” tables.  Loved this idea I found on Pinterest, as well!

IMG_4702

Alright, I know you want to see the cake.  I STRESSED over this.  If you saw one of my FB statuses last Saturday, I mentioned spending nearly 3 hours working on eggless royal icing decorations.  Um, that became a royal mess.  By Wednesday, it was starting to shrivel up and the colors were bleeding.  I was bummed, but actually I’m kinda glad it didn’t work out, because look at this cake….
IMG_4678

Pretty awesome, huh?!!  I had already planned on putting the plastic cars on it and had bought the checkered flags at the local cake supply shop.  My mom found the giant “4” candle and I went to work.  The “sand” on the cake is Golden Oreos that I put in the food processor, the “road” is Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, and the white icing is yummy Pillsbury.  The green, blue, and red icing is a homemade recipe I found and I adapted to be dairy free.  I was surprised to hear comments such as, “Did you buy that cake?” and “Did you make the cake, Rachel?”.  The kids were saying, “I want a part of the road!”.  I have to admit, I wanted his cake to be awesome.  I didn’t want a “That’s a cute cake” kinda cake, but a “Wow!” cake.  I must admit I have taken cake decorating classes in the past, so that helped.  This will probably be the first birthday Nathan will remember and was really aware of the details like the theme.  I think these pictures show his excitement and how overwhelmed he was with all of the attention.

IMG_5462

IMG_5464

I think in the above picture, he was getting a little embarrassed, overly excited, and overwhelmed and how happy he was!

I was so happy to get the perfect picture of him blowing out his candle.  Makes a Momma happy!

IMG_4689

I had made these cupcakes with sprinkles for the kids, but I’m pretty sure the adults got stuck with them!

IMG_4631

And, here’s the aftermath…..

IMG_5470

Gone.  ALL gone.  Plates were scraped clean and hardly a crumb left.  Success.  Sometimes I wonder if anyone would know everything was dairy, egg, & peanut free (and 7 other foods) if they weren’t aware of N’s allergies.

About 5 leftover cupcakes were there for me to indulge in after the party guests had left and the kids were in bed.  I only ate one.  I promise 😉

I slept so good last night knowing that the party was a success, the cake turned out better than I had hoped, and above all Nathan was happy, content, and safe.  I’m looking forward to the the coming year and watching him change, learn, and grow.  As I sit here wrapping up this post while on my patio under the party lights I put up for my own enjoyment, I realize I am so blessed.  Food allergies and all, he’s still a happy 4-year old boy.  He’s healthy.  He’s determined.  He loves baseball and trucks.  He loves trains and books.  He’s normal.  He’s mine.  And I’m so proud that I can say that Nathan is mine.  All mine, and I’m so proud of him.

What do you say Food Allergy Moms & Dads….how do you throw an awesome, allergen-free birthday party?  What recipes from the party menu do you want??  Leave me feedback..I love to hear from you!

It’s Cobbler-tastic! Summer Blueberry & Peach Cobbler (Dairy, Egg, & Nut Free)

“It’s Cobbler-tastic!”. That was what N said after he was finishing his first of two bowls this evening.  I have to admit it was pretty tasty.

A couple of weeks ago my mom mentioned that you could make cobbler by using a cake mix.  I immediately thought of our favorite allergen-free Cherrybrook Kitchen Yellow Cake mix that was in the cabinet, and almost expired.  An almost expired cake mix is the only excuse I need to make a cobbler!  So, I searched on Pinterest for a few minutes and found a cake mix cobbler recipe and pulled out my ingredients.  It ended up just being a guide and I didn’t follow that recipe at all, really.  Here’s my version:

Ingredients:

1 dry yellow cake mix (I used Cherrybrook Kitchen Yellow Cake)

1/2 cup dairy free margarine, melted (I use Earth Balance Dairy and Soy Free)

a can of peaches in light syrup (next time I’m using two cans)

1 tsp. cinnamon (I actually didn’t put this in once I added blueberries on a whim.  Add cinnamon if you’re just doing peaches)

one cup of fresh blueberries

**Remember to read all labels carefully, making sure this recipe fits your allergy needs.

This really is so simple to make!
IMG_4388

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.  Pour in 2 cans of peaches, juice and all.  Put the blueberries on top of the peaches and mix them a little to incorporate it all.  Now is the time to add the cinnamon if you’re going to.  I actually forgot it, and it was for the best since I added the blueberries.

Next, add the cake mix by sprinkling it evening over the peaches and blueberries.  Smooth it out a little better than I did here in the picture.

IMG_4389

The next step is to pour the melted margarine over the cake mix.  Below is what mine looked like before I stuck it in the oven.  I would have mixed up the margarine and the cake mix a little more because I had a couple of dry patches once I brought it out of the oven.  No biggie, though, and definitely didn’t affect the yum factor 🙂

IMG_4390

Bake at 350 degree F for 30-40 minutes, or until done.  It’ll look like this, but without the dry patches, hopefully.

IMG_4391

And now you’re ready to scoop some up for a summer treat.  I think it’d look prettier if it had a dollop of Rice Dream on top 🙂

IMG_4392

I’m thinking that next time I’m going to make a mixed berry cobbler with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries….what do you think, sound good?