A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

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The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

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Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Product review: Sunbutter Trail Mix
Saturday, 13 Dec, 2008 – 10:14 | Comments Off
Product review: Sunbutter Trail Mix

One of Big Guy’s saddest laments in life is that he’s sunflower-seed deprived.
This wouldn’t be a big deal for most kids, but he’s growing up around his Dad’s family of world-class sunflower seed munchers so …

Simple gifts: You’re such a dip
Saturday, 13 Dec, 2008 – 9:14 | One Comment
Simple gifts: You’re such a dip

Try a salsa trio – hey, what were you thinking – as either a hostess gift or as a present for someone who might have a lot of guests headed their way. Or for someone …

Egg-free butterscotch cookies
Friday, 12 Dec, 2008 – 0:51 | 4 Comments
Egg-free butterscotch cookies

It’s amazing sometimes what you’ll find digging around in the archives — and when it comes to recipes, my archives rival the Library of Congress.
This week, when I was poking through a fishing-tackle box that …

Egg-free spritz cookies
Wednesday, 10 Dec, 2008 – 23:37 | Comments Off
Egg-free spritz cookies

Nothing says the holidays like a plate of fresh Spritz.
Except these cookies are way too good to confine them to Christmas. We eat them year-round. I used to make them for other holidays parties at …

Egg-free Cherry Wink cookies
Tuesday, 9 Dec, 2008 – 23:59 | 3 Comments
Egg-free Cherry Wink cookies

The world knows this Christmas cookie as Cherry Winks. I call them Becki’s D*** Cookies.
Becki is the daughter of a former co-worker who also happens to be one of the genuinely sweetest people on this …

Egg-free, peanut-free “peanut blossoms”
Tuesday, 9 Dec, 2008 – 0:15 | Comments Off
Egg-free, peanut-free “peanut blossoms”

Once in a while — but not often, because I’m not a fan of failure — I’m up for a “double-dog dare you” recipe. One that will earn baking bonus points for substituting two allergens …

Egg-free, garlic-free rosemary potato bread
Sunday, 7 Dec, 2008 – 11:23 | 2 Comments
Egg-free, garlic-free rosemary potato bread

I came up with this recipe on a dare a few years ago, after a friend fell in love with a commercial rosemary-potato bread and bet me that I couldn’t replicate it. I think she …

Egg-free, garlic-free sundried tomato bread
Sunday, 7 Dec, 2008 – 10:51 | 2 Comments
Egg-free, garlic-free sundried tomato bread

I’ve been on a bread-baking spree this weekend in advance of Christmas. Yes, this early, because the bread freezes well, and the more I can get done now, the less frantic I am Dec. 23. …

Simple gifts: Cookies and cocoa
Sunday, 7 Dec, 2008 – 10:19 | Comments Off
Simple gifts: Cookies and cocoa

Before three more weeks have passed, everyone will be cookied-out. So why not give cookies folks can enjoy in January? And some tummy-warming hot cocoa mix to chase away the foggy or snowy chill, depending …

Egg-free gumdrop cookies
Saturday, 6 Dec, 2008 – 11:17 | 2 Comments
Egg-free gumdrop cookies

This recipe was a childhood Christmas classic. We didn’t think twice about candy in cookies, because Mom also made an orange-slice cake every year.
I’d forgotten about it for ages until a friend wondered last year …

Egg-free gingerbread cookies
Friday, 5 Dec, 2008 – 1:44 | Comments Off
Egg-free gingerbread cookies

I feel like I’m lobbying for a job on the Molasses Promotions Board, but gingerbread isn’t just for Christmas — at least not in our house.
Except it travels incognito, because Big Guy would immediately …

Product review: Yummy Earth lollipops
Monday, 1 Dec, 2008 – 20:22 | Comments Off
Product review: Yummy Earth lollipops

They’re dye-free, gluten-free, corn-free, peanut-safe and organic. And right about now you’re thinking they’re going to be disgusting, aren’t you?
Wrong. Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops might well be the best on the planet — and the …

Guittard offers peanut-free chocolate
Monday, 1 Dec, 2008 – 0:26 | Comments Off
Guittard offers peanut-free chocolate

Once in a while, my obsessive-compulsive label reading pays off. Saturday was one of those once in a whiles, when I found Guittard chocolate chips.
Baking chips have become a problem as late, as first Hershey …

Simple gifts: Caramel corn need not be disgusting
Saturday, 29 Nov, 2008 – 2:29 | One Comment
Simple gifts: Caramel corn need not be disgusting

Caramel corn is a good gift with a bad reputation spawned by the turbo tins you see everywhere this time of year. I suspect some of them were manufactured when I was in high school.
People …

Egg-free oatmeal-jam bar cookies
Friday, 28 Nov, 2008 – 1:06 | Comments Off
Egg-free oatmeal-jam bar cookies

This is based on a recipe from Kraft Foods clipped from TV Guide long ago — remember when they used to do those inserts around the holidays?
I revived it recently when manufactured food paranoia threw …

Egg-free cranberry bread
Sunday, 23 Nov, 2008 – 23:26 | Comments Off
Egg-free cranberry bread

I know: It’s not Friday.
But I wanted to post a little extra something for my egg-allergic friends at Thanksgiving. Wish I could give you pumpkin pie, but I can’t. The best recipe I’ve found — …

Kids and Allergies: Egg-free chewy oatmeal cookies
Friday, 21 Nov, 2008 – 1:30 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Egg-free chewy oatmeal cookies

This is another adapted from Martha Stewart’s evil Cookie of the Day email that is going to be solely responsible for my letter to Santa pleading for a new wardrobe because nothing fits anymore.
It’s a …

Kids and Allergies: Don’t go nuts this Thanksgiving. Please
Tuesday, 18 Nov, 2008 – 0:30 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Don’t go nuts this Thanksgiving. Please

There’s pecan pie and chestnut stuffing and cranberry-Jello salad with walnuts. Maybe some almonds tossed into a salad to make it more festive. Don’t forget the peanut butter celery for the appetizer tray. Oh, and …

Kids and Allergies: Egg-free pumpkin molasses cookies
Thursday, 13 Nov, 2008 – 23:55 | 2 Comments
Kids and Allergies: Egg-free pumpkin molasses cookies

This is another from my ancient Libby’s “Great Pumpkin Cookbook,” and a rare cookie recipe that was egg-free from the start.
I’d recommend using a stand mixer if you have one. The batter’s a little stiff …

Kids and Allergies: Egg-free pumpkin streusel pound cake
Friday, 7 Nov, 2008 – 1:16 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Egg-free pumpkin streusel pound cake

Credit tonight’s recipe to Big Guy’s last-minute switcharoo.
Yesterday, he wanted banana cake — I let the guys take turns picking treats. I planned accordingly, dutifully removing the overripe offerings from the freezer to thaw.
This evening, …

Kids and Allergies: The best egg-free sugar cookie ever
Friday, 31 Oct, 2008 – 0:32 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: The best egg-free sugar cookie ever

It’s crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Big Guy loves them, and Little Guy proclaims them “the most malicious cookie ever.”
The only down side to this cookie, adapted from Martha Stewart’s …

Kids and Allergies: Egg-free honey-wheat dinner rolls
Sunday, 26 Oct, 2008 – 1:17 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Egg-free honey-wheat dinner rolls

Mawmaw would be stunned if she could see her dinner roll recipe now.
Over the years I’ve crunchified it, substituting whole-wheat flour for half the white, swapped honey for part of the sugar and de-egged …

Kids and Allergies: Garlic-free cheese crackers
Sunday, 26 Oct, 2008 – 0:55 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Garlic-free cheese crackers

Disclaimer: There is no reason for a sane person to make crackers.
CheezIts are garlic-free, though you can’t tell from the mysterious “spices” listed on the ingredients if Cheese Nips are.
Parmesan Goldfish are garlic-free, and plain …

Kids and Allergies: Cranberry-Oat Cereal Bars
Friday, 24 Oct, 2008 – 1:32 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Cranberry-Oat Cereal Bars

Once in a while easy is nice, and this Cranberry-Oat Cereal Bar recipe I found through Martha Stewart’s Cookie of the Day newsletter is easy on two levels.
For one, it was egg-free to begin with, …

Kids and Allergies: Egg-free pumpkin muffins
Friday, 17 Oct, 2008 – 0:24 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies: Egg-free pumpkin muffins

Really, we do eat things other than muffins. It’s just that they’re so breakfast-y and snack-y and easy that we’ve been on a kick lately.
This recipe in particular holds a special place in my heart. …

9to5to9: Cutting waste one chicken at a time
Tuesday, 14 Oct, 2008 – 0:12 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Cutting waste one chicken at a time

Usually I wait until Tuesday evening — just before I roll out the trash cans in eager anticipation of the Wednesday morning garbage truck run — to tackle the fridge.
This week, though, I got …

Product review: Garlic-free ketchup and mustard
Saturday, 11 Oct, 2008 – 15:53 | Comments Off
Product review: Garlic-free ketchup and mustard

Here’s where the allergic life gets weird:I’ve been making ketchup and mustard for almost two years, ever since Big Guy’s garlic allergy was diagnosed.
Let me rephrase that: I’ve been trying to make ketchup and …

Kids and Allergies Sweet Treat Friday: Apple muffins
Friday, 10 Oct, 2008 – 2:01 | Comments Off
Kids and Allergies Sweet Treat Friday: Apple muffins

These easily qualify as breakfast. Stuff with fruit and oatmeal, they’re hearty and not overly sweet. Even with the icing and sprinkles the guys demand.
I usually make a double batch — one for now, one …