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.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

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

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

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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Bad Kitty’s the purrfect read
Tuesday, 29 Mar, 2011 – 13:15 | Comments Off
Bad Kitty’s the purrfect read

In this corner we have Big Guy, who’s bored with every book I bring home and isn’t fond of fiction.
In this corner we have Boots, who could devour Step 3 books if he wanted to, …

YouTube safety mode is nothing special
Friday, 12 Feb, 2010 – 17:47 | Comments Off
YouTube safety mode is nothing special

It’s ironic that Google rolled out Safety Mode parental controls for YouTube in the same week that it made gmail unsafe for some folks in its careless rollout of Buzz.
Some of the early things I’d …

Review: Van’s All Natural Waffles
Sunday, 21 Jun, 2009 – 21:10 | 2 Comments
Review: Van’s All Natural Waffles

I absolutely hate the idea of paying $3.49 for six frozen waffles. Yet, I have been because once summer hits I lose all inclination to stand at the stove and flip pancakes.
That’s why Van’s All Natural …

Review: Delallo Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
Monday, 25 May, 2009 – 21:00 | Comments Off
Review: Delallo Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

It was late on a Friday and we were still at the grocery store way past dinner time, which means the guys were prone to beg for extras and I was inclined to give in.
That …

Review: Pasta Roni shells and white cheddar
Saturday, 23 May, 2009 – 23:00 | Comments Off
Review: Pasta Roni shells and white cheddar

The blue box had sat in the cabinet for months, waiting on Big Guy to get past his lust for the other blue box – the one he adored before we started avoiding dye. The …

Epiblogue: Snow cone syrups
Monday, 18 May, 2009 – 23:38 | Comments Off

Do I ever feel like a dolt after my post last night lamenting the difficulties of finding dye-free snow-cone syrups.
I went to a Middle Eastern market today to pick up some hummus ingredients and ran …

Review: DaVinci syrups not just for winter anymore
Sunday, 3 May, 2009 – 20:37 | Comments Off
Review: DaVinci syrups not just for winter anymore

Used to be flavored syrups were a staple during winter only, except for the annual spurt of 104-plus degree days that make it too warm for even me to drink hot coffee outside.
That was before …

‘Growing sock’ definitely grew on Boots
Thursday, 2 Apr, 2009 – 13:54 | Comments Off
‘Growing sock’ definitely grew on Boots

There are two different kinds of people in this world:
The kind for whom socks are a fashion statement, a love note to the toes, a borderline obsession. These might well be the kids who grow …

Product review: Garlic-free Trappey’s hot sauce
Sunday, 11 Jan, 2009 – 10:40 | Comments Off
Product review: Garlic-free Trappey’s hot sauce

Trappey’s Red Devil Cayenne Pepper Sauce is the garlic-free real deal, Dad assures me.
And coming from someone who can gulp a tablespoon full of the stuff, I’ll take his word for it, though I couldn’t …

Site review: BeFreeForMe could be a nice hit in the pocketbook
Thursday, 25 Dec, 2008 – 19:03 | Comments Off
Site review: BeFreeForMe could be a nice hit in the pocketbook

You think your food bill is high?
I pay $6.49 a quart for egg-free mayonnaise and count myself lucky that one store carries it locally. The peanut-butter subsitute we prefer is $21 for two, five-pound pails …

Product review: Garlic-free Crystal hot sauce
Saturday, 20 Dec, 2008 – 10:24 | Comments Off
Product review: Garlic-free Crystal hot sauce

I am not the hot sauce connoisseur in the house. That would be Dad, and I’m not so sure he’s as much connoisseur as addict. Honestly, I’ve seen him hit the fridge late at night …

Product reviews: Vegenaise egg-free, garlic-free mayonnaise
Monday, 15 Dec, 2008 – 13:59 | Comments Off
Product reviews: Vegenaise egg-free, garlic-free mayonnaise

Until I discovered Vegenaise in the refrigerated section of the natural-foods aisle at a local grocery store, I’d pretty much accepted life without potato or pasta salad.
I’d tried a number of other egg-free mayonnaises, mostly …

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 …

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 …

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 product review: Florida’s Natural Au’some Fruit Juice Sour String
Friday, 26 Sep, 2008 – 19:13 | Comments Off

WHAT: Florida’s Natural Au’some Fruit Juice Sour String
WHAT: Dye-free and peanut safe. Also free of tree nuts, gluten and fat. Also Kosher.
THE APPEAL: A cousin introduced the guys to sugar-coated gummy worms recently and, of …

Product review: SunButter sunflower seed butter
Wednesday, 3 Sep, 2008 – 17:10 | Comments Off

PRODUCT: SunButter sunflower seed butter
PROBLEM IT SOLVES: Peanut butter substitute produced in a peanut-free, tree nut-free plant. It’s gluten-free as well.

COST: $5.14 to $10.05 for 16 ounces, according to a Google search. Available in …

Product review: Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
Tuesday, 19 Aug, 2008 – 6:53 | 4 Comments

WHAT: Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer

ALLERGY SAFE FOR: Egg. Contains soy, corn syrup and wheat gluten. Also carries a “manufactured in a facility” warning for tree nuts, milk and eggs. Now isn’t that a kick in the pants?

THE APPEAL: It has less of a chemical smell than Ener-G Egg Replacer, which uses a combination of baking-power like-ingredients to mimic egg’s leavening and binding properties. Plus, it’s available at some local grocery stores, while Ener-G Egg Replacer is becoming hard to find except online.

THE DOWN SIDE: Bob’s costs $8.60 a pound, which will substitute for 64 eggs. A pound of Ener-G Egg Replacer, which equals 100 eggs, costs $6.29.

PERFORMANCE: I’ve tried it so far in scones, whole wheat pancakes and banana pound cake. Results seem similar to

Kids and Allergies product review: FruitaBu natural, but pricey
Friday, 13 Jun, 2008 – 7:05 | Comments Off

WHAT: FruitaBu organic fruit twirls and flats
WHAT: Dye-free and peanut safe. Also free of all other major allergens except soy.
THE APPEAL: A certified organic snack that bills itself as being a full serving of fruit.
COST: $3.79 for a six pack at a local grocery store. At that price and with two kids, we don’t buy them a lot.
KID REVIEW: Both guys are obsessed. They start hopping around the second they see the box. Luckily, FruitaBu winds up high on the shelves at our local grocery and discount stores, so they usually don’t see it at the store. The FruitaBu people must not be paying the tribute necessary to get the good, mid-level product placement that inspires kids to clamor. Little Guy likes all flavors of the flats and twirls. Big Guy loves grape, will

Kids and Allergies: Mott’s Fruit Chews
Sunday, 8 Jun, 2008 – 6:19 | Comments Off

Originally publish Nov. 15, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

WHAT: Mott’s All Natural Fruit Snacks
WHAT: Dye-free and peanut safe.
THE APPEAL: After a year of hopefully reading fruit chew labels, only to find the evil Red 40 or Yellow 5 in all of them, I finally scored with this product. It’s not going to be a staple in their diet, but at least it’s a chance for Big Guy to have what other kids do.
COST: $3.99 for a 24 pack at Target.
KID REVIEW: The guys loved them. But, then, what do they know? They’ve never had a fruit snack before.
MOM REVIEW: Though they’re made with fruit juice and applesauce, don’t be mislead. It’s still candy and still loaded with corn syrup. The claim of “good source of vitamin C” also is pretty bogus. They weigh

Peanut butter substitutes
Sunday, 8 Jun, 2008 – 6:08 | Comments Off

PRODUCT: I.M. Healthy Soy Nut Butter
PROBLEM IT SOLVES: Peanut butter substitute. It’s also gluten-free.
COST: $5 or $6
AVAILABLE LOCALLY: Raley’s
REVIEW: Yuck, yuck, yuck. It comes in several varieties, none of which I like, though the crunchy version is almost palatable once you get used to it.
I tried I.M. Healthy because I haven’t been able to find my favorite faux peanut butter – the sunflower seed Sunbutter – locally. The first bite of Sunbutter feels a little funny in your mouth, but beyond that, it tastes dang close to the real deal. Looks like I’m going to be buying it online again, because I just cannot tolerate I.M. Healthy.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved