Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Baby B's 14: A Salute to Global FPIES Day

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Once more the days and months get away from me! Our household is rather chaotic with our two and five year old residents keeping us on our toes! Can you believe that Baby B is 5 1/2 years old? My goodness, what happened? And Little C is approaching 2 1/2 years old. . . these girls are growing up!
Raising Awareness at the Doctor's Office for Global FPIES Day!

Despite their ages, we still are very much in the throes of food trials and reactions and the lovely grey area that so many of you know all too well. It is very daunting and overwhelming, but I feel a great deal of comfort in the larger amount of awareness that FPIES is getting these days. Hopefully, the awareness will turn to more education, the education to earlier diagnosis and new treatment options, and all of it will hopefully spur more novel research in the process. But I digress. . .

Today, as you are likely now aware, is Global FPIES Day (October 14th)! In fact it is the very first Global FPIES Day (thanks to The FPIES Foundation for sponsoring the day!) and it is really incredible to think that the day has finally arrived and to consider all of the work that has led to this moment. All of the families, all of the stories, all of the victories and all of the heartaches. Since October 14th is the official day, the FPIES Foundation (see www.fpiesday.com!) has invited the entire community, its supporters and its partners to "Find Your Fourteen!"--- to honor the day in fourteen distinct ways. Because this blog is a cooking resource and because I am currently watching my oven timer count down the minutes until chocolate chip muffins become a delicious reality in my house, I have decided to share fourteen recipes that have been life altering for our family-- B and C alike, as well as this chocolate-loving elimination diet nursing mama!

1. Merry Muffins These gave us a bday cake and a snack food. These opened up the doors to the world of allergy baking for me!
2. Arrowroot Cookies/Biscuits: The first recipe to appear on this blog and B's first encounter with a cookie!
3. 5 Ingredient Protein Power Granola Bars: The recipe that got me through many many long nights of my elimination diet with C
4. B's Sunny Bunny Banana Muffins Even though she can't eat these any more since she lost banana, this recipe is one of the blog's most versatile ones, as it can be slightly modified to make cupcakes, muffins and cookies. I love versatility!
5. Baby B's Coconut Crisps or Puffs This is a single food recipe (only uses coconut ingredients) but tastes like it has far more depth than the ingredient list suggests. This is the first cracker that B really enjoyed.
6. Squasher-tots: A recipe for C, one of her first in fact, that took her past purees and into something delicious and attractive. Posting to this blog this week!
7. Happy Heart Pancakes: The first pancake recipe that was not a flop! It took a long time to figure one out, but this is a keeper!
8. Fish Sticks: Again, B has since lost the ability to tolerate fish, but when she tolerated it, this was a great recipe for toddler "normalcy" and for practicality purposes, since I could freeze them in advance
9. C's Crazy Pancakes: Also posting to this blog this week, this is the recipe I have developed for C's pancakes. Siblings are different in many ways, and for my girls, their safe food lists definitely are unique to each!
10. Fancy Big Girl Ganache or Fudge: It is delicious. How could I NOT include this one?!
11. Sunflower Seed Butter Frosting: (scroll to the bottom of the post for this recipe) The first recipe that B actually snuck little bites of when I wasn't looking.  I cried when I saw this!
12. Happy Birthday Mama Safe Cake: A great way to incorporate beets into a delicious chocolate dessert. Among my allergy-free family members, this is the most requested cake!
13. B's Best Brownies: The secret to this recipe? If you make homemade whipped cream (with canned coconut milk and powdered sugar) and use this for half of your milk required in the recipe, these brownies are incredible.
14. Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies: Because, you guessed it, everyone deserves a cookie. And in Baby B's FPIES Test Kitchen, we take our chocolate VERY seriously. . . ;)

Even though Global FPIES Day has now come to an end for this year, the momentum does not have to stop. Please join myself, N, Baby/Big Girl B, and Little C in raising FPIES awareness and providing support to other affected families throughout the year. Be the voice!


Friday, May 2, 2014

That "Can" Do Attitude!

Let's carry on with our recipe fun fridays!

One of the easiest recipes I have found in the last year came simply from making a few modifications to the back of a can.

On the baking powder can, there is a recipe for biscuits. Since the large majority of the ingredients are not safe for us, instead of saying drat and moving on, I decided to throw in a few subs and voila! Biscuits!




Can-Do Biscuits
1 cup masa (or other safe flour)
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 Tbsp baking powder (remember-- if avoiding corn, HAIN is corn-free)
6 Tbsp shortening (or coconut oil. We use palm shortening)
1 tsp salt
1 cup safe milk (we use coconut)
1 Tbsp safe vinegar (we use coconut vinegar)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and lightly oil a parchment-lined baking pan. Generally, I use a large lasagna pan for this recipe but a cookie sheet would also work wonderfully.

Mix together the flours,, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, work the shortening into the flour mixture until entirely blended--- you should have a result that resembles coarse crumbs. Next, pour in half of the milk and blend well. Assess the consistency. You will want dough that is able to be rolled out. Pour in anywhere from 1/2 to all of the remaining half cup of milk (I usually use all f it, but sometimes I use a bit less, hence the range). Once milk is blended completely into the mix, THEN add the vinegar and only mix until worked into the dough. Let it rest for 2 minutes.

Form the dough into a large ball and place on top of a large piece of parchment paper. Place a second piece of parchment paper on top and roll the dough out evenly to be around 1/4 inch or just slightly thicker. Using a juice glass or biscuit cutter (or for fun, shaped cookie cutters!) cut out biscuits and place onto prepared baking sheet. Continue to roll out dough and cut out biscuits until all of the dough has been used.

optional: You can glaze these biscuits for a nice effect. All you need is

1 part honey
1 part safe oil
1 part safe milk

You may want to warm up the glaze mixture in the microwave slightly, just so the honey blends easily with the oil and milk. Blend with a spoon and lightly brush onto tops of unbaked biscuits.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until nicely golden brown on tops. The thinner biscuits will take less time, thicker ones will take longer. If you like salty things like B does, you may want to sprinkle salt over top of the biscuits when they come out of the oven.

Do these freeze well?  Yes, they do! I prefer to freeze the uncooked dough.

What I will do is roll out the dough and cut it completely into biscuits. Then, I bake the biscuits I want for that day and freeze the rest. To freeze the pre-cut, uncooked biscuits, i simply place them between layers of parchment or freezer paper and freeze them in a covered freezer container. If you are tight on freezer space, once they have been frozen in the container, you can transfer them to freezer bags to store in a smaller space.

When ready to bake the frozen biscuits,  use the same instructions that I described above in terms of temperature and pan preparation. Your time for cooking may vary slightly so you may want to keep a closer eye on this.


Friday, April 18, 2014

FPIES Frustration = New Cookie Recipe

New frustrations have arisen in addition to our regular batch of FPIES issues. At five years old and with no end to this parade of allergy nonsense in sight, I have decided to work on one thing in my control. For all that B deals with everyday, at least I can give the girl more cookies. And since we are decent sharers at our house, well, most of the time. . . we are sharing this with you! From our kitchen to yours, join us in drowning your frustrations in cookies if you can!

Top 8 free, FPIES common trigger free, and completely and deliciously unhealthy.

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 cup sorghum flour (or quinoa flour/millet flour/other safe flour)
1/2 quinoa flakes (or quinoa flour/millet flakes/rolled oats/amaranth flakes/etc)
1/2 cup baking cocoa (we use Hershey's)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar (depending on preference)
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
5 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (or other safe nut/seed butter OR coconut manna)
3 Tbsp shortening (We use palm. You could use a safe butter or coconut oil here)
1/2 cup safe milk (we use coconut)
1 Tbsp vanilla (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease a brownie pan if making bar cookies. This recipe will make: 2 1/2 dozen medium to large size cookies OR 1 13x9 pan of bar cookies OR 2 8inch circle pans of bar cookies.

In a large bowl, combine flour, flakes, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, sunflower seed butter, shortening and vanilla.

Blend sugar mixture into flour mixture. Once well blended, add milk and chocolate chips.

For an easier time rolling cookies into balls, you may want to refrigerate the dough for an hour or two. If you simply cannot wait that long (like those in our house, haha), you can scoop the balls unto the pan with a cookie scooper or use your hands to roll into balls. Just be aware that it gets a bit messy! The dough here is similar to a traditional peanut butter cookie dough--- you will need to squish each ball down into proper "cookie formation" just as you would if you were making traditional peanut butter cookies (this recipe is nut free of course-- just using this as a point of reference!)

If making bars, simply smooth into prepared pans.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Allow to completely cool before cutting bars or eating cookies. Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coffee Cake Follow Up-- Fancy, Big Girl Style


Last week I gave you B's new muffin recipe. Well, sometimes, you may be craving something a bit more than muffins! So today we will talk about how easy it is to turn this muffin recipe (and many other muffin recipes) into a coffee cake version for more of an adult presentation.

To start, like all of these recipes, this is a version of something that looks and for the most part tastes like a coffee cake. This may not be like the ones you buy at the store but it is close!

The first step is altering the initial recipe. For the sake of ease, let's use last week's recipe which is here. You really do not have to do much, in fact you don't have to change it at all. But in my opinion (take that for what it is, haha), there are a few things that you can do to make this more like a traditional coffee cake.

One thing you can do is, instead of just using a cup of unaltered berries, is to dice them into small pieces (even the blueberries-- I cut them into fourths), put them in a separate bowl, add 2 Tbsp of white sugar/cane sugar, blend, and let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so before starting the rest of the recipe. When you prepare the recipe, simply add this mixture instead of unaltered berries. OR, for better results, you could cook this mixture (berry mixture) down in a saucepan until it becomes more like a syrup and then when you get to the spot in the recipe for the berries, add the syrup that you made.

The other thing you can do, either by itself or in addition to the alteration above, is to add a coffee cake-like topping. This is super easy and adds a nice sweet crumb topping. All you need is 4 parts brown sugar (or coconut sugar) to 4 parts flour to 3 parts shortening (or butter, or coconut oil or coconut manna).

Translation for this recipe?

In a small bowl, blend:
4 Tbsp brown sugar (same thing as 1/4 cup)
4 Tbsp of safe flour
3 Tbsp of shortening (I used palm)

The mixture should be crumb-like. Once ingredients are blended together, set aside. Prepare the rest of your recipe according to the instructions and pour into prepared pan. Ensure that the to of batter is relatively smooth. Using your fingers, sprinkle crumbs over top of batter until entire top is completely covered. Bake according to original recipe instructions. You may want to peek in on it a bit more frequently to ensure that the topping does not burn. If the topping does start to appear like it will burn before the cake is done, you can do a few different things. (1) make sure that the cake is closest to the center of the oven and the top isn't too close to the heating element, (2) cover the cake with foil (being careful not to disturb the topping), (3) decrease the oven temperature and increase your baking time to correspond.

You could also do these alterations and simply keep the recipe as muffins. I decided to make a coffee cake version because it had been five years since I had one of those yummy bakery coffee cakes and for whatever reason, I woke up with a craving and decided I was going to make one. ;) Enjoy your "adult" Sunday breakfast treat and if you can have coffee with your coffee cake, drink an extra cup for B, C, and I!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Berries for Breakfast

As many of you can relate I am sure, getting our kiddos to eat can often be a struggle. Between normal age and stage pickiness and all of the issues that arise from reaction pain/anxieties, it can seem like an impossibility at times to get through three meals a day.

Slowly, B has been eating less and less and is now at the point where she is refusing breakfast 5 of  days a week, entirely. I told her that I would make her whatever she wanted if she would start trying to eat and she decided on berry muffins. Happily, an easy choice! This is what I came up with:

B's Merry Berry Muffins
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes (or amaranth flakes, millet flakes, or rolled oats)
1 cup sorghum flour (or corn flour, or wheat flour, or millet flour, etc)
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar but coconut sugar would be yummy)
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
4 Tbsp sunflower seed butter or safe nut/seed butter (or coconut manna/butter!)
2 Tbsp palm shortening (or safe nut/seed butter, or coconut manna/butter)
1/4 cup safe oil (we use canola)
2 Tbsp honey/maple syrup/coconut nectar
1 - 1 1/2 cups safe milk (we use coconut)
2 Tbsp coconut vinegar (or other safe vinegar)
1 Tbsp vanilla (OPTIONAL)
1/2 - 1 full cup finely diced berries of choice (1/2 cup was fine for us)

Makes 36 mini muffins and one 4x6 coffee cake (for coffee cake recipe, stay tuned for next week. There are some alterations here) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and prepare 36 mini muffin cups (approx 12 regular sized muffins).

In a medium bowl, combine flours and baking powder. Add in sugar and blend well. Add oil, then shortening and sunflower seed butter. Pour in the honey. Mix all ingredients well and then blend in the coconut milk until mixture is well blended. Add berries!

Combine vanilla into mixture completely. Add vinegar and mix JUST until blended in.

Using a small cookie scoop or Tablespoon, scoop spoonfuls of batter into each muffin cup, filling each 3/4 to completely full. Bake in a 375 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and spring back when you poke them gently.

These may look done but feel a bit soft when you poke them in the center. Still, remove them from the oven and keep them in the pan as they sit on top of your stove to cool. They should set up just fine.

Next week, I'll give you the scoop on how to do a few quick alterations and to create a beautiful coffee cake to have for the more adult presentation, in case you are getting sick of muffins ;).




Friday, March 28, 2014

Chocolate Chips: Are They REALLY Ever Just Optional?

I believe that, in FPIES, as in most things, we get bones thrown to us once in a blue moon. Something to make the road a little less difficult, to give us a break, whatever it may be. Often I talk about the amazing support of the FPIES community, or some other life line that helps us to get through. Tonight, I am here to talk to you about something slightly more superficial but all the same, truly lovely-- chocolate.

That is the bone that we have been thrown. And I am so grateful for it.

I can still eat basic cocoa on my elim diet (as well as Enjoy Life Chocolate chips) and B can eat cocoa and EL chocolate chips also! I really hope that little sis C can join us in our love of this sweet sweet treat in the months to come!

Because B does not have a ton of safes and because treats are not super common in her diet, chocolate is happily our go-to, our "Add-in" to make a food more enticing so that she will eat it. Now don't get me wrong-- I add very little at a time, and I don't put it in everything, but baked goods get a nice dose of it about 50% of the time at our house!



In honor of this delightful treat, here is our current waffle recipe. And a note-- I cheat with waffles and use this pan instead of a waffle iron. Not quite the same, but so much easier to clean! Chocolate chips are of course optional (sometimes I sprinkle the chips into individual waffles so that some are plain):

Wonderful Wake-Up Waffles (also great as pancakes!)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar or maple sugar!)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil (or other safe oil)
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (or other nut/seed butter)
1 1/4 cup safe milk (we used coconut) 
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional)
Chocolate chips/ cut fruit/ whatever you might want to put in your pancakes or waffles-- optional

If using a skillet or waffle iron, you will need to lightly oil the surface. I like to melt a bit of coconut manna in the skillet and then pour it into the batter if there is excess.

Mix flours, flakes, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl. Blend well. Add canola, maple syrup and sunflower seed butter. Blend all ingredients well. If using chocolate chips and/or vanilla, blend into mixture. As soon as the pan/skillet is ready, add milk to the mixture, blend thoroughly and then pour into prepared pan/skillet. Cook as you would typically cook waffles or pancakes. Just a note-- your batter will not be thin--- it will be thick and need to be thick in order to hold up.

Enjoy!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fifth Birthday

Another birthday has come and gone. B is now getting so big! She still loves being a big sister (most days), loves arts and crafts, loves trucks/cars/any and all vehicles and legos. . Now she goes to gymnastics class twice a week and it has been a great outlet for her. Still homeschooling but we are considering public kindergarten for the fall. She has truly become an amazingly spirited girl and a very strong one, a strong girl who still very much deals with allergies and FPIES everyday. 


This year's birthday: Lightning McQueen and ice skating. Never a dull day! Happy birthday to my sweet girl!! I can't wait until May for little sis to turn two!!!