Happy 2020. I took a long time off for the holidays this year. It was a much needed break for me and I was able to visit family and spend time with those I love.
Traveling can cause a lot of anxiety for those of us who have to avoid food due to Celiac Disease, Food Allergies and other food avoidance diagnosis. Extra planning for your travels and taking your own food helps ease some of the anxiety with travel. For me, if you have been following you know, I take Bobo bars or Bobo bites. I always take a reusable water bottle to fill up at the airport after going through security. I also pack a reusable thermos for hot coffee.
When planning for a trip check out the airport you will be traveling to and from ahead of time. Even if there is just the standard gas station offerings there can be some safe food. For my Dairy/Soy/Peanut/Tree nut allergic Celiac child, Lay’s potato chips are offered almost everywhere.
Now that I am back and spent the last two weekends binging three seasons of The Great British Baking Show I have so many baking ideas in my head. I love the bold flavor combinations that so many of the contestants use in their bakes. I am not very artistic and the thought of piping anything is intimidating. My baking goals for the year do include “learn how to decorate cookies and cakes.” For today I will stick with some of my tried and true recipes.
My local veggie market has had blueberries at a great price so I made blueberry crisp twice this past week. I love my Apple Crisp recipe but find this drier topping pairs well with blueberries. You could use it with any fruit, and the addition of the oatmeal is a nice texture change from the hot fruit.
I heat this up for a treat mid-day, but have been known to have it for breakfast.
I love to try making all the fall baking treats. I still haven’t been able to make a good Pumpkin Bread, so I thought I would try a Pumpkin Bar. It was definitely a “No”. Too chewy and oily.
Baking fails happen. It often feel worse now that I’m using all the different gluten-free flours and dairy alternatives that are more expensive. But I had plenty of baking fails before we needed to change our diets due to Celiac Disease and food allergies.
It’s a good thing I have Aldi’s new Sea Salt Caramel Dessert Hummus to have with apples instead of the chewy pumpkin bars. Have you tried this seasonal dessert hummus? It is really good.
I better make some Brownies, since when my kids saw the pan yesterday they thought brownies (it is the only thing the pan is used for) and I had to quickly warn them it was NOT brownies.
I’m back to the pumpkin bar/ pumpkin bread drawing board. I also have one other dessert I am trialing this week. I hope it turns out better than my pumpkin bar experiment.
My recent trip to Denver concluded with the best meal we had while visiting.
A friend who is local and a foodie (and aware of our food allergy needs) had recommended a few restaurants and we were able to get into Root Down.
I was so impressed with the knowledge of the staff. When my daughter listed her allergies (Dairy (ANA), Soy Protein, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, and Celiac) the waitress said that’s not too bad! My daughter was relieved as the waitress pointed out the entrees on the menu my daughter could enjoy. Then when I listed my allergies (Dairy, Celiac, and Nightshades) I asked about a certain dish and she said “that usually has Goji Berries on it but we are using something else right now instead. I was amazed she knew that Goji Berries were a nightshade.
I ordered the beet salad minus the cheese and the risotto. Both were wonderful! My daughter order the crab taco’s and although she wasn’t too sure if she liked them, she was able to try something new.
The best part of Root Down was that we were able to order dessert! We ordered both the tiramisu rice pudding and the truffles. Dessert! We never get to order dessert! Now I need to learn how to make truffles because that’s all my daughter can talk about. The desserts tasted heavenly.
Tiramisu Rice Pudding
I definitely would put Root Down on your itinerary when traveling to Denver with food allergies. They made us feel both special and normal! Thank you for making our trip safe and delicious.
Organizing wise I am washing and packing away the rest of the winter coats. I had packed away the boots and snow pants a few weeks ago. My kids are older and the amount of “after school’s out” paper deluge is becoming less and less. In fact I only have one packet of papers from one child and a small pile from the other. Such a relief.
We are having a few friends over to celebrate the end of school and are planning a super simple menu. Chips and salsa, fruit, drinks and some yummy baked goods. (Including the awesome little sugar cookies in the above picture!)
In the garden I have lots of seedlings coming up and have planted plenty of tomato plants. I know, “but you can’t eat tomatoes”! But I feel a vegetable garden is not a garden without tomatoes. So this year I have 5 different types, and a few pepper plants too. My favorite part of gardening is letting things bloom and go to seed.
In part of my garden I currently have a blanket of fennel, dill, cilantro, mustard, and borage seedlings. It smells heavenly when you walk through them. I’ll pull most of it up in a few weeks when I plant another round of seeds.
The Nourished Festival is in Chicago this weekend. If you are new to Celiac/Food Allergies it is a great place to get know companies that truly care about allergy friendly foods. If you have been living with Celiac/Food Allergies for awhile it is always good to scope out the new finds and sample some of the new products that will be in stores soon. I shared the event on the Cygnet Organizing facebook page and if you buy tickets ahead of time there is a discount.
Part of being an AllerCoach™ is Auto injector education. Always have at least two auto injectors with you.
I’m not sure I would be brave enough to not have my auto injector secured inside of something, but this made my day to see this woman biking. I usually use a running belt to hold my Auvi-q’s and phone while biking, but may need to get a real bike shirt.
I love watching the show British Bake Off. I have watched every season multiple times (Except the last one which I just finished, but will rewatch soon.) The show always gives me ideas and makes me think, I can do that! It also make me think, I can’t do that! When they made Angel Food Cake for the technical I thought…that seems like it would be easy to make gluten-free.
I like to make this cake at least once a month. I use boxed egg whites I buy at Aldi. Each box I can make an Angel Food Cake and a batch of Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookies.
There are a few tricks to this recipe. First, the egg whites need to be at room temperature. Second DO NOT grease the tube pan! Third cool the cake upside down on a rack in the pan. I now have two tube pans because I kept forgetting and spraying the pan! Now I just get the second one out and use it.
I don’t decorate this cake. Because decorating is not my strength in the kitchen. I eat it with some berries and sometimes with a scoop of SoDelicious CocoWhip. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do.
Today is National Brownie Day! And I may be making Brownies later, but I am finishing up these yummy soft cookies I made the other night.
I usually top them with Candy Cane bits, but they have been hard to find this season. I could try to break up some candy Canes, but the last time I did that it was not pretty.
I use chocolate chunks in these cookies, but they would be just as good with chips. The teaspoon of peppermint oil gives it a nice holiday taste. I have made these at other times of the year and left the peppermint out and they are just as good.
One of my goals for this winter is to add more Hygge to my life. To slow down and enjoy the holiday season. To be thankful for my snuggly cats and the warm blankets. To listen to Christmas music and turn the lights on on my tree whenever I am home. Some coffee and the soft cookies were a great Hygge addition to today.
I’m spending today looking through my Christmas and Winter boards on Pinterest and planing my holiday baking.
I still haven’t perfected rolled out sugar cookies. Plus I love to bake but decorating the cookies is not my strong suit. I saw some beautiful Linzer Cookies the other day and hope to make some of those too. I have a friend who makes holiday candy that looks safe for us to eat so that will make it on the list this year. And don’t forget the Hot Chocolate! I plan on trying some fancy versions this holiday season.