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Latest Allergy Test

January 22, 2014

allergy test 2014Last week, Joseph saw the allergist for his semi-annual appointment. I told the doctor that since our last visit, Joseph has had no problems eating scrambled eggs, and is doing well with cheese and baked milk, so we wanted to see if he had outgrown those allergies especially.

With the results of the test, here are the doctor’s recommendations. The numbers next to the foods correspond with the labels on Joseph’s back.

  • Try giving him wheat (3) and see if he reacts. The allergist is of the opinion that a lot of skin tests that are positive for wheat are false positives, related to hay fever.
  • Avoid raw egg (4) (mayonnaise) and milk directly (5) but continue with baked milk and cheese.
  • Avoid cashew (23)/pistachio family and walnut (21)/pecan (24) family.
  • Almond (19) and hazelnut (20) now test negative, though were positive before. Although if you look at Joseph’s back, I would guess that the hazelnut and walnut wheals merged together, instead of having the entire wheal attributable to one.
  • Avoid peanuts (25)

So this week, we have backed off on the milk testing and are giving Joseph wheat crackers. So far, I have not seen a reaction. Hooray! I have to say, I did not expect wheat to be the allergen that Joseph would outgrow first. I had hoped that he outgrew his milk allergies too, since he is no longer breaking out in hives, but he stops eating regular ice cream and cow’s milk after just a couple bites. I try to get him to say whether or not his tummy hurts with it, but I think I just confused him.

So what does this mean for the blog moving forward? I have a stock built up of gluten-free stuff to work through/give away, so I’ll keep doing some recipes, but it may be in the next few months I stop posting on this blog, as I don’t have to adjust our diets as much anymore.

For the curious, here are the numbers from Joseph’s test. And the results from May 2012 and November 2012. First number is the diameter of the wheal (raised bump) and second number is the diameter of the erythema (red flare)

  • wheat: 5/10
  • egg white: 3/10
  • cow milk: 10/30
  • almond: 0/0
  • hazelnut: 0/0
  • walnut: 40/55
  • brazil nut: 0/0
  • cashew: 35/50
  • pecan: 20/40
  • macadamia nut: 0/0
  • pistachio: 32/50
  • peanut: 10/30
  • histamine (used as control): 5/30
  • saline (used as control): 0/0

Crustless Spinach Quiche Trial: Gluten-free, Nut-free

January 17, 2014
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After making the Curried Turkey Soup, I had a bunch of spinach leftover, so I went looking for a recipe to use it. I was originally planning on making a salad, and then I caught sight of a Crustless Spinach Quiche on I hate making pie crust, gluten-free or not, so this idea intrigued me.

The Changes

We’re experimenting with baked milk, so I kept all the cheese as is. Everything else is already Joseph-safe. And I used fresh spinach instead of frozen since that’s what I had.

spinach, salt, oil, pepper, eggs, onion, cheese

The Method

Saute onion in oil in a skillet until tender. Add spinach. Saute for a couple of minutes until wilted.

quiche 002

In a large bowl, whisk eggs together. Add cheese, salt, and pepper.

quiche 003

Add spinach mixture to egg mixture. Pour into a greased 9″ pie plate.

quiche 004

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes until eggs are set. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

quiche 005

Crustless Spinach Quiche

Adapted from

Gluten-free, Nut-free


  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups shredded Muenster cheese (1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, saute onion in oil for a few minutes, until tender. Add spinach. Saute for another minute or two until spinach is wilted.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs together. Add cheese, salt and pepper, and mix until combined. Add spinach mixture. Stir until well mixed. Pour mixture into a greased 9″ pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, until eggs are set.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes 4-6 servings

What I Thought

I quite liked the taste of this quiche, and was surprised with how well it held together without a crust. In fact, I didn’t even miss it. My husband agreed with me that it tasted good. My daughter and Joseph both only ate half of their pieces after a bit of prodding. I’d still do it again.

Entitlement and Fitting In

January 15, 2014

There’s an article going around facebook about raising kids without a sense of entitlement. I do agree that kids need to learn a good work ethic and not take things for granted. But there was one sign of entitlement that rubbed me wrong.

4. I want it because everyone else has it. My 7 year old has asked for an Elf on the Shelf every day this week. Why? Because she feels left out that many of her friends have one. And that’s awesome for them, but I don’t want that to be the focus of our season and I honestly don’t have time or energy to create things for the stuffed animal to do. The bottom line for us: it’s okay for you not to have what everyone else has. I asked my daughter, if everyone had a swimming pool, would you want one too? She said yes. Clearly, we are working on this one.

Of course she said yes! Look at us as adults. If everyone has an iPhone, or Fitbit, don’t you start to wonder if you aren’t missing out on something useful/enjoyable? xkcd points this logic out beautifully in one comic.

And then there are those with food allergies, who can’t have what everyone else has. If my son is somewhere and everyone else is eating and I have forgotten to provide him with an alternative, of course he’s going to feel left out. This pain is very valid and very real.

So what are we going to do about it? Parents can’t afford to buy every cool gadget kids want, and food allergic kids can’t eat what everyone else is eating without doing damage to their bodies. First, I think kids need to learn that everything has a cost. And not just monetarily – there’s time, health, and opportunity costs. Once kids understand this, they can judge for themselves if it is worth it.

Second, kids should learn to look beyond the fact that everybody has x to what is everybody getting out of x. Would our kids even get the same benefit out of it as everybody else? If x is unobtainable, then is it possible to find a substitute? If they are empowered to find a solution, that would build their confidence to take on bigger problems. I know that’s happened as I have found alternate recipes.

Third, and most importantly, kids (and everyone) need to learn to accept, and even celebrate differences. If a person is welcomed into the circle, the pain of feeling conspicuous due to lacking x lessens until it often vanishes completely.

Curried Turkey Vegetable Soup Trial: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

January 10, 2014
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I still had some turkey leftover from Christmas, so I went looking for a soup recipe. As I was searching, I came across a Curried Turkey Vegetable Soup from Taste of Home that I had made and liked before cooking allergy-free. And since coconut would go well with curry, I decided it would be an easy switch to making it Joseph-safe. The Changes I subbed coconut milk 1:1 with the half-n-half and cornstarch 1:2 with the flour. When I’d made it before, I noted that it called for way too much spinach, so I cut that down too. spinach, coconut milk, chicken broth, salt, curry powder, onion, sage, corn starch, celery, turkey, potatoes, carrots The Method In a Dutch oven, cook onion in oil until tender. Add curry powder, and cook and stir for a minute. Add chicken broth, celery, potatoes, carrots, parsley and sage. curried turkey soup 002 Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk and cornstarch. Add coconut milk mixture to the soup along with turkey, salt, pepper, and spinach. curried turkey soup 003 Return to a boil, and cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened and spinach is wilted. curried turkey soup 004

Curried Turkey Vegetable Soup

Adapted from Taste of Home Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups turkey, cooked and chopped
  • 4 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a dutch oven, cook onion in oil until tender. Add curry powder. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, potatoes, celery, carrots, parsley, and sage. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and coconut milk. Add coconut milk mixture to the soup, along with turkey, spinach, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil, and cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened and spinach is wilted. Makes 5 servings.

cover copy copy This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).

What I Thought Once I added the salt that I had forgotten to put in, it tasted pretty good. My husband liked it too, though he thought there was still too much spinach. Joseph only wanted to eat the turkey (or chicken as he insisted on calling it) and my daughter only wanted to eat bread. Typical.

Shared on Gluten-free Wednesday and Allergy-free Wednesday

Your Favorite Recipes for 2013

January 8, 2014

Top Posts 2013

  1. Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
  2. Cranberry Orange Scones
  3. Sweet Cornbread
  4. Muddy Buddies
  5. Sunbutter Rice Krispie Treats
  6. Chicken Pot Pie
  7. Chicken Flavored Rice and Pasta
  8. Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread
  9. Coconut Ginger Sauce
  10. Cinnamon Rolls

And since a lot of these are repeats from last year, here are some honorable mentions:

I’m glad that so many people have enjoyed my recipes as I continue to find new foods for Joseph to enjoy without his allergens. Here’s to a safe and yummy 2014!

Shared on Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Allergy Free Wednesday

Chocolate Orange Baked Oatmeal Trial: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

January 3, 2014
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I had TONS of oranges in the fridge in December, so I went looking for a recipe to use a few up. Then the Chocolate Clementine Baked Oatmeal from The Healthy Maven caught my eye. Now, my husband HATES oatmeal, but I thought he might like the fact that it was chocolate, and perhaps baking it would give it a different texture.

The Changes

I used coconut milk instead of almond milk, and used a real egg instead of a flax egg. Everything else was the same. Note, my oats aren’t certified gluten-free.

maple syrup, oats, coconut milk, orange juice, baking powde,r cocoa powder, clementine oranges, egg

The Method

Combine oats, baking powder, and cocoa

chocolate orange oatmeal 002

Add orange juice, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Add in beaten egg.

chocolate orange oatmeal 003

Add in chopped clementine oranges and transfer to a 9″ cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

chocolate orange oatmeal 004

Cut into wedges and serve.

Chocolate Orange Baked Oatmeal

Adapted from The Healthy Maven

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free


  • 2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 5 clementine oranges, peeled and chopped

In a large bowl, combine oats, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add in coconut milk, orange juice, and maple syrup. Beat the egg, and stir it in. Chop the clementines and fold them in.

Transfer to a 9″ cake pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Makes 4-6 servings

What I Thought

As I was making this, I was thinking about the milk chocolate oranges that I love to eat. The taste of this oatmeal was nowhere close. I should have realized that unsweetened cocoa powder with no sugar would be very bitter, which it was. I choked down two wedges, (the second with lots of sugar added) and wanted to throw the rest away. My husband gallantly ate some, and snacked on it for a couple days before he agreed to throw the rest away. Because I didn’t like it, I didn’t force it on the kids either.

Mexican Rice: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

January 1, 2014

Unlike my First-try Friday posts, this recipe was tweaked until I got something I liked. We eat a lot of rice, and I wanted to pair it with something other than chicken. But the recipes I usually see call for stew meat or meatballs, which I don’t always have on hand. So, I grabbed some ground beef and set out to create a Mexican-y dish. corn, beef broth, garlic powder, salt, salsa, rice, pepper, tomato sauce, chili powder, paprika, ground beef The Method Brown ground beef. Add all the other ingredients except rice and bring to a boil. mexican rice 002 Add rice. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Mexican Rice: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

Mexican Rice

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 14 oz can beef broth
  • 1 cup corn (or 1 can, drained)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cups uncooked white rice

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Add all the rest of the ingredients, except for the rice. Bring to a boil. Add rice. Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Makes about 4 servings.

cover copy copy This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).

Shared on Allergy-free Wednesday and Gluten-free Wednesday