Hello Peeps! Hope everyone is having a peaceful and relaxing summer. I wish I could say the same; it’s been crazier than usual as all my kids are home for the summer (translation; NO SUMMER CAMP) and I’m going back to school getting my masters in professional writing. I’m also working on a new book (stay tuned…details to follow later.) It’s been a fun and exciting few months, but busier than usual. I promise I will try to post a few more new recipes for y’all to try this summer. As always, I’d LOOOOVE it if you would post a review for my new book The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals on Amazon. So many of you have written me saying how much you love the new book. I can’t tell you how much this means to me…and I would love it if you would tell the rest of the world as well. Spread the word by sharing your reviews!! Huge thanks….I am so grateful to my fans and readers for their dedicated support to my books, website and work over the years.
This past weekend was my daughter Chloe’s 13th birthday…omg I have a teenager!! Where has time gone? I remember the day she came into this world like it was yesterday. I was a young mom (by today’s standards) and was one of the first of my friends to have a baby. My mother passed away two years earlier and I didn’t have family around. It was such an emotionally challenging time, especially the first six weeks. I had no idea what I was doing. I was exhausted. I was still huge from gaining 65 pounds during a difficult pregnancy (sick 24/7). And my sweet baby girl had colic and reflux. In fact, when Chloe was only three weeks old, her reflux was so severe that she vomited, choked and started to turn blue. For the first time in my life I called 911. Thankfully she was OK after that terrifying episode, but I was changed forever. I was even more concerned and anxious about protecting my only child, and wanted to do everything I could to keep my daughter safe and healthy.
At times I went overboard…making sure Chloe was signed up for a million mommy and me classes, joined several playgroups and read T. Berry Brazelton’s book every day just to make sure I was covering all the bases. I will be honest, it was exhausting. I desperately wanted to be the perfect mom at any cost. However, trying to achieve such a high level of perfection cost me my sanity. And by the time my oldest son John was born and diagnosed soon after with life-threatening food allergies, I was at my wit’s end. I stopped caring so much about the latest trends in toddlerhood and got back to what really mattered; just loving my kids the best way I could. I learned to embrace the messiness of being an imperfect mom in a perfect-obsessed world. I also learned that there is really no right or wrong way in raising kids…just YOUR way. Who cares what everyone else is doing in their homes? Everyone has their own version of what works and what doesn’t. Moms today are so incredibly hard on themselves. We don’t need to be everything to everyone all of the time. As author Jill Churchill once said: â€śThere is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good oneâ€ť.
In honor of Chloe and her sweet 13 birthday, here is her favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner: yogurt parfait (dairy free of course!) with homemade granola. Happy Cooking everyone!!
The granola you find in most grocery stores often contain nuts and are packed with oil and sugar. We never bought it, and I never thought I could make a yummy granola, until I made this one. It is easily adaptable to whatever you and your family like. This granola keeps for a week in an airtight container.
Â˝ cup Soy, sunflower butter or other nut butter alternative
Â˝ cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups dried fruit of your choice; raisins, currants, golden raisins, blueberries, cranberries, banana chips, etc.
In a medium saucepan, combine soy or sunflower butter, honey, canola oil, vanilla and ground cinnamon over low heat until the mixture is smooth.
In a medium bowl combine the oats and salt. Add the butter mixture to the oats and stir well. Use your hands if needed.
Spread the granola mixture onto prepared pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the granola is lightly browned and toasted. Remove from oven, let cool on sheet and add dried fruit as desired. Serve with dairy free yogurt and fresh fruit.