I’m BACK!

First of all, I want to apologize for being such a loser blogger. I’ve had several, OK lots, of people email me asking where I have been these past few months. They want to know if my website address changed. They want to know if I am alive and well. They want to know if I quit blogging or recipe writing or advocating altogether. My answer to all of the above; NO. A big fat NO. I’ve only been temporarily disconnected. My life has been crazy busy! But I’m back, and stronger and more resolved than ever to raise my voice not only on behalf of our food allergic kids, but for us, as parents in general. As Maya Angelou famously once said…”When we know better, we do better.” Right on sister.

Since my apparent last post in November (yikes…has it really been that long??) I’ve been working at an internship (yes, at my age), driving super long commutes (to LA and Santa Monica, need I say more?), and going to graduate school full-time (though I didn’t actually realize my course load was full-time until last Friday when I had to check my school status. I kept wondering why I was SO TIRED all the time, so I guess that explains it.) And aside from that, I am plugging along on some scripts, papers and material for a new book. Oh and my children; I still do all the normal stuff for them like homework help, grocery shop, cook and try to volunteer when I can at school but truth be told….I have sucked at that this year. (But I tried my best to be where I could!) Life has been busy. It has been hard. But it has been life-changing. And I mean that in the nicest way.

I’m having more fun than I have ever had….writing, working, learning and growing. But growth is challenging, no doubt. My children have seen me stressed, unsure, nervous, tired, resolved and disappointed. They also have seen me happy, elated, excited, creative, and more alive than I’ve been in years. I often work alongside them at the kitchen table, doing homework and plugging away, night after night. I have my good days. I have my off days. But every day is an opportunity to “know better to do better”. All I know is, that for right now, in this moment, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. And tomorrow, we might be somewhere entirely different. But that’s life, isn’t it? We’re all malleable, or at least we should be. Life is not really meant to be lived in a linear way, I think.

So here is a recipe I LOVE. It’s in my Meals book and it’s one of my favorite fast meals, especially now, during the craziest of days. Stay tuned in the next few weeks; LOTS of exciting food allergy information and stuff and events to share!! Thank you guys for always being there for me, for being so understanding and patient with my lame ass. LOVE MY PEEPS. Stay tuned….I’ll be in touch soon. xoxo

Kelly Rudnicki book

CHICKEN SALAD

Serves 2

 

This is my favorite way to use up leftover cooked chicken from my Weekday Roast Chicken recipe. It is very fresh, light and flavorful. I love to put it on a bed of spinach salad or tucked into allergen safe pita bread. Feel free to omit or add celery, grapes, apples, or raisins according to your personal tastes.

 

2 cups diced ,cooked chicken (leftover from Weekday Roast Chicken)

¼ cup Vegan Mayonnaise

¼ cup dairy free sour cream

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup finely minced celery

¼ cup finely diced peeled Gala or Granny Smith apple

½ cup coarsely chopped red grapes

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve as is or in allergen-friendly mini pita bread, tortilla or your favorite sandwich bread.


 

Giving Thanks….

1211-leftover-casseroleIs Thanksgiving really just two days away? Usually by now I would normally have scoured the Internet, foodie mags and my huge collection of cookbooks for new recipes to try for the holidays. Time slipped away from me this fall, it seems, and here I am just NOW thinking about what our Turkey Day Dinner is going to look like. Thankfully, I can go back to my tried and true Thanksgiving Day Allergy Friendly Menu and recipes for ideas.  Last year, my dear friend Silvana Nardone published my favorite classic recipes, and I will be turning to them again tomorrow. I am somewhat of a traditionalist (ok, sort of) and always like to stick with the classics for Thanksgiving. There is a certain comfort in the expectation of status quo, especially when you are dealing with holiday feasts. However, I’m dying to fry a turkey. So one of these years, I am going to invest in a fryer and just do it. Yes, I’m nervous I will burn my house down or fry my face off, but for the most part, I’m always game for trying something new.

I also just wanted to let you, my readers, know how thankful I am for YOU. Your words of inspiration, encouragement and support have meant the world to me all these years. I read everything you write to me, and try my best to respond to every comment or email. Everything I do regarding my books, articles or advocacy is completely influenced by you and your stories. You inspire me to do better, and to work harder. I am thrilled that President Obama signed the stock epinephrine bill into law recently, even happier that he outed his own daughter’s life threatening food allergy thus giving even more attention to the fact that food allergies affect so many of us. I am excited we continue to have forums, walks, expos, conferences, and summits every year that allow us, as parents, bloggers, and advocates to have a voice on behalf of our vulnerable children.

That’s the key though…USE YOUR VOICE to raise awareness. Talk about our world, and how to keep our kids safe and included, especially in their safe haven…their classrooms. It’s our responsibility to keep not only our own children safe, but EVERYONE’S children safe. We are a community of dedicated, educated and loving parents who just want to keep our children alive. It’s really as simple as that, isn’t it? So don’t ever feel bad about asking for things, talking about things, or raising the roof once in a desperate while.

I will never give up fighting for safer allergy aware policies for our children. And I’ll never give up hope that we’ll someday find a cure for them too. Remember….ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. And I guess that’s what I am most grateful for this week….hope. I have enormous hope that 2014 and beyond will bring about even more change, awareness and research on behalf of our FA kids.

Finally, a HUGE thank you the absolutely amazing novelist Curtis Sittenfeld for this moving and beautiful piece she wrote for Slate today. Happy thanksgiving y’all….xoxox

 

Too busy to cook…sigh.

October MSL CoverWell, I only wish I could proclaim to my family on the busiest of nights that I’m simply too busy to cook, But the reality is, even if I didn’t have a child with food allergies, I’d still have to cook something. Because quite frankly, there are too many mouths to feed at the Rudnicki house to start taking orders for individual meals. I have found it is easier to cook one meal, and declare that “Dinner is served. Take it or leave it!”. This has kinda been my mantra for years, but it has been especially true the past several months since I’ve started graduate school. Mom stuff, writing stuff, sports schedules, and carpool schedules are mixed in with my homework and twice a week commute to LA…needless to say it’s crazy around here! So lately I’ve been putting my slower cooker to use and making simple meals that are healthy, fast and can double as left-overs.

These two recipes from Martha Stewart’s October Living issue (not to be confused with her fabulous Halloween issue) have been a lifesaver. The Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is very similar to mine in my book The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy Fast Family Meals. But I REALLY loved her addition of fresh lemon and parsley. I use my favorite dairy free Vegan parmesan cheese as a replacement for the dairy version. This is the fastest dinner you will EVER make. I promise. My kids LOVE  this dish too.

If I have a few extra minutes I love to make Martha’s Scallopini Alla Marsala dish. I love to use chicken cutlets in place of the pork tenderloin too. It’s a warm and comforting dish that is perfect on its own or with a side of the Spaghetti. Be sure to use dairy free margarine in place of the butter.

Bay area fans DON’T FORGET I will be in San Jose this Saturday October 12th walking with families to raise money for a cure at the FARE Walk/Run for Food Allergies in Memory of BJ Hom. To date they’ve already raised more than $98,000. Please come out to say hi! I will have books to sign and purchase for a donation to FARE.

Happy fall everyone!!!

 

 

K

 

 

Back to School…What’s for dinner?

Sept2013_COVER_V3_largeToday all my kids went back to school. I’ve waited for this day for a very, very long time.  For the past 13 years I’ve been very lucky to stay at home with my five children, making bottles, sleep training, potty training, making crafts, watching Barney and Elmo, going to the park, the library, the apple orchard, the museums, baking (LOTS of baking I might add), volunteering at preschool, grade school and now middle school, taken care of sick kids and just trying to be the best mom I can be. It’s been a whirlwind. But now I have to admit I’m ready for the next part of the journey. I’m ready to learn and grow as much as my children have been learning and growing. I’ve always loved school, I’ve always loved learning, and I love being a student of life. Our personal journey and evolution never ends. There’s always something new to do, to learn, and to see. I’ve only scratched the surface. I want to see and do MORE. And I want to share it all with my beautiful, amazing and talented children every step of the way.

So now that they are all in school full-time, I can take back some of my hours to do more of what I love. As mothers it is so important to remember who you were before you were a mom, and even before you were a Mrs. To nurture your own space, inner creativity, and personal needs is the greatest gift you can give yourself AND your children. Let them learn from YOU how to take care of their spirit by showing THEM what it means to love and honor yourself, and as well as everyone else around you.

So tonight, I’m back to school too. Grad school. I’m definitely out of my comfort zone and I love it. I love the feeling of opening my mind to all things new. But I still have to feed my family, and a fast and easy dinner is always needed at our house. So lately, I’ve been trying lots of new recipes that aren’t my own creations. This Chicken-and-Broccolini Mac and Cheese from the September issue of Martha Stewart Living has quickly become one of my favorites. The recipe below has been modified from the original to make it allergy-friendly. I have all of Martha’s books, magazines and many of her Everyday Food mini-magazines. She’s one of the few cookbook authors that I have truly learned from. Martha IS one of the great teachers of everything related to home-keeping and cooking. Since my mother passed seven months before my wedding day, I looked to Martha for all her tips on cooking, cleaning, decorating, and even ironing.

In addition to the recipe above, check out my Vegan Back to School Roundup of my favorite recipes at Martha Stewart Living. They’re super fast and delicious, and ones I’m certain your entire family will love.

Enjoy the new school year everyone…full of hope and promise to learn more and do better! xoxo

MD110116_Mac_and_Cheese_4631CHICKEN-AND-BROCCOLINI MAC AND CHEESE

Serves 4-6

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish

2 c. dairy free milk (soy, rice, almond, your preference)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves, cut in half horizontally

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

8 oz. dairy free cream cheese

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

12 ounces allergy friendly (dairy, egg, nut, gluten-free) noodles or small shaped pasta

12 ounces Broccolini or broccoli florets

1 3/4 c. dairy free cheddar cheese, shredded

1 c. fresh allergy friendly breadcrumbs (coarsely chopped allergy friendly bread in your food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 3 quart broilerproof baking dish with oil. Bring milk to a simmer in a pot. Add chicken; simmer until cooked, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Remove pot from heat; whisk in mustard and cream cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shred cooked chicken. Cook noodles or small shaped pasta in a pot of boiling salted water, 3 minutes. Add Broccolini; cook until noodles and Broccolini are al dente, 2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 c. pasta water. Drain noodles and Broccolini; toss with chicken, sauce, pasta water and dairy free cheddar. Transfer to a baking dish. Toss breadcrumbs with oil; sprinkle over casserole. Cover with parchment-lined foil; bake 20 minutes. Uncover casserole; increase heat to broil. Cook until top is golden brown in places and breadcrumbs are crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.

 

Summer update and a recipe for my daughter’s favorite breakfast….

Kelly Rudnicki book 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: “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one”.

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!!

HEALTHIER GRANOLA

Serves 4

 

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.

 

½ cup Soy, sunflower butter or other nut butter alternative

½ 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.

 

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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.

 


 

Dairy Free Mac and Cheese….& a signed cookbook giveaway!

_RKP7091

Before my newest book, The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals came out in February, I used to get emails all the time about how to make a dairy free, classic kid favorite, Mac and Cheese. I know the blue-boxed version is an orange, chemical disaster, but as a kid of the 1970′s and 80′s…I grew up loving the stuff and thinking it was a real “dinner”.

 

Truth be told, I still love Mac and Cheese, but not that boxed kind. Homemade is the only way to go, whether you have food allergies or not. My version is completely dairy free, fast, easy and tastes like the real thing. Pinky swear.

 

Hope you like it as much as we do around here. One more thing, It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week. Take a moment and email your school; principal, nurses, teachers and administrators to educate them about the importance of using Section 504 Plans in schools to protect our FA children in their classrooms. Emphasize that food allergies can and do KILL. It’s called Anaphylaxis, not an intolerance. Tell them food allergies are not a choice, but a real disability and that our children’s rights should and will be protected under the American with Disabilities Act. Educate every chance you can. We are all in this together, and it’s so important we speak out on behalf of our food allergic children across the nation.

 

In honor of FA Awareness week, I’d love to give away a signed copy of my new book! Comment below about how you made a difference in food allergy awareness this week and I will choose a winner at random this Friday! Good luck! And love you all! xo

CLASSIC MAC N CHEESE

Serves 4

 

The stove top portion of this dish only takes 20 minutes start to finish–almost exactly the same amount of time it takes to make that other boxed, powdery, fake cheese brand.

 

½ pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained

1 ½ cup soy or rice milk, slightly warmed on stove top

4 tablespoons dairy free margarine

¼ cup unbleached all-purpose or gluten-free flour blend

½ teaspoon dry mustard

1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup dairy free cheddar cheese, shredded (I use Follow Your Heart, this doesn’t have pea protein. If you are fine with pea or legume protein, you can also use Daiya)

 

In a medium saucepan, melt dairy free margarine over moderately low heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add 1 c. of the warmed soy milk and whisk constantly for 3 minutes until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Add the dairy free cheese and stir with a wooden spoon for about five minutes. Then add the remaining ½ cup warmed milk, salt, pepper and dry mustard and pasta. Stir until the dairy free cheese is nearly melted, about five minutes .  Once the cheese sauce is smooth and melted, add the drained, cooked macaroni. Stir and serve.

 

Serve immediately.

 

 



 

Allergy Friendly Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes

_RKP6355Allergy- friendly Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes is the epitome of springtime’s finest produce. The success of the dish relies on the quality of the ingredients so choose only the freshest, most vibrant ones you can find. Peruse your farmers’ markets or organic produce section at the store for bright green basil and green beans, along with gorgeous red or yellow waxy potatoes. The only specialty ingredient you must have on hand is Vegan/Dairy Free Parmesan Cheese Alternative (I use Galaxy Nutritional Foods brand, available at Whole Foods).

I first fell in love with this dish when I was newly married. I ordered it one night out to dinner with my husband, and couldn’t believe the delicious combination of fresh pesto with crisp green beans and just barely cooked potatoes. Over the years I routinely made it at home as it became one of my husband’s favorite meals as well.

Pesto is a food allergy nightmare as it’s routinely made with pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and sometimes extra pats of butter. My version has none of that yet it tastes nearly identical to the real thing. It’s easy to whip up in a blender or food processor and freezes well for a quick weeknight dinner or weekend lunch.

I’d also love to thank Babble for naming Food Allergy Mama a Top 100 Food Blog for 2013. I’m honored to be included in this amazing list of food bloggers for the third year in a row.

Hope everyone is having a great spring! Happy Cooking!

xo

 

PESTO PASTA WITH GREEN BEANS AND POTATOES

 

Serves 4

 

Be sure to reserve a little of the pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce when adding to the pasta.

 

 

 

For Pesto:

 

 

 

2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and packed

 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

2 medium garlic cloves, chopped

 

½ teaspoon kosher salt

 

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

2 tablespoons dairy free margarine, softened to room temperature

 

1/3 cup dairy free Vegan Parmesan cheese

 

 

In a processor or blender, puree the fresh basil, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in softened dairy free margarine and Vegan Parmesan Cheese. 

 

 

 

For the Pasta with Green Beans:

 

 

 

1 lb. allergen friendly or gluten free spaghetti or penne pasta

 

2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and washed

 

5 small, new potatoes, peeled and cut in half

 

 

Vegan Parmesan cheese for topping, if desired

 

 

Cook the pasta according to manufactures’ directions.

 

 

Meanwhile prepare a medium saucepan by filling halfway with water, put a cover on it and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook just until it can be pierced with a fork, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add the green beans to the boiling water, and cook five minutes. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the potatoes.

 

 

Drain the cooked pasta, but reserve about a ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.  Add just enough of the pasta cooking water to the pesto to make it a little creamier, then add the pesto mixture to the pasta. Add the green beans and potatoes and stir the entire mixture gently until combined. Serve with additional grated Vegan Parmesan cheese if desired.

 

 

 

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Hi Everyone!!!

Thank you so much for the awesome response to my new cookbook giveaway! Two winners were selected at random and have already been notified. I LOVED reading every single comment, question, etc. You guys are amazing. Truly my rock and I feel so lucky to have so many of you read my blog. Your stories are inspiring, your passion for cooking is contagious and honestly…it’s just so great to know there are so many of us out there cooking and baking and having fun!

I love your comments and reviews…and would LOVE LOVE it, if you could head over to Amazon to post a review for The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy Fast Family Meals. If my recipes work for you, and you love them, spread the word to other food allergy mama’s by sharing your thoughts! Big thanks…I truly appreciate it!!

Here’s a decadent Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake for Valentine’s Day that is also in the new book (and if you’re a longtime fan, a previous post a couple of years ago). Babble named it one of its favorite romantic dishes to share with you significant other.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! xoxo

 

My Go-To Busy Night Dinner…Turkey Sloppy Joes (John’s FAVE!)

_RKP6326Happy winter to you all! First of all, HUGE thanks to everyone who submitted a comment to my previous post. Your responses were overwhelming; beautiful, inspiring, funny and touching. I love you guys, my amazing readers, for all your continued support over the years toward this blog. As promised, a winner was picked randomly and will be sent Cybele Pascal’s new book! Stay tuned for another giveaway, this time for MY book..which will be out in just under two weeks…Feb. 5th! I can’t believe the time is finally here! So excited to share this latest book with you guys and hope you enjoy it as much as the baking book.

Speaking of my new book, here is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes from The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals that is kid friendly and easy to make; Turkey Sloppy Joes. I should have really called them Sloppy Johnnies because it’s John’s all time favorite meal, and one that he has requested as his birthday dinner for years. It’s also full of finely chopped veggies, which I love because my little guy Michael despises veggies in any form, so this is my sneaky way of getting the good stuff into him without him knowing. ;)

Thanks so much everyone and Happy Cooking!!

xo

TURKEY SLOPPY JOES

Serves 6

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

½ green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

½ red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 small garlic clove, finely diced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 ½ pounds ground turkey (dark meat)

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (omit if

 you have a soy allergy)

6 allergen-friendly hamburger buns, light toasted in 300 degree oven for a few minutes if desired.

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat and add onion, bell peppers, celery, carrot, garlic salt and pepper until vegetables are softened and onion and is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and cooked through, about 7-9 minutes.

Add brown sugar, dry mustard, tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to vegetable and turkey mixture. Stir well and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Serve on toasted allergen friendly buns.

FREEZER TIP: Mixture can be frozen up to two months in either a resealable plastic freezer bag or container. Reheat over medium low on stove top.

 

Dairy, Egg, Nut (and GF if needed!) Sugar and Spice Cookies….the BEST cookie exchange cookie…

Someone recently asked me for a good Cookie Exchange recipe. During the busy holidays, the best kind of cookie to make for an exchange is one that is fast and easy. Seriously, every year I have all these grand ideas of what I want to do for the holidays, and then this or that comes up and I hardly get to anything. Maybe that will change when my kids are a little older, but for now, I’ve decided I’m just going to roll with things a lot more, and “try” to stress a lot less.

So THIS is my answer to the question above; a very fast, very easy Sugar and Spice Cookie that is perfect not only for the holidays, but for any day of the week. It’s also a very pretty cookie, that can be dressed up in cute packaging.

Speaking of the holidays, my good friend Cybele Pascal’s new book just came out this past week. It’s a MUST HAVE for your kitchen counters, and makes a great gift item too. I’d use this book even if we DIDN’T have food allergies in our house. I love Cybele, and love this book. You will too, I promise.

Speaking of new books, this recipe, Sugar and Spice Cookies can be found in my new book The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy and Fast Family Meals. It’s dairy, egg and nut free but can easily be made gluten-free with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

One more thing, as I am getting ready with a new and improved website, I’d love to try a new post on this site called Ask Me. In the comments below, if you have a question about baking, cooking, 504′s etc. I’d love to hear it and will answer all of them in my next post.

Happy holidays everyone and enjoy these next few weeks with your families!

SUGAR AND SPICE COOKIES

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 ½ sticks dairy free margarine

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup organic honey

2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend

2-½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

Sugar Coating

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the dairy free margarine, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and honey, and mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and salt with a wire whisk. Add to the dairy free margarine mixture and mix well.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the cookie balls in the brown sugar mixture and place on parchment paper.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden brown on top. Cool completely on baking sheets.