Get Schooled In Snack Time

With five kids – including four boys – in my house, there are a lot of mouths to feed and please. And, of course, any time food is involved, I must consider my oldest son’s life-threatening (severe) allergies. I aim to make mealtime and snack time fun and stress-free for the whole family, but deciding on a recipe and proper preparation can get tricky when considering possible allergens.

Here’s one of the go-to allergy-friendly recipes in my house: chocolate sugar cookies. I often have them in a cookie jar on the kitchen counter next to bowls of fresh fruit for the kids to snack on after school.

To learn how to bake these cookies for your next snack time, check out the video below, which I made in collaboration with Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™, a campaign to help raise awareness of how to respond when a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) occurs. In the segment, I walk through step-by-step directions to create delicious treats that can satisfy anyone’s taste buds. Additionally, if you follow the instructions, your cookies will be free of seven of the most common food allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soybeans).

Avoiding known triggers is essential when managing severe allergies, but I know from firsthand experience that it’s always important to be ready with a complete anaphylaxis action plan, wherever you may go. In addition to avoidance, this should include knowing what signs and symptoms to watch for, having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors and seeking immediate emergency medical care if anaphylaxis occurs.

Visit Anaphylaxis101.com to see more of my recipes and to learn more about severe allergies if you or someone you care for might be at risk for anaphylaxis.

video

I am a paid spokesperson of Mylan Specialty L.P.

Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™ is sponsored by and a trademark of Mylan Specialty L.P. © 2015. All rights reserved. PAC-2015-0002

Food-Allergy Friendly Entertaining Tips and Tricks

Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to enjoy time with family and friends over the holidays.

After a whirlwind of entertaining and celebrating, I reflected on ways that we can be even more mindful of people at risk for potentially life-threatening allergies while entertaining for holidays, dinner parties and get-togethers.

I’ve partnered with Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™ — Mylan Specialty’s educational initiative that offers practical information to help communities better understand anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, and know how to respond should it occur – to provide you with four tips that my family and I find helpful all year long, but particularly while celebrating occasions with friends and family.

GetSchooled_HolidayTips_w13

 

I am a paid spokesperson of Mylan Specialty.

Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis™ is sponsored by and a trademark of Mylan Specialty L.P. © 2014. All rights reserved. PAC-2014-0157

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Blueberry Cake

It’s summer and I have an overabundance of blueberries. I love to mix them into yogurt, cereal, pancakes and muffins. But I especially love it in a cake form. This recipe is a variation of the Blueberry Buckle recipe in my book, where the blueberries are sprinkled on top with a sugary crust. The cake is outstanding; loaded with blueberries in every bite and a delicious brown sugar crumble on top. It is the perfect dessert in the summer topped with soy ice cream, or even for breakfast as a yummy coffee cake.

If you have other berries in the house, use them. Raspberries, blackberries will do well; just be really careful about folding them into the batter with a rubber spatula so the berries don’t break up.  Finally, many of you have written asking how my recipes can be soy free too. It’s super easy, just exchange soy free margarine and shortening (like Spectrum or Earth Balance) for my Unsalted Fleischman’s Margarine and Crisco. Happy Baking!!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE BLUEBERRY CAKE

1/2 stick dairy free margarine (or 4 T.)

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 T. water

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 c. dairy free “buttermilk” (mix 1/2 c. soy or rice milk with 1/2 T. white vinegar, let sit 5-10 minutes)

1 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

CRUMB TOPPING

1 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed

1 stick cold dairy free margarine, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously spray a 9 inch glass Pyrex baking dish with dairy free baking spray, set aside.

In the bowl of mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dairy free margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the water, lemon zest and lemon juice. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Alternate adding the flour mixture and soy “buttermilk” to the margarine mixture, combining thoroughly. Gently fold in the blueberries (or other berries) with a rubber spatula. Spread batter into prepared baking dish.

To make the crumb topping, combine the flour and light brown sugar with a wire whisk. Cut in the cold dairy free margarine with your fingers until crumbly and there’s still large chunks of margarine in the mixture. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over batter and bake 45-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean and crumb topping is lightly browned.

Cool to room temperature and serve.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

Who doesn’t love a great cookie bar? They are easy to make, easy to bake, and especially easy to take…bbq’s, parties, school bake sales, you name it. My Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bar is the perfect cookie bar; it’s delicious AND healthy. I love that it is full of whole grain oats. You could even add 1/2 c. chopped cranberries to make it more of a granola bar. Whatever way you like, it will be your next favorite snack to make on a hot summer afternoon with your kids.

Happy Baking!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS

1/3 c. dairy free shortening ( I use plain Crisco)

2/3 c. light brown sugar

1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp. good quality vanilla

1 c. unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. quick cooking oats (not instant)

1 c. dairy free chocolate chips ( I use Divvies or Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch glass Pyrex pan with foil and spray with dairy free baking spray.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, brown sugar, vanilla and applesauce. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture. Stir in oats and chips. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool slightly and cut into bars.

The FAM Baking Book gets a starred review from Library Journal…

It was wonderful to learn this week that my book received a starred review from the Library Journal, one of the most respected trade publications for librarians. It’s also one of the oldest, in its 133rd year of publication. Here’s what they had to say about FAM:

*Rudnicki, Kelly. The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book: Great Dairy, Egg, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family. Surrey. 2009. 112p. ISBN 978-1-57284-102-4. pap. $19.95.

This hot-off-the-presses gem is a baking basic for moms raising kids with food allergies. The whole family will enjoy the recipes, though there’s a focus on dealing with birthday parties and allergy-free treats for school.

I’m so glad that this book is available in many local libraries, and hope that other food allergy mama’s will enjoy the recipes as much as I have. I ‘m also thankful for you, all the amazing moms and dads, who often write me, sharing your family’s experiences with my recipes. I probably won’t be able to post as many recipes in the next several weeks as it looks like I’ll be having baby #5 in a week or two, but I promise I will do my best. After all, I can’t go very long without baking something. 🙂

Happy Baking everyone and thank you again for all your amazing support!!

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Corn Muffins

cornmuffins 001.resizedA reader last week requested a recipe for Corn Muffins, and a couple of other readers shared their yummy recipes (thank you!). I promised I’d share my Corn Muffin recipe from my book too. I make these muffins every time I serve chili for dinner because I can’t imagine a more perfect match. They are simply mixed in one bowl and make yummy regular sized muffins or mini muffins. In fact, I make the mini’s more often because my kids love to grab 2-3 of them at dinner. With Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner, these are perfect to make for parties as well.

I particularly love the combination of corn muffins with raspberries. If there are any muffins left over from dinner I love to have them the next morning spread with red raspberry preserves and dairy free margarine. These muffins also freeze well. Enjoy the cold weather weather and happy baking!

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Corn Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

1/4 cup dairy-free shortening (I use Crisco), melted

1 1/2 cups dairy-free buttermilk (1 1/2 c. soy or rice milk mixed with 1 1/2 T. white vinegar, let sit 5-10 minutes)

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450ÂşF, and spray a 12-cup muffin pan (or alternatively spray a mini muffin pan) with dairy-free baking spray.

 In a medium bowl  thoroughly combine all ingredients with a rubber spatula. Fill prepared muffin cups with batter, and bake 18 to 20 minutes (10 minutes for mini muffins), or until cake tester comes out clean.

“I wish…”

Christmastime is fully of merry wishes. For weeks my children speak of what they “wish” for. Today my 7-year-old John had somewhat of a different wish. After picking him up from school he said “Mom, I really wish I could order more lunches from school. I’ve only gotten to order a couple times this year.” Sigh. Today was Chicken Tender day, the infamous tenders that were safe to eat last year, but not this year because the brand that is ordered has changed and now contains milk. I suppose it was a bittersweet reminder to him of what he was missing out on.

Such a bummer. I know to the average Joe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for us food allergy mama’s, it brings up that whole inclusion thing again. Our kids routinely miss out on the simple things of childhood; walking through a lunch line at school AND being able to eat it, going out for hot cocoa when out shopping on a cold winter’s day, etc. So much in our lives is food-centered, and when you are dealing with life threatening allergies, well, it just doesn’t feel like “eat and be merry”.

I apologized to John for the lack of choices in his lunchroom this year (as opposed to last year). I tried to highlight the positive; there is now soy milk being being offered in his cafeteria whereas before his only option was water and sugary apple juice. He still wasn’t buying it. I guess some days he’s just sick of bringing in a turkey sandwich on allergen-safe bread.

So when John asked for an extra big slice of pumpkin bread for his after school snack, I happily obliged. I guess that’s what drives me so much to make yummy treats all the time. I love to eat sweets like the next sugar addict, but nothing makes me happier than seeing John indulge in something that would off-limits anywhere else. I guess you could say in the war on food allergies, it’s the way I try to win the little battles.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Spice Coffee Cake

applescoffecake 001.resizedI’ve had apples on my mind a lot lately. There are so many varieties on sale at the market these days, and as much as I’d love to make apple pie and apple crisp every day (my two favorite apple desserts) I wanted to experiment and make something new. So I took another one of my favorite treats, the coffee cake, and created the Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Spice Coffee Cake. It has quickly become one of my family’s favorite cakes. I especially love the fact it is easy to make and bakes in about 35 minutes.

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away,  I highly recommend serving this coffee cake at brunch or as a mid morning snack as everyone is waiting around the kitchen for the big Turkey Dinner. But I also love the cake served slightly warmed with a side of soy ice cream for a simple dessert after supper. My daughter in particular loves to snack on this yummy cake when she gets home from basketball practice. Whenever you decide to serve it, I can guarantee everyone will love it.

Happy Baking and enjoy!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE APPLE SPICE COFFEE CAKE

Yield: 1 13 x 9 cake

1/2 c. dairy free shortening

1 c. granulated sugar

2 T. water

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. dairy free sour cream

2 c. peeled, grated apple ( I like to use Granny Smith)

TOPPING

1/2 c. oats

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 T. dairy free margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13 x 9 glass Pyrex baking dish generously with dairy free baking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add water, vanilla  and dairy free sour cream, and combine well. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt with a wire whisk. Add dry mixture to shortening mixture and mix on until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in grated apple. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinke topping evenly over coffee cake and bake 35-40 minutes (depending on how hot your oven is, check after 35 minutes) or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.

Serve alone or slightly warmed with soy ice cream.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Gingerbread Cake

gingerbread 002.resizedThere’s a short list that is always associated with holiday desserts; pumpkin pie, apple pie, cranberry tarts and gingerbread cake. I love the complexity of a Gingerbread Cake; sweet and spicy with a tender crumb. If you love the taste of ginger, Gingerbread Cake is the way to go. It’s the perfect holiday cake to bring to Thanksgiving dinner parties and relatives’ houses as it travels well. In fact, molasses naturally preserves the flavor and texture of the cake, keeping it moist for days.

Gingerbread Cake is often served with dollops of fresh whipped cream, but really, it doesn’t need all that extra dairy anyway. I like this particular cake with a generous dusting of confectioner’s sugar, but my kids love it with soy ice cream. This is also another one of those recipes that literally takes five minutes to make. Usually by the time my oven is preheated, the cake is ready to go into the oven. I love fast and easy recipes that can be made on a whim for your family as a delicious treat after dinner, or given to friends, family and teachers over the holidays. Whomever you decide to make it for, I promise it will go on your Holiday Dessert short list as well.

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE GINGERBREAD CAKE

Yield: 1 8-inch cake

1/2 c. dairy free shortening (I like to use Crisco)

1/3 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. molasses

3/4 c. plus 1 T. hot water

2 1/3 c. unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspooon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioner’s Sugar for Dusting

Soy ice cream, for serving

In the bowl of  a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, molasses and hot water. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture, and beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bowl occassionally.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray an 8 inch glass baking dish with dairy free baking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in pan, and serve dusted with confectioner’s sugar and with soy ice cream.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Blueberry Bran Muffins

bran muffins 006There’s a chill in the autumn air, and all I seem to want these days is something warm and wholesome. I think that’s why I’ve made a lot of muffins lately. The Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Blueberry Bran Muffins is the perfect muffin when you’re looking for something with a little more substance. The classic blueberry muffin is still one of my all time favorites, but this one is a fantastic variation using Kellogg’s All Bran or Wheat Flakes cereal, soy milk and fresh or frozen blueberries. I love this recipe for its simplicity; just a bowl and a spatula is all you really need. It’s the perfect muffin to make with your kids as they can literally produce the entire recipe from start to finish by themselves. And because they helped make it, chances are they’ll actually eat and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

As a pregnant mama, I love making a batch of these even just for me, as it freezes well and can’t be beat for a quick on the go snack. I feel good knowing that I’m eating something that is at least somewhat healthy. Bring your kids to the kitchen, pull up a chair to the counter and make a batch of these. I promise you’ll enjoy them and make them a part of your “favorite muffin” recipe rotation.

IMG_2621[1

 

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Blueberry Bran Muffins

For this recipe, I use Kellogg’s All-Bran® cereal. Make sure you always double-check food labels for changes in ingredients.

 

 

Yield: 12 muffins

3 cups bran flakes cereal

11/4 cups soy or rice milk

1 tablespoon water

5 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, melted

13/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375ÂşF, and spray a 12-cup muffin pan with dairy-free baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine cereal, soy milk, water, and margarine. Let stand for about 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder with a wire whisk. Add the wet cereal mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries, and divide evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, and bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.