Daiya Pizza With Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni, Ham, Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions

Out grocery shopping one day I happened to notice a new product…

A bag of Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni

Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni by Maple Leaf.

As my son, Michael, has yet to try Pepperoni (due to cross-contamination issues at the deli and products that may or may not include his allergens) I thought he might like to try this new, allergen free (for him) Pepperoni. It would be the perfect compliment on his Friday Night Pizza Night ‘Daiya Pizza’ along with all his other toppings…ham, bacon, mushrooms and onions.

Michael's Dairy Pizza with bacon, ham, mushrooms and Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni

It was a hit…boy did it look and smell good!

A slice of Michael's Daiya Pizza with bacon, ham, mushrooms, onions and Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni

Enjoy!

How do you top your Daiya Pizza?

Advertisements

Gluten, Dairy, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Fall is here…

An Empire Apple at Watson's Farm perfect for picking

Perfect time to go apple picking!

It is all about apples at our house…the boys (including my husband, Andy) are super excited because ‘apple picking season’ means one thing…lots of baking with apples.

Andy jumped at the chance to go apple picking with me…so we made it a ‘date’. We headed off to Watson Farm after work…it is a little bit of country nestled amongst the city of Bowmanville. Together we picked a bushel!

I have already made 3 batches of applesauce, two Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen Cakes , two Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crisps and I made a froze a Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Piealways good to have something in the freezer, just in case.

I decided to make my Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crisp with a twist…I made it with gluten-free oatmeal and oatmeal flour!

Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Absolutely delish!

No one was the wiser…in fact, Michael, Matthew and Andy all commented that the crisp was “really good”. In fact, Matthew went on to add, “Mmmmm…the apples melted down into a tasty mush”. Well, okay?…I am taking that as a compliment!

If oatmeal is in your diet and you are as big a fan of oatmeal as I am…the Canadian Company, Chateau Cream Hill Estates Gluten, Wheat, Barley, Rye, Triticale, Spelt and Kamut Free Lara’s Rolled Oats and Lara’s Whole Grain Oat Flour are the ticket.

I just loved the combination of the toasted oatmeal flour and rolled oats a top the sweet baked apples. So comforting…the perfect fall dessert!

The following recipe is an adaptation from Canadian Living’s Country Cooking.

Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

6-8 apples peeled and thinly sliced (I used my freshly picked Empires)
2/3 cup Demerara Sugar
2/3 cup oatmeal flour
2/3 cup rolled whole oats (not instant or quick)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil

In a 8 inch baking dish add the sliced apples.
Tip 1: Use more or less apples to fill the dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Drizzle in the canola oil and mix to combine and form a crumble.
Tip 2:  I like to use my hands to really massage the oil in with the dry ingredients then I crumble it over top of the apples. Make sure all the apples are covered.
Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until the apples are have softened.
Tip 3: After 20 minutes, cover the dish with foil so as the top does not over cook.
Let cool on cooling rack.

Just in time for Thanksgiving Weekend!

Enjoying a bowl of Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmal Apple Crisp

Enjoy…still warm with its crunchy top!

Of course now my poor bananas are being left to the wayside. No worries, I can always bake up a Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Bread or Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Bundt Cake.

What are your favourite apple desserts?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Allergy Friendly Picnic To Stratford To See The Three Musketeers

Sunday, the boys, Nana, my nephews and I piled into my mom’s friend’s Bill’s van for a day trip to Stratford, Ontario…an allergy friendly picnic. (Note the Festival Theatre where we saw the show in the background)

The boys enjoying an allergy friendly picnic at Stratford

And a show…The Three Musketeers.

The boys at the Three Musketeers at Stratford

“All for one, and one for all!”

This was the third Stratford play for my boys…their first was Oliver and then Peter Pan…they were fabulous!

For my nephews, this was their very first ‘taste’ of the theatre…a great introduction to the theatre for the boys.

Everyone made their own sandwiches…which were wrapped up individually. Michael chose to fill his Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sub Bun with ham and romaine lettuce. (Note: the still wrapped cheese string was not his)

Michael's Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sub Bun with ham and lettuce for his picnic lunch at Stratford

On the side were fresh veggies (carrot sticks, red pepper and cherry tomatoes) and fruit (cherries, grapes and cubed watermelon).

Containers of grapes, cherries and cubed watermelon for our picnic at Stratford

Slices of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread were a hit.

Sliced Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Chocolate Chunk Loaf for our picnic at Stratford

I saved the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and Dairy, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares for the ride home with any leftover fruit.

I think the highlight of the day could have been the ducks and swans down by the Avon River where we picnicked.

The boys checking out the ducks and swans on the Avon River in Stratford

The boys were enamoured…I think Michael took about 150 pictures and cut it down to 70!

Picnics are perfect for solving where to eat when you have food allergies…and busy boys that like to get up and run around to expend some energy and explore.

Do you try to incorporate a picnic lunch into your travels?

P.S.  The table was covered with a table cloth to avoid any food contamination from previous picnickers.  A fork was used to take pieces of cubed watermelon, the grapes were cut into small bunches and the cherries were carefully pulled out one by one in order to reduce any cross-contamination.

Allergy Friendly Baking For The Summer

Summer’s Here…this week I decided to get started on some of my Allergy Friendly Pies to freeze for easy summer desserts.

I started with Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Pie (click here for the recipe) and a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Blueberry Pie. (click here for the recipe)

A Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple and Blueberry Pie ready to freeze for a summer dessert

One of each of the boys favourites.

Blueberries are all in the stores so I made 2 more with fresh berries.

Two Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Blueberry Pies ready to freeze

The family favourite.

I happened to have 3 apples left…not really enough to fill a double crusted pie…but just enough to make a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crumble Pie.

A freshly baked Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crumble Pie

Much to Michael’s delight!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crumble Pie

Crust

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/6 cup water (40 mL)

Measure dry ingredients into a bowl.
In a measuring cup, measure the wet ingredients.
Stir together the wet ingredients and swiftly combine them with the dry…do not over mix. I usually finish mixing the last bits of the dry in as I gather the dough together.
Roll dough out between two pieces of floured wax paper to the size of your pie plate.
Carefully pull back the top piece of wax paper keeping the dough attached.
Place dough carefully over the pie plate…remember, do not fret if the dough breaks or tears…pastry dough is very easy to just put back together.
Trim the edges and make a nice edge.

Crumble

1/2 cup Demerara Sugar
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil

In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together.
Pour in the canola oil and combine until it is crumbly.

Assembly

Fill the pie with the sliced apples…I had three.
Sprinkle the crumble over top.
Bake 375 F for 25-30 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden.
Let cool on cooling rack until ready to devour.

Enjoy!

Enjoying a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crumble Pie

What will be on your list of allergy friendly baking this summer?

Tip:  Freezing the pies in the extra-large freezer bags makes them perfect for travelling in the summer…they act as freezer packs, do not thaw out and can be placed right in the freezer or in the oven for an easy summer dessert with friends or family.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins To Celebrate Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins for Canada Day

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins are perfect to celebrate Canada’s 146th birthday!

What better way to celebrate Canada Day than with some maple syrup laced muffins!

These were the perfect treat to bring over to my neighbour/friend Leslie’s where my boys were having a fun afternoon swimming with their friends in their pool.

Natasha exclaimed, “They taste like pancakes!”

Not quite sure where I acquired and wrote this recipe down from…I have had it since before I was married…enjoy!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins for Canada Day

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Natura Rice Beverage
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (make sure it is the real thing)

Maple Glaze

1 tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 – 1/2 tsp of water to thin the glaze to your liking

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
Add the wet to the dry and stir just to combine.
Fill 12 paper lined muffin tin with batter.
Bake at 350 F for 20- 25 minutes or until golden.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin before removing them to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Spread with Maple Glaze.

Enjoy!

How will you be spending Canada Day? Baking anything special to celebrate? Do share!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts To Celebrate Canada Day

When you think of Canada…what comes to mind?  For many Canadian foodies…the answer would be Butter Tarts.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts…the quintessential Canadian bakery treat.

My first memories of Butter Tarts date back to when my Grandmother visited from England…my mother always had a box of Butter Tarts specifically for her mother…well, she did share them.

Grandma loved her Butter Tarts…as did I!

Unfortunately, I have not been able to share my love for Butter Tarts with my boys. For years, my boys have watched family members enjoying the simple pleasure of devouring the sweet and sticky tarts…dairy, eggs and the possibility of peanut/tree nuts make Butter Tarts .

So you can imagine my boys delight when I was able to re-create the famous Butter Tart to be dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free for them to enjoy.

I am still trying to perfect this recipe with the right cooking time and amount of filling.  My advice is to ere on the lighter side for the filling than to fill them too full. Refrigerating the pastry lined muffin tin before baking does make a difference on how much the filling overflows. Take the time to do that step.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Butter Tarts

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts cooling

Filling

2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. applesauce (I used cinnamon applesauce as it was all I had on hand)
1 tbsp. flaxmeal mixed with 3 tbsp. of water and left in the refrigerator overnight or until it thickens
1 cup packed Demerrera Sugar
2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
pinch kosher salt

In a bowl, mix together the above ingredients.

Dairy and Egg Free Pastry

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water

In a large bowl measure the flour and salt together.
Combine the oil and water in measuring cup.
Using a wooden spoon, carefully fold together the wet with the dry until just combined.
Divide dough in two.
Roll each dough ball out between floured wax paper until about 3 mm thick and cut 4 inch circles and tuck into muffin tins. Fill all 12.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Fill each pastry lined muffin tin with less than a 1/4 cup of the filling.
Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes watching carefully that they do not overflow…which mine did.
Let cool in tin for at least 10 minutes. (Do not fret if the filling has spilled over…just scrap as much as you can back in the tart.)
Carefully lift the tarts out of the muffin tin to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts

They may not have looked pretty but my boys loved them!

Happy Canada Day Weekend!

A Belated Father’s Day Family Barbecue: The Boys Help Make Dairy and Egg Free Pierogis

Andy was away on his annual fishing trip with ‘the boys’ Father’s Day weekend so our Father’s Day celebration was detained a week.

Andy’s sister hosted a Father’s Day Family Barbecue this past Sunday, inviting their parents, her three children, their ‘friends’ and our family…for a total of 12.

My sister-in-law called me this past week to confirm the menu:

Pork Ribs baked in the oven then barbecued…I brought a mustard free barbecue sauce for Michael’s ribs.
Pierogis…I brought Dairy and Egg Free Pierogis for Michael as her Pierogis contain dairy and eggs…click here for the post.
-plain carrots
-Andy’s mom baked a Blueberry and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie…as her pastry contains egg…Michael chose Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy Free Vanilla Icing.
-I also brought Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Stick for all to enjoy.

Packaged allergy friendly food to take to our Father's Day Family Dinner hosted by my sister-in-law

Here are all the goodies that I brought:

-a cutting board and knife in a shield for the bread
-a pot to boil the pierogis in and a bowl to contain them
-a large spoon to scoop out the pierogis
-the frozen pierogis travelled in the cooler with freezer packs
-missing is my Bodum Bistro Sauce Pot for transporting Michael’s mustard free barbecue sauce. I like it because the lid holds a silicone brush which goes right back into the container so there is less risk of cross-contamination by putting it down somewhere.

The boys have been at me to make their favourite Dairy and Egg Free Pierogis for some time now…I thought this would be the perfect time for them to learn how to make them.

A bowl of Dairy and Egg Free Pierogi made by Michael and his friends

Pierogis are not difficult to make…but they are time-consuming. I like to split the steps into two days:

Day 1:

Michael peeled and boiled the potatoes.
Refrigerated potato water for pierogi dough the next day.
Michael mashed the potatoes and added the Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and pepper to create the filling.
Covered and refrigerated potato filling for the next day.

Day 2:

I heated the reserved potato water while the boys measured the ingredients for the pierogi dough.
After the dough had time to rest for 30 minutes…the boys started to roll out pieces of dough to fill with the potato filling.
Pierogis were frozen on cookie sheets and transferred into freezer bags…setting aside enough to be boiled up for dinner.

Tale of Events

Michael ended up taking control of the pierogi making after his father showed him how he remembered watching his father make pierogis…rolling out the dough and cutting out circles.

Matthew and Michael rolling, cutting and filling Dairy and Egg Free PierogisMatthew didn’t like getting his hands all floury so Michael convinced him to be in charge of rolling out the dough and cutting the circles while Michael filled and sealed the pierogis.

I left them to sort it all out. From the other room, I could hear Michael’s encouraging words…”You’ve got the fun part…cutting out the circles.” Adding in,  “Whatever you do…do not start in the middle…start out here at the edge.” 

Dairy and Egg Free Pierogid made by Michael and Matthew

With admiration in his voice, I heard Michael state to Matthew…“We’re making pierogis!”

Learning how to cook/bake in general, let alone with food allergies is a life skill…basic cooking skills seem to be getting lost in this ‘fast food’ world.

I aim to take a stab at sharing the basic cooking skills my mother taught me with my boys…expanding upon them with the basic allergy cooking skills that I have learned along the way. 

My starting point…teaching my boys how to make some of their favourite allergy friendly dishes.

Wish me luck!

P.S. You’ll never believe what happened as I sat writing this post…I looked out the window to see two of my boys’ neighbourhood friends walking to our front door. I called out to Michael, “William and Victoria are here.” Michael’s response, “I know. They are here to help make the pierogis.”

William, Victoria and Michael making Dairy and Egg Free PIerogis

How awesome is that!

P.S.  Michael shared some of his Dairy and Egg Free Pierogis at the family dinner…all were impressed. Even Grandpa…’King of the Pierogis’…was curious to know what was in the potato filling and how we could make the dough without any egg!

I am curious to know:

Are allergic youth learning to cook for themselves at home or are they relying on parents or ‘processed allergy friendly food’?
Are allergic youth interested in learning basic allergy cooking skills? Would they sign up for a course if it were offered?

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffins/Cupcakes

Is it a muffin or a cupcake?

Michael opted for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes to take for his dessert at our postponed Father’s Day Family Dinner hosted by my husband’s sister yesterday. Click here for the recipe.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes topped with Dairy Free Vanilla Icing

I was thinking…what if I swirled in some brown sugar cinnamon in the middle of the cupcake…then again on top. Michael was not too keen on the idea but Matthew jumped at the chance to give them a try.

I filled three of the paper lined muffin cups with vanilla cupcake batter…Matthew sprinkled in some of brown sugar cinnamon mixture then gave it a swirl (1 tbsp. brown sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon). I topped them with more batter…Matthew sprinkled the tops with more brown sugar cinnamon and gave them a final swirl.

Ta dah!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffin/Cupcake

Delicious as a muffin.

Topped with a spread of Dairy Free Vanilla Frostingeven better as a cupcake.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffin/Cupcake topped with Dairy Free Vanillla Icing

Matthew loved them…“Mom, they’re definitely a cupcake.”

Enjoying a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffin/Cupcake topped with Dairy Free Vanillla Icing

Enjoy!

Allergy Friendly Cupcakes To Celebrate A Job Well Done: Co-op Placement

This year, Michael partook in a unique opportunity his high school offered the Grade 11 students…a Business Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM).

A SHSM, is a ministry-funded program providing students the opportunity to participate in specific courses, complete a semester in a co-op, experience extra learning opportunities, and receive certification in First Aid, CPR and customer service.

It has been a great learning experience and opportunity for Michael…a first-hand look at working in the ‘real world’ with food allergies.

It was a great learning experience for his co-op placement as well…once they learned of Michael’s multiple food allergies…they had all kinds of questions.

Would he be all right to answer the phone?  What if he had an anaphylactic reaction?

A meeting was held with his co-op supervisor, the board of education co-op representative, his business teacher, myself and Michael where all their questions were easily answered.

Their anxiety over Michael’s multiple food allergies (dairy, egg, sesame, peanut/tree nuts, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, mustard and raspberry) were eased by simply educating them all on the importance of washing hands, the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and the administration of the Epipen.  (When Michael switched to the Allerject…he took in the Allerject trainer to train his supervisor and those working with him)

Michael’s Epipen/Allerject had a special spot on his desk that his co-workers were aware of for easy access.

Tuesday was Michael’s last day at his co-op placement…he wanted to bring something to all his co-workers as a way to thank them for all their support and guidance.

What does one bring a large group of staff?

When I was working, people would just stop at Tim Hortons for a dozen doughnuts/muffins or pick up something from a bakery or the grocery store…unfortunately, that does not work for Michael with his multiple food allergies…dairy, egg, sesame, peanut/tree nut, beef, lamb, shellfish, fish, mustard, and raspberry.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes to the rescue!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Everybody loves cupcakes!

A simple solution to solve…sure it takes it bit more time and energy to prepare…but then, good things in life usually do!

The staff were pleasantly surprised when Michael arrived with his assortment of allergy friendly cupcakes…everyone loves to celebrate a job well done!

Click here for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes.

Click here for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes.

Enjoy!

How do you raise awareness of your food allergies or sensitivities with your co-workers?

Have you ever found that your food allergies or sensitivities have limited your job choices?

Allergy Friendly Muffins For Our Trip To The Cottage

Homemade allergy friendly muffins are a great snack to bring along to the cottage. Perfect for a quick breakfast or snack…the boys opted for their favourite:

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins for the cottage

I baked a batch Friday afternoon to bring with us for our first trip to my brother’s cottage…the boys were pumped!  I made them in the silicone muffins cups to reduce our waste. Click here for the recipe.

I also made a batch of Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares, baked a batch of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, baked a couple Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Sticks and popped a few bags of air popped popcorn spritzed with canola oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

My sister-in-law was in charge of our only dinner on Saturday. I can always count on her for a fabulous allergy friendly meal for everyone to enjoy…chicken kabobs, rice, broccoli and a salad.

The boys enjoyed a beautiful Saturday with their cousins…playing cards, fishing, tubing, and even taking in a swim.

The boys with their cousins after a swim in the lake

Crazy Canuck boys!

The countdown is on…just 8 more days until the boys are officially on summer vacation!