Joining My Boys With Food Allergies High School School Council

Well, I finally did it…I joined my boys’ high school School Council. After 3 years of their Vice-Principal, now the Principal, inviting me to join…I felt that this year was the year to do it.

Michael’s upcoming Graduation played a big part in my decision. Graduation events planned for the 2013/2014 year…an Annual Graduation Christmas Dinner, Graduation Day and of course, The Prom.  As each of these Graduation events involve food, research will be needed to determine a plan of action due to Michael’s food allergies to dairy, egg, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, sesame, peanut/tree nuts, mustard and raspberries. I felt the best option for me, as a parent of children with food allergies, to figure out all the Graduation events was to get ‘on board’ and join the School Council.

“Why?”, might you say, “did I not join sooner?”  Well, each and every parent of a child/children with or without food allergies will have their own reasons for joining or not joining a School Council. Personally, I felt I needed a purpose/goal to commit myself…the idea of raising awareness of anaphylaxis to set into motion some safe-guards at Graduation events for students with food allergies gave me reason to join.

Over the years, I have been building a rapport with the Vice Principal/Principal, office staff and teachers in regards to setting up both Michael and Matthew’s Anaphylactic Emergency Plan and Medical Profile for their respective teachers and to raise more of an awareness of anaphylaxis in the school setting. When Michael started in Grade 9, there was not a system in place for the students with food allergies that met with Sabrina’s Law…now, office staff and teachers are fully aware and up to date.

Joining the School Council gives me the opportunity to reach out and raise awareness about food allergies in another forum. Michael’s unique list of food allergies continues to label us as trailblazers. It has opened the door to many educational moments…hopefully, paving the way for other students living with food allergies.

So, how has my presence at School Council regarding the raising awareness of food allergies at Graduation events progressed thus far?  I am happy to report…great!

School Council and the teachers with whom I have dealt with so far have been very accommodating…they seem very interested in the inclusion and safety of all students.

The first Graduation event was the Annual Graduation Christmas Dinner whereby, the Principal, Vice Principals and teachers put together a turkey dinner complete with stuffing, mashed potatoes and veggies for the graduating class…all cooked at the school during the day for the evening event.

Due to fact that the meal included some of Michael’s food allergens and the risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen was high…I decided to cook a complete turkey dinner for Michael at home to bring to the event.

One teacher was in charge of organizing the event.  We emailed each other in great detail…I even offered to bake Mini Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes for the graduating class’s dessert.

All was set until I received an email from the teacher in charge that Michael had not purchased a ticket. Apparently, Michael had not heard the announcements to purchase tickets and he had missed the deadline. After consulting with his friends…he decided not to go as not many of them were attending. It was his choice…too bad, because I hear it was quite the event!

Michael may have missed out on the event of the year…but at least the school is now aware of the possibility of students with food allergies attending such events.

I must say, I am enjoying my time at School Council. Should I have joined earlier? Perhaps, but I am here now and that is all that matters.

Next up…Graduation Day snacks and the main event…dinner at a Golf Club before the Prom.

For parents of a child/children with food allergies…Have you joined the School Council?  If yes, what has been your experience?  If no, are you considering it?

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?

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

Celebrated Valentine’s Day with these sweet little treasures…

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcake stopped with Vanilla and Chocolate Icing

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

Click here for the recipe.

Sweets treats for my sweets!

Yummy sweetened with a touch of icing for a casual appearance or for the evening… 

Dairy, Egg,Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes and fresh strawberries with Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue

all ready to be dressed up with Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue!

Dipped in melted chocolate.

Dipping Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes in Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue for Valentine's Day

Mmmmmmm…sweet decadence!

When it comes to chocolate vs. vanilla…Matthew is all about chocolate and Michael loves vanilla…this dessert pleased them both!

Expressing one’s love through food is a common theme…somewhat made difficult when one lives day-to-day with food allergies.

Thankfully, there are yummy adaptions one can experiment with to create the dishes and treats your loved ones with food allergies will appreciate.

Here’s wishing you all enjoyed a lovely evening with the ones you love!

P.S. Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate for the fondue was ordered from Guardian Angel. Click here for a link

Michael Celebrates His Sweet Sixteenth…Cottage Style

Of course, one of my happiest days at the rented cottage…being able to celebrate Michael’s Sweet 16th birthday!

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes and Sweet 16 Birthday Cards

It is so hard to believe that my baby is now 16 years old…old enough to learn to drive a car!

As a young mother, with a son with severe eczema, multiple food allergies and asthma,  I dreamed of this day! Dreamed of a time where he would be free of eczema, in control of his asthma…living a ‘normal’ kid’s life! (I have always explained to my boys that there is no such thing as ‘normal’, as everyone struggles with one thing or another in their lifetime. How one deals with the challenges that one is presented with, will build their character. Strive to do/be your best…builds good character. Improve upon who you are rather than fousing on the ‘supposed normal’)

I am still dreaming of the day that his multiple food allergies start to dwindle…until then I am pleased with the progress that he and I have made negotiating our way through this ‘crazy maze’ of living with multiple food allergies.

I am so proud of my son for ‘trailblazing’ his way through the school system, taking ownership of his multiple food allergies and his new-found creativity in the kitchen!

It literally brings tears to my eyes knowing that my dreams have come true for my son!

Back at the cottage…Michael was up, surprisingly early, to open his cards…dockside!

Michael opening up his birthday cards on the boat

The boys enjoyed an early lunch before they set off for a round of 18 holes at a nearby golf course. While I enjoyed a peaceful afternoon by the water.

On their way back, they stopped and picked up their friend William. His father had driven him part way and was waiting at a prearranged meeting spot. The boys were super excited to be sharing the rest of their cottage stay with their good friend! The timing was perfect!

On the menu for the birthday boy’s special birthday dinner…Bruschetta to start followed by Andy’s famous Chicken Wings, French Fries and Fresh Corn on the Cob!

Birthday dinner Chicken Wings, French Fries and Cob of Corn

I pulled out the chicken wings in the morning to dethaw. Upon Andy’s arrival back from their afternoon of golf, he started to prepare the wings while the boys husked the corn. Click here for the recipe. As William and Andy like their wings a little ‘spicier’…he made a separate batch with extra hot sauce.

Once the wings were doused in the sauce, Andy finished them off on the barbecue while the french fries baked in the oven. (I just have to add that, while Andy did all the barbecuing, one must imagine him being dive bombed by little chickadees!)

Andy's famous Chicken Wings

It was a chicken wing feast!

William and his family enjoyed a family vacation to Italy this summer. He presented Michael with a little something from the trip for his birthday…can you guess?

Michael was ‘over the moon’!

Michael's very own extra virgin olive oil straight from Italy

His very own bottle of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil…liquid gold!

A friend of ours was up at his cottage on the same lake. He and his 16-year-old son joined us for the evening bonfire and requisite singing a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ complete with Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes!

Michael blowing out the candles on his Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Being at the cottage was the perfect setting for the event…it meant Michael could officially drive the boat!

Michael legally driving the boat

He was in his element!

I believe this will be one birthday he will surely always remember!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Grade 8 Graduation Cupcakes!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla and Chocolate Graduation CupcakesLast night, my youngest son, Matthew, officially graduated from Grade 8!

Matthew graduating Grade 8 with Honours, 2012

Yes, a few tears were shed…I was a very proud mama…he graduated with Honours!

Celebrations started earlier in the day…a Peanut/Tree Nut Free Pizza Party for the graduating class along with the entire staff! (Pizza was ordered from Pizza Nova. Click here for their allergen information site.)

A couple of Matthew’s former teachers, which have left the school, attended last night’s Grade 8 Graduation ceremony…so nice of them to return and celebrate with their former students.

Apparently, when Michael graduated 2 years ago , his graduating class was the first in the history of graduating classes to have so many former teachers return for their Graduation! It was so nice to see the tradition continue this year too!

Both my boys have been extremely fortunate…both classes were bully free!  A very important factor considering the high risk factor associated with food allergies. Click here for a great article written by Laurie Harada at Allergic Living Magazine, titled, ‘If Your Child Is Bullied.’ Laurie offers some great advice.

I offered to bake allergen friendly cupcakes for the party…

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

An arrangement of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla and Chocolate Graduation Cupcakes

It makes me so happy to see the students faces light up at the site of my cupcakes. A grade 7 student spied me leaving the school carrying my empty cupcake containers, “Are those your famous cupcakes?”, he queried.

All through the years, students have been enjoying my baking…unaware that dairy, egg, soy and peanuts or tree nuts are not on the ingredient list.

Proving…allergen friendly baking is kid friendly and delish!

One of Matthew’s classmates ‘fancy’ way of eating cupcakes!

A new way to enjoy a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Cupcake!

Check out those gorgeous nails for her Grade 8 Grad!

At the party, I had the opportunity to chat with Matthew’s Grade 8 teacher…we discussed the journey that each of us has travelled while learning and adapting to living in a world with food allergies.

A journey better travelled in pairs…school and family working together to formulate a ‘safe environment’ for each and every student despite their ‘disability’. A journey full of communication, compromises and cooperation…a team approach.

Education is key…being in a school setting, one would think that should not be so difficult…yet for some it is! Why is that?

Food Allergy Mama recently moved to a new city.  Her journey with her son’s food allergies, dairy and nuts, begins again. Click here to read her frustrating story of having to start from ‘scratch’ with a new school system that ‘just does not get it’. My heart goes out to her and to the many families struggling to keep their children ‘safe’ at school.

Another 48 Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes were left for the evening dance…subs were ordered from Mr. Sub…which were peanut/tree nut free. At the end of the evening, the leftover cupcakes were put away for the Grade 7 students, who helped out at the ceremony, to enjoy today.

I thank goodness for Sabrina’s Lawit has ‘opened the eyes and hearts’ of many…paving a path for all children with food allergies.

May Sabrina’s spirit live on as her story continues to spread…educating and ‘warming hearts’ across the country and around the world! If you are unfamiliar with Sabrina’s Story, click here to read an article written by Gwen Smith from Allergic Living Magazine.

My boys’ journey in grade school is now officially over, leaving me to focus more of my attention on the high school years.

I will continue to meet with and discuss my boys’ food allergies with highschool staff…educating all those who come in contact with my boys the importance of food allergy awareness.

Our trailblazing journey is not over yet!

Matthew’s graduating class of 2012 is a class full of hope and promise for the future! I wish them all well on their new journey!

I leave you with a quote for graduation that Matthew chose for it’s inspirational nature.

Matthew's inspirational quote for his Grade 8 Graduation, 2012

“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-”   J.K. Rowling, novelist.

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

My successful attempt at baking gluten-freeGluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing led me to try my luck a second time.

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

Gluten Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla CupcakesAnother success!

I followed my recipe for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes. Just substitute Namaste Perfect Flour Blend for the all-purpose unbleached flour and increase the pure vanilla to 1 tsp. Top them off with Dairy/Soy Free Vanilla Icing.

A Gluten Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcake with Dairy/Soy Free Vanilla Icing

Yummy!

Michael is still not a fan of gluten-free baking…”I like the taste, I just can’t wrap my head around the texture.”

Matthew is still on board…”Not bad. If these were served at a party…I would eat them.”

My husband…”They are better than I thought they would be.”…after he engulfed one!

I would love to try them spread with some homemade strawberry jam, topped with fresh fruit and honey, or with a rhubarb compote.

I sent Matthew out to deliver our latest baked items to two neighbourhood families…our ‘guinea pigs!’ The same two families that taste tested the Gluten Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing.

I think offering samples of gluten-free baking to my neighbours and their children is a great opportunity for them to experience gluten-free baking.

When I am invited to family/friends homes, I often volunteer to bake a French Stick and the dessert.  All are pleasantly surprised when they discover all my baking is dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free! I would like to imagine the same could be said about gluten-free baked goods.

In a world where more and more people are eating gluten-free, one never knows when your next dinner guest may be gluten intolerant.

Our family may not be a gluten-free family…but I like to think that should the time come when a family/friend who is gluten-free sits at my table…I will be able to offer them a delicious gluten-free meal that is suitable for all!

P.S. In the early years, it would irk me when someone would say to me, “You know, he’s going to have to get used to the ‘real world’!” Excuse me? I like to think times are changing and the ‘real world’ is starting to catch up to the fact that there is no ‘magic wand’ for me to wave away my children’s food allergies! All I ask for is a little compassion…

Tip: Dairy Free ‘Cream Cheese’ Lemon/Orange Icing, Dairy/Soy Free Chocolate Icing or Chocolate Ganache Icing would also be a tasty topping!

Question: How do you deal with your food allergies when entertaining in your own home, at friends and/or family? Do you bring something special for everyone or just the individual with the food allergies? How accepting are friends/family with your allergy friendly dishes or do they offer to make you something special?

Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache Icing

I am ‘pleased as punch’ with the results of my latest adventure in gluten-free baking!

Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache Icing!

Gluten, dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing

Truly a hit!

I have always been a little intimidated with gluten-free baking. My early years baking gluten-free were not that successful.

I was a mother of a young baby with multiple food allergies living in a world that had yet to embrace our food allergy limitations. Let’s just say, it was not easy!

To be honest, I was relieved when my son could consume wheat. I never gave gluten-free living another thought.

Times have changed…and I have too.

More and more people are living a gluten-free life…whether through wheat allergies, celiac disease or for their own dietary reasons.

Whereas I used to feel like I was the ‘only person in the world’ dealing with food allergies…I can’t seem to get through a conversation without being made aware of someone else who is living with food allergies, intolerances and/or sensitivities.

I am venturing into gluten-free baking for three reasons:

1) I am meeting more and more people living gluten-free. I want to reduce the gluten-free intimidation factor so as to open new doors for those living a gluten-free life.

2) I am curious to try adapting some of my recipes to be gluten-free and highlight the ones that my family and friends find tasty.

3) I am always up for a challenge!

On that note, here is the first recipe for an adapted version:

Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chococlate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing!

Gluten Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing

Recipe: Follow the directions for my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cake and substitute all-purpose flour for Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. Click here for the recipe.

Allergen Friendly Chocolate Ganache Icing

1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1/4 cup Ryza Rice Beverage

Place a heat-proof bowl over the simmmering water. Heat rice and then add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Remove from heat.

Let chocolate mixture cool, I placed mine in the fridge, until cooled and thickened.

Enough icing to cover 12 cupcakes.

Enjoying a Gluten Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache Icing

Enjoy!

P.S. I made these cupcakes especially for Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily. Click here to read about our ‘Meet and Greet’.

How successful have you been at adapting your recipes to be gluten-free? Please share your experiences.

My ‘Meet and Greet’ With Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily

Surprise!

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

Enroute to my mom’s I had my very first ‘Meet and Greet’ with a fellow blogger…Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily.

Carla and I

I had commissioned Carla to sew two ‘Whimsical Wallets’ for my friends, Michelle and Anne. It made perfect sense to stop along the way to my mom’s to pick them up…and meet a fellow blogger!

Carla's Whimsical Wallets for my friends

Carla’s sewing ability amazes me! These are so beautiful! I was able to custom design with colour and pattern. Perfect to carry a camera, money and lipstick essentials.

Carla inspires me! Not only is she an expert at her finances, which I am not, she sews faboulous creations, is a photographer and home schools her 4 children! Carla also has many food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies.

Carla’s high list of foods that she must avert was a challenge I just could not refuse!

The hunt was on for a gluten-free all-purpose flour free of corn, dairy, soy, peanuts/tree nuts, and because Michael would be one of my ‘guinea pigs’ it also had to be egg free.

Let me tell you this was not an easy feat. At first I tried to come up with an all-purpose gluten-free flour made from scratch…but I could not find rice/brown rice flour or any gluten -free flour that was not produced in a facility without peanuts/tree nuts. (If you know of a company, please let me know)

How do you deal with cross-dontamination issues when purchasing gluten-free flour blends?

So instead I took Carla’s lead…she loves the company Namaste. The products at this company are made in a dedicated facility free of Gluten, Wheat, Soy, Corn, Potato, Peanuts/Tree Nuts, Dairy and Casein. Products include boxes of cake/muffin/flour mixes.

I decided to try Namste’s Perfect Flour Blendthe results were outstanding!

Namaste Perfect Flour Blend

I was able to create a Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcake  With Chocolate Ganache Icing to rave reviews from my ‘guinea pigs’!

I was excited to present Carla with her ‘special’ cupcake in a ‘special’ cupcake container for family gatherings.

Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcake in a special cupcake container

I believe everyone…even mom’s….deserve to feel ‘special’!

Carla is like so many moms…so busy ‘thinking of others’ that she forgets to think about herself.

It was a treat to be able to ‘highlight’ all that she does for her family and friends.

I could have chatted with Carla for hours…we had so much in common…love of fabric, I got a peek at her fabric stash, we both love our breadmakers and are striving to live a healthy lifestyle whilst meeting the challenges that food intolerances, sensitivites and allergies pose in our lives.

I suprised her daughters with some special treats that my boys love.

Carla's girls with their treats

Dairy, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares, Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with and without Marshmallows, Yummy Earth lollipops (apparantly a favourite of theirs already) and as it was her youngest daughter’s birthday the following day, I presented her with the Easter Bag I created for a 5 year-old girl for my Easter post.

The skipping rope was a big hit…as was the Dora book…she happens to love Dora and was wearing a Dora shirt on my visit!

Carla had a surprise herself for me…

My new tote bag by Carla

a gorgeous tote bag!

Made with the beautiful fabric I had gushed over that she used on the ‘Whimsical Wallet’ she made for Anne.

I left Carla with some vintage material I have been holding on to…I cannot say too much because the recipients of the final product read my blog…so it is all ‘hush hush’ for now! I will reveal at a later date.

I thank Carla for welcoming me in her home and look forward to our future friendship. It is truly wonderful to meet someone who ‘gets it’!

I am now at my mom’s enjoying our ‘girl time’. I look forward to my next visit as I may just have to stop by Carla’s again with another ‘sweet treat’ for her and her family!

The challenge is on!

P.S. Have you ever met with a fellow blogger that inspires you?

P.P.S. I will be posting the recipe for my Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing on Monday

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes for Easter

My boys find it hard to resist my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes…therefore it was easy to come up with a ‘special treat’ for them for this Easter!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes for Easter!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Mini Cupcakes for Easter

So fun!

As Matthew is not a jelly bean kind of guy…I made some just for him.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Easter Cupcakes with and without Surf Sweets Jelly Beans

Just follow my recipe for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes. Click here for the recipe. I halved the recipe to make 24 mini cupcakes and 3 regular cupcakes. Any leftover cupcakes can easily be frozen for a later treat.

To make the Easter basket design on the mini cupcakes: I used a Round Tip #12 decorating tip. I swirled the icing around twice on the edge of the mini cupcake leaving the centre open. Filled the centre with 3 Surf Sweets Jelly Beans. So cute!

To make the swirl top: I used a Round Tip #12 decorating tip. Starting on the outer edge of the mini cupcake, I drew the tip around the edge, moving it closer to the centre each time around until I was in the centre and then drew the tip upward.

Perfect for a Tea Party!

Easter Tea Party with Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

Tip:  These Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes are just as tasty without any icing…I can vouch for that! I had a hard time keeping the boys away from eating all the mini cupcakes before I had them iced!

Question: What ‘special allergen free treats’ will you be baking this Easter?