Happy Hallowe’en…celebrating with Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake and Gingerbread Ghosts, Bats and Cats

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe'en 2012

This will be the first Hallowe’en that both my boys will not be ‘trick or treating’ in the neighbourhood.

It is a bittersweet moment…on the one hand, I feel relieved that there will not be any peanut/tree nut candies and chocolate bars to worry about passing through our door yet on the other hand, I will miss the anticipation and excitement of the boys getting all dressed up and preparing to head out for a fun filled night of ‘trick or treating’ with their neighbourhood friends.

With both the boys in highschool…the teenage years is my new ‘norm’. My little boys are growing into young men.

Michael, my eldest at 16, has not been ‘trick or treating’ for quite a few years now. He enjoys answering the door and handing out all the candy to kids. This year, both Michael and Matthew will herald the door…I must say, I like to get in on the action too! Seeing the little kids all dressed up is my favourite…especially the neighbourhood kids!

Last year, I put on a Hallowe’en party for the boys’ neighbourhood friends. Click here to view. This year, the boys did not seem as interested.

One is never too old for treats…so I will be surprising my boys with some special Hallowe’en treats.

Hallowe'en treats for the boys

 Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Ghosts, Bats and Cats, black licorice, Yummy Earth candy drops and small packages of Yummy Earth Gummy Bears. 

I adapted this cute Zebra Cake from a Robin Hood Flour advertisement in one of those little booklets of recipes and coupons.

A slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks (for soy free use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread), replaced the 2 eggs with 4 tbsp of water and 1 tsp of baking soda, replaced the milk with Natura Enriched Rice Beverage and omitted the almond extract. The original recipe can be found by clicking Robinhood.ca

Kids will really enjoy the preparation of this cake…scooping the vanilla and chocolate batter in to the cake pan is the perfect task for ‘little helpers’.

Scooping the vanilla and chocolate batter in cake pan for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

I think this is the perfect cake to celebrate Hallowe’ena cake disguised as a zebra!

Enjoying a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

Enjoy!

Tip: I baked the cake for 40 minutes…next time, I would bake it a bit longer as the centre of the cake was a little undercooked…Matthew didn’t mind but Michael found it ‘too soft’.

P.S. How do you navigate Hallowe’en with your children’s food allergies? Click here for my chronicles on our journey with Hallowe’en.

P.P.S. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Orange Drizzle

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Orange Drizzle is my latest favourite Bundt Cake recipe.

dariy, egg, soy,peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cake with orange drizzle

This allergy friendly Bundt Cake is moist, dense, not too sweet, a perfect combo of cinnamon and ginger, healthy-ish, and the orange drizzle on the top…marries all the flavours together beautifully.

At the end of the day…with a cup of tea…pure heaven.

I have to admit…this cake had me overindulging!

I had just the right amount of cooked pumpkin left over (1 3/4 cup) to finally make this recipe. I have been hanging on to this recipe, cut out from Chatelaine Magazine, since October, 2003. I know, what took me so long?

I just knew I would love this adapted version of their recipe. I am so glad to have finally baked it, sampled it and now have shared it with you.

Just the mere mention of pumpkin in baked goods makes my boys’ noses turn up.(perhaps that is the reason I waited) They both passed on sampling the pumpkin muffins…however…I managed to entice my boys to try a piece of bundt cake. (I think the orange drizzle tempted them)

Michael was pleasantly surprised…Matthew loved the orange drizzle…baby steps!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Orange Drizzle

a slice of dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cake with orange drizzle

1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup Demerara sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
2 tbsp water
2/3 cup rice milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin/398 mL can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray a 9 cup (2.25 L) bundt pan with canola oil.
In a large bowl, mix together all the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, raisins,cinnamon and ginger.
In another bowl, mix together the water, rice milk, canola oil, vanilla, and cooked pumpkin until very well combined.

bowl of dry ingredients and wet ingredients for dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cakeMix the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients until just mixed. (mixture will be very thick, make sure to incorporate all the dry ingredients)

wet and dry ingredients mixed together for dairy, egg, soy, and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cakeScrape mixture into prepared bundt pan and smooth top.

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin cake batter in bundt panBake for 55-60 minutes. Cake tester should come out clean.

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cake out of the ovenCool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out on cooling rack.

dairy, egg,soy and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cake cooling on rackPrepare Orange Drizzle (recipe below) to top off the cooled bundt cake.

Orange Drizzle

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cups icing sugar
1-2 tsp orange zest

I like to use a reamer to ‘squeeze’ the juice out of my oranges and lemons.

juice squeezed from half an orange with a reamer

I love my rasp for zesting oranges and lemons. Look at all that zest!

an orange zested with a rasp for orange drizzle

Pour juice and zest in a medium-sized bowl.
Using a fork, slowly add icing sugar until consistency for drizzle is reached.

orange drizzle for dairy,egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free pumpkin bundt cake

Spoon over cooled cake, scooping up pooled drizzle and re-spooning over cake.

Enjoy!

P.S. My neighbours gave my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Pumpkin Bundt Cake a rave review. They are awaiting the arrival of their next bundt cake…Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Bundt Cake anyone?

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

Have you recently discovered and ‘fallen in love’ with an allergy friendly recipe. I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments!

P.P.S.  As always, any products I mention in these posts are my own personal recommendations. No one’s paying me to recommend them. They’re just what has worked for our family. Your own needs and preferences may be different!

Hearty Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

                                   H A P P Y   H A L L O W E ‘ E N  ! ! ! ! !

3 lighted hallowe'en pumpkins

Pumpkin season is here…pumpkins are everywhere…time to pull out the pumpkin recipes!

dairy, egg, soy peanut/tree nut free pumpkin oatmeal muffins in a basket

Strangely enough, as much as I love Pumpkin Muffins, Cakes and Loaves, I cringe at the mere mention of Pumpkin Pie. Not sure if it is the texture or the fact that it is usually topped with whipped cream. (not keen on that either)

Needless to say, I will not be baking pumpkin in a pie…sorry.

Every year I have good intentions of purchasing a Pie Pumpkin for my muffins…and then I forget…and purchase the can.

This year I remembered! (not that there is anything wrong with canned pumpkin, I have just always wanted to make my own to see the difference…if any)

Normally, I wait to get the pumpkin seeds for roasting from the pumpkins my husband carves for Hallowe’en. It’s all very exciting! The boys decide specifically how they want the eyes, nose, ears and overall look of their pumpkins. Their father then embarks on the cutting, the cleaning and then the cutting out of the boys’ designs. Quite the father/sons’ bonding experience.

This year, however, the boys did most of the work!

Matthew cleaning out his pumpkin seeds:  To be honest, Matthew thought this part was ‘disgusting’. He did not like cleaning out the pumpkins ‘guts’, as he put it.

Matthew cleaning out his pumkin seeds

His pumpkin design…which to my relief, his father cut out…was to resemble Frankenstein. His pumpkin is the one on the far right of the lighted pumpkins in the top photo.

Michael carving out his pumpkin face…this made me uneasy

Michael carving his pumpkin face

Michael would like me to point out that his pumpkin is the one on the far left of the lighted pumpkins in the top photo…note his fine handiwork!

However, this year…with our Hallowe’en Party the week before…it was too early for our usual pumpkin carving. (The above pumpkin cleaning and carving took part yesterday in the garage between hockey games and dinner)

Purchasing a Pie Pumpkin gave me the pumpkin seeds I needed for roasting and the opportunity to cook the pumpkin…minus the skin…for baking.

A win/win situation with no waste!

I have to say, cooking up the pumpkin was no trouble at all. I had enough pumpkin to make a batch of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hearty Oatmeal Pumpkins and Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Orange Drizzle.

To make the cooked pumpkin, I just followed the instructions which were stuck to the Pie Pumpkin.

Cooking Pie Pumpkin Recipe

Wash, slice, peel, and dice Pie Pumpkin.

peeled and diced pie pumpkin in a bowlDrop into boiling water and cook until tender and drain.

cooked and drained pumpkin Mash or force through a sieve or ricer. (I mashed mine)

mashed pumkin in a bowlStore in jars without adding water. (I put mine in a bowl covered with plastic)
Refrigerate until ready to use.

This adapted recipe for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins comes from the September 2002 issue of Chatelaine. I first baked them November 8, 2004. I think I will eventually replace all the all-purpose flour with whole wheat.

Hearty Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

dairy, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut free oatmeal pumpkin muffins on a plate

2 tbsp water
1/2 cup Natur-a Rice Beverage
1 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin/398 mL can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup large flake oats (not instant)
1/2 cup Demerara sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used cranberries. Love the contrast of the tartness)

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients including the cranberries.

whole wheat and all purpose flour, oats, cinnamon,ginger,sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, dried cranberries for dairy,egg,soy,peanut/tree nut free oatmeal pumpkin muffinsIn another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients until evenly blended.

wet ingredients combined for dairy, egg, soy,peanut/tree nut free oatmeal pumpkin muffinsScrape the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until well combined.
(Mixture will be quite thick)

wet and dry ingredients mixed together for dairy, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut free oatmeal pumpkin muffinsSpoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. (There is enough batter for 16 muffins or 12 large ones)

dairy, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut free oatmeal pumpkin batter in paper lined  muffin tinBake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes.
Let rest for 10 minutes before cooling muffins on cooling rack.

dairy, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut free oatmeal pumpkin muffins cooling on cooling rack(Fill the remaining batter into 4 paper-lined muffin cups and fill the other muffin cups with a bit of water and bake as above)

Enjoy!

Tip: Muffins freeze well. Just reheat in the microwave for that just out of the oven taste.

P.S. Andy and I love these muffins…unfortunately, my boys are not fans of pumpkin…nor are they fans of dried fruit in baked goods. There is still hope…

Consequently, I decided to share our plethora of pumpkin baked goods (Muffins and Bundt Cake) with a neighbour. As they were in the middle of cooking their dinner…I provided dessert for them…perfect timing!

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

 

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Sugar Cookie Ghost Cookies on a Stick

Who can resist a cookie on a stick?  It’s an indulgence…decadant…pure fun!

It certainly is not your everyday cookie…..perfect for a party.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free sugar ghost cookies on a stick

I have always marvelled at cookies on a stick… eager to try baking them myself. With dairy, egg, sesame, and peanut/tree nut allergies in the home, buying them was out of the question.

So when an opportunity to make them came up…I took it!

I used the baking suggestions for cookies on a stick, from Canadian Living Magazine’s November 2006 issue.

The Sugar Cookie recipe is my childhood favourite. My mom called them ‘Holiday Cookies’. I can still remember pulling out the dishwasher and rolling the cookie dough out on the wooden cutting board top.

My mom and I would only bake, ice and decorate them for Christmas. (Not sure why)  The smell of them baking in my kitchen always stirs up memories of Christmas Holidays past.

‘Holiday Cookies’ were my ultimate favourite Christmas cookies to bake and eat.

I am so happy to be able to adapt them for my boys to enjoy.

Hopefully these cookies will conjure ‘sweet memories’ for them too.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sugar Ghost Cookies on a Stick

1 cup Earth Balance (dairy-free margarine)
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp water
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

In a large bowl, cream the dairy-free margarine and the sugar.
Beat in the vanilla and water until well combined.

creamed dairy free margarine, sugar, vanilla and water

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture until well combined.

creamed dairy free margarine, sugar, vanilla, and water combined with flour,salt, and baking sodaDivide dough into two balls, wrap in wax paper and chill in refrigerator.

2 balls of dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free sugar cookie dough wrapped in wax paperLightly flour a sheet of wax paper or plastic sheet and roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick.
Dip cookie cutter in flour and cut out shapes.

cutting out ghost cookies in dairy, egg, and peanut/tree nut free cookie doughRoll 5 balls using a tsp of dough for each ball.
Place 5 balls on silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Press into 1/4 inch thick discs.
Press a cookie stick into each disc.

cookie sticks pressed into 5 discs of dairy, egg, peanut/tree nut free cookie doughTop with cookie cutout, pressing lightly to adhere.

ghost dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free cookie dough pressed into cookie sticksBake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free ghost cookies cooling on rackWhen completely cool, ice with Dairy Free Vanilla Icing.
I decorated my ghosts with Enjoy Life chocolate chip eyes and mouth.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free ghost cookies on a stick iced with dairy free vanilla icing and enjoy life chocolate chipsEnjoy!

Tip: I used my 40% off coupon to purchase the cookie sticks from Michael’s and the Hallowe’en ribbon was 50% off.

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

Have you adapted similar recipes for your own food allergy needs? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Spooky Bats, Cats and Owls make perfect Chocolate Hallowe’en Cookies.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate sandwich haloween cookies with dairy free vanila icing Hallowe’en Cookies add just the right touch when catering a Hallowe’en Party for kids. (adults like them too)

My kids thought the chocolate cookies on their own were a bit plain….so we jazzed them up a bit and made them Sandwich Cookies. Delicious!

I adapted this recipe from the Everyday Food Magazine.

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup dairy-free cocoa
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks of Earth Balance (dairy-free margarine)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water

In a large bowl, cream dairy-free margarine and sugar until lightened in colour.
Beat in water until well combined.

creamed sugar, dairy free margarine and water

In another bowl, combine flour, dairy-free cocoa, salt and baking soda.
Slowly add dry to wet until combined.

dairy free cocoa, flour, salt, baking soda mixed into creamed sugar, dairy free  margarine and waterDivide dough in half and form into two disks.
Wrap each disk in plastic wrap.

2 disks of dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate cookie dough wrapped in plasticRefrigerate until firm, approximately 45 minutes. (can leave up to 2 days)
Lightly flour a sheet of wax paper or plastic mat.
Roll dough 1/4 inch thick with a rolling-pin.
Dip cookie cutters in flour and cut out shapes.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate cookie dough rolled out with a cat cookie cut outPlace cookie cut outs on silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheets an inch apart.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate cookie dough cut outs on silicone lined baking sheetBake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.
Cool on baking sheet for 1-2  minutes.
Cool cookies completely on cooling rack.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate cookie cut outs cooling on rack

When completely cooled, ice one side of cookie with Dairy Free Vanilla Icing, and press a similar cookie to make a Sandwich Cookie.
Put a spoonful of Dairy Free Vanilla Icing in a small plastic ziplock bag. Snip a tiny piece of one corner off. Squeeze icing out of hole to make small dots for the eyes or any other details on the cookies.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate cookies with dairy free vanilla icing in the middle

Enjoy!

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

Have you adapted similar recipes for your own food allergy needs? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!

2011 Allergy Friendly Hallowe’en Party

Our Allergy Friendly Pre-Hallowe’en Party was ‘Spooktacular’!

table with dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free sugar ghost cookies on a stick and chocolate sandwich cookies, dairy free caramal corn, dairy and egg free chocolate cupcakes with dairy free vanilla icing, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds

I put together an assortment of goodies and treats for my neighbourhood ‘taste testers’ to sample….and sample they did! Hope it didn’t spoil anyone’s dinner!

Goodies included:

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Dairy Free Vanilla Icing and Surf Sweets Gummy Worms.

dairy, egg, peanut/tree nut free chocolate cupcakes with dairy free vanilla icing and a surf sweets gummy worm on top

Michael loved these the best! It’s my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cake recipe halved. The cupcakes are baked at 350 F for 20-25 min. My Dairy Free Vanilla Icing tops them off.

Dairy Free Caramel Corn, recipe from Speedbump Kitchen.

bowl of dairy free caramal corn

This is the first time I have ever made Caramel Corn. Very easy to make. It takes a bit of time, but the looks on the kids faces as they ate it was all worth it.

Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds, recipe from The Toronto Star by Jennifer Bain (Food Editor).

roasted pumpkin and squash seeds in a dish

Every year I like to roast pumpkin seeds saved from carving the pumpkins. Michael and I love them. Last year, I experimented by roasting seeds from Acorn and Butternut Squash with great success. I like that there is no waste as I also roast the squash.

For this recipe, I used a Pie Pumpkin’s seeds to roast.  I cooked the peeled and chopped pumpkin in boiling water until tender. Mashed the cooked pumpkin and stored it in a covered container in the refrigerator.

I am in the process of choosing a recipe to use it in: Healthy Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Bundt cake? Please let me know in the comments below.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Bat, Cat and Owl Sandwich Cookies recipe adapted from Everyday Food Magazine.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate bat, cat and owl sandwich cookies on a plate Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Ghost Sugar Cookies on a stick.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free sugar cookies on a stick I will be posting a step by step recipe for the Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sugar Cookies on Friday. Click here for the recipe.

Candies included:

Gimbal’s Jelly Beans,Yummy Earth’s lollipops and candy drops Twizzler’s Black Licorice, and Maple Sugar Candy.

Twizzlers black licorice, gimbal's jelly beans, maple sugar candy and yummy earth lollipops and candy drops for hallowe'en party

All the kids, except Matthew, were enchanted by Gimbal’s Jelly Beans with 41 flavours. They loved trying to figure out what jelly bean they had from the flavour guide on the original container. Buttered Popcorn and Cinnamon were among the unpopular flavours. All the fruity ones were the top picks.

Rockets and Yummy Earth Gummy Bears in individual packets.

rockets and yummy earth gummy bears in individual packets for hallowe'en party

Michael made up some Five Alive and snipped both ends of Twizzler’s Black Licorice for straws. They look better than they actually work!

five alive in a pitcher with glasses with twizzler's black licorice as straws

I found these great containers and napkins at a dollar store. The kids were able to take home a few goodies in them.

hallowe'en candies, gimbals jelly beans,yummy earth lollipops, candy drops and gummy bears, rockets and maple sugar candy in a take home container from hallowe'en party

The kids all liked the idea of having a Hallowe’en Party next year. Ideas included wearing orange and black, playing spooky music and perhaps watching a Hallowe’en movie (not a scary one!). There is a whole year to think about it…

Tip: Once in a while, I will find Yummy Earth and Gimbal’s candies at Home Sense. Our Foodland is now selling small packages of Yummy Earth lollipops and I have found Surf Sweets candies at my local FeelGood Natural Health Store.

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

Chronicle of Allergy Friendly Hallowe’en’s of Past

When there are multiple food allergies in the family…..how does one survive Hallowe’en?

halloween display of pumpkins, gourds and candles

I had to really think back to when Michael first started going Trick or Treating. I think we first took him out when he was 2 years old. My mom made him a Winnie the Pooh costume. He looked so cute!

At this time in his life, he suffered from Atopic Dermatitis, food sensitivities (we kept him away from red food colouring, artificial flavouring and sulphites) and food allergies (dairy, egg, beef, sesame, peanut/tree nut, fish, shellfish, raspberries with corn, soy and wheat in the early years).

Needless to say… navigating Hallowe’en was ‘tricky’.

Our solution: I discovered Maple Sugar Candy.

I would give a few to my neighbourhood friends for them to give to Michael when he came Trick or Treating. He would be so excited! He didn’t care about the ‘other stuff’ in his bag because he had never had it. He would be quite content with his sweet treats.

maple sugar candies from macmillan's

Matthew grew up in a house that was Peanut/Tree Nut and candy free. When he was in Nursery School, he was offered a candy as a Hallowe’en treat. He innocently looked up and exclaimed, “I can’t eat that….I’m allergic.” Of course, the staff were alarmed. I had to explain that he must hear what we say to Michael, and assumed he was the same. 

I believe the first ‘real candy’ Michael tried were Rockets. Every year at Hallowe’en, when the bags of Rockets were sold, I would purchase a bag or two to last throughout the year.Rockets are still one his favourite candies.

Second solution: Hand out Maple Sugar Candy and Rockets to neighbourhood friends to give Michael.

Eventually, Matthew was diagnosed with a Peanut/Tree Nut allergy. His candy of choice…chocolate bars. Thankfully, Kit Kat’s, Smarties, Coffee Crisps and Aero Bars were his favourite. Makes sense when I think back on it: they are all Peanut/Tree Nut Free.

Matthew also never liked the baked goods from bakeries that would come into the school for birthday parties. I wish I had listened more closely. I do remember telling him he didn’t have to eat them….you know he didn’t.

Thank goodness … as you know it was a cake from a bakery that he had his first allergic reaction to.

Third solution: Hand out Maple Sugar Candy, Rockets and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Bar that Matthew liked at the time, to neighbourhood friends, to give to Michael and Matthew.

As the years past, Michael and Matthew’s Trick or Treating route expanded. Thus, the amount of candy that came home increased. What to do?

Fourth solution: Separate the ‘allergen safe’ candy from the rest. Give Andy the ‘unsafe’ candy as a free for all at work. Allow the boys to choose 5 ‘safe candies’. Send the rest of the ‘safe candy’ to school. Take the boys to a movie of their choice the following weekend as an extra ‘treat’. They loved that!

Often Michael would want to come home early rather than continue on Trick or Treating with his brother, friends and their father’s. He would help me hand out the candy. I would tell him how much fun it was to see all the children’s costumes that came to the door. One couldn’t appreciate them running around in the dark.

By the time Michael reached Grade 5 or 6, he chose to stay home and hand out the candy with me. I think he enjoyed the fact that he could sample his ‘safe candies’ at the same time!

Researching ‘safe’ candies, I came upon Yummy Earth lollipops and candy drops. They were created by two father’s who wanted their children to enjoy candies that were free of chemical colours, artificial flavours, and high fructose corn syrup. Their candies are also free of gluten, peanut/tree nuts and are kosher parve.

Always read the ingredient list in case of any changes.

Yummy Earth candies are truly delicious! Pomegranate Pucker is everyone’s favourite!

Surf Sweets is another candy company that we love. Their gummies and jelly beans are free of trans fats, GMO’s, corn syrup, gluten, artificial colours and flavours. Their candy is produced in a peanut-free facility that if free of these other common allergens: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, shellfish and fish.

Always read the ingredient list in case of any changes.

Michael and Matthew love their Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms!

This Hallowe’en will be Matthew’s last year for Trick or Treating. The boys will have to learn to share the handing out of the candy…if they are at all still interested.

I know both boys will still be interested in checking out our neighbour’s ‘Haunted House’.

neighbour's house decorated for halloween Every year, our neighbour assembles elaborate devices to scare the Trick or Treater’s on their walk up to his door. There’s the creepy coffiin opening and closing, the wicked witch swooping across the air, the ghostly ghoul drifting back and forth and the eerie music filling the air.

witch on broomstick in the air at neighbour's house decorated for halloween

The allergy community seems more prepared for Hallowe’en than in the past. Anaphylaxis Canada is hosting a special Hallowe’en Party and Fundraising Dance-a-thon for children with food allergies. Proceeds going to Anaphylaxis Canada.

How much fun would that be! Unfortunately, I think my boys are a bit too old for it.

Fifth solution: Perhaps, as a final solution,  we will have to come up with our own ‘Spooktacular Party’.

The boys and I hosted a Pre-Hallowe’en Party to thank our neighbourhood taste testers.

2011 halloween party dairy, egg peanut/tree nut free chocolate cupcakes, chocolate sandwich cookies and ghost sugar cookies, toasted pumpkin and squash seeds, Yummy Earth and Surf Sweets candies, Gimbal's jelly beans, Twizzler black licorice, Dairy Free Caramel Corn, Rockets and Maple Sugar Candy, Five Alive DrinkWhat types of solutions have you come up with on your Allergy Friendly Journey of Hallowe’en? Please share them in the comments.

Tip : MacMillan’s sells Maple Sugar Candies year round. At Christmas they are in the shape of Santa Claus and at Easter they have Easter Bunnies.

P.S. I will be posting specifics on our Pre-Hallowe’en Party throughout the week. It will include Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Dairy Free Vanilla Icing, Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Ghost Sugar Cookies on a stick, Dairy Free Caramel Corn, Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds and goodies.

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.