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Sunday, August 28, 2011

In love with my BBQ

These late summer days of heat are too much to bare in my house with no air conditioning. See in the  Northwest we have a natural air conditioner, the ocean. But it only works if you live BY the ocean. I do not so I suffer on days I want to cook or bake.

BBQ hmm interesting thought. I could use the BBQ to bake! Heck yeah!

So I went to it this weekend.

I made grilled bbq chicken pizza, grilled peaches which I used to make peach crisp that I baked on my bbq, french fries got baked on the bbq and now the buns for our sloppy joes are grilling. Ok that last one is pretty normal.

What I want to know, is if any of you grilled or baked anything on your bbq that is unusual? I would love to hear your ideas!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Christina's gluten free BBQ sauce

Oh how sweet it is! And it does have sweetness with a kick! I love experimenting with marinading sauces and dipping sauces. This one I made tonight to put on my BBQ chicken pizza.

1 cup gluten free ketchup

¼ cup molasses

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp dried onion

1-2 tbsp orange marmalade or apricot preserves

1 tbsp brown sugar

A pinch or two of red pepper flakes
1 tsp Cocoa
1tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Put into small sauce pan stir and simmer until well blended. Take off heat and serve.
Mix well and put on your favorite meat or use as a dipping sauce.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Creme filled cakes

In my quest to make food that is similar to the junk food you can buy at the stores I made this yumminess that doesn't have a lot of fillers or fake ingredients. Its also, dairy, soy, peanut/tree nut free. My goal is to make it gluten free too BUT if you are so inclined you may use your favorite chocolate cake mix that is gluten free. My favorite is King Arthurs, that is one moist chocolate cake!


Creme Filling

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk or rice milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup dairy free butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
I start with the creme filling because you have to let that cool but you could do it while the cake is baking. Put the flour and milk into a pan on medium heat and whisk until smooth, add 1/4 cup of sugar. Constantly stir until thick. Pour into bowl and refrigerate until cool.
When cool add in the rest of the ingredients including the rest of the sugar and beat until fluffly. You can refrigerate until you are ready to use.

For the cake:

  • 2/3 light olive oil or canola oil

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa

  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/3 cups coconut milk, rice milk or dairy milk

  •  Preheat oven to 350.Mix the oil, sugar, and eggs until well blended. Add in flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix until well blended on low speed. Add in milk and blend on medium speed for two minutes. Grease a 9x13 pan with your choice of butter or oil spray. Put batter in pan and cook for 35 minutes until inserted toothpick comes clean. Once its out of the oven let cool for 15 minutes. Gently loosen sides of cake from pan and some of the bottom. turn upside down on cooling rack or place you can let it cool. Once cooled, cake cake in half by taking knife down the middle of the cake so you have two 9x13 sized cakes.
    Then add creme to middle put other half on top and keep refrigerated. This recipe freezes well for later use.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Baking weekend

    I decided since I am unable to go anywhere this weekend I will bake. Maybe experiment some and use some tried and true recipes. My passion is cooking AND baking. I love both but there was a time I thought that I could only cook and baking was big and scary!
    This weekend I will be making chocolate zuccini cake. Our local farmers market had bags of LARGE zuccini for $1.00 so I bought two. I need to use that up quick.
    Right now I have homemade twinkie cakes in the oven. I do miss a good Twinkie now and then but don't miss all the  junk they put into it. Homemade it is! In the past I have made homemade Suzi-Q's. Remember those? Chocolate cake surrounding a creamy goodness middle. mmmm I love those and the great thing is it's made out of a 9x13 cake, so there is plenty to go around. I made it dairy free which is great for some of your dairy allergic or intolerant. Its also soy free, peanut/ tree nut free and maybe soon I will get brave and try gluten free. I will post that recipe this weekend for you all to try.
    Well I better get my bake on and make the filling for these twinkie cakes. Happy weekend!

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Workplace and Allergies

    This summer has been quite a challenge with many things including food allergies. Working while you have food allergies is a struggle alone without people who challenge your allergy at work. I got a first hand experience with this recently. A co-worker, I will call her Chelsea, made it very known that she not only doesn't believe my allergies are all that bad but also has made it her mission to discredit me, making it a very dangerous situation if I do have anaphylaxis at work.
    When you have people like this it can be a very tricky if not scary situation at work that can lead to undue stress and anxiety. My goal in life is to educate people so younger generations who have food allergies don't have to run into situations like this that are so very uncomfortable and dangerous.
    Typically people who show any disrespect toward you are pretty insecure with themselves. But someone who purposefully discredits your disability (Yes, food allergies are recognized as a disability by the ADA) are in denial about their own personal struggles. Again its a matter of insecurity but also a lack of empathy towards others. I know I don't have time for this kind of lack of feelings from others nor do I need the added stress.
    Food allergies are a rather new element to the workforce these days since they are becoming more and more prevelant among younger generations. Our seasoned workforce will have to learn new ways to deal with food allergies and how to be sensitive towards those who have them. Whether it be one food allergy or multiple as I have, either way it can be a very real and scary situation if all of the sudden you can't breathe and your coworker doesn't think its serious because you don't have hives and you face isn't swollen. But as all of us who live with this know that every reaction can be different and each of us reacts differently when exposed to the same allergen. For instance, when I eat a peanut my throat swells shut and I get a runny nose with sneezing. I don't swell. But my neighbor down the street who is allergic to peanuts swells up like a balloon and looks awful. Both reactions can be deadly. Just because you can't see the reaction doesn't matter, you have to act quickly. Find their epipen, call 911 and stay with them!
    This summer and fall I will be working with some fellow food allergic to come up with a pamplet that will hopefully help those we work with understand how food allergies work and how to be empathetic toward someone who has food allergies. When we have a completed pamphlet, of course I will post it here. This will hopefully be a very productive summer ahead that will produce some results for others entering the workforce with food allergies.
    As for my coworker, I know she won't get it until it either happens to her or someone she is very close to so I keep my distance as much as I can, but stand up to her when she pushes. There is only so much you can do in a situation like this but keep your chin up and know that you have others who "get it".
    Thanks to all who get it!

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    French toast with cannoli filling

    This morning my daughter requested a wonderfully sweet treat for breakfast. This recipe I saw made on the Food network and decided to adapt it to my tastes and allergies. The great thing about this recipe is you can use any type of bread that you can fold and seal in the gooey goodness. Since my allergies limit me on bread there are two kinds I can use, Udi's hot dog buns and bread which are gluten free or there is a wonderful local bakery that is tree nut and peanut freeand they make a kosher hot dog bun and different breads that are soy free. There is a couple breads they make that do have soy but I read labels carefully.
    This recipe is not for egg free or dairy free but it is tree nut/ peanut and soy free and can be gluten free.

    Makes 4 servings

    3/4 cup ricotta cheese, low fat works if you prefer
    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, I use Enjoy life that are nut free
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp orange zest (optional)
    1tbsp sugar, palm sugar or 3/4 tbsp agave syrup

    4 hot dog buns or bread of your choice

    3-4 egg whites beaten
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2tbsp milk
    1tbsp butter

    Powdered sugar or syrup

    Mix the filling ingredients thoroughly and set aside. Open hot dog buns but leave one side still attached. Spoon filling onto bottom of hot dog bun and close, cut in half then cut those halves in half again so you have 4 sections. Mix the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, milk and if you are feeling adventorous put in another 1/2 tsp of orange zest.
    Heat a skillet and coat with butter. Dip your sections of stuffed bread in the egg mixture, coating the entire bread then cook in skillet till brown and do this on all sides. Sprinkle with Powdered sugar and Enjoy!

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Today is the day

    After many months of thinking I am finally putting this to action. Here is my blog for all food allergic with lots of tid bits of information, recipes, and friendly gab, I hope to reach and help others with food allergies. Stay tuned for some exciting recipes and ideas!