Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lunch Special

Do you know what kind of plate this is? Yep - it is an egg plate. I guess you know how much use this gets in our house now. Zilch. None. Zip.

Well, Julia saw it the other day and wanted to eat her lunch on it. Luckily, I hadn't decided what she was going to have. This made it super easy.

What you see is what you get with this one. Diced turkey lunch meat in some of the holes. Cheese in another. Bean dip in the rest. Sun Chips in the middle. She was thrilled. This lunch mirrored what I sent with the other two for lunch at school that day. It is an allergen free meal for us.

The turkey is something we have checked to make sure it doesn't have diary in it. A lot of lunch meat does. Didn't know that until we had to start checking labels.

We cook up a whole bag of beans whenever we do beans so that we can freeze them. These beans were leftovers from that big pot. I just got some and mashed them with a fork and some water until they were the consistency of bean dip. Then I added a bit of salt and garlic powder until I liked the taste for a dip.

The cheese is goat cheese, or chevre. It appears that Louisa can handle this. We have not done any big challenges to her system with it but she can have several slices with a meal and it doesn't bother her.

Sun chips are another thing that Louisa can eat. As long as they are not the flavored varieties. Most of the flavors have things in them we are trying to avoid. The plain ones are good, though.

So, just a quick and easy lunch. I thought it was cute, though, so I shared it, too. YES!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chicken and Rice

I got a very good compliment tonight. Well, 3 actually. All the girls liked dinner. It was almost as good as the stuff Aunt Jenn cooks. That is a tough challenge to live up to but I am evidentally getting closer. I'll take that.

Dinner tonight was chicken and rice. (No pictures today - I forgot) It was based on a recipe that I grew up making. I think Campbell's puts this recipe on a lot of their soup cans. It is the one where you put water, rice, and soup in a dish and mix it up. Then put the chicken pieces on top and bake it. A good recipe, except for the cream soup part. Dairy products are not allowed for us. So, remake - here I come.

I used the exact same concept but I had garlic flavored chicken broth in the fridge. (Never would have bought it but it came in a meal deal during one of our shopping trips to HEB. Nice freebie!) I put the chicken broth and rice in and the chicken on top (frozen!). Bake and voila! The girls didn't stop talking about it until they were done eating it!

2 C garlic flavored chicken broth
1 1/4 C long grain/slow cook rice
4 - 6 chicken breasts (thawed or frozen, doesn't make too much difference except for cooking time)

Put the broth and rice in a 9 x 13 dish and stir it up. Place the chicken on top and cover with aluminum foil. Place in 375 degree oven for 40 - 60 minutes (40 for thawed; 60 for frozen), checking to make sure the chicken is baked thoroughly. If you want a little bit of color to your chicken, uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. You could even sprinkle a tiny bit of paprika over it. Serve. Makes 4 - 6 servings.

I served this with corn and broccoli (both frozen and cooked in the microwave). This was a good dinner with very little work involved. My kind of cooking. And it was all from the YES list!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


We have had quite a time with allergies lately. Beginning back before Christmas, the allergy season kicked in full force for most of the family. Louisa has had it the hardest though. Some medicine changes have helped but not to the extent we would like. Thus it leaves me back here. Food. What can we change? What can we not change? Are we missing something? Why the tummy aches again, often, after so much time without them?

I don't know what our answer is going to be but I do know that my first response is food. Food. Ugh. We all love food and we are doing really well managing the allergens but it is next to impossible to stay away completely.

Soy, for example. In Everything! And I do mean everything. Even lunchmeats can have soy in them. Luckily this is her lowest level allergen but...with everything else flaring we need to cut it out. I haven't figured out how. If only I knew. That might make a difference.

Milk is another. There are a million and a half names for milk products. Again, it is in everything except fresh fruit and veggies, it seems. And this seems to be an allergen that affects her quickly and easily. So hard to avoid.

Potatoes, eggs, peanuts, beef, pork and tomotoes are not a big hassle to avoid, as long as we eat at home. Now if there is something special at church, that is another story. We have several folks at church that try to bring something that she can eat. They are so thoughtful! But, as a 5 year old, she misses getting to go birthday parties without worrying about the cake or ice cream or pizza. And, she really misses eating out. We do go to Sonic or McDonalds some but have noticed her body not accepting these foods as easily lately. (BTW - These two places, last I checked, do not have milk products in their chicken strips or nuggets. And they offer apples instead of fries. Thus the reason we go there.)

How do you answer a 5 year old who sincerely cries "I just want to be normal again."? I don't know and my heart is breaking. Her sisters are super with her and can help her get over this but her mama is not doing so well.

This is not necessarily a helpful post but one I needed to get out there. Just for me. The positive will come back but for now, this is where I am. Searching each day for more answers and remembering, above all, that today belongs to God and His will. I was reminded this morning of something Becky Blackmon says: Give God today, every day, or satan will take it. May I always remember that and give God each day, every day.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Monkey Face

Even though I said I was going to post weekly, I let the holiday and time with family prevail. Not a bad thing but I did not follow through with my word. For anyone out there who actually pays attention to this blog, I apologize. I intent to do better.

We are starting again. This time with Monkey Faces. Sort of. These cookies taste amazing but don't actually look anything like I was expecting from the recipe description. We'll start at the beginning.

This was the link to the original recipe I used. If you look at that recipe and remember anything about our food situation, you know that I did not follow the recipe to a T. Perhaps that is why my monkey faces turned out looking like this...

Little aliens, if you ask me. Still, they tasted good. So good that I am fending off the children as we speak.

Here's the recipe:

Mix together:
1/2 C shortening
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C molasses (I used cane syrup since that is what I had and the taste is similar. Another plus, it is cheaper than molasses.)

1/2 C almond milk (Probably any milk will do but this is what we keep for the allergenic child around here.)
1 tsp vinegar (I just used plain old white vinegar.)

Mix in:
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Drop by rounded tsp. 2-12" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Place 3 raisins on each for eyes and mouth. Bake @375ยบ 10-12 min. or until set. Remove from sheet in 1 min. Faces take on droll expressions in baking. Makes 4 doz. 2-1/2" cookies.                     

I made half of the cookies with raisins and half without. Here's the picture of the others.
I don't know why exactly, but the ones with the raisins are slightly more chewy and soft. The others still taste wonderful but I think I will use the raisins all the time now.

Happy baking and happy blessings. May all your experiences be full of YES.