Thanksgiving Tips (Re-post)

Ah…can’t wait for the big day!

Lots of yummy foods, friends and family gathered round enjoying a day of fellowship and giving thanks for the many blessings we have.

Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, famous green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie a la mode, sweet potato casserole…can you picture it all laid out on a buffet or in the center of the table?

Wonderful food and other than the cranberry sauce and turkey, each one of those “traditional” Thanksgiving treats has at least one major allergen in it’s recipe.

What is a person to do?

You could host the meal yourself. That is a lot of work, but can be done.

There are a lot of recipes out there that can help you maneuver through some of those tough ones. Or you can see the substitution list for some ideas of how to take the traditional recipes and make them allergy free.

For example, green bean casserole, while you can’t put the gluten laden fried onions on top, you could toss some of your own in a rice flour and quick fry them on the stove. They won’t be exact, but still will be quite tasty and that’s the point. The recipe could be made without the cream soup versions if you can’t have dairy.

If your family is like ours, and does potluck style, you can create some special sides for the allergy needs and let the rest bring what they will. Another option is to ask them to be sensitive to your family’s needs and help them with ideas of what to bring that everyone can eat.

What do you do if you are headed out to another home for the day, as our family will be doing this year?

It is difficult to ask a hostess to cater to your allergy needs, but at the same time hostesses usually feel bad that they didn’t make anything you can eat. Making a hostess aware that you don’t expect her to cater to your needs is important, but making the need known gives her the ability to decide how she wants to handle it. You might be surprised at how sensitive she may be.

If it is not possible for her to make something for you then by all means bring some of your own special food, making sure to have several small dishes to fill in where needed. Also, it is best to ask ahead, what she will be serving, so that you can provide substitutions as necessary.

Can you bring something? If that’s the case, you know you can make an allergy free dish that will please everyone and you can pile that on your plate during the day.

Thanksgiving is only a day away, so these tips may be a little late, but I hope they help.

For the Christmas holidays, I will be compiling a list of great cookie, cakes, and dessert recipes. Drop a note in the box if you have one you’d like to share with us. We’d love to hear what you are doing.

Until next time,


Another Dairy Allergy Child ~ ARRGH!

I know…it’s easy right?

Already got one what’s the big deal?

The problem is…

This one is just 4 months old and formula (milk) is ALL he can eat. And no, breastfeeding is not an option at this point, wish it was because that would be an easy fix.

Formula is very expensive to begin with (and all of them are made with corn syrup, really healthy, don’t you think?) and now having to buy an allergy-free one–YIKES!

We tried the typical hypoallergenic store brands…still not helping, in fact one of them made him worse than the milk based formula.

So, we have to use a truly allergy free formula at an average of $30 for a 14 oz. can. That is used up in roughly 3 days!

Thank goodness we are cloth diaper fans…otherwise we’d need a full time job just to pay for them both!

Not good on the budget and especially not good on very little income, which is where we are right at the moment thanks to the current economic crisis…so the plan?


Well, that is a different plan than finding a wonderful mama willing to give me a deal on her left over unopened cases on Craigslist. Which I did find and what we bought will tie us over for a while.

The Plan:

To Make My Own Allergy-Free Formula

I’ve been doing some research and I will be working with our pediatrician this next few weeks to create a good, alternative, homemade, diary-free formula.

Will it be less expensive?

Not sure.

But I will know what’s in it. AND less expensive or not it won’t be based on corn syrup and that is priceless!

Hmm, wasn’t there some contest about that priceless credit card thing? I know, getting sidetracked…but I should look and see if it’s still out there. Maybe that will pay for formula and diapers. Oh, yeah, using cloth…already have…although, I’d love more. Side-tracked.

After talking with the Dr. tonight I think we might be able to do it! It will not based on goat’s milk, although that is a nice option, isn’t usually a good one for a true dairy protein allergy.

I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Until next time,

Egg Replacer

People have been asking me about how to use an egg replacer, specifically a commercial egg replacer like Ener G. Most of you probably have found that gluten free baking turns out really dense and without eggs it’s worse.

One of the best tips I have learned over the years is to double the amount called for. So if you need 1 egg for the recipe, use 2 eggs worth of the egg replacer. This is especially true if you are making lighter things like pancakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. You could even triple the egg replacer.

Each recipe may take a little experimenting to find the right ratio. I have tripled the replacer in some recipes and they were really a bit too light and fluffy. Which personally, I would rather have baked goods on the lighter side than too dense as most gluten free baked goods are.

But over all a good rule of thumb is to double the amount of egg replacer and you should find that your baked goods are less dense.

Hope this helps.

Until next time,

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Well, we are headed into winter, time for stews, soups and chili. I am trying my hand at cornbread. I have a lot of cornmeal and would love to perfect a recipe. Little Miss came in from playing outside to join me in the experiment.

IMG_9250Little Miss in her new apron ready to help

So here’s what I ended up doing tonight. I decided to take a basic recipe from Betty Crocker and make it dairy and gluten-free. I changed out the wheat flour for rice flour, the regular milk with rice milk and used sucanat instead of regular sugar. I made it the traditional way by pouring it into a hot cast iron pan and then baking it in the pan even though the directions were different than that.

The entire family was surprised with how well it worked out. It was nice and brown and sweet. With melted Earth’s Balance on top it was perfect to go with our soup tonight.

I did use an egg, just so you know. I will try it next time without an egg and see what happens, since I shouldn’t use them, but I was desperate for something to turn out tonight! So, I’ll keep you updated on that one. It’s so hard to bake without eggs. Nothing turns out well without them. Well, almost nothing.


Gluten-Free Cornbread

1 cup rice milk
1 egg
¼ cup Earth’s Balance stick melted
1¼ cup corn meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill since we were sent a ton from them)
1 cup rice flour (normally the recipe calls for regular flour)
½ cup sucanat (called for regular sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt

Beat together the milk, “butter”, and egg in a large bowl. Stir the remaining ingredients all at once until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour batter into a hot cast iron griddle that has been greased with shortening. Bake for 20 minute at 400 until toothpick comes out clean. I used a small pan so it was done early at about 15 mins.

IMG_9252In the pan on the stove sizzlin’ the bottom before baking! Mmm, mmm.

I never took an after photo, shame it looked so nice! I’ll have to be sure to do that next time around.

Until next time,

General Flour Substitutions

Here are a few gluten-free flour substitutions to use in regular recipes.

It will take some tweaking, depending upon the recipe, to figure out the best substitutions for your recipes, but it will be worth it in the end.

As always, do not use a flour substitute if you are allergic to it.

All-Purpose Flour Blend
This blend is good for all your gluten-free baking.

½ cup rice flour
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour
¼ cup cornstarch or potato starch

These two came from Living Without:

High-Fiber Flour Blend
This high-fiber blend works for breads, pancakes, snack bars and cookies that contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or other fruits. It is not suited to delicately flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies, crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or cupcakes.

1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour
½ cup teff flour (preferably light)
½ cup millet flour or Montina® flour
⅔  cup tapioca starch/flour
⅓  cup cornstarch or potato starch

High-Protein Flour Blend
This nutritious blend works best in baked goods that require elasticity, such as wraps and pie crusts.

1¼ cups bean flour (your choice), chickpea flour or soy flour
1 cup arrowroot starch, cornstarch or potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour

Key Ingredient for above flour substitutes

Gluten is the “glue” that holds baked products together without it or a substitute your baked goods won’t work. Gum (xanthan or guar) is the key to successful gluten-free baking. It provides the binding needed to give the baked product proper elasticity, keeping it from crumbling.

Add ½ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour blend to make cakes, cookies, bars, muffins and other quick breads.
Add 1 teaspoon per cup of flour blend to make yeast bread, pizza dough or other baked items that call for yeast.

Self-Rising Flour Blend
This blend is good for muffins, scones, cakes, cupcakes or any recipe that uses baking powder for leavening.

1¼ cups white sorghum flour
1¼ cups white rice flour
½ cup tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons xanthan or guar gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Hope this helps.

Until next time,