National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

This is a post I almost didn’t write.

I’m the Food Allergy Dad, right?  I do posts about replacing eggs with aquafaba, or making dairy-free cookies, or making chocolate mousse with avocado.  The truth is, though, that before being “Food Allergy Dad,” I just “dad.”

My wife and I have three beautiful children.  I love them more than I ever thought I could love anyone or anything.  They can drive me crazy, but at the end of the day, when I come home from work, from running to the grocery store, or even just from checking the mail… when they come running to me with arms wide open, shouting, “Daddy’s back!”…. it’s the best thing ever. But here’s something you may not know: Emily, Lennox, and Reese are 3 of 9 kids.   Continue reading

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Grandma’s Beef Stew

Autumn comfort, made easy!

Grandma's Beef Stew (small)

Remember when churches used to put out a church cookbook?  We still have old copies of church cookbooks lying around somewhere.  Some of the recipes in there make me laugh, the way things are worded, or the ingredients used (apparently margarine used to be called oleo?). Every cookbook our church ever put out had at least one recipe from my grandma and/or great-grandma.  My grandma was an excellent cook, even with her poor eyesight.  One of those recipes was a simple but delicious beef stew.

When I was growing up, my dad’s favorite meal was beef stew.  He always said it made him feel “ritzy.”  I never really understood that, because beef stew isn’t exactly high-class food.  He loved it, though, and with good reason.  My mom my grandma’s stew recipe, and it definitely stands the test of time. Continue reading

Enjoy Life Plentils

Sometimes you just want an easy snack.  I don’t know about you, but to me, “snack” typically means something savory, and usually salty.  I like candy, but that’s not a snack.  Something like popcorn or chips is a little more my speed.  I recently discovered Plentils from Enjoy Life, and it totally fits that bill.

If you’ve been around here for a bit, you know that I love Enjoy Life.  Their chocolate chips are outstanding, and I love some of their Chewy Bar flavors. The Plentils chips did not disappoint.

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Three of the six available flavors: Thai Chili Lime, Garlic & Parmesan, and Sea Salt.

 

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Apple Cider Salted Caramels

The taste of fall you never knew you needed in your life.

Apple Cider Salted Caramels (small)

Ever since I was a little kid, I have been going to a local apple orchard known as Tuttle Orchards.  I have always loved it, so much so that I have worked there for the last three fall seasons on the weekends.  The best part, without a doubt, is the delicious apple cider.  This is not the apple cider you get a the grocery store.  That stuff is basically glorified apple juice.  The cider from Tuttle’s is amazing.   Continue reading

Blogger Recognition Award

Heartfelt thanks to Roda at GrowingSelf.blog for the Blogger Recognition Award!  If you haven’t seen her blog yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.  She has beautiful photography and a passion for her farm/gardening life that is very engaging.

blogger recognition award

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

My blog story…

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Teal Pumpkin Project

It’s October, the time when the minds of little ones (and not-so-little ones) turn to the fun and festivities of Halloween.  Whether Halloween parties at school, trick-or-treating with friends, or doing Trunk-n-Treat/Harvest Festival at a local church, it’s a time of costumes, fun, games, and most importantly… CANDY!

I loved Halloween as a kid.  I loved dressing up, carving pumpkins, getting candy, rummaging through it with my sister to find our favorites… it was the best.  As I got older, I fell out with Halloween for a while, due in large part to seeing the way some of the teenagers in our area would use it as a chance to snatch candy bags from kids and do other heinous pranks.  As a parent, though, as I see the excitement on my kids’ faces, I have a renewed fondness for the holiday.  I still love carving pumpkins, and taking the kids trick-or-treating is always so much fun.

kids at halloween

Our littles on Halloween last year (2016)

 

For Reese, though, and for many like him, Halloween has a darker, much more dangerous side lurking around every cobweb-covered bush, behind every overplayed witch-smashed-into-the-front-door decoration, next to every jack-o-lantern.  Continue reading

Fall!

It’s October!  Fall has come: the leaves are turning, the air is getting cooler, and the smell of apple cider is in the air… I love it!IMG_3112

So, you may have noticed a bit of radio silence lately.  Fall is a tough time because it’s really busy (until fall break, of course). I work at an apple orchard on the weekends in September and October, and we just hit the end of the grading period at school, which means I have a lot of papers to grade.  But fall break is just around the corner, and I’ve got plans of things to come!

There are some fall recipes around the corner (one is cooking as I type, and it smells so good!) Also, some general autumn-y posts are in my sights, so keep your eyes open.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this:IMG_3108 Don’t get me wrong, pumpkin spice is great.  But it’s no apple cider! If you have a local orchard or cider mill nearby, do yourself a favor and get some real apple cider.  That stuff from the grocery store just does not compare!

Burman’s Mayo: vegan and affordable

A while ago, I wrote about Just Mayo, a vegan mayonnaise that is also soy-free.  That’s a big deal in our house because Reese can’t have eggs or soy.  Not long after that, I posted my own homemade Super Easy Vegan (aquafaba) Mayonnaise recipe.  As the name implies, it’s super easy (and vegan).  On a really busy day, though, “store-bought” wins, no matter how “super easy” a recipe may be. But when you have three kids and life happens, sometimes the store-bought can be a challenge, too.  Enter Burman’s.

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Burman’s is an Aldi brand.  If you aren’t familiar with Aldi, get familiar with it now!  If you don’t have Aldi around you, well…. I’m sorry.  You’re missing out.  I’ll be honest, Aldi is not typically my go-to grocery store.  I really like it, but I don’t often think about stopping in.  They have some excellent products, though, and usually for much cheaper than the other stores.  This vegan mayonnaise, for example, is comparable to Just Mayo, but significantly cheaper.

In a side-by-side taste test, I can tell the difference between this and real mayonnaise.  I can tell the difference between real and lite mayo, though, so that isn’t really the point. The point is, despite the very minor taste and consistency difference (this product tends to be a bit thinner than real mayo), it is a very acceptable substitute for a lower price than other vegan/egg-free mayonnaise products.  On a sandwich or in a dip or spread, you would be hard-pressed to taste a discernable difference unless you did a side-by-side.

Burman’s egg-less mayo is something we like to keep on hand all the time.  It’s totally worth the small price and is a product that I think anyone with an egg-restriction who misses their mayo should get their hands on.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

My world has been turned upside down.  2+2= yellow and I’m totally ok with that.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse (small)

I’m pretty sure that I’m one of the only people in the country that doesn’t like avocado.  I know all the health benefits, and I know it’s super popular, but I just can’t get over the taste. Blasphemy, I know.  And it’s not just in my head, I promise.  I once ate a delicious club sandwich, but halfway through, I noticed the sandwich started to taste like dirt.  I opened it up and noticed that there was avocado on half of the sandwich… the half that I had just started eating.

But the health benefits keep me curious… how can I integrate avocado without actually tasting it?  The answer came while watching some of my favorite YouTubers. Chocolate avocado mousse… could that really work?  The guys at SortedFOOD seemed to think so, so I figured it was worth trying. Continue reading

Doctor’s Orders

Do you ever get on Pinterest?  I love Pinterest.  It’s a wealth of information on all sorts of things.  I have found countless recipes, my wife has found several useful crochet patterns… my coworkers and I even have a shared Pinterest board to find great ideas for our classrooms (I’m a high school Spanish teacher by day, in case you didn’t know). But there is a darker side to Pinterest. Continue reading