Cinnamon Rolls!!!

At the time of this post, I am on my way back from a trip to Costa Rica.  I’ll write more about that later, but because I have been out of the country for a week, I don’t have a recipe for this week.  Instead, I wanted to share one of our favorite products.

OrganicCinnamonRoll-thumbnail Let’s face it: sometimes products made for people with certain dietary restrictions (eg. gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, etc.) are pretty obviously missing something. Often they are ok, but clearly something isn’t right.  But these…. these are AMAZING!  Not only are they delicious, they are 100% safe for our allergy kids.  They are not gluten-free, but wheat and gluten aren’t problems for us.  They are, however, dairy-free and egg-free, which makes them perfect for Reese (our little EOE dude). Not all Annie’s products are safe for him, but these are, and they are excellent.  Reese doesn’t eat much, even when the foods we give are safe, but these he loves. And the rest of us do, too!  They are little more expensive than other brands (like Pillsbury, for example), but it’s totally worth paying a little more for Reese to be able to eat yummy cinnamon rolls with us on a lazy Saturday morning.

Sometimes it can be a little tough to find certain Annie’s products at the store.  Even if they carry some, they may not carry all.  Check them out here or go to  www.annies.com  to see what else they have.

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

The  taste of  summer, bite-sized.Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs (small)

Any parent knows that coming up with dinners can be a challenge.  If that parent has a kid with food restrictions (whether due to allergies, EOE, or any other of a host of things), it is that much more difficult.  In the midst of the “I don’t want to do spaghetti again” conversation, Michelle had an idea.  It was a brilliant idea.  KEBABS.

Here’s the thing with a kebab “recipe.”  It’s basically just a suggestion.  The suggestion we started with came from Holly at www.spendwithpennies.com (modified to fit our tastes and dietary needs, of course). As suggested by Holly, we started with KC Masterpiece BBQ rub and sauce mix.  This would be very easily done with whatever barbecue sauce you like (or any other marinade and seasoning mix, for that matter).

The ‘Hawaiian’ part is not really authentic Hawaiian, but more of a “Taco Bell is real Mexican food” type of thing.  We “mainlanders” have a tendency to think pineapple makes everything Hawaiian.  Not necessarily enlightened, but it is delicious. Mix the sauce mix (or whatever sauce you use) with pineapple juice.  Cut chicken up into kebab-sized pieces (1″ square or so) and marinate the chicken for about 4 hours. Normally I would marinate over night, but I didn’t want the chicken to get so tender that it would fall apart on the skewer.  (Side note: I see this all over the food blog world, so let’s straighten this out – “marinate” is a verb, “marinade” is a noun.  Two different things. That is all.)  While chicken is marinating, cut veggies into kebab-sized bites (about 1″ square). We went with green, red, and yellow bell peppers and red onion. To make it “Hawaiian,” add in some pineapple.  And please use fresh pineapple. There is no point to canned pineapple (unless you like the taste of the inside of a can).

Carefully thread the piece of chicken and veg onto the skewers. Be sure to be careful, or you might skewer your finger.  I only did that about 4 times before I figured out how not to. I made sure to have the onion and pineapple next to the chicken because I wanted those to flavor the chicken.  It probably doesn’t matter, though. You can see from the pictures that I basted the kebabs with sauce.  You may want to consider doing that near the end of the cooking.  The sugar content made it char around the edges a little faster than I would have liked. You want it to sizzle, not burn.

Grill these kebabs however you see fit.  For me and my house, that means charcoal grill. Watch them carefully – small pieces cook quickly.

I can’t eat kebabs off the skewer.  I have poked myself enough times I’m afraid I’ll start looking like Heath Ledger’s Joker before long. So I slide it off onto a plate and enjoy without having to ask “Do you want to know how I got these scars?”

Now, like I said, kebab recipes are just suggestions. In fact, sometimes, all it takes is the suggestion of “kebab” to make you come up with your own way to doing it.  Can’t eat onions?  Don’t!  Hate pineapple? Leave it out (I’m looking at you, Aunt Malinda.) This would be great marinaded with oil, sriracha, and lime juice.  It would be awesome with brown sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.  It would be wonderful with coconut aminos and minced ginger.  Do it however you want, and let me know all about it. It would make my day to hear how your kebabs turn out.  Thanks for liking, commenting, and sharing!

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs (large)

 

 

Chocolate Haystacks

Nostalgia, now dairy-free!

Chocolate Haystacks (small)

When I was a kid it seemed like there were things we always had in the pantry.  We always had chocolate chips.  We didn’t make cookies often, but we always had chocolate chips.  We also always had crispy chow mein noodles.  I have absolutely no recollection of ever having Chinese food at home, but we always had chow mein noodles. We also always had a flashlight and D batteries in the pantry, but that wasn’t quite the same (flashlights take a notoriously long time to cook, and they just aren’t worth the trouble). Continue reading

Aquafaba

So, maybe I’m late to this party, but I have recently been introduced to something called “aquafaba.”  Have you guys heard of this? Apparently it’s taking the vegan/food allergy world by storm.

Why is it called aquafaba? Well, because “bean water” just sounds gross.
But that’s literally what it is.  Bean water.  In fact, that’s what the name means – aqua is Latin for water and faba is Latin for bean. aquafaba Continue reading

Fire-roasted Salsa

The ultimate party snack, leveled up.

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I love Mexican food. Like a lot. Authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex, shoot I even love stuff like Taco Bell and Taco John’s. And one of the best parts of going to any Mexican restaurant is the free-flowing chips and salsa. Hot or mild, red or green, I love it. My wife likes it, too, but can’t handle too much spice, so I usually end up getting to eat the majority of the salsa at the table. Totally fine with me. Plus, salsa is SUPER healthy. It’s an excellent way to deliver all the goodness of veggies without feeling like you’re just eating a load of veggies.

But why do I bother making my own? Jarred salsa, even the expensive, good quality stuff, isn’t that expensive, and it’s rare to find one that is bad.  To be honest, I don’t usually bother making my own. But why do I go back and watch all the Marvel Studios movies at least once a year? Because sometimes you just want to do something. Continue reading

Smoke-Roasted Potatoes

Baked potatoes are boring, you say? Well, I say you must be doing it wrong.

Smoke-Roasted Potatoes

Ok, so the picture is a little blurry. But they taste so good…….

First of all, let me give credit where credit is due. Steve Raichlen is some sort of genius. Mr. Raichlen is a guru of all things live-fire cooking: grill, barbecue, pit/spit roasting… you name it, and he has a book/show/class about it. He has written several books about live-fire cooking and is a big reason I love cooking over live-fire whenever I get the chance. This recipe is from his book How to Grill, modified to fit my family.

I was never really one to eat baked potatoes as a meal. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good baked potato. It just never seems enough. I need something more when I eat. Not necessarily portion-wise, but more substantial than just a hunk of potato. But when I learned to introduce the sublime flavor and aroma of wood smoke, I saw that the humble potato can be elevated to a whole new level.

Continue reading

Enjoy Life!

Have you ever just been sitting around and suddenly you think, “I need some chocolate…”?  No?  Just me?   Hm….. weird.

Anyway, I grew up in a house with chocolate.  I don’t mean sometimes we had S’mores, or that we have ice cream and with Hershey’s syrup in the summer times.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we did.  But I mean we always had a tub of chocolate chip in the pantry.  At. All. Times.  The primary use of those had nothing to do with cookies.  They were there so we could eat them.  I would melt them down and spread it on graham crackers.  I would dip up  a spoonful of peanut butter and stud it with chocolate morsels.  But more than anything, we would just grab a handful and eat them in pure, unadulterated chocolatey goodness.

Fast forward to now.  Reese, our little EOE dude, can’t have dairy.  And therefore, can’t have most chocolate.  He can’t have peanuts, so he can’t have peanut butter.  Those two things mean he can’t have my favorite candy of all time: Reese’s peanut butter cups.  *tears* Continue reading

Lennox and Reese’s SunButter Cups

My son Reese can’t have peanut butter (or dairy, or eggs, or soy, or nuts, or……). But he can have these!Reese's Sun Butter Cups (1)

Without question, my favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, any peanut butter based candy is going to top my list. Unfortunately, two of my kids are allergic to peanuts, so I have to finish my candy before I get home don’t get to have them very often. I mean, it’s just not right for a parent to not share their candy with their kids, right?

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Bread-in-a-bag

Bread.  Seriously.  I love bread.  It would seem pretty simple, right?  Then you find out your kid has food restrictions.  We have pretty much become experts on reading labels, and it’s amazing what you find on the labels of bread packages.  Soon after lamenting this out loud to everyone that would listen (and a few who wouldn’t), I got a message from my mom.  That message had a link saying “Is this safe for Reese?”  What followed was nothing short of amazing.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you….

Bread-in-a-bag

Many thanks to Your Homebased Mom for sharing this recipe!

This is so good, and SO EASY!  And, since Reese can have wheat, this is a great recipe for us
to have in our back pockets.  Our girls have a lot of fun helping because they like to get their hands in and squish the bread dough.  IMG_1200

Now this is the kind of ingredient list I like to see!  Flour, sugar, water, oil, salt, yeast… and that’s pretty much it.  (Exact measurements are included below.) Continue reading

Glazed Donuts

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It’s Saturday morning, the time when the thoughts of young children turn to breakfast.  We have an amazing donut shop called Jack’s right down the street. Few things are better than going in and getting a box of fresh donuts.  And the fact that it is only a few doors down from the local comic shop is even better.

comics and donuts

Eating donuts on Free Comic Book Day!

The only problem is that they don’t have anything Reese can eat. His EOE/food restrictions limit him so that all he can have at the donut shop is… coffee.  And he’s 2. He’s not drinking coffee.

ENTER THE HOMEMADE DONUT: Continue reading