Tag Archives: food allergy

Food Allergies and Planning a Wedding Feast?

5111_wpm_lowres In just about 3 months I will be walking down the aisle again.  My partner and I have been together for 7 years and I guess it is time.   The first time I got married we eloped so this is really the first time I have planned a wedding.  Now I am no spring chicken and as the date gets closer I keep thinking ‘why did we not elope??’. 

For those of you that have planned a wedding I am sure you know all the little details that need to be taken care of.  Just when you think you have a handle on everything, someone says ‘what about this?’  URGH!  

Because my fiancé and I are both, well…not spring chickens we made it clear to everyone this is our wedding and we will do what we want.  We are paying for it so have your opinion but ultimately the final decision is ours.  Awesome!

My fiancé has never been married so for his parents this is kind of a big deal.  We picked a venue, decided on the menu and thought we were done.  After letting his parents know what would be served for dinner they offered to pay for the reception meal.  I was so touched that they wanted to do that.  The only stipulation was they got to have a say in the menu.  Ok I can live with that.    Problem is I have food allergies and sensitivities and I don’t want to have to tuck an Epipen into my garter.

So do I speak up and say, no way to the seafood platter (I am anaphylactic to most seafood)?  Do I put my foot down and insist the pasta is gluten free? Do I make sure there is no corn or soy as part of the ingredients?

I have decided to smile and be grateful these two really sweet people wanted to be part of the menu planning for their only son’s wedding.  They want glutinous pasta and a seafood course.  The chef knows the bride is allergic to seafood so my meal will be sequestered and I am bringing in gluten free pasta for myself and a few other guests, which will be cooked separate from the regular pasta.

The reality is; how much will I really be eating that day?  After talking to many other brides, they all said the same thing.  They never even got to taste the food at their wedding.  So I am going to concede and let them have what they want, I have control over everything else.  We are having a gluten free wedding cake, I picked the flowers, my dress, tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, décor, venue, etc. etc.

A few people are shocked and have been giving me grief over my decision.  Now if this was my kid’s birthday party and they were insisting on having seafood and he was allergic, well that is a completely different story!  Momma Bear would come out and there would not be a shrimp within 50 miles of that party!!

I am an adult and I know how to keep safe and if I have to tuck an Epipen into my garter well so be it.

No sense getting upset.  I had a wedding already, he hasn’t and his parents have never been able to be part of the planning for his wedding.  It is one day that will fly by in a blink of an eye.  In the end I am marrying my best friend and that is all that is important to me.  The food is secondary so I am letting it go.

My decision to shut up I think is a way to honor his parents and their wishes.  If it were his aunt, cousin or even sibling I would probably say ‘whoa hold on there, I have food allergies’.  His parents are in their 80’s and don’t understand food allergies.  His mom tries when I eat there.  She made lasagna with gluten free pasta at Easter!  For a very traditional Italian momma that was a big deal!  She put wheat bread crumbs in the meat but hey she tried and it was appreciated.  She buys bread made from corn flour (I am sensitive to corn), but the thing is she does try.  The statement ‘justa eat a little bit’ has been uttered.  Again the understanding is not there but the effort is so I shut up.

If I were in a restaurant, I would definitely stand up for my food allergies and be very firm about what I can and cannot have.  My in-laws have never tried to push seafood on me (that is the one that will kill me) and always has a different option for me on occasions like Christmas Eve when the traditional meal is fish and seafood.

Perhaps if I were a younger bride and had never been through the whole process, I may feel different.  I know brides that have fought tooth and nail with their mother’s over the smallest of details (ravioli vs tortellini)!  My wish for our wedding is everyone comes and has a great time and we look back on the day with fond memories.  I will be vigilant when it comes to what I am eating and as long as the chef knows what I can and can’t have and understands cross-contamination then it will be perfect!

Carrot Cake (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, corn free)

Carrot Cake carrot cake 3

Carrot cake is my eldest son’s favorite cake.  He was never a veggie lover and to get him to eat his veggies I would hide them in other foods.  Either that or Mom would sit beside him at the dinner table and spoon feed him his veggies while he pulled face after face.  Eventually he would clean the plate but a nice slice of carrot cake made with coconut sugar was so much easier!

Add or take away whatever ingredients you don’t like or can’t tolerate.  This is as good with out the walnuts or raisins.  In the words of my eldest “Mom, why did you have to ruin this with raisins?” Personally I love raisins so I will respectfully disagree with him but I will leave it up to you whether the raisins are in or out.

I topped this cake with cream cheese icing made with cream cheese, powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla extract.  It is a favorite icing with the kids.  If you have a dairy allergy you can use creamed coconut.  It is semi-solid at room temperature.  I get mine at a local Chinese grocery store as it seems to always be availale there.  Put your creamed coconut into the mixer and mix until fluffy, add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, mix well.  Slowly add powdered sugar until mixture is thick but spreadable.

Prepare Vanilla Cake according to package directions adding 1/2 cup of apple sauce to the wet 

Ingredients.

Once cake batter is mixed stir in:

  • 1 1/2 c Shredded carrot
  • 1/2 c crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Pour into 9 or 10 inch cake pan and cook at 325 F for 45 to 50 minutes

Crinkle Cookies!

Cookies, cookies, cookies!  Who doesn’t love a good cookie?   For me cookies are comfort food.  I love a nice hard cookie dunked in my tea or a soft chewy cookie when I am feeling stressed.  One of my favorite activity when my boys were little was to spend a rainy Saturday making cookies with them.  They would sit on the counter stirring and tasting, once in the oven they would sit on their knees in front of the oven watching them bake then dancing with delight when we took them out, almost too excited to wait until they cooled before taking a bite. Their Nonna used to make chocolate crinkle cookies, full of egg, gluten, dairy and sugar. Definitely a favorite for my guys. I have adapted the recipe to make them allergen friendly.  Feel free to sub out the sugar with coconut sugar or whatever sugar fits your dietary needs.

Crinkle Cookies! crinkle cookie

Ingredients:

  • ¼  cup sunflower oil or oil of choice 
  • ¾  cup organic white cane sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 
  • ½  cup unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 package Allergic Solution Carob Cake mix [If you can eat chocolate check out the the chocolate version below]
  • ½  cup icing sugar [cornstarch free or powdered sugar]

Directions;

In bowl mix oil,sugar (white and brown), Apple sauce, coffee granules and vanilla extract until well combined. Add carob mix, mix well

Place dough in freezer for 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using small cookie scooper drop 1 inch balls of dough into icing sugar until completely covered with sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet

Chocolate version:

Use the Allergic Solution Vanilla Cake Mix instead of the carob cake mix. Remove ½ c. of the mix and replace with ½ c. cocoa powder. Follow the directions above.  You will have ½ c. of vanilla cake mix to save for another recipe.

Strawberry Short Cake

Strawberry Short Cake photo

Follow the vanilla cake recipe found on the package

Makes one – 9 inch cake

  •  ? cup virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup rice milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3/4c coconut sugar

Preparation Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease bottom of a 9” round cake pan.

2. Place oil, milk, water, vanilla extract and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Using an electric mixer, blend on low speed for 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved.

4. Gradually add entire contents of pouch and mix on medium speed until completely combined and smooth.

5. Pour batter into greased cake pan.

6. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

7. Allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes.

Once cool slice cake in half making two layers. Slice strawberries for top and middle

To make a non-dairy whip cream you can use coconut cream. We sourced this recipe from http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/988521/how-to-make-coconut-whipped-cream

Yields approximately 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons organic powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Place the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Open the can (careful not to shake it ) and spoon the top layer that has formed into a mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar and beat on high until the mixture is fluffy and frothy just like real whipped cream.

Put 3/4 of the whipped cream in the middle of the two layers of cake, arrange strawberries, put 2nd layer on top and ice with the remailing whip cream and arrange more strawberries on top. YUM.

 

What season is it? RHUBARB SEASON! Rhubarb Ginger Cobbler Recipe!

Some of my fondest memories of childhood was when going to the rhubarb patch and pulling out a nice shiny red rhubarb stick to suck on. During rhubarb season we had rhubarb pies, strawberry/rhubarb pies, rhubarb jam and rhubarb cobbler. I love that sour taste of the rhubarb and how your face puckers up when biting into it. cobbler

Here is an old family recipe that I have adapted to make it for the most part allergen free. Sorry to my egg allergy peeps, I didn’t have time to attempt the egg free version, it calls for 1 egg so use 3 Tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon of ground chia seed (to get a better rise sub 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar for 1 tbsp of water)

Rhubarb Ginger Cobbler

  • 4 cups of sliced rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (I subbed coconut sugar)

Mix together and place in an 8 X 8 baking dish

  • 1/4c coconut oil (butter if you can tolerate dairy)
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar (I used organic cane)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or dried ginger) or 1/4 c candied ginger
  • 1 egg (or egg replacer)
  • 1 c. Allergic Solution Vanilla Cake mix
  • 1/4 c rice milk (or milk or cream)

mix coconut oil, ginger and sugar together until fluffy

add egg and mix well

add rice milk and mix well

add cake mix and mix until all mixed in

 

Spoon on top of rhubarb and sugar mixture, don’t spread out there should be spaces in between the batter blobs.

 

Bake at 375 F for 30 to 35 minutes, I found after 20 minutes it was getting too brown so I covered it with foil.

 

scoop it onto plates and garnish with coconut whip cream, coconut ice cream or something similar.