Monday, January 21, 2013

Family Pictures

My family!
Hunter - 7 1/2. I love his smile in this one.

Very good shot. I love Mandie's attitude!

My Bug is always smiling with this little "devil grin"!

Princess Mandie - almost 6!

My three loves!

Sweet Truman will be 10 in a week!

Mandie looks ready for leap frog!

This one cracks me up! They had so much fun!!!

This will be another great wall photo!

My love and I.

I love everyone's smiles in this photo!  We had so much fun.

Wow have they all grown!

I LOVE Mandie's attitude in this one!

See, they really do love each other! LOL

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Amanda's Allergist Visit Update

On Thursday January 10th, Steve, (a very very excited) Mandie and I headed up to LaCrosse for Mandie's twice a year visit with Dr. Mary Morris of Allergy Associates of La Crosse.  Her visit was at 8:40am on Friday.  It was a very good visit this time!!!   The only food Mandie added is the spice rosemary, which we've observed and noted reactions at home in the few months prior to the visit.  There is no testing for it, but Dr. Mary said we know how to test and eliminate, so she added rosemary to Mandie's list.

 Mandie has lost her bloated malnutrition belly, grown just over an inch, and lost over a pound since July (though we weighed her before she went off her Periactin on Dec. 21st and she was down a whole 5 lbs).  We asked about the recent bouts of croupy sounding cough. Dr. Mary said albuterol is a perfect treatment for her episodes of Reactive Airway Disease, but if Mandie uses it more than 2-3 times in 24 hours for more than a week we need to call Dr. Mary about a controller med. She is thrilled with how school is going and what all they are doing for Mandie. She admitted to being very very nervous about it at first. 

Mandie is being treated with Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT) for her environmental allergies as well as milk, soy, and peanut. Dr. Mary wanted to test corn this visit, so Mandie was given  an oral tolerance test with corn drops, which she immediately failed with warm red cheeks & full body itch starting less than 60 seconds after drops were administered.

 Transdermal testing for her worst three molds showed marked improvement, so her dose will be increased. What a blessing!!! Dr. Mary is doing the usual blood work for nutrition levels, IgE, and IgG numbers on her whole list. We will get results in a couple of weeks along with the new drops. 

 Dr. Mary agreed that twice daily Periactin is now an essential year round, as it is benefiting her so very much overall, and she feels it is the safest on the market for Mandie. She also agreed that the appetite stimulation is a good thing for her. 

 Dr. Mary is currently most concerned about corn, coconut, and sunflower being so contact reactive, and will be checking her numbers of both IgE & IgG to see what those show. She was going to do the oral drop challenge with coconut and sunflower also, but when the corn failed so quickly she decided not to. The lab is going to make up a food drop solution containing corn when the test results come back, and wants to work on sunflower and coconut soon also. The entire goal of this right now is to get Mandie so that she won't have a life threatening reaction from mere skin contact, and will hopefully be able to tolerate using soaps, etc w/coconut, and small derivatives of corn like citric acid (which she currently reacts to as badly as full on corn).

Mandie is up to 22 foods with the addition of the rosemary. Her entire list is: 
reactive airway disease; celiac; ANAPHYLACTIC to dairy, shellfish, mollusks, wheat, sunflower, safflower, palm, coconut, almond, chamomile (all contact/ingestion/airborne); allergic to soy, peanut, corn, honey, oat, mustard, chocolate, olive, bananas, rosemary,  lanolin, wool, lidocaine, latex (contact and airborne), adhesives, grass, mold, dust mites, ragweed,  dandelions, grain dust,  Midwest trees; malignant hyperthermia susceptible; outgrew strawberry, cats, dogs, cottonwood trees

After testing was done we headed to Tomah to visit with some cousins and see the new baby.  Mandie had a blast with 5 month old Aubrea!
After our visit we headed back to the hotel with plans to eat dinner and swim, but after getting her periactin and benadryl to control the itching from her transdermal testing and the chemicals in the doctors' office, Mandie fell asleep in the van and had to be carried up to our room, where she slept deeply for her usual 15 hours post testing. 

On the way home the next day she ate like the caterpillar in Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", watched movies, and napped a bit.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

I decided to surprise my kids with donuts when they got home from school today - since they had school and I did not.  They've been looking at the recipes I've looked up and wanting pumpkin spice donuts - so I created them from several recipes to be Mandie safe.  

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tsp. Hain Featherweight Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. guar gum
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup hot apple cider
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Brush donut pans with oil (this recipe made 12 regular size and 12 mini donuts).   Whisk together dry ingredients.  Create a well in the center of dry mixture.  Add in oil, pumpkin, and hot cider.  Mix until just combined, but don't overmix or batter will be tough.   Add batter to cavity on pans so each is 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar.   Bake for 6 minutes then rotate pans in oven and bake for another 6 minutes.  Test with toothpick inserted in center.  Cool in pans for 2 minutes, then remove to rack to cool.  May top with icing, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.    I topped donuts for everyone but Mandie with Enjoy Life chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar. 

Top: boys donuts with chocolate chips
Bottom:  Mandie's with cinnamon sugar

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Allergy Friendly Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, and Sweet N Sour Sauce

Lately my family  has been craving Chinese.  Needless to say, with all of our allergies, especially soy, gluten, and peanut, eating out is pretty much off limits.  I searched around and finally found a few recipes for things we craved most, and made all of the necessary changes to make them totally Mandie-safe.  What an amazing meal it was!!!  It satisfied all of our cravings, and Steve even loved the Sweet & Sour sauce. That is huge!  The man does not like most sauces or dips or dressings of any type (though my homemade are more and more often winning him over!).   As an even better note, since it is all homemade and not deep fried, it is WAY healthier than take out food!   See what you think!    Mandie loved these so much that she begged for this to be a meal that we take up to WI next week when we go see her allergist!  I will do that!

 Here is the package of egg roll wrappers from my local Philippine grocery store.
 This is what they look like when they are dry.  Very stiff and breakable.  This is what they look like after they've soaked for 30-60 seconds.  Very flimsy and slippery. 

 To use them, first get out a couple of round cake pans and fill them half full of water.  Place a rice wrapper in each pan and soak for 30-60 seconds, until all stiffness is gone.  Place on a counter top or cutting board to fill with whatever you choose. I used a mix of cabbage, onion, and carrot that I ran through my food processor and combined with my homemade pork sausage.  I seasoned it with Chinese five spice powder.   
 Here is my filling. I use the medium cookie scoop from Pampered Chef, which is 1-2 Tbsp., and place a scoop along the near edge of the rice wrapper and  spread it out a bit.

 Next, fold the near edge up over the filling.

Wrap each end up over the middle of the filling, and fold the filing over until all of the wrapper is covering the filling.  Place on a well greased baking pan and brush with oil.  Bake at 400* for 20-30 minutes til crisp.  We served these with Fried Rice and Sweet & Sour Sauce.

Allergy Friendly Pork Egg Rolls

1 package rice paper wrappers
1/2 head of cabbage
1 onion
4 carrots, scrubbed and topped
1 lb ground pork (or any meat of your choosing)
Chinese 5 Spice Powder
Grape seed oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease two baking sheets well with cooking spray (I use my jelly roll pans).  Using a food processor, finely shred cabbage, carrots, and onion.  Put 1-2 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet.  Saute shredded veggie mix for about 5 minutes, until soft.  Add ground pork and spices (we also used our breakfast sausage seasoning) to taste.  Cook until meat is fully cooked.  Fill two round cake pans each halfway with cool water.  Add one rice wrapper to each pan. Let set for 30-60 seconds until fully pliable. One at a time, remove wrapper from water and spread gently on a cutting board. Place a new one in to soak.  Using a medium cookie scoop, place one heaping scoop of filling about 2 inches from the near edge of the wrapper.  Spread it out into a log shape.  Fold the near side of the wrapper over the filling. Fold up each end over the filling, then gently fold the filling over and over until all of the wrapper is used up.    Place on greased baking sheet.  When sheet is full, brush rolls with oil, and bake for 20 - 30 minutes, until rolls are crispy, turning about halfway through cooking time.

Fried Rice                                              

2 cups white jasmine rice
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 can peas and carrots
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 eggs*

Cook rice in a rice cooker with veggies in the top part, OR combine rice and broth or water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until done.   Heat veggies.    Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat.  Add oil, then stir in veggies.  Cook for about 30 seconds.  Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs with veggies.  Stir in cooked rice.  Cook for 10-20 minutes to your desired level of crispness.   You may stir in soy sauce, coconut aminos, sesame oil, or any other flavoring.

*may be omitted

Sweet & Sour Sauce

6 Tbsp. chicken broth
1/4 cup pure raspberry preserves
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil; cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Season with freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.

Linked to: Weekend Whatever Linkup #13
Linked to Allergy Free Wednesdays

Crockpot Millet Hot Cereal with Apples and Pecans

 I made this to go with our biscuits this morning as a Mandie-safe alternative to oatmeal.  Steve and I thought that the flavors and texture are incredible - though we boosted the nutrition a bit further in ours by adding a Tbsp. each of coconut oil an chia seeds before adding some milk.  The kids added some brown sugar, but were not as crazy about it as I'd hoped they'd be.  In all fairness, Mandie is off of her Periactin in preparation for her allergist visit on 1/11, so her appetite has taken an EXTREME nosedive.  I will try this again after our visit, when she's feeling hungry again.

(Modified from The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook)
2 cups allergen safe apple cider
2 cups hemp milk
1 cup dried millet
1 apple, diced
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup chopped pecans
½ tsp. salt

Grease a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Put all ingredients in crockpot and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 2 ½ - 3 hours or on low for 5 – 6 hours or until all liquid has been absorbed.  Try not to overcook as it can become mushy.
Serve with milk of choice.

Linked to Healthy Vegan Fridays    

Pull Apart Cinnamon Raisin Crockpot Biscuits

All of Christmas break I had been promising to make the kids a crockpot breakfast, and they've been craving cinnamon rolls or something similar.   I got out my WONDERFUL new cookbook, The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook  and modified this recipe.  It made 10, which was perfect for my family of 5.  The kids are already begging to have this again soon!

Modified from The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup arrowroot starch
1 Tbsp. Hain Foods grain free baking powder
1 tsp. guar gum
½ tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup lard or ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 eggs OR 2 Tbsp. flax meal or chia seeds combined with 6 Tbsp. hot water & set 5 minutes
¾ cup hemp or hazelnut milk
½ cup Sunmaid Raisins
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, starch, gum, baking powder, salt, sugar, & cinnamon.   Cut in oil or lard until it is in crumbles.  In a small bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.  Mix into flour mixture using a fork.  Dough will be a sticky, cake-like batter.  Mix in raisins.      Grease a 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray or line with parchment paper then cooking spray.  Using an ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough into cooker, with edges almost touching.  They will rise while baking and will be pull apart biscuits.   Cover slow cooker with lid vented with chopstick or handle of wooden spoon (my toaster tongs worked perfectly).  Cook on high for about 2-2 ½ hours, or on low for 4-4 ½ hours.  Biscuits around edges will be more brown than those in the center of cooker.  They are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the biscuit comes out clean.   Remove cooker insert to a cooling rack. Remove lid.  Allow to cool for several minutes while you make the glaze.  Glaze and serve warm.

1 cup sifted corn free powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. hazelnut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whisk together and drizzle over biscuits in cooker.  Serve immediately.