Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'm finally back online. Both, yes both, our computers broke in the same week. (So did our camera!) I was reduced to accessing my e-mail on the Wii, which was pretty frustrating. But we're all fine now!

It has come to my attention that my kids don't have healthy breakfasts. In my sleep deprived fog I tend to either pop some Eggos into the toaster or pour a bowl of that weeks sugary cereal. It's no wonder that the kids are screaming for food all day long. So in an effort to be a better mother I have resolved to have healthier morning meals. Not an easy feat with my picky eaters. I thought I could make waffles in bulk to put in the freezer, then I can still just pop them in the toaster when I'm not thinking clearly (or happily). So today I made dairy and soy free waffles!

I found this recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Waffles-II/Detail.aspx) but I tweaked it a bit and I have to admit that the results were delicious! (Much to my surprise. I'm not very good at "tweaking".)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups soy free rice milk (be sure to check, many rice milks have soy lecithin!)
6 Tablespoons Earth Balance dairy and soy free "butter" (You can use canola oil if you can't get the butter in your area.)
2 eggs separated

Preheat your waffle iron. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in milk, butter, and egg yolks. In another bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gently fold them into your batter.

Make sure you oil the waffle iron well or you'll end up scraping waffle off it for 30 minutes. (Ask me how I know.) I used canola oil and a pastry brush since all of the baking sprays I have found contain soy.

These turned out really tasty and are in the freezer now. Unfortunately they are too big for my toaster and we don't own a microwave, so I'll have to try heating them up in the oven. Maybe that will be more trouble than just mixing up the batter, but I have to try anyway!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maybe? No.

I've neglected you, dear blog, but I have an excuse! I thought I would be returning to say that I am no longer soy free and my recipes and ideas would be getting a lot more creative and varied. We started Evan on a daily dose antihistimine to calm his system. We don't even know if I have eliminated all of his allergens since we aren't sure that we've identified them all. We were also hoping that with this antihistimine I ould be able to add soy back into my diet and Evan wouldn't be affected. Nope. Not happening. That would be waaay too easy! The medicine seems to be taking the edge off, but it's no miracle. So I don't have to be too worried about the occasional slip up, but I do need to stay on the limited diet.

Evan has started solids, so he was, inevitably, fed his first pretzel with soy butter by his big brother. The direct ingestion is wore than ingestion through my milk, and it has made me more aware of the fact that I will have to cook for him as long as this allergy lasts. Even if I can eat dairy and soy when he weans (in 2-3 years!). At least I'll have this blog for ideas!

Sneak peek of what's to come- Soft pretzels, kettle corn, wheat bread, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and maybe even some dinner type foods. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For the Love of Butter

My love affair with butter started at a young age. It's wonderful on everything! Corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, chocolate chip cookies, and even plain 'ol bread and butter. (Though, truthfully, it was more butter than bread.) My father actually used margarine when I was a kid and real butter was a treat! Once I met my husband and his family I never went back to margarine and I became quite the butter snob.

Then tragedy struck. My beautiful daughter, Chloe, had a dairy allergy. I was in denial for so long that I will forever feel guilty that I didn't really stick to a dairy free diet till her allergy was actually confirmed at 12 months old. I told myself it was teething, or a reaction to the cloth diapers we were using, anything but my precious butter! Once we had the allergy testing done I couldn't deny it any longer and the butter had to go. Luckily there are plenty of dairy free butter substitutes that are made with soy instead. The best of those is the Earth Balance vegan buttery spread. It is great for baking, cooking, and even on bread. I hardly missed butter at all.

Enter Evan with his soy allergy on top of the dairy allergy. There's no way I can hang out in my little bubble of denial with him. So there goes my soy butter. (Which means no more cookies, brownies, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob...etc.) I suppose I could have use lard to butter my toast, but I just can't get past the mental hang-up of eating lard. Though a friend of mine says it's a good substitute.Thankfully Earth Balance knew just what I needed and came out with a soy and dairy free butter this past May. I never imagined how improved my quality of life would be by something so simple as butter! It's not a perfect substitute. It doesn't do well in baking and it's more oily than the original soy based butter, but the taste is fabulous and I can put it in my potatoes.

The only problem left is that the only stores that carry this life giving deliciousness is an hour and a half away. So I can't just run out to the store to pick it up. My local stores don't feel that it would sell very well so they aren't stocking them...yet. (Maybe I should make up names on the request form.) Though I would glady drive hours to be able to butter my toast. In fact, the first taste of this butter was while we were on vacation in Massachusettes.

So, in closing, thank you Earth Balance. You have saved me from a dark, depressing life without butter.

The Path Less Traveled

Ok, so I stink at the blog thing. I think about things to write about, but I lack follow through. I've come to terms with it and it's ok, really. Don't feel sorry for me. :-) I'm thinking I may change the nature of this blog a bit though. It will still include updates of the kids and going ons of our family, when I remember to post that is!

I have noticed during my dairy and soy free journey that there are TONS of sites and blogs dedicated to living dairy free or soy free, but not many on living dairy AND soy free. Honestly? It's annoying. Where am I supposed to go for recipes and substitution advice?! So instead of lamenting the lack of dairy and soy free interweb support, I'll just create my own. Maybe someone else out there is frantically searching for ideas on what to make for dinner, or crying because she can't find something junk foodie enough to ease her cravings. (Nope, not me.)

Off we go on a new adventure!! Perhapes I'll even have another post up today. Two in one day?! It will be amazing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Safety first!

I am a frequent visitor to the parenting forums on Delphi forums. I've been posting there since June '03 and I have made many lasting friends there, both in real life and just online. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about car safety. Over the weekend a mother from a few of the forums I visit was in a terrible car accident. She and her family were driving along at 50mph towing their boat behind them. A jeep was trying to pass two cars at once and hit their SUV head on.

Three out of 4 of the people in the Jeep died, including a 15 year old and an 11 year old.The husband broke his leg, requiring surgery, her mother broke her wrist, and she had lacerations that required stitching and a short stay in the hospital. She has 3 young children who didn't have a scratch on them.

The reason for that is vigilant car safely. All of the adults in the SUV were wearing seat belts and their children were properly restrained in car seats. The mother is a CPST, or child passenger safety technician, and knew how to keep her babies safe in the vehicle, but not everyone has that kind of knowledge. I believe there should be more education available and I also believe that law enforcement should spend more time educating and correcting people who are not following the law. As parents it's our responsibility to keep our kids safe. They can't do it for themselves! I know that Chloe wouldn't ride in a car seat if I didn't make her, but she's only 2. She isn't capable of making that decision. I get so angry when I see children riding unrestrained or adults not wearing their seat belts.

All my kids are in car seats. The law in VA requires children 8 and younger to be in car seats or boosters. My kids will remain in their seats till they grow out of them, and they grow slowly. Tobin rides in a Britax Parkway. The limits for that seat are 100lbs and 60inches tall. She'll be in that seat for a looong time. Alex and Chloe are both in Graco Nautilus's. They will remain harnessed till 65lbs. (Alex is only 34lbs at age 4.) and then the seat converts into a high back booster and a backless booster. I wish we had kept Chloe rear-facing longer, but when we switched vehicles before Evan was born we had to turn her so that three car seats could fit in the back. Evan will remain rearfacing till at least 2 years old. (As the AAP now recomends: http://askdrsears.com/news/headlines0809.asp)

Bottom line is that it's our job to keep our children safe. Shouldn't we do it as well as we possibly can?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Take me home country roads.

We went to a birthday party about 30 minutes northwest of where we live today. As we drove through the mountains and valleys I struggled to keep my eyes on the road instead of staring at the scenery. It was beautiful. The trees alternated between looking like stalks of broccoli to looking like a comfy blanket draped over a sleeping giant. It was so green and clear. I love living here.

I moved to the valley from Northern VA during the summer between 4th and 5th grade. I hated it! There was nothing to do but sit on porch swings, no one had air conditioning, there were no neighborhood kids to play with, and the air smelt faintly of manure. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to live there! Now I visit my mother in Northern VA and I couldn't imagine living there. Too many people live there, and not enough trees.

I love living here, but I do have my limits on how country I can be. Some part of me wants desperately to live on a farm where there are acres and acres of empty land. I know it wouldn't work out though. A few months ago we moved from a house in the woods about 30 minutes from the nearest grocery store. That was way too far for me! The thought of having to schlep all 3 (there were only three then) kids an hour round trip to pick up a few groceries would sometimes bring me to tears. (I was pregnant too. Tears were a normal occurance!) So I prefer the beauty of the country with the convenience of the city. Thank goodness I found it!