Thursday, October 31, 2013

Events, Here and There

As I am writing this, I am packing for the Food Allergy Blogger Conference in Las Vegas. It’s hard to believe that after months of planning, it is really here. Kudos to Jenny Sprague and Homa Woodrum! I’ll see both of you this weekend. And I am looking forward to meeting all of the readers here who will also be there.

I have two more events planned – much closer to home – this year. On Saturday November 9th, I’ll be at the Beekman Library in Hopewell Junction, New York. On Saturday December 14th, I will be at the Guilderland Library in Albany New York.

At each of these events I will be doing an allergen-free and gluten-free baking demo. We will be making cookies – just in time for the holidays! If you’re in the New York area and can make one of these events, I’d love to meet you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Cheated

I need to confess. This isn’t the kind of confession I should be making to a priest. No, it’s the kind of confession that only you – the readers here – might understand.

I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. I ate it. And I enjoyed it.

You know that the recipes I share here are wheat-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, and soy-free. That list covers both my son’s and my own food allergies. Although I am only allergic to gluten and soy, most days I am happy to eat the way my son must eat everyday.

I am not only completely comfortable with milk alternatives, I prefer them to cow’s milk. Nuts were never my thing. I do accept the occasional gluten-free roll made with egg at a restaurant, but that doesn’t feel like cheating – can I call it research?

The food that calls to me on occasion – the one I miss – is cheese. No, the cheese substitutes just don’t do it. And so, today (when no one else was looking) I blissfully ate my grilled cheese sandwich.

Do you follow your child’s food diet? Do you cheat? What food do you miss the most?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Are you Ready for Halloween?

Candy, candy, candy. What’s a food allergy parent to do?

Be aware that some chocolates contain dairy, many are processed side by side (or on the same equipment as) nuts, and nearly all contain soy lecithin. Other candy contains various allergens.

One of the best coping techniques for parents of kids with food allergies is to either trade the candy collected from trick-or-treating for something safe, or to just provide your own safe treats.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite allergen-free candies to make at home:

Chocolate Chewy Candy
. Just like Tootsie Rolls, but better!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nostalgic Photography Props – Help Me Choose

When I was writing and photographing Learning to Bake Allergen-Free, I included a prop that my grandmother (Memere) had given to me in one of the pictures. It wasn’t a deliberate choice, I simply needed a small pitcher to pour Chocolate Maple Syrup onto a stack of pancakes.

(The full photo is on page 245 of the book.)

Memere had an eclectic collection of knick-knacks. Every time I look at this pitcher, it reminds me of sleepovers at my grandparents’ house. Each of my sisters and I had our own pitcher, used only at her house for pouring milk over cereal. This was mine:

Now, as I am taking photos for my second book (have I mentioned that I am writing another book?) I want to make sure to include another meaningful piece from my grandparents, and I’d love your help to decide which one. Here are the choices:

1. I don’t recall this tiny china pitcher ever making it out of Mem’s curio cabinet. The curio was where she kept the “special” pieces – the ones that didn’t get used. But my sisters and I would ooh and aah over the special pieces. Memere would take them out and tell us where she had gotten them – a gift from a friend brought back from a trip, something she bargained for from the antique dealer around the corner, or (as in this case) a bargain picked up at a yard sale. Despite the fact that Mem didn’t use it, this piece often makes it onto my dinner table for gravy or salad dressing:

2. This next piece actually reminds me more of my grandfather (Pep) than my grandmother. When I would visit them on trips home from college, my grandparents always treated me like a guest (even thought they lived next door). That meant snacks on fancy plates, and something to drink. The “something” was always ginger ale. It was Pep’s job to get my drink, and for some reason he always asked which glass I would like it in. In retrospect, I’m not sure why he asked which glass. (Is that a thing?) Nevertheless, this is the glass I always chose to sip my ginger ale from as we “visited:”

Help me decide which to use! Leave a comment below with your choice.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just One Month Until the Food Allergy Blogger Conference

I have been blogging for nearly five years.

I have been dealing with food allergies for more than twelve years (longer if you count the lengthy diagnosis phase to discover my son’s EE).

In the past few years I have attended a number of writing and blogging conferences, including BlogHer and BlogHer Food. And it’s great to be in a room with others who write, blog, and care about food. I have also attended food allergy and EE events, and it’s great to be in a room with people who truly understand what my family deals with on a daily basis – without question or judgment (because we all know that every food allergy situation is unique).

When Jenny Sprague called me earlier this year and asked what I thought about a blogging conference for people who focus on food allergies, I thought, Bingo! What could be better than getting the entire food allergy community together? And soon after, the Food Allergy Blogger Conference was born, led by Jenny and Homa Woodrum – two fabulous women who I can’t wait to see in … justfourweeks.

It’s hard to believe that FABlogcon is almost here!!! Do I sound excited? I am!

I am honored to be speaking with Cybele Pascal and Kelly Rudnicki about Recipe Development at 1pm on Sunday afternoon. How did I get so lucky to be speaking with these two rock stars? And I’ll be meeting Kelly for the first time, in person.

I’ll also be speaking on Sunday at 2:30 pm. along with Rebecca Hirt and Ritesh Patel. Our session is called Picture This and we’ll be talking about visuals.

And, if Sunday wasn’t busy enough, I’ll be signing books alongside more than a dozen other authors including Susan Weissman and April Runge at the Wine and Sign party in the evening. If you haven’t read Susan and April’s books yet, you should.

I am looking forward to re-connecting with food allergy friends that I haven’t seen in a while, including Cheryl Viirand, leader of Freedible, Lynda Mitchell, leader of Kids with Food Allergies, Alisa Fleming, Caroline Moassessi, Keeley McGuire, Selena Bluntzer, Kim Pebley, Cindy Gordon, and many other fabulous bloggers.

And I can’t wait to meet the rest of the attendees who I have only met online.

Will you be there? I want to meet you too!