Sunday, November 23, 2008

Well Thanksgiving is around the corner and am busy making lists of what to get and what to do. Thanksgiving is possibly my favorite holiday, with people around the table with lots of good (and safe) food and laughter. We are having a cake for a 100th birthday and pies that my son can't eat.(wheat eggs dairy) But he is fine with that and I will make a couple of pies that are good for him, and good to share.
I made a great corn bread from a mix--but I changed what to put it in--two "eggs"(replacer) instead of one. and oil instead of the butter/margarine--I find that in quick bread and muffins adding oil instead of the shortening makes the item more moist and less likely to crumble . With a table laden with delicious food, I am so thankful for my bounty--happy thanksgiving all.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

so i am ready to go live with this website and i'm a little nervous how it will be received by friends and family. So take a look around and let me know what you find and don't find and what you think--thanks,
I really want to start a thread about NOT finding food in places like theme parks and hotels and other large venues that should have something as a go-to-last-resort type food, so that if you run out you can find something.

Monday, September 15, 2008

10 Easy Ways in Which Food Allergies Have Changed How I Think About Myself and Go About My Life

Maybe I'm teasing-- just a little, but here's the list:

Explorer: I have discovered a true love of cooking.

Daredevil: If I can make delicious wheat free, egg free, dairy fee, nut free cake, then I can do anything.
Hostess: All the parties are at my house!

Vanguard: My son and I now see challenges as opportunities to grow.

Colonizer: We've built friendships across state lines and ages and allergy lists.

Fortune Teller: My son--and your kids--will be people who get things done, who command respect, who lead--not follow.

Pilgrim: My family maintains a nutritionally sound diet with lots of fresh foods.

Crusader: I get to educate people-informally & formally-about keeping people with food allergies safe and happy.

Pirate: Arrrgh--we're not different or special or weird--try “food allergic”.

Mythbuster: Sometimes lemons really DO make delicious lemonade!

Monday, July 28, 2008

camp days

welcome to the food allergy works blog--I imagined this as a place to share information and rants--today I am happy that the word from my son on the camp food has been ok. The kitchen staff make it specially for him and plate it for him and he goes up to the serving line to get it. He has never minded eating different food from everyone else, but has sometimes felt unsafe--not here. so that's great.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's all about the pizza

My son always says that he “wins” whenever anyone talks about allergies--what he means, in a rueful way, is that he is always allergic to more foods than anyone else he meets--whether he's at school or at a food allergy conference. He always “wins”--but as he says, “I'd rather have the most and say 'I win,' than think that I'm a loser.” Smart boy.

But, in the world of food allergies, the sense of loss is unavoidable. From our first diagnosis, we lose the ability to pick anything we want off the supermarket shelves or from a restaurant menu. We lose a certain sense of security--that the world is a safe place. And, we lose a connection to our history, our past, our roots.

Let's face it, food is an integral part of our lives, our culture. Family gatherings, religious celebrations, cultural outings --Thanksgiving, Seder, potluck suppers, Fourth of July barbeques. Those things we do that make our lives round and full-- so many of those moments involve food. We grab a cup of coffee with a friend. We plan a special birthday dinner. We bring soup to a sick neighbor and doughnuts for the team after practice. Very few Americans think that food is simply to reboot and refuel--witness the popular TV food channels. Of course, meals do provide bodily energy--but they bring friends to our table and sometimes party hats to boot!

Food allergies can cut us off from our roots--traditions, memories-whatever you want to call those treasured moments from our past And, for me, it hurts me--yes hurts me--that I can't recreate those magical moments for my son.

I come from an Italian background and my husband a Jewish tradition, so, as you can imagine, food is an integral part of our culture. Our cultures --immigrant as they were to New York, where we live--were about recreating “home” on the dinner table. Many cultures, especially those who have emigrated, do hope to bring a piece of the old culture to the new world by keeping the old customs, which include the making and partaking of traditional meals. When I allow myself the moment, I feel a great sadness that my son can't eat lasagne or the cheesy potato soufflé called “timpana” my mother used to make. There is something about food --as love --as family --as history-- that gets all mixed up. Usually that confabulation of feelings is a good thing, but for those of us with food allergies, it is not.

The mix represents our continual struggle for balance between the feelings and the food. But, what we are eating should not be as important as who we are eating with-- and the love and gusto we bring to our table-no matter if it's pizza or rice cakes and jam. The warmth, the sharing, the connection--this is what truly matters. These are the traditions we want to pass down to our children. These are the roots we want to water so they continue to grow and make us strong.

But sometimes, I look at a plate of pasta and my eyes well up and my heart constricts. Then I look at my healthy, smiling son and know that, he is a winner and that, really, it isn't all about the pizza.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Download Free Recipes!

These recipes are personal, from an everyday cook, not a professional. They are variations on the meals I learned to cook growing up in an Italian American home. From our house to yours, enjoy.

Free Sample Recipe!


For every pound of ground turkey or ground beef:

2 cloves of garlic, chopped (minced, if garlic isn't a favorite at your house)

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped coarsely

1 onion, diced

1 cup puffed rice cereal--natural brand

4-5 slices of bacon (optional)

In a large bowl mix together--yes with our hands all ingredients above, except bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Form a loaf with the mixture and place in a baking pan* (with at least an inch side). Lay bacon strips over--side to side--like you are wrapping the loaf. Bake in 350 oven for 35-40 minutes.

*another cooking option is to form the loaf, wind bacon strips around and place in a frying pan, cover and cook on low to medium low for 45 minutes to an hour approximately (check inside the meatloaf for doneness––it should not be pink).


NEW! Chicken with Tortilla Chip Coating


Stir-Fry Cutlets


Marinated "Drummys"


Lemon Baked




Free - see above

NEW! Roast Beef with Onions




Italian Hamburgers



Seasoned Chops


Simple Roast


Chops with Apples


Barbeque Ribs (without the grill)



NEW! Roasted Root Vegetables


Kale: Plain & Italian Style


Zucchini Italian Style


Peas with Onions


Mashed Potatoes


Potato Singles


Refried Red Beans



Meatball Soup


Chicken Soup (Traditional)


Beef Stew



Baker's Dozen (13 Recipes)