Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Heart Shaped Pizza for Valentine's Day

If you are staying home for Valentine's Day and want a fun, kid-friendly idea for dinner, try my easy pizza recipe and shape the dough into the shape of a heart.  Since we don't eat at restaurants as often as most families, we have learned over the years to make eating at home fun.  The kids never seem to mind.  Jack, my son with allergies, especially appreciates staying home, since he understands that it's safer.  We do have a couple of favorite restaurants that I have become more comfortable with trusting that we can get a safe meal.  But, for the most part, we enjoy home.  Aside from avoiding allergies, eating at home is also a great way to save money in a tough economy, healthier than eating out and an opportunity to spend quality time together, especially on Valentine's Day.

Stay home, have fun making dinner together and pop in a movie or play a favorite board game and enjoy being with your family.  We are making individual heart-shaped pizzas and letting the boys put what they want on for toppings. 

Pizza Dough Recipe:
1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon salt
31/4 Cup Flour
Corn Meal

  1. Blend together sugar, salt and flour.
  2. Dissolve yeast in 1 1/4 cup warm water.
  3. Mix yeast and water with sugar, salt and flour mixture.
  4. Kneed dough for about five minutes.
  5. Let dough rise in a greased bowl for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Grease pizza pans.  Sprinkle corn meal lightly over greased pan.
  7. Divide dough and spread onto greased pizza pans.
  8. Put desired toppings on pizza.
  9. Bake at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Other alternative toppings for pizza:  Try a Hawaiian pizza with sliced pineapple and ham, or vegetables and chicken instead of pepperoni.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day~

Monday, January 23, 2012

What made out of milk proteins?

Seriously.  Is this for real?  My son brought home the Time For Kids magazine from school and it had an article about a German company that is making clothing out of milk.  Yes, milk.  It took me a few minutes to stop staring at the article in disbelief.  Geesh, now something else to worry about.  As if it's not hard enough to read ingredients on every food packaging label and soaps and lotions.  Now we will need to look for food ingredients in the clothing we purchase.

The cost of the clothing ranges from $200 to $270.   Probably not something I will be rushing out to buy.

Kudos to the biologist/fashion designer for coming up with a new invention.  This statement on the company's website is a little ironic, however: "More and more people suffer from sensitive skin.  Mainly from the increase in allergies, the demand for natural fabrics mount."

Guess they don't have milk allergies in Germany?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rosemary Pork Loin Chops with Tomatoes and Peppers

So I never did finish my post for December.  Where did that month go?  I think I'll start fresh with a new recipe.  It's healthy for all of you with New Year's resolutions to shed a few pounds.  I know I fall in that category.  We had our share of baked goodies this Christmas.

With two boys involved in sports and music and other after school activities, it's always a challenge to come up with quick dinners that everyone likes and qualifies as healthy and doesn't have milk, butter and cheese, of course.  I am embarrassed to admit it, but quite often I decide what we are having for dinner about an hour before we eat.  So that's exactly what happened with the pork loin chops yesterday.  They spent the day thawing in the refrigerator and then around 5:30 I found myself scrounging through the food pantry looking for something to inspire a recipe.  What I came up with only needed a little olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and a can of diced tomatoes with peppers.  This is how I did it and it took me less than a half hour.  And did I mention all of my picky eaters loved it?!  Sorry, I did not have time for photos this time.  It was a quick dinner then off to guitar lessons.

1-2 pounds pork loin chops (boneless)
kosher salt
1 fresh rosemary sprig, or about 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves
olive oil
1 8oz can diced tomatoes with peppers

1.  Coat pork loins with salt, pepper and rosemary
2.  Heat about one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
3.  Brown pork chops in skillet about two minutes per side, turning twice.
4.  Add tomatoes and peppers to skillet. (I ran the tomatoes and peppers through the blender, since the kids will not eat whole tomatoes and peppers)
5.  Cover and simmer until cooked, ten to twenty minutes.  I did twenty minutes on a lower temperature.

Serve with rice and sauteed vegetables.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Almost Ready for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just one day away and I am still planning my menu.  This year our Thanksgiving will be pretty laid back, since it will be just the four us, my husband and two boys.  Being a military family sometimes means we cannot always connect with our familys for the holidays.  We make the best of it and enjoy every minute of our time together and secretly I feel al little relieved that we are not fighting the traffic and standing in long lines at an airport.  It also means I can experiment and try new recipes without the worry of ruining dinner for a large group.  So this year I wanted to try brining the turkey.  I have never done this before and found a recipe on the Cooking Light website that we are going to try.  And instead of opening a can of jellied cranberry sauce, my husbands favorite, we are going to make another recipe I found on the Cooking Light website for cranberry sauce.  With a couple of my own recipes to add to our menu I am getting closer to being ready.  Each year I am determined to make Thanksgiving entirely milk-free and still very delicious.  Click on the highlighted items for the recipes. This is what I have so far~

Just need to come up with a vegetable and dessert and we have our menu. Whatever your traditions may be, enjoy, try something new and have a Happy Thanksgiving.~

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

The fall is off to a great start, with fabulous weather, fall sports, fall recipes and most importantly, we got through Halloween and school holiday parties with no allergic reactions.  It has been a few years since Jack's last reaction and I attribute that to the wonderful friends and family we are surrounded by and lots of diligence by Mom and Dad.  I have watched Jack grow and mature into a confident boy who has not let his allergies define him.  Thankfully, he is usually willing to try my new recipes and always seems thankful for what he can have rather than focusing on what he cannot have.

My latest experiment was making chicken pot pie.  I have always wanted to make chicken pot pie for my family, since my mother frequently made it when I was a child.  It is such a nice comfort food for a cold fall day.  I always assumed the recipe would need milk or cream to be good.   But by substituting soy milk into the recipe, it was just as good as I remembered.  I did cheat and found a ready-made pie crust at my supermarket, rather than making home-made crust.  The recipe is so easy to make and I couldn't believe how much it reminded me of the same warm chicken pot pie from my childhood.  Enjoy!~

1 can peas
1 can carrots
1/3 cup soy margarine
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups organic (milk-free) chicken broth
2/3 cup plain soy milk
3 cups cut-up cooked chicken
2 9-inch ready-made pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat margarine over medium heat.  Stir in flour, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Stir constantly with a whisk until bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in broth and soy milk.  Heat to boiling.  Stir constantly and boil for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in chicken, carrots and peas.
Pour mixture into pastry-lined pan.  Cover filling with remaining pie crust.  Bake for about 35 minutes.  You may need to cover edges with tin foil to avoid burning.  Serve warm.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Having a Milk-Free, Safe and Fun Halloween

Since this was one of my first posts when I started this blog a year ago, I thought it would be a good idea to re post for my new readers.  Halloween is an exciting time and should be a holiday that every child can enjoy regardless of food allergies.  Below are a few of my tips on staying safe and having fun this Halloween.

Most holidays can cause a lot of anxiety for a family dealing with severe food allergies, especially, since the holidays seem to always revolve around food.  At first, I was saddened that our child would not be able to dive into his Halloween bag and eat anything he wanted like all the other kids.  Over the years, we have learned to make sure that milk chocolate candy is not what makes Halloween great. Below, I have listed a few ideas that our family has done to make sure Halloween is a fun and allergy safe holiday.
  • Ask a few neighbors and friends ahead to have some "safe" candy available so your child can trick-or-treat at their homes.
  • Have a Halloween party at your home and ask everyone to wear their costumes.  Give parents suggestions for safe treats to bring to the party.  However, make the focus on costumes not candy.  Offer prizes to the most creative, scariest, prettiest and funniest costumes.  Play age appropriate games.  For instance, one year friends brought their own small pumpkin to decorate.  We didn't carve them.  We decorated the pumpkins instead.  Family Fun Magazine has great ideas for no-carve pumpkins.
  • If your child's teacher is having a party in the classroom, offer to volunteer and bring a safe snack that the whole class can have.  This way your child doesn't feel singled out by eating his own "different" treat.  My favorite holiday treat to bring to the classroom is cupcakes and whoopie pies.  Both recipes are listed on the Milk-Free Recipes page of this blog.  It's easy to change the color of the frosting to fit the holiday.
  • A neighborhood we once lived in organized a Halloween parade for the kids to show off their costumes in the neighborhood.  Since it is usually dark when the kids go trick-or-treating and it goes by so fast, the parade gave everyone a chance to enjoy each other's costumes that some of us spend so much time making and getting ready.  At the end of the parade, everyone gathered in one yard to play games and decorate pumpkins.  Again, this was all about the costumes not the candy.
  • Now that my son is getting older, we are much more comfortable letting him go door to door with his friends without Mom and Dad hovering over him.  We let him make the choice to take the milk-chocolate candy or not.  He  knows not to eat anything until he comes home and we check the bag together.  If he comes home with milk-chocolate, then he gets to trade with his brother or we have milk-free candy saved for him to trade for.  In the end, he always has plenty.  Most importantly, he has a blast putting his costume together and walking around the neighborhood with his friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli and Peppers

My boys absolutely love this recipe and I usually double the ingredients because everyone asks for seconds.  It is simple to make and you can easily omit the broccoli and peppers and add different vegetables.  In the summer, I like to use cherry tomatoes from the garden.   I have had a hard time finding broths that don't contain milk, so make sure to check ingredients carefully when buying the chicken broth.  Usually the organic brands are the way to go.  Of course, double check the ingredients first.  This recipe has so much flavor with the fresh lemon juice and zest.  Hope you like it as much as we do.  Enjoy~

4-6 thinly sliced chicken breast or chicken cutlets
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or milk-free margarine
kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup (milk-free) chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 chopped red pepper
1 cup fresh broccoli, rinsed and chopped
8 oz. farfalle pasta, cooked according to directions on box

In a skillet melt 1 tablespoon milk-free margarine or olive oil over medium heat in.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to skillet and cook on each side until done, approximately 15 minutes.  Remove chicken.  Add white wine, chicken broth and lemon juice to skillet and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Add peppers, broccoli and parsley to skillet and heat for about 5 minutes.  Combine chicken and broth and veggie mixture to farfalle pasta.  Add lemon zest, toss and serve.