Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Will a child be forced to leave school because of an allergy?

It is very hard to understand how people could be so horribly insensitive.  A girl facing a life threatening allergy, already struggling with the burden of trying to fit in and live a normal life, is asked to withdraw from school.  I am not sure if I agree with all that the allergy family is asking of the school.  However, there must be a way to resolve differences and come up with a solution.  There should be a way that the family, their allergy Doctor and the school can agree on a plan that does not result in the child being forced to leave the school.

Equal access to education is not only the right thing to do, it is what the law requires.  I hope the school can work out a good solution in the best interest of the child.

Go here for the story:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crepes for Dinner

Crepes are a family tradition for us.  I remember my Grandfather making them every time we would visit him when we were kids.  He couldn't make them fast enough as my siblings and I were always  "ready for another one."  I love making them for my children and hope they will cherish the simple memories.  These are so easy to make and can be made for breakfast or dinner.  We love to have breakfast for dinner.  They are also fun to make if you have company.  When we get together with our family in the summer, my niece and nephew always ask for crepes.

Crepes can be served so many different ways.  We love them simply with margarine, sugar, rolled up and topped with strawberries.  Another option would be to spread with jam, roll up and top with powdered sugar.  If you have ever made crepes, I would love to hear how you make them!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups soy milk (I use Silk Vanilla Soy)
2 tablespoons melted margarine (I use Earth Balance, Vegan Sticks)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Combine dry ingredients and sift by mixing with a whisk.  Add remaining ingredients.  Beat all ingredients until smooth.  Heat skillet on medium heat and melt margarine to coat pan.  To cook each crepe,  pour batter onto warm skillet with a ladle.  Pour enough to fill the pan. (Make sure the bottom of the pan is covered with batter.)  If you have never made these before, it may take a couple times to get the hang of it.  You don't want them to be too thick like a pancake or too thin so they burn.  They cook very quickly and will need to be turned when it is light brown.  Use a spatula to loosen the sides and turn and cook the other side until it is also light brown.  Immediately spread with margarine and sprinkle with sugar.  Roll the crepe and top with fresh strawberries.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gourmet Chocolate Bunny And It's Milk-Free

We are getting our very first chocolate Easter Bunny this year, and will be getting it from Divvies.  Divvies  offers candies and baked goods that are free of nuts, eggs and dairy.  The products are made in a dedicated facility to avoid cross-contamination.  When I checked out the website recently to order our Easter Bunny, I also noticed another fun treat that I might order.  They are selling Easter chocolate bag-kits.  This is a kit which contains instructions and ingredients to make edible chocolate bags to put all your Easter treats in.   I know my boys would love this.  I would even consider ordering it early and making it with them rather than making it for them.  I think this would be a fun activity to do with them.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Happy Spring~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

In our family, we get very excited for the holidays, especially St. Patrick's Day.  Last year, one of the boys asked me to make these cupcakes, when we came across the idea in the Family Fun Magazine.  For whatever reason, I just didn't get around to it.  Well, the idea and directions can still be found on the magazine's website, so yesterday, I thought I would surprise the boys with them.

I had to make a few changes, but I think they came out great.  First, I could not find a "white" cake mix that did not contain milk.  Maybe if I looked harder and took the time to go to other stores, such as the Whole Food's market, I would have found a safe, milk-free mix.  Since I really did not have the time to make home-made cupcakes, I opted for the "yellow" cake mix that I found at the local supermarket, made by Duncan Hines.

The other change I made was to the suggested topping.  Family Fun suggests using whipped cream on the top to look like a cloud on top of the rainbow.  I used my own frosting recipe and a frosting decorating bag with a wide tip and got the same look.  For the frosting recipe on the milk-free page of this blog, go here: Milk-Free Recipes.  For the directions on how to make these cupcakes, go here: Family Fun.

The magazine has lots of other suggestions for the St. Patrick's Day holiday.  Next, we might try making the Shamrock Pretzels.

Happy St. Patrick's Day~

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Barbecue Pork Burgers for Dinner

Try this recipe for grilled barbecue pork burgers for an alternative to beef and turkey.  My husband likes to experiment a little in the kitchen, if it means he gets to use the grill.  The whole family loves his burgers and suggested that he jot down the recipe.  If you are not quite ready to get the grill out, the burgers can be cooked on the stove top.  I suggest putting a little olive oil in the pan first.  But, we are ready for spring and plan to make our burgers on the grill this week.  Then again, we grill outside year round, snow or no snow.      So why not kick off spring a little early and fire up the grill.  Enjoy!

1 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt and pepper
finely crushed crackers (6-8), (we use Town House Toppers Original)

Heat grill to medium-high.
Combine all ingredients.
Shape into patties.
Grill about 8 minutes per side, until cooked through.
Serve on your favorite roll.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blueberry Bran Muffins

These muffins smell great baking and it is so easy to throw the ingredients together and have them made in under thirty minutes.  Today I made them for the boys to have after school.  They love them and didn't even seem to care that they are "healthy".

This time I made them with blueberries.  The blueberries could be replaced with other fruits, such as raspberries, raisins or bananas.  The original recipe did call for milk, which I replaced with Silk Vanilla Soy Milk.

The recipe made twelve muffins.  Just enough for snacks and breakfast for a few days.  Enjoy!

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
In large bowl, combine flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine applesauce, soy milk, oil and egg; blend well.  Add to dry ingredients.  Do not over mix.
Fill muffin cups.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes.  Cool in pan for about 5 minutes; remove from pan.
They are especially good eaten while still warm.

Add 1/2 cup frozen blueberries or raisins or another fruit.