Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

New and Safe for Your Lunchbox! Enjoy Life Mini Cookies October 8, 2016

 This is a sponsored post.

We have a hard time finding safe baked goods.  Between actual ingredients used in the items and processing issues (may contain, made on equipment with…), it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack trying to buy something off the shelf for a family managing multiple food allergies.

I often find myself baking late into the night so that my son has fun and delicious treats to eat after school or to share with a playmate. But, homemade products aren’t always a practical option and worse, they don’t last that long.

I know most of you can relate.  Well, problem solved!  Enjoy Life, who produce food always free from an amazing number of allergens, just released a line of Mini Cookies.


The Mini Cookies line include: Soft Baked and Crunchy Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Brownie, Crunchy Double Chocolate, Crunchy Vanilla Honey Graham, Snickerdoodle, and Sugar Crisp.  They are Kosher, Halal, are non-GMO and use no artificial ingredients!  They’re better than homemade!





The Soft Baked Snickerdoodle cookies were perfect for toting along to my daughter’s playground play date.  They kept fresh in their pouches, despite the muggy weather and the kids DEVOURED them.  The parents were able to get in on the action and loved this flavor.  Bonus:  safe for every kid there despite varying food sensitivities!


Enjoy Life’s Mini Cookies are a lifesaver in the  morning.  I can’t tell you how happy my tired brain was when I remembered to throw in this surprise snack into my son’s lunch!  He was thrilled!

These Crunchy Sugar Crisps were an easy snack to supply for the whole flag football team. No matter the allergy or sensitivity, everyone (including siblings) could enjoy a pouch of these crispy, crunchy and satisfying cookies.

Go out and give them a shot.  I think, like me, you’ll be hooked.  The Crunchy Double Chocolate flavor is already on my grocery list for this week!


Sweetheart Sorbet Pie January 27, 2014

Hello, everyone!

Another candy-based holiday is around the corner.  A wonderful time, unless you have food allergies… and then creating a special treat can be quite a challenge!  And that’s where Sweetheart Sorbet Pie comes in!


I created this when my son announced that he didn’t really care for cake.  And that meant no more cupcakes either… (Sigh!)


Thinking about how much I loved ice cream cake, we invented sorbet pie!  It’s quick, easy, delicious and appropriate for all kinds of special occasions – or for no reason at all.




2 pints of your favorite, safe sorbet

1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

Berries, sprinkles, safe dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)


 Step 1:  Gather your ingredients and let your sorbet sit out for about 5-10 minutes.



Step 2:  When soft, stir the sorbet either in its container or in a bowl.



Step 3:  When slightly melted and malleable, scoop into the pie crust and spread using the back of a spoon or soft spatula.


Step 4:  Continue to add sorbet and spread until the pie crust is filled.  Smooth out top.



Step 5:  Should you wish, add berries, dairy-free chocolate chips, sprinkles or any other type of deliciousness you can think of… and then freeze for at least 2 hours.



Step 6:  Let thaw for a few minutes, slice and enjoy with your big and/or little sweethearts!



Fire Works Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant August 18, 2012

After keeping my tight schedule, relaying instructions to the babysitter in fast forward, beating traffic and getting the best possible parking in an area known for it’s rare spaces, my friend and I managed to miss the movie we have been so excited to see.  We didn’t exactly miss it…. In fact, the theater closed that wing of its building that morning for renovation.  The only theater in the metro area still playing it. Sigh…..


In any case, we decided to do dinner.  So, we walked around the corner to try Fire Works Restaurant  – a restaurant located in the Courthouse area of Arlington, VA that I had heard so much about.   What a find!


Here’s the skinny:

  • First of all, we dined outdoors, right at sunset.  It was beautiful and once the sun dipped below the buildings they lit up a fire.  Great ambiance.
  • Importantly, they serve gluten-free pizza.  And if the GF version is anything like the delicious Siciliana one I had, you’re in for a treat!
  • They also serve a gluten-free Cookie Dough Sundae; a sundae that, in it’s regular version, is legendary.
  • They also serve SORBET!   I believe the flavors vary.  Mine was pink lemonade that night  and so refreshing.
  • And, last but definitely not least, our service was fantastic.  They were helpful, knowledgeable about their menu, and didn’t mind us lingering while we chatted.

My friend and I had a great time catching up while NOT watching a movie (the best way, generally).  We both felt Fire Works was such a coup given that her husband is gluten intolerant and my son is allergic to dairy that we can’t wait to come back with our families next time.


Dairy-Free Substitutes April 30, 2012

A few friends of mine recently found out they were lactose intolerant and others have discovered their children are allergic to dairy.  In response, I sent them my dairy-free cheat sheet so they could eat without problems.


If you find yourself in the same position or know someone who is, here’s a list of some dairy-free substitutes to help you out:


Margarine (also use for baking, etc):  

Earth’s Balance Buttery Spread (or Sticks) or

Smart Balance Organic (the vegan kind seen here:  

Both taste exactly the same as margarine and work well in baked goods.


Ice Cream:

We sub sorbet for ice cream as it is nearly always milk-free.  We buy either Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s variety, although there are probably others that work.  There are also many places to find sorbet (restaurants, ice cream shops, etc) in our area and elsewhere (see


Cream Cheese:  

Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (tastes almost exactly like regular cream cheese).  Tofutti also makes dairy-free sour cream which mimics regular sour cream and dairy-free cheese pizza (found in the frozen food section).


Chocolate Chips:  

A great way to satisfy that chocolate craving is with Chocolate Dream chocolate chips which are dairy-free.  So are Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.



Pillsbury’s Cream Supreme frosting is amazingly dairy-free.  So, if you’re not interested in making it from scratch, here’s a great off-the-shelf option.


There are a few things that are surprisingly dairy-free “naturally” (using that VERY loosely), like Oreos (all sugar! no milk!) and Nabisco Sugar Wafers.  You may be surprised at what contains and doesn’t contain milk, so I would start reading the backs of everything without assumptions!


Best of all, I have found all of the above products in our local Safeway, Giant and Whole Foods!  Convenient and dairy-free!


Now here’s where you help me:  We’ve tried tons of soy yogurts but still haven’t found one that tastes similar to its dairy counterpart.  Let me know if you all come across one!  Also, looking for a decent tasting dairy-free cheese.  Would love to hear if anyone has had any luck with that?


I Eat Park City: Last One (for now) – Vinto April 17, 2012


On our last night in Park City, we decided to try Vinto’s.  The decor and ambiance was bright, fun, and inviting.  And, having won so many dining awards, it was no surprise that the food was great!  What a fabulous way to end our amazing trip.


My boys decided to order something simple (plain pasta with olive oil), so it’s not fair for me to judge Vinto’s allergy-friendliness.  However, I will say that the fact that they have both gluten-free pasta and gluten-free pizza crust is a good start.  Plus, there’s sorbetto (sorbet!) for dessert….  Lifeis sweet in Park City!


Erin Go Braugh and Then Erin Eat Pie March 15, 2012


It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and that means I’m thinking about my SPD meal.   In addition to our traditional corned beef (see Go Buy Your Corned Beef), I’m planning to try this easy, allergy-free dessert.


(And, PS:  if you’re looking for a Gluten-Free Pie Crust, check out Living Without‘s version.)

5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon nutmeg and/or 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
Allergy-free Puff Pastry, such as Pepperidge Farms

Allergy-free pie shell


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).


To Make Filling: Combine sugars, flour and nutmeg/cinnamon in a small bowl, mixing thoroughly. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Squirt lemon juice over apples.


Place apple mixture into pie shell.


Place puff pastry over mixture and seal edges of shell and pastry together by gently pressing with finger against pie pan.  Cut 4 slots into the puff pastry to release steam.


Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before serving.
Enjoy with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream – it makes the leprechauns happy!

Erin Go Bragh!


Get Ready: International Ice Cream For Breakfast Day is Coming! January 27, 2012

I’m ready!  (Cue royal trumpeters and drum roll….) International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is February 4th, 2o12.  (Need an introduction to the holiday?  See ICFBD…Read On, And Your Plans for Feb. 5th Will Surely Change)  We already know how we’re observing this important holiday.  In case you’re allergic to dairy and don’t know how YOU’RE celebrating, you may wish to consider one of the following restaurants which serve **sorbet**:


La Sandia: Surprised and delighted  to find a daily selection of sorbet on a Mexican restaurant menu.

The Capital Grille:  They even offered to add some mixed berries to my son’s scoop.

Clydes:  I was thrilled to discover Haagen Dazs sorbet on their menu.  (Read: Crazy About Clyde’s Food Allergy Safety Program to understand why Clyde’s is on our go-to list for food allergies.)

Sweet Leaf:  Mentioned in last year’s post.  While chatting one night over delicious sorbet, the owner told me how her now-grown son was dairy intolerant as a child.  Nice to know…

Legal Sea Foods:  While not on the kids’ menu, the seafood chain does serve sorbet from their regular menu.

Chef Geoff’s:  A choice of sorbet along with a gluten-free menu.  Bonus!

Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza:  (See post:  New Haven Has Arrived in Virginia)

The Dairy Godmother in Alexandria serves sorbets in fresh and interesting flavors such as lemon lavender, apple cider, and balsamic strawberry.

Yogi Castle, throughout the DC metro area, specializes in frozen yogurt. But they also serve a variety of sorbet!


My kids couldn’t have been more excited for ICBFD.   They were so excited, they were practically bouncing around – and that was BEFORE the sorbet was introduced!  This year, we’re planning an ice cream sundae bar buffet for family and friends.  I CANNOT wait!