Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Allergy-Friendly Bakeries in the Metro DC Area May 31, 2016

Read below for our continually updated list of allergy-friendly bakeries in the DC metro area.

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With all the end-of-school, summer birthday, last sports game, graduation parties to be had, there’s no time to bake your own free-from desserts.  Let’s support these fabulous businesses who are trying to make life a little easier for families living with food allergies.

 

When you’re looking to buy baked goods for someone with food allergies, it’s feels almost impossible to find a safe option.  Here’s a list of some Nut-free, Gluten-free, and/or Vegan (read: Dairy and Egg-free) bakeries in the DC metro area to satisfy your sweet tooth.  (I’m salivating as I research these great places and now dying to go to each and every one!)

 

Cole’s Moveable Feast Picture
http://www.colesmoveablefeast.com/
Led by a former attorney turned home baker, Cole’s Moveable Feast serves the Northern Virginia area.  They offer custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, seasonal breads, pastries, and pies baked to order without dairy, egg, nuts, gluten and/or any other allergens you specify.  Using custom gluten-free flour lends and egg substitutes, their biggest sellers are cakes and cupcakes made without gluten, nuts, dairy or egg, but they can accommodate nearly any allergen (including soy and corn).   NOTE:  they even have a weekly snack delivery option!
Free from:  Nuts, gluten, dairy, egg; can customize to exclude other allergens.
Phone/online orders only.

 

Baked by Yael
https://bakedbyyael.com/
A tree nut-free and peanut-free bakery in D.C.  Among their many products, they offer gluten-free chocolate cakepops as well as dairy-free gingersnaps and egg-free raspberry bars.  A great stop after a day at the National Zoo.
Free from: Tree nuts, Peanuts.  Some goods: Dairy, Egg, Gluten.

 
Dog Tag Bakery
dogtagbakery.com
A nut-free bakery and cafe with a mission to support veterans.  They serve everything from egg and cheese sandwiches to muffins, croissants, quick breads and desserts.
Located in Georgetown.
Free from: Nuts
 
 
 
Happy Tart BakeryÉclair
happytartbakery.com
We are a 100% gluten free French patisserie!  We do bread, cupcakes, tarts and other wondrous goodies! 
Located in Del Ray, Alexandria.
Free from: Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Nuts
 
 

Out of the Bubble Bakery
www.obubblebakery.com
Based in VA
We specialize in cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for those with food restrictions.
Phone/online orders only.
Free from: Dairy, Nuts, Eggs, Soy, Dye, Gluten and made without GMOs.  Vegan and organic.

Sweet Serenity Bakery
www.sweetserenitybakery.com
Based in VA
Every ingredient is meticulously checked and manufacturers are contacted for anything questionable.  We also do not use any artificial flavorings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup.
Phone/online orders only.
Free from:  Eggs, Peanuts, and Tree Nuts

 
 
 

Cookies/Scooby.jpgThe Lemonade Bakery
A dedicated Egg-free, Peanut-free, and Tree Nut-free bakery.
Delivery of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, scones, and breads to the metro-DC area.
Phone/online orders only. Delivery optional.

 
 
 
Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, and Nut-free bakery  and can also make Gluten-free, Vegan, or Custom Allergy-free cupcakes.
See Allergy Shmallergy’s Happy Birthday post from December 2010.
Phone/online orders only.
 
 
   
  
 
  
 
 
 
 

Hello Cupcake in Dupont and Capital Hill, although not a nut-free facility, offers Gluten-Free and Vegan options.

1361 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Just south of Dupont Circle, across from the Metro

705 8th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
3 blocks south of Eastern Market Metro

 
  
 
 
 
 

Fancy Cakes by Leslie, in Bethesda, offers some Gluten-free selections including cupcakes, cookies, and marzipan.

4939 Elm Street
Bethesda, MD  20814

  
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

 Sweetz Bakery, located in a kiosk at the Dulles Town Center mall (near the food court), is a custom bakery that makes Gluten and Dairy-free cakes as well as Vegan flavors.

Dulles Town Center Mall

21100 Dulles Town Center Circle

Sterling, VA 20165

 
 
  
 
   
  
   
 
 
  
 
 

Sticky Fingers

An award-winning Vegan Bakery, also available at many retail locations including select Whole Foods in the mid-Atlantic and DC-metro area.  Everything they make is Dairy and Egg-free, and they also offer a few Nut-free and Gluten-free desserts (but are not a nut and wheat-free facility).

1370 Park Rd NW

Washington, DC  20010

   
  
 
 
 
 
 

 Sweet and Natural

An all-Vegan restaurant, also offers a selection of Vegan desserts – some of which are also available in local health food stores.

4009 34th St
Mt Rainier, MD 20712

 
 
  
 
 

Cake Love

Offers Vegan and Gluten-Free products.

Locations throughout the metro DC area including:

DC; Arlington, Tysons Corner, & Fairfax, VA;

Silver Spring, National Harbor, MD

  
 
 
 
  
 
  
 

Dama Bakery

Serves Ethiopian and French pastries in Vegan and Gluten-free varieties.

1505 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA

  
 
 
 
  
 
 

 

Whole Foods sells “Safe For School” Nut-free cookies in their bakery section.

  
 
  
 
 
 
  

The Westbard Giant in Bethesda sells Nut-free cupcakes. According to one shopper, you can usually find them in the freezer located in the bakery (not the regular freezer section), but they are sometimes displayed in the bakery section. They carry a label stating that they were made in a nut free facility.  Convenient!

  
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 

 For even more Vegan bakeries located in and around DC, check out the list at VegDC.com and Urbanspoon.com.

 

The Beauty of Hampton Creek Mayo (and Bang Bang Chicken) January 18, 2016

Before I dole out this delicious allergy-friendly recipe for Bang Bang Chicken (dairy, egg, nut and sesame-free), I need to gush a little about Hampton Creek.

 

If you don’t know of this company, check them out.  They are revolutionizing the ingredients we use in some of our much beloved foods.  Hampton Creek aims to recreate foods (such as mayonnaise and cookies) with affordable, healthier, and more sustainable versions that are just as delicious!  They make dairy, egg and nut-free cookie dough that you can eat from the container carefree!  Need I say more?!  Okay, one more thing – their allergen menu identifies foods beyond the standard eight and they are very forthcoming about their equipment and facilities.

Hampton Creek allergen screenshot

 

I’ve had my eye on this company for a long time.  So needless to say, I was thrilled when they sent me a mayo sampler.  Check it out:  who knew there were so many different flavors of mayonnaise?!  I was instantly hungry for a sandwich.  And, if you’re wondering (and I know I would be): yes, the mayo tastes the same even without the egg!

Just Mayo Sriracha caught my eye.  So I decided to create a recipe as an excuse to use it.  Thus, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Sesame-Free, Nut-Free Bang Bang Chicken was born!

 

Allergy Friendly Bang Bang Chicken with Hampton Creek Sriracha Dipping Sauce

 

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 chunks

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup olive oil, preferably infused with minced garlic over low heat

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

For the sauce:

Hampton Creek Just Mayo Sriracha

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.  Combine panko breadcrumbs, paprika and garlic powder on plate or in shallow bowl.

3.  Dip chicken chunks into infused olive oil, then coat with panko breadcrumbs.

4.  Place wire cooling rack on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

5.  Place coated chicken on wire rack.

6.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and any juice run clear.

7.  Place chicken on serving plate and either drizzle with Hampton Creek’s Sriracha mayo or serve sriracha mayonnaise as dipping sauce on the side.

 

Step 3: After dipping in garlic infused olive oil, coat chicken in panko breadcrumbs.


Step 5: Oven ready!  Place coated chicken on wire rack.

  

Baking at 375 degrees F.  Don’t they look good already?!

GET IN MY MOUTH!  These were crispy where they should be, juicy and with the right amount of tang and kick in the sauce.  Addition of green onions, optional.  Maybe next time – I couldn’t wait to eat them.


Mmmmm……

 

Get Ready, Fellow Mathletes: Pi Day is Extra Special This Saturday March 12, 2015

Pi = 3.14159265359…

This Saturday is March 14, 2015… or 3.14.15!  And, on that magical day at 9:26 and 53 seconds (3.14.15 9:26:53), I suspect a lot of math fans like me will be eating pie to celebrate its magical homonym Pi.  Mmmm….

Pie can be tricky for people with food allergies for so many reasons.  They typically contain dairy, sometimes contain eggs, often are topped with nuts.   And, of course, that gluten-filled crust.

If you’re planning to celebrate Pi Day, here are a couple recipes to help you and your little calculators eating safely:

Sweetheart Sorbet Pie:

This cold, delicious, fruity pie is a synch to assemble and a joy to devour.

Egg-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

Moo-Less Chocolate Pie:

If you’re a chocaholic like my younger son, this recipe is for you.  Alton Brown’s recipe uses silken tofu to achieve its creamy, fudgey consistency.  Be sure to use dairy-free margarine/butter in lieu of the milk-based variety.  Read the reviews to determine if you want to include any of the readers suggestions (like adding cinnamon or using a graham cracker crust).

Dairy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free

Crazy for Crust’s Perfect Graham Cracker Crust:

This blogger really knows her crust as evidenced in the narrative leading up to the recipe.  Again, be sure to substitute dairy-free margarine/butter for the real deal in her recipe.

Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Milk-Free ***but also read ingredient list of graham crackers/crumbs you choose to use***

Gluten-Free Pie Crust:

This ready made dough from Pillsbury can be used in both pies and pastries.

Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free

Here are some Pi facts to discuss over pie:

  • Pi is the ratio between the circumference (the distance around its edge) of a circle and its diameter (the distance across the center).
  • Pi is an irrational number. Not only can’t you reason with it, but you can’t write it as a fraction either.
  • Pi’s decimals go on forever without any repetition or pattern.
  • BUT! 314159, the first six digits of Pi, appear in order at least six times among the first ten million decimals of Pi.
  • Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day!
  • Pi has been studied by the human race for almost 4,000 years. The Babylonians established the constant circle ratio as 3-1/8 or 3.125.  One of the earliest known records of pi was written by an Egyptian scribe named Ahmes (c. 1650 B.C.) who was only off by less than 1% of the modern approximation of pi (3.141592).
  • In one Star Trek episode, Spock foils an evil computer by challenging it to “compute to last digit the value of pi.”
  • Comedian John Evans once quipped: “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π.
 

Baby It’s Cold Outside…But, Sure, I’d Be Up For a Little More Ice! January 10, 2015

Italian Ice, that is!

I haven’t met an ice cream I didn’t like.  Yes, even in these east coast sub-zero temperatures I can’t be dissuaded away from a cold, sweet dessert.

So, the other night, while searching for a last minute dessert to bring to a friend’s house, my son found PhillySwirl’s Original Italian Ice Swirls.

IMG_7465.JPG

IMG_7468.JPG

“Mom!!!” He screamed far too loudly from across the aisle, “Read this!”  Smack on the front of the box, it states that they are dairy, gluten and peanut-free.  And, they’re made in a peanut-free factory.  Jackpot!  As you all know, it can be hard to find desserts that are safe for dairy, gluten and nut allergic children. There’s always an unusual ingredient slipped in or a cross-contamination issue at play that ruins things at the last second.  So, you understand our excitement upon finding an awesome treat that’s also safe!

He was so thrilled, in fact, that he insisted we buy them just to support this awesome company.  Needless-to-say, I’ll be sure to check out PhillySwirl’s other products as well because these were DE-LISH!  Kudos go to this company for being food allergy aware!

 

A Shore Bet: Philadelphia Water Ice July 22, 2013

 

Hello from the beach!

 

While grabbing some ice cream last night, my son ordered cotton candy water ice.  As he was peeling off the wrapper, my husband noticed something great to report to you all:  The brand Philadelphia Water Ice not only contains NO dairy, gluten or soy, but it’s also produced in a peanut-free plant.

 

Doesn’t that make this dessert a little sweeter?!

 

Enjoy!

 

Baking Substitutions from the Pros April 21, 2013

I don’t know what it is, but boy do I feel like baking these days!  I can’t get chocolate chip cookies and strawberry shortcake off my mind.  And you know, I never let a regular recipe stop me from serving treats to my son.  I just work with what I know to make it allergy-free!

 

If you’re in a baking way as well, enjoy these allergy-free substitutions from the pros:

  • Substitute peanut butter or almond butter with Sunbutter which is made from sunflower seeds.
  • Substitute sesame seed oil with Safflower Oil.  You’ll never notice the swap.
  • Cow’s milk can be substituted part-for-part by rice milk, hemp milk or soy milk.
  • Instead of eggs, you can use 3 tablespoons of applesauce for each egg in baked goods.
  • One egg can also be substituted with 1 tsp baking soda added to dry ingredients while 1tsp of apple cider vinegar is added to wet ingredients.  This creates a chemical reaction which causes dough and the like to rise.
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal combined with 3 tbsp of hot water  can also replace an egg.  And, as a bonus, flax seed is super-healthy for you.
 
Cybele Pascal, the author of two excellent allergy-free cookbooks based on the whole foods approach to eating, recommends various substitution for flour:
 
Gluten-Free Flour Mix:
 
4 cups fine brown rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch or flour
1 1/3 cups potato starch
 
Combine all ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake.  Refrigerate until ready for use (lasts approximately 6 months). Mimics all-purpose flour in recipes.
 
And, don’t forget about all those great dairy-free products, like: dairy-free cream cheese, yogurt and sour cream.
 
Happy Baking!  (PS:  Send me samples!)
 

Fill Them Any Way You Like – Egg, Dairy and Nut-free Hammantaschen Cookies February 23, 2013

You don’t have to be Jewish to love these fruit or chocolate filled cookies.  Take a peek at this post from 2012 and try this delicious recipe.  PS: Making Hammantaschen is a great activity for the kids on a rainy or snowy day!

 

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Even if you don’t celebrate Purim, this time of year is just a fabulous excuse to make these delicious fillable treats.  I mean, any holiday whose representative food is a huge cookie is going to be a good one!

 

Turns out that hamantaschen is really easy to make dairy, egg, peanut and tree nut-free!  Hamantaschen literally meaning “Haman’s Hat”, so called for the shape of the hat worn by the ultimately defeated villian of the Purim story.  They are triangular-shaped cookies, filled with anything from chocolate to jam and anything else you can think of.

 

I’m excited to share this recipe and can’t wait to hear how you fill and adapt these delicious cookies!

 
Adapted from the fabulous blog, A Shiska in the Kitchen
 
  • Substitute for 2 eggs:  1/4 cup applesauce and 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer combined with 2 Tablespoons water or soy milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 5 tsp water (if needed)
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. Before you begin making the hamantaschen dough, choose and make your filling (see below) and have it on hand to work with. Hamantaschen dough dries out quickly if left to rest too long, so it’s best to have everything ready to assemble when you start.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, canola oil, orange zest and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet, using a large wooden spoon until a crumbly dough begins to form.
  6. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. Try not to overwork the dough, only knead till the dough is the right consistency. If the crumbles are too dry to form a smooth dough, add water slowly, 1 teaspoon at a time, using your hands to knead the liquid into the dough. Continue kneading and adding liquid until dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky), with a consistency that is right for rolling out. It can easily go from the right consistency to too wet/sticky, so add water very slowly. If the dough seems too wet, knead in a little flour till it reaches the right texture.
  7. Lightly flour a smooth, clean surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Scrape the dough up with a pastry scraper, lightly reflour the surface, and flip the dough over.   If you prefer a crisper, more delicate cookie:  Continue rolling the dough out very thin (less than 1/8 of an inch thick) – just make sure that the dough is still thick enough to hold the filling and its shape! Lightly flour the rolling pin occasionally to prevent sticking, as needed.
  8. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (not smaller) or the 3-inch rim of a glass to cut circles out of the dough, cutting as many as you can from the dough
  9. Gather the scraps and roll them out again. Cut circles. Repeat process again if needed until you’ve cut as many circles as you can from the dough. You should end up with around 35 circles.
  10. Place a teaspoon of filling (whichever filling you choose) into the center of each circle. Do not use more than a teaspoon of filling, or you run the risk of your hamantaschen opening and filling spilling out during baking. Cover unused circles with a lightly damp towel to prevent them from drying out while you are filling.
  11. Assemble the hamantaschen in three steps. First, grasp the left side of the circle and fold it towards the center to make a flap that covers the left third of the circle.
  12. Grasp the right side of the circle and fold it towards the center, overlapping the upper part of the left side flap to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle. A small triangle of filling should still be visible in the center.
  13. Grasp the bottom part of the circle and fold it upward to create a third flap and complete the triangle. When you fold this flap up, be sure to tuck the left side of this new flap underneath the left side of the triangle, while letting the right side of this new flap overlap the right side of the triangle. This way, each side of your triangle has a corner that folds over and a corner that folds under– it creates a “pinwheel” effect. This method if folding is not only pretty– it will help to keep the cookies from opening while they bake.
  14. Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape.
  15. Repeat this process for the remaining circles.
  16. When all of your hamantaschen have been filled, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, evenly spaced. You can fit about 20 on one sheet… they don’t need to be very spaced out because they shouldn’t expand much during baking.
  17. Place them in the oven and let them bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, till the cookies are cooked through and lightly golden.
  18. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store them in a tightly sealed plastic bag or Tupperware.
  19. Eat and enjoy!
 
For the Prune Filling:
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup plum jam
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon orange zest
For the Poppy Seed Filling:
  • ¾ cup poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark raisins, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
For the Apricot Filling:
  • ¾ cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup mixed dried fruit (apples and pears, not prunes)
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the Apple Filling:
  • 2/3 cup peeled and cored McIntosh apples, diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/8 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped raisins
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

To Make the Prune Filling or Apricot Filling:

1. Purée all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

To Make the Poppy Seed Filling:

1. Pour boiling water over the poppy seeds and set aside for 15 minutes. Drain and grind (or put them in your food processor with the honey, brown sugar, raisins, and lemon rind).

To Make the Apple Filling:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put in a blender or food processor and pulse for a few seconds to make mixture a little moister and easier to use.

NOTES

If your dried fruits (prunes, apricots, raisins) have become hard, soak them in warm water until soft but firm.

 

You’ll Never Miss It Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes November 25, 2012

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

 

I know you guys may have found this recipe useful last week (my apologies), but I wanted to make sure it tested well for both food allergic as well as non-food allergic guests.  And, it did!  With a little tweaking, it was received to rave reviews!  And, nobody missed the traditional buttermilk.  So I hope you all can use this to pair with meatloaf, at Christmas, New Years and beyond…

 

Ingredients:

 

1 garlic

3 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp Kosher salt

5 large potatoes (I used 10-11 medium-ish white potatoes), cut into 1 inch pieces

2-3 Tbsp chopped chives

2-3 Tbsp dairy-free butter/margarine

 

Cut the top off of garlic and place on a square of foil.  Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp of chicken broth, wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

 

Place remaining broth, potatoes, and salt in large saucepan.  Heat to boil, cover and then cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain, reserving broth.

 

Mash potatoes with approximately 1 1/4 cups broth and roasted garlic.  Mix in chives, dairy-free butter,  and add more broth if necessary.

 

Tip:  If you plan to bring the mashed potatoes elsewhere (say to a host’s house), you may wish to add a touch (1/4 cup or less) more broth so that the potatoes remain moist after reheating.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

 

Sesame Seed-Free (and Dairy, Egg and Nut-Free!) Chinese Sauces August 2, 2012

When you have a sesame seed allergy, eating Chinese food is nearly impossible.  Even cooking Chinese can be tricky since so many prepared sauces contain sesame seeds or sesame oil or both!  But, inspired by one of our Shmallergy readers, I restarted my quest to find safe prepared sauces and alternative recipes so we can all enjoy Asian food at home!

 

As I was collecting ingredients to MAKE Hoisin sauce (recipe below), I stumbled upon Kikkoman’s Hoisin sauce.  And guess what?!  It’s sesame free!  That was WAY too easy.

But if you can’t find Kikkoman sauce (as I couldn’t for the last six years), here’s a Hoisin sauce recipe that’s easy to prepare.

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons black bean paste (found in the Asian section of your local grocery store or at Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon honey or molasses or brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 finely minced garlic clove
2 teaspoons safflower oil
20 drops chinese hot sauce, habenero or jalepeno
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine ingredients together in medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together until well combined.   (It may appear like it won’t mix well at first, but keep whisking longer and it will come together.)

 

I haven’t had as much luck finding Plum Sauce at the market.  So here’s an easy recipe to try from allrecipes.com.  I haven’t given it a shot yet, but would love to hear how it turns out if anyone gets to it before me!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 (16 ounce) jar plum jam
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine jam, vinegar, brown sugar, dried onion, red pepper, garlic and ginger.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring.
  3. Remove from heat.
 
NB:  Here were a few suggestions: Use the whole 18 oz jar of plum jam, omit the pepper, and add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce.  It is possible to substitute minced garlic for garlic powder as in Hoisin Sauce recipe.
Warm sauce for second use; it  can congeal a bit once cool.
 

Maggie May’s Ice Cream – Pound Ridge, NY July 2, 2012

We just returned from another fabulous trip to my parents’ house in New York.  While there to celebrate a host of festive occasions, we had plenty of long, unstructured summer days to enjoy.  And, nothing tops off such quintessential summertime like a visit to a good ice cream shop.

 

Maggie May’s in Pound Ridge appears to have their act together.  Although they just opened, I was impressed with the thoughtfulness in which the owner considered her shop.  Set up as both for ice cream and self-serve frozen yogurt, Maggie May’s also serves dairy-free sorbet.  A coup!

 

I spoke with the owner, who mentioned that one of her own children has a variety of food allergies, appeared very careful about how she handles and prepares her treats.  She makes her own ice cream and sorbet by first processing the sorbet on the thoroughly cleaned machines, followed by the ice cream, followed by the ice cream with nuts thereby reducing risk of cross contamination.  She offered to get my son sprinkles from the back, to ensure they were safe.   Although state requirements are that ice cream parlors have something like 2-4 scoops, she uses more than 20!  Each scoop only gets used in one flavor bucket before it goes in for sterilization – again eliminating the possibility of cross-contamination from scoopers.  What a relief!  And, she was more than happy to double check ingredients when we asked and followed up with us as he was eating.

 

What impressed me most of all was the owner and her son’s concern for my son when they noticed him laying with his head on my lap as I sat on a bench outside their shop.  Unrelated to their sorbet, he was beginning to feel sick (I don’t know…could it have been the 14 treats he ate before consuming a huge lunch in the heat and THEN sorbet?!  Yes.).  They immediately came out to check on him, offer him ice water, and double checked his order (all perfectly safe for him).  I appreciated their concern and was enjoyed getting to know them.

 

I wish Maggie May’s well!  In my book, they’re doing everything right.

 

Cinco de Mayo – Pan de Polvo May 3, 2012

Here’s a little allergy-free recipe to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo.   I think this will follow tacos nicely in our house.

 

Mexican Shortbread

Stars' Favorite Holiday Dishes - Eva Longoria Parker's Pan de Polvo (Mexican Shortbread)

 

2 Cinnamon Sticks

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cups butter-flavored shortening (Crisco’s variety is amazingly dairy-free)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a saucepan, bring cinnamon sticks and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil.  Let cool.  Discard cinnamon sticks.  Refrigerate liquid until chilled.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat shortening, vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cinnamon “tea” until light and fluffy.  Stir in flour mixture.

Roll dough into 1″ balls.  Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  Bake 15 minutes or until slightly browned around edges.

In bowl, combine 2 Tbsp sugar and ground cinnamon.  Dip cookies while still warm in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Makes 3 dozen.

*As printed in InStyle Magazine, May 2009*

 

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  https://shmallergy.wordpress.com/tag/sorbet/).

 

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.

 

Frosting:

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?

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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