Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Essential Items for Families with Food Allergies – Portable Food Carriers March 28, 2017

Filed under: Parent Sanity — malawer @ 11:00 am
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Food allergy parents are accustomed to prepping safe food at home and taking it on-the-go to parties, school functions, and family gatherings.  Here are a few items that might make carrying safe food just a little easier!

 

Portable Slice of Pizza or Pie?

 

Take a gluten-free or dairy-free slice of pizza to a party?  Who knew there was a container just for that purpose?!  This Brick Oven Pizza Saver looks like it’s perfectly sized to transport both pizza and maybe even a slice of cookie cake or pie!

Brick oven slice saver

 

 

Individual Cupcake Holders:

 

Both this reusable (by Fox Run) and these disposable cupcake holders (both via Amazon) are the PERFECT container to tote a peanut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free cupcake to a birthday party!

 

Fox Run Cupcake Holder

Cupcake Supply Co Indiv Cupcake holder

 

Removable Labels:

When sending your child with a safe snack or special treat – OR when labeling your own lunch at the office – the best way to ensure it doesn’t get mixed up with someone else’s is to clearly label it.  These removable labels by Avery do just the trick:

Avery Labels

 

Hot Lunch!

 

If your kids are itching for a hot lunch, but school lunches aren’t a safe option, then you absolutely need a thermos that will keep your meal warm for up to 5 hours and fit neatly into your lunchbox or work bag.

 

Thermos

 

And, while you’re packing your lunchbox, why not add Sistema’s four-piece cutlery set.  It connects handles to fork, spoon, kid friendly-knife and chopsticks – making it a synch to grab on-the-go.

Sistema Klipo

 

For Safe Restaurant Dining:

 

If you’re allergic to soy, you’ve probably already toted salad dressing to restaurants.  Allergic to gluten/wheat, I’d bet you’ve stashed tamari in your purse as you meet friends for sushi.  OXO Good Grips On-The-Go Silicone Squeeze Bottles allow you to do just that in a small, spill-free way!

OXO Squeeze containers

 

We want to hear from you!  What other items do you find useful for living with your food allergies? 

 

(Thank you in advance! A portion of the proceeds of the affiliate links go toward AllergyStrong.org – an organization aimed at helping low income and at risk families with food allergies.)

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Day of the Dead Halloween Party October 25, 2016

Disclaimer: Allergy Shmallergy received these goods in exchange for an honest review.  I only feature products that I use myself and believe would be useful to the food allergy community.

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Trick or Treat banner from Oriental Trading

 

 

Halloween is almost here!  I hope you are all busy painting and decorating your teal pumpkins.  Teal pumpkins are a great way to let food allergy families know that you support them by offering non-food treats.  And by now, you all know that Oriental Trading has an enormous selection of non-food treats to fill your Halloween buckets.  These trick-or-treat items have a huge impact on kids with food allergies who often cannot collect almost any candy.  Food allergic kids can feel very left out at Halloween which is why it’s important to find ways for everyone to have fun safely.

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My middle son sporting a pair of glow in the dark vampire fangs…

[Oriental Trading supports the Teal Pumpkin project.  Check out their Halloween selection here.]

 

And, don’t forget to check their coupon page (you never know!):  Oriental Trading Coupon & Promo Page

 

We have a tradition of hosting an annual Halloween party at our house.  I began this as a way of ensuring that my son had plenty to eat and lots to celebrate when he was a young trick-or-treater.  Initially, he was allergic to so many foods that I couldn’t find a single candy he could enjoy safely.

 

I’m happy to report that he has since outgrown a few allergies.  Most candy is still off limits to him.  But surrounded by great friends at a pre-trick-or-treat dinner and post-candy-swap, he doesn’t mind.   Every year, the party grows and grows to include more families and more fun!

 

This year, I’ve create a Day of the Dead themed Halloween table.

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The playful patterns and colorful sugar skulls dress up any table.  Check out the cups!

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I couldn’t resist these plates and napkins – so I infused a little of the traditional Halloween with the addition of these irresistible black and white plates and napkins.

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Just like an outfit, accessories can make a table.  This sugar skull bowl and small skulls were a great addition to the black and whites at play.

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Are you looking at this table runner?!  You can’t quite tell from the photos, but it has spiders at the center of the webs and glitters in the light.  And, that pumpkin?!  I’ll be using it on my table through Thanksgiving!

 

 

I also picked out this silicone mold – which can be used for ice or to dress up snacks!

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Here’s a list of the items I used to create my Day of the Dead Halloween table:

 

Day of the Dead Candy Dish

Glittered Spider Table Runner

Foam Orange Pumpkin

Skull & Crossbones Ice Cube Tray

Skulls

“Trick or Treat” Halloween Cardboard Pennant Banner

Spider Web Dinner Plates

Large Polka Dots Dessert Plates

Boo Beverage Napkins

Day of the Dead Disposable Cups

Glow-in-the-Dark Vampire Teeth

Colorful Halloween Spider Rings

Day of the Dead Skull Wall Decoration

 

 

Now that the table – and the mood – are set, stay tuned later this week to see what I’m serving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allergy-Friendly Purim Hamantaschen Cookies March 6, 2012

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.