Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Blog!

Hello friends!

If you have subscribed to this blog but aren't following on any other social media channels, then you may have missed that I have a new blog address! It is:

Along with the new address, I rebranded at the start of may. 2nd Gen Allergy Mom is now the Allergy Superheroes Blog!

Please redirect your browsers, bookmarks, and RSS feeds. I will eventually make this blog point to the new one as an automatic redirect, but I still need access to this one for the time being, since not all old content transferred correctly. So it's best to redirect yourself for now.

And by the way, I'm active again! Sorry for the dark space. Happy reading!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Easy Potatoes Boulanger

I modified this recipe from the potatoes that accompanied a pork recipe in our McCall's Cooking School cookbook. The pork is killer and I'll post my variation of that recipe sometime, but it's a time-consuming beast, best for special occasions. I enjoy making the potatoes on their own (even though they don't get any pork flavoring this way) because it can be done much more quickly and adds some great flavor to any meal!

Easy Potatoes Boulanger

Recipe by Eileen Rhoadarmer - 2nd Generation Allergy Mom
A great side dish to add flavor to any meal. And the best part is, it's Top 8 Free!
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min
  • 4-6 potatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut your potatoes into chunks or discs.
  2. Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic. Pan-fry, covered, until almost done (15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  4. Once potatoes are nearly cooked through, add chicken broth to pan and sprinkle potatoes with spices.
  5. Continue to cook, covered to control loss of fluid, until potatoes are done.
  6. If the sauce is too thin, mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with water and then slowly add to the potatoes while stirring. Stop adding as soon as the sauce thickness is to your liking.

Chop your potatoes. They would more traditionally be in discs, but I've found it easier to pan-fry potatoes when they're cut in small chunks.

Heat your oil.

Start frying your potatoes, onions, and garlic. Make sure to stir them intermittently so they don't burn on the bottom. This part could be done without a lid, but they cook faster and more evenly when the heat is contained.

Prepare your broth and seasonings. I like to use Better than Bouillon, but you should use whatever stock is safest for your family.

Add the broth and then sprinkle on your seasonings. Stir, and then put the lid on to continue cooking.

If the sauce is too thin once your potatoes are cooked through, mix cornstarch into a few spoonfuls of water and then slowly pour this into your potatoes while stirring. Stop as soon as it's thick enough, you don't need to use all of the cornstarch! (You could alternatively use another thickener of your choice.)

A tasty accompaniment to a variety of meals!

Linking up at Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Top 8 Free White Chocolate and Make Your Own Easter Bunnies - Guest Post for KFA

Are you tired of all the allergen warnings on Easter chocolate?

I am too, which is why I decided to make my own chocolates this year! Head over to the Kids with Food Allergies Blog to see how easy it is to make Easter goodies you know you kids can enjoy!

All pictured sweets are Top 8 Free!

But that's not all! You can also read Part 2:

That's right, you can make and sculpt your own white chocolate! Go see how it's done!

White Chocolate recipe will be shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays

Monday, March 14, 2016

Stuffed Onions

I first made this recipe for hubby years ago on his birthday. It was a side dish for a larger recipe, but we both decided this was the only part of the recipe worth repeating! If you like onions, check out this delicious way to serve them as a side dish for your next killer meal!

Stuffed Onions

Recipe by Eileen Rhoadarmer - 2nd Generation Allergy Mom
These stuffed onions make a great side dish for many entrees! Free of peanut, tree nut, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. Contains wheat and dairy (substitutions would easily make it free of those as well.)
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45-50 min
Total time: 1 hour, 10 min
Yield: 2 stuffed onions
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 Tbsp butter, dairy-free alternative, or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese (omit for dairy allergy)
  • 1 cup croutons, crushed
Cooking Directions
  1. Peel your onions and chop off the bottom and the top (be careful not to cut too much.)
  2. Using a combination of a sharp knife, a spoon, and a grapefruit knife if you have one, hollow out the center of each onion leaving roughly 1/4 inch all around.
  3. Finely chop the center pieces of onion (you'll probably have about 1 cup.)
  4. Heat your butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and mix the salt, pepper, Parmesan, and crushed croutons into the onions.
  6. Stuff the mixture into the hollow onions, mounding it on the top.
  7. Wrap your stuffed onions in foil and bake upright at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
  8. Serve warm. Delicious!
  9. Easily double (or more) the recipe to serve more people.
Hollowing out the onions does take some practice. You need to be particularly careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Just go slow and be careful.

Sauteeing the onions.

Make sure you chop or crush your croutons before mixing them in. Onions aren't big enough to handle large chunks of breading.

Pack your onions as tightly as you can. Even so, you will have some stuffing leftover. Bake it alone wrapped in foil, or just allow the moisture to penetrate the croutons and you've got another great side dish for the next day!

I bake these in my toaster oven when I'm only making two. The actual stuffed onions don't keep as well as leftovers, so I tend to only make as much as we'll eat in one night. If you increase the recipe to make more you'll need to put them in your regular oven.

You can add them to the oven with other items like turkeys or roasts. You may need to increase baking time by up to a half hour if they're sharing the heat.

Wrap them in foil to protect them from burning or spilling while they bake.

Look at those delicious beauties!

This was a perfect accompaniment to our late-night, much-delayed Valentine's dinner. What will you pair them with?

Happy eating!

Linking up at Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays

(Adapted from a recipe originally found in McCall's Cooking School.)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Completing the Allergy Superheroes Rogues' Gallery

It's been a while, but I wanted to share the rest of the Allergy Superheroes villains here on the blog. With these four characters, our Rogue's Gallery is complete! (For now.)

You can see the entire Rogue's Gallery here!

Nutzilla was created when a radioactive explosion caught a poor, helpless lizard in the middle of a nut farm. The resulting DNA-scrambling mutation grew at immense speed until she reached a height of 35 feet tall.

Nutzilla is still an animal, so her main goals are to survive. She primarily eats nuts, though she will settle for animals when nuts aren’t in season. She prefers to shelter underneath walnut or pecan trees when the weather gets bad. She generally remains in the country except when conditions force her to search for food elsewhere.

Already a menace due to her large size and ability to eat people in a single bite, Nutzilla is particularly dangerous to those with nut allergies because her scales are made of tree nuts. And because she scatters nut residue over an area the size of a football field when feeding.

Fishazoid doesn’t know where his power came from. All he knows is that first he was content to swim with the school, but there was something fishy about that patch of murky water he swam through one day, and the ocean just didn’t seem big enough anymore.

The world above the water seemed ripe for the taking, so Fishazoid used his newfound brainpower to construct a Mecha-suit out of parts scavenged from sunken boats and submarines.

The world of land had bigger fish to fry than he’d anticipated, but he still wanted it all. Right at this moment he is making plans for world domination, encouraged by the fact that people with fish allergies, in particular, are intimidated by him. But the Allergy Superheroes have no intention of letting this freaky fish harm anyone with a fish allergy. Or take over the world.

Medusoy is the fabled Medusa’s lesser-known little sister. One look at her can’t turn you into stone, but she has been known to paralyze soy-allergic victims with fear.

Medusoy has a severe case of stage fright, which has kept her out of the spotlight for centuries. However, the recent increase in soy allergies got her thinking that she could claim some of the glory usually attributed to her sister. However, Medusoy is too timid for a direct attack, preferring to lurk in unsuspecting corners in order to catch people by surprise.

There was once a magician who also worked a side job as a cook. He wanted his magic to pay his bills but it didn’t, so he was angry a lot. One day he decided to put magic into a black top hat. He tried spell after spell, but all the magic went into the chef hat the magician wore at his restaurant job.

He wore this newly-magical hat to work, where he spent the evening fuming about all of the “special requests” from the diners. He didn’t really believe that simply touching one food to another would hurt a customer with food allergies, and he resented all the extra steps he had to take every time an “allergy order” came in. Chef Cross, the hat who had just been magicked to life, quickly shared the magician’s anger about food allergies and longed to cross contaminate a plate, just to see what would happen.

The next day, the magician threw Chef Cross away--but being alive he set off on his own. Chef Cross learned, as he searched for another home, that he had a psychic power over anyone whose head he sat upon; particularly over the foods they ate or touched.

The Allergy Superheroes are constantly working to educate other about the dangers of cross contact, in order to counteract the influence of Chef Cross and others who don’t understand the dangers of food allergies.

So now you've seen them all! Which Food Allergy Villain is your Nemesis?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Pizza Crust

I've been using this pizza crust recipe for a while, when we make homemade pizza. I like it's ease of use--your bread machine does most of the work for you, and it behaves nicely when you spread it out on the pan. If you'd like a way to make your own pizza at home, this is a great foundation on which to build your masterpiece!

Bread Machine Pizza Crust

Recipe by Eileen Rhoadarmer - 2nd Generation Allergy Mom
An easy way to make great-tasting pizza right at home! Contains wheat. Free from other major allergens!
Prep time: 1 hour 30 min (most of it passive)
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 min to 2 hours
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp warm (120 degrees) water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp rapid rise yeast (bread machine yeast)
Cooking Directions
  1. Place ingredients in the above order in your bread machine. (It is particularly important to follow ingredient order if you will be setting the timer on your bread machine. Yeast should be the last ingredient added, sitting on top of the flour, not touching any liquid ingredients or salt as those will prematurely activate the yeast. Ingredient order does not matter as much if you're starting it right away.)
  2. Select your bread machine's dough cycle and start it. (Note: if you will be delaying it, use hotter water as it will lose heat sitting on the counter. If you delay for a long time, the yeast may not activate as fully.)
  3. Once the dough cycle is done, the dough should have risen to about double its original size. Punch it down, remove it from the bread machine, and transfer to a pizza pan. You can grease your pan or dust it with cornmeal, if you like.
  4. Stretch and roll the dough out until it covers the pizza pan evenly.
  5. Prebake your crust at 400-450 degrees for about half of your pizza's total bake time--usually around 6-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, top with your choice of sauce, cheese, and toppings, and then return to the over. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly all the way to the center.
  7. Enjoy!

I "preheated" my bread machine by filling it with super hot water and letting it sit for a few minutes before starting this recipe. I also used water that was too hot for the yeast, because I was preparing it before picking my kids up from school, and I wanted the dough to be waiting for me when I got home and was ready to make dinner. I don't know the exact temperatures, but it worked out just fine!

When using the timer to delay the making of bread or dough, add all the wet ingredients and the salt FIRST, then the flour and other dry ingredients. Then make a well in the center of the flour and fill it with the yeast. This keeps the yeast away from anything that could activate it until the bread machine starts mixing.

This device saves me so much time. I love it!

What will you top your pizza with this week?

Linking up at Allergy Free Wednesdays

Monday, February 29, 2016

Keeping Green Eggs out of the Classroom

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday, which has nationally become known as Read Aloud Day. This is a great opportunity to increase literacy in younger children by sharing Dr. Seuss's extensive collection of great kids books. Many preschool and elementary school teachers include crafts inspired by the books as a way to increase excitement and student involvement with the stories.

Unfortunately, the mass popularity of Green Eggs and Ham sometimes leads to the exclusion of kids with egg allergies when real eggs get involved.

Nobody likes to see their child get excluded--especially when a dangerous item gets brought into the classroom. If your child has an egg allergy, it's not too late to ask your child's teacher what her/his plans are for the day, and to steer them towards a safer way to celebrate.

Here are some great suggestions, and a Google search for "Dr. Seuss crafts" will point you towards dozens more!

Cat in the Hat hats

These are easy to make and involve only a paper plate, large sheets of red and white construction paper, glue, scissors, and a stapler.

Cut out the flat center part of the paper plate. Cut red stripes roughly two inches wide from the red construction paper (this can be done in advance for younger kids.)

Glue red stripes onto a white piece of construction paper. Curl the striped paper into a tube and insert the bottom 2-3 inches into the hole in the paper plate. Glue or staple the tube together.

Cut 2 inch slits in the bottom of the tube and fold the resulting flaps under the rim of the paper plate. Staple the flaps to the plate to secure the two pieces together.

Bingo! It's the Cat's Hat! (You could secure it with string or elastic if the kiddos are going to be wearing it for a long time.)
Cat mask courtesy of my seven-year-old

Handprint Thing 1 and Thing 2

What child doesn't like to paint with their hands? These are fun to make and a great keepsake to remember how small their hands are!

Start by painting the child's palms and all fingers EXCEPT the middle finger with red paint.

Have them place their hands on a piece of paper with the fingers towards the edge. Having an adult press down on the top of their hands before lifting will make sure fewer gaps are left. Have the child wash their hands and then return.

Paint the child's palm white and their fingers blue, getting a little blue onto the perimeter of the palm as well. Flip the red handprints upside down and line up each hand so that the red handprint is a Thing's body, the new white palm will be the head, and the fingers are the hair. Again, have the child wash their hands.

Once the paint is dry, add a white spot to the center of the body, and then draw features on the face. Write "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" in the white circle once that paint is dry.

Toilet Paper Tube Horton with Clover

This loveable elephant is easy to make, although younger kids may need an adult to cut out Horton's features.

Have the children paint toilet paper tubes gray. Allow to dry.
While waiting, have the children cut out Horton's ears, trunk, and make a black fringe for hair. You can use construction paper or craft foam.

Glue these in place, and then use a marker to draw Horton's features.

Glue a pom pom to the end of a chenille stem for the clover, and glue a speck of paper for the dust speck, if you like.

With a little creativity, there's no need for any children to be left out of the Dr. Seuss Day festivities. Remember, the moral of Green Eggs and Ham is that we should be willing to try new things! That goes for educators too!

Credit where credit is due: I got the hat ideas from this blog, the handprint things from this blog, and Horton from this blog.