How to be Nutfree, Mom Things, Travel

FABlogCon 2017


If you love Denver as much as I do, and you have food allergies, or know someone with food allergies, this conference is for you!! Just check out this three day agenda:

FABlogcon 2017

This year’s food allergy bloggers conference has quite the line up – and it’s located in beautiful Stapleton, CO, easy to get to from the airport via rail.

Don’t forget to put out your teal pumpkin this year!





Pumpkin Bread (GF, TN/PN, Egg Free)

Are you looking for a recipe to use up that extra pumpkin puree from yesterday’s homemade Pumpkin spice lattes?

Pumpkin chocolate chip banana bread is the answer.

Super quick post because it’s Sunday Funday! If you’re looking for GF Gluten Free, King Arthur Flour makes their GF flour in a “Top 8 Allergy Free” facility, and are VERY good at keeping things properly labeled! Their website is helpful for those with allergy / food restrictions.

If you don’t have cinnamon, just double up the pumpkin pie spice. And vice versa. 

Happy Sunday


Pumpkin Spice Latte

There’s nothing better than sleeping in on a rainy Saturday, lazily getting up and making a homemade Pumpkin spice latte.

Who am I kidding?

Saturday morning with kids means waking up at the crack of dawn. I got my little guy to snuggle until 7:15. That’s sleeping in.

I need some Mom fuel. 


My hubs is busy working this weekend, so I need to bring my A-game to soccer today. It’s rainy and wet and I really, really don’t want to go. Really. (I’m blogging at 9:20 a.m., serious procrastinating happening now.)

This recipe is so easy, you could make it with your eyes closed. Even better, it makes a double batch, so you already have Sunday covered if you make this today.

You don’t need a fancy espresso machine, just a sauce pan and a wisk and about a 1/2  to 1 cup of your favorite coffee. Or no coffee if you’re sharing with kids, just top with whipped cream.

***This is made with real ingredients and real pumpkin, it will not taste exactly like the over processed, extra sugary Starbucks drink, but close. ***


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon – Penzeys!
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg – Penzeys!
  • Pinch of ground ginger (if you have it)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Make your coffee / espresso (I like Valentine Coffee)
  2. Fill your coffee cup 1/4 full of coffee
  3. Warm all of the ingredients listed above up in your sauce pan, constantly stirring with wisk. Do not boil. Once it’s warmed all the way through, about 5 minutes, pour into your coffee cup.
  4. Yield, 2. Top with whipped cream if you have it, and sprinkle Cinnamon over the top.
  5. You’re welcome. This drink is awesome!!!

Now…..what to do with this leftover pumpkin??? Someone needs to sell pumpkin puree in 4oz size cans.

  • Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
  • Pumpkin banana bread
  • More lattes
  • Mini pumpkin pies
  • Pumpkin spice donuts, baked

For nut free items, we do not get anything from Starbucks, except their boxed milks since the chance for cross contact is so high with a steamed milk beverage. There are so many different types of milk, almond, etc, that would cause a PN/TN to have a reaction.

Pumpkin is almost 100% safe, any brand, just check the label, and I 100% trust penzeys spices! This recipe is safe and easy for nut allergic peeps!

Happy little Saturday!


Apple Pie

Last weekend we picked apples. This was a first for us – we’ve always wanted to pick apples and while we always go to an orchard in fall near our favorite hiking spot, it is not a “you pick” orchard.

The orchard was wonderful – it was on a beautiful hill with loads of apple trees, raspberry canes, and a huge pumpkin patch. They had the typical caramel apples, popcorn, pies and sundaes. The kids found a bouncy house and lots of fun, old farm equipment to check out!


Because my little guy has been at home for a month now, we have been baking like crazy – and we had too many apples, so we made this gorgeous pie. It took us two hours, but we did it together on this rainy day and it was too fun. I’ve definitely been putting off some Mom duties to spend time with my little buddy.

Here’s what we did. It’s an easy pie, just takes a few minutes to put together. we did store bought pie crusts, which is a HUGE time saver.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 to 7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • Additional sugar


  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour and spices; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edge. Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter.
  4. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry.
  5. Beat egg white until foamy; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil.
  6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20-25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Yield: 8 servings.


Weeknight Dinners

Lighter Pulled BBQ Pork

So I’m a sucker for easy, crock-pot, nut-free weeknight meals. And I seem to be stuck in a BBQ pork rut. OK, not stuck. If you know me well, you know that I LOVE a good pork sandwich and so do the kids.

I’ve tried many different recipes and the first was actually quite hilarious, circa 2007 for a girls night at our downtown condo. The pork turned out to be a dried out mess and we ended up ordering pizza after a long day of work. Ten years later, I think I’ve got a better recipe down, and actually less ingredients is better.

This recipe is a lot lighter than my stand by Campbell’s Soup pre-mix packet. It has less calories, salt and sugar. And it is just as easy and flavorful. If you like things more savory than sweet, this recipe is definitely for you!


The recipe I used is the top one, slightly modified:

  • 4 pound pork shoulder
  • McCormick Season Packet
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 of a lemon juice = about 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp white wine, Kim Crawford

For sides, we had baked beans and steamed some broccoli and seasons with Penzeys 4S season salt and butter.

I’ll post the apple pie recipe next….


Hope you’re having a great week!

Weeknight Dinners

Cheesy Chicken Fajitas

Monday Hustle was fierce today!  After a really nice weekend, it was great to get back into our routine today, meal time being part of it.


If your kids are choosy eaters, this may be a good transition recipe to try. It has many favorite ingredients found in Mexican food that almost all kiddos love. Just changing the flavor a bit, or adding/subtracting favorite ingredients may help your littles become more diverse eaters. Don’t give up, it’s a process. Modifying their favorite meals is one way to get their taste buds to open up a bit.

This weeks menu is posted to my IG, thanks to Cooking Light Magazine.

Yesterday I found an old Cooking Light Magazine in my pantry. I like to keep old magazines because our taste changes, things we like vary and I need some quick inspiration sometimes without turning on a device. Ugg. Looking at a screen or scrolling my phone is the LAST thing I want to do most days. Old magazines are nice. I keep them organized by month (or at least I’m going to tell you that :)) in magazine holders inside our walk-in pantry on the bottom shelf. The kids can reach them, too, which is OK. This recipe is two of my favorite things, fast and easy.

Since this was the first time I made the recipe, I was surprised with how quickly it came together. I’ll post the recipe, then tell you what I’d do differently to make it even faster.


  • 2 tsp evoo
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup canned corn (I used the whole can because that other half will just sit in my fridge)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted canned pinto beans
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes (I used one large garden tomato and diced it)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 4 oz of rotisserie chicken
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese
  • corn tortillas
  • sour cream
  • avocado


  1. Preheat broiler to high
  2. Heat oil in ovenproof skillet over medium – high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, corn, salt, and pepper to pan. Saute 3 minutes or until crisp tender (more like 5 min).
  3. Add beans, tomatoes, stock and juice. Cook 2 minutes. Add the chicken, sprinkle evenly with cheese (I used the whole bag because hey, this is Wisconsin. and I’m preventing osteoporosis.)
  4. Place pan in oven and broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
  5. Heat tortilals in microwave for 1 minute.
  6. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with avocado, sour cream and whatever else you have, like UMMM BACON. Or anything that will add some flavor.

So my biggest concern with this recipe was flavor. It doesn’t call for herbs, dry spices or flavor mixes that would add significant depth. I followed the recipe to a T and recommend the following:

  1. Add 1 tbsp garlic powder
  2. Add 1 tbsp onion powder
  3. Add 1 tbsp oregano, dried
  4. Have a Lawrys fajita season packet on standby, just in case you don’t like the flavor
  5. Hot sauce
  6. Do not add the chicken stock – I saw no reason to add this, it made the entire dish soupy and never thickened up.
  7. Do not use your broiler. I was literally waiting for magic to happen. Nothing happened. The cheese melted. Big deal, you can do that on a regular burger with a thing called a LID.
  8. Instead of cast iron skillet / oven proof pan, just use a regular large frying pan, a really big one. This recipe makes a LOT of food, yield of 8 at least. My teeny little cast iron skillet was very crowded and it affected my saute timing.
  9. Saute the crap out of your vegetables + pepper. You want some flavor form them, get some markings on them from your pan.
  10. Only use the chicken stock if you need to deglaze your frying pan. Otherwise, do not add it. I had enough liquid from the lime juice and tomatoes that I did not need the chicken stock.
  11. Lastly, flavor. This meal was OK for flavor. The rotisserie chicken added a ton of flavor, but hot sauce was definitely required. My kids do not care for corn tortillas, so regular work too. Add the above recommended dry spices, and you’ll be fine. Worst case, just make this into a giant dip, eat with chips. Done.

Clear as mud, right? Anyway, follow the recipe, make your own changes. One thing I like to do is get extra Taco Bell sauces to keep at home. I pull them out on nights like tonight to make the meal a little fun for the kids. My kids LOVE taco bell, and they LOVE the sauces, so this makes them think we’re sort of eating at taco bell, only without the nasty gut-rot after! YAY!

Have a great week – I’ll be back tomorrow talking about a new pulled pork recipe that I found using a new spice mix. It cooks all day, so I don’t have to worry about dinner because I’ll be downtown!!!!



Halloween for All!

The teal pumpkin project has grown so much over the past few years and this year I was SO happy to see retailers participating, too! Walmart, Target, Michaels all have teal pumpkin and products to support Halloween for All! 

lLast year we painted a wooden pumpkin teal, and it rained a lot, which gave us a teal porch (Crayola washable paint wasn’t a good choice).

This year’s teal pumpkin is from Michael’s. My only beef with it is that it’s SO light, it blows off my porch daily and I’m always running after my teal pumpkin. We will leave it inside until Halloween.

The banner is from it shipped a month faster than it stated, and I was OK with that! It ships from China, so I totally understand the longer shipping time. It was only $3.99. 

We are ready for Trick-or-treating….are you? Make sure all your trick or treaters feel included this year. Remember 6% of all school aged kids have a known food allergy. That’s about 1 child in every classroom. It may not seem like much, but being included means the WORLD to them. Trick or treating is sad for those with Allergies because they go along collecting things they will never eat. With the exception of maybe two or three houses that participate in Teal Pumpkin. 

Thanks for your love and support and including teal pumpkin treats to make Halloween for All!

Hugs xoxo