Safe Buns at Metro Market

Good Morning!

Bakery items are almost always a no-go in our house. Unless we can get a 100% confirmation from the manufacturer on cross contamination, we do not buy it.

How do we find out about these details? Emails and phone calls, and keeping in touch with our nut community of friends which we share lots of information! We average about 3 calls/emails a month in our house, so not too bad. Holiday time , it will be about 3 calls per day!!!🎄⛄🎁

Here is a sample email that my husband wrote this morning while he was at the grocery store picking up supplies:

Hello,

My daughter has allergy to nuts.  Are nuts used on your line that makes the sliced French rolls?

Thanks and kind regards,

Doug 
——

Doug,

Our production plant where the French rolls are made is a nut-free facility. There are no nuts allowed in the building at all at this time.

Please let us know if you have any further questions. Thank you.

Tim Lotesto
Alpha Baking Company, Inc.

The baking company returned our email within one hour, Doug was able to buy the rolls for our slow cooker dinner.

If you’re looking for a great tasting French roll, check out Alpha Baking Co!

Enjoy your weekend. Fall is right out our window. Loving the colors!🎃



Up All Night

As a parent, we have all had long nights of helping sick kids. Managing a toddler for 1 or 2 nights is much easier than managing a baby for weeks on end, not knowing exactly what’s bothering them.

Last night, just as I was falling asleep, I heard Carter crying,”runny nose, runny nose, runny nose.” I knew I’d be spending the night with him so my hub’s could get a solid night of sleep; he has people’s lives in his hands, he needs the sleep! If I’m up all night, I just plan a low key day the next day. And that is exactly what we are doing right now since Carter woke up every two hours crying. Poor guy.

In our house, when you’re sick, you get to eat whatever you want. Gatorade? Yes. Cookies? Yes. Anything that will keep you happy and give you calories, you get.

Anyway, we wanted to share another safe snack that we found at Walgreens of all places. I’m guessing they are also available at Target and HyVee since I have seen Disney treats at both stores.

Since Carter is sick, I’m letting him eat these. They are banana chips. And not the kind that you’ll break a tooth on. They are free of any additives and sugar. They are, most importantly for us, made in a NUT FREE FACILITY!.😍 Enjoy. We plan on stocking up for trick or treat and to use in lunches this month.

Homemade PSL, You’re Welcome.

20160916_134334Starbucks makes a pretty delicious PSL; however, the homemade version is pretty darn good, and easy as well. Below is a big batch method, too, so you can make it on the weekend and enjoy all week long at work. Here’s what I did. I’ll also put a cheat recipe below if you’re short on time. Enjoy, fall is just 6 days away.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus a sprinkle for garnish
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract, like penzeys
  • 2 Cups Whole milk, or whatever you like
  • 1-2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup or coffee, I’m enjoying Valentine Coffee from Milwaukee
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks, or spray can whip topping

Equipment

  • Mixer, whisk
  • saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • whisk
  • blender
  • espresso /coffee

Directions

  1. Heat the pumpkin and spice: in small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper for 2 minutes or until it’s hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly.
  2. Stir in sugar: add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup
  3. Warm the milk: whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Warm gently over medium heat, watching to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
  4. Blend the milk: carefully process the milk mixture with a hand blender (immersion blender works) until frothy.  (You could also steam the milk together if you’re espresso machine has a steam handle).
  5. Mix the drink: make the espresso or coffee and divide between 2 mugs, add the frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice.

 

BIG BATCH TO REFIGERATE + USE DURING WORK WEEK:

  1.  To make 8 full servings: cook 1/2 cup pureed/canned pumpkin with 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 cup sugar.  Stir in 1/2 cup vanilla extract. To serve, blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice mix with milk until frothy, add 1-2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.

CHEAT METHOD

  1. Make 2 cups of coffee or a double shot of espresso
  2. Take a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup and fill it full of 1.5 cups of milk
  3. Add the canned pumpkin, spices, sugar, vanilla to the measuring cup
  4. Whisk these ingredients together.
  5. Microwave for 30 seconds. whisk (if you have an espresso machine with steam arm, you could just steam all of these ingredients together rather than micorwave)
  6. Microwave for another 30 seconds
  7. Whisk more
  8. In two coffee mugs, add 1/2 the milk mixture from the microwave + your shot of espresso or coffee.
  9. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon
  10. Note: this method will taste similar, it will not have the exact consistency as heating things over the stove top, but this way works for me!

The Classic Bento

Carter hasn’t been into eating well at school since he’s so exxited to be able to eat with friends. Ive packed their favorite things for tomorrow. They are currently playing pirate. Arrrr Matey.

  • Boars Head ham
  • Veggie chips
  • Green Beans
  • Strawberry
  • Provolone cheese
  • Chocolate soynut butter
  • Soynut and jelly sandwich

Hope your week is going great!!

Maybe I’ll have time to write a real post soon!

Disney Veggie Chips

Is it just me, or does it seem like Disney owns everything? In search of a veggie chip or straws, I found these Mickey Mouse shaped veggie chips at Hy-Vee today.

Speaking of Hy-Vee, have you tried their freezer meals workshops? For around $100, I just made 7 freezer meals in one hour. It is by far the most cost effective and efficient way to prepare meals for the week. They are all very healthy as well. Just add your choice of fresh vegetables or fruit. I’m very grateful for this opportunity today, my week is starting off less stressed already.

And with my chores now complete, it’s time for some FOOTBALL! Go Pack!

Our First Snack Week

Our snack week is approaching, and I decided to stock up while I was at Target today.

These are all on our safe list! The simply balanced and Frozen Graham crackers are not on the “55 snack ideas list, but are totally safe!

We found most of them in the seasonal section of target, and the fruit strips near the cereal.

If you still need school supplies, they are all 30-50% off. I snagged a travel coffee mug so I can stop taking my ceramic one in the car.

Happy Wednesday!

55 School Safe Snacks

With school in session and snack schedules assigned, I’ve had a lot of questions lately about what is considered a “safe” snack for the classroom for sharing. Most of us nut-free families prefer pre-packaged items to minimize cross contamination that can sometimes happen very easily in our home kitchens.

  1. Fresh Strawberries
  2. Bananas
  3. Pop tarts – check labels
  4. String cheese
  5. Go-gurts or any yogurt
  6. Applesauce
  7. Boom chicka pop – pop corn
  8. Tostitos tortilla chips with mild salsa
  9. Carrot sticks
  10. Celery sticks
  11. Red pepper sticks
  12. Plain hummus (look for pine-nut free kinds, Boars Head, etc.)
  13. pre-packaged rice krispie treats
  14. NutriGrain Bars (must be the NutriGrain brand)
  15. Plain Raisins (coated are NOT safe)
  16. cuties or canned mandarin oranges
  17. canned fruits or fruit cups
  18. triscuit crackers
  19. goldfish cheddar crackers (Graham Goldfish are NOT safe)
  20. Honeymaid graham crackers
  21. cottage cheese
  22. deli meats
  23. Hostess Cupcakes – NO LONGER SAFE
  24. Hostess DingDongs – NO LONGER SAFE
  25. Hostess Twinkies – NO LONGER SAFE
  26. Hostess Donuts – NO LONGER SAFE
  27. Entenmanns Cake Donuts
  28. Enjoy Life Brand – Seed and Fruit trail mix
  29. Enjoy Life Brand – Cookies + brownies
  30. Enjoy Life Brand – Cocoa Loco Chewy Chocolate Bars
  31. Entenmanns Little Bites Blueberry Muffins
  32. Treasure Mills Brand Banana Bread Bars
  33. Treasure MIlls Brand Cookie Bars
  34. Treasure Mills Brand  Brownie Bars
  35. Tootsie Rolls
  36. Tootsie Pops
  37. Junior Mints
  38. York Peppermint Patties
  39. Nilla Wafers
  40. Oreo Cookies
  41. Grapes
  42. Watermelon Balls
  43. Pineapple
  44. Kontos or Kangaroo Pita Bread
  45. Most Fruit Snacks (check label)
  46. Brenton Crackers
  47. Suddenly Salad
  48. Tomatoes
  49. Avocado
  50. Pickels and Olives
  51. Cereal – Multigrain Cheerios
  52. Cereal – Fruit loops
  53. Cereal – Cocoa Krispies
  54. Cereal – Red Berries
  55. Cereal – Kix