Holiday Favorites, Travel

4th of July Menu

In our house, this is actually the 3rd of July menu. On the 4th, we hang out at my Aunt Martha’s House for a family get together. We love it, there are lots of laughs, swimming and of course, amazing food prepared by my Aunt!

purple red white and orange fireworks display
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Our cookout begins on the 3rd with friends and family coming over in the afternoon to socialize and have a few laughs. We love to hang out on the balcony and watch all of the people make their way down to the lakefront. We put our blankets down on the grassy hill to hold our seats for the big show. And while we wait, we EAT! Here is what we have talked about for this year so far. Just click on the links below for the recipe.

Cookout Menu

  1. BBQ Ribs
  2. Potato Salad
  3. Fruit Pizza
  4. Taco Dip
  5. Vegetable tray
  6. Pasta Salad
  7. Jumbo Cupcake Cake
  8. Star Watermelon Pieces
  9. Moscow Mules
  10. Late night Popcorn and Sunbutter Bars
Holiday Favorites, Snacking, Travel

Dairy Queen & Nut Allergies

It is summer, and a steamy one at that. We’re all frantically reading labels and trying to find cool summertime treats for our kiddos and friends. It is certainly tricky when you have a food allergy, to say the least.

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Over the past year we have become good friends with our neighborhood Dairy Queen. Each Dairy Queen is a little different, and establishing a relationship is crucial when you have an allergy. The DQ that we frequent has a few “approved” by MOM items on its menu. The soft serve and pre-packed Starkiss popsicles are some of them.

How do we DQ?

  1. Know your DQ or talk to a manager up front about allergies.
  2. We only do soft serve. Chocolate or vanilla.
  3. The cones are nut free + safe.
  4. The ice cream itself is nut free.
  5. Cross contact you need to worry about.
  6. Our DQ takes a small amount of ice cream out of the machine before serving my nut allergic daughter to make sure no trace amounts of others toppings are on hers.
  7. Always be prepared, and ENJOY IT!

*NEW*

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Today I spoke with Dairy Queen Corporate Headquarters in Minnesota.

DQ International: (952) 830 – 0200

Taylor was my CSR and she was well aware of food allergies since she also has tree nut and peanut allergies. She helped me find out about Starkiss Popsicles at DQ, sold in the stand alone freezer section. And they are SAFE! The Starkiss product is part of their nut free offering at DQ. When purchased from DQ and wrapped in cling wrap from the manufacturer, it can be stated that, “Starkiss are produced in a nut free environment, free from peanuts and tree nuts.”

Many times my daughter has asked to try one, however, the allergy information only says “contains milk” – but we all know that facility information is not always disclosed on the label.

Today’s phone call warmed my heart. Taylor was so informative. We are beyond excited to have one more safe “on the go” item to add to our list of treats.

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay cool! We’ll be back on Monday with a complete 4th of July Menu for our annual Fireworks Party on the Milwaukee Lake Front!

Cheers!

xo

Holiday Favorites, Snacking, Travel

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

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It was 90 in Wisconsin today and we have gone from winter to summer in a very short time period. And to top it off, both kids are sick. So when we are stuck inside, I bake. The kids had some energy today, but we did watch 3 movies. Emoji movie isn’t half bad the 3rd time around. At least we didn’t have to watch My Little Pony.

Today we had a ton of bananas approaching “extreme ripeness” so this recipe came in handy for the long holiday weekend. It’s very easy and most of it you already have in your pantry. It’s the perfect addition to any cookout this weekend. Or breakfast.

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Keep in mind these will not look like your typical cookie when you take them out of the oven, so don’t freak out. Let them set up. I actually under baked them, just 12 minutes, and let them cool, they will firm up.  Think of these as banana bread cookies. You could easily cut the sugar in half and substitute the flour with wheat flour to make these healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 C Flour
  • 3 C oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted room temperature butter
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c mashed banana (about 2 to 3)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients; four, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, chocolate chips, and salt.
  3. In an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars. Add egg, banana, vanilla. Then gradually mix in the dry ingredients.
  4. Bake for 14-17 minutes

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Nutrition:

Serving size: 1 cookie // 128 Calories // 5g fat // 19 carbs // 8g sugar // 2g protein // 15mg cholesterol

Holiday Favorites, How to be Nutfree

Nut-Free Easter Candy at Target

Here’s a little sneak peepster into Easter! Last week, I stopped at our local Target in Madison/Fitchburg. Here’s what they have in the seasonal section that is nut-free:

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  • Fun Dip
  • Nerds Ropes
  • Skittles
  • Cheese-Its
  • Trolli
  • War Heads
  • Pez
  • Peeps in original packaging
  • Whoppers / Robbins Eggs
  • Smarties
  • Charms cotton candy / bunny tails
  • Hershey Kisses in the classic bag, not bulk bag (this is located in the non-seasonal section, near the regular candy / junk food aisle)

Be careful with the peeps. Easter Bunny majorly missed the labels last year and brought us the Peeps on the stick, those are not safe. They are made in a facility with tree nuts and peanuts. But some of the other Peeps ARE safe. I thought the cute stuffed animal peep with the marshmallow peeps below was super cute. But honestly, if we get one more stuffed animal…….

Easter Bunny tries not to give too much candy. Peeps are a big thing in our house though because Grandpa Joe REALLY likes them, and everyone knows it. So we have to have peeps. The kids LOVE peeps. Who doesn’t love a good stale marshmallow?! We may save some of our extra peeps this year for campfire season – how funny would that be?! Peep S’mores?! Delish.

Lastly, Easter Bunny typically stops at Vermont Nut Free since they have the most adorable chocolates for Easter. How good does this assorted chocolate egg look?! All of their chocolates are so amazing. We typically order from Vermont Nut Free for almost every holiday. Their shipping is very quick and the quality of their product is above and beyond. Their chocolate is very, very good.

Easter Egg Grand Assortment

Jelly beans can be challenging this time of year, we are just going to go with Vermont Nut Free on this one, too, since many are made in a facility with nuts. And after talking with the Jelly Belly Factory, Jelly Belly is peanut free, but not tree nut free. Their facility in Pleasant Prairie processes pistachios.

 

Dot Box Jelly Beans

Once we have a sample basket put together, I’ll post it to my Instagram for you to see 🙂 Happy Hunting!

Holiday Favorites, School Safe List

A Very Target Valentine’s Day

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Both of my kids have the flu, but yesterday we were totally fine, doing our Target stock up, and I’m so glad we did. We are using everything we bought yesterday to help alleviate these symptoms.

  • water with electrolytes
  • zinc
  • OJ
  • tissue
  • Honest juice boxes
  • bleach wipes
  • chicken noodle soup
  • detergent for all those blankets!!!

While we were stocking up for the “off chance we get sick with the flu” we saw this amazing display of nut-free items and had to snap a pic.

Valentine’s Day is approaching and Target is rocking the nut-free options this year, which hasn’t always been the case!

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This is the back, seasonal section of your local Target Boutique. Not all of these items shown are nut-free, but these are the school safe items shown:

  1. Tootsie Pops
  2. Fun Dip
  3. Starbursts
  4. Skittles
  5. Trolli
  6. Air Heads
  7. Sweedish Fish
  8. Nerds
  9. Sweet Tarts
  10. Spider Man Gummy Bracelets
  11. **Jelly Belly is ONLY PEANUT FREE, NOT TREE NUT FREE***
  12. Hard Candy + Gummy Candy Life Savers
  13. Dum Dum Pops
  14. Valentine Theme Junior Mint Hearts
  15. Andes Candes
  16. Twizzlers
  17. Sour Patch Kids
  18. Push Pop
  19. Rolo
  20. Red Vines
  21. Whoppers

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And a few more options for sharing at school!

  1. Pirates Booty
  2. Veggie Sticks
  3. Goldfish
  4. Utz
  5. Fruit Roll ups
  6. Annies Fruit snacks
  7. Welchs Fruit Snacks
  8. Gogo Applesauce Pouches
  9. Pez

This year, Target is carrying Dylan’s Candy Bar products. They are NOT nut-free, but if you’re looking for an extra special treat for someone like a teacher or friend, Dylan’s is sure to put a smile on their face. Plus they have these adorable Dylan’s Candy gift bags to hold their special snacks.

And of course, I topped off my Target run with a treat for me, a bottle of Kim Crawford. Of course it’s nut-free, but it’s all for me. Keep Calm and Kim On.