Holiday Favorites, Snacking

Hide & Eek Boutique Halloween Cookie House

Today I spoke with Tom in cusomter relations at Taret’s Corproate office in Minneapolis, MN, regarding these adorable Chocolate Halloween House Cookie Kits pictured below. I have excellent news for you friends! It’s a nut free cookie house! Chloe and Carter are going to lose their minds when I bring this out at the end of the month for us to assemble!

Allergens: Wheat, egg and soy.

May contain: Milk.

Tom went above and beyond and sent a note out to the production crew to make sure that there was no chace of cross contact with nuts in the facility. He knew that most DIY cookie houses were made in shared facilities, thus the “may contain” statement for most other kits. Each Christmas we have a hard time finding a Gingerbread House Kit, and it looks like we might just move that tradition over to halloween if we can find these kits to be 100% nut free.

I’m waiting on the email from Target – and I will post it here. In the mean time, here are a few pictures – make sure you head over to Target and get one! I got the last one today at my local Hilldale Target. They are online!

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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*

Image result for dairy queen starkiss

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!