Snacking, Travel, Weeknight Dinners

Buzzy’s Lake House Food Truck

Hold the phone.

Nut allergy friends REJOICE! Your food truck woes are OVER.

Yesterday my little buddy and I (still on house arrest – kind of sick, but not really, check out my IG for more info on this) were hanging out on the square in downtown Madison when we decided to check out a local food truck, Buzzy’s Lake House via my Instagram feed.

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Buzzy’s was parked on the corner of Wisconsin + Mifflin, which was uber convenient since we were at the toy store one block away. Capitol Kids is probably one of my favorite stores for kiddo swag in all of Madison. They have the most unique gifts, and hard to find items, too. But on this particular chill day, we were just playing with choo choos and enjoying the sunshine!

Buzzy’s is AMAZING. As a foodie, this is the BEST food truck food I have EVER had (and my super foodie husband agrees, so you know it’s good.)

The issue we have with many food trucks, and restaurants in general, is that they cannot guarantee that cross contact with nuts does not happen in their kitchens, so we cannot eat there. For example, we cannot eat at Melt, that yummy food truck that ONLY sells delish grilled cheese sandwiches because their bread is made in a bakery that handles nuts. Frown face.

Buzzy’s owner + culinary trained, professional chef, Cyndi, told us the food that she makes (excluding the sweets + cookies) are nut-free. Happy dance! And I trust her 100%.

So what kind of food is it? It’s your favorites, all of them.

  1. Main Dishes
    1. Bobber Chicken
    2. Sunset Chicken
    3. Dockside Chicken Chili
    4. Wavey Turkey Meatballs
    5. Firepit Curry – YOU JUST NEED TO EAT THIS
    6. Pontoon Pulled Pork Sandwich
  2. Sides
    1. Jasmine Brown Rice
    2. Smashed Cheddar Baked Potatoes
    3. Baked Beans
    4. Side Salads
    5. Homemade cookies + assorted beverages

I had the featured item, pictured on IG, and that’s what drew me in:

Chicken Chili Bowl over rice with cheddar, sour cream and scallions.

***sorry, no pic, I woofed it down too fast***

IT WAS AMAZING. And FLAVORFUL. And HUGE. If you’re ravenous hungry, come here. If you’re coming along with kids, one main dish could feed two littles. The key here is that Cyndi is a professional chef. Her flavor profiles are spot on with everything she makes (we started visiting this food truck last April after Theater Class on State during Farmers Market – her breakfast is also amaze.)  You’re going to get a great meal, no matter what you pick. It’s alllllll good.

So, if you’re downtown walking the farmers market, having a meeting, strolling state street, visiting the capitol, or looking for a really yummy, quick and delish lunch, check out Buzzy’s Lake House. You won’t regret it.

Buzzy’s Lake House

@buzzyslakehouse

Cheers to the weekend friends! Thanks for stopping by! Lots to write – I hope I have some more time this weekend to still tell you about Dr. Pain’s Pain-free French Toast Recipe! Its so good.

 

Snacking

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. 

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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. ***

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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!

Snacking

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!

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

 

Snacking

Pumpkin Seeds for Snacking

Had to share these Kid approved roasted Pumpkin Seeds for easy, on the go snacking. Available at Hy-Vee, Target, and Amazon pantry. Peanut free, nut-free, gluten free, vegan, non-GMO. Pretty awesome if I do say so! The resealable bag (that actually works) is a bonus for keeping them in the car for longgggggg days of car pooling. Enjoy. 

Snacking, Weeknight Dinners

Gazpacho

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Now that tomato season is here, it’s time to share some of our favorite recipes to use up all of these lovely red + yellow friends.

Yesterday we canned 7 quarts of tomato chunks (technically they are called stewed tomatoes) and today we’re working on tomato juice. There is no better smell than opening up a fresh jar of tomatoes from the garden on February 26th – right in the middle of “is winter almost over, I may actually need Xanax to get me though the next 3 months of darkness in the mid-west” season.

The kids love canning tomatoes and it teaches them some good lessons about food, and why we continue to can vegetables today.  We come from middle class, hard-working families where canning was a necessity when we were kids.  Being able to afford lots of fresh produce was a luxury we didn’t have. So we made our own. Little did we know it would be a life lesson we would pass on to our own kids one day.

Canning food:

  • acts as a good reminder for where our food comes from
  • how important gardening/farming is
  • the role of weather and water
  • how to care for a garden, plants and the Earth (something besides yourself)
  • teaches patience (watching a small tomato plant grow into a 7 foot weedy monster is incredible, and takes MONTHS)
  • how lucky we are to live in a country where we have an endless amount of food to choose from an array of markets and stores.

Funny quotes from the kids:

  • “Look, band-aids Mama.  I’m taking off his band-aids.”  — Carter after blanching + peeling
  • “I’m taking out his monster guts.” — Chloe on seeding tomatoes
  • “It’s like I’m carving a mini-pumpkin.” — Carter on chopping tomatoes
  • “Can we make more Gazpacho next?” — Chloe

The Gazpacho recipe is easy, and you can make it in your food processor or large blender. If you’re batching it, I guess a nutri-bullet would work too.

Gazpacho is chilled tomato soup. It’s amazing. If you haven’t had any, you must try some. In the Milwaukee area, I recommend Beans and Barley on North Ave + Farwell.  In Madison, check out Zoup! on Greenway Boulevard.

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Keehn Family Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds vine-ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 small kirby cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato juice (we use Campbell’s Tomato Juice)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar (1/4 cup balsamic + 1/4 cup rice wine is a substitute if you don’t have sherry wine!)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions

  1. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to food processor.
  2. Puree the ingredients until almost smooth, leaving a little texture.
  3. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl; stir in the tomato juice, sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, parsley, and lemon juice until well combined.
  4. Refrigerate the soup for at least 2 hours until very well chilled; the flavors will develop as it sits.
  5. Season the gazpacho again with salt and pepper before serving. Serve in chilled bowls or tureen and top with desired garnishes.
  6. We love to top our with sliced avocado or hard boiled eggs.

This recipe is extremely allergy friendly, free of the Top 8 Allergens.

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  5. Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
  6. Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
  7. Soy
  8. Wheat

Have a wonderful and restful Labor Day Weekend. Cheers!

Snacking, Weeknight Dinners

Football and Hot Wings

Mmmmmm. Smell that? Do you know what season it is?!

Football season.

I love how this sport brings people together. It’s the camaraderie and team spirit that really get me excited for football season. Yes, I love our Packers and Badgers (OK, all ‘sconnie teams, and there’s a special spot in my heart for the Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks), but I really love a kitchen full of screaming fans decked out in their team apparel scarfing down chili and taco dip.

Yesterday, as Green Bay took on the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau (coolest stadium ever, you should tour it!) we decided to research BW3’s hot wings for dinner. They actually have a very comprehensive allergy menu available, which I am SO grateful for. And after talking with my good friend, and nut-allergy resource partner, we decided to go for it. We love hot wings, and what goes better with football than hot wings?! And beer?!

Click the link, and see for yourself. BW3’s Allergy List

If you have another type of allergen, you may want to be careful. BW3’s makes a statement claiming that “all types of allergens can be present and cross contact can happen at any station during preparation.”

Since we only have nut-allergies, we are OK since the ONLY items on the menu with the chance of nut contact are the desserts, and the desserts are not made on-site, we are safe. Plus, desserts would not come in contact with the fryer where the chicken is with the sauce. See how we analyzed that to pieces to make sure it was safe?! Argh. Worth a beer in the end.

Speaking of beer, we have a plethora of lovely beers thanks to my hub’s college room mates + their giant party last weekend – they all brought delish beer to share and now we have to sample them. Darn.

I didn’t go for a beer.

I went for wine.

Shocker.

I know.

Kim Crawford was on sale at Metcalfes this week, $12/bottle. Pretty sure that’s the lowest I’ve seen it. And I didn’t get carded, so I’m feeling super old about it.

Try out BW3s – it’s worth it. Cheers to Friyay! If you’re in a pinch, check out the BW3’s website for easy online ordering!

BW3s

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Birthday Parties, How to be Nutfree, School Safe List, Snacking, Uncategorized

School Safe Treat Box

20170818_150058.jpgIt’s back-to-school time! If your child has food allergies, now is the time to be pro-active and get your plans and snacks in place. Here’s how we prepare:

  1. Contact the school nurse/office and keep an EPI-PEN on file at the front desk.
  2. Make sure all medical forms are filled out and complete with the front office.
  3. Know your school’s allergy policy. Make sure there is an allergy policy.
  4. Make contact with the child’s teacher (s) and make sure they all know about your child’s allergy, and what the steps are to keep him/her safe. Keep it simple here.
  5. Talk to your child about saying “no” to all classroom treats. This is tough, but it’s the ONLY way to stay safe at school.
  6. Use an allergy bracelet for your child.
  7. Keep an EPI-PEN inside your child’s backpack at all times so it is easily accessible. I like to keep ours in an AllerMates case – it has our phone number and contact information inside.
  8. Build the treat box and have fun with it. We decorated ours with stickers, and I made a special trip to the grocery store with just my daughter so she could take her time choosing treats. They better be good, after all, they are replacing classroom birthday treats! That’s a big deal!

Our treat box is filled with:

  1. Simply Balanced fruit leathers from Target
  2. Hostess Ding-Dongs
  3. Little Bites Brownies
  4. Little Bites Party Cakes
  5. Enjoy Life Chocolate Candy-Bars

Our treat box will be kept inside the classroom for the entire school year. These snacks will replace Birthday treats, holiday treats, party treats and any other time a treat or snack is brought into the class. We used the same size last year and only had to fill it one time. At the end of the year, we had about 6 treats left over.

I also like to reference this website to help prepare for the school year. It can be especially helpful if your school doesn’t have a comprehensive allergy policy.

Food Allergy Resource Center  – I thought this article below was a good reminder, too.

Food Allergy Tips for Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs).
Today, one in 13 children has food allergies, and nearly 40 percent of these children have experienced a severe or lifethreatening reaction. Many of these reactions happen at school. Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) are a vital part of the school community, providing an organized family and community component.

As a PTO or PTA leader, you can be a powerful voice for your children and other children, advocating for their health, safety, education and overall well-being.
Children with food allergies need your support to ensure their safety and inclusion. From classroom parties, to school family nights, to after-school fundraisers, keep in mind that all students in the community should be able to participate safely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published National Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools, available at http://www.foodallergy.org/CDC. The recommendations below are a few examples of recommended
practices to help ensure students with food allergies are safely included. We encourage you to review the complete list of the CDC’s Recommended Practices, on pages 41–43 of the guidelines available at http://www.foodallergy.org/CDC.
• Avoid the use of identified allergens in class parties, holidays, celebrations, crafts, snacks or rewards.
• Use non-food incentives for prizes, gifts, awards, and fundraisers.
• When possible, avoid ordering foods from restaurants because food allergens may be present, but unrecognized.
Have ingredient information readily available for all pre-packaged and/or catered food items.
• Do not exclude children with food allergies from events or extra-curricular activities.
• Make sure that food allergy policies and practices address foods available during fundraisers, class parties, at
athletic events and during after-school programs.
• Have rapid access to epinephrine auto-injectors in cases of emergency and train staff to use them.

Did you know?

Food allergies may constitute a disability under the law. Children with food allergies are entitled to an equal opportunity to participate in all school programs and events including extra-curricular activities. This usually applies to activities held by groups such as PTOs and PTAs. (See Section 5 of the CDC guidelines for more information on federal laws that pertain to food allergies.)

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Sun flowers are so important to us nut allergic families. Sun butter is our alternative to peanut butter.

Have a great first day back to school. I hope your preparations put your mind at ease a little.