Mom Things, Snacking, Travel

Those Costco Blueberries…

I’m sure this has happened to you. You get to the grocery store and the produce looks amazing, so you over buy?

Yep. {Raises Hand} Guilty.

Maybe it’s my crazy, creative left brain that just goes nuts with how beautifully displayed everything is {ahem, HyVee + Metcalfes Sentry for sure}. So perfect + colorful.

Generally, we do a good job eating up our produce. Its summer, so eating fresh is absolutely more enticing. This week we purchased jumbo boxes of blueberries, grapes and strawberries for the 4th of July festivities and recipes.

WELL…it was a little overboard.

Strawberries and grapes are gone; however, the blueberries! They were just chilling here in the fridge and the guilt set in {uh-oh, sad panda face}.

We can’t possibly eat all of these + it’s a waste if we don’t do something with them.

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Today we baked with blueberries. First, an old favorite. Blueberry muffins that I have talked about before. Don’t forget Quaker Rolled Oats and Quick Oats are safe for PN/TN allergies.

Dig in there and make em.

Most of the ingredients are pantry items, with the exception of the blueberries and oats, maybe? Feel free to change out the flour to whole wheat flour by King Arthur, made in a nut free facility. Also, Add in an extra 1/4 to 1/2 more blueberries. It wont change the consistency that much!

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Lastly, we did make a new recipe, Blueberry Bread. It was easy to whip up since the ingredients were THE SAME AS THE MUFFINS, sans the oats. I also added a topping before I popped it into the oven….just sprinkle some brown sugar evenly over the entire loaf before baking. It gives it a nice crunchy crust. A twist to this would be to add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and zest. Poppy seeds would be amazing too! Here is the recipe. Enjoy the pics.

It’s a gorgeous day, so we’re heading back OUTSIDE!  WOOT! WOOT! Pop over to my IG to see more pics of what we’re up to!  nutfreemomblog

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School Safe List, Snacking, Travel

Nutphrees Cupcakes

We had an awesome 4th of July – and I really hope you did, too. We had a big discovery while on vacation; NUTPHREES CUPCAKES are now being distributed to the lovely state of Wisconsin.

This is a huge.

A real game changer.

Safe nut-free baked items will now be available for pick up at your local grocery store for birthdays + parties. I’m so thankful for this brand, Nutphrees, from the Chicagoland area. I’ve talked about them before on nutfreemomblog and this is my other favorite feature of this evolving company, delivery.

In Madison, WI, they are at Whole Foods. In the Milwaukee area, they are at a few more stores. Click the link above to type in your zip code to find their treats closest to you!

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While we were in Milwaukee for the week, we got to check out the new Fresh Thyme market off Brady Street. It was amazing, which is where we found these Nutphrees cupcakes. They had a variety of flavors, and Chloe chose a 4-pack for $8.10. She had chocolate and vanilla. Look at that happy face. This is her FIRST EVER bakery treat from a store. She’s so excited! And proud brother Carter, he had to walk away with something too. He found a “5” candle for his birthday next week 🙂 Such happy little kiddos.

We found a few more nut free treats that we’ll be posting to Instagram 🙂

Have a great week! Tomorrow is MONDAY, back to the grind + summer kiddo schedule.

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!

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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

Mom Things, Travel

Olbrich Botanical Gardens – Madison, WI

June, the beginning of summer in the mid-west and it is always a busy month in our household. It’s usually the last week of school, followed by the beginning of pool season, backyard play times, neighborly hangouts and the one big event I still help plan, Olbrich Garden’s Rhapsody in Bloom! This fundraiser is important since it helps keep the gardens fee for the public to enjoy. Yes, Olbrich is amazing + gorgeous + free!

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What is Olbrich Gardens?! It is a botanical garden that sprawls 16 acres with an array of paths and stone trails to stroll. It is host to the only Thai Pavilion in North America, which was a gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Thai Government and the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. UW-Madison has one of the largest Thai student populations of any U.S. college or university. Olbrich is continuously voted #1 on Trip Advisor for being the #1 attraction in Madison, WI. It overlooks beautiful Lake Monona + is directly across from the new Olbrich Bier Garten.

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Olbrich has brought me peace and happiness on some of my hardest days. It is home to some of my favorite memories of my family; from picnics on the great lawn to the train show + blooming butterflies, Olbrich has been my place to go from reflection to celebration. Over the past 10 years, I have really gotten to know this place and the people that make it so beautiful. It really does take a village to maintain this luscious space, and they work extra hard in June to make sure the gardens are in tip-top shape for this grand reveal of the Rhapsody in Bloom. This event is held anually and is the PEAK of the garden blooming. Breathtaking is probably the most accurate word used to describe its beauty.

This year’s event was held on June 16 (the hottest day of the year so far in WI) and the theme was Ebb & Flow.  It was a water / nautical twist that incorporated mermaids through out the gardens, motorboat races, steel drums, games, themed cocktails & amazing catering from the delicious and well-known Underground Food Collective. The presentation of the food was gorgeous; from the taste to display, Underground nailed it.

While I did not confirm nut-free options for food allergies since my daughter was not attending (its adults only), we did not have nuts in any of the main dishes. There were many gluten free options as well, making this event + catering “allergy friendly” and easy for many to enjoy.

I’m so grateful for Olbrich and this hidden gem we have here in Madison. If you haven’t visited Olbrich yet, put it on your list. Even in winter, the Conservatory is open and helps with those winter blues! What a wonderful event – I’m excited to see what next year’s theme will be!