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My Passion for Writing this Blog

Today I received the phone call all nut-allergic (or any allergy/ailment/illness) parents dread. It was just as nerve wracking as I thought it would be. Rewind to this morning. I dropped Chloe off at school, like I always do on Wednesday mornings. Carter and I came home, did some yard work, had lunch and I put him down for a nap. While I was in the middle of emptying the dishwasher, I received a call from Chloe’s school saying they gave her the epi pen, she had been in contact with an allergen and 911 had been called with paramedics on the way. I’ve always imagined this phone call. But…
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Quick Rhubarb Crisp

When your lovely neighbor brings 5 pounds of rhubarb over, you definitely make a rhubarb crisp! Or pie, or sauce, or whatever floats your boat. Things are coming full circle for us this weekend. For the first time since we moved into our house 3 years ago, we opened all 4 blinds in our Master bedroom. Two of the 4 windows had blinds that were broken.  Its been pretty low on our priority list to fix them, but we finally figured out what we wanted to do. The Levelor website was great to work with and had very fast delivery! Miraculous to be able to see out all 4 windows…
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Preschool Cupcakes

Today is my daughter’s pre-k end of year party. As a parent of a nut-allergic student, I find it critical to the success of classroom events to be part of the Room Parent Committee. Unfortunately, Chloe was up all night sick, and is having a couch day with Paw Patrol. I feel so bummed for her that she is missing her party. This morning I did a quick food drop off and the other room parents took over at the party. We have a great room parent team this year, and I’m so grateful for these really helpful families. Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes 1. Bake the cupcakes as directed. I…
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Road Trip Snack Prep

Happy Thursday! This week has surged ahead of me. Big shout out to all the Nurses who work their butts off every single day! Your work is appreciated so much. Special thanks to the Nurses that my husband works with that make his day smooth and work so hard with such a challenging patient base. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Quick update here. As I’ve made a few trips to Target, I’ve started putting together our road trip snack items. This isn’t what I consider super healthy. It also isn’t super terrible. I think it’s right in the middle of “that’s not so bad.” Rewind 15 years, and this…
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Crockpot Veggie Baked Ziti

Has the month of May been as crazy for you as it has been for me? With the school year winding down, summer gearing up, family vacations and a slu of summer events on the horizon, I feel like I’m constantly on the go. It’s hard to be in the  moment and conscious of what we’re eating when we’re thinking about something else. The mornings are hectic. Wake kids at 6:45. Dress kids. Brush their teeth. Comb hair. Open drapes. (multiply this times 3 because I’ve already repeated myself 3-5 times and I’m starting to sweat. Already 1,500 steps on fitbit). Throw some clothes. Messy bun and brush my teeth.…
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Coconut Shrimp

Did you know that the FDA classifies coconut as a tree-nut; therefore, every time we use coconut we need to check on the manufacturing facility? Thankfully, Hy-Vee has a wonderful service department always willing to answer my allergy questions, as soon as possible. This time, they called me back in 4 minutes. Outstanding. The news they gave me about the Hy-Vee brand coconut made my week. The coconut distributor that they work with to put the Hy-Vee brand name on, is only made in a facility with other coconut products, no tree-nuts. The Hy-Vee brand was THE ONLY brand at the store that was NOT MADE IN A FACILITY WITH…
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Local Flood Caused by Spring Green Soup

Sort of, not really. More like my entire counter top was covered in pea soup looking liquid. If you follow me on insta, you saw the beautifully posed food, food-porn-like photo-shoot, that I so proudly (hahaha) displayed showing the array of GREEN loveliness that would soon nourish my cleansed + detoxed soul. Are you laughing yet? I hope so. Shortly there after, it erupted. The last step of the recipe told me to put the entire soup into a 12 cup food processor. I did that. What I didn’t know was that I put too much in (batching the soup is better), it was hot, and it needed to breathe. Thus, soup was spewing…
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Spiced Lentil Soup

A phrase that is so rarely uttered in this house at meal time, I did a double take. Day 3 of CCN healthy eating challenge is going well – the dinner recipes are what I really enjoy making. The smoothies for breakfast (why we shouldn’t drink all of our calories later*) and snacks aren’t my favorite, but keeping lunches simple with salads is easy and delicious. Last night was Lentil Soup + tonight we had Crockpot Chicken Tacos. The kids and husband LOVED both. This rarely happens, and I feel as though I’ve recently won the lottery, despite this darn head cold. The meals were SO easy to make, just about 20…
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Creamy Breakfast Smoothie

  Creamy  Berry Smoothie 1/2 frozen banana (remove the peel before freezing bananas, I learned the hard way, that was rough) 1/2 c frozen berries 1 stalk celery handful of greens, spinach, kale, etc. 1 tbsp. cashew butter (I substituted this with sunbutter/soynut butter) 1 tbsp. hemp hearts (no idea what this is, didn’t use it.) 1 tbsp. maca powder (no idea, didn’t use it) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 uncooked rolled oats (couldn’t find nut-free, so used quick oats. the difference is the processing, quick oats are more processed than a whole/rolled oat) 8 oz of unsweetened coconut milk ice Mix it all up – drink it. If you follow…
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Easter Brunch Menu with Kids

Well I ended up feeling really burned out before the holiday weekend, sorry for the late post! Anyway, just wanted to share an easy make-ahead plan for Easter. Perhaps you can use it at your “make-up” Easter if you had sick kids (ah-hem, yes, every. single. holiday. I swear) or out of town guests coming over. Easter Brunch Menu for 10:  Java Bay Coffee, ground and ready in the coffee maker for 12 cups Giada De Laurentiis biscotti (Recipe below) Asparagus + Mushroom Frittata (Recipe below) Orange Juice Grandpa Joe’s chorizo + egg scramble Mimosas Fruit salad (Recipe below) ———————————————————————– Biscotti Recipe Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour (target brand) 1…
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Wild Irish Kids

St.Patrick’s Day was a lot of fun with the kids this year.  We had our traditional St.Pats with friends party at Christen’s house.  She did such a great job planning an all green menu for dinner. We had grapes, salad, white and green clover shaped pasta, green jello, and a bunch of other green goodies. I think the best part was watching the kids, and adults, try to smash open the giant piñata. Everything was nut-free, even the contents in the piñata, and I am so grateful to have such thoughtful friends. I know it’s not always easy, or top of mind, to make sure things are nut-free. Later on at home, Chloe and…
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Sneak PEEPster into Easter

I prefer to keep it simple. A few years ago I ordered these custom baskets from Lillian Vernon becuase of the low cost and good quality. This year, I will be filling them with a combination of nut-free candies and a few small items. Here are a few ideas to jump-start your Easter baskets: Vermont nut-free bunnies Peeps Original (not all are safe!) York peppermint paties Whoppers Robin’s Eggs Bunny socks (target $1 bin) Bubbles Travel crayons+note lads (getting ready for TN road trip) Swim suit + swim trunks Black Widow action figure Hulk action figure To keep things quazi environmentally friendly, I made my own Easter grass by shredding…
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I'm 8.3% Irish…

So that means I’m definitely celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, along with my VERY Irish husband, Doug, and our red-headed kids (OK, so Chloe is pretty red, Carter, not as much.) We’ll be saving the Corned Beef + Cabbage for March 17th (recipe will follow!), but this weekend, we’ll be starting our party a little early with some sweet treats, nut-free. I hope you enjoy. The last time I made this recipe I was 8 months pregnant with Carter, and I LOVED them. To find out if YOU’RE really IRISH, check out this amazing DNA testing site, 23&Me.com Guinness Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Ingredients: •1 cup unsalted butter •1 cup…
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Black Bean Burritos + Herbed Rice

Today was amazing. It was almost 70* here in Madison and the kids played outside for 3 hours. By the time we all came inside, we were exhausted. Fresh air will do that. Instead of making what I had originally planned, Chloe asked for black bean burritos. It was a great idea + time saver for my sleepy kids who definitely needed baths! Here’s what I did: Black bean burritos, herbed rice, broccoli + fruit Ingredients 2 cans low-sodium black beans, drained + rinsed 3 shakes of Penzeys garlic powder 3 shakes of Penzeys onion powder 3 shakes of Penzeys oregano 1/4 cup water or chicken stock 4 large tortillas (wheat or…
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