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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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Nashville + Nut Allergies

Each year we try to plan one big family vacation. After a few trips to Disney, Tucson and Denver, we are road tripping it to Nashville this summer. We chose Nashville, TN, since we’ll be able to see friends + the distance is very manageable with a 2 and 5 year old. It’s roughly 10 hours, so 5 hours each day is what we’re planning, with plenty of sight-seeing along the way (Ahem, bathroom breaks at nasty gas stations, lets not sugar coat this.) How do you plan a vacation while considering allergies? Since traveling with kids can be challenging in and of itself, we have been using the website www.vrbo.com, part…
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Broccoli + Chicken Stir-fry

Weeknights are crazy – the hubs call schedule, school and kiddo activities, plus trying to carve out some time to spend doing something for myself. Dinner is so important to us as a family so here is one more quick, easy, weeknight idea that had everyone clearing their plates this week. Ingredients 2/3 C soy sauce (low sodium) 1/4 C brown sugar, packed 1/2 tsp ginger (fresh or ground) 1 pinch red pepper flakes 2 tbsp. water 2 tbsp. cornstarch 2 tsp olive oil or vegetable oil 2-3 chicken breasts, I prefer Bare brand 3 cups broccoli 1 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced Directions Stir soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger…
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Chicken Tikka Masala

This classic Indian recipe has been modified slightly to fit our families needs. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! This recipe was adapted from Epicurious. For the chicken: 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 to 4 breast halves total) 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoon lemon juice 1 large clove garlic, minced For the sauce 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger (from 1-inch piece) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 large white onion, finely…
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Birthday Party Blues

My original post for the week has been scrapped since a birthday party is more important. I received a call this weekend from another Mom asking which brand of chocolate chips we prefer for baking chocolate chip cookies for an upcoming birthday party. Chocolate is by far the trickiest part of having nut allergies. There are so many RULES! First, very happy to have this discussion with the other Mom, who also has nut allergies in her household.  The difference though is that her house is just peanut allergy, whereas my house is peanut and tree nut. Sometimes you’ll see this abbreviated as PN/TN. We are PN and TN. The ONLY chocolate chips…
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slow-cooker pulled pork sandwiches

2016 is a year of “yes, I can,” for me. When my daughter was diagnosed with her food allergies, I put up a wall, a barrier of, “I can’t” eat this type of food anymore. That was depressing. Thai peanut sauce is so yummy. And so are crunchy walnuts on a fresh pear and spinach salad. I’m challenging myself to think outside the box. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it takes creativity. I’m determined to show my family how delicious the world can be by making multi-cultural meal experiences by adapting recipes to fit our lifestyle. Tonight. Wednesday in our house means fast dinner. Mom and Dad have to be on…
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