Holiday Favorites

Halloween Party Menu

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate – it can also be one of the trickiest when you have to think about food allergies. This is one of the reasons why we always host a party, we are in control of the menu. This year I have the pleasure of hosting with a good friend of mine, and let me tell you, it’s so much easier having a buddy to plan and prep with!

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Here is what we have decided on for food:

Appetizers

  • Taco Dip
  • Veggie Tray
  • Fruit Tray
  • Cheese + Triscuits

Mains

  • Macaroni & Cheese Bar
    • Bacon
    • Sausage
    • Chives
    • Salsa
    • Avocado
    • Parmesan Curls
  • Crock pot meats for adults / meatballs
    • Kings Hawaiian (safe) buns + sauce

Dessert

Drinks

 

If you’re having a party and need some allergy friendly snacks, here is a list I foudn on Twitter that was really great – and easy to find.

IF you dont know what your party will be having, be safe and always bring your own food. A subway sub is a good sandwich to bring – or eat in advance. Kids like more play time anway, they could careless about the food.

Follow my Instagram to see the latest local safe brands available. You’ll never guess where I found the candy corn this year! Amazon also carries it.

**Keep in mind if you’re in Madison, Hy-Vee Health Market in Fitchburg has the largest array of nut free items. Metcalfes nut free is on the end cap of the first aisle facing the milk coolers. Copps / Pick n Save / Kroger is usually in the first or second aisle near the specialty foods + gluten free items. Sometimes they put things in the candy aisle, but they are not popular, so check the bottom shelf!**

Happy Fall!

Holiday Favorites, Snacking

Sheet Pan Apple Pancake

Last week we visited a local apple orchard, Eplegaarden. It’s an old Norwegian farm where the owners have done a wonderful job of preserving it. There is a small picnic area so you can bring in your own treats (and take the garbage when you leave), a real pick your own pumpkin patch, raspberry picking, apple picking, sweet bakery area (don’t forget your epi-pens! Be safe and eat your own treats. Farms and Orchards are NEVER safe.) and some animals. We went mid-week and there were the only ones picking apples when we got there. I much prefer this, compared to the long lines and huge crowds at some pumpkin patches + apple orchards!

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Now that we have 10 pounds worth of apples, here are the ideas that we have to use them all up.

  1. Apple Pie
  2. Apple Sauce
  3. Apple Pancake
  4. Sauteed Cinnamon Apples
  5. Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  6. Apple Cinnamon Bread
  7. Apple Snack
  8. Apple with Sun Butter
  9. Give some away
  10. Share with teachers!

We first ate a bunch, they are so juicy and sweet. Then we made some for dessert, this recipe was a huge hit last year! Then the kids and I tried to make sheet pan apple pancakes – and let me tell you. AMAZING!

I highly recommend doubling the amount of apples you use in the first “roasting” step. And, this is great for large crowds, like Thanks Giving sleepovers, or Christmas Morning. This makes A LOT of pancake. We ate this every day for 5 days, which I can’t complain. Morning breakfast was so easy since we all just watned to eat apple pancake! It travels (aka breakfast in the car when we were running late!) well and re-heats VERY well in the microwave. You could put it in the frige to last a little longer.

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Sheet Pan Apple Spice Pancake

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice (Penzeys)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3 golden delicious or gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rounds
  • 1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur) also, I did not have this, just use regular flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk (regular is fine too)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt (Fage greek 2% works too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (Penzeys)

Topping

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 tsp apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp apple pie spice
  • maple syrup or whipped cream

Directions

  1. Make the pancake. Preheat oven to 400*, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar and pie spice in a large bowl. Rub a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tbsp butter and arrange the apple slices on top in a single layer. sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the sugar spice mixture. bake until the apples are tender and the baking sheet is mostly dry. It will smell amazing, so be ready!
  2. Next, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the remaining sugar mixture. Whisk the milk, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl. stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
  3. Pour the batter of the apples and spread to cover. Bake until dry and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. Brush the remaining 1 tbsp butter on it. Let cool.
  4. Make the Glaze. Stir the confectioners sugar, cider and pie spice in a bowl. Drizzle over the pancake. Cut into squares. Invert onto plate and serve with syrup and whipped cream.
  5. Enjoy!
Snacking

Lite Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I fully intended on blogging tonight about my failed recipe disaster, minus an oven fire. You see, any creation that comes out of a kitchen with two wild animals roaming freely is bound to end in disaster, eventually, if not regularly. I regularly mess things up in the kitchen when I’m cooking / baking, mostly because I’m half responding to the random MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM questions buzzing in my ear. The point is not to dwell on it, then just eat it or throw it out and move on…to McDonalds.

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Fortunately, luck was on our side tonight. We were multitasking ninjas and decided it was a splendid time to whip up a lighter version of our favorite Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, among other things. The recipe below is what we made. It looks soupy so make sure you have a drip pan below your 9 x 13 baking dish, and let it set up /cool after you’re done baking it.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Filling

  • 8 cups chopped rhubarb; I used 6 stalks and have no idea how many cups that came out to be, but it wasn’t a lot.
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound strawberries; I used about 8 cups of strawberries since I was short on rhubarb. The point is, just use up all your strawberries, fill your baking pan 3/4 full with berries and rhubarb. This does not have to be exact science.
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (I didn’t tonight since I did not have a lemon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp, not melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups quick oats / rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. in a large bowl, combine all of the “filling” ingredients and combine well.
  3. Pour the “filling” into the baking dish and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, combine the “topping” and mix well with your hands. It should be a little clumpy, no need for a pastry blender. Clumps will bake out.
  5. Sprinkle evenly the “topping” over the “filling” and put into oven.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, check on it.
  7. Bake for additional 10 minutes or until oats are slightly browning and the juices are bubbling on the sides of the crust.
  8. Be sure to bake with a lined + rimmed drip pan under neath.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Serve with whip cream, ice cream and mint leaf!

*This recipe uses 2 cups less sugar and 1/4 cup less flour and + 1 cup additional oats than the original recipe. It’s much less cake like, and has more oats for fiber.

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Enjoy strawberry season! It’s short, so google your nearest farm, and get out there! It’s so fun. If you don’t have time to use them all up, rinse, hull and freeze in zip top bags for a month.  Or put them into zip top snack size bags for lunches and freeze; half frozen berries are the best snack in the summer (also makes it easy for morning smoothies if they are pre-portioned).