Travel

Nourished Festival (GFAF)

Hello friends! We are so pumped to see that Nourished Festival (formerly known as GFAF, Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly) is going to be in our neighborhood this year! If you’re a Midwesterner, get ready – this year’s conference is in Schaumburg, IL, on June 1 – 2, 2019.

art artistic bright color
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Nourished Festival is the largest gluten free, allergy free and special diet festival in the United States. Conferences like this are so exciting because it’s such a great opportunity to network, sample new products and learn about emerging technologies in this ever changing industry.

Let me mention our favorite part again.

SAMPLING NEW PRODUCTS.

Just peeking at the Nourished Festival site today, ENJOY LIFE is the presenting sponsor. You know that means tasty new treats ahead!

So join Nutfreemomblog in June, learn a little more about your food allergy and the options available to make life a little easier and flavorful.

Until then, we will be thinking about warmer days. The -2 that we woke up to today with the mountains of snow was pretty bone chilling.

Conference Info:

June 1-2, 2019
10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday the 1st
10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday the 2nd
Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 Thoreau Drive North
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Click HERE for directions.
Call the venue at: 847-303-4100
Snacking

Sweet Banana Bars

Two great things that go great together, banana bread and frosting. Typically I do not frost items that we eat for breakfast; however, I was in a pinch and needed a quick dessert. Frosting a banana bread that I had already made was the perfect, time-saving idea. And here is the recipe.

selective focus photo of bunch of bananas on black surface
Photo by Kio on Pexels.com

Ingredients

 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (unsalted)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (Kraft)
  •  1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Penzeys)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended.
  2. Transfer to a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars.

You can also use a 13 x 9 pan or a loaf pan. If using a loaf pan, your frosting will be very thick, you’ll need to bake for 55 minutes and then slice it like bread. This will make significantly less compared to the 13 x 9 bars. If you’re going to an event, consider taking a recyclable, aluminum baking pan to make these in. This way, you dont have to worry about getting your dish back at the end of the event.  Also, label it NUT FREE if you’re making it in a nut free kitchen and available to those with allergies.

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.

20180625_203106

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

20180625_203334

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.

20180625_103408

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).

Holiday Favorites

Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes

20171224_084925.jpg

It wasn’t our plan to make Christmas cupcakes this year, but when we found these adorable nut-free Wilton gingerbread people, we couldn’t resist. The recipe we found online had over 240 positive reviews for “decadent chocolate cupcakes” and we decided to give it a try….after two cups of coffee!

20171224_084638.jpg

FIRST:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Line that cupcake holder with 12 festive liners or a whole lot of Pam spray if you’re not lining (totally fine, too!).
  3. Make sure your EGGS and BUTTERMILK are at room temp.
  4. If you don’t have buttermilk, which I never do, just google a substitute

 

Decadent Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa – like Vermont Nut Free
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions

  1. Fill the lined cupcake tin half way full with the batter.
  2. Batter will be runny. Use a spoon to carefully scoop in, I only ended up making 12 cupcakes and the yield was 14.
  3. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. CHECK them! Use a toothpick. Bake up to 20 minutes.
  4. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
  5. Top with festive decor and chocolate butter cream frosting.

Frosting

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix well until smooth:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder – like vermont nutfree, Hersheys coca powder is also safe, just check the labels
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla

 

20171224_095303.jpg

^^^ Here they are cooling – our home smells like a chocolate wonderland! And it’s SNOWING! It’s a white Christmas. I hope you enjoy your holiday.

Sending love and hugs to you and yours! Thanks for stopping by.

Holiday Favorites

Christmas Eve Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Eve is celebrated on December 23 and we traditionally have a Mexican Fiesta. This started a few years back when my Dad brought handmade Tamales for dinner. It’s a great meal, and nice to have something different during a time where many meals are heavy and extremely unhealthy. Tamales are not healthy, but all the sides we make with it are. Plus, it’s SUPER easy, nut-free and everyone loves Mexican food!!!

Here’s our menu. It’s also a good day to kick back a little and enjoy the holidays without the pressure of cooking / being in the kitchen since Mexican food can kind of just chill out for a while. Eat + snack, open gifts. Repeat. That’s what we do. Flannel is recommended attire.

Menu

  1. Two (2) packs of hand made Tamales from El Ray Mexican Grocery Store, Milwaukee, WI.
  2. Spanish rice
  3. Black beans
  4. Salsa + Tostitos Chips
  5. Homemade Guacamole
  6. Corn bread (Betty Crocker is the only NUTFREE pre-mix brand available, not all stores have it. Target usually carries it.)

I’ll post a pic here when Dad and Mary come by this Saturday 🙂