My top 6 #Back2School items for an allergy kid!

So, Im one of those mums remember? (Eye roll as you see fit). As one of those mums back to school is a little bit harder, and a little bit more stressful. Whether you are new to the allergy / celiac game or an old timer, my list of must haves may help make your life a teeny bit easier. Aili was diagnosed as a baby, not yet 2 years old, now she is over 7, and making sure I have these allergy must haves around is totally routine.

  1. Gluten Free labels! I stick these on all our lunch box containers, these serve as a great reminder for any teacher or other adult approaching my child and hopefully reminds them to not touch my carefully prepared allergy safe meal. These are from Ladybug Labels and they ship internationally. The labels are dishwasher safe and stay on for a long time. Through the years I tried many different brands and these win hands down. The quality is superb and they are easy to peel off and stick. (http://www.ladybuglabels.com)
  2. Name labels. The last thing I need is for my kids to lose anything (they do, anyway obviously, especially my son, lol), but even worse would be their stuff getting mixed up with someone elses. All their lunch gear including cutlery has a name label. Again I tried many different ones from different companies and these are now my go to every year. Delivery is fast and cheap even for international delivery. I always get the plain label, it sticks well, peels off easily and is dishwasher safe. I still have some labels from when my son was 4 that are stuck on! He’s almost 10 now, thats value for money right there! These are from Easy2name and come in lots of different colours. (https://www.easy2name.com)
  3. Good lunch boxes! My kids bring lunch to school every day and I need something that lasts, is good value for money, and works! It needs to be able to keep my kids food hot or cold, and I need to be able to clean it easily as it goes in to a contaminated environment on a daily basis. We now use only Pottery Barn lunch boxes. The kids get to pick a new one every second September, so we have a few, the first ones we ever got are still alive and kicking (!). We use lunch boxes for every day outings as well, so even though the Pottery barn boxes aren’t exactly cheap, the fact that they are practically indestructible makes them value for money. I pop them in the washing machine regularly to clean them and so far, no problems! Pottery Barn also delivers internationally! (http://www.potterybarnkids.com)
  4. Good Thermoses! My son goes through anti cold food phases, especially in winter. Ive tried so many thermoses its unreal, many of the kids ones are actually good, but to small for my growing boy! I also found many are hard to open once the hot food is in and I prefer my kids to be able to open their own containers. Surprisingly, the best food thermoses I have found are the IKEA ones (or maybe not so surprising, it is SWEDISH after all, haha). They are a great size, easy to open, no flimsy silly seals that come off after 5 uses, and best of all, I can wash them in the dishwasher (they do say not to, but I do and so far no problems). As far as affordability goes they are amazing. The food stays nice and hot too which is obviously great as so many thermoses don’t keep their heat well. (http://www.ikea.com)

     

  5. Baby Wipes and hand wipes. Seriously, you cant get enough of these babies! I keep them in every school bag, in every handbag and each kid has some in school. The baby wipes are sometimes on special and you can get a box with it, cover the box in funky stickers and make it non babyish for school. Alco gel is of no use as it does not kill gluten or other allergens, allergens need to be washed / wiped off! You can get wipes in pretty much any shop. Not all wipes are gluten safe! Johnsons contain no gluten.
  6. A good freezer block. Again, I tried so many. Having had my kids in school in Dubai I may have gotten overly paranoid about the whole cooling issue, but unless you are sending a hot lunch you really do need to worry. These allergy / celiac kids are often more sensitive then others, and the last thing we want is to give our kids food poisoning. I have every size and shape imaginable, these ones are firm favourites as they are slimmer then others, come in pretty colours and stay frozen until lunch time even though they are slimmer. I got these particular ones in Jula. (Yup, another Swedish shop!) (http://www.jula.com)

Anyone want to add anything? Is there something you cant live without for sending your allergic or celiac kid to school? Id love to know 🙂

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Holland & Barrett

Oh my gosh! WHY Did I not know about this before? A few days ago I stumbled upon Holland & Barrett while searching for gluten free, eggfree cornfree flours. Randomly clicked around and a few minutes later realised they do International delivery! And guess what, it works out cheaper (delivery wise) then amazon to Poland!

Shopping Corn free, gluten free , wheat free and egg free means there is very very little available to us, but after clicking our allergens on the left and reading ingredients I found flour (!!), bread mixes (!!) biscuits and mayo. Anyone else who is corn free on top of gluten free will know my joy. Soups, so mummy can make lunch occasionally without cooking! Gravy, because making it from scratch every time gets so old, sweets, because kinder egg chocolate – however nice it is – gets boring after a while, ice lollies, because, ICE LOLLIES! Fancy teas for mum, because hey, Im worth it!

Then the joy when half the order came just 3 days later!

My joy though is nothing compared to the joy of little madam who got to eat mayo!

And in 2 days there will be more joy when the rest arrives!!

(This is like the kind of jumping up and down screaming joy that only teenage girls feel. Its A W E S O M E!)

Thank you Holland & Barrett, you made my day!

 

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com

On a Pancake mission – Day 3

Its ok that day 3 is almost a year later right? 😀

My sister in law sent me some links to recipes using chick pea water instead of eggs. Pretty cool right? Im sure you have seen some floating around also. Of course being me, I didn’t save any of the recipes she sent me, but who needs a recipe right? I made my own.

This is a small batch (will feed 2-3), double the amounts of flour and milk for a larger batch.

You will need:

  • 1.5 dl gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1.5dl milk
  • 1 egg – or in this case, the “juice” from 1 jar of chick peas.

I used an electric whisk to combine it all and fried my pancakes in butter.

These pancakes were easy to fry, again, careful with the heat, they burn pretty easy! Taste wise they taste like the real thing! Daughter gave them a 5/5 and a visitor (not GF or Egg free) said they taste like pancakes! Cant get much better then that! I really liked these, not doughy at all. My favourite so far!

You cant taste the chickpea juice at all.

Dont forget to “like” GlutenFree & Me on Facebook!

 

Glutenfree / Eggfree cupcakes

I use my own blog when I bake because I rarely save or write down recipes. Then the other day, I wanted to bake cupcakes, and I couldn’t find the recipe on the blog! HOW did I not share this with you all?

Its my base cake recipe that I tweak and change as needed and use for everything!

These cupcakes are egg free and you do not need an egg replacer 🙂 I use schär universal mix which is their corn free flour, so the end result is gluten free, egg free and corn free 🙂 You can easily do then dairy free or lactose free also 🙂

You need:

3dl gf flour
2dl sugar
2teaspoons vanilla sugar
2teaspoons baking powder
2dl water
50g butter or substitute

Mix all dry ingreds in a bowl. Melt butter, dont let it cool. Add water to butter and add the liquid to dry stuff. Whisk on high til smooth.

Put in 12 cupcake liners or in 1 large cake tin.

Bake at 225 degrees celsius for 10 minutes for cupcakes and 175 degrees celsius for 40 minutes for large cake.

I skipped the vanilla and added 2 tablespoons of coco powder. Try with cinnamon for Christmas!!

Enjoy!

Crazy about Dahl

I have a thing about dahl lately. My kids have a thing about dahl lately too! Sons thing is eating 2-3 bowls of it in one sitting, and daughters thing is refusing to eat any at all. Ho hum, you cant win them all.

Did you know you can make kick ass awesome dahl without having a cupboard full of fancy spices?

Let me teach you my base dahl, then you can play around with it and create your own version.

You will need: (No measurements, sorry, I suck, I know!)

  • Lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • tumeric
  • fresh ginger
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • chilli – optional

for different variations you can add spinnach, chickpeas, paprika, different coloured lentils, carrots…. the sky is the limit 🙂

So, you need lentils. For a starter outer I suggest red lentils. Wash them well and pop them in a large saucepan with water. Id say 2 cups of lentils and 4 of water, add more water if needed. Add about half a teaspoon of tumeric. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down. Red lentils are pretty fast so you can start prepping your other stuff almost straight away.

Finely chop your onion, if you have a kid who thinks onion is poisonous like me, then you can puree the onion in a mini chopper. Its magic. I do this all the time and point blank lie. Works a treat.

Mince your garlic (one of them garlic press majiggys is perfect).

Slice or chop a small amount of chilli, I use red for more colour but use such a minute amount it really doesn’t give much spice at all.  Add the chilli to your garlic pile.

Grate or slice some fresh ginger. I always keep mine in the freezer, so its easy to scrape off the amount I need with a sharp knife. Add the ginger to your garlic and chilli pile.

Cube your tomato. Some say to take the peel off, I dont bother.

Once your lentils are close to done then continue with these final steps.

Add your oil of choice to a frying pan, I use extra virgin olive oil, over low to medium heat fry the onions taking care to not burn them or let them go brown. You want them soft. This will take about 4 minutes. Then add your garlic, chilli, ginger pile. Take extra care now to not let this burn, burnt garlic is not nice.

Once your lentils are done, add all your goodness from your frying pan in to the lentils and also add your tomato. Add salt and squeeze half a lemon or lime in to your dahl.

I like to add a few leaves of baby spinach, it gives such awesome colour.

Once you graduate from this dahl you can start using more grownup lentils and spices if you like 🙂 The one pictured has baby spinach and the lentils are brown and red mix. YUM!

I serve mine with a naughty blob of butter 🙂 You can make it less liquidy and eat it with rice too.

Swedish Coconut Balls!

Yes, I know, this recipe starts out with you doing a double take and going, “coconut balls?????”

All Swedish kids grew up with coconut balls, its not something parents generally make, instead the kids do it, its an activity and a sweet treat all in one. Although in Swedish, kokos bollar doesnt sound so, eeehm…. wrong? lol

Once upon a time some people called this something else that is very very racist, those people are now being told to say chocolate balls instead. Im not sure what all the hu haa is about to begin with, I have always said coconut balls as have most my friends and family. So coconut balls is what you will call them as well 🙂

This recipe will not work if you cant tolerate oats. Make sure you buy proper glutenfree oats and not any old oats, as normal oats can contain a fair amount of gluten.

You will need:

  • 100g butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 dl sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coco powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (scrap this if you dont have it)
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee (or water if you dont want to risk making the kids hyper)
  • 5 dl GF oats
  • desiccated coconut, for rolling the balls

The rest is really very simple. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and get your kids to mix it.

Really really mix it, squish, sqash, knead, bash….. until its all mixed. Then roll the mix in to small balls which you then roll in coconut. Once done, refrigerate. Then eat. Or eat as you make it. With a spoon. Then you can skip the coconut too 😛

For a healthier version play around with it, add some coconut oil, chia seeds, less sugar etc. The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy!

Back to school and corn can do one…..

So upset today. Really really moody and horrid.

Back to school is getting me down, big time. Why? Because only one is going back, and he has to be proper gf for the first time ever, and I need to bake again, and baking corn (and egg free and gluten free) free is a bloomin nightmare, and I dont like baking and Im picking faults right now, with everything.

Why cant I just go to the shop and buy the bread we need? Why cant they just bloody make it??? Im feeling miserable and sorry for myself and I want to scream and stomp my feet and throw things.

I hardly ever have days like this, everything thats been thrown our way these last few years I have taken in my stride and just gotten on with…. but today, I am hard done by, I am miserable and I want our school to have uniforms and I want shops to stock stuff we need and I want to be in Dubai not here and I want someone, anyone to come do my laundry because Im so friggin tired I think I could sleep for a month. Maybe two months.

And Im home sick, and I dont know where home is, or what Im missing and Im so upset and sad.

I want both my kids to go to school tomorrow and I want to be alone sometimes, even just an hour or two. And September is coming, and every September for forever she gets pneumonia, then again in October and November and bla bla bla and I cant do it anymore. Can I please just sleep instead…?

Im not depressed, honest. Tomorrow, or later or whenever I will be just fine. But sometimes I just bottle it all up, for so long and then I need to just let it out, a bit atleast. Then I feel so bad, because there are people out there with real issues, people who have terminal illnesses and others who are fleeing wars and orphans and all sorts, and I feel like such a selfish brat for complaining, I have no right to complain. Its not so bad being me really…. is it?

Deep breaths and all that. Tomorrow will be a better day.

If anyone knows of GF, CF, EF breadmixes, please let me know.

😦