Monday, October 21, 2013

EASY, FAST Ranch Dressing & Dip - Gluten Free / GF

One thing that is a staple in my home is dressing for salads.  Around here we also use dressing on dishes like quiche, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, rice, chicken, noodles, french fries, and more.  

Since going gluten free I had to learn to make my own dressing after I realized the dressing we used was a hidden source of gluten, in the form of MSG (monosodium glutamate).  I thought we were entirely GF, & then I became informed about the MSG we were unknowingly consuming & that it meant we were also consuming gluten.  Once that was eliminated many of the sporadic symptoms of gluten exposure were then gone for the most part (the final piece to the end of sporadic symptoms was put into place when we realized we had to make our home GF & had to stop allowing even guests to consume gluten in our home, as discussed in AFFORDABLE Eating Away From Home While Traveling or Just Out & About - YES, Even With Allergies!! ).

During that time I also learned that traditionally, before the age of chemical preservatives, dressings & condiments were fermented.  Why were they fermented??  Fermented foods not only provide great, healthy bacteria for our guts, they also help us digest our foods better.

Could the lack of fermented foods in our present day diet be a huge reason for all of the acid reflux, bacteria overgrowth, & oodles of health issues that are so rampant?!  While I am not a doctor I don't believe it takes one to realize that if we don't process & digest our food properly, our health will be impacted in a negative way.  More on that in future posts!

Anyway, while searching for a good GF Ranch dressing recipe, I discovered that the recipes vary almost as much as advice on how get your child to sleep... almost!

I took the most common ingredients in most of the recipes I found & came up with my own Ranch dressing recipe to suit what I usually have in my kitchen.  I didn't want to come up with this awesome recipe that I would need to constantly worry about having the right ingredients on hand for.

I also make it in a thicker version to double as Ranch dip & have received many compliments on it from even non-GF eaters.  It is a forgiving recipe, meaning measurements don't have to be exact, like when a little person wants to "help" & ends up dumping 1/2 a CUP of salt into the mixing bowl instead of 1/2 a teaspoon (YES, I was able to get most of the extra salt out of that batch by scooping as much as I could out & by adding a little more of this & that to balance our the extra salt).

While this recipe isn't fermented itself, it does contain fermented ingredients, which add some flavor,  beneficial bacteria, & extend the shelf life of it.  We truly enjoy this recipe & hope you do too!  I use a Vitamix to make it SUPER quick, but you can use any blender or even just whisk it all by hand.


1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream plus 1/4 cup of water OR 1 cup buttermilk
1 T. apple cider vinegar or kombucha
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed (optional, but it REALLY imparts the Ranch taste)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tsp onion powder (minced onion, etc.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper


1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup sour cream plus OR 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 T. apple cider vinegar or kombucha
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1-2 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed (optional, but it REALLY imparts the Ranch taste)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tsp onion powder (minced onion, etc.)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper


Using a Vitamix or blender for the dressing or dip:

1. Place all ingredients into a Vitamix (or other blender) container in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1 for Vitamix (or low for another blender).
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 5 or 6 (or medium speed in another blender).
4. Blend for 10-15 seconds or until smooth.    

Besides ease of use, quick cooking, & quick prepping in a Vitamix, clean up is also a breeze!  Fill 1/2 way with water, add a drop or 2 of liquid dish soap, & turn the blender on high for about 15-30 seconds, rinse the container well, & air dry.  All clean, easy as 1-2-3!!  

I imagine you can also do a super quick clean up in a standard blender, but I haven't tried it yet so I don't know for sure.

By hand for either the Ranch dressing or dip:

1. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. 
2. Stir or whisk vigorously until everything is smooth & creamy


- Refrigerate in airtight container (For Ranch dressing I use a repurposed glass bottle that some grapeseed oil came in, which is perfect because it has a handy, dandy pour spout & is just the right size.  For storing Ranch dip I try to use a repurposed glass jar but have been known to reuse a sour cream container too)!


What is YOUR favorite dressing??  What is your favorite dip??  Do you buy them or make them??  Do these recipes sound quick & simple enough??  Will you try making either the dressing or dip (or both)??

<3 Mama Lee <3  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

EASY Allergy Friendly BAKED French Fries - Vegan + Gluten, Soy, Sugar, Dairy, Corn, Nut, & Egg Free

Who out there loves French fries??  While exploring what we could & could not eat once going gluten free, French fries was one of them. 

While we didn't eat them very often at all at that stage of our lives, we did enjoy them if we did happen to go out for dinner or if we hit a $1 menu drive-thru (I know, GASP!! But sometimes that was better than starving), which even then we usually only ate them maybe 1-2 times per YEAR.

During my research I found that potatoes themselves are not gluten containing, but when they are prepared in a fryer with oil, the oil itself  is also usually used to deep fry things that are breaded, like chicken fingers/nuggets, fish, etc. and that made French fries (or anything else deep fried, even if that food itself didn't contain gluten) off limits.  At first it was no big deal since we rarely ate fries as it was.  Oddly enough, after a while it became something we actually missed though since we had to give up so many other foods.... all at once too!

For anybody who has ever cooked for allergies, you know already that it is usually not fast to prepare a meal that avoids allergies.  This is simply because of the fact that usually most allergy friendly foods one can purchase at a store that would help to speed up meal preparation are outrageously priced.  An example is a gluten free cake mix.  Those can easily run $4.50 - $5 for ONE cake mix... and the finished cakes are usually 1/2 the size at that price too.  Compare that to a cake mix that runs $1- $1.50... YIKES!!  It is not only far cheaper to eat gluten, but you usually get far more too!!

Anyway, with that said I prepare near everything myself at home from scratch, almost always without pre-made store bought gluten free mixes.  I do make my own mixes at home, but I don't buy mixes at the store.  I also make things like salad dressings, bread (which we don't eat every often), cookies, cakes, pasta dishes, cake from the homemade mixes, hot cocoa mix, cream soups, broth, etc.

There is something being made in our kitchen at least every day, if not many things being made all day long.  It is the nature of cooking for food allergies/sensitivities, & especially for a large family.  Oh, & all of our cooking is done with a toaster oven, stove top, or in a standard oven... we do NOT use a microwave & have been microwave free for 7-8 years.

The house we are in now actually came with a microwave, but we have never used it to cook.  I do love using the microwave fan, light, & timer though which is why we kept it.  In fact I love those features so much that we had to replace some of the kitchen appliances so we bought a new to us (thank you to Craig's List) over the stove microwave because the previous one was almond & everything else was black & stainless.

Now I am not one to need matchy-matchy everything but we were able to find the used one for not much more than what we were able to sell the old one for so we figured, why not swap it out too.  Originally we priced just an over the stove fan/blower with a light and then the same thing but with a timer too, & the range hoods with just the light & blower started at about $125.  The hoods with a timer started at $300.  It was CRAZY!!  I believe we paid $60 for the microwave (& sold the other one for $50), so that was a no brainer.

Anyway, after going GF & having to basically give up bread (we had to give up bread for a long time because at first we couldn't afford the GF bread mixes that run $4-5 per mix & at that they only make a SMALL loaf that is maybe about 8" long, 6" wide, & 5" high, nor could we afford to BUY the GF bread because that also runs $4-7 per loaf, and we didn't yet have all of the different ingredients to make bread from scratch), we had to start eating other things that would fill us up at mealtime.  So one of the things we started eating was potatoes.  We baked them, boiled them, & mashed them.  We REALLY started enjoying a food we hadn't been eating much of at that time. 

We kept eating our potatoes in those traditional ways for about 2 years.  Then we went to a restaurant that offered truly gluten free French fries fried in a dedicated fryer ONLY for gluten free fries!  It was the 1st time we had eaten fries in over 2 1/2 years at that point, and man, were they ever good great!!

Note, I didn't claim they were healthy because they were deep fried, but I can tell you that our bellies really loved them & they really restored a sense of comfort for us while we ate them.  It reminded us of the good ol' days when we could eat whatever we wanted off of a menu (as long as it was priced in our budget, of course!) without having to worry about paying the consequences not long after eating.  Would you know that we STILL talk about those fries, 2 YEARS later... it was just so nice to enjoy food without worry & to actually be able to eat our entire meal without having to pay for a burger and fries, but only being able to eat the meat patty.

Well, that one meal that included fries spurred Mr. Lee on to make something similar at home for our family.... YES, you guessed it, he made French fries!  Being a guy though, he took it even a step further... he eliminated the deep frying with baking the them (partly because of the mess & y'all know how much I do NOT love to clean my stove, and partly because of the health factor or so he said) & added some seasonings that were simply spices with no worries of hidden gluten (like MSG, extracts, etc.).  WOW, did he ever become the popular guy around here... & he started to get regular requests for his fries... so naturally I had to start making them too!!

We learned which is the best fry cutter gadget by trial & error... we 1st tried a knife, & while it works well, it does take a while.  If making fries for a few people, it isn't a bad way to go, but if cooking for more I would look for one of these fry slicers.

Our second gadget was one of those awesome looking fry cutters where you slice the end off of a potato, put the tater in the cutter, pull the handle down kind of like a slot machine & out come the potatoes cut into fries (now, now don't judge me... yes, I have pulled a slot machine handle or two in my day, but no worries it has been at least 15 years as I am WAY too cheap to throw my money into a slot machine now... if I am going to gamble my money I'd much rather put it into a vending machine & hope what I selected will come out...LOL), but Mr. was convinced the handle was going to snap right off of that gadget so it went right back to the store after which he came home with the one pictured.  It is very much like the press-down apple slicer and corer gadgets that slice & core apples at the same time (we have one of those too & LOVE it!).

Anyway, enough blabbing... here it goes...

The EASIEST French fries ever (aside from the ones you take out of the freezer & throw in your oven, smarty pants!! LOL)....

See our handy dandy fry cutter?!
  1. potatoes
  2. oil
  3. salt
  4. spices/herbs (cilantro, parsley, garlic powder, etc.)


  1. Preheat oven from *350 to 400 degrees
  2. Spray baking dish with spray or *oil to prevent sticking
  3. Slice potatoes into wedges, fries, etc. (we have a handy dandy fry cutter, but if you don't have one a sharp knife will do)
  4. Add sliced, diced, etc. potatoes to baking dish, drizzle with *oil, sprinkle with salt (I use kosher or unrefined sea salt as we prefer the larger granules), & herbs (we love cilantro & parsley, but will use just parsley if we're out of cilantro)
  5. bake for *30-50 minutes
  6. Enjoy!


  • The baking temperature varies based upon your preference as far as how fast you want them done.
  •  We have a Misto sprayer that we refill with high heat safflower oil instead of using a cooking spray that contains propellants & other chemicals (the link does NOT contain an affiliate link for me to earn money if you purchase the item.  I use my Misto sprayer daily & sometimes multiple times a day & want to show you what I am talking about when I mention a refillable sprayer). 
  • It is preferable to use an oil with a high smoke point like coconut oil, high heat safflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc.  Do keep in mind that if you use coconut oil they will no longer be nut free.
  • Baking time varies based upon how thick the layer/s of potatoes are, how thick the cut of the potatoes is, etc.
  •  You can also add fun extras like cheese, sour cream, chives, chili, etc. if you'd like to dress them up a bit, but then they wouldn't be vegan, dairy, etc. free if that is a concern.  We like to use beans, chili, and or cheese from time to time as an extra treat.

What is your favorite way to make potatoes... mashed, baked, fried??  Do you have a fry recipe you like to use or do you prefer frozen fries??  Will you try these as fries or wedges??  Do you have a fry slicing gadget too??  How do you usually cut fries when you make them??  Or are your favorite fries from a drive-thru??

<3 Mama Lee <3 

Friday, October 11, 2013


A friend shared this recipe with me for lemonade that contained whey from yogurt for the probiotic benefits.  Since I don't strain the whey from my yogurt & rather strain it from my milk kefir, it has a pretty tangy taste.  Thinking about that in my lemonade made me kind of gag, so I decided to try kombucha in place of the whey.

The result?!  A FABULOUS, refreshing, tangy lemonade that everybody has LOVED & asked for more of.  I wanted to use honey, but since there is conflicting information whether or not the antibacterial properties of honey would destroy (or at least compete with) the beneficial bacteria in kombucha, I opted for white cane sugar that I had on hand.  Feel free to substitute with sucanat, stevia, etc. but I can't give quantities for stevia as I don't use it in larger amounts.  If you do, please come back & let us know how much you used and how it turned out!  I didn't use fresh lemons as they are not in my budget to use in large quantities, so I used bottled lemon juice.

The amount of lemon juice & kombucha varies depending upon how long the kombucha has been fermenting & how sour it is.  I use more lemon juice & less kombucha if the kombucha is really sour.  Feel free to experiment & find the taste that suits your taste buds!

Also, I don't want someone to not like whatever I make because I didn't use enough sugar so I use 1/4 - 1/3 C more when making it for guests, etc.  When making it for my household, I use 1 C because I try to use as little sugar as possible and we are used to having less sugar, & things taste good to us even with less sugar.  Again, feel free to tweak it to suits your needs!

INGREDIENTS for 2 quarts:
  • 6 1/2 - 7 C water
  • 1/2 C lemon juice (according to taste & according to how much kombucha I use)
  • 1/2 C kombucha (I use more kombucha if it isn't as sour & less if it has been fermenting for a while)
  • 1/2 C sugar or sweetener (I usually use a tad more if making it for others)

I add 1/2 the water & the rest of the ingredients to avoid spilling out of the container while stirring.  Once sugar is dissolved I add the rest of the water & stir it all up.  Put in the fridge for a couple of hours or more to chill & then enjoy!!

Do YOU make any different flavored lemonades??  What do YOU make as a refreshing drink when you'd like something besides water??  Do you add any probiotics to your beverage??  Try this & let me know what you think!  Feel free to substitute the kombucha for whey as the original recipe calls for, as well as water kefir, etc. and come back to comment so you can tell me what you used & how you liked it!!

<3 Mama Lee <3

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

AFFORDABLE Eating Away From Home While Traveling or Just Out & About - YES, Even With ALLERGIES!!

How many of us have traveled, will travel, or will be away from home during a meal and have to eat around food allergies??  For our family food allergies have changed much of how we eat, what we eat, when we eat, & where we eat.

Before we leave our house we need to know where we are going, how long we will be gone, if food will be involved (if we are going to someone else's home, a picnic, social gathering, a random outing, etc.) or if a meal will be missed driving to and/or from, etc.  It really can be quite challenging & daunting some days depending upon the logistics of it all.

Remember, we can't just hit a drive-thru & order a burger, taco, etc.  Even if someone says they will have "safe" food for us, it really isn't anything we can usually count on because of the dreaded cross contamination (as in someone using a utensil or even their hands in a food item that contains an allergen & then putting their unwashed hands or utensil into our "safe" food, which then renders it unsafe for us), improper preparation that has allowed cross contamination (i.e. using the same prep place for preparing a gluten free food as a gluten full food without properly sanitizing the area between preparation), a hidden allergen (MSG is a gluten source as are various types of yeasts, etc.), etc.

I know, you are thinking would a few crumbs or a tiny bit of gluten in our food make a difference?!  I ask you, would you feel same way about PEANUTS if someone said they had a nut allergy?!  Everybody seems to really fear, pity, & respect NUT allergies, but people fail to realize that ANY food can have just as severe of a reaction for some people... just like bees & nuts can.  YES, one can have an anaphylactic reaction to gluten... & yes, even a few crumbs or a bit of gluten food CAN cause a reaction... and a very serious one at that! 

Think of it like this... you come to our house for a meal.  As we are eating I tell everyone how I cleaned up dog poop in the yard before I prepared the meal... and that I did NOT wash my hands before preparing the food; but no worries I was careful not to get any poop on my hands.

I know, your first reaction is EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, gross!!!!!!!!!  Am I right?!  You would be completely grossed out & maybe even ANGRY... you may push your plate to the center of the table in disgust even though I said I was careful not to get poop on my hands so the chances of there being any poop in the food was very minimal.

So now YOU tell ME how that is any different than gluten?!  NO, dog poop isn't clean, but remember I was very careful & if there is any poop in the food, it is very minimal; no worries at all, right?!  Do I make my point?!

One time we went to a party during a regular meal time, so we were hungry as we had not just eaten like we tend to do when going somewhere when we don't know if we will be able to eat there safely.  We were were told there would be tons of safe food we could eat... Mr. Lee didn't ask specifics, but trusted in what was said... mistake #1!

Anyway, we got there visited for a while & then it was dinner time.  Out of all of the food there, all we could eat was potato chips & potato salad.  YES, you read correctly... potato chips & potato salad... for dinner....

Mind you, the party goers were eating Italian beef on rolls, pasta w/bread & butter, pasta salads, oodles of finger foods, all different kinds of flavored chips, cake, cookies, etc.  The house smelled like, well, delicious catered food.  The Lee kids & I ate our potato salad & potato chips and we had a little lemonade...we ate mostly potato salad because we were starving & of the two choices, it was the healthiest & most filling.  We were even hungrier because of seeing everybody else's plates heaped w/food.... all of our former favorite foods, no less.  I felt absolutely terrible for my kids.  They didn't complain one bit, but I learned a BIG lesson from that experience.

First, Mr. Lee is not a detail kind of guy... I will find out the details MYSELF from now on.  Second, what other people think you can or should be able to eat, is often completely different from the reality of what you actually can eat.  Third, ALWAYS have a back up plan so you don't go hungry.

I will be quite honest... after that experience we didn't eat anywhere else for quite a while.  I didn't care to repeat it... not the sadness, disappointment, or hurt feelings (read on for those details). 

The WORST part of  it wasn't that we had eaten potato chips & potato salad as a meal, but the comments made TO my children & ABOUT my children, as if I couldn't hear... how deprived they were because they couldn't eat cake, how awful it was that they couldn't eat the name brand tortilla chips chock full of flavorings & chemicals, how they couldn't drink the soda, & the list went on & on & on...  it was REALLY ridiculous!! 

I bit my tongue for quite a while & I finally had to speak up... not because of pride, not because of anger, but because I knew that those same comments could actually possibly make my kids believe that stuff.

The world is full of far too many people who feel ENTITLED because they are or were deprived, or so they claim.  I am certainly not about to foster that characteristic & attitude in my children as well!!

I firmly told the hecklers that gluten is a POISON to OUR bodies... that it makes us feel terrible & even makes us sick.  I said that I would NEVER feel bad about not offering something POISONOUS to THEIR child (or children), so don't feel bad for mine.  WOW, where did I come up with that?!  I have no idea... definitely a God thing!  There was that deer in the headlights look for a few moments from everyone & the comments stopped.  WONDERFUL, or so I THOUGHT...  

Behind our backs, they started to give the kids lots more lemonade & hard, sticky, chewy candies... the kinds that are HORRIBLE for dental health... which is nothing to mess with. I am not a stick in the mud & do allow some candy here & there, but our kids get sick easily from sweets... that night was no exception either.  

I tell my children frequently that while we may have food allergies, it has to be THEIR conviction to eat properly to avoid the allergens because they have to make their own decisions one day, when I am not there to help them, like when they get jobs, go to college, get married, etc.

Way back when we first went gluten free, we would try to eat some gluten here & there, to see how our bodies responded.  We would get flu-like symptoms... achy, belly aches, headaches, etc.  If it was during my monthly cycle, it would severely INCREASE... so much so I would have to stay home during that time.  One child got their FIRST ever ear infection at age 10 after eating gluten at a party.  We went to a party & about two hours later the child woke up from her ears being in tremendous pain, she had the shakes, she started to vomit, etc.   

She has NEVER wanted it again, & can you blame her?!  Oddly enough, there have been a few people who have commented to her that she isn't "allergic" to it, so to just go ahead & eat it.  Uhm, REALLY?!  She puked, got her 1st ever ear infection (a DOUBLE ear infection too!), etc. yet it didn't affect her?!  I beg to differ & I resent someone telling her that she should eat it.

If someone told YOU to eat something you knew could be harmful to YOUR body, would you?!  I guess that is a moot point since people dump so many chemicals into their bodies every day, all day long, in the name of food.  But how about a little arsenic?!  Believe it or not, but SOME arsenic is actually okay for us, depending upon the source, but we can only have a little of it or else THAT is when the harmful affect can happen.  Yet if I told someone to go eat some arsenic, they'd think I was NUTS & tell me so, no?!

In the beginning saying no to gluten was challenging because it just felt like we had given up pretty much everything we had eaten our whole lives... and we pretty much had.

During a weak moment, before we fully realized the severity of the reactions (& actually put two & tow together to realize how violent the reactions were & the correlation), I would allow them the choice if they wanted to eat gluten.  Do you know what they would say?!  Uhm, LAST time I had it I felt H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!!  NO, thank you... I don't want to feel that way ever again!!

So, anyway, after we left that party  & our kids got sick, it was ME holding their hair back as they puked, ME cradling them telling them they would feel better once it was all out of their tummies, ME comforting them ALL. NIGHT. LONG!!  I asked my kids WHY they ate the candy & drank the lemonade and they thought WE said it was okay.  Yep, ADULTS stooped to the level of telling the kids it was okay with us... some heroes, eh?!  YES, I was L.I.V.I.D!!   

After that whole, er uhm, fiasco, our choice for eating was to either eat at home, from home (meaning to bring food from home, prepared at home), or to eat ONLY where we KNEW it was safe by verifying ALL of the ingredients, etc.  We went on a road trip a while ago & I was very concerned about what we were going to eat, how we were going to eat, & where we were going to eat.  Enter in Mr. Lee, my hero!!

As we all know eating out can be very expensive... factor in eating out for allergies & the cost can be exorbitant.  Imagine ordering a burger w/no bun & not being able to eat fries, salad, soup, bread, etc.  So you are pretty much left w/a beef patty to eat & some water to drink.  Mind you, you are paying FULL price, yet only eating PART of the meal... AND you will most likely still probably be HUNGRY after that, longing for the days when they used to serve the parsley sprigs on the plates too.  Yep, makes perfect sense... let's eat out so we can spend all kinds of money, only to STILL be HUNGRY after?!  Oooooooooooo, race you there!!  Uhm, NOT!!

Doesn't that look DELICIOUS!?
Oh yeah, so Mr. Lee said that even if we bought our food from grocery stores, paying retail prices (retail price is like a curse word to most of us, but hear me out!!), we'd still save a lot of money, PLUS we'd KNOW it was safe to eat because we'd know the ingredients & it would be prepared by yours truly.   We brought a cooler with us so we could safely store the leftovers for a snack or meal later on.

One thing we ate during that road trip was sandwiches, either on gluten free bread (yeouch, retail price) or unflavored rice cakes.... yum... pickles, meat, cheese, mayo, etc!!  Those were some of the BEST tasting sandwiches & we remember them fondly.  My lap was covered in crumbs from making the sandwiches, but our bellies were happy & full!

Since that road trip we will frequently bring a cooler with us with food and/or snacks from home... sometimes we run into a grocery store to buy the fixings to make sandwiches if we will be gone during a meal and/or have a long drive time, etc.  We know we can't expect our kids to leave a place during a meal time & wait another hour or more to eat because we don't have the luxury of being able to eat via a drive-thru.  Not that a drive-thru meal is healthy, but it sure beats going hungry if it won't make one sick.

Adjusting to a new way of eating can be a challenge.  Changing old habits is also a challenge.  For us so far, the biggest obstacle & stress has been the way OTHER people treat us, handle things, etc.  We NEVER expect anybody to bend over backwards or change their own way of doing things for us.  We don't expect any certain food.  We don't expect nor want people to feel sorry for us (there is no reason to).  HOWEVER, we do feel quite disappointed & awkward when someone says they are going to do something (like have a certain food, etc.) and they don't follow through.  We have been INTENTIONALLY excluded from invites to certain events because of our food issue.  How about leaving the situation in OUR hands & letting us decide if we want to participate or how we could make it work for our family?!  Talk about hurtful! 

Just recently someone said they would make a snack for a kids' group activity & that they would make sure it was gluten & peanut free due to issues with peanuts for one child & gluten for our kids.  Well, we went there & snack time started.  Guess what?!  They made sure there were no PEANUTS but what they served was entirely gluten (store bought cookies) & my kids couldn't eat it.

I have to admit, it was VERY hurtful to me as a mother to see my kids KNOWINGLY excluded from something by someone who VOLUNTEERED to make sure the treat was safe for ALL of the kids, not just the ONE child with the peanut allergy.  See what I mean?!  All hail the mighty peanut allergy (please don't think I am minimizing it or saying it is less important, because I am not... I think ALL allergies/sensitivities should be equally regarded, respected, & considered).

The story does have a happy ending though... remember the potato salad & potato chip party?!  Well, knowing I can't usually count on anybody else (aside from few really amazing people in our lives)  my when it comes to feeding my family safe food, we made cookies for our family to bring with so my kids didn't have to feel as awkward if the snack was unsafe for them.  Good thing I know I can't  depend upon others.

I admit, it is kind of sad when I think about... someone saying they will do something for a child(ren) & only doing it for a select child.  That said I won't let them steal my joy & will just add them to the list of people I can't count on.  I DO like knowing whom I can & can't trust.  In that respect it is a worthwhile lesson & another teachable, trainable moment for my children in life, trust, respect, courtesy, & how important it is to keep our word.  For that I am grateful!

Do YOU have to consider food allergies too??  Do you ever run into a grocery store to make sandwiches or to grab something to eat while away from home??  What is YOUR go to on the road meal??  Do you bring a cooler w/snacks when out & about??  If you have food allergies to deal with, what do YOU do??

<3 Mama Lee <3