Back to School Snacks for the Awesomely Gluten-Free + More

Bake Sales Are My Bitch, Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Fish-Free, food allergies, Gluten-Free, Kid Fun, Kosher, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free

IMG_2042Do you like how I started this off with a positive? I figure if you have kids with any kind of food issues you’re probably freaking out right about now. So I wanted to throw an “awesome” in there, ‘cuz maybe you’ll feel good and confident for a second. Do you? Well.

I hope you do just a little bit, as there are a ton of new, and old, snacks on the market to pack up with your allergic kiddos. I wrote about it before, but I have some new findings, and also, holy crap do you see all these g-fers on the shelves-


I thought it might be time for some new info.


First up, my daughter’s new favorite gluten-free oatmeal from Bakery on Main. See how happy she is? A little too happy, if you ask me. I’m also in love with the little gluten-free oatmeal cups from Bob’s Red Mill. I know not everyone who has a wheat problem can tolerate oats, but if you can these start your kiddos morning off right on.


Next we have a horribly named but completely delicious snack from Wild Zora, the meat and veggie bar. Honestly, when I got the pitch for this gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free, MSG-free, and milk-free snack, I laughed. And might have even emailed back, “LOL,” because I’m a 12-year-old. But the PR lady was adamant that if my family tried these meat and veggie bars, we’d like them. Guess what? LOVED THEM. Yes, even the little kids, and even the ones with kale. The BBQ beef bar was my favorite, and my kids loved the Mediterranean Lamb. They are basically beef (or lamb, or turkey) jerky with vegetables that add flavor but not vegetable texture. Super delicious, you guys. We’re hooked. 



For the 8 main allergen crowd, Enjoy Life Eat Freely has just launched mini cookies, which are perfect for a lil’ snack in the lunch box or after school. My son digs the sugar crisps, and my girl is all in on the double chocolate brownie. I just love that they are free of all 8 allergens so most kids can enjoy a sweet treat.

Other than that, we have our go-to allergy friendly snacks with the help of Annie’s gluten-free bunny cookies, Krave beef jerky, popcorn and loads of fruit. It’s enough to make a parent relax for a minute. Hahahahaha. I said “parent” and “relax” in the same sentence.

For those of you who are also gearing up to implement a 504 plan guide, check out the CDF’s 2016 Back-to-School Challenge Campaign to help. And they have a brand new and free Back-to-School and 504 Plan Guide and webinar to help parents through the stress and confusion BTS can be for allergic kids. Check it!

Happy drop-off line!




Everything I Ate at LA’s Newest Allergy-Friendly Bakery

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fish-Free, Gluten-Free, Holidays, Shellfish-Free, Vegan

IMG_1044.JPGLike so many of us in the world, when I get an invitation to a party, event, trial, whatever, my first impulse is to panic. Yes, even when food is involved because when you’ve got, ahem, issues, you never know if you’ll starve or get sick.

Naturally, a gluten-free and vegan bakery invite would put that particular worry to rest, yes? Yes. But. The next part of the worry that washes over me like the neurotic lady I am is the biggest fear of all—it’s going to taste like pooh. Or be filled with kale. Either/or.

Pomegranate, a gluten-free and vegan bakery and coffee shop on W. 3rd Street in Los Angeles is happily neither of those things (although they do have a pumpkin kale bread that I’m sure my husband will love), and filled with the most amazing desserts. I should know, I tried every one of them.

You see those lil’ beauties above? While the creme brulee is always a fave, the tiramisu KILLED it. Here’s another lil’ sampler—

Super Snacks for Everyone! Brought to You by Direct Eats

Bake Sales Are My Bitch, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fish-Free, food allergies, Gluten-Free, Kid Fun, Peanut Free, Shellfish-Free, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Vegan

IMG_0965Happy May, everybody! In addition to the blooming flowers, ditching of winter coats and anticipation of summer vacations, May is also the month we talk about food allergies. Hooray for Food Allergy Awareness Month!

Okay, not “hooray” about food allergies, but hooray about spreading some awareness around and talking about how to keep everybody safe and happy this month, and the other 11 months as well. I’ve partnered with Direct Eats, a fab online store that sorts out your groceries as well as beauty items, by allergen. I know, it’s awesome. Their prices are pretty dang good too, which is a bonus when you’re stocking up those cabinets.

Given that it is about time to wrap up school days and kick off road trips and summer camps, it’s the perfect time to talk about snacks. You know, those things that get you through your afternoon slump and what your kids are begging for all the time. If by begging, I mean (car doors opens, seatbelts snap), “Moooommmm! I’m starving!!! I need something in my snack hole RIGHT NOW!!!”

Or maybe that’s just my kids.

Still, if you have a food allergy, or are preparing food for someone with a food allergy, you’re probably already stocked up with your go-tos when the children begin to yell or your stomach starts to rumble. These lists below are designed to expand your repertoire, while also offering 8 main allergen free options in case your peanut allergy is hanging out with a wheat allergy.

While it’s always great to serve naturally allergen-free snacks, life oftentimes requires pre-packaged snacks that do not require refrigeration and can spend an afternoon by the softball field without destroying your snack bag, or survive a care package mailing. (Hint: frozen fruit kebobs do not travel well. Learned that the hard way.) In fact, I would highly recommend providing 8 allergen-free snacks anytime you’re serving a group of kids, or sending it off to a summer camp where many allergic kids may mingle. Don’t panic! It’s really not as overwhelming as you may believe. After all, 2 of the 8 main allergens are fish and shellfish, and let’s just assume we all know neither of those are great ingredients for kid snacks.

So here are two different snacking options, the homemade and the made-for-you. Enjoy!

Rock That Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Sleepover Until You Pass Out/Have a Breakdown

Bake Sales Are My Bitch, food allergies

allergy-friendly-sleepover-kidsIf you’re a parent you know that when it comes to sleepovers, you’ve gotta’ do everything in your power to make them go smoothly. While I used to believe the biggest problem with sleepovers is that you’re responsible for other people’s children so you can’t drown out the kid crazy with tequila; I now know there’s a bigger problem: Freaking food issues.

Having recently had a playdate where the mom just asked that we not feed her child at all, and being a celiac type, I get it. Of course I get it. The fact that I understand the severity of food allergies and sensitivities does not make it easier to prepare food for a mixed group of hormonal tweens. No, I’m not over the massive birthday party sleepover from 1.5 years ago, why do you ask?

But making it easier is the subscription box company, Crafted, who just introduced their new kid’s overnight party box. Yes, of course that’s it up there!

She’s Allergic to What?!?

Bake Sales Are My Bitch, food allergies
Keep away, oranges!

It’s not those flowers that are making her itch.

As I’ve said before and will say a zillion times again—food allergies are really ‘effing ‘effed up. While I myself don’t have a food allergy—well, my skin test did reveal a small allergy to wheat but the celiac disease kind of took care of that problem already—I do have a serious food issue that must be treated with as much care as a food allergy, just short of needing an EpiPen and being worried about anaphylaxis.

See how complicated that is? And I’m just one lady! Now that I’ve been digging around to see what might be bugging my daughter, well, it’s even more complicated. On this journey to find out if gluten is also going to be her bitch (or as she says “bench” ‘cuz she doesn’t know what I’m talking about yet) we’ve been exploring other causes of weird symptoms as well. And it seems like we’ve discovered the cause of her painful rash and skin cracking around her tiny lil’ mouth. 

Super Safe Candies & Cupcakes for the Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Lover

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Peanut Free, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Vegan

gluten-free-dairy-free-soy-free-sugar-free-dessertHey guys! I just got back from the Celiac Disease Foundation Conference & Expo and met these super duper people who are full on committed to making delicious foods for those of us who can’t really be free and easy with our breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. I know, we’re sad.

Still! I had way too many cookies and good stuff while I was there, and I met this very enthusiastic group of people who were beyond excited to share their cupcakes, chocolate awesomeness and even granola with the likes of us. After tasting, testing and reading the labels I realized it was the perfect product for Bake Sales, cuz’ this stuff is SAFE. For a load of people. Maybe you?

Gluten-Free & Vegan Gefilte Fish for Passover

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fish-Free, Gluten-Free, Holidays, Vegan

gluten-free-vegan-gefilte-fishI’ll be honest. I hate gefilte fish—vegan, gluten-filled, or not. It all began two Passovers ago when I made gluten-free gefilte fish and it spilled all over my brand new car. No, it hasn’t ever smelled right since. So when I saw a recipe for vegan gefilte fish, I thought, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

So I played around with this vegan recipe and made it gluten-free as well, and voila! Completely non-traditional seder food. As someone who does—under non-gefilte fish conditions—prefer to keep it as traditional as possible, I have to say that I would rather eat this vegan, gf version any Passover of the year. Plus, it’s super easy.

Yehuda has been killing it with the gluten-free matzo for awhile now –

gluten-free, vegan passoverSo the gluten-free types have been able to enjoy the season for several years already.

As far as the vegan portion, well, I don’t know what that weird jelly is when you buy gefilte fish, but I’m very happy to not have that at my table tonight. Removing the egg for stick-to-it-ness did not seem to effect the final shape of the GFV gefilte either. Which should look like this before you put them in the pot—

gluten-free-vegan-passoverBut you really do need to watch the clock when you’re cooking, one minute too long and they will fall apart. And since I actually prefer potatoes, parsnips and cauliflower to white fish, well, the vegan’izing of this dish was a-OK with me. Better than OK since I actually ate this version. Now, let’s get on with the hiding of the (gluten-free) matzo!

Happy Pesach!

Here’s how you do it up:

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Yum-Full Ice Cream!


gluten-free, dairy-free ice creamI know. I didn’t believe it either. I’m a real cow milk ice cream kind of gal, but I know it’s not the best thing for SO MANY people, and probably not me. But until I get a diagnosis of “ice cream will kill you” I’m thinking I’ll stick to full cow and sick it out on occasion. I know how dumb that sounds.

Anyway, that was not my point. My point is, there are a lot of dairy-free ice cream substitutes and a heck of a lot of them kind of suck it. But this one? This cashew milk situation is off the hook.

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Hamster

Kid Fun

hamster-pros-consI know this is a food blog, and I’m not planning on eating Todd II, but let’s talk about hamsters. Because kids love cake and kids love hamsters. But that doesn’t mean they should have either, not all the time.

Last week was my son’s 6th birthday. I love my son, and I especially love making him crack up because he’s got a great sense of humor and he loves to laugh. While this is adorable, and fun and fills our home with an insane amount of joy, it is not a good reason to bring a living creature into your family unit. Still, that’s what went down.

You see, my husband had a hamster when he was a kid. He named that hamster, Todd. Rightly so, both of our kids found this name to be hi-lar-ious for a hamster. I mean, Todd. But it was the ’80s and my husband loved the name Todd and he loved his hamster. The kids have loved hearing stories about Todd and over the past few years my husband has obliged, with the stories getting more and more outrageous. (Note to kids: Todd did not go to a disco and dance “The Hustle.” No matter how much Daddy insists he did.)

Recently the kids were going on and on about Todd and laughing their little heads off when my husband turned to me and said, “You know Judah’s birthday is coming up.” We locked eyes and telepathically said, “Hamster!!!!” So that happened.

Look, I like Todd II. He’s sweet, small and really not too offensive most of the time. But that doesn’t mean it was a smart thing to bring into a busy family who are trying to train their 1-year-old puppy how to not bark at every cat that wanders past our house. So before you go out and buy your child a hamster, I’d like to help you out. Make you stop and think a little, since we really did not.

Cinnamon Crunch Pancakes: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free


gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free pancakesMmmmm, pancakes. This breakfast staple was one of the first things I learned how to make gluten-free when I was diagnosed with celiac.  No one should be without pancakes—no one.

Luckily pancakes are also one of those magical foods that adapt to loads of issues, and still turn out super delicious. So I went dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and added a cinnamon crunch because, YUM.

It’s pretty simple to make gluten-free pancakes if you have an all-purpose gluten-free flour (or one of the zillion of gluten-free pancakes mixes on the market), and making it dairy-free is as easy as substituting oil for butter and almond/soy/rice/cashew/hemp milk for cow milk. (While I like to use almond milk, if you have a tree nut allergy, try rice milk.)

I’ve found the best way to replace eggs in a baking recipe is to use golden flax meal. One tablespoon of golden flax meal to three tablespoons water (allow to sit for 15 minutes), creates a great texture. And feel free to use one egg instead of the golden flax meal mixture if you don’t have any egg issues. And don’t forget, if you’re like, “I don’t have time for this b.s.” grab one of these gluten-free and dairy-free pancakes mixes:

Bob’s Red Mill

XO Baking Co.

Cherrybrook Kitchen


And more!

Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar kills it in this recipe, so totally do that. Get to breakfasting!