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Casting Call for milk and peanut allergy families in California!!!

I got an e-mail from Ian Young regarding a show they are making on allergies.  Because my son is now challenge testing, we are not a good fit, however, if you live in CA and think you may be a good fit, please contact Ian (see e-mail message and contact information below):

Good morning, I found your website and wanted to discuss our show with you.  FARE is teaming up with us to do a show on dairy and peanut allergies.     I would love to see if your family is right for the project and if not, perhaps you know a family who is.  Please contact me at your earliest convenience.  We need to lock down a family for this project in the next couple of days and the stipulations of what we require are specific enough that we lose out on a lot of families.  Looking forward to speaking with you!  The episode will be all about how to make a birthday cake for kids with Dairy and Peanut allergies.



Ian Young I Supervising Casting Director I

Trium Entertainment

10960 Ventura Blvd 2nd Floor Studio City, CA 91604

Skype:  TriumIT

Twitter:  iyoungcasting

www.milkallergycompanion.com

Cool new food allergy app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

I was just told about a cool new app for the iPhone.  It is called “Allergy Talk” by Fooducate.  From what I can tell, it allows you to instantly tell which food items contain the following allergens:  gluten, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, egg, milk and soy.  (You can turn the allergen alert on and off to meet your specific needs.)  I think the information comes from scanning the bar code.  You can also discuss the allergens (I’m assuming with other users of the app?).  If this is as good as it says it is, reading labels may be a thing from the past!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/allergy-talk-by-fooducate/id518115987?mt=8&ls=1

www.milkallergycompanion.com

Rosemary-Potato Frittata – Dairy-free Recipe

This is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook “Eat Well, Lose Weight” to make it dairy-free.  It was SO yummy!

8 small red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 c chopped red onion or onion
1 c chopped peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green)
10 eggs
2 tsp. freshly snipped rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried, crushed rosemary)
1/2 tsp. salt (or as desired)
Cracked black pepper

In a large skillet, cook potatoes and onions in about 1 inch of water for 7-8 minutes.  Add peppers and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Drain off water and set aside vegetables.  Dry skillet and spray with non-stick cooking oil (or lightly oil pan).  Return vegetables to skillet.  In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, rosemary, and salt.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet.  Cook over medium heat.  As mixture sets, run a spatula around the cooked edges of the frittata to allow the raw egg to flow to the edges to be cooked.  Continue in this manner until all eggs are cooked (covering your skillet will speed up this process).  Top will be shiny.  Remove from heat and let set for 3-4 minutes.  Crack black pepper over the top and serve warm.  Serves 8.

www.milkallergycompanion.com

Dairy-free Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

These spicy gingerbread cookies and nice and chewy.
Be sure not to over bake!
Enjoy:)

1/2 c dairy-free margarine (I use Fleischmann’s Unsalted)
3/4 c light brown sugar
1/2 c molasses
1 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2-1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a large mixing bowl, cream together dairy-free margarine and brown sugar until smooth.  Add molasses and egg yolk and mix together.  In a separate bowl, combine together dry ingredients.  Add to wet ingredients and mix together until smooth.  Cover and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  When dough is ready, on a lightly floured surface roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Place cookies 2” apart on un-greased cookie sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven until firm.  Allow to cool a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.  When cookies are cool, frost or decorate as desired using dairy-free frosting/icing and candies.

www.milkallergycompanion.com

Homemade Rice Milk Recipe

We tried out/created five different rice milk/almond milk recipes and I tested them on my kids.

After trying samples of each one, the majority voted on their favorite!  The winner is…

Here’s the winning recipe for homemade Rice Milk:

4 c water
1 c brown rice, cooked
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 3 minutes.  (My husband got me a VitaMix for my anniversary, so this is what I used.)  Strain through cheesecloth, if desired.  Refrigerate and use for drinking, on top of cereal, and in baking.

All in all, this is a great recipe.  We will continue to adapt and try out new things, but were pleased with the result.  Please note that the mixture tends to separate by morning, so we have to give it a quick stir before adding it to our cereal.  This will save us a TON of money in the long run and is a great substitute for rice milk and soy milk.  We have yet to find a good almond milk recipe as it is too thick, but will keep trying:)

www.milkallergycompanion.com

Accountable Kids Program

Although this is not related to milk allergies, it IS related to good parenting and organizing your household, which I believe can help all of us:)  Juggling six children in and of itself can be a chore, but trying to juggle schoolwork, cleaning, laundry, dishes, and time with each child is completely overwhelming at times, not to mention adding food allergies into the mix.  Thankfully, I stumbled across the Accountable Kids website.   I was intrigued by the system and decided that I wanted to try it for myself.  So far, we are LOVING this system and give it 5 stars!!!  It completely takes the pressure off of me, and allows my children to be accountable for their own actions and behaviors as well as organizes their chores into bite-size pieces.

Here is a brief overview of the program:

  • Every day my children come down and do their “morning chores” which include things like making their bed, combing their hair, and brushing their teeth.  Once completed, I reward them with a ticket.  Above our chore charts, we have a list of ticketed activities (with the number of tickets needed per activity), which include things like playing video games, riding their bikes, and watching a movie/tv.  Other activities like reading a book or playing with toys are free.  My kids can choose to save their tickets for later in the day (when a bigger activity is desired) or use them as soon as they’re done with their morning chores.  This pattern continues for day chores and evening chores.
  • If my children are fighting, hitting, or being disrespectful, I simply take away a ticket rather than getting angry at them.  (I love this aspect.)  If they don’t have any tickets left, then they have to do an extra chore before they can have any privileges.  It has worked really well the last two weeks.  
  • At the end of each day, if my children have done all of their morning, day, and evening chores, then I reward them with a sticker on the date card.  Once they fill up this card, then they can schedule a mommy or daddy date.  My kids are really excited to fill up their cards and plan their special date.  Not only does this motivate them, but it also encourages me to spend one on one time with each child, which is sometimes hard to do.
  • In addition to regular tickets and chores, there are also special cards.  One of them is the “best behavior” card.  This is to be rewarded intermittently as I notice my kids being especially nice or well behaved.  One of my children has really done well with this, and I am amazed at how amazing he really is.  It’s nice to have a way to show my gratitude towards my children and to actually notice not just the bad, but the good as well.  I let my kids use their best behavior card either as a ticket or they can save it for a special drawing or the like (we haven’t done this yet as most of my kids have used them for a ticket).
  • Another special card is the “privilege pass.”  We haven’t introduced this one yet, but I want to use it to help my son stop biting his nails.  It is to be used to encourage your children to overcome something that is difficult for them to overcome.  If they do, then a very special privilege can be rewarded.  My kids want it to be something like going to the pool or to a movie in the theater.  
  • In addition to these cards, this system also introduces money chores, which my kids LOVE.  These are optional chores, and they help me run the household more smoothly.  If the kids choose not to do them, then I do them myself.  My kids earn a “bonus bucks” card for each money chore they do.  They can use them as a ticket for a ticketed activity, or they can trade them in for cash at the end of the week.  
  • One thing that we have loved is that this system is that it is totally customizable!  I decided to hand write specific chores directly on the cards to differentiate between chores.  That way my children have no question as to what is expected.
    Overall we are very pleased with this system!!!  If you want to find out more, you can visit www.accountablekids.com
www.milkallergycompanion.com

Blog Security Update

Some of you may have seen 2 comments that were in a different language followed by a bunch of …. with hyperlinks (I have since removed them). When I clicked on the hyper-link, they redirected me to some very offensive websites. I want to apologize and let everyone know that I’ve increased the security on my blog in the hope that I will not receive anymore spam-type comments. I love being able to share with others about our food allergies and lessons learned. I hope to keep this a safe place where all can benefit and appreciate all the feedback I get:)

www.milkallergycompanion.com