Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I had the opportunity to try a package of Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels.  Oh my.  It didn't make it any farther past my dining room table.  I ripped open the bag and enjoyed a "few"!  They are the "regular" size version of an allergen-friendly dark chocolate chip dream.  I had to resist eating half the bag.

Later I decided to make dark chocolate chip pancakes one morning.  I realized I put too much chips in the pancakes, which ended up tasting very rich.  However, I suggest using the dark chocolate chips sparingly.  I think these will go great with the Pumpkin Muffins recipe I posted back in November.  I would use them in the center and maybe even melt a few and drizzle on top of the muffins.  Can't wait to try it next time!  I just wish I didn't run out of them!

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Amercian Medical ID - Review

Friday, December 6, 2013

American Medical ID Image
It may come as a surprise to some that not only does my youngest daughter have allergies, but I do too.  I have a medicine allergy.  I don't speak about it much nor do I really think about it.  I've been so focused on my children, I haven't really focused on my health.  That was until last year when it took a violent shove forward (that's a whole other story).  Now I am forced to pay attention to what's going on within my own body.  I was recently introduced to American Medical ID.

The bracelets arrived in a bubble wrap inside a zipper pouch.  Included with each were cleaning cloths.  I really appreciate the Care Card instructions as well.  My daughter chose the Stainless Steel Small Silicone Flex.  What I found is that the steel engraved plate is interchangeable with other bracelets.  There are several to choose from on the website.  I like the amount of characters per line that the steel plate can hold.  The "Flex" style offers more characters and lines than others I have experienced.  My daughter really likes feel of the silicone bracelet.  It's much like the look and feel of those awareness bracelets that have become popular.  My daughter has worn other medical alert bracelets before (for years).  However, the chain bracelets dangling has bothered her so she has become somewhat resistant to wearing them.  This silicone bracelet is comfortable for her everyday use and during activities.  It's stayed on so far!

How my daughter's arrived.  Steel plate is interchangeable!
Blurred out for privacy.
Front engraved 3 lines, blurred for privacy.  However it include her first and last name and a phone number.
Back engraved 5 lines, blurred for privacy.
I chose the Sterling Silver Classic Style.  It has a clean look which I like.  Not too flashy as I'm not a big jewelry person.  However, I have trouble with the Lobster Clasp.  I have not tried the Claw but may be a bit easier to use, as the Lobster Clasp is small and a difficult to open.  This only becomes a problem for putting the bracelet back on once it's off.  Taking the bracelet off doesn't seem to be much of a problem for me though.  That being said, I don't take it off often.  The Care Card is helpful deciding when it is appropriate to take the bracelet off (like when using chemical cleansers) and where to store it. 

Front engraved 3 lines, blurred for privacy.
Back engraved 2 lines, blurred for privacy.
That's me!
I also found that American Medical ID has what's called the My Interactive Health Record (MyIHR).  You can purchase an account and then assigned a unique ID number.  The bracelet (or necklace, whichever your purchase), will be engraved with an 800 number and the unique ID number for Emergency Personnel to access.  This holds general information you would want Emergency Personnel to know, which you can update at any time.  Here's information on the MyIHR:  http://www.americanmedical-id.com/extras/myihr_frequent.php

Whether it's diabetes or food allergies (or medicine allergies!) it's important to wear something to help others help you, just in case you are not able to speak up. 

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Book Review - Patty's Secret A Tale of a Girl With Food Allergies

Monday, December 2, 2013

I was provided a PDF sample of an adorable book to review, Patty's Secret, A Tale of a Girl With Food Allergies, written by Leneille Moon.  The illustrations are bright, vibrant and colorful.  Targeted to young elementary age children (I would even read to preschool), the book focus on a young little piglet with food allergies who is just like any other kid.  However, she doesn't want anyone to know about her food allergies.  She keeps it a secret because she wants to fit in.  That was until an unfortunate event happened at school!  You'll have to get the book to know what happens.  There is a happy ending!  Finally, towards the end of the book, there are educational pages to include a word search and a brief overview of the top 8 allergens and the prevalence of food allergies as well as a resource for more information on food allergies. 

What children can take away from Patty's Secret:
  • Always be sure to eat what you know is safe.
  • Make some allergy-aware friends.
  • Know who your safe friends and adults are.
  • Food allergies are nothing to feel embarrassed about.
  • Do not eat anything "just to fit in", it can be dangerous.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet.
Overall, a beautifully illustrated book for young children where both children and grown ups (and anyone in between) can benefit from several great key points.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I've been scouring Pinterest and the internet for gluten free, dairy free, peanut free punkin muffin recipes.  At least something that I can use as a base and play with, to make safe for my household.  I finally found it from a blog post written at Nourish-Mint.  I took this recipe and adapted it to fit our dietary needs.  Here's my version of the gluten free, dairy free, peanut/tree nut and egg free pumpkin muffins*!  Note this recipe produces a pretty dense batter.  It will be thick and will yield approximately 1 dozen muffins.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  I use muffin liners in my muffin tin.  You can oil the tin if you want and omit the liners if you don't have them.
  2. Mix together the sugar, oil, apple sauce and pumpkin puree well with a whisk until fully combined.  I use a small hand whisk.
  3. Add in flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Mix by hand until fully combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Spoon the batter into muffin tin.  I started to fill them only 1/2 way but they didn't rise enough so don't skimp out and fill them a good 3/4 or more.  Remember the batter is very dense.
  5. I added about 2-3 Enjoy Life Foods Mega Chunks on top.  When the muffins were finished the chocolate chunks were gooey and delicious.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  In my oven, it was done in approximately 18 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.  
My youngest suggested something spectacular.  She suggested I shove the chocolate chunks to the center of the muffin prior to baking.  This is a great idea!  The batter seems dense enough to hold the chocolate chunks in the center, instead of sink to the bottom and burn.  When you bite into them, it'll be like a chocolate surprise (I hope)!  My next batch will be made this way :)

I have to be honest and admit, other than the timer, every time I bake, I use the "toothpick in the center" trick to test doneness.  Just take a toothpick and stick it in the center of the muffin (or cupcake or whatever it is you're baking).  If it comes out clean, the muffin is done.  It's something I was taught by my mother, who was taught by her mother.  It works for us and I'm sticking with it!  My girls were my taste testers.  They loved the muffins!  I hope you get to try this recipe out.  It's not only delicious but made my house smell wonderful!

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*It is recommended to check with the manufacturers for your specific food allergies before using any new foods in the recipes found in this blog.  Please review the blog author's disclaimer.

Enjoy Life Foods Decadent Bars and Maybe Some Frankenbaking

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wow.  It's been a while since I've post anything!  Things have been very busy here.  So I have a lot of catching up to do!  I have been meaning to write this post for a very long time.  I have been sampling these Enjoy Life Food's products.  Just love them!  The Decadent Bars are a great mix of soft and chewy yet a crunch of goodness when you bite into it.  It's pretty much what the box says, decadent.  My favorite has to be the Chocolate Sunbutter.  Which one's your favorite?

I had a thought.  Wouldn't it be fun to use these bars as a crust for a mini pie?  I think I may try it out, when I have some time (hahaha what's that??!!).  So how would one accomplish this?  I would probably use the Cinnamon Bun and make little apple pies.  I like the idea of cinnamon and apple favors mixed together.  I also like making things in mini sizes.  It's easy to eat and portable.  Anyway, here's how I was thinking about executing this idea:
  • Break the bars up into pieces.  
  • Smush (technical baking term) the bars into the bottom and sides of a greased muffin tin.   
  • Add the usual apple baking pie filings (chopped into cubes) and toppings.  
  • Bake until done!
I may need to figure out how to avoid the Decadent Bar crust from over baking and burning.  Maybe put the muffin tray in another baking sheet and adding water to evenly distribute the heat?  Hmmmm...  Well, sounds like it may be a fun weekend of Frankenbaking!  Has anyone tried this yet?  If so, let me know!  Comment with a link because I would really like to try!  You know, successfully.

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