A break for Colin so we all get some sleep

Happy Friday!

I hope all of you had a happy Valentines Day!  We had a great Valentines day here, sitting around the table opening cards/gifts for each other after dinner.  Everyone was happy, full of smiles (which is a present itself that close to bedtime) and a great family moment.  Hannah was thrilled with her chocolates and Colin was very happy to get a balloon and toothbrush, his two favorite things.

We’ve taken a bit of a food trial break here.  The “give Colin only a bit of something new” approach wasn’t working out.  He was reacting to something we gave him in the last two weeks.  We started seeing some acid reflux and his sleep was terrible.  When his tummy is upset he has trouble going to sleep and staying asleep, up every 45 minutes to an hour some nights.   I’ve been barely sleeping and I felt like I was losing my mind.  It is tough to “go to work” as a stay at home mom day after day after night after night of poor quality fragmented sleep.   My batteries just never recharge.  This week we are back to his safe-list-only foods and things are better.  He settles better and gets some longer stretches.   I feel a little more human.

I’m not sure what food to trial next.  He didn’t want to eat sweet potato after the first two days so it was tough to decide how that one went.  Maybe we’ll file that one away and try it again.  After two bad weeks I don’t really want to retry something that we’ve failed before.  So something new I guess.  Cauliflower? Mushroom? Spinach?  Not sure how to prepare spinach for a baby who can’t chew yet.  Hmmmmm, got some thinking to do.

In more positive news, Colin is talking a lot more these days, communicating so well.  He is turning into a little boy and the baby is disappearing.  When he mimics something we say it just amazes me.  When he doesn’t know a word for something he is signing, pointing, grunting, yelling, whatever it takes, and when we figure it out he does this great little happy dance and giggle.  His whole body gets excited that we know what he is trying to tell us and its a wonderful moment.  We are almost excited as he is, loving that we can figure out what he needs.  Part of me can’t wait until he can tell me when food bothers him but a bigger part of me hopes his GI system will improve faster than his speech.

Have a great weekend!


Manischewitz Marble Cake

Just wanted to do a quick review while Colin is napping.  I made a box of the Manischewitz Marble Cake mix, just the regular variety, not the extra moist which contains carrageenan.  I just put the chocolate batter in one part so I could eat the non-chocolate side.  Oh my goodness! It is moist and delicious and tastes like cake!  (If you’ve been following my blog, you know finding dairy/soy free cake mix that tastes good is quite a challenge!)   It contains wheat and potato starch.  The whole list is here: http://www.manischewitz.com/assets/images/nut_Marble_Cake.jpg.  You just need eggs and water to make the batter.

This stuff is expensive.  $5 for a teeny tiny pan, but I still went out and bought 4 more boxes of it.  My hope is that I will be able use it for Colin’s birthday or other dessert laden holidays if potato is a success.  If nothing else, I will eat it. I’m debating trying to make it into tiny cupcakes to see if it works in cupcake form.

It is my understanding that like Easter candy, these box mixes are only around right now for Passover.  I would highly recommend checking them out before they are gone!

http://www.manischewitz.com/passovercakemixesandsweetsproducts.html – click on individual products to get ingredient lists!

-And I swear I’m not affiliated with Manischewitz in any way, just very excited to find something fast and easy that tastes like real cake!





Dairy Free Side Dish- Rice Pilaf

So to go with my last recipe post, delicious Magic Salmon, I thought I’d post a side dish recipe for rice pilaf that is always a hit.  It is very simple. You might even call it bland if you are used to eating flavored box mixes like Rice-a-roni, but it is a winner in our house.  It is a good complement/balance for a very flavorful main dish and is great if you have noodle/rice loving kids like mine.  The recipe calls for orzo, which I would recommend since the shape fits well with the rice, but if you can’t find orzo look for another very very small pasta like Stelline (itty bitty stars).   The recipe calls for minced garlic and I used to mince my own all the time, but now with two kids to watch while also making dinner I love to use the pre-minced garlic in a jar for an application such as this.  It saves time, mess and the smell on my hands.  I use a brand that is just minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil.

Simple Rice Pilaf

adapted from Sarah’s Rice Pilaf


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup dry orzo pasta

1/2 cup diced onion or shallot

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry rice

2 cups chicken broth (veggie broth would work too- this is for flavor so use water here if you have to)


Get out a medium stockpot that has a good lid.  Heat the pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and the orzo.  Cook the orzo, stirring regularly, until it is just slightly browned and add the diced onion.  Cook the onion until slightly soft and then add the garlic.  Cook for 1 minute more.   Mix in the rice and the chicken broth.  Cover and turn the heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 25 minutes without removing the lid.  Turn off the heat and let the pilaf sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff the pilaf with a fork.


Chocolate Goodies for Valentines Day

Just wanted to pass on a few dairy and soy free chocolate goodies that you might want to try for Valentines Day.  I can’t eat chocolate yet (maybe next year) but hopefully you can!

1.  Amanda’s Own Chocolate  I found this website and then found an Amanda’s Own chocolate bar the same day when buying Valentines gifts at a local chocolate shop.  Developed by a family who couldn’t find allergy friendly chocolates for their daughter, Amanda’s Own chocolates are dairy free.  Their current recipe is soy free.  The old recipe contained soy lecithin and although they have cleaned the machinery, they do note that since soy was present at one time, soy lecithin could be present in their chocolate bars.

2.  It is nearing Passover so the Manischewitz Passover baking mixes are out in my grocery store and maybe yours too.  They are in the Kosher section of my store.   I saw fudgy brownie, brownie with frosting and chocolate cake mixes that were dairy and soy free.  You can click on the names of the products on their website for a list of ingredients.   I would grab these up if I could right now while they are around.  I haven’t had the chocolate baking mixes but I’ve had the moist white cake which is fantastic.