FPIES Lamb, Apple and Squash Meatballs

We’re celebrating National FPIES Day today with a new safe recipe for the entire family and a FPIES ‘Pie in the Face’ for dessert! Be sure to check back later today for the video of all of us taking a Pie in the Face!

Lamb Meatballs made with Apple, Squash and Coconut

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Safe’s Needed:
Lamb, apples, yellow squash, and coconut flour
Ingredients:

      1 lb ground lamb
      2 tbsp coconut flour
      1/4 of a medium apple finely grated
      1 small yellow squash grated (grate to the seeds and discard the middle)

Directions:

      Preheat to 375.
      Put ground lamb in a medium bowl.
      Add 2 tbsp coconut flour.
      Grate 1/4 of a medium apple into the bowl. I grated the inside of the apple and discarded the peel.
      Grate 1 small yellow squash on each side until you reach the middle seed portion. Turn over and grate the next side, until you have grated all four sides. Discard the middle section with seeds.
      Use your hands to mix well.
      Spray a mini muffin pan with coconut oil spray.
      Form the lamb mixture into 24 mini meatballs and place each one into a muffin well.
      Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.
      Cool meatballs and serve.
      Immediately put the pans into water to soak for easy clean up!
    Advertisements

    FPIES Coconut Flour Pancakes

    Remember those Saturday morning breakfasts when you rolled out of bed, brewed up some delicious coffee and whipped up some delicious pancakes. In my house you have to compensate for a husband who can’t have gluten, eggs, or corn, a son who can’t have gluten, a daughter who can’t have dairy and now a baby with FPIES to rice, bananas, avocados.  Most days I feel like a Kitchen Chemist and am wondering if what I am concocting will be delightful or dreadful.   Although we don’t fight food aversions like many FPIES families do, little bit is definitely starting to turn her cute little nose up at the purees in favor of anything she can self-feed. These pancakes were an attempt to give her that independence.

    FPIES Coconut Flour Pancakes

    • Servings: 4-6
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    Ingredients

    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 cup coconut milk ( I use the canned to avoid extra ingredients)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (we did not use this, but I plan to trial it next month and will add it in at that time)
    • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
    • 1/2 cup coconut flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp coconut vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • coconut oil frying

    Directions

    1. Preheat griddle or pan to medium-low heat.
    2. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. I used the hand mixer with a whisk attachment.
    3. Mix in milk, vanilla, and coconut sugar.
    4. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together.
    5. Add in the coconut vinegar and stir a few times.
    6. Add wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.
    7. Add coconut oil to the pan.
    8. Spoon a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out with the back of a spoon. You want these fairly thick.
    9. Cook for on each side for 2-5 minutes until bottoms are browning and can be easily flipped.
    10. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.
    11. Let cool and tear into bite size pieces or serve whole depending on the age of your kiddo.  We stored these on the counter and little bit had them for snack and breakfast the next day. 

    This recipe was inspired by Chella’s Common Sense.

    FPIES Cheerios Finger Foods

    Making FPIES Cheerios

    FPIES is a Family Affair around our house! Big sis helps make the Cheerios!

    Before FPIES I took baby safe finger foods for granted. You bought them at the store in the cereal or baby food aisles. Boxes of puffs and bags of cereal were the ultimate quick snack when on the go with the baby. Now everything from bananas to baby rice teething crackers are off the menu. Although specialty stores like whole foods have come a long way in offering many, many more allergy friendly choices, it’s still unlikely to find very many safe finger foods for FPIES babies in the grocery store.

    As we gear up for the first national FPIES awareness day on May 4th, we are celebrating a little early in our house. Today was a milestone day as we found a solid recipe for a transportable, easy, not messy finger food for my FPIES baby girl. At almost a year, she tried “Cheerios” for the first time today and loved them!  This recipe uses coconut and apples so you’ll want to have those two safes to give this a try. I hope this helps babies everywhere have a little bit of normal, finger food fun!

    FPIES Coconut Cheerios

    Made with coconut, apples, and a smidge of salt, these Cheerios will be a staple in our house!

    FPIES Cheerios made with Coconut and Apples

    • Servings: 4-6
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    Ingredients:

        1/2 cup coconut flour
        1/8 tsp. salt
        3 Tbsp. coconut oil
        1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp applesauce (I use liquidy applesauce made by stewing apples in my mini crockpot and pureeing them. It has more liquid than chunkier applesauce so you may need to add more depending on your brand)
      4 TBSP coconut milk (I use canned that is only coconut and water)

    Directions:

        To ensure the flour isn’t grainy I throw it in my vitamix for a quick blend to a finer powder. If you don’t have a vitamix, skip this step.
        Then dump your flour in a medium sized bowl and add salt, coconut oil and the applesauce and mix to combine. It should look like large, moist crumbles that hold together.
        Begin adding coconut milk a tbsp at a time until the dough pulls together and begins to hold. The amounts above worked perfectly for me but depending on your brand of coconut flour, the moisture in the air in your location and thickness of the coconut milk you choose you might need to adjust your dry/liquid ratios to get a good dough.
        Once you have your dough set, pre-heat the oven to 375 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
        Pick up dime size balls of dough, roll them smooth and then flatten them on the cookie sheet with your thumb.
        If you want a true “cheerio” look take the small end of a piping tip and use it as a cookie cutter to cut out the middles.
        Once your cheerios are prepped, pop them in the oven. I took mine out at 10 mins and thought they were still too soft and crumbly so I ended up putting them back in for another 7mins. Check around 10 mins, but don’t be surprised if you bake them between 15-20 mins. You will start to see noticeable browning when they are ready.
      Let them cool and pop them in front of a curious baby while you sit back and get teary-eyed that for just a min things seem slightly normal in FPIESland (or maybe it’s just me that does that! :)).

    This recipe was inspired by a post over at The Misplaced Americans.

    The FPIES First Birthday Cake Challenge

    My daughter has FPIES and if you don’t know what that is, believe me it’s a good thing. FPIES is ER visits, IVs, and stomach dropping fear due to crawlers and crumbs. It’s braving the scary world of new foods and frustration at the tiny pool of “safes.”  A few weeks ago I was visiting a friend and she had Chopped on. I had never watched the cooking show since our family allergies make anything they come up with unlikely to be insprational to our meal plan, but I did have an idea. I want the food network to create a show where the contestants have to create edible meals out of safe ingredients. Sometimes when I’m working in the kitchen creating a recipe I feel a bit like a mad scientist, a bit like an explorer and a bit like a gambler sitting at the table long past the time I should have packed my bags and gone home.

    And then there’s the days when you beat the house that make it all worthwile!  After 5 months of slowly adding one food at a time to my daughters safes we are finally up to

    1. Sweet Potatoes
    2. Apples
    3. Coconut
    4. Yellow Squash
    5. Beef
    6. Lamb

    Yes, you read that right. At almost a year my daughter can eat 6 foods. She is acutely allergic to rice in all forms, bananas and avocados and due to that is not able to even try any grains, dairy, legumes, poultry or items related to her fails (like plantains).

    At a time when most moms are picking out party themes and ordering a cake I’m scouring the internet looking for a way to create some sembalance of a celebratory dessert out of that list, because believe me any any FPIES mom knows making it through the first year of this condition deserves a celebration!

    Today I stumbled across a recipe for a South Beach Primal’s Paleo Cinnamon Bun in a Mug and it hit me…A MUG CAKE would be easier for converting to FPIES safe! They usually have fewer ingredients to start with so I could possibly only have to sub a few things to get a recipe that might work.  I modified the original recipe, put it in front of my other kids to get an honest taste test reaction and BAM…we have a winner!

    I hope this recipe helps others who just want a little bit of normalcy in celebrating their little ones! FPIES mamas this one’s for you!

    FPIES Birthday Mug Cake

    • Servings: 1
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    Telecommuting Tyrant’s FPIES Safe Coconut Flour Mug Cake.
    Safe’s Needed:
    Coconut, Apples, Eggs

    Ingredients

    2 tbsp coconut flour
    1 tsp cinnamon
    Dash sal
    ½ tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp coconut vinegar
    1 egg
    2 tbsp canned light coconut milk
    1 ½ tbsp homemade coconut syrup

    FOR THE ICING:
    1 can coconut cream
    4 tbsp homemade coconut syrup (to taste)

    Instructions

    Mix all of the cake ingredients in a coffee mug, mixing in the baking soda and coconut vinegar last.
    Microwave for 2 minutes.

    For the icing scoop out the can of coconut cream into a cold bowl and use a stand mixer or beaters to beat it for three minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in the sweetener. I’ve used both coconut sugar blend it up in my vita mix into powdered sugar, or my homemade coconut syrup.

    Make sure the cake is nice and cool Frost, and then stick in the refrigerator to firm up.

    Cheers!

    Traci

    Pictures coming soon!

    Making it work ~ Telecommuting with a Spouse

    Couple Working Together at Home Just before 2012 went out in style (and escaped the dreaded Mayan end of the world apocolypse) my husband took a new job. We were both very happy with this move. It was very rewarding professional, looked like a great fit both travel wise and financially, and it was a home based position when we wasn’t on the road.
    When I began to mention to people that he would be working from home alongside me now I received a lot of split reviews. There were the “Oh no” group who gasped wondering how we were going to get anything done for our respective positions. There was the “that’s awesome, now he can take the kids to school” group who, like me, immediately saw how our parenting workload might shift. And there was the “I’d never get anything done” group, who probably aren’t cut out to be telecommuters anyway.
    From the start it’s been great, but there were definitely a few things that were key to our success in both working from home.

    1. We new we would each need our own space. Several months back we remade our dining room over into my office (in a way that still allowed the room to serve its purpose during entertaining events). Check out the design and before and after pictures! Since my space was located downstairs we quickly determined that his “office” was going to have to fit into either the upstairs family room or our bedroom. Since my husband travels a good deal I wanted his office to be able to dissappear when he was on the road.

    A few quick Pinterest searches later and I was on the hunt for one of these Armoire Style desks. I would be able to shut the doors and it would by bye bye office, hello bedroom every day at 5.

    Isn't this awesome?

    Isn’t this awesome?

    I happened to be in our super nice Salvation Army about three days later and couldn’t believe it when there one sat!  It was in good shape, even had an L-table drop down for extra office space. I was good and waited semi-patiently until Hubs returned from that weeks travel and then promptly drug him to the store. Bada bing, bada bam…Hubs had a new office. Now I’ll be the first to admit my spacious spread and his awesome armoire are not equal but it works. We each have our own space, own office supplies, own phone lines, own printers, etc.

    2. Office hours are a must. I learned this one the hard way years ago when I first became a telecommuter. I needed to shut the computer, switch off the work cellphone and walk away from work just as I had in physcially leaving an office. It is way to easy to walk by a computer, see mail sitting in your inbox and lose an hour on something that would have just as easily been tackled the next morning.  I’m a minority in my company since I still haven’t synced up my phone with the email servers and don’t work on weekends and vacations, but it helps me keep the balance between work and life.  This is something that Hubs, who is new to telecommuting is working on. I’ll occasionally search the house for him and find him hiding in his armoire checking email.

    3. Find a routine that works for you. I work early in the morning, take a break to get the kids ready and off to school and then finish up by the time to pick them up. Fitting in daily exercise is something I need to work hard on this year but my routine allows me to focus on where I truly want to be, when I want to be there, in my case available for my kids after school hours. With Hubs joining me in telecommuting we’ve been able to improve on our routine, splitting up who takes and picks up each kid to allow both of us to spend some one on one time with each kid each day.

    4. keepcalmandgotostarbucksA coffee frother, the gym, and Pandora…yeah I know these don’t make a lick of sense in the same sentence, but they are all vital to making telecommuting work for me. I’m a coffee fanatic and a loyal Starbucks customer through and through. Only problem is now it would mean a special trip out of the house, just for coffee to get my morning fix. I stumbled on a coffee frother at Bed Bath and Beyond one day and haven’t looked back! Each morning I mix up my own latte at home and Starbucks has become more of a treat than a daily vice.  The gym is Hubs escape. At the end of a day working from home, eating at home and not leaving other than to pick up the kids, he escapes to the neighborhood gym for a workout and some socialization.  Last but not lease, Pandora = Productivity for me. A good jamming playlist, a quiet house and a long to do list that gets knocked out quickly is a daily ritual for me.

    5. Calendar blocks are also essential. When I have tasks to do that are not meetings with others or travel, I schedule them as meetings on my calendar. For instance if I need to do expense reports, work on my to do list, send a block of emails or draft a powerpoint, I make a point to put a block of time on my calendar, marked as busy to work on those objectives. The hardest part for my peers when I moved to working from home was not having the visual that I was busy. I ended up with a lot of random, last minute requests that kept me from completing my tasks. Scheduling my tasks on my calendar gave them back that visual and kept me from being overloaded with last minute piddly items.

    I could go on and on but these are some of the key items that made telecommuting work for me and that I’ve shared to help Hubs be successful in his new endeavor.

    Childcare…my take on the options!

    A few weeks ago a friend asked me for childcare option advice. I stalled, I didn’t email or text a response, I really didn’t think my somewhat retro opinion would go over very well. However before I get to that let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how I arrived at a somewhat less mainstream opinion.

    With my two kids we’ve tried out quite a few options when it comes to childcare. I’ve juggled my kids and work myself and questioned my brillance when things went nutty. I relied on a flexible stream of relatives, close friends, and the benevolence of my employer to make things work. I spent far to many hours working meetings and phone calls around nap schedules and quiet(er) times of the day.  I loved this scenario in my head, on paper and occasionally in real life. The problem was, as I’m sure anyone who’s been around children know, kids aren’t trains and you can’t make them run on time. I would end up stressed, strategically pushing the mute button and simultaneously working and praying. I took a very long maternity leave with my firstborn and phased back on to work slowly. For the most part this system worked for me until I was back full time. At that point even I, telecommuting extrordinnaire and supermom in training, realized I needed more help.

    That’s when Sam entered our lives. She was a nanny who I adored, until she left us to go to law school that is. For a year and a half though she was a huge part of our lives and made the sun shine just a little brighter. I could still work at home and hear my son’s baby laughs and giggles. I could poke my head around the corner and see him decorating the kitchen in purreed sweet potatoes. Most of all I knew he was well cared for because I was there to watch. The biggest struggle for any new parent is trusting those they’ve entrusted with their children. I knew I would have to continue working once I had children and quickly realized this was going to be one of the hardest parts of early mommyhood for me. Having someone in the house who I could trust was a great transition for me. Sam not only helped my son learn and grow in the first years, she also helped me trust caretakers with him later on.

    When we hired our nanny we knew she was in college and there was a finite amount of time she would be available to us. Attending her graduation luncheon was bittersweet. By then we had grown to know her, we wanted the best for her and I knew she would make a darn fine lawyer one day. It was also the end of an era for us though since I knew we would have to make other arrangements for my son. I reverted to childcare option 1 for a few weeks. Just long enough to realize there was a darn good reason I had hired Sam in the first place.

    Thus started the era of the small neighborhood church preschool, which was great but expensive. That was a bit of an adjustment for us. Arriving and picking up at scheduled times, my son had to adjust to other napping conditions and of course the onset of separation anxiety. We also hit the school during a sudden onset of staff turnover which left me very uncomfortable at the beginning. Once things leveled out I was happy with the location, teachers and my son’s adjustment, but man the beginning was rough. Time went on and he grew and before I knew it he was in preschool. Same school, so no sudden transition there and I absolutely loved his teacher. When she left to start her own in-home childcare and focus on kinder prep we followed her without a thought.

    Our in-home experience was fabulous but owe most of that to knowing my provider before hand in a school setting. I was her classroom parent and spent a lot of time with her one-on-one. She also kept her class size small, only 5 kids were in her kinder prep in-home care. They had spanish, music and art teachers and during the day she taught them core cirriculum for kinder that left my son very well set for his first year. My son also had the chance to learn in a way that we don’t teach anymore. My provider’s husband did several projects with the kids during the school year building forts in the play area, birdhouses, demonstrating lifeskill lessons that aren’t always a part of school teaching. We loved it!

    But time continued marching on and soon my son was ready for kindergarten and my daughter’s nanny had graduated leaving us in a position of new childcare situations for both kids.

    That led us to our first official round with the more mainstream daycare chain solution. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy with it. I know a lot of people have great experience with daycare chains, but we did not. Items went missing, staff turnover was high, too many kids in a class and constant sickness plagued our 9 month stint. At that point we withdrew from the daycare and returned to a smaller, church preschool setting that seems to fit our lifestyle better.

    My two cents, think long and hard about what you would want in a school setting and backtrack. I wanted a small charter school, smaller class environment and rigorous academics for my school age child. After trying all the daycare options I found that the small church environment for my daughter was very similar rule and structure wise. It seems to be my comfort zone!

    Balance is hard for an overcommitting Telecommuter

    I’ve been struggling a lot with working, traveling and parenting. This year my oldest started kinder and I added volunteering to my plate. Although multitasking seems second nature most of the time, the last few weeks have seen me have not one, not two but several mini meltdowns as I tried to deal with all life was throwing us simultaenously.   Even though my husband doesn’t read my blog I’m giving him a shout out on record for stepping up and jumping in wherever I needed him. 

    Sometimes I wonder if I would try to balance as much if I worked in the office. Something about working from home and being instantly able to shift from Working Woman to Multitasking Mom on a moments notice makes me more inclined to commit to after school activities and planning lunches. Two years ago when all my work was local that might have worked but now when you throw travel into the mix, I seem to be spending more time planning how the day can run smoothly than actually doing anything. 

    Some of this I seem to bring on myself…I need to work on that! 🙂 My son’s kinder class is representing Norway in an upcoming International Fest and instead of coloring a few flags and ordering a DVD to show I decided that our class would concentrate on Norway’s viking history. 

    We have a viking ship that is 10 feet long and 5 feet tall, a 4 foot tall viking cutout, a forest on the walls, a fishing station and some viking food to sample. Those have taken some time to pull together! For the record I’m not the only crazy mom, the class next store has a 7 foot tall castle you can walk in! 🙂

    I need a clone and since that’s not possible 🙂 I need to practice what I preach and get back to the basics of work life balance. There are 24 hours in a day, 8 go to sleep, 8 go to work, by the time I pack lunches, make dinner, do house hold chores, factor in travel time for pick ups and drop offs, there are really not that many hours left.  It’s time to make them count instead of counting them down!

     

    To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer

    I have a school age kid now and with that apparently comes great responsibility to volunteer!  (Did you hear that in the same Spiderman voice over that I did?)  When my son switched schools in October with the school year already underway I knew it was going to take me reaching out to get plugged in and involved at his new school. I happened to run into several moms on our first day and walked up to ask what they thought of the school, any advice and it they knew how I could get plugged in. Little did I know I had run into the very group that was at the core of anything and everything that happened at our new school. This group of woman are amazing and I quickly knew that friendships were coming fast and furious! I told them laughingly that I loved to help out and they hadn’t seen the last of me.

    A few weeks later I attended my first PTO meeting where I heard some complaints voiced about the lack of communication from the school and PTO that was leaving parents with questions but no recourse for answers. I offered to jump in where another parent had left off and create the PTO website. A few meetings and weekends later and it was off and running. Fast forward a few weeks and I had gone from flying under the radar offering advice to front and center jack of all trades volunteer with an honorary position on the board.

    Then came my personal Waterloo! International Fest…an amazing event intended to open the eyes and minds of children and teachers at our school and allow them to embrace the diversity and culture that our charter school represents. My planning expertise landed me at logistics coordinator and we were off. Over the last several months we have had conference calls, meetings, craft sessions, shopping trips, commercial production, promotions creation and production, you name it!  It’s going to be great…I know it is, but it has brought up a big question for me.

    To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer…it’s an eternal question.  When you volunteer your efforts benefit your child and a slew of others, the school, the teachers and other parents. Your time is given over benefit the collective, but what does that do on a small-scale to your family.  While I know that volunteering does benefit my kid, does he? For my five-year old the activities I do for him, for his school, his class, his soccer team, I do them all for him, but in his eyes it’s all just one more thing (more realistically a dozen more things) Mom has to do before she can play.

    I’m adding Volunteering to my list of jobs. First and foremost I’m a Mom, it takes priority over everything else. Second I’m an employee of a great company and work set hours to get that work done. That leaves a little time for job numero tres, Volunteering where I need to split time between soccer team mom, home room mom and school volunteer.  Moving forward I realize that I need to be a bit more structured, allocate some hours and plan my volunteer time instead of agreeing to tasks without taking into account the hours I’m giving over and where they’re being taken from.

    On that note I bring you this week’s

    TELECOMMUTING TIP!

    Check out www.slimtimer.com if you are trying to juggle the hours you spend on any activity. Whether you freelance, are a telecommuter or just need a handle on those volunteer hours www.slimtimer.com allows you to create tasks that fit your life. When you click on a task it starts a stopwatch. Click again to stop it. Then on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis you can run reports on how many hours you spend on each task. It’s a great way to track time and stay on top of whatever schedule you set for yourself.  I’ve been using it for years and recommend it far and wide when I encounter a situation where someone is trying to get a handle on where their time is spent!

    Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Party

    A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to host a House Party.  In exchange for some social media and word of mouth reviews Duncan Hines sent over a fabulous party pack for me to try out…and boy did I have fun!  They sent Coupons for free cake mixes, Frosting creation flavor packets and a case of Frosting starters. There was also an apron and some great free frosting coupons for my guests.  What was a a girl to do but throw a party!

    Today I am celebrating my seventh anniversary to an amazing man. There are a lot of guys out there that are born ready to take on a family and all the responsibility that comes with them, but the guy I married impressed me even more. He has risen to every challenge our tiny tyrants throw at him and at the back of it all is a solid wall of love for all of us. We are blessed to have him in our lives.  Oh, but I digress, you’re here for cake right?

    So on the same weekend we had our Anniversary right around the corner and my grandmother’s 79th birthday, not to mention I was finally wrapping up some major redecorating throughout our house.  So I sent out some invitations and invited family over for a good time.  To keep things fun, low key and let me enjoy the party I cooked up 4 dozen  mini cupcakes in three different flavors (Chocolate Decadence, French Vanilla and Lemon).  Lemon was dairy free and my tiniest tyrant really enjoyed getting to participate in the party.  I left everything unfrosted and set out a buffet of cupcake goodness!  I also wanted something a little showy in the center so a tiny two tier cake was my nod to the big events of the day.  The top layer was French Vanilla and the bottom Chocolate decadence and the entire thing was frosted with my favorite Frosting Creation flavor-Cherry Vanilla.  Boy was it a hit!  

    To keep the party rolling and ensure I wasn’t left with dozens of cupcakes I dug out my trusty lazy susan condiment server and let the party guest choose what flavors we were starting out with.  We filled each serving bowl with a sample of Chocolate Marshmallow, Orange Creme, Cotton Candy, White Chocolate Raspberry, Cherry Vanilla and Chocolate Almond. I added spoons and everyone jumped in to frost their cupcakes.   It was a great party and knowing that there was great food helped me relax and enjoy the fun.  
    Image
    I give Frosting Creations by Duncan Hines two thumbs up!