Do you know how to make a red velvet cookie even better?  Dip it in chocolate! 

Facing food allergies can be a challenge but it shouldn't mean you have to go without. So in 2011, a few years after Xander's diagnosis, I was inspired to write an ebook called Sweet Cheats. It is filled with tasty desserts and sweet treats that are all dairy, egg and nut free! You can check it out in the link but keep in mind, the pictures aren't great (well before I really knew how to do food photography) but the recipes are delicious!

Sometimes I forget about that book and the recipes in there but then it dawned on me, I've only included one of those in this blog!  Crazy right? Especially since those are some of our most loved desserts.  Like these Chocolate Dipped Red Velvet Cookies, those are #1 on Xander's MUST EAT LIST. 

No party is complete without these light & fluffy vanilla cupcakes, made with aquafaba.

Vanilla Cupcakes

I am incredibly picky when it comes to vanilla cupcakes.  They can't be too yellow, or too dry or too dense (cuz that would make it a muffin, right?). Vanilla cupcakes are the most basic cupcake to get right, and yet so many people get it so wrong!  It's like the basis for every other cake, is it not? Switch out a few ingredients here and there, and you can have any variation of flavor you like, including chocolate. It's the first recipe I worked on after Xander's allergy diagnosis, 9 years ago. In fact, he was 10 months old at the time and all I could think about what type of cake could he have for his upcoming birthday.  I had 2 months to figure it out.  Thankfully, he mostly used the cake the mash his hands in to, so whether it was good or not, really didn't matter.  However, last weekend my baby Xander just turned 10 and this time, I needed a vanilla cake that would make his party extra special.  That's when I came up with these Light & Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes.

Homemade stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and should be eaten more than once a year.

This is truly something to be thankful for! Our family favorite stuffing, made vegan & allergy-friendly When I was younger, Thanksgiving was a big deal!  The entire family would gather together at my Grandparents house for a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings! Mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, and best of all Thanksgiving STUFFING!  Oh my goodness, stuffing was my favorite. That was, until I learned what was in it!  Sausage, bacon, giblets (including the liver and heart of the turkey) and all the pieces of meat that came off the bones from the turkey neck. Eeew, so gross! But here's the thing, back then, it was so delicious!  All the flavors that melded together, all the layers of texture, it really did outdo any bagged stuffing mix.  Thankfully, after years of messing with my Grandma's recipe, I've recreated it to be completely allergy-friendly as well as vegan!  The texture is still there and the flavor.....amazing! This is absolutely the best Allergy-friendly Stuffing (without all those giblets) that you'll want to serve this Thanksgiving.

S'mores! Can I have me some more please? I wonder if that's how it got its name? When marshmallows, chocolate & graham crackers are combined, who wouldn't want s'more? I know I do and now that I've added SunButter (my favorite nut-free spread), this Summer treat tastes like a melted allergy-friendly Reese's cup, I really want s'more! How about you? 

There is something sweet and pure about vanilla cupcakes.  When done right, there is no need for all the icing and fluff because it should simply taste amazing on its own.  It's only when the cupcakes are dry and/or tasteless that you need to add more and more icing or have a cold cup of milk (non-dairy of course) to go with it.   Now, I am not in any way saying to skip the icing, I mean, that is what makes cupcakes look so pretty, but I am saying that you just want it to taste good on its own, and the icing is simply the bonus!

Toffee Square Cover

Salty, buttery, chocolatey…….need I say more?

I guess it wouldn’t be a fun read if I just ended there, but here’s the thing, these treats just don’t need a whole lot of talking about.  Their deliciousness really speaks for itself.

All my kids need to say is "can you make those cracker things" and I know exactly what they are asking for. 

Christmas cake Collage

Almost too pretty to eat, but you'll want to anyways! Snowy white Eggnog flavored cake with layers of cranberry glaze for the perfect Holiday blend cake. V & free of dairy, eggs, soy & nuts Each Christmas day, we begin by having cake for breakfast. It's become our family tradition and way of celebrating the "reason for the season" before the gift opening begins.

For years, the kids would help make the cake and decorate it but as they are getting older their calendars are now full of activities and sports and I've started making the cake on my own.  I'm pretty sure I could still make it happen and have them help, but I kinda like the quiet in the kitchen and being able to have a cake without funfetti sprinkles or multi-colored globs of icing everywhere.

Deliciously dairy-free Hot Cocoa mix, perfect for 1 mug or 10. Top 8 free & vegan

Deliciously rich, hot cocoa mix. Top 8 free "Ohhhhhh, the weather outside is frightful....but this Cocoa's so delightful,,,,."

To be perfectly honest, the weather outside is B-E-A-U-tiful  (60 degrees and only 5 days away from Christmas) & the Cocoa is still so delightful but this doesn't make for a great song, does it?

Regardless of the unseasonably warm weather, December holiday festivities have continued, the latest event being the showing of The Polar Express at my son's school that included a special delivery of Hot Chocolate for their viewing. I'm pretty sure most parents wouldn't even blink at hearing that but for us Food Allergy Mom's, it's a completely different story, and thankfully, my son has a teacher who called and gave me a "heads up".