Homemade, Top 8 free & delicious! Easy to make, protein candy bars to make grab & go snacking healthier & allergy-friendly

Grocery shopping for a family with special dietary restrictions has gotten easier over the years.  I have found that it is safest to stay on the outside of the aisles and stick with mostly fruits and veggies.  Once I make my way toward the center of the store it is filled with all kinds of processed foods and very little of them are safe for our little guy. Occasionally you find a specialty item that seems like a life saver but for the most part, it's a tricky time walking through those areas, especially when it comes to Protein Bars.

Whether you are throwing a party or attending one to celebrate the New Year, it's always good to start off the year with a few delicious appetizers, like these incredibly easy Hasselback Baby Potatoes.

The perfect holiday appetizer made to impress your guests and amuse your tastebuds. V,GF,T8Free

During this years' Christmas party, I made a batch Hasselback Potatoes for the first time using baby sized spuds. I barely had time after they came out of the oven to sneak a pic or 2 because they were gobbled up, right away.  Needless to say, I just had to make them again then again until finally, no one was around to eat them (except me and I may or may not have eaten 1 right out of the pan).

I tell you this because these little munchies made everyone happy!  Hubby, kiddos, guests...really everyone.  Because I only share the "hits" not "misses",  I was determined to get this recipe with you before New Years Eve.  Then I realized...tomorrow is NYE!!! WOW.  SO in order to get this out in a timely manner, this is going to be short and sweet.  Sorry.... no long stories, no wordy explanations, just pictures and this Hasselback Baby Potato recipe.   You have parties to get to anyways, right?

Satisfy those cravings with a perfect blend of salty & sweet cookies. 

You are just minutes away from satisfying your salty & sweet cravings. {vegan, nut free} I saw what you did right there, you scrunched your nose at the thought of popcorn in your chocolate chip cookies, didn't you?   But let me ask, have you ever enjoyed chocolate covered pretzels or salted caramel sauce drizzled on your chocolate cupcake? What about dipping your french fry into a milkshake, have you ever done that?  I had a friend who use to eat olive and peanut butter sandwiches, the ultimate in mixing sweet & salty (ok, this one you can scrunch your nose at).  So now that you've thought about it a little longer, doesn't buttery, salty popcorn inside a sweet chocolate cookie dough, sound like pure genius for your tastebuds?  It's the perfect blend of salty and sweet!

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.

Protein bites that taste like Heaven in your mouth. No bake, loaded with only "good for you" ingredients & Top 8 Free.

Have you ever just wanted something to eat? You don't know what that something is, but you've got to find it and will eat through the pantry in an effort to satisfy it.  Well friends, this is what your stomach has been longing for! This little blissful bite of protein, not only satisfies any sweet tooth, but it's perfect for all you snackers, breakfast-skippers, people on-the-go, non-cooks, protein junkies, food-allergy friends, & vegan foodies,,,,,REALLY! SunButter Craisin Protein Bites will satisfy any craving and you won't feel guilty if you eat 2 (because you will).

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?