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.

Eating dirt won't hurt you! Really!

Thanks to my friends at Enjoy Life Foods & So Delicious, you too can make your own allergy-friendly Dirt Cups. Trust me, this is quite a treat for the kiddos and if you don't have kids, that's ok too.  Nothing like making a dessert to make you feel young again. 

Thai Green Curry with Cauliflower

As I was making my menu for the week, I realized just how crazy busy my week actually was.  There is not even 1 night free, which isn’t unusual anymore.  Instead of freaking out, I remembered that I prayed for all of this.  The healthy kids, a wonderful husband, a job, a church we love, friends, etc.  Each of those bring much happiness, and much busyness.  There are athletic practices, music practices, church group, fundraiser dinners, church and even a Bieber concert thrown in there this week.

Instead of feeling defeated before the week has really begun, I go back to my menu and start trying to figure it out. I need to make dinners that are delicious, healthy, plant-based & easy.  Keyword here, EASY!   

I know I’m not the only one with busy nights, in fact, many of my friends and those I coach are constantly telling me how they eat out most nights and just can’t find the time to make a good “home-cooked” meal.  But trust me, but with a little planning, you can make a good-for-you meal just as quickly as it’d take you to drive somewhere and grabbing something to go.  And just in case you need a little extra help, here's my downloadable Weekly Menu Planner to make dinners a little easier for you. 

As for a recipe, well I have that too!  Whether you have had Thai food or not,  this Thai Green Curry with Cauliflower will take you on a little culinary adventure and is a perfect start to your meal planning. This is a wonderfully, rich & creamy dish, with just enough heat to make you smile.  Best of all, it's so, so easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes!