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So, I used to be a good cook. I used to know what I was doing in a kitchen. Homemade breads, pastas, cheese dishes, and veggies galore (with sauces)! Then I married someone with a dairy allergy. Rough stuff since I had seven kinds of cheese in my fridge.
I went looking for good dairy free recipes, but in the wrong places. I went with recipes that gave substitutions but didn’t really take into account the difference between milk and water or juice. I gave up the stroganoff, alfredo, lasagna, ice cream, and other dairy heavy recipes I was used to making. We experimented with soy ice creams (Yick!), soy milk for puddings (ha! didn’t work!) and eventually just gave them up. Not the end of the world, but it was difficult to avoid dairy completely. What we didn’t know was that lurking in our future were some more food allergies. Gluten (egads!), still the dairy, and yeast (huh? people are allergic to yeast? Are you kidding me?). And not one type of yeast but
bakers yeast (breads, pizza crusts and so on), and brewer’s yeast (beer, wine, champagne, and vinegar) and seemingly whatever type of yeast is used in canned chicken broth. Suddenly we are dairy free, gluten free, and yeast free. Easier said than done.
And unbeknownst to us was our kids had food sensitivities too. Once we had them tested, we became totally dairy and gluten free along with soy free and egg free. We have over 25 food sensitivities in the household. Cooking is a challenge, but buying prepackaged foods or going out to eat is a much bigger challenge.
But it has lead me to do a lot of research. I read cookbooks from front to back like a novel trying to glean every bit of information I can. I have moved from buying cookbooks that tout being dairy free or allergy free as so many of them have uninspiring, insipid, boring recipes. Although I do still try to make simple substitutions so we can have our favorites (and sometimes it works), I am learning to focus on recipes that didn’t rely on the forbidden ingredients in the first place. Cakes and pie crusts that are supposed to be gluten and dairy free. Breads that derive their structure from ingredients other than wheat, eggs and yeast. There are whole cuisines that are based on rice not wheat, and I experiment with those. I am also trying the ancient grains: quinona, teff, and millet (yes it is what I feed the wild birds, but look how well they like it!).
The other criteria around my house is that it has to pass the “kid test”. It is all well and good if dinner is allergen free, but if the kids won’t eat it… Usually I’m not in the mood to cook two meals one for the kids and one for the rest of us…
So what to expect and why should you come back? The recipes will be gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and soy free, and most will have passed the kids test. Why most and not all? Because sometimes the adults love a recipe (like the roasted root veggies I made not too long ago) but the kids couldn’t stand it, or one kids likes it but the other one doesn’t. Some of the recipes may be boring as I do have my off weeks, but usually things are pretty lively around here.

Hope to see you around here in my kitchen!

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