Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

To Cook a Roast….or two

We have busy weeks coming up

one in a play

one in dance

the other liking to stay late after school

busy doesn’t fully cut it…

oh yeah and then there’s the dog

and I work sporadically as a sub in a school dishroom now so on weeks when I’m needed a lot

a lot doesn’t get done at home

so on the weekend

I grabbed my coupons


ran (well took the van)

to the grocery store

Got the necessities to get us through the week and then debated about what to make for supper that will last most of the week

So I decided to do pulled pork and pulled beef

two pans(though you could use a slow cooker) I used dutch ovens in the oven

Easy peasy recipes

for the pork:

1 pork roast

1 pkg of dry italian seasoning(we use one without dairy in)

balsamic vineagar

spray your pan with oil

sprinkle the roast with the seasoning and vinegar

cover pan with foil or lid

bake at 300 untill it falls apart when you push a fork into it.

if you want you can add a can of pickled pepper rings(not jalopenos)

then serve on rolls

with baked beans on the side

and anything else you enjoy!

For the Beef Roast(we like spoon roast)

I sprayed oil in the roasting pan

put the roast in

sprinkled with

garlic powder

onion powder

lawrys sesasoned pepper mix

Seasoned Pepper

then poured about 1 cup of brandy into the pan(brandy and beef can’t be beat!)

then take a knife and stab the roast over and over through the fat layer

cover the pan with foil or lid

then bake at 300 till it falls apart!

serve with rolls

the left over baked beans

and anything else you enjoy!

two meals/ one use of oven!

And if I’m lucky we’ll have left overs till Thursday!

spring break??

Well now its raining and we are just over halfway through spring break

and its maybe going to hit 40 but with the windchill it will probably top out around a feels like 35

its the end of march folks

so whats a mom to do

the kids are getting cranky

chores are waiting to be done

they argue in the hallway

they start before the rising sun

they argue by the bathroom  door

as day comes to a close

I bet if I gave them work to do

to be friends again they’d choose!

Put up with your crabby butt? Hmmm NO. - Put up with your crabby butt? Hmmm NO.  Misc

An Alphabet of Products I Love

So I’ve been thinking

as a mom of

food allergic kids

What are some of our favorite products?

{scroll down for a list of our favorite brands}


Apple Sauce(no sugar added)





Bread(we like village hearth)


cheese(not safe for our dairy allergic but the rest like it)

Chicken(I like white meat the rest like dark)

cheetos(I don’t think that counts as food but certain family members do)

Dr. Pepper(for when a migraine hits)


elbow macaroni(careful of the brand some are made on equipment that also processes dairy/egg)

fresh fruit(buy organic when possible and regardless wash thoroughly)

frozen juice(100% juice only)

fish(even within brands it can be difficult to find consistency always read labels)

frozen pizza(every busy house needs a few on hand for our dairy allergic we keep pizza sauce and pepperoni and he makes his own bread pizza in the microwave)

fake almond extract(does just as well as the real…and contains no nuts!)

ground meat(I cook up 6 pounds at a time and then freeze in recipe size portions for a fast meal!)

graham crackers(we like honey maid)

grape juice(has to be the dark purple(the kids think white grape juice tastes weird!)

green bananas(so when the ripe ones are gone the green ones will be ready to eat)

hard rolls(more label watching!)


italian dressing(label watch there are some brands that are dairy free)

Jello(we stick with the name brand for best results…however if you need to avoid red dye you can always buy knox and make it with fruit juice)

knox gelatin(some day I’ll share my recipe for old fashioned knox blox here)

ketchup(we like heinz)

kleenex(we like whatever is on sale)

lunch meat(we go for low sodium, and low fat, no msg…when possible make a turkey breast and slice it up)

marshmallows(watch for eggs)

meat sticks(we like klements, no msg)

navel oranges

noodles(we buy rice noodles, soba noodles, and regular wheat noodles, always watching ingredients lists for allergens)

Olive oil(specifically light flavored, as it works in both sweet and savory dishes)


onions(always have onions, and onion powder on hand!)



pizza sauce(watching labels for no dairy)

pizza rolls


Q  ??? nothing here

rice milk

ranch dressing(watching labels for no eggs)

string cheese



sour cream(we like daisy)


thousand island(no egg or dairy)

U ???

Vegetables(they prefer fresh)

watermelon(in season only)


yogurt both dairy and non dairy(we like greek yogurt and the silk variety for the non dairy folks)

zytec(not a food but our go to allergen fighter!)

some brands we love

Daisy(dairy products, made with few ingredients compared to other brands)

Eden foods

Eden Foods - Pure & Purifying

Enjoy life foods

Hodgson Mill

Hodgson Mill Flours & Meals

King Arthur Flour

Just Tomatoes, etc.(freeze dried fruits and veggies)

Just Tomatoes, Etc.!

In Case you didn’t notice

our list is comprised of many “whole foods”

and not very many “processed foods”

having multiple individuals

with multiple food allergies in your life will do that to you

the only real way to get as close to completely safe as possible

is to make the food yourself

from scratch



isn’t that difficult


is way healthier

not just for the food allergic individuals

but yourself as well

stay healthy

stay safe

keep reading those labels!

TRADITION! love it or hate it…its here to stay


Ah you see tevya from fiddler dancing above.

He sang of tradition.

We have feelings about our traditions


rarely indifferent.

even young children understand tradition

even if they can’t say the word  “Tradition”

a year or so ago my grandmother was ill

and the kids

wanted to know if they were still going

to get to see the family and have grandmas stuffing at thanksgiving.


After my grandfather died

my daughter wanted to know who was going to stick their tongue out at her when she was on the risers of the Christmas show, and her ballet recital

(my mom did.)


When the boys were first diagnosed with food allergies

I agonized over how I was going to make

boatloads of cookies at Christmas like my mom used to do.

no longer would meringue(egg white cookies) be an option


no pecan fingers

no chocolate cookies dipped in frosting and nuts

no peanut cake bars

no chex mix with mixed nuts

I could go on but you get the point



we decided that guess what we’ll start our own TRADITION

so each year the kids get to each pick out a type of cookie they would be devastated  if it wasn’t on the Christmas tray and that’s what we make….only 3 or 4 types of cookies…not 15(sorry mom…. you know we love you 😉   )

and then we pick a time when everyone is home and even the reluctant teenager has to frost a few cookies or risk being frosted….


you see

TRADITION is important

it builds a sense of family

a sense of belonging

a sense of expectation

on 4th of July we go to the parade, then to grandmas for Fry out and everyone is there

and then to the fire works

if we are out visiting in-laws we have a campfire and set off our own fireworks

there are certain places we go

certain things we do that connect us

in time and space

through the stories we share

(stories are another tradition)

my grandfather used to tell a joke about a monkey and a bus accident….

There was a terrible bus accident. Unfortunately, no one survived the accident except a monkey which was on board and there were no witnesses. The police try to investigate further but they get no results. At last, they try to interrogate the monkey. The monkey seems to respond to their questions with gestures. Seeing that, they start asking the questions.The police chief asks, “What were the people doing on the bus?”The monkey shakes his head in a condemning manner and starts dancing around; meaning the people were dancing and having fun.The chief asks, “Yeah, but what else were they doing?”.The monkey uses his hand and takes it to his mouth as if holding a bottle.The chief says, “Oh! They were drinking, huh??!” The chief continues, “Okay, were they doing anything else?”The monkey nods his head and moves his mouth back and forth, meaning they were talking.The chief loses his patience, “If they were having such a great time, who was driving the stupid bus then?”The monkey cheerfully swings his arms to the sides as if grabbing a wheel.

I know…groan  right   but grandpa told it at every family gathering and every year we’d groan and laugh.

now his chair is empty so the great grand-kids are learning to tell it…though they don’t always remember it right yet.


whether its cooking, gardening, site seeing, gathering, going to church together

whether its eating, visiting the cemetery on memorial day, or lighting candles on the birthday cake

traditions are an important part of our society, our humanity


what are some of yours?

Puppy Paws

Did I tell you in addition to 3 kids ….we have a puppy?

well…a 57# lovable lug

a black lab spaniel mix

I guess they can be called springadors or labradingers,,,,we prefer labradinger 😉

she really is a lovely


her birthday is November of 2012

but her paws are huge!

she has…of course finally grown into them

but she stepped on my toe yesterday


in honor of our “little” sweetie

I wrote this poem:

“To my little Sweetie”

I love your little puppy paws

when you shake my hand

I love it when you tap my leg 

as if you understand

I love the way you shield your eyes 

when you disagree

but I really do not like it

when you step on me!

a NEW dish: Baked Sausage and Pepper Ziti

I love cook books

to me they are more than

getting a recipe for supper

or dessert

they are for reading.





looking at the pictures

analyzing the recipes


like any good



I check them out from the library

I salivate over

new recipes

(even the ones I could never make for my kids because of nuts or egg whites or whatever)

but yesterday I saw one from a good housekeeping cookbook

and the recipe is on their website!

and it is ….


Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti

the house still smells like it!

(it does contain I save some out for my dairy allergic child prior to adding the cheese so he can try some!)

I used sweet italian sausage(the recipe says to use either sweet or hot)

and I used penne pasta as that was what I was able to find at the store

but it is super simple and could easily be made in a dutch oven!(a one pot meal is always appreciated)

to make in one pot cook the pasta first then set aside

then follow recipe as written

and …my photo:


enjoy…I know what we’ll be having for left overs today…

my oldest says this recipe is a definite MAKE AGAIN!

the world of Coupons….an adventure of epic proportions …

It’s not as if I’m NEW to couponing

but up until recently its been…if I see one on the back of the sales receipt and remember to bring it in

or if I see one in the paper I’ll clip it and maybe remember to use it

the problem with couponing and allergies

is that I buy very specific products

that are free of dairy, eggs, and all nuts

and products that are low salt

so often there just aren’t coupons that are available for the products I buy

and I would never be the type to jump from store to store to store

with the price of gas the amount we’d save would not be worth what we are spending on gas



I’ve come across a site called

Midwest coupon clipers

and you don’t have to be from the midwest to benefit from their site!

they have links to multiple coupon clipping sites

as well as sites for sweepstakes if you are into that sort of thing

they have links also to freebies, and online deals as well…

and occasional blog posts

and they have an interactive facebook page

where they post questions, share coupons they’ve found


sometimes have contests and send out packs of coupons

once I got a strip of coupons for free mcdonalds products!(after answering a question on their facebook page)


you can’t help but love the cute cow picture!

Finally while I will never be a stellar couponer I do have a binder of coupons

and when I remember to bring it to the store I’ve saved close to 10 dollars each trip.

and that alone is pretty cool!

Reuben Spread

Reuban Spread

in anticipation of St. Patties Day

(egg free…not dairy free)

So every year I usually make some sort of Reuban Casserole  or spread/dip

this year we voted and its the spread:

Recipe:(mine is adapted from the betty crocker slow cooker recipe)

in a large greased pan(or in a slow cooker)

dump in 1 quart sauerkraut (my gramma makes the best!) but if you need to buy just make sure you get the type without caraway seeds unless you like them)

1/2 pint cream cheese

6 or seven slices of Swiss cheese…diced up

1 cup thousand island(kraft fat free thousand island dressing is egg free)

2 packages of corned beef(about 6oz each) sliced up(sorry I left this out the first time through…yikes)

mix it all together

bake at 250degrees stirring every 1/2 hour till its to a “spread consistency”

serve spread on rye bread


in a greased casserole dish layer

slices of rye bread(we prefer beefsteak soft rye

Product Image

that have been spread with cream cheese

then layer as for lasagna in the following order

2 packages of corned beef(about 6oz each) sliced up(sorry I left this out the first time through…yikes)

2 cups drained saurkraut

drizzle with thousand island

top with slices of swiss cheese

and…if desired

spread hashbrowns on top

{don’t feel like shredding your own potatos get some from the fridge section of your store pre shredded}

(we like using the simply potatos brand)

Shredded Hash Browns

and bake till the hashbrowns are nicely crisp!

luck o the irish to ye…enjoy!

Free Leprechaun Pipe Clipart - Public Domain Holiday/StPatrick ... Free Leprechaun Pipe Clipart

Garlic Bread My Way!(no dairy)

Garlic Bread My Way!

so my kids love garlic bread but as one can’t have dairy

we can’t just buy some from the freezer section and pop in the oven

what we can do is buy a loaf(or in this case two) of french bread

slice almost completely through(or buy pre sliced if you want)

in a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup of light flavored olive oil per loaf of bread

then add in

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

stir together and using a pastry brush

carefully open up and brush on one side of each piece of bread, leaving loaf in loaf shape

anything left in the bowl? brush it over the top of the loaf!

cover with tinfoil

and bake at 350 for 5-10  minutes depending on how crispy you like it


(sometimes instead of the above recipe I’ll mix olive oil with a dry Italian dressing mix….they love that too!)

and ….its safe for them! whoot whoot

PAPER PLATES: yes please!

So we are heading into that time of the year

when activities pile up

time available shrinks

and the house rather than spring cleaning becomes

spring piles(piles of clothes that need to be washed, and dishes that need to be cleaned)

to make life easier…once a week(when we are really busy)

we use paper plates.

argh…I said it….paper plates…the environmentalist in me is shrieking in horror

the mom in me

sighing a deep sigh of relief!

no matter how hard I plan

with two growing boys

leftovers are not what they used to be

there aren’t as many

and they

don’t last as long as they used to .

So end up cooking more, and doing more dishes…

how else do I stay sane?

Tyson Chicken nuggets.(or patties, or strips)

one meal a week during busy weeks its fast they can pop it in the microwave themselves!

and….its safe for them!(well…relatively) it contains nothing they are Allergic to YAY!

fresh veggies  washed and cut in massive amounts at the beginning of the week usually last Sunday through Thursday

pasta made in a big batch maybe gets us 3 days tops so if you don’t put anything on it

one kid that hates sauce can eat it plain

the other can top with pizza/spaghetti sauce and with the nuggets have a meal!

its not always fancy

its not always pretty

but we try to always eat one meal a day together(when possible)

and if paper plates and chicken nuggets calm the time constraints….so be it!


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