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Special dairy-free, wheat-free pizzas…

Following on from my post on Callum’s birthday party, I’ve had a few queries on how to make some of the food I listed.

So I thought I’d give you my recipe for the dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free and tomato-free pizzas. It’s based on a recipe from Jamie Oliver, that I have updated and adapted to cater for Callum’s allergies. They are really simple to make, and taste amazing. It is also something children can help you to make as well, and with half term coming up, why not give it a go yourself and let me know how you get on!

You will need:

1 cup wheat-free self-raising flour (such as Doves)

¾ cup vegetable oil

½ cup warm water

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 cup ‘nomato’ sauce

Toppings – handful of chopped salami/ peppers/ mushroom/ sweetcorn/ onion

- grated dairy-free cheese

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a food processor, add the self-raising flour, vegetable oil, water, salt and pepper and blitz until well combined.

Turn out onto a well floured surface, sprinkle some more flour over the top and knead gently for a couple of minutes.

Cut the dough in half, and roll out to make two pizza bases.

Place the pizza bases on the prepared baking tray, and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the bases from the oven after the 10 minutes, spread the ‘nomato’ sauce, sprinkle over the toppings and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Take out of the oven, leave to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

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Multiple allergies and birthdays…

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Birthday parties and allergies, sounds like a total nightmare doesn’t it! Just those 2 words in the same sentence…. Birthday party…….allergies……..

It’s one thing dealing with a single food allergy, add a whole load of allergies, and it becomes a bit of a nightmare. This year, it became even more difficult as Callum is now not able to have wheat either.

So, imagine, birthday party time rocks up. Usually, you’d go to the supermarket, keep things simple and easy for yourself, pick up some ready-made sausage rolls, quiches, pizzas, make some sandwiches, maybe pick up some fun cake treats, ice cream and some sweets. Perfect party food, right?

Wrong!

None of the above foods tend to be safe for the little dude. We could just about get away with it before, but now wheat is also part of the mix, most things are now out of bounds! I know, it almost seems cruel.

As a result, with Callum’s party fast approaching last week, I needed to make sure that I made all the food for him in the run up to the party. On top of all that, my mission was to make sure that every single bit of food that was available for the party was totally safe for him – I refused to have any foods on the table that he couldn’t eat, that would be just downright unfair!

I always do food for the adults as well as the kids. So, on the children’s menu for the party was:

  • Mini pizzas
  • Sausage rolls
  • Cocktail sausages
  • Cucumber and carrot sticks
  • Crisps – poppadoms, bacon rashers, swirls
  • Popcorn
  • Chocolate crispy cakes
  • Chocolate squares with buttercream
  • Fruit salad
  • Sweets
  • Birthday cake

And for the adults:

When you look at the list, it doesn’t seem all that different from what you would aim to get when you go shopping. And all of the children’s menu was dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, tomato-free, and wheat-free!

I’m not going to lie, it was an awful lot of work to get it all together, with some forward planning for things like the ‘nomato sauce’ for the pizzas, but it worked!

For anyone reading this and wondering/ worrying about how you could possibly make food that covers multiple allergies, birthday cake included (!!), it actually can be done, nothing is impossible!!

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Happy birthday little dude!…

Today has been a very special day in our house, it’s the little dude’s 3rd birthday!!

In spite of everything that he battles on a daily basis, he still remains the bravest, most cheerful, smart, amazing miracle of a boy, and our hearts are bursting with pride and love!

Yesterday, he had such a severe reaction at his child minders, he was violently sick, and when I say violently, our child minders has been doing this job years, and even she was shocked at the amount he produced! Poor baby! God knows what set him off, he only had safe foods. It was just one of those things, and just bloody bad luck it was the day before his birthday!

He was very subdued last night, and didn’t want much more than cuddles.

This morning he was complaining of tummy ache again, but seemed better after breakfast, all be it very pale!

We had planned on taking him out for the day, but with how he was feeling, and the weather (torrential downpours are an understatement!), it was better to stay at home and open presents – which Callum was quite happy with!

Happy birthday bubba!!

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Chocolate buttons are more than just chocolate buttons…

Life with allergies is tough, in fact scrap that, it’s more than just tough, it can be a total pain in the arse (and quite literally sometimes!).

Mealtimes go from being a chore, to being a ‘chore’! It’s not a case of opening a cupboard and just pulling something out any more.

You have to plan ahead, prepare in advance, and be one step ahead of the game!

If there’s one thing that makes life a little easier when dealing with allergies, it’s building up a list of ‘safe products’ that you can buy straight off the shelf in a main supermarket. The everyday stuff, that you use constantly, and would take a long time to try to make yourself, or have to shop elsewhere (in a specialist retailer).

You know what I mean, the things that you would normally take for granted, such as:

Bread

Milk

Yoghurt

Biscuits

Flour

Pasta

Chocolate buttons

Ah yes, the chocolate buttons – every parents key bribing tool! Let’s face it, there’s not a single parent out there that hasn’t resorted to bribing their child at some point. And if anyone says that they haven’t, I don’t believe it!! And if it’s true, how???!!

Be it to walk down the road without picking up every single little stone/ leaf/ bit of grass when you really need to be somewhere on time……! Or maybe teaching your little one how to potty train, and with every ‘hit’ rewarding them….! Or, simply to get 2 minutes peace to do what you need to do (go to the loo in private and not have a little one staring you down and giving you stage fright……)

Chocolate buttons are the staple of any household with little ones!

Last Easter, Callum’s Gram managed to get an abundance of special, safe chocolate buttons and bars for him. They were ‘Moo Free’ ones. He loved them, and was absolutely over the moon over his somewhat impressive haul!!

Imagine my delight when I found I was able to get them at our local Tesco. Bloody brilliant!

Remember what I just said about bribery, well, here was my bargaining tool for a calm shopping experience. Behave and no screaming/ shouting = one bag of moo free chocolate buttons to enjoy whilst mummy paid for all the shopping!

All was great for a short while, but then they became out of stock, and never seemed to be in stock when I shopped! Gutted isn’t the word!

So, imagine my shock and also horror at finding out the reason why this week. According to this article, Tesco hadn’t paid the bill for the suppliers of ‘Moo Free’ for more than 5 months! The company runs off its cash flow, and anyone with a small business will confirm, prompt payment of invoices is crucial to the survival of the business. It can literally cripple a business and force them into closure if they are unable to pay their own suppliers or staff due to other people’s negligent behaviour.

What a shame then, that a large company such as Tesco, were unable to pay their bill. With Tesco’s profits still at a significant level, the invoice would be short change to them. It doesn’t make sense!

As I’ve said before, the allergy market is becoming huge. Gluten free has been big business for the past few years, and now dairy, egg and nut free is becoming equally as huge.

Tesco have clearly been working hard to increase their ‘free from’ range, and whilst I’ve not been their biggest fan in the past, over the ‘may contain nuts’ fiasco, I have to give them their due. They are really picking up their game, and it’s refreshing to see the increase in choice.

What a shame then to spoil all that good work, by hurting the very suppliers they should be championing. The suppliers that are helping them to build a strong market within the allergy world.

Have a think Tesco, this could be very costly if it happens again!

And, one more thing, keep going ‘Moo Free’, you have one of your biggest fans in our house, and Callum would be utterly devastated if he was no longer able to have your fab produce!!