Banana & carrot cake

(Wheat free, gluten free, egg free, nut free, dairy free)

DSC_0785SUDDENLY Sidney’s second birthday was upon us and I realised that, nope, I hadn’t spent the entire past year transforming myself into the queen of allergy friendly baking after all. And I had no idea what cake I was going to make.

For his first we managed, after much effort, to create a decent Victoria-style sponge, but I didn’t want to churn out the same staple year after year. I needed a repertoire of treats. Plus we were now free to eat banana, Sid having outgrown that ridiculous allergy at 18 months… and banana can be a handy substitute for egg in cake recipes.

Continue reading “Banana & carrot cake”

The perfect cheesecake (two ways)

IMG_4390YOU’LL BE hard pressed to find a shop or deli-bought cheesecake that doesn’t contain egg, let alone wheat or nuts. But it’s actually really simple to knock up an allergy-friendly alternative that tastes just as good… and maybe even better.

I first made this recipe, just before Sid was born, for my husband’s birthday. (I’m not a mental baker, but I was six months pregnant and we weren’t going out on the razzle so I decided a cake would be a substitute – albeit a poor one!). I’ve adapted it here for Sidney using Tru Free digestives, which are egg, nut, wheat and gluten free. Continue reading “The perfect cheesecake (two ways)”

‘Life with my allergic toddler’

SO TODAY I have a small piece in The Times’ Weekend supplement,Life With My Allergic Toddler’about the pain in the arseness of trying to shop, cook and cater for a food allergy tot when everything you try to buy ‘may contain’ this that and the other. (Here’s the link. It’s a shorter piece than originally intended but I’ll post the full and unabridged soon…)

Meanwhile, this morning I headed out to the supermarket to buy ingredients for a Sid-friendly cheesecake (recipe also to come). And instantly proved my point.

Sainsbury’s Organic double cream? “Not suitable for nut allergy sufferers”. Silver Spoon icing sugar? “May contain traces of egg.” Sainsbury’s ‘Free From’ digestive biscuits? “May contain nuts”. Three separate shops later and I think we finally have what we need. Minus the cheery disposition I may or may not have had when we started…

Same old, same old pt II

JUST a quick follow-up to last night’s post on Sainsbury’s ditching the Dietary Specials Mozzarella and Tomato pizzas for their own rubbish version.

I’ve spoken with the exceedingly helpful folks at DS today who confirm that, yes, Sainsbury’s was their only major stockist and that they may now have to discontinue the line completely if no other big supermarket steps in. Deja vu – exactly what happened with Kinnerton milk chocolate. So do give Sainsbury’s a call on 0800 636 262, option ’5′, and ask them to reconsider. Continue reading “Same old, same old pt II”

Sidney’s pizza debut

A BIG, BIG day today – Sidney’s first ever pizza. It’s big because Sidney is one quarter Italian and his mother couldn’t bear to imagine a world without pizza. The horror.

Sadly, his debut was not a taste of the pizza a taglio I wolfed down on the street as a child in Rome, or the huge, crisp, paper thin versions, bubbling with sweet tomato and mozzarella, served up in a proper pizzeria. In an ideal world it wouldn’t have been a cook-from-frozen special. But beggars can’t etcetera and thank god, in that case, for Dietary Specials. Continue reading “Sidney’s pizza debut”

Sort-of-Moroccan-style meaty lamb stew

Wheat free, gluten free, egg free, nut free, dairy free

WITH AUTUMN’S crisp chill setting in, and Sid landing his first attack of the snuffles in months, I decided it was high time we concocted a good warming stew to see us through the winter.

To be frank, the only thing that gives this Moroccan-style stew its Moroccan style is the apricots and sultanas. Most genuine Moroccan recipes call for all manner of banned substances, from almonds to cumin seeds. Although I can’t be sure that cumin is out for us, given nuts and sesame are vetoed I’m erring on the side of caution and waiting to test all seeds at the hospital before adding them to our repertoire.

This recipe doesn’t need a huge amount of prep but it does require about an hour’s bubbling on the stove to give it proper depth and richness. I made up a huge batch to freeze in individual portions, thinking I’ll defrost them overnight as needed and then heat in a mini casserole dish in the oven before serving. Continue reading “Sort-of-Moroccan-style meaty lamb stew”

Grandma’s ridiculously quick & fruity flapjacks

Wheat free, egg free, nut free (optional: dairy free)

SID’S Grandma (my husband’s Mum) is a master baker of lovely cakes – deliciously moist Victoria sponges, boozy sherry logs at Christmas, butterfly “buns” (as Yorkshire idiom would have ’em), coffee sponges, pies, meringues, crumbles…

Obviously, Sid has never been able to sample any of these concoctions although, luckily, he’s too young to know any different. But as he nears two and is starting to notice (and care) what other people are eating, I’m delighted to say that Grandma’s traditional flapjacks have been reinvented to fit his silly dietary demands – wheat free, egg free and, as ever, resolutely nut free. Continue reading “Grandma’s ridiculously quick & fruity flapjacks”

Lovely beetroot & carrot fritters

Egg free, wheat free, nut free, gluten free (optional: dairy free)

A SHORT while ago I posted about the wonderful barbecue at my Mum’s house, where, for the first time ever, we were able to turn up with Sid in tow but NO FOOD.

This was huge. It never happens when you’re parent to a food allergy kid. But everything Mum made was suitable for Sidney to eat, and it was amazing. Amazing for us not to have to cart over our tupperwares of pre-prepared safe snacks, and amazing for Sid to pilfer from our plates for the first time in his little life.

These beetroot and carrot fritters went down well, and with the addition of a sprinkling of salt the adults tucked in happily, too. Continue reading “Lovely beetroot & carrot fritters”